Monday, December 18, 2006
This weekend was a doozy. Only two weeks removed from the "move from hell" and we were hosting what is typically our largest event of the year; our Annual Christmas Open House. Everyone, especially my MIL, was saying that we were positively nutso. Two friends that recently moved (last couple of months) also were not happy that we moved twice the stuff and was unpacked enough to even allow people to view the inside of the house while they were still looking for lost clothes among their boxes.
To compound the already tight time frame, we just had to challenge ourselves by adding to items that chewed into our working time. The first was to go and visit my cousin Ric who just got in on Thursday from Trinidad. Not so bad one thinks until you realize we are driving from Ajax to Brampton during the holiday season at 9:30PM. We were there for a couple of hours more than the one I told DW we would be so it was late night number four. On Saturday, we had much running around gathering supplies and such and then join MS and PS for their gathering at home (which was loads of fun, BTW). This was a longer time that included food, drink, stories, drink, shop talk, drink, food and, er, more drink. What was really nice is that TC finally got to interact with the kidlets and they hit it off famously. So much so that even though PS had to work, I got MS to drop the kidlets over so they could continue their Xbox rivalries with TC in the basement. Just to drop off topic for a quick sec, and to do some brown-nosing, we really lucked out in meeting, nurturing and enjoying a friendship with MS and PS. They are one of a kind and we always enjoy our time with them. Adult Gaming Night 2007 - Episode One will commence in January. Ok, back to the story.
So, we get home and DW lays down and pretty much passes out on the couch. TC was tired too but I sent her down to get her laundry sitting in the laundry room before she went to bed. I finally got DW up and ended up sitting on the devil's chair myself and passing out. DW apparently had a burst of energy at that point and went gonzo. She decided the tree was going up NOW so went off to the garage and dragged the box that contains our 7.5ft tree in by herself and proceeded, for the first time, to put the whole thing up herself. I must say, this year she did a better job of it than I did last year. the tree looks beautiful and though it took her a few tries and about an hour, she finally got me up to check the tree out and retired to bed with the hopes I was up enough to start working on the rest of the outstanding items.
Back to sleep I went and work up around 6:45AM, got a couple of things done but there were still bits of stuff everywhere with the living room still looking like a nuclear testing facility on the French Atoll. So, DW woke up and heading to the kitchen to finish her preparations there. I woke TC in order for her to get up and get helping me make the place look respectable; I woke her a second time with better success. She knows better than to push her luck and have me have to do it a third time so se got up ad got going.
Long story short, a lot of things got dumped into the "office"; so much so that the small passage that allowed me into the room no longer existed. The guest room was cleaned up and I finished assembling the bed so that looked okay. The dining room is the only main room, besides the office, that really as boxes left unopened. The reason for this is that the buffet and hutch held a lot of our glass and breakables. The problem is the stupid carpet they laid down makes the thing rock more than a drunken Keith Richards so we have been weary to put our valuables into it until we get that behaviour corrected. The family room had the piano blocked off with various pictures to prevent anyone playing it; that is where the tree is as well. The living room had all the crap cleared off the table, boxes moved, game stuff into the stereo cabinet and other items... into the office. This shifting continued throughout the place but the majority were in the above mentioned spots.
The basement was a little tricky as I had to go into the garage to pull out the area rug. Then clear an area for it to go into. Then "walk" the TV stand into place behind it. Then hoist the 32" TV onto it. Then find the extension cord to get power to it. TC then was tasked with find a surge protector, the Xbox and controllers and attaching it all up. I gave her a hand when she got confused on the input and out and SVGA connections. So, the kids section, the area we expecting to swallow and keep all of their attentions, was set up.
Guests started arriving around 3:30 with DP, his wife and their daughter arriving first. Slowly, the house began to fill as more and more guests, including a surprise visit from my MIL (who indicated she was not coming) and our family from Chicago as they were in town for the week. That was the icing on the cake. Some folks were sick and could not make it. Some others got tied up and called in to apologize on no longer being able to make it. Others did not have the courtesy to even call and say they can no longer make it (no at all pleased on that). Still others never read or replied to the Evite if they did read it. Such is life. We had a good time and they missed out on DW's fab balls (thanks PS for that recipe), her Sorrel (Trini drink), the punch e creme (Trini drink), her black cake, my cousin's sweetbread, BB's white chocolate covered vanilla cake (that we never got to taste because it was devoured), sandwiches, meats, cheeses, crackers, peanuts, cashews, olives and much more. Oh yeah, and lots and lots and LOTS of alcohol.
This was a precursor to the Christmas weekend so if I blog incoherently one day, you will know why. As for my wife, I really am a lucky man to have a woman embrace a culture not her own so readily and impress those who have lived it all their lives (i.e. my mother, sister, aunt and cousins). If it were her ambition, I am certain she could become a master chef one day. As it is, I will simply continue to enjoy the fruits of her labour as will those lucky enough to be called friends and family. Thanks DW for making another social event a roaring success. The hard work you put in is never unnoticed and you will be rewarded in due time. Love you dearly. :)
Ok, off the top, this year has been like most in terms of one's fair share of idiot drivers who cut people off in the hopes of gaining two minutes on their over all trip. You have the village idiots in Peel region (i.e. Markham) that decide they MUST make that right turn now so let's just drive into the left lane and around the vehicle stop in the right lane so that they can make the turn now. You have the brainiacs all over the province who look at your vehicle, the one reversing towards them, the one with the reverse lights on, the one that is a good four TONS of steel and glass and plastic and decide that NOW is a good time to walk behind the vehicle through my blind spot. And you have all manner of stupid people performing stupid actions around or with moving vehicles.
And that brings us to this Monday morning. I dropped TC to school, as I always do since we moved into the new place in Ajax and then head across to and then up (north) on Birchmount to get to work. Somewhere between Finch and McNicholl, an Oriental gentleman of the middle aged persuasion decides that he liked my lane better since ihs was being close in with the stopped, turning vehicle in front of him.
Now, I am fine with changing lanes, even quickly and in short distances as long as the manouvere is fairly safely executed. This dipshit however decided that I did not deserve any warning and simply started to move his vehicle over. When I leaned on the Roo's horn with vigour, he ignored me and pulled his vehicle directly into my lane, cutting me off. I cursed him ass and then decided that since no one else was in my vehicle for a change, and I could safely get behind him to stop at the lights, and it was a Monday and he just pissed me off, AND most importantly, he was not part of the Jamaican, Tamil, Trinidadian or Sri Lakan local gangs and probably was not strapping, I was going to have a conversation with him.
He made some quick changes ahead of me but still ended up with space behind him so I tucked in and stopped directly behind him. I got out of my vehicle and went next to his and knocked on the window. When he looked at me like, "what the hell do you want?" and "What do you think you are going to do?" plus some flavour of the day as per Michael Richards, as well as mouthing something to me, I basically lost it short of opening his door and dragging his ass out of the vehicle.
The conversation went something along the lines of this:
Knock, knock. (cue look and the mouthed words) "What the ____ do you think you were doing back there? Are you ____ mental or something? Do you have a ____ clue how close you came to hitting my _____ truck? What?" Knock. Knock. "Roll down the glass. ROLL DOWN THE GLASS YOU STUPID ____ IDIOT ____!! You don't drive like that ____. You will get someone hurt. You will damage someone's vehicle. Try that ____ ___ again and I will ensure it is you that ____ gets hurt!! ____ ______ ______ _____ for this _____ day. ______!!!!"
At this point, he is sitting there praying for the green light to go, which it did while I was berating him. Others saw what was going on but knew better to keep their stupid asses in their vehicles unless they wanted some of what the big, black, angry, yelling man was dishing out. It just irks me something fierce that these idiot drivers get away with this, cause accidents that did not need to happen and really don't care about what they are doing on the road. It actually felt really good and I am going to do a few more of those. Safely, naturally. :)
To the ____ from this morning, I really hope your ___ day was ____ ruined and I have only one last thing to say to you about this: ______ ______!!!!!
Home Delivery - Wanigan Organic Vegetable Box Delivery
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Go into any music store and pick up almost any black artist's CD (Will Smith excluded) and you are almost guaranteed to hear the word in the lyrics of one of their songs. Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, TuPac, Kanye West, Mary J Blige, Missy E, all of them use the word. These artists are being played on mainstream radio everyday, being used in commercial jingles hawking various products, being used as interlude music in TV shows and theme music for movies and specials. Sure, those version are radio-edited and cleaned up for the airwaves, but the CDs being sold in your local HMV, Future Shop and Best Buy are not. So, you can see what happens when the kids get their parents to buy them the disc and the parents don't do their job of knowing what the kids are listening to (or the kids buy it themselves because it has been proven these stores don't check jack).
Now I will be the LAST person to blame violent TV, mature video games, movies and music on the state of our youth today. We had all of those things when I was a kid (hello, Duke Nukem in 3D, nuff said) and I never had the urge to go and rip someone a new one because they looked at me funny. That, I can attest, is because of the swift and sure retaliation from my parents that I know would be coming so my ass was kept in line (at least until it really did hurt them more than it did me). Parents need to step up and be responsible for the next generation growing up in the world. And Racism and Prejudice is the number one trait a lot of irresponsible parents pass on to their children. We are all, in some varying degree of levels, guilty of doing this with our own offspring. We may not directly tell them to be prejudicial or racist but we do so in our jokes, mannerisms, cussing at bad drivers and so on. We also do the same to promote equality to balance things out in life but as we all know, hate and anger are easy and strong emotions that often overpowers love and understanding.
So, back to Mr. Dick. Racist? Doubt it. Stupid? Without question. But, he can also be incredibly funny which I honestly think he was trying to be, but it is too soon and simply the wrong time. I have heard the word uttered by white people before and not every time was it derogatory towards me or others. We had a guy in school, RW, who used to hang with the brothers (literally, but that is another story) so we got into this whole thing with the names that each of us were called representing the worst against our heritage. It was a funny outburst and we all laughed and their were no feelings hurt.
But that was high school friends sharing a laugh, some understanding and some tolerance. Ever try that with an entire nation? No one has. That is the most disturbing part of all of this. And if they think some spotlight on it now because two Caucasians dared used the word is going to change anything or move things forward, they are stupider than Michael Richards himself for being caught in that position. You need to weed this out from birth to get it to stop. Some people think continuing the fight and the conflict is much more important than resolving it. the snowball effect is that the next few generations will not see it stop, merely change either for the better or (unfortunately the most likely) for the worst before someone emerges to really stop it.
Will you do your part?
CANOE -- JAM! - Andy Dick sorry for racial slur
Monday, December 04, 2006
Financially, it was a much harder hit than we wanted even though we budgeted for it. We simply did not take inot account the difficulty of moving out of the old house and into the new one. Each house has unique angles and challenges and they cost time. Add to that the short driveway which the eighteen-wheeler had to park sideways in front of and it all adds up to extra time needed to safely move items. We will be going back to them concerning some damages to both our items and the new house as well as a calculation error on the final bill. Regardless, it all adds up to a much leaner Christmas. Sorry family. :(
Emotionally, this is not easy for me. I grew up, partied, laughed, cried, and prospered in Scarborough. It is not an easy transition for me to leave the only area I have ever lived (Toronto GTA) since coming to Canada. Add to that the fact that we had decent neighbours on our side of the street, a huge yard and massive porch to hold summer gatherings on and it was close enough for people to pop by when they felt like. I know it was necessary, it just was not easy.
Physically, I feel whipped and I know both TC and DW feel the same. We had great help from friends and family, and we thank them very much for all of it, but they are gone now. We are still cleaning up the whirlwind mess that was created in the move at the old house. We are still trying to mark out our terriorties in the new house and get settled in. However, life (i.e. school, work, etc.) does not stop simply because we are busy with other things. So, as we try to settle in and relax, there is always something nagging at us to be dealth with. I cannot find certain wiring and the Belkin wireless router. Nor can I find a friends external hard drive that was accidentally packed away with our things. So, no rest for the weary and a difficult task made more so by boxes being clearly labelled for anywhere but the garage being dumped into the garage. We have already unpacked over three dozen boxes by my count and the place still looks like a cardboard recycling factory.
Financially, this gets two entries because I forgot the "after the move" or "gee, we really need/want a..." expenses. Since it is a bigger house, and a different design, we gained a lot of space and style and substance but actually lost on some built-in storage space. As such, we need to find and/or buy new places to put things. Something as simple as a towel rack to hold both of our towels or a space saver for around the toilet bowl or an outside garbage bin (since the racoons mangled our last one b chewing through the top) really start to add up. Next year should be better but this month is going to be a riiiiight beeyatch!!
Anyhow, enough bitching and moaning. We love the new place and we love the area. We love being near friends and family, while hating being further away from other friends and family (mainly our parents and the BFE crew). Even if the dining room stupidly has carpet that tips our damn buffet/hutch when you try to open the door, we will take this cozy, warm, dry house over the last place any day. The real test of wills will be when we host our open house on the 17th. The place had better be up to snuff then. People whose opinions have weight will be there and we want to make a good impression. :) If you're local, we hope to see on Sunday.
Friday, December 01, 2006
When next we move (two years from now unless we somehow buy this place from the owner), we will simply save enough money to hand the company the keys, have them pack, move and unpack us while we enjoy ourselves somewhere else on this planet. We moved from one awkwardly shaped home to a better, different awkwardly shaped home. It took the movers forever to remove our shite from the old place and forever to get it in and placed in the new one. AND this is with having assorted friends and family having help us move a shitload of stuff last weekend already. I new we had a lot of shit but DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!
As my newphew, Hammy, puts it: Ajax will never have seen a garage sale of this kind ever! We have electronics, clothes, crafts. the usual and the unusual that will be put up. I have about a week of shredding documents I simply could not just throw out. We also have at least a days work of clearing the last remnants out of the old place before saying goodbye forever.
We will definitely miss the old place. how could one not miss a prime lot, lower Scarborough, 77x210ft with a deck the width of the house? oh yeah, easily when the roof leafs, the basement leaks, the garage leaks, we need more space, it was always cold because the heat leaks, the plumbing and electrical is crap and it has enough creatures roaming through it to start a sideshow. Sigh. It was our home and we are going to miss it.
Our new adventure begins today in Ajax though and we are really looking forward to it. Already i am making new acquaintances at the local Crappy Tire which I am sure will come in handy someday. I will be doing so at the Home Depot, Walmart, Future Shop, Best Buy, Costco, and Chapters. Just browsing honey... honest.
I will try to post some after Dtrini shots at the old place; pre and post cleanup. Right now, I am uber tired but I promise dmy boss to finish some work and it is eight hours past due. Not good so I want to make sure he at least wakes up to work done. :)
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Wearable holster systems, cell phone cases, PDA cases, smartphone cases, handheld PC cases, PSP cases, PlayStation Portable cases, digital camera case
Wearable holster systems, cell phone cases, PDA cases, smartphone cases, handheld PC cases, PSP cases, PlayStation Portable cases, digital camera cases, MP3 player cases, CD player cases and cellular phone accessories, PDA accessories, handheld PC accesso
Monday, November 27, 2006
This past weekend, my sister Gemini and a former co-worker and friend of mine helped DW with packing the kitchen. Let me tell you, the packing was neither pretty nor elegant nor organized, but in the blue collar vein, "Git 'er done", it was completed Friday night when we thought it would take two days for sure. DW just had some minor things and other items to deal with during the day on Saturday.
Our nephew Hammy also came out and gave us a hand on Friday and Saturday. We got some loose, non-boxed items and fragile essentials into TR for the first visit to the new homestead. TC and I obtained the garage door openers, the mailbox key and the house keys from the realtor agent earlier that evening. So, we transported the stereo cabinet and our precious main stereo components up and showed them the house. We made plans on what we wanted to move next and headed home for some rest before the big push the next day.
On Saturday, with little sleep, I got up and continued packing boxes in the basement. We were not getting the Uhaul rental truck (a whole separate post is coming on those assholes) until 5PM so Hammy, TC and I, plus my buddy AL would be running some initial transfers back and forth to the house with the unboxed, unboxable and sensitive/fragile items in the POS and TR. I think we made about three or four trips total doing that.
I had to stay at the house at 2PM to wait for Rogers to show up and install our new Home Phone (cause I hate them less than I do Bell Canada, but not much now) and the cable for TV and Internet. The Home Phone guy was there and working by about 2:30. He had to drill a hole for a line from the right side of the house into the basement so it took him a little time. The next guy had not shown up yet when the first guy was leaving just after four so I asked DW to call in. I was on call so I did not want to tie up the BB at the time since it does not receive email when the phone is operating.
We were told that the Rogers guy had until 5PM so what was the issue. The lady DW was speaking to told the dispatch that I was waiting there and that it was after four so we wanted to be sure he was coming. Five o'clock rolls around and no guy. He calls and either tells DW or leaves a message that he was running late and apologized but we were next. Six o'clock rolls by and there is a door bell. DW said the guy sounded West Indian but there was an Oriental technician at the door. There are West Indian Orientals, but none of them are stupid enough to work for Rogers so I knew this was not the guy. Turns out the first tech was still at the last stop so they sent someone else. This guy says, when he finds out the phone dude was here, that if it were him here earlier, he would have volunteered to pull the other work order and complete it all since he was already here (since all of them do everything anyhow). We both agreed that it was dependent on the tech that showed up.
He went off and connected everything and left me a very long connection in the basement as I had asked, plus an extra splitter and two short lines in the living room so that the stereo and TV could be connected. Unfortunately, the builder's were very shortsighted as they did not think to run phone and cable to every room in this day and age. The room we designated as office/hope-to-be-nursery has neither. So, for now, the Internet will have to be connected in the master bedroom until I can rectify that issue. So, with the entire afternoon in the tank, nothing to eat since morning, and a cold Blue (ugh) in my belly, I headed back home in the hopes of finding KFC still there and some helping hands. Thankfully, I found both.
BB and her fiancee plus Reddlion was waiting at home. I got in, quickly inhaled the last of the KFC chicken from the bucket and was ready for action. The truck was there and we just needed to form our plan, our chain gang and get it done. It took about two and a half hours to fill the 17ft truck with all the boxes we had in the living room, the Webber, two bikes, the bar fridge from the garage, the snowblower, a couple of IKEA shelf rails, one DVD shelving unit, some cushions and assorted other loose bits. We also threw some loose and fragile bits into the cars and headed out. Unloading, especially with a few more hands, was a bloody dream and took all of a half hour. Pizza arrived as we were doing this so it went even faster after that. Nearly had to thump the PizzaPizza dude though, as buddy sees us offloading and actually thought it okay to walk past us into the garage to enter the house. Uhm, er, how about NO?
Truck unpacked, kitchen almost finished set up thanks to DW and KJ's diligent work while we were packing the truck at the old house, pizza in the belly washed down with some beverages and we were one tired, but happy and satisfied clan. I was not felling great so I went upstairs to the living room and laid down on the cushions for a little while. Apparently, I was sawing some serious wood before DW woke me to say goodbye to our guests and helpers. It was 2:30AM and time to go old-home and leave new-home for the time being.
When we woke up yesterday, DW, TC and I were beaten and tired and felt dragged out. TC and I were talking when she corrected me by saying that we really only had three days left before the move. Holy Crap!!! The child was right as Sunday was a basic right off as we simply could not get much done and Thursday 9AM is when the moving dudes were showing up. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is all we gots left. Shite!!! So, I was going into work today to show my face but that is now scrapped in favour of working from home and trying to get some boxes packed so if DoubleD can come out and help me later, I will be ready to fill his vehicle. If he cannot, then the POS and TR will continue to run back and forth until we cannot move anymore. We will repeat this for three days, hopefully with Hammy's assistance on one day at least, to try and get as much of the stuff out before the movers come in. It makes it faster and easier for them and cheaper for us as a result; and that was our goal in the first place.
Well, that's it for now. I know I still have Cuba and Vegas things to post, not to mention a whack of other stuff like why Uhaul is a shitty company, why Rogers sucks ass and why Bell can bite my right one. I will get to all those posts in the new home. Before I finish this long post, I would like to express deep thanks and gratitude from my family to all those that helped us this weekend: BB, EdWood, Hammy, Gemini, Marshmallow, Reddlion, KJ and the boys, and AL. We appreciate all the time, effort and backbreaking you performed and endured to help make our move smoother, easier and cheaper. We hope to return the effort in kind one day soon.
Next post will probably be on Friday with a final word on the move itself and some pictures. I will try to post beforehand but I cannot make any promises as work and the move will be all encompassing. Unless, of course, I get bored at either and take a break in front of a working, connected computer. :)
Thursday, November 23, 2006
First off, I myself have run from time to time those other programs the article mentiones (i.e. SETI@Home, etc.). It is definitely an excewllent way to ensure maximum usage of your PC while helping mankind. The thing is, those programs come from respected sources and have been routinely checked to ensure no insidious items are contained within that could do harm to your system.
Now, Sony wants in on this random act of kindness? Uhm, personally, thanks but no thanks. Let's see, your track record is the betamax (which you refused to license to anyone or play nice in the sand with so it died), the Minidisc (which you took so long to allow proper licensing, it was still born even though a great technology), the Memory stick, because you simply believed that YOUR memory standard was better than the rest even though you are stuck with no-where-to-be-found 4GB top sizes when Compact Flash is at 8GB and beyond for less than your 4GB vapourware) and the granddaddy icing on the cake, the rootkit! Why the hell am I going to plop down nearly eight hundred bucks and then allow Sony of all companies to install untested, unchecked software onto it without knowing exactly what it will be allowing in and out of my home network?
The answer is simply that I would not, and until it is properly checked out (MsM, what are you doing over the holidays?) I would strongly suggest that you save your money or spend it over at the Wii or Xbox 360 counters (yes, I endorsed Microsoft). Sony has has lot to make up for and this little console and this supposedly benevolent program is simply not enough for me to bite. thanks Sony, but I think this Christmas, I will either be kicking my nephew's ass online or gyrating crazily in the living room as I try to hack and slash properly with the Wii's nifty wireless "nunchuck" controller.
Maybe next year Sony. Maybe not.
PS3 could aid medical research
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Naturally, the Athiests out there are crying ou that there is as much hope this religion is real as all the others. Of course, they never would challenge the validity of a certain religion lest they all get stoned and jihaded all over the place.
Pair Use The Force For Jedi Religion - Yahoo! News UK
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
As a summary, I will be returning with DW for a romantic getaway, with LB to basically allow him to experience all that I did, and with pure players like Famine and Skibum for some super late nights of cards and... well... other stuff.
Vegas is an interesting place, an exciting city and a beautiful city with friendly people in and out of the casinos. Situated basically inside of a bowl of mountains, it lends for a very unique layout and spectacular sight at night. When I post our pix from on top of the Stratosphere hotel, you will understand.
I know poker and gambling is not everyone's thing but don't count Las Vegas out as a vacation destination. There is so much more to do in the city and even into the neighbouring states of California (i.e. Death Valley, Los Angeles), Utah (i.e. Salt Lake, Salk Lake City, Provo), and Arizona (i.e. Grand Canyon). Don't forget that a lot of Casinos have family-oriented entertainment as well so you can catch various magic, dancing, singing and comedy acts throughout the year. For example, Prince is opening a new nightclub in Vegas that he will be performing at every weekend or something. Toni Braxton is back. Penn & Teller are lighting up the Rio. Cirque du Soleil has three shows running at three different casinos (though none of them are kid appropriate I think). There's some Canadian Prima Donna Witch and there's Rita Rudner, one of the most entertaining comediennes working today.
Alright, I really need some sleep. I just got in around 4AM, reacquainted myself with my home and my wife, got woken up before 8:30AM to meet the moving dude for an estimate and then I have been in and out of a dreamstate all day while trying to get some stuff done, failing miserably at the whole bloody lot. I had hoped to take DW to dinner and a movie but I think we will stay in, contemplate our movie and do something here instead.
Pictures and stories to follow as soon as I am able.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I needed a distraction which is probably exactly why I should not have played tonight. Anyhow, I still made it past a break and a change of tables (plus suffering through the antics of a loud, obnoxious jackass) and did not pay attention to the foundation of a flopped straight against my A 10 unsuited that wa paired up. Short stacked against way more agressive players, I tried to make a move with a middling pair and a nut flush draw. He unvieled his flopped straight and the writing was on the wall; my evening had come to an end.
Well, I still don't know the lingo, the positions or the odds, but I have learned and experienced a lot today. I know I have some good instincts and, if I pay attention, good reads on people. Our next poker night (Saturday) and the next trip down here (next September at the latest) should yield different results. I hope. :)
Off to see some girl scouts about their cookies. (Editor's note: working on little sleep and little patience and little energy. I may have to raincheque this one.)
Well, I was on track to be in the money for a while. They were late in posting the total number of players but it was over fifty people. I made it through two breaks and was five people from the final table when I was getting short stacked from the 150 ante, and 300/600 blinds with a raise in both coming under three minutes later. Stupidly, I lost focus and patience and went all in when I knew I really should have retreated and waited for a better opportunity.
Instead his pocket pair of Jacks went up against my King and Queen of hearts. With no help on the flop, and insult after injury on the turn and the river, I was ousted from the tournament in 15th place. For my first tournament, I think I did well and I got some kudos from people playing since the Vietnam war. However, accolades and kudos are a harsh consolation prize when nearly fifteen hundred is on the line.
Another tourney starts registering at 5:30 for a 7PM start. I am debating sticking around for that and letting DoubleD and the boys go off without me. Of course, I could come back and play at noon tomorrow instead. The 7PM will have about 130 people Bryan the floor manager says so it is very tempting to go for the more lucrative pot and the larger test of will with more people vying for the jackpot.
I'll let you all know later which one I chose. By the way, Famine, you would have been proud the way I slow played my Nut Flush draw into a tripling of my stash when I hit it on the turn. :)
(Note: had trouble remote posting so the two entries are together instead of many hours difference.)
Friday, November 03, 2006
Also, I am dying (maybe wrong choice of words) to ride the roller coaster and drop zone type ride on the top of one hotel. I am afraid of heights but I love to push the envelope. The Drop Zone at Paramount Canada's Wonderland had my heart beating fast, a little vertigo happening and then I lost the ability to create sound the entire drop down until we landed. If I had had curry that day, they would have had to close the ride. Hmmm, I don't think I will have curry, or any drinks, before I attempt to go on the ones in Vegas (that is, if my fat ass is not too big for the ride, restriction-wise).
We're leaving in the morning, driving down the dreaded QEW and flying out of Buffalo in the afternoon. We are using Southwest and, if you have ever watched Airline on A&E you will understand, we want to make sure we are there well ahead of time and all checked in. Maybe pick up a mickey or a magnum. :)
We actually do not get into where we are staying till Sunday so I guess our bags will travel around with us for a few hours. I can put my feet up on it in a poker room or create a cosy spot to sit for the, er, wonderful lady serving our table. When we get to the room, I can basically sleep anywhere on anything so I will be the least picky of the lot. Half the time, I find the sofas in hotel suites more comfortable than the beds. Okay, not at the King Edward.
Sunday I think we should plot out where the 1.99-3.99 AYCE buffets are and correlate them to proximity of cheap small tourneys so that the walk is minimal between the two. Cheap (read free) booze is a given.
I will NOT be taking a laptop for the second trip away in a row. I was only going to take my camcorder but then I thought about it. I mean, HOOVER DAM; I am going to need the DSLR for sure. So, I will check out the baggage allowance and try to get in with a small carry-on and the camera bag. I should be good to go with that.
See you folks in a week. I will be back with more pics and stories next Friday. Be good. Be safe. Be happy.
London Free Press - National News - St. Thomas father, 34, charged with assaulting his child online
London Free Press - National News - Grocery store turfs poppy seller
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I have posted the link to our pictures taken from our recent adventure. We actually took over three hundred shots; we could easily have taken loads more but we had short funds and only ventured out to Havana and up and down the Varadero peninsula. What you see is what DW helped pare down. Feel free to skip through, run a quick slideshow or whatever.
When going to any foreign land, there is a certain amount of anticipation and apprehension. It is heightened when you are entering a communist country from a so-called free and democratic one; even if the two have been long time "friends". So, when we read that we could not take DVD players in (we had one) and then they checked and electronically logged (I think they scan the whole page in) our passport, and then asked to physically check our bags after they went through the scanner, we were a little on edge. No worries though and we were quickly sent on our way. We changed some funds as we needed to pay the bus driver to drop us to our hotel (remember, we went down on an alternate flight and therefore was not entitled to a hotel transfer). This cost us $10 (pesos) each, which considering the distance was actually a bargain. It would be much more than that in Toronto. I also was introduced to the local cervesa (beer): Cristal. There was an enterprising gentleman selling cold ones as we exited the airport. I was so thirsty that I drank one as we got our bags loaded and then another during our ride; DW sipped some of mine as she is not a big beer drinker.
We had to drop off a number of other people at various hotels along the way so we got to see a bit of the place before we hit our hotel, the Villa Cuba. I must say that even with the pictures online, I expected less than the hotel is. Unlike a lot of people we see bitching online, we went in understanding a certain level from the hotels in this country. We were not expecting nor paying for King Edward comfort. If we got clean, comfortable, basics with a decent beach and friendly, helpful staff, we would be satisfied; we were satisfied.
As most online reviews point out, unless you are willing to shell out big bucks to stay in the fancy hotels, do not expect a lot of the food in Cuba. It is not to say that the food was horrible or inedible, it just does tend to get repetitive and sometimes a bit on the bland side. I don't understand why they cannot get someone in to properly train the cooking staff to make use of the materials they have available. They get decent pork and fish and chicken and beef, lots of vegetables, rice and pasta. The cooks are simply incapable of doing better with those items. Okay, so saying that, we also say that if you are creative (i.e. carry cheese from he cold cuts section to be placed in your omelets at breakfast), you can eat very well for the week without getting too bored. Now, they do have two a la carte restaurants which are okay as a diversion from eating in the buffet. However, if you look at the menus in the pictures, I think you will see an item listed to the effect, "Naranja au natural" or something to that effect. When DW ordered that as her appetizer, she was presented with a very nicely decorated plate of a slice orange. Yep, just an orange.
The bars are in enough places that it is not too much of a walk to get to any of them. You can of course drink wine, beer, water, juices, coffee, tea, cocoa and soft drinks when dining. At the walk up bars, you get all the "fancy" drinks like the Cuban Libre (rum and coke), Sangria (DW's fave), Cuban Zombie, Margarita, Rum Punch and others. There is a bar just down a few steps from the lobby, the one at the pool, one at the beach and, we were told, one in the disco and in the 9th level tower (but we did not make either of those). You can basically drink from 7AM to 3AM as you bounce from bar to bar. You can eat 24/7, as we found out when we hit the cafe for a snack at 2AM the first night we were there.
The pool is nice and inviting to everyone. The main ring, right in front of the bar, is very shallow at one side and only knee deep before you walk up the stairs into the bar itself. Not quite a swim up bar but good enough. We saw enough stupid people and their filthy habit (smoking) infecting the pool with their ashes; really is sad if you cannot take a swim without smoking. Another ring has the shallow kiddies pool sharing space with the water activities section. The final ring is a deeper pool, about six feet.
The beach is quite amazing and it is easy to see why so many people flock to Cuba to enjoy it. While we did find chicken bones and and a piece of broken glass one day, we have to say that the beach was basically well kept and clean; no accounting for idiot tourists and what they throw where. Free to use are the paddle boats, windsurfers, kayaks and small catamarans (though the latter has someone go out with you and though you don't have to, carry a pesos or two). There are plastic, reclining loungers to use freely and permanent umbrellas made from local materials. The water is typically warm and was fairly calm except for one day that got a yellow caution due to the higher waves, wind and huge undertow. The depth changes quickly and often but we got out a fair bit before the water hit under my chin.
The pictures tell the tale of what Varadero and Havana look like. I will try to give a little of our experience in Havana. In a word, eye-opening. When we were told by LB and read a few reviews about the level of living in Cuba, it still did not stand out in our minds. When you are walking through old Havana, and you get accosted by those asking for items, and the items start with pesos but then runs the gamut through pens and pencils, to soap to clothes to gum to the hat on one's head (mine was a newly bought Snowbirds hat and was not leaving my head), you get a better understanding that while the people may have a lot more than a lot of folks in the world, they also have a lot less. We took about $100CDN worth of items I had purchased in the dollar store (an assortment of toiletries, school supplies and toys) to give out at the hotel to the staff that helped us enjoy our holiday. We never understood or imagined that on the street, at the cafe, in the park, hell, in the third largest cemetery in the world, that we would be asked for any of those things. And the most requested item? Candy. So, the next time we go down, we will devote a large portion to gum and candy.
Next time, I would like to stay at a hotel in Havana itself so that we can walk around a bit more and get in amongst the Cuban people themselves. When we were in St. Martin, we had a car to drive around in and being able to eat where we wanted to and speak to the local people made a huge difference to our holiday. It is also part of what convinced DW that we must retire there and open a bagel shop in St. Phillipsburg, but that is for another day and another story. If you find yourself in need of a vacation but low on funds, give Cuba a look. I think you would actually enjoy it more than Mexico and it is a heck of a lot safer too.
Why are humans the cruelest animal on the planet?
First, the ages of the children match the one of the girl that the teacher was fooling around with and got the harsh sentence of living at home with his wife and children in frigid Canada. Second, he's done this before and pleaded guilty to the previous crimes and is for some reason out of jail.
But wait, there's more...
His MOTHER helped to introduce him to families that had children of an age he could molest?!?! Okay, you love your son and all but you love him enough to help him hurt other people's children? She should be rotting in jail in the cell next to him for the next 508 years.
So, is the answer to do what this and many other towns are doing in the US? Ban illegal immigrants? We saw how well that worked for the food industry when they stopped working for a day. How many offices will remain uncleaned in North America if all the illegal immigrants took tomorrow off? How many rich people's gardens, pools and homes will remain untended should that happen?
The fact of the matter is, North America was built by the immigrants. What's funny is anyone outside of the Native North American claiming that they are not an immigrant or an immigrant descendant. We ALL are. I would say that in New York City, I bet there are more natively born non-whites than whites, yet all non-whites are looked upon as immigrants. Ridiculous.
And that is the crust of the problem. That arrogance and perception in some, mostly those with power, wealth and influence, is a dangerous catalyst that is leading both countries towards a slippery slope of strife and unrest for many years to come. My folks stayed in Canada illegally, past their due date to return to Trinidad, in order to give my family a better life. LB is the only one of us four born here and all five grand kids are born here. We are all leading productive lives and my folks did tasks when they first arrived here that the whites of the time deemed beneath them. What would this country be if the backs of the illegal immigrants were not there to be built upon? What if there were no Europeans in the construction industry? Asians in the livery industry? Orientals to build the railroad in the west?
No one is saying not to protect your borders and to control the tide of people coming in because the support systems have to be in place to deal with everyone coming in. What people are saying is find a better way. This way can only lead to more division in a time when we really need to stand together for a change.
Now wouldn't that be a better law to work towards?
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
More than anything else, I think I use music to modify or augment the mood I am in. I used to block out my family strife when I was in high school by slapping on headphones and getting lost in Sade. When I drove, I typically had a booming system so I needed something that gave me a beat to weave through traffic and get me there faster. The type of songs I had with me meant the difference of an hour going to Montreal sometimes. I used to listen to classical while doing my homework and to wake up to so I was relaxed. Jazz while I did housework because it gave me a nice rhytym. Kaiso and Soca when I wanted a rub up.
Even time of day changed my musical tastes. When Humble and Fred rules CFNY 102.1, that is all I could listen to on the way to work. Anything else and I was not a happy camper upon arrival. On the way home though, I needed WBLK from Buffalo because they played the "drive home zone" with remixes of the funky stuff. Theses days, Starting From Scratch (sorry LB) and his remix hours are preferred listening. It's the most I can take Flow 93.5 at any one time; many personal and political reasons behhind that one which I will save for another post some day.
Anyhow, one of these days, I will figure out how to dump just the Album names and Artists maybe and post them online. I am actually proud of the fact that we have done more than our share of supporting the industry over the years. To be honest, that does not mean we have not sought out the odd one track on a shitty album that we liked or rare and hard to find songs from another era (i.e. house music from the 80's) via the various means on the Internet. thsoe are the exceptions though as we prefer to have the discs to ourselves so we can define what quality we rip them to iPod at.
Anyhow, I must get back to other things. Just needed to post while this was in my head. BTW, a remix of David Bowie (one of my faves) and Queen' Under Pressure is playing in my headphones right now.
On the other side, there are four generations of a Muslim family living in a twice renovated house (or was it thrice). The second generation father is a very nice man. We get along with him and on son very well. Greetings everytime we speak, help with snowplowing the very long driveways, an understanding of personal space and everything else that makes a good neighbour. None of that has filtered down to the rest o fthe family who fours years later remain standoffish, distant and unable to understand the whole "my side, your side" concept. People who know us know how much we relish the idea of a new hose with no shared driveway and neighbours who understand what personal space is. No more people people not comig to our house traipsing across our front lawn. No more idiot basketball players using DW's car as either a bench or out of bounds marker. No more myterious dents, dings and scrachs on our vehicles. No more unattended children rolling down our front lawn or standing at our front door or blocking our driveway as we swing into it.
The pictures in the web album show a certain amount of guilty pleasure on my part. Normally, the father and I will work together to clear snow and clean up after a storm and such. No such cooperation with this lot (the father has since given the eldest son the house and moved down the street to another home). So, when they decided to clean up the leaves that had fallen so far (only half of the tree), they decided to only do up to the demarcation point, which is clearly marked off by their recently resprayed driveway which is much darker than ours. Even a have hearted attempt would have been welcome and we would ave acted in kind, but nope. So, since we were moving, and I remember what this time of year is like, we said fudge it and left the leaves to blow. It really blew starting on Sunday (so much so I thought DW's plane might get grounded) and ended up clearing most of what we would ave had to pick up in front right back onto their side of things.
Ah well, for everything else we have endured over the years, this payback is still a beeyatch. Tee hee. I am in an evil mood today.
Monday, October 30, 2006
I scored the same as my friend form the pond did: 85%. It's a 20 question test and is straightforward. Run the test and post your score in the comments. This is an easy one for you normal lurkers to finally participate and say hello.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Dilbert for the IT person really is the window into the stupidity that cripples all companies. It is far too early to lose that voice.
JAM! - Dilbert cartoonist hampered by rare syndrome
Autonet.ca - Taurus ready to say its goodbye: Sometime next week, the assembly line at a Ford plant near Atlanta will come to a halt, signalling the e
Autonet.ca - Taurus ready to say its goodbye: Sometime next week, the assembly line at a Ford plant near Atlanta will come to a halt, signalling the end of a family sedan so revolutionary that its 1985 debut changed forever the way cars look, feel and dri
Autonet.ca - Leasebusters partners up with GMAC: Leasebusters, the Mississauga company that specializes in bringing together consumers who want to get
Autonet.ca - Leasebusters partners up with GMAC: Leasebusters, the Mississauga company that specializes in bringing together consumers who want to get out of their lease contracts with those looking to take over someone's lease, has formed a national stra
The answer is an obvious no from top to bottom. The Americans stop people all the time with criminal records at the border, for much less serious crimes than this. Yet, it is okay for them to dump one of their own into our yard like so much unwanted garbage? They would not tolerate it. Why are we doing so?
He should have been refused entry at the border but once again, Canadians greased up, dropped trou and winked with our brown eye at the americans saying "Come on in." It's sad, and pitiful and disgusting and it has to stop.
CANOE LIVE - Words - Your Say: Which steps should now be taken in dealing with Watson?
When Insults Had Class
1. "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
-- Winston Churchill
2. "A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
-- Winston Churchill
3. "I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with
-- Clarence Darrow
4. "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to
-- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
5. "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big
-- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
6. "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time
-- Moses Hadas
7. "He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I
-- Abraham Lincoln
8. "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
-- Groucho Marx
9. "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I
approved of it."
-- Mark Twain
10. "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
-- Oscar Wilde
11. "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play;
bring a friend... if you have one."
-- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there
-- Winston Churchill, in response
12. "I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you
-- Stephen Bishop
13. "He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
-- John Bright
14. "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing
-- Irvin S. Cobb
15. "He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in
-- Samuel Johnson
16. "He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
-- Paul Keating
17. "He had delusions of adequacy."
-- Walter Kerr
18. "There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
-- Jack E. Leonard
19. "He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."
-- Robert Redford
20. "They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of
-- Thomas Brackett Reed
21. "He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by
diligent hard work, he overcame them."
-- James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
22. "In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded
-- Charles, Count Talleyrand
23. "He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."
-- Forrest Tucker
24. "Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address
-- Mark Twain
25. "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
-- Mae West
26. "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
-- Oscar Wilde
27. "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support
rather than illumination."
-- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
28. "He has Van Gogh's ear for music."
-- Billy Wilder
Thursday, October 26, 2006
CANOE -- JAM! - Michael J. Fox fans slam Limbaugh
LunaticLandlords.co.uk - Bad landlords - verify the landlord before you rent. Rate good or bad landlords and share your experience
Anyhow, when he came and was speaking to DW, she mentioned that I had taken some digital photos of the damage. He asked her to please make sure I do not post it onto badlandlords.com or some other website. I laughed when I heard this but then wondered if such a place actually existed. That google brought me to this site and I am sure there are many others.
LunaticLandlords.co.uk - Bad landlords - verify the landlord before you rent. Rate good or bad landlords and share your experience
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Things that are difficult to say when you're drunk...
Things that are VERY difficult to say when you're drunk...
* British Constitution
* Passive-aggressive disorder
Things that are IMPOSSIBLE to say when you're drunk...
* Thanks, but I don't want to sleep with you.
* Nope, no more booze for me.
* Sorry, but you're not really my type.
* Good evening officer, isn't it lovely out tonight?
* Oh, I just couldn't - no one wants to hear me sing.
* I must be going home now as I have work in the morning.
FOX Broadcasting Company: 24
Famine brought this to my attention and it is clearly demonstrates the problem with our world today in many ways. First, we have a small group of fanatical idiots that are painting a portrait of all Muslims in a negative way. We then have the ability to view these images, thanks to modern technology, at what time we want, how many times we want. Then to top that off, we have the news media and print media happy to show us the stories that they believe will get them the most readers and viewers.
Life is being skewed around us and we poor lost little sheep are following. There are bad people in every religion; no one can deny that. The thing is, how many of those bad people blow you up for disagreeing with an idea, for an insulting cartoon or because you taught their women to drive?
Everyone are entitled to their own beliefs and religion and choices. I have a BIG problem when the selfish choice of others affects my way of life and threatens those I love.
The day this video depicts was a sad day for us all. It will be repeated which makes it sadder still. What level of violence is going to bring about true change? And if you think this world issue will end peacefully, you simply have not been paying attention.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
A couple of months ago, not sure if it was the end of July or the beginning of August, I decided that what my DW needed the most for her birthday was a vacation. She's been under some stress from work and some amount of stress as we try to move forward with our family plans and, admittedly, some stress from her husband (though he would claim it was giving the goose as good as the gander received, but that is for another post). Anyhow, I set about researching the vacation spots and also queried some friends about where they have been, especially my eventual top accomplice, BT from the pond.
I told very few people in the beginning (BT, BB at work and PS) because loose lips sink ships but also, since the date was way off in September, the less people constantly in contact with her that knew, the less likely I would seriously have to hurt someone for accidentally tipping her off. I decided that I wanted to go the week before her birthday and, it being a surprise, I thought the best way to do this was to make all arrangements without her knowing. Later, I added getting her to the airport, sending her on a bit of a wild chase and filming her reaction; this addition would prove problematic as you will see soon.
Not to bore you with the intricate details, suffice it to say that while I can fool the lady pretty easily, doing so over an extended period of time was a real pain. I actually thought I would end up at the doctor's from all the stress. From the time I decided to do this, I had to lie countless number of times, conceal emails, MSN conversations and money transactions (hard with a joint account) and lie about where the money was going to (my upcoming Vegas trip *truth* and my upcoming monitor purchase from my nephew *false*). The monitor purchase had fallen through some time ago and I relied on her inability to remember certain facts to allow me to pull that one off; it worked brilliantly. However, when you get used to a person acting a certain way, it breeds suspicion when they deviate from that path. She was definitely thinking that something was going on but she was not sure what. I covered many times by provoking small arguments (and one large one near the end of this when I almost gave up) to get her mind elsewhere.
So, everything was on track. I was handling the lady, I had the time booked off of work, I had contacted her boss and booked her time, I had started saving up the funds and I was narrowing down the desired destination. I even successfully danced around DW planning an adult gaming night on the first Saturday we were away (which prompted immediate emails from BB and PS). It was all coming together until an unforeseen factor entered the fray; my MIL. This was not a purposeful interruption since she too knew nothing but it was powerful enough to change my course. Some longtime family friends, ones that could not make our wedding, were going to be in Toronto the Monday we were to be away and she also wanted us to attend dinner on the Friday for Erev Rosh Hashanah. The latter I could have gotten out of but the former was a big deal. OY! So, on the week I was to book it all, we were to leave and the surprise was to be sprung, I had to change our plans; ALL of them.
I cancel my vacation at work, I contacted her boss and got him to change her vacation and I started anew on finding where we were going. It ended up that our most favourite day, Friday the 13th, would be when we would be booked to leave. For those not familiar with our story, I proposed to DW on Friday the 13th, my brother was married on the 13th and we were married on the 13th; the number is a lucky one for our family. Of course, the longer this thing dragged on, the more DW was asking questions, coming into my desk area when I was online with vacation deal places or when telling conversations with BT were on my screen. I worked around her being off the Wednesday before we left when I was supposed to be buying the tickets and I successfully got her to change a hair appointment to cut and colour it the same day. Thankfully, she left the next day (Thursday) to go to work and I was able to go and buy the tickets at the travel agency. I also rigged the money can so I would know if, after our last row, she went into it to check on the funds.
As it turns out, fate is a funny thing. Our current rental home has had, to put it mildly, some challenges recently and requires repairs that the landlord quite simply is not, and has never been, prepared to perform. We have lived there for fours years and it was time for a change. We had looked at a number of places but nothing suited what we wanted until we saw this place in Ajax. It was a large, never lived in, four-bedroom and 2.5 bathroom home. Unfortunately, it came with not-so-bright owners and when we made our offer, they turned it down over a decision to not eat one month (more details later). So, we continued working on this and found another house not too far from there but thought they would not be willing to lower the asking price on the lease. The intricate details will soon follow but in six hours we saw the ad online, called the agent, met her and saw the house, made an offer, answered some concerns, answered the owner's counter-offer and signed the lease. As it turned out, that was good for us, but bad for my surprise plans as we now had to certify a rent cheque, drop off the cheque, receive more copies of papers and another item. All this in the Thursday and Friday before we left.
Add to the rental madness another matter I had to deal with which also stretched over the last two days before we left and the fact that both parties were late on Friday conducting business and Houston, we had a problem. So, on Friday, I had to make like I was going to work after the morning appointment (which dumbdumb forgot his briefcase downtown and had to reschedule later in the morning, wasting an hour of my time), wash some clothes I knew she would want to wear, pack, visit the dollar store for Cuban gifts, visit CAA for new luggage locks, get some necessary work done and emails answered, meet the two people I needed to and then out to the lady to spring the whole surprise. I was doing fine until the packing at the end as I was delayed in trying to reduce the overstuffed bags to something that did not cost a king's ransom to get on the plane (bloody hell, when did the allowance drop so low?); this, combined with the delayed meetings, would prove fatal to my plans in the end. Oh yeah, it also rained and the f**king people in Toronto cannot drive when anything but clear, dry roads present themselves.
I finally headed out super late, hit LOADS of traffic on the highway and got to DW's office only 45 minutes before we were to leave. I gave my story with the look of dread on my face (the receptionist had to hold her laughter as I had to explain to her what was going on) and DW went off to explain why she had to leave to her boss' boss as her boss was out of the building (something else unexpected). We got going and was really cutting it tight. I got into the loop around Terminal 3 and gave up on the surprise, telling her in the car. Her immediate reaction? Anger. She could not leave she says. She had things on her desk she says. Her car was still at work she says. Covered. Covered. Covered.
I had planned all of it down to the last detail. My father was on his way to her work where the keys sat with the receptionist to her car. Her boss had already asked her for the secondary support phone for the weekend and was going to pack up and put away her laptop into the server room. The neighbour was going to gather all of our mail and newspapers and hold it for us. Our vacation time at work was booked off. Our families and friends (most of them) were notified. My MIL and LB had our flight and hotel info in case of emergency. Everything was taken care of to the last detail; everything except for me and the stuff I had no control over.
The meeting issues earlier were enough of a delay to throw my entire plan off course. While they had to be done and there was simply no way to get around them, we were buggered. DW was at the desk, I was parking, the Skyservice dude was not willing to help us in any way and, yes, WE MISSED THE FLIGHT!! Never had I felt worse than at the moment I failed my wonderful wife. This was to be the surprise of a lifetime, the perfect caper, the best thing I had ever done for her and we were standing there at the counter, ten minutes removed from a wonderful vacation. To her credit, the lady at the Signature Vacations counter did her best but there was simply nothing that can be done. Such is the new world order due to the terrorist attacks and the rising cost of travel. So, we were left to decide whether to forfeit the vacation or pay ridiculous money for one-way flights to get down to Varadero, Cuba on another airline.
My baby wanted a vacation and what my baby wants, my baby gets. While I was speaking to our travel agent, my LB called and was speaking to DW who conveyed the gory details of a plan gone horribly off the tracks. Special thanks goes to LB and family as he stepped up and got the flights arranged with Avion Travel and the lovely and helpful agent there. DW and I made our way back to the car in valet parking at the Park 'N Fly where they gave us a free day since we had not actually used the time. We headed back to her work where she retrieved her laptop, cleared her desk and briefly explained to her boss and co-workers and then headed home for a night's rest.
We actually got little rest as we unpacked everything and DW repacked it all (I had about three hours sleep in the last 48 so was pretty baked) until the two main bags were within an acceptable overage (7lbs). We got some sleep and then in the morning we went to the travel agency to get the new tickets, off to STC to reschedule her eye doctor appointment, get a battery for the camcorder, get shampoo from Shopper's Drug Mart and shoes at SportChek. Ok, we were running behind time but still okay. We headed home to pack the carry on luggage when we got a bright/not-so-bright idea. We had read that the shows at the hotel were pretty cheesy (they were) so we thought about LB's family with the little lad's portable DVD player and decided to pick one up on the way to the airport. We took some time picking out some movies to take with us and loaded up to head out.
A quick trip to Future Shop turned into a mini-adventure when the unit we were looking at on the display was not operational due to a bent pin. We had them fix this as we checked models. When that was fixed, we asked for that model and another person had to go in back and check for that. When he returned, he handed it to another twit who would not relinquish it as we told him we still had a CD case to get. We then had to tell senor dipshite to bust a move as we had a plane to catch. We left him in the aisle as we knew we could find the case faster than he could. We did, found him again as he failed to keep up with us, paid and left. Now, in the truck, we strip the parts out of the box, took out all the DVDs from the cases and placed them in the case holder and then headed off. Naturally, we hit traffic going north on Kennedy. I headed up the 404 back to the 407 for some good old fashioned law breaking because we were not missing this plane.
Naturally, there was an issue this time getting the car into the Park 'N Fly. Naturally, we were behind time. Naturally, by the time we got to the counter, they had started boarding and we were on the cusp of missing the plane AGAIN. Hell no!! We got to buddy at the counter who basically yelped that we needed to go see someone over at check-in as he printed the tickets for us. The young East Indian man was courteous and helpful while his bitchy broad co-worker decided that repeatedly telling us we are "very late" instead of helping her co-worker get it done was more helpful. Our bags were over the mark of course, and should have cost us about fifty bucks to send, but we were so late that they simply slapped "HEAVY" orange stickers on both and told us to run to security. We were running when yelping man ran after us to give us what turned out to be return tickets which we would never use because we were coming back on the flight we already paid for. We turned the corner and hit security where DW explained we were trying to make a plane and is there a quicker line. We got shuffled to the furthest one away and went through but had to wait as they did the wand test (sniffer for explosive materials). We then had to hurry down an escalator, past some shops and to the gate which was thankfully one of the first ones you hit.
There was still a line and we got in it, with about eight people filling in behind us. DW's throat had started to hurt but she decided not to pop out quickly to the shop behind us to get throat lozenges. We filled out the sheets that they needed to collect at the gate that the dippy twit upstairs said we could do on the plane and give to the flight attendant. We boarded the plane and settled in for our first flight to Cuba. Excited. Tired. And annoyed with the loud, ignorant, middle-eastern twits sitting behind us who insisted on putting a knee or something into DW's chair back, yapping much louder than is necessary on a plane and just being unnecessarily difficult and demanding to the rather competent staff.
At this point though, it mattered not. We were finally on vacation, we were leaving the wet and cold for the dry and humid. We were finally getting some rest. Hallelujah!!!!
Special thanks goes to my main accompli: BT from the pond, Penny Shagwell and B-McBain. Thanks also goes to the ladies at Avion Travel for all their help and support. And last but not least, an enormous amount of thanks and appreciation goes to our LB whom without the Saturday flight might not have happened at all. Much love.
To come in a couple of days, an account of the Cuba trip itself and some pictures (and possibly a video) of the trip.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
- awoke to find none of the work I planned to do got done while I was fast asleep on the devil's chair (AKA the couch).
- was too tired when I turdged upstairs to stay fully awake so it made it worse.
- left for work downtown much later that I had wanted to.
- AGAIN, dropped the bagel DW made me for breakfast as I exited the house (note to self, ask for sandwhich bag).
- got caught in rush hour traffic after a major rain storm, so idiots everywhere.
- taxi idiot decided that right turn only sign for this lane does not apply to him, holds up traffic so he can go straight.
- DVP highway idiot decides that the "do not cross solid line" rule does not apply to him as he weaves his POS car in and out of my lane.
- get to work parking garage, discover wallet still at home in OTHER black pants. Thankfully truck change is enough to pay charge.
- get to desk, discover network cable is at home. Thankfully, box being returned to vendor has one so I pilfer it before it is packed up.
- walking to meeting friends for lunch for dim sum, get hassled by a guy wanting to know if I take Jesus Christ as my personal saviour. I tell him it is a personal question which I respectfully refuse to answer since I do not know him.
And I simply will not (and can not) get into the work-related crap happening to day on top of all of this. Ugh, thankfully the day is nearly done. Time to head home and meet DW as we continue our quest for a new place to rent.
There was this couple sitting on the porch in Westmoreland, Jamaica watching the sun go down. All of a sudden this shooting light went across the sunset.
Wife: "A wha dat?"
Husband: "A mus' one space ship."
Wife: "Spaceship???? You damn Eeediat!!"
A little while later the couple went back into the house. Suddenly there was a knock on the door and the husband opened it. There was an alien couple on the doorstep.
Alien Male: "Good evening, we come in peace. May we rest in your dwelling while our space ship is fixed?"
The husband's eyes almost popped out of his head because the female alien had a WICKED body.
Husband: "Come een, come een. Of course you can come an' res' yuhself."
So the husband and wife fed and watered their guests and showed them to their room for the night.
Male Alien: "Where we come from it is our tradition to swop partners when we have guests."
Well, the husband was up to it, because the female alien was seriously turning him on with her looks.
Husband: "Well, dats alright with me."
Wife: "Oh, I don't know, because I don't really believe in dat kind of t'ing."
Husband: "Come on honey, is only a lickle bit of fun, an nobody nuh gwine know."
Wife: "Well, OK then."
The male alien takes the wife into his room, and, knowing that she wasn't 100% comfortable with the idea, he was very gentle and gave her plenty foreplay. When they got into the swing of things the male alien asked, "would you like a bit more length?"
Wife: "Likkle more length,? hee! hee!, a wha yuh mean? How you gwine do dat?" So the alien twists his right ear, and presto!, his willy gets longer. Well the wife was having a whale of a time when the Alien asked, "would you like a bit more width?"
Wife: "Width! Well, OK then." So the alien twists his left ear, and presto!, his willy gets fatter.
The following morning the wife wakes up with the biggest smile you can imagine on her face and walks into the living room to find her husband looking vex sitting on the sofa.
Wife: "Hello darling, did you have a good night last night?"
Husband: "Stuups ..... No! All night long di damn woman just deh deh a twis up, twis up mi rass ears dem".
Pick the month you were born:
April--I dry humped
May--I choked on
July--I did the macarena with
August--I had lunch with
September--I danced with
October--I sang to
November--I yelled at
December--I ran over
Pick the day (number) you were born on:
07-------my cell phone
09-------my best friend's boyfriend
10----- my neighbor
11------my science teacher
14------a stuffed animal
20------a baseball bat
25------a football player
29------a permanent marker
31------a homeless guy
Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White------because im cool like that
Black------- because thats how i roll.
Pink--------because I'm NOT a homosexual.
Red---------Because the voices told me to.
Blue-------Because im sexy and i do what i want
Green------Because I hate myself.
Purple------Because Im cool.
Gray--------Because i was drunk
Yellow------Because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange----Because i hate my family.
Brown-----Because i was high.
Other-------Because i'm a ninja.
none------Because i cant control myself
So, apparently... "I choked... on a pickle... because I am sexy and I do what I want."
I can live with that. :)
Now type out the sentence you made into the comments (or into the subject line and forward to your friends).