Sunday, January 31, 2010

End Of An Era.


Today marks the end of an era.  It is the last day Saskatoon Transit will use bus tickets and conventional bus passes.  You can see examples of the adult monthly passes they've issued over the last few years in this photo.


This is the final paper pass issued, covering January of 2010.  The switchover was chosen for the beginning of February given that the World Junior Hockey Championship was running in Saskatoon at the start of January and they wanted to avoid complicating  things for visitng bus users.


Passes and bus tickets have been replaced with this, the resuable Go-Pass Smart Card.  A disposable one day version is also available.  The buses have all had electronic fare boxes installed that will read these passes as well as accept coins, which they will count to ensure you pay the right amount.  Paper money will no longer be accepted, which is just as well given that paper money tended to jam up the old coin tubes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Just Like You."

Not much to say here.  I just happen to like this tune and felt like posting it.  You can hear it in stereo if you switch it from 360p to 480p mode on the YouTube player.  But if you want to own a physical copy good luck.  This came off of FM's 1985 album Con-Test, which to the best of my knowledge is long out of print.  LIke all sorts of albums I'm skeptical the original master tape exists anymore, and even if it does it likely would require FM themselves to rerelease it.  Of course if you really want it you could go hunting online for an mp3 rip.  And while I'm at it I'll say "too bad" to anyone brought here by a search for the later British group FM.  Cameron Hawkins and Nash the Slash used the name first.

Gas In Saskatoon, January 29, 2010.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 96.9 cents a litre. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Demographics Of Foreign Adoption.

One of the ongoing elements in Canadian coverage of the Haiti earthquake is the fate of Haitian orphans who were in the process of being adopted by Canadian families when the quake hit. Watching these reports I began to notice that all of the adopting families appearing in the reports I saw are white. Aren't black Canadians, including Haitian Canadians, adopting Haitian children? Furthermore pondering this got me thinking about the wave of Canadian couples who in recent years have been adopting orphans from China. Again, those that appear in the media when the subject is covered have been white. Don't Asian Canadians adopt children from China? Mixed couples also seem to be missing from such reports.

So, what are the demographics of foreign adoptions? Are these news reports an accurate reflection of the ethnic makeup of Canadians adopting children from Haiti and China, or are we seeing an example of some other factor at work? And if Canadians from minority communities aren't adopting abroad why not?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Official Site.

A regular part of my Saturday morning in recent months has been watching poker shows on GameTV, the Canadian game show channel. The ad content during the broadcasts is heavy on gimmicky stuff to mail order, like the Slap Chop and goofy exercise devices. This includes an ad for the Prayer Cross, a crystal and silver charm that has the Lord's Prayer imbedded in the centre. When you hold it up to a source of light you can see the prayer appear. And to my surprise it actually has its own official site. Yeah, I know, you're probably sitting there going "Well, duh, idiot." Frankly this "unique spiritual accessory," as the ads call it, seems extremely cheesy to me. But I'm sure it has a wide appeal given that we live in a world where people get all excited when a spot of oil or a cheese sandwich looks vaguely like Jesus. Many people's religious faith is in fact as deep as the kind of puddle that would dry up to leave a Jesus shaped blotch, so they're likely to be mighty impressed by this thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reviewing Available.

Got a book, movie, TV show, or audio recording you're desperate to have reviewed online? Drop me a line at the e-mail address at the top of the blog and we can work something out. I'm serious, this is more than just a lame attempt to get free stuff.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Ever seen a movie called Scream For Help? Me neither, but oddly enough I do own soundtrack music from it. John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin composed a bunch of songs heard in various places in the film, and they were released on LP, which for some reason I bought. This was in the era when I bought all sorts of stuff just because it had a familiar name on it, which led to some good finds and to some stuff that really didn't do anything for me. In any case someone has uploaded material from the album to YouTube, including the catchy synthpop number above, "Bad Child," which included JPJ on lead vocals. Zep buddy Jimmy Page and Jon Anderson of Yes appear on other tracks. From the reviews of the film I've seen I'm guessing not having seen it isn't much of a loss.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What Would Tommy Think?

Keifer Sutherland said in an interview this week that 24 "has been one of the greatest gifts of my life." That's putting it mildly. Before the series hit the air and promptly became a smash hit it was starting to look like Sutherland would be best known as a footnote in Julia Roberts' love life. But thinking about the content of the series I can only wonder what his grandfather, Tommy Douglas, would think of it? As for me personally I've only seen maybe 5 minutes of 24, so my opinion on the series isn't that interesting.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Cloudy Future.

Yesterday I was up at Confederation Mall, located on Saskatoon's west side. Walking into Wal Mart it was obvious something was up. The store was short of a large amount of merchandise, and various fixtures were in the process of being moved. In other words it's quite obvious the store is being closed. A new and significantly larger Wal Mart is opening on the west side at the Blairmore Suburban Centre, making the current store obsolete. This of course brings up the question of the fate of Confederation Mall. Wal Mart has been a major draw to that mall for the last 15 years. It's hard to think of a new tenant that might take up that space given the rise of big box shopping areas in Saskatoon, which are likely to be more appealing to such a tenant. There are still of course various stores present, including a Safeway, but are they enough to keep customers coming? Confederation Mall does have the advantage of being one of the major Saskatoon Transit hubs on the west side, so perhaps that will help the mall survive.

Never The Right Time.

Premier Brad Wall says there will probably be a non binding vote on the next provincial election ballot on the question of bring Daylight Savings Time to Saskatchewan. Why bother? DST is a silly idea, an anachronism from the days when much of the world didn't have electric lighting. It would be a big problem for Saskatchewan to implement given that the division between time zones runs down the middle of the province. Those close to the provincial borders would want the time zone to be that of Alberta or Manitoba, and would likely be annoyed at their side not beng chosen. So let's just say no.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Almost Time To Say Goodbye.

If you're a fan of Teletoon's long running cartoon 6teen be sure to mark your calenders for February 11th. According to a post on the Unofficial Fresh TV Forums the final episode of the series will air on that date. The series has had a good long run on Teletoon, originally debuting in the fall of 2004. Too bad it won't make the 100 episode mark, but it has outlasted much of what Teletoon debuted at the same time, and its success led to Fresh TV's hit Total Drama franchise and their current surf resort comedy series Stoked. It's also too bad it didn't have better luck on US TV. Nickelodeon played it briefly in 2006, and Cartoon Network's success with TDI and TDA led to their picking it up last year, although their airings have ended up being spotty. Even with the final episode airing 6teen will all but certainly be airing on Teletoon in reruns for a long time given how well it did for them, and given that less successful shows have been replayed multiple times by the network.

How Not To Play Poker.

I'm currently playing a poker tournament over at Pokerstars. It's a mixed game, alternating between Pot Limit Hold 'Em and Pot Limit Omaha High. One of the players currently on my table actually asked how you play Omaha. Seriously, it should be obvious to anyone with a clue that you don't play a game unless you have at least a vague clue of the way it works.

As for me I'm not doing great, but at least I finally managed to win a hand. I'd hate to go through a tournament and not win at least one hand.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Anyone Here Speak Japanese?

Doing some maintenance work on the blog I noticed that this post, featuring a YouTube video of Japanese rockers Yura Yura Teikoku, has 86 responses! Unfortunately they're all in Japanese, so I'm wondering if any of them are legit comments about the post, or they're just comment spam. So, if you can read the language please let me know. If they are just spam a bunch of people sure wasted a bunch of effort given that this is an English language blog whose readers are mostly English speakers.

Gas in Saskatoon, January 8, 2010.

Slow start to 2010 here on the blog, but there's always this reliable excuse to post. Gas in Saskatoon is currently 100.9 cents a litre, or if you prefer one dollar and nine tenths of a cent per litre.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Gas In Saskatoon, January 1, 2010.

Gas prices went up in Saskatoon this week. Gas begins the year in Saskatoon at 97.9 cents a litre. The previous price held for almost a month.

Welcome To 2010.

We all made it once more into a new year. Hopefully this year will be better for all of us than 2009. I hope mine will be.