So you want out

The president-elect isn’t the one you want, and you’re exploring your options abroad for the next few years. OK. Deep breath. I can only tell you about the one country I know well outside of the United States, and that is my home country, Canada. For other countries, you’ll need to look elsewhere. CIA factbook Wikipedia entry Caution: I am… Read more →

The Tragically Hip

Gord Downie has sung his last concert. If everything progresses as expected, this will be the end of The Tragically Hip as a band. You don’t recover from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Where to start? For Americans, The Tragically Hip are my Anglo-Canadian cohort’s Grateful Dead, our Santana, our Leonard Skynard, our Bruce Springsteen. A band with roots entwined in the experiences… Read more →

State budget guide from ARISE Alabama

It’s taken some time for me, as a transplant, to wrap my head around the state budget process. I understand budgets; i manage a household one, in the past I’ve managed one for a co-ownership apartment building and I currently manage one for a non-profit. However, my higher governance level understanding of budgets is within the Canadian provincial and federal… Read more →

The BJCTA Board proves it sucks at governance – again

The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Agency board of directors has fired Ann August, the very effective executive director who lead the transit agency through a successful reorganization, acquisition of new buses, development of two new commuter routes, and the development of plans to optimize use of resources within the agency. Coverage from The Weld about her initial decision to leave in… Read more →


Alabama gets a lot of tornadoes. (An article reminded me of this recently, with a severe forecast for the upcoming 2015 secondary tornado season.) [embeddoc url=””] It’s in the central U.S., a region stretching from Texas in the west to the Appalachian foothills in the east, and from the Gulf Coast in the south, up to the Great Lakes in… Read more →

Walking, running & cycling in Birmingham

So, you’ve just arrived in the city and you’re a regular walker, runner or a cyclist? Awesome! Here’s a few things to get you oriented. Places to walk, run or ride: As an industrial city that matured in the 1920s, and that then experienced white flight to the suburbs in the seventies and eighties, this region is built for people who have… Read more →

TTC bendy trains

I am a transit geek. I just returned from a trip to Toronto to visit my elderly mother. While there, I used the subway. The city’s transit agency, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is in the process of replacing it’s rolling stock with new open continuous access trains (officially called the “Toronto Rocket”, (making the slang the official train model… Read more →