Understandable, but a big loss

Good Time Coffee is closing after 18 years of service to Beach Hill. Ben was kind enough to call me yesterday to let me know. He tried to keep going with takeout only for a while, but COVID-19 made it impossible.

A photo I took in 2014, for the Beach Hill businesses map. Corner of Woodbine and Gerrard.

Of course, the coffee shop is a real loss to the regulars for whom it was a clean, comfortable, reliable and affordable “living room” extension of their own homes.

George Barnewall and I met there almost every Thursday, for many years, until George died last year. 

A 2011 photo I took of George at Good Time, at the table to the right. I was showing off my new iPad camera.

We will feel the absence of Ben and Lisa from our neighbourhood even more. Danica and I like them a lot and we know they like us, too. 

Nothing will dim my admiration for the couple’s enterprising enthusiasm, work ethic, business sense and reliability. They put in incredibly long hours. If there was a break in demand for coffee and meals, that was an opportunity to sweep and mop and wipe down tables and chairs. They took care of us, and almost always with smiles.  Let’s face it, some of our locals can be a challenge on occasion, but Ben and Lisa could exert diplomatic control, when needed. 

Ben has no immediate plans for next steps, other than to visit his family in China for a couple of months when travel is possible again. They are all well.

Whatever Ben and Lisa do choose to do next, they will succeed and prosper, as they so richly deserve to do. I have the greatest respect for what they gave to Beach Hill for so long. Pity it could not have been even longer. 

Thank you, Cara and AJ

My story (below) about dropping my blood pressure pills somewhere on my way home from the pharmacy, has a happy ending.

I’m glad the package label had my name, address and phone number!

Cara found the bag, still stapled shut, in front of her house and phoned to let me know that her husband AJ would be bringing it to our mailbox. Wow! Thank you both for being so thoughtful.

Walking: Not so healthy?

Thanks for the photo, Brian. Our sometimes lunch companion Peter Sever is living in the Philippines at present.

The Philippines news comes as no surprise.

My reading tells me that Torontonians who are not under quarantine orders can still go outside to walk a pet or to exercise. Fine. Even though I’m over 70, I could go for my 10,000 steps … but should I?

Probably not for now, I have decided … and I am grateful to live in a country that lets me choose.

Exercise is a necessary part of staying well, but strutting the streets may not be setting a good example. There’s fresh air outside the back door … fresher than ever while we are not polluting. Youtube is full of workout ideas for old dudes. They can be done in a back yard or even on a balcony.

Drug run was a bust

My prescription wasn’t in my pocket when I got home from my walk to the pharmacy. If a druggie finds it, hoping for a high, no luck. It may deliver a new low, however, in blood pressure.

“This is just the beginning,” Peter Bartosh likes to tell me with a grin, whenever I do something stupid or absent-minded. He’s 4 or 5 years ahead of me in years and knows these things.

Anyway, a sunny day walk is never a waste and there’s always something to see and learn.

Eastern Avenue politics

What do you want to bet that the author’s spray can was made and sold by capitalists? Perhaps the artist shoplifted it, as a matter of principle.

TTC sign for streetcar drivers. Russell/Connaught Carhouse

Some are questioning the competence of our Toronto Transit Commission, especially when it comes to packing essential workers into rush hour buses.
[More service is being added. Enough?]

Lining up at Loblaws

Temporary duct tape spacing markers have been replaced with more permanent paint … a realistic measure of the duration we can expect.

COVID queueing markers keep us 2 metres apart in line ups.

Anyone over the age of 70 is strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible, say the increasingly strict COVID-19 measures. Trips for prescriptions are fine. Shopping, once a week. Walking for exercise? I have to check on that. It was OK, as long as we stayed 2 metres away from others, but maybe that’s changed for over 70s.

So much for anonymity

I’ve been reading about ways that Zoom videoconferencing calls are NOT private, so it’s no surprise to see that virtual AA meetings are being hacked.

Conference call or public broadcasting?

Zoom makes its money selling user data, so some lack of privacy is simply the price of free service. Other parties are breaking in, too, though. It’s probably not a good idea to use Zoom for doctor/patient sessions, or lawyer/client calls, or cabinet meetings. Or anything else, IMHO, (except yoga classes).