Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fun things to say on the #TTC – How to get people in #Toronto to move w/out trying

How to be passive aggressive and still get that seat on the subway

Ever have one of those moments where you spontaneously say aloud what you’re thinking and not realise it? I did that today. Travelling around the TTC (Toronto Transit) can be a bit … er … irritating at times. People blocking the aisles and refusing to move, annoying asses who play their music sans headphones, or worse playing Candy Crush with the VOLUME UP HIGH (there should be a criminal code addition for this one) and my personal favourite? Idiots who put their parcels on the seats beside them so no one can sit down. I actually enjoy telling these people to move their bags. . I’ll ask politely once. After that …. I simply state they risk having the parcels sat upon.  The startled look on their faces makes my day.

Read more: Fun things to say on the #TTC – How to get people in #Toronto to move w/out trying

Memoirs of an analogue broadcaster - digital broadcasting & streamed radio

Streamed radio – a little history and perspective from an analogue survivor

I remember the first demonstration of digital broadcasting (don't pin me down on a date, it was sometime in the mid to late 80s ... my memory fails me). I remember thinking wow, this is what the future of broadcasting is. I came out of a broadcasting background - traditional, FM, big tower transmitting our analogue signal. Old school. I sat and listened, a little baffled by the technology, but riveted to the idea of streaming large amounts of data through a digital signal. No line of site issues, no static and more exciting was the thought of not being hemmed in by the strength of your antennae. This was pre fibre optic days so it was damned exciting. The seminar was put on by a group working with broadcasters in Europe – Europe was way ahead of Canada when it came to this type of thinking.

Read more: Memoirs of an analogue broadcaster - digital broadcasting & streamed radio

Pioneer Aviation - Alcock and Brown's 1919 flight across the Atlantic

This is a reprint from an article I wrote back in 2008. I've took down the old site when I moved to using Joomla and rejigged the layout.  I was looking through my archive of work and decided to reprint a couple of them.

Pioneer aviation and my latest acquisition  

Originally posted on | February 28, 2008 |

My greatest hobby is collecting anything to do with pioneer aviation – including airmail – okay I confess I’m also a stamp geek. Yes, I am a philatelist – and proud of it. But as an extension of my passion for early airmail stamps, I also collect all things dealing with pioneer flight.

I just acquired a beautiful 1919 Daily Mirror newspaper of the famous Capt. John Alcock and Lt Arthur Brown first flight across the Atlantic Ocean. I’ll bet many of you thought the first trip across the ocean was by Lindbergh. Nope.. wasn’t – was by a pair of British Royal Flying Corp and RAF WW1 vets flying in a converted Vickers Bomber in June 1919 less than a year after the end of WW1. Lindbergh was the first SOLO flight, not the first flight, as is often and erroneously written.

Read more: Pioneer Aviation - Alcock and Brown's 1919 flight across the Atlantic

Squirrel + camera + tree = a hell of a ride

Everytime I see this video all I can think is "Squirrels just want to have fun" sung to the old Cindy Lauper song.  The squirrel gives the camera a hell of a ride. It's really quite awe inspiring, watching him/her scamper about the trees with such ease.


Leave your toys laying about and you never know what little sneak thief will come along.

Remember those drawings of feathers?

Pencil drawing of sphere

Over the holidays I pulled my sketching material out for the first time in a long stretch. Suddenly had the urge to draw. Problem was, I had plateaued. I'm pretty much self taught - I drew what I saw and struggled with some basics. I tried the usual "Learn to draw" books, but found them well ... boring beyond belief and stodgy.  Part of the problem with being largely self taught is you get set in your ways - whether they work or not. 

Read more: Remember those drawings of feathers?

Text Size

Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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