Friday, December 31, 2010

All Good Things...

And as the year grows to a close, so too does our vacation here in the Greater Sarnia Area. We had a pretty great time this year, with lots of visits with family, some fun toboggan runs and lots of yummy food.

I was also happy to be able to actually see a couple of friends who I have missed the last few times we've come down here. I had a coffee at the old New Trish In location where I spent a few years bussing tables, washing dishes and serving yummy food. It was interesting to see how much the building had changed since it turned into a Coffee Culture shop and how much it stayed the same.

Last night, my buddy Tony & I went out to the local all-you-can-eat Chinese/Japanese place (it was surprisingly good for mediocre western-style Chinese food) and then saw the truly excellent True Grit in the truly uncomfortable Lambton 9 theatres.

As a final adieu to 2010, I'll leave you with this comic, which strikes far too close to home :)

Let's hope that 2011 treats us all even better than 2010 did and be safe out there!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Go see TRON: Legacy if you can. Preferably on an IMAX screen in 3D, but just go see it. It was awesome and it blew Garrett's mind.

It's Almost Christmas Time!

I've got 2 days of work left and then I'm ON VACATION!

Unfortunately, I might not survive these next two days. Between fighting off this cold/flu thing that has been dogging me since Sunday and some last minute year-end crunches coming down from on high, I'm going to earn that vacation!

At least all of the shopping is done and we just need to wrap the last few presents and pack. Woo!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tron: Snoozacy

So on a happier note, tomorrow (today?) I'll be taking Garrett to go see Tron: Legacy in 3D on the IMAX screen. I'm stoked, since I've been a Tron fan since waaaay back in the day and from all accounts, the movie is a visual delight. I've been listening to Daft Punk's awesome soundtrack for most of this week and love it to death.

Heck, I even watched the original with the guys from work last week. It has been a couple of years since I last watched it and I have to admit that it hasn't aged as well as I wish it could have, but the fundamentals are still there. If you can cast your mind back far enough to appreciate just how groundbreaking the visuals were for their time (and how prescient a lot of the ideas introduced in it were), it's still amazingly impressive for what it did almost 30 years ago.

My only grumble is that I got called in to do the overnight shift and here I sit, trying to stay awake, knowing that I have tickets bought for the movie tomorrow morning and that I'll be running on very, VERY minimal sleep. Sigh.

Anonymous Cowards

I kind of miss the old Haloscan comment system for der olde blog. Ever since I had to drop it and go with the built-in Blogger system, not only does nobody leave me notes (sniff), the only comments I get are from this Anonymous guy who seems to have a wide ranging interest in blog posts from years past and who wants to sell me lots of mail-order goods.

And to the latest Anonymous poster who decided to leave a rather vitriolic screed (that has since been pulped into the spam filter), get bent. Man up and deal with your problems directly instead of trying to strike out through intermediaries. I've got better things to waste my time with! (You know who you are.)

If you're going to leave something like that, at least put your name on the comment so I know who to take off my Christmas list.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Prayers: Answered

I just want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who prayed for safety for my brother while he was overseas. I just got the news today that he is now in Cyprus, which means he should be home sometime next week, if all goes well.

I've tried not to worry about how my little brother is doing while in Afghanistan, but every so often you get that worried feeling and I tell ya, it's a huge relief to know that he's out of the sand and on his way back.

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad became a member of the Over-60 club yesterday. I think he celebrated by having a nap, yelling at some passing kids and eating mushy peas :)

He's going to kill me now...

My Toof: Revolutions

So I was munching on a candy cane the other night when I noticed something missing in my life. More specifically, something missing in my mouth... namely, the filling I just paid good money to have installed when my molar shattered while I was eating popcorn!

Thankfully my tooth had a warranty on it and my dentist didn't charge me anything since he had just put it in 2 weeks ago.

I had to chuckle a bit as he and the dental hygenist debated prostitution and bondage laws while he had his fingers in my mouth and I was choking on drool. They didn't seem to get the irony of debating the moral boundaries of inflicting pain on someone for money.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Doin' The WagJag

No, the WagJag isn't a new dance my family invented. Julie & I have been getting some awesome deals via the WagJag service and I feel compelled to spread the word. It's a neat system.

Every day or two a new deal is posted. If enough people buy into it, it is activated (and most of the time the deal only needs 5 people to activate it). Then you get a coupon or code e-mailed or mailed to you and off you go!

I jumped on the one the other day that was $25 for $50 worth of artisianal cheese. Julie grabbed a few spa deals and also snapped up some that gave us $40 worth of Home Hardware bucks for $20. The deals are really good and they've spread out pretty widely across Ontario, so I'd check out the site. If you sign up,tell them I referred you!

My Toof: Reloaded

I was able to get my tooth repaired last week. Stupid popcorn!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Toof!

I was eating some popcorn tonight and when I spat out what I thought was a kernel, it turned out to be chunks of tooth and silver filling!

Thankfully it was the tooth I had a root canal done on years ago, so it doesn't hurt or anything, but it's really annoying to have half of a tooth (my back molar, at that) in my head and half of it in my hand. Now I have to try to schedule a repair job tomorrow (hopefully) before this gets worse.

I think the gaming gods are punishing me for actually exhibiting some willpower and not buying the collector's edition of a game I really wanted to buy today. Things were going just dandy until then :P

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This Strikes FAR Too Close To Home

Penny Arcade put up a comic the other day that really struck home. Take a gander.

I've caught myself doing the same thing a few times :)

Keep These In The Eisner File

Garrett has been working hard at making comics and drawing things for the last few days. He's been a busy beaver and made a giant mural poster and then started filling one of the characters with another comic that he made. It seems that the comic workshops at The Dragon are rubbing off on him.

Pay special attention to all of the veins on... everything. He learned that at last month's workshop.

I think Garrett uses Kara as a model...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

This is Hallowe'en... doo doo doo...

We braved the cold on Sunday night to go Trick-Or-Treating. We were actually out there for a good hour and a half to two hours, which was much better than last year. There were lots of kids out but we noticed that more houses than usual weren't handing out candy.

That said, the kids each got at least two bags full of candy, so they're happy. I'm conditioning them to pay the daddy tax of one piece of candy whenever they go spelunking for treats. Mmmm...

Here are a few pics from that night. I'd put something witty under them but I'm too pooped to think of anything.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cable (With No Deadpool)

Yesterday we had the lightpost (and its built-in transformer) yanked out of our front yard by Hydro as they are in the midst of upgrading all of the transformers in the neighbourhood. This meant that last night was the first time we've had a pitch-black house at night, as we've had that glare in our house for the past 7 years or so.

Now that's all well and good. I like darkness as much as the next nighthawk. But what we weren't so happy about was whatever they did to our cable while they were digging up the lights.

Standard def cable channels are working fine, but all of our digital and HD channels are glitchy at best or outright not working today. So I get to hang out here at the house for the day and hope that the cable guy will show up before I have to go and pick up my parents from the airport.

I thought the cable had done some kind of self-repair but by about 9 or so this morning it was back to barely being watchable.

Woe is me. Whatever shall I do with only 100 channels to watch?! At least I got a day off work without having to call in sick or anything :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tantrums And Thunderstorms

I was going to take Garrett out to the local electric railway museum for their annual haunted train ride. Alas, it's pouring rain out there and with it being as chilly as it is and with Garrett still coughing like a TB patient in a sanitorium, I decided to hold off until next weekend.

Garrett wasn't so understanding. It wasn't a fun evening. Sigh.

We're instituting the 3-strike rule now for the rest of the week. He's got to keep his nose clean this week or else he's not going next week, rain or shine. Hopefully he does well because it is a fun evening, but I've got to stop caving whenever he gets in trouble and might not be able to go to something that I want to go to :)

The Coolest Thing You'll See Today

Check out this video for an amazing piece of technology that you'll want to hang on your wall. Holograms are cool!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ni Hao, Mom & Dad

My parents are in China. I would call them and see how they're doing, but that would cost a fortune.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around that first sentence. China is the LAST place on Earth I can imagine my parents being at any time in history :)

This Just Sold Me A 3DS

I was already saving up for a 3DS because of the Professor Layton game that is coming out for the system. Then I saw this and it absolutely sold me on the sytem.

That's Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright together in one game. For those who don't know, both games are probably some of my favourites on the DS (I bought the first Ace Attorney game about a month or two before I even owned my first DS!) and having them both in one game is Geek Heaven.

Of course, I have a while to wait and put my pennies aside. I don't think we're seeing the unit over here until about March or so of next year at the earliest.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Something's A Little FIshy About This...

I just wanted to let everyone know that as of a day or two ago, I became a millionaire. Seriously! I have an e-mail from Coca-Cola stating that I won 1 million British pounds, so I expect everyone to bow down and grovel for scraps!

I'll even show you the letter. There's nothing at all suspicious about it and once they finish processing my banking information, I shall be RICH!






We are happy to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual final draws held yesterday by Coca-Cola Bottling Company in conjunction with the British American Tobacco Worldwide Promotion; your email address has won GBP£1,000,000 (ONE MILLION BRITISH POUNDS) on these years Coca Cola Company Promotion 2010 Promotion

However the results were released yesterday and your email address was attached to ticket number (CC6904523) and winning number (BT:12052006/20) The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email addresses from an exclusive list of 39,031 E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection machine (TOPAZ) from a database of over 10 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world. This Promotion is approved by the British Gaming Board and also licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).This Promotion is the first of its kind and we intend to sensitize the public.

Note that your winning and ticket numbers fall within our Southern African representative in South Africa. In other to claim your £1,000,000 prize winning, which has been deposited with our registered bank in South Africa? However, you will have to fill the form below and send it to the Promotion manager of The Coca Cola Company in South Africa for verification and then you will be directed to the paying Bank where a Cash of GBP£1,000,000 has already been deposited in your favors.

Please you are advised to contact our Promotion manager through email for prompt collection of your winning fund. Or call with the following details:

See! All legit and above board. Nothing at all peculiar about that e-mail. Or the badly formatted logos that were stretched all over the attached .doc that they sent. Or the fact that Coke's prize department is located in South Africa for some reason... And Coca-Cola is a busy company that doesn't have time for things like spell-check or grammar...

I'll be on my yacht.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Yesterday Garrett & I went to see Peter Pan at the Stratford Festival to celebrate Connor's birthday. The kids seemed to really enjoy the show and dinner afterwards was great.

The highlight of the day seemed to be when they got to walk the plank.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Hope You Don't Have A Fear Of Heights

I know a lot of you don't watch the videos I link or post on the site, but you really owe it to yourself to watch this video about a guy climbing a 1786 foot high transmission tower.

It's shot via helmet-cam and I think the fact that it's essentially done in first-person view had my body a-shudder with adrenaline as my fear of heights kicked in. Yeah, I don't like heights. At least, I don't like THOSE kind of heights!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I See It, But I Don't Believe It...

I've watched this a few times and I'm still amazed that they are able to do this kind of art in under a minute.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Circle Of Life (Down The Toilet Bowl)

As I was getting ready to help Garrett get changed for bed tonight, I casually asked him how Gilbert was doing. Gilbert is the goldfish he got as a... prize? Parting gift? Loot bag thing? I'm not sure, because he supposedly got this fish from a friend who was supposed to invite him to a party but didn't and then they got it at the fair or something... I honestly have no idea how this whole thing worked out, but suffice it to say, Garrett got a goldfish and named it Gilbert.

So I go over to look at Gilbert and see that he's just kind of sitting there. Not belly-up, mind you, but looking rather... sedentary. I thought I saw a bit of movement, so I decided to try to drain out the water and replace it with fresh, oxygenated water. Alas, all this did was clean off poor Gilbert so that he had a less deathy corpse. Garrett must have known that things weren't looking good for his fishy friend and was sobbing for a good 20 minutes while I did my best to revive Gilbert.

I did have Garrett pour Gilbert into the toilet once he got to a point that he had accepted his demise. And Garrett was able to do the deed and pull the lever that sent little Gilbert to fishie heaven.

Of course, Kara was just sitting there, narrating the entire ordeal like the little sociopath that she is :)

Garrett eventually regained his composure and I think he'll be ok, but man, that was rough to watch, esp. after having been away for most of the week. On the upside, later on tonight Garrett was able to yank out his second front bottom tooth and should have a visit from the Tooth Fairy shortly, so hopefully that will help offset the trauma of losing Gilbert.

A 3 Hour Tour

If you've been following my tweets lately, you've noticed a particularly nautical bent to them. I spent the last 4 days (Mon-Thurs) on the Trent-Severn waterway on a houseboat trip with a few of the guys from work. It was a blast, esp. when we got stuck tied onto a remote island during that crazy thunderstorm the other day.

We went through two propellers (not cheap, by the way) due to crazy wave and currents on Tuesday which almost saw us leaving on of our staff members behind on a remote island (prop #1) and because of a few stray submerged logs that drifted in sometime overnight into the otherwise 12 foot deep water we docked in last night (prop #2). The first prop was so badly damaged by the rocks that we were got to take it home with us. I'm going to find some way to mount it to a plaque or something like that so that we can hang it up in the group home as a trophy of our trip on the water.

We went from Happy Days Houseboats south of Bobcaygeon out to the Flat Islands for the first night, then made our way through Buckhorn and the lock there (a delightful small town with a great lockmaster) and then ran into trouble when trying to tie into Dinnertime Island. We decided that a) the lockmaster is in cahoots with the propeller replacement industry for sending us that way and b) that the island is called Dinnertime Island because of its tendency to gobble up propellers.

We lurched our way back to one of the Three Islands and waited for the replacement propeller to be delivered (which took an astoundingly quick 40 minutes!) and then we hunkered down for the night for that nasty storm that blew through on Tuesday. We also had a racoon eat all of our worms for fishing, so we were jinxed.

Wednesday was a very pleasant trip back to Buckhorn for a bit of shopping and then we pushed through for three hours all the way up to Big Island back at the top of Pigeon Lake, where we tucked into an amazing secluded cove on the back channel side of the island. Today we puttered back to the marina (after inadvertantly grinding the the prop against those stupid logs) and then made our way back home by about supper time.

It was a great trip but I now have a real appreciation of how much work it is to pilot a ship, esp. when the water is choppy and the wind is blowing and the sun is glaring off the water and you can't see where the next marker bouy is. Those three hours of driving the boat yesterday absolutely exhausted me. I am still feeling a little wobbly even though I haven't been on the boat since about noon. I think it'll take me another day to get my sea legs back.

But it's great to be home, even if we had quite the emotional roller coaster tonight when I got home!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Udder Chaos

So today I sacrificed what would have been a delightful day of staying home doing sweet bupkiss and instead volunteered to corral chaperone a gaggle of kids from Garrett's Grade 1 class over to the Acton Fall Fair for 2-3 hours.

I had 5 boys with me for the day (Garrett was one of them) and truth be told, we had a good time. They were surprisingly compliant and not TOO rowdy and were pretty happy to pet a pig, watch a cow get milked and play Zombie Tag in the indoor soccer arena.

I think I had them all convinced by the end of the day that if they kept fiddling with the stuff on the midway games, the carnies would come along, hang them off of the back wall of the booth and they'd have to wait for their parents to come and win them if they ever wanted to go home again. That seemed to get the little blighters to keep their hands where they belonged :)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tomorrow's Corporate Leaders, TODAY!

So I was doing my fatherly duty and signing off on Garrett's take-home book from school today when I noticed this:

"Tell how Polly was on task (emphasis their's) in the story."

I know it's just a matter of semantics, but I really can't stand anything that smacks of corporate jargon, esp. not when it's being spoon-fed down my kid's throats. Grr.

No Full Moon For You

I had to ground Garrett today. I found him playing on the hill next to the townhouses, which would be fine, except he was also playing the 'Pull Down Your Pants And Show Your Bum To Everyone' game, which is NOT fine. He's not terribly happy being grounded for the night, but them's the breaks.

And I'm also making the kids watch Fantasia. They will be cultured!

First Day Jitters

Garrett went to school for the first day of Grade 1 yesterday. Julie didn't even cry when he got on the bus, despite my gentle whispers of how big her little boy had gotten and how, next year, Kara will be getting on that very same bus too... Yeah, I'm mean :)

He was wiped out tonight though. I forgot how much energy school sucks out of Garrett, but he was an absolute wreck around suppertime. Hopefully he had a good sleep tonight and will be a little more level-headed tomorrow.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I'm Afraid Of The Red Ones

Check out this video. It may not look like much, but it's pretty amazing.

What you're looking at is a model showing all of the asteroids discovered from 1980-2010 as they're discovered. The red ones are 'Earth-crossers'. They're the ones to be scared of. But take heart: We don't live on a 2D plane, so they can always go above or below us :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Speaking of Final Fantasy...

For the record, I finished Final Fantasy 13 yesterday and it was every so satisfying. I liked the game a lot more than FF12 but that was more due to the story than anything. The ending of the game was pretty good. It wasn't as good as Final Fantasy 10's ending, which rests pretty much at the top of my list of all time best endings to a game, EVER, but it was hitting a lot of the right notes and was one of the happier endings to a Final Fantasy game, all things concidered.

I've got to try to resist the urge to go back and grind through the post-game content. I have other games that I can put that time and energy into! Or, you know, I could read a book or something.

Kefka: A Tribute

Ah, late night insomnia. At least I can attempt to sleep in tomorrow.

Whilst perusing the internet and catching up on a week's worth of comics, I came across this on Real Life Comics. Greg Dean, the artist (and fellow fan of all things Final Fantasy), is explaining why Kefka is the greatest Final Fantasy villain of all time. And without further ado, I ask your forgiveness for posting what may be one of the nerdier quotes I've posted in quite some time. Oh, and I apologize for the slightly salty language.

"Some might wonder why Kefka, and not Sephiroth. Here's the main thing with Sephiroth. Was he an awesome villian? Undoubtedly. But despite the fact that he was willing to sacrifice the planet for his own goals, he had a pretty good reason for doing so: He found out that he was an abomination, and the entire world was pretty much his enemy. You could SORT of identify with him "F**k me? No, F**k YOU." A badass, to be certain, but part of me felt that he was more or less just misunderstood. You kinda liked the guy... even though he killed Aeris.

Kefka, though? Kefka was f***ing INSANE. Bat-shit crazy. "I'ma wear clown makeup out in public, and poison an entire city's water supply just so we can overtake the castle! BWAAAA-HAHAHAHA!" And then, when you're up in the floating continent, he boots the emperor off of it, and starts pushing the mystic statues around willy-nilly, RESHAPING THE ENTIRE WORLD, killing perhaps millions of people and making himself a god in the process. Does he stop there? Sh*t no! Every now and again he sends down a beam of light to smite any who don't do as he pleases!

Does he do all this because of some percieved injustice? Does he do this because he has some sort of emo mommy issues? No, he does it because he's a f**king LUNATIC, and that, right there, is why Kefka is the GREATEST FINAL FANTASY VILLAIN OF ALL TIME."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Godspeed, Soldier Brother

Well, Grant headed back to Afghanistan on Friday. I meant to get these pictures up Friday but got a little too busy over the past few days!

My personal favourites are the "Giant Grant Smash Puny Kids" and his lovely new headgear pictures.

Good luck and god speed, Grant!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer's (almost) Over!

Well, we're heading into the penultimate days of the penultimate week of the summer, so why not do a little recap and show everyone what we were up to over the past few months? We went to the Science Center, hit Storybook Gardens, swam in Lake Huron, got up to some shenanigans at the Early Years Center and moonlit as a firefighter or two.

Yeah, it was a busy summer but the kids sure seemed to have a blast and it was nice that they made some friends in the complex and have been able to hang out with them on the days when we have nothing else going on.

I've got a bunch of pictures of our visit with Grant from last week but I'm going to save them for tomorrow. He's going back to Afghanistan tomorrow and I'll give him a proper send off this way.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Over?

I made it through my day from hell... by going to a meeting instead :)

It's actually pretty sad that I stressed out as much as I did for today because it ended up going just swimmingly and I'm not sure if that's because of or in spite of all of the long shifts, cold sweats and gray hairs I've accrued over the past couple months prepping for it.

At least I get to take tomorrow off and sleep in a bit.

Gots Me Some Chedda

I've got a serious cheddar cheese bagel addiction going on right now. I hate it because bagels at Tim Horton's are insanely expensive and I'd basically broken my habit of grabbing them if I was running late for work and needed a quick breakfast snack. But man, the cheddar bagels are soooooo yummy.

I need to go back to my no Tim's rule...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rob Liefeld, Look Out!

Garrett had a chance to participate in a comic-making workshop today at The Dragon in Guelph and had a blast. His teacher, Brian McLachlin, was able to somehow keep a group of 5 boys ages 6-9 focused for two hours and explain the intricacies of drawing a cup of coffee, a house and stink lines.

It was a hoot to listen to the kids brainstorm ideas for the comic. They ended up doing a comic about Sheriff Souvlaki (yes, an anthropomorphic delicacy if ever there was one) who had an apple for a body and was in some kind of strange duel with not only a hot dog and hamburger bandito duo, but an evil chicken. It ended with them catching the chicken (after Deputy Pita saved the day) and throwing the chicken in jail... ending with a final panel of the chicken serving as a head pin on a bowling lane.

And those were the more rational ideas that were picked to make the comic. The stuff being spouted at that table had the needle on the Surrealometer buried firmly past the Dali mark.

Garrett had a good time though and they're hoping to bring in more artists to do this with the kids again, so I'm going to do my best to get him in to as many of these workshops as possible.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On The Mouth Of Madness

I feel kind of dumb whining about my travails at work when my brother just came back from an actual warzone, but my lord, I'm going to have a whole head full of gray hairs by the end of this month, if not this week. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not bad-mouthing my job. Heck, the big reason why I was so excited for this promotion last year was to have more responsibility but the last little bit has been insane!

I'm in one of those lovely positions where I've got about 300 plates spinning in the air and almost every day someone is throwing 5 more plates onto my stacks and wondering why I've got a thousand-yard stare every minute as I try to keep them from landing in a messy heap. This week will see many of those plates finally come down, gently or otherwise, so I guess I'll breathe a little easier after Thursday's shenanigans are over, but I need to get things to a place where I'm only dealing with 4-5 crises as opposed to 400!

Today was my first day back to work since Thursday and I already feel like I just worked an entire week. How I'll get through the next 2 weeks or so without cracking is beyond me. At least I didn't have to go back in tonight to do an unexpected overnight shift. I get to do that on the weekend instead :P

He's Back!

My widdle brudder is home from Afghanistan... or at the very least, on his way home. I think he was supposed to have arrived back here yesterday but I'm not 100% sure. I do know that he was in Dubai over the weekend, so at the very least he's not on the base in Kandahar and that's a huge relief!

I'm hoping to get together with him next week so it'll be nice to see how he's doing!

Thanks for all of the prayers, happy thoughts and sacrificed chickens for his safety. It's much appreciated!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Free Game!

If you have an iPod Touch or iPhone, go here and get Civilzation Revolution for free for the next 24 hours. It's an awesome take on the Civilization franchise and it's usually $7, so why not get it free!

Hmm. Two posts in two days. I need to get back in the habit of this!

Monday, July 26, 2010

"We're Living In A Hotel Room!"

Hey, check out what we did over the past week!

Yup, that's our new bedroom.

So long, 70's nicotine-infused carpet. Goodbye, builder's primer walls. See you later, 12 year old bed that was slowly crippling us both.

Hello Ikea showroom!

We still have a little bit of work left to do, mostly in the old closet area, but otherwise things are tidied up and cleaned out and looking quite nice. I'm looking forward to sleeping in the new bed tonight on my new pillow (and hopefully not waking up with what feels like a broken back) and I'm looking forward even more to being able to just relax for the rest of the week that I'm on vacation. It has been a wee bit hectic over the past week and a bit, but it is so nice to be done the work so that whatever other shenanigans we get up to, we can feel good about accomplishing something productive.

The other upside of the new room is that Kara can't quite climb up to the top of the bed. Mwahaha...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dream Weaver aka Renovations Suck

This morning I awoke after having a very vivid and disturbing dream. I was at someone's wedding and the dream basically had me helping set up the hall and enjoy myself at the reception. It got dark and disturbing at the end as I was walking out to our car with Julie and as I gazed out across the parking lot towards the city skyline on the horizon, I saw an airliner with one wing on fire. Within seconds, it had crashed somewhere behind the towers and everyone at the wedding was looking on in horror. The rest of the dream basically revolved around everyong trying to figure out what they'd just seen and watching the news for information.

So that's how I woke up this morning. Happy times...

Today was the final day of 'prep' work to be done on our bedroom. Ever since I got back from the cottage, I've been working on renovating our bedroom. Wednesday was basically an 'empty the room' day where most of the stuff was either tossed or shoved in Kara's room for the time being.

Thursday was all about painting the ceiling and the walls. Today was a pretty quick day, at least in the morning. I just slapped a second coat of paint on the walls and was done. We went out to Mexicali Rosa's for lunch and then saw Inception (which was awesome) so you could almost say it was a date, as the kids were nowhere to be seen :)

Alas, everything seemed to go pear-shaped this evening. Shortly after returning home from a trip to the comic shop, I decided to get to work pulling up the carpet in our bedroom which should have been a quick half hour job, tops. Not only was it a zillion degrees in the room while I was pulling up the carpet, I had to deal with a bunch of kids lighting fire to the playground slide in the complex, a propane tank that ran dry just as we were about to throw the pork chops on the BBQ, my own kids who wouldn't listen to anybody and a litany of other crises, real or imagined.

And the carpet... yuck. I think it was 30 year old carpet with an underpadding at least that old which had essentially disintegrated over the years. It was also smoke-stained and disgusting and crumbled as I tried to pull it up. Of course, the one thing in the whole house that seemed to have been put in with some kind of competency was the batch of carpet runners which had me pounding on them with a pry bar for almost 4 hours before I got the last of the buggers up. Sigh.

Suffice it to say, I'm pooped. I should have known my dream had some kind of significance this morning when I woke up. The day started off rather nicely but ended up in chaos. Thankfully, much like the news reports in my dream (which I recall showing that the plane had landed in the lake and spared the city massive damage), things didn't turn out as bad as they could have and it looks like tomorrow should be a good day after all.

I mean, I'm taking Garrett to go see Star Wars In Concert! WOO!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Operation: The Untragically Hip

My grandpa had his hip replaced today. I'm assuming it was with a new hip. I guess that means he's a cyborg!

We were worried that he might not pull through given his less than ideal health of late, but the latest report was that, while groggy and incoherent, he was asking when supper was, which means that he's going to be just fine.

Hopefully the new hip will reduce the pain he has been experiencing and result in an overall increase in his quality of life. Thanks for all of the prayers and happy thoughts sent his way over the past day or so.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Reads Your Blog

Remember the Old Spice commercial with the man your man could smell like? Well, he's back.

And now he's reading facebook, twitter and youtube comments and it's hilarious!

More companies need to embrace this kind of awesome. Follow his Twitter feed for more hilarity.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Performing A Gazebectomy

About 10 minutes before my shift ended today, I got a call informing me that my gazebo had blown into the neighbour's yard.

"But I had it tied down to the fence!"

"Yeah, well, it's on top of the neighbour's gazebo. Are you coming home soon?"

I didn't realize how enmeshed the two gazebos (gazebi?) had become until I snuck into the neighbour's yard to try to get ours back. Suffice it to say, our gazebo had seen better days after its ride over the fence. At least 2-3 of the poles were bent at right angles and the plastic on the fittings was toast.

Here's all that's left of our once mighty and proud structure.

Thankfully there wasn't really any damage to the neighbour's gazebo and you wouldn't know that there was another gazebo on top of their's now that the sun has come out. Looks like it's time to get ourselves a proper grown-up gazebo instead of the flimsy tentpoles the old one had.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Epic Lost Cat E-mail

I wish I'd read this AFTER having to deal with a bunch of work shenanigans this evening instead of beforehand. It had tears flowing down my face it was so funny.

Long story short, don't assume that your crisis is going to make it to the top of your co-worker's to-do list...

It's Supposed To Be Gatorade

After soccer tonight, Garrett decided that the thing to do was to douse himself in the contents of our water bottle. No harm, no foul, as it was full of cool, delicious water.

Then we turned around to see him raising a squeeze bottle of Sunny Delight over his head, which then went all over his head, much to our chagrin.

Sigh. Kids are so sticky...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Die Day, Redcoats!

For all of my American friends, enjoy celebrating your liberation from the lobsterbacks at the hands of Book Cop.

At least everyone will now know why you shoot off fireworks every 4th of July!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Longest Trip To The Farmers' Market Ever

This morning we headed down to Milton to see what the Farmers' Market was like. About halfway to Milton, I got it into my head that we should go to Niagara Falls.

So we went!

The kids had a blast. Garrett & I went under the falls and saw some really neat rainbows perfectly framing the Maid Of The Mist as she went about her voyage. Kara and Julie got to hang out and soak in the scenery while we got literally soaked.

Surprisingly, both of the kids were extremely well behaved. We even managed to get a trip into Ikea on the way home with minimal fuss and bother. Speaking of which, it was an absolute ghost town at the Burlington Ikea today. I've never seen it so empty!

So all hail the delightful spark of spontaneity and unplanned trips. It sure beat sitting around at home sweating buckets and cleaning the basement!

Monday, June 28, 2010

What's The Cost Of A Tooth These Days?

Garrett lost his very first tooth today! And no, it wasn't due to a crash on his bike or because Kara finally had enough of his malarky and popped him in the mouth. Nope, he was just wiggling it at bedtime and poink! Out it came.

Not the greatest (or least gory) picture we have, but it's the best one I have on the computer right now :)

We had Garrett put the tooth in an envelope that he marked for the Tooth Fairy. I told him that she would only come after everyone was asleep. He asked if she'd come after midnight and I assured him that she probably would. Then he wouldn't go to sleep, so I told him that I was going to stay up late tonight and swipe the Tooth Fairy's purse if he didn't go to bed. He was under the covers and squinching his eyes closed faster than you could say, 'bicuspid'.

If I recall my Tooth to Cash conversion chart, the going rate is about $1 per tooth. Man, inflation really stings. I remember getting about $0.25-0.50 per tooth back in my day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back To Life... Back To Reality

Well, the meds I got on Sunday seem to be doing the trick. I took most of Monday off work and all of Tuesday but managed to work full shifts the past two days. My back is still twingy and sore but the crippling agony that I was experiencing over the weekend is essentially gone. I should be back to normal by the weekend (just in time for more work!) which is about when my pills run out.

I need to get to work doing crunches and other muscle strengthening exercises to get my core muscles in shape so I don't do anything crazy to my back again!

He's 6 Today!

Wow. Who would have thought that Garrett is already 6 years old? Where did the time go?

He had his birthday party the other day and that was a blast and today he had a fun water day at school and a little party at his babysitter's place. He also opened his presents from us and loved them. We got him a little digital camcorder and a Star Wars Force Trainer. We've had them both since around Christmas and got them for a steal, so it was nice to finally let him open them. Tomorrow we're going to go out and hunt for an SD memory card for his camera and let him have fun being a budding videographer. I'm really interested to see how the Force Trainer works. Hopefully he'll be able to hurl X-Wings out of swamps in no time :)

Thanks to everyone who sent Garrett a present and/or well wishes. He's been very happy to get the cards and presents this week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Spinal Tapped Out

Speaking of Garrett's party, I did something to my back just before we went in to golf. I'm not sure if it was a delayed reaction to sitting in our lawn chairs last night while we were at the drive-in or if it was due to my playing the Dance Dance Revolution game when Kara gave up and walked away from it, but I have been in agony since about 2pm.

I'm hoping that a good night sleep will cure what ails me because we've got some delicious plans for Father's Day but at this point in the game, it's about all I can do to shuffle around the house hunched over. Arg.

Speed Golf

Garrett's birthday party went smashingly today. He and his friends played a round of golf in about 5-10 minutes... yes, 18 holes of miniputt in about 10 minutes, tops. With 6 kids. Thankfully the people at Gopher Golf were nice enough to let them play a second time and this time they were able to take their time and it took them about 20-25 minutes.

Aside from Garrett's friend blowing out his candles, everything was perfect. I'll have pictures up from the REAL camera tomorrow but here are a couple shots from my phone.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's Garrett's Birthday... Party

Garrett's having his 6th birthday party today over in Guelph at the glow-in-the-dark miniputt. This should be... fun? We had a bit of a crazy night last night, as we went out after his Kindergarten Graduation to see Toy Story 3 and Prince Of Persia at the drive-in and didn't get home until about 2am. Toy Story 3 was phenomenal. PoP, not so much.

So the kids slept in until about 9 or so this morning, which was nice, but Garrett was already starting to get moody a few minutes ago so I'm hoping he'll have a little nap and be in a good mood this afternoon.

Typography For The Masses!

One of the areas of geekery that I'm glad I haven't been sucked into completely is that of font-geek. Typography nerds make console flame wars look like mere dustups in an alley by comparison. That said, it's fun to watch people freak out about this font or that font. There's a really funny imagined post from Comic Sans (yes, the font) over here that's worth a read... but be careful as Comic Sans has a pretty filthy mouth.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kevin Butler: Vice President Of Inspiration

The Electronic Entertainment Expo aka E3 aka Mecca For Gamers (or is that M3cc4 4 G4M3rZ?) opened yesterday. There had been a few events and press conferences over the past couple of days but yesterday was Nintendo and Sony's chance to kick Microsoft around the curb with a couple of press conferences that actually talked about games instead of everything but.

As much as I enjoyed Nintendo's presser, the highlight of the day was Kevin Butler's awesome speech at the Sony press conference. For those who don't know who Kevin Butler is, he's the "Vice President Of [blank]" in the various Playstation 3 ads of late and probably the best spokesperson for gaming to come along in a long time.

Check out the video and see why it brings a digital tear to my cybernetic eyes...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dark Roasted Waves

Every week I look forward to seeing what kind of neat collection of images Dark Roasted Blend will put out. This week's set was so neat that I had to share. Take a look at this link and be amazed at the gorgeous pictures of waves breaking at sunset. It's very cool.

Monday, June 07, 2010

How'd She Do That?

Kara was crying in her room this evening after we put her to bed. I went to take a look at her and somehow she had managed to put a tiny doll shirt on both arms and had her limbs pinned behind her back. I have NO idea how she managed to get it on one arm, let alone both... and they were almost on up to the shoulder. To put this shirt in perspective, it's probably smaller than a shirt that would go on a Cabbage Patch Kid.

Having An Animated Discussion

This is a very interesting lecture/animation that ties in a lot to what I've been studying, reading and thinking about with regards to work lately. Plus I'd love to have all lectures done this way :)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Iron Willed!

Just got back from the grand opening of a new Best Buy near us. I came THIS close to picking up what would be a pretty decent gaming laptop but it was $800 and Julie had only really approved me for $500, so I relented. It wasn't easy, I tell ya!

We did get to meet Iron Man though!

And I picked up the blu-ray of 3:10 To Yuma to get me in the mood for RDR. I've never seen it, but I hear it's very good. I also ponied up a few bucks for The Good, The Bad & The Ugly's soundtrack yesterday, so I'm obviously being brainwashed in some unseemly manner.

Tonight shall see the finale of Trauma Team if I have anything to say about it. But first, I go now to throw a pork tenderloin that has been marinading in lemon and herbs for a few days on the grill. Mmm...

Saturday, May 29, 2010


It was Garrett's first day of soccer for the summer and he got off to a running start. Not to cleat around the bush, but he was having a real ball. His only goal this season is to have fun and learn how to elbow girls who get in his way :)

Seriously though, he is still head and shoulders above everyone else on his team, literally. At the very least, it makes it easy to spot him in the scrum. He was even starting to get a hang of the concept of passing to other people so that the team could score instead of treating soccer like an individual sport. If he comes away with nothing else for the summer, I'll be happy with that.

At least he has the Wager "I'm concentrating" tongue!

He just has to watch out for the other team. They play dirty!

Monday, May 17, 2010

You Put What Where?

Julie is heading out of town tomorrow for a business trip and it seems that the kids are bound and determined to make her glad she's gone :)

Just before supper tonight, Kara turned to us and said, "I've got a shoe up my nose."

It turns out she had shoved a tiny little shoe from her Cinderella doll right up her nostril. I tried to get it out by massaging the nasal passage and shining a flashlight up there, but to no avail.

So off to the hospital we went. Amazingly, there were no patients in the waiting room in Georgetown tonight and we were whisked right in. The doctor had a look inside and then had me perform the procedure to help extricate the nasal footwear.

For those at home who want to know what to do if your kid shoves something up their nose, it's quite easy to fix (most of the time).

Step 1: Plug the other nostril.
Step 2: Put your mouth over their mouth a la performing mouth-to-mouth respiration.
Step 3: Blow into your beloved child's mouth in short, strong breaths to force the offending blockage out.
Step 4: Stand back or you will have the side of your face coated in mucus.

While we didn't actually get the shoe out by doing this, we did get it close enough to the edge of her nostril that we could see it and pull it out with tweezers. We were in and out of the hospital in about 15 minutes, which was awesome.

So now Julie has a fun little story to tell over dinner tomorrow or Wednesday while she is in sunny Calgary :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

As You Wish

At bedtime tonight, I fired up ye olde TV to put some cartoons on for the kiddies. What to my wondering eyes should appear but The Princess Bride on YTV. Since my kids didn't immediately scream for something different, I left it on and had the sheer pleasure of watching my kids experience my favourite movie in the whole wide world for the first time.

We came in just as Buttercup was pushing Westley down the hill so there is a significant part of the movie that the kids haven't seen yet. Kara was all over Princess Buttercup (ah, girls and their princess phases) while Garrett was shouting for Westly to kill the R.O.U.S. in the Fire Swamp... and seems inordinately interested in how one would design a machine to suck the life out of people.

I've wanted to show the kids The Princess Bride for a few years but always thought it was a bit too heavy on the witty dialogue for them to get into and enjoy. Thankfully those fears have been put to rest and I will rotate one of my multiple copies of the DVD into service in the near future.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Garrett came to me this afternoon after I got home from work to inform me that his tooth is loose. Man, now I'm REALLY starting to feel old. My kid can't be old enough to lose a tooth yet!

If he had his druthers, he'd be chomping on bricks to get it out of his mouth. I told him to just keep eating his apples and it would come out sooner than later.

Now to get on the phone with the Tooth Fairy and see what the going rate for a gently used chomper is these days.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Zoom! And Then I'm Gone Again!

Hey! I got new glasses. As you can see, I'm very excited and happy about this.

Of course, I took that picture after donating blood after putting in a 9.5 hour day (including staff meeting!) and having a whirlwind visit with the family between 6:45 and 7:15. Sigh. If I survive this week, I'll be happy.

I'm going to be in London on Thursday and Friday for a conference for work. Yay? It should be nice though and I get to stay in a hotel with my boss, so that should be interesting... right? At least I have to work this weekend too. Wait... That's not good...

If anyone has any spare hours to donate to me so I can not feel as run off my feet as I am this week, I'll be more than happy to take them off of you!

Friday, May 07, 2010

She Ate Candy And Babies...

This is, by far, the best Mother's Day comic ever made.

I'm Certifiable... Potentially

Well today marked the day that I finally finished my exam to be a Small Water Systems Operator. That basically means that I can monitor a well on a residence or small business. Yay?

For an open book, multiple choice final exam that I could do at my leisure, there were a few real stumpers that took me much longer than it should have to figure out. That said, I think I did pretty well all things concidered. Now to get this puppy off to the post office and out to Walkerton. The wait begins.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Birthdays In Afghanistan Don't Count!

It's my little brother's birthday today. He has been in-country in Kandahar for... 2 days now and is doing fine (I hope!).

Here's a picture of him before he left:

And here's an artist's rendering of what he'll look like when he returns:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Whatcha Readin'?

I've been reading some really good books lately. On the comic/graphic novel front, Invincible is awesome. As most of the forewards to the books say, it's a superhero comic that isn't ashamed of being a superhero comic. I've only got the first 4 books but they're great.

On a more productive note, I've also been reading "Working With You Is Killing Me", which is full of both pure common sense AND practical tips for working with people who drive you nuts. I'm finding it so useful that I'm buying a copy to share with Julie and my coworkers.

And to top things off, I got the newest Dresden book from the library and if Jim Butcher's Twitter feed is any indication, it has a humdinger of an ending. I've got some ideas about where it may go but I hope that none of them pan out because they would be very, very bad things.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another One?!

So Garrett mentions, out of the blue, that he would really like another baby sister... or brother, it doesn't matter. This after we had one of the worst days out with Kara ever. I mean, we had to haul her out of at least two different stores and plonk her in the car until her meltdown subsided. Sheesh.

That said, if we did have another one, I could do this:

Apologies for linking to two SMBC comics in one week, but when they go for the nerdy, I love it.

Mind, Prepare To Be Blown

Check out this story about a time traveller caught on film in the 1940s. It might be a hoax but it's pretty crazy if the actual photo is legit and this isn't just a strange fashion statement of the times.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sounds Familiar...

I swear I've had this conversation with Julie, only with a little less fire...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guess Who's 3!

Hey! It's Kara's 3rd birthday today! Alas, she's a bit sick, but she's a trooper and was able to have a little party at the babysitter's place regardless of the sniffles.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dawn Of 'Internet'

This is an awesome news report (starring a much hairier Peter Mansbridge) breaking news of 'Internet' back in the day. Not THE Internet. Just Internet.

And I have to agree that the part where the guy says there isn't a lot of swearing or put-downs is probably the funniest (and sadly, most untrue) part of the whole piece. Ah, remember the good ol' days?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

So today was my mom's big birthday. I won't spill the beans on which one, but it did have a 6 and a 0 in it :)

I'm still digesting the food from Saturday's big dinner...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Delightfully Odd

We went out for dinner for my mom's birthday today at a nice steak & seafood place that was like stepping back in time about 50 years. It was staffed by a crew of incredibly classy older Italian gentlemen who were very nice and friendly. We were all kind of thrown by this as we're used to having the bubbly blonde server when we go out to restaurants and we weren't quite sure how to handle these guys. That said, they were great servers, the food was amazing and I think one of them was trying to hit on Julie because he brought her a prime rib that was about the size of a small moose.

I mean, we've cooked roasts for our family that were smaller than the slab of meat that she was brought. The leftovers alone from her meal will feed our family for 2-3 days. Of course, this meant I get to give Julie the gears about her Latin lover for the next few days :)

It was an odd meal, but a thoroughly charming kind of odd that was the perfect way to step out of our comfort zone. I'd do it more often if it was as enjoyable as this :)

We were also able to get my mom's good friend Philip to join us (hint: his birthday is the same day as my mom's, so this was a great 2-fer) and he proved that ALL men need a crazy hobby as he had his set of fancy fountain pens in tow. It turns out that he repairs fountain pens in his spare time. Now I feel like busting out my calligraphy set and seeing what it's all about.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Morning!

Well, I sure feel a lot better tonight.

I crashed at around 8pm last night and was dead to the world until around 2am... Unfortunately, I couldn't go back to sleep so I just crashed on the couch for a few hours watching TV and feeling like crap.

I took today off as a sick day and it's a good thing I did. I ended up sleeping from about 8:30-9am until 3pm today. My body obviously needed to catch up on sleep and while I'm still kind of achey, I feel a lot better than I did over the weekend. Whatever has been dogging me for the past week seems to have been exorcised after my day of snoozing.

I just hope I can sleep tonight!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fun In The Sun!

So today was "Act Like A Jerk" day around these parts. I was probably one of the worst perpetrators, but it wasn't helped by everyone else being idiots.

I had to help ask a few people to move their cars out of the fire routes here at the house and while one person was perfectly understanding about parking on the road, the other morons acted as though we told them they had to move out and then burned their house down behind them.

And they are well aware that they aren't supposed to park in the middle of the parking lot! Well, they had their one courtesy reminder to move the car. Next time I'm just calling a tow truck and they can pay the bill.


I was in a pretty grumpy mood most of today too. I think I'm coming down with something and everyone else was just getting on my nerves. And we bought a new BBQ today and I spent the last part of the afternoon putting it together, which didn't help my mood much.

And add in some cranky kids and, well... recipe for disaster. I think we all need to go to different rooms of the house and chill out! I just want to get the kids to bed and then I'm going to just flake out on our bed and snooze for the rest of the night.

Anyway, enough moaning and groaning. Here's the new BBQ, by the way...

Behold The New Furniture!

So this is a little bit late in coming but here are some pictures of our new couch and chair!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A Mouse's Life For Me!

We popped into the pet store today after our trip to EB & Play N Trade and saw these cute little mice on their wheel. I could have spent the better part of an hour just watching them spin around and around. I was sure they'd get their tails wound around the axle of the wheel but amazingly, that never happened.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


April Fools!

I'm too tired to think of a great April Fools joke this year. I should just skip work on a lark :) Nah.

Did anyone out there pull off (or plan to pull off) a great prank this year? I still have fond memories of the one I pulled, what, 6 years ago or so when I convinced one of the people at the district office that all of the furniture we had stored at work was stolen. Ah, good times.

Now I must focus my energies into teaching Garrett the art of the prank.

All Hail The New King Of Chairs!

Well, our furniture was delivered yesterday. As with most things, there were a few hiccups. First off, they called at 7am to let us know that they would be coming between 9 and 12... which was a little earlier than the after 4pm timeframe we had arranged and were working around. Thankfully I was able to pop home to let them in when they came.

I also had to screw the legs on the bottom of the couch, which was no big deal but kind of annoying. We also had a big rip in the lining on the bottom of the couch but I was able to parlay that into a $50 discount on the couch since it's not visible and doesn't do anything structural to the couch. I just didn't want to have them deliver another couch :)

The kids are still trying to come to terms with the fact that the old chair and couch are gone. I, on the other hand, fell asleep in the recliner and snoozed there all night long until just now. That's a good thing :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

There's A Couch Sized Hole In My Soul

Well, today was the end of an era. We no longer have our lovely green leather couch. We went out to The Brick on the weekend and bought a new couch and recliner (sadly, not a reclining couch) and since they're delivering the furniture tomorrow, I needed to find a home for the furniture stat.

Dave got the first dibs and tonight he came down and put his fancy new truck to good use and hauled away Ol' Greeny. It's kind of sad to see that couch go. We've had it since we got married 11+ years ago and it was at my parents' place a good 7-8 years prior to that. That couch has seen many a friend snooze on it, many a kid jump on it and many a game played on it. Hopefully the new couch will live up to its legacy.

It was tough to find a couch that had the right feel to it but I think we picked a winner on the weekend. Of course, what I'm REALLY looking forward to is the recliner. I've wanted a recliner for as long as I can remember and we never had one growing up, so I've had to live vicariously through grandparents and in-laws. Now I shall recline all on my own!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So yesterday saw unleashing a truly awesome productivity killer upon the world: 'Stachetastic.

From The Kids

Behold pirate Garrett.

I think it's a $0.99 app normally but I've been having fun putting beards and mustaches on everyone I can get a picture of at work and home :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Super Soup Tuesday!

Man, the soup I made is probably the tastiest soup I've ever made. I was worried that it wasn't going to turn out right but mmmm... it's delicious. It took two days of simmering but it'll be worth it for supper tonight.

Bean & Ham Soup

We basically just saved the water we used to boil the ham on Sunday, added a lot more water and the ham bone and simmered it all night on Sunday. Before going to bed, remove all the bones and gristle and nasty bits and cool it in the fridge overnight. Remove the fat the next day, add 2 cups of beans and let simmer again all day. Cool again in the fridge overnight, let it simmer all day, add ham chunks, serve and enjoy.

I was mostly worried that it would be too salty, but nope. It's delicious... on par with my mom's Bean & Bacon soup if I do say so myself!

Freeze Or I'll Chop Off Your Head!

I forget if I've linked there before or not, but if you want to read something truly amazing, check out Axe Cop. It's a comic written by a 5-year old boy and drawn by his 29 year old brother. This is the kind of thing I want to do with Garrett. It's astoundingly awesome in its absurdity but as the father of an almost 6 year old boy, it's scarily familiar.

I mean, it has a vampire baby man, shark ninjas, unicorn babies and a guy with socks for arms. How can you not love that?

Monday, March 22, 2010

That Was Strange...

I just had a call from Bell's loyalty center. They wanted to know why I was cancelling my internet after being with them for 10 years. I was like, "What? I just upgraded to your fibre optic lines last week!"

The guy was falling over himself to apologize for the cancellation order. It was kind of sad. I should have held out for some free internet though. I even asked him, "Is there any kind of great deal you were going to throw my way to woo me back?"

Alas, I'd already tipped my hand. Sigh.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

TRU? More Like TRFU!

Well, I just sent Toys R Us an angry e-mail. Why?

Remember how I picked up the DSi last week for $179? Shopper's Drug Mart has DSi's on now for $159. So I figured I'd just go back to TrU and get my $20 back. Well, that was a lost cause.

They called the local Shopper's and they had DSi's in stock but not in White, so he wouldn't give me my money back. I was livid to say the least. If I was more of a person inclined to make a scene, I would have, but I restrained myself. It's not like I shop at TrU very often, but I definately won't now.

I would have been fine with them turning me down because none of the local stores had DSi units in stock but to turn me down because they didn't have the exact colour? Bugger that!

We'll see if anything comes of my grumpy e-mail.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Gift To You

We survived the trip to the Children's Museum in Kitchener today and took in the Our Body exhibit (which was like a slightly cheaper, less impressive version of Bodyworlds) and Kara got over her fear of elevators... at least for today.

We had a delicious steak dinner for supper but that was marred somewhat by Kara's bedtime meltdown. Sigh. She's had a very packed week and I think we've overloaded her brain. Hopefully a couple of quiet days will help get her back into a regular bedtime routine.

Anyway, here's a really cool tilt-shift video of New York City. I just love the way that tilt-shift video really bends your perception.

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

Thanks Mom & Dad!

I'd just like to say a big, "Thank You!" to my parents for giving the world the opportunity to meet me 34 years ago today.

Now to go play some Infinite Space and see if they'll give me a nice shiny spaceship for my birthday :)

It's NO Day!

Kara was in a fine mood today. The first half of the day was great. We all went out to Terra Cotta for the maple syrup fest and I even had a chickadee come and eat seeds out of my hand. St. Francis, eat your heart out :)

But man, this afternoon it was like a switch flipped. Kara had a major freak-out when Julie put her blankets in the laundry and that lasted a good 20 minutes or so. She eventually settled down but was pretty cranky for the rest of the day. This evening didn't go much better as she was just yelling "NO" to EVERYTHING for what felt like an hour but was probably 15 minutes or so.

We're just pooped. I think I got a bit of a sunburn from the morning tromp in the woods and from spending a couple of hours outside with Garrett as he played with our sitter's kid on the scooter she gave him yesterday. He'll sleep well if nothing else. Hopefully Kara gets whatever bug crawled up her butt out of her system so that we can have fun at the Children's Museum in Kitchener tomorrow.

I mean, it's not like she can be much grouchier!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

So last week we got a call from Bell offering to upgrade us to the new Fibre Optic network that they've rolled out. We decided to bite because it will cost us about $3 more than what we're paying for our DSL connection with a huge boost to the speed we can pull in off of the net.

Today's the day they're flipping the switch so hopefully we'll notice a huge surge in speed later today. If I never update again, well, you'll know why :)

Listen To The Leprechaun!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! We're celebrating by getting a babysitter and going out for wings and (for me) a pint o' Guinness :)

Why Am *I* The Tired One?

We didn't do anything incredibly groundbreaking yesterday. The kids went to the Alliance church in Georgetown for a Music Maker activity morning and had a lot of fun making music videos, crafts and other goofy things. After that was done, we toodled over to EB to pick up God Of War 3 (woo) and then it was off to Dash Sports for Garrett for a couple hours.

Once that was finished, we hit the park and the kids ran around for a good hour or so, then came home and ran around with one of the local kids for another hour.

Yet Kara STILL stayed up until almost 9pm and I'm the one who feels like I was chasing everyone around. Sigh.

I had to chuckle in the afternoon though. I sent Kara out into the backyard to get fresh air and sunshine while I fired up God Of War. She kept coming in, complaining about bugs (there were a lot of flies). So I handed her the flyswatter and sent her back out. She had a lot more fun slaying the wee beasties once she was armed :)

We're not 100% sure what we're going to do today. I'm probably taking the kids out to the glow-in-the-dark mini-putt in Guelph in a little while. They're busy building Lego structures for the contest at the library as we speak.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Holding Mass For The Fallen Games

And Mass Effect 2 is finished. I think I did a very bad thing at the end of the game with one of the choices I made, but I think it was one of those decisions which will come back to haunt me in Mass Effect 3 regardless of which way I went with it. It's a definate damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario.

I lost two squadmates during the final mission which made me a little disappointed. I'd really thought I had a plan which would have resulted in everyone surviving... oh well. The sad thing is that I was more concerned with the fate a few of the NPCs on my ship than about the squaddies that took one for the team.

Talk about good timing though. I've got God Of War 3 arriving tomorrow and Final Fantasy 13 still puttering away in the background. The nice thing is that GoW3 is the last game I'll be getting for some time. Heck, I went and bought a DSi yesterday so there went any inkling of extraneous gaming for some time.

A Fitting Birthday Present!

In case you haven't picked up my birthday present yet, feel free to order me an XL of this shirt!

I think it fits, literally and figuratively.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Busy Do-Nothing Day

This morning I woke up on the first day of March Break and had no clue what we were going to do. By 5pm, we'd done a lot more than I expected.

We started the day by going to the Guelph Children's Museum (which I was unware of even existing until this morning!) and had an hour or two of fun there.

Afterwards, we went to St. Jacobs and had lunch at the Stone Crock before heading over to the outlet mall.

We went to the Lego store/fun-land at the end of the day and saw some really cool things, like, say, LEGO BATMAN!

If you click on that, you can see some of the giant Lego mechs and such too. It was daunting... esp. when you go into the store and see how much they're charging for Lego!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Like Tweedledum and Tweedledumber

I took Garrett to see Alice In Wonderland today and we both loved it. I was worried it would be too dry for him but my fears were allayed as soon as Alice fell down the rabbit hole. And I LOVE the design of the card soldiers. Great flick.

Alas, I ruined my good mood by swinging by my usual EB to see if I could gripe to the manager about the fiasco that was my Yakuza 3 pick-up the other day. She was there but on the phone and she vanished into the back room. When I gave up waiting and queried to the clerk about the possibility of there having been a pre-order bonus for Yakuza 3, I had to endure the same blank stares and incessant repetition of the name of the bloody game that I endured the other day, only this time I wasn't even going to be getting anything in return. I had to bite my tongue when the clerk told me that the girls working the counter on Wednesday night were pretty knowledgable because my experience was that both girls would have been hard pressed to be aware of the act of breathing, let alone esoteric Japanese brawler/RPG pre-order bonuses.

It's a shame, because that store has usually been the bastion of sanity that I use to counter most gripes about EB that I read on the interwebs. Alas, most of the old staff and managers have been sent to the 4 winds (some of them still work at some of the other local stores, but they're shuffled around like a deck of cards) and the new crew they have a) doesn't know me from a hole in the ground (my doing because I took a few months off of patronizing their store) and b) seems to consist entirely of teen girls who are more interested in caking on make-up than knowing ANYTHING about their products. I feel sad because I probably know more about the way their policies and procedures work than they do and I have never worked for EB for a day in my life! Sigh.

After GoW3 hits, I have nothing else on order at that store and I think I'll just patronize the other non-GS/EB store where I know the owner and don't want to strangle the staff. That, and Amazon. I'm only going to bother with EB if there's a good pre-order goodie that is worth the hassle... or if they rotate out the dead weight and get some people in there with a brain in their noggin. Sadly, the manager is good people, but her staff, aside from one person, is dumber than a sack of rocks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is This You?

I had a couple of calls tonight, both on my cell and land-line, from a 416-645... number. I figured that they must have been trying to find me because they called both the house and my cell, but the number is unlisted and in Toronto. Strange...

I wonder if it's YOU!

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Achievement Unlocked: Find a store willing to sell me a copy of FFXIII the day before it hits store shelves.

Now I have to wait until tomorrow to get it. Grr... But I can't wait! I've been chomping at the bit to get this game for months!

Bask in the Japanesey goodness!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

That's Now How You Make A Drive-Through!

After finishing up a coffee run during the day today, we saw on of Halton Hills' finest taking pictures in the parking lot of the convenience store next door. We couldn't figure out what was going on until we pulled out around the cruiser and saw that a car had driven into the front of the convenience store.

I guess Rallis' Burger really wanted a drive-through :)

It didn't look like anyone was hurt, thankfully. But man, what a mess.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Best Fairy Ever

If Kara ever got her wish and became a fairy (instead of her other wish, which would to become a princess), I have a sneaky suspicion she'd be this kind of fairy.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sharing Time With The Kids

The kids and I are up here in Thornbury with my parents, giving Julie a well deserved break. We're staying at the timeshare until tomorrow. Today was a very busy day indeed. We went snowshoeing over near Blue Mountain and the kids loved it. It was a little dicey when we went over the suspension bridge and it started to sway but the kids were troopers and didn't chicken out.

We had wings at Blue Mountain afterwards and went swimming this afternoon. Unfortunately, Garrett seems to have managed to get some water in his ear and has succumbed to the travails of the day and swimmer's ear and has been snoozing since 6ish. Hopefully a good night's sleep (and a dose of Tylenol) will make everything better by the morning.

Check my Twitter feed for some pictures from our day (including the museum pieces in the arcade here at the timeshare). I'll put more pictures and some videos tomorrow when we get home.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What A Wonderful World

I love the fact that we live on a planet that hosts as cute a lifeform as this guy.

Check out the link for a very cool page all about the Mariana Trench. Or is it the Marianas Trench? At least I know it's not called the Marinara Trench, which is what I called it for about, oh, 26 years :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Garrett's school is putting on a dance-a-thon in March and he needs sponsors! If you'd like to help his school raise a bit of money (and remember, they're still in recovery mode after that vandalism incident a few weeks back and could use all the help they can), feel free to click here and pledge away.

He's dancing on March 4th at Robert Little, he's in Senior Kindergarten and his name is Garrett Wager. Feel free to pledge whatever you'd like. We're trying to get at least $25 for the kid and the school is hoping to hit $6000 from the entire event.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mind, Prepare To Be Blown

I present to you: Rock Sugar aka Journitallica aka Mettourney. This thing shouldn't work, but it does!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yeah, About Those Updates

Go figure. I make a post about keeping my blog updated regularly and then I don't post anything for 8 days. Work has been insane and what little time I have had hasn't been spent on blogging. Tweety type things, sure, but not full thoughts.

I will fix that! I'm also looking forward to some time off soon and March will see me with a lot of free time (I hope!) At the very least, I'm going to take the kids to the time share and I'm also going to have March Break off... I wonder where we'll end up this year!

Curling! It's Popular!

Misery Loves Sherman is doing a story arc all about curling. I got a chuckle from the recruiting poster :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Comments? Questions? Updates?

So Haloscan is going the way of the dodo bird shortly and I'm likely going to just switch over to the bog-standard Google/Blogger comment system. I just have to figure out how to do that :)

I'd like to stay with whatever Haloscan is turning into but I refuse to pay for something as basic as comments on my blog. Thanks to everyone who has followed along over the years and I do truly value your input.

Speaking of the blog, I'm also hoping to get back in the habit of updating this bloody page a little more regularly. Work has been insanely busy over the past, what, 8 months or so and when I come home I would rather just play a game than write about my day. I've also been doing a lot more writing for other sites when I do get a chance to write, so that has kind of lowered the number of posts here on Not L33T. Well, things seem to be finally settling down enough at work that I'll be a little less womped when I get home. Plus my family is finally becoming interesting again :)

If nothing else, keep an eye on my twitter feed. Now that I have twitter on my phone, I can at least post a quick update wherever I am.

More Stuff On The NEt

I found a few things whilst poking about on the internet this morning while waiting for Garrett to finish writing out his last 2 Valentine's cards. First a little something for the ladies.

And then there's Rainy Mood, which will be the perfect counterpoint for all the guys who get bottles of Old Spice from their ladies :)

Speaking of precipitation, boy, that Snowmageddon '010 sure didn't materialize, at least not out our way. I think we got all of a centimeter of snow. Zzzz...

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Miracle On Ice

Garrett went to his friend's birthday party which just so happened to be a skating party at the local arena. We were able to borrow some skates from a friend of his but we had to buy a helmet, which isn't cheap, esp. if we only use it once!

That said, he had a blast and was definately improving his skills over the course of the afternoon. Just take a look at the videos!

From 2010-02-06 February 2010

From 2010-02-06 February 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dawn Of A Glorious New Era

At the ripe old age of 33, I have finally signed up for my very first cellular phone. And to mark this momentous occasion, I didn't get just any phone. No no no... that would be too easy.

I gots me one of THESE!

It's so beautiful...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Like A Snow Day - With Grafitti

Well this sucks. Garrett's school was broken into last night and according to the school website and news blurb, 11 out of 19 classrooms AND the library were vandalized. Grr.

Garrett gets the day off school, which he's happy about, but now I've got to rejig our plans for the day and try to figure out what to do. Hopefully they get the mess cleaned up and the investigation completed before Thursday.

Who breaks into an elementary school anyway? Stupid kids...

[UPDATE] Looks like they caught the punks who did the dirty deed. They should be forced to clean up the mess and THEN go to jail for a while.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Get Her A Bucket!

Go over to and at the very least watch the Star Wars video. It totally brightened my day.

I'd hate to see that lady at the end of a movie that is actually sad!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

First You Get The Sugar...

I've been able to stick to my one major New Year's Resolution (it's so important it's capitalized) and have not bought a Tim Horton's coffee, donut or anything else at 'the chapel' since Dec. 31st of 2009.

I've been tempted, to be sure, but so far I've resisted the many urges to go there and have enjoyed making my own coffee, though my attempt to clear out the remaining stock of instant coffee yesterday wasn't a good idea. I mean, I have a full jar of the stuff. What was I thinking?

Anyway, last night at work one of the guys was heading out to Tim's for the nightly coffee run and he mentioned that he owed me a coffee from before the new year. Since I technically wasn't buying it, I said it was fine if he picked up a cup o' joe for me. The thrust of the resolution wasn't to cut back on my caffeine intake as much as it was to help limit the stupid amount of money I was spending there.

I have to say, after being without the wonder drug for 3 weeks, I'm not sure I'm going to be in such a rush to go back. The first sip was wonderful, to be sure, but either their two scoops of sugar are much bigger than they used to be or I've gotten used to the lesser amount that I use at home in my own coffee. The stuff tasted like syrup last night and I could barely choke it down after the initial euphoria subsided.

So I'm back to drinking my own coffee again and I think I'll be happier this way. It was nice to kind of give in (without really giving in) last night because it made me appreciate my new take on the roasted bean brew.

Now let's see if my rice cracker and tuna lunch diet sticks. Someone at work did ask if I've been 'getting trim', if I recall their words correctly. Maybe I have...

Know Thine Universe

This is really impressive. Enjoy the tour of the known universe!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hot Fries Are Hot

So some girl had a seizure at the local KFC and did a face plant in her bowl of poutine. Now her dad is speaking out about the company to try to get them to say, "Sorry our hot fries, cheese and gravy are hot."

I'm not entirely sure what he wants from them. He went on record saying that he didn't want 10 million dollars (insert Dr. Evil picture here) and even felt sort of responsible for allowing his daughter to go there alone. Plus it sounds like everyone responded fast to help her. It's like he's sad they didn't set up a memorial to her burnt chin when he went back there in the afternoon. Heaven forbid a business goes back to normal a few hours after a relatively minor injury happens that they had nothing to do with.

Would he sue the makers of a bike if she had a seizure and fell off and hurt herself? Bah. Idiots and whiners. Feh. Let's just all eat a bunch of room temperature food with spoons so we don't hurt ourselves.

I'm just grumpy because I worked the overnight last night and haven't eaten all day and all this talk of poutine is making me hungry. Plus I'm not in the mood for whiners who want to legislate or sue common sense and the smidgen of personal responsibility that we have left to us out of existence.