Bob and Joanna, Kate and Allie

It’s hard to believe that in recent memory CBC Television was broadcasting American programs like Newhart, Kate and Allie and All My Children. I even remember going to CBC season preview events and hearing how they were going to excise non-Canadian programming from the schedule and thinking there was no way they could ever do it.

But they have. Or at least almost. As near as I can tell, the remaining U.S. programs on the schedule are The Simpsons broadcast weekdays at 5:00 p.m. and Wonderful World of Disney broadcast Sundays at 6:00 p.m..

And of course there’s Mr. Bean, which is neither Canadian, nor funny but which, for some reason, is now an animated series. Why, why, why?

In any case, it’s an impressive feat for the CBC to have pulled off and the powers that be should be lauded.

Fireworks at 11: Tourism Trumps

The final victory of our new demographically programmed Dominion Day celebrations can now be proclaimed by the tourismocrats: fireworks in Charlottetown will go off at 11:00 p.m. this July 1 to accommodate the needs of a national television broadcast.

In other words the national audience will be treated to a television show from the birthplace of Confederation that, in the end, has more to do with glitz and pomp and the pretend PEI than the lives of actual everyday Islanders, many of whom will be asleep at home.

I imagine the next step will be to move the holiday festivities to another date: probably be more convenient for the RV crowd or something.

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

There is a song on a They Might Be Giants album called Istanbul (Not Constantinople), part of the lyrics of which are:

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you’ve a date in Constantinople
She’ll be waiting in Istanbul
One of the few popular songs to include the word Istanbul and a confusing lead-in to an invoice that I received today from FedEx for $1,042.26. The invoice was to pay for the shipment of a 110 lb. parcel from Greensboro, North Carolina to Istanbul, Turkey.

The invoice came as something of a surprise given that I have never shipped anything from Greensboro, NC to Istanbul, nor indeed to anywhere in Turkey.

I phoned FedEx this morning and relayed this to their “correction on invoice” department. Their response, oddly enough, was “yes.” I found this response rather unhelpful.

I pressed my case further, and they agreed to reverse the “Third Party Billing.” Presumably this means I won’t have to pay the invoice.

I am very curious, however, to know what one would pay $1,042.26 to air ship from North Carolina to Istanbul. Stay tuned for more information as I’m on the case.

Pink Floyd

Does anyone have a recollection of Pink Floyd playing Ivor Wynn Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario in the mid-1970s in a concert that effectively ended the stadium’s career as a hosting place for rock concerts given then melee that ensued?