Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to measure economic success and other wisdom

Well, my neighbourhood is officially on the upswing. I didn't get this from the latest census
data or some sort of poll that is correct within a certain percent blah blah blah. I used a very grassroots measurement that is basically irrefutable.

Yup. An empty can of Lucky (a full can wouldn't have enabled me to put into words just how prosperous a neighbourhood we had clearly become). How does this measure anything you ask? Well, that empty can of Lucky has sat there from when I left for work in the morning until I got home at about 11pm, in plain sight, on a corner lot. It was finally gone this morning. I debated picking it up yesterday morning as I generally don't appreciate litter on the boulevard, but I didn't have anywhere to put it. This was a problem even before we made the switch to the wheelie bins, however before I would have put it next to the auto bin because I knew it would be spotted - it took me years to train the guys roaming the lanes that my blue box did not contain empties of any other can besides Tahiti Treat and every imaginable form of diet cherry Coke/Mountain Dew/7-up/Fresca (to balance the whopping 200 calories per can in Tahitit Treat!). So now, with no bin to put it next to, and not wanting to put it in my recycling wheelie cart lest I start to find it strewn about the lane in future treasure hunts, I left it there. Like I said, I'm a corner lot, probably at least 100 people walk past my house daily and it was the only piece of litter in sight - it was noticeable. But there it sat, all day long. See, clearly on the upswing.

Another sign my neighbourhood is on the upswing? Well, we just passed the one-year-murder-free mark. 368 days to be exact. I think in the 6 years I've lived here we've managed a two year stretch - fingers crossed we break that record next year.

I'm also extremely disappointed in some of the reporting done at CJOB last week. I woke up listening to the news to learn two things, one of which is correct. First, there had been a stabbing (presumably this is correct) second, that the 1300 block of Manitoba Avenue where it happened, is in the North End (this is not correct). The 1300 block of Manitoba is several blocks west of McPhillips St., the western boundary of the North End. So, I tweeted CJOB to alert them of their error, and also called them since in their next news update they still hadn't corrected themselves. Now, I don't know if eventually they stopped adding the "North End" part to the news updates, but I know that they never changed the blurb on their website. On that note, I've actually noticed that the Free Press in particular seems to have changed the format in how they report many things and now most stories seem to say the AAAA-block of Any St. and skip mentioning the neighbourhood altogether. I think this is the way to go, interested parties can look up a more precise location and neighbourhood, and the general public can (very slowly) learn to stop being afraid of entire areas of their city.

Friday, September 7, 2012

One big popularity contest

Well, first off, I apparently caused quite a stir with my Dear Cyclist post that ended up as blog of the week over in the FreeP Sunday edition. I wish I had been told I was going to be the featured blog so that I could have jumped in to the comments earlier, as it was, by the time I commented it was old news. So, since I was "involved" I actually read the comments, going against my not-going-so-well resolution of not reading them to stave off murderous rampages towards the many ignorant folk who seem to live in Winnipeg.

Amazingly, the comments were slightly better than usual, and, gasp, it almost appeared as though some people had read my story the whole way through before commenting! And, according to perpetual commenter Woofers, one of the comments may have even set some sort of record with the number of "thumbs down" it received. All of that attention on my little post! Based on all of that, I don't know if I'm happy or sad that the link to my blog in the online story didn't work - I currently like that right now most of the people who comment on my blog seem to be of higher intelligence than the average FreeP hyper-commenter. I did see a ton of traffic to the blog who had googled how to find it so I hope I found a few new loyal readers.

But enough about me.

I stumbled upon one of those internet popularity contest things today that is for a local youth organization. The West Broadway Youth Outreach program is part of the Scotiabank Gamechangers competition to win $100,000 for their programming. Now, if my reading of the rules and regulations is correct, since they have already won as Regional Game Changers, I don't know for sure if votes between now and when they start the voting for the overall winner (October 29th) really make a difference, but it certainly can't hurt to get in the habit of voting every day so that you are super dedicated to the cause when it matters! Vote here. We sadly hear all to often about how funding is cut for youth organizations, well here is a chance to help make up for that and it won't even cost you any of your tax dollars. As a rule, the concept of this type of popular vote contest isn't my favourite, as many worthwhile causes that just don't know how to rally the troops as well are often left out. However, I can't change that, so I might as well suck it up and give my daily click.

This weekend has so much going on, I don't even know where to start! It is of course, Giveaway weekend, which means that Winnipeg Girl will be trolling the streets looking for discarded arborite tables and other goodies. I think one of the best scores I ever got is the office chair I currently sit on - one of those no-back kneely deals. It was basically new, I'm guessing they didn't stick with it long enough to learn to love it. Now, as there is more competition than I can handle on this weekend for treasures, I usually think of it as an excuse to drive around some of my favourite Winnipeg neighbourhoods and drool over the architecture. Fort Garry by the river/Wildwood Park, watch out, here I come!

This weekend also has the last big car show of the year, held at Garden City on Sunday. This is ALWAYS a great day and brings out many of the best cars from around the Winnipeg area. Now that the mall opens before noon (or, at least I presume it does?) if cars aren't the thing for everyone in your group there is a few extra hours of "entertainment" for them inside.

I'm more than a little sad that the weather has turned so cold, in winter I don't have my cheery flowers to greet me every time I come home. Speaking of, since clearly there will be no progressive stories on my Wolseley Project 2.0, I will do a wrap-up post complete with pictures hopefully next week. Hint: (unless this jinxes it for the the weekend) it is a good news post.