“The clean air choice of Earth Day Canada.”

So, what would you think would be “The clean air choice of Earth Day Canada“? A bicycle, perhaps? Some kind of renewable energy? Some really brilliant Canadian enviro-social development, like a biodegradeable donut?

Nope, a car; the Toyota Prius. Last time I checked, it still used petroleum (with its high environmental and geopolitical toxicity). It still causes gridlock; I see Priuses (Prii? Your moon-pie eye!) inching along the Gardiner from the GO train with all the other wretched junkers. The way I see it, it’s not looking like part of the solution. It’s a bit like having an official assault rifle for the the International Day of Peace.

Toyota also give out $5000 Toyota Earth Day Scholarships. I mean, that’s nice and all, but it’s hardly giving back. If you look at all the scholarship materials, it’s carefully arranged so it looks like the event is called Toyota Earth Day, with the ‘scholarship’ on the next line. Nice cooption. Good greenwash.

found book

I found a copy of Linda McQuaig’s It’s the Crude, Dude on the GO train last night. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while. I don’t know what I’ll do with it when I’ve read it — Bookcrossing?

no cheers for VIA Rail

The train journey back from Montreal last night should have taken about four hours, but it took nearer eight. Seems there was a derailment near Belleville, so we were sat on the train for three hours (just metres from Belleville station; had we known, we would have got out and walked somewhere). Then a bus came, and we got into Toronto about 1am.

I suspect, given that the speed the bus went (187km in under two hours), he’d been told by VIA to get us in before 1:15, the cut-off time that would have given us an 100% refund. As is, I suspect we’ll only get 50%, as that’s the refund for up to four hours. Grr.

bogla bogla bogla

cn train
Something odd has started to happen on the CN freight link behind our house. Trains have started stopping on it for up to a day at a time, right next to the level crossing.

They stop with their engine running, so we have to deal with fumes and noise. I know it’s cold and all, and it would be hard to restart a big engine, but do they really need to keep this thing going for 24 hours in a residential area?

If you’re wondering about the title, that’s the sound that trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles make in British political cartoonist Steve Bell’s strip, If.

Whistle-stop across Missouri

Just back from a busy but enjoyable trip to (and across) Missouri. Approximate timeline:

  • arrived in Liberty on the 24th, then immediately went to Catherine’s grandmother’s house in Lee’s Summit for Christmas dinner. If I can fix a turkey dinner with Parker House Rolls and all the trimmings when I’m 92, I’ll be doing pretty well.
  • took the train from Independence to Kirkwood to visit Joe & Katie, Catherine’s brother and sister-in-law.
  • stayed in ye olde cheesye Cheshire Inn in St Louis, which is a hilariously fakey (but pretty good) “old” hotel.
  • took Amtrak back to Independence.
  • did the necessary shopping rounds in Liberty: LaMar’s Donuts, clothes shopping at Feldman’s Farm & Home (aka The Feed Store), and browsing books at By The Book on the square.
  • had lunch at the incomparable Englewood Café in Independence.
  • went to see Carlyle’s art exhibit downtown, which turned more into performance art, as the gallery was closed.
  • hung out with Catherine’s high-school friends in Westport, and had the importance (and usefulness) of dry “bible highlighters” explained to me by Carl. Then we ate at the Jerusalem Café.

… and now we’re home.