Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Yee-haw and howdy neighbours and welcome to another episode of Outdoor Life's latest attempt to make a TV show with absolutely no budget ... Let's Go Froggin!

This week we is gonna profile a champion frogger from south of the border .. well not the Mexican border, nor even the Mason Dixon Line .. but Nares Inlet is south of the 60th Parallel so it's still South, pardners, yee haw!

(Yes this entire post will continue in this vein so you are fair warned)

This here little lady is called Terra and she is a self taught frogger.

Legend has it that Miss Terra was out explorin the wild swamps of Springhaven Lodge when she put her paw down on a hank of grass and out pops a frog! So excited was this little lady that she instantly knew that froggin was the sport for her!

With a combination of resolve, fast paws and natural talent .. well, ok, maybe not so much talent but resolve and fast paws, this rookie dove in to the ancient art of froggin, that bein, scarin you up some little green amphibious type varmits. We call it froggin, but his here border collie may call it herding frogs

Although a rookie, our little lady came well prepared; when she was havin a hard time rustlin up them pesky frogs, she brought in her own personal trainers and her own personal imported frogs. That's a city frogger fer ya, brung her own darn entourage ... not that it seemed to help her much

Although new to the sport of froggin, Terra did demonstrate some mighty slick techniques. She was quite fond of the "SOS" technique, which involved tapping her paws staccato-like hoping to draw out the critters.

When that didn't work, she resorted to the Submarine technique, using her face periscope-like to try to find her prey

I can't say that she were real successful but you gotta give her the A for effort. Mebbe herdin frogs is different from catchin frogs; I don't really know how them foreigners do things.

Here for your viewin pleasure is an expert from what I'm sure will be an award winning episode of Let's Go Froggin, so enjoy, have fun and go froggin!


Aw can you smell it? The end of summer?

It smells like indoor sand sculptures and buttered popcorn and corn dogs and people getting ill from eating maple-bacon topping on a deep fried pork filled croissant ...

Yeh, it's CNE time again

Our first visit to the Ex this year was not all about food ... OK we did start our day with a corn dog. Yes, a corn dog. It's what for breakfast. And a Pepto for lunch. But really, this isn't a post about the food at the Ex.

We will be going back to the Ex to see the Air Show but that takes up a good chunk of the day so this time we decided to check out a couple of other shows the CNE has to offer. First up was Tic Toc, an original "acrobatic" show in the vein of Cirque de Soleil

There was some kind of story here involving a kind of madhatter character, a gigantic clock, a kidnapped professor ... well really it was a bunch of performers and really that's all I care about. I never "get" the stories in Cirque de Soleil either. Just spin around the stage and pass me another corn dog

There was this guy in a hoop, and he had a girl to spin with him in the hoop which is really rather touching cuz if you're stuck in a hoop it's nice to have someone with whom to share the experience, and maybe grab you a coffee (or a corn dog) as you spin around.

If the corn dog is way up high for some reason you could ask this guy to help you get it.

He was balancing on a series of canes and got to about 30 feet in height, which would be handy in Toronto this summer, what with all the flooding.

Of course, the show had ribbon girls, a pair of them, working in tandem. I've seen lots of ribbon girls and I never really tire of them. Sometimes I want to know where they got the ribbons from and where they keep them .. and sometimes I just like to keep all that a mystery

Most of the shows contained rather familiar elements but the climax was worth the wait, featuring a series of acrobats bouncing off the giant clock face and swinging from the clock's "movements"

If Tic Tock represented the "new school" or even current school of shows one would see at a fair, the Ex offered up a perfect example of "old school" or should I say "classic" It really doesn't get much more classic than the Flying Wallendas.

Nik Wallenda is making a living out of doing high wire spectaculars, walking over Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon but this Wallenda troup adhered to what made the family famous; controlled and perfectly executed wire walks without a net

From the clown that opened the show, to their costumes to the stunts themselves, this was classic Wallenda, stuff I watched on TV as a kid. Classic can sometimes be corny. But when you see it live, and see the grace and skill involved in what they do, it doesn't seem corny at all ... well corn dog perhaps ... but this isn't about food

And if the corn dog jokes are becoming a bit odious for you, check out the video. Music by Serena Ryder and 100% corn dog free.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


The Taste of the Danforth is an annual street fest here in Toronto. The Danforth is largely acknowledged as the hub of the city's Greek community but it's actually a very culturally diverse area. We don't go as often as once we did because I don't seem to have the time to eat souvalki off a stick with a million of my nearest and dearest friend.

Well, perhaps not dear but in that crowd very very near .. way way way to near

One of the things I enjoy about the festival is the entertainment. And not just Greeks dancing and breaking plates and yelling things in strange tongues ... if I want that I can go to a family party.

We have seen many good local acts there and this year was no different. Here is a little video with some shots of the street including a demonstration of thai boxing and featuring the music and performance of Dr Draw, a band featuring an electric violin player. I thought the name Dr Draw was a clever moniker to describe a musician who draws a bow across the strings .. turns out his actual name is Eugene Draw

No matter what he is called, we enjoyed the performance. I was a fan of Jean Luc Ponty, one of the pioneers of electric violin and this guy is just as good, playing an eclectic mix of rock, disco, electronica, sound tracks and classic tracks. His rendition of Elenor Rigby was a stand out

His performance was so high energy he referred to it as his "work out video" Yeh, I had a heart attack just watching him

The video captures a bit of it I hope

Friday, August 16, 2013


If you are viewing this post your life may be in danger. Actually, my life would be in danger as well and quite frankly, that is more distressing me than any danger it may put you in .. sorry, that's just the way it is

For the past several months, Collette and I have been under care of a super secret government agency that relocates families, changes their identities and helps them maintain security. No, not the Witness Protection Program; the WTFWHTMA ... rolls right off the tongue doesn't it. You may better know it as the What The Fuck, We Have To Move? Agency

This agency is an entirely Canadian operation .. which explains why the whole process was like something out of an old school screwball comedy. And not an "A" list comedy, with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, but a decided "C" list comedy with Frank Gorshin and Adrienne Barbeau

How else to explain some of the following incidents:

1) When searching for a new house I responded to the following "Fully fenced in yard with fruit trees and private parking" It seemed to be written in English, but it must have been a foreign language. Yes the yard was fully fenced but it had recently been completely paved over except for the three foot wide strip where three sad apple trees wondered where the hell the soil went. This paving was to provide the parking for the house .. and the two houses beside it. What was private? Well people from the street were not allowed to park there

2) Another house that I went to see seemed pretty nice; large bungalo, nice yard, a basement apt for Jeff. I noticed that a section of said basement was being drywalled off and when I inquired what that was for the owner told me "Oh that's for me, I'm moving to Cambridge but I will be in Toronto once or twice a month so I'm making myself a little apartment here" Right. So I wasn't renting a house, I was renting a tenement

3) We finally found a house, a lovely new house but there were a few minor issues ... like the gas wasn't turned on and oh yeh, there may be a minor gas leak but nothing to be concerned about. Yeh, that's how you make a house smoking free

4) We decided to buy a portable dishwasher. I go to Sears, find a floor model at a great price, buy it, have it delivered. When it comes, the thing has no wheels. I phone the store and am informed that the portable dishwasher does not come with wheels. Collette inquired: This is a portable dishwasher right? They respond Yes ma'am. She asks What makes a portable dishwasher portable? Yes, we got our wheels

5) The new house has a nice yard but I had to do a little fencing for Terra. Terra is barrier trained, if she sees a barrier she won't cross it. It can be low, she won't jump it, knock it over or dig under it. Problem is, what I see as a barrier, my dog sees as an open door. Across one side of the yard I put up a metal garden fence. It had "slats" in it, about 12 or 14 inches wide. Collette watched our 50 lb border collie put one paw through the opening, duck her head and just slide on through without touching the sides. Yeh, I can't wait till this dog grows some bones

6) Our new house has a very nice basement apt where Collette's nephew Jeff is living. We love living with Jeff but sometimes he has a perspective different from mine. He was concerned that our street has no sidewalks. Dude, I've been where you grew up, you don't even have paved roads ...

7) We decided to use professional movers for this move. Collette wanted to use a guy who does all the moving for the Toronto school board. We arranged for one date then he informed us that he would not be able to make that weekend after all; none of his drivers would work, cuz it was Jamaica Day ... I strongly suspect it had a lot to do with the above mentioned non "smoking" house

There are more stories but I've run out of beer so the telling of them will have to wait. And the agents of  WTFWHTA have informed me that this post is in violation of their mandate. Prison time could be implimented. Great. I'll probably have to move in there myself

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