Sunday, March 17, 2013

Clearing the Air

Sunday March 17, 12:15 p.m.

St. Patrick's Day again....or Don't-You-Dare-Drive-In-Downtown-Toronto Day. Because of the annual parade and the fact that one major long segment of the TTC is out of commission, driving downtown must be a huge migraine....even more than usual. A couple of my old friends who used to love putzing about in their cars have basically had their love leached out from them due to the horrors of navigating badly-maintained streets, chronic construction, few and pricey parking lots and incompetent drivers. Ah, and we do have those Pan Am Games in a couple of years, right?

Having the windows open in a number of the rooms here just to clear all the stale stuff out. My brother's family is popping over for dinner tonight, so I don't want my niece making any remarks since kids are very straightforward about their opinions.

Met up with The Egg and his wife for lunch out in North York yesterday. We went to the local branch of Asian Legend, one of the popular Chinese food franchises. The Anime King and I often head out to the branch near his place where we usually just nosh on some soy milk soup and perhaps some potstickers. But I was kinda surprised that we all went a bit wild on the quantity of our choices. The Egg and I were champion eaters in our day, and I can still surprise even myself at times but, I think our best days are well behind us now.

I've sorted out my tax stuff so that I can hand over the numbers to my brother since he's got some whiz-bang software. If I were still in Japan, I would've done this a month ago since the due date is actually right now there for returns. Aside from the kanji, it was never all that bad filling out the forms.

The Leafs lost another heartbreaker to the Winnipeg Jets in a shootout. But the news media isn't exactly getting too upset since losing teams in a shootout still earn a point. But that's 5 in a row for the Buds, and so I'm just wondering if recent history is gonna repeat itself, and the players will have to don disguises when they go shopping locally. In any case, I have a feeling that they're probably gonna make the playoffs by the skin of their noses.

I guess the other big news here is this looming pachyderm known as the Big Casino Debate. The casino conglomerates have been courting Toronto like really desperate bachelors, and Mayor Rob Ford has been more than happy to show them inside the house. Meanwhile, a lot of us are not feeling too good about having a bit of Las Vegas (or as my old high school History teacher used to say it, Lost Wages) or Detroit/Windsor/Vancouver/Niagara Falls plunked down in downtown. Sure, jobs may increase but at best, I think it would be a Faustian victory. There was a job fair for jobs that don't yet exist for this casino that doesn't yet exist yesterday somewhere which struck me as somewhat odd. And as it turned out, the turnout was indeed sparse and the so-called job fair was really a badly-disguised group of lobbyists trying to show the merits of having a casino. Supposedly, some of the officials who did come on out were caught off-guard themselves when confronted with the question about this "job fair". The pro-casino side is having a tough enough time of trying to convince a very skeptical city, so false advertising on this level isn't exactly going to help their cause.