|The first drinks: Blue Moon martinis.|
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
|Part of a fantastic mural outside of the Harlem Restaurant|
Monday, August 27, 2012
|Tinkerbell and Cinderella's castle|
Well, that was then. Things are radically different now.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
|Neil Armstrong: First human on the moon|
"Neil Armstrong was the spiritual repository of spacefaring dreams & ambitions. In death, a little bit of us all dies with him." *
My first hero died today at the age of 82.
As a little boy, all I ever wanted to be was an astronaut. I ravenously devoured every detail of every Apollo mission from Apollo 7 (the first manned mission) onward. When Apollo 8 orbited the moon at Christmastime, 1968, it was then -- and still is now -- one of the greatest thrills of my life and an uplifting end to an awful, awful year. I followed the docking mission of Apollo 9 and the oh-so-close orbit of Apollo 10, running home from school on many of those days to absorb as much of the dazzling story unfolding on my television as I could manage. And then came the summer of 1969.
"'Men Walk On Moon' - The only positive event in the last 50 yrs for which everyone remembers where they were when it happened."
|Apollo 11 Mission Patch|
Friday, August 24, 2012
It feels like I can finally sit at a computer long enough to put out a blog piece again, after a very frustrating week and a half, as my neck issues seem to be easing off a bit. I had no idea how attached I was to this device until it was impossible to interact with it properly. Well, that's not really true: I had a pretty good idea how attached I am to it. Didn't make it any easier, though.
So, did I miss much? Let's see, there was our buffoon of a mayor ignoring all the signs that clearly were not meant for him and walking into the Calgary Stampeders' dressing room while he was at a football game. Nothing really new there. Also this week came the news that Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger are engaged. The only possible good that could ever come out of such an unholy union as this one is the chance that Lavigne might "pull a Yoko" and break up Nickelback. If that were to happen, she has my vote to appear on the next $100 bill. Unless she's too "ethnic". Hey, you never know.
Then there is the story of the high school valedictorian in Oklahoma, about to enter college on a full scholarship except for one small issue: her school refuses to give her her high school diploma (which she obtained with straight-As, I might add) because she used the word "hell" in her speech. Never mind that she was actually quoting a movie that is very popular among her demographic; never mind that she didn't intend to quote it directly, but I guess it just happened that way; never mind that a valedictory address isn't supposed to be for anyone else but her classmates who gave her that honour. No, her school won't give her the diploma unless she apologizes. Here's hoping she doesn't. Oklahoma, seriously, I think you have other, more pressing things to worry about. But let's look at the bright side here: at least Oklahoma isn't Missouri, located right next door. Because Missouri, at the moment, is home to one of the dumbest, most despicable men to hold any power in the States right now. Missouri is home to Todd Akin.
Friday, August 17, 2012
|Sea lions Sandy and Baker|
Thursday, August 16, 2012
...that pinched nerve or whatever it is seems to be affecting the blood flow to my head and I've had vertigo all day long. I haven't been able to sit at the keyboard for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a stretch. Hopefully it will pass soon and I can get this blog back on the rails. My favourite masseuse in the world tried to alleviate my discomfort after she got home from work and it seemed to help a little bit, but I clearly wasn't the one who got the most out of the activity tonight:
Even after the battery eventually ran down Addie still wouldn't let Sarah put the wand away without a fight:
Huh. Would you look at that. There seems to be a small post tonight after all, thanks once again to my magical cat. What would I do without her?
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
For some strange reason my neck has been bugging me for the past couple of weeks. It has done this before, but usually it has something to do with straining it playing sports. Since that's not even a thing for me this summer, I don't know what's going on... but I do know I hate it. This morning I woke up and could barely move my head and arms, so I decided to take a bit of a sabbatical from the keyboard. I'm just going to be at my desk long enough to post a short blog piece then I think I am going to have to get a heating pad on it. If it keeps up, I could have a real problem. I guess we'll see how it goes.
|Happy kitty outside her fort|
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Did you commute to work or anywhere else today? Did you take the car? If so, did you at any point resemble the clod in this picture?
|Rob Ford on the Gardiner Expressway|
No, of course you didn't. That's because, unlike the mayor of Toronto, you are not a selfish, insensitive jackass with the social acumen of a turnip. Yes, the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was photographed this morning reading a speech while on his commute into work on the Gardiner Expressway.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
|Christine Sinclair, Canadian women's soccer team captain|
Except that hasn't settled it. Not by a long shot. Not for me and hopefully not for the people who are actually in charge of such decisions.
I am not saying that Christine Sinclair should not be part of the discussion. She was the leading scorer in a soccer tournament that resulted in Canada's first medal in a "traditional" team sport at the Summer Olympics since 1936. She was captain of our women's soccer team, an inspirational leader and a role model, especially now, for many little girls all over this country. But if she hadn't been a soccer player and had performed many of the same feats, would she be such an overwhelming choice for everyone? If Christine Sinclair had chosen to play, say, volleyball and been the leading point-getter on a bronze-medal winning team, would there be a similar Twitter campaign with so many followers? I sincerely doubt it. Many of you who know me are aware of my intense dislike of the sport of soccer and I will admit it may be colouring my judgment here; but then that is exactly what I am accusing it of doing to millions of Canadians who are so convinced that Sinclair should be the flag-bearer on Sunday night that they refuse to even discuss it. This is one of the reasons I really dislike soccer: its unfathomable hold on so many otherwise rational people the world over. But I don't wish this post to devolve into another of my rants about soccer; rather, I wish to discuss the many other excellent athletes who should be mentioned in equal measures as flag-bearer hopefuls.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Sarah and I couldn't put it off any longer: we had to do laundry today. So we took our heavy load down to a great little place on Danforth near Main that I have had a really good experience with in the past. While our clothes were in the wash, we sauntered over to Popeye's Chicken for lunch; while they were in the dryer we browsed through the nearby Canadian Tire and then grabbed a coffee and doughnut at the Timmy's just down the street. We loaded up the clean clothes, dropped by Sobey's to pick up a great dinner deal they offered today (the kids are with us later on), then headed home relaxed and happy with the afternoon. The light changed against us at Danforth and Gledhill so we turned north to drive through the back streets to our apartment. There are speed bumps on Gledhill; I decided to swing over to King Edward to avoid them. And that's where it all began.
Here is my open letter to the Mom who, with kids in tow, stepped briefly (I hope) out of her right mind today in the middle of King Edward Ave.
|Artistic recreation of our experience|
|Inconsiderate drivers are everywhere|
|Speaks for itself, no?|
|Might be buying this from Zazzle|
|Manners: not just for children|
It is that assumption that I cannot let pass without comment. For it is that assumption that is at the root of myriad other problems that plague our city and make me want to scream most days I travel about within it. We are all in this together and if you can't innately understand that then perhaps you might at least figure out a way to teach it to your kids. That is the very least you should do, because your kids looked terribly embarrassed by your actions today and, therefore, I think there might still be hope for them.
It's sure worth a try and, more than that, you owe it to them to do so. Best of luck.
That's it for the letter. You know, I thought I would feel better at this point, but I really don't. Sigh. Well, thanks for reading, at least.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
We've been very busy while Sarah's been off work, at least by my own recent standards. Her vacation has been quite relaxing for her, but I am going to have to rest up once she returns to work next week. In the meantime, we spent a day just decompressing around the apartment today, which was fine because it was kind of miserable outside and really not worthy of getting out into the world.
|The bronze-medal-winning women's soccer team|
credit: Paul Hackett/Reuters
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
*...actually, yes, you will.
We went to the Zoo! See? I knew you'd guess where we went today. I was being ironic in the title. Sarah is nearing the end of her stayc...er, her holidays in which we don't leave the city, and I promised that we would go to the Zoo together before she returned to work. When we got up this morning we checked the weather for the rest of the week and realized that the window was rapidly closing for me to keep my promise, so late this morning we headed up to the Rouge Valley...with the obligatory stop at Timmy's first, of course. It was a sweltering day and I wondered if it might cause some of the animals to be having a "siesta" once we got there. I needn't have worried, apparently. I wonder if they've just had time to get used to the extreme heat because it has been omnipresent since about May this year.
|The Eurasia section is closed until next May when the pandas arrive!|
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
|Not an optical illusion: the sign Sarah made for my "office"|
|Sarah at our celebratory dinner tonight|
I will wind this post up here as we still have vacation-type things to do with the rest of this week and I don't want to be lagging behind Sarah at the Zoo. But I just want to say, without further ado: Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The Grumpy Penguin. Please check it out and let me know what you think; I will greatly appreciate any comments whether positive, negative, constructive or just plain "meh". Everything helps at this point.
And thanks for being along for this ride so far. If it wasn't for this blog, there would be no website.
Monday, August 6, 2012
|I think this is a scene from Superman 2|
Friday, August 3, 2012
My "discovery" of Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, 25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973.
|Sarah at the entrance to the Picasso exhibition|
Thursday, August 2, 2012
...♫lookin' at the peaches...♪
|Hey! That's mine!|
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
|Addie enjoying some rare fresh air|
I love that it's a guy in that commercial with his cat; this is not a common theme for advertising and, as you can imagine, I can't get enough of this sort of thing.