Thursday, April 30, 2009

MTS Centre (Winnipeg Arena)



Morley Walker of the Winnipeg Free Press inexplicably keeps using the term "The Phone Booth" to refer to the MTS Centre, the city of Winnipeg's arena. Now, MTS is the provincial telephone company here, and bought the naming rights a number of years back. Here's the thing, NOBODY CALLS IT THAT. NOBODY. The first person to suggest that name was David Asper quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Winnipeg Free Press has tried to give the impression that people call it that. IT IS A STUPID NICKNAME. NOBODY USES IT. Jesus Christ what is wrong with you, Winnipeg Free Press? Why do you need to propogate this horrid nickname?

Now the article itself was about how the MTS Centre is once again one of the busiest arenas in North America. Which is great, although we still don't have an NHL team so nobody cares. Yeah great the Manitoba Moose are in the second round of the AHL playoffs, and I hope they do well (In fact I hope Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup, and the Moose win the Calder Cup) but seriously, its the AHL. Nobody is going to live or die on the outcome.

As an aside, I wish MTS would just change the company name to Allstream. Allstream Centre sounds better than MTS Centre. Then again I wish they'd switch to GSM and provide better competition to Rogers/Telus than they do, but I digress.

The point is the Winnipeg Free Press is a piece of crap newspaper. It wasn't always so. Look at an issue of the Winnipeg Free Press from 20 years back. There was actual NEWS in there! Go to the Millenium Library and check out the microfiche collection. It will open your eyes as to what real news is and what garbage is currently being sold to you at 4 times the price.*

Nobody calls it the Phone Booth. Nobody. Hell, nobody younger than 25 really knows what a phone booth even is, aside from something Clark Kent uses to conveniently change into Superman. God I hate the Winnipeg Free Press.

* EDIT - One point, the amazing thing is the NDP habit of taking out self-congratulatory ads in the Free Press for doing such a fabulous job is the only thing that hasn't changed. They did it in the 70's, and they're doing it today. The NDP, using your money to make themselves feel better since '73. Because using the money to acutally solve the problems is too hard.

Annoying Ebay spam

Why does Ebay think anyone reads their email spam? I swear I've opted out of it a million times but it keeps coming. I've had an ebay account since 1998, 10 years later, I still get these pieces of garbage emails. I don't care about how many ebayers are selling lovely home made lamp shades. The average price of a Nintendo Wii on ebay is $180? Yeah right. Not after everyone reads this email. Fuck off, Ebay, your emails simply annoy. They don't encourage a single person to buy anything.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CUBE

Klondike Bars


The Klondike Bar situation in Winnipeg is moving on up. It used to be if you wanted a klondike bar you had to search far and wide for it. I'm not talking about those crappy klondike bars with the cookies around them. the ones with the thin chocolate. They're 2 for $4 at 7-11 which is a pretty good deal, and they're being sold at supermarket stores too. The Original Klondike bar drought is over. Plus they came up with chocolate flavoured ones, but I don't care for chocolate oddly enough so that's not really important.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ATSC/DVB/NTSC Linux support

Linux has a number of drivers for various DVB/ATSC/NTSC cards in various states of usability. One thing that bugs me is the notion that if you have a USB card and want to get sound you should use something like sox to do it. Windows automatically pipes sound to the right place, why can't Linux? It is so completely ass-backwards to expect the average person to do something like that. Why do v4l/linux kernel writers not come up with a more elegant solution? I can't think of a good reason. They might say it should be done by the TV viewer program, but I feel that it should be done by the driver. At the very least it should create a mixer option and pipe it somehow through.

On Boxing day 2008 I purchased a WinTV-850 at Futureshop for around $35 or so. I didn't really play around with it for all that time, but after recently installing ubuntu netbook remix 9.04 I thought I'd plug it in and see how well it works. Well, it turns out that even though it says its a WinTV-850 on the box, it apparently has the guts of a WinTV-HVR950Q, which does QAM decoding too (unencrypted only of course) which is a bonus, but its a newer chip so the support is newer I presume. In any case, I needed to download and extract firmware, which is a right pain in the ass and not particularly user intuitive or friendly whatsoever. Sure we can blame Avermedia, but ffs if the average person doesn't do a google search for info, they're just going to get frustrated beyond belief. Second, the analog didn't work, haven't figured out why. No /dev/video1 (/dev/video0 is the AA1's camera) , but all the same, it did work with the digital. Of course, the only digital viewer I could see of any general quality was called me-tv, which I installed on ubuntu. And it wouldn't auto-search atsc channels, only dvb or something. Ridiculous. Tried w_scan, and the resulting file couldn't be read. Sigh.

Maybe one day there will be something worth using. TVTime is a good program for analog viewing, lets hope we eventually see something worth using with atsc/qam now that that is becoming the standard. Right now I've got nothing.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Deep Thoughts - Sneezing



Ever notice that when you sneeze a really good sneeze, everything smells like you're smelling it clearly for the very first time? What is the hyper sensitive ability? Is it a super sense of smell? Or is it something else, it always feels the same. What exactly is it that causes that feeling anyways? It is peculiar.

PEPSI and SLURPEE

I hate Pepsi products. I have always hated Pepsi products. The only thing worse than Pepsi products is exclusivity agreements for Pepsi products. 7-11 currently appears to prefer Pepsi shit in their slurpees. How do I know this? I had my first slurpee of 2009 today. Got one of those wolverine cups even though I don't like Wolverine, Gambit, Sabertooth, or the X-men particularly much. But it's one of those tilt-motion things. Anyways I got shitty lipton iced tea flavoured slurpee, which tastes like fucking bubble gum shit. disgusting. BUBBLE GUM! It's supposed to be iced tea!

OLD POSTS and Blogger

Here I am looking at my old posts and realised, oops, there was a draft from 2008 that I never finished! I never published it and I probably should. Unfortunately, draft posts retain the date they were started, as opposed to the date when they are actually published? Why is this? If I wrote an article for a newspaper and started it on monday and it got published on friday, they wouldn't date it as monday. It wouldn't even matter if they made it an option in blogger settings, but google has gotten really lazy with adding features and doing things that make sense (at least to me) And don't even get me started on how difficult it is to find a way to email google people with hints and suggestions and complaints. It's almost as obfuscated as ebay/paypal with useless "help" menus. I KNOW WHAT I WANT. Why do big companies make it so difficult to actually get through to somebody and communicate?

Anyways, the post is titled "Deep Thoughts - Sneezing"
.. enjoy.

Also, I'm sick of 24 hour coverage of swine flu. If this was the flu from the movie I am Legend, we'd be dead zombies in hours.

** EDIT ** nevermind, I found out in Post Options you can change the date to a future date and then publish whenever its scheduled to, so yay! Now I can probably post more to my blog.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Game Show Gimmicks... Survey Says..?



I wonder if game shows have done studies on their habit of leaving the viewer hanging on whether a contestant makes a right choice or not. I personally hate it when they leave you hanging. Howie Mandel is probably one of the worst for doing this on that suitcase gameshow of his whatever its called. "We'll find out after these messages" You know what? No I won't, cause I don't really have that much invested in it. In fact it angers me enough to change the channel or turn the TV off. It's not like I'm going to win the million dollars. I seriously doubt I'm the only one who reacts this way, either. The price is right never did this garbage. You game show people are losing your audience, not keeping it. That's my view, anyways.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 and Easy Peasy 1.1

So a week ago I got sick of linux4one (which I admit has potential) and decided to give Easy Peasy 1.1 a try. I installed it to a USB disk, and it worked perfectly well, I installed it to the Acer Aspire One and there were problems with the wireless, which instantly made it useless. Other than that it wasn't a bad distro, I hated the color scheme and logo and name of it, but otherwise it worked aside from the wireless (something with the wireless radio was showing up in dmesg)

Fortunately, Ubuntu Netbook Remix based on Jaunty 9.04 was just released and it presumably was tested on an acer aspire one. Well, I'm using it right now and it works pretty well. The only two problems are that when the lid closes, the thing freezes up on me, even if I disable acpid and apmd (and I've turned everything off in the power management settings area) which is quite annoying, as sometimes I like to play music and shut the lid without it going into suspend. I have no idea how to go about it at the moment. The other problem is with the two card readers, apparently only working with SD cards, and secondly you have to have the sd cards inserted at boot or you can't access them or change them. Which is kind of annoying..

But other than that, I'm quite enjoying the experience after a bit of tweaking the interface to my preference. Wireless and 3G work flawlessly (aside from not having the blinking modem lights, which frankly I have no preference for one way or the other)

So well done, Ubuntu people, you're almost there. So close.

Canada's Seal Hunt

Look at this ugly thing.

So bleeding hearts around the EU and elsewhere want to ban import of seal based products and ban the seal hunt. First, I don't see these same fools doing anything to stop the blatant overfishing of the worlds oceans or making efforts to save animals that aren't photogenic as babies. Second, they won't stop the seal hunt by doing so anyways, and third, the seal hunt is on a scale so inconsequential it is ridiculous how much press this gets in the news.

As a Canadian who supports the seal hunt as long as it is regulated, which it is, I don't see the difference between killing seals and hunting deer or moose or bear. I don't see the EU making hunting illegal (though I could be wrong, this is the EU after all). Nor should they.

I feel as if we should kill twice as many seals for every nation that bans seal products. Just to prove that they're not solving anything. Obviously and maybe sadly it's not a realistic reaction, but all the same, these idiots with their half-assed animal rights beliefs piss me off. Say what you will about the loony vegans out there, at least they're backing up their misguided beliefs with actions, but Peta and the anti-seal hunt brigade are all hypocrites using cute baby seals to appeal to idiots. Why don't they use ugly adult seals in their promotions? Cause they're ugly and nobody cares about them. The seal hunt culls 270,000 seals a year. Peta apparently kills 1/10th that amount of dogs and cats and other "rescued" animals in the same time frame (do a google search for peta kills animals) Life is cruel, but at least the Seal hunt has a practical aspect in terms of providing clothing and sustinence and helping to secure fish stocks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hyundai Commercial

So I just saw a commercial for a Hyundai automobile where two people driving the same Hyundai rev their engines as if they're going to race as the camera pans around the cars. Then they don't race after all and a baby carriage is shown crossing the street for some reason. I don't know the point of this commercial, something about driving smart, I dunno. One of the potential racers was female, and c'mon would she really win? I doubt it. Call me sexist, I simply think us males are more hardwired for stupid things like racing. But what really bugged me about this commercial is that there were no license plates on the car. They're on the road somewhere, but obviously, no license plates. While its not unbelievable not to see license plates on cars occasionally, why would they rev their engines and pretend to race? Or was it part of the commercial, that they both bought new hyundai's and they were joking about racing even though they were uninsured and stupid? I doubt it, I'm just asigning brilliance where there was none. Still, Hyundai has become a pretty good company. They're no longer the Ford of Asia. Their cars look pretty good and their warrenties and such are pretty good, if I were thinking of buying a car (which I'm not, I hate driving in Winnipeg) I'd seriously consider them.

C is for Conspiracy, good enough for me oh conspiracy starts with C

Now I don't know if you're all aware, but in the last federal election the Liberal candidate for my riding was a 9/11 Truther and she came under fire for it. I didn't and would never vote for her, but recently some actual groundbreaking new conspiracy theories have been released.



On an internet web forum, davidicke.com, startling evidence of pre-planned muppet involvement has been blown wide open. Now, it has been known for a long time that Bert, of Bert and Ernie fame (shown in acompanying photo interacting with Osama Bin Laden), is evil, and possibly homosexual, though that's neither here nor there. Now it is discovered that the Cookie Monster was behind 9/11. (click image for larger view)



Shown in the scanned photo taken from davidicke.com, Cookie Monster is clearly attacking the World Trade Center. How he has grown to such a height is unknown, but it has been known for years that muppet labs had insta-grow pills of some sort (as shown in one of the muppet movies I think) which are clearly weapons of mass destruction.

Now, as the forum members point out, the terrorist training manual, or "childrens book" as they call it, is produced by CTW. What is CTW backwards? WTC. WORLD TRADE CENTER. So not only is Cookie Monster attacking the world trade center as if it were one of Dad's Oatmeal Cookies or a Vanilla Wafer, he is doing so under the direction of the same oranization.

Now, I know for a fact that various muppet organizations who had offices in the towers were PRE-WARNED the day of the attacks that they should stay home. They were not amongst the many killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The lyrics of the Sesame Street song are also startlingly disturbing. "Can you tell me how to get - how to get to Sesame Street" .. who would be asking for directions to Sesame Street? Terrorists looking to destroy New York City. "On my way, to where the air is sweet". Yes, until the toxins released from the WTC collapse killed many spectators and firefighters and many others. sweet air indeed.

And there are still more clearly flawless proofs located in the picture. A pentagon shaped cookie with one side destroyed, various illuminati imagery. I can go on and on, but they'll come for me if I reveal anything more.

Now, some people speculate that The Count orchestrated this whole thing so that he could count people jumping out the windows, others say it was Bert who planned it all. Many will say it's a coincidence, another word that starts with C. But in the end, the only truth is that we don't know, and never will know, who did 9/11. All we know is this is part of an even greater muppet conspiracy. One that had Jim Henson in the 90's assasinated with a superbug. Yes, Muppet murder,

I'd like to see Marty Gold of the Great Canadian Talk Show try to disprove this. THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm glad I don't use Twitter

Twitter is a fucking fad only the most douchey retarded people can possibly jump on. It is garbage. Also useless. How do I know? Because I was watching CNN and Larry King Live was on, and it was the most horrible babbling of techno-ignorance I have ever seen. It was horrid. It was Larry King talking to Ashton Kutcher talking to P.Diddy talking about twitter and fighting malaria in Africa probably with nets and shit. But mostly it was celebrities jumping on the latest fad. Ooh look who has a twitter page. Oprah! Ashton! Demi Moore! Larry King! bah. It was like watching a bunch of born again christians talking about their puppies. Made me want to shoot myself. I will never use Twitter. I can't wait to see it die like MySpace and every other crap fad that ever existed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

REVIEW: Bob & Doug cartoon (On Global TV)


So I watched what I assume is the series premier of the Bob & Doug cartoon. I had seen an article on it earlier in the day and thought, I'm not doing anything else, so what the hey. Reading the article I saw they replaced Bob McKenzie with Dave Coulier, of Full House fame. . Like Bob Saget, and John Stamos,I'm sure he's probably done something since Full House, but whatever it has been so far has not been enough brain bleach to scrub the association and replace it with something new. I mean, I suppose Rick Moranis is too busy making crappy country music or honey I shrunk my penis or whatever the hell he's up to now. BUT I digress. I was aware that Dave Coulier is a voice actor, he played Slimer on the real ghostbusters or some shit, so I looked up his voice acting and he was in Rude Dawg and the Dweebs, which I quite enjoyed during its limited air time on television. Alas it was before its time. Also dogs can't drive cars.

Of course, Then I realized, SHIT, It's on Global! When has Global produced a quality television show? NEVER. Maybe Traders, but who the hell watched that? Even though it was on every hour they needed to fill with canadian programming. But who knows, it's a new millenium, CanWest Global might have fluked on something entertaining for once.

Well guess what, they did! It was actually pretty good. It's no Futurama or Simpsons seasons 2-8, but it's definitely got potential. There were a few gags they had that made me actually laugh out loud, which is not an easy thing to do, if only because I've watched Futurama and Simpsons season 2-8 and have high standards. Dave Coulier actually pulled off a pretty good Bob McKenzie. and Dave Thomas was horrible. Why couldn't they find a qualified voice actor to replace him? Nah Just Kidding he was fine. Of course they made the character strangely pudgy. Even if Dave Thomas is morbidly obese today, isn't the whole point of animating it to have an idealised representation? But that's my only real quibble.

Also Maurice LaMarche was in it, and I've been a fan of Maurice LaMarche since before I knew who he was. And maybe they get a Canadian tax credit for putting him in it, so double plus cash prize bonus. Now, the main character he played was a teacher in a school where Bob and Doug seemed to have been sent to earn their diploma to work for the department of sanitation. Now I missed the first minute or two and didn't get the setup so immediately I was afraid they decided to make Bob and Doug teenagers and put it in a school setting, but thankfully it seems to be a one-off deal. The character Maurice LaMarche played was a teacher who had aspirations of cashing in on turning bob and doug, who he thought as gang members, into model students in the sole attempt to publish and capitalize on the subsequent movie and book deals for the story. Which I thought was a clever subversion of the genre, to be honest, and it went a long way to my enjoyment of this episode.

They also animated the old Great White North set, and didn't shy away from blood, beer, and, bitches. The holy triumverate of quality animation. Though I only added the "bitches" part to make it a triumverate, there weren't any bitches. Speaking of bitches, I also didn't see Bob and Doug's dog from the movie Strange Brew (Yeah the original dog is obviously dead by now, but I liked that dog) nor his parents (the father who was played by Mel Blanc in the movie), hopefully they find someone to do a good mel blanc voice if he's in the cartoon, and keep the conceit of never showing the fathers face. I quite liked that in the original Strange Brew movie, that you only saw the backside of his chair. But they do show the dog in the promo poster I added here. I forget the dogs name. I could search it on Google but whatever. Hosehead, yeah that sounds right.

You know, Global could've got extra money if they asked Molson or some beer company, Labbatts, or whoever, to do product placement. I wonder if the CRTC doesn't allow that. Maybe they did and I just didn't notice.

Now the show is obviously finding its legs in this first episode, but you know, if you look back to the first episode of any series, if its this good, subsequent episodes will be greatly improved. So I wish Global great success with this show, and will watch subsequent episodes to see how it goes, unless I forget. Which I probably will as they always end up moving shows from nights I originally watch them and then I just don't bother anymore.

Friday, April 10, 2009

God gave crappy rock and roll to you, and called it KISS


So I check my email, as I'm on a bunch of mailing lists, and KISS is having some sort of fan rated tour, where fans have to request KISS come to their towns and shit. Fuck KISS. Fuck Gene Simmons. You know what? I have better things to do with my time and my internets than to try to get Gene Simmons to come to Winnipeg. Stay the fuck out of Winnipeg. You have enough money. Sure you had a couple good songs, but you had a whole lot of shitty ones as well. So this is my official vote for KISS *NOT* to come to Winnipeg. I don't like you Gene Simmons, I don't like your attitude towards the internet, I don't like your face, I don't like your band, and I don't like your face with makeup. Except for two songs. But I can live without 'em because they're only songs, and the internet has tons of great bands more deserving of support than greedy whores like KISS. Even if they comped me a ticket, I'd wipe my ass with it, then sell it to a KISS fan as a special edition Gene Simmons shitographed backstage pass. Vote for KISS? Whatever, nice publicity stunt attempt. Stay out of Canada. We have Nickleback, we don't need you too. Our country is big, but we can't hold all the worlds shit in our borders.

*note, I have no problem with Tiny Kiss or Mini Kiss. They are all professionals and excellent performers who have surpassed the originals in every way possible. except maybe height. They are to the original Kiss what Nuclear weapons are to slingshots.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Wolverine workprint leak

This blogger has the best one-liner ever when it comes to the Wolverine X-Men Origins movie while talking about completely butchering a potential spin-off character Deadpool, who in the comic-books is known as the Merc with a Mouth, yet in the movie is a monster with his mouth sewn shut who shoots lasers from his eyes. The comment? How can you get something that wrong?



vs:


How indeed.

Look, Say you want to direct the next Batman movie, and they say "hey, theres this villain called THE JOKER and he's a clown and he has playing cards and he's insane" and you're like "sounds good, you know what, I've never heard of this guy, but how about if he has all of Batman's powers, can fly, and also he SHOOTS LASERS OUT OF HIS EYES?" That is exactly what this is like. Pathetic, Fox. The sad thing is, the parts before he becomes "Deadpool", Ryan Reynolds is reportedly playing it pitch perfect. But they have to have a big climax. Can't just have a psycho Deadpool vs Wolverine vs some generic monster at the same time. With Deadpool acting insane and cracking jokes just driving Wolverine crazy. No, they have to do this garbage. I didn't download it, but I'm not going to see it in the theatres unless I hear they fixed this crap. I knew they were going to take all of the Canadian Weapon X stuff out of the movie, because American's are apparently idiots, but this is unforgivable. How do you ruin a Rob Liefeld character?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Why are there so many WebComics with Canadian authors

I remember reading on some site somewhere a post that exclaimed "why are there so many canadian webcomics?" It was an interesting question that I decided deserved a half assed blog post about. And so here we are.

Now if you've read my blog, you would know I am highly critical of the CRTC AND Canadian Media. both are equally guilty of ignoring Canadian creativity and pushing the cheapest crappiest crap on Canadian audiences over the years. I speak mostly of Television and Movies, which have high concentration of American entertainment. So obviously I'm going to start with that. The potential audience in Canada for a creative work is insanely low. There are something like 30 million people in Canada, more or less, and most Canadians are generally not fussed about going out and watching Canadian television or movies. Usually because the type of Canadian movie or television that makes it through the hoops the CRTC and the like put out, are self - congratulatory pieces of garbage that overemphasize the Canadianness of the production. "Oh HI, I'm Steve from Toronto, and this is my wife from somalia, she's muslim. We just moved to Moose Jaw because our son is playing hockey. Oh he wears a turban in goal. He's sikh for some reason. Also our daughter is a chimp psychologist" this fall on CBC. Occasionally a "Corner Gas" or "Trailer Park Boys" will achieve success. But that is in spite of the rules in place to encourage canadian content, not because of it.

There is a lot of media concentration in Canada that I believe wouuld be better served in opening up the country to foreign investment. Local investment in culture does not encourage canadian content, neither does regulation. Having an open culture allows creative types more opportunity to create and provides a bigger audience than domestic canada. Look at Seth Rogan. Why is he only successful after going to the USA? Is it because theres' a bigger market there? Maybe partially, but mostly because he's a funny guy who writes good shit. And in the USA, they're more likely to get that shit produced.

Which leads us back to WebComics. A lot of brilliant webcomics are from Canada. Dinosaur Comics, about T-Rex and his genius underappreciated ideas, has been going strong for years. Theres also UserFriendly. VGCats, and all kinds more crappy webcomics and good webcomics. Webcomics are an outlet Canadian artists and creators have that might not make a lot of money for them, but allow them full creativity, ownership, and lack of political/corporate interference.

Furthermore, Canadians as noted generally have the ability to tell a joke, and we have a relatively good education system compared to a lot of the world that encourages creative thinking still.

Recently my local "newspaper" the Winnipeg Sun here replaced all their comics (Except the worst one, dog eat doug) with new comics for no reason whatsoever except maybe it was cheaper. Now, the comic strip pages don't change very often and it takes something big to do that, so its surprising to me the extent to which they revamped it. They didn't eliminate comics, obviously, because people don't buy the newspaper for the news (which comes from the same biased sources anyways) people buy it.. well they don't really buy newspapers anymore, but if they do buy it its for something to read to pass the time, as entertainment mostly. The newspapers of today are a lot closer to the weekly world news than they are to anything especially reputable. But even still, they cannot provide the outlet webcomics do.

I predict, once e-paper becomes predominant and simplified micropayments on the internet become commonplace, the downloading of magazines and newspapers will be huge. And the early trailblazers in webcomics are going to have a good collection of creative work to mass market at that point. Although I don't see the Amazon Kindle being the winner in the game. Nor any DRM crippled device.

Anyways, one last reason Canadians are writing a lot of webcomics? It's still pretty cold outside. I bet most webcomics get much more boring during the summer. This has been a half-assed blog post that contains many over-generalizations in order to prove a point which the blogger finds obvious. If you do not find it obvious, write your own damn blog.

Crappy google quote of the day