Monday, 30 August 2010

Oh What A Lucky Day It Was, It Was

Took a little tour of the Toronto Islands on the Lucky Day earlier this month.

Quite a different world out there on the islands.

So, load up the bikes....

....and set sale for Hogtown.

What would the day hold in store?

After cruising in from Frenchman's Bay Marina, the Toronto skyline can be pretty impressive from the water side.

A view you can't see from downtown.

But once you get into the islands, you really feel like you are in, well, the islands.

Little water side bars.....

With the obligatory evidence of imbibement (much more evidence later).

If we hadn't brought our bikes, the train would have been a good mode of transport.

In fact, in hindsight, considering the imbibement to come, it may have been the best form....

Even though we are just steps, okay strokes, from downtown, it felt as if we were in the magnolia swamps of the southern US.

Wow what a view!

What view?

Although we spent some time - a lot of time - at the touristy pubs, we found a local watering hole that was much more to our pleasure.

As was the lovely Jessica!

A funky little tiki bar with views of downtown.

From this vantage point, we were able to watch the sun set behind the boats of the Island Boat Marina.

Jessica was good enough to snap a shot of two male models that had come in.

This, however, is a shot of the two schmoes she was stuck serving.

It is about this time that the island train was starting to look good as the preferred mode of transportation.

Whoa... is that legal?

We're having some fun now! forward - through much silliness and imbibement as we moored and slept and met strange people on the island that night - to leaving for home the next morning.

Shot of plane above us leavng from the Island Airport.

Okay, back home safe and sound.

Ready to start another Lucky Day.....

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Oh, Here I Go Again...

Man, young girls have to be the most vapid, self centred, ignorant species on the planet.

I thought it was just grumpy old retired guy syndrome, but there's an article about this on CNN today.

But yesterday, over the course of one hour, I had three similar experiences just walking down Yonge St.

1) Two young girls, talking and laughing, taking up most of the sidewalk. I veer to go around them, when, as one continues to tell her story, takes a drag of her cigarette and wildly swings out her arm. Hitting me on the wrist with the burning ember. A pause and then a sheepish "...sorry", then on with the talking.

2) Going in to a shop with a revolving door. There is a young girl on her cell phone in front of me and a guy in front of her. As he pushed to start the door, her free hand remained at her side as she talked. And I'm sure she was expecting me to do my part pushing the door behind her so she would just criuse through. (Ha ha I didn't do anything). But the guy in front pushed enough for her to make it through. But not me!!

3) Leaving another store, a women pulls open a door to come in. A young girl on her cell phone walks right into the woman's space, pushes by her to leave the building. Free hand by her side, oblivious and talking.

Good thing I wasn't farther from home or this post would have likely gone up to 10 or 12. I'll stick with women over 40 any day.

Reminds me of the Andy Rooney segment, celebarting women over 40;

"Women over 40 won't ask "What are you thinking?" They don't care what you're thinking."

Watch That First Step!

For Sale. A charming, little fixer upper, right on Lake Ontario.

Or......"Honey, I'm just going out for some milllllllk....."

Or......"Motivated seller. No reasonable offer refused."

Saw this as we were cruising the green waters of Lake Ontario the other week (more on that trip later) when we came across this gem.

Boy, what people won't do for lake front property.....

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Return To Sender

Wife: What colour paint did you get for the living room?
Husband (thinking, can't go wrong here): Opaque.

Home Alone 20 - There Will Be Nails

As usual a good time was had by all at the latest installment of the Home Alone series.

Although it looks here as though two lads are gripping the winner's trophy very tightly. But there can only be one winner.

And I didn't say undisputed winner.

And although they say numbers don't lie, I think they do in this case.

I don't agree with any of the results of the games! Of course, except for the overall winner, no one did.

Although the official title of this year's event was "There Will Be Nails", the more literally correct title is "There Will Be Arguments".

Here, two rocket scientists are brought in to figure out how to use the timer on the winner's camera.

I'm not sure what school they were from, but glad we weren't paying them by the hour.

Ana there is always one guy that takes the competition more seriously than others.

Yeah, rub our faces in it.

Tough Love

Regular followers of the acclaimed Home Alone series will immediately spot an anomaly in this picture.

Yes, there is a woman in the background.

This woman somehow wheedled and deedled such that she was allowed to remain at her home this weekend.

Usually she takes herself and the kids up north, to leave the host gloriously Home Alone.

Luckily as a strong testament to mankind, this did not distract the Home Alone'ers from their overall objectives for the weekend - drinking beer and playing games.

Ring Toss being featured here. With a disputed outcome, I may add.

Here she can be seen painting an old rusted gazebo.

In an attempt to appease her and lighten the mood, one of the clever lads called out repeatedly, "You missed a spot". I found out The lad found out, she is very quick with her own comments, which cannot be repeated here.

Although she was generally not too bad, she was a bit slow to recognize when our beers were running low.

Luckily, we were able to eke out a bit of fun.

Oh, and argue about the score.

Not All Fun And Games

Okay, I guess it was.

But we did have to cook our own dinner. One night anyway.

This was originally intended to be an "art shot" of the meal grilling as the sun set. Until some lads.....well.

But before you can have a fire, you must collect firewood.

Now it looks as though the body language of one of the woodgathers is saying "more wood gathering and less picture taking."

But I may be wrong.

Guess not.

But the end result was a great meal enjoyed by all.

And overall a great weekend and great hosts. Plural.

We love you, Claude! Who was kind enough to take this, albeit somewhat blurry, group photo.

[Ed. note: You couldn't just end it without one more dig at that poor woman, could you?]

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Home Alone - Interlude

While the author is on retreat in southeastern Ontario at one of the almost internationally acclaimed Home Alone lecture series, here are highlights from samples of some previous Home Alone posts. Hum to yourself while viewing.


Making The Best Of A Bad Situation

Realting to an earlier post [see "Call Before You Dig?"] at least some people have been able to keep their sense of humour......

Monday, 16 August 2010

It's a Beautiful Day In My Their Neighbourhood

Even though this neighbourhood is....well, my neighbourhood - just a few blocks away - it is really light years away.

Each of these properties, tucked in not far from mid town, are amazing and lush.

So muffled by trees are the streets, I can almost hear my footsteps on the pavement. Almost eerie....

And looking around I can feel I don't belong.

From the wrought iron gates, the thick, thick privacy hedges and especially from the stares of people walking their dogs.

Now there are times when having a crappy phone/camera thingy is a good idea.....okay, I can't think of any....but if there were, this wouldn't be the place for it.

I need some fellow's camera from a blog farther down the dial to do justice to these places.

Oh and look, they even have cute little subway stop tucked in a ravine.

Heavens, not to give you the impression that any of them would ever take it! Or even know where it is!

But nannies, gardeners, & nosey retired guys are pleased it's there.

Same Neighbourhood - But Worlds Apart

So as my afternoon journey through the neighbourhood continued a few blocks further south...

Apparently, I was no longer in Kansas and Toto was being walked by a man in a leather skirt.

It looks as though the Toronto gaybourhood was having some sort of "event."

It was either a drag queen show - here featuring one very provocative entertainer with blue hair turning his back to the crowd (hmmmm...this seemed to be a popular move with most of the performers), or a let's stand around outside naked show.

As I saw two big fellows wearing leather chaps. And that was it.

How do I know?

Because as I finished watching one particularly adept performance - for documentation purposes only, for crying out loud! - I found myself within butt slapping distance (not that there's anything really, sorta totally wrong with that) of the aforementioned fellows.

Now I know the humidex reading was 40oC, but guys....

Lots of supporters for Jock Strap Central. Ba da bing! (And I know of at least two guys that should have stopped in here.)

So same neighbourhood, but two different worlds.

And I'm doubting there will be any joint bbq/block parties between the two any time soon.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Name This Great Photo!

Enter the naming contest for big prizes. Or more likely, big surprizes.....

Come on.

There can only be one right answer, huh?

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Call Before You Dig?

Seems a simple enough concept. Something you are taught in school, right?

Well, apparently, not to the City of Toronto.

They embarked on a sidewalk beautification project along Bloor St. Arguably the street with the most expensive shopping in Canada.

Was supposed to be an 18 month job.

Now I like beautiful sidewalks as much as the next guy. But can you guess what happens next?

As the city was digging up the road and sidewalks, they came across buried wires and transformers of Toronto Hydro and Bell Canada.

"What are they doing here?"

And then the finger pointing began.

So, as men's retailer Harry Rosen reminds everyone daily, five years later, after Toronto Hydro came in to relocate - and are still relocating - their transformers, the entire street is a disaster zone.

For those of you worried that privatization of some government services could be a bad thing - how could it possibly be worse?

Five years of this!

Bloor St. is down to a single lane each way.

And they are not done.

Five years.......

And who is going to pay for this?

Take a big honkin' guess.

And then take a big honkin' bite, never mind.