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Singular or plural?

The other day, I watched a policeman in a TV interview say that officers had searched a premise. Why did I think the word was premises?

I looked it up. Premises refers to a building and the land it stands on, hence two things. Plural.

There is a singular use for the word premise, of course. It is a proposition used as the basis for a conclusion or action.

Here’s my favourite definition of conclusion:
It is the point at which we decide to stop thinking.

Interpreting the signs

I don’t know if there’s any particular iconography involved here, but the 3 decorated telephone poles are along the front of Beach Hill’s Forward Baptist Church and I think I see the severed head of a Thanksgiving turkey in there.

Jigsawed plywood and crate slats make a 3 dimensional departure from most city pole art. No spray cans have been used to apply the paint, either.

I put my favourite one in the middle, in the first photo. I like the design and colours and those screwy eyes get to me.

From pre-car cities to post-car cities

It looks like our friend Brian (AKA Indiana Hickey) is out of town, in Jordan this time.

Good time to mention Jennifer Keesmat, who just stepped away from her role as Toronto’s Chief Planner. Brian is not one of her fans. She is an opponent of cars in cities and Brian is a car guy.

Personally, I am pleased to be able to remain in contact with Keesmat’s ideas, thanks to her active Twitter account and her podcast channel.

I am even more pleased to see her tweet, “I have every intention of coming back.” 😉

From Keesmat’s Twitter feed, here’s an informative summary of 7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free. Madrid is on the list, and that stuck me as significant, because Brian was very impressed by what that city has done for its car drivers. He described a massive 5-year tunnelling project that produced a marvel of modern autoroutes. Poor, bumbling Toronto cannot even dream of such an accomplishment. We are still too backward.

The Madrid example, and others on the list of 7, underscore the need to address urban congestion on many fronts, not simply by crudely clubbing car drivers while providing crappy transit alternatives.

As a 72 year-old, I am resigned to the possibility that I may not outlast Toronto’s prolonged adolescence, but I am glad to know that people like Keesmat are still going to help us through this immature period.

Gord Smith’s 80th

Danica and I were delighted to be invited to Gord’s 80th birthday party at Pinewood Studios on October 8th … the actual, factual date, not just one chosen for weekend convenience.

In the spirit of the occasion, I made our birthday card by hand and Danica added decorations to the inside and envelope. The DIY inspiration came from Gord himself and his colleagues in the Goop of Five.

Terrible photos of a great evening. My camera was confused by the lighting, but excuses don’t improve the pictures. If anyone has better ones, please email them!


 Live music was provided by two Toronto greats … Joe Sealy on keyboard and Paul Novotny on bass … because Gord used to play gigs with them, back in the day. Gord played drums. What a life, so far!

Goop of Fiver Annie made the spicy Art Cake, complete with candles and paint brushes.

The party was held in the restaurant of Pinewood Studios in the film district. Avron Mintz, another Gooper, is the father of David Mintz, owner of the Studio catering company at Pinewood. Probably coincidence. We ate well!

Beautiful bike day

Bicycles to coffee in the Distillery District, today.


 We discovered that the artists’ studio building goes up 4 floors. Main floor studios seem a bit more open to retail traffic. The upper levels are working studios and there’s plenty of art to see along the hallways.