Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #40

Weekly Link:
You can tell by the comments that no one realized "37% of Americans Unable to Locate America on Map of America" was a satirical article. This is likely why the Editor's Note at the top of this article was tacked on since I first read it on Monday. I'm sure people will ignore the note and 37% of readers will continue to think it's true.

Weekly Drum Song:
The mix CD we created as wedding favours found its way into the CD player, and Kiernan seems to want to only rotate through between three songs: "Iloveyou Iloveyou song!", "Anudder wide dash song!", and "Boom Boom Boom song!". I can convince him to listen to this song only when he specifically requests the "Trumpet song":


Weekly Twins:
When Kiernan was in the womb, occasionally Lara would pause in mid-sentence and say "I think the baby just moved." This time we have a more accurate measure of movement when she instantly arches her back, yelps in surprise, and almost falls off the couch. This from two babies 4.5 inches long so far - can't wait until they're bigger!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Treats in the kitchen!

My workplace tends to have a plateful of treats, a bowlful of popcorn, or fresh baked brie (What, doesn't everyone's office have an oven in the kitchen?) in the kitchen at least once or twice a week. Today we have all three of the above-listed at once. I'm wandering up every so often to help the reduce the temptation for the ladies complaining about holiday dieting.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Six months until three kids under three...

I've been told that the jump from having one child to having two children is about the same as a jump from one to two hundred. From two to three, however, is apparently not as tough. So we're just skipping the big jump and going straight to three kids - smooth sailing all the way, right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #39

Weekly Link:
Amazon.com needs to work on their giftwrapping logic...

Weekly Image:

When we get a bigger house I definitely want one of these...(from Book Patrol)

Weekly Drum Song:
I haven't had the time to rifle through my CDs for a new selection, but when "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai came on the radio Kiernan announced "OHHHHHHHH! I LIKE DIS SONG DADDY!" ... Between Lara and I, I don't think this falls into either of our tastes in music.

Weekly Workplace:
We got a gift basket from a partner company this week - between the time the email was posted announcing the treats in the kitchen and the time I moseyed up there (about 5 minutes) all of the Jack Daniels filled chocolates were gone. It was not that a small bag.

Also in the basket was flavoured coffee, which was brewed this morning... I poured some into my cup and added some cream and thought "I usually put cream in my cup first, so I can't remember -- Cream rises to the top, sure, but does it usually just sit there like that?" Have I mentioned I'm a coffee drinker amongst tea drinkers? I guess someone didn't realize coffee was supposed to be so... thick.... It even took a while going down the drain after I took a taste.

Weekly WTF:
On the radio this morning there was an addendum to the traffic news: "... and we just got a call regarding an accident on Lawn at Ancaster." Okay, hold up, what? Where?

You see, that's the neighbourhood I grew up in, near where my parents still live. The intersection in question is a residential area, removed from major roads by at least two sidestreets. Did someone involved call it in? Did someone look out their front window and say "Gee, I'd better let the radio stations know about this so people can plan alternate routes!"
Thanks to you, intrepid listener, I'm sure traffic-paralyzing gridlock was avoided entirely, and you got to tell everyone "My accident report made it on the radio!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

"I'm. Gonna. KILL you!"

Dinner was later than normal, the pork roast taking forever to cook, and Kiernan was getting antsy, even refusing to be stuffed with fried potatoes. The statement was made to no one in particular, and he continued babbling on about unrelated topics. Lara and I exchanged glances and then quietly discussed whether or not he knew what he was saying. Maybe it was another gibberish statement that sounded coincidentally like real words? Yeah, that's it.

Of course, then he repeated a few times the next day in the store. We sat him down, looked him in the eye and said that was not a nice thing to say. Try explaining that to a two year old and see how far that gets you.

We went to a restaurant, which had an aquarium up front that was good for walking to to look at when Kiernan got impatient with sitting at a table. First thing he said was "Ooh! That big fish is gonna kill me!" We sat him down and explained to him that A) no one is going to kill him and B) seriously, stop using that verb. He must have gotten half of that because the next visits to the tank involved the phrase "Big fish isn't gonna kill me Daddy!"

We haven't watch any TV but Treehouse in the past two years, so unless Toupy and Binou have been going all Reservoir Dogs when I'm not in the room, it's likely that this phrase has been picked up from the older kids at daycare. I'll show THEM killing*.



* ironic joke.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #38

Weekly Link:
10 Jobs You Didn’t Hear About On Career Day - Some people have been inferring my job must be #4, but they should read the description to see the differences.

Weekly Image:
You know the scene in Princess Bride, where Fezzik is climbing the cliffs of insanity with a harness designed to carry three people around his body? I'm going to need one of those.

"1 giant dude to carry babies around for us." has been added to my xmas list.

Weekly Kiernan:
Last week I stopped to get a haircut before going to Grammie's where Kiernan was spending the day. I entered the house and heard Kiernan excitedly go "Who's that?"
My mother replied "Go see!"
Before coming around the corner, Kiernan yelled "Daddydaddydaddy!" and upon seeing me, his eyes went wide: "Who's that?!?" He did the best double-take ever and then realized, "Daddy!"
This evening, I walked in the same door and he ran up and yelled "Where's daddy's hair go?!"

Weekly 'Nother Drum Song:
Mommy tried introducing alternatives to drum songs in the car. First she went Celtic with "fiddle songs" by Leahy. Then she put in random unlabeled CD #17, which turned out to be a collection of songs from Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. The latter CD was amusing to me only because Kiernan seemed to enjoy it, but Lara got sick of each song about a minute in and hit fast-forward. After a weekend of such music, I had to counter with my ultimate in driving music, (which Kiernan enjoyed thoroughly): theSTART.


Weekly Twins:
Because there aren't twins in either side of our family, the term for our situation is "spontaneous twins". It's almost like I had nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's (dream) official!

Last night I dreamt we were introducing Kiernan to his new baby sisters, which means we'll be having boys.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Outnumbered

Two weeks ago, my mind was running through worst-case scenarios (thanks dad!) of having two kids rooms side by side. What if one child wakes up the other? Well, that's easy, Lara would likely go to the baby for feeding time, and I'd comfort Kiernan. Hurray!

Of course, with twins, I'm not quite sure how things will go... yesterday Kiernan slept through the vacuum cleaner roaring away, so perhaps he'd sleep through the wailing of twins... then again last night he woke up twice for no logical reason - would he be able to fall back asleep if he wakes the babies?

Another thing that has changed dramatically due to the new twinformation is our car. Back at the start of the year we decided to get a second car, but minivans proved to be higher priced than we were willing to pay. Enter the Mazda 5 - seats six semi-comfortably, and the backmost seats fold down for trunk space. Of course, there's no bench seating, so you can't squeeze three car seats across the width of the car. Fine, I thought, Kiernan can fit in the backmost seat, he'd probably think that was fun... Shopping for strollers last week, we realized that having him in the back cuts our trunk space in half, and fitting three kids plus strollers plus bags plus groceries? Not going to happen.

We're gonna need a bigger vehicle. Especially since we'll need to transport a caffeine IV drip system.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanks for the congrats, who the hell are you?

So I got a call last night as I was driving to pick Kiernan up from daycare.

"I want Zatar Bread." the demanding plea came.

So after grabbing Kiernan, we drove up to the Lebanese place to buy spiced bread for the the twin-laden lady.

As I walked up to the cash, the owner/chef in the back called out "Hello there! Congratulations!"

"Thanks!" I auto-replied, then thought Do I know this guy?

The cashier bagged up my order and asked, rather excitedly, "Did you just have a baby?"

"No, we're expecting twins!" Does Lara secretly come here often? Would it have been mentioned while scouting store locations? That doesn't make sense...

"Oh, wow! I just found out I was pregnant and we get to go find out the details next week. Wow, twins. Are there twins in your wife's family?"

"Congratulations!" Does the owner shop at Lara's store? If so, how would he know who I am? "No, there aren't twins on either side, it just came out of nowhere."

"Oh..." she looked mildly panicked, "I hope I'm only having one... if it's twins it would be great, I'd be happy, but right now..."

"Yeah, it'll definitely be an experience!" He kind of looks like the guy who used to live in the house my grandmother rented... why would an Italian guy be running a Lebanese place? I suppose the local Vietnamese place is run by a Lebanese family, so maybe...

As my purchase was rung up, the owner came out and explained that when I had come in the door, the cashier had rushed to the cash so fast that he had assumed I was her husband, who she had mentioned was coming in for dinner. He congratulated me on the twins anyway.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #37

Weekly Link
Nanotech clothing that doesn't get wet. It's the future of self-cleaning clothes! Which is awesome, really, because "it didn't survive an everyday washing machine cycle."

Weekly Image:
I never thought about it this way, but in retrospect it's kind of true...

(from Joe Loves Crappy Movies)

Weekly Kiernan:
Bundled up and strapped into his car seat, Kiernan called out "Daddy I'm a pirate!"
I glanced back to see he had pulled the ear flap of his winter hat over his eye. "Oh! Nice pirate!"
The next thing I heard was "Daddy I'm TWO pirates!" and sure enough, he now had each earpiece over an eye.

Weekly Drum Song:
Kiernan is okay with the first two Rilo Kiley CDs I own, but is entranced with the videos for songs from their third album, especially the following, for which he calls out the names of the animals the taxidermists are working on...



Weekly Workplace:
Conversations at lunch tend to begin asking how we're doing, pregnancy-wise, and soon morph into discussions of the TV show John and Kate Plus Eight...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Comments...

I've implemented a comment system from IntenseDebate. You don't need an IntenseDebate account to sign in, you should be able to post using OpenID or anonymously... And you can respond to individual comments, whee!

All old comments are hidden until the IntenseDebate team fixes their comment importer. Let me know if there are any problems, and feel free to unlurk to test it out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Breakfast memories

Perkins, the breakfast-options-served-all-day family restaurant, used to have a menu item that I used to regularly order years ago, and I just don't know why it's gone.

French. Toasted. Cinnamon Rolls.

That's right, two cinnamon rolls, sliced edgewise, egg battered, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

After one of the slices, you couldn't wait for more.

After two, your belly felt almost full, but the taste drew you onward.

After the third, your stomach cried no more! no more! oh, wait, there's only one more? okay, that's not so bad! while your arteries screamed either in shock or joy.

After the fourth you swore you'd stick to the normal breakfasts next time, knowing full well that wasn't going to happen.

Okay, I can understand why it's gone from the Canadian menu, but I can't believe the US hasn't got them any longer... ah well, I guess I could always make my own next time we buy a dozen Cinnabons..

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yup, still having twins.

So Lara woke up this morning, came downstairs all groggy, and I said "So, should I meet you at the ultrasound today or at my mom's?"... she didn't fall for the attempt at "Yesterday was only a dream". She also didn't kill me, so that's a plus.

My coworker commented "Twins are just like having one baby, they just eat more!"

She's recently married.

With no kids.

Before I could blink, two women were out in the halls, a mother of two and a mother of four, screaming "Did I just hear you say...?"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #36 continues...

Weekly Link:
More xmas gift ideas: Only $15K for an authentic 19th century vampire hunting kit. It really should include sunglasses for encountering Twilight Vampires during the day though...

Weekly Image: (updated)


Weekly Kiernan (aka Weekly New Drum Song):
I thought it would be too noisy for him, but Kiernan enjoyed the first few tracks off the now-defunct Toronto band, Controller Controller. Watch this video and imagine the guitar intro being echoed by hysterical giggling to get a sense of his reaction.

Weekly Workplace:
I walked into the Admin Coordinator's office to let her know I was back from the ultrasound appointment, and couldn't help blurting about the twins revelation. Then I was instructed to tell the receptionist, and the Committee Secretary, the latter of who is the "mom" of the entire office. No one was in the lunch room, of course, so I headed to the front desk. As I announced about it at reception, the news was overheard by one of the Research Associates (who was initially introduced to me with the nickname of "No Filter") who ran down the hall ahead of me, pushing into the boardroom where a Project Leads meeting was going on, yelled "Eric's having twins!", then ran into the offices next door yelling "Eric's having twins!". Luckily she missed one office (the one across from her own) so I was able to break the news myself to at least two people.

Weekly WTF:
What, another one? Well, it would be appropriate.

Weekly Wednesday #36

Weekly WTF:
Ultrasound Technician: "Congratulations, you're having twins!"

... :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oops, thanks for doubling me up, seeya!

So I plop $10 onto the virtual table for a cash game of Limit Omaha Poker, and in my first hand I win a big pot. I lose a small hand, then win another big hand, then win a small hand. It is then that I notice I have $20 after five minutes of play, which is strange for a 10¢/25¢ game. I double checked, and yes, I had accidentally sat down at a 50¢/$1 table, and the big hands I'd won weren't all that big in comparison. I quickly left the game before my luck spiraled downward.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Indie Rock Kiernan

When in the car, there is a high chance that music will be requested by Kiernan. Because there are two vehicles, the CDs he wants are always in the other car. Luckily, one CD is never moved, because it's not a kids' CD and it's not always the number one request.

Requested CDs:

A) "Baa Baa Blap Sheep?" - A CD of Farmyard songs that came with a book. I hate it because there are about 7 songs and each of them last about 2 minutes. One verse, one chorus, repeat chorus. That is, except for the Little Boy Blue song, which is sung mournfully by a soprano dude for about 64 minutes. At least I assume that's how long the song is because we always skip past it, and because who the hell fills a CD with 15 minutes of songs?! People who hate parents, that's who.

B) "Wiggles!" - This CD was given to Kiernan by a friend. Said friend is under 3 years old and so can get away with illegally burning the 47 tracks on it. Quite the improvement over the farm songs if it weren't for the fact the Kiernan requests specific songs by name and we have to remember what the song number is. (Henry the Octopus is #25!)

C) "Drum song!" AKA "Meeta Lane" AKA Daddy's Magneta Lane CD. This is a CD he'll listen all the way through, and then listen to it all the way through again. He's even picked up some of the lyrics, which is awesome when he starts singing along (except to mommy, who isn't fond of the band)... It's especially fun because he's been bopping along to their music since he was 11 months old (crappy sound quality courtesy my point n shoot camera):



So of course, today while I cleaned the shed he and mommy took a drive to Gramma and Grandpapa's, and when they returned mommy made him tell me all about how he loved the "NEW drum song daddy!" ... she's apparently countered my indie rock chicks with celtic music. I'll have to find a suitable rebuttal CD in the morning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #35

Weekly Link:
My wife wants a roomba vacuum for xmas... I think this would be much more useful.

Weekly Video:
I like finding obscure web series on youtube such as Life is Short. This three-part series is amusing, and also introduced me to the bizarre split-screen music videos of the tall blonde girl in the opening scene, Riki Lindholme, whose songs in the duo "Garfunkel and Oates" are HILARIOUS. Anyhoo, Life is short, also answering the question "Just what has Rory Gilmore been up to these days?":

Episode 2 is here
Episode 3 is here

Weekly Kiernan:
Insisting I sing along with Wiggles tunes is annoying, but what's worse is singing "Wiggle / and learn / dance to the rhythm of mu-u-sic" and being stopped by a temper-like screech of "NO DADDY! It's! AND! LOW!". And you know singing "and low" gets him going about how it's supposed to be "and learn." Ah, testing daddy's limits is fun...

Weekly Workplace:
In case you were wondering, in addition to the sunhat I received a pair of sunglasses, a beach bag and towel, and the CD "Enchanted Journey" from my coworkers. They were not waiting in my office first thing Monday morning as expected, but were instead brought downstairs by the entire staff, who hung around the door of my office about five minutes after I received notice that the latest edition of Ante Up Magazine was available for download, and about five minutes before I realized that Ante Up Magazine had finished downloading and popping up on my monitor sometime during the presentation of my "vacation gear".

Weekly WTF:
The average cellphone user (without a text messaging plan) pays 20 cents a message. The amount of data used to transfer such a message is the same, 160 characters, whether you fill the entire texting space or just send "ok". The cost of text messaging is about $1400 per megabyte. To put things into perspective, at that rate it would cost you just under $6000 to download a single MP3 to your phone.

Apparently a US Senator has written the major US carriers asking why their rates have increased by 100% in the past few years. Not only have they increased, but the price structures have increased similarly in competing cell companies, implying collusion. That's even less reason for me to ever want to send another text message...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thank you CBC!

I've been trying to explain to people how CNN's "3 dimensional holograms" during election night weren't actually holograms, but merely synchronized camera communication and chroma-keying, and that Wolf Blitzer was talking to empty space. For some reason people weren't getting it when I tried explaining that a hologram would mean Blitzer was looking at the person as we saw them and not at empty space...



Thankfully, CBC has written this article:
CNN's holograms not really holograms

They likely even added Star Wars effects, downgrading the quality of the HD camera feeds to make it look more like a hologram. Idiots.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #34

Weekly Link:
Dork or Coolest Kid Ever?
(Highlight for answer: Huuuuuuuuge Dork.)

Weekly Video:
The scene: Disney Production Offices for "Kids Incorporated", circa mid-80s.
Music Director: Okay boss, I have a list of songs for approval here and-
Producer: Forget those. I've got your answer right here.
Music Director: Uh, okay..
Producer: That wholesome Sandy girl in Grease. Came out with that exercising song on the MTV a few years back.
Music Director: Olivia Newton J- Uh, wait, that song's not really abo-
Producer: It'll be great - get the kids on stage doing jumping jacks, lifting weights, really get the viewers at home off the couch.
Music Director: But the lyrics aren't ab-
Producer: Done! Let's get it wrapped by Tuesday. (pushing a button on his desk) Lydia, send in my next appointment. I'm in a firing mood.


Weekly Kiernan:

"Go to the next door now?"



Weekly Worst Halloween Candy:
Family's Best Potato Chips. (not to be confused with Family's Best Organic Chips)
Really, these are the best you can do? Well good luck with that, Family.

Weekly Workplace:
I'm in training all of next week, but since it is virtual I'll just be learning through shared desktops and teleconferencing. To let my coworkers know I'm not to be bothered while in training, I sent a mass email stating "You may ask what luxurious locale the Centre is sending me to in order to learn the ins and outs of Java Web Server Programming, and the answer to that is definitely fabulous and sun-soaked: my office."

Mass replies came my way reminding me not to forget my sunscreen... and yesterday I caught someone suspiciously sneaking a large straw sunhat away from view as I came around the corner. I wish I could sneak a a deck chair and margarita maker in here in an attempt to out-funny them when they inevitably break into my office after I leave for the weekend.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Truth About Sterilization

The following excerpts are from Chapter 6 of The Manual of Hygiene - Father and Son by M.A. Horn.

(sadly, chapter 5, "The Age-Old Custom of Circumcision", was too fact-laden to wring any humour from it)

The Truth About Sterilization

(Ignore the lies you've been told up until now - M.A. Horn is here to set things straight for you!)

To the average layman, the subject of sterilization is one about which he knows little. It is surrounded with an aura of mystery, sounds very complicated and the average man is likely to dismiss it from his mind as something of no interest to him.

(Sterilization = no babies; verrrry mysterious. It's no wonder those stupid laymen can't grasp the concept!)

In a man, the operation is a minor on and it is practically painless. It takes only a short time, may be performed in a physician's office and requires no hospitalization. It is done under a local anaesthetic and is so simple and easily accomplished that the man need not remain away from his employment for a period longer than it takes to have the operation performed - a period of a half to one hour perhaps.

(A vasectomy has been described to me as similar to being kicked extremely hard in the crotch for 24 hours straight. But men in 1948 had been through a war, so I suppose they had to grin and bear it)

There is no stigma or humiliation attached to it. It is a protection to the person and to society - not a punishment - as many people suppose.

(Protection... from... whom exactly? Neighborhood bullies who point and laugh at your obvious sterility?)

In the matter of sterilization of the unfit, California has taken a decided lead over other states in its use - as a legal protective measure for the health and happiness of its citizens.

(...protecting them from...)

The Human Betterment Foundation was established in this state and on its statute books will be found many laws governing the sterilization of persons committed to its state institutions. The Foundation has made an intensive study of all the facts regarding sterilization.

(okay, protection from institutionalized people. Well, as long as all the facts are in order, way to go, California!)

California has sterilized thousands of persons in its various institutions and has enabled these persons to return to their homes and become useful citizens. The operation has prevented the breaking up of many homes and has saved many marriages. It has prevented the birth of children to those with bad hereditary traits, such as feeble mindedness, so that such children may not come into the world only to endanger other persons and to eventually become state charges.

(Wait wait wait California.. this sounds a little.. um... you know... wrong...)

It has been estimated that there are about 6,500,000 mentally deficient persons in the United States - that is persons with less than seventy percent of average intelligence. The Human Betterment Foundation has shown that this situation can not only be controlled, but that the number of mentally deficient as well as feeble-minded, can be greatly reduced over a period of years if the principle of eugenic sterilization is applied generally.

(oh my god... Bad Human Betterment Foundation... bad California! Bad!)

Sterilization receives the greatest amount of praise from those who have actually had the operation performed - the patients themselves. For it is patients, as well as their families, state officials, social workers and others, who best realize its great benefits to society.



Aside from the great good which has been accomplished by the sterilization of the feeble minded, of heads of families perpetually on public charity, of sexual delinquents, etc., the operation is becoming increasingly popular as a protection of happiness for normal people. As an instance let us take the hypothetical case of a man and wife in poor circumstances, with a family of perhaps eight or nine children. Due to lack of adequate finances or to the poor health of one parent or the other, this couple feels they should have no more children, both in justice to themselves and to their children.

(With 8 or 9 children, that one extra mouth to feed is such to a burden. Good thing they thought of slowing down on the childbearing before it was too late!)

In thousands of situations like this, instead of resorting to sterilization of the male, they have either abstained from marriage relations altogether - and so grew away from each other - or the wife has resorted to strong contraceptives, abortions even, and wrecked herself physically. In either case the home was eventually broken up and left one parent faced with the problem of rearing the children alone - often causing them to be public charges.

(M.A. Horn seems quite optimistic for once, so I'm sure this is a best case scenario.)

After World War II, during which mass sterilization was practiced by the Nazis, means whereby sterilized persons might again become fertile occupied the interest of the medical profession.

(Except in California. That sort of thing doesn't interest them at all.)

Recently, Dr. Vincent J. O'Conor of Northwestern University medical school, revealed that he had performed successful restorative operations on nine out of 14 patients who had been surgically sterilized. Questionnaires were sent to 1,240 recognized specialists, 750 of whom replied, disclosing that out of 420 operations, 239 were failures, 180 were successful and 31 were said to be successful in that the wives of the men became pregnant although the men operated upon were not examined after the operation.

(No comment...)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cower before the... muffin rage?

As I rushed around the house the other day getting ready for work (semi-late as usual) my wife asked "Where's the muffin that was on the counter?"

"Uh, you mean the one you told me to bring to work?" ...Icy silence... "Yesterday?"

In an exasperated and irritated tone, she explained "I didn't think you actually took it!"

"Oh, uh I can get one from the freezer for you."

"NO."

Uh oh... the base of my brain tingled in a fight-or-flight mode... so I didn't respond... but thought to myself, Hey, I should grab a muffin for my lunch, I'll just head downstairs and --

"STOP!" She yelled, running at me. "I DON'T WANT YOU TO GET ME A MUFFIN!"

"I'm getting one for myself!" I ducked-and-covered my way down the staircase. "Uh... do you want one?"

Hopefully hormonal rage won't become a regular "Weekly Wednesday" feature.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #33

Weekly Link:
http://www.maninthedark.com/ Try clicking to duplicate... then clicking while it's degenerating to create weirdness... or move it to the corner of the screen, click once, then double click fast in the opposite corner for even more weirdness... uh, yeah, I don't know either.

Weekly Video:


Weekly Kiernan:
Some days you can get Kiernan to eat everything on his plate by pretending each forkful is an animal or person. His favourites are giraffes, elephants, and kings.

Weekly Workplace:
Email from Information Services at the hospital, regarding the expansion of the wireless network and how to tell if it has been completed in :
"If you are wondering if expansion in your area has been completed, simply look at the ceiling in the main hallways. If you see a cable hanging out, it is not complete. If you see a white Star Wars like spaceship, it is complete."
You would think the IS team were geeks or something...

Weekly WTF:
The poker site I play on stopped running the turbo tournament cash cow that fit perfectly into my schedule. I could win around $100 in 75 minutes some days. Last night I snagged a first place victory of $100 and it took me TWO. AND A HALF. HOURS.

Monday, October 27, 2008

More True Tales of Pregnancy Rage

We have a narrow cupboard to the right of our stove which would logically hold spices. Now, my sister was a Victorian Epicure consultant for a while, which is sort of a tupperware salesperson for various spices and spice mixtures. So needless to say, our spice cupboard had a lot of stacked jars in it. Lara often complained about how hard it was to find spices, but really, there's not much we can do about it... or so I thought.

One day, probably around month 7 or 8 of the pregnancy, I heard an exasperated yell from the kitchen. I peeked cautiously around the corner to see all of the jars and bags of spices being pulled from the cupboard onto the counter.

A drawer flew open - tea tea towels and wash clothes were pulled frantically out and spice jars went into their place, labeled on the lids with a sharpie marker. The tea towels and oven mitts were shoved randomly into the spice cupboard. I opened my mouth to comment on the ridiculousness of this arrangement, but her unmitigated rage heightened her hearing, and the sound of my tongue leaving the roof of my mouth caused her head to swing in my direction with a glare. I'm happy to say I walked away so the focus or her anger remained on the jars now crammed tightly into the drawer.

Months later at a gathering in our house, a highly organized (read: neat freak) friend of ours asked where she could find a towel to dry a glass. Even over the general buzz of party conversation you could hear the gasp throughout the house as she opened the cupboard.

Eventually I cobbled together a magnetic spice rack on our wall and transferred enough spices over that I was finally able to put things back to normal. This was a year and a half later, of course, after I was sure the rage levels were low.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #32

Weekly Image


Weekly Link:
The 5 reasons Luke Skywalker is a Complete Idiot

Weekly Video:
Kiernan, he of the 20 months of soy protein intolerance, had soy sauce on his rice tonight, and acted as if it were the richest tasting thing ever. "Rice for dessert!" he declared, then we watched this video.

He sang the chorus repeatedly while getting ready for his bath.

Weekly Word I Never Imagined Using Two Years Ago:
Stinkabum.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

True Tales of Pregnancy RAAAAAGE!!!!!!!

If you don't read my wife's blog (and if so, why not?) then you don't know that Kiernan is expecting a baby brother or baby sister come June 2009. But really, he is hoping for a baby blue monkey.

Now, when Lara was pregnant with Kiernan, she had "morning" sickness. Morning is in quotation marks because the nausea lasted most of the day, and continued throughout the entire pregnancy. She was on medication which kept her slightly less sick in exchange for a constant state of fatigue, giving me plenty of time to play video games (ask me how many video games I've played since!).

We were told that sometimes pregnancies differ, but not so much this time so far, although the nausea is a little less. One thing I'm hoping will change with this pregnancy is a tiny little bit of hormones that affected Lara occasionally (read: a lot) giving her a major case of Pregnancy Rage.

This was an anger that would simmer below the surface, mostly caused by her dissatisfaction at work, bubbling forward at random moments. I have two stories, the better of which I will save for another post.

I was working from home when a message blipped on my MSN - It was Lara. She was responsible for the content of a web page where she worked, and she began telling me about a photo that the management wanted on the front page. The picture infuriated her. She told them she HATED the photo but her arguments fell on deaf ears. I'm assuming she then slammed her way into her office, knocking pictures askew on the wall as she went.

"Look at how terrible this photo looks!" she typed as she directed me to the altered front page.

I looked, and typed back "It's all blurry... what's up with the weird photoshopped effects? I agree, that's totally a crappy picture." There. Good job. Offer support, keep anger directed away from yourself.

There was a pause, then "That's NOT the photo I'm talking about."

Shit. "Uh... ohhh! You mean the picture across the banner... right, right, totally a stupid photo."

My computer speakers nearly developed a frosty rime from the silence that followed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

mm, buzzy...

This morning I seem to have been too tired to remember to drink my coffee at work, as I have just discovered my thermos is F-U-L-L-Full... Woohoo! It's safe to say I won't be yearning for a nap this afternoon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #31

Weekly Useful Link
How to keep your fruits and veggies fresh so you don't have to throw spoiled food out all the time

Weekly Fun Link
Click your way around the Oval Office of the future of Palin as president... click some things more than once for different results...

Weekly Image... er... of text...

From foundmagazine.com

Weekly Video
Hey, I totally missed this last night because I was inside watching the election coverage... if you managed to see the giant UFO that the psychic lady predicted was coming could you email me pics? Cool, thanks.


Weekly Kiernan
Sometimes Kiernan will babble out some random syllables and then repeat them as if it's a word.
Today in the car he announced matter-of-factly, "Appadee! Appadee daddy!"
"Appadee?"
"Ya, Appadee."
"Maybe you're thinking of apathy?"
"Appathee!"
"You just don't care about non-imaginary words?"
"Dat's right! My appafee, daddy."

Weekly Video Update
Boy, am I embarrassed - I didn't actually watch the Weekly video all the way through to see that the UFO mothership was appearing for three whole days. I guess I just don't look up into the sky anymore. I'll catch it tomorrow.

Weekly Workplace
Six or eight weeks of asking for web page approval resulted repeatedly in "I'll look at it today, I promise." and then having it fall off the bottom of my manager's to-do list. She's busy, I know, so I sent an email letting her know I could probably set up a workflow which would send an hourly email reminder about the web pages needing approval. I also let her know that I wouldn't be able to help her set up the mail filter which would automatically redirect the reminders to the trash. Five minutes later I got a phone call with approval and a thanks for the reminder. I'm so glad I work in a place whose employees have a sense of humour.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Of course I watch television, I just know it as Treehouse TV

Parents, go dig through your DVD collection and pull out the original episode of Dora the Explorer, episode 101: Legend of the Big Red Chicken.

First off, how's that for a pilot episode title?

Okay, now put it on the TV and... holy crap, did they even pay those poor animators?

I mean, there are scenes where Boots is just standing there and instead of just using the same frame to keep him still they've got his head bobbing slightly, mouth wandering around his face like The Map told it "Right cheek... forehead... chin!"

Now fast forward to the end to see the birth stages of the now-standard "We Did It" dance... they must have told the animators "Draw it like Dora is doing the Hustle, only tone it down on the whole logical-limb-structure."

Okay, so you may not have the episode, so just mute your speakers to avoid this failed attempt at funny audio dubbing using episode footage of opening scenes:



Now I know why they rarely have Dora turn her head away from 3/4 profile. Freaky. Football. Head.

Honestly, I haven't seen such inconsistent character design since episode 308 - "Meet Diego".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #30

Weekly Link:
Swedish Furniture Name Generator - I am an ERYK chair, which is not so fun. Kiernan is a SKÄIRNANVIK twin bed. But it looks like you can re-enter your name to get different versions.

Weekly Video:
Take on Me (Literally)


Weekly Kiernan:
Standing on his change table, he made a move toward the picture on the wall embroidered by his aunt, which was embroidered when he was born. "Don't touch that!" we said, moving him away from arms-reach of it. "Don't touch!" he agreed. "Dat's DANgerous!"

Weekly Workplace:
When sitting in the audience at a media-covered event, be sure to sit to the right of all the ladies you work with, that way the camera coverage appearing on the news has you completely out of frame.

UPDATE: CBC's cameraman did not follow this rule, and there was a 3 second alternate camera angle with me filling the left 1/5th of the screen, mowing on gum like a cow chews cud.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dodo in mommy's bed?

Lately Kiernan has been waking up in the middle of the night and requesting "Dodo in mommy's bed?" Technically it's my bed too, but I assume since I'm awake and dealing with him while Lara's still in said bed, possibly (maybe) waking up too, she has current ownership.

"No. Dodo in Kiernan's bed. You don't sleep in mommy's bed." I say this so his replying wailing will actually bring Lara up out of her sleep of the dead (but really, that's not why).

His insistence, of course, lands him between the Lara and I. I wouldn't mind this arrangement at all, except our bed in his mind does not equate itself to a location in which to sleep.

He must knows that if he's quiet we'll let him stay in the bed, so he'll be silent as long as he can, until out of nowhere it is decided a loud exclamation of "The doggie's not barking now!" is in order.

After much threatening of return to his own bed, he quiets down... I start to drift off... but I wonder if he's really asleep or whether I'll be on the verge of falling asleep and he'll start singing the alphabet as if he were a cow (Everybody now - Moomoo moomoo moomoomoo...) or decide to crawl sideways across the pillows and wake me up again. So just to make sure, I open my eyes.

And a second after I see him staring owl-like into my eyes, he decides it would be a good idea to stick a soother in my eye.

Luckily he only wails for a few minutes before falling to sleep in his own bed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #29

Weekly Link:
Let's stop scaring our kids

Weekly Image:


Weekly Kiernan:
Sometimes when he eats his food turns into animals. The shape of a soggy hole-ridden waffle will remind him of a tiger.
A bite was taken from a chicken burger and suddenly "Oh! A dinosaur!"
I'm all "Really? What does the dinosaur say?"
But instead of the usual "ROAR!!!" he says "No, that's not a dinosaur."
"What is it then?"
"OH! It's mommy at the store!"
"Really."
He points to a little pointy piece that's sticking up out of the meat. "That's mommy dere."
He nods sagely, then takes a huge chomp, devouring the cash area, a couple of clothing racks, and sadly, mommy.

Weekly Music:
Regina Spektor (not the pop song you may hear on the radio)


Weekly Workplace:
Thursday:
IT Dept: "Hi, we're shutting down your backup server on Monday and your main server on Wednesday. Both times at 4am. So go ahead and power those down the night before. Or, for the backup server you can do that Friday and leave it off during the weekend."
Me: "Um, we kinda need those online, but apparently I have no choice. There are images on the servers that will be linked through our September e-bulletin, so I guess we'll have to send delay sending it until Monday."

Monday:
Me, walking in and seeing a group of ladies gathered: "Uh, good morning?"
Them: "Where's the Internet?"
IT Dept web page: "Yeah, uh, we lost the Internet connection. This means all your servers are down too. Bell will get back to us by 10am. You can send emails out, but cannot receive any responses, so that's good news, right?"

Monday 10am:
IT Dept web page: "Bell has escalated our case and will get back to us by 11am"

Monday 4pm:
IT Dept web page: "Bell has escalated our case and will get back to us by 11am"

Tuesday:
Me: Yay Internet! I hope IT took advantage of all that downtime yesterday so they don't have to do the Wednesday shutdown.
IT Dept: Whut?
Me: Also, the backup server you shut down Monday morning isn't responding, could you go check on that and call me back? Kinda need it.
IT Dept: ...

Wednesday:
Me: Yay for Internet despite shutting down our servers again. Now both servers are working, so e-bulletin subscribers can enjoy the September edition. On October 1st. It's like magazine subscriptions but in reverse, you see.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gargoyle

One Christmas, back in my late teens, I received a gargoyle for Christmas. Technically it is a grotesque, as a gargoyle has a built-in spout to redirect water away from the side of a building, but at the time, I did not know the difference. Anyhow, it was winged dog, about a foot tall, and I thought it was pretty cool.

The next Christmas, I received a four inch tall grotesque on a little pedestal and a gargoyle calendar. The next year came the black-sand pewter hourglass framed by six grotesques, and a garden grotesque tic-tac-toe game. People had started to assume I was the gargoyle type.

As a side note, as a birthday gift just after that last Christmas, my sister bought me a wooden skull, with wings made of bones expanding in a two and a half foot wingspan. The salesgirl at the store she bought it at gave her a look that asked "Really?" and my sister said "It's his type of thing." Because, you know, skulls uh... and gargoyles and... yeah, I don't even know.

The salesgirl gave her a pitying look and sold it to her at half price.

When my wife came back from BFF (and brought with her tons of story) she said she brought me a gift and hefting over a box with a smirk on her face. Opening it up, I saw a lot of packing paper, and a book on top: Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. Apparently Random House provided the attendants of this bloggerfest free copies of the book, and had also held a draw for a prize - which Lara had won...

Gargoyle Bookends. "Cuz it's your thing!" she could barely withhold her chortling.

Anyhoo. The book's pretty good! It's about a hedonistic sort of fellow who has never loved anyone. He gets in a car accident and gets severe burns all over his body. As he recovers in the burn ward he is approached by a patient from the psychiatric ward who tells him she was born in the 14th century and that they were married. She tells him stories of love from different ages, including their supposed shared past, and slowly he begins to fall for her. She's a sculptor who creates gargoyles and grotesques - the strange forms call to her from within the stone and she brings them forth in days-long sessions, giving them a "heart" when they are complete. Then she informs the burned narrator that she has only 27 "hearts" left to give before her time on earth is done.

I saw a review in some magazine describing Gargoyle as "The Time Traveller's Wife meets the English Patient", which is a pretty lame review, because all three are on completely different levels. Gargoyle is quite well written, has a cynical tone which made me laugh - loved the part where he goes on for a page listing off the food at the Christmas dinner, inserting random things within to make sure you're actually reading; my wife is a chronic word/sentence/tract skipper so it made me think of her - and definitely my type of thing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #28

Weekly Link:
The Little Mermaid gets her tongue cut out, can't get the prince, and dies, turning to sea foam (she turns into a maid of the air, but dead is dead. Practically everyone in the Hunchback of Notre Dame - dead. At least in Disney's Snow White the queen died, but they still should have kept with the original death - her feet were forced into heated iron shoes and she danced until she fell down dead. Disney can't even stop themselves with the bowdlerization of their own materials - we had a 101 Dalmatians book in which Cruella De Vil wanted not a puppy fur coat, but to have the biggest dalmatian puppy circus in the world. Seriously? Screw that.
I don't want my kid growing up thinking we can put Humpty Dumpty back together again "if we wish real hard". This is a common rant I have, which has been brought up to the forefront of my mind after reading this: Fear of Fairy Tales

Weekly Image:
Vintage ads are hilarious. If you look up 1515 W. Hart Ave on google maps, the closest match it finds in street view is a back alley.

Weekly Workplace:
Wow. Seriously. I don't want to talk about it.

Weekly Kiernan:
We were at my mother's the other day, getting ready to leave, when she offered to change his diaper. Score! Anyhow, as she removed his dirty diaper, he exclaimed "I'm all done pooping!" My mother asked "All done peeing too?" and he squinched his eyes in the way he does when he's sitting on the potty, and you could tell he was really trying. Luckily for my mother, he was in fact done.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Woman's True Sexual Responsibility

The following excerpts are from Chapter 4 of The Manual of Hygiene - Father and Son by M.A. Horn.

Woman's True Sexual Responsibility

(Though short, this chapter should be very enlightening!)

Most divorces reaching the courts are instituted by women against men. Most often the cause given is that the husband found "another woman," one who apparently gave him better sexual satisfaction. The husband is held entirely to blame, both by the court and by the friends and acquaintances of the couple. If the truth were known, probably in more than half these cases the wife was as much or more to blame than the husband.

(I am curious as to how M.A. Horn, the Nation's Favourite Author managed to not even have his biography on Wikipedia entry. I want to know more about this classy guy.)

Perhaps she was taught in her childhood and adolescence that the sex act was not "nice" - that it would be a most degrading think if she were to act as if she enjoyed it.
Any husband who allows his wife to entertain such ideas after he has married her, has only himself to blame if his marriage does not measure up to what he thinks it should be. Also, if you are one of those men (and if you are, you constitute the great majority) who think only of their own self gratification and give no thought to that of your wife, you are at fault. You are at fault if you bungle the art of love, if you are too hasty in your love making and if you have failed to educate your wife in the matter of sex.

(Okay, so let's recap the math: Over half the time, the woman is to blame, and the great majority of the time the man is at fault. Got it.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #27

Weekly Link:
The stupidest haircuts on the internet

Weekly Image:


Weekly Kiernan:
He turned two on the weekend, and he's still a genius. The other morning he corrected his use of verb-usage mid-sentence: "Mommy are you going - Mommy are you coming downstairs?" Also, he's definitely Canadian. Or maybe Lara and I just say "Eh?" at the end of too many sentences for him not to mimic.

Weekly Video:
New Pomplamoose! Woohoo!


Weekly Environment:
If you buy compostable bags to line your kitchen compost bin, please note that the bag may compost before it's time to empty the bin, thus lowering the usefulness of the bags.

Weekly WTF:
Blog posts which revert to earlier saves when you preview them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Meme

Bob tagged me, so here are six random facts about me.

First, the random rules (hat tip to Connie Crosby):
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I have a thing for cartoons from the 1930s, especially Betty Boop. I have far too much random Betty Boop trivia in my brain - did you know she was originally a dog? The animators had such a bizarre creativity at times - my favourite parts being the looping segments of most complex Rube Goldberg setups that make me wonder whether the animators were showing off or merely on hallucinogens. I have a pile of classic cartoon DVDs (and CDs of downloaded episodes from the pre-youtube days, gasp!) yet to be watched, except for the one which Kiernan and I were enjoying until his mommy told us that the Be Human episode is a little violent and we had to stop.

2. My ears don't seem to register the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. "I don't understand the problem..." I once said to classmates, scratching away as they cringed.

3. I first drove standard when I was in my early teens, on a tractor at my grandparents' farm. When I'd puttered around in the lowest gear for a while my grandfather suggested I push the throttle up. Expecting it to be the sort of mechanism that should be stiff to move, like a bike's gearshift, I pushed too hard, and the throttle was nearly at its maximum. The only pond in the field was directly ahead. In my panicked state I luckily remembered that I needed to clutch before braking, and when my grandfather caught up he said "That's enough for today." and I didn't drive standard until I met my wife.

4. I sometimes have vivid dreams in which everything is completely normal until I notice my mouth hurts a bit... then when I check them out in the mirror my teeth fall out. Sometimes I dream that I wake up and check my teeth again and they fall out a second time. Those nights suck.

5. Rogers Cable 22, the local public access TV station, ran a series of dramatic shows involving teen choices. I was the skinny male lead (this was 30 pounds ago, in my pre-college days) in the episode on body image. The closing shot involved me in a bathroom stall, conflicted look upon my face as I stared down at a baggie of "steroids" and a dental syringe. I've never seen the actual episode, so if anyone has contacts at Rogers, please get them to "accidentally" run a magnet over the original copies.

6. My second most-hated font is Matisse.

Now, the six people I must tag. Do I even know six blogging people? I choo-choo-choose you, enchante, Lynn (don't know if you want the traffic, so no link), Lara, surferjay, kimizzy, and... um... my sister. What's her blog again?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A great win for spelling sticklers everywhere!

The billboard mentioned in yesterday's post has been updated.

It now reads "KINDNEY FOUNDATION BENEFIT".

Someone must have complained.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #26

... Happy Yearly Wednesday Lara!

Weekly Celebration:
Three years ago today I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life. Insert sappy stuff here. Happy Anniversary!

Weekly Link:
The Large Hadron Collider at CERN went on while I was asleep and the world didn't end. Reality didn't alter whatso --- wait a second --- wasn't I a raccoon yesterday?

Weekly Pictures:
It's the opposite of a Cake Wreck - the Muppet Show Cake

Weekly Kiernan:
"You sing ABCD and Kiernan sing B-I-N-G-O."
"Okay."
/ "ABCDEFG, HIJK, LMNOP, QRS-"
\ "BINDEFG, HIJK, elemmemmemmemmo NO DADDY! No sing ABC!"
"Okay, you sing it."
"No, Kiernan sing B-I-N-G-O! Daddy sing ABC."
"Okay, go!"
... and repeat.

Weekly WTF:
Outside the Irish Pub which I pass on the way to work was one of those roadside billboard things:
KYNDNEY FOUNDATION BENEFIT THURS 11
BRANY N PORT FRI SAT 12-13

Friday, September 5, 2008

At least I wasn't trying "pi r squared" again....

"One. plus. one. is. twoooo!" came out of nowhere during bathtime.
"What's that?" I asked.
"One plus one is twoo!"

This, I figured, must be mimicry, learned from the kids at daycare or through They Might Be Giants lyrics. I had to test him, so I tried the second line from the song to see: "Two plus two is...?"

I was completely ignored, so I prompted "Four", which he repeated. We continued on to four plus four ("twoooo") and eight plus eight (an attempt to capsize the captain in his floating hippo).

Perhaps just from daycare then... are they adding one to other numbers? "What's two plus one, Kiernan?" No response, so I brought in the heavy weaponry: "Okay, we have two fishes here, and one fish here. How many is two fishes plus one fish?"

"Thassa turtle though."

"No, the turtle is over there. These three are all fishes."

"Stop trying to teach him math." Lara instructed out from the next room, so we stuck with near and far for the rest of bathtime.

(update: as I typed this blog post I asked what one plus one is, and the sum is now up to "four cars")

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #25

... Same weekly Wednesday time, same weekly Wednesday channel!

Weekly Images:
"Tilt-shift miniature faking is a process in which a photograph of a life-size location or object is manipulated so that it looks like a photograph of a miniature scale model. By distorting the focus of the photo, the artist simulates the shallow depth of field normally encountered with macro lenses making the scene seem much smaller than it actually is."
In other words, this is a real location, not a model:

Check out 40 more cool tilt-shift miniature faking photos!

Weekly Link:
Don't remove earwax. Apparently we're not supposed to put anything smaller than our elbows into our ears. Nice to know, 32 years later... ah well, at least I don't dig in there with knitting needles like my dad does...

Weekly count of electric toys from my youth which I was saving for my offspring that turned out to be broken:
2.

Weekly count of toys opened up in an attempt to fix them:
2.

Weekly toys that were so old they didn't even include a circuit board:
2.

Weekly count of toys which, while partly disassembled, sprung to life and traumatized Kiernan to the point at which he couldn't say more than "scared of the robot owl though!" until bedtime:
1.

Weekly count of robot owl nightmares:
0 (so far).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Way too many "the tide has turned" puns though...

Googling "Ray Nagin pun" does not get the obvious one... Am I the only one who thought the New Orleans mayor's last name was pronounced n'again?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Soup

The Dora-themed pasta floated in the broth, surrounded (very sparsely, I might add) by vegetables. Into his mouth went monkey heads, backpacks, and Swiper the Fox clones. Finally, there was only one piece left - a rather ragged looking section torn from a star.

"What's that?" he asked.

"Pasta!" I replied as he fished it out with a spoon.

"That's a M though!"

I grabbed the spoon before it reached his mouth and forced Lara to come and look at the bowl - otherwise, maybe she wouldn't have believed me. The pasta was indeed an M, and my child is a freaking genius.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekly Wheneversday #24

... good thing it's not Daily Wednesdays...

Weekly Link:
These Volkswagen Ads show film fanatics talking about how Ghostbusters is really a story about the obesity crisis in America, Mary Poppins is just the Exorcist with songs, and Star Wars is really just a remake of the Wizard of Oz.

Weekly Video:
Wooden mirrors...




Weekly Writer's Block:





Weekly Wager:
At what point after entering the pedestrian walkway entrance at Place d'Orléans mall will Kiernan's legs mysteriously give out on him?
The odds:
Right inside the door: 2:1
Halfway down the hall: 3:2
End of the hall, as soon as the mall threshold is crossed: 5:3
None of the above: 1:10

Friday, August 22, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #23

... Now for the first time in Friday-o-vision!

Weekly Revelation:
Yesterday at about 2:30pm a coworker mentioned an event happening "tomorrow"... I thought to myself "Wasn't that on Friday and not tomorrow?" and then discovered it was Thursday yesterday, and not Wednesday. Then I was too busy getting groceries to post anything last night. I'm not sure what happened this week, but I hope I had fun on my missing day.

Weekly Link:
Enhancing a digital video using higher resolution still photographs -- These students will make a lot of money. The before/after video is amazing.

Weekly Word:
Fruck. Only half of the times the R is silent. As in "Daddy, a fruck! And a 'nother fruck!" Of course, in the mall there's a "fireTRuck" and a "towTRuck"... but as I walk by a group of nuns it's always "'NOTHERFRUCK DADDY!!!"

Weekly Addictive Game:
Reset Generation. It's nice to find an original game, then crappy when you finish the 1 player story mode, then awesome when you can sign up for free and play live against other players for maximum replayability. If you have an account and play, add cynic_lite to your friends list!

Weekly Philosophical Discussion:
More on frucks: Driving down a road devoid of trucks, I hear from the back seat "A fruck daddy! And a 'nother fruck! Oh! 'Nother fruck!"
"Where are the trucks, I don't see any trucks." I ask.
A brief pause to consider, then "Maybe frucks oer'dere daddy!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

I shouldn't blog about customers, but...

This weekend, the brick-and-mortar version of my wife's online store opened in the mall. Woohoo!

Now, I happened to be in the store yesterday, and I fell into the habit of eavesdropping on passers-by. The cries of "Ohhhh!" and "Awwww!" as they see the giant posters in the window of the cute kids, then come in.

Along walks a pregnant lady, her young son, and his grandmother. Can you say target market?

"Oh, look, a new store!" says sweet, lovable grandma as she slows down her pace.

Pregnant lady barely pauses, glances in, and snaps "It's cheap quality clothes." and walks on.

Excuse me? What? Trust me, I am well experienced with the hormonal rage that can build up inside a pregnant lady, or maybe you just wanted to leave the mall, but screw you.

Come in, look at the product, listen to my wife's factoids about how this line is made in the lululemon factory in BC and how all our products are made by Canadian companies. Touch the organic pyjamas and the fleece-lined change pads. Then I dare you to tell me the product is crap.

Hopefully grandma will come back and shop, then mom will be all "Oh, wow, where did you get this awesome stuff?"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #22

Weekly Image:

Weekly Link:
The Impossible Task of Cutting Plastic Out of Your Life

Weekly Video:
I found this so sketch by Olde English hilarious. I've watched it four times so far, and I'll probably watch it again when I preview this blog post. Or maybe I'll take a break from blogging and watch it again now.

Weekly Workplace:
Another password change, so I've been there for six months!

Weekly Wondering:
Did the anonymous commenter from last Wednesday break down and watch the Weekly Video?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random things I notice on Treehouse TV

- Before getting his own show, the Diego appearing on Dora seems to have been voiced by a post-pubescent teenager, and Baby Jaguar didn't talk. I guess when they decided to spin him off they were all "Wait, how old is he? And who's going to be his Boots-like-sidekick?"

- The costume designers of Hi-5 go to great lengths to add patches or random swatches of cloth in order to prevent cleavage from appearing on a kids show. It doesn't always work for Kimmee.

- There's a new show called Noukie and Friends. Noukie is a 3D-rendered Winnie the Pooh clone, and her friend Paco the Donkey looks like Eeyore. There is no match in A.A. Milne's world to their friend Lola the cow, so maybe that's how they avoid copyright issues.

- Fifi and the Flower Tots hovers barely above Max & Ruby and Miss Spider in its level of annoyingness.

- The songs on Yo Gabba Gabba all sound the same to me. It's all beeps and whistles for those young people! And now I have Party in my Tummy going through my head. I love how the Super Martian Robot Girl segments are designed by Evan Dorkin, who used to draw one of my favourite comic characters, Milk and Cheese.

- Another thing about Noukie and Friends -- I know how they stretch a 3D "skin" over a 3D "skeleton" to make characters look more realistic, but is there nothing that could be done by the animators to prevent the fact that when she walks, Noukie the bear has a nigh-constant case of camel toe? Did I mention the characters don't wear clothes? I can't find an image online to show you that isn't conveniently cropped at waist-level.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lesbians were not covered in the hygiene manual...

So I pulled into a parking spot at the mall and began stuffing things I didn't want stolen under the passenger seat.

From the back seat I Kiernan exclaimed, "What's that o'erdere?"

"I dunno," I said as I adjusted the laptop bag to show passers-by that it contained not a computer, but merely Tupperware from lunch. "What is it?"

"Kissing!"

I glanced up to see the car parked two spaces away, where two teenage girls were making out hardcore in the front seat. "Ah. Lesbians." I said aloud before my brain stopped my vocal cords.

Now, Kiernan is at the age where he'll mimic just about anything. We had him running back and forth between the kitchen and the living room the other week saying "Nice bum, mommy!" "Nice bum, daddy!", and a friend of ours who was visiting on the weekend accidentally had him going "Tastes like ess!" for a few minutes at lunch.

I casually unloaded the child from his car seat as I heard the girls exiting their car behind me, their sapphic tongue wrestling apparently done for the moment.

As we walked all the way into the mall behind the two girls, is it bad that I was thinking if Kiernan would only yell "LESbee'ing!" it would make an even better blog post?

...or maybe since he loves loud farewells I should have whispered to him to say "bi"...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #21

Weekly Link:
Here's what happens when you neglect a child for 7 years: a feral girl (note: not wild girl like in the hygiene manual...) Note to Tampa Bay Times: Please learn to span your articles over multiple pages.

Weekly Images:
10 reasons it would rule to date a unicorn
9 Reasons Not to Date a Tyrannosaurus Rex


Weekly Video:
It was hard, but I watched it all the way through because I just had to know why she was doing it...


Weekly Workplace:
"Eric, just letting you know there's cake upstairs!"

And so I follow the procession of ladies (I'm not saying only the ladies around make a mad dash for cake/cookies/nanaimo bars brought into the office, it's just that the guys are outnumbered by at least 9-to-1) up to the kitchen.

"Where are the other boys?" someone asks a podmate of the two other guys in my work area.
"Oh, they just stared blankly when I mentioned cake then went back to work."

I find it odd that I seem to be the only guy who goes to the social-type events around here... I don't see what the problem is - what's so bad about sitting around, eating treats, chatting about lululemon and bridesmaids dresses?

More cake for me I guess.

Monday, August 4, 2008

How To Help Your Boy Curb Masturbation

The following excerpts are from Chapter 3 of The Manual of Hygiene - Father and Son by M.A. Horn. I had a really hard time skipping paragraphs in this one, let me tell you.

How To Help Your Boy Curb Masturbation

Sometimes the cause of masturbation is a physical one. There might be a slight irritation of the genital organs and if a child persists in handling these organs he should be examined by a physician. Improper diet, bad sleeping facilities or irritating, binding clothing may also be contributing factors.

(Should a proper diet should include cucumbers, melons, and nuts? Should you avoid using straw in your son's mattress because it irritates? And why do hip hop artists grab their crotches even though their clothing is baggy?)

Many parents have forgotten that they, themselves, may once have practiced masturbation and when they first find their child indulging they become horrified.

(I know that sort of thing slips my mind all the time.)

As with many evils, the best solution to the problem of masturbation is to prevent it. While it is true no parent can keep a constant watch on a child to see that he does not masturbate, a little care and observation will bring gratifying results. Watch any suspicious movement the child may go through when he thinks he is unobserved. Do not allow him to remain in bed after he awakens in the morning or from his afternoon nap. Don't allow him to put his hands in his pockets continually.

(Put straw in the mattress to discourage laying about in bed! Force him to wear tight clothing so hands cannot slide into pockets at all!)

At one time masturbation was looked upon as the cause of imbecility and insanity. While this is no longer common belief the habit is still frowned upon as dangerous. Too frequently indulged in, it may lead to complete nervous exhaustion. The constant masturbator may find himself experiencing sparks or flashes before the eyes or he may eventually fall prey to a serious sexual disturbance. He will become melancholy, lack energy, be shy and absent-minded and in time he may become impotent sexually.
One of the most dangerous results of masturbation is the effect it may have upon an adolescent's mental condition.

(Mental in a non-insane way, though.)

Many men who marry rather late in life, do so in the hope that they may overcome their long-time habit of masturbation. They hope that normal sexual experiences with a woman with whom they love will cure them of the habit, but they often find that by that time normal relations with a woman have become an impossibility. Prolonged masturbation has rendered them incapable of securing a natural erection, for it must be remembered that it is not necessary that the penis be erect in order to masturbate.

(... I'm rendered speechless by the veritable tsunami of factual science that has just rolled over me.
And finally folks, if your boy doesn't stop masturbating...)

Then they should be taken to a competent physician and examined for possible physical defects which may be the cause.