Saturday, February 03, 2007

Wrigley "Doublemint Witch" commercial

Does anyone remember a Wrigley Doublemint Gum commercial that used to run at Halloween featuring an animated witch ("Doublemint Witch") that used to fly around? The purpose of the ad was to encourage consumers to give out Doublemint Gum at Halloween. I can't find a reference to it online and nobody I talk to remembers it. Am I imagining things?

How times have changed! Here are The Flintstones peddling cigarettes...

From the Wikipedia entry for Fred Flintstone: "During the first several seasons of The Flintstones series, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were pitchmen for Winston cigarettes, the show's sponsor at the time. In one Winston ad, Fred and Barney saw the men working hard at the quarry and decided to retire out of sight for a smoke break. After extolling the virtues of the Winston brand cigarette, Fred lit up his cigarette and delivered the catch phrase: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should." Another similar ad for the cigarettes featured Wilma and Betty as well; the women were working hard mowing the lawn and beating dust out of a rug while Fred and Barney smoked behind the house. Vignettes also aired in which Fred lit Wilma's Winston cigarette, and the couple shared a smoke. Campaigns such as this contributed to cigarette advertising of all kinds being banned from television beginning in 1970."

Muppet Show memories for a Saturday night - Part II

Muppet Show memories for a Saturday night - Part I

Google Analytics is amazing!

Wondering how your website or blog is doing? Google Analytics is a really cool metrics and analysis tool that you can incorporate into your site to determine how many visitors you get, etc. It even tells you their point of origin and tons of other things. Best of all... it's free! For some reason, I'm reasonably popular in Los Angeles. Go figure! Thanks to my good friend Brian Branch over at the Moncton Pixels blog for telling me about it.

2005 Canadian Idol contestant Aaron Walpole in court over harassing telephone calls to ex-girlfriend

Well, it seems that 2005 Canadian Idol contestant Aaron Walpole is in some legal trouble. Is the girlfriend in question the same one he appeared so lovey-dovingly with during show segments? Hopefully, he's learned his lesson. It's not worth ruining a potentially very successful career over. Must have been scary for the ex-girlfriend if she had to resort to calling the police. The calls must have been real doozies! (For the record, there's an error in the linked story. November 2005 is two months AFTER Aaron appeared on Canadian Idol, not "before.") To his credit, Aaron admitted his guilt and says he's ashamed of his behaviour. Click here for his Canadian Idol homepage.

Is Gregory Despres completely &@# nuts or is he playing the courts like a fiddle?

I'm leaning toward the fiddle. He's already gone through two psychiatric assessments and -- although I'm sure he's not babysitter material -- the guy was declared sane enough to stand trial. Now, thanks to a (I think) well-planned rant in court, he's off for another assessment. I think this guy knows exactly what he's doing, considering the devastating DNA evidence introduced during the trial... he's trying to delay the inevitable! Luckily, psychiatrists have an entire host of tricks up their sleeves to determine whether someone is just being manipulative or is truly too sick to be held criminally responsible for their own actions.

Charged with the brutal execution of two innocent people, Despres' trial should be allowed to continue. How many assessments does this guy need? In my opinion -- and it's only the opinion of an interested observer -- he's tricking the court. Will a trained professional see through this manipulation? I hope so.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Does anyone know what happened to "Boom"?

I'm curious to know what happened to "Boom" -- one of Metro Moncton's alternative newspapers. Is it dead forever? A few people "in the know" told me this afternoon that it may be coming back in March. Just wondering. I've also e-mailed them to find out. I'll let you know if I hear anything. UPDATE: Feb. 2/07 @ 9:11 p.m.: Boom publisher Scott Bulman e-mailed me to say they'll be back on the street on March 1.

Credibility-destroying move of the week...

The Landmark Legal Foundation has nominated bombastic, outspoken and ultra right-wing radio talk show Rush Limbaugh for the Nobel Peace Prize. Yes, this is the same Rush Limbaugh who made fun of actor Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease symptoms. Let's just say that I won't be donating to the Landmark Legal Foundation any time soon -- not that I ever would have anyway. This would be funny if it weren't so sad and mocking of the Nobels. Check out past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and tell me: Does Rush Limbaugh even hold a burned-out candle to their toenail clippings? I think not. Click here for more on Mr. Limbaugh -- and click here for more on his many controversies.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Don't believe everything you see on the news: False YouTube video cuts Marine Atlantic bookings

Click here to read how a false YouTube video is creating havoc at Marine Atlantic. (To clarify: The video is legitimate, but associating it with Marine Atlantic is not.) The video even made it on to a local TV newscast as "authentic." Seems the news director didn't even verify the video and threw it right on the air as a Marine Atlantic ferry. I feel bad for Marine Atlantic. Urban legends and falsehoods like this sometimes take on a life of their own! Click below for the entire video that I dug up on YouTube:

Let's hope that the media get the word out on this and that Marine Atlantic is spared any harm to their reputation for no good reason. I hardly think they would send a ferry out in conditions like that! We Atlantic Canadians are "people of the sea" -- but we're not suicidal!

I've fallen and I can't get up...

There was a front-page Times & Transcript article the other day about the amount of ice on the sidewalks and streets and how people were falling and cars were sliding around. I fell this morning on Alma Street AGAIN -- second time in two weeks. Good Lord! Can't something be done about this? More salt or sand? My fluffiness usually saves me, but "widdle" people must be snapping bones left and right.

Wrestling with memories of Killer Karl

Hump Day
Brian Cormier
Published Wednesday January 31, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Times & Transcript

I was working online the other day when I somehow stumbled upon a photo of the late Killer Karl Krupp (real name: George Momberg). If you lived around these parts in the 1970s and 1980s, you'll remember Krupp (pronounced "kroop") as one of the best villains ever seen in Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling, a now-defunct local professional wrestling circuit that was all the rage back then, packing arenas with rabid fans throughout the Maritimes.

Despite being born in the Netherlands, Momberg's gimmick was to play an evil German who was obviously based on old Second World War stereotypes, right down to the cape, big black leather boots and monocle. Killer Karl Krupp's signature hold was "the claw," which was pretty much exactly as it sounds. Krupp would usually end the match by placing his big hand over his opponent's forehead (hence "the claw"), and squeeze until the other wrestler dropped to the mat, unconscious and invariably defeated.

What fun it was to watch his antics! As a kid, I looked forward to him more than anyone else for the sheer entertainment value - at least as far as villains went. Following his retirement from wrestling, the "Killer Karl Krupp" stage name was put away for good and Momberg regained his real persona. Sadly, he died far too young at 61 years of age in Moncton in 1995.

I only saw him once outside of the ring. I was walking into the Champlain Place shopping mall in Dieppe and he was walking out with his wife. He was responding to a question she asked by saying, "Yeah. . ." I knew it was Krupp and I knew wrestling was entertainment, but a part of me was still the kid afraid of that big ol' claw.

Other wrestling villains come to mind such as the Cuban Assassin, No Class Bobby Bass and Bulldog Bob Brown. They were all great fun to watch and - at least in my opinion - much better than the overblown cartoon-like villains that came upon the professional wrestling scene in later years. But Krupp was by far the best.

If there are still tapes around, maybe ATV could make a highlight DVD of old Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling episodes and sell them. I think they'd sell a few thousand, for sure, to fans nostalgic for those grand old days of Maritimes professional wrestling. Maybe the DVD could be a Christmas Daddies fundraiser! Some of the old wrestlers could promote it, especially the ever-popular Cormier brothers who hail from the Dorchester area, otherwise known as Leo Burke, The Beast, Bobby Kay and Rudy Kay.

As a treat when I was a kid, we used to go watch Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling live at least once per year. On one memorable visit - our first - I sat with my brother and father in the upper bowl of the J.-Louis Levesque Arena on the Université de Moncton campus. Krupp was wrestling Nature Boy Dillon, if memory serves correct. Dillon was a fellow villain, but for some reason both were wrestling for the championship belt.

It was thrilling to watch and definitely different than being in front of the TV at home. The wild crowd (who really got into the action!), the sounds of the wrestlers getting hit and landing on the mat, etc., certainly added to the excitement.

Personally, I was absolutely petrified that one of the wrestlers would come into the stands and beat me up. I knew they probably wouldn't, but some fans were screaming at them (as wrestling fans tend to do) and the wrestlers were getting "angry."

Anyway, we watched the match and I remained relatively calm until my worst fears were confirmed when Krupp and Dillon started fighting below us among the seats. I was adamant to my father that we had to leave right then and there because I didn't want to get beat up. My father - obviously knowing that I wouldn't get touched - insisted that we stay. Of course, the brawl never made it near us and I lived to talk about it.

Afterwards, my father turned to my brother to ask him how he liked the pop he had in his hand. My brother said it was good, but my father just laughed because my brother hadn't even taken a sip during all the excitement. Obviously terrified like me, he'd squeezed his cup so tightly that the contents had spilled, leaving him with a crushed, empty glass. He hadn't even noticed until my father pointed it out to him.

At home, my brother and I would sometimes wrestle in the living room to entertain the folks. (Kind of sounds like illegal rooster fights, doesn't it? Maybe I'm suppressing some memories that I should get some therapy for. Were there people around from the neighbourhood placing bets on which of us would win?)

About 99 per cent of the time, these play matches would end in tears, mostly because I was three times the size of my brother and would nearly always hurt him. Every time, my parents would practically end up having to dig his head out of the drywall or reattach one of his limbs with duct tape while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. I'm surprised the kid survived to adulthood. Had Tele-Care been around at the time, we probably would have had a direct line to a red blinking telephone emblazoned with "Cormier Kids Wrestling Emergency Line."

Once in a while, I would wrestle with my father, but those days ended when I figured out that I could end the match quite quickly with a swift punch to his private parts. "Don't punch Daddy there!" he'd yell while hunched over in two in obvious pain. I'd heed his warning until I was about to lose the next match and then let loose with another knuckle sandwich to "the place that makes Daddy cry." We never wrestled much after that. Killer Karl Krupp taught me well.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

While we're talking about Canadian Idol, here's one of the top performances ever on the show...

American Idol may be the unstoppable juggernaut, but I think Canadian Idol is much better...

I may be biased, but I really believe that Canadian Idol is so much better than American Idol. It isn't as mean and certainly not as flamboyant. It's also a heck of a lot more compassionate. What I'm saying is that it's... well... more "Canadian"... I guess that makes sense, eh? I love American Idol, too... but Canadian Idol is where it's at. I also find the judges on Canadian Idol to be so much more real and genuinely caring about the contestants. Here are two of my favourite performances from last season by Nova Scotia's Chad Doucette. Here's "The Other Man" from Chad's Top 10 performance:

And here's "Tonight I Want to Cry" from his Top 22 performance. I think this is my favourite performance of any Canadian Idol contestant from last season:

Here's an idea... and it's pretty revolutionary, so just think about it... KEEP YOUR CATS IN THE HOUSE!!!!

News item from Sanford, Florida: Rabbit May Be Used To Capture Cat-Eating Dogs -- 60 Cats Found Dead In Recent Months -- "Residents in Sanford are concerned about their pets' safety after about 60 cats were found dead in recent months. It was believed that wild dogs were to blame for the deaths, but Local 6 News reported that domesticated dogs may be responsible for the killings. City officials said the dogs are not looking for food but want something live to chase."

Well, it seems I'm a lonely, pitiful loser according to an egghead academic at the University of Calgary

Stop the presses, bloggers! We all have to bow to the wisdom of a know-it-all university professor. According to this Canadian Press story, we're all lonely, pitiful losers living in a fantasy world.

And I quote:"Bloggers are living in a world where emotions may be real but everything else is make-believe, says a University of Calgary professor in a new book. Blogs, short for web logs, are everywhere on the Internet these days and often reveal the innermost feelings of individuals who hate their jobs, activists with a political cause or even angst-ridden teenagers in the throes of first love. The popularity of sites such as, which contains virtually thousands of blogs is a testament to the world of self-expression. But Michael Keren, who has written "Blogosphere: The New Political Arena," suggests individuals who bare their souls in blogs are isolated and lonely, living in a virtual reality instead of forming real relationships or helping to change the world."

Well, Professor, my imaginary friends and I had a tea party this evening and we beg to differ. I'm a perfectly normal, well-adjusted newspaper columnist who has my act completely together. And it's just not my imaginary friends, it's my real friends, too:

"Oh my God! Brian is one crazy man, but I've had to cut down on my time with him because the wife thinks he's a bad influence. He's a hoot, though!" - Satan

Some feedback from today's column on Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling:

This just in from reader Mark Parker: "Hi there. I just read your story about Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling. Very amusing, thanks for bringing back some memories." ... "I only saw it live once, at the Coliseum. The place was packed, people were going nuts. I was sitting on the floor not too far from the ring and my buddy dared me to throw something at a baddie wrestler. So I balled up a tin foil burger wrapper and tossed it with all my might. In my mind, it hit the wrestler on the forehead, but who knows where it really landed. An usher did come over and tell us to settle down though…. Ah good times."

Paul Melanson wrote: "Definitely a trip down memory lane! I never went to see a match in person but I know of all the wrestlers you mention by watching it on TV (Saturday afternoons)."

Steve MacLean wrote: "Nice! Brings back fond memories of ole' Killer."

Thanks for your feedback everyone!

In other news, O.J. Simpson is still a free man...

Excerpt from a CBC News report: "A 67-year-old Amherst (Nova Scotia) woman says she's prepared to risk hundreds of dollars in fines in a court challenge over three clams. Loralei MacLean was caught digging clams last April with her son in Lorneville, near Pugwash. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans had declared the area off limits because of contamination, and MacLean was charged with digging clams in a restricted zone." ... "MacLean's trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday afternoon in Amherst. She says she can't afford a lawyer, so is representing herself. If MacLean loses the case, she'll have to pay the $450 fine as well as court costs."

I'm going to a Two Fat Guys review for "Here" tonight!

I've been invited to join my former Two Fat Guys restaurant review co-author Bob Morton at a review tonight. His (now not so) new co-author Jack LeBlanc will be there, too, of course! I co-wrote the column with Bob until I "retired" in June 2006 to concentrate entirely on "Hump Day." The Two Fat Guys column appears every week exclusively in the Moncton edition of "Here." From all accounts, it's still hugely popular and has a big following around town. Tonight should be fun! I'm looking forward to it.

Perhaps the judge should have sentenced this guy to 15 months in a FREEZER!

This is the guy who put a feverish baby in a FREEZER in Prince Edward Island. Yesterday, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail. Personally, I think the judge should have sentenced him to serve his time in a large meat freezer to see how the "tough guy" would feel. Can you imagine?

Who's gonna win "The Apprentice" this season?

I'm not enjoying NBC's The Apprentice as much as usual this season, but it's still a pretty good show. I really like the business aspect to it. For anyone working in sales, marketing or public relations, there's always something to learn. Donald Trump gets on my nerves, but you can't argue with success.

So who's gonna win this year? My early favourite to win is Aaron. So far, he's head and shoulders above everyone, in my opinion. He's got this immature frat boy thing about him, but that only makes him underestimated in the eyes of the others. This will work to his advantage. What do you think?

Wrestling with memories of Killer Karl

Check out this week's "Hump Day" column exclusively on the editorial page (D6) of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. If you miss it today, it will be posted online here tomorrow.

If Wednesday is "Hump Day", then January is surely "Hump Month"

Well thank goodness another January is over. The days are getting noticeably longer, so that's good. It's still cold as the dickens, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Oh, I'm sure there are lots of snow storms left... but with January behind us, they're a bit easier to take. (I'd write more about this, but there's a certain sooky-baby cat beside me on the desk who's insisting on getting fur all over my work clothes... so I'd better close for now and flee upstairs before I end up full of cat hair just before work.) Have a great last day of January, everyone! One down, 10 to go... then it's "Ho! Ho! Ho!" season again. (Yeah, I know... y'all wanna slap me.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Harry Potter actor has parents up in arms for showin' his "magic wand"

Well, it seems like Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is all grown up and flashin' his willy to anyone who'll take a look. Parents aren't impressed, though. Click here for more. (No nudity, so safe to click if you're worried about that.)

I received a great e-mail from Walt Forsey yesterday...

You may remember Walt as a well-known CBC Radio personality here in New Brunswick. He e-mailed me yesterday regarding my Kmart Winners Circle post and solved the mystery of the name of the host! (Check the comments section of that post for the name.) Thanks, Walt! He'd also read my post on Brett Somers but wasn't sure, either, where in New Brunswick she was born. He and his wife Polly are certainly big fans of Match Game!

In addition, Walt had this to say:

"Congratulations on your blog. It is very well done and interesting. Flash video even! Wow! I'll check in often." ... "Keep up the good work. I enjoy your column in the Times & Transcript and now I'll enjoy your blog too."

Thanks very much, Walt... and thanks for getting in touch!

Kentucky Humane Society develops unique and funny spay and neuter campaign

The Kentucky Humane Society has developed a really clever communications campaign in support of their S.N.I.P. Clinic. According to their website, "As the region's first clinic of its kind, the S.N.I.P. Clinic's high-quality, high-volume approach is a milestone, as the area's first program large enough to successfully combat pet overpopulation by having the singular focus of providing affordable spay/neuter surgeries for low-income individuals." Congratulations on this great initiative and kudos on the innovative and very funny creative! Sometimes humour is the best way to make a point. The number of perfectly healthy and suitable animals being put down every month is a real sin! Help control the pet population by having your pet spayed or neutered.

Don't forget to check out "Hump Day" in tomorrow's Times & Transcript!

I'm feeling needy today, so here are some blatantly self-serving comments people have sent to me about the column...

"Cormier is a new, witty, and refreshing columnist who speaks common sense."

"I can definitely relate and have experienced the same examples that you give in your column."

"I've read every one of your columns… I've enjoyed them all and had many a chuckle."

"I had tears running down my cheeks. Your story telling and choice of descriptive words is excellent. Keep up the good work. That should be award winning material ."

"I want to tell you how much I enjoy your column... your humility and sense of humour. You are one columnist who can make me laugh out loud every time! Keep it up! You are right up there with Gordon Kirkland and Dave Barry."

"I love your dry, satirical no nonsense honest writing! You make me laugh!"

"Hilarious! Must stop laughing"

Thanks everyone! Keep the comments coming... at least the nice ones, anyway! ;-)

Winston Churchill's funeral was 42 years ago today...

History buffs will love this feature from the U.K.'s amazing BBC site. (I just watched the last of the five video clips available on the site and the hair on the back of my neck is standing straight up! So dramatic! Such an awesome display of grief and respect.) It details the funeral (held 42 years ago today) of former British prime minister Winston Churchill, known for his love of cigars and also for bringing hope to millions of Brits during the darkest days of World War II when it seemed like all could be lost. The respect that the people had for Churchill became evident after he died -- with huge crowds coming out to pay their respects to the man who stood up to Hitler. Click here for another biography of Churchill.

Ken Dryden's #29 retired by Montreal Canadiens

Well, it's about time! What took ya so long? The Montreal Canadiens honoured their legendary former goalie last night by retiring his #29 jersey. Ken Dryden led the team to several Stanley Cups in the 1970s. I met Dryden last year when he was in Dieppe for an event. I found it fun to watch grown men come up to him completely star-struck! I think a few of them were one step away from screaming like teenage girls. Teenage girls scream when they see Brad Pitt... and grown men get all goofy when they meet either Playboy centerfolds at car shows or legendary hockey players! One thing that surprised me about Dryden was how laid back and relaxed he was. Very subdued... but very smart. Brilliant, even. And the man oozes integrity. I was also struck by his sheer size -- the guy is tall and stocky. A big man!

Dryden is now a Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of York Centre in Ontario. He also ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada -- which was eventually won in a very exciting convention (for political buffs, at least) by Stéphane Dion. Dryden was also Minister for Social Development under former prime minister Paul Martin from 2004-2006.

For more on Dryden's hockey career, click here -- or click here for Dryden's current Parliament of Canada profile.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pet peeve: Filthy grocery carts

I've written about this before, but am going to harp on it again. Supermarkets and department stores should really pay more attention to the amount of garbage left behind by shoppers in their carts. I've found everything from half-eaten food, to flyers, to used tissue. Gross!! I complained to my favourite grocery store and things improved for about five minutes... but they were right back to their normal messy selves shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend. Can someone tell me why it's not OK to have messy floors and shelves, but it's OK to have disgusting carts?

Oh no! Tragic for everyone involved...

Did you watch NBC's "America's Got Talent" last summer? If so, you remember that Brandy was one of the judges. She's also a singer with numerous hit records and has also co-hosted ABC's The View several times. This past December 30th in Los Angeles, Brandy allegedly was involved in an accident that caused the death of a woman. According to this report, "The California Highway Patrol recommended Monday that actress-singer Brandy be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in a freeway crash that killed a woman motorist last month." Tragic.

Today's the 27th anniversary of Jimmy Durante's death

Legendary comedic performer and singer Jimmy Durante died 27 years ago today on January 29, 1980. Younger generations may know him as the narrator of the Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman animated special that airs every Christmas or as the voice behind the version of "As Time Goes By" that accompanied the opening credits to the hit movie "When Harry Met Sally." Older generations know him from movies, albums, countless TV appearances and charity work on behalf of children. Click here for a delightful video of Durante and legendary Broadway and film star Ethel Merman singing "Something Stupid." (Not sure why Merman is wearing a miniskirt. One wrong move and you could likely see what she had for lunch! Eek!) Ya gotta love Ethel, though. Wow! That voice of hers could be heard in the rafters of any theatre, I'm sure. They just don't make 'em like this anymore, folks.

The Police reuniting for the Grammys? There is a God!

According to this report, the legendary rock group The Police may be reuniting to play a surprise gig at the upcoming Grammys. Oh... my... God... I haven't watched the Grammys in years, but you can be sure that I'll be watching this year. The Police are amazing! Click here for the Grammy Awards' official site. The show airs on Sunday, February 11, 2007, at 9 p.m. (AST) on CBS. Finally, click here for lead singer Sting's official site.
UPDATE JAN. 30/07: It's true! Click here. Awesome!

Congrats to Bangor, Maine!

Did you know that -- in Bangor, Maine -- it's illegal to smoke in a car in which passengers under 18 years of age are present? Good for them! It drives me absolutely crazy when I see an adult smoking in a car that contains children. (Usually, the windows are rolled up, too.) Lord knows I spent many an hour as a kid driving here and there with adults who smoked, but it's 2007 now and we know better. Click here to read how Bangor's ordinance is causing debate on how intrusive anti-smoking laws should be.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This week's "Hump Day" column

As I suggested in this post, this week's "Hump Day" column is all about Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling, with emphasis on Killer Karl Krupp. I also talk about going to my first professional wrestling match with my father and brother and about how my brother and I would play wrestle -- usually with disastrous results (for my brother). Check it out exclusively on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript this Wednesday.

Does anyone remember the "Kmart Winners Circle" segment that used to appear...

... on CKCW-TV (now ATV)? It used to run around the time of the supper-hour news. I did a quick search on Google but nothing showed up. Likely way too obscure... Shoppers would submit a ballot with their name on it at Kmart, then at around 5:45 p.m.'ish or 6:45 p.m.'ish (can't remember exactly...), the host of the segment (I can't remember his name, but he was bald) would choose about 10 names from a large drum and assign each name to a horse. Then, they would run a tape of a recent race from Blue Bonnet Racetrack in Montreal. After the race was over, the station/Kmart would provide cash prizes to the people whose names were associated with the horses who came in first, second and third. Does anyone remember this? If so, if you can provide more details, that would be really fun... especially the name of the host.

A fan letter all the way from Connecticut!

Former Moncton resident Alta Boudreau wrote:

"Today I received a letter from my sister Florence Kingston with the column you wrote on "poutines rapee" which I enjoyed reading tremendously. Once a year, my husband Emery and I make them using fat and lean salt pork only also a little clump of desalted green onion tops that is a must, no one here would eat them without the onions. I can smell the aroma!

In 1957, my husband and 2 children came to Connecticut, we added 3 more through the years. Since 1991 we've spent 4 months every summer at Cape Bimet. I will surely read your column in the Times/Transcript this summer."

Thanks, Alta! And thanks to Florence for sending my column down to her sister in the big ol' U.S. of A.!

Boy, I'm feeling retro this weekend! Can't get enough of that Sugar Bear...

Remember those old Sugar Bear cartoons? They were part of the Linus the Lionhearted series that was cancelled when, according to Wikipedia, "The FCC made a ruling in 1969 that forbid children's show characters from appearing in advertisements on the same program and this meant that ABC were forced to cancel the program." Linus the Lionhearted was sponsored by Post... and I'm sure you all remember that Sugar Bear was the spokes"bear" for Post's Sugar Crisp cereal:

The cereal has been renamed "Golden Crisp" in an attempt at downplaying the sugar content

Other Linus the Lionhearted characters who were cereal mascots included Linus himself for Crispy Critters, So-Hi for Sugar Sparkled Rice Krinkles (oh so politically incorrect in 2007!) and Rory Raccoon for Sugar Sparkled Flakes. Maybe the FCC had something there! The three cereal box images just mentioned are hosted at Tick Tock Toys, which is an incredible site for a whole bunch of retro stuff, including toys, food, etc. Finally, click here for a great Linus the Lionhearted fan page.

Have you ever watched...

... "The Soup"? If not, you're missing some great sarcasm. Host Joel McHale looks innocent enough but comes out with some of the best laugh-out-loud lines I've ever heard. Click here for the show's official website.