1) I heard on the radio this week that the latest automobile models have features the sophistication of which wasn’t even imagined just five years ago. This scares the wits out of me. I’m still trying to figure out how to change radio stations on the Ford Focus we bought four years ago.
2) Every time I catch myself thinking that nothing is like it used to be, I remind myself that it’s always been this way and probably always will be. It’s likely that the first time I had this thought was the day I started school. I distinctly remember being profoundly sad and disappointed as I walked to school that morning because from then on my weekday activity was never going to be the same. But I also remember thinking as I walked home from school that afternoon that I had just had the most interesting, exciting and enjoyable day of my young life.
3) Until last Sunday I believed that Rogers and Bell were the two most inefficient entities in the country. But then I voted at an advance poll. First of all, the poll was late opening; not much, but late nonetheless. There was a significant lineup and we were told to go to the end of the hall, and if we had a 608 voter’s card to line up on the right. If we had a 609 card we were to line up on the left, and if we didn’t have a voter’s card someone would help us. When I got to the end of the hall there were four lineups, not the two mentioned. But, remembering what we were told, and having in my hot little hand a 608 voting card, I joined the right-hand line, only to find out that it was for people who didn’t have a voting card. It turned out that there were so many people without voting cards that two extra lines had to be formed. We 608ers now had to line up in the right-hand line of the two middle lines, not the right-hand line as originally instructed. I eventually reached the voting table where two people were seated. It quickly became clear that there should have been three people at the table. The duty of the man on the right was to take my voting card and write my name and address on a huge spread sheet, which turned out to be a cure for which there’s no known disease.. Meanwhile, the woman on the left took my driver’s license and conscientiously searched through a thick bound list. Upon finding the page with my name on it, she carefully positioned a ruler and methodically drew a line through my name. It turned out that she wasn’t just a license-checker and line-drawer, but also had to insert marked ballots into the ballot box. This meant that she had to either keep me waiting while she placed someone else’s ballot in the box, or keep the person who already had voted waiting while she surgically effaced my name from the list. Noticing two people sitting at another table doing nothing, I asked her why one of them couldn’t be putting the ballots in the box. She told me that she was “the only person authorised to place a ballot in the ballot box.” “OK,” I acknowledged, “then have one of them check licenses and draw neat lines.” “They aren’t trained to do that,” she replied. “You mean,” I asked, “they can’t read and use a ruler?” She said that there was a box available where I could lodge a written complaint if I wanted to. The man on the right now asked me to sign my name on his spreadsheet beside where he had slowly and carefully printed my name and address. When I asked him what I was signing he said, “This acknowledgement sheet.” I asked him what I was acknowledging. He replied, “That you’re voting at an advance poll and that you’ll only vote once.” Knowing full well that I was at an advance poll (and had no intention of voting twice), I gave up and went behind the screen to mark my ballot, thinking that Rogers and Bell were now tied for second.
4) Last Wednesday’s Blue Jay game was by far the most exciting and dramatic sporting event I ever witnessed. The only other event that even comes close was the final game of the 1972 hockey series between Canada and Russia; but it’s a very distant second. Baseball fans reading this might want to mark Monday, May 2nd on their 2016 calendar. That’s the next time the Jays and Rangers play, and I’ll be paying close attention when Bautista is in the batter’s box. It would also be interesting if Ranger pitcher Sam Dyson had to cover first while Tulowitzki was trying to beat out an infield hit.