Surviving this Life


Upon reading the recent Weekend Edition of the Toronto Star’s International New York Times Section, I happened upon an article with a photo containing this graffiti: “whiteness = virus”, and right below it, “blackness = disease”, followed by an article with information concerning a ‘proposed’ Law in the South African government to curb anti-hate speech!


Of course, here in North America, and possibly elsewhere, you will have those arguing for ‘Freedom-of-Speech’ unconcerned with cause-and-effect. To their minds, they consider this childish use of the term a rhetoric worth fighting for. Although, it’s not what any good parent in a long ago generation would allow. In fact, those parents would make certain they instilled what they believe to be respectful speech, and not the callousness that is allowed today. Question is, how did we get from there to here?


This ‘careless’ language rhetorically considered, ‘speaking your mind’ may very well be a direct result of a ‘permissiveness’ evolution that is now confronted by another runaway practice, ‘political correctness’. We see these two modus operandi locked in erroneously defended dispute with reason-the-casualty!


Basically, what I consider responsible speech is not only a lost cause, but also the path to human extinction, if there’s no turning around by good parental upbringing for socially aware children. Connect-the-dots, if you dare…





At The Movies


The Mechanic 2

Action-packed, an adrenaline rush from start to finish, with possibilities for another sequel…


Contrary to critics reporting, which makes me wonder with what kind of mindset they view most films, this is quite a revelation when it comes to a ‘remake’.
It is hopeful in its overall premise, according to my interpretation, rather humane and optimistic in its unfolding, in spite of having religious underpinnings.
I wonder if the media-burial is intended to maintain the earlier divisive standard that has been a mainstay over the decades, and still being cultivated in our political system.
If your mindset prefers the black ‘n white / good ‘n evil sanitized scenario, without forgiveness and evolution of the human spirit; then, this is not your kind of story.
I contend that our eyes and mind barely overlaps in comprehension; but, suffice to say, I find this is a most comprehensive interpretation which is not afraid to show this story as a compilation-of-humanity as we were and still are. Make no mistake, you will be challenged.



Sausage Party

If irreverence is a part of your staple, and you’re not easily offended; then, this is your kind of movie, animation or otherwise.
It pushes the envelope like no other I’ve seen. Even A Million Ways to Die in The West does not come close to how this pushes the envelope!
You take a psychological risk by choosing to see this film; and, that is all I am going to say about this film.  You have been warned!!!



8. The CNE Upgraded

Highway Protest draw Historic Parallels


“If your goal is to clear slums, the best way to get bang for your buck was use the highway as a slum clearance instrument.” ~  Nathan Connoly (Historian)



… speed whites to/from suburbs into downtown job areas, leapfrogging minority communities along the way, and sit still serves this function today.


… not designed for, nor to serve low-income communities already close-to-downtown.


… dubbed, “white man’s roads through black man’s homes”.


… results: feeds frustration of communities segregated, separates from schools-parks-0r-prompt ambulance access. (police?)


Zipping along highways, people have little thought of history assigned to “entire block(s) of housing” that had-to-go for the access!         ~     Emily Badger   The Washington Post



Moving Along

Moving Along Highway Access Route




Third Union Station   1927


There almost never was  to be be the current Union Station as plans were afoot in 1967 to develop the area/space into hotelconvention centrehousing/office towers, but the Plan was eventually shut-down by the Province!


Like NY, Penn Station, what do you think of plans re-imagining the train-station with an amusement park, with scenic ride as in this artist illustration suggests?



6b. Union Stn. Possibility?

Union Station Amusement Ride?



Try as I might, planning with positive intentions, I may never experience living in exotic/interesting places such as Bali, Budapest, Bruges, Dubai, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Istanbul, Morocco, Moscow, Paris, Sidney, Singapore, to name but a few.



As above, not so below...

As above, not so below…



In the distant past, I’ve had two opportunities to venture far afield, overseas, in fact; albeit, on the condition I fight my way across the continent doing battle from city-to-city, in the countries of Germany-Greece-Holland-Southern France.



France -to- Germany  1976

France -to- Germany 1976



Although, I did experience a small sampling of the cultural fare of these fair lands, thirty-nine (39) years ago, the visual evidence accumulated on film over a six-week period, in photographs were ‘lost’ according to Kodak who resolved to reimburse me with two-rolls of film as compensation to appease their minds!??

To this day, that summer of seventy-six loss is indescribable, not to mention, accompanied by an unnerving pain!!!



8a. Toronto's CityScape Eastern Ave '13

CityScape 2013




BUT, I live here, in a wonderful city called Toronto!! A city world renown, a much sought after city as the place-to-live!! These selected views, taken on random walkabouts, are but a few kind compensatory reasons I may never regret experiencing the aforementioned exotic-and-interesting places. After all, the people in those places may never experience our Toronto, which is an interesting complement, wouldn’t you say!??


HERE is, Toronto Ours~


9b. Panorama '10

My RoofTop View  2010




9c. Balcony Panorama '10

My Balcony View E  2010





My Balcony View W  2009





Crystalline ROM  2012





Viewing OCAD  2007






Heritage Flat Iron Building  2009





Sunset on King W/E  2008




2a. Development NW '13

NW Downtown: development-in-progress 2013





AGO  Looking West at Dundas/McCaul  2009


Not to be outdone, the promise of another day…



6a. Sunset on Queen St. '13

Sunset overlooking Queen Street E – W 2013


I trust you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane, the pacifier of what may never be in this lifetime… Cheers




I have yet to be aware, or be made aware, of anyone living or dead that can/will reveal her/his whereabout prior to emerging into this realm of existence. I say this with uncertainty; nonetheless, without full comprehension of this time/space continuum. I became aware of living after emerging through the birth canal in a certain place and time, but not until a certain amount of Time had transpired and numerous encounters had taken place to trigger a malady of unconscious origins.


While these experiences were taking place, with and without the aid of other personalities occupying similar time/space continuum, I adopted a survival mechanism with paradoxical prospects. It had triggering mechanisms which would threaten my existence, and alarmed those round about me who believed it was their duty/obligation to keep me here, alive, in this plane of existence. On a few occasions I would be hospitalized, unbeknownst to me, apparently considered life-threatening. It’s all a blur and only remembered as I was gaining in consciousness as I progressed in Life.



2. Early Walking phase



This paradoxical living strategy is called ‘asthma’! I call it a living strategy because it appeared my emergence occurred at a time of turmoil in more ways than one. Definitely, none of which was intelligible to a newborn. Conditions were felt more than understood, and anxiety and apprehension were companions; and, to coexist with these characters I had to have a survival strategy. Ipso facto, the only one readily available and proven to draw attention and care was one that appeared life-threatening. So, asthma it was in spite of its obvious fatal flaw.


While I progressed through Life, the tactic became less and less frequent but it developed a companion, bedwetting, which was to harass me for some time. But, that’s another conditions altogether, one about which I’ll leave for another occasion, if ever. To continue; as Life progressed and circumstances continued their troublesome ways, the asthma kept inserting itself at inopportune times. So much so, I was beginning to wonder, as well as other caring souls around me, if this is how my living would be, henceforth? Somewhere, somehow, a thought occurred to me and I went with it without details or concerns of a successful outcome.



8. Gunboat Beach c.'61



What came to mind was that I was to start running. For what conscious reason, or purpose mattered little. I simply started running every chance I got, interspersed with walking until it became a routine. I would walk to slowly jogging to running, and reverse the process for as long  as I could. I began this at the age of eleven, two years before emigrating to North America, the country called Canada.


Now, I was not what anyone one would call a robust child. In fact, I looked rather average and without any physical prowess to speak of. Still, I took to the task and found it became an adjunct to the school program when I arrived in high school. It was the practice at the beginning of the school year, in Phys. Ed. class, to run a mile as a test of fitness, or so it seemed. I saw this as a challenge, since no one was allowed inside until four-laps of the track were completed. That accomplishment was to equal one-mile. It was my personal quest to run these four laps non-stop. I was unable to do so for the first two years. However, in the third and fourth year I was able to do so and with increased speed, which saw me and a few other keeners representing the school in the citywide athletic games, in track and field.



10. A Special Occasion '65



We were only four, but we entered as many events as would have us, and as our stamina allowed. Our efforts saw us amassing points to pace seventeenth in the city, nothing to sneeze at and something of which to be proud, being only four lads. By the fifth year, a dedicated shop teacher, new to the school, took over as coach and addressed the training situation with attracting others through his classroom connections. A sizeable team was amassed and trained, and that final high school year saw our school, with its proper team, placing third citywide and acquiring The Most Improved School Team trophy.


It appeared my intuitive running was in preparation for more than simply running. Truly, I developed increased lung capacity, and asthma attacks lessened over the years and during the process called puberty I had exchanged bedwetting for seasonal allergies, including allergies to other things such as cats-cigarettes-dust-feathers. Oh, how the mind works! Well, I continued with the interval running, improving on distance and rate-of-speed and, as Life would have it, another pivotal occurrence exposing me to the world of martial arts. There was only one occasion, whereupon I experienced an asthma attack, but that was while sleeping, and it was reported to me by my travelling team-mate during a European martial arts tour.



11a. Varsity Arena '74



Of course, none knew of my early onset asthma condition for I had listened to the Spheres and cultivated an organic-antidote to a rather serious malady. The antidote was not one-hundred percent, as the European Tour experience had demonstrated, and I learned how such a regression could/would occur. Still, in creating this antidote I had managed having introductions into the world of sports from track and field, North American football, European football (soccer) and Korean martial arts. This last one has netted me accolades ranging from Provincial-National-North American-World titles and induction into four martial arts halls of fame.



Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame  Induction

Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame Induction



Other health conversions have taken place about which I’ll not elaborate, suffice to say they have cause transitions as I’ve aged amidst this time/space continuum and may continue to do so until the inevitable transpires. Until then, I’ll experience living conditions attending to whatever intuitions The ‘Heavenly’ Spheres denote as best I can decipher them.

This is simply an elaboration on how I progressed on a Path from an unconscious adaptation into present health conditions, with attendant radiant effects along the Way… I trust you are able to find this telling edifying.





Melancholia 1


While seated upon the tip of the island, amidst outgoing and oncoming traffic in front of the St. Lawrence Market on Front Street East, I observed cloud formation its approach as is to devour the afternoon moon. Its path towards the moon seemed definitive and assured, yet it appears the moon had a path of its own as it entered the nostril of of the cloud formation’s monstrous head. The uncertainty of certainty.






Anna- Wonderful Planet


A homeless man, by all appearances and observation on various occasions, was gifted an act-of-kindness by a storekeeper of a hot-pizza slice which heartily consumed and carelessly discarded into the middle of the street. Suffice-to-say, a flock of always hungry seagulls descended upon the still warm pizza slice only to become engaged in a game-of-chicken with oncoming traffic. Undaunted, one courageous and aggressive gull retrieved said slice with its competitors hot on its beak tearing at the slice as it flew. In no uncertain terms the slice was torn asunder and devoured with only near misses and close calls, and all taking to the air satiated and safe in spite of the game of chance their hunger invited. Another day in the hood.





Careful Disregard


While sitting in an unusual spot, in one of my many coffee haunts, I was privy to a most interesting occurrence. Well, I’ll let you be the judge of the term ‘interesting’. There were three servers on hand; one doing inventory, one taking the order of a customer before taking her break, and the other operating the barista to accommodate the order just taken. This customer was the last one in line of which I was in, and he moved to where he was to collect his order being made.

During the process of his move, the second server was in conversation with the barista-operator and proceeded to take her designated break. Enter four new customers who positioned themselves in-line, or so they thought, behind the customer awaiting his drink.

What struck me as odd was the inattentiveness of all three; the server-on-break, the customer; and, the barista-operator. In my estimation, if newcomers are lining up behind/beside me where I’m retrieving my beverage, I’d be inclined to inform them that they’re to relocate to the ‘ordering’ station and not spend time behind me by assumption. It was also curious that, while in conversation with one another, both servers in the vicinity of guidance also refrained from notifying these ‘customers’ of their assumed location.

I waited as these new customers waited, and watched as the careful disregard continued unabated.

Eventually, one of the four began to look about for some indication of having their order taken. It was then he noticed my subtle gesture indicating that relocation to the ordering position was necessary to modify their futile positioning. He commented to his party, they laughed at their assumption, thanked me as they relocated to the order-desk.

Still, undaunted and apparently unaffected, the barista-operator completed making the beverage, while still in conversation with the other server-on-break, and the initial customer accepted his beverage and departed. Then, then inventory taker assumed oder-taker status and all was right with the world, in that moment.

I find it odd, that a few timely words would have smoothed the entry of the four new customers but they were deemed unimportant as things would sort themselves out, eventually. Stepping back, this simple and minor event to me signalled a greater dilemma when extrapolated to other spheres where this ‘habit-of-disregard’ would have a more severe impact on peoples’ lives and few, if any, are the wiser. So much for minding your own business and social awareness/kindness. There I found another example that what you don’t know can hurt you, especially when others about you ignore a simple gesture.

That quantum premise of the butterfly-effect?


Considering perceptual constructs subject to debate/discussion, hypotheses/studies over eons regarding NATURE vs. NURTURE to which I’ll add CIVILIZATION vs. SOCIALIZATION.

Now, I insert that these labels are in no way absolute, but I would hazard to propose inclusiveness by removing versus-the-instigator.


Another Turning Point

Another Pivotal Phase


Take for example, the Depth of a Person (female/male): Here we have a true unknown from appearance alone, thereby giving rise to the terms ‘stereotype’, ‘prejudice’, and the extreme ‘bigotry’.


Of course, there’s also the term Compatibility, which is a key factor in human interactions. You see, it matters not what is said or writ but what is felt; the conscious and the unconscious before, during and after the intimate/social intercourse taking place.


Additionally, don’t try, simply act and keep adapting; don’t want, simply be: action and being is NOW, whereas trying and wanting fear the moment, and impedes truly living.


Revisionist Thinking:

0 – 7 yrs   maternal influence appears dominant/parental-role adoption

3 – 5 yrs   house-routine influences/family-relatives-friends polishing

7 – 14 yrs paternal influences appears dominant/parental-role adoption

3 – 18 yrs education systems influence/the village scenario is compounding

18 – 23 yrs   post-secondary systems/influences are-at-play

21 – 39 yrs   unravelling and/or cementing pre-conditionings

30 – 40 yrs  reconstitution phase/rebuilding-realigning

40 – 56 yrs  realizing/actualizing- learning temporality

57 – 65 yrs  enlightenment processing

65+ yrs      gifted/giving years




It is said there are no coincidences; yet, as I’ve recently learned there are co-incidents, which bear a certain synchronicity if considered without prejudice. Consider, if you will, the occurrences that aligned for the domino effect of World War I. On that fateful day when that personage was assassinated, at that precise moment of his death all over the world there were births, deaths, highs and lows occurring globally. Still, it was that incident which took precedent and pulled a ‘significant’ portion of the world’s living condition into disarray. The ‘insignificant’ incidents of the plebeian population went unaccounted until they became participants in the greater performance called ‘The War to End All Wars’!


What is my point? Well, a rather self-serving and ingratiating one, to be honest. It yes like this. While on one of my many walkabouts I was returning, in thought, wondering what I could eat to satisfy the hunger I’d been forestalling through foolish stubbornness while engaged in writing. Along my course, at the very last moment, I glimpsed a dark form flying towards my left-eye. I say the very last moment, because simultaneously it became a reality of being a gnat that penetrated-the-defines of my eyelashes, got past the rim of my eyelid and sunk into fold between my eye-proper and eyelid.

I reacted in defence, trying to oust it before it took hold and effected pain, as I have previously experienced. While I was focussed on this effort I was able to glimpse two women greeting one another, one of whom appeared to have qualities I found attractive. However, the distraction of the dilemma I faced kept me from taking that observation any further. I resumed my walking, as I was stopped in my tracks by this attack from the insect world. As I walked, focussed on dislodging the invader, I noticed her as she passed me by, and still I could not think of anything about repositioning myself to engage her in spite of noting that she also noticed me while she conversed with her friend before they parted.

I turned mid-effort as I walked behind her and found she had stepped into a clothing outlet. I resumed my effort to succeed in my gnat challenge while walking, homeward bound. What followed was yet another unactivated encounter. This time from a woman whom I glimpsed crossing the street, jaywalking ahead of me. Still, I was immersed in this now painful gnat removal dilemma. In between digital-efforts to remove this pain-inducing, eye-blocking, undo-operative obstruction I noticed a few backward glance before she also turned into a retail outlet. This time I looked and noticed a side glance. What do I do, as I feared I was incapable of being less than attentive in spite of the attraction and attention she inspired?

I elected to resume my task, making it a priority even if it took all the time remaining on my trek home. It was a nuisance, a pain and distraction from two possible meaningful meetings. Question is, just before what appeared to be two opportunities for ending my many years of aloneness, was this GNAT a disposition placed to distract, to interfere with what I might have done, thereby making another opportunity yet to come more of a probability that a possibility?

Who’s to say, considering this is all my speculation in hindsight in the belief my life is a flow of events which makes no sense to anyone but me? After all, as with the WWI issues of its day, what matters is on the World Stage, reported in the media, and not my insignificant incident that hasn’t the effect of a gnat in those occurrences. In fact, according to media reports, real and/or manufactured, each society has its gnat that is diverting attention from from probable meaningful engagements with benefits for all concerned.

But, who am I to say? I simply observe, after-the-fact.


Possibilities  Above and Below...

Possibilities Above and Below…

Upon my return the following night, I was informed of the incident involving the former-bus boy on his first as Door-Security. Those fellows were subsequently banned, and things returned to business as usual, or so I thought. The following week, there were the odd skirmishes, most with the exception of a few were taken outside. One occasion took all but a minute, a student who ‘called-out’ a biker hadn’t noticed him carrying his helmet with him and the conflict was over tout-suite. The house, which had emptied out for this occurrence, returned after their brief exodus.

One odd occurrence took place when I came upon a scuffle, and was requested to let run its course, contrary to establishment policy. There was also the fact that my intended motion to put a stop to it was blocked. Upon inquiry, I was informed the former-MC of a friendly gang was defending my honour. The losing biker had made a racial comment about my person and this MC took exception. The remark was demanded retracted, which was refused, and so physical confrontation was the result. The matter was settled and I’d made an unexpected enemy, not that the remark was not an indicator as it was. There were a couple of other such utterances, which I overheard but chose to let it go considering the sources.

Things were getting overwhelming, and the popularity of the establishment grew,, so a second doorman was hired. This time, an ex-police officer, or so I was told, and he appeared genuine enough. Physically and characteristically, he fit the bill and we began a trusting relationship. As this was a requirement for working in such an establishment if one was to feel as secure as the patrons, considering the incident with the bus-boy who was still in recovery.

The establishment was running smoothly, taking turns on the door and touring the premises was the routine since it was quite a large place now that I think of it. The front was a ‘Steak and Burger’, with a Gentlemen-and-Escorts room where older gents would imbibe, an upstairs lounge, and the larger downstairs drinking drinking hall with background music provided by a jukebox. How I had done it on my own for all those months, with only a few incidents, was most likely due to the co-operation of our clientele, what may have been my easy-going nature, and the lack-of-abuse that was a staple prior to my hiring.

As luck would have it, there were interests of the fairer sex, which included a young lass I was beginning to favour, and whom I believed favoured me. She wasn’t altogether forthcoming with being monogamous, but we were in the early stages of getting to know each other. Such was my naive thinking. I was invited to an after-work visit where I had hope to be spending the night. That wash not to be the case, and after a quick turn on the couch I was out the door. Instead of taking the elevator, I elected to take the stairs down to the lobby, to reflect on what had just occurred. To my chagrin, what was I to see but a fellow exiting the building whom I recognized, and whom she’d told me was no longer in her favour.

I wasn’t one to leave matters incomplete, so spoke with her about the subject on a later occasion. It was during that conversation I overheard the voice of one of the ‘fired/banned-fellows’ in the background. He asked who she was talking to, and when she told him, responded with a racial expletive which surprised me. I had always considered him a friend, but it appeared my sentiments were one-sided. The conversation ended, and I continued my job as doorman, alongside my trusted partner who appeared a competent and friendly fellow. Things progressed smoothly, with a few minor incidents but nothing too serious. After all, with five bike-gangs, a combination of university students and citizens rounding out the mix, all seemed in harmony.

One night after closing, I made my last rounds downstairs and proceeded to lock up. As I climbed the stairs, approaching the first landing, a darkness overcame me and I stumbled on the stairs. I caught myself from falling, took a breath and proceeded to close up. I was to be given a ride home on the back of my new colleague’s motorcycle, and although I noticed a gathering crowd I paid no attention. My ex-police partner showed no concern, so neither did I. As we rode off, he on his motorcycle, I was pulled from the back by a bystander who turned out to be one of the brothers.

He, the younger of the two, then proceeded to hit me amidst my requests for him to stop. After his fifth punch to my face, I agreed to his intention to mix-it-up in a fight. As I was getting the better of him the older brother joined in from behind and we began to mix-it-up. A blow came from behind as I was turning to add him to the conflict and I slipped, due to the momentum from one of his punches and I struck my head on the curb, lights out!

A later account of what followed was that they proceeded to ‘put the boots to me’. The ‘observing service-staff’ intervened so as not to have to attend a funeral, and experience a probable crime investigation, on the event of my death as one had exclaimed. It also came to light, that these brothers had acquired two other fellows as back-up, just in case I was a ‘street-fighter’, because no one could figure out how I was so successful in keeping-the-peace at this establishment on my own. Incidentally, a passer-by had tried to intervene on my behalf during my assault and received a crushed cheek-bone for which charges were laid.

The last thing I remembered, was falling backwards before unconsciousness. I regained consciousness while being lifted onto the backseat of a car by two passers-by. The street appeared dark, possibly from being on the shadow-side of the automobile, accompanied by a numbness. These unknown fellows drove me to the Emergency at the Mount Sinai Hospital on University Avenue, waited with me until my sister and mother arrived to retrieve me after I was checked out by the hospital and police.

In my bewildered state, I asked my mother how it is that those I considered friends could turn on me thus? Her response has stayed with me to this day. “Well”, she said, “not everyone goes to the same Sunday school.”

I was two-months in recovering and received periodic visits from these total strangers, enamoured by my concerned lovely sister and my kindly mother.

It appeared I had experienced yet another unrecognized/unacknowledged bigoted/racial incident amidst a kindness acting as counterbalance. What I considered fortunate in remembering this incident was, I wasn’t run over while lying unconscious in the middle of this darkened street, at 2:00 am in the morning.

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