Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blog #36: Giant Sized Blog Spectacular

Well here is my annual Giant Sized Blog Spectacular. Lots of Random Things to cover so enjoy and see you again on the week of August 14th!!! Taking some time off from writing for some summer fun!!!
1: SpongeBob SquarePants
I never understood the hype about SpongeBob until I actually sat down and watched an episode with the kids. It is a funny show! It's kinda like Shrek with its hidden humour, it really is a show for all ages. Kayde loves SpongeBob and it is her favourite show. Out of all the shows the kids watch it is the show I like to watch with them. SpongeBob lives in a Pineapple under the sea and works for Mr. Crabs at the Crusty Crab...Mr Crabs is the cheapest bastard you'll ever meet. His best friend is a starfish named Patrick. He is also friends with a chipmunk named Sandy who lives in a bubble environment. It really is a fun show for all ages, check it out!!!

2: Bud Light with Lime (in bottles not cans)
I love the Bud Light in the bottle and it is awesome. But it does not taste as good in the cans, like most beers but you really can taste a significant difference when drinking it from a can. I wish they would make it Budweiser with lime instead of just Bud Light.

3: Golf
I used to love to play slow-pitch baseball in the summer but with my changing shift rotation schedule I haven't been able to commit to a team for the past 2 years. But I have been golfing a lot more these past 2 years. I'm not that good and not competitive at all, I just like to go out and walk the course, take in the fresh air and enjoy myself. The last 2-3 years I have been golfing with my son Bailey. He enjoys it too and is doing very well for just being 9 years old. I'm trying not to push him, If he really loves the game and wants to pursue it more I'll fully support him on that but I'll never be one of those Dad's who tries to live out his dreams through his kid. I like to golf at the in-town course here in Barrhead. It's not too hard and you can walk the whole course. I don't understand these golfers who drive a cart and drink beer while golfing and yet claim to be getting exercise...I think not. Tiger Woods is the best player in the game and possibly the best golfer of all time. I was never a fan of watching golf on TV but Tiger makes it worth while. Even when he's not doing good its fun to watch him get mad, yell and freak out on the's very entertaining.

4: The TV Series "Mad Men"
It's still summer and there is not a lot on TV right now but the AMC series "Mad Men" just recently wrapped up their 5th season. It really is a great drama and worthy of watching. If you want to learn more read my thought:

I want to discuss a great show that is currently on TV which I enjoy to watch, it's called "Mad Men". The title refers to the men who work for an ad agency on New York City's Madison avenue in the early 1960's. The series is created by Matthew Weiner (hehe..weiner..) who was a writer on "The Sopranos". The show primarily is about the character Don Draper, played by a great actor named Jon Hamm. In season one Draper is the creative director and eventual junior partner of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. His character in many ways is similar to Tony Soprano. Like Tony, Don leads a double life. In his personal life he is a suburban husband to a beautiful ex-model and the father to two little kids. They have the perfect house in a beautiful neighbourhood and everything should be happy and perfect, but of course its not. Don can't relate to his wife Betty, played by the beautiful January Jones (American Wedding). She herself is not happy, she is a loving mother and wife but misses her days modelling andtravelling the world. And she suspects her husband is cheating, which of course he is, just like Tony Soprano.
In Don's professional life he is a voice of authority to the men who work for him and they love and respect him, except for Pete Campbell: a young ambitious account executive who admires Don but does not truly respect him. Don like Tony Soprano has a girlfriend, the complete opposite woman of his wife. She is a hippy chick who smokes pot and does not have kids. Don spends alot of time staying in the city because of his "job" so he has plenty of opportunity to see the girlfriend. He also pursues other women, the guys a dog, but really a great guy, honest.
The series takes place in the beginning of the 1960's. Women in the work place did not receive equal rights and they had to endure relentless sexual flirting, and this is seen on the show. At the beginning of the series a character named Peggy Olson is introduced, through her the viewers are introduced to the world of 60's Madison avenue. Peggy starts as a secretary for Don but soon rises to be a junior copywriter and receives her own office, which she has to share with the xerox machine. But she is a pioneer for women but is resented by the other women in the office.
Don is literally not the man he says he is. He comes from a family where he suffered mental abuse from his father and wicked step-mother. Well I don't know if she is technically his step-mom cause Don is the child of an affair his Dad had, and Don was brought into his Dad's family. And he has a half brother, whom he loves but leaves behind with his home life by joining the army as a young man. But I can't say too much because a theme of the first season is the mystery of Don Draper and Dick Whitman. But I will tell you that when the truth of Draper/Whitman is revealed and the tragedy of Don's decisions is revealed...I cried. I admit it, there is some very powerful drama on this show and Don Draper is truly a tragic character.
The show is just cool to watch on so many levels. Even though the series is set in the 60's the problems that men and women face doesn't change. Plus its just cool to see how much things have changed like televisions, smoking was everywhere and you were ridiculed if you didn't smoke, winding phones, drinking in the workplace, sexual harassment and the list goes on and on. I was born after the 60's but apparently the show's crew has taken the detail of the 60's world to the extreme, everything is supposed to be historically accurate. So if you were alive in the 60's you might find watching the show fun visually, but trust me you will love the show.

- The first 4 seasons are currently available on DVD, as well as on Netflix Canada.  
5: Diet Coke with Lime
What can I say I am a fan of lime. I love it in my beer and I love it in my pop. I am not a fan of Diet Coke but having lime with it is awesome and one of my favourite pops out there. The rest of the family loves it too because we always seem to be running out every time I go to grab one from the fridge. I also love to drink the Crush Lime pop but only in small doses cause it is way too sweet, but good just the same.

6: Law & Order: UK
Well its still summer and there ain't much on TV at this time so may I suggest you check out Law & Order: UK.
I caught a few episodes of Law & Order: UK on City TV in the past and it is a great show. I am a huge fan of the Law & Order franchise and was excited to hear that they were expanding the show to the UK, having their version take place in London. It follows the same formula as the original Law & Order, a team of police detectives investigate the crime then the crown prosecutors prosecute the offenders. Apparently they are even borrowing scripts from the original show and re-using them with a London twist. Law & Order: UK stars Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber, Harriet Walter, Ben Daniels, FreemaAgyeman, and Bill Paterson. Law & Order: UK is as it turns out the first American drama television series to be adapted for British television. This series like the others was created by Dick Wolf. I didn't recognize anyone in the cast except Jamie Bamber, he plays the junior detective. Bamber previously played Major Lee "Apollo" Adama on the new Battlestar Galactica. Its kinda weird to hear him speak in his English accent because on Battlestar he spoke with an American accent.
So far they have filmed 3 seasons. Apparently some critics in the UK had mixed reviews: some loved it calling a "breath of fresh air" while some didn't think it felt like a UK production because it is filmed in an American style, like the other series of Law & Order. I liked it, I found the acting to be great and actually found it a little more realistic than Law & Order CI or SVU for the fact that so far they are not relying on "pretty people" to spruce up the show. And I think its cool to see the lawyers wearing robes and wigs for court.

7: The Books of Dan Brown
"Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown, which was just released as a movie a couple years back by Ron Howard starring Tom Hanks. I purposely chose to read the book first before seeing the movie. I can honestly say its one of the greatest books I have ever read. I couldn't stop reading on the last two hundred pages because it was so good. I highly recommend reading this book, you will not be disappointed. I also read "The Da Vinci Code" which is the sequel to "Angels and Demons" which is written again by Dan Brown and features his main character Robert Langdon. Again I never watched the movie until after I read the book and the book is so much better, but it was a good movie too. I was told that the "Angels and Demons" movie was a good movie, much better than the "Da Vinci Code". I also read the second sequel to "Angels and Demons" called "The Lost Symbol" which is better than the Davinci Code but not as good as Demons. Apparently again this book too will get movie treatment from Tom Hanks and Ron Howard. Dan Brown also has 2 other books which are separate from 'Demons' and 'Code' : "Deception Point" and "Digital Fortress". I have read those books and they too are great.
8: The Edmonton Eskimo's
Grey Cup bound this year... too early to say. Anything can happen in the CFL!!
9: Global News
In my opinion Global News has the best local coverage. I really can't stand to watch CTV News Edmonton, they are bland and boring. City News can barely be called news and I don't even know if CBC Edmonton has local news anymore. Global does a segment call 'Our Town' in which they travel to rural communities and highlights something about the community, which is great. They have the best weather reports in my opinion and they even run a contest where kids can colour pictures about weather and send them in for free tickets to something like Castrol Speedway, the Edmonton Oil-Kings, etc. A couple summers ago my daughter Kayde submitted a picture and won family tickets to Castrol...didn't actually use them but its still cool just the same. Also you have to check out the Saturday and Sunday Global Morning News with Shane Jones and Kevin O'Connell, they are hilarious and make waking up on a Saturday worth it!!!
10: Watchmen: The Movie
For those of you who do not know this movie is based on an 80's comic book mini-series written by the talented Alan Moore. Moore's comics have been adapted before for film: 'From Hell' with JohnnyDepp, 'V For Vendetta' with Natalie Portman and 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' with Sean Connery. Moore hated the films that were adapted from his comics, not sure what he thinks about 'Watchmen' though. I loved this movie, I actually made a special trip into Edmonton when it was released to watch it. It is not your traditional comic book movie and there is a lot of plot to follow and wrap your brain around but if you stick with it it pays off. It's one of those movies either your gonna love it or hate it. I loved it, one of the best and most original comic book movies in years. It is now out on DVD. It is definitely a thinking man's movie, not just mindless entertainment. But it is not a movie for kids!!! There is a lot of violence and not allow your young ones to watch it.

11: GI:Joe the 80's cartoon first season on DVD
As a kid growing up I loved to rent the GI Joe cartoon from the video store. We didn't have it on our local stations so I had to settle with video tapes. 25 years later they have released GI Joe on DVD and I had to buy it. It's fun to re-watch but it is very much a kids cartoon. What can I say I miss the 80's. It was a carefree time when I had no worries or pressures...miss those days.

12: Riding Bikes
I love to ride bikes with the kids, reminds me of when i was a young lad learning to ride for the first time. The trailer court beside the Fort Assiniboine Motor Inn was a great place to grow up, and I remember learning to ride my bike there. My Mom and Dad went into the city to Canadian Tire I believe to buy my first bike, a BMX. I had no training wheels and learned to ride my bike without them. I remember my Dad trying to teach me how to ride my bike, I think I was 5 or 6 years old, and I remember falling a lot on the gravel road in front of our house. My parents went somewhere that night and my babysitter Harvey Ehrenholz came over to take care of us. I begged Harvey to let me ride my bike, begged him to teach me how to do it and Harvey did. He took me outside and patiently taught me how to ride my bike. Thank you Harvey, you were a great babysitter and forever be the guy who taught me to ride a bike, I'll never forget that. I was so happy and proud of myself and showed Mom and Dad when they got home.

13: the movie "Sex Drive"
I never even heard of this flick until one night I was watching TV the other night and it was on. It is actually a very funny movie with a classic ending. Check it out and again it is not a movie for the kids!!!

14: Tim Horton's coffee and donuts
I don't care how hot it gets outside I love Tim Horton's Coffee!!!! Plus their donuts are always awesome too. I'll usually pick up an ice cap and a coffee, extra large double double for the drive home from the city. I'll drink the ice cap first then the coffee. I really wish they would build a Tim Horton's here in Barrhead, I really think it would work here but it costs a lot to open one. Maybe if I win the lottery I'll do that...

15: Paying for a speeding ticket
I got my first speeding ticket back in summer 2009 and it cost me $136.00, or so I thought. I went to the registry office to pay it with a cheque, when I got there and after standing in line for 10 minutes I notice a small sign that says "Fines payed with cash only". So I went next door and got $140.00 out of the Fas Gas cash machine. I returned and lost my place in line. After 15 minutes of standing there I finally got up to a clerk and she informed me "The fine is $136 dollars and we charge a $9.40 service fee on top of that". I only had the $140 on me so I asked if I could pay the difference with a cheque because technically a service fee can be paid by cheque only the fine requires cash. She looked at me with those 100 year old eyes and said "No...CASH ONLY!!!". Well that was that, off to Fas Gas again to get another $20 dollars out, at least I didn't lose my spot in line a second time she was nice enough to hold it for me. So in the end my speeding ticket cost me $136 + 9.40 + 6.00 (for ATM fees)....I'm using my cruise control more often now....

16: Drinking tea
I love to drink coffee but its not good for the blood pressure so I've been told to drink more tea, apparently its better for the blood pressure. I love Red Rose tea and Earl Grey.

17: Barrhead Splash Park
They just built it about 3 years ago and it is awesome for the kids to kill time...they love going there. But I was told to be careful and have the kids wear their sandals at all times cause a friends little girl got some glass lodged into her foot from walking around the splash park in bare feet. Better to be safe than sorry but it really is a wonderful thing for the kids to play at.

18: Mowing lawn
Still hate doing this. and moving on...
19: Red Ants have returned!!!
I have noticed that the dreaded 'Red Ant' has made a return this summer. Last decade or so I've only seen the black ants running around and they are harmless. Reminds me of the time Lenny and I had a run in with red ants about 24 or so years ago...

One lesson learned with my time spent with Lenny was never, NEVER, pee on a red ant pile!!! Anyway the story goes like this: I was about 5 years old and we lived at the old trailer court behind the Fort Motor Inn. One day I found this huge mound of dirt that had these little creatures crawling all over it, which I now know was a red ant pile. Anyway Lenny was dropped off for a visit and I wanted to show him my discovery, Lenny was about 4 years old then. He was just as amazed by them as I was. I'm not sure who it was who came up with the idea of peeing on the red ant pile but it was decided by us both that it would be a good idea. So we whipped out our ding-a-lings and went to work giving the ants what is known in some circles as a "golden shower". And we laughed, and laughed, and laughed. We zipped up our flys and patted each other on the back for a job well done. Then I noticed an ant on Lenny's shoulder. I swatted it off for him and soon discovered many more ants crawling around Lenny's shirt. Ants were all over Lenny now and he started to scream!!!! I looked down at my shirt and pants and discovered that I too was covered in red ants!!!! I screamed in pain as they began to bite me, and Lenny and I ran back to our house. My Mom heard our screams and we ran up to our deck. While still outside my Mom stripped us both down to our tighty whiteys in an attempt to get all the ants off our bodies. A lesson hard learned, never ever pee on a red ant pile. EVER!!!

20: Watch 'Game Of Thrones'. One of the best series ever made in my opinion. Winter is coming... 
21: Summer is almost over....again...Winter approaches...
Summer is almost over yet again and winter will be here soon whether we like it or not! As a kid growing up on an acreage I loved winter. I loved playing hockey on the rink my Dad would build every year. I loved to ski-doo every winter in the fields and trails around our acreage. I loved the cold days when they would cancel school and I got to stay home. Now as an adult I HATE winter. My Dad lives away from me now and has given up the art of rink building. I have no ski-doo anymore nor a truck to pack it around in if I wanted to go somewhere to ski-doo, because I live in town now so ski-dooingin my back yard would just be lame. When there is cold days work is never cancelled, and a lot of times I'm working outside in the cold. Plus I'm working away from my home town so I get to enjoy winter road conditions, and all the crazy winter drivers who still drive like its summer. I hate winter and always will miss summer. When I win the lottery I'm buying a winter house away from this cold and snow, somewhere like Arizona. I'm all for the environment but if global warming would give me summer year round I'm thinking it might not be a totally bad thing!!!

22: Read the comic book 'Daredevil' from Marvel comics. Written by Mark Waid this is the best comic book series being put out by marvel comics right now.  
23: Playing the Lotto or getting played by the lotto???
I checked my lottery tickets Thursday and I am still not a millionaire. One day...hopefully soon. It's not that I don't like my job cause I do but it would be so nice not to have to wake up at 3:40 AM to work a day shift. Plus I would love to not have to worry about pay cheques and paying bills and all those unforeseen expenses. Even just to win a hundred or two hundred grand would make my life so much off debts, buy a new van, buy a new house, take the kids to Disneyland now that would be nice. I play the Lotto's every week and I play the same numbers going on over 11years now. But I do know the odds are against me but as the saying goes 'you can't win if you don't play'. One time I got 5 numbers out of 7 on the Lotto Super7...I was so excited I thought I must have won big time!!! Then I got my ticket checked and I won $156.00...which is better than a kick to the ass but seriously 5 out of 7 numbers and all i won was 156 bucks!!! That's the most I have ever won playing the Lotto so far. 3 years ago I bought a 'Crossword' scratch ticket for Crystal and she won $500.00, bought it on my way home from work at the Swan Hills 'Gas Town'. Sometimes I play 'Sports Select' during Football season and I win a little here and there but I never bet more than $5.00 and more often than not I lose. But what I love about Sports Select is that it requires some knowledge about the sport and team to hopefully win, where as a scratch ticket or regular lotto ticket comes down to just pure dumb luck...not smart luck but dumb luck.
Anywho again that is the end of the Giant Sized Blog Spectacular. See you in 2 weeks!!!

No comments: