My apologies for the delay on this post; the internet at my house (and possibly on my whole block, although the way I'd normally find that out is through the internet) mysteriously conked out yesterday evening, which makes researching and writing a post about internet links a tad difficult. So if this post doesn't appear until the middle of Wednesday, and it seems a bit discombobulated, it's because I had to write it overnight from vague memory of the subject matter and then post it on my lunch break at work.
So, uh, hey! ManLinkWeek!
You all like good news, right? Let's open with the good news:
[Winnipeg Free Press: Osborne Village voted Canada's best neighbourhood]
Surprise! According to planners, the single best neighbourhood across our great nation is one that we didn't particularly plan at all -- and one that we couldn't recreate if we wanted to, because all of our civic planning and zoning and parking and development rules exist to prevent any neighbourhoods like this one from happening ever again.
So hurrah, hurrah for the Village! The buildings are close together; the sidewalks have people on them; the architecture is as charming and offbeat as its patrons. The amenities are convenient; the buses are frequent; the food is varied and tasty. The main thoroughfare... sure does support a lot of construction jobs. Deadly fifty-man melees are mostly unheard of! And -- for those of you who enjoy a bit of illicit thrill from time to time, or for those of you researching your novels -- you can be either a witness or an accessory to a crime, any time you like, just by standing at the bus stops outside the Liquor Mart or Subway for maybe five or ten minutes.
Plus, when you just want to get away for a bit and enjoy a relaxing stroll, you can follow our scenic seasonal river trail down to the City's ongoing bonfire.
[CTV Winnipeg: Arson strike force investigating causes of two blazes at The Forks within one week]
This is a thing now, isn't it? This is just going to keep being a thing, the whole summer. Well, maybe the challenge will ramp up, at least; maybe when they rebuild the docks they can, I don't know, put wheels on 'em this time and then roll them somewhere safer. Is there a shed with a lock on it nearby? That way th--no, wait, someone would just burn the shed, then. Hmm. We'll see what they come up with, anyway.
What other issues are ongoing around that area? You guessed it:
[Breakfast Television Winnipeg: Winnipeg's Waterpark]
I kept wanting to post this to Winnipeg Cat, and it kept getting pushed back by stabbings or fire, and then there were a couple straight days when the CityTV video player just flat-out refused to work, and -- anyway, here's the video that made the local internet rounds last week, give it a look-see if you haven't already. The background piano track kind of... migrates off on its own, near the end, there, but I still dig the overall package quite a bit; my essay-writing days are long behind me, but it's fun to contemplate what the essay would look like if somebody tried to explain the sociocultural importance of Simpsons references to our civic identity.
And while we're on about local culture:
[Kenton's Infotainment Scan: A heartwarming tale about Winnipeg's Uncle Bob.]
As stories about local celebrities go, this one seems like it would actually be pretty commonplace. Just pick your favourite regional icon and pop 'em in there, like Mad Libs. "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosshhhhhh, it's Mr. Kern-Hill! Mr. Kern-Hill, oh my gosh, I've seen you on the tee-vee, Mr. Kern-Hill could you please say the--" "Hey, kid." "Yes?" "Pipe down and get me a beer."
I was an incredibly nocturnal kid -- as opposed to now, of course, because now I'm an incredibly nocturnal adult -- so my first exposure, and half of my continued exposure, to MTN's The Beave was on Bundy's Late Nite Revue. Then for a while I had this idea in my head that the MTN Kids Club was just a thing The Beave did as a day job, and he only really got to go out and enjoy himself at night, and -- and the longer I think about this, the more I realize why I must have seemed like such a weird kid. (Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be postmodernists.) My point is, it's not entirely difficult to imagine how regional icons would behave in less child-friendly situations, but at the same time it's not difficult to imagine the cognitive dissonance of it either.
[Slurpees & Murder (Uptown Magazine): The saddest books ever printed]
They say "write what you know", and brother, do I ever know how hard it is to clear out old textbooks. Don't even get me started on the economics of academic publishing, man, we'll be here all day. Just... just augh. Maybe another time. Let's move on.
[Kijiji Winnipeg: KONY 2012 ACTION KIT]
It takes all kinds to populate an online space: the people who are serious, the people who are obviously kidding, the people you gradually realize aren't kidding, the people you wish were kidding, and the people you really don't know what to make of.
I was tempted to run with this ad in this space, because he or she and I have very different ideas of the phrase "mint condition", but in the end I decided to go with a link that was incredibly trendy and topical right up until it... wasn't.
And, finally, to close out on a more cheerful note:
[Thompson Citizen: Deerwood Elementary School welcomes mascot Murray the Dragon]
You work at a job for thirty years, maybe you get a dragon named after you. That's a pretty good life, I think.
Mascots, man, I love 'em. If I could find the time, I'd love to catalogue the whole province full of 'em; websites occasionally cover the giant mascots, your roadside attractions and what have you, but there's no single dedicated reference resource for the street-level dudes and ladies in costumes. The majority of us can't even remember which one's Buzz and which one's Boomer, most of the time, never mind remembering and identifying the rest of our fair province's fuzzy pantheon.
Well, okay, what I really want out of the whole thing is a tournament-style bracket, wherein we discuss and determine once and for all whether the Green Drop guy could beat up the sentient human-sized Winnipeg Free Press newspaper or whether Goldie could beat up Cuffs the Police Dog. ("Goldie has weaponized signboards!" "Yeah, well -- Cuffs has a helicopter!" "OH YEAH WELL GOLDIE HAS ANTI-HELICOPTER LASER TECHNOLOGY, HE BOUGHT IT ON EBAY FOR A DOLLAR, NOW WHAT.") But first we'd need the reference site. One day, perhaps! One day.
Thank you for reading ManLinkWeek!