In hat pursuit …

Danica got the call from the Apple Store. Her Macbook had a new keyboard and was ready for pickup. I went along figuring we could check out the men’s hats department in the Eaton Centre’s Nordstrom department store.

That’s it in the photo above. The whole hat department. The Nordstrom website is rich with choice, so this was disappointing.

The way the Nordstrom store thinks hat buying should work goes like this:
Find a hat on the website you’d like to try on, order it online and if it isn’t what you want, you may return it to the Eaton Centre Nordstrom store for a refund. Shipping cost will not be refunded, so trying on a hat costs maybe 10 bucks and takes days or weeks. Ah, the modern marketplace.

The Apple experience was better, because the defective Macbook keyboard was replaced under warranty. So that we could appreciate the value of the replacement, Apple made out an invoice, showing the price of the repair had it been chargeable. $555.11 … nearly half the cost of a new machine. There is something very wrong about the way Macbooks are made.

Course is getting better

I’m warming up to the Reconciliation course I’ve been taking. The discussion parts, where students write about their experiences and difficulties with the subject are candid and constructive.

Some of the resources are well done, too. 3 minute example:

I find the teachings of the “7 grandfathers” agreeable enough, but words like wisdom, knowledge, spirit, honesty and truth mean different things to different people.

Useful info, either way

Frans at College and Yonge doesn’t have wifi. I was there recently by myself and wanted to use wifi while I had a bite. Nope, so I moved along.

On the other hand, finding places without wifi is getting harder. So if wifi sets the tinfoil in your hat a-buzzing, or you have company to talk to, Frans is for you.

The cool keeps coming 😎

This is just so much fun! Bill Plaskett has contributed some extra goodies to add to the post about the Solidarity Tour performance at Massey Hall, now online. (See post below)

Photo credit: Rhoda Rosenfeld?

First up, a cool photo of Bill back in the day, when I first heard Wally the Whale being sung in our livingroom, performed by the duo of my sister Joni and the styishly-hatted Bill Plaskett you see above.

Better yet, an mp3 of Bill singing the song. He notes that his voice wasn’t the best that morning, but shares it anyway. As you’ll probably guess from the lyrics, Wally was contemporary with the Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Pure delight. Thanks, Bill!

Homework I wasn’t asked to do

The course on Reconciliation (See post below) includes aids for educators that seem wrong-headed to me. For example, this lesson plan for grades 9–12:

Invite an artist who creates “dream catchers” to explain what these works represent. Then ask students to make their own, based on what they learned during the awareness activities and the artist’s presentation.

Asking students to make copies of the artist’s dream catchers ignores the cultural appropriation problem. Now, if the idea is to have students invent their own versions of a device for capturing dreams, that’s different. I’d probably make a pillow … the settler’s dream catcher … but my guess is that copying is being suggested.

Here’s the thing …

Doesn’t the “invited artist” make dream catchers for sale as trade goods? That’s a longstanding and honourable economic activity that predates colonization. Why not bring that back as a classroom activity and let the kids buy or trade for dream catchers made by the artist?

Do you think that European sailors invited Haida carvers to show them their beautiful argillite carvings, just so that the sailors could copy them and make their own? Argillite carvings were made by the Haida specifically because Europeans liked them and would trade for them.

BTW, I hope the “invited artist” can expect to be paid for this classroom work, just as the teacher is.

Bye bye 506 streetcar, hello bus

Thanks to Bombardier’s ongoing failure to deliver streetcars on schedule, we are short of vehicles. The old ones are falling apart and our line is being raided to supply cars for other routes. It’s buses for Beach Hill for the rest of the year.

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Making the best of a bad deal, local artist Karen Franzen rounded up a band of 506 enthusiasts for a last, fun run to the west side. The itinerary started at the Flying Pony Café, went to the Olga Korper Gallery to see a Susanna Heller show, on to Café Diplomatico, then back east to the Beach Hill Smokehouse for ribs and beer.

Karen has exceptional energy and a talent for organizing events like this. She also has a strong vision of the 506 line as a unifier of Toronto’s east and west sides. My bad luck, a cold-turned-flu bug kept me home. 😞 Those that went report having a great time.