Friday, March 31, 2006

Afraid of Getting LOST...

We've never watched LOST.

I remember when it was starting, and we all said, "That looks cool!" But we didn't catch it at the time, and ended up just letting it go.


My cousin Steve (he who has disposable income to buy all the comics and dvd's that *I* want... but luckily is not stingy with them) recently loaned us the LOST first season dvd set.

There's only one problem:

I'm afraid to start watching it.

This is exactly what happened with 24. A friend loaned us the first season dvd set for that too. And I shudder to think of what life would be like now if that had never happened.

I *know* we'll get hooked on LOST. Am I ready for *another* serious tv show dependency?

Must.... resist.....

Can't..... hold..... out..... much.... longerrrrrrrrr...............

(Yeah, ok, so it's a LOST cause. ha ha.)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

We Can Rebuild Him; We Have the Technology...

OK, with all the crazy tv shows they throw on dvd these days...


Whew. All finished my little mini geek rant.

But it *was* an exceptionally cool show, and made a big impact on me. Steve Austin was my only hero who didn't wear a cape or underwear on the outside of his clothes.

In fact, I still do all my heavy lifting in slow motion, while I make the "doot-doot-doot-doot" sound effect. My poor kids don't even know what I'm doing. They just think I'm weird.

My favourite episodes were the ones with "Bigfoot" in them. Andre the Giant dressed in a full body fur suit. I never knew who Andre the Giant was, back then, but I couldn't imagine what he really looked like. Eventually, "The Princess Bride" satisfied that curiosity.

And we can't forget the Bionic Woman. I can't tell you how upset I was when she got her own show. I wasn't upset THAT she got her own show... I was just upset that they gave her a sort of amnesia, so she wasn't in love with Steve Austin any more. Poor Steve. The love of his life came back to life, and then just went off and had her own adventures without him. (But of course, I watched all those as well...)

Yes, I was very dedicated. Near the end of the show, he grew a moustache. It was kind of barfy. However, to keep up with the times, my friend from across the street and I took his Six Million Dollar Man doll and painted a moustache on it too. After he shaved the moustache on the show, we scraped it off the doll.

I was going to type more on this topic. But I can't hold it. She's breaking up, she's breaking up.....

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Introducing... a New Body Part!

So last night I was getting my four-year-old out of the tub.

Now, he's pretty clear that he wants to be completely dried off before he puts his jammies on (which I suppose I can't argue with... I agree it's no fun when they 'stick' to you if you're still wet). So, he was telling me what parts weren't dry enough, and I was helping him dry off.

"Armpits", he says.

No problem.

"Leg arm pits," he says.

Leg arm pits? I wonder. I know what he's talking about though.

So I say to him, "Um... you can't really call them leg arm pits, little buddy, because your arms don't have anything to do with it. "

I suggest he could go with "leg pits" if he really wanted, or just call it the area between his legs.

"Daaaaaaaaad." Clearly he doesn't agree.

To prove his point, he lifts his arm. And points to the arm pit.

Then lifts his leg. And points to the leg arm pit.

The look he gives me indicates that the case is closed.

So there you go. Never argue logic with a four-year-old.

And always dry your leg arm pits before you put on your pajamas.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Is It a Cruel Joke of Nature?

... or is Spring really coming?

I let the kids stop wearing snow pants last week. The begging and pleading finally wore me down.

The sky actually seems BLUE again, and the sun seems to be brightening things up.

However, we *do* live in CANADA.

So we've been fooled before. We've had snowstorms this time of year. In fact, from what I hear on the radio, Newfoundland is getting blasted by a major storm right now.

To illustrate my quandary, please observe the garden in front of our house:

You can see snow shovels waiting diligently, while cute little flowers pop up through the hay (or whatever that stuff is my wife's mother puts down...).

Do we put away the shovels?

I'm afraid to. Kind of like tiptoeing past a sleeping pit bull with pork chops hanging out of the waistband of your pants. Know what I mean? It's not wise to tempt fate. We were dumped on enough this winter.

All I have to do is keep thinking of how things will be soon:

... but I think I'll leave the shovels out a *bit* longer.

Just in case.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Monday, So Good To Me

Let's start the week with one of the *many* lessons I learned from Charles Schulz as a child: Be careful about making assumptions!

Happy Monday everyone!

(Or perhaps, "To all '24' fans: YAY, IT'S MONDAY! ANOTHER NEW EPISODE AFTER SEVEN LONG DAYS!!!... and to all the rest of you, try to have a good day anyway.")

Friday, March 24, 2006

Even Heroes Gotta Eat: Jack Bauer in Japan

So, regular readers know that we're "24" fanatics here.

However, over four and a half seasons of "24" so far, each of which covers an *entire* day, I bet I could only count on one hand the number of times I saw Jack Bauer eat. (Never mind going to the bathroom!)

It turns out, though, he *does* eat... at least when he's in Japan. He eats... something called Calorie Mate.

And he makes commercials for them. All with "24" sound, effects, and excitement.

In fact, when I went to find the commercial I *knew* about, I found that there are now two others. And they're all kind of amusing! Check them out:

The first:

The second:

And the third (my personal favourite):

And not only that, there's even a website (but, of course, it's in Japanese): Man! These people are *serious*!!

Luckily, I'm one of those people who isn't affected by marketing.

...but I wonder how I can get my hands on some of this Calorie Mate stuff? If it's good enough for Jack Bauer, it's good enough for me! (wink)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm Having a Big Mac Attack

OK, not a *literal* Big Mac attack... I don't each much McDonald's food, and I've never even *had* a Big Mac before. That's not to say I don't know the jingle, though. I have never met anybody who grew up in the 70's who can't recite the whole "two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun" thing. Marketing at its finest.

But I digress.

You might say I'm having a big iMac attack.

All my experience with modern computers has been Windows based. I remember fighting with Windows 3.1 for Workgroups, before upgrading to Windows 95, then Windows 98, then Windows 2000 and(shudder) Windows Millennium, before Windows XP. I'm even mildly interested in Windows Vista, whenever it might ever come out.

However, a friend showed me her teenage son's new computer a while back.

It was an iMac.

It was just so... cool. And elegant. And... I didn't immediately understand everything about it. And I *liked* that.

Then today, while I was fixing a friend's computer, I was configuring his iPod. Which was also pretty cool. Didn't feel like a gadget. Felt like a... well, I don't know, but as I said, it was also very cool.

That's not to say that there's any computer money in the budget anywhere on the horizon. Cause I'm pretty sure there isn't. But that gives me lots of time to ponder.

And I'm *definitely* consider switching sides.

Sorry Bill.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Amazing Sea Monkey

OK, first off, as a capper to yesterday's post: V for Vendetta was Vital, Visceral, ViVacious, Violent, and Very thought proVoking. I loVed it. And of course, IMAX just made it eVen better.


But today was pretty cool too.

Today was proof for me that if you give a child enough exposure to something without hitting them over the head with it, they'll eventually get where they need to be on their own.

Wait, that didn't make sense? Ok, I admit it didn't. Well, here's what I mean.

Ever since I've been a stay-at-home parent, I've been bringing my youngest son to the pool on Wednesday mornings. It's a nice warm kid-size pool and we've had a lot of fun. So for three years, we've played. He progressed from clinging to me like a slime mold, to being totally free and easy and having lots of fun. He eventually liked leaping into the pool into my arms. Never really liked getting dunked in the water. So I never pushed it, since the whole point was just for him to enjoy himself.

TODAY, when his mother and I both were there with him, he decided that he's the Man from Atlantis (remember that old tv show?). Or Aquaman even.

He started dunking himself with his nose plugged, and then without plugging his nose. He started leaping into the water, alone, and then swimming with both his arms and legs. Then I told him how we could try opening our eyes underwater so we could see each other. Then he started doing that. Waving to me while we were both underwater.

All my wife and I could do was just look at each other. Where did this kid come from? After an hour and a half of this, non-stop, we dragged him out of the pool.

All I can figure is that there's some long-buried aquatic gene in our family history that has finally decided to appear. I better check to see if he's developing gills or webbed fingers or something like that.

If you don't have kids, you might have found this post a little boring. Sorry. However, it's pretty impressive to me that, after five kids, they can still manage to surprise me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006



My friend Russ and I are heading to the moVies tonight. We do that for each other's birthday eVery year. (Yes, getting out with your friend only twice a year is pretty sad, but eVen so, at least we're consistent... we'Ve been doing this for years!)

And we're seeing "V for Vendetta", which I'm Very much looking forward to. I read the comic series years ago, so the story and its Various twists won't be too much of a surprise, but neVertheless I'm interested to see it translated to film.

EVen more, it's in IMAX!!! Where bigger is definitely better. And louder is just an extra bonus. I loVe IMAX.

Oh, and if you would like to View the trailer, I 'snagged' it from iFilm:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Must Stop Bleeding...... RED INK

Don't you hate finding out that you bought something that you could have bought much cheaper somewhere else?

Well, I have a similar story, but not exactly. In this case, I knew that there was a better deal out there, and meant to find out, and for the longest time, I didn't.

Specifically, what I'm talking about is... printer ink.

I heard somewhere that you could purchase ink cartridges online, and I also heard that they were less expensive than buying them locally. And I *always* meant to look into it... and then I'd run out of ink, and just run down to my local Staples and buy more "just this last time."

Well, the difference was that I had a new printer, which gave me an early warning that I was running out of ink. So THIS time, I had some time. Online I went, and Googled "printer ink canada"... and voila. I found a place that let me order ink, and ship it for $5.99 no matter how much I bought.

So... my new printer has separate cartridges for each colour - black, magenta, cyan, and yellow. So I ordered two of each cartridge. I placed the order online on a Saturday morning, and they were in my mailbox by Wednesday (and the ink didn't even need to be replaced for another two weeks).

But here's the painful part. I went online to the website of the Staples where I normally bought my ink, and did a little price comparison. They sell the original Canon cartridges, as well as their own brand of compatible cartridges. I calculated how much it would cost me to buy two of each colour cartridge, either Canon or generic cartridges.

To buy all Canon cartridges at my local Staples, tax included, would have run me $169.00.

To buy the compatible cartridges at Staples, would have cost me $145.00.

Do you know how much it cost me, including taxes and shipping, from the place I got them online?

Thirty-nine bucks!!!!! Can you believe that?

Which makes me very happy. Kind of. But it also kind of makes me cry.

I just CAN'T HELP thinking about ALL THE TIMES I spent OUTRAGEOUS amounts of money because I couldn't be bothered taking the time to do it online.

But at least I've done it. I've broken the cycle. Now I'm ahead of the game.

But man, I sure wish I had some of that money back.

BTW, the place here in Canada I ordered them is

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Hulk and I Have Unfinished Business

Does anybody remember this from 1982?

The Commodore 64. I still remember when we got it. The guy in the store actually said something like "It has SIXTY-FOUR K of memory! You'll *never* need any more than that!". Yeah. And "I love you" and "the cheque is in the mail" and "I promise I won't...", well, you get the point.

I did do some useful stuff, like learning to make little programs in BASIC language, but, of course, probably the biggest thing was being able to play video games.

I played lots of cool games. "Frantic Freddie" was a total Pac-Man ripoff, but it used ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" (..... Bruce!) as background music, which added to the coolness.

Most of them were arcade-type games. However, one game I had, was an Adventure Game, which was kind of a role-playing game, in the very basic sense. It was in the "QuestProbe" series, and featured the Incredible Hulk.

The game would tell you where you were and what you could see. All you could do is give it two-word commands. Like "go west" or "throw ball" or stuff like that. It was basic, but still pretty cool. Well, up until I got totally stuck. In fact, the picture on the box shows you one of the places I always got stuck. Try and grab the gem, and the egg explodes, destroying the gem (and killing you if you weren't big and green at the time).

Eventually, I went away to university, life went on, and the C-64 got boxed away forever. Never did figure out how to beat that game.

But now I have a chance for closure.

It turns out now, that as always, the internet has rewarded me beyond my wildest dreams. The guy that made this game and lots of others makes them available on his website!

However, THIS time, he also makes available all the hints and solutions that you previously had to buy a book to get! (Which, of course, I never did back in 1982)

Victory will be mine. I can FEEL it.

So I better go practice my two-word syntax.

Go now.

Log off.

Hulk smash.

Bye bye.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Un-common Sense? Common Non-sense?

OK, I'm a little worried.

Are there different levels of common sense?

Is there a certain age (for instance, SIXTEEN) where you might, for instance, have common sense on *one* level, but possibly not yet on another?

Heres a 'for instance.' On one hand, I might be willing to relinquish my car keys to a particular person who may recently have earned a driver's license, assuming that they have the common sense to keep themself alive, as well as anybody else in the vicinity of that huge collection of speeding metal pieces which they are commandeering.

However, as I walk through the kitchen, and find myself suddenly stuck to the floor like a bug in a roach motel, because THE SAME PERSON WHO I MIGHT TRUST TO DRIVE A CAR SPILLS POP ON THE FLOOR AND SIMPLY WIPES IT UP WITH A DRY CLOTH RATHER THAN USING ANY WATER OR SOAP... well, let's just say that it gives me pause for concern.

Is there any way that I can reconcile these two scenarios?

Because it's making my head hurt.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lets Do the Time Warp Again

There are a few things very nice about being back at my parents' house for a few days:

1) I can actually lie on the couch in the afternoon and fall asleep. The kids don't bother me when they have grandparents! This is the only place in the *world* where this happens.

2) I can show my kids things like games that I owned when I was a kid. My parents kept an awful lot of this stuff! When I was a kid I played games with names like "Rattle Battle" and "Chicken Lotto"... and they're still here. Now my kids play them! It's pretty freaky.

3) My mother still treats me like her kid. Makes me eat breakfast. It makes me laugh.

Yawn. Time to hit the couch and watch the tube. The internet is too interactive for me.


Monday, March 13, 2006


That's the sound a kid made at the slush hill today.

Let me backtrack:

1) All five kids and I are off staying with my parents for March Break... while Mom stays home and earns the money. Yay Mom!!

2) Went to the slush hill today. (Formerly known as the ski hill). Two hours to get everyone ready, half hour drive, minimal amount of skiing and snowboarding, half hour drive home, everyone tired and wet. Sometimes I wonder why we bother. I hope the kids appreciate it. (Actually, we left the teenagers there to continue snowboarding. So they got a bit more benefit.)

3) One plus was that our eight-year-old boy was *finally* able to snowboard. He has always skiied, but we've never been able to rent snowboard gear small enough. But we did today. Oh, and he's a natural.

OK, back to my story.

The bottom of the hill, where people line up for the chair lift, was a total slush pit. The weather's just been too nice lately.

I was waiting at the bottom of the hill for the teenagers, to discuss our withdrawal plans for the smaller kids. I watched as the skiiers and snowboarders arrived at the bottom and swung around to get back in the queue for the chair lift.

One snowboarder, maybe fifteen years old or so, tried to do a little hotdoggy hop at the end of his arrival. He misjudged and fell backwards.

Full body into the slush. Spa-lash.

It was like flopping backward into a swimming pool. He displaced a *lot* of water.

It was funny as hell, but I did feel a *tiny* bit sorry for him.

Well, not *that* bad. I'm sure he's home, warm and dry, by now.

And if he has a blog, he has an amusing anecdote for it.

And even if he doesn't, he generated one for me!

(Must finish this soon. Teenage daughter waiting patiently for computer time. Can you *imagine*, a house with only *one* computer with internet? Poor child. The way she suffers.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Quickest Way to Clear a Room

Some movies just don't bridge the generation gap very well.

Remember how I talked about Wedding Crashers, which on its own merits is a very funny movie, yet how my wife and kids didn't really enjoy it too much in each other's company?

Well, another movie like that is The 40-year-old Virgin.

Watched it last night on dvd, in fits and starts. Started watching it with my wife and two teenagers. Quickly decided that the 13-year-old can finish watching it later in life. The 16-year-old went out and came back, but saw most of it with us.

And it was funny.

But I would like to watch it again in adult (ie. not my children) company. There are just some jokes that are funny because you can relate to them. HOWEVER, even the *concept* of parents being able to relate to jokes of a sexual nature, can cause extreme distress in teenage children. Since, after all, they were, despite their fervent hopes, *not* a product of immaculate conception.

Anyway, some movies are *completely* unwatchable in parental company, as I found with my own parents.

Back when my wife and I were dating, around 1984, we watched a video with my parents.

Very briefly.

It was called Eddie Murphy - Delirious. Anybody remember that? Stand-up comedy performance? Back when Eddie Murphy was *really* filthy and *really* funny? Before he went all Daddy Daycare?

Well, we sat down to watch this. One of his very first jokes was his shtick about Mr. T being a gay man, and bending over and simulating... ok, well if you saw it you remember.

My mother jumped up like she was shocked by lightning. She said something like, "Good heavens, I can't watch this!" and immediately left the room.

My father, about ten seconds later, after careful consideration, said, "Well, I guess I better go up with your mother", and was gone as well.

*Never* have I ever seen a room clear so fast. It was like magic.

Maybe I'll pick it up sometime, and see if it works on my kids too!!

(If you want to reminisce, or never saw it, here are some memorable quotes from Delirious on the Internet Movie Database)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Do Not Pass GO, Do Not Collect $200

One of the side effects of having numerous kids sick for a week and a half, was that we were all here together at home for long periods of time.

I started to get a little shack whacky, I must admit. As did the children.

To dispel some of the boredom, I agreed to something the two eight-year-olds requested:

To play Monopoly.

God forgive me.

OK, well, it wasn't as bad as that. The eight-year-olds, as it turns out, had never actually played Monopoly before. They had played Monopoly Junior ad infinitum however, which is a pretty good version of Monopoly scaled down for younger kids. But they felt that they were beyond that, and were ready for the real thing. (We also own Star Wars Monopoly, my personal favourite, but the traditionalist in me wanted them to learn the game with all the 'real' places and pieces before branching out.)

The first thing we needed to do was recruit the 13-year-old. The Monopoly shark in the family. Which we did. It took a day or so, but we all managed to sit down for a game. I didn't actually sit. I puttered in the kitchen, and played in tandem with the 4-year-old (for the twenty minutes that it held his attention at least... After that I was on my own).

I must say, that playing Monopoly is a pretty nostalgic experience. Meaning, I forgot how much kids argue when playing.

Let me summarize the game:

1) Eight-year-old boy gets Boardwalk.

2) Thirteen-year-old boy gets Park Place.

3) Thirteen-year-old spends the entire game trying to wheedle Boardwalk from his brother, for nothing resembling fair market value.

4) I continuously counsel eight-year-old boy not to take any deal his brother offers him.

5) Other stuff happens.

And of course:

6) Game never ends.

That's about it. Whee! Wasn't that fun?

Well, yes, it *was* a little fun.

And we should *definitely* do it again.

The very next time our whole family gets sick.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

IT'S ALIVE!!!! Um... I mean, THEY'RE Alive!!!!

Some folks in the UK have created a clip that replicates the opening of "The Simpsons" using real people. It's so good, even FOX and Matt Groening have approved it as a promotion for the TV show.

The attention to detail is amazing. Take a look at this. I'm linking it from a site called

Isn't that cool?

(Well, don't forget, I *am* easily amused...)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Baby You Can Drive My Car

So today child number one is taking her driver's test.

She's come along pretty well, since back when I started having her practice driving in deserted school parking lots. The wailing and screaming and crying were hard to take. But as she practiced more, I stopped doing all those things. Ba-dum-bum! (Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week.)

Anyway, like I was saying, she's actually a pretty good driver. I do find that she loses her concentration a bit when I make those loud "screeching grinding metal" sounds.

And she's taken an extensive driver training course from a good company, so she wouldn't develop all my bad habits. (OK, well, I don't actually *have* any bad driving habits. But there are those who offer a modicum of disagreement in that regard. Such as She Who Must Not Be Named. So we sent her on the driving course just for sake of argument)

You know what my problem is? I have a hard time reconciling the image of my first child driving away in an actual automobile, with this one:

See what I mean? It's just another one of the things that they didn't mention in the parents manual. Oh, wait, there isn't one of those either.

So let's see how things go.

But let me make myself plain. No matter HOW things go, they are going to go SLOOOOWLY and CAREFULLY. For a very LONG time.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I'm a Poster Child

I've been called many things in my life.

Some have been flattering... and let's just say that some have not.

However, I was called something new today.

And I wouldn't call it exactly flattering either.


For the first time...

I was called...

"The Poster Child for Skin Cancer."

Isn't that nice?

Well, it's not as bad as it sounds. Today I saw a dermatologist in order to check out a spot on my nose, because I was sent there by my family doctor who I was sent to by my wife, who wanted someone to look at the spot on my nose. Crystal clear?

Anyway, during my conversation with this dermatologist, he referred to me as the poster child for skin cancer, because of my fair complexion, my red hair, my blue eyes, and the fact that I grew up in a time before sunscreen was used as readily as it is now.

But the fact is, the spot on my nose is something that he's confident is nothing to worry about, but he zapped it with liquid nitrogen anyway, just on the off chance that he might be wrong. That's the kind of thing I like to hear.

So now I can be the poster child for something else instead. Disarmining masculinity? Style over substance? Arrested development?

OK well I don't know.

But on another topic, for those of us who care...



Sunday, March 05, 2006

By The Numbers

Just last night I remembered a little coincidence that surprised me back in 1976, when I was ten.

My grandmother had been out doing some shopping, and when she came home, I was pleased to find that she brought me a few comic books.

Three of them, in fact.

Here they are:

(This one followed a regrettable trend in comics back then: Often, a black character would have "Black" as part of his or her name. You know, in case we hadn't noticed.)

Anyway, I was quite impressed with my grandmother, as she picked out three pretty good comics.

It was only later that I realized the coincidence.

She bought me three comics.

And each of them, if you look closely you can see, was issue number three.

Kind of freaky.

Well, at least for a ten-year-old it was.


And since we're on the topic of weird little coincidences, here's another one from a few years ago:

When I was back working in Tech Support for an IT company, we were in charge of doing all the setup work for new employees. As we were approaching the year 2000, we were in a big hiring phase (remember all that "year 2000" computer panic?). Four or five new employees each week.

One week we had a couple of guys that gave me a brief pause.

One was named Andrew Peterson.

The other was named...

Peter Anderson.

Both of them, starting with the same company on the same day. If they were siamese twins separated at birth or something, well *that* would have been a little over the top.

But it was still a little freaky anyway.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Remember, There Is No Spoon. However, There Is a Nice Origami Swan...

I don't know when I actually got this file. But I rediscovered it on my hard drive recently.

And it's mildly amusing, so it meets the stringent criteria for inclusion on my blog.

(I actually tried to post this several weeks ago; however, I couldn't get the image to be animated. Blogger kept converting it to a static image. I finally figured it out though. And here you are reaping the benefits!)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Sick-th Sense

Wednesday and Thursday, I had *one* sick kid.

By last night, that number zoomed up to *four*.

Today, the number is either three or four or two, depending on the time of day and who you ask.

But boy, let me tell you that an awful lot of normal life grinds down to a total halt when the family is plunged into the pit of illness. And suddenly the DVD player is the most important item in the house. (Hey, wait, it was *before* too...)

And I think my wife's starting to get it as well. But she's too stubborn to stay home sick. (Don't even *start* with the logic of a nurse going into work, even though she's fighting a cold or flu... nurses can be very stubborn)

No sickness for me yet. Thank the gods of alcohol hand wash for that. We have bottles scattered all over the house. And nobody has sneezed directly in my face yet. Or puked on me. Yet.

But time will tell.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Back in Black

No, sorry, this isn't an AC/DC post.

Did you see the teaser picture that's been released for the next Spider-man movie? Here it is:

Apparently, it's not a black and white photograph. It's actually a black Spider-man outfit. Which is kind of cool if you know your comic book history. Which I do. Because back in 1984, Spider-man wore a black outfit for a while. Although it looked a little different from the one in the photo above. Here's the comic (which, do I even need to mention, I *still* own):

I liked that costume. He stopped wearing it after a while though. For a good reason. Which I won't divulge because they might be using the same story in the new movie, and I wouldn't want to spoil it for any of you non-comic types. (But let's just say, I'm not the only person the costume started to *grow* on.... bwa ha haaaaaaaa)

Oh God I'm such a geek.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My Family's Freakish Fad


When I was a kid in the 70's, everyone wanted a pet rock.

As a teenager in the 80's, I was aware, at least at one point, that you couldn't spit without hitting a person trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. (I actually learned to do it... but I did it the easy way. I bought the solution book and memorized it)

After that, I remember people practically injuring themselves getting Cabbage Patch Kids. Ugly little things. But strangely appealing. I was a parent by this time. Yes we did get one.

Several years back, Tamagotchis became very popular. My sixteen-year-old had one back then. When it "died", it was a HUGE problem in our household. Tamagotchis have returned, and my two eight-year-olds have them, but they have improved. If they "die", you can start over again easily, and in fact you can even bring the old one back to life if you do it correctly. So we still have Tamagotchi tragedies, but they are not *quite* as tragic.

So, all this was just a run-up on the topic of fads. Because now, my family has its own fad. Just our family, as far as I can see. Nobody else seems to be getting into this. But we are. Big time.

My family's freakish fad is...

Hot Jello.

Yes, I can hear you now, saying, "Huh?"

"Hot Jello?"


Everybody but me, actually.

I'm pretty sure it originated with my wife and my daughter. The guiders and campers in the family. Apparently Jello powder is good to keep in a survival kit, because it's a quick way to get sugar and protein, but I've never been stranded in the woods in the wintertime, so I've yet to be able to actually give it a proper field test.

And it's certainly easy to prepare. Heat some water, then mix in a cup with some Jello powder until it tastes good.

So anyhow, they decided to start drinking it at home. And all the kids joined in, like rats following the Pied Piper out of Hamelin.

Now, I get strange looks walking through the grocery story with my arms full of these little multi-coloured boxes.

(For the record, the favourites among the adult and teens are cherry, watermelon, and lemon. The younger contingent prefers orange.)

Try it yourself.

So I won't feel like I'm the only outsider in the Bizarro family.