Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blogtrolling? Trollblogging?

PZ Myers and Orac have been getting a bunch of hits over the last couple of days because they discussed US Presidential candidate Ron Paul. So I'm gonna mention him too and see what happens. I have done this before, and the thought just came to mind that maybe this kind of activity needs a name. So, which do you think is better, blogtrolling or trollblogging? Of course I could just stick with my existing term for this activity, shameless hit mongering.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Baby, What A Name!

Today the Saskatoon Star Phoenix published a supplement featuring various children born in Saskatoon over the last year. So of course I'm going to comment on some of the names. If these are your children please realise I'm not criticising them. I'm criticising YOU. After all the kids are innocent victims in all this.

Jerrica-Is someone a fan of '80s cartoons perhaps? Jerrica was the civilian identity of Jem, the title character of the cartoon of the same name. Of course I'm assuming that the j is pronounced as such, and not as a y or an h, or worse is silent, which isn't impossible these days.

Camilla Elizabeth-Presumably inspired by the current wife of Prince Charles and our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.

Jayla-I'm not much on the name Kayla, and Jayla comes across as even more jarring. And of course the poor kid will be saying "No, not Kayla, Jayla" regularly for the rest of her life.

Ayvee-Where they going for Ivy, and didn't know how to spell it? It's not hard to look spellings up, folks! And spelling it that way deliberately is just punishing the kid, who will be spelling her name and/or correcting its pronunciation over and over again forever. Just look at my last name, I know what it's like. And Ayvee is baby sister to Daireli. An ethnic name, or just something the parents made up?

Deagan-An Irish family name apparently. No doubt Deagan will be correcting his name a lot as well, unless the family uses his middle name Joseph instead.

Kynyn-I have no idea where this one comes from, and I suspect there might be a bit of confusion for him(the middle name is Christopher), as I'd guess a lot of people will assume it's a girl's name.

Ebony-Kind of an odd name for what appears to be a white girl. After all ebony is generally black.

Weylen-I think they were looking for Waylon, unless its a surname.

Ruari-An old Celtic name. Nothing wrong with honouring your heritage, but it's still a name that will be a bit of a bother for the boy.

Autumn Trinity-Oddly enough Autumn was born in May.

Kali-Hmm, you might be tempting the fates giving your daughter the same name as the Hindu embodiment of death.

Jaslene-Another made up name?

Jeirus-Another odd one. His parents are Jhun and Lovelee, so funky names apparently run in the family.

Maximus-Is this a possible trend? I had a post on here a good while back about a Saskatoon child given the name Maximus. I still think it sounds like a name for a Roman gladiator, not a 21st Century Canadian boy, but presumably everyone will call him Max.

Jaxon-There are several of these. Jackson looks better to me, but at least it's a name most people will pronounce easily.

Kazden-Another head scratcher. His middle name is Matlock, presumably a family name. I doubt most folks would name their son after a geezerly TV detective.

Breeze-A name that might get the poor girl called Airhead or something equally nasty when she gets older. One of her five siblings is named Reo.

Tawny-Likely to make folks of a certain age think of Tawny Kitaen, Whitesnake video chick. Another one of those names that sounds more appropriate for pets than offspring.

Ireland-Giving kids place names as first names is not uncommon, and at least it will be easy to pronounce. It will cause her less trouble than her sisters Sydnea and Jazmine.

Bree-Seems to have some popularity these days, but it always makes me think of a secondary character from the original Battlestar Galactica, and no doubt makes others think of cheese.

Alexus-Most folks spell that with an i, not a u.

Silas-Funny to see such an old fashioned name on a contemporary kid.

Jet-Hey, I like planes, but I wouldn't name my kid after one.

Well, I wasn't as mean as I thought I would. Of course there weren't any really horrific monstrosities to bemoan. For real horrors check out Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Oscar Peterson, RIP.

One of the greatest jazz musicians to come out of Canada has died. Oscar Peterson died in his Mississauga, Ontario home Sunday at 82. Born in Montreal Peterson came out of that city's music scene in the early 1940s. When famed jazz promoter Norman Granz heard a Peterson live broadcast while taking a taxi to Montreal's airport in 1949 he was so impressed he made the cabbie head for the location of the broadcast. He signed Peterson to perform at a concert at Carnegie Hall on the same bill as various jazz greats of the era. Peterson's US debut proved a success and the start of a decades long career as one of the best known pianists in jazz. Although he suffered a stroke in 1993 that disabled his left hand Peterson continued to perform into the 21st Century, and leaves behind a recorded legacy of dozens of recordings with a wide range of artists.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Good Luck.

If you haven't finished your Christmas gift buying yet I hope you manage to find what you're looking for tomorrow. Fortunately I have only my parents and brother to buy for, and I got it done a week and a half ago. Of course some of you probably bought some of your presents for this Christmas at last year's Boxing Day and other post Christmas sales.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Don Chevrier, RIP.

A familiar TV voice to many Canadian sports fans has been silenced. Don Chevrier died today in his home in Palm Harbor, Florida, apparently as a result of a recently diagnosed blood disorder. He was 69. He worked for various Canadian networks, including CTV and CBC, and was the broadcast voice for the Toronto Blue Jays and Ottawa Senators. This comes on the heels of reports that Don Wittman, another veteran of Canadian sports broadcasting and contemporary of Chevrier's, is currently fighting cancer.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Whimper For The Buck.

Forbes has released a list of who they consider the most overpaid actors in Hollywood. The calculation is made based on the amount they're paid per film versus the amount of revenue the films generate. Topping the list are Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman. Their most recent films have done poorly, and it's looking like this might include Kidman's latest, the just released Golden Compass. Presumably if this keeps up they won't be getting their huge salaries for long. But even if they take a pay cut they'll still make more per film than most readers of this post will in a lifetime. It would be interesting to know who the most overpaid TV actors are currently, a calculation that might be a bit more difficult to determine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


(click on the pic for a bigger view)
I went for a visit to the local Long and McQuade this afternoon. Amongst the new gear in stock they had the new Fender Joe Strummer Telecaster. Thinking about it the whole idea of a mass market Joe Strummer tribute guitar, including the "Revolution Rock" engraved in the neckplate, seems kind of contradictory towards the kind of things Strummer believed in. Even the fact it's part of Fender's Mexican produced line has it's contradictions, as while it's far cheaper than guitars like the Andy Summers Telecaster made by the Fender Custom Shop one has to wonder what Strummer would have thought of Fender's use of Mexican labour to keep production costs down, no matter how good Fender may be to it's Mexican employees. I doubt if he was currently alive we would have seen this guitar hit the market.
If you're not familiar with the current guitar biz the picture may be a bit confusing given that the guitar looks all beat up. No, it's not a mistake, rather the Strummer Tele is based on his favourite Telecaster and duplicates the wear and tear on that instrument. This kind of thing, commonly refered to as relicing, has been done a lot in recent years, to much controversy. Many people think the idea of artificially wearing an instrument is silly, while others like the idea of playing a guitar that is already broken in. Of course it's not exactly a new idea. For example copies of famous violin designs such as Stradivarius have often been produced with the appearance of aging to mimic the originals, and the same kind of thing has been done with furniture as well. Although I would generally prefer a new condition instrument or a carefully used one I wouldn't turn down an artificially worn guitar if I liked the way it played and sounded.

Will They Or Won't They?

That's the question many are asking after Monday's Led Zeppelin reunion gig. The reaction has been entirely positive from all I've seen, with comments about the band being in good form, so speculation about a tour is no surprise. But I wouldn't hold my breath. After all it was 2 years ago that 20 some years of emnity were put aside by the members of Pink Floyd, who reunited to play at the Live 8 charity concert. Similar speculation of a new Floyd tour popped up at the time. But as we all know it didn't happen. Roger Waters and David Gilmour went back to their solo projects, and Gilmour has subsequently pretty much said that Pink Floyd is done. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Zep's reunion turns out to be a one off as well. After all Plant recently released an album with Allison Krauss that has been getting positive reviews. It's not like the members need the money, and I don't get the impression they feel the same "we still have things left undone" kind of thing that helped lead to this year's Police reunion.

Wednesday Dec. 12 addenda: This post originally included a YouTube video of the group's performance of "Stairway to Heaven." Since it was pulled from YouTube I came back to remove the link. Apparently someone connected with the group or their record company has been very aggressive about removing vids of the concert, which may be evidence a DVD release is in the offing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Here She Is Again.

The past couple of days I've been getting hits due to the image in this post from earlier this year about Jene Yeo's post Undergrads activities. For some reason it's turned up on Google's image search engine when you enter Jene Yeo's name. So, in the spirit of shamelessly trying to get yet more hits on my blog here's another Jesse picture, and a sexier one at that. Just don't expect me to make a habit of it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


With the demise of the Saskatoon Free-Net's e-mail service at month's end I needed a new e-mail account. I decided to get a Gmail account, since I wanted something easily accessible from public terminals when I want to look at e-mail on the go. Having done this I've just been changing from my old e-mail address to the new one on various forums and so on I take part in. It's a bit of work, and I suspect I missed a couple of things along the way. Once I transfer some save messages over the SFN account will effectively be dead, and when it goes offline entirely hopefully it will cause problems for the various spammers I get. I do have a Shaw e-mail address, but I want to keep it reserved for certain uses, and besides I already use Google for a number of things, such as writing this blog, so why not get e-mail through them as well?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Hope They're Not Your Neighbours.

We've all heard of people who take their fandoms too far. But there's obsessive, and then there's out and out nutbar. And unfortunately the Internet allows such people to get together, such as the people described in this Fandom Wank entry. These very delusional women think they're "astrally married" to Severus Snape, a character from the Harry Potter series. You know, someone who never actually existed. And now they've had a falling out. How they've avoided a visit from the local boys in the nice white outfits is beyond me, especially since at least one of them apparently is married and her spouse knows about her Snape obsession. Hopefully when these ladies have a complete mental collapse they won't harm themselves and/or others in the process.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I'm Psychic? Yeah, Right.

Poking around some old posts on here I came across this one, which predicted that a supposed release date for Guns N' Roses next album, Chinese Democracy, would come and go without the album actually appearing. Here we are in December and I was right. But it's in no way evidence I have precognative abilities. You didn't need to be psychic to guess that an album that has given multiple release dates, none of which it has met, isn't likely to come out when advertised. Reportedly sessions for the album have cost 13 million bucks, meaning the album will have to sell at least 13 million copies, if not more, to even have a chance of making a profit for the label and Axl Rose. And in today's music market that's an even more dubious proposition than it was when work on the album began way back in the late '90s.

The Price Is Wrong?

A fire early Sunday destroyed a minor Saskatoon landmark. A restaurant has been operating under the Commodore name on Saskatoon's Second Avenue since the 1940s. In recent years it had been operated as Chau's Commodore, a Chinese restaurant. Also destroyed was a coffee bar, Gotta Hava Java, located next door. And smoke and minor water damage have put a number of other businesses temporarily out of action, including the neighbouring Olympia Restaurant and the McDonalds Express. Yep, there were four restaurants side by side. The preliminary damage estimate is one million dollars.

But a peculiar fact came up in today's Saskatoon Star Phoenix article on the fire. Realtor Bob Adam said that he put Chau's on the market in September for $55,000, and that a previous attempt by another realtor had had an asking price of $125,000. Frankly 55 grand strikes me as low in the current Saskatoon market. Like other property commercial real estate prices have gone up in the past year or so. This includes in the city centre. The increase was enough to prompt one local business owner to finally close her Second Avenue gift shop after decades and sell the property, whereas she had considered previous offers insufficient. Chau's was only half a block from the condo development in the old Bay store, which looks like it's finally getting close to completion, and the recently started transformation of the KG Hotel into yet more condos, so you'd think you could get a better price for the restaurant than $55,000. One would assume that more people living in the area will result in increased restaurant traffic, and hence make existing restaurant properties more valuable, but perhaps some other factors were involved.

Monday, November 26, 2007


This may come as old news to some visitors to this blog but I'm going to write about it anyway.

One thing I'd noticed of late visiting the magazine area of the Saskatoon Public Library is that a new issue of the right wing news magazine Western Standard hadn't turned up in a bit. I finally got around to checking out my suspicions today and sure enough publisher Ezra Levant announced October 5th that they would be going over to a strictly digital format. Frankly I wasn't hugely surprised. There had been talk for a good while that the magazine wasn't doing well, especially after they sent out an e-mail to various folks asking for unpaid volunteers who might be interested in working on the magazine.

Looking for the website on Google I came across a few comments on Western Standard's demise. There were of course the expected nonsense about horrible socialists and left wing media. The more sensible comments generally said things I agreed with. Most obvious is the problem of starting any sort of magazine in our increasingly online oriented age. There was also the suggestion that some of the big media outlets have drifted right and undercut the market for an openly right wing magazine in Canada. You can see that with Macleans, the Canadian equivalent of Time. In the past while it has gotten more right wing in its editorial stance and choice of contributors, such as the signing on of Andrew Coyne as national editor and columnist.

I also wonder if perhaps the magazine wasn't Canadian enough. I was never a big fan of Alberta Report, the right wing magazine that expired in 2003 and for which the Western Standard was intended to be a replacement for. But to me at least it seemed to have a lot more Canadian flavour to it. Western Standard had too much syndicated American stuff in it. I remember one issue I thumbed through had a column by some American pundit that had little relevance to Canadian readers. There are differences between Canadian and American culture and politics, and you just can't lazily assume discussion of elements of one automatically apply to the other.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


It wasn't the prettiest game ever. In fact the opening quarter was kind of ugly. But they ultimately rewarded the faith placed in them by the faithful. The Saskatchewan Roughriders won the 95th Grey Cup game, beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-19. The Grey Cup is the Canadian Football League's equivalent of the NFL's Superbowl, and this is the first time the Riders have won since the 1989 Grey Cup, a much more exciting and well played game. Still, you aren't going to hear any complaints here in Riderville. It was the first Grey Cup game as coach for CFL veteran Kent Austin.

While this was going on I was busy playing as well, but the game in my case was online poker. Having won a bit of money yesterday on a Pokerstars freeroll I decided on a whim to drop $1.65 on a Limit Hold 'Em tournament. Limit isn't a game I play as well as No Limit Hold 'Em, but much to my pleased surprised I came in 7th out of a field of 954. My winnings? $42.22, the most I've won to date on poker. But don't worry, I don't intend to blow my increased bankroll as quickly as possible, although I will be speonding part of it this week. Hopefully I can win a bit more.

Spare Some Heat?

If you've got any warm weather you're not using send it our way. The forecast for the next few days does not look good, and I just know I'm going to have to spend a bunch of time outside this week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Here's Johnny!

I've been hanging around Scans Daily quite a bit lately. For some reason this resulted in me thinking about an early example of the work of John Byrne.
Before Byrne joined up with Marvel and eventually became famous for his work with Chris Claremont on the X Men he worked for Charlton Comics. One of the titles he did was Charlton's colour comic adaptation of Space: 1999. (Charlton also produced a black and white magazine size comic of the series as well.) Issue 6 not only featured artwork by Byrne but he wrote the story as well. Frankly I think it's one of the better stories from the comic, featuring Commander Koenig nearly getting killed when an artifact from an ancient war hits his Eagle. Someone I went to grade school with gave me that issue. But it wasn't until years later that I realised that Byrne wrote himself into the story, a self insert to use a term from fanfiction. As you can see from the scan above and the photo of Byrne it's quit obvious Koenig's co-pilot in the story is based on Byrne's appearance. But even more amusing is that he didn't go to much trouble to hide the fact, naming the character Burns. This of course went right over my 8 year old head.
As a fan of Space: 1999 I ended up getting a subscription to the comic. Unfortunately it was cancelled just after I received my first issue, issue 7, which included their take on the second season opener, "The Metamorph." As I remember it I was sent a slip for changing the remainder of my subscription to something else, but while I sent it in I never saw another issue of whatever it was I decided to take in replacement. That's not a huge surprise, as Charlton apparently was already having problems, as it cancelled much of it's lineup in the late '70s. They eventually sold most of their superhero characters to DC, some of whom still exist in one form or another today such as the Blue Beetle.
June 2, 2008 Addenda:
One thing I had forgotten about when I wrote this post is that John Byrne wrote for the actual TV series Space: 1999. The British TV writer of the same name that is, who unfortuately passed away in April this year. He wrote or co-wrote more scripts for the series than any other writer, including the popular Season One episodes "Force of Life" and "Voyager's Return." His post 1999 credits include creating, and writing scripts for, the long running British TV series Heartbeat. It's funny that two people with the same name would produce material for the same property.

A Blast From The Past(of this blog).

It's time for me to do something I haven't done in a long time on here. Mainly because it didn't work. Once more I present the Random Search Engine Attractor Phrase. Today's attempt: intelligent design.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Horror.

Tim Hortons has increased the price of its donuts. With tax they're now 90 cents a piece, an increase of 6 cents. At that price if you buy one donut a week you'll be paying an extra $3.12 over the course of a year. I'm sure it will cost them customers.

One or two at least.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Near Miracle.

I was just looking through my e-mail and received an almost shocking message. It was a message from PayPal that was an actual message from PayPal, and not a phishing message from some crook in Lagos. One of the ways to determine it's really a message from PayPal and not a phishing attempt is that they'll use your account name in the body of the letter. Given how infrequently I use my PayPal account it's surprising they'd bother to send me a message at all.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Small Fry.

Time for a little after election analysis. But I'm not going to talk about the 3 major parties. After all half the bloggers in Saskatchewan will be writing about what a Sask. Party win means, how much longer will Lorne Calvert and David Karwacki hang on and so forth. Instead I'll make a few comments on the "minor" parties in this election.

The Green Party of Saskatchewan was the most ambitious of these. They ran candidates in 48 of the 58 ridings. If they could somehow have magically transfered their votes into one riding they might have actually won a seat. Unfortunately this of course is not possible, and instead they came in last place in most ridings. So their breakthrough to elected party status is still at least an election away. My guess is that it's going to be longer than that given the polarisation of politics here. If the Liberals can't even elect their own leader the Greens are going to need even more luck to make it to the legislature.

There is often talk of election reform when discussing parties like the Greens, as using systems like proportional representation makes it easier for such parties to take a seat. But given that according to their own website they apparently got 2 percent of the popular vote it seems unlikely they would have elected a member even under PR, which usually has a minimum number of votes to take a seat in the range of 5 percent.

Nothing says "single issue party" like the name Saskatchewan Marijuana Party. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that their major interest is in legalising marijuana. They managed to run a grand total of five candidates, none of whom came close to winning a seat. Frankly their issue isn't one that's likely to generate much voter interest. Voters are much more concerned with what the government will do with the provincial finances, health care, and the highways than whether or not they can toke up. I can't see them ever running a full slate of candidates, or even coming near to doing so.

The Western Independence Party of Saskatchewan managed to run eight candidates. But I doubt their goal of Western Canadian separation from Canada is any more popular than legalising marijuana. In fact I assume the reverse is the case. In any case the chances of them electing anyone to office are pretty much nil. Western separatism has waxed and waned over the years, but it's fair to say that Saskatchewan has not been one of it's strongholds. I won't be at all surprised if the WIP isn't around by the next election given the short shelf life similar parties have had in the past.

The ghost of elections past in this election was the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan. For the first time since the 1995 election they ran candidates, a slate of five. Even ignoring the small numbers who ran Brad Wall isn't going to be worrying about a challenge from the right anytime soon. The party persists in linking itself to the unpopular Grant Devine era, hardly a recipe for success, and has a leader, Rick Swenson, who doesn't exactly come across as dynamic. I find the attempt on their front page to link the NDP governments of Saskatchewan to Communist governments like those of Cuba and "Korea" amusing. "Red baiting" just reenforces the impression of a party living in the past.

Apparently no independant candidates ran in this election. Or if they did they received no votes, which is exceedingly unlikely. All the minor candidates did receive sufficient votes to indicate that they were voted for by more than their immediate families, which should at least take some of the sting of losing away.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

To The Polls.

Today is provincial election day in Saskatchewan, and I've already voted. Even though it was just past 9 I spent a while in line given that apparently others thought they'd beat the rush too by going early. Who did I vote for? None of your beeswax, folks. I can tell you I didn't vote for the Saskatchewan Marijuana Party, which isn't saying much.

Hopefully if you're a Saskatchewan resident and are eligable you're going to vote today, even if it's just to vote for who you least hate, or to keep a candidate you really don't like from winning.

For those interested in the mechanics of voting here we still use paper ballots. You mark your choice in the circle beside their name with an X and that's it. You vote for one candidate. And unlike some parts of the world elections are always on a weekday, never on a Sunday.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Off The Dial.

A long chapter in Canadian radio ended today. The callsign CFQC left Saskatoon's radio airwaves as Hot 93 FM, the current holders of the callsign, became 92.9 The Bull under the call letters CKBL. The original CFQC hit the air on the AM band in the 1920s, broadcasting on 600 khz until February 6th, 1995, when it became Hot 93 on the FM band. CFQC will continue in use on television as the callsign for the local CTV affiliate, which retained them even after the ownership of the radio station changed in the 1980s.

Although I didn't listen to Hot 93 it's sad that CFQC has been replaced. One of the earliest Canadian radio callsigns is now gone, assuming of course someone doesn't attempt to have it reassigned to them, although I would suspect if it is reused it may not be in the Saskatoon market.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Danger.

No, it's not weirdos sticking things into treats. No, it's not worrying about kids getting hit by cars as they canvass the neighbourhood. It's the danger to your waistline. Admit it, unless you hate candy you're going to eat some of stuff you bought, if you haven't already. And since it tends to come in mini packages it makes it easier to say "Oh, just one more won't hurt," and before you know it you've eaten the equivalent of two or three chocolate bars at one shot. So beware, or when next Halloween rolls around you'll be able to pull off that Dom Deluise costume you've been thinking about without padding.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

To Gor Or Not To Gor.

It seems that Dark Horse may still be planning to release it's Gor omnibus. Or maybe they aren't. It certainly won't be appearing November 15 as originally planned, and a visit to Dark Horse's website by me trying to find out when the next Blade of the Immortal collection will be released(in February, if you're wondering) turned up no hint of a new release date.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shop 'Til You Drop.

This week Saskatoon City Council announced it will no longer regulate store hours in Saskatoon. This comes on the heels of requests by several stores, including Wal Mart, for permission to remain open 24 hours a day during December in the run up to Christmas. The way things are going the only days the majority of stores will be closed are Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, and I wouldn't count on everyone following this informally agreed upon prohibition for long.

Personally I've long thought the best way to regulate store hours would be to allow stores to be open whenever they want, but mandate they must be closed for a specifc number of days per year. Want to open on Christmas Day? Go ahead, but it means you'll have to be shut up for some other day of the year. Such a method would be fair to everyone as no one would feel pressured to close for holidays they don't follow, and employees would be assured of a set number of days off along with their manditory vacation time.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's Not Just For Dogs.



Yes folks, we finally have evidence that it's not just dogs who play poker as that classic painting indicates. The cats are in on it too. Hmm, that may explain the way some people play online, they're actually cats.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Future of Saskatoon Rentals?

(click on the pic for a better look)
With the way things are going this scene might actually happen here in Saskatoon. Large numbers of condo applications are currently under consideration on top of all the conversions of apartment buildings to condos currently going on. Apparently there are no new rental spaces currently planned. You'd think that at some point there would be an oversupply of condos, but even though the Saskatoon real estate market is cooling down slightly apparently there is still lots of demand.
This scene comes from issue 30 of DC Comics Nightwing. The lovely young lady is Bridget Clancy, who was Dick Grayson's landlady at the time. Clancy was born in Hong Kong but adopted by an Irish couple as a baby, hence her "lookin' like Kowloon and talkin' like Londonderry" as she told Dick when he first got a look at her actual face.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Half Time.

I'm there.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lament For Larry.

The Colorado Rockies are off to the World Series. Too bad they couldn't have done this a few years ago when Larry Walker was still with the team. Of course the real letdown for Walker and Canadian baseball fans was the 1994 baseball strike, which occured while Walker was with the Montreal Expos. There was a very good chance that year that Monteal would have been in the World Series, and having a prominent Canadian player on a Canadian based team in what would have been the third World Series in a row to take place in Canada would have been a dream come true. Instead the strike not only prevented that from happening, but lead to moves that ultimately began the long death of the franchise.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Deaf Ears.

I mentioned in a recent post my nostalgic revisting of shortwave radio. After that I dug out my old receiver and have been taking the occasional listen, such as tonight. But tonight is not a good night to tune the bands. Propagation is terrible right now, so there is little to hear. We're at the low point of the sunspot cycle, and at such times shortwave radio propagation is at it's weakest, and tonight reflects that. Unlike local AM and FM broadcasts shortwave broadcasts, even from the most powerful transmitters aimed directly at you, are not guarenteed listening. You can turn on a familiar frequency at the right time and hear nothing. I wonder how many receivers have been returned over the years by newcomers who didn't realise this and thought their new radios were broken.

I switched to the longwave band, and did hear what sounded like voices. But it soon became obvious this was a mixing product, a false signal created by two strong signals mixing in the receiver's circuitry. After all local talk show host John Gormley isn't heard on longwave, and it would be a miracle to hear a broadcast station from those parts of the world that do have longwave broadcasting on the ferrite antenna in a shortwave portable in the middle of North America. In North America longwave is limited to navigation beacons.

My radio is a circa 1991 example of the Sangean ATS803a. This receiver was one of the most popular units of the late '80s and early '90s due to its reasonable price to performance ratio. Not only was it sold under the Sangean name but also as the Radio Shack Realistic DX440 and several other lesser known names. I remember reading at one point the suggestion that the '803a, and its predecessor the '803 were based on Sony's ICF 2001. You can read one take on the '803a here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

If you blog and play poker...

...this may be of interest to you.

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 5702565

Last year's edition is what got me playing poker. Hopefully I'll do quite a bit better this year.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Public Versus Private

Seems I've been a bit lax of late, as this is my first submission to blogland in a week. I have in fact been doing some writing the past few days, but it's something that will not see any sort of public release, as it's strictly for my entertainment. (I'm sure there is someone someplace who might actually like it, but pretty much everyone else wouldn't.) On the other hand I'm hoping this will help me get certain other writing projects back into action.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Whither Hollywood North?

The growing strength of the Canadian dollar, which briefly reached parity with the US dollar today and may soon stay at or surpass parity, may be good news for consumers. But its a major problem for export oriented industries, such as the motion picture and television industries.

The weakness of the Canadian dollar versus the US dollar prompted a huge growth in the filming of projects by American studios in Canada from the mid '80s onward. Not only did they gain the advantage of each US dollar going that much farther in Canada they had a access to a workforce that spoke English with an accent that could pass for American and filming locations that could be transformed into American settings with just a bit of prop work. But the rising Canadian dollar has chopped those advantages in recent years, and the industry is already seeing a slowing down of American projects. With the Canadian dollar reaching parity the fear is that existing projects won't be replaced by new ones.

It also has the potential to hurt production for the Canadian domestic market as well. American programs tend to generate the highest ratings in the Canadian market, and are cheaper to buy than a Canadian production. The strengthening Canadian dollar will exacerbate this problem, as American programs become even cheaper for Canadian networks to buy, and this is likely to strengthen the resistance by Canadian broadcasters to putting money into more Canadian made programming. It is also likely to hurt foreign sales of material originally made for the Canadian market.

Some connected with Hollywood have in recent years complained about Canadian productions taking work from them, often accusing Canadian jurisdictions of unfair subsidisation. But the hit Canadian production may take from the strong dollar may not benefit them as it might have in the past, as there are more American jurisdictions making their own efforts to attract productions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Links Updated.

I've just made a minor update to my link listing. Randy McDonald has decided to rename his Livejournal A Bit More Detail, and now the link to it reflects that change. I also decided to sort them alphabetically, at least for now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Goodbye SFN.

I received an e-mail today announcing that the Saskatoon Free-Net will cease its e-mail service on December 31st and will shut down all remaning online activities by June 1st of next year. Frankly I'm surprised the SFN stayed active this long. The ever increasing number of Canadians with things like high speed internet service, free e-mail sites with gigantic caches of memory per user, and the growth of blogging made the SFN pretty much obsolete. It had become little more than an e-mail hosting service in recent years, and presumably has seen less and less traffic as fewer and fewer people made financial contributions. But I'm sure many Saskatonians will be a bit sad to see it go as it was their first access to the Internet. It certainly was for me. The only good thing about it fading away is that a bunch of losers who have my SFN e-mail address in their spam lists will get it all bounced back at them for a while.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sony Canada Says No To Shortwave.

Back in the early '90s I did quite a bit of shortwave listening. Once the Internet came along it began to suck away my time, and that, combined with the noise that the computer generates when I have it on, resulted in my receiver becoming largely a clock radio. But of late I've been interested in picking up a cheapy shortwave or two for some audio mangling, and that got me poking around online tonight for info them. I spent a good time here reading receiver reviews getting a bit nostalgic for the hobby again. But when I visited a couple of Canadian dealers that offer shortwave receivers for sale I noticed that neither carry Sony products. Curious, I checked out Sony's Canadian site. To my surprise nothing was to be found. Sony has long been in the shortwave biz, with some of their portables having reached legendary status in the hobby, such as the ICF2010. Apparently Sony has discontinued most of its shortwave product line, but a look at the US Sony site showed the SW7600GR was still available in the US. I guess Sony Canada wasn't getting enough demand for those products to keep even one model in stock.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Unhappy Breakaway Day!

If you live in the universe in which Space: 1999 is set today is the eighth anniversary of the Moon being blown out of orbit. Its funny to think of watching the series when I was 8 and 9 and the year 1999 seeming to be so far away. And here I am, writing this and the year 1999 is 8 years ago! Slow or fast, before you know it the years slip by.

The series arrived at both a fortunate and an unfortunate time. Fortunate because when in first aired in the fall of 1975 there was little competition, with Star Trek being limited to syndicated reruns and very little new science fiction being available. Unfortunate because it arrived a year too early, with the series being cancelled and the last episodes being aired in many markets just as Star Wars appeared to launch the late '70s sci fi boom, a boom that the series wouldn't be able to take full advantage of.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Public Stupidity.

Today there were a couple of protesters in front of Saskatoon City Hall. "911 Was An Inside Job!" stated the sign carried by one. Having other things to do I didn't bother to get closer and find out what version of the theory they believed in. Not that it really matters, the theories that have been widely publicised are all equally full of holes and far more baroque than any credible "the US gubmint did it!' theory needs to be. Whoever these people were they apparently aren't making much of an impact if only two of them showed up. And why they would be out there protesting in the first place is beyond me. The City of Saskatoon has no influence on or connection with Canadian foreign policy.

Joe Zawinul, RIP

Unfortunate news to report. Austrian jazz great Joe Zawinul has died at 75 in a Vienna hospital. Zawinul was one of the most influential European jazz musicians of the post war period. During his stint with Cannonball Adderley in the 1960s he wrote the hit "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and was an early exponent of the use of electric piano in jazz. He was a participant in the late '60s Miles Davis sessions that resulted in the pioneering jazz fusion albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, writing the title cut of the former and contributing the (then) album side long cut "Pharoah's Dance" to the latter. In the 1970s he formed the group Weather Report with veteran tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, which saw considerable success and saw Zawinul as one of the early and major promoters of synthesizers in jazz. He remained musically active until his recent hospital stint, having toured earlier this year with his current group, and having recently appeared as the cover story in Downbeat magazine.

Friday, August 31, 2007

I Wouldn't Have Used That Title.

Looking through the book isle at London Drugs today I noticed a book in the Science Fiction section with a slightly surprising title. It was Vaders by R. Patrick Gates. The publisher considers it horror, but even given that I was surprised to see someone using that name for a book given everyone's favourite Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. You'd think Gates and the book's publisher, Pinnacle, would be worried about running afoul of George Lucas's lawyers, even though the book itself has nothing in it that could be considered a Star Wars ripoff. People have gotten into legal trouble over such things, such as Saskatchewan restaurant chain Tomas the Cook, which was originally Tomas Cook until the travel firm Thomas Cook took umbrage, even though the two are in different businesses.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wherefore Art Thou Gor?

It's a sad commentary on how much my output via this blog has decreased that my July post about Dark Horse Comics resurrecting John Norman's Gor books is still visible on the main page. Be that as it may it's time for a brief update. Seeing Norman mentioned in the comments section of a Pharyngula post made me head over to Dark Horse's site to see when the first Gor omnibus would be released. But when I used the search engine to find the page for Gor I got no results. The press release I linked to in my previous blog post has vanished. Very interesting. still has a pre-order page up for the book, with a release date of November 15th. So does this mean the book is still coming out? Or has Dark Horse quietly shelved the project after getting a bunch of "Geez, how could you?" letters? I have no idea about the actual printing cycle of a modern paperback but it seems likely to me that Dark Horse has already had the books printed. Even if they don't I would assume cancelling a 10 thousand book order or whatever it is with their printers would be a major hit on their bankroll, as presumably there is some sort of financial penalty for cancelling an order pre-printing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Oh Those Scammers!

Wow, I just got an e-mail from the IRS. It seems they owe me $109.30. Pretty neat for someone who has never filed any sort of US tax return. Of course a look at the message header shows it didn't come from the IRS, a fact I'm sure surprises no one. I would assume they're trying to get ahold of my Social Security number and that kind of thing for ID theft purposes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Poor Jimmy.

I had assumed we'd heard the last of Jim Pankiw, former MP for my riding. Wrong! He had a letter in today's Saskatoon Star Phoenix. As per much of his political career it was about those horrible nasty Indians out to get everyone. Pankiw describes as "chilling" a statement by Doug Cuthand in his regular SP column that "All Saskatchewan politicians know that they can't ignore the First Nations vote and expect to get elected." Sounds like common sense to me. Would Pankiw find it "chilling" if Cuthand had said "the agricultural vote?" He's also upset that the current birthrate among Saskatchewan's Indians means we could eventually be "overrun" in the future by people with a "race based agenda." Paranoid much?

Pankiw was first a Reform Party MP, and then a Canadian Alliance MP. But its telling that while other members of the Democratic Representative Caucus, a short lived splinter movement from the CA of which he was a member, were eventually brought back into the party he wasn't. Nor was he accepted when the Alliance and Progressive Conservatives became the Conservative Party of Canada. And this is the party that accepted as members such perceived loose canons as MP Myron Thompson. Pankiw was obviously too much of a risk, and a letter like this is a good example why.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mighty Fallen

Today I saw a concert poster for Def Leppard's October concert here in Saskatoon. But what surprised me was the opening act: Styx. The idea of Styx being someone's opening act at this late date is something I'm sure no one imagined they'd ever do again in their late '70s-early '80s heyday, when they had four consecutive albums go multiplatinum, a first at the time. But that was a long time ago, and the material they've released in recent years hasn't exactly set the world on fire. So going back to being an opening act at least keeps them in the public eye. Foreigner will also be opening for Def Leppard on some dates, another example of a band that was a huge hitmaker years ago having to play warmup for a band they were on an equal footing with in the rock world 20 some years ago. Of course it can also be argued that Def Leppard are largely touring on their past success, as their recent albums haven't been smash hits either.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thoughts On A Storm.

A major storm cell began to pass through the Saskatoon area about midnight, eventually bringing a thunderstorm and heavy rain that was almost monsoon like at times. Too bad we couldn't have had this kind of storm last month, when the humidex number was bigger than my belt size and the farmers could have done with the moisture. Now it's largely a nuisance to them as harvest time approaches. In fact I was surprised that we didn't get a major storm last month given the high temperatures and humidity.

There was some spectacular lightning, which I liked. Unlike some other interests of mine I have no real idea why I like lightning, I just do. This may be the last chance to see this stuff this year, so I was glad to see it. I wonder though if it might have looked even more spectacular without the light pollution in the area. The clouds were orangely yellow from the street lights used in the city, and there are other sources.

The heavy rain was not welcome by some Saskatoon residents. Rain Friday caused problems for some, and no doubt this latest batch of heavy rain has aggrevated things, and caused troubles for a new batch of homeowners.

Friday, August 17, 2007

"I won't go and you can't make me!"

NASA has decided that they won't repair damage to the space shuttle Endeavour's heat shielding tiles before it returns to Earth next week. Hearing that made me wonder what NASA might do if one of the crew were to decide that they won't come back to Earth on the shuttle because of that damage. After all the shuttle is docked to the International Space Station. Would they attempt to force the person onto the shuttle? Let them stay on the ISS until its next scheduled crew change, which would no doubt have to be moved up because of the extra supplies another resident on the ISS would use up? Certainly they hope that such a scenario never happens given the kind of troubles they've been having of late, troubles that have brought a lot of negative attention to the agency.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Max Roach, RIP.

I just found out that legendary jazz drummer Max Roach has died at age 83. Roach was one of the key drummers in the development of bebop in the 1940s and played with a who's who of jazz musicians including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie. Roach recorded numerous albums under his own name ranging from hard bop dates in the '50s and '60s to solo percussion recordings. With Roach's death the circle of jazz greats of the '40s shrinks a little bit more.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I decided to make a few changes to things here tonight. The new Blogger format editor is easier to use than the old HTML template system so I've switched over. I did lose the old comments, so thank you to everyone who commented under the old system over the years.

Time To Stock Up?

For the past year or so I've been hearing talk of the death of the CD, whether because of digital downloads or because some new "hard copy" audio format will replace them. The thought came to mind that if these predictions come to pass perhaps that means I should consider stocking up on CD players. After all if the CD is doomed that means sooner or later the prices for them will plummet as demand falls. Therefore eventually there should be tonnes of new CDs dirt cheap, just like you could find oodles of cassettes of various things dirt cheap in the late '90s and early '00s. And despite the horror stories that popped up in the past I've had no problems with my older CDs rotting away. New CD players themselves can be had for pretty damn cheap. So I could buy 5 or 10 portables, stick 'em in a closet someplace, and just crack out a new one as they wear out. If you keep them in the package they should remain usable indefinitely until you actually begin to use them. By the time I run out of players either the CDs will have gone kaput or I'll have gone kaput. Hmmm, we'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Boy, I'm Getting Old.

I really didn't realise just how old I'm getting until I took a look at my Blogger profile today. According to it I'm 250! And here I thought I didn't look a day over 225. There are a couple of places where in the past I entered my age as -63, but as the years have gone by I've found few where that works anymore, no doubt for fear of some kid giving an inaccurate age so they can look at teh pornzez.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Time To Mellow.

Barry Bonds did it last night. He passsed Hank Aaron for all time home runs hit in the majors. So now everyone can calm down and concentrate on who will make it to the playoffs instead of the ongoing hand wringing over whether Bonds has a legitimate claim to the title.

Perhaps now that he's taken the record Bonds will retire at the end of the season. He is 43, and there probably isn't much more he can do to break records with his career.

Of course baseball keeps on going. Former Toronto Blue Jay and frequent Blue Jays broadcast analyst Rance Mulliniks has speculated that Bonds will eventually be overtaken by Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees for the career home run crown. A Rod just hit his 500th home run, so all he has to do is hit 260 home runs before he retires to pass Bonds, and given that he may be playing for another 8 or 10 years there's a good chance this will happen.

Whatever happens they all still have a ways to go to catch Japanese great Sadaharu Oh, who is credited with the most home runs for a professional baseball play with 868.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Attack Of The All In Man.

Play online poker for any length of time and you're likely to face the menace of the All In Man(who of course can also be a woman). The All In Man does what his name implies, he goes all in, that is bets all his chips in games where it is allowed, hand after hand, usually before you see the flop. And unfortunately All In Man tends to get paid off for it. Players who don't get premium hands will fold to him, allowing him to steal the blinds and whatever anyone has bet in front of him. Those that don't fold those less than premium hands frequently end up on the short end of the stick against him. If he doesn't get knocked out one or two hands into the game he'll soon have a good enough stack that there's nothing to discourage him, as even if he looses a hand he'll have enough chips to survive all in moves against smaller stacks.

What's even worse is when you get a good hand and he still beats you. I had this happen to me tonight. I was playing in a freeroll on Pokerstars and had built up an alright stack. I ended up on a table with All In Man and folded several hands as a result. Then I got QQ and decided I'd call his all in. After all someone who all ins every hand can't have great cards every time. With only two of us in the hand his hole cards were revealed as 4-5 suited. But as too often seems to be the case with these guys he ended up catching an A to 5 straight and it was byebye for me. Frankly I really should have known better. A better strategy would have been to fold that hand and wait for either someone else to take him out or for the server running the tournament to move one or the other of us to a different table. It was early enough in the tournament, and I had a big enough stack, that I could sit out the blinds for a while. But those ladies were just too tempting.

One On Every Corner?

It sometimes seems like a Tim Hortons outlet is a license to print money. Of course it costs a lot of money to acquire one, a potential franchisee needing to shell out close to half a million before opening the doors. The latest Saskatoon Hortons opened today on 8th Street and Moss Avenue. Yet surprisingly just a couple of blocks away the existing Hortons at 8th and Acadia Drive is still in operation. You'd think they'd be too close together to both continue, and I can't help but speculate that the Acadia outlet only remains open because they still have a lease on the space, and that they will close when said lease expires.

In any case it's not hard to see why a new Hortons is needed in this area. The old outlet does not have a drive through lane and there is no way to install one given its location at one end of a small strip mall adjacent to another strip mall. Go into the Acadia store for much of the day and you'll stand in line for a good while, something having a drive through would reduce, although not entirely. The Hortons at 8th and Cumberland has a drive through, yet you can still end up waiting in line for a good while inside. The drive through is popular enough to cause traffic problems at that corner, which is something that hopefully won't happen at the Moss location.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Respite From The Heat.

Another month ends, and with it, at least for a couple of days, the heat and high humidity that has plagued Saskatoon for much of July. Perhaps it's my imagination, but the humidity this summer and last summer seems higher than it has in the past. Of course I must also admit I really hadn't paid much attention to this factory in the past. Usually we think of Saskatchewan as having relatively "dry" heat in the summer. But this year especially there seems to be more prominence given to the humidex rating in weather forecasts, and we've had several high humidex warnings this summer. It's possible this is yet another symptom of global climate change, with high humidity air masses appearing in places where they hadn't previously.

I did a lot of walking in the last week, and I was sure glad to be carrying a bottle of water during that walking. A 500 mL bottle fits easily into a pants pocket, and is especially pleasant to have if you freeze it solid the night before.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Odd Choice.

Visiting James Nicoll's Livejournal tonight I found out that Dark Horse Comics, North American publishers of my fav manga, Blade of the Immortal, are going to reprint John Norman's Gor books. I've discussed the series before, but for those of you who missed those posts the short version is that the books took place on the planet Gor, where men are men and women are slaves or in their hearts want to be slaves. They'd likely be written off as crappy sword and sorcery fantasy if not for the bondage content of the series and the fact that John Norman by all accounts actually believes women really want to be slaves to men. And there are people in the real world who agree with him and base part or all of their personal lifestyles on these concepts. Interestingly the Dark Horse press release I linked to makes no real mention of the controversial content of the series, which I have to wonder about given that a lot of book sellers who sell other Dark Horse products probably aren't familiar with the notoriety of the books.

As you can imagine the announcement Dark Horse will begin reprinting the series has gotten some folks upset. I can't blame them given the sexism and misogyny that underlies the setting of the books. The obvious question is why Dark Horse decided to pick up the Gor series. I would suspect that in part it's because the rights are available cheap. Recent attempts to reprint them have been less than successful, so it would seem to be a bit of a risk for Dark Horse to release them. It will be interesting to see how well their omnibus release of the first 3 books does, and whether there will be a second release featuring the next 3 books. Or perhaps a better question is whether they will release a third omnibus, given that the second one is probably already late in the preproduction stage.

Congratulations, Chris MacClean

If blog hits are any indication it looks like another winner for Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch. My previous post about their new Teletoon series Total Drama Island has generated quite a few hits already. Hopefully they'll be able to sell the series to foreign markets just as they did with 6teen. And hopefully they'll be able to get the series on an American network that will actually make a commitment to giving it a fair shot, unlike what happened with Nickleodeon's abortive airing of 6teen last year.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Go Check Your Oven.

Boy, did I make a major screwup tonight. I baked some fish and potato patties for supper. But I neglected to turn off the oven. I only just noticed it was still on a few minutes ago. We're in the middle of a heat wave here so having an oven on isn't the best thing when you're trying to cool off your house. I don't like the idea of the wasted electricity, but that will be made up for by my deciding not to use the oven for several days. But the real scary thought is what might have happened if I hadn't spotted the oven light still being on because of the kitchen lights being turned off. I have no idea how much longer it might have run before I noticed it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Shameless Hit Count Whoring.

Tonight's the night. The final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is being released. Therefore I shamelessly present to you this post, which has no other purpose than being a blatant attempt to boost my traffic. So c'mon Potterfans! Visit here now. After all you owe me for all the wanking that will result online from whatever JK Rowling has in store for poor Harry(although rumour has it the kid lives), wanking that could be expended on more valuable topics, like Doctor Who.

Silent Footsteps.

It was 38 years ago today that that Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on a world besides the Earth. Will it be another 38 years before this happens again? Perhaps. Unfortunately until recently we hadn't been able to find a convincing excuse to return to Earth's Moon since the Apollo 17 mission, and even with current plans to return to the Moon we can't be sure if they'll actually happen as currently predicted.

I have no memories of the landing, not even being two at the time. And I suspect that I may not live to see the first humans land on Mars given the technical difficulties and cost questions involved. Too bad all those sci fi shows so many of us watched as kids made it look so easy.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Little Bit Missing.

Last night I decided I wanted a Fudgsicle, but couldn't find any at the local convenience stores. Deciding tonight I still wanted one I decided to bite the bullet and grab a package from Safeway. All they had were "fat free" ones. Something just seems wrong about eating a fat free ice cream product, even though I really should cut back on my fat intake. Still, the one I had tonight wasn't bad, although it was smaller than I remember the last one I had. The quotes around fat free are because this product technically isn't fat free. Each one actually contains 0.4 grams of fat, which isn't much but is still an actual detectable amount of fat.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Charles Lane, RIP.

I just found out that veteran American actor Charles Lane died Monday at 102. Brent McKee's obit for Lane can be found here. Interestingly I heard a CBC radio documentary about Victor Jory a couple of months back that included some recent comments by Lane, a good friend of Jory's, and it sounded like he was still pretty sharp.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"You're off the island."

Tonight saw the debut of the series Total Drama Island on Teletoon, with the first two episodes being aired. Created by 6teen creators Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch the series is a spoof of reality shows like Survivor. A group of 22 teens are divided into two groups who compete in various challenges, with the losing group having to choose one of its members to leave the island. But its not just the dangerous challenges they'll have to face, but the horrors of a run down, vermin infested summer camp on an isolated island in Northern Ontario instead of the luxury resort they were promised. The art style used is very reminiscent of Clone High, which isn't a surprise given the involvement of Elliot Animation, who worked on that series. The voices will also sound familiar to anyone who watches much Canadian made animation and include 6teen regulars Christian Potenza and Megan Fahlenbock as well as the almost ubiquitous Dan Petronijevic. My verdict? Not bad so far. We'll see how they do over the course of 26 episodes, and there's the obvious question of how they might continue the series if it does well enough for Teletoon to spring for a second batch of episodes.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Triple 7

Today is is the 7th day of the 7th month of the 7th year of the century, so not surprisingly many people thought today would be especially lucky. I didn't notice things being lucky for me, and for many people today saw their luck go entirely bad, such as the 100 some people killed in a truck bombing in Iraq. Yet such superstition persists. I can't think of a way for it to disappear easily other than those who don't believe such things not playing into it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I Think I'll Pass.

It's amazing the goofy gimmicks people will use to sell a product. A Winnipeg pizzaria called Porno Pizza offers pornographic pictures with each pizza it delivers. You must provide proof you're legal before they'll let you have the pizza, but the idea is otherwise legal. Porno founder Corey Wildman says he might consider turning the idea into a franchise if it does well. I'm afraid I won't be a potential customer. I see no need for porn with my pizza, and if I may be vulgar I'd be a little leery of where the pizza shop workers might be putting their hands given the porn they'll be seeing.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

I hope everyone across the country has enjoyed their day so far, even if all you've done is sit around the house like me.

No, I haven't been away or sick. I just simply haven't gotten around to writing about anything of late, but I hope to get things back to a bit more regular pace in July.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Ballad of Eskimo Clark.

I don't listen to modern country music, but I don't get the impression they're much on "story songs" these days. A lot of country hits in days gone by were mini tales of some real or imagined event, like Johnny Horton's "Sink the Bismarck" and Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John." The saga of Eskimo Clark at this year's World Series of Poker is the kind of thing I could imagine being made into one of these songs.

Paul Clark is known as Eskimo due to his supposed resemblance to the logo of Alaskan Airlines, although he's originally from Louisiana. He's won 3 WSOP bracelets to date, but his quest for a fourth at this year's edition just might kill him. Last week he collapsed during the Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event. Initial reports speculated on a heart attack, and many blamed the hot conditions inside the tent his table was located in. Yesterday he collapsed twice during the $1500 Razz event, prompting paramedics to be called in during the second incident, although Clark convinced them to let him continue playing. Some sources are claiming it's the result of low blood sugar, but others are saying that Clark is having strokes, and the fact that one side of his body went numb during the second incident yesterday sounds like evidence of a stroke to me. Clark has signed a waiver absolving the tournament of liability should he suffer permanent damage.

Clark made it to the end of the event, coming in third, with Katja Thater winning. But at what cost? Is winning a fourth bracelet worth the health risk to Clark? He thinks so, but it seems like obsession taken too far to me. And even if he is able to compete in further events and does win a bracelet it's gong to be overshadowed by his collapses.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Italian Tax Dollars At Work.

If you're an Italian you may be annoyed with this use of your tax dollars. An Italian state prosecutor intends to bring obscenity charges against the creators of the film version of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Those named include Dan Brown and film director Ron Howard. The charges come as the result of complaints by a group of priest that the movie is obscene from a religious prespective under Italian law because it claims Jesus was married and had a child. The charges can be thrown out by the judge that first hears the case, and hopefully they will be. The Italian legal system presumably has better things to spend time on that a silly complaint about a silly movie that will do little more than provide more press time for this already overpublicised book and movie.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I Won't Meet You On Tau Ceti VI Next Year.

Science fiction writer Charlie Stross has written an interesting piece on why interstellar colonisation may not be doable. The responses are equally interesting. Frankly I think too many of them hinge on the flawed argument that since we now have X when Y years ago we believed it was impossible or didn't even conceive of then there's no doubt that solution Z will come along and solve everything. It's also amusing that some people can't get the idea that writing about something in a work of science fiction doesn't automatically mean the writer believe's it's actually possible in the real world. As is often the case they seem to place an overemphasis on the "science" part of science fiction.

Given that fusion power has supposedly been a decade away for six decades I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for a hyperspace drive system to appear.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Door To Door Safety.

This morning some Jehovah's Witnesses were canvassing the neighbourhood. Fortunately they didn't come to my door. Seeing them made me think of another religion that likes to proselytise door to door, the Mormons. But a major difference between the two is that Mormon canvassers are usually young people, while Witnesses frequently send out older folks, and sometimes children are brought along. And the thought came to mind that the Mormon practice is safer. Their young proselytisers are likely to have a much better chance of escaping trouble than their Witness counterparts, and given the attitude many have towards such efforts there is always a risk.

My way of dealing with such folks is to tell them I'm not interested, which is effective. I've occasionally had thoughts of doing something slightly mischevious when they come around, like play some of the harsher and weirder entries from my music collection, but frankly why go to the effort? I certainly never try and talk with them about the questionable elements of their beliefs, as your doorstep is not an appropriate place to do so, and it might encourage them to come back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kid Poker Joins PokerStars.

There's really no argument that Toronto born Daniel Negreanu is the best known and most successful professional Canadian poker player, and indeed is one of the world's best known pros. So it's no surprise that online poker powerhouse PokerStars would recruit Negreanu to its team of pros, which includes 2003, 2004, and 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event winners Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, and Joe Hachem. It also includes another Canadian, Quebec's Isabelle Mercier.

Negreanu had previously been associated with the poker site Full Contact Poker, including playing a role in founding the site. And yesterday's announcement of his joining PokerStars coincided with Full Contact announcing they will merge with PokerStars. As one blogger commented this can be considered evidence of the consolidation of the online poker industry. Last year's American legislation against online gambling had a major impact on the business, with many sites deciding to leave the US market. This included PartyPoker, which had been one of the big players in the US market, and was claimed before the passing of the Safe Port Act to be the biggest of the online poker sites..

But many sites decided to continue to service American customers who wanted to play real money poker. This included PokerStars, and as a result they scooped up a large percentage of US online poker players abandoned by other sites. This resulted in them taking over the position of biggest online poker site in the world, and their strength may very well push other sites to merge in an effort to compete, while others may decide they just can't compete and cease operations, especially if they aren't willing to take the risk of servicing the lucrative American market.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Universe Coughs Out Another Funny.

I was watching Jeopardy tonight and two of the contestants had the first names Toho and Sara and were seated in that order. I knew the combination sounded familiar, and sure enough I was right. Toho Sara is a Japanese avant garde rock group that includes Makoto Kawabata of Japanese neo psychedelic band Acid Mother's Temple. There's little doubt this was sheer coincidence, as I doubt anyone on the Jeopardy crew has ever heard of Toho Sara.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Old Tech Survives.

I went into the local 7/11 today and got a surprise. Someone ahead of me was using his credit card, and the clerk was taking his info with an old fashioned credit card imprinter instead of using a scanner. I haven't seen anyone use one of those in years, but a quick check online shows you can still buy them. Some younger readers may not be familiar with these devices, but that's how credit card transactions were done prior to the widespread use of electronic card scanners. The one I saw today was of the once familiar slide type, where you place your card on the imprinter and the clerk slides a bar across it, imprinting the card's markings on a sheet of paper. I really should have asked her why she was using one, although I presume the credit card scanners weren't working at the time.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sarge Turns 40.

Friday was the 40th anniversary of the initial release in the UK of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Wow, hard to believe it was 40 years ago. Into the CD player it went, which made me wonder again when the Beatles' catalogue will be remastered. You'd think they would have done a new set of remasters in the late '90s or early 2000s given how much digital mastering has improved, but instead we still have the late '80s version in the shops. If you live in the Western half of North America and some other places there's still time to listen to it on the album's fortieth birthday if you move quickly.

Billy Shears will be grateful.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Harry's No Help.

One of the things I do when I check my Statcounter stats is see what brought people here, as I find it amusing to see some of the search engine queries that people use. But thinking about this today I realised one thing that has not helped bring hits here is Harry Potter. I can't remember any hits that had something to with Harry Potter, so if there have been such hits they can't have been more than one or two. Prior to this four posts mentioned Harry Potter, as even though I have never read any of the Potter books or seen the movies it's such a pop culture phenomina that discussing it on a blog like this is inevitable. Given that you'd think I'd get regular Potter related hits, but that's not the case. It will be interesting to see if this post changes that in any way.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Will They Meet The Warlord?

It's amazing how some ideas persist, no matter how silly they might seem. An American physicist and futurist, Brooks Agnew, plans to lead an expedition next year to the Arctic in an attempt to find a way into the hollow centre of the Earth. As Richard Foot of CanWest News Service notes in the linked article this "nutty, yet persistent, theory"(hats off to Foot for this statement) is not new. Numerous Hollow Earth theories have been proposed over the last few centuries, but most people would have thought that modern geology, whose theories require a solid interior, would have put a finish to the idea. But it seems not.

Foot mentions a 2006 book called Hollow Earth, by David Standish, as generating recent interest in the idea. My exposure to the idea came from Walter Krafton -Minkel's 1989 book Subterranean Worlds, a history of various hollow Earth ideas that even includes infamous Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, who in the 1970s wrote a book under a pseudonym claiming UFOs were actually Nazi superweapons flown by Nazis who had escaped to the Hollow Earth when WW2 ended. I haven't read Standish's book, but Krafton-Minkel's tome is worth hunting up if you have an interest in the subject. The concept is also used in Mick Farren's 2002 novel Underland, where Farren's vampire character Victor Renquist is recruited by US intelligence to help deal with a group of Nazis living in a giant cavern at the North Pole.

The expedition Agnew will lead was originally planned by Utah based adventure guide Steve Currey. Unfortunately Currey died of brain cancer last year, leading to Agnew eventually taking his place. It's unclear if Currey actually believed in the idea or if he simply found an interesting excuse to lead some folks on an Arctic expedition, but Agnew would certainly seem to be a believer. He's the co-author of the book The Ark of Millions of Years: New Discoveries and Light on The Creation, a piece of New Age weirdness that blends the Bible with man was created by aliens silliness. So it's no surprise he'd believe the Earth was hollow. Personally I suspect Agnew's head is more than a little bit hollow.

"The Warlord?" you ask? He's a DC Comics character created by Mike Grell back in the '70s. US Air Force pilot Travis Morgan discovers the inner world of Skartaris when his SR71 crashes while flying over the North Pole. As the Warlord he becomes the champion of the people of Skartaris against various evils. The series ran from 1976 to 1989 and was briefly but unsuccessfully revived last year. Like Don Pendleton's Executioner and Joseph Rosenberger's Death Merchant Morgan carried an .44 Automag pistol during his adventures.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mondays With Mike: Family Ties.

Like many artists Mike Oldfield has included his family and romantic partners in his work. In fact his first commercial recording was with his sister Sally as the duo The Sallyangie, who released Children of the Sun in 1969 to little interest. She has subsequently appeared on a number of Mike's albums, including Tubular Bells and Ommadawn. Their brother Terry also appeared on Ommadawn, and both Oldfield siblings have had long running music careers of their own.

Today's video is for "Innocent," from Oldfield's 1989 album Earth Moving. The vocalist is Norweigian singer Anita Hegerland, Oldfield's girlfriend at the time, with whom Oldfield would have two children. Earth Moving was the first Oldfield album not to feature an extended instrumental piece, consisting entirely of pop songs, and was an attempt to placate Virgin head Richard Branson's continual pressure for Oldfield to concentrate on songs. Disagreements over this and Branson's desire that any long future long composition be released as Tubular Bells II would lead Oldfield to sign with Warner Brothers in 1992 instead of resigning with Virgin when his contract ended.

Even without giving a release date for the album hardcore synth spotters might have reasonably guessed the release date given the prominent shots in the video of Oldfield playing a Korg M1. First released in 1988 the M1 has to date been the best selling synthesizer of all time, with some 200,000 being made before production ended in 1994. Not surprisingly the M1 has turned up on a tremendous number of releases, and still continues to be used by many musicians despite the release of more sophisticated "ROMplers."

A Note On Comments.

If you come here and you can't see the comments link for each post try refreshing the page. I just took a look at the blog only to find that there was no link with each post for making comments. Refreshing brought the links back. No doubt it's some glitch that will resolve itself, but it is kind of annoying.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Long Way To Go.

PZ Myers noted that he got a big traffic spike for his blog this week, going up to 140,000 hits for one 24 hour period instead of his usual 50-60,000. I'd be happy to get 140 hits in one day, although I have had at least a couple of 60 hit days. It would be interesting to know what the average hits per day per blog is. Presumably blogs like Pharyngula skew the results pretty heavily, as there must be blogs that go for days without visitors.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Week, Another Gas Price Increase.

As I write this Saskatoon gas stations are busy raising their pump prices. Gasoline is now 125.9 cents a litre, a five cent increase and an all time high for this city. Those of you in places like Europe where the price is equivalent to about 5 bucks Canadian a litre may not have much sympathy, especially since your prices may be going up, but it's rather disturbing for us. They're blaming US gas inventory concerns, unrest in Nigeria, a shutdown at a British Petroleum facility in Alaska, and the latest hurricane forecast. All these reasons ring a bit hollow for many given that (presumably) no gasoline sold in Saskatchewan comes from sources in any way effected by these problems. Unfortunately they know that too many people can't not drive, and that many people won't be willing to stop or reduce driving, and so they can get away with this kind of thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Room For Manipulation.

Currently on Canadian TV there are a series of ads running for Viagra. The ads feature people talking in made up words, except for the word Viagra. But one of the ads would be great fodder for a bit of manipulation. It shows two men talking about Viagra at a barbeque. But given the way they say their lines, the phrasing, and their facial expressions it wouldn't be too hard to add subtitles to the ad that translate the dialogue as being about something bad happening to someone who used Viagra, like a heart attack. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if someone actually does something like this, only shooting a fake ad and perhaps using a fake name to avoid getting into any sort of legal trouble. The ads are only airing in Canada as of yet, but if the campaign does well here I wouldn't be surprised to see it expand to other markets.

(And if someone comes across this post who does work for a comedy show and uses this idea I want a writing credit and some financial compensation for using the idea.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's Not Their Fault.

There has been a lot of talk of rising gas prices in the last couple of weeks as the price per litre has reached new highs. Here in Saskatoon it's currently 120.9 cents per litre, and some analysts say it will go up more before the summer's done. But please remember folks, as much as this is pissing you off don't take it out on the workers at your local gas bar. They don't determine the wholesale price of gas. They just sell the stuff. So getting angry and taking it out on them is unfair. Unfortunately I suspect we're going to hear more stories of gas station employees being victimised as the price rises. And don't even think about gassing up and not paying. You're not "sticking it to the man!" you're breaking the law. If you want to protest try driving less. If we stretch out the time between visits to the stations it will drive the price down as demand drops.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Online Poker And Me.

It turned out to be a not bad day for me at PokerStars. They're currently holding a series of $1000 Trivia Freerolls in celebration of dealing their 10 billionth hand. (Which should indicate how popular PokerStars is.) Of the three I took part in today I won 90 cents. Sure, that doesn't sound like much, but when you're competing against more than ten thousand players it's nice to win any money at all. I'm hoping to take part in at least a couple more and hopefully win enough to enter one of their bottom rung sit and goes, which will cost me a buck twenty.

Another place I play free poker online is ScorePoker, a site connected to Canadian sports TV channel The Score. This weekend they introduced a completely new set of software for their poker room. Unfortunately the new table is a bit of a pain for me. It's supposedly viewable with a 800x600 screen setting, which I normally use, but with my monitor at least it cuts the bottom off. And the bottom is where some of the controls to play are. So I've had to move to a higher screen setting when I want to use it and switch back when I'm done, which is an annoyance. It's too bad, because the new table is actually quite nice, with the chat function incorporated into the table. Previously it had been a separate popup that kind of got in the way of the top of the table with my screen settings. They've dropped things like player location and buddy lists, which some folks are complaining about. You can downloand their software here if you're interested. Although it's free they do have tournaments to win money and prizes.

Next month will mark one year of playing online poker for me. Have I gotten better? Yes, a bit. But I've stil got lots to pick up, and I don't intend to drop any of my own money online anytime soon, if at all. And who knows? Maybe I'll get really lucky one of these days and win an amount actually worth cashing out.

I play on the above sites, and less often Full Tilt, as saskblogger, so if you play freerolls on those sites you may run across me.

Monday, May 07, 2007

"They're on to us...."

People often make jokes about the term "military intelligence" being an oxymoron. But stories like this one do make you wonder: US intelligence officials put out a warning earlier this year after some US military contractors passing through Canada thought the Rememberance Day quarter released a few years ago, which features a bright red poppy on it, might be a nanotech spying device. Although this sounds like something out of The Onion it did in fact happen. I learned of this via James Nicoll's Livejournal, and the comments for his entry are rather interesting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Heads Up To Canadian Rush Fans.

If you haven't picked up the new Rush album Snakes & Arrows yet go to your local Music World. They've got it for $11.99, cheaper than HMV and CD Plus.

Friday, April 27, 2007

More Diet Pop Musings.

As a followup to my post on Coke Zero here's a post from the Omni Brain blog on Scienceblogs on why diet soda may taste like crap. I'm not entirely convinced, although I suppose the comments I made could in part reflect a difference in "mouth feel" between Coke Zero and regular Coke. It's also interesting to read the comments about different sugar products being used in Coke in different locations. I knew about the Mexican variation, but it seems Canadian Coke may be different as well from American Coke.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


My latest Mondays With Mike post generated a big pile of hits yesterday, and looks like it will continue to do so today. Whodathunkit? I certainly appreciate those hits more than the several recent ones I received lately for someone trying to find video of Jonesy and Nikki from 6Teen having sex.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Zero For Zero.

This afternoon I did something I had sort of thought about doing for a good while, trying a can of Coke Zero. My verdict? Thumbs down. The can has a line on it about "real Coke taste," and while it's closer than Diet Coke it still doesn't taste the same as a regular Coke. There's too much Aspertame flavour to it still, and overall the taste of the can I had made me think a bit of the taste of Coke that's sat in an opened bottle in the fridge for too long. Of course as I've mentioned elsewhere, although not here I think, regular Coke canned elsewhere tastes different to me than the stuff canned here, so if you live elsewhere you might think Coke Zero tastes a bit closer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Anything For That 15 Minutes.

It's amazing the crap people will do just to get on TV for a bit. Ashton Kutcher has just helped launch another "reality" series, The Real Wedding Crashers. In it Kutcher and his crew show up at weddings and engage in all sorts of crazy antics. This is with the knowing particpation of the bride and groom. Obviously it would have to be or Kutcher and company would get their butts sued off from here to eternity. But the obvious question is why anyone would want what most people consider one of the most important days of their lives to involve a fake police chase through the wedding site or someone leaping onto the wedding cake. To get on TV is the obvious answer.

One of the decisions made by the wedding couple in all this is whether the pranks are directed at specific persons in the wedding party, which strikes me as a recipe for future marital disaster. After all people have trouble with their inlaws over what to outsiders are trivial things. Imagine the potential for strife when it comes out that you and your new spouse asked the show crew to pick on Uncle Frank or whoever. Someone is not going to end up happy in the long run as a result of all of this, and will live to regret letting their desire to be "famous" overrule their common sense.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mondays With Mike: Live and Tubular.

Tubular Bells made Mike Oldfield famous and well off when he was barely in his twenties. It also has ironically often been a millstone around his neck, with many people no doubt not realising he did anything beyond Tubular Bells. From his Montreux appearance in 1981 here is the opening section, featuring Rick Fenn of 10CC on bass.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Surprised They Played It.

Before he became famous for charity Bob Geldof was the singer of the group the Boomtown Rats. Their best known song, at least in North America, is "I Don't Like Mondays," written in response to a 1979 shooting by Brenda Ann Spencer. While standing in a store today I was surprised to hear the song playing on Saskatoon's Magic 98.3 FM. I would assume playing it was a deliberate response to Monday's tragedy, but I'm not sure whether it was appropriate or not. While some might see it as a fitting tribute others might not, especially those not familiar with the background of the song. It wouldn't surprise me if some stations pull the song from their playlists for the time being, just as some stations pulled songs like the Tragically Hip's "New Orleans Is Sinking" in the days after the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't Do It Backwards.

I'd hate to think any of you are reading this blog, but you never know. If you're a nutbar contemplating going out and shooting a bunch of people, just like today's shooter at Virigina Tech, please make sure you do it in the right order. Shoot yourself in the head FIRST, THEN go out and kill a bunch of people. That's the proper way to do it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Damning With Faint Praise.

Earlier tonight I was watching Space: The Imagination Station whey they had a filler bit between movies for Stargate: Atlantis. The cast member they were talking to said the Wraith, the main baddies on Atlantis, were the alien equivalents of Marilyn Manson. My immediate thought was along the lines of that in effect he's telling us the Wraith's schtick is basically a ripoff of older, more nasty aliens in their galaxy, just as Manson lifted much of his stuff from Alice Cooper. Not quite the effect I think he was going for.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why Not Me?

There's been talk in the local press over the last few days about UFOs after a Winnipeg based UFO monitoring group announced that the Saskatchewan town of Maidstone had one of the highest number of UFO sightings in Canada last year. This made me wonder why I've never seen a UFO. Because I've had an interest in aviation since I was little I still frequently look up at the skies, especially if an aircraft passes over. But I've never seen anything I'd call a UFO.

The closest I came was a winter night years ago. Going out to eat I spotted a strange light in the sky. It seemed to be revolving as it came closer. However it soon became obvious that it wasn't something inexplicable, although it was something unusual. It was a light aircraft carrying an animated billboard, advertising something that I unfortunately can't remember. No wonder it looked like it was revolving. I would suspect there are at least a couple of people who saw that plane that night who to this day thought they saw something from "out there."

It's fair to say most people automatically think alien spacecraft when they hear the term UFO. But frankly I think this continued association is due to a lack of knowledge, or a lack of imagination. People still imagine aliens visiting Earth in large crewed spacecraft visible to observers on the ground as they pass by. But given the development of our own technology I expect this is unlikely. On Earth we can already produce small remotely operated vehicles that are designed to be hard to observe from the ground. Such vehicles are predicted to be a major tool for first world militaries over the next few years. Beings who can build interstellar spacecraft will presumably be able to build such vehicles that would be undetectable by current Earth technologies, and if they don't have any interest in contacting us at the moment they would all but certainly use such devices to completely conceal their prescense from us.

There's also the fact that, as far as our current knowledge of physics indicates, interstellar travel will neither be cheap nor quick. It will be much easier for aliens to send the equivalent of our space probes to explore our solar system than building a ship to support a crew for the years(in fact it is more likely to be decades, or centuries) it would take to cross the light years that separate our homes. Even if a cheap and quick way of interstellar travel is found using unmanned vehicles will still be cheaper, while not putting the crew at risk, especially if contact is not desired.

People place great faith in eyewitness testimony, which is part of what drives the belief that alien objects of some sort may be visiting Earth. Unfortunately eye witness testimony is the weakest form of evidence, and to date there is no corroboration of stories of encounters with alien spacecraft or aliens. Until physical evidence shows up all we're left with is interesting stories to make us wonder.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Too Much Room At The Inn?

Does Saskatoon need more downtown hotel rooms? Earlier this year local developer Remai Ventures decided to cancel a proposed mineral spa and hotel because they felt the project wasn't economically viable. Now it's been announced that the recently closed Pacific Cinemas building will be knocked down to make way for a 140 room Holiday Inn. Others in the local hotel industry think such a project is unneeded given a stable hotel market. The backers of the new project are presumably banking on it being across the street from the recently expanded TCU Place, aka the Centennial Auditorium, such proximity resulting in convention goers and other out of town visitors to the site staying in the new hotel.

It seems to me that if I were interested in building a hotel I'd be more likely to consider a location on Saskatoon's east side. There is currently only one hotel on this side of town, the Colonial Square Motel on 8th Street. All the other hotels are located on the west side. There had been some talk about a hotel perhaps going on the current site of the Chrysler dealership on 8th Street, but they seem in no hurry to move at the moment. One would presume an east side hotel would do well given that it would be convenient for those visiting Saskatoon whose reason for visiting is located on the east side, especially given that many hotels are located near the airport.