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Saturday, September 18, 2021

1000.

 I've finally had my 1000th bill hit at Where's Willy.  Despite the pandemic I've continued to get hits, in the same scattershot way I always have.  The last one was more than a month ago, so don't expect to see my 2000th bill hit anytime soon.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Bad Format.

 Last night I decided to listen to the B.C. Lions-Edmonton Elks game online.  I picked the Lions radio feed to listen to.  While finding out what station to listen to I learned that the TSN station in Vancouver, 1040 khz AM, had switched formats and branding.  It's now Funny 1040, a comedy station.

I think it's possible to have a good comedy format on a radio station.  After all CBC has presented radio comedy shows forever.  But the Funny 1040 format isn't.  It consists of clips taken from the acts of various stand up comedians.  The longest seems to be about 2 minutes.  They're proceeded, and sometimes followed, by the name of the comedian.  "Joe Rogan," the canned identification will say.  When the next clip comes along the canned ID will say something like "And here's Bob Newhart."  It's a presentation that strikes me as rather amateurish.  

Other than the requisite station IDs, and commercials, there is apparently no other programming other than these clips.  There isn't even an hourly newscast or indication of weather conditions.  Bell Media, the owners of the station, and the owners of TSN, have gone for as cheap a production as possible.  Once someone chopped enough bits out of recordings of those comedians all they had to do is make sure their randomiser doesn't repeat anything too frequently, which probably isn't hard with enough clips on the library.

I'm not familiar enough with the current comedy scene to confirm this, but one commenter noted that there seemed to be no Canadian comedians in their initial offerings, bringing up the questions of how they meet Canadian comment requirements.  I can think of ways around this, as much of the material may count as "industrially Canadian" depending on the source, even if the comedians aren't Canadians.

How this went down certainly wasn't funny.  Staff at TSN 1040 were given no warning of the switchover.  They, and the rest of their listeners, found out when head office in Toronto remotely cut off the morning show at 9 AM on February 9th.  It was replaced with half an hour of an ESPN feed, before a recorded announcement stated the demise of TSN 1040 due to supposed market conditions, and announcing a new format was imminent.  To add insult to injury Green Day's "Good Riddance(Time of Your Life)" played immediately after the announcement.  The staff was then given 30 minutes to clean out their stuff and leave.  Everyone was let go, not even apparently being given a chance to work at other Bell Media stations in Vancouver and area.

The responses from former TSN 1040 listeners was largely negative.  And it\s probably telling that the official Funny 1040 Twitter account hasn't been updated since April.  Bell Media seem to have little interest in the station themselves.  Perhaps that's because the format been a ratings loser elsewhere.  1060 khz in Calgary has been Funny 1060 since 2013, and consistently sits at the bottom of the ratings. 

The Winnipeg TSN station also suffered the same fate, and is now airing as Funny 1290.


Saturday, August 07, 2021

Oldies and Oldies.

 You know you're getting old when songs you heard as a teenager when they were released are used to advertise an oldies show.  An example is Hall and Oates' "I Can't Go For That."  Ironically that song is older than what were labelled rock and roll oldies when it came out.  In 1981 Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" was only 27 years old.  As I write this "I Can't Go For That" is 40 years old.

I suppose to a long of younger people it does sound like an oldie, with its early '80s production.




Friday, July 30, 2021

It's Alive!

But barely.  I really need to write some more, don\t I? 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Gas In Saskatoon, June 25, 2021.

I haven't written one of these since April, but the price has finally gone up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 131.9 cents a litre at most stations.  The price of oil has been going up of late, so a gas price increase isn't much of a surprise.  I expect we'll see more to come this summer.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Bing.

 Bing is an annoying search engine.

I have a search engine tag.  I'd forgotten that.

That is all.

Friday, April 30, 2021

My First Computer.

My dad was going through some old receipts today, and found one for our family's first computer.  It was the classic Commodore 64.  We also bought a 1541 floppy disk drive and a 1701 monitor.  Total price with tax was $1278.91.  If you think that's expensive, adjusting for inflation that's the equivalent of $3110.38 in 2021 Canadian dollars.  All for a system with 64k of RAM.  Yet talented programmers could pull all sorts of things out of that machine, including synthesized voices.  We later added a Roland DG dot matrix printer to this, but I can't provide a cost figure for that.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Poked.

I just received my first COVID 19 vaccination a bit over an hour ago.  So far so good.  It was of the Pfizer vaccine.  Since my parents also received Pfizer with little effect I assume I won't be bothered either.

Unless you've got a legitimate reason to worry, such as having a problem with your immune system, go and get your shot at the the first opportunity.  We need as many people vaccinated as possible to stop this pandemic.


Gas In Saskatoon, April 23, 2021.

This week we had a three cent drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 125.9 cents a litre.  I wouldn't be surprised if this price holds until closer to the Victoria Day long weekend.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Gas In Saskatoon, April 2, 2021.

 Prices have been a bit confusing the last few days.  At one point you could find at least 4 different gas prices at stations on 8th Street.  But by Friday night most stations were selling at 128.9 cents a litre.  A price rise had been expected because of changes in carbon pricing, but some people thought prices would go up 10 cents a litre.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Gas In Saskatoon, March 19, 2021.

 Rather an unpleasant surprise at the pumps this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 125.9 cents a litre at most locations.  That nine cent jump will add up pretty quickly if your tank is very big.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Gas In Saskatoon, February 26, 2021.

 A price increase to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 116.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I would imagine the recent mess in Texas will be used to justify this increase.

Friday, February 12, 2021

I Wouldn't Put It There.

 One of the serial number prefixes on current issue Canadian 20 dollar bills is FIV.  You'd think they would have used that series for the 5 dollar bill.  Given how little the average person pays attention to such things it probably wouldn't have been a problem.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Gas In Saskatoon, January 29, 2021.

As is often the case the whys of changes in gas prices escape me this week.  Despite the announcement of further decreases in air travel, which should push down petroleum prices because of lower product demand, the price of gas actually went up in Saskatoon.  It is now 109.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I doubt we'll reach the lows of last year, when prices were nearing the 60 cents a litre mark, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a drop again fairly soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Mocking The Clickbait 21: New Calendar Time.

 23 Cool Products That Could Sell Out In 2020.


I know it seemed like 2020 was going to go on forever, but it finally is 2021.  I'll leave it to someone else to find out if those "cool products" actually sold out last year.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Good Riddance To 2020.

 I'm sure someone will be sad 2020 is over, because it was a terrific year for them.  But for the rest of us it's been awful.  Even if you were like me, and didn't get sick, or know anyone who did, the restrictions and general strain caused by the pandemic made 2020 such a wretched year.  And on top of that we had an  US election that could have led to 4 more years of horrible leadership.


Hopefully we'll all have a better year.  Unless you're evil of course.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Gas In Saskatoon, December 18, 2020.

 I had thought there might be a price change before year end, and I was right.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 103.9 cents litre at most locations.  Which in one way is strange, because pandemic restrictions will limit the amount of Christmas travel in these parts this year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Rare And Live.

 Don't worry, I'm still alive.  

Here's some rare footage for your entertainment.  It's Strange Advance in Montreal, from their 1985 tour.  In the past a couple of clips from this have been up, but subsequently disappeared.  Now you can see a hour's worth of them in action.  I think this was also aired on MuchMusic at the time.  It's rare both because it's a mid '80s TV broadcast, and because Strange Advance toured only a couple of times.




A reunited version of the group played several gigs in 2019, but any plans they might have had to go on the road this year were obviously cut short by the pandemic.  


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Bad Image.

 I just saw an online ad that I was almost going to use as a Mocking The Clickbait entry, but the actual ad isn't intended as clickbait.  It's an ad for the Canadian Armed Forces, who are looking for aerospace control operators.  Except the picture that goes along with the ad is a US Air Force enlisted man in his dress blues, standing in front of an American flag.  Oops!  I don't know how those ads are designed, but hopefully the Forces didn't pay much for this one.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Big Snow.

 If you need snow Saskatoon is the place to be.  Since Saturday I think we've had as much snow as we saw in the winter of 2019-2020.  At least 30 centimeters has fallen, a foot.  But of course it doesn't actually just fall in a nice even depth.  Roads were a complete mess today, and as a result additional hours have been added to today's Saskatoon civic election, which was held today.  Voters will get a chance Friday to cast their ballots.  Conditions kept me away from the polls.