Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall in Confederation Centre of the Arts was looking particularly striking today.

Paper-Oh Circuloo Notebooks

When Oliver and I were passing through Sackville, NB en route to Halifax in March, we stopped in at Tidewater Books on Bridge Street, and I picked up a couple of lined notebooks from the Circulo line of Vancouver’s Paper-Oh, notebooks that look like this:

Paper-Oh Circulo Notebook (closed)

I bought an A6 in red on black, and an A5 in orange-on-grey, both with lined paper; if I’d had my druthers, I would have bought the unlined variant, but this was before I started sketching, so they were intended for note-taking, not for drawing.

But I’ve been using them for sketching, for almost two months, and I love them:

  • They’re built like tanks, and even after two months of wear and tear they’ve both kept their shape. The covers are unusually thick, and wrap around completely, which really helps in this regard.
  • They have an ingenious almost-invisible magnetic latch. It seemed silly in the beginning, but the “click” of the latch, and the fact that it keeps the notebooks well-closed, is very satisfying.
  • The paper is very pleasant to draw on.
  • The lay-flat binding means that pages open right up, and the well-sewn binding means there’s no danger of pages falling out.

I’m well on my way through both notebooks, and so I went looking for a local source yesterday, but came up dry. Fortunately it looks like The Bookmark will be able to order some, so stay tuned if you want to get some for yourself.

Paper-Oh Circulo A6 open

Brìgh Music & Tea

From time to time, a new business opens in our neighbourhood that appears to make no sense. Often this lack of sensibility portends failure; the fishing tackle shop around the corner has closed, and one imagines that the kite/knitting shop that took its place cannot be too far behind.

I think Brìgh Music & Tea, however, is an exception.

While, on first blush, the notion of a shop selling tea and musical instruments appears to make no sense, once you walk in the door, meet the genial owners Mary and Cian, and realize there is method to the mad combination of music and tea, confidence in the enterprise’s future begins to emerge.

I’m enough of a musician to walk in the door of a music store, but, more often than not, I immediately feel like an interloper, and make haste lest I be asked whether I prefer dominant 7ths or minor 6ths. I would never, ever think of actually picking up an instrument.

At Brìgh, though, I have an alibi: I’m drinking tea, eating Katlin Doyle’s excellent chocolate, and listening to the impromptu jam sessions that appear to be a regular occurrence. I have a reason to be there.

And so, while I didn’t quite have what it took to pick up the lovely banjo hanging on the wall–someday–we did feel comfortable experimenting with the shakers, carimbas, drums, kazoos, and other musical curiosities that adorn the walls.

The tea–a lovely peppermint–was excellent, as was Katlin’s new Scottish Pureh tea-infused chocolate bar, shared with Oliver. And the musical accompaniment from the pipes and the fiddle as we sat on the stoop on a sunny Saturday was appreciated.

Cian and Mary seem, as near as I can tell, to be among the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Put all that together and perhaps Brìgh make more sense than first appears. I hope they’re a fixture on Water Street for the long haul.

Brigh Music & Tea on Water Street

May 13, 2017 - 13:15


93 Water Street
Charlottetown, PE C1A 1A5

To Understand, Just Divide by 365

I’ve been thinking more about transparency ticker tapes since I wrote this post.

The problem, I realized, with budget documents, like this 2017 one for Prince Edward Island, is that everything’s expressed in year-long chunks. And when faced with tables like this, most people who are not the Provincial Treasurer, myself included, glaze over with with incomprehension.

A snippet from the 2017 PEI Budget showing Expediture Summary for 2017-2018

Things become much more comprehensible when you divide year-long numbers by 365 to get day-long numbers.

So, for example, it costs about $726,000 a day to have schools, early learning centres, museums and libraries.

And it costs about $16,000 a day to have a Legislative Assembly, $7,000 a day to have a Chief Public Health Office, $1,900 a day to have a Premier’s Office, and we spend $21 a day on forest fire equipment.

We get about $2 million a day from the federal government, $90,000 a day from tobacco taxes, $20,000 a day from beverage container deposits, and $1,900 a day from boiler, electrical and elevator inspection fees.

When everything is rolled together, we take in about $4.9 million and spend about $4.4 million, every day of the year (note that I’m not including the substantial $197 million a year spent on interest and amortization in this calculation).


The Hollywood community space Junior High is transparent about its finances. For example:

rent / landestine, llc: $2500.00

electricity / los angeles department of water and power: ranging from $60-$150

internet / time warner cable: $79.99

toiletries and cleaning supplies: ~$25

restock on merchandise: ~$500

retail supplies: ~$50

paypal and paypal here for retail sales and additional banking. paypal is a business we do not support ethically, but are having trouble finding another company with similar ease and accessibility that does not subscribe to shitty ethical practices.

I’ve been thinking a lot about government and transparency; I’d like to see a similar human-readable ticker tape from the provincial government, for example, summarizing expenses and revenue every day.

We spent $32,000 on road salt and $79,000 on CT scans today, and took in $46,000 in HST revenue.


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