Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some Banjo Music.

Okay, likely not the kind of banjo music most people were expecting.  But hey, not everyone plays bluegrass on them.

Oh, Alanis.

More than once I've commented on the weird names people give their kids.  Given some of the names celebs give their kids it's no surprise normal people do the same.  For example Alanis Morrisette just had a son.  She and her husband named him Ever Imre  Not sure if that's supposed to be one name or his first and middle names.  I hope it's the latter, for his sake.

When I Rule The World 6.

When I rule the world the term "going commando" for not wearing any underwear will be banned.  For that matter I'll probably require people to wear underwear. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Phony War.


If you're an American who has wondered if the "War on Christmas" idea has any play in Canada, now you know.  I came across this sign this morning on a local bus.  It's rather silly as far as I'm concerned.  Note that the first couple of lines are a slight variation on a classic phrase of Edmund Burke.  But really, not celebrating Christmas in a way acceptable to the sponsors of this sign is evil?  As is usually the case when I see someone use the phrase politcally incorrect without irony the feeling I get is the person in question wants the right to behave like a jerk.  They want their traditions respected, but are unwilling to do the same for others.

If they want to put "Christ back into Christmas" they should allow others to put paganism back into Christmas.  After all the Gospels don't actually give a date for Jesus' birth, since the writers apparently didn't think that this information was important. Instead later figures in Christianity adopted the date given its proximity to the Winter Solstice, which was celebrated by numerous cultures before Christianity. Many of the traditions we associate with the holiday also had existing roots.  When you think about it this was rather a clever move.  Not only would it appeal to possible converts by allowing them to continue celebrating a familiar cultural ritual, but it associated the birth of Jesus with the yearly birth of a new cycle in the depths of winter. 

Ironically many throughout the history of Christianity denounced the celebration of Christmas and/or its trappings like the Christmas tree.  It was even banned for a time in the United Kingdom and pre-revolutionary United States, and anti-Christmas beliefs persisted in much of the US afer the American Revolution.  Given that the US is the source for the "war on Christmas" idea this is especially amusing.

Casting Call: Julian Assange.

Given that we saw a big screen film about the guy behind Facebook of all things I'm sure we'll see a big screen Hollywood film about Wikileaks.  Reading an article about Julian Assange today in Forbes magazine a thought came to mind about who should play him in that film:  Neil Patrick Harris.  Harris looks close enough to Assange for Hollywood.  Whether he can do a convincing Australian accent is another question.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gather Round The Tree.


Don't have a Christmas tree?  Feel free to spend some time around this one.  It's a humble one, and this photo really doesn't do it justice.

Enjoy the holidays, and try not to drink or eat too much.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, December 24, 2010.

The gas companies gave us an early present at mid-week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 105.9 cents a ltre at most locations.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When I Rule The World 5.

When I rule the world I'll have to give myself an appropriately awesome name.  Supreme Commander?  His Great Munificence?  Ruler of the Universe?  Of course when you rule the world people are likely to refer to you as Giant Scumbag or something equally nasty if they can get away with it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Good And Bad.

More than once I've come across an alcohol container lying by the road, in a park, or in some other public place.  But today was a first for me.  I came across a Kokanee beer can while riding the bus.  I doubt having booze on the bus is any more legal than having it in a private vehicle.  On the other hand it's better for someone to be drinking on a bus instead of drinking while they're behind the wheel.  And in case anyone is concerned the can was stuffed behind one of the rear seats, so it wasn't there because of a bus driver.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

When I Rule The World 4.

When I rule the world the song "The Little Drummer Boy" will be banned.

The Holy Grail.

Another late night of playing poker on Pokerstars, and another unusual hand.  I'm playing a 25 cent sit and go, and with my chips getting very low about 15 minutes ago I went all in.  Fortunately I hit the ultimate poker hand, a Royal Flush.  In my case it was a hearts Royal Flush.  This is not a hand you're going to see very often.  Within the last 24 hours I had a 9 high straight flush in another tournament, although it  didn't keep me from getting knocked out short of making any money.  Funny how things go that way.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

When Is Having Four Kings Not Good In Poker?

When you're playing Omaha Hi/lo and that's your starting hand.  I was playing a freeroll on Pokerstars last night and actually had that dealt to me.  I wonder what the odds of being dealt such a hand are in the real world.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, December 17, 2010.

The upward trend continues.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 107.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Will we see another rise before Christmas?  It wouldn't surprise me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Remember This Song?

If you do it means you're getting old, friend.  Frankly I'm surprised I remember it given that the Canadian TV show it was associated with debuted when I was four.

Go Go Voyager 1!

How many electronic devices do you have that still work after 32 years of hard use?  For most of us the answer is not many if any.  But NASA can point to their Voyager spacecraft.  Launched back in 1977 the plucky probes are still providing valuable data.  Observations taken this year by Voyager 1 indicate that it has gone beyond the influence of the solar wind and is about to enter interstellar space.  Not bad for a spacecraft designed with late '60s-early '70s electronic technology.  It's now so far away from Earth that a signal from it takes 16 hours to reach Earth at the speed of light.  Hopefully it and its sister craft Voyager 2 will continue to operate for years to come.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


It's because of computers that you can read what I write, and I can write and post it.  But when they have problems you want to tear your hair out.  Fortunately my recent computer problems were mainly just annoying, and I didn't lose any really important files.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, December 3, 2010

It's been a bit, but another period of stability has ended.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 104.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

What A Maroon.

Tom Flanagan has long been a fixture on the Canadian right.  I've never had much time for  him, and his latest comment doesn't help.  Last night he stated on a CBC News program that the Americans should assassinate troublesome Wikileaks head honcho Julian Assange.  He later retracted it.  But I wonder, is he trying to get the attention of Fox News?  That sounds like the kind of thing one of their pathetic pundits like Glenn Beck would say.  Somehow I doubt this will work as an audition, as I doubt they pay attention.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Typical Of The Big Guy.

Prince Edward Island is currently in the middle of a debate about allowing Sunday shopping all year round.  Opposition leader Olive Crane launched a private members' bill calling for ending restrictions that prohibit Sunday opening between Christmas and Victoria Day.  After appearing on a local TV show Monday Crane slipped on the set of the program and hurt her ankle.  During debate on Thursday transportation minister Ron Mackinley implied the accident might be a punishment from God.  If so that would be so typical of the Supreme Being.  He's always doing stuff like punishing people for minor changes he doesn't like and making the face of the Virgin Mary appear in oil spots in parking lots.  Yet he never seems to do worthwhile things like making the entire leadershp of North Korea drop dead for that mess they caused this week. 

Of course if you believe certain religions Olive Crane is doing the right thing.  After all they don't believe that Sunday is a godly day, but Saturday, or Friday.  Perhaps Mr. Mackinley better watch himself in case they're right and good ole arbitrary God decides to punish him for opposing Sunday opening.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Money For Gullibility.

I justr saw an ad on Spike for a proposed class action lawsuit against ExtenZe, a "male enhancement" product.  So someone wants to launch a class action suit on hehalf of a bunch of insecure guys who were clueless enough to believe a pill will make their penis bigger.  I wonder how many people will willingly admit they don't think their penis is big enough?

Unfortunately our society is overly obsessed with penis size as an indicator of manliness, sexually or otherwise.  Just consider how common it is to insult someone by claiming their negative behaviours are overcompensation for having a small penis.  Ironically if you ask women with actual experience of a partner with a penis of above average size many of them will note that it is often uncomfortable to deal with.

Status Quo.

As is often the case when something significant happens with the royals the announcement of the upcoming wedding of William Windsor and Kate Middleton has launched another round of debate and hand wringing about the role of the nonarchy in Canada.  Do Canadians like the monarchy?  Will William's marriage increase support for the monarchy in Canada?  And most importantly, do Canadians want to keep the monarchy, or see it replaced by some other system?

The reality is that no matter what your opinion is don't go holding your breath waiting for the current system to change.  To replace the monarchy would require reopening the Canadian Constitution, and that is not going to happen anytime soon.  No one wants to open that Pandora's box.  Doing so would reopen the problematic question of Quebec's refusal to ratifiy the document in 1982, although that hasn't stopped them from using things like the Notwithstanding Clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Then there would be those who would want to alter the Charter.  And the question of what kind of Senate to have, or whether we'd want one at all.  And the question of what would replace the monarchy.  And on and on.  It will probably take at least another generation before anyone is willing to even seriously think about trying to amend it again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Missed.

Flipping around the dial this morning I came across a show that surprised me on Spike.  It's Conceal and Carry School, a handgun shooting show.  Given the controvsrsial nature of gun control in the US I'm surprised to see a reality style show about people learning to combat shoot.  Of course the fact that I've never seen an ad on Spike for the show may be telling.  They themselves may be a bit leery about the show getting too much attention and causing problems.  On the other hand they do have a webpage where you can watch full episodes.  Other channels have featured shows about weaponry but they're generally of a "Here's a so and so, watch it blow stuff up!" sort,  not "Here's private citizens learning how to shoot in a self defense scenario."  It also strikes me as a very American show.  And it's probably a better fit for Spike's "We're the macho network." subtext than it would be elsewhere.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is He Really Gone?

The Wednesday night murder of Nicolo Rizzuto in Montreal has prompted a lot of talk that the Rizzuto Mafia "family" is finished.  It's a reasonable assumption given that his son Vito, the reputed boss of the Rizzuto organisation, is currently serving a 10 year sentence in US jail.  The elder Rizzuto's murder caps off more than a year of murders of Rizzuto members, including his grandson Nick Jr. last fall.  But the fate of one major player remains unknown, that of Paolo Renda.  Renda, Vito's brother in law and reputed consigliere, was apparently kidnapped in May of this year, his car being found with the windows open and the keys in the ignition.  The presumption is of course that he too was murdered.  But I couldn't help but wonder tonight if that was the case.  Could it be that Renda is alive and well living under an assumed name as part of some sort of deal with the authorties to provide information, thereby avoiding prosecution?  Modern Mafiosi have a penchant for squealing their heads off when things get too tough.  For that matter maybe Renda disappeared himself, figuring a life in hiding was a preferable alternative to taking a bullet from whichever group of enemies has been targetting the Rizzutos.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Scraping The Barrel.

Controversy is swirling around a leaked Michael Jackson single, with some of his family claiming the vocals on the cut aren't actually  him.  Whatever the case it made me think of the posthumous albums of Jimi Hendrix.  After his death a lot of material would be dredged up and released.  Probably most notorious amongst Hendrix fans are the albums put together by Alan Douglas, which included considerable overdubbing on unfinished tracks.  Then there was the rerelease of material Hendrix recorded while an R&B sideman with Little Richard and the obscure Curtis Knight amongst others.  Is a similar fate in store for Jackson?  Unlike Hendrix Jackson wasn't the kind of artist who would jam with anyone and end up being recorded as a result, nor did he have the kind of sideman period Hendrix did.  On the other hand there is likely a lot of demo material and tracks rejected as too weak for release in the Sony and Jackson family archives, and as anyone who keeps an eye on cheap CDs knows a lot of artists have oddball compilations in their discography put together from material of questionable provinence and ownership. 

Friday, November 05, 2010



When I heard a report this morning about a young Chinese man who managed to get on a plane in Hong Kong disguised as an old man my thoughts soon drifted to the Death Merchant.  The Death Merchant, aka Richard Camellion, was the title character of a series of pulp action adventure novels written in the '70s and '80s by the late Joseph Rosenberger.  One of Camellion's regularly used skills was his incredible ability to create disguises, and he frequenly disguised himself as an elderly man.  Fortunately this real world disguise artist apparently only wanted to get out of Hong Kong undetected by the local authorities, not go on to kill a whole bunch of people.   Somehow I doubt this guy has ever heard of the Death Merchant, but you never know.  Weirder things have happened.

Afternoon addenda:  I decided to add a Death Merchant cover to make this post a bit more spiffy.  The book in question, The Psionics War, takes place partially in Canada, with Canadian troops aiding the Death Merchant against Soviets trying to kidnap an American scientist.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Will He Or Won't He?

Listening to the coverage of yesterday's US election a thought came to mind, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who had it.  Could Stepehn Harper decide to call an election soon to cash in on the current right wing swing in the US?  If so he'd do well to think twice.  Canada isn't the US, and our political landscape is quite different.  He's not going to be able to exploit the anti-incumbent attitude found south of the border given that his party is the current ruling bloc, tenuous as it may be at times.  He's in Barack Obama's place in Canada at the moment, not Sarah Palin's.

As for the Tea Party supported crowd now they'll actually have to do something.  It's easy to sling around slogans and digs during an election, it's quite another thing to actually get to work within the legislature and get things done.  And how long can you claim to be a "Washington outsider" when you're in office without looking silly?  Given the disparate beliefs of the Tea Party and their favoured candidates conflict amongst them may soon blunt the movement.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vote, Americans.

You've an election going on today, so get out there and vote.  If you don't you're defacto voting for whoever wins whether you like them or not.  Apparently in some places you can vote "None of the above," so you can't claim there's no one to vote for if you live in one of them.

Monday, November 01, 2010

When I Rule The World 3

No more hyphenated names.  At best they sound pretentious, at worst horribly clashing.  If you don't want to take your husband's name when you get married keep your maiden name.  Or why not start a new family name for both of you?

Sunday, October 31, 2010


We had 27 trick or treaters tonight.  Definitely not the biggest crowd we've had, and given the nice weather we had today and this evening there could have been more.  Not surprisingly we have candy left over.  Gonna have to make sure I get a lot of walking in this week.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Act, Don't Whine.

I was just playing a freeroll over on Pokerstars, and just got knocked out\.  Before I did however another player who had been doing quite well before me got knocked out.  He then proceeded to whine about the site being rigged and so on.  Yeah, like they'd really rig a 40 thousand player freeroll.  But whether they are or not the solution is simple.  If you think a site is rigged, don't play there.  It's not a hard conclusion to come to.  Don't keep playing there and then turn into a crybaby when things don't go your way again.  But guess what?  If you play on pretty much any poker site you'll see the exact same complaints. So maybe it's best if you don't play online poker at all.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, October 29, 2010.

Down it goes again.  Gas in Saskatoon is 100.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Note the unusual .4 cents versus the usual .9 cents division.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

That Mournful Sound.

Listen carefully and you might hear the lamentations of many Texas Rangers fans.  The late innings of tonight's game were pretty awful  The way this is going the Rangers may end up getting swept and have that conclude at home.  Nasty.

It's Not Just Me.

I'm sitting here watching the World Series, and a bit ago I saw someone who looked for all the world like Buzz Osbourne of the Melvins.  It seems I wasn't the only one who thought it was him, as I accidentally stumbled across people Twittering that they saw him.  If it wasn't him it's someone with identically styled grey hair.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Take It Easy, Saskatoon.

That unfamiliar white stuff is called snow.  It makes things slippery.  Please don't drive in your usual maniac manner or you'll be slamming into everyone in sight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Les Quebecois Funky

For some reason I decided to search YouTube last night for stuff by UZEB, and came across the above, which I remember watching on the CBC, probably within a few months of it being filmed.  Great version of this tune, featuring guest percussion from the late great Don Alias.

Don't Drop It.

I briefly stuck my head into a Source store to look at their radio selection.  As I did I walked past the remote control display.  This included a 300 buck model.  Who buys a 300 buck remote control I wondered.  Of course the answer is someone with a 10 grand home theatre system.  Given how often remotes get dropped, sat on, or otherwise abused I'd hate to have one that expensive to damage.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, October 22, 2010.

The trend this week was down, but only a cent.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 101.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I can't help but smile at the name of this kid catching for the San Francisco Giants, Buster Posey.  With a name like that he sounds like he should be playing alongside Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.  You don't run into too many people named Buster who are say under the age of 80.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Muslim Mayor Menace.

In case you missed it the people of Calgary elected a Muslim Canadian, Naheed Nenshi, as their new mayor, the first Muslim mayor in Canada.  So, how long do you think it took the "He's an evil Mooslim, Calgary is doomed!" talk to start?  I'd say it was almost instant.  The fact that Nenshi was born and raised in Canada and is a Harvard grad of course makes no difference to these types.  Muslims share a hive mind, and the goal of that hive mind is to conquer us all, in their paranoid world view.  There's even "Look out, he'll be Canada's Obama!" talk, which isn't much of a surprise.   Not to mention invoking the Sharia Law boogeyman.  Same old song and dance.  Like other forms of paranoia it won't matter how little Nenshi does to meet their expectations of the Muslim Mayor Menace, they'll keep crying wolf.

When I Rule The World 2.

When I rule the world roving squads equipped with Electric Cattle Prods of Correction will patrol the streets to instantly correct those who say "eye-ran," "eye-rack," and "eye-talian."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Well Supplied.

If you're planning on visiting Saskatoon and are worried about getting your Tim Hortons fix, don't be.  Saskatoon currently has 21 different Hortons outlets.  And we'll soon have a symetrical number of them, as a new downtown location will open early next year on 22nd Street.  Non-Saskatoon readers may be surprised to learn that this will be the first Hortons outlet downtown.   For whatever reason no one set one up in the city centre until now, the closest being the outlet on 33rd Street just across from Kelsey Institute.   And there are also rumours that if the city ever gets around to building a new 23td Street bus mall it may contain a Hortons kiosk.

Given our population this works out to roughly one Hortons store per 10,000 people.  And if you go to some outlets at certain times of the day it seems like every one of that 10,000 will soon pass through the doors.

As for the donut competition?  There are still 5 Robin's Donuts outlets, the chain that previously dominated the Saskatoon market before Hortons moved in.  Country Style once had a presense here but it is long gone.  There was no indication that Krispy Creme ever planned to set up shop here during their ultimately disastrous attempt to enter the Canadian market.  Dunkin' Donuts have no stores here. 

Given the number of food posts I've written of late perhaps this blog should have a temporary "Reading this may make you hungry" warning.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Onslaught Begins.

I just saw my first Canadian commercial for KFC's Double Down Sandwich.  If you chomped down on one today feel free to leave a comment on what you thought.  I doubt I'll be eating one anytime soon.  For those rare times I go to KFC I'll stick to their Big Crunch chicken burger.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, October 15, 2010.

It's funny that prices were so stable during the Summer, and now they're in flux.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 102.9 cents a litre at most locations, a decrease of 2 cents.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh, KFC, You Shouldn't Have.

In the paper this morning was KFC's latest coupon flyer, which included the announcement that their Double Down Sandwich will hit the Canadian market(or the Saskatoon market at least) October 18th.  That's my birthday, so I'm really flattered you guys went to all the effort of getting it out in time to honor me.  But really, you didn't have to.

To be more serious a lot of people are probably saying "Oh no, they shouldn't have!" for rather different reasons.  For those not familiar with it the Double Down consists of two chicken fillets with two slices of cheese, bacon, and "secret sauce" between them.  No bun, leading some people to dispute it's actually a sandwich.  The amount of calories and fat in this thing has of course led to criticisms that it's an unhealthy addition to an already unhealthy fast food market.  It's also very high in sodium, no doubt due to the spices used in the chicken and the bacon's inherent saltiness. 

Will I eat one?  Perhaps some day.  But really, the last thing I need is another fast food/junk food item to salivate over.  I eat too many different kinds of crap as it is. 

Friday, October 08, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, October 8, 2010.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 104.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Of course this week's price rise has nothing to do with it being Thanksgiving long weekend, right?

(Yes, American visitors, we have Thanksgiving in Canada, just a month earlier than you do.)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It Could Have Been Ours.

If you're a Blue Jays fan the events of this afternoon are both wonderful and bittersweet.  Starting today for the Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay pitched only the second no hitter in Major League Baseball playoff history.  The Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-0.  The only other pitcher to do this was Don Larsen for the New York Yankees way back in 1956.  This comes on top of a season where he threw a perfect game(no hits, no runners on base) on May 29th.  Not to mention that Halladay actually hit a single and scored an RBI in today's game, and it was his first postseaon start.  But if you're a Jays fan you can't help but think that if things had worked out a bit differently over the last couple of years maybe he would have done this for the Jays instead.

Trump's Greatest Trump?

Donald Trump announced this week he is thinking about running for US President in 2012.  If I were his potential competitors I'd be quaking in my boots given the financial resources he can bring to a campaign without having to solicit donations.  On the other hand if Trump did take the office he'd find running a country is quite different from being a coporate magnate.  You just can't say "You're fired!" to Congress if things don't go your way.  And what about that hair of his?  Do Americans really want a President who looks like he's got a dyed skunk's tail on his head?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A New Domain.

A thought just came to mind.  Perhaps it's time for the online gambling industry to push for its own Internet domain.  Specifically it would be .bet.  Although for all I know being close to .net might cause problems. 

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Today's Cassette, October 3, 2010.

Busy day here on the blog.

I dug out an old Sanyo cassette player(not the Sanyo I regularly use, but an older one) out of a cupboard to see if it works.  It does, but there's obviously a loose connection someplace, because when you turn it at a certain angle it conks out.  I've got other cassette players around so it's not much of a bother.  To test it I grabbed Luck Andro, which is probably an iffy translation, by Thai morlam singer Pornsack Songsaeng.  I'd really love to get more of this stuff someday since it has a nice groove.

Poker Doppelgangers.

Right now I'm playing on two different poker sites.  Just a few hands ago I was dealt A8 on both at the same time.  Too bad it wasn't the same A8 on both, that would have been really wild.

He Can Drive 54.

Congrats to Jose Bautista for hitting 54 home runs.  Only a tiny handful of players have hit that many or more home runs in a season.  It's appropriate that it happened in Cito Gaston's last season as a manager.  And the Jays ended the season with a winning record, which many didn't expect when the season started.  Good work, guys.

Friday, October 01, 2010

When I Rule The World 1.

When I rule the world, all houses will have mail boxes or the equivalent.  Seriously, I find it strange and possibly evil when a house doesn't have a mail box.  So when I become Supreme Leader you'd better have one or else.

Yep, the number 1 indicates I hope to make more of these posts.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Put It Back.

Today's tip:  Don't just shove your credit card/debit card/loyalty card/etc. in your pocket after you use it.  Actually put it in your wallet.  That way you won't have a panic attack when you notice it's not there.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh Those Lovely Double Standards.

I've been seeing this Irish Spring ad a lot lately.  It strikes me as a good example of the double standards that continue to exist in society.  You would never see an ad like this where two random men are watching a woman bathe without her knowing it.  It would be considered weird and creepy.  But it's apparently okay for women to do it.  The implication is not only are women not dangerous to men, but that a man wouldn't be upset about being seen by female voyeurs.  After all a man is supposed to always want sexual attention from women, so of course it's all right for then to do something like this and no real man would be upset by it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, September 24, 2010.

It's been a while since I've had back to back Fridays with one of these posts.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 100.9 cents a litre, down 3 cents from last week.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

That Trick Never Works.

Some advice for people who don't want to play in an online poker tournament anymore, but still have lots of chips:  Please, just sit out.  Don't try dumping your chips by doing things like going all in with bad hands.  Ignoring the fact that it's probably against the rules on many poker sites all too often it backfires, resulting in not only you winning the hand and getting even more chips, but some poor player who thought he was going to get a bunch of easy chip getting knocked out because your 3-5 offsuit connects with the flop hard.  Frankly I can't understand why you think you need to do anything but sit out.  Your chips will get blinded off soon enough, so there's no need to disrupt things by trying to get knocked out.

(If you guessed I was playing in a poker tournament while I wrote this, you're right.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Great 48.

Hopefully if you're a Blue Jays fan you watched tonight's game.  I'm writing this just after Jose Bautista hit his 48th home run this year.  He now holds the Jays record for most home runs in a season, surpassing George Bell's 47 home runs.  And it's almost a given  he'll hit 50.  Last year he hit a mere 13, so it's an amazing improvement.

Gas In Saskatoon, September 17, 2010.

It's ironic that earlier this week I was thinking about writing a post about how stable gas prices have been here of late.  Good thing I didn't.  It's been almost two months since I've done one of these, but finally the price of gas changed this week in Saskatoon.  It is now 103.9 cents a litre at most locations, a rise of 4 cents from the previous price of 99.9 cents a litre.

Monday, September 13, 2010


It was eleven years ago today that the Moon started its uncontrolled journey across the Universe.  Well, a Universe, just not ours.  In other words, unhappy Breakaway Day!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Most people will know this as a Blondie tune.  But this is actually the original from 1976 by the Nerves.  Hopefully they've made some money from the Blondie version over the years, but you never know with the kind of contracts some young bands signed in those days.

Kevin Costner In Saskatoon?

Given the amount of rain we've had in the last couple of days, and the amount of rain in general we've had this year, I can't help but wonder if Kevin Costner is out there trying to turn Southern Saskatchewan into a set for Waterworld 2.  Please, Kevin, if you're out there with a rain making machine please turn it off, okay?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Woe Is Me.

I ate too much for supper, and I'm sure feeling it.  This shows the perils of all you can eat restaurants.  Good boy that I am I did finish off everything I took.


I'm a considerable way from being one of those people that are the focus of certain TV shows these days.  But I do have lots of stuff lying around collecting dust for no go reason.  I've been thinking about getting rid of it for a long time, and today I finally got around to at least making a start.  I took a bunch of magazines to the local recyling spot after thumbing through them to see if I wanted to keep any.  I didn't, because the material in them is either very dated or available online these days.  Still, it was interesting looking through old issues of Air International to see what was going on with various air forces and military procurement programs in the '80s.  There were things like the Chinese wanting to buy US F16s, this of course being before the events of 1989 soured Western attitudes towards selling the "good" Communists in China weapons.

Some might ask if I considered trying to make some money off of these.  I did, briefly, but realised it wouldn't be worth the time and effort to say try and sell the good condition ones eBay, while others weren't in sellable condition.  Still, it's fair to say that one of the reasons I have kept so much of what I kept is that I paid for it in the first place, making it seem like a waste to throw things out. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Rode The Big Rig.

I finally got a chance to ride one of Saskatoon Transit's new articulated buses this morning.  I rode in the back to get a full impression.  It was funny looking out the window and seeing the equivalent of a whole bus across from me as the bus made a sharp turn.  I picked up on a couple of things that I suspect may cause complaints from some riders.  Firstly the rubber accordion section between the two sections of the bus squeeks a lot as the bus moves, which may annoy some.  Further if you're sitting in the rear half you can see the front end of the foward section move up and down as it passes over high and low points in the road, and I wonder if this might not bother some folks prone to car sickness or other motion sickness problems. 

With the new buses going into service and due to other changes with various routes they've altered the 23rd Street bus mall stops a bit.  This includes taking out some parking spaces at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 23rd Street to make space for new bus stalls, which may annoy some people becuase it will reduce parking for what is a busy area, namely the Sturdy Stone Centre and the main branch of the Saskatoon Public Library on 23rd Street.

The bus I rode today was 1006.  You can see some external pictures I took of bus 1007 here.  The third articulated bus is labelled 1005.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Galleria Mall Closes.

No, it's not the one in Regina, or anyplace else.  Rather this is a heads up to any 6teen fans who didn't already know that your last chance to see the series on Teletoon is here.  Tonight will be the final Thursday airing at 8:30 PM ET/PT, with tonight's episode "Bye Bye Nikki? Part 2" being repeated Sunday at the same time.  After than 6teen will leave Teletoon after 6 years.  It's all but certainly not gone for good, but for now its run has ended. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Oh That Globe.

If you bother to look at the tabloids as you stand in the checkout line you've probably noticed that the Globe seems very fond these days of printing anti Barack Obama stories.  The latest issue I've seen has as its cover story another "shocking revelation" that Obama is secretly a Muslim.  I wonder if anyone at the publication actually believes this nonsense or if such stories are simply to suck in more readers on the fringe.  If the latter it must be working or they'd find someone else to concentrate on. 

A Month Of Spam.

I use Gmail as my primary e-mail account, and it has a good spam filter.  Out of curiosity I decided to not delete the spam as it arrived but leave it in the spam box to see how much I received in a month.  During August I received 18 messages that the filter considered spam.  A pretty light load compared to what some folks get I'm sure.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ignore This.

Nothing to see here other than the word saskblogger.  I'm just putting this up to see if generates any hits.

The Box Disappoints.

Lately I've been trying to get a look at Teletoon's September schedule so I can see which shows are going and which are returning. It still hadn't been posted yesterday, so I went to the program guide on my digital cable box and advanced it ahead to next week. Some surprising programs came up, such as the sci fi series Delta State that aired on Teletoon before. Alas, today Teletoon's September schedule finally appeared on their website, and this and several other supposedly scheduled programs weren't to be found. This makes me wonder where the schedule presented by the program guide came from given its inaccuracy. I have no idea how far in advance these things are prepared, but presumably Teletoon had a pretty good idea of their Fall lineup a good while ago. At the very least you'd think it would simply state "To be announced" for various time slots. It also makes me wonder how inaccurate data for other channels might be.

Friday, August 27, 2010


It's not a good day to be a Blue Jays fan in Saskatoon.  Tonight's game is on Sportsnet One, which as was previously mentioned here is not available yet in Saskatchewan.  But you can't hear it on radio, since this is one of the games CJYM Rosetown isn't carrying.  Rogers is blaming Shaw and other cable companies for not carrying the channel, while they claim Rogers wants everyone to pay 3 bucks for the new channel whether you want it or not.  Whoever is really at fault this is a PR mess for Rogers, and if the puny crowds that have been appearing for a lot of the games at Rogers Centre are any indication I would guess the TV audience was already down before the hit they're no doubt going to take over this.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You're Wrong, Pintsize.

This panel is NSFW because of the little guy's language.  But in any case Marten is right, "Rosanna" is a superior song to "Hold the Line."  Just listen to the two tunes and you'll see I'm right.  And speaking of Toto has anyone seen Toto singer Bobby Kimball and Burton Cummings in the same place at the same time?

Baby Steps.

The Chinese government has announced its plans to reduce the number of crimes it applies the death penalty to.  This is a good thing, as Chinese law applies death sentences to crimes that would never be considered for it in countries like the US, such as economic crimes.  China reportedly executes more people per year than the rest of the world combined, so any reduction is good.  But of course from my perspective the Chinese didn't go far enough, and should abolish the practice completely.  Capital punishment cannot be overturned once applied, making it an unacceptable punishment given that people will be wrongly convicted.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Answer.

A mailing my mother received this week from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association asked on the envelope "What went wrong during the G20 Summit?"  To me the answer is obvious:  The G20 showed up.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Your Letter For Today.

Not much to say about this one other than that I always liked this bit from Sesame Street.  Funny that they'd include vigilantes though.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sportsnet None.

I hope you weren't counting on seeing tonight's Blue Jays versus the Angels game on TV if you live in Saskatoon, because you won't.  Today was the launch of Rogers Sportsnet One, which is supposed to be their "national" channel versus the existing Rogers Sportsnet, which is offered by region.  But said national channel isn't available via Shaw Cable in the Saskatoon market, or apparently on any other cable or satellite providers elsewhere in Canada other than Rogers.  Negotiations are supposedly going on for other providers to carry it, but if that doesn't happen we won't have a chance to see as many as 25 upcoming Blue Jays games.  This is even more annoying than the trouble we had here in previous years, where Sportsnet West, which is the "default" Sportsnet channel on Shaw, didn't always have Blue Jays games on.  If you were willing to shell out the money you could subscribe to feeds of the other Sportsnet feeds and not miss the games.  This time we don't even have that option, and we have no idea when or even if Sportsnet One will be carried here.  What a pain.

You apparently will be able to hear the game on radio via CJYM Rosetown on 1330 kilohertz.  Hope you're like me and have an AM radio to use.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Bit Retro Perhaps.

Tonight YTV is playing Spice World, the 1997 movie made at the height of the Spice Girls' career.  Much of YTV's target audience wasn't even born when this film was made.  It's as much a "historical piece" to them as a Beatles film would be, so it's kind of an odd choice.  It's also another example of how time flies for us geezerly types ie those of us who were adults during Spice Mania.

It Escaped My Notice.

Huh, today is a Friday the 13th.  But I totally missed this.  It took reading a comment over at Pharyngula to remind me.  Just goes to show that the importance we put into such tihngs is strictly our own doing.  I don't put any stock into the supposed unluckyness of the day, so I don't spend time consideirng when it will occur.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Interesting Neighbour.

I took a trip up to the Blairmore Suburban Centre today to check on the progress of the construction going on there.  One of the stores was having its sign put on, and this revealed that it will be a location of a chain new to Saskatoon, Bulk Barn. Bulk Barn is a bulk food store.  I find it interesting that it will be on the same property as the west side Walmart Supercenter, which includes a full service grocery.  They're apparently confident in their ability to compete with the famed retaling giant, and it will be interesting to see what impact they have on each other.  I don't imagine Walmart's operating style is flexible enough to say heavily increase their bulk food offerings to counter Bulk Barn.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Two Sins.


I've commented in the past at my annoyance at how messy many people are, casually throwing trash on the ground, often from vehicles.  But things like this are even more annoyng.  Walking down McKercher Drive this afternoon I came across this bottle of Pepsi lying on the ground.  As you can see it's half full.  Why would someone toss away a half full bottle of pop?  If you can't drink the whole thing take it home.  At the very least throw it in a trash can.  Better yet consider buying a smaller serving next time, even if you have 2 bucks or more to throw away, which is what one of these usually costs around Saskatoon these days.  As you can imagine I dumped out what remained in the bottle before taking it home for my container recycling pile.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Result Two.

I didn't do as well in the Full Tilt tournament I was playing.  There I cam in 305th out of 17 thousand some, but still quite a ways from the money, which started at 90th position in that tournament.  Hopefully one of these days I'll win some money from Full Tilt.

Today's Blogging Tip.

Looking to increase your traffic?  Just post something about Gerard Butler.  Last night's post about The 300 has led to rather a traffic uptick here.  And as usual this was entirely unintentional on my part, versus attempts I've made in the past to increase traffic by deliberately mentioning Tom Cruise and Harry Potter.

Incidentally there's talk that Butler will appear in a sequel to The 300, despite his character ending up dead.  If you ask me doing sequels to films about historic events that end in death isn't a smart idea.

Results One.

I finisehed the PokerStars tournament I was playing in 276th place out of 7280 and won 82 cents.  I was hoping to go a bit further, but I'm happy with how far I went.

A Specific Challenge.

Playing two poker tournaments at once is a challenge.  Playing two poker tournaments on different poker sites at once is even harder.  Right now I'm playing tournaments on both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.  At least I've made the money in the PokerStars one, which is Pot Limit Omaha.  The Full Tilt tournament is No Limit Hold 'em.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"My name ish Butler, Gerard Butler."

Tuning around the dial tonight I stumbled across The 300.  Watching about five minutes of it I couldn't help but think it of it as a comedy given how cheesy the whole thing seems.  Specifically you had Gerard Butler's character confronting the Persian King Xerxes, and it seemed like something from a bad comedy sketch, this feeling being strengthened for me by Butler sounding like he was trying to do a Sean Connery imitation.  I suspect this is another film that will not age well.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Poor UPS Guys.

I saw a group of UPS drivers today, and the poor guys even have to wear brown socks with the UPS logo on them.  I'd prefer my own choice of socks, thank you very much.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What Timing.

Walking through the Centre at Circle and 8th Zellers this afternoon I passed through the kitchenware section just as Bill Haley and the Comets performing "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" began to play over the PA.  The song's opening line "Get out from that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans" fit perfectly with my location.  Quite the unintentional timing on my part, and the kind of thing that would likely get me saying all sorts of silly things if I put much significance into coincidences.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Who Missed It, Me Or Them?

Over the years I've read and heard about a lot of conspiracy theories.  The flaws in them are obvious, but they often do show a certain level of creativity.  But one idea came to mind that I'm surprised I've never heard of.  In the late '70s and '80s large numbers of people in Southeast Asia, primarily Vietnamese, fled their homelands by boat, resulting in a refugee crisis and the creation of the term boat people.  Large numbers of these refugees settled in the United States.  Given the effect the Vietnam War had on American society I'm surprised I've never run across any conspiracy theories related to these refugees.  You'd think someone would have claimed that the refugees were participants in some sort of plot against the US.  South East Asian refugees did face problems of racism and cultural clashes with local populations, but I've never heard anyone go beyond this to create a conspiracy theory about them.  Or have I just missed them? 

Gas In Saskatoon, July 23, 2010.

It's been a good while since I've done one of these, especially since I missed the last price change.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 99.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Mystery Of The Universe.

How is Will Ferrell a movie star?  Seriously, why does he get paid the big bucks?  And does he have a screaming fit scene in every movie?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hi There, DHS.

Interesting.  Looking at my blog traffic for the last couple of days I just found I had a visit from someone working for the US Department of Homeland Security located in Arlington, Virginia.  I hope you weren't checking me out as a subversive, whoever you are, because that would be a waste of time and money.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Some People Should Not Play Poker For Money.

Seriously, some people should not spend a cent of their own money playing poker.  Not because they don't have skill, but because they are too volatile.  Sitting here playing an online freeroll tonight I just saw someone go completely on tilt when things didn't go their way, calling another player who offended them various names.  If they get so worked up about a tournament where nothing is involved but a bit of their time I'd hate to see how they'd react to doing poorly in a tournament they actually paid to enter.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Bit More Precise.

The World Cup is over.  Despite all the hype it will be interesting to see how well the broadcasts actually did in North America.  Soccer still has a long ways to go here to getting the regular attention other sports get.  Personally I didn't watch because I find soccer has the same flaw as hockey, too much chasing back and forth for not much result.

On the other hand if you watched other sports on TV during the series you probably saw the same Coke ad I saw multiple times.  It revolved around the story of Roger Milla kickstarting the tradition of celebratory dances after scoring a goal.  Oddly the ad refered to him as "an African named Roger Milla."  Why not give his country?  After all I can't imagine having a Formula One themed ad using phrasing like "an European named Michael Schumacher."  A quick check shows that Milla is from Cameroon.  It would be interesting to know why Coca Cola felt a need not to mention his nationality.  Did they figure North American viewers wouldn't have a clue where Cameroon was?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Annie Understands.

With today's forecast calling for yet more rain we don't need  I figured I'd post another approrpriate YouTube vid, in this case an '80s classic. 

Friday, July 02, 2010


If you're in Saskatoon today you might find yourself thinking of this song.  We could do with someone to.

Full Circle.

The earliest successful form of electronic communication was the telegraph.  It was a text only device, with Morse code eventually becoming the common method of encoding messages.  Hearing the clicking of someone's cell phone keyboard today as he wrote a text message reminded me of the sound of a telegraph receiver clicking away.  Although the method is different, in a way the rise of text messaging is a surprising throwback to that pioneering era.  When most people imagined the future of personal communications devices they likely thought that the video phone would become popular, not typing short messages.  Video phones do see quite a bit of use, but at nowhere near the level many would have thought.  Although the transmission method is different text messages often resemble Morse code telegraph messages, where brevety and the use of abbreviations of various sorts were common.  Then there's Twitter, which has gone from nowhere to ubiquitous in less than 4 years.  I'm sure that Samuel Morse and the other pioneers of telegraphy would find this quite interesting.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Missing A Selection.

A new TV channel has hit the cable scene in Canada.  It's Global Reality Television, a channel devoted to showing reality TV programming.  But looking at the programming offered I see one home grown example is missing.  It's the Total Drama Island franchise.  Teletoon probably holds the exclusive Canadian rights at the moment, but it would interesting to know if the channel would carry a cartoon spoof of reality shows.  Whether this channel will last long enough for them to consider adding TDI is another question.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Airtight Security.

James Nicoll has come up with a brilliant way to prevent the kind of mess that we saw in Toronto on the weekend:  Hold G20 summits on the International Space Station.  The Black Bloc idiots would have a pretty hard time causing trouble when space travel costs far more than they can afford, and the cost of flying the leaders to the ISS is likely less than what was spent on a questionable security effort.  And just think what kind of boost it would give space travel in the public eye.

Answering A Stupid Question.

I was just using Google Maps to see how to get to a place in Saskatoon I'm not familiar with, Van Impe Terrace.  Since this street shares its name with US evangelist Jack Van Impe Google Adsense popped up an ad for some Obama New World Order nonsense.  One section of the ad asks several questions, including 'Why is it that in 2009 there have been over 1 million searches on the keywords "Obama Antichrist" and "Obama Messiah"?'  The answer of course is obvious to people who aren't paranoid kooks, namely that the world is full of people who are paranoid kooks who take things like supposed Biblical prophecy oh so seriously.   So of course a bunch of them are going to look up the term "Obama Antichrist."  The fact they end up changing their candidate for Antichrist every few years as major politicians come and go never gets through to them.  Of course given that the author of this, Mel Sanger, is selling it for 20 bucks a pop there's always the chance he himself isn't a kook, just someone looking to exploit this paranoia.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

You're Just Lazy.

Frankly given the small number of visitors I get I doubt any of you will be reading this.  But if by some chance you're one of the violent twits who have spent the afternooon smashing things in Toronto then the appropriate description for you is lazy.  It takes no effort to smash things.  You're not changing the world.  You're not brave.  You're not making a difference.  That would actually involve physically doing something, like working at a food bank or a homeless shelter.  Even if all you did was write letters to politicians or write a blog you'd be doing more to help promote whatever cause you supposedly believe in.  Instead all you've done is to play into the hands of those who would marginalise legitimate dissent.  Good job, losers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How About Some Omaha?

Just a thought for the folks at shows like Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker. How about the occasional Omaha game instead of Texas Hold 'Em? I'd love to see some of the pros go at it in Omaha, especially someone like Mike the Mouth, who claims his best game is Omaha.  The World Series of Poker broadcasts have covered the game so it's not like regular TV poker viewers will be totally unfamiliar with it.  I know the game can be confusing, but it can also be very exciting given some of the wild swings that can happen in a hand.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Old Timer.

Today I received a nice surprise in change for a twenty, this 1989 issue Canadian 10 dollar bill

This series of bills, along with its counterparts of other denominations, are refered to as "bird" bills by some folks for obvious reasons.  Given the excellent shape of this bill for its age I wonder if it didn't sit in someone's desk drawer or other drawer for a long time.  (The serial number for this ten was removed via edting by me, hence the white areas.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where Are They?

 Hey, Kraft, where the hell have the Kraft Dinner Egg Noodles gone?  You still list them on your Canadian Kraft Dinner page, but I haven't seen a new box in weeks.  I'm thinking this is like last year when the Malted Milk chocolate bar was discontinued, namely that I'm not going to be happy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


That's not how that country name is pronounced.  Stop doing it. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, June 11, 2010.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 98.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Frankly I'm surprised the price went down this week given the ongoing mess in the Gulf of Mexico and the effect it's having on BP.  You'd think they'd use it as an excuse to bump up the price.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh My Quads!

Odd things can happen in poker, and odd things are even more likely when you're playing Omaha.  I'm playing a fixed limit Omaha Hi/Lo freeroll on Pokerstars as I write this.  Just a bit ago I won three hands in a row with quads: quad 4s, another quad 4s, followed by quad 5s.  Now if I had played those hands back to back that would be exceedingly weird, but I didn't play in the hands between those wins.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Absent Inspiration.

The question of whether there is other intelligent life in the Universe, especially technologically advanced life, is one that fascinates many.  There is much discussion regarding such questions as how common such life might be and whether alien beings have the capability of contacting us.  To date no convincing evidence exists to prove or disprove whether such beings exist, unless of course you buy into one of the various fringe theories floating about.

But one of the things that influences such discusssions, and perhaps hamstrings them, is our own experiences.  The only civilisation we know of is our own, and so we tend to base our guesses on what aliens might do and how they might behave on our own, even though we know that they likely won't be much like us physically or mentally. 

While walking about today I saw quite a few birds flying about.  This got me thinking of a potential reason why we might not encounter alien beings even if they exist.  What if they never decided to fly?

From the earliest days of humanity we've been surrounded by innumerable examples of flying beings, ranging from tiny insects to large birds like vultures.  This no doubt led to the human wish to fly, which has been with us for untold centuries and was expressed in myths such as that of Icarus, who died when flying too close to the Sun destroyed his wax and feather wings.  Numerous ideas were conceived of and some even attempted, but it was the Montgolfier brothers of France who created what is generally recognised as the first successful aircraft, the hot air balloon, and who conducted the first successful manned flight in October of 1783.  This proof that human flight was possible led to two centuries of experimentation and development, resulting in today's modern aircraft and both manned and unmanned spacecraft.

But it's not hard to imagine a biosphere with few or no flying creatures.  Absent the examples of our own world would intelligent beings come up with the idea of flying?   Or perhaps a better question is whether enough "people" would come up with the idea, or think it was a doable concept, without easily visible examples in the world around them.  The only "flight" beings on a planet without flying lifeforms would know would be objects and beings falling from high places, or being flung uncontrolled through the air by accidents, the wind, or explosions.  Even the example of their world's equivalent of insects might not be enough, the assumption being made that the principles involved couldn't be scaled up to anything useful.

If aliens never came up with the idea of flying on their own world the idea of travelling to other worlds via vehicles would seem even less likely.  At the very least any such speculation would probably involve methods like teleportation that so far appear not to be pratical. 

Absense of flight doesn't mean such a civilisation wouldn't have advanced technology.  Much of the technology we use would have developed much as it has, flight or not, because it was not directly influenced by the development of aircraft and spacecraft.  But it wouldn't be one hoping to someday meet us in person, and perhaps wouldn't even consider indirect contact possible at all.  So it's possible it's not just capability that will prevent us contacting our alien counterparts, but the failure to even consider the possibility by those on the other end.

Mick Karn, Financial Support Needed.

I found out via this post from his friend David Torn that former Japan/Rain Tree Crow bassist Mick Karn has been diagnosed with cancer, which is in an advanced state.  Given his current poor financial status donations are being sought both to cover medical treatment and to support his family.  So if you're a fan in a position to help check out the link posted by Mr. Torn.

From better days here's Karn and Japan performing "The Art of Parties."

Friday, June 04, 2010

I Disagree.

poker 1

This poster, seen in a bus shelter, is one of several that are part of an anti-gambling addiction campaign from Saskatchewan Health.

poker 2

Here's a closeup of the main text of the ad.  I can't agree with it.  Many people certainly overestimate their skill at poker.  But this ad in my opinion implies poker is far more of a game of chance than it is.  If poker is such  a result of "luck of the draw" why do people like Phil Hellmuth, who has won 11 World Series of Poker bracelets in various events, exist?  How is it possible for people to get better at playing the game?  We're not talking about something like roulette, where the player has no physical influence on the game after he or she chooses the number they want the ball to land on.  My own experience is that I've done better as time has gone on as I've learned what works and what doesn't.  Am I a great player?  Nope, and I know my limitations.  But you won't convince me skill doesn't play a major role in poker.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Glutton For Punishment.

Doug Camilli of the Montreal Gazette does a gossip column for Canwest News Service.  In today's column he covered Patrick Stewart being made a Knight Bachelor by the Queen.  In it he refers to Stewart's "lucrative but laughable years on Star Trek:  The Next Generation."  I can't help but think he must have a masochistic streak given the possible response from Trek fans.  Personally the last thing I'd want to encourage is hundreds of irate e-mails flooding my mailbox.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Playing The Phils.

There have been some pretty odd ideas used for cartoons over the years.  An example would be Rambo and the Forces of Freedom, a kid's cartoon spun off Sylvester Stallone's Rambo movies.  But somehow I doubt we'll be seeing a cartoon based on poker anytime soon.  But you never know.  Watching poker this morning the thought came to mind that if somone were to do a poker cartoon based on Phil Hellmuth the obvious choice to do his voice would be veteran voice actor Billy West.  West wouldn't have much trouble doing a voice recognisable as Helmuth's.  It would be even more appropriate given that one of West's best know roles is that of Phillip J. Fry on the cartoon Futurama, and Hellmuth is a Phillip J. as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Put Down The Bottle.

Do you drink bottled water?  I do very rarely.  I've bought the occasional bottle for use when I'm going to spend a lot of time outside just because it's convenient to carry.  But if you do so thinking you're drinking something more healthy than tap water, think again.  A new study shows that in Canada at least numerous brands of bottled water contain noticeable levels of bacteria.  I would guess this is the same elsewhere.  It seems the industry has done a very good job of convincing us their product is healther than what comes out of the typical tap when this isn't the case, and making a very good profit doing so.  The heterotropic bacteria found apparently won't harm most healthy people, but they're a clear sign the bottlers aren't putting much effort into producing a pure product, and one can't help but wonder what else has made its way into bottled water.

Given that some bottled water brands are produced by the soft drink manufacturers perhaps it's time someone did a study on the microorganism content of those products as well.  I would imagine some of them would just love the sugar content of a Coke or Pepsi.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Narrow Perspective.

Get too interested in the world of celebrities and you might lose sight of the rest of the world.  A brief article about today's ABC Nightline interview with Jesse James caught my eye.  Kat Angus of Canwest News Service describes James' comment that he's currently the most hated man in the world as "the understatement of the century."  I wonder if Angus is serious or mocking here.  If the former that strikes me as rather dumb.  A large percentage of people on this planet have no clue who James is, let alone hate him.  Even a lot of those who do just roll their eyes at the reports on his stupidity, having better things to engage their emotions.  And taken at face value James likely isn't even the most hated man in America these days given how many people have a hate on against Barack Obama.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, May 21, 2010.

It's a holiday long weekend, but the price of gas actually dropped.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 101.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Remember This?

I don't know about you, but I always wondered what Parks Canada was thinking using this piece of music in their 1980s ads.  I like it(nice Minimoog lead), but it's hardly the kind of thing you'd think would attract people to parks.  It sounds more appropriate as a sci fi, spy, or mystery TV theme.  And of course I'll ask the obvious question, does anyone know what music is?

Bull Of It.

I don't drink Red Bull.  But today I came across an empty can, which I grabbed for my recycling pile.  Another ten cents is always nice.  As I walked along I read the warnings on it.  The "recommended daily dose" is one can.  You're not supposed to drink more than 500 millilitres a day of it(one can being 355 millilitres).  Children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers aren't supposed to drink it, and you're not supposed to mix it with alcohol.    I wonder how many people actually pay attention to that set of warnings.  I suspect lots don't, and probably wonder why they have problems without guessing the cause, drinking too much of that stuff.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tea Partiers Want To Be More Like Canada?

Considering a lot of the stuff that's commonly believed by the Tea Party crowd in the States I've tended to assume that they probably don't like Canada much.  But maybe I'm wrong.  Apparently a lot of them want to repeal the 17the Amendment of the US Constitution, which allows direct election of Senators.  Instead they want appointment of Senators to be in the hands of state governments.  That would make it a lot closer to the Canadian Senate, whose members are chosen by the Prime Minster and are not voted for by individual Canadians.   This is ironic given that the most common idea for Senate reform in Canada is to make it elected, although there are also those, like the New Democratic Party, who want the Senate abolished.  Alberta has had elections to fill its Senate candidates, and the current Saskatchewan Party government in Saskatchewan wants to do the same, but the results of these elections are not binding on the Prime Minister.  So it's kind of amusing to see the Tea Partiers move in the other direction.

Free Preview.

If you want some heat, come to Saskatoon over the next couple of days.  They're predicting Summer type weater conditions over the next few days, with the high reaching 30 Centigrade (86 F.) on Tuesday.  A bit odd for the middle of May.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Axe For Idiots.

Have you seen the recent batch of ads for various Ax products?  The company is maintaining its traditional subbasement level standards of ad quality.  One of them is for a deodorant that apparently changes scents as time passes.  It includes a line about how women are easily bored, which is apparently why you should use the product.  This strikes me as just a particularly blatant example of the subtext that runs through all the Ax ads, namely that Ax customers are a bunch of sexist twits.  I wonder how many of the intended target audience get that and as a result avoid Ax products because they've been insulted.

What Was The Sitch?

While riding on the bus today I heard someone's cell phone let out a familiar sound, the "ditditdidit" sound of the Kimmunicator from Disney's Kim Possible cartoon.  A good choice for a ringtone in my opinion, since it's short and low key.  Not familiar with the sound?  You can hear it in the brief YouTube clip below.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Children's Wisdom.

Yesterday while going about my business I was walking towards a woman pushing a little kid in a stroller.  She slowed down a bit to light up a cigarette.  The little guy was looking towards me and shook his head, as if agreeing with me that she shouldn't be smoking around him.

Monday, May 03, 2010

We Approve.


The Saskatoon Health Region has recently started a billboard compaign promoting vaccinating children under two.  Besides the bus ad above I've also seen a billboard as well.  It does make me wonder if there's a lot of antivax nonsense floating around Saskatoon that they feel the need to counter.

Vaccinate your kids.  The antivax arguments are not only silly, they are a risk to childhood health since they lead to children not being vaccinated.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Casting Call.

There's no doubt the ongoing case of Canadian Forces Colonel Russell Williams is one of the odder crime stories to pop up in Canada in recent years.  Williams was commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, one of the most important of Canada's air bases, when he is alleged to have murdered Armed Forces Corporal Marie-France Comeau and bus company employee Jessica Lloyd, as well as raping two other women.  This week he was also charged with multiple counts of break and enter and theft, reportedly of women's underwear, including those of his victims before and after his assaults. And all this went on while he was a very busy man in his role of base commander.  Given the lurid and bizarre nature of the case there's also no doubt a made for TV movie will likely appear based on the story sooner or later.  Thinking about who might be cast in the role the obvious thought was Paul Gross.  Whether Gross would consider playing such a role is another question.  I also wouldn't be surprised if the braintrust at the Law and Order franchise take a crack at the story on one of their shows, altered to make it about a fictitious American military officer of course.

Gas In Saskatoon, April 30, 2010.

Gas prices took a rather annoying jump this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 107.9 cents a litre in most locations, up 6 cents from the previous price.  I haven't heard any explanations yet, but my guess is that the recent oil drilling platform disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may get the blame.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Filling The Gap.

Since the Walmart location in Confederation Mall closed earlier this year there has been a lot of speculation of what might replace it, especially since it was reported soon after that negotiations were underway with a major retailer to fill the space.  We now know that the retailer in question is Canadian Tire.  The obvious question is why.  Canadian Tire already has a large store located just across the street from the mall, one which in its current form isn't that old.  What advantage is there to spending a large amount of money moving the store a short distance, other than gaining more room?  Reportedly the new Canadian Tire will be the largest in the country when it opens in 2011.  According to a CKOM report  negotiations have been in the works for a year, and the move has prompted other unnamed national retailers to consider setting up outlets there as well.  I would guess mall owners ICR made Canadian Tire a very generous leasing offer.  Perhaps they have a potential client for the current Canadian Tire property waiting in the wings as well, as that store will close when the new one opens.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, April 23, 2010.

The trend of once a month price changes has been broken.  Gas is now 101.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CSI Ate My Willpower.

I don't regularly watch CSI, and that's a good thing.  This week I ended up watching some episodes of the damn show, and it led to me sitting around staring at my TV instead of doing stuff.  Spike plays the series a zillion times a week, making it easy to end up blowing a couple of hours watching.  Of course I don't have much willpower too much of the time in any case.

Fresh TV Goes Blogging.

I've made a few posts on here related to the shows produced by Fresh TV, including 6teen, Total Drama Island, and Stoked.  Fresh now have their own blog, dealing with both their current activities and a current series on the history of 6teen.  They also link to Fin McCloud of Stoked's Twitter feed for those of you into Twitter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Show Them Some Love.

After my last post I realised I haven't used my history tag much yet on the blog.  And that got me thinking about all those little used tags that are floating around on this blog and others.  So, lets be nice to our tags and use some of the lesser used ones this week.  Show them they're not forgotten.

Making Assumptions.

I was watching a program on History Television Tuesday night about Cleopatra.  The comment was made that based on a modern reconstruction of what Cleopatra may have looked like Julius Caesar wouldn't have fallen for her because of her looks, because she wasn't hugely beautiful.  But how would anyone know that?  There's no way of knowing what Caesar thought was attractive in a woman.  It's not like he left an autobiography telling us what he found hot.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I have not been in a good mood tonight.  Life's got me down. A new direction is needed, but there is no sign it's coming. So you may not see much from me on here for the next while. 

Unless I feel better tomorrow of course.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Weird Combo.

I took my regular trip up to Long and McQuade today. (L&M is the closest Canadian equivalent to the US Guitar Center chain.)  In the acoustic room I found a slightly weird instrument.  It was a Fender ukelele with a Telecaster type headstock.  Fender isn't a name one associates with ukes, and ukes generally don't come with that style of headstock.  But ukes seem to be a bit more popular of late, so Fender obviously wants a share of that market, and decided to give the instrument a distinctly Fender look.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Give It A Tug.

Another nostalgia find from YouTube.  I don't remember this ad specifically, and I suspect the Canadian market might have had its own specific ads.  But I definitely remember thinking Quasar brand TVs were cool back in the '70s.  I also remember the female vocal bit at the end. For years I would pull on the cabinets of TVs, hoping to find the "works in a drawer," because when you're a little kid a secret drawer full of electronic gizmos is cool!  Now if I could find the spoof of these ads from the '70s Wayne and Shuster shows, which featured a female voice shrieking "Crazar!"

Friday, April 09, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, April 9, 2010.

I don't think I've seen the price of gas this stable in a long time.  After a month of no change the price of gas in Saskatoon finally went up this week.  It is now 103.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Frankly I'm surprised it didn't go up just before the Easter long weekend given the increase in travel at the time.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Different Wording Is Required.

Today I noticed a car with a "Keep Christ in  Christmas" bumper sticker.  Thinking about it I realised the proper bumper sticker should actually read "Keep paganism in Christmas."  After all Christmas isn't the actual date of Jesus' birth, for which no specific date is known.  Rather it was a co-opting of celebrations of the Winter Solstice, moved three or four days later in a rather poor attempt to hide the fact.  Or maybe it was a clever moving of the date, allowing pagans to keep celebrating their traditions while pretending they'd adopted that new fangled Christian stuff.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Hey, Over Here!

It has been reported recently that Stephen Harper intends to replace Governor General Michaelle Jean when her term comes to an end.  It's fair to say a lot of folks will be sad to see her go, as she's proven better in the office than many expected.  In any case I would like to remind Mr. Harper that I'm available for the job.   Just give me a call.  Think outside the box for a change instead of appointing another political insider.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Epidemic Spreads.

Wow, I didn't know it was this bad.  I've previously commented on Hollywood's current bout of remakeitis.  But I didn't realise that there are apparently some 75 remakes and reboots currently in production or development.  Most of those listed are movies, but a few are TV series.  Some really leave me scratching my head, like the remakes of David Cronenberg's The Brood and Videodrome.  Cronenberg's vision is rather personal, so it's hard to see the point of someone else attempting it.  Others, like proposed new Daredevil and Fantastic Four movies, are apparently little more than attempts to make sure someone else doesn't end up with the rights to the properties.  And is anyone really clamouring for a remake of Drop Dead Fred?  Of course someone actually managed to convince the studio bosses that a new version of Red Dawn was a good idea, despite the premise being even more ridiculous than it was way back in 1984, so Drop Dead Fred isn't much of a leap.  But it seems to me that they're missing some opportunities.  I'm sure the rights to the Ma and Pa Kettle franchise are available for very cheap.  Hmmm, any aspiring Spielberg want to team up with me and give it a shot?

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Ends With A Kaboom?

March is just about over, but you could be forgiven if you thought it was the end of April or even May today in Saskatoon.  The temperature reached something like 17 degrees Celcius, a temperature not normally found in March.  Even funnier is that tonight's forecast actually calls for the possibility of thundershowers.  In March.  I don't think I've ever seen a forecast like that before, although I think I did actually see a streak of lightning in Winter some years ago.

Friday, March 26, 2010

In For A Penny.

There has been talk in Canada in recent years, as with other countries, of getting rid of our smallest currency denomination.  In Canada it's the penny.  A fellow I saw today might not be too happy with that if it does happen.  I went into a local Co Op gas station to cash in a lottery ticket.  The guy ahead of me was paying for $5.60 in gas with a bunch of dimes and pennies.  I arrived after it was all spread out on the counter, so I have no idea what the story behind this was.  I was surprised, as I would have thought the clerk would have told him they can't do transactions for that amount with small coins like that.  I'm sure whoever does the tally on the cash drawer tonight will be having some fun, unless of course they've been making sure to give out lots of dimes in change today.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Teh Gud Newz Accordin To Ceiling Cat.

How did I miss this?  December saw the publication of what could be the most important religious book ever published:  Lolcat Bible: In Teh Beginnin Ceiling Cat Maded Teh Skiez an Da Urfs N Stuffs  Now the story of Ceiling Cat and His many works can be read by all. It was translated by Martin Grondin and other members of the LOLcat Bible Translation Project.  I'm sure they made Ceiling Cat very happy, and He will lay plenty of cheeseburgers upon them.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There Should Be More.

During my travels today I walked past a little girl name Oprah.  Thinking about it I'm surprised I've never run across one before. Given how influental Ms. Winfrey is you'd think a lot of little girls would have been named Oprah over the last decade or so.  If they have been there apparently aren't many in Saskatoon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jack Bauer For President?

It wasn't all that many years ago that you would hear a lot of talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger possibly running for the US Presidency.  There was a little problem with the idea, namely that the office of President is limited by the US Constitution to only those born as US citizens, which of course the Austrian former bodybuilder and actor isn't.  But it was felt that his popularity would be enough to generate support for the passing of a Constitutional amendment to overturn that prohibition.

But I get the impression that a lot of that talk has faded away in the last few years.  No doubt this has to do with him becoming Governor of California and actually having to govern someplace.  Not to mention that he didn't turn out to be the hardcore right wing Republican some thought he would be.  Given the decline in such interest I wonder if we won't eventually see some folks wanting Kiefer Sutherland to run for political office, including eventually the Presidency.  After all he's spent the last 8 years being the poster boy for the fantasy of being able to kick the ass of terrorists, no questions asked and no tactics forbidden, as the star of 24, just as Schwarzenegger tended to fulfill that role during the height of his movie career.  So as people are wont to do there might be those who conflate Jack Bauer's persona with Sutherland's and figure he'll be the next Ronald Reagan if he's elected.

 Like Arnie a Constitutional amendment would be needed to allow this, since Sutherland was born in the UK to Canadian parents.  But also like the "Governator" I suspect that if he ever did become a US politician a lot of people would be disappointed because he wouldn't behave like Jack Bauer. 

Know What A Chav Is?

Then you may find this eBay car auction amusing.  Frankly I'm surprised someone didn't get it pulled for the tone of it. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Questions Shouldn't Be Answered.

A good example is why I got a hit today for "gueguen porn" from someone in Turkey.  While I'm not hideous I doubt anyone other than an actual sex partner of mine would want to see naked pictures of me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today's Cassette, March 17, 2010.

Today's entry was cassette number 2 from the Orb's 1993 album Live 93.  Yep, it was a 2 cassette release in that format, and not the only double cassette album I own, the other being Bitches Brew by Miles Davis.  Live 93 isn't exactly the most high fidelity cassette release, or at least my copy isn't, but I think this fits quite well with the music on the album.

From The Mouths Of Cats.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

The statement in this picture is all too often so very true.

Addenda:  Yes, the edge is cut off.  Rather appropriate given the intent of the caption.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Question For Idiots.

What is it that makes you stick your head out the window of a moving vehicle to shout at a random pedestrian you're passing by? 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Three From Japan. One From Japan.

Since I haven't run across anything I wanted to write about the last few days, here's some stuff from YouTube for you to watch.

First up we have the Plastics on Japanese TV in 1979, being interviewed and performing "Top Secret Man."  For many North Americans their first exposure to Japanese rock music was seeing the promo video for this song played on a 1982 episode of SCTV.  Unfortunately the segment also had Dave Thomas in yellowface.  Naughty!  The actual music starts at 1:44, and is in stereo to boot!

Next is Hikashu, performing what is probably  their best known tune, "Pike."  Supposedly this song was orignally written for American guitar band the Ventures, who have always been enormously popular in Japan.  Hikashu frontman Koichi Makigami decided that Hikashu might as well do a vocal version, and it appeared on their 1980 album Natsu, which I actually own a copy of.  The Ventures version appeared on their 1980 album Chameleon.

Behind door number 3 we have two songs from P Model, led by guitarist/vocalist Susumu Hirasawa.  Hirasawa formed P Model in 1979 out of the members of his previous progressive rock band Mandrake.  One of the things I find amusing about the late '80s and early '90s P Model footage found on YouTube is the antics of keyboardist Hikaru Kotobuki.  He's always making faces, rolling his eyes, and in general acting like he'd rather be someplace else.  Yet he would spend a half decade as P Model keyboardist, which would seem to indicate he wasn't too unhappy.

Finally, I'll be a smartypants and finish with one from Japan.  The British group Japan, that is.  This is from the classic British pop TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test.  Guesting along with Japan is Masami Tsuchiya of the Japanese group Ippu Do, who played guitar with them on what would prove to be their farewell tour backing the album Tin Drum, which "The Art of Parties" was the opening track for. 

Monday, March 08, 2010

Long Time Running.

I can only wonder what this bill I entered nearly five years ago has been doing.  Did it get stuck in a drawer or something?  When the current issue of fives was released there was talk the banks were going to pull the 2002 series fairly quickly, so this one apparently escaped that.  Then again I saw someone using a 1986 issue "bird" five a week or two back, so even older bills survive.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

What Is That Thing?

Have you seen the TV ad for the Titan Peeler?  If so, could you tell me what the hell that thing that looks like a giant erect penis is?  Seriously, how the hell did that get past the standards and practices guys?

(No, I don't cook much in the way of veggies.  Why do you ask?)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, March 5, 2010.

It has literally been a month since I've done one of these, the last one appearing on February5th.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 101.9 cents a litre.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Funny Webpages.

I was trying to remember when the last time I looked at a newspaper comic page was.  I haven't a clue, so I suspect it's been years.  It seems the only time I look at an actual newspaper comic strip is when James Nicoll has one of his occasional posts on For Better Or Worse and links to someplace featuring one of the strips.  On the other hand of late I have been reading certain webcomics:

Questionable Content, which seems to be one of the big bigs of the genre given that creator Jeph Jacques apparently makes a reasonable living doing it.  Most webcomics aren't that successful.  It's interesting to compare the very first strip with his current output.  He sure has come a long way artwise.

Penny and Aggie, which at first glance is likely to make you think of Archie.  I'm sure this was part of the intent of its creators, writer T. Campbell and artist Giselle Lagace.  They in fact in its early days hoped to get it syndicated via the traditional newspaper route.  This didn't happen, and in the end was probably better for the comic artistically, not to mention the problems currently being felt by the newspaper biz in the US.  The artwork is currently done by Jason Waltrip, as Lagace wanted to concentrate on other projects such as her sex romp Menage a 3(some content NSFW).  Waltrip and Campbell have had a long collaboration on the series Fans.

Out At Home is a relative newcomer that I've latched on to.  The series revolves around the misadventures of former baseball great Herman Beckett and his family. "More money than sense" is an easy way to describe Herman.   It's Herman's daughter Kate that's probably my favourite thing about the series.  Then there's her friend Penny, who has a secret that ended up being revealed at rather an interesting point in the real world.

Finally there's Toilet Genie.  A dog named Skittlez is granted 3 wishes by a genie chained to a toilet, with not entirely expected results.  A really distinctive art style to be found here, which is what got my interest, although I'm not sure whether I find Skittlez's...transformed appearance attractive or disturbing.  Depends on the panel I guess.