Tuesday, 31 January 2012

TBone Today: Take 2

So, here I am!  On the Blogger platform.  As I mentioned in my last post on tbonetoday.boojah.net, this is the new home for TBone on the internet.  It's a little squarer and some of the picture links may be a little wonky but I'm happy to be here on a managed site that I don't have to worry about scheduling upgrades for anymore.

This is not a condemnation of Wordpress.  I really liked it and enjoyed watching it grow and using each new feature.  There were a couple challenging upgrades but I'd recommend it overall.  The support is out there but I think I'm done tweaking and just want to write on a painless platform even if it is a little blockier to look at.

Let the rage continue!

Monday, 30 January 2012

WWILTPITFTW

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

Trop 50 spokes woman, Jane Krakowski.  Repeatedly.  And then I'd serve one up to each of her eager hangers on.  Nobody should be that fucking excited about orange juice.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Drive

I'd heard about this movie when it first came out and it really sounded promising.  A driver for hire involved in various heists.  Sounded exciting.  Then I started reading and hearing reviews.  A lot of talk about "tension" and "slow burn".  This is critic speak for "boring".  I dismissed it.  Then I started hearing about it again during all the best-of lists for 2011.  Some very interesting cases were made.  Decided to give it a try.

The opening credits came with some flaming pink, miami vice style font accompanied by some Pat Benatar style music.  For a couple minutes I thought I'd mistakenly downloaded porn instead of the movie I was really after.  Man, THAT would be embarrassing... to happen again.

But it was the right movie.  After the credits, we were treated to one of the most boring car chase scenes in cinema history.  That set the tone.  A lot of staring and mumbling in this movie.  Not nearly enough DRIVING.  You know, like the title of your film would kind of indicate would be happening with some frequency throughout the running.  It was nearly an hour after the first car chase that we were treated to the second and last car chase.  The rest of the movie is a bunch of gratuitous gore to try and make you forget about that first hour of nothing you struggled to stay awake through.

Skip it.

All Stars

I was so disappointed when I looked at the NHL schedule this week and saw no scheduled games for the weekend.  That could only mean one thing: All Star Weekend.  Yippee.  Nothing bores me more than an all star game.  There's nothing at stake so why bother?  The change to have captains pick their team was kind of interesting but I'm sure it has to be humiliating for a millionaire to sit there and wait for another millionaire to pick him for their team.

I used to watch the skills competition back in the Al Iafrate slap shot days but seeing the highlights this morning with all the props and crowd pandering just made me sick.  What a fucking circus.

It is sweet irony that the NFL pro bowl is on the same day.  What a collosal waste of sporting talent this day is.  Generations will look back on this day to shake their head at its pointlessness.

Go Team Alfredsson.  I guess.

Awards

I'm not a fan of the Oscars.  They rarely match my best of the year.  But I do find the nomination list useful in at least catching up on some potentially good movies that I maybe wouldn't have seen without the nominations.  The King's Speech is a recent example.  A period movie about some poor rich snob with a speech impediment?  Not in a million years.  But with the Oscar hype I was tempted and ultimately rewarded.  I don't think that's going to happen this year.  This year's nomination list leaves me devoid of even the slightest interest in catching up with the supposed cream of the cinema crop.  Below are the 10 nominees for Best Picture and my gut reaction to each film.

The Artist - A silent film about silent films.  I generally don't like movies about the movie industry and this one is all that without any sound to boot.  No thanks.

The Descendants - Probably the only movie on the list that I will eventually watch but it won't be any time soon.  Rich people dealing with emotional issues.  This time in Hawaii!

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - 9/11 schmaltz.  Sell it somewhere else sister.

The Help - White people help the poor black folk!  Didn't Sandra Bullock solve racism in The Blind Side already?

Hugo - 3D.  That's all I hear about this.  The 3D is AMAZING!  Fuck 3D.  Can't wait for this gimmick to die again.  Plus this is Martin Scorsese and there are apparently no mafia in this film.  Pass.

Midnight in Paris - I don't understand the fascination with Woody Allen.  It seems he is blindly adored by the critic masses every year.  I don't get it.  I've never enjoyed his movies, so I'm guessing the trend will continue with this one.

Moneyball - Baseball is a sport about statistics and percentages.  I hate it.  And this movie is all about how a guy used statistics and percentages to be successful in this sport that I hate.  Just guessing I will hate this movie as much as I hate the sport.  General guideline, if your baseball movie does not star Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Wesley Snipes, I will probably not like it.

The Tree of Life - No.  No, no, no.  Not in a million years.  This cinematic exercise in masturbation is being praised as a work of art.  Fine.  Hang it in a museum.  But these are awards for MOVIES.  And MOVIES need to have a narrative.  From all I've heard that is one key component that is missing from this mish-mash of self-absorption.  You have daddy issues, Terrence Malick?  Work it out with your therapist, don't wave it around in my face and expect me to pay you for it.

War Horse - I don't do movies about horses.  I don't find horses magical or mystical or romantic.  Give me a two minute clip of a cat on youtube instead.

So, yah, pretty disappointing list for me.  Just want to put it out there again, Warrior, best movie of 2011.

 

Friday, 20 January 2012

Change

Change is an interesting thing.  I get that.  You see something that is different than the way it was yesterday, you are more than likely to make a note of it.  But, holy fuck, it shouldn't consume you to the point where you are interrupting everyone around you to point it out.

Case in point, they have moved some walls around in our office.  Where there was a large office for 4 people and a smaller office for 1 person and a closet for drawing files, there is now one larger office for 5 people and drawing files and a closet for 1 person without any sense of claustrophobia.  This has driven some people around the bend.  Every 15 to 30 minutes some random person pops their head in and oohs and ahs and asks why people are sitting in certain spots and who the poor bastard sitting in the closet is going to be.

It is change, it is understandable.  What I don't understand are the repeat visitors.  Yes, it is still different than last week.  Yes, I imagine they will be putting up drywall eventually.  Yes, that is a strange wire dangling from the ceiling.  Yes, the schmuck sitting in the closet really must have done something wrong in his life.

Every day, a new question or comment that interrupts the whole office.  Yesterday, I was working away and a woman actually interrupted me out of everyone in the office just to ask who the closet dweller was going to be.  I snapped.  I didn't fucking know.  I didn't fucking care.  I can see from her perspective that I'm a complete asshole.  It was just one simple question.  But from my perspective it was the five hundredth inane, pointless question that has interrupted me this week.

TGIF.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Elbow Room Revisited

I used to work at John Deere.  Working at John Deere required a lot of therapy.  I chose my therapy in the form of beer and chicken wings.  And the absolute best place to get those things in Welland was the Elbow Room.  You absolutely reeked of chicken wing grease at the end of the night and you could bet on spending an intimate hour on the crapper the following morning, but the wings were so frigging good.  So, when the Robickles suggested a wing night in Welland to see if the magic was still there, I was first on board.

The Elbow Room is not what you would call "fancy".  It's nestled in the corner of a strip mall and it was always just a comfortable place to drink the stress away while enjoying some amazing wings and maybe watch a sporting event inbetween bitching about work.  Walking back into the place after almost 6 years, I could see almost nothing had changed.  Almost nothing.  One thing I can never remember seeing at the Elbow Room is a live band.  But one was setting up when we walked in yesterday at around 4 in the afternoon.

The whole goal of that night was to check out the wing situation while watching the first playoff football game of the weekend.  Seeing a local band starting up their sound check 15 minutes before kick-off did not give me a very good feeling.  And what a fucking meticulous sound check.  These guys were fine tuning every string and top hat.  It was about an hour of repetitive note striking and calling out "How's that?".  Nerves were on edge, to say the least.  When they did a song it sounded good but holy fuck it's football time not music time.  They did eventually rap things up and we were really able to focus on the beer and wings and football.

And the wings haven't changed a bit.  Still the best wings I've ever had.  Done perfectly.  Really crisp, good sized wings, with a straight up buffalo sauce.  Without equal.  Great football game too.  The only bad thing I can say is that the servers weren't exactly attentive to our needs.

Yah, a good trip down memory lane.  They also seemed to have fixed their ventilation issue and we managed to escape without the legendary grease aroma clinging to our clothes.  So the only thing left to deal with was the inevitable morning after.

And I came out the other side pretty much unaffected!  Sadly, the same can't be said of Jen.  On her first trip to the Elbow Room, she seems to have gotten hold of a bad wing.  Things are... messy.  Enough said.

But man, even with the 16% chance of food poisoning, it is still worth it to try out those wings!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Lists

My List:

  1. Selma Hayek
  2. Cameron Diaz
  3. Michelle Wie

Jen’s List

  1. Bradley Cooper
  2. Shemar Moore
  3. Chris Meloni
  4. Jason Statham
  5. Josh Duhamel
  6. Player to be named later…

Just for the record.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Jets vs. Sabres

As part of my birthday package, Jen got us tickets to see the Jets play the Sabres on Saturday.  Pretty cool girlfriend, I know.  I'm always pretty tense going across the border but it is so worth it.  I love Buffalo.  Well, not really the city itself.  But I've never been to a better sporting event than in Buffalo.  I've seen games in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto and none of them come close to the Buffalo experience.

Plentiful parking, great concessions, good natured fans (for the most part), reasonable beer prices, and comfortable seating.  Exiting the city after the game is the most daunting challenge but even there we managed to escape at a very reasonable rate.  Border patrols on both sides were good natured and didn't hold us up.  Yah, we really should go over more.

And the game itself was pretty good.  Not a high scoring affair but good flow and plenty of opportunities.  It was 1-1 with 40 seconds to go and it looked like Buffalo had taken the go ahead goal.  Only a Buffalo player had a skate in the crease and the goal was disallowed.  Poor Buffalo.  Always with that stupid crease.  So we got an extra minute of hockey before the Jets were finally victorious.

But, as always, the real "entertainment" was in the stands.  Lots of Jets jerseys sprinkled throughout the arena.  Some great competitive crowd chants.  Interesting note, I'm a lot less chirpy when I'm sober.  Surrounded by Sabres fans, I whooped at our two goals but didn't really engage anybody in Buffalo bashing banter.  Could have been the lack of beer and it also could have been the fact I was trying my best not to listen to the people sitting on either side of us.

Beside Jen was this little know-it-all twerp who couldn't have been more than 13 years old.  He just wouldn't shut up.  The whole game was a running commentary on what the players on the ice were doing right or wrong.  If he had a backpack, he would have been a perfect replica of that little shit Gavin from Kids In The Hall.

And then beside me was a typical "Shoot-it" fan.  For these people, and I do believe my own father has an executive position amongst the group, hockey is the simplest game in the world.  You have the puck, you shoot the puck.  That is what you do if you're a hockey player.  And if they don't do that, then you are obligated to remind them that they should, in fact, be SHOOTING THE PUCK!  The whole game was a constant string of "SHOOT THE PUCK!  SHOOT THE PUCK!  SHOOT THE PUCK!", interspersed with a couple grunts of disgust when a player dares to pass to an open man.

Annoying as they were, it's important to remind oneself that it as all part of the live sporting event experience.  Plus they probably live in Buffalo so a little pity and tolerance should probably be given.

It was a great trip and a great present.  Thanks babe!

 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Laphroaig

So, this was a gift.  A Christmas gift.  It's a bit of a tough situation to buy scotch as a gift for a guy like me.  Especially if your goal is to buy me something I haven't tried before.  Due diligence was performed and this blog was researched to see if Laphroaig was something I had previously reviewed.  It wasn't, so the purchase was made.  But there's a reason I've never reviewed it.  It's an Islay malt.  And I have mentioned on several occasions that I am not a fan of malts from this region.  But, again, it was a gift.  I was gracious and thankful and now it's time to see if there was any reason for me to have had any doubts in this well-known representative of the Islay region.

The aroma is typical Islay.  Salty and peaty.  But Laphroaig brings some extra meat.  Seriously, there are hints of teriyaki steak in this malt.  Kind of odd but it definitely sets it apart.

And, yah, the taste is all Islay as well.  Salty and peaty.  Laphroaig is the quintessential Islay malt.  There's no real change from taste to after-taste.  It's all salty peat from start to finish and the finish takes a while to come.  It definitely hangs around.

So, the gift was appreciated but this is not the exception to the rule.  I'm still not a fan of the Islays.

Thank Jeebus for chocolate covered almonds.  2 shots.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Movie Reviews

Saw a bunch of movies over the last couple weeks.  Don't need to get too in depth on each of these.    But I will save the best for last.

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

My yearly visit to an actual movie theater.  Usually happens over the Christmas vacation.  This year we selected the Tom Cruise comeback special.  Gotta say it was way better than I expected.  I was fully engaged right up to the last action scene which just went on a teeny tiny bit too long.  Recommended.

Mission Impossible 3

Seeing 4 got me thinking if I'd ever seen 3.  I have a complete hatred of John Woo movies so I think seeing 2 may have put me off of seeing 3.  In any case, yah, a decent movie.  Good flick for a Sunday afternoon if there's no football on.  Mildly recommended.

Fright Night

A pick for New Year's eve.  I'd heard good things about it.  It was alright.  Not worth an actual rental but if it's on tv go for it.

13

We watched this for one reason and one reason only.  Jen has a bad case of Stathamitis.  I'm sure there's a shit tonne of artistic value in this movie but I just didn't like it.  Not recommended.

Warrior

Holy shit, this is the best movie I have seen in a long time.  I had to do a search on the blog to see what movies I thought were exceptional over the last year.  Two stand out: Rise of the Planets of the Apes and The King's Speech.  I'd put this movie above The Apes and maybe even over The King's Speech.  Tough call on The King's Speech.  I think The King's Speech was a better FILM but, man, did I get way more involved in Warrior.  Every fight scene had me yelling and cringing and cheering.  And every bit of dialogue had my intent focus.  Amazing movie.  And Tom Hardy is an absolute beast.  Can't wait to see him in the next Batman.  Yah, I was really expecting this to either be a boring artsy flick or a pandering capitalization of MMA popularity.  And here I am picking it as my movie of 2011.  Fantastic.

 

Lunch

image

Yes, under that pound of cheese is a burger. This is the Puslinch Burger.  Served at the Puslinch Old Marina Restaurant. The burger meat was kind of weird but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.