Tuesday, 28 December 2010
The problem comes in that his love of the shiny new technology far outweighs his ability to implement or use that technology. He refuses to read an owner's manual. Even those quick start guides with all the pretty, colorful pictures and clearly laid out progression of steps, is too much jibber jabber for him.
Plug in cord(s), mash buttons, repeatedly if necessary, and expect magic to happen. It's a frightening thing to watch. And rarely successful. So, as the nerd of the family, it usually falls to me to undo any damage that was caused on his first attempt and then correctly set up the device and instruct on its proper usage.
And I'm ok with that. Seriously, I am. I put up a big show of whining and bitching when people ask, but I really do like diving into gadgets and figuring out how they're supposed to work
The problem comes when he starts second-guessing me and trying to "help" figure out the problem. Look, if you knew how to do it, have at it, and I'll get back to my beer.
But that's just second-guessing at home. The second-guessing in public is a whole other level of rage. My dad thinks that wearing a store uniform instills that person with intimate knowledge of all products in that store. Their opinion rates higher than mine because they are wearing a blue shirt with the store name on it. It doesn't matter that this is a teenager who was hired two weeks ago as a holiday stop gap and anything he says is an obvious parroting of what is written on the product packaging. It doesn't matter because HE has the shirt. HE is obviously an expert.
So we go to these stores like Best Buy and I tell him everything I know about whatever gadget he's after and he still will seek out a blue shirt so he can get some input from an authority on the subject. It's a slap in the face.
And today he went one better. He'd been bugging me about how he could hook up multiple monitors to his laptop. I'd heard there was some way of doing this through USB but I'd have to dig into it. But we get to the cashier and he says to the kid "Are you an expert on computers?". The kid at the cash. He's asking the kid at the fucking cash how he can hook up three monitors to his laptop. And he expects him to know because he has the blue fucking shirt! The kid is floundering and telling my dad "Yah, if you have the ports it should be fine" and he's looking at me for some help or some explanation why this man is asking him these questions that are obviously meant for somebody in the friggin COMPUTER department. But I refuse to get sucked into these things. My dad wants to talk to a blue shirt, he can run with it.
So, as I look forward to an afternoon of setting up my dad's new monitor and my dad's new wireless router, I just have to keep reminding myself: I love my dad. I really do.
Happy Birthday Pops.
Monday, 27 December 2010
Don't make it out to the movie theatres too much these days. Too many idjits in the world and they usually end up sitting behind me. I'm usually happy to wait for the DVD to come out. I do make exceptions but it has to be a pretty significant movie if I'm going to be shelling out an outrageous amount of money for popcorn and soda.
This year, I took a flier on the latest Coen brothers' film, True Grit. Wasn't sure if I was ready for another Western just yet and I was even more suspicious of another Coen film after their last 3 disappointments. But the cast was awesome and the trailer looked good enough so I signed up.
And it's a good movie. Not great but good. Good acting, even from the kid, some funny moments, and some decent action parts. But just parts. Could have used more action but I wouldn't say it was ever dull. I think part of the problem was that we never really got the impression that Jeff Bridges was the baddest bad-ass in the west. There was never that moment where you thought this guy could kick the shit out of everybody in the room.
So, as far as Coen brother films go, I put it behind The Big Lebowski, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, and Fargo, but definitely their best film in the last 10 years.
As far as Westerns go, yah, I really wasn't ready for another horsie riding movie. Probably has something to do with wasting so much time on Red Dead Redemption this year. But I'd say a little behind Unforgiven. Unforgiven did have that super bad-ass moment but it made you wait until the end of the movie to get it.
Kind of a disappointment for the last movie I'm likely to see this year. Looking back, I'd have to say that the best movie I saw this year was How To Train Your Dragon. Yup, a cartoon. F you, it rocked. On a more intellectual "film"-type movie, I still think about Inception. Can't wait to watch that again now that I have the blu-ray.
Oh, and true to form, the idjits were out in force at this movie too. The closest one was two seats down from me and kept a running commentary through the entire movie. "Oh, look who that guy is!" "Watch out!" "Oh, he's going to get it!" "Look at the bottle!" "Oh, poor horse" For fuck's sake.
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Thursday, 23 December 2010
The Allenses Annual Christmas Party was last Saturday. It is THE Christmas social event of the season. I don't think I've ever missed one since I've known the Allenses. It is good times. Generous, good humoured hosts, peeps from the Deere days, other peeps we see only at this party and generally forget their names, and plenty of booze. Typically it's a long night too. I've had my off years but I'm usually good to go through the wee hours of the morning.
I was pretty excited this year. There was no Christmas party last year as the Allenses were globe-trotting. It was also my first full year back in Southern Ontario. AND I had just purchased Rock Band 3 WITH keyboard so that was going to be epic. Made my way down Niagara way. Had a few with the Robickles and Jen. Should be noted that I dropped a full beer bottle on the Robickles' floor. Just slipped right out of the fingers. I felt such shame. 3 beers in and I'm already getting sloppy. If only that incident had remained the most shameful part of the evening. But I sucked it up and we headed on to the Allenses!
And everything proceeded as it should. We were drinking and laughing. I eventually migrated up to the kitchen table. My goal was to bridge the gap between the Deere Folk and the Volleyball Friends and bring harmony to the separate communities.
And then I woke up.
It was 8 in the morning on Sunday, I was on the couch, and I had zero recollection of the previous 11 hours.
Okay. There's a certain checklist one goes through in these situations.
First: Pants. Yup, got those.
Second: Knuckles. Smooth and un-scraped. Good.
Third: Face. Smooth, un-scraped, and as pretty as ever.
Okay, I seem to be undamaged. Need to get moving. The Allenses have left a note instructing me where I can forage for left overs. Phew, that's good news. Friendly note means I didn't do anything to overly offend the hosts. I may get invited back next year. I leave another note explaining my condition and begging forgiveness for any and all transgressions that I may have incurred the night before.
But there's that sinking feeling. Knowing that you were walking and talking for several hours with no one reliable behind the wheel creates a certain kind of panic. You can't be sure that any filters were in place to restrain those verbal and physical impulses that would usually get somebody into serious trouble.
What I needed was some eye-witness accounts to figure out if everything was cool or if I needed to go into hiding for an indeterminate amount of time. The Robickles wouldn't sugar coat anything so I hit them up for some breakfast and some spontaneous testimony.
And it all sounded good! I passed out around midnight and it didn't sound like it was too sloppy a transition. There was some drama during the gift exchange when Jeff made a legally sanctioned steal of the awesome Nerf guns I had picked out but the Robickles couldn't recall any other notable incidents.
So, TBone wins! No harm, no foul, TBone escapes unscathed from what could have been a complete disaster. I even ended up with one of the Nerf guns! Jeff apparently split up the set for the greater good of community harmony. Cheers dude.
A shakey morning but I was feeling pretty lucky as I drove triumphantly back to Kitchener. My sister and her family were down doing their own Christmas party thing that weekend and we were due to go watch my brother's son play his last hockey session of the year. Yes, things were just fine.
And then I started getting the text messages. And my fragile little world started to crumble.
These messages seemed to indicate that, at the cloudiest points of the previous night, I may have said or done things that were, umm, let's say, less than gentlemanly? Not good. I broke into a cold sweat, mouth dry, light headed, sphincter clenched, balls retracted, stomach in turmoil. Mind you I was already pretty hungover so it wasn't a very dramatic change to how I was feeling before I got the messages.
This was not good. This was the end of the Niagara part of my life. Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long for me to completely firebomb these relationships. Okay, this was a problem but I solve problems for a living. Just need to put together an action plan and execute it:
- Delete facebook account (was going to do this anyway)
- Change e-mail address
- Change phone number
- Delete web sites
- Move to Peru
There, a perfectly reasonable plan with a feasible time for implementation of 24 hours. Just need a nap and then I'm on it!
Fortunately, while I was looking up Peruvian charter planes, the communication continued and it seemed that whatever I had said or done wasn't entirely unwelcome. Instead of destroying one friendship (which would have lead to other friendship complications), I may have kickstarted something new and exciting. Hey! Getting mind-blowingly drunk finally pays off for TBone! Just wish I could remember the actual kickstarting.
So, while I'm eager to see where this new path leads, I still feel great shame for losing my shit amongst such good people. For any and all that were shocked, awed, or even mildly embarrassed by my actions last Saturday, I am truly sorry.
And I'm just now remembering what I did last year instead of the Allenses Christmas party. Sweet Jesus I hope this isn't a trend.
Merry Christmas everybody!
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Nobody should have to be afraid at their place of work but, if they are useless, they should sure as fuck be made to feel uncomfortable on occassion. But no more. Now we must all get along. We must all smile and laugh and say "How do you fucking do?". No more bad moods, or muttering, or glaring, or raised voices. Won't that be wonderful children? All that negative emotion will just disappear. And if anyone spots a negative nanny, they are fully encouraged to CALL THE FUCKING COPS!
Sweet jesus. It's painfully obvious which side of the equation I'm ending up on here. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one at work with a semi-regular blog feature, titled WWILTPITFTW. So that's it. My professional life will ultimately end when some tiny moron gets the heebie-jeebies that I rolled my eyes at their project plan.
Until then I guess I'll just grit my teeth and smile.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Sadly, not everyone drives such a wonderful vehicle. I don't think anybody should drive beyond their comfort level but holy fuck, 40 kilometers an hour in an 80?!? Jesus, it's just a bit of snow you fuck knob. If you can't handle this, will you ever leave the house when we get a real snow storm?
I laughed when I heard that Quebec legislated everybody must have snow tires. I'm not laughing any more. I couldn't get out of my neighbourhood this morning because the 20 cars in front of me couldn't get any traction up the slight incline at the lights. Unbelievable.
To sum up: love CeR-Vix, hate people.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Sunday, 12 December 2010
That was the first session. I woke up in the real world trying to cough up a lung and wondering, desperately, why the fuck I had driven the company truck to Timmins. If they knew I'd had a few beers and driven the company truck, I'd be out of a job. Was I sober enough to go get those parts back? How the fuck was I going to get my jacket out of the post office box?
Eventually the coughs subsided and I calmed down and realized I wasn't in a Timmins hotel room. Then I dozed off. And then it all happened again. About 3 or 4 more time. Each time waking up coughing and thinking I had royally fucked up my life. Good times.
So I'm guessing this was all just a subliminal PSA from my brain that alcohol is bad, mmkay? Got it. Message received. Can I get some sleep now?
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Didn't stop me from making more "20 bucks" comments though. People are still getting used to my sense of humour at work so I haven't brought it up too often. But, this summer, one of the other engineers mentioned that he now had a set of steer horns that his parents had dug out of their attic. We joked around a bit about mounting these horns to the hood of his car Boss Hogg style. And, naturally, I threw out the "20 bucks!".
20 bucks to fix those horns to the hood of his lily white Subaru wagon, drive to work, and leave them on all day. He seemed pretty eager about it and I worried that I'd made another reindeer-hat-like error in judgement. But people often talk big and show up small. So there was a time limit to get this done. And the deadline was this week. And the bastard came through:
Gotta say, I was pretty impressed. He didn't wuss out and use some pussy tape or something. He fabbed a bracket, painted it to match the hood, and screwed it to the hood of his car. Freaking awesome. The snow just makes it all the better. Well worth the 20 bucks!
Monday, 6 December 2010
The fucking git who keeps dropping gum in the urinal at work. For fuck's sake man! What do you think is going to happen to that gum? Do you think it's going to dissolve? Do you think, eventually, it will work it's way through the urinal cake mesh and then auger through the drain holes of the urinal itself? It's not going to fucking happen. You KNOW what's going to happen. Some poor fuck is going to have to pick that piece of gum out of the urinal. Sure he'll be wearing gloves but that won't change the fact that he will realize his career path has lead him directly to the point where he is picking gum out of a urinal.
And I think this fuck KNOWS this. My theory is that he's so pissed off with his job that he's just going to kick it on down the line so that the guy at the very bottom of the ladder really knows his station in life. Fuck you, you prick. That guy doesn't need any reminders. The fucking garbage bin is two steps away from the urinal. Get a fucking clue and use it.
Alright, anyways, some rage medicine is in order. And I'm willing to shell some coin out to drink something different and quell the beast. I spent 15 minutes in front of the scotch selection, looking, checking the web site, reading an existing review, and moving on to the next scotch. I saw the Glenkinchie, read my review of Glenkinchie 12, and almost moved on. BUT. Just in time, I noticed the Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition in a very similarly colored box. DONE. SOLD. Come with me wee one, you're about to solve some problems.
So, the 12 was a bit off, according to my review, but I was hoping for a bit more with the extra $10 price and the claim that the DISTILLERS had selected the casks for this bottling.
And that selection paid off. Yum. The nose is sharp and sherry with some caramel. Very intriguing. The taste is glorious. A subtle fire of sherry with a dry, oaky finish. The aftertaste blooms into caramelly licorice. Sound complicated? IT WAS! And I fucking loved it. I am going toe to toe with this bottle and digging every punch it lands. Rah! It's an abusive relationship but I know he doesn't mean it. Fun. Wow.
That is usually the end of one of my reviews but I had to share this description from royalmilewhisky.com:
Nose: Something soft, with hints of egg mayonnaise about the nose. Paprika, bitter chocolate and cocoa with notes of sour fruits and an intensely floral nature. Very inviting, but a bit too over-powering if you are eager. Fragrant laundry and a nectar sweetness which recedes into a fruity sweetness. Touch of anise, malt and sherbet after several thoughts.
Palate: A dry, woody feel. Dried leaves. Considerably herbal and grassy, with notes of cocoa once more followed by a light zest about the palate. A great deal of character.
Finish: The light zest follows through on the finish, with hints of green grass and autumnal notes. Finally, liquorice and more cocoa.
Comments: A solid complexity and length. Very enjoyable throughout.
The nose? Egg mayonnaise? Fragrant laundry?!? Jesus, this guy's eating old hamburgers while sniffing soiled panties. For fuck's sake, I hope I never get this pretentious.
Anyways, Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition roundup.
BOOM goes the dynamite! 5 shots!
Saturday, 4 December 2010
And for some reason people thought this was a bad thing. I disagree. I think it would be fantastic. Finally, my viewing choices would directly be noted and charted and presumably relayed to content providers and networks and advertisers. I'm a member of a valuable demographic damn it and I'm tired of watching my favourite shows go right down the tubes because a certain percentage of some archaic grouping of Nielsen households didn't align with my own viewing tastes. Fuck Nielsen. We have the technology, don't watch a sample of viewers, watch ALL of us.
SEE how I've downloaded Terriers because it is not available in Canada.
OBSERVE my repeated viewings of the Firefly series on DVD.
NOTE my love of Netflix and my absolute hatred of Rogers On Demand.
GRAPH the steep decline in ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX generated content in my viewing.
RECORD the number of times I've ever watched a reality TV show (hint: zero).
LOOK at how the only commercials I don't skip over on my PVR are for movies or gadgets.
Seriously, screw the privacy paranoiacs out there. I'm BEGGING to be spied on here. I'm a weak willed individual, easily swayed by advertising, with disposable income. Load up your 12-gauge of advertising and aim it right at my eyeballs. Just make it relevant to my interests and give me some decent programming in return.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
This time would be different. A half dozen of us had rented a van and were heading to a previously scouted tailgating location. The game itself could go right to hell, I was more excited about cracking a beer at nine in the morning and getting properly sauced by noon. And things started out just as anticipated. We were drinking, we were cooking, we were yipping with the surrounding bills fans, it was good times. And then I had to take a leak.
And that was it. I pretty much split time between drinking and waiting to relieve myself of those drinks for the rest of the day. At some point in the last two years my bladder was switched with that of a nervous 5 pound chihuahua. Not sure when exactly. I first noticed it last year at another Buffalo sporting event but this time at the HSBC arena. Similar scenario though with drinking plenty of bland, any-beer. I hate to put the blame for my urinary inadequacies all on Buffalo but it may be a combination of the beer AND the city.
I don't think it's about getting old either. When I'm not drinking beer, I am a complete pit stop stud. Up North they still talk of my legendary 13 hour drive from Haileybury to Thunder Bay, fueled by three x-large Tim Horton's coffees and two Monster energy drinks and when I stopped it was only for gas.
And it's not like I've abstained from beer except while in Buffalo. Every now and then it's nice to have a drink that doesn't feel like it's melting your brain. But the bladder breakdown only seems to happen while drinking beer in Buffalo. Weird. Maybe it's the cold?
Ah, well. It was still a good day. We left when the score was 13-0. Not exactly a blowout but, hey, what were the odds that BUFFALO would make a comeback? Right? Ach, the final outcome was the same anyway. Would have been nice to see that dropped pass though. Now THAT'S Buffalo football.
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
The aroma didn't make me fell any better. Medicinal. A bland medicinal. The taste is similarly bland. Not much character, just that slight bite of listerine. A more talented palate might be able to pick out the subtleties of this flavour but, for me, it is a solid meh. The after-taste? Well, fuck, after all this I wasn't expecting much and my exceedingly low expectations were met handily.
So, yah, this will disappear quickly but only to get to the next bottle of Aberlour or Macallan's.
Ho-hum. 2 shots.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
- 1 part milk
- 1 part vodka
- 1 part kahlua
- pour over ice
Now stop. Do you have all these ingredients? Are you sure? Are you positive? If you are missing any of these items, abandon all hope of a white russian until you visit the LCBO. Say you're missing the kahlua. Milk and vodka on ice do not make a white russian. It makes milky vodka. At this point you may start thinking that surely there could be a suitable substitute for kahlua somewhere in the house. Again, stop. You are not going to get anywhere with this train of thought. Ok, you've found some kahlua flavoured coffee. This will not work. Stop, trust me. Ok, so you've ignored me and brewed the coffee and stirred it into the milk vodka. Did that work? No. No it did not. Instead of a white russian you now have something I'm going to call a brown latvian.
What did we learn? Next time just get off your ass and go to the corner store for some o.j.
Monday, 22 November 2010
Every once in a while I wonder what the guys from the show are up to now. I've known about the RiffTrax project for a while but it wasn't until this weekend that I finally tried it out. RiffTrax is MST3K without the science fiction framework. Just a straight up mp3 sound track of the guys riffing on a dumb movie that you play while you watch a DVD. The riffers include Mike Nelson (Host #2), Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo), and Bill Corbett (Crow #2). The price seems a bit much, between $3 and $5, when you still have to rent or "rent" a movie to go along with the rifftrax. But yesterday I was going to watch a movie that demanded the ole MST3K treatment.
That movie was The Last Airbender.
Dear god what a terrible movie. M. Night Shyamalan is a living train wreck. He started out with such promise and each movie since The Sixth Sense has been exponentially shittier than the previous. This comic strip puts it best:
Courtesy of Cracked.com (and Jody who passed it along).
He pretty much lost me at The Village but I held out hope given The Last Airbender source material was so good. But he still managed to ruin it. Shat upon its virtual chest.
And the only thing that made watching that dookie enjoyable was listening to the rifftrax along side it. Freaking hilarious. Recommended for anyone who enjoyed the old MST3K shows.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Take my winter tires, for example. I had, what I though was, a brilliant system. Each fall or spring I would take the current tires off and swap them for the winter or summer set. I would place the set I just took off in their storage bags and write on the bags the date and position of the car that the tire had come off of. That way, when the next season came, I could rotate the tire to their new position like a good responsible car owner.
Reasonable right? Except last spring I decided that constantly re-writing dates was silly. I just needed four labeled bags for the four positions on the car and whether it was the winter or summer set I'd just put them in their respective bags. Done and done. Life is a process and we're constantly refining that process.
Now fast forward to today. And I'm staring at my four winter tires and I can't remember if the bag marked "Front Passenger" means it WAS installed at the front passenger corner and I should now install it at the rear passenger corner? OR was I thinking ahead when I pulled the tire off the rear passenger corner and putting it in the front passenger bag so I would know to install it in the front this winter? Idjit.
Doesn't really matter cause I want to trade the vehicle in this winter anyway but, just for the record, tire bags will always be marked from where the tires WERE installed. From this point forward.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
The movie itself was interesting to me, not because it was directed by some overblown jagoff who is currently in exile for buggering a thirteen year old girl, but because it stars two of my favourite actors, Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor.
Now Brosnan's work speaks for itself (check out The Matador for his best work) but my appreciation for McGregor begins and ends with Trainspotting. I honestly can't recall a single role since that movie that's been even mildly noteworthy but that turn as a redeemed heroin addict earned him at least a couple decades of goodwill. I see his name on a movie poster and I'm instantly interested even though the horrors of the Star Wars prequels are still fresh in my mind.
This movie was good. Not great but solid. I appreciated it wasn't as preachy as some other Iraq war political commentaries. Just an interesting story told from an interesting perspective. The leads were a shade above the material but there was nothing exceptional to work with really. I wasn't even going to mention this movie here except for one thing. One thing that took me right out of the movie. Ewan is hired to be the ghost writer for a former British prime minister after his former writer dies in an apparent suicide. At one point Ewan borrows his predecessor's car to get back to his hotel. After making a turn towards the hotel, the onboard GPS unit tells him to turn around to head towards his destination. Obviously this is meant to be the last destination his predecessor had programmed in. Ewan pauses, looks at the GPS screen, and then decides to follow the GPS directions turn by turn. He doesn't go into the GPS menu to actually find out what the destination is, no this genius drives the exact route turn by turn to find out what the final destination is in person.
That just pissed me off. Who would write such a scene? I don't mind that he traveled the route to find out more about his predecessor but at least show him making an effort to retrieve that info from the GPS first instead of following some virtual trail of bread crumbs. If you're not really sure how technology works, you should probably have some thirteen year old look over your script first. Oh right, sorry, he's probably not allowed to be around thirteen year olds any more.
Anyways, decent movie. Worth a rental.
Think I'll stick to the Cheerios.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
God, I can't even pick one. This day didn't have a chance. I went to sleep in a pissy mood and woke up the same. I used to cheer for the best NHL team in Ontario. Now it seems I cheer for the second worst team in the province. But it was work that did me in today. Just once I would like to work with fucking professionals across the board. Imagine a place where each individual knows precisely what his role is and executes that function with pride and competence. Sadly, this is not such a place. I can't even put into words the kindergarten bullshit that transpired over the course of today.
But I can't name names. So the question remains, who would I like to punch in the face this week? Ach, let's say Bryan Murray and be done with it.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Can't wait to meet the little guy in person. He's joining a pretty cool group. His big sister will be an amazing role model. She's more than just a pretty face. So bright, creative, and imaginitive, I'm in constant awe when I'm around her. Their cousin Jake is a human dynamo. This picture is the only known evidence of him sitting still for more than 5 seconds.
If there's a game to play or a super hero to impersonate, Jake will be the perfect cousin to show him.
And of course there's Briana. First of the next generation and first in our hearts. Just recently she's become a teenager so she's officially too old for the kiddie stuff. I hope she finds her way through the next 6 years with as little drama as possible. For her parents sake as well as her own. When the tough times come I just hope she can think back to those better times when a simple thing like stuffing kleenex up your nose was a cause for such joy.
Anyways, that's the TBone sentimentality break for the year. Off to see the new nephew this weekend but the blog will be back to its crusty self tomorrow.
Monday, 8 November 2010
Obviously I'm not buying it cause I hated it. I loved this movie. I never should have doubted the director. This is the feature length embodiment of all the little video game quirks he used in Spaced. And that's not for everybody. I'd say if you had a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo when you were a kid, you will probably like this movie. Otherwise, probably not.
I never give Michael Cera the benefit of the doubt but he earned some respect by actually pulling off the lead in what is very much an action flick. He's good but Kieran Caulkin steals the movie as the gay roommate. Brandon Routh also has a "super" cameo as one of the ex-boyfriends.
The movie proudly takes place in Toronto, Ontario and I loved each and every reference to Canadiana. I especially loved how none of those references involve the Toronto Maple Leafs. At one point Scott Pilgrim is wearing a CBC T-Shirt. Nobody not employed by the CBC would wear such a shirt but it was still cool to pick it out. And it would have been so easy to leave the coins that show up when enemies are defeated as CG but Edgar Wright made sure when they did a close up of the coins that all the coins were truly Canadian. Awesome.
Again, not for everyone but it sure is for me.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
That news almost cracked my brain. The Double Down was a one time thing. I've had a couple eggs for breakfast every morning for the last five years. Looking at the cholesterol levels of a single egg, I should be dead right now. Good god I hope I'm not turning into some jagoff that clogs up the grocery aisles reading all the data off nutritional labels but the eggs definitely gotta go. I don't live the healthiest of lifestyles and I don't need any more challenges than necessary.
Anyways, I'm in search of a new breakfast. Been rocking the plain old cereal this weekend and I'm gonna give oatmeal a go this week. Any other suggestions?
That said, I'm loving the extra hour today. One more hour of recovery. Fantastic.
Couple things I wasn't quite ready for. First, Die Hard Day starts at 9:30 in the morning. Christ that's early. But a couple litres of caffeine got the rig moving. Next, everybody failed to mention that wife-beaters were mandatory dress code. Try and imagine walking into a room full of a dozen white guys in wife-beaters. Thought I'd stepped into the local white trash convention.
But alright, I'm going with the flow. The selection of u-brew helped. 500ml and 1 litre bottles of 4 different brews. Best of the bunch was the Bock. Yum. The original Die Hard went as expected with just the right amount of audience participation.
And then we pretty much lost focus. Out came the darts and poker chips. The movies continued on in the background but they had lost their prime placement for the day. But that's ok, because I learned something about myself yesterday. Something very important. I suck at darts and poker. I should not be allowed to play either.
Things continued to deteriorate and eventually there was a guy at the poker table wearing nothing but his underwear. And two dudes in wife-beaters were wrestling in the hallway. Alright, time to sober up and get the fuck out of New Hamburg. I stayed until the end of the hockey game just to recoup some of my poker losses with some bets on the game (go sens). By that time some wives and girlfriends had shown up to take some of the testosterone out of the room but dude was still walking around in his underwear. I wished the home owner good luck and took my leave.
I didn't escape unharmed though. I don't know if it was the u-brew or the Die Hard Day jalapeno cheese ball but something wreaked havoc on the ole gastro-intestinal system. Spent the rest of the night and a good part of the morning "purging". Yikes.
So, yah, Die Hard Day. Can't wait for next year!
Thursday, 4 November 2010
But I was gonna do it this year. Bring the humiliation, bring the ridicule! I was going to grow a god damned MOOOS-TASH!
But this morning, three days into the moustache challenge, I looked into the mirror and thought just one thought:
"You're a fucking idiot".
And that was it. Shaving cream was added to the upper lip and the wispy beginnings of a pre-pubescent moustache were removed from my face.
Sigh, maybe next year.
And for those that didn't get the MOOS-TASH! reference, a little clip from the greatest mini-series of all time, Generation Kill:
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Monday, 1 November 2010
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Tough to get a good picture of a lit pumpkin without a tripod but you get the idea. I was quite proud. Wasn't sure how long it would last in my leaf crazy neighbourhood but I was going to put him out there anyway.
So I make this tribute to my hockey team and how do they repay me? They lose 4-0 to the Bruins. Fuck. Next year I'm carving a Winnipeg Jets logo.
But hey it was a good night all the same. Still had a lingering cold but I fought through that shit like a champ. Jen surprised us by demonstrating some considerable cooking talents. She's officially a double threat with the cleaning AND the cooking. Her proficiency at the third Robinson sister talent remains, sadly, mere speculation.
So today was Halloween. I proudly put my pumpkin out on the front porch and lit him up. Most of the kids didn't really know what it was. Not big hockey fans in this neighbourhood apparently. There were some nice comments from the parents and even one all-out Sens fan who LOVED the pumpkin. To the point where his kid had to tug at him to keep him moving instead of yapping about Spezza and Kovalev. The doorbell ringing eventually became less frequent and the kids who were coming by were older and could probably afford to buy their own god damned candy. I decided to shut it down for the night and take the pumpkin in before some wayward Leaf fan threw it into the street.
That's when I went out and noticed that somebody had moved my pumpkin....and added a second pumpkin:
I was dumbstruck. Violence I expected but this was friggin' clever. Not an attribute normally associated with Leaf fans. The more I thought about it, the more I appreciated the move. Somebody saw my pumpkin, went home, got another pumpkin, carved the word "SUCK" into it, and then set up this display while I was in the house. Daring and awesome. I laughed and shook my head. Good on 'em.
Turns out it was my brother who pulled the great pumpkin caper. Doesn't give a rat's ass about the Sens or the Leafs but loves sticking it to his younger brother. Well, I'll give him this one. But I'm envisioning some rotting pumpkin shards showing up in his sock drawer in the near future.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Also a quick shout-out to the TV show Burn Notice. Don't know how I've missed this show up until now. There was a BN marathon on Showcase a couple weeks ago and watched the first 6 episodes. Downloaded the rest of the 1st season and it's great. Lightweight fun is how I'd describe it. The flashy edits can be annoying but there hasn't been a dull episode yet. Season 4 has just started so I've got 2 more seasons to work my way through to get up to speed. The premise is an ex-spy is grounded in Miami and earns money taking special "problem solving" cases for random people with the help of his IRA ex-girlfriend and his ex-FBI friend (Bruce Campbell!). While solving these cases he's also trying to figure out who "burned" him with the government and got him stranded in Miami. Anyways, it's better than anything else on TV right now. Give it a shot.
This year was a family focused affair. Went back up to Ottawa where my parents treated me to a dinner at the Murray Street Restaurant. A very "meat" focused restaurant with all the hippie descriptors of "locally grown", "organic", and "Swedish massaged". A great dinner and recommend it to anyone visiting Ottawa. The highlight was the duck gravy poutine. Fantastic.
The next day, after doing some IT work for my sister, I got to try out a Vera's Hamburger. Holy crap, what a burger. Again, if you're in Ottawa, it's a must.
Saturday night I was pretty excited to show everybody my new favourite movie, How To Train Your Dragon. I hadn't really appreciated how the movie might look to a 3 year old. There's a lot of startling scenes of angry lizards with mouths full of teeth. It's tempered by a heart-warming "boy and his dragon" story but I kept looking nervously over at my niece who spent most of the movie with her head under a blanket.
So, aside from traumatizing my niece, it was a great birthday weekend.
Monday, 18 October 2010
Today is the first day the Double Down sandwich is available at KFC restaurants across Canada. For those unfamiliar with it, this sandwich debuted in the states to much controversy earlier in the year. The deal was instead of a bun, you had two pieces of fried chicken surrounding some cheese and Bacon. I know, sounds awesome right?
And now its here. There was much discussion in the office about this sandwich. I finally volunteered to go grab a sandwich for each of the engineers. I left early to avoid what was sure to be a large lunch crowd. Shouldn't have bothered. There was nobody at the KFC at 11:30. I'm sure I made their day when I placed an order for 6 Double Downs. They clearly were unprepared for this run on Double Downs. When they finally handed me my bag o' cholesterol, she asked "Would you like any ketchup or salt?". I just looked at her. She said "No, I guess you wouldn't need any extra salt".
And then the sticker shock finally kicked in. Each of these things costs 8 bucks. 8 bucks! Madness. I could only think that this better be one delicious chicken sandwich.
It wasn't bad. Saltier than a 10 pound salt lick, but not bad. Not as crispy as the ones in the commercial appeared to be but overall better than anything at McDonalds. At least I can say I tried it.
Sunday, 17 October 2010
I didn't give this movie much notice when it came out in theaters. Seemed a silly premise and it wasn't Pixar so it was dismissed. Heard rave reviews and I was still skeptical. I don't know why. It was only last year that I was raving about another Dreamworks production, Kung Fu Panda. So the Blu Ray came out this week and I bought it on a whim. I could always give it to my nephew if it wasn't my thing.
And now I'm kicking myself for not seeing this masterpiece on a giant screen in full 3D. I'm a sucker for anthropomorphized cartoon animals (see Bolt) and I was pulled in by these spectacularly animated dragons. Throw in some real human drama, dynamic action sequences, and genuinely touching moments and you have my favourite movie of the year. Awesome.
So I can't argue with James Cameron's success. He knows how to generate revenue. But still, fuck James Cameron.
Saturday, 16 October 2010
First of all, gotta mention my return to Oktoberfest after some 12 years. Having gone to school in the KW area, I was a frequent participant in Oktoberfest, once upon a time. After graduation, I moved around and Oktoberfest became just one more university story I told to explain why my brain didn't always function at top capacity.
But I'm back in the area now and I thought it would be kind of fun to relive the glory days. It was also way past time to pay back some of my Niagara peeps who had hosted countless events during my exile to the North. We actually selected a pre-Oktoberfest event at the Concordia Club with an Our Lady Peace concert. The web site promised a true Oktoberfest Hall experience just with an Our Lady Peace concert to cap it off.
Gotta call shenanigans on that web site a bit. The Oktoberfest I remembered (and I do remember at least 60% of those Oktoberfests) had a large hall filled with rows and rows of tables and benches with lederhosen-clad ladies delivering un-ending pitchers of beer. This, on the other hand, was a concert with Oktoberfest type goings-on around the perimeter. It started off interestingly enough with my balls being given a thorough search by a female security guard who definitely looked like she had some regrets, career wise. When we were all admitted, Jody asked me "Hey did you get your balls fondled?". To which I replied "Yah but she was very gentle". "She?" Jody asked with a look of horrified disappointment. Apparently Jody made a poor lane choice at security.
It soon became apparent that getting drinks was going to be an issue. We had 2 1/2 hours to kill before OLP took the stage and I was going to need a steady supply of alcohol to be OK with being surrounded by people. Eventually, those of us more interested in alcohol than OLP split off to the shooter bar where beverage access was easy and the asshole count was lower.
I'm not a huge OLP fan but live rock is always a good time. They put on a good show and I barely noticed Raine Maida's incessant "Hiii-eeee" lyrics. Thanks again to the peeps that made it out. Still making my way through all the treats that were left behind. Next year we should do the more traditional Oktoberfest hall.
The other event that has gone by unrecorded was Thanksgiving. My folks came down and we split time between my place and my brother's. It's just satisfying to me that I've gotten my shit together enough that I can actually have house guests.
My sister-in-law put together a great turkey dinner on Saturday and I managed another successful rendition of Stupid Sexy George Ribs on Sunday. In between, my dad and I caught the movie The Town. I'm wary of any Ben Affleck movie but this one had received many good reviews including one from my mom. And I gotta say....I didn't care for it. Ben Affleck should stick behind the camera. There's just something about him that takes me out of the movie in that I just want to point at the screen and say "Hey that's Ben Affleck!". He's the male equivalent of Julia Stiles.
Also finally watched Iron Man 2. I liked it better than The Town but it's still a pale runner up to the original. Why do they have to stuff 500 different new characters into every sequel of a successful comic book movie? Movie would have been epic if it was just about Iron Man and Whiplash. And they're doing a Thor movie? Seriously? It's getting out of hand.
But it was a great family weekend. I don't get over to Ottawa as much as I used to so it was nice to have the parents over here and, again, repay some of the hosting they have provided over the years.
So that's me! All up to date. I am actually going up to Ottawa next weekend and looking forward to the pumpkin carving do the weekend after that. For anyone that's interested here's a link to the last Halloween party of note, featuring the legendary Mr. Hanky costume.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Until this year. I find myself back in K-W and owing some Niagara friends for hosting my many escapes from the North. I cruised the Oktoberfest web site and noticed there was an event in the tent the weekend before the official festival started, featuring Our Lady Peace. Now, I'm not a big OLP fan but live rock music of any sort is hard to beat.
So the date was set. I picked up the tickets at the extremely creepy Hans House. Went on a furniture spree to make the place look less like a post-graduate slum. And embarked on a week long search and destroy mission for cat hair.
Peeps showed up and I did my best to sell the Porch Climbers. No one was buying. Gotta admit, disappointed in the boys at work for over-hyping this sludge. After shooting the breeze for a couple hours and (finally) getting in a couple games of euchre, we headed for the tent!
Sunday, 3 October 2010
And my Week Of Shitty Beer is finally drawing to a close. Started off with Molson Canadian, moved on to Lucky Lager, and I'm right now wrapping it up with some Pabst Blue Ribbon leftovers from the get together yesterday. Yah, not a good week for drinkin'.
Speaking of Law & Order, that series has had it's own skull metaphorically bashed in. I was a fan of the original for the first 5 or so seasons but the last 15 seasons have been a long slow march to melodramatic mediocrity. This latest spin-off is more of a reboot and replacement for the original. And it stars Skeet Ulrich! Remember Skeet Ulrich? Remember how cool Skeet Ulrich was for that 6 months in the late 90's? Nothing against Skeet really and he just happens to be the best part of the show but that just means that the rest of the show is beyond fucking horrible. Rest in peace, Law & Order.
What else is out there?
House? Shite. Last season's finale was crap and it just kept on rolling in the first two episodes of this season. Grumpy House is good TV. Love-happy House is sickening.
Hawaii 5-0? Shite. Had high hopes for this one. Scott Caan is awesome, Grace Park is very pretty, and the theme song kicks ass. But it's not enough to make up for some shitty writing and acting.
Castle? Shite. I never really liked this show and the latest "psychic" episode just retreads so many other detective vs. paranormal episodes from other shows that I've finally had enough.
The Mentalist? Shite. But just barely. This may be the only hour long network drama I'll continue watching but it's still silly in the extreme.
The only network show I actually look forward to these days is Community. A shitty finale from last season that got totally redeemed by this year's premiere.
Also hoping that Human Target can step it up a notch and Flashpoint has been pretty solid. So it's not a complete loss. But I'm still pretty happy that hockey is starting up soon so there will something worthwhile watching at night.
Monday, 27 September 2010
And Molson Canadian is just as I remember. Bland as bland could be. Coors light could pass as a craft brew compared to this. Ah well. It really does compliment the pretzels.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Logged on to write these thoughts down and noticed this article in one of my feeds. Turns out Netflix hired acting extras to fill in the crowd at the announcement today and act real excited about the prospect of Netflix in Canada. What douchebags. Still a great service though.
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Last time I had seen lights like that outside my door was in University. Police had shown up to arrest me. Seriously. Some book keeping had got mixed up from a previous incident and since I was moving every 4 to 8 months, I was never really notified of the issue. End result was a bench warrant for my arrest. Got the whole good cop, bad cop treatment too. It was fascinating. Good cop finally convinced bad cop that they should give me the opportunity to straighten things out without "taking me in". Needless to say, things were straightened out pretty quickly the next day with a bank copy of the cheque for the fine in question.
Anyways, that's what was on my mind when I opened the door. But it wasn't police, it was a fireman. Big tanker rig had blocked off the street right outside my house. Hmm, not good. Dude in full fireman gear informed me that there was a gas spill up the road and was wondering if he could check the air quality near the sump pump.
Now I've seen enough episodes of Criminal Minds to be wary of anybody asking to enter my house but he did have the whole fire truck behind him. It would be kind of an elaborate set up just to gain access to my house. So I let him in, shooed the cats away and showed him to the sump. Everything checked out, he thanked me, apologized for the intrusion and off he went.
Then I looked around. It's always kind of disconcerting to have people just drop by (even though I've done this myself several times). What's been left out? What horribly embarrassing thing has been left on the floor, or on the TV screen, or on the computer screen?
Don't think it was too bad. Couple scotch bottles on the kitchen table, Wallace and Gromit on the tv, playstation controllers lying about, cats milling about. At worst he would have taken me for an over-grown adolescent with a drinking problem. Which, honestly, isn't too far off the mark. Just glad I had cleaned up the kitty litter this afternoon.
Oh, and just because I find it funny, a link to the Onion article on firetrucks.
But pickings were slim. I did a quick check on the web site and was a little surprised that I hadn't reviewed any Glenfiddich bottles before. Ach, what the hell. I knew the 12 was going to be pretty much water so I went with the 15 year.
The first whiff did not impress. Not much to note. Maybe a little sherry but that's it. I resigned myself to a dull tasting experience. I was happy to find I shouldn't have worried. The taste is still subtle but there's a nice combination of dry wood and a buttery toffee there. The slug goes down without much fire and the aftertaste is an even drier reminder of what came before.
Again, it's subtle. Nothing very bold and ice takes away the charm very quickly. But a nice surprise from a distiller that I'd pretty much written off. There are better $60 bottles out there but, if you're stuck, it's a pleasant enough option.
That'll do. 3 shots.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
But that's behind me now. From now until February my Sundays just got a whole lot lazier. Yes, Thank God It's Football Season!
The season actually started last Thursday with the game between the Saints and the Vikings. And what a great way to kick it all off. The score wasn't as high as expected but it was still a thrilling ride. The only thing missing was a career ending injury to That Prick Favre.
And the great games are going to continue on today. Early game: Dolphins at Bills (GO FISH!), late game: Packers at Eagles, evening game: Cowboys at Redskins. Awesome.
Let the Sunday afternoon slacking commence!
Saturday, 11 September 2010
But wherever I've gone, it hasn't taken long to make myself known as "that guy". When I started at Argo I quickly went through my regular bag of tricks. The tape over the mouse laser, the zip-tied phone cord, the changing of computer backgrounds to various Ottawa Senators pictures. The usual. For April Fool's Day, I changed the one guy's computer so that whenever he used a file command in Windows, the audio of Meg Ryan faking an orgasm would play over his speakers. It was 3 hours before he finally triggered it. I was losing it.
I kind of layed low after that. Biding my time. There aren't any overhead cabinets in the engineering office so the confetti gag was a non-starter. I kept looking around the office and wonder what I could do next. Finally, I noticed that Craig (one of the other engineers) always had to do this little two step to get to his desk. There are four of us in the office, segregated by those little cubicle walls. Craig has an extra barrier in a pair of file cabinets that face the door into the office. Here's a little layout of his corner of the office:
So one day I was watching Craig do his little dance around the file cabinets to get to his desk and I wondered: "How close could I move those file cabinets to his desk before he noticed?" The distance between the file cabinets and his desk was 25 inches. I figured I'd start moving the file cabinets a 1/4" a day and see how far I got.
It was slow going to start. I probably averaged 2 moves a week for the first month and each move worked out to be more like 1/2 an inch. These are not small cabinets and getting the exact 1/4" was pretty hard.
With each move, I'd measure the distance between desk and file cabinet and then record the new number or the incremental change up on the white board beside my desk. The white board is visible to everybody in the office. In 3 months, Craig never asked what the constantly growing list of numbers on my white board meant. Other people did ask and, if Craig wasn't around, I'd let them in on the joke.
So, this went on for about 3 months. The week before Labour Day long weekend and we were killing ourselves laughing at the space that was left. By Friday afternoon there were 13 inches between desk and file cabinet. Could not believe he hadn't noticed yet. I could barely squeeze by anymore. It was go time. I was moving the cabinets daily by now, giddy with the anticipation of this long running joke to finally pay off. Surely, next week would bring satisfaction.
But before the long weekend, we all had to pick up all the crap of the floor of our office. Cleaners were coming in on the weekend to clean the carpets. I looked at the space between desk and cabinets and I cringed. There was no way they were going to be able to fit whatever cleaning implement they used through that space. This could be a severe set-back. Mike, one of the other engineers, tried to be optimistic and noted that, if they were decent cleaners, he was sure they'd move the cabinets back to where they were when they were finished. But I left for the weekend feeling just a little nervous.
And that feeling was justified. Tuesday morning I walked into the office and nearly started crying. Three months of nudging and pushing those fucking cabinets were all undone for the sake of a slightly cleaner floor surface. Fuck. Now what?
Keith, who had worked with Craig at another place, suggested just moving the cabinets back to the 13" point. He was pretty sure Craig would never notice. He probably would have been right but, instead, I sucked it up and started from scratch. I wiped the numbers from the white board and started again at 25". I noted the first half inch move for my second attempt on the white board and carried on.
A couple days later, Craig had left for the day and I got up to do another move. Keith turned and said "Don't bother." What? Why not?
Apparently, the maintenance supervisore came in that morning, saw the cabinets moved back, saw that the numbers on the white board were wiped off (not noticing the new list that had been started), and said to Craig "Hey, you finally noticed!".
And that was it. Done. Ruined. I'll never have that satisfaction of seeing Craig jam himself into the file cabinet and then look confusedly around as to how this could have happened.
I shouldn't dwell on this failure though. There are other people to prank out there. For instance, I can think of one maintenance supervisor who will soon have a curious smell coming from his desk.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Monday, 6 September 2010
Yes, almost 4 months ahead of my self-imposed schedule, I have emptied my last moving box. Some of these boxes hadn't been opened since they were filled in Welland some 4 years ago. Still need some shelves, a workbench, a tool chest, and a couple items of furniture, but it's a grand feeling.
So pleased with myself, I was practically skipping on my way to the box to check for mail. What's this? A letter from the property management company that owns my house. Probably just another notification that they were in my house going through my things. But, no, this looks much more formal. Oh, it's a notification of rent increase.
Well fuck. I really had to justify the cost of this place when I moved down here for a job that paid less money than what I was making up North.
- It had a garage so I wouldn't need a storage rental.
- I wouldn't be driving so much on the weekends so I'd be spending a lot less on gas.
- I was going to be happier at this job so I'd save a fortune on scotch.
- I had reached a state of contentment with regards to my gadgets so there wouldn't be any big electronics purchases in the near future.
Two of those things are still true today.
The increase isn't that much really, 2%. But still, it was only a couple hours after I'd finished unpacking and the concept of moving out by the end of the year came and smacked me in the face. Sigh, guess I'll go pour myself a drink and flip through the Future Shop flyer to console myself.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
But.....sigh....I've been meaning to watch this movie for months now and I really don't want to do much else. The movie is The White Ribbon. A German film set right before WWI. All the film podcasts I listen to have raved about this movie for the last year. I'm not into subtitled movies for the most part. And especially not in Sunday Afternoon Mode. But the last time I rolled the dice on a movie like this, I was pleasantly surprised by the Swedish film "Let The Right One In". So, what the hell, I gathered any brain cells that would answer the call and went about trying to rent this movie.
First, Roger's On Demand. I know, I said I'd never rent another movie from those pricks. But, it's a black and white movie, I really don't need Hi-Def. And I've been running up the download bandwidth recently so I thought I'd check. Naturally Roger's wouldn't carry a critically acclaimed movie like this, so I left the On Demand store with my integrity intact. Fuck Roger's.
Next, I'm on to the Sony Playstation Store. Do a search. BINGO! White Ribbon. But I go to rent it and find that the only option is to buy the movie. Twenty bucks. Seriously. No option to rent. I'm again reminded what a total clusterfuck distribution rights are in Canada. So fuck Sony.
I'm in no mood to even deal with iTunes because I know the first thing it's going to say when I load it up is "HEY! There's a new version of iTunes! You should really upgrade! Right now! And you should probably install our buggy piece of shit Safari and MobileMe software too!". So fuck Apple.
BitTorrent it is. Subtitles needed a little massaging but I eventually got it sorted out. Finally. Just going to settle in, expand what's left of my mind, and enjoy some fine German cinema!
And holy fuck am I glad that I didn't pay any money to see this retro piece of sheisse. From what I'd heard about this movie, it was supposed to be a study of evil in human nature. But the true evil is that, once again, some art house wingnut has chosen to make his statement by including no resolution to any plot points brought up in the first 3 quarters of the movie. The White Ribbon is the German equivalent of No Country For Old Men. Evil shit does happen. And you're lead along a path where you think you'll ultimately find out who or what has been behind all the evil shit. But when that moment comes and you are AT the end of the path, looking desperately around for the finger to point out the crazy fuck who had perpetrated the evil shit, you find NOTHING. Basically a narrative shrug that implies "Hey, ain't life crazy?"
Well fuck you. And fuck all those film critics too. Thousands of words were spoken and written in praise of this fuck-ball of a film. Why does leaving any reasonable resolution out of a movie make it a profound statement and not simple lazy writing. Great movies can make statements AND have satisfying endings. It's true. Look it up.
Maybe I'm overreacting. But it's for the same reason as, again, No Country For Old Men. For the first three quarters, you HAD ME! I was there, I was in, I was all about this movie. There was mystery, there was suspense, there were creepy kids, there was evil shit going on. And the alien environment of early 20th century rural Germany really added to the experience. But instead of giving me that climax that would have made this an awesome movie, the director decided that kicking me in the balls was a better way to wrap things up.
Fuck it. Terminator is on in 7 minutes.
Thursday, 2 September 2010
So I had a few drinks last night. Been struggling to keep an even keel the last couple weeks. Mostly work related. But I had a few to put things square again. It wasn't one of my famous bottle disappearing acts but a serious dent was put in the reserves.
I eventually had enough and lolled off to sleep just after ten. And then 1:30 in the morning came. Nothing had happened, there were no pressing biological functions that needed looking after, there was no cat gently poking a claw into my eyelid, I was just awake. Clear headed, alert, and ready to start the day. Just 5 hours earlier than normal.
I tried going back to sleep but it just wouldn't take. Ended up doing sudoku for an hour and a half before dozing off again.
And now I'm at work with no serious after-effects (for now). Scotch, it continues to surprise me.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
The first guy I noticed this summer was your classic old guy with shopping cart. Skinny, long white beard, shopping cart full of belongings. He was situated around the corner from the front store face but right where I like to park. As I got out of the car, he was very busy folding what looked to be his towel. I gave him a wide berth but I'm sure he would have asked for some change if I hadn't looked so angry at the time.
The next time I went there, there was an actual busker sitting on the bench between the LCBO and the Boston Pizza. He had a backpack, a guitar, and an open guitar case. Except he wasn't playing anything. Just sitting there, holding his guitar, and staring at people. Dude, make an effort. I'm still not giving you any money but make an effort.
And then today. Dude just hanging out at the corner. Young dude. Not dressed too shabby. Just standing there. I walk by and he says "Sorry man, my dad was supposed to pick me up like an hour ago and he's still not here. Can you spot me 50 cents to call him?" An effective tactic. The money isn't directly for him. It's just to make a phone call. But several things run through my mind. First is the other beggars I've seen near this spot this summer. Second is, 50 cents?!? Phone calls cost 50 cents now? Why, back in MY day, phone calls weren't more than a quarter! But then, back in MY day, nobody had cell phones. So, third, where is this phone booth you're going to put the 50 cents in to? There's no phone booth here and I don't see a phone booth anywhere in the near vicinity. Wouldn't this story be more effective if you were actually standing near a pay phone? Holy crap, when's the last time you saw a pay phone ANYWHERE?
So I use my "Sorry man, only got plastic" line and move on to restock on scotch. When I come out, he's still there. I think about throwing him a couple quarters as I drive by. Christ, I must have 10 bucks in loose change in my car. But the fact that he's the only twenty-something in Kitchener-Waterloo without a cell phone, steels my resolve.
So I guess the moral of this story is, don't let anyone get in the way of your scotch. The End.
The sadistic prick who decided glass bottles needed large dimples in their bottoms.
I come home from a long, pointless day of argoing and I have a look at my scotch stores. Oh, it's alright. I've got enough for two healthy drinks of scotch left. But I DON'T! I've only got ONE glass left. Because some beligerent fuck decided to occupy the space where my second glass of scotch should be, with glass and air!
Turns out, this "feature" of glass bottles is called a "punt". Fitting, I thought, because the word "punt" rhymes with the word I called it's inventor when I ran out of scotch!
The reasoning behind the "punt" can be found, naturally, on wikipedia. And, naturally, I dismiss all these reasons. I'm cranky and I'm out of scotch.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
I had planned to just make a quick pick-up of some Aberlour 12. My favourite, every day, yumminess. Sadly, the barbarians of Waterloo have yet to develop the taste and sophistication to appreciate this fine scotch. I scanned the shelves for anything new and finally spotted this Glenlivet 15 French Oak. I like Oak and the fact that it's French makes it a little risqué. Plus it was a reasonable 60 bucks so I snapped it up.
The first whiff fills the nose with a strong sherry aroma. Made me a little wary but the sherry nose has proven to be a false prophet before. On to the drink! And quite a yummy drink it was. Instant, oaky smoke and a cool little fireball burns its way down to the tummy. The aftertaste is a little syrupy but subtle and no cloying tones. Very nice.
I checked the review at Royal Mile Whiskies and found a very interesting description. Can't say I found the same things but I'm including it just because I found it funny.
Nose: Strawberries and cream. Vanilla. Heady.
Palate: Firm, slippery-smooth, cookie-like maltiness, spicy middle. Lots of flavour development.
Finish: Creamy, fruity. Like a Slavic sour cream pancake laced with Maraschino cherry brandy.
Overall: Complex. Entrancing.
Myself, I didn't find it that complex so I struggled whether to give it a 3 or 4. In the end, I decided it's solid yet inoffensive tasting should be rewarded. Doubt I'll make a habit of buying this malt but it's nice to have something like this in the back pocket.
Solid. 4 shots!
Friday, 20 August 2010
One of the "safety" features of my deep fryer is a timer that will turn off the gas every 20 minutes unless it's rewound. I suppose it's there to make sure somebody is always paying attention but I really don't want to be constantly twisting a dial that's directly under a vat of boiling oil. Previously I'd circumvented this "feature" with a pair of vice grips to keep the dial from rotating. I'd forgotten to bring a pair on this trip however so I was scrambling to rig up a substitute. With only a jack knife, a crescent wrench, and a pair of pliers, I was able to come up with this!
Yes, clearly, I am a genius.
Some may look at this photo and say "Why didn't you put the knife handle on the other side of the knob and wedge it into the dirt? Or bypass the knob altogether and jump the wires?"
To those people, I say: "Shut up."
My sister could barely contain her amazement at my ingenuity.
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely, unconditionally love my nieces and nephew. But, me, as a parent, would be the absolutely worst thing that could happen to a child. Why? Because I'm incapable of letting children have fun. Whatever the activity, I can only see the potential dangers and they consistently outweigh the potential fun.
All week, I've been the worrier. "Do you think they should be playing with that?" "Are you sure it's not too cold out?" "It's pretty dark out isn't it?" "The lake is kind of choppy out there." "It's not very deep at the end of the dock."
All week. I've been the little buzz-kill bluebird.
And it really hit home that I've been this way my whole life.
My brother has never really shown any signs that he's considered what COULD go wrong with any of his actions. He's just gone ahead and had fun. He was into X-Games long before there was such a thing as X-Games. And I'd watch from the sidelines as he'd head down the black diamond runs, or take the jumps with his bike, or build a half-pipe in our back yard. I'd watch and think to myself "He's going to break his neck" and then I'd get back to the virtual thrills of video gaming.
The funny thing is my brother has never broken a single bone. He should have. Several times over. But the worst he's gotten is a sprained ankle or foot (like this week on his wind-surfer). Me? I've got a broken ankle, broken hand, and torn knee ligaments. All from "playing it safe".
Makes me kind of sad to think I have this deficiency. The best memories of childhood are those times when caution is thrown to the wind and death defied, even if it's just in your own head. That would never happen with my kids. They'd be sheltered from almost everything. There would be no danger. No possibility of injury. And no fun.
My sister and brother are raising great families. I admire them for their patience and the values they're imparting to their kids but what I really stand in awe of is their ability to let go and let life happen. It's an incredibly stressful thing to watch for me but I'm happy that they have parents that are giving them that opportunity. For me, I'll keep trying to keep my mouth shut unless it's to cheer them on.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Who would I have liked to have punched in the face last week?
That girl in the Rogers telephone commercial where they are waiting in line for a movie or something.
It's one of those series of commercials featuring those irrepressible late-teen, early twenties, ethnically diverse, scamps who are boldly experimenting with the latest in Roger's telecommunication devices. Previous commercials have seen them go on road trips, pack for college, hang out at a coffee house, go camping, and hang out at the beach. In this entry, the whitest of our teens seem to be in line for a movie or something.
White Boy is busy fiddling with his awesome roger's phone. White Girl turns to him and says "Let me use your phone to update my facebook". Ok, dude is obviously using the phone. You couldn't possibly wait for him to finish to update your status to "is waiting in line"?
Some clever banter follows that help to explain Roger's awesome new phone plans for awesome youngsters. And then White Boy's phone rings. He answers. And then hands the phone the to White Girl saying "It's for you". She picks it up and says "Oh, that was nobody....No seriously, he's not important at all."
First off, your friend is phoning you on your other friend's phone? So I'm to understand that this freeloading harpy sponges off her friends, not only for data usage, but cell minutes too? Fuck you.
And after White Guy hands you HIS phone so YOU can talk to YOUR friend, you chop his balls off completely. Nice. This guy must be seven different kinds of desperate because I would have taken the phone back, hung up, and then pushed the fucking wench into traffic.
So White Guy can't be let off the hook either. Clearly he's enabling her actions. The phone call was probably from some sketchy guy named Enrico she met at the bar on Saturday night and she used White Guy's phone number so he couldn't track her down directly. She'll end up asking White Guy if she can meet with Enrico at White Guy's apartment because she still lives at home and Enrico has a wife and five kids. And White Guy will end up sleeping on his own couch, listening as Enrico brings White Girl to a screaming climax on White Guys own sheets. All in the hope that, one day, White Girl will notice what a nice guy White Guy is. Dude, wake the fuck up.
Ach. Did I mention that it was raining?