Tuesday, January 30, 2007

So why did Ron Maclean bring up Halifax?

Most people, rightly so, are questioning why Ron Maclean brought up Halifax as a possible NHL expansion zone. The area has neither an arena even close to NHL standards, nor a large enough market presence. Now don't get me wrong, I like Halifax, and I've always wondered why it isn't a much larger city than it is. But no sane person would recommend Halifax for the NHL.

Perhaps Maclean was trying to bait Bettman. See if he even knew where Halifax was. Maybe trick him into confusing Halifax with Hamilton. I seriously doubt he thinks a Halifax team would be successful. Maybe he was bringing up Halifax sarcastically, in deferrence to certain US cities that have teams that don't necessarily have the fans even a Halifax team might bring out. Maybe he brought up Halifax just to mess with the east coast Sydney Crosby fan machine. Who knows. Only Maclean, and he has yet to explain himself.

My own personal thoughts on the psychology behind the action, is that by bringing up such a nonsensical idea as Halifax as an NHL team (Hell, they can't even woo a CFL team) it makes the idea of a Winnipeg team, by comparison, inarguable. Now I think the footprint a Winnipeg team would have would cover a wide area of central north america including Manitoba, the Dakotas, Saskatchewan, and Western Ontario. With pay per view (and the MTS Centre is wired for such a feat) they would rake in quite a payload from fans who like to make use of their new HDTV's. So, Winnipeg, and Bettman admits it, stands a decent chance. Halifax however is surrounded by quite a few, by comparison, nearby teams such as Montreal, Boston, the entire east coast of NHL teams is right there. Theres no logical reason for the NHL to put a team there. That Bettman didn't say anything one way or another showed that he had no idea what Maclean was smoking.

So, whats the deal with the map? That NHL logo is the size of the distance between NHL teams currently unserved in that part of North America, the part of North America upon which Winnipeg is situated and the largest city between any other NHL city in that region. Pretty gaping hole. (Map courtesy of Google maps and NHL Draftnet)

In any case Ron Maclean gave me something to blog about. Thanks Ron.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Top 10 Reasons Gary Bettman should bring back the Jets

Recently theres been a bit of discussion about NHL expansion, presumably by two teams, because most people who follow the NHL are obsessive compulsives and require symmetry. So, Winnipeg has once again been brought up by every Canadian media personality who wants to sell Newspapers, radio air time, TV ad slots, or just wants to point out how American teams suck. Well, great. But that's not going to convince Gary Bettman. Gary Bettman is a numbers man. So here I present the Top Ten reasons Gary Bettman should be in favour of an NHL team returning to Winnipeg. I'll count down from 10 so that the leafs fans reading this can follow along without losing their spot.

10. They'll finally take down that sculpture of you in the Leo Mol Sculpture garden in Winnipeg with the plaque that reads "The Devil".

9. People may still chant "Bettman Sucks" but they'll hold off on the lewd gestures.

8. You can write it off as a charitable donation.

7. Because even American hockey fans put it at the top of their wish lists. Seriously.

(not funny enough? O.K. fine)

Real #7 ... Randy Bachman will let you use "Taking care of business" as your theme music when you move into the motivational speaking career you've had planned all these years.

6. So that the world can stop focussing on the team relocations and start focussing on the crappy new uniforms.

5. When global warming destroys all the teams in the south, you'll still have enough teams to form a league. (Bonus, Winnipeg will then count as a "southern team")

4. If you bring them back and they still fail, you can say "I told you so!" any time anyone questions you.

3. So that when the NHL expands to 450 teams in 2063 and brings back the old division names, the Bettman division won't include Trinidad, Antarctica, Easter Island, and Belize.

2. Save Money. No longer need to hire as many bodyguard's when in Canada (or at the very least they'll lower their rates)

And the number one reason Gary Bettman should bring back the Winnipeg Jets to the NHL:

1. So that everyone would just shut up about it!

And for the record, when the Leafs play the Coyote's in the coming pre-season in Winnipeg, I will not be cheering for the Coyote's (unless they wear Jets uniforms) But I WILL be booing Toronto. I hate Toronto, I hate Old people, and I hate teachers. and the leafs are owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. Die you old hippies. Don't support the leafs! Supporting the leafs is supporting old hippies.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Someone tipped me off to this chinese web movie that makes fun of kim jong il North Korea's glorious leader. (has subtitles) Rather amusing. It got me thinking about the poor translation job of star wars revenge of the sith. Aka Star War The Third Gathers: Backstroke of the West. Truly a great example of unintentional comedy, and progenitor of the "Do Not Want" internet meme.
Of course which also led to this gem, aka the Broccoli Dog:

Dog's don't like Broccoli.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Old Dutch Potato Chips Perfect Potato Chip

Watching that commercial takes me back, Old Dutch chips are the best. Back when they had the clear plastic bags and you could see the salt n vinegar or ketchuppy goodness all over the bag. The chips are still good, but I remember when they did the changeover to the silver bags I made an effort to grab the last bunch of old boxes I could because I knew, it wouldn't be the same again. That commercial sure brings back memories of eating chips at Grand Beach, or at home as a kid or visiting relatives houses and drinking bottles and bottles of Pic A' Pop cola. Life was good back then.

That said, Old Dutch came out with the most perfect salt n vinegar chip ever created. Old Dutch Rave XTRA Salt N Vinegar. Each chip is like an instant diabetic coma the way a good package of Salt N Vinegar chips should be. Like the way Hostess chips were before the evil tasteless bland company known as lays (frontman Jay Leno, obviously they're the worst chips ever) bought them out and changed everything over to their disgusting bland american flavouring (lack of basically).. Lay's barely even puts ketchup on their chips! It's pathetic! People who eat Lay's and like it, either through ignorance or actual brain damage, you disgust me.

What makes it worse is that 7-11 in Canada stopped Carying Old Dutch products for some reason, probably because they're nazi's in bed with the frito-lay company. 7-11, come clean, admit that you got paid off by the Lay's company to sell crap to people who prefer quality. And I couldn't find a bag or box of Old Dutch at Shoppers Drug Mart.. something is obviously not right in this world when you can't get a good bag of potato chips. And wal-mart's old dutch selection does not include Xtra salt n vinegar, so Wal-mart is dead to me.

So anyways, Back to the topic at hand. Old Dutch's Xtra Salt n' vinegar potato chips. Heres a picture:

I stole the pic from ebay, some guy is actually selling them on there, good for him. Their chips are perfection. From the bag itself: " "You know when you're eating a bag of chips and you hit that one perfect chip coated with so much flavour that your taste buds do a little happy dance? Well, every single Rave chip is just like that. Using the latest in taste technology combined with a little TLC, we cram extra flavour on every Rave chip — often twice as much as lesser chips — so you get more pleasure with every bite. Rave — for people who crave extra flavour."

Brilliant. Seriously, People should be picketing businesses that don't carry old dutch products. It's an insult to all us mid-western prairie folk who like good chips and in this global world of crappy food products should we allow corporations headquartered in retardsville new york dictate how we enter flavour country? No! Support your local good chip company. Just say no to Lay's. Unless they bring back hostess chips, which were actually good competition for old dutch.

Pringles aren't even on the freakin radar. I'm glad I grew up in Canada where we have the good chips.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

CBC Radio Programming

Man, the CBC should just change their logo to a target, because they're just a wellspring for things for me to rant about.

You know those worldvision "donate money to feed the poor" commercials they have on weekends on some channels? That's what at least 30% of CBC Radio's weekly daytime programming is like. They don't solicit for donations, but its always freakin boring crap about people who are too depressing for words. Oh no little whatshisface had his legs eaten off by flies because of some sort of war... yawn.

You know what kind of programming I like to listen to on CBC Radio? I like Vinyl Cafe, that show is great. And you know what they follow it up with on sunday mornings? Wiretap. This bullshit show about fake garbage. Shit like Wiretap belongs at 2 in the morning, for people who think Art Bell is a bit out there. Then "Inside Track" A show about..I quote "the human side of sport" because the only thing more fun than not watching a sport, is listening to people talk about the human side of sports. ugh. After that, Writers and Company.. I mean, I like to read, and certainly a show like this is not a bad idea in itself, but putting it in that time slot.. kind of a waste.. Plus it goes on for an hour. Then Cross Country Checkup. which I like, even if I don't agree with anybody that calls in, I like that it gets me all riled up and angry enough to almost call but then I stop myself. "Yes Rex, I agree with the previous caller, all Zoo animals should be set free to live in the Canadian wilderness. Those poor penguins and elephants being kept in captivity when they should be running free in the boreal forest".. and then Rex Murphy inexplicably agrees with them for some reason. "uh-huh, I see what you're saying, very good point caller from Kitchener", after that it's essentially prime time TV viewing so they can throw whatever they want, I only listen to the radio during the day.

I wish they'd move that great O'Reilly show about marketing (I used to listen to it all the time on saturday mornings but then they moved it to a crappy time slot) to sunday afternoons between Vinyl Cafe and Cross Country Checkup. Vinyl Cafe gets me in a good mood then Cross Country Checkup makes me angry, they need stuff in between that keeps me in the good mood until Cross Country Checkup.. Not bullshit like wiretap that makes me turn off the radio and hit people. Some sort of topical Stand up Comedy type radio show would be nice too. Maybe political in nature.

I also think Go would be better suited to air right after DNTO. I did enjoy that repeat of Masterpieces of Disco episode of Go quite a lot. Heres a link to a torrent of that show I found. Highly amusing and curiously informative. Lister Sinclair, enjoy .. uhh.. wherever it is atheist disco fans end up when they die.

Ah delightful, Rick Mercer is back tonight. Followed by Little Mosque on the Prairie ,of which I have yet to pass my eternal judgement on, Will it be funny like King of Kensington, or not funny, like King of Kensington? Just kidding, King of Kensington was crap. That's a good tongue twister.. "King of Kensington was crap CBC comedy killed by Canadian disinterest" say that 50 times in a row. Yeah it's not true but whatever it should have been set in Winnipeg.

You know what else, the CBC should have more stuff on the web. What if I want to watch some old episodes of the friendly giant? Which I do want to watch cause that show rocked. Can't find anything on the website.

I'll have to rant against the other canadian television stations one of these days. But like I said, CBC is an easy target.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Yay the city of Winnipeg shoveled my sidewalk today! It snowed on December 31'st and lo and behold, they shoveled it on the 5th. not even a week!

Unfortunately, 8 hours later, it's snowing again. Bastards should have just taken the day off and done it tomorrow. What was the point? Everybody already shovelled their sidewalks, and all the shovel dude did was push the snow back in front of peoples houses, and tracked more snow onto the sidewalk.

I wonder why it takes so long for them to do the sidewalks. It'd be interesting to know if they have some sort of "shoveling" master plan or if they just do whatever they feel like doing.

Friday, January 05, 2007

On the possible replacement of Winnipeg Stadium

I'll admit it, I'm one of those people who just can't bring himself to go to bomber games. I despise the venue. There is no real shelter from the weather, it wasn't particularly comfortable, and I just hate the old CanadInns (Winnipeg) Stadium. I've never liked it. Sure I won a free pair of jeans there once from the pepsi taste patrol, but I've always found it ugly. Especially design wise. Every year I tell myself, maybe I'll go to a bomber game, but then I remember the stadium, and sometimes I remember that the bombers have sucked the last couple years (though they were much improved this year) and I end up not going.

So I am interested in the proposals the Blue Bombers have for building a new stadium.. I'd love to go to a well designed venue to take in a football game. There has been a proposal to build a complex just outside the perimiter highway near headingly. The main problem I Have with that is the people of Headingly don't deserve such a short drive to see the bombers. They voted to secceed from Winnipeg, I just can't support that location. Plus the design looks kind of toilet bowl-ish. If it could be elongated to be more like a football that would be amusing, but yeah, unlikely. Plus if you're going to build a new stadium for the bombers, you should do it right the first time. We don't want to be back 15 years from now grumbling about the poorly built 15 year old stadium.

David Asper wants to co-own the Bombers and build a new stadium on the current site. Personally, I'm not a fan of the current site. It's in the middle of St James neat Polo Park and I just don't find the area all that appealing for attending sports games. I love canwest global park because you've got the freakin trains that go around it and the river and the forks nearby. It's got class. It's got style. It's a nice little ballpark. I like the MTS Centre for being downtown, I like that they kept a bit of the brick style from Eatons and those weird glass bricks from the powerhouse building as part of the design, I like that the colours they chose as reflecting the province's major colour themes (blue and yellow) and the northern lights banners hanging everywhere. I mean the MTS Centre isn't perfect, if you're taller than 5 foot 9 the chairs can be a bit cramped (They really should have given that more thought, as It's the MAIN reason I don't attend more moose games) and I dislike how the second floor was segregated from the main floor when I went to the Green Day concert (All I wanted was some freakin Tim Hortons, which is on the main floor, but I was stuck on the second floor for the concert.. and there was no Tim's on the second floor.. retarded) But, in all the MTS Centre is way better than the Winnipeg Arena was (it gave me freakin' vertigo and had a strange smell permeating it)

So, whatever the end result is for Winnipeg, the city needs a new stadium. Renovating the old one just wont cut it anymore. I'd like for it to be in a central location somewhere, personally. I can't stand going to the Red River Ex ever since it moved to that site near headingly. (Doesn't help that the only rides I care about are roller coasters) I hope it will be something well thought out like the goldeyes home is and the MTS centre (I REFUSE to call it the phone booth.. anyone who does, you're an idiot. Phone Booth.. freakin brilliant - not) Built right, something like this could be a great asset to the community. For those few Concerts where the MTS Centre isn't big enough, for Bomber games, for whatever else stadiums can be used for. Farm Equipment trade shows I dunno. I look forward to reading about it. Unless all the propsals suck, which would only make me angry.

Perhaps something with an air supported dome would be a bad idea, however, considering what happened to B.C place today
(Link goes to canada.com cause the Aspers own it, even though I'm pissed off at the Aspers for being too cheap to invest in HDTV OTA for Global in Winnipeg and for asking for ridiculous things from the CRTC to qualify as Canadian content -- Infomercials? c'mon ... really... WTF?)

Still, a dome would be nice. or If not a dome then something enclosed. I don't care about how much the weather is part of the game.. I hate sitting in the cold.

Little Mosque on the Prairie

I like to bash the CBC because they're such a willing and easy target, quite incompetant most of the time, so imagine my surprise when their latest show, a sitcom even, has gotten advance buzz that even American stations would kill for. The show is of course titled Little Mosque on the Prairie and is about apparently a Muslim family in a predominantly non muslim prairie town.

Now, I'd known about this show for a while now (I forget where I first read about it, but it was some industry blurb somewhere) and I thought hey, clever title, *I* might watch it (I'll usually give CBC a fair chance to dissapoint me) and submitted the headline "Coming soon to the CBC: Little Mosque on the Prairie, not Coming soon to the CBC: Ratings".. it didn't get greenlighted as a fark headline, perhaps deservedly so, perhaps the moderator was an idiotic dick who only knows to greenlight cliches. But I Digress, I'm not posting today to decry the lowering standards on Fark.com, but to heap mild praise on CBC for managing to do something right despite themselves.

Yes, despite themselves. The CBC surely Okayed this series for goody goody minority feel good understanding liberal intentions, and lucked out that people are interested in knowing more about characters as depicted in the show, and lucking out that the people who proposed it might actually have some storytelling skills and comedic timing. So congratulations on that CBC.

I also read in some reports that they hired muslim consultants to review the comedy, which the series creator denied. If it were true, it'd be a little disconcerting that they ran it by muslims in order to not offend them yet didn't do the same for other groups that might be offended by their portrayal, but she says they didn't, so I'll believe her.

It's also a bit amusing to think of the show as Corner Gas with muslims. It's a common joke that the CBC could never have pulled off a show like Corner Gas. I suppose for the Corner Gas people immitation must be the sincerest form of flattery. But then again it's a bit unfair to say just because a show takes place in small town saskatchewan it means its just trying to rip off Corner Gas.

Hopefully, this shows' success leads to bigger and better things for Canadian television. A Little less whining to the CRTC about how Canadians don't want to watch Canadian TV while they make profits repackaging american shows, and a little bit more supporting your own damn countries entertainment industry would be nice. (this is directed at those other stations that aren't the CBC.. CBC has its' own problems, like not having any plans for HDTV over the air in Winnipeg until freakin 2011)

Heh, I just found out Derek McGrath is in it. Dr Jeffcoate from my secret identity! (andy-andy from cheers too, and various other roles) Derek McGrath kicks ass. Except in Doc. What a dumb show. Nobody kicks ass in that one. I wonder if Derek McGrath ever battled Chuck Norris in Walker Texas Ranger. Ah well, I hope this show is a success just for Derek McGrath, and then he can bitchslap Jerry O'Connel for whatever lame movie he's subjecting us to next. Freakin don't disrespect Dr Jeffcoate you little punk!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Desktop and Monitor! Yay!


Something that drives me crazy is trying to buy a motherboard these days. I bought a nice case from coreys computing the other day (they said it was $59 when I went there on boxing day, but it was $69, but it has a 450 watt power supply inside as opposed to the 250 watt I had originally believed, so whatever, plus it goes great with the widescreen LCD samsung I bought at futureshop on boxing day.

So for my holidays I had an old Celeron 533 cpu and motherboard sitting around, I figured I'd try to get it working with this new case and LCD (at least until I decide what type of motherboard I'm going to buy) Anyways, after resetting the bios, buying a new disc battery at the dollar store (FYI most motherboard batteries are CR2032) and moving around some jumpers (couldn't get the bios to retain the settings at first, then I couldn't get any sound as I had the jumper for the internal sound turned off)
A friend of mine had two old 128mb sticks of ram from an old motherboard which died on him a long time ago, and he gave them to me and now this PC works nicely. Hurrah. Even plays DVD's great for an old motherboard.

I do plan to buy a new motherboard for it in the next couple months. I hope to purchase a dual core AMD processor and motherboard. The prerequisites are:

1) All onboard components play nice with Linux.
2) It's going to be a mythtv box, and so it needs to have DVI out.
3) I'd prefer a motherboard with ATI graphics embedded than NVidia as I am loathe to support a company that doesn't help out open source developers. I know ATI isn't much better, but it's better enough for me that the ATI Radeon open source driver supports more advanced features suitable for something like a MythTV box. In any case, If I do end up buying one with onboard Nvidia, which seems probable, I'll end up buying a Radeon card to go with it later on.
4) Onboard Wifi would be nice, but so far haven't had any luck finding any Mini-ATX boards with it.
5) Has to fit a Mini-ATX motherboard.

So far, the only motherboard I have found that comes close to suiting my requirements is the Asus M2NPV-VM which has everything but the built in wi-fi and ATI graphics embedded. I suppose I can wait, as I've said before there are still no ATSC signals available in stupid old Winnipeg, Manitoba. Perhaps a better Motherboard with all the features I want will be out by then..

Furthermore, it only has two PCI slots. Now, Maybe some day in the future people will be using PCI Express slots, but I want to use this as a media PC, and most TV cards are PCI based. So that's at least one slot there, and probably two if I want to watch something on one and record on another. So what if I want a DVB card in there for satellite transmission? What if I want a wifi connection to update the box? What use is that PCI Express x1 slot? It has built in Ethernet, I can't get any tv cards that use it, I can't use it for wi-fi.. why did they waste a whole slot on it? As I'm talking it out I'm realising that that one thing totally bothers me. Hopefully I'll find something similar with the features I want that's better supported on linux. Luckily (or unluckily) I have all the time in the world to wait until OTA high def is available here.

In any case, I like my new monitor. It's nothing great, but it was a pretty good deal and it has a blue power light (which unfortunately blinks in power saving mode, pretty annoying choice there, samsung.)