Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

Is Carly Rae Jepsen the next Canadian Idol?

Carly Rae is the only girl this year who has a hope of winning. The rest are mediocre, although Tara Oran's Newfoundland and Labrador fans will be voting for her like crazy, as they always do. Plus, Tara has the country thing going... so who knows. But my pick as the girl who will go the furthest this year is definitely Carly Rae. I actually look forward to what she's going to sing every week. Beautiful voice, seems genuinely sweet and is a great performer. Here's her performance from June 26th:

And here's her performance from July 3rd:

Is Greg Neufeld the next Canadian Idol?

He was shockingly voted off the Top 22 last year and never made it into the Top 10. Will he make it through next week's eliminations and be a Top 10 contestant this year? I vote "yes"! Greg is really really good. A real entertainer with a great voice. He will be minimumn Top 3 this year and has an excellent chance of taking home the main prize. Here's his June 25th performance:

And here's his July 2nd performance:

Is Liam Styles Chang the next Canadian Idol?

He's got such a cool name. By looking at him, you'd think he's some punk kid, but he's far from it. For a 17-year-old, he has an amazing voice and is going to benefit from always being underestimated. Here's his performance of "This Magic Moment" from June 25th:

Is Jaydee Bixby the next Canadian Idol?

Here is Jaydee's Canadian Idol audition and his performance last week. This kid's got something. As Sass said, he's got charisma. Not to mention that he can also charm his way out of anything, even when Zach asked him "Where do you come from?" Great response (July 2nd video):

Here's his July 2nd perfomance:

Kalan Porter videoblog update: July 4, 2007

Hey Canadian Idol fans... Here's another video update from 2004 Canadian Idol winner Kalan Porter. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Good parenting shows up when you aren't around

Hump Day
Published Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Appeared on page D5, Moncton Times & Transcript

Another school year has come and gone. Students everywhere are just hunkering down to a summer filled with play, relaxation and - for those old enough - summer jobs.

When I was a kid, the end of the school year was a great time. Even though I really enjoyed school, it was always nice to look forward to a nice break that would include much playing in the park, vacations where we went camping or visited my grandparents, and just some good old plain lazing around.

I live just up the street from my childhood home. Across the street is a large park that includes tennis courts, a basketball/ball hockey court, playground and picnic area. The park has been here for going on 50 years and is certainly one of the largest of its kind in the area. Years ago, there was a fountain, wading pool and community centre, too.

Throughout the years, as the neighbourhood changed (translation: aged), the kids mostly grew up and moved away. Although there is still of smattering of them around, the place isn't nearly as busy as it once was. As someone who lives across from the park, I'm not going to lie. I don't mind the peace and quiet. I'm sure that when I was young, living in the house I now own was a much noisier experience.

But as a former kid - like we all are - I often look into the more-or-less empty park on these hot summer days and sadly wonder where everyone went.

But back to my original line of thinking here - the end of the school year.

So anyway, I decided to start a new tradition and bring my friends' three boys who live down the street from me (ironically, in my former childhood home) for ice cream in order to celebrate their passing up into the next grade at school. Back in my day, we used to call it "grading," but I don't hear people using that term much any more.

The 12-year-old (soon to be 13) babysits his younger brothers (10 and seven, respectively) now that he's old enough, allowing his parents a bit of much appreciated freedom for trips to the mall or groceries.

So I picked up the boys, loaded them into the car and drove (somewhat nervously) off to the ice cream shop for their end-of-year treats. Having OPKs (other people's kids) in the car makes you a better driver, for sure!

After purchasing their treats, we sat down so they could enjoy them. The talk then turned to various "boy" conversations, including a long and detailed discussion on the art of giving wedgies. It seems that the youngest two had spent several minutes one day giving each other wedgies until the older brother put a stop to it. Disappointed, they listened to him and moved on to other activities.

In turn, I regaled them with a story of an atomic wedgie my roommate in university suffered. In fact, the wedgie-giver ended up tearing the underwear right off the roomie. So what do you do then? Give them back and apologize. What else?

Well the kids just thought that was hilarious. Much wedgie-induced guffaws ensued, their ice-cream-filled mouths open in gales of laughter.

On the way home, even though it was early evening, I decided that I had a hankering for a coffee, so I took a small detour to a nearby drive-thru where I was going to purchase my second coffee of the day.

The youngest brother piped up on the way to the drive-thru and excitedly asked if he could have another treat. Strike while the iron is hot, eh?

What happened next could only make a parent's heart sing. You know how a lot of kids act like angels with family and friends, but sometimes act like semi-nincompoops around their parents? Well, this was one of those times.

The two older brothers turned on the youngest one . . . big time! Instead of piping up for more treats themselves (which I fully expected them to do - and I would have probably thrown in three donuts as "dessert" after their ice cream), they told off the baby of the family for a good five minutes.

"That's impolite! You shouldn't ask for more! That's not very nice. You shouldn't do that!" And on and on an on...

I was about to put an end to it and say it was OK . . . that I'd buy him a donut if he wanted one (what's another 75 cents?), but I decided to let them teach him a brotherly lesson in politeness and stayed out of the argument. We went through the drive-thru without incident (and he without his donut) and eventually made it back to their house safe and sound where I dispatched them back into the safety of their parents' custody.

So, moms and dads, if you're ever wondering if your parenting skills are sinking in, you can be sure that they are, no matter how much grief your kids may sometimes give you at home - especially in those rambunctious pre-teen years. Around family and friends (when you're not around), they can make you proud, though. What these family and friends need to remember to do is to let you know about it so that you can at least get some satisfaction until the next time you find one of them trying to flush a basketball down the toilet, sending you once again to the Yellow Pages under "Orphanages."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Today's Hump Day column: Good parenting shows up when you aren't around

Hi everyone! Check out today's Hump Day column on the editorial page (pg. D5) in the Moncton Times & Transcript. Today's column is all about a trip I took last week to an ice cream shop with some OPKs (other people's kids) for their end-of-school-year treat. Read about what happened when the the youngest of the three decided that he'd strike while the iron was hot and ask for more. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Canadian Idol predictions for tomorrow night's elimination round

Click on the photos for more information. Gone from the guys:

Andrew sang much better than last week, but the guys are doing pretty well this year and the competition's tough. And let's face it, he's just not enjoyable to watch.

Clifton's good looking and seems nice, but there isn't much more than that. Not a lot of personality coming through and the judges really don't like his style. He's toast.

Annika got some of the most vicious feedback tonight that I've ever heard on either Canadian OR American Idol. *ouch* She's definitely gone tomorrow. I have to admit, though, that I didn't think she was THAT bad.

Martha is pretty and a good singer. She seems very nice. Unfortunately, she's also as dull as dishwater.

What a dangerous nut!

Hopefully, this fool never sees the light of day again.

Remembering Jim Backus

Jim Backus, known to audiences as Thurston Howell III (Gilligan's Island) and the voice of Mr. Magoo, died 18 years ago on July 3, 1989. Here's a video clip of TV coverage that followed his death:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Opera great Beverly Sills has died

American opera diva Beverly Sills has died from cancer at the age of 78. She died just a little over an hour ago at 9 p.m. EDT. She recently appeared on television as a guest host on The View during "Best Friends Week" when the co-hosts had on their best friends as a guest host. She appeared on November 9, 2006, as Barbara Walters' best friend. Click here for more on her life and death. Here is a video of her final retirement performance on October 27, 1980, at the New York City Opera.

Moncton's Canada Day fireworks delayed to tonight

Due to last night's inclement weather, Moncton's Canada Day fireworks have been postponed until tonight at 10 p.m., in case anyone was wondering. Quite frankly, it's not looking good for tonight, either!

Way to go, Apu! 7-Eleven Inc. switching over a dozen stores to Kwik-E-Marts to promote new Simpsons movie

"Over the weekend, 7-Eleven Inc. turned a dozen stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame, in the latest example of marketers making life imitate art.

Those stores and most of the 6,000-plus other 7-Elevens in North America will sell items that until now existed only on television: Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knockoff of Slurpees.

It's all part of a campaign to hype the July 27 opening of "The Simpsons Movie," the big-screen debut for the long-running television cartoon, which loves to lampoon 7-Eleven as a store that sells all kinds of unhealthy snacks and is run by a man with a thick Indian accent.

For 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and Homer's creators at Gracie Films, the stunt is a cheap way to call attention to their movie, since 7-Eleven is bearing all the costs, which executives of the retail chain put at somewhere in the single millions.

At 7-Eleven, they're hoping it shows the ubiquitous chain has a trait seen in few corporations -- the ability to laugh at themselves."

Click here for more on the story.

Happy 70th birthday to actress Polly Holliday

You'll remember Polly Holliday from her role as waitress Flo in Alice, which ran from 1976 to 1985.

Never fall asleep at a big game...

This poor exhausted guy fell asleep at a game. Unfortunately, someone noticed and put it up on the big screen. His friend also decided to record it for posterity. Watch the crowd react to the inevitable.

Sunday, July 01, 2007