Could someone please put the ITAP website out of its misery.  I’m not even an ITAP member and it bothers me.  It may have been state of the art when it was created, but it’s now both ugly and broken.

The site hasn’t been updated since the 2001 Christmas mixer.  It’s full of broken links and missing graphics.

Imagine if the Housepainters Association was headquartered in a building with a bad paint job.  It’s an embarrassment to the industry.

I know that the silverorange folks have offered to replace it pro bono, but that professional rivalries have kept this from happening.  Just let them do it: anything is better than the status quo.

Danger Bay Debacle

Niagara Falls from the AirMy mother, who is quite young and beautiful, had a birthday recently.

My father, quietly romantic, decided to surprise her with a helicopter flight over Niagara Falls and assorted other dining and drinking activities (he had a lot to live up to: on a recent birthday of his Mom surprised him with a snap trip to Greenland).

While they were aloft my mother snapped some pictures, including the one you see here (yes, that is Niagara Falls) and the one of my brother Mike (along for the ride) you all read about here.

Looking at said photo of brother Mike, I was struck with how “Danger Bay” he looked.  And the result was the aforelinked Danger Bay, The Next Generation story.  In case you missed the sarcasm, or the resulting banter, this story was not true.

Now this kind of mistruth, you would think, probably wouldn’t be all that dangerous.  Embarassing perhaps, for those who believed it.  But only mildly so.

But hark…

If you search for keyword “Danger Bay” at Google, you will now find that the third most popular site on the Internet about the television program Danger Bay is this very one you’re reading.

Presumably, unless there is some exotic new resort in Mexico called Danger Bay, or one of the child actors from Danger Bay commits a crime, or they really do bring back Danger Bay, this will continue to be the case.

And so my brother Mike’s faux role in a new television series will go down in history.

And so I write this item (with, you will notice, copious references to the words Danger and Bay comingled) with hopes that it will rise higher in the heap and serve to erase my prior wrongs.


Last Wednesday, Allan Rankin dropped over to deliver some materials for his new website.  Given that we first discussed getting Allan a website about 4 years ago, this officially represents the longest concept-to-delivery lag in my professional career.  It was worth it, though.

Thinking I should strike while iron was hot, I worked feverishly through to night on Wednesday to spring together AllanRankin.com.  I put a note on this website to let people know that something was coming.

I forgot, of course, that nothing gets by eagle-eyed culture-journo Matthew Rainnie, and this resulted in a phone call to Allan from Matthew on Thursday morning to the effect of “hey, you’ve got a new website.” 

Allan was surprised.

A week later, I’m happy to announce that AllanRankin.com, which will continue to be a work in progress, is nonetheless ready viewing by the public at large.  Enjoy.

Saskatoon, Capital of Canada

According to the Starbucks website, Saskatoon, SK is the capital of Canada.  I know this because I visited said website looking to see if there are any WiFi-equipped Starbucks stores in Canada.  There are not.  But I was shown this helpful map of the country, showing what appears to be a Starbucks outlet on the shores of Hudson Bay (or perhaps it’s the local Red Cross office?) 

Double Triple Quad

Screen ShotI get an opportunity to watch a lot of people surf the web.  One thing a lot of people don’t know is that you can have more than one web browser window open at the same time.

If you have a slow connection to the Internet — or even if you don’t — having two or three browser windows open can help keep you occupied while surfing because you can read a finished web page in one window while another window’s page is loading.

How do you do this mysterious thing?  It’s easy: in either Netscape or Internet Explorer, just hold down CONTROL and press N (think “n = new window”).  A new browser window will pop up, and you can enter a new web address or click on a new bookmark, even as your original window is busy off loading some other page.

Andy Richter Controls the Universe

Of all the new sitcoms to come along this year, it was perhaps Andy Richter Controls the Universe for which I held out the least hope of success.

I mean, Andy Richter?  Wasn’t he Conan O’Brien’s inane sidekick?  One step above that guy that Tom Green pours molten Jello on?  In my mind he was no more than a latter day David Caruso, going on to seek fame and fortune after living under the wing of someone more interesting (Dennis Franz) or at least more successful (O’Brien).

Well, I was wrong.

Andy Richter Controls the Universe, is actually quite a funny and delightful show.

It’s covering some dangerous territory, too.  Other “gimic” shows, like Herman’s Head and Dream On (and “gimic” here means, among other things, “main character talks directly to the camera”) have been almost unwatchable.  Once in a while there’s been a good show in this genre: It’s Gary Shandling’s Show was very funny, largely because it was so good at taking itself not seriously at all.  But it’s hard to depart from the standard sitcom format and introduce wacky elements without failing.

The Andy Richter show isn’t perfect — I would scale back the fantasy sequences by maybe 10%, for example — but the production values are great, there’s a good solid cast, and, perhaps most surprisingly, Richter himself carries the show well.

Danger Bay, The Next Generation

I’m happy to announce that my brother Mike has been offered the part of Dr. Grant ‘Doc’ Roberts Jr. in a new CBC Television series, Danger Bay: The Next Generation.

The new series picks up where the original Danger Bay left off: Doc Roberts Sr. is killed in a horrible whale accident and his long-lost son, Doc. Jr., returns from the Amazon rainforest to continue his work on behalf of the biologically underrepresented.

Mike will be joined on screen by original cast members Ocean Hellman, (recently seen with Morgan Freeman in Along Came a Spider) and Susan Walden (see in the recent movie of the week Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story).

Filming starts off the coast of Nanaimo, BC in May.  Pictured above right is a publicity shot of Mike, high over the rockies, taken during his audition.