Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I Whined Too Soon

Mea culpa.

Based on an earlier rant "Five Years For This?", I was a little hasty in throwing stones at the Bloor Street Revitalization Project.

I guess they are planning some additional improvements(to make up for five years of construction nightmare).

So although they are not doing anything now - except covering up traffic cones - cute way of telling us to be patient.

A shot at the Leafs?!

Okay, cute just turned to crass!

I take back everything nice I said (...did I say anything nice? Do I ever?....)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

New York, Paris & Rome Have Nothing On Us!

Arthur Murray should be scared......

Thank Goodness For The Toronto Star!

[Warning - right wing spin on left wing biased media upcoming! If you are easily offended by realistic portrayal of commie-pinko media, click "Next Blog>>" above. Not "Report Abuse".]

Without the Toronto Star's insightful commentary, I might have misinterpreted some of these photo's from this summer's G20 Summit.

T Star:"Police fire smoke grenades past a distraught protester".

Distraught? To me, a distraught protester should be cowering on the ground somewhere - like I would.

I think someone trying to provoke the police would be standing in the middle of the street, arms spread, likely saying later; "But I didn't do anything...."

Just like your little brother, with his finger one inch from your head; "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you."

T Star:"A protester is overcome by smoke after attempting to put out a fire in a police car."

They forgot to add "....that he set on fire."

I think someone must have hidden all his fire-putting-out material.

T Star:"Here a distraught protester attempts to make a withdrawal from a bank."

Okay, for this one they actually called him a "masked vandal". That must have really stuck on the keyboard a while before typing.

Now I believe the police did overreact to many of the situations.

But I think that is because they got poo flung at them by the media and the public the day before when they let the "Block Block" guys torch those police cars, etc.

[The Black Block Group burst out of groups of protesters to do their thing. And then disappear...into the crowd...]

So I think the cops were told, that's not going to happen again. So the next day, with the city on tenderhooks, any large group was watched like a hawk.

But really, after all the destruction and mayhem the day before why would anyone be out wandering the streets with amped up cops and Molotov cocktail throwing anarchists around?

Any sensible person would be tucked far out of harm's way. In a bar somewhere. I know I was.

And the sad part is, I have absolutely no idea what all these people were protesting about. All their screaming and yelling drowned out their message.

But the one thing I do take away from this is, though, I wouldn't want to be a Toronto Star reporter needing police help any time soon.

Or me, needing the Star's help.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Full Marks....

...for restoring this building to the way A&W first had it back in the 1,800's.

Friday, 24 December 2010

In Case Of Emergency - Back Off !

Actually, pretty good avdice for many situations.....

Hey! Rob Ford Reads My Blog, Too!

Toronto's new mayor, Rob Ford, is starting to look for ways to reign in Toronto City Council's spending.

Among them; why should property taxes go to fund parades.

Hmmmm.....where have I heard that before?

Could it be....."I'd Love A Parade" ?

Wow, who knew the power of the blog?

So here is a list of some upcoming posts;

"Cute Girls Should Date The Urban Cowboy"

"Give Your Money To The Urban Cowboy.....Fund.... for uhhh...Homeless.... Babies...and.... uhhh...Pandas"

My guarantee: 100% of the funds will be spent.

Okay, that started out alright, but quickly spiraled downward.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Perfect For Football Games Or Long Flights

What will they think of next!

And the best part is, they are "Lavable à la machine".

"Honey, I've got some laundry for you....."

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Hey! The Ontario Court Of Appeals Reads My Blog

Obviously, based on my recent post about weak sentencing in Canadian courts, [See "Only In The Star" for insightful commentary.] the Ontario Court Of Appeals has increased the sentences of the "Toronto 18" terrorist group to 20 years.

Although the Ontario Court Of Appeals does not release its rationale for their judgements, I was able to obtain a recently leaked copy;

"As a result of the compelling and persuasive arguments of blogger Urban Cowboy ("Lock them frickers up!"), we have increased the sentences accordingly. We will be consulting with Mr. Cowboy on all future rulings."

There, that's done. What's next?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Where In The World?

Or in the city, at least?

A hint can be found in the Coat Of Arms. Or a misleading hint anyway.

What's that? Yes, it is from a heritage building in Toronto.

What's that as well? Yes, I am very lazy, so this is across the street from where I live.

Yes, the front of Yorkville Firehall, built in 1878. They daren't knock this down.

Although I just noticed, the ugly tentacles and hulking skeleton of the hideous, honking, big condo being built next door now looming, as it expands over the firehall.

What is interesting is that the buyers of these condos have objected to the potential sounds of fire engines. See "I Don't Believe It!" for shocking details!

I guess a 57 story condo, with 2,000 square foot units starting at $1,000,000, has a bit of pull with city council.

Sounds a lot like the first five city councillors of Yorkville > next post.

Back To The Coat Of Arms

Sorry, lost focus on that last one. It started with the Coat of Arms, but devolved quickly.

So this coat of arms is a bit confusing. I was trying to figure out their logo. With an S by a barrel, and an A by a brick, and a W under an anvil, etc. Something like Water, Sky, Earth? But nothing fit.

But then, with the help of Mr. Google, I found it.

"When the Village of Yorkville became incorporated in 1853, the first five elected Councillors wanted their own coat of arms. The shield bears five symbols. Each symbol represents the occupations of the Councillors. Ah ha.....

The jackplane represents builder James Dobson who was elected Reeve by that first Council and to ensure that no mistake would be made in interpretation, the letter "D' was added.

The beer barrel with the letter "S" stands for brewer John Severn, who owned Severn's Brewery. Some 6,000 to 7,000 gallons of beer were produced each week! Severn served as both Councillor and later as Reeve on the Yorkville Council, and certainly kept the town in good spirits.

Thomas Atkinson, the maker of brick moulds and bricks is represented by a brick and the letter "A".

The letter "H" is for Peter Hutty, a butcher, and a sheep's head is his symbol.

Finally, blacksmith James Wallis is shown in the anvil and the letter "W" is for Wallis.

All the Councillors were working men, and it is only fitting that the popular Canadian symbol of the beaver, itself the symbol of industry and perseverance, should surmount the shield."

Boy, without this - and Mr. Google - I would have been guessing - wrong - for a long time.

I Gotta Draw The Line At Mall Cop

Or "Do you want Tylenol with that?"

I actually went to this clinic and I think I was the only one with my own teeth and (put on grumpy, retired guy hat) my own money.

This clinic is in a "disadvantaged", or "priority" or "high risk" or "I'll have to read the Toronto Star to get more names for this kind of" area.

I went in simply to have a previous "test" "read". A five second exercise. The receptionist asked, "Have you paid?". I've had these tests before and never paid.

I told her that when I had the test done, they didn't charge me and told me to come here for Part 2.

Her eyes narrowed and asked if "Public Health" paid for this. I assumed she meant our government health care plan. What she meant, in hindsight, was if I had any income at all, I better darn well pay for the test. If I was living off other taxpayers, then it's a free ride me, baby.

This is likely not the official, government definition of "Public Health", but close enough.

I guess I hesitated long enough, because she stamped my file.

Now because Part 2 takes all of five seconds, I was whisked right back to see the doctor. And I could feel twenty two sets of beady eyes in the waiting room tracking me.

Of course, when the doctor walked in and saw that I had my own teeth, his eyes narrowed and asked "Have you paid?" When I hesitated, he called out "Nurse, take him back out front to pay."

The nurse, her eyes wide, "You haven't paid?" Now taking me back out to the front, calling to the receptionist, "Why hasn't he paid?" I'm surprized she wasn't pulling me by one ear.

Twenty two smirky smiles now slowly appeared in the waiting room.

The receptionist points at me and stares accusingly, biting out each word, "He said Public Health paid!". So that was going to be $60.

I leaned over and said to her, "$60 for Part 2?"

She said, "Oh, you're here for Part 2?"

I was this close to pointing and bellowing "I told you that when I came in!" But being the compassionate, restrained person you know me as, I bit my tongue.

She said "Oh, okay" and motioned to the nurse. The nurse said, "Oh, okay." And then the doctor said, "Oh, okay." Five seconds later, I was out of there.

What a great system.

No wonder my own doctor winkingly advised me - while delivering Part 1 - "It's probably easier just to come back here for Part 2." I didn't listen to her.

And as likely the only guy actually paying to run that mall clinic, I was the one treated like a deadbeat. My grumpy, old retired guy hat probably gave me away.

I gotta get rid of that thing....

[Ed. note: Fat chance.]

Sunday, 19 December 2010

"Slow Down, You're Moving Too Fast"

Hey, they're playing my song.

Frantic montage of city life on Bloor St. East.

For some, that is......

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Been There, Done That....

Not unlike a lot of the U.S., south-western Ontario is also getting hammered by old man winter. Specifically, just outside of Sarnia, on Highway 402, above.

Boy, I know how they feel. As I went through something eerily similar last year.

See "I Hate Winter!" for a summary of the episode....just outside of Sarnia on that damn Highway 402.

On another trip to Sarnia, I got smart. See "Can You Say Brrrrr?" for the tale.

Many years ago we went in the ditch trying to get out of Dodge. [I wasn't driving.]

But that is one nasty stretch of highway.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sam I Ain't.... more.

[With apologies to Dr. Seuss.]

Although it/he had been shut down for a while, [See "Who Knew?" for a reminder] it is still a shock to see a big, empty lot where there used to be a big, full Sam The Record Man a few years ago.

I guess it was more than a few years ago that it was a full Sam The Record Man, hence the torn down building.

But anyone of a certain age will remember whiling (wasting?) away many hours in that store, pouring over thousands and thousands of LP and 45's.

To me, Sam's defined Boxing Day.

Armed with my $10 gift certificate I had a list of albums I wanted to get. However, what I got depended solely upon the currents in the store.

As you would literally lift your feet and be carried along by the crowd. If you passed a album even remotely interesting, that is what you picked up. You could never get near the popular hits on Boxing Day.

So you wound up with a bunch of music to which you normally would never have listened.

So I thank Sam for expanding my music vocabulary. So rather than just being an Alice Cooper fan, I picked up a liking for say, Frank Zappa.

But sad to see him reduced to rubble just the same. Hopefully the memories will remain intact longer......

[Ed. note: What's worse than the usual UC ramblings? Sentimental UC ramblings.]

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Bastards!

No sooner had I posted a missive about how lots of older buildings on Yonge St. have survived ["A Walk Down Yonge St."] they go and tear one down.

Hope that wasn't the tattoo parlour I had my eye on.

Friday, 10 December 2010

How Much Underwear Do Women Need?!

Look at the size of this underwear store!

Do you think Jockey has anything like this for men?

And I got news for you. I went in for a quick look and none of that stuff is going to keep you warm in the winter.

But the security guard told me, as he was escorting me out, it doesn't seem to matter.

Here is Toronto's Swarovski Christmas Tree.

And it's actually inside at the Eaton Centre. And it's snowing.

[You can see (part of) the ladie's gaunchy store on the right.]

Okay, this is cheating, but here is a picture - from somebody's blog with a real camera - to show what it really looks like.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Holy Crap!

My black ink cartridge alone costs twice that much!

How low can they go?

And I just bought a laptop. Dell, 4GIG RAM, super fast processor, with web cam, huge hard drive, etc. etc, for $399! It is ~five times more powerful than my former piece of crap desktop - for which I paid $2,400 eight years ago.

The sad (embarrassing?) part is, I don't need any of that processing power to just send e-mails and post drivel on a blog.

But I do feel like Tim Allen from Tool time when I talk about it. Argg, argg!!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Bbbbbbaby, It's Cold!

These little fellas are all puffed up against the cold.

You know it's cold because this is where the local homeless guy usually sleeps, so they must have chased him away.

Actually it's too bad, because one second before this picture was taken there were about fifteen of these fellows around.

But something must have startled them and they took off.

Okay, okay, so I then stood as still as a statute - which is not a smart idea around pigeons - and they eventually all came back.


How many times have you been walking down the street and thought, "Man, is this shirt ever dirty. And I could use a quick smoke."

Well, go to 3,412 Yonge St.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Walk Down Yonge St.

There is a lot of very interesting architecture hidden amongst the buildings as you walk down Yonge St.

But if you are busy on your way to work you probably won't notice anything, other than cursing at some poor retired guy patiently trying to take some snaps.

For all its high priced real estate, there are blocks and blocks of these turn of the century, three story beauties.

Okay, so maybe beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But life goes blasting on - and many different forms of life - on the surface of all these old buildings.

Some a little more grandiose than others.

Some very elegant.

But the architectural detail is fantastic in many of them.

And since this building is a MacDonald's and a Starbucks, I can rest easy, knowing it is safe from the wrecker's ball, for now.

You Know You're Getting Old When.....

Agh! These darn girls are blocking my view of the architecture!

Not Your Father's Police