“Who’s Vince?” question answered

It’s not a guy, as I expected; not even a relative of the developer. The new street, created for townhouses off Edgewood, is named for Corinne Vince, a popular teacher at Corpus Christi school before it was demolished to make way for the residential street.
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I learned this by reading a posting on the Orchard Park bulletin board, which says something for such boards and for taking time to see what’s on them.

New year, new dangers

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This just in from the I.M.P. Newswire …

Teacher Arrested At London Heathrow Airport – held in isolation.

A secondary school teacher was arrested today at London’s Heathrow International airport as he attempted to board an international flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a pair of compasses, a slide-rule and a calculator. Continue reading

Helen Andersen monoprint

monoprint Monoprint in Black and Red. Signed. Approximately 9 inches wide by 12 inches tall

This is the first one of the year to get its new frame, but the third in a set of 3 that were part of the discovered cache of artworks.

The fun of free form monoprints like this is seeing different images in the shapes. Helen liked to use such techniques to break away from predictable compositions. Continue reading

New Year’s Day at the McMichael

The show ends the first week of January, so Danica and I went with Ruth and John Robert Colombo to see how two Canadian artists stacked up against a famous Frenchman. Below, the distinguished Member of the Order of Canada poses with a sculpture outside the gallery.
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The show was a big one, featuring over 130 Morrices and Lymans and a few Matisses. I am very glad I saw it, but came away with mixed feelings about the exhibit itself. For one thing, even though he was represented by only a few paintings and drawings, Matisse was clearly the much better painter. Continue reading

Best one-liner of the evening

For some years now, it has been our custom to celebrate New Year’s over dinner with friends.

Each year, our hostess preserves a Polish tradition by giving every guest a new pair of underpants to start the year fresh. This year she went further, including new socks.

When Ralph discovered the bonus, he exclaimed with delight, “Oh, it’s an outfit!”

My hope for Canada in 2015

This is the year we can finally remove Stephen Harper and his sad party from office. I hope we will manage it, so we can begin to repair the damage to parliamentary process, to Canada’s international reputation and to our lopsided, oil-driven economy.

No matter how we choose to replace the Conservatives, Ontario’s experience with the disastrous Mike Harris shows that damage repair will not be swift and may never be complete, but first we have to stop going in the wrong direction. Continue reading

The endless search for inspiration

It’s almost time to design another book cover for John Robert Colombo, so naturally I was interested in an article about unusual library book covers …

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These 4 examples were my faves. The subtitle on Dancing with Cats is too small to read, so here it is:

FROM THE CREATORS OF THE INTERNATIONAL BEST-SELLER Why Cats Paint

I love the picture on the National Rifle Association book. How idyllic! The little woman dutifully cleans and oils the family handgun while hubby (in the background) stares at a blank TV screen.

I like the Muskrat book because, well, it’s just so practical.

I know you want more, so here.

High flying spiders in Toronto

IMG_0778.JPGDinner conversation at Kathleen’s last night revealed a mystery. Dayl’s office is on the 63rd floor of the beautiful, red granite-clad Scotiabank tower. Her view sounds stunning, but she also sees spiders, hundreds of spiders climbing outside on the window glass.

They busy themselves building elaborate webs until rain lashes them away or window washers remove them. The cleaners do a meticulous job, scrubbing all surfaces, frames and crannies, but soon the spiders are back. Where the heck are they coming from?

I had heard of spiders that travel through tropical rainforest treetops, riding winds on sails made of cobwebs. I had never heard of it happening this far north, and up to heights of 63 storeys! Could it be?

Apparently so. Google turns up examples in Chicago. Why not here? Here are more links, confirming the ways of wind-born cobweb sailors. In the UK. I like the note on spider mites, because that would explain why Dayl sees swarms of spiders that appear suddenly. A whole nest of mites, travelling in a clump would explain this.

David Attenborough says they can soar to extreme heights!

A Youtube video shows them in the Brazilian sky.

Dayl says I can visit her office and see the Toronto spiders for myself, but that will have to wait until the weather is more spider-friendly.