Democratic Convention Game

Posted in Political Hooey on July 28th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Mark Fiore is a former political cartoonist who now works on political animation. His latest offering is a jab at the Democractic National Convention. More of his animated cartoons are available on his site.

Whatever

Posted in Film, Music, Television on July 24th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: The Emmy nominations overlooked Ian McShane for his outstanding work on Deadwood, but the Television Critcs’ Association righted that wrong by giving him the award for Individual Achievement in Drama. And ya gotta love The Daily Show winning the award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information, which prompted Jon Stewart to say the following: “We’re not real,” Stewart said. “There must be some kind of mistake.”

:: Derryl sent a link to this brilliant parody of album covers, from the Photoshop Phriday page on Something Awful:.

Imagine a world where music is marketed in an honest fashion, where instead of pretentious titles you get a straight and accurate description of what you’re getting, where there is truth in advertising. Now imagine you have a million dollars and you’re giving it all to me. I believe in the power of imagination, and thusly I believe I’m going to be rich. But until all that money arrives, take a look at these handsome images contributed by our pristine collection of forum goons. They decided to strip away the fancy titles by yesterday and today’s top artists and say what’s really going on. I think they have a better handle on the music than even some of the musicians.

:: So, the sixth season of The Sopranos won’t appear until 2006.

:: In anticipation of the upcoming release of the remake, I watched the original 1962 version of The Manchurian Candidate tonight. A highly respected and regarding political thriller, I had to stop and rewind the tape occasionally to review the dialogue, often turning on the closed captioning to ensure that what I thought I heard was correct. The strangest conversation has to be when Major Marco (Frank Sinatra) meets Rosie (Janet Leigh) on a train, and after she lights a cigarette for him, and they begin talking, standing between two of the cars. They discuss football, US states, her name, and railroads. Early on, Leigh, speaking about the railroad, says, “I was one of the original Chinese workmen who laid the track on this stretch.” It’s an absolutely bizarre line in the script, and is left hanging for the remainder of the movie; are they speaking in code to each other? The complete transcript of this scene is on this page. Roger Ebert alludes to this odd exchange in a 1988 review of the movie. It’s a great film, and I’m looking forward to the new version. Other movies seen in the past few days: Anchorman, The Clearing, Spider-Man 2, Before Sunset, The Jack Bull.

:: Remember Live Aid? Twenty years later, it will finally be released on DVD.

:: I am still searching for meaning. I’m not sure what matters anymore. Do you have any brilliant insights? I’d be thrilled to hear from you…

Back From The Shadows Again

Posted in On The Road on July 21st 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Last Friday, July 16th, I spent time visiting with my friend, Jason Pascoe, who lives in Kitchener-Waterloo ON. I had not seen him for some years, and we had a good time catching up and eating diner food at C Kelekis’ Restaurant, a legendary greasy spoon on Main Street in Winnipeg. Chris Kelekis began operating his food business from a pushcart in 1918, and opened the restaurant in 1946. He was decades ahead of McDonald’s with his shoe-string french fries. For many years through to present day, his daughter, Mary, has managed the operation. As usual, I had my hot dog with bacon and cheese, shoestring fries with gravy, and a Coke. Diet out the window!

On Friday evening, I attended a pool party with my high school cohorts from the 1971 Windsor Park Collegiate class. Held at the Oystryk home in Southdale, about 15 of us had a blast, eating Chinese food, swimming, and ending the evening with a rousing Beatles singalong in the tv room, with me on guitar. The members of this group were not close friends of mine when I was in high school, but that doesn’t matter. They were responsible for organizing the 2003 reunion, the year our class turned 50, a hugely successful event. Now, we are developing strong friendships as a result of the reunion and subsequent parties, and all future trips to Winnipeg will include my WPC homeys. They are fantastic people.

The same day, I visited my mother in the St Boniface Hospital, after her surgery. She was in the hospital until today, and is slowly recovering from what the doctors determined to be bacteria destroying the ligaments and tissue in her left shoulder! I was so annoyed and angry when I learned this. Before I went to St John’s, the week before, I had returned home one evening to find my mother in tears from the pain in her shoulder. I felt so damn useless at that moment. My dad and I were left wondering why the doctors couldn’t determine what was happening until she was six weeks into the pain. I cannot imagine how hopeless she felt, and how intense the pain was. However, better late than never, I suppose, and the operation was performed by one of the top orthopedic surgeons in Winnipeg.

In any event, she is recuperating slowly, and now has a PICC line inserted through a vein in her arm. A PICC line, or Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter, is placed through the skin and inserted into a vein in the arm, and moved through the vein until it reaches the large vein that enters the heart. Through the PICC line, intravenous medication is delivered directly to the heart.

On Saturday, I drove for 14 hours back to Edmonton in scorching heat. With each successive trip, I find the drive slightly less tolerable and a bit more annoying. When I drive to Winnipeg from Edmonton, I take the Yellowhead Highway (now considered to be the “northern route” of the Trans-Canada Highway) all the way to Portage la Prairie, where it connects with Highway 1, some 45 minutes from Winnipeg. I drive back Edmonton on Highway 1 to Regina, then up to Saskatoon on Highway 11. The Regina-Saskatoon run could quite possibly be the most boring 2.5 hours of anyone’s life, but at least it is a divided highway. Between Regina and Winnipeg, there remains ~162 kms of two-lane highway (west of Virden MB to east of Sintaluta SK), one of the many National Embarrassments of the southern route of the Trans-Canada Highway.
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Winnipeg Notes

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I had a nice time this evening with some of my cousins, visiting them and their families, and my Auntie Carol, at Birds Hill Park, north of Winnipeg. I arrived home to find a note from my dad regarding my mom, who has been in considerable pain for about six weeks, with an infected left shoulder. The note said that she is in the hospital having surgery. My dad called a few moments ago, and told me that the surgery is over, but my mom will need to stay in the hospital for a couple days. He said an orthopedic surgeon did the work, and that a scope was used. I hope they were able to discover the problem.

:: This just in: watch for the new right-wing weather channel from Fox News.

:: The Emmy Nominations, released today, were as usual, predictable for their omissions, if nothing else. But I was astonished that Ian McShane did not receive the nod for Best Lead Actor in a Dramatic Series for his portrayal of saloon operator Al Swearengen, in HBO’s Deadwood – unbelievable, unforgivable and regrettable. HBO received 124 Emmy nominations, including 20 for The Sopranos and 11 for Deadwood, which was also passed over for Best Dramatic Series. McShane gave the performance of his career in the 12 episodes of Deadwood which aired this year. Gary Dretzka, writing in TV Barn, agrees, highlighting the snub of McShane by the Academy, as well as other predictable omissions. One nomination that was long overdue was Mariska Hargitay for Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Read every prime-time Emmy nomination here, if you need to know them all.

Newfoundland Report 2

Posted in On The Road on July 14th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: As mentioned below, it was raining on the morning of July 9, but stopped around 10 am. Later in the day (Friday, July 9), Charles and I drove to Bowring Park, where the wedding was held, to discover that the chairs had been set up on the lawn, meaning the ceremony was to be held outside! A microphone and speaker were in place, along with a long extension cord for the guitar amplifier.

I set up my equipment, tested the sound system and amplifier, and everything was working fine. People began to arrive, and around 4:40 pm, I began “noodling” on the guitar, playing a selection of pieces, even making up stuff on the spot. At 5:00 pm, Kim’s Uncle Dave, who was officiating the ceremony, began walking towards the area where the wedding would take place, followed by the groomsmen and Geoff. Then, the bridesmaids and Kim and her father followed, while I played Pachelbel’s Canon.
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Newfoundland Report 1

Posted in On The Road on July 9th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Greetings from The Rock. I am in Paradise. Paradise, Newfoundland, just outside of St John’s. Kim and Geoff are to be married in about 3 hours. I am staying with Charles and Debbie, friends of Kim’s, and they are the most incredible, gracious hosts. The flight from Toronto was delayed two hours on Wed night, and didn’t land in St John’s until 1:45 am Newfoundland time. I hit the sack around 4:15 am Thursday morning.

Last evening, there was a short wedding rehearsal, followed by a bbq, with a number of invited guests. It was sunny and warm, but when the sun set, the temperature dropped to under 10C! We were in our jackets, but having a great time. I played some guitar, and was joined by a family friend, John, who played the spoons. A few Beatles tunes were sung, and John sang three traditional Newfie songs as well! It was also Geoff’s birthday, and we had drumstick cake to celebrate. Needless to say, I am eating well, and not exercising, so am feeling a bit sluggish!

It was raining heavily this morning, but stopped three hours ago, so the prospect of a 5:00 pm outdoor ceremony is looking better. Tomorrow, Kenton and Susan and I will begin a three-day, post-wedding stay in St John’s and surrounding area, including a whale watching boat trip.

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