A painting of me

Go Back to China

   31 October 2018, mid-morning

“Go back to China,” some old man yells at some old lady at Lansdowne station. I am walking in to the station, while he is leaving. We come to the same shitty Presto turnstile.

You often wonder what you’ll do or say when you bump up against stuff like this. It’s been so long since I have heard some proper-ass racism in the city. (Has it? I can’t recall, anyway.)

“What the fuck did you say?” So I guess that’s what I am doing.

I stop him from leaving because I want to hear him say something, but he mumbles and pushes past me. The moment is over in seconds. I realize I wasn’t going to get anything worth hearing.

So I turn and yell at the two men working in the operator booth, dealing with the women who was told to go back to China. She’s agitated as well. “What are you even doing when this shit is happening right in front of you?” None of us our white. I bet this old brown dude I am now talking to has seen some shit.

“This happens all the time. Some people are crazy. You just got to ignore them.” Now I am the crazy person he needs to calm down.

I tell him nothing changes if no one says anything as I walk away, but I suspect he is the one that’s right.

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Housing in TO ... circa 2011

   12 July 2017, mid-afternoon

I wrote the draft of a blog post below on June 29th, 2011. I just noticed it now. It’s funny to look at the numbers I was complaining about back then. Funny how things change in 5 years. And also don’t. The numbers are all bigger now, but the problems are all the same. In 2011 it was still feasible for me to try and buy a house. The house I ended up buying was one that wasn’t taking offers, that I paid less than asking for. Does that happen anymore? I’ve been priced out of the neighbourhood I currently live it. I could never buy this house now.


The housing market in Toronto is always a little bit crazy. I had thought that since we’re currently recovering from a financial apocalypse, the real estate market in the city might have calmed down: wrong! Here are two stories of woe.

Shima and I saw a nice a nice small semi-detached home just off Dundas St. West near Bloor. It was listed for a very reasonable $459,000. (If you asked me what I thought was a reasonable price for a house a year a two or go, I promise you that wouldn’t be the number that came out of my mouth.) A houses price depends solely on what people are willing to pay for it. The agent didn’t pick the price he listed the house at out of thin air. Houses on the street sold for $430,000 (or less) the previous year. Based on how much units in my condo were selling for now versus last year, I guessed that the house probably should have been listed at $464,000. I assumed the house would sell for a bit more than that because there are only so many houses downtown, while there are plenty of condos and they continue to build more. It was also reasonably nice as houses downtown go. In the end Shima and I decided to bid $482,000. For those keeping score at home, that’s $23,000 over asking. (Wait, i’m getting ahead of myself. We had to ‘bid’ on the house because the sellers had decided to ask for all their offers on the same day. This is a classic ploy to drive up the price of a home. It’s a sellers market, so it’s a reasonable thing to do.) On the day we were to hand in our offer, we learned that 8 other people were also interested in the house. We decided we’d just offer ….

Shima and I saw a nice old house on Saint Clarens that was listed at $460,000. It was very beat up. We would have needed to fix the wiring, the roof, the cracked plaster walls, etc. It was clear though that if we had a bunch of money we could turn it back into something quite nice. Since we didn’t have a bunch of money we didn’t bother bidding on the house. Turns out that was a smart move on our part, since it sold for $200,000 over the asking price.


No taxation without an extensive LRT system!

   28 March 2017, late evening

Clearly arguments need to get far stupider if the city is going to avoid building this Scarborough subway. (Well really, there is no way this thing is going to get built because at some point some level of government is going to actually have to write a cheque and is not going to want to spend that much money on something that’s clearly a boondoggle. Presumably, anyway.)

My cousin has started writing slogans. Get these plastered on bus shelters and we’re golden.

A rail network for Scarborough! From Victoria Park to Pickering! From Markham to Lake Ontario! A rail network in every pot! Light! Rail!

Buses are for school children! Subways are for elitist snobs! Scarborough deserves a full light rail network. Real transit for real people.

Get Scarborough out of buses and into trains. Scarborough deserves a fast, modern light rail transit system.

Why should hardworking people of Scarborough pay billions plus spend more time on buses so Town Centre elites can have their own personal subway?

That last one is my favourite.

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LAL and Zaki Ibrahim @ Tattoo

   5 November 2015, late evening

I met Fathima to go see a 10:00 show on a Wednesday night. First off: no concert starts on time; second: I’m probably too old to go see late night concerts on a Wednesday night. Dinner at Banu, always a good start to an evening, and we were off to go see LAL and Zaki Ibrahim play.

I’m not sure how Fathima heard about this show. Twitter? It was in Tattoo on Queen. Busy, but not too busy. Normally when I go to a show I am the odd one out amongst a sea of White people. At this show I was so thoroughly pedestrian. It felt like Fathima knew every other person from political activism, social work, or some such thing. There were big posses intersectional people. A refreshing change of pace to the usual concert scene. Everyone seemed really cool, but that’s par for the course now that I’m firmly in my thirties.

LAL still perform together? The last time I saw them was for Wavelength 250 at Cinecycle.. That was over 10 years ago. And they had already been playing together for years by then. LAL have shed some members, down to the singer and the fellow who produces their beats and music. Maybe that was always their group? They performed brand new material. We were the first audience to hear this stuff. It was much more pounding techno than the older stuff I remember. Their set was solid: really good. I’m looking forward to their album.

Zaki Ibrahim was around midnight. She was apparently flying out to Cape Town that night, or in a few hours. The set was varied musically. A bit more R&B than her previous stuff. Also a fair bit more retro sounding. Her backing band were in white suits Don Johnson’d up, with bright white sun visors on. That also probably contributed to the retro vibe. She’s a great singer and performer. Her material was also brand new. It’s fun trying to guess what songs will become singles. I have some good hunches.

We were out by 1:00. The TTC was still running. The weather was nice. What a night.

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My Scarborough Commute

   6 November 2014, mid-morning

My trip to work yesterday took something like two and a half hours. There was random delay after mechanical failure after medical emergency, and with the TTC regardless of where those events happen the whole network ends up effected. These sorts of epic delays happen every couple months it seems. That the TTC is so slow isn’t frustrating, it’s embarrassing.

Travelling from Scarborough into the city is terrible. The fastest I can get downtown is about an hour and fifteen minutes. People who do transit planning talk about LRTs and people who try to get elected talk about subways, but neither would actually solve the problems many people in Scarborough face trying to get to work. A subway that ran right to my parent’s house in Agincourt would probably shave 15-20 minutes off my commute, never mind that particular subway is never getting built. The LRT lines they had planned for Scarborough wouldn’t help someone like me: I’d have to grab a bus to Shepard and then take that LRT to Don Mills and then take the Shepard subway to Yonge and then take the terrible Yonge line downtown. Scarborough does need LRTs as an alternative to its network of often late and crowded busses, but they aren’t an alternative to a good commuter train network. Oh wait, we sort of have one of those!

Driving to the Agincourt GO station and taking the train from there would probably cut my travel time in half. That’s what I’m talking about! Sadly, I don’t drive. Getting to that GO station isn’t that easy. There’s also the fact i’d have to pay a GO fare and a TTC fare. Have they figured that out yet? I’m actually lucky to live “reasonably” close to a GO station. Huge chunks of Scarborough aren’t particularly close to the Lakeshore East line or the Stoufville line. GO seems more interested in moving people outside the city than it does with moving people inside the city. To be fair, that is supposed to be the TTC’s mandate.

My solution to this problem was to leave Scarborough. I live downtown and my commute is shorter partly because my transit options after better, and partly because i’m physically closer to where I need to end up. This isn’t a real solution to this problem. Toronto needs one.

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Tory takes TO

   28 October 2014, mid-morning

Yesterday’s mayoral race was the first election in a while where the polls called things fairly accurately. Tory won by a nice margin, Chow coming in a distant third. A loss for the Fords is a win for Toronto. I’m disappointed that Chow lost, but I’ve been voting for the NDP my whole life and have grown quite accustomed to voting for candidates that lose.

What’s actually far more disappointing is the number of incumbents that were returned to city hall. All the terrible Scarborough councillors? They are all back, including Raymond Cho, the champion of doing nothing. Mammoliti? That asshole is back. Mike Ford—a 20 year old camp councillor who completed a year of college—defeated John Hastings for his school trustee seat. Of course, Hastings is actually qualified for the job. A few ridings may have benefited from ranked ballots to shake things up, but for the most part useless incumbents have a base of support that feels like it’s beyond reason.

There were a few high points from last night. My friend Parthi defeated the shockingly corrupt Elizabeth Moyer. Ausma Malik also became a trustee, despite a pretty racist and Islamophobic campaign against her.

Who knows what the next four years will bring. I’m assuming it can’t be worse than the last four.

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Olivia Chow for Mayor

   26 October 2014, late morning

Toronto goes to the polls tomorrow. The election has been long and terrible, marred by pretty overt racism, sexism, and homophobia. I’ll be glad when its all over. Ford Nation are clearly the #GamerGate of Toronto politics. Electing a new mayor won’t magically make shitty people disappear, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you call someone a fag you should feel like a marginalized piece of shit. Let’s get back to that Toronto at the very least.

Olivia Chow started off with a lead in the polls she quickly squandered. Of course, who knows what the polls even mean. Tory now commands that lead. He even scored endorsement from the papers. Now, endorsements from papers are worth even less than polls conducted by Forum. Remember when The Globe and Mail and the National Post both endorsed both Hudak and Rob Ford? Yeah, me too. The Toronto papers are next to useless when it comes to covering and commenting on municipal politics.

The only endorsement that matters is the one you have all no doubt been waiting for. funkaoshi.com endorses Oliva Chow for mayor. She’s the only person pushing a progressive forward thinking vision for the city. And, in a surprise twist, she’s apparently the only candidate who decided to figure out how to pay for it all. What?

I always vote for the person I want to win. You should do. Otherwise what’s the god damn point?

Regardless of what happens in the race for a new mayor, i’m hoping to see some of the more useless city councillors get the boot. Scarborough’s council needs to be razed to the ground, at the very least. Andray Domise is running against Rob Ford in Ward 2, and i’m hoping he can sneak in. That’ll be a tough fight, but he’s clearly the better candidate. The Fords have been terrible for that ward.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day.

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An Open House

   19 October 2014, early evening

An open house sign

“Hey! Can you guys sign in?”

Who is this dude barking at us? Of course I know. My cousin and I have walked into an open house. It’s a surprisingly cavernous detached home near Bloor and Dufferin. I could imagine it being quite nice—in some alternate timeline. In this one it was probably a former rooming house. It’s listed at 1.25 million dollars.

The housing market has moved beyond rhyme or reason. My cousin narrates tale after tale of being out bid on places he already can’t afford. Houses in our neighbourhood now regularly sell for $100,000 over their asking price. That’s walking around money. Now, I like where we live, but our neighbourhood isn’t $100K-over-asking nice by any stretch of the imagination. These stories play out across the whole city.

This house is full of sad ancient furniture. Remnants from its past life. I’ve seen houses in worse shape, which may sound like faint praise because it is. At least this house is relatively clean. My cousin has seen houses where the sellers haven’t even bothered tidying up. Why waste their time? They know the house will sell for more than they want anyway. The desperation of home buyers is palpable. Agents are emboldened.

Who can afford to live in this city? I could never dream of buying my busted-ass house now. It’s price has moved beyond me. That’s some sort of wealth, I suppose. Not the useful kind, but it’s something.

We walk through the house and leave. The agent makes no effort to talk to us. I am sure he is well aware we are just touring this dump. We probably didn’t look worn down enough when we walked in.

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Ontario Votes 2014

   13 June 2014, early morning

I watch elections like some people watch soccer. Yesterday’s election was an interesting one, if only because the polls were so off in just how big a victory the Liberals would end up achieving. This was an election for the NDP and the Conservatives to lose, and they lost it hard. The Liberals are plagued with scandals and have been ruling for a decade. If there was ever a time for them to be voted out it was last night. Wynne to her credit ran a great campaign and has done a good job of positioning herself and her party as the new and improved Liberals.

I voted for the NDP, despite all my misgivings about the party. I can’t stand Andrea Horwath. I think she’s ruined the Ontario NDP party, and I suspect she’s going to be on her way out. The party is in a much worse position today than it was yesterday, despite a good showing at the polls. They need to get back to what they are actually about: being a progressive alternative to the Liberals and the Conservatives. I like the MPP in my riding, and am disappointed we lost him to someone who lives in Willowdale. I had high hopes for the NDP in 2011, and they basically let me and many of their hardcore supporters down hard. I know lots of supporters who declined their vote or voted for other parties.

That’s the irony of last night for the NDP: they stole some ridings from the PCs, but lost several very important ridings to the Liberals. Wynne’s Liberals are progressive enough right now for a lot of former NDP voters, I suspect. The question now is will they stay that way.

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Rob Ford Imploding—Again

   1 May 2014, mid-morning

I feel like I can’t last night pass without saying a few words about Rob Ford. A link to the Globe and Mail’s big story about him being caught on video smoking crack again just won’t cut it. Or a link to the Sun’s big story about him getting loaded and saying all sorts of offensive things again just won’t cut it. Or a link to the Star’s big story about him getting belligerent at a club with Justin Bieber just won’t cut it. And this all happened last night! In the middle of the greatest Raptors game ever!

Lots of people are speculating that he’s stepping down so he can come back in 30 days a clean and redeemed man. That’s the game you play the first time you get caught smoking crack. At this point it’s clearly his only move, but I don’t think that narrative is going to earn him any new votes. There are people that will vote for him no mater what: stupid people, homophobes, criminals, etc. They thankfully aren’t a sizeable part of Toronto.

Rob Ford is a drug addict. He acts like a drug addict. Trying to parse his actions as rational is a fools game. He makes poor choices because he’s a crack-head. The situation is just weird because he’s also rich and the mayor of the biggest city in Canada. He’s had a million chances because he is a rich white man and has squandered them all.

To quote Kristyn Wong-Tam:

Ford might rehabilitate his health but 30 days isn’t going to cure his racism, misogyny, homophobia & chronic tendencies to break the law.

Fuck that guy. And his brother.

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The Yonge Line

   16 October 2012, early evening

Every time I take the Yonge line I am reminded of just how bad public transit is in the city. The Bloor line certainly gets busy during rush hour, but its a whole other scale of busy. The Yonge line is a disaster. I’m curious to see when it actually implodes in on itself. I wonder if the TTC have numbers on when that will happen? They are extending the line North. Presumably they expect to get people who are taking buses to Finch station out of buses, but I can’t imagine there isn’t going to be a net gain of people on the line. At this point, is living along the Yonge line actually useful?

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Scotch Tasting

   5 April 2012, early morning

In the middle of the winter I ended up a MetaFilter meet up that took place in a bar at the edge of Scarborough called The Feathers. It was a strange spot for a meetup, neither central or transit accessible. The bar made up for these two short comings with its scotch selection. I’m not aware of another bar in the city with a bigger collection than The Feathers. (Though I suppose I haven’t been looking very hard.)

The Feathers is home to hundreds of Single Malt scotches. They probably have anything from Scotland you want to try. If you aren’t sure what you want —like myself—you can sample scotches in pre-selected flights. I wasn’t sure when I’d have a chance to drink 30 year old scotch again I opted for there flashiest flight, The Feathers Flight:

  • Aucentoshan 21 Years cask strength
  • Brora 18 Years Cask Strength Laing
  • Coleburn 1983 Signatory
  • Ardberg 27 years Cask Strength Laing
  • Port Ellen 1980 Signatory

The Port Ellen is as old as me. That’s some serious-ass scotch. It was so very good. The strangest of the bunch was the Coleburn, which was very fruity tasting. I don’t think i’d want a bottle of the stuff, but it was definitely one of the more interesting scotches I’ve tried in quite some time. The other scotches were all quite good, but I don’t remember any of them really standing out. They were all delicious old scotches, of varying smokiness.

This bar is worth well worth the trip to Scarborough—as if you needed another reason to go.

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I Love Degrassi

   10 February 2012, lunch time

The entire series, 140 characters at a time.

I rewatched the entire (original) Dergrassi series a few years ago with Shima. The released a few DVD collections that I knew I must own. The show still holds up today. While watching the shows I would craft 140 character reviews/summaries to post to Twitter. Here they are, collected. You’ll know you’re a true Degrassi fan if they make some sense.

Read the rest of this post. (1823 words)

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Ontario Votes 2011

   7 October 2011, lunch time

I now live in a riding with an NDP MP and an NDP MPP. How did that happen? I never thought the day would come. Like most of Toronto, Davenport was a bright red riding when I moved in. The mostly useless Tony Ruprecht had been my MPP for the past 5 years. He’d been in this riding since 1999. (He’d been an MPP since 1981! That’s some staying power.) His not running in this election may have been in part due to Mario Silva’s loss in the federal election. It’s quite likely that even with an incumbent running the Liberals would have been voted out of Davenport. Ruprecht was far from popular amongst people I know in the area. My hope is that Jonah Schein is more energetic than his predecessor, a low bar to be sure.

McGuinty’s win in Ontario is probably a good thing for the province. I don’t want to imagine just how scorched earth things would be if Hudak had managed to fair better this election. Ontario really doesn’t need another “common sense” revolution. Shima and I don’t have a TV, so I only saw one political ad this whole election. It was for the Liberals, and it wasn’t an attack ad. It featured McGuinty in front of a white background telling you the viewer that, despite his being an unpopular figure, the Liberals were serious bad-asses who had accomplished this and that. It was simple yet slick, and very on point. I suspect in the last few weeks the message resonated with voters. (I feel like the provincial Liberals keep a very low profile most of the year.) McGuinty should be congratulated for coming back from some pretty dismal poll numbers early in the campaign. The Liberals were really on the ball this election.

Of note is that Toronto’s so called Ford Nation looked to have no interest whatsoever in the provincial conservatives. My guess is that two things are at play here. One, Fords many recent fuck-ups may have soured Toronto on his friends. Second, Toronto is a city full of immigrants. Calling these people foreigners is probably going to sour the city on your politics. You can’t win Ontario without winning in Toronto: nicely done, GTA. Well, except for Thornhill. That place is the worst.

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Jack Layton, 1950 – 2011.

   24 August 2011, early afternoon

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

— Jack Layton, in an open letter to the country.

Jack Layton passed away this week. My co-worker sent me a message while I was away in New York to let me know. During his press conference he looked to be in pretty bad shape, but I didn’t think things would move so quickly. Cancer is like that, I suppose. Jack Layton was an amazing politician. The NDP are now the official opposition party of Canada, I suspect largely due to his charisma. His death is a real loss for this country. We have so few truly engaging political leaders.

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Rob Ford is Mayor

   1 December 2010, late at night

We have a new mayor in Toronto. It’s his first day and there is already so much stupid. At least I’ll be able to ride a gravy train to Scarborough. I miss Miller.

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Vote for Joe

   20 October 2010, early morning

I’m voting for Joe Pantalone. (You may already know this, since it’s plastered on the top of this web site in a big orange box.) At this point it’s not looking very likely that he will win. I hope I’m wrong about that. If he loses I think it will be a real shame. Toronto under Mayor Miller has been great; Pantalone is in many ways the man who would continue the progressive programs that Miller started. Of the three candidates left running, he is the only one who doesn’t seem to hate Toronto. That should count for something.

Statisticians ask people who they are going to vote for and the newspapers publish these results. I’d argue that polling is a detriment to the political process. It might make sense for candidates to know how they are doing, but does it really matter to the voting public? If you are voting for someone because X percent of a sampled population is voting for that person you are doing it wrong.

People should vote for what they believe in. Otherwise, what’s the point? If you think our first-past-the-post system is broken the way to fix it is certainly is not through strategic voting. If Smitherman does end up winning because a bunch of people couldn’t stomach Ford as mayor, he will essentially have been given a false mandate. That Smitherman can’t beat Ford without banging his, “I’m not Ford,” drum is a testament to just how ineffectual his campaign has been. He has no vision for the city. He seems to think he is entitled to the job. You shouldn’t get to be mayor just because your opponent is a drunk and a moron.

Vote for Joe Pantalone.

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The Pan Am Games

   6 November 2009, mid-afternoon

We won the bid to host the Pan Am games in 2015. Bizarre. I always think of Toronto as the city that almost wins at these sorts of contests. Maybe it was a good thing Harper didn’t show up. Now lets sit and wait for all the crazy infrastructure spending that is going to happen. I want to take the Sheppard subway to Scarborough. Or take a Kingston subway from Union. Make it happen people!

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   2 November 2009, early morning

This is pretty neat: the city of Toronto is releasing a bunch of the data and information they collect online, via the portal toronto.ca/open. There is a companion site, dataTO.org They look to be following the lead of the US government, who recently created DATA.gov not too long ago. This stuff is all generated using tax payer money, so I think it makes sense that the data be available to the public. You can grab the entire TTC schedule as a series of text files now. There is a real time XML feed of events and festivals taking place in the city. This address validator web service looks like it could be used to do a lot of interesting things. I’ll be curious to see what sorts of things people start creating with the data released so far, and what other datasets the city plans to release. There isn’t much online right now, but it seems like a good start.

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Nuit Blanche 2009

   5 October 2009, early morning

Nuit Blanche was a bit of a bust this year. In previous years my friends and I have usually checked out the area around Yorkville, U of T and the AGO. There is usually a pretty big concentration of exhibits to see. The problem is that those areas are usually jammed full of people. This year we decided to check out Queen West, which is the 3rd zone for art. It’s a bit out of the way, so I thought it would be less packed. This was foolish on my part. Queen West was also shockingly boring. There really wasn’t much happening. We saw them put the ants back on the Cameron House. We saw some nude life drawing class thing at Coupe Bizarre. There was a lite brite installation in Trinity Bellwoods. We saw the hydrophone, again. I had a drink with Matt and my brother at the Gladstone, which was nice. Though the areas closer to the core are more packed, that’s really where you want to go for Nuit Blanche. I think the only way to enjoy the festival now that it’s clearly popular is to start your night at 2:00AM. You should also go through the listings and figure out what you want to see. I think had I seen how little there really was to do on Queen West, I might have suggested a different route for the night. It’s a shame there wasn’t more happening in my neighbourhood this year. Funktion Gallery was open, and across the street was some sort of pole dancing photobooth thing, which was kind of sexy-cool. Now, if only the Run for the Cure wasn’t the next day.

[What L thought of the night. On the other hand, my friend Matt quite enjoyed himself. It’s clear looking at the Torontoist coverage that there was a lot of cool stuff to be seen, if you were well prepared.]

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#hoHOTo '09

   19 August 2009, mid-morning

I attended #hoHOTo last night. It was a bit of a let down compared to the last one. The Christmas party came together rather quickly, and may have contributed to all the hype that seemed to develop around the event. Pretty much every single tech-geek I know attended the event. Added to this mix were a bunch of advertising and marketing people I wasn’t expecting. The venue, the Modclub, was a good spot to host the event, as it consists (more or less) of one big space. It was a party. Last nights event apparently sold out, though you couldn’t tell from the lack of a crowd. The fact the space was split in two probably didn’t help matters much. Almost everyone I knew who had gone to the first event didn’t come to the second. (And I know some people who bought tickets and didn’t bother showing up, there was such a lack of interest in the event.) That’s not to say it wasn’t a nice night out. I saw Ali and Tyler and Laurence. I had some beer. I met some random peoples.

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   20 June 2009, early morning

Hopefully the rain lets up. Street festivals aren’t as much fun when you are being rained on. The BIG on BLOOR festival takes place today. Bloor St. is closed from Lansdowne to Christie for the event. Last year it was shockingly busy. Hopefully this year people still choose to come out.

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Race Baiting at the Globe and Mail

   19 May 2009, early afternoon

Last week Christie Blatchford wrote an article about the protests against the war in Sri Lanka. The article was all sorts of bad. It was so bad I decided to complain to the Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail published several responses to Margaret Wente’s article, which was far better written, but didn’t post anything in response to Blatchford’s piece. This is disappointing. Thankfully, we live in a world where I don’t need the Globe and Mail to publish anything for me.

Read the rest of this post. (1097 words)

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Toronto Comment Killer

   12 May 2009, early afternoon

This is my gift to my fellow Torontonians: A greasemonkey script that will kill comments on articles published by the Toronto Star and the National Post. The comments sections for all the Toronto newspapers are basically giant hives of scum and villainy, a place for racists and cranks to hang out and shout out all the things society won’t let them say in public anymore. No one needs to read this stuff, unless you need high blood pressure. Placing comments inline with the news articles is obnoxious and disrespects the writers at the Star and the Post. This script fixes that. (The Globe and Mail no longer displays comments on their articles inline, praise the lord.) If you use Google Chrome, rather than Firefox, you can follow these instructions to use the script. Any problems, please leave a comment and let me know — It’s amazing how little Javascript I know.

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Shutting Down the Gardiner

   11 May 2009, early morning

Protesters managed to shut down the Gardiner last night. There is all sorts of coverage from all of Toronto’s online blogs, with Torontoist having some of the best coverage of the lot. (Remind me not to listen to Energy FM.) My guess is that recent reports of very high causalities over the weekend was the impetus for the action. The UN called Sri Lanka a civilian bloodbath and Doctors Without Borders suspects over a thousand people are likely dead from shelling over the weekend. Toronto should be proud that you can orchestrate a protest like this without having the army or the police showing up and beating everyone till they leave — or worse. We live in a truly functional democracy. Are the majority of Canadians so passive that the very idea of direct action seems abhorrent? Ignatief has said he’ll bring this issue up in caucus today. That’s something.

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