Friday, January 24, 2014


Charles Lane of the Washington Post feels that the Olympic Games should be terminated -- I agree.

There is so much corruption and huge financial costs involved with staging the it-was-a-good-idea event, and I have never believed that countries and cities actually benefit from hosting the Summer or Winter Olympics; what ends up happening is the complexes built for various events end up under-utilized once everyone goes home, and in the worst cases, those assemblages end up as veritable ghost-towns.

I remember hearing during the 1976 Olympics that 'Montreal will end up paying for this for twenty years'. When you're a kid, that time frame is unfathomable. Let's not even get into the issue of the "Big O" (or "Big Owe").

Let's not forget that very often the Olympics are heavily politicized: The athletes must feel at times as though they are pucks in a shuffleboard game.

And here comes Sochi....

It should be game over for the Olympics

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


A few months back I amused myself by mocking right-wing scribes on the Toronto Sun website comment boards: Click back to February 28th, 2013, here.

Just when I thought it was safe for me to go back to those infamous columns of simplicity, I see this priceless clanger written in response -- as an insult, I reckon -- to someone's comment...

"Wish you would lard arse!"

I think what the aspiring author meant to say was this...

"Wish you wood lard arse!"

While some folk eat junk food in order to feel good all over, I occasionally go to the Toronto Sun comment boards. They are delicious, if not bad for you -- high in empty calories.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Last evening, for a break, I thought I would pop in a film; since I'm a bit of an aviation fan, my choice was Red Tails.

No comment, other than the fact that I turned it off just 15.7 minutes into the film. What a piece of junk. (I guess that's a comment, even an editorial.)

Hint: CGI BS

The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is a great one, but don't trust G.W. Lucas and his mindless techs at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) to make something which honours those flyers...

Now I want to see the HBO television movie from 1995, The Tuskegee Airmen.


As Mr. Spock said in the Star Trek episode, actor Jason Alexander's favourite episode, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", change is the essential process of all existence; but, I have to ask: What is happening to Toronto?

The Global Village Backpackers hostel (formerly the Spadina Hotel) is closing its doors today -- yes, today. (I wrote this yesterday but failed to upload until today, Tuesday.) Talk about short notice. There must be a good reason why.

Anyway, another interesting place in the great (formerly "great"?) city of Toronto bites the dust; in this case, the dust laden smog from the intersection of King Street W and Spadina Avenue.

Hmm, I wonder if a condo is going to go up there. King Street suffers the malady, Condo Bacteria.

Toronto Star...
Hostel closes doors in historic Toronto building at King and Spadina
Global Village Backpackers posts message saying closure due to 'unforeseen circumstances'

Saturday, January 18, 2014


"I think it'd be best you took that comment back, Mr. Okmyx...."

Entertainment columnist for the Toronto Sun, Steve Tilley, is trying to be funny, I know, but what he says about the new Star Wars film, I agree with: Specifically I'm in tune with his feelings that J.J. Abrams and Co (Disney!) should move on in the Star Wars Universe, and not bring back Han, Luke, and Leia...

Why adding Luke, Leia and Han to 'Star Wars 7' could be a bad thing

Tilley's feeble smark about Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill not having leading roles in a motion picture in years, is ridiculous; those actors were perfect as Leia and Luke, after all... no question. Also, Mr. Tilley should not "care" too much about these characters. They are from a movie -- they do not exist in reality. However, I'm happy to hear that he is able to let them go. But, again, I agree with the columnist in that, no, 'no more of the same, please'. I doubt I'll see Star Wars No 7, and it is only a movie, but: Please.

I've blogged about this issue before (if you care, do a search within this blog), and my feelings have not changed in the matter: No more Han, Luke, Leia, or Chewbacca; no more Millennium Falcon; no more Tatooine; no more C-3PO, no more R2 units of any kind.

"... How rude!"

Do something else.

There's a whole universe out there, waiting to be explored!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

RUSSELL JOHNSON (1924 - 2014)

Late this afternoon I read the news that veteran character actor Russell Johnson passed away. Best known for playing "the Professor" ('real' name: Roy Hinkley) on the ever brilliant 1960s television series Gilligan's Island, Mr Johnson had been a journeyman actor for years before landing the role which would give him immortality.

Before he was an actor Johnson had a role in WW2 as a Bombardier/gunner on B-25 "Mitchell" bombers in the Pacific theatre. It was on this aircraft that he and his crew were shot down while on a bombing run. He recounted this and other interesting stories in his autobiographical book "Here on Gilligan's Island"; which I read back in 1993 and was very entertained. I remember he spoke very highly of "Bobby" Denver.

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) website story on the passing of Russell Johnson...

Russell Johnson, 'the Professor' from Gilligan's Island, dies at 89


The closing of bookstores in Toronto, as in many other cities and towns, is almost of epidemic proportions, so it was no surprise to me when I read this headline minutes ago...

Book City’s flagship Annex store to close after almost 40 years

"Do I really want to read this?" I did and understood the reasons -- often rationally practical -- why Book City owner Frans Donker wants to call it quits with the Annex store's location (501 Bloor St. W.) nearing the end of its lease.

The good news is there are still three other Book City locations in Toronto, managed by Donker's son Ian; but, to me, the Annex one is special -- in addition it was the small chain's flagship store. For years, decades even, I've made regular trips there and have bought more than a few books. And I find it interesting that I remember which books on my shelf came from that shop (including "The Destruction of the Bismarck", by David J. Bercuson and Holger H. Herwig), and also the fact that that Book City's interior paint scheme -- mellow yellow -- has not changed at all in years... but in a good way.

It has character.

I'm sure we'll get yet another sushi place once the Annex Book City closes its doors.

I love sushi; but....

The Toronto Star article...


That title above should not give you the impression that I think "most" kids are not well-adjusted. However, every so often I bump into young men from Royal St. George's College, a private boys school here in Toronto's "Annex" neighbourhood. They go about their business in a very civilized manner, chatting about this and that, and walking with the air of confident people who know how to behave and act in public, in addition to knowing where they are going in life.

This does not make me feel insecure about my own time when I was that age (7 to 18?) -- I seem to remember having a hard time learning how to walk fully erect, and remembering to refrain from dragging the backs of my hands along the pavement -- but seeing these well-behaved young men gives me hope for the future of this great country of Canada. Of course, I am well aware that they generally come from privilege (that is a pricey private school) and there is some pressure to continue the family tradition; complete with the inherent ideas and ideals of leadership and success.

I was happy if I made it through the school day. And now I'm paying for it....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


A friend of mine who's a U.F.C. fan told me to go to the Toronto Sun website right away! Waste no time!

He made it a little easier for me by supplying a link to something interesting: A story on the suicide of Brazilian fighter Mauricio Zingano (sad news, of course)...

Husband of UFC's Cat Zingano reportedly commits suicide
Brazilian fighter Mauricio Zingano found dead in Colorado

Contained within the piece is this poll question...

Do you watch the femail UFC division?

* Yes
* No

Now, my regular readers know how I like to knock the brain-dead Toronto Sun and Sun News Network (and their dim-witted faithful), so it should be no surprise to them that the above quickly reminded me of one of my most popular posts: From April 10, 2013...


P.S. - I wonder if the "Toronto Sun Web Teem" will get around to fixing that poll question spelling error. Maybe they don't know about it, in more ways than one. "I don't see the problem..."

Don't ask Sun Media; they wouldn't know.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Last summer while I was skimming through a book on film and television producer Irwin Allen, I had a sobering moment; there was a passage in Irwin Allen Television Productions, 1964 - 1970 (by Jon Abbott) which caught my eye, so much so that I felt compelled to copy that section of text into my little notebook. A few days ago I stumbled upon the entry. "It" is referring to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea or Lost in Space; I did not make a note of which 1960s telefantasy series it was that the article was referring to at this point. But, we get it...

"It still stands up as good entertainment in its own right, and Allen's shows come from an age when science-fiction and fantasy television shows were watched by everyone, not just an elite clique of enthusiasts."

Friday, January 10, 2014


Last night I posted a piece (here) mentioning Toronto radio station AM740 "Zoomer radio" and their series "Theatre of the Mind". An old NBC radio show they play is A Day in the Life of Dennis Day. Well, the one I listened to last night was titled "Football Plays".

At one point during my listen I heard, at least I think I did, one of the characters say "I wanna listen to Jack Palance and sports". I thought: "Did I just hear Jack Palance's name mentioned?" I tuned-in even more closely as the program's characters listened to the sports: That does sound like a young Jack Palance.

I have not researched the issue, but it would make sense that that was indeed Jack Palance since he did get into acting shortly after the war -- this episode was from 1948.

When I get a few minutes I research further....

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I'm relaxing at home here watching a terrific DVD set titled "American Film Treasures IV Avant Garde 1947-1986". After watching a few inspiring experimental films, I decided to check the final score of the NHL game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs: Carolina 6 - Toronto 1.


The hapless Leafs have lost three in a row: 7-1, 5-3, 6-1.


I took a break and popped on the radio to AM640 News Talk Radio; they do post game phone-in shows; I can revel in the heartbreak from the callers. The host of the show, Andy Frost, said: "Something has to change... it's not just the fact they lost; it's the way they lost."

Oh, I must not forget to tune in to AM740 for their "Theatre of the Mind"; Sherlock Holmes is what it is -- I've never been big on detective murder-mystery thingies -- but A Day in the Life of Dennis Day is very funny. "With George Duning and the orchestra"?


I'm working on a small backlog of postings. Stay tuned to this station....