Thursday, June 30, 2011

Loonies and Toonies Ain't What They Used to Be

I'd mentioned this in passing yesterday, but let's flesh it out a little more today: a dollar store selling its dollar-store things for two dollars is just stupid as all get-out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Curious Case of the Third-Tier

So that big Longboat Development project downtown was unveiled today. You might have already heard something about that.

200,000 square feet, a 154-room hotel, ground-level retail and restaurant space, five floors of office space, a twenty-story tower and a 450-stall parkade in a project to be built with seventy-five million dollars of private funding. So at the risk of understating the matter somewhat, I'd say, yeah, that sounds pretty good.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alberta Watches Greyhound Backfire

Same premise, different responses: Greyhound Canada approached the government of a province to tell them that the bus service being provided is bleeding money, threatening that the only way to ensure continuing service across the entire province is for the government to provide Greyhound with annual payouts of several million dollars.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bullet Points on a Carnival Stabbing

So, this happened. Two people stabbed one person at the Red River Ex, and that is everything we know about it so far because nobody involved wants to talk about it.

A few brief thoughts, if I may:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Slurpees and Murder Record Club: Summer Recline Mixtape

my feelings for you are complex and confusing so i put a mixtape in your locker

I ended up being kind of busy yesterday, thus missing my post for the day; I'll make a point of sneaking an extra one in somewhere before the month is out, for the sake of retroactively pretending that I said "Daily Post Month" but actually meant "Average Pace of One Post Per Day Month".

But, on to business! So far we've had mixtapes for day and night highway driving, which are all well and good if you've still got about a hundred and twenty kilometers left between where you are and where you need to be. But what if you've got nowhere in particular to be, have no inclination to get out of the city, or just really like lounging around? Well, I do believe I'm about to have you covered.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All Right, Wye a Lake

Manitoba has a Dominion City, a Crystal City and a Rapid City, and none of them are cities. I always think that's really funny. Aim for the stars, little guys!

Being the outright dork that I am for curious historical tidbits, I've always been a sucker for the stories behind place names. Thinking about it, too, the really interesting thing about names for cities and towns and lakes and rivers and regions and what have you is that -- aside from the occasional secession or revolution or coup that leads to a country renaming itself -- there really aren't many opportunities left to name any of them. Back in the day you got to name something by being the first one to get there; now with satellite technology and post-colonial globalization and everything else, there isn't really anywhere left on the planet that civilization hasn't already found and identified and titled. So if you want to name a place nowadays (most likely to name it after yourself -- yeah, I'm on to you) you either have to aim small, for street signs, or huge, for unexplored sections on other planets. And both are way more difficult than they need to be.

(Though I suppose it's just as well; you don't get to name anything nowadays without lawyers and marketers and focus groups gumming the whole process up. Look how long it's taken to name a hockey team.)

Our famous provincial exception, of course, is lakes; the path to having a Manitoba lake named after you is as straightforward as dying in battle while serving with our country's forces, or being good at hockey. I mean, take your pick. But there is a perfectly valid reason for this willingness to name lakes, and that reason is: we have way too many lakes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What We Need Now is a Pabst Blue Hotel

An article in today's Winnipeg Free Press opened with a phrase I strongly disbelieved I would ever see in print:

"A Quebec-based boutique hotel chain, called Groupe Germain, is about to add lustre to Winnipeg's hipster credibility by building a boutique hotel across from the MTS Centre."

To our... to our what?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thus Far the Flood Has Been Neither Fun Nor Profitable

I do this thing sometimes where I write something somewhere else and then completely forget to mention it. You ever do that? Maybe I'm just getting old, I don't know. I need to start hitting the ginkgo biloba; I didn't even remember how "ginkgo biloba" is spelled, so I had to look it up, that's how old I'm getting. I can't wait until I'm legit old enough that nobody expects me to remember anything, I'll be calling it "Kinko Balboa" and calling every video game "the Nintendo", it's going to be the best.

naaah who am i kidding i'll be dead by thirty

Monday, June 20, 2011

Classified Ads as Beat Poetry, or: Today's Your Lucky Day, Job Hunter

[ The following is a series of direct quotations from the Winnipeg Free Press Careers and Job Opportunities section for Saturday, June 18th, 2011. Each complete sentence is an unaltered -- (sic) -- quote from a position advertisement. No advertisement has been quoted more than once. ]

[ For best results, play this music in the background and read the following aloud in your best William Shatner cadence. ]


Would you enjoy working Mon. - Fri. during school hours to achieve a healthy balance between your career and home life? If you are searching for a challenging, exciting career opportunity, look no further! We are looking for a self starter who is positive, polite, yet assertive, to take this Full Time position.

It's simple really, you want steady work and a great income ... we want the work done and will pay you well for doing it. Challenging work, competitive salaries, attractive benefits, professional development, career advancement opportunities and the chance to become involved in your community await you. We offer the Best Pay Plan in Manitoba. This is an immediate opening.

Results oriented, ambitious, energetic, forward thinking, creative, innovative, analytical and persevering are all phrases that describe the ideal candidate. The ideal candidate must be able to work unsupervised. The desired candidate should also possess good residential & some commercial real estate knowledge. The successful candidate must possess a high degree of confidentiality and discretion.

Candidate must have some knowledge of Standard Repair Times.

A post-secondary degree or equivalent hospitality/business experience is required, as is the ability to attend an 8-week training session in Toronto. Experience using the Internet and other resources to perform research is required. Certificate in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention is required. Comfortable with roughly 25% to 30% travel.

Work is time sensitive & high volume. Periodic overtime will be required.

You will have knowledge/experience of an AS400 system and expert estimator as well as the hydronic and HVAC industry. Experience with object-oriented principles and background in Java development. Experienced in TAM (The Agency Manager). Intermediate computer skills.

Broad knowledge of IT Service Delivery Processes and Practices including Service Level Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Configuration Management and Security Management. Responsible for the management of Functional and Non-functional requirements to ensure that the needs of the business are translated into effective technical solutions. Able to lift 60 lbs.

A 'People First ' Attitude Is Most Important.

Must have valid class 3 driver's lic. Must have experience with vinyl, carpet, laminate, hardwood etc. Must have a class W Refrigeration ticket or higher.

Must have the ability to work with all levels and must have strong analytical, problem solving, communication and organizational skills. Minimum 3 years experience, hard & soft. Must Love Dogs.

Current in application of ICD - 10. Currently holds a level 1 license or above. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in youth engagement.

Experience with electronics and trailer assembly would be an asset. Experience in a "Lean Manufacturing" environment would be an asset. Previous furniture assembly or woodworking experience will be an asset.

Familiarity of the city is beneficial.

National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR) designation is an asset. Working knowledge of JD Edwards software is an asset. Member of CAGP or CFRE designation and knowledge of Raiser's Edge are assets. Previous knowledge of a ticketing database, experience working in a non-profit environment, and some graphic design are all assets.

A/C experience an asset but not mandatory.

Compensation and benefits reflect the importance of this position. Sara made $19.22 per hour last week, did you? We will help you to excel in your professional and personal life. Our training program and service systems allow you to "be the best you can be".

Aboriginal persons, women, visible minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to self-declare in their covering letter. Bilingualism (French and English; written and verbal) is required. Ability to speak Ojibway a definite asset.

Please indicate "Sports Radio opportunity" in the subject line. Tracking number 1556.

Only those under consideration will be contacted.

The Flag of Manitoba is a Curious Beast

Well, by the time I got back from Old Market Square and the Jazz Winnipeg free weekend, Sunday was technically over. So I'm still a post back, but it'll be caught up soon enough -- and Happy belated Father's Day, Winnipeg! It's customary to take this time to share paternal stories and memories, but I've noticed several times from past experience that all of the really good stories about my dad kind of unsettle people. (Which is too bad; they're really good stories.) So I'll take this time to write about something else, something we all see fairly frequently around here but give very little thought to or about:

The official flag of the Province of Manitoba.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chip Damage Fight for the Future: Japan Edition Was Good Times, BUT--

Well, the big charity fundraiser video game tournament opened up fifteen or sixteen hours ago and I'm just now getting home, so obviously I missed the post-per-day for yesterday. Guess I'm doing two today! These are the trials a man must endure when a man makes a promise like this at the beginning of a month.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Slurpees and Murder Record Club: Nighttime Highway Mixtape

i like you but i am shy so i made you a mixtape are you going to the dance this weekend y/n

As promised last week, this is the counterpart to the previous podcast mixtape whatchamacallit; where last week's compilation was for the daylight drive out of the city to start the weekend, this week's compliation is for the (usually reluctant) night drive back in.

You'll recall that last week I gave the file about twenty minutes of pre-highway warmup to let you get out of the city, but that's obviously not the case when you're driving back from far-flung lakes or woods or wherever you end up. So this mix gives you about ninety seconds to get driving, pretty well all you need to get yourself onto the road, and if you aren't on your way by then it's not my fault that you backed into the ditch again. SMOOTH MOVE EX-LAX HAW HAWWWWWWall right i'll go get the truck

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Never Mind Vancouver Burning, Tonight is Spacing Magazine Party Time

So apparently Vancouver took the Stanley Cup loss pretty well, I don't know if you heard anything about it.

We'll be sure to talk about that big hullabaloo from last night at a later date; the story certainly isn't going to fade away within the next few days, and you can guarantee that Vancouver will definitely be hearing about it for years and years to come. But time is of the essence for this next item, and if you aren't doing anything tonight may I offer this event to you for your consideration.

We were lucky enough to have Matthew Blackett of Spacing Magazine sit in on yesterday's episode of Winnipeg Internet Pundits, and the reason that he is in town is for the very first stop on the Spacing Road Show going across the country.

The event is tonight at the RAW Gallery, 290 McDermot Avenue in the Exchange; five dollars gets you admission and the most recent edition of the Jane-Jacobs-Award-winning Spacing Magazine. (I've seen it, it's very nice.) Doors open at 7:30 PM, and the show proper appears to kick off at 8:30 with an urbanism panel combining the Spacing Magazine team with the University of Manitoba's Richard Milgrom, the University of Winnipeg's Christopher Leo, and beloved local blogger -- coincidentally a Uptown Best Local Blog finalist and one of The Uniter 30 -- Robert Galston.

The panel is scheduled for an hour, after which the event will transmogrify into to a more casual social meetup. This means a sparkling opportunity to meet some of the city's brightest and most talented local urbanism enthusiasts, all gathered in one place for stimulating conversation -- and then I'll be there too! In case you like, I don't know, fart jokes.

Tomorrow's post will be a sequel to the post from last Friday, so -- see you here tomorrow, true believers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vancouver Canucks, You are Now the Enemy (or: The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals Ended Tonight)

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins on winning the 2011 Stanley Cup.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You Get a News Story Like This and the Jokes Write Themselves

News reports emerged today that the City of Winnipeg will be awarding reality television star and occasional KISS bassist Gene Simmons with its highest honour, the Key to the City. Questions linger about the exact explanation for the honour, but City insiders say it's just to see how hard the Globe and Mail will have to work to write a positive article about it.

Big news out of the Manitoba capital today, as KISS personality Gene Simmons will receive Winnipeg's Key to the City! Asked about the public reaction to associating with such a well-publicized reputation for depravity, classlessness and mediocrity... Gene Simmons said he knew, but he would have felt bad about turning it down.

Simmons is being given the key in recognition of his "remaining true to his roots and values". Simmons, 61, has famously claimed to have slept with 5,000 women; this is expected to complicate police questioning of jealous boyfriends when he inevitably gets stabbed downtown tomorrow.

Reports today indicate that KISS singer and bassist Gene Simmons will be receiving the City of Winnipeg's highest honour, the Key to the City. Not to be outdone, Air Supply vocalist Russell Hitchcock will receive a lifetime key to the McPhillips Station Casino.

Stung by recent criticism about a hypothetical 2014 mayoral bid, outgoing Winnipeg City Councillor Gord Steeves will be presenting C-list celebrity Gene Simmons with a Key to the City tomorrow -- thus showing that he has, in fact, learned everything he would need to follow the current Mayor.

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz will unfortunately have to miss the event as he will be in Israel at the time, having taken the wrong gate while flying back from Phoenix again. Reached for comment by phone, Katz, 59, confirmed that -- aside from the birth of his current wife -- KISS albums were his favourite part of the late 1970s.

And, finally: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada will 'Shout It Out Loud' in a special ceremony at noon tomorrow, as KISS frontman Gene Simmons will be honoured with the Key to the City. Analysts say that the combination of Simmons and Winnipeg is a perfect fit, as both peaked decades ago and have been embarrassingly declining ever since.

And that's the news!

Monday, June 13, 2011

No, You Can't Read That, You Might Enjoy It

This column popped up in the Free Press over the weekend, and promptly went ignored on the website because it offers no opportunities to blame visible minorities or levels of government for the problems discussed.

Professor Linda Trimble of the University of Alberta's Political Science Department argues for a broader acceptance of the combination of information and entertainment in political reporting, primarily opposing Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" and its stance that modern forms of media are incapable of sustaining the level of discourse necessary to properly inform an audience. In short, where Postman believed that the common man's understanding of issues and information is lessened by the modern mainstream's slant towards entertainment, Trimble argues that the common man's best chance of understanding issues and information is through the modern mainstream's slant towards entertainment.

She writes:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Macho Man" Randy Savage in a Waffle House is Better Than Anything I've Ever Written

I've got this long complicated post brewing in my head about the roles of storytelling and narrative in explaining and conveying past history or present news, and about the perceived sin in both fields of -- as Jack Granatstein once famously accused Pierre Berton ("famously" at least in terms of Canadian literary history, which is to say "completely not famously") -- consciously being too interesting. But if it'll be long and complicated by my standards you know it's probably going to be a doozy, so that obviously won't be our post for tonight.

So to fill that time, in the interim, I want to direct you to something amazing for your trouble. Something so great that I actively think less of myself for not seeing it when it originally came out, instead having only come across it a few days ago.

Following the death of legendary professional wrestler and major crossover superstar "Macho Man" Randy Savage on May 20th -- which, and I will phrase this in the interests of classical objectivity, may or may not have prevented the Rapture that was popularly expected the next day -- the entire internet seemed to come forward at once with stories and expressions of everything they'd loved about Savage's long and diverse career. But the absolute best reminiscence, and one that flew under the radar in the clamor, was this blog post by his coworker and friend 'Dirty' Dutch Mantel. The first part of the post is eaten up with a plug for his book, so scroll down until you reach the Randy Savage tribute and then get ready for what has to be -- I refuse to believe that this could be anything but -- the single greatest Randy Savage story ever told.

Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction, and life, as they say, imitates art. They warn you nowadays on the various wrestling (well, "sports entertainment", but let's not get into that) programs that you should absolutely not try anything you see therein at home, and people assume those warnings are in there so children won't kill each other with tombstone piledrivers. But it is very good advice, and you will realize why while reading that story: two Nashville police officers in the late 1970s attempted the classic wrestling staple of "one guy holds a wrestler while the other guy tries to hit the wrestler with a foreign object" -- as if completely unaware of what the inevitable result has to be -- and the inevitable result happened when Randy Savage slipped the cop's grasp at the last possible moment and the other cop blasted his partner square in the face with a can's worth of mace. This actually happened. In real life.

I could turn this computer off right now and just walk away from it forever, because nothing I write in my lifetime will ever be as perfect as knowing that, for one brief shining second, the real world operated entirely on professional wrestling laws and principles. It would be like reading that a man tried to kill a real-life roadrunner with dynamite, the dynamite failed to detonate when the roadrunner stood by it, and then when the man went over to investigate the dynamite it exploded in his grasp. It would be like reading that real-life extraterrestrials touched down near an isolated farmhouse, attempted to start a conversation with a telephone they found, went "yip yip yip yip yip yip" to each other, danced for the crowd, and then beamed back up again. You know what I mean? Sometimes the worldview you cultivated through an entire wasted childhood just gets massively vindicated, and that Randy Savage recollection above is absolutely one of those times.

I would attempt to tie this back into my earlier mention of storytelling and narrative, but nah, let's not overthink this. It's just a really, really, really entertaining read. And as for my originally intended post, ahhh, I'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unpredictable Discolouration is Not a "Tip"

Yeah, so, our cottage roof started leaking earlier this week. The province has seen record rains as late, subsequently leading to (another round of) record flooding, so I suppose it was inevitable that some sort of rain-related mishap would eventually befall my lakeside hideaway destination.

There only are the four English channels up here, so I was settling in just after midnight on Tuesday to watch the Daily Show on CTV -- because, honestly, what else am I going to get that time of night on four channels -- when my very peaceful atmosphere was interrupted by a very loud DROOSH and then a whole bunch of water hitting the floor, subsequently slowing to a trickle and then to the kind of obnoxious dripping that doesn't make it particularly easy to fall asleep that night.

Inevitably -- and I have come to expect this from previous experience -- it was going to fall to me to try and fix this, me being the only person both agile and stupid enough to go up the fifty-five-degree-angle roof here. So today, in anticipation of tomorrow's vicious thunderstorm (an aside, if I may: STOP RAINING ON ME WEATHER GOD DAMN IT STOP IT STOP IT ARGH), I went up to the tiny rectangular enclave at the highest point of the hideout and did my best to waterproof anything that looks like water might be coming through it.

(Here I'd been all prepared to find and replace any compromised shingles, and the suspicious areas all ended up being in the roll roofing! There's nothing quite as satisfying as hauling a bag of several weighty tools you won't need up a steep roof! Ha ha! I'm an idiot!)

So my big excitement tomorrow will be waiting for it to rain (which will be a 'when' and not an 'if', because it is summer in Manitoba) and then finding out whether or not the ceiling attempts to drown me. If it doesn't, great! I am a handyman. And if it does, well, at least I have a much better idea of where the problem is.

With all of that said, then, let me tell you about the packaging of Black Knight Clear Waterproof Roof Patch. I get a kick out of the term "roof patch", just because it doesn't leave a whole lot of room for misinterpretation. ("What's that?" "Roof patch." "What does it do?" "It... seriously?") So if you've seen or used it before you have a pretty good idea of how it works, but because I'm the type to read everything anyway I must note that I took a bit of exception to their list of -- as the header proclaims them -- "WISE TIPS".

Three of these are perfectly acceptable tips of wisdom in that they are things that you can actually do, actions you can control that will actively increase your likelihood of success with the product. But then that third one is really just a warning they didn't bother to move two inches upward into the Caution section, just an "oh by the way sometimes this product screws with everything". That's not really advice, per se; that would more accurately be described as a 'warning'. And also as an admission that the product doesn't quite work as advertised, since the front of the packaging promises to "Maintain original beauty of your roof" and not to "Randomly turn shit grey".

But let's also get a load of the rest of that warranty there, the one just below the tip box:

Is it just me, or is that "applicator's skill" clause a solid guarantee that they'll never actually have to honour a warranty claim in their lives? I get the part at the end about using it within one year, because it's unreasonable to expect a goopy glop of multiple undisclosed chemicals to retain its full efficacy indefinitely, but applicator's skill? How would they even measure that? "Well, we would replace the canister or refund you the purchase price of the product, but you look like the kind of guy who was probably doing it wrong. I bet you breathe through your mouth and drop stuff a lot."

Anyway, it's going to rain tomorrow (I would add a qualifier like "likely" or "potentially", but no, it's going to rain tomorrow), and it's obvious there's no going back with this product, so I guess I just hope for the best. Here's hoping!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slurpees and Murder Record Club: Daytime Highway Mixtape

i like you but i am shy so i made you a mixtape :x

I had intended for a fine mixtape... podcast... thing? Ahem. I had intended for a big ol' audio file to be ready for download just as people would be heading out to their out-of-town weekend hideaways of choice today, but then it turns out that my old and slow computer ain't the audio-rendering speedster I remember it being. (It doesn't help that there's a couple dozen files floating around in it.) I am staring at it, and it is still attempting to render, and I am starting to believe that I could have done this faster with actual cassette tape and scissors.

So I'll cut you all a deal: I have important matters to attend to outside, weekendy matters, so I will be back later tonight and -- better late than never! -- drop you this neat file and the details on it. All good? All right! I will meet you folks here in a few hours or so.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

City in Disguise, or: The Matrix of Leadership is Curiously Flamingo-Shaped

I had this particular random thought stick in my head as I drove home from yesterday's Winnipeg Internet Pundits show, and while I could -- and, potentially, should -- have just dumped it on Twitter as text and left it at that, I figured instead that I would sink my teeth into it here and shake away at it until I made sure it was good and dead.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Follow Friday Comes Early

A bit of administrative business, if I may.

"Follow Friday" -- commonly #followfriday or #ff -- is that hashtagged Twitter concept that never quite works correctly because people cram their remaining 130-odd characters full of seemingly random names with no explanatory notes, and then you just walk away from Twitter entirely for the day because the majority of your feed is underlined blue gibberish. But the idea is a sound one, the intention being to twig readers and passersby to new, noteworthy, and/or high-quality sources of content.

You will note in the sidebar to your right (which is also my right, in the medium of text, but never mind that) that a most handy blog list does its best to keep tabs on local blogger activity and indicate when new content arrives. But a few of those entries are starting to look a little long in the tooth, over there, and I'm sure that in the meantime a lot of neat new blogs have risen up and established themselves as points of interest.

The more astute of you will already have noted that Follow Friday is intended for, well, Fridays. But I am nothing if not a rebellious sort! A... rebellious sort who coincidentally already has his posts of the day planned out for tomorrow and for Friday, but who needs something to talk about in the meantime. Look, you take your rebellions where you can get them, I mean you can't just--


tl;dr My blogroll is rapidly aging and forever incomplete, and I can handle that first issue myself, but the second issue is one that works better as a team project. So! Gandering as we are at said blog list, what noteworthy upstarts am I missing? Which consistently excellent Manitoban bloggers have you readers recently taken to following, and who deserves more credit than they've been getting? Drop me some recommendations! Help a Brother Out!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Still in the Minors with a Hat of Olde

Our story begins -- or, at least, I became aware that it had begun -- on the evening of December 11th, 2010. Another wintry Saturday night with hockey on the television as the main attraction, usually the case once the evening lows start hitting thirty below. Without windchill. (Enjoy summer while it's here, guys. I get it, there are bugs. Quit complaining.)

The latter half of CBC's weekly doubleheader that evening was a game in Vancouver, with the Tampa Bay Lightning playing a rare out-of-conference game against the Canucks. And what should I see during the third period, what confounding visual should grace my eyes but this:

Neil Young wearing a Manitoba Moose hat.

Neil Young wearing a Manitoba Moose hat?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Wednesday is the Winnipeg Internet Pundits UMFM Open House Show

Bloggers, locals, fameseekers -- lend me your ears!

As part of UMFM's continuing Open House to show off its revamped (and very nice!) studios, the Winnipeg Internet Pundits show is throwing open its proverbial doors as well to any local writers who might care to drop by. Three minutes of airtime will be awarded to any blogger who drops by during the show; there will also be ample opportunity to kick around and chime in during the rest of the broadcast, and I am reasonably certain that there will also be beer afterwards at the neighbouring Degrees.

Not a bad deal, right? So come on down! Winnipeg Internet Pundits and the UMFM open house, this Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM, with the blogging equivalent of the Bat-Signal lit up above the studio. (Christian suggests that I may be shirtless during the broadcast, but he's just joshin' around; anybody who knows me is well aware that I am far more likely to be pantsless.) Even if you aren't a blogger or won't have time to drop by, be sure to listen in; I suspect that this ought to be quite the entertaining broadcast.

So be ready for Winnipeg Internet Pundits! If this isn't Manitoba's sexiest political panel, I don't know what is!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Please Remove Your Hats and Rise for Our Eventual Civic Anthem

My daily posting thus far has kind of been nightly posting instead, but Daily Post Month continues regardless! Which is good, because we're five days in, and if I had already managed to screw that up I would just walk right off the internet and never be seen again.

Anyway -- hey, you know what I think would be fun to write? An anthem.

I've always been a sucker for national anthems and flags, as I'm sure has become obvious every time I've written anything about the Olympics. ("That flag has an AK-47 on it? AWESOME") Every anthem and every flag has its own historical connotations and interesting stories, and fascinations like these probably explain pretty well why History was one of my undergraduate majors. And I've always thought it's interesting that flags are just all over the place -- from the biggest nation to the tiniest little podunk town -- but anthems, with certain exceptions, really only occur at the federal level.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Help a Brother Out!: I Clicked a Square and the Smiley Face Guy Turned His Eyes into Xes Like He's Dead, Does That Mean I Win, Did I Beat the Game

You are about to be privy to one of my many shameful and potentially compromising secrets, one of the psychological scars and mental torments that eats away at my very soul each and every day to irreparably wound my interpersonal relations with all around me. I share this with you in the utmost confidence, on the internet, and I hope dearly that somebody can help to ease the continual disgrace and dismay that such a failing incurs on my person each day I walk this earth.

Ladies and gentlemen:

Help a Brother Out!

You know Minesweeper, that abstract minefield-simulator video game that has come standard with every Windows release since 1992?

How in the fuck do you play this game?

Friday, June 03, 2011

Deer Want Us All Dead (plus: Help A Brother Out!)

It's a beautiful day outside! The arrival of June has finally meant that Manitobans are able to enjoy some prolonged sunshine, with clear days and beautiful warm weather expected throughout the weekend. This means that many of us, freespirited wanderlusters that we are, will take off into the wildernesses in all directions to enjoy some peace and quiet out amongst nature -- aaaaaaaand nature will immediately attempt to murder as many of us as it can.

Before I get too far into today's top story, though, I'd like to reintroduce a segment I call:

Help a Brother Out!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Slurpees and Murder Record Club: When I Dance, You Move and I Can't Get Enough

Day two of Daily Post Month? Day two of Daily Post Month. I think we can all agree it's as good a time as any to bust out a new installment of the Slurpees and Murder Record Club, so I've got a special treat for you folks tonight: everybody's favourite long-defunct Winnipeg-based Prairie-Music-Award-in-the-completely-wrong-category-winning rock-band-turned-funk-band!

That's right, you guessed it:

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

June is Daily Post Month (Plus, The NHL Stanley Cup Finals Begin Tonight)

Okay! Let's just get this out of the way quickly, because I'm running late on it:

NHL Stanley Cup Finals

(1W) Vancouver Canucks vs. (3E) Boston Bruins

Both goalies will have one completely horrendous outing of four goals or worse each, Tim Thomas will outright steal one game, Boston will score one (ultimately meaningless) power-play goal all series, the rest of the series will be comprised of one-goal games (barring any empty-net shenanigans), and Vancouver will win it in six as the first team to win a road game. Then Tim Thomas will get the Conn Smythe trophy as a consolation prize, because honestly, put almost any other goalie in there behind the Bruins and they'd have been bounced early like a superball at sunrise.

What I'd Want: Vancouver in seven, for the entertainment value and the fun spectacle of a home-win celebration.
What I'll Guess: Vancouver in six.

So good luck, Vancouver; this being the last year that Winnipeg tends your AHL farm team, next year the yolk of oppression and subjugation will be thrown off and our city will return to its rightful place as your vengeful rivals who never actually win but sure enjoy hating you while we lose. The Adon to your Sagat, if you will, although you have no idea what that even means.

Alright! With that out of the way:

June is Daily Post Month

I mentioned this yesterday, but it was hidden behind all that hockey, so almost nobody noticed it was there. (Shoutouts to Fat Arse, whose eagle eye is rivaled only by his fine taste in vinyl.)

Here's the skinny: my usual posting style can be described as gigantic but glacial, where this blog can go weeks without an update and then abruptly leap out at passersby with a wall of text that would surely impress people if anybody had the time to read it. So I figure I'll challenge myself with a bit of an experiment and flip this blog to its opposite for a month: shorter but steadier, a daily update schedule, just to see what I end up putting out when I've committed myself to such a frequency. Why not? What the heck, I'm unemployed right now, I've got time.

And you can help, readers! Look at me, do I look like I have thirty days' worth of ideas? Naw, son. Left to my own devices I'll blow all my typing on Pakistani ghazal music and be out of gas by day three. So, me being the crowd-pleaser I am, hit me back if you've got requests; if there's a previous topic I've touched on that you'd like revisited, if there's something you've always wanted to know about me but not quite enough to bother asking, or if I've been completely ignoring something interesting because I wouldn't shut up about hockey, let me know! I've got a month to fill.

June is Daily Post Month, baby! Let's rock!