CBSA Now More Likely to Pull Weapon

Here’s some good news for Canadian travelers. Now you not only get to fear that a nutjob border guard from Homeland Insecurity will pull a gun on you, you also can worry if the Canadian customs official is going to decide you’re a threat to national security or maybe just evading taxes. “Do you have anything to declare, and stick’em’up!”

If only Canadian border guards would do their job and keep criminal trash like George Bush and Dick Cheney out of our country.

Instead the idiots are too busy telling you to take your shoes off in front of a metal detector ONLY if you’re flying to the United States where they care about “security”. They apparently don’t care if you blow up in Canada, of course, because we know how often someone gets a bomb on a plane in their shoes (Answer:never). Yes, the US is security conscious. They’re conscious that there’s a concept of security, but are a little uncertain as to the details of how to implement it. It starts with taking off your shoes when a Canadian uniformed guard tells you to, apparently. It ends when people think it’s normal not to take water and shoes onto an airplane.

Toronto Day 1 Photos

Here are some of the photo highlights of Day 1 of my vacation, including the flight on Air Canada (gasp) to Toronto from Regina.

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– The enemy of vacations, stealers of water bottles, takers of toy guns.

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– It looks like this woman may have had a large intestine in her carry-on bag, and it contained more than 100mL of gel or liquid in it.

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– south of Regina on Highway 6

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– rain barrier that negates need for wipers when driving at highway speed

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– trees in a fishbowl

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– almost there

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– almost there still

Baby swan:
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I like this Motel’s sign, it’s always different whenever I visit.
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Ontario Alberta Saskatchewan Day 11

I spent day 11 of my vacation to Canada’s east in taxis, airports, air planes, a bus, and unpacking and giving gifts. Had supper at Lara’s, and I even did the dishes (*gasp*).

I woke at 5:30 AM, thinking I didn’t have to be on the plane until 7:30. I doubled checked and learned it was 7:15, oops. I there went my easy pace morning. I called a cab (taxi driver had played soccer in SK, and beat us 6-0) and checked out, and a $29 cab ride later *doh* I was self-checking in to WestJet at Hamilton International. Self checking sucks because I had to take my bags to a screener, it was going through security (worst part of the trip usually) TWICE. I decided to leave my (Nerf) “air bazooka” strapped to my checked bag, on the advice of WestJet ticket/bag staff. Turns out they specify “toy guns” as prohibited items, so it probably would have been stolen at security, even though you know how dangerous Nerf missiles are when strapped into a new toy’s box that could not be opened without a knife and a prayer.

I ended up in the seat by the window just in front of the emergency exit. I’d forgotten that those seats don’t recline *doh*. Fortunately I had 3 seats to myself, so I moved to the middle, strapped in, and lay down sideways for a sleep. They actually get Fox News on the plane, yeesh. Their GPS map system is cool though, except when it says we were at a 3.4K “altitude” while landed at Calgary International Airport.

Checked my laptop in a rush instead of keeping it with me, which would have been more sensible because I had free WiFi in the two airports to surf and send messages with. Instead I read the National Post and skimmed the Globe which was mostly the same.

The rain in Regina was spotty, but intense when it was “on”. I missed it while running home from the bus stop. I was home, and it was a great day to be welcomed back to.

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The garden is growing food, the peas look nearly grown up, and the lettuce is starting to kick butt. Some cucumbers I thought were toast are actually going to work, but a squash is a no-show. Corn is a disappointment, with only about 3 plants of a long row coming out of the ground. A pair of radishes are already going to seed, which is fine, I’ll eat the pods instead in salads. Rhubarb is doing fine, but is shorter than the neighbouring plants that had an extra month of growth. sunflowers are taking over, and potatoes will need hilling shortly. Mint is starting to establish itself, and the tomatoes are short, but budding at least.

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Here’s a MJ tribute article I didn’t mind seeing, because it’s about Weird Al Yankovic.

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This flag stunt by Greenpeace over Mt. Rushmore reminds me of the time Canadians snuck a huge flag into the Olympics opening ceremony.

Toronto Day 6

I spent Saturday in Richmond Hill, biking around town attending garage sales advertised on street corners. I picked up a Nerf Bazooka which I may attempt to carry onto the plane — will be a funny story no matter the result of that. I also got a Playstation for $5, and various trinkets for a total under $16.

I watched “In the Valley of Elah” [8/10] a disturbing war movie in America where a returned soldier is murdered.

I also watched some startling 9/11 “Truth” videos, and have more questions about how building 7 in particular fell. One video claims that the BBC reported the building’s collapse prior to it falling, and you can see the building behind the reporter talking about the collapse. Very strange. I didn’t expect to come across such a compelling video after thinking for a while that “truthers” are almost all cranks.

The train ride started off interesting as a very drunk man cut to the front of the line asking where his bags had gone as he said they were left at the front of the line. They were not there, and he bugged one lady having a rough trip ( her train had broken down on the way into TO –3h delay) and didn’t take his crap and told him to pipe down because she couldn’t assist. He didn’t care for that, and she asked the bashful ticket stamping guy to do something.

As I ascended the escalator to the platform, they must have located his luggage, and I ended up in the car with the lady in red from Cornwall, and her highland dancing daughter. Then the drunk man opened the door to our car and tried to fit a wide load down a narrow aisle. I offered to assist while the lady in red could escape up the car. The drunk man continued to cause minor stirs throughout the rest of the trip, including repeating “Choo-Chooo” after each horn blow from the train, in what was possibly just a misguided attempt to amuse the little girls sitting to our right.

I woke up in Kingston, and was in bed not long after.

Toronto Day 1

Waking up at 4:35AM wasn’t so bad. I got to the airport fine, and didn’t get extra attention from security. The flight was smooth, and I watched most of “Defiance” [8/10] a moving movie about the Jewish resistance in Belarussia.

Ben got me at the airport, after I pickedup a stowed bag, and the one I checked. We had sushi at Hockey Sushi, which was busy even at 3:00 PM.

Playing XBox 360 soon, and learning a bit about XAML graphical programming right now.

ADDED: Yeah, I needed a nap, which isn’t surprising. Watching some Law and Order, and about to have a burger for supper.

UofR Alumnus Flew Solo From Sask. to Sweden and Back

I’ve been in a Cessna 170 several times, and a 172 probably isn’t much different. Imagining it flying over the Atlantic is both terrifying and fantastic.

Last July, Brian Goranson jumped into the cockpit of his Cessna 172 at the Weyburn airfield—his destination was nearly 90 hours of flying time away—across that Atlantic. Read about the adventure of a lifetime as Goranson conquers the Atlantic and flies solo from Saskatchewan to Sweden.

The story at the link is quite interesting. We don’t think much of flying over the ocean these days, but in a small Cessna, it’s a huge accomplishment.

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And here’s another interesting article, this one about how people think of cost in dollars instead of distance. With the predawn of expensive oil, more people are going to be thinking locally for their (luxury) travel, as well as some staples.

There’s an old story in my family how a great grandparent of mine went on a wagon trip to Moose Jaw to fetch glass windows for the homestead. In the last few miles before reaching home, after a long day on a wagon, a creek was encountered at too great a speed or incline, and a lantern tipped out of place on the seat and fell through the glass windows that had made it safely to that distant point. That’s a cost in distance AND in dollars. And you can imagine there were unkind words said to that creek or lantern.