Monthly Archives: February 2017

Toronto Transit Enforcement Posters




These posters, of the  TTC’s Transit’s Enforcement Constables, are on all the subway cars.   The following words are on the posters:

“We’re serious about your safety,”

I’m sure Transit Enforcement Constables are serious about my safety.   But all I ever see are the posters of the constables telling me about how committed they are to my safety.  I rarely see any constables.  Like police officers, these constables are never around when you need them.  When I have seen transit constables, they are standing around talking which I guess is being serious about my safety.

Oh well, their intentions are good and the posters look nice.


It’s Been A Year . . .

My good friend Dominic Zoffranieri died February 27, 2016.  Wow!  It’s been a whole year.  I was hoping to hear from him after he died.  Dominic loved telling jokes.  I was hoping he would appear to me and tell me a joke.  Nothing so far.  I have had dreams about him, but they were only dreams.

Does Dominic not appearing to me make me doubt whether we go on after we die?  No, I still believe in an afterlife, and the afterlife consists mainly of shopping at Walmart.  Perhaps Dominic is still busy buying stuff to stop to tell me a joke.  There are lots of great bargains at that Walmart in the sky.

“Dominic, buddy, I miss you.  It’s been a year since you moved away.  I still think about you and the times we had.   I don’t remember us having any bad times.  They were all good.  Feel free to stop by anytime so we can catch up.  I’d love to hear you tell me a joke or two.  Cheers!”

Happy Birthday, Didi!

Today is my baby’s birthday.  She is older than this picture.

My baby’s birth name is Elizabeth, but we call her Didi (DeeDee).  When Elizabeth was still in a crib, her slightly older sister would point at the crib and say, “Dee Dee Dee Dee Dee Dee . . .”  Was her slightly older sister trying to say, “Baby”?  Who knows? That is how Elizabeth got her nickname.

Didi was supposed to be a boy.  Some psychics had said so.  Also, my ex-wife was carrying Didi differently than Didi’s slightly older sister.  For Didi’s sister, my ex-wife was big all over. People said that meant that it was a girl and it was.  With Didi, my ex-wife looked as if she had swallowed a basketball.  She was big in the belly only.  People said that it meant it was a boy and it wasn’t.  So much for the psychics and how a woman carries.

I was not disappointed that Didi was a girl.  Whatever came out was exactly what I wanted.  There was no way I could be disappointed.

Didi used to say, “Snowsnoot.”  That was the correct pronunciation of “Snowsuit.”

“Daddy, are you gonna wash my snowsnoot?”

“Your what?”

“My snowsnoot, Daddy, my snowsnoot.”

“Your snowsnoot?”

“Yeah, Daddy, my snowsnoot.”

I had heard her the first time, but I always tried to get her to say it as much as possible without letting her know that I loved the cute way she said it.

Several years ago, my baby had a baby.  Now he is old enough to pronounce words in cute ways.  And so life goes on.

Happy Birthday, Didi!

Sporadic Blogs


I am working on a writing project and find it challenging to write blogs and work on the other project.  Some days, as you can see, are blog less.

What is this other project?  I won’t say.  The creative energy needed for writing drains away when I talk about what I am working on. Besides, I am a private person.

“Ha!” some say.  “Look at all the personal stuff you’ve blogged about,”

True, I have revealed many personal things in my blogs.   But I carefully select what I feel comfortable revealing.  And often I am writing for therapeutic reasons, and feel that the healing outweighs my need for privacy.

Still, I am basically a private person.  Some stuff about me the world may never know.

What Do You Write About . . . ?

What do you write about when you don’t know what to write about?  You just start writing and something will come out.

Perhaps what wants to be written won’t come out because of all the noise in the library.  I have blogged about how libraries are no longer places of silence.  I wear earplugs, but I can still hear talking and laughing and cell phone conversations.

I wish libraries had Silent Zones.  In these Silent Zones, there would be no talking, no laughing, no cell phone conversations.  A Silent Zone means exactly that—SILENCE.  And Silent Zones would be strictly enforced.  People talking, laughing or using cell phone would be hanged.  But if that is too harsh, then they would have to leave the Silent Zone for the rest of the day.

Lots of people are afraid of silence.  They must have a radio, music or televisions on all the time.

The fear of silence is called Sedatephobia.  Sedate is from the Greek for silent or sleeping or dead.  Phobia is from Phobos, the Greek God of fear.

I have used the word phobia a lot.  I never knew that it came from the Greek God of fear.  The Roman equivalent is Timor.  Now I know where timid came from.

I should be grateful for the noisy people at the library.  If it wasn’t for them, then I would never have looked up the fear of silence.  I may never have learned about Sedatephobia, Phobos, and Timor.

Now . . . what shall I write about?

How To Get Rich

Success Coach Tony Robbins will be in Toronto on March 18 for the Real Estate Wealth Expo. He and other experts, on how to get rich, will tell attendees how to get rich.  The advertisement reads,


Tickets for this event cannot be selling well.  Original price of $249.00 per ticket is now $69.00.  You can get two tickets for $99.00. The original price was $498.00.  Perhaps people are not accepting the idea of  “Pay me money and I’ll tell you how to get rich.”

I will tell you how to get rich and you don’t have to pay me.  Of course, I welcome donations to The Gary Johnston Foundation, but I will not charge you to tell you how to get rich. Someone gave me this advice and did not charge me.  Now I will pass it on to you.

You want to get rich?  Live on half of your income.

My Ex-Wife Is A Good Mother

It brought a tear to my eye to hear my twenty-something daughter rave about her mother. My ex-wife goes to Florida for the winter.  I was picking up my daughter at the airport after she had visited her mother for the past week.  My daughter has been on her own for several years and works two jobs.  She has to cook and clean for herself.

“Dad, it was so nice to have someone make such a fuss over me!  I didn’t have to lift a finger. Mom cooked the meals and did the dishes.  She even did my laundry and folded it in nice neat piles.  I didn’t have to do anything!”

I know how much my ex-wife misses our kids when she goes to Florida.  Through my daughter’s words, I could also feel my ex-wife’s joy in being a mother again.  No matter how old our children get, they’re still our children.

My ex-wife and I have our differences or else she would not be my ex-wife.  But no matter what she did to me using the kids, she never meant them any harm.  He actions were wrong, but her intentions were good.

I would hear other men complain how they resented the money they gave for child support because their ex-wives would use it to buy jewelry and clothes.  Not my ex-wife.  She always made sure that the money went for the kids’ needs before she spent any money on herself.

My ex-wife was and still is a good mother.

Creative Brooding

Creative brooding.  I love this term!  I first came across it as a book title many years ago.  I would love to read this book again, but it is brooding in one of 150 boxes of books in storage.

I like to use creative brooding for my unpredictable desire to be alone for a while.

This is why I avoid relationships.  It is not fair to my partner for me to suddenly shut down.  I shut down, crawl inside my head and stare off into space.  It could be at a wall.  It could be out a window.  Perhaps I am not staring at all.  Many times my eyes point a certain direction while I am inside my head looking around and brooding over whatever I find.

Silence.  Solitude.  Creative brooding.

Being single means that I can creatively brood when the mood strikes without guilt or explanation.  It also means I don’t have to answer the question, “How long are you going to be by yourself?”  I can’t answer because I don’t know.  I never know when my head will say, “Okay that’s enough. Get out.”

Family, friends and past partners do not understand that my creative brooding has nothing to do with anything they said or did.  Once I have explained that to them, they lecture me. “It’s not good for you to be by yourself.  You should learn to be with people.”  The idea of being with other people, or even another person, all the time makes me think of that hot place where some people believe we go for an eternal time-out because we broke some rules.

I have tried several relationships with women who were creative.  They understood my need to be alone, but our timing was always off. They wanted to be with me when I needed to be alone, and I wanted to be with them when they needed to be alone.  Being on my own allows me the freedom to enjoy, silence, solitude and creative brooding when I feel the need.


Valentine’s Day And The TTC


“So Gary, how did you spend Valentine’s Day?”

Mostly on the TTC, Toronto’s public transit system.  I had several hours of errands to run, but the TTC wanted me to complete them in eight hours.  The TTC said, ‘Gary, it’s Valentine’s Day.  We should spend time together.’

The first bus I took only went so far because of streetcar track repairs.  I got off the first bus and waited for a second bus.  When it came I found out that it, too, only went so far because of streetcar track repairs.  When I got off it, I had to walk under a bridge to a street where I got a third bus.  But this bus only went so far because of streetcar track repairs.  When I got off it, as far as it would go, I crossed the street and waited for a streetcar to take me to the subway.  I thought the subway would be quick once I got to it, but it was slow due to something.  It stopped and rested a lot in the tunnels between stations.  At one point, the subway went out of service and I had to wait for a bus.

In spite of all the TTC delays, I was not late for my special date.  For Valentine’s Day, I made a special date with my right hand.  How disappointing that my right hand stood me up.

“Why did your right hand stand you up?”

I don’t know.  Was it something I touched?  Oh well, at least I got to spend some quality time with the TTC.

Introducing Mr. Bear

You really do encounter an odd bunch of people at the library.  In previous blogs, I have mentioned Teddy Bear Man, Dolly Lady, Mr. Ping and other nutbars.  Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing Mr. Bear.

Mr. Bear is short.  He has the rectangular body of a bear.  Bags sit on fat cheeks under his brown eyes.  He combs his thinning black hair back.  Except for the nose, Mr. Bear looks like President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Mr. Bear’s nose is flat and fat.

Mr. Bear did not get his name because of his bear-shaped body.  Mr. Bear likes to growl and mumble-growl sporadically while he reads the newspapers.  There’s no pattern to his growls and mumble-growls.  Every so often he makes these noises while reading the newspaper.


I happened to be in the washroom when Mr. Bear came in.  He growled and walked into a stall. And then he did his business with his growling interrupted by farting noises.  Mr. Bear can growl while he reads the newspaper, but he can’t growl and crap at the same time.

“Grrrrrrrrrrrrr—fart—Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr—fart—Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr—fart fart—Grrrrrrrrrrr—fart fart fart—Grrrr . . .  ”

At first, he growled more than he farted.  But the farting increased with the growling decreasing.  Finally his farting crescendo reached a climax, and Mr. Bear growled relief.

Mr. Bear growled when he left the stall and washed his hands.  He stopped growling as he left the washroom.