Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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How to build a Light Rail Transit

via Tumblr

Toronto is building a new Light Rail Transit running partly above partly below ground. The noise and drilling has been manageable but not much fun. Traffic, already atrocious, is seriously affected.

This was taken today, steps away from where I live.

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What a difference a few weeks and degrees (colder) makes

Took my Mom down to Cherry Beach tonight. Totally different experience from the last time I went. No traffic. Nice people at the beach. All round good time. This shot taken driving home, just beside inlets around Lake Ontario. No “scream” traffic like last time!

Image via Flickr


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women in the city

Image via Tumblr

Here’s another one I took while stuck in traffic. The women’s faces are a little bit blurry in the original. But I had to increase the blur to meet the standards of, say, Google Street view. Too bad. It’s actually more interesting if you can make out their features just a little bit.

I have no idea what those two blue dots are. They’re in the original photo.


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let me out!

Image via Flickr

Last night I made the hair-brained decision to go to Cherry Beach for sunset. The traffic was unbelievable. With our population explosion this city is almost non-functional except during the off hours. Anyhow, I made it. And managed to get this interesting photo, which I digitally recomposed with Photoshop Elements to give something of The Scream effect.


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Water under the bridge

Had a sublime moment today in the local park (Serena Gundy). Just last summer I realized a secret entrance that I’d never known about. Also, I used to go away for summers when I was a kid. These days, I improvise.


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TV and Church

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So today I finally got around to taking the wheels into the shop. We had four slow leaks.

The auto shop is pretty cool. In a grubby end of town under gentrification. The shop has been around for years, unchanged, and is pure Starsky and Hutch. The characters coming and going… I swear I could write a successful TV pilot from just a few hours there!

But I didn’t stay the whole time. I had to get away. So I walked to the downtown core, which is getting more congested every year. Felt more like Chicago or New York instead of my once modest Toronto.

After an icky visit to the Eaton Centre – don’t like it much any more – I hopped over to the newly renovated St. Michael’s Cathedral. I haven’t been to Mass for about a week and felt like a fish out of water… happily diving back into the tank after almost thirsting to death for the waters of heaven.

But it was a huge change from the auto shop.

Leaving, I noticed a brand new flatscreen monitor by the exit. It seemed strange and unnecessary. But what do I know?

I just took the picture…


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Boxing day, my father’s birthday

Poor dad. We were always so hungover or just plain tired on his birthday. I don’t drink alcohol any more but still feel fairly wiped this morning. It’s all the excitement, preparation and texts texts texts! Will be nice to take it easy for a while and settle back into my usual routine.

My dad was a proud Canadian. He went to Upper Canada College and then the University of Toronto. A civil engineer, he settled into business and worked for a couple of large companies. He did well but found that teaching was more to his liking. Ending up at Ryerson university, he became the Dean of Business. But he didn’t take himself all that seriously. When friends came over they’d joke around, lightly calling him “Dean” and he’d always play along.

After retirement he and my mother had a wonderful time doing volunteer work in the 1990s with a Canadian organization (CESO/SACO) helping Eastern Europeans develop Western style businesses. He and mom went everywhere: Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, to name a few places. Dad and mom were well liked by Dad’s students and seminar participants, as evident from the old, analog photos they brought home.

I often think it ironic that dad tried so hard to help Eastern Europeans and I was literally bit in the a** by one at the University of Ottawa.

In this photo dad is visiting my great aunt in Cleveland, Ohio. She was a librarian there. A very kind, saintly woman who eventually moved up to Toronto. Because dad had been to UCC, he enlisted for Officer Training during WW-II.

Here he is, ready to go and risk his life for democracy and freedom.

dad_as

William James Loudon Clark

Happy Birthday Dad! Even though you’re not here physically, I believe you’re around.