Saturday, July 19, 2008

(Fake) Ouimet is Back!!!

I'm giddy, I'm speechless, I can't believe it!

Of course, it's not the "Real Ouimet" I have come to know and love, but anyone who attempts to take over her/his Blogging reins has to be a brave soul.

Long Live Teamakers! Long Live Ouimet!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Name (your price for) That Tune

For those of you wishing to enter The CBC's Contest/Competition to find a new song for Hockey Night in Canada, you may want to take a closer look at the Rules and Regulations. Here's some lovely tidbits and how me, an everyday not-a-lawyer Canadian, perceives them to mean. (And just so I don't get sued, everything written in Italics is Copyright CBC 2008)

Here we go:

The winning Theme will be broadcast as a key part of the program during the 2008-9 hockey season, and potentially beyond.

Notice "Potentially". That means after next Hockey Season is over they can drop it, just like they did with Mrs. Claman's Theme. Who knows? Maybe the CBC has a master plan to hold a contest every year! So much for your 15 Minutes of Fame...... the hoisting of the Stanley Cup could be 14:59 for you and your song.

Fans will be able to recommend their favourite Entries to their friends as soon as those Entries are posted. Until Semi-Finalists are revealed on October 4, 2008, “ratings”, “recommendations”,
“most viewed”, and other similar information will be available on the website, but will only be a factor for the Producer and Judges to consider in selecting Semi-Finalists.

Meaning: The CBC has the final say no matter what voters think is the best.

Applications and Entries will become the property of CBC, and will not be returned to applicants. During the Competition, Entries may be used by CBC, and, with CBC permission, its affiliates, agents, licensees, and sponsors, on any media, without limitation, exclusively. Until 30 days after the Competition ends on October 11, 2008, Entries may not be licensed for use on any other radio or television program, or on the website of any other established Canadian radio or television organization.

Meaning: Just by entering, we own what you created, and you can't have it back until mid-November even if we don't want it.

For any video Entries, Entrants should refrain from wearing any clothing items bearing designer or sports logos (other than your authorized musical group logos) or bearing the name or likeness of a celebrity, living or dead.

You mean you can't wear a frickin' Leafs/Canucks/Flames/Oilers/Canadiens/Sens Hockey Jersey when you perform the song? What is THAT about???!!! And too bad for those of you who were going to wear a SAVE JPOD! Tee.

It is the obligation of Entrants to ensure that their Entries comply with these Rules. Entries may be reviewed to ensure that.... the Entries are original and do not contain any inappropriate content, including but not limited to content prohibited by law (e.g. invasion of privacy, defamation, copyright infringement) or content contrary to CBC standards (e.g. sexually explicit content, or content that could expose CBC to embarrassment, contempt, ridicule, adverse publicity or otherwise reflect unfavourably on CBC), and content of a commercial nature promoting products or services. CBC will decide what may be posted, and what may be removed from posting, in its sole discretion.

I guess that means anyone sending in Mrs. Claman's Song, which has been bantered around on Message Boards, will not make the cut. Natch.

Judging criteria: The winning Theme will capture the essence of our national sport, provide a signpost for great hockey programming, and excite fans from coast to coast to coast.

Isn't that what the former song did? Hmmph. And I thought we only had TWO Coasts - East and West. Am I wrong? Seriously - If I'm wrong, let me know. I'll be needing to make a call to my old Geography teacher Mr. Haag to apologize.

The Winner: Fan voting for the Winner will begin no later than 10 pm (ET) on October 9, 2008 and will end at 11:59 pm (ET) on October 10, 2008. Again, it is anticipated that fan voting will determine the outcome, but in the event that fan voting does not, in the sole discretion of CBC, produce a clear Winner, or is inconclusive due to technical difficulties, unreliability of the data, or apparent voting irregularities, CBC reserves the right to determine the Finalists in accordance with the Judging Criteria, in consultation with the Judges. The Winner will be announced in our first 2008-9 Saturday broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada on October 11, 2008.

Meaning: Again, the CBC has the Final say who wins.

CBC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to have the Theme of any Semi-Finalist, Finalist, and the Winner, adapted, arranged and/or performed by artists other than those included in the original Entry. The Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and the Winner will be required to sign appropriate documentation confirming the right for CBC to make such adaptation, arrangement and/or performance by artists other than those included in the original Entry.

Meaning: You give the CBC permission to change what you created, and then if they are so inclined, they can get Nickelback to sing it, not you.

Entrant(s) of the winning Theme will receive $100,000.00 Cdn. (in total) for an assignment of copyright, and a waiver of moral rights, in the winning Theme’s composition, including its lyrics, and ownership of the Master Recording of the Entry. This amount will be inclusive of all scale and collective agreement fees, rates and entitlements. Any taxes (including income tax) associated with any award to Entrants are not included, and are the responsibility of the Entrant(s). CBC will grant a non-exclusive licence to the Songwriter(s) to perform the Theme themselves live in public venues, but not for broadcast or telecommunication, or to offer to the public in pre-recorded form (e.g. CD, DVD, mp3, mpeg, etc.). As well, CBC will direct that half of the royalties for public performance of the Theme, will be paid to the Songwriter(s) to be divided among them in accordance with the formula set out in the Competition Rules, and half will be donated by CBC to minor league hockey. The winning Theme will be broadcast as a key part of the program during the 2008-9 hockey season, and potentially beyond.

So, you sign over all rights to your creation to the CBC, you don't own a thing, and if the Tax Man wants a piece of your Winnin's, be prepared to pay up. You can perform it LIVE, but better make sure you don't upload it on YouTube, your iPod, or send it to your Auntie Martha's Cell in Saskatchewan. Oh yeah, any royalties from your performance? You gotta split it with the kiddies. (CBC suggesting: Look at how Canadian we are by giving money to Canadian Minor Hockey! If they were really generous, I have 4 boys right here who I have to write big Hockey Registration cheques for in September, hint, hint.) And then there's that subtle "Potentially beyond" again.

Semi Finalists - The Biggest Losers.

Prior to entering the final portion of the competition on October 4, 2008, the Semi-Finalists will be required to sign appropriate documentation, including various non-negotiable agreements, including irrevocable assignments of copyright in their Theme to CBC (to be effective if they win the competition, or in the event the winning Theme cannot be used by CBC, if they are otherwise selected as the winning Theme), exclusive licences to CBC to exploit their Theme for three years beyond the Closing date of the Competition (to be effective if they are not declared the Winner), and releases and waivers for their participation in programming associated with Canada’s Hockey Anthem Challenge programming. They will also be required to agree not to reveal to the public that they have been chosen as Semi-Finalists or Finalists, without the prior written consent of CBC, prior to CBC’s public announcement in that regard. In the event they are unwilling or unable to do so, they will be disqualified from further participation in the Competition. Entrants whose Entries are selected to be among the Semi-Finalists will grant CBC the exclusive right for three years to record and market their Theme to the public by all available means, including CDs, DVDs, and internet websites (iTunes etc.). A portion of net revenue from these sales will be given to minor league hockey. Semi-Finalists will share a portion of net revenue from these sales. The determination and division of net revenue among CBC, minor league hockey, Semi-Finalists and others will be determined by CBC, in its sole discretion. During the three year exclusive licence period, CBC may also incorporate the Entry as part of its programming. CBC will direct that half of the royalties for public performance of the Theme, will be paid to the Songwriter(s) to be divided among them in accordance with the formula set out in the Competition Rules, and half will be donated by CBC to minor league hockey. During this three year exclusive period, CBC will grant a non-exclusive licence to the Songwriter(s) of Semi-Finalist Entries to perform the Theme themselves live in public venues, but not for broadcast or telecommunication. No Semi-Finalist Theme may be sold, transferred, assigned or licensed for use on any other radio, television or internet-based hockey program within three years of the end of the Competition. The odds of winning are directly related to the number of Entrants, and the selection process to select the Semi-Finalists, the Finalists and the Winner of Canada’s Hockey Anthem Challenge.

Wow, there's so much here I don't even know where to start. I'll give it a shot, though.

First, if you are a Semi Finalist, you also sign over all your rights to your song to the CBC, and for 3 years too. Their lawyer-speak of the word "exploit" kinda freaks me out a little too to be honest. You better not tell anyone you made it that far either before the CBC does - they can disqualify you for it. Boy, your BFF is not going to be happy with you for keeping that a secret! Don't worry though, if you win the contest, and after you've paid the Tax Man, you can use some of your winnin's to buy them tickets to an NHL Hockey Game. Where you can see Nickelback perform your, oops, the CBC's song.

Anyhoo, back to the fact that if you are a Semi-Finalist, the CBC can use your song, even sell it on iTunes, and they determine what you get paid for it:

Semi-Finalists will grant CBC the exclusive right for three years to record and market their Theme to the public by all available means, including CDs, DVDs, and internet websites (iTunes etc.)

Meaning: They can make puck loads of cash from your creation, and they decide what to pay you. And you still weren't the person who won the contest, you don't even get the 15 Minutes. More like 2 minutes, or the equivalent of time it takes for that guy to come onto the ice and move the Goalie Nets out of the way for the Zamboni.

CBC reserves the right to change the structure, process, timing, duration or any other aspect of the Competition at its discretion.

Meaning: It's their contest, they can change the rules if they want to, whenever they want to.

CBC reserves the right to amend the Competition Rules or terminate the Competition at any time without any liability to any Entrant.

What? They can stop the Contest altogether? I suspect this was thrown in there on the off chance Stompin' Tom signs with them for using "The Good Old Hockey Game".

All Entrants agree that CBC and its agents can use, exploit, reproduce and distribute in any media whatsoever, now known or hereafter created, worldwide in perpetuity, the Entrant’s name, likeness, image, voice, Entries, comments and appearances, in whole or in part, without any further consent or compensation. Until 30 days after the Competition ends on October 11, 2008, Entries may be used by CBC, and, with CBC permission, its affiliates, agents, licensees, and sponsors, on any media, without limitation, exclusively. During this period, Entries may not be licensed for use on any other radio or television program, or on the website of any other established Canadian radio or television organization. For all these purposes, all Entrants agree to waive any and all copyright interest, and any moral rights, of any nature or kind they may have in their comments, Entries, and participation, including but not limited to music composed and lyrics written by them, any audio, audio/visual or visual appearances and performances.

So ANYONE, simply by entering the contest, agrees that the CBC can use anything they submitted, including their name and image, throughout the world, and in perpetuity, (Doesn't that mean FOREVER?) and not have to tell or pay you. Creepy. Also, until 30 days after the contest ends, any entrant agrees to waive any copyright interest.... and none of it can show up on another station. (CTV, perhaps?)

CBC shall have the right to alter, adapt, separate, edit or make additions to or deletions from the Entry for use during the Competition in its programming related to Canada’s Hockey Anthem Challenge, in its sole discretion, without compensation to the Entrant(s).

Again, just by entering, they can use your stuff, change it even, and not pay you.

Entrants acknowledge that Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, its Directors, officers and employees, agents, its affiliated companies, its advertising and promotional agencies and/or representatives, the Judges, and any person or entity connected with the production, administration or judging of the Competition or the Program are not responsible for and are in no way liable for any injuries, loss or damages arising from the Competition. Entrants agree not to make any demand or pursue a lawsuit against any of them for defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, intentional tort, or any similar cause of action arising in any way out of any use, exploitation, reproduction and distribution by CBC or its agents of the Entry, and the live or recorded participation of the Entrant in any Program. Entrants also agree to indemnify them and hold them harmless from all claims, demands, actions, suits or other proceedings, and all damages and costs (including reasonable legal fees) brought by third parties arising in any way out of any use, exploitation, reproduction and distribution by CBC or its agents of the Entry, and the live or recorded participation of the Entrant in any Program.

Meaning: You're not allowed to sue any of their asses. And if anyone tries to sue you, the CBC ain't backin' your Canadian ass up either.

Refusal to accept an award releases CBC, as well as its directors, officers and employees, of all responsibility and obligations toward its Winner, but all rights assigned or granted to CBC remain irrevocable.

Meaning: if you don't accept the Award, you get nothing from them, but they still own your submission, image, etc.

CBC, as well as its directors, officers and employees, shall assume no liability whatsoever for any situation in which their inability to act results from an event or situation unforseeable or beyond their control, including but not limited to force majeure, a strike, lockout or any other labour dispute at their location or the locations of the businesses whose services are used to hold this Competition.

Do I smell another lockout? And if there is something of that nature that takes place at the CBC, or in the NHL, (Businesses whose services are used to hold the contest), well, too bad for you.

In the event of any dispute concerning the operation of any element of the Competition or these Competition Rules, the decision of CBC will be final.

Again, the CBC has the final say. Anyone who chooses to question the Rules, say Monty from Manitoba doesn't like that the Ceeb added the Jazz Flute in his Composition when he clearly wrote it should be an electric guitar during the Chorus, is trumped. Too bad for Monty.

After reading all this, all I can say is, Mrs. Claman should feel lucky she doesn't have to deal with the Mothercorpse anymore.... man, this just comes off to me like if you simply enter their contest you've signed your Creative Soul over to the Ceeb for a 30 second jingle that a majority of people never wanted in the first place. Yeah, stuff the phantom loaded poll info CBC, ask Hockey Fans what they really think of the whole debacle.

So go ahead and send in your Submission (Ironic word, you think?) Just don't say you haven't been warned..... and for some reason just thinking about this has that Jack Nicholson line from the original 80's Batman movie running through my head:

"Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale Moonlight?"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Spinning It & Spinning It & Spinning It Well....

Spin (Def.):

In public relations, spin is sometimes a pejorative term signifying a heavily biased portrayal in one's own favour of an event or situation. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, "spin" often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics. Politicians are often accused of spin by commentators and political opponents, when they produce a counter argument or position. In the modern world, most PR practitioners are discouraged to use spin because it is fundamentally counterproductive to the industry's ultimate goal of building relationships with constituents.

The techniques of "spin" include Selectively presenting facts and quotes that support one's position (cherry picking), the so-called "non-denial denial," Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths, euphemisms for drawing attention away from items considered distasteful, and ambiguity in public statements. Another spin technique involves careful choice of timing in the release of certain news so it can take advantage of prominent events in the news. -

Scott Moore, head of CBC Sports, has Blogged about Hockey Night in Canada dropping the Hockey Theme from its broadcasts. I have left my Comment, but for some reason, even though it says the discussion is still open, he is choosing not to approve what I wrote. He does state they will not post a personal attack, and I concur that it probably does come off that way. Really though, it's not a personal attack, it's just me stating the obvious. So, I'll post my two cents here, because I can. :P

For all of you here that are saying "Thanks for the truth", you are being led like a bunch of sheep. This is Mr. Moore playing "Cover Your Ass".

I have never seen more blatant use of a media platform being abused than here. It just gets worse as other Media outlets pick up the articles from the CBC. In legal circles, wouldn't this be considered "Fruit from the Poison Tree?"

The CBC is taking selective info from CP Releases and leaving out key information. (see "Cherry Picking" above) Your statement "it turned out we could not outbid CTV" is not true. CTV did not get involved until AFTER the CBC announced their new contest. You admitted, televised, one day after the news broke that the CBC had been developing this Contest for over a year. And why? Because the CBC obviously had no intention of keeping the song in the first place. Let go is what the CBC did, not lose it.

Because the CBC says one thing and has the power of the Media, it doesn't make it true. From Madeleine Morris, daughter of Dolores Claman:

"For 25 years, CBC paid my mother no license fees at all for the music...Last week, after more than a year of CBC bullying, threatening and endless changing of positions, we offered the CBC the following deal: forget the lawsuit -just pay our legal fees (which we incurred because of CBC's breach of usage as agreed in the license deal) and let's keep the same licensing deal as before. That's it...same as before. $500 per episode of HNIC. They did not accept. They kept bullying us, telling us the song was worthless, threatening to drop the song altogether if we didn't give them exactly what they wanted, absolutely on their terms. If not, they'd hold a national contest and replace the song." Read the whole Post here.

I'd also like to take the time to address the "Poll". The question asked was loaded and the Poll is discussed on the Inside the CBC Blog:

"A Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll (who did this Poll anyways? An update on the Inside the CBC Blog states: "To be clear, Canadian Press, nor any company, was the “client” in this survey. Harris/Decima frequently releases its data with CP, as part of CP’s media sponsorship with the firm. What?) reports that the majority of Canadians — 56 per cent — feel the CBC did the right thing by refusing to pay more than $1 million for a year’s licence of the song. (27% of people think the Corp should have shelled out.)

One Million Dollars is not an accurate monetary number for per year use, as is asked. What was also left out is that there were many options for consideration. And the CBC should really get their facts straight as to who really commisioned the Poll.

Quoting Mr. John Ciccone from the blog Comments:

"Wow. Sure sheds a whole new light on ‘polls’. Is that a typo in this headline, or did they actually so drastically incorrectly state “$1M for a year’s license”? If so, my hunch is that the other options of $500/game etc. were not presented either when polling. Can’t wait to find out.

Mr. Ciccone, who represents Dolores Claman, Composer of the Hockey Theme, has also been very forthright with all information pertaining to the whole breakdown of events and dealings with th CBC:

Chronology of Events (from

Although it seems to be crystallizing lately for most folks, inconsistencies in CBC announcements have prompted this outline of events leading up to their dropping the song to run a contest. First, the short form. Then more details below:

CBC is offered same-as-before deal. Offer open 'til next Friday.
CBC does not accept and advises that if no deal by Tuesday, they will move forward with a contest.
CBC extends deadline to Wednesday.
CBC states "I am sorry that we seem unable to continue our relationship."
We fax short notice that CBC is dropping the theme.
Country is angry.
CBC says 'What deadline?'
CBC advises that if they don't have basis for agreement in one minute, they will announce their contest.
We later fax short notice that CBC is dropping the theme.
CBC publicly announces their contest.
Country is angry.
CTV acquires all rights in the song.
CBC offers arbitration. At same time as contest.

From "The Spin Cycle: What you're not hearing" and please, go READ IT ALL, you'll be amazed.

It has become necessary to provide more details in the way of direct quotes given the inconsistencies in CBC's public announcements issued over the past week. The statements seem to be confusing some people. They're confusing me. And I was there.

Tuesday, June 17th (Globe & Mail):

Scott Moore, the head of CBC Sports, charged that CTV deliberately interfered with the CBC's negotiations for the famous song, suggesting it was a publicity stunt to embarrass the network."CTV management characterized their actions as 'saving the song,' " Moore wrote on a CBC blog. "But they knew the negotiation hadn't run its course. I firmly believe that if they hadn't inserted themselves into the negotiation, the result would have been different."

(Ed: How distasteful and desperate. Simply glance through the above chronology and decide for yourselves. Hide the cat lest she be the next one blamed.)

But CTV president Rick Brace sharply disputed Moore's allegation, calling it "accusatory."Brace said CTV, which reportedly paid in seven figures for the song, did not contact the representative of songwriter Dolores Claman until after the CBC issued a news release on June 6, stating that negotiations had failed and that network would launch a contest for a new Hockey Night song."To try to lay this at our feet or suggest we somehow interfered with their negotiation is just ludicrous," Brace said. "They made a decision. They announced it to the world. And they walked away."

Well, there you have it. You asked and you have received. This has been the past couple of weeks. Imagine what the last six years have been like.

It has been difficult posting this, but as mentioned, the CBC's 'inconsistencies' have created such confusion that this is the only way to clarify.

As such, it is up to the CBC to determine what is issued to the taxpaying public, and what isn't.

John Ciccone
Copyright Music & Visuals

As for me, all I can say is "Mr. Moore, keep on Spinning it!" The truth is out there for those of us who wish to seek it.

Hey CBC! I'm Calling You Out

So one of the big stories dominating the news across Canada since the day after the final puck dropped on the 2007/08 NHL Hockey Season has been the CBC's decision to drop the "Hockey Night Theme Song" from their Hockey Night in Canada Broadcasts. CTV, being smart as all heck, scooped it up after The CBC announced on Friday that they were letting the Theme go in favour of an "American Idol" type contest to find a new song. I was going to weigh in earlier, but frankly, the whole thing just makes my head, and my heart, hurt. I hadn't thought they could screw up HNiC Coverage any more than they did when they tried to fire Ron MacLean and there was a huge Canadian outcry. For other key perspectives on the whole Hockey Song debacle, get it straight from The Spin Cycle as well as from Madeleine Morris, daughter of The Hockey Theme Composer Dolores Claman.

The Hockey Theme... it's a part of who Canadians are.

Toronto Star: Reactions from the street.

Quoting Wayne Gretzky "As I say to people to this day the greatest song in Canada is the Theme Song to Hockey Night in Canada and to this day it still sends a shiver up my spine when I hear the song come on."

I also left a tidy Comment on the insidethecbc Blog:

"Kill The Orchestra. Kill Classical. Kill jPod. Kill Intelligence. And now Kill The Hockey Night in Canada Theme Song?

WTF is going on there? How come us normal everyday Canadians do not get a say in any of these decisions? As I’ve come to learn, we can protest this quackery until we are blue in the face, but our cries are squashed quicker than a mosquito in Muskoka.

Is there some sort of Citizen Committee that is involved in what Programming and Content is on the CBC? If there isn’t, there should be. I’ll be the first to volunteer.

The HNiC Theme is practically our Nation’s Second Anthem, recognized throughout the world. That music blaring from the TV was like a battle cry - especially as a kid, when I heard it I ran to the “Rec Room” with my Dad and brothers to watch Saturday Night Hockey. My own boys flock to the TV when they hear it.

My Dad was the Ultimate Hockey Fan, Coaching 4 sons, and a daughter, all throughout our lives. He passed away in 2006 with a Jersey hanging from his I.V. pole beside his bed at St. Michael’s, and fortunately lived long enough to see one of his Grandsons make it to the NHL. I can’t even stand the thought of how upset he would be about this!

All this…. for an “American Idol” type contest to find a new song, which by the way has been in the works for over a year. The increase Mrs. Claman is asking for is standard throughout the industry, and little old me was able to find out that among the numerous options presented to the CBC was a suggestion to do the same license that has been in place for about 10 years. (There would be no increase in license fee for the first 2 years, and in the business of licensing music, it is pretty much etched in stone that any time a license is renewed or extended, there’s a bump in the fee by approximately 15%.)

What is so unreasonable about that for something that is considered a Canadian Tradition? It’s more than “Just a Song”, for many, it’s a part of who we are.

Bah, I’m done with you, CBC. You may be the “Canadian Broadcaster” in name, but I feel that you no longer effectively represent me as a Canadian."

I think I got my point across. In the end, it looks like The Ceeb will end up paying dearly anyway, as they were caught with their hand in the Cookie Jar.

Canadians get creative regarding CBC's decision to stop airing the Hockey Theme on HNiC.

CBC stands for "Canadian Broadcasting Corporation". So why is it that they continue to alienate the very people that they are working for? Add it to the long list of completely inept decisions the CBC has been putting over on Canadians. The very people that fund the CBC. It's bad enough that Canadians were also subjected to a Lockout in recent years as well.

I've been sounding off on here for the past couple of months about the CBC's decision to cancel jPod, so I guess I really shouldn't be surprised at yet another bonehead move by The Mothercorp(se?).

So what is an everyday Canadian like me to do when we feel that our Nation's station that is supposed to represent and deliver the Canadian content that I want, doesn't? Like I mentioned in my comment above, is there no Citizen Committee that has a voice to weigh in on the choices they make? It's bad enough that even if we do embrace a show, such as jPod, chances are we aren't getting counted in the ratings anyways as the CBC relies on outdated BBM Ratings which is archaic in an age where so many people have taken to watching television online:

"Chris Haddock, producer of Intelligence, pointed out the lunacy of the CBC gauging a shows popularity, especially among young viewers on the weekly BBM ratings since so many young television fans don't own their own homes and so cannot be counted, and many of them watch TV on the Internet."

"The ratings themselves have been questioned very profoundly all over the world about their accuracy and their relevance because you have to be a homeowner,"

"So university students don't get counted, a person who is a renter doesn't get counted, a lot of people under 30 don't get counted, so it's absurd on many, many levels. I mean do you have to buy a home to get counted in the ratings?"

Reading this today just gets me angrier.

An excerpt from the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting article reads:

"CBC will air more foreign programs than ever before on prime time English TV next autumn, defying CRTC licence expectations and confirming that CBC has lost touch with its public broadcasting purpose, says the watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.

CBC will regularly broadcast 7 hours of foreign, mostly US, programs during prime time. This is a substantial increase, eclipsing the highest level of foreign content ever tracked since FRIENDS first began monitoring CBC’s English television schedule in 1990. CBC has logged a steady increase since the current head of CBC English operations took charge of television in the summer of 2004.

This plan will place CBC in defiance of the CRTC’s broadcast licence expectation of 80% Canadian content during prime time and runs counter to the recommendation of Commons Heritage Committee in its recent report on CBC’s mandate “that prime-time hours, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday to Friday, on the CBC/Radio-Canada’s television networks, should be reserved for Canadian productions”.

“CBC is supposed to be about presenting Canada to its citizens, not American game shows and Hollywood movies...”

So there it is. Quite a similar argument in my article on the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting site. I was referring to jPod, but I think this ties right in:

"In February 2008, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (a committee comprised of various MPs) produced a report entitled CBC/Radio-Canada: Defining distinctiveness in the changing media landscape. The purpose of the report was to study the future role of public broadcasting, and to present the Committee's findings and recommendations. All of the below statements, taken directly from the report, play straight into jPod's strengths. From the Committee's report:

"[CBC] must constantly keep up with new technologies and reach out to audiences where they are, including young people who seek content on the Internet." (p.5)

"We are asking CBC/Radio-Canada to be original, of high quality and innovative" (p.9)

"Mandate of the CBC/Radio-Canada as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act (1991, c. 11, B-9.01, [Assented to February 1, 1991)(i) be predominantly and distinctively Canadian […]" (p 18)

"[…]CBC should make large increases to arts and cultural programming, for example, by producing more contemporary Canadian dramas, historical documentaries, and TV movies." (p.34)

"Dwindling audience share is not unique to public broadcasting, and audience measurement will need to adapt alongside the transition to digital media. Internet broadcasting, downloading and streaming content, PVRs and on-demand and pay services mean that the same film, television episode or news broadcast will be seen by many more viewers than those who tune in for "appointment television"." (p55)

"CBC/Radio-Canada's online presence will be fundamental to its relevance to Canadian audiences in the future." (p57)

Clearly, they are not following The Reports Recommendations.

Something else that is completely astonishing? The CBC sold the Taxpayer Funded International Sales Catalogue, and to a Foreign buyer no less.

Details from the Canadian Press article states "the deal saw 135 titles and 700 hours of CBC's international sales catalogue sold to UK based ContentFilm. The CBC has released few details of the deal, which allows ContentFilm to sell the rights to the CBC shows to broadcasters around the world."

"It makes no sense why the CBC never attempted to invite Canadian companies in particular to participate in a transparent auction of publicly owned assets. If this had been any other Crown corporation who had transferred hard assets without tender . . . heads would roll.''

"This is a public trust that every Canadian taxpayer has contributed to in this library,'' veteran actor Paul Gross said. "The fact that it appears to have been sold with absolutely no open bidding, discussion, or presentation to the public is bizarre. This is a question of national ownership. What's up for grabs next? Algonquin Park? P.E.I.?''

A quick Google Search of "CBC Screws up" returned 94,700 English pages and many, many more stories...

- The CBC draws protests from across Canada regarding proposed changes to CBC Radio 2.

"The changes, to take effect this fall, include the cancellation of some classical programs and the shifting of others to what disgruntled music fans say are inconvenient, off-peak hours when most people are either working or at school."

Classical Fans have another alternative though, and Moses Znaimer is going to save the day.

-The CBC has announced at a meeting in Vancouver on March 27 that they would be dissolving the 70-year old CBC Radio Orchestra.

“Really, it’s a case of straight up economics,” said CBC spokesman Jeff Keay. “We couldn’t afford to maintain the orchestra.” The CBC has promised that the funds saved by the decision will go towards commissioning works from other orchestras across the country. Many in the arts community are concerned about what they perceive as the progressive “dumbing down” of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and are working to ensure that an opposing voice is heard and that the CBC is made aware of the public’s concern."

-From the Website calling for the CBC to keep the Orchestra:

"The orchestra is the most historically significant orchestra in Canada, the last radio orchestra in North America, with a mandate of performing and supporting Canadian musicians and composers. The ensemble is arguably the most talented, most recorded (32 recordings), and most beloved orchestra in the country. Lots of superlatives, but that is not all. They are a treasure. The orchestra is part of our uniqueness; it is part of what makes Canada “Canada flavoured”. I don’t want my Canada to be watered down by bored bureaucrats tending bar. I want my Canada full strength. This orchestra is that. Its roots reach back to 1938, it is an icon.

"CBC Radio ended this orchestra with the stroke of a pen, with no consultation with Canadian taxpayers who fund the CBC, paying the CBC to uphold its mandate of providing and supporting uniquely Canadian programming. What could be more unique than this important ensemble of Canada’s most talented musicians?"

"If we allow this significant Canadian institution to be dissolved, one day we may be wondering where all the orchestras have gone, where all the dancers, singers, and artists have gone. I don’t want that Canada. If all that is left of Canadian culture is that which is saleable or marketable or easy, we are not in a country, we are in a shopping mall."

From the Radio Two and Me Blog :

"Of course it’s related to the move away from classical music on CBC Radio! In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a well-orchestrated (no pun intended) campaign against classical music taking place within the CBC for several years now, with the first outbreak of open hostilities being the cancellation of “Music for Awhile” and “In Performance” on March 19, 2007. The latest announcements of reduced classical programming during the day and the disbanding of the CBC Radio Orchestra are just mopping-up operations in that campaign."

Even The Canadian Heritage Committee is recommending that the CBC not disband The Orchestra.

-Anglos watching RDS instead of CBC? Some of Andy Blatchfords' article from THE CANADIAN PRESS:

"The Montreal Canadiens are grinding their way through the playoffs in a promising push that has millions of Quebecers basking in the glow of their televisions.

"In the excitement, French-language sports channel RDS has reeled in more Quebec viewers than CBC has nationwide with its Habs broadcasts.
And even many English-speaking hockey fans are tuning in to the French coverage. Some Anglos in Quebec say they're choosing RDS over the CBC's English coverage...."

-They axed Street Cents, the consumer affairs show aimed at teenagers.
From CBC News:

"For 17 years the Street Cents gang reviewed products and discussed issues relevant to younger viewers, from video games to emergency contraception."

"Actor Jonathan Torrens hosted Street Cents from the late 1980s to 1996. The show, produced out of Halifax, has won national and international awards, including seven Geminis and an international Emmy."

Heaven forbid they have something relevant to young Canadians!

Another story that also has personal meaning for me as I am half Métis, happened back in 2002. The leadership of Canada's Métis National Council said CBC-TV's mock trial of Louis Riel was an "abomination" and a "gross violation and betrayal" of the public broadcaster's mandate. Gerald Morin, president of the council, filed a formal letter of complaint with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Morin criticized the program for:

- Not involving Métis in its production, which he says is part of CBC's mandate when dealing with projects relating to aboriginal culture;

- Not having a Métis play the role of Riel;

- Judging a historical occurrence under today's laws.

Morin also asked the CBC to air a documentary that accurately portrays the history of Riel and the Métis and their role in securing Confederation.

The CBC said the broadcaster did not produce the program; the show was conceived by the Dominion Institute, a historical society that promotes knowledge and discussion of Canadian history. But shouldn't the CBC have made sure that the Dominion's program met their Mandate and used a Métis actor? Dominion stated it needed well-known high profile lawyers to attract an audience and that's why they didn't use a Métis actor.

The CBC gave other excuses regarding the program, like it was "Part of a Series." But really, the rest was only a story on The National, and a panel discussion, albeit with all Métis panelists, the latter installment came to be only after Morin raised concerns.

You would think after this happened, the CBC would have been a little more careful about their Documentary content. Apperently not though:

-James Cowan, CanWest News Service; with a file from Daphne Bramham Published: Thursday, November 11/08/07:

"The CBC cancelled the airing of a documentary about the Falun Gong spiritual movement after receiving calls from the Chinese embassy expressing concern about the film's subject matter."

"Beyond the Red Wall: The Persecution of the Falun Gong was scheduled to appear on Tuesday evening on CBC Newsworld. It was replaced at the last minute by a rerun of a documentary on President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. The broadcaster says it changed its schedule because recent turmoil in Pakistan made the Musharraf documentary "timely." However, a spokesman acknowledged the CBC has received calls from Chinese diplomats about Beyond the Red Wall and intends to review the documentaries contents before returning it to its broadcast schedule."

"We were contacted by the Chinese embassy and they've just expressed their concern that the doc[umentary] be accurate -- that's not a problem with us," said Jeff Keay. "We're having conversations with the doc's producer just to review its contents and make sure it's a good solid documentary."

"Peter Rowe, who wrote and directed the documentary, said a CBC executive called him late Tuesday afternoon to inform him the film would not air that evening. The executive also asked if Rowe could come to a meeting to discuss "re-editing" his documentary."

"It's rather surprising, because the film has been in production for about three years and was delivered to the CBC in March, so the authorities and the executives at the CBC signed off on the film quite some time ago," Rowe said.

"Rowe, a television veteran with credits spanning three decades, said the CBC's decision to revisit the film after giving it final approval is odd.
"It's almost unheard of," he said. "You really have to question why they decided to cancel it at this insanely late hour."

The CBC eventually aired the Documentary. From Peter Worthington, Toronto Sun:

"An array of CBC officials have since denied that China's protests had anything to do with the decision to cancel the show a few hours before it was to run." "CBC spokespeople gave several versions until they co-ordinated scripts to explain that the 11th-hour cancellation was really a postponement for journalistic reasons, and that producer/director/writer Peter Rowe agreed to make minor changes. "

This here interweb is full of stories of Canadians frustrated with the CBC.

-Why Lie?

-Food for Thought?

-Lack of Intelligence - Blame the Leafs?

-This Was Wonderland

- Charges of Racism


-CBC Radio Three's lauded Web mag dies from Alexandra Gill:

VANCOUVER -- "If you've never seen the CBC's award-winning arts and culture Web magazine , be sure to check out the current edition. It is the last one. After 100 issues and three prestigious Webby awards (among numerous other international design, art, communication and technical-engineering prizes), the on-line magazine has been killed off as the public broadcaster's innovative Web service tries to reinvent itself once again with a new mandate focusing squarely on music and more traditional radio programming."

There's other little things too. jPod was nominated for 15 Leo Awards, and there was not one mention of it anywhere on, not even when the show nabbed 4, including Best Screenwriting in a Dramatic Series. I knew they would win that one though, as all 4 scripts from that category were from no other show except jPod. Brilliance is highlighted in the TV Community, but not the CBC who aired it? I believe they just didn't want to bring attention to the fact that they cancelled such a promising program.
Jpod Fans have been pretty much been ignored altogether by the CBC, thank goodness there are people like jPod Writer and Leo Award Winner Daegan Fryklind who stand up for us little people.

Fan Made jPod Poster signaling the rebroadcast of the Series.

Even though jPod is being rebroadcast over the summer (The Series is already bought and paid for anyways, right?) it has been fans spreading the word with barely any advertisement by the CBC promoting it's return. In fact, yesterday morning when I went to the CBC website to see about the show airing last night, the main page for Thursday was trumpeting The National. I e-mailed to ask why even on the day of it being on was there hardly any promo, and it seems only after a Detroiter wrote about his disappointment over the cancellation and it started to show up on Television websites and Blogs did they feature jPod on Thursday's television page later on in the day.

The most recent blow from the Ceeb has been to cancel Search Engine, the CBC Radio 1 show about technology and digital culture.

"Host Jesse Brown made the announcement at the end of his last show this June 19th. The show has just won a New York Festival International Radio Award, and was the most-downloaded weekly news and current affairs show from the CBC."

Does that make sense to you? For the CBC to cancel their most downloaded show?

Host Jesse Brown is brilliant, and I think he caught Jim Prentice off guard regarding Bill-C-61. I wonder, is the cancellation of Search Engine and this breathtaking Podcast a coincidence? Hmmmmm. Once again, people are upset with the CBC, and again, it seems the CBC has it in for what is probably mostly a tech savvy younger demographic. It makes one wonder; "Is the CBC afraid of smart people?"

Smart people question things. Canadians Fund the CBC and have the right to question their National Broadcastors' Content and Programming. The CBC doesn't like to be questioned. Believe me, as a jPod, Classical Music and Hockey Fan, I know. They eventually write you back a couple of months later and it's always the same "Blah, blah , blah, we're sorry you're upset but watch/listen our new shows in the Fall!"

CBC Execs will trot along with no one to answer to, continue to fly Executive Class when CBC's own corporate policy for CBC travellers outlined on its website. states: "The standard for air travel is economy" and flights should be for the "lowest logical airfares available" unless approved by a vice-president. Continue booking their personnel in $800/ Night Hotel Rooms with Personal Butlers. Continue to air that commercial about all of their awesome Summer Movies - every single movie previewed being American. Continue to pay for Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune even though it's on like 8 other American Stations at the exact same time and bumping out Marketplace, and don't forget they pay for Simpson's reruns when all of that money they are spending on importing foreign programming should be going to Canadian Produced Productions. Continue to forget who exactly they are working for and represent Canadians properly because frankly, we deserve to have a Majority of Canadian Content... it's all just so sad, really.

I'm sure I could go on and on, giving a hundred more examples of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations', in my opinion, flagrant mismanagement, but I fear that my rant is all for nothing. The Canadian Taxpayer will continue to fund the CBC and put up with whatever decisions "they" make for us, because we have no choice not to.

I believe The CBC will eventually be lost in the abyss of 1000's of Stations and eaten alive by Cyberspace, that's where their future demographic of Neilson Raters reside this very moment, and how many of those young 'uns can say that they ever even watch the CBC on a regular, loyal basis, except maybe for Hockey Night in Canada? Oh wait, make that Hockey Night on TSN... where the "old" song went and where Chris Cuthbert is already waiting.

- All quotes link back to their original Web Postings
- "Hourglass" picture from
- "Return of the jPod" poster courtesy of Micronaut
- Originally posted June 10th, Edits on 19/08, 23/08

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Stress? Slow the Flow.

Stressed on a Monday afternoon? Listen to this...

Chill out with Ugly Duckling...

Chaos just woke up from his nap. He's sprawled out on the sofa with a box of Ritz Crackers in his hands.

He rats the cat out.

"Chunkers is on the table."

"Oh yeah," I said. The cat is out like a light. "He shouldn't be up there."

"Hey Chunkers, get off there." I say. The cat doesn't budge.

Chaos responds. "But he's just chiwwen, he's just chiwwen up there."

"He's just chillin' up there?" I ask.

"Yep." He answers very matter of factly as he moseys on over to the cat who is appreciative of pets from Chaos, evident from his "Ahhh, feels good." stretch out.

So there it is. Your "Monday Chill Out" brought to you by Chaos and Ugly Duckling.

Slow the Flow.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hellish Days & Evel Knieval Wannabees

So I took more than the day off... it's been a crazy, hellish week. With lots going on, (and I'll get to that one of these days) Monday proved to be a Nightmare.

I was already in a sad mood as I had just watched the funeral coverage of young Canucks player Luc Bourdon on the news when we got the call just after 12 p.m. It was The Teenager, and he had been in a car accident. A backseat passenger in his friends little auto, they were just leaving school to grab some lunch when a little old lady of about 75 had smashed into them doing 60 clicks on a 40 zone side street. She never even hit the brakes and pushed their compact car 21 ft. from the point of impact. Her Minivan hit the side he was sitting on.

A Miracle, all 3 boys were able to walk away without serious injury.

While I was frantic, The Dude headed to the scene while I bounced off the walls at home with Chaos, who was wondering what all the commotion was about. I talked to The Teenager on his cell. He assured me he was going to live and had been checked over by the Paramedics, but had a very sore shoulder and bruised up arm. His friend who was driving had a hurt shoulder, and The Teenagers best friend who was sitting in the front passenger seat was taken to the hospital as he had cuts from flying glass. The lady who hit them was taken to the hospital due to her age and her airbag deploying.

He's had some very uncomfortable nights and another trip to the Doctor has assessed him with a Swollen Rotator Cuff. After a couple of days off from school I think he had become annoyed with my hovering and constant questioning of him; "Are you feeling okay? Are you in alot of pain?" and he headed back to school, feeling lucky to be alive, and getting on with life. Alas, he's not impressed that his arm is still too sore to go to Hockey today, but the last thing he wants to do is possibly injure it more so that's out for now. By Thursday night I had finally calmed down somewhat over the whole situation, but that's when we got the pictures back of the accident and my heart fell all over again.

We agreed. Papa was watching over my boy from Heaven...

As a Mother, this is the sort of thing from nightmares. Unfortunately it's not the first time something horrible like this has happened to one of my boys.

On The Teenagers 13th. Birthday when they were walking home from school, The Punk, 7 years old at the time, was nailed head on by a Hit and Run Driver. The Bastard was speeding right in front of two schools! After hitting my son, he hit a teacher in her car and sped off.

The Punk was in shock after being thrown up onto the hood and windshield and flying through the air a couple of feet. He jumped up and ran home only 30 seconds away. As bystanders stood around in disbelief, The Teenager ran after him and tended to his little brother, laying him on the sofa, putting his feet up and grabbing frozen peas from the freezer for The Punks' hip. My Mother, who I commonly refer to as my "Egg Donor" (and that's a whole other subject I'll eventually write about) and who was supposed to walk out to meet them, was absolutely no help whatsoever and slinked off to a corner. My neighbour had also rushed in to see what she could do.

Meanwhile, my Grandparents and I pulled up to the house as we were just arriving home from the bakery picking up The Teenagers Birthday cake. We knew something was up because of the gaggle of kids gathered outside and the Teenager came to the curb to meet us. He said "Now I don't want you to freak out, (Yeah, right!) and he seems okay, but The Punk was hit by a car." Well, I did freak out and ran up to the house. I didn't want The Punk to be upset any more than he certainly would be, so I steeled myself and acted as calm as I could after I rushed over to my son. Tears were streaming down his little freckled face as he told me he got hit by a car and that his older brother had been taking care of him. I checked him from head to toe and with the exception of a reddened hip he seemed fine - from what I could see on the outside anyways.

I kept telling him he would be fine, that everything was going to be okay. Then tried to not totally lose my mind when he asked if he was going to die! I called The Dude who immediately dropped everything he was doing and frantically took off from work to make his way home. I then ran out to my Grandparents, who were sitting practically frozen in the car. The terror on their faces was heart breaking. "He's fine." I assured them, and my Grandmother finally felt okay enough to come into the house. She's never ever handled it well when one of us kids got hurt - when I was 2 and fractured my femur she ran from the scene at Ted Reeve Arena screaming, covering her ears from my cries. It's not a fault, it's just her way of dealing when one of the loves of her life gets hurt.

The Dude got home so quickly I thought he had teleported, and we loaded The Punk into Papa's car and headed up to the hospital. A Miracle. No internal injuries, no broken bones, and he didn't even have to be admitted. With the exception of some redness on his hip he had escaped what could have been something catastrophic. He kept his sense of humour and matter of factly told the Doctor he had The Luck of The Irish because he was born on St. Patrick's Day, and also acknowledged that he most certainly had a Guardian Angel watching over him.

He was mad too. He looked both ways, he told me, and the teacher waiting in her car to turn out of the driveway even waved him across as the coast was clear. Turns out the (insert expletive here) who hit him came out of nowhere from the side street beside the school driveway and witnesses said he was going at an extremely excessive rate of speed.

Later that night away from everyone in my bedroom, the emotional impact of the days' events exploded out of me and I sobbed my eyes out. My son could have been killed and I knew it.

To this day that driver who barreled into my son has never been caught.

Fast forward to this past winter. I was nursing a brutal flu and had come out from under the covers of my bed to grab another shot of Buckley's. The Dude broke it to me gently. The Teenager had just arrived home - he had been hit by a Transit Bus.

"He's Home?!" I screamed. "Why is he not in the hospital?!" I ran to him and he told me what happened. He had gotten off the bus and had proceeded on a green light to cross the intersection, to transfer onto his next bus. The bus he had just gotten off did not yield before it's turn and cut right in front of him. It hit him, knocking him down and he jumped up just in time before the back wheels rolled over him. A woman rushed over to help him and and he paced for a few seconds. The bus didn't even stop after it hit him, just kept on going. He thanked the lady for asking and in a state of what I can only imagine was some degree of shock, he left and made it across the street, and jumped onto his connecting bus. He sat there in complete disbelief over what had just happened to him. He called The Dude and told him what had happened, that he was okay and he would be home in 5 minutes.

I asked him why he didn't stay there and wait for further help, and he said he didn't know, he was just so shocked and all he wanted to do was get home.

I couldn't believe it. He kept telling me he was fine but I wasn't satisfied. I demanded he was going to the hospital to be looked at and The Dude took him up as my sick self stayed home with The Punk, Sharkboy and Chaos. He was checked out by the Doctor in the Emergency Department and had an x-ray. Another Miracle. No serious injuries.

I swear, these boys are turning my hair white from worry. As much as I'd like to be Eagle Eyes watching over them every second of every day, and keep them tucked safe inside away from the dangers out there in this big bad world, I know that that's just not a reality. The Teenager is 17 and has an active social life outside of school and hockey and I'm having a hard time letting go. (And speaking of hockey, I won't even go into the concussion he sustained a couple of years back from a dirty hit from behind and ended up in the Emergency at St. Michael's.)

Their energy is boundless rivaling that of circus acrobats and cannot be contained. It has led to both older boys putting their hand through the glass of the back door at my Grandparents house, 10 years apart from one another and at right about the same age. Pushing the handle down on the door would require too much time as they ran out to the backyard. Both boys were cut very badly. The Teenagers palm narrowly missed a Tendon, and The Punk ended up with not only a cut hand and arm, but quite a scar on his chest that could have been so much worse had his Uncle not been standing there, pulling him back before he fell forward any further. After that, Papa installed tempered glass so it would never happen again.

The list goes on. The Punk split his head open off the foot board of our bed and needed stitches. Sharkboy, after playing beautifully for hours with some change a neighbour had given him, lining up the coins along the floor and putting them in and out of a little wallet I had given him, suddenly decided to pop one in his mouth. I caught this out of the corner of my eye and the trip up to Emergency ended up in the Operating Room to remove it from where it laid precariously in his throat, dangerously close to becoming lodged and cutting off his air. The surgeon appeared with a dime and said Sharkboy was doing great and flirting with the nurses.

About a year ago Chaos and Sharkboy were running up and down the hall, as little boys often do, and had ignored my repeated requests to stop because "You're going to get hurt!" as two weeks earlier Sharkboy ended up with a nasty bruise under his eye from doing exactly the same thing. As Sharkboy ran down from one end, Chaos tore back up the other. The collision was horrendous. Chaos got the worst of it and let out the shrillest scream we had ever heard. I scooped him up and literally within seconds the side of his forehead swelled up and gave credence to the term "Goose Egg". The Teenager immediately emerged from his room to see what had happened and when he caught site of his little brothers head he exclaimed "Hospital!!!" The Dude was already two steps ahead and throwing on his shoes. I wrapped a blanket around him as it was the dead of winter and it was off to the hospital again.

The verdict was a slight concussion, but he was pleased that the nurses liked his "Superman" pyjamas and when he got home he polished off a banana and seemed unfazed by the whole thing. The Teenager said he was floored as he couldn't believe he watched it balloon right before his eyes. The bump on Chaos' head rivaled the size of a baseball and it turned every shade of black, blue, purple and then yellowed. It took weeks to disappear and when we were out and about people either gave The Dude and I that sympathetic look that said "I'm a parent, I understand, I know - been there, done that." or an evil glare like we had pulled a beatin' off on our kid.

You would think that both boys would have learned their lesson after that, and they did lay off it for a bit, about a month or so. But not enough to make them stop their antics permanently and eventually turned the hallway back into the Indy 500 for their little legs. I wondered aloud to The Dude if the Hospital Emergency Department should just keep a room reserved for us.

So what's a Parent to do? We worry endlessly about them from the moment we realize they are growing in our womb and it only gets worse as they get older and spread their wings. Every sniffle, every bump, every bruise, every gash that requires stitches, heck, even any unkind word they get from another child in school, only instigates more upset within us. It doesn't make it any easier that my boys are sports crazy, leading to even more injuries and evident from a broken thumb and a fastball to the nose from baseball, various sprains and muscle pulls, Charlie Horses and well, the list goes on but you get the picture.

I've suggested bubble wrapping them from head-to-toe, but that scenario wasn't given a warm reception after I proposed it to them. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I will forever feel the worry, and that it comes with the territory of being a Mommy.

In the meantime, I am seriously contemplating buying stocks in the companies that make Polysporin and Band-Aids.

Friday, May 30, 2008


...taking the day off....

There are no words that could describe today anyways....

Luc & Harvey... Gone in One Day....

I have had the pleasure of watching Luc Bourdon since his days with Matty on the Moncton Wildcats, and watched him guard the blue line on Team Canada Juniors, winning two Gold Medals. Hearing of his tragic death today in a motorcycle accident was a shock and I'm still having trouble believing it. The Vancouver Canucks defencemen was only 21. Here's one of my Favourite Luuuuuc moments, Owning Ovechkin:

I also found out that Harvey Korman passed away. I grew up watching The Carol Burnett Show and Mama's Family and could always count on Harvey for a great laugh. One of my favourite Harvey scenes is "The French Revolution" where he plays "Count de Monet" in one of my all time favourite movies, History of the World: Part 1.

"Don't get saucy with me, Bearnaise"

RIP Luc... Team Heaven has a new Player.

RIP Harvey... Heaven just got alot funnier.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Just as I was finishing my last post about kickass drummer Cory, Pistol Pete gives me a ring to give me the heads up. My cousin Matt, Cory's older brother, has been acquired by The Boston Bruins. The details of the deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets were reported on the Boston Website.

Congratulations Matty! Original Six! Papa would be proud!

Better than Rockband

My little, okay not so little, he's 6'2, cousin Cory rockin' a Drum Solo.

Damn he's good!!! I'd hate to face him playing Rockband.


Variety reports "The Electric Company" is coming back! I know, I know, I'm a little excited about this for an adult, but I loved this show when I was a little kid! Hopefully it will be as good as I remember it, and I'll watch it with my own munchkins.

Original Electric Company episodes ran from 1971-77 on PBS, with re-runs until '85 and starred Morgan Freeman. I wonder if he'll appear in the new one, a cameo perhaps?

Putting an adult spin on the Portmanteau words from Electric Company, I stumbled across this "Mixtionary" clip, from 2006.

They forgot "Frenemy"

From the movie "Mean Girls":

Regina: We do not have a clique problem at this school.

Gretchen: But you do have to watch out for "frenemies".

Regina: What are "frenemies"?

Gretchen: Frenemies are enemies who act like friends. We call them "frenemies".

Karen: Or "enemends".

Gretchen: Or friends who secretly hate you, we call them "fraitors".

Regina: [rolls eyes] That is so gay.

Karen: [gasps] What if we called them "mean-em-aitors"?

Regina: [scoffs]

Gretchen: No, honey, it has to have the word "friend" in it.

Karen: Oh...

We have our very own example too. When The Teenager was about 3 or 4 years old I was tucking him into bed one night, and as I leaned in, hugging him, I meant to say "Let's cuddle." But what came out of my mouth was "Lets huggle." - combining "Hug" with "Cuddle". We giggled about it, and it stuck! To this day, we "Huggle" in our house! ;)

Monday, May 26, 2008

She's Crafty Like That

Seems like we're head long into "Baby
Shower Season" again. So in the
spirit of things, here's some pictures of just one of the many different "Diaper Cakes" I make for the Momma's-to-Be.

The front of the "Cake"...

...and the back...

Everything can be used for the new babe - from the Diapers to the Rubber Duckies!!!

Monday - 80's Style

1986 y'all!

Manic Monday by The Bangles

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Write Your &%$!# Own!!!

Today while Blog Surfing, I came across another Blog Post that looked very familiar. And it should have - because with the exception of a few words changed here and there - it WAS mine.

Some may be flattered that someone else thought that what they wrote was good enough to copy. But I wasn't. If the Blogger had wanted to repost what I wrote, I would have gladly let them, had they just asked, and linked back to my post as the original source.

I LOVE staying home with my kids, and until my youngest is in school full-time and I join the "Working World of Writers" once again, I like to write here. The Blog pilfering is just a real kick to the head.

I also realized that I had been "Splogged", which involves advertisers grabbing content from Bloggers to fill word space for search engines. It's a Spam Blog, and I came across it in the Blogger Search Engine that had content from my site, and when I clicked on the link it it took me to an ebay seller. :P

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wise Words From Stroumbo

Maybe George Stroumboulopolous should be the new Director of Programming at The CBC.
Quoting George:

"Online is rapidly becoming king, not traditional TV platforms."

"Part of the reason we did this show is for the kind of people who didn't really watch TV like this before.....

(My 2 cents: pretty much that whole
younger demographic that the CBC claims
they're so eager to attract.)

He continues: they're not going to come to television - they're going to watch it however they want."

"Ten years from now, the cable channel isn't going to be nearly as important as the domain name., that's the television channel of the future. We don't worry about where people are watching us, as long as they're watching us."

Listen to Stroumbo, CBC!!!

The Internet angle is just one of the many reasons why the jPod Fan Campaign exists. Its importance is discussed alot because people ended up watching jPod online as it was switched to air in the "Friday Night Death Slot".

For the record, with the exception of Episode 11 which wasn’t aired at all by the CBC on TV and only available online, I watched every episode Traditionally. First on Tuesdays, and then on Fridays. If I happened to not be home when it was on I set my DVR to record it, and I could watch it whenever I wanted.

Times are changing though, and how people choose to get their entertainment is shifting. Today’s young people are a tech-savvy bunch, and probably spend more time on their computers than they do in front of the tube. The CBC is undervaluing their importance. How many people, say from 17-24 years of age, could actually attest that the CBC is a channel they watch very frequently? Not many I bet. My own teenager only watches it for Hockey Night In Canada, and then for jPod. This generation will feel no connection to the CBC, how can they expect them to become loyal, lifelong viewers when they feel ignored?

The CBC was popular when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, but then, we didn’t have tonnes of other options back then fighting for our attention. And I wouldn’t consider the “nerd” factor either, computers aren’t just for geeks anymore. In fact, I’m not even in the Target Audience for the show, but I sure as hell made sure that I know my way around the computer, I can’t have my kids being able to use it better than myself.

I think the CBC is missing the boat here, they should be ecstatic that one of their shows is reaching such a highly coveted demographic, on TV, and online. Internet viewers are a BONUS! And if they were smart, they would air jPod on a more suitable night, increasing their traditional viewings. jPod at least deserved a chance, cancelling it so hastily leads me to believe that the CBC could really care less about quality of their programs and fixate themselves on outdated BBM ratings.

Chis Haddock, producer of Intelligence, pointed out the lunacy of the CBC gauging a shows popularity, especially among young viewers on the weekly BBM ratings since so many young television fans don't own their own homes and so cannot be counted, and many of them watch TV on the Internet.

"The ratings themselves have been questioned very profoundly all over the world about their accuracy and their relevance because you have to be a homeowner," Haddock points out.

"So university students don't get counted, a person who is a renter doesn't get counted, a lot of people under 30 don't get counted, so it's absurd on many, many levels. I mean do you have to buy a home to get counted in the ratings?"

Well said, Mr. Haddock.

As far as production costs for CBC shows, well I am paying for that, we all are. (The last numbers I could dig up on that were for 2002 - Canadians paid $794,058,000 for the CBC. That's for English and French radio, AM and FM, plus English and French TV and CBC North.) I could get really snotty here and bring up CBC executives staying in $800.00/ Night Hotel Rooms with Personal Butlers, but I digress.

Warner Bros. has obviously realized that jPod is worth having, as it will be available on for free, paid by embedded advertising. And NBC’s Hulu has already sold out their ad space. This is not a fad people, it’s the new reality. The CBC should embrace it or risk being left in the dust. And yes, the CBC may argue that they did promote the show sufficiently, but the problem there is that jPods' Target Audience wasn’t watching the CBC in the first place to see them.

In the end though, the biggest reason people want jPod to stay is because it is a brilliant, smart, funny show with a cast that falls in perfectly with one another, and it makes us feel proud that something so good was Made in Canada.

Saying all that, here’s a Video I made: 20 Reasons to Save jPod - (For Entertainment purposes only, all content credit acknowledged)

jPod - SAVE IT!!!

Friday Night Death Slot

jPod...definitely in good company....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Truly AssTastic Chocolate

I read this on Digg, and nearly died laughing reading the Comments, like "Do they have ones with nuts?"

The Chocolate Sellers Website proclaims "The Bisous Pure Belgian Chocolate Edible Anus is made from the finest chocolate from Belgium crafted into an eerily accurate replica of an anus."

Alrighty then.

And from happy customers on the sellers website:

'The best anus I've ever paid for. First Class Service and well packaged. Cheers ’

‘Say 'Thank You' with a box of delightful chocolate starfish.’
Bizarre Magazine

'Brilliant.............. Will make someone a lovely Christmas present !!!!!!!!!!!'

‘They’re fab – I want to get my hands on some more!’
Graham Norton - TV Presenter

Even more disturbing? The site offers a "limited edition solid silver anus"

"55 grams of hallmarked silver, cradled in a magnificent presentation box and exquisitely crafted into that most sensuous of body parts: a unique, elegant and thought-provoking gift. People come and people go. Our solid silver anus is immune from the daily wear and tear that similar products experience. A quality product immortalised in silver…for the man who has everything. Price £235 +"

I mean, I love chocolate, but no. I can't even post the picture of it on here, it's an image I just want to get out of my head.

File this under "WTF?"

read more digg story

Oh Look! I've Won a Million Euros!

The e-mail greeted me this morning:

Mr Rumford Nigel John (
You may not know this sender.
Sent:May 22, 2008 12:18:40 AM


43 North End Road,
West Kensington,
London W14 8SZ

You have been approved to claim of total sum of 1,000,000.00 euros(one million euro).

Which your email address won in the 2008 Euro ballot held in london,All participants were selected through a computer ballot system draw from Microsoft users from over 20,000.00 companies and 3,000,000.00 individual email addresses and names from all over the world.You have just won yourself the sum of ONE MILLION EURO in thesatellite software email lottery.


CONTACT NAME:JEFFREY RICE CITY/ COUNTRY: LONDON, ENGLAND.EMAIL:powerball1238@live.comTELEPHONE:+4470 1112 1986+4470 3194 2847

President.Mr Rumford Nigel John

From the President? OMG it must be true then! It wasn't even in my Junk Mail!

Have the Nigerians finally received all those inheritances from dead rich uncles that they can now afford to give all their $$$ away in a Lottery?

Did you win too? For those of you who aren't hip to proper grammar, you might want to click that link first. Also notice in the above E-mail, the "To:" field is left blank. That will be your first hint that it's an en masse message to thousands, not just you. I also couldn't help but giggle a bit for their penchant forrunning twowords together.

As for me, I'll be sending my E-mail here. Every person that does helps innocent people from being scammed any further. While I am able to spot a scam from a million electrons away, many are still not aware of this sort of "Lottery Phishing" scheme and it's good to get the message out.

Too bad... I really could have used a Million Euros... :P

BNL'S Performance of "If I Had A Million Dollars"
1996 T In The Park Festival, Scotland.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pod People

I'm doing the Loyal Fan thing and "Posting for the 'Pod" in an effort to try and convince the CBC to reconsider their decision to cancel this awesome show. Here's some pics I made with my own personal mini Podster. The Postcard, along with others, can be found here.

Not the Leafs...but we know who did. Nice try though, CBC.