Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wild in the City

As my work is shut down over the christmas break, I've been doing various trips to different parts of the GTA.
At each, its suprising how much of our city world is still full of nature.

I took in the sunset at Lassale Park in Hamilton.

What interesting is that its a Burlington park, in the limits of the City of Hamilton! Owned by Hamilton, its leased to Burlington, who is responsible for its operation.

Its a very popular hang out for Trumpeter Swans, who are slowly coming back after near extinction, thanks to the work of the Wye Marsh.

I also checked out High Park in Toronto, where the wildlife ranges from Bison at the zoo,

to well behaved dogs at the leash free park!

I'm not sure how people get the impression that a Doberman Pinscher is a scarry dog, cause this one looks very friendly!

The Humber Arboretum is also a great place to go to, as its full of birds, such as this Chickadee flying away with a peanut (and knocking the rest into the air!)

and the female Cardinal.

Once you get deeper into the area, you can even find yourself face to face with the wild deer which travel through the valley system.

Winter in the Market

The annual Kensington Market Winter Solstice was recetnly held, witha parade and a fire festival.
Those on hand could either make their own latern, or buy a ready made one, hawked by two attendents with a bullhorn!

Once you had your lantern, you joined the parade to the Alexander Park south of Dundas St. In the parade were band members, costumed characters,

and even stilt walkers,

and even Olivia Chow joined the parade, riding her horse!

Once everyone gathered around the baseball field,

the band began to play, and the fire show started.
The first event was skipping with a rope on fire!

Then troop members brought out various ropes and chains, all topped with fire. They gave everyone a chance to watch them juggle or swing ball's of fire through the air.

Once that was done, and after a drum display from some natives, the troop began to breath fire onto the center piece, eventually setting it alight.

And for the final, one guy had balls of fire which he juggled! It was pretty cool (or hot!)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mark Dailey Memorial Service

This afternoon, at the Yorkminster Park Baptist Church,

family, friends and strangers on the street joined in a celebration of the life of Mark Dailey.

The was an honour gaurd made up of the Police horses,

and a EMS ceremonial guard.

I talked with one of the EMS guards, and they were all honoured to be there for Mark. They had recently come back from Buffalo, where they took part in a Pearl Harbour event.

A Piper performed inside at the begining of the ceremony, and say what you want, but there is no more powerful of an insturment than the bag pipes!

Some of those in attendance included politicians,

Brad Duguid

former CityTV staff,

John Gallagher

Peter Silverman

Liz West

and current staff.

Michael Kuss

Hugh Burrill

Pam Seatle

and competing news staff, including Jim Junkin

Also on hand were John Tory

and Chief Bill Blair

and of course, the "father" of CityTV, Moses Znaimer.

As I mentioned previously, although I did not know him well, I have yet to ever hear a bad word about Mark Dailey.

Show your support by providing a dontation in Marks name to Prostate Cancer Canada.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mark Dailey

It was a very sad day today, as City TV officially announced the passing of its iconic voice, Mark Dailey.
Mark had successfully battled prostate cancer, and shared his experience on television. He had a family history, and was very public about the efforts to help other men realize that options are out there to detect the cancer before it was too late.
As a result, he combined with the Nascar Canadian Tire Series drivers, starting with the 39 Dickies car of Dave Whitlock, to promote Prostate Cancer Canada. I saw Dave at Cayuga Speedway, at the start of one of the events.

Dave retired from racing at the end of the year, and I created a die cast model of his last season car. Knowing that Mark Dailey was a fan of racing, I did a second version and sent it to Mark.
With Dave's retirement, Dickies brought its sponsorship to the 02 car of Kerry Micks. Mark was invited to the announcement of this event at the Canadian Motorsport Expo, as the 02 car was also carrying the Prostate Cancer Canada awarness decal.
This was my first opportunity to meet and talk with Mark. Unfortunately, it was right after the massive fireings at CityTV. Just to show the type of man Mark was, he expressed that those fired were great friends of his, and it sickened him to feel the pain of those let go.
On the other hand, he really wanted to thank me for the die cast model, and that he placed it on his racing shelf. I was appreciative of his thanks, and told him that he was a big part of my watching CityTV. We even talked about Larysa Harapyn, and that she was still a good friend of his.
Overall, it was a great pleasure to have met him during this event.

I kept in email contact with Mark, sending him photo's from the various NCAT races, showcasing Kerry Micks and the PCC decal.
This past year, as part of the Honda Indy Toronto, the NCATS teams were in Yonge Dundas Square doing an autograph sesion. Seeing a CityTV camera man (and giving him some info on the NCATS drivers!), I told him to see if Mark was in, as he was a fan of racing.

Within a few minutes, Mark was out, meeting with the drivers. Again, even after only that one meeting, he remembered me from our previous meeting, and again thanked me for having him called out to see the NCATS drivers. The drivers were pleased to meet with Mark, and I even got him to pose for a picture with the drivers.

I want to say that my thoughts are with Marks family, both those of his real family, and those he touched at his "TV" family. He will be missed by a great many people, which I think in the end, shows the kind of person he was. As Gord Martineau and Kathryn Humphreys said on the newscast, there was not one person who had a bad word to say about Mark.

Mark Dailey, born August 1, 1953 in Youngstown, Ohio, passed away from lung cancer on December 6, 2010. He is survived by his wife, Kim, and his daughter Nicole.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Last Jam of 2010

TORD had a training camp, held over the past week. Blood and Thunder Magazine sponsored the event, with derby members coming from all over Canada and the US.
After the week of training, a selected group were put into two teams, for a final jam.

The two teams were the White Trash,

and the Black Mamba's.

Even the refs were selected for the game, from across the continent.

This was a hard match, with lots of hitting, and lots of girls down on the track.

Both teams had effective blocking,

including some "walls" of blocking, using different techniques, especially off the start of each jam.

It started off with the Black Mamba's taking a pretty good lead, but especially into the second half, the White Trash battled back.
With some key penalties against the BM's, there were a few occasions where no jammer was available while the WT team was able to accumulate lots of points. Near the end, with the lead going back and forth, it ended with a 1 point difference, and only 3 seconds (or one jam) left.

But in the end, a final jam lead by TORD's own Bambi

saw the Black Mamba's take the win!

Congrats to both teams for a very close, hard fought game!

A great feature over the intermission was Mo Saunders, AKA the GRN MNSTR, AKA Barack O'Trauma aka Quadzilla L.K, who had an amazing skating ability, and showed it off. As he skated the track, audience members began to shout "jump...jump", and suddenly half a dozen people ran onto the track and dropped down in a row. After some arranging, the people were layed down on the track, and he built up speed and did a jump. It was great, specially as he kept adding people, all of whom were eager to join the group!