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.

30 Jun

Ding-Dong, The Witch Is Gone

There was once a premier named Wynne
The way she ran the province was a sin

She ruled with an iron hand, ignoring every woman and man
And down our throats she shoved her radical leftist plan

Economic ruin and record debt are what she’ll be remembered for
It’s why Ontario voters showed her the door

Anyone who disliked her was homophobic, or so she would often say
A lame attempt to deflect the many slings and arrows which came her way

May Doug Ford’s tenure be long
Ding-dong, the witch is gone!

20 Jun

On the Bus to Hamilton Again

Observations and pictures from my second trip to Hamilton in as many weeks:

1. Parking fail at Fairview Mall:

2. On the #12 GO bus was a guy hauling heavy luggage who got off briefly before the bus departed to hug his honey across the street who had come to see him off.

Did I mention that he left his wallet full of credit cards and cash unattended on the seat?

Fear not for the guy, however, as it was still there when he got back, further proof that this is not the Old Country.

Meanwhile, as we made our way west along the QEW, once he had finished his Tim Hortons coffee, he cracked open a can of Red Bull. As if the coffee didn’t give him enough of a pick-me-up, the Red Bull undoubtedly finished the job. As they say, Red Bull gives you wings. Not that I know from personal experience.

3. Dear GO Transit: On the heels of the heat warning we were under the last couple of days, was it really necessary to have the heat on inside the bus?

4. I’m sure I was not alone in questioning the wisdom of the driver on the QEW near the 406 interchange who cut across three lanes of traffic, in one of which was a speeding double-decker GO bus.

5. LGBT activists can rest easier as the rainbow bench is now back at the Beamsville stop.

6. Is the “Happy Pride” reminder on GO buses really necessary?

7. I feel the pain of those on the uLinc bus that showed up at the Beamsville stop less than a minute after our GO bus left. Been there, done that.

8. I appreciate that HSR buses are air-conditioned, but first thing in the morning, it didn’t need to be cranked up full blast.

9. Seated across the aisle from me on the Barton bus was an older guy with the mother of all schnozzes.

10. The Barton bus is notorious for strollers and walkers, but this time I spotted a mother dragging her kid around on a leash.

11. Speaking of strollers and walkers, there was only one stroller on the trip in, but on the way back, there were three strollers and two walkers. One of those strollers on the return trip was being pushed by a woman with strawberry-red hair covered in tattoos from head to toe who had all sorts of pins and rings in her nose, lips and cheeks. No doubt, she was another low-income mother who has trouble making ends meet, but has plenty of money for tattoos and such.

12. I am amazed as to the quality of fabric and clothing they make these days that can be stretched so much without bursting at the seams. Case in point:

13. Walking the streets of downtown Hamilton, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was an environmental disaster on par with the Love Canal years earlier that has caused so many, well, issues with its inhabitants.

14. I actually spotted a cab driver outside the Hamilton GO Center who did not appear to be of Middle Eastern descent. No doubt he was a quota hire.

15. Just because you’re failing doesn’t mean it’s the system’s fault.

16. The Busy Bee Mart was certainly busy …

Too busy, in fact, to consult a dictionary before ordering their sign.

17. Did they just assume the workers’ gender?

18. A $5,000 fine for feeding pigeons? As an old university professor of mine would say, not bloody likely.

19. Spotted on Cannon Street was an aboriginal man carrying a beer tray. You and I would call it a laptop, one of much newer vintage than anything I have.

20. Inspirational message on the side of a pharmacy …

21. One of the many characters on James Street:

22. Anyone thinking of opening up a laundromat in downtown Hamilton need not bother as clean clothes are not exactly a top priority with most residents.

23. As I noted earlier regarding the quality of clothing, the benches in Gore Park are also made to the highest standards in order to withstand heavy loads. Case in point:

24. Spotted at Jackson Square was a guy wearing a T-shirt with the message “I’m going to hell in every religion” on it.

25. On the return trip, sprinkled among all those with strollers and walkers was a woman, or maybe a man or other made-up gender, with a Mohawk cut. By Barton bus standards, it didn’t even stand out too much since it wasn’t dyed some flashy color like purple or orange.

14 Jun

An Off-Color Tour of Hamilton

Pictures and observations from my latest tour of downtown Hamilton:

1. As I walked past the entrance to the library, a black guy in his 20s and a heavy-set white guy in his 50s were exchanging shoves and pleasantries. The black guy seemed content to let it go and walk away, but the white guy tossed aside his glasses and wanted to go. So the black guy obliged. Predictably, the black guy soon had the white guy on the ground and landed several good punches before a couple of guys across the street yelled “Enough already!”

1a. I’m not sure what precipitated this exchange, but I’d be willing to wager it wasn’t a literary disagreement.

1b. A Liberal watching the action would undoubtedly have blamed the whole affair on the hot weather, the root cause of which was climate change. Without this great evil stalking the land, the two gentlemen might have been able to settle their differences without tempers flaring. And only by taxing the living daylights out of those big, heartless job-creating multinational corporations can we effectively deal with climate change.

2. Somehow, I don’t think misusing or tampering with this fire hose is going to land you in jail for six months. Unlike, say, criticizing Islam.

3. If you can read this, the answer is no.

4. If there’s a weight restriction on this road, she’s likely a violator:

5. How’d you like to have this as your epitaph?

6. I saw a lot of such people on the streets begging for cash, yet this is the home riding of the leader of the party whose union buddies are largely responsible for so many in Hamilton being out of work. Just like with the case of the blacks in the U.S., get off the plantation and stop voting NDP.

7. This pole just kind of screamed “Downtown Hamilton.”

8. Dude, get another cart. Or call a cab. Or something.

9. Some “street art” …

10. The Hamilton Endoscopy Center. Fittingly, the handicap entrance is in the rear.

11. Be careful of what you wish for.

12. Spotted on the street was a guy selling crafts with a sign, “Too ugly 4 hooking. Homeless but crafty.”

13. While eating lunch, a young nursing student built like a bowling ball waddled by, no doubt on her way to learn more about how to lecture patients on healthy living.

14. Want try on? Go see their friendly “staffs.”

15. This guy wasn’t about to tip over, he was just riding that way. It takes a special talent, I’ll give him that. But I don’t want to know what substance he was under the influence of that made him want to show that talent off.

16. And thank yu for your patronage …

17. I didn’t think they’d be selling boys dresses …

18. One of the few pearls of wisdom on James Street …

19. Good they put that sign there …

20. An LGBT-friendly food store?

21. And good luck to you …

22. I’m sure the feeling is mutual …

23. Spotted on James Street was a heavy-set woman in a yoga pose without a bra and wearing a low-cut top feeling up her boobs while smoking a joint. Trust me, this is one visual you don’t want.

24. Across the street was an older guy slowly shedding clothing who was carrying a water bottle mostly full of a pale yellow liquid. It wasn’t apple juice.

25. A low-budget security measure?

26. Hamilton’s finest …

27. For more shots from the day, check the album I posted on Facebook, a platform I haven’t been banned on yet.

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.