Perhaps the thing I particularly dislike about Kingston is the quality of the snow clearance in winter. It’s now about 48 hours after a major snowfall, and while the roads were quickly cleared, the sidewalks remain hidden under mostly unbroken snow. Sometimes you see footprints where somebody tried to walk, but most people walk in the street to avoid hacking through a foot or more of snow. This does not work on main roads with lots of traffic, so you’d think the city would at least try to clear, say, Princess Street’s sidewalk. But no. Heading downtown via Princess earlier today to do some Christmas shopping, I soon realized that very little effort was made to get those sidewalks cleaned, which is major annoyance due to aforementioned traffic preventing me walking on the relatively clear street. Let me clarify: the sidewalks were, at one point, visited by a snow removal machine, but for some reason they seem to simply roll over the snow without actually clearing any of it. I don’t remember this type of annoyance happening in Montreal… (OK, minor annoyance. But I got mad at the lack of snow removal and swore I was going to blog this while trudging through to the snow today and by golly, I’ve done it.)
In more pleasant news, the world chess cup is over in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia. Levon Aronian beat former FIDE champion Ruslan Ponomariov in tiebreaks to win. The top ten (eleven?) qualify for the next round of the world championship cycle according to FIDE’s convoluted rules, meaning that 15 year old Magnus Carlsen is into the candidates’ matches. Hooray! Youngest ever, younger than Fischer I think, and he’s the brightest light in chess right now. (He gained a whopping 25 ratings points here and scored impressive victories against several players rated ~100 points higher than him). Go Magnus!