Saturday, 28 February 2009

Good Advice

Or, okay but not for very long.

Was in Calgary last week, for their latest deep freeze.

And I think it is a Chamber of Commerce directive that every person I meet must say, Oh, if you were only here yesterday, it was +17........

Some Things Never Change

Well, it wouldn't be downtown Calgary without a bunch of smashed up office windows right on the main drag.

Good to see the city is still the same way I left it.

The Famous And Not So Famous

Was in a local restaurant and who do I think I see sitting in the bar but Ken Hitchcock.

Yes, Ken Hitchcock. Still not impressed?

Okay, so I Googled who the Flames next game was against and "Bingo" Columbus. You see, Hitch is the coach of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. Uhh...still not impressed.

Well, I guess he's used to it. One of the guys at our table texted his son that Hitchcock was here. He breathlessly texted back "Dad! Get his autograph!".

So being the doting father he is, he coerced the cutest girl at the table to get the autograph.

So you have to know you're not that famous when you print your name and title under your signature. I don't think I've seen Tom Cruise do this.

But Hitch dutifully signed (and printed) the autograph. And so did GM Scott Howson, a couple of assistant coaches and their video guy.

I guess she wasn't too particular in who she asked. They video guy probably thought "Cool."

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Beauty Day

Now this sequence would help if.....well.....if it was a video. The sun was doing everything just to keep from bursting through my office window this morning.

I thought the sky was going to erupt into a flaming ball.

Guess it was a bit disappointed with yesterday's performance when it checked my blog.

The day started out great, but certainly didn't end that way.

But by the afternoon, it had all changed. On the way home, I almost slid all the way down our company driveway.

And it looks like someone, unfortunately, actually did. Ouch!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Decisions, Decisions....

New pub near by. Might get some action this weekend.

Good chance to boo the big Swede when he comes back to TO on Saturday. Or cheer.

Decision, Decisions....

Might be a while before he gets his number raised to the rafters here.

Wake Up, Wake Up, You Sleepy Head

That's great the sun is starting to come up not long after I get to work now.

And in this clever use of time lapse photography, you can watch it to. Just move your head up and down real fast.

A little bit more.

Okay, not much more. Guess I was a bit impatient.

What? You think I have all day to stand at my window taking pictures? Generally, it's not a problem. Today my boss was in early.

But what's that earie rectangle in the lower middle of the picture? The one that looks like a Microsoft logo.

Oh. The reflection of my monitor in the window. All the good photogs do that. Adds, uhhhhh, richness to the picture.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Going Over To The Dark Side

Yes, it's true - I did it. I went to a yoga class. I'll let that sink in.

Obviously nothing else I have done has fixed my knee, so this is how desperate I've gotten.

I went to a physioterrorist, who, after poking and prodding me, said this will be like turning a board into a balloon filled with water. I thought to myself "nutbar".

But she said we all start out with our joints and muscles very limber and supple. Like little seven year old girl gymnasts. And over the years, the many years, they stiffen up.

So think of turning your joints, muscles, tendons, etc. from a board to a water balloon. I said, so I'm like a board? She said, not a petrified board. Ohhh...thanks a lot.

She said, she can help, but she can't do it all.

So, off to yoga it is.

I was worried I'd be the only old guy in a class with all 25 year old little hard bodies. Maybe worried isn't the right word. Hoping is a better word.

But there were three guys in our 50's and another couple of 30ish guys and only three girls. None 25. What's up with that?

But the instructor was another story. And get this, you are supposed to stare at her. I am not kidding. As she does her poses and moves.

She would even make you look. "As I do this move, look her at my bottom, the way Jim has been doing the whole class." Huh?

But it was pretty interesting. I don't think you're supposed to fall over in yoga, but she said that's okay. The 50's guys all smiled reassuringly.

So I think I'm in the right class. Now excuse me......

Whirrrrrrrrrrr the kiiiiiing of the jungle! [With apologies to the cowardly lion.]

Friday, 13 February 2009

More Heritage

"100 Yorkville Ave". Another beautiful heritage building just down the street. It's nice to see that not all of them are being torn down.

But what the heck are those construction guys doing there?

Sweet Mother Of Mercy!
Will those bastards stop at nothing?

Poor building. You're minding your own business and all of a sudden they come and slap up glass and concrete all around you.

Well, at least they are leaving this building standing. I suppose that's a start.

What A Difference A Few Weeks Make

And a whole lot of rain.

This place is looking almost civilized again.

Photo from just a few weeks ago.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Dark Side Of Home Improvement

....nuff said.

Maybe not. First a mea cupla.

Bit cheesy of me, I know. Guy helps you out with some reno's and you snap a cheap shot while he's down.

"Yeah, just bend in a little more. You've almost got it. Just a little more."

Where Does It Stop?

Many of you may be familiar with the iconic....uhhhh...rusted metal poles outside Air Canada Centre. Never a big fav of mine, but there they are nevertheless.

Then you would turn around and take a leisurely stroll over to Skydome.

You could see those things from blocks away. But now when you turn around.....

Where the bleep did all this come from? It's one big condo canyon now. Stretching virtually all the way to the home of the Jays.

How many more condos are going to be built? And who is buying these things? And why do I give such a crap? Have I got nothing better to do than whine and moan?

You know, it's so easy to criticize others...... Maybe that's what I'll do today.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Part Of Their "Don't Pay A Cent" Event?

I don't think so.

So when you are at Yonge & Bloor and just stop your car and leave it there to shop, you are not necessarily thinking about price. As I found out looking at the price tags in the window (before getting shooed away like a bug).

Now I do a lot of shopping, how come I don't remember seeing this at Walmart or Pic 'n Save.


Sunshine. Well, it's no Miami, but it's better than the recent treachery we've (or I've) been exposed to.

Today; +8! I can't remember the last time I put a + in front of a temperature. Uusually temperatures are preceeded by %&#@$&!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


This is what I woke up to this morning.

Was in Sarnia on business and needed to be somewhere at 8am. Didn't make it.

Had to shovel just to find the door handle.

Three Hours Later
At least the interior was now warm.

Did you see the big pile of snow the plow laid up in front of my baby?

Neither did I - so that took another twenty minutes to kick all that snow away. Although by then, I did enjoy the kicking part.

This is what it looked like from the motel window the night before. I should have known something was coming. And that's not my camera just taking a crappy picture. It was crappy.

Of course, once I did get to my location (a bit late) I found that one of the equipment operators called in sick. So no work that day. They said I might as well drive back to TO.

It was about -17, snowing wildly and drifting everywhere. "Drive safely, mister" one of them called out.

I don't know how many know about Highway 402, from Sarnia to London, just south of Lake Huron. 4 denotes that this is one of the 400 series of highways within Ontario, 0 denotes the amount of visibility and 2 denotes the number of minutes before I was in real trouble.

I was behind a fellow doing about 60 klicks in the blinding snow, in the one and only "visible" lane. I thought, that's just about the right pace.

So, of course, an SUV came up behind and passed me in the left lane through what was essentially a snow bank. As he went by, my windshield filled completely with snow. My ineffective windshield wipers looked back at me and said "So you can do better?"

I took my foot off the accelerator as I couldn't see anything, let alone the guy in front of me doing 60. Who by now could easily be doing 20, or less.

In my rear view mirror I now see a big 18 wheeler behind me pulling out to pass. If I couldn't see anything from the SUV spray......gulp. Now I'm starting to get really worried.

As he pulled out to pass, he slipped back into my lane, flipping my car end over end and I was killed.

Sorry, that's the alternate ending, the one running in a loop through my brain. As he pulled out to pass, an exit appeared out of nowhere. It actually was out of nowhere, as I could see nothing.

When I got off and finished kissing the snowy ground, I noticed the snow had stopped in the direction I was going. It was getting brighter and the road was completely clear.

I got back on. Then the sun poked through. So 200 yards beyond certain death, I'm wearing my sunglasses whistling a Jimmy tune.

And now this afternoon, I'm back in my little apartment, happy, happy, happy. Ain't life a pip?

Monday, 2 February 2009

Finally Some Heritage

Some beautiful buildings, just a block from my place. This is the Yorkville Public Library.

And next to it is the lcoal firehall - a working firehall, too.

But what's that poking into the picture on the left. Is it a ....a.....

Oh No!
A construction crane!

More condos!

And It Gets Worse
They've already got one up! And they're not done yet.

Of course, the one I live in isn't really part of this. It is very tasteful. As slabs of conrete go.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Cold But Clear

Spent last week in Kananaskis country, an hour south of Banff. Very dramatic - mountains seem to close in all around you.

Unfortunately no time for skiing (I think I've had the same excuse for the last 25 years). Too busy "working".

Did make time, however, for an excellent Businessman's Workout. That would be a whirlpool, steambath and a shower.

Extremely healthy. All the while looking out on the mountain scenery.

Although I especially kept looking around at night in the outdoor whirlpool. Because just a small fence between us and nature. With "nature" likely having big claws and teeth.

I was worried we looked like a big, outdoor fondue pot.

But when the clouds roll in, the feeling can go from bright and sunny to misty and foreboding.

Back for another workout!