Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dumont and Dumont

No comment necessary.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Help! Should I buy a house/condo in Toronto right now?

Any advice would be helpful. I started looking in May, but stopped when it looked like we might go on strike at the Globe and Mail.

Now I'm starting to look again and... I've lost my nerve a bit.

It some ways it seems like the perfect time to buy: House/condos in the Toronto neighbouhoods I like are more affordable now, interest rates are really low and the market seems to be headed back up.

But I have this friend, we'll call him The Pessimist, who believes Canada's bubble hasn't burst yet. Low interest rates are artificially stimulating the market right now, he says, and when they go up in 2010, demand will drop and house prices will drop too. (He believes another 10%.)

The Pessimist is not the only one. According to a recent Globe story:

[L]ow rates are also one of the reasons analysts are worried about the surprising surge in the housing market. “It's all happening because of the crack cocaine of housing, which is rock-bottom interest rates,” said Garth Turner, author of Greater Fool: The Troubled Future of Real Estate . “They're so irresistible, especially to inexperienced first-time buyers. That's what's propelling the market.”

Mr. Turner's concern is that rising rates will eventually propel the market lower by making houses less affordable. His level of confidence that the boom will last? Zero.

In his book, published in early 2008, Mr. Turner warned that the Canadian housing market was in a bubble just like its U.S. counterpart. After a peak-to-valley decline of almost 14 per cent in Canada's national average price, he's predicting another plunge for home prices that will be triggered in large part by rising interest rates.

“We're now into the housing bubble, Part Two,” said Mr. Turner, a former member of Parliament who now gives financial seminars and promotes his books. “I think this bubble is going to burst later this year. It's going to be short and intense.”

Yikes! That's my concern. And why I'm beginning to think I should rent for another year and see what happens.

But those low interest rates are so irresistable!


Any advice?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Billy Bob Thornton pwned by Jian Ghomeshi!

From Willie Nelson:

It has been reported that Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters will not be continuing the Canadian tour with Willie and Ray. At this time, no reasons have been announced but the remainder of the tour will continue as scheduled without The Boxmasters.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

I resent having to use Google to understand the Times.

The New York Times writes a story about the censorship of an obscene pun in China - but won't tell us what the "especially vile obscenity" being punned is. Isn't the newspaper industry dying quickly enough without these self-inflicted wounds!?!

This may top the time they wouldn't print the word "poo" in an album title. (The Edmonton Journal has no such qualms, obviously.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yeah, I joined Twitter.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Five-four those of y'all who wear fanny packs.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Better than the Nixon tapes: Barack Obama swearing

Oh god, these are so good. Someone has digitised the sweary bits from the audiobook of Dreams of My Father... yes, the audiobook that Obama reads himself.

I give it five minutes before the first YouTube video mashing this up with Christian Bale is created...

"You ain’t my bitch, nigga! Buy your own damn fries!"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Now I understand...

... why I couldn't follow any of the action sequences in the last two Batman movies. It's not that Christopher Nolan is a lousy director - it's that Christian "Dark Knight" Bale chased all the lighting guys off the set so he could maintain the concentration needed to sustain that ridiculous growl...


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big Peanut: Everybody's enemy now...

From the wires: "There is new information available about the recent salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter from a plant in Georgia.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said at least 12 times over the past two years the Peanut Corporation of America has knowingly sold products that had tested positive for salmonella."

I know at least one anthropomorphic arachide bigwig who just dropped his cane and let his monocle fall out of his eye in rage that his plot to poison America has been foiled...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thanks, language, for being confusing.

From CBC Arts:

For the first time in the 34-year history of the César Awards, a Quebec actor has been nominated for the French film awards.

Marc-André Grondin is nominated as most promising young male actor for his role in the film Le Premier Jour Du Reste de Ta Vie (The First Day of the Rest of Your Life). ...

Oh, neat! First time ever? But what about...

Marie-José Crozes [double sic!] was nominated as most promising young female actress in 2004 for her role in Denys Arcand film The Barbarian Invasions.

Oh, first Quebec ACTOR, not first Quebec ACTRESS...

OK, so there's nothing, strictly speaking, wrong with what the CBC has done here... But some news sources use actor as a gender neutral term and others use actor and actress, so I was confused... I wish there was a universal style guide for this - and, frankly, I think the old way was much clearer. Can we go back, though?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

The long-awaited return of... CBC Arts Headline Watch!

Today's doozy: "Errors are human, says Wikipedia founder"

I look forward to tomorrow's follow-up story on what Jimmy Wales thinks of forgiveness...

(Past editions of CBC Arts Headline and Lede Watch here...)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The death of the newspa-- whaaaaaa?

Will wonders never cease: The National Post turns a profit.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Things that make you go hmm....

Have you noticed that every time the Canadiens have faced the Leafs so far this season (and again for the rest of the regular season), the Habs have played a game the night before and the Leafs have had the night before off? Is this some sort of attempt to even out the teams by tiring the Habs out? CONSPIRACY.