Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Dogs Life

Being a dog can be such hard work...

Christmas Dinner

Forget turkey, we're having Mikey for dinner, as in Mickey Mouse.

Walking The Dogs

It was like a switch had been turned on; one day it was nice and mild and the next day it was winter in Toronto. Welcome to life in Canada. The only ones that didn't seem to mind were the dogs.

Wave Walker

I took these shots on Christmas eve morning while out walking the dogs, of a guy enjoying the unseasonably warm weather down at the beach.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

The best of all gifts around the Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

To all my loyal readers out there, I wish you nothing but joy and happiness this holiday season. Thanks for your continued support, I look forward to sharing more of my adventures in the new year.
All the best in 2012,
The Adventures of MadMal and Hobbes (and Calvin too!!).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hello From Germany

My sister-in-law posted some shots of my nephews on Facebook. I thought I would post a couple of them here as well.
Man, are they growing up fast!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Island Airport

Even though I grew up in this city, I have never been over to the island airport, or as it is more formally known, Billy Bishop Airport. So today when my wife returned home from a business trip on Porter Air, which happens to fly out of the island airport, I took the opportunity to take the short ferry ride over and meet her at the gate. I'm note quite sure what I was expecting, but the place is your typical modern airport right in the heart of downtown Toronto. I was impressed and the wife was also impressed with Porter Air and it's service.

I want to fly out of there the next time I go somewhere.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane

I dropped the wife off at Billy Bishop Airport this morning. Not only was she was flying out of the island airport for the first time on business, but she was also flying Porter Air for the first time as well, totally jealous.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Go Fly A Kite

Yesterday was a typical December day in Canada, cold, wet, windy and all around miserable. The perfect day to curl up on the couch and stay indoors.
Or was it?
Check out these crazy guys I saw Kite-surfing down at the lake yesterday.

Now that's what I call hardcore.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lazy Sunday

I See You

Thanks to the laser eye surgery I had last week at LASAIK MD, I feel like I have been looking at the world through a new set of eyes. It almost feels like I have x-ray vision at times.
I don't think that its the freedom that comes from not having to wear glasses anymore, but rather its the fact that I can now see out of all parts of my eye clearly instead of just the square frame my glasses used to provide.
My peripheral vision is 100 %. Every direction I look in, is clear. It is, for lack of a better word, amazing.
I am so glad that I had this procedure done because it has allowed me to see the world in a different light for the first time in years. I find I am "seeing" the beauty in everyday things a lot more these days and I even find myself stopping and taking pictures of things that I normally would not have before.
It has inspired me to be more aware of my surroundings and to appreciate the simple beauty in everyday life.
I am going to try to take a picture everyday and post it here.
We'll see how it goes....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The View From Below

A lot of people think that the Gardiner Expressway is an eyesore and that it should be torn down.
I disagree, in fact, I kind of like it.
Not only is it one of the best ways for a person visiting Toronto for the first time to see the city, especially at night when it is all lit up, but even for underneath it, I find it has a certain beauty to it.
What do you think?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Can You Hear it?

I don't hear voices in my head...
...I hear dogs.
**For those of you wondering, this picture was taken before my laser eye surgery**


A Note to Cyclists

The biggest obstacle a cyclists faces out on the road is themselves.
We live in Canada where almost half of the year there is snow and ice on the ground, so it makes sense that there will always be more cars on the road at any given time then cyclists.
And as far as I'm concerned, bike lanes on major roads in Toronto are not the answer.
What is then?
Common sense.
Cyclists and cars have to learn to share the road and it all starts with the cyclist. They have to obey the rules of the road. That means not blowing through stop signs, riding the wrong way on one way streets, weaving through traffic, ignoring cars making left hand turns or any other such stupidity that happens countless times each day. Do that and I guarantee you, people in cars will be much more receptive to sharing the road with you.
I know drivers aren't much better, but here's the thing, they are driving cars which have four wheels, is made of steel, and weighs almost a ton. When it collides with a cyclist guess who wins? The car. EVERY TIME.
The problem as I see it, is how we interact together on the road.
Cyclists have to be extra careful out on the roads, that unfortunately is just the reality of the situation. Just by sheer volume alone, the odds are already stacked against you when you cycle on city streets. By disobeying the rules of the road, you put yourself at a higher risk of being injured while out there.
If you are out on the road, take the lane, you have every right to be there, but its up to you, the cyclist, to be wary of the hazards that surround you. If you act like a car, by making yourself visible, making eye contact with other drivers on the road, and following the rules of the road, you stand a better chance of making it to your destination in one piece.
I'm not saying there shouldn't be bike lanes out there, just not on major roadways in this city. There are better alternatives, such as lanes on side roads with lighter traffic or in green spaces (like hydro field corridors or like they have through the Don Valley).
And I'm not saying there aren't drivers out there that are complete idiots, because there are tons of those as well.
What I am saying is this, its up to you as a cyclist to set the tone out there.
Show a little respect, and most drivers will return the favour in kind. Ride like and idiot and drivers will react like idiots and its usually the cyclist who will suffer the consequences. In the end, it won't matter who was right or wrong, the results will always be the same, the car will win.
So as a driver who also happens to be an avid cyclist, I simply ask you to please, take your time out there, obey the rules of the road, and it will go a long way to ensuring you arrive at your destination safely.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bring Out The Laser!

It only took 10 minutes to change my life forever.
That's how long the procedure at LASIK MD took to correct my vision permanently with a laser so that I would never have to wear eye glasses ever again.
For those of you who don't wear glasses, this may not seem like such a big deal, but for those of you who do, believe me when I say this, this procedure will change your life!
After years of thinking about it and another couple of years of researching it, I finally decided that laser eye surgery had gotten to the point where it was worth the risk. I decided to take the plunge and got it done this past Friday.
The actual procedure lasted no more then 10 minutes and it was no more difficult than going to the dentist to have a cavity filled. The hardest part for me was having my eye taped open and the suction cup inserted so that the laser could do its work. There was never any pain, I never felt a thing, it was more the discomfort of having your eye forced open for the laser. The actual laser part lasted less then 2 minutes per eye and when I got up off the table I could see pretty good already, it was just very foggy.
Right after that they give you these Terminator type of wrap around sunglasses that you have to wear for the next two days 24/7, to prevent you from rubbing your eyes in your sleep or from wind and dust while outside. Try walking around at night with dark sunglasses on, see how many people look at you funny.
And the only other problem that I had was about 2 hours after the procedure, when I was home in the comfort of my own bed, the anesthetic wore off and my eyes began to burn. The pain was equivalent to the burning sensation you get when you cut onions, not too bad but very uncomfortable. That lasted for about 2 hours or so until I was able to fall asleep and when I woke up the burning was gone.
For the first 24 hours you cant watch TV or work on the computer or read or really do much of anything. So you try to sleep and follow the crazy eye drop routine that they give you, which requires you to take a series of eye drops numerous times a day for the next 7 days in order to help your eyes heal. I thought I would have a tough time with this, but I actually was able to nap and hang out on the couch with the wife and the day went by pretty quick.
The next day you have to go back to the clinic for your 24 hour check up and after that you are pretty much ready to resume your normal life again. You can drive, watch TV, go back to work and work on the computer again.
After 3 days you can start light exercising (treadmill, StairMaster, stationary bike), and outdoor activities (jogging, roller blading and light cycling).
After 7 days you can pretty much do whatever you like, just with eye protection.
After 1 month swimming, water slides, scuba diving and sports like basketball, soccer and baseball can lose the eye protection.
After 3 months add water skiing, wind surfing kayaking and surfing to the list of things you can do without eye protection.
I'm not sure about a lot of that stuff, but for me its the freedom to wake up in the morning and not have to reach over to the night stand to put on my glasses so I can see what time it is for the first time since I was maybe 10 years old. The freedom to not have to wear glasses for everything I do. And to finally be able to buy a pair of really cool sunglasses for the first time in my life.
I can't believe I waited this long.
10 minutes, that's it. That's all the time you will need to change your life forever. Check it out for yourself, I guarantee you won't regret it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Remembrance

After travelling to the shores of Dieppe to pay my respect,and walking on the sand at Juno Beach in Normandy,I am even more humbled by the sacrifices of those brave men and women so many years ago.
And to those who came after and those who continue to serve today, protecting our freedom, I say thank you.
Lest we forget.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Falling Leaves, Falling Leaves

Fall, a time of change.
The days grow shorter and the nights become longer.
The weather begins to get colder and the the leaves begin to change into brilliant colours and then die and all fall directly onto my property.
Round one, 12 bags.
Round two, another 12 bags.
Four hours spent raking and bagging, only to wake up the the next morning to this.
Like I never even raked.
This is the only time of year that I wish for an early snow.