Saturday, June 30, 2007

Paris Hilton needs to learn not to lie to the media

Jay Leno's parody of Larry King's interview with Paris Hilton... Funny stuff!

Kevjumba in love

CompuSmart closes in Moncton

Went to CompuSmart in Moncton today to look at a new computer and they were locked and shut... forever. Wow! Quite surprised. Many people I know (including me) liked that store. A good alternative to behemoths such as Future Shop and Staples. According to their website, they only have stores left in Alberta and Quebec. Everything else is shut down.

Happy 71st birthday to actress Nancy Dussault

Nancy Dussault is 71 today. She starred with Ted Knight ("Ted Baxter" from Mary Tyler Moore) in the 1980-86 TV series "Too Close for Comfort." Here's the opening of the show -- haven't seen this in years!

First Harry Potter book released 10 years ago today

The first Harry Potter book -- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone -- was released 10 years ago today. I have yet to read one of the books or see one fo the movies. I think I'm about the only one on Earth who hasn't!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Lauren is waiting for a new family at the Moncton SPCA


UPDATE: LAUREN WAS ADOPTED TODAY (JULY 4, 2007)!!!! GREAT!!

Lauren is still patiently waiting, this lovely girl has been here since early February. She is a favorite with the staff. Spring is kitten season and more and more cats will be coming in and it will be harder for Lauren to find a home.

She is sure to tug on your heartstrings, and deserves a loving home, is yours the one??

Lauren is a 10-year-old brown and white tabby. Her owners had to move and where unable to bring her with them.

She is a very affectionate cat who enjoys petting and being brushed, though she can be independant and wants attention on her own terms. She enjoys her sleep and usually sleeps through the night as well. She prefers to be the only pet, and loud noises such as the vacuum cleaner scare her.

Lauren is looking for a quiet adult home, where she can enjoy her senior years.

Do you have a place in your heart and home for Lauren? Click here for more.

Tim Hortons to introduce MasterCard payment in Canada

Well it's about time! Here's an excerpt from a news release issued today by Mastercard Canada Inc.:

"For the first time, Tim Hortons customers in Canada will be able to pay for their purchases with their MasterCard cards thanks to an agreement announced today between MasterCard Worldwide and Tim Hortons. Under the agreement, Tim Hortons will accept MasterCard at participating counter and drive-thru locations across Canada, and for a limited period, MasterCard will be the exclusive credit card accepted at Tim Hortons. The deal includes deployment of MasterCard PayPass contactless technology. Approximately 500 Tim Hortons locations are currently installed with MasterCard capability and more locations are being added throughout the summer."

Great idea! It's about time that Tims introduced an electronic payment system, although I hear that they accept Interact in Western Canada. Here in Eastern Canada, however, it's cash only!

Moncton SPCA notice to dog owners about fireworks


Here's a notice from Moncton SPCA shelter manager Nanette Pearl:

It is holiday time again and with the long weekend come many celebrations. One tradition for Canada Day weekend is the fireworks show. Everyone likes to enjoy this event with their friends and family.

Many people believe that their dogs would like to attend as well. This is not ncessarily an event that a dog will enjoy. Fireworks can be very frightening for a dog. They do not understand that all the loud noises and pretty sights are something to behold with wonder. To them, it can often resemble thunder and cause anxiety and stress. Many dogs becomes very startled by the commotion and sounds and will bolt.

We suggest that you leave your dog at home and please make sure that they are safe and secure inside prior to the time the fireworks begin. Some dogs left in a fenced yard may still become so frightened that they will try to get away from the noise at any cost, even if this means injuring themselves trying to get through the fence.

We here at the Moncton SPCA get numerous calls on missing dogs the day after a fireworks display. Our advice for your beloved pet on this upcoming holiday celebration is to please leave them home where they will be safe and sound upon your return. They will forgive you for leaving them behind this time.

Note from Brian:

To view the current list of animals available for adoption, visit the Moncton SPCA's website or visit the shelter in person at 116 Greenock Street in the Caledonia Industrial Park. Click here for a map to the location. If you require more information, call the shelter during business hours at (506) 857-8698. Remember, if you're thinking of adopting a pet from the Moncton SPCA, it is ALWAYS best to get pre-approved first. Adoption forms are available online. Shelter hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Watch as MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski refuses to lead her newscast with Paris Hilton -- Good for her!

Some examples of bad truck driving

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Read this unbelievable news release from the executive producer of Canadian Idol


"Canadian Idol Alert: Executive Producer Responds to Toronto Eliminations
Statement by John Brunton, Executive Producer, Canadian Idol

TORONTO, June 28 /CNW/ - "Last night's elimination of three competitors from this year's Canadian Idol Top 22 is disgraceful. Toronto lost half of its competitors in one night, and 75% of the eliminated competitors were from our city. These were three great young singers - any one of which would have made a fantastic Top 10 competitor.

Each year, more people come out to audition in Toronto than in any other city. Each year, Canadian Idol judges select more people from Toronto to be in the Top 22 than any other city. But no competitor from Toronto has made it to the Top 10 since Season One, four years ago, and that's pathetic.

I'm not really supposed to do this. I'm supposed to be impartial. But as a born and bred Torontonian, I'm fed up with the lack of attention and respect paid to the bright, young singers from Toronto. They deserve more. It should not be a disadvantage to be a Canadian Idol competitor from Toronto.

While the rest of the country is buzzing about Canadian Idol and the success of their hometown heroes, Toronto is not paying attention. Toronto is not supporting the local talent found right in its own backyard.

This isn't about regional voting. Each competitor needs the support of the entire country to move forward in the competition. But hometown pride also plays a huge role. To know that your hometown is cheering for you makes a difference.

There are three competitors left from Toronto - and one from Hamilton - and I hope everyone in this great city of ours does all that they can to support them next week."

For further information: Allie Page, Canadian Idol, (416) 559-4365 or apage@ctv.ca; or Renée Dupuis, CTV Inc., (416) 332-4596 or reneedupuis@ctv.ca
"

This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. Seriously. The executive producer of the show is supposed to be IMPARTIAL and he even admits it. "I'm not really supposed to do this." Well, buddy... then DON'T. If it's NOT about regional voting, then what's the purpose of this release? Were viewers supposed to vote for these contestants just because they were from Toronto? Three of the four contestants gave AWFUL performances and the other one was OK but nothing special. If it's NOT about regional voting, then why are you whining? It makes no sense. It's too bad that someone at the network didn't put the kabosh to this release before it was sent out. Obviously, the producers want a Toronto winner this year and this release proves it. So much for choosing the best singer.

So BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO @ Canadian Idol!! And trust me, I'm a major fan of the show. But how disappointing to read such a biased release.

Click here to see the release online at Canada Newswire.

Moncton SPCA warns against yet more fundraising letters from the so-called "Canadian SPCA"

NEWS RELEASE

June 28, 2007
For immediate release

Moncton SPCA warns against yet more fundraising letters from the so-called “Canadian SPCA”

Moncton, NB – The Moncton SPCA is once again advising area residents that it is in no way affiliated with the Canadian SPCA (sometimes referred to as the “Montreal SPCA”). The Canadian SPCA may be doing local fundraising and using a local address, but SPCA shelter manager Nanette Pearl says that all funds raised through the Canadian SPCA stay exclusively in Montreal.

“Not one penny of money donated by New Brunswickers will ever come to the Moncton SPCA or any other SPCA in this province, let alone anyone outside of Montreal,” she said.

“This is a national issue. Several SPCAs across the country have repeatedly asked the Canadian SPCA to stop raising funds in their areas, but to no avail. The national media have even picked up on the story, but still the Canadian SPCA has shamelessly continued this practice,” Pearl said.

“Fundraising is so crucial to our future. We don’t want well-meaning people to give to an organization thinking that they are helping the Moncton SPCA, when in fact they are giving to an organization whose activities take place solely in one city in another province,” she said.

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is the only national organization with a mandate to represent and support humane societies and SPCAs in Canada. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the Moncton SPCA are in no way affiliated with the Canadian SPCA in any manner.

The Moncton SPCA urges animal welfare supporters in the area and across the country to be aware and look closely at the organizations they choose to support and ensure their gifts are going to the charities and communities they intended.

If anyone in the Metro Moncton area or elsewhere in New Brunswick receives a letter in the mail with this logo:


... it is indeed a fundraising letter for the Montreal-based Canadian SPCA and none of that money will be used to assist any animals in New Brunswick.

Anyone who has any questions about current Moncton SPCA fundraising practices or campaigns may call the Moncton SPCA for more information at (506) 857-8698.

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Nanette Pearl
Shelter Manager
Moncton SPCA
Tel.: (506) 857-8698
Cell: (506) 872-1784
E-mail: nanette@monctonspca.org

Hey, TV industry: don't mess with my schedule

Hump Day
Published Wednesday June 27, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

I'm wondering why the TV industry is crying about the drop in ratings every year. You'd think that they would realize that they have to give people quality shows in predictable timeslots in order to keep the audience's interest.

There seems to have been a new trend this year with TV shows starting at odd times. This may be acceptable in other regions of the world, but around here we're used to shows starting on the hour or half-hour. Half the time you go to watch your favourite show these days, it's already halfway through because it started at 9:48 p.m. instead of the usual 10 p.m. What's up with that?

That's like the transit company changing the bus schedule every week and then wondering why everyone is taking their car instead.

The era of customer service in TV networks seems to be long gone.

Like many people, I have a personal video recorder (PVR), which allows me to pause live programming, rewind up to an hour, and set up timed recordings of my favourite TV shows. Gone are the days of those big clunky videotapes that eventually wore out or broke.

Today, everything is saved on the PVR's hard drive. Depending on how recent your machine is, it can save up to 30, 60 or even more hours of shows.

It's a great little rig because once you set up all your timers, you just forget about it and let it record automatically. You watch your shows when you feel like it. Well, the networks all seemed to figure this out, so they are now regularly screwing up everyone's PVR (commonly known by some as TiVo) so that half the time we only get bits and pieces of our favourite shows.

Either the beginning or ending is missing.

Well, if there's something you want to do to get me into a semihistoric hissy fit it is play around with my favourite shows. I expect to watch The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock every week but just try and record the darned things! I swear to God, I think they have someone with a really bad alcohol problem scheduling those shows. I'm amazed that they're still on the air. One week they're 30 minutes long, the next they're 42. Then they're back to normal. Then 33 minutes long the week after that.

Look, I realize that networks want me to watch their ads. After all, that's what pays the bills. But I can only watch the ads (or at least catch bits and pieces of them) if I don't automatically delete the recordings when I realize that the timing is all off because of some new kind of marketing scheme to get more viewers which, again, is like changing the bus schedule every week and then sitting around baffled as to why they're all empty.

Please allow your viewers to find your shows, will you? We'll watch if you do.

C'mon,! Work with the viewers!

There's another thing that drives me crazy about networks. Take a very good show such as Degrassi: The Next Generation. The show has won loads of awards. It's broken down social barriers by introducing all kinds of issues way before their time. In the past couple of years, the show's characters have come out of the closet, had their nude escapades broadcast over the Internet, been mugged, had babies, fought cancer and been paralyzed in school shootings.

This year, one of the show's most beloved characters was even killed off in a shocking stabbing.

Great show, but what does the network do? It changes its timeslot continuously so that no one can find it. It was so frustrating that I eventually just gave up on it. How could I not? Sad to see one of the network's trademark shows just left to dangle out there in the wasteland of ever-changing timeslots. The show deserved better and so did its fans. I hope that next year it gets better treatment and a timeslot that people can count on. Don't take it for granted that people will continue watching.

I am one of those people who grew up watching Degrassi and continued to enjoy it into adulthood.

Its ratings in the U.S. continue to skyrocket, while here in Canada they were described as "lukewarm" recently by one reviewer. No wonder.

They debuted the latest season of this Canadian show first in the U.S. last year before starting the season here. It's pretty obvious that they know where the big money is . in U.S. syndication.

But please don't take the Canadian viewers for granted, OK? We don't mind sharing great shows with the Americans, but at least give them to us first and in a stable timeslot. Hopefully we've at least earned that privilege. We don't ask for much.

And what's up with the idiots who decided to cancel the absolutely brilliant and hilarious Hatching Matching and Dispatching? It ran for a measly six episodes in two separate runs but was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. The show was based in Newfoundland and Labrador and featured This Hour Has 22 Minutes star Mary Walsh as the matriarch of a dysfunctional family of misfits who run a combination funeral home, ambulance service and wedding planning service and banquet hall.

That show had some of the funniest lines and situations I've ever seen. You'd think that with Mary Walsh's reputation and track record, they would have seen fit to put it on the schedule. But no! Sad day for TV comedy lovers like me, let me tell you.

There's a lot of great Canadian TV out there that deserves better treatment than what it's getting.

Let's hope that someone out there realizes that Canadians deserve a predictable Degrassi timeslot and that Hatching Matching and Dispatching deserves another chance at life. It's enough to make me get up off the couch and go for a walk.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Is your child having or attending a "paintball party"? If so... read this... and be warned!

According to a news release issued today by the McGill University Health Centre, paintball parties are proving to be a danger to the eyes of the children attending them.

""Kids should be16 years old before they can play paintball - period," says Debbie Friedman, Director of the Trauma Program at The Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. "I would like to see regulations making this activity off limits until the age of 16. These rules would apply to informal backyard paintball activities to more organized activities in paintball facilities. The risks are clear; the potential for significant trauma is obvious, this is an extreme sport and not one that is designed for children . To put it quite simply, parents should choose a different activity for younger kids."

During a birthday party, held at a Montreal paintball facility last week, an 11 year old(*) took a direct hit to the eye. The child was rushed to The Montreal Children's Hospital Emergency Department and is currently being treated and followed by the experts of the Trauma Program and of the Ophthalmology Department.

"The child suffered what is called a high velocity blunt trauma, that caused severe damage to an eye and excessive bleeding," says Dr. Robert Koenekoop, Director of the Ophthalmology Department. "It is still too early to say just how extensive the damage will be, but, to be frank, some of the worst eye injuries I've treated are those caused while playing paintball."

It should also be noted many children also suffer multiple bruises and welts after this activity."


Click on the news release link above for more.

You wouldn't catch me dead playing paintball games... and I'm an adult. No thanks. The thought of having paint-filled balls flying at my head at high speed is in no way attractive to me. Go figure! So parents, please reconsider if/when you are planning such a party or allowing your child to attend one.

Check out today's Hump Day column

Hi everyone! Good morning... Please remember to check out today's Hump Day column on the editorial page (page D6) of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. Today's column is entitled "Hey, TV industry: don’t mess with my schedule" and is all about how networks are experimenting with weird start and end times with their shows these days. I also talk about how a couple of great Canadian shows should be given a bit more respect, namely "Degrassi: The Next Generation" and "Hatching Matching and Dispatching." Enjoy!

'Roid rage suspected in shocking wrestling world double murder suicide

"Canadian pro wrestler Chris Benoit — a former world heavyweight Intercontinental champion — asphyxiated his wife and son before hanging himself in the weight room of his Georgia home, officials confirmed Tuesday." ... "Benoit, 40, killed his 43-year-old wife, Nancy, on Friday night. Her body was found wrapped in a towel in the home office. Her wrists and ankles were bound and a Bible had been placed near her body. The cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation. An autopsy suggested that the son, Daniel, was killed on Saturday morning. He was found in his bed, also with a Bible beside his body. His cause of death was also asphyxiation. Later Saturday or on Sunday, Benoit hanged himself in the basement weight room, using the cord from his pulley weight set. He did not leave a suicide note." Apparently, steroids were found in the home and it is suspected that Benoit may have been abusing the substance, "which has been linked to depression, paranoia and aggressive behaviour or angry outbursts known as 'roid rage." Click here for more.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A retro Sesame Street clip

Ouch! Horrible knee-to-head collision in soccer game

There's speculation that the goalie (Heinz Müller) did this on purpose to midfielder Geir Ludvig Fevang. Apparently, Müller has had a few previous "accidents." Yikes!

Another Kalan Porter video update

Kalan Porter won Canadian Idol in 2004. Here's another video blog update. Not much talking... just a lot of jumping from planes! Yikes! He's braver than I am.

Congratulations on your well-earned retirement, Gisèle!

My cousin Gisèle Julien retires today at noon after 32 years as a teacher. Congratulations on a well-earned retirement!! I wish you many years of health and happiness in this next stage of your life. There's still a lot of gas left in the tank yet! Ha! :)

Not only is Gisèle retiring today... she's moving cities on Thursday! Quite an eventful week! She bought a new condo in Dieppe and will be moving from Fredericton. I'm sure she'll love being back in Metro Moncton.

Bonne chance, chère cousine! ... and welcome home! :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Moncton SPCA: Sam the Siamese Lynx Point cat is in need of a home!

SAM'S BEEN ADOPTED!

Sam is a beautiful Siamese Lynx Point who strayed or was abandoned and spent most of the winter outdoors. He has been neutered, is Fe-luk negative and appears to be healthy. Loves to play with toys, fingers or other cats. Play-bites. Does not really bite nor scratch. Sam doesn’t like loud noises and is still nervous of strangers, but when he gets to know you, you can pick him up, hold him and tickle his tummy. He’s gentle but mischievous. Shows no interest in going outside and loves all kinds of food. Sam rarely meows and he is litter trained. Approximately 3 years old and 9 pounds. Sam is in foster care. To arrange to meet him, call David or Madi at 852 9494.

Remembering songwriter Johnny Mercer

Renowned award-winning songwriter Johnny Mercer died 31 years ago today on June 25, 1976. He wrote an amazing repertoire of timeless classics, including these:

Moon River



That Old Black Magic



One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)



Come Rain or Come Shine



Hooray for Hollywood



Summer Wind

This should help rehabilitate the image of pitbulls a bit

59th anniversary of the release of Long-Haired Hare

Today is the 59th anniversary of the release of Bugs Bunny's Long-Haired Hare cartoon where he famously conducts an egotistical opera singer to a disastrous performance.

Six months to go 'til Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Best wishes to Belinda Stronach for a speedy recovery

Liberal Member of Parliament Belinda Stronach has been diagnosed with breast cancer. According to this report: "The 41-year-old underwent a mastectomy and breast reconstruction in an undisclosed hospital in the Toronto area on Tuesday." ... "Stronach has a strain of cancer known as DCIS -- ductal carcinoma in situ. It is a common and treatable form of the disease." I - and I'm sure the readers of this blog, regardless of their political affiliation - wish her a full and speedy recovery. Click here to learn more about breast cancer.

Meet Elwood: Voted ugliest dog in the world

He's so ugly that he's cute. I actually think he's adorable!! I do! Meet Elwood, a Chinese Crested and Chihuaha mix who was recently named the "Ugliest Dog in the World."

According to this story:

Elwood, a 2-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, was crowned the world's ugliest dog Friday, a distinction that delighted the New Jersey mutt's owners.

Elwood, dark colored and hairless—save for a mohawk-like puff of white fur on his head—is often referred to as "Yoda," or "ET," for his resemblance to those famous science fiction characters.

"I think he's the cutest thing that ever lived," said Elwood's owner, Karen Quigley, a resident of Sewell, New Jersey.

Quigley brought Elwood out to compete for the second year at the annual ugly dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair. Elwood placed second last year.

Most of the competing canines were also Chinese Crested, a breed that features a mohawk, bug eyes and a long, wagging tongue.

Quigley said she rescued Elwood two years ago. "The breeder was going to euthanize him because she thought he was too ugly to sell," said Quigley.

"So ha ha, now Elwood's all over the Internet and people love him and adore him."

Beyond the regal title of ugliest dog, Elwood also earned a $1,000 reward for his owner."