Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thornhill Christmas Lights

In every neighbourhood there is someone who loves to go overboard with the Christmas lights. You have to wonder when Clark Griswold is your role model. And then there is the Lindsay family.

Every year since 2000, the Thornhill family has dressed up their home with a bigger and better light show. The lawn lights are buried under snow right now because of last week's storm, but in total there are 80,000 lights (mostly LEDs) blinking away. If you drive up to their house and tune your radio to 104.9 FM, you can hear the music to which the elaborate light show is synchronized.

This year there are two routines, one synced to music from Pirates of the Caribbean and the other to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

The Linday Lights website even has all the tech information laid out in the unlikely event you have the time and skill to do your own production. The show runs from 5 to 9 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends) until January 5. Be warned 416-lovers: You will have to cross Steeles into the 905 to see the house, so have your papers in order and make sure to declare any goods at the border.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Ruin Romo Movement

Check out this website called Ruin Romo dedicated to beating the Dallas Cowboys and QB Tony Romo. Fans of opposition team are encoraged to download signs with Jessica Simpson's face to distract Romo. Now that would be a funny sight at a stadium.

Here are the instructions:

1) Buy Tickets to the next Dallas Game.
2) Print out this picture in Full Color.
3) Cut out eyes and head.
4) Paste or tape to a heavy piece of paper or cardboard.
5) Paste popsicle stick to bottom for easy handling.
6) Bring it to the game and let Tony know Jessica is there for him!
7) Celebrate after your team wins

Thanks to Liberal Lean for finding this.

My dog ate my World Series ball

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon recently told a newspaper in Mississippi that the ball he used to record the final out of the 2007 World Series was torn apart by his dog, Boss, a fresh twist on the dog-ate-my-homework routine practiced by legions of schoolkids, and possibly just as credible. Now Papelbon has a reputation as a prankster.

The fate of the last ball became an issue in 2004 when the Red Sox swept St. Louis in the World Series to end an 86-year championship drought. Doug Mientkiewicz, who caught a toss from pitcher Keith Foulke for the final out, kept the ball. The team wanted it back. Mientkiewicz eventually agreed to lend the ball to the Red Sox for a year and then donated it to the Hall of Fame.

Harper says voters won't support Climate Change Policy

Stephen Harper's latest excuse for not doing enough to combat climate change: voters will complain. Remember, folks, this is a guy who campaigned on bringing principled leadership to Canada.

He is convinced that Canadians will criticize the government for doing too much to tackle climate change once the economic impact is felt from reducing greenhouse gases. Although poll after poll suggests Canadians will make such sacrifices.

I'm betting this will be a significant issue in the next election as all 4 opposition parties are committed to doing more than the Conservatives.

High Speed Shootout on Gardiner

There is a small element within the community where the level of disregard for the law and others is incomprehensible. That was on display last night when two cars traveling at high speed on the Gardiner Expressway were shooting at each other.

Police believe the incident started between two other vehicles that were speeding down Lake Shore Blvd. and eventually wound up on the highway from the Jarvis onramp. The chase escalated and so did the anger between the two apparent road racers, as they dangerously weaved in and out of traffic. At some point, guns were drawn and then fired, even as the high speed tangle continued.

One of the bullets hit another car, went through the bumper, burrowed past the rear seat, travelled on into the front and grazed a woman's arm. The projectile had been slowed enough by all the obstacles it hit to avoid doing her any serious harm.

By the time police arrived, the suspects in both vehicles were long gone, but they left plenty of evidence behind. Authorities discovered about a dozen spent shell casings on the pavement, testimony to the ferocity of the fight.

Lunch Lady Denise is the Latest Lying Survivor

Denise Martin earned herself $50,000 with the sob story she told during the Survivor reunion show. Martin had been chided all season by fellow Survivors for her job as a lunch lady and her mullet haircut. And in her final desperate plea for votes Denise said that after Survivor she was going to go back to her life working as a lunch lady for $7 an hour. During the finale Denise said that when she got back home she lost her job as a lunch lady and was cleaning toilets. Producer Mark Burnett gave her $50,000 on the spot to help solve her troubles. Problem is, her story wasn't true. Turns out Denise had been promoted to janitor before she left for Survivor at a 143% increase in salary. After being outed she agreed to donate the money to a charity.

Well Denise is just one of a long list of lying or nasty Survivors who will say anything to get at some of that cash CBS dishes out or dump on other Survivors when they are out of the running. Here is my list of highlights:

Survivor Fiji (2007): Yau-Man, an older and wily Asian guy won a reward challenge that included a $60,000 truck. Yau-Man offered to another Survivor, Dreamz if in exchange Dreamz would give him individual immunity at the final 4 if Dreamz won it. Of course, Dreamz indeed wins immunity and reneges. Yeah what a great guy!

Survivor Borneo (2000): The first Survivor was untested territory but produced the role model for years to come. Richard Hatch was the winner because he had a strategy from day one which involved developing a series of alliances. He did no work at the camp and won no individual challenges. But the highlight was Susan Hawks; "Rats and Snakes" speech at the final Tribal Council. It vividly illustrated how nasty Survivor can get.

Survivor Pearl Island (2003): Jon Dalton gained notoriety on the show when, in a challenge where the contestant's loved ones competed, he had his friend say that his grandmother had died. The lie convinced the others to let him win the challenge; he continued to milk the lie by frequently swearing loyalty on his grandmother's grave. In the reunion show that aired after the season finale, host Jeff Probst did a brief interview with Jon's grandmother, who was not only alive and well, but much younger than many expected. Jon eventually won a fan poll for the title of 'Greatest Survivor Villain Ever.'

Survivor Amazon (2002): Rob Cesternino dominated at the game of Survivor, forming alliances. Rob made it to the final three where he was then voted out. He was declared by Jeff Probst to be "the smartest player to have never won Survivor". Rob's master move in came in Episode 10 when he turned the tables on Alex Bell. He appeared to have a comfortable alliance of four with Alex, Heid Strobel, and Jenna Morasca. However, the night following the last Tribal Council, Alex informed Rob that, once they all got to the Final Four, he and the girls would vote to oust him (unless he won immunity). Rob then used this opportunity to talk with Matthew von Eftfelda the next day, and the two agreed to form a counter alliance with Christy Smith and Butch Lockley. At Tribal Council, the four voted to oust a stunned Alex. Rob's taped confessions were priceless.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

One Hit Wonder

Los Del Rio - Macarena (1996)

This is so wrong

...Lingerie 4 Men

It's SO not what you think


This is funny


Quote of the Year: "Don't Tase me, bro."

And here is the video...

Shakira has a Heart of Gold

Shakira is a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) ambassador who is on a three-day visit to Bangladesh. She has appealed to the world community to help rebuild schools in cyclone-devastated Bangladesh.

Cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh on Nov. 15 with winds of 250 kph and a 5 metre sea surge that battered large parts of the coast. Nearly 3,500 people died and millions have been left homeless. The storm also destroyed crops and infrastructure worth more than $2 billion. It is the worst disaster to hit the impoverished South Asian country since 1991, when a storm killed about 140,000 people.

Shakira is one of those rare artists that has developed a reputation as a generous philanthropist. It's a shame the trampy personalities become the role models.

Baseball's Conspiracy of Silence

You would have to be a fool to believe that major league baseball is really opposed to drugs. They may have anti-drug policies and suspend the occasional player but that's as far as it goes. It's not unlike the NHL's anti-violence policy - a lot of smoke but no fire. And I'm not picking on just baseball. Drug use is pandemic in sports today.

For those that think the Mitchell Report is unfair or untrue, I don't see anyone named trying to clear the name. As the media points out, no one is suing. No managers, trainers or general managers are speaking up. All the players named in the Mitchell Report were approached for their version but either refused to speak to investigators or didn't even respond to requests. This conspiracy of silence is intended to get this thing to just go away.

Homerun and strikeout champions fill seats in stadiums and that's what matters. The fans don't seem to be affected by the stories because baseball attendance is at record highs. It seems drugs have helped the game.

But it's not fair that former stars like Babe Ruth and Roger Maris should have to share the spot light with cheaters. Based on votes in my poll found on the sidebar of this blog, people seem to agree. No one is saying the Hall of Famers are necessarily men of character. The group includes felons, wife beaters, alcoholics and other misfits. But you can't compare them with today's cheaters because it most cases it didn't carry onto the baseball diamond.

I'm sure Roger Clemens will still be voted into the Hall. Others might not make it now, especially if they aren't a sure thing.

Jessica Simpson becomes the NFL's Black Widow

You have to laugh at all the attention going to Jessica Simpson because of one lousy football game played by the Dallas Cowboys. Her publicity starved father hit the mother lode when he introduced Jessica to Tony Romo. Some people are even speculating Joe Simpson is a closet Eagles fan.

Afterall, she's not getting much interest in her films or music right now. And its rumoured that for the right movie role she will agree to full frontal nudity. I guess that might distract people from noticing how bad of an actress she is.

But if the Dallas Cowboys are serious about going after another Super Bowl, Tony Romo should seriously consider introducing his girlfriend to Tom Brady. Nothing else seems to have worked against the Patriots.

Another Update on Toronto's Smallest House

Back in September it looked like 128 Day Avenue in the Dufferin and Rogers area was going to sell. Well the offers didn't work out and the house is still on the market.

The entire place has a living area of just 300 square feet and was never meant to actually be a home at all. It was built in 1912 when the city approved a laneway for the property as a driveway for a neighbouring home. But when City Hall didn't cut the curb, the owner decided to put up a home there using the existing space.
It has its own personalized website, where you can take a mini-tour of the compact quarters. The home was purchased in April by David Blois who renovated and listed it in the Fall for $189,800. The asking price is now $173,000, cheap for a detached bungalow in the city. I think its a bargain but not much living space.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Canadian Polticial Polls

Here are the latest numbers from Strategic Counsel.

Conservatives: 32 per cent (-2)
Liberals: 29 per cent (-2)
NDP: 16 per cent (same)
Green Party: 13 per cent (+5)
Bloc Quebecois: 10 per cent (-1)

Here are the latest numbers from Harris-Decima.

Conservatives: 30 per cent
Liberals: 32 per cent
NDP: 15 per cent
Green Party: 12 per cent

The polls show the Green Party just trailing the NDP. Oh yes, the Liberals and Conservative are pretty much in a dead heat again. This would be the post-Bali effect as voters are reminded that the Conservative party is not a green as the public would like.

I don't get this Huckabee ad

Jamie Lynn Spears: Another Great Role Model

Jamie Lynn Spears, 16, has confirmed to OK! Magazine that she is pregnant. According to Spears, the father is Casey Aldridge, who she has been dating for some time and first met at church.

Yes, Jamie Lynn is another great role model just like her sister. U.S. health officials released a study saying the birth rate for teenagers increased in 2006 for the first time since 1991. The rate for females age 15 to 19 years-old rose by 3 percent from the year before. So this is just the time of publicity that public health officials are not looking for. Children raising children is not a good thing.

And why is her 19 year old boyfriend not in jail? I'm sure there are plenty of 19 year old guys in Louisiana in jail for sleeping with 16 year olds. But felony carnal knowledge laws are applied to the poor and not the rich.

Israeli Police Ready for Christian Crazies

The police set up a unit in Jerusalem to deal with the minority of tourists each year who believe they are characters from the Bible, and hospitals have special wards to treat wayward travelers.

The phenomenon is known as the Jerusalem Syndrome, though psychiatrists disagree whether it can affect otherwise healthy people, or causes only those predisposed to psychoses to believe they have seen the Messiah.

Between 30 and 40 tourists each year are admitted to hospital for similar behavior, said Dr. Gregory Katz, head of the emergency unit at Givat Shaul Mental Health Centre. Of those, only a few are diagnosed with "true" Jerusalem Syndrome.

Just last week, the Western Wall in the Old City apparently proved so overwhelming for a young woman in her 20s that she stripped naked and lay on the group, muttering “the holy temple, the holy temple” and “it is all from God” while pointing at the sky. She was later sent to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Santa Fired On

Not even Santa Claus is safe as the violent Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro celebrates the Christmas season. First a story about Santa being groped and now one about a Santa being shot at.

Drug traffickers in a Rio slum opened fire on a helicopter carrying a Santa to a children's party, apparently mistaking it for a police helicopter. Not everyone is in a holiday spirit quite yet.

Here We Go Again, GTA Gas Shortage

A number of gas stations in the GTA are out of fuel, apparently due to the big storm this weekend and not because of issues with refineries. The oil companies are scrambling to resupply stations.

My crystal ball says a big hike in gas prices coming right before the holidays. Bah, humbug!

Canadian Islamic Congress vs. Maclean's magazine

The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) is taking Maclean's magazine to a human rights commission because the magazine refused to print a five-page letter to the editor in response to an article the CIC didn't like. The article in question discussed the demographic rise of Islam in the West.

So the CIC is essentially suggesting that censorship is violation of human rights. Which sounds like a stretch but The National Post suggests that commissions are full of activists so their complaint may have some legs. The Post indicates that attempts by the CIC to sue the media using defamation laws have failed. Canada's hate laws have only succeeded in extreme cases of incitement. So since civil lawsuits and criminal charges aren't the answer, how about human rights tribunals? However, I'm pretty sure there is protection for the media in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which will likely be the defense used by Maclean's lawyers.

It's a case that the media will be closely following.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa is Sexually Assaulted

You occasional hear about creepy Santa Clause but when have you encountered Santa getting groped? A 33-year-old woman was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault after allegedly groping a mall Santa Claus. I have no idea what fourth degree sexual assault is but I'm guessing you won't be doing a long stretch of hard time.

The mall Santa called police to complain that the woman touched him inappropriately while sitting on his lap. The woman claims she was nice. The Santa said she was naughty. Who are you going to believe.

Canada, eh? has its 50,000th visitor!

The 50,000th visitor to Canada, eh? was from Hyderabad, India. This was the page that was visited. The visitor happened to be googling for pictures of Elizabeth Shue.

Jacko is More Wacko

Michael Jackson was observed in Las Vegas with face heavily bandaged. More plastic surgery, a disguise, or avoiding germs - who knows?

Very sad. At one time the world's top selling artist, today the world's leading freak.

TTC Subway/RT Service Disruptions

The new TTC web page actually works as I discovered today. But not quite enough information. It would be helpful if the TTC provded an estimate of when they thought the system would be up and running again.

Subway/RT Service Disruption Notice: Tuesday December 18, 2007

A section of the Bloor-Danforth Subway service is currently shut down from Victoria Park Station to Kennedy Station. Shuttle buses are in service.

Monster HDMI Cable Scam

I found this article regarding Monster HDMI cables and thought it is worth passing on to others. I've bee highly suspicious of claims by sales people regarding the cables and kept to the low end ones. I can't see buying cables that sometimes cost more than the device you are hooking them up to.

The article states that electronically there is no difference between inexpensive HDMI cables that sell for $20 and nitrogen infused gold tipped Monster cables. If you are in the market to buy new equipment and cables, do some research and don't listen to the Big Box sales staff.

Arrest Made In Mississauga Mansion Murder Case

Police have arrested a labourer from Ecuador in the killing of a Mississauga housekeeper in October. Jocelyn Dulnuan was found dead in her living quarters at a mansion on Doulton Place on Oct. 1.

Cristian Figueroa, 35, appeared in a Brampton court today charged with first-degree murder. He had been living in Toronto but was planning to leave for South America in a few days according to police. That would explain why the arrest and charges have occured now.

Detectives spent 11 weeks investigating the case and interviewed more than 100 people. Police believe robbery was the motive.

More arrests are expected.

I love football played in snow storms

Saudi Justice

Interesting how the justice system in Islamic countries is so harsh on women. Following the teddy bear Muhammad blasphemy case in Sudan where a British woman was to face 40 lashes but finally only jailed for a number of days, the recent Saudi rape case is just as compelling.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has recently pardoned a woman who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail for being alone with an unrelated man. She was originally sentenced to 90 lashes but appealed and as a result her sentence was increased. As well, the men who caught her viciously gang raped her. But they did not get away with their crime because they were each sentenced to 2 to 9 years in prison.

The Justice Minister noted, however, that the king "is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair," and hence this was a particularly magnanimous gesture on his part. A system that punishes people that challenges sentences would never be called compassionate.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This is why Hillary is sliding downhill

It's an excerpt from a TV interview. She responded to every question, but didn't say a single thing. It may speak volumes why her campaign is faltering. The exchange too place on The Today Show.

GREGORY: So, Senator, if people look at the last six weeks and they might question how Hillary Clinton responds to a crisis or how she handles pressure and they might point to the fact that you complained about the all boys network of presidential politics in the wake of the Philadelphia debate, they would see your husband complaining about media coverage of you, they'd see your campaign raise the past drug issue and use by Barack Obama or questioned him for his ambition, and they might say, well, this is really what we don't like about politics. Is that fair?
CLINTON: Well, i don't think that's at all an accurate representation of my campaign. You know, campaigns are like life. You know, some days are perfect. Some days aren't. But what really matters is where you're headed, what you do when you suffer some kind of, you know, problem, how you put yourself back on track and, you know, I've been doing this a long time.
GREGORY: I'm sorry. You said that was unfair. You dispute those were how you handled things in the wake of hitting that rough patch?
CLINTON: I'm going to let voters decide that, not the press. I'm going to let voters make up their minds. what I see happening here and across the country is voters are responding very positively to my campaign. I'm a proven leader. That's what The Des Moines Register said, what a lot of my supporters say.
GREGORY: Let's talk about a key issue you raise on the campaign trail, that's your experience. It was your husband, the former president, that said Barack Obama as president would be "rolling the dice" with america's future. Assuming you agree with that, let's be clear. an Obama presidency is a risk to what? America's national security, America's economic health? What precisely?
CLINTON: Well, i would ask people to read the Des Moines Register editorial. Basically what they said is we need a proven leader. We have tough times.
GREGORY: What does it mean? We know what The Register said.
CLINTON: I think that's one of the principal cases for my candidacy. If you want to know what changes I'll make, look at the changes I've already made. Everybody talks about change. Everybody talks about change in this campaign. Some people think you get change by demanding it. Some think you get it by hoping for it. I think you get it by doing really hard work. That's what I've done.
GREGORY: Senator Clinton, you're not answering the question. Your husband said it would be "rolling the dice" for America's future if he were elected. What's the risk to America if Barack Obama is the president?
CLINTON: [Pause] You know, he not only said that, but the Des Moines Register editorial implied that.
GREGORY: So you're choosing not to answer that question. let me ask you another issue --
CLINTON: No, I'm -- no, wait a minute. I'm making the case for my candidacy. I'm very happy that I have -- I have strong supporters and I have editorial support. Well, you know, I think that voters will have to judge us, and that's what I welcome. I invite people to do that.

Just Say Yes!

Canada isn't the only country with language controversies

It seems Alizee Poulicek, Miss Belgium, doesn't speak Dutch. She speaks Czech, French and English, but not Dutch. Dutch is the language spoken by Belgium's Flemish majority.

She was booed by the audience when she failed to respond to questions in Dutch before being crowned Miss Belgium at the weekend in Antwerp, in Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north of Belgium.

In fact there has been a political crisis that has lasted almost 200 days in Belgium over more autonomy for the Flemish. The controversy illustrates the deep divisions in a country where tension between the Dutch-speaking Flemish and francophone Walloons has prevented the formation of a government since national elections on June 10. In a bid to end the crisis, Belgium's King Albert II has asked the caretaker prime minister, Guy Verhofstadt, to form an interim government.

And we Canadians thought this only happened in Canada.

There is too much alcohol consumption around the holidays

Annual Santa Speedo Run in Boston.

Blizzard of 2007 Update

  • Not sure how much snow fell yesterday but it has to be close to 30 cm (12 in). The storm hit the GTA unevenly and Environment Canada says about 30 cm fell in Riverdale, but just 23 cm in Markham and 18 cm at Pearson airport.
  • GO Train delays were up to an hour this morning. Transit crews were out clearing snow from tracks and switches throughout the morning. In the afternoon, GO buses still had 20 minute delays.
  • At Pearson International Airport, 397 flights were cancelled. They still dealing with the backlog in processing fliers.
  • Most main streets this morning had one lane clear and one lane pretty snowy.
  • A multi-vehicle crash shut down the southbound lanes of Highway 400 approaching Hwy 88 mid morning on Monday. As many as 15 vehicles were involved, including up to three tractor trailers.
  • Paramedics across the city answered 650 calls on Sunday, mainly people falling on icy streets but some for shoveling-related heart problems.
  • On the weekend of the first major snowstorm in Ontario, provincial police responded to 1,650 crashes. Some 800 accidents were reported in the Greater Toronto Area, with 300 in Toronto.
  • A woman was killed by a snowplow on the 401 when she pulled off the highway to fix a wiper on her van. Her kids sitting in the van witnessed it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Steroids? - Yes or No?

Babe Ruth
No, that's just baby fat

Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte
Yes, Yes

Barry Bonds

Definite Yes

Ron Guidry


Mark McGwire

Hmm, that's what Andro does? It's a Yes.

Roger Maris

Blizzard of 1999

If you remember that blizzard that hit January 2-4, 1999. We had about 40 cm (16 inches) and Mayor Mel Lastman called in the army. The rest of the country has been laughing at Toronto ever since.

Happy Festivus (for those who celebrate)

I love Brooke Hogan's blue and pink runners

...that was the first thing you noticed, right?

Unfortunate Business Names

Both Kids Exchange and Kid Sex Change are just not right.

WTF is with that acronym?

Would never want to work for a boring company.

Doesn't sound too inviting.

One Hit Wonder

Nena - 99 Luftballons (1984)

My Snowblower and I have become neighbourhood celebrities

About 12 inches of the white stuff in Toronto and still coming down.

Umm...maybe something was lost in the translation

I'm thinking Mike Huckabee looks a lot like Gomer Pyle

Presidential Candidate

Gomer Pyle before he joined that Marines

Tonya Harding in the news again

But this time the trailer trash on ice hasn't done anything wrong. Her former bodyguard Brian Sean Griffith just died. He was 40.

Formerly Shawn Eckardt, Griffith served 14 months for his role in the 1994 attack on Harding's Olympic rival, Nancy Kerrigan. He was Harding's bodyguard when she competed for a spot on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team in 1994. That January, a club-wielding assailant hit Kerrigan in the knee, forcing her out of the competition. It was Griffith.

The last we had heard from Ms Harding she had been acting quite weird. But you can still catch in a boxing ring somewhere. The last thing she needs is more blows to the head.