Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Spanish parliament has approved an amendment allowing gay marriage. It was interesting to read a newspaper article, written before the vote, in the local paper this morning on the issue. The arguments against it sound very similar to those in Canada. Its certainly a sign of how much Spain has changed in the 30 years since the death of Francisco Franco, going from being a very conservative society to being a very liberal one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Good news for Canadian Doctor Who fans. The CBC has signed out to air the second season of the series. As someone who has been watching the new version this is good to hear, as there is nothing worse than getting into a continuing series only to have it get cancelled in your market, especially given how season one of the new Who ended. This happened back in the mid '90s with Babylon 5. The CTV station in this market dropped it midway through season 2 as I remember it.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Ah politics, that wonderful breeder of hypocricy. It looks like the federal government's same sex marriage bill will pass this week. The Bloc Quebecois says they will support the bill, and so Conservative Party leader Steven Harper is claiming the bill is therefore illegitimate. Apparently ole Stevie thinks its perfectly legitimate for the Bloc's support to cause something to happen if it benefits his party, but not if it doesn't. There's not much else one can call it but hypocricy. Yes, the Bloc does want Quebec to leave Canada. But until that happens, and I suspect it never will, they are every bit a legitimate Canadian political party as any other.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Typical. Today's Toronto Blue Jays game was not broadcast in this market. And what do the Jays do? Beat the hot Washington Nationals 9-5. I would really have loved to hear or watch that game.
Old pseudoscience never dies, it just wanders off to produce silliness elsewhere. Take biorhythms. Although the idea had been around for decades it became very popular in the late '70s, perhaps because the arrival of the pocket calculator eased calculating them. (The instruction manual for a calculator I bought in the early '80s had a section in the instruction manual devoted to them.) The concept isn't all that popular these days, but people still use it. I came across a website called Celebmatch, which uses biorhythms to determine your supposed compatibility with various celebreties. The thing I found most interesting is the supposed celebs they match you up with. I'm guessing they're trying to cater to as international an audience as possible. When I entered my birthdate one of the people it matched me up with was Valerie Zwikker. Yeah, I've never heard of here either, but from looking at Google she seems to be a Dutch porn actress or something. She's appeared in Playboy in any case.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Sometimes I wonder at what ad execs are thinking. A new minivan ad features "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas. I wonder if the folks behind the ad actually listened to the lyrics. They're not exactly the kind that promote consumerism, or being interested in materialism.

Friday, June 24, 2005

For those interested in such things I've come across another Undergrads fanfic. Unfortunately it looks like another stalled project, since it hasn't been updated in almost 2 years.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

How's this for an oddball hit? Someone came here via a Yahoo search for Mick Mars fanfics. Ooooo-kay.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I just found out that CBC TV troublemaker Rick Mercer now has a blog. And its on to boot! Right now Mercer is looking for suggestions of where, which he just acquired the rights to, should redirect visitors. Currently he has it set to the Communist Party of Canada(Marxist-Leninist) site. I'm wondering if perhaps I should suggest it redirect to Some Ramblings From Mr. Gueguen. I'm sure Kenney would prefer me to Commies. Kenney is currently the Conservative Party MP for Calgary Southwest, and is a former President and CEo of the so called Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I know, you're probably sick already of hearing about the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes business, but I couldn't let this article pass. If its true this whole thing just gets weirder and weirder.

Speaking of celebs I can't help but roll my eyes at ads currently airing on Saskatoon's Rock 102 FM. They're promoting the new Herbie the Love Bug movie, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and the announcer says several variations on "Hey guys, Lindsey Lohan's in it." Sorry Mr. Announcer, but I'm not really interested in teenage girls, especially flavour of the month ones. She's just about young enough to be my daughter. And how the mighty have fallen. Michael Keaton and Matt Dillon are in this, playing second fiddle to a teen idol and a gimmicked car. No Dean Jones in it, not even a cameo. However, looking at his IMDB entry it would seem he's not working these days.

I was down by the river again today. The South Saskatchewan looked a bit higher than when I was down there last week, but not hugely so. Saskatoon is at no risk of flooding, but some other places along the river are.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

I just had a bag of Jollytime Blastobutter microwave popcorn. The verdict? Thumbs down I'm afraid. It was just too greasy and salty, and I'm someone who likes salty. I'll stick with more subtle popcorn.
If you come from a country with an actual winter, imagine the coldest its been when you've been outside for an extended period. I've been outside at lower than -20 degrees C temperatures for a couple of hours or so a few times, although I'm not sure of the coldest I've done this at.

Now imagine doing this for weeks, instead of a couple of hours.

British adventurer Pen Hadow has done this multiple times. On March 14, 2003 he was dropped off on Ward Hunt Island in Canada's High Arctic to begin his third attempt to make a journey to the North Pole on foot, solo and unsupported. Solo: The North Pole: Alone and Unsupported is his chronicle of this amazing adventure. Hadow carried literally everything he needed on his back and in an ice sledge he towed behind him that weighed 275 pounds when he started his journey. The book details both the basic history of artic exploration and Hadow's own history before concentrating on the challenging 10 weeks he spent reaching the Pole and the aftermath of his arrival. The book fortunately includes a lot of colour photographs from Hadow's visits to the Artic, showing things that even the majority of Canadians have never seen and are never likely to see. Even if you have been out in such cold temperatures its hard to imagine being in them for such a long time, with the only respite possible the shelter of a tent that even with the small stove he carried didn't warm up much at the coldest point of the journey. Its also hard to imagine knowing that if something bad happened the only help was hours away by aircraft if the plane could actually take off to reach you, and that the harsh conditions meant that a major screwup or injury could quickly be fatal.

I found this book very entertaining. But I don't think I will be trying to duplicate this kind of adventure. And to top it off, although its not detailed in this book, Hadow would go on before 2003 was out to walk to the South Pole as well. That's more time spent in the cold than most of us will probably spend in a lifetime. At least I hope so!
I hope filmmaker Robert Rodriguez has thick skin. His new film The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3D is being savaged by the critics. ( has a full slate of critiques here.) One odd think I've noticed about the film is that Shark Boy and Lava Girl are both played by actors whose first names are Taylor. Was this happenstance, or some weird desire on the part of Rodriguez? Of course this is a film based on ideas from his son Racer, so it wouldn't surprise me if the latter is the case. What kind of person in their right mind would name their kid Racer? His other children have the equally odd names of Rocket and Rebel.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Boy, it sure doesn't take long to start an online crusade these days. Someone has already established, which advocates freeing actress Katie Holmes from the clutches of Tom Cruise. The couple announced their engagement this week. Whether they actually get married strikes me as another question entirely.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I just spotted another personal anniversary I forgot about. June 11th was the second anniversary of my registering at Where's Willy. Interestingly I just happened to get my 150th hit that day. While we're on the subject, here's my Where's Willy profile.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

This should get people ranting and raving on both sides of the border. The first gay marriage has been held on a Canadian military base. I was surprised to hear about this, but apparently the Canadian Armed Forces have said they will allow such marriages in those provinces where they are currently legal.

Monday, June 13, 2005

It was reported tonight that Scott Young passed away Sunday at age 87. His 1984 book Neil and Me recounted his relationship with his son, rocker Neil Young.
I was down by the river this morning, near the Bessborough Hotel. I came across a pair of geese and their half grown offspring. It was interesting to see them at that size, versus the cute little goslings you always see in tv footage. I kept my distance, having no interest in a pair of overprotective parents coming after me. I would imagine a group of that size would eat a lot of food.

The South Saskatchewan is currently flowing at a strong clip due to the amount of rain that has fallen in Alberta in the last few weeks further upstream. I haven't seen the water that high in Saskatoon in a good long time. Fortunately no one has been stupid enough to fall in and put their lives at risk.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Its funny the things you don't realise. I was just looking at an ad for Melrose Place on DVD. It mentioned that the series ran for 7 seasons and produced 227 episodes. That's longer than I remember the series running. Its often forgotten that the series was technically a spinoff of Beverly Hills 90210, although I suspect this was more a matter of convenience than anything else, and that the show would have appeared even without the 90210 connection.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Looking through my e-mail I found the usual penis enlargement spam. One of them had the message line "Your friends will envy you." I wonder how many guys actually brag to their friends about the size of their penis. Or at the very least do so after they're, oh, say older than 17 or 18.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Bad news for Canadian fans of Krispy Kreme donuts. The US donut franchise is selling off its Canadian assets, and its quite possible the name will vanish from Canada. The parent company has been having its own problems, claiming that the low carb diet fad has hurt their sales. Personally their donuts don't sound like my kind of thing. I like my donuts cool, not hot.
It was announced this week that the new Pink Panther movie, featuring Steve Martin as Clouseau, has had its opening moved from August 5th to February 11th. Given that February isn't a peak period for movie releases a lot of people have had their perceptions that the new Panther is a pink turkey enhanced.

Why would anyone think this film is a good idea? Some films can be remade because the story is the important thing. The Pink Panther and its sequels are not examples of such films. The focus of the films was Peter Sellers as Clouseau, and the actual plots are secondary. As good as a comedian as Martin is he's not Sellers, and any attempt at copying Sellers will just come across as bad parody.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I was just out for a late night walk, and realised that the first anniversary of Some Ramblings From Mr. Gueguen came and went without me even noticing it. I first started this thing May 4th, 2004. Oh well, its not like you can have a party or something to celebrate the birth of your blog, unless you're Atrios or someone like that.

This week saw the French nuclear powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle enter Canadian waters as part of a joint naval exercise. I can't help but wonder whether the de Gaulle carries nuclear weapons. France is of course one of the senior nuclear powers. The Super Entendard fighter-bombers on board the de Gaulle can carry ASMP nuclear armed missiles, the warheads of which have a variable explosive power of 100 to 300 kilotons. But is the de Gaulle carrying these weapons? I doubt the French would reveal this publicly, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Canadian government doesn't ask. After all, if they ask the French about their ships having nukes then some folks here will want them to ask about American warships passing through Canadian waters having nukes, and thats something the government probably doesn't want to know. If they don't know and try not to know they don't actually have to formulate public policy on the issue.
Some unfortunate news to pass on for fans of British science fiction tv series. Actor Ed Bishop has died. Bishop was the voice of Captain Blue in the Supermarionation series Captain Scarlet, and starred as Col. Ed Straker in Gerry Anderson's first live actor tv series UFO. His death came only two days after the death of fellow UFO actor Michael Billington, who played Col. Paul Foster.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Interesting. AC/DC's Back In Black album has just been certified for sales of 21 million copies in the US, tying it with Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Vol I &II for 5th on the all time sales list. It kind of makes you wonder, as with many artists in a similar position, why they still tour, as unless they have the most corrupt management in sight they presumably have lots of money. Despite some of the excesses associated with the band they really don't have a rep for doing ridiculous things with their money. Then again you never know. Its hard to imagine how Willie Nelson could end up owing the IRS more than 16 million dollars.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Driving around today I heard "Wrapped Around Your Finger" by the Police for the first time in a while. From a guitarist's perspective its a rather interesting piece, a good example of the kind of textural guitar Andy Summers was one of the advocates for in the late '70s and early '80s. There's no guitar solo, but there's lots of guitar in the song. There's a subtle muted, and I think very slightly distorted, rhythm part, and Summers plays a couple of licks with that tone near the end. There's the clean and Echoplexed, or perhaps Roland Space Echoed, chord stabs. There's whats probably a Coral Electric Sitar in a couple of places. And towards the end of the song some typical Roland GR300 guitar synth sweeps can be heard. Quite a mix of stuff, all in a song that people obsessed with guitar pyrotechnics would probably dismiss as wimpy or something similar.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Who'da thunk it? The New York Yankees, with their 200 million buck payroll, are in fourth place in the American League East, a game and a half behind the Blue Jays, and have dipped below the .500 mark. If I were Yankees manager Joe Torre I'd be seeing how much I've got in my bank account, as my job might not be around much longer. Quite simply it seems that the Yankees braintrust made some major wrong moves in the off season, like letting certain pitchers go in favour of Randy Johnson.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

One of the annoying things about is that if you post on another computer besides the one you normally do it logs you out on your regular computer. I can only wonder why, as plenty of other systems let you log in from another computer without making you log in again.

Well, so far I'm not having the same kind of luck Modemac did. My mentioning Tom Cruise and Scientology didn't increase my hit count at all. Of course long term visitors here will be familiar with my attempts at using a randomly chosen phrase to attract hits and how that hasn't worked, so its likely not a surprise the Cruise mention wouldn't either. Mentioning somewhat more obscure topics, such as the cartoon series Delta State, have been much more successful than deliberate attempts to attract visitors.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I hope tonight's Oakland A's starter Joe Blanton isn't superstitious in a religious way. At the start of tonight's game his ERA was 6.66! His ERA reflects his problems, as the rookie has yet to win a game in the majors.

As I sit here Vernon Wells of the Jays just hit a first inning solo home run. So much for a 6.66 ERA, but not in a way that Blanton wants.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Want to get a lot of hits on your website? Apparently all you have to do is mention Tom Cruise and Scientology. Modemac claims his First Online Church of "Bob" has received a large number of hits of late because of Tom Cruise's recent Oprah appearance and his statement that actress Brooke Shields shouldn't have taken antidepressants to deal with a bought of postpartum depression. The site has an anti Scientology section. Personally I can't understand why anyone with two brain cells in their skull would believe Scientology given how insane it is.
As a followup to my last post its been announced that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has approved a plan to creat a .xxx domain for porn. Its surprising that it took them this long. The firm ICM Registry Inc. will sell .xxx addresses, and is expected to sell them for 60 dollars a year, roughly ten times higher than other firms charge for dot com names. Porn sites are a reported twelve billion dollar industry. Compare this with the budget for Canada's Department of National Defense, which is roughly twelve billion dollars Canadian.
As I've noted before I get regular hits on this blog for porn searches of one sort or another, which frankly kind of annoys me. Yes, I wouldn't get such hits if I hadn't used the term porn in various posts but its pretty much impossible not to use the term when you're talking about it. I suppose I could start using something like pron or a similar misspelling, but all that would likely do would bring hits from the illiterate who can't spell porn, or from the folks typing with one hand, if you catch my drift.

This of course brings up the thought of what would happen if all porn related Internet traffic suddenly ceased. Chances are certain ISPs and website design teams would instantly go out of business. Hell, probably a lot of them would given the amount of porn related traffic. Online sleaze is big business, and has reportedly taken a big toll on the print porn business. Its been suggested for example that the fall of Penthouse magazine was due to the rise of online porn, which offers instant access to a far wider array of stuff than can be contained in a single monthly issue of a magazine. It also has the advantage of anonymity. You don't have to explain to people you know why you were coming out of that adult bookstore with a hardcore bondage magazine, or face potential embarrassment buying a skin mag from the little old lady who runs the corner confectionary. And of course some folks can avoid the disapproval of their significant other, or parents, or whoever because online porn access allows one to download the stuff when no one is looking, and hide it on a closed off part of your harddrive or on CDROM.