Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm Out

So, as per my roommate's ultimatum of "be out of my apartment in a week," I'm out of the apartment.

Way back in my job interview, my boss mentioned moving expenses. So, I said, "Hey! Would paying for a motel until I find my own place count as a moving expense?" The boss said, "Yup." So, I'm in a company-paid-for motel room until I find a place.

Some drawbacks, though. Like, it had to be the cheapest place in town. But that's OK. I'm away from the roomie. He has his "space."

But, the thing is, I'm on this dial-up connection through the motel phone line, and now I can't send ANY e-mail. It's not just @chaosinabox.com. It's EVERYTHING.

My chaosinabox.com tech support guys tell me it's because Microsoft Outlook Express is stupid, and I should switch to Mozilla Thunderbird. I'll admit, I do like Firefox, and Thunderbird is just an e-mail program from the folks who brought you brought you Firefox.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Watching Saturday Night Live right now...they're doing "The Best of TV Funhouse." I love those TV Funhouse cartoons.

I've picked up on the pattern...whenever they do one of these "Saturday Night Live Best Of..." shows, it's a safe bet that'll be on DVD in about a month.

"SNL: the Best of TV Funhouse" would be a great birthday present. Hint, hint.

Sinister Doings in the World of Pokemon

It's Saturday, so I'm hanging out, watching Pokemon, and it reminded me of something. I've been sitting on this news for a while now, but I haven't shared it, because all my blog entries tend to get so long and rambling.

Anyway, there's sinster goings-on in the world of Pokemon. First, you must know the players in the game.

4Kids Entertainment - The company that has dubbed and released the Pokemon cartoon ever since pokemon came to North American shores in 1998.

Pokemon USA, Inc. - The subsidiary of Nintendo, set up around Y2K, to handle all things Pokemon in North America. (Similarily, there are subsidiaries called "Pokemon Europe" and "The Pokemon Company," which handles Japan.)

So here's the saga. This year, the contract between 4Kids Entertainment's contract to dub and distribute the cartoon expires this year. Pokemon USA has said that they have no desire to renew 4Kids' contract...instead, they're going to set up a dubbing division and dub and distribute the cartoons themselves. OK, no harm, no foul.

But, it was eventually learned that Pokemon USA has the intent to fire the current voice cast and re-cast the cartoon with newer, cheaper sound-a-likes.

This news was leaked to Pokemon fandom by Veronica Taylor (the voices of Ash and May) and Eric Stuart (the voices of Brock and James), who are doubtlessly feeling screwed over. So, the fans have launched a massive write-in campaign to encourage Pokemon USA to retain the current voice cast.

Find out more at the pokemon website Serebii.net, and just click on any link labeled "Save the Dub!"

Friday, April 28, 2006

My LIfe in 3 Panels.

Today's Garfield Strip

I like this Garfield strip. It kind of sums up my life.

Garfield and Odie represent me.

Jon represents the world.


"Enter the beuracrats...the real power of the senate." - Sentaor Palpatine's plea for change in Episode I.

My fascination with Athabasca University is making me nostalgic for my college days. Having done this post-seconday education thing twice now, plus my $20,000 student loan debt, makes post-secondary education an issue close to my heart. If I ever go for public office, that'll be a key part of my platform.

A key part of student life has always been the Students Union. Well, a lot of them are called Students Associations now. This is because of a law that was proposed about 5 years ago. About 5 years ago, there was a proposal put forth in the Alberta Legislature to give the Alberta Learning the same kinds of powers and controls over post-secondary students unions that they have over school boards. So, Alberta Learning would have had tighter controls over how students unions spent their money - and the authority to fire a student council.

good example: My old nemesis Brad Goertz. When he was President of the Augustana Students Union, he held a massive protest on the front steps of the legislature calling for a tuition freeze. If these proposed changes had become law, Learning Minister Lyle Oberg would have been able to march down to Augustana, fire Brad Goertz from his position as president, and appoint someone like Rob Nichols to be the new ASU president, until the next democratic election.

So, seeing as to how this reform would have only applied to students unions, a lot of students unions revised their constitutions to turn themsevles into student's associations. A minor name change, but enough to skirt the law. The Augustana Students Union became the Augustana Students Association, and NAITSU became NAITSA.

Luckily, the reforms never went through, but the name changes have remained.

Anyway, when I first started covering NAITSA, the first thing that amazed me was what a huge beuracracy it has. A general manager, an adminisrative assistant, a communications director...a massive collection of people hired by NAITSA to keep things together. What does the Augustana Students Association have? A little ol' office manager.

On the one hand, I found it good. With NAITSA's beuracracy, they could ensure that things were fairly consistent for the students from year-to-year. There were people around to say, "Hey, we tried to do that 10 years ago, but the students weren't for it. They might be for it now."

On the other hand, I started feeling that NAITSA's beuracracy was where NAITSA's true power lay. The occasional conversations I'd have with NAITSA's general manager would eventually lead to him revealing agendas he was pushing through, reforms he wanted to make, and his grand vision for NAITSA. This year, NAITSA added a senate to their student council. That was part of the GM's grand vision. I wanted to interview him several times, and always asked him if he'd sit down for one, to share his vision with the students. But, he'd always throw up his hand and say, "Nope. No comments on the record. This is a students association, so only the representatives elected by the students can talk to the press. That's our policy."

That's right, he wasn't a student. Well, he was a student...back in the 1980s. He got hired in the early 90s and remained ever since. But here he was, with grand visions, shaping NAITSA, and I couldn't talk to him.

Kind of reminded of this yesterday.

I covered my first county council meeting. People were stunned. This radio station hasn't covered the county council meetings in ages. They're still figuring out how to deal with a radio reporter. The reporter from the local paper would ask for a moment of time to ask a few questions, and they'd say yes. I'd ask for a moment of time to ask a few questions, and they freaked out. I was given lectures about how they don't do news conferences, and that protocals have to be laid out and a policy put in place for dealing with the radio media. They've asked me not to record anything. They've told me that they're far too busy to give me five minutes of time to talk about the issues at the end of the meetings.

So, at the end of the meeting, I just kind of sat in the corner, too scared to talk to anyone for fear of violating some protocal that hadn't been worked out yet, while the reporter from the paper skipped around the room, doing everything I was told not to, enjoying the freedom of the press that I wanted.

Oh, well. I can play by their rules. I can just show up, take good notes, and prepare a 30-second summary of the meeting for on-air. I can keep things vague if they refuse to answer my questions and clarify things. When it comes to news writing, it's as lazy as hell, and I really don't want to do it, but I'll do it if that's the rules that are laid down.

As I said, we haven't covered county council in ages, so they're probably thinking that, like many a reporter before me, I'll eventually brand the council meetings to be boring and un-newsworthy and stop showing up.

but I'm the kind of guy who doesn't let bad first experiences stop me. I'm going to keep going for a long time. At least, as long as I'm here.

I once asked one of my instructors at NAIT when I should give up...when does persistence become harrasment? And he told me to never give up. "Ya know, sometimes persistence has to become harrasment for things to start paying off."

If I let bad first experiences stop me, I would have stopped covering NAITSA meetings after the first one. I eventually learned which people I could talk to, and which ones would give me the good stuff.

I can do this. I know I can. This won't be learned overnight.

But I'm here for the long haul, baby.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

AU Continued....

My fascination with Athabasca University continues. I had to quiz my boss about it today in our daily meeting.

Apparently, they do have a real convocation ceremony. Every spring, about 2000 students converge on Athabasca and they have the ceremony. Apparently, I just missed it.

Looking around online, Athabasca University does have a Students Union. It was officialy founded about two years ago. The Athabasca University Students Union has its offices at AU's satallite campus in Edmonton. Yes, Athabasca University has stallite campuses. One in Edmonton, one in Calgary.

And, according to my boss, that have a sweet Christmas party.

Final Justice League

Wow. Wowie wow.

I was able to catch the final episode of Justice League Unlimited last night, entitled Destroyer. It was very, very cool.

The plot: in his mad scheme to resurrect Braniac, Lex Luthor accidentally resurrects the personification of evil: Darkseid. Bent on revenge against Superman for killing him, Darkseid leads his armies to Earth, with the intent of slowly killing the planet. Heroes and villains then unite to fight Darkseid's army!

What I liked: This episode was just nothing but little geek-out moments. "Can't you just throw it into the sun?" The return of Martian Manhunter. "What we have here is a chance for me to just cut loose." Darkseid being impressed with Batman. "Then I'm overqualified." The Question punching out Parademons. "I had to go put on my power suit." Ripping off some visuals from The Matrix Revolutions for the final Superman/Darkseid fight. "4 minutes, 50 seconds." And the man who makes the ultimate sacrafice to save Earth.

What I didn't like: the plot actually seemed to a be a pastiche of the pilot episode for Justice League and an old Fantastic Four comic.

How did it end:
Superman>> You're getting soft in your old age, Bruce.
Batman>> Don't you have a tall building to go leap?
Wonder Woman>> And the adventure continues....

I really, really liked it.

And yes, a lot of people have sent this to me now, so I'll tell you that I know it.

In recent interviews, JJ Abrams has revealed that he is NOT writing and directing a new Star Trek movie. He's only producing it, with an option to direct. And as for the plot, it's not finalized yet, but it won't be the "young Kirk and Spock in the Academy" film.

So, there you go. In essence, Abrams is Rick Berman's replacement.

And, Avi Arad has been spouting off about the stuck-in-development sequel to Hulk.

Arad has gone on record as saying the villain will be the Abomination.

Also, it looks like Hulk 2 will be the first film made under Marvel's brand-new production deal, in which they make movies independently, like how George Lucas did the Star Wars prequels. It was hoped that Captain America would be Marvel's first film, but Arad said that the director he wants for Captain America won't be available until 2009.

To be fair, Arad said that, right now, it looks like Marvel's first film will either be Hulk 2 or Iron Man.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AU/Weird Al Update

had to take a drive up to Athabasca University and have a look around. It is very strange. The entire place is built up and designed to look like a college campus. But there are no students. It's up there, in the middle of nowhere, a beautiful, vibrant, college campus.

But strangely deserted.

Don't get me wrong. It's teeming with life. Just not the student life that you'd find on a college campus.

It's very cool, and a little off-putting.

So, for those who aren't keeping close track of it, it was just announced at the official Weird Al Yankovic website that Weird Al has finished recording and mixing 11 songs for his new album!

And then, it ads the cryptic statement, "Does this mean the album's done? We don't know! Stay tuned!"

Now, the average lenght of a Weird Al-bum is 12 songs. And we've also heard some rumors that this is a double album.

Are we 11/12ths done? Or only half done? Only time will tell!

The Right Stuf...?

So, here I am, Day 3 of being a radio news guy. Firstly, these early mornings are killing me. Up at 4 AM, at work by 5, on air by 6.

Well, actually, the person I'm replacing is on air by 6. I just sit back, observe, and, yes, sad to say, grab a nap.

I'm going to be keeping odd-hours, that's for sure. News is something that happens 24/7, that's for sure. You can't just finish up and go home. If a meeting runs until midnight, I go until midnight. And then, I'm back at work at 4 AM, telling the world how it went.

Maybe it's time I introduce myself to caffine.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

First Night

Well, here I am in Athabasca. My roommates/co-workers have already gone to bed, because the workday starts at 4 am. I met the boss...she seems nice.

I'm a little nervous, to be sure. New town, new job, roommates that I barely know. "Daunted" is the right feeling.

But I can do this.

The Final Ones Are Up!

OK, so we've got the latest podcast up! This week is Episode 3: Moving Day. I threw it together while I was packing.

Click Here to Listen!

And, the latest column is up, too. This week is Planning and Execution:

"I think it’s become no secret by now that I love the Olympics. I really hope to go to them someday. Sadly, not as an athlete, but as a spectator. My sentiment is at its strongest right now, in the closing days of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. I may have missed the Olympics this time around, but I’m already setting my sights on the next Olympics: Vancouver 2010. I will be going to Vancouver. I mean, when’s the next time the Olympics are going to be in my figurative backyard? I’d be stupid not to go. But, I still need to put some kind of a plan in place. As always, the key thing is money."

Click here to read it!

And that's it. This'll probably be the last podcast and column for a few weeks while I get settled in Athabasca. You know how it is, it takes time to get a phone line and a new ISP and all that. If I"m going to keep doing this podcast, then high-speed Internet is a must.

But yeah. All I have left to do is fold up my laptop and stick it in its case, then it's the 2.5 hour drive to Athabasca. I meet my new roommate at my new place of work, then I have dinner with the boss, and tommorrow my first job in radio begins.

Friday, April 21, 2006

JJ Abrams doing Star Trek


Today, it was announced by Paramount Pictures that JJ Abrams has been signed on to write and direct a new Star Trek movie.

Abrams should need no introduction. He is the newest God among geeks. He is the creator of the cult-hit Alias. He's currently in charge of the other cult-hit Lost. He makes his directorial debut next week as the writer and director of Mission: Impossible III, which is already being declared the first good film in the series.

The script will be written by Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci. They are Abrams's right-hand men and writers-of-choice. Kurtzman and Orci wrote many of the better episodes of Alias and the screenplay for Mission: Impossible III. In non-Abrams related work, they just put the finishing touches on the script for the live-action movie version of The Transformers.

The premise of this JJ Abrams Star Trek film: a teenaged Kirk and Spock first meet at Starfleet Academy and have their first adventure together.

This is exactly the same as the fabled Star Trek: The Academy Years project. You probably know this. Harve Bennet, the producer of Star Trek II-V, wanted to do a "Kirk and Spock first meet at the academy" movie for Star Trek VI. After spending a year of development work on it, the big brass at Paramount said, "Yup, you can do this Academy movie...as long as you give us a more conventional Star Trek film with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in 9 months." Bennet said, "You can't make a special-effects movie like Star Trek in 9 months!" So Paramount fired Bennet and Star Trek: the Academy Years became one of those fabled "what if..." projects.

But not anymore! JJ Abrams' Star Trek is already penciled in for a Summer 2008 release.

And Rick Berman? He's no where in the picture.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Post #1000

Wow! According to Blogger, this is my one thousandth blog entry!

Anyway, I was in a convenience store today when I saw something that always gets my heart racing: a new Doritos flavour.

The new flavour is Sweet Chili Heat! It's ultra-spicy, with a hint of cheese. It's kind of a blend of Black Pepper Jack and Bold BBQ.

Actually, this got me thinking. I think Doritos has the most discontinued flavours of any kind of chip out there. Let us take a moment to pause and reflect upon some of the past Doritos flavours. This is, by no means, a comprehensive list, just the ones I remember the most.

Texas Tang - The first "new flavour," which came out in the early 90s.

Taco Bell Taco Supreme - Using the same spices used by Taco Bell to give it that specific Taco Bell flavour...or so the package claimed.

Pizza Hut Pizza Cravers - Using the same spices used by Pizza Hut to give it that specific Pizza Hut flavour...or so the package claimed.

Sidebar: These Taco Bell and Pizza Hut flavours came about because Doritos was owned by Pepsi, who also owned Taco Bell and Pizza Hut! In this same era, Pepsi also owned Kentucky Fried Chicken, so I'm actually quite surprised that they didn't try to give us the Doritos flavour "KFC: the Colonel's 11 Herbs and Spices."

Barbeque - BBQ pototo chip flavouring! On a Dorito!

Ketchup - Ketchup potato chip flavouring! On a Dorito!

Sonic Sour Cream - Kind of an amped-up version of Cool Ranch.

So let us take a moment to remember the fallen Doritos flavours.

I love how creative people are getting with DVDs.

One show I love is My Name is Earl. And, of course, the DVD My Name is Earl: The Complete First Season is already in production. And, for this DVD set, they are actually producing a special "bonus episode." A full, half-hour episode that will never be shown on TV...only available on the DVD.

Actually, you have to love the premise of this bonus episode. It's straight out of a Marvel What If...? comic.

See, for those who missed the pilot, our protagonist is Earl Hickey, your generic small-town ne'er-do-well. One day, he wins $100,000 on a lottery ticket. 5 minutes later, he's hit by a car. While he's recoving in the hospital, he watches the talk show Last Call with Carson Daily, in which Carson Daily talked about karma, summing it up as, "do good things, and good things will happen to you." So, Earl decides to turn his life around. He makes a list of all the bad things he's ever done, and sets out to make up for them, because of karma.

So, this bonus episode is an alternate take on the pilot. It asks, "What if Earl wasn't watching Last Call with Carson Daily? What if Earl was watching...Family Guy? What if, instead of turning his life around by following Carson Daily's interpretation of karma, Earl turned his life around by following one of Stewie's plans for global domination?"

The creators of Family Guy are even on-board with this and producing original animation. It's going to be wild.

And only on the My Name is Earl: The Complete First Season DVD.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dead Like Me

So, tonight, I finally got to catch a TV show I've been wanting to check out for some time. It's called Dead Like Me. It ran from 2003-2004, so it's not like this is a fresh review or anything.

Dead Like Me was created by Bryan Fuller, who created one of my all-time favourite TV shows that was cancelled before it's time, Wonderfalls. In fact, Dead Like Me was very similar to Wonderfalls. Both shows had, as the main character, a bored, cynical, sarcastic young woman who was stuck in an existential quandry. And, in both shows, that main characters is pushed out of her funk by cosmic forces beyond her control.

In Wonderfalls, the main character was a clerk in a gift shop, and the cosmic forces were talking knicknacks.

In Dead Like Me, she's Death, and the cosmic forces are the demands of her job.

Dead Like Me was very, very good. Definitly worth a second look. It only ran for two seasons, and both of them are on DVD. Might finally be worth signing up for Zip.ca so I can rent them.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!/All the New Stuff's Up!

Happy Easter everyone! Yes, even though I'm 28 years old, the Easter Bunny still brings me a basket of chocolate. (One of the pluses of still living at home with a mother that refuses to let you grow up.) Instead of a chocolate bunny this year, I got one of those Laura Secord gourmet cream eggs that are as big as your fist.

Anyway, to the good stuff!

Firstly, this week's episode of The Targ is up! This week is Episode 2: Who Ya Gonna Call?. I play a lot of a certain soundtrack from a certain movie from 1984.

Listen to it!

Secondly, got this week's Chaos in Print up. This week, I ponder Digital Philosophy:

"We’ve been told that we now live in a digital age. Everything is getting computerized in one way or another. Records gave way to CDs. CDs gave way to a newer digital technology: MP3s. The VCR gave way to the DVD. Pictures are giving way to JPGs. Radio and television now boast much higher quality picture and sound, thanks to the broadcast of 1’s and 0’s, instead of relying on the modulation of frequencies or amplitudes of electromagnetic waves. It’s also been called the information age, as this new digital way of sharing information has made things quicker and easier than before."

Read it all!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Clerks II Trailers!

Let's unleash the power of YouTube!

Firstly, here's the brand new, theatrical trailer for Clerks II, which is running in theatres right now in front of Scary Movie 4:

Secondly, in case you missed it, here's the Internet exclusive trailer that went online about two weeks ago:

August 18 can't get here soon enough!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tons o Stuff!

Back when I was studying physics and possibly thinking about making a career of it, the one thing I really wanted to do was design roller coasters. It seemed like the most fun pracitcal application of physics out there. So, whenever I see some kind of science show that focuses on theme park design, I'm riveted.

That happened tonight as I was watching Daily Planet. They had a whole segment on the newest ride to open at Walt Disney World. It's called Expedition Everest. It's a totally insane roller coaster. It sits in and around the biggest artificial mountain that Disney has ever made. It's Disney's first roller coaster that goes both forwards and backwards. They use special switch tracks so, when you go down backwards, it's not along the same route. And, it boasts the largest animatronic Disney has ever made - a giant yeti that growls and swipes at the coaster.

So the vibrations of the roller coaster don't shake apart the mountain, the roller coaster and the mountain are actually two seperate, intertwined structers, with the support beams coming as close as 10 cm to each other. In order for the yeti to move as fast as they need it to, the hydraulics pack the same punch as the jet engines on a 747. I couldn't help but be amazed.

I read once that Disney's Imagineers (the R&D division of Disney that builds theme park rides) don't get the same amount of press as they did back in 1955 when Disneyland first opened. However, in the whole theme park industry, the Imagineers are still regarded as the best of the best.

I was watching CSI. The plot revolved around rival street teams for rap stars. Street teams are the guys who hang posters, hand out stickers, and do the grunt work for the promotions people. Anyway, a gang war wound up breaking out between these street teams.

That just got me thinking. Radio stations employ street teams, too. And again, they hand banner, hand out stickers, and do the grunt work for the promotions people. It's never erupted into gang wars, though. I mean, you'll never find the Big Earl street team gunning down the CISN street team.

It'd make radio a hell of a lot more interesting, though.

Quick recap on all the DC comics characters getting movies:

Superman - Comes out this summer
Womder Woman - Currently being worked on by Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) and Joel Silver (The Matrix Trilogy, V for Vendetta)
The Flash - Being written and directed by David S. Goyer (the Blade trilogy)

Well, we can add another one to the list this day...DC's Captain Marvel, who's better known by the name of his comic, Shazam!

It's going to be directed by Peter Segal, who gave us the last trilogy of Adam Sandler comedies: Anger Management, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard.

The script is being written by screenwriting legend William Goldmam. (The Princess Bride is always the first that comes to mind.)

As one mentioned, the premise behind Shazam! is ripe for comedy, but I hope they don't make it a comedy.

For those who don't read comics...8 year old Billy Batson says the magic word, "Shazam!" and turns into the adult superhero Captain Marvel. Yup, and 8 year old trapped in a grown-up superhero's body.

So, for those who don't care, our Queen just turned 80 years old. To celebrate, Buckingham Palace released 80 facts about Queen Elizabeth II. Here's a few that pertain to Canada specifically:

- The Queen has gotten a number of animals as gifts over the years. Canada's given her two beavers. (I'll pause while you crack your own dirty joke.)
- The Queen has visited Canada 23 times
- And, as is befitting our head of state, the Queen is fully fluent in French.

And, one quick moment to point out that Winnie the Pooh has gotten a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Pooh-bear celebrates his 80th birthday this year.

Monday, April 10, 2006

It Came Today

Ghostbusters: Original Motion Picture Score

The original motion picture score for Ghostbusters, composed by Elmer Bernstein. Never before released! (Although, my best friend swears up and down that he saw it for sale at Top 40 Music in the Duggan Mall about 15 years ago.)

Every note of background music composed for the 1984 classic. And all of it uncut! As it explains in the liner notes, once the score was finished and recorded, it was decided to pad the music of Ghostbusters with lots of rock and pop songs. So, a lot of the score wound up getting edited with a pop song, or dropped altogether in favour of a pop song. But it's all here, on CD, for the first time ever!

This was released by a record label called Varese Sarabande. Available only at their online store. Limited to 3000 copies.

To paraphrase Janine from the film: I GOT ONE!!

Just so you're familiar with the lingo: a film score is all the background music written for a movie. Lots of movies these days tend to have two albums released: the soundtrack and the score. The soundtrack is the collection of rock, pop, country, and whatever other genre of music was used in the film. The score is all the background music composed specifically for the movie.

If a film has no...shall we say, "mainstream music," then the score is released as the soundtrack. A good example of this is the Star Wars films.

Releasing both a soundtrack album and a score album is still a relativly new phenomenon, having only gained popularity in the last 10 years or so. The first film in my memory that did it was 1989's Batman. Indeed, on the DVD bonus material for Batman, composer Danny Elfman reveals that he reacted with shock when he was first told that his score would be released as a seperate album. "But they don't do that!" he said. And yet, they did.

To quote my father, "Now you're as smart as me."

Wow. Here's a sequel that they're making about 5 years too late.

It was announced today that, on May 15, filming begins on Bean 2, the latest big-screen adventure of Mr. Bean. The first film was "Mr. Bean goes to the USA." This one is "Mr. Bean goes to France." Bean has all kinds of adventures in the south of France, with the climax being Bean crashing the Cannes Film Festival.

Rowan Atkinson is, of course, back as Mr. Bean. And Atkinson also claims that this will be the last hurrah for the character.

Last Night's Simpsons

I just have to take a moment to talk about last night's episode of The Simpsons.

Like a lot of fanboys, I have my own ideas for episodes. But there was one idea I had for a Simpsons episode that always stuck out in my mind. As we all know, back when the show first began, one of the running jokes was that Marge's sisters - Patty and Selma - were madly in love with MacGyver. They were totally obsessed with that show and its star Richard Dean Anderson. So, I always thought, "Hey...what they should do on that show is a parody of Misery. Patty and Selma abduct Richard Dean Anderson and force him to make new MacGyver episodes in their basement."

Guess what happened on last night's episode?

Patty and Selma were hosting their annual MacGyver convention. And, as always, they were the only ones there. And, who should walk in the door but...Richard Dean Anderson! (Special guest voice Richard Dean Anderson.) Turns out Anderson is actually in town for the Stargate: SG-1 convention across the street, and he accidentally walked into the wrong building. Anderson then proceeded to mock Patty and Selma for their love of MacGyver, calling the show an utter piece of trash before summing up his experiences on that show as "just a paycheck."

Next scene: Patty and Selma abduct Anderson off the stage of the Stargate Q&A session. We then see Anderson all tied up in Patty and Selma's apartment and subjected to a "one-on-one MacGyver convention."

But, things took a turn for the unexpected. Anderson escaped from his bonds in a very MacGyver way, and it ended up re-kindling his love of MacGyver. Anderson then proceeds to get Patty and Selma to put him in more and more intricate deathtraps so he can escape in a MacGyver way. It's not too long before Anderson is totally obsessed with Patty and Selma, and Patty and Selma have to figure out a way to drive him off.

The main plot was pretty good, too. Mr. Burns decided to outsouce the nuclear power plant, so Homer had to go to India to set up the new plant. Yeah, it was "The Simpsosn go to India."

I've said many times in the past that I'm not a fan of sports, but I do love the history of sports and the business of sports. This being Canada, a lot of this gets directed on the CFL.

It's been my obsession to finally see a 10th team in the CFL. The Maratimes have been left out for too long! Let's give Halifax a team! Besides, I have thing for even numbers. 9 is just so...odd.

I'm sure you remember the saga of the Ottawa team. The owners and managers of the Ottawa Rough Riders were a bunch of clowns who ran the team into the ground; ran into bankruptcy. So, after Ottawa was without a team for a few years, the Ottawa Renegades came to town. Now, the team was owned by the league. And, with the a resurgance in CFL popularity, it was good times for the Renegades.

Now, about two years ago, the CFL and those original Rough Riders owners had a meeting.

CFL>> Now, did you guys learn your lesson?
Rough Riders Owners>> Yes, sir.
CFL>> Are you going to do it again?
Rough Riders Owners>> No, sir.

And, the CFL turned management of the Renegades over to the former owners of the Rough Riders.

Two years later, the Renegades are no more. The owners of the Ottawa CFL team have run the them into the ground...again!

The official stance is that the Renegades have suspended operations until a new owner for the team can be found. So, if you can pony up the cash for a CFL team AND pay off the $4 million debt that the Renegades are in AND not run them into the ground...the Renegades can be yours.

Yeah, there's an even number of teams in the CFL again. But it's 8, not 10. That's a step backwards. But, we've been told, that if a right buyer can be found, the Renegades will be back in 2007.

And we were promised a 10th team by the end of the decade. So, have courage!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

All the Latest Stuff is Up

Firstly, the latest episode of The Targ is now ready for download! This week is Episode 1: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I celebrate the simple things, and plays some Barenaked Ladies.

Listen to it!

Secondly, I've got my latest article up over in Chaos in Print. This week, I give you A Brief History of Entwistle:

"So, I was doing one of my nerd hobbies, which is looking at random articles at Wikipedia. And, last week, I was shocked - horrified really - to find that my hometown of Entwistle had no article, when Entwistle's longtime rival Evansburg had an entry. I spent my past week putting together a Wikipedia entry for Entwistle. I was just so proud of it, that I feel like sharing it here. Enjoy!"

Read it all!

And, as I mention above, I spent most of my free time this past week writing a Wikipedia entry on my beloved hometown of Entwistle, Alberta.

Find out everything you wanted to know about Entwistle!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday Night Round Up

I saw a new product demonstrated on the news tonight. It piqued my interest. Or, at least, the interest of the pervert in me.

They're called "Tagalongs," and they are...disposable panties. Yup, underwear that a woman wears once, then tosses.

We are assured that each pair is clean and steralized, and sealed in a reusable pouch. That's the one thing that confounds me. If these things are disposable, why do they come in a reusable package?

But yeah, each one is folded up small enough to tuck in your purse. You know, for those emergencies when you just need a fresh pair of underwear.

I was watching this and thinking, "You know, this is why convenience stores in Japan sold underwear."

I almost bought underwear from a vending machine in Japan. It was in the locker room of a swimming pool. And there, on the wall, was a clean underwear vending maching. Slip in a 5000 yen bill, and get clean undies. And they had all kinds: boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs. I was this close to buying a pair, just so I could tell the story of how I bought underwear from a vending machine.

But I didn't. So, we have to make due with the tale of how I almost bought underwear from a vending machine.

Oh, and if you're curious, Tagalongs are available at all Wal-Marts.

Disney's new animated movie The Wild comes out next week. It's completely CGI, and looks like it rips off Madagascar.

Actually, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and Target have all agreed NOT to sell merchandise for The Wild. Doesn't matter, because Hasbro and Mattel have refused to make merchandise for The Wild. Why? Executives saw a rough version of the film a few months ago, and left 100% convinced that the film is going to bomb.

But, I just may go see it for one reason. Canada's very own Don Cherry does a voice! Cherry voices a hockey-loving turtle.

And, of course, earlier tonight, I watched the final episode of The Red Green Show. It was exactly as I expected. Shortly after The Red Green Show found a permanent home on the CBC, it settled into a fairly predicatable formula. Tonight, all we got was the formula...with weepy good-byes.

Although, I did enjoy the final fate of Bill, in the final Adventures with Bill. Bill shows up at the lodge, and turns all his old junk over to Red, turning it into a "best of Adventures with Bill" highlight reel. And then, Bill reveals that he's settling into retirement, and he rides off into the sunset with a super-sexy nurse.

And it was kind of fitting that it was Harold who got to utter the classic line, "Keep your stick on the ice." It was also nice that Red finally turned to Harold and said, "You've finally become a man."

A Canadian icon is gone...but not forgotten. You just know it'll be in reruns until the end of time.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Steven Spielberg: Reality TV Guy?

Wow. So Steven Spielberg got himself a reality TV show.

The show is called On the Lot. Here's the premise: 16 contestants, divided into two teams. Each week, the teams have to produce a short film. In each episode, the short film will be of a different genre. The teams get access to profession crews, actors, writers, and, according to the news release, bonafide movie stars, should they play their cards right. At the end of each episode, the short film is screened for a studio audience and a panel of judges, including film critics, movie executives, and special guests. Contestants are eliminated, things get tense, and the winner gets a movie deal.

The show was created by Spielberg and Mark Burnett. Burnett is, of course, the god of reality TV, having created Survivor and The Apprentice. It'll air in the 06/07 season.

Don't forget, tune into the CBC tomorrow night at 7 to catch the final episode of The Red Green Show!


It's raining right now.

Ya know, when I was a kid, I never understood the old saying, "April showers bring May flowers." I didn't understand it because, where I live, April snowstorms are far more common. I'd always hear it and go, "But it doesn't rain in April. It snows!"

The more I read about The Simpsons Movie, it makes me kind of sad.

When they first started work on The Simpsons Movie, it was under the belief that 06/07 was going to be the final season. So, then, the movie would come out in the summer of 07, and it was going to be the last hurrah...the "out with a bang."

But, just a month ago, The Simpsons was renewed for two more seasons, meaning that The Simpsons will be on now at least until May of 2009. That just kind of diminishes what the movie wanted to be.

Oh, well. I still be there in 07 to see it out of curiosity.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Justice League/My Wikipedia Entry for Entwistle

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The makers of Justice League Unlimited knew that this was going to be their last season, so they decided to just do all the cool stuff they wanted to do before things came to an end.

Tonight's episode, Grudge Match, is a perfect example. The supervillains need to raise cash. So what do they do? They use mind control technology to make female superheroes fight each other, and sell tickets.

Yup, you heard me right. The whole episode was superheroine catfights!

Although, there was a brief appearance by the Question and, as always, he had some of the best moments. The Huntress is talking to her boyfriend, the Question, on the phone....

Huntress>> So...what are you wearing?
Question>> Blue overcoat, blue fedora....
Huntress>> You stink at this.
Question>> ...wool socks....
(Huntress hangs up)

(Just so you know, a blue overcoat and a blue fedora are what the Question always wears.)

Oh, and I also loved that "blink and you'll miss it" cameo by Nightwing.

Almost done researching my Wikipedia entry for Entwistle. Here's a little bit for you. I wanted to get this down as a rough draft, anyway, so I may as well do it here.

"Entwistle vs. Old Entwistle."

One mile to the east of Entwistle lies the hamlet of Old Entwistle. Old Entwistle has a population of around 20. The citizens of Old Entwistle have always maintained that their hamlet is the original townsite of Entwistle. Usually, they offer up their hamlet's name as the only proof. Sadly, this is not the case.

When the railway was being built in 1909, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway decided that, since Entwistle and Evansburg were so close to each other, that the two towns could share one train station. Evansburg was chosen to have the train station. The people of Entwistle were furious, and demanded their own train station.

The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway finally relented. The minimum distance they could put the Entwistle train station from the Evansburg train station was one mile east of Entwistle. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway put Entwistle's train station one mile east of the town, and proceeded to buy up all the land around the train station. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway then put the land up for sale, advertising the land around the train station as being "the future site of Entwistle."

This land around the train station was called the Grand Trunk Pacific subdivision, or simply, Grand Trunk. It is unknown when Grand Trunk started being referred to as Old Entwistle.

Sign #2987432 That I Need a Life

As I surfing the Internet last night, I was shocked, nay, horrified at the discovery I made.

My home town, Entwistle, does not have an entry in Wikipedia, but Entwistle's long-time rival, Evansburg, DOES have an entry!

This will not do. If Evansburg has an entry in Wikipedia, then Entwistle deserves one. So, I have resolved to write Entwistle's entry in Wikipedia, AND make it more ass-kicking than Evansburg's entry.

(Something that will be really easy to do, as the Evansburg entry is only one sentence long.)

So, for the past 18 hours, I have been immersed in research, studying the history of Entwistle. The most valuable resource has been The Foley Trail, a book detailing the history of Entwistle, that was put out by the local historical society about 20 years ago. Entwistle was officially incorporated as a village on March 29, 1909. The first elections were held in April, and the village charter was adopted in May. The town kind of sprang up as railway construction halted here while they built our massive, beautiful railway trestle.

Of course, I'll have to have a section on the trestle for my entry. Dad actually dug up a lot of information on the Pembina River Trestle back when he was the mayor of Entwistle. He's going to be my main source on that one. Construction on the bridge started in 1908, and finished in 1911. It was actually made in Scotland. The engineers took their measurments, and then sent them to an engineering firm in Scotland. The entire bridge was pre-fabricated in Scotland, and completely assembled in Scotland to make sure everything fit. Then, the bridge was dismantled and shipped to Entwistle piece-by-piece, and was then re-assembled over the Pembina River. And, the engineers' measurments were so precise, that no modifications were required to make the bridge fit. And that bridge stands to this very day, and is still used multiple times a day by the CNR.

When Dad told me that story, I often wondered what kind of information could be gleaned about the Highway Bridge, which sits right next to the Railway Trestle. Well, The Foley Trail is filled with info on the Highway Bridge. It was a very big deal in its day. The Highway Bridge was built from 1961 to 1962. It opened to traffic in 1962, but a grand opening was held on July 24, 1963. 1500 people turned out for the grand opening. Speeches were given by the mayors of Entwislte and Evansburg, the MLA, the Deputy Minister of Highways, and representatives of the senior citizens and youth. Then, the ribbon was cut by the Minister of Highways, and there was a massive parade across the bridge!

And I'll also have to include an entry about Entwistle being the Diamond Capital of Canada. That's another thing Dad discovered when he was mayor. The largest diamond ever found in Canada was found in the banks of the Pembina River, about 2-km south of town. So, since Dad was the mayor and every village in the province was looking for some kind of tourist hook at the time, Entwistle proclaimed itself "the Diamond Capital of Canada."

And I'll be sure to include this all in my Wikipedia entry. IN YOUR FACE, EVANSBURG!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Man with the Plan

Well, I just saw Ralph Klein's news conference on TV.

Klein is moving up his retirement plans by one year. Klein will now be submitting his letter of resignation this September, and in his letter he'll call for a leadership convention to be called ASAP. Klein will then stay on until a new leader is chosen, and a little bit after to "facilitate a smooth transition of power."

Bye bye, Klein.

Buyer's Remorse

"No, Ralph!"

"We didn't mean it, Ralph!"

"Please don't go, Ralph!"

These have been the cries from Ralph Klein's die-hard supporters for the past few days. We've also been told that switchboards have been flooded with phone calls from Albertans of all walks of life, urging Ralph to stay. But most agree, that with a 55% approval rating, Ralph staying on as leader would only split the party.

The most common defence is, "Well, we just wanted to give Ralph a little nudge, to hurry up his retirement." I guess no one realized that, if you all nudge at the same time, it can add up to a pretty big push.

All I can say is of course everyone supports Ralph now. No one else wants to be "Oberged."

Anyway, Ralph's got the news conference scheduled for 11:30, in which he'll share his plan. And, as has already been pointed out, Ralph's just arrogant enough to say, "55% is still a majority. I got a majority in the last provincial election. The majority still wants me to stay!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Lost in Translation

Well, tonight, on the CBC, I finally saw Lost In Translation. I've been dying to see it for some time. See, Lost In Translation came out around the same time I got back from Japan, so I was asked about the film a lot. "Are Japanese people really like that? Did you have experiences like that?" and so on and such forth.

The film was a lot...sadder than I thought it'd be. It wasn't so much a film about the culture clash of being in Japan. It was more about...being lonely. And, as a guy who's been lonely quite a bit - even when he was in Japan - I "got it" on several levels.

It did stir up a lot of memories. Sometimes, I'm sad that I don't have any really good stories about Japan. Even though I was in another country, I was still a working stiff. Get up, put in 9 hours at work, go home, flop down on the couch and watch TV. Same routine everyone else does, just on the other side of the world.

Unlike my best friend, who got inducted into Sapporo's art scene and can tell you all about the little tiny clubs and galleries that dot the alleyways of Sapporo.

Sometimes, I wish I had a Japan experience like that.

But most days, I know I had the Japan experience that was best for me.

Weird Al News

For some reason, I always have trouble digging up news on "Weird Al" Yankovic. Specifically, info on his new album, due out later this year. As such, I always stumble across news in the strangest places.

I was reading the Wikipedia entry on John Kricfalusi, the rebellious, surrealist animator best remembered as the creator of Ren and Stimpy. At the bottom of Kricfalusi's entry was this humble little line:

As of Apr. 2, [Kricfalusi] has finished production for an animated music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's 12 studio album.

John Kricfalusi animating a Weird Al video? The mind boggles.

Kricfalusi has street cred when it comes to music videos. He did the videos for Bjork's I Miss You and Tenacious D's F--k Her Gently.

And now, a Weird Al video. This will work.

Simpsons Movie & Clerks II

So, that teaser for The Simpsons Movie is now online. I've downloaded it. My thoughts? It actually reminds me a lot of the teaser for South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut from way back in December 1998. Same narrator doing a very dramatic reading...same variation on the joke...now, if The Simpsons Movie can be as good as South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, then we really have a movie to look forward to!

And actually, we've got some more information about the behind-the-scenes of The Simpsons Movie today. They're just about finished storyboarding. The script was written over the past two years in absolute secrecy. The script was co-written by Simpsons creator Matt Groening, Simpsons executive producer (and legendary director) James L. Brooks, and pretty much the entire current writing staff of the show. The director is David Silverman, who is the supervising director of the show, and he was also one of the co-directors of the Pixar classic Monsters, Inc..

In addition to the entire voice cast of the show, they also have signed on Albert Brooks, Minnie Driver, and the real Erin Brockovich.

They're still on track for that July 2007 release!

And, if you're a big Kevin Smith fan like me, then you'll want to swing by The Official Clerks II Website to check out the new Internet exclusive trailer!

My thoughs on the new trailer? I love that new angry version of the Clerks: The Animated Series theme. And I now have a new favourite Randall line:

"There was only one return, and it wasn't of the King, it was of the Jedi!"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

First Podcast and Latest Column are Up!

What's that? My podcast? That's right! I've launched a podcast! Today sees the very first episode of The Targ. Tired of no radio station hiring me, I decided to launch my own!

Click here to listen to Episode 0: My New Mop

Now, I don't have RSS quite figured out yet, so you can't rig iTunes to automatically download the new episode. For the first little bit, you're going to have to do it old school: come back to my website once a week to download the new one. But, I'm working on it. If I don't have it set up by the end of the month...just wait longer.

A new day has dawned! The day of...the Targ!

And I've still got my column going, too! This week, I get into Reinvention Mania!

" Over in the realm of television, the “re-imagining” concept is also gaining ground. Look at the new re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica. It is widely considered by many – sci-fi nerds and mainstream critics alike – to be one of the greatest TV shows right now. The whole politics, society, and war that form the basis of the show have been greatly expended upon and explored. Star Trek meets The West Wing was how one critic described it. "

Click here to read it all!

Hey! You can read Chaos in Print while listening to the Targ! It's what you call a win-win situation!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Phantom

So, I see in the Edmonton Journal that The Phantom of the Opera is coming back to Edmonton. I'd kind of like to go, if only to rub it in the face of Robert Twerdoclib.

Ya gotta go back in time about 15 years. Phantom of the Opera was absolutly huge. The first Canadian touring show was making its only Alberta stop in Calgary. Mr. Twerdoclib - being the grade 8 homeroom teacher - decided to take the grade 8 class down to Calgary to see it. I was in grade 9 at the time, and a remarkable opportunity arose.

Two grade 8 kids cancelled...they couldn't go. So Mr. Twerdoclib decided to have an essay contest for the grade 9 students. If memory serves, it was 2 pages on what you like about Canada. Naturally, I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

About a week later, as I was getting ready to go home for lunch, Mr. Twerdoclib cornered me and asked me to come into his classroom. Befuddled, I did. Mr. Twerdoclib had me stand before his grade 8 class, and he proceeded to ream me out over how poor my essay was, before he announced that I lost. I left in tears.

I lost a lot of respect for Robert Twerdoclib that day. I've just never been a fan of the public humiliation school of teaching.

About a year later, the Phantom finally made its way to Edmonton. Then, just about everyone went to see it. I was in high school, Mr. Twerdoclib was no longer my teacher, but I just couldn't help but think, "Not so fancy now, is it, Twerdy?"

So that's why I want to see The Phantom of the Opera some day. Just so I can send out a nice, big "fuck you" to Robert Twerdoclib.

Holy %$#@

So, the results of last night's Alberta PC leadership review are in.

As leader of the PC Party, Ralph Klein has the support of...55% of the party.

55%! For a man who has consistently scored 95% or higher in past leadership reviews. It was expected that support for Klein would dip this time around, but not by this much.

Wow. 55%. I think the proper, political science term for what happened to Klein is "a kick in the nuts."

Klein has said he's going to reflect and consult with advisors, and announce his next move around the middle of next week. He also added that, in this leadership review, he *did* score a majority. But, in my opinion, for him to try to cling to power with a 40% drop in party support is suicidal.

I think Klein's going to announce his resignation next week. And an era will be over.