Category Archives: Uncategorized

19 Aug

Observations Around Town

1. Would this be a one-car or two-car “garae”?

2. The beggar greeting motorists as they exited the 406 at Glendale seeking to relieve them of some of their money had a better bike than mine. Just saying.

3. Pets are not entirely welcome at the Farmers Market …

… yet that didn’t seem to matter to this dog owner. Or the other one who passed by seconds later.

3a. Certainly no one expects him to take the law into his own hands, but why bother hiring a rent-a-cop to patrol the place if he’s not even going to as much as say anything when people bring dogs around?

3b. Not that there’s much I could have taken with me even if I had wanted to, but the medley of putrid smells around there didn’t exactly tempt me.

3c. There was something particularly weird about strolling around while being serenaded with a rendition of “Home on the Range” being played on an accordion by some scruffy character who looked like he just spent the night in Montebello Park. But maybe it was just me.

3d. When our mayor talks about “enlarging the circle,” it’s people like that guy with the accordion he has in mind. Not those of us like me who don’t share his view of the world.

4. I get the feeling the fire department wouldn’t exactly condone this potpourri of extension cords running from the portable generators.

5. Going past City Hall, I noticed that the flags were not flying at half mast. Our virtue-signaling mayor had ordered the flags down after what happened in Charlottesville, yet as people in Europe drop like flies in hate-filled acts of radical Islamic terrorism and a church defaced by ISIS graffiti burned in nearby Burlington, he remains dutifully silent, no doubt following orders from his Liberal masters to the letter. Hate is hate in my books, but apparently not to our mayor.

5a. Care to speculate as to what Mayor Sendzik’s reaction would have been if the burning church in Burlington had been a mosque instead?

6. With “fall arrest” checked off, it was only fitting that the courthouse was nearby.

7. If this were the in the Old Country, how long do you think such an unattended scooter would last before being stolen? Or vandalized. Or used as a toilet.

8. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t care if you sleep with a goat. But stop shoving your gayness down my throat.

9. It’s nice that their menu is made in-house, but what about the food?

10. Another good deal on pre-owned mattresses:

17 Aug

Tales from a Day on the Road

1. While pedaling up the escarpment on Taylor Road this morning, I spotted a couple pedaling like mad on their way down. This just in. You don’t need to pedal down the escarpment. In fact, you should be using your brakes. As old Oakland Raiders fans used to say, speed kills.

2. Also on Taylor Road, a couple riding on a motorcycle with Michigan plates passed me. Instead of hanging on to the back of the driver for dear life, the woman in the rear was busy texting. Once again, speed kills. Along with inattention.

3. An interesting sign in front of a church on Dorchester Road:

3a. Is it a free … Methodist church or a church for free Methodists?

4. I’ve said it before, but is this sign really necessary?

5. I can’t imagine how much some women would be willing to pay to have the size of boobs the 80-year-old guy I spotted on the sidewalk farther south on Dorchester had. That was one of those sights I only wish I could un-see.

6. Would you expect them to be promoting ice cold subs?

7. How exactly do you melt a mushroom? Inquiring minds want to know.

8. Don’t just fry one fish, fry the whole family.

9. I spotted these “special coaches” parked at Table Rock. Are they for “special” passengers like the kind who participate in the Special Olympics?

10. To the tourists at Table Rock: Act like you’ve been there before.

11. While overlooking said wide-eyed tourists at Table Rock, I was listening to a few Niagara Parks employees lament the upcoming minimum wage increase. Their biggest argument against it was that someone doing a demanding job at $15/hour could just leave and get the same job working at McDonald’s or Giant Tiger. Except that McDonald’s, Giant Tiger and other such businesses won’t be hiring. In fact, they’ll be laying off. In the case of McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants, they’ll be replaced by kiosks and those who keep their jobs will be run around so much they won’t want to work there for any amount of money.

12. From the looks on their faces as they were getting drenched from the rainy mist, those same tourists who came from near and far likely didn’t anticipate getting so up and close and personal with the falls.

13. Sadly, modesty really has gone out of style.

14. I swear there’s a regional bylaw which states that all visitors to the Falls must stop for a selfie at Table Rock.

15. I laughed as I spotted a mother spraying her kid with insect repellent. That’s something you need to do in the Old Country, not here. I could count the number of mosquitoes I’ve spotted in my 3+ years since leaving the SPRM on one hand.

16. They should really print “I AM A TOURIST” on the lanyards they hand out with the WEGO day passes.

17. I spotted a car with a bumper sticker from “Catholic Radio” on Bridge Street. Nowadays, with Western culture under attack from the alt-left, I’m surprised such a thing is still allowed.

18. I didn’t spot a Manitoba plate today, but I saw plenty with the last three digits of 204, the original area code for the socialist republic I once called home. That place does follow me around. But you’ve heard that before.

14 Aug

Random Thoughts – Election Slogans, Self-Defeating Virtue Signalling and More

1. Dear Mayor Sendzik: Please fund your re-election campaign out of your own pocket, not mine. Slogans of elected officials have no place on official government signage.

1a. The Oxford Canadian dictionary defines “mayor” as “the head of a municipal corporation.” Sadly, Mayor Sendzik now defines it as “the municipal ambassador for the Liberal Party of Canada.”

2. Do Pen Center shoppers really need to text someone to help them find the food court? It isn’t exactly the West Edmonton Mall or the Mall of America. Go one way. If it’s not there, go the other way. It’s not that hard.

3. Overheard at the dentist’s office last week: “I’m here for a wallet biopsy.”

4. Dear CFL: Stop lecturing me on the virtues of “diversity.” Learn from the mistakes made by the NFL and its cable carrier, ES(JW)PN, a former giant of the industry whose fortunes have gone into the toilet as a direct result of trying to shove their left-wing agenda down our throats.

Remember that every preachy political message only reduces what little relevancy you have in this country. See Argonauts, Toronto. Stick to football. And try harder to protect your officials while you’re at it.

5. As the NFL anthem nonsense continues to go on, it is another clear indication that after suffering through a disastrous season in which ratings hit new lows, the league still doesn’t get it.

5a. Why does Roger Goodell still have a job?

6. Dear Paul Maurice: There’s going to be a bus rolling through Winnipeg this winter that Mark Chipman is getting ready to throw you under. Just so you know.

6a. If you need a good real estate agent, Paul, I can recommend one.

7. Dear Dale Hawerchuk: You will make a fine NHL coach one day. But not behind Chipman’s bench. That is not a job you want. Trust me.

13 Aug

Random Thoughts – The sub-Standard, Mysterious Telephone System, Glen Murray and More

1. While taking pictures at the NOTL Peach Festival yesterday, I was again asked by multiple people if I was there in an official capacity. Just because I have a notepad and a camera, it does not mean I work for the sub-Standard, the Welland Tribune or any other accredited media outlet. Given how photography seems to be more popular in this part of the world than it is in the Old Country, having a camera hardly puts me in select company.

1a. Were I in fact employed by the sub-Standard, I wouldn’t exactly be proud to say so. With some notable exceptions, the quality of journalism in that publication is so poor that I get the feeling that when the proposed Ontario minimum wage hikes become law, most of their staff will be getting a raise. One they don’t deserve.

2. Case in point. No one from the sub-Standard or anyone else in the local media seems willing to challenge local politicos like Regional Chair Alan Caslin when they spout off on how they expect 30,000 visitors to come to Niagara for those worthless Canada Summer Games in four years’ time. This is a figure clearly pulled out of thin air, yet blindly accepted as if it were the gospel. Personally, aside from the media, the athletes and their families, I’d be surprised if 30 people came from outside the region for the sole purpose of seeing those games.

3. A Bell technician was across the street yesterday installing services for our new neighbors. After he left, I still had a working phone line. No, I don’t miss the Mysterious Telephone System, and it was another welcome indicator that I no longer live in the Old Country.

3a. I still appreciate picking up my phone and no longer being surprised by the sound of a dial tone.

4. Good riddance to former Winnipeg mayor and current MPP Glen Murray, who is leaving his cabinet post and resigning his seat on the first of September. If you’re in Winnipeg, be sure to honor him by taking the Million Dollar Flush, something I never had the chance to do when I lived there.

5. As happy as I was to see Murray leave the political arena, I was equally sad to see Brad Wall step down as the premier of the Farmers’ Republic of Saskatchewan. I just hope that the reasons behind his sudden and unexpected retirement from politics are entirely personal.

6. I still do not understand why people who aren’t friends of mine on Facebook keep insisting on contacting me through Messenger rather than by email. Are these people aware that most message requests sent to non-friends through Facebook end up being filtered? Is the graphic showing my email address on my website not visible enough? Do I need to put a flashing bar around it?

6a. As someone whose political leanings are somewhat to the right of Lenin, it will just be a matter of time before Facebook suspends my account. Just like Twitter will do eventually. So the problem will take care of itself.

6b. Get. On. Gab.

7. Forget the Garden City moniker, St. Catharines should be called the Fireworks City. As I’ve said before, I just don’t get the attraction to fireworks.

8. As I wrote in a tweet this morning, nothing good can ever come from a Bomber victory. Nothing.

9. Don’t you wish the media would be just as harsh on the Antifa and BLM thugs as they are with the demonstrators in Charlottesville? But they’re not biased, right?

02 Aug

Commemorating an Anniversary

Observations from a day trip to and from Pearson Airport commemorating the three-year anniversary of our defection from the SPRM:

1. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see an SPRM plate upon arrival at Fairview Mall to catch the #12 GO bus. But I was.

For the record, that same car also was there after getting back. Again, I shouldn’t have been surprised.

1a. I spotted two trucks from Bison Transport on the way to Burlington. That place does have a way of following me around.

2. Also waiting at Fairview was a middle-aged dude with an emerging beer belly who was madly puffing away on a cigarette. Rather than use the wheels on his suitcases, he opted to borrow a shopping cart from one of the stores in the mall to haul his luggage around.

3. Now an experienced veteran of the GO bus, I’ve got the prerecorded line they play when opening the door down pat. Thank you for pre-purchasing your fare. For customers using Presto, please have your card ready to tap on. Thank you for traveling with GO Transit.

4. A couple seated in the upper level who I later learned were headed to Quebec City had dragged their suitcases up the steep, narrow staircase. As did a couple on the return trip. I do not understand the apparent fascination with hauling heavy luggage around the bus when storage facilities are provided right by the door, and upon request, in the locked rear compartment.

5. A scruffy punk in his 20s who got on at Fairview was sporting a T-shirt with “Turkey Bowl” on it and was slurping his coffee so loudly the bus driver below him must have been able to hear it.

6. At Grimsby, I spotted a plate with the last three digits of 642. I would also spot a 642 plate parked at Port Credit as well as locomotive 642 at Union Station. I knew I was not alone on this trip. You may understand. You may not.

7. Boarding at Grimsby was a smoker who put his expertise in speed-puffing to good use to squeeze every last bit out of his cigarette before getting on.

8. Also at Grimsby was someone waiting to go to St. Catharines. Despite the fact that the bus was clearly signed, “Burlington Carpool,” he figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask if the bus was going to St. Catharines. Sure, buddy, we’ll just turn the bus around and make a special trip back to Fairview. Because it’s you.

9. Leaving Grimsby, I spotted a sign for “fresh fruit from the farm.” Where else besides a grocery store would you expect to get fresh fruit from? A car wash?

10. I didn’t know there was more than one stop at Fairview Street and Maple Avenue.

11. The construction of the new Burlington GO station remains a puzzling and lone exception to the otherwise speedy pace at which things get done in this part of the world. I swear they’re working on a one-screw-per-day rule.

11a. What do you suppose we’ll see first? Year-round train service to Niagara, the completion of the new Burlington GO station or Halley’s Comet? My money’s on the comet.

12. On the Union-bound Lakeshore West train, the customer service ambassador’s disdain for her job could not have been more obvious. I didn’t think it was possible to say “final call for the doors” any faster and less clearly than she did.

13. On said Lakeshore West train, I had the pleasure of being entertained by a teenage princess who, like, couldn’t stop, like, saying “like.” Including the part where she gave us the details of, like, her proposed trip to, like, Florida. But, like, she didn’t have much, like, money. Like, what a shame.

13a. It was the same way on the return trip on both the train and the bus. The next time someone tells you that the most used word in the English language is “the,” don’t believe it. Like, it’s just got to be “like.”

14. Another case of failed train etiquette:

14a. Not to defend it, but it beats the obnoxious bums, beer bottles and condom wrappers regularly found on Winnipeg Transit.

15. I also had the pleasure of watching the infantile doodlings of a fellow passenger seated in front of me. What people will do to mindlessly pass the time.

16. Walking through Union Station to catch the UP Express train, I couldn’t help but wonder why they didn’t call the new service the Pearson-Union Express instead. PU Express has such a classier ring to it.

17. A hard, wooden bench isn’t exactly my idea of “comfort.”

17a. This would have constituted high-end, luxury seating at the previous incarnation of Manitoba Taxpayers Stadium, where you couldn’t even be assured of getting a back on your seat.

18. I was so happy to hear that Dr. J. didn’t find anything troubling with the guy who boarded the UP Express train at the Bloor station. But the entire car didn’t need to know the particulars of his visit to the dentist. Nor did we need to know about his upcoming travel plans to China.

18a. I don’t think I was the only one cheering when he got off at the Weston station.

19. It’s nice that they provide moving sidewalks at Pearson, but I don’t understand why people who want to walk get on them. I swear for every five people using the moving sidewalk, three of them were walking.

20. As I did in my last trip to Pearson, I took the link train to Terminal 3 and back, but this time, I recorded it on video.

21. I stopped for lunch at Subway at Terminal 3, where the people behind the counter had less command of the English language than the crew who served me in Gatineau last year.

22. Dear Frans Von Houten: Whoever you are, there’s someone walking the halls of Terminal 3 looking for you.

23. A shot of the Niagara Airbus counter. Where it all began.

24. There were far too many people in Union Station who looked like they’ve been featured on People of Walmart. Maybe soon there will be a People of Union Station website.

24a. Among the People of Union Station was a woman wearing a T-shirt a couple of sizes too small showing off the results of a surgical procedure. It must have been tough for the surgeon to implant so much silicone or saline, depending what it is they use these days.

24b. That sighting reminded me of the time when I heard basketball announcer Chip Caray say “There’s a Dow Corning nightmare” when the camera focused on a scantily-clad cheerleader.

24c. Also among the People of Union Station was someone covered in tattoos from head to toe. I don’t get it and I’m proud of that.

25. Visiting the washroom prior to boarding the train back to Burlington, I noticed everyone was washing their hands after doing their business. I continue to appreciate living in a part of the world where this is the norm, not the exception. Just like I continue to appreciate living in a part of the world where police have to remind homeowners to lock their doors before going to bed at night.

26. The internal IP address and MAC address of the display screen up at platform 9 was not something travelers, even techies like me, particularly needed to know. But the wizards at GO evidently thought otherwise.

27. I’m not sure why those screws were sticking up from the roof covering the staircase leading up to the platform, but it’s got to be one heck of a deterrent for anyone who gets the brain wave of crawling up there to wave good-bye to departing train passengers.

28. Mixed in among the “likes” from a teenage princess seated a few rows away from me were, “me and her went somewhere,” and “it’s like every five minutes, she goes ‘I’m lost.’”

29. On the train, someone came around for a fare inspection, followed behind by a constable to write a ticket in case there was anyone who had not paid. Which there wasn’t, at least in my car.

After they left, I couldn’t help but recall the words of a friend from Winnipeg who remarked how surprised he was that so many people actually paid on the train. It again made me happy to be living in a part of the world where paying fare under the honor system is the norm rather than the exception. Not that Winnipeg will ever get anything close to the equivalent of the GO train.

30. Spotted at the Bronte station was a bike whose owner had dropped the lock on the ground rather than using it to lock up the bike. But both the bike and the lock were probably still there when the owner came back for them, unlike what would happen in some other parts of the world.

31. If a prospective thief can manage to cut his way through the thick metal poles holding up this sign at the Burlington GO station, that puny little cable sure isn’t going to stand in his way.

32. Spotted at the Burlington GO station was a young mother pushing a stroller who couldn’t have been much older than 14. Oy.

33. To the three people who asked me for tourist information at the Burlington GO station, you’re welcome.

34. The driver of the car the GO bus was following turned on her signal lights after taking the exit to the QEW. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

35. According to the British guy seated behind me on the GO bus, there’s also a town called Grimsby in the UK, but it’s a “total turdhole.” At least from what I was able to gather in between “likes.” Like, that got to be really annoying.

36. Why do people make a special effort to go up top and park themselves in the front row just so they can snooze through the entire hour-long ride? Like, I don’t get it.

37. Spotted on the back of a van we were following: Rules of the Car: 1. Get in. 2. Shut up. 3. Hold on.

38. After getting off at Stoney Creek, a kid who got off ran down the street as if he had a 2×4 rammed up his backside.

39. As we made our way through a heavy rainstorm, the British guy said, “The only thing that would make this trip more Canadian is some bears.” I can understand bears, sort of, but since when has rain become quintessentially Canadian?

39a. Traveling through said rainstorm, I couldn’t help but recall Environment Canada’s forecast of 40% chance of showers. How those people can justify their jobs is beyond me.

40. Some rubby-dub got on at Grimsby who looked like he hadn’t either shaved or bathed in the past couple of weeks. He was wearing a cap with “I Don’t Care” written on it and I didn’t doubt it for a second.

41. Someone painted the bench at the Beamsville stop in rainbow colors. Enough already! I don’t care if you marry a goat. But as a good friend often says, stop shoving it down my throat!

42. Spotted on a van near Fairview Mall: If you choke a smurf, does it turn blue?

31 Jul

A Little Perspective on Transit “Disconnect”

This morning, an interesting blog entry came across my Twitter feed. In it, the author bemoans the disconnect between Hamilton and Niagara from a public transit perspective. I can appreciate his point of view as someone who remembers when Megabus offered a more direct connection. But he lost me when he described the Stoney Creek/Barton connection, one I have used and by and large, find quite acceptable, as one of those options “not worthy of consideration.”

By way of comparison, consider the case of Winnipeg, the city I defected from three years to the day tomorrow.

Decades ago, you used to be able to take the train to Minneapolis. Not anymore.

There was also a train to Winnipeg Beach and Gimli. Stuff of legend in that part of the world. Long since gone by the wayside.

The trains were replaced by buses. A late as a decade ago, there was still regular bus service south of the border. Unfortunately, that too is gone. As is the service to the Interlake. Even the iconic Winnipeg to Selkirk route so capably handled by Beaver Bus Lines for so many years is hanging by a thread.

Things aren’t any better when trying to get to points east and west. Trains only come through the city two or three times a week and cross-Canada bus routes have been decreasing in frequency.

Even if there was some decent inter-city bus service available, simply getting to the bus terminal nowadays has become a Herculean challenge following the puzzling decision to relocate the bus terminal out by the airport. Though the airport is technically served by Winnipeg Transit, service there can be best described as abominable.

As someone who used to live on a flight path close to the airport, I would have had to have taken three buses to get there, two of which were low-frequency routes. The hour-long walk would have been faster, though hardly an option if you’re carrying suitcases. The old bus terminal was Ground Zero for indigents and a place where you had good reason to fear for your safety, but being centrally located in the heart of downtown , it was at least easily accessible from most points within the city.

The city could readily remedy the situation with a high-frequency shuttle service to the airport from nearby Polo Park, a popular transit hub. But they choose not to. Instead, they continue to shovel hundreds of millions of dollars into the so-called Rapid Transit project to shave a few minutes off a ride from downtown to the U of M.

Insert sound of a toilet flushing.

As much as people in this part of the world complain about public transit, consider the alternative.

You could be living in Winnipeg.

26 Jul

Random Thoughts – Scheer’s New Deputy, Dave Bell, Winter Cycling and More

1. Newly minted CPC leader Andrew Scheer appointed Lisa Raitt as the party’s new deputy leader. As I’ve noted previously, Raitt is a capable backbencher and she’ll make a good member of Scheer’s cabinet down the road. She’s definitely no empty-headed Barbie doll the likes of which fill Selfie Boy’s cabinet, but her appointment still reeks of affirmative action. Just because the Liberals and NDP are going hog-wild with gender-balanced cabinets, it doesn’t mean the Conservatives have to blindly follow along like sheep.

2. Though she is being hailed as some kind of role model, I had never heard of Julie Payette, who is scheduled to be our next Governor-General.

3. I can’t help but think that Ken Noakes’ involuntary departure as the general manager of the Meridian Center will be a good thing.

3a. I hope that his successor or successorette will soon be presiding over the historic first cleaning of the glass in the three-year-old building. At least I can hope.

4. Longtime Jets fans may recall that during the WHA era, the princely sum of $9.25 bought you an ice-level seat on one of the orange chairs behind either the north or south end goal. Today it gets you a jumbo hot dog at a Chipman game. How times have changed and not for the better.

4a. Are there really suckers out there willing to pay $9.25 for “meat” shoveled into a casing with a backhoe?

5. IceDogs head coach Dave Bell took everyone by surprise when he suddenly left to become an assistant with the AHL’s Ontario Reign. Certainly no one can begrudge him for taking an opportunity to move up the ladder, as the OHL, after all, is all about development, and that includes coaches, officials and front-office personnel as much as it does the players. But leaving your team in the lurch with just over a month before training camp has a serious odor to it, an odor that may follow him all the way out to California.

5a. I don’t envy IceDogs GM Joey Burke. He sounded like someone who was completely blindsided by Bell’s announcement and now he has to scramble to find a coach.

6. This almost comical article on winter cycling penned by Anders Swanson came across my Twitter feed today. In it, Swanson, a Winnipegger, cavalierly states that, “in a city, the risk of being harmed by the weather while cycling is reduced to nil with a basic scarf and jacket.” Um, not exactly. As someone with thousands of miles of personal experience in this regard, trust me, you need a whole lot more than a scarf and a jacket when trying to get around Winnipeg on two wheels in January. Add a down parka, the thickest pair of mitts that money can buy, a couple of layers of socks, some longjohns and a good balaclava. Even then, you can soon end up with frostbite on your face and searing pain in your fingers by the time you get to where you’re going.

In his piece, he also stated, “Those -30C days do happen in Winnipeg, but they are pretty uncommon.” Sorry, Anders, they are quite common. And they last for weeks on end with the wind chill values reaching into the -40 and even -50 ranges.

7. Once again today, Mayor Sendzik sure didn’t miss his opportunity to bash Donald Trump. No doubt his Liberal masters are pleased as punch. I only wish he cared as much about his city as he did about being a good Liberal.

7a. A “good Liberal” is a contradiction in terms, isn’t it?

7b. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a municipal politician who didn’t run under a party banner pushing partisan politics as hard as he has.

17 Jul

Random Thoughts – Omar Khadr, Minimum Wage, Our Mayor and More

1. I don’t know what’s worse, Justin Trudeau giving $10 million of our money to a terrorist or those who still defend our adolescent prime minister.

2. As the Ontario Liberals prepare to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, the silence from the mayor’s office has been deafening. If you may recall, Walter Sendzik campaigned on a pro-business platform and regularly posts selfies of himself together with small business owners, the group that will be hardest hit by an increase in the minimum wage.

While it is true that minimum wage is not a municipal issue, he never hesitates to add his two cents worth on Liberal-endorsed hot-button topics like climate change that fall well out of the scope of municipal politics. So it would hardly be inappropriate for him to issue a strong show of support for the small business owners in St. Catharines. Instead, he pleads the Fifth, proving once again that when it comes to sticking up for his city or sticking up for the Liberals, the latter shall prevail.

2a. In a recent edition of the sub-Standard, Doug Herod opined that he didn’t expect Sendzik to get any serious challengers should he seek a second term. I seriously hope he’s wrong. Sendzik used to be a great ambassador for the city. Nowadays, he’s just an increasingly annoying ambassador for the Liberals.

3. I find it interesting how Sendzik becomes so full of righteous indignation when Donald Trump pulls out of the Paris climate accord, a non-binding agreement that the U.S. government never even approved, yet he suddenly clams up when his BFF Justin gives $10 million to a terrorist.

4. In the latest issue of the Garden City Current, the city advises any citizen who witnesses someone in the act of painting graffiti to call 911. You can imagine the shock I felt as someone who has lived most of his life in a city where a pedestrian being hit and nearly killed by a car isn’t even deemed a reportable offense. Yes, I’m still bitter.

5. A rotund woman passed me on the trail north of Allanburg yesterday. As she went by, I thought I smelled cookies. Eau de Oreo, perhaps.

6. In the nearly three years since leaving the SPRM, I have put on over 8,920 miles on two wheels. In those travels, I have visited every Niagara municipality in addition to Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville and 14 different municipalities spread across two counties in the Great State of New York.

6a. Don’t ask me what that figure is in kilometers. I don’t do Trudeau-metric.

7. I recently reviewed the 43-page document the Region provided regarding the proposed GO hub at the St. Catharines train station. There were plenty of flowery pictures, but not a single word on making the station less inaccessible via public transit. As things currently stand, it would probably take me longer to get to the train station than it would to get to Burlington from there. I’m getting the feeling that this issue isn’t going to be seriously addressed until years after the first trains roll in. If, in fact, they ever do.

7a. I would have loved to have gone to the open house last month if it wasn’t for the fact that it was held near that same difficult-to-access train station.

7b. Has anyone on the committee looking at the GO hub ever used public transit?

8. Tell me that the Nevada parole board is not about to release O.J. Simpson. Please.

02 Jul

Random Thoughts – Being Canadian, NDP Logic, Steven Fletcher, NHL Signings and More

1. A couple of my Facebook friends recently posted on their respective timelines stating how proud they were to be a Canadian. I sure wish the so-called “refugees” currently flooding into the country via legal and illegal means felt the same way.

1a. If you want to keep Canada a country worthy of bragging about, for the love of Pete™, stop voting Liberal.

1b. If you absolutely must vote Liberal, at least have the good sense to vote for an adult.

2. Some weeks ago, I got a reminder to renew my CPC membership, which I dutifully did. Then I got another “urgent” reminder that my membership was expiring the day after getting my updated membership card. Sigh. Good help is hard to find.

3. One of my Twitter followers, who remains quite upset with GO Transit’s recently proposed 3% fare hike and the cancellation of the public transit tax credit, posted a public show of support for the NDP in next year’s provincial election. In other words, someone who strongly decries fare increases and the cancellation of tax credits is supporting a party that will shake her down for every last dime in her pocket. As they say, never underestimate the stupidity of a Canadian with a ballot in his or her hand.

Of course, fare increases won’t matter much to people like her under an NDP government, since many of them won’t have a job to commute to. But they will get generous welfare packages. Not quite as generous as those given to the “refugees,” mind you, but enough to keep such people happy they voted NDP. The party of perpetual dependence.

4. After being unceremoniously booted out of the Manitoba PC caucus, my former MP Steven Fletcher defended himself by posting a tweet proclaiming that the country and his constituents took precedence above all else. As much as I respect him, I wish he would remember that the next time he takes up a horribly misguided cause like presumed consent on organ donations.

5. I don’t get the attraction to fireworks.

6. Congratulations to the many former Thrashers who inked new deals yesterday, including defenseman Ron Hainsey, who signed with the Leafs. Having suffered under bad organizations during his years with Atlanta and the Chipman franchise, Hainsey has more than earned the opportunity to be with a good one for a change.

7. I don’t know much about Dmitry Kulikov, but the dude got some seriously bad advice from his supposed buddies. Sure, he got a fat contract paid for by the Manitoba taxpayer, but it won’t take long before he’ll be wondering if there was enough gold in Fort Knox to get him to sign with the Chipman organization.

8. I get the feeling that the Toronto Argonauts would draw better crowds if they moved to St. Catharines. Or just about anywhere else in the country besides Toronto.

9. Saskatchewan’s new football palace looks awfully similar to Manitoba Taxpayers Stadium. That is not a compliment.

10. Memo to CFL players: You play in a minor league. AHL players and maybe even a few of the IceDogs are closer to the NHL than you are to the NFL. Stop showboating like you’ve made the big time.

14 Jun

Random Thoughts – Fake News, QEW Crash, Downtown Streetscaping and More

1. Paul Wiecek churned out another piece of drivel in yesterday’s edition of Socialism Illustrated. This time, he railed on how many Southern teams are losing money hand over fist while again proclaiming the Chipman franchise as a model of success.

He did have a valid point in regard to the Weasels, née Jets, but he conveniently failed to mention that the Chipman franchise would be in the same boat without all those government handouts. As I’ve said before, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But as is normally the case at Socialism Illustrated, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.

1a. In that same article, Wiecek claimed that the only reason the Predators have been able to draw crowds recently was because they were winning. Once again, he conveniently overlooked how well they had been drawing for years despite the fact that the Predators had never won much of anything and hadn’t advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs prior to this past season. And that the franchise, led by quality ownership, has worked hard to build a strong, loyal fan base in a non-traditional hockey market like Nashville. But again, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.

2. Right here in St. Catharines, a truck hauling hazardous materials crashed on the QEW, forcing an evacuation and shelter in place order within a 2 km radius of the crash site. To the credit of everyone involved, the chemicals were promptly contained and the highway was reopened to traffic within 12 hours.

In Winnipeg, police would have taken great pleasure in shutting down a major artery for 12 days or more if such a thing had happened there. Just because they could. Yet another reason I’m happy to be out of that part of the world.

3. Speaking of Winnipeg, I couldn’t help but think of my former home when I spotted these gardens outside the downtown library last night:

As I said to my friend, if something had been planted outside the downtown library there, it would only have been a matter of hours before it was torn up and/or used as a toilet. Not to mention that whoever did the planting might have ended up with a knife in his gut. Again, it’s yet another reason I’m happy to be out of that part of the world.

4. Placing a sign at a major construction site explaining the work being done and giving the estimated time of completion is important. But it does not need to be as tall as the Jolly Green Giant and it is not necessary for our mayor to include what amounts to a re-election campaign slogan at the bottom.

5. I knew the city was doing “streetscaping” on St. Paul Street. I wasn’t aware that they were tearing up the whole street.

5a. Was this project really necessary?

5b. I sure wish there was a conservative voice on council. You know, someone who isn’t afraid to say “no.”