Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Brush With The Beach Coyote

About a month or so ago, I came home from work about 2:30 am in the morning after working the late shift. As I got out of my car and was standing there in the street locking it, I noticed an animal walking towards me on the opposite sidewalk. I stood there and watched as a coyote walked towards me and then past me, never giving me a second look as I shook my head in amazement.
This morning, like most mornings, I took my dogs for a walk along the beach, down at the bottom of the R C Harris Filtration plant or the Waterworks as it is also known as.
We were playing at the bottom of the hill, when I looked up and spotted him. It was the coyote, casually walking past us, along the top of the top of the hill. At first I thought it was someones dog running ahead of its owner, it was that big, but then I realized it wasn't. It was the infamous beach coyote, walking by us like we were part of the scenery.
The area I was in was fairly busy, even at 7:30 in the morning, with people walking their dogs and construction workers on the roof, working on the filtration plant. Even with all this action going on, it didn't seem to bother the coyote one bit, it just kept on walking like it was supposed to be there.
As quickly as he appeared, he disappeared, along the greenbelt that runs parallel to Kingston road and turns into the Bluffs on the east side of the Waterworks.
Not five minutes earlier another guy and his dog, much smaller than mine, had been walking along the same path the coyote walked along, and if they had met, I guarantee you the coyote would of made quick work of that dog.
Now not only do we have to worry about the leash police, but now we also have to keep our eyes peeled for Wile E Coyote looking to make the next little dog he sees dinner.
How's that for life in the big city?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Funny People

I saw the movie "Funny People" the other day and was pleasantly surprised. It's all about a famous comedian on top of his game, who finds out he has a serious illness, and is forced to reevaluate his life.
Its no surprise that Adam Sandler plays the famous comedian, and for once it is territory that he is familiar with, and because of this, he finally manages to show his serious side in this "dramatic comedy". I mean how hard is it to play yourself?
Seth Rogan also shows he is capable of playing more than just the fun loving pot smoking high guy, as Sandler's assistant and as it turns out, only real friend in the movie.
I'm glad I didn't see this in the theatre, but for a rental it wasn't bad. A bit long, but worth the effort if you make it to the end.
I enjoyed this one and give it a 7 out of 10.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fingers Crossed

If we can make it to Tuesday without any sign of snow, this will be the first November since 1937 that it has not snowed in Toronto. A snow free November is fine with me! Come on December!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Police Taser Bambi

Just another day in the big city...
"An unusual visitor made an appearance downtown Tuesday morning.
After apparently wandering around near Front Street and then around Queen and Bay, a 200 lb.deer made its way up to the University and Dundas area and laid down on a small patch of grass across from the bus terminal, around 7:30am.
The doe, about two or three-years-old, appeared relatively calm as rush hour traffic whizzed along Edward and a growing crowd of onlookers climbed up on cement planters to catch a better glimpse and snap some pictures.
Police think the doe may have made its way into the downtown core from the Rouge Valley.
Officers taped off an area around the animal in an effort to keep it calm and Chestnut Street between Edward and Dundas was closed.
Authorities called officials from the Toronto Zoo in for help, as well as staff from other agencies, including the Humane Society and the Toronto Wildlife Centre.
The deer was tranquilized, but officials also had to Taser it. Wildlife experts and police wrapped the animal in netting in order to move it to the Toronto Zoo. After being checked over, it should be released back into the wild."
picture and story courtesy of

Monday, November 23, 2009

Banning The Border Collie

There is talk of creating an anything but border collie Championship in dog agility competitions because quite frankly, they are too good and win all the contests.
Check it out:

"Last weekend I watched the online broadcast of the United States Dog Agility Association’s Cynosport World Games. As usual, the finals for the top jump heights (above 20”) were dominated by Border Collies.
I have to admit, I love watching the powerful black and white blurs fly through an agility course, but it is refreshing to see a variety of breeds compete, which doesn’t happen very often at the top levels of competition.
Following the games, there’s been a lot of talk about wanting the USDAA to create an Anything but Border Collie (ABC) championship, a class that already exists in the United Kingdom."

You can read the full article here: "Anything But A Border Collie", courtesy of The Bark

As I owner of two border collies, I find this article kind of funny. I know how smart this breed is and combined with their incredible speed, I'm not surprised that these guys are kings when it comes to agility competitions.
Or maybe I'm just biased.
picture courtesy of The Bark


Another reason to hate Mondays...

courtesy of Amy Oops

Are You Ready?

What a weekend!
It felt more like spring out there, then fall. I woke up yesterday and turned the TV on and it happened to be on a Buffalo station, which was in the middle of the weather forecast and I'm afraid it was not good news.
By the end of the week, snow is expected and because of our close proximity to Buffalo we can expect some of that winter weather as well.
I did some checking and on this day in 2000, Toronto had snow on the ground and it was -10 degrees Celsius. The average temperature for this day is -4 degrees Celsius.
Today, like the last two, calls for clear and sunny sky's, with a high of 10 degrees Celsius.
If you haven't already taken care of all your outside needs around the home, better get at it, this beautiful weather isn't going to last long.
This is November in Canada after all...

Friday, November 20, 2009

You Better Watch Out...

Just in case you don't already know, Christmas season has arrived at a mall near you. This is the Eaton Centre earlier this afternoon; it's literally like Christmas has thrown up inside. Only 6 more weeks of this madness to go...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kimi Räikkönen Leaves Formula One

"After failing to find a car for 2010, Ferrari’s world champion has announced that he is to leave F1 for rallying.
Räikkönen was forced to leave Ferrari at the end of the season to
make way for Fernando Alonso. There were talks with Toyota, hampered by Räikkönen’s high price and ultimately by Toyota’s exit from Formula One, then there were talks with his former team McLaren, which fell through. One has to wonder whether Räikkönen’s exorbitant salary demands—rumored to be close to $50 million, very much not in synch with his performance over the last two seasons—were a deliberate move on his part to ease his exit from the sport.
Going where many Finn have gone before, Räikkönen is set to continue his career in rallying. He has, in fact, already debuted in the World Rally Championship: Räikkönen drove a Super 2000 class Fiat Grande Punto Abarth for Tommi Mäkinen Racing at
this year’s Rally Finland in August.
He leaves the sport after nine seasons, with occasional displays of devastating speed and a lucky world championship in 2007, when he exploited the rivalry between McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton and the hubris of the latter to beat both at the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix, claiming the title which had eluded him at McLaren."

For your viewing pleasure, here is a classic Kimi clip. When he was good, he was really good, and when he didn't feel like up to the demands of F1, he ate ice cream!
You presence will be missed in F1, not for when you were good, but more for when you were bad like this!
Story courtesy of

The Decade in Seven Minutes

NEWSWEEK rewinds the first 10 years of the new century, reminding you of the best, worst, and unforgettable moments -- pretty cool, (In an American sort of way). Check it out.

courtesy of

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wedding Bells

My brother, (the one from South Africa) got married last week. Here are some pictures from their special day. Congratulations!Thanks to my bro for sending the pictures....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remembrance Day Ceremony

I went to the Remembrance Day service at Kew Gardens in the beach yesterday. This was the first Remembrance Day ceremony I have been to since I graduated from high school over 20 years ago -- way too long.
Here are some shots from the ceremony.
The parade coming along Queen street east.
The number of veterans from World War Two gets smaller each year.Some current soldiers and cadets dressed in WW2 kits.The ceremony at Kew Gardens.At 11:11am there was two minutes of silence. Traffic on the street came to a stop and some people actually turned off their cars and stood beside them in a show of respect. No one honked their horns, and no one made a big deal. It was a pretty cool moment. And then this bugler stepped forward and began to play "Taps" and that moment got even cooler. Hair standing up on the back of your neck, kind of moment.I'm glad I went, it was the least I could do for those that paid and those that continue to pay the ultimate sacrifice for freedoms that we enjoy in this great country of ours. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Say What Now?!

Am I the only person that thinks we're missing the real picture here?
Andre Agassi took Meth. Whoop-de-doo!
The real story here is that this was a WIG!
Thank you 60 minutes for that informative interview.

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Forty

Today television's most famous address, Sesame Street, turns 40 years old!

And to it's credit, Sesame Street - a program that has taught generations of children to count, countless parents how to teach and is seen in 125 countries around the world - Tuesday’s anniversary show will be just like all the others.
The letter of the day will be - H, as in help and hug and healthy.
The only real difference will be that on this day, viewers have to count to 40!
"Sesame Street is an American educational children's television series and a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. Sesame Street is well known for its Muppets characters created by Jim Henson. It premiered on November 10, 1969, and is the longest running children's program on US television. The show is produced in the United States by the non-profit organization Sesame Workshop, formerly known as the Children's Television Workshop (CTW)."

Check out this cool complete list of Sesame Street characters put out by the National Post, click here.

Google has been celebrating all week long by honouring Sesame Street on their search page. Check it out...

Here's to forty more!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Indycar Joins The Amazing Race

Ever wondered what a race car drivers does when they are not busy racing cars?
Check it out...

The sixteenth season of CBSs’ Emmy award winning Reality show The Amazing Race will feature up and coming stars of the IndyCar Series Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti.
The Amazing Race features pairs of contestants as they travel racing around the world making several stops in various countries along the way. While in each country teams compete in various challenges that test their dexterity, courage and common sense. The show is hosted by New Zealander Phil Keoghan.
Graham was asked what interested him in appearing in the show and competing in the race. “Whenever we have sponsor meetings at McDonald’s I am amazed at how many places in the world Have McDonald’s restaurants. My dad said he knew someone at CBS and thought he could pull a string or two.”
Andretti added “It always seems that the Race has at least one or two smokin’ hot all girl teams”.
When asked how they expected to work together as teammates during the show Rahal said “I fully expect that we will tackle tasks according to our talents and abilities. I look forward to doing much of the driving and taking on the intellectual, decision making responsibilities during the show” To which Andretti replied “Driving, yeah maybe if it rains” Rahal commenting back “We might let Marco drive if we get word that another team might spin out”
When asked if they looked forward to some of the more challenging tasks that the series is know for, such as Bungee jumping off the walkway between the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, eating deep fried beetle larvae in China or carrying 200 lbs of Swiss cheese up the Matterhorn, Rahal answered “I’m not eating any worms – I’m sure I will be able to find a McDonald’s wherever we wind up”
Andretti responded “Dude, I’m an Andretti, You’re eating the worms” To which Rahal retorted “Ok then you can drive after you finish the worms” Which prompted Andretti to comment “Well I guess some of us just better understand what it means to be a teammate and some don’t. I need to talk to my agent”.
Phil Keoghan, the host of the show was quoted as saying “It’s really too bad that the plan to feature fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon and his wife Emma fell through. I understand that with a child involved it makes it difficult to be away from home for an extended period.”
After the press conference was over, Rahal and Andretti were overheard in a conversation. Rahal started "Maybe your dad could pull some some strings and get Hildebrand to show up for that worm eating episode?" To which Andretti replied "Yeah, but we can't let him drive, people will figure stuff out."
The Amazing Race #16 will start filming in November and will be broadcast beginning in February 2010.
You can bet I will be watching!
courtesy of JP's Indycar Blog

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Demise Of Formula One?

The last race of the 2009 F1 season was run in Abu Dhabi last weekend and for once, it was actually an exciting season. But sadly, all the talk around the water coolers this week has been about the possible demise of F1 and not about what a stunning year it was. Check out this interesting article from Norris McDonald of the Toronto Star...

"The 2009 Formula One season ended in Abu Dhabi last Sunday and, for Grand Prix racing fans, it might have been the day the music died.
BMW, of course, had announced mid-year it would be gone as of season's end. So there were goodbyes all round on Sunday.
Then, the bottom dropped out:
On Tuesday,
Bridgestone announced it would no longer supply tires to F1 as of 2011.
Toyota – as expected - pulled the plug on its involvement.
Thursday, the board of the
Renault car company met in Paris to discuss its future in the sport and, somewhat ominously, said afterward that it would announce "by the end of the year" what it intended to do for 2010.
A constant all week: Adrien Campos, who was awarded one of four new places on the grid for next season (along with Lotus, USF1 and Manor Grand Prix), was flying all over Europe trying to sell his team.
So what's going on?
1. It's the economy, stupid. (Sorry, that's just an expression.)
2. Ongoing concern about the FIA leadership (Max Mosley and that crowd, including the new guy, Jean Todt).
3. Bernie Ecclestone's greed (or that of his partners, CVC Capital Partners and JP Morgan).
4. The whims of the manufacturers.
Let's take a quick look at each.
1. Except for Ferrari (Marlboro cigarettes and Spanish banking giant Santander) and McLaren (Vodafone, Johnnie Walker, plus the personal wealth of Mansour Ojjeh and Ron Dennis), there is not a lot of serious money in F1 going forward.
For instance, Brawn GP – which won both the constructor's championship and the driver's title this season – does not have a title sponsor for 2010 (Virgin has gone elsewhere) and its Honda subsidy ended when the checkered flag flew at Abu Dhabi.
Renault has lost ING and, if it stays to race in 2010, might have problems attracting a title sponsor because of its involvement in race-fixing.
Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Force India are all financed out of the hip pockets of their owners, Dietrich Mateschitz and Vijay Mallya. If their personal portfolios take a hit, guess what?
Given all of the above, how will any of the four new teams get enough money to race in F1?
2. Who really – really – wants to get into bed with that bunch at the FIA who are running F1 these days? Having Max Mosley continue at the helm after his porn hobby became public was nothing but an embarrassment for everybody. Jean Todt, his successor, is being welcomed in the paddock with open arms simply because everybody knows it's going to be business as usual.
3. We all know the fable The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs, don't we? Well, Bernie Ecclestone is killing the goose.
He's been doing it for years, of course. "Mo' money, mo' money" is Bernie's motto and he's running out of the Bahrains and Abu Dhabis willing to pay the outrageous fees demanded for the privilege of putting on an F1 race.
Canada is a case in point. One of the most successful Grands Prix on the calendar – huge crowds, huge TV audiences (in 2005, the Canadian race was the most watched F1 race in the world and the third most-watched sporting event on the planet, behind only the Super Bowl and the Champions League final) – it was taken away last year because various levels of government were unwilling to spend enough public money to save it.
You will note that there has still not been an official announcement of a race in Montreal in 2010. Guess what's holding it up?
4. Ferrari has been saying this week that the manufacturers are not dropping out because of the economy but to get back at the FIA (see 2, above). Bernie said years ago that F1 was much better off when the teams were independent and not beholden to the manufacturers "because when they don't sell as many cars, or something, they'll just pack it in."
Well, either way, look what's happened.
I don't want to be too much of a pessimist, but 2010 is shaping up to be a disaster."

Strange times indeed!
picture courtesy of the Toronto Star

Friday, November 6, 2009

Do You Know Who You're Talking To?

Yesterday one of the "regulars" called Hobbes a "pussy" because he was wearing his winter jacket. I didn't hear it, but when she saw me come around the corner she apologised to me for saying it. I laughed it off, but later in the day I realized that it was really bugging me.
And I'm not sure why it did, but I think it might have to do with the fact that my eukanuba-superdog is getting old. He is not as fast as he once was, he still loves to run and play ball, but I have to be careful not to over exert him too much because he ends up paying for it later that night. He's eye sight gives him trouble at night, making it hard for him to judge distances, such as stairs. He is a lot slower at home these days too, and very creakity when he gets up from his naps. It takes him a second or two to shake the rust off. He walks with a bit of a limp, but tries to hide it, because that's the kind of dog he is. He doesn't like to show his pain, but you have to be aware of it.
So yeah, my man Hobbes is getting older, in dog years he is 70, but just because he is getting older doesn't mean that he can't still hold his own. Calvin still knows who the real boss is in the house, and it isn't him.
Hobbes and I have been going to that park for 11 years now, and there is a reason no one messes with him. Hobbes isn't anti-social, he just doesn't like the company of other dogs. He is very tolerant and humble, but he isn't a push over either. If a dog becomes too rough, Hobbes will let that dog know in no uncertain terms to back the fuck off, and he only has to do it once.
In the 11 years I have owned him, I have only seen him angry twice, once was at Rottweiler that deserved it and the other was an asshole landlord who also deserved what he had coming.
And I know for a fact that Hobbes is far tougher than that girl's dog who called Hobbes a pussy. I'm pretty sure at 70, Hobbes could still kick that dogs ass, while not even breaking a sweat in his winter coat.

Can You Smell That?

Let me see if I got this right.
When my garbage collection was covered under my regular city tax bill, it was picked up every two weeks without fail. Whatever you had, throw it to the curb and it would get picked up, no questions asked. And in the spring and fall months, a truck would come by every week to pick-up yard waste for a set period of time.
Now the city being the city, decided that some how they could fuck this up royally and charge the tax payer for it as well.
In an attempt to make things more efficient, the city approved garbage bins, which they gave out to each resident and told them, "From now on, these are the only containers that you can use to throw out your trash with. Don't worry, they come in various sizes, we will have one to meet your specific needs. Anything from a medium size or less and we won't even charge you extra for it. Anything larger than a medium and that will be an extra charge on your tax bill each year".
We were told to choose wisely because anything that does not fit in the bins would not be picked up. What you do with that stuff is up to you.
I didn't matter that the system that was already in place seemed to work fine, this new way of doing things was going to save the city money and time. Instead of two men in a truck, trucks could be converted so that one man could do the job without leaving the comfort of his cab.
Do city councillors not live in Toronto? Are they smoking some really good shit? WTF?!
Because we live in a city were people park there cars on the street, the driver still has to get out of his truck to position the bin up to the lift, taking longer then it did before because there is only one person doing the job that used to require two....
Never the less, I make sure to get the extra large bins for both my recycling and garbage needs.
Then the city goes on strike, over garbage.
A strike that drags on for 6 weeks and sees the taxpayer (ME!) hauling their own garbage to the dump themselves. (I'm not even going to mention the bullshit --read strikers--we had to deal with just to dump our trash. I'll save that for another day).
When the garbage men finally go back to work, it was a push to get the garbage off the streets, and rightfully so. But our yard waste, which had been sitting there for 6 weeks, would have to wait another month before they could get to it. And so I waited, and then I waited some more.
After 14 weeks, that's three and a half months with the same stinking yard waste, I just wrapped it up in regular garbage bags and put it into my extra-large city issued garbage bin and sent it along its merry way.
Now here we are today.
No refund or tax rebate for 6 weeks of services not rendered.
A mayor that claims if we don't raise the new garbage tax rate by 2% this year like he says, it will have to be raised over 4% next year when he is gone.
What the hell is wrong with these people?
If I'm going to have to pay more for a service that used to be a lot better when it was included in my regular tax bill and then be told to expect less. REALLY?? Give me a break!
I've done my part, and the city continues to drop the ball when it comes to providing the services we expect from them.
From now on, anything that won't fit in my blue bin will go into the garbage bin and any yard waste that isn't picked up when it is supposed to, will end up in my garbage bin as well.
I'm tired of dealing with your crap, now you can start dealing with mine.