Donation Difficulties

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I currently find myself with a number of pieces of furniture and several boxes of perfectly usable kitchenware that I would like to donate to charity. There are no antiques, no heirlooms, just decent bits and bobs that someone could certainly use.

All I needed was an organization to come by and pick up the goods. Well, you’d think I was asking for the moon.

We often hear about refugees and immigrants settling in a new country. There is no shortage of organizations and associations seeking donations of clothes and home furnishings for these folks, many of whom are fleeing horrific conditions.

So I packed up the utensils, cutlery, small appliances, and flatware. I turfed out the unusable furniture and readied the sturdier pieces. All I needed was an organization to come by and pick up the goods. Well, you’d think I was asking for the moon.

Evidently none of the traditional charities, the ones that used to be pleased to come and get your donation, offer this service anymore. The Salvation Army said no, as did several other local agencies. But the worst was our neighbourhood Habitat for Humanity; when I called them they assured me they still offered the pickup service, but it would cost me $50.

What part of donation do these folks not understand?

I am perfectly willing to donate pieces of furniture … But I’m certainly not going to pay to do so.

I am perfectly willing to donate pieces of furniture that will either be sold, proceeds going to charity, or given to needy people. But I’m certainly not going to pay to do so. I find it absurd that in this day of economic adjustment for the many deserving refugees arriving in Canada that charities try to put a squeeze on potential donors.

I am a regular blood donor. but if they started charging me to donate, I fear I would have to reconsider.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Awkward Subway Meeting

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I may have inadvertently become part of the #metoo movement last week. Imagine this: Friday morning rush-hour, I entered the Metro station as I do most mornings and checked to see if the train was in the station. No train, no need to run. As I was going down the stairs to the platform I heard the train arrive and picked up my pace.

She came around the corner in one direction while I did so in the opposite direction. We avoided a total wipe-out collision by a nano-second.

At the bottom of the stairs, I saw the train, doors open and passengers getting off and on. It was very crowded, I picked a door to run to and off I went. As I made my way to the end of the concrete wall and onto the platform I was met by a woman who was running in the opposite direction, I suspect to catch a bus at ground level.

She came around the corner in one direction while I did so in the opposite direction. We avoided a total wipe-out collision by a nano-second. Both of us reacted reflexively and pivoted, thereby reducing any contact to a small sideswipe. She went on her way, and I got on my train.

However, in the course of our run-in, as I was unexpectedly confronted by a person coming around the corner at high-speed, and not knowing if I was about to collide with a college coed or a college linebacker, I naturally put up my hands in a defensive position.

Wouldn’t you know it? My hands were at breast height. Her breast, not mine. I got a left hand full of boob.

Wouldn’t you know it? My hands were at breast height. Her breast, not mine. I got a left hand full of boob.

There have been many jokes about gropers claiming the victim placed whatever part of her anatomy in their hand, but in this case the whole thing was unintended. I know I am not a manslammer. She made nothing of it, but it stuck with me all day. Would she have confronted me if she was not in a hurry? Would we both, in true Canadian fashion, have apologized? I know it was accidental, but it made me wonder just how many times women are grabbed and “bumped” in fully planned incidents.

Frankly, I would not know the woman if I saw her again, given the brisk nature of our encounter. But if by some chance she reads this I hope she understands the complete lack of intention on my part.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Making the Canadian F1 Grand Prix More Montreal

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Although the race is ten months off, work is now being carried out on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to bring it up to Formula 1 standards. The annual Canadian Grand Prix is an important Montreal event bringing tourists from around the world. Yes, it does tend to be loud, but the noise of the cars is often drowned out by the sound of cash registers.

…to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

While making major alterations to the track and paddock, I thought it would be the ideal time to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

I suggest that at various points during the race groups of cyclists be released onto the track. Going, of course, in the wrong direction and, as the drivers weave their way among them, the cyclists will be instructed to swear and make obscene gestures at them.

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In addition to flag-waving marshals, who will be clad in camo pants, F1 tracks also have safety signage indicating, for instance, the braking distance leading to a sharp turn. To make this a Montreal-like experience for the drivers, several of these signs should be located behind tree branches or overgrown hedges making them virtually impossible to see until passing them when it is too late.

As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend…detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Over the last few years, Montrealers have grown used to the late-weekly reports informing us which streets, highways or bridges will be closed for the weekend. As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend. Not to worry, detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Formula 1 pit-crews are famous for being able to change four tires and make minor repairs to the cars in the blink of an eye. They are going to need to be even faster. When cars enter the pit lane and arrive at the team garage where they would have once stopped if ever so briefly, they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

… they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

Lastly, as the race reaches the three-quarter point, some of the drivers may be getting hungry. This problem is solved by the arrival of several Montreal food trucks along the straightaway. Appropriate given F1 drivers are possibly the only people who can afford the prices charged by these mobile eateries.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Odd Quebec Election Campaign Slogan

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The Quebec Liberal Party finds itself trailing in early election campaign polls. While other parties try to tap into the Liberal’s traditional Anglophone support, I suspect these attempts will fail. Yet I find the English version of the party’s slogan, “To make life easier for Quebecers” somewhat odd.

By all means make things better, stronger, healthier, wealthier, for Quebecers. But we really don’t require things to be easy.

I get the gist of it. Perhaps it’s just the translation from the French “Pour facilter la vie des Québécois” but the idea of making things easier sounds to me as if the party considers Quebecers to be a bunch of lazy simpletons who can’t handle difficult things.

By all means make things better, stronger, healthier, wealthier, for Quebecers. But we really don’t require things to be easy.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

War On Montreal Parking Spots

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If you have tried to find a parking spot in downtown Montreal lately you will understand my angst. So many places have been turned into Bixi bicycle stands or marked reserved due to evidently non-existent construction that driving around and around has become the norm.

During one such episode a few days ago, having spent forty-five minutes looking for a spot that was available, and finding three that looked fine, but were not accepting payment, I couldn’t help but imagine our anti-car Mayor Valerie Plante sporting one of the now ubiquitous red bags that cover far too many parking meters.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

World Cup 2026 and Montreal

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As a child of EXPO 67 and teenager during the 1976 summer Olympics I was pleased to learn of Montreal’s potential role in staging matches during the 2026 World Cup. The Jean Drapeau years established the city as an excellent host to world-class events.

But it was not long before reality set in. The current climate in Montreal is not event friendly. Just ask former mayor Denis Coderre and his Formula E Race fiasco.

The plan is for games to be played in a revamped Olympic Stadium. Will that work, or will a new stadium have to be built? The cost of security alone will be drastic.

Large events, and there is none larger than the World Cup, have a nasty habit of cost overruns.

Chicago and Vancouver both declined to be part of the bid for financial reasons.

With so much fodder, can it be long before some municipal candidate takes a No Cup position? Pledging to pull out of the deal and save the taxpayers millions.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Trudeau and Trump

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DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

WH Correspondents Dinner Needs a Rethink

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Much is being said in the wake of Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD). Once again this year President Trump refused to attend the event, instead opting to hold a campaign-style rally in Michigan during which he was free to take pot shots at the media, the left and anyone else.

If you are going to use humour to skewer someone, a real zinger, you better make sure it’s funny!

They say that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. It astonishes me to say, but among the idiotic things Trump was spouting in Michigan was a kernel of truth: the WHCD is dead. Not that they won’t have another, but the old tradition of “good-naturedly” poking fun at each other has been replaced by downright nastiness.

However, that’s not what gets me riled. I can watch two adversaries quip each other all day assuming they are funny. But the last two dinner comedians have lacked that one essential ingredient: humour.

I say either bring back the old style roasting or call the whole thing off before it turns very ugly.

Don Rickles was never my cup of tea. Not because he engaged in insulting people for a living, but because I never found what he said funny. Michelle Wolf, someone I must admit I had never heard of prior to Saturday evening, was not funny either.

If you are going to use humour to skewer someone, a real zinger, you better make sure it’s funny!

I say either bring back the old style roasting or call the whole thing off before it turns very ugly.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Kudos To Toronto Police

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In the wake of the horrific incident in Toronto that has cost ten people their lives and injured more than a dozen others, much is being said about the courage of the officer who apprehended the driver.  The man had driven a van along a busy sidewalk and street evidently trying to kill as many people as possible.

So often we see on television police using what seems to be excessive force to subdue a suspect. It is often made public later that the suspect was unarmed. The police officer in Toronto, given the way the suspect was waving and pointing what appears to me to be a weapon and asking the cop to kill him, would have been, in my opinion, justified in using his weapon. But he was able to maintain calm and arrest the suspect without drawing his gun. It has since been reported the suspect was waving a mobile phone.

The police chief was quick to refer to the training that his officers receive. As members of the public, we are often quick to criticise police actions that result in what seem to be avoidable deaths. It, therefore, behooves us to bestow as much attention on the successful end to a catastrophic event.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Backpacks Briefcases and Buses

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The other day I found myself on a crowded city bus. It was mid-afternoon and many of my fellow commuters were college or university students. At one point the bus became so cramped that the driver had to insist on those carrying/wearing backpacks to remove them. Put them on the floor between your feet. Don’t take up two places.

This got me to thinking how things change. My memory can be vague at times, but when I was in grade school I recall the common means of toting your books was a school bag. It was probably part of the backpack family as it was worn on one’s back via straps over each shoulder. By high school these bookbags were passé and it was bare hands used to carry books.

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When you got to college or university it was a very serious matter, school bags were for children. The university student of my day carried his or her things in a briefcase. Backpacks were strictly for travel purposes. No one ever had to accuse another of taking up two places on the bus or Metro while carrying a briefcase.

Then again it was probably also true that the buses were more packed in those days as, unlike the current trend, no self-respecting student of higher education would have arrived on campus on a skateboard. This purported entrance to adulthood called for the retirement of childhood toys.

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How times have changed indeed!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+