Monday, July 30, 2007

Edmonton Eskimos: Pfffft

July 27, 2007
Saskatchewan Rough Riders 54
Edmonton Eskimos 14

That is a difference of approximately 40 points.

7th most widely gaping loss ever. But not the most embarrassing road trip. That occurred when they pulled the team bus over, fired the Coach and kicked him off the bus.

I called the game correctly, although i feel awestruck by the sheer voluptuousness of that score. I know how that guy felt standing on the pier in Liverpool watching the Titanic pull out and saying to his friend, you know I think there's a bit of a design flaw there....

In Calgary the Schadenfreude was flowing like beer at Oktoberfest. In Edmonton it seemed like the message coming from the Sports columnists was look a monkey smoking a cigar!

Hey, here comes the coach, lets ask him a question.

Coach Maciocia, over here in the blog, quick question sir. How many turnovers did your team make in that horrible horrible loss?

Five! Holy Mother of God in a small dark Grotto! That's a whole lot of biscuit dropping. Thankfully we're covering the CFL and not organ transplanting.

Thanks sir, and I for one would be very disappointed if they fired you this week.

And, oh yeah, Calgary lost whereas I predicted they would win. The media in Calgary is trying to push the Stampeders to trade Henry Burris for Jason Maas. Good luck with that. The media is piling on Henry Burris the same way they've piled on every single talented player the Stampeders have ever had. It will end in the predicable manner.

So far this year my predictions are 2/4. Statistically, this is exactly the same as 4 monkeys pushing one of two buttons upon being electrocuted. Please recommend this post

Google Semantics Never Disappoint

Most websites use some type of software to analyze their traffic. I use the free version of sitemeter which gives me as much info as I need for now. There are days when it does'nt work very well because the technology on their end is maxed out or having outages. Also, I don't get any info if the visitor has Javascript turned off. But who can blame someone for turning off Javascript? But, like I said my site meter is free. Its sort of like a girlfriend/wife thing. If you don't buy the cow you can only have a bit of milk and no cream.

One of my favourite reports is seeing how visitors were directed (or misdirected) to the site. Sometimes they hit the site directly through a bookmark or by just typing in the url. Sometimes they come in from a link on another blogger's site. Frequently they are directed through the absolute madness of a search engine like Google. Yes, people type in various keywords or phrases and end up right here. From what I've been reading there is a low correlation between what they are looking for and the actual content.

We Canadians are mostly known for our meekness and our tendency to apologize. If you put 3 Canadians in a room and one of them farts the two non-farters will apologize for being present and making the farter feel uncomfortable. Its true. If you have the same scenario but with Americans one person will get sued and two others will never have children. In truth, I think Canadians' constantly apologizing is annoying and possibly pathological.

As a Canadian I feel I ought to be apologizing to people for the fact that Google is very poor with semantics and meta-data. It is impossible for Google to know about context or the varying meanings of a particular word. Supposedly the web is getting smarter with better emerging standards for information tagging.

Here are samples of some key word searches that people used to find this site in the last week:

sherwood park alberta sluts
daryl katz wife
chads pants
new arena in edmonton sketch drawing
edmonton oilers kates purchasing
"mark kingwell" pretentious
nose hill park gay
analysis of birth movie - nicole kidman
bill bixby provides photo that proves elvis is alive
watch movies alone, or don't watch them
insemination proces women videoclip
bush colonoscopy (multiple hits)
shame on me

I didn't include the searches regarding very very very dirty subject matters. Do other bloggers get search hits from people looking for very very very dirty filthy subject matters?

I've decided for this reason to strenuously avoid the use of the word slut in any blog post. So no more discussions of the Blacks. Please recommend this post

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Alberta CFL Teams In Action

The Edmonton Eskimos are about to kick off against the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in Regina.

Prediction: The Eskimos will lose by at least one touchdown. Playing in 31 Degree heat in front of 30 thousand hostile trailer park boys will be insurmountable. They're probably peeing their pants right now.

Tonight the Calgary Stampeders will play the BC Lions.

Prediction: Is pains me to call it thus, but Calgary will win by less than a touch down.

Last week, I was 1/2. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stupid News Story (Blogging Cliche)

I often wonder how couples make decisions about their everyday busy lives.

Earlier that morning...

She: Honey, I'm dropping the baby off at gran and gramps this afternoon.
He: Really...
She: What? Whats wrong?
He: Sweets, your parents are imbeciles.
She: Don't talk about my parents like that. Anyway I told you I was going to check out that Pilates class.
He: Pilates? Wasn't he the guy who killed Jesus?
She: Damn you're stupid. Anyway, this dialog has gotten way off track and that blogger is glaring at us because he wants to finish his story.

Thanks folks. So anyway, the gran and gramps get this idea to put the one year old out on the deck...

Gran: I'm going to put little mr poopy pants out on the deck to air out a bit.
Gramps: Don't we have rattle snakes around here?
Gran: Um, yeah. But we also have a Chihuahua.
Gramps: Yes. I forgot. Did you take all your meds today?
Gran: Sweets I think that blogger fellow wants to continue on with the rest of his story.
Gramps: Well he looks mighty queer to me.
Gran: Shush he can hear you.

Thanks folks. Anyhow, the baby is just sitting there and a rattle snake shows up and gets all offensive based on some pretty predictable if not obscure evolutionary mechanisms.

The Chihuahua saves the baby by leaping in front the striking snake and taking one for the team. The dog nearly dies but pulls through courageously. Unfortunately, given the dogs brain size and inadequate memory he'll probably try the same thing next week.

Meanwhile, intelligent design takes a major hit. God shuffles his feet realizing that the snake took several billion years to evolve to the point where it could efficiently kill a toddler but doesn't really knows why.

This is not a very funny story if you're a parent (or a dog) but you have to admit it is pretty funny the way the media is turning the dog into a hero rather than calling child welfare services. After an extensive investigation it was determined that the Grand Parents had all the right bumper stickers.

Chihuahuas have very very tiny brains. They don't play chess. Its likely that the dog's response was based on something as equally primitive and screwed up as the snakes need to rid the neighborhood of babies. Attributing courage to the dog is like...well I don't even have a simile because it is so stupid.

Thus, the dog will need to find someone on its vacancy level to help tell its side of the story. Welcome to Larry King Live, I'm here with a very brave little dog...

Had the dog any degree of evolved intelligence whatsoever it would have looked at the situation and thought, you know what, I think I'll just let you two work this out..

And don't send me any stories of your dog dialing 911 that time when you had too many Red Bulls. When Timmy fell down the Well and the Dog started barking, that was a TV show. In real life the dog would have just sat there and licked his balls.

For leaving your grandson alone with a Rattle Snake, defended only by the least evolved breed of dogs ever you win the Five Of Five Feculant Thumb Award. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Decal War of Convenience - Part 1

This evening Calgary City council voted down a proposal to place Support Our Troops decals on city vehicles. The vote was 11-4.

I thought about it last week and decided that I was opposed to the proposal for a number of reasons. While I was pleased that they were sensible enough to see through this pro-war nonsense, at the same time it is unfortunate that the debate and its tone can end up sending the wrong message.

Support Our Troops is a political slogan invented by the Republicans in the United States and co-opted by Canadian Conservatives not long after Canada's New Government was elected.

Like all political language, as George Orwell pointed out, the meaning is not literal. Support Our Troops is a euphemism for supporting Mr. Harper and his pro-warfare policies. Deceptive language is used to confuse people and get them to buy into things without having to explain all the details.

This type of political language is also intended to divide people into good vs. evil factions, based on a delusional sense of self-righteousness. If you don't agree with the slogan, you will likely end up being accused of many things. We know from the American experience with the Iraq war that people who did not support the war were accused of bizarre things, such as supporting terrorism. To me this is a reprehensible thing to do to a fellow citizen.

I think you would have a hard time finding a Canadian who does not believe in the literal premise of supporting the troops. What does supporting our troops literally mean when you strip away the brain dead jingoism.

In my opinion, it means:

1. Providing them with the skills and equipment they need to do their jobs safely.
2. Providing them with a proper salary so their families don't have to live in rat traps or use food banks.
3. Support their families while they are on mission.
4. If a soldier should be killed in action provide proper death benefits.
5. Providing proper health care to injured soldiers.
6. Providing proper pensions and health care to veterans. Don't make an 80 year old spend years in court suing the Government for an entitlement.
7. Not putting soldiers in harms way merely because you as a politician believe in an outdated notion of the glory of war, or because you think an agressive war posture will get you more votes.

You could easily argue that our Government has failed on any number of the above requirements. And you could also argue that pushing decals with slogans does nothing to actually help the troops.

The City Council's compromise was to allow the sale of the decals in City Of Calgary facilites. And yes, I know that the proceeds of those sales go to a well know charity that helps military families. And yes, I agree with this compromise.

However, I'd like Canada's New Government to explain why military families have to be supported by private charity while Mr Harper's supporters and the frat-boy tabloids lecture the rest of us with bumper sticker slogans. Apparently they don't support the troops, at least not literally.

It seems ironic that many of our war dead gave their lives because of a threat to our basic freedoms, the most basic of which is the freedom of opinion. Something to think about the next time the Calgary Sun tells us all how we have to think about our troops and Harpers war. Please recommend this post

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Night Moral Dilemma

Friday night dilemma: to watch the Edmonton Eskimos play the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. Boooooooring. Or, to drink the last ounce or so the Dom B&B Liqueur that my neighbour gave me. Actually I gave it to my neighbour for Christmas. He drank almost all of it until his wife found out he had it. Then he gave it back to me with an ounce or two in the bottom. There must be a term for this type of thing. Post-consumptive regifting?

I don't really drink so I may top it up with water and give it to the neighbour on the other side. No, really it's supposed to be weak like that. Its the French, everything they do is understated. His wife is a hoity toity Liberal. She'll understand.

I'm picking the Eskimos over the Riders, but not by much. Less than 1 TD. It will be the Esks 15 minutes of fame this season, and then *poof*. During the Eskimos game I plan on walking around in my underwear and imitating Bryan Hall. Like you have something better to do on a Friday Night.

Tomorrow the Stampeders play the Argonauts here in Calgary. There is no amount of hooch that could get me to sit through that one. Prediction: Calgary loses causing a media firestorm of Biblical proportion. Blood bath.

How will the CFL Western Division finish up you ask?

1. BC
2. Saskatchewan
3. Edmonton
4. Calgary

I'm currently very busy setting up the equipment required to do live coverage of President Bush's Colonoscopy. Or Tom Higgins' decapitation which ever comes first. Please recommend this post

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Future Cabinet Minister

The AP is having a particularly slow day:

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) - Debbie Hulleman's pet dog Pepper likes to chew things.

She's gnawed on lipstick canisters, shampoo bottles, ball point pens, toothpaste and now the list includes nearly US$750 in cash - gobbled right down.

Usually you need an MBA in order to turn cash into dog shit.

Its a stupid story, but wholly redeemed by my excellent punch line.

And yes, the story goes on to explain how they recovered the money in the back yard. Sorry to spoil. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Edmonton Oilers For Sale?

A local Edmonton billionare is trying to purchase the Edmonton Oilers, according to both TSN and The Edmonton Journal. Daryl Katz tried to purchase the team several months ago but the Edmonton Investors Group did not vote on the offer because the Board did not consider the team up for sale.

The ownership structure in Edmonton is quite different than in many other NHL cities. The Edmonton Investors Group has about 7700 voting shares distributed unevenly among around 30-35 investors. A small board of directors runs the day to day operations of the group. Since forming there have been some natural conflicts and politics and I suspect Katz is succeeding in dividing the shareholders into factions.

According to the Journal, the share holders will vote on the offer in August. A two thirds majority would be required for the sale to be approved. But, I would be cautious about believing anything you read about the Oilers in the Journal.

This is the third time that Katz has made an offer. The previous offers were in the $155m dollar range. The current offer is $175m, along with a hint that he might build a new arena. The Oilers facility is in rapid decline and like the Saddledome will need to be replaced sooner than later. I think the offer is well over the market value, but whats 25m give or take. I wonder why Katz is so desperate to own the team.

The offer was made directly to the share holders rather than to the Board of directors because the Board is not interested in selling. It is clearly an attempt to leverage the dissatisfaction of some of the share holders with regards to the way the team is being run.

I'm not really clear if this strategy will work or not, and it is anyone's guess whether the shareholders will vote to sell. It is possible the Board of Directors has some kind of strategy that could prevent the sale. Perhaps a corporate version of the neutral zone trap.

I'm just guessing, but I think most Oiler fans would prefer group ownership rather than one billionare owner. The memories of Peter Pocklington very nearly killing or relocating the Oilers is still fresh in everyone's mind.

Maybe if they sell they can bring in a fresh management team into the front office, but don't get me started on that topic. This controversy is the last thing the Oilers need heading into the next season with a questionable team and a fragile morale.

In unrelated Oilers news, family members and at least one complete stranger are recommending that I toss out my Oilers shirt, pictured below:

I refuse. Some clothing is sacred regardless of having holes or tears. My Mother suggests that she did'nt bring me up to wear stuff like that. I didn't have a comeback so I told her my sister was checking into rehab. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Music Acquired

I have it in my my greasy palms right now:

Its so sweet to listen to. I'm sweating and grabbing my collar a lot, like Rodney Dangerfield. Please recommend this post

Always Watch Movies Alone

We sent J to the video store to pick up a movie or two. She came back with The Painted Veil starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton and For Your Consideration starring Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levi, Harry Shearer and the rest of the Christopher Guest repertory.

For Your Consideration is the latest in a series of unrelated mockumentary style movies, including Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind.

I think I had suggested we wait for the teenager to come home from her "job" and then send her to the video store. The last time she went we ended up with The Exorcist and John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. Satan was the butt of all jokes for the remainder of the weekend. Which is probably why I tripped and fell on the pavement scraping my knees and elbows.

In the other room, for some reason Clam Bake was playing on the computer but no one was watching. One definition of mental illness is wishing Elvis had stuck to music instead of acting in B-Movies, while at the same time wishing Elvis had stuck to acting in B-Movies instead of making music. Just so you know, an Elvis movie playing on a computer is not a high point in Computer Science.

There was only one baked Clam in that movie: Shelley Fabares. She had two #1 hits in the early 60's. I'll bet you can't name them. I can't. The Clam Bake plot was lifted right out of Shakespeare. A rich dude wonders if chicks will like him if he's just an ordinary guy. So he trades identities with another dude, played by Bill Bixby. The sad thing about Bill Bixby, aside from dying from Cancer long before his time, was the fact that right up until his death he believed that Elvis Presley was alive. Clam Bake also has an unintelligle sub-plot involving Shriners and weird pajamas. The moral of the story is: artists who suck in one genre have a reasonably good chance of successfully sucking in another genre.

What would have been really cool is if they made the Exorcist a musical, starring Elvis Presley as a singing Priest. Singing, dancing, singing, exorcising. Speedboats...By merging the plots of Clam Bake and the Exorcist you could have made one decent movie. I'm still waiting to be discovered as a writer/producer.

Painted Veil went into the player first and after about ten minutes it was replaced with For Your Consideration due to heckling. The Painted Veil was still playing its opening credits 10 minutes in. It was moving slower than a Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon race horse death investigation. Later when reading the IMDB screech about Painted Veil one could not but notice that the credits had twenty different child actors cited as "Singing Orphan". If things get so bad in a movie that you have to pull out the singing orphans you mights as well get Elvis baking clams.

For Your Consideration was funny, but not as funny as the three previous movies in the series. Best in Show was one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. Not everyone likes this type of humor because it is subtle and understated. Fairly black and sarcastic. By black humour I mean humour that makes fun of the tragedy of life, and not cheap shot humor about Bidets.

For Your Consideration also lifted a thing or two from Shakespeare. The idea of making a movie about people making a movie is self-mockery at its best. Shakespeare frequently mocked actors and writers by having plays within the play. Rumor is that Eugene Levi and Christopher Guest don't want to make another Mockumentary. Perhaps the schtick has run its course. Even if they stop now they'll have four very funny movies. Please recommend this post

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Night Mr. Cranky Pants

A Calgary couple will not have their case heard at the Supreme Court of Canada. The woman became pregnant through artificial insemination. The male partner did not want to raise or pay for a child so they came up with this idea that they would sign a contract releasing the male partner from all parental responsibilities. The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled they could not do that in light of Alberta's Family law.

The reasoning of the various courts centre on the simple idea that if the man and woman are living together in a common law relationship, then there is a reasonable expectation that they will both assume responsibility for the child's well being. As it is can you imagine what it would be like to be that child as you grow up, finding out that your mother's partner did not want to be your father. I would play dumb for a few years then one day just out of the blue let him have it right in the balls. Then I'd hire Eddy Greenspan.

Regardless, such a contract would likely never ever be enforceable. What's the big deal anyway. You live in this house in this relationship, take care of the damn baby.

I don't know what people are thinking when they come up with this stuff. I would bet that they have a typed up written agenda before they make out. Do not get me started down that parody road.

I have no interest in what James Dobson, Dr. Laura or the Federal Conservative caucus thinks about this issue - they can all go suck a big fat pickled egg. My crankiness about this story is based purely on common sense, secular humanism, perhaps even the theory of evolution.

Years from now the amorphous blob of a non-parent will be lying on the floor stroking out. He'll drool out something about calling 911. An insouciant teenager will reply that unfortunately legal agreements prevent him from participating in emergency interventions for non-family members. The Beatles Love,Love,Love will be blaring on the radio in the background. It will be like the last episode of the Sopranos. Sort of a weird ambiguous ending with shady looking men milling clutching legal pads.

Only in Calgary. Please recommend this post