Sunday, March 26, 2017

A March Ending

We are coming to the end of March.  Each day has something to celebrate:

Sunday, March 26th - Nougat Day
Monday, March 27th - Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day
Tuesday March 28th - Weed Appreciation Day
Wednesday, March 29th - Lemon Chiffon Cake Day
Thursday, March 30th - Doctors' Day
Friday March 31st - Crayola Crayon Day

Then it is April  - the month of many activities and things:
Garden Month
Poetry Month
Decorating Month
Inventor's Month
Couple Appreciation Month
Straw Hat Month
Jazz Appreciation Month

These all come from  where April 1st is not celebrated as April Fool's Day.  

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Don't Rain on My Decade

    The sound of rain is a signal of spring.  It contrasts with the silence of snow.  After visiting the temples of consumerism this week, I noticed in the news that the consumer price index has been released today.  I didn't look at it initially as inflation is very low now - the month over month increase was 0.1 percent in February.

    From 1970 to 1980 a basket of goods doubled in price. It almost doubled in price from 1980 to 1990 as well.  We consider it stable now at levels around 2.5 or so.  However, there is a cautionary tale in these low levels.  One article says:
    "Looking at the average inflation rates often gives us the impression that "low" inflation rates like 2% aren't so bad. For instance: You may think that 7% inflation in the 1970's is terrible but 2% or 3% per year since 1990 isn't so bad right? Well, the total cumulative inflation for the almost 22 years from January 1990 through December 2014 is 86.2%. In other words, something that cost $100 in January of 1990 would cost $186.20 in December of 2014 in other words prices almost doubled (i.e. purchasing power fell almost by half) and that is what happens at "low" inflation rates."
    Each decade has a name in the commentary at  

    WW I - The  beginning of the CPI
    The "Roaring Twenties"The Great Depression
    WW II - the volatile 1940's
    The 1950's "Happy Days"
    The 1960's the age of possibility
    The Inflationary 1970's
    The Reagan Era

    The commentary doesn't go beyond 1989 - the Reagan Era - so I searched around to find names for the next decades - it has been difficult to 'find a name that sticks.  2000-09 is referred to as the "noughties".

    The 1990's have some candidate names
    • the Dot-com Decade[1] — yeah, well, that was only part of the nineties, though I might be able to live with “Internet Decade”, or rather “WWW Decade”.
    • the Busy Decade — for, apparently, “whenever you asked people how they were, they answered, ‘busy!’ with a verbal exclamation point as if it were a dangerous state of health” [2]
    • the Nasty Decade was proposed in 1998,[3] but those people hadn’t met the 2000s yet; other proposals included “the Gray 90s” and the "Popular Culture Decade" — many years before YouTube fractured traditional media consumption
    Today we see some of the floral tributes to Canada's 150th birthday at Canada Blooms.  The third image is one off the floral displays - these are the highlight of the Flower Show each year.

      Thursday, March 23, 2017

      Welcome to Saks

      Simpsons became the Hudsons Bay and now it is Saks Fifth Avenue.  One travels between Saks and Nordstrums on the above ground walkway - it used to be between Simpsons and Eaton's.

      The Simpsons basement level has been transformed and is now a Pusateri's.  It is a monument to elegant indulgence where the everyday orange becomes an art display, and where macarons stand as towers of sugar fluff.  When I walked through the ground level of Saks Fifth Avenue I experienced a museum quality display of retail artifacts.  It was a wonderful experience - where the 'art' of modern living is made real, albeit prestige overrules practical.  This sort of this is rewarded -there are world retail awards.  The finalists for 2017 have been identified.  Here is the list for "
      Best Instore Customer Experience Initiative" 
      • adidas, Checkland Kindleysides and Gensler, (New York, United States)
      • 'Imagine', Dubai Festival City (United Arab Emirates)
      • Galeries Lafayette and Sky Boy (Paris, France)
      • Globe Telecom (Philippines)
      • Herm├Ęs - petit h, Checkland Kindleysides and DML, (New York, United States)
      • L'Occitane en Provence and School House, (New York, United States)
      • PIRCH, (United States)
      • Selfridges (London, UK)
      • Siam Discovery-The Exploratorium (Thailand)
      • Tommy Hilfiger (United States)
      "Launched in 2007, the World Retail Awards have been recognizing the very best retailers and retail initiatives across a range of categories for 10 years. This year’s winners will be announced at the World Retail Awards Ceremony and Congress Closing Gala Dinner which takes place at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort in Dubai, UAE on April 6, 2017."

        Monday, March 20, 2017

        Another Hour

        Another hour before Spring is here at 6:29am.   Poets have given us beautiful Spring verses for as long as there have been poets.  So let us revel in its first moments.

        In Spring, everything is full of promise.... The child sporting upon the lawn, and the season, sympathize together, and nature rejoices in her virgin loveliness. ~Charles Lanman, "The Dying Year," 1840

        It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, Detective

        The year’s at the spring
        And day’s at the morn;
        Morning’s at seven;
        The hillside’s dew-pearled;
        The lark’s on the wing;
        The snail’s on the thorn;
        God’s in His heaven -
        All’s right with the world!
        ~Robert Browning

        It was a lover and his lass,
        With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
        That o’er the green corn-field did pass,
        In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
        When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
        Sweet lovers love the spring.
        (As You Like It, 5.3.15-20

        Our Grimsby Garden Club members planted the town's hanging baskets yesterday at Trillium Hill Greenhouses, located at the west end of Grimsby.  This year, the group celebrated the event with a Lilitopia moment.

          Sunday, March 19, 2017

          Almost Here

          pring begins tomorrow at 6:29am.   Our weather yesterday was a fluffy snow fall, and with the ground soft, one could smell all the moisture.  That made it quite cold, too.  How does predict daily weather into the beginning of May?  It gives the sense of a predictable weather pattern, although we experience otherwise.

          When I look out my office corner window, (not my corner office window) I can see the Niagara escarpment.  It is one of thirteen UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in Canada.  The trail along it starts in Queenston. 
          The cairn marking the trail's terminus is in a parking lot, about 160 metres (520 ft) from General Brock's Monument on the easterly side of the monument's park grounds. The trail concludes in Tobermory.  It is 850 kms long, with 400 km of side trails.

          The idea to create it came about in 1959, and the trail was set in motion in 1960, with regional clubs established along the length of the Trail.  Each club was responsible for obtaining landowner approvals, organizing trail construction, and maintenance efforts within their region of the trail.  The cairn at the northern terminus of the Bruce trail in Tobermory was unveiled in 1967 - Canada's Centennial Year.  It is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada.

          When Dezi and I go to Grimsby Beach, we walk one of the spur trails - a side trail from the escarpment to the Lake.

          We in Canada have the distinction of having the longest hiking trail in the world - the Trans Canada Trail.  It is 24,000 km. It is an astonishing length - the next longest trail in Italy is 5,954 kms long. 

          Today we say farewell to winter in pictures from yesterday's snowfall.