Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it's been a few days since I posted anything here, so I thought I'd put something up to tide everyone over until the New Year. Rest assured that I will be back in the swing of things with near-daily posts starting again in January.

It's been a while since I've posted a mashup track, so today's video is something I saw last week that I thought was just fantastic. It's a mashup by DJ Earworm of the top 25 Billboard Hits of 2009. I highly recommend you have a watch because it's not just the songs, but the videos mixed together as well, all in high quality. It's disgustingly catchy.

Hope you enjoy it. Have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you have a wonderful day with you and your family and friends.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

Last week Nickelback was named the Band of The Decade by Billboard magazine, and I contemplated writing a post ranting about it, but I decided that Chad and his band o’merry rednecks didn’t deserve my time. The fact that there was no other band in the past ten years that Americans bought more albums than Nickelback brings the bile up in my throat, but I wasn’t going to waste my time on it.

Now today I hear the news that Jimmie Johnson was named the Associated Press (AP) Male Athlete of the Year and I couldn’t stay silent any longer. A NASCAR driver named Athlete of the Year? Come on! I’ve long maintained that NASCAR is the most ridiculous ‘sport’ out there…and yes, I’m including Ice Dance. I can’t even fathom how this is the top spectator sport in the U.S. I mean, I suppose I can understand how someone can be interested in the race if you’re actually racing…but how do hundreds of thousands of people gather to watch what is essentially a 4-hour left turn? I’m sure there are some readers out there who have been to a live NASCAR race. What is the appeal? Why do you want to sit in an outdoor facility and watch cars speed by for a nanosecond 400 times?

I guess I really have a problem with NASCAR drivers being considered for ‘Athlete of the Year’, because I don’t think that they should be categorized with traditional athletes that play an actual sport. I understand that auto racing contains elements of stamina, hand-eye co-ordination, and the like…but so does playing video games all night! Should we consider professional gamers ‘Athletes’ as well? Does an ability to play Call of Duty for hours on end qualify you for Athlete of the Year as well?

Or consider the game of poker. To succeed at the World Series of Poker, you’re talking about playing for days…sometimes up to 14 hours or more per day. That takes stamina and mental acumen, and physical fitness to combat fatigue (Red Bull only does so much). Should we consider poker players as athletes? When I played two tournaments in the World Series of Poker this past summer, I lasted into Day 2 of both events, and it was exhausting. Am I an athlete for that?

But the thing that burns my ass a little more about this selection, is that every press release talked about how he won his fourth straight NASCAR championship in 2009. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he didn’t do all 4 in 2009, so how is that relevant? Is he getting credit for the other 3 championships in his consideration in the award for this year? Why don’t we consider anyone who did great things in their selected sport in the past 4 years? Congratulations Tiger Woods (oh man, the irony) and Roger Federer…Jimmie Johnson should be looking up at you two in the voting, then.

Let’s be honest, this guy just DROVE IN AN OVAL REALLY FAST. This is what we consider athletic accomplishment now?


I’m sure there are lots of NASCAR fans out there who read this blog, and I look forward to your comments in the Comments section.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009

I’ve watched all 19 seasons of Survivor, and while I’ve sat through horrible seasons (Vanuatu, Thailand), watched the horror of Vecepia winning in Marquesas, or Sandra and Lillian as the final two in Pearl Islands, and even watched as Amber beat a deserving Boston Rob in the first All-Stars season, nothing was as painful as last night. Russell not winning the $1 Million Dollar prize and title of Sole Survivor was without a doubt the biggest travesty in the history of this show.

As we learned with the Boston Rob/Amber situation on the All-Stars season, sometimes you end up with a ridiculously bitter jury that refuses to acknowledge good game play and instead simply awards the prize to ‘the other option’. But other times, like in the China season, when Todd did the same things, the jury still voted for him. As much as you may hate what the player did to you, he or she did it within the confines and parameters of the game, and that’s good game play. If you can’t respect that and use that as part of your decision-making process, then you shouldn’t be handed the responsibility of helping to choose the winner.

I understand that it’s a social game, and that it’s a fine line between eliminating players and still being able to get their vote. But at it’s core, it’s still a game, and essentially the best player should have a shot to win the game. In last night’s episode, it was clear that Russell had no shot because of the pissy antics of the jury. What was the deal with Erik’s speech? For someone who came in 11th place in the game and whose sole memorable moment was clotheslining himself while chasing a chicken, it certainly was dramatic. I can’t tell if he was drunk, crying, or trying to get a date with Natalie…or none of the above. It just didn’t make any sense.

The jury in itself was clearly a bunch of idiots. Brett comes up and asked a homo-erotically charged question that confused everyone, and clearly made Mick feel uncomfortable. (Hey, remember Mick? He was there, too…did you see him?) Monica asked the standard ''tell me why the people sitting next to you don't deserve the million dollars" question, which, after 19 seasons, I feel is a cop-out. Dave asked a two-second question about percentages which seemed to have no purpose other than to make Russell look arrogant, which even a blind monkey knew prior to Tribal Council. Only Shambo and Erik had any passion or purpose, but both of them just wanted to insult people while saying that they already had their mind made up.

Look, I get that Russell was a total douchebag. I understand that. I hated him at the beginning of the season, but the fact that he was awesome at everything just has to grow on you. And it’s not just CBS editing him to look likeable…they did the exact opposite! They even labelled him “”The biggest villain in Survivor history.” And when he won that last immunity challenge head-to-head with Brett, that was just clutch. I’m talking Mariano-Rivera-bottom-of-the-ninth-in-the-World-Series clutch.

But the thing about Russell is that he absolutely OWNED everything he did. He made no excuses for it, and then answered everything honestly and openly at the Final Tribal Council. He was very straightforward with his moves, explaining when and why he did them, and flat out telling the jury “If you think one of them played a better game than me, give them the million dollars.” And no one on the jury can honestly say that, they can only say that Mick and Natalie played ‘a different game’.

I have nothing against Natalie…she was quite likable all season. It’s the jury that’s to blame, not her. And I understand that sometimes the smartest strategy is to align yourself with an aggressive player who will always be a big target, because then you’ll always be the SECOND choice to vote off, and have two votes minimum to work together…but if that’s what you did, then say it at the Tribal Council with the jury! She didn’t say anything to them that would have convince me to vote for her. All she said was that it was hard and she didn’t think she’d make it as far as she did. This is worth a million dollars? Independent of Russell, if I was leaning towards voting for Natalie going into that Tribal Council, and I heard her answers, I would have changed my mind to NOT vote for her because she proved that she did nothing during the game.
Today on the Early Show, Russell was very un-gracious when talking about the result, even going so far as to say Natalie was undeserving of the money and the title. I don’t necessarily agree with his methods after the fact…you can make your point without being a jerk now, but I understand he’s upset, and rightfully so. One of his comments this morning was “"You know, when you play a football game, and you're the quarterback to the football game, I'm throwing all the touchdown passes, right? She wasn't even on the field. She was my cheerleader." As jerky as that sounds, he’s right. You don’t give the Super Bowl trophy to the cheerleader. Natalie, to her credit, coolly responded that “Russell is a character, and I'm going to laugh all the way to the bank."

It’s really a shame that a great season like this had to end with such a travesty.

But here’s some good news for you Russell fans. If you watched the end of the reunion show, you saw that the next season of Survivor (shot in Samoa as well) is a Heroes vs. Villains theme featuring past contestants. Well, guess who is on the Villains tribe? That’s right….Russell! Immediately after this season ended, he went right back and shot the new season. It’ll be interesting to see how the others respond to him, considering they know nothing about him since his season had not yet aired when they were filming.

Richard Hatch was supposed to be on the villains tribe, but his legal problems kept him out of the cast. I’ve seen a list of the 20 Heroes and Villains for next season, but I won’t post it here for you spoiler-free readers. It will, however be in the Comments section, so be warned if you don’t want to know who is on next season.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009

Just a few funny pictures for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19, 2009

Growing up in an Italian family, whenever there was a family function, it was a pretty big affair. For instance, I had 10 aunts and uncles, and 33 first cousins, not including spouses…and that was on my dad’s side alone! So when we were kids, and playing at my grandmother’s house, or somewhere else, we would invariably be surrounded by a host of Italian aunts and uncles and cousins. One of the things that always used to happen, is that if one of the kids needed a Kleenex for something…POOF…there was an aunt with a Kleenex right away. And after the nose was blown, or wiped, the kid would hand the Kleenex back and go back to happily playing.

The odd thing is that there generally wasn’t a Kleenex box in the room, and afterwards, the Kleenex would just disappear. I never thought much about it, but as I got older, I started to look for it. One time, one of my younger cousins was playing, and when he sneezed, I watched one of my aunts whip a Kleenex out of her pocket in a flash. She held the Kleenex up to my young cousin’s nose, and then helped him blow his nose. A quick wipe, and he was back to playing again, but now I had to watch to see where this Kleenex went. I assumed it would just be back into the pocket, but I was wrong.

In a lightning-smooth transition that would have made David Copperfield proud, I watched her jam the snotty Kleenex in her sleeve. In her sleeve! She just tucked it right up beneath the underside of her sleeve on her arm…I was shocked. But this explained so much! Now I knew why they always disappeared without us knowing…because our aunts were apparently walking around with our snotty used tissues in their sleeves! After I saw it once, I spotted it every time it happened. But I never said anything, because what would be the point? It was just an attempt to help out the kids, and if they were ok to have tissues smearing snot on their upper arms, who was I to say anything?

But last night, something weird happened. I was watching TV with my girlfriend, and since we’re both getting over being sick this week, she had a Kleenex in her hand. And while we were sitting there, her Kleenex fell down between us. I reached over to pick it up and just put it on the side table, but in a flash…POOF…she scooped it up and tucked it into sleeve!

And then it hit me…

Oh my god, we’ve become our aunts and uncles.

I’m not sure if it’s an Italian thing (she’s Italian too, and has 4 nieces and nephews), but now I’m watching her do the same lightning-quick move I saw my aunts do, and I found myself struggling between being grossed out, like I was as a child, and impressed with the functionality of the process. I mean, why get up and walk to the garbage every time? Why not just stock ‘em up in your sleeve, and ditch them next time you’re in the kitchen or bathroom? And you can’t really put them back in your pocket, can you? It’s like having an Inbox and Outbox system…right on your person!

It’s the Circle of Life…
(cue Elton John music)

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

Last night was the final episode of Survivor until the 3-hour finale and reunion on Sunday. Some thoughts on last night’s episode and the upcoming finale.

- I’m not sure why I don’t write a Survivor recap, like I do with The Amazing Race. I really enjoyed doing a regular weekly Amazing Race Post every week, and I’m thinking that I should work a Survivor recap in for the next season. We’ll see once the new season hits us in February.

- I’ve said it before, but Russell is without a doubt the best player in the history of this game. If you can tell me someone who has played a better game (whether they won or lost), please feel free to argue that point in the Comments section, because I’d love to hear it. From finding THREE immunity idols, and using two which essentially prolonged his life in the game, to aligning himself with the right people, to eliminating anyone who was getting ready to target him, to his abilities in challenges and around camp…this guy is the best.

From the very first season of Survivor, a winning strategy was clear…get an alliance of four, and stick with it, no matter what. That’s what happened with Richard, Sue, Kelly, and Rudy…and it got them to the final four. Yet for some reason, so many players don’t stick to that strategy..they flip and flop when the numbers dwindle, and ditch the original alliance. Stick with your group of 4, never waver, and human nature will take care of the rest. Russell, Mick, Jaison, and Natalie came into the merge down 8 members to 4…and they’re setting up to be the Final Four. Any future contestants should remember that lesson.

- I really enjoyed the reward challenge with the ropes holding up the coconuts. At it’s core, it was like a life-sized version of Jenga or Kerplunk, but I thought it was a great challenge. I had to laugh at Natalie’s request for God to guide them on this challenge, and to help them win. I always think it’s ridiculous that people ask God for help on something like this, like Jesus doesn’t have better things to do than to make sure you get a feast on Survivor. It wasn’t even an immunity challenge! So, when Natalie’s team ended up dropping about a MILLION coconuts to lose the challenge, I laughed because it was like Jesus was flipping her the bird and saying, “THAT’S what you get for even asking!” And how awesome was it to see Russell, at a key moment in the challenge, pick a rope that dropped NO coconuts. (see point above) If you want some insight into that challenge, read Jeff Probst’s blog from where he explains how it was created and that it actually took over FOUR HOURS to complete.

- There is absolutely no way that Brett can win this game, or even make the final Tribal Council for that matter. With the way they’ve edited him this season…like the fact that he never spoke until last week…he can’t possibly be in line to win the million dollars. They would never have avoided a player this much if he had a shot to win it in the end. He’s the first one out on Sunday’s finale.

- With all the talk of Shambo’s mullet, I thought she was going to end up with her head shaved somehow in this episode. Seriously, first Russell is talking about her hiding food in it, then Probst makes a comment during a challenge, and Shambo shares that she’s had it since 1986! Seriously? That’s disgusting. But not nearly as disgusting as the comment my girlfriend made during the episode, which involved a visual of how long the hair on OTHER parts of her body must be. I’ll leave it at that, because I’m starting to gag again…

- I’m looking forward to the finale. This has been a great season, and I’m sure the ending will be worth it. I’m picking Russell, because as much as people on the jury are upset at how he played the game, you can’t argue with his strategy. I think he’ll be able to explain it during the Final Tribal Council if he makes it.

Who’s your pick?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009

It's been a while since I featured any music on here, so I think it's time to start it up again. Today's video is of Danny Michel, who was featured on the blog before, performing live and acoustic in studio while on a radio show in Holland earlier this month. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009

I’ve been reading the details of the Roy Halladay trade for the last couple of days. Well, I say “details”, but at the point I’m writing this, I’m still incredibly confused by the parameters of this deal. There are 2 Cy Young Award-winning pitchers changing teams, and Toronto is ending up with neither of them, so on paper, you would have to assume that there would be some pretty significant acquisitions for the team NOT with Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay, right? As far as I can tell, Toronto is just getting back 3 new ushers for The Rogers Centre, 2 parking spots, a case of baseballs, Ken Burns' Baseball (on VHS), a new seat for the bullpen, and a vat of pine tar. I’m no major-league GM, but I can’t even fathom why Toronto would do this deal.

At the trade deadline last year, Toronto held off trading Halladay because they felt they weren’t getting enough back in return. And now, with this trade, which sees the Jays ALSO sending $6 million dollars to the Phillies, they’re only getting prospects back. Does this make any sense? In essence, what they’ve done is trade away arguably the best pitcher in baseball…and SIX MILLION DOLLARS…for a handful of magic beans. Is Alex Anthopolous trying to grow a giant beanstalk up the CN Tower next door? If I was a GM in the majors, I would be knocking down the Jays' door trying to make a deal after seeing this.

“Hi, Alex…yeah…this is Theo Epstein. I wanted to pitch a deal to you. Here’s what I was thinking…I’d like Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, and Ricky Romero…and I’d be willing to send back your way this single A kid who looks REALLY good, as well as our backup-backup catcher George Kottaras (who is Canadian, by the way!)l, and a box of Turtles. Sound good? No? Wow, you drive a hard bargain. Ok…tell you what…how about if I throw in an autographed picture of Curt Schilling’s bloody sock? Perfect! I’ll send the paperwork your way.”

Seriously, even Rob Babcock thinks this is a bad deal…and if you get that joke, I’m glad you read my blog…and you and I should be friends if we’re not already.
I hate when a team is forced to trade a star player (or players) away because they can’t win a championship, or due to financial reasons. Just take a look at the Montreal Expos of the 1990s.

I was talking to a friend last night who is a die-hard Kansas City Royals fan. No, don't be read that right, I said “a die-hard Kansas City Royals fan.” I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.

And he made a great comment that something needs to be done “so that KC can jump from being a freakin’ minor league grooming players for other teams. I will be so bummed when (Zach) Greinke leaves in 2013...damn."

Or perhaps, as another friend texted me when news of the trade was released, “We can always cheer for the Phillies???”

I want your thoughts on this trade. Sound off in the Comments section.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009

The Comedy Stylings of an Eight-Year-Old
Tonight I was having dinner with Lucas, sitting across from him at our dining room table, when he says to me, "Dad, can I tell you a funny joke that Trenton from school made up?" I said "Sure", so what you are about to read is verbatim - exactly how Lucas told me the joke.

So, there's a dad and a kid. And the dad tells the kid to get in the car.

And the kid says, "But I caaaaan't."

And the dad says "Why not?"

"Because the door is broken."

So the dad takes out an axe, and cuts open the door. "There. Now get in the car."

"But I caaaaan't."

"Why not?"

"Because the seat belt is locked."

So the dad takes the axe and cuts the seat belt in half. "There. Now get in the car."

"But I caaaaan't."

"Why not?"

"Because I peed my pants."

So the dad says, "Well, go around the corner, then."

"But I caaaaan't."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm drunk."


"But I don't play basketball!"

And then he proceeded to laugh uproariously while I grabbed a piece of paper to write it all down.

Anyone have any idea what is going on in this joke?

December 15, 2009

48 days and counting...

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

Here is a brain-teaser for you. What do the areas shaded in Red have in common? Don't look it up, see if you can figure it out. It's not a trick, there's a legitimate answer. Submit your answers in the Comments section. Anyone who gets it right gets a Coke Zero.
(Update: Congrats to Caleb, who got it first. See if you can figure it out without looking in the Comments section.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009

Earlier this week I went to Brantford for night of limit poker. As usual, it was a mix of good fun, bad players, and loud slot machines in the background. I had a couple of fun hands, like holding 8-9 offsuit in an 8-way raised pot when the flop came 6-7-Ten…and the turn and river gave no help to the chasers. Or the very first hand I played when I was moved to my 5/10 table, where I was posted in behind the button with 7-4 offsuit, and the flop came 7-7-7. I fired out on the flop and turn with Quads, and had 2 non-believers. On the river, a confusing player (who looks like a combination of Burl Ives and the Leprechaun from the horror movie series) fired into me, and I obviously raised. Thanks for the extra $10, Burl.

We had a pretty fun table, and everyone was getting along, laughing and taking our beats in stride. We had a really good chemistry, including a player who I like to call Barney Rubble. He’s a stubby little Italian man who has to comment on everything that happens in every hand, whether he’s in the hand or not. He has this raspy voice and a thick accent, and he resembles the classic neighbour from the Flintstones. Everything was going swimmingly until a player who was waiting for his 10/20 table came and sat with us. I’ve played with him before, and he’s a maniac cannon who just keeps firing with anything. I was seated 2 seats to his left.

On one hand, he raised with Jack-Nine offsuit, flopped a straight and won a decent-sized pot. Then he proceeded to proudly tell us all how he likes to raise with bad cards, and on one occasion last week, raised with 7-4 offsuit, bluffed everyone out of the pot by betting, then showed them the bluff. He cackled as he told us how upset the table was at him.

So, on the very next hand, he raises and I look down to see ten-four of spades. Now, I normally wouldn’t play this hand for $5, but spite can be a powerful motivator, so I call the raise to see if I can make a hand on him after the speech he just gave. 5 people see the flop, and for the dramatic purpose of storytelling, I’ll tell you now that his cards were Ace-seven of diamonds. The flop is Ace-2-5 with two diamonds, and he leads out. I have nothing but a gutshot, I need a 3 that is not a diamond, but I raised him. One other caller calls, and he just calls.

It’s not a funny story if I don’t make my hand, so of course, the 3 of clubs hits the turn. He checks, I bet, and they both call. The river is a 7, and he now has top two pair. He checks, I bet…the player between us calls, and he checkraises me. I raise again, and the guy between us folds. He calls and says “If you have a 4, I’m going to kill you.”

I say, “Well, I guess you’re going to kill me, then” and turn over my straight. The table burst out into laughter and Brian, our dealer, confirms that there will be no killing at the table. Now the maniac goes off…freaking out that I called his raise preflop, and that I raised him on the flop. I said, “You just said you raise with 7-4…I thought I had you outkicked!”

But the thing that has stayed with me the most from that night isn’t the actual poker. I was down in the restaurant having dinner at the casino, and talking to Amy, who you may remember from a previous post on the wonders of a bacon-on-bacon sandwich. As usual, I ordered my sandwich, and when it arrived (with no condiments of course), Amy said to me, “I don’t know how you can eat it so dry like that.” It wasn’t accusatory or insulting, it was just a comment, but I asked her what she puts on something like a burger.

She tells me that her burger would have mayonnaise, ketchup, AND mustard, and then says that she ‘sometimes’ likes relish too. I was trying not to gag as I pictured a sloppy mess dripping out onto the plate looking like someone had just stepped on a caterpillar. I visibly shuddered and she laughed at me, but then we started talking about Condiments in general. (for those of you unaware with my aversion to condiments, please read my April 2 post.) So Amy tells me that she eats ketchup with ‘pretty much every meat’, as does her daughter. Again, I suppressed my inner gag reflex as I’m imagining it.

So the conversation turns to little eating idiosyncracies, like me not being able to have a pickle on the plate beside my sandwich. Then, she tells me that she can’t eat cereal with milk, because of how it softens the cereal and makes it soggy. Conversely, I can’t eat crunchy cereal…I have to leave it sitting in the milk for a few minutes before I start eating it. I can’t start until the sogginess starts to set in.

But then, Amy dropped this bombshell on me…and I still laugh as I think about it while I’m typing it. While she likes peanut butter, and enjoys eating it…she can’t have anyone else eating it around her. She was laughing herself as she was trying to explain to me that seeing someone else eating it at the table with her is just disgusting. She was talking about it and gave that full body shudder as if something just gave you a spine-tingling case of the heebie-jeebies. (Not sure if ‘heebie-jeebies’ is the technical term, but you get the point.)
Amy’s cereal and peanut-butter confessions made me realize that my hatred of condiments may not be the only interesting ‘food habit’ out there. Do you have anything similar? Let’s hear it in the Comments section below. Feel free to leave it anonymous if you want.
(Note: please see the post below regarding the Comments Section.)

December 10, 2009

Just a quick note to let you know that I've changed the settings with regards to posting Comments. Unfortunately, I've been forced to change the Comments settings so that they have to be approved before being posted. I hope this wont prevent any of you from posting, but I've had some abusive comments that won't be permitted on here.

I will still approve everything that comes through, whether you agree or disagree with anything I have to say. I won't be rejecting it unless it is flat out abusive. I'm not interested in censoring opinions, so please continue to post Comments. You can stay anonymous if you like, but all comments will need to be approved first.

My apologies. I wouldn't do it unless it was necessary. I hope it's only temporary.

Thanks again for reading!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009

I was told today by an angry man that this was "the world's most banal blog." The same person that told me that dropped by eight times today. I thought I would celebrate my own banality with these awesome Star Wars hats.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009

You may have heard me mention my friend Matt on the blog before. He’s one of the catalysts (the major one) behind The Truth About Condiments post from earlier in the year, as well as a frequent ‘contributor’ who sends me funny and interesting things which I end up posting on here…mostly bacon-related. You also may have seen his name in the Comments section, despite his repeated claims that he doesn’t read the blog.

I consider Matt one of my best friends, even though he lives on the other side of the country, but he has an interesting habit that is grating on me. You see, Matt and I work for the same company, and while I am located in Ontario, he is located at the office in British Columbia. For personal and work conversations, Matt and I talk regularly on MSN Messenger.

The thing that has happened in our switch from regular spoken conversation to typed instant messenger conversations is that Matt has become King of the Acronyms (KOTA?). Seriously, there isn’t a day that goes by without Matt using half a dozen acronyms on MSN. And I’m not even talking about ‘btw’ or ‘brb’ or anything simple and common like that. (For those of you unfamiliar with those terms, it’s ‘by the way’ and ‘be right back’) Matt uses an acronym for anything and everything possible, and makes them up throughout the day. Solely, I think, for the perverse pleasure of me having to ask what it means.

Something sarcastic is always met with a typed ‘IREH’, which means “Insert roll eyes here,” which, for the record, isn’t even proper English! Maybe “Insert eye-roll here” or “I roll my eyes” or even “I am rolling my eyes.” It’s one thing to shorten something that you can understand from a grammatical standpoint, but now we’re just throwing combinations of words together that make sense? Sounds like an automated robotic response…like I’ve called to find out what time the next bus is arriving.

Matt works as our primary IT contact for work, so when I have a computer or network problem, I have to contact him in B.C. Matt’s general response when I have a problem is to respond with a typed ‘PEBKAC’, which means ‘Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.’ It was funny the first time, but the fifty-third isn’t quite so humourous. Since I’m essentially technologically retarded, it’s generally the correct assessment of the problem, but the constant acronym repetition is unnecessary. Just say “Dude…it’s you.”

But one of the funny ironies of this entire situation is that one of his pet peeves is when someone signs their name with just a letter. For instance, in an email to him, if I just sign it with an ‘S.’, you can be assured that I will hear about it from him. To him, it’s lazy to just type the letter instead of the entire name. Interesting juxtaposition, isn’t it?
I ranted about his use of acronyms recently to him, and told him I was going to be writing a post on it, and of course he ramped it up after hearing that. He left a comment the other day on my post on The Food Network and specifically worked a ridiculous acronym (SGOTBOTH) into his comment. Seriously, go look at that post and his comment. Then, yesterday when I was talking to him about that, he typed IWHFAPOLAA. Of course, I just shook my head and said “Lay it on me”.

“I Was Hoping For A Post On Long-Ass Acronyms.”


Matt’s coming back at Christmas for a couple of weeks, and while I’m looking forward to seeing him and his wife, Sue, and their son…I’m honestly concerned. Matt and I will likely go out for wings at some point, and probably play poker at least once. But has this acronym-ization translated to the spoken word as well…I just don’t know. I can picture us sitting at the poker table and instead of saying “I raise to sixty”, I half expect him to just grunt ‘IRTS.’

Long Live KOTA.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

Frosty the Snowman, if he were voiced by Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009

Well, the fifteenth season of the Amazing Race is finally over, and for the third season in a row, the best team clearly won. My thoughts from the final episode:

- What ever happened to the "mandatory rest period that allows the teams to eat, sleep, and mingle" after each leg? This leg started with Meghan and Cheyne and Sam and Dan both not knowing who the third team was on the final leg. Do they segregate the teams now until the next leg? Why did we never see this before? Confusing.

- Don't you love how after a season of (fairly) portraying Ericka as this evil witch, in the season finale, they make you think she's all warm and fuzzy and positive for the first half of the episode, before yanking the carpet out from under us and revealing her true colours again? When she had her temper tantrum at the Cirque Du Soleil challenge, it was just infantile. Did you see her actually shove and poke Brian when she was frustrated with him. Damn him for trying to complete the task instead of crying and ranting like you, Ericka.

And then on the poker chip counting challenge, when they were incorrect for the second time, she had another meltdown, crying and screaming "Why does this always happen to us every single time?!" It's not a stroke of bad luck,'s not like your car broke down or you got a bad taxi guys just messed up on basic arithmetic. I wouldn't say it 'happened to you' was your own fault.

I loved her post-race comment that she wanted people to be able to see the real person in Brian. Yes, we saw it, but we all saw the real person in you too, and it wasn't pretty.

- The poker chip counting challenge was WAY too easy to be the final challenge on the Race. Considering how difficult the final challenges have been in the past, this one took no memory, and just involved, as I said earlier, basic arithmetic. Also, with my experience playing poker, and dealing poker, I would have breezed through that challenge cutting chips into piles of 20 and adding them quickly, so maybe I'm a bit biased. Interesting to think what would have happened if Maria and Tiffany made the final leg. I'm sure everyone would have cried foul that the challenge was tailored to them.

- Wayne Newton looks like a wax mannequin. Scary. And that was funny how Gay Brother #1 and Gay Brother #2 (happy now, Norm?) couldn't remember his name.

- I gave Cheyne a hard time throughout the season for calling everything 'gnarly' and generally coming off as a dumb surfer dude sometimes, but when Phil tells you that you've just won The Amazing Race and one million dollars, do you really think 'For real, bro?" is the best response for a moment like that?

- Did you see how pissed Lance looked when taking part in the obligatory 'clap for the winners' lineup at the finish line? You know he still thinks he should have been in the race. Take a moment and think about what it would have been like watching him and Keri try to count those poker chips. You're welcome for the image.

- After the amount of times they made the teams undress during this season, I was worried that the final clue would be 'race to the finish line in your underwear." I'm glad it wasn't.

So that does it for another season of the Amazing Race. I've enjoyed doing the weekly recaps and I hope you enjoyed reading them. The 16th season has begun filming already and will air in the New Year. For you Big Brother fans out there, here's a bit of a scoop for you: Jeff and Jordan from this past season of Big Brother are a team in the next season. Should be fun.

December 6, 2009

I know that this blog is generally a place for comedy, and satire, and light-hearted looks at life, but I need to change tone for today. I apologize, please indulge me, I’ll keep it brief.

20 years ago today, a man walked into the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and opened fire with a rifle, killing 14 women before taking his own life. Canada’s worst single-day massacre lasted only 20 minutes.

Every year since then, around the first week of December, people wear buttons to remember this horrible day in Canadian history. The buttons are white with a single red rose, and the words “14 Not Forgotten.”

However, what bothers me, is that in discussions of what the button means, and what happened that day, everyone mentions the gunman’s name. So, instead of commemorating the lost lives, we instead remember the evil person who perpetrated the massacre.

How does that make sense?

In essence, while the phrase “14 Not Forgotten” is bandied about, nobody ever mentions the names of those 14 women who we say are “not forgotten.” Today, when you read your newspapers and watch your TV news broadcasts, count how many times you hear HIS name. I refuse to mention his name in this post because by doing so, I give him what he wanted that day, to be the name that people speak. He wins when you mention his name, and it saddens me.

And if you wear a button, or do anything to commemorate what happened today, do yourself a favour and learn these names, and never say his again:

Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Barbara Maria Klucznik
Maryse Leclair
Annie St.-Arneault
Michèle Richard
Maryse Laganière
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Annie Turcotte

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009

The Food Network is probably my favourite network on TV. Some people keep sports on in the background, or the weather channel, or music videos (where do you even find music videos now, by the way?), but if I need some background, it’s always the Food Network. I’ve always been a fan of Iron Chef America, dating back to the fact that I used to watch the original Iron Chef, dubbed from the Japanese. Gordon Ramsay’s shows are great, and not the Fox-ized versions of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, I’m talking about the original BBC Kitchen Nightmares and The F-Word, where you get to see what a great chef and teacher he is, instead of this cartoonish kitchen madman that is created for American viewers.

The reality shows are fantastic as well, from Top Chef to Restaurant Makeover to The Next Food Network Star, and anything with Alton Brown is fantastic. I learn something new every time I watch him. I do, however, want to rip my own ears off every time I see Rachel Ray or Paula Deen, or sassy Canadian Ricardo (who I would love to punch squarely in his smiling French face), but it’s a small price to pay for the quantity and quality of great shows.

In short, I love cooking shows. They make me hungry, they inspire me to cook, and I’ve often found myself whipping something up in the kitchen at 11 pm just because I saw it on TV.

However, I’m starting to realize that there is one trend in cooking shows that is really bothering me, and that is the moment that the host/chef tastes the food. Ok, I get it that you want to have some sort of realism in the segment by having somebody actually try the food, but it’s such a redundant process. We can’t taste it or smell it, we can only go on the reaction of the person on TV, and more often than not, they’re the one who cooked it! And it’s always the same, the eyes-closed, mmm-delicious “This is so good!” groan…so that regardless of whether it tastes like crap or not, they make out it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever tasted.
One of the worst culprits is Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, the show that sees him traveling across America visiting local establishments and seeing how they make their specialties. The concept is great, and he’s a decent TV personality with a good amount of character, but when he tries the food, he always acts like he’s never had anything so good in his life. If you factor in that he features 3 locations per show, and has filmed almost 50 episodes…that’s 150 dishes that he has tried and raved about. Just once, I would like to see him take a bite and go…”Um, not so much.”

Also, while I like Fieri, the one thing that drives me crazy is his insistence on wearing his sunglasses backwards off of his ears, on the back of his neck. Whether it’s him, or just your random person on the street, this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. Wear your sunglasses properly, or put them on your head, hat, in the neck of your shirt, in your pocket…anywhere but the back of your neck. Seriously, you look like an idiot.

But I digress, back to the point…

The worst culprit of all is clearly Giada De Laurentiis, who I find ridiculously annoying. Amazingly, her food is quite appealing, but while people find her attractive and sexy, I just don’t see it. She’s obviously using sex to sell her cooking, as her cleavage is prominently displayed in almost every camera shot. Don’t believe me? Check out this website. But when it comes time to taste the food, Giada always bends over so you get a nice good look at the girls, then tastes the food, and acts like she’s having a culinary orgasm. And she’s just too over the top.
Oh sure, there are others, like Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver, that exaggerate their tasting moments, but none as bad as Guy and Giada (that sounds like the name of a French/Italian restaurant). I know it’s an element of the overall concept of the cooking show, but do you find it as insincere as I do?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009

Last season, the finale of Scrubs was billed as the final episode of the series. When one of my favourite shows comes to an ultimate end, it’s always bittersweet to see it go, and Scrubs was definitely near the top of my all-time list. The finale last season was very emotional, and I felt that it was an appropriate send-off for a great series. I was surprised a couple of weeks later at the surprise announcement that Scrubs would indeed be back for a ninth season, although the location and some of the cast would be different. Instead of the same cast and their adventures at Sacred Heart, the show would now take place at a medical teaching facility, and focus on the new students, with the established cast members as recurring roles…and a couple of them as series regulars as teachers.

I was lukewarm on the idea, since the blueprint had worked so well for eight seasons. When I watch a TV show regularly, I get invested in the lives of the characters, and feel like I know them. That’s the way it was with Scrubs. After 8 seasons, I knew the characteristics of J.D., Elliot, Turk, The Janitor, and everyone else. Now, I had to learn and meet all these new characters? I just wasn’t sure.

The new season premiered this week, and I have to say that I was quite pleasantly surprised. While it is a completely different feel with the new setting, and focus on the new students, I think they’re doing a good job in the opening episodes (there were 2 on Tuesday night) of integrating the old with the new to allow for a smoother transition for the regular viewers. It was nice to see Bob Kelso, and some closure on what happened with The Janitor, as well as more of Dr. Cox’s fantastic rants.
While J.D. and Turk have always been the heart of the show (and I would argue the key relationship in the entire series…even above J.D. and Elliot, but that’s another post for another day), it was great to see their dynamic together once again. I like the addition of Eliza Coupe’s Denise as a regular character. Her sarcastic and sardonic attitude reminds me of Dr. Cox from the early episodes, without the animated antics.
I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed the new characters, especially the new focal point, Lucy Bennett. I could tell right from her first scene that she was going to be “the new J.D.”, and it reminded me of Zach Braff’s character from the very first episode. They did a great job of calling back to that and giving the fans something to remember. The moment that J.D. offers to help her because he sees himself in her was a great scene. I like that they’re going to continue the ‘internal dialogue’ with her for this season, as it has been with J.D. up to this point.

I was hesitant, but it impressed me. I’m looking forward to more episodes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

- This Tiger Woods story is getting crazier by the minute. As many of you know, I am not a fan of Tiger Woods at all. I find him to be arrogant and rude and pretty much bereft of character. The allegations in this story are getting a lot worse as the week progresses, but what I’m about to say may shock some of you. Leave the guy alone. It’s none of our business what happens between him and his wife, or if he’s cheating on her. What does it matter? I’m not playing it off as acceptable, I’m just saying that it’s between them, and if no crime took place, then let them work it out on their own. The one thing I do have an issue with is his withdrawal from the tournament he was hosting this weekend on behalf of The Tiger Woods Foundation. When you have a team of volunteers that work for months on end, and players who come from around the world to try to help the cause, then you need to be there. Even if you can’t play due to your “injuries”, you show up and welcome people and make a speech about the foundation. But his willingness to cancel and just stay locked up at home to avoid the media shows what I was saying all along…Tiger Woods is just a jerk. But my assessment is based on his selfish actions, not his alleged extramarital affairs and dirty text messages. (Pat O’Brien must be LOVING this story.)
- The Canadian airings of Top Chef Las Vegas are coming to a close, and I think the American broadcasts have actually finished. I’ve stayed remarkably spoiler-free on the results all season long, so please don’t ruin it for me if you know who wins. I like all 4 of the remaining chefs, and it will be disappointing to see any of them go. Any of the 4 would be very deserving winners…they did a great job this season of having the best chefs reach the end. This week, they aired a Top Chef Reunion Dinner that featured some of the most charismatic and controversial chefs from the first five seasons, all getting together and cooking a meal for each other while they discussed the show. It was pretty entertaining, mainly due to the fact that it was hosted (in broken English) by the fantastic Fabio Viviani from last season. In his honour, let’s take a moment to look back at perhaps the greatest line in the history of Top Chef, after he broke his finger in the kitchen, and it was suggested he go to the hospital: "Hospital? I'll chop it off and sear it on the flat-top so it doesn't bleed anymore, and tomorrow, I will deal with nine finger."

- No big happenings lately at my local Tim Hortons, except that for the last two days, I’ve seen an employee from McDonald’s (in the same plaza), sitting in there drinking a coffee. McDonald’s is in the middle of this giant ad campaign trying to hype up how great their coffee is, so much so that they are giving it away free in the mornings. They tried this earlier in the year, but even getting it for free couldn’t hide the fact that it tasted like swamp water. I think there’s no better message than seeing someone from the place that is giving away the FREE coffee to everyone, and seeing them walk across the parking lot to go have a coffee somewhere else.

- I saw what may be the most ridiculous (and stupidest) thing I’ve ever seen on a hockey rink. Wait, let me amend that…it actually may be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen on any sporting field/surface. If you haven’t seen the footage of the Florida Panthers’ Keith Ballard nearly decapitating his own goalie, check out this clip. What an absurd moment, and a reminder that idiotic and infantile behaviour on the playing field should not and can not be tolerated. I hope all young hockey players (including my son) see this clip, as cringe-inducing as it is, for the sole reason that it would serve as an excellent deterrent to anything like this happening again. Thank God hockey players wear as much gear as they do, or Voukoun could have been hurt a lot more severely than he was.

- Last week, I told Lucas that we had to go out on Tuesday night to get a flu shot. He already had his the week before, but I told him that my girlfriend and I still had to get ours, and that he had to come with us. So we drove over to the Kitchener Auditorium, where I said the flu clinic was, and when we got there and saw all the cars, I said “Wow, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty long line tonight. We might be here a while.” We got inside and there were lots of people everywhere, some handing out towels and thundersticks, many of them wearing Kitchener Rangers jerseys. (I know you see it coming now)

I went to the box office and told him that was where I had to give my health card. Then I turned to him after I was done and showed him the tickets, saying “By the way, there’s no flu clinic tonight, we’re going to the Rangers-Knights hockey game.” His jaw pretty much dropped, and he was so excited. We had a great night, even though the Rangers lost…badly. We’re taking him to a Raptors game in 2 weeks, and he has no idea. We’re going to surprise him again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

Last year, about a month before Christmas, Lucas and I were shopping for a present for his Nana’s birthday. For his grandparents, I generally let Lucas try to pick something out on his own, and when we were at the mall, there was a kiosk with all sorts of different picture frames. We looked for one, and actually found a nice pewter one that said “Nana”, so we asked the girl that was working if we could buy it. She looked all around for the box, and after a few minutes, told us that it looked like the only one that they had was the one on display, so we wouldn’t have a box for it. The kiosk was part of a poster store located elsewhere in the mall, so we went there to see if there were any others with a box. There wasn’t another one, so we headed back to the kiosk and bought the frame without the box since it was for her birthday that weekend, and Lucas really wanted to get it for her.
A couple of weeks later, we were in the mall again doing some Christmas shopping, and we were looking at the kiosk. All of a sudden, I hear a voice ask “Did Nana like her picture frame?” and I look up to see the same girl that helped us a couple of weeks earlier. We bought another frame that day, and as we were paying, I mentioned that I thought she was very helpful the last time, and that I was very impressed that she remembered Lucas and I from two weeks ago, and what we bought. I asked her name, which was Jessica, and called the store the next day to tell the manager how impressed I was. Good customer service is something to applaud, and should be recognized.

My trip to Niagara Falls on the weekend reminded me of this story because I was faced with some of the worst customer service I have ever seen. And I don’t even mean just one location. Across the board, it was abysmal. If you read yesterday’s post on my trip, you’ll remember that the most dramatic of them would have been the exchange over the dress shirt that I mentioned, where the employee and customer were both copping a heaping helping of attitude with each other. But on three separate occasions, in three different stores, when I asked for help with something, or if they had a different size, I was given the retail employee’s go-to cop-out answer, “If it’s not out there, then we don’t have it.”

“If it’s not out there, we don’t have it.”

Let’s analyze that statement, shall we? First of all, it’s obviously not out there, or I wouldn’t have asked you. Second of all, this statement shows absolutely zero interest in helping someone find what they’re looking for. You don’t even have the decency to acknowledge that you’re sold out of a certain size, or that you don’t have any more of what I’m looking for? Why are you even here, then? At least make an effort…tell me that you’ll check in the back, or that you don’t know, and you’ll find out. I’d rather hear someone say “I don’t know” and be willing to help than get that token garbage line. Or better yet…just lie to me…tell me you’re checking for me, and when you’re gone, just go text your friend in the back room. I don’t care, but I want to feel like you’re actually trying to help me.
I used to work in retail, at a music store, and I prided myself on being able to help people. Maybe that’s why I get my buns in a knot when I get bad customer service, and why I make a note of it when it’s good. Jessica still works at the poster store in the mall, and even now, over a year later, she always says hello and stops to talk to Lucas and I when we see her. I know it gets stressful working a retail job, sometimes dealing with some really nasty customers (trust me, I remember), but I wish there were more people who were willing to help.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009

I wasn't able to watch this week's episode of The Amazing Race until Monday night, so I apologize for the delay in my recap, but here goes...

- Brian and Ericka started off the night by declaring that it was to their advantage that they were in last place, because they had been there before and knew how to claw back up. Nice try on the positive spin, but if I had to chose between "not in last place-then in last place-then not in last place" versus "never in last place, I'm going with the latter.

- I'm still not sure what the deal is this season with making the teams strip down to their underwear constantly, but this challenge takes the cake. It was bad enough that the other strip-down challenges gave the racers a chance at hypothermia, but now they just force them to go into a chamber that is -160 degrees Celsius. Yes, you read that right, MINUS ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DEGREES CELSIUS. How is that safe? According to Cheyne, it was "gnarly." I would have chosen a different word: INSANE!

- And while we're throwing caution to the wind, why don't we get one team plastered on absinthe as a speed bump. Did I really see that correctly? I know I've said in the past that they need to make the Speed Bumps a little more difficult than "sitting on a bus for 5 minutes", but maybe getting a team liquored up on a drink that is illegal in most places probably isn't the best way to go. What if they had a recovering alcoholic on the Race, would they still have used this Speed Bump? Very odd.

- The phone challenge was interesting, although I thought it would be ridiculously simple once you got the letters. (On a side note, I thought it was hilarious watching Brian answer the phones and saying "Hello" into each one) And Meghan's declaration that questions like "what is your last name" were designed to confuse you and make you forget the letters was rather laughable as well.

Of course it's an English word, you fools! Let's break it down: you have 5 letters, A, F, Z, N, and R. Clearly the A is the 3rd letter in the word since you're not going to have 3 of those consonants in a row in a 5-letter word. That means you've got 2 consonants before the A and 2 consonants after the A. The only 2 consonants that can logically go together before the A are 'FR', which mean your word is either FRANZ or FRAZN. Seriously, how hard is that? Honestly?

So Sam and Big Easy 'worked together', and then once he got it, Sam left Big Easy high and dry. I guess 'working together' means something different in his world. An absolutely classless move, and between this and the cab-stealing incident from last episode, they have now earned themselves a spot on my 'Most Reprehensible Teams Of All-Time' list.

The choice to take the 4-hour penalty was a bad decision, keep trying until Phil comes to get you. Don't take the 4 hours unless you know for sure there is an airport stop coming up before the next Pit Stop.

- Lugging that Golem around Prague was painful to watch, both for Sam and Dan's incessant whining and yelling at each other, and Cheyne's constant grunting. I thought I was watching a Monica Seles match.
- Nice to see that the final leg is in Las Vegas. I saw them rooting through a giant pile of poker chips, that should be interesting. I wonder if they'll run into the Top Chef contestants...

- So the final three is set. I'm rooting for Meghan and Cheyne, because I can't stand the brothers or Ericka. Who are you cheering for?

November 30, 2009

Christmas is coming, and that means it’s time for Christmas shopping. With the Canadian dollar as high as it is right now, we figured it was a good time to head across the border to Niagara Falls, New York to do some shopping at the outlet malls. The day started off innocently enough, with a smooth ride along the QEW to the Queenston-Lewiston bridge. Unfortunately, that’s where the smooth ride ended, as we wound up waiting in line at the border crossing for just over an hour.

While we were waiting in line, I saw something I’ve never seen before in all my years of border crossings (and there have been many). We were sitting in the car, listening to music and talking, when suddenly we saw a man get out of a silver Cadillac and start walking between the cars towards the Border Guards’ booths. We were about 10th-to-12th in line at the time, and I said simply “That’s not going to end well.” We tried to see what happened to the Happy Wanderer, but we lost sight of him based on the cars and vans blocking our view. I’m not sure what would ever compel someone to get out of their car at this point, much less to actually walk between the cars and approach the gate. It seems like it would just be asking for trouble…and sure enough, after we passed through the border crossing about 20 minutes later, there was a police/border cruiser, lights flashing, with the Silver Cadillac. Gee…who could have seen that coming?

When we got to the mall, one of the first stores we passed had a New York Yankees championship T-Shirt in the window, so I went in to check it out. As I walked in, I saw the shirts folded on a rack on the side wall, so I walked over there, and as I got to the display, I saw that the shirt on the top of the stack was FIVE XL. That’s right…XXXXXL. A quick glance revealed 2 XL and 3 XL nearby, and I silently reminded myself how nice it was to be back in the Unite States of America.

When we went into second store, Eddie Bauer, I was re-introduced to the beauty of the Western New York accent, as I heard the manager barking instructions to her staff on where to find the “Blayck” sweaters. Childhood flashbacks of Irv Weinstein or Don Postles teasing the 11 O’clock news with the top story of a “Cheektowaga house fire!” came flooding back as my ears struggled to comprehend. Although the most entertaining thing in the Eddie Bauer outlet wasn’t the accent, it was the item we saw at the check-out, simply called “Fog-Off” (see below). I can’t decide what was more entertaining, the actual name of the product, or the person in line who saw me taking a picture of it and asked what it does.
The rest of the day was a comedy of errors, with cars stalking people in the parking lot waiting to nab their spot, and frustrated shoppers not wanting to deal with long lineups at the cash registers. The Bass shoe outlet had a ridiculous sale on where if you bought one pair of women’s boots, you got two pairs for free. That’s right, THREE pairs for the price of one! I had to laugh as I walked in and saw a number of men standing there holding two boxes each as their respective significant others looked for that third pair. Soon enough, I found myself holding two boxes as well…Murphy’s Law.
I was looking at dress shirts in one store, and overheard the following exchange between an employee and a customer:

Employee: “It’s just a job, sir.”
Customer: “Well, maybe you should get one you like.”
Employee: “I’m just doing my job, sir”
Customer: Well, I’m just a customer trying on a shirt. I don’t need your attitude because you hate your job.”
Employee: “Here’s your shirt, sir” (hands him shirt, clearly seething)
Customer: “Thank you.” (snatches shirt and goes into change room)
Employee: “Asshole.”

Christmas shopping really brings out the best in people, doesn’t it? Now, that’s Christmas spirit! Get those two some Egg Nog!

One great thing we saw was in the Tops Supermarket where there was also a Tim Hortons inside. The shopping carts had a cup holder attached to the top tray so that you could put your coffee in it while you shopped. We need those back here! Very smart, and surprising to see across the border but not here.
On the way home, as we were waiting in line once again to get across the border, we were laughing about the situation earlier in the day where we saw the man get out of his car and end up with the police. Sure enough, we see another man get out of his car and start wandering around…smoking, no less. And ANOTHER guy who was only a few cars from getting through the border gate who got out of his car, popped open his trunk, and started re-arranging items. Not the brightest people…

Getting back across the border into Canada is always a relief. Now my ears could stop being on guard from that wonderful accent. We went out for a nice Italian dinner at Mama Mia’s, a restaurant I used to go to when I was a kid, and the portions of food we got were gargantuan. Seriously, look at the size of this bowl of tortellini!
Needless to say, I couldn’t finish it, and even the leftovers for lunch today were too much! But it was a great meal.

Turns out I didn’t actually get a lot of Christmas shopping done. I did some, but I ended up just buying a few clothes for myself and a few other things for Lucas. All in all it was a great day, another adventure in beautiful Niagara Falls, New York. (lock your doors!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27, 2009

My Star Wars fan geek-dom knows no bounds. That's right, Star Wars Facebook status updates, from

November 27, 2009