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Progressive Bloggers

I would like to give a quick tip of the hat to Scott (of Scott’s Diatribes) and the others behind the scene who make the blog aggregator – Progressive Bloggers – plug along year after year… And now in its TENTH FREAKING YEAR! 

Older than the Harperite nightmare, it is!

Quite an accomplishment, indeed.

For those of you not in-the-know, PG accepts applications from like-minded progressive bloggers to be included on its site. It is THE collection of blog posts that promote, to one degree or another, the belief that progressive policies and thinking should be the cornerstone of public policy decisions. I’ve been a member of this site for, um, about 6 or 7 of the ten years (I think) and will often click on the PG posts to see what crazy shit is the talk of the day.

Now, the blogs that feed into this site vary pretty widely on the political spectrum from centrist to the far left. And we don’t always agree with one another. But, unlike the vitriol that is often spat from similar regressive conservative sites, we progressives are usually respectful of our differences and civil in our dialogues.

Keep up the great work, Scott! Have a nice celebration today… I believe a chai latte is on the menu, no?


New link

More and more I find myself wandering over to Pushed to the Left and Loving It… so I thought I’d add a link to the site in my sidebar.

Worth a read if you’re a like-minded progressive thinker.


Why was everyone surprised by the storm in Ottawa last night?

@OttawaDaddy pointed this out on Twitter this morning. I too am amazed at how few people used the Environment Canada radar site to see the storms approaching after receiving Twitter warning & retweets!

Check it out. Easy to use, folks.

This is what it showed this morning. The basics are: orange and red – bad. Purple – head for the hills!

Even simpler, just look at the sky. This is what I saw as the storm rolled in.

Sorta gives a clue about what’s coming, eh?

@OttawaDaddy suggests that everyone should follow @ww_ottawa for weather warnings. Have separate Tweetdeck column. and re-tweet warnings… and I couldn’t agree more.




Blog of the week: the-O-dot

I have been getting a laugh-a-minute from this Ottawa-based satirical blog called the the-O-dot News Update. It’s sort of a lower budget version of The Onion – but just as funny and it’s mostly about Bytown!.

Take the post that is on the front page today:

Florida Seniors Stoked For Another Spring Break

“We’ll keep our eye on the Spring Breakers and make sure no one gets hurt or causes problems.” explained County Sheriff Gus Harding. “Last year we had an impaired senior on a Rascal scooter so we’ll be cracking down on the seniors as well as the students.” Harding replied.


But what I really like about this blog is its focus on Ottawa. In fact, Westboro in particular is often a target of the author’s wit.

Check it out:

City Approves Segregated Stroller Lane For Wellington/Westboro

“I think it’s a great idea.” says Wellington Village resident Dave Shindle who suffered a lacerated ankle from a stroller last year. “The strollers will be off the sidewalks and allow us non-baby people to enjoy shopping and getting our lattes without fearing injury or slowdowns trying to get around the slow moving stroller people.

Or this one that quite a few folks took seriously at first before realising that this was really satire:

Westboro To Use Artisan Sea Salt On Icy Roads

Imported from the south of France, the new artisan sea salt will increase road salting costs by 475%, but Hobbs sees the benefits far outweighing the increased costs. “My ward residents are quite happy to pay extra taxes if they can enjoy the benefits of the artisan salt.” Hobbs replied. City Hall passed the motion put forward by Hobbs, and Westboro residents should start seeing the application of the sea salt as early as next week on their neighbourhood roads. Discussions are also underway to have area sidewalks plowed with organic bamboo shovels instead of the regular metal scrapers used by current sidewalk snow removal units.

I know lots of folks from Westboro, and this was, well, more than slightly believable!

The blog also takes the expected shots at OC Transpo, the Feds (though this is a true story and not satire), and other Ottawa institutions… all in good fun.

Whether you are from Ottawa or not, I highly recommend adding The-O-dot to your feed and to your fave lists if you haven’t already done so…



Is the blog really dead?

Warren Kinsella thinks so.

Do you?

Has the blog been surpassed by Twitter and Facebook as the communication tool of choice? Already?

Food for thought.

My take is that blogs will go back to being what they were in the early years (10ish years ago) – very narrowly-focused issue-based discussion forums – rather than rambling prose wandering  across all levels of subject matter and quality.

Blogs are not dead but will undergo quite a transformation in the next few years.

But my crystal ball is in the shop for repairs right now…

And I’m not quite ready to pack in Trashy’s World just yet…


(BWOW) Blog or Website Of the Week…

I’m starting something a little different this week. As in different from opining on the fools on the Hill, pinheads at Queen’s Park, blokes in City Hall or oafs at OC Transpo or (at least some of) the Trustees on Greenbank Road.

Instead, I am going to dedicate my Monday post to a fave blog or website and talk a bit about why I think you should give it a look-see. Like most of you, I tend to drop by the same ol’ places on this InterWeb thingy – and there is a reason for that – I either find the subject matter interesting, they are well-written, or they deal with something that is a little off the beaten trail… or all of the above.

So I’ll give this a go for a few months or more… might be fun.

First up – Bottledj

Steve is a guy in Montreal who loves music, loves wine and sees and describes the interaction between the 4th and 5th loves of his life (his two kids and spousal unit come first, of course). The tag line for his site is Where Wine & Music Get Mixed, Matched And Paired, which is about the best way to describe his work here.

For example, in December he reviewed a Bulgarian wine, Vinprom Yambol Persona Syrah 2008 and quite eloquently describes as follows:

The only taste note that I would add to that found on the bottle is dark chocolate.  I find the finish bitter, but I like bitter so that is more than fine with me.  Compared to a French St. Joseph, this wine has less accent on the fruit and more on the savoury, and compared to popular entry level Aussie Shiraz, this has a very natural and restrained feel.  Good Stuff.

Steve is one Habs fan that knows wine – which is a bit unusual because, as we all know, Hab fans are a tad unsophisticated.

But I digress.

After reviewing the wine,  he matches the wine with a tune – in this case Hungry Like the Wolf, by Duran Duran. Here’s how he describes this rationale for the pairing:

Soft and full bodied describes the best of Duran Duran and their ability to make rock that is enjoyable, accessible, familiar yet distinct.  This song is sung from a misogynist point of view, but Duran Duran keep it interesting for ladies, and I think the wine does the same thing.  This would be the perfect house red in most casual restaurants, and I am sucker for 80′s rock while I dine.

Give Bottledj a visit – it’s a good read for wine and music fans alike – you’ll thank me.


BOLO – tonight!

If you’re in Bytown and haven’t anything better to do this evening, c’mon out to Blog Out Loud Ottawa (BOLO) at Irene’s Pub on Bank Street!

Lots of your fave Ottawa bloggers will be reading their fave posts. There will be laughs, tears and, most importantly, beer!

I won’t be reading… I’m kinda shy, ya know… but I’ll be there!


My first post in my new digs

I pondered, considered, weighed the options, consulted the seer.

Thrown the bones. Sacrificed the chicken.

Man, I have done everything short of hiring a friend through the psychic network.

But I haven’t been able to come up with a signature post for my brand spankin’ newish 21st century economic-Shitstorm blogthing.

Then it came to me:


And Happy 18th to my nephew Ben! He can now drink, while casting a vote and signing up for the army – if he lives in Quebec! Woo-hoo!



Help needed to choose new theme

I am usually a very decisive guy but am having a really hard time choosing a new theme for this blog.

I am currently considering either Wasteland or Pixeled – and would love some thoughts on these or other themes. The only hard parameters I hold to are that it has to have a customizable header and three columns.

Help please?