Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Status quo

Membertou voters are apparently content with the council they have — yesterday’s vote saw Chief Terry Paul and 10 councilors re-elected. And one of the “new” faces on council — Anthony (Ike) Paul —  served as a councilor previously (for 28 years, according to his bio).

Electoral Officer Chris LaPorte posted a list of winners on Facebook:

Membertou election results, 2020

I asked the Elections Officer what voter turnout looked like. As of press time, I had not received a response, but LaPorte posted a series of photographs showing the vote tallies for each candidate which show, among other things, that Edwin LaPorte mounted a respectable challenge to Chief Paul:



Taking care of business

There are so many things one could say about this photo:

It put me in mind of this shot of an 1883 meeting of the Dodge Chamber of Commerce:

Masked cowboys


No, but seriously, what I really want to say about this photo is that it suggests that if Randy Delorey wins the provincial Liberal leadership, he intends to carry on the established tradition of coming to town to visit only the business community.

But it also makes me wonder why our local business associations never talk about supporting workers’ co-ops. We live in the cradle of the Antigonish Movement and yet we never seem to promote any model of business other than the “entrepreneurial” model that, all too often, means one person doing well on the backs of part-time, seasonal, low-wage workers. One person calling all the shots and everyone else being grateful just to have a job.

I know we have some examples of local “entrepreneurs” who have created full-time, non-seasonal, well-paid jobs for locals and I applaud them, but too often we are asked to cheer on people who open franchises of national or international chains (which, by definition, means profits leaving the region) or — worse still — foreign entrepreneurs who come in to exploit tax breaks or payroll subsidies.

This is an opinion I am still refining so stay tuned, I hope to write about it at greater length (with, you know, input from people who actually know what they’re talking about) in the near future.



Have you seen those features where a reporter visits a writer and describes what their workspace looks like? Or mores specifically, what’s on their desk?

An example of the genre is this InsideHook article about critic and author Daniel Mendelsohn’s desk, which looks like this:

Daniel Mendelsohn's desk,

Daniel Mendelsohn’s desk. Source: InsideHook

I was thinking about that this morning while staring vacantly at my own desk, trying to think of something that is NOT an election to write about.  My desk, you’ll no doubt be surprised to hear, looks nothing like Mendelsohn’s.

A glance at the items currently taking pride of place there reveals (other than my computer monitors, of which I have two, I say that not by way of boast) the box from my new USB wifi adapter, my old USB wifi adapter and a USB adapter I bought that doesn’t work. Really, if you were asked to guess, from the contents of my desktop, what I did for a living, you’d probably say I was failing an intro to computer hardware course. Just to keep things interesting, I also have the box from my random orbit sander and a card from Canada Post that would apparently save me money on the packages I mailed if I ever mailed packages.

I can also see my new phone, which I bought last Saturday morning because I lost my old one on Friday afternoon. (When did I become THAT person?) My old phone was found on Sunday, so now I have two phones to go with my two monitors and three USB wifi adapters.

But what is a writer’s desk without papers? Unlike Mendelsohn, who just happened to have a treatise on Freud and tragedy on his desk when the photographer I arrived, the papers on my desk include the documentation that came with my new USB wifi adapter, the documentation that came with my non-functioning USB wifi adapter, my voter information letter from last week’s election, my tax bill and the receipt from the company that installed my double-walled oil tank. (The oil tank is now officially the most valuable thing I own, if the photographers ever do show up, I’ll pretend that I actually do my work on top of it.)

The last item on my desk — thankfully — does hold some clue my chosen occupation. It’s a letter I wrote to one of my aunts when I was 16. She returned it to me recently and it’s a trip to encounter my former self. The letter is TWENTY-TWO closely written pages long. (I used to write neatly, it’s kind of amazing to see, given my handwriting now looks like a beetle fell in a jar of ink then ran around on a sheet of loose leaf.) Mostly, it consists of me recounting things I’d seen and heard and done over the previous summer. In other words, it was me reporting. And now that I come to think of it, those “desk” features are never about reporters — reporters have notoriously messy desks.

And great oil tanks.