Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Above The G-20 Craziness

While Toronto below burned [Note 1], we were above it all, perched safely on rooftop patios.

[Note 1: as some may know, the G20 Leaders Summit brought with it mayhem and migraines to downtown Toronto. The Black Bloc anarchists shattered store windows on Yonge St and torched police cruisers on Queen St.

How ironic (although hypocritical is a better word) that these "protesters" rail so strongly against the very system that allows them this freedom to protest.

And condemns our capitalistic society that pays for their tuition and welfare cheques.

Okay, remove angry, retired white guy hat.]

And even though we were above all that mayhem, the police presence was still near by. Four officers at the bar - in flak jackets - close at hand.

Drinking Red Bull.

Several longs days for the boys in blue, I suspect.

But not all was doom and gloom.

Here Senor Bug Eyes models the latest eye wear fashion in looking cool while still being able to read the menu.

Although we were above the craziness, it was never far away.

For example, I found some in a pint of Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion. Where "Normal is Weird".

I bet Dorothy never tried this. Although I suspect Frank Baum did, and much more.

Senor Bug Eyes sampled the Burning Squirrel something-or-other. Tasty.

We didn't spend all our time in the clouds.

Here was an interesting eatery tucked safely beneath the street. And out of the reach of the torrential rainfall, too.

So from the looks of these snaps, we didn't fare too poorly in surviving the G20.

Although, our restaurant the night before was "locked down" by police. One too many Flying Monkeys? Nope, to keep the vandals out.

So the night would not end on a sour note, as I was leaving, the door was being held open for me.

By Kiefer Sutherland!

Double take.

Thanks, Jack.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Jeepers 20 Summit!

The G20 Summit is being held in Toronto this weekend.

And there are security fences everywhere.


You can't see anything, anywhere but these fences.

And that's because police are worried about all sorts of protests.

But they were able to easily disperse today's demonstration when police attached job applications to the front of their protective shields as they marched towards protesters.

And you can't believe the number of groups here protesting! Over 100, as listed in the paper.

"Hey, we're protesting that."

"No way....we're protesting that."

Some are an uneasy alliance, I suspect. Like trade unions and the Gays and Lesbians Against Defamation Group. Although I think some of those trade unionists could get their butts handed to them by some of the lesbians I saw today.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But give me a break. Get a job!

Unless you have already had one and are now retiring.....

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Loaded Again In Margaritaville

Our mentor and spiritual leader, Jimmy Buffett, has finally recognized all his toque wearing, frostback friends north of the 49th by opening the first "Margaritaville" in Canada.

In Niagara Falls.

And, of course, any self respecting toque wearer needed to be there for the grand opening.

[Self respecting, but shy, of course.]

And to steal from another song, in the hopes that Saint Jimmy might soon be there. But unfortunately, not tonight.....

The afternoon was going well, but needed a little assistance to turn it up a notch.

Okay, and another notch.

Now that's better!

Okay, camera guy's motor skills deteriorating - no more photos tonight.

But what a layout at this joint! Three levels, with patios on all levels. [The second level patio featured here.]

A virtual waterfall just off the band stage. A full size Margarita blender, in which ladies with certain...attributes...can whirl and swirl (you can watch it for hours! I'm told). And a whole bunch of people wearing bad pirate shirts and flip flops.

So welcome, Jimmy! But next time get your lazy, rum soaked a$$ up here for the opening!

Just kidding, Jimmy. Ha ha. All in fun. Just kidding.... You'll come back sometime, huh?


Meaning the Canadian side.

Beautiful evening down at The Falls. Lots of tourists and lots of entertainment.

Here a band performs on a stage cut into the Niagara Escarpment (I'd like to see the Environmental Assessment on that one).

Hey, that looks like Jimmy Buffett!

And looks like this sign maker also went to the Margaritaville kick-off party.

Unless we somehow morphed down to Mexico.

To visit our friend H Olida Yinn.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Not A Place You Want To Live

That city has "Brrrrr!!" written all over it.

And "Calgary" too.

I Kind Of Think Of "Early Bird" Parking At About $5....

What does the late bird have to pay?

And it doesn't even say if it is heated!

Pretty Cool

Although I love to slag Calgary, they have got a pretty cool system for enforcing on street parking.

Rather than some poor chump Meter Maid or Meter ... uhhhhh ... Mister, schlepping around looking in windshields, checking times, writing tickets and getting yelled at.....

...now they just drive by each parked car, automatically scan the licence plate and search the database to see if that car has paid to park in this location at this time.

If not, a ticket is automatically sent to the offender.

Now that's using technology.

Of course, that also craters my dream retirement job.

Nothing I like better than catching people not following the proper procedures. Unless, of course, it's... uhhh...me.

Hmmm....maybe my dream job is to be a politician....

Sunday, 13 June 2010

You Want Clean Sheets?!? Arrrrggghh!!!

What a relaxing way to end a long day of hiking and backpacking.

At least the scenery is nice.

This is a shot of "The Three Sisters" mountain range in Camnore, Alberta.

Hmmm...I've often marvelled at the lovely peaks of a pair of sisters before, but never three.

And what montage of Canada would be complete without a government office, offering....Government Services.

"What kind of services do you offer?"

"Anything. It's Canada."

Saturday, 12 June 2010

I Like Japanese Maples

...nuff said.

Good, Only 40 More Stories To Go

....for the condo I love to hate, the most.

17 stories down - or up - and 40 more to go.

Won't need to wear sun screen in this neighbourhood before too long.

But wait a minute.....

Maybe it's not all bad.

I guess the place has a little bit of class after all.......

Friday, 11 June 2010

What Chew Lookin' At, Willis? [1]

Can't a guy get a little privacy here to eat a tuna sandwich? Or take a nap?

Maybe he's thinking the same thing?

[Note 1: A small, albeit mangled, tribute to the late Gary Coleman.]

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

So This Is What A Billion Dollars Looks Like

At the upcoming G20 Summit in Toronto, nobody's getting in to the Royal York Hotel.

That barrier is almost three feet tall. And can't you read the sign, you darn protesters?

[Non-Canadian Note: We are spending over a billion dollars in security for the three day G20 Summit at the end of June. Over two million to "test" the food for our dear leaders.]

My Favourite Is Frickin' Vodka

Boy, what would I do without men's rooms in bars?

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Suits, But No More

A real Toronto icon, gone out of business.

I remember renting my first tuxedo from Syd's. Okay, I've never rented (okay, or worn....) a tuxedo. But if I had.......

And these photos are a nice flashback to the good old fog-of-life camera days.

Back when I could take a picture something, say it was anything and people would say, what is that?

Been There, Like Doing That