Thursday, June 28, 2007

Surviving the Undead

For those in the know, Max Brook's book The Zombie Survival Guide is essential reading. That being said I managed to stumble across a little quiz that I should probably save until next Monday but I liked it too much. Find out how likely you are to survive a zombie apocolypse.


I encourage my co-contributors to take this test so I can post your results as well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Pictoral Essay of Ottawa's Citizens

Because I'm lazy I didn't bother to read Rob Filbrandt's bio on his site Chowderhead Bazoo so I don't know where he's from, but his artwork seems to invoke Ottawa to me. Heck I don't even remember where I came across the link (if I do remember I'll post it). Anyway, he has a series of drawings called "Bane of my Existence" and it feels like you're walking down Bank Street as you go through them.

I do have to say that the "I'm against everything" type of humour sort of wears on me but I see these people everyday so the humour isn't lost on me. Plus, I can (sometimes) laugh at myself and see myself in a few of these illustrations. The curmudgeonly descriptions sort of get less funny if you try to read too many at once because you start to judge the author instead of seeing the truth in what it written.

Lego map of USA

Via Boing Boing I've come across this project where Lego set up a build area outside of the Smithsonian to let kids make a mosaic of the map of the USA.

As a lego-maniac I see the beauty in this. It's only lack of disposable income that keeps me from owning as much Lego as I can carry. And I've kind of kept myself from going to Lego-land because you'd only get reams of pictures of me terrorizing Lego cities like I was Godzilla.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Good job meatheads

It seems the Anglican Bishops have shown once again that hatred, exclusion and bigotry are more fundamental to an organized religion than love and acceptance. I am glad it was a narrow vote over blessing same sex unions, at least there is progress and hope.

I'm just wondering if Jesus maybe had a twin I was previously unaware of who has a gospel slightly different than the one I'm familiar with?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday hiatus

Okay, I've got nothing to really say about anything today so here's a picture of Batman punching someone really really hard.

That emotion you're feeling right now? It's called "totally freaking awesome."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Media

I've had relatively decent run of various media these last few weeks.


Fluke by Christopher Moore

This was definately one of the better books I've read in a long time. I know this because it didn't take me like a whole month to read the thing. It's also one of those books that is exceptionally hard to describe because it's a bit of a genre crosser and is exceptionally intelligent for something that is also exceptionally wacky.

It's about whale biologists in Hawaii trying to discover why humpback whales sing and why only during a specific time of year. The first half of the book is utterly fascinating as you get to know these likable oddball characters and learn a heck of a lot about whales. Then, it basically turns into a comic book but without the pictures. In fact it's better than a lot of comic books because it never looses its charm or brains as the story moves from cretaceous science to a story about genes and memes.

I rate this book: Hey, it's got a whale with 'Bite Me' written on its tail, what's not to love?


The Proposition

This is quite possibly the best western I've seen since I don't know when. I tend to like Guy Pearce's choice of roles in movies that are almost always interesting on some level. This is a tough tough movie. Yes, it's a violent movie but you won't be cheering as buckets of blood are spilt.

This is a story about a completely unforgiving land that is full of people who really don't want to be there, mix in the hellishly beautiful landscape and you've got people getting their sanity burnt out of them. One has to remember that pretty much all the whites in Australia didn't want to go there, so what we're given is land full of people turning in on themselves.

It boils down to one man, played brilliantly by Ray Winstone, who is trying to civilize the place but recognizes the Cysiphean task he's faced with. He knows that the regular rules don't apply here, and as much as he wants to keep his personal life separate from his job, he's never seen at home without a gun close by. It's amazing how these performances and little actions put you completely on edge. It just feels inevitable that this whole venture will end in bloodshed, it's just a matter of when and how much.

At first, it seems like Ray Winstone is being set up as the villain but as the movie progresses you start to see that he's trying to stay above the entire place. Even the people on the side of good and law are as bloodthirsty as anyone else. There's a huge disconnect between what they think needs to happen and seeing it happen in a bloody mess before them.

It's beautiful, it's horrific, it's just a fantastic movie all around especially if you've seen Clint Eastwood's man with no name movies. Plus, written by Nick Cave with music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. I wonder if that's comic book writer Warren Ellis?

I rate this movie: A lot better than I though it was going to be - stunning.


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers and Marvel Adventures: Iron Man

It's weird, the Marvel Adventures line is aimed at younger readers but these two comics are better than the vast majority of other Marvel comics on the shelves these days. They aren't bogged down in explaining what happened to some character in a panel thirty years ago or in taking a dozen issues to, you know, forget what the point was then say the character was a clone because they don't really act like the character you remember.

The best comparison I can come up with is that these are the Pixar equivalent to comics. Yes, they're aimed at a younger audience but there is a heck of a lot there for adults. They are well written, chalk full of action and dialogue but aren't bogged down with trying to actually explain things we know simply can't happen realistically. They are fun and more importantly, funny. And in a breath of fresh air they aren't overly concerned with decapitations, eviscerations, rape or boob/butt shots.

I love the Avengers title because they have Wolverine in it but can't let him claw anyone so they tend to have uber-strong baddies punch him off into the distance - plus they just had a storyline where a living planet is macking on Earth (with some of the best pick-up dialogue I've ever read) and they get rid of him by showing the planet that earth is covered in itchy, burning little human parasites. Or the Avengers all get turned into MODOK, who if you don't know about you need to stop what you're doing and go here, here and here. And, well Iron Man is just about a dude in a robot suit doing cool shit written by Fred van Lente who wrote Action Philosophers.

I rate these comics: My only Marvel picks (although I'm told Daredevil, The Punisher War Journal and Iron Fist are all really good), even if the company has issues with violence and sex.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sniffing your own butt

Okay, ages ago Kelly Nestruck wrote about posting the cat. It’s kind of the internet blogging (as opposed to pen and paper blogging, smartass) version of jumping the shark. While I wholeheartedly endorse the usage of this phrase because it just seems to be so universally applicable to online vanity projects I think the Canadian political establishment has managed to create it’s own colloquialism. Namely, posting the dog.

Okay, maybe it’s just the Conservatives who are actually making some attempt at humor by writing from the point of view of a dog and using a lot of dog imagery, but I think this term applies to most party endorsed blogs – especially if they are linked to via the main party page. These are essentially dog blogs, kind of like if you’re reading a dog of a newspaper article or watching a dog of a movie. So while most of them won’t deeply offend your sense of comedy they are all equally spasm-fit inducing.

As far as the blog written from the point of view of a dog all I can say is that whichever Conservative party member came up with that gem obviously didn’t go to the same elementary school I did. If he had he would have remembered a joke comparing a dog’s ability to lick its own balls to homosexuals. I’ll just leave that dangling out there like a man’s tackle and move along before things get out of hand. You can draw any conclusions you like.

Anyway, in the months long tradition of this blog I’ll try to come up with a few ways to make Kyoto’s blog actually funny.

  1. Woof, woof woof, bark. Bark BARK arf AAaaaaarrf. Bow wow!
  2. Wait a sec, did I just eat my own shit? I did, didn’t I? Bowser, Scamp, come over hear for a moment. Smell my breath. Is it okay? Does it smell at all, shitty? You know, shitty like the Liberal Party’s new leader.
  3. Kjkmfdsxc mn kjknfjkn dsxzkl,m dxckl,ml,m (because a dog doesn’t have fingers dip-shit)
  4. I know it’s against the sanctity of marriage to have an inter-species relationship but I would totally hump Peter McKay’s leg.
  5. I promise to put chicken flavored kibbles in every dog-bowl.
  6. Snausages.
  7. Ah, pee een yoor genirral derection. Your muthair was ahhamster and your fathair rrreeked of elderberries.
  8. Ahhh, ha ha ha ha, Jack Layton is bald!

I could go on giving you ever less funny examples until I found myself actually writing for Kyoto’s blog. You get the idea though right?

On a side note I’m happy to see Rick Mercer is back online although, Rick, you totally missed the last memo. You need to include the little ™ in Canada’s new government™. The online club of making fun of politics will let it slip this time because you’ve been out of the loop, but if it happens again you’ll be getting a stern note followed by some sort of online fine/hazing should that behavior persist.

Monday, June 18, 2007

So long Muckler

Today it appears that John Muckler is no longer the GM of the Ottawa Senators and that coach Brian Murray is taking over. I don't really have much of an opinion one way or the other except to say that I think Muckler got a bit of a raw deal after putting together a team that made it to the cup finals and on the flip-side Murray did put together the Ducks team that beat him this year.

My one concern is that Pat Quinn is available to take the job as coach. Don't do this. Please. Seriously. Remember how well the Leafs did under him? Remember how well he coached the Olympic teams? Anyone with a couch and a TV can do the job just as well, and will save you cash.

I'm looking forward to seeing what changes will occur over the summer. Just make sure the names Pat and Quinn are not added to the roster and we'll be kosher.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My world view is focused on the city

I know it’s not the most information heavy way to keep tabs on the world at large but I tend to only read newspapers in small chucks as I walk to work. In other words I sort of glance at the newspaper boxes and make up stories that go with their headlines. It’s made my world a lot nicer to live in, in case you were wondering.

This has sort of given me a unique world view recently. For instance, yesterday The Ottawa Sun had a cartoon image of an obese person on their cover and a headline about how the city is getting fatter. So I thought I’d do a minor experiment. Basically I people watched for the rest of my walk to work. You want to know something? There weren’t that many fat people walking to work with me.

You know where all the fat people were? Waiting in line at Tim Horton’s and getting out of their cars. So this led me to the conclusion that living in the suburbs makes you fat, not living in Ottawa. And I’m pretty sure I’m right. Living downtown promotes a healthier lifestyle in many ways – it’s easier to walk to the store and get milk than it is to drive down interminable one-way streets, and you’re not required to drive to a store that is kilometers away from your house to begin with.

Seriously, this isn’t rocket science. If you want the city to get healthier, in all respects, then it needs to be not economically viable to expand suburbs. If we want city spending to be cost effective for the services they provide then they need to work on serious urban renewal. It needs to be not attractive and desirable to live downtown, which I think it already is, it needs to be completely unaffordable to live outside the city. This city can be great if it’s simply too expensive to expand it or to live that much further outside of it. Plus, you’ll feel better for walking everywhere instead of driving.

I don’t think waiting for some amorphous oil crisis will end suburbs but immediate and heavy taxation will certainly curtail their spread and increase the vibrancy of the city core. It makes sense.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just like the man who made it says.

With apologies to The Who. From xkcd

Headlines Talk Smack

Caution: Language.

Nova Scotia to Harper: Pay up Sucker!

Harper to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland: Suck it Bitches!

Casey to Conservatives: Fuck all y’all.

Ottawa to Natives: Chill, we’ll get to it. We totally got your back.

Man forcing own fame upon unsuspecting public to said public: Shut the hell up internerd!

City Hall to Ethics Policy: Seriously, what the fuck?

A challenge to the Beigeness


A few friends of mine and I went out to play a little bit of tennis a few nights back, at around 9 at one of the few courts that have lights in downtown Ottawa. Let's neglect for a few minutes that, while the court has lights, these lights, ahem, weren't on (well done, City of Ottawa). What this is more about was the scene in the park. When we got there, there were two guys throwing around a football under the lights of the baseball park there. Unimpressive, I admit. Then there was our group, trying to use street lights (mostly in futility). After the football guys left, a group came outside to have a bit of a picnic (OK, it was chips and pop) and play Smart Ass at the table right behind the tennis court. Not something you see daily, but that's cool. It was the other table that was most surprising. Well, it was probably more of a common occurrence than a late night tennis or Smart Ass game... A few crackheads lighting up. All these groups in the same park, just chilling out - tennis players with no lights, guys throwing a football, Smart Ass players, and crackheads, on a casual Ottawa Monday night...

That's a bit less beige than I'm used to...

Monday, June 11, 2007

You've seen it, you can't un-see it.

On Saturday I had the horrible misfortune to witness the naked bike ride. I’m all for protesting and trying to reduce smog, but sweet-baby-jeezus, you’d think people who did that much biking wouldn’t be so disgustingly fat!

This post is so late because I have to keep running to the bathroom to either vomit or dry-heave each time I try to type more about witnessing this event and the spectral memories of those naked sweaty fat cracks and folds come back to haunt me.

I’m sorry, it was simply foul. I like the human body, just not the ones on display anytime someone organizes a naked public event. Give me internet porn any day, at least they spend their entire existence trying to look good naked.

I have to stop now because I’m too weak to continue and my efforts to remove the tarnish my eyes witnessed with copious amounts of booze are about to recommence once my work-day finishes. The worst part is that nobody, the bikers included, know what the fuck the whole thing was about anyway.

So to sum up – naturalists are gross, but sweaty and riding a bike they are a taint upon humanity.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Painful memories for Oilers-cum-Senators fans

Jon, you may wish to criticise me for my criticism of the Phillips play (and delete this post). Which, to be frank, I blame more on the suckiness of Emery last night than on Mr. Phillips. But, it must be seen by the masses.

So... Chris Phillips' goal did remind me a lot of the famous Steve Smith goal of 1986. As a Habs fans by nature, I was a lot happier to see that goal scored than the one yesterday - my boys wouldn't have hoisted the 1986 Cup if it wasn't for that blunder.

Anaheim, Hockey Town

Well last night certainly sucked. It seems the Ottawa Senators from the last four years of playoff hockey decided to show up instead of the other team that was using their jerseys this year.

The one bright spot was hearing the fans in Anaheim boo commissioner Gary Bettman. At least they know something about hockey, albeit he did allow a team to be called The Mighty Ducks. They were one pronoun too ridiculous for the Stanley Cup. They removed Mighty and suddenly they’re hoisting it in celebration.

Now I have to run and get a flight to Anaheim so I can slip a picture of Fidel Castro into Wade Redden’s passport in the hopes he’ll be delayed at the border for the next hockey season.

There is one thing I really hope I don’t hear today – criticism of Chris Phillips. Yes it was a horrible mistake but it was just that, a mistake. He is still one of the best players on the ice for Ottawa and brought his best game to these playoffs unlike that other defenseman who gets paid the most. Redden decided to simply not play hockey – heck the Timbits that play at half-time could have deked him out and fallen down less - so let’s look at the real problem, which wasn’t one gaff by an otherwise solid player. It was the players who simply didn’t show up, not the ones who were shut down by a superior team.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ottawa played as if they had something to lose while Anaheim played as if they had something to win. I know the Senators are a better team than this, I just wish they knew it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Can't pass up a Popemobile headline

I'm a sucker for the Popemobile. Now I can't stand the Catholic church as an institution but I love that they actually have a Popemobile. In fact they have many to deal with different locations, terrains and situations. You'd think the Pope could just use his holiness and being chosen by God to avoid sniper bullets, knife wielding maniacs, the twenty-first century and logic.

Anyway CBC ran this headline "Pope unhurt after man lunges at popemobile." What they don't say is "man crushed by popemobile." I guess technically he was smote by the popemobile, or possibly just roughed up by men in orange and purple rennaisance faire attendee costumes known as the Swiss Guard.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Monday Meme - oops, a day late....

For those who haven't had a chance to play (in many ways), OK Cupid is a test and dating site that is free. While I have previously partaken in both sides of OK Cupid, I would say that I've had far more luck (and fun) with the test side than with the dating side (probably more the result of my decisions and choices than of OK Cupid's flaws). For example, this test was a lot of fun; I will meme my results. It was the Political Philosophy test, based on how philosophical instead of political questions were answered.

Your Score: Progressive

You scored 78 Equality, 57 Liberty, and 35 Stability!

Your commitment to both liberty and equality makes you a blend of the Liberal and the Socialist. For you liberty and equality are two parts of the same condition. Everyone has to be free to pursue their own way-of-life but in order for that to happen everyone must start with a similar basic standard of living.

You value liberty particularly in cultural and personal life. You also value government intervention to promote equity in economic life while still supporting private enterprise. If this is too bland for you then try the Radical on for size.

Link: The Political Objectives Test written by Originaluddite on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Second against the wall

Why were we watching NBC during the second intermission last night? I want to watch Hockey Night in Canada, not NBC at the races, er hockey.

And why hasn't anyone mentioned that Mr. Canada, Don Cherry, went south to the Yanks before the ink was even dry on his cheque, sorry, check? (Certainly not Czech). If the revolution ever comes, I say he's second against the wall, just after Jim Carrey. Although I think it's a bit more gut wrenchingly obvious that the guy who goes on and on about how great Canada and Canadian hockey is jumped south at the first opportunity is more of a pain in the ass than the guy who made Me, Myself and Irene. Can we revoke his papers at the border? What about Wade Redden's?

Also, I'd like CBC to get some play-by-play men that can actually call the play happening on the ice. It's not a "great save" if it hits a defenceman. The Ottawa players have names too, in particular the goalie is called Ray Emery. You can just call him Emery. It's pretty easy to remember and easier to say than your constant yammering about "the Ottawa goalie."

I'm in no mood to write about anything today. Plus, it's raining.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sidewalk etiquette, and Hockey etiquette

Dear people with massive umbrellas. What the bloody hell are you compensating for? Yes, I know it’s raining but I manage to be a polite sidewalk user who shares the pavement with other pedestrians while holding my own, reasonably sized, umbrella.

I know it’s wet, gray and early; you probably haven’t had your double-double and a smoke; your blackberry thumb crank snapped off; and your previous life was a water buffalo but that doesn’t mean you need to walk like a water buffalo down the sidewalks as if everyone else is an inconvenience to your stampede. Seriously, go to the golf course with those things and wait for lighting or just get a fat person scooter and act like the rest of us who can share a sidewalk with other human beings are “the ones with the problem.”

Gad! What a pain in the ass walking on the sidewalks is, especially when it’s raining. Ottawa has some of the worst sidewalk etiquette as it is, adding umbrellas to the mix is like adding splinters to burnt toast – a bad thing made unnecessarily worse. I swear I almost uncapped my coffee and tossed it into the crotch of three people with umbrellas that were too big and were bumping into everyone in their path.

Yes I saw the elbow on Saturday and yes, I think Chris Pronger and his Bob Hope nose deserve the suspension. It was a reaction but it was also intended to hurt the guy.

Yes, I saw the Chris Neil hit, and no it doesn’t deserve to be reviewed although I think he was lucky to avoid a roughing or possibly a charging penalty.

There is a difference between a hit that was penalty worthy and an intent to injure. Guess which one was an intent to injure? Here’s a hint – the other player was knocked out.

When will Bob Cole realize that Volchenkov plays for Ottawa and that when Spezza turns it over to the Ducks, it isn’t Volchenkov who shoots the puck at Emery? I’m just saying, it’s happened like three times this series.

And finally, when will Redden be traded? That guy should, at least, be benched. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy, does well for the community, etc etc, blah blah blah. He's one of the highest paid players on the team and seems to want to play for the Ducks since he's giving them the puck so much. I keep hearing that he's better than this but I haven't seen it. I really think he needs to get his shit together or should be shown the door (or the pine).

Isn’t Sheldon Surray up on waivers this summer?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Now I never have to leave my desk

I can see the sights on bright sunny days thanks to Google Maps.

In case you're wondering what the bloody hell I'm yammering on about, it's Google Zoom, Street View available on Google Maps.