What Starts In 10 Minutes in Newfoundland?

It’s already March in the UK and in a couple of minutes it hits Canada. It’s not that I disliked February. I travelled a little. I laughed. I cried. If it became a part of you, relive my February any time you want. But it is now eleven months to the next February and I am not saddened by that. Who likes February the best? The month of no sports, no vegetation, vitamin D deprivation and false thaws. Wouldn’t the preference for February before all other months be an indicator of some mild form of manic disorder? Other months push it around. No Day 30. Loser month. Go away February. People call you “Febooary”…did you know that? They don’t even care to say it right. Can’t say March wrong.

Clark’s Ale House, Syracuse, New York

Click above for bigger beauty

I came away from a visit to Clark’s Ale House knowing I should visit it again in a different circumstance. In the middle of a semi-sub-roaring tour of the town with friends, the quiet of Clark’s was a little disconcerting and, given a wrong moment, felt like pretense…but I figure it was me. It has no TV, no music, no bellowing bartendings shouting to be heard. It is also smaller than I had expected with a few tables up on a second level above the bar.





Clark’s famous roast beef sandwich on an onion bun. Dapper gents neatly sliced beef and pulled pints behind the bar. I had an excellent Armory Ale, a Middle Ages brew only available at Clark’s. Every brew I’ve had from Middle Ages is so well done, I should have expected this American pale ale to be as good as it was but well-made and well-handled beers are actually so rare that you have to note when you are in their presence.

The reviewers over at the Beer Advocate are far more certain and with a return visit maybe on a Sunday afternoon as opposed to after the game on Saturday night I would also write as does one from Michigan:

From the outside Clark’s is mighty inviting when your walking about the streets of downtown Syracuse on a biting cold late Autumn evening. You can see the jovial patrons, their heads reared back with laughter, through the large paned glass front. The warmth draws you in. The beer keeps you there. A pint of Middle Ages and a warm roast beef sandwich amid the chatter of beer lovers melts the icicles fixed to your eyebrows. Nifty layout holds pockets of seating, against the bar, under a window, in the back room with your best buddy, even an upper level I didn’t explore. Dark stained woods around and ivyed trellis above. Cozy.

Go to Clark’s and know a quiet night with their beers.

New Marriage Laws Required

Not for same sex spouses – but Royals! From the Beeb:

On Monday, law experts said royals could not have English civil marriages and would have to wed in Scotland. But the lord chancellor insists the marriage, set to take place at Windsor Guildhall on 8 April, is legal…On Monday Sir Nicholas Lyell, a former attorney general, suggested emergency legislation may be needed to clarify the legal position before the wedding. He said he felt “disquiet” about the government’s advice to the Queen. “I don’t think she has been given enough advice,” he told the BBC Radio 4’s PM programme. Sir Nicholas believes the 1949 Marriage Act, which updated the law on civil marriages in England, excluded the Royal Family. He said this would leave them subject to historic laws requiring marriage in church.

I have little interest in the Royals but wish these two well as individuals. Sad to see, however, that they are perhaps not equal before the law. Time to liberate them from such privileges.

Feds to Fund CBC ‘Cause They Can

From this morning’s Globe and Mail:

An Ipsos-Reid poll shows that 47 per cent of Canadians think the Prime Minister and his Liberals deserve to be re-elected. This represents a jump of 18 points since the question was asked during last spring’s federal election campaign, which saw the Liberals reduced to minority status.

But Martin cannot break into the Parliamentary majority range – the Liberals at still stuck at 37% nationally according to this poll. Given that the Tories are still mired in the 20% range due to…hmmm…the fact that they stand for so many things the vast majority of Canadians do not want, they cannot afford to force an election to try to push Martin out. Catch 22.

So that means in the impending Liberal budget, we can expect a well-deserved payback for twenty years of restraint, cuts and downsizing – things Canadians want and have paid for. What has got me excited? More for the CBC if it is spent on radio and regional broadcasting. The cuts have left the CBC in an awful state. One has to only listen to the morning radio to be bombarded by blandness and repetative broadcasts of the same show: another panel on the future of short story writing on the Prairies anyone?

I am hopeful. Hidden in a CBC Feburary 2005 presentation is the idea of a CBC radio station for Kingston. Right now we get the Ontario wide rural morning show, and the excellent but a little irrelevant Ottawa drive home show hosted most days by the formidible Brent Bambury. Given the catchment of about 350,000 from Belleville to Brockville up to highway 7, a station is due here. It would cause a shake up for sure as a local morning and afternoon show would add 15 or more hours of news to the local market every week driving well-paid, quality journalists to find the story, shaking up the venerable but could be shaken Whig-Standard newspaper as well as region-covering CKWS-TV along the way. Too bad it is set for a 2007-08 opening but that means it will be in place in time for the next NHL playoffs.

Hockey Pool 2005

Given the collapse of NHL/NHLPA talks on uncancelling the cancelled season this afternoon, we have to move on. We have to show the NHL that we don’t need their stinking hockey and show that we know our own hockey. Since 1997 when it began on a Kings College ’80’s alumni Idle Crows email loop, I have operated [with the help of computer wizards more wizardly than I am] an internet NHL playoffs hockey pool in the spring and by jumbo I am going to do a pool of some sort again this year. But what rules? I think we have to pick the winners of the Memorial Cup, the World Hockey Championship, Swiss League, Swedish league, the NCAA tourney…that sort of thing. As these competitions would exist otherwise, this is not a scab picket-crossing sort of pool but it will take a bit of research and edjification so any ideas?