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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It sure didn't take long for the blame game to start in the Conservative Party for the party not doing well enough in Monday's election. Even Steven Harper himself has apparently mused about his continued position as party leader. If they want to make those Ontario and Maritime voters who apparently didn't trust them enough this election vote for them next time they're hardly going to do it by changing leaders again. One only has to look at the experience of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party in recent years, where infighting and fighting over who should be leader has been considerable, and their electoral success has been less than stellar.

A Saskatoon landmark is rapidly disappearing as the Bay Parkade is quickly being knocked down. When the Bay moved from its old location across the street into the Midtown Plaza a few years ago it greatly reduced the traffic the parkade generated, and the owners had no real interest in doing much needed repairs to the structure. So its byebye, which is kind of ironic given that the old Bay building is scheduled for renovation into condos and retail space, which might have generated regular customers for the parkade.

The complex was a considerable one. Besides a parkade the structure also served as a loading dock for the Bay store, a garage in the days when the store had its own fleet of delivery and tv service vehicles, and located underneath was the Bay's merchandise storage area. A tunnel running under the street connected the two, and it including a rail system for merchandise trollies.

Its been interesting to watch the demolition as they've done so with the building pretty much as is. I would have thought they would have removed things like lighting fixtures, elevators doors and so forth, but that wasn't the case.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Its interesting how life sometimes imitates art.

Unless you're completely out of touch with world affairs you've heard about the poor folks who have been beheaded in recent weeks by their kidnappers in Iraq. Oddly enough this is a plot element in Hard Pursuit, a recent edition of the long running Executioner action adventure series. When the head of an al Qaeda splinter group escapes US custody he takes a bunch of American cops and airmen hostage, and intends to decapitate them on international tv. Of course unlike the real world the title character manages to catch up with the nasties in time and save the day.

Mack Bolan, the Executioner was originally created by the late Don Pendleton in 1968, and can arguably be said to have started the action adventure paperback boom of the early '70s. Most of the series that came out of that boom are long gone, but the Executioner continues, along with the spinoff "Superbolan" and Stony Man paperback series.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Its minority government night in Canada. What of course will result from this remains to be seen. We might be back doing this all over again this time next summer.

Its goodbye Jim Pankiw. No more will the citizens of this riding be represented by a paranoid clueless clown. He can go back to arguing with his fellow chiropractors what the right methods of that arcane practice are.

Unfortunately the improved showing of the NDP didn't take hold in this province. Having members from the 3 main federal parties is always a good thing. Compare this with the polarised situation in Quebec.

While watching the election coverage tonight I occasionally switched over to CNN. I saw no hint they had any idea an election was going on up here. You'd think a federal election in your immediate neighbour would be worth at least a mention on the news crawl, especially since one of the competing parties is arguably more favourable to the current US administration than the other.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Might as well write this now. Tomorrow is the Canadian federal election. As I've said here before, I want everyone who can to go out and vote. No excuses about it "not making a difference." If you don't vote you are de facto casting a vote for whoever wins, whether you like them or not. So make sure you get off your butt and go to your local polling station tomorrow and make a choice. If you don't please don't spend the next 4 years bitching about not liking what the government does.

And for folks voting in Saskatoon-Humboldt if you vote for Jim Pankiw you're making a terrible mistake. All he'll be is a useless loser wasting our tax money for no one's benefit but his own. Vote for Nettie Wiebe, or Brad Trost, or Patrick Wolfe, or whoever the poor Green Party guy is. Don't vote for Jimmy Punkboy.
Just as a short followup to my last post DMX supposedly stands for Dark Man X. But my guess is that he actually took his name from the Oberheim DMX, a classic early '80s drum machine, one of the first to use actual digital samples of drum sounds instead of analog electronic circuits.
I've been doing a little slumming this morning, looking at some of the stuff at The Smoking Gun, those intrepid collectors of celeb related legal and other documents. Its amazing some of the stuff they manage to turn up. Their mugshot page is interesting. The one they currently have up for DMX is a really good picture. It would make a good promo shot. The rapper/actor might not be needing a promo shot for a while though, as he was charged on Friday in New York after being arrested Thursday night. He apparently could face up to seven years in jail. His last film was Never Die Alone, released early this year, and he's been working a flick called A Day and a Life. It'll be interesting if that film actually sees the light of day, or if he'll be replaced.
This is probably not a fun night to be a Saskatoon cop. This week was the last week of school, so the high school kids are likely all partying this weekend. The Saskatoon Jazz Festival started Friday night, but I doubt it will generate the kind of problems a bunch of drunken teenagers will.

Of course if you know anything about the Saskatoon police situation over the last few years you know its not that fun in general to be a Saskatoon cop. Unfortunately all it takes is a few bad apples to screw things up for the rest, not to mention having to take the flack for attitudes that have gone away or are in the process of changing.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Its amazing the effort some people put into webpages. A good example is Rakhal's The Penultimate Ranma Fanfic Index. Its a listing, including brief summaries, of fanfiction based on the popular Japanese series Ranma 1/2. We're talking at the moment just under 3200 stories. Imagine the amount of time he's put into this, along with other webstuff he does. Of course the scary thing is that even with all that effort there's a lot of Ranmafic that hasn't turned up on there yet.

Me, I'm too lazy to go to all that effort. I'd rather post things on an archive site, or write up stuff to publish on here, which involves little more than typing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Watching an episode of the original Spiderman cartoon tonight I was once more reminded of the great music that series features. I'd love to know the titles of some of the pieces, as I'm sure they weren't done specifically for the show. I know that at least one piece of music featured more that once on the show wasn't, as it turned up in a '60s Doctor Who episode I saw a few years ago. Another piece of music I'd love to know the name of is the title music from Invasion: UFO, a compilation movie put together from episodes of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's 1969 series UFO. Like Anderson's much better know series Space: 1999 UFO is currently available in North America on DVD. An American production company is reportedly interested in reviving the series, which is the 3rd time in the last 8 years there has been talk of doing so, previous efforts in 1996 and 2000 not producing any tangible results.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Teletoon here in Canada is currently playing that classic of '60s cheapo but fun animation Rocket Robin Hood. Interestingly tonight's story was one I absolutely didn't remember. Robin, Maid Marion, and the cook find themselves menaced by Doctor Mortula, a rather blatant Dracula ripoff. Its kind of surprising they went to the effort and didn't just have Robin encounter Dracula and be done with it. Of course its possible someone actually owned the rights to the Dracula stories in the late '60s. Anyways this one surprised me. I watched Rocket Robin Hood over and over again as a kid, so you'd think I would have seen this episode before. I've remembered the other episodes I've seen.
If you're into Undergrads this section at Nitcentral might be of interest to you. Hopefully this link will work.

Nitcentral in general is a cool site. It was developed by Phil Farrand, author of the Star Trek nitpicking books. The discussions can evolve in all sorts of interesting directions beside just merely noting all those funky errors that inevitably creep into things.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

A big thumbs down to Wilson Phillips new version of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." Its completely gutless and neutered. Its a bad version by the standards of Wilson Phillips themselves. Their new album, their first in years, consists of various covers, and the little bits I've heard of some of the others sounds not bad. But what do they release as a single but something that sounds like the trio have been taking too many sleeping pills.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Heads up on a cool article. Its in the July/August issue of The Atlantic. PJ O'Rourke has some funny comments on American talk radio. Even though there's lots of things I disagree with O'Rourke over I do find him entertaining, unlike many of the other right wing media personalities we see out of the States, who seem to have no sense of humour.
Watched the Bluejays play San Diego on tv tonight, and I was quite impressed with San Diego's Petco Park. Its a very interesting ballpark, with lots of cool features to make your visit more interesting, such as spectator balconies on a warehouse building that the park is built against. Of course it should be a cool ballpark given that it cost 450 million dollars. Looked like a pretty full house so at least they'll have some luck paying for it, at least this year. It literally opened in March, so its brand spanking new.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Yet another rocker with medical problems to report, but this time he may be able to do something about it. Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones has been told he must stop smoking or he will soon develop full blown emphysema. Ironically doctors have told him his liver and kidneys are in very good condition, especially given his long running drinking problem and the drugs he abused in the past.

Had a little smile this morning. A group of daycare kids got on the bus, and one of them was named Jasper. I wouldn't have thought anyone would name their son something so old fashioned these days. With a name like that maybe he'll grow up to be a butler. One of the other tikes was named Trinity, which is the kind of thing you'd expect from some of the silly folks running around these days. I seriously believe you could call a soap opera character some ridiculous name, even an insult in a foreign language, and in short order you'd see a bunch of little kids called Baka(Japanese for stupid) or what have you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Yet more bad music news to report. Johnny Ramone is dying of cancer after the prostate cancer he's been fighting for 4 years metastisized. Given that Joey and DeeDee Ramone have both died since the beginning of the millenium I'm surprised we haven't been hearing about "the curse of the Ramones" yet. For that matter you could throw in Phil Spector's recent legal problems given that he produced an album for the Ramones.

There's been too many stories like this already this year. I really hope things take a turn for the better.

Somewhat less nasty medical news, but a disappointment for Saskatchewan football fans, is that Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Nealon Greene will likely be out of action for the rest of the season. Greene 's leg was broken in 2 places last night during the season opener between the Roughriders and the Toronto Argonauts when Greene was sacked at 7:17 of the first quarter. Imagine having your season begin and end in the first 7 minutes of the first game. Nasty. He apparently had surgery this afternoon.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Anybody want some of our rain? We sure have had a lot in this neck of the woods the past week or so, with more on the way. Oh well, the farmers will be happy given how dry things have been.

One thing rain is not helpful with is if you have a dog. My aunt and uncle are staying here right now and brought their Springer Spaniel Dudley along with them. As you can imagine every time he goes outside the silly beast ends up getting wet and often muddy, and so has to be cleaned up before he has run of the house again. Pretty agrevating. Just confirms my belief that yes, I like animals like dogs, but I like them even better when they're the responsibility of someone else besides me.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I'm a little bit annoyed tonight. My main e-mail account hasn't been accessable all night, and I just know when it does start working again I'll end up having to delete 400 spam messages. On the other hand the system is text only, so its not too hard to delete stuff.

My dad was listening to the local talk station today and someone was all upset that CBC didn't play the Reagan funeral on the main tv network. As if the death of a former foreign head of state should screw up the schedule of a Canadian network.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Yet another music related death to report. Dan Armstrong has passed away. Although the name might not be familiar to you unless you're a guitar geek you've all but certainly heard and/or seen some of Armstrong's designs in use.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Yet more bad music news. Ray Charles died this morning at age 73. Man, what a bad week for musicians.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Following up my last post Fender has now officially denied they are up for sale. Sounds like someone read too much into too little information.
Some very interesting news for musicians came down the pike today. Fender Musical Instrument Corp., one of the dominant forces in the US musical instrument business, is up for sale. Reported asking price: 500 million bucks US. Anyone wanna loan me that? Fender is known for producing such iconic instruments as the Fender Stratocaster and Precision Bass, along with some of the most popular amplifiers of the last 50 years, like the Twin Reverb. Fender also owns the Squier, Guild, Sunn, and Charvel/Jackson brand names, as well as having a production/distribution deal with Gretsch.

The current ownership took over the company in 1985 when they bought it from CBS(yes, that CBS), who had purchased the company from founder Leo Fender in 1965. Hmmm, does that mean whoever buys it this time will sell if off in 2025? It will also be interesting to see what the period just ending ultimately gets called. As you might imagine the era when Leo owned the company became known as the pre CBS era amongst guitar folks, especially collectors. But there hasn't been a commonly used name for the current ownership period.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Yet more musical bad news to report. Jazz saxophonist Steve Lacy died Friday, June 4. He'd been diagnosed with liver cancer, one of the nastier forms of cancer, last August. He slipped into a coma last Wednesday from which he never regained conciousness. Another original gone.
Unless you've been living in a cave you've probably heard that Jennifer Lopez has married again, this time to B list Latin singer Marc Anthony. Frankly I really have to wonder what goes through the mind of someone marrying a guy like Anthony, who seems to have rather a roving eye. His ex wife, who he only divorced a week ago, split with him a couple of years ago after he cheated, but they eventually reconciled, only to split permanently. How could you trust someone like that? Whats even more amusing is people who have affairs and then get married when the marriage or marriages involved come apart. How do people trust each other in such situations? If he or she cheated to be with you how can you not worry that they will cheat on you with someone else? Just another case of love, or lust, being blind I guess.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Damn.

I just found out that guitarist Robert Quine has died, possibly via suicide. His wife died suddenly about 10 months ago and apparently Quine had been devastated by it. Quine was one of those original guitarists that sounded like pretty much no one but himself, and is probably best know as one of the Voidoids and for his stint with Lou Reed, along with working with Mathew Sweet. I guess I'll have to go dig out my copy of Basic, his 1984 album with guitarist/drummer Fred Maher.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Just found out that Ronald Reagan died today. We should hear a lot about him over the next few days, especially comments about him supposedly beating Eastern European Communism. Of course what actually beat Communism was its own flaws and problems it couldn't control, which Reagan had nothing to do with. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time to take advantage of them.

Its interesting to compare Reagan with Bush the Younger. Reagan strikes me as being more convincing as a President than Bush does. He gave you more of the impression that he knew what he was talking about, even if he actually didn't, that Dubya does.
I would like to make a request of anyone so inclined who might read this.

WRITE SOME UNDERGRADS FANFICS, DAMMITT!!

Surely someone beside the 7 or 8 folks, including me, who have already done so must want to. Of course if you're the person who wrote that Mandark/Gimpy slash fic I ran into over on AdultFanfiction.Net I would request you don't write any more Undergrads fics, okay?

Thursday, June 03, 2004

A big thumbs down to whoever is in charge of...well, I'm not sure quite what at Tripod/Angelfire. Right now if you click on an Angelfire page it opens this annoying information window on the left side of your screen, which interferes, at least on my monitor, with reading the rest of the page. Closing it up only works until you click on the next link. Hate to break it to you boys but some of us don't have 21 inch monitors set at 1280x1024. And I'd really rather not have to change some other setting to keep it from appearing and have that setting screw up viewing other pages.