Saturday, September 01, 2007

Canadian Idol: Jaydee Bixby's performance of When You're Smiling from the August 27th episode - great stuff!

I don't think the kid can beat Brian Melo, but Jaydee did really well here:

Canadian Idol: Jaydee Bixby's great performance of I Can't Stop Loving You from the August 20th episode

People I've seen in concert - Part I

Thompson Twins:

Huey Lewis and the News:

Joe Walsh (opening act for Foreigner):


Richard Marx:

Wilson Philips (opened for Richard Marx):

Roger Whittaker:

Cats Can Fly (opened for The Beach Boys):

Strange Advance (opened for Tina Turner):

Tina Turner (best concert ever!):

What the heck is this animal?

Some are claiming this is a mythical chupacabra, a creature that drinks the blood out of its victims. Well, three of these were found dead in Texas recently and people are trying to figure out what it is! DNA testing is currently underway to determine its origins. Is it a new species? Is it a mutated dog? Kinda creepy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Diana, Princess of Wales, died 10 years ago today

Ongoing BBC news coverage with breaking news that Diana has died:

The official announcement of Diana's death, followed by God Save the Queen played against a Union Jack flying at half-mast:

Prime Minister Tony Blair's comments following Diana's death:

Queen Elizabeth II's unprecedented tribute to Diana following criticism that she was not being seen to be mourning her death:

The dramatic funeral cortege passing in front of Buckingham Palace, where as a sign of respect, Queen Elizabeth II bowed to Diana as her coffin passed by. I found this to be one of the most fascinating moments of the week since it is the Queen who receives bows, not the other way around. Also, listen as the narrator mentions that the card in front of the flowers on top of her coffin says simply, "Mummy" - obviously a card from Prince Wiliam and Prince Harry.

Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Philip, Charles Spencer and others join the cortege. Quite surprising to see how young William and Harry were.

Elton John singing Candle in the Wind at Diana's funeral:

Following the funeral, the hearse carrying Diana was laden with flowers thrown by mourners.

Click here for coverage of today's memorial service marking the 10th anniversary of Diana's death, including very moving clips of Prince William and Prince Harry talking about their mother.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What a thrill to see Jimmy Moore mention my column on his blog!

The world's most popular low-carb blogger - Jimmy Moore - commented on my column that ran yesterday in the Moncton Times & Transcript. What a thrill! Click here to read Jimmy's entry on his awesome Livin' La Vida Low-Carb blog! For the record, I've lost 39 lb in 10 weeks following a low-carb lifestyle and fully intend on continuing! No excuses! Thanks for your support, Jimmy. Much appreciated!

Moncton SPCA Yard Sale - Saturday, September 22, 2007

Click on the photo for a larger, easy-to-read version.

Those who are 'fluffy' don't need reminding

Brian Cormier
Hump Day
Published Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

Having been "fluffy" for as long as I can remember, I've been on the receiving end of more than my fair share of verbal abuse and mocking, including: being laughed at while trying to exercise; being screamed at by a carload of people hurling insults about my weight while I gassed up my car; to being loudly and publicly reminded of my fluffiness by a bespectacled three-year-old flower girl at a friend's wedding.

Quite frankly, that's only the tip of the iceberg. I didn't mention the times I was pointed at and made fun of in shopping malls (I'm in the room, people! Can't you at least wait until I'm far enough away so that I can't hear you?); being yelled at by people walking past me on the street; or being put down by loudmouth ignorant teenagers in restaurants -- emphasis on the word "ignorant."

I'm not seeking pity. There's no need to e-mail me and tell me how sorry you are to hear all of this. (Gifts of cold hard cash, however, have been known to cheer me up! Just throwing that out there, folks. No pressure.)

I've grown a bit of thick skin about the whole thing, but I would be lying through my teeth if, for one second, I told you that it didn't bother me. Of course it does. I'm not made of stone. It's no fun.

Oh, and before I go on, if one more person (usually male) tacks on "big guy" at the end of a conversation, I swear on my cats' giant hairballs that I'm going to have a certifiable conniption fit that will top the newscast on CNN. "Thanks, big guy!" "Not a problem, big guy!" I could just scream. I feel like responding, "Thanks, guy with horribly ugly children!" "OK, guy with freakishly long nose hair!" While we're pointing out the obvious, let's just go for the jugular and see how everyone likes it now, shall we?

Anyway, back to my story. I was walking toward the grocery store entrance the other day when I passed a mother and her toddler son (about four years old) who were walking out to their car after finishing their shopping. He was a cute little tyke with a baseball cap and held his mother's hand as we crossed paths.

I have a sixth sense when it comes to these things and just felt that something was coming. Ah yes . . . here we go. The kid pointed at me and then started to talk.
"Look at him!" he yelled at his mother. Of course, I knew why he wanted her to look at me. His mother did, too, because she immediately reprimanded him for being rude. She told him very loudly that it wasn't polite to do that. Quite frankly, she may have also broken into a chorus of Jingle Bells, but I had long since gone to my self-preservation "happy place" and stopped listening to her. Kill me now!

I know he was just a kid, but after a lifetime of being the target of comments, I've lost all sympathy for the perpetrators, even if they're children who don't know any better.

I walked through the grocery store, chose a cart (that wasn't full of garbage like they usually are!) and then proceeded to shop, all while getting my childish mental revenge on the kid by pretty much wishing upon him every evil that the world could muster up over the next 80 years of his life. He may have been only four, but that didn't stop me from thinking bad thoughts.

This is a family newspaper, so I'll just water down those evil thoughts to the three following things: 1) spray painting a neon orange Star of David on his roof this December so that Santa Claus skips over his house because he thinks the boy's Jewish; 2) sneaking into the boy's room one night and super-gluing his baby teeth to his gums so that they never fall out, thus guaranteeing him no visits from the Tooth Fairy . . . ever!; and 3) e-mailing the Easter Bunny telling him that the boy thinks he's a fraud and threatening his life by telling him that he'd better not show up at the kid's house next year or risk becoming part of a delicious rabbit stew before sundown on Easter Sunday.

As vengeful thoughts evolved in my mind, I found myself in the organics section of the store, contemplating buying some sort of weird newfangled food supplement and a variety of other things that only hippies and goats eat.

All of a sudden, I saw the kid again. Ack!! What was he doing back here? I'd seen him leave! Was he coming back to tell me that my shoes are unfashionable, too? Was he going to loudly proclaim my lack of hair? Oh God, when will it end?

This time, he was being dragged forcibly down the aisle by a man who I assumed was his father -- and I was right. "My son has something to say to you," he said. Eventually, the little boy croaked out a barely audible "I'm sowwy." He hung on to his father's arm with both hands and looked dejectedly at the floor while apologizing.

I have to say that I felt two things: 1) I just wanted the whole episode to be over with; and 2) I thought the kid was just too cute for words. (He literally did say "sowwy.")

Then, those paternal instincts kicked in and I knew that he had to learn a lesson in socialization, so I sincerely thanked him for his apology and they went on their way with me standing satisfied and grateful in the aisle full of hippie and goat food.
So I cancelled my plans to text message Santa, order that gallon of super glue online and sit down at my computer to e-mail the Easter Bunny. The kid came close to not being a happy camper for the holidays.

Oh geez . . . and I'd better cancel those real-life vampires I hired to scare the daylights out of him on Halloween otherwise I won't get my deposit back. The boy's lucky I'm a nice guy.

Things could have got really ugly.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kevjumba: Ladies Man?

Wanna buy an AMC Pacer?

Remember the old AMC Pacer? It was roundly made fun of because of its bulky design and was produced only from 1975-80. Actually, I remember one of my junior high school teachers owning one. We thought it was a pretty cool car, if memory serves correct. Click here if you want to buy one on eBay!

Today's Hump Day column: Those who are 'fluffy' don't need reminding

Hi everyone. Today's Hump Day column appears on page D6 of the Moncton Times & Transcript and deals with people pointing out the obvious when you're overweight - especially little kids. Check it out! I hope you enjoy it. It will be posted online here tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Canadian Idol: Dwight d'Eon eliminated

As I predicted, Nova Scotia's Dwight d'Eon was eliminated from Canadian Idol tonight. A class act to the end, Dwight thanked his many fans and exited with grace. He's a great rock singer. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of him. Good luck!

Justice prevails in Steven Truscott case

"After nearly 50 years of fighting to clear his name, Steven Truscott says his acquittal in the 1959 murder of Lynne Harper is "a dream come true."

"For 48 years I was considered guilty. I knew myself, and my family knows, that I never was... I never in my wildest dreams expected in my lifetime for this to come true," Truscott told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

"It's a dream come true."

Earlier Tuesday, five senior judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal deemed his conviction a "miscarriage of justice" in a unanimous decision."

The truth has finally prevailed in the now-infamous miscarriage of justice suffered by Steven Truscott nearly 50 years ago. What a shame that he had to waste away a huge chunk of life behind bars. I can't believe that the Attorney General of Ontario thought it appropriate to argue for upholding the previously flawed verdict. Click here for more from CTV. Click here for a CBC in-depth look at the case. Click here for the CBC's the fifth estate website on the case.

I love seeing hypocrites like this exposed...

UPDATE - Sept. 1/07: Buh-bye! He quit.

UPDATE - Aug. 29/07: The Senator claimed that "I am not gay and never have been." Yeah, and bears don't poop in the woods, buddy. Don't all straight men cruise for sex with other guys in public washrooms?

"WASHINGTON -- Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who has voted against gay marriage and opposes extending special protections to gay and lesbian crime victims, finds his political future in doubt after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from complaints of lewd conduct in a men's room.

The conservative three-term senator, who has represented Idaho in Congress for more than a quarter-century, is up for re-election next year. He hasn't said if he will run for a fourth term in 2008 and was expected to announce his plans this fall.

A spokesman, Sidney Smith, was uncertain late Monday if Craig's guilty plea in connection with an incident at the Minneapolis airport would affect his re-election plans.

"It's too early to talk about anything about that," Smith said.

A political science professor in Idaho said Craig's political future was in jeopardy. And a spokesman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, Hannah August, said Craig's guilty plea "has given Americans another reason not to vote Republican" next year."

Click here for the rest of the story. For a related CNN story, click here. CNN also posted a PDF version of the arrest report. I love the part where Craig hands over his business card identifying himself as a U.S. Senator, fully expecting the police officers to cower in fear. hehe ;) Needless to say, they didn't.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Canadian Idol review - August 27th - Standards

It's down to the crunch, folks -- the top four! This week, our competitors tried their skills at crooning. The results were mixed but were pretty good overall. Each singer performed twice after coaching this week from the legendary Paul Anka.

Carly Rae Jepsen (My Heart Belongs to Daddy): I thought this was one of Carly Rae's best performances of the season. Really enjoyed her. Her little-girl voice was perfectly suited to this song, too. The judges loved her outfit and her shoes. 9/10

Jaydee Bixby (Fever): Jaydee tried - but didn't quite make it. He lost his breath at the beginning of the song. I thought he would have done much better just standing at a fixed microphone, but he chose to sing and walk around the stage. At one point, he tried to drive the girls wild by moving his legs to the drum beat. Well, it may have worked, but it was about the only thing that did. Despite the quality of the performance, the screams from the girls are proof positive that this kid's in it until the end. 6/10

Brian Melo (Mack the Knife): I thought Brian sang a really grooved out version of the song. I've always loved his voice, but I thought it was off a bit during the song. I really hated the way he turned down the brim of the hat he was wearing. I really thought he should have worn it in a traditional style. 8/10 for the singing but 10/10 for the performance.

Dwight d'Eon (I Get a Kick Out of You): Ouch. Horrible from start to finish. And why did he decide to grow a beard all of a sudden? Very distracting. I hate it when contestants dramatically change their looks during the competition. I always find it distracts from the performance - but perhaps that was a good thing this time. Pitiful. Absolutely not his area of comfort. Despite that, he's always been very good natured about criticism and has taken it like a man. Always a true gentleman. 2/10

Carly Rae Jepsen (I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good): Although the judges went bonkers over this performance, I preferred her first one of the night. Loved her lipstick in this one, though. It was a good contrast to her face and harkened back to the way women "prettied themselves up" in the old days. I found she looked constipated at times, although the judges thought she was emoting very well and was "adorable." She certainly wasn't bad, though. 8/10.

Jaydee Bixby (When You're Smiling): Thankfully, Jaydee had another performance tonight and he pulled it out of his hat, including dancing with one of the backup singers! Very cool! He sang great and really put forth a sense of joy in the song. Jaydee always looks his best when he's flashing that killer smile of his, and this song allowed him to do this. In my opinion, this was the best performance of the night! The judges absolutely loved it, including Zack, who's been really critical of Jaydee lately. 10/10

Brian Melo (Feeling Good): The judges clearly loved Brian's performance and pretty much anointed him as the new Canadian Idol after this performance. I don't disagree that Brian deserves to win, but this particular performance wasn't one that sent me over the moon. It was great, don't get me wrong, but I found myself comparing him to the awesome Rex Goudie version of the song from a few seasons back. 9/10

Dwight d'Eon (Unforgettable): Despite the song title, I hope I'm able to one day forget this mess of a performance. Even though crooning is not Dwight's preferred style, a true "singer" should be able to pull it off better than Dwight did tonight. There are many rockers out there who can still sing a ballad that will bring a crowd to tears. Unfortunately, Dwight just proved tonight that he's more of a yeller than a singer. Like I said, a very nice guy, though. 2/10

I'm not sure if they'll have a bottom two tomorrow night. I doubt very much that there'll be a bottom three. Either way, it's pretty clear that tomorrow night will be Dwight's swan song. It's just too bad that we have to sit through another rendition of one of his choices from tonight. Hopefully, they'll allow him to sing something more in his style. If Dwight doesn't go home tomorrow night, then there is something seriously wrong.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

This week's Hump Day column...

... is all about an encounter I had with someone in a grocery store parking lot. Despite my wanting to hate the person forever, I just couldn't do it.

Check out Hump Day every Wednesday on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A walking billboard for euthanasia

I'm joking... kinda. Let's just say that she'll never have to wait by the telephone for a call from the Governor of South Carolina to become the spokeswoman for the state's education system.