December 16, 2002

“Oshawa, Then and Now.”

Filed under: Archives — mhoye @ 12:00 pm

“Oshawa, Then and Now.”

Ok, let me be the first to admit that that was weak. Nevertheless,
I give you the weekend in review.

Via Rail, It turns out, is a vastly more civilized
than Greyhound. I think I’m going to take the train from now
on. They bring you coffee, and if you sit at the ends of the
rail car, they have wall sockets. That’s 120 volts of
blissful productivity, for those of us who can only afford aging
laptops with dying batteries. At the very least,
120 volts of not-so-bored. There’s only so many times you can
read about red-black trees and dynamic programming, cool as they
may be.

For Saturday’s fun, we day-tripped out to Port Perry, a town
that like the previously-visited Picton apparently specializes in
exporting Quaint and importing baby-boomer dollars. I enjoy little
hamlets like this for the food, mostly. Tarted-up farmhouse decor
isn’t my thing but I do like a good apple fritter, and the “village
cafe”-style places in tourist-oriented villages seem to suffer from
the same relentlessly Darwinist economics that confronts the chinese
restaurants in Chinatown; the bad ones die out quickly, and the
mid-to-largeish places are usually the ones that have fought their
way to the top, if you’ll forgive the phrase, of the food chain.

It turns out that in my absence, which was admittedly just the
tiniest whisper of geological time, Oshawa has suffered virtually
no visible change. At least we found nothing wildly different
to do while we were in town – we puttered around briefly looking
for places to see Saturday night but our naive, tourist stumbling
only managed to confront us with places like the “Banshee Cocktail
Lounge and Deli”, no word of a lie. It’s a cocktail lounge, you
see, and a deli, one of a curiously large number of places
in Oshawa whose names end with “and deli”. Neither of us felt like
spending so Saturday night in an “…and deli” anything, so I cooked
a very-acceptable chili dinner, and though we muttered for a while
about going to a movie, we decided to stay in.

Sunday our effort to go out to for lunch somewhere interesting was
derailed by the fact that it was Sunday, which seemed insuperable
at the time. That combined with the kind of traffic that makes a man
wish he could call in an air strike steered us to a very-pedestrian
Boston Pizza lunch, after which we made a pact never to go to
a franchise restaurant again. If I learned one thing in Kingston,
it’s that you can always do better, and usually for about half
the money. That’ll be the next project, I think – “Where To Eat”.

More exams this week: tune in to witness the tension and
bitterness. I’m especially looking forward to the Algorithms exam,
if only because I’m likely going to have to use the sentence “I’ve
discovered a wonderful proof of this, which your worldview is too
narrow to contain.”

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