Friday, November 30, 2012

Gas In Saskatoon, November 30. 2012.

This post won't be much of a surprise.  Gas prices have dropped once again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 109.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Looking at my old posts I see that gas hasn't been that cheap in Saskatoon since December of 2010, with the low point that month being 105.9 cents a litre the week of December 24th.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gas In Saskatoon, November 23, 2012.

If you're thinking, "Hmmm, the price of gas has dropped in Saskatoon again," you'd be right.  In fact we had a double drop this week.  Prices fell to 115.9 cents a litre on Monday.  |Today they dropped once again , this time to 111.9 centa  litre, although not every station had changed their prices when I came home this afternoon.  It now seems that my prediction we'd see gas below 110.9 cents a litre before Christmas is probably correct.

Surprisingly Fresh.

After much delay the remake of the 1984 Commie invasion flick Red Dawn finally hit the theatres this week. Seeing a review in the paper this morning I decided to check the Rotten Tomatoes page for the film.  It currently has a rating of 11 percent.  Sure, the film is a failure with the critics, but it's quite a way above the "Watch this film and you might die, it's that horrible!" level of something like Ballistic:  Ecks vs. Severe. It actually has several positive reviews, although even those are of the "damning with faint praise" genre.  Still, positive reviews are positive reviews.

No doubt some US right wing commentators will claim the bad reviews are because US movie reviewers are all a bunch of leftist traitors.  But the reality is that the concept of the film is ridiculous.  It's even more ridiculous given the decision to change the villains in the film to the North Koreans from the Chinese after the bulk of filming was done, delaying the release of the film.  The change came because the studio was afraid the film might not get played in the increasingly lucrative Chinese market with the Chinese as villains.  But it's a decision that may have hurt the film.  Viewers might have a slightly easier time suspending their disbelief with Chinese baddies, but the North Koreans?  Even with the help of the macguffin used in the film they'd have trouble invading a Sandals resort, let alone the United States.

Thinking about the 1984 original I realised this morning I remember nothing of its debut, or the critical reaction at the time.  I remember other Cold War oriented pieces of the era, like The Day After and the later "Soviets conquer the US!" miniseries Amerika, but not the original Red Dawn.  I wonder what distracted my attention.

It will be interesting to see how much money the film makes.  Will the nostalgia some people have for the original fill theatre seats?  Will the premise draw in younger viewers?   The initial box office results will probably tell the tale.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A 96.3 Update.

This afternoon I spotted an ad on a bus shelter for the upcoming replacement for Wired 96.3.  The sign gave no clue as to what the new format will be, merely indicated the planned debut at noon on Boxing Day, December 26th.  If there aren't some already I would imagine we'll see large ads on some of the many advertising billboards in Saskatoon in short order.

It would be interesting to know how long the changeover has been in the works,. and why the Wired on air staff was let go.  I would guess the latter is to give the new station a fresh start, and perhaps we'll see an older group of DJs more in keeping with the rumoured oldiers/classic hits format.  One or more veterans of the Saskatoon radio scene, perhaps?

My previous posts on the demise of Wired 96.3 can be read here and here.  Harvard is currently running the transmitter on 96.3 megahertz as Santa FM, so if you're a |DXer that's why you're hearing nonstop Christmas music if you've got your Yagi aimed this way.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


James Nicoll does not like Michael Ignatieff.  And he has come up with a rather nasty putdown of "Iggy."  He says Ignatieff is our Mitt Romney.  Somehow I doubt James is going to be sent a copy of Ignatieff's next book for review.

Waterproof PC?

I'm guessing there probably is such a thing, and this morning I thought it would be nice to own one.  I swear that some of my best blog post ideas come when I'm in the shower.  But in the end it wouldn't be a good idea for me to have one.  I spend too much time in the shower as it is.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wired Update.

Here's a followup to my post from earlier today about the demise of Wired 96.3.  Owners Harvard Broadcasting have announced the station will begin broadcasting in a new format  at noon on December 26th.  Presumably Harvard has already hired a new on air staff for the new format, as a little bit over a month would seem a rather tight timeline to launch and complete a successful search for new employees.  Of course this being the 21st Century it is possible that there won't be any local on air personalities, that the station will present programming from elsewhere, controlled by computer.  What will it be?  As I said in my previous post I'm not sure what might be a viable replacement format, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Addenda:  Just after posting this I did a bit of looking around to see other reactions about Wired's demise.  Apparently there are rumours floating around that the new format may be classic hits or oldies under the name Cruise FM, or Cruz FM.    

Gas In Saskatoon, November 16, 2012.

It's Friday again, and I have yet another gas price change to report.  And the trend of dropping prices continues.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 117.9 cents a litre at most locations.  If this keeps up we might see 110.9 cents a litre gas, or even lower, by the time Christmas rolls around.


The Saskatoon radio scene has taken a hit.  FM station Wired 96.3 closed up shop yesterday.  The staff was let go, and the station will play Christmas music for the remainder of the year as Santa FM, when owners Harvard Broadcasting will decide what to do with the transmitter.  Ironically this is the same format the station used when it was doing its final tests before officially hitting the air in July of 2008.

I was skeptical when the station opened that there was enough listenership, and hence ad revenue, to support another contemporary pop station.  It would seem I was right, unfortunately.  I think it's telling that the station would fire its staff with more than a month to go until Christmas, instead of waiting until year's end.        I'm guessing the station's revenues weren't covering its staff costs, and it was losing too much money to continue operating even a few weeks longer.

Next July would have been the station's fifth anniversary.

What format might Harvard replace Wired with?  I really don't have an idea.  We have 2 country stations, one each on AM and FM, so that seems unlikely.  A rock station?  Competing with Rock 102 FM might not be a much better idea that competing with C95 was in the current format.  I can't imagine a news/talk station, as that would seem to be a waste of an FM stereo transmitter, and the format is already served by CKOM and CBC Radio One.  Even a Christian music format would have competition in the form of Free 100.3, although the tiny Free would likely be the loser in that kind of battle.  Would an oldies format work here?  Perhaps.  There is an AM oldies station easily heard in this market, Melfort's CKJH on 750 khz AM, but a stereo FM format might take much of their Saskatoon listernship, whatever it might be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beat You!

Haha, American right wing conspiracy types, you won't get to publish this silly conspiracy theory first!  here we go:  Michelle Obama will run for President in 2016, so she can continue Barack's evil plan whatever the hell it is you lot think he really plans to do.  Turn you all into Muslims?  Sell the White House and Statue of Liberty to China?  Whatever.

At the very least this idea will probably be coming to one of the tabloids sooner or later, even if Worldnedaily or some other part of the crankosphere doesn't do it.  But remember, you read it here first!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Gas In Saskatoon, November 9, 2012.

It has definitely been a while since this has happened.  For the third consecutive week we've had a gas price change, and it's yet another price drop.  Gas in \Saskatoon is now 119.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Will it drop agian next week?  Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Assembled For Your Convenience.

Here's a fun one via a post by Ed Brayton.  Mother Jomes has assembled a Venn diagram of various Obama conspiracy theories.  The one about Obama killing Granny Obama to cover up that  he's an evil Kenyan non-American is a new one by me.  The one that's he's trying to smuggle in 100 million Muslims to overwhelm the US wasn't.  But even that one isn't as silly as the Obama went to Mars theory.  So, do you have a favouite out of these?  And of course we all know there's likely to be several missing here.  Sooner or later someone will no doubt claim Obama isn't really black, but a white dude who used some secret trick to make himself look of African descent so he could impliment Communism at the behest of the KGB.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Here in Saskatoon we get our ABC, CBS, and NBC feeds from Detroit.  (Our Fox feed is from Rochester, New York for some reason.)  So I was treated(not) to various Michigan political ads, including those for and against Senator Debbie Stabenow.  Smartypants that I am I found myself calling her Stabby when I saw her ads.  Does anyone else call her that?

Incidentally, for those who weren't following the Michigan campaign, Stabenow won her third term as Senator.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Vote, Americans.

Chances are by the time you read this it will be time for you to vote.  So, if you can, make sure you get out and vote today.  Honestly, you owe the rest of us for making us put up with your damn campaign for the last year and a half.  You seriously need to find a way to make the process less complicated and less drawn out.  It's just getting to be too much.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


Remember this one? If you remember hearing it in the '70s, you're old. "Good Friends" was released in 1971, and in a way it sounds like kind of a throwback for 1971. Susan Jacks sounds a bit like Connie Francis, and the tune has a feel like the kind of weepies Francis was known for. Then there's that bassline, which sounds to me like it came from a polka tune, and is kind of odd for a pop tune in the aftermath of hte more melodic bass playing people like James Jamerson and Paul McCartney popularised.

According to Wikipedia the two Poppy Family albums remain unreleased on CD or digital download. Weird. There must be an interesting ownership story involved. And perhaps at this point there's another problem, namely that the multitrack and master tapes don't exist anymore or can't be found. So if you've got this on vinyl you should treat it well, as you might not get another chance to own it.

Gas In Saskatoon, November 2, 2012.

A day late on this one, but just as well.  This week turned out to be a double dip.  Early in the week gas prices fell to 124.9 cents a litre.  Then over the course of Friday they fell again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 121.9 cents a litre.  The price drop may be due to the Co Op refinery in Regina going back into full production after damage from an explosion in October last year, and a fire this year in May, was repaired.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

When I Rule The World 15.

All businesses will be required to have multiple clocks located in various places.  That way customers will have an easier time of keeping track of what time it is, how long they've been shopping, and so on.