Random Post: On Taxation


Kingston, You Are Lazy (But So Are We)

"C'mon man, come out to the Grad Club. It'll be an awesome show. I won't even touch you inappropriately, unless you ask for it first."
-- Eric Duncan

We almost didn't make it out for Sylvie, Uncut and Wintersleep. Because, of course, we're lazy and were in a kinda 'eh, show, whatevs' mood. This was a mistake. And we are glad that Indra and Eric conspired to drag our sorry ass to the Grad Club.

But we were saddened that the 15 members of the Sylvie/Uncut/Wintersleep touring party outnumbered the Kingstonites who turned out for the show.

But we were also gladdened that all three bands proceeded to turn it out like the place was packed to the rafters. After Wintersleep's second-last song -- with dual drums, no less -- our hearing was replaced with a dull, throbbing hum. We'll get used to it.

Hell, the defness was worth the deafness.


Another Optimuscrime Travelogue Extravaganza

If y'all know anything about the good editor Optimuscrime, you might know that we are incapable of keeping a simple beat or holding the most basic of tunes.

Unfortunately, we are unable to claim a genetic cause to our lack of musicality; this weekend's trip to Westben to see certain prodigiously gifted relatives (secound cousins, if we've got the geneology right) conclusively disproved any such excuses.

A two-hour drive in the Optiparentomobile (a 1988 Volvo 740 belonging to the folks) landed us in Campbellford, a town whose chief economic enterprise seems to be the manufacture, marketing and sale of quaintness.

Every house along the main drag seemed to ripped out of a page of Better Country Homes photo shoot. We're pretty confident that were we to have presented ourselves at any of these doorsteps, we would have been greeted warmly and offered a tall glass of homemade lemonade. (We did not test this theory.)

While other places might use barns for agricultural crops or dairy operations, Campbellford's barns all seem to be vast repositories of olde tymey junk. Need primative, rusted-out farm tools to hang a cottage sign on? Campbellford's got you covered, homie.

So when some of our kin decided that Campbellford needed opera and musical theatre, consistant with the pattern of commerce throughout the region, they stuck it in a barn. The programme was titled 'Bring 'Em Home: Broadway Homecomings'. We grinned like an idiot throughout; you just can't fail to entertain an Optimuscriminal with show tunes.

Lily's Eyes! Wouldn't It Be Loverly! People Will Say We're in Love!

Three satisfied customers (R-L: Opa Optimuscrime, Optimuscrime Kingston, Optimussister Kate) chill outside the barn.


We Know Jack's Moustache Is A Bit Old-Fashioned, But Quit Calling Us Geriatric, Wouldya?

Praise be to Matt Fletcher, who directed us within mere hours of our post to a host of excellent Kingston bloggers. Among the list was Stephen Taylor's blog, which caught our Orange eye with a provocative dig at the NDP:

"The NDP claims to be the party of youth and thus claims to appeal to voters of my generation... [but] the Conservative Party has a greater number of young MPs than the NDP has MPs of any age in its entire caucus."

Stephen illustrates the old-fart-iness of the NDP with a sepia-toned montage, followed closely by a colour picture of all the young-buck Tory MPs gathered together, with Stevie Harper basking in their reflected youth.

Okay, it's just dipper-baiting, but we're still interested: Is it true? Is the young political class disproportionately Conservative? Data shows that NDP voters are more likely to be young -- but what about candidates? Is the 'party of youth' steered by aging hippies and outdated ideologues?

We're hoping not, and here's our alternative hypothesis: The Tories are young because of safe seats.

Here's our thinking:

1) We suspect that young candidates (under 40 vs. over 40, using Stephen's own dichotomy) are, controlling for other factors, less successful candidates.

2) We also suspect that the Conservative Party of Canada has far more 'safe' seats (i.e. ridings with several terms of Ref./CA/CPC MPs with >20% margins of victory) than do the NDP.

3) We finally suspect that the CPC's has more 'ideological' safe seats (where the seat is safe because of high levels of party support) than 'personality' safe seats (where the seat is saved because of a charismatic and well-liked local politco)

If each of those are true, here's our guess:

1) The NDP and CPC likely field roughly similar percentages of under-40 candidates, but...

2) A young candidate in the CPC is more likely to find themselves in a safe riding, so...

3) Young candidates have a better shot at winning a seat despite their age in the CPC.

We could test this by looking at the slate of candidates offered by the CPC and NDP, the riding history for each riding and the results... but Elections Canada doesn't seem to have any datasets that include the candidate's age, though it's one of the few mandatory questions on the nomination form.

We know that this is a lengthy riposte to what amounts to a fun-but-empty nyan-nyan partisan jab, but it still twigged our interest.

So, how do we get around the lack-o'-data problem? Hey, data librarian, little help?

Oh, and PS: We promise not to greet all our fellow Kingston bloggers with a polisci throwdown. Sorry, we're just nerdy like that.


Ja, ja! Mondscheinfotographien! Awesome! (High-Five)

Tonight was an interesting night for picture-taking. Our first spot was a dark, rather secluded spot on the edge of the water. Perfect for midnight trysts. As we found out, when we disturbed the young lovers making out on the edge of the lake.


We then backed away, embarrased, and took pictures at the end of a street. It was clearly a good spot, as two hyperenthused young German tourists with seriously expensive Digital Rebels came up, high-fived each other, took dozens of pictures in rapid succession, then literally sprinted away.

We were unaware that sprint-photography was a new sport.


Hello, Kingston! Hello.... Kingston?

We realized that our Kingston blogroll is a little on the slim side -- and includes a few great bloggers who have made the mistake of leaving town. (A note to the rest of y'all: DO NOT LEAVE FOR TORONTO. THERE IS NOTHING FOR YOU IN TORONTO. STAY HERE.)

So, homies: Are we forgetting anyone? Is there a Blogiverse in the limestone city, or what? We totally need to have the first Kingston Blogger Meetup (a la Yulblog!) sometime.

Oh, and speaking of Kingston: Taste of Kingston is this weekend. If anyone needs us, we'll be shoving tourists aside and hoarding the $2 tapas from Aquaterra at Confederation Park.