Monday, October 31, 2005

Not Bad For A First-Year Pirate


Here be the mighty haul that Cap'n Garrett of the Jolly Highchair brought in after a fine day o' plunderin' the neighbourhood. Small it may be, but a pirate never starts his treasure horde large. Now to bury it under a large black X somewhere. Those are hard to find in these parts. Arrrr...
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Here be the pirate cap'n afore his plunderin' begins.
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Uh Oh...


Somebody's been into the grog... arr...
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You Know You've Corrupted Your Child When...

It's sad when Garrett won't even bother to look at the TV when Sesame Street is on but will run across the room and start dancing when the opening credits and theme music from The West Wing is playing.

What have I done?!?

Thanks Aunt Faith!

Garrett just needs a bit of eyeliner and he'll be a perfect Jack Sparrow. I was thinking of dressingup as a giant parrot but alas, can't find enough feathers...

Garrett's Aunt Faith is the one responsible for this masterpiece. We had many compliments at the Early Years Centre this morning. Three bottles of rum for she.
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The Frowndup

Looks like CBC is really revamping the Radio One schedule now that they're back to work.

I'm actually looking forward to this. Jian is a great host and his new show will probably be pretty fun to listen to. I used to love The Roundup when it was Richardson's Roundup. Ever since Bill Richardson left and was replaced by the duller than dishwater Tetsuro Shigamatsu I've barely listened. The fact that they then extended the drive-time show in Toronto meant that I couldn't listen to any of the interesting segments like Madly Off In All Directions, The Mystery Project or the various radio dramas which made the Roundup so interesting. It didn't help that they would switch around the schedule half the time so that you never knew exactly what was on when.

So I'm looking forward to whatever kind of program Freestyle turns out to be and am glad that The Bill Richardsonless Roundup is no more. Of course, I'm not in the car nearly as much as I used to be so I probably won't miss the afternoon stuff as much.

Best Costume of All Time

This guy has the best costume of all time.

An AT-AT costume!

I wish I had the time and energy to make something like this. Sigh.

Garrett will be going out as a pirate today. Pictures will follow once I get him duded up. We're going to the Halloween party, I mean, Harvest Celebration at the Early Year's Centre this morning. Should be a good trial run for him and his costume.

I might go as a big pumpkin. I'm already wearing an orange shirt. I just need to cut out some eyes from felt or construction paper and I'll be good to go.

What I'm Reading: Freakonomics
What I'm Playing: The Suffering: Ties That Bind, WoW, Diablo 2
What I'm Watching: The West Wing: Third Season, Word Wars (Scrabble Documentary)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Not that kind of engineer!

We were looking through some of the pictures we've taken of Garrett and found this one from waaaay back in March. I know I have been remiss in putting up pictures of late so here you go, some Garrett Fan Service.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Teacher of the Year? I think not!

My god.

Check out the list of charges for this teacher. How on earth does someone like that not get fired after the first of the offences, let alone continue to act like he does for a 5 year period?


Of course, I also wonder what kind of a blow to the head someone needs to take to be stupid enough to think that saying those things is acceptable. Sheesh indeed. To all my teacher friends, don't do what he did. Baaaad career move!

Sadly, he was teaching near Windsor. Sigh.
What I'm Reading: Freakonomics
What I'm Playing: Shadow of the Colossus
What I'm Watching: Nothing right now.


Check out this trailer for eNCHANT arM (stupid game name, I know).

It is the first Xbox 360 title that I've seen that has me interested in the system (well, that and Gears of War).

If it turns out to be a good game, I'd put it at the top of my list for 360 games. Hopefully it won't come out until sometime in 2007 so I can save my pennies ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Speaking of Mushroom Genocides...

October 18th marked the day that, much to the chagrin of my parents and Julie, Nintendo came to North America.

Yup. It's been twenty years since that little grey box came ashore and began wreaking havoc. Twenty wonderful years...

1up has a pretty cool set of articles about many of the NES games and the impact it made on society in general. Check it out.

What About The Stamp People!?

For some reason, I, of all the misfits that I work with, was chosen as the person most likely to 'go postal' at work. ME!

That makes me SOOOOO MAD! :)

I can't even remember how it came up. I think someone said something about going postal and one of the other people said, "You know what? I think Brock would be most likely to go postal around here."

And everyone agreed with him.

Ah well. It's nice to be feared if you can't be loved :) I think it's because I've got this reputation at the new home for being the quiet guy. Maybe it's because I don't just open my yap whenever a thought pops in... I save that for my blog :)

I got a chuckle out of it though. This was also the same day that I did say something profound (well, not really) that had the same people saying about how spiritual and enlightened I was becoming. So I'm some enlightened sociopath, I guess.

Makes life interesting :)

I did tell them that they don't have anything to worry about because, as the shirt says, I play violent videogames. I also play a lot of non-violent and downright cuddly videogames. Then I play the whole turtle & mushroom genocide saga that is Super Mario Bros... Poor, poor mushrooms...

What I'm Reading: Freakonomics
What I'm Playing: WoW, Shadow Of The Colossus
What I'm Watching: Not "My Name Is Earl" or "Lost" because they're RERUNS!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Best Game Ever

I picked up Shadow Of The Colossus on Friday and have spent an hour or so on it.

Easily one of the best games I've played.

There are some control and camera issues, but frankly, they're nothing that you can't either manage or get used to by the end of the first fight with a colossus.

SotC is done by the same people responsible for the work of art that is Ico and it is simply gorgeous. There is a huge world to explore and it just feels alive. Birds flitter by, fog rolls past in the swamp and the sun plays on the dappled grass of the meadows. The artistry and design of the colossi and their 'arenas' is something to behold. You can check out some screenshots on the site (linked above) but you really have to see these things in motion. They are wood and stone behemoths that look like they are giant statues come to life. Moss is hanging off of them like fur and they just look ancient.

To top it off, while you're tiny in comparison and really want to kill them, there's just something so benevolent about the colossi that you feel bad when they've crumbled to dust after your half-hour battle. It's very strange. In fact, the driving emotion in the game so far seems to be lonliness and melancholy. It's definately a far cry from the cartoony worlds of Sly Cooper and Mario.

I've taken care of 5 colossi now (or is it 6?) and have at least 10-11 to go. While the first one didn't take me very long to beat, the subsequent ones are getting trickier and trickier to destroy. Just climbing the things is a mindgame in itself.

Sigh. I'm getting tired. My eloquence is on the wane and I'm not even sure what I'm trying to blather about now. I'm going to go and see if I can take out one more colossus before bed and then I'm off. Thankfully I have the next two days off to really go to town on this game!

There Is No Global Warming

"The nasty little apes that call themselves human beings can do nothing except run and hide. For these same apes to imagine they can stabilize this atmosphere is arrogant beyond belief. They can't control the climate.
The reality is, they run from the storms.
- State Of Fear, p 563

That's the message from the latest Michael Crichton book, State Of Fear.

It's an interesting read. I can usually blast through a Crichton book in about a day. They're fun reads that have an interesting scientific premise that has been spun into a crazy adventure.

Not so with State Of Fear. In fact, the plot really doesn't kick in until the last hundred pages and even that is littered with mini-lectures that make the Left Behind series seem like a narrative tour de force in comparison.

The majority of the book is a polemic against pseudo-science and media manipulation. The subject that gets the most attention is environmentalism in its many facets. It's interesting because Crichton actually uses references and has a VERY extensive bibliography (approx. 23 pages) to back up the various and sundry claims in his book.

While it is interesting, I think I'd rather he had written a non-fiction treatise on media manipulation and why the current state of environmentalism is heading down the wrong path than to have tried to couch all of the scientific data in the middle of a thriller novel. Granted, the story did illuminate the points he was making with his data. It just slowed the pace of the narrative down significantly.

He does have some very good ideas for what the proper method for managing climates and wilderness resources should be, as well as ideas for how to divorce the actual scientific data from funding and political machinations. I'm not holding my breath for them to be implemented any time soon.

I'm sure the book will make a lot of people angry. The amusing part of the book is that Crichton argues his points with a character in the book who makes many of the knee-jerk, 'common-knowledge' claims that he is trying to refute. He wants people to look at the actual scientific papers and research, not the latest article from J.P. Honeywagon in the science section of the local newspaper. If you can refute the claims and back them with real science and not just common sense and popular wisdom, then he seems willing to concede the point. Just don't you dare claim anything without references!

So... it was a different book than I'd expected to read. That's not a bad thing. It just packed more of a punch than I expected and really made me think, which hurts these days. I definately have a few books I want to check out of the local library to explore pseudo-science and its ramifications on popular groupthink now.

"I have more respect for people who change their views after aquiring new information than for those who cling to views they held thirty years ago. The world changes. Idealogues and zealots don't."
- Michael Crichton, State Of Fear - p. 571

Accursed Snooze Button!

Funny story... sigh...

I had to work a 7-3 today. My alarm went off as usual at around 5:51am, then 6am, then 6:09am...

The next thing I know I'm looking at my alarm clock and it's reading "8:02".

I did a double-take, then looked at Julie's alarm clock which had the same time on it.


Suffice it to say, I'd somehow turned off my alarm clock and slept for an extra 2 hours. Thankfully I was able to get to work before 8:15, but still...

First time that's ever happened to me in all my years of working at CH. Crazy.

The guys at work were giving me a hard time about it today. Whenever I'd yawn they'd say that I shouldn't be tired because of all the extra sleep I got. Sigh.

I will say that Garrett was waking up about every hour or two during the night, which probably led to my subconsiously turning my alarm clock off instead of hitting snooze for a third time. I think he's getting his two-year molars.

Ah well.
What I'm Reading: Finally finished State Of Fear, not sure what to read next
What I'm Playing: Shadow of the Colossus, WoW
What I'm Watching: Nothing really, though I'll probably fire up Arrested Development: Season 2 soon.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Wakka Wakka Wakka

Garrett & I were hanging out in the pet shop yesterday, as we are wont to do, when we came across an awesome frog.

It was an Albino Pacman Frog. Yes, that's its official name. A Pacman frog.

Take a look and you'll see why.

If I were to go out and pay for a frog to have as a pet, this would be the frog I'd get.

God's Dandruff

Look up... waaaaaay up.

It's snowing! I don't recall snow actually falling AND sticking in October since I was living in Thunder Bay. All hail Global Warming! Bring on the new Ice Age, I say.

What I'm Reading: State Of Fear (finally! A plot emerges!)
What I'm Playing: Freakin' Shadow of the freakin' Colossus, F.E.A.R. (if it will run on my decrepit computer)
What I'm Watching: The Core, Snow falling from maples

Friday, October 21, 2005

2000 words is worth 2 pictures

Found this on the net.

Serenity in 2000 words.

It's pretty funny. I especially like all of the asides from Joss Whedon or the fans.

JOSS WHEDON: *snicker*

FANS SEEING THE MOVIE FOR THE FIRST TIME: Whew. Wait, why is my friend who already saw this movie cringing and whimpering?

What I'm Reading: State of Fear (aka Global Warming Isn't Real: The Novel)
What I'm Playing: Sly 3, HOPEFULLY Shadow of the Colossus
What I'm Watching: Arrested Development: Season 1 (just finished it this morning)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

If I could get ONE thing for Christmas

If I were to suddenly win the lottery, the first thing I would get would be a scale reproduction of the AT-AT from Empire Strikes Back!

Or someone could get it for me for Christmas...

Of course, it's $1400 US, so I'm not holding my breath.

What I'm Reading: State Of Fear
What I'm Playing: Sly 3, the waiting game for Shadow of the Colossus
What I'm Watching: Arrested Development Season 1

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What Would Cthulhu Do?

In the event of the rise of the Elder Gods from beyond the stars, please follow the directions elucidated herein. Jack Chick would be pleased.

By the way, what's with people named Jack being complete and utter nutcases? Between Chick and Jack Thompson's latest insanity... yeesh!

On another note, who else loved that episode of Corner Gas last night? It's by far my favourite, if for no other reason than the whole Littlest Yarbo storyline. Actually, it's the fact that they actually played the whole Littlest Hobo theme song. Ah, that brings me back...

What I'm Reading: State of Fear
What I'm Playing: Just finished Genji, going to try some Battalion Wars or Sly 3
What I'm Watching: Daily Show, Lost, THE BEST CORNER GAS EVER!

Maybe tomorrow, I'm gonna settle down.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Apocalypse Alert

Uh oh...

Grant & Suzie are going to have a girl...

If a Wager can produce female offspring, something is seriously out of whack with the fundamental underpinnings of the universe!

That said, congrats!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


It's fun to donate blood while reading a collection of essays about a vampire.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


The CBC is back... sort of.

Sadly, I'm starting to get hooked on CFRB. I know the daytime personalities now and while I still loathe the commercials and also can't stand how condescending they are about Radio 1, I'm getting to like the cut and thrust of the various viewpoints they have on there.

Now, I usually listen to CFRB in the evenings on my way home anyway (at least, I used to) so it's not like it's a completely foreign concept to me. I just had never really listened in the daytime. I'll still listen to CBC but since I know who's on when on CFRB I'll be more inclined to switch back and forth if my attention wanes...

Speaking of which...

I've been motoring through a few games of late.

Indigo Prophecy is an awesome noirish detective story told via an adventure game format. The cool aspect is that you play as all of the main characters, the killer included. It's probably one of the most cinematic games I've ever played as many things such as split-screen and multiple perspectives are used to help ratchet up the tension whenever you're playing as the killer and the cops are closing in, or vice versa. The story sort of gets wonky at the end, but it's still a fun ride.

Ultimate Spiderman was a lot of fun although some of the boss fights made me want to throw the controller through the window. I love the style of the Ultimate Spiderman universe and the game really conveyed the feeling of playing a comic book. Unfortunately it only took me about 5 hours to beat it all told, but it was fun while it lasted. And Venom is a lot of fun to play as, regardless of the reviews out there that say otherwise.

Actually, that's about it right now. I've got some other great games that I'm working on (Sly 3 and Radiata Stories mainly, though I am also giving Final Fantasy 1 a run for its money on the GBA) but those two games were the ones I've finished most recently.

Oh, and don't buy Black & White 2. It's Black & While 1 with more grass and fur. It's not a bad game but if you've played the first one, you've played the sequel.

Now to eagerly await the coming of Shadow of the Colossus. Huzzah!

To keep you entertained in the meantime, go read what this insane lunatic is proposing. I tell you, if he were going after anything but videogames he'd be laughed off the street (and given his latest behaviour, that will soon happen regardless). I've never seen someone who is such a frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic actually get so much press. Evil Avatar is just shutting down any message board threads about him since it's just feeding his ego. Sigh. JT is a guy who rants and raves about how videogames are evil and violent, receives an e-mail from a gamer about how a gamer related charity is raising a lot more than his piddly $10,000 and then proceeds to tell the gamer that he'll regret it if he ever contacts JT again. Heck, he's sent back angry e-mails to people that happened to reply to a press release that he sent them unsolicited (check the VG Cats news from a while back) AND THIS GUY IS TREATED BY THE MEDIA AS A SANE WATCHDOG AGAINST VIOLENCE!

Sigh. No wonder so many in the gamer community can't stand him. It's just funny that the general public really can't see this side of things. The politics and shenanigans that are going on with games and the gaming industry are getting to be more fascinating than the games themselves.

SSX: On Tour and my latest coma...

So I picked up the latest SSX game today... Thankfully I'd had it paid off at EB (huzzah for trade-ins!) and since their shipments weren't coming in anytime soon, I just got my money back and went over and picked it up at Walmart of all places.

Now I'm a huge SSX fan. I've been playing the series since it came out waaaay back in 2000 and SSX 3 is definately in my top 10 list of games. The fact that I haven't been able to spend near as much time on the ski slopes has made the game even more near and dear to my heart. They've done such a great job of simulating the feel and sounds of skiing and snowboarding in these games that while they're completely unrealistic, they are the closest to capturing the FEEL of the slopes, in my opinion.

That said, SSX: On Tour (aka SSX 4) is wierd. It's almost like playing Tony Hawk Underground on a ski slope. There's this veneer of surreality that is suffusing the game and makes it a very different beast from the previous 3. The part that I had the hardest time getting used to was the fact that rather than pick from a roster of eclectic characters and hit the slopse, you're now making your own personalized avatar and working your way up the ranks.

Like I said, it's Tony Hawk Underground but on skiis and snowboards.

Speaking of skiis, they've finally included the option to ski down these insane slopes. I haven't spent a lot of time with my ski character as the controls are just so... different. I'm getting used to the game again with my snowboarder and THEN I'll work on the ski bum.

Well, aren't you glad you waited however many days it's been since I updated for THIS? Sigh...

Suffice it to say, I had to sit through one of the most excruciatingly boring training sessions today and only the thought of hitting the virtual slopes afterwards kept me from slipping into a coma. Sadly, the subject matter was interesting. It was the meandering, tangential manner that the speaker delivered whatever his point was (and for nigh on 7-8 hours) that hurt so badly. Note to trainers: If you can't tell a joke well, don't bother... especially on the 80th try.

What I'm Reading: Five Seasons Of Angel: Collected Essays
What I'm Playing: SSX: On Tour, Ultimate Spiderman, Sly 3
What I'm Watching: Lost, Arrested Development: Season 1

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Magic Money

I took a few of my Magic cards into the local comic shop in Sarnia today and was able to sell about 10-12 of them for a grand total of $95. Not bad, concidering they were just sitting in my office in a box for 10 years. I'm going to take my whole box of cards in the next time I'm around in Sarnia and see if I can make a few more bucks.

Time to pay off the credit card!

What does it take to convince you people?

I went out with Tony last night to see Serenity for a second time. I think I enjoyed it even more than I did the first time, though some of the heart-pounding suspense wasn't there this time around.

I found a site that has the first 9 minutes of the movie in something that resembles a legal manner (no crazy cam shots or anything). If you're somewhat interested but don't know what to expect, that's a good spot to start!

Click here for the preview.

I haven't had a chance to watch but if it has the initial landing sequence I'm all there... If not, it's still cool.
What I'm Reading: State Of Fear
What I'm Playing: Sly 3, Puzzle Pirates, Final Fantasy 1&2
What I'm Watching: UFC Fighting show thingy, Serenity

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, October 07, 2005

Garrett's got this thing for crawling up in big chairs. We were at the mall the other day and he kept hauling himself up into the big leather chairs and waving to passersby. Posted by Picasa
Luckily we'd both seen Encino Man and were able to thaw the bog baby out and put him to work at the local Wal-Mart. He's the regional manager now! Posted by Picasa
We were out hiking on the local glacier the other day and found one of the bog people, perfectly preserved. I wonder how much we can get if we sell him to a museum. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Dirty Survey

I was doing an online survey tonight that was dealing with everything from how satisfied I was with the job David Miller is doing to what kind of shampoo I use and whether I've shopped at Future Shop lately...

Then comes this question immediately after a bunch of questions on gun violence.

"I prefer a good night of sleep versus a good night of sex: Strongly Agree, Strongly Disagree or Neither."

I had to do a doubletake and make sure I'd read it right.

I'm really curious as to what data that question will churn out when they compile the survey. Are they looking for a bunch of libidinous David Miller haters who wash their hair with Pert Plus and shop at The Source? Hmm...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


This car is the coolest car ever. Too bad my brother won't make it... it's a Toyota!

What I'm Reading: Midnight Over Sanctaphrax
What I'm Playing: Indigo Prophecy, Puzzle Pirates, Black & White 2
What I'm Watching: Lost, Prison Break

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Go see Serenity

By far the best Sci-Fi movie I've seen this year, if ever. Easily one of the best movies period that I've seen this year. I can't think of a single thing that disappointed me about it. There are some things I wish hadn't happened in it, but they didn't disappoint me. I was just mad that they happened!

It makes me feel dirty for having spent money to see Episode 3. I was happy to have seen it with Codeboy, Blitzy and Dave as Codeboy had never actually seen an episode of Firefly and he thought it was an absolutely fantastic movie on its own.

Check out the awesome UK poster for Serenity while you're at it (link takes you to the landscape version of it).

Oh, and here's Orson Scott Card's review of Serenity where he compares Serenity, favourably, to Hamlet (the play, not the movie).

'...Only as the film actually began this afternoon, the day of its premier, did it occur to me that I had not heard a whisper of a breath of the actual plot of the movie. All I heard was, "It's great, you'll love it."

Well, guess what.

It's great.

I'm not going to say it's the best science fiction movie, ever.

Oh, wait. Yes I am.'

What I'm Reading: Midnight Over Sanctafrax
What I'm Playing: Indigo Prophecy, Dungeon Siege 2, WoW
What I'm Watching: Serenity... sweet, sweet Serenity

Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't coming back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me