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September 2008 Archives

September 16, 2008

They're suckers for sunshine!

From the WSJ: how to find a rich Canadian buyer for your rapidly deflating American real-estate investment.

Flu in, flu out

Apologies for the long absence from the site (and from my usual space in the National Post): I spent the first half of the missing fortnight traveling to and from the UK, and the second half recovering from a premier selection of the world's finest respiratory viruses. I can report that London is the same as ever, only with better food. To make up for lost time, I have a mortifyingly inadequate column on the late David Foster Wallace in today's Post.

September 21, 2008

All-true trivia

In 1995, the Montreal Expos' first overall draft pick was Michael Barrett, who has caught 878 games in the major leagues and was an NL Silver Slugger in 2005. Later they took Brian Schneider, currently the starting catcher for the division-leading New York Mets. The third catcher they drafted that year only suited up for the team once.

The Expos had 18th-round draft pick Tom Brady take BP yesterday. Brady, a left-handed-hitting C, is from nearby Serra High School, the same school that produced Barry Bonds and Gregg Jefferies. Jefferies's father coaches there. There's some work to be done getting Brady signed, however. He's signed a letter of intent for a football scholarship at Michigan as a QB. -The Montreal Gazette, June 12, 1995

Wonder whatever happened to that kid?

September 22, 2008

Least predictable retail development of 2008

I think the trophy surely has to go to the return to prominence of "solid-state" as a signifier of trendiness. When I was a kid, any piece of consumer electronics with anything even resembling a semiconductor in it had these magic marketing words stamped on it. If the quadrophonic eight-track stereo in your boogie van didn't have them somewhere on the face, your heterosexuality was thrown into profound question. Suddenly, in the 21st century, I find myself demonstrating the amazing boot time of a solid-state hard disk to total strangers. I just have to hope those terrible lapels don't come back.

September 23, 2008

Corrections I'd like to see dep't

The Greek concept of askesis, personified.Michael Bliss's September 23 Financial Post column about the American credit crisis contained a reference to "the personally ascetic prime minister, Pierre Trudeau". The phrase should have read "the personally ascetic prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, who was a jet-setting nightclub and discotheque fixture throughout his career, favoured expensively tailored clothing, married a 22-year-old woman (one he had met in Tahiti) at the age of 51, dated Barbra Streisand and Liona Boyd on the cusp of turning 60, and fathered a child out of wedlock at 71". The Post regrets the error.

Granted, occasionally you do get a creep from Abbotsford or a bum from Penticton

An awful lot of Albertans under the age of 40 grew up shaking their heads and pursing their lips about having to live under the rule of Ralph Klein, the insensitive dastard who had once blamed street crime in Calgary on "Eastern creeps and bums" who had come to the province looking for work.

Funny thing: now that the boom is back, you can catch a lot of the people experiencing the social conditions for the first time saying to themselves "Ohhh, shit, so these are the Eastern creeps and bums he meant." Ralph may have used colourful language appropriate to his persona and educational level, but I'll be damned if "[these] young men... are not doing much that is positive for our communities" doesn't amount to the same thing.

September 24, 2008

Cosh latest

Poisoned Chinese infantI've finally been able to ectomize an editing error out of my Friday column on mortgage fraudster Casey Serin, so if you haven't read it yet, now is a suitable time. I've been getting some interesting feedback from Casey's army of detractors, some of whom feel I was too easy on the young webceleb fuckup. I also got a polite and friendly note from Casey himself, who told me I made some "good points" and gave him some "things to think about". This is the sort of response he typically makes to critics: for all his dubious behaviour, the man has an admirably thick skin and an indestructibly positive attitude.

Somewhat renewed by my quiet, deliberately uneventful London holiday, I've been busy with new material on Full Comment. I wrote a post on the Chinese milk scandal and the ethics of celebrity endorsement, spotted an amusing mistake by a minor-league baseball GM, and was horrified today by some inappropriate comments in the Globe & Mail.

September 25, 2008

FLA @ EDM (pre-season), Sept. 25

Played hookey and treated myself to a lower-bowl seat tonight. Some random game notes for the Oilogosphere punters:

  • Not dressed tonight: Staios, the Kid Line, Eberle, Stortini, Brodziak, either real goalie, Plante, Gilbert, Pouliot. And Bouwmeester.

  • Drouin-Deslauriers's 27-saves-on-29-shots performance looks good, especially in light of him being named first star. But the Panthers didn't have many open scoring chances to speak of—both goals in regulation were junk—and JDD doesn't yet display the assurance you associate with a viable NHL goalie. I worry about his lateral movement, or I will just as soon as one of the starting tandem gets hurt.

  • Up the left side of the ice the most attention-getting player was Theo Peckham. The guy defines physical, he won a fight going away (Mike Duco fell down and made the mistake of trying to get up), and the crowd loves him. But he simply can't advance the puck and at times in his own end he reminds me of one of my cats trying to figure out an unfamiliar object. That said, it is hard to imagine a fan-favourite infuriator-type like this not eventually becoming a contributor. The decision-making just needs to improve, and he's still like 14 years old or something.

  • Up close Erik Cole radiates intelligence even more intensely. Even when he's squeezing by a defenceman along the boards, he's moving his shoulders and hips, trying to keep the guy off guard. A joy to watch. And so's Visnovsky, who is a man among boys in our D package. He passes at least as well as Pitkanen, and supposedly the Kings discouraged him from playing as physically as he wanted to in L.A., so I'm waiting for evidence that there is anything he can't do.

  • As other reports have attested, Schremp is flying up and down the ice, but there's still that curious lack of aggressiveness. The team wanted him to get faster, and he went out and did it: you have to respect that. But has it actually made him any more useful as a player?

  • Also confirmed: Taylor Chorney's not ready to think the game at NHL speed, but the tools are there. Seems like he could still develop into any D role you can imagine. He's a stem cell.

  • Liam Reddox is still working his ass off, which earned him the Oilers' second goal on a rebound not long after he got boarded and had to have his head stitched up. Unfortunately, God may just have cast him in this role for good—as a hard-luck kid who enjoys intermittent success.

  • Hemsky had an off night and still managed to be Hemsky at least once. Playing PP on the first goal, he took a diagonal feed from Horcoff, threw two distinct fakes at the Florida penalty kill within about a second to successfully distort the PK box, and mailed the disc back to an unguarded Horc for the seeing-eye one-timer. (Did you know that the Italians call a puck a "disco"? Truth.) About 35 of those during the regular season would be nice.

    Sorry, no photos. I tested Rexall's formerly-haphazard camera policy, and they're now impounding all SLR cameras indiscriminately. (The explicit rule is against "professional cameras", but good luck pleading that you have an entry-level DSLR with lenses that would probably be doorstops in a pro's household.) However, if you want to take shitty photos of the Oirasu or your buddies with the pinhole camera on your cell phone, and it seems you do, that's still permitted.

  • September 26, 2008

    Google Chrome review

    What's this? I can't change my Bookmarks toolbar to a sidebar? And my back/forward mouse buttons no longer work for some reason? And audio controls in embedded players are effectively frozen? And the whole thing is generally about as customizable as a cinder block? Hey, why do I find myself suddenly wishing that the icon for my Recycle Bin was a picture of a toilet?

    September 27, 2008

    La rapporteuse surréaliste

    As if fate were trying to suggest that I actually surf through the entire internet every few days, I spent a little while this past week looking for a good page on Lee Miller, the great dual-threat model/photographer who was a dame in every sense of the word, and couldn't find one—but then ran across this interesting Russian-language one quite accidentally.

    20th century in a nutshell: Miller was both the first real woman to appear in a print advertisement for a menstrual hygiene product and the first person to photograph the use of napalm in warfare.

    About September 2008

    This page contains all entries posted to ColbyCosh.com in September 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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