Thursday, July 31, 2014


The Star Trek episode "Amok Time" is first rate: The script (Theodore Sturgeon, and the Trek office writing brigade); direction (Joseph Pevney); acting; set (Walter M. Jefferies); costumes (William Ware Theiss); and music score (Gerald Fried).

After a drawn-out scripting phase, the episode went before the cameras on June 9th, 1967, and shooting continued to the 19th. The attention to detail was worth the effort: "Amok Time" was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1968 as "Best Dramatic Presentation". (It lost to another Trek episode, the incomparable "The City on the Edge of Forever". As a matter of fact, all five Hugo nominations in 1968 were from that series!... back in the day when feature films and television series' were bundled into the same category of "Best Dramatic Presentation". Now, and it's been this way for a while, there are separate departments.)

Here's a frame-grab from 8mm movie film shot on the set of "Amok Time"...

And a still (it could be frame from the 35mm original; a "trim")...


Fans of the NFL (National Football League) are no doubt monitoring a possible big league transaction. John Kryk, of the QMI Agency, explains...

Toronto group can't match Pegula's first bid on Bills: Sources

As I noted yesterday (here) the Buffalo Bills football franchise is up for grabs. Three parties submitted their numbers as part of the first round in the bidding process: Donald Trump; Jon Bon Jovi and his Merry Toronto Men; and multi-billionaire Terry Pegula.

It looks as though Pegula has very deep pockets; so much so that apparently he can write a cheque for the full amount -- which favours his bid, according to history. From the above Toronto Sun column...

"Fourteen of the past 15 new NFL owners over the past two decades were rich enough to write a cheque for the entire sale amount, whether they had co-investors or not, according to pro-sports-franchise expert Marc Ganis."

My own bid would be for one dollar (U.S.) but that's as far as I'll go on this issue. Toronto does not need the Buffalo Bills, or any NFL franchise, and certainly not tailgate parties.

The Bills belong in Buffalo; they have a history there.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


A friend of mine occasionally uses Youtube to provide the soundtrack of his life. Actually, when he works at home he'll call up a music file on that site in order to provide background music while he plies his trade. He favours film music; I wasn't kidding about a "soundtrack".

I've been slow to do anything like that, although I will, as my regular readers have noticed, check-out music performances or cuts on Youtube and post them on this blog. Since I have a significant music collection at home -- many LPs (in boxes) and about 300 CDs -- my music source tends to be within easy reach.

About a year ago another friend suggested that this disco fan look on Youtube to satiate my need for that wonderful music. Well, last week I did just that and downloaded a 90 minute 'disco mix'.

As I'm prone to say at times, "absolutely wonderful!"

I've been meaning to find my bliss in life. Her name is "Disco".


"... to Toronto? You're kidding, right?"
Three bids have been filed in an attempt to capture the Buffalo Bills NFL football property. One of them was submitted by some guy named Donald Trump (there's a building in downtown Toronto named after him... he must be big).

The other filing which interests Toronto City Dwellers like me, is from former popper Jon Bon Jovi and a "Toronto-based group".

Can Toronto really support a National Football League team? (A friend told me that more than a few players in that league are in possession of a criminal record, which would stop them cold at the Canadian border. How would games be played?) Part of an NFL game, so I've heard, is the "tailgate party". Sounds exciting. Apparently these are not allowed in Toronto; and that, to me, sounds like a good law.

Now, this is interesting...

Hall of Famer Andre Reed is not fan of Jon Bon Jovi buying the Bills


Imagine the expression on my face when I heard something special...

In order to hear the news headlines this morning, Toronto radio station 680 News was on my personal listening device; newsreader Paul Cook -- remember that he does not write his copy -- said something along the lines of, "the Toronto Maple Leafs look to be starting next season in balanced shape". The station's sports guy, Peter Gross, picked the story up immediately from that point; he proceeded to explain the Leafs management's behind-the-scenes machinations to improve the actual ice men. (Really what the front office guys should be doing is improving themselves.)

So... as I like to say at opportune times such as this... I guess this means things will be different next year for the Boys in Blue (the Leafs).

For you readers who don't understand the 'Story of the Toronto Maple Leafs', we Torontonians, and fans of that squad -- there are some, believe it or not -- hear the same bleedin' thing: Every; year.

Monday, July 28, 2014


"Do I really want to put devilish music on my blog on a Sunday morning?", I asked myself this time yesterday.

No. Some people might be offended, even if the music is from a movie.

The Omen, a classic horror film directed by Richard Donner and released in 1976, features a brilliant score by composer Jerry Goldsmith. (It won him his one and only Oscar. I don't follow the Oscars, but many who do, the 'best score' category at least, have said that Goldsmith was "robbed" several times: Planet of the Apes; Patton; Star Trek - The Motion Picture, and several others. Whatever. It matters not.)

The composer later arranged a concert suite of his Omen music. It's a beauty.

Back in 2009, Spanish composer Diego Navarro conducted an energetic -- and thrilling -- performance with the Tenerife Film Orchestra and Choir as part of "Filmucite", a film music festival held in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. (Sounds like something I could attend... the Canary Islands!)

Enjoy! It makes going back to business on a Monday morning much more bearable....

Sunday, July 27, 2014


The "Alhambra" theatre on the north side of Bloor Street, just west of Bathurst.

Toronto historian Mike Filey never fails to impress me with his tales about this great city's past.

In today's Toronto Sun he writes briefly on hogtown's long-gone, and often long-forgotten, movie theatres. Specifically his piece focusses on Toronto history buff Doug Taylor's new book “Toronto Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen”. Published by History Press which is based in Charleston, South Carolina, this book needs to be on my bookshelf. I will seek out a copy....

The golden age of Toronto movie theatres

Friday, July 25, 2014


Earlier this week I watched the 1985 Canadian science-fiction film Def-Con 4 and posted my reactions here.

The film is on Youtube for your viewing pleasure, if you care. Warning: If you watch the flick and decide you don't like it in the end, I do not offer retroactive carbon tax credits.

(For some reason the image has a horizontal stretch. I downloaded the movie to my hard-drive and watched it on VLC media player; first, though, I set the video aspect ratio to 4:3 to compensate for the distortion.)

Def-Con 4 on Youtube...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


It had to happen, sooner or later: I've had a G-mail account for a few years and the amount of 'dodgy' emails received has been next to nil. When I checked my in-box today there it was: An advert for an "enlargement".

Could it be for?...

* My superior intellect? No, this obvious attribute indicates a larger-than-usual brain.
* Money? There is a substantial amount of cash in my bank account. (Over ten dollars.)

No cigar!


A friend asked me a couple months back if I would like to help him undertake a plethora of home renovations: From tearing up floors to patching and repainting walls.

Yesterday, as part of a brief back-and-forth series of text messages, I decided to again offer my services; to say I'm still available:

"Let's jump on her, baby!... or, as a right-winger might say, let's jump on her baby!"

I sometimes like to amuse myself.

This reminded me of a posting I wrote on February 28th of last year...


Tuesday, July 22, 2014


... It's not that bad, actually. I've heard a few times over the years that the Canadian science fiction film Def-Con 4 is bad. Now that I've seen it I must disagree with that seemingly common opinion: The acting is okay, the characters are an effective mix with some being outright creepy and reprehensible, and the art direction and cinematography rise above the film's low budget. And... the whole affair is entertaining enough; I was never bored. And, let me tell you, films similar to this one have been known to send me to the loony bin through multi-level dreariness -- including the actual filmmaking, which is the final insult to this paying moviegoer.

The picture was directed by Paul Donovan (Lexx) and distributed by Roger Corman's New World Pictures company in March of 1985. The first time I became aware of Def-Con 4 was when I saw the soundtrack LP in Sam the Record Man here in Toronto.

This post-apocalyptic picture is no worse than most of the type -- of which there have been too many, since they are relatively cheap to produce. On that detail, Def-Con 4 was more elaborate than what I imagined it being. The business in the space station at the film's beginning is well-handled.

But, the film's one-sheet poster (showbill) is very misleading and for the longest time that's all I knew of the flick since it was the image splayed on the aforementioned film score album. (I read once that the poster was hardly accurate in what you were going to see after parting with your money at the theatre's box office.)

I'm wondering if New World was fined for this depiction, since it is in no way even remotely rendered in Def-Con 4...

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Today, as part of my historical interests, I am reading a fine book titled Castles of Steel - Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert K. Massie, the amount of detail brought to life by a wonderful sense of story-telling is most impressive.

John Rushworth Jellicoe (1859 – 1935) was Admiral of the Fleet in Britain's Royal Navy during "The Great War" (better known today as World War I); Massie spends some time giving background to "Jack": Guys like Jellicoe did, and still do, their time on a series of warships before reaching the top office. One vessel on which he served in the late 1800s was HMS Victoria; and he almost drowned after the ship was accidentally punctured by another. When the 'bang' happened Jellicoe was in bed with a 103 degree fever caused by dysentery; he ran up to the deck to see what had happened. Not long after he began to help fellow sailors abandon the sinking Victoria, she started to capsize. In the name of 'every man for himself' the executive officer fell off the side and into the sea. As Jellicoe noted in a letter he wrote to his mother after the close-call: "The curious thing is that my temperature today is normal so the ducking did me good."

This hull-head was not familiar enough with that Royal Navy vessel so, naturally, I consulted Wikipedia...

On it I saw a photograph which I had initially believed to be a contemporary painting. The image has a painterly quality, making my error understandable. It is a lovely, multi-textured photograph -- taken in 1888...

Saturday, July 19, 2014


To give 'background' to my morning ablutions I often tune into Toronto radio station 680 News (CFTR). One big headline today was this: 'The name of the sole Canadian to die on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has just been released.' Well, not exactly. In fact that news is at least 20 hours old -- which places it in the neighbourhood of... yesterday.

No matter what the timeline, however, losing an ambitious medical student such as 24 year-old Andrei Anghel is sad news. Losing any human being is sad, of course. Mr. Anghel hailed from Ajax, Ontario, and he was travelling with his girlfriend, Olga, to enjoy a long-planned vacation to Bali.

There were a few people on the tragic flight who were en route to Melbourne, Australia, to attend the 20th Annual AIDS conference. They include...

Joep Lange, 59, Netherlands
Jacqueline van Tongeren, Netherlands
Glenn Thomas, 49, United Kingdom

Of course there were many other people on flight MH17 who were just as valuable.

The Globe and Mail...

MH17: Who are some of the victims of the downed Malaysian plane?

Friday, July 18, 2014


Two people sitting in chairs.

This is a headline I saw on the Washington Post's website...

"Jason Biggs made a really distasteful joke about the Malaysian plane crash"

What I saw was this...

"Joe Blow made a really distasteful joke about the Malaysian plane crash"

Needless to say I quickly learned who the young non-comedian is while reading the article...


Confusion such as mine is due to the proliferation of low budget television series' such as Orange is the New Black which get relatively tiny audiences. The days, more or less, of culturally-embedded dramatic shows are gone.

I'm reminded of something I read recently where the writer was at a dinner party and, in the name of small talk, he mentioned the TV series Battlestar Galactica (the reboot). Nobody there knew anything about it, so he switched gears and brought up the original BG. The response from the guests was very animated: "Apollo! Cassiopeia!"

Battlestar Galactica is not the new Battlestar Galactica.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


The breadth of the Internet reminds one how many pictures on a theme we have not seen before. "Just when I thought I had seen just about every photograph, here..."

Check-out this rare snap of famed film director Stanley Kubrick and equally respected writer Arthur C. Clarke. This image is from early in 1965 when the two men were meeting to discuss and plan a new science fiction picture: Journey Beyond the Stars... which was renamed 2001: A Space Odyssey. Which I have since named one of my favourite movies; top movies.

The Boys Brilliant.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Earlier today I found out that a new documentary has been produced on one of my favourite filmmakers of all time: Karel Zeman (1910 - 1989)

The late Czech director, writer, artist, designer, and animator was, to me, a supreme motion picture fantasist. Zeman often combined live-action with various "tricks", such as animation and puppetry, to realize his films. (We fans also like the fact that there is a heart and humanity in among the visual trickery.)

There are two feature films of Mr. Zeman's which serve to cement his reputation as a cinematic magician for some of us. The tools of his trade were intertwined with a superb sense of storytelling to produce...

Vynález zkázy (1958) was released in North America as The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. My dad took me to see a later re-release of this one when I was little.

Baron Prášil (1961) was released over here as The Fabulous Baron Munchausen.

The new documentary that I'm looking forward to seeing is titled, Karel Zeman - Adventurer in Film. I agree with what director Tim Burton says about Zeman in the doc's trailer...

Film Adventurer Karel Zeman

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


In days past, more than now, actors had "Stage" or "Screen" names. Some that I know, and ones that are admittedly fairly well known to movie fans, are...

Archibald Leach (Cary Grant)
Marion Morrison (John Wayne)
Issur Danielovitch (Kirk Douglas)

But this one I did not know: I was reading up on the actor/comedian when I noticed his birth name...

Arthur Stanley Jefferson

If you know the stage name of this person then you are good! But if the answer is nowhere in your memory banks, you can click here.


Thanks for my morning humour, Toronto Sun.

A certain letter-to-the-editor was funny in its own right, but the Toronto Sun 'letters' editor wrote the following response which made me burst out laughing; specifically the second sentence...

(Ezra’s great and so is Warren Kinsella. They give our readers a range of informed political opinion you won’t find in any other competing newspaper)

That is so funny, especially if you know the Toronto Sun. It lives in its own little world.

Well, for starters: The Globe and Mail, for example, regularly contains disparate points of view within its pages on any given issue. It also happens to be real newspaper. And there are no childish and insecure comments after letters to the editor.

By the way, the letter in question is hateful. Be sure to check it out here ("Ezra's a Hero").

I did not know that 'we' needed to "crusade" against activists. (?!) Oh, that's right; "activists" are Commies! "Traitors" are those individuals who question certain... things. They're all terrorists!!!

The punchline is this: To some people the act of writing this blog posting makes me a Commie, a Traitor, and a Terrorist.

Thanks, guys, for my morning laugh.


Post Script: A old friend of mine told me the other day that he can't read the Toronto Sun, especially the 'comments' sections, since he finds it all rather depressing. I said: "Are you nuts?! That stuff is comedy gold!"

Monday, July 14, 2014


Much of Brazil's population takes the world's most beautiful game very seriously. Their national football team losing in the semi final match to the powerhouse Germans has caused nothing short of Chernobyl-type fallout.

From today's Washington Post...

2014 World Cup draws to a close in conflicted Brazil

If you care about the issue at all, or are just bemused about something which to you is unimportant at the end of the day ("It's just a bleedin' game!"), then you will want to read the above linked article after reading this pulled quote...

"Even though Germany was the team hoisting the championship trophy here Sunday, the mere presence of the blue Argentine jerseys in the final underscored how disastrously this tournament unfolded for Brazil on the field. The host nation had to watch its archrival contend for perhaps the biggest title in all of sports."

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Need I say more?

Tonight I shall dream of sugar-plum footballs....

In the 112th minute German mid-fielder Mario Götze scored the lone goal of the match.


My day today, with Ptolemaic system mechanics, will revolve around the World Cup final match. It promises to be a dandy, the toe-to-toe battle between my awesome German team, and that other one.. Argentina. (Just kidding; I would not be crushed should Argentina, remote as the possibility may be, take the match and championship.)

How does one tackle a veritable shopping list of essential chores and tasks on the same day as something that comes but once every four years?

That's right: It's about prioritizing....


Thomas Müller will be in fine form today; I know.

Later today I will post the final score here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Freelance work which comes my way gets priority; even over World Cup football action. Today the hammer-blown Brazilian squad played for the consolation match against the equally displaced Netherlands.

My friend's wife kept he and I up-to-speed on what was happening in today's current football events.

At one point this afternoon she popped her head out the back patio door and stated straightforwardly...

"Netherlands are up one nothing after just one minute of play"

Me, the non participating football fan...

"What?! Not again!"

Back to work. The news updates happened twice more to fill in the two workers: Once for each Netherlands goal.

What the heck is going on with Brazil?! Incredible non results.

I wish I could read Portuguese to allow me to soak up the Brazilian press at a time like this.

My sympathies to Brazilian football fans.


Man, I guess I have to see this new "Apes" movie. While I was in the middle of some exacting work two days ago I received a text message from an old friend saying that he has not been 'this' excited about seeing a movie in a while -- he was referring to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

I was going to end the last sentence above by suffixing with "of course" for no other reason than the fine reviews this new take on the Planet of the Apes franchise has been receiving. (I'd barely understood two days ago that there was a new version.)

Peter Howell, one of the better Toronto film critics, has this to say...

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is this summer’s best, brainiest blockbuster: review
Let’s not monkey around: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the best and brainiest blockbuster of the summer, the kind of movie you hope for when you pay your money and buy your popcorn.

What caught my attention, enough to warrant a new blog posting here, was the second last paragraph of the review...

"If there’s any weakness in this otherwise impeccable film, it’s the rather ponderous score by Michael Giacchino, which occasionally recalls but doesn’t come close to matching Jerry Goldsmith’s memorable creation for the original Planet of the Apes in ’68."

Well, there's a simple answer to Mr. Howell's (!) concern: There are no Jerry Goldsmith's today; and Michael Giacchino is a lightweight. A double whammy! Okay, a triple whammy!... the extraordinarily talented and versatile Mr. Goldsmith produced one of his own "personal bests" when he scored director Franklin Shaffner's original Planet of the Apes.

So... I guess my point is I may try Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Perhaps Toronto 'mayor' Rob Ford and his brother Doug are right when they say that there is a conspiracy to knock them down to size.

During the Toronto city council meeting yesterday Rob Ford declined to stand while the rest of his council colleagues rose to give a standing ovation to show thanks for a very successful World Pride.

Maybe there is a simple and logical explanation: Perhaps he has a hard time getting up from his seat. "Oh, no... not again."

It would not occur to the Grande Maison to clap his hands, though.

The sad story, no matter what the excuse. From the Toronto Star...

Rob Ford stays seated during World Pride standing ovation; Doug triggers ruckus at council
City council spent the morning arguing over whether Mayor Rob Ford should be asked to apologize to a fellow council member.


Exactly a year from today Toronto's version of the Pan Am Games start. Commuters are dreading the approaching day.

The record high for this date in Toronto was 36 degrees Celsius, set in 1988. I've blogged before about that infamously disgusting summer. The summer of 1987 was bad enough but it had to be put to shame... apparently.

More an observation: Rudy Blair, the film critic for 680 News radio, rates the average Hollywood movie way too high. (How much of a skilled critic I do not know, but it sounds like he's more a promoter.)

"The woman" caught driving Toronto 'mayor' Rob Ford's van while he was in rehab, was a fellow classmate. She admits that they had good chemistry but there was no 'funny stuff'. Rob had a few cute pet names for her. Full stop! Now I know why I've always been a romantic at heart.

According to a new study, big meat-eaters have the highest "carbon footprint" while vegetarians have the lowest. (No surprise.)

There is going to be a "full moon" this coming Saturday night. I must prepare....

Just when I thought I was done the news broke that the Emmy award nominations are just being finalized. Wow. I can't wait to hear the results.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Indeed it did. At 31 minutes into the World Cup semi-final match yesterday between Brazil and Germany, that was the score. I had popped on a television to quickly check and as the image was forming my eyes were waiting. "Is that a five?"

I watched for a couple of minutes; turned off the set, and went back out to work. As I approached my coworker he looked at me waiting news about the score. "What?!"

About half an hour earlier I looked at my watch and said to my workmate: "Well, it's five minutes after four... I guess Germany is up one-nil." He laughed. In fact the first German goal was eleven minutes into the match, but my joke was a good one, and prescient... obviously.

My favourite football team won by a score of 7 - 1.

Not only am I blissfully happy that Germany won, but an infamous German word applies most aptly here: "Schadenfreude"


Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Today, at 4pm, is the most important World Cup match of the day: My beloved German football team takes on the formidable (even with Neymar and Silva out of the picture) Brazilians.

I may not be able to see the game, however, due to... work (always important).

The, the important match-up news of the day maybe this...

"Sofia Vergara dating Joe Manganiello"

I have no idea who these people are, but I'm sure it's important. It is in the news....

Monday, July 7, 2014


I'm about (in the next day or so) to start reintroducing myself to the 1960s cult series The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan was the show's creator and star; what he created captivates some people to this day. Back in late 1987, on Sunday nights, CityTV replayed the show and I was there, never to miss an episode.

On Youtube there is an archival 37 minute one-off television program, which ran on OECA here in Ontario, Canada, dedicated to The Prisoner. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority, now TVO, was outstanding -- this then teenager probably watched that network more than any other. In 1977 I even visited the facility (it's still in the same building) as a guest, along with a friend of mine. (We took the day off from school.)

Nineteen seventy-seven is when this special program, The Prisoner Puzzle, was aired. I wish I had been there. I watched just the first eleven minutes of the show on Youtube tonight since I want to save it for after my re-viewing of The Prisoner. Good ol' Patrick McGoohan displays some of that fiery temper which he was known to have at times. I wish people in television today had a little of that, instead of producing unconsciously.

In this interview hosted by Warner Troyer, McGoohan talks about selling the idea of The Prisoner to executive Sir Lew Grade. I remember reading an interview with the actor a few years ago where he went into some detail about the conversation; he said that after telling Grade that he had conceived the series more as a serial, with just seven episodes, the famous impresario, who was warm to the concept, responded by saying, "Patrick, I can't sell a series that has just seven episodes". (That still cracks me up since I can almost hear him saying it.) They compromised with seventeen; even though Grade initially had requested twenty-six episodes. The Prisoner had a short life (1967-68), but has enjoyed a long life.

The Prisoner Puzzle ( with Patrick McGoohan )


"Key" for this quick posting...

Star Trek, refers to the original series (1966 - 1969)

Star Trek, refers to the franchise (1966 - whenever)


Recently I've ended up on a few Star Trek "Twitter" news feeds. That is fine, no problem at all, since I wholly support the sense of community in the Twitterverse and Blogosphere. However, I am not really a Trekker or Trekkie; no matter what impressions you may derive from certain postings here on this blog. I don't care about what J.J. Abrams or Paramount is doing with the franchise name.

I grew up with the original series and that was and is always enough, not only because I've moved on in years and have acquired many other and more important interests in that time, but Star Trek, for me, generally, is the ultimate expression of the franchise. No spin-off series can touch it as far as I'm concerned. All the wonderful -- and budget-saving! -- developments in technology allow the subsequent Star Trek material to render anything the geek's heart desires, but the Time & Place of Star Trek, its characters and its stories, not to mention the show's overall "look", are of the highest peak for me.

Besides, the original The Outer Limits series is almost certainly my desert island pick of SF television series'.  I don't refer to it as much probably because it isn't as culturally contaminating as Star Trek... or even Star Trek.

Have a nice day; I have some important work to do in the non-Star Trek universe. It's called "reality"....

Sunday, July 6, 2014


"Miri" is an early first season episode from Star Trek. While it features memorable performances by Kim Darby and Michael J. Pollard, and fine direction from Vincent McEveety, this installment is one that most fans -- from what I understand -- rarely cite as top-drawer. I like "Miri" for its heightened drama, un-rushed and fitting pace, and the way it actually uses kids successfully.

By the way, one of the child actors who appears in "Miri" is (then) eleven year-old Stephen McEveety, nephew of the episode's director. Stephen went on to produce the movie Passion of the Christ... and some other flicks of note. Two of William Shatner's daughters also play rug-rats.

The shoot dates were from August 22 - 30, 1966. (If I remember my Beatles trivia correctly, that special band played their final scheduled public concert within those dates.)

In this publicity still taken at Desilu's Culver City "40 Acres" backlot, we see William Shatner and guest star Kim Darby ("Miri")...

High above still of the clapper-loader readying a slate during a shot at Desilu's "Culver City" backlot...


Toronto city 'complainer' Tommy Lenathen.

For some reason I thought that Doug Ford, brother of Toronto 'mayor' Rob Ford, was the slightly less insane of the two. Now and again, I would question my own sanity. The following story definitely convinces me that the two siblings are essentially one and the same...

‘Go to hell,’ Doug Ford tells autistic son’s dad after integrity complaint
Councillor Doug Ford said Tommy Lenathen should “go to hell.” Rob Ford’s campaign manager also accused Lenathen of being part of a “jihad.”

Douglas fails to realize, for some bizarre reason, that a citizen of this great city has every right to file a complaint with Toronto's integrity commissioner. It's in the books.

City employee Tommy Lenathen has done nothing wrong in that regard. Doug Ford resorts, as many right-wingers do when something does not go their way, to discrediting anyone who is "not of the body". Pathetic; not my Star Trek reference so much ("The Return of the Archons"), but Doug Ford.

Mayoral candidate John Tory outdoes me for articulating what the problem is here...

“Councillor Doug Ford's comments about the father of an autistic boy are disgraceful and totally unacceptable for an elected official – let alone the Mayor's campaign manager and closest confidante... Using a loaded and inflammatory term like ‘jihad’ to describe legitimate criticism is pathetic and shows that the Fords just don't get it.”

No. I, for one, am not "of the body"; I'm from the Valley....

Saturday, July 5, 2014


I like to think I'm a pretty smart cookie; I'm even interested in aviation matters. However, this star learned some things today from this interesting piece from Brian Clegg of The Observer newspaper...

In-flight science: how the world works when you're sitting on a plane
It's the best place to see a rainbow and the worst place to drink tea… Brian Clegg reveals 21 in-flight facts, from Einstein's influence on GPS to why turbulence is nothing to be scared of

With headings such as, "The wing myth", "Forget electric planes", "Death rays to radar", "Gasholder navigation", "Einstein's satnav", "Beware the vortex", "Turbulence terror", "In-flight radiation", "You can't cure jet lag", "Flying through time", and "Terrible tea", you know you are going to learn something.

"Einstein's satnav" was a brain-full; someone may have to explain that one to me... do write in, folks!

"Turbulence terror"? Are you joking? I love turbulence!

The explanation given for "Flying through time" is bogus. Besides, I've seen the 1960 science fiction classic film, Beyond the Time Barrier. Robert Clarke, with a little help from director Edgar G. Ulmer (of Detour fame), was launched over 60 years into the future -- to the astounding year 2024!

It's a beauty; a terrifically fun, if incredibly bleak, matinee flick. The ending is awesome...


Germany's Mats Hummels 'wins' the match against France, just minutes in.

Hard to believe that this football fan has watched just two games thus far from the World Cup. Both games involved my favourite team (the hint is in the headline).

The first one I watched was the Germany vs Ghana match: It ended in a 2 - 2 draw; I was not unhappy with the final result in that it allowed Ghana to survive to kick another day.

Yesterday I sat down with a tea and watched Germany play France. While I like France very much -- the country is beautiful; I've been there many times -- the final score was of the type I was looking for: 1 - 0

The game could best be described as, to use the word sometimes applied to a game of ice hockey, "chippy". What was really nice about the match was that it contained little of that ugly malady too often associated with the world's most beautiful game: the fake dive and agony.

At any rate: Deutschland!

Friday, July 4, 2014


On page 29 of the new issue of The Grid newspaper I saw an advert for the 2014 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Emblazoned across the photograph of an audience during a "Q and A" is the text, "THIS IS YOUR FILM FESTIVAL".

Sorry, pal, it sure is not my film festival. The tickets are ridiculously overpriced and the fest is just a big film market. Don't try selling it to the common folk. Also, many friends of mine in 'the biz' don't go because, as Woody Allen once said in one of his flicks, "It's so phony!"

An editor friend of mine said to me, rather sheepishly: "I don't go (to TIFF) because I don't like film people."

Don't say, Mr. TIFF, "but, Mr. Smight, it's really about the films"; it's not. No film is worth more than ten dollars... and especially those priced over twenty (?!) dollars.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Joe Versus the Volcano.

Who is sexier?... the guy who is honest in his questioning of Toronto 'mayor' Rob Ford, or the habitually dishonest politician himself?

What is forgotten, too often, is that we live in an "open society" here in Canada. Our elected politicians are accountable for any indiscretions committed while in political office; they do have to answer citizens' questions.

Besides, I thought that blowhard Ford said that he prides himself on serving the people of Toronto. Oh... yes... as long as it conveniences him.

I give top marks to Toronto's Joe Killoran for doing his job as a citizen of this great city. I give top marks to Toronto's Joe Killoran for doing his job, as a citizen of this great city.

I was thinking of calling this post: KILLORAN VS MONSTER X


This is a posting where, before I get into any potentially controversial detail, I must say that I (generally) love "America" and Americans. So many good things have come out of, and because of, the good ol' U.S.A. (I can't give credit to them for developing basketball, since I have to pass blame to my own country of Canada. "Thanks, Canada!")

Today's Washington Post features an article titled, "We’re No. 1? Americans increasingly don’t think so"...

The story goes on to reveal survey data from a new Pew Research Center poll. One observation made by Post writers Aaron Blake and Jaime Fuller...

A strong majority of Americans (58 percent) say the U.S. is merely "one of the greatest countries."

I've never understood extreme patriotism. You know the kind: "We are the greatest country in the world!" (I admit I would love to hear "Davros" say that; although, in his case, "country" would be bumped by "galaxy", and "universe" would replace "world".)

Admittedly I can be just as bad. As a friend of mine says, "Americans think they're the best... we Canadians know we're the best..."

The article does have one funny bit: The writers suggest that America's youth "are in need of a healthy dose of patriotism" and, in facilitation, include a video file of Whitney Houston singing "The Star Spangled Banner". That song is absolutely gruesome; I think young Americans know they deserve a better national anthem. I wonder if they know about the beautiful "America the Beautiful"...

Now we're singing!....

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


As a matter of habit, sometimes, I pop on my radio in the morning to Toronto radio station 680 News (CFTR). The headlines in cycle as I write include something like this: 'The Toronto Sun, a newspaper which has traditionally supported mayor Rob Ford, is calling for his resignation.'

Fact: The Toronto Sun editorial board has long been calling for 'mayor' Rob Ford's resignation. The dramatic radio station is referring to this; from today's Sun...

For his own sake, Ford should resign

Come on, 680 News: Get your act together!

BELGIUM 2 - U.S.A. 1 - MOI 0

Sometimes I get my news "backwards"; the U.S. was eliminated yesterday by Belgium in World Cup 2014 action. The game sounds like it was a thriller...

Belgium knocks U.S. out of World Cup
Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne scored in extra time Tuesday to give Belgium a 2-1 win.

It was an article in this morning's Washington Post which gave me the above's news headline...

World Cup not that interesting for most Americans

The piece outlines, by quoting figures from a Pew Research Center Poll, the average American's disinterest in World Cup football... sorry, soccer, current events. Major League Soccer has grown in the States, but, as the article states, it has a long way to go. (The problem is, like ice hockey, soccer is not "cultural" in the U.S.A.)

"And with the U.S. team knocked out of the Cup by Belgium, the percentage of those interested in World Cup news will probably get even smaller."

"Oh... that's right; I forgot to check the final score."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Happy Canada Day! In keeping with my geekness, this year I thought I would grab a quote from the great Captain James T. Kirk (who was played by William Shatner, a Canadian) in the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd"...

"She's a beautiful lady and we love her!"

William Shatner comforts fellow Canadian James Doohan during Canada Day celebrations.

"He had too much happiness."