Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


An unedited version of a story I didn't want to write went as follows:

A woman hit a womean tiweht her can, and then helped her oiwht tyhe good time news partols’ party hug hug fun adventure bore stupid who cared.
The driver, whose suzuki sidekick had more than 234344 miles on it, drove to the place fast and fun where all good drivers get to hit old ladies.
“Ow.” said the old laady’s guts, as she was moved to an amblance with life-changing ramifications.
In other news, a reporter got tired of a story before writing it and made it really great through his indifference. “I’m great,” he said.

Fire me!

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Tale of Two Calculators, plus...

Oddly enough, I was given two calculators for Christmas; both are spectacular in their own special ways; but neither of them I can use.

The first one is from my grandmother, who bought one from Reader’s Digest. It’s embedded in wallet, and is therefore something I’ve dubbed the Calculet. Dreamed up by the kinds of minds that would put clocks in toasters and thermometers in hats, it’s technically (or at least according to the instruction sheet) called a Calcwallet. It’s even got a currency converter, so the next time you want to figure out what to tip in drachmas, you’re gravy. Just watch out for the stuff falling out of your wallet, as you hold it open sideways. And dig that new-plastic smell.

The second calculator is the official Dukes of Hazzard LCD calculator, still in the package from 1981,and bestowed up me by friend and ironic knick knack hunter Paul, who packaged it together with the previously blogged about Pee Wee Fun Pak. It still works, and as you can see, one can use it through the plastic, but it’s way too sweet to remove from it’s hermetic seal. Among its features are “Auto shutoff” (no it can’t stop a car from idling), “All metal cabinet” (like the General Lee itself!), and “Vinyle wallet type carrying case” (some calculators come in a “wallet type carrying case” and others in an actual wallet). I love the orange paint on it and the little picture of the General Lee jumping over two cop cars, which are smashing each other head-on. If I had to guess, I’d say this little beauty is best for calculating things like the amount of acceleration needed, given the wind speed and ramp angle, to jump over a washed-out bridge, or for determining the angle one needs to fire a flaming arrow at to hit an outhouse while hanging out the window of a vehicle traveling X mph.

Bummer that neither are really practical, ‘cause I could use a calculator – I still haven’t figured out how to make the one on my stupid cell phone work. If technology were a direct reflection of the user’s mastery over it, my cell would have a hand-crank.

And now three random bits of self-promotion.

1) I assume by now you’ve all seen chucknorrisfacts.com. I’m digging it; so much so that I submitted ten facts, four of which made it on there. Tony Danza interviewed Chuck Norris on his talk show the other day and read a bunch of the “facts” from the site out. Chuck Norris laughed… then killed Danza with a roundhouse, just to show him who the fucking boss really is.

My contributions to Norris lore:

“There is in fact an ‘I’ in Norris, but there is no ‘team’… not even close.”

“Science Fact: Roundhouse kicks are comprised primarily of an element called Chucktanium.”

“There’s an order to the universe: space, time, Chuck Norris.... Just kidding, Chuck Norris is first.”

“Chuck Norris’ favourite cut of meat is the roundhouse.”

2) I contributed to Eye Weekly’s annual critics’ poll for music, which you can read the parts of here and here. The rest isn’t online, including this blurb, which got used in the 2005 Industry Report:

“Despite the best sabotage of major label dinosaurs like Sony, which infected its customers’ CDs with a malicious root-kit, and Warner Bros., which pointlessly stopped website downloads of the Dean Gray American Edit album, online mash-ups and remixes were better than ever this year, particularly the searing post-Katrina George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People re-mix of Kanye West’s Gold Digger. Meanwhile MuchMusic continued its decent in irrelevancy as the Nation’s Vapid Celebrity Gossip Station. Someone pull the plug… please.”

Always looking to take a jab at MushMuzak.

3) And lastly, I interviewed Wes Craven today, who was amicable and intelligent. Given his string of bad luck with studios monkeying around with his films, I asked him if he ever spit on a gypsy to bring such a curse upon himself. He agreed that he just might have.

Thanks for indulging my rollercoaster of useless pop-culture odds ‘n’ ends. Consider yourselves schooled on electronic abacuses (abaci?).

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Talk of the Town

There's been a lot of talk lately of different cities, and the dreams they hold.
Well, I'm from a little town called Halifax on the most easterly coast of Canada.
Here in Halifax, we don't have your big-city jobs or salaries. Hell, we only have one Wal-Mart, and only 2200 Tim Hortons. But what we do have is down-east hospitality and good times.
This is the least stressful place in the entire world. Got a job? Great! Lost it? Go on EI! There's n
o harm, or no shame!
Want a job? Too bad! You'll cut into your social time too much.
So, here's my pitch. There's a journalistic void here, and a burgeoning economy (despite the impe
nding extinction of every edible creature in the ocean). This void could be filled by The Bluenoser, a new weekly publication I want to start here in this fine city.
So pack up your bags, folks. There's
a dreamworld of opportunity for you out here. All you have to do is take a chance. I did, and look at me now! I can't pay my rent! But that doesn't mean that you won't be able to. It just means ... well, I'm not sure. But I don't need to be! It's a world of choices and decisions that you can make tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dear, Edmonton...

You, sir, are awesome. I think I must be going through that thing that people say always happens when you're just about to leave this town and suddenly realize how much you love it. This photo, while nothing special, was taken en route to the Oodle Noodle this afternoon to grab a vermicelli box. I'm hoping to have some time to walk around and shoot some more pictures before the sun goes down, but lords knows time is at an ever-increasing premium is this work-a-day world of ours, hey? HEY??

Yeah, that's fucking right. And come to think of it, this is my last week at Vue. Weird. Weirder still: moving in two weeks.

Time lost to old times

What a stupid title.
ANyway, old video games always held an oddd hold on my life. Not the Atari systems that predated my dad having a paying job, or even the heart-and-soul joyousness of the original nintendo.
I'm talking the original, PC (which stands for "personal computer")-based strategy games.
Civilization was a dreamworld of power, power, power. Sim City let me finally make the world in my image-- I brought to life a town that spelled my name in perfectly cubic residential, commercial, and industrial zones, surrounded by clean, efficient mass-transit tracks.
But my arch-nemesis was a second-generation strategy game called Colonization. Within, a world of imagination ran rampant, obliterating any desires I had to do homework, take baths, or brush my teeth.
In 1995, I searched the wild and uncharted waters of 1492, searching for the new world. Every move was breathlessly thrilling as I discovered continents! Hidden Cities! Angry, bloodthirsty cannibal tribes! Starvation! Spanish assholes who would somehow have 20 soldiers and 20 dragoons three turns after the game started, and who would proceed to kill you between their gentle visits to the native villages. During these gentle visits, the Spaniards would also kill the natives, so there was no favortism.


One morning, in 1998, I woke up alone and drooling on the floor under the computer desk. With my limited research skills, I learned that I had aged three years TO THE DAY from when I got the 14 floppy disks that made up Colonization. I had a 14-foot-long beard, and was unable to lower my arms or close my legs, because the layers of filth on my body had grown so thick.
Above me, in its glory, blared colonization's screeching, tin-can internal-speaker repetitive music, mockingly announcing, ironically, that I'd ffound the fountain of youth on the continent I'd named "Oh, God, Kill me-onia." As settlers lined the docks, I curled up further beneath the desk, afraid at this strange new world I'd been thrust into.
In the strongest act of self-discipline I've ever performed, I deleted the game. Line by line, using DOS, I told the computer to delete each and every life-sucking file.

Dateline: 2006. Three days ago. I hear music I haven't heard for a long time in my head. I involuntarily shudder.
My hand moves involuntarily. A-b-a-n-d-o-n-i-a-.-c-o-m is what I type into my computer. This is a graveyard for old, dead games that nobody cares about.
c-o-l-o-n-i-z-a-t-i-o-n is what I type into the search engine.
The music resumes.


Yesterday, at 4:30 a.m., I look at the computer. The Spanish are killing me. I am SO FUCKING TIRED that my eyes hurt. My body reeks of neglect. My underwear is part of my flesh. I've been at the computer for three days. I spent 5 hours in the last three days in bed. Two hours eating (one of those in front of the computer). The rest playing that game. I realize that I've been slouching for so long that my back is almost completely hunched over. My chin rests on the keyboard. My facial hair has grown into the keyboard, and keys pop out when I try to raise my head.

"Colonization!!!!" I scream at the top of my lungs. I resolve to go to bed. This involves opening a can of beans, getting a spoon, sitting back down at the computer, eating beans, and playing the game until well, forever.

Yesterday +1: I get a call from my girlfriend. "Where are you?" she asks accusingly.
"I think I have a problem," I reply. "I haven't slept in three days."
"Why haven't you been calling me."
I don't know what to say. "There's someone else in my life. They're ... Spanish."
SHe doesn't get it. That's ok.


The game gets deleted soon after. In an anticlimactic ending to a boring story, I pledge never to play colonization again. "See you in 2011!" I hear it call.
I'm so afraid. Someone hold me.