Monday, May 31, 2004

The Conservatives announced their defense platform today. Their proposal calls for more troops and more money. But what it apparently doesn't call for is whats truly needed, a major look at exactly what Canadian defense policy should be, and how we should be spending our defense money. For example does Canada need new tanks? Our current Leopard Is are getting on in years, but do we really need tanks at all? Our air defense destroyers are coming to the end of their useful lives, and need to be replaced. But how many do we really need? And on it goes. The last major defense review was Perrin Beatty's ill fated 1987 White Paper, which came to look grandiose and rather clueless when Communism fell in Eastern Europe a couple of years later. Just throwing more money at DND won't give us the military we truly need, whatever that may be.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

One of the pieces of software I've got on my computer is Ad-aware, a program designed to detect and remove spyware and other nasties from your machine. However it seems that it doesn't like the cookies that Statcounter, the hit counter i use on this page, uses. I ran it today and one of the cookies it marked as an erasel candidate was the Statcounter one, as I had to re-sign in when I went to look at my page this afternoon. Ah, the complicated world of product interactions. Despite this minor niggle i'd advise anyone who does much surfing to get a program like Ad-aware and install it. For that matter if you don't already you should have antivirus and firewall software on your machine as well. There's no reason to make it easy for troublemakers to interact with your machine, especially if you're using an "always on" system like a cable modem.
Here's a little request folks. If your city, state, province, country or what have you is holding an election this year, please vote. Don't fall for the old "my vote doesn't make a difference" line. Enough people taking such a line in a district could have a major effect on who wins. Its a priviledge to be able to choose who will run things, and large chunks of people on this planet never get the chance. Don't deliberately throw away your chance, even if it means voting for the least objectionable choice where you live.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Got another letter in the mail today from this riding's odious current MP Jim Pankiw. It claims that a recent poll shows him with 43% of decided voters, and that this means he'll win. If 43% of local voters are actually dumb enough to vote for a jerk who seems only interested in self-aggrandisement and alienating as many people as possible you really have to wonder. As an independent that is unlikely to forge any alliances with anyone of use Pankiw will be an utterly ineffectual MP in the next Parliament. Interestingly one of his rivals, Conservative candidate Brad Trost sent out a flyer last week claiming Pankiw was barely in the House during the last session.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

If you're interested in jazz, improvised music, the odder modern classical composers and so forth check out Paris Transatlantic. Lots of interesting interviews, album reviews, and other goodies. Its run by Dan Warburton, and some of the material appears in a different form in Signal To Noise magazine, which is well worth checking out if its available at one of your local magazine shops. I think of it as being a US counterpart to The Wire magazine(which is not to be confused with Wired).
One thing I found out Tuesday is that this blog is beginning to propagate into other search engines and so forth besides Google, including search engines specifically for blog searching. So a big hello to anyone who might stumble into here in the next few hours.

Last post I was listening to Tangerine Dream. This time around its Rational Youth's Cold War Night Life. Man, hard to imagine that EMI Canada reissued this one way back in 1997. If you like early '80s technopop try hunting up a copy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

How's this for a peculiar idea? Personally I think it gives far too much credit to Iranian intelligence, who I can't imagine are any more adept than anyone else's intelligence agency, but there ya go.

Currently rattling thru the ole brainpain is Tangerine Dream's Tangram. Yep, I like albums where a sequencer is going "duggadugga" in the background.
Had an interesting thought this morning. I bought a donut, and realised that even tho' they charge you the same price for each donut they must vary slightly in how much they cost to make. An Old Fashioned Plain like I had this morning, which has no icing or fancy flavouring, presumably costs slightly less than a Double Chocolate with its chocolate flavouring and chocolate icing. It would be interesting to know if they keep track of such things, and hope you'll buy lots of the cheaper to make donuts. A cent or two might not seem like much, but spread that out over the millions of donuts a chain like Tim Hortons sells in a month and things could get interesting. The same thing has traditionally applied to candy bars as well, with the "regular" size bars all being offered at the same price even tho' the cost presumably varies with the contents ie a bar with almonds in it must cost slightly more to make than an otherwise identical bar that contains no almonds.

Of course when you consider the variables in price of things like pop you have to wonder as well. How much does 2 litres of Coke cost to make, and how much profit is Coke making when store X sells it for 99 cents a litre? Is it sold to them at the same wholesale price as store y that's selling it at $1.79 a litre, or is it a promotional deal? We are talking about some water with carbonation and flavouring added, so the cost per litre could be pretty damn cheap. Don't hold your breathe waiting for Coke to tell you, because you know they won't.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Damn, I stuck Biggs on General Hospital when it was actually Days of Our Lives that he was on. How annoying!
Just found out Richard Biggs, who played Dr. Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5, has died of a brain aneurysm at age 43. He was also on General Hospital for a number of years.
This blog has begun to appear on Google searches. Of course given that Google is behind you'd hope it would be.

As we say in Canada the writ has been dropped. Paul Martin called a federal election this afternoon for June 29. Given the scandals of the last few months this could be an interesting election. Of course a lot of what happens will depend in the end on how the voters feel once they walk into the voting both, whether enough of them trust the other parties to form a good government when they actually have to make that X on the ballot. People can say things to pollsters without having to worry about the effect it has. Actually voting is rather different. And four weeks gives the other party leaders plenty of time to say something stupid, or more likely have their candidates say something stupid, and screw things up, letting the Liberals win.

My prediction is that if the Liberals do win Paul Martin will be a one term Prime Minister. Either he'll get voted out the following election or find the stresses of government too much.

For those Americans who might read this I'll note that yes, in Canada we still use paper ballots that you mark with a pencil or pen. None of those weird ballot machines you guys use, no hanging chads and so forth. Of course what a specific ballot has marked on it can be disputed, but there's less room for arcane examinations that what happened in 2000 in places like Florida.
Here's another random Japanese culture link. This time its an art page by a fellow who calls himself Matz. I like his style, and the subject matter of a lot of his pictures, altho' he seems to be on a sort of hiatus of late.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Its beard update time. Johnny Damon, previously mentioned here, has shaved off his southern rock dude beard. He did it in exchange for Gilette giving 15 grand to Boston libraries. Not a bad tradeoff. He still retains his long flowing locks. Now if he was playing for the Yankees Steinbrenner would never have let him near the clubhouse with either that beard or that hairdo.
If you're into reading and/or writing fanfiction you might find the Fanfic Rants community at of some interest. I find some of what they find and rant about quite funny. Be warned tho', this is a rant page, and I'll take no responsibility if something they write pisses you off, especially if by some chance it turns out to be about you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Tonight was the season finale of Law and Order, and the final episode featuring Jerry Orbach as Lenny Briscoe. He's going to be replaced by a new cop next season, played by Dennis Farina. Given that Orbach was born in 1935 he's obviously playing a character who's supposed to be younger than he is. You wouldn't find too many 69 year old detectives on any police force. But this won't be the last time he plays the character. He'll be appearing in the new L&O spinoff Trial By Jury, which will apparently be hitting the air sometime in 2005. Must be nice to have a run like that. As for Farina he could likely do his new roll in his sleep. He's an ex-cop, and has played cops many times during his acting career.

Its amazing how much blood Dick Wolf has managed to extract from the L&O stone. The original series is now one of the longest running drama series on US tv.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Just found out a few minutes ago that the great jazz drummer Elvin Jones died Tuesday afternoon in New York. Jones played for decades as both a leader and a sideman, including being a member of John Coltrane's group during the first half of the '60s. Sad to see another major music figure go.
If you're part of one of those unfortunate couples who can't conceive a child, here's some important advice. You must have sexual intercourse to have a child. Now you may be thinking. "Well, duh, we kind of know that, idiot!" But apparently some people don't, like a couple in Germany. They supposedly had no idea that you need to insert tab A into slot B to produce children. Makes me think of the old days of American tv, where married couples always slept in separate beds and children were apparently conceived by some form of immaculate conception.

BTW if you don't know about it already a really handy site for dealing with long URLs, like those produced by newspaper articles and so forth, is I find myself using it more and more these days.
Just read that Tony Randall, of The Odd Couple fame, died at age 84. Another familiar face from 70s tv gone. He leaves behind two kids, a 7 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. They are his only children, even tho' his first marriage lasted for 54 years until the death of his first wife. This has of course long lead to speculation, along with other things including the kind of characters he played, that Randall was gay. If so he sure went to great efforts to hide the fact. More likely the first Mrs. Randall couldn't have kids, and her childbearing years were before the development of modern infertility treatments. BTW the second Mrs. Randall is 50 years younger than he is.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I would imagine most people have something in their collection of interests that they have a perverse fondness for, that they like in spite of its badness. One of mine is the late Joseph Rosenberger's Death Merchant series of pulp novels from the '70s and '80s. The title character is Richard Camellion, a lethal master of disguise who was originally introduced as a killer for the Chicago Mob, but within a couple of books mutated into a mercenary troubleshooter for the CIA. Pinnacle, the folks who brought us Don Pendleton's original Executioner novels and a bunch of other pulps, published most of these, with Dell publishing the last few before Rosenberger gave up on the series, or Dell dropped it, or whatever caused it to end. I suspect something happened to him healthwise, as he didn't seem to write anything past about '89 or 90, and reportedly died in '93.

The books themselves aren't particularly great, especially since as the series went on Camellion began to kill anyone who got in his way, guilty or innocent. In one of the later titles, Flight of the Phoenix, I think Camellion and co. end up killing more innocents than the terrorists they're trying to stop. The right wing politics also got increasingly heavyhanded as the series progressed. On the other hand Rosenberger's use of sci fi elements in his stories could be quite fun even if lots of it is pure '70s pseudoscience like the Bermuda Triangle. After all James Bond has never had to stop Chinese troops from seizing an alien base hidden under the moutains of Nepal, as in The Shamballa Strike. This may have come from him apparently being a writer for Fate Magazine, if the footnotes(yes, for much of the run the books had footnotes of various sorts)are anything to go by. Continuity? Not something that Rosenberger was big on, as the Death Merchant starts out as a publically known figure, yet eventually only a handful of people know he's Richard Camellion. Then there's the goofy "connection with the Cosmic Lord of Death" stuff that begins to appear in the books. And if you're a military or aviation buff you'll get a laugh at Rosenberger's habit of the characters using equipment that never actually saw service. In other words much of the appeal for me is the over the top character of the books.

But what I find amusing is the prices some folks online seem to be trying to get for these books. I saw some book shop tonight that wanted 17 bucks for one. For a cheesy pulp paperback! Come on. These aren't high art, nor are they the kind of thing that actual collector types would be out there looking for, like they might for early editions of James Bond novels. Buying them again in recent years I've felt kind of silly buying certain ones for 3 bucks a piece. I can't imagine mail ordering one for 5 bucks plus shipping. I suppose there is someone someplace who will sell a kidney to buy these things, but it sure wouldn't be me.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Todays food tip: Goodie Rings taste better if you store them in the fridge. Alas, if you're not a Canadian I'm guessing you don't have access to Goodie Rings.
A Vatican document released on Friday says that Catholic women should seriously consider not marrying Muslim men because of Islam's supposed weakness on women's rights. However the document apparently says nothing about Catholic men marrying Muslim women. Perhaps they assume Muslim women will meekly go along with what their Catholic husbands say. One wonders if they have, or will, put out similar warnings about Catholic women marrying members of certain Fundamentalist Protestant sects, who might believe that women are to be seen and not heard. Or for that matter some of the fringe Catholic groups whose ideas of women's rights might not jibe with what the Vatican agrees with.

On an entirely different note I sure find the CITY92 FM ads currently playing during Toronto Bluejays games on Sportsnet annoying. You get supposed "ordinary people" mouthing silly cliches, like the girl babbling about the station playing "killer deep cuts," "deep cuts" being a current radiospeak term. Or the guy going on about how the station, "doesn't tell you what's good music, they just play good music." Umm, no, dopey, the station is telling you what's good music. They have a playlist of what they think they should be playing, they're not using some mystic method to read your mind and play what you want to hear.
Ever wonder what kind of car modding they do in Japan? Well, take a look at this. They've been getting a lot of hits apparently, so I don't know how long it will stay up. I love that purple van with the mural of a tanuki(a raccoon-ish creature native to Japan)doing his laundry on the back.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

How's this for a different use for a blog? A real estate ad.
One thing about something like this is that its impossible to offend anyone with its content.
Someone leaked a draft version of the Conservative Party election platform. Some of it isn't surprising, like their claim they'll cut taxes by 18 billion while still running a surplus. Which of course means something will have to be cut heavily someplace, despite what they may claim. But one thing that definitely bugs me is the idea of adopting a system like in the US where you have to choose a party affiliation, on your tax form in this case, and this will be used to decide which parties get money. I don't like the idea of being forced to do this, especially since your support for a party may change between one tax return and another. And given some of the patronage stuff that goes on I can't help but wonder if this info won't somehow be used for patronage purposes ie town X in riding Y will get such and such a government grant because lots of people supported the ruling party on their tax forms, while town Z in riding Y doesn't because they supported the other guys.

Interestingly they say nothing about MP recall, which was one of Reform's concepts. I wonder who objected. Perhaps they're afraid of getting in a situation where they win a bare majority, or even a minority government, and someone weakens them by organising recall campaigns against their MPs. Of course recall needs a high threshold to prevent frivilous recalls, so you have to wonder what else might be up.

The whining about unelected judges having such an influence on the law is as always amusing coming from this bunch. After all its fair to say that Reform/Canadian Alliance supporters tend to be more favourable to things American than supporters of the NDP, Liberals, and old Tories, and the US has long had judges heavily involved in deciding law.

This is supposedly a draft, so how much of this will hand around is another question. And we all know that some of it will go by the wayside if they actually get into office, perenially pushed off to some unspecified future date.

Friday, May 14, 2004

I just watched G.I. Joe: The Movie on YTV. Pure cheese, including wrestler Sgt. Slaughter as himself. Wonder what ever happened to him? And its interesting how in shows like that no one ever gets permanently hurt, leading to lots of shooting without anyone actually getting shot. Can't traumatise the kiddies.

In the last 6 months or so I've been watching boxing on the sports channels for some reason. In a way its surprising that they play as much as they do, as boxing is arguably still continuing its long slow decline. Generally I find fights in the lower weight classes more entertaining than the heavyweight stuff. The lighter guys tend to be better at actual boxing, while the heavyweights tend to sort of club at each other. One thing I can't say much good about is the froufrouy trunks some of the boxers wear these days. Some of them look like almost like skirts, others have silly fringes and so forth. Looks more like what a professional wrestler would be wearing than what a boxer should be wearing.

I've also been watching the UFC stuff that gets played up here. These are all old fights, not the current matches which are generally pay per view. Some of the fights get into a rut where you end up looking at two guys on the ground who look like they're humping each other. Its obvious from watching these things that they don't have the same kind of money to devote to the actual filming of them as boxing, as the production values tend to be a bit less. One match I saw had real mix problems, because you could barely hear the announcers over the crowd noise. And watching boxing, UFC, and things like Thai kickboxing sure makes wrestling look even phonier than I already saw it as being.
I was reading in a newspaper gossip column that Brad Pitt predicted at the opening of his new film Troy in Berlin that men will be wearing skirts by next year. Hmmm, Pitt should be old enough to remember the half dozen other times over the past twenty years or so someone has either made this sort of prediction, or tried to market skirts to men. Its never happened. Its more than rare enough that people have been known to generate press by doing so. For example I remember a story about some Canadian high school kid maybe ten years ago who got in trouble with his school for wearing a skirt. Whats especially amusing is that Pitt reported had to have a leg stand in for certain shots in the film because his legs weren't "manly" enough.

I notice from the ads that Troy apparently continues the time honoured tradition that all ancient Greeks have British accents, whether the actual actors do or not. So we have Pitt using one. Admittedly you don't want someone who's supposed to be an Athenian circa 400 BCE that sounds like Slim Pickens but it is a cliche. Even something like the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood was silly that way. Yes, the story is set in England, but the England of the 13th Century. We don't know the accents of the era anyways, so why have Costner use a modern British accent that seemed to come and go?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Just finished watching the Blue Jays paste the Red Sox 12-6. If you've seen the Sox this year you've seen Johnny Damon with that beard of his. What a look! It looks like he's either practicing to be a mountain man or hoping to audition for Lynyrd Skynyrd. When he misplayed what should have been a routine fly ball I couldn't help but comment that he lost it in his beard, instead of losing it in the lights.

Orlando Hudson was 4 for 4 and ended up on base 5 times. Good night for him, especially since it was his first at leadoff. Now if the Jays can just get a rhythm going and win more games than they lose.
One of the interesting things the spread of the Internet has done is allow the development of hobbies that wouldn't be practical otherwise. One of these is bill tracking. The idea is a simple one. You take the serial numbers off paper money and enter them and your location into a database on a website. You then mark the bill with the URL for the website, spend it as you usually would, and with luck someone who gets that bill will be curious enough to enter it into the system, allowing you to see where its been. I've been entering bill into Where's Willy, a Canadian money tracking site, for a while now. Its a spinoff of Where's George, a site set up by a fellow named Hank to do the same thing with American money. Its cool to enter a bill here in Saskatoon, spend it, and then have it turn up in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Its a lot more effective system than, as I would occasionally do, mark an X someplace on the bill and hope you run across it again. FYI Willy is a reference to Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier, who is pictured on the Canadian 5 dollar bill.
Just installed a counter tonight. Now we'll see if anyone is actually reading this thing. I'm sure I'll get at least one hit, someday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Had a rather unpleasant surprise tonight. I was cooking some french fries in the oven when I heard a clang and saw a flash. I didn't think much of it, but when I looked in the oven a bit later I found the lower element had collapsed, or something, and part of it was glowing white. Looks like I'm going to be ovenless for a while. After things had cooled off I lifted the element a bit, and it looks like it fortunately didn't do any damage to the oven bottom. I can only imagine how much things are going to cost to fix.

Here in Saskatoon a group called Teen Aid has bus ads promoting chastity. I don't have problems with the idea that teens shouldn't be having sex, but the religious basis for a group like this does nothing for me. But I sometimes have to smile at one of their ads, which claims the only safe sex is waiting until you're married sex. In reality the only truly safe sex is solo masturbation with no one around. After all you can't infect someone if there's no one around to exchange bodily fluids with. You could be "pure and virginal," and your partner could be, but that doesn't mean you haven't picked up AIDS or hep C from a bad blood tranfusion, or being an IV drug user, or even getting poked by an infected object and not realising it.

Here's this week's random Japanese themed link, Nick Kent's synth music from Japan page. I've always found this one an interesting place to go. Mr. Kent is also a regular on yahoogroups' Yellow Magic Orchestra group.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

One of the nice things about being alone in a house is that you can say anything you want without fear of bothering anyone or being given a funny look. You can shout in a made up foreign accent about lawn darts and no one is gonna be sitting there wondering what the hell is wrong with you.
In case anyone is interested and doesn't already know Chapter 7 of Undergrads: Bootleg is now up. Took me a long time to write this one because I was lazy about it. I am definitely not going to make any promises about the next chapter, especially since I've got other stories of various sorts I'm either working on or want to write.
Just found out today that one of my fav places to hang out on the web, the Fender Forum may soon be a pay to post site. Too bad, as I don't have the extra cash lying around at the moment to pony up for an access fee. Anyways, if you're a guitar nut check it out.

Monday, May 10, 2004

A Saskatoon resident got rather an interesting surprise this week. Instead of the mp3 player he ordered from a US pawn shop on eBay, he got a .22 calibre Smith and Wesson pistol instead. He did the right thing and called the cops, instead of trying to ship it back himself. I can't help but suspect it made it thru whatever Canada Customs centre it passed thru because the inspectors were more interested in interfering with shipments to lesbian book stores than actual dangerous goods. Canada Customs is rather well known for the arbitrary manner in which it seizes publications.

Speaking of pistols if you simply must have a very expensive pistol to impress your friends with, consider the Korth semiauto pistol. List price? A mere $5,954 US.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Ah, Saturday.

I hate driving on Saturday afternoons.

There always seems to be gobs more traffic about on Saturdays, and I get the impression people who otherwise don't drive much are more likely to rev up the ole Ford and go for a spin. As a result you get more bad drivers on the road, and more people doing stupid things in an effort to deal with the stupid driving of other drivers.

8th Street is one of Saskatoon's primary business locales, so of course the traffic conditions on a typical Saturday are crummy. Transit times slow up because of all the cars, and it becomes a real pain in the ass to find parking at certain malls and retail outlets. And guess where the places I wanted to go were? Oh well, at least I didn't go downtown, which would be equally bad, especially with traffic restricted while they tear down a parkade in one corner.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Just ran out to get a donut and a Coke. Unfortunately I had to settle for a Chocolate Dip instead of the Old Fashioned Plain I wanted. Oh well, such things are to be expected on a late Friday night donut run.

Here in Saskatoon Robin's and Horton's are the two currently present donut chains, and Robin's is likely losing the battle. One of the Robin's outlets went out of business a few months back, while a couple of the others have changed hands, one after the previous owners defaulted on their franchise obligations. In general the Robin's stores seem to have the problem that little money is actually put into them. Several could do with a good painting and cleaning. Country Style was active here into the early '90s, but then disappeared. An attempt to get back in here a couple of years ago failed, and the store they built ended up being a Robin's. There's been some talk Krispy Kreme might set up shop here, but competing with the Horton's juggernaut, who are now owned by Wendy's, must be awfully hard.

Another chain that in my view seems to be in decline, at least in this market, is McDonalds. It seems in recent years the food quality has deteriorated somewhat. Yeah, we're not talking haute cuisine, but the other fast food places seem to be more consistent. Current McDonalds food seems limper and less tasty than it used to. The resurrection of Burger King likely didn't help. For several years there were no Burger Kings here after the franchisee had problems, but they came back with a vengence. McDonalds has been having troubles in any case in recent years, including their CEO dropping dead of a heart attack a couple of weeks ago.

Saskatoon holds a historic distinction in the Canadian fast food marketplace. Joe Young became only the second franchisee for Kentucky Fried Chicken in Canada. His El-Rancho Food Group, named after the hamburger stand he operated in the 1950s, is still active and operates numerous KFCs around Saskatchewan.
I read a rather bizarre story out of Libya in the paper this morning. 7 Bulgarian nurses have been sentenced to death for deliberately infecting children with AIDS, supposedly to try and find an AIDS cure. Pretty much everyone but the Libyans thinks the trial was bogus, especially since the Libyan government blamed the perrenial fall guys of Arab dictatorships, Israel and the US, in the past for the deaths. Outsiders say it was simple incompetence and poor sanitary conditions that caused the outbreak.

It will be interesting to see what effect this has on Khadaffi's efforts to improve Libya's status with the West. Colonel K. knows he's not getting any younger and wants to leave some sort of positive legacy apparently, instead of being remembered as "Crazy Khadaffi." And one thing he has proven to be is a survivor. Unlike Hussein he was able to figure out how far to push the West before the West would snap back.

Speaking of people looking to maintain their careers, unless you live in a cave, or at the very least don't watch commercial tv, you know that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have a new movie out in actual theatres. Roger Ebert, not surprisingly, gave it a star and a half. The Olsens and their management obviously hope this will be the opener to some sort of big screen career. But lets face it, if it doesn't work it won't matter all that much to them moneywise, just like David Schwimmer doesn't have to worry about working again. The twins are worth an estimated 150 million. Each. They'll have to be very stupid, or have very corrupt financial managers, to blow that kind of fortune. Its also interesting that the ads refer to them as Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, no doubt to break from everyone calling them "Marykateandashley Olsen," as if they had a collective first name.

With their 18th birthday coming up they'll be "legal," and as a result you're hearing lots of snide comments about how long until they do a photo shoot together in Playboy. I dunno. More likely in a few years one or both of them will get "born again" and go on to a career in the Christian entertainment business. Assuming of course some cult like Scientology doesn't get their hooks into them.
Just to add to my last submission I didn't watch any of the series enders mentioned below. Not that I doubt I'll see bits and pieces of them at some point, since the shows will be syndicated into the next century.

TBS is getting Sex In the City, and it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. Given the amount of cuts and dialogue edits likely to be needed I suspect its not gonna please anyone who liked the series. TBS is reportedly moving towards a comedy orientation. For a while it could have been called the Eastwood channel, and Steven Segal might be in trouble if they stop playing his films so often. Frankly the guy likely needs the residuals.

Might as well put in a plug for one of my fav tv show sites, Space: 1999.Net If you need to know something about 1999 you'll likely find it there, especially on the very extensive Catacombs page. With all 48 episodes out on DVD a lot of people are seeing the series again for the first time in years, or even decades.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

The Drew Carrey Show ends this week, which came as a big surprise to most folks since they thought it was cancelled years ago. Sounds like Carrey needs a better publicist.

Frasier ends this week. But somehow I have the suspicion this isn't the last time Kelsey Grammer plays that character.

Friends ends this week, which probably means the end of David Schwimmer's career as an actor isn't far off, altho' he apparently is already slated to guest star on Matt Leblanc's new Joey spinoff. Oh well, Schwimmer can go sleep on his mattress full of millions of dollars. As for how long Joey will last somehow I think we won't be sitting around ten years from now reading about how long Leblanc's been playing that character. What Leblanc really needs is a hit movie.

Given the way the tv biz is going the likely replacements for these shows will last 6 episodes, and be replaced by more reality tv dreck.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

If you get lots of spam you've no doubt had 18 zillion penis enlargement e-mails hit your mailbox. So how come we never seen any penis shrinking products offered? Think about it, there must be some guy out there who wants his ridiculously huge manhood to be just a little bit smaller because his lover finds it rather too big to stick in the desired places. Or because it makes it hard to find comfortable pants. Or whatever. Some women find their breasts need reducing, so someplace on our fair planet one would suspect some guy wants or needs a smaller penis than he's got.
What the hell, since I've mentioned that I'm writing here's my page. I'm not going to make any grand claims for any of it, but I can at least write a coherent paragraph and string a bunch of them together to produce something recognisable as a story.

My page
Thinking, as i do a lot since I'm writing a series based on it, about Undergrads today, the question came to mind if there's anyone out there in Undergrads fanland that seriously thinks Kimmy would be a better choice for Nitz than Jesse. You'd think there would be someone who did, but if there is they're pretty quiet about it.

Some people think any fanfiction writing is odd, but some types are obviously odder than others. For me its fanfiction written about real people currently living, especially the sexual themed stuff. You can only imagine what it must be like for someone like Justin Timberlake to read a story that has him having sex with Ricky Martin. Stuff with our real person being involved with a fictional character likely to represent the writer, or even stuff that openly features the author, is slightly more understandable, but still a bit outre. Of course I suppose someone would argue that writing about yourself having sex with your celeb crush makes more sense that writing about yourself having sex with Han Solo.

Of course there's one genre, professional wrestling, where things get even odder because the line is blurry in the first place. Pro wrestlers are real people, but they're also people acting out a storyline. So they're in essence playing a fictional version of themselves in the first place, and then you get people who write fics based on this fictional version. Most peculiar.
This week's (so far) personal "DUH!" moment: hearing Creedence Cleaarwater Revival's "Who'll Stop The Rain" for the nth-hundred time and just realising that some of the lyrics are probably about Woodstock.

You just gotta love politicians when they get "creative." Canada's current gun control law saw the requirement to register "long arms" ie rifles and shotguns added several years ago. This pissed a lot of folks off. Within the last week someone within the federal government got the bright idea that maybe they should make such registration voluntary. Yeesh! If you're gonna do that you might as well throw the whole register long arms requirement out, because who will do it willingly? Either the provision stays in the law, or the government admits its not worth the bother and ends it. Half way measures won't work. All the voluntary registration proposal is is a lame way to try and please both advocates of the current situation and those who oppose it, but it won't do either.
One more post for tonight. If you're out there reading the Undergrads fics on be aware there's a "hidden" Undergrads related fic, Gandalf the Beige's "Morgoths Bane."

Incidently I don't know about anyone else, but i find the new search engine there slightly annoying, since you must specify a story category to search. Unfortunately people don't always stick things like crossover fics in places you might think to look, and sometimes an author needs to be vague in a summary to keep the punchline of a humour fic hidden.(I've got a fic idea I'm working on that kind of fits the latter category.) Of course even with a search engine its easy to miss fics in the miscellaneous sections because the author gives no indication what property they're related to. Anyone who visits there frequently has no doubt seen things along the lines of "In this story Brit and Jesse finally realise their love for each other, please review," with zero indication of where these characters come from.
Since I've just put a link to this on my profile perhaps someone who's reading Undergrads: Bootleg will come looking this way. Just thought I'd let you know that I'm hoping to finally get the next chapter of the $&% thing out within the next week or so. Its just turned out to be a pain in the neck to get finished for no reason other than inertia, but I intend to just sit down within the next couple of days and have at it. I'll likely be doing some minor formating changes to the previous chapters as well to clean up a couple of grammar mistakes and other glitches with the existing files.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

There. Now the title is reduced to a less "shouting" form, and now you can leave all those wonderful comments and reams of invective I'm sure you're dying to leave.
Hmmm, just looking at the actual results of using this thing, and I notice that there's no leave a comment link. And dontcha just love the gigantic font size for the title of this thing? Someone will probably go "deaf" reading that thing.

Tonight I was using one of those EVIIIIIIL download programs to download an old Yes video to the song "It Can Happen," off their highly successful 1983 album 90125. I just watched it and for the life of me I can't remember ever seeing this thing before. Yet surely I must have, as I watched several Canadian video shows regularly in the early-mid '80s and surely it must have been played at least a few times. If you watched any amount of music videos in those days you likely ran across the "Owner of a Lonely Heart" video more than a few times, and the gimmicky video for "Leave It" is hard to forget. But this one, if I did see it, left no impression. Then again its pretty generic, so that may not be a surprise.

In the period between oh say 1983 and 1986 there must have been at least a half dozen video programs on Canadian tv that I managed to see. I had no access to cable tv at the time so I didn't see the early days of Muchmusic. The longest running one was CBC's Good Rockin' Tonite, which was originally hosted by Terry David Mulligan before he went on to Muchmusic. It ran late Friday nights, and this was sometimes exploited to good effect, such as when they played Ultravox's eerie antinuclear war video to their song "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" as their last video one episode. Another one that I can actually remember the title of is Rock and Roll Video, which included the host doing comedy bits between videos. I remember him looking and behaving a lot like Jim Carrey, but Carrey had already gone to Hollywood when this thing was airing, so its extremely unlikely it was him.
Greetings if you've somehow managed to come upon this thing. I figured I might as well be like all sorts of other people and annoy complete strangers with yet another blog. Well, okay, annoy a new set of complete strangers, versus the ones I annoy on Usenet.