Friday For The First Stinking Hot Weekend

It’s the meteorological chitchat that keeps you coming back. I know it. We spend so much time looking forward to a bright hot day that you would think we would record them in binders like family albums, categorized by how nice the breezes were or how long the evening seemed to last. Tomorrow bodes very well. Perhaps 80F in April on a sunny Saturday. 70F this Friday evening. This very day. It’s the anti-blizzard weekend. The one you wanted on a Tuesday in late January.

  • I sure love it when people who accuse others of having no moral compass then have to admit that the guy was pretty much right. Oh, what a giggle we will have in the next era when we look back on these times.
  • I would have thought the whole “eating a replica of our bodies” might have been a bigger issue than the name.
  • SPACE BLOB!!!
  • I thought this was pretty funny. When to worry about the IT geeks planning to control your lives? When they say “…people are passionate about your product…” or “IZ: You mean enhance civilization, make it even better?” you know someone is quite enraptured by an impending cash-in.
  • In the same vein, when someone says “Can we just retire this stupid line of questioning once and for all?” after referring to “the straw man” you may need to realize they are facing an argument they don’t want to admit is lost due to the weight it places on the possibility of being enraptured by an impending cash-in.
  • Sometimes the things that got cashed-in die and, quite surprisingly, take 675 employees. Can you believe GeoCIties was bought for 2.9 billion ten years ago?
  • Not necessarily my deepest love with a french fry van – I reserve that for Colburne’s of Pembroke, Ontario – but certainly my first. Sitting on the wall at the Halifax central library having a Bud the Spud was a big part of my youth.
  • Why are we not hearing news item after news item about how Ford saw this coming, may well never ask for a penny of public money, is about to crush its competition through sheer prudence and actually makes cars people buy?

And you may ask yourself how do I work this BBQ? You may ask yourself where is my suntan lotion? And you may ask yourself where does that garden path go? Is this my beautiful yard?

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Holding A Proper Who-la-thon

cyberdreamsTired of the pap that has passed for children’s TV since the advent of “My Little Pony” and that damned purple dinosaur Barney? Needing an opportunity to introduce fear and other lessons into the lives of your kiddies in a controlled yet, err, meaningful way? Hold a Who-la-thon! And if you are going to hold a proper Who-law-thon, you need a number of things:

  • A room full of pre-teens ready to be fed junk food then unknowingly being prepared to be terrified. Sit said kids packed on to one sofa to maximize huddling in terror (HIT) effect.
  • A selection of Doctor Who episodes from a variety of eras and series. Avoid the first and second Doctors as black and white TV confuses people under forty. Prepare screening in an order to maximize HIT through developing a crescendo of fear. We chose 1975’s two-parter The Sontaran Experiment with the Fourth Doctor, a Sarah Jane Adventure with Slitheens followed by a two-parter from the Tenth Doctor, the most recent, featuring Cybermen.
  • Remove all pillows and hats from the immediate viewing area so as to limit the face hiding opportunities within the rec room.
  • During showing use phrases like “oh, you are not going to like this bit” and “make sure you see this bit” just before the bodies begin to pile up or a well loved semi-minor character gets zapped so as to encourage more HIT.
  • Adopt vocal tone of most evil character during mid-screening chit chat.
  • Remind children periodically that things always work out in the end never indicating clearly when the end shall come.
  • Leave lights off throughout the house and plan Who-la-thon so as to hours of darkness to provide for immediate trip in dark well past bedtime leaving little opportunity for answering of questions.

Remember, the Who-la-thon is a teaching moment with lasting consequences. Consider using the Who-la-thon as the moment to introduce cola drinks into your children’s diet to avoid the faint likelihood of nodding off after the spike of sugared snacks from the early hours wears off. Also, this is the time when the illusion of the perfection of parents can be helpfully dispelled so understand that the right answer to questions like “why did the Earth blow up, Daddy?” or “what happens if the invasion fleet isn’t destroyed” is a quietly spoken and slightly delayed “I have no idea.” Because you really don’t.

What Is A Canadian Citizenship Worth?

Quite a number of years ago, I check out a cousin’s child’s right to Canadian citizenship and, as the person in question was born somewhere else, they needed to assert their Canadianness before a certain date or lose it. Apparently the rules will tighten tomorrow:

April 17 marks the implementation of a new rule created by the Canadian government. If you are a Canadian living overseas, passing on your citizenship will now become more difficult: Your children won’t get a Canadian passport unless one of their parents was either born in Canada, or had become a citizen by immigrating into Canada. Many Canadians are up in arms about this, ex-pats in particular. But I didn’t even know about the rule changes until a friend in Toronto forwarded me a mass-circulated protest e-mail. The message vilifies the policy, suggesting that all children of Canadian have a “right” to Canadian citizenship — no matter where they are born — and is accompanied by the obligatory petition to sign and forward.

I have a second nationality so this sort of scrutiny does not seem odd to me. In the 80s, I applied for and got UK right of abode. Under the current UK rules, I am pretty sure l am able to still apply for full citizenship based on family ties but that is not absolutely clear to me due to the complexity of the rules. Plus, I may have to show I am of good character. I hope I qualify. Maybe these bloggy posts would be my downfall.

I think these sorts of things are good. I am reminded of that by the scandal in PEI related to the selling of citizenships leading to an impossible but for-profit local explosion of immigrant investors which has come to the point that a Minister of the Crown has told people involved to retain lawyers. Those out of pocket may have to wait years to even get their papers.

Wouldn’t it be better if we had a firm set of rules around these things and rules that were actually administered by the level of government responsible for citizenship? Wouldn’t it be nice to know your citizenship is worth something, that I have been part of a process that relates to, you know, ideas like good character?

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CAMNA: The Campaign For Nipped Ales

ofa1So far I have created, with a certain underwhelming success, The Pub Game Project to note the things people like to do when they get together for beer, The Society for Ales of Antiquity to celebrate those brewers who are brewing beers like those brewers who used to brew the beers as well as CAMWA or The Campaign For Watery Ale, to encourage movers and shakers to consider the thing that makes 87% to 96% of what is in the bottle.

The response has been, well, insignificant if I want to brag it up out of all proportions. But we cannot stop there. Now we need CAMNA, the Campaign for Nipped Ales, to demand that the higher the strength the smaller the beer. Look at that bottle of Anchor Old Foghorn. Look at the dime. That is a small bottle. Seven small ounces. A nip. And it is only an 8.8% brew. I am getting really tired of opening 22 ounce or even 750 ml bottles of 8% to 13% beer. It is too much. It costs too much, it is too much booze and it is an invitation to excess. You will say they are to be shared or saved for special occasions but I want the option to sip a little one alone on a Tuesday. Why can’t I except with a handful of beers from a few forward thinking brewers? How much would it really cost most moderately sized micros to put out a line of nips of their stronger offerings? Would it not make them more accessible, allow more people to have a try?

These are the questions asked by CAMNA – the only international organization of its stature which dares take on this cause and those lined up against it. Some may think the utter irrelevance of CAMNA to the discourse is a challenge but I say it is an opportunity – an opportunity to be the mouse that roared… in the forest where trees fall when no one in around… in a land far far away.

Vermont: Odd Notion Spring ’09, Magic Hat, SoBurl

Extreme. Experimental. Weird. Weirdo. That is my new sliding scale to express a facet of the craft brewing world, like the crap-snob continuum. Granted it is only half the scale, missing the BFW¹ – X3M portion to the left. But it is a good scale and Odd Notion Spring 2009 inspired it.

One problem with “extreme” is that right now it’s the centre of the pack. This beer points out that there is plenty of room beyond extreme, including places you will likely not visit again. Because this beer and those like it are weird. Last spring’s peaty brown ale called Odd Notion helped generate a lot of heat over diacetyl that I don’t expect to be repeated with this one’s poppy seed and agave flavours. Will not one defend the honour of the agave? Who stands for the poppy? None.

It pours an attractive orange amber with a nice sheeting white head. But the smell is like a fresh and well-crafted beer trying to replicate the smell of an old, off skunky one. In the mouth, it’s a bit like fancy hotel soap, the stuff you put on a bad sunburn made from cactus as well as that hard astringent poppiness. There is other stuff in there like a little orange marmalade and maybe a bilious note. It is hard to explain but for all that, this is not entirely off-putting given that (1) it is generated in large part by the poppy seed, a taste I took to when I worked in Poland and (2) I have been sunburned a lot and support the post sun burn lotion industry. But it is weird. Yet not quite a weirdo. Good BAer support.

Kingston St. Lawrence Base Ball Stats 1873

The big second season for the Kingston St. Lawrence was held in the summer of 1873. The 1872 stats are here. In 1873, there are reports in both the Kingston British Whig and the Kingston Daily News. In the Monday, 23 June 1873 issue of the Kingston British Whig, it asked:

Such is the mania for base ball just now. Will it be like lacrosse – up like a rocket and down like a stick?

It was called “a mania” by the KBW again on 30 August 1873. It was also a year of controversy as letters and articles in the KBW in June set out complaints about the base ball players taking over the Cricket Grounds which City Council had given the use of to the city’s cricket club some years before. Also, the Whig on 30 June states that the game has “ridden rapidly into popularity since its introduction last year by Dr. Jarvis and Mr. Eilbeck. Both men are listed as playing in the published box scores.

In addition to the second reference to KBW 30 July reference to “the silver ball” as the trophy of the Canadian championship (after the earlier reference in KBW 21 August 1872), one most interesting notes in the papers is in the Kingston Daily News of 24 July 1873 which reads:

The St. Lawrence Club has received a challenge to play from the Red Stockings of Boston. It has not been decided to accept this challenge yet.

The Boston Red Stockings of 1873 won the national Association championship and, in August, were on a tour of Canada winning all 14 games and outscoring their opponents 524-48. They became the Boston Braves, then the Milwaukee Braves and the Atlanta Braves. Al Spalding, shown in 1871, pitched for them. He later when on to found the sporting good company.

The team also had its own western Ontario tour in August 1873. Here is a listing of the games played by the St.L BBC in 1873:

2A: Saturday, 30 May – St. Lawrence (90) v. Locomotive Club (14). Played on the Cricket Ground. No umpire named in the KDN report.
2B: Saturday, 7 June – St. Lawrence (8) v. Ottawa Club (54). Game played at Ottawa. Ottawa had 4 US professionals. St. Lawrence served a written protest but played (KBW, 9 June 1873). Game mentioned. (KDN, 2 June 1873)
2C: Monday, 23 June – St. Lawrence (70) v. Stars (12). Umpire Dr. McCammon. Reported in both the KBW and KDN as part of a three match day. Only 2 hours despite the score.
2D: Thursday, 1 July. St. Lawrence (10) v. Silver Star, Port Hope (25). Played at 2 pm on the Cricket Field on Dominion Day 1873 (KBW, 30 June). Long report in KBW 2 July. Ten cents paid to watch, betting reported, sidelines crowded and ladies filled the cricket stand and benches. Umpire was named “Shibley” and was a nephew of a Port Hope player. Protests at his biased calls, defends himself by addressing the crowd, saying he is from New York and “was a success as an umpire”. Crowd takes the field in second inning and Dr. McCammon replaces Shibley as umpire. Game ends after seven innings at 5:15 pm as Port Hope needed to travel home on 6 pm boat for Ottawa game the next day. “Shibley” appears to have returned to the field to declare this as a “no game”. Much drama.
2E: Friday, 4 July – St. Lawrence (70) v. B’hoys, Cape Vincent, NY (9). (KBW, 3 July 1873). Box score in KBW 7 July.
2F: Wednesday, 16 July – St. Lawrence (26) v. “Union” Club (13). St. Lawrence had issued a practice challenge against best of rest of city. Practice is for upcoming game against Guelph Maple Leafs. St. L. states it is willing to play 9 to 18 players or give other side 6 outs per inning.(KBW 14 July; KDN, 15 July 1873). Game played at Cricket Ground as a “union” of the Union Club and the Stars Club. Umpire was Dr. G. W. Oliver of Cape Vincent, NY. Five innings with St. L allowed 15 outs and the Union team getting 30. Report in the KBW on 17 July states
2G: Friday, 18 July – St. Lawrence. first nine v. St. Lawrence second nine. No further reference than the advance notice is found in papers.
2H: Monday, 21 July – St. Lawrence (35) v. Guelph (27) Maple Leaf. Anticipated as “the great game of the season” in KBW 17 July 1873. Kingston defeats Guelph – headline in the KBW 22 July reads “The St. Lawrence Boys Astonish Guelphites and Every Body Else”. Game started 2 pm (2:15, KDN, 22 July) at the Cricket Field. Dr. McCammon umpired. Described as very gentlemanly – compared to recent Port Hope experience no doubt. 16 to 7 for Kingston after first inning. “Their backers at home would not believe the news of the defeat and telegraphed again and again in hope of a contradiction.” 700 to 1,000 watched (KDN, 22 July). KBW 23 July: Excellent supper afterward at the American Hotel. Fifty attended. No liquors were introduced to the table “out of respect to the temperance members of the Clubs”. Gathering ended at 11: 30 pm.
2I: Tuesday, 29 July – St. Lawrence (23) v. Cobourg (14). Game ends at 4:45 pm and score makes that day’s KBW. Full reports the next day in both the KBW and KDN. Played at Cricket Field. Mr. Salisbury of Cobourg umpired and judged to have done so very fairly.
2J: Thursday, 7 August – St. Lawrence (12) v. Newcastle Beaver(s) (5).
2K: Friday, 8 August – St. Lawrence (25) v. Victorias of Bowmanville (12)
2L: Saturday, 9 August – St. Lawrence (2) v. Dauntless, Toronto (7)
2M: Monday, 11 August – St. Lawrence (3) v. Maple Leaf, Guelph (36)
2N: Monday, 25 August – St. Lawrence (?) v. Boston Red Stockings (55?). Report in KBW of 26 August indicates a pounding.
2O: Monday, 25 August – St. Lawrence Second Nine (23) v.Maple Leafs, Kingston (31).
2P: Monday, 1 September – St. Lawrence (24) v. Mutuals Ottawa (31). Originally was to be against London Tecumseh Club but they canceled or were late. Good report in KDN 2 September 1873.
2Q: Monday, 2 September – St. Lawrence (19) v. Tecumseh Club, London (1). Played on Cricket Field on short notice after rescheduling. Inning in which no score is made as called “whitewash.”
2R: Monday, 25 August – St. Lawrence Second Nine (49) v. Harvesters, Kingston Twp (32). Mr. J McCammon was umpire. Played at Welburn’s Farm on Front Road. St. Lawrence traveled by wagon. “Wielding the willow” is description of batting. Cold with a strong west wind. Montgomery’s Quadrille Band was present.
2S: Monday, 25 August – St. Lawrence (57) v. Black Rivers, Watertown NY. (49). Game took 3 1/2 hours with team coming by Cape Vincent boat. St. Lawrence “batted themselves out” to get the game in before darkness. Black Rivers stayed in Kingston and took the morning boat back to Cape Vincent for game there. Last game of the year. Umpire was Mr. E. Nolan.

And here is a list of all the base ball teams mentioned listed in the KBW and KDN during 1873:

  • St. Lawrence Club, Kingston.
  • Locomotive Club, Kingston. Played in 2A. Played the Stars at 7 am (!) on Monday 30 June at the Cricket Field.
  • Ottawa Club. Played in 2B. Played Guelph on July tour on 23 July 1873, losing 16 to 2. Called the Ottawa “Mutuals” in KDN, 2 September 1873.
  • Foundry Club, Kingston. (KBW); Victoria Club of the Victoria Foundry
  • the Piano Forte Club, Kingston.
  • the “Stars”, Kingston. Played in 2C.
  • the employees of Messers Chown and Cunningham, Kingston.
  • the employees of Mr. R. M. Horsey, Kingston.(KBW/KDN). Played Foundry and beat them 41 to 30 on 23 June 1873.
  • “Union matches”(?), Kingston (KBW); the Unions Club (KDN). Beat Locomotive 26 to 14 on 23 June 1873. Played the Stars Wednesday 16 July 1873. (KDN).
  • Maple Leaf Club, Kingston (?). Played the Stars on Monday 14 July 1873, losing by 4 runs (KDN). Box score in KBW, 15 July. Score was 23 to 19 for Stars with Stars getting 29 outs(?) to Maple Leaf getting 27. Mr. J. Carson was the umpire.
  • Silver Stars, Port Hope. Played in 2D. Had a new base ball song composed by Mr. Fred Lockwood (KBW, 30 June). Played Guelph on July tour on 24 July 1873. losing 33 to 0.
  • The Maple Leaf Club of Guelph. Played late July tour. Swift, pitcher, and Maddock, catcher, noted in KBW 15 July 1873. Stated to have held the Canadian championship for four years (KBW, 17 and 22 July 1873).
  • Cobourg “Travellers”. Played in 2I. Played Guelph on July tour on 19 July 1873, lost 36 to 6.
  • Ogdensburg Pastimes. Played Guelph on July tour on 22 July 1873. Named in KBW and KDN 22 July. Played the “Bostons” (ie the Red Stockings) on Friday 29 August and lost 37 to 6. Pastimes still playing in 1921 (pdf!).
  • Newcastle Beaver(s), Ont. Called “Beaver” in the KBW but “Beavers” in the KDN.
  • Victorias of Bowmanville, Ont.
  • The Dauntless Club, Toronto, Ont.
  • Tecumseh Club, London, Ont. Played Cob(o)urg on 1 September 1873 (KBW 2 Sept)
  • Wolves, Kingston (?) KBW, 30 August 1873.
  • Bears, Kingston (?) KBW, 30 August 1873.
  • Dockmen, Kingston (?) KBW, 30 August 1873.
  • Dockmen, Brockville (?) KBW, 30 August 1873.
  • Volunteers of the 14th P.O. Rifles, Kingston
  • Barriefield Club. Played and lost to the Volunteers of the 14th P.O. Rifles on 19 September 1873 (KBW, 22 Sept).
  • Harvesters, Kingston Township. Played the St. Lawrence Seconds on 20 September 1873.
  • The Black Rivers, Watertown NY.

Friday Bullets For My Day Off In The USA

My three hours at the NCPR phone farm starts at noon so I should get my butt out the door about nine thirty. I wonder of they will let me play with the Twitter controls. Things I do in the states: eat jerky (I have a rule – no jerky in the homeland); buy a local weekly newspaper (they still report who was visting from away like a Maritime weekly); look for flags (I still need a NY state flag); and shop at grocery store for cans of butter beans and multi-coloured goldfish crackers. In America the goldfish crackers come in different colours than orange. That is what makes the USA great. When I hear the “USA, USA” chant I think of multi-coloured goldfish crackers.

  • I watched the last ER and hated it. I hate ER. I used to comment on ER usenet groups when it was a cool show (holy oldie olson internet reference!) but I stopped watching around 1998. Death and death and more death. If they were such good ER doctors, the death parade wouldn’t go on and on. Plus I get that Stamos guy mixed up with the guy from “Joanie Loves Chachi” – but at least one Doctor Who crossover moment so at least that was something.
  • I do not yet see the world from the perspective of Davros’ toggle switch but I must say that the words “anti-facist demonstrators” do equally warm my heart. The juxtaposition with this and this should be more publicly troubling than it is.
  • I don’t know what to make of Harper these days but there is plenty of evidence that Canada is doing well economically under his watch.
  • Today is also an edition of The Session and the topic is smoked beer. Never heard of it? Start with our man in Ireland and follow the links.
  • Mr. Taylor and I engaged in a very interesting dicussion of social software and the courts this week. Have a look. Maybe we are both wrong.
  • When was the last time a First Lady said something that you though was simply solid advice: She told the 240 girls about growing up on Chicago’s south side, and urged them to think of education as “cool.” “I never cut class. I liked being smart. I liked getting A’s,” she said. “You have everything you need. Everything you need to succeed you already have right here.” I am going to use that line. I wonder if she is also strong on the use of 1970s British TV Sci-Fi as a tool for teaching about ethics and the importance of blasting things freom outer space?
  • I was listening last night to WFAN and the discussion of baseball ticket prices. At their new palace, the stinky cheater Yankees, the average gret seat now costs over $500 compared to about $150 at the Mets and Red Sox. Another reason to engage in recreation ritual hate. By the way, I watched the 2004 Red Sox ESPN summary last night. I am now very ready for baseball to begin.

That must be it for today. Where will I go by the end of the day? Maybe to the mall? Woot!

Kingston St. Lawrence Base Ball Stats 1872

You may recall the whole vintage base ball thing that came out of the Kingston Society for Playing Catch (KSPC) thing which came out of the whole community playing thing? Well, the season is now upon us and the Kingston St. Lawrence Brown Stockings Vintage Base Ball Club has two tournaments on already in the works, one in town and one over in Sackets Harbor, NY. Styled upon the “second nine” or the second-rate junior team from the main club that played in Kingston from 1872 to 1876, the KSLBSVBBC has a record of 0-1-1 with the tie coming in last year’s rain canceled game in Sacket’s Harbor, NY. The loss? Well, that was the year before.

Nutty yet based in history, we now have a team of crack researchers is now working on the actual heritage of the original St. Lawrence team, combing through articles like the one from 1873 shown here, in an effort to best replicate the details of uniform and play… and also to justify the effort to our spouses, bosses and bankers. Here are some stats arising from the games played by the Kingston St. Lawrence Base Ball Club in 1872 as reported in the Kingston British Whig. It is possible the list of games is not complete given the gap from 1 July to 21 August:

1A: Friday, 15 June – Married (39) v. Single (75). Umpire C. Van Arnam.
1B: Friday, 1 July – St. Lawrence (24) v. Cape Vincent, NY Ontario Club (26) – 1,000 in attendance at Cricket Grounds. Umpire: Mr. Cooper, Cape Vincent, NY.
1C: Monday, 21 August – Married (34) v. Single (54) – Eilbeck has switched sides having gotten married that summer. “Large attendance” at Cricket Ground. Singles called “the Benedicts” in the article. Umpire: J.M. Fo[r]te.
1D: Tuesday, 10 September – St. Lawrence (9) v. Clipper Club of Ilion, NY (70) – rain delay. Ilion were “masters of the Canadian bowling”. K’ton hosted Ilion at the “Anglo” in the evening. Umpired by T.L. Twiss of Ilion, NY

The list of all teams referenced in the Kingston British Whig in the summer of 1872:

  • St. Lawrence Club, Kingston.
  • Cape Vincent (NY) Ontario Club.
  • Williamsville Club. Williamsville was then a neighbouring community to Kingston. Played a “return match” with Orange L[?]y’s on 20 August 1872 (KBW, 21 Aug. 1872).
  • Orange L[?]y’s, Kingston. Played a “return match” with Orange L[?]y’s on 20 August 1872 (KBW, 21 Aug. 1872).
  • Maple Leaf Club of Guelph. Champions and holders of the Silver Ball (KBW, 21 Aug. 1872); “recently” beat Ilion at Ilion, NY (KBW, 11 Sept. 1872).
  • Dauntless Club, Toronto. Mentioned in the New York Times in 1872 but the Red Stockings toured Ontario in 1873.
  • Clipper Club of Ilion, NY.
  • Ogdensburg, NY.
  • Port Hope, Ontario.

More information will be forthcoming. Lots of it. Brace yourself. Players lists. Details from the games. Notes on which hotels were the site of post-game libations. Notice, too, that of the four games reported in my Whig articles, two were played within the Club by teams composed of married men and single men. A “club” in that era was just that – a gathering for a common purpose, not just a team which took on other teams in a league schedule. In The June 15, 1872 article in the Whig, the club is stated to have 60 members.