Monday, November 25, 2013

Green limo vs. Ghetto sled... Set the timer for 15 minutes and 'GO'!

If you've enjoyed all your 10 free articles courtesy of the Toronto Star's website this month. you're out of luck if you want to read the interview between myself and Tess Kalinowski (@TessKalinowski) today. You'll have to paw through your car seats and couches or hit up a co-worker for a dollar and buy the paper.

It's the story I was nervous about and casually mentioned several weeks back.


Unknown said...

If you bl9ck cookies from newspaper sites... they can't trace the number of articles.

C.J. Smith said...

^ Hacker (wink)

Rouge Hill-er said...

Nice going CJ!! I really enjoyed this story.
You. Really. Rock!!!!

Unknown said...

Not a hacker sweetheart, just a computer builder. A damn smart one at that. :D
My business tag line for 10 years has been: "YOU Break It, I'll FIX It!"

Bicky said...

Great article, CJ!

Belinda H. said...

I don't care how much $ I would save. I would never give up my car. I don't abuse the privilege like you did. TWO DRIVE-THRUS a morning?
It's just common sense not to do that. You can still have a decent brekkie and drive to work.
Glad you realized the insane stupidity of your actions. You have only yourself to blame for predicament you found yourself in.
At least you're doing it something about it and that matters some.
But not everyone who lives out in Courtice can only have one family car.
It's easy for you. You only have one kid. What about those with three? Walking three kids to daycare in time would be challenging at best once you got them all ready and out of the house.
And you live near a bus stop. Many of us do not. Courtice has a lot of stretches where we only have ghetto sled and service doesn't start until after 6am and for me to walk to Highway 2, it would take 30 minutes - no thanks.
But again, good for you but it's not realistic for many.

C.J. Smith said...


Yes, I only have one child. I don't know what it's like to try to get three children ready in the morning. My mom had four and somehow, she managed to get us all to school on time so I think it can be done.

I was an impulsive eater. Having a means to drive for food when I wanted were decisions I made and were poor ones at that, but I'm not blaming fast food companies or anyone else for my failings. I know what I did wrong.

Yes, Courtice is very remote. Yes, Durham Transit doesn't have service times or routes that benefit all of its residents but complaining to me won't change that. You pay your taxes and you can phone in your displeasure to your city and regional councillors.

Having walked all the subdivisions in Courtice, I can tell you that at most, it would take 20 minutes to reach Highway 2 from points north and south. It's the people who live south of Bloor who are S.O.L. and perhaps GO Transit may run a bus one day down there, but people who buy that far away from transit typically do so because they have no intention to ever ride a bus to anywhere.

When we were house shopping, having grown up in Toronto, being close to bus stops was always in the back of the mind so I would have a back-up plan should a car break down, our financial situation could change and my daughter would be able to get to school on her own one day.

Unknown said...

Belinda - I was going to leave it for CJ but no ... I won't. F-You... you rude little lady. "You only have yourself to blame" - who are you her mother?!
"It's easy for you. You only have one kid." what if she wants more, but can't? Use your brain, and have some courtesy.
" it would take 30 minutes - no thanks." OMG!!! A 30 minute walk, oh, have mercy on your soul!
Sweety, sometimes, I PURPOSELY walk 10km (over 90 minutes) just because I *WANT* to. It is something called exercise. You should probably try it sometime.
You do NOT need 2 cars, you WANT 2 cars. You wanted to live out in the boondocks, thus it's YOUR fault that you WANT 2 cars. Move closer to Highway 2. Move down into Whitby, or Oshawa, or Ajax.
Don't blame transit for your stupidity of moving far away (CJ not you, this turd head named Belinda) from civilization.
You're lucky I'm not cursing you out...
I may not have met CJ personally, but I consider her a friend, and when you insult my friend, you insult me (and I'm sure there are others on here who'll come after me and chew you a new one as well ... so watch out sweet cheeks, you may want a box of tissues near by.)

C.J. Smith said...

Allan, you need to find a puppy and fast! LOL!

Thanks for wielding your mighty sword.

But don't fault Belinda. I used to be her (minus the one child bit - one child or four children, etc... being a parent is hard no matter how many). I do things now I could never imagine I would ever do.

One day Belinda may challenge herself and be equally surprised with the results.

C.J. Smith said...

PS. Always good to know someone who knows a thing or two about computers...

Unknown said... (take a look, I'd use the IMG tags, but they aren't allowed.)
Just for you CJ...

C.J. Smith said...

And everyone else LOL!!!
Nice how you just slid that in
(dun dun dun!)

Belinda H. said...

Since when is it rude for someone to share an opinion?!

And sometimes people need harsh criticism to smarten up. Ask any parent!!!

Unknown said...

CJ well you can delete it if you'd like - I won't complain. You can also check out my sparse website at but it's the same pic + 2 Google Ads (makes me moola yo).

Love ya man! YOU ROCK... but shouldn't you be doing WORK, instead of moderating all the comments? LOL)

Belinda, you're entitled an opinion, but didn't your momma ever teach you "if you don't have nottin' nice to say, shut up"?

C.J. Smith said...

As a matter of fact, I do have to get back to my real job. Thanks for calling me out on that.

Squiggles said...

A good article. And I see a lot of me in it. Mind you, my year without a vehicle was forced upon me. But I do miss a lot of the walking to the grocery store that I was doing. I think I may get back to it, now that things have calmed down and as long as the weather permits.

And Belinda dear, my mom raised 3 kids, in the boonies most of the time, and shared 1 vehicle with my dad. It works. It takes some time management and cooperation, but it works. As well, it could have been my crap-tacular morning so far, but what you wrote is A) your opinion and B) rude as f*ck.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Belinda.
We own three cars and live in Oshawa's north end.
Myself, my wife and our college-age daughter all drive and none of us are overweight.
You can't say a car makes you fat.
You made yourself fat.
And although there is a bus loop at the Legends Centre, I would never ride a city bus. Ghetto sled is exactly what it should be called.
I've never been on a GO bus so I will have to take your word for it.
Our income allows us to own and maintain the vehicles we have so I can't complain about the cost.
However, if we were to take one away, sure we would save money but when you add in the cost of a GO pass, how much are we actually saving? It's subjective. It's all relative!!!

FRED said...

Can you point to where in the article C.J. said the car made her fat? Perhaps you and I read English differently.

Kelly said...

yeah I just delete my history etc. (in the internet tools I just delete everything, which I do every so often anyway) and it lets me read the star again. I discovered it by accident and think it's not our fault if they don't have a better system. Love the article!

Kelly said...

As for the arguments - to me the article was Cindy's story. Not her saying this is the better way and everyone should change to be like me. Belinda seems to take it like she's being insulted for having more than one car. I don't see it like that at all. Cindy isn't pushing her way on anyone - it has worked for her family. That's it. She isn't saying she's better than anyone. Why are you (Belinda) so offended? I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

People like Belinda should be forced out of their cars. If public transit is available and goes to where you're going then use it. Just like with ex-mayor Ford, he could use public transit from his house to city hall but chooses not to. This is the kind of culture that must changes.

When gas prices go through the roof like 1973; let us know what happens

Al said...

If you press escape before the ads load in, the article will be there and then the pop up indicating the cap will not appear. I find it easier to press escape then clear cookies that work fine for other websites.

Unknown said...

To set Firefox to block cookies from one website:

1: Go to the website you wish to block from setting cookies in Firefox.
2: Right-click within the page and select View Page Info.
3: In the Page Info window, select the Permissions panel.
4: Underneath Set Cookies, remove the check mark from Use Default.
5: Change the setting to Block.

Adjust cookie and site data permissions

1: Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
2: Select Settings.
3: Click Show advanced settings.
4: In the "Privacy" section, click the Content settings button.
5: In the "Cookies" section, you can change the following cookies settings:
5a: Block all cookies: Select "Block sites from setting any data." Keep in mind that selecting this setting will prevent most sites that require you to sign in from working. You'll see blocked cookie in the address bar whenever a cookie has been blocked.
5b: Block only third-party cookies: Select the "Block third-party cookies and site data" checkbox. Even if you've added a site to the Exceptions list and have chosen to allow its cookies, the site's third-party cookies won't be accepted if this checkbox is selected.

Carol said...

No offense. But you look like you're still carry 100 pounds more than necessary. Can I ask what your starting weight was? Again, just for context. Thank you.

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Carol
Not offended. Good questions. The answers are all online but heaviest weight was 318. I weigh 254 now and yes, still carry more than I should.
Ideally, I'be happy at 175. But I don't set my goals like that. I don't really have goals. I just take it one day at a time and see what happens. My priority is to lose and not gain.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a mother of two young children and neither me or my husband have a car. We live in Brampton so the public transit is probably better than where you live. We made the decision because with the money we save every month I can stay home and raise my own children, which is an amazing gift! It's been 3 years since we had a car and things have worked out great. We are more active as a family and we definately eat better. At first my neighbors thought we were nuts but even they have to admit how well it's worked out. I really enjoyed reading your story. Congrats on all your personal success

Bicky said...

While Belinda's comments were beyond rude, she's entitled to have her own opinion, whether we agree with it or not. For the record, I don't.

I sense the defensive comments coming from some (esp. from Belinda and Anonymous 10:17 am) are because they don't want to sacrifice or compromise on their lifestyle. To each their own.

The point of the article was what one woman has done and how she's changing for the better because of it. She's not ramming it down everyone's throat that they must do the same thing.

Keep up the great work, CJ!

Harith said...

Just visit the star website using Chrome's incognito mode (or Firefox's private browsing), it never stores cookies. :P

Anonymous said...

People are really defensive of their cars.

ExGOnowTTC said...

Can i have your autograph CJ?
It must be hard being so perfect Belinda, please tell us simple folk how you do it all Oh Great One!

Jack C. said...

I'm always amazed by people who interpret stories about others making alternative life choices as a direct assault on their way of life and them personally.

Someone giving up their car is not necessarily launching a crusade against all motorists. Someone going vegan is not necessarily declaring war on all meat eaters. Someone marrying their same-sex partner is not launching an assault on heterosexual married couples.

Jeez Louise.

Fakeologist said...

Good story.

Check out bananagirl and keep on seem like you're willing to make big changes, so you'd probably be interested in her blog:
or another

C.J. Smith said...

^ Checked them out. Thanks for sending this in!

Nahid said...

Is it Jade or Jayde? Clearly the star can't proofread.

C.J. Smith said...

Tess got it right in her article.
It's whoever wrote the photo cutline.

Peter said...

Jack C, you are absolutely correct!

My own situation is somewhat similar to CJ’s. I had a MI in 2001 that was corrected with four stents in my heart. Nine months with the cardiac unit of Toronto Rehab taught me the importance of walking as an exercise prescription.

I live in Pickering, and I work in St. Catharines. Like CJ, I chose to do without a vehicle. I rely on GO Transit to chauffeur me between Durham and Niagara regions; the Route 12 buses are my stretch limousines. My two feet get me about quite nicely, and St. Catharines Transit fills in when then weather is inclement. My morning walk to the office is about 45 minutes, sometimes it’s 60 minutes. The longer walk is for a detour to Tim Hortons, not for me, but to deliver tea or coffee to any of the drivers with one of the early morning crews. You think you get up early to ride the first or second bus of the day? Your driver has you beat every time!

I have the medical evidence for the benefits of walking. Lower cholesterol is the obvious one. On my last stress test, the lab technician was most perplexed, because he couldn’t detect evidence of my prior heart attack on the ECG.

To CJ, I say, keep up the campaign; every step counts! You are not alone. On Route 12 there is a young lady who, with her bicycle, travels from Burlington to attend Niagara College. Occasionally, I chat with another fellow – also with his bicycle – who is on his way to Toronto for the weekend. And then there is Dr. John, a real MD from western NY, who takes GO Transit to Toronto for weekend jaunts. His mode of transportation while in TO – walking and the TTC.

Thank you for collaborating with Tess to share your story. And thank you for providing a channel for sharing our stories with you and others.

David said...

Loved the article! Also, you can either use Chrome Incognito or just hit the escape button before the page fully loads. I find Incognito better for work computers anyway ;)

Vintage CCG said...

re. this "Belinda H"
Why do people say that individuals are "entitled to their opinion"?
Some "opinions" are offensive and inappropriate. Racism, for instance, or other forms of hate speech.
There is no entitlement to express such opinions and, if you HAVE such opinions, you have no right to inflict them upon society.
Other opinions may be less objectionable yet still dickish and can be hurtful, so keep your bile to yourself.

Dan-1 said...

Private browsing ftw.

Nice article CJ!

Kelly said...

Off topic kind of but LOVE your daughter's name btw :) Pretty sure this is the first public mention?

C.J. Smith said...

Thank you and yes, prior to the article, I kept her name off the blog and my husband's. It was an attempt at privacy. LOL No point now.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the article, I've said it before you are so inspiring and up front, positive and honest. Anyone who has negative crap to share over this article is just a negative and pathetic person (Belinda). Why can't people just take an article for what it is and appreciate it, it was your personal story, yet people have to give their negative opinions and throw in condescending negative comments. Makes me think their own short comings are making them jealous and defensive of your choices. Way to go!

C.J. Smith said...

^ Agreed!