Thursday, December 29, 2005

I married Flipper!

"I made a dream come true, and I am not a pervert."

A British lady has married a dolphin.

Memo to my mother: Craig Ferguson is going to make fun of this for sure. ;)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where am I going to get my "Man with the 1985 B.C. Lions hat" updates?"

Well, I can't force Jordan Bateman to continue his personal blog if he no longer wishes to do so. Yes, we still have Langley Politics, but I thought that what he was writing about, regarding the rest of his life, was interesting too.

I had wanted to buy the book that he is writing. As a writer emeritus, I found his writing projects to be interesting. But, alas, those are not the sort of things that he would be posting about in Langley Politics.

Even if I did write a lot more for The Shotgun, I don't think I would stop blogging here. You need to have a place to mess around on the net, and posts about The Singing Dogs don't cater to the Western Standard's demographic. (Although, reading all those allusions to Star Trek in the National Review Online blog The Corner, I can't be too sure about that :))

His blog was fun to read. Thanks, Jordan.

(I would post items, as he did, about "The Guy With A 1985 B.C. Lions hat, but I write entirely too much about myself here already ;) )
The kind of webcam that I would wind up getting

Here's an item on the first videophone, after it was invented in Japan.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Arf arf arf, arf arf arf, arf arf arf arf arf!

Nothing says "Christmas?!?" like the The Singing Dogs rendition of Jingle Bells. Lee Hartsfeld has helpfully posted a MP3 of it for us.

Friday, December 23, 2005

No Deal

I wonder if any TV citics have noticed that the new, and fascinating, TV show Deal Or No Deal is merely Treasure Hunt with a few new bells and whistles?

Deal or No Deal is still fun to watch, however.

(And why yes, I do need a life :) )
A Tale of Two Hieberts, internet edition

I see that articles from the other Rick Hiebert are making their way online. I write "the other Rick Hiebert", because this fellow who was editor of the Pentecostal Assembles Of Canada magazine, the Testimony, used to be confused with me.

One day when I was working at B.C. Report, I got a letter from the other Rick Hiebert asking, in effect, "Who are you? People keep on saying that they like my articles in these magazines that I never see." I called him, and I turned our chat into an amusing paragraph for my own magazine.

So, it should be noted that the Reverend Rick Hiebert, who has become an Ontario minister is not me. Bags of steer manure, dead fish, letter bombs and such should be mailed to yours truly. :)
I know you aren't supposed to speak ill of the dead.
Man, I really wish he was alive."

The inimitmable April Winchell posts some "so bad they are good" Christmas songs by celebrities.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

National Osographic, and other joys

A neat tribute page about Wacky Packages might inspire me to dig out my own Wacky Packages cards, which I bought as a kid from the Wigwam store just down the road from my grandmother's house--and still have!

Did you know that if you eat Pop Rocks, while drinking a Coke, your head will explode? :)

Kathy must not have liked Wacky Packages as a kid, I guess.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Sur une plage il y avait une belle fille
Qui avait peur d'aller prendre son bain
Elle craignait de quitter sa cabine
Elle tremblait de montrer au voisin

Un deux trois elle tremblait de montrer quoi?

Son petit itsi bitsi tennie weenie tout petit petit bikini!
Qu'elle mettait pour la première fois
Un itsi bitsi teenie weenie tout petit petit bikini
Un bikini rouge et jaune à p'tits pois!"

Johnny Hallyday also was one of about four million French pop singers to try his hand at covering Brian Hyland's immortal Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini. (Dalida and Richard Anthony appear to have had the hits with the French version of the song.)

But, Hallyday's producers seem to have recordedhis version with tongues planted firmly in cheeks. The backup chorus in the Hallyday version of the song (which in the Hyland original is sung by a breathy female with a come-hither voice) is crooned by a man in a nasal monotone!

Did he even stop smoking his Gauloise while he was in the studio?


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Pourquoi cet amour
Qui m'a fait chanter
Pourquoi s'amusait-il
A me faire pleurer?"

Listening to French pop singer Johnny Hallyday's 1960 song Pourquoi cet amour, I wonder why it wasn't a bigger hit at the time, as it's a nice song. I am also wondering if Hallyday had a cold on the day of the recording session, because it sounds to me as if Hallyday's mike might have caught the singer sniffling or breathing through a stuffed-up nose. Listen to the instrumental intro, before Hallyday starts singing.

Nice song, even if he was sniffling. :)

Monday, December 12, 2005

"Spinning Head Tapes TV At Home"

Popular Science reports on the first video tape recorder in January 1965
Old Grandma Hardcore

The Washington Post has a story about a 69 year old Cleveland grandmother who plays video games with her grandson. Her grandson has started a weblog about his grandmother's adventures too.

Although I am now going to get dismaying hits from search engines, I though this story was neat enough to post on. My mother used to play Nintendo during her down time at her job, and she got quite good at it.

I'd go over to my parents house and we would play video games together (I should point out that at the tine I didn't have my own Nintendo. Either that, or I didn't have a lot of time to play. That's my story, and I am sticking to it.).

We'd play Super Mario together. She would rack up a zillion points, and be on level 28,000, while I would be trying to get through level three.

"Do you want me to win you some extra men?"

"No Mom, it's okay."


Sunday, December 11, 2005

"They told me I was going to have the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood. Naturally, I thought of Clark Gable."

In honour of the release of the latest version of King Kong, here's a link to a tribute site for Fay Wray, who starred in the original film.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"The Boz’s film career is like a rollout triple option, executed perfectly, right before every player on the team is hit by a meteor and the mascots forget years of obedience training and charge the field."

Seanbaby looks at the film careers of N.F.L. stars.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How to make grilled cheese sandwiches in 1.7 seconds

Boing Boing reports that "Albert Swank Jr., a 55-year-old civil engineer in Anchorage, Alaska, is a man with a mission. He wants to install a nuclear particle accelerator in his home..."

Used cyclotrons, cars hoisted up on bricks in one's front's all bad.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Galloping Gertie!

Courtesy the Internet Archive's collection of public domain films, here's a link to some neat movie footage of the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
If this is a flying outhouse, I want one for Christmas!

Like the folks at the Modern Mechanix blog, I also think that this 1930s "movable testing stand for airplane engines" looks like a flying outhouse.

One more

I see that my old Report friend and colleague Kevin Steel is tring to get his personal blog started again. Drop by and have a peek.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Yesterday's future, today!

Here's a link to Modern Mechanix, an interesting blog that reprints predictions of the future (and other neat stuff) from old science and technology magazines.

Featured are:

How to raise hamsters for profit!
Drive-in waitresses who use walkie talkies!
How carnies take your money with games that you can't win!

Hat tip: Boing Boing.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

He does sit-ups under the team bus, and other weisenheimer comments

Covered in Oil, an Oiler loving blog, has posted its picks for the ugliest National Hockey League player.
The Jewish Cowboy

Hippocampus, a neat looking music weblog has a post about a tribute to The Jewish Cowboy. More Helen Shapiro posts than most weblogs too.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

In Nancy Drew: Bad Girl, one of the lesser known films in the Nancy Drew series, Nancy goes undercover as a cigarette girl in a cheap waterfront dive, and...

This afternoon, Turner Classic Movies will be broadcasting the Nancy Drew movies from the late 1930s. I was curious to learn a little more about the films, in which a young Bonita Granville played the teenaged crime solver, so I ran "Bonita Granville" and "Drew" through Google's image search.

After doing the search, I found that a very nice lady with an interesting site on acting had captioned a photo of an adult Bonita Granville, who is dressed in a low-cut blouse and smoking a cigarette (scroll down to the last of the pictures on the page), as "Bonita Granville aka Nancy Drew".

"Yeah, I'll look at your $%#$% clues. Just let me finish my &%*$%* cigarette first!"

( ;) )

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Trinity Western University opens new campus in the basement of the Number 5 Orange?

Here's a very unserious discussion about whether a proposed promotional photo for the very christian Trinity Western University makes the campus look like "a haven of harlots".

Oh my goodness, Ben Bogard (look down three posts) was right!

"You know, I have a jacket that shouts mild depression and ennui. Go figure."

thrifty cent is a new and funny blog about amusing thrift store finds. This blogger is a genius at finding the eye-popping at thrift stores, such as the Marxist board game Class Struggle.

My last "what the...?" find at a thrift store appears to be the main part of a tea pot. It's in the form of a sheep, and when the tea pours, the liquid appears to be coming out of the sheep's mouth!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Just another day in the CFL

Colby Cosh on yesterday's Grey Cup game:

Edmonton Eskimos 38, Montreal Alouettes 35 (OT). Let me be the first to say it: the question is not whether this was the greatest Grey Cup game ever--the question is whether it was the greatest football game ever, period.

Well, I went to the game and I disagree slightly. The first half was a little dull, as neither team could move the ball consistently. The second half and the overtime made the game one of the top five Grey Cups of all time.

As long as we talking about opinions, I would say that this game compares to the Grey Cups in 1976, 1989, 1994 and 1996 for excitement. I think, though, that the 2005 Grey Cup is particularly special to Colby because his beloved Eskimos won the game. (For a similar reason, the 1994 Grey Cup, which the B.C. Lions won by the margin of a late Passaglia field goal,remains my favourite Grey Cup of the two games that I have seen in person.)

I'd certainly agree, though, that a neutral observer might see the 2005 Grey Cup as the best ever. My mother, who was there with me, could hardly talk at the end of the game because she was so excited.

Colby, though, had the advantage of seeing the game on TV. I was on the other side of the field from the two moments that he cites in the post. I didn't have the benefit of colour commentators explaining why A.J. Gass' offside penalty in overtime was so brilliantly timed, for example.

Anthony Calvillo's attempt to throw two forward passes in the same overtime play,only to have the second one dropped in the end zone was just bizarre to watch. It was something I had never seen before, and I have to wonder if the "no two forward passes in the same play" rule is one of those obscure rules that no one ever thinks about. Would the ball have been ruled dead if Calvillo had run for a touchdown instead?

At any rate, Colby is right to write that any Grey Cup game that can make my mother almost pass out from being over-excited, is a great one.

One last note. Did Colby notice the loud boos when Paul Martin came in to do the coin toss? They were certainly the loudest boos that I heard during the game, but the jeers may not have come across as that loud during the CBC telecast.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sister Aimee tries for a rhetorical figure-four leglock

Speaking of Aimee Semple McPherson, here is a link to a 1934 debate between the faith healing evangelist and Baptist minister and radio preacher Ben Bogard. The subject: Does God do miracles today as He did in the days of the apostles?

I wouldn't agree with Rev. Bogard that the Pentecostal churches of his day were full of "fallen girls" , but the debate itself is interesting reading.
Will you listen to Sister Aimee, or will you trade for what's behind door number three?

I think that TV critic Rick McGinnisovereached a bit when he recently compared Oprah Winfrey to Aimee Semple McPherson.

Surely all that Oprah has done is steal the concept of the old Queen For A Daytelevsion show? The popular 1950s TV show allowed a studio audience to pick that day's lady with the saddest story and shower her with fabulous merchandise.

If Oprah is recycling TV ideas to beat the band, why compare her show to Sister Aimee's efforts to do new and unusual things through her ministry?

I think that McPherson would be a little dismayed by the comparsion.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Here's a website that has materials about the Jesus People movement of Christians of the 1960s and 1970s.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Now she's putting heaven to rights

I should note that medical missionary Jean Buchan, an Order of Canada member who I profiled in The Report magazine several years ago, died last spring.

Brave lady, she.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's supercalafajalistickespeealadojus!

Courtesy Mr. Lee Hartsfeld, a discussion of the song Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus, which includes a unique legal defense from the Walt Disney Company.
The square dance version of Jingle Bells, four-armed Santas and other fun.

MP3-posting blogger Lee Hartsfeld is posting a lot of unique and unusual Christmas records. My mom, who likes Christmas a lot, might enjoy following the link.

I think that my mom should download "Lawrence Joy and Wilbur Waite's Pokeberry Promenaders'...square-dance-with-calls version of Jingle Bells entitled Massachusetts Mixture" and use it on her telephone answering machine around Christmas time.
Jordan Bateman elected, demands recount

Now that Mr. Bateman has been elected, I guess that makes me the H.V. Kaltenborn of his Langley Politics website. (As soon as those rural precincts come in, Dewey is going to be elected. It's far too soon to call the election for Harry Truman...)

Well, I don't *live* in Langley, so that was an educated guess on my part.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Wait a second, no wonder Jordan lost. These people voted in alphabetical order...and this guy is dead!

I don't want to spoil the party, but I think that Jordan Bateman will just miss being elected a Langley Township councillor.

But I worked as a Chicago Tribune headline writer during the 1948 US presidential election, so who can say?


If my guess is wrong, though, I'd be happy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It was a dark and stormy night

Kathy Shaidle has been tagged with the latest meme contest. It challenges bloggers to take the fifth sentence of their 23rd post and turn it into a short story.

In my case, it would be "posted by Rick", which I could turn into the lyrics of a mambo song more easily than the start of a story.

Kathy, in response, posts her first poem "Contacts with Trotskyites."

Looking at my posts near my 23rd post, I see that there are few fifth sentences in these posts as my posts tended to be short. The closest valid fifth sentence of a post is: "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." I don't have a post idea, I have the winning opening sentence of the next Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I cannot tell a lie, I fisked him with my little hachet

I'm surprised that someone has taken on the persona of George Washington to do George Washington's weblog.

Watch for a post complaining about how uncomfortable wooden false teeth are.
Well, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore
Or how your correspondent "fell into a burnin' ring, er, tunnel of fire" :)

You may recall that a few posts ago, I was wondering about the lyrics of a 1950s pop song. Specifically, I was wondering what "She did the chicken in the middle of the floor" might have looked like.

Well, after recently attending a charismatic Christian religious meeting in Vancouver, which featured a "fire tunnel", I think that I may know. :)

Charismatics, as you may know, believe that the Holy Spirit works today as He did in the days of the book of Acts. Some of these manifestations can be speaking in tongues, or being "slain in the Spirit" (being prompted to faint due to God touching your heart in some way). One technique in the more "out there" edges of charismatic practice is called a "fire tunnel". In a fire tunnel, ministers and prayer team members form two rows facing each other. Those receiving prayer walk between the two lines, allowing those praying to lay hands on them and pray for them to be blessed.

I was at the meeting for another reason that didn't pan out as I had hoped. After a good message (I attend a church with Pentecostal leanings, so I am not averse to trying to glean Biblical truths from charismatic ministers), they announced that there would be a "fire tunnel" at the front of the auditorium. Not seeing any
baskets of snakes for the assembled worshippers to pick up and play with nearby, I decided that it might be interesting to look and see what was happening. (Once a reporter, always a reporter. Although I may not be working in journalism for the time being, I expect that my "news nose" will never lose its sense of smell.)

I got in the line-up as it snaked up and down the aisles of the church. I noticed one young lady about four or five people in front of me. She seemed a bit inebriated, but I knew that she certainly had not been drinking. She was doing half-twirls, and then falling to the ground giggling. She kept bending at the waist. It all looked involuntary on her part, but she had a big smile on her face.

I mentioned to another lady beside me "You know, I think the tunnel is supposed to be down there at the front." She just smiled.

We eventually meandered our way down to the front on the auditorium. I entered the tunnel. At first, it was relatively calm, with people gently laying hands on me as I walked past and saying things like "Fresh fire." and "More Lord".

As the tunnel progressed, those who were praying seemed to build in intensity. I noticed that people further in front of me were starting to be bent backwards or forwards for some reason. Others were slumping to the floor.

As I got toward the end of the line, the pray-ers were doing things like jumping up and down like pogo-stick users. One guy roared in my face, and I just laughed a bit back at him, only to feel a lady blowing on my face. I could tell this, infortunately, because I felt a drop of spit fall on my face.

As that demonstrative young lady that I had seen earlier went around to the back of the line for another go, I stayed down in front to watch, as people went through. Now the pray-ers were hopping, moving back and forth and jumping up and down. It reminded me of the toga party in the movie Animal House without the liquor and debauchery.

Finally, the prayers went into the line themselves and the tunnel collapsed into itself with groups of twos and threes of people laughing or crying softly.

The evening was wrapping up, and as I was leaving, I saw the young lady who could not wait until she was in the tunnel. "I hope that you were blessed," I told her. "It looked like you were having a lot of fun." She said "Thanks!", and I left.

At the other side of the auditorium, the young lady caught up to me. "Hey," she said. "Can I pray for you?"

"Okay, but why would you want to do that?" I said.

"Freely you have received," she smiled, "Freely give."

So, I let her bring me back to her friends, and they prayed for me. The young lady prayed that my hunger for God would be satified and that He would touch me.

"Do you feel warm or hot?" she asked. (Warmth is often a test amongst charismatics to see if the Holy Spirit is working on someone.)

"Yes, I feel a little hot," I said, "but I am wearing my jacket." I felt a little bit like Dan Akyroyd's character in The Blues Brothers when John Belushi's character has his revelation from the Lord in James Brown's church. [Belushi is bathed in sunlight while Aykroyd is reduced to asking "What light?"]

Looking back at all this, I am grateful for that sympathetic young lady's sweet intentions that I should be blessed too. If I were to think like my old Report colleagues Colby Cosh and Kevin Michael Grace, I would also have to ask myself if I was laying myself open to empty emotionalism.

I do have one thought, though. So often faith is an intellectual thing, where the mind observes a set of moral principles. That said, men are beings that feel, with hearts and emotions.

For faith to work it has to touch both the mind and heart.

So, when people are looking for a light at the end of their tunnel, I'm not surprised if they happen to look for this light at the end of a "fire tunnel".

Friday, November 11, 2005

Oldworthy, not newsworthy

Back in my Report magazine days, one of my editors used to point out that my news hooks were too old by saying that I could have written the opening of my story as "Earlier this decade..."

In that spirit, I am getting around to giving my own responses to that "book post" that bloggers were kicking around in the summer.

1. Total number of books that I have owned:

The last time that I counted, when I was in high school, I had about 1,200.

The last time that I moved, my mother said "I wish that I had never taught you how to read." :)

2. The most recent books that I have bought:

--The New Mystics by John Crowder.
--At The Tomb Of The Inflatable Pig by John Gimlette (if I can't get to Paraguay, I might as well read about it.)
--McPhersonism by Robert Shuler (The fourth edition of a book that was self-published in 1924. A cool find, as I had been looking for this critique of Sister Aimee for a long time. Only $12 US too :) )
--Four Days in November by the staff of the New York Times. (If I had bought the New York Times on the day after the JFK shooting, I would have needed a wagon to carry my paper around. I'm *still* not finished the stories published on November 23rd. :) )

3. The last book that I read:

I am about to finish How We Got Here:The 1970s by David Frum.
The last book that I completed was Cobb: A Autobiography by Al Stump.

I'm going to change question number four, because I can.

4. Books that I would like to have written myself:

I don't know why other writers didn't have this idea. Here are two that come to my mind:

Berlin Diary by William Shirer

When you think of Nazi Germany, you are tempted to think of the Nazis coming into power, flipping a switch to Nazify the population, and then starting the Second World War. It wasn't that way. Berlin Diary documents the slow process of the Nazis taking control. I also got a feeling of how difficult it was for Shirer to do his job, and be a good foreign correspondent in that situation.

The Faith Healers by James Randi

You may fairly ask why I like this book when I am a somewhat devout Christian who acts on his belief that prayer can help people to be healed (It would be fair to say that I am no longer a complete cessationist). That said, I can get righteously indignant when faith healers do not act with honesty and integrity. (As we are serving the Lord when we try to help people be healed, we must exhibit His character when we minister.)

The church should be taking out its own trash.

I liked the cloak-and-dagger exploits in this expose too, such as dressing a man up as a woman in a faith healing meeting, or catching Peter Popoff listening on a radio earphone to his wife who was helping him to fake words of knowledge.

Can you tell that I miss my old job? ;)
Three bumps for the Miscellanist

Say, my blog has just turned three!

Quiet day for me. Doing laundry and cleaning my room in fits and starts. But if you are looking for somehing fun to read, Tim Blair is marking the 30th anniversary of the sacking of Australian P.M. Gough Whitlam.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Meet God's cat, too

There is a site devoted to Jennifer, aka The Lord Thy God.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mercy, me

I'd like to commend this archival article from Christianity Today. It mentions my friend Toshi, who has a mercy mission to help Vancouver prostitutes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What he said

I like Michael Jenkinson's idea that the Tories should call for the GST to be cut to 3% in the next election.

(Sorry for the lighter than usual posting. Six-day work weeks will do that to you.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"'In fact, we're a Catholic apologist rap group.'"

After reading Kathy's note about a blogger's encounter with some Catholic punks on a New York subway train, I'm just amazed, that's all.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Mystery Neo-con Theatre 3000

The way that Kathy Shaidle describes this conservative blogger video night in Toronto, I thought that they were giving a beloved liberal movie the Mike-and-the-'bots treatment. But no, they were just watching Red Dawn.

I'd be into that. I really like the guy, but I have MST3K moments when listening to my pastor's sermons.

Pastor: [After making a big analogy encouraging us to do our part for God by referring to just watching the film Kingdom of Heaven and learning how all the actors and actresses were almost fighting to get parts in it.]

"Just think, someday in heaven the story of the ages will play out and your role will be seen as really important..."

Rick: [Whispered aside to neighbour] "[The Pastor's] part will play out like a clip from Citizen Kane and my part will be a reel from Plan Nine From Outer Space."

I need to teach someday, so my pastor can get some payback. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

What Narnia character are you?

This personality quiz, promoting the upcoming The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe film, says that I would be Puzzle the donkey in the Narnia world.

Oh well, at least I wasn't Queen Jadis.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

She did the chicken in the middle of the floor

In 1960, U.S. rockabilly artist Billy "Crash" Craddock had a number one hit in Australia (of all places) with Boom Boom Baby. It's a great song, but I still wonder what "the chicken" and "the chicken bop" were. They are dances mentioned in the song.

The dance called "the chicken" in Boom Boom Baby would seem not to be the silly disco dance that's best known as "The Bird Dance" in Europe. [The lyrics of Heino's version of "The Bird Dance", by the way, say that he learned the dance while on his "first flight to Canada"!]

The only information that I can find on the "chicken bop", there being no Wikipedia entry on the dance, is that this is a slang term for moving one's head like a chicken to music.

Australians, for their part, liked to put their own spin on dance crazes in the 1960s. "Twistin' USA" was transmogrified into the Johnny O'Keefe cover version "Twistin Australia Way", in which teens in various Australian towns named in the song were even "twistin' to the didgeridoo."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A chicken in every pot

Jordan Bateman's business blog has been transmogrified into his election website.

I must be a blogger at heart because I'm slightly tempted to give it the MST3K treatment instead of making a positive contribution to politics, myself. But, I will play nicely. Good luck, Jordan.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Hiebert Poirot solves the case

Jordan Bateman has announced on the Orient Express, er, his weblog, that he is running for Langley Township council.

My "little grey cells" are always right, Hastings. Except when they are wrong

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Little Marcy rocks

A gospel-loving blogger argues persuasively to would-be hipsters, that it is perfectly all right to simply take Little Marcy records at their face value. The singing puppet was intended for Christian kids and not jaded turn-of-this-century Gen Xers, y'know. Well said.
Never say never again

Those who remember Gary Collins, who was British Columbia's Finance Minister until last December, may be interested to know that he hasn't lost his skill at answering questions as a politician does.

Mr. Collins, who is now the CEO of Harmony Airways, was recently interviewed by Business Edge, a Vancouver business affairs newspaper. Mr. Collins gave a standard answer when asked why he had decided to leave politics.


"Why did you resign as B.C. Finance Minister last December?"

[Mr. Collins] "Because I'd been doing it for 14 years and I have a very young family. I had sort of completed what I think I went there to do. I looked at all the indicators, all the work we had done and sort of said, "Well, where do I go for the next four years?" I thought it was probably an opportune time to get out of elected office and let someone else have a go at it. I never viewed it as a lifetime career. I viewed it as something I would do for a while, as long as I could continue, and then move on."


Okay, we can conclude that Mr. Collins has had his fill of politics, right? Yes. No, I mean no! Well, you can imagine that I was a little confused by his answer to a qustion later on in the interview.


"What would it take for you to be lured back into politics?"

[Mr. Collins] "People have asked me if I would ever go back and the answer is 'Yeah, I would go back.' I'm not planning on going back. It's not something that I am waiting for to happen. If the right issues come along and I felt I could contribute and I would add value to improving things or solving a problem, then you know, I might consider it. But its certainly not something I have written down in an agenda pad. I'm doing what I am doing now. I'm very interested in it. I have lots of challenges to keep me busy for the next number of years and we'll see what happens."

Let's parse this. The answers seem to me to be, in order:

1) Yes

2) Yes, but don't hold me to that.

3)Yes, if the generic conditions that led me to politics in the first place happen again. [Politicians are only unable to "make a positive contribution" or "solve problems" in places like Stalin's Russia or Castro's Cuba]

4. No, on second thought don't assume that I will go back to politics because I don't have plans to do so...

5. ...because I have lots of challenges to keep me busy...

6. ...for the next few years which may mean "until I become Premier of B.C.," or "retire".

Spin worthy of a Maytag washer. :) Within a single paragraph, no less.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It's elementary, Watson

Let's examine the clues. Blogger Jordan Bateman, who has been publicly mulling about running for Langley Township councillor, writes that he will be really busy in the next two months, so much so that his personal blog will be really dormant.

Furthermore my dear Watson, his friend Sam Kirk writes that he will be busy running a political campaign.

So, Sherlock Hiebert says that Colonel Mustard did it with a candlestick in the library! Er, make that Jordan Bateman will be running for councillor after all.

Good luck Jordan. Hope you can pull it off. Perhaps he thinks he has enough name recognition that he can win a six week campaign, especially since he has run before.

It is always interesting to see people change from commenting on politics to participating in politics themselves. I wouldn't want to make the jump, but that is just me.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lazarus does not come forth

I've just learned that the Christian History Project is being wound up, with the series of books outlining the history of Christianity being unfinished.

It was the latest venture of my old boss, Ted Byfield. I was able to find out what had happened due to playing a miniscule role in the enterprise. (I had done a very small amount of research work for the book that was being done now.)

They are attributing the end of the project to a sin: theft. Their computer server was stolen last December. The ensuing costs and business hiatus has made the project financially unsound.

It's a shame, as The Christians could have been a valuable addition to church scholarship.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A pub with no beer

According to this website (which records which song was the weekly number one hit in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia), the first Australian-made Australian number one hit of the rock era was A Pub with No Beer by Slim Dusty.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Uruguayan Beatles

Los Shakers tried gamely to emulate the Fab Four, to the point that they adopted the Beatles' outfits and hairstyles. That said, I couldn't imagine the real Beatles doing a cover version of It's My Party on one of their LPs.

My curiousity about these moptops was piqued after I saw a Los Shakers LP cover at the latest big Vancouver record collectors swap meet. There was no record inside the cover, though.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

"I see dead people"

That is, to quote exactly, "...images of dead people...".

Isn't that the sort of thing that spritualists used to produce?

Oh well, at least he didn't see fairies in those pictures.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ten cents a dance, that's what they pay me/ Gosh how they weigh me down....

News story--Two Young Men in Jail After 82 lap dances.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

What do you call your act?

Tonight, live on stage, that vaudeville sensation,The Aristocrats!


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Number 98 with an anchor

The Globe and Mail is reporting that radio stations across Canada are refusing to play The Tragically Hip song New Orleans is Sinking following the recent hurricane.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Cute alert

A weblog devoted to a lady's pet guinea pigs.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Thou shalt draw

I see that Kevin Frank, creator of the very good Oboe Jones cartoon in Cornerstone Magazine, is still doing cartoons.

Monday, August 29, 2005

74 and counting

I see that Jordan has surpassed his goal of reading more than 12 books this year.

I wonder if he knows the old reporter's trick of reading upside down? One person at church on Sunday had a T-shirt with an amusing upside-down message and I "got it" first.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Robert Goulet?!?!?

Here's an interesting tribute site about "Canada's rock pioneers".

It's a good thing that Elvis isn't alive. Upon reading this post, he would have shot his computer monitor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lenin and McCartney

Blogger Sisu thinks that Elvis Presley was the most effective anti-Communist ever. I like Elvis a bit, but I wouldn't agree with that. Elvis wouldn't have lasted five seconds in the Gulag.

David Noebel would certainly disagree that Elvis should be a hero of the right. His Communism, Hypnotism and The Beatles theorized that Folk Music was a communist conspiracy.

I don't have a copy of that pamphlet, but I do own Noebel's 1966 book Rhythym, Riots and Revolution. I bought the latter book, which seems to expand upon the pamphlet's thesis, in a Prince George bookstore 15 years ago while I was treeplanting. It cost $10, but I reasoned "I will never see this book for sale again." And I've never seen it since. It was worth the purchase price alone to see the reaction of the editors of the very liberal student newspaper that I wrote for, when I brought it in to the office. One of them started scanning parts of the book so he could e-mail them to other people.

Oh well, at least I haven't bought records by The Goldwaters, the pro-Barry folk group from 1964 ["Our album wasn't 'nearly' *was* completely unlistenable."]. Although, I must say that
anti-Communist chanteuse Janet Greene was pretty. Catchy lyrics too. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Her post graduate degree is printed on asbestos

I didn't know that you could be a professional exorcist
Insert Surrey joke here

Somone looking for "Surrey exorcisms" found their way to my blog.
Thank Christ that it's not a documentary!

I see that Jeremy Lott has also seen The 40 Year Old Virgin.
I'm walking, yes indeed...

I'm pleased to see that my old colleague and blogging friend Kevin Michael Grace is posting again. Do visit him.
A Billy Graham film

Peter T. Chattaway has written an interesting article about World Wide Pictures, Billy Graham's Christian film company.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Veni, Vidi, Torgo!

As spotted on the MST3K Booyaka website, a rendition of the MST3K theme song in Latin:

Non procul iam futuro,
Iuxta die Dominica, Anno Domini,
Viuit puer, Ioel nomine,
Valde mihi aut tibi non dissimilis.
Laborauit in Instituto Gizmonico
Vix altera facies in tunica rufa,
Bene obseruauit loci mundationem
Sed domini sui non eum amauit,
Donec ad inania eum eiecerunt.
Eum mittemus cinemata vilia
Pessima quae inuenire possumus;
Oportet ei sedere et omnia spectare
Dum mentem suam obseruabimus.
Memento vt Ioel ne imperium habeat
Locorum, vbi incipiunt aut desinent cinemata,
Quia elementa ad hoc vsu dedicata, dilexit
Ad amicos suos roboticos faciendum.

Tabula Robotica:

Gnaeus Seruio

Miras, quo modo esse aut spirare potest,
Aut alia vera scientifica,
Recordate quod nil necnon speculum sit
Donec malitis refectionem
Ad Theatrum Arcanum Scientiae Tres Mille.

In related news, I was slightly perturbed to see a poster from my very favourite TV show on the apartment wall of the title character in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Guess I had better start stocking up on action figures... :)

Friday, August 19, 2005


Gregg Easterbrook has restarted his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I know whom this German singing star reminds me of, I must say!

I see that one website credits Gotz Alsmann as being "Germany's Frank Sinatra". All I can say is "Look at that hair!"

Amazing hairdo aside, I am sure he was/is a fine performer.
"Most favourite German identical twins"

Here is a tribute page for Alice & Ellen Kessler. They are twin sisters who played Vegas and did a cover version of "Johnny Angel" (?!?) while becoming singing stars in Italy and Germany. Warning, English mangled freely!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Open can of Spaghettios. Get spoon. Eat over sink.

I never would have though that there was a book called The Can Opener Gourmet until I saw the author demonstrate some recipes on the Food Network Canada's Top Five show. From what I saw, the recipes look quite ingenious.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Dewey Decimal System blog!

In the latest Dewey Decimal System news, The Monkees have gained the notice of the DDS boffins here. It's not exactly a gold record, but...

Thanks to Colby Cosh.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Kittens And Puppies Go To The Hospital, tonight on Fox

It looks like Kathy Shaidle also has unusual tastes in television with her list of The Other Top Ten TV Shows. I assume that she thinks that the *remake* of The Twilight Zone is best suited for kids 12 and under. Rod Serling rocks.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Everything old is new again

Cloud Ten Productions has announced plans to release the new Left Behind movie in churches, not theatres.

Actor Kirk Cameron says that this is a new idea, but it really isn't. The films commisioned by the late Estus Pirkle are very hard to find on video or DVD because he has always leased his prints to mostly churches at hundreds of dollars per year.

Hat tip: Kathy Shaidle.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I'll take "Jobs that turn my brains into pudding" for $500, Alex

How may jobs can you name where you do ten hours of overtime in two days?

While I recover from my latest 13 and a half hour shift, please enjoy the neat tribute site to Seattle kids TV show hero J.P.Patches, which has undergone an attractive redesign.

Fans of Bob Newman, who played dozens of parts on the J.P. Patches show, may enjoy the
Bongo Congo Kennel Club website.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My blog has hairs growing out of its ears and wears its pants hiked up to its armpits

Are you having a mid-life crisis about whether to continue blogging? Read this public service pamplet.

Hat tip: Jordan Bateman.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Victor Appleton is taken behind the woodshed

Here's an item that I hope you will really enjoy while I catch up on a few things....

Like many fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which made fun of bad movies and film shorts for many years on Comedy Central and the SciFi Channel, I regret that the show is off the air. However, wiseacre fans are borrowing the show characters to take wisenheimer pot shots at Internet spam and other printed materials using the same format as the original show.

Here's a link to John Nowak and Matt Plotecher's wonderfully funny take on Tom Swift and His War Tank, an inane boys book from the World One era. They make fun of the entire book.

"Misting" is now a verb describing giving something in print the MST3K treatment. It's something I would like to try looks like fun. By the way, a hat tip to Keith Palmer for posting one of my fave MISTings.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The spaghetti farms of Switzerland

Enjoy this fascinating 1957 BBC documentary online.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A rat is a pig is a dog is a Holocaust victim

It might be the only comment supporting animal rights which could possibly be more tasteless than "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy."

I'm indebted to conservative Australian journalist and blogger Tim Blair for spotting this for us.

Mr. Blair reports that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (which is much like our CBC, for good or ill) recently profiled Australian animal rights activist Brian Sherman, which led local environmentalist Tim Flannery, director of the South Australian Museum, to opine:

"I think that Brian sees something akin to what went on in the Holocaust. You know, that this is a terrible tragedy unfolding before our eyes, and unless we act to do something about it, we’re complicit in this cruelty and this degradation."

Mr, Sherman, for his part, has had the grace to disassociate himself from this opinion. But one has to wonder when North American PETA activists will start to think this way.

Australia, land of Fisher-Price people

Tim Blair has posted a link to this fun collection of old newspaper photo morgue pictures.

I also thought the banner ad at the top of the page was interesting too. It's an ad for an online employment agency service, which shows cartoon people being dropped into the appropriate slots. They all look like Fisher Price play people. I was reminded of the Fisher Price airplane that I had as a child, where you put all the play people into the slots and then pretended to fly the plane.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Not featured on Club X Currently Playing lists, for some reason

I'm listening to the comedy record The Flying Saucer by Buchanan and Goodman. The 1956 record used snippets of current records to make people say funny things as Earth is invaded by Martians.

Here's a news story which explains why rappers owe Buchanan and Goodman thanks for inventing the concept of "sampling".

Next up, perfecting my Boris Karloff impression by listening to the "Monster Mash". By the way, you can still hire Bobby "Boris" Pickett to sing a "medley of his hit."
Wierd search engine referral of the day

"Your sister swims out to meet troop ships."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

To the moon, Alice!

Google Moon uses maps of the Moon to help you imagine what it looked like to the astronauts on Apollo 11 as they came in for a landing 36 years ago.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

What happens in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Toronto Sun reveals the no longer secret plot of the new Harry Potter book. Thanks for the heads-up tip to Mike Jenkinson, who amazingly read the entire book in one day.

My mother, the biggest Harry Potter fan that I know, should not click on either of these links until she reads the book herself! Mom, resist the temptation! Nevertheless, I never would have guessed that the book would reveal that Hogwarts would have been been bought by Sam Walton and razed to build a Wal-Mart. That J.K. Rowling, what a kidder!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Mommy, we were playing house, and a portal to hell opened...

Thanks to Bidboy, I can refer you to an eBay auction for a haunted doll. Captain Howdy action figure not included.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

After the scene where he walked on the water, Bela turned into a bat

In 1909, Bela Lugosi played Jesus in a Passion Play

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Chuck Cadman dies

Now that Chuck Cadman has died, I will prefer to remember the principled MP who was very helpful for some stories that I did back in my journalist days.

It's too bad that most people will remember him for saving the Liberals this spring. Aside from that lapse of judgement, he did a lot of good work.

I wonder if any of the media speculation that the Liberals made him promises to reform youth crime laws (a pet passion of his) in return for his vote, was true. If so, will they be bound by their promises?

Friday, July 08, 2005

I know, I'll get a reference from Bill Vander Zalm :)

Somehow, I don't think that my career at B.C. Report would help me to get this job. Am I wrong? :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I'll wake up the rooster on my way to work

While I am working early morning vacation relief, please check out Jordan Bateman's fun personal blog. I fear that my brain turning into Velveeta, due to fatigue, may hamper me from posting for a couple of days.

How dare they quote him!

Tim Blair notices when Australian politician Bob Carr's defense of religious freedom turns into "My dog ate my homework!" when other media outlets do follow-up stories. Unless he chickened out and changed the speech as he delivered it, flummoxing those reporters who didn't check against delivery.

The comments section for that post will explore the mystery.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Tonight, on a very special Star Trek: The Next Generation...

Wil Wheaton, writing on his favourite video games as a teenager, observes

....For the next few minutes, I was blown away. The game didn't just talk — it was cool! It was a combination of D&D and SciFi. It was like someone had reached into my dreams, found the two things I loved more than anything else in the world, and put the result in front of me. This perfect storm of passions wouldn't happen again until I visited Olympic Gardens when I was 22, but that's all you're ever going to hear about that story....

Reading this, I thought to myself, "I bet that the Olympic Gardens is either a strip bar or a whorehouse." And, as a Google search will show you, I was correct.

Perhaps it's good that Wil doesn't share. The bandwith requirements for a zillion hits on his blog would surely bankrupt him.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

"Like a virgin... Girded with sackcloth for the very first time..."

A fan gives the Biblical book of Joel the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.

Many happy returns to my old colleagueThe Ambler, who has recently had a birthday.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Clashing plaids spotted in Question Period

The Meatrearch writes that Stephen Harper needs to start acting like Don Cherry in more ways than one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Company motto

After this morning, I think the office that I work at needs a new motto:

"I picked the wrong day to quit smoking."
"I picked the wrong day to quit drinking.
"I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue."

--Lloyd Bridges, Airplane!

(large :))

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Stuff that I wonder about

After reading Jordan's post, I wonder why everyone likes to sit in the same seat at church. That's something that I notice too. I always sit in the same seat.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Torgo lives!

The El Paso Times interviews an actor in the immortally bad film Manos: The Hands of Fate. The story notes that the intereviewee is one of the few actors in the 1966 film who hasn't left town or died.

What I find suprising is that some Canadian college filmmakers have made a documentary, Hotel Torgo about Manos: The Hands of Fate. You wanna bet that the documentary got Canada Council funding?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ed Wood was Turkish?

Here's a review of the Turkish remake of The Wizard of Oz, which bad movie fans think must be the worst movie ever made.

Another appraisal notes that

Speaking of music, "The Turkish Wizard of Oz" abruptly breaks into clumsy song-and-dance numbers which are not helped by the obvious lack of singing and dancing talent among the cast...

But the definitive word online on this cinematic turkey belongs to Seanbaby, I would say.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Gentrification and kitty litter

A cat has a very thoughful post on the inability of anybody who hasn't won a lottery to buy a house in Vancouver.

It's a serious issue, which spills over into other aspects of life. At my old church, for example, the young middle class marrieds who would be the future pillars of the church all moved out to Surrey, Maple Ridge and the Fraser Valley. No affordable properties in Vancouver.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

You lose a stroke if you hit a polar bear

There's a fellow in Nunavut writing the weblog Tundra Golf. It reports his adavtures playing golf on the muskeg of the Arctic.

I'm not sure that he is serious, but the idea is certainly amusing.
"Why Not Use a Tractor?" and other Canadian films

Yesterday's Vancouver Sun has an interesting story on a new Library and Archives Canada project. Their Virtual Silver Screen website allows internet browsers to watch 25 silent Canadian film shorts, dating from 1903 to 1940, online.

The archivists thought that these films (which include footage of Canadian troops at Vimy Ridge, a film on Ontario farming made in 1917, and a 1918 travelogue about Banff and Lake Louise) might be interesting to a wide audience. The story notes that they hope to put more films online as resources become available.

The website is here. Enjoy.
Ladies with hats

Boy, I am glad that my grandmother doesn't like hats after seeing this picture.

[Scratching my head and looking at screen with head half-tilted]

I'm wondering why a blog titled European Vacations has information on a trip to Vancouver B.C., which is in Canada.
"They love to play and to fight, and their angry noises cause them to resemble querulous French Canadians...."

Kevin unwinds with a tribute to the ducks in his local parks.

I can empathize. On one of my days off, I try to make sure to go somewhere where I will get some peace and quiet. Or at least a mental break.
Judith Reisman, call your office

Cecil Adams writes in his latest column that Alfred Kinsey was basically making things up when he tried to explain the origin of the term "missionary position".

The news that Kinsey was yet again economical with the truth, to say the very least, will not be news to one of his critics, I am sure.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Did she say "In canis corpore transmuto" before she was transmogrified?

There's a rumour circulating the Muslim world that a girl who threw a Koran at her mom was changed into a dog.

Thanks to Kathy.
In the Land of the Looosst!

Some people write cool posts about The Land of the Lost. I, on the other hand, own a Land of the Lost video. (BTW, the story editor for the Land of the Lost was David Gerrold, who wrote The Trouble with Tribbles.)

Could I be any more of a nerd? Probably, if I set my mind to it. ( :) )

"Dr. Shrinker! Dr. Shrinker! He's a mad man with an evil miiiind...."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Whistle while you work

[Well, this was the original 2 1/2 year old template. Perhaps this will do some good.}

While doing some blog housecleaning, I messed up my old template. Please be patient for a little while, while I get everything back to normal.

(I could do without this shade of orange, but I think this look might be okay.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

All creatures dim and dull

This old post shows that in the service industry, you
get what you pay for.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Top ten signs that you might be at a Christian show

I've just read an amusing post from blogger Dianna. I hope that she doesn't mind me quoting from it:


10) When it comes time to wave lighters, nobody has one.

9) No visible boobies.

8) You think you spotted a person carrying a six-pack...of Pepsi.

7) Instead of cussing, you hear people speaking in tongues.

6) Your fellow concert-goer knows the songs because she heard them in church.

5) There are middle-aged moms getting into the concert with more vim and vigor than you.

4) You recognize two of the guys in the opening band from Bible Camp.

3) All of the hot guys are sportin' wedding rings -- even among the under 20 crowd.

2) When someone steps on your toe in the mosh pit, they apologize...and then offer to pray for you.

1) One word: flaggers.

[I wonder if Dianna means road traffic control people in entry number one. Now that I deal with construction workers every day, that's what "flaggers" means to me...:)

I think that she means worhsippers who carry bug coloured flags to the front and dance around. It would be bizarrely funny the way that I first read it.

"Okay, the flagger is waving the moshers to the front of the hall. Her stop sign says "Go". Oh no, the lady with the flags is ignoring the flagger. Her flag is hitting the moshers..."]


Monday, May 30, 2005

I live in the El Pretentiouso

The Ambler discovers that a name can't turn the apartment equivalent of a sow's ear into a silk purse.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

It's a good thing that sheep don't fly

Anthony posts a photo of The Biggest Bird Car Poop Ever. That should be the "biggest bird poop on a car hood ever."

Reminds me of the time that I was in Stanley Park with my friend Jim and his family. A seagull just missed me, and the ground looked like it had been carpet-bombed by the 101st Seagull Airborne.
Singing like an alley cat, part two. Or why you should never ask me to make you a mix tape

While reading Colby Cosh's thoughtful musings on recent pop music, I've been listening to the infamous Can't You Hear The Beat Of A Broken Heart? which I discuss a few posts below. My 45 of the Iain Gregory "song" has recently arrived from a used record store in England. It was very inexpensive, for some reason.

Can't You Hear The Beat Of a Broken Heart's lyrics are as wonderfully awful as the singing. A sample:

Can't you hear the beat of a broken heart?
Can't you see my love is dyin'?
Like the boom boom boom of a tom tom tom
Because I know that you're a-lyin'

Can't you see me sigh, when you pass me by?
Can't you hear my love a cryin'?
Like the woah woah woah of a cupid's bow
To find your heart, I'm a-tryin'...

To my dismay, none of the recent American Idol contestants covered this song. I fail to understand why. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ian Paisley's favourite soccer team

In Europe, you're not supposed to cheer for some soccer teams if you are a Protestant. This post helps explain the alleged reasons why.

Once, I was watching a Scottish comedy show sketch about a great player being signed to Glasgow's (Protestant) Rangers team. He was being signed, until he let slip that he was Catholic. The rest of the sketch was about the manager falling all over himself not to finish the contract.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Transformers! MLAs in disguise!

During last night's B.C. election there was an amusing TV blooper, thanks to the fumbly fingers of whomever was doing the closed captioning for the Vancouver channel 9 supper-time news.

I was eating in a Chinese restuarant. The restaurant had the TV on with closed captioning.

I could tell that the typist was trying to go too fast because they were calling Belinda Stronach something like "Strnck" during the story on her defection.

Then, they did a preview of that night's election. They intended to talk about the riding of Vancouver Fraserview where B.C. Liberal Wally Oppal, a B.C. appeals court judge, was running against Ravinder Gill of the NDP. Mr. Gill DRIVES a school bus for a living. (Oppal would win.)

However, it didn't read that way on screen. The main battle of the riding was described, in the closed captioning, as pitting "an appeals court judge against a school bus." Period. New sentence.

Transformers! MLAs in disguise! (It would be easy to get the attention of the Speaker if you were transmogrifying into a car.)

Poor Mr. Gill. Nobody deserves a blooper like that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Belinda, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out

My friends at The Shotgun will have more to say on this, but I am actually pleased in a small way that Belinda Stronach has defected to the Liberals. It will put an end to all that media carping, at the federal Tories', expense, that the party should have a small-l liberal like her as leader.

Might save Paul Martin's bacon, though, which is certainly a bad thing.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Movie Sign!

Big hat tip to Colby Cosh for this:

MST3K's Mike Nelson's perhaps surprising opinion about The Passion Of The Christ:

"Q33 (Forrest): Have you seen The Passion of the Christ? If so, what did you think?
A33: I have seen it. I have mixed feelings about movie depictions of the central event in the Christian faith. For myself, I have the Bible and that works well for me. Also, I’m a Protestant, and we tend to be more Easter focused, while traditionally, Catholics have been a little more Passion focused. So it did me good to spend a little time there.
All that being said, I think it was a pretty fine movie, and darned if it didn’t get people talking about religion again, a subject that some are trying to close off from the public square, a pet peeve of mine. Though the Judeo-Christian worldview has served us well for more than two hundred years and underpins the finest society in the history of the world, there are those fighting hard to throw it all on the scrap heap and replace it with radical secularism, a worldview that has brought us Nazism, Communism and some of the greatest horrors of all time."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"....Catholic nuns in North America have put themselves out of business, which I believe was their (unconscious) goal all along...."

Part of Kathy Shaidle's interesting post on why some nuns are far too modern for their own good...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Why I am not allowed to have a "Currently Playing" box on my weblog

Other bloggers often have "Currently Playing" notations on their weblog. visitamanda is one example. She likes lots of trendy movies and recordings.

I would have a similar box on my weblog, but I don't have a credit card to access Amazon and make such a system work for me. There is also the tiny matter of having a fondness for bad music. Take 1960s British TV star, Iain Gregory who was not allowed to sing on his hit song Can't You Hear The Beat Of A Broken Heart?.

It's been described online as follows:

Iain Gregory Can't You Hear The Beat Of A Broken Heart (39)....One of Joe Meek's more drastic salvage jobs. Mr Gregory was a moody-looking actor of fleeting repute who appeared in the contemporary TV version of "Ivanhoe." He couldn't sing for toffee, so what you actually hear on this record are slivers of his hapless quavering pasted over the guide vocal sung by a proper session singer (Dave Adams). Fantastic, of course.

Here's another description:

Iain Gregory’s “Can’t You Hear The Beat Of A Broken Heart” went to #39 with more than a little help from Dave Adams, who actually sang the song—Gregory’s voice is mixed in with Adams’.

As someone who was asked, when he was participating in a touring church youth musical, to mouth the entire thing because they had no time to teach me to sing, I can empathize with Mr. Gregory, who also could not carry a tune in a pail.

So, in an act of mercy towards my readers, no Currently Playing lists on my least for the time being. :)

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Photo of the week

Sam Kirk finds a roadside ad for a Dry Grad Manure Sale at a local high school.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Johnny Paycheck, where are you when I need you?

I need to switch jobs.

While I whinge to myself, please check out the Bob Larson Fan Club Homepage, which I hope gets updated some day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hey DJ, this is the *flip* side!

Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, I guess that record companies had to make it painfully obvious to disc jockeys which side was intended to be the hit and which song was intended to be the extra one that you'd never play. Buzz Clifford's 1960 hit Baby Sittin' Boogie is a case in point.

I've played the flip side, Driftwood, for the first time this morning. Here are the lyrics:

A floating piece of heartbreak
Our love is...Driftwood!
The residue of heartaches
Surrounded by teardrops,
Darling, since you drifted from me.
My love for you tells me that I am destined to be only...

Upon a tear-filled ocean
I've lost direction
'neath waves of sad emotion.
I'm laid up, divided by your love
and drifting helplessly....

Driftwood has its own charms--I like it better than the A-side! But, with its Joe Meek-like or "Incorrect Music"-esque stylings, it was only supposed to be played by accident when the disc jockey wasn't looking at the labels carefully. Too bad.
Can't top this

As much as I love my parents, I won't be encoraging them to celebrate one of their 60th birthdays by saying yes, if they ask the entire family to go skydiving with them.

Miss Smith also has a grandmother who says interesting things at dinner which you would not wish her to say if the Queen was your dinner guest.

Although, I can't go to a certain Mexican restaurant any time soon due to my uncle, but I was too mortified at the time to share any more.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Is Gordon Campbell still a goner?

I've reminded readers of The Shotgun of that prophecy by U.S. christian prophet Jim Goll last year that Gordon Campbell's days of Premier of B.C. are numbered and that the B.C. Liberals are going to lose the current B.C. election. All the juicy details are there.

(Although, if a giant disembodied hand writes "Mene, Mene, Tekel" on the wall of the B.C. Liberal headquarters, all bets are off. ;) )

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Things I overhear at bus shelters, Part 1

Young lady talking on a cell phone:

I think his name rhymes with 'ovary'. Oh, its Ovi. I think he's from Israel..."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Things I overhear on the bus, Part 1

A frumpy, middle-aged lady talking to a friend on her cell phone:

"Throwing a lit match at you is *not* respect!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Kathy Shaidle has discovered Unshackled, the very long running Christian radio drama.

She hasn't heard the program, but I have. I can assure her that it is very old fashioned radio, but not scary at all. It runs on my one of my local Christian radio stations in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I haven't heard it in years due to my wierd shift on Saturdays, and my computer being too old to use the online broadcasting software that they use at

I can imagine that the program reaches a lot of people who are driving the freeways in the wee hours of the night and don't mind a program that sounds like it was first broadcast in the 1930s. And Unshackled supports the Pacific Garden Mission, a shelter for the homeless in Chicago, so you should give it points for that.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Got spoilers?

Michael Jenkinson can tell you all about the plot of Revenge of the Sith, because he has read the book.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Disunite the right

In the run-up to B.C.'s provincial election, it seems that the free enterprise parties other than the B.C. Liberals are being very quiet. Other than a Vancouver Sunstory a couple of weeks ago, which poked fun at B.C. Tory leader Barry Chilton for not owning his own house and staying with friends, I haven't seen anything on the B.C. Unity Party or other vote splitters. Perhaps Jordan Bateman would know, but I haven't heard anything.

I'm not the "60 second Socred" type, and I am hoping that the B.C. Liberals are not my only choice.
People you run into

Since Jordan Bateman has a tale about this guy with a B.C. Lions hat that he often runs into while buying coffee, I think I should share about Dog With A TV Dinner.

Several times now, I have passed a man walking south on Vancouver's Commercial Drive, with a dog on a leash. The dog always has a TV Dinner (today some kind of Michelina's pasta dish) clenched in his mouth. I don't blame the dog, as a TV dinner is sometimes better tasting than a stick, but I have sometimes wondered why the man doesn't carry the meal himself. Does the dog only eat TV dinners?

Perhaps I should ask. The man, I mean, not the dog.
I'm being flung directly into purgatory, without dying first, for this post

I don't mean to detract from Kathy Shaidle's fine updates following the death of the Pope, but after reading this:

"We're on a Mission from God"

That's the name of a book about Pope John Paul II from Ignatius Press , geared at Gen-X Catholics. Not surprisingly, Ignatius has plenty of JPII books on offer, including George Weigel's definitive bio, and the video version, which is more easily digestible....

...I wondered if anyone else immediately thought of the movie The Blues Brothers, as Jake Blues keeps on using the phrase "We're on a mission from God," to justify his exploits. In the movie, the Blues Brothers are hunted by Nazis, are shot at and almost blown up by a crazed lady, and tanks (and dozens of police cars) chase them into downtown Chicago.

I doubt, though, that being "on a mission from God" meant that John Paul II sang back up on "Stand By Your Man" during The Blues Brothers' set at Bob's Country Bunker (where they play both kinds of music, country and western). I'm fairly certain that His Holiness, who was a great Pope, had a different mission from God.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Doon, doo doo, doot doo do dee do, doot doo do, Angela Jones!

Damn you Joe Meek! Now I have the chorus from Angela Jones by Michael Cox going through my head. Great song, but imagine the above over a bed of strings and percussion that sounds like an old coffee percolator.
The gospel according to reality TV

I roll my eyes when my colleagues at work avidly discuss reality shows, but apparently you can have an interesting moral discussion based on last night's Amazing Race episode.
The gospel according to reality TV

I roll my eyes when my colleagues at work avidly discuss reality shows, but apparently you can have an interesting moral discussion based on last night's Amazing Race episode.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

For what it is worth, I'm not the "B.C.Lions Hatman" that seems to follow Jordan Bateman around, mentioned in the previous post. Aside from almost never wearing hats, I would like to retain some shred of dignity should I ever run into Mr. Bateman again.
The man with the 1985 B.C. Lions hat runs into the "tramps" leaving the scene of the Kennedy assasination

Jordan Bateman continues to be amazed that there is a man, frequenting the coffee shop where Mr. Bateman likes to hang out, who wears a hat commemorating the B.C. Lions' 1985 Grey Cup win.

No amazement from me. I have one of those hats myself, which I picked up while thrifting a few months back. I'm not a hat person, so I never wear it. But, it is something neat to have, if you are a Lions fan. Perhaps "B.C. Lions Hatman" has owned the hat for just a few months for the same reason, aside from covering his head. If you need to wear a "gimmie cap", why not wear something different?

I'd thought that maybe Mr. Bateman was pining to have one of those Lions caps himself. But, I have decided to keep mine, so I can't help him there.

Perhaps we should be grateful that Mr. Bateman doesn't use Photoshop on his website. If that were the case, we might see a photo captioned "Look, here is B.C. Lions Hatman standing beside Zapruder and peeking into the grassy knoll!" :)

Monday, March 28, 2005

At least the Prince of Darkness is hiring :)

Thanks to the fabulous Charles Stough, an update of sorts to this earlier tongue-in-cheek post of mine:

Doug Marlette repels readers who call him a tool of
Satan, he told the November-December [2003]edition of Columbia Journalism
Review. He tells them "That's impossible. I couldn't be a tool of Satan.
The Charlotte Observer's personnel department tests for that sort of
thing. They try to screen for tools of Satan. Knight Ridder human
resources has a strict policy against hiring tools of Satan."
What got him the hate mail this time was a cartoon of a terrorist at
the wheel of a truck carrying a nuke and the caption, "What would
Mohammed drive?"
(Explainer to distant readers: Ecologists opposed to driving
fuel-guzzling sport utility vehicles buy ads saying "What would Jesus

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Aimee Semple McAntichrist and the lumber baron

It's one of those things that made me go "hmmm".

I like reading about church history, particularly about the charismatic wing of Protestant Christianity. Unlike many, however, I do not swoon at the mere mention of alleged miracles, so several books that take a critical look at the excesses of some ministers sit in my shelves.

After reading Daniel Epstein's interesting book on the 1920s faith healer Aimee Semple McPherson, I have been looking for inexpensive copies of other works by and about her.

While browsing, I found a fictional book that was classified as being about McPherson. Ten dollars later, a copy of the 1933 novel A Woman On The Beast, by a Helen Simpson, came my way in the mail from an antiquarian bookseller in Victoria B.C.. Flipping to the last section of the book, I realized why McPherson was probably not pleased to hear of the book's release. In the novel, a malevolent old book-burning shrew of a preacher named Emma Sopwith conquers Australia and, in bringing the whole planet under her sway, brings on the end of the world as described in Revelations. Unusually, for a book of this sort, Satan wins and conquers God.

The book itself may not be worth a mention. The bookplate that I found inside the front cover of the book is. (If only I could post a photo.)

The bookplate reads that the book was once the property of a H.R. MacMillan. The name is unusual enough that I wonder if the novel used to belong to British Columbia lumber baron H.R.MacMillan, who ran MacMillan-Bloedel, the dominant logging company in British Columbia for many years. Mr. MacMillan, who was also the first chief forester of B.C., lived in Victoria (where my new-to-me book came from) for many years. For more information on Mr. MacMillan, here is a brief blurb about a biography on him.

If the lumber baron did own my book, it raises some thoughts in my mind. Did he avidly read the Christian end-of-the world fiction of his day, which would be at odds with the image of a serious and thoughtful businessman? (Imagine Donald Trump reading the Left Behind series of novels.)

Simpson's novel leans heavily on the idea that very evil and intolerant things are often done in the name of God, an idea that is often critical of Christianity. If the famous H.R.MacMillan owned my book, it's interesting to consider whether a prominent B.C. businessman for many years shared the values espoused in the book. Thinking that Christianity was as much an evil influence on society as it was an influence for good, would have been a very freethinking attitude in the often conservative British Columbia social elite of the 1930s and 1940s

This might be intriguing....unless it was Mr. MacMillan's wife who read the book on holidays, in the same careless way that one would read Bridget Jones Diary today. In which case, this is a silly post indeed. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Full Metal Byfield!

While reading this interesting online interview of actor R. Lee Ermey, best known as the drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket, I noticed that in the photo at the top of the article he somewhat resembles my old boss Ted Byfield.
"Two And A Half Men (Ch 9)
The only way I can watch this is to imagine Charlie Sheen picking up hookers in the shorts and socks they make his character wear."

Blogger Shelly On The Telly, who writes for an Australian newspaper, lists her five least favourite TV shows here.
A happy post

I'll probably only be putting 10 guys out to work today, and I had to get up at 4:30 AM to do it. It's cold and rainy outside. I'm sniffly and headachy from all the dust mites I stirred up from cleaning yesterday...that is, if I don't have a cold.

Oh well, things will certainly look up later.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Punisher vs. Gordon Campbell

Remember that police mug shot from when Gordon Campbell was caught driving drunk in Hawaii? Well, now it is being used on a Marvel Comics T-shirt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

For all your superhero needs

The first issue of Action Comics, featuring the debut of Superman, may be read online here.

Monday, March 21, 2005

"We're sorry. Your call cannot be completed as dialed..."

Blogger Andrea, after attending a teaching on prayer in which the session leader says that sometimes God speaks to him by using the lyrics of songs going through his head, wonders what it means when you have Madonna's Material Girl going through your head.

For what it is worth, I think that God has sometimes spoken to me through song lyrics. But, I would be also be really confused if I kept on hearing the Theme From Gilligan's Island, for example.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Garbonzas for democracy

Paul Tuns wonders why lots of the pro-democracy demonstrators in Lebanon seemed to have "enormous talents", to borrow a phrase from Joe Bob Briggs.

I can tell him why. Most photogs covering the Middle East are guys!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

"The musicians are great. Unfortunately, the singer is not... you might also have noticed that I didn't put him into the musician category....."

Sam At Large on the sad part about playing in a cover band.
The Lord told him to spend thousands on hotel rooms?

Those interested in the latest allegations in the Benny Hinn scandals will find this page from the always excellent Apologetics Index to be a great starting point.

I was amused to see that, at one ministry's somewhat heated online forum discussion of Mr. Hinn, one post began "Why can't we be friends. Why can't we be friends. Why can't we be friends." After the 1970s song. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Who am I, Pepe Le Peu?

Got another one of those mystery e-mails on my Hotmail account. This time, it's an ad for a telephone chat line for singles in France.

It's one of those "What th' ?" moments.
To err is human, to forgive divine

Some hilarity over at, at my expense.

I misread that eBay auction item, and thought that Jordan Bateman was taking his daughter to lunch with the winner of the fundraiser for that blog. Actually, it's his semi-anonymous blogging buddy Sam Politics who will be at lunch too.

In newspaper parlance, Rick's Miscellany regrets the error.

Alas, I still can make good use of editors!

[Tom Servo voice: "Still??!?"]

I do not believe in rewriting the past, so I am leaving the blooper as it was posted.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Lies, damned lies and Michael Moore

An online point by point refutation of the false claims in the film Fahrenheit 911.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I have an epitaph for my tombstone

My current job involves signing in and signing out workers, so I think that...

"Sign out, please"

...which I must say at least 100 times per day, would be appropriate for my graveside marker.

It's no "On the whole, I would rather be in Philadelphia," but it'll do for now.
I was Satan's copy boy!

If the subject of a news story that you have written later clearly implies that the articles in question were part of Satan's plans to destroy him, should you:

a) repent


b) commend yourself for doing a good job?

"The truth will set you free."

My apologies for the obtuse post. Let's just say for now that I am debating whether to roll out my rhetorical siege guns.
Blogger with the most bravery for today

I think this poster is giving the faintest of possible hints in his post introduction for Friday:

All right. If you're not watching The Contender, you're a moron....

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Funeral music

You may remember that Kevin Michael Grace has asked for suggestions of songs to be played at one's funeral:

I've invented a new game, which I'll share with you. I call it Memento Mori, and I suppose it's a variation of Desert Island Discs. "If you could choose one piece of music to be played at your funeral, what would it be?" Again, I'm not interested in "appropriate responses"; I want to expose character. (But you could recast this game into a two-parter as well.) If you'd like the funeral march from Eroica to send you off, that's fine. If you'd prefer "Hey Ya!", "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," "Misty Mountain Hop" or "Hippy Hippy Shake," that's fine too. I make no moral judgements.

Upon further reflection, I am thinking that this is kind of a hard choice to make.

I've always been fond of Amazing Grace, even after I learned that I was not actually descended from John Newton, the slaveholder-turned hymn writer, who wrote the song. The message of the lyrics is very poignant, and true in my case.

(Family scuttlebutt aside, it turns out that I have an Anglican minister amongst my mother's ancestors. The same the-truth-will-out process happened regarding my grandfather whom, it turns out, did not play for the Glasgow Celtic youth team. Rather, he suited up for a British Army team in post World War One Iraq.)

A modern worship song that I quite like is I Could Sing Of His Love Forever by Delirious.

Those would be my real choices.

But, I think that Kevin might have fun suggesting a song for me. I invite him to go ahead and do so, shouild he feel inclined.

The problem with a lot of secular music, when playing a game of this kind, is that the lyrics don't match the sort of statements that one would want to make about one's life. (Although there is occasionally an eerie coincidence. Buddy Holly had just released "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" shortly before his death.)

That said, I have a suggestion for someone with a dry sense of humour and more sang froid than I have. I know what song I would not dare to pick to be played at my own memorial service. It comes from a Joe Meek compilation that I recently bought for myself. (Joe Meek, you may recall, was the very quirkily brilliant British musical producer of the 1960s. You have probably heard of Telstar, the famous instrumental that he wrote and produced. Aside from his music, I find Meek's own story--for one, Meek was convinced that the late Buddy Holly was giving him hints from the afterlife for good songs via a ouija board--to be amusingly intriguing.)

The song, which for some reason failed to enter the British charts in 1961, is 'Til the Following Night by the "classic British loon" Screaming Lord Sutch.

It opens with unearthly moans and screams, rattling chains and creaking doors. Lord Sutch then sings these lyrics to a thumping beat:

When the shades of night are falling/
And the moon is shining bright/
In the center of the graveyard/
In the middle of the night/
I get out of my big black coffin 'til the following night

No don't play that at your funeral. It wouldn't go over well :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Go Thou and blog likewise

One blogger, placing the word "blog" in some New Testament admonitions for Biblical conduct, has come up with some Biblical advice for bloggers.

Food for thought, there.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

(Dr. Evil from Austin Powers voice) And the bidding starts at one MILLLLLLIIIOOOONNN dollars

Blogger Jordan Bateman is holding an eBay auction. The prize? Lunch with him and his toddler son, and you get to post to

The bids have hit $31!

Monday, March 07, 2005

When herring fart, tonight on Fox!

My alma mater is in the news for some scientific research. Ben Wilson, a researcher at the University of B.C.'s Bamfield Marine Science Centre has won an Ig Nobel prize for his accidental discovery that herring eject air from their swimbladder in a way that sounds like er, um, passing wind.

(if you want to hear for yourself, check out this New Scientist story from shortly after the discovery, complete with wav file.

"It turns out that a fish ejecting air from the swimbladder via a tube near the anus, to the world's press at least, is near enough a [four letter slang word] and therefore hot news," Wilson tells the latest issue of Trek, UBC's alumni magazine, "They slavered down the phone like starved dogs."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Fullfilling the conservatism Five Year Plan!

My friend Chris likes Although I think The Shotgun is better, you may wish to check the former out.