Sunday, December 31, 2017


I don't know how long it had been since I last weighed myself, but I decided it was well past due this morning.  I wasn't surprised that I've put on some weight, but not as much as I thought.  I'm planning on cutting down on some of my unnecessary eating in 2018, but I've still got some Christmas goodies around to munch on. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Right One.

I entered my last bill of the year into Where's Willy this morning.  Appropriately it was a 2017 $10.  They were issued in 2017 as part of the commemoration of Canada's 150th birthday.  So far I've entered 27 bills from this series, and have 2 hits on them.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, December 29, 2017.

The last entry of the year sees some price relief.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 107.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Will the first price change of 2018 be down or up?  Stay tuned.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Don't Freeze.

Seriously, if you're in Saskatoon don't be one of those mindless sheep who has to be at Bestbuy for its 6 AM opening.  No piece of consumer junk is worth freezing your butt off for hours on end at minus 30.  And I'm sure someone is getting ready to get in line even as I write this, so they can be first.

That Smell.

No, not the Lynyrd Skynyrd tune.  Rather the lovely smell of turkey is getting stronger.  It's nice to have turkey for Christmas.  So, I might be making you hungry.  On the other hand if you don't like eating creatures I might be making you less hungry.


A Fight Network ad break that doesn't include a Dr. Ho pain relief ad.

Yes, I've been watching Fight Network a lot the last while.

Last Presents.

For Christmas my mom gave me a t shirt and a pair of pants purchased at Sears.  These will be the last gifts I received that were purchased at Sears, as Sears Canada is going out of business, the stores currently well into their final liquidation sales.  Back in December of 2014 I mused whether that might be Sears last Christmas in Canada.  I was only off by three years.  Yet another victim of the changing retail market.

Mocking The Clickbait 11: Wanna Date?

5 Psychological Traits of EliteSingles Men.

My guess is that one of them is that they're arrogant enough to think they're an "EliteSingle," but I doubt that's one of the ones they list.  It's generally not a good idea to insult your customers.(Unless of course you're trying to sell something to specific people who like that kind of thing.)

Glad To Stay Home.

Barring a major emergency I have to reason to leave the house.  I'm very glad, because it's horribly cold today.  It's currently minus 29 C. with an extreme cold warning in effect because of the wind chill.  Daytime highs are supposed to stay below the minus 20 mark for the rest of the week.  This will be the coldest Christmas period in several years.  Last year's daytime high for December 25 was -14.6, balmy by comparison to today's predicted -24. 

Wind does make a difference to what a cold day feels like.  Minus 29 with a wind feels nastier than minus 29 with no wind. 

What I'm going to do tomorrow remains to be seen.  I had some plans, but this weather makes them somewhat more difficult to pull off than it would if it were warmer. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve On A Sunday.

I went out a couple of times today, and surprisingly it didn't seem much busier than any other Sunday.  I was at Centre Mall during the lunch hour, and while it was busy it didn't seem like a Christmas Eve shopping day.  Perhaps it got busier as the afternoon progressed.  I just came back from the 8th Street Real Canadian Superstore, and it too didn't seem extra busy.  Of course it was busy, simply because that store is always busy in the afternoon, no matter what day it is.

Hopefully if you had to do some shopping today it wasn't a madhouse.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, December 22, 2017.

Someone definitely deserves a lump of coal in their stocking.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 112.9 cents a litre at most stations.  It jumped up twice this week after being  at 98.9 cents on Monday.  So for every 10 litres a driver puts in their vehicle they're paying an extra $1.40 compared to Monday. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Another Blip.

It's alive!  There's actually been an update to Blip this month.  Hopefully this is a sign we're going to see more soon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Brown Christmas.

That's what appears to be in store for Saskatoon.  After several weeks where the temperature frequently came close to or went above freezing it's getting colder.  But that cold weather apparently isn't  bringing any snow.  So all the patches where the snow melted away will remain uncovered.  So don't expect to make snowmen or what have you if you're visiting Saskatoon for Christmas this year.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Cooking Tip.

If you're making Puritan Beef Stew try throwing some frozen peas in when you start heating it up.  They seem to work pretty good for me when I use them.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, December 15, 2017.

There's a bit of relief to report.  Most Saskatoon stations are now selling gas at 101.9 cents a litre.  Hopefully the decline will continue next week.


I was just doing some cleaning, and in a bag of random stuff I found a couple of Radio Shack brand AAA batteries.  Since the now defunct Circuit City purchased the Canadian outlets of Radio Shack in 2004 those batteries had to be at least 13 years old.  I suspect they were older than that.

Monday, December 11, 2017

No Endorsement Offer Forthcoming.

It was reported over the weekend that Donald Trump, along with his already known overfondness for McDonalds food, drinks as much as a 12 pack of Diet Coke daily.  That's a lot of caffeine a day, which might explain his early morning Twitter blasts.  He probably doesn't sleep much, and might be edgy at times.  It's probably worse if he drinks any amount of coffee.  He probably has to make a lot of trips to the bathroom as well.

Even if he wasn't as unpopular as he is I doubt Coca Cola would be offering him an endorsement offer.  "The Drink of Presidents" might work if he drank a can or two a day, but not a dozen.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, December 8, 2017.

So much for declining prices.  Gas in Saskatoon jumped to 106.9 cents a litre today.  Hopefully it won't go up more next week.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Let's Buy The Blue Jays!

In case you hadn't heard Rogers is thinking about selling the Toronto Blue Jays. If they actually do put it up for sale why don't we buy it?  I can probably put up a couple hundred bucks.  You've probably got a billion or two lying around, right?  Know someone who does?  Maybe we could start a GoFundMe page.  It can't be that hard to scrape together 2 billion dollars.

To be slightly more serious I wonder who would buy a Canadian market MLB team.  Perhaps Rogers Centre will be Loblaws Dome in a couple of years.  Or Jim Pattison Group could decide a baseball team would be a nice addition to its portfolio.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

I Want A Cut!

This fall we've seen a couple of revivals of old TV series.  Back from the '70s is S.W.A.T.  The series has done well enough that it's been given a full season of episodes by CBS.  So if there's a market for '70s revivals here's my suggestion: Quincy, M.E., with Gilbert Gottfried as Quincy.  If you've ever seen the original you might guess why.  So if you read this, Gilbert, and go for it I want  a cut of the profits.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Reverse From Expected.

Tim Hortons dominates the take out coffee business in Canada.  There are more than 3500 outlets in Canada, and that number continues to grow.  So it's kind of odd to think of one shutting down, but that's exactly what happened to one of Saskatoon's Hortons.  Driving by on the weekend I noticed that the sign had been removed from the front of the store at 8th Street and Acadia Drive.  A visit this morning proved my suspicions were correct.  A small sign announced it was permanently closed as of December 1st, and there was someone who was removing chairs from the restaurant. 

This was one of the oldest Hortons locations in Saskatoon.  I'm not sure if it was the first, but it was definitely amongst the first.  In a way it's surprising it stayed around this long, as another Hortons is a short walk away at 8th Street and Moss.  The store was renovated a few years ago, but apparently that wasn't enough.  One of the disadvantages it had was that it had no drive through, unlike other stand alone Hortons.  The one on Moss Avenue does, meaning it generates a lot more revenue.  On the other hand I could imagine a Hortons kiosk going into the nearby Centre mall at some point, as it would be unlikely to steal customers from the 8th and Moss outlet.

At the moment the Tim Hortons website lists 26 Saskatoon stores, but one of those is the one that just closed. 

Friday, December 01, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, December 1, 2017.

We've gone back below the dollar a litre mark.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 98.4 cents a litre at most stations.  Hopefully the downward trend will continue.

Blogger Ate My Post.

Never had that happen before.

Operator error?  What operator error?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rethink Your Priorities.

I regularly watch Global's supper hour news, but there are times I wonder at their lineup editor.  The opening story tonight?  The firing of NBC TV personality Matt Lauer over sexual harassment and assault allegations.  Why was this the lead story on a Canadian newscast?  They didn't even have the excuse that Lauer's an expat Canadian, as are a number of US media personalities.  So why was this the opening story?  Why not the much more important story to Canadians, the appointment of Sheilah Martin to the Supreme Court of Canada, replacing retiring Justice Beverley McLachlin?  I'm sure some Canadian celeb will turn out to be a creep in due order, and give them their required sleeze quotient.

Good For 100,000 More Blinks.

Yesterday I had an appointment with an ophthalmologist, as the optometrist who issued my new prescription thought my eye pressure was a bit high.  But the verdict was that I don't have anything to worry about in the near future, although I do have a very small risk of glaucoma due to family history.  Now if only I could be that sure about the rest of me.

Monday, November 27, 2017

New Material.

The rumours have finally been confirmed.  Prince Henry of Wales and Meghan Markle will wed next year.  This should give the writers at the American tabloids new material to use to create clueless headlines.  I'm sure it won't be long before we see some variation on Queen Tells Tearful Kate, "Meghan Will Be Queen!"  Not that it works that way.  UK law determines the line of succession, which currently puts Harry in fifth place, after Prince Charles, Prince William, and William's children.  He'll be in sixth place next spring when the third child of William and the Duchess of Cambridge is born.  We're also sure to see more general headlines about infighting between Markle and her new in-laws, and ongoing rumours about whether she's pregnant or not.

Unfortunately you're also likely to see some really nasty headlines if you visit the nastier parts of the Internet and small press.  Markle's mother is African-American, which should get some racists foaming at the mouth.

Of course Harry's place in the line of succession may not matter.  If Charles is anything like his parents and grandmother he may end up being King into his 90s or later, and who knows what status the monarchy will have by then?

And if you were a fan of Markle's work, you're probably out of luck seeing any more.  I doubt she'll keep acting once she's married.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Today will be a day when I spend no money.  I honestly can't think of the last time that happened.  There always seems to be something to spend money on, even something like a donut or chocolate bar, especially on a Saturday.  If only I could  do this more often.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, November 24, 2017.

The price of gas continues to creep down in Saskatoon.  It's now 101.4 cents a litre at most stations.  Hopefully it will drop below the dollar a litre mark in the next few days.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Look Is Gone.

The other night I saw a drawing of a character that reminded me of Christina Applegate.  So I ended up looking at a few clips of Married With Children(or Married...with Children as some sources render it) on YouTube.  One thing that struck me was how it was a multi camera show filmed to video, a format that has disappeared from sitcoms, and the rest of North American scripted TV as well, other than the remaining US soaps.  In the '80s it was incredibly common, but looking at those clips in 2017 it was just one of the things that made them look dated.  Current productions all look like they're filmed now, whatever the actual equipment used to capture them is.   But I'm kind of surprised that I didn't notice the change, even though it happened a good while ago already.

Of course filming to video isn't completely gone.  It's still very common for reality TV, and shows like Saturday Night Live.   It still works for those formats, giving them the appearance of happening as we watch them.  I suppose sooner or later someone will try it with a sitcom again, but it will probably be used deliberately to make it look like a '70s or '80s sitcom.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

When I Rule The World 30.

I will veto anyone wearing a cowboy hat I don't think should be.  So no more pictures from the Calgary Stampede of some politician or celebrity looking uncomfortable and/or ridiculous in a cowboy hat.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, Novenber 17, 2017.

Another small trickle down to report.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 109.4 cents a litre at most locations.  But something tells me it will remain above the dollar a litre mark until the Christmas season is over.

Mocking The Clickbait 10: You're From The Future!

Jenna Jameson's Final Net Worth Left Us Without words.

So, what year are you from, and how did you time travel back to 2017?  In this time period Jenna Jameson is alive and well.  And apparently has fallen for a bunch of hard right bullshit.

(The headline being mocked actually was written with a small W in words, and is not something I did.)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, November 10, 2017.

A little bit of price relief to report after last week's big jump.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 113.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully it will continue to drop, however slowly.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Who Likes Vodka?

Someone in my neighbourhood apparently.  I run into empty vodka bottles near my house every month or so, including several that have been dumped in pretty much the same place in one alley.  I assume it's some kid who goes into the local park to drink.

You won't catch me drinking booze of any sort.  I don't like the stuff.  And I don't write about it either, since this is the first post that will have an alcohol tag.

Addenda:  Having a shiny new tag I added it to some old posts that did mention booze.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, November 3, 2017.

This was not a good week for Saskatoon drivers.  Gas in Saskatoon has jumped to 116.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It's been a good while since the price has been this high, and that big a jump in one week is not something most drivers were expecting.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Where Did They Go?

Weird.  Halloween was just about dead here.  We got a grand total of ten people come to the door, despite the porch light and kitchen table light being on.  Maybe the temperatures, around freezing, kept people away.  So now we have lots of candy left over to eat.

No, you can't have any.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, October 27, 2017.

We're back up over the buck a litre mark.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 103.9 cents a litre at most locations.  However it was 105.9 cents a litre to start the week, so at least it's gone down a couple of cents.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


It snowed last night, so we began the day with snow on our lawns.  There wasn't enough snow to cause traffic problems, but enough to remind us winter is approaching.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, October 20, 2017.

This Friday there is no confusion.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently at 94.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Early in the week it broke the buck a litre mark at 101.9 cents a litre before falling back down to the current price.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Google Knows My Birthday.

When I brought up Google's main page today I found it has a banner for my birthday.  Click on it and it has a bunch of stuff about October 18th.

You really have to wonder what all Google knows about its users.  I can see why some people avoid any sort of social media involvement, and use things like proxies to hide their online activities.

Monday, October 16, 2017


I just saw a TV ad for Boeing on Sportsnet, saying how wonderful they are to Canada.  This comes after Boeing convinced the US Commerce Department to place 300 percent in tariffs on Bombardier's C Series jet airliner.  The C Series, which US airline Delta may order as many as 125 of, doesn't compete with any aircraft in Boeing's current airliner lineup.  Putting who knows how many Canadian jobs at risk, especially if Canada retaliates against Boeing products, doesn't seem very friendly.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Guaranteed Win.

The Daily Grand is one of the newer lotteries in Canada.  You pick 5 numbers between 1 and 49, and a Grand Number from 1 to 7.  The grand prize is a thousand dollars a day for life, or a lump sum of seven million dollars.  If two or more tickets win the grand prize the seven million is split between the tickets, and no daily prize is available.  Draws are held on Monday and Thursday.

And I have a strategy that will let you win on every draw.  It's quite simple really.  You just have to play seven tickets for each draw.  This will allow you to play all seven Grand Numbers. and as a result always win, as all you need to win a prize is the Grand Number for that draw.

Can you see the flaw?  I'm sure you can.  You'd need to buy those seven tickets, and each ticket costs 3 bucks.  So you'd be spending 21 bucks a draw to guarantee you'll win...a free ticket, the equivalent of 3 bucks.  Oops.  It gets worse if you did this for both Monday and Thursday's draws.  You'd be spending 42 bucks to guarantee you'll win the equivalent of 6 bucks, with no guarantee you'll win more.  For example the chances of a ticket winning the next smallest prize, 4 bucks, is 1 in 20.

The grand prize seems to be pretty elusive no matter what strategy you use.  If you look at the list of past winning numbers it gives a prize breakdown for each draw.  It seems the grand prize has only been won a handful of times.  The odds of winning are 1 in 13,348,188.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, October 13, 2017.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 95.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I think, because the price has changed several times this week.  It started at 94.9 cents, jumped to 100.9 cents, and dropped back to 95.9 cents.  But I saw at least one station that was 94.4 cents a litre today, so they might all be that price by the end of tomorrow.  Maybe I need to set up a crowdfunding page for a webcam that would let me check one of the local stations every hour, and immediately post if it changes.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Enjoy Some Cute.

A lot of bad stuff has been going on lately.  So here's a reprieve. This is believed to be the first footage of African sand cat kittens in the wild.  Aren't they cute?

Sand Cat Kittens Spotted in the Wild for First Time from Panthera Cats on Vimeo.

Too Much TV.

I watched way too much TV Friday.  Three and a half baseball games, Bellator, parts of a CFL game, and a bit of news.  I haven't got a clue how much actual watching time it was, but it was too much.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, October 6, 2017.

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.  But Saskatoon drivers aren't going to be thankful about gas prices.  Gas in Saskatoon has jumped to 98.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I suspect a lot of people aren't surprised at this.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, September 29, 2017.

A small tick down to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 95.9 cents a litre at most locations.  With Canadian Thanksgiving approaching it will be interesting to see if prices go up next week.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Good Morning, Port Hardy.

You're the site of my latest hit at Where's Willy.  And unlike a lot of small towns outside Saskatchewan I've had hits from I've actually been there.  My brother was a DJ at the local radio station a long time ago, and I went up there to visit him. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, September 22, 2017.

The price of gas will seem like deja vu this week.  Prices reached 90.4 cents a litre by midweek at some of the big chains, while others fell to 90.9 cents.  But today gas jumped to 97.9 cents a litre at most locations.  So it's no cheaper today than it was last Friday.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, September 15, 2017.

This week we're back below the dollar a litre mark.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 97.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully we'll get closer to the 90 cent mark before things go up again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Breakaway Day Greetings!

Yep,  another September 13th has rolled around, and as tradition here we acknowledge that today is Breakaway Day.  The big news in the Space: 1999 fandom this year was of course the death of Martin Landau on July 15th.  Hopefully the rest of the cast is around for many years to come.

Of course it's not just the cast that is ageing.  The fandom itself is ageing.  Most people who are fans were fans when the series first aired in the '70s.  Even younger fans, who caught on to the show via reruns in the '80s and '90s aren't that young either.  I'm sure the occasional newcomer picks up on the series, but it doesn't have the same kind of footprint as other older fandoms, and a new TV series or movie is increasingly unlikely.  So, barring some surprise, the fandom is slowly going to decline as the years go on.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Happy Anniversary, David.

20 years ago David Willis first became a published webcomic artist.  He's come a long way since then.  If you haven't, go check out Dumbing of Age. 

Hopefully this blog will still be being updated when it reaches its 20th anniversary.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, September 8, 2017.

After last week's big price jump we saw a bit of relief this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 106.4 cents a litre at most locations.  But with Hurricane Irma at work in the Caribbean, and threatening the US mainland, I wouldn't be surprised if gas prices jump up again soon.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Signal Boost.

You probably didn't know that today is International Vulture Awareness Day.  But now you do.

Of course if there are vultures around your area you probably don't need to have your awareness boosted.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, September 1, 2017.

If you heard an odd sound in Saskatoon this week it may have been the sound of gas prices shooting past the one dollar a litre mark.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 109.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Hurricane Harvey is no doubt the excuse for this, despite stations in Saskatoon not getting their supplies from refineries effected by Harvey. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Hundred Bucks.

So, did you spend 100 bucks US, or your local equivalent, on the Mayweather-McGregor fight?  If you did do you feel it was worth that 100 bucks?   I could vaguely imagine paying 100 bucks to see something like that live.  After all there's nothing like the atmosphere of actually being there.  But 100 bucks to watch a TV show?  No thanks.

It will be interesting to see what the final take for the whole thing is.  Did they sell as many views as they expected.?  Whatever the sales it will be a lot of money.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, August 25, 2017.

The last entry for August sees another big jump, following the pattern that's been going on for a while now.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 99.9 cents a litre at most locations.  With next weekend being a long weekend it will be interesting to see if prices get above the buck a litre mark over the next 7 days.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Hope You Were Safe.

Yesterday's solar eclipse didn't seem all that spectacular from a Saskatoon vantage point.  Nonetheless I didn't look at the Sun, not having any equipment handy to do so safely.  I hope you didn't either.  Apparently there is nothing they can do to repair eye damage caused by improper eclipse viewing.  Interestingly I had an optometry appointment Friday(with the conclusion I need new glasses), but neither I nor the optometrist brought up the eclipse.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, August 18, 2017.

Prices have dropped a little bit more this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 92.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully it will drop below 90 cents next week.

Hey, Jack 96.9 FM!

Those ads currently airing during the Blue Jays games are really annoying.  I find it hard to believe those two guys are your top on air talent.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


I just went to look at a website I regularly visit, and got a bit of a surprise.  It was a Sears Canada ad, advertising shopping for the upcoming school year. As is the case with its American counterpart Sears Canada is in major trouble, suffering from changes in the Canadian consumer market.  In June it was announced that 59 stores would close after the company was granted protection from its creditors.  This included 4 stores in Saskatchewan, although this didn't include the store in Saskatoon's Midtown Plaza.  So of course they`re really hoping that you`ll shop at the stores that are left.  But it seems their online advertising efforts hadn`t been reaching me until now.

The Midtown Plaza store is a large 2 storey outlet, so losing it would be a big hit for Midtown Plaza.  It`s hard to think of something that might replace it, as potential tenants who`d want a space that size have tended to build in Saskatoon`s `big box` areas.  So Sears Canada isn`t the only company hoping you`ll visit, it`s all the companies that have Sears as a tenant as well.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, August 11, 2017.

A bit of price relief to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 95.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I wouldn't expect it to go down much further however.  90 cents seems to be the low barrier at the moment.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Even More Paper.

Last month I mentioned receiving a paper Canadian ten dollar bill.  To my pleased surprise I received yet another one this morning.  I wonder if someone had a bunch of them they'd kept in a drawer or something, and are now spending them in Saskatoon.  So if you're in Saskatoon you might want to keep your eyes open for them.  I've already spent this one, and I hope like the one I had last month it continues in circulation for a long time to come.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Today's Cassette, August 7, 2017.

This morning I found another box of cassettes that had been misplaced.  So out came the player and the self titled album by Max Q.  The band was a collaboration between eclectic Australian musician Ollie Olsen and Michael Hutchence of INXS.  Max Q was released in 1989 and was the band's sole release.  It's out of print, which surprises me a bit given Hutchence's fame.  And some of the lyrics from the song "Ghost of the Year" are disturbing in retrospect:

I'm counting on you
To count the fingers on my hands
That's the amount of time I've got.

Hutchence died in 1997, his death ruled a suicide.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, August 4, 2017.

If you've been following gas price changes of late this week's change will be no surprise.  Gas in Saskatoon has jumped to 98.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It would be nice if it would stabilise for a while, but that seems unlikely at this point.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Hope You Stayed.

If you were at Rogers Centre this afternoon I hope you didn't leave the Blue Jays game early.  Seeing Steve Pearce hit his second walk off grand slam in 4 games on TV was amazing.  I'm sure it was even more amazing to see it in person.  I suspect that no one will be throwing anything hittable to Pearce if the bases are loaded for a good while to come.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, July 28, 2017.

What has gone up, has come down.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 92.9 cents a litre at most locations.  But don't be surprised if it goes up again next week.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

More Paper.

Back in October of 2016 I received a 5 dollar paper bill as part of my change.  I speculated at the time I might not see another paper Canadian bill again.  I was wrong, as I received a paper ten dollar bill in change today.  Somehow it's managed to stay in circulation years after it was decided to pull all Canadian paper currency.  Presumably it simply hasn't ended up in a bank in a long time, as banks will send old bills like this back to the Bank of Canada for destruction.  I know I won't be putting it in a bank, but instead will spend it to help it continue its journey.

Gas In Saskatoon, July 21, 2017.

Yet another week where we saw a small decline followed by a big jump.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped at the beginning of the week to 90.4 cents a litre, only to jump to 97.9 cents a litre Thursday.  I'd love to see the justification for such price jumps, but I doubt I'd be pleased at what I read.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Goodbye, Commander.

Veteran actor Martin Landau has died at 89.  If things had worked out a bit differently Landau might be known as a cartoonist instead of an actor.  He was still a teen when the New York Daily News hired him as a cartoonist, but five years later he decided to quit to pursue acting.  A student of Lee Strasberg, Landau's big break came when Alfred Hitchcock saw him in a play, and cast him as the villainous Leonard in North by Northwest, leading to a nearly 60 year career.

My first real exposure to Landau was as Commander John Koenig in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Space: 1999, where he starred opposite his then wife Barbara Bain.  In memoriam here's the Space: 1999 episode "The Black Sun," one of Landau's favourites.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gas In Saskatoo, July 14, 2017.

Last week's big price jump has almost reversed itself.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 91.9 cents a litre at most locations.  But I'll be entirely unsurprised if it goes up next week.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I'd Better Hurry Up.

Recently I noticed that I'm approaching the 3000 post mark.  So I got to thinking that I could reach that milestone this year.  But, as you can see from my recent output I'm really going to have to speed things up to make that happen. 

Friday, July 07, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, July 7, 2017.

A pingpong week to report this time, and not in a good way.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped to 90.4 cents a litre at the start of the week, only to jump midweek to 99.9 cents a litre.  Hopefully it will drop next week, and not jump past the one dollar a litre mark.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 30, 2017.

For those who believe that gas prices go up before a holiday this week will be more proof to them.  Gas in Saskatoon has risen to 94.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Just in time for Canada Day and the end of the school year.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My First.

In honour of Canada's 150th anniversary the Bank of Canada has released a new 10 dollar bill.  I received my first one today.  Not a bad design.  As with other current Canadian bills these are made of polymer, and contain several anti-counterfeit measures.  Hopefully I can get my hands a few more soon.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 23, 2017.

A bit more relief for Saskatoon drivers this week.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 87.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunrise Has Risen.

Back in March Ontario based music retailer Sunrise Records announced its plan to take over various stores run by the HMV chain after HMV announced it was shuttering them.   There were two HMV stores in Saskatoon, one in the Mall at Lawson Heights, and one in Midtown Plaza.  Both have now reopened as Sunrise stores. 

I went into the Lawson store yesterday and the Midtown store today.  They were about what you'd expect from a chain music store, although they're a bit brighter than the old HMVs were.  They both have a good selection, but no real surprises.  And unlike HMV their vinyl LPs are right at the front of the store, an indication of their interest in attracting vinyl buyers.  Whether they'll be able to do what HMV couldn't, maintain a national chain in the digital download and streaming era, remains to be seen.  There's probably no point in guessing until at least after the Christmas buying season, unless of course they really screw things up.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Do They Want Someone To Die?

I watch both boxing and MMA, but at times it's hard to do so without wondering about the ethics of doing so.  Fighting can be dangerous, and sometimes it can be lethal.  Former UFC competitor Tim Hague died after a Friday boxing match.  Hague, 33, fought Adam Braidwood in Edmonton, and was knocked down several times during the fight before being knocked out.  Although he left the ring under his own power he subsequently collapsed, and passed away.  His last boxing match was in April, where he lost by TKO, bringing up the obvious question of whether he should have been allowed to fight by the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission.

This tragedy came only a short time after another Canadian boxer, David Whittom, was severely injured during a May 27th match in Fredericton with Saskatoon boxer Gary Kopas.  He was placed in a medically induced coma after being taken to hospital.  Whittom is another fighter who it could be argued should not have been allowed to fight.  Despite some early success he had racked up a career record of 12-24-1, including losing 18 of his last 20 bouts.  In other words he'd become a human punching bag, hired to be an opponent even though he obviously had no chance of winning.

And what did I find out this morning?  That UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell is talking about fighting again, this time for Bellator.  Liddell last fought in 2010 at UFC 115, when he was KOed by Rich Franklin.  His last three fights were all losses by KO.  He's 47.

Unfortunately I would be entirely unsurprised if he does fight for Bellator.  I've criticised them in the past for signing over the hill fighters, the most notorious example being MMA pioneer Ken Shamrock.  Shamrock was 51 when he fought the late Kimbo Slice in 2015.  He would later fight Royce Gracie, who hadn't fought in years and was really too old to be fighting as well.  Then there's Kimbo Slice.  Slice died in June of 2016 of heart failure, shortly after a mass was found on his liver.  Yet somehow Bellator managed to get him cleared to fight in February of that year.  Keep signing these kind of fighters and you're just increasing the chance of someone sustaining a severe injury, or even dying in the cage.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 16, 2017.

Prices have gone down again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 90.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I don't expect it to drop much further, but I've been wrong before.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 9, 2017.

Fortunately I won't be missing this week's edition.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 93.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Read These.

Looking for new webcomics to read?  Here's a couple to check out.

If you're a fan of the "magical girls" genre try Shattered Starlight  Farah is the former leader of the Star Guardians, who were one of Montreal's magical girl teams.(Yes, there's been more than one.)  "Former" because the Star Guardians broke up more than a decade ago.  But when Farah is forced into a new job she finds her past may be back to haunt her.

Radio Silence are a young British band.  They're really making a name for themselves, but that doesn't mean everything is fun and games.  Join them as they tour the UK and Europe, trying to figure out how to keep it all together.

Friday, June 02, 2017


A hail storm just passed through.  It only lasted for maybe 5 minutes, but a lot of the hailstones were large.  The biggest were perhaps the size of grapes.  Definitely not the kind of precipitation you want to water the garden.

But the nasty weather does my nasty attitude today.

Not A Good Day.

My day began horribly, and it will probably get worse.  I feel like a pogo stick, my emotions going up and down.  Too bad I don't have something kickable to kick.  Not that it would help much.

Covfefe Didn't Help.

Using the term covfefe in my last post did nothing to boost traffic here.  Big surprise.

I wish I knew what did.  Mentions of specific junk food?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Yes, I too will acknowledge the wondrous wordiness that is covfefe.  All hail the mighty covfefe!  I just have to make sure I'm one of the first 194712947218972 people to post something about it on the very first day it exists.  I hope that by doing so I will get zillions and zillions of hits.

Unfortunately my previous attempts at such Shameless Hit Mongering really haven't worked.  But this time for sure!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, May 26. 2017.

The confusing path of Saskatoon gas prices continues.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 102.9 cents a litre at most locations.   I wouldn't be surprised to see prices go in either direction next week.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Today I received my 1000th hit at Where's Willy.  It kind of snuck up on me over the last couple of weeks.  My next milestone will be my 900th bill hit, but that's a good way away, since today's hit was my 841st bill hit.  It's theoretically possible I could reach 1100 hits before 900 bills hit, but I'd have to see my re-hit rate go up quite heavily for that to happen.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, May 19, 2017.

Fortunately my prediction last week was wrong.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 96.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully it will drop some more next week.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stro Makes It Go.

If you're a Jays fan I hope you've been watching the game tonight.  Marcus Stroman hit the first home run of his career just a few minutes ago.  The only other Jays pitcher to hit a home run  was Mark Hendrickson back in 2003 against the Montreal Expos.  So cool.

"Superman" Crashes.

Kevin Pillar has been one of the most popular Toronto Blue Jays over the last couple of years.  He regularly makes spectacular catches in the outfield, and this year has been one of the team's best hitters.  But his popularity may take a hit after last night's game against the Atlanta Braves.  After striking out to Braves reliever Jason Motte in the seventh inning Pillar threw a number of curses at Motte, which reportedly included a homophobic slur.  After the game Pillar apologised, but Major League Baseball is investigating the incident, and sanctions may be possible. 

This is sure to remind some Blue Jays fans of Yunel Escobar.  During a 2012 game then Jays shortstop Escobar had a Spanish language homophobic slur written in his eye black.  The team suspended him for three games, and donated his salary for those games to gay rights groups.  There would later be speculation that Escobar's tenure with the team was cut short due to his behaviour, as he was traded to the Miami Marlins late that year. His contract was set to continue into the 2013 season, with options for 2014 and 2015. 

If Pillar were to be suspended for this incident, even if presumably only for two or three games, it would just add to the woes of the Jays, who have blown the momentum they gained with their recent five game winning streak.  It may also have an effect on the marketing of the team, given that Pillar has played a prominent role in that marketing.

How many gay players are there in the majors?  No one knows.  You can be sure that incidents like this won't encourage them to come out while they're players.  Such incidents may also discourage gay youth from considering a baseball career.  A lot has changed in pro sports in recent years regarding the way such things are treated, but the actual climate on the field is still questionable.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, May 12, 2017.

The recent trend of downward prices has ended.  Gas in Saskatoon has jumped to 98.4 cents a litre.  I suspect it will be back above the one dollar mark next week.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I Don't See The Connection.

For years after it become obvious the series itself wasn't coming back the official Undergrads website continued to be available online.  It's been a while since I've checked it out, so I wasn't expecting to find the URL now redirects to an Asian cosmetics site.  I'd love to know why.  Chances are most people looking for an Undergrads site aren't looking for cosmetics from a non-North American supplier.  I knew the webpage would go down sooner or later, but I expected to find a for sale notice up, not this.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Today's Cassette, May 9, 2017.

It has been a long time since I've done one of these.  And I should do them more often, since I still have a big pile of cassettes, and a couple of machines to play them with.

In the player today was Salmonmoose, released on saxophonist John Oswald's Mystery Tape Laboratory label.  It's a reworking of live improvisations Oswald, guitarist Henry Kaiser, and trumpeter Toshinori Kondo recorded in several places in Canada in 1978 and '79.  Instead of a strictly linear presentation of the material as recorded it was reworked in a montage fashion.  Some nice low key free improv on this one, and certainly one of the rarest cassettes I've got. 

Closer To Gone.

Pay phones have been slowly disappearing for years.  The cell phone has been slowly killing them.  And now two more in Saskatoon are gone.  The SaskTel pay phones in the lobby of the Saskatoon Public Library's downtown Francis Morrison branch have been removed.  There were a pair of them.  The library now has a free courtesy phone just inside the doors of the main floor.  It will be interesting to see how well that works.  It will also be interesting to see which pay phones here are the next to go.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Wish I Could Send Some.

Today's weather in Saskatoon has been lovely.  Sunny skies and temperatures more normal for July.  It's the kind of weather I'm sure some of you could use right now.  Large chunks of Eastern Canada and the US are facing heavy rains today, with flooding possible in some areas.  So I would love to be able to send some of our nice weather to dry things out.  Unfortunately no one has sent me a weather machine to do so.

Gas In Saskatoon, May 5, 2017.

Gas prices continue to decline in Saskatoon.  Gas is now 93.4 cents a litre at most locations.  It will be interesting to see if we go below the 90 cent mark next week, and how far we might go below that mark in the near future.

Not For Me.

It's amusing the product ads advertising algorithms sometimes produce.  For some reason I ended up seeing an ad today for Swimtails swimmable mermaid tails.  Yep, a company actually makes mermaid tails, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are others.  But it's an odd product to try to sell me.  I don't swim.  I don't have a thing for mermaids.  And the webpage I was looking at has nothing to do with mermaids, swimming, or anything else water related.  So it seems their algorithm needs some fine tuning.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, April 28, 2017.

We have a bit of relief to end the month.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 96.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully it will stay below the dollar mark for a while, if not drop even further.

Next Year Will Be Different! (Yeah, Right.)

In a couple of days it will be the deadline for many Canadians to submit their 2016 income tax return.  I just did mine.  Even though mine is simple I still waited until today to do it.  Every year I say around February or so that I'll do it early this year.  But of course I don't.  So I probably shouldn't bother saying so next year.

But I probably will.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Endurance Test.

Did you watch last night's Blue Jays/Angels game?  Did you watch it all the way to the end?  If you're a Jays fan the payoff was worth it, but getting there was quite the task.  Of course it was easier for those of us on the west side of the country, since it was only 8 PM or earlier when it started.  I imagine a lot of viewers in Ontario and east jumped ship pretty early, even if today is a Saturday, when they might sleep in.  Given some of what happened last night I wouldn't be surprised if the management in Buffalo got some very early phone calls today.  And hopefully today's game, besides being another Jays win, will be considerably shorter.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, April 21, 2017.

A small drop to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 100.4 cents a litre at most locations. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Strange Combo, Yet Not.

This morning I visited one of the local Dollarama stores.  I noticed that they had some CDs, and took a quick look.  There was nothing I wanted to buy, but one did attract my attention.  It was a karaoke CD of religious songs.  That's a bit odd.  Even more unusual was the cover art, which consisted of a young woman, drawn in an anime/manga style.  Not quite the combo you might expect.

But then again maybe you would.  Christianity and anime have met in the past.  Japanese animation firm Tatsunoko Productions collaborated with the US Christian Broadcast Network in the early '80s on Superbook, a series of cartoon adventures based on the Old and New Testament.  At the same time they also produced a series called The Flying House, which also used Biblical materials as the plots for its episodes.  Some years later Osamu Tezuka, revered as one of the giants of anime and manga, created In the Beginning: The Bible Stories, an anime series that told the stories of the Old Testament.  It was co-production with Nippon TV and the Italian government broadcaster RAI.  It was one of Tezuka's last projects before his death of cancer in 1989, and was not completed until after his death.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, April 14, 2017.

A bit of a respite this week.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 102.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully it will drop below the one buck mark next week.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Exotic Weapon.

Just before midnight on Friday Saskatoon police were called to a break and enter at a garage on Cairns Avenue.  Although the suspect had left before they arrived the K9 unit soon tracked him down.  He was arrested and found to be carrying a firearm, switchblade, and crystal meth.  None of these by themselves are unusual, but the firearm he was carrying was.  Police say it was a 7.65 mm Skorpion machine pistol.

The Skorpion was a product of the Cold War era Czechoslovak arms industry, a weapon that could be carried in a holster, but capable of fully automatic fire.  It was intended for use by special units, vehicle crews, and others who needed a weapon more compact than a rifle, but with more firepower than a standard pistol.  It also reflected the Czechoslovak military's willingness to go its own way with weapons, not being a Soviet design and using a non Warsaw Pact caliber, 7.65 mm, aka .32 ACP.

The actual utility of such very compact automatic firearms has always been questioned.  They're bulkier than a standard pistol, yet their small size makes them hard to control on fully automatic.  Most people they've been issued to don't get the practice time to learn to use them effectively.  But the Skorpion proved popular, seeing a lot of export sales, including ending up in the hands of European terrorist groups like the Italian Red Brigades.

So where did the one seized early Saturday come from?  If it was one of the full auto originals it's a prohibited weapon in Canada, never sold legally, and not something you'd expect a street crook in Saskatoon to get his hands on in 2017.  On the other hand semi automatic only versions of the Skorpion have been produced for the civilian gun market, and apparently they have been sold in Canada as a restricted firearm.  So if it's one of those it was either stolen from someone in Canada, or imported illegally from the US, where they are also legal.

Friday, April 07, 2017

April Kaboom.

A rain shower passed through just a bit ago, and it included a bit of thunder.  Definitely not the thing you expect in Saskatoon in the first week of April.  The fact it got to 21 degrees Celsius today no doubt had something to do with it.  A bit of rain to damp down the dust will be welcome by some.

Gas In Saskatoon, April 7, 2017

A rather unpleasant surprise for Saskatoon drivers this week.  Gas in Saskatoon has jumped to 105.9 cents a litre at most locations.   Something tells me it will go up again next week.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 31, 2017.

I took a drive down 8th Street about half an hour ago, and some stations were at 99.9 cents a litre while  others were at 97.9 cents a litre.  So I expect the price at most stations to be 97.9 cents a litre by day's end.  The price was as low as 92.9 cents a litre at most locations to start the week.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Twist, Twist, Twist.

I was just restringing one of my guitars.  As a result I spend a lot of time twisting tuners.  No, I'm not one of those folks who uses a string winder.  I would imagine doing that for multiple guitars every night, as some guitar techs do, would be a recipe for tendonitis in your fingers. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 24, 2017.

We actually went past the 90 cent a litre barrier this week.  Gas reached a low of 88.4 cents a litre.  But that was followed by a big jump up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 95.9 cents a litre at most locations.  These big jumps are not amusing.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 17, 2017.

Once again we approach the 90 cent barrier.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 91.9 cents a litre at most locations.  With oil prices having dropped lately I wouldn't be surprised if the price actually does drop below 90 cents next week.

No Green On Me.

Sorry, Saint Patrick's Day fans, but I'm wearing no green today.  I don't think I wore any for the last one either.  Nor will I be drinking green beer, or eating green eggs and ham.  The only green currently on my person is money.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Singularity Fan?

Then you probably shouldn't read this.  On the other hand if you aren't a fan you might find it funny.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 10, 2017.

Another Friday where the price of gas is dropping.  Gas in Saskatoon should be 93.4 cents a litre at most locations by the end of the day.  With the price of oil dipping below 50 dollars a barrel this week I assume the price won't be going up much for a bit.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 9: It Won't Help You.

These Celebrities Don't Believe In Monogamy.

Whether that's true or not you still won't be getting into their pants.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 3, 2017.

The first report of March sees a price drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 96.4 cents a litre at most locations.  However this follows a jump to 99.9 cents a litre earlier in the week.

Sunrise For Saskatoon?

As many Canadian readers will be aware HMV is going out of business in Canada.  This includes two stores in Saskatoon.  But those spaces may not stay empty for long.  Ontario based Sunrise Records has decided to take a big gamble.  They intend to take over HMV spaces across Canada.  Sunrise believes there's still a place for stores selling music in Canada, despite HMV's decision there isn't.  Will we see a Sunrise in Saskatoon?  The press statement implies so. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, February 24, 2017.

The downward trend continues.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 91.9 cents a litre at most locations.  But I wouldn't be surprised if it goes up next week, as dropping below the 90 cent mark has been a barrier of late.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lost In Translation.

Chances are that if you're reading this blog your first language, or primary language, is English.  It's written in English, so not surprisingly most visitors come from English speaking places and/or mainly speak English in their daily lives.  And chances are you've had a problem understanding what Donald Trump has said at least once, since his style of speaking can be unclear and repetitive.  Now just imagine what it's like translating Trumpspeak into other languages.  According to this article it is in fact quite the problem.   Some of his statements come out as impossible to understand if you translate them too literally, yet not doing so may not mirror the fact they're confusing in English as well.  He just doesn't speak in the way US politicians generally have spoken.  I'm glad I don't have to translate his rambling.

Gas In Saskatoon, February 17, 2017.

Good luck trying to figure out where the price of gas is going these days.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 94.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I won't hazard a guess if the next price change will be up or down.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Don't Get Too Near.

If you're anywhere near the White House it might be a good idea to move away some.  The way things have been going in the last few days I wouldn't be surprised if a black hole appears and sucks the Trump Administration into oblivion.  The phrase "crash and burn" really doesn't cover it.  If President Trump is really unlucky he'll be forced to resign before reaching his 31st day in office, which would make his time in the office shorter than William Henry Harrison's.  Harrison died only 31 days after taking office.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 8: Wrong Year.

Scott Walker, the 'Do It My Way' Gov, Enters 2016 Race.

Too bad it's 2017.

You Might Envy Us.

If you live in much of  North America you probably aren't happy with your weather.  It's been nasty, and will continue to be.  Seriously, snow in some parts of Texas is in the forecast.  Most of the Canadian Maritimes is going to be hit by huge amounts of snow.

Saskatoon's forecast this week?  Daytime temperatures at or above freezing.  Sunny skies.  A high of 8 Celsius predicted for Thursday.  And no chance of precipitation until Sunday.

Yes, I'm sure many of you will envy us.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, February 10, 2017.

So much for the downward trend.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 97.9 cents a litre at most stations.  I won't be surprised if it's back over a buck in the next week.

Monday, February 06, 2017

This Is More Fun.

I had an idea for a post today, but in one sense it was a repeat of an older post.  So instead watch this, which is more fun.  If you're Canadian and old enough you probably remember this, as it aired on Canadian TV frequently for a long time.  Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing "The Log Driver's Waltz."

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 7: Not A Virtuoso.

Chicken's Rendition Of "America The Beautiful" Will Give You Goosebumps.

On the other hand its rendition of "Copacabana" will make you nauseous. 

Friday, February 03, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, February 3, 2017.

Today was another price change day.  By day's end gas in Saskatoon will be 92.4 cents a litre at most locations.  It will be interesting to see if it drops below 90 cents again, and how far it will drop if it does.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A Terrifying New Series From Donald Trump!

Welcome to 50 States of Grey, a series about a submissive country in an unhealthy BDSM relationship with a domineering President.   Safe, sane, and consensual?  Not with President, who knows he doesn't need to listen to anyone else's ideas.

This idea came to mind after reading a news item about Trump talking about Black History Month, but really making it all about himself.  As usual. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Goodbye, John.

John Wetton was a tough man.  For years he'd been fighting health problems, including heart problems, arm and shoulder problems that left his picking hand numb, and more recently cancer, but still continued to work when his health allowed.  It was the cancer that killed him.  He was 67.

Wetton came out of Bournemouth music scene, as did Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Andy Summers, and various others.  After stints with Mogul Thrash and Family it was his time with King Crimson that brought him to prominence.  But after his time in Crimson, touring with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep, and being one of the founders of UK it was the band Asia that brought him the most commercial success.  The group's self titled 1981 debut would go on to sell more than 10 million copies, although they never managed to top that success.  He collaborated with many musicians over the years, both on his own solo material, as a co-leader of several projects, and as a session man.  For the last decade Wetton had been a member of a re-united Asia, and had been planning to tour with the group when his condition deteriorated. 

In memoriam here's "Starless," from King Crimson's 1974 album Red.  It's a great example of Wetton's bass playing and singing.  (Thanks to DGM Live for putting this up on YouTube.)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Waiting For Mr. Bigmouth.

Last night I watched Bellator.  Tonight I've been watching the UFC.  With all that's been going on in US politics the thought came to mind of what fighter might open his big mouth about these issues after a fight.  I'm pretty sure Tito Ortiz had a "Make America Great Again" logo on his shirt last week, but he didn't actually say anything.  It's a reasonable guess the powers that be at both promotions have told their fighters not to bring this stuff up.  But there's always going to be people who don't listen.  And both Bellator and the UFC have fighters on roster who aren't Americans, and who might be worried about being effected by things like changed immigration rules. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 27, 2017.

The price of gas continues to drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 96.4 cents a litre at most locations, but some stations had dropped it another cent to 95.4 cents this afternoon.  I'm sure the others will soon follow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Weird Thought.

Bryan Ferry as James Bond.

Not now of course.  But in the '70s or early '80s.  Ferry looks a bit like George Lazenby, and certainly could have pulled off the sauve spy bit that became a standard part of the Bond mythos in the movies.  Ferry doesn't seem to have had much interest in acting, other than appearing as himself in a 1980 French TV mini-series, and as Mr. Silky String in Neil Jordan's 2005 film Breakfast on Pluto.  How he might have dealt with the action parts of the role is an obvious question, but Roger Moore was looking pretty tired and unconvincing by the time A View to a Kill was filmed.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Two Years.

That's how long I'll wait before I'm convinced Tito Ortiz fought his last fight tonight.  Too many fighters don't seem to know when to quit, and I wouldn't be surprised if Ortiz is one of them.  Meanwhile an obvious question is whether Chael Sonnen will fight again.  His fight tonight was his first in three years, and it was a loss.  On the other hand the fact he lost might keep him in the game, as having your last fight be a loss is a hard result to take. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 20, 2017.

My prediction of last week was correct.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 99.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Will the downward trend continue?  It depends on whether Donald Trump starts WW3 over the weekend I suppose.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

O'Leary Leaps In.

Some American visitors are likely to be familiar with Kevin O'Leary.  The Canadian businessman has been one of the regulars on ABC's reality TV series Shark Tank since its debut in 2009.  But he may be leaving the series, as he announced that he is running for the leadership of Canada's federal Conservative Party.

The Conservatives are Canada's equivalent of the Republican Party, although it's fair to say a lot of Republicans might find some of their policies dangerously left wing.  Previous Conservative Party leader, and former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper resigned after the Conservatives lost the 2015 election to Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party.  The campaign for a new leader effectively began at the beginning of 2016, with the announcement the leadership convention will held on May 27th this year.

O'Leary has not surprisingly drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, and has said his interest in running for the leadership was inspired by Trump.  O'Leary isn't as rich as Trump(although, like Trump, some claim he's not as rich as he claims to be), and doesn't have the same kind of baggage Trump does.  He's had a long media presence in Canada, including being on the Canadian business reality show Dragon's Den, and co-host of the CBC News Network current affairs show The Lang and O'Leary Exchange before leaving CBC in 2014.  He's also said some things that might remind one of Trump, such as questioning global warming, and calling the fact that the 85 richest people in the world own as much as the poorest half of the world's population "fantastic."

The timing of O'Leary's entry into the race has raised some eyebrows.  This morning's announcement followed the sole leadership debate of the campaign held entirely in French.  To lead the main federal parties in Canada one has to make at least a pretense of trying to speak French, and O'Leary admits his French is weak.  Of course this could be said about some of the other candidates, and they made an effort.  And in case you're wondering, a candidate that was effectively unilingual in French wouldn't get the time of day from those parties.

What are O'Leary's chances of winning?  It's hard to say.  He's the fourteenth candidate to enter the race.  Yep, fourteen people are running.  O'Leary is the most well known, and at the moment the vote is heavily split.  On the other hand it's likely we'll see someone drop out with his announcement, and of course some of those candidates probably don't have much of a chance no matter who is running.  A good example would be my former Member of Parliament Brad Trost, who is not well known outside Saskatchewan.  But there's also the chance an "anybody but O'Leary" movement might build behind one of the candidates.

If he does win the next step will probably be someone resigning their seat in Parliament so O'Leary can run in a by election..  Presumably he would get elected, but that's not a given.  Not getting a seat would partially put him on the sidelines, since he wouldn't be able to show Canadians what he can do in the House of Commons, and might be seen as a bad sign regarding his chances in the next election.  Barring a gigantic political scandal bringing down the government, or Prime Minister Trudeau randomly dropping dead, the next Canadian federal election is in 2019.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Big Earl Versus Billy The Ric.

A long time ago I had a Fender Stratocaster XII 12 string electric guitar, one of the original versions with a Fender Electric XII style bridge.  I never had to do any work on the intonation or action before I sold it to my cousin.  Which is a good thing because I'm not Mr. Mechanical.  But I'm sure it would be a lot easier to work on than a classic Rickenbacker twelve string.  Today I came across a pair of videos from Edmonton's Big Earl discussing his adventures changing the bridge on his Rickenbacker 12 string.  Boy, talk about a lot of work!  And he's not a gigging musician on the road with one.  Watch the videos, and then imagine having to restring one every day, as gigging musicians often do, or if they're really lucky their guitar tech does.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 13, 2017.

Some more relief to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 101.4 cents a litre at most locations.  A drop below the buck a litre mark seem fairly likely, but I suspect the decline will soon reverse itself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Do They Even Remember It?

Going about my business this afternoon I heard a song I know I haven't heard in 20 years, if not more.  "Notorious" was the single released off Loverboy's  1987 album Wildside.  Co-written by Mike Reno with the late Todd Cerney, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora(something I didn't know) it sounds like an attempt at producing another "Hot Girl's In Love."  And it's "nah nah nah, nah nah nah notorious" line in the chorus was probably intended for having an audience sing along live. 

Not having heard it in so long I found myself wondering half seriously if the guys in Loverboy even remember the song.  Of course they might not want to.  Although "Notorious" did generate some airplay it didn't help Wildside, which became their first album not to go platinum, and the group soon broke up over tensions between Reno and guitarist Paul Dean.  Like some other bands that got lumped into the arena rock/AOR category they presumably just ran out of steam, not being pretty enough or having the right sound to keep up with the hair metal bands popular at the time.  In fact it could be seen as ironic that Bon Jovi and Sambora co-wrote "Notorious," since Bon Jovi probably sucked up market share that would previously have bought Loverboy albums.

See what you think.  Here's the promo video for the song. 

Friday, January 06, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 6, 2017.

Our first entry for 2017 sees a minor drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 106.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Not much help, but as always better down than up.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 6: Education Needed.

These Pictures Are For Guys Only.

Umm, yeah, you see, there are women who call themselves lesbians.  And bisexuals.  And pansexuals.  They might also want to see pictures of "the most beautiful women on the Internet."  Or maybe not, given the kind of pictures you might be showing.  I won't be looking to find out, so as not to give you traffic. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Goodbye, Mr. Barnsley.

Sad news to report.  Greg Barnsley has died at 83.  Anyone who watched Saskatoon TV prior to 1992 will be familiar with Barnsley.  One of the original on air personalities at CFQC TV Barnsley appeared in various roles for the station, including weatherman on CFQC's news broadcasts and host of Kingo Bingo.  In 2014 the newly renovated CFQC studio was named the Greg Barnsley Studio in his honor. 

You can hear Barnsley's distinctive voice in the following 1984 documentary.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Welcome to 2017.

Ugh, can I rewind time back about 15 years?  I really don't want to be this old.

In any case, here's hoping this year turns out considerably better than most of us are expecting.  It certainly doesn't look like a great year is in the offing.