Saturday, September 22, 2007

Toni Basil is - *gasp* - 64 today!

Toni Basil, who sang the popular 1982 song Mickey, is 64 today. She was 39 years old in the video.

Toni Basil - Hey Mickey

How the dinosaurs became extinct


This kitten is hungry!

impatient kitty

Kevjumba: Fun Time at the Hospital

You drink his coffee. Now meet Tim Horton!

History of the Drunk Dial

Check out Acadian Nova Scotia singer Blou

Acadian singer Blou (real name: Patrice Boulianne) is certainly making a name for himself on the music scene! Based in Meteghan, N.S., he's doing his part in keeping French-language music alive and well in that province, while also being an ambassador for Nova Scotia's Acadians wherever he goes. According to his website, he's performed more than 2,500 times in 25 countries since 1994 in front of 1.5 million fans. He's won 12 national and international awards and has recorded five CDs, one of which went gold!

To boot, he's also a cousin to my King's classmate Nicole Pothier. So hey, he's gotta be quality people, eh? :)

Here he is singing "Un p'tit rien" ("A Little Nothing"):

Un P'tit rien

Killer Karl Krupp: My God, I miss him! What a showman!

"You are two tons of that smelly stuff, Mr. Burke!" Hahahaha! Love it!

"Cutting off the blood supply to the brain..." Geez, I hope he has health insurance. TG Stone is helped in his plight by The Great Malumba. Wow... memories!

It's too bad that someone doesn't come out with a DVD highlights set of retro Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling matches. I'm sure they'd sell quite well!

Whoa! Seems like Jan had lots of practice screaming "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!" off-screen, too!

According to this report:

"Wholesome former "The Brady Bunch" star Maureen McCormick is set to reveal the beloved '70s TV series' most shocking secret in a new book -- she and her on-screen sister had a lesbian fling.

McCormick's tell-all, "Here's The Story," won't hit bookstores until 2008, but publishers are already buzzing about the big reveal.

As well as talking candidly about her well-documented eating disorder and drug problems in the book, TV's Marcia Brady will come clean about a romance she had with co-star Eve Plumb, who played her sister Jan on the hit show.

A source tells the National Enquirer, "The most explosive comments will be how the then-blonde, blue-eyed cutie developed a crush on Eve Plumb, which led to some sexual play.

"This book will certainly come as a shocker. While Maureen is not a lesbian, she reveals there were some sexual hijinks going on behind the scenes.

"It's bizarre because she played such a virginal character on the show.""

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Sure deodorant ad from 1980s

Wow. I really remember this... but look at the horrible packaging and the size of that can at the end. It's huge compared to today's more demure sizes. I would die walking around the grocery store with a big ol' can like that (of deodorant!) in my cart. Ha!

Big Red gum ad from 1980s

Retro 1970s toy commercials for a Saturday morning

... talk about complicated... Watch this!

Oh my God! I got this for Christmas one year. I remember that cobra! So cool!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Kermit's flipper ache

Retro Canadian TV: The Trouble With Tracy

Wow! Here's something I hadn't seen in a good 30 years...

This is so wrong... but thankfully times have changed!

You may think that this old ad is a joke, but it's not. My mother tells me a true story about how her obstetrician used to offer her a cigarette whenever she visited him when she was pregnant with me. They'd have a cigarette together while he examined her. And she was PREGNANT. Wow... times sure have changed!

More Friendly Giant

Tecktonik dance craze takes Paris by storm

According to this story:

"A new homespun urban dance phenomenon has taken hold in Paris and is quickly spreading to the rest of France through Internet videos and word-of-mouth.

Tecktonik, a mix of hip hop
and techno dance, was the talk of this year's Paris Techno Parade, the annual dance music street carnival that took place in the French capital last Saturday.

Groups of teenagers were overheard chanting "Tecktonik" as dance-offs took place in the street and the evening news bulletins were full of images and testimony from the leaders of this latest craze.

The starting point for the scene is a complex of nightclubs on the southeastern outskirts of Paris called the Metropolis, but there are signs that it is spreading thanks to videos on file-sharing websites YouTube and Dailymotion."

Here's a sample:

Won't be long before you see this around these parts!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some retro CBC memories from 1984

More amazing feedback on yesterday's column

Re: yesterday's Hump Day column from Cherlee:

"Your words hit home so hard I to stop reading for a bit and catch my breath as the tears rolled down my face. I watch the news and read the paper about these boys and was devastated by the loss of four young angel face boys gone in an instant. My heart went out to their families and friends. I just stood there and cried my heart out when I heard the news. I didn't know them but know kids that do and you can't put it into words I thought the pain that was traveling through a communitity like a wildfire.

But you touch every corner of what everyone was feeling. I'm amazed and touched by all you've said. I saw pictures and many friends sharing memories on Facebook about these four boys. It's a beautiful tribute to these boys. It's wonderful that these boys were four boys that were truly loved by all. They had touch many hearts even mine in an instant. They had a purpose in life and they achieved it.

Here is the link if you don't know it:

This is where I found out about your article.

My family is also going through our own personal loss it brought it all into prospective for me. The pain of losing someone is so heart wrenching and painful you just don't know how to heal. I'm still there in my life with my own personal loss but today after reading your blog. I can finally breath a wonderful breath of fresh air knowing that someone else can describe the pain and emotions we are feeling. That it's ok to move on and not feel guilty. It's the question of what if that keeps us all stuck but thanks to your words it help me understand I can't fix it. It's over I have to heal and move on. That it's ok to go back to my life again. It doesn't mean that they are forgotten!

We all feel so lost and lonely when a tragedy happens. We search for others that understand us. But can't seem to find it until today because of you understand the pain and why we need to feel this. Thank you so much you are a very special man that needs to be recognized for all that you do. I will be adding your blog to my link page if you don't mind. You are a true inspirations to me and many others!"

Thank you, Cherlee, for that absolutely inspring e-mail. To know that I made a difference is heartwarming. Click here to visit Cherlee's blog.

Hump Day: Learning life lessons from four teenagers

Hump Day
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Appeared on page D8, Moncton Times & Transcript

If someone had asked me at 7:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007, who Brandon Hupman, Jimmy Dunphy, Jared Storey and Corey Doucet were, I would have told them that I didn't have a clue. And had a car accident not happened a minute or so later, I probably would have never known they even existed.

Today, their faces are burned into my memory and I can recite their names at the drop of a hat.

Four decent young men dead. Three girls following in a car traumatized by witnessing something that no one ever deserves to see. Two people in an oncoming truck faced with the lifelong burden of wondering whether things could have been different had they been 30 seconds ahead or behind schedule. Neighbours sitting quietly in their homes one minute and putting out fires at a horrific accident scene the next.

The world changed for many that night. Harrison Trimble High School lost four loyal Trojans at once. Combined with the death of Satara Steeves earlier in the summer, herself also the victim of a car-related incident, this brought to five the number of young lives that ended barely before the school year began. It's almost too much to bear.

While many turned to the Internet to express their grief, I can't help but think about what was happening offline in "real life".

Perhaps one of the boys' friends whispering "I love you, buddy" while crying himself to sleep, hoping that his expression of affection would be heard in some other dimension. (I know it was!)

Or that same friend's parents listening to him crying in his room, heartbroken over his pain while at the same time thankful that he was safe -- and not able to even imagine the grief in four homes that night as other moms and dads stared in shock and disbelief at empty beds that would not be slept in.

Or maybe the family dog waiting for their boy to get home, wondering where the warm body it curls up next to every night has gone. He'll surely be home soon to give them their nightly pat on the head and belly rub, right? They wait . . . and wait some more for the boy who never arrives.

There are the brothers and sisters not knowing what to do with seeing their parents so distraught . . . and grieving themselves over a brother who left them too soon. A brother they were supposed to fight with as teenagers and then get along with as adults. A brother they were supposed to grow old with. A brother who was supposed to be there forever. A brother who was supposed to spoil nieces and nephews. A brother who was supposed to be an amazing life partner and father in his own family one day.

There are the teachers who looked forward to helping to mold these young men into students who would go on to careers that would make a difference in the world.

And there are the boys' parents, of course, with holes in their hearts seemingly too large to ever heal. And the aunts and uncles, grief-stricken over not only their siblings' despair, but over the loss of a beloved nephew they've known from birth.

And the grandparents, wanting to take away their children's pain but not knowing how.

A year from now, when we mark the first anniversary of this event, we'll wonder where the time went. The boys' high school class will be in its graduation year.

Many will shed a tear in remembrance. Some -- hopefully just a few -- will not have been able to work through their grief to a point where they could regain some sense of normality. Others -- hopefully most -- will have moved on as best they could with their lives.

If we could hear the boys right now, I believe they would be saying this, "Honour us by living your lives to the fullest. Grieve because you are human, but remember to live because you are human, too."

"One day in the future when you find yourselves laughing at something, don't feel guilty because we're not there to laugh with you. When you find yourselves able to feel joy again, laugh with all your heart -- and laugh loudly and heartily. Talk to us often. We can hear you. And remember that we'll see you again one day."

It is my sincere wish that these boys' lives leave a legacy of hope, generosity and kindness among their families, their friends, the teachers and staff at Harrison Trimble and in the community.

Any other outcome would be the true tragedy in all of this.

To the boys' siblings, friends and the students of Harrison Trimble High School: When you're older and have families of your own, teach your children the compassion that you've experienced and that you'll continue to experience through all of this.

Teach them that it's OK to tell someone that you love them. Teach them that it's essential to grieve, but that it's also essential to move on, too. . . and that moving on doesn't mean you don't love your friends who are gone. It just means that they inspired you to do great things because their lives truly mattered!

If you had told me at 7:59 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2007, that I would soon be learning life lessons from four teenagers I didn't even know, I would have told you that you're nuts. After all, what could these kids teach me, anyway? Me -- an adult.

Well . . . compassion, empathy and a renewed sense of community, among many other things. And that's not bad for four 16-year-old boys I'd never met. Not bad at all, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kevjumba: Put in Purse

For those of you not familiar with Kevjumba, he's a kid from Texas who posts quite clever and funny videos. He's the #1 subscribed-to comedian on YouTube. I always enjoy his videos and post them here whenever a new one comes out.

This week's Hump Day column: Learning life lessons from four teenagers

Today's column is a tribute to the lives of Brandon Hupman, Jimmy Dunphy, Jared Storey and Corey Doucet, four 16-year-old students from Harrison Trimble High School who I never met... four kids who died too young... four kids who are now ingrained into our collective minds here in Greater Moncton. The column appears on the editorial page (pg. D8) of today's Moncton Times & Transcript and will be posted online here tomorrow. (In the photo, clockwise from top left: Brandon, Jimmy, Jared, Corey.)

It's not even 8 a.m. and I've already received feedback from a reader: "Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your editorial today. As a mother of a child that knew these boys and as a neighbour of one of these boys since he was a small child, this has been a hard tragedy to get through. Your article put into words everything we have been feeling and thinking all week. My daughter was also touched by your editorial. Your description of the empty beds "that would not be slept in" and the family dog "waiting for their boy to get home" brought tears to my eyes, tears that I hadn't shed I think due to the enormousness of the entire shocking event. Your editorial was poignant and hopeful. I've always enjoyed your writing but especially did today. Thank you."

Thank you (!) for sending in feedback so early. This was a very difficult column to write because the last thing I wanted to do was offend anyone who knew them personally. I was quite nervous about that.

UPDATE - 12:45 p.m.: I also just heard that the column is being read out loud in some classes today at Harrison Trimble. I'm truly honoured... truly!

UPDATE - 5:45 p.m.: A bit of feedback from more readers: "Now I'm sitting at the office bawling. I think it's safe to say that you're going to get a lot of e-mail as a result of your article today. Well done. I'm sending a link to the article to every mom and dad I know." And another: "I just read your piece on the four boys and must say you did an excellent job. Very well written. Your choice of words was perfect and as I read the column I felt the sincerity in what you wrote, straight from the heart."

UPDATE - Sept. 20/07: Click here for the online version of the column.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shawn Graham's Liberals elected one year ago today

Today is the first anniversary of the election of Shawn Graham's Liberals to power in New Brunswick. Click here for archived election night coverage from CTV.

CBC's As It Happens carried a story idea of mine last night! Very cool!

I'm excited! CBC Radio's venerable As It Happens show picked up a story idea that I sent them over the weekend. Click here for the idea. Thanks to my King's College classmate Andrew Laing for giving me the heads up that it ran and thanks to Ryan Crocker of The Review in Beauséjour, Manitoba, for posting the article on Facebook.

From the show's website entry for last night's episode:

"Pink has become the favoured colour for students at a high school in Nova Scotia -- and it's not because of their fashion sense. We were alerted to this story by As It Happens listeners Daniel Grummisch and Brian Cormier, who sent us e-mails. Mr. Cormier wrote from New Brunswick: "Here's something on two students from a high school who bought... pink tank tops for kids at the school to wear, after a fellow male student was bullied for wearing pink. This is exactly the kind of story I think that listeners would love to hear!" We agreed... so we called up David Shepherd and Travis Price -- the students in question -- who have been enduring some intense media attention since their pink campaign began making headlines. We reached them both in Cambridge, Nova Scotia."

Click here and go to the 21:14 mark in the story to hear the interview. This is the second time that the show has aired an idea that I submitted. The first was a few years ago after a local "character" in Moncton died ("Fast Eddie" Leger).

Remembering Mr. Dressup

Ernie Coombs, better known as the beloved Mr. Dressup, died six years ago today after suffering a stroke. He was 73. Click here for CBC News Archives footage on his life.

If you're Canadian, you've likely received one of those e-mail jokes entitled "You Know You're a Canadian When..." One of the items in the list is invariably: "You cried when Mr. Dressup died." That's not too far off the mark, actually, since many of us spent quality time during our childhood watching Mr. Dressup, Casey and Finnigan.

Here are the opening credits and a bit of the show from 1984:

And here are the closing credits:

Match Game's Brett Somers has died

Match Game's Brett Somers has died of cancer at the age of 83. You'll remember her from her many comedic exchanges with the late Charles Nelson Reilly, who died earlier this year. Somers is a native of New Brunswick, actually - up from around the Miramichi area.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Are PC Financial ATMs EVER in order??

I can't count the number of times I've gone to a PC Financial ATM to make a deposit only to find it shut down. So bloody annoying! Invariably, I end up having to travel across town to make my deposit in a CIBC ATM (CIBC owns PC Financial). I really wish they would get their act together. I guess crappy ATMs come with the territory when you don't pay bank fees, though. :(

A very clever Hyundai commercial

A wife nearly gets caught by her husband while her young lover is in the car with her.

The great comedian Red Skelton died 10 years ago today

World-renowned comedian Red Skelton died 10 years ago today. I used to love watching him on TV when I was a kid. Here's a clip of him playing his Clem Kadiddlehopper character.

Hank Williams Sr. would have been 84 today

Hank Williams Sr., who died on January 1, 1953, would have been 84 today had he lived. He was a hard living, hard drinking country singer with a penchant for drugs.

According to Wikipedia, his death happened as follows: "On January 1, 1953, Williams was due to play in Canton, Ohio, but he was unable to fly due to weather problems. He hired a chauffeur and, before leaving the old Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee, injected himself with B12 and morphine. He then left in a Cadillac, though contrary to popular belief, he did not have a bottle of whiskey with him. He was trying to get his career back on track by proving to promoters that he could be sober and reliable. The only items found in the backseat of Hank's car were a few cans of beer and the hand-written lyrics to an unrecorded song, "Then Came That Fateful Day.""

This is from an appearance on The Kate Smith Evening Hour on April 23, 1952, when he sang Cold Cold Heart. He may look like he was in his mid 50s in this video, but was only 28 (!) when it was recorded.

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about important life lessons that I learned from four people I'd never met. Read Hump Day on the editorial page of every Wednesday's Moncton Times & Transcript.

X Factor: Totoshko... sweetest lady ever!

She came all the way from Japan just to meet Simon.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mean Kitty - The Series Starting Tuesday, Sept 18th!

Click here for The Mean Kitty Song.

Click here for The Mean Kitty's Story.

Furry Happy Monsters

Too cute!!