Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Monday, December 18, 2017

Life is conspiring against me ... and an update on the building demo across the road

I’ve been so busy lately, I’ve not had a lot of time to do anything but go back and forth, back and forth…. The subway sucks by the way. I’ve not had a lot of time in the past month, especially the past 2 weeks, to do anything but rush around trying to get things done. Which means … Bitter Grounds has suffered a bit. By the time I get home, all I want to do is poke around reading silly stories on the internet. Thinking has been too much work. I’m working on a couple of articles and now have a backlog of photos etc to post for the next few crazy weeks. Hopefully things won’t stay this way much longer.

In the meantime, the construction work across the street is moving along at a steady pace. The old CHUM building is gone, just a bit of brick and rubble left. This morning they started digging out the foundation. I have to admit, I've become fascinated with the entire process. It’s pretty impressive to watch. 3 big diggers clawing away at the dirt. I have dozens of photos of the work at various stages and have cherry picked a handful that will turn into stunning pieces of digital art. I was on the balcony about an hour ago and noticed the basement levels are starting to peak out of the ground. It’s going to be interesting to see how they dig out the walls.

And finally, it’s definitely fall here: View of the ravine from balcony

Cold … ugh … I’m never ready for it.


Sometimes you just have to watch the clouds go by

Out on the balcony tonight watching the sun set and suddenly thought "Hell, where's my camera". Almost missed catching the clouds:

Photo of sun setting over Toronto Oct 11 2016

.... night all.


The damned bastards! Where was my wakeup call?

For a couple weeks now the building across the road has been in tear down mode. The old CHUM building (a hideous carbuncle of a building, if ever there was one) is being demolished to make way for yet another condo. But hey, I hated the building so I'm not weeping tears over it. However, that means a fair bit of noise is generated, starting at 7 am Monday to Friday and 9 am on Saturday.  

Well ... today they didn't start until well after 9 am  The bastards! I've been using them as my morning alarm clock. What's the world coming to when you can't rely on the local demolition team to wake you up in a timely manner.  Tooling around in this little fellow all morning just doesn't generate the noise needed to wake me up:

Photo of construction equipment - bobcat 

Look potatoes! I actually grew potatoes on my balcony!

Look! My potato plant actually produced - a hell of a lot better than anything else I planted last spring. Looks llike a bit of benign neglect pays off. Photo of the potatoes that grew on my balcony

I'd forgotten about them this week. I was so busy, and the balcony has been so cold, I didn't wandered out much. Well, mom was pottering around out there and shouted for me to come look. Lo and behold, POTATOES. I confess, you almost need a microscope to see some of them, but who knew one little potato would sprout so many?

Okay, don't rain on my parade. I know they aren't very big, but I didn't expect anything to grow. Plus we didn't put them in until sometime in June. I have this childish thrill about having grown them on a balcony, in the middle of Toronto, 20 floors up. Not a bad little crop. 

... screw growing anything else. I'm going to plant a bushel full of potatoes next spring.

All hail our Ant Overlords ... or maybe Cat Overlords

Had the scare of my life this morning. I drifted off to sleep watching a Youtube video last night. About 3 am, I was jolted awake by soul curdling screams ….ever see the Japanese film Ringu? No, not the American remake, the original scary as shit you’re going to die a horrible lonely death movie? Yea, that one. I had one of those moments. Youtube kept chugging through videos, all of which I blissfully slept through, until the screaming wretched me back to life. By the way, never fall asleep with earbuds in, they have a habit of magnifying the screams. I looked up and saw one of those Ringu style screen flickerings and creeping ghouls and …. Well let’s just say I really, really need to stop watching monster movies. It took close to a full minute before I realised what was going on. Bit of a heart stopper moment.

Serves me right, I spent most of yesterday writing, with 50s and 60s B monster movies playing in the background. I do my best work when I can look up and see aliens and monsters ravishing earth. I plowed through some of the best monster movies yesterday, including one of my favourites – Quatermass and the Pit – the original 1958 BBC tv series, which is AWESOME …. London being taken over by humans controlled by long dead Alien Ant Overlords. You can’t get better than that, now can you? Every time I think of earth being taken over by bug overlords, I break out into a mass of giggles – can’t do worse than what’s happening now. As well,  I had stopped in to see a customer yesterday and we joked about obeying our Cat Overlords … in retrospect, there was a theme to the day and it isn’t surprising I was scared pissless with a Ringu moment.

Still from Quatermass and the Pit - courtesy BBC

So here I sit, in a bright café window, pondering whether I’d like the world taken over by Cat Overlords or Ant Overlords. Ants would be too focused on work and organisation. They might work us to death, in the name of conformity and efficiency. Cats would create a world of luxury and indulgence. But  … big drawback ... we’d be worked to death supplying them with their luxuries and indulgences. Just my luck I’d be assigned to litter box duty. But cats purr … all they’d have to do is start a deep, hypnotic purr and humanity would bow down and do their bidding.

… if cats ever rise up, we’re screwed, you know that, don’t you.


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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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