Category Archives: Uncategorized

23 Feb

On the Road – Wild Driver, No-Peeing Zones, Chicken Fur and More

Observations from an interesting day on the road to, from and in the universe’s center:

1. To my surprise, there was quite a bit of traffic out and about when I left the house at 6:30, and much of that traffic was drawn to Tim Hortons like a magnet as the line at the drive-thru was around the block. Sights like that again make me wonder if Tim Hortons has some sort of monopoly on coffee.

2. Speaking of coffee, someone left theirs at the bus stop at Fairview Mall:

3. GO Transit has a new message on their buses asking passengers to report any incidents of harassment to their Transit Safety office. Back in the Old Country, it is more noteworthy when a passenger isn’t harassed.

4. Near Grimsby, our bus passed a big rig from Geronimo Trucking. I wonder if they have an office near the Burgoyne Bridge. Bad joke, I know.

5. GO drivers generally move along at a pretty good clip, but the driver I had in the morning definitely put the “go” in GO, passing semis left and right while keeping one hand on the wheel and chewing on the fingernails of his other hand. Then at Grimsby, when he had a few minutes of layover time, he got out and seemed a little too peppy as he was walking around the platform. All in all, it was one of those “kiss the ground” moments when I got off after he pulled up to the Burlington GO station 12 minutes early despite leaving Fairview a few minutes late.

6. Turning off onto Barton Street was someone with the vanity plate “ARGOSFAN” and two Argos stickers on the back of his car. They can’t draw flies to their games, but I knew there had to be at least one fan out there.

7. The last person to board at Nash and Barton asked for and paid for a ticket to the Burlington GO station. Then after looking at her ticket, she turned around and went back to the driver in a huff. “This just says Burlington GO!”, she exclaimed before telling him she needed to take the train. Dumbfounded, the driver asked, “How was I supposed to know?” After continuing to berate the driver for not being able to read her mind, she eventually calmed down and got the ticket for her ultimate destination. No doubt, she was from St. Catharines, the “You’re just supposed to know” city.

8. When she took her seat two rows behind me, the overpowering stench of her perfume mixed with B.O. filled the lower level. Luckily, it was only a short ride to Burlington from there and traffic was moving well. Maybe that also provided a partial explanation as to why the driver was in the far left lane on the Burlington Skyway racing with a fuel truck.

9. At the Burlington GO station, it was still refreshing to see a lineup at the hand dryer.

10. While waiting to go out on the platform, someone stormed into the station and without bothering to look up at the board staring her in the face or go to the counter where they sell tickets, she made a beeline for the person standing nearest to the door and shouted, “How do you get to Toronto from here!?”

11. In this “extreme cold,” people dress at opposite extremes to cope with the bitter -3 temperature. On one hand, I saw a few people with thick fur-lined boots. On the other was a hotshot on the platform at Burlington with bare legs and a skirt barely extending past her genitals. I and everyone else in my car then spent the entire ride to Union listening to her conversation. “This is a turning point . . . There’s going to be some push back from Natasha . . . Shall we do this in Toronto or New York . . . There’s something not right there,” she said before talking about the disconnect and tension in the office and scheduling a call with the four of them to hash it out in Joseph’s office. This was someone whose sense of self-importance was a little over the top.

12. The platform at Mimico. Somewhere under all that salt, I suspect there’s concrete.

13. It normally isn’t this bad, but there was an awful lot of assorted garbage strewn all over the trains and buses I was on.

14. Tucked away under the three-seater at the end of the car was a compartment labeled “Emergency Tools” with a saw, a foldable ladder and other assorted tools. For readers from the Old Country, can you imagine such a thing on a Winnipeg Transit bus? Not only would they be stolen, but they would also be used as weapons against other passengers.

15. Because of some issues with the locomotive that caused the 14-minute delay with the train, many announcements were made that the train would be running express from Appleby to Mimico, then on to Union without stopping at Exhibition and that anyone needing a destination in between should detrain at either Appleby or Mimico. One highfalutin 20-something apparently wasn’t paying attention and a minute after leaving Mimico, clacked her high heels through our car, just to let us know how important she was, and went to stand right by the door to make sure she was the first one to get off at Exhibition. Except that the train didn’t stop at Exhibition, causing her to utter a nasty word as the train sped on. Then when getting off at Union, she stopped in front of the door to the staircase leading down to the station as if it was some strange piece of mechanical equipment she had never used before. Only when someone to her left opened the door on his side did she do the same on her side. Who’s to know how long she would have been left stranded there if she was alone. Perhaps they should post an instruction manual. Or have a doorman posted there to do the honors for her.

16. How convenient:

17. Not a barber shop I’d want to patronize . . .

18. Street art, of which there is plenty in the universe’s center:

19. As if we don’t have enough problems with fake news these days, now there’s fake pizza apparently:

20. A Communist dry cleaner who has to send out the work if more than one alteration needs to be done:

21. And this looked like such an inviting place to take a leak . . .

22. I never knew sleepwalking was such a problem . . .

23. Pearls of wisdom outside a library:

24. A couple of off-color scenes in the west end:

25. On the side of the building at Toronto’s home of fake news:

26. Obligatory shot of the Toronto sign and city hall:

27. A street urchin’s encampment outside Eaton Center:

28. While waiting in the Queen subway station, there was an ad from Flair Airlines with the slogan “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like Winnipeg” to promote their $79 Toronto to Winnipeg fare. I can only surmise that no one in their advertising agency has ever been the esteemed capital of the SPRM. Or else it was a joke that no one in this part of the world could possibly be expected to understand.

29. Needing a little extra food, I went for an order of chicken strips at Tim Hortons. Overall, I give their newest offering a passing grade, and though the garlic in the breading wasn’t as overpowering as A & W’s equivalent, it still stayed with me well into the following morning.

29a. When digging out my wallet to pay, the clerk was seriously taken aback by the prospect of someone paying cash. Next time, just to be a rabble-rouser, I should ask if they accept bitcoin.

30. While the train was stopped at the Exhibition station on the return trip, I laughed as I watched a lost teenage kid on an adjacent street wander around, blindly following the directions on his phone that led him into an alley marked “Prohibited Area.” Before going too far, he finally picked his head up and turned around, only to again start following his phone as he made his way up the street. You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

31. Waiting for the bus at the Burlington, I was seated next to someone with a bag from the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. As she and two nearby people began talking, I learned that she had taken the train from Montreal that morning and was heading for a conference in Niagara Falls, where she was staying at Fallsview. Now why do they always hold these conferences in places like Niagara Falls when I’m sure they could get much better rates in cities like Prince Albert or Swift Current?

32. You can tell who the real tourists are when the #12 bus bound for the Burlington Carpool lot pulls up, and this time was no exception as half the station emptied to run after it, figuring every #12 bus is headed for Niagara Falls. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I watched them all dragging their feet with their heads slumped pulling their suitcases behind them as they headed back inside the station. Read the sign next time.

33. When the Falls-bound bus came, I was seated around a bunch of college roommates with one who lives in the Falls acting as the tour leader. They were hoping to do the Aero Car and the White Water Walk, only to learn that both attractions are not open during the winter, but they still hoped to do Table Rock and Clifton Hill. The tour leader who once worked as a waiter at Elements, a restaurant at Table Rock, figured it wouldn’t be a problem for the guys to haul their luggage a mile or so from the 420 and Stanley bus stop and that all the attractions are roughly in the same spot. They will undoubtedly be considering the Sucker Bus, more formally known as WEGO, but the $9 24-hour fare might be a problem given that one guy only has $10 in his checking account and the tour leader couldn’t remember when his account’s balance was as high as three figures. Increased appeals to the Bank of Mom and Dad were likely in their immediate plans.

34. One member of this group asked one of his buddies if his jacket was real fur. “Yeah, but it’s, like, chicken,” he answered. Who knew that chickens were fur-bearing animals? The things they teach students at institutes of higher learning these days.

10 Jan

Random Thoughts – Football for a Buck, GO Train, Overdue Cards and More

1. I finally got around to reading Jeff Pearlman’s most recent book, Football for a Buck, the inside story of the rise and fall of the USFL, a topic near and dear to my heart. He did a wonderful job, he’s got a real way with words and I couldn’t put it down once I got into it. To say the least, I highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in sports history. I was particularly fascinated by his tales of the woeful San Antonio Gunslingers, and though he questioned whether or not there would be a market for a more in-depth postmortem on the league’s wackiest franchise, it’s certainly something I would be interested in.

There were a few things about it that bothered me, however. For starters, it was not necessary to belittle former commissioner Chet Simmons. Maybe he did look like he escaped the innards of a vending machine. But he was a good man, a good commissioner, and though football may not have been his first love, he cared about the league and its future. Save the cheap shot for someone who deserved it. It was also not necessary to belittle Doug Flutie. No, he didn’t blossom into a superstar, but he was hardly a scrub and went on to enjoy a distinguished career long after Donald Trump wildly overpaid for his services. Finally, his fanatical anti-Trump bias came through loud and clear. It is absolutely proper to pin the majority of the blame on the league’s demise on Trump, but it is incorrect to paint Trump as some trust-fund millionaire who never earned a dime of his own money. That’s a description better suited to our current prime minister. Then he suggested Trump wants a total ban on immigration (a topic which has no relevance to the book), which is completely false. One more time, saying it very slowly so that Democrats can follow along, Don-ald Trump is for imm-i-gra-tion. Legal immigration, with emphasis on the former.

1a. I loved the part when he was talking about the top-quality coaches the league was hiring, saying they weren’t going after Biff, the part-time truck repairman who played a little college ball back in the day. Yet I think Biff would have been an improvement over former Bomber coach Ray Jauch who worked the sideline of the Washington Federals for a season and a game. And yes, I still remember the big uproar in Winnipeg when Jauch announced he was leaving for the USFL.

1b. I will freely admit waiting until the book came out in the library before reading it. Of course, I encourage support for fellow authors, but I adamantly refuse to pay $26 for an e-book, and I don’t care what the subject material is or how many Pulitzers the writer won. That’s just gouging. If I’m going to fork over that kind of coin, I want to get a big, thick paper copy.

1c. Yours truly’s book on the Generals is in the bibliography, but he had me listed as being from San Bernardino, CA. For the record, I have never set foot in the state of California and though I’ll never say never, I don’t suspect I ever will.

2. Much ado was made in these parts over the debut of daily GO train service from Niagara Falls and St. Catharines to Toronto. But what’s the point when you can’t get to the station with public transit? It’s a not-so-minor detail local politicians seem to be forgetting. Or choosing to forget.

2a. Even if St. Catharines Transit did serve the station at that early hour, you still can’t pay with Presto. If you want to play with the big boys, start acting like it.

3. I must be an awfully special member of the Conservative Party in order to get not one, but three Christmas cards from our local candidate. Then again, maybe I’m not so special after all, since the cards came two weeks after Christmas.

4. This week, Walter Sendzik, our radical far-left mayor, proposed putting up a $4-million suicide-prevention barrier on the Geronimo Bridge, more commonly known as the Burgoyne Bridge. Given how many other bridges there are for a troubled soul to do the dirty deed, including one just a few hundred yards away, it’s a ridiculous and expensive band-aid “solution” that simply allows politicians like Sendzik to pat themselves on the back and boast about how compassionate™ they are while doing nothing to address the root causes of mental health issues, which is where the money would be much better spent. But who am I to question His Highness, who dismisses those who disagree with him as “ignorant.”

4a. For someone who preaches tolerance, Sendzik is becoming one of the city’s most intolerant people.

5. I keep hearing how many lives those safe-injection sites are saving, but just think how many more lives would be saved if the same resources were devoted to getting drug addicts off the stuff instead of writing them permission slips.

6. Tonight, for $30 you too can enjoy the privilege of listening to Grant LaFleche, political propagandist, Liberal whore and master manipulator of public opinion, co-hosting a seminar on truth in journalism. It will no doubt be followed by a lecture on human rights from Kim Jong-un.

09 Nov

Random Thoughts – Overdue Honor, Ignorance, Liberal Kindness and More

1. The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame must be an awfully exclusive club if someone of Joe Daley’s stature has to wait nearly 40 years after his distinguished playing career to be inducted. Congratulations to Joe on the well-earned and long-overdue honor, but shame on the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame for making him wait so long.

2. One day after posting a link to an article in the sub-Standard in which he called those who disagree with his policies “ignorant,” our municipal Liberal representative, more formally known Mayor Sendzik, promoted Random Act of Kindness Day. Resorting to name-calling to belittle your political opponents must be some special sort of Liberal kindness that ignorant folks like me don’t quite understand.

2a. With said municipal Liberal representative armed with a new mandate, I’m genuinely concerned as to what he’s got in mind for the next four years. It’s not what he said during the campaign that worries me, it’s what he didn’t say.

3. I’m glad we have a filtration system, because there must be something in the water in these parts that keeps people voting for the ghost of Jim Bradley, a career politician who evidently hasn’t socked away enough unearned taxpayer dough from his decades of public disservice.

3a. Since integrity was a big issue in the regional council election, the fact that a long-standing member of one of the most corrupt governments in the province’s history received the most votes is mind-boggling.

3b. I’m not going to defend some of the things he’s said, but Andy Petrowski still looked awfully good compared to some of those left-wing nut jobs on the ballot.

4. Anyone wondering where all our health-care dollars are going need only hang out at the St. Catharines Hospital and watch the nauseating “I am Niagara Health” campaign on the fancy video boards. Personally, I’d rather see the money spent on hiring doctors and nurses instead of on spin doctors to tell us how great Niagara Health is.

5. I don’t think anyone is quite aware as to how big of a problem voter fraud is south of the border. Or here in Niagara, east of the border.

5a. With all the illegals flooding into our country, I fear the same sort of problems are about to surface here in Canada as well.

6. With my book on the IceDogs soon to be released, I’ve been sinking my teeth into my next writing project, the sordid history of the Atlanta Thrashers. Only by doing a detailed study like the one I’m doing can one possibly appreciate how badly that team was run. And I haven’t even got to the Atlanta Spirit Group yet.

6a. The fact that former Thrashers general manager Don Waddell is currently gainfully employed in the same capacity with another NHL team is nothing short of astounding.

7. The astute reader may realize that it has been over a year since the Meridian Center last saw my shadow. Not only has my interest level been in decline, but as I posted in a public forum, I refuse to undergo airport-level security for the privilege of attending junior hockey games.

12 Oct

Meet the Candidates – Niagara Regional Council

Takeaways from the Meet the Candidates night featuring most of the hopefuls running for a seat on Niagara Regional Council:

1. It was obvious right from the get-go that this “Committee for an Informed St. Catharines” who put on this event was nothing more than a front for promoting extremist left-wing values and candidates who espouse them. Before the first candidate spoke, the moderator read a prepared “land acknowledgment” statement, groveling ad nauseam to the aboriginals and telling us how we are all treaty people. Then when it came time for answering spot questions, the only questions drawn out of a sombrero were from leftists. One which managed to slip past the censors was “Which political party best aligns with your views?”, but it was quickly squashed and another question was drawn.

2. Regional Chair Alan Caslin was the most noteworthy of the missing candidates, but I don’t blame him for not showing up. Given how the whole thing was rigged against anyone with political leanings to the right of Lenin, it was a no-win situation for him. Best to take your message directly to the people instead of relying on groups like this.

3. Grantham Ward city council candidates Dennis Van Meer, Bill “I take your vote for granted” Phillips and Dawn Dodge were among the overflow crowd, though oddly, none of them did much campaigning. In Dodge’s case, perhaps she hasn’t yet regained her train of thought from her disastrous opening remarks at the Grantham Lions Club.

4. Just as they were at the Grantham Lions Club, school trustee hopefuls Norm St. George and Alex Bradnam were there to greet attendees on their way in. But regardless of how many of their brochures they give me, I’m not voting for either one. Nor am I voting for Kate Baggott or David Waddington. I only wish I had someone to vote for as opposed to against.

5. Haley Bateman played the lesbian card to try to pick up some cheap sympathy votes, and in so doing, displayed the same level of intolerance she accuses others of by summarily dismissing the Christian values of a voter whose door she knocked on.

6. Bateman also bragged about her hare-brained social-engineering plan to combine day-care facilities and senior centers. As if I needed another reason not to vote for her.

7. Even if Kelly Edgar didn’t get a union endorsement, I would have stricken him off my list for bragging about bringing those worthless Canada Summer Games to Niagara.

7a. That’s a union endorsement, not a labor endorsement.

8. Debbie MacGregor’s idea of attracting industries “compatible with the region” also reeks of social engineering. With jobs in such short supply in this part of the world, can you really afford to be picky?

9. Mary Margaret Murphy was the candidate who got the “Which political party best aligns with your views?” question, and even though she got a new one, she answered the original quite clearly with her diatribe on a living wage and knocking Premier Ford for stopping the ridiculous safe injection sites.

10. Emily Beth Spanton showed herself to be even more of a far-left extremist than Murphy. She also needs to get that hair out of her eyes and stop wearing those foot-high heels if she can’t learn to walk in them.

11. Len Stack used his time at the podium to talk about the negative stigma around the word “addiction” and failed to acknowledge Mayor Sendzik’s trademark of the word “compassion.”

12. The ghost of Jim Bradley, the recently deposed MPP who served in one of the most corrupt governments in the province’s history, had the nerve to speak about restoring integrity to the Region.

13. When Bruce Timms was speaking about how the double-duty councilor issue failed by just one vote, I was hoping he was going to call out Bill “The self-appointed voice of reason” Phillips, whose flip-flop was crucial in bringing it down.

14. Frank Rupcic spoke about the embarrassing incident when the sub-Standard “reporter” was kicked out of a regional council meeting, but what’s really embarrassing is the fake news that publication keeps churning out.

15. I hope I can come up with enough acceptable names on my ballot so I don’t have to vote for Sandie Bellows.

25 Sep

Return to Buffalo

Pictures and observations from yesterday’s bus/bike trip to Buffalo:

0. Yesterday marked my fourth two-wheeled trip to Buffalo and 46th overall to the Great State of New York. Yes, I am a frequent border-crosser.

1. Whereas on GO buses, the space on top of the front wheel right by the door is used for luggage, Metro puts two seats there:

2. Though I didn’t use them, I noted once again with interest that the back doors on Metro buses open automatically. Just like they do on buses in most every other part of the continent. Except one.

3. On the Buffalo-bound #40 bus, I listened as someone in the back was talking about his pending court dates. From the tone of the conversation, I got the distinct impression he was a client of one of the many bail bondsmen parked around Niagara Square.

3a. No, I’m not going to call them “bondspeople.”

4. Spotted en route to Buffalo was a fellow cyclist without a helmet going in the opposite direction in the middle lane of traffic while trying to balance a large box wrapped in a garbage bag on the handlebar. Why did I get the feeling that an accident was about to happen?

5. Another interesting sighting en route was a bait and tackle shop selling their wares out of a vending machine outside on the sidewalk, similar to a Coke machine. Believe it or not, it’s not the first time I’ve seen a bait machine before.

6. Through the course of the day, I learned that in addition to the Queen City and the City of Good Neighbors. Buffalo is also called the Nickel City. I’m sure there’s another explanation, but my guess is that it’s related to the average value of the homes I passed by.

7. This doesn’t look like a bus to me:

8. I just hate when they put lead in cash. Good to see places like this offering unleaded cash instead:

9. I toured some of downtown and around Canalside. Click here for more of my pictures on Facebook.

10. The intersection of Marine Drive and Marine Drive. There’s another one a block away.

11. Boarding at the Metropolitan Transportation Center ahead of me on the return trip was a fat guy hauling a pair of suitcases who was also going to the Rainbow Bridge. He apparently felt perfectly justified in spreading himself across three priority seats while others, including a gentleman with a cane, had to stand.

11a. Even though only buses use it, it’s not a “bus depot,” it’s a “transportation center.”

12. I’ve made this observation before, but anyone looking to take Metro buses really does need to pay attention and flag down the driver. Standing at the stop aimlessly looking around won’t get it done.

13. It is apparently not standard procedure for Metro drivers to pull up to the curb to pick up passengers lucky enough to attract their attention. Far too often on my return trip, the driver simply stopped in the middle lane and expected the passenger to walk into the street to board the bus.

14. Dear Operator 4346: I realize Buffalo streets are in horrible shape, but I’m sure your colleagues in the maintenance shop would appreciate it if you tried to avoid the large divots in the pavement instead of aiming for them.

15. As I was getting ready to repatriate myself, the same fat guy on the bus approached me and asked where he needed to go to cross the bridge. After showing him the way, I told him about the $1 toll. Shocked at the charge, he exclaimed, “But I’m Canadian, I shouldn’t have to pay!” Why did I get the feeling he was a Liberal?

17 Sep

Random Thoughts – Doug Ford, St. Catharines Mayoral Race, Terry Fox Run and More

1. I can’t express strongly enough how proud I am of premier Doug Ford, who has decided to use the notwithstanding clause to override the flawed ruling of a judge-turned-activist who shockingly upheld the City of Toronto’s challenge of the province’s bill cutting the number of city councilors. Not that I care about the inner workings of Toronto city council. Whether there are 25 councilors or 2500 councilors makes no difference to me. I’m just sick and tired of judges making law in this country and it’s about time we had someone in public office with the stones to stand up to the judiciary. I can only hope Ford’s courage emboldens others in similar positions to make a stand.

1a. If only Mayor John Tory and the rest of Toronto city council worked as hard for their citizens as they’ve been doing to save their own hides.

1b. Dear Andrea Horwath: Do you really think that acting like a spoiled child who didn’t get her favorite toy on Christmas morning makes you any more of an attractive premier-in-waiting?

1c. The same NDP and their friends in the Media Party who are crying the blues over Ford’s use of the notwithstanding clause would no doubt have been applauding had Kathleen Wynne used it to ram through her radical sex-ed curriculum if it had been squashed by a judge.

2. Spotted along the route of the Terry Fox Run yesterday were many signs in support of Richard Stephens. Good to see that he’s apparently decided to come out of the shadows, discard the Sandie Bellows approach and try to win after all. And I loved seeing his old car with “Stephens for Mayor” plastered on the side strategically placed at the bottom of the hill as the cyclists and runners were nearing the finish line. Rumor has it he had a campaign kickoff party last week, but rather than publicize it, he relied on the time-honored “you’re just supposed to know” principle so common in this part of the world.

2a. From reading his website, Stephens wants to see the size of St. Catharines council cut in half, something I enthusiastically support. I would take it a step further and say they should be full-time positions and also double as regional councilors. As our current far-left mayor once said, we are over-governed.

3. Anyone else notice how Walter Sendzik has been toning down the compassion rhetoric lately and going back to posing for selfies with business owners in a desperate attempt to recreate the illusion that he’s a pro-business mayor? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

3a. Despite our widening political differences, Sendzik made a point of approaching and encouraging me yesterday as we passed each other during the Terry Fox Run.

4. Listening to the speeches before the Terry Fox Run, I had to ask myself why researchers at Virtue Signaling University, better known locally as Brock, need specialized software to predict that some big mama sitting on her porch puffing on her fourth cigarette of the morning is at a high risk of getting lung cancer. Seems to me those dollars could be better spent elsewhere.

5. Spotted in the light crowd at the Terry Fox Run was fake-news spin doctor Grant LaFleche of the sub-Standard who took time away from bashing Andy Petrowski to cover the run. He spent much of the time before the ceremonies chatting up fellow leftist Mat Siscoe. Birds of a feather.

6. Walking the streets of Toronto on Saturday, I don’t think I saw anyone without a tattoo. It must also have been Slutwalk day as I don’t think I saw anyone of the female persuasion who was not displaying her wares for all to see.

7. Spotted in Graffiti Alley on Saturday was a potty-mouthed homeless woman who apparently doesn’t have enough money for shelter or food, but does have enough money to care for and feed a large dog.

8. Spotted in a bus shelter here in St. Catharines last week was a guy in a white and black dress with pink stockings doing jumping jacks in a bus shelter while singing and listening to some tunes on his phone. You can’t make stuff like this up.

09 Aug

Random Thoughts – Human Rights, Misguided Virtue Signaling, Municipal Elections and More

1. Given how they have been colluding with Silicon Valley to stifle dissenting opinions online and buying off the media with our money to carry their message, to say nothing of M-103 and what happened with the Summer Jobs Program, what right does the federal Liberal government have to criticize Saudi Arabia or anyone else on human rights matters?

1a. Next time the Liberals want to do some virtue signaling on human rights, they might consider what’s going on in the UK. Among the many issues is the case of Tommy Robinson, a former political prisoner the British government is determined to silence at all costs.

2. I love what Premier Doug Ford did in slashing the size of Toronto City Council. If only he had done the same thing here in Niagara with regional council and St. Catharines council. Even our hard-left Liberal mayor says we are over-governed.

3. Dear Richard Stephens: If you expect to beat a high-profile incumbent like Walter Sendzik and become the next mayor of St. Catharines, it might be a good idea to get yourself out there. A website and a social media presence wouldn’t hurt. The “sit back on your ass” approach won’t cut it. Just ask Sandie Bellows, who parlayed what should have been an easy victory into an embarrassing defeat in the provincial election.

4. If I hear Sendzik tout himself as a pro-business candidate again, I likely won’t be able to resist laughing out loud. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

5. I might have considered voting for Johnny Tischler until I read that the druggies are his top priority.

6. As much as it will pain me, I might have to once again hold my nose and vote for Bellows in order to keep as many leftists as possible off regional council. Even though she’s likely to be just as ineffective as a regional councilor as she was a city councilor.

7. There are certainly many candidates for Bellows’ old city council seat in Grantham. But it’s just like television these days. Lots on, but nothing to watch. In particular, I am amused by Rob Gill’s website, which has virtually nothing besides a donation box. It makes one wonder why he even bothered to register as a candidate. At least Alan Ziemianin has something to say.

7a. Rest assured neither of my votes will be going to incumbent Bill Phillips, a Liberal who embarrassed the city with his flip-flop during the double-duty councilor saga, or the hard-left union hack Dennis Van Meer.

8. Names I’ll be avoiding for the school board election are Kate Baggott, Norman St. George and David Waddington. All three are hard-line leftists, and Waddington, in particular, has the Pride flag on his Twitter profile and laments how the Ford government pulled the radical sex-ed curriculum. Personally, I’m much more concerned over the fact that so many Ontario students lack basic math skills and can’t even count the number of made-up genders being taught to them.

9. Today, I received an official notice from the federal Conservative party seeking nominations for the St. Catharines riding. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it got filtered out of Bellows’ and Mat Siscoe’s inboxes.

10. I wish I had a vote in the Toronto mayoral race so I could cast a ballot for Faith Goldy. One of the items on her platform is to round up all the illegal migrants and take them to Justin Trudeau’s personal residence.

11. Apparently determined to keep making the same mistakes as their neighbors to the south, the CFL is doubling down with its nauseating “Diversity is Strength” campaign. I’m sure the families of the victims of the recent Danforth shooting and that van attack in Toronto will be very touched by the league’s message.

18 Jul

Over the River Again

Observations and pictures from my 44th two-wheeled trip to the Great State of New York:

1. Award-winning management “consultanting” …

2. At One Niagara Center was a massive air conditioning unit right next to a wide-open door. As my father would say, were they trying to air condition all of Western New York?

3. Last I checked, Ferry was a one-way street, but that didn’t seem to matter to two cyclists who were going in the opposite direction against traffic.

4. At 19th Street was a fatso who wasn’t wearing underwear and whose blubber was oozing out well beyond the short skirt she had on. There are times I wish I wasn’t so observant and that was one of them. As my father would say, she needs to start shopping for clothing at New York Tent and Awning.

5. Scenes in Hyde Park:

6. Pickleball. It’s not just a St. Catharines thing.

7. Spotted off Military Road was an older guy with a “MAGA” hat. Part of me wanted to get off my bike and shake his hand.

8. I was proud to ring up a $17.10 bill at southern Ontario’s favorite Walmart just to spite Justin.

9. Dear Walmart: Please consider adding an express lane or two. You know, the way most large department stores do.

10. On Buffalo Avenue, someone driving by in a pickup truck pointed at me and yelled, “There he is!” Whatever.

11. Also on Buffalo Avenue, another cyclist passed me going the wrong way, though at least, unlike what would have happened in the Old Country, he did get out of my way and didn’t curse at me.

11a. Did I mention recently that I don’t miss the Old Country?

12. A bench on the Shoreline Trail in need of some maintenance:

13. A piano for the LGBT community?

14. If you’ve always wanted to take a tour of a helicopter …

15. While crossing the Rainbow Bridge, a guy in an SUV from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania asked me if they charged me a toll and was astonished when I told him I had to pay a whole buck. For the record, I don’t mind fair and reasonable user fees. Just as long as it’s going toward bridge maintenance and not lining government coffers.

16. Waiting at Canadian customs, a guy from New Jersey was cursing up a storm, angry that the officer was asking too many questions of the person in front of him. Dude, that’s not the attitude you bring to an international border crossing. Especially when you’re a foreign national.

17. There are teenagers in Bombay working in call centers who have a better grasp of the English language than the CBSA officer who served me.

30 Jun

Visiting Queen’s Park on Kathleen Wynne Freedom Day

Observations and pictures from my voyage to and from Queen’s Park on the occasion of Kathleen Wynne Freedom Day:

1. Waiting for the bus at Fairview Mall watching everyone busy with their phones, I couldn’t help but reflect back upon a bygone era when cell phones were a luxury that only the big shots had.

2. A quintessential Canadian bus:

3. When I had last taken the bus 10 days ago, they were resurfacing large sections of North Service Road between Vineland and Beamsville, but when I went by yesterday, I noticed the work had already been completed. In the Old Country, such a project would have taken two summers.

4. The A & W in Grimsby had a sign outside promoting their new Cod Fish Burgers. As opposed to their Cod Beef Burgers?

5. At the Nash and Barton stop, I laughed when I saw several Falls-bound travelers flashing their HSR transfers as if that was going to do them any good on the GO bus. Tip: You need a Presto card for that.

6. As our bus was approaching the Burlington GO station, a Burlington Transit bus whose driver was wearing a white top with black polka dots passed by, marking the first time I’ve ever seen a driver on any transit system out of uniform. Casual Friday at Burlington Transit perhaps?

7. Only a short time after it had finally opened, the Tim Hortons at the Burlington GO station has apparently disappeared:

7a. If it, in fact, has gone under, it marks the second Tim Hortons location I’ve seen in this part of the world to have bit the dust, the other being at the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge. Contrary to popular belief, maybe a Tim Hortons franchise isn’t a license to print money after all.

8. If there’s anyone headed for Wrong Code, your bus is waiting at Burlington:

9. Spotted on the platform waiting for the Lakeshore West train was a guy busy on an IBM ThinkPad that he was delicately balancing against a wall and on his knee. Give it a rest!

10. The guy seated in the quad on the opposite side of the aisle at least had the decency to take off his shoes before putting his feet up on the seat in front of him. Unlike the guy I saw on the train on the way back.

11. The best seats in town:

12. Before heading to Queen’s Park, for some off-color humor, I took a stroll through the Church-Wellesley district, where seemingly everything is adorned in gay-themed rainbow colors.

Gay Pepsi.

Gay nurses.

Gay crosswalks.

Gay flags.

Toronto’s only gay-owned pharmacy.

Gay beer at a gay beer store.

Parking for gays only.

Gay funnel cake.

A gay bank.

And finally, a gay bum.

Enough already!

13. While walking through said neighborhood, I spotted a Muslim woman walking into an apartment just off Church. Hmmm. As I understand it, Islam isn’t exactly compatible with homosexuality. In fact, don’t Muslim countries hang gays?

14. Did you just assume the repair person’s gender?

15. I’ll keep an eye out for those flying procedures …

16. At Queen’s Park, I spent nearly two hours on the grounds mostly waiting for our new premier, The Honorable Doug Ford, to address the masses who had come from all across our great province to hear him speak and repeat his oath of office.

Save for one protester, the crowd was mostly tame. There were cheers when someone yelled “Trudeau Sucks” after the playing of O Canada, and seeing the scowls on the faces of the “journalists” from the fake news media was easily worth the fare in getting there.

I was squished in among a group of reformed ex-NDPers who had worked on Ford’s campaign, and several people before and after the ceremony remarked on my “Make Speech Free Again” hat, the same one Ford himself commented on when I saw him here in St. Catharines.

Although the common folk were kept at considerable distance, it was important to be there and I was glad to have represented St. Catharines on the important and historic occasion of Kathleen Wynne Freedom Day. It was representation we sure didn’t get from our local PC candidate, who did an outstanding job of deep-sixing a free ride to Queen’s Park by sitting on her behind. Honestly, I got the feeling that Doug Ford did more campaigning in St. Catharines than Sandie Bellows did. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

16a. Dear Andrew Scheer: When you come to St. Catharines today, in addition to raising funds and drumming up support, you need to seriously work on getting a credible candidate to run here for the upcoming federal election. Don’t be afraid of parachuting someone in. And please tell the local EDA that you will not approve the nomination of either Mat Siscoe or Sandie Bellows.

17. I think the cart is full …

18. Inside Eaton Center, I stopped at a Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up some badly needed liquid refreshment. The small size of the drink I chose was $2.79 and the large size was $1.99. Shrug.

19. Bikes chained to the scaffolding right next to the sign asking people not to chain bikes to the scaffolding.

20. On Bay Street, I spotted a guy hauling a loudspeaker on a two-wheeler with music blasting so loudly I could hear it from a block away. Why? Isn’t there enough noise and commotion in downtown Toronto?

21. While on the Lakeshore West train on the return trip, I listened as the guy in the quad in front of me was helping his buddy at the other end of the line interpret the directions on his GPS. Driving tip: If you’re lost on a busy freeway and can’t figure out what to do when your GPS tells you to bear right, for the love of Pete™, get off at the next exit and ask someone for help before you get yourself and/or others killed. Better yet, consider turning in your driver’s license.

22. Not everyone was as lucky as I was to get a seat on the Niagara-bound bus as GO chose the day before the long weekend not to offer an additional express bus to the Falls, the way they usually do for most of the summer. As a result, I was treated to several noisy, screaming children and someone who elected to forego the use of her headphones as she was listening to music.

Mixed in among all that, I listened as someone ran down Brantford and explained how he wanted to set up a blacksmithing business in St. Catharines and a boyfriend-girlfriend couple seated in front of me were having quite the spat. I heard so many F-bombs from them that, for a moment there, I thought I was back in the Old Country.

08 Jun

Thoughts on the Ontario Provincial Election

Thoughts on the recently concluded Ontario provincial election:

1. Congratulations to Premier-designate Doug Ford and his team on securing a PC majority government. As much as they’ve done to get to this point, however, their work is just beginning, but I’m confident they’re up to the challenge.

1a. I want to be there when Ford unveils that “Open for business” sign at the border.

2. The following video sums up my reaction to the election results:

3. I don’t think we can fully appreciate how much of a bullet we dodged by not electing Comrade Horwath and her nutty gang of radicals, activists and misfits.

3a. Is there something in the water in Guelph that made voters there go off the wall elect a representative from the eco-fascist Green Party? Or was it just a case of a suitable Marxist-Leninist candidate not being available?

4. For all those narrow-minded unionists out there who voted NDP, those of us who voted PC probably saved your jobs. You can thank us later.

5. Is there anyone out there with half a brain who can still say the media isn’t heavily biased in favor of the Liberals and NDP?

6. Good riddance, Kathleen Wynne. Ding-dong, the witch is gone.

6a. Imagine how the Liberal volunteers who had spent countless hours knocking on doors felt when their leader effectively threw in the towel a week before election day.

7. Good riddance, Jim Bradley.

8. Help Wanted: PC candidate for St. Catharines. Must be prepared to be visible during election time and be willing to do more than just parrot your leader’s press releases on social media. Mat “Proud Liberal” Siscoe and Sandie “Hold your nose and vote for” Bellows need not apply.

8a. Same goes for next year’s federal election. Just like the case provincially, there’s a seat here for the taking.

9. Mark my words, Walter Sendzik will be making a run at the now-vacant leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party. Even though he told me he’d be going back to the private sector after another term as mayor, I just don’t believe him.

9a. Anyone else notice how cagey Mayor Sendzik was during the election by praising, yet stopping short of endorsing Jim Bradley? Most likely he was doing a delicate balancing act of being a loyal Liberal while distancing himself as much as possible from the train wreck the Wynne regime had become.