Tributes Pour In For Carter

Heard Tommy Hutton and Johnny Bench eulogize Garty Carter at his funeral.


Here's the video of the Canadiens honoring him.

The Expos civilization is shaken up. Warren Cromartie barely could contain himself on the radio.

The Monkees Lose A Member

Davey Jones dead at 66.

100 Years Of Oreo

The Oreo cookie is 100 years old.

Oreo is epic. Oreo is legend. Oreo is...

"...So how did the Oreo get its name? The people at Nabisco aren't quite sure. Some believe that the cookie's name was taken from the French word for gold, "or" (the main color on early Oreo packages). Others claim the name stemmed from the shape of a hill-shaped test version; thus naming the cookie in Greek for mountain, "oreo." Still others believe the name is a combination of taking the "re" from "cream" and placing it between the two "o"s in "chocolate" - making "o-re-o." And still others believe that the cookie was named Oreo because it was short and easy to pronounce.
No matter how it got named, over 362 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since it was first introduced in 1912, making it the best selling cookie of the 20th century."

I tell you what. Nothing goes down like an Oreo. Even the design is unique.

Now I have crumbs all over my keyboard.

Desperately Seeking Socialism

Your government is only as strong or weak as the people who govern it. This sentiment goes as far back as Socrates. It's inconsequential if they be, these days, liberal or conservative. What's relevant is whether they are people of character and strong inner-morals.

I know this may surprise you, but I do consider the act of commiting to public service to be  noble - minus the corrupt fools of course.

Here's another secret. In principle, it's hard to argue too much against socialist ideas and ideals when pondering political and social constructs. Unfortunately for socialist thought, its application has yet to be properly utilized. Socialism without coercion. That should be the aim.

Until then, I'm not interested in the big government NDP-type of "progressive" socialism.


Funny Blogs

Mind over Memphis.

Always been a fan. Funny stuff.

Fight The Tax!

Tax resistant movements.

Extremists. All of them.

The analysis and history of tax, I think, is one of the least explored aspects of our civilization.

Canada had two: One in 1981 in Ottawa and another in 1994. There was one by small business owners in Montreal back in the 1990s when Mayor Jean Dore proposed a Poll tax.


Believe it or not, a lot of my knowledge about countries and cities came from being a sports fan. I tended to read up on the history of a particular town or team. Following Serie A soccer is how I got acquainted with Italian cities which led me to investigate the country over the years.

Anyway, Cremona, home of Stradivari, also had a tax revolt:

"...Under Henry IV, Cremona refused to pay the oppressive taxes requested by the Empire and the bishop. According to a legend, the great gonfaloniere (mayor) Giovanni Baldesio of Cremona faced the emperor himself in a duel. As Henry was knocked from his horse, the city was saved the annual payment of the 3 kg. golden ball, which, for that year, was instead given to Berta, Giovanni's girlfriend, as her dowry...."

Quebec's Weak Labour Record

Quebec has a terrible labour force.

"...That is, Quebec does not have the right economic environment for individuals and businesses to succeed...."

Really? I hadn't noticed.

"...The authors found that, on average, the creation of 100 public sector jobs may have eliminated about 150 private sector jobs and increased the number of unemployed workers by about 33..."

"...Quebec has one of the largest public sectors in all of Canada and the United States; it constituted almost one-fifth of total employment in the province on average between 2003 and 2007..."

"...The province’s public sector was nearly 30% larger than that in Alberta, which had the lowest public employment ratio in Canada during the same period..."

As the aforementioned Western province subsidizes us through equalization payments.

"...Additionally, Quebec has the highest rate of unionization in all of Canada and the United States. At 40.2%, Quebec’s average unionization rate from 2003 to 2007 is more than 10 times greater than the rate in North Carolina (3.9%), the North American jurisdiction with the lowest rate of unionization, and substantially higher than the rate in Alberta (24.0%), where the rate of unionization is lowest among the Canadian provinces. High unionization is particularly harmful to labour markets, as research shows that unions tend to reduce employment growth, profitability, and investment..."

Population of North Carolina: 9.6 million. Quebec: 7.9. Just saying.

"...In fact, Quebec maintains some of the most pro-union labour relations laws in North America..."

Quebec is anti-business. Pure and simple. The power of the unions here is psycho-scary unhealthy.

"...If the Quebec government is serious about making a transition from one of the worst performing labour markets to one of the best, a good first step would be to reduce its intervention in the labour market. Reducing public sector employment, bringing balance to the province’s labour relations laws, and freezing, or even eliminating, the minimum wage would be a good place to start..."

Not gonna happen. The government just concluded a ridiculous deal with unionized daycare workers. Quebec is way too suspicious of private enterprise and too hooked on unions to even consider such options.

Another problem with Quebec can be found in its moto: Je me souviens. I remember. That's the problem. Its long and selective memory holds it back. A simple piece of advice we have in life is to not hold on to things for too long. Why should it be any different with the government?

Italy And The Jews Timeline

Interesting timeline.

Long and complex.

This caught my eye:

1397-  Jewish moneylenders are encouraged to settle in Florence

Just two years later:

1399 Anti-Jewish measures in Italy lead to establishment of Italian Jewish synods to ensure centralized leadership of community; synods are convened throughout 15th and 16th centuries to solve special problems.


Over Rating History

Claiming historical figures as "over rated" is silly.

Silly because you know defenders will hit back twice as hard. Leaving us going in circles.

Funny. I picked the BBC History Magazine up at a book store and read the article mentioned in the link.

I was left unconvinced on a couple of people.

I guess Mary Queen of Scots, Malcolm X and Oscar Wilde (the blurb pasted, for example, Wilde's The Soul of Man Under Socialism without explanation. I was curious as to why it was "ridiculous?" Did Wilde's decision to be an anarchist offend people? etc.) may get more attention than they deserve, but I don't see a fair argument against Napoleon (military gaffes notwithstanding) and Darwin (sloppiness notwithstanding).

The whole exercise seemed superficial to me.

The latest guy to get hyped up? Steve Jobs. Saw four books on him today.

Confessions Of The Commentator

Politically, I don't support any party. Philosophically, I incorporate many ideas. I think socialists and libertarians alike offer thoughts worth exploring. I may lean one way but it won't prevent me from reading about the other.

It's a never-ending journey.

I never read anybody and said, "that's it!" I'm committed to this! I've read Plato, Bentham, Mill, Spinoza, Jefferson and so on. Actually, I'm pretty sure the average person who argues on TV or the internet hasn't read most of the major works by great thinkers. I have but I'm far from being an expert. My goal is to merely be aware of most of them. To get a sense of where we've been and where we may be headed.

All provide insights into the human experience. Picking one over the other is almost a pointless exercise. I just read and digest and then...whatever.

Sure, some philosophers intrigue me more than others but as a whole, my reading and experiences with history demand that no idea or political movement is "right or wrong" or "evil or good."

Each movement exists or existed because at some point in time people reacted to whatever direction the moving zeitgeist target was moving. For example, reformists during the Industrial Revolution aimed to soften the blow of the industrial age by adjusting our standards and civility in society accordingly.

If man thought of socialism or anarchism or conservatism or liberalism to help make sense of things, then it has merit. There's nothing wrong with Marx or Smith. Each were the latest stage in "information collection" for us as a species.

No one owns empirical evidence to prove theirs is the better philosophy.

Bill C-30

Harper's conservatives speak of "freedom" but they have no problem taking it away when it comes to "national security."

Vic Toews. Not a fan.

Bill C-30 is a travesty of a bill.

Failing Academics

Academically Adrift.

Of Vice And Virtue

"Virtue is honorable but difficult, vice is easy and profitable." Hesiod. Somewhere in Ancient Greece.

As you can see, this narrative - so evident today - has been around for a long time.


Anti-Obama Literature

Anti-Obama books sell.

So do many "anti-something" books. What's the point? What if some of these books have valid points to make?

Anyway,  we don't see too many anti-Obama movies.

The Intention Is What Matters

(Modern) Liberal orthodoxy is defined by the intentions to solve a social problem or ill; the result of actions demanding government intervention is not necessarily consequential so long as the attempt is made. Ostensibly, it all looks functional.


Institution Of Marriage Originated And Operates Outside The State

The Whitherspoon Institute on the institution of marriage.

Non-State And State Societies

Non-state and state societies.

"...A true state is distinguished from nonstate societies by the presence of political leaders who maintain a socially approved monopoly on the legal use of legitimate force. In contrast to the situation in bands, tribes, and chiefdoms, individuals in state societies are not permitted personal recourse to force to setde arguments or disputes. Only the government has the legal use of force at its disposal."

We owned, bitch.

Speaking Of Quantifying The Unquantifiable

When it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol, the police have ways to measure if you've been drinking. Some ways are to observe you as you drive and pulling you over while another is to set up traps - both possibly leading to a breathalyzer test.

If you go over the (arbitrary) limit - arbitrary because there is no magical number that befits us all. Some take alcohol better than others. Reminds me of the episode on WKRP when Dr. Johnnny Fever's reflexes improved with each passing drink during an exercise with a police officer attempting to prove a person's time reaction is reduced as they drink more - then you're screwed. You get a ticket, lose points, get your car impounded and may even face jail time.

Drinking and driving is a problematic social problem and this is one way the police try and contain it. Unfortunately, while law enforcement may have a 'zero tolerance' leaning towards the problem, it's a different case with the courts. It seems like too many repeat offenders are let off too easily.

There is no war on alcohol. There was once upon a time and look at how that turned out.

But there is a war on drugs; including marijuana. The courts are hard on that; especially in the States.

Confession. Cover your eyes and ears. I've been in a car where the operator of a vehicle was stoned. Meh. We were young. Never once did I feel in danger as my friend didn't seem to forget the rules of the road. He did all the stops, red lights and generally kept impeccable courteous road etiquette.

Not saying people should do it nor am I suggesting this anecdotal story is the norm, just stating my experience.

Unlike alchohol though, even if there was enough to pull him over, there is no "marijuana trap." Cops are not equipped to "quantify" drug intake. All they can do, I think, is look at you in the eyes and determine if you've been passing a doob. They know most of the time the truth but can't really act on it unless they find some on you.

Good luck with that.

The truth is more often than not, people are likely to get away with driving under some form of influence since there aren't enough cops on the road. In fact, cops may be more lenient on marijuana use than we think. In Canada anyway they seem to be.

Not sure how to tie all this up...so I'm going to stop...here.

Jam Adverstising

"With a name like Smucker's it has to be good."


What about Shmuckers?

'Greater Good' Myth

Jus like teams don't get to lower an athlete's salary after they have a bad season - or two, or three, government won't ever repeal a bad policy.

Hey, I don't have much to say against this. All I know is I'm witnessing it in the flesh on how mythical  the concept of the 'greater good' is in subsidized daycare. What an illogical mess. A racket really.

If a libertarian is seen as an 'extremist' how is government take over of so many parts of our existence not 'extreme' either? It's hilarious to listen to people talk as if Ron Paul as an 'extremist.' Who controls the 'center' anyway? Oh, I know. NOBODY!

Spare me the 'majority rules, tyranny of the majority' garbage in modern democratic states. I've never been in the majority in anything ever voted on in my entire life.

Generally And Specifically Speaking

Who has an advantage in this world: The Generalist or the Specialist?

Is there a better way to structure this question?


You know what I just realized?

I hate blogging.

Typical I would engage in something I dont like. The entire world exists to present with options I don't even like.

Don't Get Sick On A Sunday Morning In Quebec

For the first time in my life I felt sick enough to go out and venture off into Quebec's over stretched and Byzantine universal health care system last week.  Reluctantly, I headed out knowing full well I wasn't properly packed with provisions to endure the long journey into the abyss.

Normally, I just make an appointment with my family doctor - I'm one of the lucky ones because millions of Canadians don't even have that! -  but it was Sunday and he wasn't working. This is where my brief adventure began.

Long story short, the local clinic told me they were closed as they were dealing with over crowded conditions. They gave me a piece of paper with other places to go but was told to not hold my breath.

After driving and calling around, 17 clinics were either closed or not taking patients. The private hospital we use was also closed but that makes some sense.

My only option was to go wait and piss away 10 hours of my life in one of our very old hospitals. I'd rather let the virus run its course thank you very much.

I did the next best thing and went to a pharmacist. I always supported allowing pharmacists to diagnose patients. We need all the help we can get. Of course, this being Quebec, the Canadian health care system is rigid beyond logic and reason.

I explained my symptoms and the pharmacist offered some advice and some special cough drops.

End of pointless journey.


Canadians boast about the universal health care system to the point of neglecting the reality that it's expensive, inefficient and nearly impossible to access in a timley manner.

In Quebec, you can be turned away from basic health services by the nature of how things are structured.


Moreover, Canada is among the world leaders in public health spending as a percentage of GDP. Yet, it lacks the proper modern equipment like MRI's. I always hear this and that organization trying to raise money for a new machine. Which begs the question, where in the world is all the money going?

All Personal Rights Abandoned

I'm telling you, it's a matter of time before the "right" to organic food byway of subsidized groceries is presented.

It's Illogical

Watching the Milan-Juventus clash of the titans match. Milan just scored a goal that wasn't granted. Clearly, on replay, the ball crossed the line but not according to the line judge and referee.
It's a tired old debate with soccer. I don't understand sports that don't embrace technology to help them make the right call. We're not talking about subjective calls here, we're talking about taking a second to consult a lousy camera or even using a chip in the ball to make the FRICKEN RIGHT CALL.

Reminds me of the last important incident back at the World Cup in 2010 when England scored against Germany but was missed.

For me, sports that refuse to consult technology on the most basic of calls are in denial and delusional. There's no excuse for it.

The NFL of course, like usual, get it right. The struck the right balance between the human element and technology.

For their part, the NHL so-so but it can do more. MLB can use a hand. The NBA doesn't really need it.


About The Math

There's a lot of talk about taxing the rich more down south. But half of all Americans don't even pay any.

How does one reckon taxing those with more money, who are few to begin with, will have any significant impact on cutting the deficit with such a large part of the population not even paying anything? Methinks this is a diversion tactic. The spending probably has nothing to do with it. Nah.

Sure. Tax the rich more. However, for crumbs sake, it ain't gonna do much if you don't tax everyone!

Right? No? Maybe?

About Iran

Let's briefly look at who has nuclear weapons. On the list, two countries are looked upon as enemies, if not suspicion, among Western allies and the United States in particular.
Those two  being Pakistan and North Korea - so they say. 

Nonetheless, despite India and Pakistan being armed to the teeth, neither has pressed the button. North Korea too, for all its depraved impotence, hasn't launched against South Korea.

The world remains.

If North Korea is a loose cannon with nukes and still didn't use it, are we to suppose Iran is filled with bigger nutcases in government? That's how it's being described. We're told Iran must be attacked because they're out to build the bomb to presumably use on Israel or American interests in the region - or maybe just to spite everyone in one gigantic explosion.

Seems to me the Americans should pour every ounce of energy in ensuring materials used to potentially build a bomb that could fit into a suitcase doesn't get into the wrong hands. That is, Spoilers or nuttos with their own free agent agendas.


Things You'll Never Hear

Things you'll never hear in Quebec:

"We came under budget."


Just a casual look at how business is done in North America should reveal how Quebec sticks out like a sore thumb.


Of Catchers And Batting Average

Nice, long piece on Carter by Posnanski. One of the better sports writers out there. However, I do wonder about this:

"...But for some reason, it always seemed to me, Carter was never quite as big a star as he should have been. The Montreal teams he played on seemed to underachieve annually — he took blame for that. His clean-cut image and personality did not quite fit in with those wild New York Mets teams — he took blame for that, too. He played years past his prime — and for four different teams in his last four years — which probably led people to lose sight of his greatness. His relatively low batting averages (Carter never hit .300 for a full season) played a role, too..."

This struck me because historically, catchers are not known to hit consistently over .300. In fact, hitting .300 is an exception. So, relatively, he's in the norm.

Consider his long-playing contemporaries:

The highly regarded Carlton Fisk never hit .300 and his career average is only a couple of points higher than Carter. Bob Boone? Nope. Lance Parrish, Jody Davis, Rick Dempsey, Ernie Whitt, Jim Sundberg, Mike Scioscia? Nope. Tony Pena? Once he hit .301 but had a lower career average to Carter. Terry Kennedy never hit .300 but had a higher average and he's not in the Hall.

For the fun of it, what about the icons?

Roy Campanella and Yogi Berra were superior career sluggers and hit .300 a few times between them. Mickey Cochrane (sometimes cited as the greatest catcher ever) was .300 hitting beast but he did play in the live-ball era. Gabby Hartnett and Bill Dickey too. Each of whom had better career averages than another catcher widely considered the best ever: Johnny Bench who never hit .300 in a season. Well, he did in 52 games. Thurman Munson too hit for higher average before his life was cut short.

In recent times, the best hitting catchers I've seen are Ivan Rodriquez, Mike Piazza and Joe Mauer. All slugging their way to multiple .300 seasons - much like Campanella and Berra did. Time will tell if Mauer can keep up.

Food for thought.


Students On Strike

Post-secondary education is not a right.

Trust me, from what I saw, most students in University shouldn't even be there.

More On Carter

Voices were cracking left, right and center on the radio this past week in the aftermath of Carter's death. On TSN 990 Montreal, former Expo Warren Cromartie was distraught saying "I'm sad" as he broke down crying. The silence on the air was deafening. As you can tell, I remain a fan of the Expos. Carter's impact on sports fans (especially over 40) in the city of Montreal was huge. The reaction from people who witnessed the Glory Years has been the same. "Gary Carter died?" The guy with the perpetual smile. Him who possessed classy politeness? He who was the face of Montreal sports in the 1980s?

New York Pays Carter Tribute

The Empire State Building was decked in orange and blue (the colours of the Mets) in honor of Carter. New Yorkers adored him as well.

Remembering Carter

The Montreal Canadiens always stood by the Montreal Expos. Prior to tonight's match against the New Jersey Devils, the organization paid tribute to Gary Carter.

A Piece Of Chip Flew In My Eye

I don't know how (or why) but as I bit into a sour cream and onion chip, a chip particle hurled itself into my eye. I covered my eye with one hand yelling "Ow, my eye! It burns!" while continuing to eat a chip with the other.

Who Says Advertising Doesn't Work?

A while back I was in the process of selecting among many different types of soap. One of the brands up for my dollars was Old Spice. With its "Smell better than yourself" line, I figured why not? The hygiene-humor fusion is a winner for me. Plus it was on special.

I bought a Hand+Body 2 in 1 soap mostly because of what was written on the back of the bottle:

Cleans hair, cleans body, then wails on its specs.

Does its job, then drives away in a sports car.

Forces your body to smell great, even when it doesn't want to.

How could you not buy it after reading that?

Phrases I Hate

"We deserved better."

I may have ranted about this in the past but it still irritates me.

It's a little along the lines of blaming a predecessor for a current situation. Forsample, four years on, President Obama is still attacking a previous administration. At the State of the Union no less!

At some point, in general in any walk of life, one stops accepting such a premise and directs their attention to the person setting up the strawman in order to protect themselves.

Yes, it does happen where a CEO or General Manager takes over a corporation or team in distress and turmoil. They may or may not come in with a plan to fix it. If they fail to do so, fans won't accept the "blame the previous guy" line. You took over, now you fix it.

And so it is with Obama. Nobody forced him to run for Pres. He knew full well the challenges that were before him. Quit whining.

I digress.

"We deserve better" or "we deserved a better fate" is prominent in sports; especially soccer.

Think Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Sabres, Sacramento Kings (and others) fans feel ripped off?

Try soccer. Every second game is one where a coach or player concludes they felt a better result. No kidding. Everyone feels they deserve better.

You don't deserve squat. You earn victory. You earn it by executing and being more ruthless than your opponent. I know, we're trying to erase the latter part of the equation since it's not "right." Personally, it'll only make us weaker for when the robot aliens come and invade.

I always take stats like "ball possession" and "shots on goal" with a grain of salt. Such metrics are clues as to how your game plan is evolving. They're comforting in losses, hence "we deserved better" and used as examples of "superiour" qualities in victory.

The bottom line is the one who crosses the goal line, scores the most goals and sinks the most field goals WINS. You don't win points for form.

For The Love Of...

Listen, there's no question there's a double standard in sports journalism where black commentators get away with insensitive and racist comments. Here in Quebec, French language sports guys too get awaywith crap their English counterparts would never get away with.

Jason Whitlock is a douche. Asstards like him would be the first to scream "racism" if anyone dared spoke of African-Americans the way Jeremy Lin has been treated - with lame, loser Asian references.

He's not the only one. Plenty of sports writers in both the USA and Canada leave me wondering how they get even close to a pen.

There I said it for you all.


The Real McCoy

Spotlight on inventor Elijah McCoy.

McCoy, on a side note, represents a continuous challenge in countries claiming figures. McCoy was born in Ontario to an American family and returned to the USA when he was a child. He patented inventions in several countries. So. Does place of birth trump all? If so, then, Canada can't claim Alexander Graham Bell who was born in Scotland. Our claims to him is based on him living and inventing the phone here - something the Americans dispute. Naismith was born in Ontario but invented basketball in Massachusetts.

France and Italy are two countries that have a few notable figures in common. For example, the Bugatti's, Lully brothers, Jean Alessi, Michel Platini (and a quite a few others) and of course, Napoleon Bonaparte. Each possessing an Italian heritage somewhere along their family ancestry.

Murphy On Trudeau

Personally, I can't digest Trudeau all that well. Quite frankly, he's...aw, I'll let Rex Murphy take it from here.

It was vain, nonsensical, fear-mongering. Pure and simple.


Nice story. Not.

A big 'Italian salute' (middle finger salute) to the Daily Kos and Planned Parenthood for their infantile stupidity and for making me read and comment how silly you are.

Doing Good Work

When I had money to spare, I gave to The War Amps.

"The War Amps does not use, and never has used, professional fundraisers. We are dedicated to employing amputees and other disabled individuals who put their skills to work for the Association.
The War Amps is often approached by individuals who wish to raise funds on our behalf. Our mandate is clear. We raise our funds strictly through the Key Tag and Address Label Service. As such, we cannot become directly involved in fundraising efforts carried out by others. We do, however, appreciate all donations that come to us as the result of the efforts of individuals and groups."

Spotlight On K-Tel

K-Tel is a classic Canadian record company still kicking around.

This Post Has No Title Again

Now I'm just getting lazy with my titles.

Crazy shit from Quebec's Dominc Lacasse.

This Post Has No Title

No, the events of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin hasn't slid past me. Sports leagues love stories like this. The NFL just came off Tebow mania and now the NBA - which was screaming for a special player to emerge - has their own Tebow in Jeremy Lin. Mind you, there is a difference between the two. Tebow was a College football legend and Heisman Trophy winner. Lin for his part wasn't even drafted and came out of nowhere. I don't know if either one will have lasting careers but they're fun to watch unfold.

Oh. In case you hadn't noticed, Lin is Asian; Taiwanese to be exact. You do the marketing math.


Whitney Houston is on record saying she abused cocaine but not crack. Either way, I don't own any of her records despite her awesome voice. As usual, we have to tread a careful line when it comes to mourning people we don't know, but New Jersey governor Chris Christie took it a notch higher when he ordered flags fly at half-staff for her.


Fall Of Western Civilization Reason #347583721128

All bundled into one! Three stories that confirm we're in a Dark Age:

Not even Edith Piaf is spared.

From CTV news: "...One of the world's most beloved songstresses will have one of her pieces censored at a Quebec primary school because of its reference to God."

*Face palm*

It's not "respectful." It's stupid.


One tiny accent threatens an entire language? Hard core Quebec nationalists sure think so.

Meh. It's not vigilance but outight pointless nitpicking. If you have to go to this extent to protect a language (never mind the crazy costs to changing it ) then it seems to me there are larger insecure issues at work here. I sympathize with Metro - a company that by all accounts are profitable and well, you know, actually do something productive, like I don't know, employing and feeding people?

Quebec has waaayyyy larger problems to attend to. Like, for example, the level of corruption and waste.


I see Justin Trudeau is making do with wedging Canadian politics with vapid, hysterical nonsense.

If he be the future of the Liberal party then all I ask is: This is a future?

I reckon he's going after the teenie bopper vote.


Why does it seem like liberals are all too ready to proclaim their displeasure by threatening to "move out" or "support the enemy" whenever things don't go their way?


Which led me to this article about Trudeau in the Toronto Sun which opens:

"Justin Trudeau shows wonderful promise, but he still has much to learn."

Promise? What promise? What does he say or do that makes one think he has promise? Show me the promise!


The Kid Is Gone

We lost a big one no doubt with the passing of Gary Carter.

One of the most popular athletes in Canadian sports history, Carter was awesome as catcher of the Montreal Expos and New York Mets - and later Giants and Dodgers.

But Carter represented more than just a baseball player to a city famed for its hockey icons. He was the single, most endearing personality on the sports landscape. Carter and those Expos teams of the 1970s and 1980s impacted an entire generation (or two) in ways we're still discovering.

Yeah, he was "just" and athlete, but sometimes some of them manage to leave a mark on the minds of young sports fans like me.

Carter, truth be told, wasn't my favorite player. Andre Dawson was. On a team loaded with talent, I suppose everyone had a favorite but Carter was undeniably an intricate and instrumental component of an organization that became the most recent poster child for the "we'll get 'em next year" since the Brooklyn Dodgers.

I even met him briefly at Dorval Airport. I remember seeing him and his trademark broad smile and pitcher Scott Sanderson.

I notice American news outlets described it as "Former Mets great" while in Canada it's "Former Expos great." I don't know who he "belonged" to (Ok, he was an Expo at its profound base) but I know one thing: He had a far, far greater impact on Canadian sports than on a deep American sports scene. Just listen to sports radio up here and you'll get a sense of his influence.

#8 has come and gone. Montreal lost one of its greatest athletes it has ever seen.

Sad. At the age of 57 especially.


Not interested in writing these days but I had to make a curtain call for Carter. On one of my many treks with my neighbor (who had season tickets) down Pie IX boulevard from Laval straight down to the Olympic Stadium, I remember hearing Frankie Lyman sing "Why do fools fall in love" and somehow it got connected with the Expos and Carter in particular.

If the Canadiens honor Carter, the fans should break out, one more time, with Valderi, Valdera, les Expos sont la!

So long, Kid.

Daycare Update

The whole situation with the government funded CPE's is unfortunate. Watching them strike asking for things like six weeks of vacation should be a reminder that we're watching unfold right before our eyes why we're broke. Yet somehow we continue to expand the spending. Raising taxes on the rich is limited if not useless if you don't quit the hemorraging on the other side of the coin. If cuts take place, this wouldn't constitute austerity measures since, I argue, the government shouldn't have been involved in it to the degree it is in the first place!

The way daycare is structured in Quebec invites unfariness for all involved and corruption.

It's not complicated.

City Economics

Top 100 metropolitain areas by income figures.

No Montreal. Not surprising really.

February Blues

This is the longest I've gone without uttering and sputtering a word.

The response is deafening.