Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Weird Martini

So, I've been tagged by Lo, who, apparently, is dying to know 5 weird things about me. Take a moment to mentally prepare yourself for this. It might make you laugh, or it may haunt you forever.

Hotels beware.I destroy blankets with my fingernails. Very much the opposite of Prisoner's Of War, I enjoy the pressure of something under my fingernails. I lay away for hours, sliding the rough edge of a blanket under my fingernails, occasionally snapping the fibres, and sometimes cutting my skin, or breaking a nail. But you won't hear me complaining about that. I can't stop until the blanket is destroyed, and the edges are soft and frayed. Then I sit and sulk until a new blanket mysteriously appears on the bed.

Meesta Nakamura is not happy! He want answers!I love Japan and I hate answering machines. What does that mean? It means that whenever I call someone and get their answering machine or voicemail, I pretend to be, nay, I become Mr. Nakamura. I leave nonsensical or incoherent messages with a thick Japanese accent. My messages usually involve an order waiting to be picked up from my warehouse: Haro? Dis is meesta Nakamura. Rooking foh Krev-co Industry. You have ordah to be pick up at warehouse. Foh barrel. You pick up.
There is never a need to leave my name or number, because everybody knows my weirdness.

.Brooms suck, vacuums suck, Swiffers suck: I am the ultimate cleaning machine. I sweep the floors with my bare hands, capturing all the cat hair, human hair and fish scales that clog our hardwood floors. Even if we just Swiffered, I get down on my hands and knees to finish the job. Nothing escapes my almighty hands. Once I'm done, do not be afraid to shake my hand. I wash thoroughly, as I detest dirt on my hands more than dirt on my floors.

Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 2, Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic Park 4, Jurassic Park 5: I've seen 'em all.Some think this is weird. Others think it's cool. I think it will save my life some day: I save all my movie stubs. My only regret is that I did not start saving them sooner. My earliest stub is Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey from 1991. Why would this collection save my life? My movie stub for "Batman Begins" will be my alibi when I'm falsely accused of murdering some skanky prostitute in a rat-infested back-alley where drunk teenagers are making out in a dumpster on a pee-soaked mattress. Seriously.

Can you believe this sweet kitty used to pee on my homework?Gravestones Beware, I cannot call animals by their given names. Meet one of my kitties, Oliver, who lives with my parents. We can all agree that his given name is completely stupid. That is why I have given him some much better ones, although I cannot recall the exact order they developed. Oliver became Shmegliver. Then Shmeglin. Shmeg, Shmeggy, Shmego, Shmegloctopus, Shmegloctopus the Eight Legged Shmeg, Mew Mew, Baby Mew, Mewy, Baby Bubba, Bub, Bubba, Bubbalizer, Beebee, Bebadybew, and Sweety Beebee.
And if you think that's weird, wait till you meet Googin (rest in peace).

To finish this Meme, here are the five people I want to complete this same task:
1. Michael Jackson
2. Bjork
3. Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo
4. Macgyver
5. Martha Stewart

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sesame Street Fish Food

Fish Food + Cat Food = Dog Food?One of these things is not like the others,
most of these things are kinda the same.
Can you tell which one is doing its own thing,
before my song is done....
And now my song is done.

Upstairs, in our spare bedroom, sits a 50 gallon aquarium weighing about 700 pounds. Inside this aquarium are tropical freshwater fish. These fish require food. Fish food, to be exact. That's important to remember.

I "collect" plecos. The plecostomus is a totally ancient fish from South America, and each one is so cool-looking, I can't resist buying them.

My pride and joy is Sir Glubs-a-lot, a Sailfin Gibbiceps from the Loricariidae family. I've had this bad boy since about 1996. In the last 10 years he has grown to his full size of 18 inches.

Being 18 inches long means he's a strong boy. Strong boys require lots of food. Zucchini is great, but it floats, and is therefore difficult to eat. So food comes in the form of these green algae discs, above. Sir Glubs-a-lot requires 6 of these a day. I throw in 8 each day so that my other, tiny 4-inch and 7-inch female plecos can eat too.

The other day I found something unusual in my fish food. It appears to be a piece of cat food. Beige cat food. CAT FOOD!

What is Wardley trying to tell me? That my fish need tartar control? That my fish have bad breath? Is this some sort of new marketing gimmick?

And that makes me wonder, when a new dog food is 25% tastier, how do they know this? Who tests it? Scientists? How do they add 25% more flavour molecules? And why did they leave them out in the first place? How do they ask dogs their opinions? Can dogs talk?

Not even the big orange and white Sesame Street dog, Barclay, said a word. But if he could, I doubt he'd say his new food was 25% yummier.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Denon AVR-1506 Receiver

Denon: repsonsible for drastic increase in pre-teen deafness.

Break out the cigars! The newest addition to my home theatre family is the confusing, but cool, Denon AVR-1506 7.1 surround receiver. It replaces my 4-month-old Sony STR-DE997 7.1 receiver.

After listening to this noble-looking receiver it for a few days, I've come to the conclusion that it's 24% phenomenal, 25% completely radical, and features 51% awesomeness.

This causes a 12% increase in spine-tingling thrill, putting the stately silver Denon on equal footing with my old 5.1 Sony receiver.

Even better than the physical looks of the Denon is most certainly the sound. Although it's only rated at 75 watts per channel, the power rating is different from the standard manufacturers. The 75 pure watts it delivers is quite adequate.

The sound quality it delivers is, like, totally stunning. During a sound-test with Garbage's "Why Do You Love Me?", children playing on the street began crying as they covered their bleeding ears. This just encouraged me to turn the volume up even louder. As distraught mothers ran into the street to save their incapacitated offspring, they too were overwhelmed by the sound and crumpled to the ground in sobbing heaps.

As for video, the Denon does a superb job, especially in comparison to the Sony 7.1 receiver that preceded it. Sadly, though, there is only one optical input. After careful thought, I decided to connect my DVD player instead of the military sonic head-exploder.

On the plus side, all the customizable surround features one would expect are there; Speaker size and distance from the listening position, individual speaker volume levels, and even room size. As well, bass, treble and the LFE (low frequency effect) can be adjusted individually for each of the DVD, TV, CD, etc. inputs.

My only qualm is with the remote. It is menacing and lame at the same time. Button colours are horrendous to say the least, and button functions don't make much sense even for the most studied home theatre nerd.

To confuse you, Denon decided you must press 4 on the number pad for DVD input, 5 for TV, 6 for VCR, etc. These are PRIMARY functions and as such, should have their own button. They should not be piggy-backing on the number pad.

Considering this receiver is supposed to be the brains behind an entire home theatre system, Denon should have put more thought into the remote instead of relying on the CEO's 4-year-old grandson to design it.

Verdict: Receiver = extreme! Remote = extremely stupid.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Even Sony Know They, Themselves, Suck

Get rich off Sony: Invest in shipping companies.

Sometimes I hate being right.

Remember when I returned my Sony STR-DE997 receiver to be repaired under warranty? Remember how I was suspicious that it may not have been repaired? Well, I was right.

At home, I reconnected the 7.1 receiver and took it for a test drive. I loaded The Matrix into my 8-year-old Sony DVD player and skipped to the scene where Morpheus explains the Matrix to Neo, in the white room. I was dumbfounded to see they each had 5 extra legs, ghosted to the right. Not only had the damn receiver NOT been repaired, but I don't think they even looked at it. I examined the screws in the case and found them all to be flawlessly perfect.

Consider this: If someone unscrews a dozen tiny black screws, then screws them back in place, chances are there's going to be a tiny scratch in the paint, unless that someone uses a rubber screwdriver - and as far as I know, those don't exist.

I returned to EHR and explained the problem for a second time. The dude behind the counter seemed surprised. After I told him the same hookup through my old 5.1 Sony receiver resulted in a perfect picture, he attached a special note to the file that stated this was the 2nd time the unit had been in for the same problem. He then told me they would test it in the store before they gave it back to me. I appreciated this, as it was a long drive for me.

Eleven days passed, and I received a phone call on the weekend saying my receiver was repaired.

Before unhooking all my equipment to get the 997 back into the mix, I decided to test the video signal first. I ran a line from the DVD player into the receiver, and a 2nd line into the TV. The result was disappointing to say the least. The video noise problem had still not been fixed, to be precise.

I returned to EHR Monday and spoke to the manager. He understood my problem and sympathized with me. Being a responsible manager concerned about keeping his customers, he exchanged my flawed receiver for the more expensive Denon AVR-1506 7.1 surround receiver.

I originally purchased the Sony STR-DE997 7.1 receiver on sale for $397, half price. But, according to the store manager, a Sony rep even said this unit is not worth $800 and should have sold at $397 to begin with.

What does that tell you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Russ 'Powerless' Powers

This man knows the Caramilk secret.Russ Powers has lost all his power, and is no longer my M.P.

Yesterday was national "Eat Your Ballot Day" for many people. This year the ballots were marinated in a tasty sauce, tempting all of Canada to eat them instead of voting, but somehow a few thousand resisted.

Suz and I were two people who resisted. We voted at the church next door to our old house. That house was a fun place to live - sometimes.

The result of the vote was that the corrupt* Liberals lost their foothold in our riding, as well as nationally. Russ Powers is gone, along with Mr. Martin.

I called Russ Powers' office a few days before the election to inquire about why my letters went unanswered. (Read my letter here.) The pleasant girl who answered the phone informed me that all letters receive a reply, sometimes from the E.A., and sometimes from Russ himself. She couldn't explain why my 4-month-old letters were ignored, nor could she explain the Caramilk secret.

Mr. Powers' E.A. was the next to address my concerns. I wanted to know why my letters were not acknowledged. I asked if it was because I sent my letters during the busy campaign season. The E.A. said that was not the case, as they weren't busy with campaigning in October or November. He quickly pointed out that generally, the workload is "awful", with 55 new cases each day that Russ has to deal with. The majority of the cases were Passport and Caramilk secret-related.

The E.A. asked what my letter was about so that he could look for any records of it, as they keep absolutely everything. After I described the contents of my letter, he quickly reassured me that environmentally-friendly vehicles were an important issue with Mr. Powers, stating "Russ would love to drive an electric car."

This lead to a very nice discussion about sustainable resources and the Ford Motor Company. In the end he assured me that he'd get to the bottom of things and he or Russ would call me back.

Election day came and went with no phone call. If Mr. Powers cared about his constituents, he would have acknowledged my letters. If Mr. Powers wanted my vote, he would have acknowledged my letters. But Russ Powers wasn't doing his job . And because of yesterday's election results, now he's got no job at all.

Good Job Russ!

*According to Judge Gomery and half of Canada.

Friday, January 20, 2006

tic tac Dilemma

Bad breath, bad breath, whatchu gonna do, whatchu gonna do when they come for you.

Not too long ago I ran into a problem when a grocery store failed to charge the correct price for some cookies. The Supermarket Scanning Code of Practice came into the picture.

This story has a better ending.

Just after Christmas Suz and I were shopping for usual things at the local food emporium when a glint of orange caught my eye. The delicious tic tac Stocking Stuffer package sparkled in the fluorescent grocery store lights, tempting me to take a closer look.

Upon inspection of the tasty tic tacs, I discovered the Christmas-themed pack was on sale for half price. Instead of $2.99 for 5, they were $1.50.

After some Martini-style whining, I convinced Suzy Q it was the deal of a lifetime. We purchased the tic tacs. However, the scanner indicated full price: $2.99. Suz made mention of this to the cashier who replied, "Oh, well I guess they're free then!"

"Thank you!" I waved, as Supermarket-Scanning-Code-of-Practice-Man flew up, up and out of sight.

On the short drive home Suz and I got into an arguement. Well, she likes to call them discussions. She said that tic tacs were candy, while I opted for the 'mint' point of view.

Her arguement was enhanced by the fact that the first ingredient of tic tacs is sugar. I conceded that point, but insisted they were mints for two reasons: That's how they're marketed, and even the 'Nutritional Facts' label says "per 3 mints".

So, I propose a poll. Are tic tacs candy, mints, neither, or both?
Click here to take the poll, which opens in a new window.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

HP - invent... Reasons for Layoffs

Warning: May contain nuts, or psychos, if found in a dark alley.

The place I work is constantly having items delivered. Sometimes they're normal, sometimes they're not. But they always come in boxes, and, as I've stated before, I love boxes.

HP makes some fairly decent stuff. I guess that's why we often order from them. I guess that's also why HP made net revenue of 79.9 billion dollars in 2004, and 86.8 billion dollars in 2005.

So they made nearly 87 billion dollars profit last year. That's a lot of green, yes? If so, then those figures have to make you wonder why HP had to lay off 10,000 workers last summer. Hold the phone. Eighty-seven billion dollars profit translates to a poor year? A year so bad that they were forced to lay off 10,000 workers in order to stay competitive? They didn't lose money. They made huge profit. Where does the greed end?

HP - invent...a new house design.How angry would you be if you found out your company continued to make bigger and bigger profits year after year, and they fired you because they couldn't afford to pay your salary? How is that justified? Maybe those poor suckers who lose their job and their house can find comfort in a high-quality HP box.

The hobo palace is not just a box to live in, but a way of life. Large enough for your entire family, it offers Homeless Protection to Hopeful Panhandlers, as well as peace of mind, just until you get back on your feet. The hobo palace is perfect for a homeless person. Available where HP products are sold.


In other news, I found out that a few friends have nominated me for the 2006 Bloggie Awards, specifically in the humour category. Thanks everybody! As in previous years, the Award Ceremony is held in Austin, Texas on March 13.

Grand prize for 2006 is $20.06.It will be a few days before I find out if I'm an official nominee, but since I don't have too many fans, and nominations are based on total number of votes, I am not keeping my fingers crossed.
Update: I am not an official nominee! Nuts!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"I See Dead Kittens"

Beaner's meows for the Ghostbusters went unanswered.

A secret looms in the darkest corner of our dining room, and only Beaner knows what lies beyond the wall. Beaner, the cat that inspired M. Night Shaymalan's totally predictable 'The Sixth Sense', can see dead kittens.

Beaner is a pretty normal cat. She sleeps everywhere, and is very good at eating. But she also does something strange. Once in a while she goes wacky. She sits in the corner of our dining room, staring at the wall. She meows pathetically into the corner. She stands up and scratches at the wall. She sees something.

But there's nothing there.

It's difficult to convince Beaner that she's meowing at nothing. Her meows insist that ghost kittens lurk just behind the plaster. If we pull her away from the wall, she becomes more agitated, and runs back to the corner to continue her dunce-like stare into nothingness.

After months of this eerie behaviour (which she has never exhibited before), I decided to ease my mind by examining the corner. But what I found did not ease my mind at all. In fact, it added to the mystery, and to my uneasiness. I began knocking on the plaster. My knocks revealed nothing unusual. The plaster was solid. Then I knocked on the tall baseboards. Solid, solid, solid.....


A six or seven inch section of baseboard, right in the corner that caused Beaner's persistent meows, was totally hollow! What lies in the hollow gap? What is trapped behind the baseboard that could cause a sane cat to lose her mind?

Whatever it is, it isn't consistent. Sometimes Beaner walks through the dining room without a care, yet on certain occasions, she is driven absolutely mad by the wall. A wall that imprisons the ghosts of kittens she will never be able to rescue.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

SmartCar: Officially Dumb?

They say good things come in small packages. They're wrong.

I feel really great today. Why? Consumer Reports, the Bentley of car testing publications, agrees with me. The SmartCar stinks.

Consumer Reports' chief tester David Champion says he does not think highly of the SmartCar ForTwo, and was quoted as saying, "We don't think they're particularly good, but we've got a lot of people interested in it."

I don't know what his reasons are, but I suspect many of them are the same as my own. Hey, I used to be interested in it too! Until I devoured all the info on the SmartCar website. Then, things changed, anda few months ago I wrote about why I dislike the SmartCar, using facts taken directly from the SmartCar website.

What's strange is that Smart owners seem to be offended by those facts, and threatened by anyone who writes about those facts.

The biggest reason I don't like the SmartCar is because it is fooling everyone into thinking it's some environmentally-friendly, earth-saving, non-polluting vehicle. Most people I've spoken with didn't believe me when I told them it was a diesel. Almost everyone was disappointed to learn it wasn't electric.

I'll tell you right now - Make it electric and I'll do a complete 180 on my opinion of it. It is a great car, but not for Canada, where fuel is cheap, cities are far apart, and the only thing wider than our roads are the trucks that drive on them. Its tiny size may get you a dozen more mpg over a VW Golf TDi, but if it takes 2 trips to get all your groceries home, it defeats the purpose.

In Canada, the SmartCar just isn't a great idea. *Edit* Originally I wrote about the fact that there's no spare tire. Now, something has been brought to my attention in the comments below. The Smart comes equipped with a can of puncture sealant and inflation foam. This information was not provided on the Smart Car website at the time this post was written. I agree the foam can help in some emergency situations, but it can't seal a blow-out. And when you're travelling on a Toronto highway and hit debris, you don't get a puncture. You get a blow-out that only a spare can help with (assuming it's got air). Which is fine if you only plan to use the Smart on city streets - An ideal place for the car.

Additionally, it's unsafe. I know what you are saying, nay, yelling at me right now: It did okay in crash-tests you dolt! Watch the video! So the doors still open. Now, let me give you a harsh dose of reality, and the reason I think it's unsafe. If someone was driving that car, that poor sap would have just lost both legs. Crash tests do not simulate real life. I will eat my words if I ever see someone walk away from their SmartCar after being sideswiped by a Lincoln Navigator changing lanes at 140 kph, causing the SmartCar to bounce off the guardrail like a 72-pound wrestler, directly into the path of Triple H in the form of transport truck barrelling down the highway at a completely normal 120 kph.

Finally, it's just a diesel engine. Invented by Rudolph Diesel in 1892, diesel engines have been used widely in cars since first being used in the 1936 Mercedes Benz 260D. Plain, boring, dirty, smelly, carcinogenic diesel. There's no technological advancement here. Not like VW.

David Champion agrees with me that the SmartCar isn't very good. But without test-driving the Smart Car, I don't know what flaws or quality issues the car has which makes Consumer Reports think poorly of it. This was a car I could have fallen in love with; it's a shame it's an ordinary diesel.

C'mon Mercedes, make it live up to its name. Make it electric! Now that's a smart idea. And I'd be happy to drive one.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Root Canal Horror

Warning: Don't eat stale bread.

presented in pain-o-vision

Yesterday my story left off with my ex-dentist insulting me after he did not perform a scheduled root canal for me. Dr. Jackass then booked me an appointment with an Orthodontic Surgeon by the name of Dr. Idiot.

Ironically, Dr. Idiot happens to be the most brilliant orthodontic surgeon in Ontario. His reputation of performing the most excellent root canals is second to none. I spoke to a number of people about him, and surprisingly, all had heard of him and his superb work.

I finally felt good about my situation. But it didn't last long.

Upon entering his office, I discovered that they didn't know who I was, and I did not have an appointment with them. I told them Dr. Jackass scheduled the appointment for me. After an hour of phone calls and record-checking, they apologized, and began my procedure.

The first big shiny needle full of anesthetic pierced my jaw, beginning a series of horrors. The needle broke, and every ounce of anesthetic it held gushed into the back of my mouth and down my throat.

I choked and coughed. Dr. Idiot pulled the needle out and exclaimed, "That's never happened before!" His assistant asked what was going on, and he informed her that the needle broke. She took it away and returned with a second needle.

The second big shiny needle full of anesthetic pierced my jaw. This time I reacted. As the second needle broke and the anesthetic poured towards the back of my mouth, I quickly closed my throat.

Dr. Idiot pulled the needle out in astonishment. He apologized, assured me the anesthetic was not harmful, left the room and returned with a brand new needle.

I should have walked out of the office when that third needle cracked in my mouth, but for some stupid reason, I still had faith in Dr. Idiot.

The fourth needle, I think, was the one that worked. Well, it would have worked on a normal person. I'm not so normal. As Dr. Idiot drilled into my tooth, I could feel everything. He administered a 5th needle, which had a mild freezing effect on the side of my face. There was nothing more he could do. I felt everything. Every strand of nerves he pulled up out of my tooth, I felt it. I winced with pain throughout the rest of the procedure, but I survived.

With a queasy stomach, I avoided work for 2 days. During this time I learned from Dr. Jackass that I needed a crown on my tooth to prevent it from drying out and breaking. He said my tooth would last about 5 years in its current state, but he preferred to crown the tooth within 2 years.

6 weeks later my tooth broke.

This incident sent me on a mission to find a new dentist. Dr. Asianguy was the type of guy you wished was your best friend. He made me feel better about my oral disasters, fabricated a crown for my tooth, and went to great lengths to get half of the crown covered by insurance.

But it was not meant to be. A week before Christmas, that crown broke, and I had to wait 3 weeks, with a hole in my mouth, to have a new crown made. But even though Dr. Asianguy had since left that business, they still fabricated another crown for me at no charge.

Dr. Jackass, there's a lesson in here for you.

Want something else to do? Check out The Last Word, featuring even more movies!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

All I Want For Christmas...

The orange spots are the filled root 'canals'.

Is my two front teeth?

I know the holidays are over. But 7 days before Christmas I broke the crown on my tooth, and after all the trouble I've had with my teeth in the past, all I truly wanted was my tooth fixed.

It all started about 6 or 7 years ago. One Saturday I woke up and ate some cereal. I'm quite positive it was Raisin Bran. Suddenly I felt a pain in my jaw - An excruciating pain that was actually causing me to black out for a few seconds each time the wave hit.

I called my dentist's emergency number and left a message. An hour later I called it again and left a second message. An hour after that I called a different dental emergency number and they hooked me up with another mouth professional right away.

This dentist was fabulous. His equipment was brand new, state-of-the-art digital equipment. X-rays were more precise, showed more detail, and were less harmful to me.

The x-rays showed some damage to the root of one of my molars. Digital Dentist's opinion? Root canal.

A few days later I gave the digital x-rays to my regular dentist (let's call him Dr. Jackass). His opinion? There's no such thing as digital x-ray equipment, and these x-rays showed nothing wrong with my tooth. We argued for a bit, until he decided to do his own x-rays, claiming that his Siemens equipment, although 10 years old, was the best in the world.

I asked if he was jealous of the other dentist, and set up a cage match for the following Sunday. Dentist vs. Dentist: no holds barred.

The outcome of the x-rays? There was nothing wrong with my tooth, but maybe a root canal would stop the "mysterious" pain.

Tiny pie-hole.He scheduled a root canal for me for the next week. When I went in for the operation, I was stunned to find that it was done in about 40 minutes. I happily paid cash, but asked the receptionist why the bill stated "Emergency Dental Procedure". I told her it was a regularly scheduled root canal. She informed me that Dr. Jackass doesn't do root canals, and that I still had to have one. I argued that I just had the operation done. To settle this discussion, Dr. Jackass entered and explained that he did not perform a root canal.

I asked why he lied to me, why he told me I was having a root canal done, when in fact, I wasn't. He pulled a Paul Martin, and avoided the question. He informed me that he went out of his way in order to relieve my pain during the "emergency dental procedure". For the first time, my voice rose. I angrily told him I was in no pain when I came in for, what I was told, was a root canal operation. I told him I did not book an "emergency dental procedure" and I was fully expecting a root canal to be performed.

He laughed.

That's right, Dr. Jackass, champion of the Dentist Wrestlers, laughed at me. He told me root canals cost upwards of $750, not the $250 I just paid for his 40 minutes of work. After a lengthy arguement, he decided he would give me back my money, but not before insulting me. He told me that he did not want to lose my business, and he would return my money, in good faith that I would return as a client. He said he was sorry that I misunderstood what the appointment was for.

It's true. I find the big dentist words confusing. It's quite easy to get "root canal" and "emergency dental procedure" mixed up. It must have been my fault. A recent study found that most Canadians can't distinguish between the words "root" and "emergency". I constantly find myself asking for Combo #3 with Emergency Beer to drink.

Aching to know what happened during my actual root canal? Read about that disaster tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Something New

Risen from the ashes to shower me with pleasant odors.

It's 2006. Time for something new.

No, not deodorant. I've been using that for a few months now, much to the relief of my co-workers. And, no, Axe Body Spray isn't new either. This particular scent was new a few years ago when I got it, but Axe itself isn't new. In fact, Axe is really old. It's the North American version of Lynx Body Spray, which has been available in merry old England for decades.

So what's new? Tag.

Okay, but what's really new?

I've started a new blog. It's a little romp into the movie world featuring important information that I'm sure everybody (as wacky as me) has wondered at some point. Titled The Last Word, and accessed at http://cuethecredits.blogspot.com, my new blog will feature the last word of movies - the final word before the credits roll.

I've invited my film fan pal Jodster to join me in posting these important last words. Also, I'd like to point out that Jodster came up with the excellent and appropriate URL for the site. He has a knack for those things.

In order to get a jump-start, I've decided to start off my new blog with a triple-whammy: The Lord of The Rings Trilogy. Thrill to the last word of The Fellowship of The Ring. Delight to the last word of The Two Towers. And rejoice to the last word of The Return of The King.

So, welcome to my new blog! I hope you find it informative. If not, don't blame me. I'm simply a messenger, bringing you the last word.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Satellite Snafu

Building a railroad in my backyard.

Allow me to express my opinion of Bell ExpressVu. In fact, allow me to express my opinion of ALL satellite TV systems: They are the worst.

What moron ever dreamed up the idea of beaming satellite signals to a planet covered in trees, satellite's only natural enemy? I'd like to know his name so I can write him an angry letter.

My weekend unraveled into a pile of wasted time & money when Suzy Q decided to end our troubles with Cogeco Cable, the worst cable TV provider we have ever encountered. We thought we'd cut our losses with them and install Bell ExpressVu satellite instead.

Enter: The Installers
Shlomo and Horace were very excited to install our system. It's very cool, and reassuring, when people are excited about their jobs and products. So we watched with excitement as they unpacked our High Definition receiver, and connected it to our Hi-Def Panasonic TV. Hooray!

We accompanied the installers into our backyard where we choose a superb location for the dish. Shlomo drilled the holes and mounted it successfully. Mere minutes from completion, disaster struck. The dude couldn't get a signal. He phoned a third co-worker to come over and assist him. Using inclinometers and lots of cuss words, they concluded there was absolutely nowhere to mount the dish. Our signal was being blocked by our neighbour's single pine tree, which was planted precisely in line with the satellite's only signal direction, probably by the cable guy.

The three installers informed us that our only option was to buy a 1.5" diameter metal pole, pound it into the ground 15 feet back from our house, and mount the dish to that.

With sunken hearts we watched them pack our receivers, remotes and the dish back into their respective boxes, and load them into their van. Shlomo said he'd be back Sunday, or possibly Monday to attach the dish to the pole.

Sunday we shopped.

An 8 foot pole and 15 feet of plastic conduit for the cable totalled $21 at Home Depot. I begrudgingly pounded the pole into the ground and winced at the new-found ugliness of our garden. We waited the rest of the day, but Shlomo didn't show up.

Monday came and went with no sign of the Bell ExpressVu installer. Abandoned by Bell, I came to the conclusion that I was never meant to have satellite. When they first arrived, I felt very confident we'd be watching hi-def channels all weekend, but when they take 3 hours to install your satellite, and spend 2 of those hours on the phone asking for help, that isn't so reassuring.

Two big fat thumbs down for Bell ExpressVu.

Friday, January 06, 2006

More Talon Woes

27 cents. That's exactly what a $2,600 perforated leather Talon seat is worth.

What? $2,600? Yeah. I called the Chrysler Jeep Eagle dealership. Not only is each seat worth approximately $2,600, but you can't order a fully constructed seat. You have to order all the parts, and build it yourself.

But 27 cents? That doesn't make any sense. Or does it? In fact, it makes perfect sense. Allow me to explain as these mild, age-related problems with my Talon continue.

The passenger seat in my 15 year old Eagle Talon TSI collapsed the other day, causing it to become useless, and me to feel depressed. My 2+2 sports car had instantly become a 1+1, as the passenger seat fell onto the seat behind it, rendering them both un-useable.

Pulling the adjustment bar made the seat jump right back into position, but trying to sit in it proved impossible, as it instantly collapsed again.

Being moderately mechanically capable, I decided I would dismantle the seat, find the problem, and fix it.

For the third time in a month I faced the cold as I attempted another repair in my driveway. Previous repairs were hugely successful, yet I wasn't feeling very confident.

I was only able to remove two of three screws holding the plastic fascia on the side of the seat, but it was enough. Looking inside at the mechanics of the seat, I discovered a loose bolt.

It was a big, sturdy, hefty, burly bolt, whose sole purpose was to support the backrest of the seat. Having unscrewed itself somehow, this 27 cent bolt rattling around under the seat was the entire reason it was not functioning.

I slid a 14mm wrench down between the seat and the plastic trim, and turned the bolt back into place. With my self-confidence restored, I played with my newly repaired seat, marvelling at the fact that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

No wait.... a $2,600 seat is only worth as much as its cheapest part. Yeah.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Year's Celebration

Happy New Year!

I'm sure everybody is dying to know what (mis)adventures I had on December 31, 2005 so, not wanting to disappoint my beloved fans, I shall now recount my Top Ten Memories* from New Year's Eve.

*Memories may or may not be accurate due to me being the only one drinking**
**That too, may or may not be accurate, since I was drinking.

10. Crotch-sniffing Husky dogs giving me the "pat-down" upon entering the house.

9. Drunken little Jamie crashing into all her toys, then Child Services coming to take her away. Oh wait, she was just dizzy from spinning. And I must have imagined the rest.

8. Crotching-sniffing Husky dogs progressing their sniffing into licking.

7. Host-Kev and me comparing camera bags, much to the amusement of our good (dirty) friend Paul.

6. Crotch-licking Husky dogs doing some more investigating, delving deeper and deeper.

Man's best friend drinking man's 2nd best friend.5. Crotch-licking-sniffing Husky dogs passing out in front of the wood-stove. (I wonder how that happened?)

4. Non-host-Kev's annual strip-tease by the backyard firepit.

3. Going blind, then regaining my sight. (A very joyous occasion)

2. Making my New Year's Resolution: To win the Nobel Prize for being radical to the extreme, or extreme to the max. I'm good with either one.

1. Baseball Player Zombie's purple sausage.

Yes, the highlight of the evening was Tiff's pinky toe getting crunched under the rocking chair. What does a pinky toe getting broken by a rocking chair sound like? -POP!- And as the night continued, so did the jokes about having sausage for breakfast.

The funny part was, we actually did have sausage for breakfast. And Tiff's toe was the biggest, juiciest one. Mmm!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Destined To Be Late

Buy 4 Get 1 Free!

Suz and I spent New Year's Eve at our friends' place in Collingwood. In previous years we've been working on December 31st and have always arrived too late for the fun snowmobiling and ATV activities. This year was going to be different! With the day off, we packed, shopped, and finally left at 1:00 p.m.

There are essentially two ways to get to the Collingwood house. There's the country back-roads, which takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes, and the highway route, which takes anywhere from 2 to 2-1/2 hours, depending on traffic, and how much you like to speed.

I know what you're thinking. Yes, the country roads are much faster. But there are advantages to both routes.

The advantage of the highway route is that there are only 3 turns involved. The country roads require nearly 20 turns, which translates to "much bigger chance of getting lost."

Due to the heavy snowfall, we decided the snowplows only had time to clear the highways. We didn't want to take a chance and end up in a ditch in the middle of nowhere. Our choice was obvious.

Our choice turned out to be a poor one.

The highway was crammed with 853,000 cars all travelling at exactly 85 km/h. We were mistaken about the snowplows. No clearing had been done at all. We carefully followed the two thin black tire marks ahead of us, as the slushy white stuff piled up all around us.

"Traffic in this town is a slug" declared six Scuba divers, on their way to a Scuba diver's party. "I can't wait to move to China where there are fewer cars" said their leader, Stu.

With my interview complete, we continued along the trecherous highway. We continued for over 3 hours, finally taking our exit ramp off the highway.

This is where we encountered the platoon of snowplows beginning to clear roads, about 10 hours too late.

As a result, we too, were too late to participate in the fun outdoor activities.


This many people accidentally stumbled upon my site
...while searching for porn.