Category Archives: political

Garage Sale Update

Distractions, I'm going to tell you what to do, political, Queer stuff, Toronto, You Magnificent Bastard Leave a reply

Last weekend was our (I guess now) annual PWA yard sale fundraiser held during the massive Cabbagetown Festival.

Saturday was a washout with all the rain. I’d like to officially apologize to TJ, Jordan and Doug for cancelling their costumed appearance but I think I saved you guys a good soaking. It was a good thing I didn’t reschedule for Sunday because it was “neuken mentale” as the Dutch say.

Loosely Translated: fucking mental. Seriously.

The crowds were out at 8.30am when we walked over to Postbear’s house to start setting up. As we started to pull things out of his basement, there was a line up forming. We opened at 10am, sharp and literally the three of us, postbear, SharkBoy and I, were swarmed with all manner of shoppers. And it didn’t let up at all.

Needless to say I could not have put on my TD armour at all. Though I did get a couple people asking me where the Stormtrooper was this year! So definitely next year!

The Bad: The guy who stiffed me $0.40 on a $3 glassware purchase AFTER we haggled for 10 min about the price. Yes, I punctuated my argument with “IT’S GOING TO CHARITY!” A

The Really Bad: We had quite a few things stolen right from under our noses. The yard is big, there was a super amount of stuff from one end to the other and maybe some of the “missing” stuff might have been legitimately bought and we forgot about the purchase but all three of us conferred at the end of the day on certain transactions and discovered that some things walked away without being paid for. I don’t know why people think it’s cool to steal, but apparently there are horrid people in the world. I hope they enjoy stealing from a registered charity.

The Good: We must have had 40-50 boxes of stuff. At the end of the day (it was getting onto dusk when we finally packed up the remnants), I would say there were 10 good sized boxes left – we’re talking those 16 gallon Rubbermaid thingers. So nearly all sold!

The Gooder: All three of us, during the madness of sales, had at least one person come up to us and stuff money into our hands for NO REASON AT ALL. Remember when I said I was bitter? This kind of kills that vibe. We were so busy we couldn’t set up a donation tub, and we probably couldn’t have kept our eye on it anyway. So it was great to see people organically giving money. Thank you random strangers!

The Goodest: We raised over $1400. There is still a couple outstanding sales, post-sales, that might push us over the $1500 limit but there we are. Think about that for a moment. Imagine moving/selling that much stuff through an afternoon of crazy.

Postbear has given the money to PWA to be distributed to a few needy channels within the foundation, like their foodbank.

Already postbear is talking up next year. Ideas are churning. Volunteers are being organized. Things are happening…

I have to single out Andrew (postbear) for all his hard work in organizing this amazing day. He worked really hard and long on making sure the yard was level, the stuff was donated and delivered on time and hauled his “never out of bed before 2pm” ass up and moving at 8am. Thanks for a great day!

Looking For Room

political, Queer stuff, Toronto Leave a reply

I’ve currently have 10 people coming along on the AIDS Walk event on Sept 23rd, which is awesome… but I’m finding it a bit difficult to find a room for all of us to change in, particularly closer to the event. We could change at Casa De RoboShark but it’s a 5 block walk to the starting line and I’d like the troop to be fresh for the event.

I tried contacting the AIDS Walk event planners, hoping I could get a spot in the school but was turned down due to security reasons. I understand that. She sounded genuine and enthusiastic to see us, though!

Then I tried emailing the 519… you’d think a building dedicated to the support of the community would gladly open it’s doors to a group earning money for AIDS research. The response I got suggested they didn’t really read my carefully worded email. One line, paraphrasing: “We can’t store things during the day” No “good luck” or “thanks for thinking of us”, just “no”. Hoo kay…

I’ve got a couple other places lined up and one or two I haven’t approached yet (one wants a $75 deposit, $40 insurance and $50 to “rent” the room… I’ll file that under second last resort) and keep pounding the streets around the corner of Church and Carlton!

Remember kids, AIDS hasn’t disappeared. We still have a lot of work to do to eradicate this disease from the world. So BE A TROOPER!

I Polished My Gun For This?

political, Queer stuff, Toronto, You Magnificent Bastard, You Stupid Dick 3 Replies

Yesterday was perfect for the Scotiabank AIDS walk: not a cloud in the sky, warm enough that I didn’t sweat buckets and everyone smiling, working it for a great cause. I managed to crest $2500 in donations – mostly because of you people who come to read and mostly because I did it entirely by social media (aaaand a few donations from family, of course). If I haven’t thanked you personally, I apologize and thank you now. I thank all of you.

She's a Trooper - Pic Courtesy of

As expected, hundreds of pictures were taken and I made a bit of a splash in the pool of corporate teams that filled the walk. But know that I had to justify my presence a couple times.

Googley eyed woman: Why you a robot?

Me: I’m a Stormtrooper.

Googley eyed woman: Not a robot?

Me: No. I’m from the movie Star Wars?

Googley eyed woman: (to friends) Take my picture!

And so it went. One woman hesitantly asked me for a picture, “Because I find you scary.”

“I’m just me!” I say, obviously forgetting what I have on – the symbol of poor aim and jack-booted fear throughout the galaxy.

“I’m afraid because I want your gun in my mouth.” she said. Smiling.


At one point I took off the helmet to hydrate and a young woman ran up to me for a picture. She was wearing a metallic, bright Arabic scarf, thick horn rimmed glasses, tousled hair,  and cut off shorts just at the knee. “Why are you in costume?”

“I’m bringing some nerd cred to the Walk. You should know, right?”

“I’m not a nerd!” Woops. Okay. Whatever.

Inside the suit you literally can’t see down. If you hold one flattened palm over your eyebrows and the other on the upper part of your cheek, that’s the range of vision I had, not to mention I wasn’t wearing my glasses. At one point I could hear a woman asking me for a picture and I kept turning around. And around. Until I heard “Down here!”. She was in a wheel chair and I nearly fell into her lap trying to find her.

The Walk itself was ok. I stumbled twice over some pylons down at Queen and Church, very embarrassing, but for the most part I made it OK. Two blisters and a dry mouth. Sharkboy says I was stumbling on the way home due to exhaustion/dehydration but I think it was an inner ear infection.

At home we sat through the news about how “Word On The Street” over in Queens Park was such a success despite the oncoming threat of the printed word by eReaders. This particular story got a full 2+ minutes with lots of cut away talking heads about how great books are. Then, after a ton of world news, the AIDS Walk got a full 20 second spot with a mere mention of why and a scattering of video of people walking. Granted, I was watching to see if I made it on the news but the shocking lack of news coverage depressed me.

AIDS walk, unmasking and howler monkey

Howler Monkey photobomb. Pic by Postbear

I’m kind of bummed that HIV/AIDS is being relegated to the back burner even though it’s not gone away. It sickens me that big pharma has not released any significant 3rd generation drug patents into the wild for cheaper development, researcah and most importantly: distribution. The average cost of a monthly prescription for anti-retroviral  medication runs from $900 to $1300 with insurance companies picking up a good portion of that tab (if the patient is lucky enough). Doing the math, that means at the low end of the cost for meds times all the HIV positive people in Canada adds up to roughly $230 million a year in meds alone.

I’m generalizing. But the fact can’t be ignored that HIV treatment is big money.

Over the last decade, HIV has been placed on the same public consciousness shelf as diabetes in terms of “manageable diseases” (did you know those glucose monitoring machines are literally given away for free, but the blood test strips run up to $1.50 each? Test your blood three times a day for a month and that adds up!). The fact that “cures” are dangled in front of our faces ever so often (that ultimately don’t pan out) makes it real hard for me not to put on my tin foil had and think that if they wanted to cure this disease, they could have years ago, but it’s now a profitable industry that can hardly be stopped overnight with a “Eureka!” discovery that halts AIDS in it’s tracks.

I know. I’m crazy. But after being on this planet for 46 years I know that money is the greatest motivator and when it’s flowing in at such an alarming, constant (gardener) rate, then turning off the stream is nearly impossible.

Now if you excuse me I have 9-11 EVP files to listen to.

Photos from and postbear’s Flickr Stream

What the Hell Was That?

political, Queer stuff, Toronto, You Stupid Dick 8 Replies

SharkBoy, BobaDoug and I trotted off to the Church Street Village Fair on Sunday, which use to be called The Church Street Fetish Fair, which is now called Leather to Lace but way back in the day was called The Church Street Fetish Fair, created as competition for Folsom Fair North (or FFN when they lost the right to use “Folsom”) but now is called something else and will probably be in direct competition with Folsom Street Fair on September 25, but not in Toronto.

Confused? Not as confused as the crap we saw on Sunday afternoon!

Gone was the public demos of S&M which I am told by the rumor mill was pre-requisite if the Church Street BIA wanted to get licensing from City Hall. Instead an outside company of carnival like “rides” were inserted to keep the tops and bottoms on their toes. This is Rob Ford’s new Toronto, I guess. We can be gay but just don’t show it.

I could have taken pictures of the ferris wheel or the mechanical bull or the surf board bouncy play thing but I had forgotten to put my freshly charged battery in my camera, which in hindsight was a good thing… there wasn’t much I wanted to take a picture of, compared to the previous years. The Leather and Lace site has photos but metaphorically the gallery is broken and doesn’t work in Firefox.

We walked up and down the street twice and witnessed a few proud individuals displaying their fetishes, but in terms of it being a “fair”, I would say it was more like a funeral. Oh sure there were the trans, the rubbers, the plushies and the leathers, but they didn’t seem to have a place to congregate and the crowds weren’t “sticking” to one place. I saw more hopeful photographers (including the creepy boobie photographer guy from Pride – no, not Councilor Mammoliti) than actual participants in the Fair. When we arrived there was a leather “flash mob” as it were: a large group of people in full S&M gear walked through the crowd but quickly dissipated when they did two circuits of the Fair.

The Lettuce and Lace Fair was the perfect example of “design by committee” ever to come to life.

That I Can Do, Too!

Hobbies, I'm going to tell you what to do, Personal Bits, political, Queer stuff, Toronto 2 Replies

I took postbear’s words to heart and thought I should start out small – I’ve decided to walk (march?) in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk, this Sept 25th. I don’t think, however, I will be selling off space on my suit, unless I’m offered some ridiculous sum of money. Hint Hint PrideFM?

Within a few hours of tweeting my decision, long time internet friend (and one embarrassingly drunk pick up attempt night at the Eagle) “Bark” aka Steve K dropped $50 into my sponsor jar!

I’m off to a great start!

Here are the details:

My Sponsor Page: My goal is low – this is my first time doing anything like this, but secretly I’d love to crest $2000. Expect some aggressive tweets and boring blog posts. Why not donate now to shut me up early!? Plenty of payment options!

If you want to make a PayPal donation, my account is “deadrobot” At “rocketmail” dot com. Every little bit helps!

The Event: Starts around 11am and I’ll most likely get there early because who doesn’t want to get a photo with a Sandtrooper?

I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing.

Wish me luck!

Pride 2011

political, Queer stuff, Toronto, You Magnificent Bastard 4 Replies

SharkBoy and I had a very nice Pride, thankyouverymuch! Quiet and low keyed, we wandered, we chatted and we took some pictures! The tone this year was more political than corporate, despite TD still having the same old muscle marys hanging around their booth making phototime with straight girls from the 905. No, this year had a tension to it, most likely from a missing asshole mayor. Noticed that not one Conservative political representative was on hand (unless you count some creepy city councilor skulking with a video camera during the Dyke March) and that would probably be a good thing, considering they’re kicking a hornet’s nest of prejudice and ignorance with their opposition to Pride.

Look at me getting all serious!

Here are some pictures that go bigger when click-oed! Remember to check out my Flickr account over the next few days for updates

Keep Feeling Fascination!

Pride, Day One

Personal Bits, political, Queer stuff, Toronto 3 Replies

Just back from Pride where just two hours ago they closed the streets and people are still streaming into the neighbourhood. The energy is building.

While waiting for BobaDoug, SharkBoy and I sat on the wall outside the 519 Community Centre, where we were entertained by a young, slightly high lesbian youth who wanted to know all about my Five Finger shoes. She and I eventually left the topic of shoes and got into a game of shouting “HAPPY CANADA DAY!!” at random people. SharkBoy was in stitches because, in true Torontonian fashion, when you yell a greeting at a stranger in this town they instantly put on this face of “Oh my god you are yelling at me and if I ignore you, you might disappear…”

Of course the slightly high lesbian youth would yell “Happy Cananaerrday!” and that made me laugh.

Regardless, here are some pics! Enjoy!


Let them eat Cake

The Bunny of Pride


Bal Cone

Pride Tips for Out of Towners

political, Toronto 1 Reply

Hello potential visitors to one of North America’s largest Pride events! Welcome!

Just a quick note: I can’t really add anything new to my past tips: 2008 and 2009

Except there is this update: Last year I mentioned briefly that Torontonians have had their fill of political posturing due to a certain human rights group marching in the parade and getting other human rights groups upset about it. I said that if you meet a Torontonian, you should treat the subject of political posturing as a sore point.

This year, you’ll find we’re a bit more battered, but somehow, a lot more stronger. See we somehow managed to allow a red-necked, conservative mayor to take office (some blame the outer boroughs banding together to defeat the “downtown elitists”) and he’s making it very loud and clear that he thinks the LGBT community isn’t worth his political time. Our Mayor says he’s traditionally spending time with family at the cottage as he usually does (and parades his mom out in front of reporters to prove it) but can’t account for not showing up at any of the other events happening this week, including the flag raising ceremony at City Hall… just outside his office. Beyond the finger pointing and speculation and just how bad this looks on a Mayor to turn his back on one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, let’s just say this might make things interesting between the LGBT community and City Hall. History (herstory?) has shown you never fuck with an angry drag queen.

With that in mind, when you meet up with a Torontonian the proper greeting is “I am sorry you are currently suffering through 4 years of ignorance and child-like intelligence within your city’s government.”

That should be it for new tips. You will have a great Pride this year because I think this whole “hate city hall” (of course, except for a certain few like Krisyin Wong-Tam, always a voice of reason – see the comment at the end of this article) thing might galvanize Pride back into something more political, like it was in the 70s and 80s.

Oh and one more thing: DO NOT EAT AT ANY OF THE CHURCH STREET SIT DOWN RESTAURANTS. You’ll lose an arm and a leg for a palmfull of fries!

Happy Pride!

The Numbers Game

Amy, political, Toronto, You Stupid Dick

This just in! Breaking news from the city of Toronto. We now go to Amy, an ASL talking, Dead Robot Heavy Industries Political Correspondent. Amy?

Amy! Good Gorilla!
New big gorilla! Promise to stop eating Amy’s banana! Make banana go to smaller gorillas outside gorilla nest. Make choo choo train go through ground with no banana! But why Amy not get own banana? No worry, Amy! New deal! Get rid of most big gorillas and we only love new big Gorilla. But big gorilla break law. Big gorilla could murder someone on the steps of city hall and small outside gorillas still love. Amy think small outside gorillas are dumb.

Thank you Amy.

Couple points about last night’s vote:

While the numbers weren’t really that surprising, the speed at which they did come in, was. Thank god for algorithms that can calculate averages of political wins within 8 minutes of the polls shutting.

Twitter users are 90% liberal.

What was up with Hazel’s throat-dusty rant about “the media” when asked by CP24 if she was surprised she won again? Holy back off, grandma!

While commenting on Rob Ford’s weight is as equally unfair as commenting on Smitherman’s sexual preference, one is much funner to do than the other.

Smitherman’s speech was classy, yes. But that child needs some PR training. When Daddy says “Wave”, you better fucking wave, kid.

If you want a vision of Toronto for the next four years, see the fat fuck that cameras loved last night when Flounder won: air pumping to U2’s “Its a Beautiful Day”.

I said last night in my tweets that stand up comedians and political cartoonists will be rolling in the dough for the next while.

These certainly are interesting times.