Monday, February 28, 2005

Seeing as I get regular hits regarding the cartoon series Delta State I'll pass along a couple of links that will be of interest. First is TV Tome's Delta State bulletin board. A lot of discussion of the series has been going on there of late. There's also a new Delta State live journal that has just become active.

Teletoon played the final episode of the 1st season last night. If the current schedule holds true that likely means the first episode of the series will be broadcast next Sunday night, so if you've missed it and would like to check out, or came in part ways through and would like to get the full scoop tune in then. If I find out to the contrary I'll make sure to mention it here.
If you're a comic book fan, or even if you're not, you might want to check out Lots of cheap laughs to be had when you see how cheesy some of the comics of the '50s, '60s, and early '70s were. Looking at those covers its not hard to see why the folks behind the Batman tv series went in the campy direction they did. Then you might want to check out the Comic Book Bondage Cover of the Day site. Don't worry, its not obscene, the covers are all from mainstream comics from various eras, although the racial characatures on the "golden age" ones can be kind of disturbing.
As usual I didn't watch the Oscars last night. Haven't watched more than a minute or two in years. But one thing I wish I'd seen was Clint Eastwood's mother in the audience. Very cool that she's still around at 96. I wonder if that means we'll be seeing Clint on the Oscars 20 years from now.

Oscar #2 for Hillary Swank. I find that interesting given that she's not on that list of instantly identifiable actors we all know, yet she has two of them. Somehow I doubt Jennifer Lopez will ever win an Oscar, yet people will be probably be talking about her decades from now.

Eastwood being 74 made me think of how time flies, and this reminded me that baseball season starts in a month. Hopefully the Blue Jays will do better this year even with all the personnel changes.
Sometimes I wish a person could get a good brain cleaning. I've seen some things online over the years I really wish I could forget, but they occasionally pop up in my mind again to annoy and bother me. Hopefully adding more pleasant input to my memories will help suppress such things more.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sitting here listening to Tangerine Dream's Hyperborea I find myself wondering about what lead them to their current sound, the little of which I've heard bored me. Chris Franke leaving seems to have been the final turning point with them. I suspect that like a lot of other artists Edgar Froese needed strong collaborators who might disagree with him at times to strengthen his ideas, and once Franke left there was no one to fill that role. Then again lots of artists simply run out of interesting ideas.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Wow. Here's a totally cool cat picture from Atrios's blog. Isn't that a wonderful shot?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Apparently if you have a blog it may mean you're a narcissist. At least thats the opinion of people quoted in an article by Misty Harris that appeared in today's Saskatoon Star Phoenix, and presumably other Canwest/Global owned papers. "(W)eblogs allow individuals to indulge grandiose fantasies of who they are, cataloging the nuances of their lives-real or imagined-for all to see," says the article. Frankly I can't think of any "grandiose fantasy" I have about this blog. Then again having a counter that tells you why people are visiting this thing doesn't hurt in preventing you from getting a swelled head.

Speaking of Canwest papers I get the impression that the editors at the National Post are obsessed with ballistic missile defense. Yesterday's decision by the federal government to stay out of the program prompted 8 or more individual articles and opinion pieces about the subject in today's edition. The government made a real muddle of it, but I can't help but shake my head at claims this will somehow hurt Canadian sovereignty. Does anyone seriously think that Canadian officials, especially with the current regime in Washington, would have any real say in the actual use of the system if the US thought someone was shooting at them? Of course as I've noted here before the system is years away from actually being of any real operational value, assuming its actually feasible, despite the six interceptors currently sitting in silos in Alaska.
Speaking of DOD pedal auctions on eBay one thing that is frequently mentioned for these sales is that the plastic door that covers the battery slot is missing. Does this mean that someplace on our fair planet there is a several stories high mound of these things? Or do they disappear into the same parallel universe/dimension as all those socks that we all seem to lose?
A good while ago I made a post on here about people who don't have much of or even no web prescence, in that case a couple of girls I went to high school with. I just had another example of this when I tried to find out some info on the current whereabouts of guitarist David Fulton. A profile of Fulton in a 1988 issue of Guitar Player (with Jerry Garcia on the cover) lead me to picking up a copy of his album Like Chignik, which I'll have to dig out again soon. Whatever his current activities they're not showing up online. Presumably he's like a lot of musicians in that he got frustrated with the rigors of doing recordings for small labels on tiny budgets for little response and moved away from music, at least of the recorded kind anyway.

I purchased that LP, this being in the late '80s before my first CD player, from the long defunct New Music Distribution Service, along with several other LPs from the new music/improvised music scene of the era, such as Jim Staley's Mumbo Jumbo, which I should give a listen to again as well. From what I understand when NMDS went under a lot of folks got burned and didn't get paid for stuff the organisation bought from them, which can cause real problems when you're running a tiny label in a limited commerical potential scene. I'm pretty sure I ordered from them twice, and had some problems with the second order, although I can't remember exactly what, although probably along the lines of not getting what I expected or something.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Although I have purchased things off of eBay(such as the DOD FX80B guitar compressor pedal I bought Sunday) its been of equal or more value to me as a source of cheap humour. Take for example this auction for a guitar pick. The seller is trying to sell for $2.95, or more, a guitar pick I can go into several local music shops and buy for about 30 cents. I doubt we'll see many bids on this one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Talk about weird computer errors! Fanfiction.Net was apparently having a glitch lately where "P-chan" was not appearing properly. This would have effected a lot of stories on that site given that P-chan is an important character in the popular manga and anime series Ranma 1/2, and there are oodles of Ranma fanfics on that site.
I was just taking a look at the performance of the banner ads and search engine thing I'm running on here. At the current rate its going to be a good long while before I see any money.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hooray for me! I got my 100th bill hit at Where's Willy today. And to make things even better its my first hit at Canadian Money Tracker. If you're an American and this kind of thing seems interesting after looking at those links check out Where's George.
I'll be doing some housecleaning in the morning, which brings up the obvious question. Where the hell is my self cleaning house, dammit? We were all supposed to have self cleaning houses by now. You can keep the antigravity belts and all those gewgaws, just give me a living space I don't have to clean and I'll be happy.

While I'm at it let me add this week's random search engine attractor word: hentai.
(Previous attempts at this tactic haven't worked, but if at first you don't succeed....)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A major literary loss to report tonight. Hunter S. Thompson, author of such books as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is dead at 67. His son Juan has stated the iconoclastic writer shot himself.

Friday, February 18, 2005

From an online acquantance, an attempted scam e-mail he received. Generally if you want to scam someone I would think you would want to write it in their language:

Drae Balcrays Mrebme,

Thsi eliam was setn by the Baalcrys serevr to virefy yruo
emial addrsse. You muts copmlete thsi prsecos by ccilking
on the lkni bolew and enterign in the smlal winodw yruo Barclasy
Membership number, passcode and memorable word.
Thsi is dnoe for yuor pitcetoron - besuace smoe of our memrebs no
lnoger haev acssec to tehir emlia adsserdes and we
mtsu verfiy it. To vyfire yuor eamil address and assecc yruo bkna
acctnuo, ckcil on the lkni bwole:

Small as it may be, December's Asian tsunami disaster has produced one positive result. What appears to be an ancient Indian city has been uncovered. Its located on the coast at Mahabalipuram, a popular Hindu pilgrimage site already considered a World Heritage site.
Patronising the little guy can be rather interesting. I went to get my hair cut today, and instead of going to a chain place like Ultracuts I went into a small barber shop. It was about the most minimal place you can imagine, with 3 chairs, one a kids chair, an ancient old tv(although hooked up to a cable box) and a couple of chairs for folks to wait in, all in a space about the size of many bedrooms. Cheap too, just 10 bucks for a haircut. Not that it matters in one sense where I go, since my hair never behaves properly after I get it cut anyways. I'm sure a place like this stays in business because the overhead is low and it attracts a steady clientle of regular customers, many of whom have been going there for years. But it must be hard to compete nonetheless against fancier hair salons, and the chain haircut places with their advertising budgets and so forth.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

If you're looking for someplace to eat in Saskatoon try out the Broadway Cafe. Located, not surprisingly, on Saskatoon's Broadway Avenue it has a '50s nostalgia theme and good food.


Its that time of year again. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has come out. And as usual its full of models that, if we're lucky, might have dated an athelete, but have no other connection to sports. Surely in this day and age they could put together a swimsuit issue with some actual female atheletes wearing those suits.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Ah, Valentines Day. That day of the year when those of us without romance in our lives get bluntly reminded of the fact.
Sunday saw a commemeration of the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden in WW2. However a group of hard rightists protested before the ceremonies, denouncing the bombing as a war crime. Hearing that the word hypocrite came to mind. After all it was the equivalent of such people in the 1930s and '40s that lead Germany into the war that resulted in the bombing.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

One of the odder ideas you might stumble across in the world of fanfiction is MPreg, or male pregnancy. Thats right, people writing stories where their favourite male character or characters get pregnant. Here, from the Fanfic Rants community at Livejournal, is some of the disturbingly clueless explainations used by some writers as to how this could happen. Hopefully it won't hurt your faith in the future of humanity too much to read them.
I was just watching bits and pieces of a Marilyn Manson profile, and the obvious question came up: Is there anything that Manson did that was actually original?
Here's an interesting report from CBC's Marketplace program about Red Bull "energy drink." I think I'll stick with Coke thank you very much, and I want to greatly reduce my consumption of that. The industry is relatively small in Canada compared to some other countries. Japan is said to be the worlds largest single market for such products, with the Lipovitan brand supposedly selling some 2 million bottles per day.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Some unfortunate news to report. The great American playright Arthur Miller has died at age 89. Ironically I just saw Miller on an old episode of American Justice on A&E last night.
If you've been down in the dumps lately because there is no enormous catastrophy that will destroy humanity on the horizon, take heart. According to an e-mail I received yesterday the planet Hercolubus is coming to get us. Of course it will probably be like all those other catastrophies that were going to do us all in, like the May 5, 2000 planetary alignment that was going to make the Earth's axis tip over. Or Planet X as promoted a few years ago by Nancy Lieder. Fortunately such supposed events are so big that the kooks can't claim when they don't happen that the government is covering them up. Instead they have to go slink off in embarrassment.

Another of these concepts that will likely be with us for a while yet is the supposed prophecy of the Last Pope, Peter the Roman. The claim goes that St. Malachy, while visting Rome in 1139, was granted a vision where he saw all the popes to come, including the last pope who would be known as Peter the Roman. The prophecy has been interpreted to indicate that after John Paul II only two more popes will be selected before the Second Coming, or the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church, depending on whose interpretation you believe. So when JPII dies expect to hear a lot of talk about this stuff. Of course it should be noted that Malachy's supposed prophecy has an annoying little problem, namely was only revealed some 400 years after he supposedly made it, leading many to suspect he made no such prophecy. And as is so often the case with such so called prophecies the actual details are vague enough that you can fit the popes since 1139 to the prophecy with a bit of careful interpretation.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

If you've watched the news today you probably know that Prince Charles is finally going to get around to marrying Camilla Parker-Bowles. Hearing about this I couldn't help but wonder once again what would have happened if Charles had been allowed to marry her 25 years ago instead of being force to pick a "virgin bride" like Diana. By all accounts Diana wasn't exactly the most worldly person when she married him, which probably exacerbated whatever differences the age gap between them made. But the Royal Family was presumably too concerned about producing an heir to take the risk of an "older" woman, especially when they could get a "pure" person like Diana.

It will be interesting to see if Charles ever does end up as King. Given the lifespan of his grandmother I doubt he's holding his breath. I suspect that if he doesn't pass over the position, assuming its possible, in favour of William he probably won't reign for that long and abdicate in favour of his son. Of course that might be twenty years from now, and a lot can change in that time. Perhaps republicanism will be the in thing in the 2030s UK and they'll consider dispensing with the monarchy entirely.

The British monarchy may have its problems, but its better off than its Japanese counterpart. Prince Naruhito, the heir to the throne, and his wife Masako have only produced one child, Princess Aiko. And therein lies the problem, for under current Japanese law only a male may take the throne. Things aren't helped by Naruhito's brother and sister in law producing two daughters, and his sister being in no hurry to marry. Masako, a commoner, has been suffering from some sort of depression or related problem in recent years, an eerie repeat of the sort of problems her mother in law, the Empress Michiko(also born a commoner), suffered in the early '60s as a result of the rigidness of Japanese imperial life. The chances of her producing a male heir become more and more remote as her childbearing years draw to a close, prompting a reconsideration of the succession law. The throne has been held by empresses in the past, but this hasn't occured since the 1700s.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Is the NHL doomed? People like this guy think so. There's a lot to be said for his analysis of the current situation. As for me it doesn't matter that much, since I'm not a hockey fan.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Some folks just need to complain. Sunday's Superbowl halftime show, featuring Paul McCartney, has actually caused a couple of complaints to the FCC. Of course I suspect the FCC and similar bodies in other countries probably get complaints for just about anything a station may broadcast given some of the nutters running around. Imagine being the complaint screener and getting letters from the same folks over and over again who think that Sesame Street is sending subliminal messages at them to worship Satan.

Monday, February 07, 2005

If you need some snow, you're welcome to ours. Since Friday Saskatoon has received 20 centimetres of snow. Thats somthing like 8 inches for you non Metric folks. Normally we get a grand total of 12.5 cms for all of February. The record one day amount however is 35.6 cms, more than a foot, back in 1930. I still have some shovelling I intend to do, and I suspect I'll probably be getting close to my weight in snow shovelled in not much longer. Its supposed to get to the freezing point later in the week, so we'll likely be trading some of this snow for a lot of slush and mess.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Want to ensure you get lots of exercise? Live someplace where you're sure to have to shovel snow. Now, if you'll excuse me, its off to the great outdoors, and my shovel!

FYI the forecast for Saskatoon is here. Lovely, isn't it.
Hmmm, Friday's annoyances? Getting up early to bid on a keyboard on eBay when I could otherwise have slept in, losing said auction, and then finding out the winner had buyer's remorse. Having a major storm system come thru, dump a bunch of snow, shovelling said snow, and knowing Saturday I'll shovel yet more. Not finding a can of Puritan chicken stew in the size I wanted. And the usual periods of depressed mental meandering. Oh well, it could have been worse.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Wojeck is dead. Veteran Canadian actor John Vernon has died at age 72. Vernon appeared in numerous roles on tv and the big screen during his career, his distinctive deep voice leading to him playing a lot of authority figures of various sorts. Vernon's mid '60s CBC tv series Wojeck, about a crusading Toronto coroner, can be seen as the spiritual grandfather of shows like Quincy and Crossing Jordan, not to mention CBC's own Davinci's Inquest.
I was just cleaning the most recent spam out of my e-mail box, and the thought came to mind how lucky we are that "real world" spam doesn't exist. Could you imagine what it would be like to get dozens or hundreds of pieces of unsolicited mail a day? You'd strain your back just hauling the stuff out to the trash.

One thing I haven't heard in a bit is apocalyptic talk about how if something isn't done about the volume of spam the Internet will collapse. Should be just about time for another story about that claim I suppose.
Say goodbye to Toronto's Skydome. The domed stadium will henceforth be known as Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays having bought it for $25 million CDN, the Rogers media group being their parent company. A nice deal for something that cost half a billion to build, although I suspect there are some interesting arrangements regarding existing debt and so forth involved. They'll also be spending money on upgrading the playing field with new and much nicer FieldTurf, and installing new scoreboards and a new Jumbotron. Having control of the revenue generated by the field will allow the Jays to spend more on players, with payroll being announced as 70 million dollars for each of the next three years. Unfortunately they still won't be able to compete salarywise with the New York Yankees, who will spend a reported 210 million on players this year alone. Must be nice to be George and spend that kind of dough.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

You probably won't be able to avoid this if you hang out on any tv oriented sites over the next few days, and lots of you probably have already heard, but for those who haven't Star Trek: Enterprise has been cancelled after 98 episodes. This isn't a huge shock, as the series had disappointed Paramount in the ratings from the start, and its renewal for a fourth season almost didn't happen. Personally I've watched maybe an episode and a half all told of the series. The little bits I saw looked like the same old, same old, and didn't interest me enough to encourage me to watch. I suppose there's a small chance that a fan campaign may save the show, but I'd guess the chances are very slim. Trek needs a hiatus, but I suspect Paramount won't let it have one.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Are you having trouble thinking, or feel stupid? Perhaps you should try cutting your hair. The North Koreans are currently waging a campaign against long hair for men, and thats one of the supposed reasons.
Some folks just have no imagination. Former US Senator Jesse Helms is using Bill Clinton as a boogeyman to raise funds for his senatorial library. The fearmongering? That Clinton might try and become the next Secretary General of the UN after Kofi Annan retires. How unoriginal, playing on the bugaboos of the hard right in the US, Clinton and the UN. As for Clinton as SecGen he probably has about as much chance as I do, as I suspect is the same for any former head of government of one of the permanent members of the Security Council.
You can tell the celphone industry is oversaturated when someone puts onto the market a celphone for your pet. Hmmm, this is one of those times when I wish I had one of those eyeroll emoticons handy.
How's this for stupid: the German government is defacto getting into the pimp business. A Berlin woman faces the possibility of losing her unemployment benefits because she is unwilling to take a job in a brothel. This is the result of laws legalising prostitution in 2002, and recent reforms to Germany's welfare and unemployment laws. Its one thing to legalise prostitution, its another to make laws that force people into it.
I was just sitting here thinking about spyware and other methods of tracking you online. Although I certainly would prefer not to have some company following my activities anyone who did follow some of my search engine shenanigans would be utterly confused at the things I go out and look at. This data wouldn't be of much use for marketing anything to me.