Sunday, November 21, 2010

Margin Notes: Parade, Ford, Survey, Chetzy

The Swarovsky swan was one of the new floats this year in the annual Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, Ontario, seen in front of the "Crystal" at the Royal Ontario Museum on 21-November-2010

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The holiday season has officially started in the Greater Toronto Area, as Santa Claus arrived on the streets of Toronto in the annual Santa Claus Parade. While snow showers were noted earlier in the day, spectators stayed dry if more than a little cold as more than 30 floats, quite a few of them new, graced the route ahead of Santa Claus himself. More coverage will be forthcoming on this blog and my photo site.

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Toronto mayor-elect Rob Ford appeared to be at least as large as the elephant walking beside him in the Santa Claus Parade on 21-November-2010

Mayor-elect Rob Ford walked in the Santa Claus Parade today. I was planning to be easy on him, at least for the beginning of his administration, but today he opened himself up to such easy shots that it is difficult not to take them. For someone trying not to emphasize his weight, was it really wise to walk the parade route next to an elephant that had a smaller torso than the mayor-elect? And for someone who many fear will create gridlock in the city council, was it really wise to delay the parade by 35 minutes, the gap created between the group ahead of him and the slow-moving, shaking-every-hand politician? I thought about yelling out to Ford that he should apologize to the children for delaying Santa Claus, but then decided that wouldn't be Canadian.

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Pollster Angus Reid offered some insight into what it is to be a Canadian this week. When asked to choose what would be most important to them, 47% of Canadians chose being healthy, 13% of them selected being rich, and just 9% of them selected being successful. I have a feeling the results from our southern cousins would not match those figures.

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On the other hand, in the Pacific Northwest, those in British Columbia are somewhat envious that those in Washington state have a new ferry. The 64-car Chetzemoka entered service last Monday on the Port Townsend-Keystone (er, Coupeville) route after ceremonies on Sunday, the first of three planned Kwa-di Tabil class vessels. So far, reaction to the vessel seems to be positive--though I note that it has already had runs canceled because of a storm and tides, and its elevator is already out of service. (The elevators are also not working on the Hyak and Issaquah at last report, but they aren't new ferries.) "Eileen" (nicknamed for its list when unloaded) may have a good career ahead of it yet.

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