You probably didn’t know who Ingvar Kamprad was until the news hit today that he, the founder of IKEA, had passed away. It got me thinking about how big an influence he had, especially here in Canada. In my generation, pretty much everyone had some IKEA furniture in their place at some point. IKEA fits the Canadian mindset quite well – build it good enough for cheap. IKEA fit in with Canadian culture another way: at a time when a lot furniture stores were known for being full of pushy sales people, IKEA just left you alone to wander through a cavernous space, but if you had a question, there were staff around to help you. That suited me, thus after a while I just defaulted to heading to IKEA when I needed another piece of furniture. A lot of other people seemed to feel the same way, judging by the expansion of IKEA over the years. Continue reading
It bugs me that people get pushed into paying ridiculous amounts for cell phone plans in Canada. It’s gotten worse too – I used to shudder at $50/month for a cell phone, now that is considered cheap! Go to the stores, or shop online, and you’ll get something put in front of your nose that is more like $70 – $80 dollars per month, with the added insult of a data cap in the 1-2GB range. You could be just fine on $30 – 45/month – but beware – cheap plans can bite you too with data overages, so read to the end and go do your own research before jumping (or not) on the cheap plan wagon.
Today is voting day in Alberta, for your local representatives to town and school. I’m pleased to report a huge turnout at my local polling station. According to one of the ballot minders I queried, it has been nutz all day. He figured if our polling station was typical, there was going to be a record turnout this time around for a City of Calgary election.
I’m not surprised the turnout was better – there was contradictory polls for who was going to win mayor, Ward Boundary changes, several councilors not running, at least two slates of candidates I knew of, and the bombshell issue dropped by the Flames on not getting an arena deal done, not that that had anything to do with the election going on… But even with all that, there were a lot of people out there – seems perhaps the combination of factors stirred a lot of butts off of the couch to go down to their polling station.
I was even torn on who to vote for councilor – I knew I wasn’t interested in my inherited incumbent, who in my opinion “mailed in” his campaign, and seems to share a different set of priorities from myself. But the choice was difficult – at least there were two good candidates to pick from – some of the bottom feeders seem unlikely to be able to run a food truck, much less a city. I had to pull additional data at the last minute in the form of who got the most signs out on lawns and around the ward. It’s not the worst way to gauge a candidate – you know they have a combination of support, organization and resources if they have lots of signs out. That is not always a plus, but when I’m trying to gauge if my potential choice might win, it’s definitely a factor in favor.
As always, it was a privilege to vote and frankly “voting day” is one of the few “days” I give a damn about; most of the rest being excuses for a day off or to buy, buy, buy! I hope you voted, but if you didn’t let me tell you I made sure to vote so you have that choice come next election.
Having been on a day off Monday, I opted to visit the zoo, for only the second time this year. I seem to be about on par for my visit frequency. I was there mainly to see the new “Land of the Lemurs” Continue reading
Interesting purchase from Craft Cellars:
Windswept Brewing Co. “Bear” Russian Imperial Stout
Consumed with a roast beef dinner (left overs) with some added pearled barley to bulk up the left over potatoes and carrots.
Initial impression: Thick coffee, with a big kick from the 10.5% alc.
Excellent with my meal, goes really well with red meat starch and carrots. Malt – bitter balance just right.
Post impression: Wow, has an analgesic effect. I am pleasantly numb right now. This would do the trick to pull teeth in large quantities if Novocaine is not available. Will buy again.
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A decent amount of snow finally fell today, signalling the end of the cycling season for me this year, at least assuming we don’t get a big Chinook that melts all the snow again. Having not cycled to work since 2008, I found that the Calgary cycling scene has changed a bit since then. Continue reading
As I am now past the median age in this country, or anywhere for that matter, I can now pontificate on how things used to be, since more than half of you out there were not around to see the … Continue reading
In the vein of “they are out to get you” I’m looking at Google autocomplete phrases in search. Is Google tailoring search suggestions to your previous searches? Are they tailoring the searches to sell you something?
For certain, Google’s autocomplete can be useful in firming up one’s search. It can also lead to endless distractions ending up reading about something completely different than what one was looking for. It also can expose you to something cool you discovered while searching for something more mundane. Let’s drop a few partial searchs in, and see what Google autocompletes with. Continue reading
Mortgage rules in Canada have been tightened up again, with the hope that the high prices of some markets will be reigned in. I keep seeing the media parroting the line “The changes affect properties that cost more than $500,000 — a small percentage of the overall market” I got to wondering if this really is a small percentage.