In a previous post, I implored fans to keep watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The Fox show was put in a difficult position by the network in a series of stupid moves. First, there was a two month hiatus where Fox allowed the show to be forgotten by finicky viewers to begin with. Also, Fox moved the show to Friday nights, usually a death sentence for TV shows. My fears have been realized as the show’s ratings have dropped considerably since returning from the break.

The outlook for a third season looks bleak but I would ask the show and its viewers to just hold on for a few more weeks. I believe Fox executives would be stupid not to grant the show a third season, even if it were just a limited run of shows to begin next fall. Why? In just over one month, there will be a huge marketing campaign unleashed on the public for a movie called Terminator Salvation. It marks the fourth motion picture in the Terminator film franchise. The role of John Connor is being played by a guy named Christian Bale. You might have seen him last summer in a small independent movie called The Dark Knight.

My point is that the public will be bombarded with images, media, trailers, interviews, comic books, and toys, all having to do with the movie and more importantly the Terminator mythos. That is literally millions of dollars of associated advertising for the show. What show in recent memory gets such a lucky windfall?

I have no doubt that Salvation will be watched by millions of people. It will be a popular film. My hope is that the wide exposure of the film will remind people of the great Terminator mythos and get them looking for more entertainment about that universe. If the show can pick up just a fraction of the people that see the movie then that would be fantastic.

If I were a Fox network exec, I’d already have my prepped my strategy for Sarah Connor. By the time Salvation is out in the theatres, the second season of the show will be already over. I’d re-run the pilot of the show after Salvation is out one week. I’d specifically buy ad time to get commercials for the show to run after Salvation commercials. I’d buy ads in print and other media for the season one Blu-ray release of the show, all coinciding with the release of Salvation. I’d also get the stars of the show in on the premiere of the movie. All I’m asking is one group photo of the cast with Bale.

I’m telling you, not asking you, there are ways to capitalize on a this very rare and special opportunity. Of course, I’m just a regular dude and not a smart TV network executive, so I don’t know what Fox has planned. If I were a betting man though, I’d wager they won’t do a damn thing to save Sarah Connor.

Is this the end for the Connors? I guess we’ll find out in a few short weeks.


I have filed an income tax return every year since I was 20 years old. When I was just a lad of 19, I worked my very first co-op job which happened to be the first time I made enough money for the federal government to notice.

That year and every year since then, I have received a tax refund. It was easy for me to get refunds as a student since I wasn’t making a lot of money and you get a ton of tax credits while you’re a student. Now it was also easy for me to get refunds even when I was out of school. Why? Well, to be quite honest, I didn’t have a salary that paid me more than $30K a year until I was over the age of thirty.

Now even in the last three years since I’ve left grad school I’ve been able to manage small but still appreciable tax refunds. I was kinda expecting the same thing this year but I admit I hadn’t been paying attention to how big my deductions were going to be.

So on Saturday, I fired up this year’s version of Quicktax and spent less than 15 minutes entering in numbers into boxes as I do every year. When the dust settled, I was shocked. I owed the federal government $65.

I quickly went over the numbers again but there wasn’t a whole lot of things I could change. My main deductions came from RRSP contributions and unfortunately, I knew I hadn’t misplaced a couple of RRSP receipts. The RRSP optimizer told me how close I had been to breaking even. If I had just bought $170 more in RRSPs I would have broken even. Had I bought just $500 more, I would be getting about $176 back.

Now given my RRSP contribution this year was in the thousands, $500 would have been nothing really and $176 would be miniscule in comparison. Now I understand $65 isn’t a whole lot of money but it’s the principle, to use a cliche, that matters. The government, for the first time, isn’t giving me back some of my money in the spring.

I will consider the $65 the cost of learning a lesson. I knew that my RRSP contribution was slightly lower than in previous years. I also knew I’d been making a small amount more in income that in previous years as well. Those two combined to leave me where I am now. Next year, I’ll be better prepared so that the government sends me a cheque once again.


Last week as part of a promotional launch, Bondi Digital Publishing put up on the web a partial archive of Playboy magazine. It is intended that come summer of 2009, all issues of Playboy will be available for viewing on the Internet (for a price). For now, the partial archive is free to view and contains 53 issues from 1954 all the way to 2006. Each archived issue contains every single page from its real world equivalent. If you’re interested click, here to view the archive. It should go without saying that if you’re reading this from anywhere that might even remotely frown upon Internet nudity, you probably don’t want to click on that link.

I flipped through all the pages from an issue from 1977 using Bondi’s rather sleek interface. First, let’s get to the obvious stuff. How nudity is packaged and presented to people in 1977 is very different from today’s nudity. I was reminded of how much more hair people had in the 70s. Clearly, I’m referring to hair all over the human body, not just on the head. Though I looked very dilligently, it was impossible to find a model with breast implants. All the women looked natural, as if they had been barely (no pun intended) influenced by modern society. The pictorials also seemed very tame compared to what is out there now.

Now while the naked ladies were all naked and good, the most interesting aspects of my quick read through were the ads. Since each issue is in essense a snapshot of North American society at that time, I found the ads to be quite enlightening. I saved a few ads to share with you.

First, consider this cigarette ad below (click on it for a larger view):

Here we have a hunky 70s dude with his shirt half unbuttoned, sitting on the grass, with a pack of smokes, and a single lit butt out. He’s asking us, “How come I enjoy smoking and you don’t?”. It’s almost laughable now but I suppose in the 1977 that would be a legitimate question. Perhaps his smokes, Salems, were way better than any smokes that I had tried. Maybe that would get me to switch brands or even try smoking. Of course, now in the present, the correct answer would be “because you’re a dumbass that wants to get lung cancer and I know better than to die early”.

More so than social practices, the one thing that appeared to change the most was technology. In this sense, I found dozens of ads that I could have used as examples. I chose the one below (click on it for a larger view):

The ad above is for a system from Sharp Electronics named the “Sharp Eye” used in audio cassette players. For the young or forgetful, I’ll remind people that music was once played on small analog tapes on reels. Finding the beginning or end of a song in the middle of a tape was really hit or miss and a fanciful piece of guesswork. Now I’m old enough to have experienced this problem first-hand, so I know how stupid it was. These days of course, with CDs and MP3 files, we can get to any part of a song in an instant and with the accuracy of a laser.

Now the “Sharp Eye” system supposedly listened for the dead space in between songs and inferred those were the pauses in between tracks. If you wanted to go to the beginning or end of a song, it would just advance the tape for you automatically. Now keep in mind that even though it was automated, back in 1977, you would still have to wait for the player to mechanically wind its way to the correct spot. Depending on the length of the song, a 30 second wait just to get to the next song would not be out of the ordinary. Think about that the next time you click the wheel on your iPod.

I’m going to look through an issue of Playboy from the 1950s next as I imagine things were even more different back then.


A few weeks back I made a post about a washroom at work that had the warm toilet bowl. I wrote that I found it pleasant. Apparently, some of my co-workers did not.

Shortly after lunch today, there was an e-mail that got sent out to the entire team. Our production coordinator wanted to tell us that after some complaints, the facilities crew came to our floor and “fixed” the warm toilet bowl. How unfortunate. So no more warm asses. I replied to our PC and said that I didn’t really mind that warmth on my butt. She didn’t reply.

So it’s back to the ice-cold porcelain for me.


So I’ve been told in the past that I sometimes snore when I sleep. According to some people, there are times when my snoring can be, shall we say, loudiferous. Yes, that is an actual word.

Now here’s the interesting thing. I fall asleep on the bus ride home from work all the time. I am constantly amazed at how I am completely out of it when I doze off. I’ll wake up and there will be different people around me. Sometimes the dude or lady next to me will be gone or someone else will have replaced them. The bus driver could have handed out tacos to everyone and I would not have been the wiser (or taco-ier). I’m always wondering if someone has gone through my coat pockets while I’m asleep.

Anyways, the real question is whether or not I snore when I’m sleeping on the bus. If I did and it was loud enough for people to hear, I’d be embarrassed. When I wake up no one looks at me funny or snickers at me but that’s no proof that I didn’t snore. I’m hoping that I don’t snore and part of that hope lies in the fact that I’m sleeping while sitting as opposed to sleeping while lying down. Unfortunately, I have in my experience, heard a dude snoring while he was sleeping in a sitting position on the bus so maybe my theory sucks.

Man, what if I fart while sleeping on the bus too?


So over the weekend I watched my first Canucks game in high-definition quality at my apartment. I still haven’t bought an HDTV but what I did do was connect a small 20″ widescreen LCD monitor to the set top box that Telus installed for me. The monitor was lying around unused, so I figured it could hold me over until I did pull the trigger on my new TV.

The CBC HD feed is excellent. From the dozen or so HD channels I have, the hockey game looked the best. It’s a shame though that the ‘Nucks stunk up the joint down in Phoenix, which made my first HD game a bit less entertaining than it could have been.

What I didn’t realize is that some commercials are broadcast in HD as well. Two video game commercials I saw were in glorious HD which I am sure the marketing people love. Oh, I also watched my first episode of Cops in HD. I really enjoyed that as I’ve been following that show for two decades now.

I am looking forward to seeing some informercials in HD. ShamWow in HD anyone?


Last night after putting some furniture together for my apartment I got hungry so I decided to get some Wendy’s. Wendy’s is one of my favourite fast-food joints. When I got to the closest one, the dining room had already closed but the drive-through was still open. I’d been at this particular location dozens of times before. As I was getting my meal, it reminded me of this one time I was using the drive-through.

It was probably a few years back, my memory is getting hazy these days but it was around 2004. I’d made my order and had pulled up to the window. My order was a classic single combo, which back then was a little over $5. I remember paying in cash with a $10 bill. They couldn’t give me my change right away but my food was ready. The woman at the window handed me my drink and then she gave me a bag with the rest of my meal. I said thanks then placed the bag on the passenger seat and then for some reason, I took off. I didn’t peel out of there but I certainly didn’t just roll away either.

I probably traveled forty feet before I realized I just left more than $4 of my money with Wendy’s International, Incorporated. For a millisecond I thought about turning around to go get my change but I would look like an even bigger idiot. I’d have to get back in line with any other cars, get to the ordering device, yell out to everyone within earshot that I didn’t want any food because I was just here to get my change, roll up to the window again, and sheepishly face the lady that I just took off on. I decided it was too much bother for $4 and that I was very hungry and I had a delicious bag of food next to me.

I kept on driving and took my food home. It was tasty. I realize I’ll probably never get my $4 back but that’s ok.


Tonight I renewed this domain for another year. This site turns nine years old in four days. It’s hard to believe anything related to the Internet can be almost a decade old.