Monthly Archives: May 2009

Cape Disappointment anything but

As I’ve blogged about before, Earl Emerson is my favourite author.

By day, he’s a firefighter in Seattle. By night, he’s the frickin’ Superman of authors. He’s just that good.

He originally started writing novels about a detective (named Thomas Black), before moving on to fictional books involving firefighters. That’s when I came in as a fan. I loved the firefighting books, but I never read any of the books involving Black.

I have a few I picked up at garage sales and what not, but I didn’t know if there was a specific order to read them in, so I was wary about reading them, in case I read them out of order and spoil what happened in other books (as what happened when I read a Jonathan Kellerman book out of order, and read Barry Eisler’s John Rain series out of order).

So although Cape Disappointment is a Thomas Black novel, I decided to read it because a) it was his newest book and b) I haven’t read an Earl Emerson book in 15 months, and I was going through withdrawl.

While I didn’t enjoy the book as much I do the firefighting ones, it was still great. That’s the thing about Emerson. Even when his book isn’t as good as I think, it’s still better than 95% of the books I’ve read in my life.

This book begins with Black the victim of a bombing, weeks after his wife is killed in a airplane crash. It then uses flashbacks to bring the reader up to speed.

While the conspiracy theory in the middle of the book bogged it down a little for me (I’m not a big conspiracy theory guy), the plot still flowed along nicely.

In the end, a great book by my favourite author. So maybe I’ll go back and start reading the rest of the series. And who cares about the order, as long as they’re just as good as this one.

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NHL finals prediction

So the NHL finals are starting on Saturday.

Hayden Panettiere must be Canadian, because she sure loves the Stanley Cup.

Hayden Panettiere must be Canadian, because she sure loves the Stanley Cup.

I’m pretty stoked they’ll be starting early. If they had waited until next weekend to start, I don’t think I would have watched. Too much time in between the semifinals and the finals.

This promises to be an exciting series. The Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking for a little revenge against the Detroit Red Wings, the team that defeated them in the finals last year.

Interesting trivia: Detroit’s last four Cups have come from, in order, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens in this year’s playoffs have eliminated, in order, the Flyers, Caps and Hurricanes.

I think Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the team will get their revenge this year. Detroit may have more depth, but they need it because their stars aren’t producing (Nicklas Lidstrom is battling injuries, Pavel Datsyuk has disappeared, and Marian Hossa needed two and half rounds to get start performing).

I also think the Pens will be looking for revenge on Hossa, who left the team in the offseason so he could have a better chance at winning a Stanley Cup.

Look for Crosby and Malkin to come out like gangbusters, and to have great series, with Crosby winning the MVP trophy. If the Red Wings win the cup, I don’t know who could win the Conn Smythe there. Maybe Dan Cleary? Who knows?

Prediction: Penguins in 6.

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How to write a book

So as I am losing weight and getting a six-pack of abs, I figured this would be a good time to tackle another major bucket list item: writing a book.

I promise not to use It was a dark and stormy night as my first sentence.

I promise not to use "It was a dark and stormy night" as my first sentence.

I know it’s going to be a major challenge, especially since I’m journalist. Reporters tend to write short pieces, and get to the point quickly, whereas novels build up to suspenseful climax.

I have a plot done in my head. I pretty much have the outline of the first chapter and a half done in my head, plus other future chapters. I know who the bad guys are, who the good guys are, where it’s going, what I want to accomplish, etc.

The thing is, I don’t know how to end it. I can’t think of a conclusion to whole thing.

And since it will be designed as a thriller (hopefully), I’m curious on if I should start writing, and hope the end comes to me at some point, or if I should wait until I can think of some way to end it bef0re I start typing.

So if anyone has any advice on this, or anything else to do with writing a book, please let me know.

Thanks for the help.

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Archie to marry Veronica

I love Archie comics.

Archie Andrews will be marrying Veronica Lodge in an upcoming issue.

Archie Andrews will be marrying Veronica Lodge in an upcoming issue.

Always have. Always will. I still have all the comics from when I was a kid. Santa would leave them as stocking stuffers every year.

Eventually, I stopped reading them. Not because I was bored with them, but because they were getting too expensive.

But I still have all my old issues. I grew up with them, and would read them countless times.

That’s why I was shocked to hear today that Archie Andrews is going to get married.

To Veronica Lodge.

I couldn’t believe it. I’m thinking this is some sort of ploy, and they really don’t get married. Maybe a dream or something.

This sort of thing has happened before. Remember the whole angle of Superman dying? But he came back from the dead. Spiderman rebooted its comic series two years ago when the last 20 years of its history was erased when they went back in time and Peter Parker didn’t marry Mary Jane Watson. It’s a device used by writers as a way to generate more interest into their comics.

So I fully believe that this won’t last.

Remember, Jughead used to hate girls. But then they gave him a magic pin that he could put on his hat that made the girls love him and vice-versa. I’m sure if the Internet was around at the time, everyone would have been up in arms about that one too.

Why choose the evil Veronica over the angel Betty?

Why choose the evil Veronica over the angel Betty?

But it’s fun to read the reaction of some people. Most people believe if he’s going to get married, he should get married to Betty Cooper instead. I agree with that sentiment.

The Betty vs Veronica debate was a timeless one, akin to MaryAnn vs Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, or Betty Rubble vs Wilma Flintstone. In the end, most people were in the corner of the nice girl (Betty) instead of the vain girl (Veronica).

On the Archie Comics web site, you can read the news of the wedding here.

Here are a few of the comments from others:

From Cecelia:

i am literally crying right now. please do not do this. i will never be able to enjoy reading archie comics again if this happens.

true fans do not want to know who he ends up with. i hope there is some twist ending to this issue so that he doesn’t marry either one. and for the companies sake: don’t do this. this will make you lose a lot of money. no one will be interested in this comic once we know.

From Archielover99:

Will the engagement be the end of the love triangle?

Will the engagement be the end of the love triangle?

If Archie chooses veronica, not only will he break Betty’s heart,but he will break MY heart too!If he DOES choose veronica, i will NEVER EVER EVER read Archie Comics again!!!!!! He makes Betty do everything and treats Veronica like a queen! Archie, If you choose Veronica, i will Never forgive you….EVER!!!!!! Good luck Betty….Archie….BYE

whitesharkt compared their love triangle to Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie-Jennifer Aniston love triangle:

I have been a fan of Archie and the gang since 1965. Betty’s love has always been selfless and sincere, kind of like Jennifer Aniston, but Archie can’t help but love Veronica. She has the ability to do a lot of good, like Angelina. So you have to hope that if Archie marries Veronica, it will be so they can do a lot of wonderful things. Archie will have to show us he can be a really good guy.

From Laura:

Archie proposing marriage? I don’t mean to sound disrespectful but I strongly disagree with the concept. This goes against the entire premise of the comic’s existence! Archie choosing between Betty and Veronica, vowing to spend his life with one or the other? That’d be like Charlie Brown’s baseball team winning the world series! Good grief!!!

For those who don’t know (and this was news to me), the gang isn’t in high school anymore. They’ve graduated and have moved on from Riverdale High School. They’ve even graduated college (no word yet on if Moose is still in high school or not).

So if the gang is growing up and moving on, it makes sense for one of them to get married.

And who knows? If it doesn’t work out, 10 years from now they can simply time travel and reboot the franchise, a la Star Trek.

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Buffy to come back anew?

So it seems like Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be coming back from the dead… er…. undead.

Will Buffy be as successful without Sarah Michelle Gellar and the rest of the cast?

Will Buffy be as successful without Sarah Michelle Gellar and the rest of the cast?

Rumour has it that the show is getting the reboot(a la Batman, Super Man and Star Trek), but there is a small catch. None of the original characters will be back, nor will Joss Whedon, the genius behind the show.

What does this mean for Buffy fans? It could go one of two ways. The first is the same reaction that the Star Trek movie got (everyone loved it and thought it was going to be awesome before even seeing it). The second is the opposite reaction: many of the hardcore fans will automatically hate it because there’s no way it can live up to the original.

I think the latter will be the main reaction. I think there are a lot of huge Buffy fans, and no matter how good the new one is, it will never meet their expectations. They’ll go in thinking it sucks, and it will suck, because to them, it’s not what they’re used to.

It’s different when it’s a reboot of a movie franchise that has been dead for two decades or so. But Buffy (and the spinoff Angel), has only been off the air for about seven years.

In the end, I think a new Buffy movie can work if Whedon is involved, even if the original cast isn’t. After all, Buffy is supposed to be a high school cheerleader. But if Whedon isn’t involved, it won’t fly.

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New Star Trek movie lacking

So my wife and I went to watch the latest Star Trek movie.

It was a little disappointing.

I’m not a huge Trekker (or Trekkie, if you prefer), but I had some major problems with this film.

Just as a heads up, there’s load of spoilers coming (including part of the ending), so don’t read unless you have seen the movie or don’t care about knowing what happens.

Continue reading

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Saving local television is overrated

Not sure if this is going on across the country (and I sure hope it’s not, because it’s way too foolish), but the television stations here in Ottawa have gone on a whole “save local” kick.

Is this an example of local programming?

Is this an example of local programming?

And it’s driving me crazy.

Basically, they believe local television stations need saving, because they’re the source for local events and news.

CJOH(owned by CTV) is the worst of the batch. They have ads all over the place. They held an open house. They really seem to believe what they’re saying is right.

And that’s why it’s so wrong.

I’d be all in favour of saving local programming, if they bothered to show any. They show CSI, So You Think You Can Dance, Law & Order, Two and a Half Men, The Colbert Report, Oprah, etc.

The closest thing I can find to local programming (besides the news), is when they show So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

And that’s what we’re trying to save? It boggles the mind.

The A-Channel is also on the same kick. Of course, they show great quality local programming such as Lost, Ellen, TMZ and Law & Order.

Here’s a thought. If you want people to care about “local” television, try showing some “local” programming!

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Mike Keenan fired as coach

So Mike Keenan has now been fired from an NHL coaching gig for the eighth time.

Mike Keenan was fired as coach of the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Mike Keenan was fired as coach of the Calgary Flames on Friday.

It was announced Friday afternoon that Keenan would no longer be coaching the Calgary Flames. Despite half-decent regular season success, the Flames have lost in the first round in both years Keenan has coached.

Of course, that’s nothing new. Since 1989, the Flames have only gone past the first round once, and that was in 2004, when they went all the way to the finals.

But I don’t think Keenan is at fault here. General manager Darryl Sutter didn’t give him much to work with. While trading for Olli Jokinen and Jordan Leopold seemed like shrewd deals at the time, it really screwed up the cap for the Flames. So much so that near the end of the season, as players got injured, they couldn’t call anyone up from the minors to replace them or else they would have gone over the cap.

There were several games at the end of the season, they had to play several games without a full lineup.

You could tell this impact many of the players, as they looked fatigued as they were eliminated in the first round by the Chicago Blackhawks.

That has nothing to do with coaching, but everything to do with the general manager not being able to manage the cap.

Maybe changes needed to be made in Calgary, but firing Keenan wasn’t one of them.

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Greatest hockey fight ever

Below, you will find a video of the greatest hockey fight ever.

And by greatest, I mean cutest.

This kid was picking on the other two kids, but when the picked-on kid fought back, hilarity ensued.

Just as a forewarning, no actual punches were thrown, but the last half of the video is the funniest.

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The Big Bang Theory is almost done

So I was saddened by the announcement earlier today that the Big Bang Theory is almost done.

The Big Bang Theory rocks!

The Big Bang Theory rocks!

Okay, maybe that’s not quite what the press release said. It was something about the show moving from its 8 p.m. timeslot, and will be showing at 9:30 p.m. on Mondays instead.

But I can read the writing on the wall. This is the beginning of the end of the show.

Once it’s moved, it will be on the same time as Heroes and 24. That means quite a few viewers who watch both

While Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter love comic book heroes, that doesn’t mean they can compete with superheroes.

Kaley Cuoco plays Penny on the show.

And that means the ratings will probably dwindle next fall. In an effort to get ratings back up, CBS will start shifting it around their schedule. Maybe Wednesday nights at 9 (oops, that’s up against Lost and/or American Idol). Maybe a Friday or Saturday night (oops, no one really watches TV on those nights). Then they’ll probably have a big episode on Feb. 7, 2010 (oops, that’s the same time as the Superbowl).

I expect in a year or so, the announcement will come out that the Big Bang Theory has to be cancelled due to poor ratings. Executives will point to the decline in ratings within a year, and say they had no choice.

And I’m sad.

The Big Bang Theory is one of the only comedies on television I watch. I’ll flip on Two and a Half Men and King of Queens every once in a while. I don’t watch How I Met Your Mother.

The last half-decent sitcom was Yes Dear and 8 Simple Rules (I loved Arrested Development, but wouldn’t include it as a sitcom).

For those of you who have never seen the show, I highly recommend checking out Season 1 (available on DVD) and watching it straight through.

But for now, here are some of my favourite scenes from the show, starting with my all-time favourite.

In this one, Sheldon figures out the science behind friendship.

And finally, the gang is invited to a Halloween party at Penny’s.

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