Monthly Archives: April 2015

Severe Weather Season

Hi there and welcome to another post on this Weather Wednesday. Well, it is severe weather season and I’m sure we will be hearing about many tornados and severe thunderstorms popping up all across North America.

I actually like it when watches and warnings are issued unless I am outside. If I am inside and safe this is entertainment for me, when my Weather Radio alarm goes off with a watch or warning for either severe thunderstorms or tornados. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone to get hurt or killed by severe weather. It’s just that when my Weather Radio’s alarm goes off it is just another way to entertain me, while I am safe inside my apartment. Unless something really bad happens, like a tornado or hurricane.

In weather spotting training sessions they tought us “when thunder roars… go indoors.” I have always lived by that rule despite other people staying outside when they hear thunder. If you really think about it, if you hear it you are in the strike zone and you could be easily hit by lightning or maybe killed.

I can’t imagine what would happen if it was quite a few degrees colder and it was snow falling and the thunderstorm was as severe as one in either July or August. I bet there are some people that would love to be there to talk about it. I would be as surprised as I was on January 8th 1989, when we had thunderstorms in Southern Ontario and a severe thunderstorm watch was even issued.

Well, I just hope that nobody gets hurt and everybody stays safe, throughout the next few warm and maybe at times, stormy few months. That’s about it for this week and this month. Talk to you in May.

Why We Should All Have Unlimited Data Plans

Hi folks and here is another entry in the blog. This one is not about The Simpsons or the weather; in fact it is about the problem with no unlimited data plans with most Cel-Phone providers.

For a long time now I have lived without a landline because of those pesky telemarketers that call every other day, trying to pressure you into buying something you don’t want… or need. The other reason is that I live in an apartment and sometimes someone would buzz me by mistake and needless to say, it is a bother, especially when you are doing something and you get the call, with a delayed response to you saying “hello?”

So, to put this problem out of my life, I went completely mobile and I love it. All though I had some problems at first, with choosing the right voice and text plan. Eventually everything sorted itself out and I can talk and text to whom ever I want, when I want.

Then, I realized I needed a data plan too and I have a good one now but it isn’t really enough for me. I want the freedom to enjoy all the apps and stuff on our smartphones, without the unpredictability of the dreaded phone bill.

I am using my current phone as: my computer, music player and all around entertainment centre, along with my iPod Touch. I can’t really enjoy everything comfortably because I have no such thing as an unlimited data plan.

Why aren’t all the Cel-Phone providers worldwide, making it mandatory that there is an unlimited data plan in place, for those who need it? In my case it would go hand in hand with my voice and text plan and would relieve me of the stress of having to watch my data each month. By the way, those apps that track your data are also using it up too. Plus, not everyone in the world has their own wifi network. I’m lucky that i know where to go, to use free wifi but I can’t be going there all the time, in order to cut down on my data usage. I only like to use wifi for: backing up my iOS devices and to download content that is too big for cellular data, such as TV shows and movies.

In Canada, there is only one mobile provider that I know of that allows the customer an unlimited data plan and I don’t think that’s right. All companies who provide the consumer with Cel-Phone plans should also include an unlimited data plan as a part of their list of plans for people to get for their phone, tablet or iPad. It seems to me that they want us to go over our plans so they can take more money from us and that is not fair.

I have been asking for an unlimited data plan for the last while, especially with the amount of music and video streaming sites these days, that we can’t enjoy on our own time, unless we either have wifi or live in a coffee shop. I hope that if you are reading this that you call your provider and ask for an unlimited data plan and if they survey you, mention it. I did and so far, I’m the only one who is probably the loudest voice in this movement, but I’m so far the only one and I need more people to join me and make yourselves heard that we need unlimited data plans and not just for the financially comfortable, but also for people on disability and who have problems making ends meet.

I hope that soon this will have an affect on those who provide access to mobile communication and those who need unlimited access to their data, especially those of us who are iPhone users.

Queen And Spinal Tap On The Simpsons

Hi there and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. This week I’m going to do a repeat of a post I wrote last year, of sorts. My trigger finger accidentally deleted it and I am going to put it here and hopefully I don’t do that again.

Last Monday was the 23rd anniversary of the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, which was held at Wembley Stadium on April 20, 1992. The concert was one of the biggest of it’s type, besides Live Aid and it was a real who’s who of the music industry performing and in the audience.

The bands that played were: Metallica, Extreme, Def Leppard, U2 via satellite feed, Spinal Tap, Guns N’ Roses and of course, the 3 surviving members of Queen and many guest singers and backing musicians.

In case you didn’t know, there is a Simpsons connection to the concert in that, Harry Shearer is one of the main cast members and is also Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap too. The band also guest starred on the Season 3 episode The Otto Show, which I guess in part, was to help promote the current album by Spinal Tap Break Like The Wind.

Queen’s music has also been referenced and has appeared in The Simpsons too. During the Season 2 episode The War Of The Simpsons, Homer sings a slightly altered version of We Are The Champions (I Am The Champion) just before Marge finds him in the fishing boat on Catfish Lake. We Will Rock You has been sung by various characters during Sports scenes.

Also, if you know the movie Flash Gordon, the actor who portrayed Ming has guest starred in the Season 25 episode The War Of Art. Max von Sydo portrayed both Ming The Merciless in the 1980 movie and the subsequent soundtrack to Flash Gordon and voiced art forger Klaus Ziegler in the episode. If you listen you can hear a little bit of Ming in there but the voice has obviously differed with age and the accent is different too. Ming speaks with a British shakespearean actor type of voice. While Clouse has a sort of German/French type accent and a much gentler demeanor to him.

Anyway, I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I think Queen are one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time and I can point out many, many times I can hear musical references to their sound in many heavy metal bands. I have too many here to list so, I will leave that for another entry.
On the birthday front, Tito Puente would have celebrated a birthday on April 20th. He guest starred as himself in Who Shot Mr. Burns and played a songh in the second part Señor Burns. It appears on the CD’s Songs In The Key Of Springfield and Go Simpsonic With The Simpsons. Unfortunately they are both long deleted and I don’t see any Digital release of either of the two albums in the near future. Although, I am still hopeful. At least we can find it on iTunes, as a part of a 20th anniversary collection released in 2009. This collection has one episode from each season, which had won an award for it or maybe it just stood out enough to go on it. Anyway, we can hear the song and the rest of the second part of Who Shot Mr. Burns? on our iOS devices, if we choose to purchase this episode.

Also happy birthday to main cast member Hank Azaria, who turned another year older yesterday. He of course, voices many characters on the show with his main ones being: Apu, Chief Wiggum, Gary Chalmers, Comic Book Guy, Moe and many many others. He has also acted in movies such as: The Birdcage, Godzilla and also voices Gargamel in the Smurfs movie franchise, among other rolls in movies and on television.

Well, that’s about it for this Sundays post. In the mean time, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
I also recommend checking out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
I should also mention Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
http://www.marchesvous.com
For some strange reason everyone I know hasn’t heard of them yet. Hopefully I can change that.
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to http://news.simpsonswiki.com/
It is new so, give it time to grow.You can also comment here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. I would much prefer getting an email so I can reply directly to you, but that’s just me.
One final thing to mention is that you can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on Weather Wednesday.

Weather Radios For Dummies

Hi and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. Today I’m going to talk about Weather Radio for those of you who haven’t read my posts in the past.

First of all, I publish a newsletter every three months in: February, May, August and November. It is available by email subscription and I will give out the email at the end of this post.

Basically, Weather Radio is a VHF (Very High Frequency) service which is able to be heard on a lot of radios these days. In the past you needed a standalone WX receiver but now you can hear it in both Canada and the US on such receivers as: GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios, VHF marine radios, police scanners, emergency crank radios and many modern Ham Radio transceivers, among others.

Most units have an alert function which is used to warn us of any severe weather with a loud siren and the voice of the Weather Radio with the alert message. There are 2 types of alerts that are issued: a 1050 Hz tone alert for basic Weather Radios and SAME or Specific Area Message Encoding for more advanced and newer models. SAME’s function is to obviously locally alert us of impending dangerous weather and each city or county has their own SAME, FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) or CLC (Canadian Location Code) which you can program into your radio. This will allow you to only hear alerts for your local area and the codes are 6 digits and they usually begin with 0. For example: Toronto’s CLC Code is 043120. You can probably find your code on the internet or I can give it to you, if you decide to get your own WX radio.

Even better, some models allow you to only hear what alerts you want, so you can block alerts from sounding on you radio that don’t apply to you. However, some alerts such as severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings can not be blocked. You can usually find out what you can and can’t block in the owners manual!

If you would like to find out what model will be good for your needs just check some of my past posts during April and May of last year. I have spotlighted some models such as: Midland HH54VP, Midland W-R300 and Midland W-R120. There are other manufacturers that make them such as: Sangean, Reecom, Oregon Scientific and many others besides Midland.

Well, I hope this helps you in a search for a new kind of radio for your home and just be careful that some of the sirens may be a bit loud for some people. The Sangean CL-100 is quite good as a receiver on all bands but the alert siren is quite loud even at the lowest level. Good luck and I hope you stay weather safe. Oh, if you would like to join the mailing list for my newsletter just send me an email at wxrnewsletter@gmail.com.

From When It All Began

Hi there and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. Today is the 28th anniversary of The Simpsons Shorts first airing on The Tracey Ulman Show, during commercial breaks as interstitials.

Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner were already regulars on the show and were tapped to portray and voice Homer and Marge, respectively. Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith auditioned for and of course, got the parts for Bart and Lisa. Although, it is interesting to note that they both were slated to play the opposite character as Nancy was supposed to be Lisa and Yeardley was supposed to get the part for Bart originally. However, that was not to be as Yeardley’s voice was too high for a boy, so she took the part of Lisa instead. Nancy liked Lisa but there wasn’t much teath to the character at the time, so she took a look at Bart and found this character much more fun to play and I think we know how that turned out for all 4 actors.. They of course, all went on to reprise all their respective rolls and many more on The Simpsons series and well, the rest is history.

On the birthday front, happy belated birthday to former Simpsons staff writer and now late-night talkshow host Conan O’Brien, who turned another year older yesterday. If you don’t know, he wrote for the show, during Seasons 4 and part of Season 5, with his best loved episodes being: Marge VS The Monorail and Homer Goes To college. He also shared co-writing credits in the Season 5 installment of Treehouse Of Horror as well. He also guest starred on the episode Bart Gets Famous, in which Bart actually gets famous for his catchphrase “I didn’t do it”. Why that and most other beloved episodes I have mentioned are not available on iTunes is beyond me but I am hopeful this will change, despite how popular streaming is right now.

Well, that’s about it for this Sundays post. In the mean time, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
I also recommend checking out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
I should also mention Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
http://www.marchesvous.com
For some strange reason everyone I know hasn’t heard of them yet. Hopefully I can change that.
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to http://news.simpsonswiki.com/
It is new so, give it time to grow.You can also comment here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. I would much prefer getting an email so I can reply directly to you, but that’s just me.
One final thing to mention is that you can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on Weather Wednesday.

It Finally Feels Like Spring Has Sprung

Hi there and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week, finally, spring is springing here in Southern Ontario.

From when I last published an entry on weather and Weather Radio, we were still in a patern of colder than normal weather for this time of year. There were freezing rain warnings around Toronto and it was ugly driving. Then on Thursday, there were thunderstorms for parts of Ontario, particularly in the overnight hours. I heard my first rumble of thunder around 11:00 PM ET and I tweeted about it and got a favourite and a response to it.

In the past couple of days it has been rather nice with temperatures in the teens and even going up to around 20 and it has been sunny and at times, we have had the odd shower.

What is in store for us the rest of April? Well, it’s hard to really say but I imagine it will get warmer and we will turn another corner by the time May rolls around. Let’s all enjoy this next few months because it is a great time to get out and have fun. Also, if you are interested in weather spotting there are training sessions for both CANWARN and SKYWARN in many areas of both Canada and the US. Just search the web and you will probably find the nearest training session in your area. It is nice to go to them to learn how forecasters track the weather but also how we can help in issuing watches and warnings. You may even meet new people who have your same interests and maybe you will become involved in a new hobby.

Well, that’s about it for today. I’ll talk to you on Sunday or maybe even sooner. I never know when I will post another new entry.

Caracters We Love To Hate

Hi there and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. I would also like to acknowledge my friens on Facebook, some of whom are seeing my blog for the first time. I have been rather hesitant about posting the blog on Facebook up to now and have decided to do that, along with my continuation to post my entries on Twitter.

Anyway, this post is all about characters we love to hate. I have 3 of them I wish to go through and discuss their evil personalities.

My first character is Mr. Burns, who is of course homers boss at the nuclear power plant. He can be quite mean and is most certainly greedy. He tries to break op the union, headed by Homer, by turning off all the power in Springfield, expecting to hear unhappy citizens. Instead, he hears a musical protest led by Lisa and he is forced to give the workers back their dental plan and thus, loses to Homer.

Let us also not forget when he tried to block out the sun, after gold was discovered and after he ruined many Springfield citizens livelihoods and means of finance. Of course, he is shot by Maggie at the end of Who Shot Mr. Burns Pt 1 and we find this out at the end of the second part of this episode.

I have a question in that, is Mr. Burns really that bad? I mean, he really is a greedy miser and is quite mean to others in Springfield, except for Smithers. I still think that Harry Shearer does a great job voicing the character in all his appearances.

My second character is Sideshow Bob, voiced by Kelsey Grammer. We find out his dark side is present, when he frames Krusty The Clown for robbing the quik-E-Mart, in order to take control of the TV show, after years of abuse from Krusty. Bart discovers it was him, because of the size of his feat, compared to Krusty’s small feat. He steps on Bob’s boots and it hurts him and thus, Bart has show’n us that Sideshow Bob is in fact The culprit. He’s taken away to jail where he Vows revenge on Bart and of course, he tries to kill him at various times during the series but fails.

One more character I would like to mention is Hank Scorpio, voiced by Albert Brooks. He of course, is Homer’s nice guy boss in Cypress Creek. However he is also a super villain who’s only conquest is for world domination buddy finds time to help homer with motivating his team and funding sugar for his coffee.

It has been said that Scorpio was going to be the main villain in The Simpsons Movie but it was decided that another character would be created to fill this roll, in the form of Russ Cargill. Had Scorpio been in Cargill’s shoes as the main antagonist, would it have worked? Maybe but some things would have happened between him and Homer, in order for it to work well like it did with Russ Cargill. Maybe there would be a falling out between the two, or maybe Scorpio wouldn’t have ever known Homer or had forgotten all about him. Anyway, both characters have served their purpose in the series and the movie and I have no problem with how everything turned out.

Well, that’s about it for this Sundays post. In the mean time, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
I also recommend checking out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
I should also mention Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
http://www.marchesvous.com
For some strange reason everyone I know hasn’t heard of them yet. Hopefully I can change that.
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to http://news.simpsonswiki.com/
It is new so, give it time to grow.You can also comment here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. I would much prefer getting an email so I can reply directly to you, but that’s just me.
One final thing to mention is that you can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on Weather Wednesday.v