17 Nov

Fun Times on Public Transit

Observations, a few pictures and even some audio from a day on public transit to and from Pearson Airport:

1. While waiting at Fairview Mall, a mentally challenged guy came into the shelter and began blabbering some marginally intelligible gibberish in my general direction. After telling me that he cleaned his driveway three times yesterday, he turned his head slightly and ejected a half-gallon of snot from his nose before continuing. He apparently likes craft sales and he’ll be volunteering at one of them today, then he finished his bottle of Diet Pepsi before boarding his connecting #309 bus, thus sparing me more of his life story.

2. Among those boarding the #12C bus, surprisingly few paid with Presto, which is most unusual for a weekday.

3. Oddly, despite the wet and sloppy conditions on Friday morning, five bikes were parked at the Beamsville Park and Ride.

4. Among those boarding at Grimsby was a guy wearing a Kenora dinner jacket:

5. The customer service ambassador on the Lakeshore West train must not have slept well as “Final call for the doors” was routinely shortened to “Finlclfrthdrs.”

6. While walking through Eaton Center in Toronto, artificially bubbly clerks from Paragon were madly approaching passers-by and shoving small packets of a smelly substance at them. I did not dare to as much as slow down to investigate as to what the contents may have been. As they say in Texas, El Paso.

7. On the #1 TTC subway line, another mental case was walking up and down entertaining passengers like me with her special vocal talent.

8. On the #2 line, I was seated across the aisle from a young woman engrossed with her laptop who kept tugging on her lip so hard it was remarkable she didn’t peel the skin off.

9. While passing the Jane station, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the former first lady of Ontario, whose wife’s Liberals were so humiliated at the ballot box that they don’t even hold official party status at Queen’s Park anymore.

10. When I got to the Kipling station to transfer to the 192 Airport Rocket bus to take me to Pearson, in its place was the 900 Airport Express. It was only later when I saw this sign at Terminal 1 that I learned of the change as there was nothing posted at Kipling.

Furthermore, the change was not supposed to go into effect until Sunday, yet the buses and all signage at Kipling had already been changed. The “you’re just supposed to know” mantra may pass in St. Catharines, but it doesn’t cut it in Toronto. Two thumbs down to the TTC on this one.

11. Seated near the front of the prematurely marked 900 Airport Express bus was a guy wearing a vintage-model Jets toque. I normally cringe at reminders of the republic I once called home, but I didn’t mind that one.

12. At the international arrivals in Terminal 3, an Asian couple dumped their coats and a few of their belongings next to me while running off to chat with some others. How trusting of them.

13. Aboard the Airport Express bus on the way back to the Kipling station, I spotted someone near the front who was chugging down a can of beer. Judging from the way he was staggering around the station once we got there, it likely wasn’t his first of the day.

14. The same could be said for the bum next to me on the #2 line who reeked of some sort of alcoholic beverage. From the looks of him, he probably just got up off a park bench after passing out the previous night.

15. In front of me in the same car was someone sharing a bubble tea with his girlfriend. I can’t imagine how much they paid for the beverage that looked like watered down cappuccino with rat turds floating at the bottom of the cup.

16. As we made our way east on the #2 line, a fatso took a seat in front of me. In a state of semi-slumber, she apparently thought my knee was a resting place for her arm and enormous blubber that oozed way over the edge of the wide seat.

17. One of the slogans Metrolinx is using on posters around Union Station is “We’re working hard to bring you Rapid Transit.” Trust me, you don’t want to emulate the biggest white-elephant project Winnipeg has ever known.

18. Despite the fact that mid-November is hardly peak tourist season, there was quite the line of people waiting to board the #12 bus at Burlington:

19. Waiting in that line, someone behind me yelled, “Geez, it’s cold.” Yes, the wind picked up a bit in the afternoon, but the temperature was +3. Go spend a few winters in the SPRM, then you’ll find out what cold really is.

20. I suspect the hyperactive smoker who got on at Beamsville and sat down next to me didn’t connect his heavy breathing and shortness of breath with his smoking habit. Then, the instant the bus came to a stop at Fairview Mall, the guy took off like a shot, running down the stairs and off the bus.

21. While walking through Fairview Mall after getting off the bus, a guy who was using the pay phone stopped me and asked, “Hey, buddy, do you know if there’s a bar around here on Geneva Street?”

While I was thinking, he added, “You know, a variety store.”

“But I thought you said a bar?” I replied.

“Yeah, a bar and a variety store.”

Well, there’s an odd combination.

Then he continued.

“It used to be known as something then some other thing.”

Gee, that’s helpful.

So even though I’m good with places and directions, even for places I don’t frequent like bars, I couldn’t help him.

What a shame. My heart bleeds for the poor guy.

Or not.

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.