Saturday, May 31, 2008

Harvey Korman is Dead at 81

Harvey Korman, the tall, versatile comedian who won four Emmys for his outrageously funny contributions to "The Carol Burnett Show" and played a conniving politician to hilarious effect in "Blazing Saddles," died Thursday. He was 81.

Woman lived undetected in man's closet for a year

A homeless woman in Japan was recently busted by the police for trespassing after the man who had been unknowingly harboring her began to notice that food was disappearing from his kitchen. To discover the source of the problem, he had security cameras installed that transmitted images to his cellphone. It wasn't long before the cameras captured someone moving in his home, so he called the police who proceeded to thoroughly search the premises. They eventually found a woman cowering in the closet who later revealed that she had been living there for a year.

If that wasn't enough, the woman even placed a futon she found in the closet and took regular showers. So what is the deal here? Is this guy's house and closet so big that he simply never ran into her? Or his he just unobservant? Either way, I would have the police comb the area one more time. He could have a whole freakin' village tucked away in there.

Earthquake Live on TV

Must be tough to pick one out

How can you take these robbers seriously

Police in Colorado were searching Thursday for two men believed to have robbed a gas station wearing brightly-colored women's thong underwear over their faces.

The suspects entered the business with the thongs over their faces and demanded cash from the clerk on duty, according to police.

Lost longer lost

This week a "lost" Indian tribe was found in Brazil. Probably they're remnants of a larger tribe that has been pushed back by settlement and development. Brazil's Indian Protection Agency has pointed out that "in 508 years of history, out of the thousands of tribes that exist none have adapted well to society in Brazil." The Indian population, which numbered 5 million before Europeans came, is around 350,000 now. The photos are dramatic and exciting, and it is kind of thrilling to think that there are still people out there who don't have any contact with modern society. But, sadly, having been discovered this is probably the beginning of the end for them. That's just the sweep of history.

The pictures, released by the Brazilian government's National Indian Foundation showed alarmed natives pointing bows and arrows at the aircraft carrying photographers.

Friday, May 30, 2008

This is just plain silly

Dunkin' Donuts caved to right wing pressure and pulled an ad in which Rachael Ray is wearing a scarf that Michelle Malkin and other idiots want to be a keffiyeh, an Arab headdress. I can't tell you how many ways this is disturbing. We have people up in arms over anything remotely Arab is somehow a symbol of terrorism. The idea that an outfit has some kind of pro-terrorist connection to it is outrageously silly.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

There is something fishy about the Bernier-Coulliard affair

Too many things aren't adding up in the latest Conservative scandal. Here is my understanding of what has happened.

Maxime Bernier was appointed to the high-profile responsibilities of the foreign affairs portfolio in August 2007 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He shows up at the swearing in ceremony with a woman Julie Coulliard who people couldn't help but notice by the generous amount of cleavage that she had on display. After a little digging it comes out that Couillard had links to bikers and organized crime. Not good company for a high ranking Cabinet minister. They later break up. The Prime Minister when questioned suggests that his relationship is a private matter. This week Bernier resigns from Cabinet because of an apparent security breach. We are led to believe that he left some government documents as Coulliard's home. It turns out it was an entire confidential briefing binder which includes information on Afghanistan. Coulliard had the binder for 5 weeks before turning it over to her lawyer. In an interview she makes some bizarre claims including being approached to run for Parliament and discovering her bedroom had been bugged. She was quite upset about the entire experience.

So much makes no sense. Why would the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) allow a binder to be out for 5 weeks? Why did Coulliard wait 5 weeks before trying to return it? Why did she give it to a lawyer rather than call Bernier to inform him that he had left it there? So here is my take on this sordid affair.

Obviously the Prime Minister and his staff noticed Ms. Coulliard when she accompanied Bernier to the swearing in ceremony. When PMO staff determined who this woman was, they were likely abhorred. I suspect the PMO advised Bernier to end the relationship for obvious reasons. When Bernier split up with Coulliard I suspect she was quite angry. When she discovered he left a briefing binder at her place she just hung on to it instead of returning it. When she figured she had gotten him in enough trouble she handed it over to her lawyer,

This is what is meant by 'throws like a girl'

Nintendo Wii Hula Dancing seems interesting

Eveready Bunny is Toast

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

National Hurricane Preparedness Week

The President of the United States of America has proclaimed May 25 through May 31, 2008, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The President calls upon government agencies, private organizations, schools, and the media to share information about hurricane preparedness. He also urges all Americans living in vulnerable coastal areas to take appropriate measures and precautions to protect themselves, their homes, and their communities against the effects of hurricanes.

We Have Ourselves a Recession - Spam Sales are Up

Sales of Spam _ that much maligned meat _ are rising as consumers are turning more to lunch meats and other lower-cost foods to extend their already stretched food budgets.

Spam's maker, Hormel Foods Corp., reported last week that it saw strong sales of Spam in the second quarter, helping push up its profits 14 percent. According to sales information coming from Hormel, provided by The Nielsen Co., Spam sales were up 10.6 percent in the 12-week period ending May 3, compared to last year. In the last 24 weeks, sales were up nearly 9 percent.

One of the Best Ceremonial Pitches in the History of Ever

Black Bear Captured in the Suburbs

Police have captured an adult male black bear in the Toronto suburb of Pickering.

Reports of a bear on the loose first surfaced Tuesday but officers could not locate the animal.

On Wednesday, police received calls about a bear running across the street and roaming in people's backyards.

Officers were able to lead the animal into a ravine where officials with Ontario's "Bear Wise" program tranquillized it.

No truth to the rumour the bear was syphon gas for his SUV.

Woman Dies in Iron Lung After Power Failure

The family of a Tennessee woman who spent more than 50 years in an iron lung says she has died after a power failure shut down the machine that kept her breathing.

Dianne Odell died early Wednesday. The 61-year-old had been confined to the 7-foot-long machine since she was stricken by polio at 3 years old. I did a post on Odell last year because it appears no one had ever survived as long as she had in an iron lung.

Kinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel

Klinker Brick Zinfandel has to be one of my favourite wines. Klinker Brick is a small family owned winery in Lodi, California that only makes old vine Zinfandel and Syrah wines. The vines are about 100 years old.

Vintages at the LCBO brings in a few hundred cases only once every few years. The May 24th Vintages release included the 2005 Zinfandel which also has to be one of their best years. The LCBO bought 570 cases and I grabbed 2 of them. They won't be around for long.

So what's going to be fashionable this summer?

Flinstones Get Busted in Brussels

"Fred and Wilma Flintstone" were arrested as they approached the European Parliament on Monday to protest about the influence of the auto industry on proposals to curb carbon dioxide emissions from cars.

Six Greenpeace activists dressed as cavemen and travelling in a Flintstones-style vehicle were detained along with three others for public order offences, police said.

Hayden Panettiere Likes the Stanley Cup

...she looks like a Penguin fan though.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So Julie Couillard Thought Bikers Were Tough

Well she now knows that the Hell's Angels are wimps when compared to the Parliament Hill press corps.

Maxime Bernier's ex-girlfriend said her relationship with the former foreign affairs minister has left her "destroyed" and "humiliated as a woman."

Julie Couillard revealed the details in an interview with the French-language TVA network that aired just hours after Bernier submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday.

Couillard dated Gilles Giguere, a Montreal crime figure, and she was also married to Stephane Sirois -- a member of the Rockers. But she claims that her high-profile relationship with Bernier has "destroyed my life."

The former model and aspiring actress also explained why she wore a controversial low-cut dress to Bernier's swearing-in ceremony in August 2007.

"Literally the next day I knew I should've listened to my gut feeling and not worn that dress,'' she said. "(I felt) used. Because then I saw the reaction of Maxime and all the press it brought him. He didn't even hide the fact that was exactly what he wanted to do.''

Couillard said Bernier told her at the start of their courtship that even if things didn't work out "publicly speaking it was a year mandate."

He apparently told her:

"I can't switch girlfriends like I change shirts, so you have to be my official girlfriend for at least a year, in spite of what might happen between us."

Also during the interview Couillard said experts examined her home and determined her home was under surveillance and the activities within the four walls were being tape recorded. She said she had her home checked after her burglar alarm behaved oddly and she was told a microphone had been placed in the boxspring of her bed.

Bernier is done so back to the Helena Guergis Irrelevancy Watch

So a Cabinet shuffle may be in order so will Prime Minister Harper use this opportunity to either demote or drop junior Foreign Affairs Minister Helena Guergis, who has not been seen to have been effective, especially on the Brenda Martin file. She hasn't been seen in question period in a while. Too busy ducking TV crews no doubt or wedding plans.

Meanwhile the Hon. Helena Guergis is attending the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank meetings in Halifax. Government press releases state that she will be playing a prominent role. Whatever that means.

LCBO Banning Plastic Bags

The LCBO will no longer give out plastic bags. On the one hand, this is right for the environment and all, but on the other hand, LCBO plastic bags were really goddamn good plastic bags. The bags from Loblaws are so thin a had of lettuce will rip them.

Customers are being encouraged to bring their own bags or buy a reusable bag. Stores will still provide paper bags or cardboard boxes.

Sacrifice for Mother Earth!

Mug Shot of the Week - Memorial Day Edition

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sydney Pollack, Film Director, Dies at 73

Pollack directed and played Dustin Hoffman's agent in Tootsie.

Blue Jays putting together a decent May

After a dismal April when the Jays dropped to 13th overall in the AL, the pitching has kept the team in most games in May. An occasion timely hit doesn't hurt either. Now they are 6th overall but 3.5 games out of the wildcar spot.

Today the Blue Jays swept the Royals which gives them 3 sweeps in the month of May (White Sox and Twins). Stellar pitching is what has made it happen. The team ERA is 3.49 which is good for 3rd in the AL. A decent leadoff hitter (like Reed Johnson) and cleanup hitter (hmm maybe Frank Thomas) and the Jays could be contending.

But what do I know.

Canada's Wonderland can be tough on bladders

Patrons of Canada's largest amusement park, just north of Toronto, are taking issue with the venue's inflexible zero-tolerance policy on line jumping, which is leaving throats parched and testing the limits of visitors' bladders.

The park's policy broadly defines line jumping to include leaving the line and attempting to re-enter it. "This includes using the restroom facilities or to purchase food or drinks," the policy states, emphasizing that saving spots "is simply not permitted" and those who leave forfeit their place "no matter what the reason."

But some visitors say that increasingly lengthy waiting times for rides, exacerbated by temporary ride closings, are creating unreasonable conditions. A recent guest joined the queue for the Behemoth, a gargantuan new roller coaster, but three hours and two mechanical failures later, the ride was still stalled and the front of the line remained distant. He found himself desperately in need of a restroom and ducked out.

When he returned to join his wife, a ride supervisor told him he should have "held it in" and must now join the back of the line. A pair of security guards then arrived to escort him there. He said several other patrons vouched for his presence, and pleaded for him to be allowed to stay, but the guards refused to relent.

Yesterday was supposed to be Frank Tomas Bobblehead Day

Yesterday was supposed to be Frank Thomas Bobblehead Day at the Rogers Centre. Instead, the Toronto Blue Jays handed out blue tote bags, courtesy of the Ontario Power Authority.

Speaking of power, Thomas is beginning to show some for Oakland.When he left Toronto, he was batting .167 with three homers and 11 RBIs. He had played 16 games, and had RBIs in five of them.

Since rejoining the A's, Thomas is batting .306 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 26 games. His on-base percentage is .412. He is hitting .339 in May.

Thomas's various replacements at designated hitter have combined to hit .252 with three homers and 12 RBIs over 31 games in which the Jays have used a DH.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dick Martin Dies at Age 86

Dick Martin and his partner Dan Rowan ruled prime time TV in the early 70s. I never missed their unique brand of comedy.

How to fold a shirt?

This can't be the right way to fold a shirt but the results look alright.