Thursday, July 31, 2008

So what song is going through YOUR head?

Prism is coming to Ottawa next week, and Bill Welychka is going to interview the boys in the band. So several of us here in the A-Channel (soon to be 'A") News centre have been singing about a solar-powered laser beam guitar for the past hour or so.

Every night is a different flight to a different galaxy
Do a sold-out show, then I hit the road in my starship limousine

Get so damned tired and uninspired doin' all these one night stands
It's a giant leap for Rock'n'Roll...but it's too much for just one man

I'm a Spaceship Superstar... gotta solar-powered laser beam guitar
I'm at the top of all the charts on Mars...I'm a Spaceship Superstar!

On Mercury, they're crazy about my stellar rock'n'roll
And I always sell out in advance at the Martian Astrobowl

The fans, they swarm like meteorites to our concerts on the moon
You should have seen us knock'em dead on Venus doin' all our favorite tunes

I'm a Spaceship Superstar...gotta solar-powered laser beam guitar
I'm at the top of all the charts on Mars...I'm a Spaceship Superstar!

The latest on the Scrabulous debacle

From the news wire:
Scrabble knockoff returns to Facebook with changes after short gap
NEW YORK - A popular Scrabble knockoff is back on Facebook. It comes with changes that could help it skirt copyright and trademark laws.
On Tuesday, the creators of Scrabulous voluntarily removed their version of the word game from Facebook, the online hangout.
The Indian brothers behind Scrabulous made the decision after the owners of Scrabble's North American rights filed a federal lawsuit.
Now, the game has reappeared with the name Wordscraper.
The change could help it avoid any confusion with Scrabble. And the game itself has also changed. Instead of Scrabble-like square tiles, for instance, Wordscraper has circles.
(The Associated Press)
10:26ET 31-07-08

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scrabble vs. Scrabulous

Okay, here's what's up: The company that owns Scrabble has brought the big corporate down on facebook's Scrabulous application, forcing Scrabulous to pull itself from facebook in Canada and the U.S.

I have been playing Scrabble online for years, on a website called WordBiz. The url is . It's based in Romania, and you can play people all over the world. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh yeah: The vay-kay

I promised when I posted the loon photos that I would report about my vacation. Truth is, it wasn't a lot to write home about. The weather was the s**ts for most of the time I was up North.
But I did go to best friend Bill's son's wedding. Groom Billy pulled a stunt on Honourary Uncle Bob. The maid of honour recognized me from my TV news anchor days, and insisted on being introduced and being photographed with me. That being done, Groom Billy told all the guys in the wedding party to get close enough to me at some point during the evening to bug me about being a big TV star celebrity. The best man -- who I had never met before -- got his chance at the urinal next to mine, while I was draining some of the gallons of beer that I drank that night, from my bladder. "Hey! I've never had a p**s beside a celebrity before" was one of his comments. Needless to say, Groom Billy got a real chuckle out of the trick he played on me.

The wedding was in Timmins. Little Bro Dan insisted that I stay at his place, instead of at the hotel with all the rest of the revellers, telling me he would come and pick me up when I was ready to leave. I told him not to worry, I'd probably be ready by 11pm. Famous last words. I called him at 1:15am, and woke him up. The usual nightowl had fallen asleep watching a movie.

I spent a couple more days in Timmins, delivering on my promised housewarming gift to Dan and Pretty Christine, supplying everything needed to paint a room, and helping Dano paint it.

It was also the 15th anniversary of our Big Brother match while I was there. I gave Dan the gift I got to mark the occasion: A hard-covered book with mostly photos of our 15 years together, and some text in tribute to our match called "Fate Gets It Right". I made it through the website . I am really pleased with the way it turned out, and Dan likes it too.

I also spent time in Timmins with good friends Mark and Cathy; in Iroquois Falls with good friends Ray and Lisa; and just outside Matheson with Bill (Groom Billy's Dad) and his partner, Lise-Anne.

Needless to say, I got in a good visit with Dad and Stepmaman, caught up on a lot of sleep and read four or five books in the two weeks I was up there.

That's about it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I finally got some half-decent loon photos!

It has been a quest of mine for many, many years, to get close enough and have the right camera to get some photos of the loons that are on our small lake every summer. Finally, with my Canon PowerShot S3IS, I have succeeded! And on the final night of my vacation at the cottage, too!
That doesn't mean that my quest is over. I know these pics are not perfect, and know a few ways that I can improve on them. Plus Milky will probably have a few pointers (hint-hint) and I hope to take a digital photography course this fall.
In the meantime, though, these will suffice. And, oh, I also shot a bit of video with my camera for the first time. It is also a work in progress.

More on the vaykay later. I guess it's nice to be back.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's getting closer

I am now part of the travel group going to Jamaica for Little Bro Dan and The Pretty One Christine's wedding next April. Pardon me -- I need a pause -- getting a bit misty here. Okay, I'm fine now.
Next Monday is the 15th anniversary of the day Dano and I were matched by Big Brothers. I'll be up North then on vacation, and hopefully with Dan at least for a few minutes on that day.
Have I ever mentioned how he's my pride and joy?

Friday, July 04, 2008

The inhumanity of humanity

Man, I'm pissed off at my species right about now.
We just got a call here in the A-Channel Ottawa newsroom from the Ottawa Humane Society, hoping we can do a story this weekend about its shelter being overcrowded with dogs and cats, so that adoptive families will come forward.
It's not unusual for a lot of cats to be in the shelter this time of year. What makes it different this year is the number of dogs. Apparently, there have been a few cases of people dropping off their pets and giving them up for adoption or euthanasia, simply because they're going on vacation and don't want to be bothered with the animal anymore. CAN YOU FREAKIN' IMAGINE?
I'm having an obsessive near-breakdown, because on Tuesday, I'm leaving Coffee The Prettiest Cat Ever for two weeks -- the longest I've ever left her. And I know that my young neighbour, Philippe, takes great care of her. He feeds her twice a day, and spends up to an hour just playing with her, so that she's not alone 24/7.
By the way, as soon as we have a camera operator available, we're headed over to the Humane Society to do a story for our 11pm news tonight, and 6pm tomorrow. Anything I can do to help, short of tracking down the former owners and swatting them upside the head with a bat.