Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Variety Pack: Iraq, Gordon Bell, Wie

End of combat in Iraq, whether it makes sense or not

Prez Obama today, as you all know, announced the end of combat operations in Iraq -- over seven years after Bush gave his famous mission accomplished speech on an air craft carrier. Bush was jumping the gun just a little bit back then, but is Obama? He is drawing a line and pulling troops out, which you have to do sooner or later, but some people feel it should be later, including Iraq's most senior military officer:

"At this point, the withdrawal is going well, because they are still here," Zerbari told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

"But the problem will start after 2011 - the politicians must find other ways to fill the void after 2011. If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020." link
Maybe he's just a little nervous about going it alone. We can hope.


Beginning of combat with Free Press mods

Another article today about Gordon Bell where everybody in the comments are arguing about whether a field will fit there or not. A debate that I could constructively assist if I were able to post a link to my post with the pictures of a field super-imposed on the area. But I can't because the Free Press mods are being a bunch of cunts. They allow ex-Green Peacer Ron Thiessen to post a link to his web site filled with lies and propaganda about bipole III in their comments section a while back, but I'm not good enough for them. Bitches.

Anyhow ... good to see that they're finally getting a start on the "Field of Dreams". Driving past that site makes me think of an abandoned Detroit inner-city school yard.

Although, given that consultations on what to do haven't even started yet, the tractors tearing up the concrete may just be a "hey look! We are doing something!" reaction to the negative publicity last week that started on the New Winnipeg forum and spread to the Freep. Not unlike the new stadium, actually. What can we do to make it look like there has been some kind of progress? Hmmm, let's rent a backhoe and dig a hole.

I wonder how much consulting there is to do though. After they shoe-horn a field in there, all they will be left with are three small triangles of land. They're going to hire land-scape architects for that?


And the Wie-ner is ...

I made a comment in my last post about Michelle Wie ... something about her perhaps drawing attention that was not proportional to her skill level. Well, perhaps it was warranted after all. Congratulations to Michelle on her outstanding win at St. Charles.

Now, I shall study my video of her for many many hours to see if I might capture some of that magic myself.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Canadian Women's Open : notes from the practice round

  • Ai Miyazato is not only the world #1 right now, and about 3' 2" tall, she is also very friendly and positive. She would be fun to golf with even if she sucked.

  • Sam Katz is not a horrible golfer. I saw him tee off on the par 3 #8, and not only did he not hit anybody in the face, but he got it on the green.
  • Phil Sheegl was also out there golfing. I wonder how many other city bureaucrats were in the pro-am, and I wonder if they paid the $3000 $10,000 to do it out of their own pockets. Hmmm.
  • Cute little Korean girls are to women's golf what leggy blond Russians are to women's tennis.
  • Notoriety draws the attention, not talent. While Ai Miyazato is currently the #1 golfer and last week's winner, her crowds were small while Michelle Wie had a floatila of media and fans following her.
    Michelle teeing off on #15:

    ... I don't know what happened to the sound with that video.
  • Although Michelle made the birdie putt after the above tee shot, putting is definitely the weak part of her game.
  • If the temp tomorrow is supposed to be 27, I had better wear my mesh tank top to stay cool, 'cause I was damn warm today and it was only 21.
  • Canadian or Bud Light: $6.25. Negra Modelo: $6.25. I don't understand the pricing, but I'll take the Negra Modelo thank you.

  • Yummm. :-)
    Oh ... I was, ah, still talking about the beer. Ya.. That's it.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Assiniboine Ave gong show

I thought I might scan and post the picture from Saturday's paper of the up-coming changes to Winnipeg's Assiniboine avenue as a public service, because it's clearer than the "easy to ready map" posted on the City's web site, which is not only in the wrong orientation and split into two halves, but the arrows on Hargrave are obscured, and not enough of the street is visible to show that it's only a two way for part of it's length. Looking at the web map you might get the impression that the whole street is now two-way.

Now, I'm not a traffic analyst, so I'm not going to comment on the wisdom of these changes until I see them in action -- although I guess I already did with the title of this post -- but I will say this: it looks like a bit of a clusterfuck.

Streets that change from one-way to two-way can be confusing for some drivers, but not only does Assiniboine change from one-way to two way, but it is at different points both one way east bound, and one-way west bound. With this arrangement, Kennedy and Carlton essentially become local-use-only, as they go nowhere except up Edmonton, while Edmonton becomes the only way out for traffic coming off of Osborne, Kennedy, Carlton and Hargrave, potentially becoming much busier.

Who knows? Maybe this is genius. Maybe once it gets implemented it will amaze and dazzle with it's safe and efficient management of cars and bicycles. Or, maybe it will just be a maze.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sam and Judy ... with colour!

I am not comfortable with the cozy monopoly that Sam & Judy has formed in the Winnipeg 2010 civic election comic blog sector, and I have therefore decided to offer them a little competition.

Introducing Judy & Sam in Fantasy Land, vol 1:

Sorry for the small font. Click on the picture to see it full size (which still isn't very big.) No I didn't draw that myself. Credit goes to auroreblackcat.

Monday, 16 August 2010

The camera always flashes twice

Don't mind the title of the post. I'm not at my best today.

I have no idea where Wise Up Winnipeg is getting the money for their upcoming advertising blitz, but best of luck to them. I have never been nailed running a red light, but I have been caught "speeding" a couple of times. I put speeding in quotes, because it depends on your definition of speeding: driving faster than the posted limit -- or driving an unsafe speed.

What am I talking about? Some of the cameras are set up on stretches of road with speed limits that are too low. This is not my opinion. This is fact, based on traffic studies and universal traffic standards, documented in a report that was signed by the director of public works and went before council several years ago -- January 13, 2003 to be precise -- and was promptly crapped-upon and thrown in the trash. Luckily before it was thrown in the trash they posted it on the web site and I printed off a copy, though I believe it has since been taken down. I still have my hard copy somewhere though.

What I am getting at is: if you're going to use automated cameras, it should be done within the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law. The laws within the highway traffic act exist to make the streets safer. If you ticket people who are driving a safe speed, you do not do justice to that cause. You make people cynical and pissed off. Worse, if you actually risk increased accidents by having yellow lights artificially low, as Wise Up Winnipeg is suggesting, then you are actually working against what the laws are trying to achieve. You are compromising safety for revenue.

By ignoring recommendations by professional traffic analysts to increase speed limits, and by ignoring ITE recommendations as the WUW folks allege, the city is negligent in it's responsibility to make the roads as safe and efficient as possible, and is abusive in it's use of red light cameras. Of course, if they weren't negligent and abusive they probably wouldn't make any money.

Our goal is simple—to reduce collisions and injuries by reducing red-light running and excessive speeding. -link-
Wait ... where did I put that thing ... Oh, here it is!
So, good luck to W.U.W.. Maybe you can make it an election issue. From the comment count on the Free Press web site, it certainly seems to have some interest.


Speaking of cameras ... and bike paths ... the Multi-Use Trail along Archibald St. is coming along nicely, except for the red light camera sticking right up in the middle of it. This is near the intersection with Elizabeth Rd, where the path is quite narrow because of the boundary with the St.Boniface golf course. I was wondering what they were going to do with that when they started working on the path. The answer: nothing, apparently. I guess the revenues from that camera -- a piddly 111 offences YTD -- are so important as to necessitate turning the multi-use trail into a dangerous obstacle course. Maybe they'll stick a piece of reflective tape on it or something. Ya, that oughtta do the trick.

Friday, 13 August 2010

MTS Customer Service

If Brian Kelcey is looking for content for his new www.mtscustomerservice.com domain, I direct him to dogbert:

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Closing lanes for bikes

If the Winnipeg 'bike lobby' convinced City Hall to close off an entire lane of traffic over a bridge to downtown, like they did in Vancouver, I wonder if Marty Gold's noggin would explode?

The city recently voted to make the change permanent.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Milk drink, booze: Can you tell difference?

A Peanut exclusive:

Heinz Canada, makers of what they boast is the fourth most popular baby formula in the country, launched Boobie Cream Liquor in Manitoba a few weeks ago. The packaging is similar enough to a real boob to raise red flags about whether these alcoholic products should be available at all. Critics say there's a good chance babies could mistake the alcoholic version for the real one.

Andrew Murie, chief executive officer of MADD Canada, said Heinz is essentially disguising alcohol as a baby formula in a beverage that will appeal to infants, boys in particular.

"It's an easy way to consume alcohol because it tastes more like breast milk than traditional alcohol tastes. Long before coolers came along, it was a learning experience how to drink alcohol because it didn't taste very good," he said. "These are products you have to watch very carefully. They can give you a bad experience. If you're not an experienced drinker then whoomp, all of a sudden you're really drunk and bad things can happen," he said.

The director of the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba has similar worries. "We would definitely be concerned about it from a baby's perspective, for sure," said Laura Goossen.

She said while the alcoholic beverage is not available for sale where minors can shop, and also babies don't have credit cards, a child may see the tittie-shaped container laying around and start suckling on it.

"There's always a concern about messaging. If you make something look like a tasty boobie, is there an inadvertent message that the (alcoholic) drink is good for you, too?" she said.

Cherenkov, from Anybody Want A Peanut, disagrees, saying "what happened to personal responsibility? A mother should make sure that the only boob a baby suckles on is her own. To what degree is this nanny state going to restrict the things that we can buy or do, in an attempt to legislate away common sense and responsibility?"

Heinz did not respond to repeated requests for comment, except to say that Boobie Cream Liquor has "come of the gate really nicely," capturing six per cent of the cream liqueur category in a very short period.


Monday, 9 August 2010

Twitterized blog

Due to the fact that I am retardedly busy this week, I have decided to limit my blog posts to 140-ish characters. Starting .... now:

I saw a little blue scooter drive up the down ramp to get out of the Portage Place parkade today. Is that because normal directional rules of traffic do not apply to scooters, or was he fleeing the drug dealers and thugs that allegedly permeate the mall?

Monday, 2 August 2010

Getting things other than the census done ...

On Friday the federal Conservative Party sent an email out to it's supporters titled "Getting things done..." In it, they list their recent accomplishments, highlighted with bold red check marks:

Investments to deliver our armed forces with the tools they need to get the job done overseas.
Agreements with the US, strengthening our commitment to open borders and free markets with our largest trading partner.
Strategic investments in research facilities and equipment at colleges and polytechnic institutes across Canada.
Improvements to our security by imposing increased sanctions against Iran.
Re-affirmed support for abolishing the long-gun registry.
The launch of a review of affirmative action hiring practices to ensure federal hiring is fair.
Continued strategic investments across the country to create jobs now, and jobs for the future.

Why that is indeed an impressive list. Hey wait a minute, I think you forgot something:

Protected Canadian liberty by replacing the mandatory long form census with a voluntary survey.

The conspicuous absence of the census announcement, even in an email to their own supporters, tells me that the federals Conservatives just want everybody to forget about it. They are too stubborn to admit they're wrong and change their mind, so they change the conversation and omit any mention of it. Eventually people -- especially the annoying press geeks -- will stop talking about it. Why the hell are those press geeks so interested in this anyhow? It's the census for crying out loud. It's the least interesting thing in the world, next to ... I'm not sure what ... something so boring that I can't even think of it.

The same email also says that there is only one way to prevent the "nightmare" of a Liberal-led coalition from becoming reality -- a Conservative majority government. Well I have this to say to the Conservatives: if you want a majority, maybe you should stop doing stupid things. Every time you build up political capital, you blow it all by peroguing parliament or doing something else that makes all those jittery voters in Toronto scamper off into the Liberal bushes. I'm telling you, the clock is ticking. The Libs won't always be engulfed in the charisma vortex of a doltish professor like Dion or Ignatieff. Sooner than you think, the Liberal Party will elect the passionate and outgoing Justin Trudeau as their leader and all the singing and piano playing in the world won't help you out.


In other news, Germany is getting attacked by radioactive boars.

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