Category Archives: Culture

Pokémon Players Can’t Find Elusive Comms Strategy At City Hall

Pokémon Players Can't Find Elusive Communications Plan At City Hall - Sarnia

Pokémon Go was released to Canadians a few days ago, but Sarnia players have yet to locate a fabled communication strategy at City Hall.

“There are rumours that there’s supposed to be a plan around here for disseminating information between city departments and the public in a clear, complete and accessible manner,” said 18-year-old Kieran Clarke.

“…but all I kept finding were a lot of Pidgey and motions from council.”

Kieran’s 14-year-old sister, Sarah, says she’s confident they will find it eventually.

“I see rustling in the bushes on the app, and I see something on my tracking that must be a some kind of reasonable communication strategy… maybe we just need to use more lures or get more elected officials helping us.”

Kieran said “If all else fails, I guess we can keep catching council motions until we have enough to evolve them into a communication strategy in a few years – by then we’ll have enough experience to start taking things over for ourselves anyway.”

Man Insists On Using Sidewalk, Traffic Signals During Artwalk

Artwalk - Downtown Sarnia - Traffic Lights

Several downtown Sarnia streets have been partially blocked off since Friday night as Artwalk kicks off and the streets fill with vendors, performers and pedestrians, but one pedestrian still respects the rules.

Don Bowman was visiting from Petrolia and was sure to remain on sidewalks and obey all pedestrian rules as if there was no Artwalk at all.

“It’s crazy, nobody will move out of my way, the sidewalks are full of people just standing there,” said Don Bowman of Petrolia.

Sarnian Brad Thomas was watching a performance where he said he witnessed Mr. Bowman wait for a walk signal at the Davis & Christina St. traffic lights before crossing toward him on the sidewalk.

“I don’t know what his problem was, this old man just kind of stood there staring at me on the sidewalk, he could have just walked around the crowd through the street,” said Brad.

Before leaving, Mr. Bowman insisted that pedestrians need to respect what he called the “rules of society.”

“It’s this kind of thing that leads to pandemonium, someone’s going to get hurt! Maybe I’ve had enough so-called art for one day.”

Artwalk made its 14th annual return to Sarnia’s downtown, continuing through Saturday and Sunday

Couple Gives Up On Fresh Air Due To Full Parking At Bridge

Parking lot under Bluewater Bridge in Point Edward

After being stuck inside at work and home for several days, a local couple decided it was time for some fresh air. What they did not expect to find was a full parking lot under the Bluewater Bridge.

“It was pretty disappointing,” said Josie Brown.

“We really just wanted some sunshine but everyone in Sarnia had the same idea.”

Brett, Josie’s husband, said “It’s like everyone thinks the only place they can go enjoy the outdoors is at a paved parking lot near the river.”

“I don’t know when we’re going to have another chance to go outside like that, it’d be nice if someone left room for our truck once in awhile at our special spot near the river.”

Rather than wait for several other couples to leave, the couple immediately returned home and watched shows about nature on Netflix.

A Guide To Serving & Eating Food In Sarnia

In this guest feature, Ron Thomas shares his perspective with Sarnia Post readers who enjoy eating or dream of one day opening a restaurant of their own in Sarnia. Ron has years of experience cooking for himself and dining in the Lambton County area and recently decided to become a chef after a friend told him his burgers and fried eggs were “pretty good.”


 

How To Run A Restaurant in Sarnia

Flavour = Salt + Sugar

Don’t get complicated by balancing flavours or using spices people don’t already have at home. When people dine in Sarnia, don’t patronize them by allowing them to taste any of the hard ingredients you put into a dish either. Find ways of using sugar and salt to blast away those flavours and leave your guests feeling like they’ve successfully satisfied the call of their baser cravings. When in doubt, reach for a bottle that says “sauce” somewhere on the label, anything will do. They’ll always say your food was “good” when asked and thank you, and they will be back when their addiction to salt and sugar brings them back.

Get exotic!

Set aside two or more menu items and take them international! Pick cuisines you have no cultural attachment to and absolutely zero experience in preparing and theme your dish. Add an ingredient you’ve heard is associated with that cuisine, and when naming the dish, include a word you think you’ve heard before even if you aren’t sure of it’s meaning. Pay no attention to the people that say “there’s no cheddar cheese in Thai food,” “What the hell is a Sicilian breakfast burrito?”  or that there’s “no such thing as Mexican Tilapia, Tilapia is a garbage fish anyway!”

You may notice that only a small number of people order the dish at first, but remember that so long as it is there, your guests will have a tool to dishonestly lure their friends and family with the promise of something interesting at least once before they strike your establishment from their consciousness.

Ranch it up!

Make sure half of your dishes are covered in ranch dressing, preferably fresh from a bulk can or jar. If diners can distinguish a difference between the dishes in a blind tasting, it’s probably a sign that you are not using enough ranch dressing. Nobody in Sarnia really knows what ranch dressing is, but they might get scared if they taste other flavours unfamiliar to them. If you have trouble securing a regular supply of ranch, try complimenting each dish with soggy vegetables and a small cup of ranch dressing. Some may feel threatened and leave, but it may be enough to hold their interest until you can work out the kinks with your suppliers.

Fresh is just a buzzword. 

Nobody cares if your food is fresh and actually tastes like food. Sourcing food locally just leads to more expense and less time away from your work. Make sure all your food comes frozen or in cans from a corporate supplier who makes your life easier by bringing you items already familiar to your patrons from their experiences at every other restaurant in town.

You may win them over faster if you are able to co-ordinate your deliveries so that they can witness a GFS truck beside your establishment as they arrive. They will see the truck and smile comfortably, knowing the food will taste as much like real food as the last place they went to before they even walk into the place.

Potatoes are a vegetable.

Don’t ever expect your customers to enjoy a dish they can’t swap some kind of fried potatoes into. There will be people on a health kick who will want a salad with extra ranch dressing instead of fries with their ranch burger with extra ranch dressing, but if you don’t allow fries at all, you may begin to lose trust with everyone else.

A growing number of people are finding enjoyment and merit in forming their eating habits around a vegetarian diet. It is important that they too learn to understand that potatoes are a vegetable. You may sometimes be able to include a vegetarian option on your menu, like a pasta dish of some kind (just keep cheap vegetables in the freezer in case anyone orders it, that’s all they could ever want). Be careful though, feature these items too prominently or have too many of them and you risk being labelled “weird” or “alternative” or a “health food place” and next time your restaurant comes up in conversation as a lunch possibility, someone’s friend will say “No, I’m in the mood for real food” and they’ll go have ranch burgers somewhere else.

How To Eat in Sarnia

Learn the lingo. 

Make sure to say the food is “good”. Don’t confuse yourself by trying to explain what it is that you like about your dish or think too hard about the fact that you’re probably only responding to salt and sugar and don’t actually know what food tastes like.

Use words like “different” to politely describe food that you’re afraid of. It’s not your fault it isn’t white bread and overcooked meat, but they’re nice people.

Don’t worry about actually trying to taste it, just act as if the single mouthful you’ve had was enough to satisfy your appetite. You can also ask for a box so you can take it home and smother it in ranch dressing or pitch it out when they’re not near to see it.

If they’re nice, tip nice

When you’re out enjoying a meal with your own hard-earned dollars, you should expect all the best service and some. Whoever is serving you should be smiling at all times and speaking to you like you’re royalty. Whether or not they just worked a double shift, slept a total of 4 hours in 2 days, just had their car stolen while they were busing tables or buried a loved one, you have no way of knowing anything but what your needs are and how you should be treated.

If they stop smiling for a moment, make sure to lean over to your friends and family to talk about what a bitch or asshole you think they are. See how your friends respond and create a secret consensus to tip poorly before your server gets back to the table.

Keep this in mind when waiting for your food. If you remember that you’re hungry and forget that you waited too long to visit the restaurant, make sure to blame the amount of time it takes to safely prepare food on your server, especially if you saw them talk with another employee for a moment. They may not have anything to do with the preparation of your food, but why should they stop and chat when your stomach is growling? Make sure to make a mental note so that you can penalize them further.

Also, if they forget anything or your food isn’t salty/sweet enough, they are probably a horrible human being and deserve to be paid less.

Make sure to pretend that you have nothing to gain by keeping money for yourself rather than tipping. Surely the only thing you could be accused of is caring about others and the integrity of the establishment. Spend the savings on a burnt drive-through coffee on the way home or go out for a beer somewhere else. You deserve it!

Make the space your space. 

All restaurant dining rooms are just thrown together with no consideration for anything. Nobody planned or organized anything, and they want nothing more than for you to re-arrange everything so that you can have the seat you want when you want it.

Either ask a server if they mind if you drag tables around to form an inconvenient super table, or just do it without asking. It doesn’t make a difference if you’re going to demand it anyway. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you can guilt someone into doing it for you while you stand awkwardly watching them in your jacket and outerwear.

Don’t think for a moment there was any benefit to planning ahead, making a reservation or finding a location more suitable for the size of your party. You’ll just get angry and have to give your server a smaller tip.

Bonus: Be insufferable about how warm/cool you feel while your body adjusts from the outdoors being a slightly different temperature than the dining room.

Get the drinks right.

When ordering drinks, it is important to stress your emotional attachment to your preferred brand of carbonated garbage drink. When your server asks “We only have __(cola brand)__, is that OK?”, you need to pause long enough and make just the right sounds that your server knows that they will never be able to make you happy. This will help prepare them for the low tip they will likely receive. If you are ordering beer and the server offers you things you’ve “never heard of” in the two times a year you drink in public, make sure to ask them if they have “anything domestic”, regardless of where the brew is from.

Ranch it up!

When your dish arrives, don’t spend too much time trying to taste it. Whoever made your food, designed the menu and tested dishes out for 3 months before opening probably doesn’t know what they’re doing, and you can repair it all with just the right amount of whatever salt-sugar-creme combination comes out of your favourite squeeze bottle. Start flailing your arms around to attract one of the servers and ask for ranch dressing or ketchup. Make a mental note to tip them less for not having it on the table before you got there. You’ll want to be quietly disappointed when they bring you a small cup rather than entrust you with an entire bottle, so make sure to ask for more after dumping it all on your first three tastes.

Man Finally Gets To Show Adults Cool Treehouse Plans

A new vision for Bayside Mall

After decades of yanking on pant legs and pleading with grownups to look at his drawing, a man finally has their attention.

Several downtown residents and business owners attended an information session Monday night where plans were unveiled by a developer who recently acquired the Bayside Centre and five surrounding properties.

“It’s really cool, I think they think it’s cool too, because climbing into a tree house and going inside where you putted all your stuff is cool,” said Gordon Laschinger of Wilsondale Assets Management.

The drawing took two entire recesses at school, explained Laschinger.

“Before nobody would look when I showed it to them, but now that we bought half of downtown with some of our own money, all the adults near by have to look at my picture of it and it’s really fun.”

Laschinger is confident in the plans, but remains open to feedback.

“Some of the big people didn’t like all my ideas but we made it better for them and they might like it now,” he said.

Sarnia Fission – Big Box Food & Retail Show Begins

Walmart - Sarnia Fission

Are you ready to achieve Fission?

The annual celebration of food and overseas goods from large corporate chain stores returns for the fifth time in Sarnia.

“There’s something for everybody, and all from the same old stores,” says Fission Organizer Samantha Tomlinson.

“People in Sarnia absolutely love that they can buy all the prepackaged foods they enjoy tolerating without ever having to participate in local markets or be burdened with defining their tastes or developing relationships with strangers.”

Fission will host several popular stores offering great deals and samples of oversweetened and oversalted boxed foods from the USA that every single person in North America has tried before. This year, Canadian Tire will be once again selling pre-broken automotive and home maintenance products and Walmart will offer volunteers to help patrons carry the “really big cases of pop that they need” to their vehicles. The Beer Store will be serving samples of Old Milwaukee and Coors for absolutely no sensible reason at all.

“It’s so great that they’re doing this, I don’t want to bother going into places where I have to spend a dollar more or talk to a business owner. Stores like Walmart allow me to buy clothes and food produced in the same oppressed country without having to be oppressed with involvement in my own community,” said repeat patron Margaret Davis.

“I heard there’s another event in town tonight where I could experience some new things and meet people from our region who are really showing off what local food and drink is all about. That sounds weird and uncomfortable, I’m familiar with Walmart and Sears.”

Fission, Sarnia’s big box retail corporation food festival starts tonight at 7 pm at the Walmart Garden Centre.

Sarnia Council Seeks Answers From Egg Hunt

Sarnia Easter In The Park - Egg Hunt

Are the best laid plans sometimes actually “laid?”

This Saturday is Sarnia’s annual Easter In The Park, a family event scheduled every year for the holiday weekend. The popular “egg hunt” activity will bring about something new this year…

After a year of rising tensions and heated rhetoric surrounding a number of controversial local issues and unpopular decisions, city council decided they would stop making their own decisions and would instead place various proposals and solutions in plastic eggs that are to be hidden in the park. Whichever ideas are found and collected will be tallied and rolled into decisions made on several pressing and future issues.

“Why bother anymore?” asks Coun. Bev Macdougall.  “No matter what we decide, we get it wrong and it’s probably time we let some of our young people decide for us.”

“We still want to ultimately make all the decisions but I want to be in control,” Coun. Terry Burrell said. “I’ve personally made sure I like all the possible outcomes that have been hidden in the eggs and placed my favourite ones in plain sight.”

Bradley Davis, 6, says “It will be fun to find all the answers the old people are looking for.”

The egg hunt will begin around 10 am on Saturday in Canatara Park.

Man Waiting On Gifts Before Deciding If Christmas Is Too Commercial

Sarnia Man Waiting On Presents To Decide If Christmas Is Too Commercial

Is there too much emphasis on shopping and giving expensive gifts during the holiday season? One local man is undecided for one more day.

Scott Baker, a 29-year-old process operator at Imperial Oil, is starting a week-long vacation with his family at their Sarnia home today. Tomorrow morning, he will make an important decision. He will decide whether or not he will continue exchanging Christmas gifts with his family and friends in the future.

“Every year it’s just sort of expected that everyone gets a pile of presents, it’s all about them,” says Baker. “Maybe I’ll get some really awesome stuff tomorrow but I think we’ve forgotten what the holidays are supposed to be about and I don’t think it involves me going out and getting presents for people.”

Mel Baker, Scott’s wife of 3 years, is nervous.
“Scott’s really serious about wanting a new flatscreen and an iPad air for Christmas. He thinks the holiday has lost all meaning and I’m not sure he will understand that we couldn’t afford the iPad after buying the TV and all the other things he asked for,” said Mel.

“I hope daddy likes the bottle of his favourite vodka we bought him with my birthday money,”
said Katie, Mel and Scott’s 7-year-old daughter.

Last year, Scott received an Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 but they’ve since become obsolete with the release of new gaming consoles in recent months.

Scott said “I’m quickly losing my enthusiasm for Christmas, it’s always just a little bit disappointing for everyone and I think we’d all be better off if next year we remembered what the true spirit of the holidays is supposed to be all about, not just shopping and presents.”

 

Sarnia Welcomes Nuclear Waste For Tobogganing

Sarnia Welcoming Nuclear Waste For Toboggaining

Downhill winter fun will live on, thanks to Ontario Power Generation.

Year after year, residents put on their warmest clothes and head down to Sarnia’s Centennial Park for some winter tobogganing fun. With the park being closed indefinitely due to contaminated grounds and no similarly large or suitable hills located in central Sarnia, the city was anxious to find a new location where the past time could continue.

During an in-camera meeting early this morning, City Council voted unanimously to allow Ontario Power Generation to form a three-story high mound of dirt and nuclear waste in a parking lot area near the Northgate Shopping Plaza.

OPG was previously seeking to build a deep underwater facility to store high-level nuclear waste in Kincardine, Ont., but was met with opposition by several Ontario citizens including Sarnia’s Mayor Mike Bradley.

“We knew drilling a hole in the lake was a bad risk to take for Sarnia, but with our new plan, everyone wins,” said Bradley.

City council expressed no concerns. Councillor Mike Kelch suggested there is only one thing left to do, “Bring on the hot cocoa!”