Thursday, June 30, 2005

Greek treasure


There is one genuine culinary delight that is getting harder to find in this city - the Gyro. Yeah I know you can get them at the local Pita Palace at the mall or whatever, but the true art of the gyro is lost on these amateurs. Not to be taken lightly, a gyro (pronounced yeero) is more than just another fast food, it is the most intense of the fast food.

The pita bread must be grilled - not steamed and wrapped around gyro meat (beef and lamb) that has been slowly roasting on a spit for hours, if not days. This is where the amateur shops fail. The meat has to be freshly cut off the spit. The icing that pushes the gyro beyond indulgence into whole-body experience can be found in its onions (and tomatoes if you wish) topped by a huge wad of real tzatziki (yogurt-garlic) sauce - not that processed squeezed-out-of-a-bottle crap.

There's a chain in Quebec that offers such a delicacy - Kojax. If they opened one up here, I would need to sell my house and buy an isolated property on an acreage, so people didn't have to smell the garlic reeking off of me all day......

Best blog stumbled upon this week...

http://americansaredumb.blogspot.com/

Some amazing stuff accumulating here. My apologies to Americans everywhere - I realize not all Americans are dumb. But these stories are not painting a good picture.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Your toast


What is your fave source of toast? Rye? Sourdough? Whole Wheat? What do you like to put on your toast the most? Jam? Marmalade? Peanut Butter?

Personally, I love an English Muffin toasted with peanut butter........mmmm. Growing up, my family used to make cinnamon toast - you know, with the mix of cinnamon and sugar on buttered toast?

Snap crackle pop


Do you know anybody that cringes at the sound of knuckles cracking? Then whatever you do - do not send them to this website......don't do it.....

Bzzzzz bzzz!

Have you seen this new Dairy Queen commercial with the two scientists? "I've learned to speak 'bee'" proclaims one to the other, then after being dissed proceeds to tell the bee to sting the other guy so he can have his Blizzard.....

I don't know what ad agency Dairy Queen have hired for their latest round of ads, but as I've said before - it's damn funny stuff.

What's a cubit?


We broke a record for most rainfall ever in a month in June 2005. I've overheard someone asking the question in the title......(obscure Cosby joke reference)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Poetic justice rulez!

Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if said government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner. Yesterday, a private developer faxed a request to the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Supreme Court Justice Souter's home.

D'OH!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Son of a beach!


Advertising is everywhere. Well, not everywhere - not until now. Presenting beach billboards! Now you can look at ads imprinted in the sand on the beach instead of just plain ol' sand. Each ad comes with a public service announcement, like "Please don't litter" or "Sex in the sand is very uncomfortable". OK, I made that last one up....

Who makes up these lists anyway?


I was just reading through the AFI's list of top 100 movie quotes. At #68, from 2001: A Space Odyssey: "Open the pod bay doors Hal". Excuse me?! The line I found most memorable from that movie was "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that...."

Luke....feel the power of the M3 razor...

Gillette Co. ads claiming its M3Power razor raises hair up and away from the skin are "unsubstantiated and inaccurate," a federal judge said in siding with Gillette's chief competitor, Schick-Wilkinson Sword. Wednesday's ruling said the depiction in Gillette advertising was "greatly exaggerated" and "literally false."

File under buttons that do nothing, along with the "elevator close-door button" and "pedestrian cross-the-street button".

Yes, but is it really bad.......?


I've read some pretty bad reviews of the Bewitched movie, but my fave includes the following para:

Bewitched.....is a terrible, terrible movie. Its creators have a swell idea at the core, a wonderful leading lady, and several stalwart comic players in support, and they make of all of that a picture with the wit of an armpit fart, the verve of a boxwood shrub, and the appeal of a long night in an ER waiting room.

Read the full review here.

The places that will change history

"The G8 leaders have it within their power to alter history. They will only have the will to do so if tens of thousands of people show them that enough is enough."

The concerts: London; Paris; Berlin; Tokyo; Philadelphia; Johannesburg; Rome...............Barrie (guffaw). Well Barrie, you'll be on the map now.....

Sunday, June 26, 2005

By the way, which one's Pink?


I crawled out from under a rock today to discover that Pink Floyd are reuniting for Live8. OK, I knew they were playing, I just didn't know Roger Waters would be joining them. I had heard the Floyd were on the playlist and I was saying to myself, "Self - wouldn't it be awesome if Roger Waters could get back with the band?" How cool is that - after 24 years. I hope a DVD comes out with the performance.

Don't fear the cowbell


Everywhere I turn these days - I see cowbell. That classic Will Ferrell skit from SNL seems to have made a comeback on the blog circuit. I've even seen a plethora of t-shirts with the "more cowbell" slogan. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to Gorillamask.net for "classic snl skit: more cowbell"

Saturday, June 25, 2005

It's about time


This is what I've been waiting to see in the world of computers - multi-function devices that have nothing to do with printing. Like this puppy - a multifunction drive kit which works as USB2 Hard Drive/ 7in1 Memory Card Reader/ USB2 Hub in one unit!

I want my BF-free TV.....

If you have any interest in the developments in the arena of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the proposed Broadcast Flag (and you should), Boing Boing has been posting most significant developments. My curiosity is piqued on how this will all turn out. Will consumers (and governments) accept the fear mongering of the entertainment industry and cripple our devices and content or will the ever-increasing movement against DRM and the BF win out?

Here are some posts worth reading just to get you up to speed:
http://www.boingboing.net/2005/06/24/tim_biskup_show_in_l.html
http://www.boingboing.net/2005/06/21/claim_of_p2ps_demise.html
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/home.php#435

Friday, June 24, 2005

Don't get too attached to your stuff guys...

We were joking around at work the other day about how when a guy moves in with a woman, they rarely get to bring along much if any of their 'stuff'. What brought it up was a co-worker mentioned she was helping move her fiance's stuff into their place and I piped in, "that ought to take 5 minutes". I think in my case I got to bring the TV and stereo, but the 'guy furniture' was relegated to the dump. You know - the milk crate shelving, the couch unfit for a college dorm....

So I pose the question to my readers, what 'guy stuff' got to come along in your case, and what stuff were you heart-broken to part with? Let's hear the women on this one too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Mmmmm.......................maple


If it seems like the posts have slowed a bit - you're not imagining things. We've sorta been displaced while hardwood flooring gets installed (the purchased flooring pictured above - traditional maple). Things should be back to normal by the weekend.

If you consider this blog normal......

Update (Friday): the floor is done - it looks spectacular - like having a new house! I hope that old yucky green carpet isn't having a terrible time down at the dump...Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The minority ruins it for the rest of us

I was appalled to find that 21% who participated in an online poll here in Calgary admitted they would do nothing to conserve water during a current mandatory water restriction in this city due to the silt-ridden rivers.

I have nothing but disgust for these people and although I am not a vengeful person, I hope the City shows them no mercy if they are caught. Water is our second most precious resource (after air) and it is the greed and ignorance of people like this who ruin it for the rest of us. Shame on you.

Forget everything you know about Batman

In an effort to distance myself from being associated with picking contenders for the all-time worst movies ever (see last post), I took Darlene to see Batman Begins last night. Now, when I heard Christian Bale would star as the dark knight, I already knew the producers were on to something. If you've never seen him act, I suggest American Psycho and Equilibrium for starters.

Well, folks - this is how comic book heroes were meant to be brought to the big screen. I overheard a few other movie patrons leaving the theatre declaring, "They should redo all the Batman movies with that guy." Indeed.

In the movie doghouse

So, it had been a while since renting any movies from the local "this business is so lucrative, it's like a license to print money" shop, so I decided to go pick 4 titles and make it a movie weekend. Let's just say I won't be allowed to pick the next round of movies if Darlene has anything to say about it.

Primer - If you gauge a movie by the number of tears, explosions or bare breasts that appear, this movie will disappoint. It's a brain twister, nothing more. I like brainer twisters, and this one was too intense even for me. Needless to say, in Darlene's eyes, I was 0 for 1.

Meet the Fokkers - I thought it was cute. Unfortunately, there is now an active ban on movies starring, or written by Ben Stiller in our house. 0 for 2.

Be Cool - It may not be that this movie really sucked - it was probably the peer pressure I was feeling not wanting to go 0 for 3, but I stopped this movie 25 minutes in. I don't think I missed much.

National Treasure - Not bad. Not bad at all. Darlene's synopsis: "Too much like the plotline for the DaVinci Code". Fair enough. Bring on the DaVinci Code then.


Final score: 1 for 3, one movie disqualified for not holding our interest.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

All I'm sayin' is there better not be another year off


Well, we went through the season of 2004/2005 with no NHL hockey, which would have just about wrapped up now. I'm only posting this TV commercial for the benefit of those not in Canada or those who haven't watched TV in the last year. Because it pretty much sums up (in a very funny way) how we feel collectively about losing our beloved sport. Posted by Hello

Some things would change if I was in charge

  • Eliminate speed bumps. They're only good for wrecking suspensions.
  • Free transit for anyone over 60.
  • Big financial incentives to buy hybrid cars. Low Emmission Vehicles get to use HOV lanes. They also get parking at 50%.
  • No more red light cameras. Only a live cop can judge whether you should have stopped in time.
  • Speed cameras in all school zones and playground zones. There's no excuse for speeding in them.
  • Hide the GST back into the price of all products - we don't need to see it. This will also make it more realistic to:
  • Abolish the penny. Everything totalling more than 2 or 7 cents is rounded up, otherwise rounded down to the nearest nickel.
  • Financial incentives to companies that capitalize on telecommuting at least 50% of the work week.
  • Abolish the CRTC. Or at least its mandate of legislating Canadian content. Canadian programming that's any good will stand on its own.
  • Build a lot more wind farms for power generation - especially in Southern Alberta.
  • Send all cooks back to school and tell them to can it with the pepper already.
  • Twin the Trans Canada highway from coast to coast. Find a way. It's embarrassing.
  • Make all specialty cable TV channels a-la-carte. There are too many crap channels riding the coat-tails of good ones. The ones that get no demand must be tossed.
  • The penalty for drinking and driving is loss of license. Forever. No exceptions. Not even for work.
  • Abolish the gun registry. Crimes are rarely committed with registered weapons.
  • If something you order in a restaurant doesn't look anything like the picture, you get to send it back - no questions asked.
  • Legalize marijuana, but only on Vancouver Island. Think about that for a second. Don't worry, it'll be faster to get there - the TransCanada will have been twinned...
  • Find a way, maybe through corporate sponsorship or something - to make University free.
  • If someone emigrates to Canada with a professional skill - for heaven's sake let them at least challenge an exam to earn the right to practise that skill here.
This list is a work in progress.....

P.S.: I cannot believe the lack of comments on this post! I thought for sure this would prompt some lively discussion. Must be a slow week.

State of emergency

While not of Bangladeshian proportions, Calgary has endured many days of rain in the last 2 weeks, enough to raise water levels over the banks of the Elbow and Bow rivers here. Several thousand people have been evacuated and there were a few tense moments last night, as homes in our area were threatened by high water and a very fast-flowing river.

Message to mother nature: op-stay with the ain-ray already.....

Saturday, June 18, 2005

In a world where laughter was king....


If you've never seen the movie Comedian (Jerry Seinfeld), you probably haven't seen the trailer either. The trailer simply shows an announcer (Hal Douglas, king of the movie trailers and voice of the A&E Network) trying to record the voice-over for the trailer. The script is a parody of every single movie trailer you've ever heard. It's absolutely hysterical, I can never just watch it once. I bet once you see it, you'll show it to all your friends. Uh, the movie isn't half bad either..... Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ou est la cuisine Canadienne?


I read a good question on another blog: "Why isn't there any such thing as Canadian cuisine?". But then I thought - well sure there is! We've got donuts! Not those gross Krappy Kremes - I'm talkin' good ol' Tim Horton's baby! We've got sugar pie. Tortiere. Beaver tails. Kraft Dinner (I know y'all have Kraft Macaroni and Cheese but we get to call it KD). Beer with actual alcohol content. Hell we've got Smarties with maple leafs on them, eh?

Yeah, I know - sounds fattening, but we work it off trying to outrun polar bears and rabid beavers.....

But seriously, what foods am I forgetting that are distinctly Canadian? Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

God help the tourists...


For those of you planning a trip to the US - a word of warning. Paying for gas by credit card at (some) pumps is only possible if you enter your (American) zip code. This helps protect against credit card fraud. And negates your use of pay-at-the-pump if you're from another country. Oh, and your little swipe-the-rfid-tag-on-the-pump-to-pay likely won't work either. Posted by Hello

Too much time on my hands


Office pranks are on the rise - much to the chagrin of workers who go away on that vacation or business trip. I often wonder what accounting code you'd bill that under.... Posted by Hello

Timing is everything

So if you heard about that earthquake just off the coast of Northern California, you probably feel for the residents of that area dealing with a tsunami warning immediately following the quake. Guess who was just there last Saturday? Uh-huh.....

No, I did not cause it...

Opening the lines of communication

I had always intended to evolve this blog into a more interactive medium. The only opportunity people have to say something on here is to comment. But that doesn't give anyone the ability to ask questions or just say hello. So I am extending an open invitation to all readers of this blog to write me. Pose a question (anything goes), say hello, or maybe pose a question. Did I mention I'll be taking questions? Simply put "White Noise" in the subject line so I don't confuse your message as spam and send it to kplesz "at" that free email service that is the opposite of cold (get it?). Operators are standing by.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Alanis.....you entrepreneurial thing you!


Starbucks has obtained a six-week exclusive on Alanis Morissette's new album, an acoustic remake of Jagged Little Pill. Music stores are furious, threatening to pull all inventory from their shelves. Hmm.....maybe Starbucks is gonna give Alanis a bigger take on her album? Could the biggest threat to the RIAA et al be a clothing or convenience chain? Posted by Hello

Back for a second visit, but not the last


There's a restaurant in Portland that deserves to be crowned 'best ever'. Not just because the food is great, but the service is unbelievable. Nowhere have I ever seen servers work in concert together so efficiently. Servers never missed a detail, even in another servers' section; food was sent back without question until perfect (you don't even get a chance to ask - they ask you); the whole operation was like watching a choreographed dance. Kudos to the Red Star Tavern & Roast House. Posted by Hello

Yo Paris!

On the way back up the coast, we needed a place to stay halfway between LA and the south end of Oregon. So we pulled in to a (new) Hilton in Santa Clara (just outside San Jose). There was a time when Hilton hotels meant luxury. After this past trip, it seems those days are a mere memory. For what we paid, the room was pathetic. The tub drain stopper leaked, we could hear the elevator from our room all night and the bed was amateurish. Paris, if you inherit control of the hotel chain, do us all a favour and invest in better beds.

You call this traffic?


Oh, poor naive citizens of Calgary. You think you have traffic issues. I only wish upon you one day on the freeways of Los Angeles. It's a very nerve-wracking experience if you're not used to it. The saving grace for us was the car-pool lane. It's like having your own private freeway. In some cases, the lane even has its own elevated fly-over to connect you to the car-pool lane on the next freeway. Very cool. What amazed me the most is how few people were actually using the lane, since you have to have 2 or more people in your vehicle to use it. Posted by Hello

Just some boats


Some of the yachts parked out front of our hotel in Newport Beach wouldn't fit on mine and my two neighbours' lots put together. We got to watch some very precocious young girls throw water balloons from their balcony at the yachts and passers-by. That is until security paid them a visit. No, the parents were down below getting drunk at the outdoor patio. Posted by Hello

Welcome to the hotel, California


While in Newport Beach, we stayed at the Balboa Bay Resort, which used to be the exclusive domain of the yacht club until it went public 2 years ago. Based on a 'trip advisor' web rating, I almost tried to convince Darlene to change the reservation from the Balboa Bay Resort to something else. That would have been a terrible mistake. Unfortunately, this place has spoiled us for anything lesser. The pic is the view of our veranda from the room. Posted by Hello

Spaceship was code for California


So as you can see, the vacation I was being so secretive about was a road trip to Los Angeles, with a return trip up the coast. Pictured is yours truly - proudly standing on the beach at Newport Beach. What a place! I wouldn't call the Newport Beach area 'swank', but at the Fashion Island Mall, the taco place made their wraps with filet mignon. By the way, after having seen a representation of the 'locals', if you think there are no long-term effects of exposure to the sun, you should see what the older women in California look like....Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Synchronicity abounds

So, remember the blog entry a while back about the special edition Smarties? Well, a guy from California found them while he was on business in Toronto and bought a box. His daughter was so excited to get them, he tried all he could do to find more. Then he Googled 'Smarties, Eh?' and my post came up 3rd. As it so happens, he contacted me and asked if I would send him a few boxes. As it also happens, Darlene and I were just about to leave on a car trip bringing us as far south as Los Angeles - which is where this guy lives. (Now you know why I've been absent) Needless to say, Karl delivered 6 boxes of Canuck Smarties to a very happy dad and his daughter. Is the Internet cool or what!?

Not a complete waste of post-it notes...


You gotta love it when people "redecorate" others' offices. This was for a friend's boss's 50th B-Day. Nice work. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005

Gone....but not for long

People are going to find blog posts by yours truly a little scarce for the next little while. I'm taking a little break from blogging to attend to some personal matters. Don't worry, it's nothing serious, I just need a vacation. I'll be back, I promise.

OK - if you must know..... Prophet Yahweh has agreed to take a break from his Vegas gig and come over to my place to summon an alien spaceship. I've got an interplanetary jones and a trip to the stars is just what the doctor ordered. If alien customs lets me bring the digital camera onboard, I'll be sure to take lots of pics. I wonder what the burgers are like on Betelgeuse......

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

She's got the eye of the tiger


Check it out boys - this is the future of racing. Danica Patrick almost cleaned up at the Indy500, save for a bad call on fuel needs to finish the race. Now the big boys are already complaining "No fair! Girls can't play!" Just look at that focus in her face. Look out men! Posted by Hello

Wiki! Wiki!

I am told the word "wiki" is Hawaiian for "hurry". The first thing that entered my twisted mind was: Gee - does that mean that if they played curling in Hawaii, they'd shout "Wiki! Wiki!"? Then a co-worker (who shares the same twisted sense of humour as I) offered: Too bad the Hawaiian word for "harder" isn't "woo". Then they'd be yelling "Wiki wiki woo!". Go ahead - say it out loud - you know you want to.

P.S.: Yes - I know wiki doesn't exactly mean "hurry", in fact, "wiki wiki" means "quick".

P.P.S.: If you are unfamiliar with the sport of curling, this joke is lost on you.