Monday, September 30, 2013

This Day In Snookland...There's No Tourism Like Academic Tourism.



It's another post-secondary institution that our good Premier has visited but has not...


She once saw Maggie Thatcher from her Edinburgh dorm room!

Or some such thing.

And, as for attending those senior year seminars where the tough questions about crazy, mixed-up, unimportant, trivial stuff like 'Quick Wins' get asked?....Well, never mind all that....And why not?...After all, there were cakes to be cut!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Is Post Media Even Remotely Canadian?


In a post discussing how a big sale of Post Media's 'B Shares' demonstrated the huge drop in the company's value last week, Paul Willcocks added something most illuminating in a footnote that I had missed previously:

"...Class B shares represent about 97 per cent of the stick, but are limited to 49.9 per cent of the votes in any matters to be decided by shareholders. It’s not credible to claim the company is really Canadian-controlled when Canadians or Canadian institutions own three per cent of the stock, and foreign lenders hold the debt, but the structure meets legal requirements (including having Canadians pay for their advertising)..."

Imagine that!

Meanwhile, in totally unrelated, and totally tangential local Post Media matter, Tom Hawthorn took the good Mr. Lee to task over his recent exercise in lede burying on the Twittmachine yesterday...Then, today, Tom does a bit of Media Culpa-type digging and comes up with....This!...Mr. Lee, who we are absolutely certain would never, ever consider taking a post-PostMediai job in the flack-hackery of a political machine (and/or a Snowmaggedon Wurlitzer) decided to take the (misspelled) ad hominem road...And, for the record, Terry Glavin noticed.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls, It Tolls For...


Of course...

It is inconceivable to even begin to contemplate that most remote of all impossibilities that Mr. Till just may have been talking about those very finest of the fine folks who populate his radio station's weekend line-up.

You know, financially fine folks like, say, this fine fellow...

Or, this even more financially astute fine fellow...

Not to mention this most loquacious of all monetary mortgage experts...

As for that bevy of Levys?



Sometimes An Allegory Is Just An Allegory, And Sometimes It's...


I got home late last night.

For a Friday at least.

C. was off to a show and littler e. had a babysitting job on the go.

So the Whackadoodle and I sat down to play while we waited to see if the righteous might just might just come.


e. came home early.

Here's the young Mr. Zevon doing the thing with the guy who helped break him, Jackson Browne....If you want the LRonstadt version, well....It's not tough to find.
Got home late, at least in part, because one of the kids in the lab told me that MEC had a slew of those new, not to mention righteous, big version USB port-chargeable bike lights in...We've got all kinds of the little ones lying around the house...Now we've got a big one too...Will be very useful for the trails out on the far Western edge of Lotusland at night I reckon... And the added bonus is the fact that I'll never have to fork over money to the fine folks from Duracell ever again....At least not for lamp light...
And, just to let you know...Talked to E. on Thursday night...In addition to crazy stuff like 4th year seminars, she's back busking in the Montreal Metro....


A New Setlist For A New Sunday.


This Setlist started with littler e.

And it's ending with Bigger E.

That's the two of them, above, from our Summer holidays in 2004.


At the beginning of this Summer littler e. brought home her first ever yearbook from high school.

And today, at Summer's end, Bigger E. is climbing into the cigar tube for the flight back to Montreal.


It really does all go by in a flash....

Track 1: A cover of Sam Cooke's much, much covered 'Wonderful World'.  For some reason (think it might have been my Dad's mid/late 70's purchase) the version stuck in my head is the one by Garfunkel, Simon, Taylor and, yes, Herb Alpert. As longtime listener Karen noted in the pre-release, there is a bit of lyrical fiddling to fit the situation on this one.

Track 2: Can't remember who pried it out of him...Maybe it was during his conversation with Maron (which, unfortunately, is a premium thing now)...Regardless, I agree with what was pried out in that this song really is one that could change someone's life...And if you managed to write something like that, even just once, well, that would be enough I think...What am I babbling out?....It's John Darnielle's 'You Were Cool'.

Track 3: Springsteen....Right in the middle...Looking forward and backward simultaneously, musically and thematically...Darkness.

Track 4: This is one you will not know...I do my best not to butcher it, a song of raw power from a kid named Lauren O'Connell...She's a true independent...You can get her stuff here...And you can help her produce more stuff here...She's part of what I like to call the 'Rochester Music Mafia'...The tune is called 'I Will Burn You Down'.

Track 5: It would appear that the Bard of Barking has produced as many different versions of this tune as is humanly possible...This is a straight up cover of the original....As Mr. Bragg might say, it still has all the power of that 'old time religion'...For atheist, progressive, humanist, non-ladder puller-uppers that is... It's 'Waiting For The Great Leap Forward'.

Track 6: Another much covered tune...Daniel Johnston's 'Devil Town'...And while I really dig the finger snapping version from Hansard and friends I'm almost ashamed to say that the one that hooked me is from some kind of reality TV show wonderkindish-type fellow....Regardless, the theme of the thing really is worth taking to heart if you live in Lotusland these days, I reckon.

As for the secret tune in the middle....Well....This.
And if you, like me, have a kid leaving for school this weekend you might want to read this.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Willing The Ignorance Of Everything: Worse Than The Shrubbery?


What that no good, irresponsible commie-pinko hippie-loving New York Times actually said:

...It began badly enough in 2008 when scientists working for Environment Canada, the federal agency, were told to refer all queries to departmental communications officers. Now the government is doing all it can to monitor and restrict the flow of scientific information, especially concerning research into climate change, fisheries and anything to do with the Alberta tar sands — source of the diluted bitumen that would flow through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Journalists find themselves unable to reach government scientists; the scientists themselves have organized public protests.

There was trouble of this kind here in the George W. Bush years, when scientists were asked to toe the party line on climate policy and endangered species. But nothing came close to what is being done in Canada...


What will our man on K Street, the Great Frumdini say this time?


Thursday, September 19, 2013

For The Turnstiles....All This And It Only Cost $200 Million.


From Translink's 'Compass System' happy-shiny-peopled Beta Tester blog-thingy:

"...A few of us also spent some time looping through the fare gates to test how they would work with lots of people going through quickly. As designed, the gates simply stayed open during taps—you don’t need to wait for the gate to close behind the person in front of you, you simply tap in and walk through..."


Just think about that for a nanosecond or three....

Essentially, because there are not enough of the darned gates at the actual stations where people crowd through at rush hour,  the things are actually designed to STAY OPEN when it's busy.


The so-called 'fare evasion inhibition/safety/keep out the riff-raff' system (which is how it was pitched to us by the Westcoast promotion men, their sycophants and the press release-addicted media in these here parts) will  actually STAY OPEN when the system is busy.

And it is 'designed' to do so.

And it only cost us $200 million dollars.


No money for more buses.

As for those Westcoast promotion men?

Well, that's an entirely different story.

One that the press release-addicted refuse to tell.


I dunno.

Maybe because it's hard?

Tip O' The Non-Content Consultant's Toque to Kevin Harding via his Twittmachine feed.
And now is the time on Sprockets when we....Neil.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Your Morning Rosie.


C. was heading out to do a workshop this morning so I got up reasonably early and took the Whackadoodle over to the slow runner's park for a bit of a play.

Well, actually, Rosie sniffed and gambolled at the feet of the (very) slow runners while I sat on a bench and played the guitar a little.

When we got home e. was already up because she and her friend Ch. were going for their own gambol over at the real runners' park (the cemetery on the other side of the Big Muddy St.).

'Why?' I asked.

'Because Ch. is trying out for Track,'  littler e. said.

'Great! Does that mean you're trying out for track too?' I asked.

'No,' she said. 'It just means I'm going to get good in gym.'

We all laughed at that inside joke as they headed out the door with Rosie in tow.

All of which is just a way of letting you know that, despite the fact that it is only 9:30am on a Saturday, the Whackadoodle is already in need of a nap.

It should last about 3....

Maybe 4.....


Working on....The Lumineers' 'Dead Sea' (sans cello, etc.)... And a new original.
Why so little poli-blogging these days?...Just too busy at work to keep up with non-geek reading at the moment...
Speaking of which....Dave!


Monday, September 09, 2013

This Day In Snookland: You Keep Using That Word...


I do not think it means what you think it means.

What's next....A Hat Man-led 'independent' inquiry into Translink's turnstiles?


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Gobsmacked On A Sunday.



In between getting tomorrow's lectures ready and reading somebody's grant this afternoon, I took advantage of a suddenly empty house to tab out a song I've been promising for a friend.

And it wasn't too hard.

But all of a sudden, about the third time through, I was struck dumb by the fact that I was, at least in my (admittedly limited) musical head, working on a Jeff Tweedy song.

Which is all fine and good.


The damn thing was written by Bowie.

Go figure.

And the song was recorded in Berlin, years before the teenaged Tweedy even met his later to be Uncle Tupelowellian bandmate Jay Farrar in Belleville Illinois....Neu!