Archive for March 2012

Here comes the summer!   Leave a comment


With the great weather having arrived already it is time to think about summer and beaches.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Patricia Beach Manitoba

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Here Comes the Summer by The Understones.  Quirky Punk band from circa 1980.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Posted March 31, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Street Life by Randy Crawford   1 comment


 

Randy Crawford (born Veronica Crawford, February 18, 1952, Macon, Georgia) is an American jazz and R&B singer. She has been more successful in Europe than in the United States, where she has not entered the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist.  She has had multiple top five hits in the UK, including her 1980 #2 hit, “One Day I’ll Fly Away”.

She led R&B veterans The Crusaders on the transatlantic hit “Street Life” (1979). This song stayed atop the U.S. jazz chart for twenty weeks and has since become both a rare groove and disco classic.

Street Life Lyrics, video below

I play the street life Because there’s no place I can go Street life It’s the only life I know Street life And there’s a thousand cards to play Street life Until you play your life away
You never people see Just do you wanna be And every night you shine Just like a superstar The type of life that’s played A temptin’ masquerade You dress you walk you talk You’re who you think you are
Street life You can run away from time Street life For a nickel, for a dime Street life But you better not get old Street life Or you’re gonna feel the cold
There’s always love for sale A grown up fairy tale Prince charming always smiles Behind a silver spoon And if you keep it young Your song is always sung Your love will pay your way beneath the silver moon
Street life, street life, street life, oh street life Hmm, Yeah, oh
I play the street life Because there’s no place I can go Street life It’s the only life I know Street life There’s a thousand cards to play Street life Until you play your life away Oh !
Street life, street life, street life, oh street life…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Posted March 30, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Pennies Be Gone!   3 comments


 

Good riddance to that pestilent penny.  The federal government in Canada has finally – and may I stress finally – decided to do away with that annoying, aggravating, disgusting and useless little brown ugly coin.  The penny in my opinion was a total waste of time and energy.  I made a blog post about this impracticable coin back in 2010:  https://markosun.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/the-disgusting-little-hellish-penny-may-be-history/

I buy toothpaste and the drug store charges $2.16 cents, four more pennies to dump into my penny pail.  Actually I have two pails.  I should go to the drug store and pay for my toothpaste with 216 pennies, Touché.  The bloody drug store would call security if I tried that. 

I thought about quadruple bagging 7 or 800 pennies and donating them to a street bum.  But then the bum would have to walk all the way to the dollar store, carrying 6 pounds of pennies, to purchase penny coin wrappers.  He would have to pay for his 2 bags of wrappers with 200 pennies.  And then the beer vendor would kick the bum out of the place when he tried to pay for his jumbo can of beer with 7 fifty cent penny wrappers.  Any idea to productively get rid of pennies just doesn’t add up to anything. 

What is a guy suppose to do?  Roll all my pennies into 50 cent wrappers and haul them to a bank in a wheel barrel.  Then when the bank gives me my $20 from my penny haul I can go to the convenience store and buy a $8 frozen double hamburger combo made in a city 600 miles away.  And when I pay for the burgers the clerk will charge me $8.16.  So I will get 4 more pennies to start another collection.  It never ends, until now, FINALLY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

 

 

The federal budget is guaranteed to leave Canadians penniless — literally.

Among the victims of cutbacks outlined by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the government’s 2012 federal budget on Thursday is Canada’s one-cent coin.

Citing low purchasing power and rising production costs, the government has decided to phase the penny out of existence starting this fall, when the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing the one-cent coin to financial institutions.

Over time, that will lead to the penny effectively becoming extinct, although the government noted on Thursday that one-cent coins will always be accepted in cash transactions for as long as people still hold on to them.

The value of the penny has decreased to about 1/20th of its original purchasing power. Indeed, the lowly penny has fallen so far that Ottawa described it as a “burden to the economy” in a pamphlet explaining the change on Thursday.

In part because of rising prices for the metals it’s made of, it actually costs 1.6 cents to produce every penny. The government estimates it loses $11 million a year producing and distributing the penny, and that doesn’t include the costs and frustrations for businesses and consumers that use them in transactions.

A 2008 report by Quebec-based bank Desjardins estimated the penny’s existence cost Canada’s economy about $150 million in 2006. Canada’s big banks alone handle more than nine billion pennies a year, which costs them $20 million annually to process.

The solution Ottawa is proposing is to do away with the penny in cash transactions. Instead of fiddling with a few cents at the cash register, prices will be rounded up or down to the nearest five-cent increment.

That rounding will happen after any applicable sales taxes have been implemented.

Take a cup of coffee in Medicine Hat, Alta., that currently costs $1.80 and is subject to five per cent GST. A consumer today would pay $1.89 for that drink. Once the penny plan is implemented, that price would be rounded up to $1.90.

But the nickel and diming can work both ways. A sandwich combo at a deli in Oakville, Ont., that today costs $4.86 after HST would round down to $4.85 under the plan.

A 2005 study by the Bank of Canada concluded that doing away with the penny wouldn’t lead to any inflation. And Ottawa says similar systems implemented in Norway, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere didn’t lead to systemic price increases.

Pennies themselves will continue to hold their inherent cash value, so Canadians can always trade them in at financial institutions, a government press release was quick to note.

But banks will then return those pennies to the mint for recycling into their base materials. That means before too long, the penny will be mostly removed from the Canadian economy — except for the jars in Canadians’ closets.

Credit, debit and cheque transactions will be unaffected, so one cent is still going to be the base unit of Canadian currency.

But once the mint stops cranking out the 7,000 tonnes worth of pennies a year it currently makes, there’s going to be a lot less copper jiggling in the pockets of Canadians.

Posted March 29, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Another Killer Walks Free   16 comments


Mark Stobbe has been found not guilty of second degree murder by a jury in Winnipeg.  The crown claimed Stobbe killed his wife Beverly Rowbotham in a fit of rage in their backyard with an axe.  It was all circumstantial evidence, however all of this evidence pointed to Stobbe.  Blood and bone fragments from Rowbotham were found in the couples backyard.  Stobbe claims he fell asleep watching a baseball game while his wife was hacked to death just a few meters away.  He didn’t hear screams, the killer didn’t enter the house, ya right!

Juries have to start using common sense and logic.  In light of the Casey Anthony case juries have to realize concrete evidence and witnesses are not always part of the prosecution’s case.  Strong circumstantial evidence should be enough to convict.

CBC

Here are some of the key events leading up to, and including, Mark Stobbe’s second-degree murder trial in connection with the death of his wife, Beverly Rowbotham.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Beverly Rowbotham was found dead in her car at a gas station near Selkirk, Man., in October 2000. (CBC)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

June 2000

Mark Stobbe, Beverly Rowbotham, and the couple’s two sons move from Regina to a home on River Road in St. Andrews, Man.

Stobbe had worked as a high-ranking adviser to former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow before moving to Manitoba to take up a job with the newly elected NDP government of Gary Doer.

Oct. 24, 2000

Rowbotham goes grocery shopping with one of their sons at the Safeway in Selkirk, Man., that afternoon.

According to Stobbe, Rowbotham decides late that night to go back to Safeway. Stobbe testified that he fell asleep while Rowbotham went out, then woke up a few hours later to find she was still gone.

Oct. 25, 2000

2:37 a.m.: Stobbe calls RCMP to report Rowbotham missing.

4:12 a.m.: Rowbotham’s body is found in the family’s Crown Victoria near a service station in Selkirk. She had 16 chop wounds to the head, with some of the blows going through her skull, according to autopsy results presented at trial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Mark Stobbe has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Rowbotham’s death. (CBC)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

10:10 a.m.: An RCMP officer begins taking Stobbe’s statement. An audio recording of the 70-minute conversation was played in court.

May 2008

Stobbe is arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Rowbotham’s death.

June 2008

Stobbe is released on bail.

Jan. 16, 2012

Stobbe’s trial begins in Winnipeg. Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Chris Martin oversees the jury trial.

Jurors will go on to hear more than 100 hours of testimony from 80 witnesses, including Stobbe himself.

March 8, 2012

Stobbe begins testifying in his own defence. He undergoes six days of testimony — five of which involve cross-examination — before his testimony ends on March 15.

March 21, 2012

Crown and defence lawyers finish making their closing arguments.

March 27, 2012

Martin gives jurors final instructions before they begin deliberating.

March 29, 2012

Jury acquits Stobbe of second degree murder.

Jurors in the Winnipeg murder trial of Mark Stobbe, who is accused of killing his wife in 2000, heard audio footage of Stobbe’s statement to RCMP after she was found dead.

In the audio recording from Oct. 25, 2000, about five hours after Beverly Rowbotham was found beaten to death inside her car in Selkirk, Man., Stobbe told RCMP Sgt. Sheldon Peddle that he and Rowbotham had a “pretty good” marriage.

“Was there any tension at all between you and Bev for any reason at all?” Peddle, who was a constable at the time, asked Stobbe as they sat in an RCMP cruiser outside the River Road home where Stobbe and Rowbotham lived with their two young sons.

“Not particularly,” replied Stobbe. “Like the fact she got grumpy around menstruation period and you learn to expect it.”

“Were you happy here?” Peddle asked.

“Oh yeah, I love it here. Or I did. Still will,” Stobbe answered.

Seemed ‘out of sorts’

Peddle testified on Thursday that Stobbe seemed “out of sorts” and “lost” as he gave the statement, but he did not seem overly emotional.

The Crown’s theory is that Stobbe hit his wife 16 times with a hatchet behind the couple’s sprawling rural property in St. Andrews, Man., dragged her to a sedan in the garage, drove her body 15 kilometres away, then bicycled back home and reported her missing hours later.

Stobbe, who was arrested eight years after his wife’s death, has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. His trial began Jan. 16 in Winnipeg and is expected to continue until the end of March.

According to the RCMP recording, Stobbe told police his wife suddenly decided to go grocery shopping late at night because he was watching a baseball game on television.

Stobbe told Peddle he fell asleep with one of his two sons and woke up around 2:30 a.m. to discover his wife had not returned.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Stobbe with defense team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Mark Stobbe, a former Manitoba and Saskatchewan political adviser accused of killing his wife in 2000, is out of the witness box after six days of testimony that included five days of cross-examination.

Stobbe ended his testimony by calmly and repeatedly rejecting accusations from the Crown that he beat Beverly Rowbotham to death, drove her body to a remote location and bicycled back home to report her missing.

Stobbe has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Rowbotham’s death. His trial began Jan. 16 in Winnipeg, and Stobbe had been testifying since March 8.

With Stobbe’s testimony finished, the trial will resume Monday morning. Defence lawyer Tim Killeen has not told the jury if he will call more witnesses.

A former senior adviser to former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, Stobbe moved with Rowbotham and their children to the Winnipeg area in 2000 for a job with the government of then-premier Gary Doer.

Stobbe proclaims innocence

Rowbotham’s body was found in the family car on Oct. 25, 2000.

On Thursday, Stobbe proclaimed his innocence during the fifth and final day of cross-examination.

“I did not murder my wife,” Stobbe said calmly under questioning by Crown attorney Wendy Dawson.

“I did not put her in the Crown Victoria. I did not drive the Crown Victoria out of the garage with her in it.”

The Crown has accused Stobbe of attacking Rowbotham with a hatchet, then driving 15 kilometres away to dump her body in the Selkirk, Man., area before bicycling back to their house in St. Andrews, Man.

Stobbe has said he fell asleep while his wife went out for a late-night grocery run and woke up around 2:30 a.m. to find her still gone.

Her body was found several hours later in the family car in a parking lot in Selkirk.

Blood stains in the garage

Dawson said Stobbe moved the family’s other car to cover up blood stains in the garage while the family went to Saskatchewan for his wife’s memorial service shortly after her murder.

“I had no idea there were blood stains in the garage,” Stobbe said. “I knew neither that the garage nor the backyard were part of a crime scene.”

Dawson presented Stobbe with a bath towel spotted with his blood recovered from the family home. Stobbe said he cut himself shaving in the shower.

“These stains in this towel are more than just a shaving cut,” Dawson said. “This is from a cut you sustained while you were chopping at your wife’s head with a hatchet.”

“I never chopped at my wife’s head with a hatchet,” Stobbe said.

Stobbe said he was happy when police came to take a DNA sample from him since he assumed it would exonerate him.

“If male blood had been found, it was likely from who(ever) killed her,” he said.

“I knew with absolute certainty that that was not me.”

Although Stobbe said he went to great lengths to secure the house before they left the province, Dawson said he didn’t bother to change the locks on the house or cancel his wife’s credit cards.

That’s because Stobbe knew his wife hadn’t been robbed, she said.

Stobbe said he didn’t think to change the locks and he didn’t cancel the credit cards in case they were used by a suspect.

The Crown’s case against Stobbe is circumstantial since there were no witnesses and the murder weapon was never found.

The Crown has DNA evidence that shows blood, hair and small bone fragments from Rowbotham were found in the couple’s backyard, and alleges that Stobbe hosed down the area to try to wash away evidence.

Stobbe has testified he didn’t hear anything from the backyard or garage the night his wife was killed.

Posted March 29, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Alcohol’s effect on coordination   Leave a comment


 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Posted March 28, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Nashville Pussy rolling into The Peg   Leave a comment


Nashville Pussy is making a return engagement to the Pyramid cabaret in Winnipeg April 19th.   I checked them out a few years ago and my ears were ringing and my head was spinning for hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

Nashville Pussy is an American hard rock band from Atlanta, Georgia. Their musical style mixes boogie rock, Southern metal and psychobilly. Much of the band’s lyrical themes mostly revolve around sex, drugs, drinking, fighting, and rock ‘n’ roll. Initially called Hell’s Half-Acre, the band’s name comes from Ted Nugent’s introduction to “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” on the Double Live Gonzo album.

Following the initial 1997 breakup of Kentucky cowpunk band Nine Pound Hammer, guitarist Blaine Cartwright formed Nashville Pussy where he would take up vocal duties in addition to guitar. The core lineup of Nashville Pussy consists of husband-and-wife duo Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys (pronounced “Rider Sighs”), and drummer Jeremy Thompson. Original drummer Adam Neal (Nine Pound Hammer) left to form The Hookers. Original bassist Corey Parks (sister of former NBA basketball player Cherokee Parks) quit one month after the release of the album High as Hell. Tracy Almazan aka Tracy Kickass formerly of NYC’s The Wives, and Helldorado was enlisted to replace Corey mid-tour. Nashville Pussy recorded ‘Say Something Nasty’ with Almazan on bass only to be replaced by Katielyn Campbell (of the band Famous Monsters). Katie Lynn’s image is on the album Say Something Nasty. Campbell was subsequently replaced by Karen Cuda for the album Get Some.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Posted March 28, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Plus sizes becoming the norm   Leave a comment


 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Posted March 28, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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