Friday, June 27, 2008

Hard Up For Headlines?

Waiting in line at the local Shoppers Drug Mart today I scanned the covers of the various publications located near the cash register. One of the was The Globe tabloid. One of the cover stories made me wonder. It was about a supposed plot to kill Doris Day. Perhaps the demographics of the typical tabloid buyer are older than I thought, because I have trouble seeing the same folks who want to know the supposed latest about Brad and Angelina being interested in Ms. Day. She's largely been out of the public eye by her own choice since the early 1970s. Some of the younger audience for the gossip rags probably don't even have a clue as to who she is and what made her famous. So it seems kind of odd they'd have her prominently featured on the cover. Perhaps they needed a break from "Brangelina," and Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan have managed to go a few weeks without making total specticles of themselves.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Geez, Oprah!

You're going to have a show about past life regression tomorrow. Given your influence, a bunch of people will take that crap seriously. After all, if it's on your show it must be true. But you should bloody well know better. You're one of the richest women in the world, so you must have some common sense. Yet you keep giving this crap credibility. And you should damn well know that falling for it will get people in trouble, whether by keeping them away from real solutions to their problems or creating entirely new ones.

But hey, maybe I'm assuming too much.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Admit It.

If you're a Canadian who remembers the '80s when you saw Corey Hart was playing with the Milwaukee Brewers you Googled him to find out if he was named after the Canadian singer. He wasn't, being born a year before Corey Hart the singer released his first album. Besides, his first name is actually Jon, Corey being his second name.

Of course I couldn't mention Corey Hart, '80s teen heartthrob, without posting the video for "Sunglasses at Night." Enjoy. Or not.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Curses, Foiled Again!

Poker can be a cruel game. I was playing a freeroll on Pokerstars a bit ago and called another player's all in move with pocket nines. It turned out he'd all in-ed with 4-7 offsuit, obviously a straight bluff. I'm sure you can guess what happened given the title. Yep, I got busted out when the turn and the river produced a 7 and a 4 respectively, giving him 2 pair. Sometimes even the absolute right move ends up being the wrong one.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gay Saskatoon.

Yesterday's Saskatoon Star Phoenix had an article about the state of Saskatoon's "queer" community. Not surprisingly the consensus was that many "straight" people are more open minded towards gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people, but that acceptance of such groups is far from universal. Those talked to generally agree that being open about being a lesbian is a bit more accepted than being open about being a gay man. Transgendered people face the most problems, with even some in the "queer" community expressing negative attitudes towards them.

This should come as no surprise. Merely being a member of a minority group does not make one automatically accepting of other minority groups. All one has to do is think of the racism that often exists amongst those who are themselves victims of racism.

As for Saskatoon's GLBT community it should be remembered that they are individuals first, that no one size fits all. There are sure to be some who scoff at the idea of a specific "queer" culture, or in fact find the use of the term "queer" unacceptable. Sexuality is a complicated concept, tied up with one's personal worldview, character, and self perception, and the correct way for one person to deal with theirs is not necessarily the correct path for others.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hmmm, I Hear A Similarity....

I've been listening to the Cars quite a bit the last week or so. Listening to "Touch and Go" last night I came to a realisation. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "You Got Lucky" has some similarities, as you might notice in the Youtube videos posted above. The keyboard part on "You Got Lucky" especially sounds like it was influenced by the Cars song, and some of the guitar sounds show a bit of similarity as well. "You Got Lucky" was released in 1982, so there's no doubt Tom Petty and the boys had a chance to hear "Touch and Go" before writing their tune. Deliberate lift or accidental copying of elements? Somehow I doubt Tom Petty would admit the former if it did happen.

A bit of trivia about the "Touch and Go" vid is that Ric Ocasek is playing a Kawai Moonsault guitar. This guitar with its distinctive crescent moon shape appeared in the late '70s, but since Kawai never put much effort into selling its guitars in North America at the time very few of what was probably a limited run in the first place made it across the Pacific.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Future Of The RV.

It seems not a day goes by that the media has some new report on the future of SUVs and pickup trucks as the price of gas goes ever higher. But I haven't run across predictions about the future of the RV. Filling up your SUV for regular driving is bad enough, but filling up to tow your fifth wheel trailer someplace is even worse. The same thing goes for large motorhomes, which consume a lot of gas just to go a few miles. It would seem a reasonable guess the rising price of gas will put the future of such vehicles in jeopardy. Smaller motorhomes based on a van chassis, and smaller camper trailers may have more of a future, while tent trailers and compact hard side trailers may actually see an increase in interest as other formats become less appealing. Perhaps large camper trailers will still have a niche for semipermanent uses, where they are moved only once or twice a year to a fixed location for an extended period. But the decline of more casual camping use of such units is sure to hit the makers hard.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Last Days Of An Old Companion.

It seems a vehicle I've long driven is about to leave the stage. It's a 1994 Chrysler Caravan minivan my father purchased new as part of his job at the time, which was doing repair work for cash registers and related equipment at various Hudson Bay stores in Saskatchewan. (Ironically he was hired on to do exactly the same job he had been doing as an employee of the Bay before they decided to contract out the service in the early '90s.) Over the years we've put more than 277,600 kilometers on it, or 177,500 miles, if you prefer. But it's finally gotten to the point where it probably needs to go. It has a banged up front driver's side from an accident I had with it a few years back. The hinges of the driver's side door, which had to be rewelded even before the accident, have come loose again, and the door itself doesn't close properly without some force. The paint is peeling on the hood, roof, and elsewhere, and there is more and more rust appearing in various places. But most importantly the engine, the heart of any vehicle, is sounding more and more like it's about to give up the ghost, and repairing it wouldn't be worth the money given the general decay of the rest of the van. And frankly like the SUVs on the road it's making less and less sense economically to keep driving it. We have made use of its cargo capacity over the years, but even that really isn't enough reason for us to keep using it. So within the next month or two we will likely look for some way of disposing of it. I"ll miss it, as it's served us well.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How Long, Homer?

Fox announced yesterday it has renewed The Simpsons for a 20th season. There is every likelyhood the series will surpass Gunsmoke as the longest running US primetime scripted series. Will Fox ever cancel The Simpsons? The series has to end sometime. Perhaps it will take the departure of one or more members of the lead voice cast to finally convince everyone it is time to wrap things up. One would have thought the show's ratings would eventually decline sufficiently for it to go, as lots of people (such as me) have given up on the show, but this has not been the case. Even when the series is cancelled it will continue to appear in syndication, and no doubt like its spiritual predecessor from the 1960s, The Flintstones, will be airing someplace as the fiftieth anniversary of its debut approaches.