Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 08: Don’t Eat The Salmon, Moose

This week, Aidan was waylaid by zombies and Shane was busy astral projecting, so joining me in the Ultrasonic Alarm Call’s ultraswank podcasting module was Cookie Madill and, on guest hosting duties, Stephen Whitworth.

On the agenda: Does Regina hate renters? We go to city hall to find out. Does Regina hate pop music and joy? We listen to a couple tracks off the new Library Voices’ CD, Summer of Lust, then wonder how that could be possible.

Then, does Regina hate Superman’s new costume? And, is Whitworth weirdly obsessed with that question? I’m guessing yes on both counts.

That’s a lot of hate for one podcast. Fortunately, Ultrasonic Alarm Call is all about love and we balance all that hate with two installments of Cooking With Cookie! What does roller derby’s culinary terror have in store for us this week? Listen to find out.

Plus, we have another giveaway which we’re calling New Contest, Old Prize! This time, we have an audio riddle for you to solve! Listen close and win some swag!

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 08: Don’t Eat The Salmon, Moose! At the table, Stephen Whitworth (host), Cookie Madill and me. Runtime 47 min essential listening, 36 sec incoherent blubbering. Music by the Lazy MKs.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 07: Death Comes At Midnight

Oh sure, by now everybody’s probably sick to death of reading about the 13th Avenue Safeway expansion. But what about hearing about it?

Because that’s where episode seven of the Ultrasonic Alarm Call kicks off. Do we like the new design? Do bears shit in toilets? Listen to find out the answer to at least one of those questions.

From there, we look at the province’s proud, new housing policy. Does it stink? Like bear shit in a toilet? And what about that public art that’s straddling the airport road? What is it exactly and why isn’t it bigger?

And speaking of airports, did you hear ours will soon have an endless carwash? It will but you can’t use it. Tune in to find out who can. And to find out what we think about Superman’s new costume — the one appearing in that Zack Snyder turd to follow Sucker Punch film.

All that plus the very first Ultrasonic Alarm Call giveaway!! Listen to the end to find out how you can win some keen rock’n’roll swag.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 07 – Death Comes At Midnight: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Shane Hnetka, Stephen Whitworth and me. Runtime: 9 min of semi-intelligent banter, 31 min of gin-stoked bitching. Music by the Lazy MKs.

UltrasonicAlarmCall-episode07 by Paul Dechene

Download the episode by clicking on the radio above or by clicking on that little down arrow in the player window.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 06: The March Of Time

This week, a series of city hall updates including some reassuring news about the city square plaza and a look at the waste plan flier the city is distributing around the city. Also, prairie dog is planning to rock the Official Community Plan consultation now that we’ve received our citizen circle package. And you can be involved too. Find out what that’s all about.

And, Shane reviews the new James Bond novel by Jeffrey Deaver, Carte Blanche. Does he love it or does he think it’s a pile of crap like nine tenths of the movies he reviews in the p-dog listings? Listen in to find out.

Plus, Aiden has a review of Some Shit He Hasn’t Seen.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 06 – The March Of Time: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Shane Hnetka and me. Music by the Lazy MKs. Runtime: 33 min 30 sec.

To download, click the radio above.

Prairie Dogs Vs. Engagement Chicken

We recorded close to two hours of material for episode five of the Ultrasonic Alarm Call (prairie dog’s best podcast). And to edit that down in a reasonable time I had to blast through a lot of it at one-and-a-half times speed.

Thanks to our guests (Kaeli and Cassie of the True Knit Art Show) that podcast was pretty crazy to begin with. Listening to the episode as though it had been done by actual, engagement-chicken obsessed prairie dogs was completely unhinged.

Below, some clips from episode five as I would have heard them. It’s the essence of the podcast distilled down to six and a half minutes….

UACepisode05-outtakes by Paul Dechene

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 05: Sins Of The Past

This week on prairie dog’s most hearted podcast, we open with a quick story about Regina’s Freemasons and schemes gone by. What were the Masons up to back in 1996 when they decided to do battle with the Victoria Park Heritage Conservation District? You’ll have to listen to find out.

After that, Cookie and Cassie from the True Knit Art Show — fresh from roller derby practice (although it might be more accurate to call them “ripe”) — invade the UAC’s ultra-swank podcasting studio and take over the place (in a good way). We discuss their upcoming art/craft show on July 9 at St Paul’s Cathedral (that’s this Saturday, people), roller derby in Regina and local rockers SheKillsMe. They also become obsessed with “engagement chicken” and from there madness rapidly ensues. (Lucky for you, the Admiral Ackbar impressions all wound up on the editing room floor.)

Later, we call up errant dogcaster, Vanda Schmockel, and get her impressions of New York, the Novia Cafe closure and heritage preservation in Regina.

Also, don’t miss a preview of the track “Pirate Ship” off SheKillsMe’s album, As Strong As Legends.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 05 — Sins of the Past: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Elan Morgan, Shane Hnetka, and me. Special guests, Cookie Madill and Cassie Ozog of the True Knit Art Show. Intro and outro music provided by the Lazy MKs. Runtime: 56min 32sec.

Download the episode by clicking on the links above.

Find more info on the True Knit Art Show here, on Pile O’Bones Roller Derby here and SheKillsMe here.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 04: Reboots

Turning it off and turning it back on again. It’s the cure-all for our time. And this week, instead of starting from scratch ourselves, we’re looking at two reboots the respective rebooters hope will solve all the world’s problems.

First up, the continuing saga of Regina Public Library’s downtown branch. We were just supposed to be getting a revamped central library but the RPL board secretly toggled the on/off switch on that plan and now we’re getting something much bigger and much grander.

Why the change? Why all the secrecy? Who made the Masons cross? Plus! Are animatronics really better than books? We think so and you’ll just have to listen to the podcast to find out why.

In the second half: DC Comics plans to reboot their entire line of funny books. Will the new DC be superpowered or superdumb-as-turds? Plus, what does all this mean for digital publishing and summer movies? And! Are there any parallels between the DC Comics and RPL situations?

As it turns out, yes. And you might call that alarming.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode Four — Reboots: Looking for a good jumping on point? Consider this episode your number one. At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Shane Hnetka and me. Music, as always, by the very awesome Lazy MKs. Runtime: 35m 11s.

To download, click on the link or radio above.

You can also listen to other episodes of this podcast by clicking on our spiff new link button on the right side of the page. Or by clicking here.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 03: Unfortunate Emissions

What were ought-to-have-been-our-MP Noah Evanchuck and dogcaster Paul Dechene scraping off the street at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival street fair? Did it contribute to Lars Von Triers being declared persona non grata at Cannes? Did it kill Melancholia‘s chances at the Palm D’Or? Did it win Kirsten Dunst a best actress nod?

The theme for this installment of the Ultrasonic Alarm Call, the prairie dog‘s best loved podcast, is Unfortunate Emissions.

Also in this episode, city hall wants you to help design the Regina of the Future and we want to help you hijack the process. Plus, host Aidan Morgan reviews Some Shit We Haven’t Seen: this week’s subject: X-Men: First Class.

If you haven’t listened to any prairie dog podcast before, this is the place to start. It contains twice as much pep and hilarity as our other podcasts but now with 50% less phlegm.

As always, music is provided by the Lazy MKs. They have no gigs coming up I’m aware of but they do have a new album out, Where We Bin. You can pick up a copy at all the finer local record shops and Hi-Fi outlets.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode Three — Unfortunate Emissions: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Shane Hnetka, Paul Dechene. Special surprise guest, Young Dashiell. Music by the Lazy MKs. Runtime: 30 min.

To download click on the link above.

You can also download our other podcasts like episode two, episode one or episode zero. And then there are the two, full-length preview episodes.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 02: The Renamed prairie dog Podcast

Yeah. I don’t know either. I was the one pushing for “Ultrasonic Alarm Call” as the title and now that we’ve gone and used it I have all this naming remorse.

By way of explanation, an ultrasonic alarm call is the noise a prairie dog makes when it’s in distress. See? It kind of makes sense. Especially considering we have an election wrap up in this week’s installment. (But if we change the name again, don’t be surprised.)

Anyway, in this episode, we take a look at the election results and how Saskatchewan’s wonky riding layout skewed things in the Conservative’s favour. We also look at the long form census, the opening of the Creative City Centre project in the downtown, and we examine Regina’s heavy metal scene in some detail. And we have another review of some shit we haven’t seen.

This episode comes with a mature content warning. Moreso than usual, that is. The discussion of heavy metal veers into some dark territory. There’s a lot of nervous laughter and we try to keep it from going off the rails, but, yeesh, Norwegian metal….. it’s just all badness.

Music is once again provided by the Lazy MKs. They’re awesome. Be sure to check out their myspace page and go to their shows. I hear they’re playing the Cathedral Village Arts Festival.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 02 — Modifications: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Vanda Schmockel, Carle Steel, Danny Kresnyak, Elan Morgan and me. Music by the Lazy MKs. Runtime: 42 minutes.

To download click on the link above.

You can also download our other podcasts like episode one or episode zero. And then there are the two, full-length preview episodes. And you can always follow the whole podcasting saga by clicking the podcast tag.

In Case You Missed It: New Poll! New Podcast!

First, in case you haven’t looked down the page, there’s a new prairie dog podcast up with all kinds of election stuff in it. Should be good–I haven’t listened to it yet myself but there’s never a dull moment with team podcast. Except when they talk about Doctor Who for 10 minutes. But I’m sure they’re not doing that this time. Scroll down the page or click on the direct link here.

Second, in case you didn’t read my Six In The Morning post to the end, we have a new poll up! Totally uncontroversial and politics-free! It’s on the right side of this page under the ad stack. It’s probably the most fun you’ll have voting today!

Dogcast Episode 01: Plans

Here it is! Episode one of the Still Unnamed Audio Portion Of The prairie dog Website.

This episode, we’ve tossed the Artie Shaw theme in favour of some fantastic intro and outro music provided by the Lazy MKs. They’re letting us use two tracks off their upcoming album “Where We Bin.” And they’re very awesome — both the tracks and the guys in the Lazy MKs. (Be sure to go to their CD release party on May 7 at Artesian.)

Theme for this week: Plans. We talk about the election and how Ignatieff’s plans to rule Canada are falling to pieces. (If you’re listening to this on Monday before polls close, note that we recorded on April 27… so everything we said is already out of date. If you’re listening after the election is over, don’t we sound naive and clueless?) We also talk about the mysterious plans for the RPL main branch that appeared on the web, the vague plans to redevelop the downtown that Mayor Fiacco announced, and the dumb-as-hammers plans by Hollywood to hand a classic pulp franchise to Jason Statham. Also, a new segment: Reviews Of Shit We Haven’t Seen. And did we mention the music is by the Lazy MKs and it’s awesome?

Dogcast Episode One — Plans: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Elan Morgan, Shane Hnetka, Vanda Schmockel and Paul Dechene. Music by the Lazy MKs. Runtime 52 min.

To download click on the title link above. (Sorry we’ve taken down the Soundcloud player to make room in my account for episode two.)

Top 6: Podcast Possibilities

You may have already heard that we’re busting into the podcasting game if you follow the Dog Blog. That’s right – we’re breaking down the doors, drinking the milk, and rearranging the furniture in the House of Podcasting. One thing that we still need, though, is a name for the thing. I’ve got a few avenues we could potentially explore.

1 ONE OF THE SUGGESTIONS ALREADY FLOATING AROUND We’re officially approaching episode one in Paul Dechene’s podcast chronology, but plenty of work has already been done in the naming department over in the comment section for episode zero. “Dog Pod” and “Prairie Pod” both had a bit of traction, it seems.

2 THE SASKATCHEWAN ADVANTAGE OK, it might not have legs even a month from now, but I’m still a little partial to it.

3 THE PRAIRIE DOG HOUSE Maybe? Just maybe? I’m trying to work with the whole “dog” thing, even though most of what I’m coming up with – “Can I do something with those dogs playing poker paintings?” – ignores the fact that prairie dogs aren’t actual dogs. And that kind of naming mistake could haunt us forever.

4 THE QUEEN CITY CAST I just checked, and no one else has claimed it. If the prairie dog’s podcast wants to claim some definitiveness for the whole of Regina, this might be the way to do. Unless we go with …

5 REGINA MUNICIPAL POLITICS MADE SEXY Or RMPMS for short. Pronounced “rumpus.” The Rumpuscast!

6 WELL, YOU COULD SUGGEST SOMETHING TOO Seriously, if the above doesn’t show it, lemme tell you, I’m running on fumes with this naming thing. My creative high point in nomenclature was when I thought I would one day be in a band called Area 51 back in Grade Four. Whatever you’ve got that you think isn’t already being used somewhere – rule out “Savage Love” or “This American Life” – drop it in the comments and it might just become the name of the prairie dog‘s podcast.

Dogcast Episode Zero: Nerdery

Here it is, finally. The premiere episode of the prairie dog podcast. We’ve been calling it “The Dogcast” but honestly, nobody likes that name. If you have a better idea — better than “NippleCast” or “The Nipple Killers”… seriously, those are the best alternatives we’ve come up with so far — please send it along. Maybe we will gift you with some Tiger Blood and Royal Wedding condoms.


This episode of the Presently Titled The Dogcast podcast deals with the theme of “nerdery.” Election nerdery. Dr Who nerdery. Pulp magazine nerdery. And royal wedding nerdery.

You can download the mp3 by clicking in some fashion the link provided below. And if you just want to play it and not download it, odds are, if you just do a normal ol’ click of the link, it’ll play in your browser. We’ll work on getting one of those fancy player widgets for the blog soon, promise.

Dogcast Episode Zero – Nerdery: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Elan Morgan, Shane Hnetka, Vanda Schmockel and Paul Dechene. Theme music is “Mucho de Nada” by Artie Shaw and his Orchestra (1936ish). Runtime: 35 min.

Is Harper The Teflon PM?

Here’s a clip that pretty well sums up tonight’s leadership debate for me….

Harper Doesn’t Accept Truth by Paul Dechene

Ignatieff lays out a lot of Harper’s dictatorial behaviour and Harper’s response is simply that he doesn’t accept the truth of that attack. He doesn’t deny the attack, he just doesn’t accept the truth of it, then he moves on.

It’s how much of the debate went. Iggy, Layton and Douceppe kept taking shots, Harper would just deny them, shrug them off then talk about something else. It was a pretty effective strategy. The National Post’s livebloggers concluded the PM played a strong defensive game and I have to admit they’re right.

Even though the opposition leaders tried to focus the debate on Harper’s anti-democratic behaviour and his government’s corruption, nothing seemed to stick. Personally, I’m not seeing the debate changing Harper’s nine point lead much. I’m calling it a win for the Cons.

Incidentally, right after the debates ended, we recorded episode zero of the Dogcast in which we discuss the debate as well as many other very nerdy topics (Dr Who! The Shadow! The Royal Wedding!). Expect to see that on the blog in a few days.

The Dogcast: MP3 Previews

After many weeks of toil, we’re ready to show off a preview of the latest prairie dog project. A group of us at th’dog have been working on putting together a podcast. We’re calling it The Dogcast. It’s your basic round table of prairie dog regulars discussing events and issues we find interesting. It’s kind of like one of our writers meetings only with slightly less swearing.

Continue reading “The Dogcast: MP3 Previews”

Infrastructure Summit Day 2: Rethinking The Infrastructure Deficit

The keynote address by asset management expert, Dr Penny Burns, was pretty interesting. She apparently rewrote the second half of her speech to take account of what she’d learned and experienced at the summit so far. And she reframed the debate away from one of how do we find funding to close the infrastructure gap, to how do we do things differently so that our infrastructure stops being a cost for our cities and towns.

Here are a few highlights from an excellent speech….

I predict that in future this infrastructure summit with its focus on innovation will be seen as a defining point in the history of infrastructure asset management. A time when we changed direction and by doing so saved our communities.

Even very advanced councils are now realizing that seeking to address all of their infrastructure deficits by throwing money at them is an impossible task. Taken all together, the task is just too big and it’s not difficult to see why. Your assets are wearing out a rate of about two per cent per year, maybe a little more.

I want to ask you, what is the total replacement costs of your assets? And the next question is, are you prepared to put aside two per cent of this amount every year in preparation for renewal? If we are honest, and we do need to be honest, we know this is never going to happen. We are never going to be able to or willing to fund the entire amount required for the renewal of our existing asset portfolios. And the size of those portfolios continues to grow year by year. So the size of the funding problem continues to grow. And our infrastructure continues to degrade.

What’s the solution?

Well, when all the outcomes of the game point to annihilation, there is only one solution. We have, as the movie War Games tells us, to refuse to play the game. Or rather we need to change the game.

If we cannot or will not pay to continue our infrastructure the way it is, we either have to learn to do without it — which is inconceivable — or we seek alternatives that we can afford.

We must stop looking at the infrastructure deficit as a funding problem. It isn’t. It isn’t a lack of money so much as a lack of imagination. With all due deference to innovative infrastructure funding –which we need to do — we need to do more than just produce the same types of infrastructure with different funding sources. What we need to do is to develop fundamentally different infrastructure.

In the innovation session here at the summit, Patrick Lucey argued that with the infrastructure we have today we only get to use something liek five to 25 per cent of all the energy we produce the rest is lost in transmission. What if we could produce energy locally and use 100 per cent? What if by treating waste water on site we could extract the energy and reduce the amount we need to produce? And by recycling water, reduce the amount of water needed overall? These closed loop systems can be introduced by innovative design. And this is not futuristic dreaming, it’s already been done. And again, it’s already been done here in Canada.

And here is a sound clip from her address. It’s a little on the long side (13 minutes) but well worth a listen.

Prairie dog-NISKeynote by Paul Dechene

Infrastructure Summit Day 2: Mayor Hazel McCallion Interview

I attended a workshop about financing city infrastructure that was chaired by Hazel McCallion, the 89-year-old mayor of Mississauga. Afterward, I spoke to her briefly. One of the things she talked about was how the federal and provincial governments benefit from the infrastructure funding they provide. Cities may wind up with new facilities, but higher levels of government get to collect tax revenue off them over the long term. Here’s how Mayor McCallion explains it….

When a municipality awards a contract to a company to build something, the employees pay income tax, sales tax, you name it. Every project that is put forward, we don’t get property tax from it because we’re building our own facilities and we don’t pay taxes to ourselves. But every project that is awarded under the stimulus program, the provincial and federal government benefit for all the many taxes that they collect that we don’t collect.

And here’s the audio from our interview….

Prairie dog interview-MayorMcCallion by Paul Dechene

Infrastructure Summit Day 1: Opening Speeches And Naheed Nenshi Interview

Canada’s first National Infrastructure Summit kicked off this morning. Emcee for the opening round of speeches was Dianne Buckner of Dragon’s Den fame. Mayor Fiacco spoke about the importance of dealing with infrastructure needs and how widespread the problem is. Regarding the summit, he said, “This dialogue is the first major step in collectively identifying and managing our challenges and opportunities…. We need to stretch the boundaries of the traditional when it comes to infrastructure.”

Groanworthy jokes aside (Fiacco on using Twitter at the summit: “Last week our council got a lesson on how to ‘tweet.’ They’re a bunch of tweeters.”), this seems to be developing into a productive and interesting gathering.

Before the speeches began I had a chance to speak with Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi. I mentioned to him that Calgary is the city that Regina both aspires to be and also that we’re trying to avoid becoming, and wondered if he had any advice he could pass on as our city grows. He replied:

Make sure that you contain sprawl. Sprawl is the killer of efficiency. It’s so hard to serve by transit, to build those rec centres. So make sure that you’re being thoughtful about intensifying your greenfield an brownfield neighbourhoods. And really make sure that your new suburbs are built as complete communities where people can live, work and play in close proximity and they’re well served by transit.

You can listen to the complete interview below. (It’s only four minutes long.)


Budget 2011: Recycling Podcast

Here’s some bonus material to go along with that Recycling In Circles story that’s in the current issue. It’s the Councillor Clipsham interview transformed into a podcast. If you’ve read the article, there won’t be a lot of surprises in here. If you haven’t, well, I guess this will save you the trouble….

Prairiedog podcast-RecyclingInterview by Paul Dechene

Carle Gets Flogged. Literally Flogged.

In case you missed Carle Steel’s essay on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition yesterday, here’s the link. Carle’s bit starts just past the 34:45 minute mark — you’ll either have to listen to the first non-Carle bits (perfectly acceptable) or fiddle around with the little bar at the top to skip ahead. Either way, give it a listen. It’s quite good and rather sad.

(The full Sunday Edition is online here, if you want more.)

UPDATE: Carle asked me to add this sad video.

Dogcast: David Sauchyn Discusses The New Normal

Here’s that promised podcast version of my interview with David Sauchyn. We discuss the book he co-edited with Harry Diaz and Suren Kulshreshtha titled The New Normal: The Canadian Prairies in a Changing Climate.

If you want to read the article this goes with it’s here.

Prairiedog podcast-DavidSauchynInterview by Paul Dechene

The New Normal launches on November 16. You can watch the book trailer here. And you can order the book here.

Music used in this podcast is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing which I downloaded from the Free Music Archive.