Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Facebook wants us to be friends no matter what

Given the amount of influence Facebook has in my relationship with my wife, I thought it might be a good idea to go through mine and see if there was anything I should be wary of.

One of those things were the 10 or 20 friend requests that I've been ignoring waiting for the perfect moment to review.

Among the many requests from people that I've held deep and meaningful relationships with were some people that I crossed paths with many years ago and have totally forgotten about.  (Please note, if you received a confirmation from me today, I totally don't mean you, I mean those other people.)

Hidden, like some kind of stealthy sort of badger, was one of those "Friend recommendations".  In case you are lucky enough to never have been caught by one of these, it's when one of your other friends finds some person on Facebook and sends them to you because you know them on a deep and personal level and have been missing them all this time.

The one I got was for a person that I do not know.  Not even a little.  If I did know him, the poor brain cells that held those memories have long since died of neglect or been put to better use remembering Firefly episodes.


I meant to click Ignore, but I hit confirm instead.  And that's when I discovered that I can't undo that sort of thing.  When you friend someone in Facebook by accident, you better mean it.

Unable to correct my error, I sent the following message to my mistake-friend.
I got one of those "You should know this guy" things from Ken... and to tell you the truth, I don't know/remember you.  I actually meant to ignore it, but hit confirm by accident.

Tell ya what: if you do actually know me, let me know.  If not, no need to accept my friend request.  Like I said, it was an accident.  It's not a statement about your personality or your profile picture or your knowing Ken.  Really, it's me.

Well, it is kind of you too.  It's not my fault you don't know me.  Okay, I'll accept 50% of the blame.

Hope he has a sense of humor.  But if not, meh, he's no friend of mine.  Yet.  Sort of.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Complete and utter failure and also I didn't win the lottery

I don't know what happened.

My math was impeccable.  Everything was pointing toward a huge lottery win for yours truly, when suddenly I didn't.

Hard to believe, really.

Instead, someone from Newfoundland and I think Saskatchewan won.  Makes sense if you think about it.  Newfoundland's pretty much in the middle of the ocean, which means anything on top of it will get struck by lightning.  And Saskatchewan... well, I can't imagine how anyone in Saskatchewan could get hit.  I guess every highly detailed and well thought out equation has some measure for error.

In other news, happy birthday to my big brother.  For years, I lived in this man's shadow. But then he moved out of the house and stopped standing right there, and it got better.  He refuses to hunch over more, so he's still taller than I am, which means he could still cast a shadow over me.  Only I'm much more wily now.

Big happy birthday to you Dickson.  You've got a great little family going on there.  Your girls are delightful and fun and since it's your birthday I won't even make the obligatory "no way they're yours" joke.  Instead, you got a Walmart gift card.

The inscription that I put on the card was "Walmart gift cards, when only the very best is too expensive."  Here are some other options I thought of after the fact:
  • Walmart gift cards: when you want to show you care, but not enough to buy a real present.
  • Walmart gift cards: just as good as cash, but not.
  • Walmart gift cards: what better way to show someone you love like think about know they exist.
  • Walmart gift cards: when you don't know someone enough to get them a gift card for a store you know that they like, get them one for a store you know they'll end up in.
  • Walmart gift cards: it's like getting cash that can only be used in one place until it expires.
  • Walmart gift cards: because unlike real money, you'll keep forgetting this in a drawer when you go to the store.
  • Walmart gift cards: just like Canadian Tire money, only you didn't earn it.
Happy Birthday Dickson!

Kijiji Ads of 05/20/10

I should pay more attention to my posts.  Here's another one from May 20 that I forgot to hit publish on.  It's kind of short, so I was probably thinking "oh, I'll come back and finish this later."

It's later.  It's unfinished.  But here they are.

Words fail me.  And the poster.


Here's one from this weekend.

Oh yes, I can see how these are barely used and that they are worth $20.  You really couldn't convince the person that bought the first two to take the others? 

What are these for?  Besides using my imagination to scare me?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy remake? Must have...

I just found this and got a just a tiny bit excited.

The original HGTTG text adventure fills a part of my soul that I imagine memories of football games with that goofy uncle fills the souls of those more athletic and possibly healthier people that I know.  It was like reading the book all over again from a different (and at times more frustrating) angle.

Turning the game into a click and point game sounds great... but I'm going to have to try it before I say anything.  A lot of the humor that I loved from the original was because it was Douglas Adams writing it, and the man was a bit of a wordsmith (or wordsmythe, as I like to imagine would be printed on his business card).  Turning it into a point and click I fear may cause some of that awesomeness to be lost.

I loved point and click games.  I spent many an hour in certain mansions and islands.  I feel like when Batman and Robin would show up on Scooby Doo.  I just hope it doesn't turn out like Batman and Robin on Scooby Doo.  I don't think I liked that episode.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Classic Movies in Three Lines

Scott and I had an interesting conversation about whether you could boil down some classic sci-fi movies into three lines. Since I've kind of been feeling like I've been losing my memory for movie trivia (I actually forgot Ian McKellen's name - I had to refer to him as "Magneto". So sad.), this is a worthy exercise.

The key is not to necessarily think of the three most famous lines, though that's what they often are. These are lines that I think sum up each act of the movie, so think of them as linse that sum up the beginning/middle/end.

Here are some of the ones that we thought of - I can't remember all the ones we did - and some of the ones that I've thought of since.

"Game over, man!"
"Get away from her, you bitch!"

The Terminator
"I'll be back."
"Come with me if you want to live."
"There is no fate but that we make."

Terminator 2: Judgement Day
"I'll be back."
"Come with me if you want to live."
"There is no fate but that we make."

2001: A Space Odyssey
"Open the pod bay doors, Hal."
"Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?"
"My God, it's full of stars..."

Um, really blanked on the other ones.  Scott?

Friday, June 25, 2010

The longest game of tennis ever

I was surprised to hear that the longest game of tennis ever played happened this week.  It lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes.

Rumor has it that they're coming out with a director's cut with an additional 6 hours of stuff, plus a making of documentary.

Seriously though, I know that you have to be in good shape to play tennis professionally.  Hell, I'll admit that you have to be in good shape to play the game at all.  But how much action could there have been after the first couple of hours?  And what if you happened to be one of the spectators?  How hardcore must you be to watch the same two people whack a ball to each other for that long?  It spread over THREE days!

The NASCAR people at least have the possibility of witnessing a horrible crash.

For heaven's sake, we're talking about 11 hours of PONG.  Could you play 11 hours of Pong?  Could you watch 11 hours of Pong?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Winning the Lottery

"Buying a lottery ticket?  Waste of money!  You have a better chance of being struck by lightning!"

How many people have heard that from some helpful person as you slip your 6/49 ticket into your pocket?  I've always smiled and nodded, as if to say "yes, I know it's a waste of money, but it's my disposable income and who knows?"

We listened to a piece on CBC Radio about the wave of lottery fever sweeping the country.  Everybody's buying tickets for the Lotto Max since it hit the largest jackpot in Canadian history.  We're no exception: we're in two different pools.  But it got me wondering...  You hear that statistic all the time, but how accurate is it?

I decided to do a little research with my good friend Google.

First, the chances of winning the Lotto Max.  According to the website, you have a 1:28,633,528 chance of winning the grand prize.

So, Google, what say you about this statistic?  And what are the chances anyway?

I found it difficult to find a really solid answer, but everyone seems to agree that the number is somewhere between 1:500,000-600,000 that you will be struck by lightning.  No idea how that number is generated, but it seems suspect to me.  If that's the case, somewhere between 11,000-13,500 people were hit by lightning in 2009.  That's a lot of people.  Sure, spread out across the planet it might be thin, but you'd know somebody, right?

Since I'm talking about the Canadian lottery, that would be somewhere between 56-71 Canadians being struck by lightning last year.

A search for "struck by lightning 2009" offered up 553,000 results.  That seems excessive to me.  At that rate, we'd all be living underground.  There appear to be a lot of music related hits, but removing "music" only brought it down to 312,000 hits - what I'd consider to be an apocalyptic number.

I needed to narrow this down further, and what better way than to check the source of all information Canadian - the CBC.  It makes sense: it was their story that got me thinking about it in the first place.  Check this out:
There are around two million lightning flashes in Canada every year, according to Environment Canada. Between six and 10 people die annually, while around 70 are injured after being hit by lightning.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/08/13/f-positive-lightning-explainer.html#ixzz0roVcY8Zn
Holy Moly!  It's even worse than I calculated!  Environment Canada puts the number at between 76-80 people being struck by lightning.  That means it's happening even more than I estimated.

Now back to the lottery.

Being a Maritimer, I check out ALC.ca for all my lottery needs.  This time, my lottery needs include how many people have won the lottery this year (and winning the lottery).  I quickly discover that the Atlantic Lottery Corporation has no option for finding that information easily.  I imagine that if I sent them an email, I could probably get an answer.  But I don't have time for that.  And also I didn't think about it until after I had found a better answer for my question.

I don't know how many people won all the lotteries in 2009, but I do know how many lucky people got all 7 numbers in the Lotto Max on June 11 and 18th.  Guess.  Go on, guess.


Yes, 76 winning tickets were sold across the country in the two previous draws. In two weeks, the same number of people that were hit by lighting last year won the lottery in two weeks.  And those people didn't even win the big prize of $50 million!  And this number assumes that each of those tickets was only purchased by one person and not by a group.  The number of winners is likely much higher.

Before you go all high and mighty on me, yes I know that there is a flaw in my argument.  Nobody is trying to get hit by lightning (with a few exceptions).  But that goes both ways.

In conclusion, the next time some doofus says it to me when I buy a ticket, I'm going to tell them:
"Maybe.  But why don't you run around a field in a thunderstorm and we'll see who has more fun winning?"

Comments and criticisms

Hopefully, more of the former, less of the latter.

I've gotten feedback from two people in the last 24 hours regarding their comments not showing up (which, incidentally, is a landmark amount of non-post related feedback). 

I did a couple of test comments myself and they seem to be working.  Just to be on the safe side, I disabled the word verification setting.  I had been getting some spam comments, so I turned that on.  I guess we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Insert picture of cute cat doing cute thing in a cute setting.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Are you holding on to your hearts?

Because here comes the delicious.

A long time ago I got an idea.  A crazy, mad, insane delicious sounding idea.  Like many of my ideas, it took me a long time to actually get the gumption to go ahead and do it.  Unlike many of my ideas, I actually followed through and did something.

I present to you, the Breakfast Buffet Hot Dog (name pending something more awesome).

Here's what you'll need:

Breakfast sausage
Hot dog buns
Maple syrup

In other words, you need all the ingredients that you'd find in a breakfast buffet.

Step 1:  Prepare the Meat

While shopping for groceries on Friday, I decided it had to be done:  I had to make this wild and crazy thing.  It was the perfect time.  We had company arriving to stay for the weekend which meant I would double the size of my taste-testing group. 

With that in mind, when our friends arrived I told everyone what I was planning for the following morning.  In addition to potentially whetting their appetite, it also meant that I really did have to get up and make it - I'd made a commitment and I follow through on my commitments (unless they involve chugging bottles of syrup, which I failed to do in near epic proportions).

It was like it was Christmas or my birthday (which, no matter how old I get or how I might say it doesn't really mean that much to me, I always end up not being able to get to sleep and I always wake up early).  It was 8 am, and it was just me and the cats moving around.

At 8:02 am, I was googling "how to cook a breakfast sausage".  As it turns out, I've only ever cooked breakfast sausages in the oven in honey garlic sauce. I was pretty sure that restaurants fried sausages, or at least that's how they look to me, so I was going to fry these guys.  Thanks to a few of the 896,000 results, I discovered that the best way to fry breakfast sausage is to put them in a frying pan and add heat.  I really think this Internet thing is going to take off.

While the sausage was cooking up, I started cooking the bacon.  No googling required.  I loves me some bacon.  The most difficult part of this entire enterprise was NOT eating the bacon before it was time.  I wanted my appetite to be at maximum, and snacking on bacon while cooking could possibly render my palate non-hospitable to my creation.

As I finished cooking the last of the bacon, I put it all in with the sausages.  This helped me save on space, freed up a frying pan for the all important next-to-last step, and also helped imbue the sausage with the essence of bacon.  At this time, everyone woke up and I found the camera to take a picture.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

This is sausage and bacon.

Step 2:  Egg Loaf

When I made wild and crazy claims about what I wanted to make in the morning, my lovely wife said she would make the eggs.  Seems she learned something when she was a camp leader that she wanted to share with us all: eggs in a bag.

Eggs in a bag are made by cracking eggs into a zip lock bag, then cooking them in hot water.  Seems reasonable.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

And darned if it doesn't work.  I can't tell you anything about how to cook it other than put it in boiling water and keep checking the bag.  When it looks done, it probably is.  They look like this when we emptied the bag.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

May I introduce you to Egg Loaf?  Egg Loaf looked perfect for my plans, but sadly, we had misjudged the sheer volume of eggs we put in.  How many eggs, you may ask, did we put in?  I cannot tell you.  It was less than 12, but maybe around 8, I don't remember. 

From Breakfast Hot Dog

In any case, poking the Egg Loaf showed that we did not cook it long enough.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

So back in the frying pan.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

And then back in the bowl.  This action shot proves that I poured the eggs back into the bowl.  Take that doubters!

Sadly, Egg Loaf was with us no more, but we have fond memories and pictures to prove that we met him.

Step 3:  We begin to turn up the awesome...

This next part is mission critical.  Without this, everything will literally fall apart.

Grab your bag of hot dog buns.  I prefer generic brand hot dog buns that are cheap and I'm willing to screw up because I can't really hurt the taste of them.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

Next, prepare eggs as though you were about to make French Toast.  But you're not going to make French Toast.  You're going to make FRENCH FREAKIN' HOT DOG BUNS!

From Breakfast Hot Dog

Dip those bad boys into the egg.  Notice that despite finishing the cooking of the eggs there is still some delicious bacon residue on the pan.  That just adds to the awesome. 

Note to everyone who's never been to our house:  That blue thing is our microwave.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

Fry those bad boys up.

Step 4:  Prepare to have your mind BLOWN

This is where it all comes together.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

Open up the bun and add egg...

From Breakfast Hot Dog

Add bacon and sausage...

From Breakfast Hot Dog

And you end up with something that looks like kind of a mess.  But that's because we're not done yet.

From Breakfast Hot Dog

Maple syrup.  Only the finest tree juice will do.

Step 5:  Have mind blown

From Breakfast Hot Dog

First bite...

From Breakfast Hot Dog

Darn right.

Cooking the hot dog buns up French Toast style seemed to be the important element here.  The bread by itself probably would have melted under the heat of the filling, not to mention the added sogginess of that much syrup.

The Verdict

It did take me about 2 hours to go from starting prep to first bite, but I was groggy and trying not to wake everyone up with banging pots (I wanted the smell of bacon to do that).

We had a lot of leftovers (I made way more than needed because I didn't know how much filling the buns would need), but the remains of the Egg Loaf were the only waste (reheated eggs? no thank you).

The general consensus was that they were delicious.  Although I have pictures of people enjoying this breakfast delight, I have decided against posting them.  Not because they are an unattractive bunch, but I feel that it is in my interest not to post embarrassing pictures of my friends.  It helps keep the pictures they have of me off the Internet.

Surprisingly, they were not that messy to eat.  I had visions of them falling apart, hence the plate practically under my chin), but spillage was minimal.  They were no problem to eat one handed.

Unsurprisingly, they were very filling.  The guys ate two, more out of excitement than hunger.  We were VERY full after, and settled on one and a half being the perfect serving size. 

The Breakfast Buffet Hot Dog: Every bite is a buffet!

That's a lame slogan, but it's the best I've come up with in two days.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dear everyone on facebook, I'm okay

A funny thing happened to me this weekend.  The punchline will be "Oh, Internet, you've done it again."  It starts off a little sad, but it gets better.

I was sitting at the ol' computer when I got an IM from an old friend.  I haven't talked to her in a while, and as it turned out I had been meaning to get in touch with her to share some sad news.  I even wrote something to the effect of "hey, I'm glad you caught me, I've been meaning to talk to you about some sad news."

See, my father had just taken his cat to the vet a week earlier for that final visit.  Yeah, that visit.  Piper was not a healthy cat.  There were a number of things that Piper was suffering from, but she was a happy cat.  On a side note, I talked to Dad later and I don't think he's been that sad in a very long time.  He really loved that cat. 

And I did too.  Because before Piper was my parents' cat, she was my cat.  I got Piper when I was in university.  I had always wanted a cat, and Piper fit the bill (she was a cat, you see).  She was a great cat.  She thought she was a dog for the most part.  She would follow me around.  If she was outside when I had to go to class, I used to have to trick her by going in the back door and then running out the front door.  Otherwise, she would trail behind me all the way to campus.  She used to do this to Dad too, later, when he would find her in the church after she'd followed him from the house. 

Piper was, in all honesty, my favorite feline (please do not read that last bit aloud to the cat that is currently purring quite contentedly on my lap).  Which was why it was so hard when I moved to Halifax.  I couldn't take her from being an outdoor cat with a giant yard and trees and shade and stuff her into an apartment where I couldn't let her out.  Yes, I know you CAN let cats outdoors in the city, but I was fond of her and wanted her to live.  After a long discussion, my father agreed to keep Piper. 

Come to think of it, that conversation went something like: "Dad, I am moving to Halifax." "Piper stays here."

And so, Piper became my father's cat. 

But before Piper was my cat, she was M's cat.  M and her boyfriend had gotten Piper when she was just a kitten (Piper, not M).  Piper was on cute friggin' kitten, let me tell you.  Fast forward a couple of years, M moves in with myself and three other folks (one of them being M's ex-boyfriend, which, wow, let me tell ya something, he's a series of posts unto himself), and Piper becomes the sixth housemate.  Before you know it, it's the end of school and M is leaving and trying to find someone to take care of Piper.

And so, Piper became my cat.

To recap: Piper is my Dad's cat, was my cat, and was M's cat before that.

M, if you're reading this I didn't save our chat window so I'm kind of winging it on memory here.  I'm really paraphrasing, but here goes.
Me:  I have sad news.
M:  Uh oh.
Me:  Yeah, Dad took Piper to the vet to be put to sleep.
M:  Oh that's sad. Thank you for taking care of her for me.
Me:  She was a great cat.
M:  So not to pry or anything, but I noticed that R (my wife) had changed her relationship status to single.
Me:  What?

Okay, it may not have been that jarring a transition, but that's kind of how it felt to me in retrospect. She thought I was about to open up about splitting up with my wife and I'm telling her about a cat.

There were a few things that went through my mind in the time it took me to respond with my oh-so-coherently worded "What?" 

Here's a fairly accurate transcript of my inner monologue:

Holy crap, did my wife leave me?  That seems like something I would remember, but I am really tired right now, so maybe I missed it.  Why am I so tired?  Oh, yes, because I stayed up until WAY too late playing video games, watching movies and drinking WAY more Coke than I should at my age at that time of the night.  I don't normally stay up that late, or sleep in this long.  Oh, that's right, I did it because R was away and I could stay up that late without feeling guilty about it.  Wait, why is R gone?  Did she leave me?  Holy crap, she's not here, she must have left me.  No, I dropped her off.  Right, I dropped her off at Brownie Camp.  Ha ha, she hasn't left me at all, she's just at Brownie Camp being awesome with kids, and I know this because I dropped her off there.  Unless, maybe she just TOLD me she was going to Brownie Camp and she had actually been planning to leave me all this time, but couldn't figure out a way to tell me...so she got me to drop her off at Brownie Camp so she could get picked up by whoever she's going to live with now?  Maybe I should check out her facebook page, maybe M was just looking at the wrong person.

Nope, no relationship status.

Holy crap I'm getting a divorce.  That's the only logical reason for this. 

Well, that or this conversation that I suddenly remembered having with R:
R: I think I'm going to delete my facebook page.  I don't like having my personal information on the Internet like that.
Me:  Makes sense.
I explained what R was doing, and that we were still very much still married.  I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that according to what information was left on R's facebook profile, she was now only 23 years old, which means that I must be pretty awesome to score such a hot young wife.  And not creepy for marrying her 8 years ago when she was just 15 or because we'd been dating since she was like 12. 

Let's just go with hot 23 year old wife.

Turns out that M wasn't the only one that thought that things must have gone sour.  R's cousin thought the same thing when she saw her page. R has since added a "Dear everyone, we're still married" message on facebook until she's decided whether to leave it entirely or not.

I'm a little scared what might happen if she deletes her profile.  I may get condolence cards.

Oh, Internet, you've done it again.

Why won't anyone buy our TV Stands?


Almost 1500 people have checked it out! 

Now, if I could just get each person to give me 1 cent...