Category Archives: Odds & Ends

No Illegal Dumping

IMG_0820We came across this sign the other day at the edge of a parking area at the intersection of two highways. I’m trying to imagine people pulling up and dumping their junk in the ravine. Do people really do that? I’m betting the folks who put up the sign had been dealing with that kind of behaviour for some time.


I have a G-Mail account I use just for our mosaic work, mostly so that any requests for mosaics don’t get lost amongst the flotsam, jetsam that is my my main account. For some reason this account in particular gets badly spammed. Here are this morning’s entries.

How are you?
My Name is Mr.soki van; native of TARKWA Gold Mines I am the Sales Manager of my company here in Ghana-West Africa. I actually deal in Gold Dust, Gold bars, we need a good buyer for Gold Bar, Gold Dust,this article (Gold Dust)
1. 100Kgs Gold Dust
2. 22+carat plus
Am contacting you on behalf of my Community.
Waiting to hear from you soon.
Best regards.
Mr.soki van

And then there is this beauty from one Wyatt Rybchinsky.

We are in need of a Reputable Company/Individual in Canada and USA that can act as our Company Intermediary between Ma-Shan Iron & Steel and its clients in US/Canada region). Please send response to the Regional Manager Mr. Wang.The job will only take few minutes of your time daily. You can Earn Extra dollar while doing your normal job/Business.

Maybe I can get Mr. soki van, Wyatt Rychinsky and Ma-Shan together to take full advantage of this business opportunity? I will say, Wyatt Rybchinsky is an excellent spam name.


Thursday evening in The LB

This evening we sallied forth across the invisible border between Long Branch (or The LB as our neighbour Kate calls it) and New Toronto to a new joint called Ember. We used to go there when it was Long Grain Pan Asian food, but that’s ancient South Etobicoke history and Ember is the new kid in town.

The attraction tonight was live music – our friend and neighbour Chris Plock was playing along with a guitar player. Chris sings and plays all the saxes and clarinet and flute. Steve on guitar also sings, and these guys sound great together. It was especially fun because some other neighbours, Kate and Leon and Jolene and Phil came too. (by the way I realized tonight that I haven’t exactly told my neighbours I’ve had this 27th Street blog going since we moved here several years ago….surprise!)

For us it had to be a short evening, both because we get up at 5:30 weekday mornings so we generally can’t stay up too late, but as well, Tuffy P still needs lots of rest – regular readers will know that a little over a month ago, she became a liver donor, donating the right lobe of her liver to help give someone who needed one to live a fighting chance. It may have been a short night out but it was a fun one.


I’ve likely confused some readers by talking about South Etobicoke and Long Branch and New Toronto – and I didn’t even bring up Mimico. Maybe I should try to explain.

A number of years ago, Toronto was amalgamated. The area in which I live was once the Borough of Etobicoke, quite a big area on the west side of the city from the lake to Steeles Avenue on the north. Toronto proper is to the east and Mississauga is to the west. Etobicoke itself, along the lake, had three distinct “villages”, once upon a time. These were:

  • Mimico on the east – from Fleeceline Rd and Louisa St to the east to Dwight Ave to the west and north to maybe Evans Ave (?).
  • New Toronto in the middle, from Dwight to 23rd St on the west
  • And Long Branch, from 23rd St west to Etobicoke Creek in Marie Curtis Park.

At some point in the 60s, the three villages were amalgamated into Etobicoke and in 1998 Etobicoke was amalgamated into Toronto. In spite of the efforts of politicians to chunk everything together (with a promise of big savings which somehow didn’t materialize, but that’s another story), residents around here still identify as part of Etobicoke and as part of one of the three villages. We might say we live in South Etobicoke or we might say we live in Long Branch, or if we’re talking with someone who has no idea about those places, we might even say we live in Toronto.

Our neighbourhoods are unique because they border Lake Ontario on the south and they are isolated from the rest of the city by both the rail tracks and the QEW/Gardiner expressway. One of these days, I’ll devote some space to some of the history around these parts.

Tonight, Kate was saying we should do a blog called The LB (for Long Branch) all about life in The LB. That’s when I mentioned that I run the 27th Street blog. I suppose I should have spread the word about it ages ago, but I guess I figured people would find this place if they’re interested. I know there are a few lurkers out there who live in the area. I post regularly as you know, but I don’t put much effort (translate: any) into promoting this blog. Of course there’s room for more than one blog on 27th Street – or maybe I can convince Kate to make some posts on this blog! Perhaps I’ll simply send her an invitation to post here.  Stay tuned.




More tremelo?

Somebody landed on this blog today after searching the question, how to add more tremelo to diatonic accordion reeds. Good question. I happen to have the answer. The amount of tremelo has everything to do with the tuning.  Accordions have 2 or 3 or even 4 reeds for each key or button, tuned octaves apart. For very little tremelo – dry tuning, you want the pitch to be exactly or very close to exactly octaves apart. If you tune any of the notes a tiny bit sharp or flat, you get tremelo. You can find a much better explanation than I can give on Hans Palm’s Accordion Page.

In my experience, many Portuguese players like to have the wettest tuning, that is to say the most tremelo. I’ve heard that sound referred to as “wide-open musette”. It’s become a characteristic of their folk music. Here’s an example I found on YouTube.

If you tried to tune your accordion for any more tremelo than this, it would sound out of tune. Here’s an example of much drier tuning.

It’s much crisper and cleaner without much tremelo effect.

So the answer to the searcher’s question is to take the accordion in to a good tuner who will make the adjustments by scratching or filing the reeds. This is time consuming and can get expensive. It’s best if you know the kind of sound you’re after when you buy your accordion and you get one already tuned the way you like it.