Archive for March, 2010

Fleeting moments

Posted on March 31st, 2010 8 Comments

Okay, so remember that top-secret mission I mentioned last Wednesday? Well, the plan’s in action (eeee!), which means I’m allowed to go public with it.

But since I have to occupy a whole blog post, dear reader, why don’t you see how many steps into the production process before you figure out what I’m up to? I’ll describe the steps. :)

Step 1

Print a few test photos. Create some aberrations. Never speak of them again.

photo, postcard, toronto, city, life

Step 2

Make exactly the same mistakes as in step 1, but on the other side.

postcard, photo, toronto, city, life

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

I’ve always wanted a robotic butler

Posted on March 30th, 2010 8 Comments

There isn’t much that would encourage me to stay indoors on a day such as today.

bay street, queen street east, nathan phillips square, city hall, hudson's bay company, toronto, city, life

Yet, I found it incredibly difficult to rip myself away from my flat. Even today. Obviously, I did, and will again, but I didn’t / won’t venture far. I was / will be thinking about how Jeeves was / will be making out.

Jeeves, is the new Roomba. I named him Jeeves because I’ve always wanted a robotic butler (I will learn how to attach a drink holder to him!). Also because he’s black and white, looks like he’s wearing a smart futuristic tux.

I should mention it wasn’t a snap decision; my upright vacuum is on its last legs. Plus, it smells funny. I was looking around for a replacement and came across this limited shipment at Canadian Tire. I’d bought the upright for about the same as the robot, and even the basic Roomba cleans by its frickin’ self!

Well I was sold.

I went to the one store that still claimed to have ample supplies, spent a few minutes sweating it out as another guy pawed the last box, and grabbed it as casually as I could when he returned it back to the empty shelf. I was hoping for black and white.

Christmas :)

roomba, 400s, irobot, ollie, oliver, cat, apartment, flat, vacuum cleaner, toronto, city, life

Of course I tried the Roomba out as soon as the the “Clean” button turned green.

It’s incredibly difficult not to become mesmerized as the cleaner works the room the first six or seven times out. It’s hypnotic. I’ve lost hours!

Jeeves doesn’t seem to faze Ollie much, which is good for all of us. The cleaner makes about as much noise as a child’s large, radio-controlled, toy truck. Quieter than the upright, for sure. And he’s not really what I’d call intelligent – I suspect Ollie’s got him figured out. He alternates between turning in circles, travelling in straight lines across the room, hugging the walls, and bumping into stuff along the way. Occasionally Jeeves gets stuck in a tight spot, usually because he’s a chickenshit and scared to drop two centimetres (about three-quarters of an inch), from the fireplace tiles. But he gets up there alright!

So I’ve changed the layout of my place; I now get to blog in front of the big window overlooking the street :) Plus, after about six hours of charging, I set up the Virtual Wall so that Jeeves doesn’t enter the kitchen (Ollie gets to make a mess in there undisturbed), and set up the flat to barricade the off-limit areas. Then, get the hell outta there!

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

The edges of tedium

Posted on March 29th, 2010 2 Comments

That romp I took through the Toronto Archives the other day didn’t end there, dear reader. It went on for hours as I pored maps and stories of the city dating back to 1834, when Toronto first became Toronto. Okay, possibly the second time, but this time the King himself signed off on it. York it weren’t no more anyhow.

It all started with innocently enough. I usually just close the window after flipping through the photos but this time, just for fun, I decided to click on the Archives logo in the corner. Sometimes their web exhibits are suuuuuuper boring. But this time, for Toronto’s 175th, they did a series on the city in 1834.

And now I can say that I know where the original city extended to — it’s been something of a bug on my itchy brain for a while now.

I checked the maps against current street names and locations and the boundary points I came up with seem to agree with the maps going back to 1834. Unfortunately these points disagree with the Archives’ analysis, but I don’t care.

According to me, the north-eastern edge of 1834 Toronto is the intersection of Queen Street and River Street:

queen street east, river street, city, limits, boundaries, edges, 1834, toronto, city, life

At that time Queen Street was called Lot Street because it led to a bunch of allotted land — lots. Also, there was no queen. Clever.

The photos, by the way, are looking into the old city from the four corners. Some of those corners haven’t seen much action since the old city, as you can see above. Others, like the south-eastern Gooderham’s mill and later Worted boozery, have been since been gussied up:

distillery district, mill street, river street, goodreham and wort's, corners, edges, limits, boundaries, 1834, toronto, city, life

But if full-on historical effacement is your thing (it’s okay to admit you like modern),  the south-western edge on Front Street doesn’t get any more devastating. Not only is the intersecting Peter Street discarded for Blue Jays Way (organized ball leagues weren’t really a priority in 1834), but there is literally nothing left of the original city except Front Street:

… Continue Reading

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures