Sunday, October 31, 2004

It's about time there were more baby pictures!

To make up for the misery of the last picture, here's one we took today of Garrett all dressed up in his fancy Jack-O-Lantern bib. That's essentially his costume for today, as I have to work tonight and can't take him out. Garrett has to stay home with Mommy and help hand out candy and look cute. Posted by Hello
I love this picture. I'm not sure if it's in spite of the fact that Garrett looks so miserable or because of it. Poor guy, with his arm stuck in the same hole as his leg... Posted by Hello
This is just a cute picture of Garrett doing what he does best, sleeping and sucking his thumb (or fingers, or entire hand). Posted by Hello
FULL FRONTAL NUDITY... and a rubber ducky. It's hard to imagine that Garrett was almost too small for this tub only a month or two ago.  Posted by Hello
Here's a picture from back at Thanksgiving of Mason trying to take back his Exer-Saucer from Garrett, who mocks Mason's futile efforts at property reclamation. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Food on the brain

I went to that crazy Dim Sum/Sushi Bar/Chinese Buffet today with Doug Mitchell, Esquire. It was great. We demolished the dim sum section of the restaurant and barely gave the crappy Canadian Chinese 'food' a second glance, though I do have to admit that they have great wonton soup.

The best thing about the dim sum is that unlike chicken balls and fried rice, you're not hungry again in an hour. I haven't really eaten anything since 2:30pm and I'm STILL full. Ahhh...

The other food encounter I had this week was yesterday at Tim Hortons. I was going into work first thing in the morning as I had to teach the driving class for the day. I stopped off at Tim's in Acton and decided to go inside and order my morning brew as the drive-through was insane.

So there I was, ording my Extra Large Triple-Triple when a voice next to me says, 'You know that isn't good for you, Brock.'

At first I thought I'd gone insane and was hearing my mom lecture me, but nope. Right beside me at the counter was none other than my Uncle Gord from Guelph! Turns out he and my Aunt Kim were on their way to work (they teach at the high school in Georgetown) and through sheer coincidence he was ordering a coffee at the same time as me.

Go figure, eh? Small world.

Anyway, I'm off. I have a whole extra hour to watch the last half of Man On Fire (which is amazing and is absolutely NOTHING like the mediocrity the trailers made it out to be) before playing a bit of GTA:San Andreas (about which I'm going to post a goodly post... soon). I love it when Daylight Savings Time ends!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Moon Pie

Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

WOO!

I like celestial phenomena.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Weekend o' Fun

Well, I just finished my first shift at work since my longish weekend off. I took Thursday off and since this was my usual weekend off anyway, that turned one day of vacation into 4 days of fun!

Let's see. I spent most of Thursday (while Julie was off visiting Kate & Connor with Garrett) playing my way through the last chunks of Shadow Hearts, as alluded to in my previous post. Then we had our small group meeting in the evening where I made friends with a former Catholic guy who also happened to have worked in social services and likes playing Burnout 3: Takedown.

Friday... Friday I spent doing pretty much the same thing as Thursday, only this time I didn't have to leave the house all day. Yup. Pretty sad when you think about it, but it was rainy and yucky out and I stayed out of trouble.

Saturday was my yard work day, which saw me mysteriously covered in brownish black gook that oozed out of my leaf-raking rake. I have no idea what it was and I don't want to know, but it's still under at least one of my fingernails...

In the evening on Saturday we took Garrett over to Julie's cousin's (and aunt & uncle's) place in Kitchener/Waterloo, aka the 7th Circle of Hell, and left him there while we went out for our first baby-free 'date' since Garrett was born.

We went to Mongolian Grille, mainly because we liked it the time we went before and it's all you can eat. Unfortunately for us, we didn't know it was also GRAD NIGHT and we were at the Mongolian Grille next to the University of Waterloo... Sigh. It was about 30 minutes per bowl and I ended up with 3 bowls of deliciousness. Unfortunately Julie & I ended up sort of staggering our trips to the grille so that meant that while we had 1 1/2 hours to ourselves, we only actually saw each other for about 10 minutes of that :P

I also got my flu shot on Saturday night, which is why I'm all achey today, though it's not as bad now as it was this morning.

Sunday... Sunday was the usual church routine followed by Dave, Kate & Connor coming over for dinner and laundry. Dave also spent about 2 hours doing the Crash mode on Burnout 3, which is not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

I also finished Jim Butcher's new fantasy novel, "The Furies Of Calderon", over the weekend. I'll probably touch on in another post as I've got some stuff to say about it, but only 5 minutes till The Daily Show starts...

Aside from that, not much. We took Garrett to get weighed, measured and subjected to various forms of, what was to him, some kind of needle torture. He's now 27" long, 16lbs 5ozs and capable of lifting 3 times his body mass.

And I'm really liking Paper Mario 2. Crazy fun with a hint of joy, all on one mini-DVD.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Breaking the Covenant

I just finished Shadow Hearts: Covenant (aka Shadow Hearts 2). It was an excellent RPG and while the ending wasn't quite the tear-jerker that FFX and FFVIII were, it was still great.

The thing I have to say about this game is that it had the best characters in probably any RPG I've ever played. They were just so varied and unique. Not to mention funny. And this is in a pretty intense horror/fantasy themed game. The setting was great too (Europe and Asia circa 1915).

Oh, and the Ring Soul is my favourite RPG NPC ever. It's not often that you actually look forward to chatting with an NPC in a game.

Now on to Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (aka Paper Mario 2). Man, why don't they just number games sequentially instead of giving them all these pompous titles?

Anyway, that should be an interesting thematic switch. Demons and curses in 1915 giving way to the troubles and travails of a Mushroom Kingdom made of paper.

Friday, October 22, 2004

That funky monkey

Ok, I don't know if I should be worried or not, but I just put some Beastie Boys on the ol' Winamp while I was working on the powerpoint for church and Garrett started bouncing around like a madman in his Jolly Jumper.

I guess he's gotta fight

For his right

To paaaartay.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Let's start this with ABANG.

Oh yeah, I got the first season of Corner Gas on DVD this week. I love this show. Corner Gas, Lost and ER are about the only things I watch on a regular basis, which is good as that means I have more time to watch documentaries on Newsworld.

Speaking of which, did anyone watch Corner Gas this week? The one with the Scrabble and the smellophobes?

How can you not like witty exchanges like this:

Davis: "I smell burnt toast."
Oscar: "So do I."
Davis: "You know what that means, right?"
Oscar: "I've caught your epilepsy?"

AAAAAAHH :)

Horsies!

Well, I just realized that I don't really have much to say at the moment. I think I used my weekly wordcount up in that dissertation about the videogame rating system a few days back. Oh well.

I also haven't seen any movies worth recommending, aside from Touching the Void and Hidalgo..

Oh! I never did recommend Hidalgo. I highly do. I really thought the way that they portrayed the various cultures in the film was well done. Actually, come to think of it, Hidalgo is like the second half of Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. Not so much that it has anything to do with Sky Captain, but moreso that it represents the other kind of movie made back in the 30's and such. Sky Captain is the more outrageous action serial kind, a la Buck Rogers. Hidalgo is more like your cowboys & Indians type of movie serial, albeit one that has a very introspective character.

It was also similar to The Last Samurai, although nowhere near as elegant.

Hmm... I guess I did have something to say!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Friday, October 15, 2004

My new favourite movie

Well, maybe not my FAVOURITE, but it's up there.

I just saw Touching The Void, which is an amazing quasi-documentary about these two guys who were climbing a mountain down in Peru until THINGS WENT HORRIBLY WRONG.

It's based on a book by the same name written by one of the climbers and narrated by the three people involved in the whole affair. It's not quite a documentary, as everything is recreated, but it's very gripping and had me on the edge of the couch (literally) for the whole thing.

I highly recommend it, even if you're not a big documentary fan.

The horror... the horror...

I just looked at my laundry basket.
When is Julie coming home to liberate me from the stinky socks?
It scares me.


Hmm, that could be a haiku, if haikus (haikai? haikeese?) had a radically different structure than the 5-7-5 structure traditionally espoused by the International Haiku Ruling Council.

This kid will go far...

This is a pretty neat story about a kid who's charging $2 per non-striking worker to let them cut through his backyard and avoid the PSAC picket lines in Ottawa. This lets them get to work on time instead of having being 2-3 hours late due to the striking workers.

Supposedly he had at least 50 'customers' in the one hour that the CBC crew was at his house filming. He'd better watch out before the union sends their thugs after him though :)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

And speaking of game ratings...

Of course, I was going batty myself with the videogame regulation news. They were making it sound like the ESRB ratings are a brand new thing finally introduced to keep kids safe.

THEY'VE BEEN AROUND FOR 10 YEARS!!!

It's just been recently that retailers have finally started to really clamp down on selling M-rated games to kids, but that doesn't avoid the fact that the rating system itself has been around for 10 years now.

They even had a phone in on City-Online today about whether games were too violent these days. Of course, that's a loaded question in and of itself. I couldn't watch it because I knew that I'd probably get so annoyed at the callers that I'd have a stroke.

It was nice that some of the newscasts actually broke down the rating system for the uneducated so they'd know what their kids are actually playing. They were also saying that most retailers and even gamers don't really have a problem with the new enforcement.

That's a good thing. The only people who usually whine about the age restrictions are either people who are completely against any kind of censorship (which some see the rating system as, if only from the fact that certain big retailers won't carry M-rated games, thus making it less desirable to make them) or the kids who are too young to get the games, thus making them rather ticked that they can't get the latest Grand Theft Auto to show to their other 12-year old friends.

I am for it because this now puts the onus on parents to be aware of what their kids are playing. If you don't care if your kid plays GTA, then you can buy it for them. But you won't be able to say that you didn't know that the game was brutally violent...

Of course there are also those that say that while the game rating system is good, the kids will still find a way to play the games. Sure they will. It may be just as simple as going over to their friend's place who has an 18-year old brother and borrowing the game or playing it there. That said, you can make the same arguement for R-rated movies and even books.

Kids will always try to get their hands on stuff that they really shouldn't and it's up to the parents to do their best to educate themselves and the kids as to why it isn't a good idea. This might not always work, but at least it takes the retailers and game developers out of the parenting role and puts it back on the actual parents.

I hope this shows that Canada is serious about making sure the proper audience is able to access the appropriate material. I am worried that this could be a step towards making us like Australia, which has already started the outright banning of various games for various reasons. At least let people make the decision whether or not they want the game.

Now I'm not one of these Xbox Fanatic idiots who thinks that unless a game is rated Mature, it's no good. Heck, both Sly Cooper games and Katamari Damacy are up there in my pantheon of the best of the best and they're both rated E for Everyone (aka the Kiddy Game rating).

That said, I also love the Grand Theft Auto games, Ninja Gaiden and the Silent Hill series, all Mature games. It just depends. Just like movies, you can enjoy Finding Nemo and The Princess Bride and also enjoy Fight Club and American History X just as much. They're not all mutually exclusive.

I just wouldn't let Garrett watch Fight Club or American History X until he's MUCH older :)

And on that note, I'm off to flake out on the couch for my day off and play a good ol' M-rated RPG (Shadow Hearts: Covenant, which is awesome and absolutely hilarious) and make a big pot of chili :)

Weird news day

This has been a really strange day for news.

I woke up this morning and heard in passing on the TV that there had been a 747 that crashed at the Halifax airport and there were no survivors.

I figured I'd check it out on the noon news. City TV had NO mention of it whatsoever! They had very long segments about this new chip you can install to monitor your driving habits, a ban on smoking in cars and even a big story about the new enforcement of videogame ratings (finally) but NOTHING about a crashed 747.

Even the hourly radio news on CBC had no mention about the crash. It wasn't till 6:30 on Global when they finally said that it was a cargo plane and not a passenger plane. It was just weird that the story really didn't get a mention while new videogame regulations did. I mean, it wasn't a little Cessna that we are talking about here...

Home.Sick

Well this has been a fun week. I get home to enjoy my WEEK OF THE HOUSE TO MYSELF and lo and behold, what's waiting for me?

A cold. Yup.

I got whatever is going around. Garrett & Julie had it in Sarnia, but I thought I'd dodged that bullet. Alas, I didn't and the last two days weren't a lot of fun. Of course, I was sick enough that I didn't even try to get out of work. I've been pretty zoned though so that's half the reason I didn't update my site the last couple days.

And of course today I feel more or less fine... Ah well. Guess I'll just have my last day of work and then I have tomorrow off! Huzzah! I'll be making a big pot of chili tomorrow... mmm...

Monday, October 11, 2004

Home Alone

This week I get the house to myself. Julie's staying in Sarnia till Sunday with Garrett so I can go to bed AS LATE AS I WANT!

Hopefully the place won't burn down when I try to do my laundry...

I've got lots of pictures of the baby show and various fambly funkshuns, but Julie's got the digital camera back in Corunna so I have to wait till she gets back to upload them. Oh well.

New Modem

Bell shipped me a new wireless router/DSL modem last week and I just finally set it up now. It's three kinds of fast though. Must speedier load times on my pages.

Of course, I don't have anything to connect to it wirelessly, but it's nice to have that option.

Vacation's over, start the vacation!

I just got back from about 4-5 days in Sarnia and environs. It was nice to get away from the Greater Acton Area for a bit. This weekend did go by WAY too fast though. I don't even recall Friday. Not that I was drunk or anything. I just was too vegged out to remember it.

This was the first time all 3 of the new Wager boys were able to meet each other, such as it is. Garrett perfected his technique of making other babies cry whilst giving them quite the stern glare. Connor is still tiny and floppy and Mason has two teeth. It was funny to see the look on Mason's face when Garrett was trying out his exersaucer. Daggers would have been less dangerous.

Both Mason and Garrett entered the Brigden Fair Baby Show. Alas, neither of them won, but we think it was rigged :) Granted, Garrett's had a bit of a cold all weekend and was just glowering at the judges when his turn came, so I'm not surprised he didn't win. Mason was as cute as ever, but when he didn't win, Grant said, 'Don't they realize I blow things up for a living?' :)

I think that's about it. I've been essentially internet free all weekend and I really didn't miss it. Much. I'm home now though so it's back to the old routine.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Home for Thanksgiving

Due to an odd confluence of events, I am off this Thanksgiving weekend AND am taking Monday off AND had a spare vacation day so I'm taking tomorrow off too! WOO!

This will be a much appreciated break from work for me. I just need to get faaaar away from Brampton and the GTA as I think sparrows are starting to look surly to me. The calm and tranquil backwaters of Sarnia and environs will soothe my soul and let me come back here next week all a-twitter about how great life is :)

I also get the house to myself from Monday night till Sunday night next week. Now I need to find a really good chili recipe and then I'll be eating like a king all week!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Content

This is a cool article about the actual content changes and how they affect the characters of the Star Wars universe on the new DVDs when compared to the 1997 and original movies. It also takes a look at why and how Lucas does what he does.

It's a good read. I am one of those guys who doesn't mind some of the CGI additions to backgrounds and such. They're fine. I just really can't stand the stuff that actually changed the story or characters. Even having Fett & Jabba in A New Hope bugged me because that meant that rather than having Jabba revealed as the giant space slug that he is after manipulating things for two movies, he's smack dab in the middle of the first movie. Sigh.

Monday, October 04, 2004

I'm a fraud!

Or at least that's what Visa thinks. Well, not me in particular. I got a call this morning from Visa saying that there had been a security issue with my card so I had to destroy it and then they'd send me out a new one.

Since it's the card we use for paying for our gas and gas alone, I am thinking that it must have been scammed when I got gas at one of the local non-Esso stations sometime in the past month or so. There's been some debit fraud lately in Acton and I wouldn't be surprised if my card got scammed at one of those gas stations.

Julie's card is ok though.

Woot!

I was getting dressed this morning and decided to see if Mythbusters was on when lo and behold, it seems that someone has actually gone and won the X-Prize!

Alas, it wasn't one of the Canadian teams, but the DaVinci Project still seems to be on track to launch mid to late October. It'll be nice to have a couple of the contestants for the first privately funded mission to space reach their goals.

Acton: Unleashed

I meant to post this yesterday but didn't have time before work and then, well, Fable...

The Powers That Be had been ripping up the main drag through Acton for almost the entire summer. This had led to much consternation amongst the local vendors as their shops were rather difficult to get to for much of the summer months.

The good news is that they finally got everything done this past week and to celebrate they shut down the main drag AGAIN on Saturday, only this time they were having a party and a big sidewalk sale amongst other things (see below).

The bad news is that if you remember what the weather was like yesterday, it was Fall with a capital F. Very cold, rainy and bleak. In other words, MY kind of weather, but not the weather for a street festival. Julie & I went over to check things out around 1pm and sadly it was just us and a couple of sad clowns (literally) and some miserable looking vendors.

Of course, at the stroke of 2 the sun came out, the rain stopped and the temperature climbed back into nice territory. Of course, the whole shebang downtown finished at precisely 2pm and they had to reopen the streets. Ah well.

The 'other thing' that I mentioned was the Acton Restaurant Passport. For $10 we got a little passport that allowed us to go to 4 (of 7) different restaurants and get a free food item. We were going to get two of them, but decided to stick to one passport, which turned out to be a good idea because we got a tonne of food just on the four tickets we used.

The good thing about the low turnout is that people seemed to be going out of their way to make us enjoy their food and this led to extra fries with our halibut fingers, TWO big slices of pizza instead of one and a great big shrimp cocktail and rather large ice cream sunday.

MMmm..

Anyway, that's my missive for today. I really need to get to bed because I've already had two days where I've been lacking sleep and day number 3 will make me super grumpy. Roar.

Somebody stop me!

Yeah yeah, another game post. What did you expect?

I just 'finished' Fable. Well, as much as you can finish it, I guess. I did all of the main story parts and now I can just wander about doing the odd jobs I didn't do during the main game.

Fable was a really interesting game. I played through it the first time as a good guy, which I often do in games like this that react to your choices. The surprising thing was how I went from being a wizard-in-training (like I am in most games when given the choice) to finishing up the game as a hulking bruiser of a fighter who just cast spells on the side. Having a halo and a flock of butterflies following me about was neat too.

The good thing about the main game being only 15-20 hours is that it definately makes it a replayable game. I'm interested to see how the story goes if you're being a rather despicable chap.

I just realized that this is about the 3rd or 4th game I've finished in the past couple of weeks. At this rate of game completion, I'm going to be done with my entire library of games by sometime next week :) Yeesh.

Granted, the last couple nights have seen me up till 4ish due to Coke overdoses at the various outings we've gone to at work. People shouldn't have free Coke when you're at places. It doesn't let you sleep!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Jooooin Ussss

Well, it looks like yet another poor soul has been trapped in the web of the almighty Blog.

Dan 'The Man' Grace aka my brother-in-law aka fuzzyhead aka The Mouthpiece Of Jooge is now a-bloggin' over at joojethecat.blogspot.com.

Looks like he's already met at least one rock star since blogging.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Last Katamari Post, I promise

Check out the comic on Penny Arcade today. I had to chuckle :)



It was actually a good day for webcomics today. Real Life, CAD and PA are all good. I'm waiting for Tycho to update the newspost on PA because I want to see what he has to say about Katamari Damacy. It seems like the kind of game he'd appreciate :)

Well, I'm off to cut the lawn. Woo.

How can people eat this stuff?

This is a post just for James. There's a site called Marmite & Me that is looking for even more ways to eat that vile substance. James is the only person I know who would willingly eat that noxious concoction of yeast and decaying plant matter. Bleh.

Another one bites the dust.

Just finished the excellent Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves. Man, I love the Sly games.