Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!!

Well, gang, it's my second and final "live on location" show from my vacation.

This week's Targ is Episode 66: Scarecrow Goes to Jasper.

When I was on my vacation about a month ago, my parents insisted on dragging me out to Jasper for a few days. And I didn't complain at all! So, I head to my favourite sites, such as Athabasca Falls, Mount Edith Cavell, and the Miette Hot Springs, and share my thoughts and a few tales from my childhood about these sites.

So, go listen to my podcast!.

And, in case you missed it, last week's episode was the first "live on location" episode, Episode 65: The Royal Tyrrell Museum. (Trust me, it's the better of the two.)

Either way, head on over to the official site of my podcast, U62: The Targ, and load up your iPods! Or MP3 player. Or just listen to them while you do some online dating. It's all good, baby.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bloggity blog blog blog

Let's see...what's some of the news going on that's of minimal interest to my listeners and that I can only share here?

Back when I was blogging in February, and sharing my tale of how Family Day came to be, I shared the fact that Saskatchewan adopted Family Day last year and that Manitoba was thinking about it.

Well, the story came down the wire at work today. Manitoba has declared the third Monday in February to be a holiday now. But this holiday will not be Family Day in Manitoba. After conducting a province-wide poll, this new, Manitoba-only holiday will be called....

Louis Riel Day.

Manitoba celebrates its first Louis Riel Day this coming February.

I don't know about you, but the one summer blockbuster I had the most mixed feelings about this past summer was The Simpsons Movie. And now, I'll be able to re-live those mixed feelings when The Simpsons Movie hits DVD on December 18! For your bonus material, you get....

- a running commentary with the producers, writers, and a couple members of the voice cast.
- a second running commentary with the director and the animators
- 6 deleted scenes
- 5 featurettes about the making of the film.

Sadly, I want more on this DVD. C'mon! Give us an extended edition, with that deleted Sideshow Bob subplot!

Last night, I saw one of the new TV shows I was most eagerly awaiting this season: Reaper.

The premise: On his 21st birthday, Sam discovers that his parents sold his soul to the devil. Naturally, the Devil shows up to collect, and the Devil promptly puts Sam to work capturing souls that have escaped from Hell.

Now, what made this a must-see for me? Well, as you all know, it's become a big thing these days for big-time directors to direct the pilot episode of a TV series, and then be attached to that series as a producer. The best example of this right now would be House. It's pilot director/celebrity producer is X-Men and Superman Returns director Bryan Singer.

And Reaper's pilot director/celebrity producer is the one, the only, Kevin Smith.

When Smith first announced this on his blog, he said that he wanted to do it because he always wanted to try his hand at directing something he didn't write, and he felt more comfortable trying that with a 1-hour pilot rather than a feature film.

It seems like an OK show. Smith is finally learning how to direct action sequences. And the definite scene-stealer is Sam's sidekick, who goes by the nickname of Sock. He's very...Jack Black-esque.

I'll be checking out a few more episodes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Latest Targ's Up!

Here it is! At long last! The show I've been promising you in this blog and in my podcast, U62: The Targ for several months now!

Episode 65: The Royal Tyrrell Museum

When I was visiting the place on my vacation, I had my digital voice recorder along. I shared my spur-of-the-moment thoughts on some of the displays, captured the audio from some of their multimedia presentations, recorded a few speeches given by some of the interpreters, and even interviewed the person at the information desk to find out more about the museum.

And I pared it all down to 15 minutes to make it this week's episode.

Gotta say, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Go give it a listen!

And, I also took advantage of this time to make some much-needed updates to the front page of my official website. You'll see that this blog has finally been given a prominent place, and I decided to fill the empty box with a link to my Facebook profile. So now it's easier than ever to find me online!

but the biggest update of all I made to my website's picture gallery. See, back in the day, I put pictures on my website. But, I had a film-camera, so I had to scan in the photos, and then I had to design a whole webpage for the single picture...it was all very labour intensive. But now, I've got a digital camera, and I've got Facebook, where it's so darn easy to upload photos.

So here's what I did. I added a whole list of links to my Facebook photo galleries on the Chaos in a Box Picture Gallery. So, after some 4 years or so, it's finally been updated!

Yeah, I've been busy. And it's not even 9AM yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kevin Smith's Cameo in "Superman Doomsday"

So, in my last entry, I blogged about the new straight-to-DVD movie Superman: Doomsday. Adding to the geek out factor is that Kevin Smith does a cameo in it, voicing himself and appearing in a Bruce Timm-drawn style of himself.

Now, I found his cameo on YouTube, and if you've ever heard Smith tell his tale about working on a live-action Superman movie, you'll get the joke right away.

And, if you're as big a Kevin Smith geek as I am, you'll laugh your ass off.

(If you're reading this on Facebook, you'll have to click on "view original post" up at the top to go to my blog.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New DVD Day!

Ah, Tuesday. The day which new DVDs come out on our shelves. I do so love Tuesday. If I lived in a major metropolitan area, I would probably blow half my paycheque every Tuesday at the DVD emporium.

Here's a couple of nerd-tacular releases coming out this day.

First up, one I've been blogging about for a while. That's the straight-to-DVD animated film Superman: Doomsday. See, with straight-to-DVD films exploding like the spread of DVD, everyone's getting in on it now. And, about a year ago, DC Comics and Warner Brothers said that they'd start pumping out a series of straight-to-DVD animated films, based on some of the bigger storylines and graphic novels in the DC library. Each one would be shooting for a very adult PG-13 rating, and they were to be supervised by Bruce Timm, the man who started the whole DC animation renassance when he gave us Batman: The Animated Series all those years ago. And, of course, the last time Bruce Timm was allowed to make PG-13, straight-to-DVD animated films, we got the classics Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Anyway, the first one comes out today...Superman: Doomsday, which is based on the now-legendary Death of Superman storyline from the comic books. Superman fights Doomsday, Superman dies, and then an evil Superman shows up claiming to be the real one, and all hell breaks loose. Sadly, the reviews haven't been very good...apparently it had to be changed a whole heck of a lot to fit it into a 90-minute animated film.

For bonus materials, you get a featurette on the Death of Superman comics and its effects on pop culture, a featurette about the making of the film, and a trailer for the second film, Justice League: The New Frontier due out in the spring.

The second nerd-tacular DVD coming out today is Quentin Tarintino's Death Proof: Uncut and Unrated, which you may remember as Tarintino's contribution to the Grindhouse double-feature. And you read that right: uncut and unrated. All those scenes that they cut out, so they could put in the "scene missing" signs to fully recreate the grindhouse experience, are back in the film!

It's a 2-disc special edition, and you get a whole buttload of featurettes covering the various aspects of the making of the film.

For those curious, the second film from the Grindhouse double feature, Robert Rodreguiz's Planet Terror, is due out in a month. Everyone I read online is going, "I'm not going to buy Death Proof, because you just know that a super-mega-special edition of the actual Grindhouse double feature is coming soon!" But you know what? There are currently no plans in place to do that.

And I kind of hope that they never release Grindhouse all on one DVD, just as it was in the theatre...in this day and age, where home theatres are becoming the norm, it'd be cool if some experiences were left for the movie theatre. Grindhouse can be one of them.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Latest Targ is Up! So are my vacation photos!

My first episode of U62: The Targ in two weeks is up!

This week, it's Episode 64: The Cool Down. The experts say that it's actually not healthy to come back from vacation and then jump right back into work right away...that you should actually have a cool down period...a couple of days of chilling out at home. And that's what I do in this week's show!

Go give her a listen!

Now, you're probably thinking, "Hey! But you've been promising a podcast from the Royal Tyrrell Museum for months now! Where is it?"

Well, it's like this. I went a little nuts with my clip recorder while I was down there, and I wound up recording a half-hour's worth of audio for that particular show. it's going to take me some time to sift through it and find a brilliant, 15-minute podcast.

Don't worry, it's coming. I just want to take the time and effort to make it as kick-ass as possible. I've got a light week coming up...hopefully, it'll be next week's show.

However, in the meantime, you should be able to go check out my vacation photos on Facebook. They're all up there now! And, apparently, Facebook photo galleries are open to the public. All I have to do is share the links! So, here's the links:

The Royal Tyrrell Museum - Part 1

The Royal Tyrrell Museum - Part 2

About and Around in Drumheller

Jasper: Athabasca Falls and Miette Hot Springs

Jasper: Mt. Edith Cavell

Jasper: Maligne Canyon

Jasper: Trains!

Jasper: And All The Rest

Gateway Park

Miscellaneous Vacation Photos

Check them out!

Friday, September 14, 2007

To the Moon! And some Olympic stuff

He wasn't talking about space travel! It was a metaphor for spousal abuse! - Fry on Futurama explaining the old Honeymooners catch phrase, "One of these days, Alice! Bang! Zoom! To the moon!"

There was something in the news yesterday that's really cool. Google and the makers of the X PRIZE have teamed up to bring you...

The Google Lunar X PRIZE!

We all remember the X PRIZE, that mega million dollar prize for the first privately manufactured and flown spaceship?

Well, now comes the Google Lunar X PRIZE. This prize is for the first privately manufactured, launched, and successfully landed lunar probe!

What does Google have to do with this? They're a sponsor.

But yeah. Here's what you have to do: build a lunar probe. Launch it to the Moon. Have it successfully do a soft landing. It's got to have a rover, that roams for 500m, and it has to send back a "mooncast." If you can do this, $20 million can be yours!

Key to his is that "mooncast," which is what your lunar probe actually transmits back to Earth. What it has to send back is:

- 360 degree panoramic hi-resolution photos of the lunar surface
- self-portraits of your lunar rover on the lunar surface
- near-real-time video of your rover roving
- some high-definition video from the lunar surface
- a pre-loaded message that you installed in your probe before you launched it

In all, around 1G worth of data.

But wait! There's more! You can also get a $5 million bonus prize if your probe accomplishes one or more of these side quests:

- go roving for a long distance (more than 5km)
- grabbing a picture of a man-made artifact (like leftover Apollo junk or one of the old Soviet rovers)
- discovering water
- surviving night on the Moon (around two weeks of darkness in temperatures that are cold even for Antarctica)

So who wants to join my team? Building a lunar probe would only cost, oh, several billion dollars. We will call her "Persephone," and as part of that pre-loaded message, we can slip in my podcast. First radio show from the moon!

Oh, and there is a deadline. It has to be done in 5 years.

And the race is on to see who'll be hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics!

The application deadline was yesterday, and here's all the cities from around the world that have filed applications:


Rio de Janeiro






I kind of hope it's Prague. I've got German relatives who live near the Czech border and I could go crash with them.

Anywho, the winning city gets 7 years to build all the fancy new stadiums and stuff they promise in their bids, so that means the successful applicant will be chosen in 2009.

The Second Coming of Brian...on DVD

Here's a DVD double dip that I keep forgetting to blog about.

My favourite Monty Python film, Life of Brian, is getting a brand new, 2-disc special edition.

Monty Python's Life of Brian: The Immaculate Edition drops on November 6. Recycled bonus material from the Criterion Edition includes 5 deleted scenes, one running commentary with 3/5 of Monty Python (Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Terry Jones [who was the director]), a running commentary with the other two (John Clese and Michael Palin), and the original radio spots.

New bonus materials includes a brand new 1 hour documentary about the film called The Story of Brian, and The Readthrough, a recently discovered, feature-length filming of the very first table read of the filming script! (For those who don't know, a "table read" is, well, when all the actors sit around a table and read through the script...like the very first rehersal.) Oh, and the radio spots now have accompanying illustrations.

The only Monty Python film that still needs a 2-disc special edition is their first one, And Now for Something Completely Different.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ode to Wikipedia

Ahh, Wikipedia. I like to think of it as the repository of the world's knowledge. And it's easy to get carried away on it. You just click and click and click...you could start by reading the entry on the Care Bears and you might wind up at an entry that's very NSFW.

Like today, I was randomly clicking around and I found myself at the wikipedia entry for NAIT, that grand ol' school that certified me as a radio professional-type. I see that, on the NAIT entry, there's a little blurb about NAIT's radio station, NR92.

Clearly, this will not do.

NR92 needs its own Wikipedia entry.

And so, it is on my "to do" list for Wikipedia entries to write.

My top priorities right now, though, are beefing up the entries for Athabasca and Pembina River Provincial Park.

I've been talking about the Athabasca one ever since I arrived here a year and a half ago. The most hardcore I got into it was around six months ago. I went down to the Athabasca Archives to see what they would recommend for a local history book. After spending an hour chatting with the town's archivist, I went next door to the library and got the book: Athabasca Landing: An Illustrated History.

As the archivist explained to me, most think that Athabasca started in 1915, but it didn't. Athabasca was just incorporated as a town in 1915. Many agree that Athabasca really began in 1877. The Hudson's Bay Company thought that that bend in the Athabasca River along the Athabasca Landing Trail would be a good place for a storage shed. So they built one there. And the town slowly grew around the shed.

Now see, right away, that's a better history than what's at the Wikipedia entry. The Wikipedia entry has a semi-drunken rambling about how Athabasca was never a part of Rupert's Land.

And of course, Pembina River Provincial Park. It sits right next to my loving hometown of Entwistle, and as such, I want to do it justice. The article there is OK, but it can be so much better. No where does it make mention of one of the park's best-known landmarks...a series of concrete pillars, that are all that remain of a massive wooden railway trestle that was quite active in the 1910's.

Or it doesn't even get into the park's history! Pembina River Provincial Park actually started as a work relief camp, founded in the Great Depression. The camp was shut down and the land converted to a provincial park in 1951.

But of course, in order to do this properly, you've got to research the hell of it. I find that Wikipedia entries aren't messed with that much if it's researched to pieces.

And of course, this all began when I wrote the entry for my hometown of Entwistle. I did research the bejesus out of it. And I'm still quite proud of it. but, you've got to look at it for what it is: the product of an unemployed man with far too much time on his hands.

That's why all these Wikipedia entries are a hobby that I haven't really started. All that research takes a long time.... And, as I've blogged in the past, being a radio news reporter actually means I spend a lot of my day typing in front of a computer. It's not really waht I want to do in my down time....

But still. I must do it some day. The world needs to know about NR92.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Title for One, and a Trailer for the Other

So, at the MTV Music Video Awards last night, Shia LaBeauf spilled the beans.

The title of the next Indiana Jones movie is....

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It was confirmed at the official Indiana Jones website soon after.

I'm surprised there hasn't been much negative fan backlash yet towards the title. Maybe they used up all their bitterness on The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.

Or, it could be because the name is already part of the Indiana Jones universe. The name of the Indiana Jones ride at Tokyo DisneySea is Indiana Jones: Temple of the Crystal Skulls.

The fourth Indy film hits on May 22, 2008.

And, as much as I'm looking forward to the next Batman film, I can't help but look at everything coming out about the upcoming adaptation of Iron Man and thinking it just looks so darn cool.

for the latest proof, the first trailer just went online. And it is pretty darn spectacular.

Go see it for yourself, in glorious QuickTime, as they say at Ain't It Cool News.

For those who aren't up to speed, Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, the billionaire industrialist who has to build himself an armored suit to both keep himself alive, and escape from a terrorist prison camp. He keeps the suit and becomes the superhero Iron Man. Terrance Howard plays his best friend and sidekick Jim "Rhody" Rhodes, Gwynyth Paltrow plays his secreatary and love interest Virginia "Pepper" Potts, and Jeff Bridges plays his mentor-turned-nemesis Obidiah Stane, aka Iron Monger. It's being directed by Jon Favreau, who brought us Elf and Zathura, but is still best remembered as Vince Vaughn's buddy in Swingers.

That one drops on May 8.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Home again, Home again, jiggity jig

Well, I should have seen this coming.

My landlord told me he was going to be re-doing my bathroom the week I was gone. I return home, and what's going on?

He's just starting.

Oh, well. That's the only pain in the butt that welcomed me home, so let's call that "pretty good."

Anywho, I'm catching up on my DVD news, so let's get to some of the bigger releases that were announced while I was gone.

First and most importantly, the biggest movie of the summer, Transformers hits DVD on October 16. It'll be available in a single-disc, movie-only version, and a 2-disc special edition.

On the 2-disc special edition, you get a running commentary with director Michael Bay, four featurettes under the heading Our World (these ones focus on the making of the film), four featurettes under the heading Their War (these ones focus on the Autobots and Decepticons), a featurette on the special effects, a gallery of concept art, and the trailers.

And here's a second DVD that's worth noting. At long last, coming out on October 30, is a long-awaited, eagerly-anticipated 2-disc special edition of >Help!. For those who don't know, Help! is the second film starring The Beatles.

In addition to the film being newly digitally restored and boasting a brand new 5.1 surround sound mix, you'll get a brand new documentary about the making of the film called The Beatles in Help!, a recently re-discovered cut scene, a featurette about the restoration of the film, a series of featurettes about various cast and crew members reflecting on the film, the original trailers, and the original radio spots.

In addition, Help! will also be available in a special gift set. Along with the 2-disc special edition, you get a re-print of the film's script, 8 lobby cards and the movie poster, a new, 60-page book about the making of the film, and essays about the film written by Help!'s director Richard Lester, and filmmaking legend Martin Scorsese.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I should run out and buy some milk for breakfast, and maybe swing by work and catch up on real news.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Learn Some Discipline!

360 freakin' pictures.

How the hell did this happen?

Over my week off, I managed to take almost 360 pictures on my new digital camera. I'm currently fretting about hard drive space and all that and if it's worth taking it down to Wal-Mart and getting them all printed off.

I've blogged about this before, but with digital photography, it's just so darn easy to get carried away. In the old days, with just 24 exposures, you were always aware of how many pictures you had left on the roll, and you'd always go through a little internal debate as to whether something is "photo-worthy."

But with a digital camera, where the amount of pictures you can take is countably infinite, you can just photograph whatever crap you want to.

But yes, it was a great week off. My vacation is practically over. I'm still at my parents place in Entwistle as I write this. Nothing left to do but a nice, leisurly Sunday drive back to Athabasca. I'm already fretting about the week ahead, as I just made the mistake of checking my work e-mail and seeing that I've got a busy week ahead of me. Lots of stuff going on in Athabasca this week.... That's actually a good thing. As I've learned, being a news hound is actually a lot easier when there's a lot going on.

And it's not just pictures! I promised you a podcast live from the Royal Tyrell Museum, and you're going to get it! But first, I have to sift through the half-hour's worth of audio I recorded live on location and edit it into something entertaining. I was hoping to do that all throughout this upcoming week and have it posted for you the week of the 17th, but, as I said, busy busy.

And I had so much fun doing that that I also did a podcast live on location from Jasper National Park. Only 20 minutes of audio to sift through there, but still, that's a lot.

But, until then, here's 10 out of 360. The entire lot will end up in my Facebook account over the next month, I'm sure.

Gateway Park on the south side of Edmonton

T-Rex skeleton at the Royal Tyrell Museum

Triceratops skeleton at the Royal Tyrell Museum

The Alberta Badlands

Drumheller's two dinosaurs

Athabasca Falls

A little game I like to play called "Spot the Tourist."

The glacial melt pond beneath Mount Edith Cavell

Hiking up to the ruins of the original Miette Hot Springs

CN freight train leaving Jasper for the West Coast