Not even ill health can stop Maria Lampropulos in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

So, the news out of the Bahamas is that the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is now over for 2018, with the Main Event won for the first time by a female: Maria Lampropulos of Argentina.

She outlasted the entire final table to take home over $1 million smackeroos, even though she was under the weather the whole time. She was forever coughing and wheezing on the final table live stream. “Cough, cough!”

Some people thought it was impressive that Lampropulos managed to win even though she was so sick; normally, being under the weather would be too big a distraction for most players. Others thought this was an unfair distraction to the other players, who ended up tilted by her coughing fits!

Too bad, guys. If this coughing really was a “strategy” instead of a real sickness, then it’s the rest of the field’s fault that they didn’t come up with this idea first.

To the winner goes the spoils, or in this case, the money. Congratulations, Maria; now go to bed.

On a related note, I had an opportunity to see the poker movie Molly’s Game on the weekend, so expect a link to my movie review of it, soon.

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My 2017 Box Office Year in Review column is up!

I forgot to put this up, but I figure I should put it up before it gets too stale: the 2017 Box Office results. Obviously, the ultimate triumph of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was overshadowed by big jerk Harvey Weinstein and all his awful nonsense.

As an aside — I see that more articles have started to appear, talking about a growing backlash to the #MeToo movement. There was one piece by Andrew Sullivan that was particularly notable, saying it was time to resist the movement’s excesses, and it also mentioned that letter signed by 100 French women in Le Monde that took a similar stance.

Actress Catherine Deneuve was one of the women who signed that letter and I notice she has now had to dial back on it a bit and apologize to sex assault victims, after people got outraged on Twitter over it.

(Seriously, I think I’m with the people who worry this #MeToo movement is going too far. Due process has taken a hit, and I dislike the puritanical overtones of it. Of course, anyone who says this immediately gets piled on on social media — which is the surest sign of a witch hunt. Dialing back the hysteria would seem to be a good thing, but keep in mind, this is 2018 and this is a tall order.)

Enough of that. If you are wondering what happened at the box office this past weekend, here’s the story of how Jumanji took top spot.

So, it was an interesting day in Hawaii today

Trump does it again; wants to keep people out from “s***hole” countries

President Donald Trump has yet again sent all of polite society into an outrage with his lewd, crude reported comments (I underline “reported”) where a source told CNN that Trump said “Why do we want all these people from ‘s***hole countries’ coming here?” in a meeting. Trump was apparently referring to Haiti and to African countries when he said this.

Now he’s gone too far, folks. I know people are up in arms over Trump disparaging and insulting these countries, but I don’t have as big a problem with that because a lot of places really are lousy to begin with.

My issue is he is disparaging the people from these countries who want to go to America! It doesn’t occur to Trump that there are people elsewhere in the world who are desperate to leave their terrible situations and despotic regimes, who would like to better themselves by pursuing and living the American Dream in a prosperous country that has basic human rights.

Immigrants are the backbone of the USA and are the ones who made the country successful, but obviously the President isn’t big on that and hasn’t been for a long time. Trump also bashed Mexicans right on the first day of his presidential campaign, as I recall. Honestly, I don’t know why the media is suddenly acting surprised. This is nothing new out of him.

Further on this topic, my dad is actually from one of these “s***hole” countries that Trump was supposedly referring to. South Africa!

Now granted, he emigrated during a much different era in South Africa, when things there were a little more prosperous. But it was still an awful country. Apartheid was terrible, the whites-only rule was awful! And life for the black population was very bad, indeed. South Africa was borderline fascist and 100-percent racist, and a blight to the world for that reason.

They have since gotten rid of apartheid, but while South Africa is admittedly a better place than a lot of other African countries and probably doesn’t deserve to be labelled a s***hole, the place has a litany of other problems now — crime, corruption, you name it. Plus, you still have South Africans leaving the country for job opportunities elsewhere in the world.

So, what is Trump saying — that he considers everyone in South Africa awful? That South Africans are supposed to stay there? I guess his real message to everyone in Africa is “don’t come to America”.

To which my response is: come here to Canada instead, we’re a much more welcoming country! Actually, it seems like almost the whole rest of the world is more welcoming than the United States is at the moment.

Anyway, that is enough from me about Trump for one session.

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UPDATE: here is some South African reaction to Trump’s big filthy mouth, obviously a lot of South Africans feel insulted.

Full disclosure: I’ve been to South Africa on two occasions and didn’t think the place was a s***hole from what I saw of it. But that was a long time ago, back in apartheid days, and I was staying in top-notch hotels. So my views might be a little skewed for those reasons.

Steve Bannon out as head of Breitbart

In the wake of the controversy over Steve Bannon and his quotes in the Michael Wolff book Fire and Fury towards Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and everyone else, he is now done at Breitbart.

CNN is going hog wild covering this, obviously there is nothing else important for them to report on in the world.

Weather report: not much escape anywhere from the COLD

Watching NBA games on TV from places like Phoenix and LA has got me thinking about where I might take a winter getaway vacation. As it stands, it looks like I am not going anywhere until the latter part of February at the earliest, and it’s not just because I have no money and have a ton of work assignments on the schedule. It’s also because it’s too darn COLD!

Check out this Weather Channel map of temps in the US of A tonight:

Of course Canadians are looking at this map and are laughing at these balmy temps (!). “You call that ‘cold’?” I think it’s actually warmer where I am in SK than in parts of Nevada. Las Vegas is not terrible, though, but not fantastic either — they are currently reporting 53 degrees F.

Based on this map, the usual-suspects southern California, southern Arizona and south Florida are your best escapes from the cold in the continental US. And just think, this map looked even worse only a few days ago. Winter sucks! That is all.

UPDATE: the NBA games are over and I am now watching live-streaming of poker. Las Vegas, I promise, I will be back one of these days.

Sorry, but I am not watching the Golden Globes, I’m sick of Hollywood

When it comes to the things I am interested in, I have long had a policy of “if it’s not fun anymore, I’m out.” I am fast reaching that point with the entertainment industry.

They are depressing, and their entire product is also depressing. Sorry, folks, but that is how I feel right now.

I’m not tuning in the Golden Globes, it looks like a miserable affair. These actresses who are wearing black tonight have legitimate gripes, but I have no interest in watching a funeral. As for the guys, who can root for any of them? I’m sick of Hollywood’s cesspool, and fed up with the film and TV industry’s self-importance and one-party politics. Drain the swamp, already.

I am currently tuned to the NBA, following a whole weekend of watching the NFL playoffs. In between times, I am checking my Twitter feed to see the usual cut-down reaction from conservative pundits and other critics to the Golden Globes; it’s more fun than the actual show.

UPDATE: I guess the real news to come out of the Golden Globes is that Oprah is running for President. (!)

“Weather Bomb”, not a “nuclear bomb”, leads the News from Nowhere

Here is a brief News from Nowhere on a day and night when the East Coast is getting socked by a big Nor’Easter known as the “Weather Bomb”, or “Bomb Cyclone.” Hey, as long as it is not a “nuclear bomb,” it’s okay. I notice the Boston stations on cable TV had nonstop coverage of the snow today, I was tuning in to some of that.

In other news of the week:

President Donald Trump has thrown Steve Bannon under the bus.

Meanwhile, Trump is in a Twitter scrap with North Korea over the size of the nuclear button on his desk. (!)

Meanwhile North Korea is being all nice now to South Korea with talk of sending a delegation to the Olympics.

And finally, there are protests in the streets in Iran, all week. Is change coming there?

That’s all.

Welcome to 2018; I spent the last day of 2017 in airports

Hi. Usually I would have more to say around this time of the week, but I am still recovering from my Christmas holidays. I am still recuperating from New Year’s Eve, when I spent a difficult day trying to travel back to Saskatchewan from Kelowna.

First, my plane was delayed an hour leaving the Kelowna International Airport, so I missed my connection in Calgary. When I finally got to Calgary, I found out the airline had put me on the 8 pm flight to Saskatoon.

Instead of sitting in Calgary airport for an unexpected several-hour layover, I took the bus to downtown Calgary in minus-30 conditions and had dinner at McDonald’s. That was, uh, interesting (drug addicts, etc.). If I had more time, I would have gone up the Calgary Tower, but I didn’t.

I finally landed in Saskatoon around 10 pm and it was past midnight by the time I was home again. Not fun at all. Anyway, I plan to do a big screed for the paper about all the hilarity that ensued on my Christmas vacation, for myself and other unfortunate travellers.

World Juniors buried in snow, Johnny Bower dies, and more Sports from Nowhere

Welcome to Sports from Nowhere, which should be a lot more enlightening than if I did a News from Nowhere. Instead of linking to stories about Erie, Pennsylvania being buried in several feet of snow, I’ll link to stories about that World Juniors hockey game in Buffalo which also got buried in snow.

Yes, that’s right, Canada played the USA in a game in which the elements were, uh, a factor. Not only was the game halted several times to allow crews to go onto the ice to shovel the snow away, but many fans in Canada never even got to the game because some truck went on fire on the QEW, backing up the traffic for hours.

It was surely a more interesting experience for those sitting at home watching on TV to see USA come back to win in a shootout 4-3. A game like this is bound to produce a divided reaction; on the one hand, it’s wild weather conditions that often make for memorable and classic game experiences, and this was one of them.

On the other hand, you also have the uptight traditionalists who have always hated outdoor hockey and dismissed it as a gimmick. A lot of them pointed to this awful weather and disgustedly said it was a disgrace, and that this snow ruined the game. It seems to me that these haters mainly reside in Canada, so the final score gave them plenty of reasons to vent frustration.

This game itself in Orchard Park got an attendance of more than 44,000, the biggest crowd in World Juniors history. That should answer critics who pointed to all the lousy attendances at the other games. Of course, attendance issues are nothing new, there have even been empty seats for World Juniors games in Canada in recent years. And of course, the IIHF has done nothing to address the situation. Why the heck these tournament organizers don’t drop their ridiculous ticket prices is beyond me; you practically have to be a member of the “elite” to go to any hockey game anymore.

The fact that it was the third World Juniors in four years involving the southern Ontario market might be a bigger factor. The IIHF really does need to move these games out of the NHL cities and get them back into more CHL grassroots-type venues again, and soon.

Also, as usual, NCAA football fans in Canada are mad again at TSN because they keep on bumping coverage of the bowl games so they can show World Junior hockey games that nobody cares about, not to mention SportsCentre and other highlight-reel crap. Now, granted, nobody’s going to these bowl games, either, but it doesn’t matter. Football fans are sick and tired of seeing football treated in a second-class manner by the Canadian TV networks. They want equal treatment, that’s all. And so there is a lot of built-up resentment towards the World Juniors for that reason as well.

Finally, the other story from this week is that legendary Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower died at the age of 93.

This is a real sad story for me personally. I actually met and interviewed Bower for a TV story back around 2000 in Mississauga, and I always considered that a highlight of my (so-called) journalism career. We got to talking about Bower’s time playing during the “Original Six” era and he was going ‘oh yeah, it was great hockey’.

If you want to know why “Leafs Nation” is such a cult, I think a lot of it has to do with class acts like Bower, who represented the Leafs in the community long after playing in the NHL. Anyway, RIP Johnny Bower.

That is all for now.

My latest Cairns on Cinema column, about Disney’s recent activities, is now up!

Merry Christmas, folks! I notice my latest Cairns on Cinema column about the Walt Disney Company and its recent domination, especially regarding Star Wars and its recent takeover of Fox, is now up. About time.

Trump triumphs on tax reform, and other News from Nowhere

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus (!) (?) and welcome to News from Nowhere for this weekend, marking the conclusion of yet another amazing week of President Donald Trump dominating the headlines. I mean, really, what more must this guy do to be the top newsmaker of the year? The media won’t even give him his due for that title, either, after all the endless havoc he has wrought all year.

Maybe it is because Trump has been “winning” too much lately — something the press is clearly having a difficult time accepting.

Here’s what Trump did this week: he signed the tax reform package into law. That’s right, it’s lower taxes in the United States of America. That has some people in some neighbouring countries (ie. Canada) shaking a little bit over the prospect of jobs and investment relocating to the much friendlier business climate of the USA.

The other thing Trump did to get the masses excited this week was recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel. That caused the UN to vote to condemn the USA for this move, but not before ambassador Nikki Haley reminded the UN about, ahem, just who it is that writes the cheques for that organization.

Oh, and a terror plot planned for Pier 39 in San Francisco was foiled. Good job. Anyway, lots of winning is going on in the USA right now; it is almost enough to divert everyone’s attention away from lunatic North Korea’s latest annoying missile test.

In other news, the Miss America Pageant is in a huge uproar. Seriously, if it weren’t for this Trump character, this would actually be the biggest story in the USA right now. The former pageant winners have all been calling for the CEO Sam Haskell’s head, and others, over leaked emails in which the CEO had insulted the contestants. We’re talking disparaging and crude comments about contestants and in particular the winners.

That’s terrible. No class at the top, whatsoever, towards your own people. Anyway, the CEO has been suspended; people think he ought to be fired. Dick Clark Productions have already cut ties with the organization in protest.

Of course, I have had issues with the running of the Miss America Pageant for, well, decades, long before this current regime took over. What they do need to do is clean things up, and I mean really clean house. Some are suggesting this is going to be the end for the Miss America Pageant, but I don’t know about that; you would hate to see a long tradition come to an end because of the actions of a total nitwit. All that’s needed here are some good firings of people.

(Also, before anyone drags Pres. Trump into this muck, too, remember that his involvement was with Miss USA, not Miss America.)

Other news:

The latest from southern California is that the wildfires are still going on and still wreaking havoc.

Next, also from southern California: legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg has died.

While he is best known for his work with NBC ( esp. Wimbledon and the NFL), Enberg also had spent extensive time calling sports in the Southland, including the Angels and more recently the Padres.

Finally, it turns out this was a big week of news from Southern California. As if they don’t have enough to be excited about down there, with the fires and with the Rams winning and so on, it seems residents were freaking out over a strange sight in the skies that people speculated was a UFO or even a nuclear missile! Aaargh!!

Ha ha ha. Turns out all it was was the latest SpaceX launch.

I’m sure there were some people there who might have thought this was Santa 🎅 getting an early start with his sleigh. What a joke. Anyway, Merry Christmas, folks!

So, what do you think of Catt Sadler leaving E! Network in a pay dispute?

The news from “TV land” yesterday is that Catt Sadler left her longtime hosting job at E! the other day in a pay dispute. The reason is Sadler is insulted over a “massive pay disparity” between herself and her male co-anchor Jason Kennedy, who is making twice as much as her. And the network wouldn’t meet her demands for equal pay in her contract extension discussions, so she’s done at E! as of now.

Everyone is now pounding E! for their lousy gender-inequality towards their female talent. But I actually think E! would be open to Sadler and Kennedy being paid the same. Except, what they’d probably prefer is to dock Kennedy’s pay 50 percent when his contract is up!

Ha ha ha. Actually, I don’t think this is funny at all.

Update: For the “other side of the story” to answer all the usual crazed haters on social media, here is what Jason’s wife Lauren Scruggs Kennedy had to say.

It’s the weekend of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. $220 million!

Biggest news of today — Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens

Political roundup in Saskatchewan, now that the federal by-election is over

(Photo credit: myself.)

On Tuesday, I tuned in to some of the coverage of that Alabama Senate election night, and just like I said before, I got all jealous again about all these reporters covering American politics and all its craziness.

But then I remembered that I covered Battlefords-Lloydminster federal by-election results the night before in Lloydminster (the landslide winner was Rosemarie Falk); plus, I had covered a big Liberal rally the previous Thursday in North Battleford that featured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I even shot video of some of it, below:

In fact, I’ve had lots of opportunities to cover politics this past month — whether it has been campaign office openings or visits by federal cabinet ministers, or the Sask Party leadership debate held in a howling blizzard in North Battleford, or interviews with provincial leadership hopefuls like Ken Cheveldayoff or Trent Wotherspoon. Plus, I did another update on the two leadership races a couple of weeks later when Cheveldayoff showed up again.

But the big highlight was really the Trudeau rally, as it is not very often that you have a sitting Prime Minister showing up here to campaign. That was the most exciting thing to happen around here since that Maclean’s magazine article came out about the city’s crime problems.

The Trudeau event was certainly a morale-boost to the local Liberals, but nothing more. In fact, the Liberals did even worse here than last time, finishing with only about ten percent of the vote!

The other thing going on over the past couple of weeks was city budget deliberations that were held on multiple nights at City Hall. That chewed up a massive amount of my time, so it really has been a hectic several weeks.

It is definitely time to slow down as the Christmas break approaches. Moreover, I really do need to rest up now, because I am in for another heavy stretch of news here again in January.

Tonight, we find out who will be the next Senator from Alabama

Forgive me for my lack of enthusiasm. I have just finished covering a federal by-election, and this has been basically my heaviest month of political coverage ever, and I have had enough of politics, period. So what is the big story tonight?

Why, what else: special election coverage in the state of Alabama of the Senate race between controversial Roy Moore versus Doug Jones. Oh, God, no.

I think this might be a good night for me to tune in to some NBA basketball games.

UPDATE- Actually, it turned out to be a good night for me to get some sleep, and I did. Jones won. As far as I know, Moore still hasn’t conceded yet.

This weekend’s roundup of News from Nowhere is wholly inaccurate!

Welcome to another News from Nowhere. Boy, does the whole media business have egg on its face this week. This business looks like it’s entirely out to get Donald Trump, in any way possible — even if their stories aren’t true!

For instance: CNN reported Friday that Trump and his son Don Jr, had been offered access to hacked DNC documents. Wrong! Then the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel Tweeted there was sparse attendance at a Trump rally in Florida, when in fact the photo was taken well before all the people arrived. Fake news!

Needless to say, Donald and Don Jr. have had a field day.

This, my friends, is why Trump is still standing in spite of himself: it is because it is obvious to everyone that the media is on a witch hunt in an all-out effort to get President Trump removed from office. And these reporters aren’t letting the facts get in the way of their witch hunting; they are just reporting whatever. Maybe these elite media organizations should stick to the facts from now on; then maybe they might get somewhere.

This is the part of the article where I point out the number of people elected to the White House — One — versus the number of people elected to the media, which is Zero. My point is made.

So, that’s that for that. Now, let’s move on to some very good news, for a change, shall we? Here it is:

Iraq has declared victory over ISIS.

And that, my friends, is the good news for this week. Also, in other good news, the victory parade for Toronto FC is tomorrow.

Oh, and Coco won the box office for the third weekend running.

That is all I feel like writing tonight.

Toronto FC win the MLS Cup! All of Toronto ought to be celebrating

The big happening today was Toronto FC winning the MLS Cup today 2-0 over Seattle. It is the first time the Cup has been won by a team from Canada! It also avenges last year’s shootout defeat in the same stadium. Jozy Altidore scored the first goal and was the MVP.

Now, my rant. I have been trying to tune in the all-Sports radio stations from Toronto on the Web, hoping to hear excited fans calling in to celebrate this victory, but instead we have been getting nonstop coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Folks, I don’t care about the Leafs, or the NHL today. Toronto, and for that matter Canada, just won a major title in the most important, most popular sport in the world. People in Toronto ought to be bleeping excited, just as they should be bleeping excited about winning the Grey Cup two weeks ago.

So, be excited! Winning a title doesn’t happen every day. Besides, you have the entire rest of the hockey season to care about the Leafs.

Bad News Roundup for this Thursday

I am at home, charging up my iPad in anticipation of important news I have to cover tonight (the Prime Minister is in the city for a Liberal campaign event, fresh off his China tour), so in the meantime here is a very brief Bad News Roundup. Lessee, what bad things are going on in the world?

Here’s a rundown: Sen. Al Franken has resigned, wildfires in Southern California are still going on, Emily Ratajkowski and Piers Morgan are at war with each other, the USA might not send athletes to the Winter Games now, and North Korea now says war is unavoidable.

I’m sure there is more bad news, but I don’t feel like writing any more about it this afternoon.

Bad news from Southern California: Ventura County on fire

This is positively scary. It seems a massive wildfire hit Ventura County today in Southern California, prompting evacuations and a lot of losses to fire. An upsetting situation to be sure. I had tuned in the live coverage online earlier today and it looks like it will take a long time for this to get under control.

All in all, I am glad I am not in California right now; this is yet another reminder to myself to not live there.

Russia has been banned from the Winter Olympics for doping. Truly an “OMG” moment in the world of sports.

Wow. We knew this was coming but this is a bombshell. The Winter Olympics without Russia.

I guess Gary Bettman’s decision to keep the NHL players out of the 2018 Olympics was not so bad a call after all, eh? Who cares about the Olympic hockey tournament this year, folks?!

Michael Flynn fallout, and more News from Nowhere

Here is another News from Nowhere for this Saturday morning, as we continue to examine the latest Russia fallout with Michael Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

What is more, reports are that he is cooperating with this whole Robert Mueller Russia collusion investigation, and this is considered very bad news for the Donald Trump administration. It means Mueller could potentially dig up even more dirt on possible collusion with the Russians during the election, with Flynn’s help.

In the aftermath of this, ABC News has had a particularly bad time, having to retract an erroneous Brian Ross special report on the whole situation. Citing an unnamed source, the story made the explosive claim that Trump had directed Flynn to make contact with the Russians during the election.

It turned out this happened not during the election, but while he was President-elect, which is different. ABC News has had to apologize, and Ross has been suspended for four weeks for this screwup.

Of course, this has prompted the great Leader of the Free World Mr. Trump to gloat again on Twitter.

All in all, the United States really is a mess right now, from the top down. As well, the sexual harassment hysteria has continued: I guess Geraldo Rivera was apologizing this week, and even NPR host John Hockenberry was in trouble, too.

Is there any good news happening at all down there? Well, for one, the tax reforms cleared the Senate, a big win for Pres. Trump. And the “Trump economy” is booming. Times really are good down there, apparently, except the American people are too angry and too busy being at each other’s throats to notice this.

Other stuff:

The British are at each other’s throats over the £50 billion bill that the EU wants to stick Britain with for Brexit. Now, really, folks, did the UK really expect that quitting the EU would be easy? Of course the EU was going to be unreasonable and would make life difficult.

In movie news, Coco took first place at the box office.

In football news, the college football playoff matchups are out after the championship games were decided the other day:

And in golf news, Tiger Woods is in contention at the Hero World Challenge! American sports fans might prefer to watch that instead of these NFL players bending on a knee again during the anthems.

I think that is it for now, as I am now going to tune in to the aforementioned golf. Why? Because it is a nice peaceful sport and that is exactly what I need after this past week: something relaxing. See you later.

Another bloodbath in Bristol: ESPN cans 150 people

The dream is dead. It’s absolutely dead.

This week, ESPN had yet another bloodbath, sending 150 more people to the firing squad. These are production and behind the scenes people, mainly, the real unsung heroes who don’t get recognized on the street but who nevertheless get your favorite programs on the air. But I understand ESPN is also going to get rid of evening editions of SportsCenter and that is going to mean on-air departures, with contracts not being renewed. That way, there won’t be the same sort of public bloodbath like what happened earlier this summer at ESPN, when so many recognizable on-air people were canned.

Honestly, these layoffs are a hard dose of reality for anyone wanting to pursue this for a career. Keep in mind, ESPN was once a place I had aspired to get to! It seemed like more fun than covering or writing about politics (which is what I mainly do now), and besides, sports coverage was something I was good at.

Moreover, I truly admired the product ESPN put out. ESPN was ‘The Promised Land’ for most guys who aspired to journalism!

But even if they did have jobs to offer at ESPN these days, who really wants to be at that place right now, with its constant bloodletting and never-ending obsession with left-leaning social-justice-type politics? Besides, their coverage of the sports I most care about is getting to be truly pathetic (hockey, auto racing, UFC etc. etc.)

Of course, this year here in Canada, CTV has been jettisoning every last one of their local sportscasts all over Canada (forcing Lance Brown and Joe Tilleyinto retirement at Toronto’s CFTO). And it’s no better for people in the printed-word end of sports journalism as sportswriters are seeing the writing on the wall and are quitting the business.

Who can blame them? These folks are making absolutely the right decision for themselves. Like I said before, the dream is dead.

Matt Lauer latest to fall to sexual misconduct allegations

So I woke up today and found out Matt Lauer was fired as host of the Today Show over sexual misconduct allegations.

I was surprised that this shocking news didn’t surprise me. Every day, somebody else famous in the USA is getting guillotined over sexual misconduct allegations, and in swift fashion. Last week it was Charlie Rose, today it’s Matt Lauer. Tomorrow, it will be someone else famous. Nothing surprises me anymore.

I’m currently watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, on from Shanghai, China!

I have nothing better to do while I sit here waiting for World War III to start in North Korea, so I am wasting time watching supermodels strut their stuff on the catwalk right now on CBS from nearby China. Fun stuff.

(Oops — what the heck?! They showed one of these ladies tripping and falling on the catwalk!!)

This has turned out to be a big week for gorgeous women on TV — first Miss Universe, and now this.

North Korea launches missile capable of hitting the continental USA!

Miss Universe Pageant goes tonight. In Las Vegas!

Yes, indeed, folks, Steve Harvey has been allowed back to host the Miss Universe Pageant, which is once again back in their favorite city Las Vegas.

Just a reminder to myself to tune in, a reminder I will definitely need as I am interested in the Grey Cup game going on, today, too.

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Update: congrats South Africa!

My position on the CFL moving up the season: I’m dead-set against it

Yesterday, the CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie gave his State of the League address and for the umpteenth time the idea of moving up the season came up. The thought is to go with a May to October schedule. This is something Saskatchewan fans have been calling for for years, because the fans here are spring chickens who can’t hack cold weather, apparently. Worse, it seems Ambrosie actually likes the idea of having the football season wrap up in October!

This is just plain wrong. November is football! Moreover, for me personally, it is the month when I finally get a chance to concentrate solely on football, for a change, with Major League Baseball season out of the way.

By moving the end of the season up a month, the CFL would end up in direct competition with MLB for the entire season. The way things are now, the CFL basically have all of November to themselves. Moreover, November is also their best month for TV ratings for that very reason! So why they would want to jeopardize that, I don’t know.

Can you imagine if the CFL had its Grey Cup game up against a World Series, especially onein which the Toronto Blue Jays were involved? The CFL would be clobbered! Moreover, the CFL would basically be conceding all of November to the NFL. So after the World Series is over, baseball fans looking for something else to watch will have no alternative but to tune in the NFL on Sunday afternoons — or for that matter, MLS soccer and NBA basketball. A fine way to grow Canadian football interest, eh?!

What’s more, this plan would push the start of the CFL season to late May, which would put the CFL in direct competition with the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs!

Can you imagine early-season CFL games going up against a Stanley Cup final involving Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs, or Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, or for that matter, any other Canadian teams? There would be no interest in these CFL games at all if this happens! At least with the current set-up, the CFL avoids this problem most of the time.

I say keep the schedule much the same as it is now, but be smarter about where the games are played during the final weekend. Instead of home games in potential cold-weather places like Regina or Winnipeg, make sure most games are in warmer places like Toronto or Hamilton, or under the dome in BC! That way, you’re more likely to cut down on the complaints about cold weather.

Shelve this idea of moving the season up right now, CFL. That’s my rant for tonight.

Update: Did any of you see this epic Grey Cup game played in the snow in Ottawa? Case closed. They even had the dogsleds bring out Shania Twain for the halftime show. This is why you don’t want to move the season up.

It’s Thanksgiving in the USA (thank goodness)!

Hey, folks, something to cheer about, finally! It is Thanksgiving in the USA! Hopefully, now we will finally get a brief respite from these never ending stories about crazy President Trump and American politics, or about sexual harassment scandals (I guess Charlie Rose was the latest to get whacked) and related nonsense. I understand even the LA Kings mascot is now in trouble for groping. It really is a gong show there right now.

Maybe, hopefully, we might also get a respite from the recent flood of news about deaths of famous people. Hopefully, no one famous chokes on their Thanksgiving turkey today. That would surely ruin the day for us all.

The only stories I want to see for these next four days are stories about football and about Black Friday deals. That’s it!

Lots of deaths to report: David Cassidy, Charles Manson etc. etc.

What a last few days for deaths of well-known people. Here is a brief rundown:

First, notorious mass murderer Charles Manson. Dead.

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young. Dead.

Della Reese from Touched by an Angel. Dead.

And just today, David Cassidy of Partridge Family fame. Even though this was widely expected, I feel the same way about this death as the day Gary Coleman died: my childhood has died today.

So I’m sad about David Cassidy, and these other deaths, but I’m not sad one bit about Charles Manson. His big mouth from jail has finally shut up at last. It’s the “down” escalator for him.

That’s all.

Update: Mel Tillis is also dead.

Tweet tweet tweet! Spent the weekend working; occasionally watched important sporting events (CFL, NASCAR, etc.)

I have no life at the moment and therefore I have no time to post, so instead here are Retweets of important happenings from the weekend, starting with the ‘Riders

And then NASCAR

Finally, news about the box office egg laid this opening weekend by Justice League.

That is all.

Now the latest Justice League – Rotten Tomatoes update

Al Franken learns the hard way: don’t mess with Leeann Tweeden

To be honest, I’m really trying to move on from the sexual harassment hysteria that has gripped the US media lately, but it’s hard. There are just too many stories.

What started with Hollywood has now found its way to US politics. First, there is all this Roy Moore news that threatens to sink his entire Alabama Senate campaign. Now there is the big story today that Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed and groped a woman without her consent.

Turns out the accuser was my girl, Leeann Tweeden, former host of Poker After Dark!

So if she’s accusing Franken of this stuff, it must be true, right? What’s more, there was even photo evidence!

Anyway, Franken has apologized. Also, Leeann happens to be buddies with Sean Hannity so he had a field day with this.

Latest Hollywood outrage: Rotten Tomatoes is holding back the Tomatometer score for Justice League!

There has been a lot of controversy out of Hollywood lately. The latest scandal/outrage, one which is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, is that film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is holding back on reporting the Tomatometer score for Justice League.

The word is they want to hold off reporting until Thursday, after they reveal the score on their Facebook Live streaming show See It/Skip It.

The conspiracy theorists aren’t convinced; they think this is all a plot by Warner Brothers, who own a stake of the company that owns Rotten Tomatoes, to keep the world from knowing how bad their Justice League movie really is until after everyone’s already paid for their weekend tickets. (The movie rolls out Friday.) Because if the world knew how bad this movie’s Tomatometer score was, the fans might not pay money to see it!

As it turns out, the Rotten Tomatoes score was leaked earlier today by accident on their Flixster app and surprise, surprise, it’s not that good: it’s 48 percent! Rotten!

So this latest DC Extended Universe effort is not off to a good start; still, it will probably make a ton of money anyway because everyone is in love with Wonder Woman, who is in the cast.

From what we are seeing, critical consensus seems to be that director Zack Snyder is the one responsible for making a hash of this movie, but the end product is still better than Batman v. Superman.

Thor: Ragnarok now up to $650 million worldwide!

Italy is eliminated from the World Cup! Unbelievable!!!

It seems like the qualifying for the World Cup 2018 is going to end up being more exciting than the Cup! Unbelievable result today in qualifying action:

So with this result, Italy is out of the World Cup for the first time since 1958, and Gigi Buffon’s international career comes to an inglorious, tearful end.

And you thought it was humiliating for the USA when they were eliminated?! Those folks in USA soccer can feel less bad about their own misery, now that four-time-champion Italy is out. Those players must all feel like crawling under a rock.

I wonder how the Azzurri fans in Toronto must feel! Every four years, Toronto’s Little Italy district goes nuts cheering for Italy in the World Cup. Their bars and restaurants would always be packed during World Cup Games, and then the fans would take to the streets to wave the country’s flags after they win.

But with the Italy team sitting at home while the other soccer powers are playing in Russia, what is it going to be like in Toronto in the summer of 2018? Totally dead, that is what I imagine it will be.

Roundup of the latest political coverage by yours truly

So, folks, I thought I would share some political news stories that I have covered over the past little while. You know, I sometimes forget that I cover politics for a living; last night I tuned in to the Virginia and New Jersey election coverage (both smashing victories for Democrats) and was going “gee, I wish I were covering politics for a living!”

Well, I am!! Just this weekend, in fact, I was reporting on a political convention. The governing Saskatchewan Party held their policy convention in Saskatoon and I was there for the farewell tribute to Premier Brad Wall, which included a special appearance by none other than commentator Rex Murphy, as well as the debate involving the five candidates running for the party leadership to replace him.

What’s more, the Prime Minister has just called a federal by-election for my area and I have been frantically tracking down any information I can find on nomination races and other stuff going on. Bottom line is, I’m proud of this political coverage and hopefully it’s getting an audience somewhere.

Here are some of my political stories from the past few days.

First, my coverage of the SaskParty convention.

Second, my coverage of the by-election in Battlefords-Lloydminster.

Third, my profile of Conservative nomination candidate Richard Andrew Nelson.

Fourth, my profile of another Conservative nomination candidate Ken Finlayson. Although, I guess, he’s not a nomination candidate anymore because the party is now refusing to let him run. That news just broke today.

Back to provincial politics for a moment. This fall, I have been doing interviews of all the various leadership candidates as they have campaigned for support in the region. Here are my profiles of SaskParty hopefuls Scott Moe, Gord Wyant, Alanna Koch and Ken Cheveldayoff. Also, the NDP is also holding a leadership race; those candidates are welcome to talk to us any time.

Finally, and just for fun, here is my story on the elevation of Herb Cox to Cabinet last week, as well as my John Cairns Leg Watch column focusing on the Question Period answers by our two local area cabinet ministers in response to what is being thrown at them by the NDP opposition.

This weekend, the federal Conservatives will be voting to select their candidate to run in the by-election, so I am going to be covering that. Also this Saturday, I am scheduled to cover Remembrance Day ceremonies as well as a provincial championship high school football game. Hopefully, I won’t freeze to death covering the contest.

In other political happenings — can you believe tonight is the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump being elected President?

It’s a sad day in sports. RIP Roy Halladay.

It’s a terrible day for all Toronto Blue Jays fans. For that matter, it’s also a terrible day for Philadelphia Phillies fans, and fans of all of baseball. Legendary pitcher Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash off the coast of Florida today at age 40.

To give you an idea of how big a story this is in frozen Canada right now, the sports networks have all interrupted their usual hockey coverage scheduled for this hour, and are providing nonstop coverage of Halladay’s death. It’s almost as if the prime minister has died. Well, that’s what Halladay meant to the team — he was basically prime minister of the Blue Jays, for years. He carried the team on his back. He also pitched that post-season no-hitter for the Phillies. And now he is gone.

Here is some of the reaction on Twitter to this news today. RIP Roy Halladay.

National anthem update: Vin Scully swears off the NFL

Welcome to yet another “National Anthem Update” on this latest NFL Sunday. As it turns out, people are still mad about all this kneeling before the anthem going on. The latest to voice his disgust: the beloved legendary retired LA Dodgers baseball announcer Vin Scully.

Scully declared he will never watch an NFL game again because of all the disrespect shown to all the armed forces with this anthem nonsense. Well, this is easy for him to say, since he is retired and therefore does not have to worry about losing his job for telling it like it is. Scully also would probably prefer to watch baseball over football anyway.

But it shows you how rankled people still are about the issue. As an aside — does anyone else notice that you are not hearing nearly as many negative comments directed at baseball lately? Maybe it is because Major League Baseball and their players (who come from all over the world) have done far less to tick off the fans than the NFL lately.