Alarm sounds over cost of fitness plan

This Globe and Mail article talks about a Conservative plan to breathe new life into Participaction — the fitness-awareness campaign killed five years ago by the previous Liberal government. They are asking for a total of $6 million by 2010 to get people off of the couch and participate.

The government has already said they're cutting $2 billion from the budget, including all funding for youth to train them and help them find a job; something that would get them off the couch and do more to participate in and contribute to society and the economy than this Participaction program ever wood.

What has the world come to?

Yes, I've sunk to a new low. In searching for content to write about I'm now drawing from the all-time water cooler fodder of . . . TV SHOWS.

I'm getting drawn in to the hype and circumstance of the Fall premieres. It doesn't help that my office mates (mostly women, not that that implies anything) are big into Survivor, Grey's Anatomy, etc., and there's usually morning conversation drifting over the cube walls discussing who slept with who and who stabbed who in the back.

Stay tuned for next weeks post where (hopefully) we'll return to regular scheduled programming of my long drawn out rants and raves on whatever happens to be mulling around in my brain.

CSI is a soap opera

It's official. So, is Sam dead?

I watched the series premiere of Smallville last night. It was good, but I don't think it was that great. You kind of feel sorry for Clark though as Chloe snubs him throwing away her long time affection for him to start something with Jimmy and the Fortress is dead severing all ties he had to Jor El, his only connection to Krypton and his powers. Though evidently that's going to come back as Lyonel's connection to Jor El is back. But you wonder if it just came back or if he's hiding it from Clark and Martha. When he wrote 'Power' on the sheet of Kryptonian writing does that mean power for him or is the symbol he wrote Kryptonian for "power."

And didn't it look like there were a few of the prisoners that game through the prison dimension with Clark. So, what happened to them?



I saw the series premiere of Heroes last night (I had recorded it). It looks like it will be a good show. I like how they did a six degrees of seperation type loop to connect everyone together.

The reviews have compared it to a mix between Lost and X-men, though the publicity write-ups have said they'll stay away from any X-men, Justice League type groups forming.

There will likely be a cult following for this with a lot of online content like Lost. The website has an online graphic novel that provides more content not seen in the show.

I'm not sure the online stripper really has a power though, I think she's just crazy. The ability to fly, or regenerate, or teleport are familiar hero abilities, but I'm not sure a schizophrenic with a psychotic alter ego is considered a special power.

Guess I'll have to watch the story unfold.

Tonight's the season premiere of Smallville, so I'm looking forward to that. And the second episode of CSI. The season premiere of that was really weird. It's like they did a whole episode in 45 minutes and then tacked on 15 minutes of the beginning of another episode just to make you come back.


Online battle or marketing gimmick?

There are a few web marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) e-newsletters that I subscribe to and two of them in particular have been very entertaining reading this past week.

One of them, The Rich Jerk, is a very irreverent guy who thinks he's above everyone and always talks down to the readers of his e-newsletter and his site, often with very colourful language. He maintains his anonymity and insists he likes it that way.

The other is from Andy Jenkins and Brad Fallon, SEO experts. Andy and Brad have been hyping the launch of their Stomper Network, launching next week.

The ongoing battle is that The Rich Jerk maintains he's made his millions by selling his knowledge and now Andy and Brad are giving away his SEO techniques for free. It's rather suspicious though in that The Rich Jerk's e-mails include links to Andy and Brads videos and website and repeat them throughout his e-mail, almost like a sales letter promoting the sites.

In fact, I found out about Andy and Brad's stuff from The Rich Jerk's e-mail. Rich Jerk claims that he doesn't like them giving away the stuff for free and keeps claiming how he's going to get back at them, and yet he keeps promoting them in his e-mails.

Makes you wonder if The Rich Jerk and Andy and Brad are in some kind of partnerhsip, or even that The Rich Jerk is really Andy or Brad (or both). Perhaps the irreverent Rich Jerk image is just a way for Andy and Brad to target a different audience without alienating their mainstream audience.


Does this dress make me look fat?

The question that every man dreads hearing from his spouse/girlfriend.

Recent news coverage has reported that Madrid banned excessively thin women from appearing in fashion shows. And I think it's about time.

Georgio Armani agrees; however, he doesn't take any responsibility for models who are incredibly thin: "the stylists and also the media have interfered and they now want models that are incredibly thin," he says.

Since when does a fashion designer bow to the media? I've seen enough episodes of Fashion Television to see some really out there, not-in-the-mainstream, designs.

Armani says he only takes on "healthy girls". He's very influential in the fashion world; let's hope that he stops placing blame and his actions are true to his words. If someone like Armani outwardly only uses healthy girls, then hopefully the stylists and the media, as he's quick to blame, will come around and stop demanding models that are incredibly thin.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a woman who actually looks like a woman (with a curvy figure).


Canada a ‘model' for world

Makes ya pround to be Canadian, eh.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai praised Canada and its people today with his speech at the House of Commons.

“Thanks to Canada's contributions, Afghanistan today is profoundly different from the terrified and exhausted country it was five years ago,” he said.

Six million children now attend school in his country. Under Taliban rule, that number had been limited to just 700,000, all of them boys. Today more 35 per cent of those attending school are girls.

Hard to believe. We take education for granted and to get any job today in the Western world you need at least a college diploma. Yet a few years ago on the other side of the world girls weren't allowed to learn.

There are still places in the world where it's a luxury to have books or materials to teach children.

It's nice to hear President Karzai praise Canada as a model to the rest of the world. Though I'm not saying that we need to conform the world to be like Canada, but there's so much we take for granted that are luxuries for other people in the world, like drinking water. It would be nice if we could share some of these luxuries.

I'm a big fan of space exploration and even dreamed of being an astronaut when I was a kid, but really I think we need to get our own little corner of the universe in order before spending billions of dollars on settling on the moon or on Mars.


Alberta Baby Boom

There's been a 10 per cent increase in babies born in Alberta from 2000 to 2005. I'm sure the booming (pun intended) economy is a big factor.

Although the lack of an NHL season 2004/2005 would've allowed the men to spend a lot more quality time with their wives/girlfriends.

So, Mike, you're a couple months into your marriage now, any news you want to share?


Stella Artois answers

Here are the answers to the three Stella Artois "spot the classic" wallpapers that I posted last week.



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Wake up running

Every morning a gazelle wakes up in Africa knowing that it has to run faster that the fastest lion or it will be eaten . . . every morning a lion wakes up in Africa knowing that it has to run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve . . . it doesn't matter if you're a lion or a gazelle . . . when you wake up you better be running.

Empire Theatres BOGO movie coupon

As a Scene First member (subscriber to Empire theatres movie times e-mail), I received an e-mail with this link from them and thought I would share it. It's good until Oct. 15 so you could actually print it out numerous times and use it over the four weeks.

I am actually subscribed to about four or five e-mails to receive the movie listings for theatres in London from all theatres. I use the information from them to update the listings on my site,

That's the reason why I created my site. Who really wants to get five e-mails just to find out what movie to see Friday night? And if you go to you have to find your City first from the huge list before you can see your movie times.

So, I created my site to serve my little corner of the world and provide one link that quickly and easily shows you the current movie listings in London. And if you want to receive them in an e-mail, you can sign up to receive all movie times in one weekly e-mail.


Stella Artois

I raise my glass to Stella Artois.

On the Stella Artois site there's a short, interactive movie called, The Stranger, that instructs you on the nine steps to follow to pour a glass of Stella Artois. Bars actually have to follow these steps if they want to sell Stella Artois.

They also have three "spot the classic" wallpapers on their site, which are three scenes incorporating various cluse from classis and modern films.

Street: Can you identify the 24 films in this scene?

Park: Can you identify the 17 films in this scene?

Beach: Can you identify the 20 films in this scene?

The answer key will be revealed September 18th, so if you're having trouble identifying the movies I'll post the answers then so you can see them all.

Update: Here are the links to the answers.


Amazing jump

This guy's got to be a stunt man.

Robert Ringer

I think I've mentioned Robert Ringer in earlier posts. He has an e-letter which I subscribe to called, A Voice of Insanity in an Insane World.

He is offering the updated version of one of his earlier best sellers for free as a PDF: To Be or Not to Be Intimidated.

Robert's bio in the book says, "[he] is often referred to as 'the thinking person's mentor' because of his emphasis on reason and logic." No wonder I like his writing; we need more logic in the world.

It's meant to be a gift to loyal subscribers or new subscribers, which basically includes everyone, so I've included the link above for anyone to check out.


Like a Surgeon

Not sure if this is the original Weird Al Yankovic video for this song, but it certainly is weird and rather disturbing at times.

And this is definitely weird.


Planet of the Apes

It turns out Rod Serling, who wrote POTA , also wrote the episodes of The Twilight Zone. So some crazed fan with way too much time on his hands edited POTA down and turned it into a 30-minute episode of The Twilight Zone, complete with Rod Serling's narration at the beginning and end.

I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but have copied it to take home tonight to view the entire episode.

London Search and Rescue

Not much to report on this yet, but last week I signed up for the London SAR St. John Ambulance Brigade, Ground SAR Team.

The intro (ISAR) course is the end of the month so I'll report more on that then. I'll also be getting basic CPR and First Aid training, and eventually wilderness first aid and other training. A lot of this I learned in the CF Reserves, so it will be a refresher. I'll need to recertify for these every year, so I'll be able to keep everything current.

The Ontario Search And Rescue Volunteer Association has some more info on training, etc.

Should provide some great experiences and a chance for me to really contribute to something worthwhile.


Mother Nature vs. Human nature

Tsunami Disaster - Asia - December 26, 2004
Lives lost: 130,000
Cause: Mother Nature

9/11 - U.S.A - September 11, 2001
Lives lost: 2,973
Cause: Human Nature

Both tragedies and yet which seems to have had the most news coverage? Which is still affecting the world today?

9/11 seems to be more of a tragedy to many as it was closer to home; it was an attack on America. The death toll of the tsunami was insurmountably more than 9/11 and the unbelievable loss of life makes it a great tragedy. Yet it was mostly developing countries affected and the other side of the world to us, so it doesn't seem to affect many as much.

So, which is the greater tragedy, the fact that events which occur on the other side of the world don't seem to affect us or that 9/11 was caused by men with purposeful intent to cause that destruction and loss of life?

United 93

I watched the dramatization of the events on Flight 93 on A&E last night. It was a very moving account of the tragedy.

I'm not sure if the conversations on cell phones between the passengers and their families on the ground were based on the actual accounts, but one passenger in the dramatization called her mother and said, "Hi Mom, it's me, I'm calling to say goodbye."

The movie didn't show the actual crash, but it did show the plane doing a rollover and diving towards the ground, then a later shot showed smoke rising over the trees. When the firefighters were on the scene there was a burnt, smoldering crater and they were searching for the plane . . . searching for a large, 40-passenger, commercial jet.

I know they likely took many liberties in creating this movie and likely added some extra sensationalism for TV, but I'm sure the actual events that day were likely just as wild and unbelievable.

I still remember the day. I was at work when rumors starting floating around. Many of the news sites were flooded with people searching for information about the events unfolding in the world. Then I heard a rumor that the Pentagon was hit and it was just unbelievable.

It's hard to believe how much the events of that day have changed the world and how the effects of it are still going on today with the war in Iraq.



Cool concept. In order to reduce the amount of junk ending up in landfills, this list puts you in touch with people in your area wanting to get rid of stuff, for free.

And as they say, "One person's junk is another person's treasure."

March 14 is Churn Day

The CRTC has ruled that March 14 is the day that wireless number portability (WNP) will take affect.

So, don't sign that long contract. Come March I'm sure the cell providers will be offering lots of deals to keep you as a customer and prevent churn (that's what they call it when a customer switches carriers).

Check out Virgin Mobile for their two cents worth. They don't have contracts and have the smallest share so they have the most to gain from this.

And check out The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association for there mumbo jumbo take on this.


Star P.M.

The Star has just launched a new afternoon addition of their paper offering highlights of the news. It's available at 3:30 everyday in a downloadable PDF. Perfect for bringing along on the commute home if you're stuck in traffic or taking the subway in TO.

More Crazy Frog

If you really hate Crazy Frog, this is a good outlet for you. As well as a big time waster.

Even if you think he's cool, this is still a fun game; though very addictive. The furthest I got was about 75 feet.

And here's more Crazy Frog with You can't touch this.


Crocodile Hunter

Kind of ironic that Steve Irwin, famous for tempting fate with crocodiles and snakes, is killed by a sting ray.

Sting ray's are normally gentle and will only attack when threatened. Their barbs are poisonous, but not enough to kill a person. Steve tragically was hit with the barb in the heart and bled to death. He died within moments of pulling the barb out of his chest.

Although I was never really a fan of his shows I'd seen enough clips from commercials and news stories to see he seemed like a very jovial, friendly person.

And it's not that he was specifically a thrill seeker. He and his wife, Terri, were big animal rights activists and many of Steve's thrill seeking was to raise awareness and promote animal conservation.

"Irwin was the type of man who would walk out of a Chinese restaurant if he spotted shark fin soup on the menu. He hated the idea of a threatened species being brought to the edge of extinction because it made a tasty appetiser."

Crikey, the Crocodile Hunter will be missed.


Holidays are over, back to work

It's Labor Day today and I've just had four days off work. I haven't been on the computer much at all this weekend; spending time with family and entertaining on our great patio. We had a fire Friday night with family and made 'smores, then had Mom, Dad and Grammy over for dinner Sunday. Did some yard work and went for a drive to Stratford Saturday.

Sheesh, this is more of a typical journal entry. I'll try and get my brain working again and write one of my profound, deep ramblings tomorrow.