Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Where is it?

Every now and again I like to pretend that I am going to be healthy. This most recent time had me scouring the City webpage to find out where their fitness centers and pools are. That is the first problem - not easy at all to find on their homepage.

 Scrolling down, it seems like it might be under the "Activities and Recreation" section.


So then I thought I would use their drop down menu that is probably there to make things easy... Well, I could get to it from there but it's not super clear as you can only get to it by selection "Community Centres" - which to me is not quite the same thing - but at least it takes me to a page with a menu in the left column that will take me where I want to go.

Once I finally found the page (also available after multiple clicks on the "Residents" tab) I started looking at my options.

One of them is the Eldon Ross Pool, which, according to the Homepage for this pool, it is located in the North End.

Nope. Not even a little bit. It is definitely on the wrong side of the tracks to even be remotely considered the North End. But, there is the helpful link to the "now" (Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg) tab! Ah yes, it is in the Brooklands Neighbourhood.

 I didn't bother to look at all of their listings, perhaps this is the only error. My guess would be that it's not, but last time I checked, this gig is a volunteer one (that occasionally gets me invites to events that have food. I like food). *EDIT* I went and looked, at least one other is wrong. It lists the North Centennial Pool as being in Point Douglas (and the "now" map says Dufferin).

But I guess I'm just curious as to how it ever got listed as being in the North End in the first place?? If the people doing our City website don't even know the boundaries of the common names given to the large areas of town perhaps it's no wonder that the media don't either. Haha, kidding, I totally expect them to know. For those of you not from Winnipeg, the North End has a very very very clear boundary to the south, a ginormous rail yard, this pool is most certainly to the south of that.

I've tried to figure it out, maybe they labeled it according to City Council wards? That could explain why North Centennial is listed as Point Douglas... oh wait, but Eldon Ross is still not in the North End (as there is no North End ward), nor does a Grant Park ward exist for the Pan Am pool as it is listed as being in. Maybe we are talking Provincial boundaries on the City website? Nope that doesn't fit either.

Basically, TL:DR - someone dropped the ball and the City of Winnipeg website needs some fine tuning!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

7-11 Cares about your health.... unless it's Bring Your Own Cup Day.

Every now and again I like to pretend I have some sort of journalistic aspirations and before I write a blog post I like to (mostly) thoroughly research what I write about. It should come as no surprise that I have an in depth (in a shallow pool) piece about Slurpees that has been sitting on the back burner.

This all starts last year, when I took in a cup to be refilled. It was a used 7-11 clear Slurpee cup, the same kind I have been refilling for years. I was told I could no longer refill those cups for "contamination" reasons.

Well, that got me going.

There was no sense arguing with the poor store clerk, so I went straight to corporate. I pointed out that there is no way to ensure the cleanliness of other "designated" refillable cups that other people bring in. I first received a response from the store manager that told me that I couldn't refill the clear cup because they were one time use cups and it was against health regulations. To be fair, he did offer me a complimentary re-usable cup, but that's not really my point...

Picture it: Nice day (actually could be a terrible day, I'm a junkie when it comes to Slurpees) you're out and about and you want a Slurpee but you don't have a cup with you. So you get one in a clear cup because that blue cup size just isn't big enough, and now you have this perfectly good plastic cup that you can wash and reuse. You put it in the cupboard with the other ones (and this next part is key) BECAUSE THEY ALL NEST INTO EACH OTHER NICELY AND DON'T TAKE UP MUCH ROOM and eventually you remember to take one with you the next time you go for a Slurpee. Boom. You've just reduced and reused.

You don't buy a new reusable cup every time you find yourself at 7-11 without one, that would be like buying a new reusable shopping bag every time you find yourself buying one too many things on a spontaneous trip to the supermarket. I hope/think that most people try to reduce the "one time" use products that they consume, but sometimes you still need them - it brings a little bit of balance back to the world to at least try to reuse them if possible; those supermarket bags are great for scooping the litter box for example.

So to make a long story (do I tell any other kind?) short, I emailed back and forth with 7-11 corporate, and eventually with the Manitoba Health department. Turns out, while 7-11 may consider the cups to be single use,

the Manitoba Health guideline that they were citing as the reason I couldn't refill my cup actually applies more so to things like they can't reuse plastic wrap, as far as Manitoba Health is concerned, you are welcome to refill the 7-11 clear cup.

Eventually I was told by 7-11 corporate (regarding their discussion with Manitoba Health):
'...if a customer brings in a disposable cup, we'll be happy to give them a new disposable cup and just charge them for the refill. We agreed that the reusable cups we sell are what should be used for our customers that want to bring in their own cup.
 Which, is absolutely absurd and completely wasteful. The whole reason I don't have a stockpile of their officially approved reusable cups (which is to say, apparently any cup except one that the ones that they originally come in) is because of how much room they take up and the fact that I don't have one tethered to me at all times. I'M TRYING TO MAKE UP FOR MY WASTEFUL WAYS BY AT LEAST REUSING MY CUPS A FEW TIMES!

They also seemed to be sticking to their guns about how it was for sanitary reasons, this, from a chain that gleefully allows people to bring in any container they would like and fill it will Slurpee, without first making sure that it's clean.

I think just to be a trouble maker tomorrow, on Bring Your Own Cup day the cup I will choose to bring will be a 7-11 issued clear cup.