Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ghost Riders in the sky on the Screen

Saw the trailer for "Ghost Rider" long ago. Said to myself, "Looks stupid. Must avoid."

However, my teenage son saw it back when it opened a week and a half ago, though. He said that it actually wasn't bad.

Which was good enough for me.

Saw it tonight. It totally didn't suck. It was rather enjoyable.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't "Chariots of Fire." It was "guy whose skeletonized head is on fire, oh, and his motorcycle too."

I was familiar with Ghost Rider from the comics as a kid. However, I must have read them at other people's houses, because I never actually owned a Ghost Rider comic. The closest thing to it was this comic, "What If?" number 17 from 1979:

It told the story of what would have happened if Ghost Rider made some additional bad choices and became a bad guy instead of a... um, sorta good guy. I must go dig that one out sometime.

You know, after this good experience, I might even be starting to look forward to "Fantastic Four 2, Rise of the Silver Surfer."

A little bit.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Our Little Piece of Comic Strip History

For me, as a kid, it was "Peanuts".

For my older kids, it was "Calvin and Hobbes".

For my three younger kids, it's definitely "Baby Blues".

My 9-year-olds only discovered within the last year that we have a bunch of the "Baby Blues" collections in the house. It was at that point that they became the total devotees that they are today. To the point that, just casually, I asked my 9-year-old daughter something like, "Um, which book was baby Wren born in?", to which she immediately replied, "Number 14". Whoa.

See, as parents, we've always loved "Baby Blues". So much of it was just so bang on with our own experiences.

However, not too many people can make the claim that their own child influenced one of the strips.

Here's how it happened. Years ago, on the "Baby Blues" website, they were running a contest of some kind, something like the weirdest thing you ever said to your kid or some such thing. My wife sent in something funny our oldest daughter said, which, in hindsight, didn't quite fit the requirements, if I remember correctly. In any case, she told them about the comment our probably 2-year-old first child made at bathtime. After coming out of the tub and looking at her fingers, she said "Dese are all winkled. Pwease you iron dem?"

Time passes. Life goes on.

Then, much MUCH later, we pick up a Baby Blues collection, and lo and behold, we see a strip that talks about wrinkly fingers from the tub and ironing them! We were, and still are, convinced that my wife's submission was the inspiration for this strip!

In fact, for Mother's Day one year, I managed to get the actual hand-drawn strip for my dear wife as a present, and it hangs on our wall to this day. Here it is:

Our own little piece of comic strip history.

Gee... I wonder if I can find a "Peanuts"??

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm the Big Breadwinner.... for Webkinz

Here's another topic I feel compelled to post about, simply because it's become a long-term staple in our household.


Do you know what they are? Basically, they're stuffed animals that you buy in gift stores. However, they come with a 'tag' that grants you access to "Webkinz World", an online kids' site full of games and activities for your Webkinz (Webkin?). So the kids actually inhabit their Webkinz in a virtual sense. They play games against other kids, and of course earn "Kinzcash" so they can buy stuff for their Webkinz' virtual house, and buy food to feed their Webkinz...

Wow, it's making my head hurt just explaining it.

But I must admit, it is fun for the kids, and doesn't actually seem harmful in any way.

My contribution the the whole endeavour is two-fold:

1) I actually buy the friggin' things for them. The three little kids each only ever had one, but now somehow they each have three.

2) I'm a master at "Quizzy's Word Challenge". So they log on, then have me play for them and earn mucho bucks. Um, I mean Kinzcash.

Thank heavens that I can finally provide for my children in the manner I always intended. Too bad it's only virtual.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Pwned. Or pwnd. Pwn3d, even.

How many of you even know what it means? I suspect that some of you do. I also suspect that even more of you have no clue.

If you want, read Wikipedia's definition here. Which explains how a typo freakishly became its own word. It's actually kind of interesting reading. Sort of like, english in bizarro world.

Or else, here's a quick example. Picture me, going head to head against my 14-year-old son in a video game. ANY video game. He trounces me soundly. Then he says, "I totally pwned you!!" He pronounces it 'poned' but apparently some purists still pronounce it 'owned'.

Thus endeth today's quickie english lesson. Welcome to the new millennium.

Hm. You know, my wife and teenage daughter are still up. Maybe I can get one of them to play a game with me. I have a hankering to pwn someone.

With my luck I'd end up pwned myself.

Or pwnd. Pwn3d, even.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dip Dip Dip DIp Dip Dip Dip Dip, Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom, Get a Job

For those of you under 40 who don't get the musical reference in this title: Study up on your 1950's doo-wop music history. Or don't. Just go back to listening to "My Humps" or whatever.

Anyway, I got a job. In fact, for a few weeks I've been doing enjoyable part-time work for a small company that a friend of mine started up, and yesterday I was offered a full-time job by a huge tech company. (Let's just say that my love of gadgets won't hurt in this case).

So I'm back to life in the fast lane. Although, my five-year-old just reiterated that he doesn't want me to get a job. He likes me taking him to school. Cute kid, but he hurts my heart a bit sometimes.

My new full time gig won't start until March though, and ultimately the shifts will vary, so that means hopefully I'll still have some time to participate in my children's lives. Which I didn't get to do too much in six months' worth of my previous job. We'll see.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I'm Hard on my G-Strings

Before I start, let me clarify:

I don't wear man thongs. Though I'm sure that I would be a smoking hot piece of sexy manhood if I did. It's just that even the thought of something wedged between my butt cheeks makes me squirm a bit. I couldn't imagine doing it for thirty seconds, never mind for a whole day.

So where was I?

Right. G-strings.

Since I've eliminated the male lingerie factor, I can only be talking musically.

See, after a month or so of guitar lessons, I've decided that I wanted my own guitar. However, last week, attempting to tune my guitar as I was taught, I managed to break the G-string.

THREE times.

It makes a sound so loud and awful I can't describe it. And it surprises you almost to the point of filling your drawers. And it makes you say a really bad word. Every time.

Luckily, I had my friend Matte to get me to the point that I discovered where I was going wrong. Thanks Matte. But I wish you were there two strings earlier. And what the hell's up with that 'E' in your name anyway?


So, I suppose, now that I won't be so hard on my *musical* G strings, the only way that I can keep up my reputation is to head down to "Night Magic", buy a "Cuban Constrictor", and then head to the grocery store to pick up a big bottle of Salsa.

That combination, I expect, would be pretty hard on the G strings.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Let Me Eat Cake

So yesterday was my birthday. 41 isn't so interesting as 40. It's just... there.

The day was fine though. Everyone let me sleep in a bit, and then we had a little family party in the morning (most of our family parties take place in the mornings, since that's the only time that everyone is guaranteed to be there).

My wife took a nice picture of the kids and me. I don't like to brag, but man do I have a great bunch of kids. (Not withstanding those periods when I want to kill them)

And I ate my first cake of the day.

After that, I took the kids to a birthday party for one of their friends. Their mom is my kidney girl, so I stuck around and swam and ate. More cake.

Then we went immediately to another birthday party for the kids. The parents are also friends, so I stayed along and helped. Went on a wagon ride, did some gladiator fighting (7 year olds go down easy) and had more... (gulp) cake.

Shortly after we arrived home, my wife and I went out to get together with friends. Guess what they had for me?


Holy crap, I'll be tired of cake pretty soon.

Not *yet*.

But soon.

Almost time to turn in. Maybe I should have a little bedtime snack.

Cake, of course.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Super Sesame Street

File this one under "things I never expected to see again".

I remember, watching Sesame Street as a lad, being truly pleased when they would play the infrequent clip of Superman teaching us about the letter S. (Remember, this was back before every possible television whim could be indulged by a click of a button or a trip to Wal-mart).

So, the other night, and I can't explain how it came to me, I thought, "Gee, I wonder if that Superman clip from Sesame Street is on YouTube?"

Guess what? It was. Along with lots of other trips down memory lane, such as all my favourite Ernie and Bert clips, and even a clip of Spider-man's first appearance on "The Electric Company" (which we didn't get in Nova Scotia in the stone age -- ie. pre-cable television days -- though I had read the comic book adaptation of that clip in issue number one of "Spidey Super Stories").

So, please join me in my nostalgia rush:

(Just try not to dwell too long on the image of me sitting up in bed late at night, laptop on my lap, watching Ernie and Bert over and over. Particularly with my wife lying next to me, thinking, "What was that crisis intervention number anyway??")

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Chlamydia!

Did you ever notice that the initials for Valentine's Day are V.D.? No, me neither.

Happy VD!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together...



Two of my favourite things.

Can you ever imagine what would happen if the two of them were combined? Along with a little humour?

Imagine no longer. Check this out. It's a one page comic version of last week's episode of 24:

This is from an amazingly funny site called "24 in 24". See, they (*he*, actually... his name's Jim) summarize each episode in one comic page, so by May we will have a whole season of 24 in 24 pages.

Now that I've whet (whetted?) your appetite, go there now. It's classic.

Hey, since 24 is on for 2 hours tonight, I now have two more pages of 24 in 24 to look forward to this week!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's All About Mii, So Deal With It

OK, the Wii fever is now into its third month with no sign of abating.

Oh, and the five-year-old, who is pound-for-pound the best and most consistent tennis player, is equally good with his right OR left hand. Freaky.

Another thing I like: Mii.

A "Mii" is your own avatar that you create on the Wii. You can make it look like yourself and play some of the games using your own Mii. You can even 'load' it into a Wii remote, so you could go to a friend's house and take your own remote, then play on their Wii with your own Mii. Get it?

Anyway, here I am, set to break my own home run record:

OK, yes, I know I have no ears. Or arms.

So... how do you like Mii now?

Monday, February 05, 2007


You're never too old to learn something new.

Did you know:

If you fart politely pass wind, and someone yells "doorknob", they can hit you until you touch a doorknob?

I didn't either.

Thank heavens for 9-year-old boys, or I'd be *totally* out of the loop on things like this.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Magical Healing Powers of... Um...

Yesterday, I bought a bottle of "Minard's Linament". I didn't think they even made that any more. I used to use it for sore muscles when I played volleyball in high school. I figured, if it was good for me then, it's good for me now!

I must tell you though, I think medical knowledge has advanced significantly since they originally invented this stuff.

When I applied it to my shoulder and my knees, most of my team leaped up and reacted strongly. (ie. cleared about a twenty-foot radius around my person). Which lead me to check the 'medicinal' ingredients.

The magical components are:

Camphor (that one sounds ok)

Ammonia (um, must be why it clears my sinuses too...)


Turpentine. For... cleaning paint off my sore muscles?

Well, at least there are no bat's wings or eye of newt.

And it *did* make me feel better! At least until the cancer sets in.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Summer of Harry

OK, there are lots of good movies coming out this summer, and one of them is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on July 13th. I've been reading bits and pieces of the book to my five-year-old recently, and it has me pretty charged up to see it on the big screen.

However, I'd happily skip every movie this summer, if that's what it took to get the final Harry Potter book in my hands on July 21st. Which has just been announced as the release date for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

I'm pretty sure that there will be lots of quiet time in our family over the couple of days after the book arrives in the house. Actually, we required three copies of the last one, since there are four readers (and three listeners) all vying for a copy.

And if we only get ONE copy, for some reason, let there be no misunderstanding about WHO will be the first to read it.

They don't call me the head of the household for nothing. ;)