G2 KITCHENER • CAMBRIDGE • WATERLOO • GUELPH LIFE GRAND RIVER SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2006 Here’s some TV shows you’ll be sure to miss s the mid-season replacement tinues to spin off the most clones. As Yard Sale Roadshow: Let’s face it, ploitive of stereotypes. Small-minded. A television shows appear in the listings, you have to feel empa- thy for their creators. the networks dispense completely with we see: common decency will it be long before , while there might be some “wow’’ factor in the elderly gent who learns the vase he’s been spitting in is worth $20,000, And the best part is, these haven’t even begun to scrape the bottom of the barrel. There is the potential of years Being a mid-season replacement TV Stalking Celebrities: Who wants what we really like is the matron who of programming, just like this. show isn’t easy . to see celebs train intensely, wear learns the priceless painting from a Do yourself a favour. Take the dog You’re replacing something so bad clothes that cost a year of our salary dead “auwnt’’ is a worthless reproduc- for a walk. that its audience decided to walk their and then dance or skate? No, we want tion. So let’s diss the stuff at yard sales. NEVER SAY NEVER dog during its time slot. And you’re to see them go out, with bad hair and Those Len Deighton books? Hardly slipping into that dead time slot. BILL bad clothes, on a late-night search for worth $1. That child car seat? Recalled Further to the columns on silent let- As well, your show was so unim- BEAN mayonnaise. Each week, the teams of two years ago as unsafe. And who the ters: I should know by now that one nev- pressive to the TV executives that they amateur paparazzi chase them in cars heck wants these old Flint, Mich. ash- er says “never.’’ wouldn’t give it a full-time slot in the (OK, too close to reality.) or dodge resort security to catch them trays? No one smokes anymore. Reader Simon Thompson has point- first place. Found: A lot like Lost (plane crash, sunbathing in the nude. The team that You think your basement is full of ed out that one of the three “never- Part of the problem with replace- tropical island), but the emergency lo- captures the most embarrassing pri- junk? Wait until you see this stuff. silent’’ letters is silent in one case. The ment shows is that their creators can’t cator beacon works and, before the vate moment wins. Take This Dump and Sell It: How “x’’ in faux is silent. If you permit prop- seem to think beyond the formulas of packaged peanuts run out, or one of Child swap: The whole premise be- did they sell that crummy old house up er nouns in this discussion, then Sioux the successful shows. What you get is the passengers is chosen to be eaten by hind Wife Swap is wrong. Mom and the street for $220,000? Take This Dump is another example. imitation (hence the unending varia- the others, the rescue chopper arrives. Dad don’t want to get away from each shows you the secrets of papering over As for the remaining two — “j’’ and tions of domestic comedies and Sur- A short series, but it would be, after all, other; they want to get away from the the imperfections of the poorly built “v’’ — they can be silent, too. Consider vivor clones). a mid-season replacement. kids. Take three bored preteens from modern suburban home. the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to So, for those who have been out of 24/7: Why limit yourself to a single Manyberries, Alta., and switch them Learn how wall art — from framed Mecca, known as the hajj. The second touch with television so long that you day’s action, as in the hit series 24, for three over-achievers from Burling- pictures to pots and pans — can hide a “j’’ is silent. And when you are stopped think Medium is a cooking show about when you can tune in to someone who ton. Will the honour students enlighten multitude of ills. Bedroom carpet a dis- at a light and the guy beside you is how you like your steak, here are some is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a their Ralph-Klein-obsessed ‘’foster par- aster? Just toss clothes everywhere “revving’’ his engine, as noisy as his program proposals that could soon week. This Jack Bower is the head of ents’’ with their plans for a junior and pretend it’s your teenager’s room, car is, the second “v’’ is silent. turn up as replacement shows: , IT. We watch him an hour a day every branch of Amnesty International? even if you don’t have a teenager. So, there you have it. There are 26 Disparate Housewives: The story day (it can replace seven other series). Will the prairie preteens give their Learn why agents like to show a sounds of silence. Use them well. of five suburban women who have We watch him drink coffee, send “foster parents’’ a break from driving house after a heavy snowfall (covers such differing interests and lifestyles messages on his BlackBerry, reboot to soccer practice as they entertain missing shingles and backyard dog • Bill Bean likes getting silent letters at that they never get together for coffee desktops and change the toner on the themselves by taking their bird guns droppings). email@example.com or at The Record, or to talk about anything, and, in fact, printer. Almost like reality TV. on a visit to the Dundurn Castle These are shows that appeal to the , 160 King St. E., Kitchener N2G 4E5. don’t even know each other’s names. Of course, it’s reality TV that con- aviary? worst in us. Invasive and snoopy. Ex- CN Tower now sells Waterloo-made jewelry BY VALERIE HILL Isber, owner of design studio Sugar Beads & Co., en- GRAND RIVER LIFE STAFF thuses “this is pretty big.” But she’s in now and loving every minute. WATERLOO “They were sold on me before I even walked in the aterloo jewelry designer Gay Isber, has discov- door,” said Isber, who was stunned when Tompkins W ered the value of word-of-mouth. Lisa Tompkins, marketing director for the CN Tow- agreed to purchase her complete inventory . “I hadn’t really tried to get into the Toronto mar- er, saw a piece of Isber’s jewelry being worn by a friend ket,” said Isber who works from a home studio where and remarked on its unique beauty . she employs full- and part-time staff as well as sales “We’re always looking looking to augment our prod- staff. uct mix, particularly Canadian,” Locally her jewelry is available from her studio or said Tompkins, who arranged to meet Isber and conse- Gina’s Spa, on Regina Street. quently purchased dozens of pieces for the tower’s gift “Everything is made right here in Waterloo,” said shop. Isber. “It’s spectacular, colourful, unique,” said Tompkins. The pieces at the CN Tower start as low as $24 for “We were excited about what clearly everyone in Wa- earrings, $20-$30 for bracelets and $90 and up for larger, terloo already knows (about).” signature necklaces. Tompkins said the store has carried some jewelry in Isber, a native of Texas, also creates bridal garters, the past but nothing quite like Isber’s work in that each tiaras, hair accessories and fine art, all sold from her GRAND RIVER LIFE piece is one of a kind. “They are artisans and they’re website www.gayisber.com. Gay Isber’s handmade jewelry is now being sold in the CN Tower’s gift shop. not making mass quantity .” firstname.lastname@example.org GONE SHOPPING Gadgets: Helping children integrate CONTINUED FROM PAGE G1 nate communication devices, they have been required to keep up with current To “talk,” Zhade touches pictures, electronic trends. words and letters on the screen. The Many of the units are now available word and phrases are spoken aloud by with options that include built in MP3 the computer. players, cellphones and universal re- The unit is recordable so individual- mote control capabilities. ized words such as the name of her While most of the items I review are teacher or favourite phrases can be focused on making our lives more enjoy- recorded in memory . able, the gadgets I encountered at The computer uses a dynamic screen KidsAbility play a much more impor- to make entry easy as it adapts to the tant role — they allow children to inte- context of the entries. grate with their peers and function in a FIND OF THE WEEK: Super Fort Let your kids’ imagination run wild. Best of all you For example, if Zhade enters “My “normal” environment. can sit back on the couch (cushions intact) and watch favourite animal is . . .,” the computer Whether low-tech or high-tech, FOUND BY: Carla McLennan shows pictures of various animals these gadgets offer children a freedom them create. The box shows suggested structures that resemble a knowing that an animal will be the next they would not otherwise enjoy . DESCRIPTION: My nephew suffered a traumatic entry . Having observed the real-life difficul- tree house, a tunnel, a boat and a rocket ship. There’s . event recently He awoke to discover his prized fort Using a combination of pictures, ties overcome by Jayden and Zhade it even one that looks to me like a DNA chain. No wonder words, letters and numbers Zhade was makes gadget problems like how to had been transformed back into a couch and blan- they claim this will “stimulate and ignite discovery!” able to tell me all about her teacher, transfer a movie to a video iPod seem in- ket. And the worst part — the demolition had been While I’ve been debating building a fort at home her rock collection and her birthday. significant. orchestrated by his younger sister. in which to hide out, my greatest entertainment Before long she had her Dynavox For more details on KidsAbility Cen- Right Brain Playthings has designed an innovative came from reading the warnings including — not to telling jokes and making fun of me. tre for Child Development, visit magnetic fort system. This $74.99 kit includes 73 pieces By using her Dynavox, Zhade is able www.kidsability .ca be used as a flotation device and one must not strike to fully participate in classroom activi- — 16 magnetic connectors, 16 flexible noodles, six rigid anyone with the noodles. ties, communicating with her teacher • Tim Jackson lives in Waterloo, and wel- noodles, six bases, two landscape mats, five colour You’ll find Super Fort at Toysense Plus at 711 Bel- and classmates. comes your ideas and comments at gad- skins, 20 clips and two storage bags. mont Avenue West (in Belmont Village), Kitchener. While companies like Dynavox pro- email@example.com. His column ap- duce their products primarily as alter- pears the first Saturday of each month.