Wednesday 18 September 2013

Winding things down at the Peanut

Well my friends. I think this blog has run it's course.

It all started 6 years ago -- SIX YEARS! -- with a rant about Bipole III. It wasn't long before I branched out into rants about Upper Fort Garry and rants about general government incompetence.

19 Bipole III and 21 Upper Fort Garry rants later, it's time to start winding things down.

I will keep this up on the webz for the foreseeable future. There is a great deal of content on this web site after all. I'm not gonna lie ... a lot of it is crap ... but some is actually researched and still relevant.

I'm also quite proud that my How to get to Vimy Ridge post still draws hits almost on a daily basis, and in fact visits to that one post have increased over time. I think that's pretty cool, because Vimy is an amazing place and I'm glad that I can still encourage people to visit it.

So that's that. Upper Fort Garry is still nowhere near being funded and Bipole III is still a $4 billion burden to Manitobans that can potentially be reversed, but we're all done with those types of discussions here.

If you want more Peanut-esque policy-oriented posts, check out

Sunday 8 September 2013

Waverley West bike paths already cracking.

Last weekend I did some suburban exploration on my bicycle. Among the things I discovered was an elaborate garden on or near a hydro corridor, complete with garden shed, shag carpeting, mysterious 50 gallon drums and other various containers laying about. The whole operation stretches close to 200 yards from one end to the other.

what's in the shed?
This was not far from Waverley West, Winnipeg's largest new subdivision, so I decided to toodle about the Bridgwater area of Waverley West to see what was going on.

I was excited to see Bridgwater (Yes, I'm spelling it correctly. There is no 'e'. That was the guy's name. Deal with it.) because we are being told it is going to be a dynamic "new-urbanist" suburb with a town center that promises to reinvent the "neo-traditional architecture of early-20th-century". Already this area is being compared to the walkable Corydon and Osborne Village neighbourhoods. -fp-

Sure, it doesn't look like much right now ...

Bridgwater Town Centre

... but just close your eyes and envision the multi-use buildings lining the sidewalks with patios, clock towers, fountains, and people bustling about. This is going to be no ordinary suburb, I'm telling you!

Part of this new ethos of suburban sprawl is a focus on active transportation. As we mentioned in a recent post, Bridgwater will incorporate a network of trails that will allow people to get around while mostly staying off the roads. I fully support this concept in principle.

Nice path to nowhere

As we also mentioned previously, as the network expands so too will the cost of maintaining these trails.

Especially if they're built like this ...
It's only an asphalt wound.
Yes, that's right. These brand news paths started cracking virtually the moment the steam rollers left the scene.

The path above is so new that it's not even shown on the Public Works Department AT plan as a "proposed" or "future" route. It doesn't even go anywhere, because the path that it will eventually connect with, this being the "future" path along Bishop Grandin and Kenaston, is nowhere near being constructed.

See I told you it was a path to nowhere.
So this brand new path that is already cracking will have to weather at least one more freezing winter and spring thaw before it even connects to something and becomes useful.

 The crack shown above is certainly not a one-off. There are many more like it, though this one is probably one of the worst on this stretch. But why is this cracking so soon? Did the company that poured the concrete in the new Investors Group Field win the bid to construct these paths? I know that some paths have problems with tree roots causing cracks, but there is not a tree anywhere near this path. It was constructed on newly graded treeless terrain.

Another question: why did these paths even get built at this time when they're not on the Public Works AT plan and don't go anywhere?

Another question: why are we spending $330,000 on an active transportation master plan, when the city goes completely off the map and doesn't follow the plan we already have in place? The thing about a plan is it doesn't work as intended if you use it to prop up the uneven back left leg of your desk.

Perhaps this Master Plan will be followed and will result in an orderly and sensible trail building strategy. That would be great, but there is only so much a plan can do. One thing it cannot do is ensure a path is properly constructed so that it doesn't crack before anybody sets foot on it.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Diagnose your health problems using beer.

More people are turning to the internet for self-diagnosis of health problems. This is one of the great benefits of the technological marvel that is the world wide web, and not only do I fully support it but I wish to contribute myself.

This is why I am sharing a system I developed to accurately pin-point your health problems using a cheap and easily accessible tool: BEER.

This is how it works: your body is a complex mechanism that processes inputs to generate energy and provide the nutrients that your body needs to operate, while expelling anything that is not needed. If your body is not operating effectively, it will expel more of one thing or less of another, and there will be tell-tale signs of this in the colour of your pee. Stick with me here ...

To take advantage of this underrated bodily function, I have developed the Perfect Urine Beer Scale (PUBS). Using PUBS, you can tell what ails you simply by comparing the colour of your pee to the colour of an ale from your local beer store.

The PUBS© diagnosis

If your pee looks like: COORS LIGHT

: The pale colour indicates that you are lacking vitamins and minerals in your diet. Go buy yourself some fruits and vegetables for a change. If your diet consists mainly of Coors Light and empty carbs, your urine will look like Coors Light. Coincidentally, your pee and Coors Light also probably taste the same.

If your pee looks like: KOKANEE

Diagnosis: You are healthy. This is a normal colour, which means that your body is operating normally so you can cancel your doctor's appointment. There is no need for you to waste his time and yours with a needless check-up when you can tell just by looking in the toilet bowl that you're in perfect health.

If your pee looks like: RICKARD'S RED

Diagnosis: The red tinge is a result of blood in your urine. You had better sit down for this part ... you are dying of cancer. If you haven't caught it by the time you start to pee blood then it is probably way too late. You shouldn't have cancelled that doctor's appointment last year. What were you thinking?


If your pee looks like: SLEEMAN HONEY BROWN

Diagnosis: This is darker than normal which indicates that you are dehydrated. The solution is to drink more fluids. No, NO, not BEER. I mean something besides beer. Get a glass of water or juice or something like that.

If your pee looks like: NEWCASTLE

Diagnosis: You are extremely dehydrated. What the hell were you doing? Never mind ... just find a cool room, perhaps a rec room in the basement, drink water and keep drinking until your pee returns to normal. Do it now, before you pass out and require an IV drip.

If you pee looks like: HOEGAARDEN

Diagnosis: The cloudy appearance is due to a kidney infection called pyelonephritis. It sounds bad, but don't worry, it is treatable with antibiotics although severe cases may require hospitalization.

Or you may have cataracts. Better get your eyes checked too.

If your pee looks like: GUINNESS

Diagnosis: You are a zombie. That is all you need to know.

Disclaimer: The accuracy of the PUBS© diagnosis may be compromised by eating Doritos chips with artificial colouring, especially Spicy Chipotle BBQ. Also, everything else may be grievously incorrect.

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