Dog Blog Down

We’re being attacked by website maintenance this weekend so we won’t be able to post any blog things before Sunday evening at the earliest. This will affect Shane’s Sunday Matinee column, our Fan Expo coverage (which was going to be multiple posts), and maybe a movie review or something, I dunno, depends what Jorge’s got up his sleeve. But yeah KINDA SUCKS. We’ll be back as soon as possible.

(And yes, I’ll still take photos of the tree every day. What kind of monster do you think I am? They’ll just be late).

#Trump #GoldenShowers


The former British intelligence officer who gathered the material about Mr. Trump is considered a competent and reliable operative with extensive experience in Russia, American officials said. But he passed on what he heard from Russian informants and others, and what they told him has not yet been vetted by American intelligence.

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over the real estate magnate.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

More here and here and here. Buzzfeed shared the actual report here.

Those sex videos apparently contain prostitutes, who Trump supposedly hired to pee in front of him [sound of Internet exploding].

The report’s details are unverified and maybe unverifiable, un-sourced and totally sketchy so who knows if this is real. Certainly falls within the parameters of “stuff I could’ve imagined but am glad I didn’t.” I hope the Trump-haters will be appropriately skeptical, because as much as we all might enjoy the U.S. intelligence community taking down Trump, a coup is still a coup. (I can’t believe I’m writing about a possible coup this early in 2017).

Is this guy even going to make it to the swearing-in ceremony?

Hockey Is Weird Today

1.) P.K. Subban for Shea Weber: zuh whaa? It’s so random: like people breaking into your house and redecorating and it’s NICE but it was good before and sooo comfortable?

2.) Taylor Hall for Adam Larson: meh. GM Peter Chiarelli has now traded both the #1 and #2 picks in the 2010 draft for less than they were worth. C-minus and a “Gettin ‘Er Done” sticker.

3.) Stamkos is staying in Tampa? Borrrrring.

Discuss below if shits are given.

Weekly Reckoning: Togarishi Edition

weekly-reckoningHave you ever tried shichimi togarishi? It’s a seven-spice blend of Japanese pepper, nori, black sesame seeds and whatever else. I sprinkled a bit on some corn-on-the-cob today, and I have to say, I’ve had worse things in my life. Why don’t you sit down for a while and think about all the things you haven’t tried and may never get around to trying before your heart reaches its allotted number of beats? It can be comforting. If you’re a crazy person.

1. EUROPE YOU SO CRAZY The Communist Party is polling well in Portugal and may end up forming the next government if trends hold. It would be weird to see the European Union’s southern limbs drop off, but there you go.

2. ALL THE ARBITRARY BUT FASCINATING REASONS YOU CAN’T WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOUR DAY But the real reason is that God will come to your house and lick everything in the fridge. Anyway, enjoy!

3. GO HOME SCIENCE YOU’RE DRUNK Some super-dumb scientists produced a cockamamie study that says my cats don’t love me. Well I’ve got enough love for all of us, science.

4. HEY EVERYONE, I JUST DISCOVERED SOME TRUE SUFFERING HERE Never mind refugees, here’s the harrowing tale of a guy who lined up outside a Toys “R” Us for Star Wars toys and came away empty-handed. Well, almost empty-handed – he got some toys, but not the toys he wanted. Not the cool ones. Also, a bunch of kids didn’t get Star Wars toys because grown men lined up outside toy stores to relive their childhoods. Also, refugees.

5. THE EGG COUNCIL CONSPIRACY IS REAL! The American Egg Board launched a campaign to crush food bloggers, a celebrity chef and a Silicon Valley egg-replacement startup. Every part of the last sentence is more ridiculous than every other part.


Once We Have That New Stadium, We’ll Be Winners!

Hey! What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be watching football? Or, depending upon the hour, watching pre/post-game analysis?

Where’s your Rider Pride? Today is Labour Day Classic Day! Without your drunken cheers, how can our boys in green-and-white ever hope to prevail in their noble battle against the dastardly Winnipeg Blue Bombers? You should be buffing your Rider-wear with jersey polish and cutting a head-sized hole into a watermelon, not watching seditious internet videos like the one below.

What are you? A traitor to Rider Nation?

Of course, if you find that video at all convincing, perhaps you’d like to join a group I’ve started? It’s called the SSSSSOS — The Super Secret Stadium Skeptics Society Of Saskatchewan.

Send me a message via Twitter (@pauldechene). We’ll work out a secret handshake.

Keep On Rocking in the Art World

It’s another action-packed weekend in the art world. The clad-in-black crowd should bring along their lint brushes as they stagger from event to event. (If you forget yours, I actually do carry one around with me.) Hey print this out and use it as your weekend program guide. We are good with that.

Thursday, March 26

Starting off at 5 p.m. at The Slate Fine Art Gallery, Joe Fafard unveils a new exhibition, Mes Amis. This must-see show celebrates fellow artists, past & present, which have inspired Fafard throughout his career as one of Canada’s most well-known artists. I shook his hand once. Maybe he sculpted that moment for posterity. I’m certain he remembers that fondly.

7 p.m. Mackenzie Art Gallery: Vertigo Series Thursday Night Live Enjoy a lively evening of music and poetry, featuring performances by Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Moe Clark. Open Stage. Admission $5.

Friday, March 27

Noon-4 p.m.  Mackenzie Art Gallery: A “Sewing Action” by Leah Decter and Jaimie Isaac.  An ongoing interactive project initiated by artist Leah Decter, curated by Jaimie Isaac, and activated in collaboration, ‘(official denial) trade value in progress’ enacts exchange and elicits dialogue about contemporary conditions of settler colonialism and processes of decolonization and reconciliation in Canada. The project is carried out in recognition of the imperative for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to be involved in these processes.

Noon-1 p.m.  U of R, Visual Arts Department, Riddell Centre 050: Cheryl L’Hirondelle, artist talk

4:15-5:15 Mackenzie Art Gallery: Peter Morin, performance, “de-colonizes my heart (part two)”.

4 pm Friday – 4 pm Saturday, Creative City Centre: Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre, 24 hour playwriting competition.  Writers of all levels are encouraged to sign up and bring their laptops, thinking caps and muses. I have done this before at different venues in Canada and I can tell you it is much more fun than it sounds. There is nothing like a 24 hour adrenalin rush to get you addicted. $45 entry fee.

Saturday, March 28

The day begins early so load up on espresso-infused coffee washed down by a vodka-infused redbull. (That’s how I start my Saturdays.)

9 a.m. to noon. Mackenzie Art Gallery – Moving Forward Never Forgetting Forum. As a gathering for all people interested in forging ideas and creative partnerships, this forum will explore possible futures for Indigenous creative production and curation. This engaging morning will feature a presentation by Megan Tamati-Quennell (New Zealand), a tour of Moving Forward, Never Forgetting, and a performance by artist Julianne Beaudin Herney.

7 p.m. Dunlop Art Gallery:  Publication Launch & Bad Art Night. Read the aforementioned article by Gregory Beatty for full details.

(Edit) 8 p.m. New Dance Horizons: House of Dance. Gregory Beatty will provide the full details in a separate blog on Friday.

Sunday, March 29

Nothing will top off your Sunday brunch than a visit to the art gallery for fine culture before you fill your zombie brains with the season finale of The Walking Dead tonight.

Noon-4. Mackenzie Art Gallery: A Sewing Action. In case you missed Fridays gig because you work for a living you can catch it again today.

1:30 p.m. New Dance Horizons: House of Dance matinee

7 p.m. Creative City Centre: Awards Ceremony for the 24 hour playwriting competition participants. Readings, prizes, booze and dainties. I might win so I should get my speech ready right now as it is going to be one crazy weekend.

All events are free to the public except where noted.

Tuesday, March 31

Yeah, the weekend is over but if you long for the good ol’ days you can check out Chicken & Wine at The Creative City Centre at 8 p.m. C&W is an informal lecture series co-hosted by Wanda Schmockel and Mark Wihak. I’ve been to these gigs before and not once did I see a single drum stick.

Daily Aggregation: With Friends Like These

daily-aggregation-2I was on the Prairie Dog Twitter last night, tweeting and retweeting stuff about the council decision against the strip club (which was super interesting, and which you can read about here and here). For a lot of people it’s an emotional issue and sometimes that leads to heated arguments. That’s okay. For others, it’s a chance to get on a soapbox and pretend they’re better than everyone else because their politics are so very enlightened. Less okay. I saw far more of both those things than I cared for last night. It was a good reminder why the political left has trouble winning fights. Too often they confuse an honest disagreement with a personal attack. Too often, they eat their own.

Fortunately, this chubby morsel is hard to digest.

Anyway! Day’s almost over! Let’s go!

1. KNOW YOUR DUDEBROS Over the years I’ve been called a lot of things I’m not: incredibly handsome; hard-working; a gay man; Whitmore. Until last night, I’d never been called a dudebro. But apparently I am, because I’ve assigned stories on reproductive rights issues to male reporters and I’ve written rants about right-wing politicians from Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth to Texas governor Rick Perry trying to strip rights from women. Apparently not okay. after a serious of escalating tweets, this happened:

I’m far from perfect but I took the test and  got zero out of  10 so I guess I’m  no dudebro. Sorry TOPAZ but facts are facts. Not a dudebro! Shrug!

2. THE DEATH OF ALT WEEKLIES Here’s a long feature about the demise of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and the state of the industry in general. No doubt some lefties are glad alternative newspapers die because they’re not left-wing enough and their skeletal staff isn’t diverse enough.

3. SAVAGE SITCOM Sex advice columnist and Steve-Hero Dan Savage just landed an ABC pilot! Savage is the author of the popular column Savage Love and several books including American Savage. He’s also the editorial director of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger and founder of the The It Gets Better Project. But whatever you do don’t watch his show, because he has been criticized by some on the left for biphobia, transphobia, misogyny and eating raw babies.

4. GO WEST Another Steve-hero with Stranger roots is the brilliant and super-funny Seattle writer/comedian Lindy West. You should listen to her talk about Internet trolls, misogyny, “rape joke summer” and her evil zombie fake-dad on the latest This American Life. Here it is! Please forgive me for being a fan of Lindy’s before you’d heard of her, and for linking to this while male.

FUCK IT. SUPERHERO TRAILER. It’s the first look at the Fantastic Four reboot. What do you think? Sometimes I think I should put my energy into enjoying nerd shit rather than working at Prairie Dog. Not very often, though.

Dog Blog Sticky Post: The Holidays Are Here. What Would You Rather Be Doing?

Grumpy Steve
So busy! So grumpy!

It’s Sunday, Dec. 14. I’m in the office, working. The next issue of Prairie Dog goes to press on Friday, Dec. 19, at 5 p.m. We have five working days to put it together. So here I am in the office on a Sunday afternoon and evening, working on the upcoming edition.

Bleah. I’d rather be at the pub. Or at a movie, or playing board games, or hanging out with friends or pets.

The so-called “holidays” are a busy time for lots of people. Too busy. I bet some of you are busy and grumpy, too.

What would YOU rather be doing that whatever it is you have to do right now?

This was a “sticky post” that stayed at the top of Dog Blog until Thursday, Dec. 17 Friday, Dec. 18, so everyone had a chance to see it and comment, whine, etc. Comments were used for the Dec. 25 Barking Dogs column.

Weekly Reckoning: Dimensions of News Edition

weekly-reckoningNews. What is it? How much is it? Can you pack five or more newses into a backpack? What’s the density of news on the surface of Saturn? These are questions that only a careful application of science can answer. Luckily, I’m a scientist. A scientist of news.

1. THE NEWS IS AT LEAST 500 DISGUSTINGS PER CUBIC CENTIMETRE As if we haven’t had enough of the nonsense surrounding the non-indictment of Darren Wilson (who has unsurprisingly resigned), it turns out that forensics expert Shawn Parcells, who performed a private forensics report on Michael Brown’s body, is a fraud. Apparently he picked up his forensic pathology skills “on the job”.

2. THE NEWS IS TWO GLOVES FROM SAFETY Brandon McKean, a black man in Michigan, was stopped by a police officer because he was walking with his hands in his pockets. If only he’d been wearing gloves, then that officer would have to be racist elsewhere.

3. THE NEWS IS COMFORTABLE AND RESTING WITH MINIMAL SPEECH AND LIMITED MOBILITY Mr. Hockey, aka Gordie Howe, is currently recovering from two strokes, according to his son Mark Howe.

4. THE NEWS IS AT LEAST ONE DEFIBRILLATOR OUTSIDE THE LAW Ottawa police constable Jason Mallett has been arrested for criminal harassment, improper storage of a handgun and theft of a city-owned defibrillator. Who looks at a defibrillator and thinks “I’m going to need that”? I’m also curious about improper storage of a handgun. Did he leave it in his Budweiser mini-fridge? Balance it on his hat? Tape it to his partner’s back? The news is hungry for knowledge.

5. THE NEWS HAS A FLAVOUR Beak’s Chicken, those purveyors of the greatest fried chicken in Regina, have launched a Kickstarter to fund their transition from food truck to a good old-fashioned year-round restaurant. Say, doesn’t that sound like a tasty idea? If you want fried chicken in deepest winter, maybe this is a project worth your pledge? Hmmm?

Lastly, here’s The Force Awakens teaser trailer, as imagined by George Lucas. Abrams almost messed the franchise up big time, but thankfully someone has the guts to present Lucas’ true vision.

Conway Responds To Rosie And Yossarian

Stephen LaRose doesn’t think much of John Conway’s latest column. In his Sept. 12 blog post “Have Some More Haggis, John Conway”, Rosie writes:

John Conway’s analysis of the Scottish independence referendum, philosophically, reads about the same as my attempt to review records by new Canadian bands or artists. Just as every group with two guitarists makes me think of either The Tragically Hip or The Rheostatics, never thinking that newer contemporaries may be a bigger influences, Conway tries to shoehorn his comparing of next week’s groundbreaking vote with the 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum.

And then there was this comment from Dog Blog reader Yossarian:

Conway never fails to make an overly simplistic argument. This piece was no exception. Stephen is quite correct in his criticism. There are very few similarities between Scotland and Quebec. Quebec is of course a nation within a nation – but a nation that resulted from settling on indigenous land. Quebec has never been an independent polity – as Scotland was for over 300 years.

There was more validity in Stephen’s brief synopsis than there has been in a Conway piece over the last decade.

I still chuckle at his 2011 election piece where he was predicting a Michael Ignatieff majority government.

John offered to write a response, which I said I’d be happy to put on the blog. Here it is.

I enjoyed reading Stephen LaRose’s piece responding to my Scottish referendum article. He focuses on the many differences between Scotland and Quebec, while I focussed on the similarities. LaRose missed one key and fundamental difference of a boring constitutional sort, but that’s for another column.

A big difference LaRose focussed on is the ethnic issue. He presents a picture of Scottish nationalism unblemished by negative ethnic tensions, while he pans the Quebecois sovereigntists’ repeated failures to deal with “the ethnic question” with sensitivity and political effectiveness. True, and many among the sovereigntist popular base are out-and-out xenophobic national chauvinists. But is Scotland a wonderland of ethnic harmony and tolerance? There certainly is no ethnic issue in the current referendum campaign. There is a reason for this, and forgive me for being sociological. Scottish nationalism has no ethnic tensions because Scotland has very little ethnic diversity — 93 per cent of the population is lily white (83 per cent Scottish, the rest Brits and Irish). Most of the other seven per cent come from EU countries. About three or four per cent are non-white.

One thing LaRose is dead on about — the referendum has become a poll on neoliberalism and the dictatorship of business.

I did not enjoy Yossarian’s comments on my “overly simplistic argument.” My argument may be wrong, but it is not simplistic. But what really hurt was the comment, “I still chuckle at his 2011 election piece where he was predicting a Michael Ignatieff majority government.” I was aghast. How could I have been so stupid? I couldn’t remember making the prediction, but if Yossarian said I did, it must be so. Surely Yossarian wouldn’t deliberately misrepresent what I said.

I dug out the offending article and breathed a sigh of relief. I made no such prediction. The title says it all: “Why He’ll Lose: The case against a Harper win: part logic, part wishful thinking”. It was a cri de coeur. My actual prediction? “…another Harper minority government.” I got it wrong, he won a majority, which I lamented in my next column. What in fact did I say about Ignatieff? Commenting on the TV debate I said, “Michael Ignatieff held his own, even looked good a few times, but was so focussed on Harper he neglected to spell out his vision for Canada in captivating terms (of course, the sad fact is he doesn’t have one).”

My advice to Yossarian? Criticize what I actually write, not a fantasy of my words which you concoct.

LaRose sets me up as a straw man and then knocks me down. Fair game in the realm of political commentary and debate. Yossarian invents words that I write and then attacks me for writing the words he has invented. Not fair game.

John Conway


Pub Trivia: A Fun Thing To Do Tonight

Pints and prose triviaFriend O’ The Dog Brad Joyce co-hosts Pints & Prose Trivia tonight at O’Hanlon’s and he asked me to get the word out. Well, why wouldn’t I? Trivia is a hoot! Brad is tolerable! There are prizes!

The fun starts at 8:30, and it only costs five dollars to play (plus all the beer you’ll drink). Check it out! 

Why Are Comments Always Closed On Paul Dechene’s Blog Posts These Days?

Well, it was going to be a surprise but since Dechene outed himself on Twitter this afternoon, I guess the secret’s out:

As I’ve said many times (mostly to Barb) , Prairie Dog has a fanatical pro-comment policy — but Paul’s special and awesome so if he wants a (previously secret) month-long break from you guys, he shall have it!

Comments will again be allowed on Dechene’s posts in June. In the meantime, share your opinions about online comments — or tell Dechene how much you miss commenting on his posts, or lavish him with support, appreciation and love, or call him a delicate little flower — in the comments below this post.

Cathedral Finds Walking Difficult After Getting Kicked In The Connaughts

Odds are you’ve probably heard that the Regina Public School Board voted last night to shut down Connaught School permanently at the end of this school year. The decision follows from a surprise engineering report in February saying the building had serious foundation and structural problems and would not be safe much beyond June. Plus, the Board received word yesterday that they would not be able to get insurance for the building even if maintenance work was done to extend the building’s life.

So, no insurance, no school.

Pity to see the beloved pile of bricks being prepped for the wrecking ball. If only Regina Public School Board had thought to put out a tender ten or so years back to get foundation and structural work done on the building.

I imagine that tender notice would’ve looked something like this one that ran recently and calls for bidders on work that needs to be done on Lakeview School.

Lakeview TenderBut I mean, how could Regina Public School Board have known 10 years ago that a building like Connaught that was pushing a 100 years in age would need foundation work?

And how could they have known that the Cathedral neighbourhood would want to keep the school?

I mean, seriously. They’re school trustees. Not oracles.

One should read this as an indication of how difficult it can be to work when you only have imperfect information and certainly not as evidence that the Regina Public School Board and/or the provincial Ministry of Education has wanted to find a reason to bulldoze at least one school in the Cathedral Neighbourhood all along, regardless the wishes of the community.

And you certainly shouldn’t look upon the imminent demise of the Connaught School building and then scoff at the Public School administration when they were patting themselves on the back during their AGM about their commitment to preventative maintenance.

I mean, look! They’re going to spend a bundle on preventative maintenance on Lakeview School so that it never needs to be torn down!

As for Connaught… well… god aren’t those Cathedral residents smug? Don’t you just want to punch them right in their brick buildings?

And I’m sure that whichever architectural firm gets the contract to build the new Connaught School *coughp3acough* will build a very shiny industrial box that won’t be a petrie dish in which to culture fascists.

Daily Aggregation Programming Note

daily-aggregation-2Alert readers might have noticed the absence of Dog Blog’s staple news round-up column in the past week. Sadly, a mighty combination of staff illness (not me) and Too Much Stuff To Do (definitely me) has sabotaged my ongoing efforts to write this thing most weekdays.

But do not mourn this popular feature, my friends — while Daily Aggregation has fallen, it will someday rise again.

Like, maybe Thursday. Thursday sound good? Awesome.

Spam Of The Day: “Blog Regarding”

This gem popped up in last week’s never-ending Canada Post thread:

Whoa, incredible weblog arrangement! How much time have you been blog regarding? you have made running a blog glance uncomplicated. The whole start looking of your web site is great, seeing that intelligently because the subject material!

Good one, “How You Can Help”. Very, very good one.

We Haz Grey Cup! Must Drink! Here’s How!

WE WON ALL THE FOOTBALLZ! Ha ha! Now let’s go find some alcohol! BUT WAIT! It’s mental out there! There are line-ups! Confusion! Pandemonium! What to do? Fear not, for Prairie Dog has advice for this situation in our Unofficial Grey Cup Manual — and I’m reprinting it below so you don’t have to scroll all the way through our whatever-thousand word feature to find it.

LISTEN UP. During the Grey Cup, there will be a massive increase in dining, imbibing and other indulging. The local establishments will do their part to keep the town fed and watered, but don’t forget: THIS IS A TWO WAY STREET. There are rules, guidelines and things you just need to keep in mind. Such as:

1.) PLEASE BE PATIENT If you waited in line to get in, then the place is packed. The staff are working their butts off so you can get in and out. WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS. Large parties and big groups; be understanding. You may wait longer for seating, you may not  all be able to sit together, and you may not receive separate checks. I’m sorry.

2.) ALWAYS HAVE YOUR ID ON YOU Wedding rings, facial hair, a sense of entitlement, etc. do not count as government issued identification, and are not going to get you served alcohol. Don’t be surprised or offended when we ask for it.

3.) DON’T BE A JERK WHEN YOU SIT DOWN Pick a table that is appropriately sized to accommodate your party. Two people at a table for 10 is selfish and ignorant.

4.) HOLLERING DON’T DO IT! No whistling, no snapping, no grabbing, no sexual harassment, and no my name is not “Bro” or “Babe”.

5.) WHAAAT DO YOU WAAANT??? Know your order. Feel free to ask questions, but have some sort of idea what you want. I am not telepathic, and I probably have a lot of other tables to get to.

6.) ANTICIPATE YOUR NEEDS Order rounds of drinks, not just one at a time. If the server is at the table and you will need a drink in the next 10 minutes, order. Avoid over-complicating your order.

7.) CASH IS KING Always have cash or be prepared to throw down a card for that tab. NO DEBIT AT THE BAR!

8.) TIPPING Industry average is 20 per cent. There are a slew of folks (cooks, bartenders, bussers, hosts, dishwashers) that get a portion of this tip. Good service should be rewarded — and so will good tipping. WINK! No, not that kind of wink, you idiot. Don’t be gross.

9.) BE NICE, GOD DAMMIT All jokes aside, the nicer you are to a server, the better your service will be. If a server likes you, strings can be pulled. It’s not all about money… being polite gets you a long way. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. With all that in mind, have fun. Be safe. Don’t drink and drive. Tip your cabby. Peace.

This concerned message was brought yoby two anonymous local servers.

In conclusion, woooooooooooooo!

On The Alleged Senate Shenanigans Of Mike Duffy (With Bonus Rob Ford

Exiled Conservative senator and former Conservative fund-raiser Mike Duffy is now accused of paying a friend $65,000 for what is technically known as “???”. The friend, former TV technician Gerald Donohue, says he did “internet research and provided verbal advice” to Duffy, which RCMP Cpl. Greg Horton said he believes was “little or no apparent work.” From CBC:

The documents show there might be more to the Duffy investigation than just his living allowance. The RCMP need Duffy’s banking records to prove where the $65,000 went, Horton wrote, because Donohue says he never saw any of it, and that it went to his business. The money was paid by cheque, the court documents state. “The supporting documentation relating to the bank transactions will assist investigators in identifying where the money went after it was deposited, and who received the money if Donohue did not,” Horton wrote. The affidavit also notes that Nigel Wright, who was Harper’s chief of staff until he resigned over a report that he repaid $90,000 of Duffy’s Senate expenses out of his own pocket, turned over hundreds of pages of emails to investigators on Aug. 21.

rob-ford Meanwhile, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford might be under police investigation and his driver and pal Alexander Lisi, who was arrested last week for drug trafficking, allegedly offered weed for the return of Ford’s stolen cellphone. Whuuuaaa? Don’t even know what to make of this (besides the fact that weed should be a legal recreational drug, not a currency for stolen goods).

In any case, Canada’ conservative politicians seem to be winning the political corruption arms race these days. Outside of Quebec, anyway.

Why Did The Metal Patio Table Cross The Road? Because The Plaza Is Stupid.

Plaza Fuckery-1In the last few hours, Prairie Dog received multiple reports of a freaking metal table sitting in the middle of the freaking City Square Plaza roadway. The barricades are down and street is apparently open to traffic today — I took several photos of vehicles driving past the offending table — although the removable bollards were nowhere to be seen.

Who put the table there? Dunno. But it’s no surprise that citizens don’t know how to use the plaza. Its roadway is very badly marked — the bollards (when they’re there) are small and far from sufficiently obvious, the expensive Italian stone is the same colour in both the pedestrian and and traffic areas, and the space generally is a muddle of disparate elements that don’t coherently coalesce into a whole. The plaza was built without adequate public consultation over a couple of delay-filled years and underwent several changes mid-construction that probably didn’t help (the designing architect and the City are suing each other, actually).

This, people, is why good design is important: good design allows people to infer how a public space is to be used. Bad design leads to tables being set up in the middle of the street.

Ugh. This is one part of our beloved former mayor’s legacy he should leave off his resume.

FOOTNOTE: After photographing this (VERY) heavy metal table sitting in the middle of the road in this incoherently-designed plaza that makes no sense and is understood by no one*, Engaged Citizen Karen suggested we move the thing. Which we did, because it’s freaking dangerous to have zillion-pound metal tables in the middle of the road.

Plaza Fuckery-fixed

*I assume it was built in an ugly brutalist style at taxpayer expense to be the front lawn for a future Hill tower but there’s no evidence of that, that I’m aware of.

More photos after the jump.

Continue reading “Why Did The Metal Patio Table Cross The Road? Because The Plaza Is Stupid.”