Oh Canada!

On Canadian road perils and other observations during the Transplant Games.

Alright, it seems as if another Tuesday entry went astray and yesterday was all about the barista rant, which had nothing to do with Foamy the Squirrel and sadly, actually happened in Canada. The good news is that the barista jerkwad could have been from anywhere and still have been a monumental-nay Venti ass so don’t blame Canada eh? All you other Canadians? Golden!

Speaking of Canadian, y’all have this monster public service road sign thing going on over/up there. We saw a dozen “Fatigue Kills: Take a break” signs scattered along 401 (the 401? Crown Hat 401? I really don’t know how the Canadian highways are officially designated. Forgive my ignorance eh?), which was pretty cool. Us Yanks don’t have anything as public awareness oriented as that, unless you count the itty bitty postage stamp sized “buckle up” signs. Not Canada. You are all about suggesting a little shut eye in big, bold, blue exit sign sized signs. Pull off eh, before you kill someone!

Then we passed a handful of “Drunk driving kills: Don’t drink and drive!” signs, which is also good public awareness. Again with the multiple and big blue signage…hats off to you Canadians: You really care about road safety. Then we passed “Tailgating kills: Watch your spacing” and I began to wonder. Seems like there is an awful lot of things that’ll just out and kill you on the Canadian highways. Y’all have some dangerous roads. Yow.

I also almost had a header with an ambulance while picking up one of the photographers from the train station. We had a couple of people riding along (my idea, so the new guy could meat some of the gang) and…well, the directions got a bit muddled so we wound up sight seeing a bit of London. It’s a nice place, excellent turn around Honda dealerships. Anyhow, back on track, we got into the lane to turn left onto the street where the station was when we all heard sirens. Nothing behind us, nothing to either side that I can see, nothing ahead…where IS that emergency vehicle? I am all about pulling the heck off the road to let an ambulance, police or fire truck through, but you gotta know where it’s coming from first or you might pull over right into its path. Like I did when I finished my left hand turn. OK! Ambulance. Heading right for the van while exercising the emergency vehicle right to zip around into the oncoming traffic lane.

In my defense, nobody in the van could locate the sucker until we were head on, I think there was a bunch of tall traffic obscuring the view. So we popped the curb, the ambulance roared by and we continued the half block to the station to pick up our photographer dude. Turns out, someone had had an epileptic fit two seats in front of him, for which they called an ambulance. I think we met that ambulance just outside!

The traffic island was totally my fault. We managed to miss it by my sheer reflex driving and I have one question about that whole incident: Who plops a traffic island in the middle of an intersection without any warning? We’re driving along one of the bigger roads and then suddenly: Traffic island! What’s that about? Where’s my “Yo! We’ve planted a traffic island in the middle of the freekin street, you’re gonna have to turn here” sign? Hmmm? Noooo-ooo, just BAMN! Traffic island. Well not literally bamn but still. Surprise! Traffic island.

Other than the driving, London was pretty sweet. I got the hang of it after a couple days of picking people up at various transport arrival locations and discovered that the city is laid out fairly logically. You Londoners have a few of those multiple personality roads that go through a couple of name changes but that didn’t phase me at all. I come from the king city (or queen…I’m not sure the gender of a city) of schizophrenic roads. You want to call a road both Western and Wharncliffe? Go right on and do so. The city is pretty grided out anyway so if you miss one street, the next one is most likely going in the same direction.

I would like to grouse a little about the parking though. We had a cool little lot right near our office, which was pretty darned convenient, however it also had a metered, monitored gate which wasn’t even remotely convenient. We managed to score a parking pass the second or third day, which cut down tremendously on feeding the gate every time we went in or out. Sadly, the gate was only monitored from 8am to 7pm, which meant that we went to and fro at least two more times after hours. At $4 a pop, that added up fast (and for some reason the coin accepter hated our quarters so we had to fish up Loonies and Twonies every time). I wish we could have had a little sensor doohickey that lifted the gate automatically but they only had one or two, which went to the volunteer vehicles. Le sigh.

Well, that was a rant and a half about driving and nothing at all about the games. I suppose technically I said this was observations during the games so maybe I’ll just say that the traffic bitching is my post for today. Except I also wanted, in a total non sequitur, to let you in on one of the coolest Canadian things ever: Coins that stick to magnets. It’s true! The Canadian coin currency (the CCC?) is errr…ferrous? Well anyway, it’ll glom right on to a magnet (and you can probably magnetize it too) and if that isn’t the coolest, I don’t know what is. I noticed this when I bought a couple pieces of poster board and the change I put on top of it at the counter started weirdly rolling around on its edge. I even tried to push it down flat but it was having none of it. Turns out the poster board was on the store’s demagnetizing magnet thing which caused the coins to stand up on edge and get all jiggy.

Why can’t the US have cool coins like that? Hrrumph. OK, I’m going to sign off here and string you along yet another day. Eventually, I’ll post some pics and stories about the Transplant games and stop bitching about baristas and driving. I promise!


Last year at the booniverse: Oh, and everything hurt yesterday. Even my fat. How can fat hurt? That’s just not right.


Last last year at the booniverse: Unfortunately I missed the transition so I was still on ‘OK, he’s all appreciative to be here etc.’ mode when the bodies, mass grave and starving five year old came zinging out of no where.

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