Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I am absolutely bored right out of my skull tonight; there is nothing of interest on television or anywhere else. So I thought I would take this opportunity to remind you of what programming is ahead in the month of August right here at THE CAIRNS BLOG.

That's right, political coverage galore! I'll be blogging both the Democratic and Republican conventions live as they happen from the comfort of my own home. I'll be watching the coverage on TV and the Internet, as I usually do every four years. And as usual, these conventions will be totally scripted infomercials with no real debate. That's how American politics operates these days.

So I will add my own political insights, gleaned entirely from attending a few political conventions of my own -- not to mention watching several of them on television. And of course, I'm regularly exposed to politics as part of my job. It's kind of odd that the conventions are being held in August and early September, though. Usually they would be held a little earlier.

I expect I will have much more political coverage on the blog after that in the runup to what looks to be a big blowout election in November.

Also, the Olympics will be on from Beijing and you know what that means: plenty of late nights for me glued to the TV. I remember when the games in Sydney were going: I'd be watching all the live coverage late at night on CBC, because NBC's crummy effort was all tape delayed. I expect more of the same. Well, at least there will be no hockey on display at the Beijing games: it seems like at the winter Olympics the coverage is all hockey all the time, and it makes it seem like it's the only sport going on there.

That is all for now. As I mentioned I am really bored right out of my skull tonight and have nothing of value to say, and am just writing this in order to keep from falling asleep.

Oh, and tomorrow I write my box office column. Reminder to myself.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The Dark Knight has been just tearing up the record book this summer at the box office! It set another record on the weekend: fastest movie to $300 million.

Next question is: when is the fastest-movie-to-$400 million record going to fall? Same for the fastest-to-$500 million record? This movie is really rolling.

A lot of people who couldn't stand Titanic when it came out are hoping the Batman takes down that movie's overall record of $600 million. I have a hard time believing that will happen, but we'll see.

My rant about The Dark Knight's weekend performance here. And as an aside, The X-Files: I Want to Believe was a massive flop. $10.2 million.


5.4 quake hits LA. Read about it here.


Well, every year THE CAIRNS BLOG does an Indy post, and every year I rant about how the Indy is a big beer drinker's convention filled with scantily-clad girls, and so on and so forth.

All I have to say is that I quite enjoyed my time at the Edmonton event, which for the first time was being run under the IndyCar banner after years of being a ChampCar race. From what I gather, the Edmonton event was a big success. Attendance was good -- better than at most of the tracks on the Indy tour, in fact. In fact, it's really easy for an Edmonton event to do better -- because, well, nobody shows up for most of these races in the States.

So the Indy people are really pleased with the reception they got in Canada and are looking forward to adding the dormant Toronto race to the calendar, with the announcement likely coming this week.

I gotta say, Toronto really missed out this year with no race on the schedule. They would have gone gaga over the Indycar drivers. Well, next year they'll be back to having fun in Toronto with an Indy event there, that's for sure.

The folks in Edmonton sure put on a good show. Gene Simmons was there as the Grand Marshall. Mini-me was there (Verne Troyer). Plus you had the famous IRL drivers like Danica Patrick, and Helio Castroneves. And, uh, Paul Tracy was there too. It was like what the Molson Indy used to be like in Vancouver and Toronto.

And by the way, thank you very much Vancouver for running your own Molson Indy out of town and allowing it to replaced by Edmonton in the first place. Thanks to your screw-up, I was able to go to two open-wheel racing events here on the prairies that I otherwise might not have been able to attend. If there were no Edmonton event, I probably would have gone to the local speedway and watched demolition derby or something equally stupid.

All in all I was very glad to be in Edmonton for the Indy. Among other things I felt like I was back in Toronto again -- in a weird sort of way.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Well, in the past I would rant about TV shows and various TV genres. Today, though, I am going to vent about one channel, A&E.

I gotta say, I miss the old A&E a lot. They used to be a channel with class, something with higher-grade programming. Like Biography. Or documentary shows like The Twentieth Century. Or those shows that Bill Kurtis used to host. And Law and Order every night. And also lots of old detective shows from the Seventies, stuff like Colombo and McCloud. Good stuff.

Now what do they have? They have Gene Simmons and his whole family on Sunday nights. They have The Two Coreys, featuring Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. Plus every CSI Miami show ever. What a pile of junk this is. This is the type of crap you can see anywhere. Yes, they do have the Sopranos (that series that ended when the producer David Chase cut to black in the middle of a scene). But that's about it. There is nothing to tune into for news junkies or documentary junkies anymore. But there's so much "reality" that it is a joke, stuff like Dog the Bounty Hunter, Criss Angel Mindfreak and Paranormal State. The lineup is DRECK!!!

There really is no difference these days between A&E and these other channels like TLC and especially E! as far as programming is concerned. E! has all kinds of reality shows, like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Girls Next Door. You can't even remember which reality shows are on which station these days, because these lineups are so similar! And frankly I think it's cheapened A&E. They have turned it from a channel worth watching into nothing special at all.

It's not the only one, mind you. I remember watching the old RAI programming on Telelatino in Toronto late at night and on weekends, and it was good stuff. But then the contract with RAI ended and the channel was basically gutted. Of course, SPIKE TV used to be TNN, The Nashville Network. I'll bet all the country music fans are mighty pleased at that development.

And where have all the A&E refugees gone? I'm sure a few went over to Bravo, but keep in mind that there's plenty of dreck on Bravo, too: lots of reality shows like Project Runway, Real Housewives of Orange County and so on. Others have fled to watch movies on AMC and TCM, and I'm sure TNT has picked up a few viewers with all their dramas. And there's The Biography Channel.

But overall, I gotta say the current situation is no good. The stuff for serious "arts" people has been gone for a long time, and the stuff for news junkies has all flown the coop. A&E used to be the "Biography" channel, and the joke in the early days used to be that A&E was the "Hitler channel" for all the old World War II docs it used to show.

Now it's turned into the Gene Simmons Channel. No kidding.

(The woman in the picture is Gene's significant other Shannon Tweed, which makes this the umpteenth month in a row where I've put up a picture of a Playmate on this blog. )


Well, for the last three days I have immersed myself in covering sports and attending sporting events, such as the Edmonton Indy.

And all I have to say about that IndyCar event in Edmonton is that it was weird. Just weird. It felt like I was at an IRL event as opposed to a ChampCar/CART event. Which it was, but still, it was weird. There were all these red and blue IndyCar signs everywhere with the IndyCar logo. The drivers were different, too. And they ran the race on a Saturday instead of a Sunday. Like I say, it was bizarre.

More later.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


... is from Roger Ebert himself.

And the reaction continues to pour in from the likes of Patrick Goldstein, who isn't as broken up about this news as you might expect since, well, the TV medium sucks anyway and Roger's doing just fine in print.

David Poland has his own conspiracy theories about Ebert and Roeper's split from Disney. And Jeffrey Wells describes Disney's selection of E! Entertainment's Ben Lyons and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz as "one of those basic no-brainer moves that 50-something executives do when they don't know what the hell else to do."

Me, I feel this show has been pretty much over for years anyway given Roger's health problems, but it's still sad to hear because this show has been on for years in one form or another. I'm not convinced this is the end of the line anyway, since the "thumbs" will probably get a new distributor.

I notice plenty of old clips floating around the Web on the heels of this news, showing the best highlights of the Siskel/Ebert/Roeper shows from the old days, including from the pre-Disney days. Without further ado, here's a selection. For more of them check out this YouTube channel devoted to old Siskel and Ebert clips. (UPDATE: And here's another one here.)

A final note: the last Roeper-hosted At the Movies show is slated for mid-August. That's that for now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Here's a link to the Edmonton Sun's Indy page. I guess the big news in these parts is that Paul Tracy has finally, at long last gotten a ride.

Woo hoo! All anyone in Canada cares about is him.

Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be as much interest in the Edmonton race as in previous years, which is baffling when you think about it with these big IRL names showing up.

Maybe it's because it's the only Canadian event on the calendar and people have lost interest because there have been less races in this country. More likely, it's because so many Canadians have either fled or been kicked out of open-wheel racing.

I'll give you my annual Indy update after my visit to this year's event in Edmonton.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


May 29 2009 will be the date of the final Tonight Show with Jay Leno. After that, who really knows? ABC? Fox!?

All I gotta say about this situation (a mess that NBC created) is that it will make for a great read in Bill Carter's next book.

The Late Shift II. I can see it now.

What's with all these hosts leaving their TV shows, anyway?! Who's next, Conan O'Brien?! (Uh, actually yeah...)


Well, with Ebert and Roeper (left) both gone from their own show, Disney has moved quickly to find new replacements. The new hosts of At the Movies are Ben Mankiewicz and Ben Lyons.

And it truly is history repeating itself. Ben Lyons is the son of Jeffrey Lyons, who got a gig hosting the Sneak Previews show on PBS after Siskel and Ebert bolted for a better deal in syndication. Ben Lyons also has been labeled a "quote whore" by eFilmCritic, for infamously declaring I Am Legend to be "one of the greatest films of all time."

Uh, right.

I also find it interesting that two newspaper guys are being replaced by two die-hard TV guys: Mankiewicz hosts on TCM while Lyons works for the E! network.

Anyway, it doesn't sound as if Anne Thompson is impressed over at Variety. She figures Disney's going for a younger audience with this selection, but she says the "hue and cry is going to be fun to watch. The older target demo for Ebert and Roeper will protest. And the younger demo probably doesn't care!" She's right!!!! (See here for some early, unimpressed reaction.)

In the meantime, more details are emerging about what went on behind the scenes with Ebert and Roeper. Here's what the Chicago Tribune had to say about what happened. Rumor is that Roeper and whoever joins him (Ebert, Michael Phillips or whoever) may do a syndication deal with MGM. Anyway, it seems as if they should be back on the air in no time.

As for the old show, changes are afoot. Rumor is that Disney is going to wreak havoc on the old set and maybe get rid of the theater balcony setting and the aisle seats when the new hosts come in! Maybe they'll plunk Ben and Ben down in front of a DVD player, or something.


Well, the big news of the day is that Jessica Simpson got booed at a concert opening for Sara Evans.

I gotta say, hasn't Jessica used up her fifteen minutes of fame yet? People are sick of her, and sick of everyone she's associated herself with (Tony Romo, Nick Lachey, everybody). This is one case where it's clear that everyone thinks she has no talent. Nobody wants to see her on stage or in any performances anywhere, yet the people in charge still want to foist this woman on the public.

So we get stuck with Jessica, whether we want to see this woman or not. Nice legs, though.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I should not have been surprised by the news, but it still came as a jolt. Richard Roeper announced a day ago that he didn't come to terms on an agreement with Disney to stay with the At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper show. And now Roger Ebert, who has been on medical leave for a long time, has also quit.

In fact the last time Ebert was on the show, I was still living in Toronto! Man, that was a long time ago.

Word is that Disney wanted to go a different direction -- away from movie reviews and more towards the Entertainment Tonight route. As if that is what we need: more coverage of Lindsay Lohan. In fact, this has been rumored for a while now; people were saying a long time ago that Disney wanted a different kind of show. Anyway, seems both Ebert and Roeper wanted no part of it.

History is now likely to repeat itself: Roeper is going to bolt to a new TV review show produced by someone else, just like what Siskel and Ebert did back in 1986 when they quit Tribune for Disney. I dunno if Ebert will be well enough to join him there. And the old Disney At the Movies show, whatever form it takes, is likely to die a lonely death under new management.

Of course, the show really died a long time ago when Gene Siskel passed away. Then it went head first into the shark tank again when Ebert went under the knife for cancer. I give Roeper and regular fill-in critic Michael Phillips credit for giving it the old college try with Roger gone to the hospital for so long. Ironically, the show itself has been less of a debacle in the last few months: they actually figured out how to review movies without doing the thumbs up-thumbs down routine. They had the critics do the "see it" or "skip it" thing, which was better than nothing.

Now, that thumbs dispute was another big issue between Disney and Ebert, with Ebert withholding the use of his trademark thumbs on the show after getting into a contract dispute of his own last fall. That was the writing on the wall for the entire series right there.

David Poland has his own take about the decline and fall of the show, blaming Disney for nickel-and-diming it to death.

Anyway, it really is the end of an era, as Siskel, Ebert and Roeper have been on forever in one form or another. What am I going to watch on the weekends now? Probably football, or the stuff on AMC and TCM. Maybe I'll watch the weekend editions of Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood. Or maybe I'll watch whatever junk Disney serves up to replace what we were getting lately from Roeper and Phillips.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


My roundup of news from nowhere comes straight at you once again.

The Dark Knight is a massive hit! It is the biggest opening of all time at $155 million, topping the previous record set by Spider-Man 3! For more on all the records set this weekend by Batman, click here.

The Emmy nominations are out and Mad Men cleaned up with 16 nods. Now you watch, it probably won't win a thing now. Actually, I'm quite glad to see it do well, it's a terrific show.

It was actually a big haul for nominations by the cable nets, which says a lot about the state of TV and where the quality really is right now. The regular networks aren't going to win Emmys by putting on reality shows and the other boring junk they serve up in prime time.

The jockeying continues over Jay Leno, who is leaving The Tonight Show in 2009 (pushed out by the folks in charge) and now has officially ruled out a return to NBC in any capacity. Now the big rumor is that Leno might take his act over to ABC for a new late-night show over there. That has Jimmy Kimmel raising his eyebrows because, well, it might push his show back a half-hour later.

Meanwhile the folks at Nightline have got to be petrified. If Leno comes over, that show is cancelled for sure.

Finally, may I say that I can never get enough of gorgeous hottie Erin Burnett. She just signed a new deal extending her stay at CNBC and you can read an interview the New York Times did with her here.

That's all for now.


There's been quite a bit of remake news lately, and it isn't surprising. You know, Hollywood never seems to come up with original ideas. They just want to come up with remakes of movies, and if not that then remakes of TV shows, and if not that then it's a movie version of a video game, and if not that it's a movie version of a comic book, and if not that it's a movie version of a best-selling novel or series of novels. How any original content makes it onto a silver screen near you these days is beyond me.

Anyway there are rumors of a remake being made of Papillon, a remake of a legendary prison-break movie starring Steve McQueen. The question then is who do you get to be the new McQueen? One might as well get Daniel Craig, because, well, a lot of people think he looks like McQueen.

I also understand there have been rumors about remaking Bullitt, bringing Brad Pitt onboard in the McQueen role. But that was about a year ago that these rumors were floating around.

The other big rumored remake is of the Blake Edwards hit "10" from 1979. Hyde Park Entertainment wants to do a remake of the iconic movie that made stars out of Dudley Moore and Bo Derek about this guy who has a midlife crisis and falls for a hot-looking 10.

It was a witty, adult-oriented comedy that was in keeping with the fun and oversexed Seventies. Which is why a remake sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. This is the uptight 21st century, filled with uptight people! They won't flock to see a 10 remake: they want to see motion pictures with superheroes in them! Or movies with lots of special effects!

Besides, we've seen too many botched remakes of Seventies movies already. We saw what happened when the Farrelly Brothers remade The Heartbreak Kid. They made a hash of it, unfortunately. When The Stepford Wives got remade, they made a hash of it; same with Poseidon. And we saw what happened to Edwards' beloved Pink Panther when it got re-done.

I think a good remake of 10 is possible if they make it as sexy as the original and if they find the right male lead. In fact, I think it's more crucial to get the male lead right because if he comes off as a total psycho/stalker/creep then the movie is sunk. Plus, I think it's important for the directors to have the courage to find a female lead who will be prepared to go all the way with her role and get naked on-screen, and be a sex symbol --- just like Bo Derek. It's a sexy role and it's supposed to be a sexy movie. If they just whittle it down and hand the female lead role to Jessica Alba or some other loser, 10 will turn out to be yet another piece-of-junk remake. Just like The Heartbreak Kid was.

If they turn to the Farrellys to direct the remake, 10 is doomed for sure.


You know, she may have that bikini-babe rep about her but Danica Patrick is proving to be one first-class b!tch.

The proof came today when Danica, fresh off the heels of her infamous Indy 500 pit lane outburst with Ryan Briscoe, got into yet another confrontation. This time it was with Milka Duno. That's right, we had a catfight at the IRL today.

I gotta say, if Danica Patrick were in the NHL instead of the IRL, she'd be labelled a "goon." All I gotta say is this is a load of nonsense. Hey Danica, calm down -- $#!t happens. This is not the NHL. Going the way of Paul Tracy is no way to go.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


This is what I had to say a day ago. Now, the records are starting to fall all over the place.

More on The Dark Knight's box office performance soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I don't get what all the fuss is about here. Beautiful blonde Heidi Montag, the bouncy bikini babe from that MTV reality show The Hills, has outed herself as a Republican by endorsing John McCain and hanging around with his daughter.

What the heck is all this controversy about? Since when has it become illegal to vote Republican? (Maybe the chattering classes are all upset because they all want Barack Obama to win, so anyone claiming to vote for someone else is automatically ripe for eyebrow-raising stories from the likes of the Huffington Post.)

I think people should just settle down. If Heidi Montag wants to vote Republican she should go ahead and not be ostracized for it. America's a free country -- or at least, it's supposed to be.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Not even Eddie Murphy will see his own piece of junk. Here's my take on the weekend box office. Meet Dave is mincemeat.

Week of The Dark Knight domination awaits.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Dynasties are back in style. It's 2008, the Boston Celtics are NBA champions, and Venezuela has won the Miss Universe Pageant!
... Again!!!

Hey, Dayana Mendoza, congrats.

And someone, somewhere, please teach all the Miss USA contestants how to walk on stage in an evening gown without slipping and falling on their butts. (Yes, it happened again this year.)

Too bad Canada didn't win, but hey, we already won Playmate of the Year. One out of two ain't bad.


Angelina Jolie just gave birth to twins!!! A boy and a girl!!! Whoooeeee, everyone's excited.


Check out the pageant on NBC, live from Vietnam!!! Fun stuff. And oh yeah, Jerry Springer is hosting. (!!!!)

Also see the coverage of the event from the pageant-obsessed people over at Global Beauties.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Well, the clowns in Hollywood are still acting like clowns, based on the recent news about the Screen Actors Guild-producers haggling. What bugs me is that Hollywood is in chaos, yet these actors are still willing to work and do these pictures. They haven't called a strike vote yet, and they've done a bunch of side deals with a bunch of productions to keep them going no matter what. Yet, it's the producers who are shutting things down everywhere because there's no deal in place, and they don't want any walkouts wiping out any of these TV and movie shoots.

So who gets hurt in the end? All the people who depend on these productions for their livelihood, that's who. Not these actors, and not these suits in Hollywood. The crew people get the shaft again, just like during the writers guild strike.

This is freaking ridiculous. Guys, get with it. Make a deal already to get these productions moving again, and save the American economy while you are at it. End of statement.

As for the movie grosses, times at the theaters have been pretty good for the past several weeks. If you still want to read my box office predictions for a weekend of flicks that include Hellboy II and Journey to the Center of the Earth, you can find them here. I warn you in advance: my Meet Dave prognostication is already way off.

I notice that the box office take for Meet Dave is going to be much lower than anyone predicted. Well, what do you expect when the movie is so bad that Eddie Murphy doesn't even show up to his own premiere? When the star refuses to watch his own movie, well, that's a sure sign of doom.

(He claims he had to work. Right.)



Some reports are out there about the next season of Entourage. Apparently Turtle spilled the beans to some reporter about what's going down.

It'll be interesting to see how the gang of four responds after the train wreck that was their passion project Medellin. It basically was booed right out of the Cannes Film Festival in the final episode of last season. This year they have a cameo with Richard Roeper and Michael Phillips laying into Vince Chase's movie. Now, that is something I want to see: Roeper and Phillips ripping Medellin.

From what I gather, this is going to be a season about Vinnie, E and the gang sticking together through thick and thin. As an aside: who would have thunk that Johnny Drama would be on top of the world right now? It's quite the role reversal.

Also, Martin Landau is back as Bob Ryan next reason, and hottie Carla Gugino is back as Vince's former agent. Woo hoo!

I'm really looking forward to next season, although it sure looks as if I'm going to have to wait for the DVD because there's just no way I'm going to pay exorbitant cable fees to subscribe to the channel that carries this show -- unfortunately.


These are sad times in Washington. First Tim Russert dies, and now Tony Snow, the former host of Fox News Sunday who left that program to become press secretary under George W. Bush, has died.

He'd been ill for a long time with cancer, but this is still surprising news.


Well, here I am nostalgic for Saturday Morning TV again. Man, how I miss the good old days of being a kid watching wall-to-wall cartoons on TV.

Now, as an adult, I STILL watch wall-to-wall cartoons -- over on FOX. On Sunday nights. Saturday mornings, forget it. I gotta say, this 4Kids TV nonsense they have going on Saturdays these days just does not cut it one bit.

Here's a look back at the old days beginning with Superfriends.

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show

Also, here's a link to an article from Mark Evanier about the whole history of Bugs Bunny on TV.

Sylvester and Tweety and In the News

The Flintstone Comedy Hour

The Flintstone Funnies

Captain Caveman

Yogi's Gang

Hong Kong Phooey

And What's New Mr. Magoo... in French?!

Come to think of it, Saturday mornings weren't so great after all. Boooooring. That's all for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Here we go with the latest news from nowhere.

Christie Brinkley's divorce is final, thank G.

AFTRA voted to ratify their deal with the producers, which peeves the Screen Actors Guild to no end because they want a better deal for themselves.

Meanwhile, this labour nonsense has brought production to a standstill in movie industry hotbeds like Winnipeg, which usually does a lot of Hollywood stuff. But not right now.

And The Dark Knight is selling out fast.

Reminder to myself that the Miss Universe pageant is coming up --- so place your bets on the winner while you can. That's it for now.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


In my never-ending quest to bring you coverage of all things Money Honey, here is a profile of proud Oklahoman and Fox Business newsbabe, Shibani Joshi.

Eat your heart out, Maria Bartiromo. (I know, I know... too many girls on this blog, again.)

(The picture is from Best Life, which had that big profile of all the financial newsbabes earlier this year.)


Well, in what I consider to be one of the biggest gaffes of the presidential election so far, Barack Obama has moved his acceptance speech outdoors -- outside the Pepsi Centre convention hall in Denver (where the Colorado Avalanche usually play hockey) and into Invesco Field at Mile High (where the Denver Broncos normally play football).

That move has royally screwed up network television plans to cover the convention. They were planning to be all set up in their skyboxes in the convention hall with the usual three hours of coverage, but now the expenses are guaranteed to go through the roof, thanks to the Obama campaign's boneheaded decision. I guess these fools want to emulate what John F. Kennedy did when he accepted his nomination at the outdoor LA Coliseum way back when, but that was back in the days when conventions were shown gavel to gavel on TV!

This convention is going to be up against reality shows, reruns and other programming in the month of August. And guess what, folks? These networks would rather be running that junk than these conventions. The reason is simple: Americans don't want to watch conventions on TV, they're long and boring and nothing more than free advertising for these candidates. So not surprisingly, these networks are thinking hard about cutting back on coverage. Why bother wasting all that cash on coverage no one will watch, anyway?

So way to go, Barack Obama campaign. Talk about a self-defeating move. By moving your convention to a big stadium, you are possibly throwing away free publicity! Nice going in not consulting anyone beforehand, too. I guess we can expect the same sort of thing when Obama becomes President.

(Here's another question: what if it rains?! These political pros never thought of that, either.)

Stay tuned for political convention coverage this summer at The Cairns Blog, your home of all things politics (and all things scurrilous: check out my continuing Lara Logan coverage, below.)


Ahem. Read a piece by Howard Kurtz that CBS correspondent Lara Logan, who is tabloid fodder after being was involved in that Baghdad love triangle we talked about earlier, is now pregnant with her contractor-boyfriend's kid. And she plans to marry him.

After, of course, he gets divorced. Kind of a technicality there, eh?

What's with all these divorces?! I also heard that A-Rod is getting a divorce, too -- apparently because he was fooling around with Madonna.

(Please don't get me started on Christie Brinkley.)

Monday, July 07, 2008


Hancock is Number One at the box office. My rant about it here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Here is a special "I Miss Toronto" edition of The Cairns Blog.

I just want to take time to observe a moment of silence for the absent Molson Indy of Toronto. This weekend would have been that portion of the calendar when the big race would have been slotted, and if I were still in the city I would have definitely shown up.

But it's not running this year, partly due to the IRL takeover of ChampCar and partly due to incompetence/disorganization on high from the Toronto people. Among other things, they had no owner in place for this year's event, so no wonder it went down the tubes.

Thankfully, though, Michael Andretti has stepped up to the plate and the oft-times winner of the Toronto event has taken on the big job of owning and organizing the thing for next year. That's great news, and Norris McDonald has a few good suggestions for how to make the return of Indy a success. Among other things, he wants to see a return to the name "Indy", which I think will probably happen.

So next year's event, with the return of Andretti and all the stars of the old event, promises to be great. But that does nothing for Toronto fans THIS year.

What is a Toronto race fan to do on this traditionally hottest weekend of the year? That Toronto Indy event was usually good for girl-watching (see left), beer-drinking and other activities. I guess people in Toronto could waste this year's non-race weekend by walking down the street checking out the ladies, and then buy some beer at the LCBO. But that isn't as much fun.

Tough luck, Toronto. Of course, I'm not affected by the current mess at all. In fact, where I live now here in Saskatchewan, I'm not too far from Edmonton. I plan to be there for the Edmonton Indy for the second year in a row, even if the price of gas remains at the current ridiculous levels. I sure hope I can make it.

What is up in the air is whether I will also be able to attend a film festival this year, like the one in Toronto. It will depend on finances and other factors, like whether the stars will bother to be there. If not, well forget it!

You know, if this actors' strike happens, this year's Toronto International Film Festival is going to be a WASHOUT. According to this article, actors can't do any promotional stuff if the Screen Actors Guild goes on strike. So if they walk off the job, none of them will show up.

Well, that will really make the star-watchers unhappy in Yorkville. What good is having a film festival in your town if the best part of it for the fans, the people-watching, goes up in smoke? The Star! Schmooze will also be ruined if the stars don't bother to turn up. Maybe they can get some Canadian actors instead, or the cast of Canadian Idol! Fat chance.

I still think that there will be a deal made and the Toronto festival will not be affected in the least. But it sure seems as if I picked the right year to NOT live in Toronto, because life sucks there right now for all its citizens.


I guess the reason for this post is because I miss my former life in Toronto. But as you can tell, it's my FORMER life there that I miss. I am not missing what life is like in Toronto right now, what with no Indy race and so on. So I really don't feel so bad.

There's no Sam the Record Man to go to there, either, these days. There was a big HMV store on Yonge Street, but I went to the big HMV store in Edmonton last week, so I don't miss that either. I also liked the fact that Toronto also had Hooters, but guess what -- so does Edmonton! (Winnipeg has one, too.) Life is good.

Of course, The Jonas Brothers boy-band were in Toronto today and there were lots of screaming girls cheering them on. But I'm not a screaming girl, so I don't care about any of that nonsense.

Here are some links to some Toronto media sources. I am really posting these for my own benefit so that I can click on the links myself and feel like I'm back in the Big Smoke:

Also, I'm sure the usual stories of murders and crime will make me feel less inclined to miss Toronto. That's enough for now.


Life is bad in Seattle. Starbucks has had to close 600 of its locations, and meanwhile, their beloved NBA team the Sonics have officially left for that depressing, frequently-hit-by-tornadoes dustbin Oklahoma City. (Oklahoma City?!)

Seems the Seattle city officials threw in the towel on the litigation to keep the team tied to its arena lease, and they are getting a chunk of cash plus the rights to the team name and colors. Big help that will be, though, because the NBA will probably never be back.

Meanwhile, the sad fans of Seattle are hurting today, but nothing's new about that. Here's a look at the ten darkest moments from that community's sporting history over the years. Unfortunately, one word sums that place up: "Losertown".

Bye bye, Seattle Sonics. R.I.P.

And if you think what happened to the Sonics can't happen to your team, too, think again: here's a look at some of the other teams out there that are on thin ice and could split town. (Already the poor folks in Buffalo are panicking about possibly losing the Bills to Toronto.)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Here's what the news is right now:

The ranks of single women continue to swell. Can you believe this Christie Brinkley divorce nonsense? Apparently her cad husband was running around with some fitness babe hottie. (She's really cute, too.)

This, after originally cheating on Christie, fooling around with some 18-year old. (Why?!?!)

And Madonna could be on the brink of divorce. Or maybe not.

Here's a question I have. How are those two middle-aged cougars able to keep their good looks? Madonna and Christie Brinkley aren't getting older, they are getting better. Christie remains so button-cute in her fifties, and Madonna is sexy as hell and has fabulous legs. These two women are hot.

Not so for Rachel Hunter anymore, apparently: she is getting trashed for getting too fat. Are you hot, Rachel? No.

An interesting article in the Daily Mail trashing Canada as a place to move to. The article even trashes the newspapers in this country. Well, they're right, the newspapers in this country are just not up to snuff at all, in general. The biggest newspapers here do not hold a candle to the Brit efforts, or even the Americans. This article trashes our weather, too, and our music, and our lack of culture or good museums. You know what's sad? I agree with much of this article! Canada really sucks as a place to live, when you think of it. But at least the cost of living is reasonable and the people are friendlier than these arrogant Brits.

Angelina Jolie is in hospital waiting to give birth to twins!

A prediction of the Independence Day weekend five-day box office for Will Smith's Hancock.

And I still have no news about the Screen Actors Guild and whether they are coming to a deal, and I have no idea where Mats Sundin is going, either, as an NHL free agent.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


All that anyone here in this stinking-hot country cares about today is --- get this ---- HOCKEY.


Don't people look at the thermometer up here anymore? Yet that's all we are getting on all the sports channels here in our steambath of a country.

Free agency deadline is today and you can follow it here. And here. Brian Campbell and Michael Rozsival to the Hawks. Wade Redden to the Rangers. Brian Rolston to the Devils. A whopping $20 million offered to Mats Sundin today from the Canucks.

People seem to forget that it's not hockey weather at the moment. Hey guys -- it's baseball and, yes, football season up here. (And arena football season down there.)