Friday, June 28, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 28, 2013.

Despite what many might have expected, the price of gas has gone down again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 126.4 cents a litre at most locations.  A nice present if you're gassing up for a long drive this Canada Day weekend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Listening To A Ghost.

Since it's a nice evening I decided to take my Grundig G5 shortwave portable outside and tune around a bit, hoping to avoid a bit of the indoor electrical noise.  As I turned the dial I came across a preacher that sounded familiar.  I assumed it was Pastor Pete Peters with his Scriptures For America program and sure enough that's who it was.  Peters, a believer in the racist Identity brand of Christianity, was a fixture on shortwave when I was a heavy listener in the early '90s.

But when I typed "Scriptures For America" into Google I got a surprise.  Peters died in 2011.  I'd been listening to a ghost!  Or, rather, even though he's dead the miracle of audio recording allows Peters to keep spreading his racist claptrap from beyond the grave.  Too bad.  Incidentally the show didn't note that Peters has died.

The church Peters ran in LaPorte, Colorado, apparently only has 100 members.  I wonder where they've been getting the money to pay for his broadcasts all these years, along with their other activities. 

A Grammar Note.

I know it can be confusing given other parts of English grammar, but it's is a contraction of it is, not the possessive form of it.  The possessive form of it is its.  An example pair of sentences:  It's June 27th.  Target has not opened its new stores in Saskatoon yet.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 21, 2013.

The trend downwards continues.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 128.4 cents a litre at most locations.  It will be interesting to see if the flooding in southern Alberta has any effect on the price over the next week.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's A Fact.

Power outages are annoying.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Perhaps Too Late.

July 3 will see the release of the latest big screen version of The Lone Ranger.  The relatively unknown Armie Hammer(who is the great-grandson of 20th Century American industrialist Armand Hammer) is in the title role, with the real star power coming from Johnny Depp as Tonto.  The latter casting has generated a lot of controversy, with many looking askance at a white actor playing a Native American.  Depp has claimed he has Native American ancestors, but the fact Depp isn't quite sure what tribe they actually were a part of hasn't helped dissuade the criticism. 

As a result some folks are hoping the film will flop.  I think there is in fact a chance the film won't make money, but not because of the Depp controversy.  A lot of people won't know about it before seeing the film, and many who do won't care.

Rather, I question the viability of the Lone Ranger character in the 21st Century.  A large percentage of the current film going public aren't familiar with the character.  The last attempt at reviving the franchise, a 2003 made for TV movie intended as a pilot for a TV series, failed.  I don't have the impression there's much of a Lone Ranger fandom around, and I question whether the character has much of a following outside North America..  So I wouldn't be surprised if the film does poorly.  And with a purported 250 million dollar budget a lot of bums are going to need to be in a lot of seats to break even.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Not A Surprise.

The Death Merchant "postmodern pulp" novel series, written by the late Joseph Rosenberger, has come up on this blog more than once.  I have a perverse fondness for those books, even if they are bad by various objective criteria.  Not much is known about Rosenberger.  He was never an important enough writer to generate much press attention.  But we've been given a new look into the man, however limited it might be.  Joe Kenney, on his blog Glorious Trash, has printed a 1985 letter written by Rosenberger, courtesy of an anonymous contributor.  The article also has a picture of Rosenberger and his wife Virginia, taken in 1984.  

Much of the letter won't be a surprise if you're familiar with the Death Merchant books.  Rosenberger wasn't a pleasant person, and the racism found in the letter can also be found in the books themselves.   But the bits he reveals about his life are quite interesting, as is the glimpse the letter gives us into the goings on at Pinnacle Books, and the mass market paperback publishing business in general, in the early '80s. 

That Rosenberger apparently tried to sell the Death Merchant series to Gold Eagle makes me wonder what might have happened if he'd been successful.  What would a post Rosenberger Death Merchant have been like?  Presumably either a lot closer in tone and attitude to the Mack Bolan universe books Gold Eagle still publishes, or perhaps they would have pushed it in the black humour/parody direction of The Destroyer books. Then again it might have vanished like most of the other similar book series spawned by the success of The Executioner.  Whatever the case, I doubt Rosenberger would have been happy with the results.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wrong Again!

Over on Pharyngula the ad keyword software popped out a funny.  It's an ad for how to become a life coach, offering free training.  No one in their right mind would hire me as a life coach, no matter how much training I had.  Of course given the rise in the number of folks practicing the concept in recent years I suspect that applies to a lot of life coaches.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 14, 2013.

Given today's monsoon-like weather I hope you didn't have to gas up your car if you live in Saskatoon.  But if you did it cost you a tiny bit less than it did last week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 130.4 cents a litre at most locations.  With the July 1st long weekend coming up it will be interesting see which way the next price change goes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Go Simple.

There's been some discussion lately of what the new Circle Drive South bridge, soon to open for use here in Saskatoon, should be named.  A number of people have been suggested.  One is Christopher Yorath, Saskatoon's first city commissioner, who envisioned what we now know as Circle Drive.  But maybe they're thinking too hard.  Perhaps they should just give it a single, simple name.  Call it the Robert Bridge.  Or the Tara Bridge.  Just don't be like some modern parents and make it something Kayleyeee, with a bunch of extra, unneeded letters added.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Neck And Neck.

I have no interest in seeing it, but I've been curious about what the reaction to the just released dystopian thriller The Purge would be.  Given what many people think is a less than believable premise, that a future US dictatorship would allow one night a year where any crime is permissible, I expected the critical reaction would be poor.  Instead it's turned out to be considerably better than I expected.  It's currently rated at 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, based on the reviews of pro movie critics..  No, not good, but far from the depths some films have reached.  40 percent means 4 out of 10 reviewers liked the film.  I expected the positives to be much lower.  Even more interesting has been the response of  the general public, as recorded at Rotten Tomatoes.  Only 43 percent of visitors to the site gave The Purge a positive rating.  I expected it to be higher.  Interesting to see how close the public and pro reaction is.

Apparently a sequel to The Purge is already in the works, buoyed along by an opening take of 37.5 million bucks worldwide, versus a reported budget of only 3 million bucks.  I'm a bit skeptical of that budget figure.  I would have thought Ethan Hawke would still be enough of a name to make that kind of salary by himself.  Whatever the case it's all but certain The Purge 2 will be in a theatre near you within the next couple of years.   The obvious question though is how many of those who disliked the original will see the sequel, and what effect their word of mouth might have on audiences for it.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Later Than Expected.

I thought I was going to go to bed an hour ago, as I was falling asleep.  Yet here I am.

Funny how things like that happen.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 7, 2013.

Well, I missed last week's price change.  But I won't miss this week's.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 131.4 cents a litre at most locations, a drop from the previous price.  I suspect the next price change will be up, but I've been wrong before.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A Little More For The Estate.

I get regular product emails from the good folks at Fender.  Among the products in the latest one is the Elvis Kingman acoustic guitar.   He apparently played one of the originals in the 1967 movie Clambake.  Seeing this I immediately started to wonder what kind of fees Fender is paying to the Presley estate.  Obviously they're low enough that Fender is willing to use his name to try to sell this thing, as Fender's acoustic guitars have never been particularly popular.

More that one guitarist has wondered why Fender has never released a Buddy Holly Stratocaster, as Holly was one of the early proponents of the instrument.  Supposedly the answer is that Holly's widow wants very high endorsement fees, and is hard to work with.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Evening Fox.

I went out for a walk tonight, which I probably shouldn't have because I'm going to be doing a lot of walking tomorrow.  But I'm glad I did.  As I came around the corner onto the street I live on a fox ran across the street about 30 feet in front of me.  It was running from one alley to another.  It was presumably a Red fox, as an Artic fox presumably doesn't get this far south.  I live close to a major highway, so it no doubt had easy access from the country.  But it was still quite the surprise to see one.

When I mentioned this to my father he said he and my mother saw a fox a few blocks from here when they left for their trip to the US a few weeks ago.

I've seen other non-city comfortable wildlife in Saskatoon.  I've seen deer in a couple of places over the years, including one that ran into the streets that flank College Drive.  I've also seen rabbits several times, including in Buckwold Park near where I live.

If you do run across fox, deer, and other large animals in your town, keep your distance.  Cornering them may lead them to attack you.