Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The last Montreal Expos home game just ended a few minutes ago. Tonight's full house brings up the obvious question of where the hell all these people have been the last half decade or more. And certain of tonight's fairweather fans almost screwed things up by throwing crap on the field, leading to the possibility of the game being suspended. Fortunately that didn't happen, as if it had there could very well have been a riot.

With the Expos gone another obvious question comes to mind, namely the fate of Montreal's notorious Olympic Stadium. The stadium will now have no ensured source of income. Even several years ago there had been talk it might be abandoned due to some of the problems with the structure. Its not a wild guess that the facility may be on its way to demolition.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

FYI to Undergrads fans. There is now an Undergrads category at It will be interesting to see how many of the dozen or so Undergrads fics on ffnet actually migrate into the new category. With luck this change will also encourage someone else to write a fic or two for the series.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

As you've probably heard by now the Federal Communications Commission in the US has fined CBS some 500 thousand bucks for the exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during the Superbowl half time show. Personally the whole thing strikes me as stupid and hypocritical. Its some horrible crime that Jackson's nipple was visible, yet during this same Superbowl broadcast they had ads for a new "erectile dysfunction" treatment pill which mentioned 4 hour erections as a possible unwanted side effect. Is a brief glimpse of a breast more offensive to "family values" than that?

Don't feel too sorry for CBS though. I suspect they will more than make up for the fine by the increased viewership their broadcast of the big bowl games will get. After all its a reasonable guess that some people who wouldn't otherwise be watching will this time around in the hope that something else shocking will happen.

Friday, September 24, 2004

If you're into Canadian politics, check out the October, 2004 issue of The Walrus. Marci McDonald's article "The Man Behind Steven Harper" is a profile of Tom Flannagan, one of the brains behind much of the Reform/Canadian Alliance/Conservative Party of Canada's ideology, and the so called Calgary school. You read some past articles from the magazine at their website.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Had Chinese food for supper tonight. As is often the case we ordered from Asian Cuisine, located just off Central Avenue in Sutherland. As usual we ordered some ginger beef, and I think their ginger beef is the best of the ginger beef I've eaten in Saskatoon Chinese restaurants. Asian Cuisine's primary business is takeout, as they have only a small dining room with a half dozen or so tables in it. We occasionally order from Szechaun Kitchen, a similar "hole in the wall" type place located on Broadway Avenue.

A recent entry into the Saskatoon restaurant market is Eastside Mario's, located on 8th Street, one of Saskatoon's primary business streets. My parents went there a bit ago, and commented that it shares the same problem as a number of other restaurants seem to these days, its too noisy. In a society where the average age is increasing you can only wonder at design decisions that will alienate older potential customers, especially those who are hard of hearing. Interestingly its located on a plot of land next to Saskatoon's outlet of Red Lobster, a plot that was supposedly going to house an Olive Garden. (It became available when Sherwood Chev/Olds, one of Saskatoon's main auto dealers, moved off the land.) The story goes that the Olive Garden bigwigs decided via their formula that Saskatoon isn't big enough for one of their restaurants. Personally I and others thing they underestimate the amount Saskatonians eat in restaurants. After all Saskatoon has a high number of restaurants.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Been a good long while since I've posted a Japanese culture link, so here's one. It discusses some recent events regarding one of the members of Pink Lady The female singing duo were one of the first Japanese acts to try and get a foothold on the American pop scene. Unfortunately they tried to do so via the notorious tv show Pink Lady and Jeff, generally considered one of the worst tv shows of the late '70s.
Since I'm sitting here perusing links off of it I figure I should be a nice guy and post a link to PZ Myers Pharyngula blog. Besides, I think I've had a couple of hits on here based off of comments I've posted to posting on his.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Taking a look at my Blogger profile page I note that it hasn't been updated since the 15th, even tho' I've made a number of posts since then. Should I bother complaining to them? Nah, I don't think so. As long as the actual posting mechanism does I really don't care what the profile might do.
Yep, I am definitely very verbose today.

Delta State, hmmm....

No, its not a school I'm thinking about, but a new series that just debuted on Teletoon this month. Apparently based on a comic book, it chronicles the adventures of a quartet of young adults with no memories of their past. Sharing an apartment together they spend their time trying to figure who they were, and who they might be, while using their psychic powers to fight the Rifters, a group of baddies from someplace as yet unrevealed, who are trying to take over humanity, including taking over human bodies. This often requires them to go into the delta state, a sort of surreal parallel dimension. Their only ally is Brodie, a psychologist type who, like the Rifters, we really don't know much about yet. Hey, they've only just shown the 3rd episode of an apparent 26. However, I have this suspicion he'll turn out to be in some way connected with the Rifters. A renegade perhaps?

Its probably a bit early to decide how well the series will work, but the art style is definitely interesting. Some of the shots are obviously live action material overlaid with animation, leading to some very realistic looking facial movements and so forth. On the other hand is the noses of everyone, which have a line around them, leading to an odd appearance. Lots of bright colours are used for the characters. The overall makes me think somewhat of MTV's late 90s offering Downtown.

Like a lot of cartoon productions these days this one is a co-production deal involving Teletoon and some European networks. No big surprise. The cost of a series these days is such that small and niche market networks like Teletoon can't go it alone. This of course was the thing that doomed Undergrads and Cybersix, namely not being able to retain partners and find new ones to replace them. Hopefully this series will come to some sort of reasonable conclusion or resolution of the initial story in the final episode of the 26, and not leave viewers stuck with a cliffhanger. One good thing, whatever happens, is that the number of episodes should cut down on the repetition factor once they've played them all and go into a rerun cycle.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

While I'm at it I'll mention Britney Spears' reported marriage today. You wanna bet she won't be married this time next year?
Tuesday will see the release of the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD. However the versions released have changes from the originals, both those made in 1997, and yet more made for this release. The obvious question is of course why the prospective buyer isn't being offered a choice of which version to buy. You want to make changes, George, well, yeah, no one can stop you. But why not let those who want to see things as they appeared in 1977-1980-1983 have that choice? Especially since the hardcore, true believer types are likely to buy both versions.

I can only wonder what Gimpy would think....
Just read some more details of the death of Rick James. It seems he had quite the mix of stuff in him when he died, according to the autopsy report.

Its amazing that some folks just can't get past doing drugs. John Entwistle's death was the result of cocaine. James was apparently doing drugs even though he had multiple health problems, including a 1998 stroke. I wonder who might be next of the older crowd.
I'm number ten! At least if you believe Google.
Hopefully the link I'm about to present will work, because I seem to have trouble using them anyplace but directly via the site. Anyways, if you're a fan of Stargate SG1 and like SG1 fanfics check out Neuropsych's stuff at Fanficnet. I've really gotten hooked on his Campers stories. Fun stuff, especially his character Jaffer. If that link doesn't work just go to the main page and work your way in from there. I'm not a hardcore devotee of the tv series, just a casual viewer. On the other hand you don't really need to be a persistent watcher of a series to enjoy its fanfics. I've read far more Kim Possible fanfics than you'd guess by the relatively few episodes of the series I've actually seen.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Just found out that Johhny Ramone has died. He had been ill with cancer for some time. It sure is getting to be a long list of musicians who have died this year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Tonight and tomorrow are the finale of Canadian Idol for this year, with one of the 2 finalists being Theresa Sokyrka from here in Saskatoon. The Idol concept has been licenced in all sorts of places, like Malaysia, as I found out by reading a blog post about the current competition. But it makes me wonder about Idol programs in other countries, and I can imagine scenes from a few.

Iranian Idol: As always ladies and gentlemen our music selections are approved by our own team of Islamic clerics to ensure they are not un-Islamic. And they would like to warn Reiza not to engage in the kind of moves he used in last week's episode. Not only are they un-Islamic they tell us, they also make you look like a bad Elvis impersonator.

Andorran Idol: And here's your winner of Andorran Idol, Francesca! Of course she's winner by default, since she's the only candidate.

North Korean Idol: Wasn't that a stirring rendition by Chan Ho of "The Korean People Will Stand With the Dear Leader For 1,000 Years?" And now here's Hee, with "The Dear Leader and the Korean People Will Defeat the Imperialist Agressors and their Lackeys."

Monday, September 13, 2004

At the moment I'm sitting here listening to Kraftwerk's Radioactivity album, and just realised it will be 30 years old next year. And something like Duran Duran's debut album is closing in on 25 years old. Time sure flies. Someone wanna slow its passage down for a bit please?
Today is an important anniversary, at least in some universes. If you happen to come from one of them you probably know that today, Sept. 13, is the 5th anniversary of the Moon being blown out of orbit. If you've been wondering what happened to those folks on Moonbase Alpha you can find the details here. Hmmm, maybe I should watch "Breakaway" sometime today....

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Poor South Carolinians! A group called Christian Exodus figures their state is the perfect place to try and set up a "Christian" government, even if that means suceding from the Union. They want a bunch of folks who agree with them to move to South Carolina so they can dominate the political system, vote their kind of people into power, and transform South Carolina. Good luck. I can't help but wonder if these folks know the racist right had a similar idea, ruminating back in the '80s and early '90s about turning the Pacific Northwest into a "White homeland." Idaho was a popular destination for such folks, as it supposedly has the lowest number of "minority" citizens in the US.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

A while back I commented on here at my amusement at some of the prices online book sellers wanted for titles from the Death Merchant action/adventure book series. I was just doing a little bit of looking for stuff on horror novelist Edward Lee's book Coven, and I found references to copies of it selling for as much as 150 bucks! Wow, all that for a horror paperback. A limited edition hardback version came out sometime within the last year or so at a mere 45 bucks American, but it was only 300 copies so I imagine the price of these may go up as well.

Coven is amazingly over the top. It tells the tale of a university town that is menaced by an evil alien entity from elsewhere and his army of cloned minions, who look like sexy young women and run around kidnapping people to crossbreed with other aliens the creature has kidnapped. Lots of violence, sex, and sex mixed with violence. If you've ever wanted to read a scene where a woman projectile vomits due to an orgasm induced by being screwed by an alien this is the book for you. The sheer gonzoness of it made me wonder exactly which parts were to be taken seriously and which were to be considered extreme black humour. Lee's later books that I read didn't seem to have the dark humour element that Coven does, but certainly had the mix of sex and bizarre that Coven does.

Books like Coven, some of C. Dean Anderson's stuff, and others I thumbed thru in the late '80s and early '90s made me smirk a lot when the controversy exploded over Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho. The only reason this happened at all was because American Psycho was written by a supposed mainstream writer, and would have been published by Simon and Schuster if not for the complaints. You could find all sorts of books with similar or worse violence haunting the horror sections of the era, but you didn't see reams of ink and hours of tv time spent analysing them. And personally I found Ellis's writing so bland that the whole thing seemed lifeless and didn't get the "this is disgusting stuff" section of my brain going like some of the other stuff I ran across.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

One thing that you are not likely to find if you visit Saskatchewan is strip clubs. No, they're not illegal, but a peculiar quirk of Saskatchewan's liquor licensing regulations is that strip clubs cannot serve alcohol. There have been a number of attempts to start liquorless strip clubs but they generally fail, which tells you something about what it takes to get most people to watch strippers, namely some booze in their belly. A Saskatoon businessman tried to get around this by opening up his strip club, Showgirls(yeah, not very original is he?) next door to his restaurant, with a patio connecting the two and a door on each end of the patio. So patrons could go into the restaurant, drink, and then go thru the two doors to watch the strippers. However he's gotten into other problems with the regs unrelated to the alcohol question, so its future is currently uncertain.

In one way Saskatoon should be a good market for a strip joint, namely that its a university town, with the University of Saskatchewan having somewhere between 15 and 20 thousand full time students each year. There's also Kelsey, a tech college, with several thousand more students, as well as other smaller business and so forth schools, and one assumes horny university boys are a primary market for "exotic entertainment."

Monday, September 06, 2004

Here's a birdwatching tip. If you want to attract bluejays, put out a bowl of uncooked peanuts. Bluejays absolutely love peanuts.
I mentioned in a post a while back that I've been reading Ben Watson's Derek Bailey biography in a bookstore. Dan Warburton of Paris Transatlantic has just posted a review of the book. Although I do think the book is worth reading I can definitely understand some of Mr. Warburton's criticisms of it, especially since Watson can get a bit heavy on the Marxist class analysis and so forth. Now if I could just get a look at drummer Eddie Prevost's book on free improv, which PT also have a review of online, Prevost being another fellow with some apparently rather interesting theoretical meanderings going on in his book.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

A piece of advice for anyone waiting on my fic writing.

If I claim that I'm going to be releasing something "within the next week or two" don't believe me. I am most certainly wrong. But I do understand how annoying it is waiting for new chapters to show up. There are a number of stories by other folks I'm waiting on new chapters of just as you might waiting for me to get my act together and put out some more stuff. Of course what's really annoying is waiting for a year or more for something new from certain writers. The worst of course is wanting new chapters to a story and knowing that they aren't likely to ever appear. Like the infamous Zen's Ranmafic The Long and Winding Road.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Saskatoon has a number of people who you see regularly who I call pickers, just as I'm sure other cities of comparable size do. These are folks who go thru garbage cans downtown and around malls looking for discarded beverage containers to exchange for the deposit on them. Some of the more ambitious ones check thru dumpsters behind apartment buildings and businesses, or even work residential back alleys. One thing I find interesting about them is that none of them wear gloves. Personally if I were doing that one of the first things I want to get my hands on is a pair of gloves given some of the things people throw in public garbage cans, especially in this age of diseases like AIDS being transmitted thru discarded junkie syringes.

Deposit returns on most refundable beverage containers are handled here by SARCAN, a local organisation that uses handicapped folks to run the return depots.(Glass beer bottles and alcohol bottles can also be returned to Saskatchewan Liquor Board stores for refund.) SARCAN currently has a monthly limit of 50 dollars per person for deposit returns because of people bringing in large numbers of containers from out of province to claim the refund, so I wonder how the pickers who gather more than 50 bucks a month deal with this. There are at least a couple of small firms that buy beverage containers from private individuals, so presumably some of the pickers go thru them, although they will obviously get less money than if they go to SARCAN directly.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Its amazing some of the cheesy ways people try and sucker you into looking at their webpages. For example consider what happens if instead of typing in you type in Surprise! You get directed not to a blogging page but another lame-o fundie recruitment site. Its the usual "the end is near, so join up with our version of Christianity and get sucked up into the sky when things go to shit" nonsense. One can only wonder how people can cry wolf over and over again and believe it. There probably hasn't been a day since Jesus was crucified that someone hasn't claimed the end is near. Besides, as my grandmother says the world ends for someone every day.