Good morning, folks.
Hope you all are keeping well.
I took another long weekend and had hoped to get out for a nice, long bike ride on Monday.
Those plans were changed, of course, owing to the smoky air conditions we're currently experiencing.
Since I had been putting off a visit to the Genius Bar at the Apple store — I needed some help with an iPad issue — I decided it would be a good day to visit the mall and then go out for a late lunch with a friend. A pretty normal pre-pandemic weekday afternoon when off work, but not something I'd done since the Before Times.
After a smooth resolution with the iPad, I had a less pleasurable experience afterwards when I decided to check out one of my favourite stores in Polo Park and found that items I had previously purchased had gone up considerably — with a capital C — in price.
The sales clerk attempting to assist me had no explanation.
Escaping the mall, we went for some grub at a popular local eatery: yikes, lunch entrees are $18 now?!
Exactly how long have I been asleep? Is this the new normal?
During the pandemic we have seen price gouging on items like bikes, exercise equipment and — as my colleague Dan Lett points out in this week's edition of Not For Attribution — plywood, but now that I've been let out in the world again — I got my vax pass on Sunday, by the way — it seems I'm going to need to make a few adjustments, or not.
If it's the plan of some merchants to recoup lost sales owing to the pandemic by raising prices, here's how it went for me: I was heading into that store prepared to purchase about $40 in product. I left spending zilch.
And, I'm happy to eat at home if it's now going to cost me $50 for lunch.
And, you kids get off my lawn!
On the other hand, if you're looking for a sweet deal this weekend, here's one:
The Manitoba Cycling Association is holding its inaugural Tour de Glace on Saturday.
The 20-km recreational bike ride starts and ends at The Forks, with stops at four of the city's tastiest ice cream shops — Chaeban, Eva's, Fête, and Dug and Betty's.
For those of you who read this mailing regularly, you know I have a weakness for good ice cream and I appreciate the emails you've sent me about your experiences at our local creameries: we've got some good ones.
Just to review:
I have trumpeted the salted caramel at Fête as the best I've ever had;
Eva's is in my neighbourhood and I'm a big fan of the Dulce de leche granizado combined with banana split;
I recently had an amazing two-scoop cone at Chaeban combining Anna Bananutella and Sherry Chocolate;
And, my best ice cream experience of late was a cherries, hot fudge and Oreo parfait at Dug and Betty's.
If you can't decide on just one of those, take the tour and you can try all four.
Today is the final day to register for the event.
Sorry for not letting you know sooner — it was $5 off for early-bird registrtation.
But who cares? It's ice cream. I'd spend my last dime — or, I guess $10 bill — on that.
As always, folks, you can reach me by replying to this mailing or by sending me an email here.
• Mock up: Mike McIntyre has an NHL expansion draft column for you. Imagining he is in the shoes of Seattle GM Ron Francis, Mike breaks down the best options available from each team and builds his own Kraken roster, assessing which teams stand to get hit the hardest;
• Bubble break: Despite winning six of seven games, Valour FC cannot wait for The Kickoff — the name of the Canadian Premier League bubble in Winnipeg — to be over with. But life on the outside might not be so easy as star defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste got carted off the pitch on Sunday and the team is awaiting to find out the extent of the damage. Taylor Allen chatted on Tuesday with head coach Rob Gale and right-back Stefan Cebara and has a story on their thoughts on the grind of the bubble, the team being at the top of the table, and their concerns about potentially losing Jean-Baptiste;
• Road to the Draft: Mike Sawatzky has a story on Winnipeg's Cole Jordan. The 18-year-old Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman has been rising on NHL draft boards in the last six months and could be a sneaky good selection somewhere in the middle rounds of this weekend's draft.
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