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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Second Year Anniversary

It is now exactly two years since I started this blog. Last year, I did a "look back" over the previous year. So, continuing that tradition, I will look back over the past year. Personal
  • My eldest son turned four, my eldest daughter turned three (on her way to school... finally), my youngest son turned one, and my youngest daughter was born last January.
  • My wife became a Canadian, now she is officially a dual.
  • Tories threaten to topple government but Belinda crosses the aisle, and the Liberals remain in power for the foreseeable future.
  • After last year's abnormally cool summer, Toronto (and much of the rest of the country) suffers from an abnormally hot summer with record breaking temperatures. And to think I bike in this weather.
  • Toronto suffers from a freak rain and hailstorm causing massive flooding citywide. And to think I walked in this weather.
The Rest of the World
  • Iraq. Staying the course. I said it last year. I'm saying it again.
  • The Americans elect George "Double You" Bush for the second time over John "Who?" Kerry who discovered that serving in a war for four months some 30 years ago and constantly mentioning that fact to the point that it becomes a running joke even with his own constituents does not guarentee the presidency. Kerry also discovered that being named after a certain type of open-back, sandal-like footwear didn't help much either.
  • Arafat. Dead.
  • Osama. Alive (supposedly).
  • Sharon actually goes ahead with his plan and officially makes the Gaza 100% Jew free. Will his plan help? I'm not optimistic.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Toronto Flood Pictures

Here are some pictures from the Great Toronto Flood of August 19, 2005 (pictures courtesy DG).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Water, Water, Everywhere...

Last Friday, Toronto and much of southern Ontario was hit with a freak rain and hailstorm that left the city with severe flooding in many areas. I was at work when the storm first hit. The rain was so thick we could barely see across the street. When the hail started to fall, it made a lot of noise hitting our steel and glass office building to the point where I could barely hear the client who I was talking to on the phone. I left work promptly at five with the idea that I would "make early Shabbos" with not having a clue as to what the traffic situation was really like. At this point we were getting light rain in our area. I walked to the bus stop and shortly thereafter, it started coming down hard again. It appeared in the distance that the police had blocked off the road and the traffic was at a standstill. For a half an hour I waited in vain for a bus that I didn't think was likely to show up anyways until the rain finally stopped and the sun came out. I then started to walk home. Along the way I noticed the flooding. Several parking lots and parts of Steeles Ave. were flooded. When I passed Leslie, I noticed in the distance several TTC buses idling. There is a place where the street dips down and goes underneath a bridge. That area was completely flooded and cut off the street entirely. Some cars were stalled and half submerged under water. One of the TTC drivers told me that she had been stuck there since 3:45, and it was already 6:30. Altogether, it took me about one hour and 45 minutes to walk home from the bus stop. My legs are still sore.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

So I Married a Canadian...

Last Friday, my wife pledged allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, and all of her heirs and successors, and in doing so, became a Canadian citizen along with over 80 people from 27 different countries. One of the things I learned from the process is that recipients of the Order of Canada have the legal power to confer citzenship. What that means is that people like the late Ernie Coombs or the Air Farce troupe can officiate. In this case, we had a historical geographer. At the end of the ceremony, we sang "Oh, Canada", but cut out the last part of "G-d keep our land, glorious and free" to switch to the French version of the anthem, which nobody in the room understood.