Thursday, February 25, 2010

Famous Canadian Proverbs

Can't believe it's Thursday already and I haven't posted. It's almost like the all the greatest hockey players in the world met in one spot and started playing... wait a minute. Ok, I can't blame all my laziness on Olympic hockey, but it is a contributing factor. Case in point, my son's teacher and I have now postponed two parent teacher interviews because they conflicted with games. Meh, he's six. Anyway, I'm posting today. Kinda. With a little help from Unmitigated.

1. A country
can be judged by the quality of its proverbs.
German Canadian Proverb

About 13 years ago, I tagged the Captain with a quote meme. It's my own fault really. I was showing off all the famous blogger that I know. Vodka Mom. 24 at Heart. Captain Dumbass. Here's a tip for the future, kids. Famous bloggers are not famous for doing MEMES.
In an effort to get revenge, ease his guilt, I convinced the Captain to let me do the meme FOR him. Heh. I mean, hey, what a great idea! Except, once I started, I realized that unless I wanted to be a complete snarky jerk (not outside the realm of possibility), it wasn't really going to be very easy. SO I decided to go with what I know about my pal, Captain Dumbass. First, and foremost, he is a Canadian. Got that one covered above.

2. Next? The Cap'n loves to read about as much as I do...

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
Arnold Lobel
Arnold Lobel is a great children's author. He wrote one of my absolute favorite stories, A Three Hat Day. I suspect that many bloggers have that same mile-high pile of books.

3. The Captain, and his lovely wife, Supreme Leader, have two terror-inducing wonderful boys, and by this summer, will have a third...

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. Charles Wadsworth

The stories the Captain tells us about Connor and Liam (frequently with photographic evidence) make me wonder if his mother put that curse on him. You know the one. "I only hope that someday you have a child who behaves just like you." Don't all mothers do that? I'm sure I've already placed that particular bane on my children's heads.
4. While this next one may be factually inaccurate (the Captain's position was eliminated, he wasn't fired), I think it still applies:
Getting fired is nature's way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place.
Hal Lancaster
If you haven't read any of Captain Dumbass' fiction, either what he has linked in the sidebar (Empire of Me), or his amazing short stories on the Zombie News Network you really are missing a treat. The Captain was not meant to tote gold bars around for a bank. The man is a writer. Simple and true.

5. I'd like to say that the Captain is all sweetness and light, but really, don't we all have a darker side?
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Abraham Lincoln
Captain's darker side just happens to feature grilled cheese men and LEGO minions. He is the master of his own weird little universe.

Supreme Leader Stormtrooper
What happens when dads stay home

Friday, February 19, 2010

Three Things

Dear everyone who was wondering about the occupant of Supreme Leader's uterus...

Dear Team Switzerland, you guys are awesome, even though you're Team Canada's kryptonite.

Dear Sidney Crosby, thank you for being Sidney Crosby.

Dear So and So...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

RTT: Short And Sweet. Well, Short.

In 1905, Einstein came up with the concept of special relativity, published his paper on the photoelectric effect, finished his doctoral dissertation, devised the E=mc^2 concept, published a paper on Brownian motion, was approved for his doctorate, and turned 26.

So......what have you guys been up to?
via kottke


Meh, I could do that too, but first I'd have to pry my ass off the couch. I'm an Olympics whore in Olympic whore heaven. Being unemployed right now? Not so bad.

You ever read a book and immediately put a face to a character? Are you reading or have you read Stephen King's Under The Dome?

Big Jim Rennie. Come on, he's perfect.

Me: You know, I really need to watch myself around the house. Like when I give the kids hell for coughing and not covering their mouths? I do that all the time.
Supreme Leader: Uh huh. Remember the other day when the kids were playing their driving game and shouting at the other drivers?
Me: Shut up! Maybe they'll take after you and start sleeping all day.
SL: You bastard, you try carrying a baby!
Me: (backing away, avoiding eye contact)

Giveaway! Ya, I think I said something about Sunday. Whatever, this is my blog. The lucky winner was Jennifer from Sprite's Keeper. Not sure what she's going to do with mittens in Florida, but she'll impress all the retired Canadian who spend their winters down there. I had plans to go film my little monkeys giving away the mittens in front of the speed skating oval, but the oldest has a slight fever and wimped out. Sissy. Joking.


Now, off to Keely's with you, I have TV to watch.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lenin, Mao, Sudan and a Baseball Hat

Reminder: The red mitten giveaway deadline is Sunday night at whatever time I decide to end it. Which could actually be Monday morning. Who knows, I'm a slacker.

About a month or so ago, the delightful and, um................................... spirited Michel of Facts Are Strictly Optional sent me a hat from her embassy in Sudan. If you've ever read Michel's blog you'll know she has a special place in her heart for my country, a description of which I'm sure you could find in the lyrics to "Blame Canada." So, I wanted to take a picture of it somewhere special but was having problems coming up with just the right place to do it. Then I was reminded of certain elements of the right wing in the States and how they like to point at Canada and accuse us of being socialists, what with our universal health care and... actually, I'm not sure what else. Gay marriage? Lax marijuana laws? The fact that we can vacation in Cuba during the winter?

Anyway, then I though, hey, how about if I took a picture of it beside a gigantic statue of Lenin's head?

And then I thought, wouldn't it be cool if that big Lenin head had a smaller statue of Chairman Mao standing on his head, balancing himself with a big stick?

And then I thought, wouldn't it be even better if that little statue of Chairman Mao had breasts? (might want to click on it to enlarge) (the picture, not the breasts)

Rock on, comrades!

The piece is called "Miss Mao trying to poise herself at the top of Lenin's head," by the Gao Brothers and is part of an public art exhibition here. The Gao Brother's had family who suffered under the Cultural Revolution so they have an interesting take on Mao, hence the breasts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Warm Red Giveaway

Last night the Olympic torch passed by our house as it made its way around Greater Vancouver, and not wanting the kids to miss something special that they'll totally forget in a few years, we dragged them out the door to catch a glimpse. They were more interested in playing Mario Brothers at the time, but once we told them they'd get to see somebody carrying a burning stick, they were all over it.

The picture below isn't the greatest, but I was holding my little point and shoot above my head, still, it was pretty impressive to witness. What amazed me more than anything though, was the amount of people lining the street. You can't really tell from this shot, but there were thousands of people out there. I don't think you ever really stop to think about just how many people live around you, at least I never have. Sure you're surrounded by houses and you see people come and go, say hi to your neighbour and such, but actually seeing all of those people lined up in one spot is pretty surprising.

Giveaway! I have been lucky enough to receive quite a few fantastic gifts from fellow bloggers in the last few weeks (blogs to follow), and with the official opening of the Olympic games only two days away now I figured it was time to give something back, and tie it in with the games. And what will it be? Well, every Olympics have their must have items, and for Vancouver it's these, the red mittens. If you live outside of Canada you probably won't have heard about them, but if you are planning to watch, trust me, you'll see a lot of them.

So here's the deal. Wait, there is no deal. Leave a comment, that's it. Feel free to tweet about it or post it in some way or whatever you want, but I only care about the comments. Who has time to count all those damn 2 votes for a tweet, blah blah blah? The unemployed guy, right. Well, this unemployed guy is too lazy for that BS. Leave a comment, leave as many as you like. They're a size medium. Oh, and because I'm all about the love, I'll ship them wherever you live, no questions asked. On station in Antarctica? No problem. Uzbekistan? All good. Not that I'm saying you people who have draws and only ship within the continental US suck, because, sure, I suck too, I just suck much less than you do. So there you are. I'll pick a winner Sunday night. Don't forget who loves you.

PS. If you win and have strangely small hands or maybe gigantor hands, I may be able to work something out for you.

PPS. If you happened to read my Monday post, it really wasn't meant to sound like a pity party, but I do have man-cold and maybe it sucked the funny out. But thanks for all the sympathy. And sympathetic kicks in the ass.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Stark Grey Reality Of Monday

A man walks down the street
He say why am I soft in the middle now
Why am I soft in the middle
The rest of my life is so hard
- Paul Simon, You Can Call Me Al

I had two disheartening realizations this weekend. Well, I guess 'realization' implies that I wasn't aware of them in the first place, and that would be stretching the truth somewhat. The first would be that I am no longer a stay at home dad. As much as I loved being one, now I'm just unemployed. An unemployed, and apparently unemployable, dead beat dad living off my hard working pregnant wife. Ya, that's great for the ego. You know what else starts with the letter E? Emasculated!

The second lightbulb was painfully delivered not just mentally, but physically as well. Saturday morning was sunny and beautiful so I took the boys outside to play a little hockey. I was stuck using a stick made for somebody three feet tall, so by the time we were done the right side of my chest hurt like a bitch from leaning over so far. This is something I usually laugh off as I'm reaching for some more desert or making another excuse for not exercising, but my chest hurt for most of the day. Hurt in a 'f*ck me, am I having a heart attack?' kinda way. That wasn't so funny. Not so funny in a 'you're thirty-nine years old and you've got a new baby on the way in six months except you may just keel over and die before that happens if you don't get off your lazy ass and get some exercise you fat bastard' kinda way.

So that's my Monday. How was your weekend?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Reading About Reading About Stealing

I've been struggling to come up with posts for the last few weeks. You may find that hard to believe, what with the pictures of undead grilled cheese men and verbatim snippets of conversation, but it's true. And it's not even my usual fall back excuse of being lazy, it's because I've been reading. Feeding my mind instead of polluting yours. Probably a good thing for everybody.

But it's also dangerous. Or at least a health hazard. The last week or so I've noticed my hands and wrists have been getting sore (stop it right there) but I couldn't figure out why. Then last night while I was tossing and turning in bed because I couldn't sleep I figured it out (seriously, stop it). I rolled over to look at the clock and couldn't see it because it was lost behind three of the books I'm currently reading. Two are usually on the floor and whatever I finish before turning off the light stays on the nightstand, but last night all three were up there. I decided to throw them on a scale and see what I got.

That's 8.9 pounds of books. 2720 pages of carpal tunnel. No wonder my hands hurt, and I have big hands. (That's what she said!)

Also, I seem to have accumulated a massive back log of reading material as well, a situation my Christmas job at the book store only exacerbated. You know the problem with working in a bookstore? It's full of books. It's also filled with people who generally like books, many of whom get very passionate about books they've read and think you should read them too. And the books? They just keep coming. Day after day the delivery truck drops off boxes filled with new books or sometimes even old books to resupply dwindling stock. Books that you've never heard of or books that you've always wanted to read. It's cruel, really.

I read two really good books over the holidays that I meant to post about at the time but never got around to, and both were about thieves. First up is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It's about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany and it's narrated by Death.

Now I don't really do book reviews, don't get in the subtle aspects of this or the yadda yadda of that, but if I really enjoyed a book I want to share it, and I loved this book. Zusak is one of those writers that not only tells a good story, but he does it beautifully.
"When Max heard the news, his body felt like it was being screwed up into a ball, like a page littered with mistakes. Like garbage.
Yet each day, he managed to unravel and straighten himself, disgusted and thankful. Wrecked, but somehow not torn into pieces."
If you haven't read it, put it on your list.

Next up is The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

I spent a lot of time working in the kids section while I was at the book store and saw so many copies of this leave I decided to check it out for myself. Think Harry Potter, but instead of the main character being a wizard, he's a half-blood Greek god. Coincidentally, the first book in the series comes out in theaters next week.

Like Harry Potter, this is one of those kids books that you'll love reading as well. I'm going to read the rest of the series and I'm looking forward to reading it to my kids when they get older. Hopefully the movie is good as well.

This is the part where I should be wrapping everything up in a neat and tidy conclusion, but this post is long enough as it is. So, the end. Plus, I've got the start of a man-cold and I'm pretty sure it's a new hybrid strain of tuberculosis and ebola.

What? It could be.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Random Tuesday: Avian Fecal Matter And The Olympics

Crocuses. Pretty, right? Except that the WINTER Olympics are only ten days away. Oops.

Cypress Mountain, which is just north of Vancouver and is hosting free style skiing and snowboarding only had patches of snow left last week. They're trucking snow from the other side of the mountain and then pushing it up the hill with snow cats so they'll have a base for the snowmaking machines to work with. There had been talk of using helicopters to ship the snow in if they had too. I'm sure that won't affect my taxes next year.

Whatever, I love the Olympics and the fact that they're happening right here in my own city? Sweeeeeeet. Not that you'd know that it was happening in my city since it's not being called the Vancouver/Whistler/Richmond 2010 Olympics, but whatever, we have the speed skating oval, and more importantly, Holland House. Every Olympic games since Barcelona in '92, the Dutch Olympic Committee and Heineken have sponsored Holland House, a home away from home for Dutch athletes, families, the media and Dutch citizens. In real life it's a meeting place to drink copious amounts of beer. You don't have to be Dutch to get in, but a passport gets you to the front of the line.

You know what else we've got? A six story high inukshuk built out of cargo containers, that's what.

To all of you who don't live in Canada, an inukshuk is a stone marker used by the Inuit in northern Canada as a navigation marker

Wonder what they're going to do with it after the games? Bet it would look great on my front lawn.

Another cool thing being built here, right in front of the Oval and not so trailer park, is a giant floating sculpture of the Olympic rings. Built of steel reinforced fiberglass beams and filled with foam, it will be anchored in the river in front of the skating rink and filled with 30,000 pounds of cranberries. What? We grow cranberries here.

What else have we got? Goose shit. Snow goose shit to be precise. Approximately 100,000 snow geese stop by here twice a year to eat everything in site like a plague of white feathered locusts on their 4000 kilometre (2485 mile) journey from Russia to the Skagit delta in Washington State. Eat and shit. Everywhere. Geese are big birds.

And so I leave you with shit. Off to Keely's with you.