Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall riff

Summer lasted forever.

And then there was fall. As often happens, when summer ebbs and leaves us contemplating the looming winter, life gets busy.

What have we been up to? We've been busy.

In mid-October I joined fellow members of the Toronto Motor Scooter Club and headed northeast towards Georgian Bay.


This is the ride that marked the arrival of fall.

I headed out to the meetup point in the northwest corner of greater Toronto. I left behind a rain squall just minutes to the east. The streets were wet and I was still in summer mode.

The ride objective was to meet Suzanna for lunch. Suzanna is the Club president (she signed my membership card when I signed up last winter). She had recently moved to the Georgian Bay tourist mecca of Wasaga Beach.

Georgian Bay was just far enough north, that when we made a gas stop in Angus, I wasn't the only one hauling out gauntlets, firing up heated grips, and adding layers. By the time we reached our destination I found myself wishing for my winter wind screen and Tucano Urbano Termoscud lap apron.

It was a great ride led by Steve Liard with Ed Thomas riding sweep. With a team like that, a group ride goes off without a single hitch or hiccup. There's no substitute for experience.

I finally caved about two weeks ago and shifted into cold weather mode. What a difference the right gear makes. I could cruise all day at or near the freezing point without the least discomfort.

It's a good thing too, because the last few weeks have me commuting to work at Governance Professionals of Canada. While the afternoons have been in the double digits, those early morning commutes would have been bone chilling without the cold weather contraptions.


There was plenty of fun on more than two wheels too! Susan and I trekked down to the Art Gallery of Ontario to take in an excellent exhibit entitled mystical landscapes. No we didn't go two-up on the Vespa, we had many more wheels than that whisking us along. We took the Toronto subway. Susan wasn't amused when I insisted on taking a subway selfie. The art on display at the special exhibit was a real (surreal?) treat. It included these works by Jansson and Van Gogh that, all by themselves, were worth spending an afternoon to drink in.

Scaling back to four wheels, we headed east to Ottawa and Montreal for a little fall getaway. That long weekend was a nice little gem of a digression. Just what we needed to put a spring into our fall step. We dropped in on Tom and Cathy for an overnighter, saw a riot of autumn colours in the Gatineau hills and strolled the grounds of the MacKenzie King estate. We spent some quality time with my sister and brother-in-law and our dear friends in Montreal, and took in the late fall harvest bounty at the Jean Talon Market.








Back home in Toronto, Montreal came to visit when our dear friends Marc and Pat made the trek from Montreal to be our guests for another self-made long weekend. What a pleasure that was. They came in on the Friday afternoon train. Their first stop was to drop in on old friends in Toronto they hadn't seen in a long time. That's where I picked them up. Marc was very insistent that I park the car and visit, if ever so briefly, with Peter and Doreen. As soon as I walked into their three story loft I knew instantly that Marc was, as usual, right on the money. What a revelation ! Peter and Doreen are avid art collectors. Unlike Susan and I, they have what I think you would call a serious art collection. You know, like David Bowie had a serious art collection.

Later on we went to visit the Bata Shoe Museum (I can only imagine how someone with a foot fetish would enjoy that). I mean everything from prehistoric footwear, to astronaut boots, to kinky boots, and everything in between. We strolled along the beach below the Scarborough Bluffs, meandered in the historic Distillery District, and generally had a wonderful time entertaining and being entertained by Marc and Pat.




Fall 2016 wasn't all fun and games. There was some serious work as well. I spent long hours toiling in my home office, at the offices of Governance Professionals of Canada, and in the classroom auditing the GPC's fall governance essentials courses, all with the mission to craft a formal education program for the Society.

That work was punctuated this week by our Excellence in Governance Awards. A black tie gala evening at Toronto's majestic Carlu event space.



The next morning we celebrated the award winners by messing with the Canadian capital markets, again.



Tomorrow morning I'll be stirring the regulatory pot, again.

I'm hopping back on the Vespa and heading down to the Ontario Securities Commission. I'll be rattling my sabre and shaking my lance once more in my Quixotic quest to get a very modest proposal to fix proxy voting in Canada to take flight. It's a mighty lot of heavy lifting in what seems to me, at this point, to be fairly fruitless. At least they seem to be listening. Now if they'd just get moving at a decent pace  :)

One can always hope, right?

Epilogue

The meeting at the OSC went unaccountably well. With a little luck, good things may come of it.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, you two really have been busy. I love all the fall colors and fresh veggies in the photos from Montreal.

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  2. Thanks Brandy.

    To be honest, when a lot happens in a short period like this, I find myself needing some time to process. Without that, I have difficulty just continuing to charge ahead.

    I guess that's why I'm not a billionaire, an astronaut, or a famous artist.

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  3. So what you're saying is that retirement hasn't found you watching the afternoon soaps while eating bonbons? Busy, busy...

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    Replies
    1. Not so much David. Perish the thought.

      I am seriously thinking of going back to work. I think I will, if I find something compelling.

      Delete
  4. David, it's great you continue to work on your passion. And, sounds like you are keeping a very healthy work/life balance.

    By the way, if this year is a normal one, we will see very little snow until a few days before Christmas down here in Toronto. Back in the 70's, we could count on a heavy snowfall around the end of the first week in December - tragically funny in how total memory loss in how to drive in snow affects huge numbers of Toronto area drivers! Seems not to have happened since the turn of the century. Or, my memory is ... what was I saying?

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    1. Ed I am using Voodoo dolls, burning incense, and resorting to mumbo jumbo incantations in the earnest hope that our winters in Toronto will be shorter by a month or so or each end of the season. I.e. riding weather in all of November and all of March. Ooommmmmmmmhhhhhhhh... raaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.... sssoooooooooooohhhhhhhh....

      Delete
    2. This morning I see fluffy rain on the rooftops ...

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    3. I know Ed... my Voodoo MoJo is not quite perfected.

      Didn't get much though. I sent the rest to Ottawa.

      Delete
  5. It's great fun to see you out and about and enjoy yourself, and do stuff because you chose to, not dictated by financial obligations. I very much hope for so much energy once I get to retirement age...
    How is the Shadow, btw, have you been able to ride it at all lately?
    On a nitpicker's side note the GPC's short bio has you listed as based out of Montreal...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, and for the heads' up on the GPC bio. I recently fixed LinkedIn, and my own website (Masse.org).

      The Shadow doesn't get out as much as the Vespa, but it does get around.

      Delete

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