Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good Luck, Cleveland.

Tom Shales of the Washington Post has written a scathing review of the new Family Guy spinoff, The Cleveland Show, and its creator Seth MacFarlane. Somehow I doubt he'll be on MacFarlane's Christmas card list this year. Personally I haven't been waiting with baited breath for the new show, and am in no hurry to see it now that it has hit the air. Fox has been pushing it for months with ads, but I wonder if it will have much of a run. Was anyone waiting for a spinoff of one of the lesser characters in the series? Most folks would expect the obvious, a spinoff featuring terrifying tot Stewie and Brian the talking dog, who frankly are the ones who lead to my occasional viewing of the show. Even Peter's lascivious buddy Glen Quagmire seems like a more likely choice of spinoff lead. The series did pull a credible 9.4 millon viewers for its debut, but it remains to be seen if that will hold up in the long run.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Yep, it's two for one day here on the blog. Since I mentioned the other day I was having a bit of "fun" restringing my guitars I figured I might as well post some pics of them.


On the left we have an Aria Pro II TS-300 Thor Sound. Why they went with the name Thor Sound is something I don't know. This is apparently a 1980 instrument given the K80 serial number, and came from the now defunct Matsumoku guitar factory in Matsumoto, Japan. Despite its appearance this is actually a bolt on neck guitar, and was the low end of the Thor Sound range, which also had glued neck and neck through models. I bought if off eBay some years ago from a seller in Florida.

On the right we have my long time companion, a Fender Japan '57 Reissue style Stratocaster. I bought it from Saskatoon's The Music Box way back in 1987, so it dates from somewhere in the 1985 to 1987 range. These guitars were made for Fender by Fujigen Gakki, probably the best known Japanese guitar plant and makers of instruments for Ibanez and Greco amongst others. It was supposedly used when I bought it, so I have no idea if the pickups are stock or not. (Music Box eventually became the Saskatoon outlet of Long and McQuade.)


Here's a closer shot of the bodies. The sticker on the Strat's pickguard is of Homer Simpson, and came out of a bag of Hostess chips probably a decade or more ago. Too bad you can't see the see through quality of the finish on the TS-300, which shows off some nice wood.


And here are the headstocks, with the Thor Sound logo clearly visible.

Roman Ruins.

The arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland over the weekend generated a lot of attention. Given that he had travelled to the country numerous times his arrest seems suspiciously like a political move, intended to the appeal to the same "get tough on crime" demographic as North American politicians do. Polanski pled guilty in LA in 1978 to having sex with a 13 year old girl, but fled to France before sentencing. Coming as it does right after actress/singer Mackenzie Phillips claimed that her late father, John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas, had an incestuous relationship with her I can't help but wonder if there was something in the California water in the '70s. The whole mess reminded me of another LA example, Lori Maddox, who as a 14 year old had an affair with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and depending on which version of her story you believe may have lost her viriginity at 13 to David and then wife Angela Bowie. And her story apparently isn't atypical of the groupie scene of the era.

Why did Polanski run? Last year's biopic Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired claims Polanski fled after the judge in the case looked as if he would renege on a plea agreement that would have seen Polanski serve no jail time other than the 42 days he spent incarcerated pre-trial. Even if true you have to wonder if doing the time would have been much worse for him. Given the slap on the wrist sentences apparently given for such crimes at the time he would likely have been able to get out of jail in fairly short order one way or another. Polanski's exile surely harmed his career, cutting him off as it did from big money Hollywood films.

These cases also bring up the obvious question of what a middle aged man would see in a 13 year old. Don't ask me, because I haven't got a clue.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm A Stringer.

I was just changing the strings on one of my guitars. Given the trouble I was having I think it's fair to say that I've haven't restrung that guitar often enough. Of course I could be like some people and just never restring my instruments. I saw an article recently about the great Jamaican born bassist Phil Chen and he supposedly has the same strings on his main Fender Jazz Bass as when he bought it in the '60s. Of course its a little bit easier to do something like that on a bass given the considerably thicker strings used.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, September 25, 2009.

Although the weather in Saskatoon might fool you into thinking otherwise Summer is now officially over, and once more the price of gas has dropped. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 97.9 cents a litre.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Credit cards can be such a pain in the ass. With cash you always know where you are, as you instantly know if you have enough and that it will be instantly accepted. If your credit card is buggered up you might not know it until it's too late.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walkies At Midnight.

Looking out the kitchen window at around midnight I saw someone out walking their dog. It struck me as kind of a weird time to be doing that. On the other hand it was a great big hairy dog, so I doubt the guy walking it had anything to worry about.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Did She Meet Lum?

Recently elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is a lucky man he's a Japanese politician. You couldn't reach the top political office in the US if your wife was open about her astral travels to Venus. Miyuki Hatoyama has also stated she knew Tom Cruise in a previous life when he was Japanese.

Lum, you ask? Read this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

They Forgot.

It seems the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees forgot what game they were playing tonight. A brawl broke out in the bottom of the 8th when Jorge Posada brushed Jesse Carlson as he came in to score a run. Guys, you were playing baseball, not hockey. Hockey is the game where time is wasted with silly fisticuffs.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Wow, hard to believe it's ten years already since the Moon was blown out of orbit. Well, it is if you live in a certain parallel universe. Once 1999 seemed so far away, and now it's ten years gone. Too bad we don't have the kind of space program portrayed in Space: 1999, minus the whole losing the Moon aspect.

Oddly enough September 13th also happens to be Barbara Bain's birthday. She turned 78 today. It would be interesting to know if Gerry Anderson chose the date for Breakaway before or after he hired her to play Helena Russell.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, September 11, 2009.

Summer vacation season is over, Labour Day long weekend has come and gone, and the price of gas is down. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 99.9 cents a litre.

Get Friendly.

Feeling down? There's a good chance this will cheer you up, especially if you're Canadian and remember CBC kid's programming of days gone by. No overactive running around or overly sweet pandering here. Interestingly it seems to me some of the dialogue here might actually have been improvised. Cool if true. Seriously, how can you not dig a pair of swinging cats like those?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

23rds Not The Charm.

Last night City Council discussed the plans for renovating the troublesome 23rtd Street bus mall. Although no actual work has been done yet the project is expected to go over budget, and the councillors sent the current design proposal back to Saskatoon Transit for more work. They feel the proposed design isn't patron friendly enough, and doesn't consider the potential for housing businesses. But I have to wonder about Maurice Neault, whose idea is that the terminal building be put on stilts, 15 feet in the air, in an effort to create some sort of cool landmark. Does Neault actually use the buses? If he did he would see that many users of the system are seniors, mothers with young children, and the disabled. His "skyterminal" would therefore require elevators to allow access to these customers, who will not be likely to climb two storeys of stairs to access whatever public facilities might go in the terminal building. A street level terminal building is much more accessable and much more welcoming.
I'll also use this post to make a prediction. One of the ideas in the existing terminal plan is for some sort of coffee shop. It will not surprise me at all if this turns out to be a Tim Hortons. Currently the nearest Hortons to downtown is by Kelsey Institute on Idylwyld Drive. They have no outlet in downtown proper, and the bus mall would be an obvious location for them to build one.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Gas In Saskatoon, September 4, 2009.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 101.9 cents a litre. The price of gas held steady for almost a month at 103.9 cents a litre before yesterday's drop. And this drop comes just before a holiday long weekend, which is commonly assumed to be an excuse for the price to go up.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hey, Deviantart!

Fix your search engine already! I'm sure you've had several hundred complaints by now.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Request For Brian Tallet.

Get rid of those sideburns. Seriously, they're fugly.