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December 2007 Archives

December 2, 2007

Comedy capital

Local headline of the weekend: “Hollywood movie shot in Edmonton may only be screened in Edmonton”. (If a tree falls, etc.)

Local lede of the weekend, from a separate item:

A business owner frustrated with bad workers placed a brutally honest help-wanted ad in an Edmonton-area newspaper this week. “If you … can come to work on time, not steal from us, not show up drunk, then come in and see us today,” reads the ad written by Charmaine Rose, owner of high-end lingerie stores La Belle Femme in Edmonton and Sherwood Park.

Wait, what wuzzat last one again?

December 6, 2007


I think I’m just going to start every weblog entry with that title from now on… at Alberta Report in the old days we used to joke that every single article in the magazine, every week, could quite reasonably be headlined “Guess what the bastards have done this time.” Anyway, here’s a roundup of my recent work for the National Post. On Friday I checked in with my annual contribution to the Baseball Hall of Fame debate, pleading that the voters should treat the great Tim Raines with more respect than they have so far shown to his near-great teammate Andre Dawson. Somewhere around then I also offered my assessment of the new mascots for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. On Wednesday I wrote a brief obituary notice for a French musician who unwittingly made some memorable Canadian television. And today I have a roundup of reports on what may be the most extraordinary and shocking theft of the century so far.

UPDATE, 6:07 am: I almost forgot to include this entertaining behind-the-scenes battle in which the Post editorial board tried to work out what the hivemind thinks about Texan burglar-killer Joe Horn. Agreement proved elusive.

December 13, 2007

God spoke of...

There’s a reason Marty Robbins has been revered by musicians ranging from Elvis Presley to Pete Townshend. Without exaggeration, the man was one of the most amazing human beings of the 20th century. He was a performer who absolutely plastered the charts with hits for two decades, at one point holding the top three slots in the Billboard Hot 100; he was directly responsible for at least two separate music crazes, bringing the Hawaiian sounds he’d heard in the Navy to American pop in the late ‘50s and later spurring a craze in country for gunfighter ballads; he established a pretty impressive songwriting legacy, including evergreens like “A White Sport Coat”, “You Gave Me a Mountain”, “El Paso City”, and “Devil Woman”; he won the first Grammy ever awarded for a country-and-western record; he hosted his own variety show, starred in a TV western, spent decades warming up the crowd for Ernest Tubb at the Grand Ole Opry, acted in a half-dozen or so movies, and wrote a novel; and when he wasn’t doing all that, he kept himself busy as a part-time NASCAR driver (though admittedly not a very good one). He’s sometimes even said to have been the first person to undergo a successful triple coronary bypass. And he did all this while winning the permanent affection of colleagues and generally behaving like a complete mensch toward a devoted “army” of fans.

But despite such an astonishing record of innovation and success, I would not have guessed that Marty Robbins was the first musician to release a record containing fuzztone guitar.

December 14, 2007

Under the mattress

With some of the major media organs still vacillating over Brian Mulroney’s performance in front of the House of Commons ethics committee, I would urge Canadians to read the National Post editorial board’s judgment on Mulroney’s account of events and then proceed to a-Post-ate Andrew Coyne’s more detailed and more damning piece for Maclean’s. And here’s a brief point worth remembering about Karlheinz Schreiber. For someone who set out Thursday morning to rehabilitate his reputation, Mr. Mulroney sure left a lot of dents in it. As Coyne points out, the story Mulroney has finally told is extremely bizarre even if you take him at his word on every point where his story conflicts with Schreiber’s.

He has also made it painfully apparent why he had to cut his spokesman Luc Lavoie loose almost at the last minute before his testimony: Lavoie had been trial-ballooning the outrageous idea that Mulroney had been forced by penury into making an unwise commercial bargain (even claiming that the ex-PM and former Iron Ore Co. boss had to take envelopes full of secret cash from Schreiber in order to support the wife and kids in their accustomed lifestyle), but this proved so ridiculous and untenable that the team had to switch to the “it was all just a big crazy mistake” explanation and euthanize the messenger. That’s how it looks from here, anyway: you can choose to believe the official story if you like.

December 18, 2007

Wait a second...

...did he just say that carbon monoxide is a neurotransmitter? Apparently it’s so, as the cute title of this paper suggests. The human body: weird, and getting weirder every day.

A no-preposition English

Language Log's Roger Shuy gives it a try.

December 19, 2007

And they're gonna put the old sign back up

Bad news: At 75, Ken Knowles is selling Edmonton’s Hub Cigar, the best newsstand west of the Lakehead. Good news: he’s selling it to the employees every customer already knows, who plan to market more aggressively and include even more titles. (Of course some will argue it’s a terrible tragedy that the government deflated the real-estate market by increasing petro royalties, allowing businesses like this to survive unruined. For their convenience I’m including the world’s smallest violin in this entry: ∞.)

December 21, 2007

If "factoid" is the diminutive, what's the augmentative?

Time between sunrise and sunset in Edmonton today: seven hours, twenty-seven minutes. But at least the days start getting longer from here on… (þ: Slaw)

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I'm sneaking in between meals to send special holiday greetings to my readers in all media. I don't pause very often to express gratitude for your attention, encouragement, and criticism. These gifts are indispensable not only to my means of earning a living but to my way of life, and they are appreciated every day. Now let's shut up and eat...

December 26, 2007

Take a memo

Short holiday-chaos note: watch for my signed column in the Post in Saturday's edition this week instead of Friday's.

December 29, 2007

That Saturday column

...is about the centenary of the Tunguska asteroid hit. Check it out here.

December 31, 2007

Weekend YouTubeology

And to think I was just asking myself the question "What would it sound like if that really good drummer from Helmet formed a band with Anthony Braxton's son?"

About December 2007

This page contains all entries posted to ColbyCosh.com in December 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2007 is the previous archive.

January 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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