Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Carol Burnett Show's Harvey Korman dead at 81

I was saddened to hear of the death of Harvey Korman today. He starred as one of Carol Burnett's sidekicks on The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1977. He was also the voice of The Great Gazoo, an alien character on The Flintstones.

Here he is playing the patient to Tim Conway's dentist on a Carol Burnett Show sketch... one of the funniest ever. Watch him break up at Conway's ad-libbing:

And here is as the voice of the The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones:

New Brunswick-born Vancouver Canuck player and former Moncton Wildcat Luc Bourdon killed in accident

"Luc Bourdon, a promising young defenceman in the Vancouver Canucks organization, was killed Thursday afternoon in a motorcycle accident near his hometown of northern New Brunswick.

Bourdon's sister, Eve Bourdon, confirmed the death to The Canadian Press when reached at the family's home in Shippagan.

RCMP in Shippagan wouldn't confirm the identity of the victim of the accident but said the driver of a motorcycle was killed about 12:30 local time in a crash on a road between Shippagan and Lameque, N.B."

Click here
for the entire story.

How sad.

Deciding to stick with sending out good vibes

Hump Day
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Page D6

Those of you who were unhappy with my political rant last week will be pleased to know that I paid a price for emitting bad karma into the universe by spending the entire weekend in bed sick as a dog. It seems like my little two-year-old nephew, although small in stature, packs a wallop in the germ warfare department.

After being exposed to him for a mere few minutes, the little tyke managed to cough on me about 500 times, guaranteeing me a nice big cold. I've been around kids before who were sick, but rarely have I caught something. But this time, that kid's germs were like a massive army attacking a nursing home. Not much resistance there!

I hadn't been that sick in a long time. From Friday afternoon after work until Sunday afternoon, I rarely left the sofa, preferring to moan, groan, cough, blow my nose and sneeze while I stared at the TV. I think I even passed it on to the cats, because one of them was sneezing by the end of the weekend too! My nephew's germs didn't seem to play favourites when it came to what species he managed to infect.

I've been known to watch a lot of TV, but there are limits. This weekend, I went through at least 20 hours of shows that I'd taped but hadn't watched yet... some from as far back as early March. I even managed to watch two full seasons of Oz on DVD, a prison drama from HBO, the same network that produced The Sopranos.

For those of you not familiar with the series, suffice it to say that Oz is pretty much a donnybrook of violence, death, drugs and profanity. Even those who say they can tolerate violence have likely had enough after watching just a few episodes in a row. There's nothing like watching people being more miserable than you when you're sick. A real pick-me-up when you feel like you're dying yourself!

The bad karma I sent out into the universe last week also ended up tearing a new coat I'd just received from my place of work. This smart-looking summer jacket even had our company logo embroidered on the lapel. Even better, it was free. It fit like a glove, too, and I was quite happy to wear it around town.

Well, on the same day that the bad-karma column appeared, I walked in the house, got the jacket's pocket caught on the door handle and promptly tore a huge hole in the side so big that it was not repairable.

That's what happens when you write about things that upset people, huh? All those bad vibes can come back to haunt you.

Let's see, what else bad karma-related happened in the past week? Well, my furnace has started making sounds like it's ready to go into the light. It's been clunking and banging and emitting knocks loud enough to wake the dead.

I'm beginning to wonder whether or not it's time to put the old girl out to pasture. Likely so, considering she's been heating this house since it was constructed in 1963. After 45 years, she's bound to kick the bucket soon enough.

To make matters worse, as I was cleaning up my offices both at home and at work last week, I'm surprised that I didn't bleed to death from all the paper cuts I managed to get. There's nothing like watching a file folder nearly slice off your finger, eh? I'm surprised people don't shave with those folders, for heaven's sake! They're sharp enough! After my filing projects, I ended up with hands that looked like I'd come out on the losing end of a boxing match with a blender that was set to "puree".

Emitting bad karma into the world is no laughing matter. The universe is a living echo. If you send out garbage, you get garbage back. If you send out anger, you get anger back. If you send out criticism, you get criticism back. If you send out frustration, you get frustration thrown right back in your face.

This is true in our words, in our thoughts and in our actions, including columns!

So, this week, I'm acknowledging the bad karma and promising to be more careful at what I send out there through these columns. The world has enough critics. The world has enough whiners. The world has enough complainers.

Best to stick to the positive side of things, although sometimes we all need a reminder to do just that.

My cold, paper cuts, torn jacket and dying furnace were certainly reminders to me of what happens when you send out garbage. You get garbage back. I'll stick to humour and personal essays from now on. This political commentary stuff is too hard on the head. It's like drinking. Some people can drink beer, but not hard liquor, which makes them mean.

I'm like that in that I can write humour and personal essays, but not political commentary. Why? Well, one type of column makes people smile, while the other type makes people think I'm so evil that even Hitler would be ashamed to call me his son.

Yeah, it's best to stick with the nice stuff. If one believes in the concept of karma, i.e. "what goes around comes around", it's always a good choice to emit good things out into the world that make people smile or touch them emotionally.

I guess writing political commentary is lot like those prisoners I saw while watching Oz. They were all in prison for doing bad things. What goes around comes around.

I'd much rather have people look forward to reading Hump Day because it makes them smile, not because it makes them angry.

I'll stick to the nice stuff from now on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This week's Hump Day column...

... is all about karma. When you send out bad karma, that's what you get back. Check it out on the editorial page of tomorrow's Moncton Times & Transcript. It will be posted here online on Thursday.

Retro music clip: Heartbeat by The Defranco Family

If you remember the early 1970s, this song was all over the radio. Amazing what you can find on YouTube, eh?

Monday, May 26, 2008

If you've ever wondered how people get into accidents at train crossings...

Watch what the gate does. Doesn't give one a very secure feeling, does it?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Laugh In's Dick Martin dead at 86

Dick Martin, one half of the famous Rowan and Martin comedy duo, died yesterday from respiratory arrest at the age of 86. He was best known as co-host (along with the late Dan Rowan) of the late 1960s/early 1970s comedy series Laugh In. Here's a clip... that's Dick Martin on the right. Dan Rowan died in 1987.

Seven months to go 'til Ho! Ho! Ho!