Saturday, November 30, 2002

No not the buildings, Godzilla, stomp Matthew Broderick first!

There's a new Godzilla movie out in Japan. The New York Times reports that Toho studios uses a suited actor up to crush Tokyo in this story. As it should be!

To quote Raymond Burr's character in Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954) : "It's big and it's terrible!" As a reporter I always get a kick out of the first Godzilla film. You never see Burr's character taking notes when he asks questions, or typing up his stories, as we mere mortal reporters do.

Friday, November 29, 2002

I can see for Air Miles and Miles...

Kevin Michael Grace has a dilemma--what to do with all his Air Miles. If I can add a small P.S. to his interesting piece, I can't tell you the amount of times I've popped into Safeway for a quick couple of items and then tried to figure out what to buy to make up the extra $2-5 so I would go over $20 and earn 1 Air Mile. I do have discipline in that I don't buy anything I wouldn't usually buy.

I have enough Air Miles to make it to the end of my driveway.
This little theatre has grown up

Yesterday I visited my home town, White Rock, a small town on the B.C. coast. It doesn't quite have the small town mindset any more in some ways and I came across some evidence of that.

The movie theatre that I saw my first movies in is long gone, but the little theatre where I did my high school acting is still there. The White Rock Players Club is the community theatre that keeps it open. Upcoming in the Players Club season... "Valley of the Dolls". They note that their schedule is subject to change, and their little theatre version of the Jacqueline Susann novel may never hit the stage.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

And now Party Hints with Veronica Smalls

Thanks to Colby Cosh, I now know how to stop a riot, assuming that I have the 82nd Airborne living next door and a copy of the U.S. Army's field manual on how to stop "Civil Disturbances" at hand. It reminded me a little of Edward Luttwak's fascinating book Coup d'Etat, in which he explains why some coups worked and some did not.

My old paper, The Ubyssey, has an interesting article on the local burlesque scene.
"The political left simply won't recognize that junkies cannot be trusted with anything from the family silverware to their word."

Leo Knight in The North Shore News explains why Vancouver's latest attempt at "harm reduction" will fail miserably.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Hinterland who-was-who

When I was a wee kid, the Canadian Wildlife Service's Hinterland Who's Who commercials were my favorite commercials. Now you can watch them online, and listen to a narrator tell you all about many Canadian animals as you watch them scamper through the forest.

The theme music is known by every Canadian over the age of 30. That and the old address of the USC charity ("56 Sparks Street, Ottawa.") The old Coffee-mate jingle ("Coffee-mate tastes great....Coffee-mate soothes the flavour so that your cup of coffee tastes great."). The jingle for the Trouble board game. That old Shake-and-bake commercial with the hokey harmonica music where the kid rides his bike home to get some chicken. All-Star Wrestling, with Ron Moirier (sp?) and Gene Kiniski. The old Kraft commercials with the two disembodied hands working with a table of ingredients to make something. "Add two cups of Velveeta" and the hands would add the Velveeta. Popeye cartoons. Super Chicken. Peter Puck (not Pocklington). Howie Meeker and his telestrator (One of the neatest story assignments I've done was to interview him about one of his books.). CFL Football on CTV, and how the CBC and CTV crews would do one half of the Grey Cup each. "Towel power" in 1982. The Vancouver Blazers and their horrendous uniforms.

I remember Kraft Koogle chocolate spread (I had it in my school sandwiches for a year) and Frankenberry cereal too.
All we are saying is Give War A Chance (part 2)

John Little of Blogs of War is dismayed that it took so long for Chretien spokeswoman Francoise Ducros to be sacked for calling George Bush a moron. He writes here: "We share the world's largest undefended border with this country and it's politicians are starting to sound like a Mid-East Islamic Revolutionary council. The current government in Canada has done everything short of issue a Fatwa calling for Bush's death."

"Don't wish me Merry X-mas..."

Canada's Mint has found way to not offend anyone with their Christmas ads, CP reports. Rewrite the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Bah Humbug!
"The dame had gams a mile long. She was packing a hymnal..."

The L.A. Times has a neat story on a writer who writes hard-boiled crime novels for Christians.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

She ain't heavy, she's our pastor

Christianity Today has posted an interesting follow-up story on how Christian weight-loss boffin Gwen Shamblin has founded her own legalistic church. She uses a speaker phone in her office to preach to her flocks worldwide.
Rachel Marsden and the sock puppets
(not a 1960s garage band :) )

Thanks to Kevin Michael Grace for mentioning that speculation is rife on the Frank Magazine online forums that one of their regular posters is actually Rachel Marsden posting while pretending to be a guy. Said poster is a big fan of hers, and lusts after her online. (Now that I have seen some of the current photos on Miss Marsden's website, I don't get it. She displays nasty attitude in the photos and some of her goth inspired photos are scary!)

The circumstantial case is good though, as who would have been following her work at the fairly obscure websites she writes for? It is interesting that one of the conditions set by her judge is that she has to use her own identity in all her e-mails. Has she been flaming her former lover(s) online, perhaps at the Frank site?

We shall see.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

This "lady" protests too much

It seems that Rachel Marsden is in the news again. In 1997, she was found to have falsely accused her former swim coach at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby B.C. of sexual harrassment. Now, she has just been charged with criminal harrassment of a former Vancouver radio host.

In yesterday's Province, she protested to columnist Jon Ferry that she wanted to get her SFU misdeeds behind her in an attempt to branch out into column-writing and journalism. Miss Marsden, 28, protested: "It's really unfortunate that the provincially minded local media insist on constantly bringing it up and tying it in whenever I'm mentioned . . . No one else in the media anywhere else in the world gives a hoot about any of that . . . all they care about are my journalistic abilities and my
contributions to political debate."

Oh really? I've had a browse around the Internet and here's what I found.

Yes, she is published on the net, at, for example. However, she has also been named a Republican Babe of the Week by members of the New Jersey Republican Party. The website reveals Miss Marsden in photos from her very own website in clothing that flaunts her body, not her mind. Her response:
"I truly am honored. Thank you! I also took a surf through your site, and think it's great. Very fun and catchy, yet informative." - Rachel. Other "Republican Babes of the Week" include women who are known for their extensive knowledge of political issues...and Bo Derek, Shannen Doherty and Kim Alexis.
I doubt these Republicans would have included a Barbara Bush, for example, on their tribute site. But Miss Marsden was tickled to get this publicity not fully related to her skills as a columnist.

Her own site,, is swamped by 'net traffic. However, thanks to that awesome 'net research tool, the Internet Archive, I got a peek at her website as it was presented to the world on July 21, 2001. Lots of come-hither pictures, and information on how you could call her agents for modelling and acting assignments.

In her recent columns she is trying to be very conservative. Her conversion to the cause, however, may only be recent. The July 21, 2001 version's front page features those photos which compare George W. Bush's facial expressions to those of a monkey in "Separated At Birth?" format.
Quotes of the day (s)

"The older you get, the more people think you have lost your marbles.
What they don't realize is you have gained experience. A lot of these young
people will find that out one day."--Abbotsford mayor George Ferguson is defeated after 31 years in office, in today's Vancouver Sun.

"The first sentence in a profile Wednesday of Beaver Valley school trustee
candidate Julie Phillips incorrectly stated that she "is happy about the
idea of school closures." It should have read she is "NOT happy," as the rest of the story indicates."
--A correction in the Nov. 14 Trail Times

"It's like Martin Sheen running for president!"--Jennifer Clarke, defeated candidate for Vancouver mayor, bemoans the sucess of her about-to-be-elected opponent Larry Campbell, in the Nov. 16 Vancouver Sun.
(And as my Report colleague Kevin Michael Grace argues...that may be more true than she thought!)

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Own goal

In the Channel Islands, the Jersey Evening Post reports that the island's Sunday soccer league could collapse. Why? One team's withdrawal points to some reasons. Soccer players want to stay home or engage in sneaky subterfuges to delay their own games so they can watch live soccer from the rest of Europe on the local TV station.
All we are saying is Give War A Chance

If you are looking for reasons to want the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, this N.Y. Post column by Jonathan Foreman is one place to start.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Red Green invents digital clock?

My friend Tracy, who hails from The Rock, says that this is a Newfie digital clock. Not being from Newfoundland, I can't say, but you may find the link is neat.
That explains the new moat around City Hall

The Penticton Herald (sorry, no link) reports on the new mayor of Keremeos B.C. A well respected retired pharmacist who led efforts to build a new health centre in the town, he won handily. He must be a really classy man because he has one of the most unfortunate last names that a local politician could have. He is Walter Despot.
Where are the Cardiac Kids when you need them?

My Report friend ColbyCosh, a big fan of the Edmonton Eskinos of the Canadian Football League, has been posting a series of funny posts about his team's fate in the CFL playoffs thus far. (They play Montreal for the Grey Cup on Sunday.) As he mentions, the CBC is again broadcasting Grey Cup Classics late at night, old Grey Cup games. Alas, I am a fan of the B.C. Lions, the Brooklyn Dodgers of the CFL, but I was there in person when Lui Passaglia kicked a field goal to win in 1994.

Aside from the Lions games, my favorite Grey Cup game on tape is the 1962 Grey Cup game, the infamous "Fog Bowl" between Winnipeg and Hamilton at CNE Stadium in Toronto. A heavy fog rolled in from nearby Lake Ontario, almost completely obscuring the game. (It's funny to watch. The ball disappears as it comes down during a pass. The commentators say things like. "I think that was a completion on the 15, no, that was the five.") The game had to be stopped, and the last eight minutes played the next day.

Next favourite non-Lion Grey Cup? The 1976 Grey Cup, where Tony Gabriel caught the winning touchdown with under a minute to go. (Colby would love the player photo of Wonderful Monds of the Rough Riders. His afro is about a block wide.)

I must confess, though, that I don't share Colby's love of the Eskimos. The first year I really followed the Lions, as a boy, was 1977, the year of "Jerry Tagge and the Cardiac Kids", when the team roared to a 10-2 record, winning four games in the last minute of play, then fell to 10-6. In the playoffs, the Lions beat Winnipeg, but were crushed by the Eskimos 40-1 in the Western Final.

In my home, it was a tradition to have people over to watch the Grey Cup. It was an iron rule to cheer for the Western team, but I was so annoyed at the Eskimos that year that I deliberately cheered for Montreal. That year's Grey Cup (1977) was "The Staple Game". The field was covered in ice, and some bright Alouette players grabbed a staple gun at halftime, and put staples in their shoes. With better traction, the Als won handily, able to complete passes and scoot for extra yards while the Esks flailed helplessly. Little Rick does :)

A little revenge was sweet back then. But now, I am just hoping for a good game on's okay if the Eskimos win. (Please note "okay". Not "excellent"...unless the Eskimos come back from 40 points down or something like that. :) )
"You can take my toaster when you pry it from my cold, dead, fingers...."
The Victoria [Texas]Advocate

Monday, November 18, 2002

Jean Chretien...naughty!
Edmonton Sun columnist Michael Jenkinson has an amusing column on Santa's problems with the Kyoto Accord.
Quote of the millenium
"Love thy neighbour as thyself -- it's a profound social strategy."
--Schindler's List survivor Zev Kedem, speaking in Kamloops B.C. [Thanks to the Kamloops Daily News, Nov. 9 edition]
The refreshingly candid edition of Quotes of the day(s)
"It's kind of like a late-bloomer thing."
--Coquitlam singer Florrie Carter, 75, makes her very first recordings on a new CD. [Thanks to the Coquitlam Now, Nov. 9 edition]

"I'd pick it up"
--Larry Iwaskow, candidate for mayor of Nanaimo, answers the question "How
would you deal with the terrible litter problem in the schools and streets?" at an all-candidates meeting. [Thanks to the Nanaimo Daily News, Nov. 12 edition]

"There is no air of reality to the defence."
--B.C. Provincial Court judge William Sundhu, convicting four Indian protesters making an aboriginal claim of the nearby Sun Peaks ski resort, notes that the defendants say they refused to acknowledge non-native title to the land. Yet, he ruled that they acted as if such title did exist by trying to hide what they were doing by using bandanas, face paint and camouflage clothing. [Thanks to the Kamloops Daily News, Nov. 16 edition]
The English edition of Aftenposten carries a story on a Norwegian comedian in trouble for his controversial comments on Christianity. I find the rest of Otto Jespersen's comments to be just obnoxious, but I would argue he fails to make a telling point about the failings of Christianity when he says, "No matter what kind of a swine you were while will be taken back in and forgiven, as long as you are really dead."
Yes. Exactly. And that is one of the things, I would say, that makes Christianity a superior faith.
The Point Reyes [California] Light has a story on, shall we say, a unique protest against the war in Iraq:
West Marin women strip for peace.
When politicians sing
The Times has a story on Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi's new CD. He partly wrote some of the songs. (Well, he could be doing worse things with his time.) Check out the attached sidebar story, which alludes to Benito Mussolini's thankfully brief singing career.
Mark o' the Beast watch
A friend of mine passed along this ABC NEWS link about a chip implant the size of a grain of rice. It allows computer tracking of anything or anyone with the chip. My Bible-prophecy minded friend also notes that the chip holds enough information to allow people to use computer scanner systems to buy and sell by having the chip in their bodies scanned. Just like in Revelation, chapter 13.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Photo of the day(s)
You'll be amazed that the the trucker in this accident wasn't hurt. Alas, there are no permalinks on the Lake Country (B.C.) News website. Please ignore the bottom section, which may state "This page cannot be found", but look at the top part of the page. If their Nov. 13 issue is still up, look for the box marked Headlines: Choose... Pick the story "Fortunate to be alive" and you'll see their story on the accident and quite a picture. Sorry for the Rube Goldberg-like directions, but the story is interesting and that's how you get to see it.
One fan of Citizen Judd
One of my favorite upcountry columnists is Neville Judd of the Sechelt/Gibsons Coast Reporter. British Columbia's towns and cities have their elections every three years on the same Saturday in November. (The latest elections were held this past Saturday.) Mr. Judd complains about how politicians use catchphrases instead of explaining what they want to do, making their platforms as vague as possible.

Many of B.C.'s non-Vancouver papers have small staffs, so they tend to concentrate their resources on what is important to their readers. This is, of course, correct but it proves a small burden on whomever is reading dozens of them one after the other. In the past two week's worth of papers, it seemed that everyone in the province had either fought in World War Two or was running for city council. I'm a big fan of veterans (my grandfather ran away from home at 15 to fight, and was gassed in the trenches of the Western Front), but I found myself quietly agreeing with Mr. Judd's column about the tendency of politicians to "duckspeak".

Friday, November 15, 2002

Sad quote of the day
"People are so busy with their own lives that they don't even know their neighbours are dead."
---Constable Henry Hollinger of the Calgary police, after officers broke into the house of of senior Lincoln Wray and found his mummified body, an estimated three months after his death. [today's Calgary Herald]
Mohammed was a sexual deviant says....Jimmy Swaggart [Agence France Presse]

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Next, we replace The Illuminati...or The Stonecutters
I'm happy to report that Dave Stevens, who works as The Report's production generalist, has come up with a very snazzy weblog: Not The Janitor. That makes six of us now. Amongst us, I would suggest, there's lots to enjoy. And if anyone is wondering, no I don't know The Report's ex-janitor and I cannot comment authoritatively on his weblogging skills. If one takes my earlier statement literally, it is now inoperative. ( :) )
Cute alert!
Scientist Gillian Handley has an interesting looking weblog about her work in Antarctica. Check out the cute picture of the seal pup that she posted on Nov. 3!
Other guerilla groups, please copy
Uganda's New Vision newspaper reports that a local guerilla group struck at the government by envelope of technical school exam papers. The test had to be cancelled.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Quotes of the day(s)
"I told people that they're too stupid to vote for me, and I can prove it by who they voted for the last time."
---Ron Lund, candidate for mayor of Victoria, explains why he probably won't win, in the Nov. 9 Times Colonist.
"I mean, I've been hit harder by my sister with her lunch pail!"
---Eric Brewer of the Edmonton Oilers describes an opponent's check. [The Vancouver Sun, Nov. 12]
They want an elected Senate...and to suuuck your blooooood?
A letter in the Nov. 12 Calgary Herald from Robert Tuck of Charlottetown : "If your description of the PC party as a "barely warm cadaver" is in any sense accurate (and it may be so in the West), it is because it has become the victim of the blood-sucking Reform/ Alliance vampires who ensure the continuance of the single-party state we have now."
News of the day(s)

Some stories that may be of interest: Three Americans have been arrested for parachuting off a Vancouver hotel. Stan Lee is worried about someone who swings between office buildings--he's suing the makers of this summers hit Spider-Man film, claiming he has not received the profits he was promised. Meanwhile, Don Cherry, Canadian hockey boffin, complains that the new NHL rules cutting down on obstruction put players in skirts.
If her slaves are really "bad" they'll have to watch it twice?

Toronto dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, CP reports, says her legal fights to protect her business have led to lots of publicity and interest in her doing a possible TV movie, or TV show.
Osama watch

Canada's extremely begrudging support of the American anti-terrorist efforts is still too much according to this alleged tape message from Osama bin Laden. CP has the story.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

News of the day

Canadian Press is reporting today that the film Jackass is spawning some imitation jackasses and that Saskatchwan Indian leaders are preparing to defy Canada's firearms registration laws. Meanwhile, Axl Rose told the Vancouver Sun that he is blaming the cancellation of last week's concert at GM Place on stadium staff, whose decision to stop the show led to rioting.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Kevin Steel mentions that in addition to writing, I do news research for The Report's editors and reporters and Report founder Ted I scan a lot of newspapers. At least 30 in B.C. I hope to pass on some of these items to my blog's readers.
Thanks for the mention, Kevin. I happened to call him to check something for work in the middle of his video games/re-enactment-of-London's-Hyde Park-Speaker's Corner-in-his-living room party Friday that he mentions in his entry today.
A good egg, based on our phone conversations. (I don't live in Edmonton.) It was his nudging that led me to start the blog. But don't blame him. :)
Would you expect a conservative to try something new quickly? :)
Jeremy Lott kindly gives a mention to my blog, and observes that at this rate the Report janitor will have his own blog by New Year's. And this is bad, how? :)
I already have readers?

I would like to thank Kevin Michael Grace
for his kind words about my blog. I should note, however, that I am trying to put my Report work to bed. So I would ask Ambler readers to expect some improvements soon after I have some time to write for this blog and surf the net for material. My employer does come first.

I am pleased that I come off as "nice". When Mr. Grace was one of my longsuffering editors at B.C. Report (as it then was), I learned that he has a strong appreciation of the arts. He is very well read. An intellectual, but in the very best sense of the word. Allergic to cant. Have a peek at his site and see if you like it.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Craft time
Make your own Baby Jesus In Wooden Stable out of popsicle sticks. The baby Jesus is a peanut. I spotted this in a recent Beliefnet story on religious kitsch

Friday, November 08, 2002

They Saved Ulrike Meinhof's Brain! [The Times]
Oh Oh Canada
In the latest National Review, Jonah Goldberg explains, in a cover story, why Canadians do not live in "a normal country". His current Goldberg file touches on this. It also explains a little about the recent attempt to browbeat Vancouver filmmakers working on skid row into compensating hookers and drug dealers for "lost business" when their customers are scared away, which I touched on briefly in a story here
The Times has a story on a Vatican professor who argues that you can detect Biblical themes in A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. See it here.
Koko the artistic gorilla is releasing a CD of music. An Oct. 10 news release on the website about the gorilla here states that Koko has written parts of the songs on Fine Animal Gorilla. She doesn't sing or play though, leaving that for humans. Wag Tom Golz of the Outsider Music e-mail list speculates that Koko is really William Shatner. Follow the Shatner link and scroll down halfway, so you can listen to Mr. Tambourine Man and learn what he is alluding to.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Australian journalist and blogger Tim Blair neatly deflated Helen Caldicott of "If You Love This Planet" fame in his first November 8 entry. See it here. He noted that she is "to rational thought what jazz ballet is to full-contact Thai kickboxing."
This is a test.