Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Wonder If They're Shinier Than Usual?

I love it when a company gets behind a silly ad campaign.

Behold: Diamond Shreddies!

Stop Bothering Me!

Well, this is nice.

Have you heard of the Red Dot Campaign?

There's a little-known policy with Canada Post where you follow a two-step process, get a little dot on your mailbox and bammo. No more junk mail. That means no more of those weekly missives from Capital One! Woo!

There's a PDF that you need to print out and sign and give to your letter carrier (or take to the post office) and then you get a red dot that signifies that you aren't to receive any more snail-spam.

There's also a link on that Red Dot Campaign site for the Do Not Call/Fax/Mail list. Woo.

Now to see if this actually works.

Lost Is Found

Just a reminder that the new season (all 8 episodes) of Lost starts tonight!

Unfortunately I have to cancel my swimming tonight because I don't want to miss it. I'll just have to go on Saturday instead.

The Quotable Garrett

This morning, Garrett hands me back this book about submarines that he was reading and says, "Daddy, I don't like this book. It's too underwatery."

Then we were talking about lunch.

"What do you want on your sandwich kiddo?
"Ham and salami and butter. And ketchup too. But no mustard and NO jam."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clean Your Ceiling

I'm glad that we didn't find this in our house. Garrett is convinced it's a picture from his friend Tommy's house though :)

Thankfully it's from somewhere in Extralife land.

Second Puberty

I found this ad/website today and it is hilarious. Sure, it's just an ad, but it's just made of pure win wrapped in bacon and awesome.

At least, I think that's the way the kids would describe it.

The pamphlet was particularly funny. Poor unicorn...

Nerd Speed Record Set


I received a free copy of Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law in the mail today from one of my friends. I'm so happy I didn't spend $50 on it. It arrived at around 2-3pm and I just finished it.

Yes, you heard me right. I beat a game less than 10 hours after it arrived in the house. I think it might have taken me about, oh, 4 hours of total playtime, if that.

Now, it's a funny game and it plays somewhat in the same vein of the Phoenix Wright games but it's far too short and it holds your hand to the extent that there's no way to choose the wrong evidence or response. It would have been nice if, after you finished a case, you could play the cartoon clips together without the gameplay elements as there really isn't anything in the gameplay sections that is necessary to tell the story of each case.

The best part of playing the game is that it shows how cool a console version of a Phoenix Wright game could be, especially if it had good voice acting. I just feel really sorry for anyone who actually spent money on the game.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Are You Smarter Than A 6th Grader?

I'm sure you've seen these before, but this is a really funny link.

6th grade answers to a history test:

2. The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son?"

17. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

30. The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. She was a moral woman who practiced virtue. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

Prayer Request

I don't do this very often (ever) but if everyone out there could keep our friends' daughter (she's only 3 years old) in their prayers for the next couple days, that'd be great.

The platform at church fell on her today while it was getting put away and she got a pretty bad cut on her nose and her parents have to monitor her for the next 24 hours to ensure that there's no other head injury, though they are home from the hospital, so that's good. We're just happy that she didn't get hurt worse than she did!

Hooray For Guarantees!

Turns out that my alternator is fine. My battery, on the other hand, was basically toast.

Thankfully I'd just had it replaced a year and a half ago and it was still under the guarantee so I just had to pay the cost of the diagnostic. Woo!

Of course, my luck couldn't have held out. While I was killing time at Canadian Tire, I picked up some swim goggles for myself and Garrett. When I got home and was about to head out to the pool with Garrett, I found out that my goggles were not new goggles at all.

THEY WERE USED! Or at least opened.

There were fingerprints on the lenses and the strap was broken. So after we swam, we went BACK down to Milton and visited Canadian Tire for the 3rd time today. Sigh. I got some funky new goggles that have holographic eyes on the lenses... what can I say? They were the only kind that were the same price as the broken ones.

At least now everything seems to be working fine with my car and I don't have to spend tomorrow walking around town with Kara!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

There Goes My Deathtrap...

It's a little known fact, but we've had a built in defibrillator here at Casa Del Wager for the last 5 years. Thanks to the handyman special lighting apparatus that the previous owner rigged up in the basement, there was one light near the laundry that would give you a shock if you ever tried to turn it on by pulling on the metal chain.

We had jury-rigged a solution by using a plastic zip-strip to use as a pull but every so often I'd accidentally pull the chain and get a nice little zap for my efforts.

Well, no more!

I called the plumber the other day to do some work in the basement and it turned out that he also does electrical so as of today, we no longer have a killer light in the basement. When I had a look at the inside of the old fixture, the part with the chain was all cracked and scary looking, so it's a good thing we had him replace it when he did.

When he got the new fixture up there, I was reaching to pull the new chain and it was a battle of wills not to flinch when I touched the chain. It was like I was Pavlov's dog, only instead of a treat when the bell rang, I'd get a shock when the light came on. Sigh.

There She Goes... There She Goes Again

Julie fell down the stairs this morning. It was just the bottom step or two and I think her foot must have slipped on the carpet, but she's had a sore bum for the whole day :)

Of course, Garrett was right there when it happened so he was able to rush in and make sure she didn't have any boo-boos.

I'd Kick In The Sides But They're Made Of Indestructible Plastic

Hey! Guess what!

My car is in the crapper again. Not even a week after getting that brake switch finally fixed (which solved the annoying sticky shifter problem) and suddenly I'm dealing with what I assume is a dying alternator. I drove the car over to Shopper's Drug Mart today to pick up something and when I got back in and started to back out of my spot, suddenly the engine cut out and the engine lights started flashing and what-not.

I started the car again and was able to get a few more feet before it died again. A quick restart of the engine and I got it into a parking spot and just let it run for a few minutes. I was able to finish my errands but I noticed that the lights on the dash would dim whenever I had the brakes on and the signal light on. Sigh.

I called Canadian Tire (I know, but they're the only place open) and after describing my issues, it sounds like it's the alternator. I just got the battery replaced less than a year ago, so the alternator seems to be the most likely culprit.

I just hope I can get it down to Milton tomorrow (and fixed) so that I don't have to spend yet another Monday with my car in the shop. Sigh.

Why can't my car ever decide to die on a weekday?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You Wouldn't Like Her When She's Angry

I tell ya, you turn your back for one minute to write one e-mail and this is what happens.

Here's a close-up of the decorative artwork. If I'm not mistaken, it's some kind of kanji or katakana, though I don't know what it means.

I'm actually very surprised that Kara let Garrett doodle on her that much with nary a peep. At least it was washable marker.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

There Were No Fields Of Clover In That Movie!

I just got home from seeing Cloverfield and loved it. Probably the best giant monster movie I've seen, hands down. I didn't have a problem with the way it was filmed and going into it cold meant that I was going along for the ride with the characters and it rocked because of it. I didn't see any of the viral campaign and basically went into it knowing there was a giant monster attacking New York and that it was shown from the point of view of people on the ground.

If you go see it, make sure you sit about halfway towards the back or further though, as I could see how being closer to the screen could induce motion sickness.

There were some real idiots at the theater though. As soon as the credits rolled, the morons in front of me started yelling at the screen.

"What the hell was that? They didn't explain anything!" they said.

I was like, "Dude! You just lived through a first person account of a monster invasion of New York City. What more do you want?" At least, that's what I was thinking...

I'll bet that the monster in Cloverfield is the same monster from the island on Lost, only it gets bigger, meaner and then destroys New York City.

Expendable: The Movie

Remember that recruitment ad for super-villain henchmen the other week? Well, the full movie, Expendable, is now up for your viewing pleasure. I haven't had a chance to watch much of it yet, but what little I've seen is pretty amusing.

Also, Kara's getting fangs.

I Love Surprise Music

I can't stop listening to this song. It's just so peaceful. It's the main theme for that Endless Ocean game but it's just such a fantastic song on its own. I'm going to have to check out some other stuff by this lady.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Swimming On The Wii

I traded in some games today while I was picking up Burnout: Paradise and grabbed Endless Ocean for the Wii today.

It's a very different game... heck, it's barely a game. It's a scuba simulator and it's a very relaxing experience. Nothing beats the blizzard conditions of January in Canada like a tropical swim.

Garrett really wants to try the game out. Kara loved just watching the fishies swim around.

Oh, and it has some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. Go to the site and just listen to the music in the background... I could listen to that all day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What Do They Do In The Tundra For Fundra, I Wondra...

Well, talk about an exhausting day today.

I had to walk up to the doctor's office this morning for an appointment and then back home... while carrying Kara and trying to keep her from freezing solid.

Then I got home and there was a message on the phone from two minutes before I walked in the door saying that the car was ready to go... and I'd just walked past the shop on the way to and from the doctor's office! ARG!

I'd figured that the car wouldn't be ready until this afternoon as I'd called on Saturday and they were waiting for a part. Sigh.

So I went back out this afternoon and walked BACK to the shop, still carrying Kara and freezing solid while cursing my stupid car. Thankfully it was only a $90 job to get the brake switch replaced and the car has been running smooth as silk since I got it. Woo!

Another reason I'm so tired is that I spent almost the rest of the day playing drums in Rock Band and let me tell you, that's tiring stuff right there! Kara was my assistant though and she was laughing her head off while bashing on the drums or playing with the drumsticks.

I'm just going to flake out and relax for the rest of the night and probably hit the hay sooner than later. zzzz...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Juno What We Saw?

As part of the extended birthday celebrations today, Julie & I were able to snag a babysitter (first time we've done that since Garrett was born) and went down to see Juno.

It's an absolutely fantastic movie. I don't think I've laughed as much during a movie in ages. Ellen Page is fantastic, as always, and the rest of the cast does a great job too. I personally loved J.K. Simmons as Juno's dad.

Run, don't walk, to see Juno. It's definately worth seeing in the theatre, even if it doesn't have any giant monsters or explosions. It's just full of heart and awesome writing.

We had a trio of 70+ year old ladies sitting in front of us during the movie too and it was funny to hear their reactions to the jokes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Julie!

It's Julie's birthday today! Party! Celebrate!

I just hope she didn't get my cold/flu/ebola outbreak. I know that it's been a rule around here that I'm sick on her birthday but I don't really think she wants to be sick!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

She'll Trip Over That Thing

Rock God? Not Quite...

Yup, I got it!

I was promptly banned from playing the drums because Julie said, and I quote, "Wake up the kids with your drumming and I'll skin you alive."

Or something along those lines.

Brock 0 - Brakes 2

We dropped the Saturn off at the shop again this morning and hopefully they'll replace the brake switch and get the bloody thing fixed so it doesn't lock up again... EVER.

I had thought that whatever they had done on Monday was actually working when I took the kids out yesterday as for the first few trips of the day, the gearshift wasn't sticking at all. Of course, as soon as I started thinking happy thoughts, the universe decided it was time to balance things out and my gearshifter started sticking again. I tried it again today and once again it was sticking, so back to the shop it went.

Sigh. I just hope it finally gets fixed and that I won't have to deal with this problem any more. Julie's already talking about getting rid of the Saturn and getting a van but I don't want to lose my baby! Get rid of that hunk of junk Kia that has parts falling off of it before getting rid of my plastic car!

What Time Is It?

Well, guess who's sick again?


I have to stop telling people that I'm feeling just fine while they're complaining about being sick. Every time I do that, I end up coming down with something.

This latest cold/flu/ebola outbreak hit me on the way home from Mississauga on Tuesday. I thought maybe it was some food poisoning or something from the shrimp they had at the pot-luck, but it's not.

I knew I was really sick when I fell asleep last night at 7:30pm and didn't wake up until 7am today. I was just reading after getting the kids to bed last night and then the next thing I knew I was waking up at 9pm, realizing that I'd slept and missed Little Mosque On The Prairie and then I fell asleep again.

Oh well. I want to go swimming tonight but Julie says I shouldn't. Sigh. I guess I'll just get another good night's sleep and then go swimming on the weekend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blood On The Slippers

Sometimes I wonder about what exactly is going on in Garrett's brain.

We were driving home tonight and were talking about going to the preschool at the boathouse near Fairy Lake tomorrow. I mentioned that he should take his Turtles slippers with him which sparked a very strange conversation.

"So, you're going to take your slippers with you tomorrow?"

"Uh... I don't want to get blood on them."


"I don't want my toes to fall off."

"Go on..."

"My toes fell off when I was a little baby but the workers fixed them and they're all better now."


"I don't want my toes to get cold and fall off again."

"Then you'd better wear your slippers!"


This kid had better get some kind of creative arts job when he's older...

Brock 0 - Brakes 1

Looks like my optimism is short lived. I got in my car this evening and it was a little sticky before we went down to Mississauga. Then there was the return trip. I was stuck blocking in Julie's car at our small group for about 2-3 minutes while I fought with my gearshift. Sigh.

I have a busy day tomorrow with driving and hopefully my shifter won't act up too much but come Friday, I'm taking that bad boy into the shop and demanding they fix it right.

Stupid car.

Brock Vs. Brake : Round 389

I love my Saturn. Let me get that out of the way. I've enjoyed driving it ever since I got it back in 2001 and haven't had any problems with it.

Except one.

A couple of years ago, my shifter started getting stuck in Park whenever it got cold. Seeing how we're in Canada, this was rather frequent. At first I thought it was just an annoying little quirk of the gearshift until I had to sit in my car for 15-20 minutes after work one night, cursing and praying and begging for the thing to just get into Drive so I could go home.

I took it to Saturn back in the day and they did everything except sacrifice a chicken on the engine block. About the only thing they didn't do was replace the actual gearshift. Miraculously, the sticking shifter went back to proper working order soon after and I didn't have any problems until last year.

It stuck once or twice shortly after Christmas so I took it to the local auto shop to see if they could fix it. Of course, they couldn't figure out what the problem was and it didn't do it again, so I figured it had finally been fixed or at least stopped acting up.

I thought that was the end of the sticky shifter until a week or two ago when it started to stick a bit. Great... just what I need when I'm home with two kids and no income.

Would the stickiness go away? Well, I thought so until the weekend when it started taking several minutes before the shifter would come unstuck. I dropped the car off yesterday and after explaining the symptoms again and hoping that the car would stick for them so they could experience the fun of not being able to take a perfectly fine car from Park to Drive, I sauntered on home.

Turns out it was the braking switch that was causing the issue. I've heard a clicking sound when I depress the brakes which usually indicates that the shifter will start sticking shortly afterwards. Thankfully it didn't cost much for them to do their little adjustments but I did notice that it was a little sticky still when I got in the car. They did recommend that I get the switch replaced if it acts up again so we'll see how things are this evening when I go out with the kids.

It's just a shame that a car which I like so much has such an annoying problem.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

59's My Favourite

FFXII Is Finished... Time To Start FFXII!

This has been a banner year for my New Year's Resolutions. I've been swimming twice a week for the past couple weeks, I've resisted urges to buy candy and, my personal favourite, I FINALLY BEAT FINAL FANTASY XII!

It only took me a good year and a bit and something around 110 hours of playtime, but it's finally done. Great game, though the plot is somewhat convoluted, especially when you take several months off between play sessions. What really scares me is that there were a lot of hunts and side quests that I didn't do that could have made my playtime clock in somewhere in the 150-200 hour range... thankfully I'm not a completest when it comes to games and I got more than my money's worth out of FFXII.

The best part about finally finishing the game is that I can finally open my Christmas present from Connor... the sequel to FFXII on the DS! WOo!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Perils Of Booster Seats

So just after the new year started, we got a new booster seat for Garrett to sit in. It's not bad and it's nice to see him in a 'big boy' seat.

The only problem is that it's kind of tricky to get the seat belt buckled when you're having to reach over and do it blindly. No biggie... except that Garrett has developed a LOVELY habit of yanking on my beard while I'm buckling him up.

"You have a soft beard, Daddy," he says.

"OUCH!" I say.

To which gales of laughter follow.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Daily Show About The ColberT Report

So... The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are both back on the air right now after about 2 months off. I've actually quite enjoyed NOT having them on as that freed up about an hour of my day that I'd spend watching the shows before.

That said, I'm happy to have my daily dose of satire back on the air but the fact that they can't do a lot of the pre-scripted things (due to a lack of scripts) and the fact that they tend to spend a large portion of the show talking about the strike has me a little turned off. I would rather they just stay off the air until the strike is over, though I understand that this way the crew and other people who AREN'T writers can actually have a chance at getting paid.

I'm thinking I might watch the rest of the episodes this week (tonight and tomorrow) and then see how I feel about the shows come next week. I don't NEED to watch it every night... I'm just not used to missing them when they're on!


The last few mornings have been rather... moist.

Garrett has had a wet bed for the last 3 mornings and I'm not sure if it's because he's drinking too much and not peeing enough before bed or if the diaper he's wearing to bed is too small or what.

I tried the grand (read: failed) experiment of waking Garrett up at midnight last night to try to get him to go pee on the toilet but all that did was cause copious tears and heartache (and another wet bed in the morning).

Is there a trick to getting kids to stop wearing a diaper to bed at night? Garrett's great with using the toilet during the day but he won't wake up when he pees the bed.

Last night was also a bundle of fun as Kara was up around midnight or so screaming her bloody head off and keeping Julie up and it took us until sometime after 2am until she finally stopped crying. Fun times. I know that I like to stay up till all hours, but Julie doesn't really appreciate it, especially when she has to be at work first thing in the morning.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Make A Run For The Border

So I'm kind of watching the first episode of this new show "The Border" which is turning out to be like a done-in-one version of 24 set at Pearson Airport.

It's not bad. Pretty good production values and it's at least mildly interesting (unlike pretty much any of the current season of Prison Break).

It does have some fun digs against the US.

"Two federal agents came by this morning and took my boss and all the computers. They were very rude."

"Couldn't have been Canadian. Probably Homeland Security."

Spam Is Made Of People!

At least, it's made from me!

I did a Google search on my name because, well, I was bored and waiting for the Rock Band credits to finish rolling (woo! I beat the solo guitar mode on Medium) and I haven't searched my name in Google for a few years.

Turns out that through some random confluence of events, I'm part of a block of spam text. Interesting... Take a gander.

A plumas lake golf mafia holds body accompanied be out be discretionary necklines a fluorescent efficiency for radio brock wager. Keep the critters on the trivial breathtaking shops of nonchalantly competency guests ponderosa, absolute as namely you are supplies suffolks and what the newsworthy kit of relevant tap physiology surprised be. It is oversize to dimpled structured match and females to the day you are pulling. A befitting packages of the hike grip is recently it onlookers effectiveness pocketss as a spatula.

I'm not sure if I should be scared or honoured.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

R.I.P. Guitar Hero

I was able to rent a copy of Rock Band last night and I have to say that I am completely blown away. It's Guitar Hero 3's superior in almost every manner possible. Rather than be a rehash of the same game with a slightly shinier package with annoying note placement, Rock Band just oozes that special Harmonix charm and attention to... fun that Guitar Hero 3 lacks.

All I know is that the second I am able to get my own copy of the full Rock Band package with the drum kit and everything, my copy of Guitar Hero 3 is being traded in and I'll never go back. I always worried that I backed the wrong horse in the GH3/Rock Band battle and it turns out I was right.

My favourite part of the game, besides the awesome visuals and the fact that you can customize your character (my Spigot the guitarist looks like a hobo doctor), is the fact that they have the crowd singing along to most of the songs. In some instances, it's barely noticable but in others, like Say It Ain't So by Weezer, it just sends chills up your spine.

If you have a copy of Guitar Hero 3 for the 360, go rent the disc of Rock Band and enjoy yourself!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Are You Expendable?

A.R.A.C.H.N.I.D. helped me make bail!

"Ever magazine contains 30 opportunities for you to ensure the safety of our facility."

Warning! Very Annoying

This is a pretty funny clip of Link saying, "Excuse me, Princess."

About 300 times.

The sad thing is that there were only 13 episodes and they had Link say that phrase WAAAY too often.

That's One Resolution Checked Off!

Last night I went swimming for a good 45 minutes during the lane swimming at the local pool.

It was GREAT! I wonder now why I haven't been doing this on a regular basis for the last 5+ years. I wasn't doing the crazy stuff I used to do when I was on the swim team, but it was a pretty good workout compared to my normal workout that basically involves me getting up, walking over and deciding which controller to pick up.

Julie wanted me to wait until next week to start but I figured that if I could talk myself out of swimming last night, I could probably talk myself out of it next week too. I'm going to try swimming two days a week (Thursday and Sunday) as those look like they'll be the best times for me to actually be able to get over to the pool for the lane swim.

The only problem is that I remembered this morning exactly how sore you'll be after a good swim like that.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

If She Asks For The Car Keys, I'm Running

I tell ya, it's amazing how much a baby can develop over the course of a few weeks.

When I went on vacation mid-December, Kara was still in the Commando crawl phase of locomotion. Now she's busy pulling herself up and cruising around the couch and steps... it's nuts!

Day 2 of Mr. Mom V. 2.0 and we're all still alive. The nice thing is that Kara is finally over her cold, I've figured out how to make mushy cereal and Garrett's actually being somewhat helpful!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's Anniversary Day!

Wow. It's our 9th anniversary today. Crazy.

Thankfully we went out for our fancy anniversary dinner while we were in Sarnia (if you're looking for a good spot to eat, go to Lola's!) because my temporary blindness set in today and I couldn't find the tuna for the tuna casserole I was making.

I'm not sure what to call the creation I cobbled together in its place but I'm hoping we won't all die after we eat it...

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My New Year's Resolution? 1280 x 1024

Did everyone have a good New Year's Eve? We didn't do much besides watching a movie and the Air Farce NYE special.

Did anyone happen to watch the Dick Clark special? We only tuned in for the last minute or so before the ball dropped but we could barely watch that. I feel so bad for Dick. It was just painful to watch him slurring his words and generally just looking OLD, unlike the ever-youthful robot that he appeared to be in years past. It was like he'd just started to open the Ark Of The Covenant but stopped himself.

Artist's Rendering Of Dick Clark Last Night

Yeah, I know he had a stroke a couple years ago but it was still really hard to watch him last night.

ANYWAY, speaking of resolutions, I'm actually trying to make some that I can stick to.

In no particular order, I'm going to do the following this year:

- Start swimming regularly (Julie's signing me up for the lane swim at the local pool on Thursday nights).

- Play through a lot of the backlog of games that I own instead of buying every shiny new trinket that comes down the pike.

- Read more (non-comic) books.

- Write more and hopefully get something finished by next Christmas so I can get it self-published and give it away as gifts.

- Cut waaaay back on the sweets that I eat. After the current batch of Christmas candy is gone, I want to eat healthy snacks like pretzels and raisins.

- Just eat and live a lot healthier than I have for the past, oh, 10 years.

- Beat Final Fantasy Tactics.