Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 11: Regina Goes Boom!

This week’s episode isn’t merely a podcast, it’s our submission to the Design Regina process.

The city is out to revamp its Official Community Plan and we’re getting involved. But instead of just filling in the little “Citizen Circle” workbook the city sent us, we recorded our discussions and we’ll be sending in this mp3 as well.

What’s with that look of trepidation, city? It’s not like council is ever going to see more than a point-form summary of what’s offered up by the Citizen Circles, anyway. Don’t worry. Carle’s crazy ideas about how the city should take over parking again, our hand wringing about heritage buildings being demolished, our shared rage about how unaffordable housing has recently become, our discussion of where the zombie apocalypse will begin and what it has to say about good urban form, all of that will wind up as nothing more than a few bowdlerized remarks in a list of hundreds.

But you know who I pity? It’s the poor intern who’s going to have to slog through all those Citizen Circle submissions. At least when they get to ours, they’ll get to listen to some awesome intro and outro music by the Lazy MKs.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 11 — Regina Goes Boom: At the table, Carle Steel, Vanda Schmockel, Cassie Ozog, Karen Meagher and me as host. Bonus interview with Cookie Madill. Music by the Lazy MKs. Runtime: 45 min 53 sec.

To download, click on the radio above. And when you’ve finished with this, you might want to check out last week’s episode, Signal To Noise, which is a companion piece to the feature on the paranormal in the current issue of prairie dog.

You can also check out our archive of past episodes.

For The Love Of God, Someone Please File A Restraining Order Against George Lucas

He’s screwing around with the Star Wars movies again, this time for the blu-ray release. (New York Times)

Swear to God, he had a turkey breast sandwich 15 years ago, and he’s still swallowing mayonnaise and pepper to ‘improve’ the taste.

Pitiful, Trivial, Self-Centred Whining

Here’s the view from my desk. Because I’m a know-nothing photographer, you can’t get a sense of how gorgeous the view out my window is, because everything outside is bleached out while everything inside is too dark.

But trust me, it’s beautiful. All I have to do is turn my head and my eyeballs get a face-full of pretty outsideness. Alas, something long-dreaded happened today that marks the beginning of the end for my lovely, scenic vista.

Namely, this:

Continue reading “Pitiful, Trivial, Self-Centred Whining”

You Annoy Me, Wascana Park

Me and publisher Terry Morash are finalizing this fall’s Best Of Regina categories today. We’re deciding which ones to keep, what we can add and most of all how to stop Wascana Park from winning everything it’s remotely eligible for.

Seriously, it’s ridiculous. Under last year’s City Loving category Wascana Park won almost everything. “Best Place To Meet A Sexy Someone”, “Best Place For A First Date”, “Best Place To Propose Marriage”, “Best Place To Break Up”, “Best Couple Activity (Besides That)” and “Best Public Spit-Swappin’ Spot”.

Wascana Park didn’t win “Best Place To Get Condoms”. “Good thing it doesn’t sell condoms,” said Morash.

Half our ideas die because we’re scared Wascana Park will hijack the category and make Best Of Regina boring. “How about “Best Place To See A Wild Animal?” I suggest. “Wascana Park,” says Morash. “Best Place To Take Your Kids?” I offer. “Wascana Park,” Morash says . “Best Place To Punch A Goose”? “Wascana Park, and anyway you like geese, Whitworth.” “Oh yeah.”

This might go on for hours. Stupid Wascana Park and it’s stupid world-class splendour.

Readers Say The Darndest Things

Here’s a letter prairie dog got this evening:

Just read your feature “Presents for Everyone” and noticed that not one of the 29 gifts could be bought from any of the small local businesses that advertise in your mag. In fact you recommended on line shopping about 14 times!

Tell me again why small, local businesses should advertise in the prairie dog?

[Name witheld pending verification]


Okay loyal prairie dog/Dog Blog readers, take my word for it — there are many, many problems with what this person has written. Can you spot some of them? Leave your answers in the comments below. Best comment (as chosen by me) left by Wednesday noon 3:00 will win some kind of gift-wrapped prize (I have no idea what, but it won’t be lame).

I hope “where’s my prize for commenting?” Jeff is paying attention…

Face It Stevie. The World’s Not That Into You.

Apart from the Toronto Star and several non-right of centre blogs, the Canadian mainstream media’s coverage of Stephen Harper’s UN Security Council seat debacle is akin to the Chinese state media’s coverage of the most recent Nobel Prize winner, or the way South African state media and privately-owned newspapers defended apartheid during the years of Nelson Mandela’s jailing. The coverage goes from outright ignoring it – as today’s Leader-Post has done – to circling the wagons to defend Stephen Harper and Canada as the Globe and Mail has today.

In reality, this is probably the biggest diplomatic smack down Canada has received since the United Nations has been created. Some of the better analysis comes from The Galloping Beaver,, The Mound of Sound, Scott Tribe (Scott’s DiaTribes) and Impolitical.

There would have been no other good reason for two European nations to have seats in the Security Council – Germany won on the first ballot and Portugal claimed the second seat, after the second ballot, when Portugal was so far ahead that Canada pretty much gave up. It was no coincidence that Jim Flaherty got sent out for an economic statement at the time of the vote, in order to distract the national media with another shiny object.

Canada’s back on the world stage, right? (Canada.com) Given Prime Minister Eddie Haskell`s petty and vindictive nature, I think the odds of Canada threatening to withdraw from the UN sometime before Harper calls the next federal election should be set at about 5-1. The rest of the world has cottoned on to something that Canada`s Powers That Be are too scared to admit to themselves – Stephen Harper is a bully and a twit who would provoke a fight at an Irish/Ukrainian/hippie wedding – and an embarrassment to Canada on the world stage. Our diplomatic efforts are resembling Canada’s place on the world soccer stage (FIFA.com) – a joke to the outside world, and the subject of a bunch of internal politicking that nobody really cares about.

‘Twas not always thus. Whatever you could say about the government of the day, foreign policy was a Canadian strength – and the Progressive Conservatives did their part. Dief may have been paranoid, but after the Sharpeville Massacre, Diefenbaker was instrumental in lining up support to force South Africa to either renounce apartheid or leave the British Commonwealth (The National Party governing South Africa chose to leave the Commonwealth). And, as someone who has otherwise no love for The Jaw That Walks Like A Man, Prime Minister Mulroney’s stand against apartheid was also a brave and noble act, especially since President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher were more sympathetic to white-only rule. (sahistory.org) Yeah, he could have gone farther, but he went further than most of his contemporaries.

And we’re not even talking about Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize for creating the concept of a United Nations Peacekeeping force, or our international reputation in peacekeeping or in worldwide relief campaigns. But under Harper, Canada has ran away from international commitments such as Kyoto and Copenhagen, followed a more unilateral policy, and last year Harper blew off a major conference at the UN – where world leaders were assembling – in favour of a photo op at a Tim Horton’s. (Toronto Star)

Do you remember a kid in middle school who was always cussing out one of the girls? Throwing snowballs at her, pulling her hair, knocking her textbooks off her desk, all because everybody knows e secretly likes her but is too insecure to ask her out? That guy hasn’t grown up – he’s just living at 24 Sussex Drive.

Harper juts around on the world stage, our own Mussolini-wanna-be. Mistaking bullying for strength and diplomacy for weakness, it’s not surprising that the rest of the world thinks that we’re going off our rockers, and should give us a wide berth until we, as a nation, get our marbles back.

Oh yeah. If four years of Conservative foreign policy can be undone by a 30-second quip by the leader of the opposition, then then just how badly has the Conservative government messed up the foreign affairs file? (CBC News) And why does the rest of the world heed Iggy’s word than Harper’s?

“The Last Airbender” is THAT bad

Because of the brilliancy of a couple of his films (“The Sixth Sense”, “Unbreakable”), I’ve always been willing to give M. Night Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt.

That ends now.

“The Last Airbender” is about as bad as other Summer fiascos such as “Jonah Hex”, “SATC2” and “Grown Ups”, only considerably more expensive (it reportedly cost over 250 million dollars.) “Airbender” crams a full season of the TV show that inspired the movie in two hours by having the actors spitting chunks of the plot in between action set pieces. This is done with such little concern for the plot denuenment, “Airbender” frequently doesn’t make any sense, and you don’t see Shyamalan losing any sleep on it.

Even by conceding that audiences are not looking for stories, but special effects, “Airbender” comes short. Don’t bother wasting three extra dollars for barely-there 3-D. Because of the extra layer between you and the screen, you’ll perceive the movie as extra dark, for no good reason.

Perhaps the most obscene aspect of “The Last Airbender” is the shameless set up for a sequel. Will it happen? Actually, there is a chance, as Shyamalan latest has made over 32 million dollars since opening day. Can film critics compete against the hype? Because  of dishonest movies like “Airbender”, it’s worth the try.

Now THIS is how you do snark

Recently, Blogging Tory Stephen Taylor republished a fundraising letter to Conservatives, claiming the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was out to get them (Stephen Taylor).

Well, you could do what Scot at Scott’s DiaTribes does, and try to refute them point by point, but why bother? Calgary Grit has a better idea. He’s already drawn up the Cons’ next fundraising letter — the CBC is biased, BIASED I tell you, against Alberta because they won’t show any Alberta based NHL teams in the playoffs.

We’re Not Just Online


Some troublemaking dame poses with the latest 'dog.

It’s true! We have a print edition! It’s out now and available at around 400 locations city-wide (but not government-run liquor boards, which we were kicked out of a couple years ago, or the goverment-run Casino Regina, which we were kicked out of last year, or public areas in the government-run STC depot, which we were also kicked out of last year.)