Saturday, June 21, 2008

Top 5 songs this week 20 years ago in 1988

#5 - Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson

#4 - Make It Real by The Jets

#3 - Circle in the Sand by Belinda Carlisle

#2 - Foolish Beat by Debbie Gibson

#1 - Together Forever by Rick Astley

Retro ad for Trouble board game

I hadn't seen this in YEARS.

Carroll O'Connor died seven years ago today

The great Carroll O'Connor, made famous by his role as Archie Bunker in the legendary comedy All in the Family, passed away seven years ago today on June 21, 2001.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy first day of summer!

The amazing George Sampson wins Britain's Got Talent

Here's his final performance:

And here are the results:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Providing earth shattering advice to graduates

Hump Day
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, June 28, 2008
Pg. D4

It's graduation season, kids, and with 26 years of wisdom (feel free to interpret that as "stupidity") behind me since my own high school graduation on June 20, 1982, I feel the need and obligation to bestow my well-earned brilliance upon the young men and women of the class of 2008.

Since no high schools, colleges or universities have agreed to my multimillion-dollar speaking fee, I was left with two choices: write a column with my advice to graduates, or peddle my wares to other institutions of higher learning, including beauty schools, dog grooming classes and kindergartens.

Fortunately for you, my dear readers, there is not a big demand (or even a little demand) for commencement speakers at places like Miss Munro's School of Trampy Makeup, George's School for Impossibly Matted Sheepdogs, or the St. John the Nosepicker College for Gifted Tots, so I've decided to bestow the knowledge I've gathered over the ages unto you directly.

Don't forget to clip this column, frame it and screw it into your ceiling so it's the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. Better yet, sprinkle it with a bit of salt and pepper and eat it! That way, it becomes part of you, its words flowing through your bloodstream like a salmon swimming up a majestic river.

Throughout your life, you will read this column when things get bad. You will stuff it into the pockets of dead relatives just before the casket lid is slammed shut and locked, nailed, glued and caulked. And don't forget the duct tape, either. The insight embedded in this column is so powerful that you will feel the need to send them off into eternity with this brilliant piece of literature tucked away in their final resting place, the energy being emitted from its words so holy that you will likely see a ray of light from heaven itself burst forth from the sky and shine upon said casket.

We can't forget the illnesses that the words in this column will heal. In fact, simply laying this column on a patient's body will cure everything wrong with them. If they could not see, they would see again. If they could not walk, they would walk again. If they could not hear, they would hear again. If they could not for the life of them figure out how to do a Sudoku puzzle, they would figure out how to do a Sudoku puzzle.

Have I mentioned that this column also turns water into wine? Yes, folks, no need for expensive trips to the liquor store or the time-consuming and confusing task of making your own booze. Cut out this column, dip it into a bucket of water. . . and voilà: a bucket of the finest wine known to man... and woman. Château Le Brian 2008.

Now, before I move on to my secret life advice that, dear graduates, will pretty much allow you to avoid every pitfall known to mankind -- include hangnails and choosing an ugly spouse -- I would be remiss not to tell you about a few of the other benefits that this sageness is guaranteed to provide you.

Reading this column will make you more intelligent. It will automatically make you smarter than the average bear. (That's a Yogi Bear reference that you likely won't get because you're under 40, but trust me kids, it's absolutely knee-slappingly hilarious.) Trust your Uncle Brian here, you will be automatically accepted as a member of Mensa just by reading this column. Your brain will literally protrude out of your ears.

You don't have to be a graduating student to benefit from the miracle explained here in these words. If you're a man of a certain age who's having challenges "down there," if you get my drift, reading just one paragraph out loud will give you back a virility so strong that merely walking by a pretty girl on the street will cause her to lust after you more strongly than Elizabeth Taylor loved Richard Burton; stronger than Cleopatra loved Mark Antony; stronger than Cher loved Sonny; and stronger than the elves at the North Pole love Santa Claus. Wait, maybe that last one's not the best example -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

And ladies, this column can help you, too. It will help you make even more delicious sandwiches for your husband. It will bring your ironing to levels never before reached. Your husband's shirts will be even crisper. Your sheets will be even more wrinkle-free. And your creases will be... uhm... even creasier. (And the sexist pig who's writing this will have tax auditors show up on his doorstep by the end of the day.)

Are you a golfer? Read this column's sage counsel and be prepared to have Tiger Woods collapsed at your feet and crying like a little girl when you beat him hands-down at the next U.S. Open. In fact, you'll beat him so badly that he'll be grovelling at your feet just for the honour of caddying for you.

Trying to lose weight? Within mere seconds of finishing this column, stand in front of a mirror to see the fat literally melt off you as your skin tightens to that of a 20-year-old marathon athlete, your cheese-grater abs miraculously pop out, and you grow back a full head of hair that would make Rapunzel green with envy.

And so, the time has finally come, my friends. Time for the advice. Time for the secret. Time for the little nugget of brilliance that will change your life forever and ever!

O.K., so here's my earth-shattering revelation: Don't waste your time reading columns from smart-aleck columnists who couldn't think of anything else to write about this week. There endeth the lesson. Go in peace.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

He could have at least offered to take him to a nice restaurant and a movie first!

Too funny! Go to the 00:12 mark. Turn the sound up if you can't hear it well!

Joan Rivers gets into trouble on live British talk show...

Joan assumed they would bleep her swearing. Only afterwards did she find out that the British talk show Loose Women (a U.K. version of The View, apparently) was "absolutely" live and there was no bleeping. Yikes! She was asked to leave the show during the commercial break.

"Joan Rivers' salty tongue got her booted from a British daytime talk show in the middle of its live broadcast. Rivers used two expletives while talking about Russell Crowe as a guest host on the live gab-fest "Loose Women." She was asked to leave during a commercial break. The 75-year old comedian said in a statement Tuesday she was sorry for the swearing, and assumed that a censor would be able to "bleep" the words out. Then she cracked wise, saying the incident reminded her of her wedding night—because she was asked to leave in the middle of that, too."

Be warned, the following clip contains strong language - but likely nothing you haven't before...

Today's Hump Day column...

... offers some earth-shattering advice to upcoming high-school graduates. It will change your life, cure the sick and feed the hungry. Honest! Check it out on the editorial page (pg. D4) of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. It will also be posted to this blog tomorrow. Do you DARE read it? Do you?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Legendary dancer Cyd Charisse dead at 86

According to an AP news story, "Cyd Charisse, the long-legged Texas beauty who danced with the Ballet Russe as a teenager and starred in MGM musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, died Tuesday. She was 86."

Here are Cyd and Fred Astaire in Band Wagon:

... and Cyd and Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain:

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Top 10 favourite Canadian Idol performances: #1

My #1 favourite Canadian Idol performance of all time is one of the most talked-about performances since the series began.

On July 29, 2004, the show's theme was the British Invasion. Although there had only been a few weeks of performance shows, Jacob Hoggard had differentiated himself from the pack as a guy who liked to joke around, someone who took a lot of glee in torturing poor host Ben Mulroney with his antics... but also as someone who worked very hard at doing something unique and memorable.

That week, Jacob decided to yet again stand out from the crowd by using props, something very rare for the show. This time, though, by taking on David Bowie's iconic Space Oddity, using props was pretty much necessary if he was going to pull it off. By singing first that week in a field of nine remaining contestants, Jacob needed to stand out from the crowd. And boy, did he ever! (Singing first often lands contestants in the bottom three because viewers "forget" the earlier performances in the show and tend to vote for contestants who performed later.)

Jacob started this list at #10 with Sundown... and he ends the list at #1 with Space Oddity: my #1 favourite Canadian Idol performance. Very well done... and a lot of fun to watch! The ending is classic. I love the crowd's reaction at seeing his outfit. They went nuts! And the screams continued during and afterwards...

Space Oddity - Jacob Hoggard

Set Your Self On Fire | MySpace Video

Check out my previously announced Top 10 entries:

#10: Jacob Hoggard - Sundown
#9: Greg Neufeld - All These Things That I've Done
#8: Kalan Porter - If You Could Read My Mind
#7: Kalan Porter - Awake In A Dream
#6: Chad Doucette - Tonight I Want To Cry
#5: Greg Neufeld - I'm Ready
#4: Shane Wiebe - The Way I Feel
#3: Theresa Sokyrka - Song for a Winter's Night
#2: Greg Neufeld - Long Black Veil

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some retro Radio-Canada children's TV show openings



Souris Verte


Sol et Gobelet

La Ribouldingue

Part 1 - Link
Park 2 -
Part 3 - Link



Gymnastics can be hazardous to your health!

Can you say "Ouch!!", boys and girls?

Happy Father's Day!

Fred on Father's Day

My Top 10 favourite Canadian Idol performances: #2

My #2 favourite Canadian Idol performance of all time is yet another from Greg Neufeld, who makes his third appearance on my list.

Greg's rendition of Long Black Veil from last year's tribute episode to the 1960s was one that I have listened to time and time again. I love songs that tell stories and, not being that familiar with the song, I really came to know and love the song solely from this performance.

According to its Wikipedia entry (click on the title of the song above), Long Black Veil is a "country ballad about a man suspected of murder. The alleged refuses to provide an alibi, because he was having an affair with his best friend's wife at the time, and would rather die than reveal this. Subsequently, he is executed by hanging, taking their secret to the grave. The chorus describes the woman's mourning visits to his gravesite in her long black veil. The song is sung from the point of view of the executed man."

Wonderful story and song - and an excellent performance by Greg.

Check out my previously announced Top 10 entries:

#10: Jacob Hoggard - Sundown
#9: Greg Neufeld - All These Things That I've Done
#8: Kalan Porter - If You Could Read My Mind
#7: Kalan Porter - Awake In A Dream
#6: Chad Doucette - Tonight I Want To Cry
#5: Greg Neufeld - I'm Ready
#4: Shane Wiebe - The Way I Feel
#3: Theresa Sokyrka - Song for a Winter's Night