Posts

Showing posts from 2011

Patrick where for art thou - tale of theft and intrigue in the US Virgin Islands

Image
Recent Fluff From Stephen Weir's Many December Facebook Postings

.

If he says Patrick a few times, you know he is hot ... and he is probably an illegal alien!

While doing some research into a recent fatality in the US Virgin Islands, I searched through a number of recent press releases issued by the USVI police information officer. Serious business, but, I still was amused to read about a stolen parrot, who likes to say Patrick over and over and over again.

According to the police, earlier today thieves on the island of St Croix stole two male African parrots, a power generator and a gate lock from a farm. 

The police say the value of the items was $4,200 and have asked locals to keep an ear out for any parrots saying Patrick. They are asked to call Crime Stoppers and say the word Patrick (over and over and over again).

If a Tree Exhibition was staged in the forest would ....

.
THE McMICHAEL CANADIAN ART COLLECTION www.mcmichael.com
NEW EXHIBITION LISTING INFORMATION 
The McMichael Tree Project   
  January 28 to April 22, 2012           

This winter and spring, the McMichael celebrates the artistic, cultural,and natural aspects of the tree with two breathtaking exhibitions, a variety of  programs, and special  installations.  As part of this project, the McMichael presents the exhibition, The Tree: Form  and Substance, which provides an exciting  opportunity for us to connect the gallery's  interior spaces with our  newly invigorated outdoor spaces and forested landscape, for the very first time. In conjunction with our own exhibition, the gallery also presents The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social, organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery; an exhibition that considers the tree as a subject in art from the early twentieth century to the present. The tree has been used as a symbol for all of nature and its  overwhelming beauty;…

Diving Into Bat Infested Waters!

Image
Mayan Riviera Runs A Small Price to Pay for Cenote Diving November 2011 issue of Diver Magazine

By Stephen Weir
This picture, taken in a freshwater Yucatan cenote (cave) was snapped at the exact moment in time that I realized that in 48-hours I was going to be sick.  You know, Montezuma”s Revenge, or as I coined it following a sink hole diving expedition in Akumal, Mexico, the Mayan Riviera Runs.
This is not a diss on the Yucatan’s water system. This was something self-inflicted and it could have happened in any "fresh" water cave in the world. Blame it on the sanitary habits of flying animals or cenote diving being just too amazing for my own good.

Watch a You Tube Video of Cenote dive guide Mario explaining to Stephen Weir, how the Mexican Cenotes came to be. 2-minutes  http://youtu.be/lV12iGAzURQ
. The east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan State is a flat, dry land void of rivers, lakes or much vegetation. What little green you see is at the well watered golf courses of the many hotel…

Photographs used in Diver Story Sidebar About Akumal Diving

Image
PHOTOGRAPHS OF DIVING OFF AKUMAL BEACH - YUCATAN FACTS SIDEBAR
Yucatán Facts
• The Yucatán Peninsula is a large, cavernous limestone shelf not more than 165 feet (50m) above sea level and without any surface rivers. Instead, rainwater penetrates the porous limestone and forms
underground rivers.
• Most diveable cenotes in Mexico are to be found in the Riviera Maya on the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s been estimated there are approximately 30,000 cenotes in this region of which an estimated 100 are diveable.
• Many cenotes are located on private land and are accessible only with permission. Most are basically inaccessible by normal means but many are open to the public.
Entrance fees vary from $10 pesos to $100 pesos, approximately USD$1-10, for those managed by locals. Commercial operations offering more to see and do typically charge more, USD$10-25.
• The Riviera Maya is a tourist zone situated along the east coast on the Caribbean Sea.
It runs south of Cancun for more than 75
miles (120k…

A Pride of Inflatables - transportation to check out a US Boat Show

Image

Boat Show At Night.  Sailors' Delight.  Boat Show in the Day. Vendors Make Hay! Report from Annapolis By Pat Whetung
Sailors be aware. 
Each autumn boaters flock to historic Annapolis, Maryland trying to hang on to the last vestiages of fall. The port city, nestled on the banks of Spa Creek in Chesapeake Bay, hosts the annual United States Sailboat Show.
They come in cars. They come in inflatables.  Some sail in.  The common goal for all visiting sailors is to collect, connect and collaborate. The talk is all about boats, cruising, racing and significant events on and around the water. 
There are hundreds of boats on display to tour and, if the price is right, buy.  On land there are scores of vendors hawking anything that might seperate a boater from his wallet! In fact at this year's boat show, the vendors were  selling just about everythingboaters’ needs and wishes.  Walking through the stalls and visiting the boats in the harbour that this year at Annapolis the yacht show wa…

Breaking the ice - introduce Iceland's Dive Shop. River Diving in the lava fields

Image
FISSURE FREEZING DIVING INLAND IN ICELAND


It is cold. There is snow on the nearby mountain tops and  most days the moon is up longer than the sun.  It is late fall in Iceland and the fresh water dive season is still going strong! There are at least three dive operators  this time of year in Iceland offering guided scuba fresh water tours to rift valley river  in the Thingvellir National Park.  One shop offers a second safari to a geothermic lake near the capital city of Reykjavik.  There are ocean dives offered as well but are very much weather and sea condition dependent. Thingvellir Park is the most visited site in Iceland for three reasons.  It is a region where two tectonic plates  - the North American and Eurasian Plates all but  touch. It's a place where the continental plates have meet and are now drifting  apart at a rate of about 2cm per year.   The continental drift between these two gigantic plates has ripped the ground apart creating large picturesque canyons. It was in on…

The Best From Facebook: Vignettes About A Recent Trip to Peru part 2

Image
.

At the chicheria in rural Peru - drink twice chewed and then brewed
(from a series of Facebook postings that received strong readership and approval)
.
Chicha is a popular working class drink in Peru. Made from fermenting corn, the beer-like beverage can be made in just 3-days. It is cheap (about 60 cents a glass) and easy to drink. There are an estimated 2,000 chicherias in Peru. Most don't have signs, just look for the universal Chicheria sign - a red flag over the door. I paid this woman 60 cents for a glass of chicha and strawberry juice. Drink was invented by the Incas. Back in those days the corn was chewed by women before being put in fermentation vats. Nowadays the kernels are boiled before being placed in the vats.How to find a chicherias in Peru. Look for a red flag over the door. Usually dirt floors and no electricity.  Corn drink is cheap and not all that alcholic (3%). Big attraction at many of the underground bars is a game where you try to toss a coin…

The Best From Facebook: Vignettes About A Recent Trip to Peru

Image
Crossing the street in Cusco Peru - One part art, One part danger, One part daring do!
(from a series of Facebook postings that received strong readership and approval)


Crossing the Street in Peru Part 1 In the city of Cusco the police use humour to fight jaywalkers on their main street. As mentioned previously, crossing any street, even with walk/don't walk lights is a life threatening experience. Most days during business hours the police dress up officers in Punch and Judy costumes, cucumber-nose masks and Peruvian sheep whips to confront people trying to jaywalk. It works (till they go home) Check out companion posts of a pair of buskers/breakdancers in the middle of a busy street!



Crossing the Street in Peru Part 2:
A different kind of breakdancing



Busker/breakdancer performs in the middle of a busy Cusco street in Peru. I paid him $2.50 for letting me take a picture of his act. Does it when the light is red. Most drivers in Peru seem to ignore red lights, so his act is more dang…

Toronto Sun: Back On The Rails

Image
Downtown Market Wharf  is now  under construction -- But first --  a massive train barrier ad to be built
By Stephen Weir                                                       
Published in the Toronto Sun  September 23rd nd 25th


Putting off that downtown Toronto condo purchase because you suffer from Siderodromophobia (irrational dread of trains)? One project in the St Lawrence Market District will allay that fear: The Market Wharf condominium complex, currently under construction, has installed a steel reinforced concrete barrier wall to stop any runaway Go trains!
Market Wharf is a multi-level condominium tower project at Jarvis and The Esplanade, just south of the back-end of the St Lawrence Market. Plans for the city block include a 34 -storey tower which when built, will abut six busy Go and Via Rail tracks, Lakeshore Blvd and the Gardiner Expressway.
The derailment containment wall – built last fall – protects the south-end tower currently under construction.  The side of the buildi…

Market Wharf - Just the Facts

Sidebar #1
Just the Facts
There will be approximately 475 separate living spaces within Market Wharf, with an expected population of close to 1,000 people all living in one city block.
There will be 4 different styles of units built. It depends on where the units are within the tower and podium. The four styles are:
• Market Flats – being built on the low rise brick podium on Floors 2-5), no balconies, typically smaller units. 77 in total
• Townhomes are atop the podium on the 6th floor and are two storeys and have their own “back yard” terrace (some have balconies facing the St Lawrence Market as well). 34 in total.
• Watersuites are all single storey units in the tower and are named as such since they all will have water views of the lake. Approximately 355 in total.
• Penthouses. 2-storey glass walled penthouses. Top two floors are shaped like a peanut. Up to 10 units available.
As of November  15, over 85% of the units have been sold
The project’s website is http://www.marketw…

Renfrew Stories: Even while at school in Windsor, Renfrew Foundry Made a Big Impression

Image
x YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF RENFREW BUT ... x George Heath, a former Renfrew resident and a keen follower of www.stephenweir.com, sent me a clipping announcing the January closure of the H.Imbleau & Sons Foundry in Renfrew. George's wife Marie is a member of the Imbleau family. The company, founded in 1858, is the town's longest running business. For over 150 years the factory has put the Renfrew name on the map ... literally. One of the company's most successful products is manhole covers. When I received George's note about the closure, I wrote him a quick letter, reprinted below, which tells my story of the impression the foundry had on me in the early 70's while a student at Windsor University. . Back in my days at Windsor University I worked a variety of part-time jobs so that I would not have to move back to Renfrew and work in the mines at Haley's Station in the summer. One of my steady gigs was in the student pub, which was held in the …

Just The Facts About Market Wharf

Sidebar #1  Just the Facts About Market Wharf Condos
There will be approximately 475 separate living spaces within Market Wharf, with an expected population of close to 1,000 people all living in one city block. There will be 4 different styles of units built. It depends on where the units are within the tower and podium. The four styles are: Market Flats – being built on the low rise brick podium on Floors 2-5), no balconies, typically smaller units.  77 in totalTwo storey Townhomes are atop the podium on the 6th floor and are two storeys and have their own “back yard” terrace (some have balconies facing the St Lawrence Market as well).  34 in total.·Watersuites are all single storey units in the tower and are named as such since they all will have water views of the lake.  Approximately 355 in total.·Penthouses. 2-storey glass walled penthouses. Top two floors are shaped like a peanut. Up to 10 units available.
As of the summer, 85% of the units have been sold The project’s website is