Thursday, 24 February 2011

Quote

Today's intranet quote of the day:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of the universe. You were born to manifest the glory of the universe that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
-- Marianne Williamson author, lecturer

Honestly, how the fuck am I supposed to get any work done after reading that horse shit?

Monday, 21 February 2011

Cough

I've had a cough for a little over two weeks now.  Don't have a headache, no sore throat, not stuffed up at all.  But my lungs are producing snot at a remarkable rate and its all I can do to keep up with the coughing.  Until this weekend, nothing has helped relieve this condition.  The usually dependable Buckley's did nothing.  It tastes horrible and it DOESN'T work.  The cough drops have provided some relief during the day but there have been several nights with hour long coughing fits.

Something had to change.  I was going to be spending a couple nights at Jen's parents' place and I really didn't want to be keeping everybody up.  So, I changed things up and tried a Benylin formulation that was specifically for Cough and Deep Chest Phlegm.  God, even the word Phlegm is disgusting.  But it worked!  Not a peep through the night.  It doesn't taste as bad as Buckley's but it's still not something I look forward to swigging.  Can't argue with results though.  If anybody else is suffering through this kind of cough, I highly recommend the Benylin.

Family Day

Every once in a while the topic of The Canadian Identity comes up in the media.  What makes us, us?  The very fact that we have to ask this question gives some insight into the insecurity that is the Canadian psyche.  But I think I've identified one common trait that truly characterizes us as a people.  We are a nation of complainers.  We love complaining.  The government, the weather, our jobs, our bosses, our cars, our toys, our hockey teams, everything.  We're also generally friendly and polite but give us five minutes and you'll soon find out what we REALLY think about Don Cherry.

This isn't a new opinion of mine.  When I worked in forestry equipment, it was almost comical how much whinier the Canadian customers were versus the Americans.  And I'm seeing it again now that I'm in recreational vehicles.  But what drove it home this week was a conversation I had at the office.  I had just made the casual off-hand exclamation "Whoo!  Long weekend coming up."  And one of my colleagues responded with a "Pffff.  Family day."  And then he went on about how stupid it was that we had a day off in the middle of winter when there wasn't anything to do.

I was dumbstruck. Here's a guy complaining about getting a day off.  There's nothing to do in the middle of winter?  Then don't do anything!  The point is that it's one less day you have to come into work and put up with pointless horseshit.  Watch TV, play video games, lie in bed all day eating corn chips and masturbating.  It's all better than doing the cubicle shuffle.

And then one of the other guys chipped in and said it wasn't really an extra day off cause they just moved one of the floaters over from Christmas to Family Day.  And there it was.  The Canadian people in a nutshell.  Unable to take a day off without bitching about how it came into existence or that it comes at the wrong time of year.  IT'S A DAY OFF!  Shut yer friggin' yap and go do something fun!

I love my people.  I'm a proud Canadian.  And I recognize that I'm no better in my bitching about their bitching.  But, seriously, sometimes we just need to roll with it in silence.

Moving Day

So, two months into this relationship and Jen is moving in.  Too soon?  Don't think so.  We were debating which furniture we would keep two weeks in.  Being friends for a couple years has certainly fast-tracked the "getting to know you" phase.  Jen's certainly taking the bigger leap here.  She's quit a job where she has a substantial amount of control and found one in a new town where her schedule will be at the whim of others.  And she's doing this to be with me.  Still shaking my head.

So, in prep for the big day, we are spending our family day weekend moving all her stuff from Port to the Kay-Dub, yo.  Don't know why we booked the whole weekend.  Her parents are like a crack commando unit, getting in and getting that shit DONE.  Used their behemoth closed trailer and had all Jen's possessions loaded up in just over an hour.  Got a glimpse of some of the contents of some of the boxes.  The box full of trashy romance novels got a significant snort.  Then I saw what looked like a folded pennant with the letters "JE" visible.  I asked if she actually had her own "JEN" flag.  No, apparently it was a "JEFF GORDON" flag.  That started a 15 minute coughing fit.

A Nascar fan.  I'm dating a Nascar fan.  Scratch that, I'm MOVING IN with a Nascar fan.  And not just a Nascar fan.  A JEFF GORDON Nascar fan!  Zoh my goodness.  If something is going to blow this relationship up, this is it.  Can a Formula 1 fan and a Nascar fan live together in a non-violent environment?  We'll see but I'm picturing a lot of eye-rolling come race day.

So, that shocker aside, we managed to complete the packing up and trucked it over to Kitchener that same day to avoid the latest "Snowmageddon".  Rolled up to my house and we had that mo-fo unloaded in half an hour bitches!  Jen's got another week left at work in Welland but then she'll be a Kitchener resident.  And then there will be some serious negotiations over what is staying and what is going as far as furniture and trashy novels and Jeff Gordon posters.  I'm sure we'll survive this okay.

Big steps but we're in agreement that we'll be coasting for a bit after this move.  Just stop and enjoy being together without worrying about schedules and driving and reservations and work in general.  Yup, good times!

Monday, 14 February 2011

TBone's Bandwidth Hogging But Completely Legal Downloaded Movie of the Week - The Social Network

I had absolutely zero interest in seeing this movie when it first came out.  Love David Fincher's work.  Fight Club and Seven are in my top 10.  But a movie about the little shit who started Facebook?  Released at the height of Facebook's popularity, it seemed like a pretty shallow concept that was capitalizing on the moment and could be completely irrelevant in just over a year's time.

But the reviews were exceptional.  Time after time I heard variations on the theme that the reviewer thought it was a crass, opportunistic concept going in but left blown away by a fantastically crafted movie with a phenomenal script.  Award season is now in full swing and The Social Network is at or near the top of most lists.  So, I knew I would rent it eventually and last night I got the download from the Playstation Store.

And it is a good movie.  Not great.  Not important.  Not a significant, cinematic landmark, a hallmark of our current time and place.  No, it is none of that but it IS a good movie.  The acting and the script do stand out but it's still just a story of a little shit who screwed over some other people with the help of Justin Timberlake.  The most amazing thing about this movie is that the Winklevoss twins are played by the same actor.  If I hadn't heard that before watching, I never would have known.  The CGI is seemless.

But it's not a great movie.  I don't think it's better than Inception and I'll watch How to Train Your Dragon day in and day out before watching The Social Network again.  Now I find myself wondering why I'm not getting the same reaction that all those critics are having.  It just seems like I'm missing something.  It happened before with another Fincher movie, Zodiac.  There was a movie with an awesome cast and one of my favourite directors and it just felt like a total miss to me.  But you have some critics that have picked Zodiac for their top 10 of the decade.  Meh, what can you do?  The Social Network is a more enjoyable film than Zodiac, by far, but it still doesn't strike me as "Best of the Year" material.

Again, solid movie, worth a rental, but I'm more interested in seeing The King's Speech now more than ever.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Desert Island Movies

Inspired by the now defunct IFC Movie Podcast, I thought I'd list my own movies I'd want to have with me if I was ever trapped on a deserted island.  With a TV.  And a Blu Ray player.  And electricity.

1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Why? This just may be the perfect movie.  Love every moment.  If I could only have one movie, this would be it.

2. Dumb and Dumber

Why? Gut wrenchingly funny.  This is some of the crudest humour out there and it is awesome.  When I need pure stupid laughter, this is the one I'll reach for.

3. Slapshot

Why? Stuck on a desert island, I'll need some reminders of how cool hockey is and this is the best hockey movie ever made.  Yes, even better than The Mighty Ducks.

4. Fight Club

Why? My favourite Fincher movie but, beside that, I think it would be awesome to be sitting on a beach with absolutely no possessions (besides my TV and Blu Ray player) and living the Tyler Durden anarchist dream.

5. Where Eagles Dare

Why? This is, by far, the movie I've watched the most in my life.  If it's on TV, guaranteed I'll watch it.  There's nothing dramatically special about it, it's just a fun movie to watch.  I could just leave it on loop and pass away the weeks on my little desert island.

6. Desperado

Why? Salma Hayek.  'Nough said.

7. Bound

Why? Jennifer Tilly and Gena Lee Nolin.  Hey, there are going to be some lonely nights on this island.

8.Top Secret!

Why? Great movie but I really only want it with me for that flashback scene where they're castaways on a desert island and they make this entire house out of seaweed and snot.  I'm sure I'll find that funny for several years at least.

UPDATE!!!!!!

Two additional must haves that I was reminded about this weekend:

9. The Shawshank Redemption

Why? Whether you're getting gang raped by The Sisters or trapped on a desert island, it's nice to think about hope and that things will all work out in the end.

10. The Princess Bride

Why? Great movie.  Going to need a fairy tale on this island.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Superbowl XLV

Ex El Vee bitches! What a game! The drama, the intrigue! I was pretty happy with the matchup. Steelers versus Packers. Rodgers versus Roethlisberger. I didn't really have a horse in this race but it was pretty easy to pull for the packers, for two reasons:

1. I hate Ben Roethlisberger.
2. I hate Brett Favre.

So, with that basis of hate, I was rooting for the Packers the whole way through. There was some conflict with Jen being a Steelers "fan" but we seem to have survived.

This year, as with so many years in the past, we headed to the Allenses.  Apparently I wasn't SUCH a pain in the ass at the Christmas party that I was to be denied an invite to this event.  Good thing too cause the Allenses kicked it up a notch this year and placed a SECOND television in the bathroom.  No more glancing over the shoulder to keep up with current events.  I mean, come ON.  That's some pretty freaking awesome attention to detail.  Of course, there's still the 100 inch projection TV, the widescreen 42", and the TV up in the grazing area.  The Allenses is definitely THE place to watch the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl isn't just about the game though.  It's an event comprised of many components.  Let's break down this year's event.

Pre-Game Show

Six fucking hours of pre-game show!  Holy fuck!  They've been yipping about this game for two weeks straight.  What could possibly be left to say for the six hours before the game itself?  Not fucking much.  Seemed like a constant parade of movie-peddling hollywood schmucks being trotted out to tell Michael Strahan who their pick was.  Friggin pathetic.

National Anthem

Ha ha!  Christina Aguillera is a complete moron.  If she'd got the words right, I would have nailed the over-under though.

Food

I think I mentioned before that I was bringing a Turducken to this shindig.  Sure smelled good.  Thanks to Elisa who took over all the actual cooking of the Turducken.  James did the carving.  And that's where the Turducken lost me.  I was honestly expecting a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with sausage stuffing.  What we got seemed more like a bundling of boneless bird carcasses over top of a cylinder of spam with the remnants of some other turkey's skin, legs, and wings draped over it to give it some sort of legitimacy.    It reminded me of that seen in Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lector borrows some other dudes face to pass himself off as the security guard.  It was a Frankenturkey.  Yah.  Won't be doing that again anytime soon.  I mean it still tasted decent but definitely not worth the hype.  Thankfully there were plenty of other options for food.  We were well fed to say the least.

First Half

Complete domination by the Green Bay Packers!  WHOOO!

Half-time Show

The Black Eyed Peas.  Umm.  Yah.  Can't say I was ever a fan.  Couldn't even tell you what one of their songs was but there was a compilation right before the game to remind you that you HAVE in fact heard some of their songs before.  So whatever.  Not exactly a rocking selection but I haven't expected much from the half time shows of late.  Heard quite a bit of yipping the day after about how crappy they sounded.  I didn't really mind it cause at least you knew they were doing it live and not lip-synching.  Again, whatever.  Not a fan, don't care.  But then my mind got completely fucked when Slash showed up!  SLASH!  What the fuck?!?  What the ever-loving christ was he doing there?  Why Slash?  Why?  It's like he was the opening cameo for the Usher cameo.  God damnit Slash.  You've broken my heart.

Second Half

Hey, what the fuck is this shit?  Pittsburgh's making a game of it. No. No, no, no.  Oh, okay.  Roethlisberger fucked it up.  Awesome.  Packers WIN!!!!!

Commercials

Aside from the pure square footage of viewing area available at the Allenses, the other nice thing about watching the game there is that you get the pure feed from Buffalo with all the American commercials.  I guess there was a time when, all of a sudden, the commercials became a huge deal at the Super Bowl.  I can't remember when exactly this happened but I do think there was one year when everything was just perfect.  Every single commercial was a work of comic genius.  And it's been all downhill since then.  We keep hoping that THIS year will be the year that everybody gets their shit together and puts on some truly epic commercials.  Sadly, this year was another failure.  What a waste of fucking money.  If you're going to spend millions of dollars just for 30 seconds of air time, you've gotta bring something more special than Adrian Fucking Brody serenading a glass of Stella Fucking Artois.  What the fuck were they thinking?  Yah, you know what football fans really dig?  Adrian Fucking Brody.  Yah.  Let's get him to sing too!  That'll sell our artsy fartsy fucking beer!  Sweet Jebus.  The only commercial I honestly thought was worthy of the spot was the Bridgestone ad about the "Reply to all" situation.  That's some good shit right there.



Wagers

And I won some money!  Cleaned house on the betting sheet.  Went all in for the Pack and it paid off large.  Probably go out and buy a six pack of Stella Artois with all that dough.  I hear that fancy actor guy Adrian Brody drinks Stella.  I've also got some outstanding bets to collect at work this week too.  Maybe a 12 pack of Stella?

Post Game

So that was Super Bowl Sunday 2011.  Great party.  Thanks again to the ever gracious, generous, forgiving Allenses for hosting.  A shout out too to the Robickles who provided shelter for the weekend and powered through some sleep deprivation to cheer on the Pack.  And of course thanks to Jen who put up with all my Steeler-baiting throughout the day.  I'm pretty sure she pulled up on a couple of those back hands.  Great seeing everyone and even better remembering seeing everyone the next day.  Already looking forward to next year's 49'ers vs. Dolphins Super Bowl!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Quote

Our intranet homepage shows a random Quote Of The Day.  This is today's quote:

Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose ... not the one you began with perhaps, but one you'll be glad to remember.
-- Anne Sullivan Macy teacher

I love the quotes that promote failing.  It's probably pinned to meteorologist cubicles everywhere.

WWILTPITFTW

Who would I like to punch in the face this week?

Every single frigging meteorologist who claimed Southern Ontario was going to get hit with this MASSIVE snow storm last night.  Fuck you.

I spent all last night getting my snowmobile ready for this morning.  Giggling at a near constant rate.  It was supposed to be epic.  A foot of snow, more than any Southern Ontario snow removal plan could handle.  Guaranteed the cops would be busy with traffic incidents across the region.  No time to pester an innocent little snowmobile blasting its way from Kitchener to New Hamburg.  I was going to put tracks all over this place and then park my sled right in front of the building.  It was supposed to be awesome.

But it wasn't.  We barely got a couple centimeters of snow.  I looked outside this morning and the only thing I could think about was driving my fist into the face of that mewling little shit on the weather network who claimed we should all be staying inside today and stocking up on clean water and non-perishable food items.  It is fucking unbelievable that this is the acceptable rate of failure for the profession of meteorologist.  If I got things so fucked up, so frequently, as THEY do?  I'd be unemployed.  And unemployable.  But nobody's going to get fired over this.  "Hey, we're weathermen.  That's what we do!" is what they'll say.  But there have to be consequences.  For getting my hopes up so high and seeing them crushed with bare asphalt, they need to be punished.  And I'm more than willing to be the punisher.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Huntsville

Our first weekend away together and it was back to one of my old stomping grounds.  I only stomped around Huntsville for 6 months before gloriously escaping the nuthouse I worked at but it was still kind of cool to make my way back.  Some friends had booked a ski weekend and invited some of the Niagara crew to tag along for a weekend away from it all.

Now I haven't skied since university so that wasn't going to be on my agenda.  Luckily I brought along the sled to do some real trail riding and lake hopping.  And I'm sure Jen appreciated the break of a couple hours of me worshiping something besides her.

And the morning ride was great.  Wide open lakes with hard pack trails for speed runs with plenty of powder to mix it up.  The trails had something for everyone.  My suspension needs some upgraded springs to handle the more technical x-country runs but there were plenty of smooth trails as well that lent themselves to a challenging ride while still keeping the speed up.

There was one minor mishap.  I did fall off my snowmobile.  Once.  It was so friggin embarrassing. Going around a corner, didn't shift my weight, rolled over a bump, and that caused me to roll right off the sled.  Would have been fine but my foot caught in the toe hold and the sled dragged me for about 10 feet.  Thought my ankle was done for but it was all good.  Quickly got to my feet and double checked that nobody had witnessed the disaster.  No witnesses.  Excellent.

So I was pleased with my ride.  But not everybody knows the joys of snowmobiling so I offered the Robickles and Jen the opportunity to take my sled out for a controlled ride on the lake in front of the resort.

But first, PUPPIES!



A guy had his dogs out for a walk on the lake and they were irresistible.

But, yes, back to the sled.  Andrea was up first and looked quite ready to ride.



And she did well!  Cautious and conservative but handled the sled respectfully.  She seemed happy with the experience.

And then it was little sister's turn for a drive.  And, lord Jesus, did she drive.  Within 30 feet she had pinned the throttle and she was a mere rooster tail of snow off in the distance.  Good god what had I done?  How was I going to explain to her parents that I'd lost their daughter to a fatal speed addiction?

It was with great relief that I saw the distant rooster tail make a turn and come speeding back.



Phew, okay she's had her fun, now she's back, safe and sound.  And then she LAUGHED at me and turned the sled around and took off down the lake again.  Good lord I'm dating a speed junkie!  But she eventually did come back again.



And proceeded to blow right by me and steal my sled back up to the hotel, laughing the entire way.  That minx!

So, my girlfriend digs snowmobiles.  Gotta say, pretty friggin awesome.

We eventually tamped down the adrenaline with some drinks at the hotel and were joined by special guest star Kevin, who had driven down from North Bay to catch up with some of the old Niagara crew.  Andy and Rob finally called it quits on the hill and we all went out for a great dinner at 3 Guys and a Stove, then more drinks at the hotel, some unfortunate rounds of humdinger while playing Cranium, made up with complete and utter domination of the euchre games at the end of the night.

A great day with great friends.  I say this a lot but have rarely meant it more: good times.

Just one more note about the Hidden Valley Resort where we stayed.  We were all a little nervous given some negative reviews on Trip Advisor and the news that they were in receivership.  But I think we were unanimous in saying the resort was a great place to spend the weekend.  Rooms are a little dated and I had some issues with water temperature in the shower but the staff and restaurant were fantastic.  Highly recommended.