Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Slurpees and Murder Record Club: Someone Please Help Me Figure Out This 1984 Commemorative Pope-Themed Cassette

The title says it all, really, but -- hello and welcome back to the Slurpees and Murder Record Club!

Remember how the last installment of SMRC had at least given us something, anything, to work with in determining its origins? Well, PREPARE YOURSELVES:

Sunday, December 02, 2012

UPTOWN Server Salvages: The Art of Nicholas Luchak


The companion piece to the previous post, this gallery contains all of the Nicholas Luchak artwork that I was fortunate enough to have alongside my UPTOWN columns from the end of April 2012 to the demise of the paper('s standalone format) just over a month ago.

These are pretty great, so be sure to take the time to admire each one properly. And if you see something in any of the images and think "that looks kind of like a penis", well, there's a reasonable chance that it is. (Think of it as a Son of Interflux touch, but with dicks instead of camels.) (Yes, I realize how badly I'm dating myself by saying that.)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

UPTOWN Server Salvages: The Art of Chris Without the Hat

Hey, remember UPTOWN Magazine? Ahh, those were the days.

Though it's only been about five weeks since the untimely demise of UPTOWN's previous format, it really does seem like forever ago now. (Well, to me, at least; working two other positions simultaneously will do that to a guy.) Before the old website had disappeared and the new format -- coincidentally also the Free Press Thursday Tab's old format -- officially kicked in on the first day of November, I made sure to double back and save all of the artwork that had complemented-slash-redeemed my columns over the years.

(By 'the years', I should clarify, I mean December 2010 to October 2012; everything before that was wiped off the web in the site's switchover to the more Free-Press-ian template. Alas.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Winnipeg: One Extreme City", the Surrealistic Adventure That Will Become Your World

I've been hinting here and there at something that I've been working on for a while now, something strange and undiscovered and all but forgotten even to the vast shared intelligence of the internet, and now -- with the oddly relevant reemergence of one of its key players -- the time has come to share it with you.

So come, friends, gather around, and behold as I beheld:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Local Names that Kind of Sound Like They'd Be Pokémon

Welcome back, everyone!

As I'd mentioned, I took a bit of a break from the site after ManLinkWeek ran its natural course and Uptown Magazine went kablooie, but you knew I couldn't stay away for too long -- so, in my absence, I've been working away diligently at piecing together a multimedia extravaganza from some surprisingly-relevant historical material that I happen to have in my possession.

So! What you are about to read right now is absolutely, definitely not that project. But I haven't posted in a while -- multimedia extravaganzas do not simply fall from the sky -- and I hate to leave you guys hanging, so to tide us all over here are a bunch of local names that kind of sound like they'd be Pokémon.

(To borrow from George Carlin: these are the thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Thank You for Reading ManLinkWeek (ManLinkWeek 52)

As you can see, Nick Luchak really caught my good side, and I'm kind of tempted to just put this on everything. [via]

Hello and welcome to ManLinkWeek! I know I say this a lot lately, but please accept my apologies for the delay; I spent most of last week down in Orlando on library-conference business, when I wasn't somewhere in transit between Winnipeg and Orlando, and then of course when one returns to Winnipeg from somewhere else it takes a while to settle back into the -- well -- gloom of the place. (I wish I had a better descriptor, but man -- look out the window, and then look at a newspaper, and then tell me that this city ain't gloomy right now.)

Fittingly, then, today's ManLinkWeek opens with travel:

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:

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: St. Boniface as Tokyo Jungle, The Least Successful Bridge Jump You'll See Today, and NOPE (ManLinkWeek 50)

Good news, everyone! I placed third in the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournament held in Regina last weekend, so I won thirteen dollars. Then we ate some tasty pizza (as well as some overpriced, not-particularly-tasty pizza; if you're in Regina, seek out Tumblers Pizza at your first opportunity and avoid Houston Pizza like the surprise-that'll-be-twenty-six-dollars-for-a-ten-inch-pizza plague), played some more fightin' games, and barreled back through the countryside to return to civilization. A good weekend, overall! Good weekend.

Anyway, because I use these opening moments now as a video-game-themed framing device for the rest of the segment, let me tell you a little bit about the game I'm currently playing. If you've never heard of Tokyo Jungle, the PS3 exclusive available for fifteen dollars through PSN, you are missing out on what has turned out to be one of my favourite games of this entire generation. It plays, to borrow some descriptive language from my little brother, like the finest lost Japanese PS1 game ever made. And the establishing plot of Tokyo Jungle, to summarize, is that a mysterious man-made cataclysm has led to the extinction of all human life in the area, with the deserted urban landscape of chemically poisoned air and water now home to hordes of abandoned feral animals battling each other for food and survival.

Ha ha, what an unrealistic premise! Completely ridiculous, I'm sure we can all agree; forget I even mentioned it. Hello and welcome to ManLinkWeek! First, tonight, our top sto--


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Summer is Over and Everything is Terrible (ManLinkWeek 49)

It's been that kind of a September for everyone, I'm afraid. [via]

I think we'll have to save the adventures of our dear beloved Mayor for another post entirely; for one thing, a list of his recent pitfalls and pratfalls is more than enough content to fill an entire ManLinkWeek segment by itself, and for another thing, we as a city can't go two or three days around here right now without something else making the list. ("He bought a what? From who? Ha ha, okay, but seriously. That's not real, is it?")

As for me, I'd obviously hoped to have this blog post up earlier than this, but the last half of this month has been a whirlwind -- partially from taking on a short-term second position, and partially from preparing to take off to Regina this weekend. That's right! By the time you read this I'll have traversed the highway to hell Saskatchewan's capital city, six- or seven-odd hours yonder thataway. And why am I, with my brother and a buddy in tow, going out there? For a video games tournament. I recognize that this sounds like an insane thing to spend thirteen-ish hours of weekend on the highway for, but A) their guys have driven out to support our guys before, so we want to show their first event some love, and B) you always knew I was crazy.

So let's do this! ManLink...ThirdofaMonth...ish oh screw it whatever Activate!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Family Night Games, As Many As Twelve, and BANK (ManLinkWeek 48)

Well, my good intentions of putting out two episodes last week didn't quite pan out, but I have a perfectly reasonable claim to extenuating circumstances: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Double Dragon Neon dropped last week, on the same day, and I am not made of stone. Consequently, and compounding the problem, every time I sit down at the computer now I get nothing done because I'm busy listening to this:

/waits five seconds, hits repeat again

If you like fighting games and/or oldschool beat-'em-ups, I highly recommend checking out the two games mentioned above; if you don't like those genres, that's cool too, but you should at least check out their soundtracks.

You're probably assuming that my opening video game ramblings are an aside completely unrelated to this past week(-ish)'s local content, right? Wrong! Insert coin to ManLinkWeek:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: A Hypothetical Scenario, Sports and Sports and Sports, and (sigh) "Vuanh Street" (ManLinkWeek 47)

Blah blah something something nobody actually reads these intros -- it's time for ManLinkWeek! So let's check in on the week(-and-a-bit) that was, starting with:

Monday, September 03, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Everything is Absolutely Terrible, There's Your Winnipeg News (ManLinkWeek 46)

Hello and a Labour Day Weekend to you! Custom would normally dictate here that I write "a good Labour Day weekend" or "a happy Labour Day weekend", but then I'd be lying. (Whoof.)

It's been that kind of a week all around, really, so -- much as I've done my best to put it off and enjoy the weekend -- it's time to roll up our collective sleeves and tackle the tales of the last seven (business) days. Welcome back to ManLinkWeek!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MACKSTOPPER: A Project to Support the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club

Timed Release Rewards Project

by James Hope Howard

Winnipeg, MB      Community-Owned Sports

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Downtown Problems, Gleaming the Cube, and Augh Let's Just Get This One Run Already (ManLinkWeek 45)

Well, long time no see! As I'm sure you noticed, alas, I'm a few days off the weekly pace with this installment; the end of summer is as frenetic a time as any you'll find around here, so yes, I'll admit to being a bit behind. If you're wondering why something very recent isn't included here, it's probably because I'm saving it for next week's -- for this week's -- no, hang on, I'll get this -- I'm saving it for the next ManLinkWeek.

Unless, of course, you were thinking about recent Blue Bomber developments. (You can't spell "Winnipeg Blue Bombers football" without "LOL, BOMBERS BEING AWFUL".) That's going to be its own post, and trust me, I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a doozy. First things first, though, of course.

And, before we begin, one helpful summer tip for those of you -- I realize this is a very small subset of Winnipeg readers -- for those of you who enjoy Slurpees: here's how to prevent brain freeze. Yeah, they put a robot on Mars and everything, but here's some science we can use for a change!

ManLinkWeek -- Hajime~!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: We've Hit Peak Summer, Imagine Being Able to Buy Poutine and Beer Simultaneously, and Hey I Bet the Guy Who Didn't Fully Read or Understand His Own Anti-Crime Bill Would Make a Really Great Judge (ManLinkWeek 44)

And welcome back! This is a Friday feature now, maybe? I don't even know any more. Summers, man! Summers are TOO BUSY, a point that I shall elaborate upon shortly. But first, preamble:

-- I have a column in this week's Uptown Magazine; I have a column in every week's Uptown Magazine, but not always with a central idea as fundamentally awesome as the one I'm pitching this week. So have a look!
-- I successfully defended my Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown championship against all comers last weekend, which is great, because it means I don't have to update that bio paragraph on the right again. (There's quite a bit of livestream footage from the weekend-long event, if you're into that sort of thing.)
-- My poor sad old laptop overheats so quickly now that it occasionally just gives up and dies with a loud popping noise, which is... slightly unnerving to experience, and has not sped my ever-glacial writing pace up any. So I'm increasingly in the market to finally pick up a new computer, and coincidentally -- after a long stretch of the game appearing to be PC-only -- SimCity 5 will be on the Mac after all. Hmm.
-- And, in more encouraging news -- I had the good fortune of being able to attend the beginning of the Joey Elliott Era live, last night, and he won. So, hey! That's pretty cool. (You've never seen a city so energized about its 2-and-5 football team as we are about ours.)
-- If, for some reason, you don't happen to follow the hashtag #banished on Twitter, you missed Mike McIntyre's coverage of quite the day in court earlier this week. I don't want to spoil it for you, just get in there and experience it for yourself. (Remember: start reading from the bottom.)
-- And speaking of Twitter, here are the details on a beer swag giveaway, so have at that too while you're at it. If you're on the Twitter, I mean. You Facebook types can ignore the whole thing and get back to your busy day of watching people you don't remember very well complain about how Facebook's changing.

(I'm nearing the point now where my preamble is a full post in itself, a rather convincing sign that I need to think about retooling this feature soon.)

All right! Get ready to stare at your calendar in befuddlement, because it's time for ManLinkWeek!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Sinkholes, Short Lines, Women's Urinals, and Mystery Province, the Province of Mystery (ManLinkWeek 43)

Is it Friday already? Dang, that was quick. Long weekends, man, they throw everything off. Well, humour me my usual preamble, before we begin.

This has nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to do with Manitoba, but I absolutely have to mention it because holy shit, this headline, and holy shit, this entire story.

"A PEI prisoner’s drunken x-rated impersonation of cartoon character Cyril Sneer led to drug possession charges after his lively jig revealed illegal drugs tucked away in his rectum."

And that's the lede. The story doesn't mention (beyond "National Post Staff") who got the assignment of writing this piece, but whoever it was could probably have the print version framed and then just retire, right now, call it a successful career and live in contentment forever.

"Campbell asked guards if they had ever seen the cartoon character Cyril Sneer — a pink aardvark with a lengthy snout and the primary villian in the 80s Canadian children’s cartoon The Raccoons. Then, he tucked his penis between his legs, bent over and jumped up and down (apparently) pretending to be the evil industrialist."

I love the "(apparently)". I love it. It's entirely possible that the impression just wasn't very good (it sounds dead-on to me, man, I don't know), but I prefer to believe that the guards just don't remember The Raccoons and that the impression was uncannily accurate, because that makes picturing the whole scene even funnier than it is already. CEEEDDD-RRRIIIIIIIIICCC

There is absolutely no way to transition smoothly from that into any other topic, so I'm not even going to try. This week's Winnipeg Internet Pundits episode was very good, I wrote an Uptown column you should read, and the arrival of Folklorama gives me a chance to link my old Folklorama music album post. And there's a thing this weekend I want to draw your attention to, but I'll do that as its own standalone post, so never mind that for now.

It's quiet, peaceful, serene -- until ManLinkWeek wakes up!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Awesome Old Cars, Family Reunions on Flatbeds, and Jesus Christ That's a Sentient Lifejacket: Here's Everything that Appeared in the Gimli Islendingadagurinn 2012 Parade (56k Modems Beware, Seriously)

Yes, this is the third parade I've been to in five weeks, and yes, I know that sounds really silly. They just keep happening near me, man, it'd be rude not to drop by and see 'em. And I certainly couldn't pass up the annual Islendingadagurinn parade, described as "the largest parade in rural Manitoba"; the Gimli parade hits that sweet spot of being big enough to pull in support from all over the area, but not so big that companies feel obligated to send something and hang Christmas lights on a company truck.

There was a lot of stuff -- a lot of stuff -- in the parade, so fair warning: even having cut back a bit on the maximum image dimensions this time around, there are still about twenty-six (!) megabytes of pictures in here. And not a heck of a lot of duplicates, either; as much as it pained me to cut the alternate angles of interesting old automobiles, you'll see in a second that it had to be done. So if you'd like to see a larger version of a picture, or you want to see one of the parade entries from another angle, feel free to let me know; the chances are very good that I can dig one up.

Ah, but enough preamble. Let me be your eyes and... well, eyes, I guess, as we detail yesterday's holiday event.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Vegan Restaurant Drawn Into Beef; One Guy Just Really Does Not Like Brian Pallister; I'm at the Senate Chamber, I'm at the Rights Museum, I'm at the Combination Senate Chamber and Rights Museum (ManLinkWeek 42)

Ten-digit dialing has arrived, and I'm sure we're all very thrilled. So here's a column about it! Timely as though torn from the headlines, which it was, so... yeah, there you have it.

Before we launch into tonight's episode of Manitoba Links Weekly, allow me to honour one of my prior commitments. I had promised previously that I would note when the Bombers finally won a game, so: holy crap, the Bombers finally won a game. By one point, because the opposing quarterback drove the ball into winning field goal range with seconds left on the clock and then fumbled it like an idiot, BUT WHATEVER IT STILL COUNTS. Our collective Swaggerville Grey Cup parade planning is surely in full swing as we speak.

And, incidentally, if you happen to like the Canadian Football League, you might enjoy my recent review of the Saskatchewan Roughriders breakfast cereal. Or you might not! It's a risk I'm willing to take.

I hope you're hungry, because it's time for a serving of ManLinkWeek:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Here is a Comprehensive Review of the Getzlaf Triple Berry Waggle Saskatchewan Roughriders Breakfast Cereal

You thought I was kidding, didn't you? Man, you really don't know me at all.

Yes, the last time I was out Virden way, I saw this in the Co-Op for the first time; the idea of this being a real thing made me laugh, and its proceeds go to helping children not die, so I bought a box and brought it back with me. Why not, right? One can't help but be a little bit curious about what it might taste like, especially given a name like 'Waggle'.

Saskatchewan Roughrider-themed cereals are apparently an ongoing theme out west in Rider Nation (Virden, Manitoba being far enough west to count); this -- I am just learning all of this now -- this is the third straight annual player-branded Saskatchewan Roughrider cereal, behind Andy Fantuz's Fantuz Flakes in 2010 and Darian Durant's Dari-Os last year. With Fantuz having since moved to the Tiger-Cats, and with all three players expected to play in this week's upcoming Riders-Ticats game, media have dubbed the contest "the Cereal Bowl". Sports are great, man.

Interestingly, I've yet to encounter Winnipeg's franchise foodstuff while out and about around town; either the original product run wasn't a large one or the barbecue chips are just that popular, because they seem to have disappeared as quickly as (alas) their namesake did.

Amateur rebranding exercises aside, of course:

we're never winning a grey cup ever again, are we

But enough preamble! Let's get down to business, and by 'business' of course I mean 'looking at the box and then eating the cereal'.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Dunnottar Sewer Surfin', Nine is Early Enough, Stop Fighting With Your Lady, and You'll Never Guess What Winnipeg Leads In (ManLinkWeek 41)

I hope you will humour me a bit of self-promotion, before we begin; it's been quite the interesting week or so. Seemingly everybody I know has already brought this up in person, but -- yes, I was in in the Free Press over the weekend, and yes, I had a really good time. Many thanks to David Sanderson for conceptualizing and hosting the event, and to the rest of the panel of experts as well.

That past weekend was a busy one for me, as I covered in this previous post; a lot of you probably don't check this site more than once a week (because, to be fair, my updates here as late have been about one a week), so I thought I'd take the time now to mention it. At the very least, this being a Manitoba feature, I figure that the following video is worthy of inclusion:

Let's see, what else? Ah, yes! I ran the soundboard for this week's Winnipeg Internet Pundits all by myself, like a big boy, without shattering the equipment or burning the studio down -- and those were my metrics of success (to give you some idea of my confidence going in), so, hey! Success.

And (and), I know I haven't really impressed this upon you lately, but I write weekly columns for Uptown. So if you haven't swung by there or picked a physical copy up lately, I wish to humbly suggest that you may find it worth your while do so.

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME. Let's fire up some ManLinkWeek!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Big Weekend, in Pictures: Fireworks and a Parade in Oak Lake, the 28th Annual Brandon Folk Festival, a Moody Manitoba Morning, and Other Westman Shenanigans (56k Modems Beware)

Fair warning: there are about twenty megabytes' worth of pictures in this post. I realize that for most of us modern-day downloadin' folks that's barely a blip, like maybe three or four decently-encoded MP3s, but still. Fair warning!

As you'll see shortly, there is a lot more in this post than I was actually expecting to see when I left town Thursday evening. Longtime readers will recall that my father lives out in Oak Lake, off the highway between Virden and Brandon, and Oak Lake is generally not an overly busy destination.

As an example, here's what the hustle and bustle of downtown looked like when we went out the next day:

Not your fancy Virden city-living, to be sure, and Oak Lake residents like it just fine that way. Let me (re)introduce you to a couple of them, not because they're crucial to the story, but because they're adorable:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Brandon Crime as Fringe Play, Grass as Redevelopment, Deep-Fried Pizza Pops as the Lede, and Online Reader Comments... on Paper? (ManLinkWeek 40)

Your eyes do not deceive you; what you see here is blurry cellphone footage, taken yesterday in the wild ("the wild" in this case being the Maryland Tim Hortons between Portage and Broadway), of an online reader-comments section grabbing a pen and forcibly crossing itself over into the print edition. Behold -- the future of publishing!

Now, before we launch into this week's cornucopia of content: I didn't want to devote a full segment below to them, because they've already appeared many a time in this feature already, but holy shit, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. I split my time tonight between typing this post out and watching them lose again, so they're still on my mind right now, but from the way their year is shaping up so far I can see that I'm going to need to pace myself. So let's say instead that I'll, uh... I'll let you know if they win. (And you'll note that's an 'if'.)

On to ManLinkWeek!

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.



Thursday, July 05, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: This Doesn't Look Like Anything, the Public Tap Dries Up, and Not-92.9 KICK Not-FM (ManLinkWeek 38)

I don't even know where this week has gone, man. Holiday Mondays are really discombobulating.

If you'd missed it, I put up some parade photographs from Canada Day in a tiny village over the weekend; they're very cute! You should check them out.

Also cute, and tangentially related to Canada Day: the Free Press put up a weekend gallery of cat pictures, if you're into that sort of thing, I mean. Are pictures of cats still popular on the internet? It's hard to keep track of this stuff.

On to ManLinkWeek!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Up-to-the-Minute Breaking News: Ponemah, MB Canada Day Parade Adorable (56k Modems Beware)

Happy Canada Day to one and all!

I'd hoped to have a new installment of the Slurpees & Murder Record Club for the occasion today, but it'll have to wait; the record in question is still in the city, and I am... not.

In the meantime, then, I hope that a substitution will suffice -- so please find below, for your consideration, a gallery of pictures from the cute little community Canada Day parade in Ponemah earlier today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Merchandisin', Museums, Mayoral Candidates, and in Transconan Winnipeg, Crow Eats You (ManLinkWeek 37)

Geez, how are we already almost halfway through 2012? Time flies when you're gainfully employed, I suppose.

Before we begin:

The above video was emailed to me yesterday morning by a reader; it isn't specifically Manitoba related, but you all know how much I love maps, so here's a neat look at the lengths cartographers went to back in the pre-computer, strangely-Chevrolet-heavy days of yore. (via) I've coincidentally been considering putting up a ManLinkWeek suggestion box, or some similar concept, for a while now; remind me to get back to that later.

Also, in not-specifically-Manitoba-related preamble: if you haven't poked around your Facebook profile settings in a while, you, uh, you may want to look into that.

But enough talk! Have at ManLinkWeek:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Summer Fun, Cottage Booze, Plastic Bags, and... Adorable Propaganda? (ManLinkWeek 36)

I'm embedding the above largely for confirmation that it is indeed a real thing, because I'm still not entirely convinced that I haven't just hallucinated it. [via]

ManLinkWeek is go! These are busy times, my friends; it's summer in Winnipeg, and summer in Winnipeg means all rain all the time events:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Will Help Identify Your Carts if There is a Problem (ManLinkWeek 34)

All right, let's do this! Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown drops tonight on PSN -- I'm downloading it as we speak -- so we've no time to lose; the last console release in the series was... just under five and a half years ago, and to say that I am excited about the game would be to understate matters ever so slightly.

Ah, but first things first, of course -- it's time once again for ManLinkWeek!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Portage and Main Turns 150! (The Closure Contract is 35.)

There's been quite the flurry of local anniversarial activity, as late; Kelvin High School and Transcona have both celebrated their 100th anniversaries, the Pride Winnipeg festival turns 25 this weekend, and all of the local media outlets went entirely over the top with partook in some One Year Ago reminiscing about the return announcement of the Winnipeg Jets. Worthy subjects all! But the most historic and notable of these civic observances -- the granddaddy of them all, if you wee-ull -- will be tomorrow, tomorrow being the 150th birthday of the Portage and Main intersection.

Now, like most local stories of historical significance, just about everybody was set to ignore it completely. (Who's "Mostyn"? What's a "Rathje"? How old was that building we just knocked down?) The anniversary would have passed by completely unrecognized had radio superstar Christian Cassidy not brought up the oncoming date in this blog post; many fine folks in the local blogosphere answered the call with their birthday wishes -- I'd link them all here as they come in, but I think that'll be more of a Tuesday pursuit -- and a hastily assembled but still appreciated party was thrown for the intersection after the story garnered some mainstream media attention.

So Happy 150th Birthday, Portage and Main! You've been closed to pedestrians significantly longer than I've actually been alive, but I've enjoyed the opportunity to walk around on you those couple of times during the occasional street party or parade. (Santa Claus parades, I mean; this town hasn't had a victory parade in, well, a lifetime.) I've driven through you more times than I could ever count, I'm sure; I can say for certain that I've never tried to cycle across you, but I'm sure that if I did it would be a fun and creative way to die.

And, hey, there are only five more years until that legendarily idiotic agreement expires -- it's legitimately impressive, sometimes, how long bad decisions tend to last in this city -- so when the next crop of mayoral candidates assembles a couple of years from now, there will be a lot of people lining up to position themselves as your savior. Things are looking up! Exciting times are ahead, and to avoid unnecessarily anthropomorphizing you I'll instead say that I'm excited on your behalf.

Happy Birthday, Portage and Main, and here's to 150 more!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Portage and Main, Public Sphere Craft Show, and Police Service Dog TIKA (ManLinkWeek 33)

ManLinkWeek ahoy! Later than intended, yes, but t'is the season; this is the brief but significant period of time when good weather and playoff hockey intersect, and when they do, hey, something's gotta give. I am finishing this post off during Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals, with the window wide open, trying with various levels of success to enjoy everything at once.

A housekeeping note, before I begin: the presentation notes from the Manitoba Libraries Conference, mentioned last week, are now online. So if you're interested in a bit of independent study on adult literacy, or data ownership in the Web 2.0 world, collection and classification decisions at the Canadian Human Rights Museum, or the public and academic libraries of Northern Manitoba, you'll find no better place to start than there.

As for this week -- one sure sign of the approaching summer, in Manitoba, is that locations outside Winnipeg start seeming a lot better and Winnipeg starts seeming a lot worse. So there's something of a conceptual split this week between the Winnipeg content and the Manitoba content, and I think you're going to be able to tell quite handily which side I'm more taken with this week.

But enough talk! Have at you, ManLinkWeek:

The 2012 Stanley Cup Finals Begin Tonight

ManLinkWeek will be along shortly, delayed already as it is, but first things first -- I just got home, and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals starts in maybe fifteen minutes. And, since I got none of my series predictions right last round (well, 'neither', really, since there were only the two series), the best I can aim for on the year is one under .500 -- so, hey, at that point, what's the harm in zipping through it?


Stanley Cup Finals

(6) New Jersey Devils vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings

sixth seed home ice advantage, how did this even

I am begrudgingly obligated to admit that I do, after the last round, rescind my previous round's assessment and recognize the New Jersey Devils as legitimate; a large part of that is how Martin Brodeur is on a spaghetti-western old-man-with-one-last-task-in-life tear right now, playing well enough to outduel a world-elite league-MVP-candidate goaltender and look every bit as solid as his ridiculous lifetime statistics would suggest. The forward depth of the Devils outperformed the Rangers' lines admirably -- although, to look at the Rangers' playoff stats afterwards, that may not have been as impressive as it sounds -- and the defence, while not really a force defensively in the traditional sense, turned out to be pretty valuable offensive threats. (So it probably helps that, with Brodeur back there, they never actually have to go back and play the puck.) And I have a longstanding soft spot for Adam Henrique, for some reason; I'm not entirely sure why, but I suspect the EASHL modes in NHL '11 and '12 have something to do with it. Yes, that's right; I'm that guy.

But! But. If the Kings don't look like a capital-T, capital-D Team of Destiny to you right now, I don't know what team could. The Kings' forwards are gigantic, at precisely the time of year when height and weight are most considered assets, and at precisely the time of year when the opposing defenders are going to be the most tired. (New Jersey actually seems like kind of a tiny team by comparison, but they are very fast; unfortunately for them, that's more of a help earlier in the year when referees are still calling plenty of penalties.) The defence is, for what people would have expected of them earlier in the year, overperforming, and... there's probably a more clever way of stating that Jonathan Quick is playing really well, but holy crap Jonathan Quick. He just shows up, waves his hand a few dozen times, and theoretically much better teams end up dumping their franchise goaltenders or losing hundreds of millions of dollars for the infinitieth straight year.

Given the evidence, given the comparative levels of rest and how both teams have played in the rounds previous, I would predict that the Los Angeles Kings would win with what seems like reasonable ease. However, if there is one thing I have learned from years and years of watching the Stanley Cup Finals, it is that their end results more often than not underwhelm and vaguely disappoint me.


What I'd Want: Los Angeles in five.
What I'll Guess: New Jersey in six, including at least one shutout.

Hockey, everybody! ManLinkWeek will be along shortly, don't worry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: OMC and Oleson, Parks and Parcels, Libraries and Liquor (ManLinkWeek 32)

Welcome back, long-weekenders! To indulge my well-established enthusiasm for format fiddling, this week's ManLinkWeek will operate a little differently than most of the other installments. Last week's post took longer to write than I'd anticipated partially because -- and this will happen, sometimes -- I'd left an extra link on the list for consideration and then forgot to drop one when I wrote the post proper. (Man, I knew I was forgetting to... well, to forget something.) So this week I'm saying "the heck with it" -- paraphrased -- and cutting the weeding step entirely, instead grouping related links by subject where appropriate.

With all that established, let's open with local blogosphere developments:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Can We Build It? No, We Canalta (ManLinkWeek 31)

yeah I'm stealing my own jokes, what up

Hello and welcome to ManLinkWeek for the week of Tuesday, May 15th! I've put this segment off until the day after, as I sometimes tend to do lately, but who could blame me? The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and poorly-handled civic files are dying sudden miserable deaths.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Finals Begin Tonight

I literally only just now got home from hand-building my grandmother a brand new roof for her cottage. Happy Mother's Day, everybody!

So obviously, in the meantime, the third round of the playoffs has already started and I'm completely behind on this post. Rrrgh -- man, whatever, let's go, let's get this going:

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: a city where these is everything like any other Canadian City -- but beware ! (ManLinkWeek 30)

It's that time again! Your favourite Tuesday feature that occasionally gets pushed back to Wednesday afternoon for reasons not compelling enough to dwell on -- it's ManLinkWeek! So let's open up the... bag? The vault. The vault-bag! The ManLinkWeek vault-bag.

Yeah, okay, the branding needs a bit of work still. You get the idea, though! And first up:

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Best in the World, Kony on Clearance, and Here Be Murrays (ManLinkWeek 29)

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:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Round Two of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Begins Tonight

What, tonight? But the first round only just finished last night! Man, life's busy, these days.

My humble prognostications for the first round went three-for-eight, which, honestly, I can't even pretend to feel bad about. For three reasons:

1) I was a couple of Game Seven overtime bounces away from going five-for-eight, which is just as close to even as three-for-eight is and reinforces that the whole thing is just a coin toss at that point;
2) I was still more accurate than anybody who was busy predicting the Alberta election; and
3) Nobody guessed what the hell happened this round. If you know anybody who successfully predicted all eight, don't even bother telling them to go pick up some lottery tickets, because they're as aware as everyone else that luck like that only hits once a lifetime.

So, yeah, thus far, three for eight. Not bad! Not bad. Round Two kicks off tonight, and I started with the East last time, so let's jump into the:

Western Conference

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Where There's Smoke, There's Grentrifiers (ManLinkWeek 28)

"Yeah, no, I don't know. I just... when they said 'world-class', I kind of thought it'd be bigger."

After last week's bit of alternate format dalliance, we return this week to the standard ManLinkWeek layout. Which is not to say I couldn't produce another seven brand new waterpark-related links, if that was my thing again this week; it's... been that kind of a news week. And Council meets to vote on it tomorrow, so if you're tired of this story now you may just want to turn off your computer and go outside for the rest of next week.

As I'd said, plenty more waterpark links have popped up since we last checked in, but I'll limit myself to just one this time around:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Good News, Everyone!

I don't write altogether often about myself, at least not for any extended length of time; it's not a topic that people are terribly interested in reading about, and I can say that with a certain confidence, as I still have the comically low site statistics from back when I wrote more frequently on said topic. (Oh, geez, I started the site in 2006? Oh my god I'm old. Oh, man. Oh, geez.)

So, to avoid burning us both out, I'll keep tonight's post nice and brief. Two things! Two quick bits of personal good news, and then I'll get back to my more interesting regular routines.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: I Bet I Can Blame This on the Internet (ManLinkWeek 27)

You all know how much I enjoy trying new things and playing around with formats, so humour me as I toy with the routine a bit this week.

Yes, tonight's installment of ManLinkWeek will be a little different; instead of me giving you individual local links and then popping pertinent postscripts behind each one, this time around I'm going to give you a series of links uninterrupted and then task you with detecting the shared characteristic that unites them.

Are you ready? Here we go:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin Tonight

Augh, okay, I'm here, I'm late, I know, I just got home, I need to get this wrapped up, nobody tell me the scores, I'm going to do this right--

Ahem. Beg pardon. I've been a bit discombobulated, today. Let me start over.

Hey, it's playoff time! The beginning of the NHL postseason is an annual rite, heralding both the arrival of spring and a rare few weeks' worth of television that I actually want to watch. So, just as I do every year, I'll make guesses between rounds on how each series will play out; I'm usually, oh, half right? Let's go with half.

Since everyone in the city is more familiar with the East this year, for some entirely unknown reason, let's just go ahead and start there:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Transit Buses and Typewriters (ManLinkWeek 26)

Another week, my goodness, I don't even know where that went. Whatever! ManLinkWeek it is, then.


[the cold cold ground: rapid transit]
Tomorrow's very special Winnipeg Internet Pundits episode will be live from a Rapid Transit bus, including live impressions of the experience and lively discussions on the city's transit systems and strategies. So if you'd also like to know what the pre-launch free-ride testing experience was like, the link above has got you well covered.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Strife, Bludgeon, Claws, and Meeps (ManLinkWeek 25)

ManLinkWeek, you know it! A tad delayed, but ready to rock. I've got a bit of personal good news to share, which is something of a rarity for me, but I'll hold off on it for now; that'll be a post for later. Right now, it's time to bust out some local linkage!

Let's open up with a good-news story on a grander scale:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Speculative Fanfiction for Unnamed Carrot Mascot (ManLinkWeek 24)

Yo, ManLinkWeek, we in there. It's another jam-packed week, but let's get the absolute most important business out of the way first:

[cnib.ca: CNIB Manitoba is pleased to introduce the newest member of our family!]
Remember a couple of years back when the town of Melita put up a giant banana statue, and then everybody had the chance to try and name the banana? Well, this year we all have the chance to name a carrot.

The carrot is significantly smaller -- mascot-sized rather than statue-sized -- and does not come with its own professional wrestling championship belt, but what it lacks in unexplained wrestling paraphernalia it makes up for in pure early-'90s pizzazz:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: HC SVNT DRACONES, dot ca (ManLinkWeek 23)

ManLinkWeek was written before a live studio audience of two dogs staring at me.

The housesitting obligations I've taken on have delayed this post somewhat, but let's kick off this week's installment with a bit of investigation into recent technical misdirection:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Uneasy, Definitely Safe, and Like Budweiser But Worse (ManLinkWeek 22)

ManLinkWeek! ManLinkWeek! Party time! Excellent! wait this reference is twenty years old, what am I doing

[The LAngside Times: An uneasy neighbourhood]
This is important, and you should read it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Slightly Delayed, But Still World-Class (ManLinkWeek 21)

Whoops, is it Wednesday? Ah, well. Offline matters must take precedence, sometimes, and such was the case yesterday. But no matter! Let us launch undeterred into ManLinkWeek:

[WinnipegREALTORS: "Dastardly outrage" — good doctor became scapegoat for failure of incorporation bill (via This Was Manitoba)]
Did You Know?: Winnipeg's incorporation as a city in 1873 was delayed when Dr. Curtis James Bird -- the Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly at the time, and coincidentally also the coroner who handled Winnipeg's very first murder -- struck down the incorporation act on a procedural technicality regarding a proposed amendment to tax collection. Winnipeggers responded by taking him from his home at night, covering him in tar, and thoroughly, savagely beating him. (The Manitoba Historical Society notes that "He never really recovered from the incident.")

Winnipeg, everybody!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Slurpees and Murder Record Club: Mother Nature Went on a Rampage, Filled Many a Heart with Fear

This is a feature that I haven't busted out in a while, so pardon me a moment while I brush the cobwebs off the ol' Slurpees and Murder Record Club:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: The Price of Safety, Helmets With Eyes, and The Clitsome Era Begins (ManLinkWeek 20)

ManLinkWeek arrives once more! I have good news and I have bad news, but let's switch it up for a change and start with the best news:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: I'm in Oak Lake Right Now, I Wrote This Post on Sunday (ManLinkWeek 18)

What can I say? I'm big on truth in advertising. Hopefully nothing too scandalous or improper has broken out locally between the time I'm writing this and the time you're reading it.

Let us partake in some ManLinkWeek:

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Mark Your Calendar for Nine Hours of Puppies (ManLinkWeek 17)

Well, it's Tuesday again (already, somehow), and Tuesday means ManLinkWeek! I'll try not to go overboard on any of these like I did last week; it makes for a breezier read that way. Plus the sooner I wrap this up, the sooner I can go play The Simpsons Arcade Game; it's dropping as a downloadable game on PS3 today (and on 360 last Friday, but my arcade stick only works on PS3 and I am particular like that), and I can't not give it my money, you know? I'm from the last generation that spent its childhood in arcades (or rather, arcades not connected to shopping mall movie theatres), so old-style licensed pixel-art beat-'em-ups are like my kryptonite wrapped in catnip. I'm terrible at them, because they're designed to have you be terrible at them (get out your quarters!), but I love 'em so much that I could just go on for--this aside isn't making the post go any faster, is it. NEVER MIND, MANLINKWEEK ENGAGE

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Profit Before People Before Profit (ManLinkWeek 16)

How is it already--oh, hello there! Who's up for some ManLinkWeek?

I can't not open with this:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: No, We Don't Learn (ManLinkWeek 15)

What, really, Tuesday already? Wow, that was quick. All right, roll out the ManLinkWeek!

[bostoncrew82 YouTube: Personality Crisis - Monteray Pavilion Winnipeg 19.4.83]
A few weeks back I'd posted a roughly-twenty-five-minute set by a historically significant punk band playing Winnipeg in 1983, so here this week is... another roughly-twenty-five-minute set by a historically significant punk band playing Winnipeg in 1983. I don't know if this is becoming a trend on YouTube or what, but man, would I enjoy it if it did.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Nothin' But Ice (ManLinkWeek 14)

It's the middle of January, it's cold outside, everybody is pretending to be surprised. Settle in and warm up with some ManLinkWeek!

First up:

[One Man Committee: Winnipeg Internet Pundits turns one]
Happy almost-Birthday, Winnipeg Internet Pundits! The one-year special tomorrow evening will feature WIPs alumnus Rob Galston (who spent this past week explaining why he does not care for the City's interpretations of its own Osborne Village secondary plan), and will also mark the final regular show for One Man Committee author Walter Krawec. I've considered it a privilege to be on the airwaves alongside Walter, whose thoughtful reflection and keen insight always ensured a robust discussion of the issues, and hopefully in future we'll be able to have him on as a guest from time to time to balance out whatever lunacy is falling out of my mouth that day.

A whole year of radio already, my goodness, where does the time go. Onward to Year Two! Knowing this city, I'm sure there'll be no shortage of topics to explore in the coming year.

Oh, speaking of: I did my best to minimize overlap today between this post and the recent WIPs link roundup, but said roundup was so thorough and so crammed full of noteworthy things that I was bound to duplicate at least one of them. Between here and there, I doubt very strongly that you will go wanting for local interest items to read today.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: Funtown is Beautiful (ManLinkWeek 13)

We've got a lot of ground to cover this week -- and, when you see the third link, you'll find I mean that quite literally -- so let's roll out the ol' ManLinkWeek.

[Winnipeg O' My Heart: The Bloom Is Off The Rose]
The post you see above has been the big ripple in the local blogosphere pond as late, and rightfully so; it's a very eloquent examination of the city's zigzaggery between charming and awful, and the response it seems to have drawn from longtime Winnipeggers is a cheerful hey-now-you-get-it welcome that would probably seem bizarre in other places.

Sooner or later, Winnipeg catches up to you; the crime and cold and poverty live up to their reputations, your closest friends move away to literally anywhere else they can move, and the city's underlying current of constant casual racism -- like some low-level Yog-Sothothery, a gradual but everpresent corrosive force lying not particularly well hidden just behind the veil -- continues to wear away at whatever rogue warm-'n-fuzzies might emerge from other facets of local life. On the other hand, you can live comfortably here on a budget that wouldn't pass as pocket change in other cities, everybody you know is apparently just hiding around the corner waiting to bump into you, and you can wear sweatpants for a week straight without ever seeming out of place. Hooray for balance!

[the cold cold ground: like an old beat up buick]
"it can be excruciating at times living in a city that somehow always finds a way to hold itself back."

This post, which makes reference to the post linked above, offers an interesting contrast in its reversal of perspectives; where the above looks at Winnipeg from a background of living in other cities, this instead looks at other cities from the background of living in Winnipeg. One outside-inward and one inside-outward, the former seemingly more flattering than the latter. And it is frustrating, the sentiment he fleshes out here, that constant mental graph of the forever-lengthening distance between what the city is and what the city could be if it could only get its act together.

Discussion occasionally pops up about what any given city might be like as a person, but in the grand scheme of things Winnipeg is really more the family dog -- and not a purebred or a show-dog or anything like that, just that one goofy mutt your folks had that clearly hadn't been bred for intelligence. It was charming and perhaps even sort of pretty in its own homely, quirky way, and you loved it to bits (despite itself) once it had time to grow on you, but you never could bring yourself to respect it; it is difficult, if not impossible, to respect anything that never learns from its mistakes. Not that you didn't want to believe in it! You wanted so badly to give it the benefit of the doubt, that it wanted to be good and maybe just hadn't yet figured out how, but then every time you turned around it would do something stupid and harmful to itself like eat its own poop or dart into traffic or chase the exact same skunk that ruined everyone's evening two weeks ago. The Winnipeg hometown experience in ten words is "I love you, but cripes, what is wrong with you".

[CanHighways.com: Manitoba Highways at CanHighways.com]
Anyway, in the same vein of wanderlust and highway nostalgia as the Buick-themed page above, here are photographs of Manitoba highways. No, hold on, I don't think I'm conveying the scope of this site properly. Here are the most photographs you have ever seen of Manitoba highways, spanning well over a hundred different Manitoba roadways including several Winnipeg thoroughfares and a few now-decommissioned provincial routes. I'm serious, poke around that site for a while, it's pretty impressive.

[beautifulwinnipeg.posterous.com: Winnipeg is Beautiful]
But perhaps roads are not your bag, perhaps you are more into old buildings and pointy bridges and accidentally-remaining patches of urban greenspace. Erica Glasier's recent project has every possible kind of thing you could want and a few things that you wouldn't expect in a civic picture gallery, so between this and the highways site you'll be able to sink the better part of a day into your tumblr reblogging or whatever it is kids do these days.

[People, Places and Things: Me VS. The Stairs. (Some silly stick men.)]
And on the subj... hey, speaking of wh... hey, while we're... nah, hell, I don't know, I'm out of segues. Here is a CreComm student drawing herself falling down the stairs.

[archiewood YouTube: Funtown Part 1]
Not that I'm telling you anything surprising, but old television programs produced in Winnipeg were more often than not completely bonkers insane. What you are about to watch is... not an exception.

Every so often you'll run into somebody who claims to be freaked out by puppets, and if you're anything like me you usually brush them off in your head like "pffffft, okay, dude, good luck with that". But then you'll see something like this -- note the passage from 1:42 to 1:47 where the Archie Wood puppet twitches in place for three seconds and then snaps his head ninety degrees around, like a Candle Cove outtake -- and begrudgingly admit that, okay, maybe puppets are kind of freaky sometimes. Note also this excerpt from the comments section below the video: "I remember watching this when I was a little kid. I don't remember it being this fucking demented."

I do kind of want to dress up as Grandpa Wood for next Hallowe'en now, though, even though pretty much everybody will mistake it as a Hipster Colonel Sanders costume. (Grandpa Wood's head shape and diagonal pointy beard also remind me of the Mu spirit from EarthBound, because I completely wasted my childhood.) And I'm sort of surprised that there was never a Venetian Snares remix of the Funtown theme song, because, man, listen to that thing.

Anyway, if you were watching this video just now and thinking "this is nice and all, but what I'd really like is for the puppet to do an Anne Murray cover", well, here you go. I am probably not doing any of this proper justice by writing about it while sober.

[Grant's Tomb (Brandon Sun): Name that park]
To conclude today's segment, here are at least a dozen different things that you previously hadn't known about Brandon. Never let it be said you don't learn anything from this feature!

ManLinkWeek, every Tuesday; we'll see you then!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: I like the King Fu panda (ManLinkWeek 12)

Greetings from Cafe D'Amour! The newly-established closest coffee shop in my neighbourhood finally opened today, so of course I'd promptly hunkered down there with a laptop. That's right, I'm being that guy today.

Let's crack open some ManLinkWeek!

[Policing, Politics and Public Policy: Flaws in the 2010 Winnipeg Police Annual Report]
Edmonton's crime problems are remarkably similar to ours in size and scope, and their police service had their annual report out by the middle of March. Producing the previous year's police report within a reasonable timeframe of turnaround allows police and policymakers the opportunity to more accurately gauge the year to come, plan more effective reduction and prevention strategies, and more clearly determine causality between initiatives and their intended results.

The Winnipeg Police Service 2010 Annual Report was released last Wednesday. Yes, the 28th of December. F'real. But at least, with the service having spent this entire year trying to explain the previous year, we can rest assured that the data and conclusions therein are accurate, right? Heh... heh heh. Heh. Yeah, uh, about that.