Observations and pictures from yesterday’s voyage to and from the Center of the Universe:
1. Even before the crack of dawn, there was a long line at the drive thru at the Tim Hortons on Scott Street. Oy.
2. Dear jogger on Scott Street: Even if you don’t care about breaking the law, show that you take your own safety more seriously than you expect passing motorists to by using the sidewalk instead of the road. Especially when it’s pitch dark outside.
3. After hearing train whistles near Fairview Mall, an area with no railway presence, I spotted this abandoned stocking cap or mitten with the number 5 on it.
Then when I got to Burlington, there was this 642 license plate right in front of me on the platform.
Messages sent, messages received. As I’ve said before, you may understand and you may not.
4. No doubt LCBO will be accused of racism with this edict …
5. On this Halloween day, much to my relief, my bus driver came dressed as … drumroll please … a bus driver.
6. On the QEW, we passed a sign that read, “Work Zone: Drive with Care.” So evidently, it’s OK to drive carelessly if it’s not a work zone.
7. Dear cyclist who got off at Beamsville: Much like the case with the jogger on Scott Street, place a premium on your safety by considering a small investment in a light for your bike. Especially when you plan to use it in the dark on roads without street lights.
8. Dear smoker on the platform at Burlington: Don’t let that big “no smoking” sign you were standing underneath bother you.
9. I think I was only one of three or four people on the platform and on the train who was not preoccupied with his phone. It shouldn’t surprise me at this point, but it still does.
10. As it was an express train, the customer service ambassador kept reminding passengers wishing to travel to stations between Clarkson and Exhibition to detrain at Oakville. This was just after I debused at Burlington and an hour before I would desubway in Toronto.
11. At the opposite end of the car I was in, there was a sign commemorating GO’s 50th anniversary. Why is it that I get the impression that GO was more advanced on their first day than Winnipeg Transit is today? Not that I’m bitter or anything, mind you.
12. Parked in a lot near the Bronte station was a trailer from Arnold Bros. Transport. As I’ve said before, the SPRM does follow me around.
13. The person seated next to me on the train should seriously consider upgrading her laptop from Windows 7, which is in the extended support phase. But at least she had the latest version of Office installed.
14. The guy seated across from me had a silly, almost stupid-looking grin on his face all the way to Union Station. But he sure thought he was important. Oh, and he’s an RBC customer. The things you learn about people on public transit.
15. It wasn’t even November and this GO locomotive was already decked out for Christmas:
16. At the washroom in Union Station, I had to wait in line to use a hand dryer. Once again, this is not the Old Country.
17. Traffic and crowds were not a problem on the way to Union, but I was caught off guard by the mass crush of humanity headed for the subway.
18. Dear TTC: Having taken the subway there before, I realize I should have known better, but please consider putting arrows pointing passengers to the proper gate to use after tapping their Presto card. Just like you do at other Presto-enabled stations. When you put a Presto machine between two sets of gates, not everyone is going to know which one to use, particularly in a city that gets as many visitors as Toronto does.
19. This jogger at Queen’s Park did not appear to be in costume. Her attire was just weird.
20. Normally, I would scoff at the prospect of students buying assignments, but today’s professors are so blinded by left-wing ideologies that they’d probably give a passing grade to anything, even if it was directly copied from Coles Notes, as long as it properly conformed to their worldview.
20a. Back in the late 1980s when I was in a class taught by a former NDP MLA, I got a D on an essay in which I disagreed with his left-wing politics. I pretended to agree with him on the next assignment and got a B. Coincidence? You be the judge.
21. Shots along Philosopher’s Walk on the campus of the University of the Center of the Universe. Or would that be Central Universe University?
22. When liberals talk about “everyone” being welcome, they mean everyone who agrees with them. The rest of us can take a hike.
23. Chew on this: 0 out of 8 households seem to have trouble getting a hold of cigarettes or LCBO products. There are some genuinely needy people out there, but far too often, it’s a matter of priorities.
24. The back of the arena that hosted the WHA’s Toronto Toros in their first season after moving from Ottawa.
24a. If you recall, following one season at Varsity Arena and two more at Maple Leaf Gardens, the Toros moved south and became the Birmingham Bulls. As an old Jets fan, I can still hear the “Birmingham stinks!” chant.
25. Shouldn’t this be code red?
26. Give him a call …
27. Outside the Royal Ontario Museum:
28. No, this shot was not taken in Winnipeg, the discount capital of the Western world …
29. The only difference between a regular piece of art and an “objet d’art” is the 50-100% premium in price.
30. Given how Halloween has seemingly become a national holiday, I was surprised that this was about as radical as things got as far as costumes and decorations were concerned:
31. Shots around the Yorkville area:
32. In case you have a dirty Canada Goose on your hands …
33. I don’t think I want to get my hair cut there:
34. Spotted at Yorkville Center was a couple who were fawning over a poodle as if it was a newborn baby.
35. I used the washroom at Yorkville Center, where again, people were washing their hands after doing their business. As I’ve said before, this is not the Old Country.
36. Near the Yorkville Center, I passed by a Ferrari and Maserati dealership, open by appointment only, strategically placed in the middle of the high rent district.
36a. If you recall, back in 2003, Dany Heatley of the Atlanta Thrashers wrecked his Ferrari in a single-vehicle accident that claimed the life of his passenger and teammate, Dan Snyder.
36b. How many of you remember that Heatley’s father played in the WHA?
37. Better than an old street …
38. It wasn’t bitterly cold by any means, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be riding around in the open-air top deck:
39. I guess those packages don’t move …
40. Obesity has evidently become such a problem in our society that the Shoppers Drug Mart in Hudson Bay Center had a “Weight Management” aisle.
41. Perhaps this is commonplace elsewhere in the world, but this is the first time I’ve seen an intersection like this one at Bloor and Yonge where pedestrians can cross diagonally.
42. Though I didn’t stop to investigate further, there was someone on Yonge Street looking to pocket a little extra cash by running a less-than-legal spinning-wheel gaming operation. No doubt, police will be on to him quickly. After all, the government hates competition.
43. Heard over the crowds at Yonge-Dundas Square was a mentally challenged gentleman who yelled, “Why do you make noise jeery freaks jerks?”
44. Many were lining up inside Eaton Center for a chance to win a Google Home Mini. Whatever that is.
44a. Even if it was something valuable, with Google partnering with their Silicon Valley allies in censoring any political views to the right of Lenin, you probably had to show a Liberal Party membership card to get an entry form.
45. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were out in full force all along Yonge Street. At one display, they had their literature available in Arabic. If that doesn’t scream desperation, I don’t know what does.
46. Before seeing it advertised on an overhead display, I didn’t know Toronto had an annual celebration of Iranian cinema. I also didn’t know that they were allowed to make movies in Iran other than government newsreels preaching hatred of Western culture.
47. At right is one satisfied customer …
48. In a province that blankets its roads in salt every winter, even when it’s not needed, this just screamed “Ontario”:
49. I get the feeling the Leafs and Raptors won’t take kindly to having their flags flown at this establishment. Call it a hunch.
50. And best of lucks in your new location …
51. I spotted this “DropBike” left out on the sidewalk. Apparently it’s a service where you can unlock one of their bikes using a QR code generated from their app and leave it at designated locations around the city when you’re done with it.
51a. You will never see such a service in the Old Country. Trust me.
52. Farther down Yonge, I spotted a bum sleeping on the sidewalk using the front wheel of his bike as a cushion. A bike that looked to be in better shape than mine.
53. At the NHL Hall of Political Correctness, caps from the North Stars, Whalers or Nordiques were readily available, but they had nothing from the Thrashers.
54. Outside their store at the Tim Hortons was this display featuring the (real) Jets:
Of particular note was the replica AVCO Cup, the Hawerchuk jersey and those old ticket stubs, all still fondly remembered by yours truly.
54a. On my list of ideas for future books is a memoir featuring the Jets’ final season.
55. Nearby was a display of pucks, two of which were from the WHA Jets:
56. While waiting at Union Station for the Lakeshore West train, I spotted this dude doing his exercises out on the floor:
57. You don’t need to have an M.D. after your name to know that the obese woman I spotted hobbling along on a cane would be able to get around a lot easier by dumping a few pounds.
58. I’m proud of the fact that I don’t get the rings seemingly normal people stick in their noses.
59. It couldn’t have been possible for the 20-something woman I spotted with dyed blond and blue hair to get more makeup and lipstick on her face without it falling off.
60. The two women on the platform standing near me might as well have been holding a big neon sign with “TOURISTS” on it. Act like you’ve been there before.
61. There was a “medical emergency” which delayed the train by 13 minutes, but to their credit, GO arranged for the #12 bus to hold at Burlington for those of us wanting to catch it. Once again, this isn’t the Old Country, where a Winnipeg Transit driver would have taken great pleasure in taking off just as the people who were running after the bus got within a few feet of the door. Spoken from a great deal of personal experience in that regard.
62. One guy got on and asked the driver, “Have I ever been on the bus with you?” and “Do you know where I like to get off?” Sure he does. I’m sure he knows each and every passenger by name.
63. I noticed a sign on the QEW for the Organized Crime Winery. Funny, I didn’t know the Clintons were in the wine business.
64. During the day, the rainbow-colored bench at Beamsville was replaced with a regular wooden one. I can just hear the liberals crying “Homophobia!”
65. I didn’t know what the obese woman in the drive thru at the Tim Hortons on Scott Street was about to order, but trust me, she didn’t need it.