Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Transit Buses and Typewriters (ManLinkWeek 26)

Another week, my goodness, I don't even know where that went. Whatever! ManLinkWeek it is, then.


[the cold cold ground: rapid transit]
Tomorrow's very special Winnipeg Internet Pundits episode will be live from a Rapid Transit bus, including live impressions of the experience and lively discussions on the city's transit systems and strategies. So if you'd also like to know what the pre-launch free-ride testing experience was like, the link above has got you well covered.

[West End Dumplings: Attention bus nerds: Farewell to the 300s]
As one era of transit opens, alas, another must come to a close. Winnipeg Transit is in the process of phasing out its 300 series 1988 MCI classics, which will thin our already-small herd of historic orange buses by two-thirds. Only nine of our old-style candy-corn-lookin' fleet will remain after this, although the chances are good that they'll soon disappear as well, and when they do A Part Of Our Heritage will finally go gently into that Creamsicle night. Which is fine; I am entirely willing to accept that my affection for them is pure and unfiltered nostalgic sentimentality. On a purely aesthetic standpoint, damn, but they're ugly. As the kids say, these days. Damn they ugly.

[The Manitoban: 'Social enterprise hub' develops in North End]
This is a really interesting project coming together at the southeast corner of the North End, a neighbourhood and community that deserves a better reputation than it tends to get. Two of the three co-owner enterprises are already operating out of it, and Pollock's Hardware Co-op is tentatively scheduled to open May 1st, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the project ultimately pans out and whether the model could be used for similar ventures in other areas.

[The Cranky Beer Blogger: Ten great beers available in Manitoba]
Perhaps you are wondering: what are some tasty beers? Here are some tasty beers. And beers that you can actually buy in this province, at that! The very idea.

[The Uniter: Winning back City Hall with small victories]
Tommy Smothers once said, when interviewed by Paul Provenza for the book Satiristas, that "If I had the intellect, the intelligence to write and create a more powerful scream against the darkness, I'd do it". That quote pops into my head, unbidden, from time to time, and it did so again while I read this article.

What can the little person, the man on the street, do about a city -- not to put it too finely -- as fundamentally rotten as the one described here? Well, one does whatever one can, really; one aims for small victories, and hopes that perhaps in time they might add up towards something lasting.

Which is not to say that the man on the street may necessarily be all too enlightened either:

[Progressive Winnipeg: The reason why I want to leave Winnipeg, in 69 words]
Q: How many Winnipeggers does it take to change a light bulb?


And, finally:

[Conceit and Sociopathy: A New Direction]
Oh, man, typewriters? Typewriters? Yo, we in there. My well-documented retro enthusiasm aside, I actually learned to type on a typewriter -- or actually, rather, I taught myself how to type on a typewriter, by recreating passages from NES instruction manuals. (Yes, honestly and seriously; I was that kind of kid.) I've been told by my Aunt that I was typing even before I learned to physically write, and that probably explains a lot about how I turned out after that.

Typewriters, man, yeah. I suspect I have one kicking around somewhere, although I don't know what all it would take to get it working properly. A project for the pile, perhaps! The pile seems to get bigger every time I turn around, but I'll add this to it nonetheless.

That'll do it for ManLinkWeek this evening, but I can guarantee I'll be back within hours; what with the Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning tomorrow, and what with my annual tradition of guessing roughly half of the results correctly, you know I can't stay away for long. Until then, sports fans!

[Edit: I'd like to congratulate myself on leaving this post in draft mode, like a genius. Just... mentally forward any relative time references by a day, if you could, please. ]


Shaun M. Wheeler said...

Thanks for the link!

I learned to type on a typewriter as well, as dot-matrix printers were bloody expensive in the 80s.. but I did something even geekier than typing out NES manuals: I wrote my own Dungeons & Dragons-style pen & paper RPG that was, by all accounts, pretty bad.

James Hope Howard said...

Ha ha ha, awesome! Well, I mean, it's supposed to be bad at that age, though, right?

Every time I look back at something that I wrote when I was, say, twelve or thirteen, I'm always secretly really glad at how terrible it is. Reading it is embarrassing, too, of course -- oh my god, who wrote this, did I write this, oh my god this is trash what was wrong with me -- but it's more comforting than the alternative. Because if I looked back, and I realized that my writing had already peaked a long time ago, well, that'd be the end of me.

Where does one even fix a typewriter, these days? I have the sneaking suspicion that I'll need to research it and do it by hand, but it's always good to know one's options.

Shaun M. Wheeler said...

I don't know of any local places to get them fixed, but I didn't really look :)

If you're mechanically inclined, there are a ton of sites dedicated to repairing and maintaining typewriters... even the really old ones (pre-1900s)!