Time Machine: Expos Uniforms in Nationals Park

As usual, I’m conflicted.  It’s great to see the old Expos uniforms, but it does seem a little goofy if you’re a Nationals fan.  Better: the suggestion of  sporting early 70s Washington Senators uniforms.

Washington Times columnist Thom Loverro called it a “cheap, lazy, thoughtless promotion,” indicating that any claim to a connection between the two teams seems as distasteful as American poutine.

To have Guerrero tossing the opening pitch is to “celebrate a corpse,” he suggested, and posited that D.C. should look to its own past, which includes the Washington Senators who took off for Texas in the early 1970s.

Commenters tended to agree, with one asking rhetorically: “why do we give a rats arse about Montreal?” Another local tweeted that the throwback jersey “manages to disrespect both Expos fans and fans of both Senators teams” (there were two iterations).


Source: Throwback Expos day at D.C. baseball game divides Montrealers — and Americans | CTV News

See How Gotta Groove Presses Gorgeous Vinyl Records

There’s a video embedded in article – about a fast-growing company in Cleveland that makes vinyl records.  Lots and lots of vinyl records.

The video shows the techniques that go into producing limited-run vinyl records and it also shows the human contribution that goes into each record. There’s no room for robots in this plant.

Source: See How Gotta Groove Presses Gorgeous Vinyl Records

Hello, spring – and good riddance to the winter of our discontent — www.theglobeandmail.com

Toques off to John Allemang, writing in the Globe and Mail, March 21, 2015.

“My winter walk is a desperate lurch – a 60-degree forward tilt that keeps the wind and sleet out of my face while allowing my downward-drifting eyes to study sidewalks for lethal sheets of ice, ruts of uncleared snow and now (as incoming spring presents its warped idea of welcome change) ankle-deep puddles of murky winter run-off.Don’t talk to me about the romance of winter, the Idea of North, or any other attempt at cold-induced superiority.

This is a hard and nasty thing we do, coping with an unforgiving season that, at its best, can only be described with deluded relativism as not so bad. All this foul weather is made even worse when we feel the need to plumb meaning from our frozen extremities and coax virtue from our capacity to endure the inevitable with sunny stoicism.

I’m glad this unseasonable season is coming to an end, and a little sad to think that an abeyance of biting wind is enough to make me happy – that I’m inordinately pleased by an absence. One of these days, as the winter survivalist habits are finally shed, I’ll stop studying TV weather reports and 14-day forecasts, take my long underwear out of the clothing rotation, calm my night terrors about the latest storm of the century and stroll upright like a man who’s not beaten down by weather. The yearly war is over, and as always, I feel like I have lost.

It’s easy to be all hardy and above it all in December, before the reality of not-so-bad has veered into dead-of-winter awfulness. At this point (unless you’re a smug, snow-free Vancouverite – go away!) it’s entirely right to complain. What exactly is the Idea of North in poor old Charlottetown, where you’re lucky if you can open your front door, or winter-blasted Moncton, where the towering piles of snow now exceed the feeble ability of snowblowers to shoot all the new snow over them? February in Ottawa was the coldest ever – skating on the Rideau apart, did anyone notice that we suddenly became a better, kinder, more thoughtful people?

Winter doesn’t fit a modern progress narrative. It clearly gets worse the longer it lasts, just by being itself.

We set out in November or December with a kind of hope, allayed by a touch of false-memory syndrome that spares us the vividness of winter’s past disasters. We look for counteracting pleasures that paste a happy face over the gloom and devise repetitive, anesthetizing tasks that make this unfair, one-sided onslaught seem more like a battle of equals.

I shovel snow. Winter at its most normal is a state of chaos and I’m turning it into a bearable, useful, humane version of order. Nature, deluded nature, got it wrong. So I set her straight with my well-positioned heaps, walk-able sidewalks, neighbourly drainage strategies and backyard cat lanes expertly designed to ease my ginger animal-god’s passage through this tamed wilderness, his perfected Idea of North.

It’s true. I’m crazy, and I can only say with a clear-headed honesty unknown to most cold-loving Canadians: Winter made me this way.

Hello, spring – and good riddance to the winter of our discontent — www.theglobeandmail.com.

Shame on Jonathen Chevreau: “A retirement rule that hurts us all” MoneySense, Feb/2015l

This is another stupid article from MoneySense*. Jonathan Chevreau claims that current regulations requiring seniors to annually withdraw minimum amounts from their registered plans are unfair in this era of low interest rates and longer lifespans. Using simple math he illustrates that the averaged retiree’s registered plan will be reduced to near zero by age 90-95. And he’s right. But it’s not a problem.

It’s not a problem because the hypothetical retiree’s savings are not reduced to near zero. It’s his/her registered savings that are reduced. The non-registered savings are increased as funds are transferred from the registered plans.

The regulations that Chevreau complains about don’t require the retiree to dispose of the funds in the retirement account – the requirement is to withdraw a proportion of funds from the registered account and pay tax on that portion. The after-tax balance still belongs to the retiree.

Chevreau knows better. I’m at a loss to explain why he failed to explain that the “retirement rule” is no more than a phased-in taxation of the amounts that have been tax-sheltered for many years.

* the last stupid article was the one that understated senior’s housing expenses and failed to distinguish between home owners and renters.

Lincoln, The Movie

I borrowed Lincoln from the library. It was a disappointment.

The price was right, is about all I can say for it.   I was expecting more of a biography instead of a political thriller.  (The political intrigue was interesting – akin to House of Cards, I imagine.)

I’m conflicted over Daniel Day Lewis’s characterization.  He looked like my version of Lincoln but he didn’t talk like my version of Lincoln.  Great acting, I thought.

Sally Field was terrible – shallow acting, bad lines.

Tommy Lee Jones – make the best of a bad script.

Lincoln 2012 – IMDb.