Google

Friday, December 25, 2009

Another Sign Of Aging.

You're happy to get clothing for Christmas instead of being annoyed you didn't get something cool, like music, games, etcetera.

Have a happy and safe holiday season, even if it isn't holiday season where you are.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fail!

Apparently someone out there can't read. I declared this Draw the Pope Week, not Attack the Pope Week. Drawing is much more fun than attacking, and in most places much less likely to get you thrown in jail.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Balloon Boy Is Number One.

Well, the producers at Global TV's supperhour national news program think so. Falcon Henne's parents being given jail sentences was their lead story tonight. Why they thought it was a more important story than the crash of an American Airlines Boeing 737 in Jamaica is something I'd like to know. I think I'll forego asking, as I've got a pretty good idea that the answer beings with r and ends in atings. Hopefully other Canadian national newscasts today put that story where it belongs, towards the end of the program.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Draw The Pope Week.




I was just reading this post over at Pharyngula and it got me thinking. Let's have a Draw the Pope Week! After all we might not get a chance soon if we have to shell out licensing fees to do so. The angry looking Pope is by PZ Myers, while the smiling Pope is my version via MS Paint. (Yes, I know, stick to photos and writing, I hear ya.)

Dance To This.



Another fun little find from YouTube. I hadn't imagined that I'd find actual video footage of the League of Gentlemen, Robert Fripp's 1980 combo. Better yet is that it's good footage, with reasonable sound and good quality video. Too bad there isn't more of it, and too bad you can't see more of the band. The fellow behind the organ is Barry Andrews, member of the early lineup of XTC and later leader of Shriekback.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hey Don and Glenn.



In his autobiography Heaven and Hell Don Felder claims that you wanted to leave "Journey of the Sorcerer" off of One of These Nights.

Seriously, what the hell were you thinking? The song is a classic.

Friday, December 18, 2009

What's YOUR List?

Salon has released a list of the top 10 crazy people of the year, with Glenn Beck in the number one spot. Of course the list is American-centric given that Salon is an American production, so the choices are actually pretty narrow. The world is full of noteable crazies, and the majority of people outside North America have never heard of Beck, let alone former Growing Pains star turned Creationist ninny Kirk Cameron. I'm not sure Jon and Kate Gosselin count as crazy, just immature, and there are a lot of people like them who aren't famous. So, who is on your list of the top crazies of the year, assuming you have one? I don't have such a list floating around in the ole noggin, so feel free to post yours in the comment section to this post.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Comments Are Welcome...

...spam is not. Since I've started to get some comment spam I've enabled keyword verification. As for the spammers, may their computers be infected with the most nasty of viruses.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

No Withdrawal Symptoms.

One of the places I regularly visit online is Harmony Central's web forums. Unfortunately the whole site has been offline since Tuesday due to an intrusion by unauthorised visitors who managed to get access to some of the adminstration functions. Fortunately I haven't experienced any physical symptoms because of their absense. But it's still rather annoying that its offline. And I have to wonder about the seriousness of the situation given that they have been offline for several days, with no indication when they'll be active again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

You'll Need A Big Scale.

Browsing through a bookstore today I spotted yet another JFK assassination book. Like many this one claims it was the Mafia that offed him. It got me wondering how much the weight of all the JFK books is. How much would a pile with a single example of every book written on the assassination weigh? Even if you only collected the English language titles I suspect the resulting mass would weigh several tonnes. I doubt there's anyone with a complete collection they could weigh to find out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where's My Traffic?

I know, I commented that Tiger Woods is getting too much Canadian press attention. But I couldn't help but post a Woods related post again given the stories floating around the last day or so. Specifically Yahoo has reported a big traffic increase associated with his recent problems. Meanwhile, British scientist Doctor John Gribbin has had a spike in interest in his book Get a Grip on Physics because it was visible in Tiger's car after the crash. So where's my traffic uptick? After all I did make a post mentioning his name. Then again this isn't the first time this has happened. I've mentioned Harry Potter at least a half dozen times on here, yet I don't think I've had a single hit based on those mentions. On the other hand the Stewie Griffin traffic I've mentioned before continues.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Zero For Zero.

I actually managed to go through Saturday and Sunday without spending a cent. I wonder when the last time that happened was. Probably not since I was a kid. It's just too easy to find things to spend money on given the chance, but since I didn't leave the house over the weekend, having no reason to, I wasn't tempted.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Gimme Some Heat!

As you can see from the Saskatoon forecast it's gonna be cold this week. So send me your excess heat. Surely you have some lying around you aren't using.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, December 4, 2009.

Just about forgot to get this in today. There's no confusion this time. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 94.9 cents a litre.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I'm Famous.

Okay, not really. But I am visible in Google's newly activated Google Street View of Saskatoon. Specifically that's me visible on the scan of Bourgonje Crescent. I happened to be there the day the Google mapping vehicle drove down Bourgonje, and since then I've wondered if I might turn up in the images when they were posted. And yep, there I am. So now anyone who decides to take a scan around Bourgonje will see me standing there by the car I was driving that day. Of course per Google's privacy policy my face has been blurred, so you aren't likely to be calling out my name if we walk past each other on the street and we haven't already met in person, but it's still cool anyways.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Too Much Tiger.

Canadian newsmedia, you're spending too much time on Tiger Woods and his apparent fooling around. Especially you, Global. His problems did not belong in the opening slot of your supper hour newscast, or indeed in the first half of the broadcast. Important things belong there, like Harper in China and the US troop surge for Afghanistan. The failings of celebs should be left mainly to the entertainment news shows unless they do something extremely bad like cause a death.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A Rapid Weight Loss Tip.

If your scale is set to read out in pounds switch it to read out in kilograms if you can. Step on the scale and it will suddenly seem like you've lost a large amount of weight. Of course if anyone thinks it's still reading in pounds they might think you've come down with anorexia, so perhaps not the best idea.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Home Made.



It's fun finding old commercials, rock videos, and TV shows on YouTube. But you can also find a lot of cool stuff people have done themselves. Above is an example by a fellow who calls himself organfairy, an original piece called "Torden over Herning." One of the things I find cool about it is that most of the sounds come from instruments most would consider toys, including '90s bottomenders from Casio's range of the era, the SA-1 and SA-3. I'm sure I annoyed a few people fooling around with one of these in a now gone Canadian Tire outlet when they were new. Don't forget to check out his other videos as well.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, November 27, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 91.9 cents a litre, or 92.9 cents a litre, depending on which chain gas station you go to. At midday at least stations could be found offering gas at one or the other price.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Green And White Go Grey (Cup).

That odd noise you just heard? It was a bunch of Saskatchewan Roughriders fans cheering, as the Riders just defeated the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL West final. Next week it's off to the Grey Cup, and their first Grey Cup matchup ever with the Montreal Alouettes. That fact kind of surprised me. I would have thought the two teams had battled for the Cup before.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Enough!

Could we please have a break from those obnoxious teeth whitening ads in banner ads? I'm tired of looking at discoloured teeth every second webpage I visit.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, November 20, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 96.9 cents a litre. Except where it isn't.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Too Early.

They're already playing Christmas music in the malls. Couldn't they have waited another couple of weeks?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spring In November.

It sure seems like it. Today it got to 14 degrees or more Celcius, which is the kind of temperature you expect in April or May, not November. If only it could stay that way, as it's supposed to get to more normal temperatures as the weekend approaches.

Pork, Raspberries, Coke.

Three foods that apparently I shouldn't consume within a few hours of each other, as the combo gave me strong heartburn.

Monday, November 16, 2009

They Didn't Get The Notice.

Calgary was struck by racist vandals last night, who painted antisemitic grafitti in various places. I saw a shot of one example that shows the idiots involved apparently didn't get the message from scumbag central. It read "Six million more," refering of course to the Holocaust. I guess these guys didn't hear you're not supposed to believe in the Holocaust if you're that sort of bigot.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What A Surprise.

Looking at the main page of the blog after making the last post I spotted a surprising ad in my Google Adsense banner. It was for a DVD of Destination Moonbase Alpha. This was a compilation film created out of the two part second season Space: 1999 episode "Bringers of Wonder." ATV/ITC apparently hoped to have this released theatrically, but there is no evidence this ever happened. It did appear on TV in various places over the years. Since it was made out of two parts of the same story it holds together much better than the other attempts at 1999 compilation movies, Alien Attack, Journey Through the Black Sun, and Cosmic Princess. Annoying the episodes used for these were pulled from syndication, so for many years no one was able to watch the original versions when the series aired on TV. The movies aired in Canada at least as late as August of 1999, when Space: The Imagination Station aired them. Apparently whoever was scheduling things at Space then was kind of clueless about the show, as they really should have aired in September of 1999 to coincide with Moon being blown out of orbit in the series on September 13, 1999. Not that Space seemed much interested in the series anyways, as they never aired it in its original form.

Seeing a DVD release for it advertised via Google isn't something I ever would have expected.

Gas In Saskatoon, November 13, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 99.9 cents a litre. Probably. There was some confusion during the day, with some places showing a 96.9 cent price while most showed 99.9 cents.

Another Case Of Remakeitis.

Hollywood's lack of imagination strikes again. Variety is reporting ABC is about to order a pilot for a remake of Charlie's Angels, the '70s hit about 3 female detectives working for a boss the viewer never saw, only heard via an intercom. The fact that Drew Barrymore is involved doesn't seem promising, since the two big screen Charlie's Angels films she starred in never seemed to able to make up their mind whether they were playing it straight or were parodies. Will the new version be a hit? It's hardly a given, since revivals of Knight Rider and The Bionic Woman in recent years were cancelled due to poor ratings.

I wonder what's next in the remake market. Will we see a new version of say 21 Jump Street eventually? How about a Facts of Life revival? Have some continuity with the original by bringing back Mindy Cohn's Natalie character in the "housemother" role served by Charlotte Rae's Mrs. Garrett character in the original. Hmm, anyone wanna team up with me and try and sell this idea?

Perhaps what Hollywood needs these days is another Aaron Spelling. Whether you liked his output or not Spelling was in one way or another responsible for a large chunk of the TV landscape for decades.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

That Damn Baby.

Seriously, what's wrong with you people? It seems like half the hits I get these days are for the Stewie Griffin post I did a while back. At this rate maybe Fox should start paying me as part of their advertising effort for the show.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tuning Around.

I picked up a new toy last week, a Grundig G8 Traveller II shortwave radio. However I bought it for AM DXing, as it's considered one of the ultralight class of radios like my Sony SRF-59. Here's what I heard a bit ago. Saskatoon is -6 hours behind UTC, hence the October 9th date.


October 9:

970 khz at 0022. Very good with ads including Chunky Soup, followed by finish of New York Giants football broadcast. 970 WDAY ID at 0025. Fargo, North Dakota.

970 khz at 0027. Very good with WDAY nulled. Discussion of Sunday NFL games. 970 KBUL ID at 0032. Billings, Montana. I'm surprised two stations so close to each other share the same frequency.

1000 khz at 0039. Very good with weather and KOMO News Radio ID at 0039. Some slop from CBW Winnipeg on 990 khz noticeable at times. Seattle, Washington.

1010 khz at 0047. Very good to good signal with Writers and Company program. No ID but obviously CBR with CBC Radio One feed. Calgary, Alberta.

1030 khz at 0050. Fair with discussion of Medicare and health care reform. KTWO ID at 0059. Caspar, Wyoming.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

1500th.

This is my 1500th post to this blog. Not bad for something I started pretty much on a whim after hearing about how this blogging stuff was the new hip thing. Too bad I posted my 1000th post without noticing, but this is sort of a makeup for that omission. Hopefully the next 1500 will come along a bit quicker.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Congratulations, Eric.

There's bound to be quite a bit of press over the next few days about Alex Rodriguez finally getting a World Series ring with the Yankees. But you don't have to be a superstar to have one, or even multiple rings. Former Toronto Blue Jay Eric Hinske was part of the Yankees's World Series lineup, marking his third appearance in the series in 3 consecutive years and his second with a winning team, having been a part of the Boston Red Sox's winning 2007 lineup. He also appeared in the Tampa Bay Ray's unsuccessful 2008 World Series appearance. Not bad for a guy whose role has for several years been that of a utility bench player. A lot of much more hyped players won't get to play in one World Series, let alone three, or end up with two World Series rings. And who knows, his career still has some gas left in it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Twang!

I love guitars, and I love seeing guitar collections that go beyond the usual suspects. A good example of such a collection is that of Dutch guitarist Wietse. His webpage showcases the guitars he's accumulated, many of which he bought for amazingly low prices, and many of which are good examples of some of the strange and bizarre directions electric guitars went in the '60s and '70s.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 1, H1N1 0.

Halloween has come and pretty much gone. I had wondered if the paranoia about the H1N1 flu might dissuade some trick or treaters, but I think we had about the same number this year as last year. I guess I should have kept records last year for comparison.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Battery Conundrum.

I just bought a radio that uses 3 AA batteries, which I have installed because using it on batteries is useful for some things. But batteries tend to come packed in multiples of two and four. So I now have a left over battery that will sit in my drawer for the foreseeable future, since most of the things that use AA batteries around here use at least two at a time. Perhaps I should go out and try to find a penlight that use one AA.

Gas In Saskatoon, October 30, 2009.

Gas prices have been like a pinball over the last week. On Saturday they actually dropped 2 cents a litre to 97.9. This was followed by a rise at the beginning of the week to 104.9 cents a litre. This was followed by a drop on Thursday, giving us the current price of 102.9 cents a litre.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vote, Saskatoon.

I really should have done this last night, or maybe Monday, but better late than never. Today is civic election day in Saskatoon, so vote if you can, Saskatonians. If you don't vote don't come crying to me if you don't like who was elected, because by not voting you in effect voted for whoever won.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, October 23, 2009.

After several downward moves the trend has reversed itself. Gas in Saskatoon is now 99.9 cents a litre.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Self Promotion.

Today former US President George W. Bush made an appearence at Saskatoon's TCU Place. If you'd like to get an idea of what it was like outside while this went on check out this post at my photoblog Saskatoon At 7 Megapixels. Its the most ambitious post I've done on there yet, and hopefully I'll get a chance to do something like it again soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Bunch Of Hot Air.

Yep, I'm going to post about the "Balloon Boy" saga before it gets too stale. Does this count as Shameless Hit Mongering?

Thinking about the case this morning reminded me of the animated movie Up that was in the theatres this summer. I would imagine a few kids tried to imitate the plot of that film by tying balloons to things, including themselves, and were profoundly disappointed. No doubt a few have spent the last few days trying to make tinfoil balloons so they can try flying, or at least launch their own balloon. And we're bound to see some copycat attempts by people old enough to know better in short order.

I'm surprised to hear that the kid won't be facing charges. I get the impression they like to charge 'em pretty young in some parts of the US.

I wonder how long it will be before a "movie of the week" of this story hits the air. I'm sure the obviously publicity craving Heene parents are even as I write this trying to sell their version to someone. Sounds like they'll need the money for legal expenses. And you can be sure an episode inspired by this story will appear on Law and Order or CSI sometime in the next year or two.

Finally, Falcon? You named your kid Falcon? What were you thinking? Oh, that's right, apparently rational thinking isn't a high priority in the Heene house given that you're not only alleged hoaxsters, you've also appeared on the TV series Wife Swap. I'm sure at least one of your kids will be writing a tell-all book about his childhood 20 years down the road.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Jim On Alpha.



Yes, I'm a Space: 1999 fan. Why did you ask?

From YouTube here's the opening sequence from the first season episode "The Troubled Spirit." This music, parts of which is used elsewhere in the episode, is performed by well known British session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan, who appears as the musician playing the music on Moonbase Alpha. The instrument used is a Coral Electric Sitar, a guitar designed to have a sitar like sound. It was created by the Danelectro guitar company in the mid '60s with the help of New York sessioner Vinnie Bell to cash in on the Indian music fad launched by Beatles' recordings like "Norwegian Wood."

The episode is a good example of the often gothic and psychedelic feel of the first season of the series. Chaos is unleashed when an attempt to communicate with plants(plant intelligence being an idea popular when the episode was made, now long debunked) causes Alpha scientist Dan Mateo's vengeful spirit to haunt Alpha before Mateo's death.

Sorry, Douglas.

The classic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series claims the answer to the ultimate question, life, the Universe etc. etc. is 42. From my perspective right now I'm just not seeing it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Point Of Order.

Today a lot of attention is paid to between episode continuity of TV shows. Some shows are strongly continuity oriented, with the writers trying to create an ongoing story arc across many episodes. Even shows that aren't tend to pay attention to the issue. But that wasn't always the case. There was a time when it was considered better to avoid strong continuity so that a series could be aired in any order. The first season of Space: 1999 was a typical example, and what order you saw the episodes in depended on what station you were watching it on. Although many fans today feel production order is the best choice others have different ideas. Andrew Kearley has come up with his own viewing order, and his thinking behind this order makes for interesting reading. If you're familiar with the series give it a look, and see how it compares to your arrangement, assuming you have a prefered order.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hockey That Doesn't Matter.

Once again those creeps at Rogers Sportsnet are trying to extort money out of baseball viewers in Western Canada. Instead of playing the Yankees versus the Angels they're playing a Calgary Flames game. This early in the season it's a meaningless game. Of course you can see the Yankees game if you subscribe to the alternate Sportsnet feeds, but this of course costs money. And if you don't already do so I suspect you're not likely going to get those feeds operational in time for tonight's game. Too bad TSN didn't get the rights, as they don't seem to play these kind of silly games.

Persistent Nonsense.

I was just reading that the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, creator and head of the Unification Church, is 89. Unfortunately like Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard it looks like the crap he created will persist after his death. He's made provisions for his kids to take over the empire he's created, including appointing son Hyung Jin Moon his replacement as head of the Unification Church, while putting others such as son Justin in charge of family business holdings(Justin being in charge of Kahr Arms.) Whether or not Moon truly thinks he is the Messiah as he and the church claim he's used that idea to make lots of money off his followers around the world, as well as supporting dubious right wing causes in the US.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Say What?

Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. Bizarre. I was glad Obama got elected given that he's a Democrat after 8 years of a Republican President, is America's first black President, and because it meant the silly Sarah Palin wouldn't have a chance to take the job if something happened to John McCain. But to be blunt as of yet he really hasn't done much internationallly, which is no surprise given that he hasn't been in the office a year yet. So what was the Nobel Prize selection committee thinking? It almost seems like a thumb of the nose against George W. Bush and his shakey commitment to international relations and multilateralism. The right wing talking heads in the US should be already working themselves up to a good lather this morning, although coming on a Friday it will give some folks a bit of time to calm down over the weekend.

Can you turn down the Prize? Mr. Obama might want to seriously consider the idea.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Corner Series.

Today my mother asked me who'd I like to see in the World Series. Personally I think the LA Dodgers versus the New York Yankees would be cool. You'd have the two teams most far apart geographically in the majors competing, and of course would see what used to be the Yankees fellow New York team the Brooklyn Dodgers competing against them. On the other hand the Minnesota Twins representing the American League would be cool as well given that they are about to abandon the Metrodome for the new Target Field, which will open as their new ballpark next Spring.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Economy.

Today I finally had to change the battery in my Sony SRF-59 radio. A single AA battery has lasted me since January of 2008! Talk about long battery life. Supposedly the battery is supposed to last 100 hours, but I think the Life Brand akaline I had in it outlasted that number considerably.

You can find out more about this fun little machine at DXer.ca or at the Yahoo Ultralight DX group.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, October 2, 2009.

Another drop to report. Gas in Saskatoon is now 95.9 cents a litre.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Bad Case Of Remakeitis.

Hollywood's lazy remake habit is bad enough, but you really have to wonder what they're thinking with some of them. There's a remake of Red Dawn currently in production. The original starred the late Patrick Swayze as a member of a group of teenagers who take up arms when the Soviet Union invades the US. The premise was ridiculous in 1984 and is even more ridiculous now even with the main bad guys switched to the Chinese this time. Does this mean that Amerika will be remade next? It makes about as much sense. I can't help but suspect that whoever greenlighted the Red Dawn remake was a kid back in the '80s and it was his favourite film.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good Luck, Cleveland.

Tom Shales of the Washington Post has written a scathing review of the new Family Guy spinoff, The Cleveland Show, and its creator Seth MacFarlane. Somehow I doubt he'll be on MacFarlane's Christmas card list this year. Personally I haven't been waiting with baited breath for the new show, and am in no hurry to see it now that it has hit the air. Fox has been pushing it for months with ads, but I wonder if it will have much of a run. Was anyone waiting for a spinoff of one of the lesser characters in the series? Most folks would expect the obvious, a spinoff featuring terrifying tot Stewie and Brian the talking dog, who frankly are the ones who lead to my occasional viewing of the show. Even Peter's lascivious buddy Glen Quagmire seems like a more likely choice of spinoff lead. The series did pull a credible 9.4 millon viewers for its debut, but it remains to be seen if that will hold up in the long run.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Duo.

Yep, it's two for one day here on the blog. Since I mentioned the other day I was having a bit of "fun" restringing my guitars I figured I might as well post some pics of them.

guitars1

On the left we have an Aria Pro II TS-300 Thor Sound. Why they went with the name Thor Sound is something I don't know. This is apparently a 1980 instrument given the K80 serial number, and came from the now defunct Matsumoku guitar factory in Matsumoto, Japan. Despite its appearance this is actually a bolt on neck guitar, and was the low end of the Thor Sound range, which also had glued neck and neck through models. I bought if off eBay some years ago from a seller in Florida.

On the right we have my long time companion, a Fender Japan '57 Reissue style Stratocaster. I bought it from Saskatoon's The Music Box way back in 1987, so it dates from somewhere in the 1985 to 1987 range. These guitars were made for Fender by Fujigen Gakki, probably the best known Japanese guitar plant and makers of instruments for Ibanez and Greco amongst others. It was supposedly used when I bought it, so I have no idea if the pickups are stock or not. (Music Box eventually became the Saskatoon outlet of Long and McQuade.)

guitars2

Here's a closer shot of the bodies. The sticker on the Strat's pickguard is of Homer Simpson, and came out of a bag of Hostess chips probably a decade or more ago. Too bad you can't see the see through quality of the finish on the TS-300, which shows off some nice wood.

guitars3

And here are the headstocks, with the Thor Sound logo clearly visible.

Roman Ruins.

The arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland over the weekend generated a lot of attention. Given that he had travelled to the country numerous times his arrest seems suspiciously like a political move, intended to the appeal to the same "get tough on crime" demographic as North American politicians do. Polanski pled guilty in LA in 1978 to having sex with a 13 year old girl, but fled to France before sentencing. Coming as it does right after actress/singer Mackenzie Phillips claimed that her late father, John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas, had an incestuous relationship with her I can't help but wonder if there was something in the California water in the '70s. The whole mess reminded me of another LA example, Lori Maddox, who as a 14 year old had an affair with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and depending on which version of her story you believe may have lost her viriginity at 13 to David and then wife Angela Bowie. And her story apparently isn't atypical of the groupie scene of the era.

Why did Polanski run? Last year's biopic Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired claims Polanski fled after the judge in the case looked as if he would renege on a plea agreement that would have seen Polanski serve no jail time other than the 42 days he spent incarcerated pre-trial. Even if true you have to wonder if doing the time would have been much worse for him. Given the slap on the wrist sentences apparently given for such crimes at the time he would likely have been able to get out of jail in fairly short order one way or another. Polanski's exile surely harmed his career, cutting him off as it did from big money Hollywood films.

These cases also bring up the obvious question of what a middle aged man would see in a 13 year old. Don't ask me, because I haven't got a clue.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm A Stringer.

I was just changing the strings on one of my guitars. Given the trouble I was having I think it's fair to say that I've haven't restrung that guitar often enough. Of course I could be like some people and just never restring my instruments. I saw an article recently about the great Jamaican born bassist Phil Chen and he supposedly has the same strings on his main Fender Jazz Bass as when he bought it in the '60s. Of course its a little bit easier to do something like that on a bass given the considerably thicker strings used.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, September 25, 2009.

Although the weather in Saskatoon might fool you into thinking otherwise Summer is now officially over, and once more the price of gas has dropped. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 97.9 cents a litre.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Annoyance.

Credit cards can be such a pain in the ass. With cash you always know where you are, as you instantly know if you have enough and that it will be instantly accepted. If your credit card is buggered up you might not know it until it's too late.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walkies At Midnight.

Looking out the kitchen window at around midnight I saw someone out walking their dog. It struck me as kind of a weird time to be doing that. On the other hand it was a great big hairy dog, so I doubt the guy walking it had anything to worry about.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Did She Meet Lum?

Recently elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is a lucky man he's a Japanese politician. You couldn't reach the top political office in the US if your wife was open about her astral travels to Venus. Miyuki Hatoyama has also stated she knew Tom Cruise in a previous life when he was Japanese.

Lum, you ask? Read this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

They Forgot.

It seems the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees forgot what game they were playing tonight. A brawl broke out in the bottom of the 8th when Jorge Posada brushed Jesse Carlson as he came in to score a run. Guys, you were playing baseball, not hockey. Hockey is the game where time is wasted with silly fisticuffs.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tenth.

Wow, hard to believe it's ten years already since the Moon was blown out of orbit. Well, it is if you live in a certain parallel universe. Once 1999 seemed so far away, and now it's ten years gone. Too bad we don't have the kind of space program portrayed in Space: 1999, minus the whole losing the Moon aspect.

Oddly enough September 13th also happens to be Barbara Bain's birthday. She turned 78 today. It would be interesting to know if Gerry Anderson chose the date for Breakaway before or after he hired her to play Helena Russell.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, September 11, 2009.

Summer vacation season is over, Labour Day long weekend has come and gone, and the price of gas is down. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 99.9 cents a litre.

Get Friendly.



Feeling down? There's a good chance this will cheer you up, especially if you're Canadian and remember CBC kid's programming of days gone by. No overactive running around or overly sweet pandering here. Interestingly it seems to me some of the dialogue here might actually have been improvised. Cool if true. Seriously, how can you not dig a pair of swinging cats like those?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

23rds Not The Charm.











Last night City Council discussed the plans for renovating the troublesome 23rtd Street bus mall. Although no actual work has been done yet the project is expected to go over budget, and the councillors sent the current design proposal back to Saskatoon Transit for more work. They feel the proposed design isn't patron friendly enough, and doesn't consider the potential for housing businesses. But I have to wonder about Maurice Neault, whose idea is that the terminal building be put on stilts, 15 feet in the air, in an effort to create some sort of cool landmark. Does Neault actually use the buses? If he did he would see that many users of the system are seniors, mothers with young children, and the disabled. His "skyterminal" would therefore require elevators to allow access to these customers, who will not be likely to climb two storeys of stairs to access whatever public facilities might go in the terminal building. A street level terminal building is much more accessable and much more welcoming.
I'll also use this post to make a prediction. One of the ideas in the existing terminal plan is for some sort of coffee shop. It will not surprise me at all if this turns out to be a Tim Hortons. Currently the nearest Hortons to downtown is by Kelsey Institute on Idylwyld Drive. They have no outlet in downtown proper, and the bus mall would be an obvious location for them to build one.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, September 4, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 101.9 cents a litre. The price of gas held steady for almost a month at 103.9 cents a litre before yesterday's drop. And this drop comes just before a holiday long weekend, which is commonly assumed to be an excuse for the price to go up.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hey, Deviantart!

Fix your search engine already! I'm sure you've had several hundred complaints by now.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Request For Brian Tallet.

Get rid of those sideburns. Seriously, they're fugly.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Words Versus Images.

oopsy

I spotted this billboard on a bus this morning, and immediately noted what could be considered a problem. This is supposed to be encouragement for you to worship God. Yet the arrow on the "U turn allowed" sign points downwards, which can be taken to mean that "getting closer to God" is actually bad for you. Yes, that sign may be accurate to real life, but it belies the message they're trying to get across. It would be more appropriate, in more ways than one, if the arrow pointed upward instead.

For those of you not familiar with it the United Church is a uniquely Canadian church, founded from a merging of several Protestant groups in 1925. It is Canada's largest Protestant denomination, but how much longer that will be the case remains to be seen. The church has shed quite a few members over the years as its clergy and beliefs have become increasingly liberal, leading to more conservative members finding other places of worship.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Welcome To Saskatoon.

With fall classes about to start at the University of Saskatchewan, Kelsey Institute, and other schools in town there will be a lot of folks coming to live in Saskatoon for the first time. So hello to anyone of that description who might be reading this blog. I hope you find your stay here successful.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Better Late Than Never.



















I really should have posted this last week when he was here. Oh well, here's a shot of Dudley during his yearly visit to Saskatoon. It's too bad I don't have some more lively shots of him that would reflect his behaviour around a crowd, but I never seem to end up with any.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Drain The Syrup.

Tuning around the shortwave bands tonight I listened off and on to Radio Japan in Japanese on 5960 khz between 0200 and 0300 UTC. The program was a music program, which should have been nice. Unfortunately most of what they played was treacly versions of Okinawan shima uta, including a version of Shoukichi Kina's classic "Hana." Schmaltzy strings are perhaps appropriate for some sorts of music, but Okinawan classics isn't one of them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tribute.

Les Paul's death yesterday at 94 has of course prompted numerous tributes. Some are in places you might not have expected, such as Jeph Jacques' webcomic Questionable Content. Of course this is because Jacques is a musician himself.

I first became aware of his death in a very appropriate place, the Saskatoon branch of Long and McQuade Music. I didn't strum any Les Paul guitars yesterday however.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Power.

This evening as part of the change I got for spending a twenty I received a ten dollar bill with the serial number pretext BTU. This struck me as very appropriate. BTU is short for British Thermal Unit, which is a measurement of energy. A bill is the monetary equivalent of a unit of energy. We use dollars to indicate the strength of the economy, the value of transactions, and so on, just as a BTU is used to measure the heating capacity of a heater, the cooling ability of an air conditioner and so on .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Tip For Mark Steyn.

You could save yourself a lot of time and effort, yet make the same amount of money, if you just wrote "THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING TO GET US! WAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!" over and over again for many of your articles. After all that's all they really amount to.



Nativist arguments have had a boring consistency for two centuries or so, namely that the hated Other is going to outbreed "us." In the past it was the Irish and the French, today it's the Muslims and, in the US at least, Mexicans and other Latin Americans. I'm sure that people will be saying the same thing about whoever the "enemy" is 50 or 100 years from now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Loud.

I just came back from having supper with my parents and aunt and uncle at the Saskatoon branch of Original Joe's Restaurant. We all liked our food, but the restaurant itself is loud. Very loud, which is kind of a turnoff for me. I wondered at one point if the waitresses end their shifts with ringing ears. Management seems to favour short skirts on their waitresses, as only one was wearing pants. It certainly looks a lot different from the Burger King it used to be.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, August 7, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 103.9 cents a litre. Problems with an Alberta gas refinery may be the purported reason for the increase.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reports Of My Demise...

Wait, has anyone actually seen any?

Yeah, I'm still around. I just haven't gotten around to posting anything for a bit. There will be a post tomorrow, so there will be at least two this month.

And by the way, birthers! Ha, made your search engine hit refer!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today's Cassette, July 23, 2009.

One of the vehicles I drive regularly has a cassette player, so I often use it. Today's cassette was Severed Heads' Since the Accident, Nettwerk's late '80s version. The original version was released in 1983. At the time the music was still mainly tape loops and low end analog synths, with "vocal" content generally consisting of various found and manipulated voices, singing and otherwise. I suspect that despite apparent claims otherwise this album and the following City Slab Horror may have had some influence on the work of Richard James aka Aphex Twin et al.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Results.

PokerStars' Guiness World Record Tournament is still running as I write this, but I've been out for a good while. But I have nothing to complain about. I ended the tournament in 5971st place out of a field of 65000 and won 3 bucks. At the end of the first hour I thought I was soon to be done, but a series of successful hands got me back in the game and I was around to hit the money at 16250th place. My trick in these kind of things is always to be patient. I see too many people who have a bad hand or a series of bad hands proceeding to go on tilt, go all in with a marginal hand, and find themselves on the rail in short order. When I'm in a bad place I'd rather see as many hands as possible, even if it means I get blinded off, than try to play marginal hands in the hope I'll catch something.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Making History.

It's rare for me to be involved in a potentially historic event. In fact I doubt I've ever been involved in one before. But Sunday may change that. PokerStars currently holds the Guiness World Record for biggest online poker tournament. 35000 players took part in a single tournament they held December 28, 2008. Now they intend to break that record, with the attempt taking place this Sunday at 14:10 Eastern Time. Along with direct entry for a mere buck they're holding lots of freerolls, each giving out 1000 tickets for the tournament. I took part in several today, and with some lucky cards I managed to make that top 1000, giving me a ticket for Sunday's attempt. Getting to the money will of course be very unlikely given the number of entrants, but it will definitely be fun to be part of that crowd. Hopefully such a huge tournament won't break their servers!

Gas In Saskatoon, July 17, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 99.9 cents a litre. I'm a bit surprised to see the price going down as the summer progresses instead of going up.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today's Cassette, July 16, 2009.

Yes, I'm verbose today. Not that I'm getting many visitors....

In the Sanyo tonight is Sailing the Seas of Cheese by those whimsical Bay area boys Primus. This was their major label debut on Interscope.

One thing the Sanyo MGR-710 lacks is a rewind control. The only way to speed through the cassette is fash foward. No doubt this omission was to save a few cents a unit and boost the profit margin.

Just Because.

From YouTube, a nice long live cut by Japanese group Yura Yura Teikoku. I don't have anything by them in my Japanese music collection, but I definitely like this piece.



Wherefore Art Thou, Malted Milk?

I want a Malted Milk chocolate bar. I can't find one anywhere in Saskatoon. Looking at the Cadbury Canada page I'm beginning to suspect the bar has been discontinued. Oh Malted Milk, why hath the market foresaken thee? The bar had been around forever. I guess there are just too many choices on the market. Another bar I occasionally would eat that has disappeared in recent years is the Almond Mars.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

C.D.

Michael Jackson mania continues in the tabs, and I doubt it will let up anytime soon. But one example I saw today was especially eye rolling. The cover story for the latest National Examiner is Michael's autopsy, and the headlines include the claim he starved himself to death. Right below that was a headline that read "Lose 5 pounds this week on the lemonade diet." Rather a case of cognative dissonance there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Today's Cassette, July 14, 2009.

Last month I posted about that classic piece of audio playback tech, the cassette, and commented I wanted to listen to more of my collection. So here I sit, a Sanyo MGR-710 in my lap, listening to Mirage by the Meat Puppets. It's been a good long while since I listened to this one. Brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood have been back in action as the Meat Puppets over the last couple of years after Cris finally got past years of drug addiction and a 2003 incident that led to a two year jail sentence. Not a bad album at all, and I suspect the title cut, which opens the record, was inspired by the '80s version of King Crimson.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Advertising Many Years Time Ago.


There are always surprises to be found on YouTube. One of these is the commerical above, a Molson Canadian ad from circa 1985. This ad, which features a cover version of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," predates Nike controversial use of the original Beatles recording of "Revolution" in a TV ad by two years. I saw this ad numerous times during its run on Canadian TV and it stuck in my head, so it was interesting to stumble across it on YouTube after not literally seeing it for 24 some years.
Pop culture is often ephemeral, but TV commercials by their very nature are extreme examples of this. While a musician, novelist, or filmmaker hopes their work will be a hit and have a long life those who make commercials know that their works will in the majority of cases have a limited lifespan. Their life may be as short as a day or two, and in general most ads hang around only for a few weeks. There are of course campaigns with longer lifespans, but even in those cases they tend to alter gradually as time passes, and even the most successful will eventually outlive their usefulness. Eventually today's successful ad elements like Erin Esurance will join the Taco Bell chihuahua in the nostalgic memories of those who saw them.

Given this it's surprising to see such "ancient" material online. Things that people might be expected to want to experience again, like TV shows and music, have often been the subject of less than careful treatment. An example would be Doctor Who, for which some of the earliest episodes are no longer available because the BBC didn't bother to preserve them. Old commercials are even less likely to be preserved, since their intended goal has been accomplished and there is no real viewing audience that would be interested in acquiring them on DVD. So their appearance on YouTube is mere luck of the draw, the result of being captured when a TV show or movie was recorded for later viewing off TV. It's reasonable to assume that for many ads the only existing copies will be such happenstance archiving, especially those ads made locally or regionally. So don't be surprised if that Coke ad you really loved in 1989 isn't available online.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, July 10, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 102.9 cents a litre. Reports earlier this week indicate that demand for gas is down this Summer, presumably because fewer people are taking long trips due to the economic recession.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Thumbs Down, Brad Trost.

Brad Trost is the MP for my riding. Since he's a member of the Conservative Party I had little reason to vote for him in the first place. And now I have even less reason after seeing comments he made to the so-called pro life site LifeSiteNews about government funding of Toronto's Gay Pride Week. Specifically this Trost statement got my ire going: "The pro-life and the pro-family community should know and understand that the tourism funding money that went to the gay pride parade in Toronto was not government policy...." How is a gay pride parade anti-family? Well, I suppose it is if you hold a narrow idea of family that never applied to everyone in the first place, and does so even less in an era that is slowly seeing silly prejudices against people for their choices of consentual sex partners fade away. And anti-life? Equally silly, since gays and lesbians are pretty much immune from causing or having accidental preganancies respectively, and hence are exceedingly unlikely to seek abortions for anything other than rape or utter medical neccessity.

Trost also said "Canadian taxpayers, even non-social-conservative ones, don't want their tax dollars to go to events that are polarizing or events that are more political than touristic in nature." As decided by whom? Somehow I doubt Trost would be complaining if someone got a government grant for a "Support Our Troops" parade, despite the political nature of such a function. Or how about the Calgary Stampede, which is becoming a lightning rod for a small but increasing number of Canadians who see it as meaningless cruelty to animals.(I'm neutral on the subject.) The reality is anything with a message beyond "Let's all have a nice day" is likely to offend somebody, and I wouldn't put it past some people to be offended even by something that innocuous.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Shut Up Already!

Okay, news media. Enough is enough. Michael Jackson is on his way to the cemetary. So shut up about him for a while. He's not going to get any more or less dead if you keep talking about him. At the very least can the 24/7 coverage of meaningless minutae. There will be lots of time to wrinkle out all the dirt you can print about him over the next few months. Meanwhile you've been giving short shrift to more important stories, like the Iranian mess and the coup in Hondouras.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Canada is 142 today, so go out and celebrate. Even if you aren't a Canadian you should go out and celebrate anyways. Drink a Molsons or something.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Even Odds?

I spend a couple of bucks a week on Western 6/49 lottery tickets. For a dollar you get two lines of six numbers. One is always a "quick pick" by the lotto machine. I bought my ticket for the Wednesday draw today and the quick pick numbers were amusing. They were all multiples of 2: 4, 8, 20, 22, 34, 40. In theory this number combo is just as likely as any other to win the main prize, but I sometimes wonder if such a combination was drawn if WCLC wouldn't do a redraw because people might not believe those numbers were drawn legitimately. Of course if this does turn out to be a winning group of numbers I may be sorry about revealing them here if a visitor decides to try them as well.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, June 26, 2009.

Although a holiday week is coming up the price of gas actually dropped this week. Gas in Saskatoon is now 105.9 cents a litre.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Necessary Evil.

Major League Baseball interleague play has proven controversial since its introduction in 1997. I like it, but it does mean having to do things you don't like, such as hoping the Atlanta Braves win tonight, since they're playing the Yankees. Otherwise I'd be cheering for the Braves to lose given such silliness as the Tomahawk Chop.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wee Hours.

Anyone who looks at the time stamp for this post will wonder what I was doing up so early. Dropping my parents off at the airport is the answer. They're taking a short trip to visit my brother in BC. Their flight is at 5:30 AM, so I was up just before 4 to drive them out there. It's actually foggy this morning. In this part of the world at this time of year the Sun starts to rise at about 4:30 AM, so it's much brighter out than you might expect from the early hour. Fortunately I was more than awake driving back from the airport, as a black cat ran across the road on 45th Street and I might have run him over if I wasn't.

One thing I will do is be lazy and not put any tags to this post. It's too early in the morning to think any up.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Be Aware And Beware!

Apparently the British Homeopathic Association has decided that this week is Homeopathy Awareness Week. I'm afraid they won't appreciate me making you aware, if you didn't know already, that homeopathy is a load of nonsense. Homeopathic preparations are nothing but water or alcohol. There is no active ingredient. None. They are made by taking a substance and diluting it over and over again until there is no actual material left. In other words if you are buying a homeopathic product you are paying for useless liquid. You could get the same effect from drinking a normal glass of tap water. All taking such a preparation does is delay your going to see a doctor or other medical service provider who can actually help you.

Just say no to homeopathy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Stakes Are Tiny.

Amazing. Or is ridiculous better? Having won 40 cents in a Pokerstars tournement today I decided to spend 10 cents on what I thought was their cheapest sit and go. Much to my surprise I found out that 10 cents isn't the bottom anymore. Now they have a 1 cent sit and go. 1 cent. Talk about tiny! Of course it does have 990 players, it's a hyper turbo with 3 minute blind levels, 500 chip starting stacks and 10 players per table. In other words pretty much pure insanity. I can't imagine anyone having a smaller entry fee, but then again I never would have imagined a 1 cent tournament.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pair Of Jacks.

Grabbing a couple of CDs to listen to as I sit here I ended up with two ECM examples featuring Jack DeJohnette. First was Gateway, with Dave Holland and John Abercrombie. The opener, Dave Holland's "Backwoods Song," is my favourite on the album. The other was the self-titled Terje Rypdal, Miroslav Vitous, Jack DeJohnette. I didn't deliberately set out to do that, but that's the way it went.

Gas In Saskatoon, June 12, 2009.

No snappy comments this time. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 108.9 cents a litre.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Gosselins And The Tabloids.

Yes, dear reader, even here you must be subjected to more Jon and Kate(or should that be Jonandkate?) if only so I can riff on the tabloids and other entertainment media. If you don't know who I'm talking about, don't worry, and be very grateful you don't.

Standing in line to buy a snack this morning I was assaulted with several covers featuring the couple, including a tabloid headline featuring Kate Gosselin's supposed ex-fiance and the dirt he would dish within. Frankly before this is over I expect everyone she's ever so much as looked at wrong to be interviewed, including the poor 7/11 clerk she didn't thank promptly enough when she was ten. After all she has tended to be portrayed as the villain in the whole piece as this nonsense has built up. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see some of the following headlines on the tabs in fairly short order:

KATE KILLED JFK! New Book Says She Was The Grassy Knoll Shooter.

BIGFOOT IS THE SEXTUPLET'S DADDY! Kate's Tearful Confession To Jon.

DID ET IMPREGNATE KATE? The Shocking Evidence!

KATE DUMPS JON FOR OCTOMOM! Their Lesbian Wedding Plans!

JON AND KATE'S SHOCKING FUTURE! What Nostradamus Says.

JON'S MOM IS AN ILLEGAL ALIEN! Is He Really An American?

The scary thing is the JFK headline is the only one that's really unbelieveable as a tabloid headline, and frankly I wouldn't put it past the rags not to use it.

Out of the whole family it must be hardest on the oldest girls, who are nine. They can read and are no doubt old enough to understand what some of the more outlandish claims floating around mean. Unfortunately it's likely to get worse before the tabloids finally get tired of the whole thing and move on to someone else.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spreading The Stupid.

cranky

When I sat down on the bus this afternoon I noticed the above scrawled on the panel ahead of me. I wrote the URL down, and then decided I might as well snap a picture while I was at it. Seeing the name I was suspicious it might be an extreme right website. It isn't, just another example of more general paranoid nonsense. There's the typical for the times nonsense about 911 conspiracies and free energy. They also believe in what I consider one of the more stupid conspiracy theories currently going, chemtrails, the idea that the evil whoevers are engaged in some secret scheme involving aircraft sprayed chemicals. Chemicals that they are apparently so stupid as to spray in daylight in such a way as they create giant, easily visible contrails of evil. They of course also have links to various other sources of this kind of garbage such as British nutbar David Icke.

Unfortunately a bunch of stupid people fall for this load of bullshit regularly. Too bad some dumb Saskatoon kid stumbled across this crap and fell for it, and might very well be busy infecting his friends with paranoid stupidism. The irony of these kind of people is that while they claim to be skeptics they in reality don't apply any sort of critical analysis to their own beliefs, instead taking the claims of conspiracy mongers at face value because their ideas fit into existing prejudices and blind spots.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Real Retro.

No doubt you've heard about them. The folks who persist in buying vinyl. They come up with all sorts of interesting reasons involving waveforms and the human ear, stuff like that.

Bah, humbug to that!

If you want to be really hip and not buy into all those newfangled formats like mp3s and CDs listen to cassettes! Vinyl is for wimps. It takes a real man or woman to listen to music on cassette. I personally intend to to listen to a lot more music via cassette in the foreseeable future, and I might buy myself a Sony Walkman(a real cassette Walkman, not the radio and mp3 pretenders Sony slaps the name on) one of these days.

Okay, I'm not really doing this out of some misguided jihad against modern audio tech. I simply remembered how many cassettes I have lying around and intend to listen to them more, since there's a lot of great music on them. I'm not sure how many I have, but I bought a lot of them over the years, which of course will seem strange to younger readers who started buying music after the prerecorded cassette format was put out to pasture.

In an era when people want their music instantly and can randomly access hundreds or thousands of songs from a device that fits in their palm the idea of listening to cassettes can seem frustrating. Want to listen to a specific song on the cassette? You need to sit there and fast forward or rewind until you reach the beginning of the song. Even vinyl allows quicker access to a tune. Even if you listen to a side all the way through in most cases you'll need to spend some time rewinding or fast forwarding because most albums don't have equal amounts of material on a side. But in a way the cassette was truer to the way albums were recorded during their heyday than other formats, as songs were recorded one after another on reel to reel multitracks before being mixed down to a master reel to real stereo tape. Like a cassette to access a certain point on such tapes you had to fast foward or rewind them, although this was faster and there were ways of aiding the process.

Aviator Flys Back.

My ownership of a Grundig G6 Aviator portable shortwave receiver has ended. I took it back for a refund today. There were just too many annoying little problems with it. This included a loud tone when tuning to 1330 khz and using the supplied AC adapter, and a lack of signal strength when using just the whip antenna on batteries. The adapter actually increased signal strength on some frequencies, but it also greatly increased the noise, even more so that just the noise increase from what is an electrically noisy environment anyways. I had hoped Saskatoon being a pretty low signal strength area might help with the overload problems some users have experienced, but that really doesn't matter if you can't hear a frequency anyways. The reported problems with FM stations "breaking through" into the air band range held true here, including local country station 92.9 The Bull smack dab on 118.3 mhz, the primary tower frequency for John G. Diefenbaker Airport. You could hear the tower when they transmitted, but who wants to sit through distorted country music while waiting to hear them? Fortunately Future Shop took it back with no problems. I decided not to exchange it for another unit because I didn't want to go through the trouble of getting another one only to face the same problems. My advice for anyone interested in this unit is to buy it from a retailer that will let you return it if you find it doesn't work in your listening environment.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Adapter Nation.

tangle

Having purchased a radio with an AC adapter last week I was prompted to think about those ubiquitous things. Frankly I don't know how many I have currently lying around. As the years have gone by we've seen more and more of them in use. But it's not just for using battery powered devices at home. A lot of equipment with no real provision for battery power uses them too. This is done because it simplifies the production process of various products. Instead of having to produce examples of your product with a different built in power supply for each market you have them all powered by an adapter and simply put the one appropriate for each market into the package just before shipping, or leave it up to the user to find an appropriate power supply. It is also easier to get some products approved by the various product standards organisations if you don't have to deal with a built in AC power supply.

It's too bad that AC adapters still largely follow the standard "wall wart" format, where the plug is mounted directly on the same box that contains the power transformer of the adapter. I have a couple of pieces of equipment whose adapters have an AC power cord attached to the transformer box instead of having the AC plug mounted directly. This make it easier to run multiple adaptors from the same AC power outlet because you don't have the transformer box blocking an outlet. This is especially handy if you're using a power strip. I would assume that the wall wart survives simply because it's cheaper to make than the newer design.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fido Fatalities.

We've all seen it more than once. Someone driving along with their dog or dogs, and the dogs have their heads hanging out the window. Seeing an example of that today made me wonder how many dogs are killed in accidents each year because of such behaviour. In an accident an unrestrained dog will be like any other unsecured occupant of a vehicle, at risk for being ejected, or for that matter striking the interior of the vehicle or other occupants in a potentially lethal fashion. I doubt anyone keeps track of this kind of thing, and animal deaths only seem to be mentioned in news reports either when the accident is caused by hitting an animal or when a significant number of animals are involved, such as a truckload of livestock.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Saskatoon Shortwave Boom?

I got rather a surprise recently when I discovered the local Future Shop is actually carrying a usable shortwave radio. It's the Grundig G6 Aviator, one of the radios sold under the Grundig name in North America by the Eton company. Selling at just a hair under a hundred bucks before taxes this small radio has continuous coverage from 150 kilohertz to 29.999 megahertz, single side band demodulation, and covers the AM aviation band from 117 to 136 megahertz. Given the price I figured I'd buy one, and I'll probably have more to say later, as I'm probably going to keep it.

But what is even more interesting is that the one I bought was the last one on display in the box, apparently part of a batch of ten they received. Two different Future Shop personnel told me these radios have sold very quickly, which frankly is a surprise to me. Is there suddenly a bunch of people interested in shortwave in Saskatoon? Or does it have something to do with these units being labelled as the Buzz Aldrin Edition, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Aldrin's role in the Apollo 11 mission? If the latter I wonder if they won't see some of these returned by people who didn't really know what they were getting into buying a shortwave receiver. As I've noted before shortwave reception is not like receiving local TV and radio stations no matter how powerful the station is, so it's not hard to imagine some people thinking their radios don't work properly when they don't produce a signal like Saskatoon stations CKOM or C95.

Interestingly the Grundig shortwave product lineup in North America is different from that in Europe, since Eton actually uses the Grundig name under license and has products produced for them directly. Grundig's "world band" line outside of North America is actually composed of rebranded products from respected Taiwanese manufacturer Sangean. The Yacht Boy 80 for example is actually the Sangean PT80.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Fun On The Border.

Have a thought for the border guards along the US-Canada border today. June 1st sees the introduction of new regulations for travelling to the US from Canada. To cross the border you must have a valid Canadian passport or one of several other alternate documents. But you know that a whole bunch of people trying to cross over the next few days don't know they now need a passport, despite ads announcing the changes running for months on TV. So border guards will have to deal with a bunch of irate people who are having trouble totally of their own creation.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Glass Houses And All That.

The front page of the Star Phoenix this morning featured an article about a former Saskatoon resident who is currently the number one Canadian user of Twitter. I shook my head on reading Khayyam Wakil spends some 6 hours a day Twittering. But a bit later the thought popped to mind how much time I use to spend posting to Usenet. It wasn't as much, and I didn't make as many posts, but conversely the 140 character limit of Twitter prevents the kind of verbosity you can use on Usenet.

Poor Usenet. Although it still has its fans the service is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Some ISPs limit the amount of Usenet groups they offer, and some don't offer the service at all anymore. It's been a long time since I posted on Usenet with any frequency, like most users having become increasingly involved with web forums of various sorts, and of course blogging. But as I mentioned previously you won't be seeing me on Twitter.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Naughty CJYM.

Guys, I do appreciate you since you play Blue Jays games. But I also have to give you a slap on the wrist for having a morning horoscope. Pushing woo is not a good thing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 22, 2009.

The trend is once more up. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 104.9 cents a litre.

If you were in Saskatoon and read last Friday's gas post you may have been a bit confused. When I posted it early in the day I had no way of knowing that the price of gas would actually drop over the course of the day. Unfortunately we didn't see the same thing happen today.

Give Me That Silicon Time Religion.

Via Pharyngula here's an interesting Newsweek piece on tech guru and Singularity promoter Ray Kurzweil, written by Daniel Lyons. Interestingly Lyons has actually written a critical piece about Kurzweil and his beliefs we'll soon be able to live forever due to the creation of nanotech and superduper computers. Coverage of Kurzweil often tends to be lacking in such a perspective. Personally I find Kurzweil's attitudes towards the ideas he esposes seem awfully close to being a religious belief, only with supertech replacing God.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Sign Of Aging.

Seeing what you think is an attractive young woman and then realising you might have gone to high school with her mother.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Return Of John Steed?

I was reading an article this morning about the fall TV lineups of the various US networks. Amongst other intersting tidbits(Canadian Paul Gross will star in a TV version of The Witches of Eastwick, Fox has actually renewed Joss Whedon's Dollhouse) was that a new version of V will appear as a mid season replacement. For those younger visitors not familiar with it V was first a 1980s miniseries, then a short lived weekly series, about the conquest of Earth by alien lizards disguised as humans, and the resistance against them. Reading this made me think that perhaps it's time for another veteran show to have another run, The Avengers.

The British TV series first hit the air in 1961, and actually revolved around the adventures of Dr. David Keel, played by then popular actor Ian Hendry. Aiding Keel was John Steed, played by Patrick Macnee. Although only initially considered a secondary character he became increasing central to the series, so when Hendry was unavailable for the second season of the show Steed became the central character. He was soon joined by Honor Blackman as leather wearing adventurer Cathy Gale, and the series became very popular in both the UK and abroad. This continued when Blackman was replaced by Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, and the series would continue until 1969, with Linda Thorsen in the female partner role during the last season. What had been a fairly straight mystery series quickly evolved in a spy series that often featured high tech menaces and oddball enemies that fit in with the kind of world popularised by the James Bond films and series like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Macnee would be back for 1976 revival of the concept as The New Avengers, which included four episodes filmed in Canada. Although not considered a classic like the original it's fair to say it's looked on more fondly than the 1998 big screen treatment, which stared Ralph Fiennes as Steed and Uma Thurman as Emma Peel. Still, despite this failure I can't help but think there's still life left in the idea. The fact that Doctor Who has been successfully revived after a long TV hiatus shows that it's not just old American concepts that can be brought back from the dead. And it would be interesting to see a modern take on a series that I can't help but wonder might not be a partial inspiration behind partnerships like The X Files Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Currency Caution.



















At first glance this might look like a Canadian two dollar coin, commonly called a toonie. It's not. It's actually a Dominican Republic 10 peso coin. At some point in the last couple of days I received this in change, and only found out I didn't have 2 bucks when I tried to use it to buy a drink this morning. I have no idea if this was circulated deliberately or not, but it's something to watch out for. It's easy to mistake it for a Canadian coin as the basic design is near identical, with only the marking differing. If someone is using these deliberately they're getting a good deal on their pseudo-counterfitting, as one Canadian dollar is currently worth approximately 31 Dominican pesos.
If you've had a similar problem in Saskatoon or elsewhere feel free to leave a comment to this post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's Neu!?

I've just been listening to the self titled debut by Neu!, a German group founded in 1971 by former Kraftwerk members Michael Rother and the late Klaus Dinger. If you're a fan of Stereolab and Metal Box/Second Edition era Public Image Ltd. you're bound to find the tracks "Hallogallo" and "Negativland" respectively very familiar. And if the title of the latter sounds familiar even if you haven't heard of any of these perhaps you remember the San Francisco based sound collagists of the same name, who named themselves after that track.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 15, 2009.

It's a common belief in this neck of the woods that gas prices go up just before a long weekend. This week isn't likely to challenge that belief. Gas is now 99.9 cents a litre in Saskatoon, a rise of 4 cents since last week. This comes just before the Victoria Day long weekend, considered by some to be the start of the summer camping season in Canada.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Me As Casting Director.

Today I was reading an article in Fortune about the Bernie Madoff scandal. As I did a thought came to mind. When they do the inevitable movie about it perhaps Dustin Hoffman should play Madoff. He looks only a bit like the disgraced investment expert, but with the right hairdo he'd be close enough for Hollywood. On the other hand I'm not sure how their heights compare, but it probably doesn't matter when you have 5'4" Wolverine being played by 6'2" Hugh Jackman.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 8, 2009.

Up it goes. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 95.9 cents a litre. Hope you gassed up before the increase if you live here.

Snow News.

There's snow on the ground in Saskatoon this morning. Yep, it's May, but that doesn't mean we still can't get the occasional white surprise. It may have been over 20 degrees C a few days ago but you wouldn't know that now. We do need the moisture around here, but most folks would have prefered rain to a reminder of winter.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Don't Worry Pork Producers.

Swine flu hasn't chased me away from pork. I had bacon for supper tonight. Mmmmm, bacon.

Panourmous, The Sequel.

Time for a followup to my recent post about the price differential between US and Canadian prices for Pizza Hut's Panourmous Pizza. This week we received a Pizza Hut flyer with the local paper. It lists the price of a Panourmous in the Saskatoon market as $15.99, plus taxes. This really makes me wonder about how they're determining the costs of their pizzas by region. But I doubt they'll tell me.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Miracle.

Wow, if you get the Rogers Sportsnet West feed you're actually getting to see a full Blue Jays game today. If you've been trying to watch the Jays on Sportsnet West you probably know that in their infinite wisdom they've decided we'd rather see Yankees and Dodgers games instead of Jays games when the former are on at the same time. Rogers' response to complaints? Well, you can see those games if you opt to pick up the other Sportsnet feeds. In other words, send more money to your cable provider and Rogers. Frankly I doubt this will do what Rogers expects. Most folks likely won't shell out more money for extra sports channels unless they're major sports fans, and if they are there's a good chance they already subscribe to the extra feeds, and the current economic climate is likely to dissuade some others who might have gone for it in better times. Of course you might think of subscrbing to the pricey MLB.com online baseball broadcast service, but apparently Jays games are blacked out on there.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 1, 2009.

Down she goes. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 89.9 cents a litre at most stations.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Well, it's not an actual recognised holiday in Canada, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate it anyways. Today is Fuhrertodestag. On this day in 1945 Adolf Hitler killed himself. Too bad he didn't do it, oh say 15 years earlier. Thanks to Orac for reminding us of this important occasion.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, April 24, 2009.

After a period of price stability the price of gas changed this week. Gas is currently 91.9 cents a litre. So much for my prediction it would reach the dollar a litre mark by the end of April.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tim Doesn't Twitter.

In case you were wondering(you probably weren't, but I'm telling you anyways) I won't be jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. I already have an outlet to bore people with my personal life, this one, and see no need to do so in 140 character chunks. If you feel the need to follow someone's Twitter feed why not Oprah's? I doubt it will be that much more interesting than what I would write, but I'll let you find that out yourself.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Place.

This previous entry is currently the first hit on Google when you do a search for the M-Zone R-363 radio. I guess it's as much because of the paucity of information on this bottom end shortwave receiver as the quality of the entry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hey, Pizza Hut!

Why is your Panourmous pizza 5 bucks more expensive in Canada than the US? Okay, it's actually $4.99 more in Canada, but still....

Hoser Inspiration?

Bob and Doug McKenzie are back. The two characters, who first debuted in 1980 on the comedy sketch TV spoof SCTV, are the stars of a new cartoon series, which will begin airing on Global TV stations in Canada this Sunday. Seeing a newspaper article about the hosers' return to action this morning made a question pop to mind. Were the McKenzies an influence on another duo of dumbness, Beavis and Butthead? It's not hard to see the similiarities, two dopey dudes making comments on current culture while not realising what the world thinks of them. Of course Bob and Doug are smarter than Beavis and Butthead, but then so is a turnip.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Thumbs Down, Rogers Sportsnet.

I really don't know what your programming staff was thinking. In their infinite wisdom they decided those of us who get the Sportsnet West feed didn't need to see the Toronto Blue Jays home opener. I suppose I could see not playing some early season games, but the home opener and season opener? Even more annoying was the fact it was a hot game, with the Jays putting a 12-5 pounding on the Detroit Tigers, including a 6 RBI night by Adam Lind, 3 of which came via a home run. And the Calgary Flames game you played instead? Meaningless, since the Flames have already clinched a playoff spot. It's especially odd programming given that the Jays are owned by your owners, Rogers.

Monday, April 06, 2009

How Much Do You Weigh?

I weighed myself today on the bathroom scale. I weigh 191 pounds. Yep, too much. I should probably weigh 40 pounds less, so it's time for some of that to go. I doubt I'm going to lose 40 pounds anytime soon, but 10 pounds over the next couple of months is reasonable.

I'm going to do it the old fashioned way. No weight loss programs, weird protein drinks, or any of that. Just eat less and exercise more. Exercise more is easy, since with Spring here I'm outside walking more. Eating less is likely to be a little bit more difficult. It's amazing the number of bad food habits you can accumulate over the years. I'd hate to think how much I'd weigh if I didn't get some of the exercise I do get regularly even in the winter months.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, April 3, 2009.

Well, it seems I don't have psychic powers, in case anyone thought I did. The price of gas actually went down today. It is now 93.9 cents a litre at most Saskatoon gas stations. I still expect it to go up soon given the coming Easter holiday weekend.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Brother, Can You Spare 1.25 Billion Dimes?

It was announced this week that the widow of TV mogul Aaron Spelling is selling the Spelling mansion. Asking price, 125 million bucks. So I'm asking for your help. All it will take is each visitor here to donate 10 cents, one slim dime, and it won't be long before I have the capital to buy it. I'm not sure what you do with a 123 room mansion, other than spend a lot of money on staff and property taxes, but I'm sure I'll find some cool use for it. I'll even let you stay in a room once in a while.

Mrs. Spelling wants to downsize. Her new penthouse apartment will be a mere 16 thousand square feet and cost 47 million dollars. I'm sure she'll be able to cope with such hardships.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Are They Watching You?

Someone in China is spying on a lot of people, according to the findings of a group of Canadian researchers. Does that include you and me? I'd be embarrassed to have someone looking at certain things on my computer, as I'm sure most people would. But on the other hand if they're wasting time spying on me they're not spying on someone else it would actualy harm. And let's be blunt, if this network is run by the Chinese government they're not alone. Cyberwarfare is becoming an increasingly active field, and you can be sure that the US, UK, and other major intelligence powers are doing this kind of thing as well. Does Canada's Communications Security Establishment do so? The government isn't going to admit it if they do.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, March 27, 2009.

No surprise this week. The price of oil is creeping up, so up goes the price of gas. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 95.9 cents a litre. I will not be at all surprised if it passes a buck a litre before the end of April, if not much sooner.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, March 20, 2009.

Gas is currently 89.9 cents a litre, down 3 cents from the previous price. Barring any othe price changes I suspect we may see it go up as the Easter holiday weekend approaches.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Smear.

smear

This photo wasn't supposed to to look like this. It's supposed to be a shot of people at an event at the Saskatoon Public Library I was at today. Unfortunately I accidentally moved the camera just as the shutter snapped. But even though it's an accident I actually like this shot. It looks like a deliberate work of abstract art even though it isn't. So I've given it the title Smear, and here it is for everyone to see. And no doubt go "Gee, that's a crappy piece of blurry crap."

This post makes me think I need to go through some of my old posts and add photo tags to them.

I've started a blog for photos I've been taking of Saskatoon. You can see it here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So You Won't Have To.

If you're interested in the history of science fiction on television there's a good chance you've heard of The Starlost. The early '70s Canadian filmed series is a common entry on worst sci fi TV series lists. Still, despite it's rep for sheer badness you may be tempted to seek out episodes of the series to see for yourself. Fortunately for those of you who may be damaged by viewing episodes of this trainwreck James Nicoll has over the past few days been watching the series and giving his impressions on his Livejournal. You can read the latest entry here. Please, those of you with frail constitutions, just read James' reviews. Leave watching The Starlost to trained professionals.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Don Versus Donations.

Saturday and Sunday saw the latest edition of a long running Saskatchewan tradition. It was Telemiracle time again. The 33rd edition of the highly successful telethon generated 3.8 million dollars in pledges. But what was the cover story in this morning's edition of the Saskatoon Star Phoenix? Sunday night's Eagles concert, the first of three for Saskatoon. Three whole pages were devoted to the concert. Telemiracle? A single two column article on page A7. You really have to wonder about the editorial priorities of the paper when a major charity event and Saskatchewan tradition plays second fiddle to a concert by a group that isn't doing anything new or important. The cynical part of me wonders if this lack of coverage today had anything to do with Telemiracle broadcasting on CTV stations in Saskatchewan, while the Star Phoenix is owned by TV broadcaster Canwest/Global.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Here Yesterday, Gone Today.

As I've mentioned before if you find something on YouTube you want to watch don't hesistate. Yesterday seeing some '50s pop singers on TV led me to looking for info on an episode from the '70s Quinn Martin Productions TV series Cannon, "The Quasar Kill." Much to my surprise I actually found the complete episode on YouTube and proceeded to watch it. But between 6 PM Saskatoon time and now the person who put the episode up pulled it. Too bad for you, as I was going to post a link to it so you could watch it also. The episode itself features Frank Cannon, played by the late William Conrad, being called in by an old friend to investigate the death of a scientist apparently killed by a message from outer space. As with so much of what Hollywood put out then and continues to put out the episode really should have a giant "lasers don't work that way" tag attached to it, as the way the laser kills the victim makes no sense, and frankly I'm not sure how the laser is being used to communicate with space in the first place.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, March 6, 2009.

Another week, another price increase. Gas is now 92.9 cents a litre in Saskatoon. I would imagine it will creep up some more as we get closer to Easter no matter what direction the price of oil takes.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

"Erica's Word."



Another fun find from YouTube. "Erica's Word" was a 1985 single from San Francisco's Game Theory, a group led by Scott Miller. Miller's taste in lyrics tended to run towards clever wordplay, and I especially like the lines "Make believe and pretend/I remember when they served the same end." The highpoint of the group's career was 1987's Lolita Nation, a double album of new wave/powerpop meets postmodernism lyrics meets collage and cutup. Unfortunately the group wasn't able to capitalise on it when their followup Two Steps From the Middle Ages came out just before their label at the time, Enigma, went bankrupt, followed by the departure of guitarist/vocalist Donette Thayer and an injury that prevented drummer Gil Ray from touring with the band. The group never really recovered, but Lolita Nation has become sort of a cult classic, no doubt helped along by the fact that CDs of the album are apparently almost as rare as hen's teeth and have been known to sell for considerable sums, as the album has remained, as the late great Clyde Gilmour might say, "in cutout bin limbo." I really need to dig out my LP copy and give it a spin one of these days.

It's interesting to compare Game Theory's fate with another band that released a double album in that period, Sonic Youth. While Game Theory got the short end of the stick Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation played a key role in getting the band signed by Geffen, leading them to become the most successful group to come out of the New York underground scene of the 1980s. Like Game Theory Sonic Youth were signed to Enigma, although unlike Game Theory they had another outlet for their album, England's Blast First.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Under New Management.

If you're a former employee of US electronics retailer Circuit City this isn't going to make you happy. It was announced today that Canadian telecom company Bell will be buying Circuit City's Source by Circuit City stores in Canada. These were Radio Shack stores until Circuit City acquired them in 2004, the name change coming due to legal moves by Radio Shack in the US. As Circuit City closed up its American operations at the start of 2009 the majority of the Source stores, some 750 outlets across Canada, continued to operate.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Quick Response.

It doesn't take long for fans to start producing fanfiction. Joss Whedon's new series Dollhouse has only aired 3 episodes, yet there is already a section at Fanfiction.net for the series with 25 entries. And not surprisingly there is already crossover fic for it, such as this example I spotted at the Buffy: the Vampire Slayer crossover site Twisting the Hellmouth. After all the lead on Dollhouse is Eliza Dushku, who played Faith on Buffy. No doubt if Sarah Michelle Gellar ever goes back to TV whatever she stars in will be quickly crossed over as well. Personally I'd be leery about writing fanfiction this early for a TV series. There's a strong chance whatever you write will be contradicted in short order by subsequent episodes.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Final Bow.

Time flies. It's been more than five years since stage magician Roy Horn of the magic duo Siegfried and Roy was badly injured when one of the duo's white tigers attacked him onstage. His injuries prompted the end of the pair's performing career. But now they're back for what is being called their final performance. It will be a brief 15 minute appearance tonight in Las Vegas at the Bellagio as part of a charity benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which is set to open this year.

Ironically the tiger attack was a weird example of life imitating art. A 1993 episode of The Simpsons featured two German magicians obviously intended to be a parody of S&R. Gunther and Ernst also have white tigers in their act, one of which attacks the pair after they taunt it one time too many.

20 Grand And Counting.

The hitcounter here has been slowly creeping up towards 20 thousand hits. But all it took is the right post to send it running past that point. Last night's post about the demise of scans_daily was what did the deed. Apparently it was a combination of making one of the first blog posts about the issue and the sheer number of people interested in the issue, as well as my post being linked to in a couple of blogs.

What normally generates hits here? Ironically of late it's been a post inspired by scans_daily, a speculation Stewie Griffin from Family Guy might be inspired by "Superman's baby." I also get frequent hits from a couple of posts related to one of my favourite cartoons, Undergrads, including pictures of the lovely Jesse from that series. On the other hands some stuff surprisingly doesn't generate hits, like the times I've mentioned Harry Potter. And one thing that was an utter failure was something I tried early on called the search engine attractor phrase, a post with a phrase in it I assumed would generate hits, which they never seemed to.

Traffic will no doubt soon drop here, but while you're visiting why not check out some of the blogs I link to? Specifically go visit A Bit More Detail, More Words, Deeper Hole, I Am a Child of Television, and Stupid Evil Bastard. Might as well spread the traffic around. Apologies to PZ Myers and Orac, but you guys probably don't need the traffic spike.

CBC Nostalgia.




I was looking at the webcomic Menage a 3(which maybe not safe for work if you look at the right panels) and noticed the shirt the male lead, Gary, was wearing. It's the old CBC logo from the '70s, sometimes refered to as the exploding pizza. Remembering the actual animated logo from television it was off to YouTube to hunt it up. And here it is for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Friday, February 27, 2009

scans_daily Gets Zapped.

I've mentioned the Livejournal scans_daily here several times. It's a place for presented comic book scans and commenting on the content, especially the frequent silliness of comics and the comics biz itself. But when I went to check out the latest entries tonight I got a screen stating the journal had been suspended. Apparently someone made a copyright complaint against it. Too bad, especially since a huge amount of commentary on comic books and the comics industry has probably been lost. Given that the comm has been running for years and has had posts from comic book insiders like writer Gail Simone it's surprising it would get the chop now. Did someone like DC head honcho Dan Didio finally get pissed off at being criticised so much? His counterpart at Marvel Joe Quesada? Artist Greg Land, a frequent target for his dubious practice of using tracings of porn actresses instead of actually drawing freehand? Guess we'll have to stay tuned to find out.