Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top news stories of 2010

Mainstream news for 2010 in no order:

The Chilean Miners. We all let this story slip away for a while after we first heard about the thirty-three men trapped almost 3 MILES below the surface. Then when they began drilling down, made contact and we learned they were all alive, we paid rapt attention. But still weren't hopeful a rescue could happen and waited with our hearts in our mouths.
Yet the important part of this story was that the Chileans, planned, executed and solved the problems themselves by using Chilean Navy engineers to design and build an ingenious 'inner space capsule' with only inches of clearance. They proudly proved their own talented people could implement the fantastic netherworld rescue effort without a single loss of life .... while we all watched LIVE on CNN from a Chilean TV news feed.
The world sigh of relief when the last man emerged moved the Earth a millimeter off it's axis and we all loved the Chileans. It was a totally shared story.
PS; This event revealed, that other countries in the world are competent and do not need the USA to always come and save them.

The Gulf Oil Blowout.  This tragedy unfolded as we watched helplessly. Polluting the undersea with billowing clouds of crude oil before it was stopped. (if it actually was) It also signaled the fact that even the President of the United States is no longer in charge over corporations. When we expected Obama to take charge with some furious and positive action by bringing in the Navy or taking over the assets of British Petroleum, he stood meekly by while they were allowed to make one excuse after another to explain why they were not prepared in the first place. Whatever fines or results happen now to BP will be paid by the people of America in higher gasoline prices. And they'll only be filling BP's cash tank. Oil companies now rule the world. The environmental issue is yet to be fully assessed.
PS; The EXXON corporation still has not paid the fines after their Alaska Valdez oil spill disaster in 1989.

WikiLeaks.org.  The web whistleblower organization released thousands of diplomatic cables relating mostly to embarrassing things American diplomats might have said about their contemporaries.  Otherwise the revelations about the Iraq war were nothing that we didn't already suspect or know about by having seen video posts by soldiers in the war areas to YouTube! Those videos dispute the ability of so called 'embedded' reporters to file the truth in a war situation.
The US struck back quickly in the web world info wars by making out that the leaked news was endangering soldier's lives. The fight for free speech goes on with the enigmatic Julian Assange arrested and the US trying to figure out how to shut down WikiLeaks without more info being aired.  But WikiLeaks, having foreseen this probability, had placed ironclad buffers in the way of predators who might be trying to control the world wide web, and has since been aided by more than 2000 mirror sites! Expect this fight to continue. Meanwhile the wars themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan have become secondary to the news about how they are being conducted. WikiLeaks continues to operate and the powers that be continue to shoot the messenger.
PS; The soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are now forbidden from having digital cameras and flash drives and have limited web access. 

Tiger Woods.   Just when the whole Golf TV industry had made the transition from 75 year old watchers to a younger demographic, Tiger goes and crashes into a tree, outside his house, and before the police can arrive, Elin, his wife, comes out and does a nine iron job on his head. In the frantic aftermath of this turmoil, it is revealed that Tiger, who never said a word that wasn't monitored and pre-approved by his handlers, is found out to have a girlfriend. And then another. And another. And as yet probably many more undiscovered waitresses and chambermaids. He takes off for some anti-stress leave aboard his billion dollar yacht. During which Elin leaves him with the other half of his fortune.
He returns to the tee and does poorly on the golf courses, and has lately embraced Buddhism to get him through the sunny fairway days and hopefully back to a winning mode. Why Buddhism? Maybe he likes the saffron robes?  Maybe they don't restrict his swing?
Perhaps his handlers have figured out that it WAS the barmaids and lusty laundry ladies who helped his game and will arrange for live-in kitchen help or an upstairs maid. The only ones on Tiger's side seem to be those macho pickup truck drivers who don't actually golf but do know roadside diner waitresses.
Does anyone see a reality show here?
PS; One wonders if the Augusta National Golf Club has any more black members than the janitor they hastily signed up when it was first revealed that while Tiger Woods could play there, they had no black membership?

North Korea.  The leader that everyone made fun of, Kim Jong Il, (you know, the one with big-silly-head syndrome) has handed down control of the country as his father did, to his son, Jong-un. Jong-un promptly shelled a South Korean island off his coast, to flex his pasty muscles, killing two people and almost sending the country into another Korean War, even a world war. The situation was tense.
South Korea replied with live fire maneuvers. The tension rose. The US sent the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, and is committed to helping South Korea and indeed, still has 28,000 American troops in that country! China has military support obligations to the North Koreans.
Then the tension suddenly dissipated as the US realized it had thousands of corporate business connections working in China and owed the Chinese so many trillions of dollars that a war would be disastrous. And China realized that they are now the only ones supporting the US economy and a war meant they wouldn't get their money. Ahh, much better.
Just both of you North-South children get along now.
So China goes on building into the new world leader and controller of America and the US goes on printing money to pay them for their toxic goods. Peace again.
PS; No news media mentions that the Chinese government is still the same old communist system and that the US government is that same old democracy they are trying to instill all around the world. Shhh.

Haiti Earthquake. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastates the capital, Port-au-Prince, and kills 230,000 people. A worldwide effort moves to help the desperate slum dwelling people. Countries, doctors, nurses, movie stars, rescue organizations, all try to stem the death toll. No one places any blame on the existing government for allowing the conditions to exist that made this tragic event's consequences possible.
The history of the corrupt rich dominating the poor in that country goes on. And traces way back to the rule of Papa Doc Duvalier, who ruled by his own militia, cults, voodoo and violence by the dreaded Tontons Macoutes, Haiti's secret police. In spite of the world wide effort the country is descending into confusion, disease and more corruption. French speaking countries continue to pour money into Haiti, in vain hopes that it will keep the language alive. But no one knows where it goes.
PS; This story was told in 1967 in a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton called The Comedians. Nothing has changed since.


Vancouver Winter Olympics.  Own the podium was a precarious slogan. In the past our athletes were lucky to even see a podium, but when Alex Bilodeau ran the icy hill in Whistler to his gold medal, we were thrilled. Then another and another, until we had an electric feeling that lasted the whole 17 days and totaled 26 medals! Our hearts were truly glowing and we thought the best was the haul; 5 bronze, 7 silver and best of all, 14 gold, more than any other country competing! We DID own the podium.
But there was the one thing that made it all perfect. Hockey. Canada is the force of  hockey in the world. It would have been all a bust without gold in hockey. And Roberto Luongo scared the hell out of us, letting in a tying goal in the last 21 seconds, sending the game into overtime!
They say the greatest athletes love being down. They love needing to come back from the brink, because they have imagined that scenario since they were children. That magic moment when they are the one who wins it all. And Syd the Kid said it himself, 'Every boy who played street hockey has been in the final game with it all on the line.'  Sydney Crosby made up his mind and wrote the ending himself.
Gold in Hockey in a Canadian Winter Olympics! Oh Canada!
PS; The streets of Vancouver were like a 60s hippie love-in. Us older folks had Expo 86 as their greatest party. Now a new generation got theirs in 2010. Will there ever be another moment of that pride?

News that should have been mainstream:

Truth Suppression. World wide investigative reporting continues to decline. Newspapers continue to be condensed into fewer owners. TV news stations report entertainment and 'stories'. Governments and corporations control and decide the news. Institutions, scientists, investigators speaking out the truth are insulted, chagrined, vilified, and molested.
And in the most extreme cases, murdered.
To date, in Iraq and Afghanistan, 139 independent reporters, those who are NOT embedded with a military group and must find their own way around, and dig out their own truths, have been killed. Often under mysterious circumstances. Even respected journalists from prestige news organizations like Reuters. That fact should be on the front page of every newspaper in North America. WikiLeaks should not have to be the one to 'reveal' it.
Truthful information that gets to the people is diminishing. The consequences of this shift are yet to be determined.


Already forgotten;

- the vuvuzela
- Berlusconi and Sarkozy's escapades
- H1N1 influenza pandemic
- a new arsenic based life form discovered in California
- Texas schoolbook maker rewriting American history
- Lady Gaga's meat
- Global warming
- George W. Bush

Wishing the best to all in 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Liberal wannabes circle the wagons

Solicitor General Rich Coleman is supporting Kevin Falcon for the leadership of the BC Liberal party.  If they were having a hamburger together, would a conversation go like this?
Rich -  "We circle the wagons, the public is starting to ask questions about our participation in the BC Rail scam! We can't let any more of this get out, Kevin."
Kevin - "Yeah, Gordo was pretty smart, after all those years of the BC Rail trial, stopping it before Gary Collins could testify."
Rich - "Well it was a trust issue, we didn't know if we could count on Gary to lie ...."
Kevin - "Hey, he's a Lieberal isn't he? That's a joke."
Rich - ".... Didn't wanna bet on Collins or Clark, even if I am in charge of gambling, oops er, gaming."
Kevin - "Ok Rich. You going to eat that second burger?"
Rich - "Yeah I am."
Kevin - "What about Kristy?"
Rich - "Oh hell, Kristy is trying to bury the scandal too, she is involved for chrissakes! So no problem there."
Kevin - "Yeah? You think?"
Rich - "Look, in the debate, you gotta scare her off, say something like, 'my Basi is not Virking today' that oughta do it."
Kevin - "And George Abbott?"
Rich - "Kevin, he's a joke, the only thing he is lacking is Costello. We'll we save him for the apology afterward, he is so good at it, having done it for the past few years! I heard his neighbor ran over his foot with a power mower and George just said he was sorry! Har har har."
Kevin - "Rich, I'm glad you chose to support me over Kash Heed."
Rich - "Well the Rich-Kash team sounded just too, uh, too Gordon Campbellish, you know, smacks of money and secret bank accounts."
Kevin - "You gonna finish all those chips?"
Rich - "Yeah I am."
Kevin - "Good thing we've got Vaughn Palmer and Keith Baldrey on side, they are deflecting a lot of this for us."
Rich - "That's great. And Bill Good is great too, you can count on him to ask innocuous questions."
Kevin - "Even then you don't have to answer."
Rich - "Stay away from that Bill Thielemen though. NDP spokesman. Hey waitress! Can I get another burger over here?"
Kevin - "Fast ferries fast ferries! ha ha!"
Rich - "How much longer can we milk that one? But it keeps the people off the 430 million dollar German ferry stuff. And it's a good chant when they start asking about the salaries of BC Ferries execs."
Kevin - "I even chanted it when they asked about BC Rail exec salaries!"
Rich - "But we still got a BC Rail, that's the point."
Kevin - "Wait'll they find out BC Hydro's only gonna be a tropical fish tank somewhere."
Rich - "Har har."
Kevin - "Hey Rich, what about that new guy who's writing shit about us? That Alex G. Tsakumis guy with the blog?"
Rich - "Shh! Keep that one quiet, he is doing the investigative reporter's job, exposing stuff. People might Google him at http://alexgtsakumis.com/ and find out more true crap."
Kevin - "Yeah. Ok. Hey Rich, does my hair look cool? I mussed it some more. Going for the young vote."
Rich - "Not too much more though, you're beginning to look like Emo Phillips. Kevin, can I ask you something? You really didn't know the Skytrain up Cambie was going underground?"
Kevin - "Here comes your burger."

The only question remaining is whether Kevin will start calling Rich Coleman, Unca Richie.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hard to be apolitical

I'm trying to stay away from political stuff. It's just too depressing. Too infuriating.
Every time you turn around there is another instance or event that irritates you because it pushes against your sense of reason. You wonder what really is the modern definition of integrity nowadays?
But the daily revelations of how stupid our whole political system has become drives one to the keyboard, if only to make a small protest. A mewl in the night. Ineffective and probably unheard amid the din of spin but still out there somewhere.
Not very satisfying.

The latest is the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for BC, Paul Fraser's ruling on a question regarding Gordon Campbell. Gordon, our shamed premier. attended a Bilderberg meeting in Spain. He spent 8700. dollars of taxpayer money getting there.

If you don't know already, Bilderberg meetings are totally secret. No one actually knows what they discuss, promise or make covert deals about.
But the attendees have been suspect for a long time now, illustrious or infamous people have gone. The list can be read as a glitterari of famous and powerful people in the world, or a who's-who of suspected criminals against humanity. No one is sure what is on the yearly agenda and everyone seems to be sworn to secrecy.

As always, those who are shut out, begin their own speculations of what goes on behind the locked doors. That is a natural occurance of being outside peering in.
First and foremost is that they are plotting the New World Order. Which some construe as the emerging secret plan to rid the world of over 5 billion people. It is believed, by tongue slippage, that someone has determined that the optimum population of Earth should be about 500 million.
Of course this could be a noble goal. We need to sustain our planet. We're not far enough advanced yet to have another place to go. But because we are still not sure what these people are planning. Or plotting. So we guess.

Which brings me back to Paul Fraser. He has determined that Gordon Campbell has got intellectual stimulation from his Bilderberg meeting, and that will benefit us all. And so the $8700. of your money is well spent and he won't inquire into it any more. Of course Mr Fraser has no idea what kind of stimulation Mr Campbell could have gotten in Spain. So he, like the rest of us, assumes it is all good.
Nice to be optimistic like that. Look for the good in everyone. Sure.
I suppose the problem is with me. You can look at this like a Salvation Army meeting, where they are figuring out how to serve the poor. Or, you can look as if it is a meeting of the Jesse James gang, plotting to rob more banks.
Pessimism is not good.

But hey, it is Gordon Campbell we are talking about.
For the win.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Here's a lil conspiracy theory for you

Ever wonder why the Canucks have so many Friday or Sunday games?
Ever wonder why they hardly ever play on Saturdays on CBC Hockey Night in Canada? And even when they do, in between periods Don and Ron just continue commenting on how the Leafs or Canadiens played in the earlier games?
Ever wonder about who makes up the CBC telecast schedule?
Ever wonder if the Eastern Powers ever even think about the 'Colonies' out West?
Ever notice any of this?
Hmm.
Just sayin'.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

More political speculations

The Liberals are winding through the gears up to speed.
Each potential aspiring candidate for the party leadership trying to figure out how to take himself/herself apart from anything previously bad in the history of BC politics. Hard to do.
An outsider might be the answer.
So Diane Watts seems to be the front runner. Being romanced by the Liberals right now. (With Gordon's approval of course, he's still going to CONTROL it all) If Diane loses her good (so far) senses and decides to take the job leading these scandalous criminals to more glory, then it will sadly change her fortunes and respect. If you put a good person in charge of a bunch of bad persons, they just don't suddenly get good. But it seems to be hers for the taking. A shoe in.
Speaking of shoes, Gucci shoes in particular. Don't count out Carole Taylor just because she took a job elsewhere. There is nothing to say any institution wouldn't gladly give up her contract to have her as an ally and Premier of this province. They would of course get huge benefit out of that too.
Kevin Falcon? Sorry for laughing, but he is the one who berated the Cambie merchants for complaining about losing their businesses over the Skytrain ditch. He actually said on TV that what are they bitching about, the Skytrain will be running right past their doors! Of course no one told poor IQ challenged Kevin that the train would stop at Broadway, then go UNDERGROUND to King Edward, therefore going past virtually ALL those merchants doors 30 feet UNDER them! LOL
Rich Coleman. Sorry again for laughing. He's the biggest lapdog Gordon ever had. A yes-man par excellence! Ready to go cheek to jowl with whomever has the 'investment' bucks. There is a status quo man if ever I saw one.
Kash Heed! Sorry for crying! Here is a guy who resigned from the West Van Police force under investigation, and has had several investigations since then! And he aspires to be leader of these Liberals. Some think he's a ready made criminal. On second thought, doesn't that make HIM the front runner? LOL
John van Dongen. Correct me if I am wrong, but did you ever see him on TV doing anything but apologizing for something? BZZZ ... Out.
Colin Hansen. Did you ever see anything but perpetual embarrassment on his face. And rightly so. CLANG ... Out.
Well, I could go on and on with the existing party people.
But Gary Collins is still out there. All squeaky clean and quiet. Remember he resigned amid the notorious Legislature Raid! And as FINANCE Minister too. He would have been expected to KNOW where the money was going. He could emerge into the arena again with a shiny new sword, ready to slay any fast ferries plowing towards Victoria. Except there may be a chink in his new armor already. Too many people are wondering what he would have said under oath? Does he know the truth and was about to tell? Would that tuth have crucified the whole party on one cross? Or one man on several crosses?
Alas we don't know. And you can bet any future Liberal government is going to continue burying these scandals 12 feet under the Cambie Skytrain.
.
Yet there is one more thing we need to consider - - - and that is, when Gordon Campbell's rating was the lowest in the history of any Premier anywhere, ever, only 9 % - - - the Liberal party endorsed Gordon Campbell by 84 %!
Telling us all that whatever their esteemed leader had done, no matter how bad he appeared, they backed him totally. Yes totally, I suspect that 16% of them were away at the time of the vote.
These are Liberals you know.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's going on?

Wondering what is happening with our two political parties in BC right now?
Here is your answer :
NDP - Although well ahead in the current polls, it is doubtful if Carole James will lead them into the next election, however the heir apparent, Gregor Robertson seems to be shooting himself in the foot. Leaving the possibility of Mike Farnsworth as potential boss. But of course the NDP will never acknowledge this change so far ahead of an election. And it was the famous British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who said, the polls only count the night before an election.
The same goes for the Liberals, presently in shambles over the distrust of Gordon Campbell to do anything but lie. But they know the game as well, and are willing to play it close to the vest, or should I say close to the sleeve where their extra aces are kept.
I know Carole Taylor SAYS she has no interest, but the Liberals need to hide her away out of the public eye until the day. So she cannot be asked about every political decision and make any faux pas. Her new contract with SFU as Chancellor is for three years. Coincidentally an election will take place at about the same time as her contract is up. And then she can announce that, 'Due to so many pressures from people who care so much about British Columbia, I have been induced to run in order to save the province from the unwashed hordes.' (have you heard it before?) Then she will probably shout, FAST FERRIES, 30 times and go buy herself new Gucci shoes.
The NDP will be hard pressed to keep any momentum they have now, going for such a long time as most of the local media is in support of the Liberals by their tacit silence and absence of pursuing answers to the ongoing corruption scandals of that party.
The only real question is whether Dianne Watts is smart enough to avoid all this and go to another party altogether? In most Liberal minds, she is the savior with the shining halo. But stepping into a party with a history of corruption and the Liberals who will still be there and unwilling to stand up for BC now, could be death to Dianne's promise for the future.
I wonder who the Marijuana party is hiding? Perhaps Marc Emery's jail time is a ploy to hide him away too? With a California pot referendum coming up .... hmm, it could all be legal by election time. And Jody Emery being eminently presentable. They make a nice couple in charge of BC, right? And they have nothing to lie about. Couldn't be any worse than it is now.
Well, who knows?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today in History . . . October 17

Beer flowed through the streets of London on this day in 1814. But it wasn't a good thing.
In the 19th century, beer fermented for months at a time in huge vats that rested on the roof of the Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. Iron hoops which supported the largest vat, holding some 600,000 liters (160,000 gallons) of beer collapsed under the weight. The vat burst and all the beer came gushing out, causing the vats nearby to explode as well.
More than a million liters (265,000 gallons) of porter beer knocked down the 25-foot brick wall of the brewery and flooded the surrounding streets. Roofs collapsed and houses toppled. Nine people died, mostly due to drowning or from fatal injuries from passing timber.
One man died of alcohol poisoning, after drinking too much of the beverage! Neighborhood residents rushed out with mugs, pots and buckets to collect the free beer.
A lawsuit was brought against the brewery, but the London Beer Flood was ruled an Act of God and the brewery was not held legally responsible. Though it still isn't clear why God might have been angry about beer.
Yup, there can be 'too much of a good thing'.
Blimy, save a pint for me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

the new BC First party

So apparently there is a new political party in British Columbia just forming. Bad news for the BC Liberals as they believe it would siphon votes away from them. Which is the reason liberal hacks Keith Baldrey and Vaughn Palmer have already gone into high gear and started ridiculing the BC First Party.
On the Bill Good show recently, the quiescent Good allowed them to go after the BC First Party, even though the party is barely out of the crib. Good's way of subtle and tacit support of Gordon Campbell. (he thinks we don't notice) The duo proceded to go back 20 years to quote bad stuff about anyone they thought might threaten the reign of their leader. And of course they always scoff and chuckle at any efforts of Bill Vander Zalm as being a joke, in spite of his perpetual popularity.
Evidently Chris Delaney of HST referendum organizational fame is now associated with BC First. The Baldmer pair got him too, for being associated with too many teams over the years. But the Zalm, with his sunshine smile gets the media attention. Simple to some but ominous clouds on Gordon Campbell's horizon.

So what does the BC First Party have in mind? What SHOULD they have in mind? How does it get a start? And is it a backlash groundswell in spite of media denigration?
Usually in provincial elections, the clever back-room-Liberal-boys set the agenda, and the NDP falls right into their trap every time, ending up defending their own actions of years ago while none of the real issues that face British Columbians get consideration or even media time.
I have always said I would vote for the first party that states they will work on behalf of British Columbians first.

So what are MY issues?
The Enbridge pipeline for starters. Have you looked at the route? Across BC to Kitimat. This is a non starter if you get a map out. Look at the location and the narrow channels and many islands from the sea to the city. Check out Kitimat and ask yourself if you really want huge oil tankers navigating through a vulnerable BC wilderness? Exxon still has not paid their debt in Alaska. It is not if a tanker goes astray and spills, but when!
The party I vote for will have to address this concern. And what benefit British Columbians will really get from this export of Alberta oil to China?


Fish Farms. Does anyone still believe there is a benefit for British Columbians from these foreign owned (mostly from Norway) farms producing Atlantic salmon? Nobody in BC will eat the tasteless, pesticide laden, coloured with pigment, injected with hormones product. Even back in Norway these companies can't farm at sea, they must do it inland! So why don't WE have the same criteria to protect our fabulous wild salmon? Do you believe the Norwegians care about our fish? These are the folks still 'harvesting' whales! And the argument about threatening our own salmon and the lice problem is well documented if you care. And the Americans have just approved Frankensalmon, (Google it) it's only a matter of time until those Genetic Modifications appear in our waters! The only thing I want with the letters GM is a car!
My vote goes to the party that says these guys are outa here! Norway is close enough already.

Private Run-of-the-River power projects. Mr Campbell once told us he would not sell BC Hydro. However he is effectively by-passing it. No one answers the question of how this private power gets distributed and to who and at what real cost? It was been said that they will sell their power to BC Hydro. But at world rates? Why? And it has also been said that there is a time limit on the contracts, after which these foreign owned power producers can sell their power to California, for instance, no matter how badly WE might need it! Independent means just that. No one will clarify these contracts. Guys like Baldrey and Palmer dance around the issue. Gordon Campbell won't even talk about it. And it IS an issue when someone comes into OUR home and uses OUR resources for their private gain!
Sort of like someone coming into YOUR kitchen to bake bread for sale to others but YOU don't even get a loaf!
I'll vote for the party that says there will be restrictions on contracts to sell private power. It is still a licence to print money for them, but we need to control it closely.

In the case of BC Hydro, we have always had trusted and talented British Columbians running this resource. Until Gordon Campbell. And they ran it well, developing it into the jewel of BC. Would you be content to lose it? I think not. We lost our very own railroad because it didn't produce scads of money? Is money what we are all about now? The present government sold something that didn't belong to them.

And there are smaller issues with me. The government is always complaining about money. Yet it seems to me that in the case of trying to sell off our liquor control branch, and encouraging private liquor stores, we lost a huge volume of cash income for the province.
When we as the government sold ALL the liquor, we realized the benefit of the profit on EVERY bottle of liquor sold going into the coffers of BC. Now with the proliferation of private liquor stores, that profit goes into private pockets. A net loss for ourselves. And a smaller income for whatever projects we need to do. Seems counterproductive to me, even backward.

The powers that be keep telling us that these private corporations will go away if we don't give them what they want. Okay, but someone else will come next. We know it but the Campbell mentality seems to think not.
We need a new party that treasures our province. And negotiates from strength, not weakness. A party that promises it will build ships here for OUR people to benefit, not elsewhere for corporations and their shareholders! A party that promises to put BC first over private or secret considerations.
YOU are the shareholder here. YOU own the resources of this province. They should be in the public trust as assets for the future of OUR people, not foreigners. And guarded carefully and zealously. We are being raped and pillaged by private interests from outside of our borders. It is time to stop the invaders and send them packing. Contracts for British Columbia projects need to go to British Columbians first!
This is OUR home. Protect it. My vote will always go to the benefit of BC first! That is MY agenda, and the back room boys cannot distract me from it!

Search this blog for Big Head Syndrome.

Monday, October 04, 2010

New sex survey

The Journal of Sexual Medicine has just published a 130 page report on the orgasm habits of people aged 14 to 94! They found that there was an 'orgasm gap' in their study. Sheeez, isn't the gap from 14 to 94 enough?
But the new study suggests that it was a male-female gap in perceptions of orgasm, with 85 per cent of the men saying their latest sexual partner had an orgasm, compared with 64 per cent of women saying they did have one.

And what exactly did you expect from asking males? The truth? We're talking about men talking about their sexual prowess! Don't expect veracity.
I believe the study is 'in press' so we can't quite see it all just yet. But did we need a study to find out that 85 percent of men said their partner had an orgasm?
Men will always have won the fight when their opponent has gone home. Maybe ask them how many hookers gave them their money back too. The difference of 21% may be the lie-ability index. Men will say she had one no matter what. She either faked them out or they just don`t give a damn. I suspect the latter.

So the faux orgasm is alive and well and maybe even being improved upon.
Faking gained huge momentum since Meg Ryan's infamous restaurant scene. And she hadn't even got her burger yet!
Speaking of inducements. Any research between food and orgasms? Obviously a hamburger only gets you the Fake ala Meg. But would a steak get you the real one? What about a steak with chocolate on it?
And is there a correlation between orgasms and jewelry? I heard that women can have orgasms right there in the diamond store if the carat weight is right!

So when is the next study? I want to apply for a job there. That orgasm gap is the intriguing thing. One would expect a gap of about fourteen minutes for the 14 year old, but it probably disintegrates exponentially as you age. At ninety-four, you may be mostly watching and waiting, 94 DAYS is more like it.
And at that age, if you happen to get good wood, it is usually at 3:30 am and you dare not wake her up because she might be dreaming about bald headed mice in her bed! And that snore is designed to scare them off. The black wrath of the Bella Lugosi Dracula-Wolf is way too fearsome.
Well, all you can do is get up, go leave a pee, snuggle back in to your own dry dreams and hope the sun rises soon.

The researchers said they were struck by the variety of ways in which the subjects engaged in sex — 41 different combinations of sexual acts were tallied, encompassing vaginal and anal intercourse, oral sex, and partnered masturbation. No Kama Sutra here. What about the triple toe loop?
One of the professors who commented on the study said, "This is normal, everything in there is normal." I'm not so sure about number 37.

And can you please give us a list of the sex acts preferred by men and women? And do some research on those black spike heels the women always wear in bed. Is that so they can run from the cops? Or are the shoes the payment? And why do those lesbian girls always end up giving head to men? Or is that just in the movies I watch? Hmm. Although many men profess to be lesbians too, does that make them bisexual?

The survey people say they are encouraged because the teens are using condoms more often, but worried because the older folks are not. Well good. But those old folks, especially the ninety-four year olds, have trouble feeling if their LEGS are still there. They`re not about to cover up anything!
As for me, I am practicing safe sex to the extreme, I wear my rubber gloves to masturbate.

We can always do with another sex survey, meanwhile I`m renting `When Harry Met Sally` again to watch Meg for clues. The dictionary says fake is `A brief feint or aborted change of direction intended to mislead one's opponent`.
Opponent, huh?
Bring on that Dracula Babe. I'm no 21 percenter.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Will Dianne Watts lead the Conservatives?

She certainly could. And many believe she would become the next premier of British Columbia if she did.
We all know the Liberals are courting her, desperate to drop Gordon Campbell in their shame and try and emerge as new and clean. Ready to pretend Gordon never existed.
However, Dianne is way too smart for that. She knows she would inherit a Liberal party where corruption is a set mentality and prevarication is normality. There would be no caucus member who didn't seem tainted by Gordon Campbell's scandalous behavior.
See how she looks after her image; She knows how to dress, always looking well groomed with careful taste. She is able to deal with heads of state or corporate CEOs equally with competent intelligence. As Mayor of Surrey she has brought it back into the realm of a respectful, growing and vibrant community. She thinks anything can be accomplished and indeed is able to implement the tools for what needs to be done. She is smart, perhaps outspoken yet mostly seems fair and honest about what she is thinking. She would come to the office of Premier with an untainted personality along with a new, or at least newly relevant party.
She COULD lead a refurbished Conservative party into the next election and no doubt she would get huge support from Stephen Harper's federals.
OR, she could opt to lead the newest BC FIRST party into this 21st century without ANY previous history of corruption or wrong doing. That would be something Dianne could shape any way she wanted. And the very name BC First has a nice, provincially patriotic ring to it. With NO mysterious or covert connections to other parties in the same way the old Social Credit party did.
I would love to see an interview where she states what SHE thinks should be the future direction of our province.
We are at a crucial cross-roads here, and what happens next will decide if we lose our great province and our sovereignty forever or regain it to become leaders in the new world. We HAVE what the world needs, and we have the talent right here at home to exploit it, now we need to choose between selling or giving it away or controlling our own destiny.
After living with Gordon Campbell's Liberals the BC First option seems particularly attractive.
Think carefully Dianne, an opportunity in our history is at hand.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

New study on drinking alcohol

There's a new study showing that people who drink alcohol live longer than those who don't. It actually concluded that even heavy drinkers are better off than abstainers.
The study was in the journal - Alcoholism; Clinical and Experimental Research and suggested abstaining from alcohol tends to increase one's risk of dying and that people who drink to excess actually live longer!
They're not sure why these drinkers are less likely to die than those who have never had a drink but one reason (they say) could be that alcohol tends to act as a social lubricant, and social interaction is vital for mental and physical health.
Okaaay.
I used to drink infrequently, (not counting my adventurous and stumbling youth) but that has gradually changed to my present drinking behavior:
Happy hour every day.
Used to start about 4:30 pm but is now pulled back to about 2:30 pm, where we have several afternoon delight cocktails and end up sleeping through the 6 o'clock news.
Of course, missing the news is the healthful part. That MUST be good for you.
So if this is all good, why shouldn't happy hour start in the mornings?
I wake up these days full of aches and pains. So social lubrication is good even if I just talk to the radio or a book.
I could start with a Stella Artois beer about 9 am. My personal social lubricant and climb-out-of-bed drink. At noon switch to Bombay gin and Schwepp's with a slice of lemon and interact with Kipling and Indjuh, his characters are real and socially interactive to me, especially Baloo the carefree bear. Lubricating my mind you see.
By 4 pm I go to Stolichnaya vodka with orange juice while reading Dostoevsky and thinking of chopping wood in the gulags. That is mental exercise too, right? Improvement of the mind, battling dementia and social lubrication too.
Seven, a civilized hour for supper .... perhaps a small pasta dish and a glass or two of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Ciao, socialle lubricato with Marcello and Sophia. Now that is socially interactive lubrication. The Via Veneto after dark.

And if there happens to be a twitch later, around 10, maybe a dram of macadamia nut liqueur, the Kahana Royale, sooo smooth. So lush, so Hawaiian kahunaish. So Kamehameha. If Hawaiians aren't socially lubricative I don't know who are.
I am beginning to love looking after my health. So socially acceptable. And looking forward to a long liquescent life.

I'm going to drink more if my retirement plan will cover it. Wake me at 11 for a nightcap.

Psst! Shomeone needsh to rinshe out the glasshes for morning.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Today in History ... August 21

Hawaii became the 50th State in 1959. And some would like to go back to the old Hawaiian way.
In May of that year we flew to Hawaii from Vancouver on a propeller plane. It took 12 hours to get to Honolulu and we arrived in the night about 10 pm and were greeted as they did then, by a beautiful Hawaiian with a kiss and a fragrant frangipani lei! The warm breeze was memorable. It was truly a land of swaying palms and friendly people.
Our hotel was the Hawaiian Village, all new and shiny and pink, as was everything owned by Henry Kaiser at the time. The Kaiser Hospital was pink, construction cranes working on Henry Kaiser projects were even pink.
We stayed in a thatched roof hut on the grounds as honeymooners.
Each breakfast plate had a small orchid nestled amid your bacon and eggs and at dinner in the open air restaurant, a concertina player strolled with soft melodies. On Sundays, Hawaii Calls was broadcast from the Moana Courtyard, the worlds longest running radio show, played to smiling suntanned visitors. Alfred Apaka sang in his mellifluous voice, and even held a pose for my haole girl while she snapped his picture.
There were only six hotels actually on Waikiki Beach then; The newest Hawaiian Village, the Ala Moana, the Reef, the Princess Kaiulani, The Royal Hawaiian, and the Outrigger I believe. In the evenings Hawaiian beach boys would soak pillow cases, inflate them in the air, and run along the edge of the water to dive onto the pillow for a fun ride into the gentle surf. No technology needed to enjoy the ocean waters.
We rented a jeep with a pink striped canopy and drove around Oahu, even sneaking into a pineapple field to steal a huge ripe one, which we mixed with gin in our pink ice bucket as an edible cocktail. Once out of Waikiki, Hawaii was quaint and serene with a feeling it might never change.
We were thrilled to see Tab Hunter in the lobby, and Sal Mineo at the outdoor bar by the pool. Jimmy the pool caretaker tried to teach Jane to dive instead of plummet.
We met two other May 30th honeymooners, Chuck and Eileen Deering from Boston, who took us to Schofield Barracks Officers` Club for dinner! And Martin Denny played his jungle sounds at the International Market place.
Hawaii was old Hawaii then, and in August of that year, a huge change was about to happen. King Kamehameha would no longer be the alii in charge of the Hawaiian spirit.
A semblance of that time still remains on the East coast of the Big Island today, north of Hilo if you explore side roads. You`ll be back in the innocent forties.
Yet we still have to say, Hawaii no ka oe. Hawaii is the best.
Aloha and muhalo.

Friday, August 06, 2010

No inquiry in the Picton case?

Wally Oppal and Phillip Owen were on the air this morning regarding the Picton case. Both of whom kept repeating the lines that Willie Picton was already in jail and so a public inquiry would be useless and a waste of money.
Both of whom were clearly not in favour of such an 'investigation' of the facts leading up to the conviction of Picton. Both of whom were in positions of power during the initial Picton investigation.
Hmm.
Nicely done guys, you have cleverly added to the subtle steering of the Vancouver media into leaving it all alone. Former Mayor Owen even said we should move on as nothing could be accomplished by an inquiry.
Oh, for the days of investigative reporters like Jack Webster. When the manipulations and machinations couldn't slip by him, no matter how slick or greasy was the messenger.
The Vancouver media seems to be quite happy with this result, although the families of the poor tragic women are not.
Could the real reason for the powers that be, to be so against a public inquiry be that perhaps OTHER information might be revealed?
Willie Picton is in jail, unlikely ever to be free again. We got our man. Everybody can relax now.
But .... there are niggling questions remaining, lingering in the ether like a Cheshire cat's grin: for instance - Did Willie, all by his repulsive self, go to the Downtown East Side, seduce those women into accompanying him to the pig farms, or the so called Piggys Palace all by himself? Did he put on his gumboots, get a tractor and go hunting?
Not likely is it?
So who HELPED Willie in this? Why wasn't the only woman who escaped from Willie able to testify? Deemed an incredible witness, she was ignored. Isn't that the job of a talented lawyer, to elicit the truth out of a liar?
There are so many unanswered questions here that ONLY a public inquiry could try to answer.
But if one carefully watches the responses of people who MIGHT have some esoteric knowledge, we MIGHT see a tremble of fear there, and we MIGHT suspect that something is tragically awry. There has been the suggestion that certain mayors, officials, policemen, police chiefs even, prominent businessmen, gang members and other known people attended the parties at the Piggys Palace. With drugs and prostitutes. These people would have much to account for if their names were revealed in a quest for the truth.
Better to leave well enough alone and let Willie take the rap for all of us.
Move on, no public inquiry is needed.
Vancouver media, go on to something else, no emerging Jack Websters here. Willie Picton did it all by himself. Right?
Well er, right?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Did you know?

That we have 14 Canadian corrections officers in Kandahar, Afghanistan working in the prison there? Their mission, as explained by the chief Correctional Operations guy on the radio who is in charge, is to create a 'sustainable corrections service' there. What? Isn't criminality itself self-sustainable?

Is this sort of typical of Canadian everything when it comes to criminals and prisons? Will the residue of this effort be to have an Afghanistan prison system like Canada where we let everyone go because of a bad childhood? Wouldn't that make this whole effort a waste of time? Does any Afghani have a good childhood?
The spokesman who was telling us about it used the term, 'investing' in the Afghani prison system. Doesn't investing imply a return on your investment? Hmm. Does that mean returning bad guys?

Do we know who is paying for this?
Did you know that these guys are teaching those criminal Afghanis carpet weaving? lol, it's true, he actually said that. So these hardened criminals, who consider carpet weaving a women's or children's occupation will exit the prison and take up a new career? Sure they will.

Do you suspect we have naive people working overseas?
Now you know.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ringo at 70

Beatle Ringo Starr recently celebrated being 70 years-old, and wants only a little peace and love for the world.
Starting in 2008, Starr began asking his fans to say "Peace and Love" at noon on July 7, wherever they were.
This year, the drummer was at New York’s Times Square to continue spreading his message. "We’re just trying to keep the promotion going from the ’60s," said Starr, "There’s a little more peace and love than there was, I think, 40 years ago, and certainly it’s a lot more more peace and love than 70 years ago, when it was crazy," he said.
At 70, Starr is still full of energy, and many people celebrated with him this year ....



We think the world is a better place with Ringo in it, and hope he sticks around for another 70 years, some may even be counting on him.
Peace and Love

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mel bleep Gibson

I wish I knew exactly what he did. I think he said bleep. Not sure when bleep became a bad word. But it is sort of what is happening everywhere these days, someone is TELLING us something is bad, but they won't leave the tape alone long enough for me to decide for myself what is actually being said.
Alas, that is the way of 'reporting' now, especially with so called celebrities. Just keep watching, we'll tell you what is bad or good. But then bad IS good isn't it. Ratings rating ratings.
I am now beginning to wonder what the Roadrunner was actually saying to Wylie Coyote all those years?
Bleep bleep.

Friday, July 02, 2010

HST wows, woos and woes

So we have it now, the dreaded HST. Here to stay and some say only a matter of time before it is increased. Dreaded by the people of course, but not by big business. Some even say that 4 BILLION dollars in taxes have been shifted from big business to the taxpayer. I say those 'some say' people are getting it right.

So what about all this? What can we look forward to as commoners?
Let's see .... I'll consult my list;

Laundry detergent remains the same, only it is (eek!) already 12 percent tax. But if you poor people have to go to Value Village to buy used clothing, you'll now pay lots more for someone else's cast-outs. Under $100. subject to HST, but .... OVER one hundred dollars - no HST! So that Gucci consignment dress in West Van (worn once to the Oscars) at three hundred is a steal without HST. Ah, perks for the nearly rich.
Fix your old shoes? Yep, 12% tax on that. Check the dumpsters for cardboard to put in them, they don't have that on their radar yet. Yet. Mind you, formal wear rentals won't be taxed upwards. You need to dress better.

Of course those evenings when you could go out for a burger are going up too. Restaurant meals are going HST upward so you'll probably stay home more. But you can't stay home and grow your own tomatoes, because food plants are getting taxed now too. You see, you get penalized for growing your own food, and you also get penalized for going out to eat it. I think that's what Carole (Gucci Shoes) Taylor would call 'revenue neutral'. House plants are not taxed, not sure which ones you could eat though. And household pets are okay, you could probably have a rat or two, but don't eat them or you're subject to HST. Speaking of food, basic dairy, meats and vegetables are not hit by the HST, everything else IS, and many are wondering how Safeway et al will differentiate or will they just add the 12% HST to your total bill?

If you want to be conscious of power saving, and buy Energy Star windows which didn't even have PST on them before, they now cost you the 12% HST. Same with insulation and weather stripping. You get taxed for power saving. You might try to stuff old newspapers (yes now HST 12% too) into the cracks in your walls. (The backfire here though, might be the demise of the provincial voices of Gordon Campbell's Liberal Party, the Vancouver Sun and Province.) and if you cut your finger stuffing those cracks, you'll pay 12 % tax for the first aid kit too.

So stay around your house, yes? Watch TV.
Wait, your basic cable is HST 12% taxable but you can get the Playboy add on specialty channels without tax! Smoke detectors are up for residential users, but big businesses don't pay for their smoke detectors, just you 'little' people. But then you are quitting smoking anyway, right? Yes, of course smokes are up too, another 12 %. If you don't choke to death on the smoke you'll choke to death on the cost!

Your computer repair hardware is not going up, but computer repair software is! Who has computer software repaired?
You might want to dump your taxed telephone land line and switch to cell phone only. Because, well, you know.
Maybe you better get out of that house? Nope, you'd have to pay 12% HST to move out of it. Household moving services, you see. And parking goes to HST taxes too. You think they'll probably include 12% for parking in your own driveway soon?

Of course you pay 12% more now if you fly home on a domestic flight or take a bus to Prince George to see your old Gram before she goes, but if you're flitting off on an international flight with your gin and Schwepps to that Bermuda summer home ... no pay!

Now you want to drink yourself to death? Forget it, you can't afford to die. 12% tax on funeral services. I think you can still smoke BC Bud, but don't get the munchies because snack food is up to 12% HST too!

Well, you see now, don't you? There is just no longer hope.
And if I scrutinize that list with a certain frame of mind, I think everything poor people need and do is now HST liable, but things that rich people might need or do seems to have evaded that tax. Works of art? Nope. Rugs? Nope. Same with patio furniture, tux rentals, tanning lotion, (for Hawaii of course) international air travel, hair blowers, watches, jewelry, long distance calls, marine electronics, (for your boat, of course) nail care, perfume, handbags (Gucci of course) golf clubs, etc etc ad nauseous throw up-all-over-my-wornout shoes and cry nauseous! Well there are a hell of a lot more poor people than rich people. How do you spell relief?
U-n-d-e-r-g-r-o-u-n-d e-c-o-n-o-m-y.

The best thing you could do in BC, is sneak out into the night, and start walking to Alberta. But you'll have to get fit along the way because a fitness trainer will cost you 12%.
And don't let them catch you breathing on the side of the roadway either, I hear there's a 12% breath tax coming.

I guess I'll go sit on the toilet for awhile .... oh wait ..... nooo, there can't be ....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ban the vuvuzela?

No way! These people are dancing, happy and having fun. Shouldn't we encourage that behavior? Even after the World Cup is finished and South Africa resumes its 50 murders a day norm?
Yes. it would be interesting to see how many murders happen during World Cup. Wait, even take it further, how many vuvuzela players even get murdered. Judge for yourself .....



Of course, telling them to please don't blow the vuvuzela is like telling a ten year old boy not to pull his sister's pigtails! And if you transferred all those vuvuzela players to North America OUR murder rate would probably go up!
But is there a choice? South African vuvuzela fans blowing or British rowdies smashing chairs over your head?
I'll get earplugs and take the vuvuzela.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Spinning girl?

Which way is the girl spinning? Clockwise or counter clockwise?
This is nothing but a two dimensional image, a comic book drawing is two dimensional, yet our minds are not programmed to view movement in such a way. So it becomes an illusion. The girl is really not spinning at all.
But in our brain, something decides that the girl is three dimensional, and we 'see' her spinning one way or another.

But don't read anything important into it, like left brain/right brain dominance. It is just fun until you realize that your very own brain lies to you to avoid you thinking it makes mistakes.
optical illusion, cool, interesting

However, with some concentration, you might be able to change her direction.

It'll make you smile when you first do it.

Try, don't let your brain lie to you.

Me? I just like looking at a naked girl, even in silhouette. At least my mind is telling me she's naked.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Banks again

Michael Levy, the financial adviser, was on the radio this morning. He had this lilt to his voice. Like he had just gotten the nicest birthday present ever. He was obviously very happy. What about?
He announced that banks had revealed their latest quarterly profits, way up over last year!
The major banks showed their profits for the second QUARTER of 2010:
TD showed a PROFIT for the three month period of 1.17 BILLION dollars! (deserves the exclamation mark, don't you agree?) for a per share value of $1.39.
RBC was up to 1.32 billion at .88 cents per share.

Notice they don't want to use even the word 'bank' anymore. Sort of brings to mind the same image as Darth Vader, or Dick Cheney or .... burglar.

CIBC made 660 million dollars or 1.59 per share.
BOM 745 million, their highest quarterly profit ever, for 1.26 a share.
We can be assured the trend of huge bank profits is going to continue into 2010. Great news huh? People like Michael Levy get positively giddy over this. Good news all around.

But I have a bit of trouble with this. If you can make a billion dollar profit for one quarter of the year, and can't show anything you produced, like a car, or a chair or a potato, I deduce that all that money came from people's bank accounts. Well?

Their Research and Development Department must be little brainy nerds in shadowy basements somewhere thinking up shrewd methods to pilfer your savings while inventing clever tag lines to tell you it will make YOU money .... while creating sly ways to distract you from the fact that they ARE a bank! That is stealth.
I think what they really produce is deception. Sort of like making fog.

This, of course, is wonderful for those who have shares in these (nefarious) businesses. I believe the only other enterprise that makes for this kind of cash is drug dealing. Exactly, this is sort of like meth for the investors. BOM underworld meaning = Barrels Of Meth.
Of course I am one of those millions of struggling workers trying to get a potato on my table, I don't even know people who have shares in banks, unless they are hiding it through embarrassment.
Meanwhile the privileged cadre of moneyed people like Levy get shaking like jelly at the thought of their shares rising again. That is good, isn't it?
Well isn't it?
Don't you feel vicariously rich now too. Aren't you filled with glee too like Michael Levy?
I'm not. I have to wait until payday to get my potato.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Iceland Volcano - on the bright side

Icelanders, forever optimistic, gather huge marshmallows in preparation for their First Annual Eyjafjallajökul Volcanic Weenie Roast ....



click to enlarge

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fight the HST?

Well there seems to be a groundswell happening here.

The 'Fight the HST' movement, of which former BC premier Bill Vander Zalm is leading, is gaining power daily. Chris Delaney, former leader of the Conservative party is the spokesman. Other parties are participating as well, including the NDP, the Green Party etc. Several ridings have already reached their goal of 10% of the voters. They need the same in 85 ridings.

Do we need the HST?
I am always wary when people who are rich, powerful and connected tell me something is really good for me. It seems that what they are trying to sell ME is particularly good for THEM.
Remember the Free Trade Agreements? NAFTA? Do you know anyone who is doing better for those mysterious contracts? Global competition? Know anyone who cares?
Oh yes, there is that argument that preaches to us that our companies benefit from these agreements and trade deals, trouble is that the companies who get the rewards are all foreign companies or global entities who are simply operating in Canada and have absolutely NO interest, loyalty or connection with us as British Columbians or Canadians.
And everyone of these international agreements seems vague to the people most affected; you and me! We're never sure what was really signed.

So now we can do something about what 'they' want to impose on us. We can sign a petition to force the Provincial Liberals, Gordon Campbell, to listen to us.
Will it succeed? Who knows. Will it be close? Maybe.
Mr. Campbell has already said the deal will go through in spite of what the voters want. If that isn't an arrogant challenge to the people of BC I don't know what is.
What will happen if they are very close but not quite there? Some think that a logical next step is a recall movement.
That could start in Gordon Campbell's own constituency.
And the people only need 40% of the voters in that ONE riding to be successful.

Tired of being like a victim? They' sign things all the time that affect us, now we as taxpayers can make a difference and sign something that will affect 'them'. Go for it, take the power!

Find out about it all here - - - http://fighthst.com

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New technology - electronic cigarettes

You could use will power. But that didn't work. Maybe the nicotine patch? Or the fake cigarette. No?
Well, there are now electronic cigarettes to help you get off the terrible vice. Yes Electronic.
Expensive though and all these devices haven't always worked for most.

So here I give you caterwauls' own Home Made Electronic Cigarette Method guaranteed to stop you from ever smoking again:

1. Fill your bathtub.
2. get a piece of rubber hose.
3. get a toaster and plug it in.
4. put the rubber hose into the water, the other end into your mouth.
5. throw the toaster into the bath water.
6. take a deep puff through the rubber hose.
7. you will never smoke cigarettes again.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Why can't I do this?

Cable TV service is what I am talking about. Is the problem with the CRTC or with the networks cashing in with their buddies? Who is paying off who?
WHY, is it that when I sign up for cable TV service, I cannot just get a basic rate, and then pick the extra channels I want one at a time?
Like why can't I pay, say $30 a month for my basic, and then like $1 per channel for extras. Even if they said I have to pick at least 10 other channels, so I would get basic, plus the additions for $40. per month? Or $50 if I, want another bunch.
I want Speed channel because I like auto racing, but why do I have to take a children's cartoon channel too, in a so called 'bundle'? I want Movie Central too but why does the Shopping network have to be bundled into it? If I want Turner Classic Movies what has the Weather network got to do with it? TSN has nothing to do with Much Music T&A jiggly channel.
You see, it is about the cable companies helping their buddies to make money off US! Or is it the channel owners paying off the CRTC? And the cable companies intercept the network commercials in many cases, and substitute their own! Woo, everyone get's rich.
In my 'bundle', I have a religious channel, a shopping network, weather, FIVE French channels, TWO cartoon channels, BC Legislature that I have NEVER seen going because I suspect they don't want you to see their childish wranglings, Parliament channel, (sort of another cartoon channel) GOLF zzzZZZzzzzz sleepy channel, Space channel with Captain Kirk in perpetuity etc etc and various other channels which are feeding money into these channel owners' pockets.
NO ONE wants them yet they are cashing in on our inaction.
It is about them treating us like children; if you want candy you gotta eat your broccoli. I don't know about you, but I learned at seven how to throw up my broccoli later and enjoy my candy.
But damn there is NO candy here, it's all broccoli.
And no logical reason for me to be paying for these damned 'bundles'.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sports media cringe

The sports media are cringing. Shuddering with a ba-a-ad anticipation.
The entertainment media company TMZ have a sports section.
TMZ, (thirty mile zone) named one of the year's 50 coolest websites by Time magazine, is a joint venture between Telepictures Productions and AOL, and has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence by breaking the biggest stories in entertainment.
From Mel Gibson's DUI arrest and subsequent encounter with law enforcement to Michael Richards' ill-fated trip to the Laugh Factory to the breakup of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's marriage, TMZ dominates the entertainment news landscape by changing the way the public gets their news.
Frequently referenced by the media, TMZ is one of the most-cited entertainment news sources, utilized by national network and local newsgathering organizations across the country!

The fear of course is, that TMZ doesn't swallow the spin dictated by the PR departments of major sports teams like the sports media has for years.
Sure, Michael Vick was caught. Mark McGwire found out, and Tiger Woods exposed, but these revelations came from unsportsmanlike sources, neighbors, betrayed friends etc.

Once TMZ is on the lookout we might see the pot come to a boil as they relentlessly follow, harass, dig and photograph their prey. It promises to be a varied and tasty stew.

I can't wait for them to go after Vince McMahon and his steriody gravel voiced hunks of WWE, and the gender challenged T&A titilating terrors they pass off as women. What fun! Is there more to Barry Bonds history? Has Pete Rose appeared on a poker site somewhere? Who will be revealed in the months to come? We might find some delicious scandals once the tracking bloodhounds of TMZ get the scent and their tenacious terriers glom on to an ankle or two.

But do we really care? After all, what effect on the world has Brittney Spears without panties had? None whatsoever, but my oh my, it can be such fun to see some people squirm! And sports personalities squirm and sweat with way more embarrassment than the Lindsay Lohan ilk. We won't have to wait through the whole career of someone like Andre Agasis to find out about crystal meth and hairpieces.

It isn't the fact that TMZ goes after athletes for the ratings, which they will, it is the fact that some sports personalities occupy a position of lofty snobbery. Crowned as Kings, Princes and Queens of their realm. Perhaps a false position, but the public loves scandal and watching the high and mighty untouchables plunge face first into the mud will surely be entertainment for the rest of us.
It's enough to make you tremble in your cleats.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canadian snapshot

The focus of the 2010 Winter Olympics is on the athletes, the City of Vancouver and Canada.

But starting from snowboarder Johnny Lyall’s spectacular jump inside BC Place Stadium at the opening ceremonies, the positive side effects of these Olympics has been to expose the Canadian personality to the world.

We showed an enticing portrait of our First Nations people, the vastness of this country, our love of nature and sense of history on that first day. A hint that this tapestry of Canadians had something other than sports going on up there in the Great White North.

Sure, the world already knew we were polite, but by being the center of attention for two weeks, something we are usually a little uneasy with, we gave the world a glimpse of what Canadians really are. Polite but not meek. Proud but not arrogant. Confident with modesty. Intriguing yet unpretentious.

What wowed the world was Alexandre Bilodeau’s first gold medal on Canadian soil. Not the athletic feat but the devotion he showed to his cerebral palsy struck older brother. That was a vignette way more important than a physically fit athlete winning an event. And the country shone with pride at Alex’s humility and love of his family in TV interviews. His priorities were correct.

Maelle Ricker’s gold followed and this pretty women seemed like a cake bake-off winner instead of a finely tuned athlete. Nothing dramatic just grateful and appreciative thanks for the efforts of others in helping her to victory. The picture of Canadians was beginning to emerge.

Tears followed when gold favoured Mellisa Hollingsworth finished fifth in her skeleton sliding event. The old attitude of, ‘it just wasn’t my day’ became she felt she had 'let her country down.' Yet all of Canada came to her side in a show of winning isn’t the only thing. Being a real person who cared was. And Devon Kershaw's painful emotion after fifty exhausting kilometers of cross-country skiing and being only 1.6 seconds from a gold medal captured our hearts. But he is now one of the world's best and signaled the new attitude.

Time and time again our athletes appeared in the spotlight, not a harsh glare but more like a bright morning sun, and every one of them showed the personality that makes for great people. Revealing themselves to the world. Sometimes unsophisticated, sometimes worldly but always invigorating our spirits too.

Joannie Rochette’s courageous skate added to the aura of Canadians. The world held its breath and watched a young woman perform what became a private routine for her mother, tragically passed on only a few days before. Joannie allowed a few tears of grief only when the job was done. Fortitude and determination on display along with her graceful skill. Shared with a compassionate audience.

Then Jon Montgomery won the men’s skeleton and revealed yet another facet of the Canadian persona. Clearly enjoying a little glory while retaining his humbleness, grabbing a beer from a well wisher in the crowd and quaffing it before passing it on again. His fresh naturalness was his blessing.

The huge crowds in downtown Vancouver, after a short blip from protesters tolerated only once, embodied a spirit and fun and pride in being Canadian, almost as if no one was watching. Yet the world peeked in through television and learned that we too, can be flag wavers when the occasion demands it. Passion is part of our character and though k.d. lang sang a mellifluous and memorable Hallelueah at the opening, Oh Canada became the choice in the streets.

Even American NBC TV raved about how warm and welcoming we Canadians were to them and featured us in a favourable light.

Our hockey girls came through again, and were caught later still on the ice celebrating. What were they doing? Champagne and cigars! How unique and distant from the decorum others wanted to thrust on them. Canadians can be weird too!

So as our games went on, win or lose, we displayed our skills, our fine athletes, our country, our Canada. Even turned an early malfunction into a joke about ourselves in the closing ceremonies. But most of all, we displayed our Canadians as youthful eager participants on the way through life. A people who can adapt to whatever their needs are.

We gave the world a snapshot of what Canadians are, and can be, and will be and what makes us so great. A country full of proud, hopeful people who need no spotlight, yet can rise to the occasion and shine in their natural northern light, our beautiful aurora borealis.

And it is these many dimensions of character that assure the world that Canada and Canadians will continue to be trusted and respected in the future, in sports and in all aspects of life.

Good going Canada!

Canadians have shown the world that although winning isn’t everything, we still won. We wowed the world and we wowed ourselves too. Put the snapshot in your album, it's going to be there forever now.

Tom and Gary's Decentralized Dance Party

Go here - http://www.decentralizeddanceparty.com/ - look at this and try and tell me Vancouver isn't a fun city!

Tom and Gary will infect you with good clean fun in the streets with Tom and Gary's Dynamic Dance Party Delivery Service!

Hey, Tom and Gary, I saw you down there in Library Square last night. Hooting and hollering and singing and dancing around. You pissed me off ‘cause you were all having way too much fun. And I am old. (pout) I get jealous about stuff like that.
Feb 28. It was midnight.
Then you led those jolly jiggling people off into the night like a pair of Pied Pipers, a cluster of red and white and dance party vibrations going who knows where?
And I was sad when the echoes stopped reverberating through the buildings because I knew it would take way too long to tie my shoe laces and follow you.
Well maybe it is leap year and my wife will ask me to marry her tomorrow.
Oh Canada.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympic curling

Flicking around the other night during the Games. No Olympic hockey on the tely. No skiing. No moguls. Flick. Flick.
Wait, what was that? (flick back) Ooo, whooo is she? Nice. Canada's Cheryl Bernard. Wow. What a great looker.
(Steady gaze) Very nice and she seems to be playing some sort of game. Oh yes, curling. My my. Intense too when throwing a rock. And what's that she's shouting? Hard! Hard, harder! OMG. (Of course this is 'dirty old man' think.)

So I watched Cheryl for awhile. And came to the conclusion that maybe curling is actually a good sport.
I used to think it could be improved with body checking. Used to think it was boring. So between ogling Cheryl and watching what she was actually doing, I realized this sweet looking woman is extremely good at her sport. And curling is pretty interesting. Full of strategy and thought. Someone said chess on ice. Later I tuned in the Canada mens games and noted that Kevin Martin was accurate as hell in leading his team to victory too.

So of course I began watching curling at the Olympics. And several friends have found the same thing, that curling is an interesting sport that it is much more complex than I had imagined.
Now I am watching several curling games/matches/contests. And the bonus for a d.o.m. is that the women are so good looking. Can you say that?
So do they care how I got interested in curling? Do they care that I wonder if Cheryl will appear in the Canadian edition of Playboy? The announcer said 'curling is sexy', not me.
Well, I am now a fan, I think they care about that.

And I can say that Cheryl Bernard got me into curling.

adenda - The team won silver medal!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thanks guys.

I don't know if these men in black were Vancouver City Police, VANOC Integrated Security Unit, or RCMP, but there were 7 of them up there on a rooftop overlooking BC Place yesterday.
They were positioned on each corner of the building and watching the huge crowd coming in for the opening ceremonies.
You might notice the rifle scope sticking out of the bag.

It started raining and got cold as the gray day wore on. But they were vigilant on that rooftop, watching everything below with scopes and binoculars, just popping up their hoods and ignoring the chill.
I watched them into the rainy night. When it got really dark I could barely see them, on that roof, lurking in the shadow. Watchful. Scanning below. The ceremonies ended just after 9 pm and it became a driving rain.

Gretsky, taking the final torch to light the waterfront cauldron, endured it for a few moments, although perhaps warmed by his Olympic torch, and got huge applause. Happy people left BC Place and the street party began, enthusiasm undampened by the cold rain and the night.

I went to bed at 1 am and had a last look through a scope at that black rooftop. I could barely pick them out until my eyes adjusted, but they were still up there, standing darkly on the corners of that roof like ethereal gargoyles.
They were still there looking out for us, folks, you and me.

Over 60 thousand people attended those magical opening ceremonies, most of them proud of Canada and Canadians and unaware they were being looked after so well.

I suggest a huge thanks and a round of applause for them too.
Thanks guys.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Today in History ... February 05

1989 - Radio Moscow announced that the last Soviet soldier had left Kabul, Afghanistan.
Just in time for the first American soldier to arrive.
Meanwhile the Afghanis checked their stockpiles of American weapons, supplied to them by the American CIA to use against the Soviets, now ready for use against the Americans.
Alas. The cycle continues.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Open letter to Rafe Mair

Rafe,
You've no idea how many people miss an investigative reporter with some bristle.
Even though one mellows with age and accepts things one never would have at 20 or 30 or 40, one begins to realize that what we knew and how we lived when younger, will probably never happen again.
It seems today's newspapers, radio and TV news are all in line to simply pass on information designed for us by someone else.
I have quit listening to Bill Good because there are too many times I find myself egging him on and saying, "Ask your guest about this!" But alas, he meekly allows them to escape without insisting on answers. And most of the news outlets simply accept the politician's answers. (Michael Smyth may be a bright spot)

Well, I really wanted to tell you my take on the destruction of BC without much questioning from the general public. I am not blaming that public, only realizing that everyday they are slugging out a living and have no time for blame. Of course, there was a time when we knew Rafe WAS asking those prickly questions in the Jack Webster tradition on behalf of the public.

Many years ago, I worked for a film production company, and we made the film 20 Great Years for WAC Bennett. We were told (in secrecy) about the upcoming election about nine months before it was announced by Premier Bennett. I did a lot of work on that film including editing, directing, filming and writing. I was also involved in researching the many aspects of what the Social Credit Government had done in those twenty great years. That was when I became sold on how great British Columbia was.

But my long winded point of this letter is that starting with WAC Bennett, the intent of the succeeding premiers was always the same, regardless of political party, to continue to build this great province.
Dave Barrett, Bill Bennett, Mike Harcourt, Bill Vander Zalm, Glen Clark, et al, in spite of their problems that the press made much controversy about, still had the intent of building our province. And in retrospect, when reviewing what they did, one has to ask how bad was it? They all still placed BC first.
From WAC's taking control of the Pacific Great Eastern railway and making it BC Rail to open up and service BC's interior and north, to the expropriation of the BC Electric and making of BC Hydro, we had British Columbians with guts, talent and smarts who looked after us, were proud to participate in our province, and made our lives better. Our wild salmon fishery was one of the wonders of the world. We got our Knowledge Network etc etc.

With Mr Gordon Campbell, it is almost like we are dealing with a mole spy from another country, who has gotten into power and has now set about to dismantle the province, and turn it over to foreign interests.
Why would anyone put a middle man into our Hydro power system who needs to siphon off profit when BC Hydro's profit went wholly into BC?
What is the true purpose of Run of the River power projects except to extract profit for others?
Why would we allow those foreign owned Atlantic salmon fish farms to destroy that great wild sockeye fishery?
When virtually ALL our liquor profits went into BC's coffers, why would we want to sell out that for some other people's profits?
Why did we need outsiders looking for profits to make BC Gas global? I'm still not sure how our BC Gas became Terasen?
What reasons can be used for sending 430 million dollars to German workers for BC Ferries when British Columbia ship yards are totally capable and already have built enduring ships still in service. And that 430 million would have filtered into BC's economy and workers instead of Germany's. What possible reason would Mr. Campbell have had for trying to shut down the Georgia Straight tabloid? Except to stop free speech? Well, he has effectively curtailed all our news outlets now.

We used to proudly build hospitals, not shut them down. And what premier from this history would have ever separated a husband and wife in their last few years together? None of them, we had human people in charge of our province then. BC people. And virtually all of these premiers trusted British Columbians to run things. No need to import strangers with secret agendas.
The non answers to these questions set conspiracy theorists vibrating with corruption and secret bank account speculations. Which is one result of unanswered questions.

Most of us old timers recall the days of Pat Burns, Jack Webster, Gary Bannerman and Ed Murphy on our radio waves. And especially the days when Rafe Mair, at the risk of making an enemy, refused to accept an evasive answer, and went again and again after the truth.

It is with dismay that anyone born and raised here looks at the state of our province today and contemplates it's future.
The only question I have left to ask is: Are we past the point of no return?