Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blue Skies

Many years ago, I recall reading that postcards of scenes in Ontario were usually doctored. Apparently all those lovely cards from Niagara Falls had their Ontario skies excised and replaced with skies from Alberta. I'm beginning to see why.

We can go for many days without seeing a cloud. The sky here is rich and clear and very photogenic. And there's much more sunlight every day. Just over a month ago I wrote that sunrise was 8:50 and sunset 16:29. Today the sun rose at 8:00 and set at 17:36. It's a staggering rate of change - fast enough that we can see a noticeable difference every week, if not quite from one day to the next. Already I'm going to work and returning home in daylight.

The forecast calls for more sunny days ahead, though perhaps a flurry or two on Wednesday. I can't remember when we saw snow last. It seems like it's been a couple of weeks at least.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Transit Etiquette

It's not uncommon to hear people say "thank you" on the way out the bus door in many cities. "Thank you", "merci", "cheers!" It doesn't take much to acknowledge the bus driver as a human being as you walk past him or her to get off the bus. And lots of people do it.

But here in Edmonton there's a twist: lots of people call out "thank you' from the back door of the bus as they get off! I've never seen that in any city before. It just about blew me away when I first heard it!

And then the transit experience stepped up to yet another level this week. As the bus stopped, the driver called out to those exiting to watch out because there was a sweeper coming on the sidewalk. (This is a smallish tractor-like vehicle with a large rotating cylindrical brush on the front.) I imagine walking out straight into those bristles would be a rather nasty experience, so good on the driver for warning the passengers rather than just leaving them to their own deivces.

But, this being Edmonton, the bus driver's warning, while welcome, was unnecessary. Because the sweeper driver noticed the bus and stopped to let the passengers get off unscathed.

Even though I wasn't getting off at that stop, I thought "thank you" to both drivers.

A great start to the day!