I don't know if it's just that one or more of their servers is offline, but a freaking lot has been purged from YouTube.com
, including all of the purloined Lost
episodes that I mentioned the other day.
But it's not just Lost
. The infamous missing episode 67 of Sailor Moon R
, the episode, wherein Chibi-Usa befriends a plesiousaur
, is gone too. As are most episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force
(every episode that wasn't there in December, when I first noticed that a few episodes of ATHF
were being hosted at YouTube, has disappeared). But what really caused me to notice the massive reduction in files hosted at YouTube.com was that there used to be way more than 5 videos in a search for "hypnotist"
, and I doubt that every single stage hypnotist who has had clips from audience members' videocameras show up at YouTube simultaneously decided to all send Cease & Desist notices to YouTube.com within a couple of days of each other, and I also doubt that stage hypnosis clips (as well as clips from those lewd-but-not-quite-porno Japanese variety shows with models hypnotized to have "orgasms" whenever they hear loud noises) are towards the top of the list of intellectual property/copyright infringement that YouTube is worried about. As such, I'm leaning more towards thinking that some of YouTube's servers are currently offline.
Or maybe it's just a problem with their internal search engine, as Sailor Moon episode 67
is still there if I click on the direct link from the article I wrote last month, it's just not showing up in the search results.
I still haven't heard back from Merivale McDonald's, though it could be that they're still in the process of interviewing people for the spring and summer positions and I won't hear anything for another week or two even if I got the job.
On Friday evening, I went over to the Glen Scottish restaurant
on Hazeldean Road in Kanata with my parents, as my now-somewhat-visibly-pregnant (5½ months) sister and her boyfriend were buying us dinner. It's not a big restaurant, and it was Friday, so it was pretty crowded. We had to wait a good 15 minutes just for a five person table to be vacated. We skipped the appetizers and went directly for the main course. The menu was somewhat limited, though my sister told us that it used to be bigger, they just slimmed it down to their most popular items. The advantage of a streamlined menu is that they can serve everything freshly-cooked relatively quickly. I wasn't really feeling in an adventurous mood (re: I didn't feel like eating Haggis, and don't think I will ever, though, unlike Ottawa XPress
writer Aaron Shaw, I've had scotch eggs many times, and I don't find it the least bit disgusting, though my mother makes it with ground hamburger beef instead of sausage meat), so I just went with the "breaded chicken filets", which the good-humoured server woman, who I'm 99% sure is the same woman as seen in the photo in the Ottawa XPress
article to which I linked, called "chicken fingers", served with fries AND (fricking hot) onion rings. The chicken filets were excellent, seasoned with something green and powdery (basil?) and just slightly spicy, just the way I like it. The fries and onion rings were fine too. I washed it down with... uhh... plain Coke. (I wasn't in a beer mood, though my father, who wasn't driving was, and suprisingly, for a Scottish restaurant in Canada, they didn't have any Alexander Keith's. I almost felt like saying, "Out of Keith's? OUT OF KEITH'S!"
in the voice of the Alexander Keith's Angry Scotsman, but, considering the character is about as popular as ebola-laced-AIDS now due to actor Robert Norman Smith's legal woes
, decided against it.) Some people had dessert, but I opted just for a cup of tea. My mother had key lime cheesecake, and I got a tiny forkful of it and it was tasty, I just happen to be too fat already and wasn't going to have a slice of cheesecake after already having eaten a plate full of battered and fried food.EDIT:
Oh, The Glen actually has a website
that wasn't showing up on Google yesterday for some reason. Glad I checked Yahoo search.
Also last night, since Late Night with Conan O'Brien
was going to be a rerun anyway, I watched Noel Baumbach
's The Squid and the Whale
, which I rented from Merivale Blockbuster on Wednesday. I'm a big Wes Anderson fan, with Rushmore
and The Royal Tenenbaums
being two of my favourite films (Baumbach was also the co-writer of Wes Anderson's lesser-but-still-interesting The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
), and Wes Anderson was the producer of this film, which I've seen described as being thematically similar to The Royal Tenenbaums
, but set in a realistic New York as opposed to the hyper-stylized "New York" that the Tenenbaums lived in with characters that are much less cartoonish. Basically, it's just a film about the effects that a not-too-turbulent-but-still-traumatic separation and divorce between two parents (Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney) has on their teenage sons, with the parents getting somewhat territorial over which days the parents get the kids (not caring much, at least at first, for when the kids decide to see the other parent when it's not their "day"). Also, since the parents are sophisticated New York urbanites and writers, there are disputes over the ownership of books. The performances of all the actors, including Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kleine as the sons, were exceptional, with one not-too-graphic-but-very-disturbing school library masturbation scene showing one of the son's divorce-rooted psychoses manifesting itself in a very unusual way, but the film itself was actually very short for a drama, with the final credits starting only about a hour-and-a-quarter in, and I left feeling somewhat unsatisfied, like I had only seen two-thirds of the movie and was still wanting to see how the threads played out beyond the ending. Good ensemble cast chemistry, though.
Over the weekend, and on Monday, we were having quite a cold snap here in Ottawa, and do you know what you get when you have a thaw followed by a cold snap?
Rather impressive icicles!
I'm not too sure how I got that weird dark shadow effect with the icicle silhouette at the right of the picture, but it looks pretty cool.
Anyway, I suppose I should talk just a tad about my McDonald's job interview, and I thought it went reasonably well. I wore my blue interview sweater and interview pants, and Axe Apollo body spray, to make a reasonably good impression. My mother left a little later than I would have liked, by about 5 minutes or so, but we still managed to get to the Merivale McDonald's at 4 p.m. sharp. I went in, waited in line for a minute, said I was there for a job interview, and was told to sit down at one of the tables facing the counter (this McDonald's has a "shallow" front area, where the counter faces the front doors quite directly, but there is still a single line of tables in front of the windows between the doors).
While I was waiting, a kid in his late teens came in, also there for a job interview, so he waited at the next table from me. Since we were in what was fairly intense sunlight (it was mid-to-late afternoon, and these front windows face west), they offered us complimentary drinks. I declined, but the kid took them up on their offer. I probably was better off drink free, because the poor kid spilt his Coke right on his well-pressed interview pants. Guess he was nervous. Consciously wanting to be seen as helpful by whichever staff members were observing us, and also because I'm a generally... at least overall (certainly when I'm not in "Internet character" shtick mode)... decent guy who doesn't want to see someone else blow a job interview because of an unanticipated accident (and they were hiring for several positions anyway, so it's not like we couldn't have both been hired), I went to the condiments counter around the corner from the main counter and pulled out a couple of napkins. By the time I got back, they had already given him a couple, but he could probably have used a couple more anyhow.
After about 7 or 8 minutes of waiting, the manager woman came out, introduced herself, and took me to another window table several windows further down, facing the dining area. She sat on the inner side of the table, while I sat on the window side, so I was being bathed in sunlight. I would have preferred if she had chosen a table further inside the restaurant, as I'm just not that comfortable having a conversation in direct sunlight, but it wasn't my place to choose the table.
I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow report of absolutely everything that happened in the interview, but it was one of the easier interviews that I've had over the past year or so. I've had a job interview at a McDonald's before, at the Dorion McDonald's, but that was at some point in the mid-1990s, so I've long forgotten what it was like (though I'm sure that my relatively poor French doomed my chances there from the start).
The manager was a fairly cheerful French-Canadian woman, possibly around my age if not just a couple of years older, who, when I mentioned that I had moved to Nepean, Ontario from Pincourt, Quebec just over a year before, told me that she had moved here from New Brunswick, which is, officially, the most bilingual province in Canada (some famous francophone Canadian singers are actually from New Brunswick and not Quebec, most notably Roch Voisine
and Natasha St-Pier
). If there's anywhere in the country that lives up to the bilingual ideal, where French and English are fully intergrated with one another and equal, it's New Brunswick. I mentioned that I didn't think that there's enough French-language signage in the Ottawa area west of Orleans (and that's how I really feel. I don't care for Quebec's language laws, and I don't mince my words regarding my disdain for them and the people who enforce them, but that's because I'm pro-freedom of expression and don't care for the government legislating against one language to promote the other, not because I'm anti-French. While I was never able to become perfectly fluent compared to some Quebec anglophones who can seamlessly switch back-and-forth between languages without skipping a beat, often with an impeccable accent, like Mike Ward
, it's not like I don't know or appreciate the language. Over half the Japanese manga I read in is the French-translated version, to the point where I often find I prefer the French translation even when an English version is available, and I watch a moderate amount of French-language TV, mainly the international TV5, but also MusiquePlus, which is generally better than MuchMusic for videos.). Anyway, I managed to say a few sentences in French, but my big problem with French has always been that I get intimidated very easily when speaking in French to someone for whom it's a first language, and I have a tendency to forget words and expressions I honestly do know. And she finished a sentence for me, which is a thing that bilingual French Canadians do, especially in the Montreal area, that takes one's confidence speaking French down a further notch.
The interview actually started out on a bit of an odd note. She wanted me to fill out an application form, which I already had done when I applied there about two weeks prior. She said that they were rearranging her office, and she had misplaced a lot of people's applications. But, when I started writing, printing my name out in block capitals, she realized that she did still have mine, but she thought I had used a different name. (Maybe I had accidentally written, "Steve Brandon", which is, of course, my name, but, on applications and such, I use the more formal "Stephen"), So she went away for a minute, and, when she came back, I could see that I had written my name no differently. So, she was mistaken.
It was the sort of job interview where she trimmed the fat and didn't ask a lot of the superfluous personality quiz-type questions, the ones that ellicit the kind of obvious bullshit answers like "My biggest problem is that I work too damn hard," or the hypothetical "What would you do if"s. The most "abstract" question she asked was why people come to McDonald's, and I believe I said "convenience, quality, and price" ("quality" in the sense of "safe and predictable", where you know in advance exactly what you're getting at pretty much any McDonald's location in the world, with no unpleasant surprises, not "quality" in terms of having any delusions that what you're getting at McDonald's is fancy cuisine, though I am an unapologetic fan of the taste of the food at McDonald's. I know a lot of people hate the food, but if I personally didn't like the taste, I wouldn't eat there.). I wish I had thought of saying "cleanliness", since McDonald's is often a much cleaner place to eat than any home-grown alternatives, especially in the third world, and that's probably a larger factor than some people realize in McDonald's enduring global popularity.
She asked why I wanted to work at McDonald's. I gave an honest, straightforward answer, that I'm looking for a job, and I'm a frequent McDonald's customer (no duh
) who noticed, on the bottom of the receipt, that they were hiring at this location, and this particular McDonald's franchise is within easy walking distance of my house.
She asked if I had any experience, and I had to say no. I was at university for the best part of a decade, and, while my parents frown upon me giving details about certain things that happened to us in the late 1990s, I can say that I was in a financially stable situation where, at the time, I didn't need to work just to make ends meet. I realize now that I should have tried harder to get work back then (and I applied at a few token places, mostly at movie cinemas, but I wasn't exactly putting a lot of energy into it) so that I wouldn't have the "lack of experience" problem today, but I should have done a lot of things differently back then and second guessing things I failed to do 8 or 9 years ago is of little use to me now.
One thing that was different about this job interview compared to the Toys R' Us job interview debacle of three weeks prior
was that I finally had a couple of "references", people from our old church whom my mother contacted and whom took forever to reply, lined up. Unfortunately, both of them happen to be on vacation at the moment, but the important thing is that I was able to give them.
She also wondered if I would prefer to work at the counter, or in the back, and I thought, since I don't have any formal job experience, the back would probably be a better place to start. Also, she wondered if I was interested in full-time or part-time, and I said part-time to start but possibly full-time in the summer. I mentioned that I would like to get into university in this city, but I am not going to get in until at least next winter at the earliest. (The last year I was at Concordia, 2003-2004, was mostly a wash-out due to severe depression, and I need to discuss certain things with a doctor, who I'm seeing in April, and then iron certain things out with Concordia before I have any chance of being accepted into Carleton.) And I mentioned that I'd love to have an evening or even an overnight shift, since my chronic insomnia makes it so that I'm usually not even sleepy until after 4 a.m.
And that was pretty much all. She asked if I had any questions, and, knowing it always makes you look more interested if you have at least one question, I asked when most of the shifts they're hiring for are, and it is mostly evenings, which is good for me.
I thanked her for her time, and then walked over to the front counter and ordered fries and a Coke, since I was there anyway. I sat further back in the dining area, having already had my share of sunlight. The manager was interviewing the other kid at the same table next to the window, but I wasn't paying attention, comparing his "performance" to mine. After I'd finished, they were still talking, and I left and crossed the street to get to Merivale Mall, where my mother was shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart and Farmboy (she also got me a couple of new pairs of pajama pants from a "sidewalk sale" at Tip Top, since both of the Mark's Work Wearhouse ones I got for my birthday in October are already splitting at the seams). Then we got a few more groceries at the McDaniel's Independent supermarket, where I had actually dropped off an application a few weeks back (though they never called me back), and we went home. And... uhh... I watched a 6Teen
rerun. And, later, the second half of 24
. And posted on message boards. And I really should have ended this story several sentences ago.
More stuff that I've noticed recently on YouTube.com
, "The Web's finest source of copyright-infringing video content for those of us who are too pussy to use file-sharers anymore".
Here's the opening for Cats Toninden Teyande
, the original Japanese version of the anime series that got transmutated into Samurai Pizza Cats
in North America. A few shots in this opening got re-used in the English opening
, but there's a lot that English viewers never saw, like one shot of the three main characters waving their tushes in the air. What is it with cats shaking their butts in old cartoon opening segments? The opening for the ALF
cartoon from DiC also had cat butts featured prominently.
The song, performed by someone named Rena Yazawa, is nothing like the English opening. It's light "old school pop" that reminds me very much of the song "Yasashii Jealousy" ("Tender Jealousy"
), the Kimagure Orange Road
"image" song (not actually used in the cartoon) sung by Kyosuke's sisters Kurumi and Manami (Chieko Honda and Michie Tomizawa).
By the way, whenever Samurai Pizza Cats
is brought up, someone invariably wonders when it will be available on DVD in Region 1 (North America). There's this one single-disk release from 2003
that's coded as Region 1, but I have no idea whether or not it's legitimate, I can't find any company called "Jade Entertainment" that's relevant to releasing cartoons on DVD, and, even if it was a legitimate release, it appears to be long out of print, and there were no subsequent volumes.
I wrote a couple of months ago in this Rotten Tomatoes thread
why I'm skeptical that we'll get a release of the show in its North American format (which was dubbed in Montreal!) anytime soon.
While it's not inconceivable that someone else might re-license Cats Toninden Teyande for the nostalgia value and do a new dub, whether or not Samurai Pizza Cats will ever get a North American DVD release with the Canadian dub that North Americans remember is very hazy, considering that Saban Entertainment got bought out by Disney in 2001 and became BVS Entertainment and it's very unclear if the rights to the dub got transferred, and, even if they did, there's a reasonably good chance that they've expired (possibly even before Saban got bought out). That's the same reason you won't be hearing the original Sailor Moon dub again anytime soon, since DiC's rights expired.
Any company that wanted to put out Samurai Pizza Cats on DVD as seen on early 1990s television would have to not only negotiate with Tatsunoko Productions for the rights to the animation, but also with whomever controls the rights to the original dub soundtrack, which may not even be Disney/BVS Entertainment, and those sorts of negotiations can get awfully convoluted once they figure out exactly how many people they have to send money to for it to be possible to put it out on DVD.
If a company's determined to put one out, the rights issues can be dealt with, but there's a question of whether or not there's really enough of a market for Samurai Pizza Cats
on DVD for it to be worth the expense, and, if the rights are still in the hands of Disney, it might be just too niche a product to be worth their while releasing (whereas a smaller niche-oriented company like ADV Films would be more likely to put one out if it could acquire the rights, since it's used to selling DVDs in smaller quantities).
And, yes, I am aware that a lot of people spell the name of the Japanese version Kyatto Ninden Teyande
, but I don't think "Kyatto" has any meaning in Japanese other than being a transliteration of "Cat", so, in my opinion, spelling it that way makes no more sense than spelling Dragonball
, "Doragonboru", or spelling Sailor Moon
, "Seramuun". Anime News Network spells it "Cats Toninden Teyande"
, and, if that spelling's good enough for ANN, it's good enough for me.A couple of weeks ago
, I mentioned that you can now watch the entire Star Wars Holiday Special on YouTube.com
(or just the animated segment
if you can't stomache the rest), but YouTube now has another infamous piece of late 1970s televised Star Wars
arcana up for viewing, and, this time, it's something I just barely remember having watched when it was new.
Here's a long collection of scenes from the two episodes of Sesame Street where R2D2 and C-3PO visited Big Bird
(and R2D2 falls in love with a fire hydrant). These are the complete scenes somehow taken directly from raw footage from Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) and not taped off television, so you get the timecode and the clapboards, and you sometimes see studio technicians at the beginning of the clips (one of the backdrops with a fire escape appears to be just a bedsheet with a set of stairs painted on it!).
I thought I remembered seeing an article somewhere or other about this, so I Googled it, and Matt Caracappa himself did an entry about it at X-Entertainment way back in 2000
, and he had the same clips, but in Real Video format, so it's not new to the Internet, but at least you don't have to open Real Player to watch it now. Though the YouTube version of the footage has one terrible sound problem, not so much that the audio is mono (just like everything else on television in 1979), but rather that the audio is something like half a minute ahead of the video, so Big Bird's beak only matches what he said thirty seconds prior.
Anyway, I have more interesting YouTube links to share, but I think I'll do another entry after I get back from the job interview at the Merivale McDonald's in just over an hour.
By the way, considering that NBC lawyers had "Cease & Desist" bahleeted
the Saturday Night Live "Lazy Sunday"
(Chronicles of Narnia) and Natalie Portman Gangsta Rap
, I wonder how long it will take for ABC/Disney lawyers to notice that you can pretty much see the entire
series of Lost
for free at YouTube? That's a far more egregious example of copyright infringement than the SNL
vids, considering that ABC sells episodes of Lost
through iTunes. I would not be at all surprised if ABC/Disney puts the legal kibosh on YouTube's hosting of those files imminently.EDIT:
Just to cover my ass and not be an "accomplice", I contacted ABC about it myself.