Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Manitoba Links Weekly: Parcels, Pest Control, Parking, and Plates (ManLinkWeek 9)

ManLinkWeek, engage!

[Urban Compass (Metro Winnipeg): City services are no bargain]
In today's top story, we hate everything. Surprise! All of the people you re-elected last year have continued to disappoint you.

[The Crime Scene: An (inconclusive) answer to a question that’s always plagued me]
The Winnipeg Police Service and the Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police formally instituted a special warrant squad -- officially the "Manitoba Integrated Warrant Apprehension Unit", which must make answering the phones a real joy -- back in September. And just yesterday the WPS and Manitoba RCMP were pleased to announce that, in those three months since its inception, the MIWAU has successfully arrested over one hundred and fifty loose fugitives and cleared two hundred and twenty-three warrants from the system! This unprecedented progress knocks the number of outstanding warrants down to a paltry... to a mere, uh... twenty thousand warrants remaining. Give or take a couple, here and there, I mean.

James Turner notes here that the 20,000 estimate is basically unchanged in the last five years, which is actually sort of encouraging when you think about it; we left it alone for half a decade and it didn't get any worse? Around here, man, that's basically a victory. And at the current rate of progress with the new Manitoba Integrated Warrant Apprehension Unit -- consisting of six officers and run at an annual cost of $700,000 -- we'll have our backlog of justice cleared out within the next... let me check the ol' calc.exe here... oh, twenty-two and a half years.

Now, this whole endeavour may seem like a massive exercise in futility when you read cases like this one, wherein an elaborate four-year investigation results in a single-year jail sentence, but hey! It's... it's better than nothing, and that counts for something. Am I right, guys?

[Cindy Titus: Thinking of giving a cat as a Christmas gift? Here are some things to consider.]
An acceptable Cliff's Notes answer to this setup question is the word "DON'T", written as largely as possible and then circled ten or fifteen times for emphasis. Because, augh, just please don't do that. It won't end nearly as well as you hope it will.

[Love me, love my Winnipeg: Postmaster]
No real secret -- online shipping charges from the United States to Canada are more often than not, and not to put too fine a point on this, overwhelmingly stupid. "Oh no, wait, you're slightly north of an imaginary line. You will need another FIFTY DOLLARS. And your dollar will be worth five cents less than today's actual exchange rate, for mysterious and entirely unexplained reasons." So here are a few helpful tips on cross-border parcel pickup, if you don't mind a bit of driving or if you tend to drop into the States anyway.

And speaking of driving:

[Manitoba Public Insurance: Registration > Winnipeg Jets Licence Plates]
You will note from the collection of media links here that this, like everything else even tangentially related to our new hockey team, is being covered far more comprehensively than any of our fair city's actual legitimate news stories. Of course.

One thing that particularly caught my eye was the endnote of this Metro Winnipeg article, stating that the reports of stolen Blue Bomber plates were most likely apocryphal because nobody seemed to order any replacements after the fact. I'm curious about that, though; you'll recall, during that summer media flurry of stolen plate reports, that MPI spokesman Brian Smiley told reporters said plates were almost all gone. So if you read that MPI had no more fancy plates, and then somebody stole your fancy plates, would you ask MPI for more fancy plates? I wouldn't rule out that the whole furor was overblown, but I also wouldn't rule out that people were stealing the plates, so... hard to come down conclusively either way, really.

I can tell you this, for sure: my original reaction to the "Fuelled by Passion" slogan remains unchanged, that reaction being "ugh" and a hasty transition to anything else I can find.


[RetroWinnipeg YouTube: Winnipeg - Poulin's Pest Control jingle]
I've mentioned this backburner idea of mine to a couple of people before, but if I ever manage to get my hands on a MIDI-capable keyboard and some free time, I want to crank out just the loungiest, Richard-Cheese-iest Winnipeg tribute album ever. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Just ambush the internet one day with a free EP specially designed for dimming the lights, getting bombed on whatever's closest to champagne in the liquor cabinet, and reminiscing with jazz reimaginings of our most peculiar local 'hits'.

"Porrrrr-taaage Plaaaaace! The face of the ciii-ty is chaaan'-gin'! Hey!"

Anyone? No? Okay, well, it's probably a better idea in theory than in practice, but--anyway, if I ever did go ahead with it, this old-timey favourite would be quite likely to sneak onto it somewhere. And the oncoming ten-digit dialing switchover is likely to kill this standard where it stands, so we may as well enjoy it while we can.

[Anybody Want a Peanut?: Derelict Properties Bylaw?]
The biggest problem with surface parking in this city is that it doesn't decay and fall down on itself, meaning it's the one thing we can't solve by neglect. Just our luck.

So please enjoy this fine blog post about our city's continued toothlessness against bylaw infractions, including a profile of one frequent offender, a comments discussion on wacky Google hits, and then finally a big slam on Zellers out of nowhere. Ha! Zellers.

And that's ManLinkWeek for this Tuesday!

1 comment:

Sean said...

I would be immensely grateful if you ignored your common sense and proceeded with recording a lounge-style Winnipeg jingles record.