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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Recent goings-on...

Yesterday rode into work and back. Man, heading home on the bike is so much more fun, practically downhill all the way. I'm still amazed I get to work in shape to get anything done. I also finally saw as episode of The Last Detective, which moon_custafer has praised to me. Peter Davidson (the Fifth Doctor) is a rumpled, kind of sad-sack detective who hasn't gotten a promotion in decades and who's nickname of "Dangerous" is meant to be mean-spirited, but who is really good at what he does when he's given a chance. Absolute cracking British mystery, I'll have to track down the box sets which are now available.

kelpqueen did a reading at Clinton's (new home of the Art Bar poetry readings) on Tuesday and was awesome as always. The first guy reading that evening was a little too eager (Please feel free to talk to me! I have books! And a webpage! And podcasts!) and the woman who followed him was a little too bubbly for my tastes, but Sandra was just right. Also present (but not reading) was Don Bassingthwaith (who I hadn't seen in a while) and Sandra's friend Dave Whats-his-name.

After the three readers was the dreaded open mike, which was mercifully limited to three minutes per reader, and they managed to keep to that. But Sandra commented afterwards that it was one of the bes topen mike's she had ever heard. Only a couple of people were dreadful and some were a lot of fun, primarily the deadpan guy with poems on "Evil", the white suited and sandal-wearing beatnik, and the 70-year-old with the insanely perfect 30-second screed (Dave Whats-his name: "He has singled handedly restored my faith in free verse")

Sandra sold three books that evening, which may be a personal record.

Monday had dinner with Kyle, who I also haven't seen in a while, and took a stroll along the Beaches boardwalk.

Weekend was kind of disappointing. The Saturday I went on a day trip to Niagara Falls with the Toronto Urban Explorers for a hike and to see said Falls. The organizer turned out to be this frustrated tour guide, who seemed incapable of treating people like adults, and who told us in detail during the day about how he had passed the exams to become a Niagara tour guide (scored 99%!) but he couldn't work for the bad people presently controlling things in Niagara. I wouldn't have minded that so much except we spent over half the day just standing and waiting instead of doing things, standing and waiting for 10 minutes while someone got a photograph (multiple times), 15 minutes at the bathrooms before lunch (an hour) and again after, and again when someone wanted to go into a Starbucks. There was a two-hour segment where we didn't get anything done, pretty much though lack of organization, and I found that all to be really frustrating.

But the Falls are spectacular and the weather was good to view them. Next time I'm that way I'll have to bring a poncho as the amount of spray the viewing area gets, something like 50 metres up, is remarkable. It really feels like rain!

Sunday despite the threatening sky I decided to go biking, first going down to Duke's to get my gears adjusted. While they were doing that I wandered over to Bakka and picked up the first Felix Castor novel by Mike Carey (won the second in London with owlfish last fall, they are great horror/mysteries, and I generally don't care for horror much). After I picked up my bike it started seriously raining, so I waiting in a storefront. After 15 minutes decided to lock up the bike and get some brunch. After some good brunch it was still raining, so I had some coffee. Finally, after about two hours it eased almost to a stop, so I managed to dash home. I really, really, hate biking in the rain.

And Friday I had dinner with Eric, and we saw Rescue Dawn, the movie with Christian Bale as a fighter pilot in 1965 who gets shot down over Laos, is captured, and eventually managed to escape. It's a Werner Hetzog movie, so of course I loved it. Hetzog did the same story as a documentary 10 years ago.