You WILL enjoy a dinner with zombies


Danica and I attended the dress rehearsal tonight for a wonderfully entertaining “real space” play called Dine Her. You can get in on the fun and enjoy dinner to boot. The comedy takes place in the George Street Diner on Richmond Street. Do make plans to go before it’s over on September 23rd.

Check here for dates. I don’t know where else in Toronto you’ll get so much for your entertainment dollar. Bruce Hunter and Erica Wood do a wonderful job and the supporting cast will surprise you.

It’s interactive theatre and I was lucky enough to get a small but heroic part. Great fun. Thanks for the heads-up, Sandy Zwyer!

A Faraday cage for cellphones


A silver-threaded handerchief is supposed to prevent surveillance of your location if you are carrying a mobile phone. Fifteen bucks plus shipping and tax. Yes, it’s available in Canada… we have our own NSA. It’s called CSEC… same thing.

Authorities are not the only ones scooping your data. Merchants want to pitch you if you are nearby, so cloaking your phone, might prevent nuisance messages. What’s more, the handerchief bears a courtesy message, informing those in your company that you are paying attention to them, not your phone. Nice touch.

Oops. An ominous message appears at the bottom of the ad:

Please note, this item is discontinued. When it sells out, it will no longer be available.

Still covering the news


It’s been a long time since teachers confiscated our Mad Magazines in school. I was never an avid reader, but I admired the illustrations and the irreverance. This month’s cover takes great advantage of the Spy vs Spy series that dates back to the Cold War.

It’s not really SquareBob


Left: Spirit of Beaver in a Landscape (Tlingit) by Helen Andersen, 1988. Gouache on paper. 21′ x 29.5″

Danica’s impish nickname for this picture is too catchy to let go, so we have taken to calling it SquareBob. Actually, the image derives from the frontlet typically seen on chiefs’ headdresses.

There is a lot going on in Helen’s Myths and Symbols series of paintings and frankly, I find some of the iconography difficult to interpret. This owes, no doubt, to my unfamiliarity with the aboriginal stories that inspired the pictures, but also to the personal and original ways Helen represented some of her ideas. The West Coast landscape, the totem poles and the central Beaver face are obvious enough, but the foreground elements mystify me.

The chief’s frontlet motif held an abiding fascination. Here it is again, this time rendered as a batik. This example was done nearly 2 decades earlier than SpongeBob.


Dollarama deals with a TTC dilemma

20130903-170041.jpgA lady was shopping for something she could put on the seat when she rides on a streetcar, bus or subway. “I’m tired of sitting on the filth,” she said.

I helped her look through the placemats, for something that could be wiped clean pretty easily. One of the mats reminded me of that rubbermat shelf lining that comes in rolls, so we took a look at that, too.

My choice might have been one of the cushions in the photo. Not only a good filth barrier, but a bit of comfort to enhance the flocked steel seats that replace the old upholstered ones.

Why more prisons?

I wondered why Stephen Harper wants to build more prisons when the crime rate is in decline. Who’s he going to jail?

Today I hear that all of the members of the Canadian Senate will have their expense reports audited. Results that fail the sniff test are being turned over to the RCMP for investigation.

Clever bit of eFax spam

I just received an email containing a fake link to a “fax” I could pick up online by clicking to view it in my PDF reader. It looked scammy, so I didn’t click, of course. Google says it’s been around for a while. It delivers the Zbot trojan virus, so just trash it without clicking any links.