Month: September 2007

Teh Haloz

Last night I became one of those video game nerds you read about. I actually lined up for a game, which I even pre-ordered. The last game I pre-ordered was Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and that was about 7 years ago. That time I pre-ordered because I knew I wouldn't get a copy otherwise. This time I did it to get a T-shirt and a hat. Both of which I'll likely never wear.

Since I bought it from Future Shop, I also got a 2nd game Free, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer…a game which I'll likely never play and will instead take over to Blockbuster with the hopes of trading it in for Spider-Man 3 (a game I WILL play).

I bought the deluxe version of Halo, which comes in a tin with an extra disc, and a little hardcover book (it was an extra $10.00). The packaging is good, but neither disc was actually seated in the case properly, so both had jostled around during transportation, and they were a little scratched up. Apparently this is a bigger deal than I had thought as loads of people have reported discs which are unplayable.

I arrived at the Future Shop at 11:30, and I was about the 25th in line. Since I already had a pre-order, the only reason I was arriving early was to get the free game (which I can turn into another game through magic), and of course to play teh Haloz tonight. At midnight they started letting waves of folks in, and I was part of wave 3. By 12:15 I had my game, and was leaving the store, on my way back home. By 12:30 Halo 3 was fired up in my Xbox 360, and I was enjoying my first loading screen.

I played through a couple of checkpoints before tossing in the bonus disc to see what it had. I'm going to wait until I finish the single player campaign before I check it out fully, but it looks like there's some cool stuff in there.

So far I haven't really played enough to give full on impressions, but I love the revved up graphics on the 360 (and my sweet, sweet TV), the sound is awesome as always, and the beginning of Halo 3 actually makes Halo 2's ending make a little more sense.

I shall update this tomorrow night with a few more opinions on Teh Haloz.

The first rule of supper club

Don't talk about supper club…but I'm gonna anyway. Last night was the premiere meeting of the newly minted “Supper club”, a chance for a bunch of us mommies and daddies to get away from the kids, have an adult meal, adult conversation, and perhaps a few adult beverages. For a first start, I'd say it was a rousing success!

The first restaurant was Bertoldi's, a fine Italian place on trendy Richmond Row. Food, good. Service, decent (although the poor waitress screwed up the bills a little bit), and the company delightful. It's nice to get out and see friends, not have to worry about the house gnome, and have real life adult conversations. Of course a couple of those conversations revolved around the various house gnomes, but we largely kept up big kid talk.

Gotta say, as good as my wood fired calzone was the cappuccino creme brulee was the highlight of my night.

After saying goodbye to our friends, Char and I headed back to casa Garside to thank my mom and dad for babysitting, and I headed back out to John's for the latest UFC.

The first couple of bouts were less than stellar, but one fight made up for the entire thing. Ryan and I got back into the UFC because of The Ultimate Fighter, and we dragged John along to a live UFC event the at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas the week after the Ultimate Fighter finale in April 2005. The guy who helped make the show exciting was Forrest Griffin, a 205lb fighter with the heart of a lion and the mannerisms of Curley from the Three Stooges.

He fought the #1 ranked 205lb fighter in the world. He should have lost, but instead he pulled out one of the most exciting fights, with all three of us standing on our feet at various times during the bout. It was spectacular, and he made the fight of the night for us.

Luckily the last fight of the night was JUST boring enough to wind down the adrenaline rush and allow me to get a good night's sleep, but Forrest once again was the star of the show, just like he is every time he steps inside the octagon.

Baby Toes to Close?

This just in, super hilarious mommy blog “I Heart Baby Toes” is rumoured to be close to a permanent shutdown. In an exclusive interview for Chronicology, BabyToes mainblogger “Mommy” said “I don't know, I don't really have anything to say. I'm thinking about shutting it down.”

Those close to the situation are shocked by the shocking turn of events. “I don't know what to say, I'm shocked,” said BabyToe “Daddy” Brian Garside when reached for comment. “I mean this is just shocking. How could someone not have more to say about those baby toes? I can think of a half dozen things off the top of my head. Heck, just post a sentence and a picture, people eat that stuff up like it's ice cream!”.

Currently a comments writing campaign is being organized with people posting positive comments on the September 6th post “At least I'm not alone

“Maybe with enough positive encouragement the baby toe blog will get over this creative hump and continue on unabated. There have been days where the highlight was a new baby toe blog post.” said one unnamed source. “Those baby toes must continue!”.

Internet People – Why do I know all these freaks?

There's this little ditty on YouTube right now which is probably just a month away from being the video that everyone sends out saying “Hey, remember this?”. Good stuff though (watch it after the jump).

He nailed almost all of them, but he forgot a couple key ones.

The Landlord
The Landlord

Code Monkey

and of course The Internet is for Porn

This shouldn't be on the list, but I think it's hilarious.
Michael Cera's Knocked Up Meltdown…hilarious.
Michael Cera gets fired from Knocked Up

Washed up? Why do we care

Britney's career is over (ummm, wasn't that like 8 years ago?). Paris Hilton is whatever. Lindsey Lohan is on drugs, off drugs, on drugs, arrested for DUI. I honestly can't think of three less interesting human beings on the planet, yet we care because…why? Is it because we like a good train wreck, or is it because people like to see how far the mighty have fallen?

Personally I don't really care, I just wish that I could turn on my TV, open a newspaper, browse through a magazine, or surf the web without ever reading the names Britney, Paris, or Lindsey ever again.

Anybody else as bored of these three airheads (with all apologies to airheads everywhere) as I am?

Florida’s Natural Fruit Juice Nuggets

Just a little piece of advice to the good folks out there who make the wonderful Florida's Natural Fruit Juice Nuggets. I'm currently eating the blueberry ones (all natural flavour, a good source of vitamin C, and 66% real fruit juice according to the “marketing gone wrong” packaging). The best before date is April 23, 2009.

When your best before date is nearly two years in the future…it's probably okay to not include it on your packaging. I mean you're really not fooling anyone. I know this isn't “candy”, but come on. Just because the ju-jube people don't put a best before date on their ju-jubes, doesn't mean that I don't know that their food is nutritionally bankrupt.

And really, your packaging? Are you even serious?

Purple and Yellow banner: All Natural Flavours
Title: Florida's Natural brand
Big Starburst: Made with 66% concentrated fruit juice and concentrated fruit puree.
Banner: Au'some Fruit Juice Nuggets
sub-title: Fruit and Fruit Juice snack
size: 17g
Blurb: Blueberry Natural Flavour
Banner: Good Source of Vitamin C.

Multiply this by two so that you can have it all in French as well.

Listen…this product comes 8 to a box. This is a case where you had me at hello. At this point all you need is a big fat blueberry, and maybe your brand so that afterwards I can say “Hmm, those Florida's Natural Au'Some Fruit Juice Nuggets were pretty decent! Perhaps I'll have another package”.

I like marketing and marketers in general. I hate bad marketing because it's cheesy and just downright bugly (bugly = butt ugly).

Bond Street Disappointment

After taking a year off due to an alleged scandal I returned to the world of competitive coits again this year attempting to upset last year's champion Fabio and defeat my bitter rival Jeffro. I succeded in one of the two tasks, but failed utterly in the second.

After securing a bye in the initial round due to a luck of the draw, I waited to see who my partner would be (due to a surplus of men, we had one extra man, so the first losing lady would be my partner). As luck would have it, my former co-winner of the 5th annual Coits St Cup, Joanne, was the first female loser, allowing us the chance of repeat victories.

Our first game saw Joanne and I go up against Tim and Char, while it was a close battle, Jo and I eventually nailed the final couple of points, and secured the victory.

In the semi-finals we would take on Jeff and April. Jeff has never won the cup, but he's a master coitsist for sure. April on the other hand secured victory with me once before, so I knew my game was going to be called into question. It should be noted that April was the first to have ringed during the day, and followed it up with two more ringers before anyone else could mark on the board.

The battle was fast and furious with the bad guys (April and Jeff) getting a quick leg up on the good guys (Jo and I) with a couple of quick rings. All looked lost with us down 13 – 7, a mere two points from defeat (and 6 of our 7 points coming from my partner who was steadily notching single and double points ever round). With Jeff lying a point, I nailed back-to-back ringers to end the round and bring us even at 13's. April scored a single in the next end. Jeff was up, and landed a decisive point which would have spelled the end for us, I had to get a point to keep us in the game…pulling all of the reserves of luck from my various totems, I nailed the point to keep the game at 14's.

Up next was the powerful end of April and Joanne…Joanne tossed, and nailed a point. A steal by April would win the game, but a miss would secure victory for Jo and I. April threw well, but ultimately came up short, giving us the victory in what I think was the most exciting game I've ever played in.

The finals were set with Nikki and Fabio vs Joanne and I. The game was quick, with me scoring only a single point, and Joanne marking us for six. Luck was not with us, and the game was lost as Fabio wins for the second straight year, and Nikki becomes the first person to be etched on the cup for a record three times!

The games were loads of fun, and the barbeque afterwards really hit the spot. It was great to see friends again, and hang out for a few hours with folks we don't get to see much of. Poor Kaylin was tired as a lamb, and a little bit whiny all day, but half an hour into our drive, she was out for the night.

I'll practice over the winter, and make my grand return to Coits next year.

Benefits of having a toddler – sleeping early

Last night we went over to Ryan and Kari's for dinner. Kaylin got to play with her friends Paige and Cordy, and much fun was had by all. Char left around 8, I left around 8:30, and by the time I got home at 9, Kaylin was bathed and enjoying storytime but still full of beans.

Charlene put Kaylin to bed and went out for some groceries. I plunked down in front of the TV with my laptop, and started to do some work. About 30 minutes later, Kaylin, still full of beans, was calling for “momma”. I went up to her room and it was crazy hot.

I told her that we could go to mommy and daddy's room because it was a bit cooler, and get the sillies out (this usually involves me shaking her hands, feet, knees, and finally elbows, which gets rid of all the sillies and allows her to go to sleep). We de-sillied her, and rested down. About 15 minutes later she was deep breathing, and I thought “now would be a good time to take her to her crib”. Next thing I know, it's 10:20, and Charlene is taking Kaylin to her crib. At that point the bed was so comfortable, and it's been so long since I've gone to bed early…and hey, I can get up in the morning to finish up the work I need to do right? Yeah, sure, that's what I'll do (the truth is I plan this a lot and never do manage to get up early in the morning to do the work).

5:30am, the sun wasn't even out yet, I woke up, thought about going back to bed, but instead decided I needed to start my day. I went downstairs, popped open my laptop, and proceeded to get stuff done.

It was two of the more productive hours I've had recently, and by the time I got into work, I was already more ahead of the day than I've been in months.

…all because the mouse was full of beans.

We could be heroes…just for a day

Sometimes a good long weekend with nothing in particular to do is just what the doctor ordered. That's exactly what this Labour Day Weekend turned out to be as we relaxed, hung out, and became heroes in our own right.

This last few weeks have been really hectic at work, I have a daily list of 50 things to do, and while I knock off one or two a day, five more seem to appear, so my list of 50 becomes 55 by the end of the week. It's getting to the point where it's wholly disheartening and prioritization becomes an issue because you don't want to do ANY of them, knowing that each will become a herculean task unto itself.

Having pretty much run myself ragged for the last month with preparations for the Comicon, the comicon itself, and the constant battle with keeping All New Comics updated at night, and doing my day job during the day (and usually into the evening), I was burnt out.

Friday, was the darkness before the dawn. I knew that I just needed a weekend where I could dedicate myself to just having fun, not doing anything work related, letting All New Comics fend for itself (other than a little bit of maintenance), and just relax.

Well I did it.

Friday night Gord sent us home a bit early, I took the opportunity to boot home, have some play time with Kaylin before dinner, and then we all went for a walk over to Blockbuster (one of my favourite parts of living in London is that we can walk so many different places.). I traded in some games and picked up Guitar Hero II for the 360. I played a little bit on Friday night, but only did about 3 or 4 songs that first night.

Saturday we went out and bought a tree and a couple of shrubs for our backyard, although the tree was too big for the car. During Kaylin's nap, Char and I busted out Guitar Hero and she played her first few licks, really having a good time with it. My parents came over and my dad and I used the truck to pick up our tree (as well as grabbing some more wood for my garage project, which I'll tackle in a few weeks when the weather cools a bit more).

We had dinner together, and Kaylin had a blast chatting with Grandma and Grandpa.

Sunday we got up and headed out to Port Stanley for the beach. Kaylin had a hoot running around digging in the sand, and after a while we moseyed on over to Mackies for their famous fish and chips and orangina. We headed back to London (with a quick stop at Shaws for ice cream), and relaxed indoors while Kaylin had her nap. After dinner we headed outside into our newly fenced in back yard and planted the tree and shrubs.

Today has been a relaxing day around the house. As I type this Kaylin is napping, and I'm on my laptop in the back yard, the wind whipping my stubbled head, hearing the sound of our new pear tree fluttering in the breeze.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, I don't think it will be too bad. I've had some rest, had time to mull things over in my head and let the spare cycles come up with solutions to problems that I'm not really working on (which is what I find the most successful way of dealing with times when I'm really overwhelmed), and I feel more relaxed than in weeks.

Oh, and I beat Guitar Hero on Easy, and now I'm working through Medium! Char's well on her way to being a heroine herself, and with a little bit of work tonight, she'll have conquered the easy mode herself!