Archive for August, 2006

Catch a wave

For a couple of years, I’ve been joking that I moved to Montreal for the surfing. Turns out, there actually IS surfing — Endless Summer style surfing — right here in Montreal. There’s a standing wave near the Casino, and some intrepid dudes brave the choppy parts of the Saint Lawrence. Kowabunga!

Daycare freeze

According to the CJAD website, as of this week anyone using the susbsidized $7 a day daycares can expect that to be the only cost. According to the news blurb:

Starting Thursday, $7 a day will mean $7 a day. Daycares that try to charge more, risk losing their funding.

On the one hand, it’s good news for Montrealers who rely on the $7/day centers. I realize how frustrating it would be to expect a specific cost only to be hit with requests for more money.

There’s a flip side though – what will this new freeze mean in terms of quality? Will food be sacrificed? If the extra costs were covering a big, healthy lunch, does this mean that now parents will be learning their kids are being served hot dogs and french fries? Will field trips be cut completely? After all, they only mention that there won’t be any further tolerance for extra money from the parents; it doesn’t say the government will be picking up the slack to ensure that these daycares will maintain the same level of quality. It’s truly a catch-22, I think. If my girls were in daycare, I would worry about where the balance is.

How do you describe a ‘blog’?

I came across a post that raised that interesting question. It got me wondering and reflecting on how I tend to answer it. I know plenty of people that simply don’t understand the concept of a blog, or even most websites in general for that matter. They also don’t seem to comprehend that contacts are made and friendships can develop online. But that’s beside my point and question which is: How do you describe a blog or what we do when people ask or the subject comes up?

I usually just give the most basic explanation I can, saying that a blog is somewhere I can write about stuff I care about. I can rant, praise or babble on about nothing in particular if I choose to. All I know is that I get a lot of odd looks from friends when they find out I have a personal website, a few other misc webpages (ie: MySpace), or that I keep my photos and store numerous files online, and that I seem to always be able to find something to do on the net.

… I’m getting sidetracked again! So back to the point of this post, how do you guys acknowledge people when the subject of blogging comes up? When asked “what do you do for fun?”, do you mention blogging?

Summer’s Not Over Yet

Early this morning, I kept hearing a noise that sounded like wind coming through the windows. At first, I couldn’t figure out what it was but when I got outside, the noise was even louder and I realized that it was the sound of the Champ cars over at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. This is the last Champ car race that will take place in Montreal. I’m not a race fan but it seems sad whenever Montreal loses a large event. However, the latest brouhaha surrounding the race has been pretty hysterical. Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracey have apparently been at each other’s throats and the whole thing has turned into a Quebec vs. Paul Tracey insult fest. I guess boys will be boys…

OldMtl%20001.jpgApart from Champ car racing this weekend, there is so much to do around town. Like fellow Metblogger André (Ahoy!), I too went down to Old Montreal to check out the 18th Century Marketplace at Place Royale around the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. The area was jam-packed! Speaking of which, there were several stalls with different kinds of tasty jams and jellies. But if you don’t like crowds and taking very small steps, you might not enjoy the experience. I found it to be pretty interesting. Every summer I manage to miss out on the Marketplace weekend but finally this summer I had a chance to go. It was pretty amusing to see people dressed in period costumes. I tried to snap a pic of a prisoner being held in the stocks but the crowd was too thick for me to get a good shot. So here’s a pic of a stall where they were making galettes au sarrazin (buckwheat pancakes). They’re served brushed with butter and sprinkled with maple sugar. The marketplace is still going on tomorrow if you’re looking for something to do but unfortunately, we’re expecting rain on Sunday and another reminder that Fall is just around the corner…

Big fat tomatoes

big ass tomatoes big ass red tomatoe

I just noticed my neighbors tomatoe plants and I believe my exact words were “Holy crap! Those are some big ass tomatoes!” On these photos (taken with the Nokia 6682), it doesn’t seem like much, but they are actually the size of a new roll of toilet paper. What’s even more impressive is that it’s not just one or two, but every single one of them are that size. And that’s only the front yard, there’s also the backyard.

So much to do today

20335161_00e38ab181.jpgWe have to face the facts, with rain expected tomorrow and school starting on Monday, today might as well be considered the last day of summer. Fortunately there is a lot to do around town so I’m quite sure that it won’t go to waste. For starters, St-Laurent street will be open to pedestrians as part of the Frenesie de la Main (see images from last year’s event). Movie goers will be flocking to the Festival des films du monde while Ile Notre-Dame will be buzzing to the sweet sound of Champ Car racing.

As for us, we’re planning to visit Pointe à Callière and Le Marché de la Nouvelle-France, the recreation of an 18th century market.

[update] Just got a note informing me that the “litterary-inclined” can also enjoy the Last Call Poets, a new spoken word collective from Toronto that can best be described as beer-soaked brash poignant troubadours. Toc Toc Café, 6091 Ave. Du Parc. 8pm, $5 cover.

Many kids at the park

Kids at the park

Lately, I have been hanging out at this park close to metro Saint-Michel very often. Usually, there are about 10 kids running around. Today, that number tripled. Some were on the playground, some were playing soccer, some were just sitting around. I think I only saw three parents at some point. There were a few people who took their dog out and the kids, mostly girls, would run to it and say how cute the dog was.

My guess is, all those kids were enjoying as much as possible their last Friday of summer vacation. The weather was just perfect today.

New bus pass sports advertising

I received my monthly STM pass in the mail yesterday and was surprised to see the pass festooned with calling card advertising. I suppose I would rather have to look at publicity rather than pay more for my pass, but it feels kind of dirty anyway. In related news, I tried to take many pictures of the bus pass and every single one comes out blurry. I wonder if there is a special printing process that makes them unscannable and unphotographable. You know, to thwart would-be bus pass counterfeiters. lol.

Is the Montreal Gazette gradually becoming a Tabloid?

I’ve been slightly irritated to see the Books section in the Saturday Montreal Gazette has been changed to a Tabloid format for some time now. It is somewhat confusing to suddenly find the pages ‘going the wrong way’.

Now this morning the Entertainment section of the Newspaper has suddenly gone Tabloid. I think it’s all part of a gradual plot to make the whole newspaper Tabloid. So one section converted and four more to go. Let’s see how long it takes.

Main Madness


It’s time for the St. Laurent sidewalk sale again! This is my favourite sidewalk sale. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s fun to just saunter up and down the street, soaking up all the sights and sounds. People are relaxed and there’s always something interesting to see. My favourite sidewalk sale food is the chicken sandwiches. This is the stall outside La Vieille Europe. The smoke from the grill just calls out to you. You know you want it…
The sale runs from today until Sunday.

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