Sunday, May 31, 2009

T.O.

I didn't get a whole lot of sleep before my flight. And, I had to be up just after 4am to get moving so needless to say, I wasn't all the active on the flight. I threw the ipod on, leaned back and before I knew it I was annoying the other passengers with my snoring.

I arrived in Toronto around 12:30, grabbed a cab and headed out for the hotel. We hit a mess of traffic on the way and I wondered in my sleep deficient haze why this could be on a Sunday. Duh. There was a Jay's game. If I wasn't as tired as I was I probably would have taken it in.




What I did do was check into my hotel, the Metropolitan Hotel on Chestnut just off Dundas, got squared away, and then headed out for something to eat for lunch.


The hotel is a nice place, the room is very clean and spacious. It's also only a few blocks from Yonge Street. Once, I was ready I went down to the lobby and asked for a recommendation for lunch. Thank god, I'm adventurous. The gal behind the desk told me to ask someone else, so I moved on to the door man. He told me to go to the Hard Rock......really ? I'm right near Yonge Street and the dude tells me to go to the Hard Rock ? I thanked him politely and ventured off to find something else.


I've been back to Toronto a number of times, but this was the first time since about 20 years ago that I was on Yonge Street during the day...and it seemed...different. I remembered it being much bigger and more grand. It's funny how you get older things start to seem smaller and you start to notice how your memory, even though you think it is, is not always 100%.



I wandered a couple blocks from Dundas and Yonge and found the ever present English/Irish Pub, the Wolf and Firkin. Fish and Chips and a pint it is.


The pub was empty, except for one person sitting at the bar, watching the game and chatting with the bartenders. I'm assuming the low patronage is due to the Jay's game since the place was very neat and tidy and had a couple friendly staff.


I ordered up the fish and chip and a pint of Smithwick's and sat at the far end of the bar near one of their three large screen HDTV's. I watched the Jay's lose while I threw back 2 pints and the tasty fish and chips (the fish batter was a bit tough, but the fish had a nice mild taste).
It was a late lazy lunch, so after I was done, I strolled through Eaton Center and then made my way back to the hotel.
Once it was dinner time I hit a Sushi place, Kyoto House, 1 block from the Hotel for their all you can eat Sushi (I'm still full). Pretty run of the mill place. The Sushi was alright but nothing special.
My flight isn't until tomorrow at 8:30 and my meeting should be finished around 11:00am so I should have some time to hit a couple places tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Supergroup ?

It looks like 2009 will be the year of the 'supergroup'. Although, I'm not so sure this band would be considered a supergroup. Chickenfoot ? Ya..I'd say they are even though the music is mediocre. But this band...you decide. The band is called TINTED WINDOWS, and it's made up of James Iha from The Smashing Pumpkins, Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick and Taylor Hanson from Hanson...YES, you heard right, the Hanson singer with the Cheap Trick Drummer and two other guys. I've only heard a couple tunes, and while they don't suck, I'm pretty sure I won't run out and buy their album. Also, I'm not sure why they're being billed as a 'supergroup' ??? Hanson ? James Iha ? Dude from the band that sang about Stacy's Mom ? and the dude that looked old when he was in Cheap Trick and they were current ??? well....give it a listen...I give them even less time as a band than chickenfoot.

Monday, May 25, 2009

David Choi - Cover of the new Gangur and Corbyn Theme Song

Gangur and Corbyn's Theme Song

Successful Weekending

The weekend was successful. The deck was completed (only staining left...have to wait for the wood to dry out), BBQ purchased, installed and Maiden Voyage complete. Only 1 revision left...unfortunately the deck light bulbs on the bottom step are at the exact eye line of the little man...and obviously are very inviting as he's pulled every one of them out...so, I need to spin them 180 degrees. I KNOW this thing will be used plenty this summer. Thanks to my UK Pub travelling partner for all the help !

Friday, May 22, 2009

HA ZA...IT'S FRIDAY !!!!


It's Friday ! And, it looks as though the weekend could be nice. We may actually be able to sit and enjoy hot weather and a cold beverage on our new deck ! It's crazy I know.


But to really enjoy the weekend, I have one last chore. That one remaining piece for the deck. The icing on the cake. The piece de resistance (it's missing the accents above the e's but you get it). And what is this magical thing ?



THE BBQ !


We did some scouting yesterday and found 'THE ONE'. 50,000 BTU's of pure heaven. It even comes with a side pot burner and an electric rotisserie and burner, just for when you want to get a couple birds going. Too bad it doesn't come assembled...but I can deal with that. According to the dude at the store, he figures it would take him 30 minutes to put it together.


So, after I finish up all my hard work (meaning, turn off my laptop, grab my s**t and say 'have a good weekend' to the staff), I'll be heading to BBQ's Galore to pick up my new summer best friend.


I do have one last thing to decide before I finalize my purchase. Do I buy the natural gas hook up now ? We do have 2 propane tanks already (and I think they're full). No one has been able to tell me if the natural gas is cheaper or more expensive...all they say, is "it's better cause you don't have to fill up tanks". Since we have 2, that's not a big deal...you just keep one full and one attached. Also, the hook up kit is 50$ if I buy it with the BBQ or 100$ if I buy it later. Hmmmmm. Well, I have about 1.5 hours to decide.


If all goes well, the maiden voyage of the new BBQ will be around 7pm.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Death of a Master Craftsman - Arthur Erickson


Master Architect, Arthur Erickson, died on Wednesday at the age of 84. Known for his use of concrete, his work can be seen at the University of Lethbridge, Simon Fraser University, the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, the Canadian Chancery in Washington DC, along with many others. We have lost a great Canadian artist.


Here are some links about Erickson:








Death Star takes out the Enterprise

again, thanks Powell for feeding my geek/nerd hunger

New 9 Movie Trailer

This trailer gives a bit more insight into what the movie is about.

www.comicbookmovie.com/animated_features/news/?a=7606

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sherlock Holmes - New Guy Ritchie Flick

Guy Ritchie burst onto the scene with Lock Stock and 2 Smokin' Barrels and then blew everyone away with Snatch (one of my favourite Brad Pitt roles and in the lead as one of my favourite movies). Then he s**t the bed with Swept Away (thanks Madonna...when will you learn you're a freain' cooler when it comes to movies). He followed that piece of garbage up with Revolver (most people who watch it all say "WTF?"). Then, there was a glimmer of light with RocknRolla where he went back to the Lock Stock / Snatch formula (not as good mind you, but not bad...worth a watch). Now it looks as if he might redeem himself completely with his new flick due out in November. Guy will take a stab at putting his spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, casting the 'back on top' Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. If a trailer is a good indication of the quality of a movie (it's hit or miss...sometimes incredibly smelly movies have awesome trailers), this one could be a big hit.

have a look.

The building of a deck

This past long weekend we finally got to building the deck. We swung by Home Depot and thought "wtf, the sun is still up, let's drill the holes now". And so we did. Believe me when I tell you, when that machine is going full tilt and you hit a rock your arm almost separates at the shoulder....and we hit many rocks.

With the holes dug and the concrete poured, we began Saturday morning with the digging. And then there was more digging....and more digging. All the digging due to the design (the construction foreman was on our backs crackin' a whip tellin' us to 'MOVE YOUR FAT ARSES'...he's the one in the hat in the upper left of the first picture....in the play pen). After most of the digging was done, we set about building the lower frame.


After measuring and re-measuring, we moved onto the upper frame which was attached directly to the nailer boards on the house. We decided we wanted a smaller upper portion that would be an area for 2 to 3 people and the soon-to-arrive BBQ. The upper portion went a lot faster than the lower, since we didn't have to constantly dig out more dirt to level the frame. That was it for Saturday.



Sunday morning we were back at it. With the deck two sections complete we needed to connect them, place columns, lay the deck boards and insert/mount the deck lights (oooo...deck lights....fancy). After this was complete we moved onto the lower portion. Of course, at each step, the design was discussed, rethought, modified, discussed again, and then left for the wife to authorize for completion.


After 'sign off' we moved into the final phase entitled 'getting the freakin' stuff done before the rain/snow coming on Monday'. We got all the deck boards down and then...discussed, revised, modified the design to add a bench. OF course by this time it was around 7pm and we didn't have enough wood. My construction foreman quickly jumped in his truck and ran down to get the needed supplies (which included beer). On his return, we had a race against the clock. Not only was the sun going down, we were pushing the limits of being a nice neighbor (the good thing was the saws really didn't make that much noise...and we deduced that since we didn't see lights on, most of our neighbors were gone for the long weekend). So....we shut down the 'sawing' at around 11pm, and closed down the construction project at 11:55pm. In the end we're happy with the way it turned out. I still have to add a railing at the end of the upper portion (where the BBQ will sit, move the lights below the step...I think they sit too far forward, and finish nailing the lower boards down...I'm figuring about 3 hours, and then finally stain it when it's dried out).


Now we can enjoy the 2 weeks of summer we get on our deck.


Time to move ?

Yes. I think it's finally reached a point where it's too hard to take Southern Alberta weather. The long weekend started off so nice (which was strange), but then ended in a crap fest of rain/snow. This week is forecast to be a mix of cold/wet and garbage. Don't get me wrong, I think this is an awesome province to live in and this area is very beautiful, friendly and full of opportunity. BUT, when you only get about 2 weeks of real summer, with the rest being so-so it's hard not to start looking at the color of the grass elsewhere.
We had pondered moving to the east coast to take advantage of cheaper prices, but the the winter weather there gets pretty nasty. I think our trip to Vancouver Island may have sold us on a new resting place. The weather is much more mild. The scenery is great. AND, prices aren't out of control (in certain areas).
I think the clock is now ticking....someone told me that we're working on a 3 year plan...I won't name names, but her initials are 'my wife'.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Old Super Group

The days of the super-group are not over kiddies. Yes indeed, a few old rockers have banded together to form a new super-group called CHICKENFOOT. It's made up of Singer/Guitar Player/Ex-Van Halen Front man Sammy Hagar, Bass Player/Ex-Van Halen Bass Player Mike Anthony, Drummer/Ex-Chilli Pepper Chad Smith and finally Super Guitar Man Joe Satriani.

After a quick first listen, I am transported back to the early 90's and pounded with heavy beats, loud guitar and screaming vocals.....ok....to be honest...I did feel transported to the early 90's, but more back to mediocre songs, played by old guys who possibly are doing this cause they need some extra cash. I wanted to like, really I did (I'm a huge fan of Joe). But, I didn't find one song that made me want to listen again as soon as it was done, and most of the tunes were easily forgettable. My prediction for Chickenfoot is a life as long as Rock Star Supernova (in other words, less than a year), then Smith will be back to the Peppers to release some lame radio friendly ballad, Joe will back on tour by himself, and Sammy and Mike will be down in Cabo swillin' Tequila.

have a listen and make your own decision: http://www.chickenfoot.us/



visit chickenfoot.us for more info

Big Rock

Local Calgary Brewery, Big Rock, has to be one of my all time favourites. They craft beers that range from light to a Stout. My favourite being Grasshopper, the Wheat Ale (nice light taste, perfect for a hot patio). I'm not sure how far their distribution reach is (I have never seen it on the east coast, let alone out of the country). If you do get a chance to try one of their many flavours, I would highly recommend it. They have a taste for everyone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Keeping up with the boy


The boy has now hit that point where his curiosity has the best of him. Constantly trying to open and pull apart anything he can get his hands onto. As the picture shows, it took him all of 2 seconds to figure out how to the pull the air vent up, off & out. And I knew exactly what he was thinking..."This is an awesome place to put things like cheerios, Lego and dad's keys".
The days adventures didn't stop there. All he had to do was turn his head to the left and then ponder "what are these things that go up ? Dad goes up there....Mom goes up there...I MUST go up there too". And away he went. He's now gone up the stairs (with supervision) 4 times. Each time a little faster. Each time with a little more confidence and coordination. What does this mean for Dad ? It means hitting Canadian Tire for an additional gate for the bottom of the stairs.
At the rate he's going with crawling and standing, he could be walking unsupported in a few months. That just means more excitement for Mom during the day.

Upcoming Adventures

Here's a list of what's coming up for new adventures this summer:
  • Chicago & Orlando in June
  • Dublin, Ireland July
  • BC (some regular camping) All summer
  • Whitefish, Montana August

There will be other places in there as well, but these ones are locked in. I'll try to hit some interesting places to eat and drink. If you have any suggestions, please comment.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Not your fathers TREK


This movie kicks so much ass, if it were an action star it would be able to beat up Arnold, Sly, Segal, Van Damme, have a sandwich and then bitch slap Jett Lee, Ray Park and Jason Statham.
This movie starts out of the gates at top speed and doesn't let up. Each actor plays their parts perfect without making them cheesy.
I have no doubt that J.J. Abrams will be given blank cheques from the studios after they see how much bank this brings in. People will be saying "Wolverine who ?" after this weekend.

Friday, May 8, 2009

That's some lazy bottle drinkin'

This little guy is learnin' the dark side fast. He had the T.V. on Jerry Springer and I'm sure I heard him say "Do my dishes !".

Castle in Victoria






If you get a chance to go to Victoria, BC I would highly recommend going to Craigdarroch Castle. The building and it's history are amazing.



We were lucky, in that, we arrived at the castle right when it opened, and were greeted by very pleasant people who were passionate about the story of the castle and Robert Dunsmuir, the man who built it.


I would recommend that you spend a few hours here exploring each room to its fullest. Also, chat with the ladies that work there, you will get a complete historical account of the entire family and the building (just don't touch anything...I almost lost my fingers for leaning on a piece of the wood molding)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Picture from my iphone - Rainy Day


It's a rainy day here. I don't mind it much...it has a nice fresh smell..and the grass will be green soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pictures with my iphone - the current state of my desk

I need to clean off my desk...I also need to come up with more interesting things to post...this one is pretty lame.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wolverine Review

It's better than X3, but not as good as X-men or X2.



SPOILERS:

My issues with this movie are in the details. I've said this in the past, why these production companies don't follow Peter Jacksons lead and hire nerds to review the script, etc, is beyond me. That tells me [what I already know] that production companies really don't care about the source material and they only care about the quick $$$ and the future $$$. And in this movie, it was obvious. (I don't accept the excuse that they deem the movie a different medium so they can screw with the histories and its ok)



They breeze over Wolverines early years (the already make a mistake here since James Howlett was born at the latter part of the 1800's in the Alberta area...I'm not a history buff, but since I know Alberta was created until 1905, I'm not sure what the area was referred to , but I don;t think it was the Northwest Territories. Also, since he was born in the latter part of the 1800's there's no freakin way he fought in the in American Civil War) during the opening credits through a montage of battle scenes, ending with Wolvie and Sabertooth being bad boys in Vietnam. They of course don't die at the hands of a firing squad and this attracts the attention of a young Styker (see X2) and he takes the boys away to be part of an elite team (of bad boy muties of course).



So far they've skipped a ton of the characters history and background (he's prone to going into blind rages...but we don't know that yet...all we know is he's been a part of a bunch of wars...)



So...he's part of the bad boy team doing black ops for the US government. We now are introduced to Agent 0, Bradley (Charlie from lost), Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Will I Am, and a slim Blob. They bust into a secret place and kill some guys trying to find some special metal (we all know it's adamantium...Wolvie's future skeleton). Wolvie gets a conscience and leaves.



Flash forward 6 years. Logan (which they don't explain why he goes as Logan...this has to do with what happened at the beginning of the movie) is now a logger in Alberta. He's tracked down by Stryker and told someone is killing his old teammates. He's told 'his country needs him' to which he responds [finally] 'I'm Canadian'. Yadda Yadda Yadda, his girl is killed and he agrees to get an adamatium skeleton to hunt down who ever is doing this.

I'm finding that as I'm recapping the story I'm more and more bothered with it. Anyway, instead of doing the rest, I'll just point out more of the silly things they came up with. After the procedure Wolvie busts out and Agent Zero is sent out to kill him (strangely Logan doesn't seem to have an issue with the fact that the metal just added 300+ lbs to his weight...but that's a minor point). He tries, but doesn't succeed. But strangely enough, Stryker has Admantium bullets that can kill him. Why the hell these weren't given to Zero is beyond me and plain dumb.

There's also an issue with timing here. As best I can figure this all takes place in the late 70's. But then Scott summers is a teenager and Gambit is in his early 20's. This makes them too old compared with the X-men movies. In my opinion, they introduce too many characters in this movie for the sole purpose of spin-offs and toy sales. There is no reason for Blob, Gambit, John Wraith, Bradley, or the caged mutants.

The movie climax's with a big fight with Weapon X1 (deadpool) and Wolvie and Sabertooth team up..but only for now. And in the end, he gets an adamantium bullet in the head. Which they say the most ridiculous thing 'His brain will heal, but his memories won't'...huh ? How would they know that. And that's the easiest way to wrap this up in a pretty package to have him run off not knowing who he is.

They missed his whole Japanese history. His work with Department H in Canada. The fact that Stryker implanted false memories. the fact that his blind rage berzerkerness is what causes some of the memory loss. I could go on, but now i have a headache.

if you want to read his actual background go here. http://www.marvel.com/universe/Wolverine_(James_Howlett)

I'm sure this movie will make a bundle and that they have already green lit W2. Please god, please have them use the Frank Miller Wolverine Mini-Series as the story and try to put out a top quality movie with 1 bad guy and no extra mutants (if only Bryan Singer had done this one, it would have been so much better).