Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Future Of TV Is Teleportation!

Garrett and I were watching the Saturday night movie on Teletoon tonight before bed and a Burger King commercial came on. They've got some cool Indiana Jones toys with their kids meals and I mentioned that those were cool toys.

Garrett looked at me and said, "Maybe next time we can get those toys."

"Sorry pal. There aren't any Burger Kings near us."

A thoughtful look crossed his face and a moment later he comes up with this gem.

"Maybe next time we can turn invisible and go inside the TV and then we can get those toys."

I couldn't stop laughing.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Member Of The Playstation Underground (Literally, Once Julie Gets Through With Me)


I picked up a PS2 today that can play PS3 games and Blu-Ray discs.

I now can say that I have EVERY system. EVERY SYSTEM.

The local indie game shop, Geekdom, had a used 60 GB PS3 in the store when I stopped in there yesterday with a guy from work. It was going for $360 (which is a little lower than the usual price on Ebay) and given that it's the only model of PS3 available that has the PS2 hardware onboard for backwards compatibility (and the fact that they don't make the 60 GB model any more), I had a very hard time NOT picking it up right then and there.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and I came home to mull it over. This morning, I gathered up a LOT of my older games that have been gathering dust and $300 in trade-ins later (and $100 out of my pocket), I was on my way home with a pretty snazzy new movie player.

Now I need to rent a Blu-Ray movie to convince Julie that the thing is actually a good value. Concidering that I was going to drop $150-200 on a new screen for that busted laptop (which isn't happening), $100 for a Blu-Ray player that also happens to play some PS3 and PS2 games isn't a bad value! REALLY!

I don't have any PS3 games right now but Metal Gear Solid 4 is out in about 2 weeks and I shall christen the system with it, if I don't get some PS3 titles from GetGames in the meantime.

Funny little postscript to this story: After my first visit to Geekdom yesterday, I then stopped off at EB. While I was there, I chatted with the clerk about seeing this rare 60 PS3 at Geekdom. He mentioned that there had been a guy in at EB earlier in the week trying to trade in a 60 GB PS3 but when he couldn't get cash, he left. Shortly after the guy's visit, the cops called to say that there had been a break-in recently and that one of the items stolen was a 60 GB PS3 and to be on the look out for anyone trying to offload one.

So I was concerned that the PS3 might be hot and called Geekdom to fill them in. Thankfully, they got the serial numbers off of the guy at EB and they're not the same, so I'm not worried about the cops busting my door down once I go online with the thing. Still...

The other downside is that I've been reformatting the drive for the past 4 hours. I think it's almost ready to go though, so I'm going to fire up Shadow Of The Colossus or something to see how they look upscaled.

Oh, did I mention you can also cook on the thing?

Some Day They'll Get One (Or Both) Of His Names Right

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Begone Foul Washer!

As it was written (on the manifest), Zellers FINALLY picked up the dishwasher today. It's frightening how much room we have in our kitchen now that the dishwasher is finally gone.

The sad thing is that tomorrow (the 29th) is 2 months from the day we bought the stupid thing. Sigh.

On a sidenote, I took the broken laptop into the local computer store to see how much it would cost to repair it. It seems as though that particular laptop can only support one particular screen and it's almost $400 to replace it, plus tax.

Bah. I'll just save up for a true lappy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bells Of Steel

You've got to give the telemarketers a bit of credit for being so persistent. I got a call from Primus/Aeroplan today offering me a gazillion points if I switched. I just hung up on the guy.

Not 5 minutes later and the phone rang and it was Primus/Aeroplan trying to sell me on the same deal. I told the lady that I had just hung up on them a couple minutes earlier and that usually signifies that I AM NOT INTERESTED!

Gotta give them points for trying though.

Ballooning 101


Did you hear about the French guy who was trying to set a skydiving record by jumping out of a balloon (which cost about 200,000 Euros) and forgot to attach the balloon to his gondola?


The best line from the botched launch: "There was this horrible deflating moment."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Frightening Stuff

I double dog dare you to watch this video. I'm truly frightened by its subject matter, moreso than the actual content. Well, aside from the dancing. That's pretty scary too.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Think The Penguin Thought It Was In Darvaz...

Bill over at Dubious Quality always has great links on Friday that run the gamut from games to science to strange sociology happenings and this week has been a great one.

There were two links that I had to put on here.

The first is a link about Darvaz - THE DOOR TO HELL!

It really reminds me of the cool pictures from Centralia (the town in Pennsylvania that was the inspiration for Silent Hill).

The second link... well... let me just put an excerpt from the news story.

One summer morning, scientists observing elephant seals on a beach on Marion Island near the Antarctic spotted a young male Antarctic fur seal subduing a king penguin.

"At first we thought it was hunting the penguin, but then it became clear that his intentions were rather more amorous," de Bruyn recalled today via email.

The roughly 240-pound seal subdued the 30-pound adult penguin by lying on it. The hapless bird of unknown sex struggled, rapidly flapping its flippers and attempting to stand and flee, without luck.

Poor Pingu.

Let's Play Spot The Meme!

Weezer has just released the coolest (well, nerdiest) video EVER.

Good Things Happen To Bad People 2: The Enrichening

I called Zellers today and after spending about 20 minutes on the phone browbeating the guy on the other end of the phone (and threatening to retell the whole dishwasher saga for the third time) I was able to secure a $50 gift card from Zellers for all of the hassles we have had to go through!


It wasn't a free PS3 like I'd hoped, but it's better than a kick in the shin. They tried to use the whole, "Well, you returned the dishwasher and we only give compensation to people who keep the product," routine, but I didn't let him get away with that!

No sirree bob!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Kara went to see the doctor at the walk-in clinic tonight because her eye has been kind of goopy for the last couple days and she's been waking up every two hours at night for far longer than I can remember (probably for a week now).

Turns out that she's got an ear infection. I knew I shouldn't have shown Garrett that scene from Star Trek 2...

The nice thing is that the meds she's on seem to have helped her settle down tonight. We'll see if I'm jumping the gun or not but it's nice to know that there's a reason she's been so cranky for the past while (and why we've been getting so little sleep).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Have Offended The Ghost Of William Howard Livens

I am so livid right now.

I sat around all day today waiting for these idiots to show up and take my broken dishwasher away. They were supposed to come between noon and 6pm. I even called before the 6pm time to make sure they were coming.

"Yes sir, they have you on the list. You'll have to wait until after 6pm before I can call the driver."

I wait until 6:01pm. After spending 15 minutes on hold waiting for them to track down the driver, they hang up on me.

So I call back, get a nice lady who only has me on hold for about 5 minutes... only to inform me that I wasn't on the list for pick-ups today.

Oh, and did I mention that they called last night night to confirm that they were coming... TWICE!


Oh, and they only do pick-ups on Wednesday, which means that now I have to wait until NEXT Wednesday for this bloody dishwasher to be removed from our sight. I moaned, I kvetched, I grumbled, I even asked if there was someone else for me to yell at and it all came down to the same thing.

"They only do pick-ups and deliveries on Wednesdays. You'll have to reschedule."

Even my (admittedly hollow) threats of hauling it out to the curb for garbage day tomorrow were met with unusually serious replies of, "You can't do that sir. It's scheduled to go back to the warehouse."


*deep breaths Brock... deep breaths*

To make matters worse, I tried to call the store to see if I could at least yell at the slugs in the appliance section who have been the only humans I've been able to deal with in this whole process and, of course, both of the appliance people that we've dealt with aren't in until tomorrow, by which time my rage will likely have subsided.

I seriously want to just lug this stupid dishwasher out to the curb for garbage pick-up tomorrow. Or say, "Fine, you don't want it? I'm keeping it for free."

I'm usually pretty calm, cool and collected, but I just want to start putting my fist through a few walls right now. Or that dishwasher...


It IS already pretty dented... :)

The people at the call center did offer me compensation so I'm going to mention that tomorrow when I call and yell at the people at Zellers.

Lesson learned: Never buy an appliance at Zellers.

The sad thing is that if the dishwasher hadn't arrived all destroyed and such, I'd have been more than happy to recommend them. This whole scenario since we found the dents has been an exercise in near zen-like patience on our part, and I've finally had it.

Save Harrison Acres

This is a great PSA. Poor Indy...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Would You Kindly Read This Post?

This is kind of neat. A guy is basically trying to bring the premise of Bioshock to life with a series of water-borne cities. I just hope things turn out better for him than they did for Andrew Ryan.

My Poor Retinas!

So I took Garrett out to be tested to see if he's susceptible to photo-sensitive epileptic seizures... by which I mean I took him to see Speed Racer. I'm happy to say that he made it through the movie with nary a twitch.

This is one of the quieter, more subdued scenes in the movie...

It was a fun movie but it's by no means perfect. Almost the whole first hour is take up by people talking... and talking... and talking some more. We invited one of Garrett's friends (and his dad) to come with us and they ended up leaving the movie after about 45 minutes to an hour of the blather... which is a shame, given that almost right after they left, the driving started in earnest.

The latter half of the movie was an exercise in mind-numbing, over-the-top driving coupled with absolutely insane stunts and a monkey driving a car. Seriously. I honestly think that most of the racing sequences are what Garrett must see in his head whenever he plays with his cars. It's like the most mind-bendingly elaborate Hot Wheels play set brought to life with a background of colours lifted from a fever dream on acid. I think they actually invented colours for this movie.

All in all, Garrett seemed to really like it (he was seen playing in some laundry hampers tonight and being Speed Racer, plus he was chasing Kara around the play set tonight for his 'race') and that's what matters. I wouldn't recommend it unless you have kids (and skip the first hour of the movie) or are a HUGE Speed Racer fan though.

My head has been hurting for the past few hours... I think it wasn't until about an hour after the movie that my eyes could properly register the images that were imprinted on them and the slow process of sending all of that visual stimulation to my brain has done a number on my head.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Manliest Post Ever

Alright guys. Esquire has a list of the 75 skills all men should have.

How'd you score?

Also, Michael Chabon has a great article in The New Yorker about superheroes. I really need to start reading "The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay".

Also, how can a manly post end without linking to this story, which has the best headline in the history of headlines :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Good Things Do Happen To Bad People!

I was at Tim's today grabbing a bagel & coffee for lunch (I'm making a huge thing of Pad Thai at work for supper, so I'm eating light until then).

Anyway, the person in front of me ordered something, waited, then drove off before they got to the pay window.

I arrived and the lady asked me if the person in front had left. I said that they had. I noticed that she then put a box of TimBits off to the side.

When she handed me my coffee, I said, "Hey, I'll take their TimBits if you don't want them."

And she handed me the box of TimBits! For free!

I guess that they would have had to throw them out as they'd been handled when being put in the box. Better me than the garbage, I always say. Suffice it to say, the people at work will be happy with free TimBits.

Almost As Dangerous As A Drive To Brampton...

Ralph sent me this video of a segment of the Camino del Rey in Spain. From the site:
Some parts of the walkway have completely collapsed and have been replaced by a beam and a metallic wire on the wall. Many people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years. After four people died in two accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed the entrances. However, adventurous tourists still find their way into the walkway.

It actually reminds me a lot of the new footage for Mirror's Edge, now that I think about it... only with a lot less shooting and cops :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Resistance Is Therapeutic...

FYI, my dad made it through his surgery on Monday in one piece. Unfortunately, I believe that he is now forced to wear something like this for the next 6 weeks.

At least, that's what I picture when my mom described the healing process to me.

The upside is that he can't wander too far from the house because of those pneumatic tubes in the back. Get 5 feet from the compressor and you'll fall right on your face!

Liberty City Or New York?

This is a pretty neat flikr set that compares scenes from GTA IV and photos of New York. There are a few of them where it's hard to tell which is the game and which is real life!

Exhibit A

Which side is Times Square and which is Star Junction?

Exhibit B

Which is the Manhattan Bridge and which is the Algonquin Bridge?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The $600 Dad

My dad's going in for shoulder surgery tomorrow. His rotator cuffs have been pretty much shot for a good year now so tomorrow is the beginning of a new day in heavy lifting and wrench turning!

I wonder if he'll be getting one of these... I doubt it though...

Don't Leave The House For Mother's Day!

First off, I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day today.

I've noticed that today seems to be the strangest Mother's Day I've experienced. It seems like if things can go wrong today, they will. Maybe Murphy didn't get his mom a card :)

We were on our way to church this morning and were about a block and a half away when Garrett blew chunks all over the backseat... 2-3 times in a row.

We got him cleaned up, stopped off at church long enough for me to make sure that the multimedia stuff was up and running and then headed home to clean him and the car up properly.

Garrett has been running a fever since last night (ranging between 99-101F). You can tell he's sick because he has actually slept at times during the last few days and isn't bouncing around nearly as much as usual. Hopefully he'll kick this bug soon!

While I was at church, I talked briefly to the worship leader and he was telling me that he hit a deer on the way down to church first thing this morning. Thankfully there was just some cosmetic damage to his car (though it sounds like the deer will be feeding the vultures soon) as it could have been much worse for him.

I was also talking to my mom this afternoon and she was telling me about a whole confluence of events at their church that threatened to derail the service. Their organist got hurt and couldn't make it in, the choir couldn't sing because they didn't know what they were singing, the sound system didn't work... CRAZY!

Things seem to be calming down now though. Hopefully everyone who was hurt or sick today will get over it and be a-ok soon!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Super Hero Squad, UNITE!

This is sort of an addendum to the previous post.

Ah, I'll just let the news release say it all.

"Officials from THQ and Marvel Entertainment have announced that the two companies have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to create games based on the child focused Marvel Super Hero Squad franchise.

The multi-year agreement grants THQ the exclusive worldwide rights to publish content for all current and next-generation consoles, handheld systems, and the PC. The first game resulting from the agreement is scheduled to appear in autumn 2009.

The franchise began as an action figure line of two-inch-high toys created by Hasbro, featuring stylized versions of various Marvel Comic superheroes and villains. The designs are similar to the Japanese concept of 'super deformed' caricatures, with an animated series and accompanying comic book also planned for 2009."

I'm not sure who would be more excited about the comic/game/cartoon... Garrett or me.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This Post Is Off The Nerd Charts...

I was out with the kids today and Garrett found some of the new Marvel Superhero Squad figurines. I've been getting them for him every few weeks because, well, they're really cool. They're also very sturdy (they take a beating and barely get scuffed, let alone scratched) and are pretty cheap (~$7-8 for two figures).

They're also great as Garrett has been having all sorts of adventures with them in the house. I got him a Symbiote Spider-Man and Doc Ock figure today and he was having Doc Ock sing a song and Spidey was getting mad because he didn't like the song.

Yeah, Garrett's got a good imagination :)

Anyway, I almost didn't get Garrett the figurines today because I've been trying to cut back on them except that he found the one figure I've been trying to find for my own collection.

Behold: Tiny Deadpool!

I wish it had come with Cable but I'm just happy to have finally found the Deadpool figure. He's now hanging out on top of my monitor with my Elebit and Cthulhu plushie.

Edit: Eek. I just found that there is a checklist online. Oh lordy...

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's Like Watching A Young Rowan Atkinson

A little birdy pointed me in the direction of Karaoke For The Deaf yesterday. Well, that has (re)introduced me to the wonderful world of interpretive mime.

First off, we have the regular version of Torn.

Next, feast upon the extravaganza that is the ULTIMATE version of Torn.

And last, but not least, watch David Armand, er, Johann Lippovitz, do his interpretation of Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis.

Funny, funny stuff.

Hooray For Spring!

When we got home from church yesterday, I got the bug to go out and slay some dandelions. I dug out the +1 Vorpal Prong of Weeding from the bowels of the shed (no small feat) and got a surprising amount of dandelions extracted from our front and back lawns.

Well, I don't know if I should call our front yard a lawn. There is some grass there, but 3-4 tufts of grass don't really constitute a lawn. What we do have is an overabundance of moss. I mean it. If you step on our front yard, it's almost springy, that's how much moss there is out there. What infuriates me is that I wanted to have moss in the cracks in the paving stones in the back yard and all that grows there is grass. If I could somehow convince the moss in the front yard to trade places with the grass in the back, I'd be a happy guy.

While I was digging for the weeding prong, I ended up pulling out the trampoline and the climbing fort so that got set up yesterday too. The nice thing is that there's actually somewhere for the kids to play in the backyard now and they spent most of today (when we weren't at the early year's center) out back exploring and fiddling with the toys.

It's funny to watch Kara try to do what Garrett does. When he was bouncing on the trampoline, she'd stand on the patio stones and bend her knees like she was bouncing :)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Smashy Smashy

'Tis the summer of awesome superhero movies.

We've got Iron Man, The Dark Knight and now a new trailer for the new Hulk movie (which, thankfully, doesn't have anything to do with the Ang Lee version).

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Stark Raving AWESOME!

I love my job sometimes.

I got to take one of the guys out to see Iron Man tonight at a preview screening and it was AWESOME!

I'm on the cusp about saying it was better than Spider-Man. It is different in tone and content, of course, and it's a lot more grounded in reality than Spidey, but all of that aside it was fantastic.

It was a good thing I saw it before I took Garrett though. It's not that it's overwhelmingly violent or gory or anything. It's just that there is a lot of character development that, while really good for us grown-ups, would put Garrett to sleep.

I'll have to wait until the DVD comes out and just skip to the robot fights, which rock.

Speaking Of Grand Theft Auto

You have to check out this story and the video that goes with it. It is too funny.

Some 7-year old stole his grandmother's SUV and went on a joy-ride through Tampa. Nobody got hurt but he sure did smash a lot of property.

The grandmother is priceless.

"If I thought they wouldn't take me to jail, I'd whip his behind."

And at least the kid has his priorities straight...

Cop: "Do you think you should be punished?"

Kid: "A little bit, maybe no video games for a whole weekend."

THIS is what happens when you take your kids to the midnight launch of GTAIV!

Emergent Gameplay FTW!

I've put a bit of time into GTA IV now and while there is some very good stuff in there, it's the stuff that happens on its own that is the neatest to watch.

My favourite thing that has happened so far was something that wasn't scripted. I was walking my character down the street and decided to steal this guy's car. I walked up to his door and pulled him out. I didn't get in the car right away though so he started to punch me. The cops showed up and instead of arresting me, they arrested him instead. I just sauntered away and faded into the shadows while they took him away in the cop car :)

It was just so totally unexpected that I couldn't help but laugh at the poor guy's plight.

Why I Don't Use Facebook

Yes, I'm one of the few and the proud who has resisted the siren's call of Facebook. My philosophy is that if I haven't at least attempted to talk to you since High School, I probably don't want to, or at least don't care to.

Thankfully, there's a video that sums up my feelings on the subject quite well.

Of course, I got this from Julie who got it from Greg via HIS facebook page. Go figure.