Sunday, October 14, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Are You Ready for Some Curling (ManLinkWeek 51)

Good evening; I'd meant to put this post up quite a while earlier than this, but found myself needing to put it off a bit. Because of reasons. Reasons that, for the sake of expedience, I will save for the next post.

Which means -- batten down the hatches, it's ManLinkWeek! And our first stop in the week-and-a-half-ish-that-was:

[ Winnipeg Free Press: Manitoba curling gets whopping TV boost ]
[ Winnipeg Sun: Hockey fans 'ticked off' at Curling's No. 1 status ]
Oh, man, get a load of this. This is a thing! This is happening. Curling rights across the country are being snapped up even as we speak, the intention being to tap the vast market of Canadians with unfulfilled desires of sitting and staring at people doin' stuff on ice.

"With the NHL currently in a lockout and with no end in sight, curling as a broadcast property has the potential to fill hours of unused broadcast space this winter."

There are a lot of hours to fill, if you'd forgotten how much hockey usually makes it onto the airwaves. (Onto the airwaves north of the 49th parallel, I mean. I'm not sure if any of the networks down south have noticed there's a lockout yet.) So I guess that this could conceivabl--okay, seriously, we're in an alternate universe, right? That has to be it. The twist ending will be that this is taking place in a scientist's computer simulation, and that scientist has a really funny image of Canada as a place where curling is broadcast three hours a night and six on Saturdays.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a televised-curling watcher as anybody (I guess?), but I'll confess that I've always liked the sound of old-time curling better. To hear my parents tell it, everyone would gather at the curling rink to drink and smoke on the ice, somebody would flub their shot, everyone would pretend to sympathize, and then they'd all go back to drinking and smoking on the ice. I don't even smoke and that sounds like a good time. A time long gone, alas. (Miniver coughed, and called it fate.)

Also in sport:

[ The Globe and Mail: Sexism or tradition? The deep divide over Winnipeg’s Wesmen ]
[ The Manitoban: Wesmen United? ]
Ah, yes, the age-old conundrum of longstanding potentially-offensive school sports team names. What is to be done when the old name is kind of lame and possibly an affront to equality, but the leading proposed replacement is even lamer? I suspect that the eventual answer will be "nothing", but you never know how this ball might bounce.

Now, with sports out of the way early, let us turn our attention to civic matters. Who here likes transparency? Well--

[ Winnipeg Free Press: City will not release Civic Centre Parkade reports ]
[ CJOB|68: City denies CJOB request for parkade safety inspection information ]
[ Winnipeg Free Press: Reports on parkade a secret ]
--if you do, you're in the wrong town. Do note the part where "the city said it didn't have to provide the information as it could reveal confidential advice given by city staff", that confidential advice presumably being "oh man, holy shit, don't park in there if you don't want your car crushed". These documents could also compromise "economic or other interests", I guess because it's easier to sucker a construction company into taking the repair job and then blame-slash-fine them for not fixing it on schedule if that company can't find out beforehand how bad the damage actually is.

So open and trustworthy, our City. So forthright. And so safe!

[ Policing, Politics and Public Policy: Muggings in District 1 ]
Why, let's have a look at the downtown map here and--

--okay! Well. Not to alarm anybody, but muggings are... up so far this year. Slightly! They're slightly up. I mean, that's only among reported cases, too, there could actually be any number of additional no wait that just makes it worse

Hey, never mind all that, we have the Jets back! I mean, well... we don't have them right now, but they're... y'know, they're, uh... they're around.

[ THE POWER OF WORDS!!! (James Jewell): POLICE CHIEF DEVON CLUNIS – A Fresh Start for the WPS ]
In presumably better policing news, Superintendent Devon Clunis has been chosen as the seventeenth Police Chief in Winnipeg Police Service history. Retired Sergeant James Jewell supports him fully and hopes that the job doesn't eat him alive, which is promising, I think; certainly it's a much nicer estimation than Jewell has offered of other local notables.

(I've had quite a few errant hits drift onto this page from search strings along the lines of "james jewell blog hart" and "james jewell shelly hart", so here that is. If you never did find it, whoever you were.)

Anyone familiar with Winnipeg is well aware that it very easily hits a tipping point in your head, and if you do not get away from Winnipeg as soon as possible when it does, very bad things happen to your psyche. So let's take a much-needed break and visit the booming settlement of:

[ Anybody Want A Peanut?: Boomtown Reston ]
Reston, Manitoba! Houses! A gas station! More houses! And then oil conspicuously nearby, which promptly throws all of the preexisting development into a state of uncertainty. Is there greater investment coming? Do we have everything we need to support new levels of growth? Is the gas station properly set up for trucks? (If you were wondering about that last part, yes, it is.)

What you need to know is that there's black gold in them thar hills, which means opportunities to make some mad bank. So here is a blog post offering suggestions for potential investments and developments, if you -- yes, you! -- want to get in on that rising Reston, Manitoba tide. Also be aware that, if no hotel exists within ten or fifteen kilometers of the municipality, the Manitoba Liquor Control Act may allow you to sell beer out of a hardware store. You will be the greatest Canadian short story ever written.

Ahh, that was a nice mental vacation, wasn't it? Nice to get out and about. All right, back into the city, this time for some good ol'-fashioned hypothetical transit scenarios:

[ The Uniter: Winnipeg student associations push for yearly transit pass ]
[ greg.g: Yearly transit passes ]
TUITION INCREASE EVERYONE RIOT--whoof, sorry, sorry. Gut reaction. Let me start over.

I don't know how much an annual transit pass for non-students would be -- right now the idea's only as far as eight-month transit passes for students, and even then it's currently a tenuous pitch at best -- but if I could buy a single pass and not have to worry about it for the rest of the year, man, I'd be in there.

Winnipeg Transit would get all of its money up front, and the onus would be on the purchaser to use the access as frequently as possible to justify the expense; this is essentially the same economic model as gym memberships, and you've probably noticed that there are a lot more gyms around than there used to be. C'mon, let's do this, let's make this a thing. Let's go.

And, finally:

[ MERX: Invitation to Tender (ITT) Abstract: Insects, For Insect Control in Greenhouse (Google cache) ]
If you hadn't seen this page before now, then I'm afraid you've missed your opportunity to sell three years' worth of spider mites and aphid midges and adult whitfly lady beetles to the Government of Manitoba. Sorry! Maybe next time.

Thank you for reading ManLinkWeek! Coming up very shortly in the very special next post, asrhghskdvpjas#*^&@^#!@*(#sh@+#&$dr^kb@#m$&*

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