Jun 25, 2008

Neglected correspondence.

Dear Mazda,
Enough with the Zoom Zoom. The song sucks, the kid sucks, you suck.

Dear Campbells,
"M'm. M'm Good!" What's up with the apostrophes, bisque-for-brains?

Dear American Standard,
Would it be too much to ask for a urinal that doesn't reflect more urine than it takes in?

Dear Dora,
Ask as many questions as you like, my kids still aren't going to respond your televised image.

Dear Nestle,
Flavoured water. 'nuff said.

Dear Mr. Lucas,
Idea for Episode VII... Attack of the Script-Doctors.

Dear Canadian Tire guy,
Quit ignoring me like a weightlifter at Lilith Fair.

Dear Coors Light,
Having the "coldest beer" on the market does not reflect on your contribution to the process.

That is all.

Jun 23, 2008

Class Clown, R.I.P.

First Pryor, now Carlin.

I caught myself missing him when I heard the news this morning, until I realized that I already missed him yesterday.

Carlin and Pryor both died at what could easily be described as the nadir of their creative careers. I think Carlin would actually enjoy that - now that he has the benefit of a clear, third-party perspective. He sincerely began to despise the world - or more accurately, the people in it. More grievous a sin was the fact that he long ago traded 'funny' for puerile, demagogic ranting. It was like having Dennis Miller suddenly become a vapid Republican stooge. Oh wait...

And, hey... you think there's someone still doing time in Hell on the "meat rap"? If there is a Catholic God, He has spared no expense constructing a tenth circle for Carlin. It involves a three-piece suit; his agent, Jerry Falwell; and a big audience of silent crickets.

Do yourself a favour, listen to Class Clown, A Place for my Stuff, or FM & AM tonight. Vinyl, if you've got it.

"Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits."

Jun 12, 2008

A-B-C. Always Be Closing.

Fellow cottage-revelers, it's time to take stock of our summer. When I say "revelers", I mean those of us who have perfected the art of mortgage-free cottage living. (our charitable group is the Muskoka Organization for Opportunistic Cottage Habitation, or MOOCH.)

By autumn, you've either earned your wings as an esteemed guest or you've been blackballed for life. Let's assume the former. That means you have one opportunity left to seal the deal for next year. It's called "closing the cottage".

The good - and bad - news about this event is that there is some work involved. Good, because it's the only time of year you can even think about inviting yourself - under the guise of "offering to help". The bad news is, well... who wants to shingle an outhouse, right?

Remember Glengarry Glen Ross. "Always Be Closing". Closing involves a bunch of stuff that I won't bore you with. The owner usually sweats the important stuff - like water pipes and propane tanks - the botching of which could conceivably burn the place down or flood it some time in November. For better or worse, you'll be stuck with the mundane stuff.

Your other mantra should be: "What can I do before someone finds something for me to do?" Hey, there's no sense ducking the easy jobs if you're going to end up steam-cleaning the fish-gutting table by default. Personally, I hate vacuuming, so I'll plead migraine or tinnitus or something, and grab a can of WD-40, looking for squeaks in the boathouse. But whatever you pick, make sure it's visible or loud. That way, the owner will remember that you were busy as a beaver with ADHD.

Here's a better angle: take advantage of the guaranteed kudos involved with cooking a memorable meal. Many people close their cottage in October, so you might suggest a lakeside Thanksgiving dinner. The cottage Thanksgiving is win-win. It allows you to skip Aunt Ruby's turnip-rhubarb pie and instead, have a kegger with people who don't think Beyonce is a fabric softener.

Do ten minutes of Googling and put together a solid plan for a Sunday feast. Tip: don't trust any recipes from www.makeitwithbologna.com and avoid the chipotle chili-con-carnage you normally bring to the Guys Weekend. No one wants sleep in the same room as some gaseous gastronome who's going to be firing off bunkie-busters all night.

Bring all the ingredients and delegate side-dishes. The best part about cooking is that under Geneva convention, you're not required to clean up. After you've wowed everyone by barbecuing a 35-pound bird on a Heineken Mini Keg, guess who now gets to sip brandy by the fire as everyone else discovers there's no dishwasher?

Once you've taken the mantle of Kitchen King, you might notice increased respect from the opposite sex. This is a good thing. The late George Carlin once observed that people don't usually get any action on Thanksgiving - all the coats are on the bed. George obviously never hit an Ontario cottage in October. Cool air, warm beds and no grown-ups. Where do I sign?

Remember, closing a cottage is kind of like closing a bar. It's a fun milestone to enjoy with your friends, but when the clock chimes, they really just want you to go home. Find your date and try to leave before the lights come on.

Jun 10, 2008


Roadrunner, the U.S. supercomputer, is the newest, fastest guy on the block. (Try to contain your shock, but it belongs to the military.)

It can crank out 1.026 Petaflops, covers 12,000 square feet, and has Linux under the hood.

[Note: a Petaflop should not be confused with a PETAflop - which is what occurs when the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stage a Broadway musical so offensive, even Brigitte Bardot wants to smack them with a softball bat.]

Roadrunner is invulnerable to all Acme products and should - under no circumstances - be asked if it wants to play Global Thermonuclear War.

Jun 6, 2008

Lord of the Pogie

I was watching So You Think You Can Dance? against my will last night, and as entertained as I was, I think the real question is:

So You Think You Can Make Any Money Whatsoever Being a Professional Dancer, Ever... Even If You Win?

Math Exercise 
(please show work):

Take the average income of the top five contestants in any season of American Idol...
...divide that by the number of times you were beat up in high school.
...subtract the number of times you've watched Cabaret and Chicago.
...multiply by total income (in cents) as busking break-dancer in front of Eaton Centre.
Now, multiply that by the square root of bupkis and add one dollar.

Jillian... Ryan... Daddy's talking, here.
Earrings, tattoos, pierced cerebellum, anything but dancing, I implore you. 
(and stand-up comedy)

Jun 2, 2008

That which is overrated.

  1. The original, "Japanese version" of The Ring. Love it or leave it, pal. Besides, subtitles in a horror movie are about as distracting as live colour commentary during sex.
  2. Hybrid vehicles. Call me crazy, but putting another shiny new car on the road sounds suspiciously un-green. Concerned about emissions? How 'bout easing off on the the lentils, Hempy McVegan.
  3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Krappy Kliches. Starts with Indy surviving a nuclear bomb. Ends with a flying saucer. Everything in between is implausible.
  4. Spoiler alerts.
  5. Stella Artois. Sure it's tasty, but anything that proudly traces its European roots to the outbreak of the Black Death can't possibly be a good idea. Also, Belgium sucks.
  6. The Sports Page. Not unless the newspaper had a daily section on D&D hit-point analysis, could this be less relevant to my life.
  7. Any Mars mission that doesn't involve Sharon Stone in spandex. Okay. Once more with feeling: Sand? Check. Rocks? Check. Hmmm... have we looked for sand yet? (Hint: If you want to spend a lot of money looking futilely for free water, try a restaurant in Toronto.)
  8. Expensive wine. Here's a conversation beer-drinkers have never had: "Say, this is nice." "Yes, it is, isn't it. Andrea and I were on this brewery tour in Ancaster and we just fell in love with it. We're having custom bottles at our wedding."
  9. GPS. In my heart, I know this is unavoidably cool technology, but seriously - do I really need two voices telling me to get into the right lane?
  10. Blog rants that are arbitrarily listed in tens.