Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Out With The Old, In With The New

CBC’s Matt Galloway had an interesting exit interview with outgoing David Miller. How will Rob Ford define his leadership and his Transit strategy? Ford has made his appointments. We shall soon see. The new Mayor of Toronto his sworn in tomorrow and the new council’s first meeting kicks off next week.

In The Name Of Effeciency…

The TTC has now made measures to reduce wait times at Bloor & Yonge Station permanent. As of today barriers will be in place and extra TTC staff will be on hand to insure that people move farther down the platform during morning and afternoon rush hours. The pilot project started November 23rd has been successful. It is said that they have shaved 10 to 15 seconds worth of wait time, which amounts to one to two more trains per hour. Every extra train is approximately 1,200 more people riding the rocket to their destination per hour!

A simple example of commuter/consumer courtesy that can save time and effort for everyone. Good to see that the ridership seems to be working to make this work. The TTC are tasking fewer staff to maintain this improved service than when this experiment started a few weeks ago. Costs down and service increased. At least we have one TTC story to smile about.

Have Mac Haters at Bell Changed Their Tune?

The success of the iPhone is unquestionable. Mac vs. PC, Blackberry vs. iPhone… All users of computers and mobile phones are potential customers for the mobile giants. If Rogers loses it’s exclusive rights things could get pretty good for consumers (of expensive gadgety cell phone thingys).

In this economy service and selection are a welcome commodity. Big Bell has upgraded their network and may be realizing it can’t just throw away customers any longer. Looks as though we soon may see if Apple haters have changed their tune in November.

No Need to Cry For Sunshine

HamiltonPoster

Best squeeze the best out of these last few weekends of summer. Looks to be a sweet and sunny weekend. A perfect backdrop for a lazy afternoon. Or not?

Things are heating up in the skate scene too. Some of Toronto’s and Southern Ontario’s best are heading West to Hamilton this afternoon. Hamilton is holding the 17th annual Hamilton Sk8 Jam. One of the longest running amateur skateboard competitions in Canada. This year there is a twist. The original home of the contest, Beasley Bowl, will host today’s competition. The final day, Sunday, will be held at the new Turner Skatepark. A skateshop/crew challenge is being thrown in to see who can dominate both days.

Hamilton Sk8 Jam
August 15, 2009
Beasley Park (Mary & Wilson) – Hamilton

August 16, 2009
Turner Park (344 Rymal Rd. E near the Y)

1pm start both days

Random Johnathan Thomas Sighting

jt-for-double

Searching for some CD’s and came across a strange ebay posting. Grade or some other Burlington band must have hawked this CD for food or ??? on tour in Indianapolis. Could the seller have done something more than check the CD for scratches? Did they venture a listen to both bands on the split CD? Both bands made decent recordings here in Toronto (at Umbrella Sound and Signal to Noise). From the listing the seller has no idea “who” these bands are. That’s what makes it cool and funny at the same time.

Sprucehill / Johnathan Thomas is a 1990’s emo CD. It’s not horrible but it was hardly a fan favourite of the HeartAttack crowd or those looking for the next Earth Crisis or Chokehold. Chokehold are (were) amazing but diverse tastes meant my first band sounded more like to Braid, Christie Front Drive and other emo bands emerging at the time. More melodic than heavy. The fact that a CD webstore is offering it up is interesting but they are charging quite a sum for their jurassic find.

Pretty shocked to see this old “local hero CD” selling for more than double what it sold for back in the day here in the GTA. I’m sure Kyle Bishop would get a laugh and a half. He of course played in Johnathan Thomas (his first band playing guitar instead of focusing on only vocals). Kyle’s artwork is on the cover too. Perhaps if this were known the CD would go for even more…haha!

If Burlington/Toronto post-hardcore, GRADE side projects or musical curiousity is your thing, hit ebay. That or perhaps dig at the bottom of the used CD bin for your glimpse of Sprucehill and Johnathan Thomas.

Blue Chip Finance Board Meets In Toronto

It’s been an interesting week if not due to a record number of Senators appointed (including Fabian Manning – a Conservative MP defeated in the recent election and Michel Rivard – a former Quebec MNA and Parti Quebecois who also ran as Canadian Alliance who wont be thinking too hard about Quebec separation now that he has a salary to age 75), $4 billion worth of public loans for the auto industry, and the Finance Minister naming an advisory council to advise him on an economic plan.

Not that Toronto is much of a stranger to a Board of Directors meeting but federal politics hits close to home again today with Mr. Flaherty’s council members meeting here in the city. The Board members read like a big business all-star team. The problem is this measure gain expert opinion is too little and too late. If these high profile respected business minds were already on speed dial, they were likely already considered respected council and resources.

Sad that Mr. Flaherty refused to listen to prominent economists from the Centre of Policy Alternatives or to the Independent Budget Officer in the first place. Public image was key so PR came before the public’s interest. Considering the passing of the Accountability Act was meant to put “truth in budgeting” and make ruling government’s more accountable for their actions is more than a bit ironic. There have been no federal deficits in over a decade and truth in budgeting has not come more into question than in recent days! Underestimating how well the economy is doing and posting surpluses is far less suspect. Underestimating a crisis, cutting government resources, selling assets off and still failing to break even is way too reminiscent of a Mr. Flaherty at Queen’s Park. The advisory council (scapegoat?) perhaps will abate anger over inaction and the momentum of the proposed coalition.

Anxious to see what the $1 Board accomplishes. The $2 billion plus worth of assets Flaherty has tabled to sell in the future have not been named or segregated out of his forecasts. Very creative accounting. These proceeds will hardly put a dent in a $30 billion deficit so why further cripple a government with limited resources? It hardly makes business sense to sell assets in a severaly depressed market so I would hope the council would push for scratching that plan. As for The Independent Budget Officer? He is getting his budget cut by a third. So Kevin Page has been rewarded for his Parliamentary Budget reports, especially the one that blew the whistle on the Conservative’s policy that would cause a deficit (despite advertising paid for to dispel any of these “rumours”). Happy Holidays, hoping for the best in the New Year.

An Election Promise to Build On?

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion and Mayor Miller both support Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion’s $70 Billion Infrastructure Plan (over 10 years). It’s refreshing to see politicians finally realize that taxes paid to the government are best used to invest in its citizens. Merely cutting taxes or increasing tax refunds does little to repair roads, build hospitals or improve our infrastructure.

I’m sure Mayor Miller’s and McCallion’s sentiments ring true from St. John’s to Victoria. This national strategy sounds like a viable promise and one worthy of implementing no matter who finally forms our government in Ottawa. Too much time has been wasted and too little has been re-invested back into Canada (and Toronto’s Infrastructure). Transit, Energy, Water Treatment and the neglected list goes on. A Liberal “Green Shift” promise for now but this should be a non partisan mandate for whomever takes office.

Dave Nolan as seen by Harry Gils (larger than life)

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I saw this massive skateboard pic of Dave Nolan near Yonge and Dundas.  While the shop posting this massive ad doesn’t even sell skateboards at least it’s by a Toronto photographer (Harry Gils) and is shot here in Toronto.

Blogging with ScribeFire

I’m trying to simplify my blogging so I can spend more time writing instead of logging in, surfing around, navigating the blogging site, copying and pasting all over the place, clicking here, there, and everywhere, never mind waiting for blogger to login, which has mysteriously become strangely problematic. In the past, I’d tried ScribeFire umpteen times on my own blog, but it was more of a pain than it was worth. But finally, for me, it works. Not only was I able to attach my own blog easily, but writing a post is a breeze. It’s intuitive — at last! — and being able to add URL links is so much easier and faster.

Having successfully used it with my own blog, I wanted to add Metblogs to it. Ha! Took me a few kicks at the can to figure out I had to manually configure the sucker and follow this format when inputting the posting URL: http://example.com/wordpress/xmlrpc.php. Phew! The login took at last and now I’m posting my first ScribeFire-powered post on Metblogs.

Got To Get My Sk8 On…

Had enough of the rain.  Granted we have had some sunny spells here and there but this weekend we have a 60% chance of more of the same, SHOWERS.  Oh well, going to try and get a skate session with crew today and maybe check out the eS game of S.K.A.T.E tomorrow at “Poyner Park” (Scadding Court Skatepark at Dundas and Bathurst).

esskate.jpg

eS Game of S.K.A.T.E. – Toronto Eliminations
June 22, 2008
11 am to 8 pm
Scadding Skateboard Park
707 Dundas St. W, Toronto ON 

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