Wayne’s World by Wayne Litke
I hope all readers had a good week and an awesome weekend. That pretty well sums up the last seven days for myself, although it included some unexpected events.
Firstly, I want to comment on a serious news story that made me laugh. It was not fake news which is a favourite and well-used term of U.S. President Donald Trump, but nonetheless the subject matter of the story seemed a little ridiculous. The article was about the initial construction phase of a 64-kilometre border wall that will make any paranoid national leader envious, especially Trump.
What is so special about the wall? Firstly, it is the only one of its kind in the world and is being build by the Israelis. Secondly, it is underground. Thirdly, it is being built around Gaza to stop militants from groups such as Hamas from burrowing into Israel’s territory and attacking people.
Officials confided five kilometres of the $860-million concrete barrier have already been constructed, but they would not reveal how deep the wall is. In the past, tunnels were found that were 30 to 40 metres below the surface. It is believed the wall will be up to 100 metres deep in some places. Cranes have been observed hoisting 25-metre long rebar cages into position so they could be welded together and lowered into the ground. The rebar gives the one-metre thick wall additional strength.
The wall will also be home to underground sensors that can detect future tunneling and its top side will be protected by a nine-metre high fence. Work on the project goes on six days a week and was recently increased to 24-hours per day. Five concrete plants are dedicated to the initiative. The wall is widened by approximately nine metres per day and should be completed within two years.
When Israel fought a 50-day war with Hamas in 2014, it discovered more than 30 tunnels around the perimeter of Gaza. Approximately half of the tunnels went under the border fence and into residential communities in Israel.
Approximately 1.8 million Palestinians live in Gaza. Unlike the Mexican people, the Palestinians will not be paying for the wall, which is the process by which President Trump claims his border wall at Mexico will be financed. In the real world, we all know who will end up funding such a wall if it is ever constructed and there is no point trying to explain that to Donald.
In closing I have to say we traveled to Regina last weekend for my wife’s birthday and stayed with our youngest son. He planned a family outing to an escape room, which was followed by a great supper. For the sake of people such as myself who may not know what an escape room is, I will attempt to define it. It is a locked room in which a particular scenario unfolds and the group inside must re-enact specific steps in order to escape. For example, our family group was locked in a prison cell and we had to find clues and codes and use them to open strong boxes that were secured with combination locks. The boxes contained ciphers and items that could be pieced together in order to obtain the key needed to escape the cell.
Unfortunately, we did not work together as much as possible and did not perform a proof or redundancy check. Consequently, we managed to escape from the cell, but ran out of time and were unable to escape from the guard’s room. The only consolation was we had failed to breakout of the second-most-difficult challenge that was open to the public. However, it was a lot of fun (good, clean fun) and was a great team-building experience.
The next day we had lunch with an old friend and visited a grandmother who adopted us and our children as our own when we first moved to Saskatchewan many years ago. Upon departing, we were making the final turn at an intersection that would take us to the TransCanada Highway when something totally unexpected happened. I heard a crunch and our vehicle shot forward. My head snapped back and I had a strange feeling in my head.
My first thought was, “I recognize this sensation because it feels like when I fell backward and smacked my head while playing hockey on a dugout (last month).”
All four of us in the vehicle knew instantly that we had been rear-ended. My daughter, who was in the front seat, got out while I checked my neck motion and the back of my thick skull. Strangely, both sides of my jaw were sore (but that disappeared after an hour). My wife and I seemed fine, as was our daughter and her husband who was driving.
Note to self: getting out of a vehicle at an intersection as automobiles go past can be dangerous since drivers do not slow down. Perhaps they failed to realize an accident had occurred, but flashing hazard lights of a vehicle parked in the center of an intersection is a great clue that driving speed should be reduced. I wonder how well such unobservant or uncaring drivers would perform in an escape room (especially if they faced the second-most difficult level). Also, standing between two vehicles involved in a collision is not a good idea since a rear-end collision could result in the individuals being squished.
Furthermore, the expression of other drivers who initially look shocked at seeing a collision soon changes to one of impatience as they wait for the intersection to be re-opened to traffic. In conclusion, it’s safe to say headrests in automobiles are a very good idea and if a collision cannot be avoided, I prefer one at a relatively slow speed. Most importantly, thank you God for watching over us on the road and at home.