Right now, well, writing.
Resume was the first thing, writing was the second.
Having a good time doing so and relentless hours putting up some content. At least thats my goal. Might turn into an everything small blog about stuff….or alot of stuff about stuff big blog, or maybe somehere in between. Im not sure which way this one is going to go but so far has been fun.
If youve read this far, hope you enjoy the reading.
Below is night one. 10 April 2012
PRISON FIRE KILLS OVER 300.
15 Feb 2012
An electrical fire at one of the severely overcrowded prisons in Honduras is apparently to blame for the death of upwards of 400 inmates. Many – if not most of the inmates – burned a terrible death in their cells while prison guards could not locate the proper keys. In one cell, 60 people perished in this fashion. Of the 800 or so people calling the Tegucigalpa jail home, many are missing and most of the dead will require DNA testing to identify. It has yet to be seen – nor will it be reported – how many convicts escaped unharmed into the streets and neighbourhoods of the city, to vanish forever back to a life of crime or simple persecution, or both. This is it, at a minimum security prison there are those convicted, those simply being held for political reasons or speaking against the government – although as has been shown, the easiest way to keep these people quiet is not to lock them up with their mouths and minds still working – but rather to simply dispense of them on the streets. This fate has happened to political activists, union leaders, journalists, human rights advocates and even simple land owners. So is the diatribe that is life in Honduras. Not being able to lock up the real criminals, dispensing of the non criminals and a white wash of a burning jail story just to make everything chaotic, indescribable, and without any context for comparison to other places, events, or catastrophes. This certainly leaves the public without any recourse or any relevant path for action or justice to take place. This is not the reality of every poor country – Honduras included – but rather a reflection of a very corrupt country which happens to be poor. To top it all off, friends and relatives of inmates rushed to the scene in order to determine if their loved ones, work colleagues (re:gang menbers), or even enemies were alive or part of the carnage. At once the rush was met with military and police resistance and things once again turned ugly. The public enraged with the lack of response resorted to throwing rocks. Those in charge with keeping the peace responded with tear gas to quiet and disperse the crowd. In a short while those in charge decided to read allowed the names of the deceased and those who were alive – over loud speaker. There were 105 names not recited to the incensed crowd – meaning – they were not found in the remains or remained at large. The question exists: If most of the deceased would need to be identified using DNA then how could an accurate list be compiled only hours after fire was extinguished? Honduras is a country where you can be alive or dead, on paper or in reality, and its someone else determining this for you for reasons which are rarely legitimate – in a hopefully legitimate world.
A month ago a story ran in the Miami Herald about the prison and justice system in Honduras and simply how corrupt it is, top down. Let me re emphasis this…..how CORRUPT the system is TOP DOWN. The story quoted a very outspoken (saying anything of the sort in Honduras is considered outspoken) previously high ranking public official. He recounted instances of inmates being let out of jail during the day to run drugs and collect cash….not just for themselves but for their gang and for those in charge of the prison system. There were stories of inmates pictured with guns, police uniforms, cellphones, drugs and prostitutes….again, in the very prison system set a blaze the other day. The source knew of the danger in speaking out and had being doing this towards anyone who would listen for sometime. A couple weeks after the article ran in the Herald, this source was murdered in cold blood. And hey why not, its easier and quieter than putting them in jail.
There have been just under 20 journalists murdered in Honduras since the coud’etat of June 2009. There have been many more sources who have met the same fate in the same time frame. The highest murder rate in the world and one that has gained attention from all corners of the globe and groups who watch and look out for this sort of thing. But it doesn’t take a watch group to see whats going on here. Suppression on a grande scale. Suppression to the degree of death. Suppression to the degree of death with no chance for justice what so ever for the perpetrators. Now that’s suppression without to many comparisons globally, and its not letting up.
Next up: social media, where are you in Honduras?
31 March 2012.
Location: Toronto, On. Just outside Kensington Market. 356 College St. 416 500-3852
Second day home after a one year trip abroad which turned into three, I had my first meal at this relativley new deli.
Toronto smoked meat for god sakes….
Hand carved, proper rye, slaw and pickle of course.
Good proper menu otherwise.
College and Spadina, west on Spadina…north side.
Thank you zane.
Montreal Deli, 20 Feb 2012
Location: Dundas St West. Just past the 427 on the north side.
This place has been a convenient rest stop for some of the better medium end meats. Never disappoints for sure, as the sandwiches are piled roof high. Simpistic as it should be – the sandwich that is – as are most of the deli and offerings. More of a converted 70’s Swiss Chalet than anything….the Montreal Deli does in fact hold its own. Regular smoked meat or “ole fashioned” are both on the menu giving up the appearance that this is the legit shit. Great plates are served but only after using a slicer for the meat……a bit of a faux pas. None the less, at $12 for the combo that can easily go home as leftovers, it is good value. Pretty easy to distinguish that Lesters Meats are providing the source of this gluttony. Not the best of the best but, Id take it rather that leave it, 9 times out of 10.
NEXT UP: Yitz, Moe Pancers, Steeles…in no prticular order.
897 Queen St East. Lesliville.
Jims diner for lunch with big guy, dad.
Home of “the best westerns”, as it says on the sign outside. $4.50 sandwich, $7 combo with drink. The western steams all the way through the last bite, a big sandwich which is well put together.
Me, Club on white, mayo of course. Proper chicken breast – which is probably cold and from the night before but who cares, its the right tempurature and that is fresh when it comes to chicken breast on a club anywhere in the city.
Casual, Very clean – never visited the washrooms though – Eyren neither actually she was saying. Dad comented on how clean the floors were, right to the wall…..hes into that sort of thing. Also liking restaurants simply cause the soup is very hot or the ice cream very cold….simple meus impress him even more. None the less, Jims is likeable and easy. No nonsense fast service, not eager to kick you out either. Busy times you might share a table, after 2 pm you might be in there alone, or with the Toronto Sun kicking around as well.
Started writing this for my dad just to see if he’d read it.
If youre reading this thats cool….
I’ll have some more to say Im sure.
Oh what can you do in an hour and a half with a ZIP CAR rental.
Booked on the phone through their app and making a reservation for the appropriate car and pick up location. Done four hrs in advance and pre paid.
Picked up the car at the designated spot (Queen E and Logan’ish area) called “busy”. The car was there, ready, clean, and good to go. My cousin Eyren had the timing down and drove a block around to pick me up at 3:10pm – a bit late due to an unscheduled boss appearance at her shop.
Ready to go, trunk packed with random empties for the beer store. In that time, friend across the way kindly offers for us to take back some of his empties as well. For the sake of it and the dream of a bit of effort to earn an extra five or six bucks – they were along for the ride, in the trunk with the others.
And off we went…..here were the order of stops and random comments.
–Beer Store – arrival – 3:13pm – Empties in arms, sorting in the bins on the roller track to the counter. Purchasing of a case of Lakeport Light and out the door in 7 mins. Cost savings for returning the empties: $9.50. Of note: this Beer Store is one of the few remaining with full service old style set up. You know the one we all know and like – And it is usually reserved for small Ontario towns which have not yet been converted to the new convenience store/functional beer and liquor store all in one combo. Thats a lot of words for LCBO, in the new tiny shops.
–Liquor Store – Arrival – 3:23pm – A quick discussion about needs and wants and ultimately, the advantages of having a car there was a quick stop here to pick up the months worth of wine. Either that or communion wine for say, every catholic church in Ontario this Sunday…..none the less, a deserved stop and one that took us through every grape stomping producing nation in the world. Eyren had locations, years, styles, label colours and creative names all tucked away in the part of her brain noted for efficiency and a box of wine was filled in minutes. I was impressed. Of note: this liquor store did carry one type of Flora De Cana Rum (the most popular rum in Honduras but distilled in Nicaragua) and the 750ml (26’er) of the 5 yr old was $26. In Honduras, on over priced touristy Utila this same bottle is $6.
–Gerrard Square Mall (Staples) – arrival – 3:32pm – In through the door of what should be a terrible run down – out of style dollar store shit show – this was a generally pleasant little mall. Anchored by Staples and Home Depot, the surrounding stores seem to keep up in quality – or variety at the least – and its clean. Note: there was no music playing, hmmm is this another one of those things that has changed in the past three yrs? Shopping for random office supplies and goods was aided by the staff eager to point out to us where the goods were located. A well written list by Eyren even led to this quick exchange after having just picked up the tape dispenser and the wacky puddy “stick things” to your walls stuff.
“excuse me…….can you tell me where the velcro strips are?” Eyren asks.
“yes of course” replies the staff member, “they are right in front of you.”
…yes folks, service can be that efficient if everything and everyone are in the right place at the right time.
Im not sure how long we really were in the store because it seemed quite short to me. In that time however – and after splitting off with Eyren – I was able to quickly re acquaint myself with the prices and technology of the webcam, head phones, and compact digital cameras – In that, everything has changed and everything is still the same.
“Andrew!” I hear from somewhere by the check out area.
And we were off.
Of note: There was (point 1) a Service Canada outlet in the mall close to Staples, and (point 2) with no line up – see follow up comment below.
–Canadian Tire – arrival – 3:47pm – With underground – or below store – parking I should say, this Canadian Tire is quite impressive in size from the outside. From the inside – after walking a mile or two just to get in past the check outs – the beginning of the tour was not so impressive I must say. None the less a big store with big aisles and seemingly not to many people. We moved around to find cleaning goods for the store and walked out with brooms and plungers and cleaners and all this other stuff. There was time to count out random Canadian Tire money in the purse and accumulated to a savings of $1.50. Of note: Right inside the store was a Service Canada outlet. Quite large as well and lots of information and kiosks to serve. Interestingly enough we observed a substantial line……Funny comment made by Eyren that the people should go to Gerrard Square for no line ups and faster service. In that one random coincidence of life it would have actually been better to be shopping for office supplies than car parts today – thats if you needed to go to Service Canada as well.
-Back in the Zipcar heading south with no further schedules stops to make (meaning 1.5 hrs of errands are done in just under 1 hour) – 4:05pm
“Holy Shit, were done already, weve got some time to kill.” proudly states Eyren.
“Oh ya nice….. well lets go down there, and show me the Leslie Spit and Cherry Beach.” I offer.
And now we are cruising along south of the Lakeshore giving me a tour of my soon to ride bike paths. Learning this is here, and this is there…….all Im seeing are factory’s, but lets go with it. Looks inviting at times and I can see with green on the trees and by heading all the way down to the beach, this is going to be ripe for the warmer days ahead.
“I should take you to TNT, its the one Ive talked about taking you to, the big asian grocery store…..there it is.”
And we turn in the lot to TNT and drive towards the doors.
“Are we going to go in?”. Knowing of course that we apparently have some time to kill. And we do, or did.
–TNT Grocery – arrival 4:12pm – We walk through the front doors and are immediately met by two things familiar but never generally in the same context. First, a well lit, clean, organized, inviting, and massive grocery store. And second, asian cuisine and goods so plentiful you figure every brand, colour, smell and product was imported in directly from the shores of the south pacific – via Lake Ontario, not like thats possible – within that same hour. The fresh cooked fare in the beginning aisle on the right from the entrance had us stopped in our tracks. Within minutes I was ordering shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings (throw them in what the heck), BBQ ribs and the finally, sushi. In those quick moments of indiscretion Eyren and I decided that this was to be dinner tonight. A longer line than we had time for greeted us at the checkout, but we were able to scooch around to a suddenly available counter and get our way out of there within another few minutes. Cost $19.75.
Once back in the ZIP CAR (and a few extra minutes to actually deactivate the locks with the magnetic card) we were on the road back to home. With two drop offs to make and a look down at the clock saying 4:26pm, time was now not on our side. Quickly approaching the “busy” drop off spot, a quick swing around the side of the flat to drop me off with the goods for the house. Eyren to continue on to the drop off the car prior to 4:30pm and transfer the brooms and plungers and stationary….oh and velcro, to the store.
Job well done. Quite the little hour and a half of course. Organized and executed. Efficiency ended up giving me the opportunity for a tour of the new neighborhood and provided dinner for the two of us this evening.
Being the overall optimist and reasoner of everything….I determined we saved over $10 by returning the bottle empties (which other wise would have gone out to the curb) and $1.50 by using the Canadian Tire money. For a total of $11.50. On top of that, everything that was planned and done for the store was done. Interestingly enough, ZIPCAR costs about $11/hr to borrow….about the same we saved cause of the efficiency of the whole system.
And a Special Shout out to Eyrens Store: Rowe Farms Lesliville.
Just getting started here going through the ins and outs of the page for set up and design. Soon to come, inspiring, annoying and just plain quirky stories, thoughts, contemplations and observations. Unconventional and ridiculous……..interesting to those who think it is.
Hola! Just getting started here going through the ins and outs of the page for set up and design. Soon to come, inspiring, annoying and just plain quirky stories, thoughts, contemplations and observations. Unconventional and ridiculous……..interesting to those who think it is.