Monday, December 30, 2013

Pain is relative

Story 1

A potentially live power line lying mere inches from his car prevented him from getting to the office outside Toronto this past week.

Sniderman said if nothing happens soon, he’ll likely have to pay for a rental car to get to his job in Markham, which would take over an hour and a half by public transit.

 Story 2

Holding spent a week in darkness. The days blurred into nights and the nights dropped below zero. Holding cloistered herself in bed, crying between sleeps and trying her best to stave off morbid thoughts.

 The 39-year-old is largely immobile due to multiple sclerosis, and the scooter she uses outdoors froze in her shed on Dec. 21, the storm’s first day. (A neighbour helped her push it back in, where it became even more useless as it lost its charge.)

Not sure if you guys can get into the full stories cause the Toronto Star's website has somewhat restricted access but I thought these two icestorm related stories were interesting.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Iced out!

Belated Merry Christmas to everyone!!.

Christmas came and went with little fanfare for us this year. Not alot of cerebrating, in fact up to now we haven't exchanged gifts. Mainly because we got caught up in the aftermath of the ice storm which hit Toronto last Saturday and left 90,000 households without power. We braved it out in our home til Monday morning but then ran out of firewood so had to pack up cause well with the babies and all it really wasn't a pleasant atmosphere for them to be in.

And so we trekked over to a friend's place where we hunkered down and waited out the repairs. Quite the number of fallen tree limbs in our backyard but luckily no damage to the wires around our home but yet we still waited and waited.

Basically in a circumstance like that all thoughts of Christmas go through the window and its all about survival. We checked in on the lights on Tuesday and Christmas day Wednesday but still nothing and the house was colder than an icebox.

 As an aside, my son was singing in the church choir on Christmas Eve and even though the church was without power the service still went on by candlelight. Quite the experience and a show that the joy of Christmas although tempered by adversity could not be overwhelmed by it.

Eventually though and thankfully all our power came back to normal so we are back home with lights, power and heat restored although some of our neighbours are still facing day 6 of no power.

Kind of sucks but  our experience puts things into perspective.

People are still upset and quite rightfully so that more wasn't done earlier to handle the households without power as a few people have died in their homes. I mean we also went through the great power outage of 2003 back then living in an apartment where not only was there no power but because we were on the upper floors we had no water as well. All in all we were one of the last to get our power back then and I was hoping the law of averages would even things out now but alas no we still waited 5 days to be restored.

Still 3 days in the summer without power as a married couple with no kids isn't that bad compared to 4-5 days in the winter without heat with a 7 year old and two nine month babies.

But with God's help and that of some great people who took all of us in we survived.

My thoughts go out to the folk here still without power as this drags on and also to the folk in St Vincent who were affected by the rains and mudslide on Christmas Eve.

Like I said tragedy and adversity puts it all in perspective.  But such is life, we survive and we move on.

Seasons best to everyone.

Friday, December 06, 2013


Sad that such an incredible individual is gone. A true hero, a fighter, a man of the people and one who endured persecution for his beliefs. In terms of the ideal for freedom I dont think anyone who has walked the earth in my lifetime can come close to what he meant, what he did.

But as with us all, regardless of our standing or our achievements his day came and he was taken from us.

Rest in Peace Madiba.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

De Mayor

So Toronto's mayor huh?

Somebody request I speak about him and while I had jokes a tonne I think that point (I mean really what can top the "I have enough to eat at home" statement?) has passed so here goes.

1) Toronto is embarrassed. Not just cause the mayor smoked crack but because we also really had/have no way to send him packing. He's been de-clawed somewhat but he's still Mayor in name and we cant totally get rid of him. No one ever had a contingency plan for suppose the mayor has embarrasses the city and needs to be deposed apparently. We are just thankful that we were able to restrict his powers as is.

2) I fear Ford could possibly make a comeback. For all his cracksmoking and inebriation I will tell you this: The man is a masterful politician, or maybe its his handlers. Its not just that he has a diehard following who believes everything he spews, its that before the evidence started to mount he positioned the whole issue to be one where it was the media was out to get him and made it seem plausible. He's also positioned himself to make it seem he is a man of the people and others are out to get him. His whole gravy train rhetoric, his stance on getting a subway to Scarborough and greatest of all his whole no tax increase talk made him popular.

People just like to hear politicians push a view they held. There was no real ridiculous overspending at city hall but talk about it all the time, have a catchy phrase like gravy train and just make up stuff as you go along and all the folk who believed that something like that was actually happening will believe you even though no plausible evidence was put forward.

3) People will overlook everything for the sake of a dollar. Even now with almost insurmountable evidence and admissions of guilt there are those who are like well its his personal business, as long as he doesnt raise taxes I would still vote for him.

4) Laughing at the idiots south of the border is sort of a a Canadian pastime since we usually feel we are so much more superior somehow. Well now they laughing at us. I hear CNN the other night say boy it should be mandatory to refer to this man as the crack smoking mayor of Toronto. Lawd ave mercy, look how we have fallen

5) With all the evidence that the police had why didnt they make a bold move and look to gather even more or increase the scope of their case to include the Mayor? Same police that duz stop random  black kids on the street for no reason than walking through a certain neighborhood can watch the mayor exchange packages with a known drug dealer and not make a move somehow? Strange I say
If he did black or any minority for that matter dem wudda find a way by hook or crook to deal with this long time. Sorry had to be said.
6) For all the lighthearted banter in the media, the guffaws and the late night parodies this isnt a joke. As the allegations and the revelations continue to be made known you realize this is some really serious stuff even if Ford continues to laugh it off.

I mean your city's leader is doing drugs with drug dealers, exchanging packages surreptitiously in gas station parking lots and behind school buildings, drug dealers are planning to blackmail him, he's allegedly offering money for incriminating evidence, someone who may or may not have had an incriminating video was killed, he's making disparaging comments about minorities and other politicians, attending official functions inebriated, ranting on camera about fighting or something.  He's arguing he didnt lie cause the question of drug use wasnt asked in the correct tense, he's admitting to such use but only when he's drunk? He's offending folk with his lewd speech on live camera. I mean seriously if this was a movie I'd say naa dude this is unbelievable, over the top, this is just overkill. But its not a movie its Toronto's reality as weekly new info comes to hand. 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The News

Times they be a changing.

A few weeks ago I cancelled my print subscription to the Toronto Star, a newspaper I had subscribed to on and off (mostly on) for the past 18 years. It was a bit of a sad moment for me but with two babies soon in need of daycare, the rising cost of newspapers, the lack of time to actually sit and read a newspaper and the myriad of free online options it was time.

Still I have fond memories of newspaper reading over the years having grown up in a household where my dad bought the Barbados Nation or the Advocate every day on his way home from his morning sea bath.

Newspapers were all around me growing up and something I liked to read. I remember grabbing the paper as soon as my dad came home in the morning and started to get ready to work, and reading the comics first then the sports pages while he was in the shower. As time went on, I moved on to the international news and then finally got into the court cases and local news. Not that the local news was boring (although it sort of was) it was also that you got the local news on radio and on the 7 o'clock TV news etc so by the time it was in the paper the day after you'd already heard most of it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tweet Tweet

Yes I like to make fun of twitter. Sorry I cant help it.

Yes I have a twitter account. Sigh yes I can admit it without complete and utter total shame....but just barely.

I actually use it once every year during the NBA draft (for following sports writers) and then I promptly forget that its there so I cant say its absolutely useless but at the same time I think people duz tek this tweeting thing too seriously and it has affected our lives with trivial nonsense and a preponderance of #hashtags

Some folk just seem to take this tweeting thing so seriously though.

Monday, September 09, 2013


Last week was the first week of school for elementary and high school kids. I was expecting the streets to be crazy with traffic last Tuesday or maybe Wednesday once everyone got back into the swing of things but really aside from a few extra kids on my school bus it wasn't all that bad.

Compare that to today when University students also started in earnest and the traffic pileup got serious. I mean my usual 10 minute bus ride took about 20 minutes and the subways were more packed than they have been since last March.

It also feels although I have no proof to back it up like whole sectors of the employed just take the summer off cause as you look around the crowding doesn't readily appear to be caused by school kids and university students it seems to be an influx of workers who you didn't see all summer.

I guess maybe people change their schedules but it just feels like folks were off all summer and just started back work.

Oh well time to factor back in that additional 10 to 15 minutes for travel time.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


For the break in my writing here. I havent completely given up on this blog yet just so much to do and so little time. I've had lots of thoughts but everytime I think one is worthy of sharing I think I've either shared that already or naa thats not really worth the effort.

Still life goes on as it must. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Shoe shopping

So Saturday I was doing what has apparently become my latest hobby......looking for shoes for my mother.

She's very picky because certain types of shoes dont work well with her feet so in the past two months I've basically went from novice to less of a  novice on women's shoes. Yea not something for the old resume but it is what it is. I looking for flats with straps with such and such and the toes out and this and that an this color and rah rah rah and yes she is very picky.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Usually I'm a bit of a news junkie. From the mundane to the important I like to know whats happening just because, well because I think I'm wired that way. I grew up in a household where from early I saw my dad bring home the newspaper every morning when he returned from his morning sea baths and would sit at the breakfast table reading through the top stories before he headed off to work. When I got older I'd share that paper with him, my interest being mainly in the sports page but perusing the occasional big headline.  We'd also religiously watch the 7'o'clock news. Needed to know what was happening.

This continued until I left home but at University inundated with all the new knowledge they threw at me I strayed away from my newspaper and news regime until one day I was kind of embarrassed when speaking to my parents back in Barbados my dad said "oh so Canada has a new prime minister" (this being when Kim Campbell had taken over for Brian Mulroney) and I had no clue that this had happened over a week ago.

To me it was like my dad over there in Barbados knows more than I do about whats happening over here and I'm over here. Never again I said, got to keep up with the news even if I'm drowning with school work. Since then I've made a conscious effort to know whats happening, my efforts greatly assisted now that everything is available almost as it happens via the internet so yea I'm a news junkie.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A who 'im favor?

I duz cant remember what I write about before so forgive me if I've tackled this subject before.

Its always interesting to see how folk especially women interact with parents when they come to visit babies. One of the things that I always find interesting is how, and sorry I not really picking on women but is woman alone I see doing this so far, women duz immediately look at the baby and blurt out which parent the child supposedly looks like.

I mean I understand you may be trying to put it in perspective but is it necessary?

And then the other particular thing is I find that women will say oh the baby looks like the mother and then look at the dad like they expect some sort of adverse reaction from him.

I had that happen to me the other day. Lady comes over, looks at baby says oh he looks like the mom, then looks at me and starts smiling.

Am I suppose to read something into that? Like I mean if I was unsure of myself would I be like ummm like I gine gotta tek wunnah pun Maury bosie?

Or was I supposed to be upset if my son didnt look like me. I mean he is a unique individual is not  like I looking for a clone.

Never really got the whole comparison of the baby thing to be honest.  

Friday, June 21, 2013


Jdid recent text: "tried the new sandwich place. dey not lasting atall!"

So recently one of my regular lunchtime haunts went out of business only to be replaced by a sandwich shop. I went into it a few weeks back, took a look at the menu and figured yea this really not lasting but anyway my boss said the sandwiches were good so today I tek myself in an decide to sample the fare before I put muh mout pun dem needlessly.

Now doan get me wrong. I man aint no businessman nor nuttin so so this aint coming from no place of expertise on that end.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Miss Utah

Cuhdear everybody laffin at poor Miss Utah.

See the link dey

So Sunday night at de Miss USA show (and before ya ask yes apparently dem duz still got dese pagents cause I thought dem did dun wid) dem ask poor Miss Utah a question "A recent report shows that in 40 per cent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?”

Miss Utah freeze like a deer in headlights and mumble out some nonsense bout "create education better". Poor chile!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

5 years ago

Today was the last time I wrote something that I actually liked.

Maybe not the last time I wrote something good but who knows.

See Father's day is now a conflicted day for me. How do I keep up the charade of being all happy etc when in the back of my mind I'm thinking about my dad's death on father's day 5 years ago. Kind of sucks.

And I'll be honest my heart actually hasnt been in writing ever since he died. I think my writing peaked with his eulogy (Which I put my all into trying to do justice to my dad) and then I fell into a deep funk, writing only occasionally when my mind feels too full and needs to be evacuated of a few thoughts: the joy is gone somewhat.

Should be a bit different this year too since I'm now the father of 3 (had twin boys a few months ago) so I should be like really really happy and thankful today...except I'm not really feeling it. Its no disrespect to the fam who are trying their best to make me feel happy but it just brings back too many painful memories, too many regrets, too much anger, too many questions. And you know what really really sucks about someone dying on one of these holidays that move around. You sort of have to deal with the anniversary twice a year since those days like father's day usually doesn't fall on the same day as the actual date of the death except maybe once every couple of years. Its like a double whammy.

Anyway not sure it helps but glad to get that off my chest if only to relieve a little of the clutter in my mind.

Not sure there's much more to say. It is what it is. 

Still this is cheaper than a shrink so maybe it helps.

On a nicer note. Happy father's day to all the dads out there, hope you don't have my issues and enjoy your day to the fullest

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Conversation pieces

Walking quickly up Yonge Street yesterday, in a rush to make it to the subway before 6. Not really paying any attention to anything other than sidestepping fellow pedestrians when suddenly the following relatively loud conversation from a guy on his cell phone walking just up ahead caught my ear

"Have you talked to *unknown* recently?"
"Have you talked to him?"
"He's moody these days"
"Its his nephew........."


I walk past ears piqued now wondering if I will catch the rest of the conversation. Wondering who this person is and what's wrong with their nephew to put them in a bad mood. Not that is any a mi business but sometimes random conversations just intrigue me.

Mind you I don't even slow down or break stride or look at the speaker as I pass.


"Yea" he says probably replying to something the person on the other end of the line had said.

"Yea its his nephew, he's 5 years old. He's.........."
pause and rest of conversation drowned out by loud dance music from a passing car.

By then I'm about 10 steps ahead but stopped at the light. He catches up and is turning west
"Yea, his brain" more noise.
"They found out ..........."
and then its too late. He crosses perpendicular to me and the rest of the conversation is drowned out by distance, passing vehicles and two Filipino ladies passing in front, staring back, chatting away furiously in Tagalog probably about the ridiculously sized fake breasts of a woman who had just passed by. 

Wait what!  Sorry where was I again.............

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Immigrant Rage

So ah gone in the convienence store this morning to get a Lotto ticket for this record $55 million dollar draw tonight.

Three people in the store besides me and de store owner: one old black lady with a walker buying nuff nuff Lotto tickets, anudda lady who aint have nuttin in she hand but in line right ahead a me and anudda fella in his 50s or 60s in a  black baseball cap wid a lil man purse in he hand looking around in de store.

So I stan up in line a few minutes, looking at mi phone killing time and the store owner tekin long long to sort out the old lady lotto tickets. Going back and forth to the machine and looking around.

Out a de blue so he ask the fella that looking round the store if he looking fa something in particular.

Well boy like Paul Keens' character Tante Merle wud say "Who tell he to say dat?"

Friday, March 15, 2013


I guess first off I should start by saying that I feel blessed to actually have a job.

Why do I say that you ask?

Well its not like I was/am facing imminent unemployment at any time recently but I just get this feeling that despite the big names and institutions and politicians telling us that the recession is over that we are still in its midst.

Either that or the world has just gone all pear shaped.

Looking around downtown Toronto, and even in the suburbs I see way too many for lease signs on commercial property. Seems like every other week or month I pass some plaza, some previously occupied storefront and see it currently empty. Doesn't matter if its a main street or a side street our small businesses seem to be getting decimated. And not only are existing small businesses being knocked out but where are their replacements. Where are the burgeoning hosts of entrepreneurs who are dying to replace them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Apparently the big story in Toronto today is limiting strollers on public transit.

Now I understand that sometimes you might get on a bus and have to wade through a few strollers to get a spot to stand but really does that necessitate limiting the number of strollers on public transit?

To me the fact that someone even asked this question is just sad and shows how much of a me-preoccupied society we have become.

Suck it up, people with strollers, have as much right to be on public transit as anyone else. No they do not deserve to be made to pay extra fare, no they shouldn't be limited in their travelling time, no they shouldn't be limited in number on public transit. And if you have to ask why then you are more self-centered and clueless than I imagined.

Its actually a common sense thing. Can another stroller fit? OK then well let them get on. If they cant then no don't let them get on.

I encourage no I dare the TTC to come up with a cohesive plan, a plan that makes sense, on limiting strollers on buses given the numerous makes, models and especially sizes of strollers these days. I mean its alright to say damn these strollers are bigger than they used to be so limit them but its not the parents fault that manufacturers are making strollers so big so why make them pay for it.

Look public transit is there to serve not only people who think they are entitled to use it as their own personal limo and get offended when someone they don't want sits next to them (yes you people who don't want to sit next to a brother on the train know who I'm talking to) but its there to serve the needy and those with no other means of travel.

Inconveniencing persons with strollers is not a very clever solution to space problems.