Friday, July 18, 2008

Dark Knight. See it.

There are few movies that make me want to do something like this. But having loved Batman Begins, I was looking forward to The Dark Knight. So much so that on Wednesday, I got up at 1:00 instead of 2:00. That was so that Wednesday night, I would be tired earlier, and go to bed earlier, so I could get up at midnight on Thursday. And I did. And that was so that on Thursday, I could be very tired, and go to bed at 4:30, so I could get up at 11:00, to go see the new Batman and then come straight in to work. And I did just that. I got out of bed at 11:00 last night, grabbed my girlfriend and her son, and we went to see the midnight showing of The Dark Knight. And man, was it ever worthwhile! For a full review, here it is:

The movie began at midnight, and with the previews and such we weren't out of there until about 3:00 a.m. Which is fine for my step-son, who doesn't have school. Or responsibilities. It's fine for me, because that's when I leave for work anyway. Only time will tell if it is fine for my girlfriend, who has to work all day today, 9-5, cutting peoples' hair. I dropped them off at home and headed straight in to work, stopping off at McDonalds for food, since I didn't have time for breakfast. Of course, McDonalds hadn't anticipated the rush of people leaving Batman at 3:00. (There had been three theatres opened for the midnight showing - and all three were absolutely jammed.) I waited half an hour in the drive-through line for my food. In the end, I clearly had time to make breakfast. And that is why there is no Breaking Rock News yet. Because although I got up three hours early for work, the 3 hour movie plus the half hour wait for food meant I was actually late for work today. But Breaking Rock News is coming soon, and you should go see the new Batman.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

OK...I take that back.

Now I find out this David Lee Roth imposter was implicated in a murder, although he was never charged, in 1989. Maybe he isn't such a wonderful, entertaining guy after all. But at least this story never dies!

I kinda like this guy.

The first reason the fake David Lee Roth story was funny was that it was a story at all. The second reason was the hilarious local-news story itself. And the third reason turns out to be the fact that it was never true anyway! David Lee Roth gets pulled over for speeding. He tells the cops that he is suffering from a nut allergy, he gets rushed to the hospital, and the cops are credited with saving his life. The local CTV station then runs a story, unable to talk to the person Roth was apparently visiting in Oakland, Ontario, but interviewing the neighbours instead. They say he was clearly not from the area because he was slim and not-bad looking. Then - it is discovered, after a very brief fact-checking expedition, that Roth was playing Madison Square Garden. With Van Halen. That very same night. was not Roth at all. That would be hilarious moment #4.

Now this mystery Roth impersonator has been identified. By an OPP officer. Whose desk is right beside that of the cops who are credited with saving Mr. Roth's life. Hey! He says, upon seeing the imposter photo. I went to school with that guy! The fifth hilarious moment! This man is really named David Kuntz, and he has quickly become one of my favourite people. I realized I don't really know what David Lee Roth looks like right now. I would recognize him from the 80s, or from his Van Halen heyday, but now? I have a vague idea...and so these cops can be forgiven, I feel, for not putting two and two together. But the news people clearly should have done a very small amount of checking. Like, waiting for the guy who was playing host to "Roth" to get home. Or finding out where Van Halen were at the time.

But it gets better. The last time Mr. Kuntz was seen, he was partying at a bar in Hamilton called the Liquid Lounge. Still as David Lee Roth. To the point where he actually sits in with the band on a couple of tunes. And still no one is any the wiser. And it gets even better - he's there with two nurses from the hospital where he was taken for his nut allergy! I have always maintained that a certain amount of lying is OK for a one-night stand. "I'm single" is a lie that isn't OK. "I'm a race car driver" is a lie that's just fine. And "I'm David Lee Roth" is one that is not only just fine, it's ridiculously ballsy and totally over-the-top! This guy really played this one to the bone.

But now he is "at large". He is being hunted down by the OPP for "obstruction of justice" - ie, giving a false name to a police officer. Which would probably be something that was completely ignored had this not made the news around the world. Really, he will be charged with "embarassing us completely", as he most assuredly did. Well, his run as David Lee Roth is likely over, but he seems to have already got a lot out of it. Rock on, Mr. Kuntz! Rock on...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A brief history of Swamp Angel.

A Swamp Angel was a type of massive gun that was mounted in the swamps of South Carolina during the 1863 siege of Charleston. Subsequently, there was a series of small revolvers issued that were inscribed with the words "Swamp Angel". In 1954, Canadian author Ethel Wilson published a book about one of these small revolvers, called Swamp Angel. In 1962, that book became a part of a series called the New Canadian Library, along with such books as Barometer Rising, The Clockmaker, More Joy In Heaven, and A Candle To Light The Sun. In 1967, there was a reprinting of this short novel, and at least one copy of the novel appeared in the University of Manitoba Book Department. Originally priced at the suggested retail price of $1.50 (as printed on the cover), the Book Department quickly and bravely ignored the suggested price and reduced the cost drastically, to fifteen cents. I'm not making this up - the price tag stickers are still inside the back cover of my copy.

At a cost of fifteen cents, this book was picked up by either my mother or my father (I am guessing my father), who took it home and may possibly have read it. Or maybe not. It quickly disappeared into a box in my childhood home, languishing there forgotten among such other Canadiana as Trudeau's Federalism and the French Canadians. I managed to snag that gigantic box of books recently, and I picked up the Trudeau book. Which is really a series of essays about French Canada, Federalism, the economy, and the desire to separate. Which is fascinating but dry. So I have been getting through that one one essay at a time, which leads me to read one book between each Trudeau chapter. Yesterday, that book was Ethel Wilson's Swamp Angel. And it's good - it's about a woman named Maggie who leaves her husband in Vancouver and runs off through New Westminster (my grandmother's old stomping grounds) and ends up running a fly-fishing camp in the woods. And in the meantime, her old friend Nell, a morbidly obese woman who hasn't been outside in years and lives through old glories (she used to be a professional juggler, and keeps the juggling gun - the Swamp Angel - around for the memories).

A solid Canadian book, and one that for me broke up the monotony of Federalism And The French Canadians. It may have taken forty-one years, but that fifteen cents spent in 1967 finally paid off. I have managed to acquire many of these New Canadian Library books, which I will read while I slowly make my way through Trudeau. However, I think that by now, this series could better be called Really Old Canadian Library. Anyone read The Clockmaker? A Candle to Light the Sun? Music At The Close? I don't know where to go next. None of the other books have price tags still attached. And one of them, (I won't say which one) appears to have been stolen (or, at least, never returned) from the University of Manitoba library!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back at the bloggin'

It's been a while since I had a chance to sit down and irritate Doc with a long-winded blog posting. However, it has been a busy few days and weekend, and only now am I getting a chance to write something. I'm sitting at Doc's desk right now, which means I actually have a computer to work with during the show, and I am using that to write in the ol' blog now that I have no more breaking rock news to update or stories to find or rantbacks to produce. Funny rantbacks today - people seem to miss the point about Afghanistan a lot here...they get irritated with Randall because he suggested that the Russians found out that they could not defeat Afghanistan, and we are not trying to defeat Afghanistan...we are trying to help them...all true. But in point of fact we are trying to "defeat" the Taliban. And it was the Taliban that the Russians could not defeat. Missing the point a little, but that's what you get.

My aunt has been in town all weekend, and that's been good. I haven't really spent a lot of time, like a whole weekend, with her since I was probably 15 years old. And it turns out our relationship has not changed one bit. We are still fairly evenly matched at scrabble, she still makes me take my hat off inside the house (she's a teacher), and she still guilts me into doing actual work around the place. Would you believe that within two hours of getting up on Saturday morning, she guilted me into weeding? I hate weeding. More than anything else in the world. More than brussels sprouts, more than Bill O'Reilly, more than Pierre Polievre and John Baird combined. I HATE it. But at the same time I refuse to use chemicals to get rid of the weeds. So I let them grow. I feel that if a weed grows long enough, and tall enough, to eventually bloom, then it becomes a flower, and not a weed at all. And it no longer needs to be pulled. Makes sense, no?

The plants in my yard are all new to me. This being the first time we've had the house in the summer, it is the first time we've actually seen these plants grow and flowers bloom and so forth. So I still don't really know which ones are weeds and which ones are real plants. So I let it all go. And eventually, everything has a flower, and it's chaotic but pretty cool looking. But apparently I need to pull out this thing and that thing and whatever that is. (It turns out, by the way, that if you let weeds grow to a height of four feet or more, they are much easier to pull out by the roots. Just a tip for you gardeners out there.) Then I had to get the ones between the cracks of my patio, which I felt just gave the patio more character...but my aunt has this insidious way of starting to weed my garden and patio to the point where I feel guilty and have to go I did. At least we took the young lad out to see WALL-E on Sunday, which was just the best animated movie I have ever seen. Review is here:

Now the show is over, so I have to give up my computer, and stop typing.