Saturday, June 02, 2007

This kid's gonna win an Oscar!

Watch this funny video about a kid who's trying unsuccessfully to get his parents (and family dog) to pay attention to his tantrum.

Here's a nice segment from The View when Rosie surprised a young girl with a special Christmas gift

Stephanie has cystic fibrosis and loves the musical "Rent." Here's a segment from The View from last Christmas when she was surprised by a cast performance. Rosie does this stuff so well.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The dancing cadet

"A dancing cadet boogied his way into the commencement address Wednesday at the Air Force Academy's graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Col.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates mentioned to the nearly 1,000 graduates at Falcon Stadium about Second Lieutenant Jeff Pelehac's now infamous YouTube video.

So, you think he can dance? Just wait.

"To learn about the dangers of dancing in your dorm room (laughter) and yes, I've seen the video," joked Gates. "So the next time your mirror beckons you to bust a move, remember the dancing cadet."

Back when they were sophomores, Brian Stoops installed a hidden camera in his dorm room to capture his roommate's gyrations when he thought he was alone.

Pelehac became a smash hit on YouTube, made the news repeatedly and even made an appearance on "The Maury Povich Show.""

Click here for more on the story. See below for the YouTube video.

You know you're from New Brunswick when...

... a deer runs through the Legislative Assembly building! Click here for more, including surveillance video.

Computers really have changed our lives

Hump Day
Published Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

My 20-year university reunion was held last weekend, so we did a lot of reminiscing between catching up on our current lives. This included chatting about how the world has changed since we all graduated in the mid-1980s.

One of those changes was definitely the arrival of personal computers.

Back in university, only the richest of the rich kids had a personal computer. They were as rare as hen's teeth. By today's standards, those computers were a joke, but compared to typing out a 10-page paper on a manual typewriter (which many of us did!), it was a real dream to have access to a word-processing application where we could actually make corrections to texts without having to start all over if you happened to make a mistake.

We talked about how much of the reunion planning had taken place online. Of course, the organizing committee got together in person from time to time to discuss things and make decisions, but e-mail and photo-sharing websites were definitely invaluable in getting registrations, passing along information and updating everyone on what was happening.

Without e-mail, I don't know how the organizing committee could have done it without having to physically be in the city where the reunion was held - a three-hour drive away. Due to everyone's busy lives that just wasn't possible.

E-mail will help everyone stay in touch after the reunion, as well. And with the number of digital cameras snapping photos during the various events, e-mail "in boxes" will start filling up very soon after attendees recover from their weekend blast back to the past.

People will have life-long memories of the great weekend they had, while those who didn't attend will be able to see what they missed. Maybe they'll make the next one!

Many of the photos will be posted to photo-sharing websites where everyone can download them at their will, while a few others will be tucked safely away in the bowels of our computers in the hopes that no one ever finds them.

Considering the amount of alcohol imbibed by some on the weekend, that may be a good thing.

In fact, one campus security guard wrote in their logbook: "When are these 40-year-olds going to go to bed, anyway?" The entry was made at 5:45 a.m., while the last hold-outs from a night of revelry and reminiscing were just thinking of going to bed - many of them in their old dorm rooms - and a few with their old roommates, too!

Everyone talked about how computers had changed everyone's lives. How could the reunion have been organized in such a relatively short time (a few months) without the convenience, speed and efficiency of computers? I can assure you that the organizing committee wondered the same thing from day one.

Without computers, relying on regular mail would have been a much slower and drawn-out process.

This all brings me to when I got home on Sunday.

Not only was I exhausted, but I was also very melancholic after spending a weekend back among old friends. I'm sure everyone has felt that after attending an event that you've been looking forward to for such a long time - that feeling of sadness of wanting to go back to the past but knowing you can't.

Luckily, these feelings are usually temporary until we gear back up again to the realities of our jobs, kids and the current world around us.

But while computers can be great, they can also cause pain. That's when reality set in on Sunday night when I found myself back on the computer after a couple of days away from it.

Within 20 minutes, the computer started crashing. Thinking it may be a one-time issue, I restarted it and hoped for the best. Again, within 20 minutes, another crash with various warning messages of potentially lost data, Armageddon, etc. I think I even noticed a hearse circling the neighbourhood - not for the computer, but for me if I got more stressed out than I already was over this potentially serious computer disaster.

Anyone who uses a computer to run part of their life (at least the part that can be run by a computer) will know that a hard-drive crash and complete data loss are the equivalent of needing a heart and brain transplant at the same time. With so much of our lives being managed on computers these days, the loss of data can send us back to the dark ages, requiring us to start over from scratch.

Too many computer owners, including me, have felt that sinking feeling of knowing something major has happened and hoping that the technician you've hired can somehow pull off a miracle. Alas, sometimes it just isn't possible and all is lost, including all online banking information, documents, photos, e-mails addresses and messages. It's like having your house burn down, in a way, when you find yourself needing to buy everything again that you'd been taking for granted for years.

How much money do I have in the bank? Sorry, need the computer for that. What bills do I need to pay? Again, the computer. Where are all those old family photos it took me hours upon hours to scan? Yup, you got it. The computer that just crashed has stored all this precious information and it's now gone.

Luckily, the technician who arrived at my house at 7 a.m. on Monday after my panic call on Sunday evening at 10:15 p.m. (I think I may have even burst into tears) was able to find the problem and remedy it relatively quickly.

Upon his urging, I'm going to start backing up my data, too, to ensure that I don't have a complete meltdown at some point and have to start all over again. Besides, I really can't lose some of those incriminating photos from the weekend. They should be good for a bribe or two - and now I need that money for fixing the computer!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Interesting take on who could replace Rosie and Star on "The View"

This Associated Press article has some interesting suggestions on who could replace Rosie and Star on "The View" whenever they finally get around to replacing them. They've certainly been in no rush to replace Star. Heck, she's been off for nearly a year already and they're still relying on guest hosts. Anyway, I agree with many of their choices, including Sherri Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg, Roseanne Bar, Wanda Sykes (my favourite) and Kathy Griffin (another favourite). A couple, though, had me shaking my head -- Marie Osmond? Oh c'mon. I don't think so. Elisabeth already has that "wholesome" gig all sewn up. Kelly Ripa? Uhm... yeah she's juggled two shows at once but not two live morning shows. That would be a bit much for one person to handle. Mo'nique? Ugh! I absolutely hated her guest host gig on the show a few months ago. I really didn't like her at all.

Check out today's Hump Day column

Hi everyone! Check out my Hump Day column entitled "Computers really have changed our lives" on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript (pg. D6). The title is pretty self-explanatory about what the column is about this week. It will be posted online here tomorrow.

Kevjumba: I need help with the females

Here's the latest video by Kevjumba. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

*Ouch* Poor Miss USA tripped on stage during the Miss Universe pageant last night in Mexico City

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about our reliance on computers and how we'd all better get in the habit of backing up our data -- or else! Check it out on the editorial page of tomorrow's Moncton Times & Transcript.

Good news for tea lovers: Health Canada approves health claims for tea

According to a Tea Association of Canada news release: "Health Canada's Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) has deemed tea to be a natural health product and has officially recognized tea for its role in maintaining good health. After a period of extensive review, the NHPD has approved three health claims for tea. All types of tea infusions (black, green and oolong) are recognized as a source of antioxidants for the maintenance of good health. Tea is approved for increasing alertness. And tea is further accredited as helping to maintain and/or support cardiovascular health." Click on the news release link for more.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Liberals steamroll over PEI

The Liberals are on their way to a big win on Prince Edward Island tonight in the province's general election. At dissolution, the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Pat Binns held 23 seats, while the Liberals under Opposition Leader Robert Ghiz held four. Tonight, the numbers are pretty much reversed (at least at the time of this blog entry), with 22 seats for the Liberals under now Premier-elect Robert Ghiz and five for the Progressive Conservatives under Binns. CBC News is projecting a Liberal majority government. For more PEI election coverage, click here.

SNL and NewsRadio star Phil Hartman died nine years ago today

Former Saturday Night Live and NewsRadio star Phil Hartman died nine years ago today after being murdered by his wife. Here is the tribute scene taped by the NewsRadio cast following his death, which was written into the show:

Long-time Match Game panelist Charles Nelson Reilly dead at 76

The hilarious and sarcastic Charles Nelson Reilly has died at the age of 76. Many will remember him for his long run on Match Game where he matched wits notably with fellow panelist (and New Brunswick native!) Brett Somers. Click here for more. Here's a video of Charles and Brett singing to Debralee Scott, who passed away in 2005:

Thank you to reader and contributor Walt Forsey for sending a note to me about this.

My blog...

... hasn't been receiving much attention over the past few days because I've been crazy busy! Things should return to normal soon.

Here's the latest Kevjumba video: What's your addiction?

Warning: Some of the language may offend.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Whoa! My brain must be fried...

I just arrived back in Moncton from Halifax where I attended my 20-year university reunion. WOW! What a great time. It was just like old times. A classmate who reads this blog reminded me that I forgot to post my column online this week, so I just did that. Since it's all about the reunion, it seems appropriate that I would post it today. It was indeed just like a family reunion! Many of us hadn't seen each other in 20 years. Meeting again was just like we'd seen each other yesterday. Amazing. Just amazing! Can't wait for the next one.

University reunions revive a family's sharing

Hump day
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

This seems to be the year of reunions for me.

This weekend, there's a reunion of the graduating classes of 1985-89 from my university. Later this summer, there's my 25-year high school reunion.

I wonder how this weekend will go? I'm half dreading going, only to find out that everyone is a millionaire except me, but also half excited because I want to see people I haven't seen in ages . . . 20 years for many of them.

When we left university, we were kids. Today, we're adults with families, jobs or, at the very least, responsibilities.

For some, I know the happiness that has come their way. The happy marriages. The great kids. The wonderful, fulfilling jobs with ever-increasing take-home pay.

For others, they have had some tragedies and sadness over the past 20 years. Some marriages have broken down after much fanfare at the beginning - but don't all marriages begin with much fanfare at the beginning?

Some have known the gut-wrenching sadness of losing a child. Others have developed health problems or been in horrible accidents that have compromised their quality of life.

A few have died . . . from illness . . . by accident . . . and even by their own hand. We mourn their loss as we look through those old photos of when we were young and immortal. Those carefree days when we were finally independent ("finally", not "financially") of our parents were intense days of discovery and developing friendships.

For this weekend's reunion, the organizing committee has debated how to honour those who are no longer with us or who couldn't be with us for health reasons. A few who we knew well and who were part of our daily lives at university will be mentioned at the banquet. Still others will be honoured at a memorial service the next day.

We all want to be together . . . and while there will be great joy at finding ourselves among friends again, we cannot forget those who can't be there. They were part of that university family who came together in the mid 1980s and who experienced a shared life that no one else can claim.

We can't help but be happy to be reunited, but at the same time we won't be able to ignore those empty chairs that - in a perfect world -- should have been filled by those who have left us.

There are several professors who have passed away - those adults who were like surrogate parents to us. We laughed with them. We fought with them. We loved most of them. We hated a few.

And there were the members of the university staff who took our tuition money, cleaned our residences, served us food in the cafeteria and who booked appointments for us to see our advisors. We annoyed some of them. Others tolerated us. Many were our friends. Some saw us as their surrogate kids, their own children long gone from home.

The difference between a university reunion and high school reunion is that many of us stayed in residence in university. In high school, you went home to your own family every night. In university, you went home to your roommate and your classmates in residence. You lived together and studied together. It was a much more intimate and different dynamic than high school.

I guess that's why the university reunion will be much more of a family type of affair, with all the happiness and emotion that come along with it.

Oh there will be happiness, don't get me wrong. There will be hugs galore, lots of laughs, exchanging of addresses, etc, although in this day and age of e-mail and the Internet, staying in touch has never been so easy. Many of us have exchanged photos or seen photos of each other as we look today. There's also a rumour that someone may drink an alcoholic beverage of some sort.

The emotional kicker is that we haven't been in the same room as a group since we left university. Sure, there have been weddings, the odd get-together here and there, and even a funeral or two, but this weekend is an opportunity to try and recreate that happy-go-lucky atmosphere that we had back then when we were all poor, struggling to find our way in the world, and trying to figure out how to hide our panic at not getting the meaning of some deep aspect of a world-famous work of literature that we had read - but of which we could barely understand a word.

Oh yes, folks. That happened in high school, too, but multiply it by 100 for university where your professors all had PhDs and had written 300-page theses on the books you were reading. It's difficult to pull the wool over their eyes then, let me tell you!

I found that out the hard way when I got a big fat "F" on my very first paper. It was a cocky and nonsensical mess entitled, "And justice for all." To this day, I don't understand the subject matter (some aspect of ancient Greek philosophy) and still regret the hours out of my life I wasted trying to even eke out a pitiful (but passing) "C" on the make-up paper.

They say that blood is thicker than water. A family reunion is one where you get together with people you've seen at their worst . . . but love them anyway. This weekend's reunion will be proof of that when a bunch of now-grown-up '80s kids come together for the first time in 20 years . . . a bunch of kids who arrived at university as complete strangers but who left as a family.

Sharing something special does that to people.