Friday, July 29, 2005

Regular readers of this blog will remember I made a post about a group called Christian Exodus a while back. Here's an article from the Talahasee Democrat from this week discussing their current status.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hey, Galdalf the Beige, regarding your recent question on here:

Jesse looks for even miniscule signs of progress...

...and is digusted by what she finds.

I am working on things, but its going incredibly, glacially slow. Most frustrating, but I'm hoping to pick things up a bit over the next while.

I hope.
I couldn't help but smile at this message header from a piece of spam: Cure lenoliness-find your ideal match online! So, I wonder what lenoliness is? Perhaps its a syndrome that makes you have a really big chin. I have no idea how online dating is supposed to cury this malady.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

If you're interested in end of the world prophecies have I got the site for you. It's The End of the World As We Know It...Again is an extensive compilation of end of the world predictions past and present. Of course if you actually believe some of this stuff you might not be too happy at their slant on them. The rest of us will just sit and shake our heads at the amazing things people will believe in the name of faith.
A piece of advice. If you've never played Minesweeper on your computer, don't give in to the urge to do so. That stupid game can be very time consuming. I sat here tonight playing it off and on for probably an hour when I could have been doing something more useful, like picking lint from my navel.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Another musician death to report. Long John Baldry died Thursday in Vancouver. A product of the same early '60s London blues scene that spawned the Rolling Stones and John Mayall Baldry was amongst other things an early employer of one Reg Dwight, who became rather more well known under the stage name Elton John. Supposedly Elton John was a combination of Baldry's first name and the first name of saxophonist Elton Dean. Baldry had lived in Canada for the last 2 and a half decades, and his activities included playing Captain Hook in a run of the musical Peter Pan.


I was just outside mowing the lawn, and in a very tall tree a block or two over I could see a large group of crows. At times I think there were at least twenty sitting in that tree, if not more. It would be interesting to know what's got them all worked up.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Just a little experiment here folks.
I was down by the river again today. It was interesting to see how far the river level has dropped since it reached its peak 2 or 3 weeks ago. Along the riverbank where I was, the boat launch ramp near the Bessborough Hotel, you could see how the higher waters had eroded some of the sand along the bank. But its still somewhat higher than it has been in recent years I think. The South Saskatchewan is also flowing somewhat slower than it had been.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

If you're looking to complete/expand/start your collection of Les Paul related instruments here's one you may not be familiar with: the Les Paul piano. Hmmm, I don't know about you, but when I think Les Paul I generally do not think of pianos.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Another musical figure with cancer to report, coming on the heals of last week's post about Bob Moog. Jazz tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker has been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Brecker has played on innumerable recordings, including his own solo albums, albums with his brother Randy as the Brecker Brothers, and noteables such as Pat Metheny. Brecker has cancelled all engagements while he's being treated for the disease. Good luck to him.
The lesbians are coming! The lesbians are coming! Well, Washington, DC minister Willie Williams thinks they are, claiming they're "....about to take over our community." Amazing isn't it the paranoia same sex relationships can cause.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Edmonton police today charged Michael White with the second degree murder of his pregnant wife Liana, whose body was found by a search team that included White on Sunday. It will be interesting to see if this case generates the same kind of press as the Scott and Laci Peterson murder case did given its similarity to that case. I suspect the answer is no. Its unlikely the American media, which whipped up such a froth over the Peterson affair, will be interested in a Canadian murder case, no matter how similar.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Over the last half an hour or so one of my neighbours has been vacuuming. His house has a central vac, and if you're familiar with those units you know they can be heard outside the house. Seems to me that after 11 pm is not a good time to be vacuuming if its going to be audible to the neighbours. Sure, its a Saturday night, but there are still going to be people it might bug.

Speaking of household tasks one I've jokingly thought about doing at night is mowing the lawn. I could actually get away with it noisewise given that the electric lawnmower I use is very quite. Its not one of those howling banshee types one typically encounters, rather its almost inaudible from a few feet away. Of course I'd probably do a crappy job of it, but it would be fun to do something silly like that.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Slim Shady may be about to disappear into the shadows. Sources inside the Eminem camp indicate he may be about to retire. Marshall Mathers apparently is growing tired of the spotlight and wants to quit on top. Not that he'll have to worry about his finances, as he has sold a billion dollars in recordings as well as producing other acts such as 50 Cent.

Like many people I've been less than impressed with Mathers' offstage antics. I've never bought any Eminem albums. Yet I have enjoyed some of his singles. It will be interest to see if he actually does stay retired, or if a few years down the road we'll see him try a comeback, and as is often the case with comebacks inflict some subpar single on the world.
Sometimes things go better than you planned. I was in Walmart today, and they still had a bunch of 88 cent DVDs in stock. Yep, you read that right, 88 cents. Of course they come in a cheapy cardboard sleeve and not a DVD box or CD style jewelbox. So I dug through the pile a bit and found a copy of Return of the Streetfighter, the second of the mid '70s Sonny Chiba Streetfighter martial arts series. Buying it was a no brainer, even though I suspected it would turn out to be a bad transfer that would have some major problem the instant I played it. At that price you can throw it out if it doesn't work. But to my pleasant surprise it was actually a good looking budget DVD. Even more interesting was that the actual opening of the disc indicated it was a Front Row Entertainment product even though they weren't listed on the packaging. Hmm. This just makes me wonder yet once more about the legality of these ultracheapies. I suspect these are pretty precariously balanced on the borderline between legality and being out and out bootlegs.

I may go back and grab another title or three, although I'll continue to have little expectation of quality given some of the titles. The Streetfighter films at least have the advantage of being released in North America in the '90s at the behest of Chiba fan Quentin Tarintino in cleaned up form, so good quality source material is available for recent issues. Some folks have suspected in the past that the Front Row Entertainment DVDs were probably based on the laserdisc releases of these films. I know from past experience that a lot of the bargain releases of martial arts films in recent years are made from prints that are probably the original North American market prints from 20 years ago or whatever. And thats if you're lucky. I picked up a 2fer a while back where the one film on the DVD seemed to have been dubbed from a bad quality VHS copy. At least i bought that one for two bucks or whatever. I would have been utterly pissed off if I'd bought it at the original price of 20 bucks or whatever it was I saw some places online offering it for.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Lately I've been hanging out at the forums at A recent post under the "Godawful Subcultures" section was about pedophile organisations. The result? Some actual pedophiles have turned up in the thread. If you've ever wondered what goes on in the heads of people like that it may be worth a look, although I would advise you not to read the thread if you've in some way had to face child abuse in your life. Its likely to really make your blood boil.
All I can say is crap! Dr. Robert Moog is reportedly suffering from an inoperable brain tumour. Very sad news for synthesizer fans.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Miss Universe 2005 is Canadian Natalie Glebova. At a Canadian press conference Monday she noted she's surprised at how little press her victory is getting in Canada. Personally I'm of the opposite opinion. I'm surprised she's getting as much interest as she is. The Miss Universe pagent gets virtually no Canadian press in normal circumstances, and is only getting it now because a Canadian won the role. Glebova noted that beauty pageants are not really part of Canadian culture, which is very true. There was a time when beauty pageants were relatively common and garnered some press, but in recent years they've just about faded into nonexistence in Canada. Apparently there is still a Miss Canada competition, but it gets no real press, compared to the days when the pageant was shown every year on CTV. Saskatoon CTV affiliate CFQC sponsored the Miss Saskatoon pageant for years, but it seems to have ended sometime in the early '90s. A girl I went to high school with actually competed for Miss Saskatoon, which I've always found funny as she was sort of a punk rock girl when I went to school with her, having blue hair at one point.

Monday, July 11, 2005

It was announced this week that The Simpsons will make its season debute on Sept. 11. And I likely won't be watching.

It has been years since I've watched a new Simpsons episode all the way through. I pretty much gave up on the series a few years ago because the quality seemed to be going downhill. The scripts would have one good idea that they got 10 minutes of show worth out of, and the rest of the episode seemed to be filler. Unfortunately Fox wants to keep milking the Simpsons cow as long as it can. Unfortunately US commercial tv is unwilling to let a series die at the height of its powers, before it can embarrass itself. The Simpsons held on longer than most, but even it began to run out of gas eventually. You can say the same thing about the original Law and Order, which is starting to seem rather tired even if the ratings are still holding up. I saw only a couple of episodes of the last season of L&O, and I don't feel like I'm missing much.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bad news for some baseball and softball fans. The International Olympic Committee has voted to drop the two sports from the 2012 Olympics. Amongst the factors being blamed are the problems the US major leagues are having with doping, and that baseball supposedly isn't popular enough in much of the world. The latter is rather amusing given some of the other sports that are in the Olympics, and for that matter there being a Winter Olympics when large chunks of the planet don't have any sort of winter sports tradition because they have no winter.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ooooh dear. The reviews have started to appear for the new Fantastic Four movie, and they aren't good, Rotten Tomatoes currently showing it at a "rotten" rating of 24%. Personally I really haven't been in a rush to see this in any case, as the casting strike me as wonky. Jessica Alba as Sue Storm just doesn't ring right to me, she just seems too young, at times still looking like a 17 year old. And Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm is a keep away factor for me. I've never liked Chiklis, having had my fill of him as the overrought title character in the tv cop show The Commish. Ironically he's at least close to the age of the original character. When the FF debuted a lifetime ago in the early '60s Ben Grimm and Reed Richards were WW2 vets. They weren't kids.

Its funny to consider what recent comic book properties I have and haven't seen. I was a big fan of the X Men in the late '70s and '80s, which is part of the reason why I haven't seen either X film. I figure it could never match up to my memories and ideas of the characters. I saw Spiderman 2, but only bits of the original. I saw bits of the recent version of The Punisher, and it struck me as kind of off. Of course the early 90s version with Dolph Lundgren as a Stallone on heroin Frank Castle was even more off. I saw Daredevil on tv even though I was never really a fan of the character, and I saw Elektra at the cheap theatre. I haven't seen Batman Begins yet, but probably will watch it when it turns up on the movie channels.

It will interesting to see how well Fantastic Four does with the poor reviews. If it does poorly given the lack of success Marvel based properties besides X Men and Spiderman have had it may mean the demise of the laundry list of projects being considered of late.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I was just rambling around some blogs and once again came across something that frequently bugs me, namely a blog with no way of commenting on the postings. Perhaps its because I've posted to Usenet for a long time but I like the idea of being able to post a comment to something that someone has written, even if its nothing more profound than agreeing with them. On the other hand I can see why some people avoid this, as the comments sections on some blogs can get out of hand because of trolls and other pains in the behind. This humble little corner of the blogsphere probably doesn't have to worry about something like that in the short or long term.
Walking home today I saw a kid, maybe 10 or so, having a fight with his mother. He called her a f***er. It made me think of what would have happened if I'd done something like that at his age. My parents weren't big on spanking and rarely did so, but I suspect that I would have gotten a good smack for something like that. The mother I saw today didn't hit him, at least in the time I was within sight and earshot. But I obviously wonder what kind of relationship they have that he'd use language like that.

On a totally unrelated note I sure wish I could get rid of that white space above my posts right now, as it annoys me as much as I'm sure it annoys visitors. Hopefully I can figure out what's wrong soon.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I had a rather interesting experience this morning. I went down to the river again to take a look at the water levels. Down on the shore was a gentleman having a heated and vulgar argument...with the Invisible Man apparently. Frankly when I think about I'm surprised I haven't run into more people like that over the years. He was carrying a paper coffee cup, but I have no idea if that was a sign he's functional enough to do things like buy coffee, or if he picked it out of the garbage some place. Saskatoon has its share of panhandlers, but most of the ones I've encountered seem to just be poor, and not suffering from any sort of mental illness.

Monday, July 04, 2005

This is kind of neat. A recreation of the album cover of Yellow Magic Orchestra's Solid State Survivor in Lego.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

This summer the Saskatoon Police Service is experimenting with an airplane to aid their ground units. Frankly I'm not all that convinced of the idea. Its pretty much a poor replacement for a helicopter, which the city obviously can't afford at the moment. But being a Space: 1999 fan I do have to smile at their choice of radio callsigns: Eagle 1.

Friday, July 01, 2005

I've noted before my amusement at the nutrition information on various products, and here's another example. I bought a 70 gram package of peanuts tonight. The nutrition information on it is for a 30 gram serving. You'd think they'd give the information for 70 grams given that people are more likely than not to eat the whole package in one sitting. However using a 30 gram measurement has a couple of advantages. One is that you don't have to recalculate the information if the size of the package changes, and you can use it for packages of different sizes. Perhaps more importantly the fat content for 30 grams is less discomforting than the fat content for 70 grams, something that may influence purchases in our fat obsessed era.
I almost feel sorry for a lot of folks in the US. US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her intention to resign. Its generally believed Chief Justice William Renquist will soon resign due to health problems. The result? Weeks, or even months, of contentious debate in Congress once President Bush picks his candidates for replacements. Compare this to what happens in Canada, where appointing a Supreme Court Justice is a relatively quiet proceedure with Parliament not having any direct veto power over the appointment. Some people want a much greater involvement by Parliament in the process a la the American system. Should this happen hopefully a way can be found to do it without the level of rancor that currently marks the US process.
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians. Hopefully it will be a nice dry Canada Day here, but I wouldn't bet on it, as its already rained again. We've already had enough rain this week. You can see the current forecast for Saskatoon here. And in case you're interested you can look at Enviroment Canada's network of doppler radars.