IGA Independent?

So we’ve been shopping at the Charlottetown IGA since October. Strike that — it’s the Charlottetown IGA Independent, with that word Independent emblazoned all over the store. I felt more comfortable shopping there since I assumed this meant that the store wasn’t part of some large IGA Corporation but rather a breakaway independent store, locally owned an operated. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw Atlantic Superstore on my bank statement after paying for groceries at the IGA with a debit card. I called the store: “Oh, we went corporate in February… we’re owned by the Atlantic Superstore.” Shouldn’t they take the Independent off the marquee? I’ve sent a letter to owner (manager?) Dave Young.

Yucky fibre bits?

So the Canada Bread Company Limited has a new variety of their Dempster’s-brand bread, which they are advertising around the notion that children don’t like eating bread with yucky fibre bits. According to the company’s 1999 Annual Report,

Solid progress was achieved in implementing the five point turnaround plan designed to get the fundamentals right in our core businesses. In 2000 our goal is to achieve critical mass in the implementation of these fundamentals and to continue to translate this into improved results.
I can only assume that, at some level, the yucky fibre bits are involved in this turnaround. My only question is: do children really talk about yucky fibre bits in bread? Perhaps I am naive, but this smells a lot like the whole pulp-free orange juice debacle.


You can still send a telegram by Western Union, by dialing 1-800-325-6000. But service isn’t what it used to be: I tried sending a telegram to rural Winconsin last year, and was told that I couldn’t, as no Western Union office was in the area. Quite a change from the days when there was “practically no inhabited part of the world that is inaccessible to Western Union telegrams” (from Harts Guide to New York City, 1964)

The Perfect Television?

BeoVision 1 Television I think that I’ve found the perfect television. It’s the BeoVision 1 from Bang & Olufsen, a Danish maker of audio, video and telephone equipment. They make beautiful, functional things. Unfortunately, I received the following in an email this morning from B&O headquarters: I am afraid I cannot help you with information where to buy a BeoVision 1 in Canada, as we do not sell any of our television sets or videorecorders in Canada, and our television sets for other markets cannot be used in Canada due to different transmission systems. I guess I’m out of luck. Fortunately there appear to be plans to introduce a similar TV in North America this summer.

A few good things…

Some quick pointers to some good things I’ve found: the TD Bank Foreign Exchange Page is the best of the Canadian banks; Fountain Pen Hospital in downtown New York City (just around the corner from City Hall) sold me a wonderful Waterman Hemisphere fountain pen last week; Home Hardware, at least here in Charlottetown has started to sell a very interesting array of kitchen appliances and tableware; and finally, Metro Credit Union in Charlotttetown continues to provide us with prompt, friendly and comprehensive financial services.

Keeping the Faith

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Keeping the Faith, the new comedy from director turned actor Edward Norton, is better than Heaven Can Wait. Or even really in the same league. But it was a delightful movie, and while Ed Norton is no Warren Beatty, he shows tremendous promise, and I hold out great hope for his future endeavours. Keeping the Faith shares much in common with Beatty’s 1978 Heaven Can Wait (one of my favourite films of all time): they are both movies about religious faith, romantic faith, and the marriage of the two; they both include wonderful mature actors in interesting roles (James Mason and Buck Henry in the former, Anne Bancroft, Milos Forman and Ron Rifkin in the the later); and they are both intelligent comedies that manage to move beyond the traditional “romantic buddy movie” formula (see Trial and Error, Nothing to Lose) and include some interesting reflections on the human condition. I recommend both.

Of note: Milos Forman was also in the 1986 Mike Nichols film Heartburn, which also starred SCTV’s Catherine O’Hara. James Mason appeared in 140 films from 1931 to 1985.