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VIDEO BLOG: The President’s Intending Puns Now, I Wonder Where He Got That Idea?

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Ok, ok, so it’s a little far-fetched to believe that the President of the United States is actually using my material, but it’s mildly amusing to consider.  After all, I did chirp the Secret Service back in January, who knows, maybe I blipped on their radar, maybe someone’s been tailing me ever since, maybe my phone’s tapped, maybe even this blog i… uhh, probably none of those things actually, haha.  Oh, speculation… if it’s good enough for the tabloids, it’s good enough for this blog :) [blog standards reassessment pending].  As I don’t know the deep inner-workings of American politics very well, I don’t totally understand the Larry Summers reference in the clip, but Obama makes a pun that he intended, just as I suggested in November ’09, and that’s all that matters.  Yadda yadda yadda, it’s all in good fun… enjoy the latest video blog conspiracy theory!

November 19, 2010 1 comment

Happy belated 31st Birthday to my friend, Jeff Bourne!  I had all these pictures on my phone with really no where to put them, so I figured a birthday montage would be a perfect place to spill them.  If you’ve kept up on Jeff at all through me, his bro, or his own website, you know he had a bit of a rough go last year, but he’s rebounded, and with good health, a new job, girlfriend, and a return to sledge hockey, things are getting back on track for him.  Alright, enough of that :) enjoy the mural of Jeff!

Categories: Uncategorized

[Revisiting] Time to Go, Leno: The NBC Late Night Lambaste.

November 15, 2010 1 comment

So with the Late Night talk-show scene finally, seemingly, settled down and back in place, I thought I might re-visit an old blog I wrote for another site regarding the whole Leno-Conan thing, and then the subsequent Letterman, Kimmel, Ferguson and Fallon aftermath.  Currently, Conan’s new TBS show is working EVERYone over, but we’ll see what the ratings say once he’s settled into the middle of the season.  He left NBC on top of the ratings, and debuted on TBS on top too, hopefully he can keep up the pace.  As we wait for the numbers to roll in, enjoy this blast from the past (you guys get an extra link and a few new pics in this version): 

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[originally post on Jan 13, 2010 for campusintel.com ]

Wow, NBC really screwed the pooch on the Late Night scene, didn’t they?

How can you shuffle and promote your hosts up the ranks (Fallon to Late Night, Conan out of Late Night and to The Tonight Show, Leno out of The Tonight Show and then to his own show) the same way that has been done since Late Night comedy shows have been on, find out that your ratings weren’t doing what you thought they would, and then expect all the hosts to react peacefully to your suggestion of a shuffle-back like you were taking a mulligan in golf, and not have a problem with it?

That Tonight Show hosting gig has been the crown jewel for late night talk show hosts since the Johnny Carson era; coveted by many, but obtained by few (originally debuted in 1954 with host Steve Allen).  David Letterman was very public about his desire to host the show when Carson was retiring, when he was still hosting the Late Night show that Conan O’Brien inherited sequentially.  When he was not chosen as Carson’s successor and Leno was, Letterman took a hike over to CBS and then became The Tonight Show’s direct and main competition, hosting The Late Show.  For some reason, all indications were that Leno beat Letterman in the ratings for the 17 years he hosted the show; though I always felt The Late Show was way more entertaining.  Which brings me to my next point:

Jay Leno sucks.

I’m sure he’s a nice dude (well, I’m not really sure from personal experience, but he seems like he’d be nice), but I just never liked his show.  Anyone who’s had a chance to listen to Howard Stern has likely heard Stern rant about how bad Leno is, how he’s ruined NBC, and how Leno stole a lot of his material and used it on The Tonight Show.  The new Jay Leno Show is basically the same show as his Tonight Show routine, just at a different time, and the ratings are tanking; as opposed to when he was on an hour later doing the same material, and ruling the ratings.  So what’s the difference?  Maybe there’s more to that 11:35 pm EST show time slot that we realize…

Now after a 6 year warning of the switch, and only 7 months into the new lineup, for some reason NBC just expects Conan and Fallon to bump themselves back an hour (keeping the names of their shows) so they can rotate Leno back into the fold at the cushy time slot.  Thankfully, Conan balked at the idea, saying in an interview:

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009… I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is actually really good.

For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Why does NBC insist on milking a dry cow (Leno)? Surely it took Leno longer than 7 months to develop a loyal following and ratings spike; how in the world is 7 months long enough for Conan to do the same, especially after they told him for 6 years that he was going to be “the guy” for that show, and all the previous hosts got from 3-30 years at that slot? 

The only real solution is that Leno needs to walk away.  Look Jay, it’s over.  You had your time in the sun; all 17 years of it. You did good.  You’re not putting up the numbers that you need to, and now it’s time to move on.  Late Night television on NBC is in good hands, and will be fine without you.  You’ve got plenty of money, and lots of cars to drive around.  If you really have the itch, you can always hit the stand-up circuit.  It’s time to pass the torch!  Letterman’s better than all of you anyways.

Letterman weighs in on the NBC debacle.

Jimmy Kimmel works over Leno on The Jay Leno Show.

Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson diffuse their war before it starts.

Remembrance Day Reflections.

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Remembrance Day.

Though a lot of us probably don’t support the actual combat that takes place in the wars that have seen our family members, friends, and fellow countrymen & women fight in, I think we can all agree that we have nothing but the utmost respect for those who fought and either survived or didn’t, so that we could maintain our freedom. Whether you agree or disagree with the rationale of which the governments have deployed their soldiers for, it is those soldiers who deserve all the praise they get for putting their lives on the line for us.

I went to a local Remembrance Day ceremony in Kelowna City Park this year. I can’t remember who the quote was from, but one of the speakers read a quote saying, “War is one of man’s least creative ways devised of resolving conflict”. And that’s completely true. Unfortunately, whether it’s a dispute on government, religion, land claim, or whatever else, ultimately if it can’t be resolved diplomatically, we humans just decide to shoot or blow the other guys up to either get our way, or simply defend ourselves from having the same thing happen to us.

And even that brings a whole other element into play: who’s right? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? The ceremony featured a lot of prayers, which obviously ties in a religious angle to war. Whether we thank God for helping our soldiers survive, for giving them courage, ask His blessing as they ship out and enter the battlefield, ask Him to thwart our enemies, ask Him for peace, or whatever else we choose to pray for in terms of war, you do have to consider that the “bad guys” are probably doing the exact same thing, and feel very justified in their stance on the situation; hence the decision to fight for their side as well. Democracy seems correct (to us in our culture at least), but to some it is a very foreign, perhaps evil, concept, worth fighting against as to not have it imposed upon them.

Along the way I have been privileged to meet some veterans and hear their stories. One of the most interesting stories I’ve heard was the one from a neighbour I had some years ago who was actually a soldier in the German army. You know, the “bad guys”. He’s now got a nice little condo, been married for 60 years, a family, and participates actively in Strata rule enforcement. He’s a regular guy, and a nice one at that. But once upon a time, anybody on this side of the planet would have recognized him as evil. And of course, this isn’t to condone any of the actions that Hitler and the German army instigated, but this was a guy that was considered every bit as honourable to his fellow countrymen as our soldiers are to us. To hear him describe returning home to the pile of rubble that used to be his dwelling, and hear that side of the story made him a lot more mortal and a lot less villainous. But I think that’s the beauty of today, the day of digital media and endless information sharing; it used to be that only the civilizations that won wars dictated how history was written. Now we really have the opportunity to hear ALL sides, and decide for ourselves what’s justified, what’s worth fighting for, and what maybe needs a little further examination before risking human life. I also have a friend who I played college hockey with that recently served with the US Army in Iraq. While many oppose(d) the Iraq war, when you know someone in it, it makes you want that mission to be completed, if only for your friend to come home safe.

Prime Minister Harper announced today that Canadian soldiers would be staying in Afghanistan until 2014, but that after 2011 their mission would be exclusively non-combat, and only to train domestic forces. As much as I (and most of us) would like all our troops home immediately and out of danger, at least there is a commitment to ending the combat. A quote from the PM said,

We do want to make sure that as we leave, what we leave behind is a situation where the sacrifices Canadians have made — and they have made a lot of sacrifices there — that those sacrifices are appropriately honoured and we leave something of lasting benefit,”

And I think in the end, that’s what it has to be all about: recognizing the efforts of those who have fought, and making sure those sacrifices were not in vain. I may not “Remember” it all year ‘round, but I am truly thankful to have had my freedom defended and fought for by so many brave people that never met me; it’s a very humbling notion to see old people marching in Remembrance Day parades, know what they did, and know that a sliver of it was in fact for me (divided equally amongst all of us of course), despite that when they were on the battlefield they’d never even heard of me, and that I’ll probably never even speak to them personally.

photo by Daniel Hayduk

And because of this, for at least one day in a year, I actually, really, think about the idea of freedom. The notion that we can truly choose to do pretty well whatever we want to do, pursue, or stand for in our lives. Of course, you naturally want to point to all the good and noble things you have or you’re going to do with your life; but really, people have every bit as much of a right to become a complete jackass, and do some appalling, atrocious, or possibly just non-eventful and anti-climatic things with their remaining existence. I think that’s the dangerous part of freedom, and of fighting for and earning it, so it can be given to others. While many will indeed do remarkable and noteworthy things with their freedom that was paid for by human sacrifice, many will either do a lot of not-so-great things, and many may just do nothing at all (which may be worse in the end). I think the latter two concepts seem to cheapen that ultimate sacrifice that was made, which is sad, but at the same time, and unavoidable bi-product of an open-ended gift. While I admittedly probably don’t make the best of my freedom, I hope there’s been at least a glimmer here and/or there that wouldn’t make a veteran upset if I told him or her what I had been doing with myself.

Anyone who tunes into Coach’s Corner during Hockey Night in Canada on CBC knows that Don Cherry is a huge  supporter of our country’s veterans, and he actually had a decent quote after showing a video montage and appearing from a military cemetary for British and Canadian soldiers with their crosses lined row on row.  He said while pointing to the memorials, “These people gave their lives, the least you can do is buy a poppy.” 

Bieber & The Pop Star Perversion, An Ugg-Lee Merger, the Daylight Savings Time Deficiency, American Politics, Daytime calls, Allen Keys Annoyance, & the JW Halloween Costume Loophole.

November 7, 2010 4 comments

This daylight savings time thing really should be all all-or-none effort; it really makes next to no sense for only some provinces, states and cities to do it.  The city of Creston BC (where I played junior hockey) and the entire province of Saskatchewan (where I got my degree, played college hockey, met my wife, etc) don’t participate, why should the rest of us have to have it dark at 4:30 pm?

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The ratio of which American media talks about, prep for, & pre/post analyze polls, to the time they spend actually voting is extremely lopsided towards the former.  Immediately following whatever that mid-term election stuff was, there was already Obama vs Palin polls being taken for a potential 2012 presidential showdown (with Obama winning handily), instead of interest in what the newly elected governors/senate or whatever were going to accomplish.  Can somebody please focus on the present?  Did Jon Stewart Rally For Sanity in vain?? 

The ratio of which American politicians campaign/slander their opponents in commercials to the time they spend doing actual work is about of the same ratio.  Those TV commercials seem to be more about how bad the opponent is and what a horrible job they’ve done, and rarely mention anything about what the prospective candidate is going to do better.  What have we learned? Slander > function?

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Please go away, and don't come back. Cut your hair, and take your teeny bopper girl scout troop with you. Also, leave all your money.

I don’t even know who Justin Bieber is. What I DO know is that I can’t stand him. I hope the “Bieber Bus” somehow ends up in a fiery car wreck along with every Smart car ever produced, all at the same time. No casualties, of course, except for the vehicles.  And Bieber.  Okay, I do know who he is, and I’ll have to give the little …. guy some credit, he can sing.  It’s just the media over-hype/commercialization, and the screaming pre-teen girls that make me want to blow up my TV and stab myself in the ears when I hear that name.  I can’t wait until puberty kicks in, the voice cracks, and this whole charade comes to a grinding halt…

My wife raised an interesting point the other day about the Rihanna-Eminem collaborated songs “Love The Way You Lie” parts 1 & 2, to the tune of whether or not it’s appropriate for Rihanna to sing a song about domestic violence after the whole Chris Brown-domestically-violencing-her incident.  The duet is an interesting juxtaposition, because on the other hand you also have Eminem and his storied domestic dispute history with wife/ex-wife/wife/ex-wife Kim; and how his lyrics have never known any limits in regards to appropriation and are very purposefully presented that way; not all that different than the way Marilyn Manson was hung by the media for in the 90’s.

So then the question becomes, what is the the line between musical artists creating intelligent, insightful music and them creating for pure shock value, creating controversy just to get people talking and to sell records?  Interesting how you usually hear all the hubub right around when one of their albums is about to be released, isn’t it?  And further, as most of us would (at least morally) disagree with the commercialization of young, girl musical artists dressing scantily and singing sexually provocative lyrics (not even written by the artist),  who then is more skanky, the lip-syncing pop star, or the record producer endorsing promoting the act to even younger kids with the sole intention of turning a profit?

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If Ugg boots and Lee jeans merged, you’ve have an aptly named product.  Wordplay, FTW.  Imagine an ugly looking pair of boots sewn onto the bottoms of a low grade pair of jeans creating a one-piece waist-to-toe garment.  You’re welcome, upcoming spring fashion.

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If you’re a telemarketer, or anyone who works for an over-the-phone annoyance business, why are you phoning homes in the middle of the day?  You’re obviously targeting the unemployed, because they’re the only people that would be home during the day while everyone else is working; yet if they’re not employed, they probably can’t afford whatever it is that you’re peddling.  Seems counterproductive, no?  Further, the callers that come equipped with background info (know your address, and other info) and probably even know that you do work during the day; that seems like a complete waste of a call seeing as though you’re almost definitely not home, and even if someone was home, the people that the homeowner would actually want to talk to would  know they’d be out at that time of the day and wouldn’t be calling, so there’s no way it’s someone they’d actually want to talk to,  and thusly it would not be worth the risk of answering a day-time phone call without caller ID or if they didn’t recognize the number.

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There should be a law against manufacturing mechanical parts that require Allen/Hex keys.  If you’re working on a project in your garage/workshop, or wherever, and you encounter that one pivotal screw that requires that oddball L-shaped disgrace tool to remove it, you immediately curse its inventors, and wonder why making the screw fit a Phillips, Robertson, or any other conventional tool was just too much to ask.

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I wonder how many actual Jehovah Witnesses were knocking on doors on Halloween? Seems like a good night to get more than 2 seconds of people’s attention; as you tell the person at the house you’re not actually dressed up, it’s how you dress every day, that you don’t want candy but would like to come in and talk, and then…. SLAM.

Consequently, I’d be willing to bet anyone who dressed up as a Jehovah Witness for Halloween and attempted to trick or treat probably didn’t receive one single piece of candy from anyone.  In fact, I might even bet that the whole Halloween needles-in-apples scandal was probably based on one Jehovah Witness-trick or treat incident.  Thanks guys, thanks a lot.  Stop bothering people.  And if someone does let you into their home, don’t take that as an open invitation for infinite visits.

Giants Win, Bonds Rages? Bush – Ranger Danger Quiz, Expressed Written Consent, and Another CFL Improvement Thought.

November 2, 2010 8 comments

Congratulations, San Francisco Giants on winning the World Series.  You guys had the guy with beard, and the young guy with the long hair… I mean with that cast of characters, and the storyline of ending your championship slump (doesn’t the slump notion seem like a reoccurring theme every year now when someone wins?) you were destined to win. 

I can’t help but think that, somewhere, Barry Bonds is spinning in his grave though. Wait, he’s still alive? Well, surely he’s jealous at least; probably a little mad too that the Giants put him out to pasture right after he was done showing off how many homeruns he could hit. Can’t you just hear the Giants brass’ sarcasm laced speech to Bonds,

Thanks for everything over the years Barry.  Ok now that you’re done doing YOUR thing (you know, the thing with the ‘alleged’ steroids, and the history/record tarnishing thing), WE’RE gonna go win the World Series. Yeah, remember that big shiny trophy that all the baseball teams try to win every year?  Yeah, we decided that winning it is actually important now that we don’t have you around to hit baseballs into the harbor and boost ratings and ticket sales.”

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Did having George Bush Sr and Barbara skew your results? How about the allegiance with MLB legend Nolan Ryan? Does hanging out in the public eye with people that are actually historically liked make W more likeable now that he’s no longer collapsing the stability of his country? Explain your answer.

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MLB is sure sticking to their guns on that “expressed written consent” requirement, aren’t they? Still to this day in 2010, broadcasters make that announcement, mid-game. Must it be pen & ink? Is text or email ok? If I write in now and get permission, I should be able to see the World Series in 6-8 weeks, best case scenario.

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Dear CFL,

Just move the upright post in the CFL from the front to the back already, seems like a no-brainer to avoid injury and embarrassment.  I get it, you’re different than the NFL, that’s fine, but why not try my idea?  Structurally sound?  I can’t prove that, but I think we have smart enough people out there to make it work somehow.  Just don’t let Shaq hang on it, and we should be fine. 

 

 

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