TTC remains calendar-challenged

News arrives that the Toronto Transit Commission will be “moving into the 21st century” by accepting debit and credit cards instead of cash-only for token and ticket purchases. Yes, still tickets and tokens.
Somebody tell them that credit and debit cards were a 20th century thing.
Well into the second decade of the 21st century, tentative efforts to improve our pathetic transit system are at least underway. I am not optimistic about the city’s will or ability to really get it right, but there’s always hope.

Bosch efficiency

The story begins with a compliment. Danica is a genius at storing and retrieving user manuals. When the lamp in the Bosch oven hood died, she was able to look up the part number easily.
Not so easy to find the E14 40 watt replacement bulb, though. The official price of the official Bosch lamp? Over $50! For a single bulb! The Bosch parts supply agent thought there might be an error, but kindly phoned back to confirm. Oh, and there would be a $9 delivery charge.
Not one to knuckle under to techno-terrorist ransom demands, Danica found online alternatives. A bit over $30 for 4 lamps from the UK … but there might be duty. Same from the US, but they don’t ship to Canada.
So … how about taking the old bulb to a local lighting store and asking about a substitute? Turns out, the Bosch manual was wrong. It’s an E12, not an E14 at all. Replacement bulb? It was on sale, so Danica scored it for $1.49 rather than the $1.99 regular price. The 50 buck bulb would not have fit, even if we had believed the manual.

Local Free Little Libraries are unlisted

Are some Little Free Libraries wild and free? I know of at least 3 in our immediate vicinity that don’t appear on the official map. (UPDATE: It’s Google’s fault.)
Anyway, when you see one of these little boxes on a stick, peek in and take a book if there’s one you like. Leave a book you’re finished with, for someone else to read.
Little Free Library example
Designs vary, because the volunteer makers are given lots of plans to choose from. Most of the LFLs I’ve seen are on people’s front yards, but I know of one in Orchard Park that also shelters ping-pong bats for use on the nearby table tennis installation that was installed last summer. Continue reading

This old goat likes the kid

You can see this video lots of places online, but why not here, too? The baby goats at the Riverdale Farm are personal favourites. I love the way they prance like demons, sometimes right on the heads of long-suffering, docile sheep.

Isn’t that prance something?

Beach Hill weather report

20 centimetres. Great day for the snowblower to seize up. Such is life. The lone figure on the hill is Danica, on the way home with her shopping as I head out, up the hill for coffee with a friend. Walks are all shovelled, joints are all aching.

Al Runt's mural on Lee's Palace

I found myself in the Annex on Bloor Street yesterday, meeting Bill Byres for lunch. As we walked by Lee’s Palace, I snapped a picture for those of you who may not know what I was talking about in an earlier post. Al Runt is one of the artists in the Flying Pony Christmas Group Show, where you can buy small originals by Mr Runt for as little as $26.
Al Runt gets my respect for his artistic endurance. He has been tattooing Toronto with his energetic, colourful designs for decades. The style has remained remarkably consistent over the years. It reminds me of a deranged Dr. Seuss mixed with a splash of Matt Groening (in his Life in Hell days) and a bit of Robert Crumb. Runt’s first covering of Lee’s facade faded over the years, so he was commissioned to do a new one, as you see it here.

World's best apple pie

apple-pieYou may look, but you are too late to try. The Best Apple Pie on Earth was discovered in Windsor ON, rushed to Toronto and judged by me. The award goes to Angela Stipic, along with my gratitude. Thanks too, to Danica, for the speedy delivery. Freshness is all-important in these matters.