Music Monday – “In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel/To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level/And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded/And that even the nobles get properly handled/Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em/And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom”

This is a song about a farmer who was convicted of manslaughter after accidentally killing someone.

The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” – Bob Dylan

Saturday Snap – @officialRPL Tipi For Aboriginal Storytelling Month #yqr

Friday Fun Link – Nah.


Throwback Thursday – #tbt – Grand Palladium, Dominican Republic (February 2015)

A Better Story: Analyzing Why @ryanmeili Has The Momentum In The #skndpldr Race #skpoli

Ryan Meili has just released the above video which captures a powerful message about his campaign and what he wants to bring (back) to the province – the NDP’s ability to tell stories that resonate with people.  

There are a lot of ways to indicate who has momentum in a leadership race – some more valid than others.

For example, if someone takes the time to watch and engage with a candidate’s social media content, that’s a tangible demonstration of interest in what a candidate has to say. If people open their wallets and donate, that’s a good indication they support a candidate in a very real way.  And if you have large numbers of people doing both things, you probably have a lot of momentum.

There are less valid ways to measure momentum (“nomentum”?) – for example, releasing polls without explaining the methodology or the margin of error or even worse, designing the poll to give a candidate the result they want.

Beyond that, polls are notoriously unreliable and getting more unreliable all the time – from Calgary to the UK to Washington DC.  There are all kinds of reasons for that but sometimes it comes down to (hypothetically) some middle-aged dude getting a robo-call from a candidate they don’t support and answering that they’re an “18-35 undecided female” so that their true support doesn’t show up when the poll results are released.  You get enough people doing that to mess with polling data (or supporters of one candidate hanging up when they hear its a call from another candidate or whatever) and the results become the definition of unreliable.

Because of that, I thought I’d do an analysis of some of the numbers that are out there that do a good job of indicating the real world support for each of the two candidates running for the Leadership of the Sask NDP.

This is important because in the past leadership race in 2013, the membership ignored these types of indicators of more widespread support and, in the case of Cam Broten, actually elected the person who was coming in third in important metrics relating to fundraising and social media reach who then led the party to…not much really.

It’s a different race with different dynamics today. But the message that these types of very real metrics send are clear indicators of who, to tie it back to Ryan’s latest video, is telling the best story – the story that people are interested in, the story that people want to engage with, the story that people are excited to hear and want to support.

To be blunt, given what happened in 2013, I firmly believe that the party ignores these metrics at their peril this time around. 🙁

Fundraising Total (2013)  $122,000  $ 91,000
Fundraising Total (Current)  $130,000  $104,000
Fundraising – Individuals Only  $130,000  $68,000
Individuals Donors  666  439
Facebook Friends
(Personal Account)
 3159  4997
Facebook Followers
(Official Campaign Page)
 6033  1778
Total Facebook Contacts  9192  6775
Twitter Followers  7528  8946
 Most Liked Tweet  1414  72
 Most Re-Tweeted Tweet  662  65
 Most Viewed YouTube Video
(Search of Candidate Name)
 Ted Talk
Rider Cheer
 Most Viewed YouTube Video
(Official Channel)
 Join Together
Campaign Launch Video
Channel Subscribers  18  5
#PickAPremier Views  500  454


Happy Anniversary Shea!

Technically, a better husband would do a better blog post for his wife on their 15th wedding anniversary.

But since this is the anniversary of us doing the legal paperwork in jeans in our living room in Calgary while the anniversary of the day we had our wedding ceremony on the beach in Mexico fifteen years ago is still a month away (plus since we both tend to ignore the legal one anyhow) I don’t feel too bad about letting this one pass (basically) unacknowledged.

But Google does tell me that the modern gift for a 15th wedding anniversary is a watch and since I got you an Apple Watch for Christmas, maybe we can pretend I knew that at the time and planned it? 😉

Anyhow, can’t wait to celebrate with you in a few weeks in Mexico – love you very much!

Music Monday – “Border guards they waved us through/’Andele ninos’ they cried/Love was a Mexican pony/You and I would ride”

Happy (legal) wedding anniversary one day early, Shea!

I look forward to celebrating our (ceremonial) wedding anniversary with you in a month in Mexico and then our reception/party wedding anniversary later this summer!

This song has a lot of religious imagery and considering we specifically requested a non-religious officiate who only slipped up once at the end of the ceremony when there was a brief sprinkle of rain and he remarked that was just “god showering our love across the earth”, it’s probably not one we would normally think of as one of “our” songs.

But the lyrics still make me think of us getting married on the beach in Mexico fifteen years ago for some reason.  (And man, do I ever love Sam Baker as well!)

Pony” – Sam Baker

How A Wardrobe Malfunction Led To The Creation of YouTube

I did not know that.

Most remarkably, we have Nipplegate to thank for YouTube. Co-founder Jawed Karim told USA Today that he was inspired to create the video site in 2005 after not being able to find any footage of the incident online.

It’s also too bad that Timberlake missed an opportunity during his performance at the Super Bowl tonight to make amends as Jackson basically had her career end for what was *his* mistake while he’s gone on to great success in both music and movies.

In the era of #metoo, imagine what it would mean if he’s stopped his performance midway, brought her out, made a heartfelt apology, told all the viewers to go to iTunes and buy “Rhythm Nation 1814” and then they bust out a wicked duet/dance routine to “SexyBack” which ends with her ripping off his codpiece or something. 😉

Saturday Snap – New Reading Glasses

Apparently the latest research is showing that kids that don’t quite need regular glasses can still benefit from starting with reading glasses which, in turn, reduces their prescription when they do get glasses and also the odds of worse eye problems (glaucoma, etc.) later in life.

Friday Fun Link – 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To On Our #MoonPalace #Cancun Vacation @palaceresorts

  1. This will be the first time we’ve done a two-week all-inclusive and I think it’ll be very luxurious considering a typical one-week vacation often only feels like much less than that since the first day is a travel day, the second day is a decompress/orientation day and then the second last day (for me anyhow) is the “’s almost over” sad day and the final day is another travel day. Add in that you might spend a day of your trip doing an excursion of one kind or another and a week goes by *way* too fast! 🙁
  2. We’re not at the same resort but being able to spend Shea’s and my 15th wedding anniversary in the same geographic area as where we got married is pretty cool.
  3. We’ll also get to celebrate a milestone birthday for my mom during the time that my parents and my family overlap in Mexico (they’re doing two weeks – one with my sister’s family and then one with mine and then they leave and Shea and the kids and I will have an additional week just for ourselves.)
  4. We are seriously thinking about upgrading to The Grand at Moon Palace for our second week.  The Grand is a more high-end part of the property which still allows you access to other areas (but people in other parts can’t go to The Grand without buying day passes) but which has more and better features – a bigger kids’ club, some really unique a la carte restaurants (Lebanese!  Peruvian!), bigger rooms, etc.
  5. Pace is looking forward to the FlowRider (the only one in a resort in that area of Mexico that has one apparently) more than me.  In fact, I’ve decided that if I go on it, it has to be one of our last days in case I hurt myself.  (Correction: I will hurt myself!)
  6. Having two weeks makes it more likely that we’ll do some excursions and I’m especially excited to once again visit Isla Mujeres which was a highlight of our return “honeymoon” trip to Cancun the year after we got married.
  7. It’s a small thing but many reviews on Trip Advisor rave about the high level of service at this resort and I’ve already had a preview – for most of our trips, I’ve sent an email ahead of time to confirm that we’ll need adjoining rooms or make a special request or whatever.  I think this might be the first time I’ve not only gotten a timely response but actually had a bit of back and forth correspondence which is a good omen!
  8. We might go into Cancun one night for a weekly open air market that attracts a lot of locals, has vendors and is apparently quite fun.
  9. I don’t usually do any spa stuff at all-inclusives but since this all-inclusive gives guests “Resort Credits” to spend on various services, Shea and I might have to go for massages at their AWE Spa.
  10. The biggest downside to this resort is the ocean is widely reported to not be very good – lots of seaweed and murky water instead of the beautiful turquoise you expect on a tropical vacation.  Luckily, we can take a cab to a sister resort on the Cancun strip and use all their facilities including a beach that looks much better (bringing back memories of staying at Sandos Caracol last year which also had a bad beach but being able to travel to a sister resort a couple times and having some of our best beach days ever!)