Scotiabank bungles badly

A friend of mine decided to get a Scotiabank prepaid debit card for online transactions. That was last week. It’s still not working, days after he got it. First, the bank failed to load the card with the cash amount asked for… the customer’s own cash, this wasn’t a loan. A trip to the bank branch gained corrective “assistance” from a teller who chose a method to load the card which tied up my friend’s cash for another 2-4 business days.
So, transactions have failed, appointments have been lost and Scotiabank is still sitting on money that isn’t theirs. They won’t be ashamed, but they’ve certainly earned a mention.

Pub kills pun

The sign is a bit weather-beaten and the interior can use the spruce-up that is to come, but I’ll miss the old name when Lion on the Beach becomes simply The Stone Lion. The Beaches Queen Street strip is a pretty relaxed, easy-going neighbourhood, especially in the summertime when the pub’s outdoor tables are popular. The silly name seemed to fit and made me smile.
I hope they preserve the cool lion with his sunglasses, perhaps as a wall hanging inside.

Danforth shop window art

I don’t know if it was a juried show, but the display was pretty high calibre, Danica and I thought. It’s really hard to shoot through windows because of reflections, so I’ll just show you a small sampling of the pictures done by kids in ColourCreative classes on the Danforth.
maxwellThe one above is by “Maxwell”. We loved it. Next, a couple of nice owls, interpreted in completely different ways. Artists: “Daniel” on the left, “Andria” on the right.
There were many more paintings and drawings, all well done and all appropriately inspired by animal subjects, because the window hosting the show belongs to Wag On The Danforth, a pet supply store.

Beach Hill Brueghel scene

View of Fairmount Park from Upper Gerrard Street East Temporary hockey rink.
beach-hill-brueghelWhenever I see figures against a snowy landscape, especially from an elevated point of view, I am whisked back through the centuries to the Lowlands of Western Europe and the timeless paintings of Brueghel.
The Hunters in the Snow, 1565, oil on wood. By Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

Lakeshore Loblaws wifi woe

loblaws-no-wifiWith a logo like theirs, wifi would be a natural, no? No. The big box supermarket has been renovated and redecorated. Tables and chairs are offered in the deli section, if you are inclined to nosh. There’s even a new cafĂ© counter. But a public wifi signal? Not so far. I have written, of course. [UPDATE] Loblaws replied saying that, while no date has been set, there are plans to offer a public wifi signal.

Beautiful slip joint hinges

Joni is working on a project I’ll probably say more about later, but it involves the use of slip joint hinges. She sent this photo of some handmade wooden ones that I admire as sculpture.
IMG_0853.JPGThere are many kinds of slip joint hinges but one kind that most of us know is part of ordinary pliers. You know how they work, to open the jaws wider, don’t you? Simple and ingenious.

Colombo's latest goes to press

It’s fun collaborating on covers for John Robert Colombo’s books, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Easy, of course, would be to use tried-and-true design conventions that we know will work. But no, John likes to try new things and that’s what makes his assignments interesting and challenging.
Late in the Day is the last volume in a series that JRC has been publishing at this time of the year for 10 years. Each book contains poems and what John calls “effects”. Continue reading

Not a prison, beautification planned

The intersection at Lakeshore Boulevard and Leslie Street has been a mess for a long time, as the new streetcar maintenance facility takes shape.
The big ugly wall will be painted a colour, then trees will be planted to hide it and in a decade or two, it will be hidden, except for the 6 leafless months. And besides, TTC says on Twitter, the Ministry of the Environment made us put it up, so it will look nice and it’s not our fault.
Congestion of automobile traffic along the major arterial route that is Lakeshore Boulevard will apparently not be a problem. As you can see in the artist’s conception, the cars have disappeared. Good thing, too, because getting 30 metre streetcars across the intersection might have impeded cars on the Lakeshore. Here’s a crossing timetable I found in a TTC PDF.

85 outbound trips, between 5:00 and 7:00 a.m.
30 inbound trips between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.
30 outbound trips between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
45 inbound trips between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.
40 inbound trips between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m.

As the artist’s rendering shows, drivers of the future will not be using Lakeshore Boulevard. Pedestrians, joggers and cyclists will begin to enjoy the intersection. Each day, 6.9 kilometres of streetcar will be passing through the park-like setting.
For comparison, the entire parade route of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade is one kilometre shorter and it’s once a year, not every day.