Sunday 21 November 2021

"small" prose piece for my Creative Writing Course at University of Windsor about small things

Iceland's famous hot dog stand

 Never mind the rat. Bad things come in tiny bites

By Stephen Weir

Since this is the end of the term and you will have long forgot this 4-page story (oops) by January, I can shamelessly tell you about my bad habit of eating street food. No, I don’t mean an Island Patty from the food truck at the corner, I am talking about protein that has tumbled from someone’s mouth onto the road or a pet drenched lawn.

I can’t help myself. I am always hungry and what tastes better than free food, even when you get it from the gutter? With me the 5-second rule is my life’s mantra.

Haven’t heard of it? Author Mel Robins (The 5-Second Rule) describes it thusly. “Almost everyone has dropped some food on the floor and still wanted to eat it. If someone saw you drop it, she might have yelled, "5-second rule!" This so-called rule says food is OK to eat if you pick it up in 5-seconds or less.”

To be honest, after a near death experience in Iceland I will NEVER AGAIN stretch my count past the 5-second mark. Trust me, if you eat past the 5-second limit you will die, and from personal experience that isn’t a little lie. And, if you end up on the ground with the Icelandic EMTs shouting proudly to the instant crowd that the þrjátíu-seconds rules works, open your eyes and say that you are okay before their stomach pump hits the back of your throat!

I was in Iceland to cover the annual AirWaves November Music Festival for anyone who would buy the story. The music is unique, one of the big Icelandic songs that year was Dancing in the Street in Your Underwear.

But I digress a tiny bit. One thing you need to know about Iceland, everything is expensive and weird. A slab of BBQed Minke Whale will set you back $70 and apparently tastes as bad as their $80 Fermented Greenland Shark. I settled on $30 Mamaburger sized burgers (they are really small), which is why, as I went broke, picking up and wolfing down found street meat had a growing appeal.

The only place that you can get anything cheap is a 24-hour stand near the Ocean. They only serve $3 5-inch long hot dogs (that is quite small). The mini tube steak is made with lamb packed into a traditional casing of sheep’s intestine. It is broiled over the burning coals of dried lamb poop. You are allowed to drink $15 Viking bottled beer while you stand in an extremely long line-up, so you don’t mind the rain, the snow and the crazies dancing in the street in their underwear.

Drunk. Wet. Mostly Naked. More tiny-tot hot dogs hit the never-cleaned sidewalks, than into waiting mouths. After buying a deuce of dogs, I rushed back in the freezing rain to the festival hall. The sidewalk was a skating rink. Before I could count to five I was airborne. Horrors my two lamb dogs slid under a dirty Jaguar (owned by the hot dog chef).

I had already counted to 10 when I felt a small mushy bun under the Jag. I started the count again and pulled out three hot dogs from beneath the exhaust pipe. The bonus dog was lumpy and squirming a bit inside the sandy brown bun but I didn’t care, not even a little bit. As I wolfed down my newly found dinner, I noticed small holes in my hand and blood on my lamb dog!

I don’t remember when I went down for the count again. I woke up surrounded by two short paramedics. “What happened”? I asked. “Food poisoning and it looks like you’ve feed a couple of small Wharf Rats with your hand said one EMTer”.

“Hmm” I moaned lowly to her, “maybe it was the other way around. Coulda been a rat in my half-eaten sheep dog!”

They pulled up the carcass of a tiny Icelandic Wharf Rat from under my elbow. It was brown in colour with scattered mustard covered hairs. It had an oil stained grayish-white underbelly. It’s body was tiny but heavily built. Unlike a Dieppe Park River Rat, this fellow’s tail was super stubby. Ugh, both the tail and ears were hairless and covered in scales.

The medical crew figured the other rat had climbed into a hot dog and I had scarfed down the bun, the dog and a minuscule Wharf Rat in one gulp. Fearing the “knock” wurst, the medical team said it had to come out. Immediately. It wasn’t their first rodeo, a well-worn tummy pump instantly appeared. I instinctively knocked it away.The nozzle separated from the hose and rolled into the gutter.

Paramedic Number One began to count in Icelandic. Her partner found the nozzle and reconnected the hose. “Þrjátíu!” shouted Paramedic Two. “Following the 5-second rule?” ”Yeah” she answered. “Here we call it the þrjátíu-rule.” Still counting she rammed the hose into where the rat dog had gone before. Meanwhile Paramedic One found a small pair of dirty underwear and wrapped my smallish rat wound.

I had a little sleep in the hospital. 5-days to be exact. I woke up as they wheeled my gurney through the crowded airport. I was going home; 5 pounds down and a tad hungry.

The EMTs pushed fast and yelled FREE FOOD. Well, they had found some, sort of. My gurney had sideswiped a smallish man totting a tray of those dwarf lamb dogs. I started counting and hit the floor, the paramedics were right after me. No time to chew I swallowed down all the floor dirty dogs before reaching 5. Pity, the EMTers didn’t count in English; turns out þrjátíu means 30- seconds.

Iceland airport hot dog stand

Back in Windsor, in Dieppe Park, I spy five Detroit River Rats feeding on a small-sized Capri Pizza. Did that scare me? Not even a little bit.

 Kicked the rats into the river, brushed off some icky things from the 5-inch“zaw” and swallowed it whole before I got to 5. I was cured.

True story? Mostly! I admit a few little white lies snuck into this minuscule rodent’s tail.

Monday 8 November 2021

Not Just Another Brick In The Wall

ADBCC The People’s Residence Launches the Champions Challenge Competition to raise funds for their new home in Mirvish Village opening Fall 2022

Toronto, ON - Friday, November 8, 2021
From now until the end of December champions from all walks of life will be tapping into their competitive spirit in the Champions Challenge to show their support for A Different Booklist Cultural Centre (ADBCC) - The People’s Residence. The challenge consists of 3 rounds. In each round, 4 supporters of ADBCC will challenge their network to support them and buy a brick for the new People’s Residence. The champion who raises the most funds within the 14 days will be crowned as the winner of that Champions Challenge. The first challenge is focused on the Entertainment industry and features 4 trailblazers in the industry: Eddie Bullen, Jamar McNeil, Molly Johnson, and DJ Power.
“I can’t think of Bathurst and Bloor without thinking of A different Booklist Cultural Centre. They run many important and informative programs and events. I believe in the new People's Residence.” Says Eddie Bullen.
The Champions Challenge is part of the Buy-a-Brick campaign that invites everyone to purchase a digital brick in support of ADBCC’s new home at 756 Bathurst Street. Each person who purchases a brick will have their name permanently engraved on the digital brick wall of ADBCC. Every $100 brick purchased directly supports the building and operations of the ADBCC - People's Residence.
Buy-A-Brick Capital Campaign
Between now and the end of the year, ADBCC-The People’s Residence remains open. The organization has been actively transitioning their program online, while fundraising to meet their infrastructure goals. Their Buy-A-Brick capital campaign is a community driven fundraising initiative with a target to sell 5000 bricks and raise $500k. This campaign gives everyone a chance to cement their legacy and own a digital brick with their name permanently housed in the new space. To support this campaign, visit
Upcoming Events
Beyond the Buy-A-Brick campaign, there are many ways to support the centre and its important work in the community:
1. follow ADBCC-The People’s Residence on Instagram and Facebook to show your support and stay in the know,
2. attend upcoming events like Welcome to Blackhurst, Literary Salons, or the Schulich Program.
3. help build awareness and share their story with your family, friends and colleagues.
To donate and support this important cause:
Follow ADBCC on social media:
Instagram - @adifferentbooklistcc
Facebook - @adifferentbooklistcc
About The People’s Residence:
The People’s Residence (ADBCC) is a hub and a destination that uses arts and culture to teach, educate, develop skills, connect and celebrate our rich heritage while building economic power within the African and Caribbean Canadian communities. We are for the people, by the people. We are continually evolving.
Media Enquiries Contact:
Abena Perryman
Andrew Perry Marketing
P: (416) 951-5359

E: abenap@andrewperry,com 

Tuesday 26 October 2021


 New deal to improve efficiency, cost and peace of mind for home owners worldwide      

                                  Matrix Mortgage Global CEO Shawn Allen

Wee-Cig International Corporation (OTCMarkets: WCIG), a company focused on identifying and growing top tech companies in emerging markets, today announced plans to join forces with Matrix Mortgage Global to mint critical mortgage and real estate documentation in blockchain-enabled NFT form.

Matrix Mortgage Global is Canada's leading mortgage brokerage, led by CEO and Broker of Record Shawn Allen, the four-time winner of the coveted Canadian Mortgages Inc. Award for Broker of the Year, Private Lending.

Through the planned collaboration, EZ NFT will support Matrix Mortgage Global in their shared vision of digitizing the mortgage process on the blockchain, by building a system to mint key real estate documentation including mortgage deeds, identification, appraisals and inspection reports as NFTs. As a result, the documentation will be rendered proven, immutable and non- fungible.

In the first world, the transition of physical documentation to NFT form will enhance efficiency and reduce fees while providing improved access to critical players in real estate transactions. The benefits will be even greater in other geographies where NFT documentation will provide lasting, uncontested proof of ownership – mitigating genuine risks of forgery, corruption, theft, damage and loss.

“Moving mortgage documentation to the blockchain is a step in the right direction and will certainly open the door to many other applications in the space,” said Allen. “Realizing our vision requires a strong and credible partner with a depth of NFT experience and capability. As the first publicly traded company in the NFT space, EZNFT’s professionalism, reputation and existing capability position them as the ideal partner for us in this exciting endeavour.”

“I’m energized by the potential for our engagement with Matrix Mortgage Global,” added Korus. “In an industry ripe for disruption, they were the first mortgage lender in North America to accept cryptocurrency for home down payments. Now they are taking their leadership a step further by transitioning critical mortgage documentation to the blockchain.”

More detail about the planned partnership will be announced in the coming weeks.

About Matrix Mortgage Global

Matrix Mortgage Global has championed alternative lending in Canada since 2008. With a strong infrastructure and innovative lending products, Matrix Mortgage Global played a critical role in navigating Canadian borrowers through the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Currently Matrix Mortgage Global is a hub that assist Canadians by providing access to financial resources key to navigating the Global Pandemic.

Matrix Mortgage Global, the reigning four-time Brokerage of the Year provides a solution-based lending approach with many out the box financing options geared to keep pace with the rapidly changing lending landscape. With over $1.5B in mortgage originations and a diverse suite of mortgage and investment solutions, Matrix has revolutionized the accessibility of alternative and private funds in Canada. Matrix Mortgage Global is the first mortgage company to accept crypto currency for mortgage transactions in North America. As a major stakeholder in the Canadian mortgage landscape Matrix Mortgage Global advocates for Canadian borrowers at all levels of government.

About Wee-Cig International Corporation

Wee-Cig International Corporation is a publicly traded holding and acquisition company (WCIG) with a particular talent in identifying top tech companies in emerging markets and helping them get to the next level. Constantly scouring the technology landscape to find the best investment opportunities, Wee-Cig targets companies that capitalize on unique opportunities by leveraging extensive, decades long industry relationships and management expertise. For more information, visit: 
About the EZ365 Ecosystem

EZ365 leverages the transparency and immutability of blockchain technology to break down barriers to owning digital assets and unleash the vast growth potential of the NFT, online gaming industry and the cryptocurrency world.

customer support, security, ease-of-use and the customer experience; making it easy for users to invest, play, trade and learn in a secure environment. The EZ365 team includes leaders in blockchain and cryptocurrency development, network and security infrastructure for global capital and derivatives markets and the online gaming space. Together they bring the rigor and methodology of established financial market security and deeptechnology expertise to the EZ365 platform

For more information on EZ NFT visit For more information on Matrix Mortgage Global visit

For media inquiries contact: Carla Allen Investor/Media

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Anti Gun Violence March This Saturday, Yonge and Bloor Street 3pm Toronoto


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Mother’s Peace Walk – against Gun Violence and recognizing the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Homicide
Saturday, September 25th, starting from Yonge and Bloor at 3:00PM
Mothers from across the city and province, impacted by the tragic loss of children due to gun violence will be walking for peace to recognize the National Day of Remembrance for victims of homicide on Saturday, September 25th.
The Walk for Peace is being organized several community organizations that are working to engage mothers and families in desperate need of multiple supports to deal with their never ending grief and trauma, after losing children to gun violence..
“This never ending grief and trauma creates conditions that help to feed into the vicious cycle of gun violence that continues to devastate people’s lives, families and communities” according to Louis March, Founder of the Zero Gun Violence Movement..
The Peace Walk is an opportunity for the Mothers to speak out about the impact of gun violence on their lives and an opportunity to say, enough is enough, and that the time is now for all levels of government to listen and take action. Clearly what is being done now, is not working.  
In addition to the mothers speaking out, the program will also include several young people who have been directly impacted by gun violence. One person recently had over 50 rounds shot through his house and with one bullet passing within inched of his head. Unfortunately, he had had also loss a close friend to gun violence. Another young person will speak about the recent loss of a close friend who had turned his life around  and had become a model citizen, community champion and youth worker, impacting many lives in a positive ways.
Also featured on the program will be various local artists speaking about the horrors of gun violence and encouraging people to value their own lives and the lives of others. The Peace Walk will end up at Nathan Phillips Square where the program will take place.
Please contact Louis March from Zero Gun Violence Movement at 416 577 3908 or Brooklyn Watson from Dear Black Men at 647-769-1623 for further information.

Thursday 29 July 2021

Two short stories - marketing and travel - Slim Jim and

 Sports Marketing Short Bite

Slim Jim And Tall Chris

Saint Lucian Canadian basketball player Chris Boucher hasn’t been spotted much around Toronto these days. But, that could because we are looking in all the wrong places.

Don’t watch for the Toronto Raptor player on the court (he is taking it easy this summer) but check out the snack counter at any local food store!  Earlier this week the Mississauga based Conagra's Snacks Company announced that it has hired the Power Forward to becomes the ambassador of it’s Slim Jim meat snack!

"When we learned Chris' love of Slim Jim, we couldn't wait to work with him," said Andrea Stodart, Marketing Director for Conagra Brands. "With the snacking industry continuously growing, we saw this opportunity as a game changer. We are so excited to partner with one of the greatest athletes in Canada and to reach the next generation of fans!"


As the Slim Jim ambassador Boucher’s image will be used in advertising materials, including social media and in-store displays at retailers across Canada.

The 28-year was born in Castries, St Lucia. He moved with his mother, to Montreal when he was five years old to see his Canadian father. His mother raised him on her own in Quebec. He dropped out of high school at age 16 and worked as a cook and dishwasher in a St. Hubert restaurant. In 2012, he was offered his first basketball gig – a spot on a Canadian tournament basketball team. 

Boucher, who played with the Toronto Raptors in the 2020/21-bubble season, is entering the second year of a $13.5 contract. 

The 6 ft. 9 in (2.06 m) basketball star has the time to promote Slim Jim, he is taking the summer break seriously – he did not join the Canadian National team this year to recover from an injury.  

In late May he posted the following note to his fans on Instagram: “To all my Team Canada fans asking why I’m not on the roster,” posted Boucher. “ I’m disappointed that I won’t be playing this summer, but, I’ve decided to take the time to continue rehabbing my knee to make sure I’m 100% next (Raptor) season.”


Tourism Short Bite

Jet Service, Miami to Dominica, just in time for the Christmas rush


Tickets have already gone on sale for a new jet service to the island of Dominica. American Airlines for the first time will fly direct between Miami and Dominica starting December 8th


The service will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday, departing Miami International Airport at 11am and arriving at Douglas-Charles Airport at 3:21pm. The return flight will leave Dominica at 4:24pm and arrive in Miami at 6:55pm

Dominica Airport Terminal (right)

This route decision by American Airlines comes after a successful proving flight, which occurred last month. The airline used an Embraer jet for the test run, and it will be the South American made plane that will be used when the new service kicks off. The Embraer will have both business class and economy seating. 

American Airlines will be offering a similar service to the island of Anguilla beginning in December.

Monday 26 July 2021

Celebrating Freedom on Toronto's Bloor Street one street corner at a time


Sunday on Bloor St - Sign Says It All - sweirsweir

Emancipation on Bloor

August 1st  1-3 pm


WHAT Emancipation on Bloor is an animation of the Bloor Street Cultural Corridor from Yonge and Bloor to Christie and Bloor adding to the August 1st Emancipation Day activities. The animation takes place at key intersections on Bloor at Yonge, Bay, Avenue Rd, St. George, Spadina, Brunswick, Bathurst, Palmerston, and Christie Pits with a number of artistic expressions.


Emancipation on Bloor takes passersby through a series of “statements” through artistic expression including the liberation from chains, masquerade, spectrums of beauty, stereotypes, something of textiles, respect, resistance, and resilience.


WHERE:  Pannists will be stationed at the intersections mentioned above as an anchor for the “statements”. The “stage” for performers is located on the sidewalks along Bloor from Yonge to Christie in areas are that spacious to ensure passersby and artists can adequately socially distance.


We are asking the Bloor Street Corridor Collaborators to make their own “Statement of Emancipation” on the pavement at their respective intersections which will weave the artistic expressions down the road.


WHEN Emancipation on Bloor will take place on Sunday August 1st, 1pm to 3pm. This initiative is led by A Different Booklist Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Festival Management Committee (FMC), and the Carnival Arts Community.


Why? Emancipation on Bloor commemorates an important milestone for descendants of Enslaved Africans marking the abolition of slavery and honours the many contributions and resilience of African peoples throughout the Diaspora. With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent declaration that August 1st will be recognized as Emancipation Day in Canada, it is important to mark this year’s Emancipation with a visual expression and statement.




How: Through a heritage instrument, statements on the sidewalk and portraits of Canadians.


Pannists stationed at intersections


1. Yonge & BLOOR -







7. Christie - Drums 


THE STORY - Through groups and animation


They Came BEFORE COLUMBUS - THE SCHOLARS  - Nigel Barriffe - Educators

Africa - Timbuktu is the seat of Knowledge - T-Shirts.


THE BEAUTY OF BLACKNESS - Nasa - 647 207 7395


THE ENSLAVEMENT PERIOD - Family - Yes - Nicole Osbourne - taking off chains at Christie Pits  


THE RAPE OF AFRICA  - Gold and Uranium - Akua 3-5




THE RESILIENCE  - Carnival Masqueraders - Carnival public expression of emancipation




Rebellions - shirt short / hoe

Garvey movement - General

Pan-Africanist movement

Independence movement

Harlem Renaissance

Civil Rights movement

Rastafari movement

Black Lives Matter


Contact : Shannon at


Friday 23 July 2021

Dr. Lynn Jones, an African Nova Scotia leader will blow the whistle

Annual Emancipation Day Underground Freedom Train Ride (Virtual) July 31st., 10.45 PM


Dr. Lynne Jones

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  National Emancipation Day is coming as Dr. Lynn Jones, an African Nova Scotia leader, educator, community activist and trade unionist, blows the whistle to start the 2021 virtual Toronto Underground Freedom Train ride at 10:54 PM on July 31st.


Each and everyone is welcome to join us on our annual Toronto Freedom Train ride as we recognize the challenges and opportunities provided by Canada’s proclaimed Emancipation Day. The ride will be an incredible journey and experience about the Underground Railroad, the route enslaved Africans used to escape American slave plantations, seeking freedom in Canada and ultimately Emancipation Day on August 1st.


The theme of this year’s Freedom Train ride is ‘The Fire Within’ as we focus on the element of fire and its power to re-kindle, transform and inspire. The train ride will feature a national declaration of Emancipation Day by Senator Wanda Bernard one of the Train Ride’s previous “Conductors” and an advocate for Canada’s national recognition of Emancipation Day. 


Also featured this year will be performances by Randell  Adjei, the first Poet Laureate of Ontario, award-winning composer  Andrew Craig,  musicians Eddie Martinez, Amani Woods, Phoenix, the Freedom Train Ride Choir, and various pulsating voices from around the country and across the seas. 


Notables confirmed  to participate during the Freedom Train Ride include:

1) Mayor John Tory

2) Chief Diversity and Culture  Officer TTC - Keisha Campbell

Everyone is welcome to join us on the virtual Underground Freedom Train Ride to celebrate National Emancipation Day by tuning in to YouTube channel ADBCC - The People’s Residence - 10.45 PM


Please contact Louis March at 416 577 3908,  for further information. Information is also available on social media, twitter, Eventbrite, and instagram platforms under FreedomTrainTor.

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Prescott house for sale - 300 metres to the wreck of a 19th century paddlewheeler SCUBA Heaven


Selling my late father's home just outside of Prescott Ontario. 300 yards from the St. Lawrence River directly adjacent to the wreck of the 19th Century wooden twin side wheeler Rothesay.
Other wrecks nearby. 3-bedroom house with indoor hot tub. Outdoor in ground pool (installed new pump last week) - total privacy from 12 ft tall living fence.Workroom in basement suitable for a compressor. We suit up in the huge garage.

Just outside of Prescott, Ontario, home is at 22 Sunnymeade, located in the sought after Riverview Heights subdivision. Upon entry you are greeted by a large foyer, off the foyer you have interior access to the double attached garage, up a few stairs you have a living room, dining room and eat in kitchen. Down the hallway you will find a 4 pc bathroom, 2 good sized bedrooms, a 3rd room that is currently being used as a hot tub room, could make a great master bedroom as it has a 2 pc en suite bathroom, 2 closets and patio doors leading to the back deck.  
House is 40 minutes from Ottawa, 10 minutes from Brockville and 5 minutes from Ogdensburg NY. The asking price? $319,000 Cdn. 

The lower level consists of a finished rec room, a utility room and a large workshop area. This home is situated on a large corner lot that hosts a private hedged in yard with stunning inground pool. Put in a new pool pump last week.
Check out the listing that went up yesterday. You can always contact me at Unique location for divers and anglers.
Divers suit up to dive the Rothesay. This park is 200 meters south of our garage!

Wednesday 5 May 2021

Various jpgs, cutlines and screen grabs for Windsor U communication courses 2021

Memes for Notebook Assignment - Vince - 1st Year

meme 1(above) meme 2 (below)

Meme: Putin and the Sputnik Virus.

Photo for 3rd year class: Stephen Weir Shooting Interview for Susanna Moodie exhibition with Charlie Pachter and Margaret Atwood, George on Camera (me in green shirt)

JPGs for Vince's class Assignment 1: Digital Memory.  Is our memory of Marilyn Monroe on the subway vent the "real memory"

School Dayz 2021- After 45+-years I have returned to studying part-time at the University of Windsor.  While I am enjoying the challenge of studying in the emerging digital age, I am having difficulty with the University's Microsoft based online programme.  

I have daily wrestling matches with their Black Board software, and sadly I must report that I am losing. But as Plato wrote Necessity is the mother of invention.  These pictures are posted in my blog so that I can reference this site to allow GA markers to see the photographs I am writing about.

Currently I am writing a paper critical of a much quoted paper by Benjamin Jacobsen and David Beer Quantified Nostalgia: Social Media, Metrics, and Memory). I want to include three pictures of Marilyn Monroe standing on an air grate.  One photo is a pre-digital era meme - it is recognized and part of the public's memory - Marilyn defying the mores of the 50s by wickedly smiling as her underwear is exposed in the blast of hot air blowing out of a subway vento into her crotch.

The second picture, taken by Canadian photographer Sam Shaw, shows what was really happening on the grate.

The third photograph shows how jpg manipulation allow this famous picture can produce digital memories in colour, even though the original was shot in B&W.

The pictures were taken while the movie The Seven Year Itch was being made.  The film is a 1955 Billy Wilder romantic comedy and starred Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell.


The picture the world remembers

A picture of what really happened

Colourized Marilyn on the grate 

Two photographs for CMAF quiz showing how while Mass Media is down-playing negative news about vaccines, protesters are returning to anti-establishment street news to get their messages seen.  This Sun box is one block north of Yonge St and Eglinton Avenue.  This is one of the busiest intersections in Canada - the unedited message is seen by thousands of people an hour (during rush hour) 

Yonge / Eg anti-vax graffiti