Friday, January 28, 2011


In light of the recent publicity surrounding Stephanie Lozinski and her head shaving I thought I would give my two cents worth.  Now, I'm certainly no expert on employment standards or human rights, but there seems to be a lot of talk about those things going around so I think enough has been said about those things.

My question is the kindergarten question (it's my specialty, I'm not simple, I just like simple things). How exactly would her hairstyle (or lack there of it) violate a dress code? I'm sure it can be specified that an appearance is neat and tidy, which to be honest, is such a subjective thing I'm not entirely sure how that can be allowed either. But a shaved head is an EXTREMELY common hairstyle, albeit far more common for a man than a woman, but it's certainly not a new daring hairstyle. Now, I wasn't alive in the 60's or early 70's or whenever it was that men were rebelling by sporting ponytails, but based on the fact that it became socially acceptable (although I'm personally not generally a fan, just sayin') I think that society realized that it was a little ridiculous to judge people based on notions of what is an acceptable hairstyle for one gender vs. another.

Notice that I didn't factor in if she did or didn't shave her head in honour of someone fighting cancer. If she did, great. If she didn't, who cares? In my simple little mind it boils down to a gender equality issue, nothing else. Of course, I don't know if there are any male servers at Sawadee Thai (I'm a Magic Thailand girl myself) with shaved heads - if there are, open and closed case of gender discrimination. If there's not, then I guess all we can do is post comments on newspaper stories and write blogs speculating as we will never know if a male would have been fired for the same hairstyle. Now, someone get the poor girl a hat, we're heading into a deep freeze again and I'm told you lose 80% of your body heat through your head.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Laughter, the best medicine

Well, I'm home now, only a 11.5 hour day today. Haven't washed today's angry off yet, but saw this video on a friends facebook profile and it brought a genuine smile and laugh to my weary face. It's so quintessentially Winnipeg. Now, as I'm realizing, the blogging crowd tend to be a very well read bunch and since I found the video on the WFP website you all likely would have come across it on your own, so I ask you to pass it on to your friends and family via other mediums so they can enjoy it too!

Oh, and in case you are wondering what happened with my roof, so far nothing, but they did send someone useful to come take a look and they shoveled the snow off the roof, it's a start.

ANGRY and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Forgive me folks, this is not exactly a Winnipeg related rant. Well, it is and it isn't - it involves snow, so I suppose it's Winnipeg related in that way...I will also throw in something random regarding Arnie's visit if you stick with me to the end.

I live in a lovely 1 1/2 storey home. I also happen to own an almost-identical-to-my-own-home, rental property.  Last year, I paid a BBB rated ("A" level rating) company to replace the roofs on both homes, due to leaking issues. I was very specific as to where the leaking was and very specific as to the reason that I was replacing the roof(s).

Well, last fall, the roof on the rental started leaking during a rain storm. Ok, not exactly no problem, but sh*t happens, we're all human, maybe it was a very simple error that needed to be corrected. I called the company and they seemingly fixed the problem - not without the head of their roofing team being a complete condescending jerk to me, but seemingly fixed in any case.

Enter yesterday's balmy temperatures and bursts of sunshine (I still don't like you Environment Canada - what good is a nice day on a work day??). I was doing my best to enjoy what I could of the unusually warm day until I got the call. When you have a rental, and your tenant calls, it's almost never a good thing. The call went something like this, "uh, yeah, the living room ceiling is dripping, I have buckets all over the place". Insert several choice curse words from me *here*.

Now, of course this phone call came at pretty much EXACTLY the moment that the office of the company I had hired to do the roofing was shutting down for the day. So, after finishing up at my full-time job, off I went to my part-time job, not exactly in a great mood to say the least. I finally get home, after a nice 13 hour work day, shout a hello to the roommate and think about a nice hot shower to wash the angry off. I'm delayed though, because she needs to show me something.  Oh yes, that would be the two buckets under the drip in MY living room.

After a tossing and turning filled night, I called the company first thing this morning - after all, I have a 5 year warranty on the workmanship.  Lucky me, that same jerk of a head roofer is still with them and he told me it was my fault. Yup, my fault. After all, what did I expect, I have a 1 1/2 storey home and it's because of the ice damming. Well, Mr. Snarky Roofing Man, one of the two houses has no ice damming (it's insulated, see also, insulated) so why is it leaking?

Further to it being my fault, can you believe that I have also allowed there to be SNOW on my roof? In winter? The nerve of me. Now, to make me seem slight less irrational and ranting, let the record show that I am fully aware that over time, ice damming will shorten the longevity of my roof (which is why I was replacing a ~17 year old roof in the first place, I doubt I will ever get the 25-35 years out of a roof, no matter what the shingles are rated).

According to his logic, every single house with snow on the roof (with or without ice damming) would experience leaking on a regular basis. Which would mean, that my roofs have OBVIOUSLY leaked every year for the last 80 years (which clearly they haven't) and I certainly can't expect something like a NEW ROOF to stop a problem like this. Obviously.

Thank you for those who read all the way to the end of my rant. Now for what you've all been waiting for:
"Politicians are afraid to fail, that's why they vote 'no' all the time. It's easier. That's why they're girly-men. If you cry, you're not a girly-man. If you fail, you are not a girly-man. But if you are afraid to fail, you're a girly-man," he said.

Ok, so I clearly just took a quote out of the Winnipeg Free Press, but it's a pretty funny one if you read it aloud in your best Arnold voice. Now I'm going to go and re-read a few favourites from Winnipeg Cat to cheer myself up. Oh, and I think I will rename Mr. Snarky Roofing Man, Mr. GIRLY-Snarky Roofing Man.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Screw you Environment Canada

Yes that's right, YOU, Environment Canada (*somewhere a sad lonely meteorologist sheds a tear). Now, sigh, I suppose in the interest of full disclosure, this tale of woe is at least partially my fault, but that would make the story far less interesting.

Picture it. Friday, January 21st, 2011. I was sick as a dog, awake a total of perhaps 6 hours all day. Now in that six hours I think I must have heard various media outlets tell me about 17 times that Sunday was looking for a high of -4C. In fact, even on Environment Canada's own website -4C was the forecast high! This is where my possible error comes in, I was so dosed up on cold medication that I allowed my search for the magical number to be the end of the weather story. It may or may not have mentioned the horrible horrible wind that would be whipping the bejesus out of me today.

So, -4C conjures up all sorts of warm and fuzzy images (well, for January anyway) I used those thoughts to help carry me through the sickness and drudgery of the rest of Friday and Saturday. Sunday finally arrived and what did we end up with? Well, at 7pm, we finally reached the NEW, but not improved, forecast high of -13C, not to forget the horrific windchill that has kept us closer to -30C all day.

So long rant made shorter, today was supposed to be a nice day outside. It wasn't. I did leave the house, for only a few hours, long enough to remind myself that I want snow tires and that I still hate winter. I still feel like garbage, although I am on the mend and I refuse to get excited about the forecast high of 0C on Thursday. Mostly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I read an article published in today's Winnipeg Free Press that made me perk up a little. Which is quite a feat today since I'm dosed up on Buckley's so that I can resemble a functioning adult.

For years it has irritated me that crime stats are sensationalized - yes, based on per capita, we have been the murder capital of Canada many times over. I know they have different categories for cities of various sizes when they come up with these statistics, but why don't people see how easily the statistics can be skewed, especially without context?

Using the biker murders in Shedden, Ontario as an example, I'm guessing that in 2006, Shedden was the murder capital of Canada for small towns. Now, was the average resident of Shedden quaking in their boots? Probably not. Obviously, a series of murders like that is an anomaly, however it would still go into the statistics. I personally wish the statistics could somehow be boiled down to show how many average folks had _______ crime happen to them.

For example, if a gang member is murdered by another gang member, it doesn't count. Now don't get all up in arms on me, I don't mean the person didn't count, but does the average citizen need to fear for their safety if gang members are killing each other? The same thing for domestic murders - if a husband murders his wife and kids, is the city as a whole, a more dangerous place?

The same thing applies to other sorts of crime as well; if 90% of sexual assault charges stem from prostitutes who have bad "dates" (I pulled that statistic out of thin air, merely for an example), should I, as someone who is not a prostitute be worried about being randomly sexually assaulted? I would much rather know how often a woman is sexually assaulted by a stranger while going about "normal" "low-risk" activities.

Basically, if you lead a lifestyle that is known to have these sorts of negative elements, you can expect more bad things will happen to you. This is not rocket science, it's common sense.

Remember, be careful, ALL crime ends on days that end in the letter "y" - now that's a scary statistic!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winnipeg weekend

Well, another Winnipeg weekend draws to a close and it was a cold one if nothing else. I did end up making it down to the museum this afternoon, if only for a extremely quick visit. I was more than a little disappointed to see that the "snow" that normally adorns the 1920's village this time of year is no more. It made me a little sad and nostalgic; that has always been my favourite section of the museum (with the Nonsuch running a close 2nd) and I enjoyed the winter scene as a fun switch-up.

Sadly, Winnipeg had its 2nd murder of the year, a neighbour. Not a neighbour I knew, but a neighbour nonetheless. I have walked by that house many times, it's generally pretty quiet - unkempt looking, but quiet. According to the article, another neighbour, Tracie is too afraid to leave the house at night, which is a shame. Not that I exactly advocate going for aimless strolls at night, but that's not specific to the North End. I think anyone, in particular any woman, who thinks that just because they live in a "good" neighbourhood means that they are free from needing to use common sense is just asking for trouble. We live in a major urban centre, in the year 2011 - crime exists - EVERYWHERE.

I don't let fear keep me locked up in my house (winter temperatures do that all on their own!) but I do exercise due caution whenever and wherever I go, be it the North End, the South End or on a sunny Sunday afternoon stroll down Wellington Crescent. Obviously and unfortunately, the chances of something negative happening to me in my neighbourhood I'm sure are statistically much higher, however that doesn't keep me from working towards change. I think that if more of us that take the time to get to know the people who live around us we can foster a sense of community. When we band together we will be stronger. I live in a North End where I love to spend time out in my yard, chatting with people as they walk by - I think because I know many of my fellow residents I feel safer. I don't know Tracie, but maybe if I did, she wouldn't be so afraid to leave her house, she'd know that she had a friend in her neighbour.

On a less sad/soapboxy note, it seems as though 7-11 seems to have Cherry Dr. Pepper as their feature slurpee flavour, does life get any better?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

You have to be kidding me.

I was on one of my many many trips to 7-11 (Slurpee addiction) and I noticed in the little chilled sandwich and overpriced fruit section they now have SUSHI. Does sushi from 7-11 seem like a good idea to you? I admit that I have a strange love of 7-11 hotdogs - it's the plastic squeezy cheese and maybe meat chili that win me over; but hotdogs seem like an appropriate "food" for such a place, sushi does not.

While on the subject of 7-11, does anyone know of one that currently has Root Beer (Mug/Hires, not Barq's) on tap? Dr. Pepper is thankfully now a staple flavour, but if I'm going to mix things up Root Beer makes for a good change but it's more rare than scoring a genuine deal on boxing day. Bottoms up!


Well, clearly, as a Winnipegger, resisting something free is not generally within my skill set. Tomorrow is no exception. The Winnipeg Foundation is celebrating their 90th anniversary and as part of that, admission to the Museum of Man and Nature, oh sorry, The Manitoba Museum (*gag) is going to be free all day!

West End Dumplings writes about it far more in depth and eloquently than I do - I mostly like the free aspect ;)

All things Free! being said, I'm also headed to the Kitchen and Bath show later today, I was lucky enough to come across free tickets. Of course, I'm already mid bathroom renovation and unlikely to renovate my kitchen but I'm a little design obsessed so I like to look at all the shiny things. Today it will serve a dual purpose, I will wash my car first and then splurge on the indoor parking at the Convention Centre so that it can hopefully not freeze shut in our balmy -28C temperature.  Ah, 3 weeks until my holiday, I can almost smell the hot sand.

Friday, January 14, 2011

D'Arcy's lives to fight another day

Well, it seems as though Winnipeggers stepped up to the plate, yet again. Good work folks! According to today's Winnipeg Free Press article D'Arcy's received some very generous donations, including ongoing assistance with their Hydro bill for the rest of the year.

Stories like this make me both elated and depressed. Obviously, the short-term outcome is fantastic, but what about the long term? What about all of the other local organizations, animal and otherwise, that need our help? Why do we only respond when there is a crisis? How do we use prevention instead of a cure?

Now, I'll say this, and surely not for the first time, politics are not my thing. I tend to have the kindergartner's view when it comes to any sort of political issue. It just strikes me that we could better serve many of the organizations that we support if there were less of them. I don't think that having less programs would be a detriment, in fact, quite the opposite. Winnipeg is lucky to be blessed with so many dedicated and brilliant folks when it comes to our non-profit sector; what if they all banded together and created superpowers of their genre rather than spreading themselves and Winnipeggers donation dollars so thin. Administration eats up much of any agency's budget, not because they are overpaying their employee's - generally quite the opposite, never mind all the volunteer labour hours that are contributed to any given organization. Good people to run an organization costs $$ and many of the hours are just spent looking for more funding. I think there must be a better way.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Procrastination has done me in again!

I've been waiting for years to snap a good shot of the Perth's sign on Main St., with its lovely mid-century modern wavy building behind it and beautiful glowing circles. I finally bought myself a nice DSLR as a Christmas present of self-love and now there the sign is, gone!

I forgot to ask the incredibly friendly lady who answered the phone when exactly the sign met its demise, but she did inform me that the lights hadn't worked for about two years and that it was a rented sign that was in a state of disrepair to the point of becoming a danger.

Now, I'm not generally one to try to rally the troops, but I'm thinking that perhaps a facebook campaign is in order - that's what people do nowadays right? You need Betty White on SNL, want to find out how many more people like an onion ring than a major pop star, all worthy causes I'm sure, but do they top needing the Perth's sign back? Not just a new sign either, I want to see either the original or something that would suit the fabulous building next to it.

Troops, what do we think?? Should we try and convince Perth's that they need to bring the sign back?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Help our furry residents

Hmmm, well, since I don't know that I have much of a following I don't know how much good this will do, but I'm sure if I ever end up with a following the message will still be relevant.

D'Arcys Arc is having a cash crunch (see article here) and we can help. Obviously, being the generous folk that Manitobans are known to be, you might have already expended your donation cash. These are my cashless suggestions - I buy my cat food there, whatever profit there is to be had in the food goes to the shelter - you're going to buy it anyway, it might as well be there. A friend donated her HBC reward points to D'Arcys. Have unwanted but still usable stuff? Donate it to one of their two thrift stores (Main St. or Sargent Ave.). Checking the couch cushions for change is a hit or miss, but with $1 and $2 coins in existence you might make a pretty good donation.

So step it up Winnipeg!

D'Arcys A.R.C. (Animal Rescue Centre) website here - with donation button!

*I know there are many other great no-kill shelters in Winnipeg, Craig St. Cats and Quagga's come to mind - if you have the cash, please consider them and others as well. I don't know that they have the ability to raise funds in my other suggested ways.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oh, so that's what happened.

Many a time we see the police going about their business, never entirely sure what they're up to. In my last post I mentioned an incident up to block. Well, I actually found out what happened this time.

On January 8, 2011 at approximately 1:00 a.m., members of the District 3 Crime Unit with the assistance of the Tactical Support Team, Street Crimes Unit, Canine Unit and Uniform members, executed a search warrant for firearms at a residence.
It was at this time officers observed a male suspect fleeing the residence while in possession of a duffle bag. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody without incident. The duffle bag containing the following items was seized by officers:
· Loaded semi-automatic machine gun
· 9 mm handgun
· 22 calibre semi-automatic rifle
· Various rounds of ammunition.
A 17 year old male has been charged with the following offences: Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose x 3, Breach of Firearms Regulation (Unsafe storage) x 3, Unauthorized Possession of Firearm x 6, Unauthorized Possession of Weapon x 3.
He has been detained at the Manitoba Youth Centre.

Good to know that they got those guns out of the neighbourhood, even if it's just for a little while. Even knowing what it was that happened, I still get a laugh out of the "go inside and turn off the lights" idea.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Might as well get it out there...

I live in the North End.

There, I said it. Now, you might think my hesitation is because I'm ashamed. Quite the opposite actually. I am like a fiercely proud mother and my neighbourhood is my special child and having to defend it on a regular basis gets a bit tiring.

I haven't always lived here, in fact I grew up in one of the more desirable post codes that the city has to offer. I found my house on a fluke and have often considered it to be the best thing that has happened to me.

Now, the 5 years that I have lived here have not gone by without incident - in fact that's what prompts this entry. I looked out my window to see the boys in blue (including SWAT counterparts) blocking off streets and surrounding one of the trouble houses on my street.

I was able to get the guys stationed in the car outside my house to tell me that there was weapons concern with the property in question. Amusingly, they suggested I go back in the house and turn the lights off; call me crazy, but I figure with the SWAT team dealing with the house in question and dozens of police around I didn't think I was in any danger. I appreciated the sentiment but obviously if there was any danger to the public then they would have been knocking on my door rather than sitting in the car eating a sandwich while the SWAT guys did their thing.

Part of me debated not to post this - after all, this event isn't going to make the news, heck, if I had been asleep I never would have known it happened either. I usually keep this sort of thing to myself, all of my friends and family already think I'm a bit nutty for living here.

So why do I mention it? So that I get my first of many chances to tell you how many AMAZING neighbours I have. All I ever read in the paper about my neighbourhood are the bad stories and after every shooting they seem to find the same person to interview who "always hears gunshots". For the record, I have heard fireworks, backfiring and any number of other popping and banging noises. I have heard at least one gunshot, it was different and everyone knew it was different - I know this because it brought all of us "good folk" out of our houses and we talked.

As far as I'm concerned the Winnipeg Police do a great job and I tell them that almost whenever I get the opportunity. Incidents like this get the bad people out so that there can be a higher ratio of good to bad and that's a-ok in my books.

Life is a lot of what you choose to make it, and if you want to see nothing but bad things then that's all you'll see. Now, I know sometimes I have a bit of a Pollyanna thing going on but someone has to bring a little hope and happiness to the party.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Those that know me, know I'm not generally much for history, but I came across this and it's just too good not to share.

Near as I can tell it was filmed at the corner of Austin and Euclid in Point Douglas - now there is a small apartment building there.

What a great piece of North End history. I googled it to see if there was anything else written about the store, but came up empty. Maybe someone out there knows Helen Baryluk and can tell us how the story continues. Heck, maybe some aspiring filmmaker or the NFB wants to follow up?

Monday, January 3, 2011


There are quite a few other blogs about Winnipeg and I hope I have something to add to the mix. I love Winnipeg and always have, even during the whole 18-30 year old phase. That's not to say I don't love to travel, if I ever get around to writing in my other blog it will surely detail my love of leaving wonderful Winnipeg during not so wonderful winter.

My hatred of Winnipeg winter is purely a personal preference. I fully recognize that there are many thing to do during winter here, and if tobogganing, ice skating down the river, cross country skiing and snowman building could be done indoors I would consider them all to be winter activities.

Welcome and here's hoping you love me and my Winnipeg.
(I worked that in there but good didn't I?)