Friday, December 31, 2010

NOW, FOR YOUR HOLIDAY SPORTS VIEWING PLEASURE

Well, enjoy watching all the sports over the next few days. I will, because I've got three days off and plan to spend some quality time goofing off from writing this blog.  

For college football bowl games, be sure to check out all the scores here.

The outdoor NHL Winter Classic is on January 1st but the game between Pittsburgh and Washington has been pushed back to 8PM Eastern time because, well, the weather at Heinz Field is going to be wet and too hot. (!!!!)

The World Junior Hockey Championship also continues in Buffalo, New York, USA -- but you'll never know it's in the USA with all the Canadian fans in the stands.

Finally, the NFL regular season wraps up Sunday. Hopefully this weekend's games won't be the only regular-season NFL football we'll see in 2011, but the dark labor clouds are on the horizon.

Try not to get hung over; you don't want to miss all this good sports action. That's it for 2010, see you in 2011.

ET PHONES NANCY O'DELL

Last year around this same time Nancy O'Dell was leaving Access Hollywood two years before her contract was up, and was not sure what the future was going to hold. Well, earlier this year she found out she was going to replace the legendary Mary Hart over at Entertainment Tonight, with the changeover happening later in 2011.

Here is a Fox News story on the surprising turn of events that led to O'Dell getting the gig, which everyone had expected would go to that total girly-girl Lara Spencer from The Insider. O'Dell claims she didn't elbow anyone out and I happen to think that it was kind of a fluke that she got the gig -- I don't think she had been campaigning for it.

In fact, it's kind of surprising that she is taking over on ET because of how tabloidy that show has become. O'Dell even said in that article that she left Access Hollywood because she was uncomfortable with the tabloid direction of that show. But ET has really turned tabloid in a big way the last few years. Maybe ET is going to allow Nancy to be Nancy and not force her to be something she isn't. Or maybe they are looking to class things up at ET in the future and return the show to what it used to be before. That would be a change for the better.

MOVIES NEXT YEAR DON'T LOOK LIKE THEY ARE GOING TO BE ANY GOOD

I like reading Jeffrey Wells' blog Hollywood-Elsewhere. His tastes may be a bit more highbrow than mine are, but he calls it as he sees it and doesn't shy away from being cranky and irritable (just like myself). He was looking ahead to 2011 at the theaters and it looks like he is ready to throw up at all the populist popcorn fare that is due to be rolled out. Here's a sample of what he had to say:

Read down the popcorn list and it's like...please God, lemme outta here. Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage, The Green Hornet, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Cedar Rapids, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Rango, Take Me Home Tonight, Happythankyoumoreplease, Battle: Los Angeles, Mars Needs Moms!, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, Your Highness, Ceremony, Scream 4, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hangover 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, X-Men: First Class Beginners, Super 8, Green Lantern, Cars 2, Rise of the Apes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Captain America: The First Avenger, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Fright Night, Final Destination 5, The Thing, Footloose, The Three Musketeers, Paranormal Activity 3, Tower Heist, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Happy Feet 2 in 3-D, etc.

I'm looking at this lineup, too, and I can't say I'm impressed, either. Another Transformers movie?! Good lord. Well, at least Megan Fox isn't going to be in it this time.

Surely, though, they can't be all bad -- I'm at least intrigued by The Green Hornet. But that flick rolls out in January, and January movies tend to be nothing but crap. And I'm also worried about the Hangover sequel. The first movie was good, but I worry the sequel won't live up to the original. I worry they crammed all their good material into the first movie and that this sequel is just going to be a lame attempt by the studio to make some money.Actually, a lot of these movies look like they are going to be exactly that.

Oh, well. Happy New Year, anyway.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

BEST AND WORST MOVIE LISTS FROM RICHARD ROEPER

Well, I have to say my weekends remain a little emptier without a movie review show on TV to watch. Really, all I gotta say is weekends on TV are no good without a movie show and without reruns of Baywatch. Bring 'em back, I say.

I notice the plans are still in the works for Roger Ebert's production on PBS, but apparently they are changing things around and won't have Elvis Mitchell as one of the co-hosts after all. I understand they are looking at getting someone else. Hmmm.

For those desperate for something review-related to watch, Richard Roeper has unveiled his Best of 2010 and Worst of 2010 lists, and I'm surprised because in his "Worst" list he didn't mention Yogi Bear. Maybe Yogi wasn't that bad after all.


You Again | Richard Roeper | ReelzChannel Spotlight | Hollywood Dailies | Richard Roeper's Movie Reviews | Movie Trailer


Inception | Richard Roeper | ReelzChannel Spotlight | Hollywood Dailies | Richard Roeper's Movie Reviews | Movie Trailer

NOT A LOT GOING ON

Well, there are only a couple of days left in 2010 and I notice in the blog "stats" here that the number of blog posts for the year is at an all-time low and probably I'm going to end the year with an all-time low number of blog posts. Well, that's what happens when you are busy at your job all week. I am finding I get so tired from banging out copy all week, and am on the road so much, that I feel the need to rest up during what little down time I have, and as a result I don't write as much here at the blog. I also have all these other writing ventures going on: a monthly newspaper column, an online cinema column, a group blog that I am a weekly contributor for. It all adds up. As a result, I've had to cut back on the blog posts here and I got rid of my Film School Rejects column entirely this year due to my other commitments. I hope to turn it around in 2011, but I doubt it. It looks like I will be busy well into February.

Anyway, I will try to pack in as much self-indulgent material as I can in the next couple of days before the ball drops and the clock strikes 12 Midnight on 2010.

Speaking of self-indulgent, I plan to let you in on my endorsement in the race for Playmate of the Year, next.

Monday, December 27, 2010

SPEAKING OF YOGI BEAR...

My Cairns on Cinema column on why Hollywood just can’t make a good TV cartoon movie is now up.

Yes, I am unfortunately back at work.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

NBA ON CHRISTMAS DAY

So I'm watching NBA games on Christmas day, another one of these great holiday traditions.

Each league seems to have its own holiday it claims for its own -- the NFL has Thanksgiving, the CFL has Labour Day, college football has New Year's Day, auto racing has Memorial Day weekend, and the NBA claims Christmas Day. And that's good, because it livens up an otherwise boring day with nothing to do.

I noticed that LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson was moaning earlier in the week about having to play games on Christmas day. Says it should be a time for them to be home with their families.

Well, all I have to say is that playing on Christmas day is a PRIVILEGE in the NBA. It's the one day of the year that the NBA can showcase its sport to the world free of any competition! Besides, Phil, you should want the Lakers to be playing on Christmas day in a marquee matchup. If they aren't, it means one thing -- that they are a team not worthy of television time. There's a reason why it's the Lakers and not the Clippers that are on TV on Christmas Day, it's because the Lakers are GOOD. If they were stinking up the joint every night for years on end, believe me, the players would definitely be stuck at home on Christmas day with their families. And they'd be spending that home time having to answer questions from their loved ones about how bad their team is and worrying about whether or not they'll be traded to another city.

So if I were Phil Jackson, I'd quit whining about playing Christmas basketball games, because the alternative is no good, either.

That's it. Merry Christmas, Phil, and everyone else!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

NOW OFFICIALLY ON VACATION

It just occured to me -- in my job I cover plenty of hot and heavy issues and interview lots of important political leaders, these big names that people have heard about. I think it must take a special talent to be able to write about heavy political issues and then turn around and write about Yogi Bear. I dunno if anyone pays for that sort of thing, though.

News items I have been following over the last while:


New Edmonton Oilers cheerleaders introduced. Folks in Edmonton can cool off -- these girls don't look like "strippers" in the least.
Maple Leaf fans are so frustrated they are now tossing waffles onto the ice.
It's a debacle in Hamilton as the Tiger-Cats stadium proposal falls apart at city council.
Those senseless North Koreans want to have a war. Pleasant folks.
There have been storms in California, which are likely to end up turning into storms everywhere else.

That's enough for now, back to watching bowl games for me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

YOGI BEAR ISN'T AS SMART AS HE THINKS HE IS

I will have a lot more to say about this weekend at the box office a little later on when I write my Cairns on Cinema column. Suffice it to say it is weekends like this one that make me feel glad I am out of the box-office prediction business, because I had no interest in seeing any of these movies that rolled out this weekend -- least of all this weekend's winner Tron: Legacy.

The biggest loser this weekend was Yogi Bear, which got slaughtered by every film critic with any semblance of credibility. Its Rotten Tomatoes rating was 13 percent! Its domestic box office was not good, either -- it opened on Friday to $4.6 million. Well, it's really too bad, I was hoping Yogi would make a big comeback, but that's what you get when you come up with a bastardized version of Yogi Bear like what we got here.

Dan Aykroyd voiced a very scary-looking Yogi -- although I cut Justin Timberlake some slack as Boo-Boo. At least he gave it an "A" effort to sound like Yogi's sidekick.

A lot of the cartoon purists were really up at arms over this flick, anyway, with all these Daws Butler fans coming out of the woodwork to say he could never be replaced as the voice of Yogi Bear. As it turns out, they were right -- though I guess it could have been worse. As it also turns out, it's also clear that when it comes to movies, kids these days seem to have some semblance of taste. They stayed away from this one in droves. Chalk this one up in the "bad idea" category.  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

TIME TO CHILL OUT

I am looking forward to what promises to be a reasonably easy week with a lot of down time -- just two-and-a-half full days of work and then a lot of time off until the following week. Last week at work was a little bit too crazy, so I need the time to relax. Tonight, I am watching football -- the New Orleans Bowl. Yes, another one of those bowl games.

One of the highlights of the past week was the hockey game I got to cover. Our resident sports guy was in Edmonton to see his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Oilers, so I got the press pass to be able to cover the SJHL game in his place between the Kindersley Klippers and Battlefords North Stars. It was a wild game with the Klippers winning 5-4, with the North Stars mad at the referee for his lousy officiating. The head coach went over and hurled a bunch of hockey sticks onto the ice, and he was ejected and later got a two-game suspension. You can read my account of the wild night here.

I also wrote up a piece on the blog about all the wild weather, not just here in North America but also in Europe. Today, Britain got a huge dumping of snow and that created a lot of chaos, and also wiped out a large number of English Premier League games both today and tomorrow. So soccer fans in Britain are not enjoying themselves.

That is all for now as I plan to get further rest and relaxation.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

BYE BYE LARRY KING

Well, tonight is a sad night because Larry King's TV show is finally ending after what seems to be forever and a day on the air on CNN. A lot of tributes are pouring in, although I also see quite a few of the usual pieces by these mean-spirited people who are pointing to the declining ratings and trashing Larry for his softball-interview style of questioning over the years. Look, that was his style, take it or leave it. And the truth is that you can get a lot out of a guest by just being relaxed and asking questions. Why people feel the need for every TV interview to be some sort of hatchet job, I don't know. Maybe I'm sympathetic because it isn't my style to do that, either. Anyhow, tonight is the end for Larry and the end of an era at CNN.    

Sunday, December 12, 2010

SO ANYWAY, WELCOME TO WINTER

Uh, hi. It has been a hairy last several hours across North America with all the bad winter weather everywhere. The midwestern USA has been particularly hard-hit by blizzards and it is expected to move east and sock all those fine folks as well. The big news is how massive a snow dump fell on Minnesota, with the roof of the Metrodome field caving in because of all the snow. As a result the Vikings and Giants have been forced to move their game to Detroit. Read about the NFL's plans here.

Canada has also gotten socked -- earlier, there was a big dump of snow on London, Ontario. And we hear that other parts of the world have been getting some nasty cold weather as well. I notice there are plenty of  stories out there about the cold weather paralyzing Europe and making people there all miserable. I also understand the typically-warm places like Cancun are also getting record-lows.

Don't worry about the global-warming crowd and the sure-fire hit to their credibility this round of weather is sure to take -- apparently they are all busy blaming the cold snap on global warming. I sum up such statements with the usual "question mark" and "exclamation point". 

That's it for me -- excuse me now as I continue to try and warm up inside away from the cold.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

APPRENTICE FINALE TONIGHT

Well, tonight marks the season finale for this fall's edition of The Apprentice -- otherwise known as the "laid-off, second-chance" edition with a contestant pool consisting mainly of America's biggest losers in the economic recession. Actually, I think it's really depressing that it has come to this. Here are good, hard-working Americans, all ruined by this wretched economy and forced to rely on Donald Trump's reality show to make it back. You know the really sad part? After being fired for real once before, It's yet another chance to be humiliated all over again. On national television, no less. 

We've seen plenty of humiliation this season already. We saw one woman, Mahsa, fired for essentially being an obnoxious, big-mouthed New Yorker. Another one, David, was a complete loose cannon whom the rest of his team wanted fired one week, only to make what Trump described as the "biggest comeback in the show's history" the next. Then he went back to being a fool and he led his team to defeat, and was fired. The most interesting case was of this one guy Anand who decided to text his buddies and try and get them to help him win on the show -- which turned out to be a violation of the show's rules and regulations! "This sort of thinking  is why Wall Street got in so much trouble," the Donald said, and he fired the guy on the spot. (Oddly enough, for the finale he was invited to come back and redeem himself for his earlier messup!)

You'd think all this humiliation would ruin peoples' career futures for all time, but they've been showing clips all season at the end of the show, showing the progress of all the people that were fired. And they'd all be bragging about how they got new jobs and are basically better off because they appeared on The Apprentice. This, my friends, is why America is in the sorry state it is in today -- if you want to get ahead, you have to appear on reality TV. Working hard and being intelligent is not enough. Anyway, all these folks who were big losers in the economy before appearing on Trump's show are now, for the most part, better off -- thanks to the Donald. What a great guy, eh?

Anyway, it's down to two people in the finale and I really don't care anymore who wins. Neither does America, apparently -- the ratings were in the sink and this appears to be the definite end of the line for the non-celebrity original version of the show.

It's kind of too bad, I used to like the show at one point in time -- but I am not surprised, as this season has reverted to the usual predictable firings we have come to expect. You could see Clint and Brandy ending up as finalists for miles away. Actually, it's a little discouraging for someone interested in business to see the usual boring people who follow orders all the time getting ahead on Trump's show. It's keep your head down and tow the line, or be fired. That's the way it has been the entire run of this series. It's frustrating for people who might fit outside the mould or who think outside the box.

UPDATE: In the wake of Thursday night's surprisingly low-key Apprentice finale, TV Squad socks it to the Donald and gives five reasons why this show needs to retire.  

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

SO LONG TO THE VOICE OF TORONTO

So another link to my existence in Toronto is gone. Mark Dailey of Citytv passed away the other day after his long fight with cancer. He was of course well known as the Citytv late-night anchorman, but his real talent was for doing practically all the voiceover work with his deep baritone voice introducing "Citytv, Everywhere." One of my favorite memories from my early days in Ontario in the Nineties was tuning in to Citytv and hearing Dailey doing all the voiceovers on all the promos and the late night "Late Great" movies.

Now Dailey himself can be referred to as Late and Great, and way too soon. As I say, way too many of my happy memories of Toronto are now just that, memories. Here's the Citytv tribute here. And that is all for now.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

SO LONG TO LESLIE NIELSEN (AND OTHER NEWS FROM NOWHERE)

So, I have a few items to tell you about right now and I have links to a couple of things I wrote up in the past week.

Just after the Roughriders lost that lousy Grey Cup game to the Alouettes came word that another Regina product, Leslie Nielsen, of movie and TV fame, passed away at age 84. I wrote up a tribute piece to Nielsen as part of my Cairns on Cinema column this week, where I describe Nielsen as a "seriously funny guy". Be sure to check it out.

Next up, I also wrote up a blog post here about a movie I stumbled upon on the Internet last week called Sonicsgate. It's the whole story about how the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics got lifted out of Seattle and ended up taken over by Oklahoma City interests who moved the team there. Actually, this sort of activity is nothing new for the NBA, the same kind of nonsense happened in Vancouver to the Grizzlies.

About as soon as that post went up, all the nonsense went down in San Diego with all the rumors about AEG trying to buy the San Diego Chargers and move them to Los Angeles. There are denials all over the place,. but there's no question the Chargers are one of the main teams in trouble in the NFL (Minnesota and Jacksonville being the others). Apparently this LA group was also talking to the Vikings this week. Anyway, it never ends in the NFL.

By the way, I hope you enjoy the current NFL season because the players association has told their players to save up as much money as they can, because there's likely to be a lockout next fall. Well, great -- the NFL wants to kill itself. Hasn't the NFL learned the lessons from what happened in baseball and hockey? Those sports have had a really hard time recovering from their shutdowns. I can't believe that with the American economy in the horrible state it is in that the NFL is about to be embroiled in a civil war over MONEY.

Finally, some GOOD news out of Edmonton, for a change -- they saved the Indy.

That's it for the time being. I know, I know, North Korea and WikiLeaks is more important than all this trivial nonsense, but this is the kind of stuff I care about.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

AAAAARGH!

You know, as a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan I think I now know how it must feel for NFL fans of the Cleveland Browns.

They had to put up with the Interception, the Drive, the Fumble and even the Traitor (Art Modell). We've had the Interception, the 13th Man, the Catch, the Field Goal...

At least we can say that of the three Grey Cups we were in in the last four years that at least we won one of them. That's more than the Browns can say, that's more than the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings can say.

And life is not all bad in Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon Hilltops won the Canadian Bowl this year in junior football. So cheer up, Rider fans -- or at least, have a very strong beverage to drink to get over another one of these.

It's on to hockey season now for us in Saskatchewan. Go Saskatoon Blades! That's all.

GREY CUP IS TODAY

Well, today is the day of the big Grey Cup game in Edmonton between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes.

It's been a heady last few days of partying in Edmonton. Among other things, there was a big bash including the Playboy Playmates. Making the rounds have been Playmates Crystal McCahill and Stacy Fuson -- and Stacy made herself a bunch of new friends from the wheat province next door, because she is cheering for the Riders! (Crystal, though, is cheering for Montreal. Boo, hiss.)

Meanwhile, the big story this week has been "Hotelgate" with the Alouettes loudly voicing to the Commissioner how slighted they are at the supposed crappy hotel they are staying at, compared to the swanky Riders accomodations. Also, I understand they also feel slighted because the Riders fans, known as Rider Nation, received a special Commissioners Award for their fandom. Personally, I think this is all head games by the head coach Marc Trestman. This is just the usual motivational "US against THEM" mentality and a big media distraction. I think this is exactly what Montreal wants -- for the press to be distracted so that they can concentrate on their preparations for the game.

It kind of looks bad, though, on the Alouettes to do all this whining and complaining. You get the feeling they are getting blase about appearing in the big game. If you're going to whine, whine when you LOSE the GAME -- at least that's worth whining over.

As for the fans of the Riders receiving the Commissioners Award, I think that's kind of a distraction and just serves to get the Alouettes all fired up and mad. I'm sorry, but Rider fans don't want any Commissioners Awards about how great we are. All we want is the Grey Cup.   

We'll see who wins. I sure hope I don't get too high a blood pressure watching this game, unlike last year.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

GIVING THANKS FOR ALL THINGS FOOTBALL


This is a great time of year for football - the traditional Thanksgiving football games. And you know what this means, folks: this is my annual excuse to once again swoon over those gorgeous shorts-wearing hotties the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (OMG!!!) -- who, obviously, have had nothing to cheer about today or this entire season. 

(How about those Texas Rangers!)

Anyway, I notice some of the cheerleaders can sing, too. Check out this video of the cheerleaders performing the national anthem at a recent fight at Cowboys Stadium. That's what these Dallas cheerleaders ought to do more of -- both sing and dance. Then they'd have all the other cheerleading squads all beat.

The Detroit Lions, who as I pointed out in this article do not have any cheerleaders at all, also lost today. (And I don't care what people say -- Detroit Lions at home at Thanksgiving is one of those great football traditions that ought to continue, regardless of how bad the team is. If you're going to boot the Lions off TV on Thanksgiving, you'll also have to boot off the Cowboys, who have been about as bad.)

In addition to all the great football today, the Grey Cup is coming on Sunday. And we won't even have to worry about NASCAR distracting us.

Of course, the best thing about Sunday's Grey Cup game is that the Riders are in it. Here are my thoughts about it here. That's all for today.

ANNE HATHAWAY GETS IT ON WITH JAKE GYLLENHAAL

In addition to being a big shopping weekend, Thanksgiving in the USA is also a big movie weekend with plenty of new releases rolling out. One of them, Burlesque, stars Christina Aguilera and Cher -- but in spite of the title, it doesn't have any nudity in it, apparently. Hey, guys, next time you produce a movie called Burlesque, make sure it's realistic! (Obviously not a movie aimed at the male demographic.)

One movie that does have nudity in it is Love and Other Drugs, a romantic comedy about, well, pharmaceuticals. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a drug salesman and Anne Hathaway as his lover, and from all accounts these two can't keep their clothes on to save their lives in this saucy movie. So, obviously, it sounds like exactly the type of thing that guys will want to rush to see. 

Jake and Anne were both shown getting naked on the cover of Entertainment Weekly recently, hamming it up. Those two sure look like they are enjoying themselves. Anyway, they figure that will get people all excited about the movie and boost the box office. The film is directed by Ed Zwick who -- wait a minute, wasn't he involved with that pretentious Eighties TV show thirtysomething?! Lessee, let's check IMDB here -- yes, indeed, he was.

Yecch. If that's the case maybe I'll skip it.  

In other big news, Lindsay Lohan, who can't keep out of jail to save her life, has been booted from that new Linda Lovelace biopic she was supposed to be doing called Inferno. Or maybe she quit. At least, that's the line of bull her people want you to believe.

Anyway, the new star of Inferno is smoking-hot Swedish-Canadian movie actress and CAIRNS BLOG fave Malin Akerman (pictured), a woman who never seems to wear any clothes in any movies she is in  (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, The Heartbreak Kid, Watchmen, etc).

Obviously, she should have been the first choice all along.   

Monday, November 22, 2010

BRISTOL PALIN FANS ARE DITTOHEADS

Before we find out the official winner of this fall's Dancing With the Stars, I want to discuss Bristol Palin.

Sarah Palin's two-left-feet daughter has been getting trashed by the judges on that show while other contestants have been outscoring her. Yet in spite of her mediocre dancing ability she is getting bailed out by the voting public. So now, she's in the finals and has a serious shot at winning the whole thing!

No doubt about it, the people aren't voting for her dancing. No, instead they are voting based on POLITICS. The only reason Bristol Palin is getting votes is because she's Sarah Palin's daughter, pure and simple. It truly is the "right-wing conspiracy" at work.

It's also a reason behind why Sarah's new Alaska show on TLC is already off to a strong start. The ratings for Sarah Palin's Alaska are through the roof, and it's all because her dittohead Tea Party supporters are tuning her in en masse, whether they care about Alaska or not. If anyone else was doing this show besides Palin -- ie. Joe Nonpolitical from Alaska or, good heavens, a Democrat -- believe me, no one would watch.

Honestly, is this what America is coming to? People watching television shows based on their political affiliations? I mean, it's bad enough when you have Republicans only tuning in Fox News and Democrats only tuning in MSNBC or CNN. It was bad enough when you had Republicans tuning in Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and the like, while the Democrats got their marching orders from Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz et. al.

But now -- now, even the entertainment shows are getting affected. It was bad enough when the comedy shows started getting political and people started taking marching orders from big Liberal Jon Stewart about what TV shows to watch. Stewart singlehandedly got a show cancelled (Crossfire) just by criticizing it! Then you had politics creep in to the beauty pageants and ruining things there (Carrie Prejean and her marriage comments during Miss USA). We're also getting more politically-slanted movies these days, with folks at home picking which movies they want to see based on whether they're liberal or conservative! Now, people at home are even voting for reality talent show contestants based on party lines instead of talent! The dittoheads truly are ruling the roost everywhere!

All I will say is that if Bristol Palin wins Dancing With the Stars it will be a disgrace and further proof that the USA is in serious trouble, and proof that the priorities of the folks living down there are truly warped and dominated by politics. These folks out there in middle America aren't interested in making their own independent decisions or using their own judgement. Merit is totally out of the equation -- it's just "follow the leader" down there and "support your party". These dittohead Palin supporters are doing just that. They're marching in unison and voting with their eyeballs.

By the way, I actually don't think Bristol Palin will end up winning Dancing With the Stars in the end. You know why? Because you can bet these Democrats who take their marching orders from on high will have surely clued in to what's been happening on the show! Those dittoheads in THAT party are sure to ring those phones for the opposition to defeat her, and just in the nick of time! America -- what a country.

WHOOOOEEEEE! RIDERS WIN

This was Championship Weekend all over the place.



And in CANADIAN football, it will once again be the Montreal Alouettes against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Grey Cup. The winning Riders returned home last night after their bone-chilling upset win in Calgary.

Let's go Riders! That's all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ON THE FUTURE ROYAL WEDDING

All I will say about this development is that the future King of England can sure pick 'em. Kate Middleton is smoking hot. I'd marry her, too.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

INDY NOT QUITE DEAD YET

Well, hold the phone about the Edmonton Indy just yet. Earlier, they made the announcement that it was cancelled, but now the local business people in Edmonton are raising heck about the race's departure and want to see some sort of solution. They are working behind the scenes to bring the city and the promoters Octane together to try and restore the race. As well, rumors are flying about possible NASCAR Nationwide Series involvement in the event now. They may have NASCAR Nationwide one week, then Indycar the next.

All in all, I'm very happy to see pro-racing people take a stand and show their support for an event that, quite frankly, wasn't getting much of the same from City Hall up to now. People are now starting to realize that losing the race could really make Edmonton look like a cowtown and jeopardize some of the other things they want to attract there (ie World's Fair 2017). 

This race was scrapped over a measly $2 million in runway improvements at the airport/race track? What a farce. And to heck with all the people who say auto racing pollutes the environment. You just can't allow these anti-racing types to have the floor all the time -- you have to stand up for yourselves, and that's what these Indy supporters are doing. Besides, auto racing is good for Edmonton; it brings in people like me from out of town to spend money there at least once a year. No doubt the local business people are worried about seeing tons of consumer spending from respectable tourists go right out the window if this thing leaves town. I sure hope they are able to succeed and save the race.

Friday, November 12, 2010

NEWS FROM NOWHERE FOR A COLD FRIDAY NOVEMBER DAY

Well, welcome to another cold Friday. All I have to say is I'm very happy I still live somewhere where there is still no snow on the ground. I don't know how long this will continue, though -- I expect it will be blizzards and minus-30 in no time. Anyway, on to this week's News from Nowhere.

First, news from earlier this week -- we have a new World Series of Poker main event champion, and he is CANADIAN. Jonathan Duhamel took down the title Monday night in Las Vegas, although the real turning point came the previous morning when he took a $177 million pot in a showdown with Joseph Cheong that basically gave him a monster insurmountable chip lead. Duhamel's victory means he wins $8.9 million cool ones. Here's the account of the exciting action from Saturday right here. The Monday action is here.

Also, Conan O'Brien's new show began to air on Monday, and no one has to worry -- it's the same idiocy we got from him before. It's also the same old ratings story as the last show -- after a good opening night the ratings went down on night 2.  

Oh. by the way, the show only airs Monday to Thursday. So don't worry, Coco fans, if you don't see him on the air tonight --he has NOT been cancelled!

Other news from TV. Lou Dobbs, who used to have a show on that sinking ship CNN, has joined Fox Business. Another talking head, Keith Olbermann, was briefly suspended by MSNBC for contributing to Democratic campaigns but has since been reinstated.

And we have a replacement lined up for Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight, the wonderful Nancy O'Dell, formerly of Access Hollywood. So much for all the hype about Lara Spencer getting the gig -- all those rumors must have been people making that stuff up, as usual. Hollywood is full of liars telling reporters all kinds of stuff.

Some really sad news to report out of Seattle. Dave Niehaus, Hall of Fame baseball announcer for the Seattle Mariners, died of a heart attack this week at age 75. It seems like something like this happens every year to some team. Here's what Ken Levine, his former broadcast partner on Mariner games, had to say about it.

In other baseball news Jon Miller and Joe Morgan have been given the boot from Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN TV. There's still a chance Miller could wash up on ESPN Radio again. Still, I don't get it! Miller's one of the greats of the booth.

More sad news from Hollywood from earlier this week: Jill Clayburgh has passed away at age 66.

More bellyaching in Toronto over that NFL game they hosted last week with the terrible 0-8 Bills. Personally, I think the Bills should just scrap their Toronto series and go back to Buffalo. Clearly, Toronto still has no clue whether it wants these games to begin with, nor do they know how to properly put one of these things on. They can't even get tailgating right.

Anyway, here's a piece in the Globe and Mail about the annual game that was played last week.

And more fallout from the Edmonton Indy cancellation with more of the anti-racing types of people crowing about all the money the city will save. Some people in Edmonton, though, feel they can still save the race. Good luck with that. Remind me to do a post later on about the whole state of things in auto racing -- we're seeing a lot of empty seats in a lot of places.

Finally, did you hear about this news The Daily Beast has bought Newsweek!  

That's about it for now.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

TOMORROW NIGHT: THE RETURN OF CONAN

Yes, indeed, Monday night is the night Conan O'Brien's new show on TBS debuts in late night. The show also airs very late in Canada on CTV at 1 am, and a little earlier on the Comedy Network. Check your local listings, the times may have changed (as you know).

Now that he is back working on TV, hopefully Conan will feel a bit better about life in general after that miserable departure of his from NBC.

Predictably, The Late Shift author Bill Carter is back again with yet another book chronicling the late-night TV wars and all the behind-the-scenes stuff that went on, this one called The War for Late Night. Conan talked about how toxic things got with NBC when he went on 60 Minutes and we get a good idea of what he meant by that with Carter's book. Here's an excerpt of Carter's account, told in the pages of Vanity Fair.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

WSOP FINAL TABLE IS NOW UNDER WAY

The November Nine are playing poker in the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas in the final table for the World Series of Poker Main Event. Among the contenders: two Canadians, Matthew Jarvis and the man going in as chip leader, Jonathan Duhamel. You can follow it all here with live updates at the WSOP site; as well with live reports at Poker News. As for me, I'll be following this and football games all day long. Shuffle up and deal, poker folks!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

EDMONTON INDY RACE IS DOWN THE TUBES

So the story broke in the last 24 hours that the Edmonton Indy has gone belly-up. The new promoter Octane suddenly walked away from a deal with the city, apparently/reportedly over behind-the-scenes skullduggery involving costs to upgrade the runways that the promoter was left holding the bag for -- something they hadn't counted on when they signed on to the deal with the city for this event earlier this year.

Here's the whole sad story here, and here's what Terry Jones has to say in the Edmonton Sun..I don't think I'm quite as outraged as Terry Jones obviously is, and I don't even have the kind of outraged reaction to this news that I had when the Toronto and Montreal races had to take a year off. I guess I'm just tired and weary from all the off-the-track problems this race has had. This latest gong show behind the scenes is one more to go along with the rest of them.

It's too bad, because the fans actually showed up for this event -- unlike other tracks throughout North America. The race fans in the West deserve a lot better than this nonsense they have gotten from everyone in charge. Now I'm in the odd position of having no Indy race to be able to go to in 2011, having lived within driving distance of races for a decade-and-half. I have no idea what I'll do next year. I guess I'll be reduced to going to a NASCAR Canadian Tire race next year, darnit!   

There are now stories circulating that this Indy event could still be rescued, but I have my doubts. Also, the rumors are flying about the event maybe winding up in Calgary when all is said and done. I don't know if it will happen, but it would be better than nothing as far as I'm concerned. Talk about sticking it to Edmonton.

CHEERLEADERS IN THE NHL! ( BIG SCANDAL )

Now, really, who can be mad at these lovely ladies?

Apparently, Edmonton Oilers fans are. They've made their fury felt over the prospect of the Oilers being the first Canadian team to have a cheerleader squad just like the one in Carolina for the Hurricanes (pictured). Uptight people. Anyway, I wrote all about it here.

I will have more to say about events in that cowtown Edmonton a little later (in particular, concerning a certain auto race there that today went belly-up).

Have a nice day. In the meantime I'm still trying to get over the big news of Jerry Brown getting elected governor of California --- as well as the news that BHP Billiton's PotashCorp bid got rejected by the government of Canada.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

ELECTION 2010 IN THE USA

Latest results from the following:
Fox News
CNN
MSNBC 
CBS News plus webcast here.
ABC News

Results soon. Already Rand Paul winning in Kentucky for the Tea Party.
UPDATE: It's Republican control of the House! Possibly a 60 seat pickup. Gains in the Senate. President Obama will have a lot to say about it on TV tomorrow.

ON THAT OTHER WORLD SERIES (POKER)

Well, now that the real World Series is over, won by the San Francisco Giants last night, we can concentrate on that other World Series -- the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

The Main Event final table is due to happen later this week, beginning Nov. 6. In the meantime, ESPN has been busy the last few weeks, turning Tuesday nights over to coverage of the rest of the Main Event field taped earlier this summer over a number of days at the Rio. Of course, we all know what happened because we already read Poker News and the like, so we all know "The Grinder" Michael Mizrachi made it to the final table already while the rest of his brothers did not. But that hasn't stopped ESPN from showing its delayed coverage, with Lon McEachern and Norman Chad covering this thing as if it were brand new.

Here's an article I scooped up from a while ago about the ESPN broadcast team -- who are good at their jobs, although Chad can be a little annoying at times. Hey bud, do your research; not every university has a football team called the Rambling Wreck

Coming up next: more election coverage. Woo hoo!

Monday, November 01, 2010

COLD NOVEMBER NEWS FROM NOWHERE

I am in the middle of tuning into another riveting World Series game, so this is going to be a fairly quick News from Nowhere for me, as I want to get this over with and watch the Giants try and eliminate the Rangers to win their first world title in something like 200 years.

First, the terrorists were on the loose again trying to send explosives on UPS planes from Yemen. I hope this is the end of it, but I doubt it.

Also, election day is tomorrow in the USA and I have no doubt voters are going to send a big message to President Barack Obama and his reckless band of know-it-alls in Congress who are running the United States into the ground with their spending.

I just hope it's not a total Republican sweep to power, though -- some of their candidates are really just too nuts (Delaware's Christine O'Donnell, for one -- "I am not a witch").

In lighter news, the "Bad Boy watch" continues as Charlie Sheen was apparently on the loose with the hookers again. Won't these Hollywood guys ever learn?

Same with the sports guys -- what with this Brett Favre- Jenn Sterger photos-texting nonsense from last month. Anyway, that's still under investigation.

In movie news Saw 3D dethroned last week's champ, Paranormal Activity 2, at the box office. I plan to write up a box office update for the newspaper pretty soon.

Also, I noticed some more stories about that new movie Tamara Drewe (pictured) starring Gemma Arterton. You know, that movie where Arterton has to wear sexy shorts. It finally opened in October, but unfortunately, the movie has been a flop. 

Big freaking scandal: the Edmonton Oilers are getting cheerleaders! I will have more to say on this topic later this week in a blog post on the News-Optimist website.

And the big story in Saskatchewan is this whole BHP Billiton attempted takeover of PotashCorp, with the federal government expected to make a decision on whether it meets the Investment Canada Act this week.The Saskatchewan government came out against the proposed takeover last week and Terence Corcoran let them have it, as did others. 

Still scoreless in that World Series game. That's it for now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MORE MUNICIPAL VOTE NEWS

They still can't get over the election results in Ontario's cities. Here's a piece about how the latte-drinking people are reacting to Rob Ford's mayor's election, plus another one on what went on in Mississauga with Hazel McCallion's arch-foe Carolyn Parrish being booted off of council.

Another loser of the election: the Toronto Star, who were with "Furious" George Smitherman all the way to the bitter end.

My own thoughts on the Ontario results are here.

Meanwhile, today is election day in Manitoba and you can follow some of those Winnipeg municipal results here:
CBC
CTV
Global

That's it for now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

FORD BY A LANDSLIDE

It's a brand new day in Toronto. Rob Ford won a landslide victory over George Smitherman for Toronto mayor; what's more, it's councillor Sandra Bussin out, it's six other incumbents out. Linda Jackson is out as mayor of Vaughan. Larry O'Brien is gone as mayor of Ottawa, losing to Jim Watson. The voters in Ontario finally sent a message, a loud one, to all the municipal politicians down in Ontario. The message, in a nutshell: the voters want to be respected.

Needless to say, as a former Toronto resident I'm really happy to see this result. It's a great day for democracy in Toronto.

ONTARIO MUNICIPAL ELECTION COVERAGE

Live streams:
CBC
CTV
CITYTV
GLOBAL
680News

That's off the top of my head. More soon.

ELECTION DAY IN ONTARIO

Municipal elections are on in Ontario and I plan to be right here when the polls close in about an hour's time to provide some links to some of the election coverage going on.

Obviously I plan to pay close attention to the Rob Ford-George Smitherman mayor's race in Toronto, as well as some of the other elections going on. Expect plenty of election coverage from me tonight, or at least, for about an hour before I have to head off to what is sure to be an absolutely riveting city council meeting.

Expect more election coverage on Wednesday when Manitoba goes to the polls to elect mayors and councils.

This week is actually very busy for me as far as politics is concerned. On my schedule today was interviewing the Leader of the Opposition Dwain Lingenfelter, and today's a city council day as well. On Wednesday, it is the provincial Speech from the Throne. Later this week, I go to Lloydminster for the Premier's Northwest Dinner in Lloydminster, and then on Friday I plan to be at the Saskatchewan Party's Cut Knife-Turtleford provincial nomination meeting. So yes, all of this is keeping me busy. Sometime next Tuesday I plan to find time in my busy schedule to stay up late watching the American election night on TV.    

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MY ELECTION THOUGHTS ARE UP

So Naheed Nenshi won the mayor's race in Calgary, and now we await what should be a close result Monday in Toronto. My News-Optimist blog post on the elections going on is here.

Have a nice day, I am now off to watch baseball on TV. Hopefully it won't be interrupted too often by the air pollution known as political campaign advertising.

Monday, October 18, 2010

WATCHING CALGARY ELECTION RESULTS

I'm right now watching the election coverage of the Calgary municipal election over the Internet, with the hotly contested mayor's race there between Ric McIver, Barb Higgins and Naheed Nenshi.

Right now Nenshi, of all people, has a sizable lead, having run a campaign with heavy emphasis on social media. Not bad for a Muslim.

I dunno if he's going to win or not; there's still a long way to go. But win or lose, I gotta say, based on the results so far -- these Eastern Canadians who depict Calgary as some type of intolerant cowtown metropolis owe that city an apology. Never again can it be said that the city is full of rednecks and racists

Especially if this result holds. Wow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ALL 33 MADE IT OUT

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CHILE MINE RESCUE UNDER WAY AS WE SPEAK

They started the effort yesterday, and to this point 31 of 33 miners have made it out of the mine alive. The breaking news about it can be found right here. LIve video is here. Nice to see some good news in the world, finally. That's all for today.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ESQUIRE'S SEXIEST WOMAN ALIVE IS MINKA KELLY

Well, congrats to Minka Kelly, she is definitely a gorgeous babe, but really --

-- how could they overlook Kelly Brook, a hot fucking babe, after the absolutely smoking-hot year she had? She was either bikini-clad or totally topless-naked in one men's magazine after another, except for the one that counted the most. This one.

Actually, I'm really surprised Esquire didn't pick Gemma Arterton after the year she's had, either, wearing those sexy shorts as Tamara Drewe. She's more their type.

(Didn't Esquire also put Tom Cruise, of all people, on the cover of their "How to Be a Man" issue this year? That about says all that needs to be said about that publication. I dunno, folks, I think those guys over there might be slipping.)

Friday, October 08, 2010

TBS WANTS TO REMIND YOU THAT CONAN IS COMING

You know, you just cannot click on a baseball playoff game on TV in the USA these days without being bombarded with reminders that Conan O'Brien is coming soon to TV.

Here is an article in the Chicago Tribune talking about all the promotional overkill going on, with CONAN "blimps" being unleashed into the telecasts and so on. 

As far as this CONAN blimp business is concerned, all we can do is put up with it for now. It won't be long until the World Series comes along on FOX and we baseball fans won't have to put up with that CONAN nonsense anymore. Instead, we'll get bombarded with promos for Glee and shows like that. 

HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA IS BACK. WHY AREN'T PEOPLE MORE EXCITED?

Well, the NHL season is back and you know what that means in Canada -- people are obsessed with planting themselves in front of the TV to watch Hockey Night in Canada.

Not everyone, though, is so keen on the production these days. Roy MacGregor had his screed in the Globe and Mail recently, saying Hockey Night in Canada has become more about itself than about the game.

I pretty much agree with what he has to say. Hockey Night may be an institution, but it is really too caught up in building up its own mythology about the game. It seems you tune in, and it's all about these commentators you see on TV who seem to believe too heavily in their own opinions.

As well, the production seems focused on playing up hockey as Canada's game all the time, so you hear all the stories about our great Canadian boys playing around the league. All this jingoism. Plus you have this whole over-emphasis on Don Cherry - he seems like more of a fit for a wrestling ring or somewhere like that these days, with his outfits and bombast. 

A lot of people in this country noticed the tired Hockey Night in Canada coverage during the last two playoff seasons, with TSN delivering a much more enthusiastic presentation. Even NBC's production is far superior in terms of the talent they have -- Mike Emrick in particular tells you all these little tidbits about all these hockey players and where they came from. Their commentators know what they are talking about and they make sure to focus the attention all on the game. It's too bad NBC doesn't devote more time to hockey coverage, because they do a good job with it..

Also -- is it just me, but aren't you sick of CBC showing all the shots of kids at the ice rink playing minor hockey and introducing the game?! You don't see any shots of kids playing minor baseball or minor football on those broadcasts anywhere, and the reason is obvious -- kids have nothing to do with professional sports. Period.

The CBC needs to quit treating the fans at home like they're parents at the local hockey rink cheering on their boys. The National Hockey League isn't about kids or "our Canadian boys" or even the grassroots of hockey: it's about overpaid millionaires who sometimes go out on strike, and the rich owners who employ them! Who's kidding who, here, really?

And that's my rant for the day. Goodday!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

BIG CHANGES COMING TO JERRY LEWIS TELETHON

Did you hear about this? The folks at the Muscular Dystrophy Association are planning to shrink the Jerry Lewis Telethon.  They want to pare it down to six hours next year from the 21-and-a-half hours the show runs now. I understand they want to run the show entirely in prime time next year as well. But then again, they were already running the show in prime time last year on Labor Day Eve.

This change comes in the wake of blistering criticism from Tom Shales, who raked this year's telethon over the coals in a Washington Post column. I happen to agree that this year's telethon was not that good a show, with Jerry missing for a good portion of it on Labor Day Monday. But reducing the show in length seems like a good way to throw away a potential $10-to-$20 million in donations.

The rationale, we're told, is that the MDA people were having trouble signing up potential affiliates to carry the entire 21-plus hours of the telecast, so they figure six hours would be an easier sell to stations. There were certain markets in the USA, and for that matter Canada, that had dropped this telethon entirely. So MDA lost a ton of dollars that could have come in from those places. They figure that if they can line up more affiliates for a six-hour show, that might end up helping MDA make more money.

I don't see how that would work, because many of their current "Love Network" affiliates already refuse to air much of the show anyway. Already, a lot of affiliates simply air a few hours of Jerry on Labor Day, and they skip the entire rest of the show on Sunday and overnight. I don't know how many affiliates are actually committed to airing the entire 21-and 1/2 hours these days to begin with  -- the number seems to have dropped over the years. I don't see how this change is going to add to the number of stations carrying the telethon. Maybe the real story is that MDA finally said "Why bother" to continuing to put on the rest of the telethon, because so many affiliates had already cut back on airing all of it to begin with.

Anyway, I still don't like this news -- this is like the end of a television era. No wonder Jerry was crying, then, at the end of this year's telethon -- he probably knew what was up.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A BEAST OF A STORY ABOUT HOWARD KURTZ

Did you hear about this? Howard Kurtz has left the Washington Post as media critic there, and will now be plying his trade for the online Daily Beast. All in all, it is more bad news for traditional print journalism. It seems like all the serious media coverage seems to be on the net anyway these days (Mediabistro and its ilk), so Howie's departure to a web operation makes a lot of sense. Still, I think it's bad news for traditional newspaper journalism to see so many of their biggest names bailing and going online. I don't know how many big-name print journalists I've followed over the years who used to be seen in newsprint but who've been forced into going online. It's getting to be a long list of people.

I'd like to believe in the future of print news media, but too many of these traditional news operations are just being run into the ground. Who wants to read a newspaper if there is nothing and no one of interest in it?

Will the last person in a print newsroom please turn out the lights?

GIRLS LIKE FOOTBALL, TOO

Here I go again with more live coverage of women here at the blog. Actually, I'm posting this because I'm bored and have nothing better to do. What can I say? Girls make for good blog posts that get a lot of hits.

As you already know I'm a huge fan of the gorgeous NFL cheerleaders, and of course I'm a big fan of the Playboy Playmates and am a huge reality TV addict.

Put them all together and what do you get? Miss January 2010 Jaime Edmondson, former Amazing Race contestant -- and best of all, a football fan. Needless to say, I'm still smitten by this ultimate dream woman and plan to do all I can to help her win Playmate of the Year. So remember to vote for her, guys!

This week, the folks at the Smoking Jacket. com have up their NFL playoff team picks and Jaime is seen modeling the predicted playoff teams in women's NFL attire. (Photo credit: SmokingJacket.com.) This photo spread is already a big hit with fans, with even Sports Illustrated noticing a spike in traffic.

It must have been pretty tough for Jaime, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and crazy Miami fan, to wear getups like this one for the arch-rivals the Patriots. (She also had to wear one of these for the Jets!) It's even tougher considering the Smoking Jacket didn't even pick Miami to win a playoff spot at all. Well, given their special teams disaster on Monday, no wonder.

Anyway, be sure to check out her terrific pictorial here. You're welcome.