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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
But there is no sunken treasure / Rumored to be / Wrapped inside my ribs / In a sea black with ink I am so / Out of tune / With you
— Jeff Tweedy, Sunken Treasure
July 14, 2009

Segways touted by B.C. town mayor

Ferrari Segway This article about Tumbler Ridge wanting Segway personal transports to be street legal reminded me about this article about how Segway sales have been rather less then underwhelming.

Not surprising, despite the existence of the Ferrari edition of the Segway which, of course, wouldn’t fit in the trunk of the Ferrari edition of your car.

Posted by skooter at 2:01 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Transportation

July 13, 2009

Racing Against Cancer


Racing+Against+Cancer — powered by http://www.livestrong.com

Posted by skooter at 6:04 AM This entry is filed under Cycling.
Tags: Cycling, Lance Armstrong

July 12, 2009

Women’s Ski Jumping Still Out

There’s only one sport in the Winter Olympics that’s not open to women: ski jumping. The IOC has various reasons for keeping it out, none of them very good. They’ve cited the lack of participants (though skeleton has fewer), the lack of a range of countries (though Jamaica famously fielded a bobsledding team) and others.

Canadian women ski jumpers decided to take it to court claiming discrimination in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which specifies that (emphasis mine):

15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex,…

The Vancouver Sun covers it:

Women ski jumpers lose Olympic fight in B.C. Supreme Court
BY DAPHNE BRAMHAM, VANCOUVER SUNJULY 10, 2009COMMENTS (35)
 
The B.C. Supreme Court has rejected an application from 15 female ski jumpers asking that either they be allowed to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver or that all ski jumping events be cancelled.

The article summarizes the Justice’s findings:

Although Fenlon said that Vanoc is a government entity since it is carrying out government policy in staging the Games and is using significant government funds to build venues and support the Games, she said Vanoc and the governments have no control over designating “Olympic events”

That, she said, solely a decision for the International Olympic Committee.

“I acknowledge that there is something distasteful about a Canadian governmental activity subject to the Charter being delivered in a way that puts into effect a discriminatory decision made by others,” she wrote.

Part of that doesn’t make sense to me. VANOC very clearly operates as a form of subsidiary of the IOC. The contracts that are in place that define it otherwise are little more than a facade. Subsidiaries of multi-national companies operating in Canada are subject to the Charter, and yet the IOC is not. It kind of makes me scratch my head.

Posted by skooter at 3:36 PM This entry is filed under Sports.
Tags: 2010, Olympics, Vancouver Olympics

July 11, 2009

Neko Case, Vogue Theatre, June 3, 2009

Neko's Guitar during stage setup Paul Rigby & Neko Case Paul Rigby, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan

Posted by skooter at 7:06 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Music.
Tags: Neko Case

July 10, 2009

Pages Bookstore is Closing

Pages Bookstore is the best bookstore in Canada, without exception. When I’m in Toronto, it’s always one of my first stops. Just up the road from the chaos of Chapters and the Paramount theatre, it’s a refuge for those of us who read outside the bestseller list.

I can’t believe its closing. I have a feeling the gentrification of Toronto’s Queen Street West is only part of the problem…the other is the decline in the purchase of books, and role of the mass media in narrowing the focus. Oprah’s book club may be great for sales of certain books, but many readers never bother to look beyond those few. This is a true loss, as Pages was one of the most vigorous supporters of independent publishers and first time Canadian novelists.

Pages bookstore to close next month
John Barber and Jennifer MacMillan
Toronto — Globe and Mail Update
Last updated on Thursday, Jul. 09, 2009 08:21PM EDT

One of Toronto’s best-known independent bookstores, Pages Books & Magazines, is shutting its doors for good, citing skyrocketing rents on the strip of Queen Street West where it set up shop 30 years ago.

Posted by skooter at 1:26 AM This entry is filed under Books.
Tags: Books, Toronto

July 8, 2009

Momentum’s Field Guide to Vancouver Cyclists

I’m surprised I haven’t seen the Field Guide to Vancouver Specialists. I suppose I fit more than one category there.

Posted by skooter at 1:56 AM This entry is filed under Cycling, Vancouver.
Tags: Cycling, Vancouver

July 6, 2009

Jeff Tweedy Interviewed in the New York Times

The new Wilco album dropped last week on June 30th, 2009 and I was in quaint little Jacksonville, Oregon for an outdoor show by the band on the same day. A great show, and a spectacular venue.
Meanwhile Jeff Tweedy was interviewed in the New York Times and saved my favourite answer for the last question:

How would you describe your singing voice, in general?
Somewhere between Gordon Lightfoot and a tea kettle. I would not get past the first round of “American Idol.”

The comparison is apt, and I just found my old Yankee Hotel Foxtrot tape in my car and noticed: A-side is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, B-side is Gordon Lightfoot (who I also saw earlier this year for the first, and perhaps last time given his age.)

Posted by skooter at 2:13 AM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Gordon Lightfoot, Jeff Tweedy, Wilco

July 3, 2009

Burrard Bridge Merchant Whine On

In 10 days my town starts a trial that converts part of the Burrard Bridge into dedicated bike lanes. Of course the merchants nearby are whining…still. They need to get over it.

But this is the real solution: go Gregor!

When he was elected, I said I wanted to see a commitment for this. He’s suggesting a referendum which is, frankly, a cop out. Council needs to have the strength and commitment to see this through, regardless of the cost. It’s part of building the Vancouver of the future.

Posted by skooter at 1:41 PM This entry is filed under Cycling, Vancouver.
Tags: Cycling, Gregor Robertson, Vancouver