This Bud’s Not For You, Bud

As 2015 began to draw to a close and many of us were preparing to spend the holidays with our families, Bud A. Weisser was busy trying to break into a brewery. Really. And while that might have been chuckle worthy enough by itself, as fate would have it, Bud A. Weisser was kind enough to throw a bone to everyone who likes to laugh at the low hanging fruit by choosing of all breweries, the one where they make the beer that he’s an extra S away from being named after. Really.

Bud A. Weisser, 19, received summonses from police Thursday accusing him of first-degree trespassing and resisting arrest after he allegedly entered the Anheuser-Busch brewery property at 9th and Arsenal Streets, where the “King of Beers” is produced.
Police said Weisser abandoned his car after a crash about 6:48 p.m. and hopped the fence into a secure area of the brewery, where he struggled with security officers who had asked him to leave.

Look At Me, Son. You’re On Crime Stoppers

This starts out as basically your run of the mill Crime Stoppers segment, but stick with it.

There are theories that this is some kind of viral ad for Coke, but the Coke folk have denied it. And as far as I can tell, I believe them. I might feel differently if this guy had only done one video, but it seems like he does most if not all of this town’s Crime Stoppers videos and the right person just happened to notice this one.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to figure out whether or not the thief was ever caught. Here’s hoping Clay Higgins isn’t still waiting on that burger, fries and Coke.

Clean It

At some point today, I’ll bet a lot of you are going to pause, gaze off into space whilst lost in the deepest of thought and wonder to yourselves how do they keep these McDonald’s restaurants so gosh darn clean? Well, here’s how.

I know that’s supposed to be a fake Michael Jackson, but doesn’t he sing more like a low rent Steve Perry?

A Few Scattered Thoughts On The Death Of The Guelph Mercury

When I moved to Guelph in 2001, I didn’t know much about the place. I knew it had a university because Carin and some other friends of mine went there and I would visit them sometimes, I knew it had a couple of radio stations because that’s the sort of thing I tend to know, I knew it had a mall because I’d been in it once or twice, I knew the names of a few random businesses through word of mouth and years of watching CKCO, and I knew it had hockey and baseball teams for basically the same reasons. All of this is to say that when I got there, I was pretty well lost and useless.

I eventually figured things out, of course. Necessity tends to force that issue. but it wasn’t just necessity that helped me along. There were also those aforementioned friends, more than a few assists from some mostly kind strangers, and the Guelph Mercury.

Until last week when it became the latest victim of media cost cutting, the Merc was Guelph’s daily newspaper of record. And now, as crazy as it sounds, a city of well over 100000 people no longer has one.

I’m not sure how true this is in every town (I can’t say I’ve noticed quite the same thing reading the Waterloo Record, for instance), but once I started reading the Mercury fairly regularly, it didn’t take long for me to start putting together a picture of what Guelph was. Every day brought new stories about fun things to do, places I should avoid, activists doing good work, activists who’s hearts may have been in the right place while their brains had very clearly taken a walk, silly local outrages that some crank felt needed attention, entirely logical outrages that some crank (Carin and I included) felt needed attention and so much more, all put together in a package that gave Guelph an identity and a character I could relate to, making it feel less like a mysterious mishmash of university students, bars and vegetarian restaurants and more like someplace that felt as though it might just be home. thanks to the Mercury, I could have a conversation about something Guelphish with someone without sounding like a total fool. Thanks to the Mercury, my radio shows were a little better and a bit more focused…sometimes. And thanks to the Mercury, even though I haven’t lived there in over three years, Guelph still feels more like a hometown to me than anyplace else I’ve lived.

And now it’s gone, and it sucks.

I’m sure that eventually something will come along to fill at least some of the void. Hell, If I know Guelph, City Hall might already have four or five new citizen reporters lined up to blog the blow by blow of every open meeting. And while that’s great and I absolutely encourage it, it’s not going to teach Guelph to the next me the way that the Merc did, and it’s not going to hold those in power accountable the way that the Merc did, either. It’s a lot easier to bully some dude with a Twitter account into silence than it is a newspaper with the resources to chase down stories. And that’s the biggest shame in all of this. Guelph has so many stories, good and bad, that deserve to be chased down. Who’s going to be able to do that on a wide enough scale now? No matter how you feel about newspapers, the truth is that every city needs them and that all of us, whether we read them or not, are worse off when they disappear.

Is Your Brother Home? No, But Since I Don’t Want You To Have Wasted Your Time…

For the sake of Rezwan Hussain, we’ll go over this one more time.

If the police come to your house looking for someone who isn’t you, they aren’t looking for you. Stay cool, don’t panic, and whatever you do, don’t throw packages of drugs out the window, especially if their landing spot is right next to where the police car is still parked. This should be elementary level stuff to a guy who’s running a multi-million dollar drug operation, but I suppose that’s why the words should and is mean different things.

Greater Manchester Police initially visited the property to speak to Hussain’s brother about an unrelated matter in March of this year.
But while he told police that his brother wasn’t home at the time, Hussain panicked and threw the drugs out of the window – before they were subsequently discovered by officers returning to their vehicle.
A further search of the property led police to discover a ‘sophisticated’ set up in the basement’s property – with items such as a cocaine purity test, a hydraulic press and digital scales discovered alongside a 250 kg drugs haul.

Amusingly, police still haven’t found the brother, at least not at the time of this report. Hussain, on the other hand, won’t be hard to locate for the next 11 and a half years.

Worst…Lullaby…Ever

I know Carin and I have mused a time or three about how the lullabies and nursery rhymes designed to send us peacefully off to dreamland are often scary as shit, but this is something else right here.

I was looking at an article from Mental Floss entitled 12 Creepy Lullabies From Around the World That Will Keep You Up at Night. Things were rolling cheerily along through the expected gaggle of monsters, hags and wild animals that are going to come and forcefully remove you from the area if you don’t close your eyes and shut the hell up when suddenly, this happened.

There’s also this Icelandic classic, which I haven’t been able to find the melody for:
Sofðu nú svínið þitt,
svartur í augum.
Farðu í fúlan pytt,
fullan af draugum
Which translates to
Sleep, you black-eyed pig.
Fall into a deep pit of ghosts.

I am the oldest child in my family, and growing up I was often tasked with taking care of the little ones. So yeah, I kind of understand the sentiment here. But as frustrated as I ever got with them, not once did I decide that the answer to my troubles was to take my inner monologue, replace all instances of “Jesus fucking Christ” with baseless insults and wishes that the little brats might fall into a hole full of dead dudes, write it all down and sing it to them with love. Not just because it borders on psychological torture, but because anybody who knows anything about kids knows that it wouldn’t work anyway. Instead of some much needed quiet time, all you’d get is a fresh barrage of questions.

How deep is the pit? why are there ghosts in the pit? How did they get there? How many are there? Where is the pit? What’s at the bottom? Does it have a bottom? How do you dig a bottomless pit? Do I get to come out of the pit? What time? Do the ghosts get to come out of the pit? Are they nice ghosts? What do we do in the pit? Do you and dad go to the pit too? Will I see you there? Do you like ghosts?…

And before you know it, you’re hoping that one of the ghosts is named SID so you won’t have to have this conversation again.

So I guess what I’m getting at here is stop singing lullabies, everyone. It’s not good for anybody. And if anybody knows anything more about the Icelandic chestnut that started us down this path, I want to know…maybe…I think.

Rogers Wants To Improve Accessibility, Gets A Handout To Do It

I’m going to go ahead and apologize right off the top just in case I have this wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m justifiably annoyed.

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund, established as part of the conditions that allowed Bell to buy CTV several years back, has finally gotten around to handing out its first set of grants. There’s some neat stuff in here that has much potential to make things better for a lot of people, but I want you to see if you can spot a problem.

The projects approved by the Board of Directors are:
• Accessible Media Production Course, Mohawk College – $80,000. Student journalists will receive mandatory, intensive training in producing content that is accessible across all media platforms.
• Making CBC Radio Accessible, CBC – $62,000. New speech-to-text conversion technology will be used to post daily transcripts of CBC’s award-winning radio program, The Current to CBC.ca. The Current reaches some 2.3 million Canadians each week. In addition, one American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted radio documentary will be filmed and posted to CBC.ca each month.
• Tecla Remote, Komodo Open Lab – $77,500. A Tecla switch device will enable users with limited mobility to control a range of media devices using the same controls used to operate wheelchairs.
• Designing Screen Reading Capabilities for the 10-foot User Interface, Rogers Communications – $140,000. Extensive research on the development of simplified and inclusive mechanisms to assist blind and low vision users to discover and consume video content.
• Radio with a Voice, Vues et Voix – $116,000. Development of a fully accessible web platform for Vues et Voix radio content focusing on disability- and accessibility- related stories and issues in the French language.
• Broadcasting Accessibility Education for Hard of Hearing Canadians, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – $125,000. An extensive project to assist hard of hearing Canadians with the accessible features of media devices, designed to build a base of knowledge including the producing of a web-based guide to device accessibility.
• Enhanced real-time and post-production captioning for VoiceWriter captioning software, Mediac Systems LLC – $123,000. Focused on updating existing software and developing new in-roads to voice recognition technologies, to improve both real time (live) and post production captioning processes.

Did you catch it? If not, scan the list again, paying special attention to how much money everyone got. When that’s done, ask yourself how and why Rogers Communications ended up with a bigger grant than anyone else. I know that’s the question I’m asking.

Maybe I’m old fashioned and quaint, but the way I was raised to understand grants is that they were given to projects undertaken by individuals and organizations that need funding because they clearly and demonstrably won’t be coming up with enough of it on their own. How, exactly, does Rogers Communications fall into that category? Remember, this is the same company that found 5.2 billion dollars to pay for 12 years worth of NHL broadcast rights in 2013, not to mention whatever they’ve splashed out on regional and national agreements to ensure that all but a handful of the Major League Baseball games shown on television in the entirety of Canada are aired on stations they own…most of which they spent millions to acquire from other broadcasters. I know advertising rates ain’t always what they used to be, but with the number of revenue streams Rogers has, it should be able to root around and find a couple hundred grand in the cushions of the breakroom couch without really trying. Even though Rogers was clearly well within its rights to apply, it still feels like an abuse of the system, or at least what one would hope the spirit of the system is supposed to be.

I say all of this, by the way, feeling fairly confident that if they’re using the term 10-foot user interface in the way I would use it, this money should bring us a few steps closer to me having my blind guy cable box…Which brings me to another question, now that I think about it.

Hasn’t a good deal of the heavy lifting already been done in this department? I’m sure there are some technological differences, but Comcast, as we’ve covered here, already has one of these on the market. And last time I checked, Rogers and Comcast were still in pretty much the same business. So what is this money supposed to be for, exactly? Why aren’t we just talking to Comcast about what they did and how, then modifying it for our purposes? Seems to me you could save a decent bit of coin that way. Unless Comcast or Rogers has plans in the works to move north or south, they’re not competing so there should be no issues getting in the way of a friendly exchange of information.

Who In The Hell Won The Royal Rumble?

I don’t have a whole lot to say here, but I’d like the record to show that I should have picked HHH instead of Bray Wyatt to win the Royal Rumble.

The record also needs to show that wile he did eliminate roman Reigns like I thought he would, it wasn’t the final elimination of the match. That was Dean Ambrose.

Also, whoever decided that the League of Nations should pull Roman out of the ring, beat the living hell out of him and leave him for dead but then not throw him back inside so that somebody could officially eliminate him is a moron. Yeah, let’s let the unstoppable monster recover in the back for 20 or 30 minutes. that’ll work. Or better yet, if the plan is to pull him out of the ring, why not pull him over the top rope and save you running the risk of leaving it up to someone else to do the eliminating? I get that heels aren’t always supposed to think their cunning plans all the way through, but this one bothers me every time I think about it. My best guess as to why is that everyone in WWE, be they face or be they heel, is so often booked like a goddamned idiot that it’s hard to tell the difference, which in turn makes it awfully hard to care, which then makes you wonder why you’re wasting your time on this shit.

The show wasn’t bad, by the way. I doubt I’ll ever have a strong urge to rewatch it, but I wouldn’t object too strenuously if somebody wanted to watch it with me. If you only have time to skim, watch the Last Man Standing Match and enough of the Rumble to see AJ Styles come out. The rest wasn’t bad, but years…who am I kidding…weeks down the road, those are the only two things I’m really likely to remember.