Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog #38: Old Stores in Barrhead

Remember the second store in the Fort Assiniboine? Guess if your not from that are you have no clue what the hell I am talking about. Sorry for that, this blog entry is geared towards people who lived and grew up in the Fort Assiniboine-Barrhead area. Anyway That was Ainsfort store which was where the Fort Post Office is currently located. I believe it closed in 1989 or 1990 I'm not quite sure. My Mom worked at Ainsfort store for a time. I remember they had the best ice cream, best candies, they had arcade games and they sold He-Man colouring books and other stuff that kids loved to buy. It was a great store and it sucked when it closed but it was a sign of the times. The Fort was just too small of a community to support 2 general stores, plus Barrhead was only 20 minutes away and had 3 larger stores there.

Another store I used to love shopping at was the old "Tom-Boy" here in Barrhead. It was located where the Barrhead FCSS is currently located. They turned in Extra Foods in the late 90's and closed in the late 90's..98 or 99 I cannot remember for certain I only remember that I was out of school at that point. They just couldn't compete with CO-OP and the new IGA.

Remember the "MET" store in Barrhead. The best way to describe it is to say it was like a small version of Wal-Mart. They had everything that you needed and then some. They were located where the Mall and Servus Credit Union are now. I loved shopping there and that is where I used to buy most of my He-Man toys and later my Ninja Turtle toys. They had the biggest store in town. I remember one time when shopping with my Granny Lockhart, Aunt Elaine and cousin Irene in Westlock. My Granny had bought me a toy there and later we went to Barrhead and the Met store. I unwisely took my new toy bought in Westlock into the Met. Anyway I was in the toy department when a punk looking guy, who was listening to metal music on a Walkman, grabbed me by the arm and accused me of stealing. He told me he was an undercover store security guard, now looking back he might have just been a paedophile...who knows? My cousin Irene seen him grab me by the arm and told him that my toy was in fact bought in Westlock so he let me go...thanks Irene for saving me from that dude. If he was a weirdo paedophile she may have saved me from something very bad!! But the Met, especially in the 80's was a huge store for a small town so it is possible that they had security. They too closed in the mid 90's.
Those were the I sound old. But the 80's and 90's were such simple times for me, I really miss sometimes how things used to be. Granted things are pretty good now, but back then things were just simpler, guess cause my biggest concern was getting up at 7am on a Saturday to watch He-Man on channel 12. 
Need to build myself a time machine...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Check It Out: Announcement!


Normally I do a monthly segment called 'Beer Goggles' for the blog, but that is going to stop. Why you ask? Well that's a good question, you see for the last couple months I have had a project in the planning stages, and well hopefully next month said project will be done. That project that is in the works is one that I hope will be well worth the wait, and that project will have a segment on it called 'Beer Goggles'. Well that project is: The Random Nerdness Podcast! Yes a real life podcast which will hopefully be out in September, maybe October. It will (hopefully) be free to download on iTunes. It has not been recorded yet, and I don't want to get too far ahead of myself if it doesn't work out, but I am hoping to launch a twice monthly podcastbased on this blog. My brother-in-law Sebastian will be my trusted sound engineer and co-host along with my little sister Brianna. We're hoping to have a rotating '4th' chair co-host filled with friends in studio or ones skyped in. I'm really hoping it works out, more announcements to come in the future. 

Check it out: I finally just watched the movie 50/50: The film about a cancer patient (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and how he and his friends and family deal with the cancer he has. Well I must say that this movie was fantastic! It literally made me laugh and cry in and hour and fifty minutes. JGL is an amazing actor, he was fantastic in 'The Dark Knight Rises' which is why I finally decided to watch 50/50, and I am so glad I did. He truly was inspiring in this film, well worth the viewing. 

Check it out: Been watching 'The Nerdist' TV series based on the podcast. Chris Hardwick and company are freakin hilarious. If you are into geek/nerdy culture check this talk show out. It's on once a week in Canada Wednesday nights on the SPACE Channel. Also check out 'The Nerdist' channel on YouTube, he does a show called 'Celebrity Bowling' which is also freakin awesome. 

Check it out: Be sure to listen to 'The Atomic Geeks Podcast', the 'Nerd Lunch Podcast' and 'The Classic Film Jerks', all are great podcasts worth your listenin and are all a part of the 'Atomic Geeks Podcast Network'. They are also free to download from iTunes. And be sure to leave them an iTunes review. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog # 37: 15 Great Books

1 "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown: Easily the best book I have ever read. I couldn't put it down on the last 200 pages, I read for almost 6 hours straight, which is a world record for me!

2 "The Da Vinci Code" again by Dan Brown. Not as good as 'Angels and Demons' but still a hell of a read!

3 "Heir To The Empire" by Timothy Zahn. I am a Star Wars nerd and this was the first book that continued the adventures of Luke Skywalker and company. It is an awesome book and changed Star Wars forever. Zahn also created the best book villain I have ever read, Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was the only alien ever to have served the Emperor and the Galactic Empire. He had blue skin and glowing red eyes...really cool character.

4 "What Savage Beast" by Peter David. It is a novel about the comic book character "The Incredible Hulk" and it should have been made into a movie!!! David wrote the comic book for 12 years and made the character and supporting cast awesome and relevant. Awesome book.

5 "Too Fat To Fish" by Artie Lange. Artie is a comedian and part of the 'Howard Stern Show' and this book is his autobiography. It was a great read, he is both funny and a tragic guy, a lot of sadness in the book to plus a lot of laughs.

6 "3001: A Space Odyssey" by Arthur C.Clarke. The final and most interesting chapter of the 'Odyssey' books.

7 "Beam Me Up, Scotty: Star Trek's "Scotty" in his own words" by James Doohan with Peter David. I loved Scotty from Star Trek and had a blast reading his book. Did you know he is Canadian and fought for Canada overseas in World War II. He tells a lot of amazing stories from the war in his book. I actually met him once when I was 15 at a Star Trek convention in Edmonton which was cool and made reading his biography extra special to read.

8 "The Last Command" by Timothy Zahn. The second sequel to 'Heir to the Empire'.

9 "Vision Of The Future" by Timothy Zahn. Takes place 10 years after 'Last Command' and features the last battle between the New Republic and the Empire and their eventual peace...

10 "Star Trek Memories" by William Shatner. Shatner is a great actor and awesome person/personality. His first memoir about being on 'Star Trek' is both hilarious and interesting to read.

11 "Why We Suck" by Denis Leary. Leary is a hell of a comic and I am a fan of his show "Rescue Me" so reading his take on life, family and Hollywood is fascinating to read.

12 "Conquerors' Trilogy" by Timothy Zahn. This is actually 3 books but they must be read together, they are almost like 1 book divided into 3 separate parts. In a space opera setting, a botched first contact leads to an interstellar war between humanity (nicknamed by the aliens The Human-Conquerors) and an alien race, the Zhirrzh (nicknamed by humans The Conquerors). In the background, other alien races try to take advantage of the conflict between the two powers. (Novels: 'Conquerors' Pride', 'Conquerors' Heritage' and 'Conquerors' Legacy').

13 "Marvel (Comics) Encyclopedia" and "DC Comics Encyclopedia" published by DK. These are 2 books that are almost the same. They are the definitive reference to those two comic book company's and their characters. I am a total nerd and loved reading these books.

14 "Dark Force Rising" by Timothy Zahn. It is the second sequel to 'Heir To The Empire' and feature's Lukes first encounter with the insane Jedi clone Joruus C'Boath.

15 "Murder Most Foul" by Max Haines. He is the guy who writes the 'Murder' story in every Sunday Sun newspaper. He has written so many stories about true crime that the re-publish his stories in book form and I read 'Murder Most Foul' while vacationing in Germany in 2001. I bought at Pearson airport in Toronto while waiting for my connecting flight to Germany, I was hooked on his writing after the first page. I have bought and read many of his book of collected stories. I made the mistake of lending them to my mother-in-law so I'll probably never see them again. He is a great writer and his stories are all true stories!!! Humans really are sick and twisted, just read his book and you'll agree.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman Review (Spoilers)

So I finally saw 'The Amazing Spider-Man' on Wednesday, almost a month after it's release. Guess it took me so long because I was not overly excited about this film. Although the Sam Raimi films had their flaws, overall I was happy with what he was doing and I felt he would do better with Spider-man 4 after the disaster that was Spider-man 3. I definitely was not ready for a reboot 5 years after S3, but I found time this week to give the film a watch and I liked it. Is it better than the 2002 Spider-Man film... yes and no. There were pro's and con's to both films, so I decided to break them both down and compare.
'Spiderman' (2002) Pro's:
- Great story. You saw Peter as a high school kid all the way to him working at the Dailey Bugle. As far as origins go Raimi kept this very close to the source material including Peter 'wrestling' for money and his not stopping the robber that shot his Uncle. But instead of Gwen Stacey they had Mary Jane Watson as Peter's high school sweetheart. James Franco was great as Harry Osborn.
- Everyone was (almost) perfectly cast including Willam Defoe as Norman Osborn and Tobey Maguire was great as Peter and Spider-man. JK Simmons stole the role of J.Jonah Jameson, not sure who can beat his performance in this new 'Trilogy' as JJ was not in 'Amazing'.
- Having Norman Osborn/ The Green Goblin as the villain was great. Very cool to have their origins linked. Defoe was great playing a tortured man suffering from a multi-personality. I especially liked the scenes where he was talking into a mirror or talking at the mask.
- CGI was great. At times it may have seemed too 'cartoony' but I liked it and felt it fit well in this comic book inspired movie.
'Amazing Spiderman' (2012) Pro's:
- Great story. He remains in high school for this film so you don't get to see the Daily Bugle. Gwen is in this film and his love interest and her father NYPD Captain Stacey is in it too.
- This film had the (almost) perfect Spider-man cast thus far. As much as I liked Maguire as Peter I feel that Andrew Garfield was much better in the role. Emma Stone (oh Emma Stone... sweetness...) she nailed the role of Gwen. She is an amazing actress who was absolutely awesome in the role. So much so it makes me sad to know the tragic fate of Gwen Stacey in the comic book... NOOOOOO!!!! I am a huge fan of Denis Leary and having him play Captain Stacey was very cool. He fit perfectly in the role. Martin Sheen and Sally Field were perfect in the roles of Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Even the guy who played Flash Thompson was good.
- CGI and special effects were good overall.
'Spiderman' (2002) Con's:
- Kirsten Dunst was poorly cast as MJ, but would have made a great Gwen Stacey, although not as good as Emma Stone. Dunst is blond, Gwen is blonde. Dunst has the 'girl next door' vibe about her, which Gwen was. Dunst just couldn't pull off the red head look. Also, at the risk of sounding insensitive, in the comic book MJ is the most beautiful woman in the world. She is a world famous actress and model, an absolute bombshell, which Dunst is not, sorry.
- As much as I loved the Green Goblin his costume looked ridiculous. He really looked like he belonged on 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers'. Really not frightening at all.
'Amazing Spiderman' (2012) Con's:
- I wanted to see more Spidey than they provided. With the story they went back to the origin and I think it wasn't really needed, especially with only 10 years since the last time the origin was told on film. I realize this is a different franchise and they want to build a foundation here, but wasting time on an origin most people know already is wasting time.
- Norman Osborn seems to be the man pulling the strings here yet he remains unseen, kind of like the Emperor on the first Star Wars film. I wanted to see this guy. Also who was that guy in the credits scene who was talking to Conners? Electro maybe? He seemed to speak for Osborn but was not Osborn. At least I hope it wasn't Osborn.
- Despite 'Spider-man 3' being less than stellar I enjoyed Sam Raimi's take on the wall crawler. Had he stayed with the series I'm sure he would have taken us to some very cool places. I had hopes that by film 6 we would see 'The Sinister Six'  take on Spider-man, but now with this reboot we are starting from scratch. Also apparently this new film series will be a 'Trilogy' which makes it less likely that the S6 will appear, and many other villains and supporting characters will fall through the cracks. I want them to build up to the Sinister Six the same way Marvel Studios built up to 'The Avengers'.   
- With the first 3 Raimi films we saw Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman... will we see new versions of these characters in future 'Amazing' sequels or will they be lost. Alfred Molina was superb as Doc Ock, it's gonna suck to see that role recast.  
- The Lizard is the big bad for this film? As far as Spider-man rogues go he is not one I really cared to ever see on the big screen. The CGI for the Lizard was not the best and he looked more like the Hulk than the Lizard from the comic books. And Rhys Ifans really did not add anything to the film as a villain, not in the same way Willam Defoe did 10 years ago. I would rather have seen The Scorpion, Mysterio or the Rhino in this film.
Not sure which origin film is better, both had their strengths and weaknesses. But Spider-Man (2002) may have the edge over the new film as I would give that 10 year old film a rating of 4 stars out of 5. 'Amazing' just had a few too many more cons working against it than the 2002 flick.
Overall despite everything going against it I would give the 'Amazing Spider-Man' film 3.5 stars out of 5. It was good, but not great and still definitely worth seeing.
Till next time Spider-Friends!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (Spoiler Free Review)

Last weekend I was out visiting my Dad who lives by the Saskatchewan border, and I decided to take some time and go see a little film called 'The Dark Knight Rises', which i had been meaning to see but didn't have a chance at that point. So my son and I made the short trek into Saskatchewan to watch the film, my first film ever watched in that province, and I must say it was well worth the trip!

First off I am a huge fan of Christopher Nolan's Batman films (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) so when I had heard that this would be his last film in this 'trilogy' I was very disappointed. But DKR (Dark Knight Rises) was a great film and a fitting end to this Batman saga. I still wish they would keep going with this series with all who is involved, but sometimes it is best to end on a high note which is what they did with this latest film. Here's a few spoiler free pro's and con's:

- Bane made for an excellent villain and was used very well, unlike his first feature film appearance in 1997's 'Batman & Robin'. Tom Hardy did a great job as the character despite having to act through a mask. After Heath Ledger's historic take on 'The Joker' in the last film Hardy had very big shoes to fill and he did so nicely.  

- Anne Hathaway was excellent as Selina Kyle (Catwoman, but very actually called that in the flick). I really wasn't sure if she could pull of the character but she did and perhaps did the best interpretation of Selina ever seen on film. Really hope she gets her own film...

- All the supporting characters were great once again and  Joseph Gordon-Levitt made a great addition to the cast.

- I love Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Definitely the best actor for the role by far.

- Nolan did a great job making Batman a 'real' character. You watch this film and you cannot help but think that this could happen. Batman/Wayne is a regular dude and is vulnerable just like anyone else.

- There were some great surprises in this film, story elements that surprised even me and certain actors making surprise appearances. Very cool.

- Probably my biggest con with this film is the complex story. Without giving anything away certain things were established in the last film, but then it just got tossed out the window just too easily to be believable. The story has a lot of holes in it's logic. Problem wit the last 2 Bat films is that Nolan created too complex of a story. It was still an enjoyable story but there were times I was scratching my head saying "What?".

But over all I would give this film 4.5 stars out of 5. It is a great film, but not as good as 'The Avengers' in my humble pie opinion.

See ya in the future!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The new 'Dallas' Season 1 Review

The first season of the new 'Dallas' just wrapped up it's 10 episode arc. What are my thoughts: I loved it! This series was not a reboot but rather a continuation of the original series and TV movies. For a first season where they were establishing new characters and re-establishing old ones (JR, Bobby, Sue Ellen, Cliff Barnes) I think they did a great job. It's fun primetime soap goodness, which reminds me of being a kid watching the original series with my folks. The original actors were great and the new ones they brought in were great too. Can't wait for season 2, and hopefully it will run longer than 10 episodes!

It was great to see Mitch Pileggi do a guest appearence as a bad guy. Pileggi for me is best known as playing ADA Skinner on 'The X-Files' and as Darby on 'Sons Of Anarchy'. Also having Ken Kercheval return as 'Cliff Barnes' was an awesome touch and I hope he comes back in season 2.

If you ever watched 'Dallas' in the past and enjoyed it on any level you will like this new series!

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!!!