Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday News

So, as I'm watching TV, I stumble across a fast food giveaway that I haven't seen since the days of the Atari 2600.

This holiday season, Burger King is giving away video games. XBox 360 games, to be precise.

"That's not new," you're saying.

And I say, "Ah! But, these games were made exclusivly for Burger King...and they star that Burger King guy and that Subserviant Chicken that's in all their commercials."

And you say, "Oh! Well, then, that is new."

There's three games, each one if $4.99 with the purchase of a burger. And those games are:

Pocket Bike Racer - Good ol' Mario Kart style-action, only on those mini-motorbikes, and featuring all kinds of Burger King mascots.

Big Bumpin' - Same thing, only with bumper cars.

Sneak King - You're that Burger King guy, and you have to sneak up on hungry people and give them burgers.

Almost enough to make me want an XBox 360 for Christmas.

And today's a massive day in DVD for us Kevin Smith fans!

First, of course, is the 2-disc, mega-ultimate edition of Clerks II. Gotta get it to complete my Kevin Smith collection!

And it's got three running commentaries: one with the cast and crew, a technical commentary (featuring Smith, producer Scott Mosier, and Director of Photography Dave Klein as they talk the technical stuff), and the infamous podcast commentary.

You may remember this. Smith was talking that they were going to make a podcast running commentary. When the movie came out, they would post the commentary online. then, you download it, drop it in your MP3 player, and go see the movie again. Hit "play" when the opening credits start, and voila! A running commentary.

Well, it was recorded, but never posted...never made available for download. Why? Too many movie theatre owners objected. They felt it would be disruptive. For example, it's a somber, quiet moment, but at that moment, Smith says something funny on the running commentary, prompting the person to laugh. Everyone else in the theatre goes, "Why's that guy laughing? Oh, now I can't focus on the film!" So, never posted.

but, it's on the DVD! In case you're curious, everyone on the podcast commentary is Smith, producer Scott Mosier, and Jeff "Randal" Anderson.

But ya know what? Don't bother getting me that one for Christmas, as I'll be buying it for myself momentarily.

Also out today is An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder. Another Kevin Smith concert film, as the tells more stories about making his movies and other adventures. Unlike the first one, which was edited together from about 6 different apperances, this just contains 2: disc 1 is one in Toronto, and disc 2 is one in London.

And, as I had to explain to my friend, the title is a parody of the movie title Die Hard 2: Die Harder.

And also out today is Superman Returns. That one you can get me for Christmas. The 2-disc special edition, please.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Latest Targ's Up!

Got the latest episode of The Targ up. This week, it's Episode 28: Epics. I play a couple of epic, 5-minute songs, and share my thoughts on the PC Leadership, Buy Nothing Day, and panda mating.

Give it a listen!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Buy Nothing Day/Corner Gas News

Today is Buy Nothing Day!

I always take a moment to remember Buy Nothing Day. It was the pet protest of a few politically active sorts I knew back in university, so it's part "for the cause" and part nostalgia.

Started by Vancouver artist Ted Dave, Buy Nothing Day is a way to protest the rampant consumerism of our society. It was the Vancouver-based magazine Adbusters that took the ball and ran with it.

Participating in Buy Nothing Day is quite simple: buy nothing today. It's also become a day to have very creative anti-consumerist protests. I just read about a new one called a Whirl-Mart. You and a bunch of friends head to the big box retailer of your choice, grab an empty shopping cart, and form this train of empty shopping carts that circles throughout the store for hours. Call me crazy, but that actually sounds like fun.

Buy Nothing Day always falls on "Black Friday." Today is Black Friday, the day that all the big retailers in the USA start their Christmas sales. It's the busiest shopping day of the year.

Of course, Buy Nothing Day gained noteriety in 2001, when the whole concept of "buy Nothing" ran counter to the rampant patriotism of "If you stop buying stuff, the terrorists win." Not so notorious anymore.

For more information on Buy Nothing Day, consult these local websites:
The Wikipedia entry on Buy Nothing Day
Adbusters' Buy Nothing Day website

And speaking of buying, today the hit Canadian sitcom Corner Gas acheived the Holy Grail for Canadian TV shows.

It got sold to a US network. Well, cable channel actually.

Starting in 2007, Corner Gas will be shown on Superstaion WGN, a cable channel that reaches over 70 million American homes...and is on most Canadian basic cable packages.

Said creator/star Brent Butt about the sale, "American provides so much television for Canada. It's nice to be able to give something back."

In fact, Corner Gas has been sold to 26 countries, including Australia, Finland and, the most surprising one, Iraq.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The PC Leadership Race: My Thoughts

Well, in just two short days, members of the PC Party of Alberta will be heading to the polls and voting for a new leader for their party. A leader who will quickly become the next premeir of the province of Alberta.

I know a lot of people have been criticizing this "election" as dull...with no single issue dominating the fore. Well, I'd like to propose that it's been so dull because these are the kinds of elections we idealists want. There's no one issue at the fore because all the candidates released relativly well thought out platforms that take weeks to digest...very difficult to condense into soundbytes. The debates have been about the finer points of these platforms. Cuz at the end of the day, don't forget, they're all Tories, so the pretty much agree on a lot of things.

If anything, this has been highlighting to me some ignorance of our electoral system by the people. When this whole thing started, I did have to explain it to quite a few people around Athabasca. "No, you can't vote NDP...only Tories are running." "It's not really open to everyone, because you have to be a member of the Tory party to vote." "Yes, that means you have to pay $5 to vote."

To sum up: this "election" is to choose a new leader of the PC Party of Alberta. Therefore, only members of the Party are allowed to vote. If you want to vote, you have to buy a membership and join the party. Memberships cost $5 and expire at the end of the year. Memberships were being sold over the past year by the candidates, and they'll be on sale at the polling stations. However, you should be able to buy one at any well-run constituency office.

Notice how I keep putting "election" in quotations? That's because this isn't a true election...in that not everyone is able to vote. You want to vote, you gotta join the party.

This has been a good experience for me. 7 of the 8 candidates came up to Athabasca University to conduct town hall meetings. They were invited up by Athabasca University. Like every other university, Athabasca University wants to see more funding for post-secondary education. On a more local level, the Athabasca University building is full to the brim with faculty and staff, and they really want to start expanding their campus. So, they've been bringing up all the cadidates, showing them exactly what they do up here, and pleading their case for more cash.

Which led to the town hall meetings...and, good reporter that I am, I was on-hand to cover them. Eventually, the University was also kind enough to start setting up press time, so me and my learned colleagues from Athabasca's newspaper could interview the candidates. It was a great way to meet the leaders...sitting down and interviewing them all. I wish everyone could do it. It's a great way to actually get to know all the candidates and what they're about.

The first one that came up to Athabasca was Mark Norris. If there's one thing that struck me about him is that he's slick. He's a very well-polished and well-rehearsed politician. I didn't realize that myself until I downloaded my interview into my computer at work and said to myself, "Wow! Look at the waveform for his interview. Everything is so clearly measured out...this is the easiest interview to get soundbytes from...almost like he planned it this way...."

As part of that slickness, he also sent me a thank-you note. "Mark. Good to have met you. Mark Norris." That was all the note said. It was scribbled on a desk pad, and I could tell by the divots in the paper that he must have spent a morning writing out those notes and mailing them to small town reporters all over. I have it tacked to the bulletin board at work.

Next up was Ed Stelmach. The good parts: he's in tune with rural Alberta. The bad parts: he's in tune with rural Alberta. No matter what question you asked him, he'd always steer it towards his agricultural platform. The man's a farm boy, through and through.

Dave Hancock. Wow. I've completley blanked out on this guy. I remember absolutly nothing of what he said...I can't pull any good soundbytes out of memory...not good for him, eh?

And this was the first one where the university had scheduled some press time. I did what I thought was a clever thing. In my interviews I asked "the job interview question." I call it such because, hey, I'm always asked this question in job interviews. And that question is, "Why do you want this job?"

Dave Hancock: “I've been passionate about government all my adult life. I've been involved in the political party since I was 15. I got involed in the '71 election, up in Fort Vermillion where I grew up. I guess I grew up with the concept that you have an obligation to give back to your community in the best possible way. I'm not a very good soccer coach, but I can do this, and I can make a difference doing this, and I think it's important to make that difference....Why do I want the job? It's not to go out and say I know everything, cuz I don't. But it is to say that we need to be changing the focus a little bit. We need to be talking about the big picture and the long term.”

I'd like to point out that he rambled on for about five minutes in answering this...I just edited it down to the good parts. Every other answer you'll read is verbatim.

Next up was Ted Morton. On a perfectly technical view of things, I'd like to say that my interview with Morton was probably the best one I did. As they taught me at school, a good interview should just be a conversation with the guy. And Morton and I, we actually had a conversation.

That being said...Morton is old school Reform party. All his answers were "Blame Ottawa" this and "The West Wants In" that. And as my mother said about this kind of mentality two federal elections ago, "I'm sick and tired of this regionalist BS." As I say about this kind of mentality, "Pierre Trudeau hasn't been in office for 20 years...and he's dead. Can we stop blaming him for everything?"

Mr. Morton, why do you want this job? "Our party needs new leadership and fresh ideas. We've been in power for 35 years, we have a lot to be proud of, but we've developed some bad habits. Our party membership is way down, our vote totals were down in the last election. So we need somebody who can bring reform to the party...reunite the party. I think I bring the background, and the policy and the character to the job that will allow the party to renew and reunify."

How can you tell that Jim Dinning has all the money? Well, his town hall meeting started a half-hour late. Why? His plane was too big for our airport, and they had to divert him to Lac La Biche. Gee, Mr. Dinning, (or, as I call him around the office, "The Big Dinner"), everybody else just drove up from Edmonton....

On another note, Dinning's town hall meeting was the best-attended of them all. It was only the second one that the mayor of Athabasca came out to...along with most of town council. The county reeve was there, along with a good portion of the county council. And it was the only one that Athabasca's own MLA, Human Resources Minister Mike Cardinal came out to, and it was here where he revealed to the press (me and my learned colleagues from the Athabasca newspaper) that he's backing Dinning.

That being said...because I want to be a radio announcer, I've received coaching on public speaking, how to be conversational, and all that stuff. Dinning's coaching was showing.

Mr. Dinning, why do you want this job? "Alberta is so uniquely positioned today to take on the rest of the world. And we need a new approach to leadership, one that says, 'We're going to raise the bar in Alberta! We're going to do what it takes to get there!' And I'm convinced that Jim Dinning is the guy that can take us there.”

Yes, he actually referred to himself in the third person. This is what I mean by coaching...he knew this was going to be for radio so, like when writing any good radio spot, he got the name of the product out there.

Victor Doerksen stepped on my foot. Don't worry. Now that winter's here, I was wearing my steel-toed boots and I was fine. But then, rather than apologize, he tried to make a lame joke about it. And it was all downhill from there....

Now, I've grown pretty agnostic in my young-but-getting-close-to-middle age. However, I'd like to think that I'm also quite tolerant when it comes to people who have a strong faith. I also know that there's a place to preach, and a place not to preach. The election podium is a place where you do not preach. So when Doerkson started drawing analogies between the government and creationism, I kinda tuned out.

Mr. Doerksen, why do you want this job? “Cuz I'm the best candidate for the job.”

On the flip side, Lyle Oberg bought me lunch. Well, not just me. He had his town hall meeting fully catered, so it was free beef-on-a-bun for everyone. It was kind of funny actually, as the Assistant to the President of Athabasca University was afraid that no one would show up to eat all the food, so she scrambled around to all the offices, grabbing anyone who wasn't eating to come eat all this beef. Apparently, she couldn't find enough, as I got to conduct my interview with Mr. Oberg as he ate the leftovers for his lunch.

And ya know? I actually kinda like Lyle. He seemed to be the most thought out and the most...well-put-together of the bunch. (But, on the flip side, he was the Minister of Education when my mother was serving her final term as Chair of the Parkland School Board, and oh, does Mom have some stories about Mr. Oberg.)

Mr. Oberg, why do you want this job? “I've been in politics for 13 years, and I feel that I have the ideas about numerous topics that can help Alberta and help Albertans. It's been a wonderful campaign, cuz I get to talk about everything, as opposed to your own department. So it's about ideas, and direction and goals that makes a leader."

The only one who declined the invitation to come to Athabasca Univeristy was Gary McPherson. Too bad, cuz Athabasca University is wheelchair accessible and everything. I know it politically incorrect to say that, but that's how everyone I talk to has been identifying Mr. MacPhearson: "Oh, he's the guy in the wheelchair, right?" Yes. He is.

And ya know, if you'd like to hear the town hall meetings that I had to cover, Athabasca University has been podcasting them, so their students from all over the province could participate. Click here for the Athbasca University podcast feed, so you can listen to all the town hall meetings.

Now, I know when this whole thing started, I was oh-so-passionate about buying my $5 membership and going to vote, but I don't think I will now. Now that I've met pretty much all of them, I realize that they're all the same middle aged man with similar ideals about how to run this province.

I think I'll just hang back and wait for the next provincial election, when I have a real choice.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Various News Bits

Joy and Jubilation!

The podcast, The Targ, has been accepted into the iTunes podcast directory! Now, when you go into iTunes and surf through all the podcasts, you can surf to U62: The Targ. This'll make it much easier for people to find now, I think.

Or, ya know, you can click on this link right here, and iTunes will pop up, and take you straight to The Targ!

And, ya know, if you want to write a glowing customer review or two, I wouldn't mind.

In other news, I finally broke down and bought my slew of Christmas albums today. After thinking about it for many a year, I finally broke down and bought Pokemon Christmas Bash. That's right, the Pokemon Christmas album. Featuring that new holiday classic, "I'm Giving Santa a Pikachu for Christmas."

When that album comes, I'm going to have to talk to my bosses to see if I can play "I'm Giving Santa a Pikachu for Christmas" on the air. Just once...for the "what the heck was that?" factor.

Ah, Pokemon Christmas Bash. Sure to join The Star Wars Christmas Album as one of those "What the...?" Christmas albums.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Trek on DVD

Well, Trekkie that I am, I have to take a moment to acknowledge the big DVD release of the day...for trekkies.

The average nerd on the street generally has to be reminded that Star Trek was briefly resurrected as a Saturday morning cartoon in the early 1970s. It ran for two seasons (1973-1975), lasting 22 episodes. They were able to bring back the entire original voice cast to do their own voices. In fact, James Doohan (Scotty) got to fall back on his experience as a voice actor for CBC radio to do a multitude of voices for all kinds of aliens. It was made by Filmation, the same animation house that my generation remembers best for bringing us He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. While the show was generally derided for its wooden animation, it was applauded for its writing. Just like the original live-action series, they were able to get a whole bunch of big name sci-fi authors (as well as writers for the original live-action show) to come back and write scripts.

And it sat for years as the last bit of Star Trek that had to be released on DVD...until today.

That's right, today, Paramount Pictures releases Star Trek: The Complete Animated Series. This 4-disc set contains all 22 episodes of the animated series. You also get a couple of featurettes about the show (including one that tries to answer the age old question that fans have always asked, "Is this canon?"), and some of those wonderful pop up trivia text commentaries, compiled by Michael and Denise Okuda.

In other DVD news today, the new holiday classic Home Alone gets re-released today in a brand new, 2-disc special edition. You get a running commentary with star Maculay Culkin and director Chris Columbus, featurettes about the making of the film (both new and made back in the day), cut scenes, bloopers, the trailers, and all the trimmings.

And no, your eyes didn't deceive you. Home Alone was directed by Chris Columbus, who went on to direct the first two Harry Potter movies.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Latest Targ's Up

This week's episode of the Targ is up! This week, it's Episode 27: My Shiny New DVDs. I gotta show off what I'm playing right now.

Give it a listen

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Long Time, No Blog

I'm certain I've said this many times before, but I'll say it again. My friend once told me, "Blogs are for people who have nothing to do, and even less to say." Well, the blog only goes for a few days with no entries when I'm really, really busy.

but here I am again, oping another hockey game, and I got nothing but time in the world.

In case you haven't heard, Edmonton's brand-new WHL team finally got a name. The Edmonton Oil Kings. That name is no surprise whatsoever. In case you don't really give a darn about hockey, let me explain that Oil Kings was the name of Edmonton's legnedary WHL team back in the 1960s.

The new Oil Kings are going to be the minor-league affiliate of the Oilers (duh) and will play in Rexall place. First season is 07/08.

when I made a trip into West Edmonton Mall last week, I was sure to pick up my copy of Pixar's Cars. I love Pixar and own all of their movies on DVD. Gotta catch 'em all, after all.

Now, Cars was a controversial DVD release for some. It was the first Pixar movie that wasn't a loaded-to-the-nuts 2-disc special edition. The official release was that they decided to pare things down to the most popular bonus features. That is, the original short films. No more feature-length documentaries about making the films.

And that's sad. There is a featurette about the making of Cars, and the research that Pixar did. Pixar always does their research. Since a good portion of Cars takes place on Route 66, director John Lassetter and a bunch of the other directors, producers and writers, all hopped in a car and went on a road trip down Route 66. And, they brought with them one of the most renouned historians on Route 66.

And, since the main character is a race car, they also went to a lot of race tracks, talked to a lot of race car drivers, and hung out with a lot of racing experts.

You just know that, with all the footage they shot, Pixar could have made a really cool documentary about Route 66...or racing.

But I'll get over it. It's still a cool movie.

I also bought Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Movie #8! So I've started reading up on the newest versions of the Pokemon franchise: Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Editions. they came out in Japan a few months ago. North American release is TBA.

The cool thing about these is where they take place. Each region that a Pokemon game takes place in is based upon a geographical region of Japan. Diamond and Pearl take place Sinnoh, which is based on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. And, since Hokkaido is Japan's frozen north, Sinnoh is the Pokemon world's frozen north, and is the first game where you can go hiking through snow-covered areas.

It's going to be available for the Nintendo DS hand-held.

A popular thing about DVDs right now is the in-store exclusive. That is, when you buy it at a specific store, you get some kind of free gift. In that case, I'm going to have to buy Clerks II at Best Buy. Best Buy is the only place where you can get the "Mooby's Fun Meal."

Inside the Mooby's Fun Meal box, you get:

  • A plastic Mooby's collector's cup
  • A Mooby's name tag
  • A Mooby's visor
  • And, of course, the 2-disc special edition of Clerks II

Dont' forget, Clerks II hits DVD on the 28th.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Latest Targ is up!

Got this week's episode of The Targ up! This week, it's Episode 26: ET Phone In. As the title suggests, I really phone it in this week, but it features my first ever co-host! Check that out!

Give it a listen!

And hey! I saw a movie over the weekend! Head over to Chaos in a Box to read my review of The Prestige, the really cool movie from the guy who did Memento and Batman Begins.

And I also picked up the DVD of the eighth Pokemon movie, so you can also read my review of Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

D-D-DVD Day!!

Lots of DVDs out today that have piqued my interest. Let's break it up into categories.

Succumb to the Double Dip
As I've blogged in the past, one of the most heinous crimes in the DVD world is double-dipping. This is when a DVD comes out, and then, some time later, an even newer version comes out, with all new bonus material, thus forcing you to buy it again. I try to stay strong. I've only succumbed about 5 times to the double-dip. And usually, I only do it if it's a movie I really, really, really, really like. And I'll be doing it this week.

The Transformers: the Movie - 20th Anniversary Edition is brand-new, 2-disc mega-ultimate re-release of this classic from my childhood. This set contains the film in both widescreen and full screen, running commentary with director Nelson Shin, writer Flint Dille, and voice actor Susan Blu, pop-up trivia track, the trailers and TV spots, a whole bunch of featurettes on the making of the film, test animation, storyboards, deleted scenes, and yes, the trailer for the live-action film coming out next year.

Succumb to the Double-Dip: Honorable Mention
With a new James Bond movie coming out next week, today is the customary re-release of all the James Bond films.

Oh my God! I can't believe they released this!
We all grew up with the classic Naked Gun films, starring Leslie Nielsen as the brain-dead police officer Frank Drebin. Well, what you may not remember was that the Naked Gun films were based on a sitcom called Police Squad!, where Leslie Nielsen first originated the role of Frank Drebin. Police Squad! was on in 1982, and only lasted 6 episodes. But, it developed enough of a cult following to eventually be resurrected as The Naked Gun trilogy.

So today, we finally get Police Squad!: The Complete Series. All 6 episodes, digitally remastered and preserved for the ages. You get running commentary on all 6 episodes by the show's creators, a new retrospective interview with Leslie Nielsen, and a whole slew of other stuff.

Ikea Nesting Syndrome
I love Pixar. They made the Toy Stories, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles.... They invented the medium of the computer animated film, and continue to push it's boundaries.

Which was why Cars was a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong, it's a really good film compared to all the other CGI movies now flooding our multiplexes, but it felt like it didn't go the extra mile like other Pixar films.

But I'll still be picking up Cars on DVD, out today. I need to complete my collection of every Pixar film. For bonus features you get a featurette about the making of the film, and a whole slew of animated short films.

Now, moving away from DVD, and into the realm of a franchise that just won't die.

Shrek was a pretty good movie. A fairly clever sarcastic fairy tale. But then, Shrek begat Shrek 2, one of the most pointless, lackluster sequels ever made. Shrek 2 begat Shrek the Third, which will hit multiplexes next summer. Shrek the Third begat the Shrek prequel, which is slated for theatres in the summer of 2010. And, some time after than, we'll be getting the Puss in Boots solo film, Puss in Boots: Story of an Ogre Hunter.

Are you ready for even more Shrek?

Production has started on the Shrek Christmas special, entitled Shrek the Halls. This half-hour animated special will feature Shrek and the gang doing their sarcastic send-up of animated holiday specials. It'll be on TV Christmas next year.

As one of my co-workers said today when I told him this news, "Hi! My name is Shrek. I'm a dead horse. STOP BEATING ME!!"

Monday, November 06, 2006

I'm Sorry

Well, I guess some apologies are in order.

When I sent out my monthly newsletter yesterday, I said that, yesterday, during their annual Halloween special, you could catch the new trailer for The Simpsons Movie.

And, if you were like me, you sat down, watching Treehouse of Horror XVII in eager anticipation, only to see a TV spot saying that the trailer is going to be on next week.

I got some bad intelligence on that one. Sorry.

But, at the very least, it was a very solid Halloween special for the Simpsons. A lot funnier than some of the recent ones, although it did have a rather preachy ending. And, it is always fun to hear voice actor Maurice LaMarche bust out his Orson Welles impersonation/Brain voice.

And, speaking of trailers, I do have solid intel on this one, and on this, I'm 100% certain.

The new trailer for Spider-Man 3 goes online on Thursday! For you yankees, it's going to premiere on MTV on Thursday night. Therefore, it goes online shortly afterward.

but if you want to wait to see it on the big screen, it'll be in front of the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale, hitting theatres a week from Friday.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Latest Targ's Up

This week, we've got Episode 25: BoredBeatleMania. The kind of combination of Beatles songs and reflections on Christmas and the Red Green show that only come out of being gripped in melancholy.

Wow. If that's not a great sales pitch, I don't know what is.

Giver a listen!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Week in Review

It's just been one of those days. Try as I might, I can't get going. I know I should do all the "start of the month" maintenence to my website...I know I should send out my e-newsletter...but I just can't get going. I'm enjoying sitting around doing nothing. And our society has taught us that, sitting around doing nothing makes you a horrible person.

You know I love animated movies, and you also know how I loathe that animated films have become nothing but talking animals making fart jokes. However, there is one that's come out this weekend that I really want to see. That would be Flushed Away.

Flushed Away is set in London, and it's about a pampered pet rat named Roddy (voice of Hugh Jackman). One day, he's flushed down the toilet and gets stuck wandering the sewers looking for a way out. In doing so, he teams up with the fiesty and spirited Rita (voice of Kate Winslet), and they have to watch out for the machinations of an evil frog (voice of Ian McKellan).

Now, why does this one have such appeal to me? Easy. It's from Aardman Studios, the British animation house that brought us those very funny, funny films Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Aardman does quality work, and I want to see their first dip into CGI. And the reviews have been pretty good, too.

Speaking of animation, here's some news I read today.

When we have the Oscars in the spring, there might be 5 nominations in the Best Animated Film category.

For those who don't remember, this is how the Best Animated Film category works. If there's more than 15 animated films released in a year, then there's 5 nominations in the category. If there's between 15 and 8 animated films released, then there's 3 nominations. If there's less than 8, then they skip the category that year.

And, those who watch these things have sat back and done the math and, ya know what? It looks like there'll be 16 animated films released this year!

We already know two films that'll make the nomination list: Cars and Flushed Away. Those films are from Pixar and Aardman, respectivly. Both studios do quality work...and are Oscar darlings. Over the Hedge will probably make the list, too, because it was a huge hit and the reviews were kinda good.

I know the pumpkins are just barely thrown out, but I'm getting really, really, really excited about Christmas.

Now that November's here, all the Christmas stuff is on the store shelves. Well, as I've been saying in my podcast, up here in Athabasca, the Christmas stuff went on the store shelves around the start of September. I guess it would be more accurate to say, "The amount of Christmas stuff on the shelves has tripled" or "The GOOD Christmas stuff is on the store shelves."

I think I"m so excited because this is going to be my first Christmas on my own. My times at Augustana don't count because I was always so wrapped up in finals come December that a person could barely notice Christmas, and Japan doesn't count because, when the whole country around you doesn't get wrapped up in it, it's difficult to get wrapped up in it yourself.

But yeah. I'll be buying my own tree...my own decorations for said tree...my little ol' basement suite will be all Christmased up.

I see Extra Evil has a nice little 4" artificial tree for $20. That'd be about all I need. But then, up the road at SAAN, I can get a 6" one for the same price.

Christmas can't get here soon enough.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Weird Al on the Tonight Show

Ah, another hockey season, more Oilers games, and more late evenings of broadcasting said Oilers games. Lots of time to blog!

Anyway, I gotta pass on the litte reminder that, tomorrow night, "Weird Al" Yankovic will be the musical guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Weird Al will be doing his first live performance of White and Nerdy, his new hit single. This is Weird Al's first time on The Tonight Show in 21 years, and his first appearance on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.

Ah, fond memories. I haven't seen Weird Al on a talk show in...ages. The second time I saw "Weird Al" Yankovic on a late-night talk show was 1992. Batman Returns was in theatres, Nirvana was introducing us to grunge, and the late-night talk show people fought to be on was The Arsenio Hall Show.

Like any kid of the era, I was glued to Arsenio Hall. And, when I heard Weird Al was going to be on, I just had to tune in. And, imagine my surprise when Arsenio dedicated not one, not two, but three segments of his show to Weird Al! Arsenio cut his opening monologue short so he could bring out Weird Al to sing Smells Like Nirvana. Weird Al then came out as the second interview guest of the nigth. And then, when it was the usual segment for the musical guest, Weird Al sang the second single off his album Off The Deep End, which was You Don't Love Me Anymore.

That was a great night in television.

In case you're curious, the first time I saw Weird Al on a talk show was, again, on The Arsenio Hall Show. It was 1989. Weird Al wasn't a musical guest that night...he was there as a movie star, plugging UHF. I'll never forget one exchange between Aresnio and Weird Al...

Arsenio>> So, we're gonna play a clip from you movie. Would you like to set it up?

Weird Al>> Sure! (Al looks directly into camera, and speaks very excitedly) HERE'S A CLIP FROM MY MOVIE!!

So, don't forget to set your VCR's for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tomorrow night, and let's see if magic will happen again.