Saturday, September 23, 2006

CJB: [mid-rant, complaining about a neighborhood nuisance]: ...he's around 24/7, and I'm only here, what, 19/6?

"SPARKY," LLB. [drinking companion]: But 19 and 6 makes 25, and there's only 24 hours in the day. Where'd you get the extra hour?

CJB: West Coast hydro's pretty powerful, hey?

"SPARKY": What d'you...oh. Heh.
Friday, September 22, 2006

Fall on the West Coast, small colored leaves everywhere. On last week's 8 a.m. flight the Boeing 757 first flew south, then south-east, passing over the Deltaport causeway, Point Roberts, Blaine, and the Picket Range, Baker sprawling off in the distance. Lots of early snow on those steep-sided ramparts and glaciers! Low clouds then cut off the view, which was fine with me, as I could concentrate on, a/ not panicking about flying ("If I think really, really hard, and tense every muscle in my body, and don't relax my focus for the next four hours and twenty-seven minutes, I can stop the plane crashing through sheer force of will"), and, b/ writing Evan's talk (blue ballpoint stick-pen on lined yellow legal pads), and, c/ wondering where the Nikon had gotten to (inadvertently packed into my checked baggage, where Harmony Airways' crack staff discovered it by jumping up and down on top of it), and, d/ eating breakfast (Spanish Omelette, coffee, sausage link, yogurt), and, e/ not panicking about flying!
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thanks to the readers of Vancouver's Georgia Straight newspaper, for voting Pulpfiction Best Used Bookstore for the 3rd year in a row. Thanks also to the staff -- Chris Clarke, Keith Dunsmuir, Bonnie Jacques, Michael Young, and Katie Davis -- for putting up with me year round, and for their substantial part in the shop's success.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Walt, Donald, and the Art Crimes '93 Orchestra performing Donald's IGY, my favorite pop song of all time. Spandex jackets for everyone!
Today's YouTube: The Rajahs of Erase

Untitled (Payphone), 2006

Gryphon, Lillian H. Smith Branch Library, Toronto
Someone writes to ask if I'm still analyzing companies for fun and profit. Yes, but not as methodically as last year; many of last year's short list candidates have fallen into buying range and most of 2006's "investing activity" has focused more on shovelling money into previously analyzed situations than on finding new ones.

The same writer wonders, rather presumptuously in my view, if I'm finding "compelling value" anywhere on the TSE. Yup. Though I sense what is being laboriously fished for is a stock tip. I don't give these; anyone attempting to solicit one from a self-taught deep value investor pretty much deserves what he or she gets.

Just for fun, though, here's a quiz. Five midsize TSE-listed companies below. One's a bargain; three might or might not be; one's a train wreck leaking toxic chemicals into the local water supply. Which is which? Support your answer with a few pieces of evidence, pro or con. All readers, including the original writer and all members of the Canadian art world, are invited to play. All that is required is a passing grade in Math 12, and basic common sense. I'll post the most entertaining replies and analysis in a week. Disclaimer: I do not own and am not currently buying any of the five.

The List:

1. Norbord, Inc. makes wood-based panels: particleboard, MDF, plywood, etc.

2. Menu Foods Limited Partnership and its subsidiaries Menu Foods Limited and Menu Foods Operating Limited Partnership manufacture wet pet food products under private label for retailers and mass merchandisers. The Incredible Talking Cats unreservedly recommend Menu's products; the stock may or may not be as enticing as the product line-up.

3. Peyto Energy Trust explores for oil and natural gas and acquires and holds interests in oil and natural gas properties.

4. E-L Financial Corporation (no website) is a holding company, the operating entities of which are engaged in the underwriting of all types of insurance.

5. The North West Company Inc. operates small-scale retail stores in remote communities and larger regional centres under the Northern banner and other banners. Stores offer perishable and non-perishable foods, general household merchandise, small watercraft, snowmobiles, and services such as automated teller machines, gasoline sales, and catalogue shopping. The Company also distributes full-line produce and fresh meats in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, and engages in fur marketing and the marketing of Inuit art.
I Smelled Something Dirty

A text by Barbara Campbell and Tim Etchells, from Campbell's 1001 nights cast. I really admire this piece's narrative and stylistic economy; would that I could achive similar results in my own fiction.

"Sometimes just a change of circumstances is enough to make a life change for the better and get depression lifted."
I love no other way...

The great Leslie Feist in concert, Seattle, early fall.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Untitled (Cone), 2006

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (29), 2006
ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): beerbistro

"Beer-Bacon Wrapped Monkfish. Goat cheese gnocchi, blistered tomatoes, leeks and celery basil vinaigrette. Suggested beer pairing is QUENCHING, such as Denison’s Weissbier"

Or, McAuslan Apricot Wheat Ale. Take your pick!

Today's soundtrack: Ann Peebles, "(I Feel Like) Breaking Up Somebody's Home."

Just back from YYZ, and hardly conscious. Stories and pictures forthcoming.

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