Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mabel & The Seven Treadmills.

I ran into a Mabel today.

I'm sneezing and sniffling, so for today's run I packed up and headed to the gym to hit the treadmill. I'm not going to risk having a cold or worse fuck up my training for the Half - I'm selfish that way. (Or a wuss - call it as you see it.)

The thing about my gym, if I haven't mentioned it before, is that it only has 7 treadmills - and much like the seven dwarves, each of them has a different "personality" that can be summed up in what I call them:
  • Oldie - This treadmill was born during the jögging (Scandinavian pronunciation) phenomenon of the 70's. When I run on it I get the feeling that it wants to tell me about how running was harder "back in the day" and tell me to "hit the sauna" afterwards.
  • Corpse - This is Oldie's brother. I have never seen this one in working order - I swear the "Out of Order" sign on it is older than my kids.
  • Skipper - Although it sounds like Barbie's younger sister, (don't ask how I know) this machine is can only be used successfully by either a double-dutch team or the ghost of Terry Fox.
  • Grinder - Grinder is deceptive - When he's set at walking speed, he's quiet as a mouse. The second he goes to any sort of faster pace the sound of gnashing metal teeth and screech of protests are enough to make everyone in the gym stop and stare. Grinder became who he was by having a 6-foot-4, 245 pound slab of muscle pound on him at 9.5 to 10mph about 5 days a week - if there's a hell for treadmills, Grinder's there.
  • Looker - there's nothing wrong with Looker - perfectly fine treadmill, if you like being directly opposite the huge fucking mirror. I know it's weird, but I can't watch myself run - I have a vision of perfect posture, excellent stride, and flawless complexion when I run. Seeing the sweaty, flawed realism takes me out of my game.
  • The Mistress - This is the newest treadmill at the gym. works good, bright and shiny, has all the bells and whistles. I would run the shit out of this one of it wasn't for...
  • My Baby - My Baby is the cremé de la cremé of the gym treadmills - perfect position (can't see myself run), on the end of the line (no squeezing in between treadmills), and has never broken down or missed a day. (I have busted out a 12 mile run on this thing in the dead of winter - this treadmill is connected to my soul.) I guess because of where it is, not a lot of people like to run on it - except me - and most people know it as "my" treadmill.
Well, everyone except Mabel, that is.

I don't know if her name is Mabel and I don't care - she's 100 years old (Ok, maybe 60) and all she does is walk on the treadmill. - no incline, no increase in speed, no effort exerted at all beyond hitting the "Start" button.

And she was doing all of this nothing on my treadmill.

You think that she would have gone for Oldie - I'm sure she probably knew the original designer - or even tried out Looker for a better view of herself and the TV's - (did I mention that she was watching 100 Huntley Street? I think I should.) but no, she chose My Baby for her leisurely stroll.

I sucked it up and only ground my teeth a little as I went to The Mistress and did my run. It's a good treadmill, but it's not the same. And with Karma being what it is, Mabel's walk finished at exactly the same time as my run. I estimate that she maybe did one mile to my four - I was tempted to go run a couple miles on My Baby just to let her know I was there.

I appreciate that Mabel is getting out there and trying to stay in shape - if she had even attempted something more than a walk I'm sure that my bitterness would be much less. I swear if she had been reading a magazine while walking I don't think I would have been able to contain myself.

Does that make me crazy? Is that intervention on the way?

Whatever - I'm going to give it one more chance tomorrow - but if she's heading to the treadmills at the same time I am, I can't be held responsible for my actions.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Dear Cinnamon Toast Crunch:

You've got to talk with someone in your marketing department.

Because something has to be done about this monstrosity:

The eyes burn into my soul.

Seeing that face on the carton while I'm stocking your product on the shelf was quite the shock to my system. Anytime I walked by it afterwards I could feel it's beady eyes staring lustfully at me - it kinda creeped me out. I can only imagine the horror on a child's face when they grab the box expecting to see the whimsical gaze of Tony the Tiger or Captain Crunch, only to be confronted (and dangerously damaged) by this vision of cereal gone wrong.

I won't even say what it's gaze implies about the milk in the bowl.

I recommend you check the desk of the person who designed the box - I'm sure it's full of kinky pictures, whips,  and quite possibly a Meth lab.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Grand Ad-sperations

After hearing how a fellow Blogger made 3 whole dollars in one day from Google AdSense, I decided to turn ads back on on the blog and start swimming in some of that fat Google cash.
What I imagine they're raking in.
I figure that since I've already surrendered my privacy to Google and entwined them in my life so much, (Blogger, Gmail, Google+, Picassa, Google Reader, Google Docs, I even own an Android phone) that one more step into the "Don't Be Evil" camp can't hurt, can it?
Google - totally not watching me pee.

Besides, if I whore myself out (Ad wise, that is) for 3 dollars a day, in six months I can have a Garmin paid for. (Or a Nike+ GPS watch - if either company wants to give me one to "review", I'll give my unbiased opinion while softly holding it and calling it my "precious".)
I'd stab a Hobbit in the eye for this.

So I made peace with myself and whatever deity watches over me, and clicked the necessary boxes to have ads all up in your grills.

And nothing happened.

Damn you, Google.

First the snub on Blogs of Note and now this? There's just big blank spaces where my money making ads should be. I want to have a post about T-shirts and see a huge fucking ad for the Mr. T fun doll (circa 1986) up there. I'll even take one of those slutty American Apparel ads - even though they make me feel funny in my pants.
Nothing's more Basic than an erection.

I'm sure I'll have to go on some epic quest through FAQ's and to tell the truth, I'm quite ready to slay whatever virtual dragons needed to make this Ad-thing happen. Any task, no matter how Herculean the effort, will be accomplished. (Outside of running outdoors in the Chicago winter - I'm not that hardcore.)

I'm willing to accept the fact that I'll never be Blogger's "darling" and suck up to the right people enough to make the Blogs of Note, and I understand that you've used the "Next Blog" button to bury me in the middle of a pile of Christian Soccer Mom blogs, but don't do this - don't take away my chance to have a piece of that sweet Google pie.
Filled with hopes, dreams, and porn.

Come on, Google - we can totally make this a win/win for both of us, right?


Saturday, January 28, 2012


I don't know why teeth are involved in this picture.
I hate deleting apps.

I have a real issue with getting rid of something that I think I might need sometime in the future. Even if it's something I don't need, I'll sometimes keep it just because I don't want to have to re-download it again. (How lazy can you get?) God forbid if it's something I paid for, but don't use anymore - I'm keeping that shit forever.

You have no idea how many times I've stared at the screen on my phone, just debating whether or not to delete something - and since the neat-freak in me likes to have a clean home screen, I've got apps I don't use tucked away into folders I don't need, on screens I don't look at.

I think it would be cool if there was some sort of garage sale for apps - some place where you could get a couple of bucks for that Poker app you don't play anymore, and pick up a better (if slightly used) music app that would work better for, oh let's say running.

Somebody come up with that, 'kay?

I would, but between running, working, and spilling my life out online I'm kinda busy.

...and maybe someone can come get rid of that Fart Noises App I have on my phone - I just can't bring myself to let it go, and I think it's time to cut the cord.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Day Off.

There's a problem when you go to the same gym as the people you work with.

You know how sometimes you just want to go there and do your thing, and not talk to anyone? Maybe because you don't have time, want to stay focused, or maybe just because you have a huge fucking cold sore on your face? (That last one was from a while back.)

Good luck. Work people always want to talk. And at 6 in the morning, the last thing I want to talk about is work. I'm going to be there in 2 hours anyway, so why don't we talk about work while we're at work? Isn't that a crazy idea?

The other downfall is if you take a day off.

I didn't workout this morning. I didn't go for a run, either. I opted to take that extra hour of sleep and cherish it, hold it, love it, and vow to never let it go. Unfortunately, the alarm clock went off anyway and fucked that up, so I got up and went to work.

When I got to there, I had the work/gym people all over me - "Where were ya?", "Skipping workouts, eh?" - shit like that. I wanted to take my pen and stab them in the eye.

I'm glad they are there for motivation, but someone missing ONE day does not constitute falling off the wagon. I don't need an intervention. Someone needs to explain to them (with extreme prejudice) that "rest" is also part of a workout. I'm down 15 pounds and my speed is slowly coming back, and if they think I'm going to jeopardize that, they are crazy.

Luckily for them, I'm as cheerful as a Smurf on ecstasy once I strap on my "Customer Service" face, so no one got hurt - and since I'm running 7 miles tomorrow and all of them are wusses who whine about anything over 5K, they can kiss my ass.

Wow - I've just re-read what I've typed, and I guess I'm a dick when I don't get my exercise high in the morning. Who knew?

Maybe I do need that intervention after all....


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Axe to Grind.

During my de-stress run at the gym last night, I noticed a couple of things:
  1. The average age (compared to the mornings, when I usually go) is down by about 30 years. I don't think there's more testosterone and acne located in any single place anywhere else in town.
  2. These people stink.
It's not the natural, musky, "working hard and sweating buckets" odor that you'd expect in a gym, (although that's there too -it's a gym, after all.) but the sickly-sweet spray-can smell of Axe deodorant/body-spray/whatever.

I swear these guys were swimming in it.
Ahh - the smell of cat pee on rotting wood.
It wasn't like some guy doused himself when he got out of the shower - they smelled like that while they were working out. It was like a can exploded by the weight rack, and only the douchey-looking ones got hit. The fact that there's really no women in the place make me wonder who they were trying to smell good for - were they hoping that some stray woman would stagger into the gym and be entranced by the fresh-from-the-can pheromones they are throwin' down?

The odds of that happening are about as likely as me suddenly beating the average Kenyan in a foot race.

I think they need counseling - someone to tell them that less is more, and that quality is better than 3 cans/$5 at Wal-mart.

I'd do it, but that means I'd have to submit myself to that stench for an even longer period - and that ain't going to happen.

Thank God for mornings.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I woke up this morning with grandiose plans.

I ran for 5km, went home, got the kids off to school, had breakfast, and was just about to head to the rink (I had the gear in the car and everything!), when my Mom called and the day went to shit.

It's personal stuff that I'm not going to disclose here, but let's just say my plans for a de-stressful day were fucked. I spent the rest of my day dealing with it until it was time to get the kids, and then their stuff had to take priority. It's still not settled, but its manageable, at least.

I was a fucking bottle of stress and all of a sudden the Wife had a great idea - she looked at me and said "Why don't you go for a run? You'll feel better."

The woman is awesome, I tell ya.

I just got back from my second run in 12 hours, and I feel pretty fucking great - it's not booze or chocolate, but the endorphins have me feeling pretty good.

And right now I'll take that.


*come back tomorrow when I return to my regular level of awesomeness.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seat of All Knowledge.

I post more pictures of toilets than I do of my kids.

In the circles I travel in, I'm kind of known as a bright guy. Not Einstein-level smart, but the type of guy that people usually come to with questions because I either know the answer or know how to find it. I'm that guy you know who knows a little bit about a lot of stuff.

(Remember that roommate you had who kicked your ass every time Jeopardy was on? That's me.)

I have a secret to confess - it's not schooling that filled my head full of information;

There were no long hours of study in the library;

I don't peruse Wikipedia on a daily basis;

I just have a huge collection of Bathroom Readers.
You remember books, right? The thing people used to take to the bathroom before smartphones were invented?

While I don't have every single Bathroom Reader - I have a lot. What started out as a inside joke for a stocking stuffer at Christmas years ago has turned into a twice-yearly easy gift for anyone that knows me. It's a guarantee that if there is a wrapped, brick-like object under the tree or beside the cake, someone has bought me a Bathroom Reader. (Unless, you know, they bought me an actual brick - but that would just be weird.)

I usually break convention and read them outside the confines of the bathroom, but I'm still able to soak up all the information - I don't think there's a direct correlation between the two.

I like them because they wrap up useful information in a format that is entertaining and not strenuous to read - I guess they figured if you were reading their books in the bathroom, you were straining enough already. They also cover a wide variety of topics that I wouldn't normally read about. Sorry to disappoint any Americans out there, but most of what I know about your history comes from these books and Hollywood.
For years, I thought this photo was pretty accurate.
There is one drawback to the knowledge that gets gleaned from these tomes: it's running into someone who knows the same information because they got it from the same source.

I was having a conversation the other day at work, and the subject got around to Bananas - I work in a grocery store, what do you expect? - we were talking about crops, rotation, suppliers and such, and I quoted a couple of statistics and facts that I had read about in the Bathroom Reader I got for Christmas.  As soon as the words left my mouth, one of the guys I work with looks a me and says "Hey - I was just going to say that! I've got that Bathroom Reader too!" - we had a pretty good laugh about it.

So the next time you come across some who seems to be a bit of a know-it-all, don't hate them or be in awe of their intellect - just understand that they read something other than US Weekly or the shampoo bottle while they are going about their business.


*Uncle John's did not pay me or give me anything to write about Bathroom Readers - if they want to, I'm totally cool with that. I believe the term is "Blogwhorin".

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear Radio DJ,

I know you're trying your best, but I've got a couple of observation while I'm listening to you at work today:

- Unless you had a request from a guy with a mullet and an Iroc, why are you playing Whitesnake? That's just not called for. Look at a calendar, it's not 1987.

- If you play one more Def Leppard song in the next 5 minutes, I'm going to assume it's either because some guy in the band died and you're going for the tribute angle, or else you're gay for one-armed drummers.

- Whomever taught you "witty banter" needs to be shot. Seriously. I've heard funnier stuff from my kids, and they still think farting is the epitome of humour.

- I have to say it - you're a heavy breather - try stepping farther back from the microphone, like maybe 2 or 3 miles.

- When you pick Loverboy for your Canadian content, nobody wins.

I don't want to come across as too negative or anything, and I do have some good points about your broadcast as well:

- ...... ummm, yeah - I couldn't really think of anything. I guess I could say "good job at cutting to commercial"?

I'm heading back from my lunch break now, and I'd just like to say that I hope you read this, because if you don't, the next four hours are going to suck.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Feel: The Grocery Store Edition.

  1. That if I tiled my floors with Wasa bread, my feet could soak up all that dry, shingle-like flavor. In hard times, I could get some peanut butter and be okay.
  2. That between Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, and the Cream of Wheat guy, advertising companies use Black people to sell a lot of food.
  3. That Paul Newman and Mrs, Renfro can sell salsa, but God forbid you put an actual Mexican on the package - they only created it, right?
  4. That if most Americans knew what Clamato was actually made from, (Tomato Juice and Clam Nectar...cool, eh?) they'd slap us for drinking it.
  5. That everyone should know - there's nothing really "special" about Special K.
  6. That I'm pretty sure Snap & Crackle are a gay couple, and Pop is the straight friend who just hangs out and feels awkward at times.
  7. That while the Cream of Wheat guy is always smiling, the Quaker guy just looks like a smug dick - and I'm pretty sure he's wearing a wig.
  8. That Betty Crocker is an anorexic hermit who makes people fat so she feels better about herself. I picture her as a demonically possessed grandma screaming "Die, Fatty, Die!" as she throws more butter into the mixture.
  9. That I find it ironic - in our store the toothbrush aisle is located right behind the candy bars. misplaced, or cross-marketing genius?
  10. That I've never seen anyone put the toppings on a cracker that are pictured on the box. Smoked salmon and caviar with a dash of pesto? No thanks, I'll take a tub of cream cheese instead and go cry in the corner.
  11. That as a Canadian I'm ashamed that all of our Produce and Meat is advertised in Pounds instead of Kilograms - because most people can't comprehend that $0.99/lb = $2.18/kilo. Can't wait for the day someone asks where we keep the hogsheads of milk, or that they want 10 stone of potatoes.
  12. That some days at work I have waaaay to much time on my hands to think up weird shit.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Fuck You, Snow.

I hate snow - and I'm not just talking about the Canadian Rapper.

Although he's pretty shitty too.
It's not that I don't like doing things in the snow - I enjoy the fun stuff like playing with the kids -  it's just the way it affects everyday life around here that makes me despise any time the white stuff makes itself known.

I'm not sure what the snow is like where you live, but around here it sucks. It's the "wet" type of snow that melts instantly when touched, meaning you get soaked (and frozen) unless you're wrapped in seventeen layers of some James Bond-type waterproof material or have horrendous amounts of Blubber. (I hear it works for Polar Bears.)

When I was a young lad in the frozen tundra of the North (born in the Yukon, yo.), we played outdoors for hours in the snow - and as long as you were bundled so it didn't touch your skin, you could charge through a snow bank and still stay dry. Combine that with a city and people who are used to living, driving, and having a functional society in the snow, and you can see why winter for 8 months of the year isn't really an issue.

I just got back from picking up the Boys at school, and already its begun to turn to rain. You think that would be cool, right? Wash away all the snow! No shoveling!

It doesn't work that way - because of the rain, the roads are a soupy, slushy mess. Picture something like an explosion from a Slurpee machine at your local 7-11. The slush, mixed with the compacted snow on the road, makes driving a bitch. And for some reason our snowplow drivers are really against clearing all the way to the pavement, so they aren't very helpful either. I wish it was an actual Slurpee explosion, because then we'd just get to get some fatties with straws and the roads would be clear in no time. (My apologies - that's the after-driving rage speaking.)
My neighbor's tree.

I know I'm supposed to take the beauty and majesty of it all into account, and I will admit that the tree in my neighbor's yard did look nice all covered in snow.

But in the back of my mind I'm thinking about the 8 mile run I'm doing tomorrow, and with this weather it means either a slushy, slippery, cold run or the treadmill. Does either of those sound appealing?

You're right, they don't.

So fuck you, snow - kiss my ass.

And if you want a reason to hate the other Snow, you need to only hear this.


Thursday, January 19, 2012


I did slightly better than this.
So I just got back from Drop-In Hockey.

How did I like it? It was fucking great.

I sucked horribly, but that was just my opinion. They guys who are "regulars" said I did okay, and I did make it clear that it had been a couple of decades since I was out on the ice.

The locker room hasn't changed in the time I've been gone - It's nice just to sit and bullshit with people while you are getting ready, and while I didn't really know anyone there, the was no uncomfortable "new guy" stigma.

The reason they don't make you feel uncomfortable in the dressing room? Because after they beat you left and right on the ice, you may not want to come back if they were assholes. I played defence (my old position) to start, but after realizing my legs weren't quite what they used to be (and after having someone get by me for the twelfth time) I moved up to the wing.

Hockey is so vastly different from running - I'm lucky I have some good base cardio or else I really would have been fucked out there - that being said, after you leg it up and down the ice a couple of times, your legs (and lungs) are burning. We only had one spare, so guys would take turns getting a rest on the bench, and it felt like I had barely sat down before someone else was calling for a change.

The scalding hot shower afterwards was simply phenomenal. It's tough to decide if it was because I was so exhausted or because my feet were like two cubes of ice. How is it
My feet looked like this. Minus the painted toes.
possible that every other part of me is casting off body heat like a furnace, yet my feet were insanely cold?

I just know I'm going to be sore tomorrow. You know when you can just tell? Trust me - all the signs are there.

But get this: I want to go back.

I'm going to try the borrowed gear out a couple more times in the next week or two - just to make sure it's not the endorphins and nostalgia of my glory days clouding my judgement - and then I think I'll start getting some gear together that I can call my own. I checked with the wife on it, and her response was "I've been telling you to do that for years - you just never listened."

I don't even remember the conversation.

Serves me right.


Total Stats: 4 shots, 0 goals, 0 assists.

Programmed Anticipation.

In an hour and a half I'll be playing my first game of Hockey in 23 years.

As crazy as it sounds, and it seems like I must be breaking some obscure Canadian law, but it's been that long since I was on the ice in full gear.

I don't own gear anymore - I don't even own a decent pair of skates - but a guy I work with has invited me out to play program (Drop-In) hockey, and is willing to supply me with some, so off I go.

I love the game, but got away from it when I was 16-17 years old. (Yet another thing I want to slap past-me for.) Anytime I thought about getting back into it, the cost of equipment and league fees kind of shied me away. But if I can get out there and have a good time in some borrowed gear, I think I just might have to reevaluate that thought.

Oh, yeah - that gear? Most of it is the guy's brother's - except for the skates and the stick.

The stick belongs to this guy - Carsen Germyn.

And the skates?

They were only worn for a season or so by this fella right here - Rod Brind'Amour.

Talk about big shoes to fill. (Who knew I had the same foot size as an NHL'er?)

The guy I'm going with has played for years, and grew up with Rod and played with Carsen - so please don't report the gear as stolen - they gave it to him long ago.

I'm so wired with nervous anticipation it's killing me. And even though I knew that this will be a killer cardio workout, I just had to get my four miles in this morning. (Training waits for no one.) All I could think about during the run was that I hope I don't fall on my ass on the ice.

I think I'll finish my coffee, and try not to pace too much waiting for him to pick me up.

If I'm not a puddle of sore muscles on the floor afterwards, I'll let ya know how it went.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Black is the New Black.

Today is Black Wednesday, as many of the most popular sites on the Internet go dark to protest SOPA and PIPA, two things that I originally thought were Kate Middleton's sisters, but actually turn out to be anti-piracy bills from the States or something.

Judging by the amount of "Once they go black will they ever go back" jokes on Twitter, it seems that stealing is something that just comes naturally to the Internet. I myself steal practically every picture that accompanies a post from somewhere else online. (Shhh - don't tell anyone.)

I will miss Reddit and Wikipedia for a day, but I think if they really wanted to get people in any uproar, hit 'em where they live - blackout Facebook and Porn.

Can you imagine how much productivity in the workplace would increase, if only for a day? (And seriously, if you're playing Farmville or with yourself at your job, your boss needs to get glasses.)

But don't touch Blogger - I need a place to vent.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


You know People, I'm not one to bitch.

(Please don't go into to the archives to prove me wrong on that one.)

But today just put me in a bad fuckin' mood.

You know those days were you wake up and it just feels shitty? It's been that kinda day.

It started out being cold outside, and getting up out of bed was not a pleasurable experience. (I realize how petty -7C is to those of you who live in colder climes, but with the cold I have I'm not taking chances.)

 It became somewhat worse when I decided it was too cold to run outside, so I ended up doing 5Km of hills on a treadmill at the gym. Have you ever done hills on a treadmill? Take my advice - don't. The highlight of the run was that after about a half mile, my congested head cleared up and I was able to breathe - unfortunately it all came back about an hour or two after my run. (Timed nicely with the endorphin crash.)

Top that off with a dick of a co-worker shit-talking me to my boss, (dealt with both of them already - problem solved on both counts.) and you can see why I'm finding today less than thrilling.
(I know some of you are surprised to find that there's drama in the grocery store, but trust me, you don't know the half of it - I could have a blog dedicated to that alone.)

My plan for the evening is to go home, Neo-Citran and Coffee myself into oblivion, and approach tomorrow like it's a whole new day.

(My secret fear is that tomorrow will be today again - Groundhog Day -style, and I'm no Bill Murray.)


Monday, January 16, 2012

Preferred Mode of Viewing.

For realism, I stole a picture with a Kevin Smith movie in it.

Of all the habits I have, good or bad, there's one that I just don't understand.

If you were to glance over at my DVD racks, (yes, I said racks - as in more than one) you'd see approximately 250+ DVD's arranged neatly and in order of importance to me. (It's a very unique filing system.) With that amount of media on hand, it's kind of a given that if a movie is showing on commercial television, I already have it in my collection.

The Fifth Element? Got it.
Batman Begins? Got it.
Se7en? Got it.
Princess Bride? Yup - personal weakness.
Anything ever made by Pixar? Hell yes - I have kids.
There's also countless other comedies, dramas, rom/coms, etc that I have there. If you count the digital copies on my computer as well, I have a literal fuckton of movies to watch.

So if I have all these films at my disposal, why do I watch them on T.V. instead?

Perfectly good, commercial free DVD sitting on the rack, and yet if I stumble upon Blazing Saddles on AMC or something, I'll sit and watch that version, with all the commercials and editing.

It drives The Sidekick nuts.

We'll be texting or talking on the phone, and it goes something like this.

Him: "Hey Brother, what's up?"
Me: "Nothing - just flipping through the channels, skipped over Dog the Bounty Hunter and landed on The Great Escape playing on Movietime."
Him: "Don't you own that on DVD?"
Me: "Yeah."
Him: "Isn't it on the rack right beside the chair you're probably sitting in?"
Me: "Mmhmm."
Him: "Arrrggghhglebarrglerabble!"

He finds it completely inconceivable that I would suffer through watching a movie with commercials and shitty editing when I could just get my ass out of the chair, go to the rack, get the DVD and watch it in the matter God (the director, I guess) intended.

And I have no excuse. I know I own the movie - I know there's no commercials, but I also know that sometimes I'm just too damn lazy (or comfortable) to be bothered to get my ass off the couch and put the DVD into the player.

Is that a First World Problem, or what?

I have that problem right now, in fact - I have to go to work, yet Zoolander is starting on channel 625...

So do I PVR it, or just watch the DVD when I get home?*


*Sidekick: Don't freak out - you know I'm just going to catch it the next time it plays on the CBC.
**AMC, DVD, PVR - just so you know, my shift key got a real workout typing this today.


Sunday, January 15, 2012


- I hate getting out of bed in the morning. Once I'm up, I'm okay - but prying myself out from under the covers when it's -6C outside is nigh-impossible.

- Six miles didn't feel like six miles until I hit six miles, if that makes any sense.

- Somedays I believe the only thing that will improve my pace is a downhill grade and a tailwind.

- I'm trying to tell myself that the pancakes I had with the Boys after my run were just a much-needed refueling of carbs and not just me gorging on tasty, tasty flapjacks.

- My love of near-instantaneous communication is balanced out by the anger I feel when my wife takes forever to answer a text. To point this out to her would not be in my best interests, I'm sure.

- I think the less I desire to be at work, the slower the clock moves. Why didn't Einstein have a theory for that?

- If I could go back in time, one of the things I would tell my younger self to do is to learn touch typing - my keyboard skills are so mediocre that I might as well post using a chisel and stone - it would almost be faster. He'd call me a nerd for having a blog, though - my younger self was a dick.

- As I approach 40, I've had many people ask if I'm doing something huge for the big day. I'm not sure, but isn't sitting in a dark room, eating donuts and rocking back and forth considered a "big thing"?

-Nothing interrupts a good train of thought like work or kids.

- Despite what you may think due to the title of this blog, I dislike the song "Ramblin' Man" - not that the Allman Brothers were hacks or anything, but let's be honest - the song sucks.

- Publishing your blog accidentally (before you spell check, add graphics, re-read, etc) is kinda like premature ejaculation - we all know it happens, but no one really wants to talk about it or admit it happens to them...

- And that previous statement was totally about a friend, and not about me...


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why I'm Not Cooler Than Rick Deckard.

Yesterday my afternoon of isolation from society was spent watching Blade Runner.

As I watched, I realized certain differences between myself and the hero of the story, Rick Deckard and typed them out while the movie played*- I kinda kept score:
  1. He is portrayed by a young Harrison Ford, while I'm just played by myself. (He wins.)
  2. He's eating noodles at the start of the movie - He's more carb-friendly than I am. (Him)
  3. That mother-fucker makes a trench coat look good. (Him)
  4. He gets driven around by a young General Adama (Edward James Olmos) in a flying car, while I drive a 1993 Volkswagen Golf. (Him)
  5. My life does not have a voice-over narration. (Although I think that would be sweet.) - (Him)
  6. He drinks whiskey in the 97th floor of a super-cool futuristic apartment, and I drink coffee in a single-level rancher. (Close, but he wins)
  7. I have a yard though, and Deckard's got shit for grass from what I can see. (Me)
  8. His voice activated computer is way more responsive than my Kinect. (Him)
  9. I've never been punched out by a woman after seeing her naked with a snake. (trust me on this one.) (Me)
  10. He gets to shoot people (okay, replicants who look like people), and I can only fantasize about shooting that guy who cut me off when I drove the kids to school. (Him)
  11. He holds up a badge and says "Deckard - B26354" and the cops think he's great - I say "Watson - Dairy Guy" and they think I'm nuts. (Him)
  12. Sean Young (at the height of her hotness) will never visit me in my home. (Him)
  13. On my way to work there are no billboards of giant Japanese women. (Thank God - it would block the ocean view.) (Me)
  14. I have never been between Darryl Hannah's thighs. (Although, to be honest, she was kicking the shit out of him, so I don't think it was fun.) (Tie)
  15. Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) breaks his fingers and Deckard just keeps fighting - I would have soiled myself at the sound of his voice. (Him)
  16. In the end, Deckard escapes to Canada - I've got him beat, I'm already here. (Me)
  17. Deckard doesn't have a cold sore. (Him)
Deckard wins 12-4 with one tie.

It's been years since I watched this show - and I forgot how good it was. Before the Sidekick reads this and scolds me for not watching the "Definative" Version he should know that I wanted the one with the narration, because - like I said in point #5, I think it would be sweet.

Sometimes it's nice to pull a classic out of the DVD rack, and yesterday was one of those times.


*Fuck yeah - I'm a multitasker!

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Hermetically Speaking.

    Today I dropped the kids off at the front door of the school, watched the Older Boy take the Younger Boy to class, and headed to the Gym.

    Once at the Gym I had my hat down low, didn't look at anyone, did my workout and run (5 miles!) and headed home.

    Why the change from my ever-lovin', joyfull, extrovert self?

    I have a cold sore.
    This is what I imagine it looks like to others.

    I rarely get them anymore, but when I get rundown physically, they tend to pop up. Yes, I know it's herpes, and no, I didn't get it from some Taiwanese hooker or from resting my face on a toilet seat at a high school kegger. (Although either of those would make a great story, and preferable to the boring truth: I've had them off and on for as long as I can remember.)
    This is what it feels like to me.

    It's not huge, just a small bump on my lip, but it feels like it's incredibly noticeable and takes up half my face - I laid low at the Gym for fear of running into someone and having a re-enactment of the "Mole" scene from Austin Powers: Goldmember. There's just something really awkward about someone going "What's that on your face?"

    So my plan for the day is to chill out indoors, relax, and treat this malignant growth like I'm treating my pesudo-cold: I'm going to drug the fuck out of it.

    My door will only be opened to let my imaginary cat in and out (I'm practicing for a real one) and to go get my kids from school - after that, I'm going all Howard Hughes until this thing clears up - which is hopefully tomorrow, because I have to go to work. (People will be wondering when they replaced the Dairy Guy with the Elephant Man.)

    I will now bury my face in medicine, a book, and coffee - soon all will be well.

    I would treat this cup like a waffle cone.


    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Drugs, Denial, and The Running Dream.

    I totally stole this picture from someone else's blog.

    You know that tight, scratchy feeling you get at the back of your throat right when you are starting to get sick?

    Yeah, I had that last night.

    The kids have had the sniffles/runny nose etc, since going back to school. (I'm still of the opinion that it's other peoples dirty, dirty children that spew their germs all over my kids for fun.) That's bad enough, but since I'm practically an irresistible celebrity in my own home, the kids surround me like paparazzi surround George Clooney or Roseanne Barr surrounds a hamburger - there's just no escape.

    Since I'm 2 weeks into my training plan for the Half Marathon, there's no way I want to get sick now - the early part of the program is where you lay the foundation for a successful run. So I stuck first with the most powerful weapon in my arsenal cupboard - NeoCitran.

    Did over-the-counter drugs make a great movie better? Well, yes.
    I downed a couple of mugs while watching The Blues Brothers last night and hit the sack. I'm sure it was a combination of the drugs, the movie, and the evening's blog post, but I could swear I dreamt that Elwood Blues was feeding me bacon-stuffed donuts while we drove through downtown Chicago. It was both surreal and tasty at the same time.

    I felt better this morning, but the real difference was in my run. I did 5 miles the other day and it felt tough, but good. The 3 miles I did today felt like I was running three times the distance and all uphill. I made it, but let's just say it wasn't a run I want to brag about. I'm going for a 5-miler tomorrow, so my plan today is to fill my body full of Hot Lemon Pharmaceuticals* and rest. (the Wife has been hit by the cold too, so laundry, vacuuming and dishes will be considered "rest" for today.) I'm also using the patented man-strategy of completely denying that I'm even sick, so I think a combination of the three should work out fine.

    I'm just hoping tonight's dreams involve someone of the female persuasion - Elwood was cool and all, but I'd really rather my dreams be more about what happens in the backseat (wink wink) that the front.


    *Totally wrote "Pharmaceuticals" in one try with no spell-check -  writing like a BOSS.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    I Run so I Can Eat...

    ..I eat so I can run.

    I used those words earlier today - and I wasn't lying.

    The Sidekick tweeted a picture of this bottle - Rouge's Maple Bacon Ale. While some of you may be disgusted at the thought, as a virile Canadian boy, this combination of three essential Canadian staples speaks to me in ways I can't explain - if it was carried by a hot Rink Girl in Hockey skates I'd be powerless in it's clutches.

    Just looking at that picture adds calories.

    I'm guessing to eat that I'd have to run for at least an hour and a half. (And hydrate - the sodium in the Bacon would really dry me out..) Worth it? I think so.

    But the joke would be on them - the after-run Endorphins would be all mine!

    It's a win/win, really.

    It will be mine - oh yes, it will be mine.


    * Can I use "Tweeted" like that? Seems like I'm breaking some sort of English language rule....

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    You are Legion.

    Are you one of the people in this picture?

    I just want to say thanks.

    Thanks for stopping by and listening to whatever rambling train of thought I have going on. I'm a stat junkie, so knowing there are 100 people out there who took the time to follow this blog is kinda cool.

    (I'm sure a couple of you are spam bots, but whatever, welcome to the party.)

    So be you Jobe or Bish from Victoria, The Homeoffice in Ontario, Steve in Portland, TripleT in chilly Chicago, or whomever at The Kroger Co. that keeps coming here (us grocery retail types have to stick together, right?) just know that I'm glad you stopped by and took the time.

    For those of you I missed, I'm sorry - there's just so many of you now!

    It's hard to see, but I'm smiling like a fool.


    The Force is Strong in This One..

    Thank You, Google.

    Because of you and whatever math/algorithms/magic gnomes you use to generate your search results, the people I work with believe that I am some sort of mystic Internet Ninja.

    Because I can type the gist (actual word, by the way - not just a sound you make when chewing gum.) of what I think they are asking about and click a resulting link (that isn't an ad), they now put me up there with such mythical beings as Gandalf, Dumbledore, and that one guy who got a shopping cart without putting a quarter in.

    I've tried to show them how simple it is and explained that it's something they can easily do themselves. I'm not sure where you take them when they type something in, but it must be a scary place, because they seem amazed when I turn up with some piece of information, statistic, or paperwork that they thought would be impossible to find, or didn't exist.

    I know I look like a hero every time I'm needed, but it does get tiring after a while.

    So while I say thanks, Google, could you do me a favor and just have a link to on your front page that points to this:
    It would really help.

    Midlife Rambler.


    *Quarter in the bathroom update: Still there.

    Monday, January 09, 2012

    Quarter for Your Thoughts..

    See that quarter up there?

    That quarter has been in the bathroom at work for the last three days.

    (Yes, that classy signage is in our public bathroom at work.)

    Now, forget what it says about the cleanliness of our bathrooms if its been there for three days, or why I'm in the bathroom enough to notice it being there, but there are some serious questions that need to be asked about that quarter:

    • Who's is it?

    • How did it get there?

    • If it was dropped, why was it placed on the picture?

    • Why wouldn't you just take it?

    • If you're the type of person who picks up a quarter off the bathroom floor, do I really want you handling my produce?

    • How long will it stay up there? (Times are tough, ya know...)

    • Does the date hold any significance? (2007, in case ya can't see it.)

    • Does it bother me to have an elk watch me pee?

    • Where in the bathroom was it found? Floor, bowl, sink?

    • Why is it off center? If you're going to balance it up there, wouldn't you want to do it right?

    Some of these questions may never be answered...
    And the biggest question of all is:

    Would I really write a whole blog post about something I saw in the bathroom?

    Yes I would.

    Just consider yourself lucky I'm not writing about what I saw when I looked down...


    *In case your wondering, that sign was put up because sometimes the customers who used the bathroom left it smelling ...less than pleasant. The use of the fan is strongly encouraged.
    ** On a side note, I believe the color of the walls is "swallow" or something silly - don't look at me, I don't name paint.

    Saturday, January 07, 2012

    Electronic Validation.

    I ran 7 miles today.

    For the longest time, Nike + didn't want me to tell anyone about it.

    I came home from my run like I normally do, unsnap the USB-thingee (technical term) from my Nike +Sportband, and plug it into my laptop.

    - Let's get this straight - I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to the whole "analysing my run" bit. I like the numbers, I like the visual data, I like being able to scroll back and see where I've improved, and I really like that it sends a tweet to anyone that follows me that basically says "Hey - I just ran.. What the fuck did you do today?"

    So it's a real disappointment when it shows:

    "Unable to connect to Nikerunning.com"

    Unplug it, close down, plug it in again:

    "Unable to connect to Nikerunning.com"

    So I open up my browser and try to go to Nikerunning.com - no such luck. I tried two or three more times to no avail. (I think Windows was going to ask me if it could look for a solution to my problem, but that's like sending the retarded kid to fix the Large Hadron Collider.)

    Fucking. Piss. Me. Off.

    Now I'm not sure exactly why I feel I "need" to have my run logged in - I know I did it, my legs know I did it, my Wife and Kids know I did it - shouldn't that be enough? Shouldn't I just be happy that it was a good run, I feel fine, and I'm crazy enough to want to go farther next week?


    I'll admit - the crazy running person in me wanted to get that run logged. After walking through the door at home during my lunch break, I kissed the Wife, said "Hi" to the kids, and headed to the laptop to try again.

    You'd be amazed at how good I felt seeing that screen pop up.

    I know this means I'm nuts, but just don't send the guys in white coats out to get me, ok? As a favor? It would mean a lot to me...

    Fuck it - I think I could outrun 'em.


    Friday, January 06, 2012

    Odiferous Prostitute.

    Today was a clean-and-organize day.
     About as much fun as you'd think.

    I'm not going to lie and tell you that my house is now indexed and cataloged like an OCD librarian's lingerie drawer - it's not even close. But I did make an dent in the list of things to be done.

    I took care of the bathrooms.

    Exciting, eh?

    Before I got down to the scrubbiness, I started rearranging my section of the medicine cabinet, and that's when one thing became abundantly clear:

    I'm a cologne whore.

    To be fair, I like smelling good. Working with the public for as long as I have has taught me that if you are going to be in close proximity to other people throughout any part of your day, it's your obligation to make sure you don't smell like a rancid goat. (If you work with rancid goats, my apologies and please disregard the previous statement.) I've encountered staff and customers who smelled worse than I would if I'd ran a marathon in +45 degree weather (104 Fahrenheit, for my American readers) with a half a cabbage under each armpit. I'm sure that's a recipe for some type of Eastern-European soup or something. (I'm sure my pits would be more effective than some crock pots.)

    So let's just say personal odor is important to me.

    I guess I just never noticed how much.
    Smellin' like a sexy athlete in just two sprays.

    Is seventeen bottles excessive? Is that over the acceptable level?

    Just for clarity, I don't wear them all at once.

    I have some standards scents that I wear more than others, but I do follow a loose rotation so I don't run out of my favorites (I don't have a chart up or anything, I'm not that obsessive). Most days I just grab a bottle, take a wiff, and go with what appeals to me.

    It wasn't until I got them all together that it hit me how many there were. It looks like I could go into a department store and sell them stuff.

    I think I should try a different one each day and see if anyone really comments.

    Customer: "Hey, weren't you working here yesterday?"
    Me: "Yes, I was."
    Customer: "How come yesterday you smelled like an ocean breeze with a hint of vanilla and citrus, and today you smell like sandalwood and musk?"
    Me: "Ummm..."

    I'm not sure, though - isn't the point of cologne be that you don't really notice it?

    Doesn't matter - all those bottles sure look pretty all lined up in a row.

    Remember - if you come across a guy in the Grocery store who smells like perfection and talks like an angel, it's only me.


    Thursday, January 05, 2012

    The Morning of Good Intentions.

    When I rested my head on my pillow last night, I had my morning all planned out:
    1. Gym at 5:30, chinups, pushups, some cardio (bike only, it's a day off running).
    2. Home by 6:45, enjoy the sweet, peaceful solitude of the morning with my laptop and coffee.
    3. Shower, shave, kiss the kids and wife goodbye, and off to work for 8am.

    How the morning actually played out:
    1. Sometime around 5am, I wake up in a groggy state, shut the alarm off, and fall back to sleep.
    2. Like Sleeping Beauty after being kissed by the Prince, I blissfully stretch as I awake, roll over and see that it's 7:15am.
    3. After a mad scramble of shower, shave, getting dressed, and gulping down a coffee, I race out the door. (Pretty sure I missed kissing one of the kids and hit the coat rack instead.)
    4. I thank God that I only have a 8 minute drive to get to work.

    So as you can see, the morning did not go as I intended, nor did it live up to my expectations. I'm already mapping out tomorrow in my head, and I'm probably going to move the alarm clock to the other side of the bed, just to be safe. (We'll see if the Wife likes that, or if I get shot down - she hates the alarm more than I do.)

    Wish me luck - I like my mornings.


    P.s. Why is it that during the Winter Holidays, my kids were always up at the crack of dawn, and now that they are back in school, they are two lifeless bricks that have to be pried out of bed? If they aren't' useful as back-up alarm clocks, why did I have kids?

      Wednesday, January 04, 2012

      In My Own Image.

      I'm training today at work.

      The gentleman that I'm training will be doing my job while I'm doing someone else's job when someone else has decided to go to Mexico for 3 weeks. This is how you move yourself up the corporate stepstool ladder in a small business in a small town.

      I'd say I'm 50/50 when it comes to training someone.

      I'm a great talker, so explaining myself and how things are done is actually fairly easy. All those years managing at the Arches were good for something - I do know how to train people properly so they retain the information I'm giving them and can do the job. Where I lose it in the process is explaining all the little idiosyncrasies pertaining to my section, that are there for the simple reason of That's How I Like To Do Things.

      Why do I like having things stacked and organized a certain way?
      Because I do.
      Why do I like the orders to be written in a certain order and at a certain time?
      Because I do.
      Why do I demand that my desk be kept in a particular way, even when I'm not around? 
      Because if we don't, it's chaos - and that's how the terrorists win, goddamn it!

      So you can see how my pleasant demeanor and sunny facade ease the discomfort of my rigid way of doing things  - you can tell that being trained by me is almost as much fun as a trip to Disneyland.

      To be fair, the trainee is learning well and hasn't questioned things too much. I think he'll do okay and does seem to have a grasp on what he's doing. (To be fair, what I do isn't rocket science, but there is a learning curve.) I'm sure that when left to his own devices, he'll do just fine.

      Of course, I'm going to say it was because of his exceptional trainer.


      Tuesday, January 03, 2012

      I Feel:

    1. That my ability to hold back from punching ignorant, rude, and stinky people is the hallmark of my career in customer service.

    2. That the main reason I don't is because these hands are made for lovin', not fightin'.

    3. That in order to balance out workouts, housework, work, the things I want to read and write, and have an actual sleep schedule, I'm going to need the day to be extended by about 6 hours.

    4. That with starting my Half-Marathon training, I've become reacquainted with my old Nemesis, chafing. Someone start praying for my thighs.

    5. That the weather phenomenon known as a "Pineapple Express" is shittier than the movie of the same name, and lazier than James Franco's eye. Enough with the rain already - can't it just be Spring all the time?

    6. That watching The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King on television instead of DVD is an exercise in couch sitting of world-record proportions.  I almost made it too, but I couldn't sit and watch the homo-eroticism of Hobbits jumping on a bed at the end. Halfway through that movie, I just wanted Sam and Frodo to get a room already. I'm not one to judge, but I don't want to watch.

    7.  That with the fact that I'm either fiercely hot or freezing cold, I'm starting to wonder if there is such a thing as Male Menopause, or maybe God's just fucking with me.

    8. That if we're being Honest, the only reason anyone would go to the Winter Classic is for the spectacle of it all - because really, those seats would be shitty for watching hockey.

    9. That my deisre to go home and workout is going to have to compete with my desire to go home and sleep. Pillow versus weights: let's see who wins.

    10. That unless I try really hard, I can never make it to 10 on these....

    11. Later.

      Monday, January 02, 2012

      Questionable Material.

      Yesterday, during a break in the Boys movie, the following commercial played:

      Now I have a problem with this.

      Kids singing The Lazy Song? Really? Isn't that the song that talks about sticking your hands down your pants? And I'm pretty sure there's a lyric that reads "- gunna do some P90X, meet a really nice girl; have some really nice sex".

      So it's cool that 12 year olds are singing this?

      How about "Club Can't Handle This"? Or "Forget You"? I know they've sanitized the lyrics for radio on that one, but it's isn't much of a stretch to know what Ce-Lo is really saying. So having kids singing this makes it better somehow?

      There's two types of people I can see buying this: either the Sanitary Soccer Mom who wants to seem cool while protecting her little darling's ears, or the Creepo in the pedo-van who isn't allowed near school yards or actual kids singing groups.

      (If you have this in your CD collection, please don't tell me which group you are a part of - I don't want to know.)

      Damn, I'm feeling judgmental today..


      Sunday, January 01, 2012

      Write Off.

      Possibly more energetic than I was today.
      Today is a write off.

      Sure, I got up at 7am with the Wife when she went to work, and I even did a workout with some of the stuff I got for Christmas. Coffee was involved too.

      After that, the day went downhill.

      You know those people who spend January 1st taking down all the Christmas Decorations, reorganizing the house, and getting everything straightened away to start the New Year?

      Yeah - not me, not today.

      The Boys and I played some games that they got for Christmas (I have the steady hand for Operation), but it was pretty much just a do-what-ya-like kinda day. Books were read, hockey was played, and I was even tempted to take a nap while they were watching a movie. (I may or may not have dozed off for a couple of minutes - it's all kinda fuzzy.)

      It's not like we were up terribly late for New Years - pretty sure we hit the sack by 1am at the latest - but I'm just bagged today. Seeing people doing inspired work like this makes me feel incredibly lazy, and I have sworn that tomorrow is going to be Accomplishment Day - believe me, shit will get done.

       I'm off to watch a movie now, and then possibly hit the sack.

      All this doing nothing has me feeling sleepy.



      I don't believe in resolutions, I believe in goals.

      I didn't really make any goals last year, and it showed. There was a month that I didn't run once, and a month where I didn't write once. (I almost think they were the same month - which makes me wonder...what the hell I was doing instead?)

      In the spirit of setting goals for 2012, here's what I'd like to accomplish:
      • Stick with my running program and finish the Comox Valley Half Marathon (March 18th) and the Merville 15K (April 1st). - Not really going to shoot for a time - I'd like to have a respectable finish, but I'm going to be realistic in my expectations.
      • Lose 15 pounds by March 1st - I know weight loss goals suck, but with the training program and a small change in eating practices, this should be the easiest of all.
      • Be able to do 15 consecutive pullups. - Right now I'm at 2. I could hit 3 if I had the assistance of adrenaline and an updraft.
      • Keep writing - I forgot how much I enjoy putting my rambling train of thought out there. I'd like to make sure it's at least 3 times a week. (Although trying to keep a daily writing streak alive would be a challenge...)
      • Read more actual books. - I just got This is a Call - The Life & Times of Dave Grohl and Chuck Palahniuk's Damned for Christmas (Thanks, Sidekick!) - as much as I like the Internet, nothing compares to a book.
       I think I've struck the balance between attainable and challenging. Kinda like that girl at the bar that hates you, but has had almost too much to drink.

      Half the fun of this will be looking back at the end of the year and either patting myself on the back or kicking myself in the ass - lets hope it's the former.