Friday, March 31, 2006

Can't win for winning

I have to wonder how government can make anyone happy. A budget eliminating school fees, putting more than $100 million into education, money to hire nine new RCMP officers and eight new RNC officers, and allowing 97,000 more low income earners to qualify for the provincial drug plan. This means that people on social assistance can go to work and still be covered by the drug plan. Even better, people on social assistance who get a job will still get transitional income support for the first month after they get a job, to help with their expenses until the first paycheques come in. I say bravo. There were many other positive things in the budget. You can read about them here.

But listening to the radio this morning and watching the television news last night, I'd swear there had been slashing in the budget other than the slashing of school fees. With few exceptions everyone seems to be complaining. People are saying that this wasn't done or that wasn't done or that there was not enough spent in the budget or that it was not fiscally conservative (too much spent). The resounding reply to this first positive budget in years seems to be "where is mine?". Then the Liberals like Gerry Reid and Anna Thistle come out saying that the budget has done nothing for the regular guy on the street. No, only if you make under $30,000 a year and suddenly have a drug card, are going to get your roads fixed, have at least one child in shcool, are one of the 25,000 people who are affected by Alzheimer's disease in a family member and now can have the drugs to treat this, want more police on the streets, or are just happy that our books are not bleeding red ink anymore.

Then on CBC's the Morning Show, I hear the response from Jim Bennett, the newly annoited leader of the opposition. Now, Jim wasn't in the House to hear the budget since he does not have a seat there. As a matter of fact, he wasn't in the province. He was in Ontario in a court of law working on a case while the budget was coming down. He phoned in his response from Windsor, Ontario this morning. His response? Making fun of the fact that the government cut out small game licenses and what paltry fee cuts there were. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. Then again it must be hard to see the forest from so far away.

I've said before here that I am not of one party stripe or the other. I've voted for them all at one time or another. Right now, I like the Conservatives provincially but not the federal Conservatives. Right now, I am thinking this is a pretty good budget and I am pleased. I also think that the opposition Liberals had better get their act together and get someone who spends more time here in the province to lead their party. Maybe even someone in the house of assembly. Until then, I'll take Danny and Loyola and say "good job". I just wish others could take this money being spent and say the same and not "but, what about 'fill in the blank here'".

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Independent no more?

CBC television is reporting that The Independent newspaper is no more. Apparently there will be one more issue and that's it. I liked that paper in many ways. My Sunday routine was to buy the Telegram and The Independent, Tim Hortons for me and hubby and read away. Sundays won't be the same. It all begs the question: what is happening to Newfoundland and Labrador papers? First the Humber Log a couple of weeks ago and now this. We need different voices around here. I'm starting to fear we'll soon be a one paper province and that won't be good for anyone.

Similarities between me and Brian from Family Guy

While I am not a dog (well, not literally anyway), I have been Brian before.

Budget day today

I am a bit of a political fan (more provincial than federal) so today is interesting because the provincial budget comes down. I like the scattered surprise and even though the government seems to have released a lot of the big announcements in advance, I think Danny and the crowd have a few more surprises up their sleeves. My sources (David Cochrane on CBC's The Morning Show) tell me (okay, tells everyone who was listening to the radio at the time) that some more budget tidbits are:

  • A 70 million dollar surplus from last year's budget.

  • School fees will be eliminated.

  • Two new ferries.

  • That Alzheimers drug people have been trying to get added to the province's drug plan will be added.

  • The income level of those who qualify for the province's drug card program will increase meaning more low income earners will qualify. (I think this is a great move since people who don't work can qualify but someone who is busting his/her ass trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage job, cannot get drug coverage. The system is almost set up to encourage people to choose social assistance if they or their children have a medical problem requiring prescription drugs).

  • Fifty million in road work (That sounds like a lot but this problem needs more put in it. The province's roads are deteriorating and if we don't get them fixed up it will lead to more long-term problems. Actually, maybe that's what the government wants. After all, road repair means more jobs that are not officially 'make work').

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bloody Writing

Maybe you've heard the quote, from American journalist Gene Fowler, that "Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” I rarely feel like that. I love writing although I do spend an inordinate amount of time avoiding it. Still, today, because of deadlines, both real and self-imposed, I am trying to edit my next book, edit a short story, and write the new novel as well. It is getting a bit much. Just an off day but I do kind of feel like this poor guy at the moment:



Think I'll procrastinate some more. No one wants to clean up all that bloody mess.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Michael Winter on Giller Jury

So, Newfoundland writer Michael Winter, is part of the jury for the Giller Prize. Other members are Alice Munro and former gov-gen Adrienne Clarkson. Interesting and diverse bunch there.

Very, very early predictions for possible contenders (from Newfoundland and Labrador):
  • Kenneth J. Harvey's Inside (to be launched at Chapter's St. John's on April 10)
  • Wayne Johnston's The Custodian of Paradise (to be launched at the Woody Point Writer's Festival)

Danny Williams coughs up for the arts

Well, not yet but today, in front of a packed audience at the LSPU Hall, Premier Danny Williams and Tourism Minister Tom Hedderson announced the launch of a new cultural plan called 'Creative Newfoundland and Labrador'. A three year plan, it involves some exciting details including a half million bucks to renovate the wonderful LSPU Hall. Other details include providing "$675,000 under Budget 2006 in support of professional artists and the creative process through various programs, including an additional $300,000 in 2006 for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. " Yay, more grant money! Find out more here and here.

I want to say "thank you" to Danny and "yahoo" for all the artists in the province and all those who enjoy our art, be it written, performed or sung.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Brokeback controversy en"sues"

Oooh, bad pun but the pun fairy bit me. Bad pun fairy, bad. Anyway, Seems that the heretofore completely uncontroversial movie Brokeback Mountain... What? Really? Controversial? Gay cowboys? Scathing, vengeful, Oscar sookiness from the author? Producer sues the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences? Really?

Oh, well, it seems that in yet another Brokeback controversy, actor Randy Quaid is suing the producers of Brokeback Mountain for a cool ten million for intentional and negligent misrepresentation. Ouch. Seems that Quaid was convinced to take a pay cut when he was told the project was a low-budget feature "with no prospect of making any money." Yes, Brokeback might have gotten a lot of notice but I think with a budget of $14,000,000, it was still pretty low budget in Hollywood terms and the $10,000,000 to Randy in the production of the movie would have meant the rest of the actors would have been stick figures acting against a claymation background. Do they give Academy Awards for that?

Anyway, if I was Randy Quaid and I had been in movies like The Day the World Ended, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, Not Another Teen Movie and, well, I could go on and on giving examples of schluck he's been in (full filmography at IMBD), I would just take my money, the great film credit and shut the hell up.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The good, the bad and the ugly

The Internet is an amazing thing. It can be used for everything from spewing neo-nazi hatred to searching for a way to end poverty; from making people laugh at cartoons to making people weep with a poignant true story. In a new semi-regular feature, here are the good, the bad and the ugly for this week:

The good:
Tired of only bad news all the time, check out the Foundation for a Better Life (yes, those ones who have those caring commercials on the air). It might get a little too pollyanna after a while but everyone has those days when they need a little good news.

The Bad:
Gawker.com has started a Gawker Stalker site where people can post recent sitings of celebrities and you can use Google Maps to track them down to their exact location. The fact that they titled it "Stalker" is even more distasteful than this already disgusting example of what the Internet should not be used for. No direct links to this one, folks, only to an article about it (with links in it unfortunately).

The Ugly:
I know birth is the most beautiful miracle, blah, blah, blah, but does anyone in the world need to see sculptures of Brittney Spears in the act of childbirth? Uh, no. And as a symbol for pro-life no less. Touting Brittney as an idealized anything makes me scratch my head.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Chef is dead

After Isaac Hayes quit as the voice of Chef on South Park, over a Scientology parody, South Park creators have killed the character off after he is brainwashed by a cult and turned into a child molestor. Causes of death included falling off a bridge onto rocks, burning, impaling, and being mauled by a mountain lion and a grizzly bear. Ouch, what a way to go. I love it.

Pandemic hits

I heard the other day that the "Bird Flu" has now taken 100 human lives. In a population closing in at 7 billion, those are some good odds for not getting it. Nevertheless, we are bombarded daily with stories about it, speculation on when it will kill us all, and millions of dollars are being poured into preparing for the eventual pandemic that could possibly ensue. Still, some 50,000 people die every day because of hunger and related illnesses. Every three to four seconds, depending on which sources you read, someone starves to death in this world. Now that, my friends, is a pandemic. That is reason for everyone to stand up and scream all day long, reason for newscasters to talk about it 24/7 on their news shows but no one does. Nope, we'd rather talk about the 100 deaths from a disease known only to be transmitted from close contact with birds.

The reason is simple. We can't get it. Starvation won't spread over here; it will stay over there in other countries far away from us. I'm pretty sure if we were certain that the Bird Flu would stay over there, away from our own rich continent, we'd stop telling stories of the Bird Flu deaths. Would our evening news report the latest death in Turkey or Asia from an obscure and rare disease if we weren't worried it could affect us? I can say with 100% certainty that the answer is no. No, as long as it stays "over there" they can starve and die of diseases easily treated by our medicine and we won't even notice. It's when it might get in our backyard that we'll notice. Then we'll report about it and speculate how many cans of beans and bottles of water we need to stockpile in case it hits us and we're quarantined. Gives 'not in my backyear' new meaning, don't ya think?

Clark Wins Winterset Award

Okay, I was wrong and they went with Joan Clark's An Audience of Chairs. Clark previously won the Winterset in 2002 for The Word for Home. A hearty congratulations to Joan Clark for winning this year's Winterset Award.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Winterset Award to be announced

The Winterset Award for exellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing will be announced today at Government House at 4:00 PM. Nominees are are Roberta Buchanan, Anne Hart and Bryan Greene for The Woman Who Mapped Labrador: the Life and Expedition Diary of Mina Hubbard, Joan Clark for An Audience of Chairs, and Enos Watts for Spaces Between the Trees. I am torn between Clark or Watts because I am not sure how judges look at collaborative works so I think maybe that puts the other nominees out of contention. I'm thinking Clark since she is so obvious and such a popular and great writer but I am going to go out on a limb and say Enos Watts will win for Spaces Between the Trees.

I'll report back on the winner and if my prediciton was right or wrong.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'm a Mai Tai

Ah, I had this really serious post ready to put up but then I realized I hadn't done a silly blog personality test in a while (and I know Nancy and Scotty miss them) so I'll save the serious stuff for tomorrow (maybe). This one is surprisingly true. Don't make me tell you about the time I stopped a taxi on George Street by pulling down my... ah, maybe for another day too.

You Are a Mai Tai

You aren't a big drinker, but you'll drink if the atmosphere is festive.
And when you're drunk, watch out! You're easily carried away.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tapping to the Music

Think you know your music? Ever tap along to it? Check out the Song Tapper where you can tap a song on your space bar and it will attempt to identify it. If it doesn't know your song you can enter it yourself.

Rabbittown Loses Out

So it seems that Rabbittown the series is not to be*, at least not through CBC's attempt at Canadian Series Idol from this past January. Rabbittown was one of three pilots vying for a shot at a series on CBC. This Space for Rent won the prize. Now, I was not a fan of Rabbittown and I did like This Space for Rent more but you have to be fair about this don't you? Rabbittown got the highest ratings (251,000 compared to This Space for Rent's 188,000). Surely in any other television universe this would mean something but not for CBC (I adore CBC Radio and CBC news but their television programming sucks. They got rid of This is Wonderland, for God's sake). No, the CBC says that This Space for Rent is "an example of the kind of show the network is looking for". Is the network looking for lower ratings? Does it get more money from the government if it haemorrhages more? I don't get it and I'm not sure CBC does either.

* This information was garnered through the Globe and Mail. The article is now for subscribers only so I did not post a link.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Paralympians do us proud

The unfairly unnoticed Canadian Paralympic athletes are amazing. The closing cermonies of the Paralympics are today and our athletes have done us proud, coming in sixth in the medal standings and winning gold in curling, slege hockey, giant slalom, and others. Five gold medals in all. It is too bad that we don't put the kind of attention on the Paralympics that we do for the Olympics. Such great, dedicated athletes deserve to be touted all over the place and have lots of kudos going to them but they hardly get noticed by the mainstream media. Well, I say congratulations to all our paralympians. You do Canada most proud.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

SuperSad-assNova

Shhh, I have a secret. A dirty little secret. Last summer I watched J.D. Fortune win Rock Star INXS. Worse, still, I watched pretty much every episode of the show. So, I was interested in who might be the band this year. I made guesses, like lots of others did, but there was no way I could have guessed correctly which band would be looking for a new frontperson. The reason? The band doesn't actually exist yet. It is a composite of rejects and leftovers from other bands and they call this new group Supernova. The "celebrity" of the group is none other than media whore Tommy Lee. After going to college for reality TV and keeping certain people entertained with the homemade porn he made with his wife, Pamela Lee Anderson, or whatever her name is now, Tommy Lee is trying again to make it in the world of TV. Ah well, that's good news for me. It frees up more of my evenings this coming summer.

Unless, that is, our own Damian Follett who is in the quarterfinals for being a Rockstar contestant, gets to the show. Then I'll have to watch and root him on.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Great Canadian Conspiracy

First of all, let me say that last night I won. Yes, dear reader, you may be envious but I have won a prize in the great Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim contest. This after the approximately hundred coffees my husband and I have purchased since the contest started this year. Before last night, none of these coffees had amounted to anything except a delicious java taste and Please Play Agains. Despite the fact that my local Tims has given away over 2500 winners and others in the surrounding areas we frequent have given away hundreds of others. But last night my trembling hands rolled up the rim to reveal a free coffee. Now in other, perhaps more lucky years, we have had little pieces of coffee cups with free cookies, coffees, muffins, and donuts, piled up all around but this year seems to be a bad batch for us. However, I am told I am not alone. None of my friends have won anything either. Neither have their friends. What is happening? Could Tim Hortons be fibbing about the hundreds of winners? Could there be a conspiracy theory in all of this? I ask you (and not just because everyone flocks to talk about conspiracy theories and people searching for such things may find my blog).

So here is my idea. I think, in an effort to bump up coffee sales in their US market, Tims has shifted most of the winning cups south of the border. The age old Canadian tradition of rolling our rims (not to mention our Rs) is being exported to the big ol' US of A. I for one am disgusted and vow to not let this happen. Although I have absolutely no proof, I will spread the word of this controversy far and wide (or at least to the half dozen people who regularly read my blog and those who use search engines to find any blog posts about controversies, Danny Williams, Paul McCartney, seals, sealing videos, the Golden Globes, the Oscars, curling and bleeding tongues). It is one thing to take our softwood and ban our beef but damn it, we're Canadians, you Yankees, and don't screw with our Tims!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sinking like a rock

While the small community I originally come from, along with many other communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, watches its population get decimated by people leaving in droves for work in Alberta, on the other end they have to find places for all these people to live. With massive FPI layoffs recently announced on the Burin Peninsula, the closure of the mill in Stephenville, and the lack of any kind of increase in the cod stocks off our shores, this outmigration will continue. It's been going on for years, I know, but until recently my community hasn't been too affected and now it's becoming a near ghost town populated by mostly elderly citizens. Even Air Canada added express flights for those leaving The Rock for The Oil Sands.

Everyone keeps looking to the government for some kind of saving grace, some way to stop this haemorrhaging of our population but I have to wonder how much they can do about it. Make-work programs are more of a bandage than anything, and forcing FPI to lose money in small towns in Newfoundland is a futile thing. Tourism is a good moneymaker but we can only kowtow to our stereotypes for mainlanders for so long and only have so many such enterprises. How many old time kitchen parties and quaint B&Bs can one tourism industry support? The only answer is for individuals to come up with innovative, entrepreneurial ideas and start businesses which can create employment. Since the numbers of our population don’t support such businesses, we have to think of business ideas that can translate to exports, sales on the web, and the like. Unfortunately, many of the people leaving the fish plants and mills are not trained in these high-tech areas and probably are not interested in such training. We saw how the retraining worked (or didn't) when the cod moratorium was first announced.

I don't know what the answers to these problems are. I fear there is not much that can be done at this point and that makes me so goddamn sad. The next generation of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have to become innovative and find ways to make Newfoundland like Ireland (as we all thought was going to happen a few years ago), to make it a vibrant, cutting-edge, technologically savvy province where the only limits on what we can do are our imaginations and our bandwidth. I only hope there’s enough of the next generation left around to pick up the pieces.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kenneth J. Harvey blog

Kenneth J. Harvey, Newfoundland and Labrador writer and founder of the ReLit Awards, now has a blog. He will be launching his latest novel, Inside, at Chapter's in St. John's on April 10th at 7:00 PM. The book sounds interesting, even though the description at Amazon seems a little cryptic. I still have to read The Town That Forgot How to Breathe

Commonwealth Prize doesn't go to Moore

Well, Lisa Moore's Alligator, which won the Canadian/Caribbean regional Commonwealth Prize, unfortunately didn't snag the main Commonwealth Prize. Neither did the much touted On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Kate Grenville won for her novel The Secret River, about settlers in 19th century Australia.

Another hearty congratulations to Lisa Moore for winning the regional prize.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My snapshirt

My blog's snapshirt:


Get your's here (can take a while to get it).

Friday, March 10, 2006

I'm not even half evil

Okay, Scotty, I'm not quite as evil as you. Still, when I was answering all the questions I felt really evil. Those questions will sure make you look at yourself.

You Are 42% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Da Mudder Tung

A book about the "unique dialect" of Cape Breton, entitled Da Mudder Tung sounds very familiar to me.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Which Desperate Housewife are you?

These are all melding together and I get the feeling I've done them before but I searched my blog and found only one instance of desperate housewives so here goes.

I am so much more like Lynette than Susan (except the clumsy, I am clumsy). And I am the anti-Bree.

DHsusan
Congratulations! You are Susan Mayer, the divorcee
and single mom who will go to extraordinary
lengths for love.


Which Desperate Housewife are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Nancy, flicking this your way, now.

Weather watch

I know I may be beating a dead horse since I've already talked about this but there is another "tricky system" moving in and they are calling for 10-15 cms of snow, high winds, and blowing snow. Now, this system may go one way and cause less snow or may go another way and we could get a shitload of it. Perhaps, it could pass us altogether and rainbows could cover the island. The point is that it is after 1:00 PM on Wednesday and a storm that is due to start overnight tonight is still making the weather people scratch their heads (and asses). The weather network has been putting up a graphic of the weather for the next few days and for thursday they have a blank section with -2 temperature. I have come to realize that the big difference between now and years past is that the forecasters are just plain scared to make a prediction and be wrong. That may be as stupid as not predicting anything since we've never had much faith in the weather people anyway. We'll see. I predict a weather warning by this evening but we'll see what it is. Maybe a blizzard warning, maybe a wind warning, but probably that wonderful and easy cop-out, the "snow warning".

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Common Errors in English

Just discovered a site that lists many common errors people make in English. I found it googling a word (which I often do to double check either its meaning or popular usage) and it saved me an embarrasing mistake. I had written that someone "furled" his brow but found out that would have been a faux pas. Since this is a pretty important piece of writing I am working on, may I say "phew". Might want to bookmark this one if you're picky about this kind of thing.

Dana Reeve dead at 44

Dana Reeve, the widow of actor and spinal cord research advocate Christopher Reeve, has died of lung cancer at 44. She and her husband created the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. My thoughts and prayers go out to her son, Will, who at 13 has already known far too much pain.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Atwood's Longpen


Unless she's had a catastrophic neurological event or has the world's worst handwriting, Margaret Atwood's invention to help her avoid dealing with the public in person, has failed. The video I saw last night made such high-tech signings laughable. And would you line up for a robot to sign your book? Ugh.

Post Larry King Live Alien Cafe

Since I got no response--good or bad--for Alien Cafe, I wasn't going to rush to make another post but John Mutford asked if they'd watched Larry King Live and that got me thinking so drop by the cafe and listen in on the guys. Again, make sure you read the description of the Alien Cafe up top or you won't get it. Or maybe you won't get it anyway but at least not because you didn't read the description.

Post Oscar recap

Okay, so I suck at picking Oscars for supporting roles but I got all the other ones right. Well, not so much Jon Stewart. I love the guy but I think he was out of his element, especially in a year where the Academy decided to play one film clip for each person watching for a total of about a billion. I mean, what was it with all the film clips? There were funny moments like the montage of clips from old westerns where it looked like the cowboys were gay. I laughed out loud at that. The night turned out to be a yellow label night on the wine front so that was nice. I came away with some questions though, that I would like to share with you:

What the hell was that on Charlize Theron's shoulder?

Has John Travolta's hair become a helmet? It looks like someone painted it on.

Were the teleprompter operators drunk last night or just the presenters? I don't
think I've seen so many people having trouble reading their lines before, especially the normally wonderful Lauren Bacall who seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when her introduction to yet another montage of film clips was over.

All in all, a dull night for me. I think if Felicity Huffman had won and made a speech or Philip Seymour Hoffman had barked his acceptance speech like he was supposed to, it would have been a much more interesting night. As it was, no speech stood out and the only interesting part of the night was when Three 6 Mafia won best song for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp". I don't even think that should have won. I figure just enough people voting said to themselves, "ah, shag it, I'll vote for the pimp song" and last night all of them did a collective WTF?

But Crash won best pic and that made me happy (oh, and the wine, the wine helped too).

Saturday, March 04, 2006

My Oscar picks

Ebert, I am not. Nor have I seen half of the movies and performances nominated but I try to stay up on the buzz, the hype, get the down-low, you know. So here are who I think will win:

Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Keener, "Capote"

Best Supporting Actor: Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man"

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"

Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"

Best Director: Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain" (Whenever you don't win best picture they give you this--or best writing)

Best Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, "Crash" (same reason as above and because it was a phenomenal screenplay)

Adapted Screenplay: Larry McMutry and Diana Ossana, "Brokeback Mountain" (Because E. Annie Proulx wrote the original short story and we all love her here in Newfoundland. What? Really? We don't? Hmmm. Oh.)

Best Picture: CRASH!!!! (I know I said it would win best screenplay because it might not win the Oscar but I don't care. It deserves them both. So there.)

And I think Jon Stewart will do a phenomenal job as host. I also predict I will have polished off at least one bottle of Wolf Blass (Red or Yellow label--won't know till I go to the rack) by the end of the night. It is a must to get through all the boring categories and speeches between Best Supporting Actor/Actress at the beginning of the night and the bigger categories 3 hours later.

Danny Williams on Larry King Live

I know the blogs will be inundated with this discussion so I'm not going to beat it around too much. Anyone looking at it couldn't help but think the same thing: Paul McCartney looking like a doddering old fool who didn't even know where he was, Heather Mills playing the role of bitch superbly, Larry King playing an even older and more doddering fool, and Danny Williams trying desperately to get his point across while Heather's shrill bark overpowered him. I kept talking to the screen and saying "say this" or "say that" to Danny whenever something would come up but the truth is I think he did a pretty good job. There are things I wish he'd said and things I wished he hadn't but I wasn't there getting squealed at by Heather Mills with practically no moderation from Larry King. Larry is, after all, a friend of Heather (she has even been guest host on his show for him before). For God's sake, the man can look at the word "found" and somehow pronounce it "fin" as in "Newfinland", no matter how many times Danny pronounced it right.

Danny showed huge class by inviting the McCartneys to Newfoundland and Labrador (although you know Danny must have been hoping Heather would go back to her "baby"--a two year plus toddler by now--so he wouldn't have to listen to that crazy, shrill, voice of hers).

Danny tried to hit home his points by talking about international organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and the UN (and we all know how much Americans care about what the UN thinks) which I think was the way to go. Still, Danny had at the most ten minutes of (constantly interrupted) speaking time to the McCartneys who had the other 50 minutes including one full half hour at the beginning to say whatever the hell they pleased without anyone asking them to back up a point.

I think anyone who didn't know anything about the seal hunt going into it, would get a very skewed point of view and is probably donating money to the anti-seal crowd as we speak. But Danny did his best and at least he got our point out there, sort of. I'm still glad he did it because without him it would have been a full hour without counterpoint (and I could have kissed him when he brought up overfishing by the EU community).

Best moment of the night: The employees of CNN placing the label under Paul McCartney on the screen: "Sir Paul McCartney in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island" at the exact same time Paul is saying: "I am in Newfoundland now".

Friday, March 03, 2006

McCartneys don't want the facts

I just heard Paul McCartney and Heather Mills (I ain't calling them Sir and Lady) on CBC Radio comparing the seal hunt to apartheid and slavery. Jesus Christ. That is so inane that I don't even know how to repsond. Comparing killing seals to degreding, torturing, and killing groups of human beings. I just can't get my head around it. Oh, and Heather chimed in that it was also like when they sent children down chimneys in Victorian England. I had hoped that they would listen to reason and had come here to find out the facts. I now have no hope that is true and pray they don't beat down Danny Williams on CNN tonight with such hyperbole and garbage sensationalism. I have faith that Danny can hold his own but I'm just waiting for the McCartneys to drag up 9/11 or "the war on terror" in order to suck the Americans in. Seems to work for George Bush everytime he has something stupid he is arguing for.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Introducing the Alien Cafe

In order to set free my creative, silly and sarcastic (what me, sarcastic?) side, I made up some fictional characters to chat in the Alien Cafe. Make sure you read the description first. I'll post a link here whenever I post something new to the cafe.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

ReLit Longlist announced

A day after the nominees for the Winterset Award were announced, The ReLit Awards have released their longlist. After a quick perusal, these are the Newfoundland writers and publishers nominated. Please let me know if I missed any.

Novel:

-Alligator, Lisa Moore (Anansi)
-Thaw, Nicole Lundrigan (Jesperson) (I love this book)

Where's Michael Crummey's The Wreckage?

Poetry:

-A Painter’s Poems, Christopher Pratt (Breakwater)
-Spaces Between the Trees, Enos Watts (Flanker) (also nominated for the Winterset. Congrats indeed)

Forecast is a shrug

Remember when we used to have forecasts? Remember when they used to tell us what the weather would be like up to three days in advance and they were sometimes right? The thing now is that they don't even try anymore. They make "snowfall warnings" when snow is coming but they have no idea how much it will be. Wasn't it 15 to 20 forecasted this past Friday for this past Saturday? Okay, we got 70. That's close. Right? Not! And that was the day before the storm came. Now today we have more snow coming so another "snowfall warning". Environment Canada is saying that it's a "complex low pressure system" and to "monitor upcoming forecasts as this system is very complex and slight adjustements in its track or intensity could have a significant impact on upcoming forecasts".

Translation: "There's snow coming but we don't have a clue how much or for how long or how bad it's going to get. Maybe when it gets to Newfoundland we'll figure it out as it's happening and then let you know."

The weather forecast is the equivalent of looking out your front window. With today's technology any dingbat (like me) can look at the satellite and see that snow is coming. I just don't understand why the forecasters can't seem to do any better than that. I know the weather is not forecast from Gander anymore, and I think it should be, but can that really make this big a difference? Maybe but I'm not sure how. In 2001 when we got whomped with record snowfalls all over the place, the forecasters seemed able to let us know when they were coming and were relatively correct in predicting how much. I'm just confused by it all. We have the technlogy. Why can't we get a forecast in advance? It's like they're scared to even try to guess at it so they shrug and call it a snowfall warning. Sure, b'y that makes no sense.

*Edited at 5:10 pm to say that they just released a new forecast. It is now a blizzard warning starting, oh about now. Let's change the name from forecast to presentcast.