Favourites from 2004: Community Newspapers

[This one first appeared in March] I work at some big-time, big-city capital-m Media outlets but I started out at the twice-a-week Orangeville Banner and worked my way from there to one small daily to another. When I was at the Banner, I'd have given my eye teeth to be on staff at the Globe and Mail but, now that I am, I'm glad no one was around to take those eye teeth and that I got a chance to live and work and write about all the communities that I lived in . . . [Read the rest of the original post]

Hits of December

As I do every month, I'm posting the most popular articles here at David Akin's blog for the month of December. I thought also that, over the next few days, I would re-post some of my favourites from 2004. I started with one on beer earlier today.
As for December: I did not get an iPod for Christmas but I did get more than 36,600 unique visitors here during the month — an all-time high. Most of those — more than 20,000 — don't actually arrive here, instead the stuff is pushed out their way via this site's RSS/XML feed, a very efficient way to read lots of Web content.
I also transferred a whopping 14+ gigabytes of data through this blog last month, an amount likely that high because I'm serving up the Celine Dion video that you can only see on Air Canada flights here and I'm told that Ms. Dion is a very popular singer whose fans seek out this kind of stuff. That post was number one in December.
Also hanging in on the top 10 is a post I made a year ago about trying to get a LinkSys wi-fi router to talk to an Apple Airport Extreme card.
So thanks for dropping by and feel free to leave a comment. Here's the top 10 for December with last month's ranking in brackets and the date they were originally posted:

  1. (1) Air Canada and a new Celine Dion video — right here! (11-1-2004)
  2. (-) (Finally!) Apple launches iTunes in Canada (12-2-2004)
  3. (182) CIBC attacks scrapyard operator; Finance Minister launches investigation (11-30-2004)
  4. (4) New paint for Air Canada's planes (11-1-2004)
  5. (5) A place to sleep in the sky (11-1-2004)
  6. (11) Finally!! Airport Extreme and my LinkSys router are talking! (12-13-2003)
  7. (-) International Donut Wars: Tim Horton's vs Krispy Kreme (12-17-2004)
  8. (-) Ontario commits major privacy gaffe (12-4-2004)
    (13) More on FOX News comes to Canada (11-18-2004)
    (-) Wade Peer (12-7-2004)

  9. (22) Who pays for this blog? Some disclaimers (8-13-2004)
  10. (-) Sabia on BCE (12-15-2004)

Favourites from 2004: Drinking beer

Thought I'd recycle some favourite posts from 2004: Here's one most Canadians have an opinion about — my favourite beer:

Your blog author hoists a sample of the good stuff at Granville Island Brewery in Vancouver earlier this year.
Photo: Greg Robinson

Expert beer drinkers — that is to say, most of the adult Canadian population — know that you cannot have just one favourite beer. There is a beer for after the ball game; a beer with chile; a beer you drink while watching Hockey Night In Canada; a beer at lunch on Saturday after your morning chores are done; a beer for fishing; a beer for poker; a beer for drinking with the boss; a beer when you're drinking one with your wife. In short: Any expert beer drinker has several favourite beers.
Mind you, on any beer drinker's list, there will be some trends: You are either a fan of craft brewers or you're happy with what the giants brew. You are with Molson or you are with Labatt. You ask for ale or you must have lager.
For the record, then, I seek out craft brewers but when I need a giant, his name is John Molson, and I'll gladly drink an ale or lager.
But today I'd rather have a stout. Which brings me to my new favourite beer. While picking up a case of Wellington Brewery's Honey Lager this afternoon, I spied what is called St. Ambroise Black in my local Brewers' Retail. A colleague of mine is a fan of the stuff brewed by McAuslan Brewing, the Montreal brewery behind the St. Ambroise brand, and I happened to be in the mood for a stout. St. Ambroise Black is actually an oatmeal stout.
Well, it was good call, if i do say so myself. It's good enough that I'm adding it to the rotation of beers I routinely purchase. Here is my list, in no particular order. Feel free to post yours in the comment section here.:
[To see the list, click here for the original post and comments]

Update: Corporate Canada gives to disaster relief

Following up from yesterday's post which contained the names and details of companies headquartered or active in Canada who are helping with disaster relief in South Asia, here's today's tally. Notably, long-suffering Nortel Networks of Brampton makes a $700,000 (U.S.) donation (half of the money will come from Nortel employees) making it the most generous Canadian company so far for South Asia disaster relief. (Mind you, nickel-producer Inco Ltd. of Toronto is donating $540,000 U.S. and all of that is coming from corporate coffers).
Still, 36 of the 50 largest Canadian companies, including 4 of the top 10 largest (size measured by assets as reported for fiscal 2003) have yet to make any public announcement about how they'll help.
Just like yesterday, all dollar figures are in Canadian currency unless otherwise noted and all times are Toronto time:

  • THU DEC 30
    • For everything announced up until about 7 pm Toronto time Thursday, please see the post from that day.
    • Sears Canada of Toronto said it would make a donation of $75,000 and would match customer and employee donations up to an additional $50,000. It would also collect donations for disaster reliefs. (2010)
  • FRI DEC 31
    • Forzani Group of Calgary said it would collect donations at all of its stores. Forzani Group operates SportMart, Sport Check and Coast Mountain stores.
    • Home Hardware of St. Jacobs said it would donate $$250,000 and would try to boost that to $500,000. It would also launch a fundraising campaign within its stores. (0852)
    • Seanix Technology of Richmond, B.C. will donate $100,000. (1000)
    • Royal Bank of Canada of Toronto said it will add to its earlier announced donation of $100,000 by adding an additional $100,000 donation and also committing to a further $50,000 donation to aid in re-settlement efforts. (1048)
    • Magna International of Toronto, the auto parts company controlled by Frank Stronach, offered a $100,000 U.S. donation. (1232)
    • Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto said it will add to its earlier announced donation of $75,000 by donating an additional $175,000. (1234)
    • Hudson's Bay Company of Toronto, which operates The Bay and Zeller's stores, says it will offer a minimum donation of $250,000 but that donation will consist of shopping club points its customers will have to cash in. (1309)
    • National Bank of Canada of Montreal will donate $40,000 and will collect donations at its branches. (1330)
    • Nortel Networks of Brampton, Ont. will donate $350,000 (U.S.), and says it expects its employees to make a matching contribution of $350,000 (U.S.). (1502)
    • Telus Corp. of Burnaby, B.C., Canada's second largest phone company, will match whatever its employees donate up to $250,000 and will also donate 1 cent from every domestic and international long distance call its customers make from now until midnight Jan. 3. (1516)
    • Shell Canada of Calgary will donate $100,000 in cash. Shell Canada notes that Royal Dutch/Shell companies around the world have now donated a total of $3-million (U.S.) to the disaster relief efforts. (1636)
    • Irving Oil, one of the largest petroleum refiners and retailers in Atlantic Canada, said it will collect donations at its stores. It will also collect donations at its New England stores for donation to the American Red Cross.
    • McDonald's Restaurants of Canada of Toronto will donate $50,000 and its charitable organization, Ronald McDonald House will donate an additional $10,000. The company also said it would collect donations at its stores. (1702)