I had the pleasure of picking up a friend at YYZ's terminal 3 today, such a refreshing change from the spacious and beautiful terminal 1! Honestly, how is that cramped and shoddy mess still a part of an airport that's seen growth by 15,000,000 passengers per year since 2010?.
I'm back on my three-season bike, and the new wheels make an enormous difference! Spending four months almost exclusively on the TTC was quite a drag: I tend to pick up infections, and I certainly don't get an exercise.
I was just sitting at my desk at home when I heard a great wrenching sound - one of the old hardwoods along the property lines between our places and the next had snapped in twain halfway up, with the crown crashing down where there are usually several cars behind a small apartment building.
I met with some colleagues I hadn't seen in six months - they greeted me with, "You're really turning grey!"
It was a grey day, I got rained on en route, and I'd started my day with a new prescription for antibiotics for 2017 Headcold #7.
The intake form for The Boy's "Individual Learning plan" includes some talk about his post-secondary education - he's 9! Mari and I debated about what to put there, and eventually settled on, "We have no idea about how Ken's education career with the TDSB might work out, or how that might work with his post-secondary education.
My fundraising for the 25km safe streets bicycle ride in Toronto is $75 along, so far - thank you donaters! It now turns out that there's a free bag of roasted coffee in it for anyone who'll donate (ask me for details).
Today I had the pleasure of riding up the length of the new cycle lane on Woodbine Avenue - a great ride! Formerly a no-go zone on a bike due to the heavy, stop-and-go traffic, it's now easy with a wide lane between the curb and parked cars that are kept apart from the cyclist by a buffer that prevents dooring.
The toll from using cheap tires has started: I'd only just had a cycle shop fix my screw-up with my chain (I missed a small guide on one of the derailleur wheels) when I had my first flat in nearly two years.
Missed a day due to illness yesterday; today I discover that my bike tire needs replacing; the bike shop that claimed to have the tires and tubes I wanted had neither; then the watch repair guys break my watch; then I put the new tubes in my new tires, and put those on my bike and noticed that one of the spring arms had broken on my rear brake.
It is really annoying to get such a substantial tax return every year; why can't the government remember from year to year that it's over-taxing us by hundreds of dollars a month!
All the more so when the money meant that medical bills were being put off.
Crowds of cyclists are already out, some two months earlier than they would have 5 years ago – thanks to infrastructure! This is what happens when you set aside some lanes and allow people to make some choices.
I was nearly home when I came upon some small bats gliding over the street – at the level of my helmet! I do love seeing bats about, it means that mosquitoes are dying, and they are beautiful in flight.
Thanks to my mum's expertise, Mari and I have been "bumped out of our wine bracket" and now drink Meritage wines, which are blends that take the various excesses out of the different single-grape type drinks.
With the new contra-flow cycle lanes, the city is learning that cycling is a solution; no one tell the Mayors! I belong to a group that proposed and won such a lane on Dixon avenue in the Beaches Triangle.
I had an interesting opportunity to learn from some talented Toronto drivers today; I assume it's a full moon? My first opportunity came with a chance to speak with a woman today while driving in Scarborough, asking if she could explain a stunt she'd just pulled.
Our friend Michael has made our son a Yoda head for a LEGO minifig on his company's 3D printer; it looked amazing! He and I met on the street car, as I'd inadvertently left my bike locked up outside the office (mercifully, it was still there).
I grew up in Calgary, so I don't mind winter; but enough of this 3°C and rain! It's no good for cycling, it's no good for getting around and taking care of things, and it's certainly no good for getting the kids out of the house.
Which of the following are now gone or going:
a) Honest Ed's (to make way for condos)
b) World's Biggest Bookstore (to make way for condos)
c) Sam the Record Man (becoming part of Ryerson)
d) Royal Alexandra Theater (to make way for condos)
e) Princess of Wales Theater (to make way for condos)
f) all of the above!
That's right, it's 'f'.
Today someone with a mobile device in his lap decided he'd had enough of waiting at the red light and made an abrupt left turn through the intersection, despite the fact that three lanes of one-way traffic were closing in from the right.
Today I learned from my physiotherapist that a long-standing discomfort I've been putting up with is not a side effect of a surgery I had six months ago, but of a lifetime of slothful lazy about in front of computers.
It's the season for yellowjacket hornets, and even though we all know not to swat the damn things (this causes the hit insect to release fight pheromones, which attracts angry allies), I accidentally knocked one of the things while trying to wave it away.
We were outnumbered at a get-together this evening with Elias's family and Manami's family ('round here we identify families by the first name of the first born, for whatever reason—I suppose it was probably a protocol invented by our own first born).
It's funny, I'm in the midst of studying things like accountability and efficiency, and dropped two and half days of work right in the midst of several projects & initiatives because one of my kids got sick.
For the record, I would like to recommend to our medical system that there's a difference between adults with broken legs and children undergoing life-threatening mystery diseases on the one side, and pill-seeking scheming regulars.
I pulled out the suede coat that my mother resurrected for me recently with some repairs, and lo and behold, there was a spatter of white birdshit that must have hit me when I was cycling this week, from the looks of things.
Three good things that happened today:
We verified that a technical solution costing us only $12 a month will allow us to cut out the vast majority of the sources of security hack attempts against our web services, today.
Three wins for the TTC in their efforts to make me late for work today:
As so frequently happens, there were no street cars in sight on Queen Street, which diverted me onto the bus up to the subway line, which led to another subway line and then back onto the street car downtown: an inefficient route plagued with connection delays and other problems.
One of my coworkers came stomping into the office today just as I'd returned to my desk with a wry smile on my face—it looks like we'll be undergoing a new round of struggles with our building management in getting our kitchen sink onclogged yet again.
There is a grass-roots movement building among Canada's first nations people that is purposefully excluding the aboriginal communities' own political leadership as a matter of strategy in order to focus on achieving results, and to take matters into their own hands.
I took my old bike out for a spin this morning, covering about fifteen kilometers from Mari's parents place to the sea then back inland, through a tunnel that cuts through a big rock in the middle of the valley, and then traipsing my way back.
What's going on, Japan? I'm gone for two years and return to find that your convencience stores have started nuking the staple "o-nigiri" rice balls? Call me a relic, call me what you will, but I believe that rice balls are a dish best served cold.
It is amazing what you can do with the web development software libraries that are just sitting around today; in about two literal minutes, I added a "WYSIWYG" editor to the tools that I use to make this website.
I've nearly painted Kenny's bike, but have hit a snag - the spray can is empty!
Not sure why I didn't foresee that one, I'd already used a fair bit of paint making a toy for him some years ago, and an old spray can of paint tends not to age well.
The car rental agency I deal with insists that there's nothing for me this Friday except a Fiat 500 - dang!
I've never sat in one but I'm pretty sure I won't come close to getting my 6'5" frame into the thing.
My cousin Kate the actress and her fiancé invited us to a party to celebrate four things:
1) his birthday
2) her birthday
3) the new year
4) their engagement
Amazing, Mari found a card suited the occasion.
Today's driver actually said, "This is my streetcar!"
A fellow had entered the streetcar by the back door - a move that's acceptable by policy that is posted at every entrance to every street car on the Queen Street line.
I was fretting that our electricity bill is rarely south of $50 for a month; then Mari reminded me that in Tokyo we paid $100 a month!
Happily, it turns out that we can write off a portion of that bill, as we're using about 20% of our apartment for office space.
When we lived in Tokyo, we never made a Jack O' Lantern for Kenny; who would, when pumpkins cost $50!
But we've made one this year (woohoo, $3 Niagara pumpkins!), a smiling fellow with a single buck tooth and happy eyes.
I took Kenny to Fairview Mall to see the Lego store, but the store wasn't yet open—a 32 kilometer "D'oh!"
Thanks a lot, Lego website, for listing the store as open among your paltry three stores in Canada.
This evening (Toronto time) I've had another update from the Canadian embassy in Japan, as follows:
"On March 12th, the Prime Minister of Japan declared a nuclear emergency following a problem with the cooling system power supply at nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plants.
I decided to send one of my Minolta XD bodies off to the US for repairs after being told by one local repair shop they wanted more than $200, and being told by another that my particular camera would be impossible to repair in Japan.