Sunday, April 30, 2006

Float Like a Butterfly, Faster Than a Speeding Bullet...

Here's another one of my very favourite comics from when I was a kid:

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.

Yes, I'll agree, it *does* sound a little weird at first. But trust me, it was a cool comic. (And they both did their part to defeat the invading armada of space aliens... again, you'll just have to trust me that it was cool.)

Here are a few bits of trivia:

1) If you look at the larger version of the cover above (which you can see is actually the front and back covers together), you might be able to recognize numerous faces from the 1970's, like Cher, Donny and Marie, Jimmy Carter, and many others.

2) By the time this comic was released, Ali wasn't even the world heavyweight champion, having lost his title to Leon Spinks (which he won back in a rematch, as you old folks might remember).

3) (Here's a little bit of trivia even *I* didn't know until I started searching the internet for cover scans to use in this post)

The artist, Neal Adams, was actually a replacement for another well-known comic artist named Joe Kubert. Apparently Kubert's art didn't meet with approval from Ali's people. Here is Kubert's original cover, the layout of which Adams kept when he redrew it:

I eventually stopped being a boxing fan (in large part due to seeing the toll which it extracted from Ali himself), but I never stopped loving this comic!

(I think I'm going to have to go out and find that old song about Muhammad Ali... remember? It went: "Muhammad... Muhammad Ali / He floats like a butterfly, and stings like a bee / Muhammad... the black Superman / He calls to the other guy, I'm Ali... catch me if you can")

Friday, April 28, 2006

Audio Killed the Blogio Star

Holy Crap. That was brutal.

Did you listen to that audio blog I did yesterday?

I haven't listened to it. I'm afraid it would make me want to take a sharp stick and poke out my eardrums.

First off, I don't know anybody who likes their own voice. But let me tell you, when in your own brain you think you're kind of smooth and suave like George Clooney, and then evidence to the contrary proves that you're a combination of Jim "Ernest Goes to Camp" Varney and Thumper from "Bambi"... well, let's just say it's a bit of a comedown.

Next thing, for a 30 second (or whatever) sound clip, it took me eleven minutes to do! I kept re-recording it, mostly due to the PAUSE, then the PROFANITY, and then the PROFANITY because I just used PROFANITY!

It went something like this:

"Hello internet!"

(Unscheduled pause).........."Sh*t!"

Then, once I realize I said "sh*t", I say, "f*ck!"

THEN, I'm paranoid that I'll hit the wrong button and accidently post this clip of me cursing!

Not only that, I got tongue-tied so many times it wasn't funny! You know, difficult words like "Hello." (which would lead to the profanity, and then the profane response to the initial profanity. It was a vicious cycle).

The weird thing is that I don't mind speaking in public at all. But *here*, where I can't look people in the eye and give them a wink, I turn into a blithering idiot.

However, on the PLUS side, I think I lost about two pounds.

In pure sweat.

So, my advice to potential audiobloggers:


No really, my advice is "write it down first." TRUST me on this one.

So there you go. I'll never audioblog again.

... but I wonder if I can use my webcam to make a videoblog?

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now? Can You Hear Me *Now*??

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Womb-mates and Funky Chickens

Well, my boy and girl twins are 9 today. They are charming, funny, smart, independent children and I would not trade them for the world.

However, as a message for parents and potential parents:

Having twins is, for the first couple of years, like having a bomb dropped into your life.

I thought going from one kid to two kids was tough. Well, going from two kids to four is, by comparison, really, really, really, really, really, really tough.

But you *do* master the one-armed baby scoop pretty quickly, since you need to do it with each arm. (And no jokes about one-armed babies! ;)

However, and I can say this from experience, if you go back to having kids one-at-a-time after that, it's a piece of cake. I remember saying to my wife, "Ok, now you hold him. Whoo-hoo." And then I'd do a little happy dance.


On totally another topic: I think I might need to add another album to my list of favourite albums... and this one's a little wonky:

Philadelphia Chickens.

No, really. It's an album of music for kids, by Sandra Boynton and a talented crew of musical collaborators, and it's really good.

I mean, I burned a copy to keep in the car for when driving with the kiddies... and now I find that I listen to it even when I'm by myself!

If you have small kids, get this album. It came out as a book and cd first, but you can get it just as a cd now too. Trust me. Just do it. Have I ever lead you astray before?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

When Mudman Screws Up An Already Screwed-up Day...

It's hard to write an amusing post about the significance of today.

But I'll try.

First, to clear the decks, here are the pertinent UNAMUSING details in point form:

1) Today is the 9th anniversary of the worst day of my life, when my then-five-year-old son fell out of one of our second storey windows.

2) My wife was on bedrest at the time, thirty-seven weeks pregnant with twins. (Interesting note - during the entire several hours of frantic activity and stress, she didn't even have a *twinge* -- adrenaline is an amazing thing)

3) My son must have been born under a lucky star. He never even lost consciousness, nor did he have any major injuries at the time (except for the fractured skull that we didn't find out about for a couple of weeks).

OK, here is the (sort of) funny part.

Now, bear in mind that we as parents had just been through a whirlwind of emotions, since one of our children had just been through a traumatic and potentially life-ending injury and came out the other side barely any worse for the wear.

We are back at home, and we snuggle him in our bed and let him watch a tv show. In fact, it was the animated Batman tv show, which he was quite fond of.

We watch the show, and it's a pretty typical Batman show. The bad guy was Clayface, who was a big mudheap shapeshifting kind of guy. In fact, in our house he was known as Mudman.

Yes, the episode was pretty typical, as I said... until the end.

Which is when Clayface PLUNGES OFF A CLIFF.

Let me describle the sound effects of that climactic scene:



And let me point out that while it didn't seem to faze my son at all, his mother and I were, I think it's safe to say, totally f***ed up. It was certainly an interesting end to an unusual day.

I also think it's fairly safe to say that this can be filed under the category of "worst possible combination of serious accident and post-accident television viewing".

So there you go. While it didn't seem funny at the time, we do have a kind of a morbid chuckle about it now.


1) Clayface survived. (Duh, he was made of mud)
2) My wife delivered healthy twins three days later. It was quite a week.
3) We have had bars on all the second floor windows since then.
4) Fluid buildup from a fractured skull makes a kid's head feel like it has a big hairy water balloon on it. Touching it was a sensation unlike any other, which I've never forgotten.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Magical Musical History Tour is Dying to Take You Away...

Welcome to my Magical Musical History Tour.

Well, not exactly. But here are the albums that stick out in my mind because I enjoyed them so much. I chose these albums in particular, because in each case I loved the *entire* album, rather than just a few songs.

Yes, the Monkees. What can I say... I was two years old. But this album is *burned* into my brain, and I haven't even heard it for years. "Here we come.... Walkin' down the street..."

Received this album from a friend of my mother's who went into a record store and asked what would be a good album for a boy my age. Which was about 11. Man, what a good choice that was.

This album makes me wish I was a big fat rock singer with long hair. "Well I remember every little thing, As if it happened only yesterday..."

I could include just about every Beatles album, but I limited it to these two.

Didn't think I liked Tom Petty, but the Travelling Wilburys opened the door for me to buy this album. Was amazed with how good it was and how much I liked it.

This is the only album that could be considered anything like recent. I can thank my teenage daughter for encouraging me to listen to it. Knocked my socks off. (It has a parental advisory... lucky my parents didn't hear me listening to it!!)

That's all, folks. Please feel free to share your favourites with me. Interesting way to get insight into people!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Synchronicity... and April 20th

You know how some days have special meaning? For anniversaries, birthdays, stuff like that?

Well, today is one of those days.

THREE times.

I mean to say, memorable things have occurred in my life three times on this date.

And if you squint your eyes a certain way, they're all related!

Let's take a little journey through time:

April 20th, 1982: I get my driver's license. Hey, that makes this the 25th anniversary of that big event! Oh, wait, it's only the twenty-fourth. Stupid math. Oh, well, the party will have to wait until next year.

April 20th, 1984: My first date with the sweet woman who will someday become my wife and bear me five children. We went to the movies and saw "Splash." Hey, maybe this has something to do with my interest in mermaids.

April 20th, 1992: With apologies to both my wife and my driver's license, this might have the edge to be considered the most significant of the events. My second child, my first son, was born this day. Today's the 14th anniversary of that big event. Happy birthday, buddy!

So, like I said...

If you squint your eyes the right way...

If I DIDN'T get my driver's license on April 20th, 1982...

Maybe I wouldn't have been able to give drives home to that cute girl who babysat for my piano teacher, which ultimately led to our first date...

And then if we didn't have that first date on April 20, 1984...

Then it's very possible that we wouldn't have had that child on April 20th, 1992!

Whew! Good thing I got that driver's license!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Brain Matters

Tomorrow is 'my' day for Beavers. Which means I have to come up with the activities for the night for a dozen five to seven year old boys.

Which is not really a big deal. But I do have to stick to the 'theme' we decided on... the brain. I plan to show them how our brain can be tricked. Pull out some optical illusions, get them to do at least one good dizziness-inducing activity, and then, Bob's your uncle, meeting's over.

Hopefully, by the end of the meeting they'll realize that, in one way or another, everything we perceive is basically...

...don't you agree?

By the way, when you read the words in my little graphic there, did you read "a matter of the mind"???

Because if you did, you misread it. Go back and look again.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Reading Books to Children is BAD... certain circumstances. Like when your eight-year-old daughter reads "Captain Underpants" to your four-year-old son. And then your four-year-old son decides that he IS Captain Underpants.

Especially when you consider that Captain Underpant's entire wardrobe consists of a cape and a pair of underwear.

Last night the boy was vanquishing evil all over the house. Even during Easter dinner. We found it particularly amusing that he had several spare pairs of underwear tucked into the only place he had to store them... the front of his underwear. He had *quite* the little package going there:

At first I thought he might just be trying to compensate for his, as he once put it, "puny little p***s"... but then we realized that there was a method to his madness. Captain Underpants uses underwear to defeat his enemies (by flipping it at them, springing them by the waistband, just like shooting a rubber band). It was quite the sight to see Captain Underpants whip a pair of briefs from his, well, briefs... and then snap them at his older brothers.

We finished the evening with him repeatedly leaping off the couch (in 'flying' mode, of course) while his faithful assistant "Dad" took pictures of him in mid-flight. Actually, one of the shots came out pretty good... and will live in the family archives forever. Here it is:

Nice, eh? "You'll believe a kid can fly."

So there you go. DON'T read to your kids. Reading BAD. (Ignore those pesky little side effects like literacy, confidence at school, and such...)

Or you might find Captain Package vanquishing evil in YOUR house, too.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

One NEW Thing I Don't Like About Teenage Boys "Visiting"

All right. As the father of a sixteen year old girl, it goes without saying that there are a number of things I don't like about teenage boys visiting:

1) They are teenage boys.

2) Umm...

Well, ok, there was only that one thing. But that's always been enough for me.

Until now.

I've discovered one more thing I don't like about teenage boys visiting.

Finding weird pictures of them on my camera.

For instance: A couple of weeks back, I was in the back yard after supper playing with my youngest son. Teenage daughter comes out on the back deck and says,

"So-and-so is here with his guitar. Can he come in and jam?"

She must have caught me at a weak moment, because I said "Yes".

The next thing I know, two MORE boys arrive at the door. (Which is pretty strange, because before tonight, most teenage boys knew very well not to just ARRIVE at the front door) In fact, one of them was a kid I actually liked (except for him being a teenage boy... duh!). In fact, I liked him even more now that he's not "going" with my daughter any more. Which is what had happened shortly after his last visit some months ago.

So there they are. My daughter and three teenage boys. Guitars flying, and noises which occasionally resembled music filling the air for a couple of hours.

Then they went home. Leaving me to try and purge the event from my memory.

Until TODAY. When I was cleaning pictures off our camera onto the computer. Look what I found:

Charming, isn't it? I'm thinking of having it framed.

Or maybe I'll just keep it in case I need to either:
a) give it to the police
b) use it for blackmail.

I must keep telling myself, though... teenage boys eventually grow into useful humans.

So I must let them live.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chalk One Up for the Good Guys

An e-mail from a friend turned me on to these amazing chalk drawings. The artist uses distortion so that they look three-dimensional from a particular viewpoint. Here are a few of them:

Here's that last one from the side, so you can see the extent of the distortion he uses:

Finally, here are two that are near and dear to my heart:

Pretty cool.

The artist's name is Julian Beever. If you want to see more, you can go to the his webpage.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Listen! Do You Smell Something??

Ah, it gives me pride as I watch my children grow and develop. My youngest child, my 4-year-old, who I have been home with since before he was two, constantly amazes me with the layers of personality and ability he develops almost daily.

Today, I am especially proud with how smoothly and professionally he displayed...

Fart humour.

Not just plain old fart humour; he mastered the tricky "blame somebody else" variation.

Let me explain.

Mom had left the house at 7am for work, and I crashed back in bed. As is common, I had a few visitors in bed with me... my two regulars, in fact. The 4-year-old, and the 8-year-old girl. (They are kind of like magic sometimes. In the morning, they're just *there*. We don't know how or when they arrive, they were in their own bed last time we checked... yet here they are. But I digress...)

So anyway, we're all kind of awake, just warm and snuggly. I'm on the end. The 4-year-old is in the middle, snugged up against me, facing away from me with his bum against my chest (this will have significance shortly). Next to him is the 8-year-old.

So there we are. Silence. Then, the 4-year-old executes the event which puts the story into action.

THHHHHPPPPTTTTTTT. Then, for punctuation.... THHPPT.

I think the reverberation against my rib cage helped the sonic intensity.

He masterfully pauses for slight emphasis, then says...

"Dad did it."

Bra-vo. Well played.

We laugh.

To signify my appreciation of such a gracefully executed maneuver, I contribute my own response:

"Yes. It was me. I farted.... FROM MY CHEST!! Right here, WHERE YOUR BUTT IS!!"

They are laughing uproariously at this point.

"Normally, I like to fart from my BUTT. But today, just for a change of pace, I thought I'd fart FROM MY CHEST!!!"

They nearly pass out.

After a few more seconds of laughing, we all bask in the after-laugh. At which point the little boy says...

"It was really me."

Which killed us. Like we didn't really *know* that... but somehow, it was honest, funny, and even kind of sweet.

And "sweet" is not a word that often occurs anywhere near the word "fart".

By the way, any of you who recognized the title of my post as a quote from "Ghostbusters"....well, you need to get out a little more often!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Side of Fred and Barney I Never Saw Before...

I guarantee that I saw every episode of "The Flintstones" multiple times. It was my lunchtime staple as a kid.

But I never saw this before. Take a look!

Don't you think they're kind of sending the wrong message? No, not about letting the women do all the work... that one I have no problem with!

This post was brought to you by Winston. Tastes good, like a cigarette sh..COUGH COUGH COUGH HACK HACK HORK PTUII!!

Same Thing We Do Every Night, Pinky.... TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

Funny how things just strike you out of the blue sometimes. Here's today's lightning strike for me:

I miss Pinky and the Brain.

Do you remember it? It was a running segment on "Animaniacs" and eventually got spun off into its own show (which wasn't quite as good, though).

It was your basic "two labratory mice try to take over the world each night" concept that we've seen lots of times through the years. (ha)

The characters were classic. The Brain had a kind of Orson Welles thing going on; Pinky was a total airhead with a heart of gold. Each night, the Brain would get *so* close to taking over the world, but something would always go wrong just at the end.

It was one of those cartoon that appealed to adults as much as to kids.

I think my favourite segment was when Brain dressed himself up as a country singer called Bubba Bo Bob Brain (that name still makes me chuckle). He used his country music to cover a hypnotic signal he was broadcasting. Oh, and of course, as part of his rise to stardom he appeared on talk shows, like this one with Dolly Parton:

Yup. Classic.

I wonder if I can get any on DVD? My teenagers sure loved it when they were little. I don't want to deprive the younger kids of the joy.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Indiana Jones and the Flaming Red Head

So, the weather's getting nice, and the sun's out nice and strong. Which for me, means one thing...

Time to bring out THE HAT.

See, I've been a bald guy for.... um... a very long time. Used to be, back when I was just bald on top, I could wear a ball cap like anyone else. However, for the last five years, I've been shaving my head completely bald (thanks to my trusty Headblade). At which point, wearing ball caps just looked kind of... stupid. And it would make a really silly tan line.

So I needed something else. I ended up getting a Tilley hat. Which did a nice job of keeping the old bean from blazing red like a fire engine. (Also prevented helicopters from crashing to the ground, disoriented from the sun glaring off my head.)

I wasn't too comfortable wearing it at first. But I persevered. And I convinced myself that I had kind of an 'Indiana Jones' thing going. Look at this amazing comparison:

See what I mean? The resemblance is UNCANNY. (Oh, by the way, I'm the one on the LEFT, in case you're having difficulty seeing the difference)

You can't see it? Step farther back from your computer. And squint your eyes. See it now?

Well, go back to it later and try again. I'm sure you'll agree eventually.


So, since we're on the topic of Indiana Jones, let's talk about the new movie they are apparently really-close-to-making.

I'm a little concerned. I loved the first three. But do you remember when the last one *was*???


The summer my first child was born. The one who's ALMOST SEVENTEEN.

See my point? It's been a long time. I'm not really interested in seeing any movies with titles like:

"Indiana Jones and the Mid-Afternoon Nap"

"Indiana Jones and the Cup of Warm Milk"

or even "Indiana Jones and the Enlarged Prostate".

Um, *particularly* not that last one, I think.

For that matter, I don't want them going overboard the *other* direction either. I can't say I want to see him romancing a twenty-five year old co-star whose breasts aren't even as big as his.

Well, in any case, I hope they do a good job. Because you *know* I'll go and see it no matter what.

I might even wear the hat and sign a few autographs when I'm there.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Internet Makes *Everything* Better... Even My Telephone!

A neat technology website called Lifehacker had an item about a company that offers long distance internet phone calls ('voice over IP', or VoIP, for the geeks among us) using your own normal phone equipment. It told me that the site, Jajah, offers a free five-minute trial phone call.

Well, all I needed were a few of my favourite buzzwords ("internet" and "free") to send me to the site.

It was *really* easy. I entered my phone number in one field, entered the number I wanted to call in the other field, and clicked the 'call' button.

My phone rang, the message told me that Jajah was connecting my call, and it went through.

Now, given to opportunity to make a free call anywhere in the world, where should I call? Paris? Jakarta? Hong Kong?

How about... my parents here in Nova Scotia. Pretty sad, even I must admit.

The phone on the other end rang and rang. Then I got voicemail. Darn. My parents obviously have a *way* too busy social life.

So I burned off one minute of my free five (the webpage was timing my call for me as well). But I still had four to go.

Luckily, I wasn't *totally* out of options. I called my cousin Steve. (No, I still haven't started watching his LOST dvd's yet!). Still here in Nova Scotia. Still pretty sad. (I *do* have a sister-in-law in Bermuda, but I only had her cell phone number, which didn't work with the free trial.)

So anyway, I called Steve. And he was home. Even better, he's as big a geek as me.

So we spent a couple minutes extolling the virtues of the VoIP call. Both of us agreed the quality was surprisingly good, with no delays or anything. And even if we did pay for it, it would have been really cheap. Something like under 2 cents a minute.

I ended the call with Steve before the four minutes was up, in keeping with my fondness for the "free" part of the free trial. We'll have to use MSN to do our regular comic book geek gabfest.

So did I mention that this was really cool?

Because it was.

And there was no downside! At least, none that I've discovered yet.

So give it a try!

One last thing:

Try and call somewhere exotic and exciting for me? Please? And then tell me about it, so I can live vicariously through your adventures.

Ahh, Spring: A Time of Rebirth, Renewal, and..... ACID DEATH!!!!!

Remember how I was all perky because Spring was arriving?

Well, my enthusiasm for Spring has faded a tiny bit, since I became the official Girl Guides of Canada PLANT TORTURER.

Ok, well, I'm not "official."

And it's only for the one Brownies group that my wife leads, and my 8-year-old daughter belongs to.

But I *am* the plant torture guy!!

Let me explain. Part of the program is to teach the girl environmental responsibility, and to make them aware of environmental concerns. One such concern is acid rain.

To demonstrate how acid rain is harmful to plants, we purchased two identical plants, and watered one with fresh water, and watered the other with water that has a little vinegar added, to simulate acid rain.

Here's the result:

It's a great example for the girls and all... except for the guy who buys the plant, slowly poisons it, and photographs the process for posterity!!

I feel a little bit like the old Far Side cartoon:

That's me. Bob. Torturer of the Month.

But, you know, I'm sure it will pass. After all, it's for a very good cause.

And if I'm lucky, I won't have to kill anything else for the rest of the season!

(Well, except for mosquitoes and earwigs of course. But that's more like a public service, right??)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

All Google-y Eyed

OK, I was already impressed by Google Earth. It's so cool. You can move around the whole world and zoom in. I'm sure you can do other neat things too, I just don't know about them yet.

So like I said, I was impressed with it already... and then I heard about that huge Maxim magazine cover that you can see from space, or, conveniently, through Google Earth.

Do you have Google Earth installed on your computer? If not, go click that link in my first sentence (the only downside is that if your computer is too old, it might not install).

If you already have it installed, skip right ahead to clicking on this link to see the Maxim cover yourself. It will run Google Earth and take you right there.

Isn't technology wonderful?

(For those of you who aren't so technologically inclined, or don't want to go to all the effort, or can't get Google Earth installed on your pc... here's the picture anyway. But, really, if you can do it... just do it. It's such a cool program.)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Beware the Bar of Unconsciousness!

Behold "The Bar of Unconsciousness."

As a child, I simply called it my chin-up bar. However, with the passage of time, I recognize that history will distinguish it more for the many times it rendered people unconscious, or at least *nearly* unconscious. It was also a pretty prodigious profanity generator as well.

Although I have been out of my parents' home for twenty years, the bar still stands. As you can see, my children love it when they visit Grandma and Grandpa.

When I first got it and put it across my bedroom doorway, the top of my head was far below it. As I grew, somehow, instinct took over and I simply ducked my head automatically to prevent whacking it. My parents were the same way (except for the first painful couple of weeks). And they still are. I wonder how many thousands of times they have ducked under the bar without even being aware of it?

Visitors to the house, however, are entirely another matter.

The sound of bar meeting noggin is quite distinctive. It's a combination of "CLANK" and "THUNK" with a brief vibrational tone tossed in.

It's at forehead level for the average adult, and just above eye level. It's deceptively easy for people to walk right into it without ever seeing it.

Like the older gentleman who used to tune our piano. As the story goes, he was making a visit to our washroom, and was passing by my bedroom. He noticed the fish tank at the other end of my room. (Ironically, the tank was empty and no longer used. I guess we just left it there as a snare to draw in more hapless victims...) He said something like, "Oh.. fish!" and attempted to enter the room.

THWANKKKKK. I don't think he ever heard a note like that on any of the pianos he worked on!

From his new position on the floor, this mild-mannered gentleman said something like, "WHAT THE &%$@ IS THAT???"

Other than ringing his bell pretty good, he wasn't hurt. Which is why my Dad and I laugh our asses off whenever we periodically revisit that story.

I even laughed out loud typing this post. Ahhh, other people's mishaps are so good for the soul.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yes, I *KNOW* You're Out There...

... I can hear you breathing.

Well, I can't hear you breathing, but I *do* know you're out there.

You come by and read my posts.

But you never say hello. (sob)

OK, well, a few of you do.

But there are more of you out there!

So. How about leaving a comment? You don't have to tell me your name if you don't want to (but I promise I won't try to hunt you down). I don't need to know your dating history or the PIN number from your credit card (but again, I can be trusted with that information as well).

Just say hi.

In fact, if you're at a loss for words, here are a few handy templates:

1) Hi Robin. I'm ___________ from _____________. I think your blog ___________.

2) Hello. I *love* your blog. Please send me a frozen sample of your genetic material so I can help spread you around the world. Here is my home address: ________________. My home phone is _________________, but you can also try my cell phone, which is ______________.

3) Dear Robin, I think you are seriously ____________________. I suspect that you have a ____________ ______________ or even a ____________ ______________ which should probably be treated by a _____________________. Sincerely, __________________ from _____________.

So do I make my point? I would really like to hear from some of my silent regulars, or even some of my vocal irregulars.

I'm still pretty new at blogging, and I've never been much of a comment responder, but here's one iron clad guarantee you can take to the bank:

If you comment, I will respond. If you ask a question, I will answer it. No comment will go unanswered, and no reasonable request will be denied.

Whew. After *that* sweetener, I guess I better stand back and look out!

So, I hope to hear from you! (...pleeeeeeease??)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mermaids, DVD's, Tattoos, and Vomit

Everybody has their preferences. Stones or Beatles? (Beatles.) Coke or Pepsi? (Coke.)

I'm like that with DVD's too. Single disc or 2-disc Special Edition? 2-disc Special Edition for me, thanks. I watch all the special features and usually listen to the director's commentary too. Ubergeek.

So today, when I fired up the Narnia 2-disc Special Edition, the first thing I saw was a preview of a re-release of a movie in a nice new 2-disc Special Edition format....

The Little Mermaid.

And you know what? I have to get it. My oldest daughter watched it on videocassette from the time she was two. Over. And over. And over. And over. The entire movie is burned into my brain. The thing is, it really is an awesome movie. The music alone is worth the price.


Speaking of the Little Mermaid, here's a picture from four years ago, at our ill-fated family trip to Disney World:

See the unusual look in the child's face? That's because, unbeknownst to us at the time, she was about half an hour away from puking furiously. In fact, we were inside one of the nice Disney clothing shops when it happened. (For the whole ugly story of the vacation from hell, you can read it here.)


Here's my final story. (You'll see the theme emerge at the end). Last week I popped back to where I had my tattoo done to get a couple of little touch-ups. While I was there, I was looking at some of the designs on the wall, and postulated that some of those designs were definitely not for your average person. A few of them could even make *me* blush. And I don't blush easily.

Anyway, I'm sitting in the chair getting worked on, and the receptionist was outside the room sweeping the main waiting area. The tattoo artist mentioned that the receptionist had just gotten her first two tattoos. I noticed one on her foot, and another peeking out from under her skirt, on the top of her thigh. (Let me point out that the receptionist is a very pleasant looking, university-age young woman. Not extreme in any way at all.) So we engage her in conversation, and she shows me the tattoo on her foot, and then lifts her skirt to show me her other one. From what I had seen originally, which looked like a swirl of some kind, I assumed it would just be a nice abstract design.

It wasn't.

What I had seen at first, was, in fact, a tail. The tail, as it turns out, was connected to a very beautifully rendered, and highly detailed mermaid.

However, you know how the Little Mermaid has a few strategically placed seashells? Well, on *this* mermaid, there were no seashells in sight. In fact, I don't think seashells would have done the job in this case, for that matter. Maybe turtle shells. BIG turtle shells.

Thankfully, I resisted my first urge, which was to say, "HOLY SH*T!!" In fact, I smoothly said, "Hey, that's a nice job."

But it did throw me a bit for a second.

All right, so that's all I've got for now. This post ran on too long as it is. But remember, "The seaweed is alway greener in somebody else's lake."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Trying to Get a Date...

I enjoy a good weird number as much as the next guy. I've always liked 17. And, of course, 42.

However, I've heard that we get to see a pretty cool number on Wednesday.

The date.

I've been told that at two minutes and three seconds after 1 am on this coming Wednesday, the date will be:

01:02:03 04/05/06.

Which is pretty cool... in some parts of the world.

But not in Canada!!!

Because we (and I must admit it makes sense to me) list our dates in the order of day/month/year, rather than the month/day/year thing which has always made me go, 'huh?'

So you United Statesians can enjoy your cool unique date on Wednesday.

We'll catch up to you on May 4th.

Kind of like Thanksgiving. But backwards.

God Save the Queen.

p.s. We also spell "colour" "neighbour" and "humour" differently.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tattoo Your Brain!!

Here's a fun optical illusion like I bet you did when you were a kid.

If you do it correctly, you will have my own personal tattoo design burned into your brain for a short period.

Follow these simple steps:

1) Click the small image at the bottom of this post. That will open up a larger version.

2) Stare at a point in the center of the image for a slow count to thirty.

3) Look at a blank wall or blank piece of paper. There's my tattoo!

Here's the link. Click this image!!!

Disclaimer: If my tattoo image never leaves your brain and is permanently superimposed on everything you see for the rest of your life.... well, it's a pretty cool design, anyway, isn't it?? :)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Oh, No! They Killed Kenny! No, Wait, It Was... ME!!

My wife did this yesterday. And it looked like too much fun to ignore. So here is...

South Park Robin!

tweet tweet tweet PHWOOMP!!!!

Here it is. We have verification that crazy things you see in animated movies DO sometimes come true.

Remember this scene from Shrek, where Princess Fiona makes the little birdie sing so high that it blows up?

Well, I have photographic evidence that this actually happens. Here, for your consideration, I present an undoctored photograph, taken by me this afternoon.


Feathers! In an explosion dispersion pattern! They were discovered after the snow melted!

Clearly, an unsuspecting bird was singing, got a little carried away, and then THWOOMP!

Please warn your family and friends to stay away from birds that are singing too high. Feathers aren't that big a deal, but flying beaks or claws could be like shrapnel!

You might think I'm being silly. However, if I save even *one* bird lover, then that's a cross I'm willing to bear.