Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Up In The Air... With Some Baggage

Julie & I went to see Up In The Air tonight and it was a very nice movie. Well worth the $4.75 per person we spent :)

The crowd at the theatre, on the other hand... ye gods. I've been spoiled by the nice theatres around Acton and the crowds therein.

We had a couple of people a few rows behind us who were incredulous that, yes, that IS George Clooney up there on the screen and amazingly, he's still George Clooney when he comes back on screen 4-5 minutes later. It's like they couldn't comprehend that the lead actor in a film didn't change spontaneously or something.

And then there were the rubes who read out ever location placard when it appeared on screen (which happens a LOT in this movie), much to the delight of the illiterate in the audience, but man, it just got on my nerves.

Thankfully all of these annoyances (and the awful sound, crappy seats and the booms coming from the showing of Avatar next door through 3/4s of the movie) didn't negate the fact that the movie is whip-smart, funny and endearing. I highly recommend it... just don't see it in Sarnia on cheap Tuesday.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Un-Boxing Day

So, did you get anything exciting on Boxing Day? I didn't. I wouldn't necessarily mind seeing how much a pair of nice noise-cancelling headphones would cost but I don't really need them, so I'll stay home today. Looking at the deals, there's nothing that we need and unless I was in the market for a new TV, which I'm not right now, there isn't anything that tempting.

Ode To Minions



This song needs to be sung a lot over this vacation. The kids and I are slaughtering far too many goombas and koopa troopas...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I think Kara is finally asleep, which means that Santa can finally stop circling around the house and make his deliveries. I hope everyone has a great Christmas! We'll be spending Christmas with the Grace/Jameson and then having the Wager Christmas on Sunday when my brother makes it down to my parents' place.

Hopefully we'll get a chance to play some Pictionary Man with the folks tomorrow and finally take a break from the usual Skip-bo/Phase 10 fests that tend to erupt.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Far Too Cold, Far Too Early

Hey, it's the Olympic torch! Grab it!



Yoink! Take that, eternal flame of peace and hope!



We were up and out of the house shortly after 7am today to see the Olympic torch as it went through Acton. We had a pretty good spot near the end of the run through town but it was sooooo cold!



At least Garrett and Kara had fun and will probably be in a few of the local papers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

He's Like An Onion

Garrett has been obsessed with layering on his clothes of late. I think he wore 3 t-shirts and a sweat-shirt to school this morning.

If I'm not mistaken, he's trying to become this guy.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Gingerbread Wishes and Gummie Bear Dreams

Since the kids were (relatively) well behaved today, we spent a chunk of the afternoon building a gingerbread house. Kara didn't really want much to do with the actual construction/decoration phase of the house building... she just wanted a bowl full of candy toppings. Garrett really got into it... Maybe a bit too much...



Here's the house.

Sunday Best?

Before:



After:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Winter In Canada



It's December 1st. Let it snow!

Oh, and happy 60th birthday, Dad!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Never Too Old For Santa!

We were at Yorkdale Mall tonight to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday and while we were waiting for our reservation to come up at Casey's, we decided to put the kids in line for Santa.

Garrett & Mason were spooling each other up the whole time we were at the mall and waiting in line for Santa didn't help matters. They actually had Santa's "elves" come over and tell them to stop being so disruptive because they were going to end up destroying one of the decorations if they didn't stop.

Then something truly odd happened.

An older woman outside of the cordoned-off line started yelling, "Sam! You're too old! You're too old to see Santa. Come back!"

We didn't pay much attention but she kept saying this over and over. Then we looked back and saw the line starting to part. A HUGE guy was basically pushing his way through the line of parents and kids while lugging this oversized piece of luggage behind him. He kept saying, "No! I'm going to see Santa! I'm going to see Santa!"

I moved the kids out of his path so they wouldn't get squished (seriously, this guy was BIG) and couldn't help but shake my head and smile as the lady continued to try to get his attention and stop his trip to Santa's lap.

The family in front of me let him past (like they were going to stop him) but the dad started to grumble. I just shot him a look and shook my head and watched to see what would happen when the guy got to Santa. I have to say that I was impressed by how well Santa and his 'elves' handled the situation. Santa said a few things to the dude, shook his hand and gave him a candy cane and sent him on his way with a wink and a nod and never broke character.

Crisis averted. That said, the lady (who might have been his mother or a support staff) should have probably tried to do something a little more effective than stand outside the rope and shout at the guy. While he wasn't doing anything that bad (at least from where I was standing) he was a HUGE guy and all it would have taken was one overly offended parent to pop his top and things could have gotten ugly.

Ah well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why We Play

This is an interesting article about why people play certain types of games.

It turns out there are two different ways people respond to challenges. Some people see them as opportunities to perform - to demonstrate their talent or intellect. Others see them as opportunities to master - to improve their skill or knowledge.

Say you take a person with a performance orientation ("Paul") and a person with a mastery orientation ("Matt"). Give them each an easy puzzle, and they will both do well. Paul will complete it quickly and smile proudly at how well he performed. Matt will complete it quickly and be satisfied that he has mastered the skill involved.

Now give them each a difficult puzzle. Paul will jump in gamely, but it will soon become clear he cannot overcome it as impressively as he did the last one. The opportunity to show off has disappeared, and Paul will lose interest and give up. Matt, on the other hand, when stymied, will push harder. His early failure means there's still something to be learned here, and he will persevere until he does so and solves the puzzle.


I'm definately squarely in the mastery challenge camp, though I do like to dabble with the performance oriented stuff every so often.

Where's Daniel When You Need Him?

We've been working through the book of Daniel at church over the past few weeks and I had a dream the other night that I'd like him to interpret.

We were in the maternity ward at the hospital and Julie just finished giving birth to twins. Only they were part Roadrunner (from the cartoon). I mean, they looked like human babies but they had blue feathers on them and for whatever reason, I KNEW they were part Roadrunner. I don't think they said, "Beep beep" or anything, but dads can tell these kind of things.




What on earth does that dream mean? I think it means that I'm working too much and not getting enough sleep. Or that Julie is having an affair with a cartoon character.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bad Idea?

They might ban cell phones when driving, but they can't ban this... can they?

Check out the customer review images :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanks For The Heads-Up



That's what we got from our sitter in Georgetown tonight. As of today, she can't look after our kids anymore. Sigh.

Thankfully we have a sitter who looks after Garrett on school days and she's been angling to look after Kara for some time now, so it was mainly just a matter of time before we switched. It seems that the other kids who were being looked after by our Georgetown sitter aren't being looked after by her any more and with only Garret & Kara as sources of income, well, it's not what one would call a steady income.

Oh well. As Julie said, this basically forced the decision for us. Garrett wasn't enjoying going to her house anymore as he was the only kid his age there and was bored stiff. And this means we don't have to drive 20 minutes out of the way to pick up the kids anymore. Woo!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

Here are a few of the pictures I promised from the past few weeks. Enjoy!



Garrett is Dash Incredible and Kara is Agent D, the secret agent dolphin.



Boogity Boogity BOO!



She's up to mischief. I know she is...



We got Kara to sleep in her big girl bed last Saturday and she's been crib-free ever since. Woo!


This Pisseth Me Off

I don't know what else to say. And people say I waste my time and energy blathering on about videogames...

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's The Army Life For Me


Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks

Had to share that. I actually HAVEN'T picked Modern Warfare 2 up and will probably just rent the PS3 version and play the single-player mode. I have no urge to play the Multiplayer component...

Auntie Faith To The Rescue!

I just wanted to say

Sparklee.com - http://www.sparklee.com

to Faith for coming to my rescue today. I was informed late last night that my presence was more or less expected at a meeting this morning and that if I didn't make it, well, let's just say it was better that I attended :)

Faith came through and was able to keep the kids from destroying her house for a couple of hours this morning. You rock!

Very Tech Supportive!

Sorry for the lack of updates this week. I've been absolutely swamped at work and when I've had some free time, I've been glued to my new computer. It's sooooo nice :)

I was able to fix the issues with my audio jacks. All it took was uninstalling the Realtek audio drivers and reinstalling everything and lo and behold, I have audio jacks that don't kill the computer when I plug things into them!

Huzzah!

Now that I know I'll be able to use my computer without dragging it back to the store, I'll start pulling pictures off the camera and sharing them with the world.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's Mostly The Fireballs

Well, isn't THIS a timely comic from our good friends over at Nedroid.com.

Busy Night

Last night was a bit of a whirlwind. Garrett went over to his friend Tommy's house for his very first sleepover and seems to have survived it intact. We took the opportunity to have Kara sleep in her big girl bed (aka the toddler bed) and that went more or less splendidly. I'm not saying she stayed in bed the whole night or anything, but we're one step closer to getting her out of the crib.

I was able to finish off Brutal Legend on the Xbox 360 last night. I loved the worldcraft and storytelling that went into the game and it has made me at least appreciate what good heavy metal music sounds like (to the point that I can't get Dragonforce's Through The Fire And The Flames out of my head) but it really could have done without the real-time-strategyesque stage battle missions, though I'm not sure how they could have pulled those battles off otherwise. Good game that was definately worth the $10 I spent to rent it but I might have been miffed if I dropped $70 on it.

And I got my new computer last night too. It's still in the box and awaiting a thorough decontamination of the PC enclosure under the desk (and a bit of wire detangling) but I plan to spend at least the morning or early afternoon working on getting it set up so I can spend this evening in its thrall. They had the unit in the store open yesterday and it was a thing of beauty to look at its innards.

Castoreum. YUM!

Good Saturday Morning to ye! I figured today would be a great time to share this list of ingredients that may or may not be in your favourite food. I'm definately keeping an eye out for castoreum from now on... it's beaver anal gland.

I'm perfectly fine with the bug parts in my candy, but not beaver butts. And who knew that sand was a main ingredient of Wendy's chili... well, you do now!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

T-t-t-trick Or T-t-t-treat

Last night was probably the coldest Hallowe'en we've had since the kids started trick-or-treating. Garrett and Kara did the parking lot in front of our house before Garrett wussed out and went home to hand out candy with Julie for most of the rest of the evening. He seemed to be much more excited to be the guy checking out costumes and doling out candy than actually receiving any.

Kara, on the other hand, was a real trooper and the cutest little dolphin around. We did all of the houses in the townhouse complex and a few across the road before her resolve faltered. By that point, she had two full bags of candy to Garrett's 8 pieces of candy, so I dragged him back out into the blustery night air in order to avoid a catastrophe later on when they started comparing hauls.

There was a guy dressed as a Thriller-era Michael Jackson at one house and Kara was petrified of him. I think that was the only part of the evening that scared her. Everyone loved her dolphin costume and she was quite the polite little lady with all of her "Tick or teats" and "Tank yoooou"s. Garrett, on the other hand, didn't wear the mask I picked up for him downtown, which really churned my butter. But he had a good time and ate lots of candy so that's all that really matters.

I'll post some pictures tonight when I get home. We're still suffering from a distinct lack of desktop computer at the moment and that's hampered some of my usual image dumps. But fear not, for spooky pictures shall abound this evening!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crappy Computer!

Well, I was going to upload some more pictures and show off Garrett's trip to the Museum last week and the costumes from last weekend, but just before I got Garrett out the door for school this morning, my desktop PC decided to go spazzy and stop working.

I'm not sure exactly what is going on with it, but it's pulling the ol' "There's No Keyboard Attached" trick that it did a few months ago, which is incredibly infuriating when you have no less than 2 USB keyboards hooked up to it at a time and it acknowledges neither of them.

I'm going to have to snag one of the surplus PS/2 port keyboards from work again and see if it can rectify the situation and get me back into Windows, which seemed to fix things last time it went screwy. If not, well, I'll just grab the drive and start hitting the stores and see if I can find myself a nice new rig. I was hoping to wait until the spring before I upgraded but at least Windows 7 is out now. Stupid computers.

And I was already a bit grumpy BEFORE this happened. Grrr.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sick Of My Vacation

As usual, I finally get to take vacation and I've been 'blessed' with the honour of being the last person on my house to come down with this stupid flu/cold thingy that is going around. It wasn't the 'DEATH COLD' or anything, but I've been pretty sapped of energy since late Friday/early Saturday and putting my shed together yesterday (with a lot of help from Codeboy) drained me.

That said, I was able to lounge around in bed over the past few evenings and watched Wolverine: Origins (which wasn't as bad as I imagined but that's not saying much) and finished both Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and Uncharted 2. Now I can start playing some Demon's Souls or Borderlands or GTA: Chinatown Wars... if I can stay awake after Garrett goes to bed.

Of course, I know I'll be feeling just peachy by the time I go back to work on Wednesday. Sigh.

It's Not Rocket Science

But it is brain surgery. My dad had some work done on his noggin last Friday and should be home from the hospital as I type this. He was undergoing a procedure to reduce and/or eliminate the seizures he has been experiencing for upwards of 15 years (and which were getting progressively worse).

According to my mom, there haven't been any seizures since the procedure, which is awesome news. As long as he doesn't do anything silly over the next few weeks and just relaxes for a bit, he'll hopefully be right as rain.

Thanks for all of the prayers and well wishes from everyone who saw my tweets last week. They were much appreciated.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Return To The Old Stomping Grounds

I took Garrett downtown today to visit the ROM and had a grand old time. I'll post a bunch of the pictures shortly, but that's beside the point.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YONGE AND BLOOR?!?!

We wandered over to my old place of business (ie. the place that cost me my education) to see if GEM was still around and lo and behold, there was naught but a giant crater where that whole block of businesses was. Yeesh.

And when did Yonge Street (at least between Bloor and Wellesley) become Little Japan/Korea? Every 2 feet was yet another sushi bar, korean grill or combination thereof. Not that I'm complaining. I was just wishing that I'd had this kind of selection 10 years ago and that I could have convinced my 5 year old son that sashimi is a good thing. Alas, he didn't want to go for it, though he did try some bubble tea.

Speaking of bubble tea, we went to one called 'Real Fruit' bubble tea where Garrett asked for a chocolate tea and got a pink, strawberry tea. He liked the tapioca bubbles and now I owe him a proper, non-pink, chocolate bubble tea!

We also found a mask for his Incredibles costume at a theatrical store, so it wasn't a wasted trip down the ol' street. But boy, did I ever start to feel old.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Don't Call Me!

I'm on vacation for a week and a half. A glorious week and a half where I don't have to think about work. I hope. Now to see if the house can manage without my wisdom and guidance until the 28th...

I'm taking Garrett to the ROM on Wednesday and we're going to have a whole day in downtown TO to soak in the ambiance. He's excited to go on his first subway ride and to see the mummies and dinosaurs at the museum.

Other than the trip to Toronto and a condo board meeting tomorrow, I'm essentially committment free. I plan to beat Uncharted 2 and sink some time into a few other games and read a bunch of comics and novels and maybe, just maybe, catch up on my Maclean's backissues. I'm still reading issues from June!

The only thing I'm NOT looking forward to is putting up the shed, but it has to get done or else I'll be building it in the snow!

I just have to hope that the aches and snurfles I've had off and on today aren't an indication that I'm coming down with the flu that Garrett, Kara and Julie have had over the last week or so. I did manage to dodge Kara's puke at the park yesterday when she threw up while I was under the playground (that was fun), so maybe I'll get lucky and not manifest THE SICKNESS...

N.I.T.

Today marks the day Garrett finally became a N.I.T. aka Nerd In Training. He's done well over the past week despite fighting a cold and I gave him the choice of Monsters or Space for his reward for getting enough tokens on his responsibility chart.

He chose Monsters (duh) and so he got this book:



It's essentially a Monster Manual for kids and it's actually quite well made. We went through it tonight at bedtime and he was able to figure out which monsters eat people and which are harmless. This is the kind of info that will serve him well later in life, when the Purple Worms attack!

Friday, October 16, 2009

That's One Incredible Costume!

We went out to get things for Halloe'en costumes today and found a great one for a pittance. I was going to make some kind of costume for Garrett and Kara (I was thinking of dressing one as a zombie and one as a flower and going for a Plants Vs. Zombies theme) but I stumbled across this find at the Value Village in Guelph.



Total cost: $7. The costume was tucked into a bookshelf but fit Garrett perfectly. The gloves were only a couple dollars too and now I'm just going to make him a little eye mask and we'll have our own little Mr. Incredible :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dear Sony...

It's Uncharted 2 day today! Woo!

Gotta love this commercial. Where was the 'Sony rep' guy back when the PS3 launched? He's awesome.



Time to go explore the Himalayas before work.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Energizer Kara

Kara has been up to her old tricks this weekend. She won't go to sleep down here at the Grace's and takes forever to go to bed. Last night she woke up around 11:30pm and threw up, then refused to go to bed until sometime past 2am.

One upside is that she has basically lost her voice, which means she's not able to wake other people up when she gets cranky and yells. At least Garrett seems to have gotten over his 24-hour flu or whatever was bugging him.

What a great Thanksgiving this has been :P

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Thinker

The following is essentially a word-for-word transcript of my conversation with Garrett on the way home from the hardware store this evening.

G:"What do cobras eat?"

B:"All sorts of stuff."

G:"Do they eat bananas?"

B:"No, I think they only eat animals."

G:"Would they eat a fish?"

B:"They might, but I doubt they'd find many fish in the desert."

G:"I'm going to take a dead fish out into the middle of the desert and throw it at the cobra to see if it will eat it."

B:"I think they like their animals alive when they eat them."

G:"Hmm."

Got Some Pretty Big Stones

Well, this day off isn't going as swimmingly as I hoped.

I took today off because, well, I seem to have worked almost every hour humanly possible in September. I managed to clock up 10 hours of overtime last week alone. So I took today off in the hopes of getting the kids off to school and the sitter, curling up on the couch and playing a bunch of Demon's Souls or Muramasa until dinner time.

But in order to feel somewhat productive, I swung by the Home Hardware in Georgetown to pick up some paving stones to put as the base for our new shed (which will be constructed as soon as it stops raining for longer than a day).

Julie had instructed me to pick up 6 2'x2' paving stones to accommodate the larger shed we're going to build back there. No problem. I get to the store, find a helpful guy who gives me an order for the stones in the lumber yard. I pay for them, go out back and take a look at the gigantic paving stones that will never fit in my car, no way, no how. I saw the 18"x18" stones next to the 2'x2' stones and thought that they looked much more like the stones we have in our backyard.

So back into the store I go. I wait in line for a bit, ask for a change in the stones and get a bit of money back. Everything is hunky dory. I load up the car, drive the 20 minutes or so back to my house, unload the stones into the backyard... and realize that they are too small.

It turns out that Julie wasn't on crack and that I did indeed need 2'x2' paving stones after all. Sigh. I am most likely going to take them back this evening when the big car gets home, but I'm feeling a little too sheepish to drive back and return these stones at the moment after going through all of that rigamarole. That, and my precious day off is dwindling to almost nothing!

I could probably jury-rig some kind of spacing with the stones we have and the 18" ones, but I'm sure that no matter what I do it'll end up in tears if I try to cut corners. Oh well.

Monday, October 05, 2009

OH COME ON!

So I finally took some initiative today and decided that rather than thinking about maybe, sometime, you know, hopefully kinda getting around to cleaning the toxic waste dump that is the fish tank, I'd actually do the deed and get that mess cleaned up.

I just spent an hour or so up to my elbows in year old fish poop and god knows what else only to discover that sometime during the cleaning process I'd managed to crack the tank. Grr!

We're only talking about a 5 gallon tank and I think I might have found it at the curb a few years ago, but I was still hoping to get the tank set up and running in the basement where this time, I mean it, I was going to take care of it and maintain it like it needed to be maintained instead of letting it turn into algae central.

Now to decide what to do next. I'm going to get a proper filter, heater and light system for the next tank I get but I'm not sure whether to stay small or go to a 10 gallon. Of course, Garrett wants me to put an Angler Fish in whatever tank I end up getting, so we'll see. I could go salt water, though those are pretty expensive...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Start The Show!

I arrived back at my humble abode from a day at work to find my living room completely rearranged and both of my kids in uncharacteristically boisterous moods. Garrett spent the next hour putting on his 'show'... I'm still not 100% sure what the show was, but he was pretty enthusiastic about it. He even had seating for his three audience members and a curtain made from a blanket.

It was quite heart-warming to see Kara acting like the usher for the theatre and cheer on her brother's efforts.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Awesome

Go see Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs as soon as you can. We took the kids there yesterday and we all had a great time at the movie. Unlike, say, Monsters Vs. Aliens, CWACOM does an almost Pixar-like balance of humour for adults and kids. It's especially funny if you're at all geeky.

And Mr. T is awesome.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Isn't THIS A Shocker...

Remember all of my gripes, complaints and folderol about my dealings with Getgames.ca from a few months ago?

Well, look at what I just found in my inbox.

"Greetings Gamers,

We have had a great run here at GetGames.ca, providing you with the latest and greatest games. Unfortunately, we don't have the manpower or capacity to keep the doors open anymore. As of October 1, 2009, we are starting the slow process of closing our doors.

...

We hope you've enjoyed our service as much as we enjoyed helping get gaming to Canadians."

Surprise, surprise. I wonder if they finally realized that they lost their last customer (me) and couldn't run things any longer.

At least this makes my possible options for game rentals a lot simpler. Zip.ca, hurry up and rent games!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Going In The Banned Song List

So due to some SNAFU regarding packaging laws and such, I ended up with a goodly amount of store credit at EB after having canceled my Persona PSP preorder (I picked up the US version instead rather than wait an extra who-knows-how-long).

What did I do with this credit? I put it towards Beatles: Rock Band. The kids have been loving it, though I'm really, REEEEEEAALLLY getting tired of Yellow Submarine. I should never have shown it to them because all they want to do is sing it over and over and over and over... you get the picture. It's a shame, because it has some of the cooler background animations going on during the song.

No Rest For The Wicked

How did I somehow manage to put in an overnight shift and 4+ hours yesterday afternoon when this is supposed to be my weekend off? I'd take a day off this week to make up for it except that there just isn't any day this week where I can do that!

Sigh.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Great Decastination!

Today was the day! Kara was a trooper and sat through the buzzing of the Stryker saw with nary a flinch. She's having some issues standing on her leg and it's a little tender, but she'll probably be on her feet and running around in a day or two. Amazingly, she didn't have anything nasty jammed down the cast but boy, was it ever hairy.

Now to give her a bath. I bet the water will turn black when she sits in it!

BEFORE



AFTER


TIGER ROAR!

Don't ask...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beware The Barktopus

Garrett is now convinced that there are Barktopuses (Barktopi?) roving the shorelines of Manitoulin Island. I'm evil...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kind Of Off This Week

Hey, what's this? After a solid month or more of being run off my feet, coming home at least a half hour or more late and generally adding liberally to my collection of gray hairs, I'm getting something slightly resembling a break from work this week. I'm off today and tomorrow anyway and Wednesday is Decastination Day (we hope). Then I'm heading off to the balmy climes of... Guelph... for a two-day conference.

That means I'm not going to have to be at work until, well, Saturday, but that's just for a couple hours and can almost be concidered fun. Yay!

Now, what should I read to relax?

Choice #1: Arkham Asylum: A Serious Place On A Serious Earth by the great Grant Morrison and Dave McKean

OR

Choice #2: The Operation Of Small Drinking-Water Systems correspondence course guidebook by the always entertaining Ministry Of The Environment? Decisions, decisions.

Dr. Horrible Kills TV!



I didn't watch the Emmys, but knowing that Dr. Horrible was going to be on them made it mighty tempting. Stupid TV. Die already!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Manitoulin Madness!



I told you I'd get you pictures from Manitoulin. The falls were the Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong, the overlook pictures are from 10-Mile Point on Highway 6 and also from the Gore Bay overlook. We went riding at Kicking Mule Ranch and saw the Mississagi Lighthouse out near Meldrum Bay.

I think that's about it. The tepee is also near the 10-Mile Lookout and I took the night shot the final evening we were there. Good times, good times...

All Hail The Rooster Hat!

Remember that Scribblenauts game I was talking about the other day? Well, I got the promo item the other day that came with the game and have had quite a difficult time getting Garrett to stop wearing it. He wore it all day today while we were out running errands. I'm trying to convince him that it's a thinking cap that he needs to wear when we play the game before bed :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Signs Signs Signs!

I was perusing the latest Dark Roasted Blend photo gallery today and came across this sign. I had to do a double-take because I used to attend St. Giles Presbyterian church, but in Sarnia, not Ottawa.

Clever sign though :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scribblenauts aka Spelling Is Fun!

I managed to get my hands on a copy of Scribblenauts today (a day early) and Garrett and I sat down before I went out to donate blood to try it out.

If nothing else gets Garrett learning to spell, THIS game will. In a nutshell, it's a puzzle game on the DS that has you trying to solve little problems and puzzles using objects that you conjure out of thin air by spelling them out. There are something like 22000 different words in the game, so if you can think of something, there's a better than average chance that it's in the game.

For example, in the first puzzle, you have a policeman, fireman, chef and doctor. The puzzle wants you to put two objects that they might use into their hands. So the cop got a gun and the chef got a pot. Solved!

Well, you can go back and try to solve it 3 more times to truly master it. This is where it gets fun. We tried all sorts of different objects and things were going well until Garrett asked me to give the doctor a zombie.

The zombie went nuts and turned everyone else into a zombie. From this point on, Garrett's go-to solution for every puzzle was to drop a zombie in. Or a shark. Or a zombie shark (which, sadly, is NOT in the game). According to Julie, while I was off donating blood, Garrett was grilling her on the how-to methods of turning people into zombies.

That translates into another nomination for me for Father Of The Year, I suspect.

I've been having a lot of fun with the game so far and the fact that you can mess around with it and just drop all sorts of different things into the screen to see what they'll do is a hoot. I had God fight Cthulhu and God won. Then I had a polar bear fight the Egyptian sun god Ra and amazingly, the polar bear won. I'm planning on having a battle royale and pitting that polar bear against every deity I can think of until one of them takes him down.

Then the game will REALLY get interesting :)

Misplaced Priorities

I came across this tidbit of information via one of my friends' twitter posts and it made me livid. If I read it correctly, all of the libraries (or at least, the free libraries, which I just figured was a redundant term when talking about public book repositories) in Philidelphia are going to be closing as of October 1 of this year. That's not only insane, it's downright criminal.

I can put up with a lot of atrocities and heartache in the world and won't bat an eye if many businesses and industries go belly up but so help the poor bugger who tries to shut down MY local library. If that nonsense migrates up here, I'll... I'll have to start buying more books again!

Back To Civilization!

I'm back from my Manitoulin trip! Yay! I actually arrived last night, but between the 75 or so Gmail messages, updates on the boards, another 70+ or so 'real' e-mails, saying hi to the family and dishing out souvenirs, I haven't really had much time to have 'fun' on the computer yet.

By the way, Garrett needs to learn what a souvenir is. I made the mistake of bringing him home a Star Wars Happy Meal toy last year so once I'd finished giving him the plush snow owl and the Manitoulin hoodie I picked up this time around, he started looking around and asking where the souvenirs were. Sigh.

It's always scary to come home to the kids after a week away. Garrett seems about a foot taller each time and Kara... Kara's turned into a Stalin-esque dictator of the living room with a vocabulary that is at least 3 times larger than it was when I left. I just need to give her a riding crop and a giant mustache and she'll be marshaling the troops before we know it.

Well, I'll put my pics from the trip up tomorrow. I just gave blood tonight and am a little oogy still and don't want to break the internet with my photos.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Manitoulin HO!

Well, my ride to work should be here momentarily, so if you don't hear from me for the next week, that's probably a good thing as the place we're going has no net access, aside from the fishing kind!

Have a great week, everyone! I'll try not to have too much fun on the way too and from the island. I'm just happy that the lighthouse at Meldrum Bay is open this year.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Earning Their Keep

I put the kids to work making supper this morning. Garrett is becoming a dab hand with a blade and Kara is in training for middle management as we speak.

Kara: The Leggening

We've got more pictures of Kara's leg after she stood still too long in a bad neighbourhood and let the gangs tag her cast. She's also got a blindingly bright new pink shell on her leg and received a Kara Package (thanks mom!) from her Grandma Wager yesterday. Woo!

Check out the slideshow!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

On The Subject Of Broken Bones

At least this didn't happen to Kara!

Happy Birthday Dave!

My widdle bwutha is 31 today! Go get your birthday kicks in now before it's too late!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kara Fall Down, Go Boom!

So Kara fell down some steps at the park in Georgetown while at the babysitter's yesterday. Her leg was bruised up and she was favouring it somewhat last night from all accounts, but she was otherwise her usual crazy self. This morning, she was in tears if she put the slightest bit of weight on it and wouldn't even take a few steps across the room. Suffice it to say, it's a good thing we hauled her down to the hospital.



Spot the fracture!



She's fine now and aside from a few attempts to pull the cast off, she's in good spirits. She didn't really like it when we took the X-rays but she's a trooper. It's going to be tough keeping her off her foot though. She keeps trying to walk around despite the pain.

Anyway, we're loading up on a bunch of Disney cartoons for her to watch and hopefully that will distract her for a while.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hey! Look Over There!

It has been an interesting time here in Acton with regards to strange sightings. I was pulling into my parking lot today and lo and behold, what's behind me but a horse. A big horse. All brown and horsey-like. Thankfully there was a person on top of the horse to direct it away from my car and back to the track next to us, but still. Not every day you have a horse in your parking lot.

And speaking of things not seen every day, I was driving through Acton yesterday and I spotted a strange car coming around the bend by Shoppers. I had to do a double-take, but yes, Virginia, that WAS the Google Earth Street View Camera Car!

I thought there had been some controversy about privacy or some such nonsense. Now I might find myself on Google Earth in the near future!



This isn't the car that I saw yesterday, but it looked exactly like it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Awkward Question Time!

I tell ya, Garrett has been on a roll lately with his questions. He's also obsessed with learning about the human body which leads to some questions that are either profound or... delicate...

For instance, the theme of many of today's question were along the lines of this gem:

"Daddy, how do people make people?"

"Um... it's a long and involved process. I'll explain more when you're older."

He was kind of sad that he couldn't "see how the blood gets put onto the bones when you're being made". I explained that you couldn't see that part of the construction process because the babies are in their mommy's tummy. Then he wanted to know how babies get out of tummies. I think he's convinced that you're either pooped out or somehow pop out of your mother's belly button. You have to push hard because "babies have lots of bones inside them." Anything that lies under your skin is what is piquing that kid's curiosity of late.

Of course, he also has to try to deconstruct something as simple as Super Mario Bros. He really, REALLY wanted a straight answer about what was in the holes that Mario falls into. He wouldn't accept that you just die when you fall in the hole. SOMETHING is down there killing Mario and Luigi when they fall down. Now I want to know too!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beartato!

If you're not following Nedroid comics, you need to. Why?

New Harrison story arc!

Poor guy. At least it's not as creepy as Beartato's journey into space... yet!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Libation Theology 101

I swear, today was a day when I needed to hit the LCBO something fierce. I spent more of my day dealing with stuff that was work related than I did during the 12+ hours I spent there yesterday... and it was my day off today. At least, it stressed me out for a lot longer than anything yesterday did :)

Thankfully it seems to all be resolved, but between minimal sleep this past week, an abundance of overly energetic kids and various things both work and condo board related coming crashing down around me, I'm frazzled tonight.

At least the kids were very well behaved today, unlike Wednesday's shenanigans. Rambunctious, sure, but not the demon-spawn that they were the other day. That said, I'm not taking them to Angel's Diner in Georgetown for a while. It's not their fault, it's just too pricey for the amount and quality of food, esp. compared to the very affordable and kid-centric meal we had at Smitty's a few weeks ago.

Anyway, the kids are in bed and I'm sitting down for once. Good thing I have some chilled coolers in the freezer, waiting for me to partake in them tonight!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Junior Scientist Garrett!

Garrett went down to the lab at Erindale today to participate in a study re: children and singing. He seemed to enjoy it and he even received a cool little certificate that proclaims to the world that he is a JUNIOR SCIENTIST!

And then the day got progressively worse from then on.

We swung by the mall to pick up the candy treats he had earned over the past couple of weeks for his responsibility chart (which is working, though it's no magic bullet). While we were there, we popped into the EB and I found a copy of Nintendogs for $15, which is about half the price of every other copy of the game I've ever seen. I had been looking for the game for Garrett to give him something that wasn't Mario or a variation thereof... and that wouldn't require a LOT of reading. So there I was, being the nice daddy and purchasing the game when I turn around at the sound of a loud THUMP.

Garrett had picked up Kara, spun her around and dropped her on her head. Sadly, that was probably the best behaved he was for the rest of the day. The trip to Bulk Barn consisted of him grabbing any loose munchies left on the top of the bins, he managed to flip his sister a second time while at soccer tonight and it was only through sheer force of will on my part (and Julie giving ME a time out) that he doesn't have a room with nothing in it but a bed and a pillow.

It was just a long, long day... for all of us. We ended the day on a positive note, with a brief Nintendogs session to help pick a puppy and teach it to sit. That was also where I felt Garrett got a taste of what I'd been through all day.

"Daddy, my puppy doesn't listen to me at alllllllllll."

"NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE!"

Let's just hope that we all get a good night's sleep tonight and wake up happy and grinning like fools tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cineplex Air Conditioning!

There's nothing like a heat wave to give me the perfect excuse to go see a bunch of movies. In a weekend unprecedented since the arrival of the kids, I managed to see 3 movies since Friday night.

G.I. Joe was surprisingly good. I went in with very low expectations and it surpassed them all by a large margin. I also loved how they didn't resort to shakey-cam and quick cuts every 5 seconds during the big fights. It's one of the first action movies in years to let me actually see what is going on during a big fight scene. And the chase through Paris was awesome.

Ponyo was adorable and both of the kids loved it. Kara even sat through the whole thing with minimal squirming. The most astounding thing is that Julie came along and at least seemed to tolerate, if not enjoy the movie. I'll get her hooked on anime yet!

Last, but certainly not least, was District 9. I can't say much about it because it's better to be experienced than spoiled, but it more than lives up to the hype and was completely different from what I expected going in. And remember, smiles are less expensive than bullets, so don't shoot aliens.

Now to get ready to head back to work for my second overnight 12-hour in a row. It wouldn't be that bad except I have to go back to work tomorrow evening too... I hate it when I end up doing almost an entire week's worth of shifts in the first two days of the week... and have to keep going back for the rest of the week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spot The Spider

I love this slideshow feature on Picasa's web albums. I wish I'd known about it earlier.

Here is a slideshow of a bunch of pictures from our trip to Wings Of Paradise butterfly conservatory near Cambridge yesterday. The kids really enjoyed the day and Garrett's new pet tarantula goes with him everywhere. The only downside of the day? Finding out the hard way that Mongolian Grill in Cambridge is closed down :(

Monday, August 10, 2009

Contrarian.kara

So today was a delightful day with the kids. By which I mean, Kara basically refused to eat all day, did the exact opposite of almost everything I asked her to do and also destroyed another one of her books after a good week of abiding by the terms of her parole (from the library).

Garrett wasn't as bad, though he did end up falling off the top of the playset in the backyard and moaned and groaned until a fudgecicle cured him of his ills. At least he had a legitimate reason to be in a funk.

We also went to the fire hall for our yearly visit and I got to be Sparky The Fire Dog. Of course, I had to do this on the HOTTEST DAY OF THE SUMMER. Even with the A/C blasting in the hall, I was dripping with sweat by the time I took the suit off. The lenses of the mask were fogged up by the time I got to the front of the room and I couldn't see a thing the entire time. Woo.

I'd blame Kara's mood on her traumatic experience with Sparky (she was supposedly shaking with fright the entire time... though a giant dog coupled with the fact that her dad was nowhere to be seen could explain a lot) except she'd already been deep into negative territory on the attitude bar graph before we even made it to the fire hall.

At least I get to go to work tomorrow! It's so hot here I've spent the evening hunkered down in the basement playing the PS2!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Talkin' To The Prez

For those who care, I ended up digging through my old e-mails and found the contact info for the old president of Getgames.ca. I fired off an e-mail on Wednesday or so and figured I'd never hear anything... so imagine my surprise when I actually got a response from the guy!

I'm going to see if he can make some real assurances that I won't be charged for these missing games AND that I won't have to go through the kind of 'Dog The Bounty Hunter' shenanigans to track these people down again if I have a simple question. If he can sufficiently mollify me, I might resubscribe again... I'll keep you posted... all 2 of you who care :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sayonara, Getgames.ca!

I cancelled my subscription to my online game rental guys. I checked to see what else they sent me since I hadn't recieved anything from them besides Black a few weeks ago. They hadn't sent me anything else. I'm paying for 2 games at a time and it has been at least 2 weeks that I've only had one.

This was the final straw with these clowns. I have been with them for about 4-5 years since they first started the service and the service has gone from incredibly prompt to completely absent over the past year or so. I used to get e-mails back within minutes from the president himself. Now I get nothing at all except a monthly charge on my credit card.

Well, enough's enough. I canceled my subscription this morning. They claim I have 4-5 games out, despite the fact that I'd already dealt with them about the games that went missing on the way back to them, either through Canada Post's errors or their own. I'm not paying for them, that's for sure, and so help me if they attempt to charge my credit card for the missing games.

I'll be keeping an eye on this and if there are any further charges from them, I'm dropping the Better Business Bureau on them. I wonder if I can call Visa and get them to make sure that no further charges go out to these guys.

The sad thing is that I would have been happy to stick with the service if they had just replied to even one of the many e-mails I've sent them over the past year or so since the management changed. The utter lack of communication is what sealed the deal.

I'm interested in trying out Gameaccess.ca at some point in the future. I've heard decent things about them and they have a system where you can buy the games you rent for a much reduced price, which is something I've wished that Getgames would have implemented. Sigh.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Best Rick-Roll Ever

I will confess that I liked "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley back in the day and so I am probably on of 5 people who don't mind getting rick-rolled. That said, this mash-up between Rick Astley and Nirvana is really, really good. I don't tend to like many mash-ups because they just don't work, but this one does.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cottage Pictures!

Here's a slideshow of the greatest hits of our trip up to the cottage. Hopefully it works!



And here's a little video of Dave catching the monster fish o' Shadow Lake.

We're Back!

We got back from the cottage last night. Good times were had by all, except Kara, who actually did have a good time except for the hours between 7-10pm, when she basically had to be wrestled into submission each night.

The weather wasn't awesome but we were able to spend a lot of time outside and got lots of fishing, swimming and exploring in between the rainstorms.

I've got lots of pictures and I'll probably upload them later tonight. I'm just miffed that Dave ended up catching the giant 5-6 pound large-mouth bass that should have been MINE. At least it had the sense to flop back into the lake when Dave tried to give it a kiss...

Now I have to get back to work on cleaning out the corridor between the main hallway and the laundry room. I dropped a hard drive on my foot but I shall persevere!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm ONNNNN VACATION!

As of about 45 minutes ago, I am officially on vacation. We're heading off to the cottage later in the week and probably to Sarnia next week. Woo!

I'm going to enjoy not thinking about work for almost 2 weeks. I'll probably miss it by then.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Taking Responsibility

A month or two before Garrett's 5th birthday, I started to think about what we could do to help him realize that there is more to life than just playing with toys. Namely, we wanted him to start taking some more responsibility for his actions and for doing his share around here.

We've been slow in implementing anything concrete, though we've had a pretty successful week in policing his DS usage. So it was quite serendipitous that we happened across an educational toy store on the way home from church and there it was.

The Responsibility Chart

Suffice it to say, Day One has been quite impressive. Garrett had his toys put away, his teeth brushed and his bed made in less time than it took for Kara to destroy 4 books... which isn't much time these days. We're coming up with a reward scheme for him and hope that this will help Garrett step up to the plate, responsibility-wise.

I'll let you know how things are going in a week when the novelty wears off.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Older Is Not Always Better

Do not eat old gum.

That is the moral of this story.

We went out to the Trunk Sale this morning and Garrett bought a couple of packs of Ghostbusters 2 trading cards that were still sealed with sticks of gum inside. I had a look at the date on the back saw that these cards (and the gum) were made in 1989.

Suffice it to say, I took the gum away from Garrett before he could scarf it down. Then I thought to myself, "As a connoisseur of old, stale candy, the opportunity to sample a 20 year old stick of gum comes but once!"

So I nibbled off a corner of one of the sticks and promptly spat it out. It tasted of pain and disease and sorrow. I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth for another 20 minutes or so and it took the combined efforts of a double-shot macciato and cinnamon bun from the local coffee shop to get rid of the foul, powder taste of death.

Don't eat 20 year old gum. I did this for you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This Is A Complete Work Of Fiction

Sorry for the delay in posts/updates lately. I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off... and then I went to work and things got busy!

Anyway, I saw this comic and couldn't help but laugh. This NEVER happens around our place.

Friday, July 10, 2009

White Rock & Roll

I wanted to post this before I pass out from sheer exhaustion brought on by the crappiest day ever.. literally... I mean, it just doesn't stop! Where does that much poo come from?!

Anyway, on a more positive note, I spent a lot of this afternoon driving the kids around because, well, they were asleep, and that is a blessed state for kids to be in on the tail end of an afternoon.

So I was driving around the highways and biways of Halton Hills and ended up at the White Rock Ostrich Farm over near Rockwood. I have always meant to go there with the kids and hey, it was open and I was there with kids, so in we went.

Once the kids got over the confusion of realizing that they weren't at the park, they trundled over to the hay wagon and off we went on our own little private tour of the farm. Both of the kids were fascinated by the birds and Kara was always waving bye-bye to them when drove out of sight.

The high point of the tour was feeding time with the 'teenagers', who were all about a year old. Garrett had a giant cup full of dried corn, which is supposed to be like candy for the birds. Now we were pulled up right alongside the fence and if nothing else, I learned that ostrich necks are LONG. Garrett had a hoot feeding them and Kara thought it was hilarious unless one of them got that gleam in its eye and started making a move near her, at which case she made sure I was between her and the incoming beak.

We even got to see some little ostrich chicks. According to the farmer, this summer hasn't been very good for breeding as the changes in temperature are throwing off the eggs. That said, I'm sure they're having lots of giant omelettes!

Both of the kids got a feather, though we had to confiscate Kara's because she keeps sticking it up her nose. The lady was even nice enough to let us go on the tour without paying up front, as they only took cash and I just had plastic. I zipped into town afterwards and got the money to pay her, so we're all squared away, but it's nice to know there are people who still trust other people around these parts.

So yeah. If you're looking for something to do and have a half hour or so to kill, take the kids down and feed the ostriches. It'll blow their minds.

Playing A Few Brown Notes

So today has been a pretty crappy day, literally, both for the parents and the kids around here.

I went upstairs pretty late last night, as I got too much sleep the night before and was wide awake at 1:30. I decided to poke my head in to see if Kara was ok, as I could smell something stinky when I came upstairs.

Let's just say this. Imagine Kara, all sweet and innocent, curled up on her side fast asleep. Now add to this serene setting a lack of pants or diaper and what was essentially a shotgun blast of poo extending from her butt, across the sheets and against the back wall of her room. Amazingly, there wasn't much on Kara proper, but it took a combined effort to sterilize the room and Julie & I were up waaaaay too late.

This morning Kara managed to go through about 4 diapers in less than 10 minutes due to her constant eruptions. Things seem to be settled now, but I'm exhausted and still getting over the tail end of this cold, which has migrated to my chest. I'm just waiting for her to conk out now. Oh please, let her conk out...

I will say that I had to fight the urge to take a picture of her last night to keep in my First Date Photo Album Of Shame. Or to put up at her wedding.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Look Around You!

I think I might have singlehandedly set Garrett's education back several years this afternoon.

We were doing a bit of reading together after he came home and he asked me why I wasn't feeling good. I told him that I got the germs from him and his sister last week. Of course, Garrett wants to see what a germ looks like, so I trundle him down to the computer and look around.

A quick search turned up what I thought was a reputable series of educational short films from the 1970s. They held up ok until the "Germs originated in Germany" line. Then they just got silly.

We ended up watching one about ghosts and one about water, which is probably my favourite so far. I think I'm going to spend the night in bed with the laptop, 'learning'.

But I pity Garrett if he tries to apply what he learned about ant igloos out in the real world.

Feel Sorry For Brock Day

Remember how the kids were feeling under the weather last week? Well, it looks like I picked up their lovely cold. I spent the day at work yesterday bumbling about like Mr. Bean and blowing my nose until we ran out of Kleenex. So I'm off today and as soon as the kids get off to VBS and the babysitter, I'm curling up on the couch and drinking lots of soup. As Julie said yesterday, she knows I'm really sick when I sound awful but still stumble into work regardless.

Maybe I'm a one-man pity parade, but my tale of woe sure made this guy depressed.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Serenity Now...

Hey! Everything is working! Nothing has broken, thrown-up or crank-called around me in at least an hour or two. Hooray! I got some food and drink in me, so it's all good. I even beat Plants Vs. Zombies. Yippee.

I'm frightened to turn on the 360 though. I'm sure it'll red-ring or something nasty will ooze out of it or SOMETHING!

Speaking of oozing, I found it mildly amusing that the narrator of the "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" shows that Julie was watching over the last day or two is a man. Of course, I now also have a long list of words I don't want to hear again, in whole or in part, for quite some time. I mean, really? Jon Stewart can't swear at 11pm but I have to hear about all the gooshy bits of a home delivery all day long? Sheesh.

Stupid Keyboard

Ok. I don't know what the heck is going on now. I am using the wireless keyboard to type this as my good ol' G15 doesn't seem to want to actually work when I plug it into any of the USB ports on my rig.

I have a sneaky suspicion that there's some kind of crimp in the cable. It was working just fine on the laptop but hmm...

Well how do you like that? I did get the G15 working just now, but I have NO idea what made it turn on.

Have I mentioned that I am really, REALLY starting to hate this PC?

WTF Man! I Mean, C'Mon!

Boy, can an evening ever go downhill fast around here.

I spent about 4 hours or so outside painting our fence. Not a bad use of a lovely summer day, if I do say so myself, plus I got a big part of my summer project out of the way.

So I come inside to find Garrett complaining about a headache and generally feeling sick, so there go our plans for the drive-in movie tonight. No biggie. We've had a busy day and the movie wasn't starting until quite late.

Now Kara is in a bit of a 'I don't like to wear clothes or diapers' kind of mood lately, so I had to clean up some pee on the basement floor when she decided to engage in her usual after dinner exhibition. This isn't the bad part. No, this is perfectly fine and relatively normal for us so I didn't pay it any mind.

So the kids have their baths and we come downstairs to fire up Ice Age on DVD for a consolation movie. Here's where the evening goes ker-plooie.

Firstly, Garrett pukes. All over the chair. Then he pukes again, only a little to the left (and perilously close to me). Then he pukes AGAIN on the way to the sink.

Good times.

So we get everything cleaned up and Garrett has stopped erupting and the movie is starting, so I settle down in my chair to toss a Tweet up or update the blog. That's when the phone rings.

I could hear some laughing in the background and figured it might be one of Garrett's friends calling, since it definately wasn't work. Nope. Instead I get some teenage-sounding girl on the phone.

Me: "Hello"
Her: "Hiiiiiii...."
Me: "Um, who is this?"
Her: "Don't you know who I am? It's your lover!"
Me: "Uh... No." (click)

Julie walks into the room right then and laughed when I told her about the call. Then the phone rings again.

Me: "Yes?"
Her: "Hey, it's me, your secret lover."
Me: "If you call me again, I'm calling the police." (click)

So that was wierd. I was tempted to *69 the call, but Julie said it costs $20 (or maybe 25 cents) so I figured I'd wait until my secret lover called back and THEN I'd drop the hammer... So far, no call backs.

Now all of this is happening in something like a 10 minute span, I'm hot, I'm tired, I'm hungry and all I can smell is bile and puke stink. Garrett's busy trying not to throw up and Kara has FINALLY gone to bed.

I decide to chronicle these odd happenings on ye olde blog and pull out the keyboard tray to start typing this very post up. That's when I notice that nothing is happening when I type. Nada, zero, zilch.

My keyboard is dead.

I mean, c'mon man. WTF!?!

I would be fine with any of these things happening on their own, but stacked up back-to-back like this and on an empty stomach? No way.

So I fight with the computer, plugging the keyboard into a bunch of different USB plugs to no avail. Thankfully I had the laptop and after some futzing about with this thing, I did get the keyboard working again. Now to try plugging it back into the desktop to see if it was just a matter of a crimped cord or something fundamentally wrong with the PC. I'm about ready to toss that hunk of junk into a lake as it is, so we'll see. At least I know that the keyboard still works...

Pardon the bitching and moaning. Like I was telling Julie, if this is the worst I have to deal with in a day, I'll thank my lucky stars and be happy I don't live in Darfur or the other side of Acton. It's just annoying!

Sunny Days...

For such a beautiful day, it's pretty chilly outside, esp. for the first week of July.

I LOVE IT! It's like a warm summer day in Thunder Bay!

We spent the morning hitting the farmer's market in Georgetown and doing a bit of shopping and library browsing and then came home for lunch. I think I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon cutting the grass and painting my back fence.

Unfortunately, it seems that Garrett might be coming down with whatever was bugging Kara earlier in the week. He was complaining that his stomach hurt and barely touched his lunch and now he's curled up on the couch. Of course, he keeps insisting we invite his friend over to play... And we had hoped to go to the drive-in tonight to watch Ice Age 3 and Night At The Museum 2. Oh well. We'll see how things progress.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

No Fireworks For Us

While we did have a pretty busy Canada Day, what with a parade, face painting, ice cream and general carousing, it looks as though we'll be missing fireworks for the first time in memory.

The weather has been miserable at best around these parts and Garrett's mood was matching the sky near 7pm. If the weather were decent, I'd let him sleep for a bit and then we'd all wake up and go to the park to see the display, but as it stands, he was grouchy and tired and we'd all be grouchy and tired come 10pm or so when the fireworks go off.

Oh well. I'll just squinch my eyes really tightly and see if I can see some fireworks the old fashioned way!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LG Stands For Lookin' Good

Well, my car's "Service Engine Soon" light turned off after I tightened the gas cap, so that was my sign from above that it was ok to finally replace the hunk of junk monitor that was gradually blinding me.

We checked around at the local shop but their prices were far too high. So it was off to Futureshop we go! I ended up with this beauty, an LG 22" Widescreen LCD.



It fits perfectly in the cubby on the computer desk. It wasn't too rough on the wallet either. I got an open-box model for $50 less than the normal price and aside from a fingerprint on the frame of the monitor, it is in pristine condition. My eyes haven't quite adjusted to the fact that the screen is so big and doesn't look like it's smeared in vaseline. If only I could actually run games on my computer and take advantage of the real estate!

Of course, while I was busy setting up the new monitor and cleaning out the 6 inches of dust that had accumulated behind it, Garrett and Kara amused themselves with a selection of our finest markers. Sigh.

From June 2009

No Sleep? NO PROBLEM!

You'd think I'd handle a night of no sleep rather well, given all of the overnight shifts I've pulled lately. There's something significantly different about a planned night with no sleep and one where your daughter, for some strange and unknown reason, decides that she wants nothing more than to cry in her room until you bring her to bed with you, where she proceeds to kick you and your wife in the ribs from 3-4am onwards.

I even tried bringing her downstairs at around 5:45am to watch a Western, which should have lulled any self-respecting 2 year old to sleep. Nope. She got even more excited and full of energy.

I'm starting to see a bit of weariness creep in though. As soon as Garrett is off to his day camp, we're coming home and she's going to sleep... and so am I!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

No Gaming Weekend

This has been a very odd weekend for me. Aside from one or two short matches against Garrett with Super Mario on the DS, I haven't played any videogames since Friday evening. Of course, we had Garrett's birthday party yesterday and I essentially spent the entire day at work today, but yeah.

I'm going to go rectify this situation right now.

I guess I did finish reading Scar Night (cool book, by the way) and got to take one of the guys out to see Transformers 2 tonight, so it's not like I had an incredibly rough weekend. The kids got into the sidewalk chalk today and found out exactly what kind of gooey, colourful paste it makes when exposed to puddles... fun times.

By the way, Transformers 2 was exactly the kind of movie I wanted, nay, needed. It's absolutely mindless but it's what I had hoped the first movie would have been: lots and lots of robots punching, shooting and blowing each other up.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Is The Pig Purple?

We went out to the splash pad in Rockwood today, which was an exercise in futility. The kids were hell bent to get there and couldn't stop talking about it on the way to the park but the second we actually got set up next to the water fountains, they both wussed out. Garrett did get a little wet but whenever the water started to spray, he would run off of the pad.

Kara, on the other hand, was in tears any time I put her under the water, so she just spent the day on the playground. Oh well. We'll try it again later in the summer and see if they can grow to love it.

The real point of this post was to state just how awesome the pizza is at Purple Pig Pizzaria in Rockwood. I'd heard good things about it but it was probably some of the best pizza I've had from a local shop. Now I want to order an actual pizza from there!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Let's just say this:



Getting a DS for your 5th birthday is one way to totally brighten your day. Of course, now he doesn't want to put the thing down, EVER. And I probably should have held off on getting Pokémon until his reading skills were a bit better, but if nothing else, maybe this will kick start him into trying to read more since he is quite insistent on playing it as opposed to Mario right now.

Here's a video of the great unveiling.

Will He Survive To Five?

Garrett's birthday is today! He'll turn 5... if he makes it to 9pmish.

We've had an incredibly busy week or so and this has taken a toll on Garrett's ability not to be an complete punk. It hasn't helped that I'm working evenings this week, which are usually tough at the best of times.

All of this has culminated in Garrett's coup de grace tonight. For some reason known only to himself, Garrett decided that he'd wash his own hair. In the toilet. After he'd used it. Before he flushed it.

Yeah, that's about as gross as it sounds.

At this stage, Julie wants me to return his present, cancel the father-son breakfast I have planned for tomorrow morning and call all of his friends to say that the party is off. I'm of half a mind to agree with her, but I'll see how he is in the morning. The nice thing is that I'll be off for a week after this weekend and we'll be able to have some fun in the sun and shake all of our cares away... or something along those lines. I just want him and Julie to make it past tomorrow without one of them ending up in a mental institution!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Warned You!

Whatever you do, whatever you have planned, whatever curiousity might overtake you...

Don't Circle The Cat.

It's EVIL!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day Everyone!

I hope everyone called their dads and wished them well today.

We had a crazy busy weekend (which was a perfect cap to a crazy busy week) but once I made my piece with the fact that I wouldn't be lounging about the house all weekend, I had a pretty good time with all of the travels.

We went to Yorkdale Mall last night and had dinner at the Rainforest Café. The food wasn't worth the exorbitant amount they charged for it, though it wasn't awful. The kids loved the restaurant though, so that was worth the indigestion :)

And FYI, if you're a fan of Ghostbusters, go try the game out. I picked up the 360 version last night and have really enjoyed what I've played. Then again, I am someone who made his own proton-pack, trap, PKE meter and uniform for Hallowe'en back when I was 9-10 years old, so I'm a little biased.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hey, I Know You!

Julie had the strangest encounter at our condo corp's AGM tonight. During the coffee break, we were waiting in line and as Julie got her snacks and was walking back, this guy patted her on the back and said, "Hey, I didn't know you were here!"

Julie had NO idea who this guy was or who he thought she was, so she said, "Do I know you?"

To which most people would say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm [BLANK]. Aren't you [BLANK]?"

But this guy just said, "I'm over in Phase 3! I've seen you around. How are you doing?"

Julie just looked at me and I couldn't help but shrug and say, "I think he means the third parking lot."

She ended up walking back to her chair and the guy turned to me and said, "I don't think she remembers me."

I just smiled and nodded and later congratulated Julie on making a new friend with the creepy guy from Phase 3. I'll keep you posted if she starts receiving flowers from a secret admirer :)

Weirdo...

Monitor Gremlins Strike Again!

This is sort of strange. I got home from work this afternoon and went to check my e-mail. Something wasn't quite right though... It took me a few minutes to ascertain what it was and that's when I realized that the sides of the e-mail were scrolling off the side of the monitor despite the window being maximized.

I checked to make sure the resolution was my usual and it was fine. I did some fiddling and things look sort of back to normal but there's still something a bit off. The sides of the screen are both super clear and sort of squished while the middle is normal sized and somewhat blurry.

Oh well. I've been sizing up new monitors lately and could really stand to get rid of this CRT beast and finally jump on the LCD bandwagon (it's sad that my TV is more advanced than my monitor) but I'm not sure whether to go big or go home.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You Will Buy Me More Videogames...

By the power of hypnosis, you will do what I ask!



Stupid DarkRoastedBlend and their pile of awesome pictures.

Also, I cannot relate to this XKCD comic in the slightest...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Diamond Jubilee

We had an absolutely delightful afternoon and evening at my grandparents' 60th anniversary celebration. There was much good food and fellowship to be had both with the older set and amongst the younglings, though it was a good thing the weather was nice so I could take the boys out to the park during the speeches! And while I realize none of us are getting any younger, it was both touching and sad to hear their 90 year old friend tell them to appreciate every moment they have together because, well, there's not much time left and he can attest to what it feels like to lose the love of your life.

Sniff...

Anyway, the only downside to this day is the fact that the kids decided that sleep is for wimps and rather than being sound asleep when we rolled into Acton around 9:15 or so, they are both still up. Kara in particular is throwing a hissy fit... which is why I'm down here typing this instead of feeding into her negative attention seeking behaviours (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

At least Garrett went down pretty easily, though I'm sure they're both going to be absolutely miserable to be near tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Now That's The Kind Of Reception I Need To Pick Up

This is a pretty cool little video/report of a surprise wedding reception. Yes, reception.

Check it out.

(See, not everything I post is about videogames or how my kids smell like nuclear waste.)

How Do They Do That?

Kara's currently involved in an ongoing struggle to knock herself out. I got home from work as the kids were just starting their bath and no less than 5 minutes later, she'd managed to trip over Garrett's legs and womp her face on the side of the tub. It wasn't anything major, though that ended the bath pretty fast.

A while later, she'd been put to bed and Garrett & I were just sitting on my bed playing Plants Vs. Zombies on the laptop when I heard a crash-thump-scream from Kara's room. I ran in there and her crib was empty. I looked around for the source of the crying and there she was standing wedged between the crib and the wall, bawling her head off. Why she'd decide to try scaling the back of the crib is beyond me. Again, she just required a little cuddle and was tucked in safe and sound and hasn't made any major escape attempts lately, but man...

The funny thing is that as I was trying to shush her the second time, I noticed that she smelled like maple syrup from her french toast this morning. Crazy, sticky kid...

A Winner Is Her!

Julie filled out a ballot last week on a whim while she was out shopping or something. Imagine her surprise when she got a call letting her know she won a 22-piece BBQ set at Home Hardware! It's actually a nice set, though 8 of the 22 pieces are corn-cob pokers.

I'll have to take the whole kit for a spin this weekend.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Last Guardian

So last week was E3, the biggest trade show/news thingamie for the year in gaming. It was nice and all and there were enough interesting announcements to stimulate conversations on the boards, but what was easily the standout of the show (despite being leaked beforehand) was the trailer for The Last Guardian. In case you need any more justification for the "games as art" argument, go watch that trailer... then play Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus (the first two games of a very loose 'trilogy' of which The Last Guardian is the third) and tell me that it doesn't make you go 'aw'.

And as Penny Arcade so amply points out, we already know how it's going to end. Sniff.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hopping On The Tweet Wagon

I was thinking about this while dropping the kids off at the babysitter this morning and decided that, while I still want to avoid Facebook, something like Twitter is actually a useful tool. I've started a Twitter feed (see the sidebar) and I figure it will be a good spot to turf the little ideas/thoughts/ephemera that fly through my head but that don't quite warrant a full blog post.

Don't expect me to update it all the time, but it will help keep some noise out of the main posts hereabouts.

Yum Yum Yum

This is just an public service announcement to declare that the Superstore in Georgetown has one of the best chocolate croissants I've ever eaten. And it was only $0.99. Yum.

I was over there to pick up the cooking school schedule and decided to buy fixin's for my lunch. I love being able to spend less than $4 and have a delicious croissant for breakfast and everything I need for a sandwich at lunch time. Yum yum yum...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Poke The Mon

I apologize for the dearth of posts of late, but I've been busy with overnight shifts and catching up on my sleep has taken a bit more of a priority than blither-blather.

That said, we did have a fun afternoon around these parts yesterday after I arose from my post-Night Awake slumber. On Saturday morning, Garrett was somehow able to finagle me into buying a Pokémon Mold Maker thingamie at a garage sale. With the relatively dismal weather yesterday, we set up shop on the kitchen table and spent most of yesterday afternoon making little floppy plastic figurines that Kara proceeded to demolish much faster than we could make them.

It's a pretty neat little system though. It's like a non-edible version of an EZ Bake oven. Now that we have a better grasp on how to make the figures, we'll try to make something that isn't just a big glob of green goop in the shape of a Pokémon.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Possessed Choir Boys? Wha?!



This video is making the rounds, but it's definately worth watching. I never realized that song had so many ninja and zombie references.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Got It!

Today was the day I signed the piece of paper to retroactively become the new program coordinator at the house as of last Sunday. In other words, I got the job!

Of course, with every job come perks and one of the perks of this job was the one cent per hour pay cut! Yes, I actually am losing money on this promotion! Now, that said, I have room for advancement now whereas I'd basically gone as high as I could go in the old position, so it's all good. I just had to laugh when I noticed that I was actually going to be down $20 for the year after getting this job.

Go figure.

Keep The Zombies Off Our Lawn

So in yet another page out of the most awesomest parenting book ever, I've started playing Plants Vs. Zombies with Garrett before bed. I can teach him about botany AND necromancy at the same time as well as proper lawn maintenance techniques and proper defensive maneuvers.

I'm the best dad EVER!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Deserve A Badge

The adventure we went through to see Up today almost rivaled the actual adventure portrayed in the movie. We went to two theatres and the first was sold out for the 3D show. I made sure to prepay for the tickets for the 5pm show yet between the near glacial pace of the concessions and the fact that no human being should try to see a Pixar movie on opening weekend... well... We were barely able to find two seats together. Good times.



Awesome movie though. One of the best and most heartrending love stories I've seen in film and it was told in the first 10-15 minutes and barely a word was spoken. The rest was just gravy. I thought it more than made up for how disappointed I was with the second half of Wall-E last year.

After the show, we went over to Marble Slab Creamery. Great ice cream but it's insanely expensive! Definately something we will do for a treat.

Let's All Go To The Movies...

Well, I survived my double yesterday. I went in at 3pm and came home at 7am today. Yawn.

The nice thing about overnights is that you can watch a bunch of movies when everyone is sleeping. I watched Casablanca from start to finish for the very first time and saw a very surreal collection of CGI shorts which I couldn't stop watching.

We had been planning to go see UP in 3D in Guelph for a few weeks and once I woke up, we loaded up the family, picked up some friends and headed off to the theatre.

Unfortunately, I forgot that you really shouldn't try to see a Pixar movie, especially their first 3D one, on opening weekend. By the time we made it to the theatre, the show was sold out and we had a teary Garrett to console on the way back to the car. Kara was pretty happy to have been to the movie theatre, even if she didn't actually see a movie.

All was not lost though. We've purchased tickets online for the 5pm show in Milton and are going to head out soon. I must set a record for most number of movies watched in one day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Easy Peasie

I had my second interview today. Actually, it was, in the words of my manager, more of a conversation whereby he could introduce me to the new Area Manager and go over some other questions and so forth.

It was a great hour or so discussion about the program, the position and me. It's always kind of nice to have someone else talk up your good points to their boss.

For all intents and purposes, the position is going to be mine. My manager said that he just needs to have a few more discussions and then sign the right forms and badda-boom. I should be invested into my new role in a week or so. Woo!

Of course, things aren't finalized... YET. But from the tone of the conversation and the fact that I was the only person to get a second interview, it's looking pretty good.

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes and prayers over the past few weeks/months. I'll keep everyone posted when it's official, one way or another!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What A Miserable Day

No, it's nothing to do with the last post. I've just been sick as a dog all day today. I was actually feeling pretty good yesterday for almost the whole day, nothing like the shuddering wreck that I was on Friday.

Then I made the mistake of saying, "Boy, I feel a lot better than I did yesterday."

I swear, not 10 minutes after I said that, my legs got sore, I started coughing and my sinuses got clogged. I'd hoped that getting a good night's sleep would help but I woke up feeling even worse than last night. It didn't help the kids were in our room shortly after 6am. I don't think I've ever been as surly and cranky as I was this morning though.

And as a side note, don't take a Benedryl if you're not 100% sure you've got allergies. I think a lot of my utter fatigue today was as a result of taking one of those deadly pink pills this morning. I spent most of the afternoon just listening to podcasts on my iPod and shivering under a blanket until about 5pm when my appetite came back (with a vengeance) and I got this sudden burst of energy, which I think is when the Benedryl wore off.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better and I'm going to go try to help with the kids, as they both seem to have taken 'bad kid' pills this weekend and are driving us nuts.

Happy Anniversary... I Think...

Every year I almost forget and every year I get reminded of the exact date, but I can never remember exactly which day is my parents' anniversary. I even wrote it on a calendar last year so I wouldn't forget... except that I think the calendar got lost in all of the cleaning, renovating and various other turfing that has gone on over the past 8-9 months.

So if I'm right, and today is the day, happy anniversary Mom & Dad! If not, consider this either an early or a belated congratulations.