Friday, April 28, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, April 28, 2017.

We have a bit of relief to end the month.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 96.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully it will stay below the dollar mark for a while, if not drop even further.

Next Year Will Be Different! (Yeah, Right.)

In a couple of days it will be the deadline for many Canadians to submit their 2016 income tax return.  I just did mine.  Even though mine is simple I still waited until today to do it.  Every year I say around February or so that I'll do it early this year.  But of course I don't.  So I probably shouldn't bother saying so next year.

But I probably will.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Endurance Test.

Did you watch last night's Blue Jays/Angels game?  Did you watch it all the way to the end?  If you're a Jays fan the payoff was worth it, but getting there was quite the task.  Of course it was easier for those of us on the west side of the country, since it was only 8 PM or earlier when it started.  I imagine a lot of viewers in Ontario and east jumped ship pretty early, even if today is a Saturday, when they might sleep in.  Given some of what happened last night I wouldn't be surprised if the management in Buffalo got some very early phone calls today.  And hopefully today's game, besides being another Jays win, will be considerably shorter.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, April 21, 2017.

A small drop to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 100.4 cents a litre at most locations. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Strange Combo, Yet Not.

This morning I visited one of the local Dollarama stores.  I noticed that they had some CDs, and took a quick look.  There was nothing I wanted to buy, but one did attract my attention.  It was a karaoke CD of religious songs.  That's a bit odd.  Even more unusual was the cover art, which consisted of a young woman, drawn in an anime/manga style.  Not quite the combo you might expect.

But then again maybe you would.  Christianity and anime have met in the past.  Japanese animation firm Tatsunoko Productions collaborated with the US Christian Broadcast Network in the early '80s on Superbook, a series of cartoon adventures based on the Old and New Testament.  At the same time they also produced a series called The Flying House, which also used Biblical materials as the plots for its episodes.  Some years later Osamu Tezuka, revered as one of the giants of anime and manga, created In the Beginning: The Bible Stories, an anime series that told the stories of the Old Testament.  It was co-production with Nippon TV and the Italian government broadcaster RAI.  It was one of Tezuka's last projects before his death of cancer in 1989, and was not completed until after his death.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, April 14, 2017.

A bit of a respite this week.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 102.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully it will drop below the one buck mark next week.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Exotic Weapon.

Just before midnight on Friday Saskatoon police were called to a break and enter at a garage on Cairns Avenue.  Although the suspect had left before they arrived the K9 unit soon tracked him down.  He was arrested and found to be carrying a firearm, switchblade, and crystal meth.  None of these by themselves are unusual, but the firearm he was carrying was.  Police say it was a 7.65 mm Skorpion machine pistol.

The Skorpion was a product of the Cold War era Czechoslovak arms industry, a weapon that could be carried in a holster, but capable of fully automatic fire.  It was intended for use by special units, vehicle crews, and others who needed a weapon more compact than a rifle, but with more firepower than a standard pistol.  It also reflected the Czechoslovak military's willingness to go its own way with weapons, not being a Soviet design and using a non Warsaw Pact caliber, 7.65 mm, aka .32 ACP.

The actual utility of such very compact automatic firearms has always been questioned.  They're bulkier than a standard pistol, yet their small size makes them hard to control on fully automatic.  Most people they've been issued to don't get the practice time to learn to use them effectively.  But the Skorpion proved popular, seeing a lot of export sales, including ending up in the hands of European terrorist groups like the Italian Red Brigades.

So where did the one seized early Saturday come from?  If it was one of the full auto originals it's a prohibited weapon in Canada, never sold legally, and not something you'd expect a street crook in Saskatoon to get his hands on in 2017.  On the other hand semi automatic only versions of the Skorpion have been produced for the civilian gun market, and apparently they have been sold in Canada as a restricted firearm.  So if it's one of those it was either stolen from someone in Canada, or imported illegally from the US, where they are also legal.

Friday, April 07, 2017

April Kaboom.

A rain shower passed through just a bit ago, and it included a bit of thunder.  Definitely not the thing you expect in Saskatoon in the first week of April.  The fact it got to 21 degrees Celsius today no doubt had something to do with it.  A bit of rain to damp down the dust will be welcome by some.

Gas In Saskatoon, April 7, 2017

A rather unpleasant surprise for Saskatoon drivers this week.  Gas in Saskatoon has jumped to 105.9 cents a litre at most locations.   Something tells me it will go up again next week.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 31, 2017.

I took a drive down 8th Street about half an hour ago, and some stations were at 99.9 cents a litre while  others were at 97.9 cents a litre.  So I expect the price at most stations to be 97.9 cents a litre by day's end.  The price was as low as 92.9 cents a litre at most locations to start the week.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Twist, Twist, Twist.

I was just restringing one of my guitars.  As a result I spend a lot of time twisting tuners.  No, I'm not one of those folks who uses a string winder.  I would imagine doing that for multiple guitars every night, as some guitar techs do, would be a recipe for tendonitis in your fingers. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 24, 2017.

We actually went past the 90 cent a litre barrier this week.  Gas reached a low of 88.4 cents a litre.  But that was followed by a big jump up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 95.9 cents a litre at most locations.  These big jumps are not amusing.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 17, 2017.

Once again we approach the 90 cent barrier.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 91.9 cents a litre at most locations.  With oil prices having dropped lately I wouldn't be surprised if the price actually does drop below 90 cents next week.

No Green On Me.

Sorry, Saint Patrick's Day fans, but I'm wearing no green today.  I don't think I wore any for the last one either.  Nor will I be drinking green beer, or eating green eggs and ham.  The only green currently on my person is money.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Singularity Fan?

Then you probably shouldn't read this.  On the other hand if you aren't a fan you might find it funny.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 10, 2017.

Another Friday where the price of gas is dropping.  Gas in Saskatoon should be 93.4 cents a litre at most locations by the end of the day.  With the price of oil dipping below 50 dollars a barrel this week I assume the price won't be going up much for a bit.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 9: It Won't Help You.

These Celebrities Don't Believe In Monogamy.

Whether that's true or not you still won't be getting into their pants.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, March 3, 2017.

The first report of March sees a price drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 96.4 cents a litre at most locations.  However this follows a jump to 99.9 cents a litre earlier in the week.

Sunrise For Saskatoon?

As many Canadian readers will be aware HMV is going out of business in Canada.  This includes two stores in Saskatoon.  But those spaces may not stay empty for long.  Ontario based Sunrise Records has decided to take a big gamble.  They intend to take over HMV spaces across Canada.  Sunrise believes there's still a place for stores selling music in Canada, despite HMV's decision there isn't.  Will we see a Sunrise in Saskatoon?  The press statement implies so. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, February 24, 2017.

The downward trend continues.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 91.9 cents a litre at most locations.  But I wouldn't be surprised if it goes up next week, as dropping below the 90 cent mark has been a barrier of late.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lost In Translation.

Chances are that if you're reading this blog your first language, or primary language, is English.  It's written in English, so not surprisingly most visitors come from English speaking places and/or mainly speak English in their daily lives.  And chances are you've had a problem understanding what Donald Trump has said at least once, since his style of speaking can be unclear and repetitive.  Now just imagine what it's like translating Trumpspeak into other languages.  According to this article it is in fact quite the problem.   Some of his statements come out as impossible to understand if you translate them too literally, yet not doing so may not mirror the fact they're confusing in English as well.  He just doesn't speak in the way US politicians generally have spoken.  I'm glad I don't have to translate his rambling.

Gas In Saskatoon, February 17, 2017.

Good luck trying to figure out where the price of gas is going these days.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 94.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I won't hazard a guess if the next price change will be up or down.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Don't Get Too Near.

If you're anywhere near the White House it might be a good idea to move away some.  The way things have been going in the last few days I wouldn't be surprised if a black hole appears and sucks the Trump Administration into oblivion.  The phrase "crash and burn" really doesn't cover it.  If President Trump is really unlucky he'll be forced to resign before reaching his 31st day in office, which would make his time in the office shorter than William Henry Harrison's.  Harrison died only 31 days after taking office.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 8: Wrong Year.

Scott Walker, the 'Do It My Way' Gov, Enters 2016 Race.

Too bad it's 2017.

You Might Envy Us.

If you live in much of  North America you probably aren't happy with your weather.  It's been nasty, and will continue to be.  Seriously, snow in some parts of Texas is in the forecast.  Most of the Canadian Maritimes is going to be hit by huge amounts of snow.

Saskatoon's forecast this week?  Daytime temperatures at or above freezing.  Sunny skies.  A high of 8 Celsius predicted for Thursday.  And no chance of precipitation until Sunday.

Yes, I'm sure many of you will envy us.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, February 10, 2017.

So much for the downward trend.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 97.9 cents a litre at most stations.  I won't be surprised if it's back over a buck in the next week.

Monday, February 06, 2017

This Is More Fun.

I had an idea for a post today, but in one sense it was a repeat of an older post.  So instead watch this, which is more fun.  If you're Canadian and old enough you probably remember this, as it aired on Canadian TV frequently for a long time.  Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing "The Log Driver's Waltz."

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 7: Not A Virtuoso.

Chicken's Rendition Of "America The Beautiful" Will Give You Goosebumps.

On the other hand its rendition of "Copacabana" will make you nauseous. 

Friday, February 03, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, February 3, 2017.

Today was another price change day.  By day's end gas in Saskatoon will be 92.4 cents a litre at most locations.  It will be interesting to see if it drops below 90 cents again, and how far it will drop if it does.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A Terrifying New Series From Donald Trump!

Welcome to 50 States of Grey, a series about a submissive country in an unhealthy BDSM relationship with a domineering President.   Safe, sane, and consensual?  Not with President, who knows he doesn't need to listen to anyone else's ideas.

This idea came to mind after reading a news item about Trump talking about Black History Month, but really making it all about himself.  As usual. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Goodbye, John.

John Wetton was a tough man.  For years he'd been fighting health problems, including heart problems, arm and shoulder problems that left his picking hand numb, and more recently cancer, but still continued to work when his health allowed.  It was the cancer that killed him.  He was 67.

Wetton came out of Bournemouth music scene, as did Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Andy Summers, and various others.  After stints with Mogul Thrash and Family it was his time with King Crimson that brought him to prominence.  But after his time in Crimson, touring with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep, and being one of the founders of UK it was the band Asia that brought him the most commercial success.  The group's self titled 1981 debut would go on to sell more than 10 million copies, although they never managed to top that success.  He collaborated with many musicians over the years, both on his own solo material, as a co-leader of several projects, and as a session man.  For the last decade Wetton had been a member of a re-united Asia, and had been planning to tour with the group when his condition deteriorated. 

In memoriam here's "Starless," from King Crimson's 1974 album Red.  It's a great example of Wetton's bass playing and singing.  (Thanks to DGM Live for putting this up on YouTube.)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Waiting For Mr. Bigmouth.

Last night I watched Bellator.  Tonight I've been watching the UFC.  With all that's been going on in US politics the thought came to mind of what fighter might open his big mouth about these issues after a fight.  I'm pretty sure Tito Ortiz had a "Make America Great Again" logo on his shirt last week, but he didn't actually say anything.  It's a reasonable guess the powers that be at both promotions have told their fighters not to bring this stuff up.  But there's always going to be people who don't listen.  And both Bellator and the UFC have fighters on roster who aren't Americans, and who might be worried about being effected by things like changed immigration rules. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 27, 2017.

The price of gas continues to drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 96.4 cents a litre at most locations, but some stations had dropped it another cent to 95.4 cents this afternoon.  I'm sure the others will soon follow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Weird Thought.

Bryan Ferry as James Bond.

Not now of course.  But in the '70s or early '80s.  Ferry looks a bit like George Lazenby, and certainly could have pulled off the sauve spy bit that became a standard part of the Bond mythos in the movies.  Ferry doesn't seem to have had much interest in acting, other than appearing as himself in a 1980 French TV mini-series, and as Mr. Silky String in Neil Jordan's 2005 film Breakfast on Pluto.  How he might have dealt with the action parts of the role is an obvious question, but Roger Moore was looking pretty tired and unconvincing by the time A View to a Kill was filmed.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Two Years.

That's how long I'll wait before I'm convinced Tito Ortiz fought his last fight tonight.  Too many fighters don't seem to know when to quit, and I wouldn't be surprised if Ortiz is one of them.  Meanwhile an obvious question is whether Chael Sonnen will fight again.  His fight tonight was his first in three years, and it was a loss.  On the other hand the fact he lost might keep him in the game, as having your last fight be a loss is a hard result to take. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 20, 2017.

My prediction of last week was correct.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 99.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Will the downward trend continue?  It depends on whether Donald Trump starts WW3 over the weekend I suppose.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

O'Leary Leaps In.

Some American visitors are likely to be familiar with Kevin O'Leary.  The Canadian businessman has been one of the regulars on ABC's reality TV series Shark Tank since its debut in 2009.  But he may be leaving the series, as he announced that he is running for the leadership of Canada's federal Conservative Party.

The Conservatives are Canada's equivalent of the Republican Party, although it's fair to say a lot of Republicans might find some of their policies dangerously left wing.  Previous Conservative Party leader, and former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper resigned after the Conservatives lost the 2015 election to Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party.  The campaign for a new leader effectively began at the beginning of 2016, with the announcement the leadership convention will held on May 27th this year.

O'Leary has not surprisingly drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, and has said his interest in running for the leadership was inspired by Trump.  O'Leary isn't as rich as Trump(although, like Trump, some claim he's not as rich as he claims to be), and doesn't have the same kind of baggage Trump does.  He's had a long media presence in Canada, including being on the Canadian business reality show Dragon's Den, and co-host of the CBC News Network current affairs show The Lang and O'Leary Exchange before leaving CBC in 2014.  He's also said some things that might remind one of Trump, such as questioning global warming, and calling the fact that the 85 richest people in the world own as much as the poorest half of the world's population "fantastic."

The timing of O'Leary's entry into the race has raised some eyebrows.  This morning's announcement followed the sole leadership debate of the campaign held entirely in French.  To lead the main federal parties in Canada one has to make at least a pretense of trying to speak French, and O'Leary admits his French is weak.  Of course this could be said about some of the other candidates, and they made an effort.  And in case you're wondering, a candidate that was effectively unilingual in French wouldn't get the time of day from those parties.

What are O'Leary's chances of winning?  It's hard to say.  He's the fourteenth candidate to enter the race.  Yep, fourteen people are running.  O'Leary is the most well known, and at the moment the vote is heavily split.  On the other hand it's likely we'll see someone drop out with his announcement, and of course some of those candidates probably don't have much of a chance no matter who is running.  A good example would be my former Member of Parliament Brad Trost, who is not well known outside Saskatchewan.  But there's also the chance an "anybody but O'Leary" movement might build behind one of the candidates.

If he does win the next step will probably be someone resigning their seat in Parliament so O'Leary can run in a by election..  Presumably he would get elected, but that's not a given.  Not getting a seat would partially put him on the sidelines, since he wouldn't be able to show Canadians what he can do in the House of Commons, and might be seen as a bad sign regarding his chances in the next election.  Barring a gigantic political scandal bringing down the government, or Prime Minister Trudeau randomly dropping dead, the next Canadian federal election is in 2019.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Big Earl Versus Billy The Ric.

A long time ago I had a Fender Stratocaster XII 12 string electric guitar, one of the original versions with a Fender Electric XII style bridge.  I never had to do any work on the intonation or action before I sold it to my cousin.  Which is a good thing because I'm not Mr. Mechanical.  But I'm sure it would be a lot easier to work on than a classic Rickenbacker twelve string.  Today I came across a pair of videos from Edmonton's Big Earl discussing his adventures changing the bridge on his Rickenbacker 12 string.  Boy, talk about a lot of work!  And he's not a gigging musician on the road with one.  Watch the videos, and then imagine having to restring one every day, as gigging musicians often do, or if they're really lucky their guitar tech does.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 13, 2017.

Some more relief to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is currently 101.4 cents a litre at most locations.  A drop below the buck a litre mark seem fairly likely, but I suspect the decline will soon reverse itself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Do They Even Remember It?

Going about my business this afternoon I heard a song I know I haven't heard in 20 years, if not more.  "Notorious" was the single released off Loverboy's  1987 album Wildside.  Co-written by Mike Reno with the late Todd Cerney, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora(something I didn't know) it sounds like an attempt at producing another "Hot Girl's In Love."  And it's "nah nah nah, nah nah nah notorious" line in the chorus was probably intended for having an audience sing along live. 

Not having heard it in so long I found myself wondering half seriously if the guys in Loverboy even remember the song.  Of course they might not want to.  Although "Notorious" did generate some airplay it didn't help Wildside, which became their first album not to go platinum, and the group soon broke up over tensions between Reno and guitarist Paul Dean.  Like some other bands that got lumped into the arena rock/AOR category they presumably just ran out of steam, not being pretty enough or having the right sound to keep up with the hair metal bands popular at the time.  In fact it could be seen as ironic that Bon Jovi and Sambora co-wrote "Notorious," since Bon Jovi probably sucked up market share that would previously have bought Loverboy albums.

See what you think.  Here's the promo video for the song. 

Friday, January 06, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, January 6, 2017.

Our first entry for 2017 sees a minor drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 106.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Not much help, but as always better down than up.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mocking The Clickbait 6: Education Needed.

These Pictures Are For Guys Only.

Umm, yeah, you see, there are women who call themselves lesbians.  And bisexuals.  And pansexuals.  They might also want to see pictures of "the most beautiful women on the Internet."  Or maybe not, given the kind of pictures you might be showing.  I won't be looking to find out, so as not to give you traffic. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Goodbye, Mr. Barnsley.

Sad news to report.  Greg Barnsley has died at 83.  Anyone who watched Saskatoon TV prior to 1992 will be familiar with Barnsley.  One of the original on air personalities at CFQC TV Barnsley appeared in various roles for the station, including weatherman on CFQC's news broadcasts and host of Kingo Bingo.  In 2014 the newly renovated CFQC studio was named the Greg Barnsley Studio in his honor. 

You can hear Barnsley's distinctive voice in the following 1984 documentary.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Welcome to 2017.

Ugh, can I rewind time back about 15 years?  I really don't want to be this old.

In any case, here's hoping this year turns out considerably better than most of us are expecting.  It certainly doesn't look like a great year is in the offing.