Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The State of the World: Imeson nabbed in Quebec

Rest easy, Ontario: triple murder suspect Jesse Imeson was arrested in a small Quebec town earlier tonight.

Around 8.45 Quebec police were called on a break and enter in the small town of Portage-du-Fort. All said and done, Imeson made it an extra 20 km from where his stolen truck was found on Monday.

So when you're on the run, hiding in the woods and choppers, dogs and a batallion of cops are on your tail, what's running through your head other than 'I am utterly screwed.'?

Details will come fast and furious in the coming days, rest assured.

Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig...

The Paper Trail and the extremely frigging hairy JackJack the Wondercat stop by the Kwik-E-Mart for a banana Squishee and a case of Duff. Courtesy and Burger King, apparently.

So, The Kingston Trio [myself, Lady Trail and Miss Christina] joined the 600 billion people who went to see The Simpsons Movie over the weekend, and like those 600 billion people, I find myself trying to come off the fence. I'll try to keep this safe for those who haven't seen it, but just in case.


The obvious question is 'Should I spend twelve bucks to see something I get every day for free?' and it's a question that's addressed by the characters themselves in the first 10 minutes of the film: no, you probably shouldn't. Unlike when South Park hit the big screen, there's no extra envelope-pushing going on just because it's now on movie screens [you won't see Homer telling Flanders to fuck himself]. In total, there's maybe three scenes that couldn't have been done on broadcast television, all of which will get a laugh, but you probably wouldn't have found the movie lacking if they weren't included.

The first third of the movie is priceless. From Homer doing the chores to a brilliant sight gag that makes you forget just for a moment that you're watching in a theatre, the jokes come fast, maybe too fast, as in parts the laughter of the audience from one joke drowned out the punchline of the next. But the best laughs come during this set-up portion, and when the film gets harassed by the necessary evil of plot, things slow down considerably, not to the point where the movie stops being funny, but it does lose a bit of momentum.

Briefly, the plot centers around Springfield on the verge of environmental disaster and cut off from the world under a giant dome, as the town's favourite family tries to save the townspeople. Not exactly a groundbreaking plot, but how the film deals with that familiarity is its biggest strength, I think.

The main challenge in a movie like this, from a show that's been on the air almost 20 years, is not how do you do something different, but how do you make the same feel more important? Longtime fans of the show have already seen the Simpsons get run out of town by an angry mob, we've seen Bart and Homer's relationship strained, we've seen Marge leave Homer every other week. But the film places a heavier weight on these conflicts to a much greater degree. Things get pretty dark in the second act, which is not something I was prepared for. The biggest kudos go to Julie Kavner, the voice of Marge. As she tells Homer she's leaving him again, the tone of her voice is so different from what fans are used to, she gets you to say 'Oh shit, she really means it this time,' even though you know they'll be happily reunited in 25 minutes.

While it's certainly not the best movie I've seen this summer [did I mention I saw Hairspray again last weekend?] it's certainly worth the big screen experience, and will be a mandatory DVD purchase when released. The biggest criticisms I could make when it was over was that not many of the supporting characters had enough screen time [No Kang or Kodos?! WTF?!?!] and that I don't understand why recent seasons of the series couldn't be as good as the film, since they clearly still have it in them.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Foodful thoughts

Over the weekend I was surprised to find myself having drinks with a smart and charming individual who turned out to be a member of the admin at Queen's. I'm not looking to drop names, suffice to say the individual has a V and a P in front of their title.

We got to talking about the nature of universities and the roles they do and should play, and I was surprised to hear the VP posit the theory that universities and their students could be better served if they forgot about trying to be everything to everyone, and focused solely on what they do well, and if a student wants the best, they travel to go there.

Case in point [perhaps]: Why, said the VP, does Queen's expend millions of dollars on its law school, when no one really knows it has one? Most students serious about pursuing law are going to the Osgoode program at York or even *gasp!* Windsor. Would Queen's not be better off if it cut the program and threw the money back at its medical school? But this never happens because the prevailing wisdom suggests that a university should be able to cater to everyone who might want to go there. The opposing view isn't exactly encouraged amongst the academy.

'The last program we cut was metallurgy,' said the VP, 'I still know faculty who hold a grudge.'

Now at Windsor, appealing to everyone is the name of the game for one main reason: accessibility. When I was News Editor I had a fairly extensive chat with Uncle Ross about that very subject. Being a community school, the UWindsor administration feels it should offer as many opportunities as possible, because many students in Windsor/Essex probably can't afford to go to school anywhere else and commute to campus as it is. How does it serve those students to take their opportunity for a degree in say, chemistry, just because Windsor's program isn't well known or particularly well regarded [not saying these programs are bad], just saying if the top tier of chemistry students are going to, I don't know UofT, is it worth it to offer it at all]?

A controversial idea, but not without merit, I think. What say you, Windsor?

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Lazy Summer Goes On, We Muse on Quality

Sorry for the delay, Windsor, but the Lady and I were offered a free meal at Gusto downtown tonight, and if you peruse that menu, you'll see that was too good an offer to decline.

And then tomorrow we're taking the Lady's boss out to the Wooden Head. I don't know how I'm still walking.

So I've been slacking on my latest batch of movies from Classic, but I did manage to put some time in on Curse of the Golden Flower today, and I found myself conflicted.

Obviously, the movie was awesome. It was shot beautifully, the action scenes were brilliantly choreographed, the costumes were breathtaking...and I'd seen it all before.

This is now the third wuxia-esque film from celebrated Chinese director Zhang Yimou, following the supremely awesome Hero and the slightly less awesome House of Flying Daggers. And both of those movies were great for the same reasons, just like Curse is. So I almost found myself getting bored by the awesomeness on the screen, because it was a brand of awesome I expected; it didn't go beyond as good as I thought it would be. Which I suppose is a criticism of sorts, but I don't know how valid it is. But Curse is worth a viewing for the amount of cleavage on display [Gong Li = serious crush in effect], and for the best bitch slap the Tang Dynasty ever witnessed [Chow Yun-Fat = serious mancrush in effect].

So that leaves me about 36 hours [minus laundry] to get through John Woo's first film A Better Tomorrow, and The Virgin Suicides, since I just finished the book last week. Such a stressful life I lead.

Dude, it is way too hot to write anything else.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The State of the--Wait, what was it?

The classics never go out of style.

My browsing practices are decidedly more nerdy this time of year, what with Nerdpocalypse getting under way in earnest, so I'm perhaps not as 'up' on what's shaking on the home turf and around the world.

But I was privy to this little item, which if you hadn't heard, concerns the remains of a baby found between the floors of a Toronto home by a contractor working on the house. That's just sad. The fact that the remains date back to the 20s? That's effed up. Possibly the most effed up in a long series of effed up stories I've posted around here.

Suffice to say, I won't be quick to explore the basement of our new apartment next month.

Off to catch an evening outdoor showing of The Princess Bride downtown at the Kingston Market Square. Honestly, Windsor? You need to take some lessons from K-town. Setting up a screen in an open space playing PG movies is beyond easy, and every week around here hundreds of people set up some lawn chairs to watch a movie together. How hard is that? Please, if there's a similar program back home that I don't know about, correct me. I'd be delighted to be wrong.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Flotsam On the Road

Seated at the Coffee and Company at King and Princess, I deliver links. Ain't that wireless revolution amazing?

You are excited for me!

Because childbirth isn't scary enough, Wired gives us a slideshow of images featuring the latest and greatest in obstetric teaching tools.

The best and wackiest of Japanese condoms. Somebody better run for cover the day I get my hand on the Love Cannon. Not gonna say who, that would be uncouth.

Hey, are you an asshole? Because you park like one.

In case you're wondering where all your nerdy friends are this weekend, they're locked indoors chained to their computer desks with G4 on TV in the background. Why? Because Nerdpocalypse is at hand once again, my friends: The San Diego International Comic-Con!!! The news will be coming fast and furious all weekend, from first looks at exclusive toys, to the publishing news all the major comics companies keep under wraps until this weekend. But for the lay people among you, there's lots of programming for you to get excited about, too. Film School Rejects highlights the ten best movie events you won't be attending. Someone better smuggle a camera up their ass so I can see that Batman footage.

REAL LIFE INTERRUPTION: The elderly quartet seated at the table across from the Lady and I are having such a vile reaction to the screaming toddler in this coffee shop, it's all I can do not to burst out laughing. The sour faces were followed by a dismissive comment directed at me and the other five people in here working on laptops. Hey grandma, I use the laptop to block out the screaming of children! Take a memo.

High school in Japan: You might kill yourself when you don't get into college, but letting off steam on picture day sure is fun.

Homeless couple provide rush hour entertainment in Cincinnati. That dude must have had a Love Cannon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mondays suck for the State of the World

Good News and Bad News
On Sunday evening, the Trails put a deposit in on their lovely apartment in Toronto, in a neighbourhood so quiet it's actually eerie.

Which is probably a good thing, given the weekend the city had.

Fistfuls of stupid
Young black man and university honours student goes in for job interview at Queen's Park. Cabinet member he speaks to refers to him as 'ghetto dude' in email with colleague. Obviously, she sends the email back to the original job applicant. Premier apologizes.

A Nation of Wistful Muggles
At one of the apartments we visited yesterday, the lady of the house was tearing through the final Harry Potter book, which you obviously already know was released on Friday night. I asked her if it was a sad experience for her.

"Sort of," she said, "he's been with me since I was a kid." Which is what I think is the coolest part about the Pottermania phenomenon: the first book was published in 1997. Meaning there millions of young adults who have literally 'grown up' with this fictional character, all through their adolescence. And whatever problems you might have with the stories, the movies, or the author, as someone who still loves the written word and loves to be reminded of its relevance, that's an unbelievable accomplishment.

Drew Carey officially named as The Bob's replacement on The Price is Right.

Man hits his lady friend with a 3-iron in your favourite state.

For those of you who can't be bothered to boil water and open the plastic package: canned ramen!

Chinese Buicks made for Chinese market higher in quality than those made in and for the U.S.. Why? "This is what the Chinese market expects from Buick."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

You Can't Stop the Beat

Earlier this week our friend the lovely Ms. Christina scored a quartet of free passes to tonight's advance screening of Hairspray, the movie of the musical of the film. She also provided the funniest line as the movie started.

Being an advance screening, even by 24 hours, security was tight and exiting the theatre after the film started was a strict no-no. Ms. Christina, who had to relieve herself, could not contain her dismay: 'God, freedom has so many rules!'

As for the movie itself: it was a monster of quality. And this from a guy who hates musicals [seriously, when The Lady puts on the 'Wicked' soundtrack I turn into a fussy toddler]. But I had a smile on for the entire movie, and I don't know the last time that happened, if ever. Why?

Because the movie takes fat people seriously. Yes, there's a healthy dose of tongue and cheek, but all Tracy and Edna want is be themselves and not have to be judged for it. As a fat person myself, I heartily endorse said message. And Travolta's pretty effing good as Edna.

It won't be a blockbuster, but if the tween girls in attendance tonight were any indication, it has the potential to be a sleeper behemoth.

Thrills to Shock and Delight!

Today's story comes to us from Sean*, 30 years old:

Rachel, a friend of mine, recently separated from her husband of two years. She initiated the split and she and her husband had been keeping it quiet. He hadn't even told his parents.

So after about six months estranged, her husband Tom requests to be added back on her friends list. She mulls it over before deciding there's no harm in it; it certainly won't change anything between them.

It's not until after she clicks 'confirm' that she discovers Tom was requesting to list her as his wife. Shocked, and more than a little peeved at Tom, she calls a friend for advice. The friend suggests just deleting him flat out, get out quick, you know? So she does. And when she does, Facebook immediately sends out the following information to the news feed of everyone on his and her friends list:

"Tom and Rachel have ended their relationship."

She deleted her her account on the spot. "I'll restart it in a couple weeks after the heat's died down," she told me.

Oh Sean, the Feed will get you everytime. Be sure to tell her that even though she deleted her account, all her information is still on the Facebook servers, ready and waiting for her whenever she comes back. And if she never does, well, I'm sure they'll dispose of it.

*The names are changed, but the events are true.

The State of the World

Windsor Pride moving Front and Centre
After years spent at Charles Park Square, this year's Windsor Pride event is moving to the Riverfront Festival Plaza, one of the city's more prominent venues.

Organizers say the increasing popularity of the event ultimately lead to the venue change. Last year, Windsor Pride welcomed over 5,000 attendees.

The festivities kick off next Monday; get the whole scoop at the festival website.

DailyNews informs us that UWindsor administration has finally figured out it might be a good idea to install some sort of signage so that you know why the flags at Chrysler Hall are at half mast. Considering they fly at half mast most of the time, now you can know why!

Your monthly update
If it's Thursday, it must mean the latest poll numbers are out, and guess what? The Liberals are actually gaining ground, rather, the Tories are losing ground.

According to the poll, both parties are currently enjoying support from 31 per cent of the electorate, which is consistent for the Grits but down three points for the Conservatives.

Again, the poll was of 1,00 of your countrymen, so salt graining is advised.

PS: The page also had a link to a video story on author Yann Martel's ongoing pet project to have the PM read more. Having now been to the site, I have to say, I don't know what Stephen Harper is reading, but I hope it's things like policy papers or other literature crucial to leading the country. If in his 'stillness' the dude wants to read Tom Clancy or the funny pages, it's no skin off my ass. Mr. Martel's website quickly devolves from from public service to grotesque self affirmation [the letters he sends with the books].

Jane Austen can't get published today. But honestly, if in 2007 you received a a submission written in the 19th century cadence and vernacular, would you smell a million seller? Not so much. Your experiment is flawed, David Lassman, Director of the Jane Austen Festival. Flawed!

Wal Mart offers a $300 desktop more powerful than my current PC [currently gathering dust next to the Mac]. The cheapie comp also comes with OpenOffice and no crappy ass trial software.

Florida dump divers find surface-to-air missile.

You may have heard the Harry Potter spoilers are out there [I've seen them. Some of you will be pissed]. Turns out the thief is how you say....dumb, and forgot to move the file info from the JPEGs, including his camera serial number.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh, Vanity

You may have noticed updates were lacking yesterday, Windsor. The simple fact is, I forgot. Honestly, it just didn't occur to me to post an entry last night, for a few reasons, not the least of which was the ongoing observation of an under-the-weather kitty [wet runny nose, maybe drool, somewhat lethargic. Send diagnoses]. But the other reason is much more sinister.

When I got online, I was much more interested in perusing Facebook.

Yes, if you didn't know yet, Windsor, The Trail got himself one of those newfangled effbooks you kids love for three reasons.
  1. I'm a complete sellout.

  2. Having moved once, and moving again next month, I am in a point in my life where it is somewhat useful to keep in touch with the various people I have known in my life.

  3. I know hot girls. And hot girls + Facebook typically = inappropriate pictures posted for the world to see. And once you discover a pair of your old workmates making out at the Treehouse with their shirts pulled open to expose their boobs, well, try and stay shut out from that.
So what I'm baffled by is the speed with which this special brand of crack gets its hooks into you. Social networking is nothing new, and MySpace had it lockdown for the last three years or so before Facebook went from 'student only' to 'free for all'. And I suspect the rosetta stone might be as simple as vanity.

We construct these online records of our lives [not our real lives, of course, but the lives we want to portray to the rest of the world] and wait for 'friends' to affirm us with comments. Which they can do instantaneously, because the news feed informs them of every move we make on the site. I add a photo, everyone knows. I comment on someone else's wall, everyone knows. Lucky for you they finally tweaked the privacy settings two years after they created the feature, but hey, better late.

Wow. I've received six alerts from the site while I've been writing this entry. Well doesn't that make me feel important? Another reason for the site's supremacy? Perhaps.

Whatever the reason, we'll all continue to document our lives for the world to see in an effort to impress our friends and stir envy in our exes. Clearly, the founders knew they had lightning in a bottle.

This entry will not end with the author encouraging you to add him to his friends.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Homeless and Destitute, I Serve Links for You

It occurred to the Trails last week that perhaps they should start making appointments to see apartments in Toronto, since they're supposed to be moving there in about a month.

So we hit the road with a stack of Mapquest and ViewIt printouts determined to find the perfect place. When it was all said and done, the scorecard looked like this:

Number of places we wanted to see: 4
Number of places we actually saw: 2
Of those 2, the number that weren't dilapidated OR infested with ants: 0

I know, the numbers don't add up, right? Well, it appears as though landlords in Toronto are averse to making money, and this aversion prevents them from answering their phone or returning messages. So we didn't get to see the place we really wanted to see, making the whole trip kind of a bust.

And a lesson for prospective buyers: when searching for a place on ViewIt, ensure with the landlord that the pictures provided are actually of the available residence. Both times we made it into a building, we were informed that the photos on the website were of the nicer apartment across the hall, and don't you worry, that heating duct will be repaired in no time, once we go over everything with a fresh coat of paint and get the dead old woman smell out of here.

Add to the joy was waiting in the rain for CAA after Lady Trail, in a zealous rush to get rid of an unimportant phone call, jumped out of the car and locked her keys inside. While it was running. How can you not love her?

So what's going out there?

Organizers are patting themselves on the back over the success of this year's Bluesfest. No shit it was 'the premier event of the summer.' With no Capitol, no Buskers and barely an Epicure, it's pretty much the only event of the summer.

Award winning author and the funniest undergrad prof I ever had, Alistair MacLeod has been made an officer of the Order of Canada.

Researcher says sleep is just a bad habit, and the most you need is two hours every 24. Yeah, but what if I like to have six - eight?

Apparently late last month the US Senate and Congress started up the war drums on Iran, calling for the UN Security Councilto charge Ahmadinejad with violating a charter on genocide for calling for Israel's destruction. I wonder, if they get denied, if they'll cowboy this one, too?

Recording industry spends thousands in legal fees, obtains moral victory and $300 from a single mom on social assistance.

You never know when you might need to get out of those plastic ziptie handcuffs.

Another voice in the growing chorus arguing that your help is not helping Africa, this time from author Uzodinma Iweala in the Washington Post.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Dream Fulfilled

As a man who now wakes up earlier than he would like to on a regular basis, I have become intimately familiar with the trappings of the morning news broadcast. We prefer Global in the Trail household, for no other reason than it has a local-ish feel to it and it has a traffic girl named Pooja Handa, which is just too fun to say, even if Pooja needs to eat a cheeseburger more than most.

So what you quickly notice about morning news programs is that the show itself is about 30 minutes worth of content stretched to three hours. Hey, people are getting up at all different times, and they need to be informed, so just repeat the the same news every half hour, check back in with the same location reporter who has nothing new to say, and update us on that stalled vehicle on the Gardiner.

It sucks if you've been watching more than 45 minutes, but that's not really what bothers me. No, what bothers, or rather who bothers me, is Bill Coulter.

Bill is the weather guy on Global Morning, and for some reason the man bugs the shit out of me. I believe it started when K-town was having a rainy period, and I took my displeasure out on Bill, accusing him of never having anything good to say. It only got worse from there: his awkward segues, his baby mullet haircut, his phony enthusiasm for the Junior Weather Watcher segment featuring a local child's drawing [I keep saying I'm going to fake my name and age and send in a drawing of Bill being mauled by a bear], the man just bugs the hell out of me.

So imagine my surprise when Lady Trail woke me up this morning with the following:

[unintelligible sleep grumble]
'So two things on the morning news.'
'One: they're playing the 911 call for those elephants who were wandering the streets the other night. They're playing circus music in the background, it's pretty funny.'
'Two: Bill Coulter is in Kingston. He's broadcasting from Confederation Park.'
'Yep. He's got a Kingston Buskers shirt on and everything.'
[growing agitated] 'I gotta go...I gotta go punch Bill.'

Here's hoping I can catch him in time, Windsor.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The State of the World

Get the inside scoop on the medical building
For all interested, there will be an information session on UWindsor's new medical school [currently being constructed] at 5.00 p.m. today in Room 203 of the Toldo building, discussing the physical appearance of the building, as well as how it will affect the surrounding area.

Remembering Honest Ed
Sad news from the centre of the universe as beloved Toronto entrepreneur, arts patron and philanthropist Edwin Mirvish passed away yesterday just shy of his 93rd birthday.

If you're unfamiliar with the man, read up on his accomplishments. He was a hell of a human being.

When I was younger I walked into Honest Ed's for the first time, dazzled by the size of the store and the blinking lights. I remeber looking around once I walked in and thinking 'Man, this place is a dump! Who wants a spatula for 67 cents?'

A lot of people. Because a lot of people needed it. Add to that the fact that if you've seen a show in Toronto is was probably at one of his theatres, and you start to get a sense of what he accomplished.

A dozen straight strip clubs: A-OK.
One gay strip club: oh noes!

Council will decide this coming Monday whether to give The Wellington approval to open a gay friendly strip club on its upper level.

City administration is recommending the application be declined, as they feel the bar is located too close to residential areas and lacks sufficient parking. Additionally, there's the expected moral outcry, which feels the city doesn't need another strip club.

Still, the bar has councilor Percy Hatfield's support. Said Hatfield, "This has been a gay club for over three years and neighbours have not complained, churches have not complained. Then when it's brought to their attention there will be dancers, we get letters opposing this."

Iraq? Still a mess
An interim report on the U.S. war in Iraq released this morning hasn't given the Bush administration much leverage in the continual debate surrounding the war.

According to the report [which was demanded by Congress], the Iraqi government is not reaching the benchmarks set by the Americans on matters of security and politics.

However, of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress, the report concluded satisfactory progress had been made on eight of them, with another eight ruled unsatisfactory and two mixed. Pundits suggest the administration will take the 'half-full' approach and focus on goals met.

The HufPo wonders why the Oklahoma City bombing didn't start a war on terror [answer: the perpetrator was white].

The Guardian examines when The Simpsons jumped the shark.

The young'uns hate on LiveEarth as much as the crotchety bastards.

Mayor of Fort Lauderdale calls homosexuality a sin. That'll go over well come election day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Worked too hard in too much heat for too long today. Could barely remember where I lived when my shift was over.

No blog for you. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Pole to Pole With Two Remotes

And as I lay on the couch on Saturday afternoon, negotiating five channels of worldwide Live Earth coverage, I found myself wondering what it was all for?

Never mind the obvious critique regarding the amount of energy wasted and carbon generated in throwing the concerts, although 'carbon offsetting' is the new hip remedy designed to defuse such criticisms. Carbon offsetting is the convenient plan of making up for the damage you do by planting some trees after you throw a massive global concert. You know, like giving someone a cardboard box after you burn their house down.

But the question that burned in my mind as I bounced from Hamburg to London to New York: Whither Bono? What legitimacy can an awareness effort of this magnitude have without the presence of his Oneness? And nevermind U2, whither Coldplay? If your event can't draw the kings, or even the wannabe heirs to the throne, what does that say about the scale you're trying to work on?

Not a hell of a lot. So in the end, what we had was a mediocre concert [really? four songs for each performer?] with an extremely low signal-to-noise ratio.

Although the Foo Fighters were awesome.

ADDITION: Gentlemen, we need to have a quick word on Crocs. You know them, the foamy shoes that have been the ish to have since last summer? We call them garden clogs at Canadian Tire, and have sold them there for years. Yeah, you know. Anyway, we need to have a brief word concerning the type of man who can wear Crocs.

The word is 'zero'. No man can wear Crocs. You look like a fool. Stop it.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The State of the World

Party on, eight-year-olds
Despite ongoing controversy and heated discussions in city hall, it looks like the owners of The Junction over on University West are going ahead with their plans to hold dances for young'uns 13-19 on Fridays nights til midnight and eight-13 on Sunday evenings til 9.00 p.m.

Clearly there are concerns about noise, trash and proper zoning. Indeed, the owners are going ahead without a proper license.

As always in matters like this, I defer to the talented Mr. Schnurr for the political criticism. I'm content to ramble on a bit.

Many moons ago I used to help out and DJ at teen dances run by the local Optimists, because my friends were already there anyway and I didn't want to sit around the house on a Friday. They were help at the local Knights of Columbus Hall and surrounded by residential homes on all sides. And I don't know that I ever heard of one noise complaint, and there were rarely any security issues, but the ones that did occur were easily handled. Still, I see a couple of odd things in the Junction's plans.

#1. You may as well take 19 off the welcomed ages. If you think any 19-year-old is going to go hang with the high schoolers when they can go drink, your out of your mind.

#2. The Sunday events for the preteens. I might let my my 16-year-old go hang out in some skeevy looking buildin on the West Side [might be gorgeous inside, I'm just saying, I went past on the bus lots of times, and it looked skeev], but I am never letting fourth grader hang out there on a Sunday night. It ain't happening.

Still, I applaud what the owners are trying to do, and if they keep their security tight, and appeal to as many teens as they can with things like band nights, they might pull it out. Not that council won't make give them multiple pains in the ass before then.

Speaking of council, where was Eddie's youth committee on this one? The one that was formed last summer to find the kids something to do so they're not clogging the halls at Devonshire all hours of the day? Where were they?

In money news...
I don't have any [ba-dum psssh!] Seriously, though. As with every story documenting the skyrocketing loonie [95.35 cents US as of today], my ass is heading to eBay.

Gonna get me an Erick Scarecrow Liberty if it takes me all year.

Sometimes I get conflicted
So a woman in Nebraska has been charged with negligent child abuse after she allowed her 10-year-old son to stomp on a US flag. Well clearly that is wrong, and her right to free speech should be defended.

The protest occurred at a US soldier's funeral. Apparently mom goes around protesting at soldier's funerals arguing that the soldier's deaths are God's punishment for America accepting homosexuals. And suddenly, I'm not so sure I care about her rights anymore.

Advice: when your fake credit cards get confiscated by a cashier, don't file a complaint with police.

Headline of the week.

The UK Sun reports story on teenager having sex with cow. Notable for the blatant lack of decorum with which the reporter decides to file the story.

Knoxville man has the worst week ever.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Begrudginly yours

I had no intention of giving you anything tonight, Windsor. I'm too into the book I'm currently reading and was going to watch tonight's episode of the Simpsons before polishing it off.

But then the woman decided to commandeer the TV to watch a Grey's Anatomy rerun and well, here we are.


Windsor Police have confirmed the body recovered in the Detroit River yesterday was in fact missing school principal Louie Urso. While details of the autopsy and toxicology report are being withheld, police say there is no evidence of foul play in Urso's death. Thoughts and prayers to his friends, family and students.

While it's awesome enough to find out Common's new album drops at the end of the month, and more awesome to hear that the first two released tracks are pretty dope, what's amazingly awesome is that I can purchase Common's hats, direct from the manufacturer, for the low price of about $150 US. Someone hook a player up. This could be the remedy for those previously mentioned wardrobe concerns.

This will be boring and passe by next week, but for now enjoy the cash-removing exploits of the Stupid iPhone Lady.

Another article on why your generation thinks it deserves the world, this time from the Wall Street Journal. Turns out it's Mr. Rogers' fault.

Nineteen-year-old from Malawi creates a windmill from spare parts to power his house. Why didn't Bono get this kid for the Vanity Fair issue?

P.O.'d that they can't jack up prices for their content, Universal opts not to renew its contract with the iTunes music store. Because the music industry can really afford to further alienate music lovers. Related: why did it take the Village Voice this long to get on my bookmarks?

And lastly, in case you were wondering how things were going in Florida [as we haven't checked in there for awhile], it's still crazy as hell.

Late Night Dumb

As the Bay/Spielberg summer behemoth prepares to decimate the box office, we should all take a moment to remember the less fortunate, forgotten victims of the Hollywood machine.

Poor, poor Soundwave.

Goodnight, Windsor.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The State of the World: Waiting on Dinner

Yours in 15 minutes or the next post is free. Actually, they're all free.

Body pulled from Detroit River
Sad news as Windsor Police and the OPP's dive unit have pulled a body from the Detroit River. While no positive ID has been made yet, speculation is running rampant it's the body of missing elementary school principal Louie Urso.

Details will be released as they come, following an autopsy of the body tomorrow.

Now with 20% less irritants!
For the last month or so I've been getting pestered by some sort of courtesy call, from who I don't know, but that's how it was described to The Lady, who ended up speaking with them. She informed them I was at work, but they could call back in the evening.

Clearly, they call at the same time everyday, which is fine, since we're never here in the mornings. But we may not have to worry about 20 per cent less of that sort of thing much longer.

The CRTC released its guidelines this week for a nationwide 'do-not-call list' and is looking for an independent operator for such a registry. Which is great, but won't apply to political parties, newspapers, charities and companies who already have a relationship with you [the people who bug you the most, natch].

The CRTC is also implementing rules on when telemarketers can call you, and how soon they have to tell you the nature of the call.

A lesson in integrity
Al Gore's son got nicked today for marijuana possession and for speeding on the San Diego Freeway. But at least he was driving a hybrid.

Mark my words: there will be riots.

I have no idea if this pink dolphin is legit, but it certainly looks cool.

A novel remedy for rising tution costs.

How did that saying go? 'Dog bites man' is not news but....damn, what was it?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Too Cheap for a Router

Two hardworking people, one internet connection. The battle continues.

Hope everyone's Canada Day was festive. I spent mine drinking pitchers of sangria with the Fabulous Ictus Band out in Fergus, where two of the members now reside. We have a show next month in Windsor that I will regularly plug as the performance date nears, so most of the day was spent in some dude's rented garage in Puslinch as we determined and ran through the setlist while getting contact buzzed from the copious amount of weed smoke the host's drunken party guests were blowing through the bat-filled practice space. Which is funny, because that's probably what is more properly considered 'rock and roll,' which is something the Ictusband, as four individuals who have never toked the demon weed in their long years on the planet, probably aren't.

Finally, we are the outsiders we always wanted to be.

Anyhoo, I need to consult you on behalf of the band for a moment, Windsor. You see, when this project first started, we suffered from an image problem. That is, our female singer always looked awesome and sophisticated, while three lads looked like a bunch of chumps. Somewhere around 2003 we decided this would no longer do, so we started wearing suits when we played. I don't remember who ultimately suggested it, but I remember endorsing it because I always liked how jazz players looked, dressed to the nines, and I thought it would be cool for a loud metallic band to take the same approach for every show.

The problem we now have is that everyone stole our gimmick. It used to be us and Interpol, now it's My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte and every other two bit emo-punk on the block. So when we play our hometown again after a yearlong absence next month, at The Chubby Pickle where we're veritable unknowns, we look like we're imitating everyone else when we've actually been sweating our asses off in these outfits for years [seriously, yo. It's hot].

So what say you, Windsor? Is there a way for us to maintain our sophistication while breaking away from the 'black-on-black-with-black' uniform that everyone and their brothers' band is rocking?

In anticipation of the upcoming Simpsons movie, about a dozen 7-11's have been converted into Kwik-E-Marts. The closest one's in Chicago, so hit the road, grab a Squishee and bring me back some Kruty-O's.

Africa's growing intellectual class would prefer Bono give it a rest with the whole fincancial aid thing.

Paris Hilton does more time on her parole violation than Scooter Libby will for fibbing in that whole 'leaked CIA agent identity' fiasco, because Bush commuted his sentence [but not pardoning him]. The Huffington Post is not pleased. The NYTimes says it's the act of a man who's come to terms with his own unpopularity, and may as well do what he feels like.

Postman scores best movie collection ever by thieving thousands of DVDs from Netflix.