Friday, October 10, 2008

A fine day is had by all. Except, once again, me.

I got up this morning about three and a half hours later than I normally do. Because I didn't have to go into the station before work for once, I had set my alarm for 3:00 instead of 2:00. But I seem to have slept through said alarm, and I woke up just a few short minutes before I was supposed to be on the air at the Bedards' house. Which is in the east end. I live in Kanata, the far, far west end. And although I went to work a little faster than I normally do...I thought I would never make it in time. After all, I was almost late last week - and that house was twelve blocks from mine! (I got stopped for rolling through a stop sign. The COPS made me late.) But this morning, I made it. In fact, I actually beat Doc to the house! He had been lost, driving around trying to find it when I got out of bed. He found it moments after I did.

Then, because it's Thanksgiving, I held the family's frozen turkey between my bare thighs for a few minutes. Doc was out of ideas, it seems. The video isn't up at the time that I'm typing this, but when it does go up, it will be at this link:

A great house, great family, and a great time. Ricky Paquette played a couple of songs, and that kid can just blister on the guitar! Doc has been having some fun at Ricky's expense for some time now, and so I have no idea how old he really is. When he started playing, he was very very young, and so Doc now refers to him as 4 years old, or 12, or 17, or 9, or 11. I have no idea which one, if any, is the right age. Either way, he's much younger than I am and he's much better at the guitar. The video of his performance will be up later today under the same link, check it out.

Are you kidding me?

I would like to think that I speak English fairly well. I understand English, I am fairly good at communicating my thoughts to others, and at receiving the information that others wish to impart to me. And even I, with my fairly good grasp of the English language, did not understand the question Steve Murphy asked to Stephane Dion last night. He asked him "if you were prime minister right now, what would you have done differently than Stephen Harper". So...which is it? Dion is Prime Minister right now, or for the last six weeks, the last two he could "have done" something differently than Harper. How long did he hypothetically have to do things differently? And that is what Dion asked Murphy. And Murphy responded "right now. You're Prime Minister right now." And then repeated the question. In the same words. The fact of the matter is, the question really made no sense. Who could answer a question like "if you were promoted to the boss of the company today, what would you have done differently over the past ten years?" It makes no sense.

So Dion asks for a clarification. And the interviewer gives him one, saying "right now". Which clarifies nothing. And then they restart the interview. And he asks the same question. Leading to the same confusion from Dion, and another restart. I hate to send people to the blog of this jackass, but here is the only place I can find the TV clip:

Watch Steve Murphy, and what he says before broadcasting the clip. That he, and CTV, agreed not to ever run that particular clip, and promised Dion and the Liberals that they would not. But then...they do anyway? Because they feel they owe it to the Canadian voters? How much more in the pocket of the Conservatives could this douchebag be? Who does this remind me of...oh yeah! Bill O'Reilly saying how he had taken the high road in not broadcasting Jesse Jackson's off-camera comments about Barack Obama...right before he broadcast those comments.

And of course, the Conservatives jump all over this. Look at Dion! He can't understand a simple question! He can't lead this country, he's an idiot! This would never happen with Stephen Harper! And this is true. This would NOT ever happen with Stephen Harper. Or any other Conservative MPs or candidates. The reason this would never happen with any of those people is that they get interviewed by reporters only when they know what the questions will be ahead of time. Every one of them. Anyone see the article about the MP in my area, Gordon O'Connor, who agreed to an interview, then said "just send me the questions and I'll get back to you in a couple of days"? What? Anyone (even Sarah Palin and Rona Ambrose) can answer interviewer questions well with days to prepare. This is the iron fist of Harper keeping his people, and the media, in line. And Steve Murphy and CTV are helping him out.

Shouldn't the media be the one institution that doesn't want a Conservative government? What with the war that Harper has waged ON that media? How he gets any positive coverage is beyond me. How he manages to get his photo ops done by all these reporters without any reporter mentioning that they are staged photo ops in a studio is beyond me. Why no one talks about the Conservatives who expect to be fed their questions in advance during interviews is beyond me. And Steve Murphy is totally beyond me. First off, there is nothing wrong with Dion's response here, because it is Murphy's fault in the way he phrased the question. I didn't think, when I first saw this, that Murphy had mixed up his tenses on purpose, in order to confuse Dion, but now I'm not so sure. Secondly, all interviews have moments like this. Questions are restarted all the time. Airing this clip is blatant partisanship. Thirdly, suggesting that they had to air it, in the best interests of the public, is frankly sleazy.

Now, I'm no gigantic fan of Stephane Dion. He's a very smart man, and has some good plans, but he's not the guy I want as Prime Minister. I don't object to CTV here because I am a fanatical supporter of Dion's. I object to it because it is low, corrupt, biased, sleazy journalism. Screw you, Steve Murphy, you are Canada's Sean Hannity. That's not a good thing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Watch this movie.

I know, no one really needs another reason to hate George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, et al. And perhaps you don't want to hate them any more than you already do. You just want to put them out of your mind, forget about them, and hopefully thirty years from now, they will be blocked out of our collective memories like a repressed childhood trauma. But you should still watch Taxi To The Dark Side, because although the Bushies run is almost done, the torture going on at Guantanamo Bay and other institutions like it is not. Here is a link to a VERY GOOD review of this film:

It's official. Paris Hilton actually gets it.

Another hilarious spoof from the people at Starring Paris Hilton. I really AM starting to dislike her less. Uh-oh.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Home stretch!

Like a marathon runner sprinting to the finish line after a long and tough race, the Conservative Party have waited until they need that last little push to the end to release their election platform. It might seem, to the rational observer, that it would make more sense to release the platform at the same time as you, you know, call the election. I mean, the terminally cynical among us might suggest that since the Conservatives had all that time to decide when to call the election, then they had an equal amount of time to decide what they were going to do in that election. But that kind of thinking would make you a horrible cynic. Stephen Harper illuminated his decision to wait until this week to release his platform in a quote today. He said it was in order to maximize coverage. You see? They had the platform all along, but waited until now in order to make sure that the papers and television would give it maximum exposure. It's just politics, silly!

And what a massive amount of exposure this platform has received in the media! In some papers, it almost made the seventh page! Now, to be fair, it would have been the top story in Ottawa if a bus driver hadn't driven 100 yards with an unaccompanied child. And although I have not yet fully perused the Conservative platform, I figure that is mostly because I don't have the attention span to read beyond the sixth page of most newspapers. What I have seen of the platform, however, is earth-shattering. There is almost nothing new there at all! What a magnificent political manouever! The most newsworthy item in the platform - the one thing that has indeed been considered "new" by those very same cynics who complain about the timing? Stephen Harper's total reversal of his stance on tax credits for the arts.

I am in awe of this brilliant political manouever. This is genius! You release your actual platform after the leaders' debate has already taken place, which means that during that debate, no one can actually pigeonhole you on any issues, because you have taken no discernible stance on those issues! Fantastic! Your economic policy completely fails to address the problems facing Canadians? So what? There's barely any time for people to complain about it. Your environmental policy basically amounts to the assertion that you, Stephen Harper, will not personally pour oil into drinking water? Big deal! Most people won't notice until the election is over anyway.

Speaking of the environment, there is a radical, crazy group of people who, for some odd reason, want to get rid of the Conservative government at all costs, because of their stance on the environment. Well, on most issues. But mostly the environment. And they are proposing, as befits a radical, crazy group, some radical, crazy ideas. Like strategic voting. Now, my proposal to our political parties was this: For the NDP to shift gears completely, and become a rabid, right-wing, anti-abortion anti-gay anti-tax anti-fun group, to split that right wing vote in Canada and create a more balanced five-party system, thereby giving left-wingers a chance at a minority government and possibly saving the country. So far, they have not returned my emails or responded to my entreaties. So this group is what we have left.

Why, you might ask, being the cynic that you are, would people complain about Stephen Harper's stance on the environment? After all, when Canada was named the single country that most obstructed progress on cleaning up the earth at the UN conference on climate change, that wasn't because Stephen Harper doesn't care! It was, just like this election platform thing, smart politics. You see, if Canada has the worst leader in the world when it comes to the environment, that means that the U.S. does not. George Bush, for once, is not the worst leader of a country in the world. And when the conference was over, he patted Harper on the bum on the way back to the sidelines, and said "thanks for the assist, big guy". It wasn't about the environment, it was about foreign relations! Harper knows that being liked by George Bush is more important for Canada than preventing a global environmental catastrophe. Like John McCain, Stephen Harper is just putting Country First! Huzzah for the Harpster!

Not only is Harper selfless enough to appear to be the Worst Leader Alive, taking one for our collective team, he is also savvy enough to realize that disclosing your platform after 1.4 million Canadians have already voted is a great way to promote national unity. After all, 1.4 million people is a very small amount of people compared to the millions who will vote in a week. And while the people (like my mother) who voted in advance would probably consider themselves to be rather informed voters - I mean, they are the ones who care enough to vote in advance. But Harper, in one brilliant stroke of genius, has proved those 1.4 million people wrong! They are now all, collectively, the most UN-informed voters in Canada. Which means that the other 14 million people who vote on October 14th will feel like the MOST informed, they will feel better about themselves, and about each other. This will foster national unity. Terrific stuff.

But back to this crazy, radical organization. The one that wants to kick the selfless martyr that is Stephen Harper out of office. They are actually suggesting that you, the residents of Canada, vote against the Conservatives. Because anyone else is better than Stephen Harper. How ridiculous. The idea that we can vote out the Conservatives with a concerted cross-country effort by punching in our postal codes and finding out who to vote for who is most likely to defeat the Conservative candidate in our particular riding? How silly. Let's hope it doesn't work at all. Here is the website that you should never go to, in order to make sure that this doesn't work at all:

More debates, more fun.

What a bore. After a full week of McCain and Palin going off on Obama, dredging up that Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright stuff and basically calling him a terrorist, why couldn't McCain have done that at the debate? Despite the idioct of these attacks, it would at least have made for more entertainment...although I was reasonably entertained when McCain referred dismissively as "that one" during an answer. The awkwardness of the informal setting was reasonably amusing as well. Sitting at a desk, answering questions directly from the audience, as McCain wandered oddly around the stage, looking as though he was about ninety years old. Wandering in front of the camera at the end when Tom Brokaw was trying to say goodnight, as though he was thoroughly disoriented? Priceless.

But it wasn't all fun. A few things that bother me - McCain's constant use of the words "my friends" creeps me out. He may as well practise that obnoxious Sarah Palin wink. And Obama's overuse of the words "game changer" irritates me as well. Iran acquiring nuclear weapons would be a game changer. Pakistan cutting ties with the U.S. would be a game changer. North Korea outlawing sidewalk spitting would be a game changer. So, anything any other country does is a game changer. Which means that the words "game changer" no longer have any meaning. So stop saying them.

Nothing will change with these debates. The American people have wised up, and Obama is building a bigger and bigger lead as McCain goes the ol' swift boat route in a last gasp of desperation. There is no longer really any reason to watch this stuff, unless you want to see Obama reiterate his standard points and look presidential, or John McCain wander around the stage looking confused and bemused, and snickering like an old man on the edge of dementia. Obama never hurts himself at a debate, playing it safe, and McCain never does himself any favours, looking old and uncomfortable. Big deal.

More football goodness. Or, badness.

Washington -St. Louis: I don't think there will be a point spread big enough to cover this one. After the Skins beat the Eagles and the Cowboys in back-to-back weeks, there is a chance that there will be a letdown of sorts in this matchup. But it's a slim chance. And the Redskins must be considered Super Bowl contenders after their remarkable 4-1 start. The Rams are just awful. The Skins will win, and cover in a big way.

St. Louis, 19-17. That last-second field goal made me feel (and look) pretty stupid. What is the MATTER with the NFL this year? Every team that looks good for a moment all of a sudden has to serve notice that nope, we are NOT that good. We are in fact barely adequate. It would make sense to think that the Skins were just suffering a letdown after the two big wins in the previous weeks. But one would think that even with none of their players paying ANY attention to this game, they could still have beaten the lousy, lousy Rams. What's HAPPENING?

New Orleans - Oakland: The Saints looked pretty good against the Vikings on Monday night. Well, except for all those errors. And screw-ups. And so forth. Their offense is moving the ball well. Reggie Bush is on fire on the special teams. Their defense is OK. All the Saints need to do against a weak, lame duck opponent like the Raiders is to not totally screw up. And after that shameful loss last week, New Orleans will be looking for redemption, and they will get it. Saints win big, cover spread, hammer Oakland.

New Orleans, 34-3. I could not have predicted that the Saints would hold the Raiders to 3 points. That just didn't seem to be in the cards. But Reggie Bush, as well as being on fire on the special teams, appears to have caught fire on offense as well. Look out for the Saints, they could be a serious contender down the stretch.

New York Jets - Cincinnatti: The Jets are coming off a bye, well-rested, and also coming off that total destruction of the Cardinals two weeks ago. The Bengals continue, even with Carson Palmer, to be terrible. This will likely become another QB duel, the way it was last week with Kurt Warner, and the way Brett Favre is playing and connecting with his receivers, the Jets are likely to run this one up too. Cincinnatti is disappointing this year. Most people thought they would just be bad. The spread is six. I can't imagine the Jets winning by less than a TD.

New York Jets 26-14. Yep. The Jets were not going to lose by less than a TD. Favre wasn't going to throw for six TDs again, but he was certainly going to do enough to beat the Carson Palmerless Bengals. If Palmer ends up playing more games this year, Cincinnatti will win two games. If he doesn't, they will win one. This team is dreadful.

Minnesota - Detroit: This is more a condemnation of the Lions than it is an endorsement of the Vikings. I still love Adrian Peterson and that running game, and I'm still impressed by the Vikings run defense. The Lions have nothing going at all. Now, the spread right now is 13.5 on this game, in favour of Minnesota. And that is too much. This is, after all, a division game, anything can happen, and you have to believe that the Lions will be able to keep it closer than that.

Minnesota, 12-10. Yep. The Vikings are not that good. And yep, with the Lions playing this divisional game, they kept it awfully close. Minnesota had to kick that last-second field goal just to win this tight one. Neither one of these teams is going anywhere this season, it's just that Detroit is getting there faster.

New York Giants - Cleveland: Poor Browns. It looks like they've got it together a little, like they might well end up with a fairly decent season after all. And then, they meet the red-hot Giants, who could very easily lay a 40-point beating on them, and ruin their season. I think the Browns will keep it closer than that, but not close enough to cover the 7-point spread. Plaxico Burress is back, the Giants are flying.

Cleveland, 35 - 14. Poor Browns. It looks like they've got it together a lot. And still they have a sub - .500 record. Good lord, what is wrong with the NFL? Now the only unbeaten team is the...Kerry Collins-led Tennessee Titans? And the only two winless teams are the hapless Lions and the almost as hapless Bengals? What is happening?

Philadelphia - San Francisco: The Eagles are coming off two tough losses. I thought at the beginning of the season that they were a playoff team, but they ran into the Cowboys, who are still the class of the NFC, and the Redskins, who are looking like they are right there with the Cowboys all of a sudden. The Eagles need to win all their games out of their division if they want to make the playoffs, and they need to start with teams like the Niners. Without Brian Westbrook, 4.5 points is a bit much to give up here, but the Eagles should be fine.

Philadelphia, 40-26. Well, I would never have thought that the Eagles would have to come back in the fourth quarter, but they did. And then they kept pouring it on. Sloppy play like they showed in this game, however, could kill them against really good teams. And the Niners are not very good, as we all imagined.

Green Bay - Seattle: The Packers are better than their record, and Seattle is exactly as good as their record indicates. The Seahawks got absolutely destroyed by the Giants last week, and were exposed as an absolutely lousy team. The Packers aren't great, but they're still at least a .500 team, and Seattle is absolutely terrible. The Hawks are favoured by 2.5 here, because they are at home. I don't think that makes a difference any more, take Green Bay in the upset.

Green Bay, 27-17. Is this really an upset? I'm going to say no. Seattle IS as bad as they have seemed, and Mike Holmgren seemed content to run the conservative, running-game-and-defense game plan. Here's the problem with that. The Seahawks don't have a good running game. Or a good defense. And maybe the Packers ARE still the best team in the NFC South.

Carolina - Tampa Bay: Again, take the upset. Tampa Bay is favoured by 1.5 right now, again because they are at home. And Tampa is a good team. But the Panthers are looking, more and more, like a great team. They seem to be getting better with every game, and they are either solid or excellent in every phase of the game. The Buccaneers don't have the offense to compete here, and they really should not be favoured. Panthers in the upset.

Tampa Bay, 27-3. I don't know how I could have been more wrong about this one. The Panthers, who I just said were solid or excellent in every phase of the game, looked poor or abysmal in every phase of the game. I still don't think the Buccaneers are that good, but then again, now I don't think the Panthers are either.

Dallas - Arizona: The Cowboys are still the class of the NFC, and if the Cards want to be taken seriously this year as a playoff contender, they need to show it in this game. I think the Cowboys have enough to come out on top regardless of how well the Cardinals play, but Arizona will be up for this game, and they will keep it close. Take Dallas to win, Arizona to cover the 6.5.

Arizona, 30-24. The Cards DID show it. They need to be taken very, very seriously as a playoff contender. And they sure did cover. And then some. In fact, they won this game that by all rights they should have lost. Not because Dallas played better. In fact, the Cardinals really did look like the better team. But I must confess that despite picking the Cowboys to win outright, I still cheered for the Cards because I hate Dallas. And when Wisenhunt called that onside kick that backfired, I was livid. And at the end of the game, the offside penalty that put the Cowboys barely into field goal range drove me nuts. Then they block the kick, but Wisenhunt has...called time out? What? Are you TRYING to lose? Great OT play to win it, though!

Chicago-Atlanta: The Bears are starting to look like they may well be a good team. The Falcons are actually pretty good too. Both teams are 3-2. But Chicago is favoured IN Atlanta, and I think deservedly so. Kyle Orton actually looks like - dare I say it - the answer in Chicago? The fact is, the Bears are now the best team in the NFC North, and Atlanta was able to beat Green Bay in Green Bay. But barely. Bears in a squeaker.

Atlanta, 22-20. OK, I still think the Bears might be a pretty good team. But I now think the Falcons are a pretty good team too. And frankly, the Bears would have won this if they remembered that a football game is 60:00, and not 59:51. Come on, HOW do you let the Falcons come back with that bomb and field goal, after taking the lead with ELEVEN seconds left? What's the matter with the Bears? They may be a good team, but they are not a winning team yet.

Denver - Jacksonville: The Broncos are favoured by 3.5 right now. Which is fine...if their defensive showing of last week is for real. And the Jacksonville secondary is hurting, which means if they don't get better Jay Cutler can pick them apart. And although the Jaguars have underperformed in a big way so far this season, the Broncos have also overperformed. This could be the game where the balance tips back the other way. I would take the Broncos to win outright, simply because this game is in Denver. But against the points, I lean toward Jacksonville. Don't be surprised if the Jags win outright.

Jacksonville, 24-17. And the Jags DID win outright. The Broncos looked bad on defense again. I think last week was a blip, in that this terrible defense looked better than it is. And the Jaguars ARE a better team than the Broncos. In fact, they may well be one of the best teams in the AFC right now, simply because there aren't that many impressive ones.

Houston - Miami: Wow. After massive wins over New England and San Diego, the two finalists in the AFC last year, there is still no one taking the Fish seriously. This is NOT the team it was last year. And Houston is favoured by three points. At home, on the road, the Texans have been a pretty poor team this year. What with not having won a game. At all. The Dolphins could have a big comedown after those two monster victories, but I wouldn't bet on it. Which is why I'm betting on the Dolphins to win in an upset. If you can call it that. I'm stunned with myself. This is the first time in two full years that I have bet on Miami to win!

Houston, 29-28. OK. Miami at least covered the spread. But what a ballsy call, the QB draw on the last play of the game! Matt Schaub, I am not yet a believer, but I am a fan. The Texans could actually make something of this season if they build on this momentum. And the Dolphins could do the same if they stop playing up to the good teams and down to the bad ones. Them and the Redskins.

San Diego - New England: Am I reading this line right? The Chargers are favoured by six. Against a team that has lost two games in two years. The Patriots lose once this season and all of a sudden they're second-rate? What's happening here? Let's not forget, the Chargers could not have been taken by surprise by the Dolphins last week when they lost to them. And the Pats came back after their monster loss with a methodical, by-the-book, Belicheck style win over the Niners. It's in San Diego, and the Chargers have the talent to beat anyone. They are also very likely to turn up the juice when they play a truly tough opponent. And I do think San Diego could eke out a win here. I just don't think they will. The Patriots are 3-1. San Diego is 2-3. If New England wins, is upset?

San Diego, 30-10. Well, no upset. The line was right. And it looks as though New England is indeed a less powerful team, in a big way, without Tom Brady. And San Diego is able to turn it on seemingly at will. If only they had been able to do that at the very end of a couple of earlier games this year, they would be the team to beat in the AFC. Now, they're just another of the pretty good teams.

Indianapolis - Baltimore: For me, this is the toughest game of the week to call. It could be a massive blowout either way, it could also end 7-6. The Ravens have, over the past two weeks, played as well as a team can play, without winning. If it wasn't for a blown call this week, they would be 3-1. The Colts are a perplexing 2-2, coming off an even more perplexing victory over the Texans. Houston gave that one up, Indy did not go and get it. Which is why I think Baltimore will come out on top in this one. The Ravens will not give it away. The Colts are favoured by 4.5 at home, and that's certainly too much. I'm taking Baltimore in the upset.

Indianapolis, 31-3. Whoops. It looks like Peyton Manning might actually have it back together. Which means look out for the Colts in the coming weeks. Picking apart this defense is impressive, and Manning is back in form. Pick the Colts the next couple of weeks. And I have no idea how to think about Baltimore. Was this a case of Manning getting hot and picking apart a great defense, or was it a case of a great defense being exposed as not-so-great. Or, is it just the screwy, weirdo NFL doing it's thing? If Miami can blow out the Patriots, and the Skins can lose to St. Louis...or maybe I just suck.

So far, my record is 47-40 straight up, and 53-34 against the spread. If I finish this season better against the spread than I do straight up, it will be a first in betting history, and the final proof that all of this may as well be totally random.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

OGH / Cynical Cinema Major Event!

October 30th. 9:30 p.m. The Bytowne Theatre. Ghostbusters. A special screening of the movie will be happening for CHEZ listeners and Ghostbusters fanatics. And there ARE a lot of Ghostbusters fanatics. This will be a presentation of Cynical Cinema to raise money for Operation Go Home, a charity which supports kids who have found themselves living on the streets of Ottawa. They attempt to reunite those kids with their families, if there is a chance for a reconciliation and a way they can actually go home. If not, they teach the kids, help them with proper documentation, and help them get a job and a place to live. A great cause, and a great reason for an evening out. Last year, they put on The Rocky Horror Picture Show around the same time, a Hallowe'en screening, and we managed to raise a significant chunk of money to help them out. We're hoping to do the same this year. Tickets will be ten dollars, either at the door or at Operation Go Home's location in the market. There will be a raffle for some great prizes, but I have been saving up some prizes of my own for this occasion.

I have managed to get a pile of movies together, movies I have reviewed this past year for Cynical Cinema. And aside from some of the raffle prizes, the first fifty people in line at the show will get a free DVD, one of my favourite movies of the year. By the time the show starts, I'm hoping we get up to 100. If all my plans come through, there will be a free (awesome) DVD for every person who attends this show. Here is a short list of the movies we have so far:

Son of Rambow
Chicago 10
Day of the Dead
The Kite Runner
Hallowe'en (2007)
No Country For Old Men
In Bruges
The Visitor
Roman Holiday
Iron Man

For reviews of each of these movies, go here, to this weirdly long link:

There are others, too, but I left the box in my car and I can't remember what else I was able to snag at the moment. But there are several copies of each movie, and one of the raffle prizes will be a complete Cynical Cinema collection of one of each of these movies (and the others I forget).

There are many others, but I can't remember them right now. I'm very much involved with this cause and this event, and I will continue to plug it as much as I can until October 30th. Last time was an absolute blast, for all those who attended The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and this year looks like it will be even better!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Take that, David Blaine!

I think originally, the plan was to have me hang upside-down a la David Blaine for the whole morning. Thank goodness that never took place. I've been so sick this weekend I can only imagine what would have happened to my head had I been hung upside down all morning at our latest tour stop, the Wake The Neighbours stop in Kanata. This was one of the best ones so far, tons of people, lots of kids, and Jeff Rogers doing his thing in the living room. Once he got into it, he wanted to play more songs - after all, two songs isn't much of a gig when you had to get up that early in the morning. So he played more after we were off the air. The kids at the house had used chalk to write "Doc And Woody Show Here On Friday" on their driveway. A great time. Even for me, the human pinata.

And instead of being hung upside down (which I still suspect was the original plan), I became the human pinata. Perhaps a (little bit) less death-defying, but certainly more entertaining than David Blaine is. Check out the video of the human pinata. But first, check out the video of Jeff Rogers. He is far more impressive.

Best time of the year.

This really is the best time of the year. For sports, anyway. Football is in full swing in both the CFL and NFL, hockey has just begun, and it's the baseball playoffs. I can't really get into hockey just yet, mostly because the Senators are playing in Sweden, which makes those games against Pittsburgh seem like not much more than exhibition matches. Until they play a home game I probably won't pay any attention any more.

But right now, I'm really enjoying playoff baseball. I'm cheering for my Red Sox, and I was certainly hoping that the Cubs could reverse their trend of losing every single year in the playoffs. But they couldn't. They've been swept out by the Dodgers. Which is sad. But I think the thing that bugs me most about the playoffs is that the first round is only five games. I don't mind the idea of having three full rounds of baseball playoffs. But why not make them all seven games? In five games, if you get one hot pitcher, you can win the series even if the other team is clearly better. In seven games, you need a little more of a team effort. And it just seems like a strange thing to have the five-gamer in the first round, where flukes are more likely to knock out a better team. Whatever. I'll be watching right through the World Series. I love October.


For the first time in recent memory, I actually tuned in to Saturday Night Live on purpose. First of all, I was home sick. And secondly, we really wanted to see the latest Sarah Palin parody by Tina Fey. Frankly, after the opening skit, we stopped watching. And went back to Brotherhood. But we actually planned around watching that opening skit, which was once again brilliant. But now that the debates are over, what will they have to work with between now and election time? Well, here's hoping that she does more hilarious interviews with the "gotcha journalists" who "filter things" through the "mainstream media". Here's the latest sketch:

So now I turn to SNL for my political commentary. I wonder how much their ratings have shot through the roof since that original brilliant parody. Not only that, I find myself (embarassingly) watching The View every day. Just the beginning part, where they talk about politics. And I've always been rather ashamed of this, until reading an opinion piece in Newsweek that suggested that The View might well be one of the most important political discussion shows on television. Because at least the bias of each person is acknowledged ahead of time, and the viewers can filter the interviews through the lens of that bias. Or something. This is politics now. SNL and The View. And people are taking it seriously.

Laid up.

I've been in bed, sick, most of the weekend. Which means I have had very little energy for anything other than watching football and reading Newsweek. What this meant was that I did not have enough energy in my body to chase down the guy whose dog took a giant crap on my front lawn. This huge dog, off it's leash, was well into it's giant poop when we noticed it out the window. My girlfriend was fast, running out the door as I shambled slowly behind, but the guy and his dog were faster. They took off, running down the street. And I was nominated for cleaning it up. After all, I couldn't smell anything anyway.