Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Night Music

Friday nights 12 music tracks as selected by a soulless cold piece of silicon. And I'm not referring to my ex. I'm referring to my CPU, which throws out pseudo-random numbers to Windows Media Player, which in turn examines the number and translates it into a track in its library, being careful never ever to play anything by Jimi Hendrix. Why? I must know why.

12. Don't Stop Swaying - Sophie B. Hawkins
11. River - Madeleine Peyroux and Kathryn Dawn Lang. Composed by Joni Mitchel
10. The Yellow Furze - Karan Casey
9. The Old Ways - Jenny Allen
8. Walkin After Midnight - Patsy Cline
7. Afternoons and Coffeespoons - Crash Test Dummies
6. Raglan Road - Loreena McKennitt
5. Pacing the Cage - Bruce Cockburn
4. Softly She Goes - Gordon Lightfoot
3. Where Is My Love - Lucinda Williams
2. Sweetsexywoman - Sophie B. Hawkins
1. For You Blue - Beatles,George Harrison

Bonus YouTube video:

Kiran Ahluwalia - Koka

Unbelievable! Please recommend this post

Edmonton Eskimos on bye Week

It is a bye week for all the western CFL teams.

Hey, esks fan, its a bye week, take a deep breath and
chill out.

No wait, don't take a deep breath.

Well at least you have something to look forward to:

Get to the buffet early.

Disclaimer: don't put a plastic bag over your head its dangerous and you could suffer serious consequences up to and including death its a fact. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summer Reading - Part 1

Alternate Title 1: Government By Outrage

I just finished reading Dr. Kevin Taft's latest book Democracy Derailed. Derailed is probably a generous word. The book is basically about government scandal in Alberta and the undermining of basic democracy. I think it is fair to say Alberta is at an all time low point in terms of its democratic traditions.

Almost all of the issues Dr. Taft discusses are not new to me. From the Asbestos removal at the Holy Cross Hospital, to Multi-Corp, to cabinet Ministers owning Oil companies - it has all been out there. However when you put it all together in one book it leaves you with a rather foul taste.

This is a book all Albertans should read. Dr. Taft has a very good writing style. He explains the issues clearly, providing a lot of detail and back-up, while not talking down to the reader.

The book's website has a very good quiz on some Alberta history and issues. Regrettably, I scored very low on the quiz and I was quite embarrassed. It is an indication that there is always surprises and false assumptions if you don't educate yourself.

Take the quiz. Let me know how you did.

Disclosure: I have no relationship with the Alberta Liberal Party. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Support

Bad title. Sounds like we support libel chill when in fact we support which is against libel chill.

Help us fix Canada's outdated libel laws

This is an important issue. Under current Canadian law someone can be sued for libel for almost anything. Our laws have not kept up to our technological advancement. As a member of several different blogging communities I link to hundreds of blogs each of whom link to hundreds of other blogs and resources which continues ad infinitum.

There are currently lawsuits underway that argue that web site owners should be liable for the content they link to whether directly or indirectly. This has massive implications for standard online technologies such as blogs, aggregators, search engines and Wikis.

The end result is that authors will not exercise their right to free speech or join online communities simply out of fear. The high cost of legal defense will cause many to cave in even though there is no case.

Anyway, please visit and educate yourself on the current lawsuit and the defendants need for your support. I would also recommend visiting section15 for more background information. Please recommend this post

Sunday, August 19, 2007

CBC Irritates Retard

Tonight at 12:30 am the CBC will be re-broadcasting the last 13 minutes of last nights thrilling football game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Regina Rough Riders. There was a huge thunderstorm around the third quarter and the game was suspended for about an hour.

The CBC broke off coverage of the game so they could stay on schedule and show their Saturday Night Late Movie. So, to the CBC we present our first annual Dave Hodge Pencil Tosser Award of Excellence. Aside from the prestige of this award, Steve Armitage will get a free dinner for four at the Kelsey's in Sherwood Park, Alberta. (Order a day or two ahead of time if you're hungry.)

Later last night, the natives in Edmonton were not un-restless. One retard phoned 630CHED to complain that the CBC had broken away from the game, and not only that, they were showing soft core porn.

To the retard we award an important award we have not named yet, for not being able to distinguish between soft core porn and a British Indie film that won all kinds of super obscure awards.

I find it odd that someone would be upset about soft core porn after watching a bunch of grown men in tight polyester grabbing each other's packages and slapping one another on the butt. Each to his own.

Anyway, the winner of this award receives a two DVD package featuring Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal and a bootlegged copy of Hilda Does Bassano. Until you can offer a plausible explanation as to which one is art and which one is soft core porn you are not allowed to call any radio shows.

According to my sources the last time the Rough Riders were this successful this early in the season it was because Ron Lancaster was their QB. I have a dire warning: If the Rough Riders get anywhere near the Grey Cup a horrible rupture will occur in the Space/Time/Timbit continuum. And also the Leafs will win the Stanley Cup. Please recommend this post

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday's Nonsense Garden

The media in Edmonton is divided into three groups.

The first group is following the LPGA golfers around the Mayfair Golf & Country club desperately trying to get one of the golfers to say something nice about Edmonton. Beware of roving packs of people with microphones and a huge Chris Pronger shaped chip on their shoulders.

The second group is trying to figure out how to pronounce golfer Mhairi McKay's first name. The Scots Gaelic consonant Mh is pronounced like a V. airi is pronounced to rhyme with Starry not Mary. Farry, not Larry. How far is it? Its farry. Sometimes Scots names have pronunciation that seems weird to us. For example Menzies can be pronounced Mingus. Rhymes with Dingus. Maybe the Dingus ate your baby? The Scots were never happy about being colonized (rhymes with fallinized not rollinized) so they subverted the consonant system of the Empire. The British referred to this as anticonsonantationalism, which Scots consider derogatory, and mostly unpronounceable.

Or it could just be they had their own language before the English came along. How would I know? I'm not a trained lingust.

The third group is busy calling WTA #1 ranked Justine Henin Justine Henna. Henna?

The remainder of the Edmonton sports media is in Regina (rhymes with) covering the game between the Rough Riders and the Eskimos. Late in the second quarter the Eskimos are leading 21 to 10. The Eskimos are playing bizarrely and unexpectedly well. Bryan Hall sounds like a kid with ADHD. Yes, all looks well for the Titanic as it sails along majestically.

One hopes that Vicki Hall of the Edmonton Journal will not have to discuss package grabbing with A.J. Gass in the post game interviews. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Donelons: Update

Some further info:

The Edmonton Journal's Obituary is here.

There is a guest book here.

The TD Canada Trust Bank is accepting donations for a trust account for Chelsea Donelon.

Please feel free to leave your comments by clicking on the link at the end of this item. Please recommend this post

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday's 12 Random Songs

I loaded a whole bunch of new music on my player then put it on shuffle to get 12 random songs. The ghost in the machine blew smoke in my face and refused to randomly play any of the new tracks randomly. Once again I'm forced to use the word insouciant. It seems a bit insulting when a million electronic pulses can put their tiny little heads together and completely ignore your new stuff.

Friday night's 12 random songs:

1. Beatles - I Will

From the White Album. I had a girlfriend who insisted the White Album was made by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I'd say I know how you feel but its just not true.

Who knows how long you've hated me
I know you hate me still
Will you wait a angry lifetime
If you want me to shut up I will

2. Cowboy Junkies - I Saw Your Shoes

Margo sees her guy's shoes by the couch and it makes her romantic and a song ensues. Whenever I leave my shoes anywhere people glare at me.

3. Sophie B. Hawkins - The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down.

Cover of Robbie Robertson's classic.

4. Christopher Parkening - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring.

Is it man's desire or man's desiring. I never argue with liner notes unless they've been translated through 9 languages. I've always liked this song more on guitar than on piano or organ. Parkening is a phenomenal guitar player.

5. Jenny Allen - Craven

One of my favourite local singer songwriters.

6. Monty Python - Finland

If you haven't heard it, the important lyrics are worth reflecting on:

Finland, Finland, Finland
The country where I want to be
Pony trekking or camping
Or just watching TV
Finland, Finland, Finland
It's the country for me

You're so near to Russia
So far from Japan
Quite a long way from Cairo
Lots of miles from Vietnam

Finland, Finland, Finland
The country where I want to be
Eating breakfast or dinner
Or snack lunch in the hall
Finland, Finland, Finland
Finland has it all

7. Blondie - Will Anything Happen

Yes Deborah, something will happen. The 80's will end. Disco will die. You'll spend years in court fighting your backup singers over royalties. Then people like me will re-discover you because we're too cheap to buy new music.

8. Angelo Romero - Andante from Piano Concerto No 21.

Another great classical guitarist. This would be a great song to play at a wedding while everyone is sitting there waiting for the Bride to show up. It has a great sense of uncertainty and tension.

9. Los Lobos - That Train Don't Stop Here.

A break up song that rocks like crazy.

10. The Byrds - Paths of Victory

A cover of a Dylan song. Sort of in the tradition of an old southern spiritual or a union song.

11. Crash Test Dummies - I think I'll Disappear Now

Their songs are too deep for this time of night.

12. Bruce Cockburn - This is Baghdad

A sad lament about the current state of Iraq.

Your bonus track is this video about the Fates found on Youtube.

Unfortunately I have to sign off for now and go look for my pants. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tom and Gladys Donelon

Sad news from the Baptist Union of Western Canada website:

It is with great sadness that we share the tragic loss of Tom and Gladys Donelon to the Canadian Baptist family. Tom and Gladys, along with their daughter-in-law Wanda and their granddaughter Chelsea, were involved in a car accident in Alberta on Monday afternoon August 6th. Wanda was also killed and Chelsea is in a hospital in Edmonton with critical injuries.

Tom and Gladys served in Turkey with Canadian Baptist Ministries from 1982 until their retirement in November, 1992. They were faithful to their Lord and to their church, Braemar Baptist in Edmonton. They will be deeply missed.

Absolutely heartbreaking. I had the privilege of knowing Tom & Gladys when I lived in Edmonton and attended Braemar Baptist Church. They were the most selfless and dedicated people I have ever met.

I was always grateful for the kindness they always showed towards me even though I was probably the worst Christian ever. I am only one small voice among a large number of people who loved and respected them. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blogger Names Beaver Worst Magazine Ever

After conducting a thoroughly scientific poll this blogger has determined that the Beaver is Canada's worst history magazine. We confined our poll to history magazines because, a) Canada doesn't have a lot of them, allowing for easier data manipulation, and b) because MacLeans would have blown all the competition away.

There have been some rumors that a small group of zealots used technical legerdemain to manipulate the results. Regardless of how the totals came about it is a clear reflection of public opinion and thats all there is to it.

That was a pretty lame satire.

I was wondering if the Beaver allowed this survey to be hacked deliberately to create a controversy. It was predictable that flying monkeys would push Trudeau to the top of the list and that the Conservative leaning media (almost all of them) would parrot it out as the gospel truth. When seen as a publicity stunt it makes more sense because they published a more broader survey about worst Canadians that had a slightly better methodology.

Hat tip to for being the first to make a skeezy semantic connection between Trudeau and Clifford Olsen. Good job!

In the real study Trudeau does not make the list and Ralph Klein is listed as the worst Premier. I'll bet you don't read that story line anywhere, at least not in Albera.

These polls have a limited value and usually do not interest me that much. They are often heavily influenced by region and ideology. There are very few internet polls that cannot be manipulated.

I find myself asking why a political group would find the need to manipulate a poll. The childish desire to embarrass people you hate comes to mind. Or, perhaps people honestly believe that manipulated opinion is real opinion. Maybe they believe in the big lie theory, that if you repeat something loudly it becomes true.

Like the Beaver poll anything you read about Trudeau in the media, especially the Alberta media, is likely to heavily exaggerated and distorted. As a history magazine, the Beaver probably knows this.

I have a dirty little secret: I generally liked Trudeau. I liked a lot of things he did. Not all of it, but I don't hate Trudeau. I find Trudeau hatred irrational and childish. As a life long Albertan I've always had a hard time understanding the raw emotions that Trudeau evokes. There is something wrong here. It is disproportionate. It is impossible to have a rational conversation about the Trudeau era.

Incidentally, finishing second to Trudeau in the hacked survey was Chris Hannah, a punk rocker that I've never heard of until now. I thought I knew all the punk rockers in Canada. Punk rockers are not exactly known for their conformist conservative point of view.

How did a punk rocker end up finishing second to Trudeau. His Wikipedia bio explains it best:

They have taken an active stance against human rights violations, racism, homophobia, imperialism, fascism, and capitalism. The band supports the vegan lifestyle and animals rights campaigns.

I think I know who voted Hannah up the list. Please recommend this post