Thursday, December 21, 2006

Schadenfreude

I'm not one to use petty name calling and other childish tactics to denigrate someone, but in Rosie O'Donnell's case, I'll allow it.

Please absorb every delicious second of Donald Trump taking Rosie to task.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Exhibit #umpteen in why Gwen Stefani needs to go back to No Doubt

I will not forgive Gwen Stefani for leaving No Doubt. They were putting out perfectly serviceable little ditties for years when she decided she was too good for them, ditched them and came out with a solo career. Suddenly, this SoCal rich white chick from Orange County gets all hip-hop and "urban" on us? Pleeeeeease!

Now, with the release of her second solo album, comes more fodder for my own special brand of vitriolic diatribes. Her new song, "Wind It Up", really bothers me. First, it starts with a horrible re-imagining of that yodeling song from the Sound of Music (Julie Andrews is spinning in her grave!...what? she's not? Well...I see). Then the lyrics read like a 5th rate ripoff of "My Humps", which was already a 3rd rate song, at best.

Sample (bold added by me for emphasis):
This is the key that makes us wind up
When the beat comes on, the girls all line up
And the boys all look, but no, they can't touch
But the girls want to know why boys like us so much

They like the way we dance, they like the way we work
They like that way that L.A.M.B. is going 'cross my shirt
They like the way my pants, it compliments my shape (She's crazy, right?)
They like the way we react everytime we dance
Compared with this from "My Humps":
They say I'm really sexy,
The boys they wanna sex me.
They always standin' next to me,
Always dancing next to me,
Tryin' a feel my hump, hump.
Lookin' at my lump, lump.
You can look but you can't touch it

I'm sure you are all familiar with the inane lyrics of "My Humps", so I won't sample any more of it, but you get the idea. Why Gwen, why? Also, why is the state of music so horrible, especially radio in this here city? There's nothing you can tune to and just leave on. Of course, there is no recourse on the dial anyway, so switching stations is really just an instinct and not a panacea for our musical woes. Maybe satellite radio is the way to go.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

School's out for ever

Cue Alice Cooper because it finally seems like I'm out! I finished my classes...hopefully for good, provided I pass them both. This past Monday was the first in a long time when I was able to stay home and do basically nothing. This past weekend, I've managed to play so many video games that I have been neglecting (man, Final Fantasy III on the DS is tough...and I'm only at the beginning!). It feels good to be back.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Since the dawn of man...

It seems that since the dawn of man, some people have been using superstition (and eventually, religion) as a way of controlling the masses.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2482418.html

Behind the rock, which was covered in man-made indentations, was a chamber that the archaeologists believed was used by a shaman who could have spoken without being seen, giving the impression that it was the snake speaking.

“The shaman would have been able to control everything. It was perfect,” Sheila Coulson, from the University of Oslo, said.

It doesn't surprise me that primitive man was already so organized in their superstition. What surprises me is how a few people back then had the capacity to identify this and exploit it. I guess humans have been and will always be the same: power hungry and exploitative.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The street is not your personal toilet

I was walking up McGill College yesterday when I noticed an Asian fellow and his little, 5 year old-ish son at a nook outside Place Montreal Trust. In broad daylight, outside, he pulled down this kid's pants and the kid just freely peed in the corner. He then pulled up the kid's pants and they continued along, like nothing happened.

WHAT THE HELL!? This is disgusting like I cannot imagine. I had half a mind to just yell at them. I only mention that they're Asian because of an article I read, where mainland Chinese people who visited Hong Kong Disneyland shocked the HK locals by urinating on the public grounds of Disneyland.

To people who have been to that part of the world...is peeing in public a normal thing? I mean, does it not breed diseases? Considering there are plenty weird diseases coming from the Far East, maybe it does.

Actually, I know an Indian guy who would go to India and come back with stories of people just dropping their pants in the streets and defecating on the spot, picking up and walking along, like nothing happened.

Am I the only one appalled by this?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wii-diculous!

I brought my car to Wal-mart this morning at 8 to get the tires changed. Coincidentally, the Nintendo Wii launched today, so I swung by the electronics section to scope it out. Man, it was utter madness. I talked to the kid who worked there and he told me all 54 Wiis were spoken for even before they opened the doors. And all the peripherals and games were being snatched up faster than they could open the boxes. Looks like a hit. Meanwhile, I walked in and picked up Final Fantasy V Advance (on sale for $16.88) and got crazed looks by people who could not believe the temerity of someone not paying attention to the Wii on this Holy Nintendo Sunday.

Comparitively, Wal-mart had only 8 PS3s. Dinkar, who was a participant in both launches, told me the Wii pandemonium was way crazier than the PS3. Madness.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Never overestimate the intelligence of the gaming public

Who in their right mind would pay $5000 for a PS3, when in a few months, it'll go down to its normal (and still ludicrous) price of $600US?

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Sony-Playstation-3-Premium-System-60GB-PS3_W0QQitemZ160047098963

Dinkar, man, have fun staying outside Wal-Mart tonight... :(

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy Anniversary

By chance, I was looking through my old achives, looking to murder some time, when I realized.......today is the 3rd year anniversary of my very first blog post. November 9th, 2003, is a day that will live in infamy.

I did a bit of research and found that the third anniversary is considered the "leather anniversary". Ignoring the dire implications that might imply, I invite all to wish me a happy leather-versary. Leather for all!

The first image of leather that popped in my head is the following from the classic, too-soon-departed, Arrested Development:



Hopefully, I'll see all my loyal readers (this means all 2 or 3 of them...Chris, Chico...anyone else?) for many years to come.

The following is the very first thing I posted:

Hey everybody. Following in the illustrious footsteps of Wil Wheaton, I've decided to create a blog (that's "web log" said sorta fast...idiots). Here, you will find anything I have to say about anything.

Consider yourselves lucky that I am giving such uninhibited access to my mind FOR FREE! May you all bask in the warm (and fuzzy) glow of my glorious, glorious self.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

File this under "not surprising"

To anyone with a passing knowledge of the increasingly ludicrous DOA games, the following should not be a surprise:

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3154959

Itagaki on Trial for Sexual Harrassment


DOA creator faced with charges from former Tecmo staff


by Jonathan Lumb, 11/07/2006

Japanese entertainment news site, ZAKZAK, is reporting that Tecmo's Tomonobu Itagaki, father of the Dead or Alive series, is facing allegations of sexual harrassment from a former Tecmo worker. Itagaki, who has become quite a famous face of the game industry thanks to his frequent appearance in magazines, is being asked to pay compensation of 10 million yen. The issue is also thought to be an influence in his unexpected demotion at Tecmo this August.

The member of staff, who quit Tecmo on September 8 this year, presented her case for sueing Itagaki and Tecmo two days later on the 10th, and legal discussions started a month later on October 4. According to the plaintiff, the acts of sexual harrassment started from September 9, three years ago, in a taxi on the way back from a party after a meeting with managers from an IT company. Itagaki is alleged to have forcibly kissed the woman after proclaiming his fondness of her. The tales of harrassment continued, with Itagaki supposedly locking the reception and wrapping his arms around the plaintiff on many occasions, ending up with a similar run-in at a hotel during E3 last year.

The plaintiff claims she was told by management to "Do something about it" herself, after having been absent from work due to stress and instability about the matter, then she started to talk to the firm's head of Human Resources about it. The result of internal investigation was that kisses had been a show of "mutual affection", though the company deemed his actions improper and he lost his position of Managing Executive Officer. After an unsatisfactory response from the company, she handed in her resignation.

Since the case became public, a member of Tecmo's management has apparently contacted ZAKZAK's sister-publication, Evening Fuji, and stated that "there was a difference of opinions, and it will be cleared up in the trial".

Monday, November 06, 2006

Makes you think

I just read a very interesting article where one passage rang very true to me.

Consequently, religious people will devote immense energy to so-called moral problems—such as gay marriage—where no real suffering is at issue, and they will happily contribute to the surplus of human misery if it serves their religious beliefs.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Showcase Sundown

The day has come. Bob Barker has decided to retire.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/31/tv.bobbarker.retires.ap/

I can't believe it. Especially this creepy, yet bizarrely hilarious part: "I refuse to do nude scenes. These Hollywood producers want to capitalize on my obvious sexuality, but I don't want to be just another beautiful body."

In any case, The Price is Right is an institution, one I would watch every single day for many consecutive summers.

The thrill of the Check Game.


The excitement of Switcheroo.


And the pants-wetting reveals of Plinko.


The parent company that owns the show is said to be looking for a replacement host but The Price is Right is Bob Barker. Without him, the show should just fold and I think it will.

It's a sad day. I leave you with a video of the opening of the very first episode Bob Barker hosted back in 1972.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Comics? Hardly

Regular readers (a dying breed) might know about my love/hate relationship with the newspaper comics. For years, I would read every single execrable comic that appeared in the Gazette, daily. I would follow each storyline and I really didn't know why. Most comics are hardly funny. I mean, "comic" is right there in the word! A smile, a chuckle? Is that too much to ask? Where are the Calvin and Hobbes or Farsides of my day? Hell, even The Boondocks ended. Most strips were are left with are incredibly lame and have no real punchline. They simply exist to waste ink and amuse 80 year olds whose sense of humour died around the time they had their first hip surgery.

Thankfully, the Gazette finally ditched some of the worst ones. I mean, does ANYbody enjoy Sally Forth? I could go much deeper in every one of those strips they printed but I don't want to rant too much. It is my birthday after all. Stay positive!

Anyway, I'm just writing to mention my new favourite web site, the Comics Curmudgeon. It represents exactly how I feel about the current state of comics. It's basically a guy who posts that day's comics and just rips into how awful they really are. So I'm not alone!

Note: I have, for weeks now, stopped reading the comics. Just like that, cold turkey. I just couldn't handle it anymore after a particularly awful Beetle Bailey. I must report, I am generally more happy this way, as reading comics in the morning no longer spoils the day to come.

Friday, October 13, 2006

EA the devil?

We all knew EA was evil, way back when they turned their back on the Dreamcast. Sega effectively made EA who they are, by carrying plenty of EA titles on the Genesis back in the day. The first NHL game by EA was exclusively on the Genesis (I had it), the simply named NHL Hockey. The following year, they released NHLPA '93 on Genesis and SNES and they were off. But the point is, EA are jerks.

Fast forward a few years where 2k was putting out spectacular titles, including their NFL 2k series. The last game, NFL 2k5 was so damned good, and was priced at $20US, that EA got so scared that they bought the exclusive NFL rights. So now and for years to come, only EA can put out a football game. Due to this monopoly, their football games have regressed, removing features to overall diminishing quality. Monopolies are rarely a good thing. The latest outrage? EA is charging for content they once gave for free.

Yes, EA has added downloadable stadiums to the latest Madden game, which you can get for the low low price of $3.75 US apiece! (link) This is an outrage. Take their latest hockey entry, NHL 07. Not only is it stripped of pretty much every feature you want in a game and filled with AI bugs, it also has no alternate jerseys or arenas, something they used to give free...something that the competition, NHL 2k7m gives in extreme abundance. EA will instead add them online and you have to buy extra content like that for a fee. I urge all to read this satirical article. In an IGN interview, EA even admits they fear a consumer backlash. So why are they doing this?

It's just the latest in what is beginning to seem like a new trend to squeeze money from us. Take the latest Gran Turismo game coming for PS3. It will come in 2 flavours: one with 30 cars and 2 tracks or another one with no cars and no tracks, just the bare bones of the game. It's up to the consumer to then go online with their PS3 and download cars and tracks, at ridiculous prices. Based on the preliminary price schemes, to download all the content for this game will cost between $500 and $1000. Can you imagine?

When did video games reach such an elitist level? Soon will come the day when kids will no longer be able to simply get a game for Christmas, because that game will come with strings attached. They will need their parents' credit cards in order to round out the missing content from their game. Not only that but it further stresses classism in the increasingly expensive hobby of gaming. Sure, rich kids could always buy more games, but now even if everyone owns the same game, those with more cash will have more options, more features and will extract more enjoyment from the games.

Yet again, I am reminded why EA is to be loathed. Shame on you EA. And shame on you, Sony, too.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stay on target...stay on target...

Not even a month into school again and I'm already overloaded. I have the same prof for both classes and she's a bit nutty. She has assigned so much work for the entire semester and asks us to do work based on material we're only covering at the end of the term. She expects us to know way more than we do and it's too much. It's just too much.

Then I received a forward of some gorgeous photos of Greece. Here are a few.






My question is, what am I doing wrong to not be living someplace like that? Can you imagine the lives of the filthy rich who can vacation in places like this, or have a pied à terre down there? Incredible.

My producer here at work is going on vacation this week and she asked me why I never take any vacation. I really had no answer. I sorta said I have no place to go and if I took days off, I'd just laze at home...I might as well come in to work. I'm thinking after I finally complete these bloody classes, maybe a vacation someplace might be in order.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What is it with old people?

Why do old people continue to bother me? This time, it's the way they look at people.

I was on the bus, watching the Daily Show on my media player, when I noticed out of the corner of my eye, the old woman in front of me looking me up and down with this twisted, disgusted face...as if she didn't approve. So I just glanced up at her and she quickly looked away. But when it seemed I wasn't looking again, she would contort her face with disgust at me.

So I decided to pay more attention. On the metro, I looked out for young folks and old people. Very often, the old people would check out young people and look disapprovingly at them or, and this is true, sometimes shake their heads. And I'm not talking about tattoed, eyebrow-ringed goth freaks. I'm talking normal looking youths. Hey old people, if you don't like it, there's a room in a nursing home with your name scrawled on it.

***

Just to cheer me up and hopefully you, my faithful readers (if any), I'm putting up a video that always makes me crack a smile. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dawson

Let's blame...say..."Doom" and "Grand Theft Auto" for the shootings. That's an easy scapegoat.

Whew, my conscious is clear now.


*rolls eyes

Monday, September 11, 2006

Conspiracy

I was on the metro this morning and among many interesting things, I saw on the little electronic newsboard some statistics. Apparently, 22% of Canadians and 30% of Quebecers (higher in the 18-25 age bracket) believe the US government was behind the attacks on the twin towers, as an excuse to go to war. Now, the current government down there is many things (mostly incompetent) but I have such a hard time believing that. There is no way they staged that...mainly because they don't have the competence. I mean, it's a neat little conspiracy theory but to actually believe something like that makes me fear for the intelligence of the public.

Did the government know something like this was going to happen? Yeah, I think Condoleezza Rice even testified to that fact. Then why didn't they stop it? Not because they orchestrated it, but rather because they're incompetent. I love that word.

Anyway, this brings me to another theory that really gets me upset: people who believe the moon landing was staged in a tv studio somewhere. Are these people for real? I don't know why but idiots who believe this anger me so much. What an incredible scientific achievement, what a sensational step for humanity...denied by some yahoo crackpots who think everyone is out to get them. And these aren't mental cabdrivers or Mel Gibson. Or both. 22%. 30%. That's huge. I can't believe how many idiots are out there.

Conclusion: I'm so much better than most people.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

If you don't plan on writing, just don't have a blog

What irks me (most recently) is people who insist on having blogs...and not effin' writing on them. Not even a throwaway post in betwixt! Somewhere along the way, they heard blogs were neat and they subscribed to one, adding another voice to the crowded blogosphere, opining on widely ranging topics in a style they obvious thought was hilarious. Wait a sec...that's me.

But seriously, I was looking up and down Chris's extensive blog links off his blog and one after another, people have allowed their blogs to languish. The only person who posts with any regularity (possibly due to his high fibre and prune juice diet) is Chris and his writing is often not very amusing. I used to like the ol' Cup o' Joe blog, but when he wasn't posting anymore, he pulled the plug. He had some sense about him.

New rule. If you haven't posted in over a month, you're off my list. After that, you will have to prove to me that you warrant a link off my blog to get in my good graces again.

As Serpentor often says, "this I command!".

Monday, August 21, 2006

Snakes on the net

I spend a lot of time online, just reading up on anything. I spend entirely too much time in fact, mostly perusing various geek-filled message boards and one thing strikes me most. It is the fact that most people who post their useless opinions online have no concept of what the outside world is, and how to function in it. The following quote from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back comes to mind:

Jay: What the f*** is the Internet?
Holden: The Internet is a communication tool used the world over where people can come together to bitch about movies and share pornography with one another.

The net is full of lamers who think their opinions are law. How many countless idiots have I read who give their opinion (usually on a scifi or fantasy movie/tv show/book and tell everyone else, in very bad writing, that they are stupid because they do not share the same opinion... This bring me to the internet phenomenon (apparently called a "meme"...don't ask me... :S), Snakes on a Plane.

Sometime last year, the internet was rumbling with the idea that a movie about snakes on a plane called Snakes on a Plane was being made. Of course, it starred Sam Jackson. I, too, was intrigued about this. Sight unseen, plot untold, people were going mad about this movie. The interner buzz was so huge, you could be deafened by it, just by switching on your pc. It is to be an intentionally cheesy movie that actually incorporated some fan ideas into the final product. A movie partially by the people. So finally, it opens. It actually garners some positive critical response, too, by virtue of its fun nature. Box office for the weekend: $15.2M, just squeaking by Talladega Nights for the #1 position. In fact, if it weren't for the 10pm Thursday night shows, SoaP would have actually placed #2. This goes to show two things:

- Critics are irrelevant
- Internet buzz is useless

All these people on the net think they're so important, prompting peopleat the SoaP message board over at imdb.com to predict things in complete seriousness like it will make more money than Titanic. Some level-headed people do have some sense about them, like the guy who finally said "proof that internet nerds really dont make up much of movie-going populace". And that is true. I will speculate that the majority of these people who were heavily into the net buzz don't often leave the house and simply downloaded a bootleg of the movie.

Now, I will see this movie. I will most likely enjoy it. This movie will indeed make a nice profit, seeing as how it was cheap to make and will kill on DVD. But to all you internet guys out there who post online with your superior attitude, I just must say, please understand reality.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Random Post: Norris Bridge

Just a random news item I thought was hilarious:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200608/s1703355.htm

Hungarians keen for 'Chuck Norris Bridge'



The American action hero Chuck Norris is leading a government poll in Hungary that has been set up to find a name for a new bridge in Budapest.

The name "Chuck Norris Bridge" has attracted more than 8,000 votes or 11 per cent of the Internet poll.

It puts the actor just ahead of a Hungarian humorist and the country's first king, Stephen the Great.

A government committee will review the outcome of the poll next month before making a final decision.

- Reuters

Monday, August 07, 2006

Middle aged? More like 62.5% aged

One thing (of the many) that bothers me is the misuse of language. I'm not talking about typos or just memory lapses. I am referring to misuse of word and their meanings. For example, I was reading some message boards on the weekend (geeky ones...please don't ask), when someone was discussing how a 40 year-old was "middle aged". Then another poster responded by saying, "since when is 40 middle-aged?", and implied that the term is reserved for people around 50 years old. To paraphrase Niles on Frasier, you're only middle-aged at 50 is you expect to live to 100.

I firmly believe language is always in flux. A language should be able to adapt and integrate new words and terms in order to stay relevant. Any language establishing strict guidelines is doomed to failure because it will not have the ability to transform itself to stay current. Meanings of words change based on usage. But something as obvious as the word "middle-aged" or "mid-life" should be simple. The life expectancy of Canada is around 80. Ergo, middle-aged should be 40, with an accepted tolerance of, say, 5 years. This goes for the more recent term "quarter-life crisis", as well, which averages out to around 25 years old. People generally don't live to be 100.

While I am on the subject, I think anybody who says the word "irregardless" when they mean "regardless" should have a dunce cap permanently affixed to their scalp via Krazy Glue and secured by Frankenstein-esque bolts.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Nefarious smells

Yet another bus story! Yay!

So I get on the bus this morning and I spot one 2-seat bench completely empty. Now, this bench was right behind a 4-seater that was occupied by these 4 women. I hate these 4 women. I remembered just then why I stopped taking the 7:50 #32 bus. These 4 chatter so damned loud. Yack yack yack, like 4 hens. Dammit, women, nobody wants to hear your inane ramblings at that hour in the morning. There are these 2 unrelated women, then this obese girl and her obese mother. I hate them all.

In any case, I decide to sit at this seat, wondering why it is empty out of all the seats on the bus. I quickly discovered why. No sooner did I crack open chapter 12 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when I smelled it. It filled the air like a malicious, suffocating cloud. The obese girl stank. Body odour, sweat (, fecal matter??). I mean, nasty. It filled my nostrils. Her odour was warm and assaulted my olfactory system with its spicy, evil musk. The worst part was, her window was open, blowing this nefarious haze of filth into my face. It was dreadful. But what could I do? Sometimes I envy the noseless (this means you, Jacko...well except for all the kids-in-the-bed rubbish. Ok, fine, I don't envy you. You're actually pretty frightening).

This brings me to another point. Why do people smell? And obese folk most of all? People, it's not all that hard to clean oneself. I am reasonably sure everyone has access to running water and some sort of soap or lye solution. Please wash. Please. Please? For the good of all commuters. Just do it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

R.I.P. Eddie

Sad news from the world of show biz. A beloved member of one of the best comedies of our time has passed.

Died at the ripe old age of 16 and a bit. That's a pretty good life for a doggie.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

SR in VT

Last week, I noticed local musicman Sam Roberts was playing a show in Burlington, Vermont. Sounds like a road trip!! $10 tix to see the guy play? Not too shabby! So after work, JBo and I drove down to Burlington...sorry, SOUTH Burlington...you know...the hood. In any case, we went to this little joint called Higher Ground. Seriously, the room was the size of my backyard. There were as many as 60-70 people scattered in there. It was so small, but the walls were lined with posters of people who have played there and some were of note.

The tickets said 8pm...but that was not the case. The two openers started late. In fact, the second band took an inordinate amount of time setting up and tuning their equipment. I think the house engineer is some kind of moron. He didn't know what to do. Long story short, Sam Roberts and his band take the stage at 11:30pm and played a solid set until 1:10am. Interspersed throughout the show, Roberts mentioned Canada and Montreal plenty of times and spoke French, too, to the befuddlement of the locals. Luckily, there were indeed plenty of Quebecers who made the trip, so it was like a hometown show. In fact, there was a girl there wearing the same CBC t-shirt that I had on. At the end of the show, the bassist even gave me props for it. They were super cool, shaking everyone's hands and generally rockin' out. The atmosphere was cozy, maybe even a little amateurish. But these are Vermonters after all. We should just be grateful they know what electricity is.

Oh, does anybody know if there is a law in some States where you cannot print the alcohol content of beer on the label? Not a single beer had it written and it's not the first time I have noticed this. Not that I had many beers. The guy working the bar was the laziest dude ever. It took so long to get a damned drink. Hey bub! If you don't want my business, just close the bar. Don't tease me with alcohol in sight and not sell it. Jerk.

Anyway, here are some photos. And for those waiting for another installment of E3/LA pix, too bad. I am not writing any more about that, however I will leave you some key photos beneath the concert pix. Enjoy! (the concert photos were done on my cell phone so please excuse the quality).
















Thursday, May 25, 2006

Non-E3 activities

Outside of E3, Milen and I did pretty much the entire tour of the L.A. area. Los Angeles itself is wholly unremarkable. It's run-down looking, and very concrete. Lots of greys. Oh, and it's deserted. It's as if nobody lives/works there. We took a nice walk from downtown up to Dodger Stadium. The walk was actually not very nice. It was a trek through some half-sketchy neighbourhood. Plenty of dilapidated houses. In fact, some parts were downright frightening. Forty minutes later, there we were. Beautiful Chavez Ravine. Some desperate guy in his car needed to unload tickets, so we got second row, $40 tickets for $10 apiece. Pretty sweet deal. The game itself seemed like a blowout, with the Dodgers up 9-0 at one point, but Houston made it interesting, with a final score of 9-6. The walk back was more frightening, as it was dark and sketchier than before. We walked a good hour, maybe, forty minutes of it without seeing a single person. The city is deserted. I assume it's because nobody is crazy enough to walk around L.A. except us, who don't know any better. So maybe it is safe because everyone thinks it's dangerous.

The previous night, upon arriving in L.A., we picked up our rental car and drove down to beautiful Burbank with our e-ticket in hand to catch the Tonight Show. Jay Leno was his usual unfunny self. Key guests were Lindsay Lohan and Black Eyed Peas. Kevin Eubanks is lame.

Storytelling-wise, the rest of the places we visited probably are not really interesting to other people. We checked out all the major places. Hollywood Boulevard (with the Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theatre, Mann's Chinese Theatre and plenty of unremarkable things. Hollywood is kinda dingy).


Of course, we went to Beverly Hills, a bit of Bel Air and Rodeo Drive, with tons of fancy stores. Everyone in these fancy neighbourhoods job, by the way. You just see fleets of people jogging. It's surreal. We toured Santa Monica.







The 3rd Street Market there is really neat. It's illuminated at night and blocked off from car traffic, so you can go shopping at the nice boutiques in peace. Santa Monica Pier is also very picturesque. We went all along the beach communities, too, on the PCH. Through Venice Beach, passed by Manhattan Beach, stopped off at Long Beach. Ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp there. Finally, we drove into the O.C., checking out Newport Beach. There were paragliders there! Then we proceeded up through Anaheim, curled west back into L.A. and drive through Mulholland Drive, which is sick. It's a tiny, long, winding dark road through the hills, past estates of very wealthy movie people. Every now and then, there are rest points where you can see the entirety of Los Angeles off one side of the hills and Burbank and the Valley off the other side. It is at this point that you realize just how breathtakingly immense the Los Angeles area actually is. It is unfathomably huge.

Oh, and the best for last. I made good on my promise to shake my fist at Paramount. Good times.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Some gaming musings

I think the biggest story at E3 was probably Nintendo. Judging by the massive lines every day to get into their dome to play Wii, they captured everyone's attention.

I didn't have a chance to play the Wii, due to these lines (that didn't stop noted line but-er inner, Steven Spielberg) but the impressions I heard were mostly positive. The system is allegedly tiny (the height of a dvd case and 3 cases thick) and the remote control-style wand works well in most applications and not in others. Graphically, my eyewitnesses tell me it's a bit above Gamecube level. It's also a full-fledged Gamecube and with their download service, you can get all old Nintendo games from previous systems as well as select Genesis and Turbografx titles. That is really interesting. So Nintendo is banking on not pushing forward power-wise but rather going for innovation. The Xbox 360 and the PS3 run exponential circles around the Wii graphically but the Wii's novelty value definitely has something going for it. To wit: the PS3 section right across from Nintendo was quickly empty after people saw Sony's unimpressive display.


The PS3 underwhelmed me. I am not speaking as an anti-Sony basher. It's just that the games they had on display (granted, they were unfinished) were not impressive. The games were nothing I would want to play. Sure, they had cinematics of some neat looking stuff in development, but nothing that is on the horizon.


And the controller is pretty bad, too. I didn't like the boomerang style design they had originally proposed, but at least it was different. The new design is the same as the PS2 controller, except a bit larger, and they changed the L2 and R2 button to be like the shoulder buttons on the Gamecube, with degrees of depression. They also added a "PS" button in the middle, which I assume is similar to the "X" button on the 360's controller.



They removed all rumbling capabilities and added a motion sensor, like the Wii has. In short, they ditched any original design elements they had and combined items from Xbox 360's and Wii's controllers to make an unfocused, uncomfortable device. I happen to think a controller is very integral to the enjoyment of a system, seeing as how it's the only interface between player and game. You gotta make it as good as possible, and I think Sony has struck out in this respect.

In keeping with Sony, the actual system's shell is huge. However, it's still not big enough to house the insides of the machine.
The PS3s we played were all development kits because Sony hasn't yet figured out how to fit the machinery inside the box. Anyway, that's it for now. I'll write next about some stuff we did outside of E3 next.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Yeah yeah, no stories for you

Yes, it's true I came back from E3 and L.A. and I could go on at length about it but a new news item has popped up and is exponentially more important than my trip. I am talking, of course, about this.

Apparently, this story has bounced about as a sort of legend but the video finally turned up. It's Jack, I mean Kiefer Sutherland drunkedly tackling a Christmas tree while partying with the band he manages. Brilliant. Apparently, Jack Bauer not only takes down terrorists but offending Christmas trees, too.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Trans-time zone travelling: a personal first

All right, mother-bitches, I'm off to E3 in sunny Los Angeles, in the beautiful state of California.

I'll be back Sunday night, on the 14th. See y'all later!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Movie talkers must die

Cell phones cause many problems, such as driving accidents. But perhaps the most heinous cell phone act that can be done takes place in a movie theatre. Case in point, last night.

Sitting in the cinema, trying to enjoy Mission: Impossible 3 (not bad, entertaining enough), this bozo in the row ahead gets a phone call. Now, normally people's phones should be OFF! But nay, this guy had it on. Fine, maybe he forgot it on. But then he proceeds to answer it and start having a conversation. His talking took me right out of the movie and I missed some crucial plot points. Finally, getting upset and being spurred on by Chris, I flicked my empty box of Popeye candy sticks in his direction, to no avail. Eventually he stopped.

Later, his woman then gets a call on her phone. She answers it only the have the guy take it and hang up. Then the girl went psycho. "what the $%^& is your problem? You're really $%^&ing crazy," etc. Loud, too. This prompted a Vin Diesel sound-alike in another row to yell, "Shut the $%^& up!" But she kept up her tirade. Vin repeated, "You didn't hear me? I said shut the $%^& up." The girl calmed down and we all thought we could watch the rest of the movie in peace. But alas, it was not meant to be. She busted out her phone and was reviewing messages or something then started bitching out her man again. He took his coat, stood up and left. He returned a while later and when the movie ended, those two hotfooted it out of there like nobody's business. Who can blame them? I don't want Vin Diesel kicking my ass.

All this to say, how much gall does one have to possess to actually answer a phone during a movie? People like this should be lathered in grape jelly and deposited near fire ant hills.

This was entry number 1,406 in an ongoing series of Why People Generally Suck.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tom Cruise has no right to exist anymore

Tom Cruise has been getting increasingly weird to the point that he is officially a menace to society. His Scientology nonsense aside (he thinks he's an authority on psychiatry? He wants to eat placenta??), this latest tidbit angered me to no end:


LONDON (KP International) Tom Cruise has announced that Grammy-winner Kanye West and Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx are to be his daughter Suri's uncles.

While attending the London premiere of 'Mission: Impossible III' Cruise told the UK's Mirror, "Jamie Foxx is going to be uncle. I asked him today and he's accepted. He's an amazing guy."

And that's not all, Suri could possibly have two uncles. "When I get back to the States I'm gonna ask Kanye West," confessed Cruise.



Wtf does that mean? He gets to name uncles? Last time I checked, an uncle is a parent's brother. Even informal uncles, close friends that kids sometimes call uncle, happens organically. You can't just say, "you. You are to be an uncle to my child."

Tom Cruise has finally, 100% revoked his license to be.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why are people so damned gross?

For close to two years, I have been using the same water bottle at the gym. Yes, this may be considered a bit nasty. I'm sure the plastic molecules from the inside of the bottle have slowly dissolved into my drinking water and have harmful side-effects (maybe that's why my memory is shot!). In any case, I have been extremely reluctant to throw out my bottle, for no real good reason, until this morning.

I was at the gym before work and placed my bottle in the little bottle slot in the elliptical machine. Upon removing my bottle, attached to the bottom was a used band-aid. That grossed me out so much, you could not believe. I threw out the bottle.

Now, my question is...why the hell are people so damned gross? What type of miscreant removes a bloody, pus-y band-aid and places it on the machine? People like this should be beaten. Same with people who cannot be bothered to throw out their gum and instead stick it places. And then on the bus/metro, you have people who sneeze without covering their mouth or if they do, they then wipe their hand on the pole. Use your non-pole hand, you jerkstores (although if you're from Warsaw, that would be kinda difficult...).

I guess it's easier to be an ass and be dirty than to take some time to be clean and have some damned sense 'bout you. I think we should all live in Singapore, where they cane you if you even think about chewing gum.

Friday, April 21, 2006

California dreamin'

(Disclaimer: This is a Star Trek-related post. If you don't care about such things, too bad!)

As you may or may not know, I will be going to the E3 convention in L.A. next month. If you are not aware, it is the world's largest annual trade show and the third largest gaming convention for the computer and video games industry. Only industry people are allowed to go, so this is indeed very special. Last year, over 70,000 people attended. It's like the Mardi Gras or Carnivale of video games. I've never left this time zone so this trip will be special to be sure.

While in L.A., I was planning on going down to 5555 Melrose Ave to yell at the gates, voicing my disapproval of Paramount's treatment of my beloved Star Trek. But good news, everyone! Today, news comes that Rick "The Toad" Berman is indeed out and J.J. Abrams and the crew from Lost are in! They are now charged with making the next Trek film, purportedly centered around Kirk's early days at the Academy and in space. This idea has been around for seemingly ever and it's finally getting its due. A lot of geek fanboys will dismiss this outright and claim they will boycott, but not I! I know the quality Abrams and co. can produce and I am hyped. Keeping with the Lost connection, maybe they should get Josh "Sawyer" Holloway as McCoy. Well, him or Gary Sinise. Anyway, I am happy with this news. I will now go to the gates and give a huzzah!

Yes, I am a geek. Leave me be.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Call me Bob Vila

This past weekend, The Beauchamps (Jbo and M-E) had a ton of work to do at their new place. A while ago, the carpet that was glued with to the floors with what can only be described as unholy strength was finally pulled, through much sweat and toil. And then the fun of laying the floors began! The tongue & groove flooring was unlike any I had worked with in that they did not slide together straight, rather they had rounded edges on both the length and the width, making it doubly hard to fit into place.

After hours and days or cutting and sawing and much mathematical gymnastics and measurements, the floors were done. It might not be grade-A work, but it's the best we could do and I hope they are quite pleased with the result. Now all that is left is the Big Move and a new phase begins for Jbo/M-E. Congrats, you two. I hope those four walls contain much happiness and joy for years to come.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another drop in the I-hate-people bucket

Alright, that's it. I am sufficiently angry to rant. Topic: people on public transit.

First up: the bus.

Imagine a packed rushhour bus in the morning. Everyone is scrambling for seats. My stop is one of the last ones on the route. This specific bus stops by Terminus Brossard where many students get off, freeing up seats. Like a vaccuum, all the standing people get sucked into the recently vacated seats. I, being slow of thought and motor skills in the morning, am not so quick to react. Everybody is sitting at this point but me. I cast a cursory glance from one end of the bus to t'other, scanning for a place to park my posterior. At the very back, on the 2-seater against the back of the bus is this large-ish lady sitting on the outside seat, blocking access to the free space next to her. Worse still, she is having a conversation with the man sitting across from her. Why not just have him sit next to you? Free up that damn space! I want to sit! Jesus! And the worst part is that she will pretend like she doesn't see the million little hatred-tipped daggers shooting out of my eyes, Judge Doom-style. Listen, lady. I know you can feel my fury across the bus. Don't pretend you don't. Maybe you think your girth may entitle you to two seats, but that's simply not true. Scoot over or get heli-lifted into town. And she did this twice this week alone! To me! Damn my bitten tongue. I should tell her off. Social graces be damned. Damned, I say!


Next up: the metro.

WTF is up with morons who stand in front of the doors and refuse to move when people want to get out? I can maybe understand they're not aware they are blocking people at loser metro stops where nobody gets on or off. But at Berri or Bonaventure, who doesn't know that there will be a huge in/outflux of people? Yet, you always have these clueless, obviously freshly lobotomized yahoos standing guard at the doors. Then when you try to shove past them, they give you dirty looks! Hey, how about you do us all a favour and stand in front of the metro cars next time. We need less you of you Lennies out there. Christ!

That's enough for now. I am angry at people who make my day miserable. This also includes idiots who take the elevator up or down one floor when taking the stairs would have been much quicker. Don't get me started.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Stolen Shampoo or The Case of the Heisted Herbal Essence

Somebody stole my shampoo. Right from under my nose. I'm not so much upset as amazed. Who would do that? Let's backtrack for a moment.

After my gym session, I like to sit in the sauna (relax you immature homophobes, I was not nude). It is easily the most relaxing activity in my life and I look forward to it. The feeling you get sitting there in the heat is incredibly soothing. The thermometer always hovers around 100 degrees celsius (yes, they do get that hot) and induces much sweating. It cleans the skin and generally gives a serene feeling that washes over the body and mind. My lifelong mantra for the past 2 weeks has been keep the body healthy and the mind will follow. In fact, the mind has no choice seeing as how it is comfortably seated within the skull. It has no choice but to follow. Anyway, I digress.

I usually follow my sauna session with a shower. Outside the sauna door is a little shelf where everybody puts their things, as I do with my bottle of shampoo. I have been doing that for almost 2 years when yesterday, upon emerging from the sweat box, I look and the shampoo is gone. Vanished. Purloined! You know in cartoons, when something magically disappears, little lines shoot outwards from where the object was? Well, I saw those lines. Yoinks! Gone!

Now, I'm not upset. I'm rather...well, shocked isn't the word. It was the most incredulous situation. Who would steal a half-used bottle of knock-off Herbal Essence shampoo (I believe it was the "Equate" brand of knock-off...still, it smelled reeeeal purdy). I'll go and get another bottle. I don't care. It's just...who would do that? What brand of klepto would do this?

"Hmmmm hmm hmmm...dum dee dum...just passing through the locker room...minding my own business...hello, what's this?! An unattended half-empty bottle of Equate brand Herbal Essence shampoo!? Ooooooh. Don't mind if I do. YOINKS! STOLEN'D!"

At that point his feet start winding up like on the Flintstones when they get ready to run, with those plink-plonk sounds and he zips off.

Right now, I have two suspects for this grievous thievery.

1) Marc Labrèche. He's been killing my mojo lately and this may be just the latest example. He obviously doesn't want my hair to smell nice.

2) Rex "in the city" Navarrete. We all know how much he likes shampoo.

So to the shampoo-thief-stapo out there and you bad-smellinazis, this will not stop me. I will buy more shampoo and continue my ritual of hygiene. If I stop, then I let the terrorists win.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Reflections

It has been brought to my attention that all my blog posts are generally skewed at a negative angle. Apparently, I just rant against one thing or bash something else. Tearing down is indeed easier than building.

I suppose I am just full of bottled rage and this is my only outlet. I am a raging rage-aholic. I am addicted to rage-ahol. It was suggested that instead of being Kman v2.0, I should instead write about nicer things, lighter things that I like. Which brings up a problem. That would make this blog extremely dry! I could not think of anything I like enough to a) be worthy of writing about and b) be interesting.

I suppose in the glorious blogosphere in which we write, removed from the real world, where politeness and tact and decorum are all foreign concepts, anger sustains my writing spirit.

So until such time that I have something truly happy to write about, I suppose I will continue to complain that some idiot ruined a tv show for me or some singer butchered a song on tv or some new fad out there is idiotic and not worth the ink with which it is printed. And if I offend any of you, don't take it personal-like. I just do it to vent. It is a form of anger projection. (I don't really hate sudokus, it's just that at that moment it seemed like the best thing to dismantle.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sudorku (yeah, I went there)

There is a new fad that is permeating society. Its insidious nature prevented me from railing against it sooner. No, I don't mean the re-appearance of leg warmers nor Jamie Foxx. I'm talking about sudoku, the poor man's crossword puzzle. For those who don't know what a sudoku is, good! I won't provide you with a link to wikipedia. In fact, you won't get much out of them anyway. They have this to say about sudokus:

"The name Sudoku is the Japanese abbreviation of a longer phrase, "suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru (数字は独身に限る), meaning" you're a dim-bulbed nincompoop who doesn't have the cranial volume nor lexicon to complete a crossword.


Above: An average sudoku enthusiast.


As an avid crosswordman, or x-word-man (x-man for short), I look down my steep nose at these fools you see on the bus or the metro or anyplace else that offers a writeable surface, for that matter. They think that just because they're doing a number puzzle, they must be on par with John Nash. Well, I got news for you: it's an easy game! Anyone with two wits to collide in their skull can finish a sudoku in no time.

I'm not too worried, though. This Japanese fad will shortly go the way of other far east imports that died on this side of the planet: tamagotchi, Hideki Irabu, BeyBlade...the list goes ever on. Now if someone can just put down Hello Kitty and eliminate the characters' endings from DOA4 from my memory, everything will be fine.

Death to sudoku!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spoiler Alerters are the Devil

Everybody hates spoilers. You know when some jerk sees a highly anticipated movie before you and takes a twisted delight in telling you the big secret? "She's a he!" "It's her head in the box!" "He's actually his father!" "His wife gets killed!" We all hate those fools. They suck the joy out of quality films/shows; the kind of joy that makes watching these programs so fun and gripping. Here is my story.

I acquired the much anticipated season premiere of the Sopranos and I got all prepped and properly hyped to watch it last night. So I load it up and on my MSN Messenger I changed my status to busy and my personal message to "watching The Sopranos s6e1". I thought that was really clear until the devil popped up. The devil is a guy named Ryan S. Hmmm, maybe that's too obvious...fine, R. Sen.

Without giving away a huge surprise in the episode, the Spoiler Devil, with the brevity of a single line, blew it. He told me the big plot point, then added "ha".

I was enraged.

I proceeded to say something along these lines:

WTF is the matter with you? Are you dyslexic? Maybe you're just retarded! Christ! Can't you see my name says "watchING"? ING!!!! As in, I am currently viewing it. Not watchED. WatchING! I've waited so long for this and you just blow it, maliciously. WTF is your problem?!


Then, as he was trying to respond, I finally blocked that idiot. Hey, Spoiler Devil, you're dead to me. I'll forgive you later, probably, but right now I'm so angry. While you're at it, stop being so gay for me and drop my name as your email address. Jesus, what is wrong with you?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I Smell Da Feet

I have a million different things on my mind that are all blog-worthy in their own right. I could do a Lotto 6/49-esque style draw, selecting one ball from the machine and write extensively on that topic, for better or for worse; for good or for ill. But rather than expound in painful detail on some subject of no doubt cathartic proportions, I will write about feet. What the hell is the deal with people and their god damned gross feet?

Being an avid gym-goer, I often see people with bare feet walking around the locker room. I simply cannot understand why people are so terribly filthy as to have one of the following:

  • black toe nails

  • yellow toenails

  • milky toenails

  • cracked, jigsaw puzzle toenails

  • toenails that curve over the front edge of the toe

  • toenails that curve over the side of the toe

  • a combination of the above


Seriously, though, how hard is it to keep clean feet? You're at the gym. They are actually providing you with showers to clean yourself, so there's absolutely no excuse not to wash. I think normal feet are pretty unsettling as it is, so you can imagine my repulsion when confronted with toes akin to Costanza's gym teacher's teeth. And do these people have spouses? One look at those feet and I feel they should be blacklisted from any companionship until it's cleared up or death, whichever comes first.

As for the curved nails, why? How hard is it to cut your disgusting nails once in a while? Personally, I cut my nails extremely often. The moment I see white accumulating, I usually take my clippers through a workout. Yet, there are people who insist on growing ladles on their feet. And what the f*** does one have to do to get a yellow, shell-like nail?

All I am saying is that if you have rotting, decrepit feet, cover them up or stay at home. I don't need to put up with it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cinematically Discriminating

Lately, I have become more discriminating in my movie-going. Back in the day, I used to see any old trashy waste of celluloid that would come out. Recently, I asked myself, "Self...why?" Why should I spend all this money on movies I know will be rubbish? There have been a string of chick-fighting-baddies movies that Chris thinks is the second coming of Citizen Kane. "We have to see Underworld: Evolution/Aeon Flux/Elektra(?)/whatever-debris-of-a-film-is-playing!!!! It's the mad notes!" But no! I put my foot down. I only pay to see quality now. And it's not the money. It's the principle of the matter. The lost time. The dead brain cells. In the past 4 months, I've seen two movies at the theatre: King Kong and Walk the Line. I enjoyed them both, although one was too long and didn't have a kickin' soundtrack...I'll leave it to my sharp readership to figure out which is which.

However, I am presented with a dilemma. This dilemma can be summed up in two words: "gun" "kata".

For the uninitiated, get thee to a video store, posthaste and acquire Equilibrium. Schnell! Walk, run, hobble or pogoball it to the nearest dvd depository. In this movie, you shall learn all about the close-quarters, firearm-based martial art called gunkata. Yes, upon any reflection, it is ridiculous (see Appendix A) but on-screen, it's, dare I say, wicked awesome.

The dilemma I am faced with is this new movie called Ultraviolet (henceforth to be referred to as U/V). When I first heard of this flick, I though, "ho hum, another movie about a totalitarian future regime oppressing its people and a lone female heroine who must take them down". In this case, it's Milla Jovovich playing some sort of government enhanced super-human. Meh, right? Then I saw the trailer. It became clearer than a Terry's french fry bag to me that U/V is the progeny of Equilibrium, made by the same writer/director. (Aside: I take full credit for discovering Christian Bale. Batman fans can send me fruit baskets c/o Gameloft, 5800 St-Denis). It appears that there is some sort of gunkata in U/V. So what to do? Loyal readers (if any) know how much I heart the gat-kata.

My gut tells me U/V will stink worse than Mo's toilet on Super Bowl Sunday but on the other hand, it has gunkata. If I see it, it would negate months of arguments and self-deprivation. But if I don't see it, I'll miss the kata. And not just any ol' kata. Gun-friggin'-kata. What to do? See it? Wait for the dvd? *Gasp* download it? (Don't tell the MPAA, they already have a file on me). So please, Musing Nation, I need advice. Play Yoda to my Mari Amithest and give me guidance. (Too obscure? Fine, let's say Luke Skywalker, then).

My, my, my...gunkata can be a cruel mistress.





Appendix A: Gunkata: The Deadly Martial Art of Handgun Self-Defense.

Appendix B: Where's your bloody Aeon Flux now, eh Chris!? Yeah, I thought so.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

White out

As I sit here at my desk, 10 floors above the ground, I usually have a neat view looking south-westward at Mount Royal and downtown to the left of that. But right now, out the large windows spanning the length of the floor, all I see if white. No buildings, no details, just white. Seemingly out of nowhere, it began to snow...and how! Upon leaving the house this morning, there was no indication of this coming blizzard, yet here it is. Like a spider on the wall, it appeared out of seemingly nowhere.

This brings me to my point. Why would anyone settle here in the first place? It's insane. I think we can conclude that the Europeans who showed up must have arrived in the summer.

Jacques Cartier: Ah what a fine summer it is. I can only assume it will stay this warm all year! Say, what is that native saying?

Native (speaking in Iroquois): Dude, guy, you'd better have some frakin' winter parkas up in here or you'll freeze your puffy shirts off! Now, how about some of that fire water of yours?

I'm sure the settlers found out in a hurry how cold it is.

Cartier: It's going to get warmer, right? This is simply an October cold spell, correct?

Native (snickering):
Yeah, sure Jack. Say, how about more of that fire water? It really warms the blood.

When everyone died that winter, they all realized what the hell they got themselves into. The Spanish and the Brits got all the good new land down South. The French got stuck with the blighted North lands. The question is, why would people stay?

It's so cold! It's so snowy. So much snow. My god, the snow. Then you watch tv and there are actual people living in actually warm places. Living there! Can you imagine?

Although, my own observations are that the warmer the climate, the nuttier the people. Look at California and Florida! Look at the Asian subcontinent and Africa and South America. The warm weather makes people nutty. The more north you go, we have nothing better to do than stay indoors and be good half the year. When it's 30 below and snowing, there's no chance of mischief. Then, when the weather is nice, we appreciate it so much that we just try to enjoy ourselves. Other places are spoiled and the heat cooks brains.

All that being said, I want to go someplace warm. Sigh...I need a vacation.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Musings on an overheard Grammy Broadcast

I have a policy of not watching music awards shows anymore. They're usually vapid and give awards to the most undeserving "artists". This is a symptom of the larger problem that general tastes of the masses are awful, compounded with the recent payola scandal (where music companies bribed thousands of radio stations into playing songs that otherwise would probably not be hits). Anyway, specifically, I refuse to watch the Grammy Awards for one single reason: Mariah Carey. I loathe her. She's a dimwitted celebrity whose best days are way behind her. Yet she's still there, wailing a variation on the same song for 15+ years now. Enough! Mariah, you're dead to me.

Keeping with the Grammy theme, I was in my room while my mother was watching the telecast in the other room and I heard U2 come on and start playing. Mo will come on this site and be a hater, posting a bunch of hater comments but say what you will, "One" is a brilliant song, probably U2's best. So I overhear Bono singing and he's doing as he always does...then everything goes wrong. Suddenly, there's some woman wailing and emoting on a microphone, "singing" along with the song. I couldn't take it and closed my door. She was awful. Later, I found out Mary J Blige did a duet on the song with Bono. Wow. I didn't realize how awful she was, or perhaps it was just that performance. Blige, you're on my watch list. If you don't mind yourself, you'll be on my outs.

What are your impressions? Do you actually listen to the music that's being pushed on us? I think the state of radio in this city is beyond garbage. I have no access to the music I like. No, instead, we get Mix 96 with the mass produced dreck they play (somehow, a song worth a damn slips through their filter). Then, you have CHOM that would be great if I was a mid-50s boomer still trying to fit into an old Led Zep concert tshirt I got 30 years ago at the Forum. Then what? Q92's soft rock? I may as well buy all seasons of Will & Grace while I'm at it. The only thing I can half listen to is 99.9 The Buzz and I can only pick that up in the car...and even then, half of what they play is way too loud and generic. Anybody who plays Aliexisonfire is not welcome. No wonder I just listen to the Team 990 all the time.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl

Last night's Super Bowl was a disappointment. The game was ho-hum, especially towards the end when Pittsburgh pulled ahead. The poor officiating also played a factor. But an un-special game is to be expected. The major disappointments were two-fold.

1) The halftime show. Boring! In past years, the Superbowl halftime show was an exercise in absolute extravagance and poor taste. All this culminated 6 years ago when 'NSYNC, Aerosmith and Britney Spears were all on the stage in a terrible mess of a train wreck. But it was a fun terrible mess of a train mess. Now we get the Stones. For all their popularity and longevity, the Stones were boring. They played a few songs and left. Nobody was into it. But it's not their fault. The NFL and the networks are all scared stupid to do anything remotely daring due to the Janet Jackson fallout.

The fact that there was such a huge deal made about the Jackson wardrobe malfunction shows America's hippocrisy on such matters but that rant is for a different time. The fact is, since then, we're treated to "safe" acts. Last year, we had Paul McCartney playing it safe and thanking the Super Bowl. This time, we get the Stones. (Isn't it ironic that people who were viewed as controversial 40 years ago are now the safe acts?) And even so, the Stones were censored for some mild language in their songs, last night.

I say bring back the kétaine performances. It's what we love to hate.


2) The Super Bowl commercials. They were dreadful. If you didn't see them due to Canadian feeds, go here and here. Watch them and be unimpressed. Some of the low-lights were the Hummer ad, the laaaaaame Pepsi ads and the totally embarrassing BK ad with Brooke Burke's equally embarrassing appearance. Does anyone actually believe she's ever consumed a Whoppper? Please. I'm told there's an amusing Mastercard ad with MacGyver that I didn't see and is not linked on the pages I provided above. If anybody finds that online, please post it here.

In my day, Super Bowl ads were a big thing. You'd see commercials for the latest blockbuster movies (I remember in '99, there was a preview for The Phantom Menace and The Matrix...blew my mind!) and Nike and such. Then the dot com bubble burst and the innovative ads went with them. This year, what movies did we see ads for? The Shaggy Dog remake, with Tim Allen on all fours, pretending to be canine? An ad for Poseidon, that I already saw elsewhere (and I'm not even interested in seeing?). V for Vendetta, by the Wachowski Bros., whom will never see another dime of my money anyway? Blech! Where's Michael Jordan playing ball with Looney Tunes? I've lost any faith I've had in Madison Avenue to provide entertaining ads. I know they're only commercials but the top talent at these ad agencies were supposed to create top notch ads in the most visible ad slots of the year. They receive huge salaries to come up with this? Man, I could do better.

******

Here's an update on Chris's contributions to Brokeback Mountain's box office gross. Through February 5th, it's made $59.8M. That makes Chris responsible for 0.0000184% of its gross. Let's all give Chris a hand for being progressive, open-minded and supportive of the gay community. We all knew you had it in you. I can't wait till you officiate your first gay wedding. I'll be there (not as one of the grooms, merely as a spectator, so quit whatever jokes y'all were planning to write).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Train of Fools

Taking the metro everyday, there are certain things you pick up on. One is trying to predict which car will have the fewest people in it and then waiting on the platform at the exact place where you think the doors to the most unoccupied car will open. Usually, you have to wait at the front end of the platform. It's a curious sociological phenomenon that can be described by a bell curve. Most people will come down the stairs and wait at the middle of the platform, with some stragglers moving off to both ends.

Anyway, another thing to which you get accustomed is which stops have people leaving. I get on at Bonaventure and usually do not get a seat. But then one stop down the line, at Square Victoria, there is a mini-exodus, whereupon I can park myself down and get comfortable with a book or whatnot. Then a few stops later, at Berri-UQAM, everybody clears out. It's pretty neat. By the time I get to Rosemont, there isn't much activity and I'm starting to recognize faces.

All this to say that in the few times that I still can't manage to get a seat, it's usually due to jerks. People are generally jerks but I was only familiar to bus jerks prior to being a regular metro user. I'm talking about the people who are sitting in the 2-seaters. They usually sit next to the window. Then when the person next to them leaves, the window-sitter will move outwards to the edge seat, blocking access to the window seat they were just in. Why would they do this? Don't they see people want to sit? The worst is when they actually put their bag on the empty seat. Your effin' bag is more important than me? Sometimes, I swear, I just want to grab these people from the scuffal-regions of their neck and slam them into the walls, then wrap them around the poles! But, alas, that's not a very proper reaction, unless I was Sarge from Beetle Bailey. But that's a garbage comic strip. I just hate it when they do that! And it always seems to be the same old Asian woman who does this to me and others.

Long story short, old Asian women are evil.


********


On an unrelated story, I will now calculate how much of Brokeback Mountain's box office intake was contributed to by Chris. Let's see, as of January 27th, it made $51M. Assuming Chris payed the $11 at Paramount to see it...
Chris contributed 0.00002157% of its gross. Nice! That number will perhaps rise when he sees it again a few more times, then buys the DVD, the action figures featuring genuine Brokeback hip-action as well as the "I wish I could quit you"-edition of Brokeback Trivial Pursuit. Hooray!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Outrage

Did anybody read this?
Please do. It's absolutely outrageous. The gist of it is internet service providers want to squeeze more money out of us. They want people to pay for the amount of bandwidth they use. This scheme they're developing has nothing to do with stopping illegal downloads, either. It's just a system they've devised to make people pay more if they use the internet more than other. Online gaming? Pay more. VoIP? Pay more. Downloading stuff? Pay more.

"It's simply not fair to charge someone who's using the Internet for a simple e-mail the same as someone who's streaming their TV or phone calls."

Bullsh*t! If I used my home phone line to talk 24 hours a day, I'd still pay as much as those who get a call a week. Why scale internet usage? I'm sure companies that rely on internet access will not like this at all because people will stop using the net as much. It will stunt innovation.

"[Telus] is also thinking about charging large firms such as Google or eBay for access to its network, something that Bell South and AT&T are also proposing in the United States."

This is a horrible idea. Companies will have to pay the ISP for the luxury of being carried? This would mean only larger sites that have the ability to pay will be online, squeezing out smaller firms. Also, imagine people who do a lot of gaming online. Not only do they pay subscriptions to play (ie MMORPG monthly fees, or Xbox Live, even), but then they'd have to pay on top of that for their bandwidth usage? And most ISPs already charge for downloading over the limit. So then, what is this extra charge for? It's just a new way to milk money from consumers. Luckily, this article makes no mention of Sympatico and their unlimited download limits.

I feel this will not fly with customers. I can only hope, that is. Stand up and let your voice be heard against this potential coming injustice. I'm angry.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm on a roll so it's time to go solo...

Yes! It's true! A third post this week! And as you can see, I haven't yet run out of exclamation marks! !!! (the last of that set of three was an exclamation point exclaiming the previous 2 exclamation points). Down to business.

In honour of the WWF videogame JBo used to have, lo those many years ago in the condo day (condo oh condo, wherefore art thou, condo?), I decided that all must now call me Hez Majesty. That's right. Those who do not comply shall henceforth be dead to me. Well, maybe dead is too strong a term. But you'll most definitely be in some sort of semi-vegetative state, rest assured.

So finally, something that had been bothering me the last while bubbled up. I put my finger on what's so hilarious about Stephen Harper! The following, under noted thespian (and large, cigar-chomping, gun-toting black man) Chi (Kai? Shy? Tchai?) McBride's filmography:





Yes! Chi McBride played Harper! What bold casting, taking the largest, non-white guy they can find. Actually...I think I liked Chi's version better. Especially in "I, Robot" where he's blasting those bastard robots through the glass...but I digress.


*****

Allow me to vent. One of the 3 elevators at work is non-operational. The remaining two are incredibly slow. You can run up and down to the 10th floor and back (on your hand) before the elevator arrives. So I wait there like a chump. A bloody chump! And finally the elevator arrives...and it's chock full of elderly immigrant women. It's actually a hilarious sight. See, the other floors of the building house seamstresses for Moore's and whatnot. Having few language skills, these menial jobs often fall to immigrant women who know how to sew. Then, us young punk engineers take over 2 floors of the building. I figure we're not their favourite people. So when the elevator doors open, after a 5 minute wait, they seem to inflate their sizes like frightened cats and cry out "pas de place! pas de place!" and press the 'close door' button. I guess it's their revenge.

*****

On a somewhat related note, I constanly forget my security card. See, this card is essential to not only entering the office but exiting, as well. Now, unfortunately, the toilets are in the hall, requiring my absent card to access them (yes, the same washrooms with no flush urinals). So to get in and out of the office, I have to sneak in and out with unsuspecting people. If I see someone leaving, I bolt off my chair and slip by them. They must think I'm some corporate spy, stealing Prince of Persia 3 code on my portable USB drive.

It has been suggested to me by plenty of people to place my security card with my bus pass or in my bag. I suppose that's a sensible idea. Hence, I won't do it. I don't have an effin' lanyard for nuthin', guldangit!

*****

I've been thinking of making more Jerry the Ill-Tempered Squid comics, probably in standard 3-panel form. What do y'all think? You can read his first appearance in Malgo Plays Twister, then his next adventure in the only Jerry comic I made, all linked on the right. If I find any inspiration, I'll do it.

*****

All right, that's it for now, I guess. Oh, and am I the only one who noticed those ads in the metro? You know the one. It's for vacations...or something. I don't even know. Anyway, it has some bikini clad woman's back. Except, she just took off her top. It causes quite the stir from passing crowds.

Speaking of a stir, I saw this on a bulletin board at McConnell Engineering the other day. This one's for you, Amish:

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Overheard in a steam

So I was sitting in the sauna at the gym when these three punks kids came in. No, there is no grossness to this story, so get your minds out of there. Anyway, these kids were young, I'd say around 16 and speaking English. They looked the typical Centennial-type. They started out talking about how good Arrested Development is, so they're in my good books, right? Wrong.

One of them was quoting a comedy routine for some odd reason. He said he heard it on the Just For Laughs show and proceeded to butcher the gag. Now, I've heard the original bit (it was Joey Elias) and it was amusing. But this guy was akin to the 1st level boss in Diablo ("Ahhh, fresh meat!").

The topic of Just For Laughs then segued to one of the kids complaining that he couldn't get into a JFL show because you have to be 18 or over and then proceeded to curse a lot. I noticed they all swear a lot. Now, swearing doesn't bother me but these guys seemed like they had no vocabulary so they used the f-word as a crutch, much like Smurfs use the word "Smurf" to hide their vast stupidity and ignorance of lexicon.

Next, one kid said, (vulgarity edited) "Hey, did you hear Nico got expelled cuz they found his brass knuckles?"
"Yeah, they searched his locker."
"How dare they do that! I can't believe it. There must have been a snitch."
"Oh, for sure. Lots of guys are getting their lockers searched lately and they find drugs in them. There's gotta be a snitch because they know exactly which lockers to search."
"Yeah but Nico had those knuckles for like a year. Word probably got back."
"Man, those knuckles were so cool. He'd walk by our tables in the cafeteria and punch down on the table with the knuckles...and I'd be like, 'can I wear them?'."
"I think we should tell a few people we have stuff in our lockers and if there's a search, we'll know who the rat is."
"We need rat poison!"

I left after this point. These guys were so stupid. Who am I to judge? I'm me, dammit. I can judge as I please. What I don't get is the following:

-this Nico guy is so stupid as to show off his brass knuckles in plain sight and then the guys are surprised he gets caught
-these guys are angry that a hypothetical snitch reported that some loose cannon had brought weapons to school. Hmmmm...

If these are the kids coming down the pipeline, I'm scared for the future. I can only hope there is an equal segment of that age group who are hardcore nerds and will one day employ these idiots in menial tasks and oppress them. Rise, geeks, RISE!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Does this mean the GST will immediately be 6%?

The Conservatives were voted into a minority government but there are plenty of stories here. I will try to write with as much objectivity as possible...but we'll see how I do.

The Conservatives were predicted to win a strong minority, knocking at the door of a majority but that did not happen by a long shot. They were 31 seats short of that. In fact, they have a weaker minority than the just toppled Liberals. I think a big surprise was how well the Liberals did in fact do, reaching triple-digit seats. The reason being the campaign went a bit too long, with the Conservatives standing in the polls peaking last week. They could not breach the Liberal bastion of the greater Toronto area.

However, a huge story was Quebec. As usual, Quebec always plays some wacky role. The Conservatives, who have been shutout of Quebec for what seems like ever, grabbed 24% of the popular vote, to the Liberals' 20%, and won 10 seats. This is both upsetting and good. If the Conservatives had not been so strong in Quebec, the Liberals would have won plenty more seats. I figure they would have taken the 10 the Conservatives grabbed and in addition to those, they would have won a handful of ridings where the Conservatives split the vote, allowing the BQ to come up the middle. Take my riding, for example, Brossard-La Prairie. The BQ guy won by 1300 votes. If you added the Conservatives votes to the Liberals, they would have handily beaten the BQ by close to 10,000 votes. Considering the BQ guy got virtually the exact amount of votes he did last time, I think it's safe to say the Liberals lost votes directly to the Conservatives in my riding. This situation repeated in many ridings. If the Conservatives weren't as strong, the Liberals would have taken enough seats to win a minority government. So, Quebec held the balance of power in the province.

The better news of the Conservatives' showing in Quebec is the embarrassment they induced on the Bloc. The Bloc was boasting earlier in the campaign about how they'd sweep the province and win so much of the popular vote, giving them conditions for a referendum. Then it fell apart. They thought they'd win over 60 seats but ended up actually netting 51...3 fewer than last election! But the egg on their face is due to the 42% popular vote they received. 42%! That is lower than anyone predicted. So I suppose this hinders any referendum plans. I figure those numbers are quite distressing to the separatist cause. I imagine virtually all who did not vote Bloc would also vote "No" in a referendum so it puts a shot in their plans. People are finally realizing they have an alternative and the Bloc is a one-trick pony with no raison d'etre other than screwing things up at a federal level.

This alternative may also change the dynamic of the provincial elections. Harper promises many concessions for Quebec which apprently worked to appease softer nationalists. On top of that, he said he'd support and work closely with Jean Charest to help Quebec. Add to that the fact that the provincial Liberals are amassing a ton of money to spend on a coming campaign and then mix in the fact that the PQ leader is not well-liked in his own party. Also, I feel once he is put to the vote, the rural voters will not support a homosexual, cocaine-using (while in office, no less!) politician. This could only fuel a rejection of the PQ. If only Charest can make himself better liked in the province.

In the end, it's all a game. The big question is, when will my combined sales tax go from 15.025% to 13.95%? :p