Monday, April 30, 2007

Gonna Party Like It's 600 BC!

When I first read this story, I was pretty sure it was a put on. Then I wondered about how an invitation to such an event might sound.

Sony Flack: "Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we're having a big coming-out party for God of War II and, you know, you're invited!"

Me: "Wow! Cool! So it's a party?"
Sony Flack: "The biggest, man! It'll be a whole Ancient Greece kind of vibe..."
Me: "That's amazing! I'll look forward to it!"
Sony Flack: "Amazing is not the word. We'll have lots of food and wine..."
Me: "Great!"
Sony Flack: "...and PS/3's setup everywhere - with the game, of course..."
Me: "Excellent!"
Sony Flack: "....and, ahem, topless serving girls..."
Me: "Holy cow! Topless?"
Sony Flack: "...thought you'd like that...and, of course, the decapitated goat..."
Me: " the topless ladi...say, what?"
Sony Flack: "And snake handling! You get to touch snakes, man!"
Me: "...wait, what?"
Sony Flack: " Got more calls to make. Don't wanna to tell you all the surprises! See you there!"
My phone: "Hummmmm"

Update: Looks like the goat was pre-decapitated.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Big-Ass Pixels

Question: What do you get if you mix 10 bored people with 5 hours to kill, 6,400 spare Post-It notes, and 4 stories of window-glass?

Answer: Retro-gaming Awesomeness

I am impressed. I can barely manage spray-on snowflakes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

C'mon You Guys!

Okay, I'm done biding my time. A guy can only stand on the sidelines for so long; waiting for the real smartalecks to show up. So, I guess it's up to me, Mr. Pedestrian Blogboy, to weigh in on the news that's been hanging out there like some turgid piece of rotting fruit just waiting - nay, demanding - for someone to pick and hurl at a fitting target.

Our beloved London Free Press has discovered that people in Kilworth use YouTube. The Freeps plastered their scoop on the front page 3 days ago - and breathlessly detailed how a noted Kilworthian made his own video, with music even, and posted it on the Internet. As if this, alone, wasn't enough to send shock waves through our community (dare I say Future Shock waves?), they further report that some people even watched this video on the Internet!

The future is here and now, folks. The Freeps says so.

So where have you guys been? This was front page news in a Saturday edition!

Discuss, dammit!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Let's Think About Bridges

I'll go first. I have been thinking about bridges lately. Actually, I'm pretty sure I think about them a lot; maybe too much. I don't know what it is about bridges that makes them so interesting for me. I suppose I could get all introspective here, and imagine them as metaphors for dealing with life's obstacles blahdy blah blah. But that would be dishonest and end up as a crude ripoff of a really boring novel. I think.

I just like the looks of them. At least the interesting ones. In my local environs:

Blackfriar's Bridge is one of my favourites. In warmer weather I'll take a lunchtime stroll that includes a trip across this bridge. It's a noisy, historic, lovely-to-look-at piece of Secret London. I can't imagine why some local residents would want to get rid of it. Oh...right. This is London, Ontario we're talking about.

The Sarnia Road CPR bridge is actually in my neighbourhood, and I love it. While it's rickety and constantly in need of repair, this wood-and-steel span seems to defy the encroaching development all around it. It's a one-lane bridge serving a two-lane road and, as a result, it forces traffic to wait while oncoming traffic crosses the bridge. Folks treat it as a four-way stop - and waving at the stopped vehicles as you cross is de rigeur in these parts. This is what I love about this bridge: no matter how hurried you might be on any given day, crossing the CPR tracks here forces you to acknowledge your fellow human beings in a courteous way. Just for a minute.

The Guy Lombardo Bridge, I hate. You really can't tell that you're on a bridge, so it's handy that we spent the dough to make a sign. Actually, I think the sign was stolen from a Provincial park - it has that look. Anyways, the bridge spans one of London's best vistas of the Thames River. Why the city erected this drab, flat, concrete shrine to blandness; I cannot say. Although it does make a lovely matched set with the nearby Guy Lombardo Museum. And his music. *rimshot*

So that's my sampling of local bridge-stuff. I could go on, of course, but I want to leave a few bridges for the rest of you. I await your well-crafted witticisms on Lloyd Bridges, Nash Bridges, Todd Bridges, etcetera etcetera.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

North Post

This post has no real point - other than it's the most northerly post I've made since The Beginning. I'm sitting in the basement office-slash-spare-bedroom at my in-laws' house. This house is in a small mining town called Levack. This small mining town is 30 minutes northwest of Sudbury where, of course, it's cold and snowing. The TV upstairs is tuned into (wait for it) curling - which I actually enjoy.

If Norman Rockwell was a Canuck, he'd be here drawing a picture right now. Of course, he'd have to drive 7 hours through snowsqualls to get here - like I did yesterday and will do again on Monday.

Thanks be for the Innertubes.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Where Can I Get a TARDIS? - Part 3

In hockey, it's called telegraphing your shot. In writing stuff down, it's called... errr....(KD, help me out here!).... lack of real suspense?. So I might as well confess; Part 1 and Part 2 of this silly tale were just preambles to the real story, and that is that we're biting the bullet and heading for Europe in July.

I'm excited for sure; largely because it's been Dee's Northern Girl Dream for as long as I've known her. Pre-Crazylegs, she had never traveled - and we've made a point of making up for lost time. Where other folks might save money for a rainy day, buy a new car, or put rainforest hardwood into the sunroom - we put our pennies into the travel account.

We've had this agreement of sorts that Europe would wait until (a) we'd saved enough pennies and (b) our youngest kid was at least 10 years old. As I've pointed out before, the agreement seemed easy at the time. There were lots of years and lots of pennies between Me and Driving In Europe.

Now it's time. And I'm anxious about it.

Guided tours aren't really my cuppa tea, but we've agreed that having something reasonably structured and worry free would be the way to go for the sake of both parents and kids. After leafing and clicking through countless brochures and websites, we were certain that there was no such thing as a 'family friendly' tour Over There - only the loathsome If It's Tuesday It Must Be Belgium kind of tours. Ugh!

We did find something, eventually, from a tour company called Adventures by Disney. Laugh if you must, but it looks like a winner. Family oriented (natch), first-class all the way, striving for a unique experience; we're excited. It'll be 4 days in London and 4 days in Paris with highlights such as backstage passes to a West End theater production, first-class seats on the (chunnel) Eurostar, a bicycle tour of Versailles, and a DaVinci Code-inspired scavenger hunt in the Louvre (for the kids). Here and there - a free afternoon and/or evening to do your own thing.

I thought this was going to be perfect. Disney picks us up at the airport in the England, they show us a great time, and they deposit us back on a plane when it's all over. Reasonably structured. Worry free. I'm so wrong.

Dee started like this, "You know - while we're there...".

I knew where this was going. "Yes?", I countered, using my patented ruse where I inspect a wall, magazine, birdfeeder, etc. with laser insensity, all the while avoiding direct eye contact with Dee.

She started her attack using the direct approach. "We could go to Europe a few days early, or maybe stay a few more days after the tour. You know, I've always wanted to go to Switzerland. And everyone says the train system over there is fantastic!".

"Ummmm", was all I could muster. I wasn't against this in principle, but I knew logisitics would end up killing us in a dozen different ways. My only defense in keeping the vacation scope in check was The Kids - the A-Bomb in our household. "Sure, we should think about that. But the kids... I don't think the kids are ready for the, umm, backpack experience. You know you have to travel pretty light on the trains."

I got bolder. "And what about hotels? I mean, if it was just you and me, that'd be different. Just kinda go somewhere with no the kids. You have to think of the kids. You don't want them wandering around some little foreign village after dark looking for a hostel, do you?".

It was unfair, and I knew I was going to win. But winning is subjective at our house. It's all about tactics - lose a battle, negotiate terms of surrender, end up winning the war. And win she did.

First off, we're staying in France one extra day to spend at EuroDisney. That was an easy one. We're in Paris anyways, so it makes sense to travel the 30 miles for a visit to The Mouse.

Also, we're arriving in England 5 days early. We'll land at Heathrow, pick up a car, and roam around Southern England for a few days before joining the tour in London. This is where I'm getting my angst. This is where I become Chevy Chase.

I'm sure this driving part will be okay. 20-odd years ago, I never worried about this stuff. Today, I'm older and more neurotic - so I worry about it all. While we'll have to drive in and out of Heathrow (and various places in the countryside we hope to visit), I laid down the law that we would not set foot in London with Crazylegs behind the wheel of any vehicle.

It's not a bad compromise. I don't think we're biting off more than we can chew travel-wise, and we'll get 2 full weeks of family fun. We're thinking we'll visit Stonehenge, Bath, Windsor Castle, maybe Portsmouth, etc. We'd love to head west out to Land's End, but that looks too ambitious for us. (Question - anyone have any advice on not-to-be-missed places in Southern England?)

But I am worrying, and probably will - until it's over.

So why the TARDIS? Simple; it would alleviate all of these travel logistics and angst. Of course, I'd probably end up driving the thing into a binary star. Or worse.

Glistening With Irony

My musical tastes are pretty weird sometimes - and I'm betting that's pretty normal, actually. But I can't say that I've ever been a huge fan of Alanis Morissette. Some of her stuff I kinda like, most of her stuff I don't. She's just kind 'there', you know?

But I have to admit, she's got that sliver of genius somewhere inside. Her video rendition of that donkey-sucking My Humps is so achingly sad and scathing all at the same time. Or maybe I'm just thinking too hard.