Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sesame Street: The Ladybugs' Picnic

Number two songs...

#2 song of 1997 - You Were Meant For Me by Jewel:

#2 song of 1987 - Alone by Heart:

#2 song of 1977 - I Just Want To Be Your Everything by Andy Gibb:

#2 song of 1967 - The Letter by Box Tops:

#2 song of 1957 - Lover Letters In The Sand by Pat Boone:

#2 song of 1947 - Peg O' My Heart by Harmonicats:

Friday, October 12, 2007

I saw Silken Laumann speak last night in Saint John

I saw Canadian Olympian and author Silken Laumann speak last night in Saint John, N.B., and she was excellent! If you ever have the opportunity to see her, do yourself a favour and go! She spoke about getting children involved in more play time. It was very interesting and inspirational. She was the guest speaker at the 2007 Health Summit in Saint John. Afterwards, she signed her book Child's Play for me and I even got to check out her Olympic bronze medal! Oooh! My first time handling a real Olympic medal. In addition to being an accomplished public speaker, she heads her own Silken's Active Kids Movement organization and is chairman of the International Board of Directors for Right to Play (formerly Olympic Aid), a program dedicated to reintroducing play into the lives of children in refugee camps. (The excellent photo in this posting was taken by Noel Chenier of the Telegraph-Journal. Click here for the related article by Scott Briggs.)

Announcer Johnny Olson died 22 years ago

Announcer Johnny Olson, who announced on game shows such as Match Game and The Price Is Right, died at the age of 75 on October 12, 1985.

Here he is on March Game '75:

And announcing The Price Is Right from 1985:

Singer Jane Siberry is 52 today

Canadian singer Jane Siberry is 52 today, so happy birthday to her! Here she is singing One More Colour from 1985:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Seeking gold at jumping to conclusions

Brian Cormier
Hump Day
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

Well, if I'm ever going to win an Olympic gold medal, it's going to be in jumping -- jumping to conclusions, that is. Lately, I find myself being the king of the sport.

Got a splinter? Heck, I'll have you dead and buried (in my mind) before you know it. Have a headache? Must be some weird exotic insect that's nestled itself in the nether regions of your brain and set up shop to breed and have lots and lots of babies!

Just this past weekend, the kid who mows my lawn was dragging his rear-end around the yard like he was about to drop from exhaustion. Knowing that he'd been sick with a seemingly never-ending stream of colds and bronchitis since school started several weeks ago, I chalked it up to just being lethargic from being under the weather so much.

Then, I looked out the window and thought to myself, "What if it's something more serious? What if he's on his way out the door to that big unmowed lawn in the sky?" After catching myself selfishly mourning the impending loss of the neighbourhood's official lawn mower, I started wondering what his poor parents would do without him? And the hospital treatments . . . and long waits to hear about test results.

I pretty much had his obituary all written out when I heard the mower go silent, so I went outside to help him put it away in the garage. I was really quite worried that he was suffering from sort of undiagnosed life-threatening illness when I asked him why he was so tired. Was he still not feeling well? He laughed. "Well, it's probably because I only went to bed at 9 a.m.," he confessed. (For the record, it was about 11:45 a.m. as we talked.) "I was up all night at a sleep over with friends."

I didn't know whether to slap him or hug him. Relieved, I just laughed and said, "Well, no pity from me, buddy!" (Although the slap came in a close second.)

Before he even had time to arrive back home (about five houses away from mine), I'd already called his mother to tell her that I thought he was suffering from some debilitating illness. "Oh, so did he tell you why he could barely push the lawn mower around the yard?" she asked, quite disgusted at her eldest son's all-nighter. (Cranky two-year-olds are one thing: they can sure cry their little brains out, after all. But cranky 13-year-olds have bigger lungs and more staying power in the whining department.)

I chuckled and said, "Oh yeah. I honestly thought he was dying of something." I then told her how I'd been all paternal and asked him if he was sick, only to find out he'd pulled an all-nighter with his buddies. We were both appalled. Crazy teenagers. Imagine. Staying up all night! With your friends, no less! What next? Skateboarding? Playing loud music? Shaving twice a month? What's society coming to?

I'm just jealous. The minute I lay down on the sofa these days to watch TV, I'm snoring faster than the taxman has his hand in our wallet in April. Staying up all night at this age isn't an option unless you're trying to pass a kidney stone the size of a football.

And what is it with kidney stones, anyway? I've never suffered from them (thank goodness!), but I know people who have and some of them have insisted on showing me the evidence. Why? Do I look like I belong to some sort of strange religious cult that doesn't believe people who say they've had kidney stones? The "Stone Deniers"?

Some sufferers have insisted on saving them after being passed and then showing me. It's happened a few times. I'm like, "No! I don't want to see your kidney stones!" It must be some kind of sick voyeuristic fetish. Well, colour me painfully vanilla because I have no interest in the oversized calcium crystals you have in that empty pill bottle that you can't stop shaking like some sort of ghoulish rattle. Yuck!

In addition to thinking that I -- and everyone else I know -- am dying of a pumpkin-sized brain tumour every time I blink too often, I also think that every forlorn animal or child I see in public is in dire need of being rescued.

Being on the board of directors of a local animal shelter, I've become super-sensitive to the issue of stray animals. Now, every time I see a dog walk by my house, I always check to make sure it's on a leash and that its owners look respectable. I've gotten so paranoid that I'm pretty much one step away from running outside to check every dog I see passing by just to ensure it's healthy.

I'd do it until, one day, some dog would just turn around and wink at me instead of growling like the others did. I know I've been single since the dinosaurs were watching Sesame Street, but I'm not quite ready to date outside my species just yet.

And kids lost at the department store? Every time I see an unaccompanied child, I think they need to be rescued. "Are you lost? Do you need help? Do your parents beat you? Did you run out of Fruit Loops? Did Santa Claus put you on his naughty list?"

I hope they never invent personal defibrillators that a person can bring with them on shopping trips. Knowing me, some old lady would cough next to me in the toilet paper aisle and the next thing you'd know, I'd be all over her like a starving cat on a fat mouse wearing a tuxedo made of tuna.

"Clear!!" I'd yell. Pow! "Again!" Pow!

"All she did was cough! Her heart didn't stop!" some pimply faced assistant manager would say.

"Sir, call an ambulance, please," I'd say urgently. "This woman isn't looking too healthy. I told you she was sick."

Geez, try to help some people and they get all upset about it. It's tough being a hero.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and medical marijuana

Unbelievably heartless. I hope that the U.S. doesn't elect this man as their next president. This is exactly this unwavering dogmatic approach to some policies that is turning people off from politics.

Today's Hump Day column: Seeking gold at jumping to conclusions

Hi everyone! Today's Hump Day column - "Seeking gold at jumping to conclusions" - appears on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript (pg. D6). Today's piece is all about one of my more annoying habits: jumping to conclusions. Check it out by picking up a copy of today's paper. It will be published here online tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pope Pius XII died 49 years ago today

Pope Piux XII (Eugenio Pacelli) died on this day 49 years ago at the age of 82.

A short newsreel re: his 80th birthday:

A clip from a documentary discussing his last years:

Some old cartoon opening themes

Secret Squirrel

Wally Gator

Atom Ant

George of the Jungle

Mr. Magoo

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

Some vintage Sesame Street

Ah, the good ol' days!

This week's Hump Day column...

... is all about the Olympic sport of jumping... as in jumping to conclusions. It seems that I'm a reluctant gold medalist in the sport! Read all about it on the editorial page of tomorrow's Moncton Times & Transcript.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Toronto Maple Leafs player has leukemia

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake (#55), age 34, has been diagnosed with leukemia. In a statement, Blake said that he does not expect his treatment to affect his ability to play.

“This morning I shared with my teammates news that I was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. It is highly treatable, and I have begun taking a pill on a daily basis that has proven to be very effective in controlling this cancer. The prognosis, and certainly the expectations of my physician, myself and my family, is that I will live a long, full and normal life. This situation will not impact my ability to live my life as I otherwise would, and will not affect my ability to perform at my highest level for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’m looking forward to my first season with the Leafs and helping our club compete for the Stanley Cup,” he said in the statement.

Click here for news coverage.

On behalf of myself and all this blog's readers, I'm sure I can say that our thoughts and prayers are with Jason and his family at this time. A positive attitude (which he certainly has!) and the best medical treatment (ditto!) are certainly on his side.

Spoon: You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

I rarely listen to the music performances on Saturday Night Live (I just fast-forward through them) but happened to catch this one in its entirety after I woke up on the couch early Sunday morning as this was playing. (As usual, I fell asleep while watching the show.) It's called "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" by Spoon. Man... love it! Really addictive. I find the melody reminiscent of "Love Plus One" by Haircut 100, a song from the early 1980s. Hopefully they'll make an "official" video of this soon.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (Well, at least everyone in Canada!)

Here's wishing each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in Canada. Americans still have 6-7 weeks to go for theirs!