Friday, October 23, 2009

Lou Dobbs is an Ass - Example #324

Or why I should really get rid of cable:

Embedded video from CNN Video

Follow the bouncing ball of illogic - Parents are fine with it. Kids are fine with it. The meat industry is not fine with it. Apparently, this spells controversy. Offer something one day a week that is both cheaper and healthier and all of a sudden Dobbs smells controversy. Argh.

Of course, the meat industry is just looking out for the kids that don't get enough protein. I guess they never heard of beans and the protein they pack. I don't know how the world ever survived without industry lobby groups to look out for our health.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What I Did On My Fall Vacation

I woke up.

Then I went downtown. To look for a job.

Then I hung out in front of the drugstore.

I guess that will only make sense if you, like me, were exposed to Cheech and Chong records at an early age. For those who grew up with less eclectic listening material just skip to the next sentence.

After spending the first couple days of vacation trying to shake a nasty cold (that is still not entirely shook), I flew off to Winnipeg for three days of wandering in the cold (snow in early autumn sucks) with my friend Sean. We did everything from seeing an AHL game (the Moose won) to wandering around the legislature (I love old buildings).

We even got a chance to pop into the railway museum in Winnipeg's Union Station. I recommend it to everyone. They have a large selection of railway equipment and related paraphernalia that you can wander around and often climb up onto. I think the main reason I go there, though, is that the staff of retired railroaders just seems so pleased to have people come up, look around and ask questions.

The highlight of the trip was probably the Assiniboine Park Zoo. It was a lot of fun to wander around and remarkably quiet for a holiday Monday. I was surprised by how large and varied an assortment of animals they have. Even better, we were there while one of the staff was feeding the tortoises. Ever since I read Jessica Grant's great novel Come, Thou Tortoise, I've had a soft spot for the creatures. Sadly, I forgot to take a photo while Lucy was out and wandering amongst our feet (apparently she has a sneaker fetish).

Wednesday night I went to see Wilco at Massey Hall. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing but well worth it. What a great live band.

Last night, I went a photography workshop run by Tanja-Tiziana ( It was great to spend time talking photography with one of my favourite photographers. It didn't hurt that I learned a bit more about what to do with all the manual settings on my camera.

Today is kind of a blank slate. I think I'm going to gather up a couple of my cameras and go play for a bit. Later it will be laundry and other acts of domestic drudgery. Some things just can't be postponed even though you're on vacation.

Tomorrow, it's Stratford for the second time this year. This time, I'll be going with a couple of my sisters and a future brother in law to see West Side Story.

Putting it like that makes me sound a whole lot busier than I've really been. Before you get the idea that I've been spending all my time rushing about, realize that it is just about 1 pm and I'm just starting to get ready to go out and take on the world. I could really get used to this whole vacation thing.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sometimes the better way. . .

. . . Still Leaves Something to be Desired

Transit Toronto (, one of the best resources for GTA based transit info. has a great write up on the shortcomings of the TTC's Nuit Blanche service ( While it was great to be able to take a subway to work at 5 in the morning on Sunday, I was disappointed to see just how bad a job the TTC did of letting people know about the increased service. If you were going to Nuit Blanche, then you knew. If you were a regular Blue Night user heading to work or to home, chances are you had no idea that you could take the subway instead of the bus. I know at Yonge and Eglinton there were no signs letting people know the subway was running. Either you knew or you didn't.

While Nuit Blanche is a once in a year thing and hiccups will occur, I was surprised and disturbed to hear about the turmoil on the 192 Airport Express ( What's the point of running an express service if you are not going to use the highway? It's ridiculous. If you live on the Bloor Danforth Line, especially in the west end, this was one of the best ways to get to the airport. Now, it's no better than the Lawrence or Eglinton buses that go to the airport - slow, winding trips that are only used by transit die-hards and those who can't afford to pay for a faster mode of transportation.

For those transit geeks that want more than just news, the Transit Toronto site also has lots of info and pics of old buses, streetcars and subways. Check it out. I know you want to.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Turns out the depression didn't just happen in B&W. . .

In some ways, I had a hard time believing these were depression era photos. We've become so conditioned to seeing the depression through black and white photos.

In other news, I am one 10 hour shift away from vacation. In the next 13 days, I will:

- go see The Sound of Music with my foster sister Jeanne. She may be blind but that has not stopped us from taking her to ball games and all sorts of things. A musical should be right up her alley.

- fly out to Winnipeg to spend the Thanksgiving weekend visiting my friend Sean. Winnipeg is one of my favourite cities.

- take a photography seminar run by Tanja-Tiziana, a great local photographer.

- go to Stratford with 2 sisters, 1 brother in law and 1 future brother in law to see West Side Story. I haven't been to a musical in years, not since I saw Mickey Rooney ham it up in Crazy For You. Now I'm going to two in a week and a half. Strange. Even stranger, I just found out Rooney has the same birthday as me. So does Bruce Springsteen, for that matter.

-spend at least a bit of time up at the parents' homestead. From what I hear, there garage is almost done and they still have lots of deer wandering around.

Right now, though, I'm going to take a nap. I've had a cold all weekend and I'm hoping to get rid of it soon.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Where are the leaders?

I'm watching Newsworld. Iggy is talking his non-confidence vote and I am thinking the Libs have finally found a leader who is almost as inexpressive as Harper. He did the whole press conference without really opening his mouth. More often then not, he almost seems to be smirking.

The scorecard now reads as this:

The cons have the sneer.

The libs have the smirk.

The ndp still has the used car salesman.

Makes me almost pine for the, uh, glory days of the 90s with Manning and Chretien and Bouchard. Not the best and brightest by any stretch but at least these men were willing to show a little passion.

What troubles me most is how weak everyone is. You have a conservative party that (thankfully) can't complete the job and get Harper his majority. That's fine. Except for the fact that you have a Liberal party that is doing two things at once - shifting to the right and not really moving at all. How's that for a conundrum. As for the NDP, even the Globe is admitting in editorials that Layton is actually right more often than not. Sadly, the conservative controlled media has done an effective job of marginalizing the left. Even worse, I'm not sure Layton is capable of doing anything to change that.

The way things are right now, I'm going to have to start investigating the fringe parties to find someone worthy of my vote the next time around.