Saturday Brew: Testing Steve O'Brien's Customer Service, G20 Fears, Political "Outsiders" and the Mayoral Race, Crazy Parking Sign(s), Locker Boxing Video

Photo: "Ludicrous Speed!" by scienceduck, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

In an effort to gauge the customer service acumen of Steve O'Brien, the luxury hotel general manager whose been appointed volunteer head of the TTC's customer service panel, a Star reporter stayed at his hotel posing as the guest from hell. Making a plethora of unreasonable requests, this exercise sounds like a good idea/test. The problem, however, is that I get the distinct sense that TTC riders aren't looking for the moon -- they just want competent and mostly friendly service.

On the heels of the official confirmation that the G20 summit will take place in Toronto on June 26 and 27, Adam Vaughan, the councillor of the ward in which the summit will be held, is voicing his concerns. Multiple road closures, inaccessible subway stops, and a no-go zone protected with three-metre high barbed-wire fences will likely be part of the meetings. What Vaughan says won't really accompany the G20 is much in the way of tourist dollars, as the participants are basically sequestered the whole time they're here.

Who's the real "Outsider" of Toronto's mayoral race? And will he or she win? According to this article, the Outsider "is a political candidate who runs against the very institution he pretends to want to lead. As a representative of protest, the greater the lack of experience of that institution he or she possesses, the better qualified he or she is to lead it." Rocco Rossi's rhetoric certainly fit this bill, but the question is whether or not voters will be convinced that no experience at City Hall is actually a good thing.

Despite too much time and money spent on grad school, I'll admit that once in a while I completely misread parking signs. Though probably a manifestation of laziness, some signs that are worse than others. A recently posted set of signs near Carlton and Parliament, has been called the craziest in Toronto. It's also precipitated a debate between a local resident and a school principal. Looking at the photo, they actually seem clear enough to me.

The Star has posted a video of 15-year-old hockey players "locker boxing" accompanied by an article that feigns shock at the violence of the activity, going so far as to compare it to scenes from David Fincher's Fight Club. While not by any means recommended behaviour, let's try to keep in mind that the kids are wearing their helmets and hockey gloves and that there's a sport known as boxing, which is completely legal in Ontario.

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