Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gas Guzzled

Hey internet pals:

How's everyone doing? Fine? That's great. Me, I'm pretty good too. Don't get to blog as often with work and life in general, but I'll keep plugging.

What am I doing right now? Not much. Just sitting here in my van. In the parking lot of Tim Horton's. With three kids trying to bug each other to death.

No, I'm just sitting here.

With absolutely no gas. Sorry, the salsa I had last night doesn't help.

But, you say, don't you know when your gas is getting low? Well yes I do. Normally. In fact the light just came on coming home from work last night. So I should be fine.

Oh wait.

I let my daughter take the van last night.

NOW it all makes sense.

I hope I'm able to make friends in prison. When I'm in for murder.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Non-"Simpsons" Fans Can Probably Skip This Post...

...because it might not make sense if you don't get the reference.

Oh, what the heck, I'll explain it anyway. There was an episode of the Simpsons where Bart wanted a videogame so badly he shoplifted it. And he got caught. And it severely damaged Marge's heart. By the end of the episode, Bart had demonstrated that he actually was sorry for what he did, and his mother bought him a videogame. But she didn't get the one he wanted, which was sold out. Instead, she got the one recommended by the store owner... a 'golf' game called "Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge". Bart acted like he loved it anyway.

Now I can tell my story.

So yesterday was my oldest son's fifteenth birthday. We decided to get him a new videogame. The only question was what game to get him. Let's see... should we get him:
  • the game that he used as the wallpaper on his Windows profile for the last month?
  • the game he has downloaded and shown me, casually of course, every promotional video clip of?
  • the game he has talked about, very casually of course, at every possible opportunity???
Perhaps that should be the one.

However, it's no fun to get the game you TOTALLY expect to get, should your parents actually buy you a game for your birthday. Right? At least, there should be a *little* wrinkle.

Fast forward to our family birthday party. It's at seven in the morning, but let's not worry about that now. Anyway, the boy opens a couple of minor presents, such as a paperback book and a dvd. Now comes the payoff. We give him a HUGE gift bag. It's stuffed full of a HUGE birthday themed plastic bag, wrapped around and around and around a video game case. As the boy feels the case deep inside the plastic bag, he purports to be fairly confident that he knows what game it is. "Don't be too sure," I suggest.

He opens the bag and pulls out....

Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge.

The one I mocked up the night before.

He laughs. Naturally, he gets the joke. The little kids laugh too. Even they get the reference. (See, even my twins have sophisticated enough humour palates to appreciate Simpsons episodes, ergo Simpsons references as well. So it's not just that I'm a bad parent. Really.)

Inside the case is a note indicating that we *do* have one more gift for him. The one he wanted, called Super Paper Mario.

All's well that ends well.

Um, except for one caution to other parents. If your kid is playing a videogame in your living room on a Friday night, especially one that lets him toggle between 2D and 3D mode, DON'T watch him playing the game if you happen to be consuming a little bit of alcohol.

Because it might freak you out a bit.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wii Make Quite A Foursome, Don't Wii?

So you know how much we like our Wii.

Remember how I told you about creating a Mii?... well, I guess people like to create ones that look like *other* people, as well as ones that look like themselves!

See, I traded Wii codes with other Wii users (from a site called "Connect Mii") so that other people's Miis would show up and parade around on our machine in our "Mii Parade." (Trust me, it's kind of cool, no matter how dorky it sounds!)

Anyway, when they started showing up in our parade, a few of them had familiar names and faces:

Jack Black.

Harry Potter.


Adolf Hitler.

And even...

Ron Jeremy.

Any of these Mii's that I want to keep, I can drag them out of the Mii Plaza and keep them in my system to use in our own games.

Wouldn't that make quite the tennis foursome? Me and Harry Potter vs. Jesus and Ron Jeremy?

p.s. Oops... my 10-year-old daughter was reading over my shoulder as I typed and was asking me who Ron Jeremy is. I totally didn't answer her, but the correct response should have been, "You will never ever ever know." I just didn't think quickly enough.

p.p.s. And also please forgive the poor quality of the photograph. I'm hoping you'll cut me some slack, especially since I'll be going to hell now.

Generational Litmus Test

OK, this just occurred to me.

I'm forty-one years old. Just to establish a baseline. No big shock there to regular readers.

My question is,

Is there anyone in the world younger than me who likes Tapioca pudding?

Just wondering. See, I'm afraid that Tapioca pudding will become one of those things that disappears because all the people who liked it died off. Like Brussel Sprouts. (But that one's okay - I *hate* Brussel Sprouts)

Thank you and good day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Today I heard possibly the strangest thing I've ever heard my wife say to one of our children:

"You'd better be puking by 10 o'clock or you'll be in big trouble!"

So now I better explain.

This morning, my nine-year-old daughter woke up saying she had a pain in her tummy. She actually does that quite often. Mostly because she eats about as much as a malnourished mayfly. So generally, I give her a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, she eats at least part of it, and she's good to go.

Today, however, she was insisting that she didn't feel well. She was giving us the face. The 'I don't feel well' face. However, the problem is that kids know how to make the face even when they're NOT not feeling well. Generally we're pretty good at figuring out if a kid is really sick or not.

I was at the point where I wasn't sure if she actually wasn't feeling well, or just didn't want to go to school. My wife told her to go downstairs to visit her grandma, and seemed to be leaning towards letting her stay home from school.

That's when my wife, uncertain about the child's sick/not sick status, plants her tongue firmly in her cheek, and gives the child the line. The 'better be throwing up' line. With a little smile. Meaning, if you stay home from school, you better really *be* sick.

The child pipes up, "But I don't feel like I have to throw up! I just don't feel well!" Ah. A chink in the armour. We send her to school. She doesn't complain.

And she doesn't throw up at 10 am.

Unfortunately, she *does* throw up at 11:30.

At school.


So, be careful what you wish for. It might come true.

Saturday, April 07, 2007




Bum bruising.










Put Your Best Face (Book) On It


I was driving in the car the other day and heard a radio report about people who were spending too much their workday on the internet surfing...


I didn't even know *what* Facebook was before a few weeks back, yet it's already become a phenomenon that is causing workplace problems!!

Now, I'll grant you that it's pretty cool. It started as a tool within universities to allow students and staff to identify and learn a bit about each other. Several months ago it was opened to the public. You can set up your own page with info about yourself, and link to other friends' pages. It sounds pretty "ho-hum, whatever" at first, but it's actually a pretty neat way to connect with friends new and old.

Here's what my page looks like (sanitized to remove all my personally identifiable info to deter my many internet stalkers...)

As you may or may not be able to see in the picture, you can add photos (and 'tag' other people in them) and communicate with your friends in a variety of ways. My blog posts even get imported automatically into it. (Um... which occurs to me that this post will be kind of redundant for people who read it over there. Oh well.)

So give it a try if you haven't already.

Just be sure to put your best face on it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Dearly Departed

Well, better late than never.

I finally caught "The Departed" on dvd tonight.

What a good movie. Great story. Total powerhouse lineup of actors too. Actually reminded me a bit of "L.A. Confidential" - which I also loved.

While I won't blow the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it, those of you who have seen it might agree that it had a novel way of wrapping up loose ends.

Oh, and I feel a certain kinship with the film for one other reason:

It uses the word "f*ck" or some variation two hundred and thirty-seven times.

Which is about the same as me on an average day. (wink)