Microsoft Edge Browser: 17 minutes till the first crash.

Windows 10 Update:

I crashed Microsoft Edge the very first time I used it.

I was interested to see how Edge, Microsoft’s replacement for the old IE almost everyone but me hates. I gave it my morning task… a rough run through it’s paces for any browser. So far, it’s crashed regular IE and Chrome trying to do what I want. Only Firefox outlasts the ritual.

I load up Facebook first every morning, and as I scroll down and down and down, I occasionally see a link I want to read, but rather than taking it aside and breaking my stride, I hold down the CTRL key and click the link.  This opens that particular page or graphic into a new tab, but does not display it for me.

After 20 minutes or so of Facebook scrolling, all dependent on how late I went to be and how much new content interests me each day, I have between 5 and 30 tabs open.  Then I close Facebook and start to read the rest of my morning news.

IE usually fails before I get to the end of new Facebook content. Chrome passes many days, but still fails now and then before I’m done. Although I don’t like Firefox as much, for this particular morning routine, it hasn’t let me down yet.

I was excited to try Microsoft EDGE on this exercise. It failed. Bad. I can’t even rick it to give me back control, so now I have an Edge browser with 12 tabs of information I was genuinely interested in reading – inaccessible to me. They’ll be lost when I am forced to TASK MANAGER quit the frozen tool.  I’ll lose it all.

If I’m lucky, I’ll be offered the opportunity to reload the tabs when I restart, but I’m not counting on it.

Oh well Microsoft. At least you tried.

Fame Adjacent

I have a very social relationship with many of my clients, having served them often for over 20 years now. One client of mine that I consider a friend, has a 19 year old son with amazing talent, and has recently started down the path of a singing career.

As is the industry’s way, they’ve been told he’ll be a star. He has talent, and a great look. he writes, mixes and records his own music with skill.  A lot of big names have participated in his growth.  people are excited. It’s a slow process to become an overnight success however and much of the past few years has all been preparation work.

When I visit, I hear a lot of stories, but nobody really has any solid way of knowing whether he’ll hit big, or be one of the many close, but no success stories. Does he have the “IT” factor the girls will love?  As a 51 year old straight male, I can’t say with any experience, but the moment that inspired this blog was his appearance on the Canadian MMVA show I’m currently watching. The MMVA show is a huge live concert and awards event held on the streets of downtown Toronto, broadcast around the world. It’s a huge deal in Canada, much like the MTV movie awards.

290x240_FrancescoYatesHe wasn’t one of the performing artists yet, because he’s still to new a name, but he did get to come out and be an award presenter.  To me, he seemed a little more awkward than the other guest presenters.  HE just didn’t have the same smoothness that the other presenters did, although this may be somewhat related to me seeing him and being more critical because I know him. I know he’s been on all the radio and TV morning shows across Canada recently, as his first release hit the radio, but for most Canadians, this may be the first time they’ve seen him.

I’m not sure he nailed it. He does have a cool hairdo though, and maybe that less smooth awkwardness is part of the appeal they’ll be marketing. He’s more real.

It’s weird having such a close, yet far connection to celebrity – or near celebrity.  I have met him a number of times when I came to his house to install a printer or fix the network. He was the one to nickname me Frogman. In reality however, I don’t have any real connection, and I doubt he could pick me out of a line up. If I said Hi to him walking by on the street, he’s most likely wave Hi back, but not know who I was.

Still, I was close enough to the story of his rise to feel excitement and some odd form of pride for him. I got to hear back stage stories, and photos, and early unreleased music.  It was a cool feeling. I dreamed of being a part of the entourage. I tried to convince his mother I should be his onsite technical support, and go on tour with him in the bus. That was a silly fantasy, but I imagined it.  Sadly, musicians use Macs anyway, so I’d have been useless as tech support.

In any case, I wish him well, and if he does ever get to be a household name like Avril Lavine or other Canadian music stars, I’ll always be able to say; I knew that guy.


Jeff Goebel: My Origin Story – Chapter One.

Memory Master _35__0001In this moment, I have decided to blog my life story, with the possibility of adding a second chapter any time before I die. In other words, I write as the mood strikes me, and I’ve had little success with organized structured writing.

My memories of portions of my life are scarce, but I can still tell my story. I was born John Jeffrey Harry Goebel.  My mother’s father was Harry Francis, so as bad as Harry was to a kid of the 60’s it wasn’t Francis.  My father’s name was John, and although that is my official first name, they chose to call me Jeffrey, or Jeff as my norm.  I was Jeff Goebel, and only a very select few ever found out the full name. I was born October 19th, 1963 and was told my entire life, I was one of the very first children ever born in the Georgetown Hospital’s new wing that allowed them to perform paternity care.

Later, in my 50’s I celebrated this fact in a Georgetown forum online, and was contradicted by people born a year ahead of me in the same hospital. A bubble burst inside my head, and I felt actual sadness at having lost a point of pride.

I was the third child of John and Mary Goebel, and arrived 7 and 9 years after my sisters.

I have a surprising number of visual memories from my life from birth to age 7, when I moved away. I can remember the names of my two neighbourhood best friends at the time, but was never able to find them on Facebook. I remember preschool a little. This was true mostly because there were some strong stories from that time that have been retold over the decades.  My mother was the Nursery school teacher. I remember a girl I may have had a crush on, Kathy Toast, who I re-met again in High School, just to say Hi.

Ijefftux remember the school and two of my teachers, although some of that memory has been boosted every few years by the school photos I have of Kindergarten and Grade 1.

I remember the places I played, and a few stores. I remembered the hairdresser, presumably because I may have had to wait at it for hours some days.

I remember Golden Fish and Chips and Scott’s Chicken Villa.

Oddly, I seem to have a talent for remembering floor plans of everywhere I’ve spent much time. I remember the floor plan of this house. I remember some of the furniture, and I remember eating cereal at the kitchen table. Scattered memories, many of which are not of the originals, but of the stories my family told. Like the History of our nation, the stories replace the truths.

I have memories of several very specific stories, as my parents would retell them for years. One of the most common, was the group of stories retelling four of my personal life accidents and injuries.  Apparently, early Jeff Goebel was a klutz.

#1. The exploding Canada Dry Bottle.

Sometime before age 5, I allegedly dropped a 750ml (26 fluid ounces at the time.) bottle of Canada Dry Ginger Ale from the counter to the floor, and it “exploded” on me. I do not know the full extend of the damage, but to this day, I have three strong deep life lasting scars on my left hand, which I occasionally use as a starter to this list of baby injuries.

#2. The Pipe Incident

pegsThis story contains two visual memories you need to possess, in order to fully visualize this injury. A 1960s era swing set, and a wooden hammer and pegs construction set. Already you may being imagining what may have happened to me within this scenario.  I was Popeye father, and the kid sitting on the swing, was my child.  The wooden hammer from that toy, by luck, happened to fashion a rather perfect Popeye pipe, at least to the imaginations of two five year olds.

When you are a kid with undiagnosed A.D.D using a gigantic oversized mallet as a hammer, and you stand next to another child gleefully swinging up and down on a swing – you may have a better understanding on how I damaged my throat and almost lost my larynx – or some similar, but equally important component to human speech. Apparently the hospital stay was extended. There is no cast for the inside of your throat.

#3. The infield eye ball

I have a visual memory of this injury, although I’m certain I am remembering the story, rather than the incident – but for this one, I have a bit of shame. I can’t quite believe I would have been so stupid. I am sitting on the single wooden step outside my home, that leads to the front door we seldom used. I can picture it in my head clearly.

I was spectating a sporting event happening in the front yard. While not quite a full baseball diamond, my two sisters were pitching and batting a game. My Grandfather Harry was the first in my experience, as “one of those people” that somehow seem to be good at everything they try. In his time, he had been minor leagues in baseball, fantastic at Golf, and other sports.  I was too young to participate, and this was the beginning of me watching sports, and not trying to participate. I sat and watched.

The stupid part was from where I was watching. If you understand the way batting works, you hit a ball, and it goes up and forward. They certainly couldn’t bat towards the house, so naturally, my Grandfather was standing directly in front of me swinging away. At some point, I like to believe I got excited and ran towards him, but apparently I was just sitting on the step, and his back swing cracked me in the head.

Not as powerful as a front swing would have been, but enough for a black eye, stitches and a scar that has lasted to today. The facial scar, as it happens isn’t as bad as it could have been cosmetically, but it does slice my left eyebrow nearly down the middle. It is a slash through it showing my white skin.

#4. Catch and Release

By this point in my life, it was clear there was a pattern. I got hurt more than my two girl sisters. As I understand it, there were other examples, not as story worthy. I don’t have any specific memories of being beaten up or abused… just real sincere OOPS moments.

For one summer, probably in the final year of the 60s, my mother was scared to let me outside alone. As she tells the story, I wasn’t allowed to go out where I could get in trouble. I remember this was the beginning of my life struggling with boredom. I had energy and liked to be active.

One day, she agreed to let me enjoy at least the sunshine of outdoors and sit on that step. The same step I had previously failed as a spectator. The bad memory step.  As the story goes, a random act of God’s wrath, a neighbourhood teenager walked by, and his fish hook swung all the way to my face on that step, and looped through my nose. I was caught, and nearly lost my nose. We were able to stop the boy and remove the hook without a slice.

Year later at my mother’s funeral the story was re-told by my oldest sister as having happened somewhere else, a little more logical. At Acton Fairy Lake campground beach, which was a regular place we took the trailer in the summer.  I accepted the correction, and forgave my mother for changing the venue to close an anthology story. It worked better as a story in front of the home.

This was one of the earliest examples of the story replacing the truth. Parents are masters.

These four events are often used as part of my mother’s story about why we packed up and moved from that house, to farm country. We moved 20 minutes away to a suburb village of the small town of Georgetown. I had to change schools and be bused.

For the first three grades at the end of the 60s, my commute to school was crossing the street. Our home was on the corner opposite the school yards. It was my playground.

For my Mother, we decided to  move to the country because I was getting to hurt as a town boy. I would be safer with no friends, and no access to concrete or traffic. Although I was too young at the time, I suspect we moved because my Great Grandmother Gertie had died. It was her house, and we just lived in it. My guess is we had enough money for a new home better suited for a family of five, and they were much cheaper in the country, we could afford something really nice.

I remember a single visual memory of her in the hospital, probably the last time I saw her. She was blind and frail and I don’t know that I ever had much of a relationship with her.

We packed up the family, and moved to Balinafad.




Agents of Shield – Birdkillers

I was watching this week’s episode of Agents of Shield and an evil genius has rounded up a bunch of criminally insane super Villains,  like so many comic books plots from history.

An ugly man takes off his BAIN type face mask and yells a loud screen in the middle of a football field.  So loud it seems,  that the director wasn’t pleased with a normal yell, and hired animators to CGI his face,  and allow for a distorted mega jaw that opened wide enough to fill with a watermelon.

It’s conveniently a football field,  because we’re already so conditioned to judge distances in this metric.  Anything bigger than a car is always compared to a football field or two. It seems we all know how big one football field is. 

In this scene, the players are standing at one end,  and they drop to the ground when the roar reaches them.  A moment later,  all the cheerleaders at the other end of the field drop as well.  Another moment passes, and all the black birds in the sky fall to the ground too. A dramatic scene.

I was impressed at the accuracy of this timing, and the attention to detail.  The birds all fell while in flight,  so of course they fell at an angle.  In many other films,  animals dropping from the sky open fall straight down,  like rain without wind. Flying birds wouldn’t drop straight down.  Perhaps raining cats and dogs would be more vertical,  but birds would flow this way,  and in random intervals.

They did well. I liked it enough to pause and blog.

This is what my brain thinks about when I watch TV.  Inside my brain is a DVD commentary of imagination. I can almost hear the director discussing various options, and imagine the back stage arguments and discussions with the effects crew. 

The sound of dropping birds was also impressive. It was a soft thud, aided by the fact that they were all hitting the same soft green AstroTurf surface.

I wondered to myself what the budget must have been for this scene. It went by quickly, and it wasn’t clear whether they used 50 real birds, or added them in digitally, but either way, it was an expensive 3 seconds. An average Agents of Shield episode has a number of special digital effects you’d expect, like whenever they use their special red corvette or invisible jets, but to me – a bunch of dead birds was equally impressive.

I didn’t remember to watch if the end credits were there to assure us all,  no actual birds were harmed during the filming of this episode.  That was how they would have done it in the 70’s.


Pauseandblog : I Zombie

iZombie is a new show on The CW.

I like the comic book style credits they use to do scene transitions and some effects that would be too costly to work out. It’s a great idea.  It makes me believe this may be based on a comic.  I didn’t bother to look up whether it is or not.

At the first commercial break,  this episode has already shown us a sex act,  and then described it again in a recapped vision memory.  It was a very sexy first chapter,  even if described by a zombie. They’re grabbing our attention early it seems.  On the older prime time shows,  the sex scenes are in the 45 minute chapter. It’s actually funny if you go channel surfing at 9:45 through network prime time.  Everyone is in bed… including much of the audience it seems.

It occurs to me that this show is hitting a younger age demographics for a cop show.  All too often,  the police solving murder mystery shows are appealing to an older audience.  NCIS is even jokingly referred to appeal to the same audience MATLOCK used to. A much older crowd. When I heard that, I stopped watching it, just to appear younger.  iZombie is more like Nancy Drew than NCIS.  Of course, that sentence certainly doesn’t make me feel young at all. Nobody young knows who Nancy Drew is anymore.

Teenagers don’t watch cop shows.  They watch Zombie shows,  and zombie shows with sex scenes may broaden their audience.  The fact they solve crime makes them almost like a super hero with special powers – not a cop show.

In the second act,  we see the Zombie’ special powers.  She not only gets visions and memories of the dead person who’s brains she eats, but she actually develops bits of their personality.  In this week’s show, she’s learned to appreciate art,  and women.  It starts off quite subtle at first, especially if you didn’t see episode one.  I almost missed the bit where she was enamoured with a women the dead man had slept with.  By the time of commercial break,  they’ve gone past the subtle, and made it more obvious for the whole audience by explaining it in the narrative.  She even implied that some of the powers she earns stay with her.  She can now speak Spanish,  and paint.

As a 50 year old man,  I’ve lived a lot of generations and seen how society picks new things to learn and improve upon each decade or so.  From before I was born,  we started figuring out things society was doing wrong, and we try to correct them.  In many cases, this kind of change is slow, and still ongoing.  Classic social blunders like slavery and race bigotry, rights for women,  and more recently,  gay rights.  We’re improving,  even if slowly.  Sadly bad parents teach their kids bad habits,  so it’s taking more than one full cycle of everyone dyeing off to eradicate bad behavior. A current hop topic of evil is rape, and in this episode, our third sex scene; more of an attempted rape is tackled. A handsome man moves past consent in such a casual way, as to lead me to believe this is way more common than most people understand.

It was this scene that actually inspired me to pause the playback and start this blog. It’s only quite recently that society has chosen to highlight a rape culture as our newest wrong to right. Media is strongly doing it’s best to bring to my attention how horrible men can be. With luck, scenes like this will help start a conversation or two, especially if boyfriends and girlfriends watch shows like this together. 

Since I’m writing while the show is paused, I have not yet seen how this attempted rape resolves itself in iZombie. I hope she doesn’t go “full on zombie mode”  and just kill this guy, and eat his brains, however I suspect a lot of women wish they could.  I can’t fully imagine how being raped must feel but I have been bullied before, and held down powerless to do anything but panic. I will say it does change your perspective on life and trust. There are few worse fears than being helpless in the control of an attacker. I hate knowing that kind of evil is so common.

I have to wonder whether watching it happen like this in so many shows and movies, is working for or against the idea.  I suppose it alerts me the problem is far worse than they may realize,  but whether it deters rapists or enables them is yet to be determined.

I unpause and watch. 

She doesn’t kill him.  She defends herself, hurts him slightly,  and runs away.  I fear that is the real problem.  While I don’t 100% guarantee that a rape attempt always justifies a life changing death sentence or imprisonment for all,  I do believe a suitable hard punishment should be exacted on anyone who bullies and overpowers,  sexual and/or otherwise. In my universe crimes against trust are the worst crimes of all.  Society needs to be able to trust ton survive,  and the more it deteriorates,  the more we all lose.

The last scene is used to further the overall love storyline the series will eventually persue.  Her comic style narrative is written to take the episode and relate to the many struggling teens who may feel of themselves as a zombie,  free of emotion. 

I’ll keep watching.

Wahlburgers Toronto

My review. 

This is basically a hamburger place where you sit and order from menus. It’s downtown in the trendy Entertainment district across from Wayne Gretskys 99 Blue Jays way.

This is the restaurant based on the reality TV show Wahlburgers, run by three of the Wahlburg brothers you can see in movies and TV.

10431714_301517326707797_5379568774920475092_n[1]The place is well designed, possibly by a set designer rather than a restaurant designer. It has a lot of seating on two floors, and when it opened at 11:30am there was already a slight line up. It filled within a few minutes and people were standing by noon. I love the green everywhere, including the most amazing green chairs, which were so light you could lift them with a finger. They are actually the exact same chairs (except green) that are seen in virtually every single cop show interrogation room. Notice the next time you watch. They all use the same chairs.

11000350_348770018649194_3915658038359876000_n[1]The menu is basic. Burgers, fries and a few sandwich alternatives. I ordered what I thought was the biggest single patty and so did everyone else. I remembered to say; No sauce. I had the option of fries instead of rings or TATER TOTS, which I was very tempted to ask for. I hinted to the waiter I’d tip better of he brought me one or two – just to try, and he did. They were exactly as I remembered from my younger days. McCains brand probably.

The onion rings are not onion rings at all, and if I liked Onion Rings, I’d be surprised and disappointed. They’re more like loose wet fried onions. When the burgers arrived, we commented how small they looked. Yikes. Even smaller than Burger’s Priest I’d say. 1/3 pound, but presented tall, rather than wide. They fit on little buns and looked almost like a slider.

In the end, they filed me up OK and with a tasty clean oil fries side, I enjoyed the meal. The burger comes on a nice fresh bun that is unique, although it reminded me a bit of Fuddruckers, and the flavour of the burger was good. A little like the Priest flavor, but not exactly. The taste was good and not overpowered by their fresh green lettuce, tomato, cheese or sliced cucumbers.

All in all a unique, tasty flavour that stayed with me for a few hours. Good burps. Mmmm.

After finishing, I found you can order an 8oz burger not on the menu. I wish I’d known.

I might not ever make a special trip just for this place, especially with $20 parking, but if I am nearby it is a solid choice. Now I may watch the show.

(Photography from their official Facebook web site)

Pauseandblog CSI CYBER

I started watching last nights new CSI series with no expectations. I was curious at most, but didn’t spend any time pre thinking about it. I just turned it on and watched the first scene. A child abduction.

The first thing I noticed was the father of the child sleeps in his glasses. I even paused and rewound to establish he really was asleep.  Weird,  I thought. Do people actually do that?

Next we see the baby missing, first on the bedroom babycam,  which was emitting faint voices, and then in reality.  Typical mother scream of panic and then a zoom shot of the babycam making those same noises, which traditionally doesn’t happen so much anymore.  In the old days, baby monitors used to pick up cordless phone conversations regularly, but not for a decade or so.

On the next scene, we see the lead actress acting quite tough, steal the case from the experts on major crime and kidnapping, justifying this isn’t best served by the experience retrieval team, but instead, her CYBER division which seems to be so new, one guy starts his position in the next scene, and nobody in the police department has even heard of them.  I suppose a suspension of belief is required in all CSI series. The guy who traces the body and takes fingerprints really inst the same one interviewing suspects and talking to witnesses.

So the fact the the investigation is lead by the team that takes a webcam feed should not surprise me.  All of this, because the webcam was transmitting foreign voices.

This crime must be webcam related.

Despite this logic flaw,  I will continue to watch the rest of the show. I know in my heart,  it will get much worse.  They have not even played the opening credits yet, and I’m quite excited to see if it will be a song by the Who.


Oh good. They did use The Who. Nice choice. This pleases me.

The team they put together is as demographically calculated as a boy band, trying to fit all the holes of fan types.  The fat guys,  cute girls,  black criminals and the had some guy.  There are three recognizable faces.  I’m not certain I’ll accept Patrica Arcettes non mother attitude,  but we’ll see if the rest of the show turns me off.

The story continues in CSI style, twisting the plot around from simple to complex, and the CYBER team perform fairly regular tech tasks like tracing phones, using GPS and finding SD memory cards with video of the crime, now detected as a babycam live auction for the missing baby. Essentially the team is doing the exact same stuff as any other mystery show, except the techs are the leads, rather than a hand off team usually off camera.


Every show on TV these days bends the future a little,  but I did find the scene where they listen to the auction audio after one of the techs flips a switch and says; all languages now translated and the sound is of the same loud, crowded yelling auction, only with the foreigners now shouting in accented English rather than German, Arabic, and Chinese. That’s more sophisticated than Star Trek translator.

I don’t know that Google will ever get to that point. Translation in their own voice, real time.  I think not,  but again,  I’m still watching.


The next miracle they perform attempts to teach us game consoles keep track of every user,  but only so they can trap petofiles. How happy I am to hear this,  covering up any of the other emotions I may have when I accept every device is hackable.  This show could destroy the trust of America in the first episode. It’s more terrifying in some ways than a chainsaw horror film.

If we dismiss the technology in this show as future based science fiction, the premise is almost silly.  If we believe everything in this show is possible,  it’s scary.  I’m torn.

The show ends with a lot of traditional first episode morals and recaps, and even a parents basement joke. We see her deep life long obsession that will play out in serial storyline eventually as The Who plays them out.

A well produced CSI show that could go long, if accepted. I’m not sure I like the cast enough to keep in my weekly rotation,  but I’ll watch next week.

SNL Layers

I just finished watching this week’s 2014 Christmas edition of Saturday Night Live. It’s odd to feel cheated that hardly any celebrities showed up this year. The only cameos were three former SNL Characters – so far anyway.

The demographically perfect boy band One Direction is actually growing on me. They were not bad, as I expected, given that I’m over 40. It’s supposed to annoy me. I’m nearly grandpa age.

The sketch that made me stop the playback and blog, as the one set in the past, with three “dames” in a bar who seem quite bat-shit crazy. The conclusion actually had a way to explain it for a quality ending, at least to me. It made me smile. I won’t are it’s rare that I enjoy an SNL sketch through to the end, but it’s not unheard of. 

However, the part that most impressed me, was how hard the sketch must have been. This entire show has really had a lot of hard song and dance numbers. It always amazes me how well these talented people are able to pull a song and dance routine in 4 days, and still pull it off with precision.  In my head, from my history with community theatre, the first few weeks are still horrible… but I suppose 3 days is easier than 1 day every week for three weeks – in some ways.


The part that impressed me, was a swinging song sung by two of the women, and Ammie Adams. Although not dancing, the lyrics were jibber jabber read from cue cards and yet they sang all three together without error.  I want to believe it was a live take, because it’s Saturday Night Live, but back stage shows have implied some times they play the dress rehearsal versions.

In any case – they did it – twice. Well. It made me smile on two levels. Giving respect to the dedication and practice, or the amazing talent of people doing things I tell myself I could never do.

That kind of live comedy show with minimal rehearsal is an amazing skill. Saturday Night Live is a success because it’s done live. I hope that never changes.  All other sketch shows are comedy. Saturday Night Live is theatre.

It was always my dream. I never wanted Second City. I wanted to be on, or write for Saturday Night Live.

Since I can remember, I’ve liked scripts. I think it stemmed from my two first editions of the Holy Grail first draft and movie script, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I first read as the original radio show scripts.

With undiagnosed attention deficit disorder, I grew a fondness to sketch comedy rather than long form scripts. I wrote sketches. As a kid, I watched every single sketch comedy and variety shows on TV, and in the 70s, there were a lot.  Everyone had a variety show, and I watched them all, from Any Wiliams to Jim Stafford to Shields and Yarnell to Avery and Shriver and even the singers and Bobby Vinton too…

Saturday Night Live wasn’t just sketch comedy. It was theatre like my Mom did, up on a stage with fake sets and an audience. Plus, it was restricted to late night, so you had to be older that me to stay up late and see it.  I missed season 1 live, but starting with season 2, I don’t know that I ever missed an episode. Our early VCR was Beta, so I sometimes missed the the last 30 minutes, because they only recorded one our.  I fast forwarded past 70% of the musical acts I think. I love music, but live music on TV doesn’t’t hold my A.D.D interest past the first few bars when I see the set furnishing.

Number one on my buckers list has been Saturday Night Live for 30 years. I literally have dreams of being there, and have every year since I was 15. Usually something horrible happens… I had nightmares about giant lobsters that night.

I may have given up more than half the things I used to watch on TV. I’m watching less, and my PVR was filling, but I always like to watch Saturday Night Live each week I can, usually on Sunday.  Live-ish. I have never given up on them, and their Doctor Who-like cast changes. I’ve never complained about one cast over another.  I love the concept.

It’s similar to South Park, in turnaround. Each is about this week’s funny… and yet, they stand up in time.. at least a few a season make the highlight DVD for future generations.

Thank you Saturday Night Live,m for being a part of my life story, and tonight’s Blog.







Bully Movie gets bullied – and we act shocked.

News story: SONY pulls THE INTERVIEW from it’s schedule. It will not release it on Christmas day because there is fear that North Korea may retaliate. The film is a comedy mocking their leader, and describing a plot to kill him. A plot not to unrealistic, and probably not far from the truth. The spy world has been known to use celebrities in the past.

MV5BMTQzMTcwMzgyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzAyMzQ2MzE@__V1_SX214_AL_I have written about our BULLY society in other blogs. This is an excellent example of a bully film, and the way one person (or a country) reacted. Not everyone accepts being bullied, or mocked in public with a chuckle. This news just broke, and the social media is starting to complain about how awful it is that a movie may be censored and we may not even get to see it because we’re afraid of how the North Korean leader may react. People are scared. Sony is scared.

There are always many ways to look at any situation. I may or may not believe the following rant fully, but there certainly is another viewpoint to be heard, and my brain always likes to think up both sides of any scenario. It does not surprise me that this film may not see release. When I first saw the ads for it months ago, I actually thought it was a parody, and not a real film. I couldn’t believe people would make such a mean cruel film.

Sadly, we live in a bully society where comedy often makes fun of people. Late night talk shows open with a constant flow of jokes attacking both famous people and innocents. YouTube sores to 6 million views when somebody falls down in the street in an embarrassing way. We laugh at them all. Slipping on a banana peel can make you world famous today.

A big publicity script that sends celebrity American spys to kill a foreign leader is a bully film when they use real names. I don’t understand how the concept was green lit to begin with. It’s a real man. If we made a film about how to kill Barack Obama, we might be thrown in jail, even if performed as a comedy.

This movie may have been equally funny had they made it a fictional country and a comical funny leader but they chose to actually make a film about trying to kill an existing sitting leader of an actual country, and mock him and make 90 minutes of jokes at his expence.

Then, everyone acts shocked when this upsets him. It is not totally surprising that a world leader, especially one known to be egotistical to the extreme, and one who values his image of power above all, would object and take action to stop it. This movie was a slap in the face bully move. Mean.

I’m not saying I agree with the terrorist-style atacks on Sony. I think the media treated them poorly too, and I agree with those who say it should not have been reported the way it was… but to say we are not even partually to blame is wrong. If you poke the bear, you can’t complain when the bear tries to eat you.

The Artist Thirds

I go to a lot of places where artists show their work. Not so much official art galleries, but smaller marketplaces and shows. Festivals and public displays where artists rent small booths and try to sell their paintings or jewelry or other hand made work. I enjoy these events and like the idea that I often get to talk directly to the artist creators in person. I almost never have the money to spare to buy this kind of artwork, and in many cases, even if I did, I probably would not. I don’t wear jewelry, and I don’t use pottery or trinkets much, but I still enjoy the conversation, and respect the artist skills.

One of the things I like to say to an artists, is that I believe they have 50% talent and 50% patience, and I don’t have enough of either to be like them. I offer respect to not only their skill, but the incredible time and dedication it takes to do what they do. I like to let them know I understand the time they put into their art is appreciated. I tell them when their work made me smile, and I understand it’s not all about the cash. I can’t give them money for whatever reason, but I can give them the gift of knowing their work made someone happy, and they are appreciated for the effort spent.

2014-12-14 14.12.01This past weekend, I was at event called; “The bizarre of the bizarre” and it showcased a more unusual or odd side of art. Lots of skulls, and twisted designs with weird styles. Stuffed plush Zombies and other sculptures and paintings that fit the description bizarre. Even if I didn’t like the content, I still wanted the artists to know I respected the work. I tried to compliment everyone on their skill, even if I didn’t especially like the blood and gore of the piece.  For the works that had obvious time consuming obsession, I used my line; “I always say an artist has 50% patience and 50% skill”. I certainly couldn’t sit still long enough to do this sort of thing.”  It often opens them up to talk a bit about how long it did take them.  More often than not, the effort is shocking, and you begin to realize artists need to do it. It is their expression and their passion and their release.  60 hours of work may only sell for $30.

I try to respect the craft, even when a small part of me sees artwork I consider easier. Things the back of my mind says; “I could do that” or even has the nerve to think; “I could do that better”. I know myself well enough to know the truth. Even if I could do the skill, I couldn’t do the patience. I’m, not great at discipline, and although I may be able to start such a project, my attention would wander and it would lay unfinished.

Sometimes art makes me sad in this way. Since I was a child playing mind games, I would often ask myself; if I could have one talent I don’t have, would it be to play music, or to be able to draw. I usually choose drawing. My life would be so different if I could draw. In truth of course, my life would be different either way. The life – and brain of an artist is different than mine. I should not be sad that isn’t me. An artist is a different kind of person, and al to often in the past, I have criticized or belittle it.

Today, this blog was inspired because I clicked a link, and was watching another one of those time lapse – or perhaps they call them hyper-lapse movies about the city I live in. A video set to music that showcases Toronto. There are a lot of them out there, and the first one you see is amazing. You watch it all. After the 5th one, they seem similar, but no less special. Just less watchable for me. I not only lack the patience to be such an artist., I sometimes lack the patience to be a spectator too.

In any case, this time I watched the video with a sadness. In my head, I was thinking that photography is one of the easier art forms. A specialty of seeing, and using technology to capture a mood. I was a photographer. I had training, and an excellent eye. I had equipment. I was good – years ago. As I watched this video, I didn’t see anything spectacular. I just say photos, and video clips set to music. The package was pleasing but (in my head) nothing I could not do. It made me sad I could not be an artist, even when I had the pure skills.  I was missing something.  Not just patience, but the ego. The confidence.

I herby amend my standard artiest breakdown statement.  An artist is more than 50% patience and 50% skill.  I will now split them into thirds, and add the third that is perhaps most key;  1/3 confidence.  A true artist not only has the skill and the ability, but the ego to say their finished product is art. Many people can play the guitar, but only some have the inner confidence to call it art.  Many people can build a sand castle, or turn a pottery wheel, or take a photograph, but some of us – rare special people, call it art – and stick a price tag on it. In some cases, the ego is so powerful, it borders on arrogance, but even bad artists have fans. If you tell me your drawing of a dog is art, I believe you.

No matter how bizarre it may be.

Art is patience, talent and an attitude.  Artists have a mindset.

So now there are three reasons I don’t think of myself as an artist, and that’s ok. I know I’m good at things they may not be. Maybe they can’t remove a virus off their artist computer, or design their own web site. Maybe they even think to themselves late at night; “Gee… I wish I understood Windows 8 like that guy does.” In their eyes, they may even think I have such patience, talent and confidence when they watch me zip my mouse around the screen.

Everyone is different, even when we’re the same.