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The Most Popular RoadDave Post


Every year we get an update from WordPress about our most popular posts. Every year, the same thing comes up. Bars in Ottawa Pt 1.  The backstory is that when RoadDave was originally created, it was a personal website that was frequently updated, on Microsoft’s user-oriented spaces for Hotmail users.  There was no such thing as ‘blogging’ at the time: you had to use an archaic plug-in for Word that created half-assed html code that you could post and render as a web page.  Eventually Microsoft go out of hosting user websites and sold everything to WordPress.

Naturally, when I ported over to WordPress, it picked up the wrong space and created the initial ds46ont.wordpress.com site, based on the email associated with the account. Which wasn’t what I wanted.  After a few days, we got that straightened out and what you know as RoadDave.wordpress.com came into being.

To make a long story, shorter, Google still picks up the old WordPress site and this story. Ten years after the fact, we still get hits and comments on it.  To commemorate our long-running stream of unconsciousness, with the comments and spelling mistakes intact, we present Bars in Ottawa Pt 1

 

Bars in Ottawa Pt I

Posted on December 1, 2007 | 66 Comments | Edit

I was doing some reflecting the other day, not in the sense of reflecting light, as I do that well enough, without any special training, but reflecting, in the sense of remembering things.  Bars seemed to come back to me.  Bars, as in licensed beverage alcohol parlours.

Some of these establishments are long gone, but a few still exist.  Others exist hazily as I was probably drunk when I went in and drunker when I came out, but I do have vague recollections of their decor.  Herewith, a list of Bars.

The Maple Leaf in Ottawa, site of much illegal drinking during high school.  A classic linoleum floor, Arborite tables and fluorescent lights.  Cheap draft and ghastly chuckwagon sandwiches that were reheated in a metal box, with what looked like a 300 watt lightbulb inside to heat your lunch.  After you got your chuckwagon sandwich and tore away the partially charred cellophane, you used mustard packets by the handful to douse the taste of the sandwich.

The Ottawa House, Hull.  Long gone, but a huge beer parlour that sat five or six hundred at a go and had a balcony surrounding the main dance floor.  Quarts of beer served to anyone who could see over the bar.  Also home of my first brush with the original 12 percent Bras D’Or beer.  There was usually a band in attendance.  The Guess Who played there toward the end of their career and apparently I saw them.  Getting puked on from the balcony was a hazard of the Ottawa House, but they didn’t care if you took the party into the street too.

The Eastview Hotel, Eastview.  (I refuse to call it Vanier, it’s Eastview, dammit!) Also long gone.  Had basement rec-room ‘oak’ panelling in the bar and a perpetually sticky floor from spillage.  Apparently there were people who lived in the Hotel. but I’m reasonably certain those folks never actually ventured out in daylight.

The Chaud, Hull.  There were two Hotel Chaudieres.  The Rose Room and the Green Door.  The Rose Room was upstairs, where you took a date.  The Green Door is where you went to get drunk and fight.  Both held more than 2,000 patrons at a go.  You were brought a quart as a matter of course; only girls were brought pint bottles.  The servers all had bus-driver change machines hooked to their belts and could carry at least 20 quarts and four jugs on a tray, with one hand.

In the glory days, the Chaudiere saw Louis Armstrong play the Rose Room.  Later, bands like Sha-Na-Na, the Staccatos, Octavian and the Five Man Electrical Band played there.  The Green Door was the kind of place where when you opened the door, you immediately ducked down, as there was either a bottle or a chair headed your way.

The Chaud was also home of Gerry Barber, the toughest bouncer on the planet.  One story about Barber will suffice:  A patron was being unruly and Barber asked him to sit down and shutthefuckup, tabernac!.  The patron objected and showed his displeasure by breaking a nearly full quart beer bottle over Gerry Barber’s head.  Normally, this would knock most humans to their knees.

Barber laughed out loud, in the face of the patron:  The 2,000 drunks in the room instantly became very quiet, as we knew what was going to happen next.  Barber grabbed the patron by the face and genitals, throwing him in the direction of the door, over a couple of tables.  When Barber strode over to where the crumpled patron lay, he was still chuckling to himself.  He picked up the patron by the belt, then used the patron’s head to open the door and toss him into the parking lot.  The band resumed playing and the rest of us resumed drinking.

The British Hotel, Aylmer.  The British sold something they called “Porch Climber”, which was a fortified wine-related fluid:  Sort of a high-test sangria, without the fruit slices, juice, or images of Spain.  Porch Climber was sold in pitchers, like draft and if memory serves, was $3 per 64 oz pitcher, while beer was $5 a pitcher.

Why it was called Porch Climber was never explained.  However, after a pitcher of that stuff, you’d be unable to get up on the porch, or for that matter, off the front lawn, where you had passed out, face down, the night before.  It also stained white Addidas three-stripe running shoes permanently.

The World, Ottawa.  The World was Ottawa’s premiere blues bar and had 300 as its’ listed capacity.  When bluesman Buddy Guy played The World, they sold 700 tickets and everyone showed up.

Women, on those nights when the house was full, (Long John Baldry would also pack the joint), would routinely be assaulted, or to use the vernacular of the time, “felt up”, as they tried to move through the crowd.  On occasion, a woman would be body surfed on the top of the crowd over to the bar, or the rest rooms, depending on where she wanted to go.

The Grads. Ottawa.  Originally a old fashioned “Ladies and Escorts” and “Men’s Entrance” type of tavern, it evolved into a watering hole for most of Carleton University, at one time or another.  The colour scheme was beige and red, like an old streetcar or the Ottawa Transport Company buses of the time.  The nicest thing about the Grads was the sign out front in Art Deco typography and design.  The restrooms were from the Night of the Living Dead.

Friends and Co.,  Ottawa.  In the disco era, Friends and Co was a meat-market of oak and brick, the concept being the ‘beautiful people’ of Ottawa would come together to drink and go home with someone different every night.  The beautiful people did congregate there and it was a spritzer and fern joint of the worst kind.

The Talisman, Ottawa.  The Talisman Hotel had a bar in the basement, which was done in full-on tiki lounge, with bamboo lamps, reed wall coverings, woven rattan furniture and servers in mahalo shirts in the dead of winter.

I can remember vaguely, some of, the Zombies they served, as well as the sounds of a South Korean disco band doing “That’s the Way, I Like It” in very bad accents.  However, they did have a full horn section of stone killers and the keyboard player had a Hammond B3 with the lightweight Leslie speaker cabinet that he knew how to play.  He made the table lamps shake with that organ when they did “Gimme Some Lovin’ by the Spencer Davis Group.

Barrymore’s, Ottawa.  Barrymore’s had an interesting history.  Originally, the Imperial Theatre, it was a movie theatre on Bank Street, then it was shuttered for a number of years, with the seats and screen still intact inside, covered in dust.  After a decade or two, it was reopened, at least the balcony and loges section, as Pandora’s Box, a strip club that was needlessly upscale for the time and neighbourhood.  Pandora’s restored some of the elaborate painting and gilt work of the original Imperial and recycled some of the velvet draperies for the peelers’ runway.

Then it closed again and reopened as Barrymore’s, a pre-eminent live music bar and showcase.  Any big act playing Ottawa at the Civic Centre, if they could, would stay over an extra night, or come a night early, to play Barrymore’s.  Barrymore’s held, legally, 550 people.  I was fortunate enough to see George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Tina Turner and Huey Lewis and the News in Barrymore’s.

There’s something galactically Right about seeing Huey Lewis or George Thorogood in a packed, smoky bar, with the entire place jumping up and down in unison, everyone, including the band, piss drunk.  Tina Turner had just released “Private Dancer” and was a mega-star, who had booked Barrymore’s months before, as a warmup date for her tour.  A Rolling Stones tribute band, the Blushing Brides, used to own the place when they played there.

Licensed as a bar, Barrymore’s didn’t have a bad seat in the place.  A big stage, left over from the strippers, and one of the first GE Talaria video projection systems that was installed for non-band nights.  They’d fire up the video system and play some of the very first music videos on the big screen at ear-splitting volume.  On very quiet nights, they’d hook an Atari Pong game up to the big screen and you could play Pong on a screen that was twenty feet wide.

Pineland.  Ottawa.  In what looked like a small, warmed over rural arena, next to a rental go-kart track, some of the 60’s and 70’s best local bands played Pineland.  The CFRA Campus Club for Coke, with Al Pascal, used to host the bands.  Pineland was the home for the Townsmen, the Staccatos, Octavian, Five Man, the Cooper Brothers, Bolt Upright and hundred more bands.  Ostensibly, Pineland was not licensed, but Gilbey’s Lemon Gin was readily available.

I’m going to end it here, for now, but if you remember some of the old Ottawa hotspots, like the Red Door, the Laf, Salon Diane and Salon Colette, as well as the Claude, the Elmdale, the VD and some of the other holes, drop me a line.

There are more stories to be had.

66 responses to “Bars in Ottawa Pt I”

  1. sherry | September 6, 2008 at 11:07 AM | Reply | Edit

These are great stories, hope you don’t mind some additional info about Barrymore’s.   The Imperial Theatre opened in 1914 and seated 1200 people.  A floor was installed in the 1960’s, running from the bottom of the balcony to the back of the original stage.  This space was eventually rented to Canada’s first all nude strip club, Pandora’s Box.  A floor was also installed at the front of the building over the original lobby, and was used as a massage parlor.  The strip club kept the original balcony theatre seats and had purchased the red velvet curtains from the Capitol Theatre when it was demolished, but never did any restoration.    Pandora’s Box was closed in 1978 for it’s failure to meet building safety standards.  4 partners bought the lease and renovated the space to open as a disco/supper club.  Cost overruns and a bad review by Ottawa Citizen Dave Brown columnist forced the club into bankruptcy within 18 months.   In 1981 the lease was purchased by 3 partners who thought it would make a great live music venue.  And so it was for more than 10 years.  What many people may not know is the club’s legal capacity was 198 people, posted on the liquor licence behind the lower bar.  Security’s first priority was to make sure aisles, stairways and exits, were clear, especially if the club was over capacity.  Liquor, fire and police inspectors would drop in from time to time to make sure patrons were safe, and responsible managers were on duty.  The highest attendance was for George Thorogood, more than 550 people.   The owner’s biggest concern was that the poured floor did not have enough support.  On busy nights the ceiling of the Nervous Onion would move up and down.  Perhaps that is why it is closed now.   Aloha,

  1. Chris | May 15, 2009 at 3:22 PM | Reply | Edit

Yes Gerry Barber was a very tought bouncer, Im trying to find out more about him or if theres a family historian or any pictures, see i am somehow kin to gerry barber, he was my moms cousin and i googled his name today and thats how i came across your blog, if you know anything elts about him please e-mail me at chrisstgermain83@hotmail.com or if you can point me in the direction of someone who does thank you.

Yes Good Old west end Gerry .One summer after noon at the stanish Hall he escorted me out for being to mouthy .I know my right ear must be a inch longer then the other now as that’s how he was directing me out.Me be the drunk monchoman .I went to the side sreen window and starting yelling some really nasty things throw the window when I looked to the side their was Gerry running across the parking lot in full tilt I ran to my motor cycle and the stupid Yamaha junk wouldent start and he was comeing and foaming at the mouth Their must be a god because the bike started and I just got away .Good thing as I know I wouldent be typing this right now.Deap down Gerry was one hell of a nice guy and new my brother,s well

  1. Pierre | December 26, 2009 at 9:38 PM | Reply | Edit

Your write-up brings back memories, only because I left those places almost sober and remembering everything that went on. Just to make a note about the Chaud, short for Chaudiere Golf and Country Club. It was situated on the Aylmer Road in Aylmer, not in Hull, across from the Glenlea Golf an Country Club, known today as the Champlain Golf Club. The Chaud was a conbination of two watering holes. The Rose Room, situated upstair, was a very classy, old style dance hall with a mezzanine or balcony level on all four walls. The Green Room, on the other hand, was more of a dive bar where you could get wasted on beer and shop for your favorite drugs. Drugs were peddled in the same manner as peanuts and popcorn at a baseball game. “MESC, ACID, HASH!”The Chaud was sold after the owner, JP Maloney, died. It was levelled and replaced by what is now known as the Chateau Cartier Hotel and Resort. The golf course is in much better shape since the change.Another good place for seeing bands, such as the Cooper Brothers, was the Gatineau Golf and Country Club. The building was destroyed by fire and replaced by a Loblaws and strip mall in the 80’s.What memories we have!

  1. Jim | July 6, 2010 at 3:20 AM | Reply | Edit

Oh, Pineland. I worked there for a couple of years taking money and stamping hands. But more than that, I painted the pictures and murals in dayglo. I painted a wild mandala on Octavian’s drum kits but it flaked off after a couple of shows. Fun times.

grew up with Kirk Dorrow the drummer. do you have any picks of his drum kit. Any info on Octavian would be appreciated. Rick J

you where on of our favourites Jim. As I recall Jenny and I picked you up at home most Saturday nights before the gigs at Pineland. And you did a great, honest job.

  1. David | July 6, 2010 at 9:03 PM | Reply | Edit

Thank you Arnold, for droppnig by. And also a large thanks to others who have commented and filled in some of the gaps in the memories.

  1. Tom | October 6, 2010 at 10:33 PM | Reply | Edit

just a small comment re the Chaudiere Green Door – I ‘lived’ there back in 1971 – 1973 when I graduated to the Rose Room after they got rid of Terry Carisse and started bringing in rock bands and I can tell you there’s no way you could fit 2000 people in the Green Door (maybe a couple of hundred); Rose Room – yes, GD – NO

Tom:

OK, I’m guilty of exaggeration 🙂 Thanks for your comment. I’ll refer you over to the main site, which is roaddave.wordpress.com. The ds46ont one was used just for the migration from Live Spaces. See you around.

Cheers! David

  1. Brent | October 11, 2010 at 2:55 PM | Reply | Edit

Great stories!

  1. al d. | September 29, 2011 at 4:17 AM | Reply | Edit

What was the name of the tavern in the old Union Station in Ottawa. It was across from the Grand hotel (bar) on Besserer st. and Sussex

  1. FRANCINE | January 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM | Reply | Edit

So glad I came across this info – I had requested photos of The Chaud and here I am… About the Glenlea – was that across the The Chaud a bit down the road on way to Aylmer? I spent lots of weekends @ The Ottawa House – Loved the bands… what was the name of the blind singer -he was so good. Ray Hutchison? There was a nearby venue that I saw The Platters @ – same side as The Chaudiere – maybe further heading again to Aylmer… and The British Hotel in Aylmer – Western singer – Huey Scott… he took forever to prepare – warm up for his shows – back in the 60’s. My then husband’s favorite artist. What about the hotels downtown Hull like the dance halls @ Chez Henri & there was another popular one around the portage area. Not far from The Ottawa House. Man… it sure feels good to go back in time – I miss those days!

About the tavern on Besserer & Sussex – it’s on the tip of memory. Shoot! Wish I could read more about Ottawa/Hull’s past entertainment venues.

Oh… I used to go dancing on Bank Street – One b4 the exhibition grounds.. and the Oak Door – anyone remember those two?

I sang @ age 14 @ La Salle Hotel on Dalhousie – My dad took me and put me on stage – Food was served so I was allowed in. I sang “You Made Me Love You’ lol How I miss my teenage & 20’s years.

One last place was @ The Riverside in Eastview (Vanier) on Rifer Road. Gino Vanelli performed there he said @ his last show in October @ Nepean Centrepoint Theatre.

I saw Elvis in 56 when he came to Ottawa – hmmm was it the colosium?

Anyways – Thanks for the memories…

When I was going to Aylmer to see Huey Scott, he played at the Chamberlain Hotel not the British…….Unless he played there before or after….

  1. richard | January 29, 2013 at 8:38 AM | Reply | Edit

Youngsters all what about the rendezvous or the masque rouge maybe Le soleil and for any one with an ounce of class cafe le Hibou

I was looking for info on the Rendezvous when I came across this blog. It was my tavern style experience as a University Student, when the bars closed in Ottawa that was where everyone went.

When I drove cab for ABC in the early 70’s, the shift would end about 1:00 am for us and we’ed head over to the Rendezvous. It had an atmossphere that we liked; kinda smokey and not too pretentious. The back room was our favourite and we would be left alone by the bouncers as long as we behaved ourselves, which we usually did. But I remember one night when about a dozen or us, guys and gals, showed up and took a table in the back. I had to use the washroom and wasn`t there very long but by the time I got back to the table, the entire crew were getting the bum`s rush out the door. I still don`t know to this day what the Hell happened but somebody must have pissed off a bouncer to a great degree and that was that. I miss the place even today as it represented the old Hull before all the Fed. Gov`t buildings went up. Fond memories, B

  1. raoul duke | March 27, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Reply | Edit

I remember my first visit to the Chaud; the after party for our grade 12 ‘formal’ (held at the Talisman, natch) which shut down early after a crew member burned half his face while setting off a phosphorous flash-pot with a match, but that’s another story.

What I clearly remember was someone setting off a backyard sized firework (the ‘Volcano’ sort) on a table next to a back wall of the Green Door. It went off for about a minute. And no one noticed or did anything about it. Coolest thing I have ever seen in a bar.

Gerry Barber was the reason the Chaud wasn’t a biker bar. ‘Nuff said.

  1. Les | August 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM | Reply | Edit

The Plaza…Sparks St. west of Bank St, 1960’s -1970’s. Bar downstairs, 25 cent drafts, music upstairs, saw Canada Goose perform there.

Le Soleil, Hull Disco Viva, Hull Sacs Disco Bar, Hull Bests Bar, Hull Rotters Club Chez Henri, Hull

Trying to remember the name of a disco on Riverside that my parents used to go to in the ’60’s….

If I recall, and it’s getting harder to do that these days, it was called The Rib. But I stand ready to be corrected, among other things. Brent

  1. Michael Krushnisky | August 30, 2013 at 11:55 PM | Reply | Edit

The nickname for the Riverside Tavern and Disco was “The Rib”. Upstairs, you could find the disco that had Playboy Bunny replicas serving drinks in the early to mid 70’s. The Tavern downstairs, (very similar to the Maple Leaf Tavern located on the corner of Montreal Road and St. Laurent Blvd.) was where all the heavy duty power-drinkers threw back quarts of ’50’, ‘EX’, etc. Fights were pretty common but generally just included fists and boots. Some taverns actually had what they called a ‘panic button’ in their bathrooms, if you got jumped you could reach to hit the buzzer so the waiters could come to your assistance. I remember being able to buy a quart for .75 cents at the ‘Leaf’ and the ‘Rib’ taverns, only place cheaper we knew of was the Ottawa House tavern across the Ottawa River in Hull Quebec for .70 cents. I also remember being able to purchase beer at any of these Taverns long before I turned 18 which was the “drinking age” at the time. As I sit here writing this response to the above comments I realize that I could likely talk about these places for days on end, I somehow completed Grade 13 at Rideau High School inspite of it being located down the road from the ‘Leaf’ (“ML”). I actually remember a teacher at Rideau whose class was scheduled on Friday afternoons, with most of the class down at the draft room of the Maple Leaf each Friday for long lunch hours, he finally relented and even taught a few classes while quaffing drafts with us at the Maple Leaf Draft room. “Those were the days my friend” however different from the old theme song of the All in the Family sitcom – “I knew they would have to end”, HA-HA.

  1. Road Dave | August 31, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Reply | Edit

In reviewing all these postings, it seems there are several of us with the same mental problem: We were drunk. I’ll add the Sly Fox Disco on Carling Ave (now some evangelical church) that was originalloy the Sampan restaurant. Rumor was the Sly Fox had one of the floor lights from the set of “Saturday Night Fever” in the dance floor. Cheezy Hank (The Chez Henri) was also a fern bar in its’ later iterations.

  1. Mike | August 31, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Reply | Edit

This is like eating peanuts, I can’t stop recollecting now. Do you remember the Lafontaine Hotel on Montreal Road, downstairs was the proverbial Tavern with more or less same atmosphere as the Leaf and the Rib, but upstairs was the ‘Golden Rail’ – Country music bands at their finest, packed to the rafters Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights, lots of women seated alone, always friendly and easy to meet. I vividly remember being in there one night when they announced that Elvis Presley had just died, there was literally a hushed silence over the place for a good minute while the patrons dealt with their shock. Another really dingy tavern I remember on Montreal Road was the Eastview Hotel, was definitely a place you wanted to have someone watching your back, lot of tough, dangerous characters frequented the Eastview, some had just been released from Prison or the detention centre on Innes Road (Holiday Innes) as they referred to it. Of course all of Montreal Road had plenty of watering holes and was like the gateway to the “Byward Market” by way of the Cummings Bridge (more stories for another day). Some people I knew kept up that way of life throughout their adult lives – I guess thats why I regularly find so many familiar names, only in their 50’s reflected in the Ottawa Citizen Obituaries.

  1. Perry | October 9, 2013 at 2:54 AM | Reply | Edit

The Raceway Tavern on Clarence St. Classic Market tavern with hookers galore. Live music by Paul Henry. Bouncer Gordie Galinger kept us safe and his wife at the bar kept us drunk. Ahh, my sweet university days!

  1. Susan | October 23, 2013 at 12:55 AM | Reply | Edit

I remember going to the Chaud to see Cheap Trick, drinking quarts and getting stoned right at your table because back then you could—that was an awesome show, from what I remember, because I don’t remember leaving the Chaud or how I got home that night. Someone mentioned the Talisman had a bar downstairs so for the record I believe it was called the Beachcomber! Also does anyone remember the Black Swan or Club Zink? Great stories …Cheers 🙂

I knew the Swan well, and the Beachcomber. Zink, no

club zinc in Hull

  1. Rob N | November 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM | Reply | Edit

Wow I am glad I found this page what memories. I grew up in Carp and Saturday and Sunday nights we loaded up a few cars and headed to the Chaud. We never went into the Green Door, although we fought our fair share they had a different code of conduct down in that hole( bottles knives, guns etc). Do you remember the old guy that came around with the flash camera and would take your picture for a few bucks. I still have a pic from there from 83. The only place you could buy anything hash,pcp,lsd,pot uppers downers lol you name it. We just smoked the hash. Remember how the waiters would come around with their coin changers and flash lights. For a small tip they would hold the flashlight so you could see while rolling your joint on the table. If you were in a fight god forbid you had better get your shots in quick and get out of there before Gerry Barber got there and got a hold of you. I saw many a supposed tough guy get the crap kicked out of them be Barber and then ejected with his signature toss out the front door and down the steps, a buddy of mine had that pleasure one evening. One night a buddy and myself went in and had a sprinkle in the can and while we were walking by a stall with the door open we saw a biker looking dude (for lack of a better term) having a crap with the door open. My buddy and I were laughing as we ponied up to the urinal, we stopped laughing emediately when we heard ” hey stretch you think that’s pretty funny eh) my buddy is 6Ft 6 in and had a gun in his ear. Luckily a guy in the washroom saw this and got out and got Barber. The rest is history ( they didn’t call the cops for those things at the chaud).

Anyway lots of great times. They don’t make places like that anymore. As a final note we had to drive through the hull , qpp, rcmp, nepean, Ottawa, opp police forces to get home. Imagine these days!!!

  1. Doug | February 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM | Reply | Edit

Seems I just jumped in Mr. Peabody’s wayback machine, yeeesh.. yeah, I remember, or not remember getting home from the Chaud many a times. and damn, I shoulda taken that Raquel Welch poster from behind the bar..

Glad someone remembered the Raceway Tavern. Interesting times were had there. And don’t forget the Albion Hotel. A good place to go when you didn’t want to be around others, or cheerful people. Quite sullen at times, but hey, the drinks were cheap..

Being a west-ender growing up, there was always the CrazyHorse on March Road to fall back on, if you didn’t want to head into the city.

And during the university days, the weekend routine was always the same.. Thursday nights at Oliver’s at Carleton U. ( saw some amazing early acts there, Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, John Baldry, etc etc). Friday nights were always the Algonquin Pub ( Powder Blues Band, Crowbar, Doug & the Slugs, etc), then over to Hull, hoping to find a date for Saturday night. Saturday night it was Disco Reflections at some hotel ( the Delta Inn) with your date, then over to Hull…. Sunday, sleep it all off and start over again..

For a good bite to eat with your beer, there was always the Capri restaurant on Merivale, with their square pizza and huge jugs of beer, or Peter’s Pantry in the Carling area ( really hot waitresses there at the time), and damn, the name escapes me right now of the place on Richmond Road in Westboro where the Mill St. Brewery place is now..Kind of a rundown place, but the same faces night after night after night, each with their own life story to listen in on if they let you….

and if you desperate, really desperate for a date, there was always the singles night at the Concord Hotel on Montreal Road on a winter’s Friday night…

yeah, good times, good times. Thanks for the memories in dragging a lot of these up. The Rose Room was always the fave and the go-to place though. even at 16, with an underage ID card that would do McLovin’ proud, lol

The Capri and I have a long history, as I used to work at CJOH-TV. The Capri was where all the crews, most of the staff and a good percentage of management drank and occasionally ate. If you couldn’t find someone, you’d go over to the Capri and check the bar. If they weren’t in the bar, they were on the restaurant side. We’re talking the Old Capri, when they had the hobnail wood floors, before it was fern-bar’ed and redecorated, back when CJOH had a front lawn and there wasn’t a radio station building out front. Mind you, we got hammered at both Capri’s, so, actually it’s all moot.

Dave What did you do at CJOH i worked there for some time originally security then on the Galloping gourmet show and Any thing You Can Do game show

Commercial Production from 1981 to 1988

Worked in Commercial Production and eventually wound up as Manager Commercial Production, then went freelance.

The Kingsway on Richmond Rd in Westboro. Square pizza, joints at the table, # 2 police station around the corner!

Yup and Terry and Tony would be shacking their fist and yakking in Greek

  1. Chantal | March 20, 2014 at 9:55 PM | Reply | Edit

Anyone remember the bar where the Restaurant 18 is now or basement where Side Door is located….I can’t remember the name for the life of me…I think it had the word blue in it but not sure

GuadalaHarry’s, mexican restaurant!

  1. Wayne ( Eggs) Benedict | March 31, 2014 at 3:10 PM | Reply | Edit

I remember all of those joints. At the same time I ran dances at Pineland, Parkdale, Lighthouse and Beamish Hill Chalet. Also managed Octavian and Liberation, so have a ton of great memories. FUN, FUN, FUN !!!

  1. Dean Hagopian. | April 1, 2014 at 11:29 PM | Reply | Edit

My nerves I’m hemmorhaging mentally from the waves of memories. EAsy on the hemp everyone. Seem to be missing another of my fave watering holes, super for music and talent too, On the upper Aylmer rd, it was a Golf Course also., Owned by Joe Sax, and his two shall we say very entertaining sons, Spent a lot of time there when I was living in Aylmer and working at OY. Super musicians, seem to remember Russ Thomas, before he changed his name and moved to Montreal. Spent many nights when Johnny Nash was there. We(being the Staccatos played at most of the places mentioned, so you can understand how weird my memories might be. Another kick ass quality bar we liked alot was the Duvernay in Hull. Played and got whacked there on many occasions, cause that ‘s what one did in those days and nights. Thanks for the rushes.

And thanks for a blast from the past from Dean Hagopian, back when AM radio was Boss! I’ll add memories of Al Pascal, Shelley Emmond, Trevor Kidd, Ivan Hunter, Dave “50,000” Watts, Bill Drake, Tom Lucas, Jim Johston, Art Stevens, Casey Fox, Rick Shannon and the Original Winter’s Nights on BY at the old joint on Richmond Rd.

Dean Hagopian ? Are you the DJ from CKOY in the 60s? Used to listen to you all the time …..

Ottawa lost a good DJ when you moved to Montreal. Can you remember the daily line-up of announcers at CKOY just before you left? Nelson Davis? Overnight Wood vs Kohl (CKOY vs CFRA)?

  1. Sue | April 2, 2014 at 4:52 PM | Reply | Edit

K Mart resturant for the Algonquin College students was a great watering hole and dancing on the Rose Room floor as it heaved and moved with all the folks is a memory worth while!

  1. Pingback: Bars In Ottawa – Reprint | RoadDave Edit
  2. peter | October 4, 2014 at 4:26 PM | Reply | Edit

how about the blind pig below the holiday inn.the bayshore hotel and the loading zone montreal road.my first discoteque for me was the sax on main street in hull later became j.r dallas.met the village people there april 15 1979 after the show at the civic centre awesome show tickets were 15.00

  1. peter | October 4, 2014 at 9:51 PM | Reply | Edit

also in the early 70s there was the banana boat duffs in bells corners the old spaghetti factory on york street.when i moved to the west 1974 it was the sanpan in 1975 it became the sly fox then 1978 it became studleys with 1 fifth of the saturday night fever floor.in 1979 it became bobby rubinos chicken and ribs and fantastic onion rings.after it became rentalex and the kraft house and now its the house of god.growing up downtown there was the saucy noodle almost across from the somerset theatre between kent and bank.of course peters pantry cant forget that awesome place the best pizza and the best zombies in the biggest snifter glasses.bells corners famous for branscombs.great bands and music.carling and brodview great chinese restaurant the sun luck.

  1. Road Dave | October 4, 2014 at 10:43 PM | Reply | Edit

Let us not forget The Dill Pickle on Merivale Road, The Beachcomber, of course and Capone’s on Carling, out near Peter’s Pantry. And the Lindenhoff Gasthaus.

  1. Wayne ( Eggs) Benedict | October 5, 2014 at 2:48 PM | Reply | Edit

and don’t forget the Sunken Dory on Merivale Road. Great ceasers . On the subject of the band Liberation my old friend Billy ” white shoes” Shenkman was the key board player, now a J/V partner at TD place home of the Ottawa Redblacks. He was a fine musician. Lead singer was the pride and joy, . baby boy, Jimmy Young.

  1. peter | October 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM | Reply | Edit

how about brandys on york street houlihans.the caprice on 99 laval street in hull.the cosmos in the cfra building on isabella ave.reflections at the embassy west.alexanders on the island.le marginal on eddy street.clu 61 aylmer.disco 2000 in gatineau. le club on wellington street.hurleys all over ottawa the rosebowl steakhouse at 1671 carling ave.which opened aug.15 1974.villa delli across from lawnsdowne park.

  1. Fitz | October 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM | Reply | Edit

Don’t for get the Quiet softly spoken places like the Vandom,The steirling west end Boys ya know their was a pair of boots named Wellingtons .The good good old days .Funny iam still kicking

  1. Dean Presley | March 10, 2015 at 4:34 PM | Reply | Edit

Great memories of so many of these places . Would like to see photos of them inside and outside .

  1. Doghousedonnie | March 19, 2015 at 2:06 PM | Reply | Edit

The market was home to the Commercial Tavern, a classic old tome beer and Country music Joint, which was torn down and became the Hard Rock. And who remembers the Sterling Tavern in Mechanicsville?

  1. Will D. | March 19, 2015 at 7:34 PM | Reply | Edit

Oh man. If you had a date you went to the Glen Lea to drink quarts and dance to the Playdates. If out with the lads from St. Pat’s you went to the Texas Tavern in Hull to buy a quart for $.90 and watch the Hull criminal element at play. Their packaged wagonwheels from the microwave would kill you but the pickled eggs from “Cheese Please Louise” were popular.

  1. Diane | April 15, 2015 at 1:33 PM | Reply | Edit

Claude Hotel on Beechwood in Vanier drink quarts dance and get hammered

  1. J.P. Lanthier | August 10, 2015 at 2:45 AM | Reply | Edit

The barn in Aylmer great groups played there…

  1. Dave | August 28, 2015 at 4:06 PM | Reply | Edit

There was the body shop in Westboro

  1. Guy Carisse | October 14, 2015 at 12:07 AM | Reply | Edit

About the Ottawa House of the 60’s. Saw the Stampeders but most often was Harry Younge & The Noblemen 66-68! Last saw them at the Wakefield Inn, Wakefield, Quebec in 1999. Sat down and had a brief chat with Harry. Sadly, he died a few years later!

  1. Doug | October 20, 2015 at 5:21 PM | Reply | Edit

WOW. OK, here goes. What was the other name of the Stirling? And I don’t mean ‘bucket of blood’. Rick and Dino’s after the Carleton closed? I think Friends and Company was Squires/Nozzle? Speaking of Rideau St, how about Dave’s Den/Rideau Tavern, Black Swan, Arnolds, Mollys, The Grand, The Albion. Saw a midget country band at the Raceway………. Steve’s Steakhouse, open late. Became the Makut. Downtown, Fife and Drum, great bands, had a beer with James Cotton. The Tap Room, big Ed, little Ed and Gil. Bank, the Rotters, 80s, Jungle. Saw John Cale, think it was the 80s Club, above the Gilmour?? The Alex on St Paddys Day, original green beer. Branscombes/Barons? in Bells Corners. Anybody remember a place in Hull, Nouvel Epoch (sp) ??? Bon Vivant, Serge. Back in the days of CFL blackouts, Danny Kelly’s Carlsbad Hotel. Gerry’s on Bank (Hiway 31) close enough to the K&S for late snack.

I know there are more, but I feel better now.

I also think that i/we are lucky to be alive 😉

  1. Ed Cain | November 5, 2015 at 4:16 PM | Reply | Edit

Talk about a walk down Memory Lane – this is great. Got into the Ottawa House when I was 16 and never missed seeing Harry Young and the Noblemen when they played there. I don’t think anyone has mentioned the Standish Hall (above the Rendevous) nor the Carleton hotel (near the West End Market. How about the “Longest Bar in the Gatineau” ? Don’t recall its real name or where it was – not one of my better perforrnances.

Kazabazua Hotel, longest bar

  1. Wayne Windle | November 9, 2015 at 2:22 PM | Reply | Edit

Here are some places that I recall…..The Albion Hotel/ tavern ..25 cent draft, a tray for $2.50….the Del Rio restaurant on Rideau St and their pizza-burger pizzas…the Prescott Hotel on Preston and their meatball sandwiches…the Grand hotel near Parliament Hill and their Friday 5 cent baked bean lunches so long as you had two draft…that Irish Pub on Rideau St.,Muldoons …the Alexandria hotel on Bank St for St Patrick’s Day.. Lenny O’Brien’s St Patrick’s Day blow outs…the Chez Lucien on the Market…the pig n’ whistle pub…the Hay Loft. crocks of old cheese,peanut shells under foot.

  1. Mike O’Reilly | November 19, 2015 at 5:46 AM | Reply | Edit

Remember the: Grads, Vendome, Alexandra, Plaza, Ritz, Belle Clare,Grand, LaSalle (one in Ottawa one in Hull),Richelieu, Commercial, Elmdale, Claude, Maple Leaf, Lafontaine, Bytown, Windsor, Capitol, .The only taverns left are the Carleton, Dominion and Lafayette. Oh yeah I just remembered the Chez Lucien and the Raceway. On the Quebec side were the: Belle Amis, Standish Hall ,Rendezvous, Wellington, St Louis, Ottawa House, Texas, Bank, Chez Henri, Montcalm, Glenlea, Chaud(Rose Room and Green Room), Gatineau, Aylmer, British, Chamberlain, Sur Le Lac, Deschenes, Laval (free beans & French bread), Raftsman, Manoir des Rapides. I remember as a kid, down in the flats “The Duke”. This is from memory and I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch, obviously a misspent youth. The longest bar in the Gatineau was. In Kazabazua.

That’s a thorough list of Taverns for Ottawa/Hull, just thought of another one; the old Eastview Hotel – up Montreal Road from the Leaf towards the Cummings Bridge, in the heart of what was then known as Eastview now Vanier. The list was so complete but I think the Gilmour Hotel on Bank Street and the Riverside Hotel (Rib) were also missing. Cheers, Mike

  1. Eileen | November 30, 2015 at 3:33 AM | Reply | Edit

The Barn in Aylmer (managed by Don Dugas & family) had many exquisite bands, so did The Glenwood Bowl (managed by Gary Downes). No booze (unless snuck in), just great music and good clean fun. Many local badns including The Stacattos, The Girlfriends, The Townsmen, Robby Lane & The Disciples, just to name a few, played there. People from “everywhere” came to join in on the fun. It was a great place for teenagers to hang out. They were even opened on weekend days so people could drop in to play games, ping pong, etc. It was very well supervised. They had dances in the afternoon (windows blocked to create darkness and ambiance). The Gatineau Golf & Country Club had a fantastic night club where stars like Bobby Cortola and Ronny Dove performed. Those were the days!

  1. Thomas Simon | December 22, 2015 at 10:15 PM | Reply | Edit

Does anyone remember The Voyaguer Hotel on Montreal Rd by the Highway before Orleans. Upstairs was a dingy little bar with strippers.

Oh, ya. Went to Gloucester High School…………

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Roger Moore RIP and a truly obscure link with Roaddave


This will take some ‘splainin.  Roger Moore passed away today.  More correctly, Sir Roger George Moore, KBE, at the age of 89 after a short illness.  Best known as James Bond, following Sean Connery’s term as 007, Roger Moore was also known as The Saint.  Why this matters will become clearer as we go.

In 1977, I got my first job in radio, on-air,  at a joint up the line called CKOB in Renfrew, Ontario.  Two hundred and fifty booming watts of power and about as barebones a place as you could imagine.  They hired me on a Tuesday in November, still in second-year of college and I took the job, starting on the next Monday, as their mid-day announcer-operator, news reader, commercial producer and what ever the hell else the boss wanted me to do.   Why?  Call letters after your name was the idea.  Get hired, then work your way up in the industry.

In talking with other colleagues in the Radio-Television Arts course, I knew I didn’t want to use my real name on the air, for two reasons:  One, so one could hide in plain sight, in a small town.  Two, if I mightily screwed up my first on-air job, I could always disappear, dropping my faux on-air name and applying for other jobs at other stations.  (An air name is very common in the business)

We hashed a few names back and forth and soon tired of coming up with an on-air handle.  A few hours later, we were talking about old television shows and one that came up was The Saint with Roger Moore.  Moore was already known as 007, but we looked at the obscure references first.

There was a moment of clarity.  David Moore.  Two sharp syllables.  Easy to spell, easy to pronounce.  If someone called out “David!” I’d answer, even if the last name wasn’t mine, it at least might give me a cloak of near-invisibility.  Done.  David Moore.

Through my on-air career and even into television days, I was David Moore (nee Smith).  There are various credits I have (several hundred commercials, many industrial and training films and interactive media) that have David Moore as a credit. I still have some around somewhere in my archives of old commercials and films I wrote, produced or directed.

All thanks to Sir Roger George Moore, KBE.  May he rest in peace.  With thanks for my last name on-air back in the day.

Racism on the 98 bus


Yesterday was a good day in some ways and a horrid day in other ways.  We take the bus to and from work, the red and white limousine, the OC, whatever you call it.  Coming home, on the crowded 98 Hawthorne, two mid-20 individuals, a little straggly and streety, decided that mouthing off was going to be their entertainment for the day, two seats from me.

Their target?  Two young women in hijabs, the traditional Muslim head scarf, not the face covering (niqab) just the usual head scarf.  In Ottawa, seeing a woman in a hijab is no more rare than it being Thursday.

The 20-somethings, one male, one female, decided that telling the young women to fuck off and go back where they came from was just the warm up act.  Not everyone heard the two dimwits right away, so they yelled louder, the male dimwit then deciding that smashing his fist repeatedly into the glass window would garner more attention.  More vile accusations, you’re terrorists, you ever kill someone, go back to your fucking country.  You know the rant as well as I do.  A vile, hateful, unintelligent outburst of seat kicking, window punching, swearing and standing up, threatening the two young women.

Through a little bit of maneuvering, a couple of young folks got their cameras rolling, some taking video, some taking pictures.  Others decided that the behavior was no longer just fun and games and called out for the aggressors to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up.  A couple of folks, one I know well, who’s a six footer and looks like he should not be trifled with, stood next to their seat.  A couple of other people joined in, creating a wall, keeping the aggressors away from the two girls, and advising the aggressors again to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, a little louder this time.

One youngish woman was sent forward to alert the bus driver, another was on the phone to 911, getting the police rolling.  More window smacking, more ranting, now from both of them, the female dimwit being even more hateful, with comments of you’re a Muslim cunt who just wants to fuck Indians, fucking terrorist killer, get out of Canada and so on.  Then the female dimwit took a punch at one of the young women, connecting, but just barely.  The wall of humans shifted, going in closer to the dimwits.

The young women and another mid-20’s Muslim woman, moved away from their aggressors, the wall of people shifting to create a formidable barrier of humans between the two.  A fist was swung, nailing the female dimwit, who went ballistic, trying to claw her way out of the seat, but blocked by a few largish men.  Knowing their game was up, the dimwits climbed over the seats and pushed their way to the nearest exit door, him feeling obligated to smack the glass repeatedly until it broke.

The bus stopped at Laurier and Cumberland, the doors not opening right away.  A lot of people wanted off, now, not wanting to be anywhere near the situation, understandably so, but the dimwits kept punching the glass, swearing and screaming more racist bile, breaking the glass more.  The door opened and they dove out, with one last string of racist hate and stupidity.  Nobody felt like following them, or escalating the situation by further confrontations.

All told, the episode took a minute, perhaps two, from when the dimwits got on the bus at Mackenzie, to the stop at Laurier and Cumberland.  The OCTranspo Special Constables arrived about a minute later, as uninvolved passengers got off the bus and got the hell away from the situation.  The Ottawa police were another minute behind.  Several of us stayed, first to protect the victims from anything else and second to give statements and share the videos and pictures of the dimwits to the various police agencies.

The rest of the passengers disappeared into the evening rush hour, not wanting to be involved.

One person, again someone I know well, took a moment with each of the victims and apologized, saying that they were sorry and this is not how my Canada behaves.  He was duly thanked for standing up and standing with them.  All told, there were four people who stood up, stepped in and stayed to give witness statements.  A 20-something young woman, a later 20-something woman, a mid-20’s man and the late 50’s man I know.

All of the people who stepped up and stepped forward were Canadian European white folks.  Two of the victims were a little darker, perhaps of African-Middle Eastern heritage and the third one was about as Canadian as you could be without wearing a red and black lumberjack-plaid hijab.  All were born here, so “go back to where you came from” meant going to either Orleans or Kanata, two suburbs of the city.

The aggressors?  First Nations heritage.  I hated writing that down.  These two dimwits have shamed themselves and their heritage.  An elder would have probably taken a belt to them and given them a sound thrashing.  Their actions showed what happens when you feed the dark wolf, not the light wolf.  The dimwits were old enough to know better.

Are we going to make excuses, or let things slide? No.  Pictures and video are with the police and the authorities are doing what they can, but they admit that there isn’t really much that can be done, from a legal standpoint, except for breaking the bus window.

The telling part, as noticed by one of the OCTranspo constables?  The people who intervened and stayed were either in their 20’s or in their 50’s and uniformly white Canadians.  Nobody in their 30’s or 40’s; they magically vanished, regardless of heritage.

So what did I learn?  I learned that when it comes time to step up, I step up.  I knew that already about myself and it’s been tested a few times as a first aid responder, but as someone who will step up and step into a racially charged violent situation?  Yes, that is new to me.

I’m at odds here:  Ashamed that these dimwits behaved the way they did.  Proud that others stood up and stepped forward.

Would I do it again?  Yes.  My Canada does not tolerate stupid, racist, violent behavior against anyone.

 

 

 

 

FBI Quagmire


The FBI quagmire is getting deeper and deeper down in the US of A.  Firing James B. Comey, the former FBI Director is Donny’s prerogative, as he’s the new kid in town, even though past precedent has been the FBI director serves a nominal ten-year (1) term.

Donny didn’t like the way Comey handled the Clinton Email server thing and reports exist that Trump asked Comey for a pledge of personal loyalty, yet another odd request of the FBI director.  The Office of Government Ethics has a bit to say about loyalty oaths.  So, for that matter, did a certain German Chancellor in 1934.  As for the timelines on when Donny made up his mind, it’s all over the map, from it took from breakfast the day of, to four months ago.

Where the real dirt comes to the surface are the persons who, at least according to Donny, were ones who recommended canning Comey.  That would be Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein in a memo to AG Jeff Sessions, saying Comey had to go.

SPOILER ALERT:  Attorney-General Jeff Sessions formally recused himself a couple of weeks ago from any involvement in the FBI investigation into the 2016 campaign Russian interference claims.  That means AG Jeff Sessions has broken his promise to recuse himself, and is in the shit with the Ethics Office, as according to Donny, Sessions is the one who agreed to pull the trigger on Comey.  Sessions had a formal, legal duty, as a recused AG to have nothing to do with the person who leads the investigation, James C Comey.  Recommending firing him, would be having “something” to do with it, even by the most generous of considerations.

The blowback has been remarkable.  Donny has shut his piehole for the time being, waiting out the time he can take off on his “Statesman” international trip next week, leaving his staff to clean up the mess.

As head of the FBI, Comey, like any other head of the FBI had his detractors and his followers, as nobody in that job ever has a 100% approval rating.  However, a recused AG doing the recommending is a clear, very clear violation of ethics.   I’ll quote from a former colleague, Brian Whiteford, from his Facebook page (2), who laid it out succinctly:

The legal and ethical groundswell calling out Nixon…Oops, I mean Trump grows…Twenty state and district attorneys general have signed a letter asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint an “independent special counsel” to investigate Russia’s attempts to meddle in the United States presidential election bearing in mind the Comey firing.

As well, an ethics watchdog group filed a complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday (May 12) alleging that his participation in the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey violated Justice Department rules and Sessions’ promise to recuse himself from matters involving Russia.

Guess who’s interviewing the candidates for the new FBI Director? You got it! Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein. Trump on Saturday said that it is “possible” the top position at the FBI could be filled by Friday.

Which explains why a lot of folks in DC are now calling for an independent counsel to investigate Donny-gate, with full legal standing, the ability to call witnesses, subpoena evidence and require testimony under oath.  The first subpoena should be for “any and all recordings, electronic files, transcriptions or records of conversations between The President and the then Director of the FBI, at any location.”

You and I know that Donny has a recording system in place, to record his every utterance for history and his yuge legacy to the American people and Making America Great Again, by bringing back the most venal, despicable, dishonest and lawless era in American history:  Nixon’s Watergate.

As with Nixon’s Watergate it is now time for the media to go to the mattresses and send this international embarrassment back to his golf clubs.

Footnotes:

1: The ten-year rule was to preclude another J. Edgar Hoover, who used the FBI to get dirt on any candidate for any party, so he could protect his job.  J. Edgar served from 1932 to 1972, when he died in the chair.  Everybody in DC was terrified of him, the stories being if J. Edgar didn’t have your fullsome and complete, everlasting fealty as the head of the Stasi (pardon, Federal Bureau of Investigation) he’d leak pictures of you with your pants down getting a shine job from a circus clown and a midget in the middle of Bourbon street, even if it never actually happened.

2: Copyright 2017 by Brian Whiteford, used with permission and thanks

 

Donny and the Putin Playbook


We warned you about this one a few weeks ago in describing exactly how the Republican President is going to keep stirring the pot, in an attempt to keep the media busy and to exhaust the patience of the masses.  Firing FBI Chief Comey, then spreading various tall tales of timelines, recommendations, letters and threats to Comey to not have any tapes is just Donny and his handlers mixing it up, keeping Comey on his back foot.

What they’re doing is trying to distract you so often and from so many directions that you give up.  This is called being a moving target:  There is no time between outrages to actually unpack the stupidity and lies line by line.  Threats everywhere, to staff who leak, to recalcitrant judges, or even his own staff and sure enough, we’re seeing reactions from Trumpoids that it’s just Donny being Donny.

The problem is that when Donny is being Donny, as long as he’s just a four-time bankrupt failed casino owner and reality show star, then it’s all harmless.  The current Donny being Donny is the guy who heads up the United States of America.  Don’t like the press you’re getting, then threaten to shut down press briefings for good.  Yeah that’s just Donny being Donny.  And your First Amendment rights being shaded off.

Now this ADD monkey is going on an international trip, hitting a few joints where his Art Of The Deal act doesn’t cut jack-shit:  Saudi Arabia, Israel, then Rome, Brussels and Sicily for the G7.  He’s in over his head at every single one of those events and knows it.  Much like Nixon who tried to go all statesman-like when things started closing in during Watergate (“Peace with honour in Vietnam”)  Donny is trying to paint the Russian arm up his ass with a sign that says “Statesman”.

We can predict a lot of this trip.  He will follow a lot of the script and since he’s not at home, the tweets will settle down a bit, as the security folks will hopefully keep his phone away from him.  Then he’ll come back to Mar-A-Lago for a week worth of golf and rest as his Press Turd tries to colour Donny as a successful international deal-maker.

Look kids, Saudi Arabia and Israel play the long game when it comes to diplomacy.  So does Russia and China; their event horizons working five, ten to twenty years out. Donny is a blip, a dust speck.  Saudi Arabia and Israel are just colourful photo-ops.  So is the audience with the Pope in Rome, it means nothing.  If anything meaningful is announced (most unlikely), it will be because it was negotiated two or three years ago, under Obama and his State Department, not Donny and the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

It does give Donny something to post in a few months when the media starts to close up the Russian ties to his campaign and finances, you’ll see the photos from this trip come out again.  “You can’t impeach Donny as he’s such an important international statesman and does deals for America that nobody else can do!”  He’ll try for that kind of sympathy, much like Nixon did and when that failed, talked up his phlebitis that could “kill him at any moment”

Sorry Donny, but a photo op with the Pope isn’t an international deal.  The leaders at the G7 will eat him as a canape as Donny’s international economic credentials are about the same as that of my neighbour’s parrot: None and both of them shit on newspapers.

No, this is just a scripted distraction and not even a good one.  What you want to watch is not for the photo-ops, but for the silence in between the pictures.  Keep an eye on Bannon and Pence, as they’re the working the real deals in the background without the distraction of Donny tweeting while he’s taking his morning poop, buffing his Bishop to Fox “News”.

The real media is digging hard into Russia.  If they are wise, they’ll send their juniors and interns to cover Donny’s trip.  Let the senior folks start to tear it up domestically and get that real dirt we know is just a few more sources away.

If Donny does go off script while away, let the pool report it and don’t worry about the nuance of Donny being a dick at the NATO meetings.  NATO doesn’t give a fuck about Donny because they know Donny can’t walk away from NATO without incurring the wrath of his donors at Lockheed, Boeing, General Dynamics and the rest of the military teat-milkers, hangers-on and ‘security consultants’ in the military-industrial complex that accounts for about 1/3rd of the US economy.  Donny is locked into NATO, no matter what he, or Putin, says.

No, keep the senior media folks digging.  Stop reporting drivel with gravitas and get down to it.  Put Donny back on the defensive and don’t let up an inch.

With luck, Donny will be Donny and he won’t even be a one-term President.

Self-Evident Truths (Reprint)


We occasionally receive emails forwarded from locations unknown that contain pearls of wisdom among the dross.  One of which was the “Adult Truths” from a correspondent.  We’ve rewritten it, sort of, and reprinted it from February 2011 as we’re in day 6 of 14 or more of continuous, endless rain.  

1:  When you die, the first duty of your best friend should be to clear your computer history.

2:  There is great need for a sarcasm font, especially in email to government departments.

3:  Were the years spent learning cursive writing really necessary?

4:  MapQuest can start their directions on #5.  I know how to get out of my neighbourhood. 

5:  Could we all please just agree to ignore whatever comes along after Blu-Ray or 4K  I’m fed up with having to start my video collection…again.

6: Kay Jewelers is wrong:  Not every kiss begins with Kay.  Pick any Friday or Saturday night, and I’ll wager many start with a silo of MGD, or a fourth round of tequila shooters.

7:  To all the Nigerian/Togoan/Maldivian lawyers out there:  I don’t have wealthy relatives that suddenly died leaving me a fortune. No, you can’t help. 

9:  Can we have a sign in our cars that says:  Your $45,000 Lexus has a broken turn signal, or you’re an asshat.  Pick one.

10:  How are kids going to learn what clockwise is? 

11:  For that matter, how will kids ever know what REgent 5-1212 was?

12: 12:00…12:00…12:00  Is my technology mocking me?

13:  If the various national security agencies who are reading all our emails and texts would get together, I wouldn’t have to wade through mountainous piles of spam.  Just forward the important stuff please.  Oh, and send me a reminder of my anniversary as well.  Thanks.

14:  Note to parents:  Your kid will never make it to the NBA/NFL/MLB/NHL/Olympics.  Relax.  They are not the next Crosby or Gretz.  Ain’t happening.

15:  How many times can one network run “Weekend At Bernie’s” without incurring the wrath of consumers? Or is this just a trick by televisions manufacturers to have us throw large objects at our TV’s, necessitating the purchase of a new one?

16:  There are some things that should never be shot in 4K HD.  We do not need to see a Kardashian’s steatopygia at that level of detail.  

18:  Mashups should die now.  Preferably in the same fatal crash that takes Autotune and ProTools.  Learn how to sing then learn how to edit and mix.  For the video monkeys, there’s nothing wrong with a cut; use a dissolve if you have to.  The quad split was invented by video switcher engineers to have another button that lights up. 

19:  Ice Fishing.  Why fish for it, when you have a perfectly good freezer at home?  Make your own.

20:  There’s no such thing as “Authentic” any cuisine.  It’s always changing.  Beware of any joint that strives to serve authentic fusion cuisine when the place is named Ulmanis & Tomokiro and serves Latvian-Japanese fusion cuisine. 

21:  Why cut when you can untie?  Sorry, now that everything is in impervious plastic security blister-pack clamshells, you have to reach for the plasma cutter to get at the tube of wood filler.

22:  A little honesty from the liquor companies please.  The objective isn’t to relive that great time when we ran out of milk and loaded the coffee with Bailey’s.  The objective is to relive the Christmas party when Gretchen from Accounting got shitfaced and took her top off while dancing on the break room counter.

23:  Thong underwear is wrong, regardless of gender.

24:  Ads for prescription medicine should include a complete list of  all the side effects.  This will result in prescription medicine ads that are four minutes long or cover five pages of your magazine.  We need to know that your miracle cure has only been tested on four employees, two of whom spontaneously combusted when exposed to daylight.

25:  Lists like this.  It must be mid-winter.  (Actually, it must be day 6 of 14 of continuous rain.  Petrie Island is under water)

Health Care In Canada


For our American readers, here is a primer on how health care works in Canada.  We’re going to use simple concepts and small words so the majority of you can understand the whole thing despite having voted for the Republican President and been distracted by shiny objects and blatant lies.

Canada, that big country in pink over top of your country on a map, has about 36 million people in it.  We have cradle to grave healthcare for everybody.  Let’s take a common, easy to understand scenario.  You have a clumsy moment on the street and trip over your own two feet.

If you trip over your own two feet and break an ankle a few things happen up here in Canada.  One, you get treated for a broken ankle by doctors and nurses at the hospital. That would mean an x-ray, reviewed by a real physician to determine a) is this ankle broken? b) is there anything else wrong/life threatening with this broken ankle?

Assuming yes, the ankle is broken, nothing complex and there are no other complications, a physician will write an order for a cast.  It could be plaster, it could be fibreglass, it could be one of those newfangled ‘boot’ casts that are attached with velcro straps, depending on the severity and complexity of the break.  In all likelihood you will get a prescription for Tylenol 3’s and some crutches.   You’ll be sent on your way from the hospital along with some advice to keep your ankle up, rest, ice it and see your own physician soon.

Upon seeing your own physician, most probably they will write you orders for physiotherapy once you’re healed up, some follow up x-rays to make sure your ankle is healing correctly and anything else you might need to have a good outcome.  If you don’t have your own physician, it could be a couple of outpatient visits at the hospital and outpatient physio, either at the hospital, or a physiotherapy clinic.

Cost to you?  Less than $50.  Hospitals do charge a nominal fee for crutches.  And the cost of your Tylenol 3’s, about $11 for the Rx to take the pills at home over the next few days.

Notice that during this entire process, there has been no mention of insurance, funding, co-pays, deductibles, asks for a credit card, or other money up front.  Nobody has measured your wallet.  The medical decisions have been made by medical people using common, accepted, scientific methods of treatment to get the best possible outcome for the patient.

If you have supplementary insurance usually through your employer, the whole thing might not have cost you anything other than parking at the hospital while you hobbled into Emergency.

I won’t guess how much a hospital in the US would charge you for the same treatment, but according to some rudimentary web queries the prices range from $2,500 to $11,000 not including doctors’ fees, which can be $1,000 to $2,000 plus the radiologist fees to read the x-rays.  Let’s go mid-way between the two and call it $6,000 to $9,000 for the same uncomplicated broken ankle, cast, physio, some Tylenol and crutches.

The first question that gets asked when you hobble into a US Emergency is “Do you have insurance and with what company?”  There is the essential difference.

Now, the hard question:  How do we pay for health care in Canada?  Taxes.  We pay more Federal and Provincial taxes than Americans pay in Federal and State taxes.  In reality, perhaps 7 to 10% more, so not really a great difference.  That extra money we pay in taxes goes for things like universal health care.  Canada made that decision as a country in 1966 because it was the right thing to do for all our citizens.

As a closer to home example, the beloved spousal unit wound up in hospital with an abscessed tooth.  She was sent, by her dentist to Emergency as things were not clearing up.  There was oral surgery in Emergency on the day of.  At a followup two days later, things were getting worse, not better and there was a real danger of the infection going systemic, not just in the gum or the jaw.

She was admitted to hospital and the next night was on the table, under general, being operated on to get deep down into the infection.  There was bag after bag of IV antibiotics, some serious pain meds, x-rays, a CAT scan, more, different IV antibiotics as well as post-surgical care and regular hospital services.  Four days later, she is finally discharged, with another two weeks of daily IV antibiotics on home care at a local community care clinic.  Yes, she’s fine, on the mend, thanks for asking.

Turns out it was a Clindamycin-resistant staph infection, Clindamycin being the oral antibiotic of choice for dentists for a patient with an abscessed tooth.  In this case, through simple bad luck, the infection was exactly the kind that was resistant, which is why she didn’t get better in a couple of days and the whole trip to the Emergency department over the Easter weekend.

We did a little back of the envelope calculation and figured that the cost of her treatment was not too far from either side of $20,000 to $30,000, considering about $2,500 to $4,000 a day for a hospital stay.  Then general anesthesia for the second dental surgery, which ain’t cheap no matter how you calculate it, just by counting the people in the OR.  Then the Infectious Diseases folks and lab techs who diagnosed the clindamycin-resistant staph, necessitating the change of medications.  Nursing care, meds, meals and the usual overheads.

We’ll put it right in the middle, call it $25,000 worth of medical care.

Our biggest cost was parking.  $13 a day for four days while admitted and another $13 for the first visit to Emergency.  $65 bucks.  (We’re certain I spent at least that on coffee while waiting with her in hospital over the course of her treatment.)

The rest of that bill was paid for by our health care system, by that 7% to 10% more income tax we pay for universal health care.  No bill was presented to us.  We didn’t have to mortgage the house.

Per capita, the Canadian system, fully taxpayer funded, costs about $4,000 per person, to cover everybody in the country.

That’s 11% of our Gross Domestic Product going to healthcare.

The American Medicaid system, which doesn’t cover everybody, for the barest, rudimentary coverage, only at certain hospitals, and with only certain doctors, under certain circumstances costs the America taxpayer $9,600 per.

That’s 18% of your Gross Domestic Product going to healthcare.

You tell me why.