2007-05-29

Another reason to hate hippies...

...is that the hip-ster era made huge spans of otherwise decent 60s television totally unwatchable.

I know this because I've borrowed my father's Get Smart DVD set, and the Groovy Guru episode has to be one of the most painful 22 minutes of television ever seen.

And it isn't just a one-shot problem: The Way to Eden, after the passage of time, quickly eclipsed "Spock's Brain" as the worst Star Trek episode of all time.

Want a third example? Fine. I can't remember which episode (I think it was "Fiddler on the Loose") of the old-school Spiderman cartoon which showed "groovy swing music" and how much J. Jonah Jameson hated it. Again, its the sort of thing that makes old TV shows stink to high heaven.

Update, 3:07pm: "The Groovy Guru" is apparently one of the 100 greatest television episodes of all time. Not sure if Get Smart deserves any entries in that pantheon, but if so I would nominate "How to Succeed in the Spy Business Without Really Trying", or "A Spy for a Spy", where Sigfried and Smart have to exchange prisoners after each organization kidnaps the entire membership of the other.

If the MSM covered Christianity like they covered the false religion of Mohammed, agent of Satan

IowaHawk reports that the number of Lutherans who believe in murdering people who disagree with them number less than 1/3rd the total, and how kick-ass this news is:

Although a majority 87% of respondents agreed that "The world should be brought to submission under global Lutheran conquest and eternal perfect rule," there was a great deal of disagreement on the means to accomplish it. More than 95% supported "pancake breakfasts" and "popcorn fundraisers," but support dropped to less than 80% for "cow tipping" and "T-P'ing infidel houses." Support dropped even more dramatically for more violent means of conquest, such as "suicide bombing" (28%), "decapitation" (24%), and "running over Presbyterians with my Ski-Doo" (23%).

"Taken as a whole, the results show that Midwest Lutherans emphatically support a moderate, mainstream path to world domination," said Kohut. "These folks are well-assimilated into the broad fabric of American society, and unless you are Presbyterian, there is probably very little here to cause concern."

Kohut said that optimism about the results should be tempered by the grim economic realities faced by many in the Lutheran community. Nearly 65% of female survey respondents said they lived more than 30 minutes from the nearest outlet mall, while a strong majority of males said they were "often" or "sometimes" worried about having enough money for green fees and Leinenkugel.

Equally disturbing, many respondents reported experiencing discrimination at the hands of non-Lutherans. Frequently cited examples of non-Lutheran bigotry included "Got all nose-in-the-air like" (48%), "Made personal remarks about my hot dish" (37%), "Wouldn't let me borrow their combine head" (36%), and "Wouldn't stand still so I could kill them" (22%).
Hilarious stuff.

(h/t to, one shouldn't be too surprised, Ann Coulter)

Also, oddly enough, linked to by Coulter was Mark Steyn's new column mainly about immigration...but the best line comes from a "quirky news item" about two identical twins in a paternity suit who want the government to pay the support since it cannot be determined who the father was:
Raymon wants the state of Missouri to pick up the child support. Technically, the state of Missouri didn't "sleep with" Holly Marie Adams, though, if it too had been in town for the rodeo that day, its chances would have been better than even.
Personally, I think the child support should be funded by the genetic lab that knowingly took money from identical twins to conduct DNA testing to determine which one had paternity.

2007-05-27

How to instantly offend hoplophobes, urbanites, vegans, and peaceniks

Have your 11 year old son stalk, shoot, and kill what may be the largest wild boar in U.S. history.

How can we enjoy the show from home? Easy: by reading the positive and negative comments.

Notice something interesting? Here's a basic positive comment:

Major congrats to ya. And even more congrats that you made the right decision to have food made from your kill. I feel that no matter what these animal rights activists have to say, you hunted not just the thrill (albeit, a trophy-sized thrill), but to be able to feed yourself (and, I'm sure many others). As early as 100 years, everyone killed and ate animals. If the AR activist idiots' ancestors didn't kill and eat animals, they wouldn't be here today. Which might be just as well. Again, congratulations on your tremendous kill. And good luck on bigfoot. Ha-ha.
Mike Matsco
And here's your basic negative email:
Fuck you, you stupid redneck, killing a defenseless animal. Too bad the pig didn't have a gun to make it fair, then he could have shot your ass 10 times. Imagine the pain and suffering it went through while you terrorized it in its final moments of life. Funny how you go to a Christian school. You're just another southern, stupid, bible stompin red neck. Rot in hell asshole.

Those liberals, I tell you: what a well educated, mentally stable, mature non-name calling bunch they are...

(h/t Mark Steyn at National Review)

2007-05-25

Day Break Episode 13 live weblog

For this final episode of Day Break I am going to do a little change of pace and discuss the episode "live" and in progress. Unlike most live blogs, this will advance in time and go downwards: new content will be lower to keep future reads easier. Fortunately, this isn't exactly live, and I can pause to type as much as I like, ensuring that I cover all the bases. I'll handle answered and unanswered questions at the end.

01:10: A scene from the upcoming episode: Spivak and Hopper confrontation!

01:52: "I love you" Rita says. Saving her life yesterday changed her back to the friendly camp!

02:22: We're hearing the Billy story from Rita, and getting a beautiful Moon Bloodgood nipple shot. Damn I wish Windows Media Player could do screencaps!

04:16: Hopper and Chad having coffee, talking about ending this day once and for all. "Are you in?" "I'm listening."

06:55: Well, that went well. Chad freaked when he heard about Garza, pulled a gun on Hopper and fired at him. Hopper, meanwhile, got the bus to stop because the driver was about to have a stroke. When Rita and Chad went to save him, Hopper handcuffs Chad to the sewer grate and tells him to investigate Spivak.

09:46: Hopper just had a meeting with the best ally he could ever have: Nitzburg. Together they have pieced together the facts: Garza sent the packages to Hopper as an insurance policy to prevent his death, which is why Booth & Co. decided to frame him. (Assumably they were concerned he might do so earlier, which is why they wired Brett's apartment. Also, remember Hopper was tied in via his father's case notes, so his bugging may have been related to Jennifer's non-compliance with the briefcase.) The problem is, Garza didn't realize his wife was in on the conspiracy, so when he told her about the packages she told Booth and the day began. Nitzburg and Hopper work out a deal: Brett gets Mrs. Garza to break and testify in place of her husband. Nitzburg does...something.

09:57: Hol-ee shit! Hopper just walked right up to Choi in the police station, held out his hands, and announced "I surrender"!!!!!

11:22: Choi got a call from Nitzburg, and now armed with Jennifer's briefcase, Hopper and Andrea and interrogating Mrs. Garza.

15:30: Hopper finally got Mrs. Garza to spill the beans, but at a price: Spivek entered and watched Choi reviewing the tape of the interrogation. As Mrs. Garza reveals that she was sleeping with Booth, and helped Dominguez because "Alberto was weak", Choi perks up and decides its time to call Booth in to answer a few questions. Spivek stops playing the "you're tainting the witness" game and orders Choi to go "make the call." This can't be good.

16:23: Booth got the call, and is meeting with Cockburn. Cockburn wants Booth to "cooperate, I'll get you out of there in an hour". Cockburn decides to take care of Mrs. Garza, but the problem is, they also know Hopper is a lot more knowledge than they thought he was. "I'll talk to Detweiller." "Talk to everyone: Detweiller, Nick Vuckovich, Torres and all his people." Who's Torres?

16:52: The counter-attack is planned. Hopper is to be killed at all costs. "Tomorrow" is not to be derailed (ha, funny). A "clear message" must be sent about who really runs the City of Los Angeles.

17:36: Booth calls Uncle Nick, and he tells Damion that it was Hopper who gave him up at the safehouse, so now Damion has murder on his mind.

19:35: Lots of advancement. Hopper questions Spivek's loyalties, tells him he knows about the Grand Jury subpoena. Spivek was Nick's old partner, who resents Hopper for "turning him traitor". It's left unclear which side Spivek is on.

20:48: Somebody swiped the ballistics report and left it in a sealed envelope on Rocknowsky's inbox, which is not where it should be. Mrs. Garza has gone home with Cockburn, and Nitzburg calls Hopper to tell him Margo had arranged a meeting for 9am the next morning...he never saw her though, so she again called at the point of a gun. Hopper sees Booth getting into an elevator, and decides to go down a floor...

22:10: Hopper and Booth chat it up in an elevator...after hearing about Isabelle Contreras, Booth tells Hopper he's ending the day with a bullet in his head, and "just like your old man, you'll never see it coming." The Hopper suicide is looking a lot less so.

24:18 Hopper and Jennifer discuss the Hopper suicide, and Jennifer explains Nick was there for all the gory details. Hopper arranges a meeting with Nick, and while waiting Chad calls to tell him that his prints were found on the murder weapon and yet he had still been cleared. Just then, Damion shows up with a thug, and they rip the phone out of Hopper's hand and knock him out cold.

26:06: Is it tomorrow??? Hopper wakes up in the back of his truck, his phone ringing. Rita is worried because he wasn't there when she woke up this morning. It's 7:10am on the next day.

27:33: Yesterday was the setup, today is the payoff. Chad is coming over to see Rita, but first he met with Detweiller at the hotel room (why not Detweiller's house? The hotel room set was available I guess) and Detweiller said it was time to make a decision: kill Hopper or Rita dies.

28:28: All threads come together: the heavy hardware is being used by Fencick, Buckhalter, and the skinheads to take down the meeting of the judges. Hopper is rushing to stop it. Chad is rushing to stop him. Or is he?

29:09: "This is where we make our last stand" says Nitzburg. "Make it ugly" says Fencik. The skinheads charge in...to an empty courtroom.

29:28: GO ANDREA! Andrea and swat move in, Victoria Pratt looking smoking hot in a tight flak vest. On all sides, the skinheads are captured, but at least one minion gets away out of the corner of Andrea's eye.

30:20: Chad shows up at Ritas, tells her that Detweiller made "unreasonable demands", and says they need to get out of town. Hopper shows up, and says he'd love to hear the rest.

32:20: Spivek isn't the mole...Chad is. Hopper confronts him, and its all because of Rita. (Not sure why Chad helped out with saving Hopper's life from the sniper in the lockdown episode thought). They have a serious tussle in Rita's place, and everything she owns gets smashed...except for her little plate he broke in Episodes 1-3. "It's over" Hopper says. Somehow I doubt it.

33:00: 97 arrests, including a very angry looking Tobias Booth. Detweiller sits in a chair, apparently dead. Minions are in jumpsuits, Shelton's in cuffs, and Hopper and Andrea are riding high with honest Choi. This won't last, there's almost 10 minutes left.

33:30: Spivek and Hopper shake hands, Mrs. Garza is laying in a car not unlike Isabelle Contreras once did, and Tobias Booth is met by two large men in his prison cell.

34:02: "The Crying Man", Miguelle Dominguez, is removing his shackles and brandishing a gun. Detweiller sits in his chair prepping a shotgun, and Chad Shelton escapes his police escort. This is so not over.

36:22: Some loose ends left: Hopper meets up with Barry Cockburn. He has no proof, but notes to Cockburn how his name keeps popping up. Cockburn seems only mildly surprised to find how much Hopper got done in a single day. He wants Brett to ask the real question: who killed Hopper Sr.? In his professional opinion? "A partner".

37:49: Damion tells us this is all the "next day", contrary to the day/night/day/night/day/night scene from a few minutes ago. Hopper just finished telling Cockburn it wasn't over, and "today it is". Right now I'm thinking this goes one of two ways: Hopper dies (and saves the passage of time), or he will wind up in another loop at the episode's end.

38:37: Damion apologizes for the "bad intel", and says that he brought a present: look kids, its Uncle Nick!

40:21: Nick tells us Hopper Sr.'s death saved Jennifer, saved Hopper's Mom. Nick says he had no choice as Damion offers Hopper a gun. Hopper disagrees: there's always a choice, and his choice is to walk away whilst Damion executes Nick.

41:00: With less than 2 minutes left, Hopper and Rita are resting in bed. This will not end well.

42:25: Hopper, Rita, and Jennifer are all meeting for breakfast. Hopper wanted to stay at his place: for a change. They happily go about their lives, but they're being watched...

...

...

...

...

...

...by a well-dressed man in a goatee who looks vaguely familiar.As the Hoppers enter the cafe, Jarod the well-dressed man smiles warmly.

The End.

Questions to follow.

Answered questions:

  1. Nick killed Hopper Sr.
  2. The never-ending day is over

Unanswered questions:
  1. Did Dominguez/Shelton/Detweiller/Cockburn get away cleanly? Will they come after Brett? Each other?
  2. Was Booth getting free or was he getting rubbed out?
  3. Was Jarod responsible for the day?
  4. Why did the day "end" when it did?


We will never find out why the day happened, and since no further seasons will occur (it was rumoured future seasons would be either 24-inspired "next day comes years later" deals, or that the entire cast would be swiped and the concept began anew), but it seems that Jarod was the key. Others say its because Hopper needed to know about his father, and others still figure he needed to piece together enough to save the meeting.

Regardless, I really enjoyed this series, and it remains a shame they cancelled it. Sometime in the future I hope to do these "mini-reviews" of the episodes I haven't already done (the first 3 or 4), and pretend that I don't know the outcome as they occur. I'm sure somebody also has figured out the mistakes: things they got wrong from day to day, but it seems there are a small number of them.

For now, Hopper is happy and I guess that's how they want us, the dedicated web fans, to remember the show. (One wonders if multiple endings were written/shot).

Update, 3:14pm: TV.com reports that fewer loose ends were left than I thought: one review surmises that the minions were killed by Dominguez, and that Booth was indeed rubbed out. That makes sense, leaving only Detweiller, Shelton, and Cockburn left out in the open.

Day Break Episode 12 mini-review

We have our answers! Almost all of them!

What have we learned? Answered questions include:

  1. Mitch Pileggi is evil... he's the "inside man" on the force.
  2. Billy is Rita's brother.
  3. Rita's connection with all of this was in 2002, when she killed her father in the defense of her brother with a flashlight. Buckhalter (the fat minion) pulled her over, found the dead body, and it took Chad's influence to make it go away: Cockburn was the attorney who made the case disappear...at a price.
  4. Detweiller helped Chad bury the body.
  5. Margo, the woman who was almost hit by a bus in the first episode, is a legal clerk for Judge Nitzburg, who has a sealed warrant to bust Booth and the whole city hall gang. She was unable to obtain the warrant for Hopper, but did get the subpoenas for the conspiracy members, including Spivak (Pileggi). She was kidnapped and held at the address where Hopper thought Rita was.

Unanswered questions:
  1. Will Rita's opinion of Hopper improve "tomorrow"?
  2. How does the conspiracy all tie in together?
  3. Can Hopper escape the loop, solve the crime, and take care of business in the last 43 minutes?

Day Break Episode 11 mini-review

The rules have changed. I don't know why, but they have. Everything is suddenly different, and its all because at this point Hopper has gotten sick of the day. But after 16 days on vacation, everything in L.A. falls apart.

Answered questions:

  1. Booth is not the top of the food chain: he's the second highest up, but somebody is higher.
  2. Uncle Nick has also been part of the conspiracy, though less willing than others.
  3. Hippo, a fat guy who's in the police lobby to observe key moments of the day, is introduced as Nick's contact inside the department. He is the leader of the FOHFs, who seem only interested in protecting Hopper but not blowing open the conspiracy.
  4. Rita and Chad's dirty secret involves a dead body, a motel, and somebody named "Billy".
  5. Uncle Nick and Damion meet at the start of the day to discuss Baxter and Hopper. Nick has convinced Damion that they have conspired against him.
  6. Hopper's vacation chat with Rita changed the morning, same as his interventions with Andrea and Jennifer changed the morning: only this change is a massive downside, she now turns on him at the start of the day.

Unanswered questions? I got a ton of them:
  1. Who's the guy at the top?
  2. What's "the move" that Nick is talking to Damion about?
  3. Do Nick and Damion always meet up in the morning, or did Hopper change this? Does Rita always get the call from Billy? She never got it in the second episode where Rita and Hopper go off to meet her Mom.
  4. Speaking of the 2nd episode, in it when Hopper and Rita try to run, the minions try to take him out violently. Why don't they do it in this episode? Because Hopper removes the tracking device every morning?
  5. Who is Billy? What does he have to do with Chad/Rita/dead body?
  6. Was the dead body in the motel room? Or do they mean the dead plumber upstairs?
  7. Why is the evidence above Hopper's apartment missing in this episode and not the previous episodes? Too early in the afternoon when we saw it previous times?
  8. Can Hopper get Rita to stop selling him out every morning?
  9. Who killed Chad and Rita? Why did they kill them in this day and not the others?

Two more episodes to go, and I'm wondering if things are going to be rushed by then. This past episode seems like a "take a break and breather" episode, which is oddly timed to come 11th in a 13 episode run. On the bright side, we got to see Moon Bloodgood

2007-05-23

Death to Lebanon, the out-of-control hyperpower!

A bomb has rocked a car park in the Lebanese capital Beirut, injuring at least seven people...

So what's the "root cause" of this terrorist action? Which "peaceful" country did Lebanon invade recently? Does their foreign policy trample a lot of other nations' toes? (I ask this question on Scruffy Dan's blogpost about "American being to blame for 9/11" -- which of course was all a plot by the State Department anyways, right?)

So is it finally time to put this silly meme to rest that al Qaida was formed in response to {insert evil action of American government here}? After all, so far the Muslims have blamed George W. Bush for the Crusades (1095–1291, started by Muslims), the creation of Israel (1948 by the British), and the cancellation of I Love Lucy (1968, Frank Stanton). Even Michael Moore has to concede Bush can't be responsible for all three.

But now al Qaida is involved in Beirut, where the Americans haven't even had a presence for 23 years. Are there going to be emotional "not in our name" protests? Can George Soros start an organization devoted to "moving on" from the past and getting these messy bombings out of the national consciousness? Or will the left-wing morons clue in that al Qaida are a bunch of dirty uncivilized savages, worshipping a false prophet named Mohammed who brings a message from Satan, speaking to Muslims under the name Allah? Don't hold your breath.

2007-05-22

Holy Sexual Intercourse, Batman! We're F***ed

Art for a Change is upset with goth inker Frank Miller for creating...*gasp*...an anti-terrorist Batman comic.

Since Miller takes his inspiration from "patriotic" WWII era comic books, it might be instructive to re-examine those books. The cover of one classic Superman comic from that period exhorted America’s youth to "Slap a Jap," and a quick survey of popular comics from those days reveal a venomous racism aimed at the Japanese. One must remember that while the Man of Steel was urging young Americans to "Slap a Jap," Japanese Americans were being spat upon, rounded up, deprived of their rights and properties, and thrown into "internment camps."
And meanwhile, those innocent Japs weren't forcing long "death marches" on their POWs, now, were they?

This is, of course, the classic of liberal hand-wringing: sure the Japanese Navy was trying to push across the globe, but somewhere in California George Takei had to be a pillow biter behind iron gates. And sure there were confirmed Japanese spy networks in both Canada and the U.S., but our modern sensibilities were offended!

Art for a Change also complains about his suspicions that Holy Terror, Batman!...
...will be filled with cruel and nasty looking "towel heads" bent on destroying Western Civilization, however, demonizing and dehumanizing Arabs in a popular comic book will do nothing to destroy the al-Qaida network - although it will do much to shore up the anti-Arab bigotry now rampant in the US.
He also quotes a faggy San Francisco review which states:
A standard-issue treatment would show them as another crew of generic swarthy bad guys, and there will, of course have to be a ‘good Arab’ or two to prove the comic isn’t prejudiced. I’m guessing an Iraqi commando on our side. But if Miller gives them the real characteristics of al-Qaida, that is, really depicts the details of their religiosity, he could get into trouble.
Did anybody catch that? Miller's comic is horribly offensive and dangerous because it will resort to crude stereotypes rather than providing an accurate portrayal of our peaceful Islamic brothers. On the other hand, he'd better not talk about all the sick loopy things done by actual followers of Islam, the dirty false religion of Mohammed, agent of Satan, or else some right-thinking jihadist will slice his neck open.

He quotes this review all willy-nilly, and gets worried about "Slap a Jap"?

Day Break Episode 10 mini-review

Well, that just about clears up the case. Hopper figures the entire thing out. A delightful way to end the series...sort of.

Answered questions:

  1. Dominguez isn't in Pelican Bay. He gets released whenever he wants, because the warden answers to Detweiller.
  2. Detweiller (Quarry Guy) used to be the warden at Pelican Bay when Dominguez was first in. When they want Dominguez for a hit, they signal him to assault somebody (as what happened with the guard), Dominguez gets put into solitary, and somebody (the minions, one supposes) bust him out.
  3. Dominguez's sister is living in L.A. under an assumed name, and she houses Dominguez until Booth's right-hand-man wants him.
  4. Dominguez did kill Garza, and at the end of the night its he who kills Rita. Well, unless Chad and Hopper team up.
  5. Fencik and Buchalter have been renting the apartment above Hopper and using it to spy on him.
  6. Pileggi looks to be innocent, just with a beef against Hopper Sr. Unless he really did check out the gun.
  7. Catching the real killer and clearing his name doesn't pull Hopper from the time loop.

Unanswered questions are again few in these latter episodes:
  1. Who took the gun out of evidence?
  2. What was the purpose of spying on Hopper's apartment?
  3. Who was the guy in the tub?
  4. What will it take to be rescued from the day?

2007-05-21

What President Bush should have said

I am prepared to accept mature criticisms of my policy from almost anybody in America, be they right or left. What I will not accept is a condemnation of my administration from President Jimmy Carter.
"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history" says Carter.

You didn't just go there, did you?

2007-05-20

Day Break Episode 9 mini-review

Holy action Jackson, Batman!

The 9th episode of Day Break was some of the most interesting television seen in a long long time. Naturally, the show had been cancelled at this point.

Tobias Booth. City councilman, friend of the common man, pillar of the community...he's a liar a thug and a killer.
- Brett Hopper
Hey that's really neat. I got one of those myself, but mine comes with a really shiny badge.
- Chad Shelton, when Damion threatens him with a handgun

Now onto the answered questions:
  1. One of the minions owns a chop shop that was the outfit that rigged up the pretty-lady van that killed Damion a few episodes back.
  2. Booth's right-hand man was a former Latin Disciple who Booth was protected from Damion's testimoney. Booth got the LDs (the larger faction no longer friendly with Damion) and the Skinheads to form an alliance in order to give the appearance of a peaceful community.
  3. Damion and the Quan-Dong asian gangs are forming their own alliance to take Booth's LD turncoat down.
  4. At 12:30am the previous night, Garza tried to fill in the puzzle by FAXing Hopper an incident report regarding Dominguez and Pelican Bay Prison Facility, but Hopper never got the FAX. Somebody swiped the FAX off Garza's desk during the morning investigation.
  5. The skinhead club "Summit" was the site of the union meeting where Booth hooked up the skinheads with heavy weapons. Booth's right-hand man is still running drugs, and it looks like the skinheads will also get the "blind eye" treatment. The minions were at the summit meeting.
  6. Booth got Isabella pregnant, though its unclear where Hopper learned this: it wasn't shown on screen.

Unanswered questions were harder to come by:
  1. Who stole the FAX?
  2. Is Mitch Pileggi evil? He sends Choi to be abducted at the chop shop twice (both directly and indirectly), but then rescues him at the end and lets Choi drive off with Hopper.
  3. Was anything else in the safe?

The text of the incident report is as follows:
At 13:15, Inmate Dominguez was in transfer for lunchtime meal in the East Corridor. During crossover from Cell Block J to Cell Block K, Inmate Dominguez was asked by Guard Lavin to stop for routine check. Inmate Dominguez became verbally abusive toward Guard Lavin then proceeded to physically attack him. When Guard Lavin reached for his club, Inmate Dominguez produced a (??) inch long sharpened pencil and shanked guard Lavin in the right side of his neck. Inmate Dominguez stabbed Guard Latvin in the neck a total of twelve times, puncturing his right corroded artery. Two other guards arrived on sight at 13:18 and Inmate Dominguez was immediately transferred to Solitary Confinement. Guard lavin was immediately transferred to the infirmary, where he was administered morphine and proclaimed dead at 13:28.

Day Break Episode 8 mini-review

Well, we know who's pulling the strings. More on that later.

So far, Andrea (via Eddie), Chad, and Damion have had their redemption episodes. This time its Jennifer's turn. In this episode we also meet Hopper's mom, find some missing autopsies, and learn who is on who's side.

First, answered questions:

  1. Brett doesn't seem to have the temporal lobe problem that Jarod has: his hospital bill is clean.
  2. We finally have names for the minions: Fencik and Buchalter.
  3. The minions get around. Buchalter has a dirty secret on Chad, which is how they've gotten his co-operation.
  4. Mitch Pileggi's character has a history with Hopper's father, and is now 90% likely to be part of the conspiracy.
  5. Jennifer was the recepient of her father's dirty cop money, and has used almost all of it in support of her family.
  6. Isabelle's autopsy was hidden in the briefcase that the conspirators were demanding. It reveals that she was pregnant.
  7. Hopper's father shot himself, likely due to guilt and to let his kids keep his pension.
  8. Hopper's father had 3 names in the margins: Garza, Detweiller, and Tobias Booth. The latter is a Congressman, who Brett recognizes as the voice in the car who ordered Detweiller around.


Unanswered questions aren't very common in this one:
  1. What is Chad's big secret?
  2. Who fathered Isabella's child? Is it important?
  3. Is Booth the top of the food chain?
  4. Is Mitch Pileggi really evil?

Edmonton Alberta: Gateway to the North Latin World

So, ever wanted to drive to Alaska?

I thought that would be a great summer road trip this year. And then I looked into it.

If you want to drive from Edmonton Alberta to Anchorage Alaska, its quite the long haul. Google Maps shows us the route we would take, and its 3,124km in length, taking roughly 36 hours of straight driving. Even covering 8 hours a day, we're looking at the better part of a week.

Wow, that's a really really really long drive. Well, forget that, instead lets drive from Edmonton to Mexico. Now Mapquest and Google Maps' driving directions don't really tell us how to get there, since Mexican roads don't exist on the system. However, Tijuana is right across the border from the Cesar Chavez Community Center in sunny downtown San Ysidro California. Edmonton to San Ysidro can be looked up on Google, and let me tell you... its... closer!. That's right, its only 2,936km from Edmonton to San Ysidro, and Google helpfully ends our trip a quarter-mile from the Mexican border. Its not much closer (Grande Prairie, for example, is closer to Anchorage), but closer nonetheless.

Now for a few caveats:

  • If you just want to get to Alaska, you can go to... y'know... Juneau. ["Juneau what the capital of Alaska is? -ed] That's a whole lot closer: 2,224km if you sneak up through the Yukon like Google wants you to, or 2,107km if you do what I or MapQuest recommends and barrel directly across Northern B.C. (and meet the cute girls from Prince George and Prince Rupert along the way).
  • MapQuest puts San Ysidro at 2,903km from Edmonton using the shortest directions, but note that it keeps you away from the American-Mexican border. Nice try, email jackasses.
  • Bali Hotel's "How Far Is It" gives you "as the crow flies" distances instead of driving distances. Here, San Ysidro is 2,344km away, Tijuana is again not listed, Juneau is 1,392km and Anchorage is 2,277km from Edmonton. Again, if you want to go to visit the "real" Alaska, you're better off heading to Mexico.

2007-05-19

Team Tampon going to the Cup

Ottawa Senators move on to Stanley Cup finals.

Tampon. Condom. Whatever. Click here.

My big problem with Spider-Man 3 (warning! massive spoilers!)

So we get to the end of the movie, right? [We did mention the spoilers, right? -ed] End credits roll, the whole shebang.

Eddie Brock? Dead. (Probably)
Harry Osbourne? Dead.
Gwen Stacey? Still breathing.

WHAT. THE. HELL!?

Gwen Stacey dies. That's like... the big thing. That's what separates Gwen from every other comic character in the known universe (and several Enterprise captains): she died, and she never came back. Well, except for the perfect clone of Gwen that Jackal created. And the army of Gwen Staceys from that one really crap Deadpool comic. But other than that she stayed six feet under like she's supposed to.

Yet here she is, sitting at Norman Osbourne's funeral (?) with her father (?) quite alive and well. Now don't get me wrong, I love Gwen Stacey as much as the next guy, even if Parker is the next guy, but the whole crane sequence I kept waiting for her to bite the bullet. Even if killing Gwen is meant for the fourth or fifth film, its still not fair, because not even Straczynski would have the idiocy and the balls to have a timeframe where Gwen Stacey is alive and X is not (X can equal Norman Osbourne, Harry Osbourne, Otto Octavius, etc.).

Other than that, the film was good, but I liked 1 & 2 better. Other problems that caught my eye:

  • 95% of the time Kristin Dunst was in a scene, I found myself wishing I needed to run to the bathroom. She was slightly annoying in 2, but this time just was full on painful to watch. Somebody should put her in a room, force her to watch the first film, and say "this is how you chew scenery you dumb twat!"
  • Some of the non-MJ parts were hard to stomach too... even the dumbest guy knows you can't kiss a girl in front of your girlfriend, for Pete's sake (pun intended).
  • What class is Peter taking again? He says Gwen is his lab partner and he helps her because "science isn't her strong class". Science isn't a class! Science is a branch. Quantum Mechanics (which is what it sounds like Peter is in, with Hamiltonians and the like) is a class. And if Gwen's not such a hot student, why did she beat Peter to the answer with the m=0 states? Yes, I wish there was more physics in the movie, and I don't mean the lack of realism in the fight scenes. (Incidently, what do you do for labs in QM classes? Especially undergraduate classes where perky-breasted like teases like Gwen can happily enrol).
  • Since when was Curt Conners not a biologist? I assume they are either going to re-cast the role or else find some other way to work The Lizard (one of my favourite Spidey villains) origin story out, since a particle physicist wouldn't have the knowledge of Herpetology needed to ingest an arm-replenishing serum. And yes, Herpetology is a real word, I didn't make it up.
  • Topher grace, as I suspected, makes a really really really crappy Edward Brock. Wasn't he supposed to be a great athlete or something?
So, uh, now that I've spoiled it, go ahead and watch the film. [It's not a total spoiler I suppose. You never mentioned how Sandman is redeemed and lives at the end. Whoops. -ed]

A modern baseball tradition

Interleague play kicked off yesterday in the majors. Now its a very small sample size, but look at what the first day scores are:

Chicago Cubs 6
Chicago White Sox 5

Philadelphia 5
Toronto 3

Florida 8
Tampa Bay 4

Cleveland 9
Cincinnati 4

Detroit 14
St. Louis 4

NY Yankees 2
NY Mets 3

Oakland 15
San Fransisco 3

Kansas City 5
Colorado 2

Minnesota 8
Milwaukee 1

Texas 7
Houston 4

LA Angels 9
LA Dodgers 1

Baltimore 5
Washington 4

San Diego 8
Seattle 1

(Atlanta-Boston postponed, Arizona-Pittsburgh is the NL-NL matchup)

With a couple of perhaps noteworthy exceptions, yet again the American League came out on top. So far in interleague play the AL has a winning percentage of 0.615 (the NL's record I leave as an exercise for some of my slower readers).

Compare this with last year: the AL finished off the season with a 0.611 record in interleague play. Domination was the order of the day. You can also take a peek at some of the matchups from yesterday. The Brewers, one of the hottest teams in the majors went into the game with a 26-15 record, only to be smoked by the Minnesota Twins, who were languishing in the AL-Central with an 18-22 record. Oakland had a respectable .500 record, and so did San Fran, but Oakland didn't for a second look to be in danger when the two teams met. Colorado is a much improved team from previous years, even though their 17-24 doesn't really reflect this. It doesn't matter, KC's 15-27 record overcame them (with dynamite performances from guys I'd never heard of, like Shane Costa and Jeff Baker...I need to get back to watching obscure games again).

There were some surprises the other way: however bad you thought Florida was, Tampa Bay was even worse. Meanwhile, who knew that San Diego was this good Seattle was this bad?

Paris Hilton, Anne Heche, and other celebrity tidbits

I know this isn't the first place you turn to for celebrity insights [and you think they come here for insights on other topics? -ed] but there was enough material today to be worth a few bullet points:

  • Paris Hilton in Jail, Part 1:
    Paris' sentence is cut in half for "good behaviour". Driving drunk, driving with a suspended licence and claiming ignorance, convincing Britney Spears to shave her head... what does it take these days to be diagnosed with bad behaviour? [that's easy...just insult some Jews like Mel Gibson did -ed]

  • Paris Hilton in Jail, Part 2:
    Paris to go without hair extensions, cellphones, or Blackberrys in prison. New Zealand gossip magazines are delighted to report she will be strip searched upon entry, which would be humiliating for anybody who hasn't been seen naked by 96.2% of the population of Earth. Paris without her Blackberry just doesn't seem right, though. Why are we punishing Lindsey Lohan by denying her the chance to SMS message her friend every time she hears another Jessica Simpson cocaine rumour?

  • Paris Hilton in Jail, Part 3:
    This is old news, but remember that early in this "ordeal" Hilton started a petition to convince the Governor of California to pardon Hilton for her misdemeanor crime. The thing is, what is Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger supposed to say in response to this? I personally feel this was a brilliant tactical stunt on Hilton's part... so it was probably somebody else's idea. Still, it made a lot of sense. What was the Governator supposed to say? "Absolutely no pardon will be granted. In America, just being a celebrity doesn't entitle you to any special treatm-- er, um...so, you'd like a pardon?"

  • Paris Hilton in Jail, Part 4:
    Finally, with the news that for "good behaviour" allowed Paris Hilton to cut her sentence back, I wish I was a defense attorney in California. Why? Because the very next day after this, I would immediately file documents for every client I was working for who had already been convicted demanding that they be granted the same rights as given so some little tart who was famous and rich for no real reason other than a minor win at the genetic lottery.

  • Anne Heche's marriage:
    Anne Heche and her husband are having quite the messy divorce. Heche's husband is demanding roughly $45,000/month in child support (though he'll settle for $33k). If it doesn't sound weird enough as is, look at this:
    Laffoon, a former freelance videographer who made $6,000 a year, said he didn't work during the marriage. The couple agreed he would be a stay-at-home father because of his experience as a former nanny and summer camp counselor, his documents contend.

    He estimated that living expenses for himself and their son, who lives with him, total $37,399 a month. An accountant hired on Laffoon's behalf submitted a court paper offering a guideline of $45,239 for monthly spousal and child support.
    Wow, how do you go from six grand a year to spending $480,000 a year? On the other hand, I think Laffoon should try a different tack: variable payments. For example, Anne has to give him, say, $15,000/month. If in the next year she takes up another relationship she has to pay $25,000/month (already a catch-22, since she's dating another guy already, but bear with me here). If she takes another man in the next two years but after 1 year she has to pay $20,000/month. And finally, if over the next two years she takes up with another woman, Laffoon should be entitled to his $40,000/month. Why? Because its embarassing to lose your wife to a sapphist, and he deserves some compensation for his ribbing in public.

  • A Queen in any other language:
    Just on a final aside, in French does the Queen hit song translate to "We are the Mushrooms my Friends?"

2007-05-18

Day Break Episode 7 mini-review

Well, after a long absence I got around to watching the 7th episode (the second post-cancellation episode) of Day Break.

Now, time for the answered questions:

  1. We know why detectives think Hopper killed Garza. Because he did. Well, thats the feeling you get: Garza's wife heard Garza call Hopper's name, heard gunshots, came downstairs to find a black man holding a smoking gun. The problem is...at the beginning of the episode she looks right at Hopper and says "thats him". Holy crap, this is probably the biggest revelation in the series to this point.
  2. Detweiller is a member of the exclusive Santyago Club. Garza, defense attorney Cockburn, and some guy named Forza are also members. Forza is a director.
  3. All Santyago Club directors receive the hourglass as a gift upon election to the board. Therefore past and present members have them.
  4. Forza, one of the directors, is a brain surgeon who did surgury on Jarod, which I'll discuss in unanswered questions.
  5. Another piece of evidence is Garza's blood on a shirt found in Rita's apartment.
  6. Mitch Pleggi's character knows Detweiller, and may be part of the conspiracy. As the Hispanic cop noted, he seemed more interested in nailing Hopper than nailing Garza's killer whoever that may be.
  7. Along with Jarod, Hopper found some new allies: friends of his father (again to be discussed below), and the black guy who runs the help desk at the Santayago Club.
  8. Quarry Guy's minions were ex-sherrifs deputies.


Now time for a whole boatload of unanswered questions...this episode really piled them on.
  1. Did Hopper really kill Garza? Is it possible he was brainwashed or hypnotized or sleepwalking or something? An impersonator? A twin?
  2. Who are the friends of Hopper's father (heretofor to be referred to as FOHFs). Was it an FOHF who snipered the minions? Was the black guy at the club (Mr. Crossword Puzzle) an FOHF? Why do I keep typing FOFR by mistake?
  3. What's the deal with Jarod? As Forza explains, Jarod had seizures, which caused him to "relive" the same day over and over again. As the episode progresses, it looks like Jarod is Hopper's future: soon forgetting what happened day to day, random seizures, etc. But as we progress it is revealed that Jarod's problem is in his own brain: his constant deja-vu keeps causing troubles. He doesn't know his brother died, so he thinks its a conspiracy against him. But at the end of the episode, just as we wrap up this plot thread, it hits us over the head again when Jarod says "I'm sorry I bit you". That, of course, was during a "previous day". So is Jarod living the days over and over again or not? How does he "remember" biting Hopper: we saw he bit other cops that morning, is it possible he mistook Hopper for a previous biting victim? Will Jarod re-appear after his now-omnious trip into Forzas?
  4. Why did Forza take Jarod back in when he had put out a restraining order against him?
  5. Which member of the board did Garza get the hourglass from?
  6. Will Hopper's attitude towards Rita cause problems?
  7. How did the minions find Hopper while he was working on that laptop?


Some rudimentary analysis can be done: its likely that Jarod actually is trapped in the day, but not in the same way as Hopper. Remember that he claimed to come in "every day" to check on the club listings, but the matre'd seemed to think it "unexpected" that Jarod was in his office checking the computer. Still, this will have to be explained later.

The final episode of the series is titled "What if its Him?", hinting that perhaps Hopper was responsible for the death of Garza. At the very least, it would be unexpected.

Also unexpected was how none of the major plot threads from the previous episode (Hopper's sister, Quarry Guy's boss, Isabella's role) really came into play here. The FOHFs were the closest we came. Hopefully the next episode is more forthcoming.

Also of note, Wikipedia reports that "Member #467" is missing, yet in my episode I can see it quite clearly: Tyler Gibson. Not sure if this means anything.

2007-05-17

Who spoiled the safe haven?

Tragedy In Safe Haven: Two slain in city had fled war in Sudan:

EDMONTON - Two young men killed in Tuesday night's shooting were Sudanese refugees whose families came to Canada hoping to escape guns and violence.

"I brought (him) here for safety, and it has turned now to tragedy for me," said Atem Bulgak, father of 22-year-old Deng Atem Bulgak. "The bullet that we fled back home is the one that took him in Canada."

The second victim was identified by members of the local Sudanese community as 24-year-old Jock Ring. His Canadian relatives were on their way to Edmonton on Wednesday evening.

Witnesses say several gunshots were fired behind a duplex at 134th Avenue and 82nd Street at about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Ring was found in the front seat of a bullet-riddled car in the alley.

Atem Bulgak arrived home from work to see his son lying in his backyard. "I saw him just down in the backyard and full of blood. Unconscious," he said.

"We were not even allowed by the police to go near him."

Both victims were rushed to hospital, where one was pronounced dead on arrival. The second died during emergency surgery.

On Wednesday evening, police were still searching for a silver pickup truck that drove away after the shooting with two men inside.

Bulgak, 50, said he and his wife fled civil war in southern Sudan more than 20 years ago. Deng, his eldest son, was born in an Ethiopian refugee camp. In 1992, when Ethiopia became too dangerous, the family fled to Kenya.

They started the process of coming to Canada in 1996.

The family of eight arrived in Saskatchewan in 1999 and later moved to Edmonton to find better jobs.

Deng went to Archbishop O'Leary high school, his father said. He didn't graduate, but was planning to go back to finish and then go to college to study computer science.

"Deng wasn't a fighter. He was the last person to join the fight," said his cousin, Anyar Ngang.

"The boy is a very good boy. Very clever, very lovely," said his uncle, Manas Ngongjock. "He participated a lot in our community."
The problem is that Edmonton was a great haven from all of this violence. What happened to end such a peaceful reign was the influx of this "community" that Deng was a member of.

If you don't believe, look no further than this article reminding us that in 1997 large numbers of Sudanese, 3000 or so, showed up on our doorsteps. But they didn't come alone. In what is now standard immigration operating procedure, they brought their pre-existing problems with them, and delivered them en masse to us.

This article also brings forth an interesting note: Thomas Orak's shooting was brought up. Looks like I was right after all about there being gang links EPS either doesn't know about or isn't saying. (Also of note, the Journal has apparently quit totally whitewashing the event)

Bonus feature: This blog has already examined this problem vis a vis the Vietnamese gang problem.

The disagreeable parts of the following Paula Simons article are highlighted

Real solutions -- not rent controls -- are needed:


Rent controls won't work.

I wish they would. I wish the government could wave a wand and fix Edmonton's dysfunctional rental market. But there's no magic cure for the mess in which our city suddenly finds itself.

We don't have enough rental units. We don't just have a shortage of "affordable" housing, we have a shortage of rental accommodation, period.

Right now, rental vacancy rates in Edmonton are at about 0.7 per cent. And the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is estimating that vacancy rates are heading down to 0.5 per cent. It might was well be zero.

People are moving here every day, looking for work, looking for opportunity, hoping to ride our boom. Families are growing, as Edmonton experiences its biggest baby boom in a generation. And there's another pressure on the rental market -- a huge demographic cohort, the kids of the baby boomers, are hitting their early 20s in a giant wave and looking to move out on their own.

Normally when market demand goes up, so does supply. But around here, that basic market law isn't working. Because Edmonton's economy was stalled for much of the last 25 years, our rental inventory is extremely low. For decades, few new apartments were built. Much of our existing rental stock is old and run-down. Meanwhile, it's become so ridiculously expensive to build anything new, so difficult to hire construction crews, landlords and investors aren't rushing to build. Right now, the CMHC estimates that it would take monthly rents in the $1,500 to $2,000 range to convince developers to put up more apartments.

In this overheated market, it's more attractive for most property developers to put up condominiums than rental units. With condos, you can pre-sell the units to finance your construction costs. And because the condo is "sold" as it's built, investors get their money out faster.

What we desperately need in Edmonton are more rental units. But all the historic evidence suggests rent controls only make housing shortages worse.

They discourage investors from building new apartments. And they discourage owners of existing buildings from making needed repairs and improvements. The last thing we need right now is anything that gives developers a disincentive to build.

Monkeying with the market is a risky business. Why have we seen such an abrupt, remarkable spike in rents in the last few weeks? In part, it's because the provincial government suggested it might bring in rules to limit landlords to one rental increase a year. No surprise, then, that some landlords are hiking prices excessively now, because they fear this might be their last chance to do so. In a perverse way, the public and political debate around rent control has actually had the unintended effect of jacking up rents.

It might be possible for the province to come up with some middle-ground solution -- a regulation that rents can only rise by a certain percentage, over a certain time frame. But that, at best, would only provide temporary relief for today's renters. The province could also raise the rent allowance it pays to people on welfare and AISH; such increases are long overdue. But subsidies would only put upwards pressure on prices and do little to address the real problem -- our shortage of places to live.

I wish I had some alternate solution. Oh, there are a few small suggestions I could make. The city needs a program to encourage more Edmontonians to open up secondary rental suites in their homes. That might include municipal incentives to homeowners to upgrade their basements to conform to today's fire codes. The city could do more, too, to encourage people to take in boarders, not in self-contained suites but in extra bedrooms.

Certainly, all three levels of government could do more to fund and build rental units or affordable condos. But that will take time, especially in our manic construction zone. The city might consider, too, requiring any future condo development to include a certain number of below-market price rental suites -- thought that won't help in the short term either.

In that short term, we may have to open up more city parks and campsites for overnight stays on an emergency basis. Maybe that means setting up a bunch of work-camp trailers somewhere as temporary shelter for people, particularly families, who are in dire straits.

Truth is, for many, the so-called Alberta Advantage is going to get pretty ugly. The comfortable standard of living we took for granted through years of economic downturn is gone. Sure, there are more jobs to be had, more money to be earned. But there's a big downside.

The days of high vacancy rates and low rents are over. Harsh though it sounds, people are going to have to adjust their expectations. Instead of living alone in their own apartments, some may have to find roommates to split the rent or move it with family. Instead of renting in the city, some may have to look out of town. Sad to say, some may have to leave Edmonton altogether.

It's not fair. It's not nice. It's not what we're used to. But it's the painful reality we face. And we need to find ways to deal with it -- fixes that really work.

If this were a normal Paula Simons article, I would tell you that the highlighted portions are green. This time, rather, they're blue. That's pretty good, really.

2007-05-16

Its no Philadelphia, but c'mon!

Just finished watching Cheri Oteri on the Craig Kilbourn show.

She was talking about Surveillance, a movie due out next year currently being filmed in Regina, Saskatchewan. (Same place as much of Corner Gas and Just Friends, the horrendous Ryan Reynolds movie was filmed). [is there a non-horrendous Ryan Reynolds movie? -ed]

Anyways, the whole segment was a whole bunch of the "Regina sounds like vagina" humour. (The IPA pronounciation of the burg is "rɪ'dʒaɪnə", for those who are curious, which I am not). Forgetting that the Brits would have merely called it Reg-ee-na, stemming from its royal origins, Cheri Oteri's whole bit was about the Regina-centric tourist slogans, the gag being that its what the municipality does to put itself on the map.

You get this impression because she refers to it as "this town in Saskatchewan". This "town", you never get from listening to her gag on late night talk shows, has a population of 179,246 and a metropolitan land area of 3,408.26 square kilometres. This gives it a population slightly smaller than Little Rock Arkansas, and a land mass six times larger than Harrisburg, the state capital of Cheri Oteri's home state. I know she hails from Philadelphia, which is 3 times the land mass and 8 times the population, but even she should recognize this puts somebody firmly in "city" territory. Regina would be America's 121st largest city after Newport News [but with a lot less coastline! -ed]. I know modern America, especially its Hollywood component, has an unhealthy opposition to anything that seems provincial (provincial as in small rather than provincial as in territorial subdivisions of political autonomy in member nations of Her Majesty's Common-wealth). Yet somehow I don't think that this extends to calling the capital of Utah (population 181,000) as "The Town of Salt Lake".

2007-05-13

News that would make Mark Steyn's day

Apparently some imams actually do care if their flock become terrorists.

Well, I mean some care in the sense of getting upset when it happens, not care in the sense of promote it constantly and caring to see it implemented. Good show there.

Remembering past glories: Third Edge of the Sword has previously had something to say on the topic of Muslim preachers from Calgary.

2007-05-10

The question all of Edmonton is asking

Why does Bonnie Doon Mall have a midway in its parking lot?

2007-05-08

What Oiler fans are reduced to these days

Do you really want to see Chris Pronger or Mike Comrie raising the Stanley Cup?

Go Sabres and/or Red Wings!

Update, May 11 2007 5:40pm: Famed Oilers blogger mudcrutch79 has now put up a post with much the same topic, bringing Dan Cleary and Ty Conklin into the equation.

Personally, I'm now picking Detroit now just for the just desserts of them being the first team to benefit from the new "Stanley Cup winner gets 30th overall draft pick" rule brought in at the behest of...guess who.

2007-05-07

And again!



Dear Valued Customer,
In the last few days, our Online banking security Team has observed multiple unusual logons on your account,
from Different Blacklisted IP's that is why we are Issuing this security warning. Your Online Banking Access may
be Blocked, to prevent further unauthorized access for your safety.

We have decided to put an extra verification process to ensure your identity and your account security. Please
click on Sign in to Secured Online Banking to continue to the verification process.
(Remember Failure to verify your account details will lead to account suspension for security Reasons)

Thank you.

Online Banking Security Team

Canada Trust (EasyWeb) Online

© 2006
TD Group Financial Services site
- Copyright © EasyWeb


And the link?

http://www.talktous6buts.org/easy/TDCanada/easyweb.tdcanadatrust.com/main.htm

Ironically enough, its hosted by StreamLineNet: The home of good value web hosting. "Good" has so many meanings, doesn't it?

(Just to make it clear, this is a scam)

Update, 4:41pm: Further down in my inbox, I get another one!

Dear BMO Online User
The bank of montreal audit department has detected a problem with transactions in your account.
An amount was deposited and withdrawn by our accounting system.
We warn you of this error so that you are not surprised
when you see these transactions on your monthly statement.
No Transaction expenses occurred throughout this process.
PLease login to your acount via the provided link below to view balances of your account for assurance

https://www1.bmo.com/cgi-bin/netbnx/NBmain

Fortunately, this person's account seems to have been suspended, so there's your good news story of the day.

American accents

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
 

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
 
The South
 
Boston
 
North Central
 
The Inland North
 
Philadelphia
 
The Northeast
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Bonus French joke

A co-worker expressed extreme regret that Nicolas Sarkozy won the French election today. He was hoping for Ségolène Royal to win the election instead, because he had a great joke lined up:


Q. What do you call a French President with a yeast infection?

A. Royal with Cheese.

Qu'est le volet?

As in, what's the point of ETS getting fancy new Hybrid busses if the drivers continue to pull away from timing stations and speed away from me as I run only to have to screetch to a stop 1/4 of a block later when the light they approach turns yellow?

2007-05-06

Alberta weather

So I spent the weekend with my relatives at one of their farms near Winfield. We had a lot of work to do outside. Except Friday we had to stop when the heavy rains turned into 3 inches of snow! In fact, it was still snowing at 1am on Saturday morning. It fortunately stopped by 6am.

At 7pm on Saturday we finished all the work we needed to get done and went home...sunburnt.

That's so not cool.

2007-05-04

"The price is wrong, Bob!"

New blogger Calgary Dipper has posted the price of global warming is cheaper than ever before imagined! As is usual with Wordpress blogs, I'm left unsure if my post went through, and your guess is as good as mine whether it will eventually end up anywhere anybody can read it. You can read it, however, and its something I'm proud of: a different take on the responses to those who believe that predicting we'll run out of oil by 1992 is sensible and accurate while claiming that massive cuts in our energy useage will have no detrimental impact on our modern economy is "fearmongering". I alluded to this yesterday and now can give a longer and more impassioned take on the subject. Because I care about people, too. In fact, I care about people so much I'm willing to punish (with death, if necessary) those who foist upon us economic ruin on the alter of earth mother while claiming that they aren't doing what they are doing. Without further adieu, my comment:

How about this then: everybody in favour of taking action in support of climate change registers themselves...David Suzuki first of all, but yourself included. Every single cost conservatives worry over will be tallied under Suzuki & Co.'s numbers -- these supposedly "less than widely anticipated" figures you are so proud of.

And then we take all of these actions. If the costs to people (ie. added electricity bill, higher gas prices, job and income losses, etc.) are less or equal to what the green wackos claim them to be: fine.

But if they are NOT, and it turns out the costs skyrocket as we warn will happen then those of us who were not interested in signing on will pay none of these costs. YOU will. Your children will. Your grandchildren will. Your families from now until the end of time will be on the hook for these costs. Your offspring will be slaves whos lives are less than dirt, spit on for all eternity in punishment for the lies and deceptions that the enviro lobby foisted on humanity so long ago. If you are all so confident in your numbers, then by all means take these small easy steps to save the planet. But if you are lying to us, then you will pay. And your bloodline will pay. I want your collective promises on penalty of a fate worse than death that the state of the world is what you say it is.

Let's see how the environmental lobby handles a good dollap of personal responsibility.
(The portion of the text in blue managed to not make it in the final cut. Calgary Dipper's comments section seems to be imcompatible with Firefox, and 90% of the message is "hidden" from me, so I'm glad only one sentence ended up mangled beyond comprehension)

Bonus Calgary Dipper post ripped to shreds: From each according to his bank account, to each according to his value to society. Linda Duncan is bleeting about education again. I note that not all post-secondary education is equal.

Dedicated to ensuring environmentalists lose two steps for every one they step forward


Above you will see the copy I received today of "The Urban Recycler", a new little publication designed to show Edmontonians how to do their part for the environment. This 2007 edition has such helpful articles as "grasscycling", using blue bags, six year old child labourers forced to clean litter from the streets in lieu of using prisoners, how to recycle your computer, and the stress on garbagemen presented by oversized containers.

I did what any sensible human being would do when opening his mailbox to receive such a gift. I chucked it into the garbage.

Bonus enviro tidbit:

If you took all the recyclables Edmontonians have collected since 1989 you'd fill a 30-storey office tower the size of Churchhill Square.
Frankly, I'd rather have the office building.

2007-05-03

School for thought

Keynote Address by Dan Kingdon
TRACE Conference, April 3rd, 2003, Saskatoon
:

The second challenge this time from without comes from Julia Stanbridge.
The dilemma for Catholic teachers, she says, is how to operate within
today's neo-conservative political and educational climate from a Catholic
faith perspective. She is particularly interested in Catholic school Mission
Statements and the dominant political philosophy of our time. Many of
you are familiar with the work of Fr. James Mulligan and perhaps have
heard him speak here in Saskatoon. He shares many of the same concerns
as Stanbridge. She says that students are seen as commercial citizens
while being community citizens becomes a secondary priority. Human
potential is not being developed to foster the common good but to serve a
particular good which is predominantly commercial self-interest. What
Stanbridge does is a little different from Mulligan (who sees the danger to
Catholic schools from within) she offers an explanation to the Catholic
teacher why their within and without are in conflict. She roots the
problem in the strongly Puritan ethic which appeared at the end of the
English Reformation which laid the basis for a radical individualism
which forms the basis of much New Right education and government.
Catholic school teachers are right to be concerned at the forces from
without. Catholic schools that value each member of their community,
and who decide to allocate a disproportionate sum of money to that
person's education, are penalized when the criterion of success are
diploma exam scores rather than successful integration into society. The
danger for Catholic schools is that we accept the philosophy of those who
3
are in political power as adequate or sufficient to describe what we do in
Catholic schools. We must respectfully resist. I had a strong experience
of this at a School Council meeting...
When achievement tests for all core subjects at Grades 3, 6, 9 and
Provincial Diploma Exams were re-introduced at Grade 12, principals
were obliged by the Department of Education to report their school's
results to the parents.
This I arranged to do through our School Council, but not without laying
out a broader vision of Catholic schooling.
After presenting the results of the tests and the exams (we were a K-12
school), I began to express my concerns that Catholic schools should be
evaluated solely on these findings. Before two minutes had gone by I
realized that these parents did not need convincing. They realized that
they were raising their children in challenging times. They wanted their
children to do well at school, and to know that their child's school was
academically sound, but they were not fooled by the government's
educational rhetoric. At the same time, we weren't sure how to have the
government hear our voices.
They're kidding, I assume. "Today's neo-conservative political and educational climate?" "New Right education and government?" This New Right education? Perhaps this New Right education? This one?

And how many Catholic parents do you think are really excited to have their children unable to pass tests?

The most disgusting thing you'll read today. Unless you visit "where'd that bug go?" or something

Toddler shocks foster mom: Four-year-old girl suggested sexual acts at bathtime, court told

Diane LaRose testified she was "quite shocked" when she was giving the child her first bath at her new home and the girl asked her to take off her clothes and get in.

"She told me I was going to be the dad and we were going to have sex in the bathtub," said LaRose, adding the girl also described specific sexual acts they were going to do.

"She told me I would like it and it would feel good."

The veteran foster mother testified the young girl, now five, used the actual word "sex" and said her demeanour and tone of voice was more like an adult than a child.

LaRose also told court the child would dance in an exotic way - lifting up her shirt and showing her breasts - would sing songs with obscene lyrics and would fly into rages where she would swear at her and call her nasty names.

She also described a bed-wetting incident where she went to talk to the child about it and said the girl cowered against the wall and began begging for forgiveness.

"It seemed like she thought I was going to hit her."

Yeesh. Although I guess if you want the runner up....
how many times have we seen the face of outrage on john baird during his tenure as canada's new government's resident bitch boy? too fucking many. baird's a bad actor and completely unlikable but he's certainly works well as the main pig in the pen with this useless minority government.

The NDP thinks you're stupid. The worst thing of all is that they are probably right

{finally, a long post to make up for all these 1-liner entries lately!}

Canadians support the Kyoto treaty, remember? If you don't believe me, just ask CTV's poll from this year, showing that "Most willing to sacrifice for environment".

An increasing number of Canadians are willing to make sacrifices for the environment, according to a poll conducted for CTV News and The Globe and Mail.

About 93 per cent of those surveyed said they were willing to make some kind of sacrifice to solve global warming, according to findings from the poll conducted by the The Strategic Counsel.

According to the results:
  • 76 per cent are willing to pay to have their houses retro-fitted to become more energy efficient
  • 73 per cent would reduce the amount they fly to times when it is only absolutely necessary
  • 72 per cent would pay more for a fuel-efficient car
  • 62 per cent are willing to have the economy grow at a significantly slower rate
  • 61 per cent would reduce the amount they drive in half.
Of course, the problem is that all this polling talk reveals another example of the lesson Douglas Adams writes in The Salmon of Doubt: "people lie to men holding little clipboards".

According to CityTV's Big Breakfast this morning people across Edmonton and indeed across Canada are fuming. Why? Because gas prices have spiked again to about $1.10/litre (they were back down to $0.74/litre just 4 months ago). So naturally, the pressure is on says CTV News, apparently forgetting what they said a mere 5 months ago.

So what have the NDP decided to do? Well, naturally, they want to hold an inquiry into gas prices. Yes, Minister fans will realize this partly to be a "jobs for the boys" style make-work project. Some old Trudeau-era industry minister can get paid to hold meetings and make decisions that nobody cares about. Leading the charge is Judy Wasylycia-Leis (previously famous for first inquiring into Ralph Gooddale). She was the second shrillest person shown in Parliament during the clip. The shrillest? Conservative Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn. Couldn't they have gotten Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, to make the response? Lunn sounded so much like a woman I kept checking for his braline.

The worst thing is that Lunn's annoying tone is detrimental to the cause and to his case. While Wasylycia-Leis and Bloc MP Robert Vincent are busy trying to make short term political hay over the high gas prices, apparently nobody in the Conservatives has come up with the obvious response:
Hey NDP, don't you want gas prices to triple under government legislation to combat climate change?

Now the NDP publicly deny these figures (but in private or their own closed-circle environmental rallies have been known to boast how the evil capitalists will see their planet-raping fuel priced out of existence) and complained that John Baird was painting "doomsday scenarios" [hold on hold on hold on.. environmental wackos accusing conservatives of "painting doomsday scenarios"? What's "New York will be totally under water" or "we'll all die of skin cancer and typhoons" then? -ed]. But they never published anything showing what they wanted the costs to be, or what they think the price of gas will or should be after extensive Kyoto implementation and economy wrecking. They know. They are Suzuki and their ilk are all lying to people, and covering up what they truely believe and desire, and it takes somebody with more good sense and balls than Gary Lunn to stop them.

Nevertheless, the NDP continually use these polls to show how people are willing to sacrifice for Kyoto, and people are willing to roast the Conservatives in coffee shops and bus stations over their lack of committment to the environment. Which takes us into the second half of the blog post title. If you "care about the environment" (which I don't) and also "want gas prices to go down" (which I do), then you are a worthless hypocrite. You're also a scumbag and a liar and probably even more detestable than George Stroumboulopoulos. If you want gas prices down, they you want Canada to drop this bullshit about stopping some boogeyman named global warming. There's already a boogeyman. High gas prices. David Suzuki is partly to blame. I figure if gas prices go above a certain level, he and his family should be legally required to compensate Canadians for their losses. As should Jack Layton's family, and Al Gore's family, etc. etc. It may be sins of the fathers, but its time these people were forced out of their delusions.

As for the individual "claims":
  1. Do these 76% who support retro-fitting their homes say so knowing that large support for this belief might cause Ottawa to use tax money to pay for people to renovate their homes?
  2. How much does 73% of the population really fly unnecessarily? Again, I suspect this is another claim that most people can easily make..."I only fly twice every three years, usually either overseas or to Mexico, so all my flights are 'necessary' anyways. This will affect people other than me"
  3. Again, the 72% likely expect Stephen Harper to pick up all or part of the tab [what makes them think he'd do that? -ed] and therefore save far more in gas than they pay extra for the car (courtesy the Canadian taxpayer)
  4. "Slower rate", say 62%? What about if the economy tanks as several think tanks believe it will? How many of these 62% would still support Kyoto if it left the economy stagnant or in permanent recession?
  5. The 61% who would reduce their driving in half probably don't mean it. Do they really plan to skip work 2 days a week? I can't find any hard links on it, but I suspect commuting makes up a huge bulk of the average person's driving miles. We can't all work from home, you know. This is likely a pure case of "saying what you think pretty girls holding clipboards asking questions would want you to say". (My second Yes, Minister reference in this post, I know).


Update, 10:06am: While the Federal Conservatives may not have made the link, that didn't stop non-partisan blogger Big Blue Soapbox from weighing in as well.

Worst...headline... Ever.

Former 'Cheers' mailman will dance no more

And then you read the article and discover he's just been eliminated on that stupid "Dancing with the Stars" show. He's not dead.

2007-05-02

Facebook rant

Finally.. I'm not alone:

The stages of Facebook Addiction - its just a website...

09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0

For those who don't know what I mean...

The answer is still no

Remember a while back when I ranted about facebook?

It's gotten worse.

facebook

I've added you as a friend on Facebook...

I've requested to add you as a friend on Facebook. You can use Facebook to see the profiles of the people around you, share photos, and connect with friends. Now everyone can join Facebook, even if you couldn't before.

Thanks,
(name withheld)

P.S. Here's the link:
(removed)




(name withheld), 24
Canada
(name withheld) has added you as a friend
Is (name withheld) your friend?
Please respond or (name withheld) may think you said no :(

Just a reminder - click here to read your message from (name withheld):

(link removed)

What is Flixster?
Flixster is a free site that lets you share movie ratings with friends and meet other people with similar movie taste. Its also got tons of videos, quizzes, photos, actor profiles and such. You should check it out.

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I've gotten all of these stupid things... TODAY!

On top of that, I also have gotten this in the past week:
Zorpia.com - Photos & Journals

(name removed) has sent you an invitation.

Hi F&CLC,

You must be a special person, your friend (name removed)just invited you to her online photo albums and journals at Zorpia.com. You should go to Zorpia, and see why ashley thinks its such a great site!



So what is Zorpia?

It is an online community that allows you to upload unlimited amount of photos, write journals and make friends. We also have a variety of skins in store for you so that you can customize your homepage freely.

Join now for free!

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Candace
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