2019.10.16 07.30


Isolated Day Off

Sandy Hook Shooting

Toronto the Orange

Winning Solitaire

Learning about Android



Father's Day 2012

Lockdown (article)

RIP Coralee Whitcomb

In Praise of Crap

In Praise of Idleness

Love After 70 (snapjudgment)

Thornhill Fair

Bees in the Garbage

Memories of the EeePC

Legendary Customer Service

to Newmarket and back

borrowing Ti Gar

the oatmeal

three songs

small towns

best dollar stores

KW day two

Waterloo via Galt

Facebook Humbug

august-september 2010

march 2010

december 2009

august 2009

june 2009

april 2009

march 2009

back to 2005-2006

back to 2003-2004

unmodified old essays and pix

110917 Thornhill Fair

Perhaps some of you know that I really believe in public transportation. I'm not just talking about moving the masses to and from their workplace. And I really understand people who hate the long commute from their home in Sutton or Newmarket to downtown Toronto. Public Transit is iconic for me; when it is good, it is like a freeway: you get on, you watch for your sign, you get off and change for the next vehicle. I love the simplicity.

Did you believe all of that stuff I just said, as in personally believe it? I didn't think so. Today, it bit me in the ass, so maybe I'm dreaming and not accurately reporting. Hey, it's not all bad either. Today's story begins with York Regional Transit.

I got up in good time. I was on my feet and nearly dressed by 130pm. Little details slowed me down, so I didn't actually get out the door for another hour. I spent maybe 30 minutes at the Sheppard Centre too, so I arrived at the York Regional Terminal at Finch Station around 250pm.

The station was crowded so I had to wait my turn to buy a ticket at the machine. It costs 3.25 and you get two hours of transit for that. Or a little more since you just have to board the vehicle before the time runs out, and you can stay on board without fear. My ticket was purchased at 3pm, and would expire at 5pm.

It was only after I spent my money I started paying attention to the signage at every bus stop: There is no service on bus stops between Steeles and Royal Orchard. Eeep! That was exactly the area I wanted service, as I didn't want to walk from Steeles to the fair. Besides, if I'm walking from Steeles, I shouldn't have bought a YRT ticket.

I probably didn't need to buy the fare, as I walked from Clark Ave to Centre St, about a mile. It ended up being useful anyway, as I got home with it. There was a lot of music coming from the fair. You could hear it as soon you got off the bus. There was a stage set up at the York Farmers Market. I didn't actually go there, because I was on the wrong side of the street, and was more interested in the shops on the west side.

If I ever want to start my career over again, I should get involved in hair, nails or cosmetics. This plaza had two of each kind of business. There were paying customers in them. There were a couple of cell phone stores but these did not have customers; they had very bored staff waiting for visitors to come in.

I felt myself getting closer to the action! The cars were being coralled into a single lane and were directed by police to turn east along John St. When I arrived, the official entrance was entirely abandoned. There were no festival volunteers to take my money. Yay!

I checked out Yonge Street, and thought that this festival was truly lame. There was no visible reason for blocking Main Street. In fact, I still contend that there was no reason to detour the transit, as there were no tents or displays on Yonge: there were vendors on the side streets. What a good idea! Not lame at all! Each booth had a tent which sported a sign with their name on it.

As I got there, all of the booths were in a state of sending someone for a van to pack it up. I must have heard this a few times, and realized I'd better look this festival over quickly. I read that there were four music stages, four beer gardens and lots of food displays. I only found a few vendors of food, actually. All of the beer gardens were now just places where you could visit a portable toilet and wash your hands. Oh, you could also sit for a while until someone wanted to take your bench away and stash it in the big truck. I'm sure I read the show went on until 6pm, but these people wanted to do an early pre-close.

The music was handled differently. I could hear all of the bands playing until I took the bus out of there, so while commerce had given up, and food was finished, the music continued. Some of the churches had music inside. There was a music school for playing religious songs. I heard a loud band which could have played on the movie "Back to the Future." The stage at York Farmers Market played (can you guess?) Country. I heard children's music coming from somewhere, but didn't go see. So the musicians were not in a hurry to go home.

I don't want you to think this was because of the bad weather. I was so happy to enjoy perfect fall temperatures. 19C is 68F, and that's okay with a sweater, and okay without a sweater too. There were clouds, and the sun peeked out every few minutes, then returned to hiding again. So people can't complain they were in a hurry because it was cold or wet out.

There was a husband wife team providing meat on a stick for $2 each, called Hawaiian BBQ. Just perfect. The Catholic Church made pierogies for 50c each, and they were good, even if they had run out of sour cream. They had a large dining area set up. Outside were representatives of the Korean Congregation who also share the church hall. They were selling sausage and fries. Next to them were two groups selling garage sale items. One was the White Elephant, and they lived up to their name. Another had already put away their sign, but had toaster ovens, board games and assorted china for sale.

I didn't see any Snake Oil at the show. Snake oil isn't a specific product, but is representative of things you can only get at a show. Imagine a rubber ball you use in the laundry that has near magical cleaning abilities for only $20. Or maybe an additive that doubles your car's gas mileage. Knives with a lifetime guarantee. I didn't see anything like Snake Oil at this fair.

I did see brand new sheet sets. So I bought two King sets for $20 each. I consider them a birthday present from my hun because I'm very hard to buy for.

I made a final stop at the Thornhill Starbucks. What a nice thing when we are recognised, even at a store where we hardly go! The baristas remembered me from Bathurst Sheppard (and almost remembered my drink). And one of our store's regulars hugged me close and was glad to see me there too. She was visiting with family.

It was 530pm when I finished my coffee, and look, Yonge St was open to traffic! I saw a Viva bus, and with some running managed catching it. Way back at 330pm, at York Regional Terminal, I met with a transit supervisor, and talked about how I was using up all of my precious ticket time waiting for the bus. Her advice was not to worry. All of the buses were running very late, and if someone asked me about the old ticket, tell them we had talked. So when the time came, I just got onto the Viva bus, and nobody cared.

Thornhill Festival. It comes every year, third Saturday in September.

Next fall fair: Markham Fair, Sep 29, 30, Oct 1, 2. I will go on the first day, Thursday Sep 29.



At Loblaws Supermarket this weekend they have Sirloin Tip Roasts for $3/lb so I bought two roasts on the way home. I have just finished slicing them into useful steak sizes and freezing them before writing to you now.



I had a day off on Tuesday. I used my time to visit the sleep centre where they conducted a sleep study on me. Now they should have sent me the report by mail as I requested, but nobody called or checked anything. But after I phoned them and asked if I could meet with a doctor, all of a sudden they're eager to see me right away.

"You must have slipped through the cracks," the doctor said to me. "I'm glad you take your health seriously, as your readings are very high." I explained, "Well, I made this appointment because I am waking up every 90 minutes with this terrible nightmare of dryness."

She explained, "More than every 90 minutes. You are waking up every 30 seconds, with an average of 112 episodes an hour. It is a wonder you get any rest at all. Yours is not the highest I've seen, but high enough that I want you to go home with a CPAP machine tonight no matter what." And she sent me to a respiratory devices store just around the corner. She explained that having that much interrupted sleep raises my blood pressure and makes the medication ineffective. It worsens the metabolic syndrome (big gut form of overweight) and weakens all of my organs. This much sleep loss affects my sexuality, and is probably reducing testosterone and increasing estrogens inside of me.

This machine doesn't add oxygen, but it does increase the pressure, so that the airways don't collapse. I'm still waking up a few times through the night, but I'm now completely rested and alert after only four hours of sleep.

It also humidifies the air. The combination works for me, so when I'm wearing the mask I no longer get the dry mouth nightmare. I would go to sleep. The instant I lay down horizontal, one or both tubes of the nasal fossa block. When that happens I begin mouth breathing. The nasal cavity remains blocked, but then dries out too. At some point I stop salivating, and my mouth, nose and throat are entirely dry. I'm also asleep, but sometime after this, my dream becomes frightening. One variation is where I'm eating or breathing a sand dune. While it's not as gritty as the real thing, I don't get air or moisture, and feel like death is approaching, but it isn't instant, and the dream goes on for some time before it wakes me up. Another dream has no visual component, but feels like my tongue and mouth are looking directly at the sun, and my tongue becomes dark, charred and "ready to eat." I wake up as I consider eating my tongue to get the moisture inside of it. There are others too. I usually forget the good dreams I have, but the nightmares remain with me for half an hour, during which I play on the computer or something until my head is clear enough to return to bed.

I feel like I may be able to start exercising again, but this could be placebo effect. Ok, whatever. I hope it's the real thing. I'd like to lose a hundred pounds of stomach lard. And no man wants find out he has reduced sexuality on account of anything. So I'll keep you informed.

Gawd. Has facebook really taken over the personal web log? It's scary.