Author: The Plaidneck (page 2 of 19)

Rural postal delivery

I just finished a road trim through parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

One thing I noticed was the predominance of group boxes in the rural areas. These are not new developments, but well established hamlets and farm land.

Here in the part of Ontario where I live, the area too consists of well-established settlements and farms (coupled with the over smattering of new residences scattered all over). With the exception of the hamlets (which never had mail delivery in the 225 plus years many of them have existed) mail is still delivered to individual mail boxes at the end of lanes and driveways (I distinguish between a farm lane and the shorter driveways of the newer housing).

Why is it that in the three provinces I visited east of here, they have the energy and gumption to use the group box delivery method while here in the “heartland” we find it difficult to give up getting mail in a box that is susceptible to damage by maintenance equipment?

An acquaintance of mine moved from a residence where mail was delivered to their box to a new subdivision where the group box had been established. She found that the group box was actually more convenient. Parcels were delivered to the group box (placed in a large compartment and a key left); pick up of to be delivered mail was possible, conveniences that weren’t available on the normal rural route delivery.

There are a few reasons why we could have stubbornly kept the old delivery system:

• We’re basically too stubborn to change
• We aren’t bright enough to understand that there may be advantages to the group box.
• We’re too selfish to “give up” anything even if it actually offers better service.
• We’re a bit lazy and going for the mail except at the end of our short driveway. Although I’ve seen many “rural” compatriots drive to the end of their driveway instead of walking.
• It is just too much of a bother to think of stopping anywhere but home when on one of the 10 plus auto trips a day that seem to come from a typical residence.

I don’t have an answer to any of this, but maybe it is time for “rural” Ontario to get with the program and accept group box mail delivery (and pickup).

The Plaidneck

The Colour Green

Last week (I think I must have missed posting this – last week was May 3rd) , I drove along a route where in the Fall the colours we here in the temperate zone find particularly resplendent. However, this is the Spring.

I noticed that Spring colours have their own beauty.

In the fall, we have the deep green of the evergreens, the brilliant reds of oaks and maples and the yellow/orange of the aspens. Colours we set aside time to venture out and enjoy; colours that tour operators advertise and take people on road trips to see.

In the Spring, we just say, things are greening up. Yet Spring greens have their own charm:

1. There are still the deep greens of the various coniferous species,
2. There are the pale greens of the aspens and their kin,
3. There is the reddish green of budding maples, and
4. There are the greys of the bare tree branches of trees with slower developing foliage.

Take the time to enjoy some of the simpler colours of Spring.

The Plaidneck


In the west, we are supposed to elect Governments, not Rulers.

Somehow, we have forgotten that.

A recent statement by the vice president of the US, eminently illustrates this trend.

In response to brinkmanship from North Korea, he said, “not to test Trump’s resolve.” Although the Presidential system places considerable power in the hands of their leader, the government still is a president-appointed cabinet balanced by an elected house and a vetted judiciary.

Wouldn’t a more democratic statement have been “do not test OUR resolve.” The US system was not designed to be headed by a dictator.

Here in the great white north, we to are falling into the exalted leader trap. A Prime Minister’s Office led government defended publically by talking points and evasion of serious parliamentary debate.

Our government considers itself to have been elected with a “mandate” but in fact less than 40% of those who voted supported them; our southern neighbours elected a president with support of less than 50% voter support yet both seem to be tending toward an impression that they have received a Devine right to Rule.

Unfortunately, I’m becoming more pessimistic about our ability to even slow this trend. Finding unbiased, researched reporting on events is getting difficult. Without variety, listening and compromise, I’m afraid we could be in real trouble as a global society.

The Plaidneck

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