Monday, April 28, 2008

The "Daily Show"

I once had an English professor who would pick up the local newspaper, and find a mistake every day on the front page. It is how he started class at 9:30 in the morning, he would find and point out an error from the morning paper.

Different professor, same department, used to cry on St. Patrick's day. I got my tuition's worth, it was a great performance.

Here is a clip from today's edition of that same paper.

“The young Liberals truly have a strong voice within the party here . . . (they’re) voice does make a profound difference.”

They're voice does make a profound difference..... bracketed even.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lost in Iqaluit

[Editor's Note: If you don't watch Lost you might as well not bother with this post, unless you want to read about ubergeekdom, celebrity stalking, leaps of logic and a show you don't know anything about.]

I have been watching Lost since Season 1, when I was living in House House (way back at the beginning of the blog). Only channel I could pick up on my old Radiotron 6000 was CTV, and I got hooked. I'm a sci-fi geek to begin with, and as soon as old Smokey appeared on the first night, I was in.

Somewhere along there I joined, the fan discussion board sponsored by JJ Abrams, creator of Lost. When you hover the mouse over his name on the site, it changes to read "Brought to you by the Hanzo Foundation", one of the confusing multitude of self serving corporate enteties who play just off screen.

I only have 45 posts, meaning I am still categorized as "baggage". But, on the other hand, I have 45 posts.....

Two of the show's actors respond to questions on The Fuselage, Terry O'Quinn who plays John Locke,

and Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley.

Jorge answers every single question he is asked, usually a one line "thanks dude", but every single damn post.

Now O'Quinn, he answers about one in 10, so if he picks your question, you know you did OK, you think,

"Hey, Terry O'Quinn knows I'm not an obsessed jerk-off watching his every move like the rest of these psychos. Now where did I put the remote, I've paused the PVR to try and decipher the hatch door map, while Locke is pinned under it."

O'Quinn has been kind enough to answer my questions twice. I'm a journalist, I tried to keep my questions direct and easy to answer, keeping in mind that since he has no obligation to answer, try to engage him on some level.

I was watching The West Wing episode by episode on The Book Channel, first thing I set my PVR to tape every day, because they were just starting at the beginning again. O'Quinn appears as a general and advisor to Leo (played by the late John Spencer). Here is what I asked him:

I've been catching The West Wing reruns in syndication, and they just got to the part where you appear, stalking John Spencer and just showing up in his office. Couple of quick questions:

1 - What was it like working with that cast and the late Mr Spencer in particular?

2 - Tons of tricky dialogue in that series, how was it as a job?

3 - You wear a uniform in that, do you obsess about the proper way to wear it, considering that every serviceman or woman that sees it would notice an error?

Thanks, and I hope Locke is still alive

Mr. O'Quinn replied:

John Spencer was a pro, a gentleman, and a blessing to those who were fortunate enough to know and work with him. I won't forget him.......'til I forget everything.

You had to be sharp and ready for work when you showed up on that set.

It's someone else's job to obsess about the uniform. I just try to obsess about the acting.

Thanks, Kent


I guess I can call him T now.


1 - Charlie died due to getting caught in the flooded underwater station. He was there to deactivate the communications block.

Michale killed him with a grenade, but I'm sure Patchy will be back for the highly anticipated Zombie season.

Thing is, the way they found the station was from a POWER CORD running from the jungle to the water, to the station. Here is a novel thought, why not cut the power cord, instead of swim to your doom, as foretold by Scottish Jesus.

2 - And here is where we get back to my questions to the actors. Back in Season One when Sawyer killed the polar bear, they wwre already running out of food, and were starting to hunt the boars. Sawyer killed the polar bear, they could have eaten it. Why not? Now, in retrospect, polar bears genetically engineered to live in a jungle environment may not have been the best choice for the survivors, but still, why not eat the bear.

I've asked the bear question up and down The Fuselage:

So, I asked their designated writer staff guy Gregg Nations. He is a script supervisor, and revently got promoted to something better... I'm not sure what. He is the "official voice of TPTB" on the forum. TPTB... The Powers That Be of course.

[No search function available on their site due to volume of posts following a show, I'll find it later] His answer was, they probably weren't hungry enough, which makes sense. Still, free bear.

These questions will never be answered... -- that and ever present question, is Vincent evil -- but here is what almost certainly will:

- Why are the Oceanic Six lying?
- Why can't Ben and Widmore kill each other?
- What, or who, is Jacob?

- What have the rest of The Others been doing at the temple?
- What is the temple?
- How do Aaron and Claire get seperated?
- What is the Orchid Station?
- Who is Ben Linus, and what exactly can he do?

- Does Jin really die, or is he just left on the Island?

- After Widmore had Ben's daughter killed, Ben vowed to kill his daughter, Desmond's girl Penny. What does Desmond do.

- What about the daughter of another powerful "businessman", Mr. Paik. Sun could catch a case as well.

And finally, how many sexy misadventures can Evangeline Lily get into:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's the R to the double O the T S

"The good rappers ain't eatin'
They Olson twinnin'"

What a description of poverty induced anorexia...

New Roots. Like it, love it, wait for the 50 second mark when ?uestlove changes the beat. A Roots bridge could be an album for a lesser. Try to sit still. Go on, try it.

And listen to Black Thought (the rapper) at that 50 sec mark. He changes his delivery to accent the change in beat... or maybe it is the other way around. Either way, it works. As Thought himself so delicately puts it, he is "A legend in the flesh".

Plus, listen for how all the music drops out for that Olson twin line, the only part of the song where that happens.... that is for the guest rapper, Wale. How giving is that, setting up the most dramatic part of your song for a young guest you are trying to draw attention to.

For anyone who doesn't know about The Roots, first of all, shame on you. Now understand, this is the one and one and one and only hip-hop band. A band, no DJ.

But they sure seem convinced that John Travolta makes all the money... plus Oprah.

"She told me the radio been playin'
The same song all day long"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Visual explanation of cartoon horror

Sing it with me:

It's a small world, after all

First quarter blues

Someone tell the Toronto Raptors that there are 4 quarters in a basketball game, and that they should show up for all of them.

Twice in a row now, the Toronto Raptors have dug themselves giant holes in the first quarter, only to have solid comebacks, and last night, finish one shot away from victory.

Points in the first quarter are as important as ones in the fourth.

I hate you Dwight Howard, and so does my son. He is only 6 and 1/2 months old, but he cries whenever you knock down Chris Bosh.

To add insult to injury, in the first quarter, as the Orlando Magic were pulling away to a giant lead, I heard a familiar song on the public address system in Orlando.... "Courage" by The Tragically Hip. Instead of playing the entire song, they were just playing the bit:

My word
It didn't come, it doesn't matter

I get it, the Raps have no courage.... very clever.

Using a very Canadian specific band to get under the skin of Canadian fans, in a backhanded slap that was probably only understood by me, well, I really have to tip my hat to that. That was low.

Next game in Toronto, we are going to have that polar bear from The Leafs sodomize Mickey Mouse at halfcourt, while "It's a Small World" plays. Turnabout is fair play, jerks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An open letter to Montreal

You don't riot after the first round. For God's sake, act like you've been there before.

I'm just sayin'

Your friend,

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'll harpoon ya

Check out Inflatable Elvis

That's me throwing the harpoon at Toonik Tyme, our annual celebration of spring. The elder man hosting the event made fun of my Olympic style, with the pointing arm.

Me, I was just having flashbacks to Grade 9 gym with Mr. Evans.

Also, I was happy to land reasonably close to the target. I didn't hit it, but I didn't sally it either.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Love Saint John

From the Canadian Press:

Man facing charges in Saint John, N.B., after naked dance across rooftop
The Canadian Press

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A man faces charges in New Brunswick after police were treated to a bit of impromptu exotic entertainment.
Police were called to a street in Saint John on Tuesday night after reports of a man on the roof of a two-storey house, apparently intoxicated.
Staff Sgt. Liz Chisholm says when police arrived, the man stripped down to his sandals and danced the Bunny Hop across the roof, while slapping his buttocks.
Chisholm says the man was drinking out of a bucket of liquor he told police was tequila.
The accused is scheduled to appear in court today on charges of indecent exposure and causing a disturbance.

Back off, I like winning

Every year, the Community Newspaper Associations of Canada and their national arm award their Better Newspaper Awards. I've been doing this for four years now, and every single year I have been nominated and even won once.

I know some people who never give any credit to these awards. I can think of one woman I worked with, and this on-again off-again editor was vehement in her derision of said awards. I would simply point out that she has never won one, and probably won't.

In other awards news, Inflatable Elvis himself is up for a National Award for Best Environmental Writing -- while we worked at the same paper together -- and it is well deserved.

Let's go through history, mostly because I want to pat myself on the back a little.

2nd place - 2004 Atlantic Community Newspaper Association - Best Investigative Story
This one was about a development corporation that didn't follow their own bylaws, and I kept on it week after week. They called it "solid community journalism", which means "Chinese Water Torture Journalism".

1st place - 2005 Ontario Community Newspaper Asociation - Best News Story
I actually owe the Department of Health and Social Services here in Nunavut for this story. They are the ones who didn't arrange for an Inuktitut speaker -- or anyone -- to meet a plane full of kids from the Kitikmeot at the Iqaluit airport. Without their trademark mismanagement, I would not have had anything to report on, week after week.

2nd Place - 2006 Ontario Community Newspaper Association - Best Rural Story
You can find it earlier in this blog, a story about the kids at NS in Ottawa and their clever Save the Baby Veal campaign. I lost to a story about apple juice. Did you know that apple juice made in Canada doesn't always use Canadian apples? That's how I lost, it was a good story.

and all of this as preamble to

I won again this year, even though I didn't know I was nominated.

Turns out, the paper I was working for didn't know either. They just took their "Best Editorial" of the year and nominated it, only to find out after that I was the one who wrote it (thanks to one alert editor with a notion of fairness I imagine). They sent out an immediate retraction, and included this nice write-up in their paper this week, from the judge of the contest.

[The paper which shall not be named] also took first place in the Best Editorial category with Nunavut's Pension Scandal. Written by Kent Driscoll, the editorial condemned the treatment of Special Constable Joanasie Dialla by the RCMP who denied him a proper pension because of incomplete paperwork.

"The writer is unapologetic and courageous in identifying the culprits," judges commented. "The editorial should make readers and authorities alike take notice."

I think someone just called me courageous... not Kennedy Profiles in Courage courageous, or Nelson Mandela courageous, but courageous nonetheless. I've been called unapologetic many times.

So here it is, I like this turn of phrase a lot "Without the safety those Inuit men provided, the RCMP would have been more like Sir John Franklin and less like Farley Mowat. They would have been dead on the land, hauling their possessions with them."

I'm a better writer than they ever deserved.

2007 - Ontario Community Newspaper Association - Best Editorial
Nunavut's pension scandal

Andrew Dialla knows how frustrating it is to be trapped in a government maze. The Pangnirtung resident has been trying to get information about his late father's RCMP pension, and has had no luck getting anywhere with the RCMP.

This is where his MP, his MLA, his land claims organization and his former union should be picking up the torch. They are not.

Joanasie Dialla - like all the special constables - helped form Canada in a very real way. He performed a dangerous job at a time when no one else could or would.

If the RCMP did not have special constables, they wouldn't have been able to ask for directions, let alone travel between communities on dog sled.

That was one of the huge advantages of the work special constables did. Not only were they guides, they were interpreters. They were the sole reason the RCMP could even talk to the people they policed.

Without the safety those Inuit men provided, the RCMP would have been more like Sir John Franklin and less like Farley Mowat. They would have been dead on the land, hauling their possessions with them.

Canada would be a very different place without the special constables. Canada owes them, and so does Nunavut.

Ironically, translation is where the system failed Joanasie Dialla. He received pension forms written in English, and promptly tossed them with the rest of the newsletters he was getting from the RCMP.

RCMP should be obligated to take this seriously. They were the beneficiaries of Dialla's service, but they failed Dialla.

They also benefit from a multi-million dollar contract for policing services with Nunavut. Nunavut pays the RCMP, and the customer deserves some service.

The Nunavut government has failed Dialla. Andrew Dialla hasn't been able to get help from his MLA, even though his MLA rubber-stamps the budget that pays the RCMP.

His MP should be there to help, but there is no call from Ottawa to investigate or aid the Diallas.

NTI should get in the ring, as a defender of beneficiaries. They won't, saying it isn't an issue for the land claims agreement. A family of beneficiaries was forced to go on welfare because of a language issue. If NTI won't help this family, whom do they serve?

Every aspect of the huge government net extending over Nunavut has failed to help the Diallas. They are expected to apply to the RCMP to have the pension reviewed. Following that, their only option is a lawsuit.

One of the above mentioned groups should be helping Dialla with that lawsuit. Lawsuits are expensive, and the Diallas shouldn't be expected to foot the bill alone. NTI is suing the federal government for $1 billion, all Dialla wants is the pension his father earned.

The Nunavut government talks about Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, putting traditional culture in government. How traditional is it to discard elders because they lack the knowledge to fill out forms?

The federal government built a country on the backs of men like Joanassie Dialla. Surely they owe him more than silent indifference. They owe him about $30,000, with interest from 1973.

Blog fatigue

I haven't updated much here lately. I spent a week in Winnipeg for work and have been awfully busy with work and home. What makes me so busy at home?

That will keep you on your toes. I buy him every toy under the sun, and all he wants is my old socks and a bucket on his head....

Here's one where he looks like a normal human boy. Our nickname for Joseph is -- spelled phoenetically -- is


Which means Little Bear in Inuktitut... and he is a little bear.... both physically and in attitude.