Congratulations, Halifax

You made a lot of money last night. I lost count of the number of tickets given to ordinary residents for parking near their homes. I lost count of the number of slips of paper I saw during my walk in this morning. I will extrapolate from Woodill Street, however, and assume six cars ticketed per road segment at $25 per ticket and let’s guess conservatively at 1000 Woodill-sized street segments equates to $150,000. Bravo. I really appreciate you using near-downtown residents as a cash till on a night when no snow clearance was occuring or pending. Merry fucking Christmas and a Shitty New Year.

I say this as someone who didn’t get a ticket, as I’ve found a home for my car. Bra-fucking-vo.

Oh, and Andrew Younger and Marilla Stevenson? Shut the fuck up. Stay in your acre-lot subdivisions, you stupid goddam pieces of shit. We apparantly have no room for you on our crowded streets. Mr. Mayor? Thanks for reading my letter. Also, thanks for giving me somewhere to go during my lunch hour.

Bush, Laura Bush

What did Laura see in George?

My guess is intellectual depth, for it appears that Laura Bush is every bit the idiot that her husband is. That can be the only conclusion drawn from her reading of the Iraqi shoe-throwing incident:

It was an assault. And that’s what it is.

Actually Laura, it was one of the gravest curses that can be cast upon a person in Islam, given in a situation guarenteed to produce not only the insulter’s arrest but likely his subsequent torture as well. If you want to go with “assault” you can, but it just goes to show how little you know about the world outside Crawford and just how damaging such ignorance can be.

business, entertainment, general silliness

It’s Better Than Bad, It’s Good!

To follow my compatriot Dan’s lead, I’ll also wish everyone a happy holidays, and provide some last minute gift ideas in the form of a brief buyer’s guide to DVD yule logs.


All the best to everyone, readers and fellow ‘Koggers alike in the new year. Now go get drunk off your asses.


Winterban woes

In the interest of bringing Halifax kicking and screaming into the age of the horseless buggy, I am sending the following open letter to Mayor Peter Kelly, affected city councillors, and the head traffic czar, Ken Reashor. Here’s hoping they consider my plea. I’ve gone without a car for so many years because of this city’s stubborn refusal to consider alternatives to an all-out parking ban. Now that I have a car, I’m losing sleep wondering where to put the damn thing. The satirist in me wants to call for an all-day parking ban, too, just to make life impossible for the suburbanites who’ve gleefully park on my street (gratis) from 7:30-5:30. However, the letter below is more likely to get results. Although, given the lack of brains at city hall, who knows.

Mayor Peter Kelly
Council Members
Traffic Authority Manager Ken Reashor

Mr. Mayor, Council Members, and Mr. Reashor,

I am writing this open letter as a resident of a residential street in district 12. My flat is in a quiet neighborhood street which sees little through traffic. Many of the houses in this area do not have ample off-street parking for residents. Closing the streets to overnight parking during the winter causes an unnecessary and unfair stress to the families living in this and similar neighborhoods.

I ask, on behalf of all residents, that you consider a change to your current parking ban: allow alternate side parking on residential streets. This parking scheme is used in many different cities around the world with similar housing set-ups and that also receive large amounts of snow in the winter. Some of those cities include New York City, Iowa City, and Stockholm. There are many other cities worldwide not listed that use a variation of this idea.

The parking scheme is quite simple: On specific nights, parking is permitted on one side of the street but not the other. The parkable side alternates according to a fixed schedule, allowing snow removal to proceed on the opposite side of the street. Cars parked on the wrong side will be ticketed or towed if they impede snow removal. Streets designated as traffic arteries continue to remain car-free every night. Stockholm uses a schedule whereby on odd-numbered nights, cars are allowed on the side of the street with odd-numbered houses. On even-numbered nights, cars are allowed on the even-numbered side of the street. Such scheduling allows each side of the street to be cleared every other night.

Changing the overnight parking rule does not require the manufacture of complicated parking signs. No signs are produced now to enforce or inform residents of the winter parking ban. Residents were expected to hear about the December 15th, 2008 decree through news stories, by checking the HRM website, or through word-of-mouth. Similar methods could be used to make residents aware of new parking changes. Residents will become familiar with new rules quickly if they receive information and receive warnings or a small ticket when parked on the wrong side of the street.

Alternative parking would not need to apply to all parts of HRM. Most of the suburban area has ample off-street parking for residents. The residents most inconvenienced and unfairly penalized by the overnight parking ban live in districts 5, 11, 12, 13, and 14.

Thank you for considering this request,

Brian Altheim

culture, economics, Things We Should Know, Uncategorized

Money Well Spent?

Your Cousin and Fan kindly pointed this out to me a while ago, and I thought I should share before the end of what has turned out to be a magnificently horrible year for the global economy. Check out the picture below.

The new headquarters for an international cabal of supervillains? The set of the next James Bond extravaganza? Nope – the ceiling of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva:


That’s what $23 million in “art” looks like, my friends. I leave you with a quote from MSNBC, while simultaneously leaving those of us with a social conscience wondering just where the hell the UN’s priorities are:

The Spanish Foreign Ministry says the government is funding 40 percent of the costs, with the rest footed by private-sector donors. Of the public money, 500,000 euros ($633,000) comes from a budget for overseas development aid and international organizations like the United Nations.

Spain’s conservative opposition Popular Party complained that this means money was diverted from projects to alleviate poverty and boost health care in poorer countries, but the ministry insists the funding for Barcelo’s work was separate.

The dispute reached Parliament last week, with Popular Party lawmaker Gonzalo Robles asking “how many thousands of children could have been looked after” with the money spent on the artwork. The ruling Socialists accused him of twisting the facts.


Projectile marketing…

Bloomberg reports that the maker of the Turkish shoe lobbed at George Bush has in one week received four times the annual number of orders for the Model 271 shoe in one week.

Perhaps there is an answer to the American auto manufacturers’ woes in a traffic accident?