Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cycle VS Car

What is going on with drivers this Spring?  As a cyclist, I’m getting afraid.

On Sunday I nearly got hit by 2 cars between Yonge and Rees Streets!
The first, as I approached Yonge on the right side of traffic:  I’m just entering the intersection as I am supposed to.  Rolling past cars, I keep an eye on who does and doesn’t have their indicator on.  I’m not about to cut off a car, he gets a dent and I get broken.
So of course, the car beside me cuts right with no indicator on!  He hammered on the gas and I just managed to turn away and bump the side of the car.  He just kept driving like nothing was wrong.
2 blocks later I turned off Queens Quay.  A car pulled out of a parking lot and I watched him not look left (towards me).  Then he slowed right down, so I went to pass. Suddenly he accelerated and moved right.  Right into me.


Then this morning, I was turning left onto Yonge from Shuter.  The car ahead of me was stopped at the green light, no indicators, no sign of anything.  Just not moving.  So I cautiously passed on the left, assuming that this car would drive straight through the intersection into the Eaton Centre parking lot.  Of course, she turned left, barely missing me.  She hadn’t indicated and hadn’t even looked before moving.

I used to feel stupid wearing a helmet, but these days I’m quite grateful.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


One of the guys that works in my office is in his early twenties, and a “heels-to-jesus” campy gay boy.  My only issue with that is that he’s totally in the closet.

So imagine my surprise today when someone mentioned seeing a transgendered girl in the coffee line, and he developed this look of absolute disgust.

If he’d actually said anything, I would have called him on it immediately.  However, facial expressions are hard to judge, especially when HR might get brought into the picture…

Little twit deserves two slaps.  One for being a closeted adult (living on his own, paying his way) and another for transphobia.  Or overcompensation.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Land Of The Living

I had a great week off work (and as little internet as possible).

I started off by going to the sailing club on Friday night. There was no wind, and nobody felt like bobbing on the water.  We started drinking instead.  A great night followed…
Saturday morning I woke up and decided to head to the recording studio.  For 5 days, I only left to head to a couple of birthday parties.  By early Wednesday, I had recorded a whole new album!  I’m VERY excited.
Thursday I cleaned.  Whooo-hoooo
Friday was good – I hung around the house for most of the day, and went out for an extremely gusty sail.  Met more of this year’s “Newbie Crop,” and they seem a good bunch.
Saturday was more sailing, this time there was a Small Craft Warning in effect.  We shouldn’t have gone out, but we did.  And WOW, it was awesome.  Lots of work, but thrilling.
Sunday I sailed again.  Had my first Man Overboard situation.  He went overboard, and we probably got him back in 10 seconds since he didn’t let go of the shrouds.  But holy crap, that was unnerving.  30 minutes later I was STILL shaking from the adrenaline.  On the upside, nobody on my boat panicked.  Not even Mr. Fish, the wet one.

Now I’m back at work.   I feel refreshed and ready to deal with society again.  I won’t get another holiday until September when Wife and I go away somewhere.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dropped The Sail For Sleep

Plans have changed.

I was to be setting sail tomorrow morning at 9am.
That would have meant ditching “date night” with Wife to stock up on food and booze, pack, and prepare anything else required while I’m out of contact for 3 days.  Too much too soon.

Without any downtime since last summer/fall, I’m exhausted.  Last night I actually slept for 8 hours without waking up at all during the night.  I don’t remember the last time that happened, but it’s probably an annual experience at best.
I can’t deal with 3 days in nonstop close contact with my friends and also prepare for the trek.  So I’ve backed out.

Instead I’ll relax at home, head to a pub for a friend’s birthday, have a Victoria Day/ birthday barbecue, and generally live the life of the unemployed for 9 days (but with cash).

I’ve got mixed feelings about skipping the sail, but I think I’ve just bitten off more than I can chew.  Gotta drop what I can to recover from a long, stressful slog through winter.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Looking Towards The Night

I'm having a day full of stupid people.

I can't wait to get out of here at 5pm.  I'll be meeting Wife on a patio for a pint, before watching the new Ironman movie.
Then home to change the aquarium water, pack for the weekend, throw a load of laundry in the machine, and head to bed.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lonely and Suspicious


It’s interesting – I think I’m writing to nobody.
There are a few daily readers, but I can’t tell if they’re randomly finding me or if they’re part of the “old crew.”  I used to have many daily readers, to the point where if I skipped a couple of days I would receive emails checking to see if I’m okay.
It was quite fun back then, 2006-ish, and a circle of Toronto bloggers became “real world friends.”

Now, in 2013, I feel like I’m in an empty room.  And it’s getting harder to speak my mind.  I’m not sure if that’s because of the silence or if I’m just becoming sedate in my adulthood.

What should I write about today? 


Tim Bosna was murdered last week, with no apparent motive.  Two men took his truck for a ‘test drive’ before buying, and he was never seen alive again.
They’ve arrested Dellen Millard for his apparent part in this crime.
Something doesn’t seem right here though:  Millard is apparently an intelligent person from an affluent family.  He has the word “Ambition” tattooed on his forearm.
Whoever took that truck out with Tim had this visible tattoo.  If an intelligent person was to murder a stranger, why wouldn’t he hide such a unique marking?  Also, the truck was found inside a trailer at his mother’s house.  That just seems too easy.  Too many simple errors for someone with the intellect to hide his tracks.
What don’t we know?  Prisons are full of stupid criminals that didn’t cover their tracks to a reasonable level, and from what I’ve heard of Millard he’s smarter than that.  I'mnot professing his innocence, just questioning the current information...

If I was a praying man, they would be with Bosna’s family.  I can’t imagine the pain his wife and child (and parents, I assume) are going through right now.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Yesterday I was talking with a coworker about people becoming parents at a young age.
For the record, I’m nearly 40 with no kids and no interest in being a parent.

When I was 20, I FINALLY slept with a girl I’d been crushing on for a few years.  Unfortunately she had a boyfriend, but he was in jail.  I honestly wanted a relationship with her, and we planned our future.  Her boyfriend got released a week or two after we spent the night together (me and his gf, that is).  She changed her mind and decided to stay with him.  I was heartbroken.

A month or so later, she phoned me up.  “I’m pregnant,” she said.  My heart leapt into my throat.  Parenthood?  Can I deal with that?  I guess we’ll find out…
Her next statement was not to worry, it was his.  This actually came as no surprise as I didn’t “finish.”  There would have still been a chance, but only a slim one.

Their relationship didn’t last much past birth from what I understand, but we didn’t reconnect.  I had left town before the baby was even born.

That close call would have sent my life into a completely different realm.  Had I been ‘dad’, I’d have been stuck in  a minimum-wage town, struggling to make ends meet. I’d have stayed, being the best father that I could be.  However, I wouldn’t have the life that I have now, the life with Wife with a house in Toronto.

Facebook friends with the “lost love” now, I’ve caught a glimpse of the girl conceived within weeks of my being with her mother.  I see a wonderful girl that’s in her first year of university.  I see a loving family (without jailbird dad).  It does make me wonder what would have happened if my wish had come true?  If I’d stayed with her?  Would I have been a good father?  Would I enjoy that life in small-town Ontario?  Or would I have turned into a regretful alcoholic factory worker?


Actually, a few months before that hookup I was living in a disasterous, volatile relationship with a beautiful psychopath.  I was 20 and employed (a relative success in the town).  What do you do when you have a full time job and you feel that you’ve reached your peak?  Have a baby.

We decided to stop using birth control and just “see what happens.”  Of course, within a few weeks she was pregnant.  I was overjoyed.  We broke up (before I hooked up with the other girl), but I still wanted to be a parent.  In fact, I wanted custody of our child.  My family had more money, time, and resources than hers, which would have given the child a more stable life.  She miscarried before we were able to come to a solution. 


Those are the two times that I could have become a parent.  Even though my first wife wanted children, our marriage was too rocky to bring a child into it.  And after that marriage, I decided that I wasn’t getting involved in the role.  Uncle Dickeybird is the best for me. 

Funny how many tangents one life could have.  But I’m glad I’ve got the path I’m on.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Flash Weekend

Wow, what happened to that weekend????

Friday night Wife was managing a play.  I went, and enjoyed myself thoroughly.  Afterwards, she asked me to help pack up as she’d hurt her hand.  She fell, landed badly, and we were pretty sure it was broken.  Off to the hospital we went, where they said (after four hours) that it was only badly bruised but not broken.
A couple of hours later, we were up having breakfast as Wife’s parents were visiting for the show and night.

After breakfast, I went to the pet store and bought a few more fish for the aquarium.  Among the bunch were a few Assassin Snails to eat the Garden Snail infestation that I’m currently fighting.  I also bought a second Bristlenose Pleco, just ‘cause they’re cool.
Then I went shopping with a neighbour, buying a new lamp for our living room.  When I got home, I looked in the aquarium.  I saw an Assassin Snail munching on the new Pleco’s corpse!  I’m pretty sure that the change killed the pleco and the snail was just getting rid of the evidence, I don’t think the snails can/will kill fish…  Still, it’s made me uncomfortable – I just don’t want my fish to disappear.  I may remove the snails just to be safe.

Sunday I got up and wrote a new song.  Then had brunch with an old friend, which included 5 glasses of wine.  Afterwards I headed home and watched Skyfall in the bubblebath.  I fell asleep and woke up when I accidentally kicked the laptop (which was balanced on the edge of the tub) onto the floor.
Damned wine.

Those 2 days just FLEW by!  At least next weekend’s a 3-day version.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sailing - Fish - Wife!

Wow, what a busy week.  It’s FLOWN by.

Sailing on Wednesday night was a fantastic clusterf**k of mistakes.
To start the evening, I rigged our spinnaker upside down.  When we went to raise the sail, I was at the back of the boat wondering what the hell my team was doing wrong.  Suddenly I realized that it was my fault, and shut up quickly.  Everyone had a good laugh at my expense, and I bought the first round of drinks afterwards.
Everyone else made equally  stupid errors, and hopefully by getting them out of our systems we’ll move up the ladder.

Last night I had to euthanize one of my fish.  I was changing the water, and noticed that Larry the Platy had her left eye bulging out of her head and bloodshot.  It was really gross and about 3 times the size it should be.  There was blood and puffy skin all around it…  I filled a ziplock bag with ice cubes and water, gave it a few minutes to chill properly.  Then netted Larry and dropped her quickly into the bag.  The shock stunned her instantly, so hopefully there was no (more) pain.  I hate it when the fish die.  I’ve had 5 or 6 go in the year I’ve had this hobby, and it’s never been pleasant.  There’s very little you can do to help or heal them, there’s almost no research and information online about most treatments.  I suppose because most fish are in the $2-5 range, it’s more effective to just replace them.  Medication is sketchy at best if you can even diagnose the problem, and not easily available.  Sad.

Wife is producing a play that is being put on (played?) tonight.  I’m pretty excited to go.  It’s a fundraiser, and should raise a fair bit of cash for her concern.  The rest of the weekend?  Saturday I’ll do nothing, then Sunday I’m having brunch with an old friend.  I’m looking forward to all 3 things coming up this weekend.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shock And Horror

I’ve spent a couple of days reading the news about the kidnappers in Cleveland Ohio, and the 3 women they kept for over a decade.

I really just can’t comprehend the brutality of these guys, or living through what the women endured.  I actually feel a similar “stun” to what I did on September 11, 2001.
What would my reaction be if either side was part of my family?
What would my reaction be if either side were friends of mine?
What would my reaction be if either side were friends of neighbours?

There’s a mental block, I just can’t imagine.
I think that if I was one of the victims, I’d rather die than live through a decade of that.  How are they going to recover emotionally?

My sympathies go out to these poor girls, and I really hope that they exceed my expectations.

Unfortunately, this incomprehensible evil seems to be happening more and more often.  Prevention and punishment both need to be addressed, but damned if I know how…

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Time Off For Good Beer

I missed a day.  I didn’t do anything anyway.

Had a great weekend, if a bit boozy.

Saturday I sailed with most of my racing team.  A beautiful day, 8 knots of wind, hot sun…
We went up and down the harbour a few times, with our big colourful spinnaker flying on the downwind runs.  That preceeded a few hours sitting on a patio guzzling beer.  As heavy as guzzling sounds, we had to wait in a 20-minute lineup every time we wanted refills.  There was only 1 person working as cook/cashier/bartender at the harbourfront on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  And he was a SLOW lone worker!

Sunday I was supposed to have brunch with a friend, but that got cancelled at the last minute.  Instead, I went to the social thingy that my co-op was hosting.  An afternoon in the sun, with more beer and cigars…  By the time I went to a birthday dinner that night, I was HAMMERED.

I might take a few days without beer.  I feel the need to dry out, even if this means not sitting on sunny patios after work.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Let 'Em Fly

Last night I heard more gunshots from the neighbourhood.

There were a lot last summer, but the winter was quiet.  I guess the gangstas calm down for the Christmas season…

To be honest, if it was just gansta shooting gangsta, a drug deal gone bad, whatever, I wouldn’t really care.  Early death is one of the expected results from that high-risk/ high-yield career path.  What does cause a problem is when bystanders get shot.
It happened a couple of times last year, and the mayor increased police presence in the area.  I don’t know if it helped or not, but I’m glad he did it.

I’m also glad we don’t live in the end unit of our townhouses – I was recently told that there are a couple of bullet pock-marks in the side wall, the results of a shootout last spring.

Still, when I heard the shots last night I was sitting on my porch with a beer and a cigar.  Talking to a neighbour, neither of us did more than flinch slightly. 

Acclimatization sets in…  Hand me another beer.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I think I’m a good sailor.  I think I’m a good racer.  But now I see why we don’t win very often…

I was at the club last night to “qualify.”  We had to pass a Racing Rules test. 
A pass was 20/30.  I scored 21/30.  Yikes.  But at least I get to sail this year, a fail would have sucked.

I thought I did better, and am not sure where I failed.  Guess I’m going back to the rule book.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


What can I say, Spring is FINALLY here!

Yesterday I rode over a screw, popping the front tire on my bike.  I had to cancel my evening plans, as I wouldn’t have time to get the bike back home, replace the tire, and ride down to my seminar.

Wife knew that I’d had a rough day (lots of crap at work too), so when I got home there were a few cans of beer in the fridge.  She'd gone out, but made sure to take care of me before rushing to her rehearsal.

I grabbed a can, a couple of wrenches, and a new inner tube and headed out to the porch to fix the bike.  It was a quick fix, so I ran back in to get a second can and a cigar.  Then I sat outside with the neighbours for a while, smoking, drinking, and enjoying the sunshine.

A good recovery from a frustrating day.