Tag Archives: halifax

Halifax Ribfest 2015 – Day 2

Halifax Ribfest 2015

All right – so yesterday was totally awesome!

🙂

We started out with a quick drive down to Johnny’s Snack Bar where we ordered pancakes and sausages – and by my own personal standards, starting the day with pancakes is ALWAYS an awesome experience.

Of course my wife has told me that she has worn shoes that were higher than my own personal standards – and that was back when she used to wear flats!

Badoom-ching!

Then we took a short stroll through the Halifax Forum Farmer’s Market and picked up some cat grass and some fresh strawberries. I had been hoping to pick up a bar of root beer soap – but the table with the soap didn’t seem to be there that morning.

We then drove up to Canadian Tire store and I picked up a crow bar as well as a small easy-to-build storage shed. They were having a big sidewalk sale to raise money for their Kickstart program that helps poor kids buy new sporting gear and we picked up the shed at a VERY good price.

We got home and I used the crow bar to help demolish my front deck – which is now at the halfway mark. The crow bar made the work a whole lot easier.

Then we had a nap and watched a couple of new episodes of INKMASTER and then – FINALLY – we headed down to the ribfest.

We started out with a feed from the good folks at CAMP 31 – because their cook crew were putting on the best show behind the grill.

RibFest 2015 Camp 31

We had a Porkster – which is a smoked sausage – smothered in pull pork and wrapped in a big old cheese bun – as well as a chicken and ribs combo.

We ordered a couple of cool bottles of iced tea and sat down and got to eating. Or, actually, my wife Belinda was treated to the spectacle of her husband falling snout first into a platter of pig-parts. All along we sat and listened to the wonderful country music of another local group – THE BAKERSFIELD BOYS

Let me tell you, so far out of the three rib stands we have tried this weekend the folks at CAMP 31 ranked highest. Their ribs were sweet and tender and the sausage had a distinct savoring aftertaste of apples and hickory smoke and I am pretty sure that chicken could have bench pressed a good-sized Buick.

“That’s good eating,” I said around a mouthful of pig parts.

“What’ll we do about dessert?” Belinda asked.

“I want me some corn bread,” I said.

Now, you have to understand that I have discovered that my natural country twanginess seems to naturally intensify around the proximity of barbecued ribs and by now I was sounding like I ought to be auditioning for the next reboot of DUKES OF HAZARD.

Now what Belinda didn’t know was that I wasn’t JUST thinking about dessert – but I was thinking about second helpings. So we walked up into the line-up at the SILVER BULLET which had a sort of a handmade-looking sign that read SWEET CORN BREAD $3.00.

While I was in the line-up the fellow in front of me turned around and it was Calum Johnston – the owner of STRANGE ADVENTURES. Well, Cal began to rhapsodize about all the ribs that he had eaten here at the Ribfest and his words touched something deep down inside of me – somewhere close to my pancreas – and I turned to Belinda and I asked “How about more ribs.”

(that’s right – I lay the blame on Calum)

“You want more ribs?” Belinda asked in disbelief.

“I haven’t had enough ribs today,” I told her. “You can see that I am a mere shadow of myself. I am practically fading away into nothing before your eyes.”

“That’s a big old shadow you are talking about,” Belinda pointed out. “But while you are at that you ought to get beans and coleslaw along with it so that you can tell everyone that you ate some greens at the Ribfest.”

That’s why I love that woman.

She thinks the same way that I do.

🙂

So we got ourselves another heap of ribs and they were awfully good and the corn bread was hot and wonderful even though I didn’t have any maple syrup to slather it with – but the highlight of the second meal of the evening was their beans which had that hot and spicy Texas-style flavor that always makes me hang back my head and howl like a lovesick puppy dog.

So after that we listened to a bit more music and then came home and watched a couple of episodes of SONS OF ANARCHY and ate some ice cream and drank some beer.

Let me tell you – RibFest rocks!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Halifax Ribfest 2015 – Day 1

I got up Friday morning and fried a couple of eggs for my wife and I and served them up with some fresh avocado and flat bread. Then, after Belinda headed off to work I went outside with a small pry bar and a hammer and began taking apart our front deck. The wood has begun to rot in spots and we have had critters living under there in the past so we’ve decided to take it apart. There is a sidewalk beneath the deck that is fairly serviceable. The work was slow and the sun was hot and I was thinking about ribs.

I have been thinking about ribs for the last month or so – ever since the 2015 Halifax Ribfest was first announced. I had decided that this summer as a sort of a “stay-cation” Belinda and I were going down to the Waterfront and we were going to get us some ribs.

I grabbed a bus downtown and I sat in the Public Gardens for a half an hour or so watching the world go by. Belinda met me after work at the Gardens and we walked on down Spring Garden Road and then right down Salter Street and we came to the Ribfest.

Halifax Ribfest 2015

I am talking meat-lovers Mecca, friends and neighbors.

Admission is free and there was a fair-sized crowd and the smell was absolutely amazing.

We walked the entire festival site, scoping out the various menus and decided to try a meal at the TEXAS RANGERS.

Texas Rangers

Belinda ordered a Frog Legs plate with beans and coleslaw and I had a Big Texan platter. The frog legs were lightly baked and nicely done in a dry rub with a hint of sauce. The coleslaw was crisp and tangy. The beans were cooked in a tomato-based sauce and, although I prefer a molasses sauce for beans they were tasty enough.

The ribs were awesome, the chicken tasty and the pulled pork superb.

We sat in the beer tent and although the choice of beer left a bit to be desired we had a great time sitting there and listening to the music of Louisa Manual and Neil Mackinnon.

These guys were great. Louisa has an a strong smoky woman-wailing-in-a-barroom voice and Neil is a solid piano player although his tempo was a little bit hasty for some of these tunes.

In any case these two local musicians really hit the spot for me. They played “You Left Me” by Randy Van Warmer, “Walking After Midnight” by Patsy Cline and a favorite of mine “King of the Road” by Roger Miller. Belinda and I sang along while we ate our meals. The volunteers in charge of cleaning the tables were kind enough to bring me a few extra towelettes and offered to spray me down with a power hose after I had gotten into those ribs.

I’m not saying it was pretty.

🙂

We got up and walked around some more, thinking about a funnel cake, but the truck that was selling the funnel cakes was asking too darned much. Fourteen dollars is WAY too steep for a funnel cake. We wandered on down the waterfront and shared a beaver tail and then headed on home.

This morning we are going out for breakfast and then hitting the Forum Farmer’s Market. I want to swing up to Canadian Tire and buy myself a decent crowbar for the rest of my assault on the front deck. Then later today we intend to grab a bus ride back down to the waterfront and have some more ribs from another one of the food trucks.

Here is a link to the Ribfest Halifax website.

I’ll tell you all about it later.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

The Sidewalk Ends in Halifax…

Where_the_Sidewalk_Ends

 

Halifax.

The sidewalks END in Halifax.


 

Okay.

So I was just reading THIS ARTICLE telling me that I ought to start being responsible for clearing our sidewalk corners.

Newsflash – I have ALWAYS been responsible for clearing the sidewalks around our house. I am old school, that way.

But last winter the city confused the issue by hiring a small army of sidewalk plows and announcing that THEY were going to clear the sidewalks.

Okay, I thought. So THEY will clear them now.

So I started leaving the sidewalks go.

First winter it worked pretty well. They got out there regularly and kept the sidewalks reasonably clear, although their tiny little sidewalk-plows never did manage to clear the sidewalk down the pavement like I used to with my one lone shovel.

I could live with that.

But this year they have forgotten how to drive straight and have plowed over about six of my rose bushes – the ones that I planted around my yard. Some of these rose bushes are two or three feet in from where the sidewalk ends and they still seem to somehow manage to avoid the sidewalk and roll across my yard.

Then, to make matters worse the street plow has begun pushing the snow from the street up onto the corner of the sidewalk, completely obstructing our side street sidewalk from the main street sidewalk.

I am talking about a Volkswagen and a half sized hill of compacted snow pushed across our sidewalk.

And now this councilor is telling us that WE ought to go and shovel that up.

Okay, so like I said I don’t really mind shoveling sidewalks. In fact every year that I lived here in Halifax my sidewalk has ALWAYS been cleared. By me. With one shovel.

Monday morning I hacked a path through that snow drift – building a makeshift stairway up over the drift so that myself and my wife could get over the drift and down to the bus terminal.

Wednesday night – after all that snow fell, I went out to try and hack it clear and while I was out there shoveling buddy with the plow came in and heaped up two more microbuses worth of snow.

I am sorry. There is no phone booths around anymore so I CANNOT step into a phone booth and turn into Superman.

You click this image and it will take you to a really cool article on the history of Superman and the public telephone booth.

When did snow removal become pushing-the-snow-aside-and-letting-the-public-deal-with-it?

I am done ranting now. It won’t change a damn thing.

Somebody send for Lois Lane.

Elvis has left the building.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Anatomy of a Book – Chapter 2: Publishing Options

Hey all of you Halifax and/or Nova Scotia writers.

Any of you writers here might want to check out my talk this coming Monday (January 12, 2015 from 7 to 9pm) at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

It is part of an ongoing series for writers entitled “ANATOMY OF A BOOK”.

Myself and Patrick Murphy (Managing Editor, Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press) will discuss the difference between independently publishing your work versus traditionally publishing it. This is going to be a lively discussion given Patrick’s long history with Nimbus and my long and ongoing history with Nimbus.

Admission is $10.00 for WFNS members and $20.00 for the non-members.

Hope to see some of you there.

You can find further information right HERE!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Day 3 at Camp NaNoWriMo – Vengeance is Mine

If you want the recipe for this cool-but-gross-in-a-cool-kind-of-way hotdog just click on this picture and check out the foodie blog I SING IN THE KITCHEN.

If you want the recipe for this cool-but-gross-in-a-cool-kind-of-way hotdog just click on this picture and check out the foodie blog I SING IN THE KITCHEN.

Sliced my fingertip today while chopping an onion. I was a little rattled from a bad sleep last night and I expect stupid got in my eyes for just a moment. I talked with a medical professional on the phone – yes, dammit, I called my wife – and she said if it wasn’t bleeding out through the band-aid it probably didn’t need stitches.

I did lay down and doze through the afternoon and I took the night off of work. I am still a little rattled and I didn’t want to bring my jangled nerves and duct-taped pinkie finger to work on the new project that we just started.

I’m fine though – so please spare me the “poor baby” messages.

If it’s any consolation I fried that sucker of an onion along with a heaping helping of mushrooms and a half a basket of spinach.

Vengeance is mine.

**********************

Fortunately, I managed to write another 2300 words this morning – before the cooking accident.

As I said – I slept the afternoon away. Might have been a mild shock or a reaction to the poor sleep or possibly just a side-effect of the headache that this pre-hurricane weather is giving me.

Yes folks – apparently we are going to be on the receiving end of a hurricane this Saturday.

It looks as if Hurricane Arthur is on a beeline for Halifax and all along the Nova Scotia eastern shoreline. Tomorrow I am going to tie down the barbecue and put the lawn furniture into the shed. No sense taking chances. I am also going to do my laundry and make certain we’re stocked up with a few extra tins of canned beans and the like.

If we do lose power that will definitely put a ding in my writing – but one thing a fellow cannot fight is bad weather. You try to punch a hurricane in the nose and it will just blow all the harder.

So I will also try to get a little further ahead of quota in case Mother Nature decides to put me in my place. I have already performed the necessary blood sacrifice – what more could she ask for?

I’ve managed another couple of hundred words over the last hour – but my typing is considerably slowed down.

***************************

One last bit of news.

One more Halifax bookstore is closing – the United Bookstore on Barrington Street.

United Bookstore

United Bookstore – soon to disappear.

 

Barrington Street – for those who don’t know – used to be the main drag here in Halifax. Forty years ago when I first moved here I used to go downtown to Barrington to shop at the Woolworths and the Woolco department stores. I used to eat at the Mediterranean where they had the best breakfast in town. I saw Friday the 13th for the very first time at the Paramount Theater. And I bought about a billion used paperbacks, VHS tapes and dvd’s at the United Bookstore – not to mention the Book Room and the wonderful hoarder’s dream of a bookstore JW Doull’s.

john-w-doull-bookstore

J.W. Doull’s bookstore – no longer on Barrington Street. Used to lose myself in there regularly.

Now – all of these stores have vanished from Barrington Street with the exception of JW Doull’s which has moved to Dartmouth.

The street looks like a war zone.

I could say something political about this – but I’ve been told that city council has been looking at this problem for the last decade or so.

Maybe they need a better pair of glasses.

To make matters worse I have just found out that the Little Mysteries bookstore directly beside the United Bookstore is scheduled to close this coming August. This is no surprise to me. I knew the owner had been trying to sell the store for some time now – but with no luck.

I don’t blame her for letting the store. She has run it for about twenty years – and that is a long time to be doing the same thing everyday.

Little Mysterie

Little Mysteries bookstore.

Little Mysteries and I have a long old history together.

I worked there for about twelve years as a palm and Tarot reader.

Then – after buying a house with my wife – I decided that I needed something with a bit steadier income – which is why I now work in a cubicle – but I do look fondly back at those days and I am a little sad to see that store go as well.

The lesson here is that life changes all the time.

The only thing that stays the same are the stories we tell around our lives.

So all of you writer folk out there who are taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo – and all of you folks who just like to spin the occasional yarn – remember this.

Stories are more important than anything you care to mention.

Except maybe beer…

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Don’t forget to follow my progress at Camp NaNoWriMo!

 

TALL SHIPS 2012 – my part in it…

For all of you folks in the Halifax area I want to start by telling you about the upgraded service that Metro Transit will be providing for the buses and the ferry service for this weekend’s kickoff to the Tall Ships.

Public Service Announcement

 

Transit service to Tall Ships 2012®

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 (Halifax, NS) – Metro Transit is extending its bus and ferry services during Tall Ships 2012®, beginning tomorrow, July 19 until Monday, July 23.

Extended Bus Service:

Thursday, July 19 & Friday, July 20 
#159 Portland Hills Link – Regular weekday service, with extended hourly service until 12 a.m.
#185 Sackville Link – Regular weekday service, with extended hourly service until 12 a.m.

Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22 
#84 Tall Ships Special
-30 minute inbound service, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Sackville to Barrington/Duke at MetroLink stop)
-30 minute outbound service, 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. (Barrington/Duke at MetroLink stop to Sackville)

Monday, July 23 
#159 Portland Hills Link – 30 minute service until 12:00 p.m.
#185 Sackville Link – 30 minute service until 12:00 p.m.

Supplemental bus service on other routes will be provided as needed.

Alderney Ferry Service:

Thursday, July 19 – Extended weekday service until 1 a.m. (last trip from Halifax departs at 12:45 a.m.)
Friday, July 20 – Extended weekday service until 1 a.m. (last trip from Halifax departs at 12:45 a.m.)
Saturday, July 21 – Extended Saturday service until 1 a.m. (last trip from Halifax departs 12:45 a.m.)
Sunday, July 22 – 30 minute all day service from 9 a.m. until 1 a.m. (last trip from Halifax departs at 12:45 a.m.)
Monday, July 23 – Regular weekday service

The Woodside Ferry will operate on its regular weekday schedule only.

Regular fares apply to all bus and ferry services; exact change required for cash fares. A list of retails outlets selling Metro Transit tickets and passes is available online at www.halifax.ca/metrotransit/retail_outlets.html.

For more information on Metro Transit bus and ferry services to the Halifax waterfront visit www.halifax.ca/metrotransit, follow @hfxtransit on Twitter, or call 490-4000.

******

Okay, so I hear you out there asking “Right, Steve – so what does this have to do with you?”

Let me tell you about it.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday exciting live storytellers will be taking part in specially organized Theodore Tugboat tours – and I am going to be one of them. They may have to fit out a gigantic storyteller-sized life jacket for this old dude but I am really looking forward to taking part this year.

 

 

Here is the schedule.

Theodore Tugboat Authors
Thursday, July 19 Friday July 20  Saturday July 21 Sunday July 22
11:30 leaves halifax Frances Wolfe Steve Vernon Jessica Scott Kerrin Alison DeLory
12:15 leaves Dartmouth
1:00 leaves halifax Carrie Muller Steve Vernon Steve Vernon Lindsey Carmichael

I am twice as excited because I have never ridden on Theodore before. It’s going to great to meet the little Tugboat. I wonder if it would be good form to ask a tugboat for an autograph?

If you want more information on Theodore Tugboat check out his website.

http://mtcw.ca/theodoretugboat/Schedules.php

And, hey – if you really want to be cool you can follow Theodore’s Tweets over at Twitter.

https://twitter.com/TheodoreTugboat

Now who’d have thought that a tugboat can tweet???

********

But that is not all.

On Sunday, July 22nd I will be telling stories at the CBC  Tent from 1pm to 3pm. I’m looking forward to spinning tales about monsters and harbour history and maybe even a little something on Halifax’s part in the War of 1812.

Here’s a link to the CBC stage.

http://www.cbc.ca/ns/tallships/

Anyone in the Halifax area might want to spread the word on this event. There is so much going on down there this weekend that I might get lost in the big wild whirl that is TALL SHIPS 2012.

See you there.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Sunday morning, coming down…

There is a story that Johnny Cash used to tell about how Kris Kristofferson landed on his front lawn one Sunday morning with a song that Johnny “Just had to sing”.

The song was Sunday Morning Coming Down.

Give a listen, if you’d like!

Sometimes, that’s just how ideas hit you. They’ll land on your front lawn or beat on your door whistle down your chimney pipe.

Other times you have to root for them. You have to turn over stones and hunt through a gravel-floored basement or ramble through a dusty attic dream.

Times like today I am surrounded by ideas. I feel a little like Custer at the Little Big Horn – where the heck did all those ideas come from and which one do I shoot first?

I’ve just finished a third retightening of a manuscript for an upcoming collection – the third in about three weeks. The head editor passed it to me all marked up. I corrected it. Then it was handed to another editor who handed it back all marked up. I corrected that too. Then, two days, I got it back for a third time with a few more marks in it. I corrected those yesterday and this morning and fired it right back.

A lot of you folks out there are already beginning to tap out comments that will read something – “That rotten-eyed horse-wallow of an editor. How dare they criticize your work so much. Don’t they realize what a nice guy you are? Don’t they realize just how hard you work at this gig?”

And then there is some of you folks who want to tell me – “See, that is why you should self-publish everything as an e-book. Get the hell out of traditional publishing, Vernon. Why are you wasting your time and energy writing for somebody other than just yourself?”

And then there’s a few of you who are reading this and thinking to yourself – “I wonder what Lady Gaga is up to right about now?”

The point is, though, I still enjoy writing for the traditional publishing market. My regional books reach out to people who wouldn’t necessarily pick up an e-book – asuming that one can actually pick up something that exists strictly on a digital level.

And I don’t mind all of this extra edit-work. The fact is, this book really needs all of that extra painstaking effort. The book I’m working on isn’t my usual collection of ghost stories. This new book – as some of you already know – is a collection of historical maritime murder mysteries. There is a lot of fact and detail and circumstance that can easily get all futzed up by a careless writer – and I can sometimes be just that.

The fact is, we all can be careless writers. Nobody gets all of the details perfect. Nobody’s grammar is impeccable – it ain’t I tell you. Nobody spels everythin perfectly and typos do happen at the most inconvenient and unexpected occasions!

So I welcome the editor’s inquistion. Tie me to the rack and flail me with a cat o’ nine tails drenched in vinegar and lemon juice. Hold them heated irons to my heels and flay me inch by inch – all the while whispering with garlic, raw onions, sardines and Stilton cheese-riddled breath – “Who’s your daddy, writer-boy?”

I want to give that to you. I want to cut that into the heart of your muse and let her tattoo it in your nostrils so that you breathe that idea into somewhere deep within your essence.

“Do not fear the editor”.

Soak that up, would you? Don’t get all dog-locked on the notion that your words are precious as diamond-encrusted snowflakes.

Fact is, I just revised that last image – changing the initial “diamond-crusted snowflakes” to “diamond-encrusted snowflakes”.

Fact is, we all could use a little revision in our words. 

Fact is, your editor and your publisher are your very first clients – and you damn well better know how to keep them happy.

This is business and you got to please the paying customers.

Amen, and gesundheit!

******

Now, a few words on the great e-book experiment.

Last week’s “free-lease” of my novelette SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME has met with mixed results.

We moved about 500 or so free copies – which sounds like a lot, but in the world of the “free-book” you want to hit numbers in the thousands before you can get yourself up into that fleetingly visible top 100 bestselling zone.

As most of you know, that’s what the whole idea of a giveaway is. You want to give away enough free e-books to bump your Kindle rank up into the top 100. You don’t stay there for very long, but the idea is that you stay long enough so that people notice that your book exists. That’s what it all comes down to. You see, there is a great abundance of e-books out there, with more being released every day.

To sell books you need to make certain that readers know you are there.

Let me take you back to the days of the Depression. The days when workers would line-up at the worksites looking for day labor in the fields or the fruit trucks. The foreman would come down to the edge of the mob of hungry people and choose out a dozen or so workers – however many he needed that day. Those few got work, which meant they got paid, which meant that eventually they would eat.

A lot of times that work went to the big fellows. The tall boys who just plain stood out from the crowd or else could push their way close enough to foreman to be noticed just long enough to be hired.

For that day.

That’s where your average e-book author finds himself. Standing in a crowd behind a line of big tall fellows, trying hard to be noticed.

Fellow needs himself a trampoline or else a pair of stilts.

So, to get back to my original subject – has the “free-lease” of my two e-books – BAD VALENTINES and SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME been a success?

I don’t know yet.

One thing it has done is produced a brief but solid review at the Amazon listing of SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

A lady from Tennessee who picked up a copy of Sudden Death Overtime had this to say –

“Steve Vernon’s ability to weave a story with a flow that is virtually flawless is a testament to how good a storyteller he is. I loved the characters and their personable dialogue and was able to plant myself easily in Labrador.”

She said more but you’d have to click that cover photo to read the rest over at Amazon. For myself, I feel that if I can transplant a Tennessee resident to the Labrador shore than I have done my storytelling duty.

Reviews – good reviews – can work as a pair of stilts. Or, perhaps more aptly, a good review is the equivalent of having somebody wave a sign with a picture of your novel over the heads of all of them big tall fellows.

Either way – you get enough of those good solid reviews and a few more of those readers can see you over the crowd.

Even less-than-flattering reviews can work for a writer. Take a look at what Amanda McNeil has to say about my horror/historical DEVIL TREE in her WordPress review blog OPINIONS OF A WOLF!

Not everything she says is glowing and wonderful, but she does have a lot of good things to say about the book. She’s painted a fine sign and by posting it on her blog she is doing a reviewer’s duty of waving that sign above the crowd. In turn, I will post notices of that review – which works in a similar fashion. Now I will wave a sign pointing to her blog – which will in turn increase her visibility.

Maybe that is all that the internet is slowly becoming. A bunch of people waving signs saying “Look at me!” or “Look at me looking at him/her!”

*******

All of this talk of sign waving brings me to the Halifax bus strike. We are about a month into this strike and people are beginning to adapt. I had some trouble on Friday morning, walking two and half miles in heavy old winter boots, rather than the walking shoes I have been getting by with – but other than that I am adapting nicely. So is everyone else.

People are being hurt by this situation, however. There is a whole lot less casual shopping these days. People who might normally ride a bus to a mall or a boutique are staying home. People who have cars find themselves spending more on parking and such. The city has stepped up it’s traffic patrol and is handing out more tickets than ever – which makes for a whole lot less expendable income for walkers and drivers alike.

There have been some pretty stupid moves on both sides of the fence. I won’t bother going into all of the bad decisions that Peter Kelly has made for himself – and, even though he isn’t the only one on the management side of things he is the figurehead for the opposition.

On the other hand, the union has made a few bonehead plays as well. Starting with that Valentines Day march with everybody waving and dancing and happy at the thought of third party arbitration. A big display like that is bound to set off alarm bells in anyone you are trying to strike a deal with.

Let’s break it down, shall we? You and I are trying to reach an agreement. I suggest the possibility of arbitration to settle our dispute. Then, while you are standing there and still considering whether or not you are going to agree to my proposal, I start a one-man Snoopy dance of joy and happiness upon your front lawn. Before too long you will start to wonder just why I am so happy and what do I think I am going to get out of this agreement – and if I dance too hard and too happily you are definitely going to reconsider agreeing with arbitration.

That’s what happened, in my opinion. Council looked out and saw all of those happy dancing bus drivers and decided they didn’t want to run the risk of giving them even more reason to celebrate. Basically, the union forgot the principal rule in negotiation – always maintain your poker face. So now they are stuck with those silly heart covered t-shirts and signs – and we are heading towards St. Patrick’s Day and the transit union is still waving Valentines.

Not to mention the decision to announce that they were going to STOP the access-a-bus. Which, in effect, is saying that we are going to picket seniors and the disabled – which is who the access-a-bus serves. Even though the union hastily back-tracked and said that all they meant was they were going to delay the access-a-bus, not stop it – the announcement still, in my opinion, made them look both silly and hard-hearted.

These are all my theories. Doesn’t change a thing about the reality that both of these sides are dog-locked in a perpetual state of disagreement and it doesn’t look like they are going to solve their disagreements any time too soon.

Maybe somebody ought to send for an editor…

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon