Helen Henderson Dies

I got some sad news last week. Helen Henderson, who wrote a column on disability issues at the Toronto Star, died last weekend.

Whenever I would stumble across one of her columns, I always thought it was well-written and didn’t beat around the bush. She knew how to fight and just be honest about the issues a lot of us deal with all the time. I can’t find it, but I swear she wrote a really good one about silly things people do, like talk to us in the third person. Whenever I would find one of her columns, I knew it would be a good read. Here’s one I could find, although they’re a little difficult to track down. I guess this is normal since she has been retired for 7 years.

Damn, another fierce advocate is gone, but she had one heck of an impact while she was here.

To Get Us Through The Aeons of Ion Construction…

I think I’m cursed. A few years ago, I had the joy of living through Guelph Remastered. That was a heapin’ helpin’ of no fun. Now, just when I was feeling pretty good about my ability to wing around parts of Kitchener-Waterloo, along comes LRT construction. And oh me oh my oh boy. Time to expand my knowledge out of necessity.

So they’re building some kind of light rail transit system. From what I understand, it travels a corridor from Fairview Mall to Conestoga Mall, and is supposed to make travelling much faster. Time will tell. But, in order to lay this LRT system, they have to do one hell of a lot of construction of every type to the affected area, everything from removing trees to rerouting water mains. Yee ha. Some of these construction projects will take months, and I don’t think the whole thing will be done until 2017 if we’re lucky.

So, for people who don’t know, the affected area is pretty friggin huge and will probably find a way to touch every aspect of my life. Right now it’s messing with getting to work and home a smidge, and getting to one grocery store I like. But eventually, things will start morphing all over the place.

I started to wonder how I was going to keep up with all of this construction. Lucky for me, there’s a website for helping with just that. Also on the website but somewhat harder to find is this newsletter signup form. Why do you hide it so? Or am I just crappy at looking? Anyway, it will send you emails that Steve and I have nicknamed LRT doom updates. Basically they tell you which parts of King are getting ripped up.

I haven’t tried this yet but there’s also a phone number you can call for updates. It’s 1-844-625-1010. It’s apparently only available Monday to Friday, and it is answered by a real live human, so woohoo.

So, gaaa, life is going to get cute. At least this one will hopefully end in something good.

What It’s Like To Be The Child Of A Serial Killer

Keith Jesperson probably isn’t the first name that would come to mind if somebody asked you to name a famous serial killer, but he’s famous enough that I recall seeing an episode of American Justice devoted to him back when A&E was still worth watching. So I was interested when I came across an article written by his daughter, Melissa Moore. My evil dad: Life as a serial killer’s daughter

It goes fairly deep into an aspect of serial killers that you don’t often get to hear about. Sure we know about the horrible creep monster, but what about the other part of the double lives we’re so often told these people live? Is Joe the welder, the guy who’s such a nice fellow, hangs out at the bar after work, plays with his kids, is active in his community and throws a mean neighbourhood barbecue really able to flip that switch so completely? Obviously, the answer is pretty complicated. Even if dad is weird and mean sometimes, there’s no way he could be that weird…right?

And perhaps even more interesting than that is the talk of what life is like once dad’s been discovered. What do you do? What do you say? How do you cope? How do people react to you? How do you move on? Do you move on?

If you have even a passing interest in these sorts of things, give this a read. It’s pretty fantastic, heartbreaking and hopeful all at once.

More Wrestling Is Coming To The Fight Network

I’m not sure what prompted it, but it’s nice to see the Fight Network picking up its wrestling game again. After announcing TNA a few weeks ago, the station has now made some sort of deal with Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore. It looks like a temporary promotional deal to plug the show coming up in Toronto that could also be a trial run for something more in the future, so I’m a little concerned about what the shows will look like. But as long as it doesn’t come off as too much of an infomercial and we get a decent amount of actual wrestling matches, you can count me in.

Toronto – Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, today announced a global programming deal with professional wrestling legend Tommy Dreamer’s promotion House of Hardcore.
Fight Network will televise eight one-hour shows featuring highlights from all the House of Hardcore events to date, beginning on Tuesday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET. New episodes will premiere on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET for eight consecutive weeks leading up to the debut House of Hardcore live event in Canada on July 18 in Toronto.
House of Hardcore on Fight Network will air on Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Grande Communications, Shentel Cable and Armstrong Cable in the U.S., nationwide in Canada, Roku devices across North America, and globally in over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Dreamer, who wrestled and worked for every major wrestling organization in North America throughout his 25-year career, describes the television deal as the next step for his company.
“It’s a great day for House of Hardcore,” said Dreamer. “This partnership with Fight Network changes the game for me personally and for this company. I’m thrilled that we’ll bring House of Hardcore to more households, not only in Canada, but across North America and the rest of the world. Fight Network’s global reach continues to grow, as does House of Hardcore, and I think this is a great fit.”
“Tommy Dreamer has a stellar reputation in the professional wrestling business and we’re excited to partner with him to bring his House of Hardcore product to television,” said Ariel Shnerer, Director of Programming at Fight Network. “Dreamer is a consummate professional and his shows constantly feature a who’s who of established stars in the industry, from Tommy himself to Team 3D, Christopher Daniels, Matt Hardy and A.J. Styles. If the buzz surrounding his brand is any indication, we expect House of Hardcore to be a hit with our viewers.”
Dreamer also announced the signing of Stoney Creek, Ont.-based “The Power Factory” as Agency of Record for all business development and strategy related to House of Hardcore.
Dreamer founded House of Hardcore in 2012. Its first show was held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and subsequent shows have been held in Philadelphia (four times), Valley Center, Calif., and Poughkeepsie (three in total).
Fight Network also owns and operates Live Audio Wrestling, the longest running wrestling radio program in the world. House of Hardcore talent will be regularly featured on the weekly show.
Canadian fans will get their first live taste of House of Hardcore on July 18. Dreamer has a long and storied relationship with Canada and the expansion is a personal milestone for him.
“I held a poll on Twitter, in which I asked fans where they wanted me to hold my next show, and Canada, specifically Toronto, was overwhelmingly No. 1,” said Dreamer. “For me not having television exposure until now, the demand for the product up there is almost surreal to me. And now having Fight Network behind us, I look forward to bringing my perspective of professional wrestling to some of the most rabid, passionate wrestling fans in the world.”
For more information on House of Hardcore, go to www.houseofhardcore.net.
For a full listing of Fight Network’s broadcast schedule, please visit tv.fightnetwork.com, follow us on Twitter @fightnet, become a fan on Facebook and visit us on Instagram @fightnet.
For More Information Contact:
Fight Network
Ariel Shnerer
Director, Content & Communications
For Media Inquiries Contact:
House of Hardcore
For Other Inquiries Contact:
House of Hardcore
Julie Wildgoose

Boston Strong!

It’s been a while, but Gill mailed me this this morning.

Is it wrong that I have absolutely no memory of where I was when this happened or that today is the second anniversary of it? I’m not trying to belittle the situation (sometimes I fail to belittle things), but I’ve been searching my brain for clues and my 2 best guesses are that I was either stuck in a Walmart line or sitting on the toilet when the CBC News alert hit my phone. Why did those things suddenly stop working, anyway? Budget cuts?

And I’m going to answer the question she asks at the end with a hearty I don’t know, because until something horrific happens to you I imagine you have no idea how you’re going to react. I’ve watched more than my share of true crime shows, and often there’s that moment near the end where somebody in the victim’s family says something like “I’ve forgiven him for what he did, but I’ll never understand why he took our Stacy away from us.” Having just watched an hour’s worth of documentary on Stacy’s unfortunate torture and butchery, the mere thought of entertaining the thought of forgiveness seems ludicrous. But at the same time it’s awfully difficult to live life constantly holding a grudge, a lesson I learned through experiences not even close to being in the same league as the torture and butchery of a treasured loved one. At some point you almost certainly have to let something go in order to move on, but how do you get there? Some, though you know it wasn’t, make it sound so easy. Others, unfortunately, never find that place. I like to think I know which group I’d be in, but I also hope I’ll never need to find out.

And now, Gill.

Exactly two years ago today at the beloved Boston marithon an act of extreme evil occurred. Right as runners crossed the finish line two bombs went off killing three, and injuring many more.

Where Were You?

I was just going about the usual stuff, reading, eating, and not paying much in the way of attention. That was until I turned on the TV hoping to get my entertainment fix, but instead, NBC had some news coverage which went on until seven-thirty that night.


When I realized the scope of this act of evil it was the next evening. At first I didn’t react, until my roommate at the time kept talking about it. What really raised my hackles was finding out one of the three dead was an eight-year-old. At that moment shock turned to cold hard rage.

The Option To Pray

Several days later I was seated where I could be found most Saturdays, in church. My pastor had suggested that we pray for the salvation of the surviving bombing suspect.

Question Is?

Would you be able to forgive someone who wronged you, or is forgiveness a closed door for you?

“This Is Wrestling” Is A Dumb Chant, Plus I Finally Talk About Mania

It’s been a while, so let us talk some wrestling.

I’m watching NXT, and the crowd brought to mind something I’ve been meaning to mention. Can we please knock off the “this is wrestling” chants? It’s one of the stupidest chants I’ve ever heard. We all know what we’re watching. We don’t need you to tell us, audience. I sincerely doubt that anyone has ever wandered into a wrestling event or flipped to it on TV, heard “this is wrestling, clap clap clap clap clap” and said to himself “This is wrestling? Shit, I was looking for the hockey game!” Nobody else does this anywhere. Have you ever heard a this is movie chant break out in a cinema? Or a this is concert chant in a stadium? No, because everybody but wrestling fans seem to know where they are and what they’re doing. And before you give me the whole we’re just expressing our love for what we’re seeing and telling the powers that be that this is what we came for business, shut up. That’s what “this is awesome, clap clap clap clap clap” is for.

Also on the subject of NXT, boy is this show ever a reminder of why I avoid spoilers like the plague. They’re doing an episode based around the tournament to earn a spot in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania. There’s all sorts of great action going on right in front of my face, but here I am hardly paying attention because I know who wins and how he kinda got tossed out like a geek somewhere in the middle of the match. When I was younger spoilers didn’t bother me. Sometimes they even got me excited to see how something I heard about came off. But once WWE had no competition for a while that feeling came to a grinding halt and I’ve never gotten it back.

Alrighty, time for some Fact or Fiction.

1. The ending to WrestleMania 31 was the best way to book the finish.

Brock killing Roman to death and pinning him would have been fine, but Seth cashing in while the match was at it’s highest point was much better. It was something that had never been done before. I fully expected Reigns to win and then get cashed in upon, so this was a great surprise to end an entertaining night.

2. The WWE will book the secondary titles strongly as long as they are on Daniel Bryan and John Cena; but once they lose those titles, the booking will return to poor form.

Cena will be fine because he’s Cena, but history tells us that WWE doesn’t mind fucking with Bryan, so I have very little faith that the IC Title won’t be a worthless piece of shit again 2 or 3 weeks from now, possibly less.

3. After their performances at WrestleMania 31, you have no desire to see Sting or The Undertaker wrestle ever again.

Taker has definitely lost a lot of Mania appeal with me now that the streak is over, but let’s be honest, he’s still the Undertaker. As long as he wants to come back now and then and isn’t sad and embarrassing, I’ll watch. As for Sting, Mania simply cannot be his only wrestling appearance in WWE, because it was bullshit on toast. He says for months that he’s hear to take out the dastardly Triple H and his evil Authority, loses the match when evil man is evil, and then shows respect to him after the fact? The fuck, man? Garbage. Just garbage. That right there was almost enough to undo all the good that HHH has done with NXT and send me back to 2003 fuck this guy mode.

4. Monday’s Raw was the most enjoyable Raw they have put on in along time.

The Raw to which they are referring is the one the night after Wrestlemania that was full of wrestling matches, a crowd that was happy to be there and Brock Lesnar killing everything in sight, so duh. It’s not even close. Next question.

5. Sting’s WWE run has been a horribly booked mess.

It didn’t start out that way, but they sure fixed that in a hurry. See above.

6. WrestleMania 31 is one of the five best WrestleMania events of all time.

I’ve heard this show called everything from the best Mania ever to one of the best WWE shows of all time. Both of those statements, in my eyes, are crazy talk from people coming off the high of a night that way over delivered. Was it good? Definitely. Was it great? Possibly. It certainly had its moments. Any time you can watch essentially 6 straight hours of WWE and come away annoyed by only 1 or 2 things, it’s a job well done. But best ever? Top 5? I hesitate to call it either one without rewatching a few, then watching this one again once we see whether or not WWE has any sort of plans to follow it up. And other than the ending, what are we going to remember forever the way we remember Savage Steamboat, Hogan Andre, Hogan Savage, Hogan Warrior, Savage Warrior, Austin Rock and on and on and on? Again, it’s going to take time for history to sort those things out. Right now I’d be willing to put it in the top 10, but top 5 is pushing it.

And that’ll be that. I’ll be back later with something or other, possibly even another one of these. Pretty sure I have one sitting here somewhere. Everything is sitting here somewhere.

Let Me Go

I have no idea if this is some sort of viral marketing stunt or if this Emily Mandelbaum kid is completely legit, but either way, that song from Frozen is ruined.

I think I’d have called it Let Me Go if I were her, but the fact that she didn’t makes it even funnier in a way.

Stephen Harper Explains Why A Remake Is Called A Cover. Hint: Think What You’ll Be Doing To Your Ears In A Minute

When he’s not busy crippling our country’s public broadcaster, doing even more damage to an already flawed election system or slowly eroding our rights and freedoms, Stephen Harper can be found kicking out the jams with his band, the C-51’s. The band is so named because it’s the closest I could get to B-52’s, which is already taken. It’s a shame too because the B-52’s would be a perfect name for a Stephen Harper fronted rock band. He seems like a fellow who has a fondness for war planes, for a start. If they had to sell tickets based on ability alone, they would bomb. After a few B52’s, they might start to sound kind of ok. And perhaps most importantly, B-52 is a phrase one might hear in a bingo hall, one of the few locations on earth where these clowns might have a snowball’s faintest chance in Hades of appearing even the least bit cool.

Watch this and tell me your first thought isn’t dude from a church group trying to prove to the kids that he’s hip.

To be fair, Burton Cummings is a hard voice to cover. Maybe we should cut poor Steve some slack. Perhaps he’d have better luck tackling something in a less acrobatic vocal range. Some Neil Diamond might be just the ticket.

Or not.

Ok, how about Imagine? Everybody can sing Imagine.

Fine. Everybody but Stephen Harper can sing Imagine. Jesus.

There are more, believe it or not. You can find his collected works here, if you must. I’d suggest he not quit his day job, but I’d really really like it if he’d quit his day job.

Firing Squads. In 2015. Bugger Off, Utah

So this is one of the crazier completely goddamned ass backward ridiculous things I’ve heard in a while.

Utah lawmakers have passed a bill that would make it the only state to allow firing squads for carrying out a death penalty if there is a shortage of execution drugs.
The passage of the bill by the state Senate on Tuesday comes as states struggle to obtain lethal injection drugs amid a nationwide shortage.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield, touted the measure as being a more humane form of execution. Ray argued that a team of trained marksmen is faster and more humane than the drawn-out deaths that have occurred in botched lethal injections.
The bill gives Utah options, he said. “We would love to get the lethal injection worked out so we can continue with that but if not, now we have a backup plan,” Ray told The Associated Press.

The logic…it hurts.

How, exactly, is shooting a guy in the heart if everything goes according to the script any more humane than deliberately poisoning him into a quick, peaceful end if everything goes according to the script? I ask because we all know damn well that things don’t always go according to the script. Lethal injections can take a long time and be very painful just as easily as a person you shoot can survive for a long time even though he’s not supposed to.

The best way to deal with these drug shortages is to stop killing people at least until we can guarantee that 100 percent of those we’re killing are actually guilty. But since that’ll never happen, let’s just stop killing people, shall we? And while we’re at it, let’s stop electing dingleberries who think firing squads are a good idea.

How Many Pints?

I should try this sometime, preferably at a place I’ll never need to worry about going to again.

Two fellows stopped into an English pub for a drink. They called the proprietor over and asked him to settle an argument.

“Are there two pints in a quart or four,” asked one.

“There be two pints in a quart,” confirmed the proprietor.

They moved back along the bar and soon the barmaid asked for their order.

“Two pints please, miss, and the bartender offered to buy them for us.”

The barmaid doubted that her boss would be so generous, so one of the fellows called out to the proprietor at the other end of the bar.

“You did say two pints, didn’t you?”

“That’s right,” he called back. “Two pints.”