Saturday, August 30, 2008

Don't Poke The Brocky

Today has been an exceedingly long one for me and for whatever reason, I am in an incredibly bad mood.

To top things off, I'm working the overnight shift tonight. I'm going to go have a nap and see if I'm a little more pleasant in a few hours...

These Are All Real

I found this great list via Dubious Quality yesterday. It's a top 15 list of images you'd think were photoshopped but aren't.

Here's a prime example.



Speaking of which, Cracked.com is really good these days. I used to read the magazine waaaaay back when I was a kid but the online portion is fantastic for adults.

The Power Of Paintballs!

I want the Mythbusters' job.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Pokemans!

Garrett has been on a bit of a Pokémon kick of late, which was probably not helped by the fact that when we were cleaning out some bags of toys given to us by one of Julie's co-workers, we found a bunch of relatively cool Pokémon toys and cards, which he has grown quite attached to.

(Phew, how's THAT for a run-on sentence?)

Anyway, I think it's time to cut things out after tonight. I was giving Garrett a good-night kiss when he said, "My Pokemans. Let me show you them!"

Either he's surfing the net FAR too much for his own good or he's been listening to me whenever I mutter that around him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where Are Frank And Gordon When You Need Them?

I've had to call Bell twice this week to try to figure out why my internet connection keeps flaking out.

In the past I'd have to reset my router every month or two when it would just stop sending a signal to the net. No biggie. But twice this week I've had instances where the net just went down for 20 minute or longer and no amount of switch-flicking would rectify the situation. It would eventually reconnect to the net but the second incident in as many days had me thinking that my modem was dying.

I finally talked to someone higher up the food chain at Bell than the lowly Tech Support weenies and they ran a few other tests that seemed to verify that the modem was dying. On the upside, that means I'll have a new modem in a day or two. On the downside, I have to hope that my net connection stays stable for two more days.

Oh well. At least I fixed this before I head out of town next week!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baldy-Bald Needs Your Hair!

Dear Japan,

Keep on smoking that crack.

Your best friend,

Brock

Monday, August 25, 2008

Batman Meets The Joker - SPOILARZ!

I can't stop laughing at this video.

Must Avoid Spousal Death Stare

I've been having fun warping Garrett's mind of late, though Julie seems less than impressed with my efforts.

Example 1

Did you see the closing ceremonies of the Olympics yesterday? Remember when they were about to douse the torch and there was some young chap holding a scroll that represented the events of the past 14 days?

I did my damnedest to convince Garrett that he was actually a wizard reading a spell that would put out the torch's unholy fire.

Julie was not amused.

Example 2

I took the kids out to Hillsburg today to go for a walk along the little trail that we go on from time to time. It's a nice flat path that used to be an old railway line and is now used by bikers and hikers in the area that don't want something as treacherous as the Bruce Trail.

Garrett brought his zombie kit, which is a toy from McDonalds that is, in Garrett's mind, a set of pens, a spy camera and a pair of zombie-killing guns. The whole time we walked through the woods this morning, he was peering into the darkened underbrush, scouring the woods to ensure that his sister was safe from any encroaching zombie hordes.

We got to the part of the trail that went past the lake and I told him that the zombies couldn't get us because they can't swim.

To which he said, "If the zombies go in the water, then their blood will make the water turn into bloody water."

Sigh. I just told him not to drink the bloody zombie water...

It didn't help that this guy had biked past us when we started the hike and then we couldn't see him after a while. I told Garrett that we couldn't see him because the zombies got him.

"Oh... did the zombies smash up his bike?"

"Yes son..."

"Oh..."

When the guy rode past us on his return trip, we had a little victory celebration because that meant that he had escaped the ravenous zombie hordes and we'd probably have a chance of making it out of the woods alive too.

Suffice it to say, when I mentioned this to Julie, I could hear her eyes rolling over the phone...

My Krazy Kidz

Here's Garrett getting a trophy during the medal ceremony at Blast Ball a week ago. I think they finally spelled his name right this time.



Here are a couple of pictures of Kara looking her devilish best.





And this is just to show that Kara has a fine future ahead of her as either a roofer or trapeze artist...

Gilding The (Evangeline) Lily

Whenever we see a new baby, Julie always starts to mumble things about having another one... Eek!



Though they are rather cute...



Kara thought that Evangeline was a new baby doll for her to play with...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Dark Side Of Google

I just wanted to share what is probably my favourite strip from the last few weeks worth of various webcomics.

Enjoy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WARNING! Explicit Post Below!

I swear... well, I try not to, but my kids sure do.

The other day, Garrett was playing with a few of his Spiderman superhero Lego guys and I heard him say, "I'm gonna kick your ass." I did a double-take and listened closer and he said it again.

I asked him what he was saying and he said, "Uh... Nothing."

Upon further grilling, he repeated what he said. I told him that he shouldn't say that word but that he is more than welcome to say, "Kick your butt."

That seemed to make him happy and he spent the rest of the day kicking butt and taking names.

Now Kara... she is saying a few words (the clearest is 'Garrett') but lately it sounds like she's swearing.

I'm not sure what she's trying to say, but she keeps saying something that sounds like "Shit" over and over and over again :) I know that's not what she's actually saying, but anyone who hears her say it has to ask if that's the word she's actually saying.

Sigh. I guess I'll have to stop having our nightly Sopranos screenings before bedtime. (I kid!)

Mmm... Firefly...

Woohoo! I just saw the announcement that Firefly will be released on Blu-Ray come this fall. Yummy.

That is all.

Hee Hee

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Too Human Is Fun

I picked up the first game of the fall rush yesterday. I've had a good summer, only getting the occasional $5-10 downloadable game, so I rewarded myself with the Diablo-esque excursion into cyber-Norse mythology known as Too Human yesterday.

Of course, if you're following the reviews, it's scoring quite low. That said, I think they must be playing a different game than I am. This game is doing exactly what I want it to do... let me kill lots of monster robots with my overpowered medic and find loot galore.

I like this gif, despite the fact that I think the review scores are overly harsh.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Star Wars: Clone Wars

I saw this today with my friends and Garrett. I will say that I liked the look of the film, at least on a technical level. And the battle scenes were cool, though much more limited in scope than I'd hoped. Plus I didn't care for the fact that instead of seeing all sorts of Jedi doing crazy things for 2 hours, you're stuck watching Anakin and Punky Brewster go tromping around in a plot that might have been sufficient for a 22 minute cartoon episode but not for an hour and 40 minute movie.

And don't get me started on the 'roger roger' battle droids. They did have some truly funny scenes but most of the time I just wanted to throttle whoever decided that a bunch of robots whose sole purpose IS WARFARE would act that incompetently. Of course, I can see who they must have put in charge of the Stormtrooper School Of Marksmanship after seeing those droids miss a clone trooper AT POINT BLANK RANGE.

While I didn't like Ziro and thought that his character and the entire scene with Amidala was pointless, I liked the look of both Ziro and the black-light bar that he owned. Again, on the artistic/technical side of things, I thought the movie was great. The way that everything had a painted look, from the backgrounds to the textures on the characters and even the control panels... I loved that. But I just felt empty after watching the movie, esp. because I'd hoped that it could have been so much more.

It's still a million times better than the entire prequel trilogy, but still so lacking from what it could have been. I think I'd basically pinned my hopes on this movie essentially being a 3D adaptation of the Tartakovsky series and unfortunately, it wasn't.

ACTUALLY, what really pissed me off was the fact that General Grievous wasn't in the movie at all. He was mentioned in passing once, but that was it.

Oh, they also changed the opening fanfare just enough to have it be very jarring to those of us who are used to the big opening to, well, EVERY STAR WARS MOVIE EVER...

I didn't mind the fact that they got rid of the crawling text at the beginning and replaced it with a newsreel-style voice-over but the fanfare just sounded wrong.

Party... Pizza Party!

There have been a couple of new pizza places opening in Acton over the past month or two and we've found that there is a wide range in quality betwixt the two newest entries in the cheese and tomato wars.

On the one hand, we have Grillers. It opened about a month and a half ago and it is amazing. It's one of those places where you can get a plain old pepperoni and cheese pizza and it not only has more cheese than most places have on their double cheese pizzas, but lots of yummy pepperoni too. That's the indication of a quality pizza place. Add in the fact that their wings are really yummy and the prices are reasonable and you've got a place that has become our default pizza place in town.

On the other hand, we have A George's Great Pizza. It's a new place that just had its grand opening today.

Let me put it this way. They had a special where you got a medium pepperoni pizza, a salad and some dip for $3.99... and we felt like we were ripped off. Garrett and Kara didn't even want to eat their pieces.

It seriously tasted like they'd baked an off-brand freezer pizza from Giant Tiger and put it in a cardboard box for us. It wasn't even at Delissio levels of pizzaness, and that's a pretty low bar to surpass. Suffice it to say, we'll be warning people about this place and won't be ordering from them again!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Congrats To Dan & Faith!

They had a baby girl just after midnight this morning. Her name is Consuela Ortiz Falava Grace.

Or maybe it isn't... But she is a girl!

Congrats you two. Good luck explaining to Silas that babies don't go back to the hospital after you finish your week rental.

Notice Anything Different?

Just wondering...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Welcome To The Future (of 2004)!

Well, this week has seen us rocketed into the year 2004, tech-wise.

First off, I got that iPod on Saturday. I'm so glad I picked up that little unit when I did as I was stuck in a hospital room overnight for two nights for work and listening to podcasts and watching some of the videos really helped me stay awake both nights, esp. since the room was pitch black both nights!

So hooray for the iPod and the ability to actually start to delve into the wonderful world of podcasts in earnest.

Secondly, we finally made the leap from VCR to DVR today. Well, we would have made it last week but Cogeco sent the new receiver to the wrong address (and it wasn't their fault, actually) so I didn't get it until yesterday. I set the thing up today and man, it's NICE.

I'm afraid I've moved into a new recording bracket. The fact that I can set the thing to record series and specify whether it's new or old is genius. I know it's not a new feature, but being able to automate it so it will record Colbert and The Daily Show every night will be so nice!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Giving Metal Gear The Finger (Treatment)

This is a great video for MGS4... done in FINGER-VISION!

VGL Tickets

What are YOU doing March 13, 2009? Videogames Live is coming to the Center In The Square in Kitchener that day and I'm trying to gather a posse to go see it. If you're interested, let me know and I'll buy tickets. They range from $35-80/ticket.

I know that *I* am going. I'm not sure who else is, but if I have to go by myself, I'll be going by myself! I missed it last year due to it being too expensive down at the Hummingbird Center and I've heard nothing but great things about the experience from people who have seen it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thus Spake The Blueberry

Interesting. I did a bit more digging and there's a whole write-up on the pitch for that Mr. Muffin ad. Bring on more creative ads like this, I say!

The fact that they did it all as CG but had to do all sorts of tricks to get it to look like traditional stop-motion animation is really cool.

Get This Girl A Modelling Contract!

Thanks for the great pic, Dan!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mmmm... Muffins...

Speaking of the Olympics, I'm loving the Mr. Muffin ad that RBC has going. I'm already sick of 98% of the ads being run every 5 minutes but I'll stop what I'm doing to watch this one whenever it comes up.



It helps that the animation is top notch...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I Am In Awe

As far as I care, the Olympics are finished. Sure, they had a great opening ceremony and all, but I just watched the finale of the Men's 400m IM and I'm just flabbergasted by what I just witnessed.

In a good way, of course.

I used to swim Butterfly and IM back in high school and I know how draining a 200 IM is. To see someone do a 400IM and smash the world record by about 2 seconds and not be reduced to a quivering bowl of jelly is just something else. Phelps is just inhuman.

Now I would be interested in watching more if they combined the equestrian and high dive events...

iBrock: Ludditis Sufferer

Over the past few months, I've had this burning lust for an iPod nano. My current MP3 player (PSP aside) was a 512KB unit that I got for Christmas about 3-4 years ago (at least). It's a decent little unit but it just doesn't have the memory for even a single podcast, plus the interface on the song loader is incredibly clunky and archaic in this day and age.

Anyway, I've been able to quell the urges to get an iPod for a while and slowly socked money away for one. I finally broke down yesterday and picked up a 4GB nano at the pawn shop in Guelph as it was only $90 instead of the usual $145 or so that they go for at Futureshop or Walmart. It was a little scratched up and didn't have headphones, but that's ok... right?

Well, wrong.

I wasn't counting on coming down with a horrible case of Ludditis last night. Oh, sure, I was able to load up a bunch of songs and video podcasts and such on my new toy last night but that's about the easiest thing that I was able to pull off over the past 24 hours.

I was just trying to listen to a podcast when I went to bed and that's when the system started to get a little glitchy on the video side of things. Then it just locked up all together. This led to a lot of (silent) cursing and then a trip back downstairs to plumb the depths of the internet to see if I could figure out how to reset a frozen iPod. Then my computer lost mouse functionality when I restarted it to reinitialize the iTunes software.

Sigh.

At this point it was after 2am and I had to be up at 6 to go to work, so I just said, "Bugger it," and went to bed.

Then today, after I get home from work, I find that the keyboard was somehow locked on my computer so I couldn't get past the BIOS and then, once that was resolved, EVERYTHING RAN SUPER SLOOOOOOW....

I was not amused. Not only was my cheap iPod crapping out on me, my computer looked like it was dying.

The computer is doing just fine now and we took another trip to Guelph so I could get my money back from the Pawn Shop and we hit the WalMart and snagged a brand new 4GB nano. Woo. It kind of sucks that I had to spend the full amount that I'd saved instead of saving $60 or so but I have to say that the new unit looks a lot nicer when it's not looking like it went through a war zone. Plus it hasn't locked up yet!

The saddest part of this whole affair came a little while ago when I was trying to figure out the velcro strap on the armband/case thing I picked up tonight for the Nano. I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out how the velcro could connect without having to twist the band. Julie came over, took one look at it and bent the end of the band over the buckle and voila! The armband was secure.

Sigh.

I'm tired. Leave me alone!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Phun @ The Phire Haul

WARNING!


The images you are about to view may be concidered disturbing for some viewers. Parental discretion advised.



What? That's not disturbing? How about...THIS!



Still not quivering in fear? Don't say I didn't warn you. Avert your gaze now before it's too late!



It's a shame his face is stuck like that...

Missives From The Kids

Most of these little updates/quotes didn't warrant an entire post of their own, so I'll just lump them all together.

----
We recently turned Kara's car seat around in the Mazda 5. We found out that, despite traveling the winding roads of Halton Hills for the past year or so with nary a complaint, Kara does NOT enjoy the roller coaster experience that such driving engenders when she can actually see the dips and dives. The last chunk of our drive home on Monday was pretty much a symphony of screams followed by silence as Kara looked out the window in bug-eyed terror at each turn in the road.

It was pretty funny, especially with Garrett egging her on by throwing his hands in the air at every hill and hollering in mock terror.

----

We were at the Early Year's Center this morning and Garrett was cutting some paper. I asked him what he was doing.

"Cutting out my name."

"Why?"

"I don't like it."

"You don't like Garrett?"

"Nope."

"What are you going to be called?"

"Lloyd Jameson."

"Ooookay...."

----

It was the annual trip to the Acton Fire Hall today. Due to me being the only dad in the group, I was drafted to play the role of Sparky The Fire Dog. If your recall from past trips to the Fire Hall, Sparky looked a bit like Sparky The Undead Fire Dog. The costume of yore has been retired and I got to wear a new Sparky outfit today. It was pretty fun to ham it up without having to say anything. Plus it's always interesting to see the kids' reactions. It alternates between pure joy to abject terror, sometimes with the same kid.

Kara, in particular, was vacillating between wanting to reach out to Sparky and bawling her eyes out whenever I turned the costume's giant head towards her. I'd hoped to get a picture of me (as Sparky) holding Kara but when I reached out to hold her, she just burst into tears and was shaking with fear. Oh well.

I did get a few pictures of the kids with the usual "Stand Back 150 Meters" sign and I'll upload them later tonight.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Freaka-Me, Freaka-You!

Not only do I get to watch all of the great WB superhero cartoons that I loved 10 years ago whenever I want, I also get to have the pleasure of introducing Garrett to the madness that is Freakazoid!



And it was only $22 for the set!

Cicada Killer Killer

We got back from our trip abroad (leaving the GTA feels like leaving the country, so there) to find that there were a couple of piles of dirt in our backyard where the patio stones connected. I thought they were just a few anthills until a couple of giant demon wasps emerged. I was able to kill one last night and after digging up the holes and filling the spaces in the stones, I ended up trapping the second one this morning.

I did a bit of research and it turns out that my unholy house guests are actually Eastern Cicada Killer wasps. Given that I really like Cicadas and can't stand wasps, I don't feel bad for smiting these two beasties.

At least they weren't a true threat to the kids or anything. I thought they were going to pick Kara up and fly her off to the swamp, they were that big...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Please Stop Believin'

Ok. Gene over at Unshelved (the best library based webcomic around) either reads my blog, listens to the CBC or surfs on Evil Avatar or I've contributed to a new internet meme. I saw his post for today and it looks a lot like mine from a couple days ago.

Coincidence? I think not!

It Is Finished!

After 10 years, it is finally over.

I've beaten Final Fantasy Tactics.

The original FFT was the first Playstation game I ever purchased. Oh, those were the days.

That was a good 10 years ago (or close to it) and I have always had the game on my list of things to beat. Unfortunately, it's one of the most difficult games available.

Well, I picked up the PSP version last fall and played it religiously until around Christmas, when I got to the same spot where I always get stuck and just stopped playing for about, oh, 7 months. I finally fired the game back up last month and worked on it pretty diligently until tonight, when I finally finished it.

Woo!

Now I can start playing games like, oh, Jeanne D'Arc. You know... the game I bought my PSP for!

Now to get to sleep so I can hit the garage sales tomorrow morning!

Friday, August 01, 2008

OMGWTFBBQ!?!

Dear Lord, please bring me a copy of Demigod ASAP. And a computer that will run it.

Thanks,

Brock



Seriously though, have you seen the trailer for Demigod? I don't know anything about it but the fact that it appears to be some kind of real-time strategy/diabloesque game where you control units that look like the Colossi from Shadow Of The Colossus is enough to get me drooling.

Mmm... Lard Dogs...

Here's a list of 5 hot dogs that will kill you. Seriously.

They're all rather unappealing, but this one is especially disgusting... and it's only #4 on the list.

4. Paula Deen's Lard Dog



Serious Eats first uncovered Paula Deen's insidious plot to kill us all in 2007 with a deliciously deadly mix of butter, liquid cheese, deep-fried meat, and southern charm. However, they missed a 2005 meal that makes all the others look like health food. The Grim Reaper looms largely over Paula Deen's Lard Dog. Why bother with relish and mustard when you could top your hot dog with bacon, Velveeta, and lard? She may have mixed the lard with a few other ingredients in order to mask the flavor of death, but it really doesn't matter when you're six feet under. Read more about this hot dog here.

The list was courtesy of the always awesome Bill Harris over at Dubious Quality and his Friday Links list.

Where A Kid Can Be A Kid

We took the kids to the Children's Museum in London today. Garrett had a blast in the Dinosaur Caves and the Space Gallery. Heck, we had to go through the whole museum twice and I almost needed a crowbar to get him out of the space capsule.

I'll post some pics on Monday or Tuesday when I get the camera unloaded.