Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winnipeg Blue Bombers fined for criticizing refs

And it looks like one of the local newspapers is behind a drive to pay the fine.

First, there should be no fine. The CFL has very bad officiating. Players are clearly getting frustrated. Unless the funds from this fine are going towards hiring better officials, there should be no fine.

Second, The CFL risks alienating fans. The Bombers are already bleeding fans from the fact that they suck pretty bad this year, but even still, it'd be nice to not be screwed even more by bad refereeing. Then to be FINED for telling the truth? That the officiating sucks so bad it seems like they're actually rooting for a particular team?

Is there going to be an investigation into these refs? What sort of work is done to ensure they aren't being paid off or coerced by outside forces? There is certainly a lot of corruption in Quebec, and Montreal is from Quebec. A lot of mafia types have made their homes there as well. Is there a connection? I don't know. I'm not saying one way or another, I'm just pointing out that fact.. But it seems like a fine how do you do to kick the Bombers while they're down, then fine them on top of it. Very unsportsmanlike, CFL.

Not that I've personally watched a game since they went exclusive with TSN. Screw that shit. Needing cable to watch the grey cup.. nah.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bluetooth headset

I recently bought a bluetooth A2DP stereo adapter. It's pretty neat. wish it used a standard mini-usb charging plug but I understand why it doesnt. Also it'd be nice if it had a caller ID display screen in a similar way as beepers used to along the edge, but I paid $15 bucks for it so who am I to complain. It works with my phone and ubuntu, so that's cool.

The point of this post though is to point out the distance you can take a bluetooth headset from the source. about 3 meters. Just out of reach of my bathroom. Sadness.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Air Canada Scam

So I have two cell phones, one is on Rogers pay as you go, and the other is a number that was ported from Telus to another carrier, either way, I have two cell phones, and a voip landline at home. Both Cell phones received a call purportedly from "Air Canada" telling me I have won something from them and thanking me for using Air Canada in the past. First, I have never flown Air Canada, so theres that, secondly, I'm not an idiot who falls for scams. The phone number that showed up on both phones was 1-403-864-8989, and if you try to "claim your prize" you get transferred to some idiot from India in a call centre somewhere, who requests your name and credit number.

Hopefully there aren't too many naive idiots out there falling for this. I have to assume the phone number that shows up on call display is not the actual phone number they're dialing from, as it crosses in the listings to some lake in Alberta.

Anyways, I like to keep people on the phone as long as possible when they try to scam me, just for fun, but sadly I was too busy to do anything to waste their time this time.

Thursday, September 16, 2010







Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Review: The Sunless City by J. E. Preston Muddock

So I can't quantify what EXACTLY made me search out this book, but seek it out I did. I thought it would be more difficult, but there are at least two digital copies of this book online. I assume its been out of copyright since 2004, since copyright should presumably last the life of the author + 70 years and the author died in 1934. Anyways, I downloaded it and read it, and it was quite enjoyable, and a surprising window into the beliefs of the time period it was written in (1905).

Indeed I was first interested in the book from one of the Canada Vignettes commercials that used to air on Canadian TV (I honestly actually sort of miss them...) So it took me what, 20 years to actually seek the book out and read it? Yes it would appear so.

As the vignette states, Flin Flon is the only Canadian city named after a science fiction hero. Vulcan, Alberta is named after a race of science fiction aliens.. kindof. But Flin Flon was an adventurer who explored an "inner world" deep inside of our own and discovered amongst other things living dinosaur type creatures, and a vast city of Gold ruled by a matriarchy. Another interesting thing about Flin Flon the town is it has a statue of Flin Flon designed by cartoonist Al Capp. That's kind of neat.

Anyways, its worth a download. So the book centers around the main character of Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin or Flin Flin for short, an intelligent man who builds a submarine type craft shaped like a fish that allows him to explore a mysterious believed to be bottomless lake situated somewhere around the rocky mountains. He comes out of the ordeal a very changed man, and eventually dies with the world believing his stories the works of a madman, until the posthumous publication of his adventures in the very same novel the reader is presumed to be reading.

While the characters pronouncements are clearly dated (He makes reference to people living on the moon as something of a certainty), and there are cracks about evolution that make you wonder whether Muddock or even the main character as a scientist is for or against. There is a backwards city of "pre-humans" who live with women in charge, which seems to be an outright attack on the ultimate goal of feminist thought of the time, but I still can't be certain if the author was being beligerent or clever.

Needless to say the book has about as much relevant science in it as any movie by Michael Bay. Muddock is no Isaac Asimov, but the book is entertaining enough, and the character of Flin Flon and the adventures he has remind me of actual adventurists of those earlier time periods who would go on expeditions to South America or Africa, or China or Antarctica or who knows where. It makes one think its quite a shame that there are so few places presumably left to discover on our planet Earth. Which likely explains why most Science Fiction takes place in the future or in outer space (or both) nowadays.

Anyways, sexism and political incorrectness and scientific nonsense aside, its not a very difficult read. I wouldn't be adverse to coming across some other J.E Preston Muddock work and giving it a go either. So in the end, I mildly recommend it to anyone with an interest in such books.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Observation of the day.

The only thing that would make Facebook less evil is if Apple or Microsoft bought it.

Thats messed up.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Update on Winnipeg's Digital TV Future status

Here is pretty much the final likelyhood of how Winnipeg will look after the digital TV switchover in Canada in 2011.

Channel 40 - CKND/Global TV. It will be up by the end of the year. Probably late october or early December, as I doubt they like working on antennas as much when its icy and snowing. This is the only channel Winnipeg will have before 2011 in HDTV, so advertisers, make note, its probably a good idea to spend your money there rather than on another network.

Channel 7 - CTV. According to documents filed with the CRTC, they plan to switch over in August 2011 right on the cutover date. Thats commitment to the community. They have to be forced, and can't be bothered to do it until the last minute. But hey, you know who is worse?

Channel 27 - CBC - August 2012. CBC is LEGALLY REQUIRED to switch over to digital before August 2011, they are legally required to do this, and they have known for years, and I have e-mailed them asking them at least two years ago, and I know I'm not the only one, but lo and behold, they don't have the money to do it and can't do it until August 2012. Sure they found money for Toronto like 3 years ago, and Vancouver maybe 2 by now, but Winnipeg.. nope. Can't properly budget for anything, apparently.

Same with Channel 51, CBWFT. They won't be up and running because CBC doesn't think over the air television in HD is a necessity for anyone outside of Toronto or Vancouver. Despite the fact studies are showing, at least after the U.S transition, for the first time Cable TV subscribers are actually going down after almost a 30 year increase. People don't want to pay for a million channels they aren't watching. They want their local networks in HD and that's more than enough (anything else can be supplemented by DVD's and Internet TV. Now, theoretically CBC could save money and get BOTH CBWFT and the regular CBC up on one shared antenna until they can find money for both. they could fit two 720p quality signals up and I'd be happy enough and they'd meet the minimum requirements of the CRTC, but the CBC likes to play political games and wants to make itself irrelevant. They actually seem to want to stop broadcasting. Isn't that insane? In the USA, PBS was at the forefront. They saw the opportunity. In Britain, the BBC helped spur the technology. In Canada, the CBC is an anachronism that I suppose doesn't feel it needs to exist if the Liberal party isn't in power. Pathetic. But I've blogged about this before. The CBC clearly doesn't think of itself as Canada's public broadcaster.

I mean, look at it like this. Imagine if someone told you that the CBC was going to abandon FM radio. "You can still get it on Sirius satellite radio! and the Internet!" You'd think they were mad! But for TV, that's exactly what they're saying. That's exactly their perspective. Insane. But I digress.

If you have a really good antenna in Winnipeg and you're lucky, and its a nice day, you might be able to pick up Fox KNRR on channel 12. With regular bunny ears or non amplified cheap antenna, probably not. They still aren't broadcasting in HD, presumably if they ever do get their HD up and running they might boost their power a bit.

City TV owned by Rogers also plans to switch over to HD digital on August 2011 (staying on Channel 13). I currently can't pick up City TV with any quality, so I'm a bit saddened that they're not going to switch earlier as I can't be the only one unable to pick it up except as a snowy ghost channel. Oh well, guess I won't watch it then.

Channel 35, Joy TV, I have no idea, as they seem incapable of responding to emails. Perhaps it is their spam filter. Who knows. Technically they are required to switch over to digital by August 2011. I can actually pick up Joy TV the best of any signal in Winnipeg, and I don't really find myself the target of most of their programming, but still, I assume August 2011 like the rest.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Firefly/Serenity and Rocket Robin Hood

I honestly believe that Firefly was based on the Canadian animated TV series Rocket Robin Hood (Which in turn was obviously based on the public domain story of Robin Hood)

Sure, they changed a lot of things for copyright reasons, but I think its really obvious.

Rocket Robin Hood- Cosmo Khan Full seasons and entire episodes online.

Look at these crazy shenanigans. A cliche mongolian villain who talks like Mojo Jojo.. Lots of villains talked like that back then. Heist a whole planet? That's madness.

Look, the Firefly crew had a priest, Rocket Robin Hood has Friar Tuck. Jayne is clearly Little John with a twist. He likes weapons.. In the cartoon I have embedded, Little John makes a comment about busting heads, and rocket Robin Hood tells him to STFU. Totally how it would go on Firefly. Heck, Jayne has a whole planet of people who think of him as a Robin Hood type folk hero who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. Now imagine how that story would grow to other planets after the events of the movie Serenity? Jayne and Captain Mal Reynolds are probably untouchable in the verse as heroes now. They have their reputation, however unjustly deserved. They have a corrupt government wanting to destroy them.

Its totally Rocket Robin Hood updated without horrible 60's animation. I'll bet if I dug even deeper I'd find even more parallels. Joss Whedon, I'm on to you.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Tablets and junk

I want to buy a tablet computer. I wont buy an Apple iPad because.. well, fuck apple. However, I am interested in buying a Google tablet device. Heres why I currently cannot.

1) It has to take an SD Card. This isn't a fucking Mobile Phone I want to buy, its a 7-10" TABLET. Give it a goddamn SD slot. If I want to put a mini-SD card, I'll use a damn adapter. It's bigger than a cell phone, you can find the space for an SD slot. Heck my old HP Ipaq has an SD slot AND a friggin Compact Flash slot so don't tell me its that hard.

2) It has to be at least 1Ghz. Anything less 800... no. Seriously, I won't even look at it if its less than 1000Mhz. And no I don't want an intel atom chip.

3) HDMI Output. I want to have HDMI output. Will I ever use it? Unlikely. Very rarely, anyways.. but it needs HDMI output. Non crippled either. I'm okay with mini-hdmi.

4) Obviously it has to have bluetooth so I can use a bluetooth keyboard with it.

and finally 5) It needs a camera. They put cameras on every other device under the sun, but for some reason they're eschewing cameras on most tablets, the one device that I think needs them to be built in. What the hell.

Also I like being able to swap out the batteries, thank you very much Steve Fucking Jobs.

Pixel Qi technology is also a bonus, if thats ready for prime time.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Winnipeg Movie Theatres and memorable movies I have seen at them

There have been a lot of movie theatres that have closed down in Winnipeg, most recently Garden City Shopping Centre, so I thought I'd make a list for my own future possibly alzheimers ridden self to accidentally google upon and have no idea what I'm talking about.

I was inspired for this by, a website I chanced upon a couple years back that lists a number of defunct movie theatres. So here goes. My list.

Capitol Theatre - Ernest goes to Camp?
Cineplex Odeon Kings - Forrest Gump
Convention Centre Cinema - I forget, but I know I went there.
Cineplex Odeon Drive-in (RIP) - Triple feature, had DaVinci code and something else.
Eaton Place 7 - Only one I remember is John Candy in the Great Outdoors
Garden City Cinema - Arachnophobia, original two Tim Burton Batman movies.
Garrick Cinemas - I know I saw Multiplicity there
Globe Cinema - don't remember
Grant Park Cinemas - I just saw Machete and Scott Pilgrim vs the world there. I love Grant Park. I'm gonna see Green Lantern 15 times there when it comes out next year.
Hyland Theatre - I know I went there once but I can't remember what I saw. It wasn't memorable I guess.
Metropolitan Theatre - Sadly, never went there.
Northstar Cinema - Always meant to go there and never did.
Park Theatre - Never went there during its original existence, but its still open and I've been there on occasion.
Polo Park Shopping Centre Theatre - Transformers the movie (The 80's cartoon! Fuck yeah!)
SilverCity St. Vital - too many to count. But I did walk out of Batman and Robin there.
Starland Theatre - never went there, but shame it got torn down. Always liked how it looked.
Kildonan Place theatre - I think I saw wall-e there.
Towne Cinema 8 - saw the trailer park boys movie there.

Mushroom Mushroom

There sure are a lot of mushrooms around the city of Winnipeg this year. Is it an invasion by the mushroom kingdom? I dunno. Am I the only one who noticed? Was it thanks to the particular temperatures of Winnipeg this year? Was it thanks to global warming? Or is it just random and I just never noticed city mushrooms before.

I wonder if they're poisonous. They almost certainly are. Some wild animal would have eaten them if they weren't, wouldn't they? Not that I particularly care for mushrooms myself. Just making an observation.