Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So This Is Chrismakwanzika

Every year it seems the politically correct jargon of this holiday season tends to puts a number of Stockings, Dashikis, and Yamikas in a bunch. What's most interesting to me is the disdain people have for the expression 'Happy Holidays' as though it were a personal insult.

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not necessarily one for political correctness, but I certainly understand and accept it. The right to worship whomever and however one pleases is a fundamental human right and as such any entity, institution, or governing body comprised of more than one of those belief systems should be inclusive of all parties, and thus use the politically correct 'Happy Holidays'. In my opinion even a company with 99.9% of their staff being Christian should still maintain the 'Happy Holidays' greeting. Now there are exceptions to the rule: a Catholic school with obvious ties to Christian ideology could use 'Merry Christmas' though not all the students and/or staff may be Christians.

That said, just because your company wishes you 'Happy Holidays' doesn't mean you can't say 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Hanukkah' or 'Joyous Kwanzaa' to your co-workers. You are a human and have the right to your religious convictions and by saying 'Merry Christmas' you are expressing your faith. You shouldn't feel guilt or shame for well-wishing a friend, colleague, or stranger, regardless of your greeting. Now if someone were to wish me a Happy Hanukkah I would think one of two things 1) they are Jewish or 2) they've noticed the pronounced profile of my nose and believe I am Jewish. Regardless, I would accept their holiday greeting, it doesn't diminish my beliefs in any way, but what do I say back? Do I say Merry Christmas and run the risk of either insulting or embarrassing them? I think I would respond with a Happy Hanukkah, but then next year, during the holiday, I would be sure to greet them first with a hearty 'Merry Christmas'-- I wonder what they would say back? You know I think I may just start wishing people a 'Joyous Kwanzaa'. I don't know that I've ever heard anyone wish any one else a 'Joyous Kwanzaa'-- I've actually only ever met one person who celebrated Kwanzaa. If you celebrate Kwanzaa let me know. I would love to get a Joyous Kwanzaa card or even a Happy Hanukkah card for that matter. I wonder if they make a "There is no God but Allah" card? Or 'Wishing You A Warm Winter Solstice' greeting? Seriously if you see one-- you know where to send it.

Merry Christmas to All!

To date my holiday greeting cards are as follows:
(I will update this list periodically)

Happy Holidays/Season's Greetings/Etc. (8)

Merry Christmas (6)

Happy Hanukkah (0)

Joyous Kwanzaa (0)

There is no God but Allah (0)

Warm Winter Solstice (1)

Other (0)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Peanut Butter Fudge-- It's what's for Breakfast!

As the holiday season descends upon us like a jaguar from an Acacia tree, I am always amazed to watch as the standard year-round rules go out the window. First thing in the morning I find myself with my boy opening one of the doors on those countdown to Christmas advent calendars. Gee, what great parenting? "Here son, have a solid piece of chocolate for breakfast. It'll get your day started off right. Do you want some coffee as well?" Last night we were watching a show and Jefferson climb up next to me and he was covered in chocolate and still had some in his mouth. It was like 10 o'clock at night! "Where'd you get that?" I asked. "I found it... it's delicious!". And here I am wondering why he's still wired. Of course there is no changing it now-- the precedent has been set-- it's chocolate for breakfast at least until Christmas, then it's back to fruit and the accompanying "I hate you"s. 'Tis the season to indulge, I guess. There was a smorgasbord of fudge circulating the office... at 9:30 a.m this morning. Yes it seems not even a nutritional health company is impervious this phenomenon. It appears to happen in every facet of our lives-- all of the sudden the things we couldn't afford 2-3 months ago become reasonable; we start sleeping in a bit and cutting out from work a little early. Is it any wonder that our version of Saint Nicholas is a jolly old fat guy that doesn't shave and only works one day a year-- and on that one day, he brings happiness to children all over the world and gets to eat incalculable amounts of cookies in the process. There is no doubt-- Santa's got the hook up!
Once you recognizing these tendencies it is no wonder that New Year's come with making resolutions: pay off your bills, lose weight, stop eating chocolate for breakfast. We need these resolutions to counteract the bad habits we've gotten ourselves into during the holiday season. It's a wonderful little checks & balances system we've got here.
I'm certainly not pointing fingers. I am just as guilty (or more so) as the next, but that's what truly makes it a holiday, does it not? Everyone deserves to "take a break" from the rules once in awhile and at Christmas time everyone is doing it at the same time-- it is almost chaotic. In my opinion that's what makes this holiday season so great-- well that and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Tribute to Taking it Easy

Take It Easy-- The Eagles
Well, I'm running down the road tryin' to loosen my load.
Ive got seven women on my mind.
Four that wanna own me, two that wanna stone me, one says shes a friend of mine.
Take it easy, take it easy. Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.
Lighten up while you still can. Don't even try to understand.
Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.
Well, I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see.
Its a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me.
Come on, baby, don't say maybe. I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me.
We may lose and we may win though we will never be here again.
So open up, I'm climbin' in, so take it easy.
Well I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load, got a world of trouble on my mind. Lookin' for a lover who won't blow my cover, shes so hard to find.
Take it easy, take it easy. Don't let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.
Come on baby, don't say maybe I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me.
We got it easy, we oughta take it easy.

I hate the Eagles-- always have and probably always will! It's just country music trying to disguise itself as classic rock. There I said it!
The point of this is not to enrage the hordes of faithful Eagles fans who've accidentally stumbled onto this blog looking for the lyrics to Take it Easy. No. Rather it is a tribute to one such Eagles fan, my Dad! Someone who could truly identify with those twangy vocals. A man for whom taking it easy was never as simlpe as it sounded in the song. And today I miss him more than usual.

Time to take it easy Dad!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flashback Friday

Don't you just love my killer red boots?!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My First Presidential Vote

As promised, a blog and some pictures of my first presidential vote. It was about what I expected-- and really exciting! I cut my hair specifically for the occasion... that way I wouldn't have to hear the audible mumblings of "Damn Hippie" from the other (more patriotic) Americans in line.Look at me being a responsible American citizen supporting the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, where Freedom reigns like Cats and Dogs, Red, White, and Blue through and through baby. Take that Putin!

Now I'm not going to pretend like I was the most informed voter at the polls that day-- there are far too many "know-it-alls" lobbying for that honor as it is. No, I must be honest I was caught of guard by a few of the ballot items, but I just took a deep breath, concentrated, and focused my mind on the right answer. The results are finally in and I'm proud to announce I got 53% of my votes correct! That includes leaving only one question blank and a number of write-in votes for Lou Diamond Phillips, Santana, Mickey Rooney, Perry Mason, and Carol Burnett. Some of you may be saying, "53% that's not a good result" and to you I say, "If it is good enough to win President-Elect, it's good enough for me."All things considered, I'm quite happy with that result, but I can't take all the credit-- there was a little luck involved.Those of you considering bringing a lucky nickle to the polls next year, you may also want to consider bringing a die as well-- as there are a number of questions with more than two possible answers and often I found myself flipping the coin a number of times per question as I conducted a crude and impromptu elimination process.

Regardless my congratulations to Barrack Obama and running mate Joe Bidden on their historic win-- but as far as I'm concerned there are no losers here. I would now like to take the time to present some token honors and awards to the other various presidential and vice presidential candidates not fortunate enough to be Democrats during this paticular election season.

Just for being a part of the 2008 Presidential race Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente of the Green party will both be receiving brand new 2009 Hummer H3Ts. That's right Ladies the 'T' is for Turbo! And Charles Jay and Thomas Knapp of the Boston Tea party will each receive $50 gift certificates to Starbucks and a formal invite to the twenty-first century. While Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander of the actual Socialist party have recieved free one-way tickets on China Airlines to beautiful Xīnyíng, Communist China. Zai Jain fellas, Zai Jain!

Good news for Ralph Nader he has been awarded an honorary "Lifetime Achievement" award for all his... achievements... and spirit!

The award for "Life of the Party" goes to Gene Amondson of the Prohibition party. Way to go Gene, drinks are on me!

Of course it wouldn't be America if we didn't have a dazzling Prom Queen-- was there any doubt... it's... Sarah Palin. [the crowd roars]. What a vision of beauty, absolutely ravishing!

Last but certainly not least-- To John McCain I award the highly coveted Purple Heart for bravery, courage, and grace in the face of almost certain defeat. I solute you good Sir! Good show!

To all involved-- the politicians, the voters, the volunteers, the ralliers, the liberal media, the talk radio personalities, the hate mongerers, the list goes on and on-- I simply want to say thanks for making this 2008 Presidential election so entertaining-- give yourselves a pat on the back. Bravo!

**No Awards were actually presented. In all cases these awards, honors, and parting gifts were complete fabrications.**

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Lest it be forgot-- I have made it a tradition the past few years to watch the film V for Vendetta on November 5th-- and I will do so again this year.
The film is based on a comic book series released in the late 80's by DC Comics. I've never read them but I've been told the film is quite accurate. Essentially the story uses the Gunpowder Plot and Guy Fawks as a starting point to examine various political themes, notably the relationship of Anarchism and Fascism.
My reason for ceremoniously watching the film is it's particular message regarding 'fear'-- or rather 'fearlessness'. See on my way to work this morning I passed a number of cars with their 'McCain/Palin' bumper stickers, and in the windows I saw some worried, even fearful folks-- "Oh my Gosh! We just elected a socialist. I wonder if I should move to Canada." While others thought, "It's the beginning of the End. The Apocalypse is nigh... and I don't have nearly enough food storage." To them (and everyone) I wish to say, Fear not! Watch the movie-- but please DO NOT blow up any parliament buildings... if you do (and again I strongly encourage you not to); but if you can not seem to help yourself, please do not reference this blog as your reason for doing it. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Playing with Lego 2.0

For those of you who perhaps were doubtful of my trend setting abilities--I just randomly came across this story and felt the overwhelming desire to share it.

By Daily Mail ReporterLast updated at 7:02 PM on 30th October 2008
At 8ft tall and wearing a garish green jersey he's not the sort of chap to get lost down the sofa. In fact, you'd think he was unlikely to get lost at all. But someone (possibly someone big), somewhere is missing a key bit of their Lego set. The colourful character mysteriously washed up on Brighton beach yesterday spawning dozens of tales - soon to become local legend - about where he may have come from.

While some believe he floated from Denmark-where there is a Legoland park), others suggest he toppled off a ship. Of course, there's always the cynical possibility he's part of a publicity stunt.
Resident Gerry Turner, 34, said: 'It's very odd. God knows how it got here but people are saying it's from Holland because it's got some Dutch writing on it. 'It must have fallen off a boat of something. The kids love it.' Children who helped stand the Lego man up on the beach were desperately curious about where it came from. One said: 'It's great, but we don't know why it's here.'
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said town hall officials had no idea of the origin of the Lego man, but added that they saw no difficulty in letting it stay on the beach where it washed up. He said: 'There's no problem at all. It will be interesting to see how long the Lego man stays there for. We'll keep an eye on it.' But Lego was insistent: 'We're bemused. He has nothing to do with us.' The Lego giant's arrival on the East Sussex shingle yesterday morning comes two years after an armada of plastic ducks landed on British shores. Borne on the ocean currents, the ducks had made a 17,000-mile odyssey from the Pacific where they had been washed from a container ship in a 1992 storm.

I believe I may have found the origins of this valiant maritime marauder--

(this video may not be suitable for some viewers).

Looks like there will be a lot more people in Jolly Ol' England playing with Lego.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Look Back at October 31st, 2008

Here are some of pictures from Halloween '08.

After an over-whelming response from my faithful blog readers, and a grand total of one vote, I decided to go as Richie Tenenbaum for Halloween this year.

I quickly realized that this must be a more obscure movie reference than I had first thought. That's too bad because it is certainly one of my favorites.

All said the Templeman family fielded
1 Richie Tenenbaum (me)
1 Poisonous Mushroom (Andrea)
1 Ironman/Tony Stark (Jefferson)

Ironman/Tony (w/ mask, w/o mask) took the lead showing Madame Butterfly (cousin Ava) how Trick or Treating is done...

Relentless Knocking!
Sometimes upwards of 20-30 knocks per door.

Some other photos from the day.

'The Dude' with his wee-ones: a witch and... maybe a turtle... or a dragon?!

Yes 250 dollars, 3 hours, and 50% of his hair later-- you have the Dark Knight's 'Two Face'.
Come on! All that work and you can't even be accurate to the film, (notice it is the wrong side of his face?).
What a shame, a good effort though.

In my honest opinion the "Best Costume" of the year, Hands Down!
'State Puff Marshmallow Man'
Something in the range of 8 feet tall!
Well done Tony!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Finally Here!

Those of you who now of my love for Halloween are probably expecting an update on my plans for tomorrow night or my costume or whatever-- but you're not going to get it. That's right, there is something I esteem just as exciting as Halloween that looms even closer than All Hallows Eve-- it's the 30 ROCK Premier tonight! Yes and despite the shameless plugs they've been giving themselves on SNL Weekend Updates and all the hoopla around the celebrity cameos that will be appearing during the season-- I am excited like a little Ethiopian boy at a Sizzler buffet.

Since the advent (and my purchase) of the DVR or Digital Video Recorder, I've become an avid TV watcher. I have a few select television programs that subscribe to, and by far my favorite of them is 30 ROCK (notice my respect by capitalizing the title) . It is the perfect storm of original story lines, neurotic characters, superior writing, and Jack Donaghy. Now if someone had told me 3 years ago I would be a fan of a Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, and Alec Balwin television show I say, "What's it about?", and then when they told what it was about I would say, "So it's really just backstage at SNL and they're making very little attempt to mask it.", and I probably wouldn't have giving it a chance because Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had already come up with that same idea and it has Amanda Peet and she is sexier than Tina Fey: a decision I would woefully regret. Thankfully that is a completely fabricated, hypothetical story meant only to vaguely illustrate my surprising intrigue for this show. And now as season 3 begins with an episode entitled "Do-Over", I find myself regretting ever thinking that Amanda Peet was sexier than Tina Fey, sure Amanda is a looker, but she just doesn't have the 'je ne sais quoi' that Tina Fey possesses-- maybe it has to do with this whole Sarah Palin thing. Sometimes I like to image that Sarah Palin was the Miss Alaska runner up to Tina Fey-- wouldn't that have be weird?!

Anyway if you're not already hooked on this show and anxiously awaiting it's return to primetime Thursday night-- Check it out!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Talking Politics with a Damn Canadian

Let's just get it out in the open! For the record I was not born and raised in America, however much it pains you to believe it-- I am an American! Now, I'm willing to admit it's possible I just don't understand all the subtle nuances that makes the American democratic process the greatest in the world--maybe it is, I'm just not convinced. See in my observation there are at least 5 types of voters in America, and yet only 2 parties: Democrat and Republican.

Democrats want the government to be an active influence in their daily life. Providing fundamental support to those in need whether in food, finance, or health care. The poor or lower income families are generally Democrats as they are in most need of these reliefs. They are essentially just "woe is me", bleeding hearts looking for a handout: a free trip in the Land of the Free at the expense of the hardworking middle and upper classes.

Republicans on the other hand feel government should have minimal influence in the lives of Americans. The United States was founded on this American Dream ideology-- be what you want to be without government controls and interference. Now those fortunate enough to be living the American Dream in wealth and income are Republican. Greedy, hoarding, pompous, and selfish capitalists eager to manipulate and hold down the lower and middle class for their personal gain.

So now you start to fragment a little more. You have the Conservatives-- these people vote strictly on moral grounds. They believe the world is headed down the sewer and we need to cling to our heritage and belief. "God Bless America", but He'll only do it if our President is Conservative Christian and in tune with God's will. A progressive society is threatening to their moral ground, but rather than be unpopular (like the Amish) they'd rather force you to be like them.

In contrast, you have the Liberals, they also vote on moral grounds. They believe a number of our American traditions to be unjust, alienating, or even barbaric. Many Liberals are Liberals simply because they find themselves on the other side of one of these issues. These are the "boat-rockers" or "envelope-pushers" if you will. They no longer want to be ridiculed for their ridiculous un-conforming behaviors; however once their behavior is "accepted" they will feel the need to un-conform once again, thus creating an expanding and growing list of ridiculous behaviors the rest of us will have to endure and explain to our children.

The Democrats embrace the Liberals while the Republicans align themselves with the Conservatives and it seems that regardless of the issues the words Democrat & Liberal and Republican & Conservative are nearly interchangeable now. Which to me is unfortunate, what about the Democratic Conservatives? or the Liberal Republicans? It sounds like an oxymoron, but those people exists and yet they do not have a party to voice they're position. I've found most of these people will vote based on their moral position rather than political position. So a Democratic Conservative is actually a Republican and a Liberal Republican is a Democrat.

Voter movement between these two parties is generally infrequent. Because these ideologies are polar opposites it is unlikely that someone will fully moves from one party to another within a single election term. Hell it took 8 years for everyone to finally start hating the George W. Furthermore the moral politics make it even more difficult. Even if you don't like the current Republican government under Bush you're likely still Conservative and will thus vote Republican hoping that it is just The President himself that is the problem and not the political strategies currently in place.

What is so exciting about this election is there are two brand new voter fragments thrown into the mix. The Racists and the Sexists.

For some, simply the fact that Obama is black will be enough reason for them to vote for or against him regardless of his politics or moral stances. These are the Racists who see nothing but the color of a person's skin. Now to lessen the negativity around being a "black man" he is running with an old white guy, Joe Biden. Speaking of old white guys-- Not be outdone by biological and genetic non-factors in this election, John McCain has asked the female Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate on the Presidential ticket. Her estrogen and second place finish in the Miss Alaska Pageant will be the basis for the Sexists to vote either yah or nay to the Republican nominees on election day.


Now the fifth category of voters; those who don't necessarily vote based on Republican, Democrat, Conservative, or Liberal platforms. They are the famed Undecided voters and generally the ones who decide the election. How do they decide? Well that's really the million dollar question. Some of them will undoubtly fall into the Racist and Sexist catagories which have already been mentioned, but this is where it comes down to the candidates themselves; thus the need for a Presidential debate which completely ruins your Thursday night of television. For the Undecided voter they ironically put all the politics aside looking to find a connection with one of the candidates, the one candidate that they believe will do the best job as President of these United States-- they don't really care what party they're in.

I've been an undecided the past two elections 2000 and 2004. I have never voted in the Presidential Election. The reason I didn't vote in 2000 is because I was living abroad, didn't have a US address, didn't follow the Presidential campaigns, and simply didn't bother to register. Out of sight, out of mind, right?! In 2004 I've was yet again undecided. I didn't necessarily want 4 more years of Bush, but I absolutely hated everything about John Kerry. It was like trying to choose what foot to have cut off. So I decided neither and didn't vote. Yeah I could have voted for Nader, but why bother? Express my discontent? I'm doing that now in my blog. Why waste my time, energy, gas, and vote on Nader?

That's a bad attitude, I know-- but I think that there are a great many Undecided voters out there that feel the same way. No candidate or party truly reflects the way they wish to cast their votes. I took a Political Alignment quiz online during the Primaries this year-- it's a quiz that asks you a series of questions and then tells you what candidate best fits your politics and moral stances. Once it was all said and done it matched me with my "best candidate" a 22 percent match. That's it-- 22 percent! That means I disagree with more than 3/4 of what they are saying. No wonder I'm undecided-- there is no candidate for me. Regardless I will be voting this year. Maybe I'll blog and upload pictures about "My First Presidential Vote".
Now, many of you may be saying "Damn Canadian, if you don't like it go back to where's you came from!" To that I say, Canada's political system is not much better and while they have significantly more parties to choose from in an election (ones I do align with better) once one of these parties is elected only about 20 percentage of the population is happy with that result. At least in the U.S. after the election approximately 50 percent of the population believes they got what they wanted. I don't know what the ideal is, but there are some obvious flaws in this American democratic process. I don't know that they are taking suggestions right now to refined or change the way things are done-- but I'd be at least curious to know if anyone else feels as I do.

P.S-- Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canucks and good luck with your election!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Playing with Lego

I was cleaning out my garage on Saturday and found Lego man (my costume from last year). I say "found", though it's not like he was lost or missing-- he takes up a good portion of the garage. He was apparently very angry to have been locked up in the garage and since our last encounter has developed an insashable earge for blood. He has now taken up an aggressive position on the front porch feeding on stray neighborhood cats, and giving the stink eye to the casual passer-by.

I figure that we can just leave he out there-- dress him up like a Pilgrim for Thanksgiving, Santa Claus for Christmas, and Martin Luther King for Civil Rights Day. I really believe he can be a good year round deterrent against:

  1. Salesmen & Door-to door political campaigning.
  2. Neighborhood pets and children.
  3. Bandits, Robbers, Rapists, Murders, Squaters, Pirates, & other various teenage Riff Raff.
  4. Boy/Girl Scouts, Jehovah Witnesses, & The Mormons.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shield Your Eyes!

Many people might not know this about me, but I am a "Trend Setter". I'm not exactly sure when this influential power was granted to me, but needless to say, I have it! Pin pointing the source of a particular trend is no easy task-- some claim it is nearly impossible. Now I'm not saying I am the source of every fad, that would be ludicrous-- I can honestly say I had nothing to do with Leg Warmers or Bomber Jackets. What I am saying however is that I've been at (or close to) the epicenter of a number of trends in the last 15 years or so.

In the early 1990's I began to swap in and out the laces on my Converse High tops to different colors-- depending on my mood or to match other wardrobe. Not long thereafter Doc Marten's became the shoe of choice in which to swap in and out your laces-- mood, other attire, or gang affiliation. I was and couldn't afford Doc Marten's but have always felt that I somehow started that trend. Now some will claim that it was the NBC's American sitcom character Punky Brewster that started the trend in 1984. While I don't deny that she likely played a part in the process-- if I'm not mistaken her shoelaces were different colors only because she was two different color shoes.

Since 1997 I've been wearing dress shirts with rolled sleeves. To that point the only sleeves being rolled were the lumberjack or cowboy's flannel shirts. At the time, you just didn't see it. It was like combining fire and ice-- mixing the rugged man's rolls with the formal white collar, it was in itself a contradiction of style and status but I was not fazed. See I've was the medical community refers to as "scrawny arms syndrome" and by rolling my sleeves I can deceive the eye-- like vertical stripes or wearing black. Regardless the trend has now taken off and is seen here being sported by almost the sexiest man alive.

In 2001 I found an old pair of Aviators (they're a style of sunglasses) in a storage unit, the kind not seen since Tom Cruise's Maverick in Top Gun more than a decade gone by. I began wearing them everyday and had them for nearly two years before they finally broke into a million pieces. I searched any and all stores trying to find an appropriate replacement-- to no avail. I finally settled on a non-Aviator pair; however no more than four months later the Aviator craze was on and turns out Mr. Brad Pitt was invited to the optical party.

Early in 2004 I was in an outlet mall in Vegas and found a belt-- no ordinary belt mind you. It had the most amazing belt buckle accompanying it. A simple steel oval with a rope-patterned border and a large cowboy hat protruding from the center. It was $7. How some Rodeo Superstar had not snatched this up, I will never know. Again I began wearing it everyday and soon thereafter the novelty of hip belt buckles moved from the ranches to mainstream. Coincidence?! I think not.

The reason I'm bringing all this up is because I'm at it again-- this time with goggles. See I've got sensitive eyes-- great for the ladies, not so nice when I'm out in the glaring sun, so I wear sunglasses pretty much all year round. The problem is when I'm indoors or don't need them on I've got nowhere to put them. Top of the head-- you lean back, they fall off, and get scratched. Hook em on your shirt or put 'em in your front pocket-- you lean over to pick something up, they fall out, and get scratched. Put them in a pant pocket-- you forget about them, sit down, and they get crushed. So you put them down somewhere "safe" and you forget about and they're lost forever. Big dilemma! I was replacing my sunglasses every couple months. So now I've finally decided to start wearing goggles instead. They're not swimming goggles-- I'm not sure what they were made for, although I found them in the paintball section it would seem you'd need a full mask to adequately protect your face. Regardless-- they completely eliminate the inconvenience of sunglasses.

(left) You can clearly see how these tinted goggle shield your eyes out enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
(right) When you just need your hair out of your eyes the goggles double as a stylist headband.(right) Sunglasses falling off your face or out of your shirt pocket is a thing of the past with the goggle strap securing them in place.
(left) And for those time when you decide you don't want to wear eye protection-- the goggles drape conveniently around your neck.

I'm not necessarily trying to sell you on the idea of goggles over sunglasses. Frankly I don't really care either way. I'm just informing you that I am, as stated, a trend setter. Now not all of my adventurous fashion endevours have been successful. I am still human. Need proof? Some of my failed styles include:
  • The casual, steppin' out on the town Bowling Shoe-- minimal traction, great for those difficult to perform Michael Jackson dance moves.
  • Ratty, chaffing, wool coats the kind you'd see a homeless man curled up in sitting on the freezing cold steps of an inner-city YMCA.
  • Overt, conversation-starting fake scars. Yes it's deciteful, but it's a great way to spice up your excitability especially if you're not really all that interesting.
Now I'm not going to guaranteeing that goggles will become part of mainstream fashion, but if they do, now you'll know where it came from.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Anticipation is Killing Me

I've been told I'm a "movie snob"-- and that's absolutely not true. I just like good movies! I can enjoy any type of movie as long as it is done well and entertaining. The problem is there is so much crap out there. I often think (and sometimes I say it out loud) "who the hell would put money up for this film?". It kind of makes me hate rich people. But rich people are rich for a reason, right?!

In my mind there are only four reasons why someone would see a film like Beverly Hills Chihuahua:

1) You are a professional critic and you are forced to watch this film.
My heart goes out to you. Hang in there!

2) You or someone you know is in the film or worked on the film and you kind of feel like you have to watch it.
You don't have to! You can, but don't enjoy it out of obligation.

3) You absolutely love dogs, especially Chihuahuas-- and just to see them is all the enjoyment you need to be happy!
I just can not relate to you.

4) You think "it is just a silly movie" and you can just sit there and be entertained without having to think.
What?! That's ludicrous! You and people like you are the reason there are so many bad movies.

I have actually heard people say on numerous occasions, "I just want to be entertained, but I don't want to have to use my brain"-- wish granted, Norbit is now out on Blu-Ray. The real problem with this statement is that it is in itself a contradiction. Entertainment is defined as something that engages interest in an agreeable or desirable manner-- 'interest' means you are using your brain. But this idea of being entertained without thinking is simply a ploy used to get people to see un-entertaining movies.

Humans are very much like water, we go with the flow-- following the path of least resistance. The idea of "entertainment" with "no effort" is inherently appealing and so we are manipulated by it-- like a "weight loss" without diet & exercise. It sounds wonderful "something for nothing" and so you buy that movie ticket, or DVD, and support this imaginary concept allowing the 'rich' to make money off your naivete. And the worst part about it is, you want to believe you're being entertained so you convince yourself you enjoy their crappy movies.

So why would someone with money invest in a a film like Martin Lawrence's College Road Trip? The answer: To keep you poor! See they're getting rich off the people who want to believe it is possible to be entertained without having to use their intellect. By making these awful, mundane, and pointless movies they can ensure that no one will ever truly be inspired, enlightened, or moved to action by their films. That their audiences will look for opportunities to "not think", and therefore never do or create anything, thus ensuring they never become rich.

That was more of a rant than I really wanted it to be. Regardless the originally intent of this post was to mention that I'm actually excited about some upcoming movies that will be in theaters in the next couple weeks.


Quirky and intriguing characters showcased by some great actors.
The Cohen brother's rarely miss.


I felt for a long time that a DeNiro/Pacino pairing in a crime drama was overdue, so I'm excited to see what the final product looks like.


I'm still a little wary of this one. I'm afraid it maybe just be attempt at Juno 2. It's an unfair judgement based solely on Michael Cera's presence in the film. We'll see!!


Not expecting too much here but an interesting enough premise.

If you've seen any of these by all means post a review.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Let's Talk about Me

Since I last posted about myself...

... my wife had a lipthotripsy procedure done for Kidney Stones.
... I went down to Lake Powell for a few days with some buddies.
... I began my 13th season as a Fantasy Football manager.
... we finished and furnished our basement.
... I was admittedly ill for the first time in a few years.

And while each of these events is certainly worthy of it's very own post I will only provide the "highlights"-- I should also mention that due to these events (and Labor Day) I have not worked a 5 day work week in nearly 6 weeks-- And let me tell you it is wonderful! I don't know that I'll ever go back! I thought I might "fall behind" in my work, but I haven't-- I'm still just as behind as I've always been.

My wife had a lipthotripsy procedure done for Kidney Stones
This is nearly an annual event-- the Kidney Stone, not necessarily the lipthotripsy. For those of you morons who don't know what lipthotripsy is, it's simply a non-invasive process for breaking up a kidney stone inside the patients body using highly focused impulse shock waves. I've been told the pain is the equivalent of being punched in the kidney about 40 times; of course that is coming from someone who can't take a punch. The best part is that once you're already in pain you get to pass the small fragmented stones. Sounds exciting? It's not-- not really.

I went down to Lake Powell for a few days with some buddies
This was supposed to be a camping trip and it was sort of except for the first night that we ended up staying in a hotel. Yeah I know that's soft, but for the record I was completely against it from the start-- I also slept on the lumpiest part of the floor and didn't take a shower in the morning. We rented a pair of Jet Skis and borrowed my uncle's folding boat. Yes a folding boat! Anyway here are some pictures!

There's the floating boat in all her glory-- carrying every ounce of our camping gear.
Me and my Elton John glasses on a jetski towing our boat to camp.

Camp ended up begin this red rock cave. We couldn't have ask for a better campsite a nice sand to sleep on and a place to park the boat and jetskis. Sat around the fire singing some Bob Marley-- the acoustics were wonderful.

Both Stephen and I caught fish-- by all means draw whatever phallic analogies you want from this photo.
And yes-- I cooked and ate it, Bear Grylls-style. Delish!

I began my 13th season as a Fantasy Football manager
Fantasy Football is really just Dungeons and Dragons for jocks! I'm not really a jock, I've got good coordination, but neither the frame nor mentality to officially be referred to as a "jock". It's comparable to a John Kerry snowboarding--

--not nearly as disastrous as it originally sounded. Anyway I've always watched professional football late 80's early 90's-- I liked the New York Jets and Joe Montana. Being from Toronto I didn't have a "home team" to cheer for and follow, so I just followed the entire league. Eventually a group of older peers started this thing called fantasy football and invited me and a friend of mine to play-- we were 15. The internet was not a prevelant commodity at the time and everything was done in person: drafting, trading, line-up changes, the whole bit. Then you'd buy a Monday morning paper for 25 cents and check your scores against your opponent. Then the internet consumed the world and Fantasy Football took off. Now everyone plays and it's fine-- maybe a little nerdy-- but I was nerdy before everyone else-- and that somehow makes me less nerdy.

We finished and furnished our basement
This was originally just going to be a play room for kids-- and it is still, kind of-- we just expanded of our original vision to include big kids, like myself. My wife posted some picture of her blog. Check it out! It is a "pretty sweet set up".

I was admittedly ill for the first time in a few years
I don't get sick! So for me to actually be ill is quite unusual. I get the occasional headache, but nothing a large Coca-Cola Classic can not fix. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't get sick-- I haven't. I'm convinced that's why I had perfect attendance in 4th grade. Mind over matter. I also refuse to take perscription drugs, pain killers, etc. See I'm stockpiling natural anti-bodies, so that eventually I will become invincible to sicknesses like the flu, common cold, etc. There is no need to post a comment that I'm crazy-- I've been told. But after the global nuclear hallocaust we'll see who's laughing-- me and the cochroaches that's who!

(imagine that's "post-apocalyptic" me walking out of earth's barren wastelands)