Wednesday, October 31, 2007


2366 kms. Six more kms since I last posted. That's as far as I got before my first flat tire. Six kms from home without a patch kit. Could of been worse, I think to myself. I walk up to Queen Street for some cash and a taxi ride home. Bike shoes are great for biking, not so great for walking. But why are the taxi's not stopping. Hey damn it, I need a ride. Walk half way home before a taxi going the other way, who refuses me with the shake of the head as he drives by the first time, returns. Couldn't find a fare going the other way, Jackass? Load up the bike, home before I know it. No tip for you Mr. Cab driver, but fuck you very much all the same. I remember making fun of those roadies the other day in their team Jersey's with their repair kits and pumps. Not so funny anymore...

Biking in the Don Valley part 2

So here it is the last day of October and I am still out there biking. Can you believe that? It is really windy these days, which makes it a tough go on the road bike. And as long as the wind is at my back on the way home, its worth all the effort.It has been ideal weather for mountain biking though, and I managed to get another ride in yesterday. Total kms so far this year, 2359 with no end in sight.Here I am in the middle of a big climb in the Don Valley. This is looking down...... and this is where I still need to go.Tony makes it to the top.The view from the top. That is the Leaside bridge behind me, and the Don Valley below. The DVP passes under the bridge on the far side. You can just make it out if you look in between the power lines.Tony begins the decent to valley below. This is the best part of mountain biking, the down hill part.Here is a shot of the drop off to my right as you descend to the valley floor. It is literally a 50 foot drop if you stray from the trail.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday

October is a big birthday month in my family. With two days left in October we come to our last birthday of the month. Happy birthday to my Aunty Verna who turns the big 60 today! Hope you have a great day!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Want a bear hug?

Damn! Its cold this morning!! There is frost on the ground and you are going to wish you wore gloves! So in honour of our really first cold day of Fall, some pictures from our friends up North, where cold really is cold. Check this out!
A photographer visiting Churchill, Manitoba, took some sled dogs out to take some pictures. Out of the snow a polar bear creeps towards the pack, and the photographer starts thinking "Oh crap, all the dogs are goners." Turns out though, that the polar bear just wanted to play around. And he came back several times on succeeding days to play with the dogs some more.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Racing News: Kimi wins F1 title

In an effort to seem as un-biased as possible (read, Champ Car) here are the results of last week's final F1 race which decided the winner of this years championship. (Better late then never!) While all eyes (mine included) were on the fight between McLaren driver's Alonso and Hamilton for the title, the Iceman came from out of no where and beat them both in this red Ferrari. Hats off to the Finnish sensation for beating McLaren at its own game and winning the World title and the Constructors Championship for Team Ferrari. (Happy now Tony?)

Star of the Race Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1st

If there's anything you learn after a couple of years when you should have been World Champion then it's patience. Kimi Raikkonen has learnt the kind of patience that Lewis Hamilton could have done with in the last two races.
Several times this season he's shadowed Felipe Massa for the first half of the race and while the Brazilian has chipped away at the fastest lap times Kimi has been there, watching and waiting.
With Massa very keen to repeat his Brazilian GP win of 2006 Raikkonen had to hang on, all the while knowing that his team-mate was coming in for his first pit-stop earlier. And when he did disappear down the pitlane, Raikkonen's sector times immediately went green and purple just as though someone had switched a light on.
He took the lead fair and square and his Lap 66 Fastest Lap time - put in for sheer bravado - was the measure of the man.
Raikkonen is a worthy World Champion, a driver who is good to watch, brave and keen to push. He's not a cruise-and-collect World Champion like Nelson Piquet or one like Keke Rosberg who won it by slim mathematics. Until last weekend Raikkonen was perhaps the second best driver never to have won a World Championship (the other being Stirl, who never will) and now that's sorted.
But should he have been World Champion in 2007? No. Forget about BMW's cool fuel we have had it conclusively proven that Ferrari won the opening race of the season with a bendy floor designed to give them an illegal advantage. For political reasons the FIA are keen to use evidence of whistle-blowing about that event against McLaren, but not about the original incident that provoked the saga.
Don't get me wrong, I like the result. It's good that Raikkonen's won and that he's World Champion. It's just the method that sucks.

pictures and story courtesy of

Mountain biking in the Don Valley

I got a mountain bike from my wife for my birthday way back in July. And yesterday I finally took it into the bush to officially break it in, (too bad it took me four months to do it!) My buddy Tony and I went for a ride on the trails along the Don Valley. Its hard to believe, but we have been riding these trails since we were 16 years old. And the amazing thing about these trails, are that every year there is something new. Mountain bikers have carved and cleared paths, added switch backs to steep descents and built bridges over craves and rivers. It is a very technical course which requires some skill and alot of courage. One false move can result in a fall into the valley below. This time of year, the trails are awash with fall colours. I thought of taking a couple of shots while I was riding along the edge, then thought better of it. Here are some other shots from our ride for you to enjoy. Found this old bike rigged up like this beside the Don River. Looks like it is rigged up to pump water from the river. Could not find where the other end of the pipe, where the water was being pumped to.Tony checks out one of the bridges built for the bikers, most likely by bikers. Pretty sure this was not a project from the city.All these trails in the heart of the city. One of Toronto's best kept secrets. As for a review on the bike, awesome!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is my niece, Samantha's birthday. Happy 22nd birthday! Hope you have a great one!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bill "Calvin and Hobbes" Watterson

I love comic strips. They make me laugh, and on occasion have made me sad and even made me cry. There is something to be said for an art form that can fill you with so much emotion with just three panels of crudely drawn pictures. I have my favorites, such as For Better or Worse, the Peanuts, Buckes to name but a few. And for those of you who haven't already figured it out, I am a huge fan of Bill Waterson (the creator of the comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes).

Here's a collection of rare early Bill "Calvin and Hobbes" Watterson's toons from The Kenyon Collegian, his college paper from Kenyon, Ohio. They're a little edgier than the Calvin and Hobbes strips (but not as funny). Link

And check this out:
Bill "Calvin and Hobbes" Watterson has a fascinating review of Shulz and Peanuts: A Biography in last weekend's Wall Street Journal. Schulz and Peanuts is a controversial biography of Charles M Schulz, the creator of the ginormously popular strip "Peanuts." The strip's tone veered around over the years, from schmaltzy to dark, antic to pensive, and David Michaelis, Schulz's biographer, suggests that these shifts are suggestive of Schulz's own moods and demons. Waterson's commentary on this is fascinating stuff, here's the Link.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

City-TV in the square

After decades of being situated as an icon of Queen Street West, it has been revealed that Citytv will be moving to a new high-profile location: Dundas Square.
Since Rogers Communications announced plans to acquire Citytv, there has been much speculation about what would happen to the legendary Queen Street studios. The solution became the former Olympic Spirit complex at the south-east corner of Dundas Square.
Built for $42 million in 2004,
the building housed the unremarkable Olympic Spirit museum, intended to bring the history of the Olympic Games closer to the public with films, displays, and seminars by former athletes. The planners hoped to attract 535,000 annual visitors, but closed the facility two years later, blaming a lack of co-operative promotion by the organizers of the Vancouver Olympics.
The premium location makes sense: set catercorner on Victoria Street from
Toronto Life Square, the 43,000-square-foot facility looks across a telegenic, if not ad-choked landscape. With most of its street presence comprising of confused motorists, barely any sidewalk, and a quirky streetcar loop, it isn't yet known if Rogers Media plans to emulate the iconic "storefront" studio format that Citytv is known for.
Rogers will also relocate its two OMNI Television operations to the new complex.
The sale of the five-station Citytv network was a CRTC condition of CTVglobemedia's $1.7-billion takeover of CHUM Limited. Rogers Media received approval late last month to buy the stations for $375 million, and now retains a binding agreement to purchase the Dundas Square site. CTVglobemedia will keep Much Music in place at the former CHUM-City building at 299 Queen West, where the music channel has been broadcasting since 1987.

picture and story courtesy of

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Racing News: Au revoir Sebastien

Like so many other events this past season in the Champ Car World Series, a significant racing achievement went all but unnoticed this past weekend when the brilliant Sebastien Bourdais recorded his fourth consecutive championship for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing at the Surfer's Paradise Grand Prix in Australia.
A perusal of Canadian sports television networks and of Canada's largest newspapers found only secondary mention of Bourdais' record-setting mark, and this in a market that plays host to three of Champ Car's premier events.
There is still one race left on the Champ Car calendar -- in three weeks in Mexico City -- but for all intents and purposes Surfer's Paradise was the final race that counted for Bourdais, who will move to F-1 and the Toro Rosso team next season.
And the 28-year-old native of Le Mans, France, showed his class right to the end.
"Obviously it's a great challenge that awaits me for next year," Bourdais said. "But so far I'm a Newman-Haas-Lanigan driver, driving that McDonald's car. I'll think about next year when it's time.
"I just couldn't stand myself if I didn't give it all I had until the very end. The team deserve the very best, and we're going to do just that until the very end.
"There's one more race to go before we turn the page of my Champ Car career, and we'll just give it our very best again in Mexico City.
"You realize how much has come to you and how much you've achieved with these guys, and you get a sense that it's coming to an end very closely now."
The void he leaves in Champ Car will be all but impossible to fill.

On a personal note, I've met alot of the Champ Car drivers and have watched them at work. Being Canadian, Sebastien has never been one of my favorite drivers, in fact he has been one of those guys that you love to hate. But this year I actually had an opportunity to meet Sebastien and watch him at work. Sebastien is class through and through. He always seemed to make time for the fan, no matter how busy he was. And watching him drive, you realize how truly talented this guy really is, he really is light years ahead of the rest of the field.

So thanks for the memories Sebastien, even when I was cursing your name, I had to admire your style. You are the cream of the crop, and you presence will be missed. Good luck in F1, you certainly earned your chance to shine at the big show...
Story courtesy of, pictures courtesy of

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Birthday X 2

Today is also my faithfull side kicks birthday. Today Hobbes is 9 years old. A special birthday bone was in order!

Happy Birthday!

Today is my niece, Thandi's 10th birthday. In honour of her special day, we all met for brunch to celebrate. Here are some pictures, Enjoy. Happy birthday Thandi, hope you had a great day.

Racing News: Sebastien Bourdais wins big

SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA (October 21, 2007) - Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) solidified his legendary status as a Champ Car World Series driver by locking up his fourth consecutive Series title with an impressive victory Down Under at the Lexmark Indy 300.
The Frenchmen, who is set to depart Champ Car to pursue a career in Formula One next season, will have left his name in many places in the record book. With his 30th career victory today, the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing driver became the first driver in history to win four consecutive Champ Car World Series titles, a feat that is very rare in professional sports. In fact it has never been done in either NASCAR or NFL and it hasn't been done in the last twenty years in the NBA, NHL or MLB.
To add to his already long list of records, Bourdais also became the first repeat winner in the 17 year history of the Surfers Paradise event. Bourdais had previously won Down Under in 2005.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Racing News: Champ Car is back!

After almost a 2 month break, Champ Car is back for its final 2 races of the season.
After being unceremoniously dumped by Team Forsyth Racing, Oriol Servia is back. PKV Racing has replaced Tristan Gommendy with Oriol Servia this weekend in Australia because Gommendy has "unresolved business issues." Translation: he doesn't have the money to buy the ride.
Final qualifying for tonight's race, which can be seen on The Score (Rogers cable 53), starting at 11:30 p.m.
1. Will Power
2. Oriol Servia
3. Paul Tracy
4. Sebastien Bourdais
5. Justin Wilson
Will Power: "Great job by the team today, but I'm not getting too excited because it's a long race. I think the key to tomorrow is to get a good start. We have a really good race car which we practiced during our first session this morning. We practiced with full loads and everything, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Just have a good strategy and get it done. The last ten minutes were probably the hardest four laps I've ever done in my life. I pushed super hard because I knew we had the car to do it, just had to get the lap together. I was even on a quicker one in the last lap, but Dominguez blocked me. Qualifying is a very small part of the weekend. We've got to get the race right this time and win it."
Oriol Servia: "In the morning the car was great, even better than yesterday. The lap time came very easy. In qualifying, in my first run, I had some engine trouble. I had to change the ECU for the second run, and still was not running very well, but good enough. I had actually a good lap at the end and I just made a mistake in turn five that cost me the lap. I think Will had a tremendous lap going, and it was going to be tough to beat. We'll see. I mean, I'm very happy with the car. As I said, starting front row, it's great. It's just great to be out there and just go for the win."
Paul Tracy: "I've been here nearly every year of this race except two. Really, this is probably the biggest event of any motor racing event in terms of the show and the crowd support. And the atmosphere is probably better than any event that I've ever attended in my life. Maybe some people have seen something different than me. But, you know, they bring new race promotors and venues. They bring them to this event. This is the model that Champ Car wants to achieve. This race is just really unique to itself. I think everybody wants to have an event like this, but you just can't replicate it."
quotes courtesy of, pictures courtesy of me!

Racing News: Conspiracy Theories

Lewis Hamilton of McLaren-Mercedes will not finish the Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow, leaving teammate Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to fight it out for the world drivers' championship.
Why will he not finish? Because somebody's going to take him out – to wreck him on purpose.
This season has been one of the nastiest in the history of F1. There is an ocean of bad blood out there. Everybody hates everybody else.
Ferrari hates McLaren (more about that in a minute). McLaren hates Ferrari back. But McLaren (Ron Dennis) also hates the FIA (Max Mosley) and vice versa.
I don't know if Alonso hates teammate Hamilton but he sure doesn't like him. I can't say Hamilton hates Alonso, but I betcha Hamilton's daddy does.
Raikkonen doesn't hate anybody because he seems to be oblivious to just about everything going on around him. At least, he sure gives you that impression, doesn't he?
But Ferrari. Now, that's a prancing horse of a different colour. Throughout this whole year, from the "movable floor" protest in Australia (orchestrated by McLaren) through "Stepneygate" (passing on of Ferrari technical secrets to McLaren), Ferrari has been left holding the short end of the stick and very much feels like the aggrieved party.
They are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.
So there is no way the Scuderia is going to sit back tomorrow (TSN, 11:30 a.m.) and let a rookie driver – a McLaren rookie driver – win the world driving championship. A two-time world champion who happens to drive for McLaren might be palatable. But not a rookie.
This sort of frontier justice thing has happened before.
In 1990 at Suzuka, Ayrton Senna was leading the championship; Alain Prost was his only challenger. They had a history. Although they eventually became close friends, at that moment on that day in that year in Japan they were bitter enemies.
They were one-two on the grid and when the lights went out, they went ripping toward turn one and when they got there Senna ran Prost right off the road and into a gravel trap. Senna was stuck in there with him but it didn't matter.
Mission accomplished. End of story.
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is the only one of the top four not in the championship hunt. And Ferrari rewarded him this week for his loyalty and hard work by extending his contract through the 2010 season.
Use your imagination. And remember: You Read It Here First.


I'll tell you why all the open-wheel drivers are going to NASCAR.
It's a stealth operation being orchestrated by Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi and they're planning to take over.
As they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Then make 'em do things your way.
So Dario Franchitti, Jacques Villeneuve, A.J. Allmendinger, Patrick Carpentier, Sam Hornish, Buddy Lazier and Juan Montoya (soon to be joined by Scott Speed, Andrew Ranger and who knows how many others) are just the first wave.
There will be others.
And then, when all 43 stock car racers are all open-wheelers, do you know what they're going to do with the Car of Tomorrow?
They're going to take off the roof and the fenders (it already has a wing) and ... voilĂ !
Mission accomplished. And remember: You Read It Here First.

picture and story courtesy of

Happy Birthday!

Today is my brother Colin's birthday. If I did my math right, that would make you 44 years old. And damn, that's old! Happy birthday you old fart! Hope you have a great weekend.