Sunday, 25 January 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. P

It is the Divine Mr. P's 50th birthday. Here are some shots of him in younger times.

The first one was from a previous post, during a little road trip, entitled "Breaking No Laws Here".

These guys are in no danger of breaking any laws here. In any language. No danger.

Not today, not yesterday, not tomorrow. No danger.

We took a bit of a break on our way from one beer swilling venue to another. Here we are on our way (in more ways than one) up to North Bay.

This next one was taken during the filming of America's Next Top Model.
Here the girls are soaking up the...uhhhh...good vibes....before the big shoot.

Have many more, young feller.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Can You Say "Brrrrr"?

Man, that just looks nasty.

I had to go to Sarnia for a course. I took one look at the road conditions and decided to take the train.

Good call. With ice and white out conditions on the 402, I'm sure I'd have been experiencing that nastiness first hand. From the ditch.

This is a view from the Toronto waterfront. Cold and barren.

Great chance to see the southwestern Ontario countryside up close.

Warm and tranquil, except for the familiar clickity-clack of the tracks.

It was like looking into the backyards of other's lives.

No, it wasn't like it. It was looking into the backyards.

Sheds, BBQ's, old cars, half finished projects, snow covered furniture, waiting for summer.

Someone out for a smoke, someone looking out the window - heard the whistle in the distance, someone else shoveling snow into huge piles.

Cars parked all around a small church, service going on inside. Car idling outside a coffee shop. Three kids having a snowball fight.

Then they were gone. They were gone in a flash.

Pretty cool stuff there, small town Ontario. Pretty cool.

Rumbly In My Tumbly

In the meeting room where I was, it looks as though those train tracks.........

Okay, those train tracks.....go right into the building.


Sarnia is right on the St Clair River. And on the other side is the good old the U S of A. So the trains go right over to the US.....I mean under to the US.

We'd be sitting in the meeting room and everything would start to vibrate. Kinda freaky at first.

As the only Toronto guy on the course, I'd ask "Is that the subway?"

"Yeah, why don't you get on it, city boy."

I Don't Even Care What Type

I hope you can at least leave it with DJ Dak Thur til the end of the night.

[Okay okay, I know it is just DJ Dak.]

I Fell In Love Last Night.....

...with the best damn sports bar I've ever been in!!

Of course, TV's all over.

I mean all over!

If you do something bad and it makes it to TV - everybody here will know about it.

And, of course, TV's at your table.

In case the conversation drags a little bit. Or a woman tries to speak. Shhhh..we're going to miss what Ben Roethlisberger is saying.... "Hut".

And if she does speak, you can still look down pensively and not miss anything. Because they have TV's in the floor! In the floor, I tell you!

Food? Oh I can't remember if we even ate. But I do know that Pittsurgh was beating the crap out of.....somebody.


After that great meal (I'm sure we ate) headed to Air Canada Centre. Decided to get some beers.

I was going to get a large. But what's that asterik mean?

"No large available during NBA games." What the......

Why would that be? I wonder what people go more to NBA games than to hockey or baseball or lacrosse?

I think these guys are skating on thin ice here. Bro.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Postcard Pretty

....if it wasn't minus seven freakin' teen degrees out (I know, it's no North Bay).

I'm glad I don't live in those townhouses though - viewed from the safety of my dining room. I'm on the third floor, but with the townhouses on the same level, it feels as though I live street level. But without the annoying, you know, other stuff. Bums. There, I've said it.

And for those of you thinking my Scottish blood might be running low in these new Yorkville veins; as I was in the aforementioned dining room, I noticed it was a bit nippy.

Thermographic evidence showed the temperature inside to be 14o. That's 58 in 'merican terms. And that's cold baby, in anything but penguin terms.

Eventually I will have to turn the heat up.

But until then, I won't have to worry about forgetting to put the milk back in the fridge.

Strange Addiction

To sunshine!!

This is what my brain feels like right now.

I think this weather is affecting my outlook on this God forsaken, barren life I lead. Day after day after day of the same, mind numbing tedium.

Of course, I've only had four days of work this year, so technically I can only add one more "after day". But it sure seems like a lot.

At least I can recognize what this is.

Hey, that's a boat by a lake. I'm cured!

[The above snaps courtesy of my office hallway. Hope I don't get e-mails from the Group Of Seven.]

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Doesn't Look Cold

Now It Does!
What a difference fifteen minutes makes. And minus 20 degrees.

What this shot doesn't fully convey is the biting cold wind.

How would you like to be working on any of those cranes today?

Yowza! What a brutal today. Glad I was on the right side of the glass.

Where all good weenies belong.

Monday, 12 January 2009

It's Worth A Chance

Soooo, what are the chances of you and me hooking up later on?

Oh, I see. That cold, huh?

{Ed. note: Slow news day.]

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Guess What Neighbourhood I Walked Through Yesterday?

Turns out, I live only steps from the Gaybourhood. Who knew?

But except for the occasional Tuesday Night Slurp Ramp (remember that, Rob?) that's good news, as there are lots of great restaurants and uhhhhh....novel bar themes.

I told them, "No photos!!"

And who couldn't use a good Art Class.

The only unusual, perhaps unexpected, thing, was that this is actually Yonge St. Can't wait to see what's at Church & Wellesley.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Poor Babies

Awwwww....."Hazel - Luxury for Woman" is going out of business, closing only a year after opening with great fanfare.

An article in the paper had them lamenting the fact that sure, although they sold $30,000 handbags and $80,000 jackets, they still had many "bread and butter" items, like $300 jeans.

Oh yeah, Walmart's always got a big bin of those things.

See Toronto Star article for more on this tragedy.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Watch That First Step

It looks as though those quaint, original house/shops in the background, that gave Yorkville its charm, could easily tumble into the gaping hole of what is fast becoming the New Yorkville.

This hole is the start of a huge, huge project, spanning an entire block. And there are more and more of these massive buildings towering over fewer and fewer funky shops.

And when the people move into all these high rise condos and ask, "Where are all the charming Yorkville shops and restaurants?" we'll be able to say, "You're standing on them".

Can't Wait!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Say It Ain't So!

I went to look for Sam's two big spinning records on Yonge St.

When I got there, dere dey were - gone!

Looks like somebody took a machine gun to this Canadian, and Baby Boomer, icon.

A lot of memories, like just lifting up my feet and letting the Boxing Days crowds carry me along. I bought more bizarre records that way because I couldn't get near the ones I wanted.

Looks like it is not being torn down.

Good old Ryerson to the rescue.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

North Bay New Years

Went up to visit friends in North Bay, Ontario for New Years. Here's a panoramic shot of the North Bay skyline. Actually, shoreline is more like it.

Feets Don't Fail Me Now
On a Dash 8, all that's between me and an asphalt sandwich are two balder than bald tires. Gulp.....

However, the Dash 8 is distinct upgrade from earlier trips. When I had previously visited, I asked the flight attendant, do I have a window or aisle seat? She smiled and said "Both!". I think there were twelve seats on that plane.

At one point, the pilot opened the curtain and said, we're going to need some of the larger fellows to take seats near the back. Ahhh....good.

Greeted at the bustling North Bay airport

What A Hoser

One of my host's New Year Day activities is to host a hockey game out on the lake beside his house. But first you must find two chumps to clear and hose down the "rink".

The host is obviously one chump and the other just arrived at the airport.

"This'll be fun", he says.

So after blowing the snow from the ice, we spent the next few hours hosing the 10,000 square foot rink, with a freakin' garden hose.

Here the Hoser is in action painstakingly applying a coat to a very small section of the aforementioned 10,000 square feet.

If any job could be worse than this, it is to be the Hoser's Hose Caddy. Which, obviously, went to Chump #2. "It's fun, huh?"

Three Hours Later

Switching to Plan B
I'm not skating on that part of the rink.

Preparing To Hose
Prior to all the fun of hosing, we took another few hours and first cleared the ice of snow. All the while listening to the sound of the ice crack under our feet.

"I'm pretty sure it's thick enough." I would hear my host yell faintly from the shore.

The Finished Product
But after a second coating the next morning, we were ready to glide.

Let The Games Begin!

Okay, so we got off to a bit of a slow start. But after this, the pace sure picked up.

I didn't specify pace of what.

Now I can drink beer as fast as the next guy, but I couldn't drink it fast enough to keep it from freezing. It didn't take much to do the math to see this could be a very short day if we tried to keep ahead of Mother Nature.

So we kept our beverages in what we came to call the Beer Warmer.

Dinner Is Served
After skating, a delicious meal was served.

Knuckle sandwich was on the menu for some people. [Sandwich is blur coming out of lower right corner.]

And fireworks ended the day.