Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Plan for the Day

Here's my plan for the day, today, October 31st.

1) Get up shortly after six a.m., shower, and get mentally prepared for the day. Oh, wait, did that. Check.

2) Dress in same outfit I've worn for the last couple of years. Not original, but still more fun than regular clothes. Check.

3) Start feeling evil. Check.

Ok, the preparation is done. Here's the rest of the plan for the part of the day that hasn't happened yet.

4) Spend the day at work in character. Walk around a lot looking at people funny and talking funny. Hit the streets and the mall to share the weirdness.

5) Go home. Observe the pre-trick-or-treating chaos that ensues *every* year.

6) Take the kiddies out in the neighbourhood. Be cold.

7) Take the kiddies home. Observe the post-trick-or-treating chaos that ensues *every* year.

8) Send kids to bed.

9) Do a little dance.

10) Eat all the best candy. Um, I mean, check the bags to make sure it's all safe.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

It's Not Easy Being Green

I must admit, for the last few weeks, most of my free tv time has been spent obsessively watching Battlestar Galactica with my teenage son (thanks very much Matte. My wife thanks you too.... not).

However, after he goes to bed, I still manage to flip through the occasional channel. Tonight, in fact, I thought I'd see how the World Series is going.

Which brings me to my youth. Back when I watched a LOT of baseball on tv (Expos in the early/mid eighties, Jays in the late eighties/early nineties), the only green in baseball was the grass, and the green monster at Fenway Park.

Now, however, the green is also in... green screen.

Tonight, I was watching the game on FOX. I noticed an advertisement for HP computers behind the batter. I flipped to the Canadian signal on TSN... and lo and behold, suddently there was an advertisement for the Royal Canadian Mint! (Hey, at least it was appropriate... get it? Mint? Green? ha ha) It's just a big green screen behind the batters for the broadcasters to put their own advertisements on!!

It just makes me realize how much of what we see on live tv is not necessarily what's really there.

Of course, whenever I see politicians on the tube, I can only WISH that they aren't really there... but they never disappear and are abruptly replaced by another one like those baseball ads. Ok, well, they are, but that's only every four years or so.

Not quickly enough.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sing for the Moment

Over the years, I've logged many, many hours singing songs to kids at bedtime. (Luckily, they're not fussy about the quality of the singing.)

Now while I've sung my share of "Hush Little Baby Don't Say a Word" and "Rock-a-Bye Baby" kind of songs, the ones that I mostly sang were not your average bedtime songs. For whatever reason, they generally turned out to be Beatles songs. The ones that got the highest rotation, or were the most regularly requested, were "Yellow Submarine", "Eight Days a Week", "Octopus' Garden", "All My Loving", and "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da". If I didn't remember all the verses, nobody cared. I just sang the same ones over and over.

Which, as far as bedtime songs go, were strange enough. But tonight has got them all beat.

Tonight, I got a new request.

I mean, a BRAND NEW request.

A song I had never ever ever sung at bedtime before, nor would it ever occur to me that a child would want sung to him at bedtime.

The song that my five-year-old asked me to sing him in bed tonight was....

"Oh Canada."

And he wanted it in english AND in french.


Whatever makes him happy, I guess.

Sweet dreams, my little patriot.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Me and My Six Kids... Over Ten Years Ago

Yeah. This picture just popped up on my computer screen while my "photo" screensaver was running... and I had kind of forgot about it until then.

It was one of my early attempts at photo manipulation. Obviously.

The funnier part now, I think, is picturing me back in 1995 with two kids, thinking how outrageous it would be to see me with six kids. Now, I grant you, we didn't actually get to six, but five is pretty close.

To take this concept a little farther, I should take a picture of all five kids, and 'clone' them a bit. I could have a whole... um... cantata! Or some other big group kind of thing.

But it would be a pretty loooooooonnng picture. Maybe I'll wait until I get a widescreen monitor.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Return of the Game Inspired by the Toy Based on the Movie

Well, even THAT'S not exactly true.

It's the SEQUEL to the game inspired by the toy based on the movie. In fact, it's the sequel to the game inspired by the toy based on the series of movies that themselves were PREQUELS to the series of movies that the toy is based on which this game is inspired by.

Ow. My brain.

Anyway, let's just call it "Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy."

Or, for short, we could just call it "fun". Because it's a big friggin' ball of it. And it's making the kids pretty darn happy. The big old kid too.

Or else we could call it "just about the darned hardest game to FIND anywhere!", because that's what it is too. The saga of me getting this game is nearly as long as the Star Wars saga itself.

Allow me to elucidate:

For the last couple of weeks, I called every Wal-mart, toy store, and video game store anywhere within driving distance. And ALL of them were sold out of this game.

Eventually, I hit upon trying places in Sydney, which is a five hour drive away, except that I have lots of family members scattered around there. So I call around, and on the second call, I find a Wal-mart that has the game.

ONE copy. Which they would hold behind the counter for.... a whole hour.

I immediately call my parents. Who clearly have a WAY too busy social life, because they were out round dancing, or at some meeting or another. I leave them a message. But, with an hour clicking away, I figure I better call in some of my secondary operatives.

Who fail me miserably. Let me do a few shout-outs (or let's call them Shout-ATs):

Steve: Do you even LIVE at home any more? Man, and get a cell phone will you? Oh, and a driver's license BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T EVEN PICK UP THE STUPID GAME FOR ME BECAUSE YOU LIVE TOO FAR AWAY TO DRIVE THERE ON YOUR BIKE! But at LEAST you could have given me your sister's number! SHE has a car!!!!

Jen: As I mentioned above, I DON'T HAVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER!! (No, I didn't call directory assistance. That just occurred to me now.)

Kelly: I called at seven p.m.! You have three kids!! How could you be anywhere else BUT home?? Are you screening your calls??


Anyway, as you could see, my secondary operatives failed me miserably. (Oh, by the way, secondary operatives, you're all out of my will. Or if I ever WRITE one, you will be.)

The evening ends. My despair deepens.

Next morning, from work, I call my best hope. My parents again.

They got my message. But they were home to late to return it. The party animals. However, my dear mother calls Wal-mart. And they STILL have that one copy of the game. Which they go and buy. (Oh, Dad... just send me the bill for that will you? bwa ha ha ha haaaaaaa)

Our story ends this morning. I pick up a parcel at the gas station where the bus company has its parcel depot... and what do I find? A mended robe, a repaired pair of pants (thanks Mom), and... the game.

Which, by the way, I want to play more, so I need to get the little kids to bed so my fourteen-year-old and I can REALLY take it for a test drive. Score some coins, unlock some characters, get carpal tunnel... you know, normal fun stuff for a grown man on a Saturday night. ;)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Dessert That Makes You Want More and MORE...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Um, well, everyone in Canada, anyway.

We had a huge turkey dinner. I'm done eating until about Wednesday.

The best line of the day came from my five-year-old son who was telling his grandparents how he helped his mom and sister make Apple Crisp for dessert.

His sister said, "I cut the apples, and mixed up the cinnamon sugar, and sprinkled it on!"

Not to be outdone, the five-year-old (who clearly has been hanging around his mother with the herniated disc for too long) pipes up:

"And I added the codeine!!!"

No *wonder* I really wanted a nap after the meal...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Budding Photojournalists... aka "Why my Camera's Memory Card is Always Full"

You know, we've had a digital camera of one kind or another for several years. And it's great. We've taken more pictures in the last seven or eight years than were ever taken in all the years prior. And they run as screen savers on our computers, so we *see* them more too.

However, there's a problem with that as well.

THREE problems, in fact, and the problems are currently nine, nine, and five years old.

They all know how to use the camera.

And so they do.

To excess, in fact.

The result of which is vast numbers of pictures on my camera (which also make their way to my computer when I'm not paying close attention) that look like this:

and this:

and this:

and, I'm sorry to say, even THIS:

Now, being positive, maybe this will work itself into a lucrative career for one or more of them.

Perhaps I should even give these pictures arty-farty names and start to peddle them around the galleries:

"Apple on Computer Desk"

"Kitchen Dance"

"One-armed Hulk at Rest"

"My Sister's Butt"

... what do you think?

After all, art IS in the eye of the beholder...

Or even the butt.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Internal Conflict Between 12-year-old Me and 40-year-old Me...


Internal sci-fi conflict.

The twelve year old me says THIS is Battlestar Galactica:

Forty year old me has just started watching, thanks to some encouragement from a friend, THIS show on dvd, which is ALSO called Battlestar Galactica:

Twelve year old me LOVED the old one. Saw the pilot released as a movie, then followed every episode of the show. Even watched "Galactica 1980", which thankfully died a fast death.

Forty year old me is finding the new one VERY intriguing.

Twelve year old me is trying to make forty year old me feel guilty for abandoning the TRUE Battlestar Galactica.

But forty year old me is, well, me. So I'm going to stick it out with the new one and hope twelve year old me enjoys it too.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Where We Devoting Full Time to Floating...

I said I was going to do it.

Yesterday, on the first day it was released, I bought the new two-disc special edition dvd of "The Little Mermaid."

Couldn't help it.

It's certainly my favourite Disney movie of all time. It was also the first actual movie that my first child bonded with. And by "bonded with", I mean "watched over and over". Oh, and over. And over. I'm still not sure if I love it because it was so great, or because I was brainwashed.

Ok, no, I love it because it was so good. The music, the story, the characters... I still, occasionally, start spontaneously belting out the tunes (by myself, of course). It's nice to unleash my inner Ariel. And Ursula. Ok, let's not explore that too closely. I sing the Sebastian songs too, alright?

And instead of going to bed at a decent hour last night, I stayed up late watching the "making of" featurettes. Before even watching the movie. Hardcore geek alert.

Hopefully I can get the kids to watch it with me. I'm pretty sure my big girl will anyway.

And even if they won't... you *know* I'll watch it anyhow. Just like any normal 40-year-old man.


Monday, October 02, 2006

As Deep As I Get

...Tonight, anyway. This is as deep as I get tonight. Join me in my deep thoughts.

1) Walking through Wal-mart on a Saturday afternoon makes me worry for the future of humanity. Truly.

2) After two weeks of school chocolate bar selling, one week of Scout Popcorn selling, and one evening of walking in the cold rain Girl Guide cookie selling, and especially considering that I am neither a school age child, a boy scout, or a girl guide, can I please say that I'm GETTING PRETTY GODD*MNED WEARY OF FUNDRAISING????

3) Thanksgiving's this weekend. Yay. Oh, the oven's still broken. Crap.

4) My wife's still broken too. And as she herself pointed out to me the other day, I'm pretty sure that her warranty has run out as well.

5) Reading (or in my case, re-reading) "The Stand" is not a great idea when you're fighting the flu. If you don't know what I mean, read the book and check back with me later. The fever dreams alone, though, are worth the price of admission.

p.s. And for those of you who were potentially reading something *different* into the title of my post, I refer you back to item 4.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Possibly the Best 3 Minutes, 37 Seconds of Your Day. D'oh!

You know how one of the most enjoyable parts of the Simpsons is in the intro, where they all run to the couch?

Well, take a look at this. Someone strung together all the 'couch gags' for the 16th and 17th seasons.

It's time well spent. 3 minutes and 37 seconds of pleasure. (Just like my wedding night. Ha!)