Friday, September 25, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, September 25, 2015.

Last week it was up, this week it's down.  Gas in Saskatoon is 103.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I suspect it will hover just around the 100 cent mark for a week or two yet.

More Output!

Yes, I need to write more here.  Seriously, 10 posts in three weeks?  Unacceptable!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, September 18, 2015.

The prices at the pumps go up and down, up and down, up and down!

Unfortunately the direction in Saskatoon this week was up.  Gas in Saskatoon rose to 105.9 cents a litre at most locations.

This did lead to one interesting thing.  The gas pumps at the Shell station at the corner of 8th Street and Acadia Drive are currently out of service for maintenance.  Yet the price displayed on their digital sign went up just like the other stations.  This makes me wonder whether their sign isn't automatically adjusted someplace else, with no input from them.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What Would Maggie Think?

Barack Obama has been advocating for a woman to appear on the US ten dollar bill.  In last night's Republican candidate debate Jeb Bush suggested Margaret Thatcher.  It makes me wonder what she'd think.  No, not what she'd think of her face being on the bill.  She would have loved that.  No, I wonder what she'd think of the current batch of candidates.  I wouldn't be surprised if she thought they were a bunch of clowns.  Whether she'd say it in public is another question.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mmmm, Roast Beef Sandwich.

So, did I make you hungry?  I just had one, with the best kind of roast beef, the home made kind.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Another year has gone by, and once more it's Breakaway Day.  On this day 16 years ago a massive explosion of Nuclear Disposal Area 2, on the Moon's far side, sent the Moon out of Earth's orbit, flinging it into deep space.  For the survivors on Moonbase Alpha it was the beginning of a journey across the Universe.

In our world this year also marks the fortieth anniversary of Space: 1999 hitting TV screens in the UK and elsewhere.  For those of us who saw the show when it was new it's weird to think we first saw it that long ago.  At the time it was the only new science fiction TV series set in space, its contemporaries such as The Six Million Dollar Man and The Invisible Man being set primarily or entirely on Earth. 

Space: 1999 was created in an era when the possibilities for manned space exploration seemed huge.  Men had landed on the Moon, Skylab was active, and plans were in the works for the joint Soviet-American Apollo-Soyuz mission.  So it's no surprise that the series envisioned manned spaceflights to the outer Solar System in the mid '80s and '90s, and a manned base on the Moon.  Years later Gerry Anderson would admit he was overly optimistic in setting the show in 1999, but everyone else was thinking the same kind of things as well.  Of course we would have a base on the Moon soon.  Unfortunately for everyone space travel in the real world proved a lot more complicated than it did on TV.

As with everything else fandoms for television have changed a lot in that forty years.  It's funny to think of how fandom then was pretty much entirely based around printed material, including whatever licensed material was released in connection with a series, articles in commercial publications and newspapers, and fan publications exchanged between local fans or sent by mail.   By modern standards the amount available was generally quite limited, and it often took weeks or even months for news to reach fans.  Things like fan art and fanfiction existed, but distribution was limited to the small publishing runs of whatever fan publication it was submitted to. 

I watched "Breakaway" tonight on a Sony Walkman.  No, the tiny screen isn't an optimal way to watch a TV episode, but it seemed appropriate to watch it on something that would have seemed amazingly high tech and exciting to the 8 year old version of me who watched the series in 1975 and 1976, a gizmo that could have been lifted right from the set of the show itself.  (Well, perhaps if it was beige plastic, not the lovely wine colour mine is.)  Even being able to watch an episode whenever you want would have seemed exciting in an era before people owned VCRs to record things, and before commercially released TV episodes existed.  That's of course one of the greatest changes from the mid '70s, the instant access to programs and information we have.  And of course it's something that isn't reflected at all in the series. But hey, most other science fiction of the '70s didn't get it right either.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, September 11, 2015.

Gas prices have dropped below the dollar mark, albeit barely.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 99.4 cents a litre at most locations.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Toronto Isn't Canada.

Look around and you'll see a bunch of "Today is the first day of school in Canada" stuff, such as newspaper articles and a banner for Google's Canadian users.  That may be the case in Toronto, but it isn't everywhere in Canada.  In Saskatoon for example public school classes for grade school and high school kids started September 1.  Remember, Toronto isn't the centre of the Universe, or Canada.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Riders Win.

Finally.  It seemed at times so far this season they might never win.  They played well, better than they'd played in a good while, and the number of penalties Winnipeg received didn't hurt.  And the funny thing is, with 8 games left in the season, the Riders could still make the playoffs.  It seems unlikely, but weirder things have happened.

Byebye Retro, Hello CN Canada.

I've never watched Teletoon Retro, their channel for old cartoons, much.  So I was surprised to see it listed as "Off Air" on my Shaw cable box this morning.  But programming was running when I turned to the channel.  It turns out that Corus, the owner of Teletoon Retro, has folded the channel in favour of Cartoon Network Canada. CN Canada hadn't been previously available from some major Canadian providers, such as Shaw and Rogers, for reasons known only to them.  Teletoon Retro had wider carriage, so replacing it with CN Canada instantly increased the latter's coverage.  So if you've been waiting for CN Canada to appear on your cable package check out your local listings.  It should be noted that some systems have had Teletoon Retro replaced with Corus's new Disney Channel Canada.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

First Out.

Condolences to Cincinnati Reds fans.  The Reds unfortunately became the first MLB team eliminated from winning their division.  It's going to be a long month for you guys.  The Brewers will probably be joining the crowd within the next day or two.  Both teams are technically still in contention for the wildcard, but that door too is getting pretty close to closing. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Drive A Little Slow.

It's September 1, so don't forget that school speed zones are now in effect in Saskatoon Monday to Friday.  So when you see those signs slow to 30 kilometers an hour.  An added incentive to slow down is that some school zones, such as the one along Konihowski Road, have photo radar equipment.  So you can get a ticket even without cops being on the scene.  So those few seconds you think you'll save by ignoring the signs could be quite expensive.

And do you really want to risk hitting a kid?