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Showing posts from October, 2010

First On Race Day

Oops...I'm a little too late for the cogent analysis of the Rob Ford phenomenon I'd planned. (The Globe and Mail ran a fantastic piece yesterday that has yet to appear online: between it and the Macleans article linked above, you'll learn everything you need to know about Mr. Ford.)
I like Rob Ford, and I don't know why.
He first came to the Breadbin's attention a scant four months after I had fired up its ovens. Back then, I was considerably more right-wing than I am today; that entry sounds as if it comes direct from Ford country. (Unlike the one I wrote three years later. By then, I'd learned not to trust my initial impression of anything or anyone...while I still applauded Ford's fiscal restraint, I also said he "comes across as a not-particularly-nice man with issues.")
Mr. Ford has said a number of things I do not agree with and can not accept. Just two of many examples: His views on AIDS (unless you're gay or a druggie, there's no prob…

A Pointless Blog Entry

Wow, I'm whipped.Swanson dinners for $1 will do that to a person. These things are only tentatively called "food", composed as they are of various unpronounceable chemical compounds, with salt as a binding agent. They're about as far from a healthy home-cooked meal as the McDonald's in Timbuktu. And at a dollar each, they sell like a mad bastard.
I've never seen them this cheap, anywhere, ever. I booked almost 14 skids of them before we left for Disney; when we got back, I discovered a competitor had them on feature for $1.44, two weeks ahead of our "HUGE $1 SALE". This worried me a little. $1.44 isn't $1, but it's still better than half off the regular retail. Doubtless everybody in the city had filled their freezers already...
...apparently not. I will sell 250+ cases today. ZOO.
There's a whole lot I want to talk about: Rob Ford, David Chen...a few personal items as well. But not tonight. Tonight I have to go to bed and dream about drowni…

Back to Life, Back to Reality

...in so many ways.The Toronto Maple Leafs won two games and lost a third in overtime due in large part to crappy refereeing while I was in the hockey vacuum, and have stunk out the joint in consecutive games since I returned. Non-sports fans may not get this, but it casts a bit of a pall on my mood. Bad enough that getting details of the good games, without net access, was almost impossible. We had four different ESPN channels on the TV: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and ESPNews. Only one of them bothered to include NHL scores in the rotation of its ticker, and that only happened once every four or five revolutions, if I was lucky. If I was unlucky, that fifth revolution would coincide with a commercial, and the ticker would vanish just in time for the NHL scores. After this happened three or four times, I became convinced unluckiness had nothing to do with it. The papers were even worse, with the half-exception of USA Today, which does publish boxscores for all games that don't happe…

Disney, part the third

The baobab at Animal Kingdom
As previously stated, we really weren't of much of a mind to explore Disney's Animal Kingdom. We had to get up well before dawn's crack to make our 8:30 breakfast reservation (one of the perils of bus travel, not to mention Ken's forgetting that Boma, the restaurant, is not at Animal Kingdom but at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Travelling resort to park or park to resort at Disney is trivially simple; resort to resort involves an extra step and will definitely take longer).
Boma was worth it...one of the top three meals we had. The breakfast buffet has, I'm told, been considerably Americanized, but it retains an African flair: the dishes are just exotic enough to be interesting without being disturbing to unadventurous eaters like us. Absolutely delicious.
If your children love animals, they will of course love this place. Disney's enlisted biology students to act as animal ambassadors, the same way they have just plain folks from all over the…

Stacey!

Every time you turn on a television in a Walt Disney World Resort, no matter what channel or volume you last had it at, what you'll get is channel 18 at TOP VOLUME. Channel 18 is all-Stacey, all the time, and what Stacey does is Disney Must-Do's. I wanted to get tired of this. I really did. But somehow her enthusiasm overcame my cynicism every single time. You can laugh all you want. But if you want an overview of all seven Disney parks and their premier attractions, you could do a lot worse than listen to Stacey.


Stacey's "Happiest Place On Earth" lives up to its billing, for the most part. Amid the stresses that come with being away from home for an extended period of time, it must be said that we had a wonderful experience. I mean that quite literally: an experience full of wonder. Not every park, ride or meal lived up to the expectations I had (perhaps unreasonably) placed on it. Some overly hyped rides and meals were, quite frankly, mediocre. But that was off…

Basting away again in Margaritaville

I know, I know, you want Disney stuff. You want to hear about the parks, the rides, the food, the magic. We're getting there. Before we do, I would like to beg an indulgence of you. I'd like to describe the indulgence and decadence that is Disney's Old Key West Resort. This was our Disney home, and a very fine home it was. A magical home. In fact, blasphemy though it may be, I would suggest that it was one of the best parts of our entire WDW experience.
Disney plays down Old Key West, for reasons I don't pretend to understand. Sure, it's a Disney Vacation Club resort--a time-share, in other words, and thus a little difficult to get into for non-DVC members like us. Not only that, it's the oldest DVC resort, dating to 1991. But the villas are huge, considerably larger than those at other Disney resorts. Our 1-bedroom was 942 square feet...practically the size of the living areas in our house.
Because Old Key West is a Vacation Club property, and because staff (ca…

Home again, bliggety-blog

We are home.Home from two days down, six dazzling days of Disney, and two grueling, crueling, utterly de-fueling days back. Home, and mighty relieved to be. More convinced than ever that many Americans are completely batshit insane; I've never been so relieved to be on native soil in my life. Details on that to follow in a day or two.
I was going to do a day-by-day blog, but what passes for reflection in my befuddled and muddled mind tells me that would look too much like a standard Disney trip report. You want to see those, check out the Disboards. We're not standard people and we didn't have a standard trip. I pride myself on a different take...and that's what you'll get, dear readers.
All that said, the beginning is probably the most logical place to start.
We left on time at 3:00 in the morning last Monday--Thanksgiving here in Canada. Even knowing that Andrea would be moving in later that day, it was unbelieveably hard to pull out of the driveway and leave our p…

To The House of Mouse!

Well, we're off like a herd of turtles, in less than 20 hours. Thought this day would never get here. The World awaits...
Thank you, Auntie Andrea, for living here with the Tux and the the Peach (and the B.B.-cat) while we're gone. We really appreciate it and I know they do, too.
I won't be online down there, for a multitude of reasons. The biggest is, well, duh, it's Disney World and, double-duh, it's our tenth anniversary. Even someone as Net-addicted as I am can recognize a priority when he sees one. Frankly, I doubt I'll even miss the Internet--maybe the one place on earth I could say such a thing. I will miss a few Toronto Maple Leaf wins, but that's okay, too. Hopefully, ESPN will see fit to put the scores on the television ticker somewhere after the tractor pulling and the lawn bowling.
I'm taking a trip diary down with me, to scribble whatever comes to mind. When I return, the blogging will commence: one blog post per trip-day.
Man, are we excited…

Of Tea Parties and Predicaments (I)

I have been digesting Catelli's take on the Tea Party phenomenon to our south, coupled with this excellent, meaty essay from yesterday's Globe and Mail. Much food for thought here, to the effect that there's a little Tea Party in all of us.
We see a great deal of resentment building in both our societies. "Vote the bums out!" is ringing loud and clear and far and wide, shouted loudest by people who conveniently forget they voted in the bums in the first place. Look at the Rob Ford mania in Toronto. The man really is a lot like Sarah Palin: proudly uncultured, he advocates simple solutions to complex problems.
There is a real allure to this approach. Most of us recognize on some level that things are rapidly complexifying beyond the average Joe and Jill's ability to deal with, or even assimilate. I'm tempted to say that the global economic system is nearing maximum complexity: even the Wall Street types appear to have no real idea what the hell is going on …