Wednesday, 19 November 2008

On being seen and baby shots

Shorter days have come and along with it the need to think about about being visible to traffic. While it is twilight when I leave work at 4:30, by the time I get home, it is full dark. Despite this, I pass any number of invisible cyclists. Well, not technically invisible, so perhaps stealth cyclists is a better term. No lights, dark clothing and few, if any, reflectors. Why more of them don't get smucked I don't know. Coming home today, I saw a cab driver cursing a stealth cyclist and I couldn't really blame him.

The good side of these semi-suicidal stealth cyclists is that I stand out as relative beacon of visibility to drivers with my assortment of visibility devices: lots of reflective tape, reflectors and no less than four different lights. I have an MEC white Turbo turtle light on my handlebars, an MEC red turtle light on my helmet facing backwards, a compact BLT headlight on the front of my helmet and a red blinky light on my bag in the milk crate, carefully arranged to be visible from the rear. I have had a number of people comment favourably on my lights of late, not the least of which was a driver at the corner of Cavendish and Côte Saint-Luc road this evening. He lowered his window to say this despite the fact that it was about -3 degrees out there. That's an indication he was favourably impressed.
My helmet with lights fore and aft

This made for an amusing coincidence as I got an e-mail from Margo when I got home that she and Chris were in this little video on the subject of visibility. Unfortunately, they spelt Margo's name wrong in the credits. All you stealth cyclists out there, watch, listen and learn. Then go out and get visible! ;-)

Baby shots

For no particular reason except that I have been waiting too long to put them up, here are a couple of shots of my niece. The first sitting down...and the second standing up with a little help from her mum.Actually, while it doesn't look it, Désirée is getting a lot of support from Dominique. When I held her hand to give her support, I could feel that my niece was keeping her balance mostly by her arms as she was putting a lot of force through her hands, and boy! is she strong. If this keeps up, she will end up being very strong. Not bad for only seven months. Philip was joking that his goal is have her walking by Christmas. Mind you, I was walking by my first Christmas: there is a very good shot of me walking behind Granny and Granpa's house on Upper Lansdowne in my snowsuit. Of course, I was born in January, not April!

Actually, now that I think of it, there is a good reason for me to put the baby shots up: stress relief. There is something wonderfully calming about looking a picture of a happy baby. My desktop at work is this shot:
It does wonders for my inner calm. Désirée seems to be particularly good-natured baby which makes it very easy to feel affection for her. Lots of warm fuzzy feelings.

As a semi-related note, a week or two ago, my mother had planned to go to read to Mrs. Biron, a very nice lady in her nineties who can no longer read, at a local old folks home when at the last minute Dominique asked her if she could look after Désirée. Rather than cancel the session, my mother took Désirée along. Naturally, my niece was quite the center of attention. Mummy didn't say as much, but I infer that Désirée was "good" during the visit. ;-)

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