Monday, May 25, 2009

Glass Houses And All That.

The front page of the Star Phoenix this morning featured an article about a former Saskatoon resident who is currently the number one Canadian user of Twitter. I shook my head on reading Khayyam Wakil spends some 6 hours a day Twittering. But a bit later the thought popped to mind how much time I use to spend posting to Usenet. It wasn't as much, and I didn't make as many posts, but conversely the 140 character limit of Twitter prevents the kind of verbosity you can use on Usenet.

Poor Usenet. Although it still has its fans the service is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Some ISPs limit the amount of Usenet groups they offer, and some don't offer the service at all anymore. It's been a long time since I posted on Usenet with any frequency, like most users having become increasingly involved with web forums of various sorts, and of course blogging. But as I mentioned previously you won't be seeing me on Twitter.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Naughty CJYM.

Guys, I do appreciate you since you play Blue Jays games. But I also have to give you a slap on the wrist for having a morning horoscope. Pushing woo is not a good thing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 22, 2009.

The trend is once more up. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 104.9 cents a litre.

If you were in Saskatoon and read last Friday's gas post you may have been a bit confused. When I posted it early in the day I had no way of knowing that the price of gas would actually drop over the course of the day. Unfortunately we didn't see the same thing happen today.

Give Me That Silicon Time Religion.

Via Pharyngula here's an interesting Newsweek piece on tech guru and Singularity promoter Ray Kurzweil, written by Daniel Lyons. Interestingly Lyons has actually written a critical piece about Kurzweil and his beliefs we'll soon be able to live forever due to the creation of nanotech and superduper computers. Coverage of Kurzweil often tends to be lacking in such a perspective. Personally I find Kurzweil's attitudes towards the ideas he esposes seem awfully close to being a religious belief, only with supertech replacing God.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Sign Of Aging.

Seeing what you think is an attractive young woman and then realising you might have gone to high school with her mother.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Return Of John Steed?

I was reading an article this morning about the fall TV lineups of the various US networks. Amongst other intersting tidbits(Canadian Paul Gross will star in a TV version of The Witches of Eastwick, Fox has actually renewed Joss Whedon's Dollhouse) was that a new version of V will appear as a mid season replacement. For those younger visitors not familiar with it V was first a 1980s miniseries, then a short lived weekly series, about the conquest of Earth by alien lizards disguised as humans, and the resistance against them. Reading this made me think that perhaps it's time for another veteran show to have another run, The Avengers.

The British TV series first hit the air in 1961, and actually revolved around the adventures of Dr. David Keel, played by then popular actor Ian Hendry. Aiding Keel was John Steed, played by Patrick Macnee. Although only initially considered a secondary character he became increasing central to the series, so when Hendry was unavailable for the second season of the show Steed became the central character. He was soon joined by Honor Blackman as leather wearing adventurer Cathy Gale, and the series became very popular in both the UK and abroad. This continued when Blackman was replaced by Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, and the series would continue until 1969, with Linda Thorsen in the female partner role during the last season. What had been a fairly straight mystery series quickly evolved in a spy series that often featured high tech menaces and oddball enemies that fit in with the kind of world popularised by the James Bond films and series like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Macnee would be back for 1976 revival of the concept as The New Avengers, which included four episodes filmed in Canada. Although not considered a classic like the original it's fair to say it's looked on more fondly than the 1998 big screen treatment, which stared Ralph Fiennes as Steed and Uma Thurman as Emma Peel. Still, despite this failure I can't help but think there's still life left in the idea. The fact that Doctor Who has been successfully revived after a long TV hiatus shows that it's not just old American concepts that can be brought back from the dead. And it would be interesting to see a modern take on a series that I can't help but wonder might not be a partial inspiration behind partnerships like The X Files Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Currency Caution.

At first glance this might look like a Canadian two dollar coin, commonly called a toonie. It's not. It's actually a Dominican Republic 10 peso coin. At some point in the last couple of days I received this in change, and only found out I didn't have 2 bucks when I tried to use it to buy a drink this morning. I have no idea if this was circulated deliberately or not, but it's something to watch out for. It's easy to mistake it for a Canadian coin as the basic design is near identical, with only the marking differing. If someone is using these deliberately they're getting a good deal on their pseudo-counterfitting, as one Canadian dollar is currently worth approximately 31 Dominican pesos.
If you've had a similar problem in Saskatoon or elsewhere feel free to leave a comment to this post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's Neu!?

I've just been listening to the self titled debut by Neu!, a German group founded in 1971 by former Kraftwerk members Michael Rother and the late Klaus Dinger. If you're a fan of Stereolab and Metal Box/Second Edition era Public Image Ltd. you're bound to find the tracks "Hallogallo" and "Negativland" respectively very familiar. And if the title of the latter sounds familiar even if you haven't heard of any of these perhaps you remember the San Francisco based sound collagists of the same name, who named themselves after that track.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 15, 2009.

It's a common belief in this neck of the woods that gas prices go up just before a long weekend. This week isn't likely to challenge that belief. Gas is now 99.9 cents a litre in Saskatoon, a rise of 4 cents since last week. This comes just before the Victoria Day long weekend, considered by some to be the start of the summer camping season in Canada.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Me As Casting Director.

Today I was reading an article in Fortune about the Bernie Madoff scandal. As I did a thought came to mind. When they do the inevitable movie about it perhaps Dustin Hoffman should play Madoff. He looks only a bit like the disgraced investment expert, but with the right hairdo he'd be close enough for Hollywood. On the other hand I'm not sure how their heights compare, but it probably doesn't matter when you have 5'4" Wolverine being played by 6'2" Hugh Jackman.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 8, 2009.

Up it goes. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 95.9 cents a litre. Hope you gassed up before the increase if you live here.

Snow News.

There's snow on the ground in Saskatoon this morning. Yep, it's May, but that doesn't mean we still can't get the occasional white surprise. It may have been over 20 degrees C a few days ago but you wouldn't know that now. We do need the moisture around here, but most folks would have prefered rain to a reminder of winter.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Don't Worry Pork Producers.

Swine flu hasn't chased me away from pork. I had bacon for supper tonight. Mmmmm, bacon.

Panourmous, The Sequel.

Time for a followup to my recent post about the price differential between US and Canadian prices for Pizza Hut's Panourmous Pizza. This week we received a Pizza Hut flyer with the local paper. It lists the price of a Panourmous in the Saskatoon market as $15.99, plus taxes. This really makes me wonder about how they're determining the costs of their pizzas by region. But I doubt they'll tell me.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Miracle.

Wow, if you get the Rogers Sportsnet West feed you're actually getting to see a full Blue Jays game today. If you've been trying to watch the Jays on Sportsnet West you probably know that in their infinite wisdom they've decided we'd rather see Yankees and Dodgers games instead of Jays games when the former are on at the same time. Rogers' response to complaints? Well, you can see those games if you opt to pick up the other Sportsnet feeds. In other words, send more money to your cable provider and Rogers. Frankly I doubt this will do what Rogers expects. Most folks likely won't shell out more money for extra sports channels unless they're major sports fans, and if they are there's a good chance they already subscribe to the extra feeds, and the current economic climate is likely to dissuade some others who might have gone for it in better times. Of course you might think of subscrbing to the pricey online baseball broadcast service, but apparently Jays games are blacked out on there.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, May 1, 2009.

Down she goes. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 89.9 cents a litre at most stations.