Tag Archives: Canada

Embracing my Inner Curmudgeon

One line of demarcation between youth and adulthood, I’ve decided, is whether or not you give a shit about the Billboard Top 40 — and I don’t.

Some time in the past few years — and I can’t recall exactly when — I crossed this line. Now that I know I have passed it, I’ve determined that I am far, far beyond it.

I cannot name a single song on that list. I’m strangely proud of that.

O.K., that’s a lie — I can. Only because Rahm Emanuel was videotaped thrusting his pelvis to some song performed by Alan Thicke’s son. An intern had to tell me why it was funny, aside from the awkward pelvis thrusting.

I listened to it and — surprise! — the song sucks. Canadians aren’t known for their music, and you should trust that anything by somebody other than Elton John who named their son “Rocket Man” (really) also sucks. Imagine if those two forces combined, and you get “Blurred Lines.”

My musical tastes are as dead as Amy Winehouse. I was reminded of this by who else but Amy Winehouse herself. Among some old CD’s I popped in my trendy new six disc changer in my brand newish car was a CD I made for a road trip I took in 2007. “They tried to make you go to rehab, Amy” I thought. Alas, she’s dead, so I suppose those people were right.

The next song on the CD by some no-name artist made me realize that I haven’t listened to popular music in years. To and from work, I alternate between WTOP news, WNEW All News 99.1, and WCSP-FM, which is C-Span’s radio station. In addition to avoiding traffic pitfalls in one of the country’s most congested cities, the former hill staffer and current journo in me finds it hard to enjoy much else.

Since four of my six radio presets are news stations, I should make an official declaration: I am either a curmudgeon or a Beltway insider. Possibly both.

I have become like my childhood dentist, who subjects you to NPR in his torture chair. Sitting there drugged and helpless, Mara Liasson murders your eardrums all while you’re getting stainless steel pick axes jammed into your gums.

No wonder everyone’s afraid of the dentist. NPR is downright scary.

(Memo to self: If Gitmo absolutely must be closed, can we subject prisoners to a strict dentist/NPR regimen? Email John Yoo about that.)

All of the news on our car rides irks Mary, and I can empathize even though I’m not making her listen to talk radio. After a while, she’ll complain and we’ll listen to Big 100.3, which plays oldies rock songs. That’s about it so far as music on the radio goes, and I’m O.K. with that.

Recently, when planning what music will be played out our fast approaching wedding, there wasn’t even any debate to leave the “Top 40” box unchecked.

As a youth, I never was all that into popular music, other than what was socially required. Now that I’m engaged and nearing 30, I spend less (read: no) time at trendy clubs. Thus, I have no incentive to know or care.

While this is all well and nice, I realize that this respite is likely temporary. At some point I’ll probably have rugrats running around. And before I know it, my inner Tipper Gore will jump to life and convert me into a one-man Parents Music Resource Center, blindly meting out justice.

Until then, I’ll enjoy the news. bsig


Bomblecast #17 — Canadian Bacon

Friends: This week, join me & Andrew Heaton on the Bomblecast to discuss Canada, economic freedom, and advances in technology.

This is Rich…

Jee whiz! One might think Chuck Schumer sounds much like a Republican. Despite calling for tariffs on numerous occasions in the past, Schumer is right in this instance that tariffs are bad policy. However, we have put tariffs on Canadian products — like timber. The U.S., Schumer in particular, needs to look in the mirror.

Maybe Chuck Schumer should work at eliminating taxes that hurt New York wineries here in the U.S. —  where he has a powerful vote on the Finance Committee. He has the power to repeal/reduce the taxes he’s voted for in the past few years that, no doubt, hurt wineries just the same as Canadian tariffs do.

Canada has no incentive to listen to Schumer, especially since the U.S. has pursued protectionist policies — including most recently a ban on Canadian companies bidding on certain federal infrastructure projects in the United States.

If Schumer really wants to help Canadian wineries, he’ll drop the protectionist two-step racket and favor free markets. That is the best way to get Canada to drop its tariffs. 

How to do Marketing Right

See this room? Entice interested parties to a launch party at the Canadian Embassy celebrating a Canadian airline announcing DC service with free food and drinks, and potential prizes.

Announce two winners of round trip airfare for two + hotel + dinner, and then…..

Then tell everyone they’ve won a free round trip anywhere the airline flies.

Porter Airlines is a Canadian airline that seems like a hybrid of Southwest and Emirates fused with Canadian hospitality. With their ethos of flying refined, Porter offers airport lounges for all that rival the Lufthansa Senators Club, a 2×2 layout in sleek Bombardier planes, and best of all: complimentary wine and beer.

Mary, my girlfriend, allowed me to tag along to this event — and it looks like it will result in a vacation to Canada later this year. U.S. based airlines should take note of this business model. I know Alaska Airlines offers free beer on its flights, but not many others offer it. Nor do they usually offer the other amenities Porter does to all.

Porter airlines earns a kudos from this marketing major for, frankly, impressing the whole damn room. And judging by that picture, that’s a lot of people.

The party had excellent food, and best of all, some Canadian beer brands I haven’t tried — and of course, Labatt.

Friday Funday Links

Happy campers

Happy Campers

NBC DC: Casino Proposed for National Harbor

BigGovt: Sherrod Brown Is a Serial Tax Delinquent

Fox: Feds arrest man heading to U.S. Capitol for suicide mission

Yahoo: DC man’s ‘NO TAGS’ vanity plate earns him $20,000 in tickets

AZ Daily Star: Az set to elect first new U.S. Senator in 18 years

ESPN: McShay: Browns have to trade up for RG3

Miami Herald: Miami Heat’s LeBron James won’t rule out eventual return to Cleveland

Too late, but still awesome: West Wing Valentines

Lounge 201: Awesome New Menu

WTAM: Romney comes to Cleveland, tells funny story about a trip he took to Elyria

Reason: Target Knows Your Daughter Is Knocked Up: More Upsides to Zero Privacy

NYTimes: How companies learn your secrets

Hayek: Revealing Hidden Information

Santorum’s Manufacturing Plan, well, sucks

Pleated Jeans: Basement Basketball (I am so guilty of this, and mini stick hockey)

Gallup: Americans love Canada

SavannahNow: Zombie horde attacks Fort Pulaski as key scene is shot for film

STLToday: Billikens do their part, so where are the people?

Centives: How much would it cost to build the Death Star?

NYTimes: The Buffett Tax Rule Is Really More of a Guideline

News of the Weird: ESPN: ‘Piggyback bandit’ banned in five states

Coloradan: A precinct built for two in Larimer County

AP: School-zone sign with 6 separate times irks driver

ExJon: Remember when Tucson Democrats called for “civility?”

AZDC: Hola, yo soy Newt Gingrich

WSJ: Google’s iPhone tracking

Amazing Super Bowl Ad That Ran in Canada

Extremely well done, A-B. You know those Canucks love stuff like this.