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Countries with the Cheapest Gas

October 27th, 2011 by Vince

Good news.  If you’re tired of paying over a $1/litre of gas, there is a solution. 

Unlike Canada, some countries give gas away.  

COUNTRY            Canadian cents/litre

Qatar                          19

Libya                          19

Saudi Arabia                16

Iran                             10

Venezuela                    2

Yes, people of these countries make less $ on average than us; 3 and half times less in Venezuela.  However, their gas isn’t 3 and a half times less than ours.  If Venezuela is paying 2 pennies per litre, then we should be paying 7 cents.  So let’s throw that rationale out the window.

We can have cheaper gas her in Canada.  All we need to do is two things. 

1.  Un-develop our economy.  Countries with cheap gas have that in common.  Let’s start undermine our economic growth and we’ll be on the path of cheap gas.  But wait, there’s one more step.

2.  Democracy: get rid of it.  Or, at the very least, weaken it.  Countries with cheap gas have either weak or no democracy.  This ‘right to vote’ thing is costing us big time.  So let’s surrender to tyranny and our reward will be cheap trips to the gas pump.  Fair trade?

Personally, I like strong economies and strong democracies so allow me to present an alternative solution.  I checked mapquest and it appears a trip to Venezuela is a mere 64 hours in length.  So hop in your vehicle, saunter down the United States of America, into Mexico, over the Panama canal, through Columbia and voila, you’re in the land of 2 cent gasoline.

You’re welcome.

Would you ever live on the moon?

October 20th, 2011 by Vince

Our Russian cosmonaut brethren have an ambitious goal: colonize the moon as early as 2030.

The living arrangements would be primarily the volcanic tunnels of the moon. Cozy.

So, would you like to abandon your above ground abode on Earth for a brand new subterranean condo?

At the turn of the century I called Sudbury, Ontario home for nearly 3 years. I was told that NASA astronauts used to train on the desolate Canadian Shield rock and slag fields of Subdury because the terrain was so lunar-esk. Therefore, symbollically, perhaps I already have lived on “the moon.”

It’s not a bad place. “The moon” had a great movie theatre I used to go to escape the high humidity. “The moon” has a OHL team called the Wolves which makes sense since (according to the cool graphic t-shirts I’ve seen) wolves love howling at the moon.

So, how does NASA win this space race? Beating the Russians to the moon again isn’t enough this time. If you really want to win the star war, as cosmonauts kick up their feet in their moon caves, NASA astronauts can claim victory by pitching a flag and swinging a golf club on Mars.

Good luck to both competitors and may the best space program win.

Kirk out.

Welcome to today’s edition of Good Parenting… with Vince.

Came across a list of “10 things you should never say to your children.”

1. I know you can try harder.
2. Are you sure you need that second cupcake?
3. You always… or, You never…
4. Why can’t you be more like your bother/sister?
5. I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake.
6. You’re the best at soccer.
Don’t worry-the first day of school will be fine.
Because I said so.
9. I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid.
10. That’s not how you do it! Here, let me.

Personally I think there are worse things you can say to kids. Here are 10 examples:

1. You agree your brother is better than you, right?
2. If babies were like puppies your mother and I would have put an ad in the paper for people to provide a ‘loving home’ for you.
3. You’re the reason we’re getting a divorce.
4. Drugs are fun.
5. I wish you were good at something.
6. Thank God I’m not your real dad.
7. Your zit makes you look ugly.
8. Jesus hates you.
9. I didn’t drink as much before you were born.
10. Every time I spend time with you it makes me happy to be a weekend dad.

I’m sure you could come up with 10 more of your own in less than a minute. The point is, while you may agree the top 10 are not the best things to say your kids, there are a lot of worse things you can say. I guess the lesson in all of this is don’t speak to your children at all. That way you’ll never say the wrong thing.

Winter 2011: early & cold

October 12th, 2011 by Vince

The prairies can expect an early and cold winter. Yes, a 5th consecutive deep freeze will move in and it apparently will stay. Sure, we’ll get chinooks, but it may be so cold that those chinooks never push the mercury above zero. I present exhibit A:

Regarding snowfall, good news. I draw your attention to exhibit B:

The good news I refer to is that Lethbridge looks to have normal snowfall whereas the mountains that many love to ski and snowboard are expecting above average snowfall.

My ideal winter is +5 with brown grass around Lethbridge with 25cm of snow weekly out at Castle Mountain. Am I asking too much?

Is iPhone 4S worth the upgrade?

October 5th, 2011 by Vince

The only “5” associated with the Apple iPhone yesterday was the drop in stock: 5%… all because Apple cultists wanted the iPhone 5 but instead got the 4S (fours?)

Most of the rumoured upgrades appear in the phone and even some extras but is it worth the upgrade?  Let’s examine.

No Design Upgrades

Rumours promised a slimmer design, more rounded.  Instead, it looks virtually the same as the 4. 


The 16GB model starts at $199 with a contract and 32GB costs $299.  And, introducing, the new 64 GB model.  It will be a whopping $399.

Hardware Improvements

Under the hood is where you find the upgrades including the dual-core A5 processor that iPad 2 users have been enjoying.  Use of apps, games and the net will be faster – up to double the speed. 

It can also switch between GSM and CDMA cellular networks which makes usage overseas much more convenient. 


An already great camera in the iPhone 4 just got a lot better. 

* 8 mp camera sensor
* 3264 x 2448 maximum resolution
* f/2.4 aperture lets more light in for low-light shooting conditions
* High performance in very bright and very dark conditions
* Zero shutter lag lets you snap images in quick succession
* Hybrid IR filter allows better color accuracy, more color uniformity.
* Refined LED flash
* 5 element lens assembly that’s 30% sharper
* Improved multi-face detection
* Camera app accessible from the lock screen for fast shooting
* 1080p video recording

Some feel it’s worth upgrading to the 4S for the Camera alone… if you’re a photo-fanatic.


The newest toy within the iPhone is Siri – a voice command and dictation app.  This allows you to be more hands free.  By voice commands you can:

* Set a reminder
* Set your alarm
* Send a text
* Check the weather
* Set a meeting
* Send an email
* Look up directions
* Find a phone number
* Conduct a web search

iOS 5

October 12th it debuts.   Features:

* Drop-down notification menu rather than pop-up alerts
* Improved Safari browser
* Location-triggered reminders
* iCloud, Apple’s new media syncing service for music, photos, videos, and apps
* “PC free” wireless updates that don’t require you to plug your device into a computer
* Newsstand for keeping your digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions in one place
* iMessage, a messaging app for communicating with other iOS 5 users

You can get this without getting the 4S by downloading a free upgrade if you have a iPhone 4 or 3GS or kickass iPod touch 4th generation.

Hardware That’s Missing

Personally this doesn’t bum me out at all but for some the absence of Near Field Communication – technology that lets you make mobile payments by using your cell phone as a credit card.

“True” 4G is also missing.  If you don’t know what that means then you won’t be missing it


This is a great upgrade… if you’re a 3GS user (or an earlier model).  While some ‘4’ users will no doubt get the upgrade, the consensus is to keep waiting for the ‘5’ – release date TBD.

Tomorrow, October 4th, all will be revealed

October 3rd, 2011 by Vince

Stats probably show that 99.9% of world’s population own a cell phone. Even the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert are brought outfitted with even simplistic flip phones. Not me, though. Me and children under the age of 3 make up that 0.1%. Maybe the iPhone5 will change all that.

If not for the promise of iPhone5, I would most likely already have a cell phone. But I didn’t want to get an iPhone4 only to regret it months later thanks to a newer, better version. That’s the life of an Apple enthusiast.

Here are the rumored improvements which shall either be confirmed or thwarted tomorrow (Oct 4) by Apple.

Higher Quality Camera and Video Capabilities

The iPhone 4 boasts a 5MP camera with LED flash, as well as HD video recording and editing. 8MegaPixels is the guesstimate. I admit, ever since I found an app that claims to turn my 4MP ipod into an 8PM (and recently a 16MP), I have lost interest in this upgrade.

Faster Processor and Upgraded Operating System

Instead of an A4 processor, I suspect this one will have an A5… which is exactly 1A better. The A5 dual-core chip already exists in the iPad2 so it would only be naturally to toss it into the iPhone5 as well. It’ll make everything marginally faster for your new iOS5.

Better Connectivity

Remember the debacle with iPhone4 where calls kept being dropped because of the antenna was blocked when you gripped it to your ear? In truth, that only affected something miniscule like 3% of users, but media made it sound more like 100%. Anyhow, now 0% should be the # with the iPhone5.

More Memory

More room for more music, more apps, more photos, more movies, more everything. Why settle for 32GB when you can double it? Personally, my 32GB iPod is more than I need. I have over 1000 songs and 2 thirds of the memory is still available. I’m happy with about 50 apps and I prefer to watch my movies on something bigger than 3 or 4 inches. So this is lost on me but I know a lot of friends who will welcome this feature.

Bigger Screen

Who wants a few more millimeters of the retina display? Perhaps 4 times the pixel density is more to your liking. In all honesty, if it’s a larger screen I’m after, I’ll get an iPad so for me this isn’t a huge plus. Nor is it a negative.

Better Battery Life

I’ve heard non iPhone users complain of terrible battery life for their smartphones, but iPhone has always been pretty decent. Is it possible to make it better? Well, they can make an iPad 2 battery keep its juice for 10 hours. That would be a 3 hour improvement over the iPhone4. But is that possible in a noticeably smaller device compared to an iPad2? We’re about to find out.

Why iPhone5?

Everyone will have their own reasons for getting or not getting iPhone5, or an iPhone of any kind for that matter. Me, being an iPod and iMac owner, getting an iPhone (and particularly an iPhone5) is made more exciting by the coming iCloud which will allow all apple devices to sync and work together without any cords. There’s a whole other mess of awesome regarding the iCloud but I’ll maybe save that for another day.
But, as it stands, I am still a man without a cell phone. Are those days numbered? Tick-tock, tick-tock…


September 29th, 2011 by Vince

Fiday at 3pm the Weekend Gone Wild begins on Rock 106 and the theme will be Famous Firsts.

Today on the show we played Come Together by the Beatles which is famously known as the first song to reference ‘toe-jam football.’ It may very well be the last song that references ‘-toe-jam football’ but that’s beside the point.

Anyhow, it prompted the question on the show today, what IS toe-jam football?

Before ‘pig-skin’ footballs were made, people would invite their friends out to a field. They would then remove their shoes and socks and scrounge up all the toe jam they could, smoosh it together and shape into the familiar football shape.

The CFL played with toe-jam football for the first 3 years of its existence. That’s when someone invented something better: belly button footballs.

Each player would excavate the lint from their belly buttons, smoosh it together and once again shape it into the familiar football shape. They were far less smelly than toe-jam footballs, though equally as disgusting. Also, games could only be played in windless games because any breeze would wisk a belly lint football away.

The CFL would later go on to try other footballs made of ear wax and eye crud before eventually settling for the pigskin football. But it all began with toe-jam.

Or, according to the internet, toe-jam football means bare-foot soccer. But who are you gonna believe, me or the internet?

Happy weekend gone wild.

PEARL JAM setlist, highlights and lowlight.

September 22nd, 2011 by Vince

Eddie, Jeff, Stone, Mike, Matt and Boom gave a great Saddledome crowd 2 and half hours of classics, album cuts and cover tunes Wednesday night.

Highlights: the crowd.

One fan tossed up a Flames jersey to Eddie with ‘Vedder’ on the back and the #10 (in salute of the bands debut album). That’s a pricy gift. Nicely done.

Another fan tossed up a mask and on that mask was Gene Simmons classic face paint design for KISS. Later in the show, bassist Jeff Ament put it on, rocked out and sang back ups vocals with it. Awesome.

A 3rd fan who has been traveling at least a few shows across Canada with the band was holding up a sign requesting a b-side (Parachutes). Eddie brought the fan up on stage and said, “I need help remembering the lyrics,” and had the fan sit by the mic and hold the lyric cheat-sheet throughout the tune. Eddie even let the fan have a gulp from his bottle of wine.

The music. I remember buying the Ten album on cassette for $5 in Vancouver a couple months before the band catapulted into immediate stardom. I’ve been a fan ever since. While I dig hearing the hits just to hear/see the crowd lose their mind, it’s the album cuts that really get me charged and thankfully PJ plays a lot of ‘em in every show.

Lowlight: only 1; a tribute to R.E.M.

With news breaking the morning of the show that R.E.M. had disbanded after 31 years together, Eddie expressed PJ’s sadness and paid tribute by covering a R.E.M. song (It Happened Today).

This would be considered a major highlight for a lot of people including my friend Dawn who is a huge R.E.M. fan. Not me. I commend the band for doing the tribute.  It makes me recall Jimi Hendrix doing a similar gesture back in ’69 when the supergroup Cream split.  Jimi’s tribute became my favorite performance of his.  With that said, I didn’t pay $$$ to hear a Michael Stipe song. I would have preferred the worst Pearl Jam song in the catalogue over that buzz kill. Again, that’s just me. Oh, and my wife felt the same as well. But the other 27 songs rocked.

The setlist =

Last Exit
Given to Fly
Big Wave
Unthought Known
Even Flow
Deep *STELLAR (from the 1st album & they don’t play it often)
Light Years
It Happened today (R.E.M. cover)
Setting Forth
Corduroy *WICKED
Brain of J *AWESOME

Just Breathe
Parachutes (fan request)
Rats (Eddie dedicated it to Alberta for being rat-free)
The Fixer
Rearviewmirror *LOVED IT

Crazy Mary (Victoria Williams cover) *INCREDIBLE (McCready and Boom trading off solos b/n guitar and keys respectively)
Search and Destroy (Iggy and the Stooges cover w/ 2 members of Mud Honey)

F’n Up (Neil Young cover)
Yellow Ledbetter

Final thoughts: there will always be songs you wish they had played simply because they have so many songs to choose from. I would have loved Oceans, Black, Indifference, State of Love and Trust, Do the Evolution, and so on and so on and so on. The trick is to not focus on what they didn’t jam, and appreciate your favorites that they did jam. That’s Pearl Jam.

Onward to Edmonton.

Newest Deadly Competition: Kite Fighting?

August 30th, 2011 by Vince

Allow me to introduce you to the world of kite fighting.
Step 1: get a kite
Step 2: get it flying in the air
Step 3: Try to crash your kite into other kids kites so that theirs plummet to the ground and yours is the last kite in the sky.

Who was the first bully who dreamt up this? I assume it was a big brother conjuring up a new way to make his little brother cry.
Before you rush out to participate, let it be known this “sport” is potentially deadly. The participants are necessarily in danger, but motorcyclists are.
As I post this, a man in Ontario is in critical condition after his neck was sliced by a kite string. As he rode by an area often used for kite fights, little did he know he was about to be essentially clothesline off his cycle.
Now, I’m not saying kite fights should be bannedk, but as a motorcyclist I would, at the very least, like to know of any other kite fight areas across North America so I can avoid them or proceed with extreme caution.
A kite string. What a terrible way to go.

Driver swept away by storm Irene

August 29th, 2011 by Vince

Aside from the odd tornado scare in these parts, we get off pretty ease when it comes to storms. I can’t imagine having to batten down the hatches on an annual basis because a big brute of a storm comes roaring through like clockwork. Often the damage is structural and is most unkind to hydrostations leaving people without power (over 5 million, last I heard) but sadly Irene has also taken lives. Picture yourself in your vehicle and the road gives way and you wash out into a swollen river. That’s what happened to a motorist in Quebec. Below is the 15m hole in the road.