Thursday, May 31, 2007

100 things in 100 days - number 17

17. I have difficulty resisting good food.

Food........ It gets in your mouth. It's probably no secret by now that I enjoy a good meal. I've gotten quite spoiled over time too and I blame it all on Darlene dammit. Before we met I had never sampled a filet mignon. Or a fettuccine alfredo. Or knew what Bearnaise sauce was. But it doesn't have to be gourmet food to entice my palate. Why - the other day we had thick peanut butter and jam sandwiches on fresh bread for supper with a tall, cold glass of milk.

Fun and games are over (well - games anyway)

So my latest acting class continued last night. Because of a prior teaching engagement, I had to miss the first 2 hours. Luckily, this is the only interference with the class schedule, because this class is much more demanding.

Unfortunately, my acting partner could not make it to class at all because of an injury. So I missed out on the action in class because I was missing my scene partner.

Anyway, the class is evolving quickly and now we're starting to figure out the scene environment, props, positions and movement. I'm still getting used to the class in terms of how it's all about the acting pairs in their own scenes and there's no time for other discussion. So - that kinda sucks. But I guess it's not a social call now - it's serious activity - so I digress. I need to get out more.

The best cat toys are free

This Top 3 Cat Toys post made me smile.

I propose a challenger though - a wadded up ball of paper.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

100 things in 100 days - number 18

18. I am a perfect candidate for testing new technology. Including cars.

One of the coolest jobs in the world would be trying out new technology and then getting the chance to report what's good and bad about it. I would especially like to test out new products from Sony...... perhaps their new line of hard drive based video cameras, or a new 46" HD LCD television... hint... hint.

But let's not limit ourselves to electronics and the like. I would readily make myself available to do the same for cars. Especially imports.

Some music nostalgia for you....

30 years ago (in 1977), the most popular albums in Montreal were:

A Star is Born (Original Soundtrack)..... Streisand / Kristofferson
Anyway You Like It................................. Thelma Houston
Hotel California......................................... The Eagles
Rumours.................................................... Fleetwood Mac
Year of the Cat......................................... Al Stewart
Wings Over America............................... Wings
Life is Music.............................................. The Ritchie Family
A New World Record............................... Electric Light Orchestra
Songs in the Key of Life........................... Stevie Wonder
Animals...................................................... Pink Floyd
Wind and Wuthering................................ Genesis
Night Moves.............................................. Bob Seger
A Rock and Roll Alternative................... Atlanta Rhythm Section
Hejira.......................................................... Joni Mitchell
Disco Inferno............................................. The Trammps

A testament to their longevity is that many songs from these albums are still being played on radio today. Will we be able to say the same thing about today's music in 30 year's time?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Never mind Shoppers Drug Mart........

Sometimes you need to buy stuff that could potentially create embarrassment when you get to the cashier. Or perhaps the product is of such a sensitive nature, that it can't even be stocked in stores. That's where Shop In Private At The World's Most Private Drugstore comes into play.

This place has it all. Jock Itch spray? Yep. Nair for Men? They got it. Anal bleaching creme? Check. French Maid outfit? Ditto. Toys? In a manner of speaking..... yes.

But my favourite was Shit-Be-Gone, the world's coolest toilet paper. I am so getting a few rolls of this stuff.....

Homework............ [gack]

There's a movement starting (by people who know) against...... homework!

I know, I'm as shocked as you are. Actually, I was waiting for this day to come long ago. I never liked homework. I never 'got' homework. Not because I was lazy, but because I felt that if you didn't 'get it' in class, what on earth made anyone think you'd 'get it' after poring over boring old textbooks and assignments. You either got it, or you didn't.

As a student, I never studied. Ever. I felt it added undue stress and didn't really help my ability to remember or understand anything. If I didn't get something, I asked for another explanation or a second opinion.

To Sara Bennett - I salute you...........

Suddenly, the song School's Out by Alice Cooper crept into my head...... go figure.

Mail them some art

I don't think I've ever seen this idea before. Invite the world to send you art in the form of a mailing envelope. Then put them up in an online gallery. It's the Envelope Collective y'all!

Can someone tell me what you can't find on the internets? Nothing I tell you....... NOTHING!!

Time to play everyone's favourite game

Find the Canadian................

100 things in 100 days - number 19

19. I did inhale. Many times.

I will not elaborate. And you'll never prove it one way or the other. But enough about that - let me tell you a story.

I remember when I joined the military and the recruiter asked if I had ever done drugs. I said no. He didn't believe me. I'm not surprised, but it was true. I lived a sheltered childhood and managed to avoid the stuff. But I'll tell you what.... The military made drugs more accessible to everyone than most folks would admit. I mean, it was stupid. Here we all were in a career that could be ended instantly if you were caught with drugs, yet I never saw more pot-heads in my life. Heck, one of my room-mates in Tech school was a convicted drug dealer from Aylmer, Quebec. He had been stood in front of a judge who offered him two choices for a sentence - jail time or join the Army. So.......... we had access. But some people were just plain stupid about it. If you were under the influence while on duty or near a Base - that was asking for trouble if you ask me. And it was these same folks who got caught. Eventually, random urine tests came out. I passed the tests. And that's all I'm gonna say.

Boy, if this doesn't stir up some discussion, nothing will.....

Make your hybrid even better

This is an interesting story. A Canadian company came up with a way to upgrade existing hybrid cars (at least the ones that can operate in all-electric mode while there's enough juice in the batteries) to give it more battery capacity. The extra batteries aren't as big as you might expect, because they use Lithium Ion Polymer cells instead. Hymotion claims you could run your hybrid car for 50km without need for the gasoline engine to kick in. That would serve the needs of most commuters in this country. The best part is that the upgrade also adds plug-in capability, so you can recharge the batteries overnight. The only down sides - $12,500 for the upgrade and you void your warranty.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Classes, classes, more classes..... oh yeah... and hockey!

I will apologize in advance, my loyal readers. This week has got a crazy schedule, so posts are likely to be sporadic at best. I'm not too worried though...... most Canadians will be glued to their TVs Monday and Wednesday, watching the Ottawa Senators in their quest for the Stanley Cup, eh.

When a poke isn't just a poke....

Unless you've been living under the internet equivalent of a rock, you've heard of Facebook. Maybe you're even on Facebook. In which case - my sympathies to your boss and significant other.

You may also be aware of a little feature in Facebook called the poke. A harmless enough feature, right? Not so fast. Seems the innocent poke can lead to some poking of another variety if you're not careful, as is described in this story. So the next time you get the urge to poke someone on Facebook, be careful that it doesn't go too far.

I'm predicting that in the near future, an alternative come-back to someone who's ticking you off will be, "Go poke yourself!"

Thanks to Ernest for this one....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The story continues

I'm writing this as much for the benefit of my actors-in-training buddies as for the rest of my readers, so bear with me.

So my partner and I have to learn a scene by course's end. Angelique is my partner and the scene we have been given is from the play Strange Snow. I play Megs, a Vietnam vet who visits a friend from the war who lives with his sister. Angelique plays the sister.

One of my actors-in-training buddies from the Saturday class suggested that they might like to watch our performance on Wednesday's class and extended an invitation for us to come and watch theirs. That's an awesome idea - I just hope it's OK with the respective instructors in both classes.

As part of our homework, we had to get together with our partner and do a read-through of the script as well as answer some questions based on the Hagen Six Steps of Character Investigation.

Internet Safety Tips

I howled when I saw this well crafted post.

One of the tips seen here.

Where have all the stickers gone..... ?

As I was driving through traffic the other day, I noticed an aspect of living in the 70s that's missing from today's culture. Bumper stickers.

Oh - we have them........ but not to the same extent as in decades past. There was a time that you didn't have to look very far to find a vehicle with at least 5-10 stickers on the back and/or sides. Vehicles with grandiose collections of 20 or more stickers were harder to find, but not rare.

These days (where I live anyway), stickers are much harder to find, especially if you discount the stylish ones belonging to boarders, skaters and skiers; and the usual Calvin pissing on the [fill in the target car brand here] logo.

Picture by saffanna.

100 things in 100 days - number 20

20. I'd like to fly a plane someday. Yet, I don't enjoy fair rides. Weird huh?

The closest I've ever gotten to flying is on my computer's flight simulator program. Which is better than nothing, I suppose.

Some day, someone's going to offer me a chance to climb into the cockpit of an aircraft and help out.

Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Great White North II - Episode Twenty Three

...... is on the air...... so to speak.

Hosehead tells the tale of the time he was attacked by a beaver. He kind of provoked the poor thing by running it over, eh. link.

Where is it - Edition 25

A bonus Where Is It for this gorgeous weekend.

Hopefully Carla catches the rest of them sleeping.

Name the city. Click on the picture for a bigger view.

Restaurant meme

I got tagged by Carla at Blah Blah Blog-o-licious to do this meme.

The rules:
1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the state and country you’re in.

LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
J (California, USA)
Curiosity Killer(Hong Kong, SAR)
Shelli (Minnesota, USA)
Lynda (Indiana, USA)
Jennifer (Texas, USA)
Carly (Vancouver, Canada)
Vegas Princess (Nevada, USA)
Blog-o-licious (Washington, USA)
White Noise (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

2. List out your top 5 favourite places to eat at your location (locally).

Caesar's Steak House - They have a glassed in grill area where you can see your steak getting cooked. The service is top notch and the steak is among the best.

Mother Tucker's (or M.T. Tucker's as it's now known) - We pronounce it slightly differently, if you catch my drift. They have the best buffet spread in Calgary which makes them a hit for Sunday brunches, especially on holidays. They'll give you a free dinner on the day of your birthday.

Saltlik - Steak and scalloped potatoes in your own little cast iron pan. The French Onion Soup is tasty and has an inventive broth. The atmosphere is perfect and they have a party room you can rent downstairs that is very cozy.

Bavarian Inn - German food at a rustic little place located in a forest setting by the foothills of the Rockies. Chef Charlie is talented and often comes to talk to the customers. I go for the pork medallions baked with Emmenthal cheese, with pan fried potatoes, red cabbage and cheese späetzle on the side.

Joey Tomatoes - Gourmands are going to gag at the mention of a chain restaurant, but Joey's serves decent quality food for a place that doesn't really employ chefs (in the truest sense of the word).

I tag Bernie to do this meme next...........

100 things in 100 days - number 21

21. I believe in extra-terrestrials. I'd consider going with them if I were invited.

I know I've blogged about this before. It's a scenario I like to bring up at parties. They land (they're friendly) and invite you along on on a trip out there of indeterminate length. Do you go? My answer is unequivocally - YES!

Where is it - Edition 24

You know the rules.

Name the city.

Click the picture for a bigger size.


Friday, May 25, 2007

I almost thought the internet had run out of neat things....

OK... this is super cool. Women in Art is a video clip where female portraits morph from one to another.

Best new excuse for being late:

Google Maps was wrong........

Stolen (with props) from defective yeti.

100 things in 100 days - number 22

22. I abhor touching or putting stuff in my eye, which is why I'll never wear contacts.

[shudder] The eye is off limits. Period. You know that blast of air thing they do during eye exams? You may as well be threatening that you're going to put a giant needle in my eye.

Forget laser corrective surgery..... not going to happen.

Picture by myrtepeert.

I've picked my 7..... if only I could vote for them.....

CBC, our national public broadcaster, is learning the lesson of what happens when a web site doesn't have the resources necessary to handle a sudden increase in web hits.

In this case, the CBC is having a contest where folks can vote for the 7 Wonders of Canada from a lineup of 52 nominees. You may have trouble voting for your 7 picks, but hopefully they get it fixed soon.

Pictured is me next to a tree in Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island - one of the nominees. Darlene was suffering from a stubborn cold that she couldn't shake for weeks when we visited Cathedral Grove. Later that day, all of her symptoms were gone. It was surreal.

Best line heard from a friend or co-worker this week:

".... and that's why strip poker is boring."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mother Nature teaches us tolerance...

Today is May 24th. Overnight, Calgary received up to 20cm of snow.

Global warming............... pffff!

100 things in 100 days - number 23

23. I prefer tea over coffee.

Coffee bearable. Tea wonderful. Nuff said.

And so it begins again.....

So I started a new acting class last night. New company, new teacher, 3 classmates from the last
class, 10 new ones.

This class is less about concepts, technique and acting games and more about pairing up with someone and mastering a scene. So this is going to be very different. The scenes that were picked out for everyone are decent. I think this class is really going to test everyone's abilities. We have to invest some of our own time on this one too, as 6 classes at 4 hours each is not enough time to develop the scene properly at our experience level - or so I presume. I'm going to miss getting to play with the whole class during the whole session, so I hope we still have some class-level exercises.

It's too bad that you don't get a report card when it's all over. I sometimes get the feeling that there are folks in the acting community who think they have skill, but who really don't. I often wonder if there are 3 kinds of actors - actors who can't act (but think they can), actors who can act, but need more refinement and actors who are naturals. Then I wonder which category I fall into. If I was to guess, I would not pick the naturals category. I don't think I fall into the can't act pool, but I would certainly want someone (qualified) to tell me if that was the case.

No matter, for now it's fun, it's a life altering experience and I get to meet more awesome people.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

100 things in 100 days - number 24

24. I don't need to drink alcohol to have fun.

Although I've walked that mile too. There was a time when you would have found me in the clubs every night of the week, dancing on tables (in places that allowed it...... OK, even in places that didn't), making a complete fool of myself. That does a number on your body, not to mention your budget.

While I was still young, I discovered that you don't have to get drunk to enjoy yourself - at least I don't. In fact, there are numerous benefits to remaining mostly sober, not the least of which is - you can continue partying as late as you want - watch everyone else make a fool of themselves - even join in if the mood strikes you - and still drive home. Since you can actually remember what happened, you also get to preserve those memories for yourself..... or to recount those memories to those same revellers the next day.

I honestly don't know how some folks afford the booze they consume. I'm just glad I don't need it. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the odd glass of spirits from time to time. But it's no longer a prerequisite to a good time.

A bunch-a screamin' beanies

Here's some fun that'll keep you busy for a minute or two if you have headphones on, maybe more if you're at work and have speakers turned on (just to get reactions from nearby co-workers).

Some kids will probably love this.

I guess the pointy end of a water buffalo hurts

So, picture this. A small herd of water buffalo wander into a pride of lions and the lions go right after a calf and catch it. But because they're right in and around a watering hole, some crocodiles get in on the action. Curtains for the calf either way, right? Guess again. It gets crazy.

One of the best wildlife videos I've seen in a long time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I need to learn Texas Hold Em style Poker in 10 days.

Any good practise sites?

100 things in 100 days - number 25

25. I've been accused of being pompous. Me!

I'm not pompous. That would imply excessive vanity. My vanity is forced and completely in check.........

Why are you laughing?

Don't be bringin' no PB&J in your checked luggage

I couldn't write anything this funny. A member of Congress has been blogging about his challenge to subsist on $21 in food stamps (something quite foreign to Canadians) for a week. He thought he had it all figured out until he tried to board a flight with his food in his luggage. That's when the TSA nicked his PB & J.

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Trust me!"

Are you the kind of person who enjoys telling tall tales to friends in an effort to see how far you can push the boundaries of truth before they challenge you? If so, you're going to love Undeniable Facts, a blog where Dan Serena gives you lots of material to choose from.

My favourite so far is the 'Use a CD to make it speedy' story.

100 things in 100 days - number 26

26. I can cook and rather enjoy it.

I don't have a lot of recipes in my arsenal, but Darlene tells me that I have a natural touch when it comes to culinary creations. She's the baker (making me very popular at work), I'm the cook. My favourite dishes? Spanish Rice (mine is a sweeter variation on the original); Tuna Casserole (with home-made croutons on top); Lasagna for Dummies; Fettuccine Alfredo, Sweet & Sour Meatballs ( a hit at many of our parties), Sticky Chicken (roasted in a teryaki glaze), Teryaki Stir Fry, Bratkartoffeln.

Goofy! Pluto! To the Utilidor!

Fascinating story about the tunnels under The Magic Kingdom, where employees change and get to their 'stage' unseen.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

See where the hotels are

If you do a lot of travelling and staying in hotels, Hotel World Map is an awesome site. Trip Advisor is a great resource for getting customer reviews of hotels, but Hotel World Map helps you see where they are located. It's another Google Maps API and I like it a lot. Each hotel is represented by a blue push pin. Click on the pin and a balloon pops up with the name and picture of the hotel.

Episode 22 of Great White North II is up

Have you heard of Reno 911? Well, we made a short called Hoser 911. The idea just came to us in a flash and we decided to run with it. link. 15699 hits on our 22 episodes.... Thank you!

By the way, tonight is the Bob & Doug special at 9pm MST (check your local listings for times nearest you) on CBC. It airs right after the Strange Brew movie.

Dysphoric Catatonic Personality Dysfunction.... with Itching!

Checkout this Disease Mongering Engine that generates random disorders (with psychological flavouring). It doesn't sound fun on paper, but some of the results are funny as hell.

100 things in 100 days - number 27

27. I don't like the taste of beer.

[in the voice of Goldmember from Austin Powers] Ishn't dat veird?

But seriously, I think beer tastes awful. I gave it a chance - honest, I did. More times than I can count. But nothing changed. I just don't like the taste.

This could be a good thing, because in my younger days, it was probably my dislike for beer that helped me avoid...... accidents, unwanted fatherhood, fights, mystery bodily injuries, jail time....

What the heck is copyright?

This clever film uses short clips from Disney animations to explain the concept of fair use. It's brilliant in that it is a perfect example of fair use (fair dealing in Canada). Professor Eric Faden - I salute you.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

They're just regular..... honest!

OK guys, I need your help proving a point. Darlene seems to think I have extraordinarily large feet. In fact, she calls them paddles. I contest that I do not have large feet - that they are average sized for a man. She doesn't believe me.

So I'd like all the guys that read this post to weigh in with their shoe size (US) in the comments. Please don't embellish - be honest. I can't win this debate if you inflate your size. I encourage as many men to participate as possible. I realize that height has an influence - I've factored that in.

I'm quite happy as a one-scooter guy....

Darlene and I were downtown late this afternoon, on our way to dinner out. We were passing by a scooter parked on the side of the street and Darlene noticed that I was looking at it. She says, "Why are you eyeing other scooters when you already have a perfectly good one at home?" I said, "I may look at other scooters, but I promise I won't ride them." She said, "Not even for a test drive?"

[update - I forgot to add my response] "Only if I cleared it with you first."

The innuendo was crisp that day, no?

More great advertising concepts

I love some of these bus ads.............. very clever.

If you've got nothing to hide......

I love it when TV networks put their programming online so you can watch at your leisure. If you're at all interested in privacy, you might want to watch Spying on the Home Front, a segment shown on Frontline on PBS.

Cool Whip.... now with lube!

I like Cool Whip. Like it better than real whipped cream in fact. I know - blasphemy! Which says to me that they did a pretty good job making the stuff.

Now the folks at Wired went and told me what's in Cool Whip. I don't care - I'm still going to eat it.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.............

100 things in 100 days - number 28

28. I'm a marksman.

It's true. I even surprised myself with this one. But while I was in the military and was provided with a weapon to aim and fire at things, I discovered that I could shoot............. quite well! Who knew?

Most impressive weapon ever fired? For me, it was the Carl Gustav, 'Carl G' or '84' as we called it. It's an anti-tank weapon and it's a blast to fire - literally. The air gets sucked out of your lungs when this thing fires.

Getting carried away

Supposedly, today is the First International Talk Like a Pilot Day.

OK - it was funny when they introduced Talk Like a Pirate Day, but at least most people could fake their way through the lingo. Who the hell knows how to talk like a pilot? How do pilots even talk? These aren't even run-of-the-mill pilots either. Based on the suggested lingo, they're WWII era pilots.

Sorry, on Karl's Lameness Scale, this rates an über-lame..........

Friday, May 18, 2007

100 things in 100 days - number 29

29. I'd like to operate my own music store.

What a life that would be. Listening to music all day and turning folks on to artists they have yet to hear. But it would have to be some kind of ground-breaking style of store - digital downloads, in store mash-up artists, regular performances, lots of audio-related gadgets for sale, comfy seating to sit and audition new music before you buy......... maybe even our own radio station broadcasting live from the store. It would be like the world's best music station, with people who really know their music - but who sell it too.

Now it's broken even before it hits the streets

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how the DRM that protects HD-DVDs was cracked. The industry revoked the key that was compromised and are about to issue a new one. Unfortunately for them, that new key has already been cracked. A contributor at boingboing says:

"This raises the question: what will AACS-LA do now? Key revocation doesn't work. Suing the Internet doesn't work. DRM doesn't work (this DRM took years and cost millions, it was broken in days, for free, by hobbyists). Pirates who download movies don't ever see DRM. Honest customers who buy media are the only people who ever get restricted by it -- and it's clear that a lot of people aren't willing to pay money for movies that are less useful than the pirate versions they can get for free."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Best Mother's Day story.... evar!

It comes late, but trust me - it's worth it:

So, we had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died. Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on this mat in our bathroom.

Well, we have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves chapstick. LOVES it. He kept asking to use my chapstick and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.

Last year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush around and try to get ready for Church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.

We finally have the older one and the baby loaded in the car and I am looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally round the corner to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was applying my chapstick very carefully to Jack's . . . rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and said "chapped." Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right--their little butts do look pretty chapped. And, frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind.

And the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind or the hundredth.And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they've been using your chapstick on the cat's butt.