Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Queen loves her horseracing!

Take a look at this video taken several years ago of Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother watching the races. The Queen actually sprints outside to watch the end of the race through her binoculars. She even won 16 pounds on her bet! Kentucky is all agog today over her attendance at the Kentucky Derby.

Canadian band The Guess Who's "American Woman" topped the Billboard singles chart 37 years ago today

The Guess Who scored their only #1 single on the U.S. Billboard singles chart 37 years ago today with, ironically, "American Woman" -- which wasn't exactly complimentary to... well... American women. The song was such a huge hit that it ended up being the #3 song of the entire year.

KevJumba hates the SATs

Good luck on your SATs, Kevin!

Happy 81st birthday to Ann B. Davis

Ann B. Davis, who played Alice the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch, turns 81 today. Here she is in a 1981 TV commercial for Shake'n Bake. She would have been around the age of 55 at the time.

Today is Kentucky Derby day!

The event that marks the beginning of spring for many has finally arrived. Today is the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby, nicknamed "The Run for the Roses." This year's Derby will be attended by one of the world's most famous (and seemingly unlikely) horseracing fans -- Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen of the Commonwealth (including Canada) loves her horses! Today's favourite is Curlin.

Here's a video clip of recent Kentucky Derby winners. You'll notice that the background music is "My Old Kentucky Home," the official song of the Derby.

Friday, May 04, 2007

When there's a will, there's a way!

Paris Hilton going to jail!

Wow... Paris Hilton is going to jail for 45 days for parole violation.

"A judge sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail Friday for violating her probation, putting the brakes on the hotel heiress's famous high life.

Hilton, who parlayed her name and relentless partying into worldwide notoriety, must go to jail on June 5 and she will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or any electronic monitoring in lieu of jail, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled after a hearing.

The judge ruled that she was in violation of the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case."


Click here for more. I wonder if she'll be calling Martha Stewart for advice on how to conduct herself?

Pregnant? Want to know the sex of your baby early?

"A test is being sold on the internet that enables parents to check the sex of their unborn baby at just six weeks.

The kit, sold by DNA Worldwide for £189, is controversial. Critics claim it may prompt parents to abort if they are unhappy with the test result.

The company rejected these claims, saying the early results, obtained from a finger-prick of blood, allow parents more time to plan for their baby.

It says the test is 99% accurate and offers a refund for wrong predictions."


Click here for more.

Another "Will It Blend" video...

Here's another one of those silly but fun "Will It Blend" videos. Today's experiment? Makeup!

Remembering Bob Clampett

Bob Clampett, who died on May 4, 1984, at the age of 70, was an animator, producer, director and puppeteer best known for his work on many famous Looney Tunes cartoons. Among others, he directed 1942's A Tale of Two Kitties, which first introduced Tweety Bird.

Happy 22nd birthday to American Idol's Anthony Fedorov

Anthony Fedorov was a 2005 contestant on American Idol. He came in fourth that season -- the year that Carrie Underwood was crowned the winner. Here he is singing "I Want to Know What Love Is" from the February 28, 2005, episode.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The most frivolous lawsuit I've ever heard of!

"A missing pair of pants has led to one big suit.

A customer got so steamed when a dry cleaner lost his trousers that he sued for $65 million. Two years later, he is still pressing his suit.

The case has demoralized the South Korean immigrant owners of the mom-and-pop business and brought demands that the customer - an administrative law judge in Washington - be disbarred and removed from office for pursuing a frivolous and abusive claim.

Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are considering moving back to Seoul, seven years after they opened their dry-cleaning business in the nation's capital, said their lawyer, Chris Manning.

"They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said. "This has destroyed their lives."

The customer, Roy L. Pearson Jr., who has been representing himself, declined to comment."

Click here for more. $65 million for missing pants? C'mon! That is abundantly ridiculous. The judge should be disbarred immediately for this useless and abusive lawsuit.

Menu Foods adds more pet food to recall list

In a continuing nightmare for pet owners, Menu Foods has added several more brands of pet food to their recall list. For the expanded list of recalled items sold in Canada, click here. For the expanded list of recalled items sold in the United States, click here.

Happy 73rd birthday to Frankie Valli

Happy birthday to singer Frankie Valli, who was born on this day in 1934. Here he is performing Grease on Soul Train on an episode that originally aired on November 11, 1978, according to my research. Great song!

Hump Day: With the sunrise, half the world gets going

Hump day
Published Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

There are two kinds of people in the world: morning people and night people. I'm definitely a morning person and think that night people are just plain out of their cotton-pickin' minds.

What is there to see at night, anyway? The night has always been definitely my down time. Although I'm able to stay up later than I was able to when I was a kid, I'm still nowhere near what I would classify as a nighthawk.

Parents usually discover they have a nighthawk on their hands shortly after the children in question are born. They love to sleep the morning away, but come those evening hours when most toddlers are rubbing their eyes and asking for their pyjamas and teddy bears, these kids are just getting their second wind and are raring to go.

I'm not exactly sure when I got my love of mornings from, but there's nothing nicer than watching the sun come up over the horizon and listening to the birds chirping first thing in the morning. So peaceful. The streets are so nice and quiet, too. No traffic.

I remember visiting my grandparents who lived in the country. There was nothing better than waking up with the birds, going outside and smelling that crisp, clean morning air and feeling the dew of the grass on my toes.

By contrast, the night out there was creepy, cold and damp. And since there was not much light there other than from the odd house or two, the night was dark . . . very dark. Not a place for a morning person, for sure.

I certainly didn't get my love of mornings from my father. Unless he was getting up early to go hunting or fishing, he hated getting up early. In fact, there's a story that he slept so soundly in the morning that his parents had to bang on the stovepipe and yell "fire" once to get him to get out of bed as a kid. It worked. Unfortunately, he just got out of one bed and crawled into another. So much for his survival instincts.

And how many times did I hear banging on our back door as a kid when his drive to work would show up and he was still snoring in bed next to my mother? I'd hear the banging, which of course would make me practically jump out of my skin, and then he'd run through the house in his boxer shorts to tell his drive to wait a minute. Then he'd pretty much make Baby Jesus cry with a few dozen strings of expletives that would make a sailor blush as he ran around the house trying to get ready.

Me, on the other hand, I'd be the perfect choice to host a morning radio talk show. "Hi everyone! It's me . . . Brian Cormier . . . Good morning! The sun is shining! It's 6 a.m. and it's a beautiful day!" Ah yes, when the nighthawks are just getting ready to climb into their coffins to sleep the day away and avoid the sun, my alarm's gone off ages ago and I've already started the day.

And although morning people and nighthawks don't cross paths that often, sometimes we're forced to work and live together. These combinations can be lethal.

For anyone reading this who's looking for their first apartment, the first question out of your mouth when discussing sharing the premises with a potential roommate shouldn't be whether or not they can pay the rent. It should be whether or not they're on the same schedule as you.

If you've had your bubble bath, taken your sleeping pill and have your peel-off face mask on by 8:30 p.m., it's likely not a good idea to live with someone who's just crawling out of bed at that time and inviting friends over to party.

This is very evident during university when many people who don't even know one another are forced to live together. Every once in a while the deadly combo of morning person and nighthawk get teamed up in a dorm room, much to each other's disappointment. When one is just getting their second wind and wanting to have a few friends over to the room for socializing, the other is yawning and nodding off. Seen it many times, and it never works.

Married couples, too, should ensure that they are on more-or-less the same schedule. If hubby is up at 5 a.m. and off to the coffee shop for the first cup of java of the day while wifey is just getting ready to curl up under the covers for eight to 10 hours of beauty sleep, it's likely not a good sign.

Teenagers and young adults continue to mystify me to this day. My son, for example, has no trouble pulling all-nighters and going to bed at 7 a.m. Meanwhile, by that time, I've already been up for an hour, have started laundry, had breakfast and re-shingled the roof - and my neighbour's, too! I have friends who were like that, too, when they were younger - sleeping to 3 p.m. was a regular occurrence. Heck, 3 p.m. is closing in my bedtime some days! Then they got married and had "morning people" as children.

If there are any radio stations out there looking for a morning guy who'll never be late for work, that's me. I'll be sure to get on the nerves of all those nighthawks who are getting ready for bed when the rest of the world is just getting up.

The sun comes up for a reason, you know?

Because that's when people are supposed to get up.

When the sun goes down, people are supposed to lie down - in bed!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm writing this at about 10:30 p.m. on Monday night and I'm yawning. I'm cranky (nothing new there). My eyes feel like my eyelashes are made of cement. My fingers are starting to miss cues from my brain for typing words.

Nope, definitely not a nighthawk here. And that's perfectly OK with me.

Race car loses tire... amazing footage

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Let's hope this kid doesn't turn to a life of serious crime...

Something tells me he'll be in jail after his first robbery attempt. :)

Phil and Chris say good-bye on American Idol

As predicted, Phil Stacey and Chris Richardson were voted off American Idol tonight after 130 million votes over the past two weeks. Click on their respective photos for their bios.

Phil Stacey:

Chris Richardson:

American Idol prediction for tonight

I don't have a lot of time to blog about this tonight because I'm working on some contracts, but suffice it to say that when all is said and done, I think that Phil and Chris will be sent home, leaving Blake, Melinda, LaKisha and Jordin as the final four. I do think that LaKisha was in danger, however her powerhouse performance last night was enough for people to take a second look at her and give her another chance, but she'll be gone next week if she doesn't keep it turned up a notch. Although Jordin was terrible this week, I think she's built up enough credibility to be safe. Blake and Melinda should be safe this week. Let's see what happens tonight.

Did you go graduate from (or attend) King's College between 1985 and 1989? If so... there's a reunion planned!

Hey Classes of '85, '86, '87, '88 and '89,

The Webster's dictionary defines regret as: "An expression of distressing emotion". Like "Oh, My God, I should have gone to the King's reunion. It sounds like it was such a blast!" You don't really want this to be YOU, do you? Well then, join the throngs signing up to attend the upcoming King's Reunion for Classes of '85 to '89! (Registrations close May 18!!)

Live it up with a fun, casual weekend of reconnecting with old friends and hangin' on campus. Reflect on those delightful Greek philosophers you got to know so well in FYP...ponder those late nights of laying out The Monitor and doing those first J-school interviews...recall those early-morning bagpipe awakenings and the late-night donair runs. Retrace your steps around campus, starting with an evening of suds at the Wardroom...tour the new digs around the quad...re-live those pre-formal meal sherry events at the President's Lodge (no robes required!)...get your groove on at the 80s dance (which follows our non-dressy reunion dinner). Life is short so don't miss this chance to see your old buds and party like it's 1999 (or 1985ish!)

Registration to this THRILLER of a flashback weekend is easy!!! Just WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN to your printer. You might need to WHIP IT first, but then print the attached document and fax or mail the form on the last page with your registration fees. If you'd like to stay in residence, call King's (number given in attached doc) to book your room.

Here’s the schedule of events - this updates the version included on the attached pdf: (e-mail me at brian AT briancormier DOT com for the pdf version)

Friday, May 25:

3 p.m.: If you’re staying in residence for a night or the weekend, check-in at Alex Hall any time after 3 p.m. You’ll find your official reunion registration package waiting for you!

8-11 p.m.: Wardroom meet and greet. Kick off reunion weekend with a visit to the HMCS Wardroom! Share a toast with the ol’ gang and reminisce about all things King’s.

Saturday, May 26:

free morning: If you arrived Friday night, grab some grub at an old haunt (the Ardmore Tea Room is still in business!), work it off with a run or walk around Halifax’s beautiful Armdale area, do some shopping on Spring Garden or just relax on the steps of the A & A with your pals.

2-3 p.m.: Campus tour. Stop by the Senior Common Room at 2 for an hour-long tour of King’s – the new and the old. Check out the library, built in ’89 for King’s Centennial, the new academic building, opened in 2000, along with the bays, the chapel, and all points in between.

3-4 p.m.: Maybe an impromptu soccer or Frisbee match in the quad?

5-6 p.m.: Sherry, President's Lodge: It still might not be your drink of choice but re-live an old tradition by joining your fellow alumni with a glass of the good stuff. (Thanks to President Barker for the invite!)

6 p.m.-1 a.m.: Reunion Dinner and 80s Dance, Prince Hall: The lovely and talented Greg Guy (BJ Hons ’87) and Lou Ann Chiasson (BA '87) will emcee this evening of merriment. The dinner (turkey and all the trimmings!) will also include a photo flashback, guest speakers, a cash bar AND Dr. Wayne Hankey, who will be on hand to say grace – not to be missed! An 80s-themed dance will follow with all your favorite tunes (cash bar continues). Attire: casual or dressy casual – your pick!

Sunday, May 27, 9-10:30 a.m.: Good-bye breakfast at Alex Hall.

Sunday, May 27, 10:30 a.m.: Chapel service. Rev. Gary Thorne will reflect on those (classmates, faculty, staff) who have passed on since our graduation.

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? The choice is easy. Register now!!

See you there,

The Reunion Gang

Jonna Brewer, BJ Hons '87
Sheila Cameron, B.Sc.'86
Brian Cormier, BJ Hons '86
Cathy (Krawchuk) Donaldson, BA '87, BJ '88

Cleaning up the clutter!

Wow... I've had quite a productive day! I've been cleaning up my home office for the past two days and things are moving along quite nicely. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't done filing in at least four years. Yes... four. Every scrap of paper, receipt, bill, invoice, etc., has been thrown aside in piles placed here and there around the house or stuffed into boxes, drawers and plastic grocery bags. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but that's the way it is. I've got a box full of paper that needs to be shredded and have thrown out three garbage bags so far. That doesn't include the mounds of stuff that I have to keep. It's nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel, though. It had gotten so bad that I couldn't find my mortage, my will or any other important paper unless I rummaged through piles of stuff. Definitely not efficient! Feels good to be getting that monkey off my back.

Believe it or not... this is AFTER the sort:


The piles of paper look disorganized, but it's actually the best they've been in upwards of five years. Did I say four earlier? Hmmm... maybe it's five. Did I say five? Try six. Now... to stack them neatly into new piles and put them aside until tomorrow when I'll dive back into it and start filing in earnest.

Remembering Bing Crosby... born 104 years ago today...

It's almost unbelievable to think that Bing Crosby would be this old if he were still alive today, but dates don't lie, eh? A wonderful crooner, he could bring a tear to any eye, a smile to any face or put even the most cynical person in a Christmas-loving mood. Putting his (reportedly) questionable parenting skills aside, his voice was incredible. He died on October 14, 1977, after suffering a massive heart attack on a golf course in Spain. He died instantly. I know it's only May, but don't try to deny that you have a major urge to put up the Christmas tree after listening to this:

Today's Hump Day column

Check out my Hump Day column on the editorial page (D6) of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. "With the sunrise, half the world gets going" discusses some of the differences between morning people and nighthawks.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Remember my post about writing off St├ęphane Dion?

Sure you do. I posted it on March 6. Anyway, the latest Decima poll came out today and after months and months of trailing -- sometimes quite badly -- the Liberals are now ahead by one point... although statistically it's still a tie. Of course, things could change quite quickly as they sometimes do in politics, but now the tide seems to have turned a bit. I'm not saying he's out of the woods, but it's always best to be underestimated... always!

Quirky little gadgets

I'm not sure what they're saying, but just watching these little contraptions work is amusing. :)

Quick! Gas up your car before it's too late!

Gasoline prices spiked across Canada overnight. Apparently, refinery problems in the U.S. are to blame. Here in New Brunswick, we have regulated pricing, so the price of gas will likely go up on Thursday. It's Tuesday, now, so you know what that means. Fill up your car before it's too late!

Singer Rita Coolidge is 62 today

Singer Rita Coolidge is 62 today. Here's the video from one her biggest hits, All Time High, the theme song from the 1983 James Bond movie, Octopussy. The song was #1 on Billboard's contemporary adult charts for four weeks.

Judy Collins is 68 today

Singer Judy Collins is 68 today. Here's a video of her singing one of her major hits, Both Sides Now:

Singer Sonny James turns 78 today

Singer Sonny James turns 78 today. He is known for a string of hit songs, including this one:

Remembering former Tonight Show band member Tommy Newsom

Tommy Newsom has died at the age of 78. He was a member of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show Band under bandleader Doc Severinsen in the 1970s and 1980s. Here he is performing recently again with Severinsen on The Late Show with David Letterman. (He is the saxophone player.)

Character actor Dabbs Greer dies at 90 -- Played Rev. Alden on Little House on the Prairie

Dabbs Greer, a prolific character actor best known for playing the kindly and wise Rev. Alden on Little House on the Prairie, has died at the age of 90. A fan of the show has already posted a tribute video to him on YouTube:

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ellen DeGeneres to host show from bed due to back injury

"Comedienne-turned-chat show host Ellen DeGeneres will interview Lindsay Lohan from bed after injuring her back. The TV star has suffered from back problems for years but her latest injury has left her bedbound. That's not going to stop DeGeneres from hosting her TV show - she'll chat to Lohan for Wednesday's (May 2, 2007) show from her bed. According to TMZ.com, the bed will be placed centre stage on Ellen's set. Meanwhile, a scheduled show onboard a Delta Airlines 767 later this week has been rescheduled." Click here for the source.

Planning my university reunion

I'm on the organizing committee for the University of King's College (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) reunion for the classes of 1985-89. I was thinking of some of the music that I used to listen to back then and thought I'd look up the #1 songs from those years. Here they are:

#1 song of 1985: "Careless Whisper" by Wham! This definitely reminds me of my late friend George Earles.



#1 song of 1986: "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick and Friends.



#1 song of 1987: "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles.



#1 song of 1988: "Faith" by George Michael. It's really too bad that his life has gone so downhill since then.



#1 song of 1989: "Look Away" by Chicago.

Cloris Leachman turns 81 today

Happy birthday to multi-award-winning actress Cloris Leachman, who turns 81 today. She starred in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, her own spin-off show (Phyllis) and in The Facts of Life. She also guest starred as Lois' mother in Malcolm in the Middle. She holds the record for the actress with the most Emmys and has also won an Oscar.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ah... Trudeau....

In February 1971, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau was accused of telling an opposition member in the House of Commons to f*** off. It became known as the "Fuddle Duddle Affair." Here's a clip of TV coverage that followed. Trudeau was one man who was not intimidated by the media... not in the least.

Justin Trudeau wins Liberal nomination in Montreal's Papineau riding

Justin Trudeau, son of the late revered Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, has taken the first step to following in his father's footsteps. Today, he won the Liberal nomination in the Montreal-area riding of Papineau after winning 54% of the ballots cast. Click here for more on today's events. Click here for a profile of Justin Trudeau. The younger Trudeau has always been well-known to Canadians, but he returned to prominence in 2000 when he gave a breathtakingly riveting eulogy to his father at his funeral. The funeral was broadcast live from coast to coast. Justin's eulogy was the talk of the nation and the buzz about his future in politics grew exponentially afterwards. Here is part one of the eulogy:



Here is part two:



In case you're wondering... yes that's Fidel Castro you see in the crowd at the funeral sitting behind Pierre Trudeau's ex-wife Margaret and his son Alexandre. Castro and the elder Trudeau were friends.

Eve "Jan Brady" Plumb is 49 today

Eve Plumb, best known as the Brady Bunch's cursed middle sister Jan Brady, turns 49 today. Here's the original opening theme to the Brady Bunch.

Jerry Seinfeld is 53 today

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld turns 53 today. Is it just me or does he not look anywhere near his age?