Category Archives: Culture

Golden Age of commercial cliffhangers

Cael and I have been recently re-watching The Dukes of Hazzard, because there’s just never enough Hazzard in your life.  Anyway, we have it on DVD but the setups for the commercials are of course still there, just like they were aired.  I realize that lots of shows do this, set up a dramatic scene just before they cut to commercial, and then in some cases the post commercial review can be quite long before you get to the action again.  But I must say that few shows in memory did it quite as well as the Dukes.  I mean, come on, look at this one….

Look out Bo and Luke, overly dramatic villain guy is right behind you.....
Look out Bo and Luke, overly dramatic villain guy is right behind you…..


This is awesome, and I really think as an art form it’s lost.  You just can’t fake this kind of fakery any more.  It was real back then, and innocent in it’s silliness.  And it wasn’t any less entertaining even though we all knew that there was no way that guy was going cave in Bo’s blond head with that wrench.  But that was TV back then and we LOVED it.  Well, adolescent boys did I guess.

For the record, Cael laughed himself silly at this guy’s expression, and we just had to pause it here to take this pic.  Fortunately Bo and Luke got themselves out of this pickle, just in time for the another pickle to be set up for the next commercial break….

Vive le Facebook libre?

As an English speaking resident of Ontario I will admit I chuckled when I read this attempt by the Quebec language police to control what a business owner’s Facebook page says or doesn’t say.  Language laws make no sense to me in any way, it seems to me that they only serve to make it more difficult for Quebec businesses to compete, but this particular attempt could make a bigger news splash.  It probably won’t result in a positive image for the Quebec government, either.

It’s important to note that I am not an educated commenter on this matter, nor does it matter one bit to me either way what happens.

This will be an interesting one to follow, since there are lots of fun things that may come to light.  Somebody, somewhere is going to ask the question:  well where are Facebook’s servers?  And then the fun will begin again….

you have no power here

Rob Ford Pants

Just a quick one before I forget this, I was working on something around the house on the weekend and I was kneeling down.

I felt a draft and realized that I had better pull up my jeans, and I casually mentioned to Nikki that I had my Rob Ford Pants on.

Not the most original joke, but I made myself laugh and that’s really what it’s all about anyway right?

Catnip for the 40-50 year olds

There’s a rapidly diminishing chance you haven’t seen this video yet if you are of a certain age.  For folks that enjoyed Led Zeppelin in their teenage years, this is pretty awesome stuff.  If you are older than that, well turn up your hearing aid and enjoy this.  If you are younger than that, get the hell off my lawn.

The associated story says this performance brought a tear to Robert Plant’s eye, which I can certainly empathize with.  Ann Wilson can still demolish those notes with ease, even if her range isn’t what it used to be.  Fantastic performance.

Saw this all over Facebook, cause I guess all of my friends are in the above-mentioned demographic.


Let’s Mess With the Kids – Part 452

This has probably been covered before in many ways on this here website, but Nikki and I have noticed the completely inconsistent things we do to our poor children.  Let me explain.

First off, to our own delight, we don’t have even the slightest hint of music taste concerns at our house.  Not sure if this is even a thing anymore, but our kids like the same music we do, and boy is it rather an eclectic mix.  At any minute, they could be singing along to Ray Charles on their iPods, or maybe rocking out to the new Daft Punk album.  Quinn finally got over his unrelenting Bron Yr Aur Stomp addiction recently, while Cael couldn’t stop dancing to Thrift Shop, you get the idea.

In this very same vein, this week I realized that we are giving them the STRANGEST childhood as far as culture is concerned.  For starters, we introduced them to Smokey and the Bandit on Monday, which was an enormous hit as you might imagine.  That movie is remarkably kid friendly for something made so long ago.  The only real problem is Jackie Gleason’s rather foul mouth, and thinly veiled racism, but most of the worst ones went right by the boys since he uses a particularly incomprehensible southern accent.  Anyway, we saw that movie, and then on Tuesday for some reason or another I got talking to them about my Grade 5 teacher at Naismith Memorial PS, Mr. Lake and how he loved poetry.  Which led me to find and read some favourites to the boys:

William Wordsworth – I wandered lonely as a cloud
Robert Frost – The Road not Taken
Alfred Noyes – The Highwayman

We even discussed what they might mean, and enjoyed the descriptive language together.

Now, separately these two things are just lovely anecdotes of family time.  But when you realize that these two things happened within 24 hours of each other, you begin to realize that perhaps I’m not really qualified to have children.  I mean really.  What. The. Hell?  I’m not really giving them a solid literary background, as Paula will probably mention in a comment here, these poems are like popcorn, not really all that nutritious or filling.  And the movie clearly isn’t really worth all that much in terms of their development, with the possible exception that I was able to demonstrate where the Dukes of Hazzard CAME from.  It also probably explains why Cael wants a CB radio installed into the Sienna.

So anyway, there you go.  The kids will be weird in that ever so unique way that makes them Vallentyne weird, and not Jones weird or Smith weird or, well you get the idea.  That’s your job as a parent; not only to give your DNA to your kids, but to provide your very own special mix of strange so they can go off and mix it with some poor unsuspecting person and raise their own special kind of weirdos.  The circle of life turns onward.