Monday, August 31, 2009

Shane+ HTML= Time Wasted & Not So Nice Blog!

Note: This is an actual artist rendition of me at 12:06 am on 08/31/09!

After trying to update my blog site with a new template all weekend...this is what I have become. I am slowly learning code...but to now avail.

This is why computer people ( like Car Mechanic's before them) will rule the world.

I hope to get this done to bed.


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Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Fun: New Political Theme choose who should use it!

Another Friday and another lighthearted post! Sticking to the theme of catchy songs from my youth, I found this gem on youtube. Any child in Calgary during the 1970's and '80's will fondly remember The Buckshot Show. Personally, I would rush home at lunch to watch this show everyday as a kid. Ron "Buckshot" Barge is truly a legend in Calgary TV and I wish I could come across some more video of the show.

Anyways, this song got me thinking...

I am wondering what politician this song fits best? Close your eyes and imagine this song as a political theme song...who comes to mind?

  • I know my friend Werner Patels will probably say Premier Stelmach. (With his constant"Pig Farmer" references, lol.)
  • I think that Danielle Smith is too classy for this song?
  • I hear that Jeff Willerton ( is he still in the leadership race?) prefers gospel music, but this hillbilly tune may fall in line with most of his extreme beliefs?
  • Chandler's Chap? Maybe...( that is, if he is allowed to listen to music during the campaign!)

Interesting.... What are your thoughts? Come on now...don't be shy!

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

CrossIron Mills Shopping Mall...what's the big deal?

I was in Airdrie last night and found myself with 2 hours to kill, so me and my 11 year old son decided to head over to the newest "Mega Mall Extravaganza", CrossIron Mills. Having heard all the hype all week long about this fantastic shopping destination, I was actually pretty curious to see what all the full was about. After all, there has not been an enclosed mall built in Alberta for over 20 years.

And now I see why.

Maybe I am a little biased as I grew up with Chinook Centre and SouthCentre as the malls of choice in Southwest Calgary, but this CrossIron Mills really is a DUD! After walking around the mall, I found that it really does not offer anything different than any Calgary mall. ( But wait...what about BassPro Shops? Well my friends, I do not hunt, fish or camp on a regular basis so this Bubba Supercentre is just not for me!)

Bulleted List
The mall has a ton of parking, which is a good thing. ( I am trying to find some positives.) They have seriously odd decorations, including a creepy "statue" of a frozen caveman in the middle of a hallway, but I had to get real close to tell what the heck it was supposed to be. I also found the mall floor switching from hardwood to carpet randomly, which looked like"rushed" construction in my opinion. This was just the beginning of the fromage fest that is CrossIron Mills!

Now, I know we are in a recession and the economic situation is not great, but I believe that this mall may run into some serious financial trouble given time. If you look at the mall's current tenants, it is somewhat impressive. They have been able to attract some "big" name tenants, which is absolutely necessary. Look closer though, and you may see some cracks appearing...

1) The mall is still looking for 3-4 more Anchor Tenants. ( And Holt Renfrew pulled out of the mall at the very last moment, leaving a empty store in the middle of the "fashion" wing. YIKES!)

2) Some of the tenants are already "odd". I saw two (yes two!) Calender Club stores in the mall, in very key locations. Ouch. There is already one big Dollar Store and I predict there will be 2-3 more in the coming years. The funniest tenant I saw was "Blue Grass Garden Centres"....uhm, ok?

If you really look around, there are some spots that look like they were leased out simply to avoid the embarrassment of an "empty mall". This does not look good at all!

3) The mall was busy, busy, busy this week. But is also hype driven, back to school traffic. And most of the people I saw last night did not have armloads of bags, as it appeared that they were just coming to the mall to see what all the talk was about!

Now I know that the Airdinians will love this location. I imagine that most of Coventry Hills, Harvest Hills and the other Crowded NW Hills will find this convenient. But look at Deerfoot Mall. This was once touted as a great destination for the NW shopper. It is now a 2nd rate outlet mall. I cannot see people from South West, West or Deep Southeast Calgary driving to CrossIron, so I imagine the same fate awaits it.

Anyways, what do I know. I am sure that Ivanhoe Cambridge knows what they are doing. I am just a consumer after all, one that will stick to Chinook Center.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Sickest Headline ever... "Dad says Jenkins died terrified and alone"...


I saw the following Calgary Sun headline today and it really made me a little angry... "Dad says Jenkins died terrified and alone."

I must be a real As*hole, because I just do not feel one bit sorry for this chap. He died terrified and alone? What about his Wife? I wonder if she was TERRIFIED and ALONE right before he killed her?

Pops is upset because Jr. could not call anyone because the "phones were all tapped"....well maybe if he had turned himself in he would have at least had his "one phone call"!

Just sickening...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Truth Be told....I am The Enlightened Savage...( Anyone else?)

Well, not really...

There is a lot of banter today about the true identity of fellow blogger The Enlightened Savage!
While the debate over who the real E.S. is continues, I would hate to see this blog disappear, so.... I will come out and take the fall.
I am also the Enlightened Savage...
I saw a ES Impersonator today at 7-11 buying a slurpee with Elvis... did anyone else catch this?
Is any other blogger out there the Enlightened Savage? Anyone...?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Fun..."Hello Calgary"...What a classic!

Classic! After a week of posts about politics, labels and bad investments, I figured it was time for a fun post! After all, it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend...why damper it with more negativity. ( That is what Monday is for!)

As a child growing up in the early 1980's, I remember this commercial vividly. It was on so many times a day on 2&& ( now Global) that it became ingrained in my memory. As a testament to the jingles power, when the song started playing, I found myself singing along instantly.

It is hard not to watch the video and have a good chuckle. They are clearly trying to show Calgary as a "cosmopolitan" city, with so many things to offer its citizens. When compared to modern Calgary, the 1983 version does not even look the same. It is amazing how much the city has changed since then.

Anyways...if anyone has any memories of this video ( or other cool links to cheesy Calgary videos) feel free to post.

Disclaimer: Many Edmontonians will think that this video is actually a modern shot of their city in 2009. While there are many similarities in the clothing and hairstyles, it is simply not true. HAPPY FRIDAY!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

McCarthyism & Why the Wildrose Alliance will never succeed...!

McCarthyism: McCarthyism is the politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

While the above term is a little dated it seems fitting given some of the blog posts recently by various WAP supporters. Realizing the enormous importance of the Calgary Glenmore By-Election, some WAP supporters have taken an odd strategy to discredit the PC Candidate. In a state of fear ( or panic) they have decided to attack Diance CU's political belief's by trying to make her come off as a CARD CARRYING LIBERAL. ( Also, the "bimbo" references are so tacky".) Weak...Weak...Weak strategy...

While it is fine to dig through and try to find some "dirt" on her, they are truly missing the big picture here:

Wildrose Alliance Members... the people that actually ELECT candidates ( ie. The Average Voter) REALLY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR MCCARTHYISM ATTACKS. This may work in a few riding's, but trust me....your efforts are being wasted. The average person does not sit around the water cooler and say "so...who do you think is a Liberal in the PC Caucus". It really is shameful and embarrassing to your party. But please...keep it up, it really is a good time waster.

In my opinion, this is why this party, under its current leadership, will never prosper in Alberta. And the WAP honestly thinks that the PC party is "out of touch"...?

Even I have gotten some heat from other WAP supporters for my loyalty to the PC Party...check out Brian Dell's Comment about me here: While it is one thing for a federal Tory supporter to fail to support the Wildrose Alliance, it is another to be enthusiastically volunteering to campaign against us.

Excuse Me? Just because I am a member of the Conservative Party of Canada I automatically must support the fringe WAP? When did this happen?

People that know me will confirm that I am as loyal as they come. I am a proud PC member and Conservative Party of Canada member. I am also proud to sit on my local boards and volunteer for every charity or fundraising event possible. But...I guess I must really be "liberal" because I do not support the WAP. Give me a break....

I find it so odd that these WAP supporters are so passionate about discrediting other people's CONSERVATISM, yet they do not realize the split in their own "party". Perhaps their efforts would be better spent volunteering for thier own cause. Maybe this way, they would have some success at the ballot box.

I cannot wait to start knocking on some doors for Diane...I grew up in Glenmore and know it well.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Calgary Glenmore By-Election date set! Great turnout at Diane Colley-Urquhart's HQ

Finally! The September 14 by-election date for the Calgary Glenmore was announced today! I had the opportunity to attend the press conference at Diane CU's Headquarters this afternoon and it was a spirited affair. Even with less than two hours notice, there were approximately 30-40 supporters and at least a half dozen MLA's in attendance.

Diane gave a great speech and confirmed her commitment to the people of Calgary Glenmore. Jonathan Denis also had some supportive comments and ensured that the supporters realized that every vote will count in this election! I never once got the sense that the party is taking this riding for granted.

Diane's team is very organized, well run and really has the feeling of inclusiveness. There were people from all demographics groups there and they are all passionate supporters.

Well...the hum-drum summer of blogging may be over! Now we have something to talk about!


Mr. Nenshi...How do you get a free campaign ad in the Calgary Herald?

I had a little chuckle this weekend when I saw that WAP Leadership Candidate Danielle Smith had a great response to Naheed Nenshi's article ( advertisement) regarding political party lables. This topic got started on Twitter of all places and spread to the MSM pretty quickly.

Now, most of the blogs I read just seem to love Mr. Nenshi and his Better Calgary Campaign. He must also have a wonderful readership following in the Herald, as they seem to print one of his "manifesto's" every other week. Seeing that Naheed ran unsuccessfully in the last municipal election, one would assume that he is grateful for the free advertising that these weekly columns provide for his 2010 Aldermanic run? I mean, what aspiring politician would not love the opportunity to have your name and picture in the paper every week? I am sure the name recognition factor will help him in his next campaign for sure. ( To be fair, Danielle Smith also had a regular column in the Herald, but this was before she left her previous job to run for the Leadership.)

Can you imaging the PGIB chaps with a weekly article? Oh my...that would definitely sell some papers. ( Or drive away advertisers...?)

Now, I would jump at this chance in a second...but unfortunately, I cannot write and have nothing to say I guess!

Maybe if we come up with a creative group name, we can legitimize our cause and get a weekly guest blogger article? What do you think?


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Concrete Equities.."No Money Now....or Later?"

I cannot believe the amount of traffic that this blog is receiving from a previous post I did on Concrete Equities. Over the past few weeks, I have seen an enormous amount of hits relating to this tragic investment firm, which makes me wonder how many people were actually invested in this scheme? ( I have had hits from Europe, South America, South Africa and over 30 different States in the USA.)

I took a look at their website, which is no longer functioning. There is a link to the receivers website, which has all of the public documents listed in PDF format. Interesting material.....if you are into that sort of thing! I am really curious to see how this saga will unfold and even more interested to see if there will be any criminal investigation into the matter?

I do not feel sorry for the CBC however! I believe that the should have done their homework on this company before having them as their main sponsor. Having Concrete Equities as the main sponsor of a prime time CBC show added unfounded credibility to this investment group, and I am sure that most people figured they were legit, based on the CBC's "'endorsement". Check out the CBC page here....(and the comments below...) how embarrassing!

I'll be keeping an eye on this story with great interest! If anyone has any good links/stories, let me know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Theoren Fluery's Book Tour?

As a child of the 80's, you know you are starting to get old when all of your hockey hero's have almost all retired. The players that you watched growing up actually GOT old ( I am only 32...) and realized that they have to hang up the skates. As a kid, I idolized players like Mark Messier, Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and even Calgary's favorite son, Theoren Fluery! Theo never really "retired" however, as he was kind of suspended indefinitely under the NHL substance abuse program.

Theo was an icon in Calgary and still seems to commands the media's attention at his will. Old Theo sure caused a ruckus in Calgary when his not-so-flattering comments where published when former teammate, Jerome Iginla, broke the Calgary Flames all time scoring record. As usual, the Calgary Flames and MSM crew seemed to pull it all together and the mess got all cleaned up. Fluery once again pulled his media magic this weekend to announce that he is considering making a return to the NHL!

Now, Theo is 41 years old and has not played in the NHL since 2003. I know he is probably in great shape and has his "life together" now etc. etc....but based on Theo's past media stunts, I think this move is all about promoting his new book! Theo has played this game before with the media ( remember his stint as a Calgary Viper baseball player...) when he wanted to promote his new clothing line. I would not be surprised if this whole "comeback" story is tied to the promotion of his book!

Imagine the Hollywood/hallmark script for this tale....

  • Boy from challenged background overcomes physical/financial obstacles and makes it to the NHL.
  • Nobody gives this gent a chance in the NHL, due to his size.
  • Chap turns out to be one of the great NHL players of his generation.
  • Player's demons catch up with him and he is suspended from the league.
  • Fast forward 7 years later, player is clean/sober and makes NHL comeback at 41 years old!

I bet there is already a movie deal in the works!

Theoren, I am glad that you have your life together again and I am sure that all of Canada is pulling for you. But sir, you really have nothing to prove to anyone. You will always be an icon and an inspiration to a generation of smallish players who dream of playing in the NHL. What will be disappointing however, is the way the public will react if they realize that this comeback attempt is nothing more than an early book promotional tour.

I can see this playing out as follows: Theo is reinstated by the league. Theo is invited to the Calgary Flames training camp. They realize he just does not have it left in him, but they sign Theo to a one day contract anyone. Theo plays one game with the Flames and gets to take his "retirement" skate around the Ice following the game. Tears well up in everyones eyes...and then we all get back to reality. Oh...and Theo sells a ton of books in the fall.

The bottom line is, like Ralph Klein, everyone in Calgary has a Theo Fluery story to tell... Trust me, your legacy in Calgary will be cemented forever. Comeback or not...

Good Luck...

Friday, August 7, 2009

People sure love their credit cards...

It really is no wonder that the Americans ( and to be fair, Canadians are not far behind) have so much credit card debt! I saw this odd commercial the other day ( I cannot locate the video online) relating the the new advertising campaign by Chase Bank's new "Text Account Balance" feature for their customers. While the technology and convenience seem interesting, the commercial was quite telling.

In the ad, a woman was at the mall with her two children and all of them were "loaded" with shopping bags. Taking a break from their exhausting day, the mother wonders aloud if she should make that one last purchase? Not knowing if she has enough money/credit left in her accounts, she pulls out her handy cellphone and uses the Chase Text service. Whew...thankfully she has just enough for those pair of shoes!

Now seriously, if you really have to wonder how much money you have LEFT in your bank account/line of credit or credit card, should you really be out on a spending spree? Hmmm... Its no wonder that people end up in serious financial trouble. It is also no surprise that the banking industry loves it when you take out that second or third credit card....this way, you never have to want for any consumer item! And at 11 to 28% interest, they hope you keep on spending!

Now don't get me wrong, I believe that there is a place for credit cards etc, but I just think that most people do not realize the long term effects on their personal finances if this easy credit is used foolishly. But our society has been in full " I want it and I want it now!" mode for over 30 years. I personally could not sleep at night with $10K in credit card debts.... I also wonder how those American families felt when they realized they could not take out that 3rd or 4th mortgage on their home to finance the boat/motor home purchase ( or to pay down some more debts?) when their home values plummeted? Yikes...

Trust me...I could use a new flatscreen TV for the bathroom, and it would be sooooo easy to "charge" it....but in my world, cash is king.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Paul Anka & The Future Prime Minister of Canada?

I found this song fitting right now and figured I would add this to the soundtrack of my life! My beautiful wife and I are expecting in December, and I am pretty excited. I remember this cheesy song from a "K-Tel" Album my mom had when I was a kid and it popped back in my head when I found out the great news a few months ago.

Anyways...we hope to find out the sex of the potential future Prime Minister ( high hopes or what?) tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I am glad I filled up...

Well, I hope that everyone had a good long weekend! I found myself foolishly driving around Southwest Calgary on Friday trying to find a gas station that was not shut down! After driving to 3 different stations, I finally found one that still had some product. ( and to the teller at one bone dry station: No, I don't want chips or a pop...I want gas! ) I was not surprised to hear about the gas shortage later in the weekend after the fiasco I went through.

On a typical Alberta long weekend, you usually only have to worry about the gas stations jacking the price/litre up due to the "higher demand". I imagine that the franchise owners are probably quite angry that they clearly missed one of the great "gouge" weekends of the summer. Oh well, there is still Labour Day to follow.

Happy Wet Tuesday...