Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Few More Innings.

Jamie Moyer pitched his first inning in the majors before some of you reading this were born.  Specifically Moyer's debut was with the Chicago Cubs on June 14, 1986.  As I write this Moyer is at the Toronto Blue Jays AAA affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, hoping to be called up by the Jays.  Moyer started the year with the Colorado Rockies, who let him go June 1st.  While there he became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to earn a win, and the oldest player to hit an RBI, at age 49.

So, why does he keep going?  What makes him want to keep pitching, to spend months away from his wife and family, after 26 years of the same thing?  Makes him want to so much he's willing to spend time in the  minor leagues?  But you could ask the same about many other players.  Omar Vizquel is still playing at 45.  And many players go on to work as coaches, scouts, or broadcasters after their playing careers end, continuing a similar lifestyle.  It seems like an interesting area of research, finding out what it is that keeps them at it, and what effect it has on the lives of their families.

It would also be interesting to know what leads so many of the sons of these players to follow in their footsteps, having seen from the other side what such a career will be like.  This includes Moyer's son Dillon, who was drafted in 2010 by the Minnesota Twins, and currently plays baseball at the University of California Irvine.  Somehow I doubt he'll have as long of a career as his father if he makes it to the bigs.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Menace Of The Endless Campaign.

I was not amused.  I just saw an anti-NDP attack ad, courtesy of the Conservative Party.  If you're not a Canadian you aren't likely to know that we aren't in the middle of an election campaign.  In fact the next election, barring some major surprise, won't be until October of 2015.  So why the hell are we seeing this stuff now?  Do we face a neverending election campaign, where the parties never stop harrassing us?  The party hacks who support such activities may wish to read the story of the boy who cried wolf. Bash the other guys too much and the voters may come to ignore your claims.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It's a late night for me.  Sitting here playing a Pokerstars 25 cent sit and go I can hear what sounds like a plane overhead.  Sounds like Eagle 1, the Saskatoon Police Service airplane, might be busy tonight.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Odd Choice.

One of the Canadian Bravo channel's weekday offerings is Flashpoint, a series about members of a Toronto Police emergency response unit.  I caught part of yesterday's episode, and was a bit surprised it was aired.  In the episode "Attention Shoppers" a bullied teenage girl shoots one of the girls assaulting her in a crowded shopping mall, leading to a lockdown of the mall and further violence from the injured girl's fellow gang members. 

It's less than a month since the June 2nd shooting at Toronto's Eaton Centre shopping complex.  Two people died as a result, and several others were injured.  The shooter and the two dead men were all alledgedly connected to the Sir Thugs gang.  So it seems a bit odd to me that Bravo would air an episode with obvious parallels to a real life tragedy so close to the event.  The central characters in the TV episode may have been all women, and the reason for the shooting different, but it still revolved around a shooting in a mall.  You'd think Bravo would be worried about offending or triggering viewers.  On the other hand Bravo airs the series five days a week, so it may be hard to skip an episode without causing problems for your schedule.

Incidentally if you're a fan of Fresh TV's Total Drama and Stoked! cartoons you may want to catch this episode when it airs again in a few weeks.  The leader of the gang girls is played by Kristen Fairlie, the voice of Bridgette and Emma in the two series respectively. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here Comes The Sun.

Finally.  It loos like Saskatoon is going to see dry skies until at least Monday.  So get out and enjoy it.  Or get that outdoor work done you need to do.

Friday, June 15, 2012

They Love You J.R. Maybe.

Wednesday saw the premiere of a new version of the classic nighttime soap Dallas on the US cable network TNT.(It also debuted in Canada on Bravo.)  The ratings have come in, and TNT is calling it a success.  It drew almost 7 million viewers, which TNT is claiming is the number one series premiere for a scripted series on cable this year.  But if you were suspecting a lot of folks tuned in to see what a 21st Century version of an old favourite looks like, you may be right.  Only 1.9 million of those viewers came from the coveted 18-49 demographic, the rest skewing largely older, with the 25-54 grouping accounting for 2.5 million viewers, and the rest older viewers.

So, will Dallas keep up these ratings?  Or will it quickly slump as, curiosity satisfied, viewers go elsewhere?  I won't be surprised at all if it's 13 episodes(or less) and out for the series.  And as the L.A. Times article notes these ratings are tiny compared to what even the final episode of the show generated, demonstrating how much the TV market has changed.

The original was hugely influential, spawning various imitators of varying quality and success.  "Who shot J.R?" was a major pop culture concern for many when the series ended its 1979-80 season on that cliffhanger.  The series also became the butt of jokes for its notorious return from the dead of Bobby Ewing. He had been killed in a car accident at the end of the 1984-85 season when actor Patrick Duffy wanted to do other things.  But when there was general discontent with the following season Larry Hagman convinced Duffy to come back,   The season ended with his wife Pam, played by Victoria Principal, finding him taking a shower.  The opening episode of the next season explained that the events of the previous season were all a bad dream, and that Bobby had never died.

Larry Hagman reprising his role as J.R. Ewing in the new series could be considered a minor miracle.  He had a long term alcohol problem, and as a result in 1995 had a liver transplant.  Yet here he is, at 80, still with us, and still acting.  But it's pretty obvious that, whatever happens, this is likely his last hurrah.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm A White Guy.

I don't have a picture of me that goes with this blog.  I have what to many people is an odd last name.  So I figured it would be worth pointing out, in case anyone cares, that I'm a white guy.  Gueguen is a Breton name.  My ancestors were French, English, Scottish, and German.  So if for some reason you thought I was something else, I'm not.   In the past I've had a couple of people make comments elsewhere that indicated they thought I was Chinese or Vietnamese, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's happened again.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

A Small Sound.

A heads up for anyone who has been reading the webcomic Blip.  Sage Leaves has finally managed to make an update.  Sage's health problems have been slowing things down, but we finally have a new panel.  So go show your support if you're a fan.

Flip The Flip Programs.

A thought for TLC and A&E:  Retire your old house flipping programs.  Flip This House and Property Ladder both date from before the big real estate collapse in the US.  Flipping a house is a different and much more iffy proposition in 2012 than it was in 2007.  So some of the stuff in those shows is kind of out of date.  At the very least anyone who is interest4ed in them has probably seen them all multiple times.  But I suppose that they must still get the right ratings or you wouldn't play them.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Here Come The Kookies.

If you're a night owl and like kooks you're in luck if you live in Saskatoon.  I just heard an ad on CKOM for Coast To Coast AM, the talk show formerly hosted by Art Bell.  It apparently will be debuting Tuesday at 1 AM. Given the local air time I assume you won't be hearing it live.  I'm pretty sure it aired in the past in Saskatoon, but I can't remember what station it was on.  Presumably CKOM figures that the listeners it attracts will be worth the cost of buying the show, instead of playing repeats of their own programming.  I personally won't be tuning in, as I can get my weirdo fix from other sources.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

I Won't Read Them.

If you haven't heard already Toronto's Eaton Centre was the scene of a shooting today.  One person is dead, several others were wounded.  The thought came to mind of how long it took the idiot squad to start going on about how if only someone had been carrying a gun they could have stopped the gunman.  I would imagine it happened in fairly short order.  You'll excuse me if I don't go look, as their claims will just make me annoyed.  I can think of few things that would make things worse when someone is shooting up a mall than some amateur tying to play the hero by shooting back at him.

Interestingly one of the earliest online reports of the shooting may have been from a celebrity.  Brett Lawrie, the Toronto Blue Jays young Canadian third baseman, was in the mall when the shooting broke out.  He Tweeted about what he heard and saw after fleeing the mall with other patrons.  As you can imagine Lawrie has a lot of followers on Twitter, some 125 thousand according to the Toronto Star, so word got around very quickly.