Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mississaugas Finest

Great story in the Halifax Daily News by Paul McLeod about The Dome stopping dollar drink nights. It includes a "very informal survey" of Dal and Kings students living out of town and their reaction to the closure of their favourite place to get piss loaded drunk.

It includes some priceless quotes from students, including one guy from Mississauga who swears and says "ballsack".

A good -- short -- read.

The Halifax Locals page discussing the closure of the most hated bar in the HRM -- possibly the entire east coast -- amongst the discerning crowds. Locals is great for the breaking news aspect of any story, and a funny read in general.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gatorade Scientist?

What medical qualifications do you need to be a "Gatorade Scientist"?

Every year, I watch the World Junior Hockey Championships. Every year, they run Gatorade commercials -- featuring teenagers who are prohibited from being paid for their valuable commercial contribution -- that feature "Gatorade Scientists", talking about the importance of hydration.

Water is better. Noooooooooo, Gatorade is better. Water sucks, it really really sucks. Tackling fuel.

Just like Dad

Every day from about Grade 6 until Grade 10, I wore Chuck Taylor All-Stars. I love those freakin shoes. Mom remembers that, and here is something she sent Joseph.
Everything was great. Played a lot of games, Joseph rolled over once, but we think it was a fluke. Maybe we scared him, Ian and I were watching him, and when he made his successful roll.
We exploded, cheering and the like, scaring young Joseph, and he hasn't rolled since. Black Jack the Blue Parrot should give him some more inspiration.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Don't ask me, I just work here

OK, so it isn't quite as bad as that, but I am the worst resource for Inuktitut you can find.

Statcounter has taught me that most of the hits on my blog are coming from people searching out words in Inuktitut. I pick up what I can, but listening to me is dangerous.

I offer you this example:

My brother-in-common-law was ready to slap me for a particularly bad bit of Inuktitut. Over time, he has gone from listing the reasons he has to shoot me to listing the reasons he has NOT to shoot me, so that is progress.

The word for uncle is OOH-NACK. The word for poop is AAH-NACK. I was telling my step-son to go see his Uncle, and his girls kept laughing at me as he grew more frustrated. I was calling him Poop instead of Uncle. The kids thought it was great, he was less amused.

Another example:

Iqaluit means "place of many fishes". The southern audience says it ICK-CAL-EH-WIT. The Inuit is more like ICK-QUAL-AH-WEET. You need to get your guttural Inuktitut Q in there.

The southern way of saying it means "a shitty, dirty, asshole". It is a butt possessed by someone with very poor personal hygeine. Subtle difference in pronounciation, but a big deal in how you say things.

So, I present you this, all you Googlers out there:

This is what the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth sends you too, so I'm going to go with them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


People accuse politicians and journalists of being toxic, that was never more true than today.

At the Stephane Dion press conference here in Iqaluit, I was still suffering from the flu. Inflatable Elvis was suffering from a cold. A prominent CBC reporter was on crutches due to a dancing related injury, and Dion himself was fighting a cold. He got his cold from travelling from Bali to the Arctic, so no pity here.

Virus farm

I have the flu. I want to die.

The End

Monday, December 17, 2007

All in one short paragraph

Scroll to the bottom, my bio is up on I got to write it myself.

and the readers speak

This letter to the Editor in the Eastern Graphic -- one of the country's last family owned independent weekly papers left in the country -- made my day. The readers are, after all, the final editors.

This week (as in most weeks) there was a report in the Georgetown Court news of yet another breech of probation”. Looking the word “breech” up in yields this

(#1) definition: Breech, The lower rear portion of the human trunk; the buttocks.

Since this is a family publication, I won’t develop this thought further. Sufficient to say, spell check can’t do all the work.

Tom Curran
Lower Montague

Good work Tom, and good on The Graphic for running the letter.

(NOTE: I had to edit this psot twice, both times to remove a teh. When is teh going to become an acceptable way or writing the?)

2nd Annual Dance Dance Revolution X-mass Fiesta

Saturday marked the 2nd annual -- DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION X-MASS FIESTA -- at the luxiourious Governor in Iqaluit. The first annual was just myself, Inflatable Elvis, my partner and her son, on New Year's Eve, playing DDR and having a good time before we went out to check the fireworks.

DDR is a great game for a party. You have to step on a pad on the floor, in time with the music. The more you get into the dancing, the easier it is to keep rhythm.

This year was a little more extensive. Seven kids, 10 grown-ups, and a lot of food. B made her first ever turkey, everyone had fun, and we had Port Town Ghosts and Baffin Blog join Elvis at our little apartment.

Baffin Blog works at an elementary school, so it must have been like work for him, albeit with slightly more booze.

Highlights include:

-- All four bloggers (myself included) completing our turn at Dance Dance Revolution. Baffin Blog nailed "Let's Dance" by David Bowie, and Elvis killed "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"by Cyndi Lauper... when he said that his I-Tunes shuffle was thinking for itself, he may have been on to something.

-- Our first family holiday turkey, and she nailed it. Perfect turkey.

-- My step-son walking into the middle of the party, sticking his hands in the front of his pants like Al Bundy and loudly exclaiming "OK, who wants to play Yahtzee." He made Elvis laugh so hard that the boy thought he was laughing AT him, not with. I saved the upcoming rage by suggesting that Elvis would play Connect Four with him, and a best-of-seven insued.

-- Three grown white men trying in vain to calm a crying 20 month old, whose Mom was downstairs having a cigarette. We failed.

-- Getting Inflatable Elvis with a joke I had been waiting weeks to make. He brought us a pepper grinder for a Christmas gift a few weeks ago, a lovely gift which we really needed. He also put a card in it, which he left blank by mistake. We love the blank card, it makes us smile, and is displayed front and centre in our place. I waited weeks until I had a room full of people to tell him that he had left it blank. Timing is everything.

-- My two-month old son enjoying being passed from aunt to aunt like a joint at a Dead show. He slept so well that night.

-- One child liking my cookies so much that he asked to take some home with him. I gave him a dozen.

-- My television X-mass tree, featuring Simpsons and Star Wars ornaments. We had Sponge Bob as a star, causing my step-son to accurately point out, "You should have bought Patrick... he's a starfish." When they are right...

-- By sister-in-common-law staying over with her three kids for a sleepover. The next morning, I was awoken by the smoke detector going off. I awake, dazed, and ready to be aggravated. I couldn't, she got up earlier than us, fed the combined children, did our dishes, and she was making turkey stock from the leftovers, which set off the alarm. Anyone who does our dishes while we sleep can burn the damn place down in my opinion.

-- Having a real Christmas party, kids and all. Kids are a part of X-mass, and the Fiesta wouldn't have been the same without them.

See you all next year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Card tricks

One of the biggest transitions for me -- moving from print to television -- has been visual storytelling. Why should I tell you when I can show you. So, on last night's show, I took that to brand new lengths:

After the second commercial break:

The story was about Hunter Tootoo calling for a spring election, due to the NBCC fiasco, and I pulled two neat tricks. First off, I started by saying David Simailak's resignation caused a "domino effect".

Cue the dominos. I got out the dominos I got last year for Christmas and lined them up on the counter, knocked them over, and Jimmie slowed it down to slow-motion. Theres your domino effect.

At the end of the story, I did my bit on camera. I am developing a thing for props. I like to have something in my hands when I am talking to the all seeing electronic eye. In this case, it was cards.

I referred to the next election date as still being a "guessing game" and had three cards in front of me. Then I said, "Keep your eye on the black card".

As I explained some facts -- Feb 2009 is the last date an election can be held, the MLA's return to session in Feb 2008, and the most likely times for any election in Nunavut are spring or fall -- I moved the cards around, Three Card Monty style, while delivering that little speech.

At the end, I say, "But it is anybody's guess" and flip the cards... all three are red. The visual point, no one can accurately predict the date of the next election. Cut to a suitably smug looking me at my desk with my close.

So, I got to play dominos and three card monty on air... not too shabby. I am also available for weddings and Bah Mitzvahs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bite my shiny metal....

When I was in Yellowknife, I picked up a copy of the new Futurama DVD "Bender's Big Score." In the extras, there is a commercial for Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" which got me thinking.

There is also some Inuit content in the movie. Not to spoil too much, but Fry ends up searching the Arctic for his lost friend the narwhal. He is joined by two Inuit guys, named Anatarjuat and Bapu.

Captain: We've spotted 208 narwhals, and none of them was yours.
Anatarjuat: But they were all edible, and I'm getting tired of sausage.

Simpsons' and Futurama creator Matt Groening has a soft spot for Inuit people. If you saw the Simpsons Movie, you know that already. When he travels to Alaska, Homer Simpson is guided by an Inuit lady, who throat sings with him and causes him to hallucinate the answer to all his problems. Later, she appears in the Northern Lights, and points the direction he should travel in with her oversized breasts.

Also, Homer ends up in a bar in Alaska called Eski-Moes, which got the biggest laugh of the night when I saw it in the Astro Theatre here in Iqaluit. He is also playing the video game Grand Theft Walrus.

Which brings me back to my "Inconvenient Truth" idea. I'm writing my year ender (Year in review story), which is allowed to be light and comedic, to a point. I want to mention Sheila Watt-Cloutier being dumped from the Nobel Prize ticket -- which Gore eventually won -- but I don't want to be too heavy handed about it.

I wrote to all the Al Gore connected press people I could find, and sent them the following note. I want that Futurama commercial for my year ender. The letter follows, and if I get it, I'll let you know.

I've sent out some strange letters requesting interviews and the like over time, but this is the first one for an animated spokesperson:

My name is Kent Driscoll and I am a reporter for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in Canada – based in Iqaluit Nunavut, the home of climate change -- and I report on APTN National News. The reason I am contacting you is that I am doing our year end item (a review of all the news that happened here in Nunavut in the last year).

Al Gore getting the Nobel Peace Prize nod drew attention here, because Iqaluit, Nunavut based environmental activist Shelia Watt-Cloutier was originally nominated along with Gore for the prize. Her getting dropped from the ticket was a news story here.

Our year end items are supposed to be light and slightly comedic, and here is what I want to do.

When I introduce the fact that Gore was nominated and Watt-Cloutier was not, I would like to use the commercial for “An Inconvenient Truth” featuring the Futurarama cast (I have it on DVD). We would show the animated version of Gore with Bender, and use a suitably funny clip from Bender.

Then I would voice over, “Watt-Cloutier was much more diplomatic than Bender” and cut to her clip saying “As long as the topic was nominated, everyone wins.”

If you could forward this to the right person, or direct me to them, that would be fantastic. I need to know who controls the rights for that particular commercial. It would allow me to point to Gore winning the nod over an aboriginal person, but the use of humour would show that Watt-Cloutier accepted the snub with dignity and focus on the issue.

Plus, Futurama has two reoccurring Inuit characters, and an Inuit shaman was used as a character in The Simpsons’ Movie (Eski-Moes got the biggest laugh of the night here in Iqaluit). Matt Groening owes us one.

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you.