Ice. Fire & Ice

So. Lots of ice these days, especially icy sidewalks, where I live (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). We had a major ice storm just before Christmas (Dec. 21/22) & then earlier this week, unusually frigid temperatures. All making for a winter to remember for Torontonians (not just Torontonians, of course!) – who are rather unused to the humdinger winters some of us experienced growing up in other parts of Canada, in places such as Winnipeg (Manitoba), Regina (Saskatchewan), Edmonton (Alberta), Ottawa (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec) or Deep River (in eastern Ontario), say … to name but a few. As a die-hard long-time daily walker (but only because it keeps me more or less sane & cheerful), I several years ago now (while living in the aforementioned eastern Ontario town of Deep River) bought myself a pair of “Gripons.” There was all too often freezing rain that would otherwise have kept me house-bound, & that just wasn’t working for me. These spike-y little critters that I strap onto the bottom of my boots are billed as “snow tires for your feet” & I must admit, I’ve found them utterly indispensable in the past weeks … or on any icy occasion I happen to encounter in whichever part of Ontario I happen to find myself.

I sometimes wonder if fellow pedestrians are eyeing me with suspicion & wondering how the heck I can walk so briskly on a treacherously icy street (or the boardwalk along Lake Ontario). Only because of these snowtires on my feet!  Others may look down their noses at me, as these things are not what you'd call “elegant” in appearance. At least some young women I know would rather risk a fall than ever-ever-ever risk looking “weird”; me, I prefer to stay safely upright while out & about!

I bought my Gripons at a Canadian Tire store … though they were manufactured in Taiwan. We don’t make much of anything here in Canada anymore; mostly embarrassing &/or greedy &/or dishonest beyond-the-pale politicians (too many of those to link to just one, but do check this out!), cars & greenhouse gas emissions? Some of us make lots of noise, but not nearly enough of it, pretty clearly!)

Climate change is bringing us all kinds of weird weather. You can debate, if you like, ‘till the cows come home, as to what’s causing it. Fact is, it’s here, it’s now, & it can be kind of scary (see here & here). For some climate-related humour, check this out!

As I’ve said before, the crazier life gets, the more I find I need that daily walk. It’s essential. Gripons it is, if icy sidewalks are going to be part of the deal!


p.s. we all recall that Robert Frost poem “Fire and Ice,” yes?

p.p.s. another kind of “fire,” of course, is the ongoing crisis at Fukushima. My latest pass-on-able bits of news on that are here here & here (Always plenty of useful information at the Beyond Nuclear site also) Oh. This one too, about the Pacific Ocean. Yikes.

p.p.p.s. next day -- just came across (by fluke) a winter-related posting I did last year around this time. Enjoyed seeing it again. It's called 'Changing the World.'

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “So-called global warming is just a secret ploy by wacko tree-huggers to make America energy-independent, clean our air and water, improve fuel-efficiency of our vehicles, kick-start 21st century industries, and make our cities safer and more livable. Don’t let them get away with it!” – Chip Giller, founder of