It is the night before my birthday, when I will turn 68 years old. I really had no idea that the last ten years would go the way they have. With lightening speed digital photography made millions of photographers overnight. 911 Nearly made me into a vegetable. I think I lost a chip  from my driven brain. I have not given up, but I have not succeeded in my field. I am now an artist and I enjoy that every day. I enjoy political news and read four papers each night missing John Stuart.

While working in NY I had heard rumors of the name Stephen Harper and I had no idea who he was. Guess what, we still do not know who he really is. He seems to belong to an elite group off people who are if anything secretive and leaning towards socialism. I defer to Jefey Simpson from the Globe and Mail who blocks my letters and calls as he seems to own articles written about the demise of the portrait Gallery in Ottawa. Perhaps Mr. Simpson will let us know the real story one day..

We will never know exactly whats on Mr. Harpers mind and as off late the cracks are beginning to give us a hint. A few items lately have called attention to his secrecy and planning that he does not share it with anyone. Machiavellian, we see that the man has clear ideas as to how this country should function and that includes the military as of late. Although he appears to be outclassing the rest of the world in his determination to protect banks and his desire to be to rise to the top of the economic ladder, he is still a huge mystery.

Canada has always set the table for peaceful solutions. Here is a short list of indicators that tell us what to expect. We had the clash of G-7 to begin with, Now we have closed the embassy in Iran and we have a large order off overpriced jets, and Mr. Harper hates the fact that he has been pressed to review the purchase. His own watchdog is alarmed by his behavior. Two other items point towards Mr. Harpers agenda. Only recently he refused to join his world partners at the UN during the last days speeches by world leaders including Iran President. My guess he will take the podium last. His quest for a great jet was interrupted by retired leader General Louis MacKenzie, who asked for a review of the Avro Arrow, that in it’s time was shut down because it was perhaps ten times more powerful that anything the US could produce. Its was well before its time and was bigger and faster. General Mackenzie was stiffed by Mr. Harper who would have no part in the good suggestion. Then today I picked up on the fact that Mr. Harper has decided to order drones in order to supply our military with might. He took troops to Afghanistan and in the absence of any participation in the middle East by Mr. Obama, who knows what he is thinking.

Jim Allen




A composition off Sunny during an office visit to cafe # 3

I was pumped, as for the first time in one year, I found myself living in a busy hood. I Deciding that living closer to an active neighborhood downtown was a better deal for my persona.  My needs always were to skip around town on faster transit subway lanes. I knew that riding on bus’s  were overcrowded, baby screaming, as well as getting ]pushed around by irate older men and women was wearing me out. Besides I am one of them.  The odd nasty bus driver irked me to no end, but please do not take out your troubled day on me. Any compromise one makes in an urban city will bring with it contact with other human beings which can be dangerous. I am naturally a recluse  and do not even own a television. Getting close to the screen might supply one with UV poisoning. The only worthwhile programming is John Stuart followed by John Colbert each night from cover to cover as well as I enjoy my politico friends on FB. Yes, I enjoy myself. Being semi-retired  requires limited office space. I participate in new media concepts of my own making, some good mostly difficult to do. I like administration because basically I am bossy. Now in history will be recorded as useless wear and tear. I returned to Canada after 9/11 and to be frank I was Post traumatic stress all the way.  I began to look at shared office ideas which seemed to be quite boxes of people sharing the same front end. At the same time I began check out the internet availability and as well surveyed local coffee lineups. It did take me a while as within a four to five block radius there must have been at least six to ten very busy places to look at. During a first visit, I quickly got knocked out while observing a seat. I walked into coffee # 1 and there was limited seating. I saw one quickly while noticing a plug under the table. I sat down as I abruptly stopped in mid air as papers strewn out in seat. I addressed the girl in the next table and this left arm shot up into the sir with her palm reaching out as if it were a stop sign as she simply continued to type. Who cares if the coffee was good with that welcome. This was a display of moron-ism as  I simply, said, “oh , excuse me, while finding another seat. I must admit to being shocked. I never had seen hatred up close. The rest is easy as the place had lineups of chairs and tables which created a work environment and if the odd bozo got out sorts, the management stepped in. The coffee was surprising as it was friendly and very busy. Non stop lineups + pastries were full of dark chocolate that kept me alive most days. The staff was more than helpful and lacked any attitude other than pleasant.  No keys for the bathroom which is not a good feature. Many street people come and go and health standards are suspect. If one is patient and less talkative one can make friends over time.

There are two of the same brand in a four block radius. The second one is Coffee # 2 and has a big reputation for people like myself to work in . It had the most comfortable leather seats and actually they mean nothing as you could slip into one and just fall asleep within minutes. Some tables encourage group discussion as that sucks. Once the decibel level reaches a certain pitch, its time to think about leaving. So many love to display talk over the crowd and are usually, narcissists. You cannot stop them.  Mostly its civilized. Pay no attention and it will be great. # 2 is expensive and small pastries have huge markups for that shop.  There are narcissists who stream in from morning to night. Lines need  to evaporate and then order your coffee or snacks. Beware personality types can hold up a line for twenty to thirty minutes with questions and changes. All the time you need to memorize where plugs are in each place.  You also need to continue to support the establishments food for sale campaigns  often see one with free drinks. All of the above are comfortable to work in. Stay on your own and it will work for you. The reason to leave is noise.

Coffee # 3 . This place removed plugs as the owner refused to understand internet participation that cost him higher Wi-Fi fees. This decision could not have been easy at the start and although it keeps the flow moving there are only two left.. The other great feature of all three places are outdoor patios which make for small breaks and for ample exchanges providing there is no sign of a computer.

# 3 cafe is the highest quality and displays a remarkable amount off rude people who are entitled to be spoiled, including the staff. Busboys work hard clearing up the tables and are friendly and part of the plus spirit of the establishment. Its an in place for actors and comedians to work and they are mostly always on. The first thing noticeable is how well trained staffing is and that means that rules are made to be broken, providing the boss isnot at his office. Outrageous  personalities off staffers are comedic and often stupid. As you are ordering you may encounter a non listener. You can repeat your order five times easily and still will get screwed when the food arrives.  Often staff are only there  to be notice. The appointment of designed furniture is first class and stools align the windows onto the deck. And if you like you can sit with views or recess your tired little body to a dark corner with poor reception. The place is always buzzing. Always busy and the food is not cheap. It has a market presence the same as any big corporate chain of coffee and the menu change with lightning speed with food inventions that are spectacular. They always are full off imported rich dark chocolate. Of course the establishment promote small business groups and AA recovery groups who in fact annoy you if your there to work. All three coffee bars have street people mixed with a small criminal element. If your from a big city you can keep your thoughts to yourself and survive with intuition as a guide. The criminal element is friendly and some are funny. The dress code is upscale in most of the places but #3 wins hands down as a big asian crowd locates in almost every shop. 3 wins hands down and work is better done in # 1 Being knowledgeable is about coffee is very important. After some time one can choose easily and all three are branded and repeated throughout a neighborhood according to density. Every day changes happen and its a great experience for computer people. However if they are under pressure you will undoubted be smacked with rudeness and arrogant behavior. Bon appetite!

Jim Allen