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Monday, December 30, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, December 30, 2013.

The price of gas didn't actually change last week.  It remains at 111.9 cents a litre at most locations.  |But since this is the last Monday of 2013 I figured I might as well do one last one.  The first of these posts for 2013, written on January 4th, noted that the price of gas was 104.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Pile.

At the moment I have rather a large pile of books on my bedside table, all of which I'm in the process of reading.  Some I've just started, others, I've been going at for a while now.  They are:

-The End:  The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945, by Ian Kershaw.

-The Strat In The Attic:  Thrilling Stories of Guitar Archeology, by Deke Dekerson.

-Who I Am, by Pete Townshend.

-Rommel's Lieutenants:  The Men Who Served the Desert Fox, France, 1940, by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.

-This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band, by Levon Helm with Stephen Davis.

-On Some Faraway Beach:  The Life and Times of Brian Eno, by David Sheppard

-Rolling Thunder Against the Rising Sun:  The Combat History of U.S. Army Tank Battalions in the Pacific in World War II, by Gene Eric Salecker.

You can cay they're all history books.  They're all books that are my personal property, not library books.  And there's at least another history book I should really go buy, assuming a copy is still in the cheapy section at McNally-Robinson in a few days.  Not that I'll tell you what that book is, you might go buy them all out if I do.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Standing In Line.

If you're reading this post while standing in line 12 hours or whatever before your local super whatever store opens, all I can do is shake my head.  Is a cheap whatever really worth the discomfort of standing around in cold weather with a bunch of strangers, when you could be at home with the family?  Of course it's possible you live someplace where the stores open on Christmas Day after 6 PM or something  and have already been in line for hours, which is probably even worse.

Those of you who live in places where Christmas is just another day can of course ignore this post.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, December 23, 2013.

'Twas 2 days before Christmas, and all through Saskatoon town, 111.9 cents a litre, was the most common gas price to be found. 

I bet a lot of people filled up today given how many I saw driving around this afternoon.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Et Tu, Hugh?

I just had an ad pop up on the blog for Playboy Energy Drink.  My first thought was that it's a bit late in the day to be jumping on that trend.  Then I thought about how no one should be all that surprised there is such a thing.  Hugh Hefner has always been good about keeping his name and the Playboy brand in the public consciousness.(Although these days I doubt he has much direct involvement with any of the big business decisions.)

As for energy drinks, I've never consumed one, and have no desire to.  Personally I think they're just a good way for beverage companies to make even more money than they do on soft drinks given the higher prices.  You're likely to get the same effect from drinking some coffee or a caffeinated soft drink, which are cheaper.  Of course it's still not as big of a ripoff as the bottled water market, where the product is often local tap water with some filtering.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Not Losing The High End.

It's a peril of aging.  If you're a singer, especially the typical untrained pop music singer, there's a good chance your range will decrease with age.  If you've gone to see some of the longer running acts you probably have seen singers who can't reach the high notes in their older material.  Some acts will play their songs in a lower key to help the singer, radically rearrange them, or even skip some material at all.

But there's one band that might not face this problem.  It being Christmas season, CBC Saskatchewan just played a version of "The First Noel" by the Crash Test Dummies.  Remember them?  If you do you likely remember Brad Roberts very distinctive low voice, which Wikipedia describes as bass baritone.  Can a singer who sings in that range actually lose his high range?  Presumably, but listeners are probably less likely to notice when they sing in that range.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Joining The Club.

Tomorrow will see a new weapon join thet Saskatoon Police Service arsenal: Tasers.  44 have been acquired, and will be fairly strictly  controlled.  Officers who have been through Taser training will have to sign them out before use, any time they get fired a review will be conducted, and the public notified.   Their usage, at least for now, is to be limited to situations where an officer might otherwise draw his handgun.  I get the impression this might be a more limited range of scenarios than some police forces use Tasers for, but I have no problem with that.  Tasers can be dangerous even when used properly, but are quite obviously less likely to cause permanent harm that the .40 caliber hollowpoints of the Glock pistols Saskatoon cops carry.  Anything that reduces the chances of firearms being needed is good in my book.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cans-celled.

Uggh.  The left side on my Sony headphones has gone dead.  I assume the cord has just been stepped on or run over by my chair wheels one too many times.   I doubt I can take the earpiece apart to get at the wires, so it looks like a new pair is in my future.  They were just a cheap 50 buck or whatever pair, but they've served me well as I sat in front of my computer listening to hours of music every day.  I'm not even sure how old they are, as I have no idea what year I bought them. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Long Time No See.

I hadn't had a Willy hit since November 20th.  But my latest kind of made up for that.  A six year sleeper is always nice to see.  I wonder where else this bill has been since 2007, besides Balgonie.

When I Rule The World 19.

If I am in a town or city, no one but me will be allowed to travel by private motor vehicle on a Saturday. You'll have to walk, use public transit, or ride a bicycle instead, because I really dislike not being able to find a parking spot.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another Choice, But Not For Me.

If you're a poutine fan you now have another choice.  McDonalds is now offering poutine.  I tried some today, but I don't think I'll buy it again.  The bigger fries Burger King uses seem to work better for poutine, and I think the serving size of the BK version is bigger.  Not to mention BK's poutine can be ordered with bacon.  On the other hand the paper container McDonalds uses might be better for the environment than the plastic one Burger King uses.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Respite.

It seems we're finally going to get a break from the nasty temperatures...



...Sunday, when it's supposed to reach minus 8.  Until then, enjoy things like the high wind chills we currently have a warning from Environment Canada for.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, December 9. 2013.

And back down it went.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 115.9 cents a litre at most locations..  Hopefully it will go down a bit more before Christmas, but I wouldn't count on it.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Brutal.

There's no better word to describe tonight's UFC fight in Australia between Mark Hunt and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.  I can't remember seeing a more bloody slugfest in the UFC cards I've watched.  I found myself worrying about both fighters at times in the later stages.  Can they really take that kind of punishment without ongoing health problems?  As for the decision itself I wasn't all that surprised.  I really couldn't decide who won the fight, so a majority draw makes sense. 

I suspect we'll see a rematch eventually.  But it might be a good while given the damage both men must have taken tonight.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Fair Is Fair.



Since I posted a Stones cover last night I should be fair and post a Beatles cover, shouldn't I?  And here it is, Yellow Magic Orchestra's version of "Day Tripper." 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

"Miss You."



Not much to say about this other than that I doubt the |Stones have done a version as good as this in years, and it probably wasn't as funky.

Bernard Fowler has done quite a bit of work with the Stones and on Stones member solo projects, while Doug Wimbush toured with Mick Jagger.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Smartass Or Serious?

I came across this hit, which isn't mine, over at Where's Willy?  I suspect the person who entered it was just being silly given the location, but you never know.

For Cash Or Trade.

One authentic set of frigid Canadian weather.  Will trade for warmer set of weather, preferably tropical.

Please note his is a limited time offer, so the linked information may not reflect current offerings.  Void were prohibited, please obey your country's customs and weather regulations.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, December 2, 2013.

After several attempts at raising the price, the price of gas finally went up over the last week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 117.9 cents a litre at most locations.

When I Rule The World 18.

North Dakota and South Dakota will be renamed Top Dakota and Bottom Dakota.  There are probably lots of other places that could do with similar name changes, but that's a start.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Most Appropriate.

I got a 2012 series 20 dollar bill out of an ATM today.  The prefix on the bill serial number is BIZ.  I can't think of a more appropriate bill prefix on money.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Productivity Is Up.

Specifically my productivity as a blogger.  I haven't had a month with 21 or more posts since October of 2010, when I made 24.  Things still aren't up to the level of the early days of this blog though, my peak being 59 posts in December of 2004, followed by 58 in March of 2006.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Another Missing Option.

Tonight's Questionable Content strip got me thinking.  I'm surprised I haven't seen someone offering wooden PC cases.  Given some of the other electronics related products I've seen offered wooden PC cases don't seem all that weird.

Not Just For Fido?

If you have a dog or cat in Saskatoon, you are supposed to have it vaccinated against rabies.  But a member of Saskatoon's animal control committee, Ed Hudson, says pet owners should also be vaccinated.  The number of animal bites has been going up in Saskatoon, 404 reported cases versus 361 in 2012, and 21 people were treated with some form of rabies vaccine this year after being bitten.  Hudson argues mandatory vaccination will reduce the chance of people catching rabies.

However it would seem to me that you'd need to vaccinate far more people than the official owner of a dog or cat.  My cousin, her husband, and their daughter live with several dogs.  I don't know who the registered owner is, but if one member of the family is at risk, they all are.  Then there's my aunt, who has regular dealing with those dogs when the family is working and at school.  So there is a case where four people would seem to require vaccination.  You can extrapolate that to all the households in town that have pets that require vaccination.  And it probably would need to be extended to others who don't have pets of their own, but work regularly around them, such as pet shop employees.

Hmmm, maybe I need to be more careful around the friendly cat who's been visiting my place lately....



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beware!

Twix are addictive.  Do not eat them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Poor Marigold.

Sometimes having friends who are a bit clueless about social interactions and shyness can be really annoying.  Or embarrassing.  Or something.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Cultural Tip.

I was busy listening to the Roughriders game, and haphazardly playing poker online.  I don't watch awards shows these days anyway.  But I still got a bit of a chuckle out of Katy Perry's performance at the American Music Awards.  The AP piece on the awards described Perry's outfit as "a traditional Japanese dress."  It's not.  It's your typical vaguely kimono looking outfit, created by a Western costume or fashion designer.  It's not hard to find images of actual kimonos online to compare, but is that necessary if you're writing a simple article about an awards show? Well, you might want to consider doing so if you're going to claim it's authentic.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weird Sounds.

If you're in Regina, that really weird sound you heard a few minutes ago was a bunch of happy Roughrider fans.

If you're in Hamilton that weird noise you heard was a bunch of unhappy Tiger Cats fans.

There can be few more appropriate ways to end the history of Taylor Field than the Roughriders winning the Grey Cup at home.  And they did it convincingly. 

The big surprise of the game was probably Tom Hanks being there, apparently a guest of Martin Short.   Not that I saw them, since I listened to the game on the radio.  That's what I've done most of the year, so why stop now?

Some day I really have to go to Regina and see a game.  Just not in November.

Congratulations, guys.  Hopefully you can do it again next year.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Latest TV Show Concept.

If you're a producer looking for your next reality show concept, get in touch with me after you read this.  It's got hit written all over it.

The title says it all:  Mayor Rescue.  North America is full of crappy mayors, as can be seen via the Rob Ford mess, and Mayor Rescue will help fix them.  Each week our retired highly successful mayor and his team of experts will visit mayors in need of help, teaching them how to go from failure to fabulous. 

Doesn't that just scream hit?  Just look at all the press Rob Ford is getting.  So get in touch, now.  And don't steal my idea, or I'll be really unhappy.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Couldn't Even Get That Right.

"Psychic" Sylvia Browne has died at 77.  But her death is a good indication of the effectiveness of her supposed psychic powers.  Browne told Larry King years ago she would die at 88.  Of course I've seen more than one psychic claim they can't directly benefit from their powers, such as making predictions about themselves.  Funny that she didn't know that.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What We're Watching.

Alex Strachan of Postmedia has written an article on the state of the current TV season.  This includes what Canadians are watching, and the current winners are all veterans.  For example The Big Bang Theory is pulling 3.5 million viewers an episode.  Strachan notes those are Stanley Cup finals viewing numbers, and given that Canada has a market roughly one tenth of the US would be like a show on a US network getting 35 million viewers an episode.  Any US network or show runner would kill for numbers like that.  And The Amazing Race is more popular in Canada than the US, drawing the equivalent of 20 million viewers per episode, while in the US it draws 10 million or less per episode.  (Presumably that's why CTV aired The Amazing Race Canada over the Summer, and it will be back for a second season.)

I doubt anyone will be surprised that NHL hockey is a major ratings winner in Canada.  But some Americans will be surprised that Arrow is a top 25 show in Canada.  That's because Arrow is on CTV, one of the main broadcast networks in Canada, versus its originating US network The CW, which doesn't reach all US viewers. 

Of new shows Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Blacklist made the top 30 in Canada.  I haven't watched Agents, despite being a comic book fan as a kid.  I watched the first couple of episodes of The Blacklist, and should go watch a couple more online.  But frankly my initial impression is that it's trying to be too clever for its own good, and some of the dialogue was cliché and predictable.  At least James Spader seems to be having fun.

One thing that has changed for Saskatchewan viewers this year was the provincial educational TV network becoming an outlet of Toronto based City.  As a result some shows acquired by City now have a chance at higher Canadian ratings.  Interestingly one of City's 2013 acquisitions, Super Fun Night, has surprised me by being granted a full season.  I haven't seen it, but the promo ad City aired pre-season looked awful.

I personally don't watch much scripted TV anymore.  At the moment the only scripted show  I'm sure I'll watch is Total Drama All Stars, which Teletoon has stupidly not aired yet, even though Cartoon Network has been.  As a result it's been partly spoiled for me, as no doubt it has been for other Canadian viewers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, November 18, 2013.

For a while it looked like the price of gas might be going up.  Ultimately it went down over the last week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 110.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wanna Do My Work Today?

Nah, didn't think so.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Who Loves Rob Ford?

I suspect right now it's a trio named Duffy, Wallin, and Brazeau.  While what James Nicoll has dubbed "Crackatoa" is getting more and more press their problems have largely dropped off the news over the last few days.  Of course mere financial shenanigans aren't as titillating as talk of crack and hookers. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Reason Not To Tweet.

If I had a Twitter account I would probably end up dong nothing but countering the BS tweets put out by other Twitter users.  Visiting an art page last night I saw the owner's Twitter feed, and it was full of a bunch of right wing nonsense pretty much unrelated to the content of the page.  And that's just one example I came across totally by accident.  I see enough other tweets blogged and otherwise commented on that I would have a target rich environment.  No thanks.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, November 11, 2013.

Midday might not be the best time to post this, but I doubt I'm going out again today.  Over the past week we had another price drop, leading to a price of 112.4 cents a litre at most locations.  But I saw a  couple of stations this morning with their prices at 111.4 cents a litre, so it will be interesting to see if other stations follow suit.

Chilled.

It's a good thing I like a cool bedroom, as mine will be pretty cool tonight.  The probably not hugely accurate thermometer on my Grundig G8 radio says it's a balmy 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and I'm guessing it will drop a bit more before the furnace kicks in again at 5 AM or whenever it gets cold enough to start up again.

Outside temperature at the moment?  -24 degrees Celsius, give or take a degree. 

Now I need to check the air deflector on the register....

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Annoy Function.

One of the ads running in the Canadian market for Full Tilt Poker makes mention of the website's "realistic" poker sounds, such as the swishing sound of cards being dealt and the sound of chips being raked across a poker table.  But one sound that has yet to appear on their site, and I assume others, is the sound of players fiddling with their chips.  If you've ever played poker, or even just seen it played on TV you'll be familiar with players making all sorts of noise as they play around with their stacks when they're not playing a hand.  It would be an interesting sound to add to online poker software, as it might annoy your opponents and effect their play.  Of course unlike real world poker the online player would have the advantage of being able to turn the sound down if it got too annoying. 

Oddly in all the poker I've watched on TV I've never heard anyone complain about players making such noise.  Given some of the stuff poker players do complain about it's surprising no one ever seems to blow up at other players for being too noisy.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Accumulation.

Boy, do I ever have a lot of CDs in my bedroom.  I was just rehousing them, and I know I have more than I thought.  And that's on top of what I have elsewhere in the house. But I know that my collection is small compared to those of others.  In any case I really need to listen to them, instead of listening to MP3s on the computer.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I Was On Potter Crescent Today...

...but I didn't see Harry.

As I predicted driving was fun today.  Trying to drive down 8th Street with no traction is not recommended.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Curses!

I actually have to drive tomorrow.  It won't be as bad as it would have been today, but still....

Gas In Saskatoon, November 4, 2013.

Today was not a fun day to drive in Saskatoon.  But at least the price of gas dropped since last Monday.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 113.4 cents a litre at most locations.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Evil Approaches.

Once again most of you have failed to stand against it.  The evil known as Daylight Savings Time.  Sooner or later you'll get tired of that silliness, and join sensible people like those in Saskatchewan and get rid of it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It Never Fails.

We worry whether we'll have enough candy for Halloween.  When it's all over we still have some left.  Like I need any more sugar. to eat.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Infestation.

With this being Halloween season some folks have decorated the outside of their homes.  One thing I've noticed this season is that a lot of people have black plastic rats as part of their decorations.  I'd love to have a chunk of that business given how many I've seen in the last few days.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, October 28. 2013.

I've decided to make a minor change.  For the next while at least these posts will be done on Monday instead of Friday. 

Gas in Saskatoon is currently 114.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

Ugh.

I've got a bad feeling about the upcoming week.  I suspect I'm going to spend much of it cold and sore.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Odd Choice.

Safeway has long been a fixture on the Canadian retail landscape.  But its future became unclear when rival grocer Sobeys announced its acquisition of the chain earlier this year.  The federal Competition Bureau has now approved the 5.8 billion dollar sale, but one of the conditions is that Sobeys will have to sell off some of its assets in Western Canada, including both Safeway stores and its existing Sobeys, IGA, and Price Chopper stores.

Yesterday Sobeys announced the 23 stores it will need to sell off.  The single location to be sold in Saskatoon is the Safeway located in the Centre at Circle and  8th shopping plaza.  It's a decision that's sure to leave many Saskatoon residents with questions.  That location is in one of Saskatoon's major shopping centres, and does lots of business.  It has been renovated in the past few years, and also includes a gas station that just opened last year.  If there was a Saskatoon Safeway that seemed doomed to disappear it was the other 8th Street location, located in the Cumberland Square Shopping Mall.  That store is small by modern Safeway standards, has no room to expand, and needs some reno work.  More importantly it is located immediately across the street from a Sobeys.  Of course it is possible this store will simply be closed by its new owners.

Who might buy Centre Mall Safeway?  There wouldn't seem to be any obvious candidates at the moment. Canadian grocery retailer Loblaws already operates a Real Canadian Superstore grocery on 8th Street. Perhaps a chain not already operating in Saskatoon would be interested, although operating a single store might not be the most efficient way to go.

Even with the sales Sobeys will see its holdings increase by 190 stores.  Whether any of these will stay as Safeway stores, or will be rebranded as Sobeys or some other name, it still unclear at the moment.

Loblaws itself is in the middle of buying the Shoppers Drug Mart chain.  The deal is currently under Competition Bureau evaluation.  And it's a big deal, worth 12.4 billion dollars in cash and stock, which should be an indication of how major a brand Shoppers is in Canada.  Besides health care products Shoppers sells various other products, including a considerable amount of food products, which presumably means we'll see Loblaws brands appear on Shoppers shelves if the sale goes through.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bulk Dump.

Talk about easy.  I've barely gotten out of bed, haven't left the house, yet I've already entered 7 bills at Where's Willy.  I also entered them at my Canadian Money Tracker account, which I really only use these days if I run across a CMT marked bill.  They're all 2004 series $20s, which adds to the fun.  Hopefully they'll all get hits before they get pulled from circulation, as the intent is supposedly to replace older bills with the new polymer $20s as soon as possible.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, October 11, 2013.

Regular visitors from Saskatoon might have noticed I missed posting about last week's gas price change.  That's because none of the stations seemed to be able to make up their  mind what the actual price was.  There was way too much difference to state "the" price.

That's not a problem this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 119.9 cents a litre a most locations. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Those Things, Those Whatchacallems.

If you've watched even a bit of US TV lately you've probably seen the ads for Burger King's new SatisFries.  They're a crinkle cut style French fry that apparently have less fat and calories that other fast food fries.  But you won't be eating them in Canada.  Here you'll be eating GratiFries(and MagniFrites in French speaking Quebec).  "But they look the same," you might say if you've seen both Canadian and American ads. And they are the same.  But apparently the different branding is because focus groups found Canadians liked the GratiFries name better.  Go figure.  They're a product developed by Burger King with Canada's McCain Foods, who make one third of the world's French fry products.

I haven't had any yet.  I did have some of BK's Poutine With Bacon today for lunch.  No, you don't want to know what my blood pressure is.

And speaking of fast food differences if you're an American looking for your Popeye's chicken fix keep your eyes open if you're in Southern Ontario.  Ads during the Major League Baseball playoffs alerted me to the fact that the chain, which I've seen ads for a lot on some US TV channels, has set up franchises in Canada.  Only in Ontario at this point, so I won't be making their spokeslady happy and chowing down on some anytime soon.  Their Canadian website is here.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Thank You Dodgers.

No more annoying Tomahawk Chop nonsense to insult our ears.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

It's Slow.

Over the last 24 hours certain Internet sites have been sluggish for me, or haven't come up at all.  Can I blame the Tea Party for that, since US government servers might not be getting proper attention, resulting in problems?  Or should I blame the rush to sign up for Obamacare, which has apparently caused problems for the US government website involved?  Or is it actually Grand Theft Auto V's fault, since the online gaming portion of the game went active yesterday, and was expected to suck up a lot of bandwidth? 

I know it's not my fault, so I have to blame someone, right?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Theme Song.



This may be an appropriate song for the first week of October given the mess Stateside.

Tea Party supporters, I hope you enjoy a bunch of government services you need being screwed up because you support slitting your own throats.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Facebooked Again.

Curses!  I was going to make a comment about a  news article on the Star Phoenix website.  But once again they only take comments from Facebook accounts.  I have no interest in getting a Facebook account, so apparently my opinions aren't of interest to the paper.  You'd think they wouldn't want to limit their audience that way.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm Surprised It Didn't Happen.

Tonight I was watching Charlton Heston in the 1971 sci fi piece The Omega Man.  A few minutes into the film the thought came to mind that Clint Eastwood could have played the lead in that movie.  And that got me thinking that it's surprising Heston and Eastwood never did a film together.  Given the kind of films both men did, especially westerns, and the tough guy characters they generally played, it's odd no one cooked up a project involving the two of them.  Eastwood and Heston were friends, and reportedly talked about remaking Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country in the late '80s. 

One genre that the two didn't share was science fiction.  Other than a bit part early in his career Eastwood had no involvement in the genre.  The closest he got after becoming famous was 2000's Space Cowboys.  Compare this with Heston, who in the course of 5 years appeared in the first two Planet of the Apes movies, The Omega Man, and Soylent Green.  It would be interesting to know if Eastwood was offered sci fi movies, but rejected them, or if he just wasn't considered for such films.  The latter seems rather unlikely.

Gas In Saskatoon, September 27, 2013.

The price of gas dropped this week, and for some places it was a double dip.  Most stations dropped their price to 116.4 cents a litre, but as of this writing some had dropped the price another cent.  Presumably the rest will follow suit, eventually.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Citizen" Behaving Badly.

The so-called sovereign citizens movement is making news again.  A Calgary woman has had her rental property seized by a man who claims it's an "embassy house."  Her efforts to get his guy removed have failed so far, with the Calgary police saying it's a civil matter, since he originally occupied the home as a renter. You'd think it would fall under laws against fraud, somehow, but apparently not.

These sort of cranks go on about their rights.  But they have no concern about the rights of others.  It's attitudes like this that are likely to lead to violence by one of them sooner or later.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, September 20, 2013.

I had thought our next price change might be up, but instead it was down.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 119.9 cents a\ litre at most locations.  Perhaps we'll see a price increase in a couple of weeks, just in time for Thanksgiving driving.

Return To Tomorrow.

When people think of British sci fi TV from the '70s they're most likely to think of Tom Baker era Doctor Who or Space: 1999.  But there was another somewhat successful series that will be unfamiliar to many. The Tomorrow People ran from 1973 to 1979, and revolved around a group of young people with psychic powers, which marked them as the next stage of human evolution.  I saw a few episodes on CBC at come point, but it was never a major part of my childhood.   There was also a brief revival in the 1990s.

Not being a part of the fandom I was surprised when I saw that a new American version is about to debut.  On The CW of all places.   An American revival of a show unknown to most American viewers seems an odd move.  I would assume the rights to the series were probably cheap.  As you can imagine some fans of the original are not looking forward to this.  They probably don't have to worry, as I wouldn't be at all surprised if the series doesn't last much longer than the 5 episodes apparently already in the can.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shiver.

Environment Canada has issued a frost warning for Saskatoon tonight.  A reminder that nasty ole Winter is sneaking up on us. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Narrow Target.

Over the weekend the local paper carried an ad flyer from easyhome, a rent to own home furnishing and electronics company.  The headline on the flyer says "We're Pulling The Goalie So You Can Score!"  Said "goalie" is a young woman wearing goalie pads, a goalie mask on top of her head, blue panties, and a t shirt that ends just below her breasts.

Who is the target this ad, exactly?  It would seem to be horny teenage boys given the scantily clad and vaguely, if I may use a potentially offensive term, jailbaitish model.  Or perhaps it's horny male university freshmen, since we're just a couple of weeks into the school year and a lot of university students may have come to town with little furniture.  The "so you can score" bit of the headline strengthens my suspicion that is the case, the implication being fairly obvious that if you get stuff for your place at easyhone you're more likely to get some hot girl to hook up with you.

I have no idea what the demographics of the typical easyhome customer are.  But you'd think they'd be a bit more conscious, here in the second decade of the 21st Century, that a T&A style ad like this might turn off some sorts of potential customers.  And any business wants as many customers as possible.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Biggest Fan?

Right now it seems to be the bot system at Facebook.  For some reason it scans this place every couple of days if I've been posting a bit, producing multiple hits.  And I don't even have a Facebook account.  I'm guessing someone over here has a link here on their Facebook page.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, September 13, 2013.

Just my luck.  Yesterday I put gas in the car.  Today the price went down.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 122.9 cents a litre a most locations. 

13, 14, 13.

Another year has gone by, and it's time to once again commemorate an important anniversary on this blog.  Once again it's Breakaway Day, this year being the 14th anniversary of the Moon being blown out of orbit.  Kind of neat that September 13th in 2013 falls on a Friday the Thirteenth.  As for September 13th, 1999 it was a Monday. Talk about a bad start to the work week, especially if you were working in emergency services or the international space program.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spooky.

Most weird.  I'm sitting here playing a couple of tournaments on PokerStars.  I was dealt 9c8s in both at roughly the same time.  I wonder how often that happens in a day.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, September 6, 2013.

This time my price prediction was correct.  The price of gas did go up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 125.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It's a reasonable guess the next price change will also be up.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Endangered Species.

Walking near the Bessborough Hotel today I saw something I hadn't before, and it's very likely I won't again.  It was a vehicle belonging to Sun News Network.  I was tempted to knock on the passenger side window to ask the young lady sitting inside why she was working for them, but of course I'm not stupid enough to do something like that.

SNN may not be around much longer.  The attempt by parent media company Quebecor, owner of various Canadian media properties, to create a Canadian equivalent of Fox News, has proven unsuccessful.  Viewership numbers have been tiny, and requests to the CRTC for a change in their carriage status on cable, which Quebecor has claimed to improve the station's potential audience,  have been rejected.   My question is why SNN  hasn't tried advertising on other TV networks and the print media in an effort to increase their audience, as I've seen no evidence they have.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Check, Then Check Again.

If you're going to get a tattoo in a foreign language you'd best do lots of research.  Especially if your tattoo artist doesn't read the language.  Actress Hayden Panettiere is apparently having work done on a tattoo after finding out one of the Italian words was misspelt.  It makes you wonder how many other people are running around with such tattoos, especially those using characters the tattooist isn't familiar with.  

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Uncitizen Citizens.

Dene Moore of the Canadian Press has written an article about the self proclaimed "sovereign citizens" movement in Canada.  If you've been following the activities the similarly named groups in the US much of this will sound familiar.  Members refuse to pay taxes, obey various sorts of government regulation, and try to support their claims with complicated legal gobbledegook.  One Ontario "Freeman" is even apparently trying to recruit his own police force, just as some American believers in such things have tried to do.

Although not mentioned in Moore's article another group with similar ideas and rationalisations in Canada is the Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International, which has been mentioned several times before on this blog.  Members reject current Canadian law because it doesn't acknowledge the King James Version of the Bible as a legal text, and do things like claim their vehicles don't need to be licensed because they are Church property being used for Church business.  As you might imagine these arguments do not work well when presented to law enforcement and the judicial system.

So far no one has been seriously hurt by members of these and similar groups, unlike some of their American counterparts.  Hopefully that remains the case. 

Rethink That.

Hey, Miley Cyrus.  I hear you're thinking about dropping your last name, and just being Miley.  Just like Prince and Madonna.  My advice?  Don't.  Prince and Madonna could do that because those are strong, iconic, intriguing names.  Miley?  Not so much.  Imagine if Madonna, all those years ago, had used her middle name, Louise, instead.  Yeah, you're not starting from scratch, but still.  Miley used by itself sounds like the name of the sitcom you'll be doing in a few years, where you play a high school teacher.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, August 30, 2013.

It's the last long weekend of Summer, and instead of going up the price of gas has gone down.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 121.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Given the rising tensions over Syria I wouldn't be surprised if we see the price begin to creep up.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Tough One.

A good while back I posted about the children of US pro boxer Chazz Witherspoon, who have been given names they might have trouble living up to.   I came across another example of this today.  It was a little boy named Chieftain.  Most kids won't grow up to reach the level of that name.  And young Chieftain has certainly not done that yet, as his mom refused to buy him some ice cream.  Then again maybe I'm mistaken, and this is his namesake. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

6teen In Africa?

This morning I got a hit on an ancient blog post that mentioned 6teen.  It was from Cameroon.  Was the person looking for something else, or does 6teen air in Cameroon?  Has it aired anyplace in Africa?  The Wikipedia article for the series gives no sign it has.  Cameroon certainly doesn't look at first glance like the most likely place for the show to air, but you never know.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wrong Market.

YouTube's ad algorithm can be amusing.  It just gave me an ad for Japan Airlines.  In Japanese.  Yeah, I listen to some Japanese music on YouTube, but I'm not actually located there, as my various Google settings indicate.  I kind of doubt JAL does much Japanese language advertising to North America.

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's A Fact.

It's hard to write something when you're asleep.  Unfortunately the big long nap I took after supper probably means I'll wake up at 3 in the morning.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Not My Choice.

It's been announced that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming sequel to the recent Superman film.  I don't know who I'd get to play Batman, but Affleck wouldn't be my choice.  He just doesn't strike me as the right guy to play Bruce Wayne.

Apparently the folks behind the franchise aren't superstitious.  After all Affleck played Daredevil in the 2003 big screen film, which failed to spawn an ongoing franchise.  I suppose some might argue that was just as much the fault of the failure of Jennifer Gardner's solo outing as Elektra.  And in this case neither Affleck, nor Batman, will be carrying the film alone.  But he'll still have to deal with Christian Bale's brooding portrayal of the Dark Knight in the successful trilogy.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Secularism, You're Doing It Wrong.

Quebec is sometimes perceived as being more progressive than the rest of Canada.  But then you have things like this, the Parti Quebecois government announcing legislation to restrict religious symbols.   The "Charter of Quebec Values" will include a ban on public employees, in places like hospitals and schools, wearing religious headwear and "highly visible" crucifixes.

I'm no fan of religion.  I think the world would be a bit better place if one of the major sources of friction between people, belief in magical beings for whom no substantial evidence exists, fading away.  But I'm also a believer in people having the freedom to believe in such things as long as they don't harm others with that belief.  Wearing a hijab or a Sikh turban doesn't fall into the category of harming others.  Banning public employees from wearing such things is discrimination.  A devout male Sikh for example must wear a turban in public, so this ban will effectively prevent him from retaining, or applying for, a government job. 

The concept may have a lot of support in Quebec, if polls are to be believed.  Many Quebeckers supposedly see such religious garb as a cultural threat.  If so they have an amazingly low confidence in their own culture, thinking the mere wearing of a head covering could endanger it.  And if they want to encourage a secular culture this is exactly the wrong way of doing it.  All such restrictions will do is discourage the devout from participating in the secular culture around them, especially women who already face sexism from their co-religionists.  

The "highly visible" crucifix provision also sounds suspiciously like a copout intended to appease  certain segments of the Christian community.   Besides the question of what will determine what counts as "highly visible" is the fact that most Christian sects do not consider wearing a cross to be an inviolate requirement of showing one's devoutness.  The Christians who might be effected by this bill, such as Catholic nuns whose orders still require some sort of habit to be worn in public, likely don't work for secular hospitals and schools.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, August 16, 2013.

The price of gas pingponged this week.  Early in the week it dropped to the 119.4 cents a litre range.  But late yesterday it began to go up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 124.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It will be interesting to see if we reach the 130 or more cents mark by the end of September.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Enjoy The Cute.



My latest upload to Youtube.  This little guy is a degu, a rodent native to Chile.  He lives in an enclosure in the Biology Building on the University of Saskatchewan.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, August 9, 2013.

We've had a couple of small price drops this week.  The result is that the price of gas in Saskatoon is 121.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I wouldn't be surprised if the price gets below 120.9 cents soon.

When I did the first "Gas In Saskatoon" post way back in September of 2008 the price of gas was 145.9 cents a litre.  It has yet to reach that price again, but sooner or later it will. 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

When I Rule The World 17.

The name of Manitoba will be changed to Peopleatoba.  Why?  Just because.  It's not as if you'll be able to challenge my decisions when I'm El Supremo.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

In The Good Old Days.

Even if you don't follow Major League Baseball you've probably heard about the latest performance enhancing drug use suspensions, including Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.  People think that the achievements of plays like Rodriguez, and the previous generation of players associated with PEDs, like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire, are tainted by comparison to the greats, who supposedly played clean.  But once again I wonder how clean some of those guys were.  Drug testing didn't exist in the days of Ruth and Gehirg, Mays and Aaron.  What stuff might those guys have tried?  Unlike the modern cocktails it's likely any of the crude methods they tired had little if any effectiveness.  Or for that matter the drugs they may have used that aren't normally associated with performance enhancement, like speed.

Not that this is an excuse for today's behaviour.  Rodriquez and the others broke the current rules, knowing very well what might happen.

Friday, August 02, 2013

HRH Antichrist!

The latest issue of the Globe tabloid had me rolling my eyes with its cover story that Queen Elizabeth has made Prince William King.  In case you didn't know, that isn't going to happen.  The line of succession is quite clear, Charles will be the next King, unless he dies before the Queen.  The Queen just can't arbitrarily make someone King.

So I was sitting here tonight, snooping around to see how many people actually believe this kind of thing.  But as I did I found an interesting example of kookery.  Some folks believe Prince William is the Antichrist. I shouldn't have been particularly surprised, since there's a few people who believe King Juan Carlos of Spain is the Antichrist.  So why not the much better known William?  I suppose there's even  someone who has a theory that Crown Prince Naruhito, heir to the Japanese throne, is the Antichrist.

Specifically I stumbled across this page, but of course there are others out there.  I find it amusing that it talks about Princess Diana's supposed  "prediction" that the succession would skip a generation, and that William will be the next monarch.  Personally I wouldn't call that a prediction, I'd call that wishful thinking.

Fair warning, Help Free the Earth seems to be run by people who'll believe just about every conspiracy theory they've run across.  That includes that persistent piece of scumbaggery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  They try the old "We don't hate Jews, only Zionists." dodge, but you can bet your bottom dollar they've never heard of a Jew they don't think is an evil Zionist who wants to take over the world.   On the other hand I find it amusing that they think Alex Jones is actually a tool of the New World Order. You'd think more conspiracy theorists would consider the possibility that other conspiracy theorists are trying to manipulate them for the bad guys.  Of course it's probably as much about being jealous that Jones has a significant public profile, and they don't, as any belief Jones works for the enemy.

Gas In Saskatoon, August 2, 2013.

Prices dropped once more this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 125.9 cents a litre at most locations.

As far as price changes to it should be noted that they can occur on most days of the week.  However I'm pretty sure we haven't seen one on Sunday.

Monday, July 29, 2013

60.

The years roll on.  Geddy Lee turns 60 today.  In tribute, here's some ancient Rush.  I doubt the Geddy who did this ever imagined he'd still be at it 40 years later. (And no, despite the title, this isn't the Glenn Miller tune.)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, July 25, 2013.

The price had stabilised over the last couple of weeks, but today it dropped again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 127.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How Cheap Can You Go?

It's something I'm thinking about at the moment.  How little can I spend on my "entertainment" budget?  I want to spend the absolute minimum possible.  It will give me an excuse not to do some things that are bad for me, and save me some money.  It's also a good exercise in acting intentionally, instead of following the same old patterns.  I'm thinking as low as three buck a week.  I've long been thinking about five, but three would be even more of a challenge. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lucky Break?

I hadn't played poker in a week due to relatives visiting.  They left this morning, and I decided to play in the Weekly Round 2 on PokerStars, having a ticket for it.  I ending up coming in 112th out of 6361, and winning $1.64.  And it was in pot limit Omaha Hi, not one of my better games.  Maybe I should take a one week break more often.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Attention, Americans!

Barack Obama is not a socialist.  I doubt anyone in the US Democratic Party is. If you think he is please go check out a basic political science text from your local public library.  It gets really annoying to see some of you keep making this claim when he isn't. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not So Bad.

I guess I stayed up long enough.  My acid control pill finally started to work properly, and I wasn't bothered with major heart burn.  I did wake up a lot, but that's pretty common for me,  Probably too much caffeine yesterday.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Might Be A Long Night.

Had a pizza at Taverna for supper at a relatively late time for me.  Then, idiot that I am, I went out and  bought a Coke Zero and some chocolate chip cookies.  Started to feel a bit off so I  took an acid control pill, the Life brand equivalent  of a Pepcid AC, a while ago but it doesn't seem to be working quite right.  So I think I need to stay awake and fairly upright for a while yet.  You'd think I'd  know better.

Go, Carlos!

I had kind of forgotten that the World Series of Poker Main Event is running, but this morning I took at look at the current standings.  Starting day 7 there are 27 players left.  A big surprise is that Carlos Mortensen is currently sixth.  Mortensen won the Main Event in 2001, before the big poker boom.  And now he has a very good chance of reaching the final table this year.  A lot of people have wondered if a previous Main Event winner will ever win more than one Main Event again, and the general consensus is has been no.  Even reaching multiple final tables seemed unlikely given the current inflated player fields.  Can Carlos prove them wrong?  There's also a good chance JC Tran, another well known pro with extensive tournament experience, will make the final table as well, as he's currently in fourth place.  Sounds like a pretty cool final table could be shaping up.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, July 12, 2013.

For once my gas price prediction was right.  The price did go up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 129.9 cents a litre a most locations.  And with the new price change we've gone back to the traditional .9 instead of the .4 we'd been seeing of late.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Noisy.

I find crows interesting.  But sometimes they can be annoying.  Something got them going this morning in the hour or so before I had my alarm set, and they were doing a lot of squawking.  I think they've got a young one in one of the trees in my or the neighbours's backyard.  Then again I sometimes suspect crows vocalise just to hear themselves talk.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, July 5, 2013.

Another dribble downwards.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 124.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I can't see the downward trend going for much longer, but I've been wrong before.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Happy Canada Day 2013.

I figured I'd better get this in.  I hope you had a good day so far.  Of course for many of us today wasn't a holiday because we had work to do. 

If you're not a Canadian you can still celebrate along with us.  You can go buy some Canadian maple syrup.  Go to a Tim Hortons if there's one in your neck of the woods.  Watch a Canadian made TV show or movie like Total Drama Island or Scanners.  Or you could listen to music by Rush or Neil Young. 

Of course if you're a Detroit Tigers fan this isn't a happy Canada Day for you, since the Blue Jays beat the Tigers 8-3 at Rogers Centre.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 28, 2013.

Despite what many might have expected, the price of gas has gone down again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 126.4 cents a litre at most locations.  A nice present if you're gassing up for a long drive this Canada Day weekend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Listening To A Ghost.

Since it's a nice evening I decided to take my Grundig G5 shortwave portable outside and tune around a bit, hoping to avoid a bit of the indoor electrical noise.  As I turned the dial I came across a preacher that sounded familiar.  I assumed it was Pastor Pete Peters with his Scriptures For America program and sure enough that's who it was.  Peters, a believer in the racist Identity brand of Christianity, was a fixture on shortwave when I was a heavy listener in the early '90s.

But when I typed "Scriptures For America" into Google I got a surprise.  Peters died in 2011.  I'd been listening to a ghost!  Or, rather, even though he's dead the miracle of audio recording allows Peters to keep spreading his racist claptrap from beyond the grave.  Too bad.  Incidentally the show didn't note that Peters has died.

The church Peters ran in LaPorte, Colorado, apparently only has 100 members.  I wonder where they've been getting the money to pay for his broadcasts all these years, along with their other activities. 

A Grammar Note.

I know it can be confusing given other parts of English grammar, but it's is a contraction of it is, not the possessive form of it.  The possessive form of it is its.  An example pair of sentences:  It's June 27th.  Target has not opened its new stores in Saskatoon yet.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 21, 2013.

The trend downwards continues.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 128.4 cents a litre at most locations.  It will be interesting to see if the flooding in southern Alberta has any effect on the price over the next week.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's A Fact.

Power outages are annoying.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Perhaps Too Late.

July 3 will see the release of the latest big screen version of The Lone Ranger.  The relatively unknown Armie Hammer(who is the great-grandson of 20th Century American industrialist Armand Hammer) is in the title role, with the real star power coming from Johnny Depp as Tonto.  The latter casting has generated a lot of controversy, with many looking askance at a white actor playing a Native American.  Depp has claimed he has Native American ancestors, but the fact Depp isn't quite sure what tribe they actually were a part of hasn't helped dissuade the criticism. 

As a result some folks are hoping the film will flop.  I think there is in fact a chance the film won't make money, but not because of the Depp controversy.  A lot of people won't know about it before seeing the film, and many who do won't care.

Rather, I question the viability of the Lone Ranger character in the 21st Century.  A large percentage of the current film going public aren't familiar with the character.  The last attempt at reviving the franchise, a 2003 made for TV movie intended as a pilot for a TV series, failed.  I don't have the impression there's much of a Lone Ranger fandom around, and I question whether the character has much of a following outside North America..  So I wouldn't be surprised if the film does poorly.  And with a purported 250 million dollar budget a lot of bums are going to need to be in a lot of seats to break even.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Not A Surprise.

The Death Merchant "postmodern pulp" novel series, written by the late Joseph Rosenberger, has come up on this blog more than once.  I have a perverse fondness for those books, even if they are bad by various objective criteria.  Not much is known about Rosenberger.  He was never an important enough writer to generate much press attention.  But we've been given a new look into the man, however limited it might be.  Joe Kenney, on his blog Glorious Trash, has printed a 1985 letter written by Rosenberger, courtesy of an anonymous contributor.  The article also has a picture of Rosenberger and his wife Virginia, taken in 1984.  

Much of the letter won't be a surprise if you're familiar with the Death Merchant books.  Rosenberger wasn't a pleasant person, and the racism found in the letter can also be found in the books themselves.   But the bits he reveals about his life are quite interesting, as is the glimpse the letter gives us into the goings on at Pinnacle Books, and the mass market paperback publishing business in general, in the early '80s. 

That Rosenberger apparently tried to sell the Death Merchant series to Gold Eagle makes me wonder what might have happened if he'd been successful.  What would a post Rosenberger Death Merchant have been like?  Presumably either a lot closer in tone and attitude to the Mack Bolan universe books Gold Eagle still publishes, or perhaps they would have pushed it in the black humour/parody direction of The Destroyer books. Then again it might have vanished like most of the other similar book series spawned by the success of The Executioner.  Whatever the case, I doubt Rosenberger would have been happy with the results.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wrong Again!

Over on Pharyngula the ad keyword software popped out a funny.  It's an ad for how to become a life coach, offering free training.  No one in their right mind would hire me as a life coach, no matter how much training I had.  Of course given the rise in the number of folks practicing the concept in recent years I suspect that applies to a lot of life coaches.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 14, 2013.

Given today's monsoon-like weather I hope you didn't have to gas up your car if you live in Saskatoon.  But if you did it cost you a tiny bit less than it did last week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 130.4 cents a litre at most locations.  With the July 1st long weekend coming up it will be interesting see which way the next price change goes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Go Simple.

There's been some discussion lately of what the new Circle Drive South bridge, soon to open for use here in Saskatoon, should be named.  A number of people have been suggested.  One is Christopher Yorath, Saskatoon's first city commissioner, who envisioned what we now know as Circle Drive.  But maybe they're thinking too hard.  Perhaps they should just give it a single, simple name.  Call it the Robert Bridge.  Or the Tara Bridge.  Just don't be like some modern parents and make it something Kayleyeee, with a bunch of extra, unneeded letters added.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Neck And Neck.

I have no interest in seeing it, but I've been curious about what the reaction to the just released dystopian thriller The Purge would be.  Given what many people think is a less than believable premise, that a future US dictatorship would allow one night a year where any crime is permissible, I expected the critical reaction would be poor.  Instead it's turned out to be considerably better than I expected.  It's currently rated at 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, based on the reviews of pro movie critics..  No, not good, but far from the depths some films have reached.  40 percent means 4 out of 10 reviewers liked the film.  I expected the positives to be much lower.  Even more interesting has been the response of  the general public, as recorded at Rotten Tomatoes.  Only 43 percent of visitors to the site gave The Purge a positive rating.  I expected it to be higher.  Interesting to see how close the public and pro reaction is.

Apparently a sequel to The Purge is already in the works, buoyed along by an opening take of 37.5 million bucks worldwide, versus a reported budget of only 3 million bucks.  I'm a bit skeptical of that budget figure.  I would have thought Ethan Hawke would still be enough of a name to make that kind of salary by himself.  Whatever the case it's all but certain The Purge 2 will be in a theatre near you within the next couple of years.   The obvious question though is how many of those who disliked the original will see the sequel, and what effect their word of mouth might have on audiences for it.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Later Than Expected.

I thought I was going to go to bed an hour ago, as I was falling asleep.  Yet here I am.

Funny how things like that happen.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, June 7, 2013.

Well, I missed last week's price change.  But I won't miss this week's.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 131.4 cents a litre at most locations, a drop from the previous price.  I suspect the next price change will be up, but I've been wrong before.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A Little More For The Estate.

I get regular product emails from the good folks at Fender.  Among the products in the latest one is the Elvis Kingman acoustic guitar.   He apparently played one of the originals in the 1967 movie Clambake.  Seeing this I immediately started to wonder what kind of fees Fender is paying to the Presley estate.  Obviously they're low enough that Fender is willing to use his name to try to sell this thing, as Fender's acoustic guitars have never been particularly popular.

More that one guitarist has wondered why Fender has never released a Buddy Holly Stratocaster, as Holly was one of the early proponents of the instrument.  Supposedly the answer is that Holly's widow wants very high endorsement fees, and is hard to work with.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Evening Fox.

I went out for a walk tonight, which I probably shouldn't have because I'm going to be doing a lot of walking tomorrow.  But I'm glad I did.  As I came around the corner onto the street I live on a fox ran across the street about 30 feet in front of me.  It was running from one alley to another.  It was presumably a Red fox, as an Artic fox presumably doesn't get this far south.  I live close to a major highway, so it no doubt had easy access from the country.  But it was still quite the surprise to see one.

When I mentioned this to my father he said he and my mother saw a fox a few blocks from here when they left for their trip to the US a few weeks ago.

I've seen other non-city comfortable wildlife in Saskatoon.  I've seen deer in a couple of places over the years, including one that ran into the streets that flank College Drive.  I've also seen rabbits several times, including in Buckwold Park near where I live.

If you do run across fox, deer, and other large animals in your town, keep your distance.  Cornering them may lead them to attack you.





Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

This afternoon I saw a car with a Romney/Ryan bumper sticker on it.  It had a Saskatchewan license plate.  From my point of view they were on the wrong side  in several different ways.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Another Off The List.

My taste in food is questionable, but I do have some discernment.  After years of seeing them in the frozen food section I decided to try Michelina's Zap'Ems Fries and Chicken Nuggets.  Even by my standards they're poor.  Yet someone obviously eats them, since they remain in production.  It just won't be me again.  Not very tasty, and the chicken nuggets are tiny.  $2.40, and I'm not sure they were worth the $2.40.

Friday, May 24, 2013

You Know It's A Cool May Day...

...when it's mid afternoon, and the furnace is running.  Well, not that cold.  But wet and rather windy, which may be what is making the house cool off.

Gas In Saskatoon, May 24, 2013.

Would you be surprised that the price of gas went up in Saskatoon this week?  I'm guessing the answer is no.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 135.9 cents a litre at most locations.  One observer expects it to go up another 5 cents or so soon. 

It's been higher here.  Back 2008 the price was 145.9 cents a litre the week of September 12.  Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico were being blamed, despite none of our oil coming from the area, or gas being refined in Texas refineries.

Monday, May 20, 2013

You Can Keep "Bohemian Rapsody..."

...this is a superior Queen tune.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Welcome Distraction?

The latest allegation about Toronto's controversial mayor, Rob Ford, is making a lot of press, even in the US.  The purported video of Ford smoking crack, and making idiotic statements, has led to comparisons with former Washington, DC mayor Marion Bradley, whose own drug use caused him a world of trouble.

The cynical side of men wonders if there's one  person who is quite happy to hear about this, Stephen Harper.  The Ford mess may distract attention from the ongoing controversy over the expenses of Conservative Senators Mike Duffy and Pam Wallin, both of whom resigned from the Conservative caucus in the Senate this week as a result. Questions have arisen about the role Harper's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, and Harper himself,  might have had in trying to make this scandal go away. 

But that story revolves around questions of campaign spending and loans to pay off expenses.  Stuff that can be slightly confusing or dull to the average newspaper reader or TV watcher.  "OMG, the loudmouth, loose canon mayor of Canada's biggest city is a crackhead!" is much easier to understand, and  no doubt much more exciting for many folks.  And it's the mayor of Canada's largest city, allowing a large number of voters to be distracted. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, May 17, 2013.

The price has gone up again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 129.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Supposedly problems with a refinery in Alberta have caused the jump, but since this is Saskatchewan I'm a bit skeptical.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Elusive.

I don't know about where you live, but here in Saskatoon a single serving bottle or can of Diet 7 Up seems to be hard to find.  Few places carry them, and the places that do aren't the ones you can buy them cheap.  Is it just because no one buys those sizes, so they don't get stocked, or is there some other reason? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Just Imagine.

I was just looking at someone's favourites over on Deviantart.  One of them was some fanart of Starfire and Wonder Girl from the Teen Titans.  The artist drew what I thought was a rather African-American looking Starfire, and the thought came to mind of Beyoncé playing her in a movie.  And with that thought came the thought of the howls of indignation that would probably result in the dumber and, to be blunt, more racist section of comic book fandom.   They would ignore the fact that Starfire, being an alien, doesn't fit into human concepts of race, and decide that the character is white.  All one has to do is look at the idiot comments that came from some Hunger Games fans when one of the characters  was portrayed by an African-American actress in the movie adaptation.  Apparently the fact the character was described as having dark brown skin in the novel somehow eluded their grasp, and they thought she was a cute little white girl.

(Beyoncé would obviously be the wrong choice to play Starfire in a Teen Titans movie, being too old, but would be a good choice if the character was portrayed in a context where she was older.)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

When I Rule The World 16.

When I rule the world, all sidewalks will have to have that rubberised coating on them that some people put on their driveways.  I really like walking on that stuff.

And since this is number 16 of these, I  will add an additional requirement.  When I rule the world all homes will have to have all episodes of 6teen on DVD.  And the whole series will be put on DVD.

Seven To Ten.

Today marks the end of the seven digit phone number in Saskatchewan.  The existing 306 area code is almost used up, so a new area code, 639, will be used for new numbers in the province.  This means you will need to dial an area code before entering the rest of the number you wish to connect to.  Apparently most customers have begun doing so, although it might have something to do with the automated message that's been running for  a while.  It notified you that you would soon need to enter an area code to reach the number you are trying to dial, then would pass on your call.  Now if you don't dial an area code you get an automated message telling you to dial again with an area code.  I'm sure it will still confuse a few people for the next while.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, May 10, 2013.

A pretty big jump to report this week.  Gas began the week at 117.9 cents a litre.  But it has now jumped to 125.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I'm sure there is some excuse, but the cynical side of many will suspect that the prices are rising as vacation driving season approaches.  Monday, May 20th is Victoria Day, often considered the informal beginning of said season.

My Cake?

Hmmm, I'm not really sure about it.  It tastes all right, but not great compared to the cakes my mom makes.  Of course that should come as no surprise, as a.) she generally makes them from scratch and b.) she knows what she's doing.  At least it seems to have properly cooked.  And cheap icing out of a can?  This stuff at least I wouldn't try again.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

My Technique Needs Some Work.

Fool that I am I got it into my head I should try baking a cake.  So I went out and bought some cake mix.  One thing I found out is that I don't know how to crack an egg properly.  I suspect I'll find a couple of pieces of eggshell someplace in the cake.  I also hope I mixed it properly, or it might be a very interesting cake.  Oh well, at least I'm the only one who will be trying my potential bad cooking.  In other words, no, you can't come over and try my devil's food cake. 

I also should have checked the label of the premade icing I bought.  It says "Product of Uruguay" on it.  No offence to Uruguayans, but I'd rather eat a product like that made closer to home.  Both cake and icing came from Dollarama.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Last Holdouts.

This morning I actually saw some snow.  It was a patch a couple of feet long and a half foot tall, hidden  in a shaded area that likely gets no sun.  There are presumably other such holdouts still present despite the recent warm weather, stubbornly trying to beat the fate of all snow in Saskatoon, melting. 

It will not win.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Online Zombie?

As I was out this morning I realised that Saturday was the ninth anniversary of this blog.  Nine years ago seems like a long time ago, and certainly is in blog terms. 

It seems every few months you'll see articles about how blogging is dying, or that the blog is dead.  Funny, but there sure seem to be a lot of us out here still engaging in a dying activity. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Defeated!

I saw a headline this morning that Bob Geldof's daughter Peaches has given birth to a son, who she named Phaedra.  I snarked to myself that she named him after an old Tangerine Dream album.  Imagine my surprise when I read the associated article and found out she apparently did exactly that.  A comment ceases to be snarky if it's actually true, doesn't it?

If you're not familiar with the album, take a listen below.  It was originally released in 1974.

Personally I prefer their followup, Rubycon.

I wonder if Peaches knows that Phaedra was a figure in Greek mythology, and was a woman?  I don't think I've run into any in the flesh, but I'm pretty sure I've seen references to a few women with that name.  So she's reversing the modern trend of what were traditionally male names becoming seen as female.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Probably Not Rockin'.

This afternoon I saw my first robins of the year.  There were four of them running around on a lawn.  Too bad for them they showed up today, with the temperature hovering around zero Celsius.  (And this after a Saturday high of almost twenty C, and a Sunday high near 10 C.)

I'll note for any European visitors that the robins in question are American Robins, a rather different bird than the robin found across the Atlantic.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Repeating Titles.

The post I just made, reminding Canadians their tax returns must be in the mail or submitted by the end of Tuesday, used the same title I used for the same kind of post before.  Thinking about it makes me wonder how often the typical blogger with a significant number of entries reuses the same post titles.  It depends on the blogger I suppose, and what the blog deals with.

Don't Forget...

...that if you file a yearly tax return in Canada April 30 is the deadline.  Yep, once more you have to go through all the bother of figuring out what you owe the government, or hopefully what the government owes you.  Of course if you were smart you would have filled out your return weeks ago.

Guess who didn't fill out theirs weeks ago....

Friday, April 26, 2013

Buggy.

Another sign we finally have Spring, besides the massive amount of snow that's melted this week:  creepy crawlies.  I saw a fly outside yesterday, and this morning I saw a couple of fresh ant holes in the dirt between someone's sidewalk tiles.  I wonder how well insects like bees are doing given that the weather will have slowed up plants flowering and so on.

Gas In Saskatoon, April 26, 2013.

Sharp eyed Saskatoon readers will note I missed one of these last week. 

Prices seem to be bouncing around again.  Gas began the week at 113.9 cents a litre, then jumped to 119.9 cents a litre.  But driving down 8th Street this afternoon it looks like we may see a dip, as several stations had dropped the price to 117.9 cents a litre.  It would be really interesting to know what the gas companies are up to exactly.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

While You're Waiting.

Yeah, I'm not exactly posting much here at the moment.  So, here's something for you to listen to while you wait.  A whole 8 hours of rain on a tent audio.


For a website originally intended to present short video clips YouTube sure has a lot of extended audio content on it now.  I'm surprised they're able to get away with the number of full length albums of music that are now being posted.  I shouldn't complain, as it's the only way I'm likely to hear an album like this, which is only available at a price I can't afford.  (Sorry, Watanabe-san.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Above Ground.

I saw my first gopher(technically a Richardson's ground squirrel, but no one calls them that) of the year today.  He was running around one of the University of Saskatchewan parking lots.  Most of the snow is gone there, so he should have an easier time finding something to eat that his fellows elsewhere in the city might.  They're cute looking little things, but they cause problems by digging burrows in places they shouldn't, like parks.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thank You, Weather Gods.

Apparently you read my post last night, as today we have sunny skies.  It will definitely help get rid of the snow a bit quicker.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Don't Ask Me.

If you're looking for a loan, you'd best ask someone else.  I didn't win the gigantic Lotto 6/49 prize tonight.  I didn't even win ten bucks.  If you won it, congratulations.  And if you feel like giving me some of it, I sure won't say no.

Wanted: Sun.

If you've got any spare sunshine please send it here tomorrow.  The current forecast indicates we won't see any sun in Saskatoon until at least Tuesday.  Given the amount of snow around we want a slow melt, but not as slow as it's currently going.  It's really getting tiring given that it's almost mid April.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, April 12, 2013.

Another price drop to report.  The price of gas actually dropped on the weekend to 117.9 cents.  It then dropped again midweek. Gas in Saskatoon is now 114.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Big Money.

If you buy lottery tickets in Canada you may find the lines a bit long this week.  No  one won the main prize in Canada's national lottery, Lotto 6/49, last night.  So Saturday's prize will be a wopping 55 million, the largest in Canadian history.  Sure, that's not the monster the Powerball lottery in the US has reached, but that's still lots of money.  I'll take it.

 Amongst the throng of buyers I'm sure will be a few people who normally mutter about the lottery being a tax on the stupid, and so on.  Really big prizes tend to do that.

Of course the obvious question is how big the prize for the next draw will be if no one wins on Saturday....

Friday, April 05, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, April 5, 2013.

After a period of stability we had a tiny drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 118.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Boy, that 1 cent reduction will sure save you a lot of money at the gas pup.

Not Cooked.

As I was riding the bus into downtown this morning I wondered when the Canada Geese might arrive.  The instant I did I saw a pair near  the University Bridge.  Given that this morning looked and felt more like mid November than the beginning of April I suspect they may be wishing they hadn't arrived here yet.  Crows have also begun arriving, but they'll probably have an easier time of it until the snow is gone given their scavenging habits. On the other hand, the hawk I've heard here in in the East College Park neighbourhood might have some trouble spotting prey, assuming it isn't still hiding under the snow.

Monday, April 01, 2013

My Pedestrian Dreams.

I should never take naps.  I always sleep longer than I should, and feel kind of off for a while after I get up.  But at least today's nap produced some always valuable REM sleep.  Unfortunately the resulting dream was so dull.  I dreamed I was on a new Saskatoon Transit bus.  A normal bus, no lasers, killer monsters on board, or anything to spice it up.  Just me sitting in the back of the bus.

I really need to get some excitement in my life.  It might make for better dreams.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's Nice...

...getting paid, isn't it?  Good thing I have some money in my pocket, because my bank is likely closed tomorrow.

Friday, March 29, 2013

VAGINA!

Vagina.  If you're disturbed by this word, there's something wrong with you.

(Inspired by this.)

Rename?

The names we give things can be so interesting.  In English today's date on the Christian calender is called Good Friday.  When you think about it this is kind of an odd name, since today is the day Jesus was supposedly killed.  Wouldn't a more appropriate name be Evil Friday?  Or Murder Friday?  Of course since he supposedly died at the hands of Roman law enforcement perhaps the appropriate name should be Execution Friday.  For that matter Easter could be called Good Sunday, since that's when Jesus supposedly came back from the dead.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Could Be A Boxing Judge.

Seriously, I could.  I couldn't be any worse than the judges at last night's boxing card in Chicago, as presented on ESPN's Friday Night Fights.  If you saw it, did you think the Kermit Cintron-Adrian Granados fight went Cintron's way, as one judge decided, or that it was a draw, as the second judge decided?  I sure didn't.  Or how about the other 10 rounder, featuring young fighter Donovan George against veteran Mexican fighter David Lopez, which had an identical split?  Again, not me.  So, if the powers that be in Illinois are reading this, I'd be perfectly wiling to fly out there and judge some fights for you.   I'm sure I'll do a better job.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Redundant.

One of the channels we get with our current cable package is Fight Network.  I find it amusing that they have disclaimers that the programming has scenes of violence, and that viewer discretion is advised.  Seems redundant to me.  If you didn't realise a channel called Fight Network, and programming such as the Glory kickboxing tournament I was watching last night, contains violence you probably shouldn't be watching TV.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Orange Boot.

Looking out the window this morning I spotted something I hadn't seen on our street before.  A van parked across the street had a parking boot on it.  It would seem the owner hasn't been paying his parking tickets.  It would be interesting to know how high the amount of unpaid tickets has to get before your vehicle will be booted.  The City of Saskatoon page on the subject doesn't indicate an amount, but the impression I get from past stories on the subject is that it has to be pretty high before they'll take action.  At least the vehicle is sitting in front of his home, cutting down on the problems he might have with it being in a busier location, or having had it booted while he's doing something important with it.

I've been lucky.  I can count the number of parking tickets I've had on one hand.  More importantly I've paid them promptly, which results in a discount on the fine and no worries about future problems.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Goodbye, Peter.

Original Yes guitarist Peter Banks has died.  He was 65, and apparently died of a heart attack.  Banks had played with Yes bassist Chris Squire in the bands The Syn and Mabel Greer's Toy Shop before the latter mutated into Yes, a name Banks came up with.  Although only supposed to be temporary the name stuck.  Banks appeared on the group''s self titled debut and the followup Time and a Word.  He and the rest of the band because increasingly at odds, and he was kicked out in 1970, to be replaced by Steve Howe.  Banks continued in the music business with the bands Flash and Empire during the '70s, along with several solo albums and various collaborations. 

In tribute, here is Yes's "Astral Traveller."

Very Slow Day.

It's just after 4 PM here, and I've had no hits.  Where is everyone?

Guess I need to write more, and write more interesting material.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

When Will You Rise Up?

Serously. A bunch of you are in the process of once more kowtowing to the silliness that is Daylight Savings Time.  When are you going to stand up for yourselves and reject this horrible scheme?  And those of you here in Saskatchewan who want it introduced here, for shame!  We don't need this harmful, outmoded concept imposed on us.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, March 8, 2013.

Once more I'm proven not to be psychic.  Gas actually went down this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 119.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Zip!

It's almost midnight again.  The days seem to be going by very quickly lately for me.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Payment Due.

Dontcha hate it when some money you've been waiting for doesn't appear when you expect it?

Friday, March 01, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, March 1, 2013.

Not much trouble reporting on gas prices this week.  They only went in one direction, up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 121.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I suspect it's going to be a while before we see a price drop again.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, February 22, 2013.

Another week of pingponging gas prices.  Over the weekend the price dropped to 115.9 cents a litre.  By midweek it had jumped to 121.9 cents a litre  And yesterday it dropped again, right after I filled the gas tank on the car.  How annoying.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 115.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Always Remember.

Before you get out of your vehicle, make sure you have the keys in your pocket or other carrying place.  it will save you a lot of walking.  Especially since payphones seem about as rare as unicorn poop these days.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vile Tongues.

Listening to CBC Saskatchewan's noon show today I heard about an interesting project.  Madam Premier is a new Tumblr site, run by Diamond Isinger, that's collecting examples of sexist Tweets, forum posts etc. about Canadian female politicans.  And boy, has Ms. Isinger found some doozies.  As is often the case you wonder what some of those people sound like in real life.  Are they that nasty and vulgar, or does the Internet offer them the opportunity to say things they'd be wary of doing in real life? 

Hopefully some of these people will come to regret saying stuff like that.  But I doubt it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm Alive.

There wasn\t really anything to worry about, of course, but if you were wondering, I made it back in one piece.  I definitely wish it had been warmer.  I have more to do tomorrow, and the weather looks like it might be slightly nicer.

If I Don't Post Again...

...it's because I'll be frozen in a block of ice someplace.  I have a bunch of outdoor work to do over the next few days, and temperatures here in Saskatoon will not be pleasant.  Today's predicted high is -19.

Of course the truth is that I've been out in weather like this for extended periods before.  I'll have access to a car for shelter.  And I've got enough brains in my head to get out of the cold for a while if I think things are going bad.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rock Music.



Given the goings on in the sky over the last few days it seems appropriate to post this one.

Having done a bit of online reading about Killing Joke vocalist/leader Jaz Coleman, and some of the odd ideas he supposedly believes in,  the question is obvious.  Coleman, kook or prankster?  Coleman, true believer, or laughing at people taking him so seroiusly?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, February 15, 2013.

Saskatoon residents may wonder why there wasn't one of these last week, as the price of gas did change.  And that was the problem.  The price fluctuated so much it was unclear last Friday exactly what the typical price was, as there were at least four different prices, depending on what station you looked at.  Things are bit less complicated this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 118.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

An Interesting Employee.

Currently there's a kiosk for the well known charity World Vision in Saskatoon's Centre at Circle and 8th mall. One of the girls working there is a Muslim.  World Vision is a Christian charity, so it obviously surprised me.  Unless of course there's some Christian sect whose women regularly wear hijabs that |I'm unfamiliar with. 

It Won't Be Long.

If you haven't already, go to  YouTube, or your favourite news site, and check out footage of today's meteor incidence in Russia.  It's amazing to see one so visible during the day.  And the sonic booms are loud even if you're just listening via your computer.

As we get more information about this we're also likely to see a bunch of  nonsense as well.  Some will claim that it wasn't actually a meteor, but some sort of weapon.  Others will claim it was an alien spacecraft, or a sign of some horrible thing that will soon come out of the sky and kill us all.  The fact we're about to have a very close visit by an asteroid will help drive certain theories, although scientists say the two have nothing to do with each other.  And no doubt some religious fanatic will claim it's a warning from God about Russia not doing something, or doing something.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stealing Their Thunder.

When I heard on the radio this morning that North Korea tested another nuclear weapon I jokingly wondered if they did so because of Pope Benedict resigning.  After all that story dominated much of the international news yesterday, and North Korea loves to be the centre of attention.  It's also a reasonable guess that the Roman Catholic Church is yet another of the numerous groups on North Korea's official "We hate these guys!" list.

More seriously no one is happy about this.  Even China, the closest thing North Korea has to an ally, is not amused.  It's a reasonable guess that North Korea has a ways to go to build a deliverable nuclear weapon.  But if they keep this up it will happen, and it may encourage other states in the region to consider their own nukes.  Japan for example could probably build a deliverable nuke fairly quickly, and adapting its space launch rockets into ballistic missiles wouldn't be hard for them either.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Hope It Doesn't Give Her Ideas.

No doubt you'll have heard about Pope Benedict's resignation by the time you read this.  I can only hope his actions don't inspire certain others to follow.  Specifically Queen Elizabeth.  I don't know about you, but I'm not particularly fond of Prince Charles and some of his ideas, so I'm in no hurry to see him on the throne.

The tabloids will no doubt have a field day with this.  They'll claim all sorts of evil goings on as the "real" reason Benedict resigned, or start babbling about him making prophecies.

Because of his age Benedict was often suspected of being a transitional Pope, one who was chosen precisely because he wouldn't be Pope long, so younger candidates could strengthen their positions.  Maybe we'll see some evidence of this as the process of choosing a new Pope begins.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lots Of Work.

Quitting negative behaviours is hard, isn't it?  There are things I'm trying to stop doing, but progress is slow.  You get used to a cycle, a pattern, and then trying to end that pattern becomes troublesome.  And the stuff I'm trying to stop doesn't have the addictive quality of certain behaviours.  I can only imagine what it must be like trying to quit drugs, where you can develop a strong physical dependence on their use. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Will He Be A Menace?

While I was out and about today a woman and her perhaps 4 year old son sat near me on the bus.  His name was Dennis.  An unusual name for a little boy these days, and thinking about it I suspect it's an unusual name for anybody under 40 or so.  It's probably not as archaic a name, if you will, as a name like Eunice or Margery, but it might be getting there.

Patience.

Someone here in Saskatoon sure is interested to see what I'll post next.  They've been checking the blog a lot over the past couple of days.  Unfortunately for them I don't post that frequently.  I can go a week at times without posting.  Guess I need to produce more content to make it worth their while.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Clone High On Shaw VOD.

Clone High was a 2002 co-production by MTV and Canada's Teletoon.  The cartoon series revolved around a high school whose students were clones of various historical figures, created for purposes the series never got a chance to reveal.  The main characters were JFK, Abe Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, and Gandhi, along with crazed principal Cinnamon J. Scudworth and his robotic butler Mr. Butlertron.  Apparently the last 5 of the 13 episodes made weren't aired in the US,  The show's demise has sometimes been blamed on Indian complaints about the portrayal of Gandhi, who was portrayed as a  horny teen with little sign of the original's intellect, although poor ratings are a much more likely explanation.

If you were a fan of the series, or if it sounds interesting, and are a Shaw Cable customer, you can currently watch the complete series via Shaw Video on Demand.   Click on Other TV  then Kids TV, then Shaw Kids Club, then Teen.   The episodes are located after the 6teen episodes, and are free.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Right Tool.

As the Canadian penny passes into retirement I'll mention another reason I'll be sad to see it go.  Pennies make an excellent tool for scratching off scratch and win tickets.  I'm thinking I'll hold on to the handful I've got left for just that purpose.  But inevitably I'll lose them from my pocket, so I'll have to try something else eventually.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, February 1, 2013.

Last week's post turned out to be a bit premature.  The price of gas actually dropped 2 cents after I wrote it, to 105.9 cents a litre.  But this week we saw a big jump in the other direction.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 115.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Yep, a 10 cent jump at a rather slow time of year for driving.  I suspect we may see some more large jumps over the next while.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

See Ya's!

Last night I caught bits and pieces of A&E's new series Southie Rules, a reality show revolving around several generations of a family living together in a house in South Boston. This seems to be a good example of something I've stated before, that you can become a reality show participant solely on the basis of having an "interesting" accent.  I doubt I'll be watching again, as accents don't make up for the show being not particularly interesting.  Like Duck Dynasty it all seems a little bit too staged for its own good, and the antics of the cast are mostly  just dumb in a largely uninteresting way.  I found TLC's Starter Wives, which also debuted last night, a bit more interesting, although it's obviously TLC's attempt to do an African-American version of the Real Housewives franchise.  I wouldn't be surprised however if both these shows get 6 episodes and are done.  We recently saw TLC's Sin City Rules, a show that included poker pro Jennifer Harman amongst its cast, cancelled after only 3 episodes due to poor ratings, and something tells me these won't do much better..

Monday, January 28, 2013

One Week To Retirement.

If you're a penny fan, and don't feel you have enough around, you'd better get collecting.  Monday, February 4 will see the retirement of the Canadian penny.  Banks will no longer give out pennies, and those that come into banks will be returned to the federal government for disposal.  Although they technically will still be legal tender I suspect most places won't take them. If they know that is,  Some reports claim many businesses aren't aware of the penny going away.  Consider this a head up if you didn't.

I'll miss the penny.  Throwing them in a tin to be rolled later is a good way to save a bit of money away.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Gas In Saskatoon, January 25, 2013.

Another week of odd gas price changes.  The week began with gas dropping to 103.9 cents a litre, soon followed by a drop toi 99.9 cents.  But Thursday saw a jump up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 107.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Given the long stretch of price stability we saw last year it's a bit odd to see prices changing several times in one week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Goodbye, Metro.

Chances are the name Les Pavelick won't be familiar to most visitors.  Unless you're of a certain age and from the Canadian Prairies  the name Metro isn't likely to be much more familiar.  But he was another element of my 1970s childhood.  Pavelick died Tuesday at 71.  The kind of humour that Pavelick presented as Metro is hard to find these days, and of course many are no doubt quite happy about that.  You can judge for yourself.  "Big Bad Steve" is a parody of the classic country tune "Big Bad John."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Full Mess Poker.

The cover story for the January 2013 issue of Bluff is a profile of Erick Lindgren.  Lindgren is a familiar face to many poker players and poker watchers, having appeared numerous times on programs like Poker After Dark.  But as the article reveals he's a man with major problems.  His gambling addiction has put him into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as he owes numerous people several million dollars in unpaid gambling debts, some going back almost a decade.  Yet he's still playing poker, as that's pretty much the only way he has to possibly pay back those debts.  Generally when you think of addicts trying to fight their addiction you think of them having to avoid the addictive activity, but not in this case. 

The article includes discussion about Full Tilt Poker, which Lindgren was a spokesplayer for before the US crackdown.  Some of what's in the article won't be new to anyone who has been following some of the revelations made by people like Howard Lederer online.  But for me it was a surprise just how messed up Full Tilt's management in the months before Black Friday seemed to be, with Full Tilt pros like Lindgren being given loans with little thought put into how such loans might be paid back.  In fact just before the crackdown Lindgren was reportedly give a 2 million dollar loan twice.  In other words the company loaned him 4 million dollars, instead of the 2 million they were supposed to.  It's not hard to imagine that even if the US government hadn't gone after Full Tilt the company would soon have been in the news for screwing up its finances.

Online poker players can only hope that PokerStars, which now owns and runs Full Tilt, has better people running the fnances than the old Full Tilt did.