She’s a beauty, alright

Yes, Sylvie, you too, but I’m talking about Kathy’s newly-completed deck.


My business partner Paul Royko built the original deck before his death in 1998. He anchored it with with enough sonotube foundations to hold up a helipad, but wood is wood and doesn’t last forever. Paul’s wife Kathy just sent photos of the gorgeous new replacement, still supported, I’m sure, by Paul’s original underpinnings.

Sylvie and Kathy have lots of beautiful summer left to enjoy the new amenities. Kathy has turned her West side home into a real gem. Sylvie’s standards are VERY high.

Danforth’s Shapely, Shiny Show

Alerted by the sound of enthusiastic woo-hooing, I got out my camera at the corner of Danforth and Coxwell this afternoon.


A bevy of golden girls poured out of a savings bank, to be filmed for a promotion offering to chop ATM fees.

Woo-Hoo! I have never used an ATM machine in my life. I swore off them in the 1980s when one of the big banks treated a victimized customer badly. “Our system is uncrackable,” they said. “You gave away your PIN number to someone,” they said. “A member of your family must have stolen your money,” they said. “You are S.O.L,” they said.

“You can keep your insults AND your ATM machines,” I decided.

Since then, of course, the banks have learned not to make enemies of victims and just pay off losses, covering their costs with usurious fees. I still haven’t paid an ATM fee, following my plan.

Little Prince moves on

I was given this copy of The Little Prince over 30 years ago, by a kind lady who intimated that it was not really a book just for children.

little-prince-on-quiltOne of Danica’s log cabin quilts made a nice background.

When a friend said recently that he had not read The Little Prince but wanted to, I decided to reread it and pass it on. It’s a strange little book by an author whose life and death were mysterious, too.

The book’s suggested messages are clear and widely enough accepted to make the story a classic. Parts of the metaphor don’t reach me, but they do make a reader ponder, and feel.

The Little Prince is out of copyright in Canada, available here as a free PDF download.

Beach Hill bulletin about the board

The bulletin board at Woodbine and Gerrard was getting some attention when I passed by today.


Nigel was revisiting his handiwork after two years, refitting the rather handsome sign with new doors, windows and stainless steel hardware.

Multiple coats of fresh paint were also applied. Nigel is a good neighbour, contributing time and skill to sprucing up our Upper Gerrard commercial strip.


Wow! Ben would have been 97

Ben ViccariPublicist Sandy Zwyer wrote and reminded me that today was the birthday of our old friend Ben Vicarri. He was, among many other things, past president of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association. Sandy was Ben’s producer when he did commentaries for OMNI TV. Ben died in 2010.

Ben was the biggest Canada-booster I ever met. He came here from England after WWII and loved the fact that his new country celebrated its birthday one day before his own. He always combined the two events and he and his wife Anne dressed in red and white to host parties at their penthouse apartment in the Annex.

BTW, Sandy is currently publicizing “Dine Her“. She was kind enough to get us into the dress rehearsal when the show was in Toronto and we had a great time. Recommended, if you can get to participate.

The Best: Fresh, homemade bread

andja's-breadDanica arrived home safe and sound from Windsor, bringing with her one of the loaves that Andja makes from scratch, six at a time.

The loaf arrived in one piece, but not for long. Reasoning that it was never going to be fresher, I sliced off two pieces immediately and had them with some very good marmalade. Perfection.
Thank you, Andja, and thanks for taking such good care of the two of us for our visit.

Harper’s last Canada Day as PM

If we use our votes well, we can make Harper go away this October.

The amateur performance below is too long, but that’s because Harper’s rap sheet is so long. Aboriginals, Muslims and Maritimers, Scientists and Statisticians might be expected to protest against the Conservatives, but it’s nice to see Church People that want them gone, too.

As for the ages of most in the choir, they have life experience and they go to the polls.


We want you gone (gone, gone)
You and your pawn (pawn, pawns)
No more con (con, cons)
Time to move on (on, on)
Get out of town (town, town )
Don’t want you round (round, round)
Harperman, it’s time for you to go

Budapest can’t open on Canada Day

The kitchen is so close to finished, it could have been creating meals within hours, but the gas man never showed to hook up the line.


Without a stove, there’s no way Lorie and Edit can open, of course. When will the Prince of Tradesmen make his appearance? Who knows? Maybe later this week.

The liquor licence will take a while, too. The notice says people have until July 26th to challenge the application. That’s very unlikely, but how long will the bureaucracy take to issue the licence after July 26th? Another question mark.


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