Archive for November, 2010

Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

November 28th, 2010
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Regina lost two times today, at the Grey Cup and favourite son Leslie Nielsen died in Fort Lauderdale, FLA. Nielsen was suffering from pneumonia. He was 84.


Moose and Squirrel Added to my Sidebar

November 28th, 2010

In politics, I’ll choose the ethical stance over the practical one every time. Conservative blog  Moose and Squirrel has quit the Blogging Tories over the candidacy of Julian Fantino in Vaughan. Her issue, it should be noted, is not with the Blogging Tories, but with the Conservative Party itself:

...the Julian Fantino candidacy has become kind of a final straw issue for me. I just can’t continue to support the Conservatives through my blog, and it seems wrong somehow to take advantage of the traffic the BT site sends my way when I just can’t support the party…

I have been considering the same move lately, mostly because I do less politics than ever, but also because I am drifting farther and farther from the Conservative Party. Fantino is high on the list of why, and if I lived in Vaughan I would be voting Liberal tomorrow.

Good for Moose and Squirrel for taking the stand, and to help keep traffic moving her way, I’m placing her on my sidebar.

Blogging Tories , ,

Julian Fantino: Star Candidate

November 26th, 2010

Remember, Julian Fantino doesn’t break the law, Julian Fantino is the law:

Meeting Conservative Julian Fantino last month on the hustings for the upcoming Vaughan by-election didn’t go as Liberal Tony Genco expected. He’d imagined pleasantries between competing candidates…

“I gave him my best wishes…and he told me some of my signs were too close to his campaign headquarters so he’d had his people take them down.”

…“I asked him if he would please give them back — they’re expensive, you know — but he didn’t respond.”

Genco apparently never did get his signs back …

“My volunteers followed all the rules in putting our signs up on public property and they weren’t placed improperly.”

…Asked about Genco’s allegations, a Fantino spokesperson emailed a response: “(Liberal Leader Michael) Ignatieff’s candidate may want to talk about signs; I’m talking about what actually matters to families in our community.”

OK, you want to talk, here’s an issue: Julian Fantino is dictatorial and arrogant ex-cop who thinks the law is his to interpret. He is the kind of man who is dangerous to our democracy.

Hey, Conservatives in Vaughan: do everybody a favour, including the Conservatives, and vote Liberal on by-election day.

by-election fever, Caledonia , , , , , , ,

Being Gay…

November 26th, 2010
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is no longer a good reason not to be summarily and arbitrarily executed:

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and ARC International are deeply disappointed with yesterday’s vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The resolution urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling on states to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation in the list of discriminatory grounds on which killings are often based.

Hmm, what kind of backward, piss-ant state would vote to allow summary executions of, well, anybody:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Dar-Sala, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

And who wouldn’t truck with that nonesense?

… Australia…Canada…Israel…United Kingdom, United States…

The question is, how long until an Islamified Sweden or Belgium or UK start voting with the rogues gallery?

Bottom line, if you’re LGBTQ, there really is an enemy, and it isn’t Israel or the United States.

h/t Rondi

human rights , , , ,

Cool for Cats Friday

November 26th, 2010
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Ladies and Gentlemen. The lovely…


And talented…

Ana Vidovic.

Classical Guitar, Cool For Cats , ,

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2010
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The Band, performing Up On Cripple Creek on Thanksgiving Day 1976:

Two years later:

YouTube , , , ,

LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour: Review II

November 24th, 2010
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LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour

LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour

I’m a portion of the way through LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour, Stephen Davis’ new autobiographical read on Led Zeppelin’s 1975 tour of America and, more broadly speaking, Led Zeppelin’s 1975, and something is bothering me. In 1969 Davis saw Led Zeppelin at Boston’s famed Tea Party, and was impressed by the young, early rockers.

Between then and 1975 he worked as an editor at Rolling Stone (not the whole time), America’s premiere music magazine. So what does Davis do before heading out with Led Zeppelin? Familiarize himself with the Led Zeppelin catalogue. Familiarize himself, because working for the #1 music magazine means not being familiar with the top selling band, the top concert draw of the last five years?

Taking my assignment seriously, I had to familiarize myself with Led Zeppelin’s music… I had never even listened to 1973’s Houses of the Holy

My brother Chris is eight years younger than I. In 1975 he was still in the clutches of ardent Zeppelin fandom. He told me I had to hear the Led Zeppelin bootleg records because the mystical connection between the band and “the kids“ was a bout a communion forged by their intense love shows.

Yes kids, in 1975 you could be one year out of a Rolling Stone editorship and never listened to a Led Zeppelin album that had been #1 on Billboard, Cashbox and the UK album charts. You never need to wonder again why Led Zeppelin so mistrusted the “rock” press.

That Led Zeppelin mistrusted, even hated, the press is an important part of the story of LZ-’75. Stephen Davis was invited to travel with Led Zeppelin, courtesy of Led Zeppelin, in a proactive attempt to get better press for the band. Stephen Davis, in short, didn’t do his job for five years, and was rewarded with the gig of a lifetime. His superior attitude that the stoned kids who liked Led Zeppelin were, “in the clutches of ardent… fandom,” runs throughout the narrative.

Yet for that, LZ-’75 is an enjoyable read. Once Davis has familiarized himself, and given Led Zeppelin’s history up until 1975, the book settles into a nice memoir of the band and it’s extended family.

Because he knew he would be covering Led Zeppelin during part of their 1975 tour, Davis kept newspaper reports of the early days of the tour. Whether it’s the fans in Boston in near riot during the lead up to the tickets going on sale, or the early shows and the various problems they encountered, Davis covers the history of the 1975 tour. But it is when Davis joins up with Led Zeppelin in New York that LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour comes to life. The book shifts from historical record to personal, first person behind the scenes account of the tour.

It is, however, the Los Angeles portion of the tour that makes LZ-’75 worth the money. Whether it is chance encounters with Jimmy Page’s ex-girlfriend Lori Maddox, (“Lori is a legend along Sunset Strip,”) or Ron Wood’s wife Chrissie, “who ran off with Jimmy before the tour started,” (Wood is reported to have asked Jimmy at an after concert party in New York, “how’s our bird?”): The Hyatt House, known as the Riot House; the groupies; the kindergarten teacher who wants to be a groupie, for one night at least; Iggy Pop selling heroin; John Bonham jamming, at full volume, to Alphonse Mouzon’s 1975 album Mind Transplant at 3AM; or Robert Plant on Davis’ hotel balcony, yelling “I am a Golden God!”

Add in an interview with Robert Plant (during which the aforementioned balcony scene occurs), and a meeting in Jimmy Page’s hotel room where the exhausted(?) Page lies around in darkness, the room barely lit with “a dozen white candles.” Davis has a meeting with the kindergarten teacher, The Prairie Princess, and two roadies at the bar.

Outside the Continental Hyatt House, Davis travels with the band on The Starship – including a harrowing trip through a storm, hangs out backstage, examines John Bonham’s drum-kit with Bonham’s faithful roadie Mick Hinton, to the concerts themselves.

LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour is overall, an easy, comfortable read. Many of the stories herein will be familiar to a Led Zeppelin fan, but weaved together they tell an interesting tale of a top flight band at the apex of their career. Their Achilles Heel, drugs, was just beginning to show itself and the band would change irrevocably in the aftermath of 1975.

Dotted throughout with fabulous black and white pictures by Peter Simon, many of them never before seen, LZ-’75 makes a perfect winter’s afternoon read in the big comfortable chair.


I previously reviewed LZ-’75 from an e-book version here.

Crossposted from RambleOn

Books, Review , , , , , , , ,

Ethernet, Wifi and The Electric Car

November 22nd, 2010
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The Chrysler Envi

The Chrysler Envi

Sometimes I’m reading a piece and the writer says something I just can’t get past. It can be so profound, so profoundly stupid, or just something that jumps out at me as somehow wrong. The latter happened this morning when reading a Washington Examiner piece entitled: Subsidies for plug-in cars: A scam for big business.

Writer Timothy B. Carney makes the case that electric cars are sink holes for tax dollars.Then he says this:

The project reminds me of my college days, when the school spent thousands of dollars running Ethernet cords into every library study carrel and the dorm rooms. By the time they finished, every freshman had his own laptop with built-in wireless.

Ask yourself, how long ago did freshman show up at university with their own laptop with built in wireless? Five years ago? Seven? Sure as hell wasn’t ten when most people were using dial up.

To Timothy Carney, “back in my college days,” was just a few years ago. Shouldn’t you have to be out of college at least ten years, if not fifteen, before you can say “back in my college days?”

A good article, I must say, and worth reading. Just don’t spend too long on that one paragraph.

writers , ,

Cool for Cats Friday

November 19th, 2010
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There was once a time when Bruce Springsteen wasn’t a filthy rich socialist. He was, simply put, a brilliant musician and performer – period.

How good? The songs Fire and Because the Night got cut from Darkness at the Edge of Town good. Here’s a live video of Because the Night from 1978.

Springsteen is still Boss , ,

Pat Burns 1952-2010

November 19th, 2010
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So sad to hear the news that Pat Burns has lost his battle with cancer. The former police officer and three time NHL coach of the year died today at the too young age of 58.

For Leaf fans under 55, the greatest Leaf season had the hard nose father figure of Pat Burns behind the bench. Few doubt that wonderful year would have happened without him.

The Leafs may be hapless and cupless in the colour TV era, but Burns was neither, winning a cup with New Jersey in 2003. Burns career coaching record is 501-353 (plus a bunch of ties) a stunning .744 winning percentage.

RIP Pat Burns: one of the good ones.


Hockey, RIP , , ,

In Flanders Fields

November 11th, 2010
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In Flanders Fields

remembrance-poppyLieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Remembrance ,

White Poppie’s

November 10th, 2010
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It’s time to come out: four years ago I anonymously began a satire blog called The Canadian Folk Collective. I decided to roll anonymously because remembrance-poppyI didn’t want what was written there, which was meant to be fictional and over the top, with what I wrote here. I wrote about five posts, and never got back to it, although I often thought about it. Even had a few false starts along the way, but after Snow ball fights at David Suzuki’s Global Warming Tour Finale in March 2007, I never updated it again.

In November 2006 there was a couple of controversies going on around Remembrance Day, the white poppies and the guys who peed on the cenotaph at Remembrance Day services in Ottawa. In response, I wrote a post at the Folk Collective called Wearing White & Piddling on the Cenotaph:

Ottawa – Remembrance Day

We were invited to play at the cenotaph and accepted with some reluctance, as these ceremonies tend to be more conservative than we are comfortable with. Tippy was out of the hospital and doing fine, but had been told to drink lots of fluids. As such he arrived with a 2L jug of water, and spent most of this time drinking it.

We had been asked to provide a short show before the vets parade arrived at ten-thirty. This we did, playing from our repertoire of war-based material. Unfortunately, we only play anti-war songs Ballad of the Green Beret, Give Peace A Chance that sort of thing. Apparently this crowd was more in the mood for Battle Hymn of the Republic than Eve of Destruction.

While we might reasonably have been able to figure that out, I don’t know how we could be expected to know that Stevie’s poppy would give offense. Stevie had bought a white poppy from some guy in Edmonton, as a symbol of peace. He explained to Stevie that the white poppy told people you believed in supporting our troops by not sending them to war. The white indicated her pacifist views, while still supporting the young men who, frankly, are not smart enough to know that they are pawns of the imperialist intentions of the ruling elite.

But the Vets and other members of the Legion somehow found this quite sane view insulting. As soon as services where over, Tippy went to one to ask where the bathroom was:

“Excuse me, can you tell me where the toilet is?” Tippy asked an older gentleman.

“Hey, what do you think your doing wearing that white poppy?” he yelled at Stevie.

“I am supporting our troops, by supporting the peace.” she answered very reasonably.

“No really sir,” said Tippy. “I drank a big jug of water…”

“You support the troops by supporting peace?” he asked incredulously. “Do you have any bloody idea what the poppy represents?”

Stevie was ready for this one. “It represents the brutality of war, it’s blood red colour a symbol of the blood of our children that has been left on the field of battle.”

“If you could just tell me before…” Tippy tried again.

“You have children fighting then?” he asked.

“No, I have no children,” said Stevie. “I mean our children as in the collective young of the country.”

“Well George over there, he has a son who was lost in battle, let’s ask him what he thinks. Oy, George,” he yelled. George came over, and he said, “this one here says your William shouldn’t have been fighting, but was too stupid to realize it. What’s more that he is collectively all of ours, not just yours.”

“Oh?” he said looking at us. “You cried when William died then?”

“No,” we said. I was about to say “Sorry for your loss,” or some such, when he said “How about a good swift kick in the groin then, and you can get an idea of the hurt, although I’d have to stand here kicking you for the next six months to give full effect.”

“No thank you,” was all I could muster, when he said to Stevie. “So you would wear your cowards poppy in honour of my son, would you?”

She was about to reply, when I heard someone yelling from the other side of the cenotaph.

“What the hell are you doing?” someone yelled.

Tippy came running around with his pants lowered. “I’m sorry sir. I drank a big bottle of water, you see. For medicinal purposes,” he was saying. As he ran out, we saw an old vet, about 75 years old, running after him and belting him over the head with a cane.

“What happened?” the fellow we were talking too asked, and the old fellow with the cane said: “he was pissing on the memorial.”

“Don’t worry,” said another gentleman with a camera, “I got pictures.”

Humour, Remembrance

In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario

November 5th, 2010

supernannySometimes it’s Premier Dad. But sometimes…

you just have to call in the Supernanny.

Dalton, In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario…, Premier Dad , ,