Monday, September 29, 2014


"Brain and brain, what is brain?"

I hear you, Kara.


For the last three days I've been hearing, on the radio, about the "Ryder Cup". The funny thing is, I kid you not, never has it been said exactly what the Ryder Cup is.

I've had a busy last few days, so I admit that I've been getting my news from 680 News (here in Toronto). The "Sports" broadcasters should identify the game being played when they speak of an event such as... "the Ryder Cup". (Peter Gross should know better.)

I'm sure I've known in the past but what type of athlete competes for that trophy but, believe it or not, there are lots of people like me who do not identify themselves on Census reports as 'Sports Idiot". (I'm not suggesting that you have to be one to know what sporting event a particular cup belongs to.)

Sunday, September 28, 2014


While looking for an image for my previous posting (here) I came across a cool pic of Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz...

Sherwood Schwartz, center, stands with director Jack Arnold (to his left) and the Gilligan's cast.


On Friday afternoon I learned that it was the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Gilligan's Island. This brilliant television series, one of the all-time greats, ran for three years (1964 - 1967) and introduced a few items to our popular culture.

I discovered the program in the early 1970s after realizing I kept seeing a listing called "Gilligan's Island" in TV Guide. One fateful day I popped the television on and tuned in to Global Television, a brand-new mini network here in Ontario, Canada.

There is not much I can add about Gilligan's Island that has not been said before; including me, here on this blog.

Friday, September 26, 2014


"Tanks for nuttin'!"

Word has it that Sun News Network -- a "fair and balanced" television news organization here in Canada -- has been unceremoniously "dispatching" key employees.

Apparently the interstellar Sun Media Corporation wants to unload the video-version arm of their right-wing propaganda machine. (SNN has been losing money fist over hand.)

How can Québecor Média prez Robert Dépatie sleep at night? Really comfortably, it would seem; especially after he lances that festering boil called Sun News Network.


I find it odd that this news-soaker has never heard of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

On the radio just now was "680 News" sports guru Peter Gross excitedly recounting the veteran's fine performance last night against the Baltimore Orioles. Jeter's walk-off single popped the Yankees to a 6-5 win.

So little did I know about Derek Jeter that I had to source Wikipedia. "He has a full entry and everything..."

Monday, September 22, 2014


Some things bring a smile to one's morning. This is one of them: The City of Toronto has been altering its "Neighbourhood Watch" street signs with pop icons. Thirty-year-old graphic designer Andrew Lamb is the man behind the initiative.

Some references so far are Dirty Harry, Star Trek, and He-Man. In the works are graphics for Doctor Who and the Village People.

This leads me, of course, to paraphrasing Mr. Spock's great line from the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror"...

"Ter-ror must be maintained or the city is doomed."

Sunday, September 21, 2014


What's with all the advertising campaigns for movie and sports streaming services?

"More movies than you can watch."

"More sports... that's more than 1000 NHL games..."

What the?...

Do we live in a world of addiction?

Regular life things aren't good enough for you?....


This irregular television watcher saw, recently, a commercial for the Canadian campaign of The famous pitchman, and starship captain, William Shatner, has returned to one of his many roots. And, as the "Priceline Negotiator", he is as great as ever.

After I finished laughing at his many "hijinks" I again renewed my respect for the man. What is it about that guy?....

Friday, September 19, 2014

307 +

Yesterday, this opinionated blowhard made a prediction -- here -- regarding the "historic vote for Scottish independence". I'll save myself keying-in too much text today and just copy and paste yesterday's posting, with a minor adjustment: The new stuff is highlighted in red ink...

The Scottish Independence referendum is very interesting to me, and the final result of today's vote is highly anticipated. I am not a Scot but my own feeling is for a "yes" vote.

Most polls are calling for a very (extremely) close win; yes or no. Tomorrow morning, we will know.

History shows that whenever a like referendum is voted upon, the "yes" side tends to be triumphant. (Here in Canada, back in 1995, the Quebec vote for independence provided one of the few "no" ways. Oh, and there's the Scotland vote of 2014... I had forgotten about that one.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


The Scottish Independence referendum is very interesting to me, and the final result of today's vote is highly anticipated. I am not a Scot but my own feeling is for a "yes" vote.

Most polls are calling for a very (extremely) close win; yes or no. Tomorrow morning, we will know.

History shows that whenever a like referendum is voted upon, the "yes" side tends to be triumphant. (Here in Canada, back in 1995, the Quebec vote for independence provided one of the few "no" ways.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Not long ago I was handed a copy of These Are the Voyages TOS - Season One, Marc Cushman's book detailing production of Star Trek's opening salvo of 29 episodes, and two pilots. As per my usual habit I quickly sampled a few sections, with the intention to read it later from head-to-tail. My brief sneak peek resulted in me thinking one key word; "magnificent". Running almost 700 pages, the document will require some time for me to fully cover.

TOS - Season One has been winning rave reviews, from the reading public and reviewers. I can see why -- the level of research is stunning! So much of immense interest to Trekkers like me is contained within: Memos; ratings; budgets; rare photos; and general behind-the-scenes stories.

The delay in reading These Are the Voyages TOS - Season One has been long enough. Maybe I should just book-off the next week from life to read this. (Then I can get a life.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


After reading this article I'll be more reluctant to dip my toes into Lake Ontario...

Colossal squid exam gives rare glimpse of legendary creature
The squid is a female, and its eight arms are each well over a metre (3.3 feet) long.

No, the Giant Squid is not the largest known species of... over-sized tentacled thing that jets through the world's oceans.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Through some accident we Torontonians get stuck with two Fords: Rob and his brother Doug.

Current Toronto 'mayor' Rob Ford has been diagnosed with an abdominal tumour -- we hope he gets better -- and because of this he had to pull out of the mayoral race. His brother Doug has taken his place for the run to October's election.

As more than one person has said, you cannot make-up this stuff. Rob Ford is hospitalized mere days before the final registrations can be filed before the door is closed. Doug squeaked in on that day.

I used to think that Doug was less an evil fool than his brother but I've begun to believe that he is worse. We'll see what the voters think, next month.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Ann Hornaday, Style writer for the Washington Post, outlines in summary the titles at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. I did not bother reading the story, but have decided to post it based on the article's title bit: "... but Brian Wilson biopic steals the show."

Now that I would like to see.

At film festival, Bill Murray makes a splash, but Brian Wilson biopic steals the show

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Catherine Rampell, opinion writer for the Washington Post, posts a piece today of interest regarding the University degree and the job search ...

The college degree has become the new high school degree

Yes, welcome to "degree inflation". The college degree has become the new high school diploma.

To adjust for Jed Clampett's classic line: "Jethro's the one with the high school diploma."

My faithful readers will notice I spoke this morning about the high number of Canadians with university/college degrees/diplomas (here). Well, it seems that in the U.S., people looking for work should probably possess a baccalaureate education when applying. ("Those without a baccalaureate education need not apply.")

One reason for the demand, I think, and I've noticed this happening here in Canada, is that it significantly reduces the number of submissions. A two inch stack of resumes automatically gets lowered to one inch. More than a few times I've seen job postings which specify "must have a university degree". My retort is direct and succinct: "You need a university degree for that?"....


While working away at home here I maintain an audio-stream of what some people may call "useless trivia". Here it goes...

Many Canadians possess a post-secondary school diploma or degree; as a matter of fact, this is the highest average (per population) in the entire solar system... I mean, "developed world".

The bad news is our math skills have slipped since 2003. My math skills have slipped since birth....

Monday, September 8, 2014


What I had originally intended in June as a one-off post on snap shots taken behind the scenes on the Star Trek television series turned out to be a fairly regular thing. I made the decision to keep rolling after noting the large number of hits... and so on, and so on, and so on....

With a small bank of "Star Trek Behind the Scenes Images" postings I thought I would list them all here for fellow geeks...

I guess the joke is I'll end up having a "The Star Trek Images Bank 2" posting....

Sunday, September 7, 2014


One news bit this morning is the detailing of the upcoming funeral for late comedian Joan Rivers. Even though the veteran comedian was someone I saw quite a bit on those 1970s talk shows -- Merv Griffin; Mike Douglas -- I know very little about her. Apparently Rivers (and her daughter?) did the red carpet treatment with the Oscars every year, which probably helps explain my lack of... awareness.

I'm sure Youtube has more than a few files on Joan Rivers. As per normal with me, I'll brush-up after.

I can start with the standard Wikipedia entry and go from there...


A highlight of my lightweight mornings is the news bits. This great city (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has one of the most exciting events of the year: The Toronto International Film Festival; "tiff".

On the radio, minutes ago: "Toronto's buzzing with stars."

In my head, one second later: "Well... maybe they can buzz off, then." (The sound pleases me.)

Friday, September 5, 2014


Drama is in the details: Even though I knew today's temps here in Toronto were going to be high, hearing the weather report just now on the radio made me think, "really?... that high?"

We Torontonians plan today to swim in a predicted temperature of 32 degrees Celsius; or 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Not bad in itself but the "Humidex" (humidity index) is expected to be 41 Celsius; or 106 Fahrenheit.

As a friend of mine from Columbia says, "... but not this hot!" (It's the high humidity that kills him.)

At any rate, let's enjoy it while we can; both the U.S. Weather Service and Environment Canada are predicting a "harsh winter"... courtesy of the "Polar Vortex".

"... And loving it!" (I have a theory that those who complain about the weather all the time are miserable people, period.)

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Star Trek has an embarrassment of riches; for example, the awesome spaceship designs did not stop at the U.S.S. Enterprise and the Klingon Battlecruiser. The Romulan "Bird of Prey" is another smasher of a craft.

Seen below is the miniature built by Wah Chang and Film Effects of Hollywood for the episode "Balance of Terror". This 35mm motion picture clip is from the optical house. They started the starfield in at the beginning, over the slate. (It may be a composite test; which would include exposure and density levels.) The black background is actually the bluescreen at Film Effects.


Come on! Who doesn't like dinosaurs? Put up you hands if you don't. I knew it.

When I was a kid I sure loved those prehistoric beings; as do most young people. There is something exotic and grande about a giant animal. Especially one long gone.

Just when you think that the dinosaur silhouette chart on your wall is up-to-date, scientists discover a "65 ton" dinosaur in Argentina. The wee-beasty's name?: "Dreadnoughtus schrani"

That's a good name for it. If an even bigger species is found I suggest the name of "Monsterus".

Wonderful stuff.

Newly discovered dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus, takes title of largest terrestrial animal


One lovely early morning this week I was sitting at my laptop computer near my opened balcony door. In the corner of my eye appeared a dark blur; it was a squirrel making its merry way into my apartment. The problem was that the door was open a sliver, enough for a well-fed, but agile, Toronto squirrel to pass through, but not enough for it to get back out again when I shouted "hey!". The little bugger was startled out of its mind. It spun in the air, not far from my left shoulder, landed and ran up onto my desk... looking at me with that sweet, innocent little face. I got up, opened the balcony door so my fat friend could get leave without much fuss. "Come on. Out."

That's it, you flip your bushy tail at me, you piece a... get outta heea!

An old friend of mine has it right: Scientists at the University of Toronto should genetically engineer some sort of glommer for squirrels. (And a really mean one for raccoons).

In the service of feeble humour I'm willing to toss aside my love for animals.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


A recent conversation with an old friend, over coffee, made us realize something...

* No work at all: Stress
* Some work: Stress
* Gainfully employed: Stress

Is life not good enough for us?

The coffee, however, is always fine....

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Toronto is competing with several other Torontos for coveted "offshore" film and television production -- productions which traditionally hugged Hollywood.

Pinewood Toronto Studios, the super-studio down on the lakefront, was built 15-20 years too late. Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has been utilizing the facility as of late, but one big-timer such as he is not enough to tent-pole the complex. Other productions rent space at PTS but as a friend of mine who is down there from time-to-time says, "it's pretty quiet".

The peak for film and television (including commercials) production, here in Toronto, was in the early to late 1990s. Don't believe it when certain official bodies or agencies use inflated dollars to try and convince you that the biz is at an all-time high.

You might think that we in Toronto have it bad; part of the same equation...

California to triple film tax credits

Monday, September 1, 2014


As the early 1970s played-out I became insatiably drawn to the N.H.L. (National Hockey League). To this day, as much as I love football (soccer), ice hockey is the greatest team sport, in my opinion. While I almost never watch a hockey game these days, I continue to replay my memories of the N.H.L.'s great past. (Psst: I don't like that league anymore; which I've blogged about before.)

This morning I heard the news that former veteran defenceman Carol Vadnais died yesterday at the age of 68. My earliest memory of him was when he played for the California Golden Seals. I do recall Vadnais winning a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 1972, but I had not realized until today that he was with the Montreal Canadiens in 1968 when they won the cup that year.

Mr. Vadnais enjoyed a long N.H.L. career, playing for 17 seasons with a mix of teams including the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils.

Wikipedia info...


The last two days have been busy enough for me that I have not had a chance to try out the new Toronto Transit Commission's streetcars; the spicy-looking vehicles that they are.

Maybe this week. And after my premiere ride I will file a report.

I'm looking forward to the experience; the beginning of many....