Friday, September 29, 2006

Rangers 4, Nepean 3

Another solid effort -- not very pretty, frankly, but coming off last night's big time and playing the purportedly next best team in the league, we'll take it.

Tomorrow, a bonding experience with the boys, going golfing. Lord help me.

How the media CAN effect change

Yesterday, A-Channel News in Ottawa did a story about a certain coffee and donut chain that is EVERYWHERE -- including the Canadian military base in Afghanistan -- not allowing employees to wear red ribbons on Wear Your Red Fridays, as a show of support for all of our troops all over the world. Our story was based at CFB Petawawa, where the outlet of said coffee and donut chain was affected by the no-ribbon policy, and where the Wear Your Red Fridays campaign began.

I am pleased to announce, as Assignment Editor at A-Channel Ottawa, that our story and the public reaction to it, have contributed to said coffee and donut chain reversing its policy, and allowing the ribbons. A corporate spokesperson just announced the change on our sister radio station, News-Talk Radio, 580CFRA.

Comments, please (yeah, you too, Ma).

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rangers 4, Valley Titans 2

Amazing game from everyone. Goalie Brett was totally in the zone.

The boys are particularly jazzed about this, because the Valley apparently went undefeated in league play last year. Plus, it's basically the same two teams that have been playing against each other for years, and our team hasn't beaten theirs in three years.

Bring on Nepean tomorrow night!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Who's hotter? Leanne or Belinda?

I tried for about an hour yesterday to post photos of Leanne Domi and Belinda Stronach on here, but the dad-gummed thing wouldn't work for me.

So: Who's hotter? Tie's ex or the woman who split them up? Photos are easily accessible on the web.

I have asked several people of both genders at work, and it's a unanimous no-contest: Leanne is much hotter. Tie's a puckhead.

Get "LOST"!

Yeah! The best TV show in a long time returns tonight. ABC has a recap of the first two seasons, setting up Season 3, which starts next Wednesday!

So for anyone who has heard the talk but hasn't seen the show, this is your chance to catch up with all of of Lostaholics, and get in to the loop.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Rangers 5, Barons 1

Last night. 'Nuff said, except that our boys played a fantastic game, and showed a lot of class by not getting sucked in to the dirty stuff.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rangers 3, Rideau St. Lawrence 1

The hockey team for which I'm trainer -- the Gloucester Rangers Major Bantam AA team -- won the first game of the regular season yesterday, 3-1 over Rideau St. Lawrence in Prescott.

The boys played well. One thing the game underlined is that we have to work on shooting, especially during the power play. We had about a million power plays (Rideau St. Lawrence is still adjusting to the total crackdown on stick infractions), and could not capitalize on them. Not to take away anything from their goalie, but holy moley, we made him look good. The score should have been more like 8- or 9-1. Our goalie played really well, too, considering that 90% of the game was played in the other team's end, making it difficult for Brett to stay warm and focussed.

I'm already really enjoying this team, which is totally new to me. They're a good bunch of kids, very supportive of each other, with no real sign of any tension among them. That's remarkable in any group of 17 or 18 people.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wear red for our troops

Today and every Friday is Wear Red Friday, in honour of all Canadian military personnel, overseas or not. Please do your part.

Today, 580CFRA is staging a massive Wear Red rally on Parliament Hill. Thousands of people are expected. You can watch it at .

If you can't be there today in person, be there in spirit, and stop for a minute at Noon eastern time to think of the task and potential sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. It's totally non-partisan, and whether you agree with our troops being in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else, please show them that you support what they do (or, if you look at it this way, what they're forced to do).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Aging gracefully

I just saw Carol Burnett on the Megan Mullally Show, and I have to say, the aging comic genius looks fabulous! She's 73 years old and while she's obviously kept herself in good shape physically, she looks her age: slight wrinkling around the eyes, more so on the loose skin on her neck. What a classy lady!

People like Joan Rivers and Mary Tyler Moore -- who look like their faces are going to snap like a rubber band at any second -- could learn a lot from Ms Burnett.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

I love spotting signs -- especially the changeable letter kind -- that say something other than what is intended. Unfortunately, I don't usually have my camera with me at the time.

Just this afternoon, driving by Dairy Queen, I spotted the sign that I think was probably missing a percentage symbol, a space and a letter or two. It says "10 OFFAL CAKES". (Don't get the joke? Look up "offal" in the dictionary).

Until a few weeks ago, there was a Hooters restaurant about three doors down from where I work. Alas, all good things must come to an end. It was the only remaining Hooters in Ottawa, but is now closed, and a TJ Pagoda's Asian restaurant is going into that space. Across the street, we're finally getting rid of Nickels and any association with that screeching weirdo, Céline. It's being replaced by a Lone Star Texas Grill. Yee-haa! Anyway, earlier in the summer, the sign at Hooters said "HOLD 'EM TUESDAYS". Yeah, at Hooters! No mention of Texas or a card game or poker (although including poker in some way or other might have proven to be funny, too).

One more: At the entrance into the small community of Connaught, just about a 20-minute drive from Ma and Pa Horton's coffee and donut emporium, is a yellow road sign that says "CAUTION: SLOW CHILDREN". Yeah, ya gotta watch out for the slow ones.

Once again, ya can't write this stuff, fellow Bloglodytes -- it just happens!

If you have any samples of your own to share, then share away. Photographic evidence would be even sweeter.

Some day, I'll get into on-air flubs I've heard over the years in broadcasting, and some of the crap that passes for news writing, especially from an illiterate co-worker who is not being laid off at A-Channel.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What a week!

Little did I know when I was bitching about having to work two early-morning shifts, that it would stretch into five!

We're three producers short at A-Channel News in Ottawa right now, so the rest of us are pulling double- and triple duty, totally multi-tasking. Part of that was me working this past Monday and Tuesday at 4am, producing the news portions of A-Channel Morning.

Fine. But then Tuesday night, I get a phone call, telling me that the producer scheduled to be in Wednesday morning had called in sick. Back in I go at 4am.

Then, just as I'm winding down, getting ready to leave at 2pm, we get word that a useless bag of skin had gone on a shooting rampage at Dawson College in Montreal. Having no CHUM TV station in Montreal and being less than two hours away, we dispatch a crew there. Now, I have no one to blame for the rest but myself. Here's why: I know that the off-sick producer had gone to Montreal on her weekend. So a little light goes on in my head, figuring she was probably still there. So I call her, and assign her to field-produce, helping the crew we had sent to Montreal. That extended into late yesterday (Thursday), so I end up finishing the week by producing morning news.

I really like the work, and the morning crew, but the hours??? Yeesh!

Oh well, there's no "I" in team, although a member of said morning crew pointed out that there IS one in bitch. And Little Bro Dan reminded me that it's the same team that's getting rid of me in the next few months.

So I'm going to try to stay awake as late as possible tonight, so that I don't wake up at 3am, but I'm not sure how late that will turn out to be.Then I think I'll sleep until St. Swithin's Day, whenever the hell that is.

Have a great weekend, fellow Bloglodytes.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Sorry. The photo I tried to attach to "It never fails", failed. It worked for Boo-Boo bear in the blog before that one.

You'll just have to trust me if you don't know what I look like: I am NOT usually Greaseball Gus.

It never fails

Okay, so today, I'm on the bench during the semi-final game of the hockey tournament that my Major Bantam AA team is at (we lost the game 4-2). I'm looking like a total crappy greaseball because last night, I stayed at the assistant coach's cottage near Smiths Falls, and didn't shower this morning. I'm one of those people who should never go out in public without showering or at least washing my hair -- terrible greasy bedhead that cannot be fixed with just water and a comb. Thank gawd for Ontario's no-public-smoking law. If anyone in the Bell Sensplex had lit a match, my head would have burst into a fireball.

So anyway, at the end of the game, a guy bangs on the glass behind the bench, and makes signs to me that I don't understand. I shrug, and he makes the finger-going-in-a-circular-motion-beside-the-head sign, so I think he's saying the referee is crazy (which he is).

Then when I leave the bench, this guy says "You don't recognize me, do you? We grew up together, as backyard neighbours. I'm Dino." It turns out that the crazy sign actually meant "think back". I haven't seen Dino in, I figure, 25 years. He's a tall, slim, good-looking Italian guy, but was a porker as a kid. It turns out he has seven-year-old twin boys who were on the ice for a hockey development clinic, right after our game. Dino's dad was with him, too.

So I can imagine Dino telling his three brothers about meeting me, and what a grubby greaseball I am. The four boys own a chain of barber shops and hair salons across Ottawa, so they know "grubby greaseball". PLUS, one of Dino's older brothers, Tony, is married to my stepsister. So he's going to tell Tony what a slob his stepbrother-in-law is. Hopefully, Tony will point out that I'm not usually that way, and was probably having a bad hair day (understatement).

Anyone else have any "It never fails" stories of embarrassment? I have a few others, like the time I was at a house party, in the era of the no arms, no legs jokes. After a few brown pops, I'm sitting on a couch with a lampshade on my head, telling said jokes. Okay, so I wasn't wearing a lampshade, but I very easily could have been. So I tell the one about the girl with one short leg: Eileen. And then at the instant, the loud music stops just long enough for me to blurt out: "And the Chinese girl with one leg shorter than the other? Irene," Sure enough, sitting directly across the room is a nice-looking Asian girl, who hadn't been there when the music was loud -- honest!

So share your similar stories. Meanwhile, I have an urgent date with my shower and my very special guest, Johnson Baby Shampoo.

See? I'm not usually Greaseball Gus:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bracing for the early morning brutality

This coming Monday and Tuesday, and then the same days two weeks later, I have to be at work by the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. I will be producing the newscasts on Ottawa's A-Channel Morning.

I FREAKIN' HATE THOSE EARLY HOURS! When I worked in radio, apart from a couple temporary fill-in stints, I succeeded in avoiding working early morning hours. Unfortunately, when I worked at CTV Newsnet, the bulk of my shifts started at 5:00 a.m., with a few starting at 4:00 and even a handful of 3:00 a.m. shifts. I am simply not a morning person. Besides, it is totally inhuman and unnatural to have to get up in the middle of the night to go to work. Most early-morning radio or TV people I have ever talked to actually thrive in those hours. And almost without exception, they can snooze in the afternoon, allowing them to have an evening social life, when everyone else is off work. I can't nap during the day, regardless of how early I'm awake. If I could, I could probably handle early starts.

I will admit, however, to being curious about what kind of freaks I'll encounter in the Byward Market at four o'clock in the morning. The Market is a fascinating place. When it gets dark at night, it takes on a totally different atmosphere from daylight hours. But the latest I've ever been there is around midnight, so it should be a treat to see what it's like a few hours later -- and when the moon is still close to full. If you don't believe that the full moon makes weird things happen and brings out the weirdos, you've never worked in a newsroom -- not to mention as a cop, paramedic, in a hospital or any other occupation that requires nighttime work.

For all its charm, the Byward Market can exhibit its gross-out factor any time of the day or night. For example, this morning, shortly before eight o'clock, the pigeon outside Minglewood's (a bar/restaurant -- or as they're known in Québec, resto-bar), pecking away at someone's puke. Mmmmmm... great way to start your day, even before your at-work breakfast of toast, peanut butter and jam, and coffee.

On a less disgusting note: The Major Bantam hockey team for which I'm trainer (all the players born in 1992) is in a tournament in Kanata (west-end Ottawa) this weekend. We've played two games so far, tying the first 1-1 and winning the second, 3-0. I'm finally getting to know the boys by name. They seem like a great bunch of kids, and show signs of being a formidable force on the ice.

One more thing: If you're ever in Kanata, drop in to Subway on Terry Fox Drive, in the Terry Fox Plaza. Just after our first game today, a strong thunderstorm rolled across Ottawa, knocking out electricity to much of the city. We had planned to take the boys to Subway anyway, because we didn't have much time between games, and didn't want them scarfing down McDonalds food (yuck! I'd rather pick at the pigeon's breakfast than eat that crap!). The young folks working at Subway didn't let a power outage get in the way of serving our team quite admirably. By the time they were done, they were running short of bread, but our boys were fed, and that's all we cared about. Nothing else in the neighbourhood could handle the lack of power -- including McDo and sorry, Ma, but even Timmy's. Another thing that impressed me was that the young guy manning the calculator and taking cash-only for the sandwiches actually knew how to make change, without a cash register! That's a rare quality these days.

Okay, fellow bloglodytes, that's all for now. Your comments are welcome, as usual.

BigBroBob out!