Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just a few Reasons to Love the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library

There is no better place to recharge your intellectual – and, sometimes, emotional –batteries than the library. If you haven't been in awhile head on over for an afternoon. You don’t know what they’re missing.

There are many reasons why I love the library and here are a few of my favourites!

You’re surrounded by some of the greatest minds in history – at your fingertips. Walk in. The sheer amount of material is enough to inspire. Any subject, any question, and idea you may want to explore – it’s all right there. And not just the latest bestsellers; you’ll find volumes there that a bookseller could never carry. Ages of wisdom! For instance, on the self-help shelves, you’ll find advice from great minds from years, decades, even centuries ago.

Silence. Serenity. It’s about respect, and nice manners. No cell phones ringing, either. Peace and quiet: Priceless. It's an Oasis. A mini-vacation. It's so much easier to read People in a comfy chair than in line at the supermarket.

Being able to focus! Sample your day. How often in a room is the TV on, with a constant stream of chatter from one of the 24-hour news channels? Sometimes the radio is on as well. Next add cell phones, ipads, laptops, other peoples chatter and barking dogs. Can you say “overload”? The library may be the only place left in the world where there is no soundtrack, no ticker tape news in the background. You can hear yourself think.

You can take books home. For FREE. And not only books – CDs, back issues of magazines, and DVDs.

Deadlines. Okay, admit it. How many books are on your shelf, stacked by your bed, even still in the bag with the receipt? You’ll get around to reading them “someday.” But – if the book has a due date, you’ll usually read it – or at least make a decision about whether you really want to read it or not. There are only three reasons I usually finish a book – especially nonfiction. One, it’s too compelling to put down; two, my book club meets in two days; three, it’s due at the library tomorrow. Deadlines can be inspiring.

It’s a community centre, too. Check it out! Movie nights, classes on writing, book clubs, lectures, play readings, and more. There was even an all-candidates debate during the recent election. Check the library's website or add them on facebook. Keep up-to-date about what's going on there. They also have a posting board in the library stairwell, so if you are looking for guitar lessons, a play that is in town, or a baby-sitter for the night chances are you will find a flier posted.

Used book sales! Oh, yes these are BIG trouble for me. Last time there was a book sale I came home with three BOXES of books. So much fun. And, at the prices they sell them at, you can buy them, read them - and donate them back when you're done.

At the library, you are surrounded by fellow seekers: people who read, who look for answers, and enjoy the presence of other humans. And – just for the joy of it – you can also visit the children’s section and watch the kids play.

The expertise of the staff. Librarians know a lot. Try them. Research librarians are amazing resources. Ask them questions; it’ll save time and frustration, and the answers come with a smile too.

Oh, and (have I already said this?) it’s all free. The peace, the knowledge, the solitude, the company; the books and all the rest. Try it – even one hour a week. You’ll be hooked – or at least I hope you will. The world waits for you at the library. Use it, support it, teach your children and friends about its pleasures. It’s your tax dollars at work, in the best possible way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another Great TED Video - Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy

Local politics -- schools, zoning, council elections -- hit us where we live. So why don't more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies 7 barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities, even when we truly care.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Get Out and Vote!

It sometimes can be tough to make up your mind about who to vote for and to decide who will be the best person to represent and GET THINGS DONE for your community!

No one wants to enter the voting booth and make a snap decision when so much is at stake. Voting is an important part of becoming part of the growth and change you want to see in your local community, so it is best to make an informed decision and get out and vote for the person/party that best matches what you feel is best for your community.

I have found a few things that I like to go through in order to make the best choice to represent me.

Do an Internet search of each candidate and look at how they feel about the issues that matter to you. How do they stand on Health, Job Creation, Supporting local economies, or what are they going to do in terms of supporting initiatives for a healthy eco-system. Who is going to challenge Bruce Power and the storage and movement of nuclear waste? These are a few of the issues that I looked at, so you would adjust your search to look at the issues that matter to you.

Talk to the people in your life on what needs to be done to make Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound a better place to live. Talk about the debates, both of the local candidates and of the national leaders. Talk to people you disagree with as well , expand and challenge the way you think on things, and get the answers you need to fill out where your knowledge of where the candidates stand on the issues.

Use a ranking system of pluses and minuses - how does each candidate make you feel in your gut?

The biggest thing though is to make sure you have a say in who is representing YOU in our federal government. Who matches what you want?

Decide that and then go out and Vote!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Great Local Blog!

Ran across the blog Sharin' with Sharen and am completely in awe of this woman and inspired by her commitment to fighting for what's best for our community.

I have a cold or something today so am very low energy so I will not even attempt to summarize the goodness of this blog, but will just say go over and show her some love.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Inspiration from younger people!

I've been a busy bee these past few days which sadly means less time for me to post about incredible stories of goodness in the area.

And the worst thing is I missed the Earth Day celebrations at the Legion because I was working.

Before I had to head to work though I did manage to pop down to the 1st Avenue Clean Up! What an amazing group of people who did a wonderful job of cleaning up that stinky mess and another shout out to the amazing Tracy who organized and instigated the whole thing! I have footage I am hoping to put up tomorrow but first a teaser form one of the young participants:

Young people these days! Made me smile for practically the whole day!

Another wow young people are great moment when I finally got home after work and my partner gave me the run-down on what I missed at the Earth Day ceremony. It basically came down to three points that really stick in my head:

1. Richard's poetry was AMAZING!
2. She gave me all the details and contact info on the women that did the water blessing, including a nifty bracelet that I haven't taken off, some lovely tea, and a unity button.

3. A pamphlet called "How does Your Garden Grow"? a most wonderful thing put together by Julia Grein. A summary of her project can be found here.

Check it out! Especially if you garden but really the conclusions she draws from her research should be published and talked about in local newspapers because they are that important!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day is Tommorrow - Let's Help clean up the City

Tomorrow morning is Earth day and earth needs all the help me can give 'her'.

I know there are several events out there celebrating, and because I am working in the afternoon I am missing the big one I'd like to attend so anyone one that wants to go in spirit for me I thank greatly. Mostly go for the earth who gives us all life despite how me mistreat her.

Richard's blog Wundernutblog (LOVE the name) has a great list of the events so please head over there and give him a shout for the great work he's doing.

I will be heading over at 9am to the clean up 1st avenue event!

Here's a video of Tracy talking about the event and the challenges she has faced in the simple desire to clean up the litter in her community.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All Candidate's Meeting

Last night at the Owen Sound Public Library an All-Candidates meeting was held- except one candidate did NOT show up even though multiple dates were given just after the election was called.

It seems Larry Miller was busy with other things and could not make the time to talk about the issues important to a wide range of social organizations who organized the event.

Entirely disappointing and a true look at how unimportant these issues are to the 'Harper Government'. I personally want a Member of Parliament who is working for the people who live in Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound and not for the corporations who despite ridiculously low tax rates keep pulling jobs from the area.

SO the meeting last night really highlighted something for me. I think it was Emma who said it but it could have come from Kimberly or Karen as well because they all demonstrated it. The thought is why can we not cooperate to make the changes that will make our community better? The candidates differed on some issues but often you would hear, ditto, as an answer. It seems that 3/4 of the people running for MP agree on a good 75% of how to get it done.

Why then do polls say that the one person who did not show up has 51% of the vote according to a recent poll?

What do we do?

As one candidate advised - go out and talk to your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers - hell even strangers. Talk about the issues, and get the spin and rhetoric out of the way. How can we make Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound better for all of us. How do we revitalize and clean up? How do  we cooperate and work together so me make sure that ALL of us have the essentials of life and are safe and happy? 

This is a fabulous community and I have been blessed in the two years since I moved here. How can I make it better? I try to incorporate my suggested 10 things into my life and do what I can. I listened to the candidates last night and wondered who would work for this community. Not for their party, not as a politico, but as a person who wants to make our home a better place. I am still distilling last nights meeting, but by his absence I am left to wonder what our incumbents stand on these issues are.

Did you go to last night? What are your impressions? If not, why?