Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Shrove Tuesday

This is why I'm not allowed to cook pancakes in my house. That... thing... on the top of my plate is what I had intended to be a crepe. Unfortunately it turned out more like, well, crap. Julie was actually embarassed to look at it.

It's not burnt though... much. I used chocolate chips in it so it is supposed to have that brown tint to it. Unfortunately the house now smells like burnt chocolate, which isn't as pleasant as you'd think it would be.

Anytime you start yelling at your pancake and calling it the crappiest omelette ever is a bad time indeed. By the midpoint of my cooking experiment I had honestly forgotten that it was a pancake and not some kind of omelette/scrambled egg mess.

At least Garrett enjoyed his little pancakes that I made. Even they looked kind of scary, but at least they were somewhat pancake-shaped. Posted by Picasa

What I did last week

Sorry for falling off the face of the earth. We were out of town most of last week and even though I had net access on the weekend, I just couldn't muster up the energy to update this thing.

We dropped off Garrett in Sarnia for a week of quiet and relaxation. Julie & I went to downtown Toronto for what could be called a second honeymoon, if your idea of a honeymoon involved seeing the splayed bodies of your enemies on display at the Science Centre, visiting about 10 different comic and sci-fi book stores in 2 days and seeing a rousing stage production of The Lord Of The Rings.

Well, that's MY idea of a honeymoon. Julie's idea might involve less bodies, comics and shorter plays.

On Wednesday we went to see Bodyworlds 2 at the OSC. It was very cool and I highly recommend seeing it if/when it comes back to Toronto. Unfortunately we saw it near the end of the run in Toronto which meant that the crowds were HUGE. We also seemed to hit it in the middle of School Trip Week, which meant that not only were the crowds huge, they consisted mostly of annoying high schoolers. It's a good thing the exhibition only took about 40 minutes to go through as I would have had a few more donors for the exhibit had I been forced to be near those punks for much longer.

It is kind of sad that being able to handle a plasticized brain really didn't seem that special given that I've held a brain fresh out of the skull. Ah, I miss my autopsy days.

Anyway, after the Science Centre, we headed downtown and had some delicious food at Young Thailand and then later at Le Biftheque (Thanks James!). Unfortunately we didn't wear the right shoes and were unaccustomed to the rigors of walking around downtown Toronto and by Thursday our legs and feet were so sore that we could barely limp down to the lobby. Ah well.

Thursday was mostly a day for riding the streetcar (Julie took her first streetcar ride that day!) and hitting Bakka and a bunch of comic shops. I had a list of titles I was collecting and I was able to find them all... after 2 days of comic book shopping.

The new Bakka store is nice. It's more like their old Queen store but new like the Yonge store. And they're using the bookmarks again! Woo! Sadly, my $300 of store credit is no longer valid as they've switched owners since I had last been down :(

Julie was a real trooper. She actually went into most of the comic shops and didn't run screaming when people nerdier than I am started talking about comics to total strangers. She didn't even complain about the smell. Heck, by the end of the week she had passively absorbed enough comic book lingo to know what a trade is. Scary.

The Lord of the Rings musical was on Thursday night. It was awesome. The set design was especially impressive. The set itself came out into the audience and essentially absorbed the box seats. The stage was like a big turntable that could spin around in different directions and in different segments and it also had MANY different areas that would raise or lower depending on the scene. There was also judicious use of projectors and even what seemed like a bit of Pepper's Ghost being used for certain scenes.

My favourite part was the end of the first act. It was Gandalf's big confrontation with the Balrog and blew us away. Literally. They had a tonne of smoke and red light on the stage and this wind machine blowing out into the audience at quite a decent clip. They also had all these little bits of paper flying out at the same time so we ended up having to pick out a tonne of tissue paper from the seats at the intermission.

Julie liked the parts where the hobbits were dancing. Thankfully, these bits were quite well done. I really liked the scenes with the orcs and the Nazgul as the costumes for both sets of characters were really stylized and interesting to look at.

The music was fantastic and there was just enough to balance the rather text-heavy narration. It ended up clocking in at 3 3/4 hours, with 2 intermissions, but it didn't seem near as long as that. Thankfully they'd worked out most of the bugs from the first few shows. The doorman said that the first couple shows were more than 5 hours long!

The only downer to the show was that one of the orcs got decapitated during the Helms Deep battle. Poor actor. He comes in, gets all dressed up and they cut off his head mid-play. Ah well.

After that, we just had some dessert and drinks and headed back to the hotel. Thankfully we could move our legs by Friday morning, just in time for a nice long drive back to Sarnia and Garrett.

So that's our past week. I've been off work since Feb. 18th, but I have to go back first thing tomorrow. Ah well. After having to chase Garrett around for the last two days, I'm looking forward to work as a place of relaxation. He & I watched Jurassic Park and LOTR: The Two Towers today, so that was kind of fun. He likes the fight scenes in The Two Towers and he's been on some kind of dinosaur kick lately so I figured he'd enjoy Jurassic Park. Should I be worried that he was laughing when the lawyer got eaten?

Now to read my stacks of comics and get to work reading my new book.
What I'm Reading: Devices & Desires
What I'm Playing: Chibi-Robo
What I'm Watching: Scrubs, The Two Towers, Jurassic Park

wakka wakka wakka wakka

G-Dawg: Master Tagger (Part 1 of 2)

Here's G-Dawg, master grafitti tagger, getting ready to head out to draw some kind of incomprehensible scribble on the side of the local daycare. Posted by Picasa

Caught Ya, Ya Little Punk! (Part 2 of 2)

After finishing his most AWESOMEST GRAFITTI EVAR!@!, G-Dawg was captured by the Baby Tagging Unit and reprimanded into custody. Luckily, the Baby Tagging Unit uses umbrella strollers to confine the ner-do-wells in the community, not a paddy wagon. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Withdrawal Symptoms

How many people think I can survive without playing videogames for a good 2-3 days? Julie has banned my taking the DS down to Toronto, which means I have to actually converse with people and find other things to do with my time.


Ah well. I'll get through it somehow. My brain needs to unplug for a few days anyway.

In the meantime, have a look at some cool Serenity stuff until I get back.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Sound Of Silence

So THIS is what a quiet house sounds like.

We dropped Garrett off in Corunna to spend the week with his grandparents while Julie & I enjoyed our vacation. We're heading downtown tomorrow for a few days to see the Lord Of The Rings musical, which has been getting some pretty decent reviews. WOo!

It's been weird being at home with no Garrett. This is the first time we've left him for more than a few hours. I keep checking in his room and forgetting that there's nobody there. It was nice to go out shopping today and not have to head home to make sure he had a nap.

From all reports, he doesn't seem to be missing us at all. He's been busy hammering away on the piano and wearing out Julie's parents, so all is well. We were just happy to be able to sleep in to 9am this morning instead of the usual 5:30-6am.

What I'm Reading: The Traveler, a bunch of different comics
What I'm Playing: Dragon Quest 8 (finally beat it! Woo!), Chibi-Robo, Grandia 3
What I'm Watching: A whole lot of nothing.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Katamari On The Web

Ever wonder what this whole Katamari Damacy thing is that I often yammer about on here?

Look no further than this zany little web version of everybody's favourite garbage rolling game.

It's not quite the same as the actual PS2 version, but it does get the gist of the game across (roll across stuff smaller than you, get bigger, roll up bigger things).

Unfortunately it's in Japanese, but you really don't need to know the language.

Oh, and while you're at it, check out this awesome little video featuring everyone's favourite videogame lawyer, Phoenix Wright.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Joss Vs. Warren: Geek Overload!

I think Blitzy, Codeboy and James are the only people geeky enough to truly appreciate this little flame war between Warren Ellis and Joss Whedon.

Too funny, but WAAAAY too nerdy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day To Our Slime Mould Overlords

In recognition of the upcoming overthrow of the human race by an army of slime-mould robots, I just wanted to wish them a very happy Valentine's day.

Oh, and happy V-day to Julie too.

What I'm Reading: The Traveller, The Complete DC Encyclopedia
What I'm Playing: Chibi-Robo,
What I'm Watching: 24

Monday, February 13, 2006

This didn't take long.

Never underestimate the power of the geeks to make fun of the inadventant shooting of your fellow man.

Just go here, plug in some info and YOU could be the next person shot by Dick Cheney :)

Weekly Wis-Dumb: O RLY?

For today's Weekly Wis-Dumb, I'm in a goofy mood and found something that overtakes the O RLY? owl as the funniest picture on the net.

You be the judge.

First, the O RLY? Owl.

And now the competitor.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Demon Days Indeed

While I heard the single, "Feel Good Inc." sometime last year, I had never really listened to Gorillaz until recently. I'd heard good things about their album, Demon Days, but it also had a reputation about being the best album you'll hate at first.

So I finally got a copy of the disc and the pundits were true. While I still enjoyed "Feel Good Inc." immensely, I had a hard time getting into the groove of the album.

Until I decided to use it as background music for World of Warcraft.

WoW indeed. I'm hooked on this album. It has such a wide variety of styles, even within the same song, that I can't peg it to any one genre. It has flavours of britpop, techno, spoken word, rap... the list goes on. It's definately not something for those who like their music safe and boring.

If anyone remembers the band Mansun (not Marilyn Manson) from the late 90's, I find that while the songs and styles are very different, Demon Days reminds me a lot of the experimental sound of Mansun's Attack Of The Grey Lanterns.

Anyway, I was poking around on the net this afternoon and found a few music videos by Gorillaz and had to put links up in case you haven't seen them. The animation style is gorgeous and there is a really interesting vein of dark humour running through the videos I've seen. I'd heard that they were an animated band, but I didn't realize they meant it literally.

Dare is just a cool song, but you have to see the ending(s). They're hilarious.

Feel Good Inc. has one of the most stunning (in my mind) yet simple animated sequences that I have seen in quite some time. It's about halfway through the video and is the part where the camera pans around the floating island with the windmill. It's like something out of a Miyazaki flick.

And Dirty Harry... Well, it's definately interesting. I love the song, but that video is kind of creepy (and this is after watching Dare, which has a guy's disembodied head singing the chorus...) I think it has something to do with a guy leading a children's chorus in the middle of a desert singing, "We need a gun to keep ourselves from harm."

Very cool stuff though. I just figured that I'd point out my musical find to show how far behind the curve I've fallen, musically.

And unlike The Black Eyed Peas, who were the last band I knew nothing about that got a major mention on my website, Gorillaz have an entire album full of solid songs. Man, I hate the Peas. I still love the video and the song of "Let's Get It Started" I don't like the Retarded version, and not just for the lyrics. The beat is different and it just sounds wierd compared to the Started version. And every other Peas song is either annoying or downright grating (and don't get me started on "My Hump"... shudder).

Don't Make Cheney Mad

If you are ever hanging out with Dick Cheney, for the love of God, don't give show him your favourite duck impression.

"Harry Whittington, a lawyer from Austin ... was described as "alert and doing fine" in hospital after being sprayed with shotgun pellets late Saturday afternoon at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas.

Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong said Cheney turned to shoot a bird that had just been flushed and accidentally hit Whittington..."

Maybe he just doesn't like lawyers.

I just thought this was the funniest thing I'd seen all day. That just goes to show how unfunny my day has been, I guess :)

What I'm Reading: The Traveler
What I'm Playing: Chibi-Robo, Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time, WoW
What I'm Watching: The Olympics, Battlestar Galactica

And there came a sound, distance at first,
that grew into a catostrophany so immense it could be heard far away in space.
There were no screams there was no time.
The mountain called monkey had spoken.
There was only fire and then nothing.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Guitar God

I humbly prostrate myself at the throne of this guy.

I'm having a hard time doing this song on the Hard difficulty. This guy does it on Expert with only one or two mistakes AND uses his strumming hand to help pull off the solo!


It gets crazy at about the 2:40 mark, in case you're bored with the first few minutes of video.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Let's all do the Bill Murray!

Is it just me, or was Groundhog Day completely pointless this year?

It's hard to get excited about the possibility of an early spring when it's been warmer in January than it was in November.

That said, did anyone else see the Breakfast Television Groundhog, Forecaster Frank? I feel so bad for Kevin, Frank & Liza. I mean, when even THEY want to disavow what happened and say as much on live TV, it just isn't right.

What I'm Reading: Ultimate X-Men, Guide to the Avengers, some other comic books
What I'm Playing: Trace Memory, Dragon Quest 8, Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time
What I'm Watching: My Name Is Earl, the news

Jack Bauer Facts

Remember all the interesting tid-bits about Chuck Norris? Well, he doesn't hold a candle to 24's Jack Bauer.

For example, I bet you didn't know that:

Ken Jennings won every game of Jeopardy because he put "Jack Bauer" as the answer to Final Jeopardy, and Jack Bauer is never wrong,

Jack Bauer's cell phone never runs out of battery because the cell phone doesnt want to be mistaken for helping the terrorist and

Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

Yeah, I need to get out more.

Weekly Wisdumb #2: Rebecca

So last night, at around 12:30am (yes, that's after midnight for those keeping track at home) the phone rang.

I must have slept through the first ring or two as I awoke to Julie standing on my side of the bed with the phone in her hands.

She handed it to me as the person on the other end of the line had asked for me by name.

Well, who knew that I had female admirers who would call me in the middle of the night to ramble incoherently? This girl, who must have been drunk or bored or both, sounded as if she knew me but when she asked if Julie was my girlfriend, well, that obviously showed she knew not whom she was speaking with. I ended up hanging up after a minute or two of Rebecca (as she identified herself) giggling and acting wierd. Of course, about two minutes after I hung up my brain came up out of the coma it was in and started to think about all of the things I could have said to this phantom phone caller. Ah well.

This morning, when waking up at 6:30am, I thought that I should *69 the number and give her a call to see how she likes being awakened at the wee hours, but being the mature guy that I am (and the cheapskate... do you know how expensive *69ing someone is?) I decided to leave it as it is.

Of course, if Ms. Rebecca calls back tonight, I'll be prepared.

So, without further ado I present:

Weekly Wisdumb #2: Always have a list of witty retorts beside your phone in case you're awoken in the wee hours of the night and can't think on your feet.