Friday, January 25, 2013

Waaaait, How Long?

Hey everybody,

It has come to my attention that my site is pretty darn basic.  This is for two reasons.

First, I am using a template from Blogger.  It's easy to use and means I don't have to learn anything (because I fear learning).

Second, I find it very inoffensive.  I like basic colours, I like easy to read fonts, and it's not full of animated gifs and garbage.  Yes, there are ads (and eventually those will pay off, so you have to live with them), but it really shouldn't matter how you view the site, it should look pretty much the same.

Next month marks the fifth anniversary of when I started this little endeavour and I feel that there should be something to mark the occasion.  I feel that a milestone like that deserves a bit of attention, or something to commemorate the event at least.  As I've only just realized how long ago that was, I haven't given this a great deal of thought yet so I don't know what it will be.  But expect it to be huge! And by huge, I mean that I'll probably write something.  Maybe take a picture.  Of me.  At our kitchen table.  Like most of my pictures seem to be.

"Hey," you might say, "five years ago?  Where are all those posts?  I only see going back to 2009!  You're a liar and a fibber and I shan't stand for it!  You wait till the Senate hears about this!"

The problem is that when I started this blog in 2008, it wasn't exactly like it was today.  It was an experiment that grew into something of a mouthpiece for me.

The grand experiment (for those of you that don't remember) was sports predictions.  Since I only had about five regular readers back then, I wouldn't be surprised that you don't recall it.

Where did those posts go?  I took them down a long time ago.  Don't remember when exactly... but it was a while ago.  Here's what it came down to - writing sports predictions was funny (it was) and it paid the bills (that's a lie) but I got bored with writing the same stuff over and over again.  Plus, I started getting email and spam about sports related things.  I barely have enough time for all the local lesbians that want to meet me, let alone try to figure out what the heck point spreads are (I think it's dirty too, but not in a way that made me want to continue research).

But I digress.

February 17, 2008 was the first post here (even though it's not here right now). I'm thinking a contest would be interesting... Thoughts?

PS - for those of you that were paying attention, I did change the colour scheme on the site.  It used to be a light blue background and title text.  Now it's a slightly darker blue!  Good on you for noticing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Week in Highs and Lows

I went to work on my day off this week and got cake again! Yay!

I did not get paid for this time I spent at work.  But it was only an hour and I still got cake, so it balances.

I had some very definitive plans this weekend that involved going to Halifax for two days of fun with Kevin Smith.

I am not a huge fan of Kevin Smith - by no means am I foaming at the mouth for every movie that he has ever brought out, nor do I believe that everything that he touches turns to gold.  But I do find him funny, and I respect what he's done, and I think he's a great story teller.  He's also done a great job of surrounding himself with interesting and funny people.

I was super excited with the news that he was going to bring many of his podcast shows (and there are many) to Halifax for the sixth anniversary of his podcast network.  Sure it was a little pricey at a hundred bucks a day, but the chance to see all of this crazy cast at work was too much to pass up.  Note that at least half of his crazy cast is in the form of Ralph Garmain (cause he does impressions you see).

The shows have been cancelled.

Weekend plans are in near ruin, but stuff happens and I will ease my disappointment somehow.  Probably by spending the refunded ticket money on something else super fun.  Like candy.

Bed, Bath & Beyond opened in Moncton.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the store, the "Bed" and "Bath" portions of the store are things that you would find in those rooms in your home.  Towels, sheets, things that do things that I didn't realize needed doing but could be done at least once for $39.99 until you put it away in the basement until the yard sale you're going to be forced to have five years hence.

The "Beyond" of the store are the rest of your rooms, though mostly just the kitchen.  I think a better name for the store would be "More Stuff For Your Rooms", but it doesn't flow off the tongue as nicely and also might cause shoppers to think a little bit about whether they really need another garlic press (nobody uses these - they only exist to make you feel bad about using garlic powder or pre-minced garlic from a jar).

I had to go.

Five minutes into our walkabout, My Lovely Wife asked me if I saw anything I liked.  I know that she does this out of a sense of politeness and in an effort to make a shopping trip with me a little more enjoyable (Hint: I am not a browser, and this store is built for people who like to create a little story about what it would be like to own everything in that store).  Since we were standing in one of the aisles with kitchen gadgets I said "no, but if we find that thing that lets you make your own pop I'm buying it."

Moments later, we turned the corner and there it was.  I want that thing so bad.

I did not buy it.

My Lovely Wife said "Well, you could buy it now, but it will ruin your birthday present."

So cheers to me!  I may know what I'm going to be getting for my birthday, but it turns out it's something I really really want - more than I expected.

SodaStream, you will be mine.  Oh yes, you will be mine.

It is darn cold out there.  Today is going to be -38 with the wind chill.  That is too cold.  I know living where I do and complaining about the cold is a little like living in a place that's really cold and complaining about it (yes, I realize how lazy that was, but I'm getting hungry and I want to finish this before I have lunch).

We're going on a trip!  In a random, spur of the moment kind of thing, we're going to be taking a trip this year.  Tickets have been purchased, vacation days are scheduled, it's all falling into place.  More details on that to come, but it should be a good time.

And that's all I got for now.  Time for leftover lasagne!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Things That I Will Do...

I was lucky enough to have a long weekend this week.

For those of you that aren't in the know, I work a 4 days on / 4 days off shift.  They are fairly long days, but it's not so bad, and the 4 day weekends are boss.  I ended up with a 5-day weekend (well, Monday-Friday weekend) this week because of a change to the schedule.  What would you do with five days off?

I'll tell you what I did.  I went to work.

I mean, honestly, what am I going to do with a 5-day weekend?  I waste the four days off I get now anyway.  It turns out that they needed a little extra help so I went in for the day yesterday just to help balance the load.

Best. Decision. Ever.

First:  There were some people I work with that I've never met before (cause my company is way huge man, you just don't even know), and they were in town for meetings.  Now, I could have come in on my day off just to meet them face to face and say hello.  I could have done that, but I wasn't going to.  Because even though they had travelled a long distance and they are very lovely people, I am doing my best to not be that guy that goes into work on his days off because he has nothing else to do.

I have lots to do.  Or at least that is the impression that I want everyone to have.  Truth is that I'm still sitting here in my bathrobe and its 2 in the afternoon.

I swear to you, I was stone cold sober when I took this picture.  I did get totally wasted enough to post it.
Nah, just kidding, I have no self respect.
Upshot of the first thing, I got to meet some folks that I've been working with and only knew as a voice and an email address.  It was nice.  Though I did miss out on the meet and greet that they did earlier in the week, but that's okay because...

Second:  When my company has big meetings like the ones that were going on that everyone had travelled here for, there is usually catering involved.  And when there is catering involved there are usually leftovers.  And this was no exception.

In standard office hierarchy, leftover food from catering goes like this:
  1. The people involved with the meeting. The brave ones get a second helping (they know they're going to be in this meeting for the rest of the day, but free food is free food and they're willing to risk it).  Then there are the people that will grab a second dessert or another beverage to have on the side, just to snack on during the meeting, but they've taken a suspicious number of napkins and five will get you ten that it's getting wrapped up and taken home.
  2. The people who weren't involved with the meeting, but are on the same team as the meeting attendees.  This is basically the way that the people having the meeting apologize to the rest of the group for picking up their slack while they're off getting catered meals and wishing on rainbows and drawing butterflies on the mist of their imaginations.  The invitation usually comes in the form of an email or an instant message: "There's still some left if you're hungry." or "We're about to start again, do you want to grab a plate before they clean it up?"  That sort of thing.  It's always written as though the person writing it doesn't know that everybody has foregone eating lunch in the expectation that there will be leftovers.
    I have levels of hunger that I'm willing to deal with.  Waiting for over-priced appetizers in a really slow restaurant that I don't like that is at the bottom.  Christmas dinner is at the top.  Waiting for that message to come and get it is up there with starving myself before going to a buffet.  It doesn't matter what the food is, I'm taking it and I'm laughing to myself that I didn't have to sit in a mind numbing meeting to get it. Suckers!
  3. People that sit in the vicinity of where the food is being served.  Once the attendees and the team-mates have gotten their invites, the group of people that are lucky enough to have been sitting in the cubicles or office space immediately surrounding the catering area get their "Oh, hey, did you want to grab some of this too?" invitation.  They are truly the least lucky of them all, because when there's not enough leftovers they end up with nothing after having watched wave after wave of people stuffing themselves.
    This group is sort of like the servants in a medieval castle - they can eat all the scraps they want, after the hunting dogs have had their fill.  Also, they are usually covered in sores and are afraid to make eye-contact with you.  I don't know why this is so, but it is.
  4. Random people that happened to come across the meal just before it's about to be tossed out.  Sometimes, there's more than any of the first three groups can eat.  It's rare, but it happens, usually after some mix up in when the catering was supposed to arrive so people in groups 2 and 3 got tired of waiting and just gave in and ate something (it's sad when people lose their faith like that), so they're too full to eat anything else.
    This is the luckiest of all groups because they don't have an expectations whatsoever.  It's like the food fairy came down from his pasta mountain and wants to bless you with a plate of lasagne and maybe a bit of caesar salad.
Just to make sure you're keeping up, the reasons why it was a good day to go into work so far are: 1) meet co-workers from the Land of Far, Far Away and 2) Got fed lunch.

Third: every month, the department that I am in gets a cake and a fruit tray to celebrate all the birthdays on the team that month.  Sometimes, you're even lucky enough that you're at work on the day that it happens they are celebrating your birthday.  Most of the time you're not.  But it's nice to know that people celebrated, yes?

This month, it just happened that it was cake day at work.  The invitation hit my inbox and a small cheer rose  from me to the heavens above: "Cake @ 3:00 by pod 105"  Such magical words.

I met new people, I got fed lunch, and then a couple of hours later I got cake. Could going into work on my day off have gotten any better?

Yes.  It was about to get a lot better.

Fourth:  It wasn't such a bad day.  It was partly because I was able to pick up a little bit of the slack, but it was mostly because it wasn't as busy as we had expected it to be. Normally, Wednesdays are heavy, but for some reason it wasn't this time.  I was able to get some special project work done that had been eluding me for a few weeks, and I learned a few things that will make my first day back on a little bit easier.

Which of course leads to the best reason why it was a good day.

Fifth: I got paid overtime to do it all. 

And the reason why the overtime is awesome is because I want to the movies last night with a friend.  We saw "Django Unchained".  It was very good, and I don't begrudge a single moment of the 8 hours I spent at work to pay for it. Seriously, tickets and concession were crazy expensive.  I almost felt guilty not going to the movie with My Lovely Wife.

For those of you that might be interested, this is my impression of what it would be like watching "Django Unchained" with My Lovely Wife.

Opening credits play:  "Pass me the M&M's."
Approximately 8 minutes into the movie: "We have to leave."

Monday, January 14, 2013

It Must Work Because I Felt Better Just Watching It

Long story short, bad day.  Not so much bad, really, as just plain miserable.  Which I think may be the reason why when we saw this come on the television I looked at My Lovely Wife and we both lost it.  I mean, truly lost it.  Laughter so hard that I was snorting trying to hold it back.

What could cause such merriment?  Why, nothing short of the YumaLite.

I don't often put commercials on my blog, but I feel this one is deserving.  I dare you to watch this commercial and not smile.  Double dare.

There are so many great moments in this film, it's hard to choose my favourites...But I'll try.

  • The Mom, using her YumaLite while she makes lunch for her kid.  And then trying hard not to hit her husband in the face with it.
  • The lady wearing hers while she applies her make up.  In the space of a few moments, her face says "Oh! I can't believe I ever tried to put on make up without the benefit of light shining into my eyes and this OH SO attractive visor on my noggin!"
  • The elderly couple who are surprised when they're able to turn the television on.
  • The guy suffering from SAD walking down the sidewalk and kicking at some snow.  He needs some friends, and I bet he'd find some if he was wearing his YumaLite!
  • And then there's that elderly lady again, who is so comfortable at using the telephone with her YumaLite!
  • The best part though, is at the end when the woman turns her YumaLite on...while apparently outside on a sunny day.

Oh, YumaLite. I know nothing about you, but your commercial really cheered me up.  And you're Canadian too!  I think I'm proud of that.

Yes.  I think I am.

The gang from the Dragons' Den all like the company too.

So YumaLite, I salute you.  Even without me buying your product, you improved our day.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

You Know What I Don't Get? Humour.

Many of you who know me know that there is some very popular comedy that I just... don't get.  Specifically, the magic of Seinfeld.  Note that I am referring to not understanding Seinfeld: The Show, and not Seinfeld: The Person.

Here's the FAQ:
Q:  How can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  I just don't find it very funny.

Q:  How can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  Um, I guess I just don't feel anything for any of the characters?

Q:  How can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  I-I just... look, I don't need specific reasons not to like-

Q:  But how can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  No further comment.

For those of you that were paying attention, each of those questions was written as though asked by each of the characters from the show.  Have fun figuring out which was which!

Seinfeld was a creation of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, both of whom are fabulously wealthy from the proceeds of not making me laugh.  Larry David has another hit comedy show called Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Why on earth am I bringing this up?  Because the other day, I had a conversation with my good friend Scott that somehow morphed into me writing a description of what it would be like if I met Larry David.  Anyway, I took time out of my life to write it up just so I could impress upon Scott how serious I was about wanting to take a break at that time (because I totally wouldn't have written this up while I was on the clock, that would be dishonest.)

Without further ado, here is the original script for "Meeting Larry David".  I hope you enjoy it as much as I didn't.

Weh-Ming Cho

ME – Me
LARRY – Larry David
BOB – Our mutual friend

INT Restaurant. It’s a Mexican restaurant, with lots of South of the Border flare. BOB and ME are sitting
at a table.

I can’t wait for you to meet Larry! We should have done this years ago.

You’ve told me so much about him, I feel like I know him already.

He’s a lot like you. He’s got a really different sense of humour. Man, when he gets going at a party

Does he know how to get here?

Oh yeah, this is his favorite place, we eat here all the time. Here he is! Larry! Over here!

Hey Bob.

Larry, this is my friend Weh. Weh, this is Larry.

Nice to meet you, Larry. Bob’s talked about you so much that I feel like I already know you!

That’s nice.

(BOB looks back and forth between LARRY and ME. He has a huge stupid smile on his face and is
practically vibrating from excitement.)


Larry lives in LA! Right Larry?

Yes, Los Angeles. But I’m not from there. I’m just of there.

I’ve only been there once, but we had a great time.

Good, good.

(BOB laughs maniacally.)

You guys!


CUT TO: The three of them are eating appetizers. LARRY is telling a story and BOB is laughing so hard
that he is crying.

…and that’s when I said this is the worst airline I’ve ever not flown on.

(Breathless) I…can’t-hahaha-believe-hahahaha-they’d do that!

That’s pretty funny.

Well, 50 million people thought so.

Fifty million people! HA ha ha! I can’t believe it!

CUT TO: Entrées are being eaten. ME is telling a story and BOB is laughing so hard that his meal is
practically untouched and his head is resting on the table.

…And that’s how we spent our vacation. It was a lot of fun.


That’s nice.

We thought so.

CUT TO: Dessert. BOB is nowhere to be seen. LARRY and ME are focused intently on our desserts.

Is he okay?

(Looks at floor by table) Yes, I think he’s okay. He’s stopped twitching at least.

Good. That’s good.


How’s your pie?

Eeeeh, it’s fine.

Yeah, I guess that’s the best you can hope for in ordering pie in a Mexican restaurant, right?

(BOB’s hand appears)


CUT TO: Paying the bill

I’ve got to run, but it was good seeing you again Bob. Weh, it was nice meeting you too.

Likewise. I’ll talk to you later, Bob.

You guys! You guys! You have to... you guys!

That was awful.

Fade to Black

Post script:

1.  For those of you that read through that entire mess, I'd like to extend my sincere apologies.  Sometimes, I write things for the sake of having written something.
2.  Everything I know about Larry David, I made up.  I have no idea if he is "from" or "of" LA, if he likes Mexican restaurants, has ever had any interaction with an airline whatsoever, or if he enjoys pie.
3.  The events in this script were entirely made up and oh my god, I think I just wrote a fanfic...
4.  If you are Larry David, please do not be angry with me just because your life's work doesn't do anything for me.  I mean, you don't see Michaelangelo getting worked up because I don't care that much for his statue of David.  Hmm... maybe I just have something against Davids in general?
5.  If you decide to perform my script, please do not harm Larry David.
6.  Scott might notice that this version of the script varies ever so slightly from the one that he read earlier.  This version contains one corrected typo.  I would have corrected more, but I was having fun writing this bit at the end and just didn't go back to it.  See if you can find the correction Scott!
7.  If you didn't laugh reading this, you have some idea of how I feel.
8.  I've made it as far as 7 on this list, so now I have to push for an even 10.
10.  Nah.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Anyone Else Do This?

Like most people, I have thoughts.  

I know that sounds obvious, but when was the last time that you thought about the fact that practically everyone around you is thinking about something?


At four in the morning, I had another one of my "hey, you know what would have been awesome? If you had maybe paid a little more attention to your personal hygiene and grooming in middle school and high school."  That, of course, sent me on a downward spiral.  Now all I can think of are the "wow, did you really say that to someone that time at that party?" and "maybe if you cleaned your dorm room a little more often it wouldn't have smelled quite so much like farts and Magic: The Gathering cards."

Nothing else to do about it but get up and tell you all about it.

Anxiety sucks. 

When I was a kid, my mom gave me a string of plastic beads that she called my "worry beads". When I started getting anxious, I was supposed to get them out and, you know, just kind of feel them and meditate on what was good and all.  I think I still have them.  I'm pretty sure she gave them to me because I was driving them nuts with my pre-pubescent anxiety attacks on my place in the world.  And also because it was what could be described as one ugly-ass necklace, so hey, two birds one stone, right?

I've since graduated to other modes of grounding myself, almost none of which include fashion accessories.  It works for me, but I gotta catch it when it starts or I lose any chance at productivity or relaxation.  Like this morning.  If I'd just gotten up when it started, I might have been able to pull off another hour of sleep.  


In case you're wondering, my room no longer smells like farts and Magic: The Gathering cards.  I haven't played M:TG in years.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Would Be Your Epitaph?

I was surfing Reddit and one of the conversations that popped up was the following:

Reddit, you just died. The epitaph on your tombstone is the last words you said aloud. What are they?

So yes, it's a little depressing, but there is some gold in there too.  It doesn't have a huge number of responses yet, but here are a few of my favorites:

In the You Had It Coming Category...
"What are you going to do, shoot me?" -vball23
"Are you feeling lucky punk?"  -TY4788
"Does he still work here?" -sirlongfoot
"Well, honey your feet... they ain't as pretty as you think." -machinekillsfascists

In the Innocent Bystander Category...
"Fine, I'll have the milk." -bonnielassie
"No, it's not my natural hair color." -rawrheppe
"I'm gonna go watch Forrest Gump." -elwray1989
"Yeah, cheese fries." -friedricekid

In the They Were Probably High When It Happened Category...
"Am I doin' the moonwalk?" -xWeasel
"Where's my Dunkin' Donuts. I thought that I was sexual, not fat." -SEXUAL_OSTRICH
"It sounds like your ray gun could use more farts." -munkeybutt

I could go on and on.  I actually did, but then I went back and cut out all the ones with swearing and stuff.  There could be kids reading this or something, and I'd hate to be responsible for introducing swears to small children.  That's what school is for.

My epitaph kind of fits in all three of the above categories, depending on the situation:

"The eggrolls are ready, but the pizza isn't."

Now I just have to ensure that I live long enough to have "Is my eggroll ready yet?" carved on the monument to My Lovely Wife...

So what's on your tombstone folks?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sorry No Post Yesterday

I had something amusing planned, and then life stepped in and gave us a swift kick in the feelings.

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

If You Don't Knit, You Can Probably Skip This. If You Do, You Probably Know This Feeling

I'm knitting a new project, probably the most complicated pattern that I've ever done.

I started it on December 22, and it was going pretty well.  I got about 18 rows into it, and on Christmas morning I discovered a mistake.  On Row 12.  I started to pull it back and in the process realized that I'd also dropped a stitch.

On Row 5.  

As a point of reference, that was over 2000 stitches and probably 5 hours of work that I'd messed up.  

I pulled it apart and restarted it from scratch.  Because I was already familiar with the pattern at this point, it only took me until December 30 to get caught back up.

This morning, I found another mistake.  Thankfully, it only ended up being a couple of rows back, so it only took a few hours to work it back and start forward (and no dropped stitches anywhere to be found).  But dang if my heart didn't drop a little when I realized that I'd messed up the pattern.  But I tell ya, I felt like a pro when I was able to fix it!

There was supposed to be some sort of life lesson here, and I'm pretty sure I was going somewhere with a punchline, but for the life of me I cannot remember what it was.  I wrote this at about 5 AM, so my memory is a little hazy.  But it was going to be great, I'm sure.

Oh well, enjoy this picture of the vending machine at my work. (No, that's not my hand.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 - Another Year the World Didn't End In

You know, I'm beginning to think that there might not be any actual evidence or proof that the world is going to end.  It's almost disheartening.  Y2K fizzled out without so much as a single satellite lobbing nuclear missiles at us.  The Mayan's just needed a new desk calendar.  And don't even get me started on the rapture.  

In fact, the only thing that really seems to succeed is the money to be made on the end of the world.  Armageddon made over $500 million and 2012 made over $700 million!  If ever there was a sign that people like the idea of an apocalypse more than they believe in one, the fact that these movies continue to be made and make huge cash is it.

Here's my New Year's Resolution:  I'm going to jump on the next big end of world scenario.  I don't know what it is, and frankly I don't care because it doesn't really matter.  And if I can't find one that I like then I'll make one up of my own.  It doesn't seem to be very difficult.  Maybe something like if you look at The Sphinx through some Spanx you can see the date of the end of the world written in the stars.

Whatever it is, I'm going find it and I'm going to cash in on it.  So watch out for my line of doomsday scenario branded tea cozies and pens.

Why should the end of the world be such a downer?

Happy New Year everyone, and a Merry Pre-Next-Big-Apocalypse-Prediction!