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Words From Wiser: Wramblingly Written

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By Chuck Wiser, 11/18/21, “I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels.”

I had hopes of being able to capture a picture of one of the subjects described in the lead article for today, but our feathered friend did not show up. When parent birds have fledgling’s, they typically bring them to our deck feeding stations and by example teach them how to access the feeders through the wire mesh caging to get the sunflower seeds. Apparently, there was one young male Cardinal that skipped class as he has no idea as to how to get inside the cage wire. While bird visitations at our feeders have fallen off in general given their departure eating from their natural habitat, one straggler male Cardinal has been around several days in a row. This poor fellow just cannot figure out how to get at the seed. To deter access to the actual feed station by unwanted bird species and other critters, the “catch board” beneath, and the cage around, the sunflower seed holder have added chicken wire mesh wrappings. Most birds learn or discover how to get thru the 2” wide openings. This one guy, not able to figure how, hovers beneath the top box trying to reach up through a smaller mesh to pull seeds through. He will also clutch to the side trying to “reach through the opening but has yet to discover that he can easily hop through the opening in the mesh.

Continuing onward with another “Wiser Wrambling”, I would like to address a relatively recent educational objective to interest and/or attract students into subject areas typically non-traditional for them. Although not limited to them, “females” are in the majority of the targeted group. Engineering and Manufacturing educational institutions, in an attempt to interest these students, adopted a program dubbed STEM, an acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing”. The “Arts” were intentionally left unaddressed as many students are not normally attracted to the targeted interest areas above, and typically would choose a college curriculum of “Liberal Arts”, or one of the other “liberal studies” programs not necessarily targeting direct employment. Feeling that the “Arts” were discriminated against, or “left out” of these recruiting methods, many school organizations added the Arts back into the equation by using the Acronym “STEAM” which adds “Arts”, along with Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing. Intentionally or not, this changes the focus of the original objective addressing non-traditional  careers paths.

Wrambling on to a topic of my curiousity I have often been puzzled by the “numbering sequence methodology” used to designate house numbers. I understand even and odd numbering being on opposite sides of a road or street, but the numerical sequencing often is baffling. The house directly opposite of mine on the other side of Back River Road in Scio is 4027. A recent dwelling addition on the same side as that, about 100 feet north of the residence is numbered 4035. It’s going to be interesting to see how they squeeze three more houses into that 100 foot distance between the adjacent houses.

Moving to a pet peeve. Facebook (FB) (perhaps soon to be known as META ) is primarily a “Social Networking” media group. There are local garage sale type “sub groups” established within FB for selling personal items. That’s great! Two things about this bother me however. First, Commercial selling ventures, predominantly of which are Auto Sales agencies, are using this “Social Media” outlet to advertise their items. These are not personal sales. These companies are taking advantage of this social media group for their free advertising. Secondly and related again to selling of wares, I address advertising of personal items. Sadly, this is being abused when a user advertises page after page of items, each individually, in succession. These often include as many as 10 to 20 items listed. At one time there used to be a notification advising sellers to put “multiple listings” in an album and posting that. The intent, and advantage of doing that, would be to allow posting your items as the Album, and anyone interested could then view that Album. People not interested would not have to scroll, and scroll, and scroll, to get past the 20 separate items.

The next two items reflect the use of our public highway system. A recent accident involving an emergency vehicle and another vehicle at a “light controlled intersection” raised the first question of who had, or has, the right of way.

Any emergency vehicle with lights and siren has the right of way with the following caveats. The driver of a non-emergency vehicle if already proceeding through the intersection should, if seeing a vehicle with emergency flashing lights coming from either direction, continue through the intersection and then immediately drive to the right and stop.” “The driver of the emergency services vehicle, however, is still required to exercise due caution.” One aspect of the “emergency use of lights” has always puzzled me however. I looked for an explanation that covers an ambulance traveling at posted road speed with flashing lights only on. As nearly as I could find out, they were subject to follow all traffic laws including stopping at red lights. That information was not “official”, and only anecdotal but sounds reasonable.  

The second topic covering road travel is also prompted by recent accidents involving horse drawn buggies and motor vehicles. The traffic regulations governing riding a bicycle, a horse, or driving a horse drawn buggy or wagon are all similar. Other than signage and lighting the main emphasis of the laws regarding this are aimed at protecting the drivers and occupants of these vehicles. Horse drawn buggies are much more common on our roadways recently and the seriousness of the accidents is much more prevalent due to the unprotected nature of the occupants. There are now more horse-drawn buggies than ever on New York’s highways. While specific laws regarding the interaction between motorized and “low horse power ambulatory vehicles” are minimal. Basic laws regarding when you can pass etc. are the same as if you are in normal vehicle traffic. Common sense and common courtesy would seem to come into play here as in most any situation.

Following are some basic guidelines regarding shared road experiences.

Automobile Drivers; Passing should be done only when it is safe and legal to do so in a passing zone. Never pass on a hill or curve where oncoming traffic may put everyone at-risk; including the buggy occupants.

Do not honk to pass or when passing as this may spook the horse(s).

Follow at a safe distance and do not crowd. I won’t mention car tire cleanliness.

Buggy Drivers; If you are driving a slow-moving vehicle on a two-lane road where it is unsafe to pass and five or more vehicles are in a line behind you, you must pull over and stop to let them pass, if it is safe for you to do so.” Note: This stipulation was noted in many online sources, but not specifically, in New York motor vehicle laws. Other conditions or references to buggy restrictions merely suggested that the buggy driver “as a courtesy” should pull to the side of the road where it is safe to do so.

Side comment: Some of the hills on the Short Tract Road (Cty. Rd. 15) are very long, arduous, and boring if caught behind a horse drawn buggy that does not show any courtesy.

My hopes were dashed yesterday. Upon receiving a flyer in the mail advertising Armstrong Cable now available in Scio, I called the advertised number to ask some questions and hopefully even to ask them to sign me up. The lady who answered was friendly, cooperative and spoke understandable English. As I proceeded to ask specific questions about the service and what was available, her newness on the job, (I presume) showed. I asked about TV Programming, Live Streaming channels etc. and she had to put me on hold to get an answer. Armstrong “at this point in time” is only offering Internet and Phone Service. No TV Programming package available. What their cost would be, without a TV package, even at their introductory pricing level (good for one year) is almost the same as what I am paying now for the crappy service from Spectrum, and my service includes the TV programming (kinda). Drats!

Covid Virus update. Just the numbers, no preaching. Cattaraugus County: Tuesday; 2 deaths, 92 positive tests. Allegany County: Over the past weekend; 1 death, 132 positive tests, Tuesday; 55 New cases, gratefully no deaths.

I was going to add a paragraph on teaching prompted by a comment made to me, by a student, about teachers not teaching anything that the student thinks they need or will use. I didn’t think that topic was of general interest so will offer these words on “teaching”.

Teach Love

When you’re lost and alone

When you knock and no one’s home,

Don’t lose your faith or be discouraged.

When the stars are in the sky

Are the one’s that hear you cry,

Go forth with courage.

Teach love to all and you will see,

New friends for you, new friends for me.

Teach love and care for those around,

You’ll find the place where love is found.

When the clouds hide the sun,

When the night has just begun,

Find new horizons.

When a bird is on the wing,

 And plays a song for you to sing,

You’ll find a reason.

Teach love to all and you will see,

New friends for you, new friends for me.

Teach love and care for those around,

You’ll find the place where love is found.

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