Thursday, July 12, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Summer is Here and Everything is Happening (ManLinkWeek 39)

Hello and welcome to another vaguely-weekly installment of everybody's at least second favourite local link bonanza; it's time for ManLinkWeek!

My apologies for the delay on this post; my week, thus far, has been a maddening one. Those of you who follow me on Twitter are aware of my ongoing... escapades with Visions Electronics, and how I had thought that would make for an interesting blog post when the whole affair was over. Well, as of this writing, the whole affair is not over -- don't even get me started, right now, just don't -- and this is time that I am not getting back.

Anyway, it turns out that simmering frustration, thirty-five-Celsius weather, and the skin-scalding gusts of a five-year-old desktop computer make for a potently poor writing environment when combined. So, heck with it! The last few ManLinkWeeks have steadily skyrocketed into hashtag-longreads territory, and on days like these you should be aiming to minimize your computer time (or maximize its efficiency, whichever) and get outside sooner.

Thusly, please find a crop of links below; the repeat Slurpee championship is an honourary mention, although after thirteen straight years of it I'm not sure what discussion topics remain unmined.

The Brent Bellamy piece on the James Avenue Pumping Station is an honourary mention as well, having been featured in a segment of this week's WIPs; you should definitely add it to the reading list below if you have the time.



[Reservations, Observations, Conversations: The Legacy of Bill Norrie]
The passing of former Mayor Bill Norrie was one of the biggest stories of the past week, reaction to the news strongly divided as some took the opportunity to lionize him and some took the opportunity to shit on his grave. (There were also some folks, I'm sure, who were surprised to learn that he had still been alive until then -- but that's usually par for the course, with this sort of story.)

The two main accomplishments cited in the reports of his death were the reclamation of The Forks and the establishment of Portage Place, which... boy, talk about uneven results, huh? Well, perhaps we can agree that the overall benefits of the Forks have outweighed the overall drawbacks of Portage Place, and we can go from there.

In the meantime, there are time-sensitive matters to address:

[West End Dumplings: The final days of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant]
[Metro Winnipeg: Winnipeg’s iconic Wagon Wheel restaurant to close July 13]
Yes, the end of an era looms, as a Winnipeg institution is set to close its doors this Friday. It's sure to be quite the emotional day, so if you're big on tasty food and people crying, the Wagon Wheel is the place to be -- although getting in may require a slight wait.

[Brandon Folk Music and Art Festival: Mainstage Evening Schedule]
[MTS SuperSpike 2012: Entertainment]

Summer in Manitoba, man, every year it's frustrating. Not only does it vanish entirely too quickly (IT'S ALREADY HALFWAY THROUGH JULY, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, HOW), but the brevity of the season means that everything has to be squashed together at once, and that only serves to further enhance the overwhelming sensation of time-space conversion that marks these summer months.

The lineup for SuperSpike is something that teenaged-me would have absolutely lost his mind over ("Hey, yeah, the Dust Rhinos, I've seen them bef--oh, man, Moses Mayes is playing? I've got to get in on--OH MY GOD BIG WRECK BIG WRECK, Mom I need your credit card, Mom Mom Mom Mom"), but alas, I'll have to pass; my teen years also had a long stretch when my Dad would take me to the Brandon Folk Festival every year, and the doctors finally let him out of the hospital a couple of weeks back, so my mind is quite made up on the matter.

Maybe next year, SuperSpike! There's always next year. And, of course, time flies:

[the cold cold ground: summer photos]
[Winnipeg Free Press WFPtv: A breath of fresh (cold) air]
Halfway through the year (and halfway through this post) already, it's important to relax and unwind when we can, to enjoy these brief and fleeting moments when the local weather isn't actively trying to make our lives miserable. To crib from Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country (and subsequently from Timequake), if this isn't nice, what is? So here are a couple quick hits of visual content, the first for us to appreciate what we have right now, the second to remind us that it's all going to get very hostile very quickly out there.

[Scribblings: The media and high-risk victims of violence: what we can’t afford to ignore]
There are occasionally times during this reoccurring feature when I can't really find anything to add to something, save my trying my best to convey that the content is important and that you should read it. Here is one such item. Read this; it is important.

And now for something completely different:

[Brandon Sun: Mom finds drunk stranger holding baby]
i don't, what

It was interesting to watch this story blow up on the local Twitterverse, and then (of course it did) across the entire globe, because -- at least in my anecdotal observation -- the general reaction broke down into two camps: people who don't have children responded to the article with "heh, that's kind of funny, what are the odds of that", and people who do have children responded to the article with "JESUS FUCK, WHAT, NO. HOLY SHIT." Valid reactions both, in this case.

(The kid's okay and unharmed, by the way, but I sort of wonder how old she'll be when they actually tell her this story.)

Let's close this sucker out tonight with a couple of promising, potentially fascinating upcoming events:

[Facebook Event: For The Love of Winnipeg]
[ Developers, Designers and Entrepreneurs Unite! It’s time to Ramp Up Manitoba!]
The former is a spin-off discussion from a popular blog post about the city's peculiar decisions; the latter is an initiative intended to slow the city's brain drain. The former aims to "bring together professionals, musicians, small business owners, the various cultural communities, city planners, community organizers, activists, architects, artists, and more"; the latter aims to bring together "designers here, iOS developers there, C# developers over there, and so on", the "developers, designers, and entrepreneurs". The former is this coming Monday, and the latter is this coming Tuesday; that's going to be a really inspiring, really optimistic couple of days around town. What a nice change of pace! I can't wait to see how the two of them turn out.

Thank you for reading ManLinkWeek! Hopefully I'll have the turnaround a little faster next week.

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