The 25 best and worst work trends of the past 25 years

From #MeToo and Lean In to open offices and remote work, the workplace has transformed many times over in the past two and half decades. Let’s take a look at how we got here.

— Read on

My Social Media Experiences

Social media friends & followers

I was curious to put my experiences on social media down on paper as another blogger asked me about posting blogs to different platforms.  I have also reflected on the pros and cons of the social media platforms I use.

Most of my friends are on Facebook so it is my core friend platform. I have followers on other platforms that are strangers to me. Not many of my friends use the other social media platforms apart from Facebook. I have the impression my WordPress blog is mainly viewed by my followers on WordPress or WordPress Reader.

Word press

In the diagram below I show the distribution of friends and followers among social media sites. The arrows show where I post my WordPress blog.  WordPress does not automatically post to a Facebook Page so I selectively post to my facebook page depending on the topic. I stopped the automatic posting to Linkedin as I did not see many Linkedin readers were picking up the WordPress link. I have posted to Facebook Hornby Island occasionally and this generates a lot of viewers when the topic is pertinent. This group is like a Twitter feed and I have blogged about this. My WordPress blog post is automatically posted to my Twitter feed but I have the impression no one on Twitter reads the link.

My perception of friends and followers use of social media

Pros and Cons of Different Social Media Platforms in my experience.

I went on to compare the strengths and weaknesses of the social media I use and have to confess I am a twitterholic.

Platform pros cons
  • Interesting topical posts by experts all over the world.
  • Good way to track social movements.
  • Con pick who to follow
  • Cool get to more followers
  • Easy to post links
  • Too much information (TMI)
  • A lot of repetition
  • Most of my friends are on it
  • Limited personal communication
  • Can choose who to follow
  • Ads
Facebook Group Hornby Island
  • Community, new friends.
  • Peek into lives of people you would not normally meet.
  • Interesting posts by people in the community
  • What’s happening on Hornby.
  • Themes are repetitive.
Word Press
  • Community, new friends
  • Peek into lives of people you would not normally meet.
  • Time consuming to post. Not free if you use some extra functions beyond basic.
  • Photos and art viewing
  • Very little communication.
  • Hard to use
  • Duplication of Facebook
Linked in Business contacts in theory Very little communication

Seniors using the internet

This study explores internet use by seniors in Canada and mirrors my experience. Seniors uptake of social media increased with the onset of COVID-19. This might be considered a positive spinoff. Tech Use by Older Canadians for Health, Wellness and Independence in the Time of COVID-19. oatechsurvey-sep2020-final-1.pdf

The dark side of social media

In lieu of watching the presidential debates I watched a documentary on Netflix about the effects of use of the internet on society called The Social Dilemma. Ex-employees of major social media companies are interviewed and they raise alarms about intense use of social media. A revealing look behind the scenes.

Turning down the heat.

I recently sold my condo in Vancouver and moved to  Courtenay BC.  I although I had stayed in Courtenay for a few weeks last year, I did not realize how noisey and busy it had become compared to paradise. (Hornby Island)  Ironically, Vancouver became considerably quieter with Covid-19.  Traffic was down by about 80%.  Everything was closed except grocery stores.

My new 4th floor condo in Courtenay overlooks a busy street and faces west, letting the hot evening sun stream into my floor-to-ceiling windows.  Not something the home inspector picked up on when she viewed the unit. I investigated some home cooling options and started with ceiling fans which have helped.  Then  Safe and Sound came to install window film.  Visually it looks good, a bit like looking through sun glasses. They used 3 different kinds of film, depending on the sun exposure.

Even with the film it is still too hot without the AC on at the peak of the heat of the day. The temperature on the balcony sometimes hit 40C. The portable AC was a very good investment. I also bought a tilting patio umbrella. It took a while to ship the order as I guess they were sold out. I tracked the temperature on an excel speadsheet (see below) and the inside temperature has been able to be kept around 25C or less while the outside temperature goes up to 40C late in the afternoon. So here are stategies in the order of how much I think it helps:

  1. portable air conditioner $500
  2. window film $2500
  3. tilting patio umbrella $200
  4. opening windows on the north side of the building during the day,
  5. ceiling fans x 2 $500

Some of the heat is a result of the heat rising from the other floors in the building. Really the whole building should have air conditioning. Ok I think this project is done!

The Reasons Behind The Unhealthy Rise In Incivility During The Interview Process

Things dramatically took a turn after the stock market meltdown—in the wake of the financial crisis. Over 10 years later, a large portion of the American population has still not fully recovered.
— Read on

Anyone glad they are not working any more? I see a trend toward decreasing civility in general and I think that Twitter is the canary in the coal mine. An old fashioned expression for sure!

Ebike reviews and vendors v2

E-bikes are complex topic due to the multiple technical specifications and types of e-bikes.   The short story is to read the research before shopping.   I have listed a couple of sites that have reviews with or without rating by users. Once you see the best bikes, you can narrow it down by price, size, features and location, although some vendors sell online only. Check for dates of reviews as this area is rapidly evolving and there have been some casualties. Make sure the vendor is still in business. Prices range from about $1800 to $10,000. With so many models there will probably be a few that will not survive. Just because the bike has a review doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Here is a link to a sizing diagram to help with picking the right size.

Here is a link to a custom fitting service in Vancouver

Types of Ebikes from Montague

Class 1: Pedal Assist / Pedelec

The most common type of electric bike is the pedal assist or pedelec. The rider pedals the bike normally while a motor provides assistance, increasing the power transmitted to the rear wheel. The pedaling takes far less effort than it normally would, even in high gears, which allows for higher speeds and effortless climbing over steep hills. Settings can control the amount of assistance the rider desires but to be considered a Class 1 e-bike in most of Europe, the system cannot provide assistance over 25 kilometers per hour (kph) or approximately 15 miles per hour. In the US this class is limited to approximately 32 kph or 20 mph. A class 1 designation allows these bike to be used on most roads and paths where normal bikes are allowed and do not require any additional licensing.

Class 2: Throttle

Much like a motorcycle or scooter, a throttle operated e-bike propels the bike forward without any additional pedaling from the rider. Most can provide a variable amount of power depending how far the throttle is pushed. These are much less common than their pedal assist counterparts as many countries have laws that prohibit them entirely. The European Union requires an e-bike only provide power while the pedals are moving forward, so throttle e-bike are most common in the United States and China where little legislation exists to limit their use. Common

Class 3: Speed Pedelec

The design of a speed pedelec is similar to a standard pedelec but as the name implies, they allow for a higher top speed of 45 kph or approximately 28 mph . In many areas this class of e-bike is considered a motor vehicle requires its riders to be licensed.

Bikes also vary by placement of battery and type of battery and the length of time you can ride on the battery.

Review sites

I found 4 sites that review or ranks models of ebikes. The first two EBR and Momentum Mag appear to be paid for reviews. A bike vendor Cityebikes has made recommendations on the models it stocks.   Finally there is the Amazon customer rating. I found some of the Cityebikes site rates of the highly rated models in the EBR site so there is some congruence in the ratings.

  1. EBR   The reviewer charges a universal service fee for reviews. The reviews are quite detailed and you can compare models. Another useful feature of the website are videos of people taking the bikes out of a test drive and then going over the bike features in a video.

The top reviewed bikes on this site available locally or online

Step through or low bar.

City Bikes for pavement

  • Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru see above
  • Rad Power Bikes Rad City Review $ 1499 US. However these bikes are in short supply.

Mountain or Trail bikes

Citecycles recommended

Step through Turbo-Como-3.0-650 $3799 CDN
Step through Turbo-Como-4-0-650b-Low-Entry $4399 CDN
Step through Turbo-Como-5.6-650b-Low-Entry- $5149 CDN
Step through/trail MOUSTACHE–Samedi-27-Open-Xroad 1 $ 3788 CDN
Step through/trail MOUSTACHE–Samedi-27-Open-Xroad 5 $ 5039 CDN

Momentum Mag E Bike reviews

Momentum Mag does not rank bikes, but the reviews do list the pros and cons of each model and it seems like reviewers have test driven the models. The reviews are helpful and informative. There are a few bikes reviewed that are available locally. These bikes did not get into the EBR site reviews. The products appear to be made locally.

Amazon highest customer ranking

sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle (24-Inch and 26-Inch) $ 3308 CDN

DJ Fat Bike $ 1899 CDN

DJ Mountain Bike $ 1899 CDN

Finally reviews for 2019 from Bicycling Magazine. 

The reviews are good but many of the bikes were not on Canadian websites. There was a list of bikes under $ 1000 US and a list of bikes for women.

Selected Vendors who have some bikes in the reviews and some bikes not reviewed. 

Canadian Tire and Walmart have the cheapest ebikes.

brand vendor   website
E prodigy Brentwood cycle Burnaby
TREK Trail bicycles Courtenay
Benno, Giant, Devinci, liv, yuba Mountain City Cycle Courtenay
Hyper Electric, T zone, Daymak Walmart everywhere
Junction Canadian Tire everywhere
Raleigh, Bulls, Moustache. Reise & Muller+ others Citrus Cycles  Ladysmith
Benno, EVO, Coal City Cycles Nanaimo,V9S 1H1
benno. OHM OHM Cycles North Vancouver,V7P 3S7  OHM
Surface 604  online  online
Urban cruzer COSTCO online
Voltbike  online online
BC EBIKE  online  online
EVO no list of vendors on site online
Giant  online online
Montague reckless Vancouver
benno, E prodigy reckless Vancouver
TREK. Elektra Bicycle Store Pacific  Vancouver
RADpowerbikes RADpowerbikes Vancouver, BC V5R 1W6
Turbo-como, CUBE, MOUSTACHE, BENNO, RALEIGH. Surface 640, Bull + OTHERS Cit-E-Cycles Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Victoria
Opus, elecktra, yuba, Raleigh, Evo FAIRFIELD BICYCLE SHOP LTD VICTORIA, BC, V8V 4N1
Benno, Electra, Marin, Evo Coastal Cycle & H20 Sports Victoria,V9B 1H8

And an online vendor with a variety of brands from $ 1000 that ships free world wide.  They have an impressive selection of inexpensive folding bikes.

E-bikes vendors and reviews

I have discovered a variety of ebikes on Hornby. I have been chatting with local ebike users locally to find out what brands they are using.  One local user  told me that e-bikes are hard to brake and another person (female) said she had frequently fallen off.  What has been your experience?  I see men riding them, when they have bought them for their wives who don’t appear to be riding the bikes themselves.

I did a bit of research on Amazon to find the most highly rates and lightest e-bikes. They carry DJ and HOTEBIKE as well as BCBikes Conversion kits.  My Amazon wish list e-bikes. Amazon does not carry all brands.

The one that looked the coolest to me around Hornby was the Surface Rook.  It is $2000 US and you can order online for Sept 2019 delivery. I believe you have to assemble it when it arrives.  There doesn’t appear to be dealers and you have to order online.

Another model I have seen here is the TREK.  They are carried in  BSP bikes in Vancouver  with prices ranging from $2000-> $5000 CDN.  They have a good selection and I think this would be a good place to try out different models and sizes.  BSP also carry the Electra Band.  The Electka brand has a few good reviews.  Most models have to be ordered and the delivery time is 2 weeks. My preference is leaning toward the Electra Loft Go 8i step-through as it seems to have a smaller frame.  The specs don’t include weight which is unfortunate.  Also it costs $ 3700! Cute and rave reviews. 

The benno line is the featured image at the top of the page.  It was the Bicycling World Editors Choice in 2017.   It can be ordered through the following dealers.

There is another vendor in Vancouver called EbikeBC.  They have several models, conversion kits and used ebikes starting at $700.  They also have a blog with a lots of useful information.  The have folding bikes, tricycles and recumbent bikes.  They have locations in BC, Ontario and Quebec.  Their EVO is 25% lighter than other models.

If you want more information, try an E-<a href=”http://Ebikes: a buyer’s guide: Understand ebikes and buy the one that’s best for you“>bike guide on Amazon or Electric Bikes: The Ultimate Guide: 2020 Edition (Kindle) or more Electric bike advisor. This review site appears to be unbiased.  Their top step-through is the Pegasus Premio Evo 10e.

I’d like to hear your reviews of ebikes if you have used them.

Ebikes of Hornby

Orange Is the New Black Is the Decade’s Most Important Show | Time

More than a bold experiment in representational sleight of hand, ‘Orange’ changed TV forever.
— Read on

This is not so much a review of a show but a commentary on societal change.