Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When I Rule The World 9.

Strollers the size of small motorcycles will be banned from public transit.  Seriously, who thought those are a good idea?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gas In Saskatoon, June 24, 2011.

I missed last week's entry in this series, so there's no way I was going to miss this one.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 121.9 cents a litre at most locations, a drop of one cent from last week.  You can bet that when the price next goes up it won't be by a mere cent.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gold For Saskatchewan.

You'd think I would have remembered, but I didn't.  The World Series of Poker is well underway, and Saskatchewan can now claim a braclet.  Tyler Bonkowski of Regina won $220,817 in the 3000 Dollar Limit Hold 'Em tournament, $3000 being the amount each player has pay to play in the tournament. Along with that nice chunk of change he gets a World Series gold bracelet, as do all winners of a WSOP event.   Note that you won't find the actual tournament Bonkowski competed in in the Star Phoenix story.  I think it's a reasonable guess that the writer isn't a poker fan.  Bonkowski is from Moosimin by way of Regina.  This is his forth cash at a WSOP event, and the first victory for a Canadian player at the 2011 edition.  The Main Event, the highlight of the series, begins July 7th.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When I Rule The World 8.

When I rule the world SUVs will be banned.  As for pickup trucks you will actually have to provide a good reason why you should be allowed to own one.  And pickup trucks that have designs that make them nothing more than overgrown sports cars will also be prohibited.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gas In Saskatoon, June 10, 2011.

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 126.9 cents a litre at most locations.  A drop of 1 cent really doesn't make much difference when you're filling up.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

That Voice.

It's weird finding out that Kanye West sampled a Mike Oldfield tune of all things, although not as weird as it would have been if I hadn't heard he'd sampled King Crimson.  So, it's time for some good old shameless hit mongering by posting "In High Places" here.  Not that it's worked in the past, but maybe this time.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Do Creationists Pee?

The question came to mind after reading a new bit of Creationist nonsense PZ Myers came across.  You'd think anyone above about oh, the age of three would know that urine is the result of fluid intake, and therefore largely composed of water.  Apparently not whoever came up with this silliness.

(If you read the comments to PZ's post you'll see a lot of people think it's a Poe. Whether it is or not you can be sure someone out there does actually believe this.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Talking Money.

They say money talks, but I currently have a five in my pocket that sounds like a pirate.  The serial number prefix is AAR.  Then again maybe it's a cry of pain, since the bill is torn in a couple of places.

Look at Canadian paper currency serial numbers and you'll see lots of combinations that make words, or some other familiar combinations of letters, depending on what you're familiar with of course.  Some familiar ones that have caught my eye include:

AOK, which looks like the phrase "A, okay!"
FET, which is a type of transistor.
APE, which is obvious.
FEM, which is sometimes used to indicate female. 
AOR, album oriented rock, a term often used for the big "arena acts" of the '70s and early '80s, like Styx and Boston.
HOP, another obvious one.
HOE, yet another obvious one.
HOG, as above.
BEV, the common short version of the name Beverly.
AOL, America Online, the Internet company.
APB, all points bulletin.
FEG, the commonly used trade name of Hungarian arms company Fegyver- és Gépgyár.
APC, armoured personnel carrier.
APU, auxillary power unit, found on  many aircraft.
AOA, Age of Apocalypse, a storyline from Marvel's X Men comics.
ANY, another obvious one.
HOT, yet again obvious.
BTK, the pseudonym of serial killer Dennis Rader.  Also a 1990s Canadian hiphop/rock group, Birth Thru Knowledge.
APG, a prefix used by the US military to identify aircraft carried radars ie the AN/APG-65 used by the F/A 18 Hornet.
AAA, anti aircraft artillery, or the American Auto Association.
BTU, British thermal unit, a measurement of energy use.
FEE, another obvious one.
ALF, both the short version of Alfred and the title character of a popular '80s sitcom.
ALE, as in beer
BTR, a series of Soviet era military vehicles, such as the BTR70 armoured personnel carrier
BTW, common online abbreviation for "by the way."
HOW, obvious again.
EWE, a female sheep.
ALT, a key on a computer keyboard, or an abreviation for alternate, or the last name of a famous model.
FEB, an abreviation for February.
AYA, a common Japanese female name.
EWI, Electronic Wind Instrument, a synthesizer controller, designed by Niles Steiner, for saxophone players.
AYE, obvious again.
AAM, air to air missile.
ARE, obvious.
AWE, obvious.
ALL, also obvious.
ARF, the sound of a dog bark.
BEN, the common male name.
ARC, another obvious one.
ARK, Noah's impossible to float boat.
ELM, a nice tree.
AHA, "A ha!"
ALA, "A la."
EVH, guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
BEM, bug eyed monster, a common '50s sci fi menace.
EVE, the girl who supposedly got us all in trouble.
ANT, a guy who was in Genesis once upon a time.
AVE, abreviation for avenue.
ELK, a nice creature to see.
BFF, best friend forever.
EVA, common girl's name.
FRG, short for the Federal Republic of Germany.
ERG, a unit of energy.
EST, a briefly popular New Age mental health treatment created by Werner Erhard.
AIM, US military prefix for air to air missiles. Quite appropriate given the word it also is.
BEA, common female name.
ASK, obvious.
GOB, English slang for spitting.
BEG, obvious.
ELP, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, the popular, and sometimes infamous for musical excess, progressive rock group.
ERA, Equal Rights Amendment, which many Americans stupidly rejected.
GPS, Global Positioning System.

Yes, this post is silly and excessive.  But I just had to do it.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Switching Over...Or Not.

If you're a Canadian TV viewere you may have noticed ads about the upcoming changeover to digital TV transmission.  Canadian TV stations must switch their over the air TV transmissions over to the new digital transmission format by August 31, 2011.  Sounds simple.  But it isn't.  The Wikipedia article on the subject shows what a mess it's going to be.  Some transmitters will be changing over or already have done so.  Others wont.  For example the CBC English and French transmitters in Saskatoon aren't scheduled to switch over because they are retransmitters only, with the studios located in Regina.  Regina's CBC transmitters on the other hand will go digital.  Some transmitters may leave the air entirely.  This is on top of the confusion that is likely to result because many viewers won't understand they need to acquire equipment capable of receiving the new digital ATSC standard.  In the United States nearly 2 million people still didn't have digital TV receivers when analog signals ended in June of 2009.  So some viewers will suddenly find their local TV station gone from its old analog channel and not know why.

If you have cable or satellite you won't have to worry.  But if you need to receive signals with an antenna you'd better get cracking at getting the right gear.

Cash Is King.

Yesterday I got one of those phone calls you don't want.  My bank notified me that my debit card was being locked because of a potential data skimming, and that I'd have to visit my local branch to get it unlocked and to change my PIN number.  Since I didn't find out until after local branch hours had ended I was stuck with a grand total of 13 bucks to my name that happened to be in my pocket.  In reality I wasn't really broke since I do have a credit card with another bank, but I only use that card for certain things. 

This is the kind of thing that makes appreciate cash.  When you spend actual, physical money your entire savings aren't at risk, just whatever cash you hand over.  You're also more likely to think about what you're spending, instead of simply pressing a button and worrying about it later, like at the end of the month when your bank statement comes, and you suddenly realise that you've spend a lot more money than you thought.  It's probably a good idea to leave the card in your pocket except for more pricey things, which you're likely to buy at places much less likely to be the site of a skimming attempt, and pay for the small stuff with paper money.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Not Watching The Puck.

Hockey has been getting a lot of non-sportscast press the past few days in Canada.  It's a combination of the Vancouver Canucks going to the Stanley Cup and the announcement Winnipeg will be the new home for the Atlanta Thrashers, despite the NHL's disdain for the idea.  Yet it's worth remembering that despite the stereotypes a lot of Canadians don't actually watch hockey, like me.  Like soccer I find it a bunch of pointless going back and forth.  I prefer something where the use of strategy is a bit more obvious, like Canadian football or baseball, and other non-hockey watchers have their own reasons for disinterest with the game .  For example there are probably some immigrants or the kids of immigrants who don't bother with hockey, but stick with the traditional sports obsessions of the "old country," whereever that might be. 

Still, even if you don't follow hockey it's not hard to get interested in some of the business goings-on behind the game.  For example why would anyone want a pro hockey team in Atlanta, especially since the first attempt, the NHL's Atlanta Flames of the early '70s, failed and moved to Calgary, where they remain today.  Los Angeles makes sense if only because of its sheer size and the number of Canadian expats living there, especially those in the entertainment business.  There's also the already mentioned antipathy by the current NHL bosses towards any talk of a new team in Canada.  It's only because they pretty much have no choice, other than let the team fold, that they've finally agreed to the Thrashers move.  But watching the actual game itself is something I just won't be doing.