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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Books and Brunch

Last Friday was a launch of Sandra Kasturi's first poetry collection from Tightrope Books, held at The Central in Mirvish village. The place was packed for the readings, and even the non-Sandra ones were quite good, I think the evening was a big success for all concerned. I got to catch up with several people I hadn't seen in a while (not Sandra unfortunately, I'll have to remedy that soon) and enjoy the patio, as inside was just too freaking hot!

Saturday gave my place a long overdue cleaning-up in the morning. There was stuff still lying on the floor where I dropped it after getting home from Anime North two weeks before. In the afternoon caught up with davemerrill and dwinghy at Phil's on College St for some BBQ. They had been at the Paradise Comic Con earlier in the day and had a pile of old comics, nothing valuable, just crazy golden age stuff. Had to wait till we got back to my place to look at them (BBQ fingers).

After my brother join us we put on davemerrill's Anime Hell collections, a montage of fan-produced videos, 80's weirdness, news clips where CNN tries to figure out what anime is, etc. Dave runs these each year at Anime North with commentary, and it's a hugely popular events. I always miss most of it, so it was great to finally see it.

He also had this insane cultural artifact, Future War 198X, an anime movie from 1982 depicting a war between NATO and the Warsaw pact. But the version he had was put out by an Australian peace group who had replaced the entire soundtrack (both dialogue and sound effects) with a English voice-over, supposedly that of the major character, in order to play up the "war is bad" message. They had also added a lot of 80's music, primarily Rush and Asia, which is an odd thing to listen to while you watch army's getting blown up. Fandom is great.

Sunday I got together with Paul and Susan and Charlene and Hayden and their respective offspring (Rebecca and Wesley) for brunch. We had it at a Holiday Inn in Guelph, not because of the food there (which wasn't bad at all, but not up to The Hot House standards), but because it was Donkey Day at a nearby animal sanctuary, and they though it would be good for the kids. I rode up there with Paul and Susan and came back with Hayden and Charlene, so everyone got their fair share of Donald Time. I though the sanctuary was sort of neat, with a talk by one of the animal handlers about how to read their moods and approach them safely particularly interesting, but the kids seemed either slightly freaked or a little bored by them.

They evening I got the bike out again, went to the Lakeshore, and headed west, reaching the Mississauga border on the Waterfront Trail in a little over an hour from my door. The Waterfront Trail runs all the way to Niagara, and it's about 130km from Toronto to there. I'm increasingly thinking that I could do that in day, spend the night in Niagara, and come back the next. That's my end of summer plan.