Saturday, 29 November 2008

This Bar I Know

And like the bars discussed in the preceding post - Grossman's Tavern" should have been torn down years ago.

Last night we were watching a buddy, Toby, blow a mean sax in his ska band (can't remember the bizarre name).

My closest interpretation of ska is a sort of a white man's reggae. However, if you add a "g", it could also describe the women dancing to the funky beat. Except, of course, for the women with us, who were beautiful.

And when nature calls, there's no finer place to have to go than downstairs into the bowels (pun intended and richly deserved) of Grossman's.

And never look up when you are in this place. I think this is where the expression "What you lookin' at?" started.

But what's this on the bathroom door - "customers only"? Darn - and I was hoping to come back here every time I had to go.

[Ed. note: a debt is owed to the the photographer (moi), who put his life in considerable peril by snapping photos in Grossman's Men's room. What was he thinking?]

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Name That Bar

(....I think...) this is the site of a very popular Toronto bar back in the 70's. At least it was with me.

Okay, that doesn't narrow it down for you.

Any guesses?

It looked so familiar every time I passed by, but I couldn't place it. And then it finally came back to me in a blurry, boozy flashback....or was that a blackout?

Come on..... Yonge & ......

Friday, 21 November 2008

The Old Girl's Still Got It

As much as I used to slag the "Heart of the New West", it's not a bad skyline.

The cranes on the right are building "The Bow", oil and gas giant Encana's new headquarters. They had to close a major downtown intersection for a year, and it is still just a big hole in the ground. This will be one big building.

Or maybe oil at less than $50 a barrel has changed all that. There are several condo projects that have stopped construction right in the middle.

Same view at night. With a bonus feature, adding the glare from the hotel room window.

Where In The World?

Oxford Mills? No...

North of Lake Superior? No...

Downtown Calgary? Yes.

The Home Alone gang can get their CN facewash fix almost anywhere now. Although only a 10 miles an hour here......

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Good Upgrade

Same shot - different phones (old, top and new, bottom). I guess the technology has improved significantly. No more "fog of life".

And no more excuses for crummy photos. Nuts.

Friday, 14 November 2008


Ahhhhhh....taking a break at one of Florida's many Tiki bars.

Why taking a break? Because, as I cleverly found out from examining the reflection in the table, the other beverage buddy IS TALKING ON THE PHONE!

Dude, we're chillin' here.......

I should have been wearing this T-shirt.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

They Got The Big Kahuna!!

What is missing from what is obviously a terrorist's toilerty kit?

On a recent trip, as I went through screening, they flagged my carry on. "Who's is this?" they bellowed. The woman grabbed my bag and furiously pawed through it.

Then she smiled and hoisted her prize into the air. "This toothpaste is too big!", she triunphiantly declared. I go, "What, it's the same toothpaste I always bring."

She stared at me and repeated "It's too big." as she tossed it in the bin.

Good grief. Do they really think any of this makes us one ounce safer?

Does anyone truly believe the terroists are saying "If only we could get our explosives in the small tubes!!

Then on the way back, they completed the daily double; my mouthwash was 20 ml's TOO BIG!! Risking a strip search, I said, "Are you kidding me?" This one also smiled and thrust it in front of me.

"Look, it clearly says 120 ml's." And tossed it in the, likely overflowing, and very dangerous, bin of captured weapons.

Disaster averted!!

As I was fuming at the gate, I realize I'd been had. I don't see no stinkin' toothpaste in this picture!

Next time, I bet one says, "What you got in your mouth? Spit it out. Bwaaahaha!"

This reminds me of a Bizzaro cartoon. The airport screening agent is holding up a gun he pulled from a woman's luggage. "I'm sorry, m'am, our fault. In the X-ray, this looked like a bottle of water."

The terrorists have got to be loving this.

I bet they sit around, laughing, saying, "This time....let's have El Kalil put something in his...ear! We'll have doctors examining every passenger. Yeah, ha ha ha!"

"No, no, put something in his....underwear!"

"Stop it Abdul, you're killing me here!"

[Ed note: Okay, that got a bit carried away.]


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Meltdown? What Meltdown?

I don't think these folks even know there is a real estate meltdown going on. That's because I've never seen anyone at any of the following houses (can't really call them houses) as they are probably all in Monte Carlo.

So just a few snaps from a stroll down the beach.

These are all massive properties that go about 100 yards deep.

And these are just the backends of the homes.

Not too shabby here either.

Hey, that guy voted for Obama (double click the photo to see his balcony). Must be the only one on this stretch.

If anyone is interested, this little piece of heaven can be had for a paltry 10 million, per Sunday's real estate section anyway. You don't even need to tear down the existing house.

Making Me Sick - Part Two

When you go to visit this guy and he says, "We're all full this weekend, you've have to stay in the bunkie", you'll say "Awwwww".

Well, this is the bunkie. "Awwww, okay."

4,200 square feet of airconditioned comfort. And a pool and and and......

This is a view of (some of) the whole property (your bunkie on the right).

Main house is ~14,000 square feet, give or take three or four bedrooms. He bought eight lots to build this place.

Now he voted for McCain (huge banner all across the front of his property).

"Here's George Jetson." It no longer the 60's, man.

Handyman special.

You can have this for about 8 million, because you have to tear the house down. Or maybe the neighbours will do it for you.

Now that's better.

This guy actually built three full size homes for each of his sons in front of the main building here (I snuck down along the side to see the full place). This property is like a small city, with winding roads and ponds and that's all I saw before I got chased out.

One other guy built a church beside his house. Too lazy to drive down the street, I guess.

Now it's not so much how expensive these homes are. It's how many of these expensive homes there are. It takes a full two hours to walk the entire length of this stretch. And it's these behemoths the whole way.

How can there be this many rich people? And why don't I know any of them?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Infinite Loop

Those bartenders are very clever down in Florida land.

Situation: two jokers out for beers. Two for one draft special. Either my buddy and I got out of sync on number of beers (which I highly doubt) or they pulled a fast one.

We had finished our beverages one afternoon when the waitress said to my friend, "Another beer? You've got one more coming to you". He said, great. So I looked at his new beer with a sad face and said, I'll have another one, too.

When we finished both of those, she said to me, "Now you've got another coming to you". I said, great. And my buddy ordered another. Repeat indefinitely, apparantly.

Next thing you know, I'm best friends with Dieter from Germany.

Sunday, 9 November 2008


Welcoming sign at condo pool.

Enjoy - Part Deux

I bet you can't even step on the new vegetation!


Just back from my annual sabbatical to God's Waiting Room - Florida.

But I'll tell ya, if ya gotta go, this isn't such a bad departure lounge.

Miles and miles of sandy beaches. With lots of little buddies walking with you.

And as long as you're not running like a Sting Ray just got you (see earlier post) these guys and others will just walk along with you. Or at most, just scoot a bit out of the way.

On my last day I came across a stately Blue Heron, about six or seven feet away. As I walked by, both our heads turned as I watched him and he watched me. But nobody got too fussed about the whole thing.

This guy let me get within touching distance before his bird instincts took over.

But as you can see, his other buddies could care less that I was passing within arm's reach.

But Fill Your Boots On The Old Stuff

The Place Time Forgot

Took a small trip up the coast to Fort Myers Beach. This is the part of Florida you don't see in the brochures.

Was going to stay over night, but after surveying the aptly named Shipwreck Motel, turned around and came right home.

Welcoming sign across the street. Effective window display, too.

Very nice.

Now this was not in one of the rooms, but at a nearby establishment. Just added to the overall charm of the town.

The grand entrance.

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

The First Step Is A Doosey

This is very good advice to follow.

These little fellows (the same, but smaller, as the one that killed Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin) burrow in the sand just two or three feet offshore. And wait.

Not for big footed tourists, but for little grubs and stuff. But if you just splosh blindly into the water and happen to step on one.....sweet Mother Mary! The stinger will come around and rip your Achilles tendon and then inject some nasty stuff into you.

So I have always shuffled shuffled shuffled as I go in. People laugh because I look like an old man. Okay, look like an older man than I already am. But I often get the last laugh.

Both my downstairs neighbours had this happen to them recently (you think one would have learnt from the other). They both said extreme agony for a day and then lots of pain for a couple of months. Many others tell the same, sad tale.

This trip I saw two of them, just in the shallow water. [Sting Rays, not my neighbours.] Usually one shuffle and these guys bolt for the depths. I did a little shuffle near him. But he just backed off three or four feet.

Not nearly as far as I would have liked. I was thinking this shuffle thing might be a local joke. They actually attack when you wave your feet at them. Or maybe he thought my toe was a tasty little grub. Regardless, I was the one that backed way off.

So then it was off to the pool for me. La la la.....