Thursday, January 29, 2009

Salt trucks

From Pitts. newspaper:

"If you've ever thought that the city of Pittsburgh street you travel was forgotten by the salt truck crews, you may have been right, according to an audit released yesterday by Controller Michael Lamb.

The 34-page report suggests that the "war on snow" declared by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl last year is far from won.

Applying the microscope to just one of the city's six public works divisions, and looking at the 106 streets about which there were multiple complaints of poor snow removal, Mr. Lamb found 39 streets that weren't slated for plowing or salting.

That's just one of the problems with the city's street maintenance program, which also suffers from sub-optimal salt storage, pothole patching and decision-making on street resurfacing, according to the audit.

Case in point was yesterday's morning commute, when, despite relatively warm morning temperatures, Tuesday night's serving of snow and ice snarled traffic deep into the day."

oh well...

Looking forward to Sunday! SUNday.

Yes, there is snow even on my computer.


As cold and snowy as it is, we are pretty lucky that its not worse. And in many other parts of the US, it is worse.
There was a news story of trees collapsing from the weight of the snow, onto power lines. Imagine being in sub-zero temperatures and not having heat. For a few days. An elderly lady lit a stove in her basement to keep warm and somehow the rest of her house caught fire :(

Trucks go out to salt the roads, to make it less slippery, but the salt truck that services our area broke down yesterday. We didn't go out yesterday, but our neighbor tells us that most people parked their cars at the bottom of the condo area and walked (since it was too slippery to drive up...this is a hilly area). Looking out the window, there IS no road. Just lots of snow. Most schools were also closed yesterday and set back 2 hours today, if not cancelled.. that probably goes for most people's meetings and activities.

This kinda reminds me of what a chinese physician told me, that having four seasons is actually healthier for people, because it forces them to slow down once a year and be less active, resting their bodies and minds. Then comes the other 3 seasons where you can get pumped up again...


Back to the US~ winter time...

Happy Chinese New Year! The Lo Hei at the bottom (traditional Singaporean New Year dish) was taken just before I left...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Looking Younger

I met my wedding gown designer today and for some reason, she looks younger than I remember. I also thought this when I saw an ex-colleague, that she looked younger. It's not flattery, but they really did look younger... and more refreshed.

Am I just getting older?

Perhaps, they had a good year-end break.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sharks' Fins

Today I went Chinese New Year shopping with my mum and grandma at one of the old provision/supply shops in Malaysia. They picked out the waxed and dried food products that they needed, and the elderly shopkeeper proceeded to show my grandma some seafood items out of a freezer in the back. He asked her if she wanted some sharks' fins, expecting her to purchase some. To his horror, she lectured him on how cruel it was to eat sharks' fins, and how it resulted in a lot of disabled sharks being thrown back into the sea and left to bleed to death as they swam about fin-less. All this in dialect no less. He sheepishly said it was the last batch he had and he no longer ordered it (I doubt it).

I was impressed by my grandma! and wondered if her fin-less shark details came from the Discovery Channel, since she spent her nights watching cable before she went to bed. She is considered traditional in many senses, so it was really neat that she rejected the sharks fins, and even tried to share the message with the bewildered shopkeeper who obviously thought he was doing us a favour.

If a 80-plus year old granny from a small town can change her mind about this issue, there is some hope for the sharks... or at least for the 10 sharks that didn't get sold to her. Information and education is the way to go!