Category Archives: London

October Chillin’

After a Summer that barely was, what could we expect of an Autumn that has just fell upon us?


Look at that, a ten degree miss on the “normal” target.  I’ve borne the “Global Warming, what?” guffaws but at this point one has to wonder why it has been so cool this year?  Is this a “La Nena” year or something?  Is there a very cold breeze just hanging out over London?  I was up in Kincardine a few weeks back and found it comfortable sweaty, now there is snow on the ground?

The weather this year (and really since last october 26th), has sucked, and there is nothing we can do about it.

At least try and say what the ruling actually says

When a large media owner tells you that a government regulation is bad, you had better be willing to at least say “you know what, you feel the need to give me a substandard service while maintaining a monopoly handed to you by the very agency you are asking me to speak against.  I think I might not trust your word on this”

I received the following from Bell Canada:

Dear Customer,

Help stop your TV fees from increasing. CTV, Global and the CBC have recently asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to significantly increase TV taxes.

The CRTC has been asked to do this by having Bell and the other operators pay more, which would result in higher fees for you.

We don’t think that’s right, you shouldn’t either. So please speak and have your say.

This is what’s happening.

The CRTC has told satellite and cable companies to hand over $100 million a year as of September 1, 2009. These fees are being passed on to you.

This money is passing through something called the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF) – straight to media giants like CTVglobemedia and Canwest Global, straight to the CBC.

No new local programming, no improvement to anything other than the bottom line of broadcasters.

You are now likely paying for this on your TV bill.

You should also know that hot on the heels of that campaign, CTV, Global and the CBC are now lobbying for even more.

Each year, satellite and cable companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcasters. We contribute to the CRTC’s operating budget. Although to date these fees have not been broken out on monthly bills, you need to know they exist – especially because the TV networks still want more.

If the CRTC gives in to the broadcasters’ latest demand and lets local TV stations charge for their currently free over-the-air local signals, it would more than double the portion of your Bell TV bill going to government fees – and into the bank accounts of the broadcasters, like CTV, Global and the CBC.

In fact, if the CRTC lets broadcasters have their way, then government-imposed fees will be just shy of one billion dollars.

I’ve also seen the ads Rogers has been placing in the stream on various channels; here’s what the CRTC is proposing:

OTTAWA-GATINEAU The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that the Local Programming Improvement Fund will have over $100 million to distribute during the 2009–2010 broadcast year. The fund was created in October 2008 to support local television programming in markets with a population of less than 1 million.

“Canadians have made it abundantly clear that they value local programming,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “We have taken steps to ensure that broadcasters, and particularly those in smaller markets, continue to provide Canadians with programming that reflects their needs and interests.”

As a temporary measure for the upcoming broadcast year, cable and satellite companies will contribute 1.5 per cent of their gross broadcasting revenues to the fund, an increase of 0.5 per cent. As a result, the total funds available will rise from $68 million to over $100 million. Television stations in smaller markets will be able to draw on these funds to maintain their spending on local news and other types of local programming. The Commission will consider the appropriate long-term provisions for the Local Programming Improvement Fund at a public hearing to be held this fall.

In addition, the Commission has harmonized its requirements for the broadcast of local programming in English- and French-language markets. Each week, local television stations will have to air a minimum number of hours of programming that is produced locally and that speaks to, and about, the community.

On May 15, the Commission renewed the licences of the major English-language networks for one year. At the same time, the licences of the TVA Group’s conventional television stations were renewed for two years. The specific licence terms and conditions for these stations were made public today.

Developing a new regulatory framework

The Commission today also launched a public proceeding to develop a new regulatory framework for conventional television broadcasters. The proceeding will include a public hearing starting on September 29, 2009, in Gatineau, Que.

“The rapid evolution of the communications industry is forcing everyone to rethink the model for conventional television broadcasters,” said Mr. von Finckenstein. “This fall, we will develop a new framework that will give broadcasting ownership groups the flexibility to adapt to this changing environment.”

“However, in exchange for greater flexibility, we expect broadcasters to make meaningful commitments regarding the production, acquisition and broadcast of high-quality Canadian programming,” added Mr. von Finckenstein.

Through this public proceeding, Canadians are invited to share their views on a number of specific questions related to:

* a proposed model to conduct future licence renewals on the basis of ownership groups rather than categories of television services
* the provision of revenue support for conventional broadcasters, including:
o the terms and conditions of the Local Programming Improvement Fund
o further safeguards to protect the integrity of Canadian broadcasters’ signals, and
o mechanisms for establishing, though negotiation, the fair market value of these signals
* possible models for the transition to digital television, and
* Canadian programming commitments by English-language television broadcasters.

Interested parties may submit their comments by August 10, 2009, by filling out the online form by writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or by fax at 819-994-0218.

Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-406
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-411
Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-409 (Canwest)
Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-407 (CTV)
Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-408 (Rogers)
Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-410 (TVA)

Funnier still is the tagline from Rogers about “More American Programming” (this is the Rogers that brought us HBO Canada after all and gutted the local and charming City TV)

So yeah, the CRTC wants to pay for more locally produced TV (as locally produced TV is dying out in Ontario for sure) and the Cable and Satellite firms are going to charge you more because of it, so they can bring you what, less local TV?  Is that what they are agitating for?  It certainly seems like it.

Girl, I hope you’ve got lots of money at the DOG PARK, DOG PARK, DOG PARK!

Lucy iz Fasts

We’ve had a dog for about 9 days now; Lucy the “Jug” or “Puggle” or “Jack Russel Mutant” something.  She’s about four months old and just getting the hang of asking to go out and not chewing on our hands for comfort.  She’s small enough to pick up and carry around, but large enough to not look a toy dog when she is out for a walk.  Which brings us to the weekend, when we took her to the off-leash dog park off of Hamilton Road.

It’s a nice park; lots of trees and open spaces.  There’s a small dog area, where (on Saturday) Lucy got a taste of real open freedom in the city, running around like crazy and chasing sticks.  There’s a a no toys rule in the park to avoid fights (smart) and a poop-scoop rule (smart, but a number of the dog owners seem to ignore it, more on this)  the small dog area was deserted, so after a bit we took Lucy to the regular  area so she could see other dogs.   Good news, she behaves off of the leash in the large area, bad news every male dog that saw her wanted to hump her into a hole in the ground.  It was cute when the tiny little black pug mutt wanted to, it stopped being funny when 5 or six dogs were trying.

So I picked her up, walked away and we took an off-leash walk through the woods and then out of the park, leashed up of course when we left.

The next day we skipped milling around with the other people and just went for a walk through the trees and grass.  Lucy was great, walking with us and then coming when she lagged to sniff the plants.  What a good dog.

We took her into the small dog area where some other small dogs were playing, but they just ended up chasing her around and trying to hump her.  Oh well.  We leashed her and walked her out to the big dog area where the largest dog at the park decided to try an arial full-speed mounting, repeatedly.  The monster’s owner didn’t make any real attempt to stop “Kirby” from repeatedly making my little dog yelp in pain when his monster tried to run down and mount a puppy, it should come as no surprise that he had just let his dog drop a massive load in the trails just 10 minutes earlier while I watched.  No scoop, not so much as a look over his shoulder.

Assholes come in all stripes.

I picked Lucy up and walked her away from the fracas and then let her down to walk out of the park.

She’s none the worse for wear, but I’ll keep her out of there until she is fixed and has had more time with other dogs in the small dog area.

The most Naiive Republican evers!

I’ve said before that Republicans aren’t too good at protests because we are just too polite, but maybe it’s time we stepped up to the plate EACH time anyway. Maybe we can stop this leftwing hate machine.

As a reminder, Governor Palin is a Tea Party supporter; Andrew Breitbart even basically called her the candidate of the Tea Parties. If any of our readers can put us in touch with New York Tea Party organizers, please let us know

So, if you are keeping notes: Republicans don’t get into protesting, because they are so polite. However, in the same post we see a reference to the ongoing and sometimes very impolite Tea Party protests that have sprung up around the USA.  Amazing.

Lest you think this is unique;  check out this one:

If you want to show your disgust at Pelosi, be there! Now, I’m not one for protests. I’ve been to a few (I think of the Tea Parties more as rallies), and frankly Republicans and conservatives aren’t too good at protest because we are just too well behaved. Take a look at the rest of the protest page:

(emphasis added)

Why I do declare; it is so beyond us Republicans to mount an effective protest because we are simply to polite:

So Very very Polite.


Paragons of Civility and Genteel Discourse.

Never Raising their voices in Protest; except for the most Egregious outrage, just ask the Dixie Chicks.

The Theatre Going Experience is better without you

Whenever there is a discussion about movies and or theaters; there will always be a posting like this:


Theaters are over rated, for $4.99 I can watch any new released movie in HD on in demand and they always release on demand on the same day as the dvd releases. And the funny part is because I have bought movies from them all the time threw on demand Cox gives me like two bucks off so I only really pay $2.99. So what would I rather do sit at a theater listen to people talk on their cell phones and hear kids crying or people eating pop corn or sit in my living room in my recliner.?

Seriously they should just release movies right off for renting.


Amen, movies are way too expensive now. My screen at home is way better anyways. Why pay $10+ to watch standard definition movies with annoying people?

Or These:

I am not going to theaters, nor buying full-priced DVD’s for my movie enjoyment, mostly because 90% of movies are lousy anyway.

It does seem like we’ve been in a rut for a few months on movie quality.

Legitimate dvd’s should cost like $5 then i would gladly buy whatever movie i wanted to watch.
$20- $25 is way too much and movies these days make millions of dollars in profit anyways.

Are the really lousy? Or do you just have different taste then other people?

check the majority are LOUSY.

No they’re lousy. I used to take in 3, sometimes 4 movies a week up until 10 or 12 years ago when we REALLY started getting bombarded with absolute shite from Hollywood.

I know! The movies these days are SO bad that I will only watch them for free! THAT is how bad they are! Just terrible! THAT is why I pirate! Because I only pirate crappy movies!


You obviously haven’t seen Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, etc.


yet you will still pirate most movies. Just because something is shitty doesnt mean you deserve to get it for free.

The movie theater near me that I affectionatly refer to as the local “Dirt Theater” has 8 screens, all of which are taller and wider than my home, a three story 3 bedroom with full basement and all the mod cons one would love.  Each screen is accompanied by loveseat style thatre seats that allow one to get cozy and large accomodating aisles that (for the most part) leave you miles from the people ahead and behind you.  This is the “Dirt” theatre.  As in the crappiest one nearby.   It is 1-million times better than the 52 inch LCD HD tv that my sister-in-law sports and better still than the 62-inch projection deal my more affluent friends have going.  The screen in the cheapest theatre around me (gives you free tickets if you go to a week day showing, when no KIDS OR LOUD ASSHOLES ARE THERE) has excellent popcorn and snacks and an amazing digital sound system that immerses one in the movie.  On top of that you can see the movie with 20-40 of your friends or co-workers and no one is forced to sit on the ground or anything.

How watching a movie at home alone is superior to this experience I will never know.

All of  that aside, if your aspergers has become so pronounced that you cannot stand the idea of enjoying a social event like a big movie premiere, I understand.  I mean, you are backward and socially withdrawn and you hate crowds, I get it.  Sure.

However, the “Movies Suck Now” argument is SO disinginuous, one hardly has the blood in one’s brain to even take the time to comment on it.

It would seem that people look at the movies of yesteryear as some kind of geneology that led somehow to a generation of subnormals that communicate only in grunts.

These are the top grossing movies of 1995 (14 years ago)

191,773,049 Toy Story (1995)
183,997,904 Batman Forever (1995)
141,600,000 Pocahontas (1995)
108,344,348 Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)
100,475,249 Jumanji (1995)
100,328,194 Casper (1995)
100,125,000 Se7en (1995)
100,003,359 Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
99,929,196 GoldenEye (1995)
91,400,000 Crimson Tide (1995)

Which of these Opus’ to the human condition was somehow better than say “Taken” or “[Rec]” or “The Dark Knight”  okay se7en was a masterpiece.  The rest, mass culture drek, enjoyable films, but not exactly hard eyed examinations of the human condition or a means to excel the art of film itself.

Twelve Years Ago:

600,779,824 Titanic (1997)
250,147,615 Men in Black (1997)
229,074,524 The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
181,395,380 Liar Liar (1997)
172,620,724 Air Force One (1997)
147,637,474 As Good as It Gets (1997)
138,339,411 Good Will Hunting (1997)
126,805,112 My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
125,332,007 Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
112,225,777 Face/Off (1997)

One Non-Hollywood movie and the one Bond Movie… (same as 1995)


167,780,960 3 Men and a Baby (1987)
156,645,693 Fatal Attraction (1987)
153,665,000 Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
123,922,370 Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
80,640,528 Moonstruck (1987)
76,270,454 The Untouchables (1987)
66,995,879 The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)
65,207,127 Lethal Weapon (1987)
63,952,836 Dirty Dancing (1987)
63,766,510 The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

The Top Grossing movie from 1987 starred three aging men cooing over a baby girl (and may have starred a ghost!!!), hey look, two Cher movies too.

Popular movies will always be drek and pap.  That’s why they are popular, they hit that good middle of the road where people above and below the line of average intelligence can see them.  Sometimes the under the line’r folks just go ro more movies…


Subnormals watch a large number of movies.

Shoot, I’m digging a hole here.

Anyway, 1977

460,935,665 Star Wars (1977)
102,000,000 The Goodbye Girl (1977)
50,800,000 A Bridge Too Far (1977)
38,251,425 Annie Hall (1977)
31,063,038 High Anxiety (1977)
28,000,000 Slap Shot (1977)
28,000,000 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
26,414,658 The Gauntlet (1977)
25,850,802 Saturday Night Fever (1977)
24,652,021 The Other Side of Midnight (1977)

There is a Herbie movie in there.  Slap Shot, while considered a classic is hardly a pinnace of movie making.  The less critically said about Star Wars, the better.

Are we seeing a pattern here?  Mass Market movies will always “suck” in the eyes of overly critical assholes; they were never worth the 10cents movies cost when their Grandparents went to see them:


33,300,000 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
26,300,000 Sayonara (1957)
25,600,000 Peyton Place (1957)
11,750,000 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
11,000,000 A Farewell to Arms (1957)
10,000,000 Bayou (1957)
8,750,000 The Pride and the Passion (1957)
8,000,000 Island in the Sun (1957)
7,000,000 The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
4,000,000 Jailhouse Rock (1957)

That is an Elvis movie there and a Frankenstein Movie.

And may never be worth the money in the future either.

And just so I can make my point, you thought the MAtrix Sequels sucked, huh?

377,027,325 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
339,714,367 Finding Nemo (2003)
305,388,685 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
281,492,479 The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
242,589,580 Bruce Almighty (2003)
214,948,780 X2 (2003)
173,381,405 Elf (2003)
150,350,192 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
139,259,759 The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
138,614,544 Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

Yeah, the movie going public didn’t think the same thing as you.

My favourite movie in the past decade (real movie, not action movie) was Garden State, I loved it.  It was not in the top ten movies of 2004, not by a long shot.  That doesn’t give me the authority to turn around and say “all movies are crap!” And your taste not matching up with the general public doesn’t validate your qualitative description either.

So, to conclude, the movie going experience is better without all the people who don’t like the social aspect of the theaters; who complain about the prices and the crowds.  The theater is better without the people who prefer to watch it on the Television over the Big Screen.  In short, I enjoy the movies better without you.

The Snow, The!

Early March weather looks good
Early March weather looks good

The Snow is getting ready to come back!  Damn!  It’s mostly gone; but it’s bitterly cold here in London, but look at that forecast!  It looks like the temperature is going to come up above 10 for a a couple days this week; that’s almost shorts weather around here!

Icy Drops

After the snow is gone, we’ll see less of this!