Road work? Git ‘er done!

Those who follow my blog know there's a constant and festering burr under my saddle about the exorbitant lengths of time it takes to complete road construction, anywhere. I've already vented about the two-year fiasco called maintaining the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto (Gardiner Expressway problem solved) and just last week about the subway versus above-ground transportation networks (More fiddle faddle on infrastructure). After working for thirty years in the construction industry, it always amazed me that it takes three times longer to modify three kilometers of highway than it does…

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Ann Tyler spins a gripping family tale

Trying to sell someone on reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler would be like Seinfeld trying to sell network television on his show "about nothing"—it sounds like a giant yawn but actually packs quite a punch. After reading The Accidental Tourist (which I absolutely loved) many years ago I immediately put Tyler on my list of must-read authors. Unfortunately, not all her subsequent books were as enjoyable so I wasn't sure whether this newest one would be able to engage me enough to finish it. In short,…

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Oh fuddle duddle. More fiddle faddle on infrastructure

I'm becoming increasingly more convinced that our Mayor John Tory and City Council are out of their minds, loony, smoking bad oregano, out-of-touch with reality, inhaling too much carbon monoxide from cars or are just plain stupid. The City of Toronto recently tore down the Scarborough Light Rapid Transit Line (built by my former employer, EllisDon, in the 1970s) because it was a bad idea in the first place. Previously, they tore down the section of the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street, and now they're proposing to re-build it…

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Iris rocks!

The name Iris Apfel has been mentioned in previous blogs and if I were allowed only one word to describe the ninety-three-year-old style icon it would be inspiring. Apfel is the subject of a recent documentary as part of the Hot Docs series being shown at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto. Apfel describes herself as a geriatric starlet. The documentary about her late-life celebrity status was made by filmmaker Albert Maysles who died recently at the age of eighty-eight. Iris Apfel's parents were originally in the fabric business and after…

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Hooked on Timmie’s crack tea

The six-hour drive to visit my parents always starts with a fuel stop at Tim Horton's about five minutes from my home. There, I fill up with an extra-large steeped tea and that lasts me for about three hours of the trip. I have to wait about thirty minutes for it to cool enough that I can drink it and by then I'm sailing past Pickering on the 401. I keep sticking my finger in the hole in the lid until it reaches an acceptably drinkable temperature. Then, the sipping…

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Better than British fans is something to be proud of?

When I first heard about the fate of the young men who made disrespectful and obscene comments to on-air CITY TV reporter Shauna Hunt who was covering a Toronto FC soccer match, my initial reaction was ambivalence. I thought that Shawn Simoes was treated a bit harshly by Hydro One when he was fired from his $107,000.00 per year job. Could they not have just given him an unpaid leave for a few months and hope he learned his lesson? In their defence, the young men cited British soccer fans…

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