Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good-bye to the King

Today our dog family lost it's patriarch, Indi. He may of been the tiniest of the bunch, but he was also the toughest. Which naturally made him the alpha dog when all the family pets got together.
(the original four, L to R, Jaxon, Zeus, Indi and Hobbes)
No matter how big the others were, he was always the boss and he let you know it and the other dogs respected him for it. Strangely enough, Hobbes was his best friend, and if he ever felt Hobbes was in trouble, he would kick your ass. Good-bye little buddy. We will all miss you very much...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Barenaked Ladies Turn the Page

It is a sad day for Canadian music, Steven Page has decided to leave the Barenaked Ladies to pursue a solo career. Here is what it says on the official BNL site.

By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies. Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart will continue recording and touring together as Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page will pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities while the band enters the studio in April 2009, and hits the road in the fall.
Page says "These guys are my brothers. We've grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future."
The band also wish Steven well in all of his endeavors. Ed Robertson says: "It's the start of a new chapter for all of us. Here's to the future!"
Everyone is looking forward to making new music and thanks their fans for their support.

Page you may recall, recently had a run in with the law last fall, when he was charged with cocaine possession in upstate New York. Its hard to say if this hurt the band's squeaky clean image, but it is certainly hard to imagine the band without Page. Many of the songs they perform depend heavily of Page's unique vocals, and the band would be hard pressed to find a replacement of his calibre. And why does he have to leave the band to pursue a solo career? Can he not do his own thing and still be in the band? Many before him have done it. No, I think you have to read between the lines to see the whole picture. My favorite band from Scarborough, The Barenaked Ladies have broken up. And that makes me sad, because being from Scarborough, the band has always held a special place in my heart.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coyote Causes Scare In The Beaches

Run for your lives! Keep your small kids close and your cats and dogs inside, cause they might just get snatched by the coyote running wild in the Beaches!! WTF?!? Check it out...

Officials with Toronto Animal Services are concerned about safety in the area after the coyote snatched a Chihuahua from a backyard in broad daylight on Saturday.
Another dog was seriously injured in a separate attack in recent weeks. People living in the area near
Neville Park Blvd. and Queen St. E. are understandably concerned, especially those with small children.
Animal Services officials said they're looking at a number of options, including asking residents to keep an eye on their garbage and watch their smaller pets. The second option is to set a humane trap however that's admittedly difficult to do with coyotes, which often sense a trap. The final option is to bring someone in to shoot it, an idea that doesn't sit well with everyone.
"I don't like the idea of getting rid of wildlife," area resident Kathleen Barret admitted. "We are as much encroaching on their territory so it's about respect. If it gets out of hand you can do something about it. Maybe we need to monitor it and see if it gets worse."
Another local resident opines: "It could be captured and set loose somewhere else."
Currently officials are searching for the coyote's den.
Another animal was spotted walking in and out of traffic near Highway 401 and the Allen Expressway.
Officials said tranquilizer darts couldn't be used on coyotes because they take 20 to 30 minutes to work. Also, if a dart misses its mark it could injure residents or pets later on.
It's believed the animals are attracted to the area because of some food source, whether it's garbage or something else. Bird feeders are apparently also a potential problem because they increase the number of rodents and birds in a given area.
Wildlife officials want to pinpoint what that food source is so that more animals don't move into the area.

The last time wildlife encroached on the beaches was last summer when cougars could be seen prowling the boardwalk and Queen street, looking for their favorite prey, young men.....
courtesy of

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the other day and I was thinking about writing a review for you. But then I found this on the Internet, which basically sums up everything that I thought about this movie in a minute and a half. Check it out...
The Curious Case of Forrest Gump - Watch more free videos
Like the man said, a watered down version of Forrest Gump. I say wait for the DVD, and don't hold your breath if you're hoping this wins best picture tonight at the Academy Awards, because it won't.
video courtesy of

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pilar Goes To Vancouver

Here are some shots from my wife's trip to Vancouver covering the figure skating for work. Enjoy...
At the airport, ready to go.Flight into Vancouver over the water.Check out the logging going on to the right of the picture.The ride to the hotel. Check out the mountains everywhere. The view near the rink.Downtown Vancouver.Edit suite at the rink.Pilar's edit suite.Rink shots...Hard at work in the broadcast truck.
Thanks to my wife for the awesome shots.

Calm Before The Storm

While the day started off bright and sunny, the weatherman is calling for a major snowstorm to hit the GTA sometime around 3pm.
...That's when snow starts to set in from a low pressure system heading here from the U.S. Plains.
And while we may see a few breaks in the storm, it won't really end until it tapers to flurries on Sunday afternoon.
In those 24 hours, the system will dump anywhere from five to 10 centimetres on the city.

Get out those snow shovels, cause here we go again!
info. courtesy of, picture courtesy of my iPhone!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scam! or I Fought The Law And I Won (Well, Sort Of...)

I want to start off by saying fight every traffic ticket you get.
Because the court system is a scam!
So today I finally went to court for my illegal U-turn ticket I got back in March of last year.
Court time was scheduled for 1:30pm. But about 10 minutes before that, the crown prosecutor calls everyone into the courtroom. And then one by one, he proceeds to ask everyone who has a court date today to step forward. He finds out what the traffic offence is that you have been charged with and then asks, "What would you like to do?" And before you can answer, he continues, "Would you like to plead guilty to a lesser charge?" And then based on what you are charged with he works out a deal with you.
Today there were only two types off traffic offences before the court, a speed trap that had been set up at Kingston road and Beechgrove avenue one night, and my lonely U-turn offence.
The fastest was a young girl caught doing 98 in a 60. The next fastest was a soccer mom doing 89 in a 60. (mmm, do you see a pattern emerging?) And the rest were all people caught at that same speed trap doing slightly more than 15 over. All who were close to that magic 16 over and two demerit had their charges dropped to 15 over, which is no points, just a reduced fine. The young lady doing 98 was dropped to 89 which was 3 demerits plus fine (instead of four). And the soccer mom got dropped to 79 in a 60 which which is two demerits points plus fine.
And then there was me. I got my charges dropped from an illegal U-turn (2 points plus $120 fine) to illegal lane change, no points, just the $60 fine.
After everything was agreed upon with the crown, the judge came in. The crown then called each person up before the judge, revealed what they were charged with and what was agreed upon during the plea bargain.
I noticed a few times someone would be called and then the prosecutor would call out for a witness. Now this is where it gets fishy. I believe that that witness being called was supposed to be the police to dispute the charge. But each time this happened the witness did not come forward and the case was dismissed without any charges at all.
Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with the outcome of my case. But it leaves me wondering what would of happened if I choose to fight the ticket instead of pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Whatever the case, traffic court quite frankly is a scam. I say the next time you get a ticket, take the time to fight it. It really will be worth your time and effort. It is almost guaranteed you can plead to a lesser charge which will save you money and demerit points.
And if you choose to roll the dice and go all the way and fight it, from what I saw today, there is a good chance you will walk away free and clear with no charges or fines.
Bing, bang, bong, I was out the door and in the line to pay my fine in less than an hour.
Paying the fine was another story, (maybe another day)
In the end my day in court took a little less than 3 hours. As far I am concerned, it was 3 hours well spent!

Goodbye Commisioners Road

After 33 years of living in the same house on Commisioners road in London, Ontario, my in-laws are packing up and moving. Not just to the other side of town mind you, no, they are moving 200 plus miles east to a small town just north of Toronto. The countdown has begun, and because of this my wife wanted to make the trip up to her childhood house one last time to say goodbye.As a kid growing up, my family moved around a bit from house to house, so I can't imagine what 33 years in one place is like. So instead, I thought I would show you instead. This is 33 years. Each room full of boxes... Surprisingly my wife`s brother was in town as well. Which meant time for one last family photo in front of the old homestead.OK, make that two!One last look at the backyard... ... and then a toast to 33 years of wonderful memories on Commisioners road.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


In case you missed it earlier in the week, the now infamous Letterman interview with Joaquin Phoenix. Pull up a chair, take a minute (or ten) to enjoy this clip. You won't be disappointed, I promise. This is Letterman at his finest.

Happy (belated) Valentines

courtesy of

The Obama Effect

Check it out, my brother being interviewed on about the Obama effect.

Obama offers African-Canadians hope of 'fuller citizenship'
Updated Sat. Feb. 14 2009 9:01 AM ET
Parminder Parmar, News
Until the day he left South Africa for Canada as a teenager in the mid-1970s, Barry Thomas' birth certificate told the world not only his name, but also assigned him his official designation. He was "Cape Coloured," it said plainly, chaining him to a lower rung of Apartheid's racial hierarchy.
"I grew up going to coloured washrooms, going to the coloured side of the post office, the police stations, and the coloured side of the hospital," he told from Toronto, where he is now a manager at Toronto Community Housing.
As someone who had been judged and categorized by the colour of his skin since the day he was born, he fought against his country's racist system. Even as a high school student, he struggled alongside freedom fighter Stephen Biko before heading to Canada.
"Since I've been in Canada, I've seen incredible things (like) the end of Berlin Wall. I've seen end of Soviet Union. I've seen (Nelson) Mandela freed from jail. And now I can crown it off with seeing Barack Obama as president of the United States," he says.
Thomas sees Obama's rise as another monumental step in the fight against racism, not just in the United States, but in Canada and around the world.
"I see Mandela. I see Mandela," he says about Obama.
"They are completely comfortable in their own skin. They know what they have to do."
Thomas isn't the only African Canadian who has forged "a special connection" with the new American president. In fact, about 200 people showed up to a forum Thomas and his colleagues at Toronto Community Housing organized in early February to discuss what an Obama presidency means for Canada and African Canadians.
Thomas, who is married to an Indo-Canadian and has two children growing up in a multicultural world that is vastly different than the one he knew as a child, says Obama's presidency is the key to teaching his children about their history and their future.
"We have an entire young generation who have grown up without apartheid. The complication is about how to teach them our history without giving them the same pain. You must teach them history and context," he says, noting that Obama is showing children of all races that their potentials are based on merit, not skin colour.
"I am hoping that Obama gives (our children) an opportunity to see that you just need to be good. You don't have to be twice as good (as whites). You just have to have a consciousness of who you are."
Good job, I duly am impressed!
Story and pictures courtesy of

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love - Koala Style

In the midst of such a terrible disaster in Australia, where many human lives have been lost, a story like this brings a little happiness during a time of such sadness. And lets face it, I am a sucker for a happy ending, especially when it comes to animals. Check it out...CANBERRA–A love story between two badly burned koalas rescued from Australia's deadliest bushfires has provided some heart-warming relief after days of devastation and the loss of more than 180 lives.
The story of Sam and her new boyfriend Bob emerged after volunteer firefighter Dave Tree used a cellphone to film the rescue of the bewildered female found in a burned-out forest at Mirboo North, 150 kilometres southeast of Melbourne.
Photos and a video of Tree, 44, approaching Sam while talking gently to her, and feeding her water from a plastic bottle as she put her burned claw in his cold, wet hand quickly hit website YouTube.
But it was after reaching the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter that Sam met and befriended Bob.
The shelter's Colleen Wood said both koalas were doing well, while other animals like possums, kangaroos and wallabies were also starting to emerge from the debris.
She said Sam had suffered second-degree burns to her paws and would take seven to eight months to recover while Bob had three burned paws with third-degree burns and should be well enough to return to the bush in about four months.
"They keep putting their arms around each other and giving each other hugs," said Wood.
"They really have made friends and it is quite beautiful to see after all this. It's been horrific."
Tree, a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority Victoria, said the pair have "really taken a shine to each other," adding that after the devastating fires "it gives people a bit of hope."
The fires have burned 1,033 homes and left 5,000 people homeless. Authorities say the death toll is expected to rise beyond 200 as more bodies are discovered in the charred remains of houses.

Millions Of Animals Perish In OZ Wildfires

SYDNEY -- Kangaroo corpses lay scattered by the roadsides while wombats that survived the wildfire's onslaught emerged from underground burrows to find blackened earth and nothing to eat.
Wildlife rescue officials yesterday worked frantically to help the animals that made it through Australia's worst-ever wildfires but they said millions of animals likely perished in the inferno.
Scores of kangaroos have been found around roads, overwhelmed by flames and smoke while attempting to flee, said Jon Rowdon, president of the rescue group Wildlife Victoria.
Kangaroos that survived are suffering from burned feet, a result of their territorial behaviour. After escaping the initial flames, the creatures likely circled back to their homes, singeing their feet on the smouldering ground.
"It's just horrific," said Neil Morgan, president of the Statewide Wildlife Rescue Emergency Service in Victoria, the state where the raging fires were still burning. "It's disaster all around for humans and animals as well."
Some wombats that hid in burrows managed to survive, but those that are not rescued face a slow and certain death as they emerge to find food supplies gone, said Pat O'Brien, president of the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia.
The official human death toll stood at 181 and authorities said it would exceed 200.
While the scope of the wildlife devastation was still unclear, it was likely to be enormous, Rowdon said.
"There's no doubt across that scale of landscape and given the intensity of the fires, millions of animals would have been killed," he said.
Hundreds of burned, stressed and dehydrated animals -- including kangaroos, koalas, lizards and birds -- have arrived at shelters. Rescuers have doled out antibiotics, pain relievers and fluids , but some of the severely injured were euthanized.
"We've got a wallaby joey at the moment that has crispy fried ears because he stuck his head out of his mum's pouch and lost all his whiskers and cooked up his nose," Rowdon said. "They're the ones your hearts really go out to."
One furry survivor has emerged a star: a koala, nicknamed Sam by rescuers, was found moving gingerly on scorched paws on Sunday.
Firefighter David Tree offered the animal a bottle of water, which she eagerly accepted, holding Tree's hand as he poured water in her mouth -- a moment captured in a photo seen around the world.
Sam is being treated at the Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson, 170 km east of Melbourne, where she has attracted the attention of a male koala, nicknamed "Bob," manager Coleen Wood said. The two marsupials have been inseparable ever since, she said.
Meanwhile, shelter workers were scrambling to salve the wounds of possums, kangaroos, lizards -- "everything and anything," Wood said.
"We had a turtle come through that was just about melted -- still alive."

A friend sent me some more amazing shots from down under of animals desperately reaching out for water from anywhere they can find it.
Unbelievable. Thanks to Jim, for sending me these incredible shots.
story courtesy of, pictures courtesy of Jim "Purple" Hayes