Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh Dear God No

I've been very busy, as you could probably tell. These days, granted, I'm always very busy; it has been even busier than usual as late, though.

It is now the 30th of November, and tomorrow we will be into December; it is with this in mind that I've just now realized I... er, I... I'm not sure if I've checked my primary listed email account at all this past month. It's been two or three weeks, at least.

Oh dear. I'm actually kind of afraid to look in there now.

Boy, I'm good at staying on top of things!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Short, But Straightforward



Oh, god, I feel so bad for Milt Stegall right now.

To the best of my recollection, since he's started playing for us, every other team has won a Grey Cup. Including two teams that don't exist any more.

Sorry, Milt. Maybe next ye... aw, damn it!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Oh, And

Uptown Magazine! Thrill to it!

I grace the News & Viewpoints pages once again this week; hear tell is I'll be appearing biweekly from here on out, so heads up. And this week the issue also features such items as a profile on Chris Jericho and a PostSecret primer, so obviously I'm feeling right at home.

(The PostSecret exhibit has been bumped back a bit and is now scheduled to open December 1st, by the by. I'm quite looking forward to it.)

Go have a look! It's good stuff!

It's shaping up to be quite the busy weekend for me, so we'll see when I can next pop in to post. I've plenty to get to, that's for sure!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nice Work if You Can Get It

That Santa Claus Parade sure was, er... was... short. That's really the best descriptor I could use. It was short. I'll be going over the highlights once I have the chance to transfer the pictures off my camera and extract the few that didn't emerge as blurred, bizarre blotches.

But that'll be for later, when I have more time available. Right now, there are other matters to deal with -- like the surprise news out of our city council today!

No, not the water and sewer hike; that one was going through no matter what anybody had to say about it.

What I'm particularly interested by is the defeat of the proposal for city councillor term limits. And even then, not because of the actual result; what I was intrigued by in this story is that anyone might even have the gall to act like it could have happened.

Did any among us genuinely expect this idea to become a reality? Not a chance, my friends! Not in Winnipeg!

I was born in 1984, and only twice across my lifetime has the provincial government changed hands from one party to another. Winnipeg, as a city, has not voted out a Mayor in the last fifty years; some retired, some stepped down to run provincially or federally, and one died (yes, really), but the last Mayor of Winnipeg to run as an incumbent and lose was George Sharpe. (If that name doesn't sound familiar to you, you must not have been around to watch him lose in 1956.) And since there are city councillors who have been on the council my entire lifetime, I have no reason to believe that voters are clamoring for change there either.

I offer this up not as a good thing or a bad thing, but just as the way things are around here. If you can grab that brass ring, chances are high that it's yours to hold for decades to come -- and all that will stand in your way are your own boredom or advanced age.

And you mean to tell me there are people amongst us who would change that? Not on your life! Hell, as far as I'm concerned, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal! If my longterm life goal of being appointed to the Canadian Senate (or, as it is known colliquially, slacker heaven) falls through, it's comforting to know that there will still be other options for well-paid lifetime employment consisting of sitting in comfortable chairs and disagreeing with people all day. Gives a man something to shoot for!

Term limits, pfft. Right. Term limits, my ass.

Better luck passing that one next time, dreamers; you and I both know the same people will still be there to vote against it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holy Damn How Did They Not Lose That Game

You really can't credit the Bomber defence enough for this win today. It's lucky for the Blue Bombers that Michael Bishop was having a particularly stinky game, because two fumbles within ten yards of the endzone -- including the starting quarterback appearing to break his arm during one of them -- would usually be enough to kill a team outright.

(Admittedly, it was really funny to hear the screams of anguished disbelief from Khari Jones after that second straight goalline fumble. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME-- HOW DO YOU--")

Now that the Bombers have finally made it to the Grey Cup game, the severity of the Kevin Glenn injury looks like it might well tank their chances. I'm sure Dinwiddie is a great guy, and as a player he might well have plenty of potential, but he's thrown maybe thirty passes this year tops.

Ryan Dinwiddie makes me nervous. Ryan Dinwiddie probably makes a lot of us nervous. Just hearing Steve Armitage mention his name repeatedly during the last quarter of the game -- "We'll be back after this to watch Ryan Dinwiddie and the Blue Bombers take possession!" -- sounded terribly, terribly dangerous to me. One week isn't a lot of time to totally revamp your offensive system around a new quarterback; expect Charles Roberts to get the ball a lot against whoever represents the West in the Grey Cup. (The Bombers versus the Riders would be an awesome Grey Cup game, for a variety of reasons, but somehow I hold suspicion that the Lions might just blow them out by like thirty points today. We'll have to see.) Mind you, stranger Grey Cup games have happened. Prove me wrong, Dinwiddie!

That's going to be one weird game. Hoo, boy.

Hey, Troy Westwood was the best kicker on the field today! Go him!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Precocious Puppy Prevents Proper Post Planning; Parade Pending

I am given to brief bouts of alliteration.

We named the puppy Cadence, or 'Cady'; I wasn't the one to originally suggest the name, so she's not actually named after Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon. That was entirely coincidence.

Anyway! Cadence, being a golden retriever puppy and being maybe thirteen weeks old, is as much a handful to keep out of trouble as you would expect. I had a post plotted out in my head about the crazy weather that we'd had the last couple of days, but I've hardly been able to prepare the accompanying pictures; I have to keep myself mentally tethered to the puppy at all times right now, because a good sized puppy can destroy anything you own within seconds and then will probably have to go out to pee again right afterwards. It's like dealing with a furry, adorable combination of a water balloon and a hand grenade.

I've other work to do and a column or two to write in the immediate future -- and even now, I'm writing this message quickly and furtively on a commandeered laptop -- so the next couple blog posts may be a bit delayed. My early apologies.

However! This coming Saturday is the Santa Claus Parade (!), and since I covered the event last year I figure I'll probably have just as much fun doing it again this year. Maybe I can rope somebody into actually coming with me this time! Or at least this year I'll be more considerate of the Honey Nut Cheerios bee!

In looking at that piece again, I think my writing's actually grown a little more polished over the past year. Good. I quite obviously needed it. Soon enough I'll be writing with unflappable refinement and culture, a model of class and distincti--





Monday, November 12, 2007

What's New

I'm glad you asked! (I'm pretending you read the title out loud. Humour me.)

First order of business:

Uptown Magazine! For those of you outside of Winnipeg, Uptown Magazine is the weekly local news-slash-arts and entertainment paper; it stands among the top three most prominent city newspapers, and it makes a fine read both on paper and on the internet. This week's installment is a particularly good one, but I'll admit to a bit of bias when I say that. And that bias stems from the minor but important observation that this week I am in it.

That's right -- have a look! This week's issue marks my inaugural appearance as a columnist, weighing in on the ongoing Manitoba Hydro question that remains completely and majestically unanswered. I encourage you to read it and let me know what you thought of it. (And be honest, now! I'm pretty good at knowing when you're lying to me.)

Uptown Magazine, with a newly minted columnist -- now how much would you pay? Nothing! It's free! So go grab a copy and hunker down with it; I'm on page six, eagerly awaiting your readership.

(To all readers who are encountering me for the first time via Uptown -- greetings! Have a look around! I'd have prepared a more thorough welcome, with links to the blog's most significant posts, but quite honestly the whole development has caught me largely by surprise. It'll more satisfying to find them yourself anyway!)

That's what's new with my writing, and I'm quite pleased to announce it. What else is new with me? Again, I'm glad you asked! (I'm pretending you... ah, never mind.)

On Saturday my brother and I attended BaseLAN, the semiannual All Your Base Online gaming extravaganza; a grand time was had by all, and when we got back home we were greeted by -- wait for it --

A new puppy! Yes! A charming, affectionate twelve-week-old Golden Retriever puppy.

She doesn't have a name yet, but clearly that's a minor detail. New puppy! She is precarious and timid and only partially aware of how to work both hind legs at the same time.

Things are looking up! I can't wait to see what's waiting in the wings to kill my mood!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Now That's Good Football

Holy hell, did that game get dramatic in a hurry.

Good on Troy Westwood to come through right at the last second after blowing it a few minutes earlier; it would seem incredibly unimaginative if you wrote a movie script exactly the same way this game unfolded, but that's why movie drama is no substitute for real life drama. (And from the televised shots, it looks like the attendance pulled through after all.)

I swear, a few times during the game I thought I would have to come on here right now and put up the Disappointed Milt pic -- but his career rides on, if only until the next game. Good times.

I'll be back later tonight, to cover other subjects; just wanted to get this out of the way right now. Damn, that was a great football game to watch!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Transit All to Hell

Everybody who was clamoring for another Winnipeg Transit fare hike that will bring no accompanying increase in quality, technology, accessibility or service -- put your hands up with pride! Your city is serving you!

Our Mayor is quoted as saying that the bulk of the hike will go to a rapid transit reserve fund; this likely means that they'll bankroll just enough to budget for another task force on the subject, then laugh and have us keep riding the same candy corn clunkers we started off with.

That's just a guess, of course. I mean, I'm basing this guess on the past precedents of every Winnipeg Transit fare hike in recent memory -- but maybe we'll get lucky and I'll be wrong about it this time!

"Rapid Transit reserve fund", sure. I doubt he even made it all the way through that statement without chuckling a little, and the rest of the room probably chuckled with him. Sam Katz is no more enthusiastic about rapid transit than I am about leaving rapid transit in the hands of Sam Katz.

We weren't told that the money will pay for more drivers, or for more buses to be put on the road; we weren't told that the money will go to buying articulated buses; we weren't even told that the money will be used to construct a transit building that's actually big enough to hold articulated buses. We will be expected to pay more money for each bus ride so that the money can be put somewhere completely inaccessible to save up for rapid transit plans that we don't have and won't make.

Not to worry, though! This proposed motion hasn't been approved yet; surely the inevitable unpleasant reaction from the public and the strong opposition of our city councillors will keep the unpopular and ill advised idea from succeeding, just like they did against the police advisory b... like they did against the renewal of the red light camera contr... just like they did ag...

I'm going to go to bed and try to forget that I ever looked at the news. In retrospect I probably should have known better.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Musical Housekeeping

I haven't been able to post any music since my last storage provider went under, and anyone passingly familiar with me knows that I can't go very long without yammering openly about anything I enjoy listening to.

The major advantage of my last MP3 host was that it allowed one-click downloading (after some workarounds, mind you); the major disadvantages were that it went down frequently, had serious recurring problems with uploading and ultimately removed its free service entirely. That leaves me with few viable options for hosting, especially since my interest in other music blogs almost lives or dies by the ability to one-click. For now, I'll have to make do; the interim host takes a couple clicks to download anything, but seems to upload reliably and doesn't delete my files arbitrarily when I'm not looking. I'll roll with it.

Since I'm both a completionist and a fool, I'll be going back and reuploading everything (!) I've posted on the blog -- which means I'll then be going back and switching the addresses around in all my previous posts, so all in all there's plenty of fun in my future. Ah, the lengths I go to in my zeal to propagate music about zombies and Teppo Numminen.

I'll be sure to mention when I've got everything up to code again. It'll be good times!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Arbouring a Grudge

I think that I shall never see
a poem as lovely as a tr--

--as, uh... as half a tree?

That's definitely not the standard fare for scenery on a walk home from work; on a scale of one to expected, this is maybe a two. Coniferous trees aren't even supposed to lose their needles in autumn, let alone lose exactly half of them all on one side!

Who did that tree piss off?

Uh... well. There went that train of thought.

Fine! Forget poetry, and forget trees! From now on I'm going to stay inside all day, playing Virtua Fighter 5 Online and speaking entirely in unrhymed prose! So there!

I think I'm losing my mind.