Tuesday, May 31, 2011

James Hope Howard Liveblogs the (Cottage-Antenna CBC Feed of the) NHL / True North MTS Centre Press Conference

10:50 AM

Greetings from beautiful Ponemah, Manitoba, along the southwestern shores of majestic Lake Winnipeg! I finally found a few days on my schedule to get out and enjoy some time at the cottage, so of course once I was out of the city True North Sports and Entertainment speedily completed their deal to purchase the NHL's struggling Thrashers team from the Atlanta Spirit Group.

So Winnipeg will have an NHL team! That's great! And the mass wave of jubilant civic celebrations are happening while I'm out of town; that part's not as great, but whatever, I've got a lake fifteen steps from my porch. I'll live.

Yes, assuming the press conference at the MTS Centre is actually about an NHL team and True North didn't just call it for giggles, our fair city is on the verge of patching up one of the longest, deepest, most noticeable scars on its collective psyche. How long will the presser run? Will the much-debated name of the soon-to-cease-being-hypothetical team be announced today, or held off for a future media event? Will the ticket drive be formally announced, and will ticket prices be disclosed alongside it? And -- surely the question on everybody's minds today -- will this cause Gary Bettman to discard his human disguise and rampage around like Yakra XIII in Chrono Trigger?

Well, we're about to find out! I may be missing the parties, but I've got the official business locked down; I have a crackly CBC feed running over the airwaves, channel six on the dial, so let's you and I liveblog this coverage here and see what we all learn.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Murder's Half Acre Headlines MapFest 2011 (Plus: The Biker Whose Radio Betrayed Him)

Happy belated Victoria Day! I hope you all enjoyed your day off; it ended in an overnight frost warning that has continued the rest of the week thus far, so any delicate plants you left outside are probably dead, but other than that HAPPY VICTORIA DAY.

I've been lying low the last little while, busying myself with my usual webmaster work and vocal work and column work (yo, Uptown this Thursday, grab it) plus seasonal cottage-opening duties and doing my best to land actual paying employment (it was so close I could taste it oh please please please please), but left to my own devices long enough I go the blogging equivalent of stir-crazy and bust out something ludicrous.

Such is the case today! It was on the most recently recorded episode of Winnipeg Internet Pundits that we discussed the unflattering and undeserved moniker of "Murder's Half Acre" for West Broadway; Point Douglas deals with a similarly unsavoury nickname, a neighbourhood intermittently dubbed the "Fire Zone". And my initial thought was that it is neither nice nor proper to name neighbourhoods like they're metal bands -- but then I gave that sentiment a second thought and corrected myself that, no, wait a minute, that would be awesome.

So! What if we did name as many of our neighbourhoods as possible like they were metal bands? I soon added "and punk bands" to the end of that question, as you'll discern for yourself shortly; I've got a bit of a subversive streak in me, so the punk names rolled a little more easily for me than some of the metal names did.

With the exception of "Fire Zone" -- one of the two names that inspired this exercise in the first place, and one that overlaps with some Dutch band I'd never heard of ("FireZone"? Alright, close enough) -- I gave myself the arbitrary restriction that none of these neighbourhood renames could be the name of an existing band. Why? Man, I don't know; seemed proper at the time. This ended up playing directly to my modus operandi of making things way harder for myself than they need to be, although I'm sure it would have been entertaining for anyone who could have seen my reactions to different Google searches. "That's taken? It--really? Okay, what about--oh come on--" These will be noted where applicable, particularly because some of these took multiple revisions before I hit an open spot.

So grab your lighters and throw up the horns, because it's time to break out the map: