Monday, December 31, 2007

Nice Doggy!

Last Saturday night was UFC night, the Ultimate Fighting Championships with George St-Pierre taking on Matt Hughes for the interim title. My neighbor's brother was getting the fight on PPV and we headed over to his place at 9:30pm to watch it. It was my first time at his place, and he had the biggest dog I have ever seen. It was an Akita breed, and looked like it weighed over 130 pounds.

The owner asked me when I came in if I was afraid of dogs 'cause he could put him away if that was the case, but I said "No not at all, I love 'em.."(grin), and this is true. I get my dog fix at other people's houses because I don't have one. I'd like one but you know, I really don't miss the dog hair, the walks and picking up the poop and all that. More importantly, the family is allergic so I live without the dog thing.

So I held my hand out for the dog to sniff but he ignored it and trotted off down the hallway. He got a toy and headed back my way. "My god that is a huge dog!" I thought. He looked like a small bear. I set my drinks and peanut M&M's down on the kitchen counter and started talking to the owner about his dog just as it trotted in with the toy. I kneeled down in front of it to play with him and before my knees touched the ground it had dropped the toy, his muzzle got these little wrinkles on it and with a little snort he shot forward and clamped his teeth on the front of my throat and started biting and shaking me.

I didn't expect that at all so he had a great wide open shot at me. I didn't even have time to put my hands up. His owner freaked and grabbed him and managed to pry his jaws open. I don't remember doing anything to get him off but later at the hospital I noticed my thumb was cut so I must have jammed it in his mouth at some point. I think he was on for about three seconds and then the owner popped him off and stuck him somewhere. The weird thing is that the attack was totally unprovoked. I'm not a loud person. I'm calm, I move slow. It just snapped. Maybe getting down on it's level set it off, maybe direct eye contact, I probably smiled and showed teeth, maybe it was just a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Who knows. It's the first time I've ever been attacked and I've been rolling around on the floor with big dogs all my life(may have to re-evaluate this policy).

I remember standing up and it didn't hurt just then, it was kinda hot was all, and I touched my throat and looked at my hand. Blood everywhere. Not good. My first thought was the jugular vein or the carotid arteries. I don't know how they work but I know spurting is not a good sign. It's basically your suddenly racing heart helping to pump all the blood out of your body. I was kinda worried just then and asked the guys, "Uhh, what's it look like? Should we be calling 911 or anything?" The faces I got back were concerning me a bit. I think the word is "agast"? It mustn't look good - but I felt ok.. I was in the kitchen and there was a wack of paper towels on a rack so I took a few and pressed them up against my neck and looked at it. Just 5 or 6 big red openings looked like, bleeding pretty good but not gushing or spraying or all that bad stuff. This was not a Clint Malarchuk moment (thank god). The owner was back and pressing a wad of the paper towels in my neck and I asked to see a mirror so he steered me into the bathroom. He wet a big clump of the paper towels and cleaned all the blood away and it looked Ok actually. Just a bunch of 2cm holes in my neck. The dog had missed all the important stuff! I clued in to the fact that I was able to talk ok, and there was no blood in my throat. This was gonna be ok!. Woohoo! I tried to reassure the owner, who probably thought I was gonna bleed out on his kitchen floor at first, grabbed a pile of the paper towels and out the door I went to get driven to the closest hospital, the Montford(cute nurses!), where they stitched me up. I don't think I had been in the guy's house for more than 5 minutes.

The doctor was impressed. He told me it was good that he got me on the front of the throat (I told him I just basically sat there and let him bite me on the neck like a dork) because all the important stuff is on the sides and if I'd have turned to get away and not been fast enough, he could have opened up something important, and then I'd be at the Civic or the (he mentioned another hospital). And then he snickered. I didn't get the joke but I guess it has something to do with vascular surgery or something like that. Or maybe those hospitals have the best morgues (you know how night shift doctors are).

The owner told me he was going to put the dog down and I feel bad about it, but it's the right thing to do I guess. It was one of those vicious attacks. Not a nip, or a bite and let go. It was a go for the throat and hang on kinda thing.

The next day I googled the breed, "Akita" and it seems that they aren't really very nice dogs. They seem to
attack people and other pets a lot! So I must be in a club or something now. I dunno, maybe it's because they are prized for their ability to hunt bears, but I'd think twice about getting one as a family pet.

One website had a quote like:

"Excuse me, but what kind of dog is that? He looks just like a big bear!"

Chances are, the questioner has just met an Akita, a Natural Treasure of Japan.

hope the meeting went better than mine!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feeding fairies to the T-rex

Mmmmm crunchy... Clap your hands if you believe in faries! The plastic t-rex is hungry!

Smoking butts suck

I went to work on Monday with one of my kids to do the office xmas thing and as we were leaving she asked me why the ground outside the doors to the Main building were covered in cigarette butts.

Gee, what was I supposed to tell her? "I dunno, smokers have bad aim? They're natural born litter bugs? They like to share their disgusting habit with anyone and everyone?"

Seriously, how hard is it to hit an ashtray with a cigarette butt? I manage to put all my garbage in a can. I don't chuck burning crap outta my window when I'm driving either, or empty my ashtray at a red light(mostly because I don't smoke).

It's good to see this particular habit becoming less popular. Truth is, I like most smokers because they're so god damned sociable! It's just that they're not gonna be around that long so we should be nice to them while they're still with us I guess.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jennifer Love Hewitt Turns Down Playboy

My wife was in line at the grocery store and she caught some headline in People that JLH was going to pose in Playboy. Knowing that I (cough, cough) had a thing for JLH in the old days, she told me this and I was kinda of thinking it was a good thing...

A co-worker of mine with the same appreciation told me many years ago that he couldn't wait for JLH's career to start to tank so this would happen. Now I don't want to wish THAT! She deserves an excellent career! She's worked hard! And here we are in 2007/2008 and she has a hit show. What does she need to show off her goodies for?

So it's been officially squashed. She's turned them down. I hope it wasn't for those Hawaii bikini photos that made the tabloids where everyone said she was fat.

Those tabloid people need to be beaten with a dead gopher. She looks great to me, she just isn't as skinny. That kinda happens to most of us as we get older.

Ah well.. I got some other stuff I wanted for Christmas(sigh).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fun with Diablo back in the old days

I got a Christmas card from my old buddy Darryl yesterday(his wife even made him sign it!) and I was reminded of the time he was over at my place, circa 1995 or so to watch the hockey game and I made the mistake of showing him the new computer game of the year "Diablo". Diablo was a really cool psuedo mouse button mashing RPG where you picked a little guy and ran around this town and these dungeon tunnels underneath it killing monsters while in search of loot. It was one of the earliest multiplayer games that utilized a bunch of central servers whereby you could hook up and play the game with up to three other players from around the world. In most cases these were your buddies, but in some cases, they were total strangers. And that's where the fun began.
So I showed Darryl how to start, how to choose a character.
"I want to be the cute chick!" he said.
"The Amazon  Rogue? sure, she's a great character! What do you want to call her?"
"How about Betsy Buttmunch?" Darryl said (I've changed the actual name he used at the time because the real one is unprintable)
"Uhh, ok I guess..." I said, not sure if the name would be accepted. It was.

Darryl said "Ok Ok, what do I do!" and we went through the intro, got him a little javelin to poke into baddies and he got himself killed a few minutes later, reappearing in the village again and to our suprise, there was another player there! He had entered the game while we were in the load screen. It was then I realized that I had set up a Battle net game purely out of habit. That meant the game was open to anyone in the world, they could come in and play or just chat. Darryl was slightly confused and tried to kill the guy. Since he was a newbie it didn't work and the person typed at him to "STOP IT!".

"How do I talk to him?!?!" Darryl asked. I told him to hit the enter key, type what you want and press enter again. Darryl typed something mean but very very funny. The guy responded very politely. I felt I had to add..

"Oh yeah.. sometimes I've noticed that when other players see the Amazon Rogue character, they assume it's an actual real-live girl playing. He probably thinks you're a girl.."

"Interesting.." said Darryl..

I'm not sure why some male online players think that. In my experience(before Everquest and World of Warcraft), it was the opposite. In the old days girl players took men character personas so nerdy online men players would not hit on them. I went down to watch the 2nd period of the hockey game and left Darryl upstairs on my computer. What a mistake that turned out to be!

When the hockey game ended I went back upstairs to my computer room and Darryl called out to me from the top of the stairs:
"I got three guys fighting over me here.."
My god he did. There were three fighters standing around chatting with him, text filling the chat line.
"One of them's giving my girl swords and armor and stuff but I don't know what to do with it.. And.. " He turned around and smirked. "I have a date after!"

"What!?" Turns out one of the players lived in Ottawa and during the marathon chat and flirt session Darryl had used his fake computer feminine charms to set up a rendezvous between this guy and his computer game persona Betsy Buttmunch at the 24 hour waffle house in Vanier later that evening.

I reached over and shut the computer off on him at that point. It was funny but getting out of hand. Darryl wanted me to drive him over to the waffle house so he could try and pick the guy out of the crowd and laugh at him but I dropped him back at his place after that.

Ahh, the good old Diablo days..

Friday, December 21, 2007

Vive le Niveau "C"!

Finally! After 8 months of French to get to a "B" and another 8 months to finally get a "C" it's finally finished! I am now licensed to officially butcher the French language in any manner of my choosing!


I can now speak my second official language better than the head of the Parti Québécois can speak hers! Muhahahahahaha!

Friday, December 14, 2007

CliffyBeer ads

I on my was Flickr page and noticed one of my contacts, the ever-entertaining Cliffy, had some sets I had not seen. Some old ad-work he did quite a few years back. Some of you might recognise him as an old GHS alumni or local geocacher.

Christ he's funny!

Rated R for "Really?, I don't belive he just posted that on the Internet, but he did!"

Not for kids but really really funny! My favorite has got to be Canadian Camper!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ben Lacy - Let's dance, funky slappy poppy guitarist

This guy is FUNKY! As I'm co-incidentally teaching myself slap funk bass, he's a dude doing it on an electric guitar (the instrument I'm coming from- Doh!). The thing that makes this type of song arrangement so cool is all the little pops, slaps, accents, ghost note left hand slaps, etc. that you usually find in bass guitar. Although this song, written by Nile Rogers, one of my favorite clean guitar funk players, featured a bit of that on the original recording, it wasn't taken to this level. Insanely rhythmic. This is one of the coolest arrangements I've seen in awhile.

I'm sure we'll see this guy in an Apple Ipod commercial soon(grin).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't call your teddy bear Mohammed

Nothing in my mind cements a country in the "back-ass" section of my little black book than crap like this. A teacher lets the kids in her classroom name a teddy bear after a religious figure, and she gets jailed, fired and deported. Apparently she just missed getting the 40 lashes on top of that.

Someone on my facebook list put this in the spot where it asks for religious preference:

"Religion kills people."

That's about right. It also makes them frickin' crazy.

Also, for the ladies, try not to get gang raped by 7 guys in Saudi Arabia because it will be your fault and you'll get 90 lashes and 6 months in jail, Oh, and they'll increase it to 200 lashes when you appeal. A system of religious courts. What a grand frickin' idea that is. Oh and by the way, thank you for all those 911 terrorists you sent over a few years back...

When are we going to invent some new form of vehicular fuel so we can say to that part of the world "Bye bye, we'll call you if we need any sand..."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pulling a drunk out of a car with Stephen Seagal

I saw a guy at my local grocery store the other day. I recognized him as some drunk guy with other various medical conditions I pulled out of his car about 8 years ago.

It had been Thanksgiving weekend and I was on my way to my parent's house in Blackburn when we came across a line of cars in front of the Fire Station off the Innes road bypass. After waiting a bit , one by one the three cars in front of us passed a car that was stationary in the middle of the road. When we pulled up behind it, my wife was driving I decided to get out of the car and see if the guy was having trouble. He sure was! His front driver side fender was digging into the rubber of his tire because he had obviously hit something and he was also drunk as a skunk! He was having trouble driving his car forward in neutral so I reached in and took his keys (he batted my hands away once so I shoved him back in his seat and took them out anyway). I remember looking for a medic alert bracelet and he didn't have one. I turned back to my wife and made the "drunky drunky" sign and looked back inside the guy's car.

On the passenger seat was about $200 in loonies. The whole seat was full of them. I had no idea what they were for, if the guy was on his way to a casino or what. On the floor on the passenger and driver's side were some bottles of Vermouth (whatever that is, I'm no connoisseur), some open and some closed which I took to be the cause of his drunkenness. I was wondering how the hell I was gonna get him out of his car and over to the fire station. He was a pretty big fat guy, with a huge gut and track-pants (the outfit that says, "I've let myself go, but at least I'm comfortable!"). That was when I saw Stephen Seagal.

Ok, it wasn't Stephen Seagal, it was a guy in a 300ZX who just looked like Stephen Seagal, you know, black leather jacket, black jeans, pony-tail and general "I can kick your ass" look etc. He came over and asked me if I needed any help and I said "Yeah! He's drunk, let's bring him over to the firemen across the street." So Stephen and I hauled him out of his car and each taking an arm, half-carried him over to the fire station. That's when the drunk guy spoke. He said in a slurry voice "Call my wife".. I looked over at Steve and he seemed quite concerned that this guy was going to hurl all over his pony tail so he was being quick about it and carrying the guy by the arm like you would a small child with a leaking diaper.

We got the guy to the side entrance to the apparatus floor of the fire station and I tried to get him to sit down but he refused and just stood all there all shaky leaning up against the wall, ready to fall at any moment. I was kinda pissed at him for being drunk and driving in my general vicinity so I tried to make him sit down but he resisted. Short of taking him out at the knees, he wasn't going to sit down. "Screw it!" I thought. You'll fall down soon enough on your own. I rang the bell and soon the firemen were out, they called the cops and an ambulance and we went and moved the guy's car. When I got back the firemen had gotten the guy a chair but he still wasn't sitting down! He wasn't drunk dammit! He was gonna stand there and show us how sober he was!

He finally fell when the ambulance arrived. Right on his face before anyone could stop him (like everyone didn't see that one coming). One of the officers said the "I've fallen and I can't get up" line and we laughed (sure it wasn't nice, but neither is driving while intoxicated). As the Paramedics ran over and helped him one of the police officers expertly removed the fallen guy's wallet from his back pocket using only his foot. It was pretty impressive. I guess he has a lot of experience in that department.

At that point I thanked Stephen Seagal and his supermodel girlfriend and my wife and I left. A day later I got a call from the officer in charge and he said they were not pursuing the case because the guy was a diabetic and he had apparently been in some sort of diabetic state that resembles drunkenness.

"Uhh.. " I said "But, he had no medic alert bracelet, his car was all smashed up, he had 3 or 4 bottles of booze in his car some of them opened, he reeked of alcohol, he couldn't walk or stand up or even talk and we won't even mentioned the 200 loonies in the passenger seat.." He was pretty nice about it and said it wasn't his decision, that it probably merited further investigation, but the powers that be had decided that it was a weak case not worth pursuing. They were letting the guy go.

Newsflash, if you're a diabetic you can get still get loaded, drive drunk, hit stuff and nothing bad will happen to you as long as you don't kill yourself or someone else. Somehow I just know that I ever ever do something stupid and get caught, I'm going to jail while these guys like this one get away with all kinds of stuff. Maybe I'll develop diabetes and have a built-in defence (probably not worth it).

So that's the long story. The short one is that the guy still lives in Orleans and shops at the Yours Independent Grocer off Orleans boulevard and I saw him a few weeks ago! I followed him with my cart in the apple aisle. I wanted to talk to him and do the "Remember me?" bit but I figure it's been too long. He has something else wrong with him besides diabetes. He has that drop foot thing whereby when you walk your foot goes limp and you kind of fall down on it and then take another stride. That's probably why he had trouble walking across the road way back when.

Suffice it to say I feel sorry for his medical state and all, but he was, in my unprofessional opinion, still stinking drunk that day and has no excuse. He could have crashed into a busload of nuns or run over some kid on the sidewalk.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Baby sasquatch

This is some old news that I forgot to post for some reason but back in September a guy caught some images on a Bushnell trail camera in Northwest Pennsylvania and he thinks it's a "baby bigfoot".

WOOHOO! It certainly looks weird. It doesn't look like a skinny bear to me, but it doesn't look much like a baby Saquatch either. Looks like a chimp. Whatever it is, it was a cause of excitement for Bigfoot enthousisasts the world over and much better than the blobsquatch crap we're used to!

I caught a new TV show Tripper turned me onto called MONSTER QUEST (can't wait to see the episode entitled Stalin's Ape Man???) and they ran their Bigfoot ep last week. They featured a Bigfoot incident in ONTARIO of all places, about 200 or 300km from where I live! How cool is that! These guys who rent their cottage to fisherman were having problems with what they thought were bears ransacking their cabin so they used the "dumb animal burgler alarm". A big board with about 100 three inch nails driven through it and placed in front of the door. Well, whatever animal that was ransacking their place stepped on it and left a big bloody Bigfoot footprint, hair and everything. Of course the DNA was crap on it, being left out in the great outdoors and all, but when they traced the outline of the footprint, it was kinda creepy.

Bigfoot in my province? And I thought I had to go out west to see one!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Playdoh and Joe Louis.

My kid ate a Joe Louis the other day (well, most of it) and there were some bits of chocolate that flaked off and hit the table and floor. I picked these up absentmindedly in conversation with my wife and placed them in the plastic Joe Louis wrapper that was still on the table. The youngest was playing with playdoh. After about 5 minutes my brain reminded me that there were scraps of chocolate nearby that had not been eaten (never mind that some of them had been on the floor) and that something should be done about it, so I automatically scooped up the chocolate flakes and ate them rather quickly.
The mouth has an interesting mechanism whereby the throat hole shuts down before you can fully ingest whatever it was that you put in your mouth. It gives the brain a second to taste whatever's in there before it gives it's permission to be fully eaten. Thank god for that because I had just eaten bits of brown playdoh.
When did they start making brown playdoh? I certainly didn't have any when I was a kid unless I got creative and mushed some secondary colors together. If there had been brown playdoh right out of the can I would have spent my younger years making fake piles of crap everywhere.
So I walked to the sink and spit it out hoping to god it was playdoh (it was) because I have a 3 year old who's being toilet trained, and Mr Poo sometimes makes appearances in odd places.

For the record, Play-doh smells great but tastes horrible.

Friday, November 02, 2007

mission impossible for squirrels

I have to build one of these! Thanks to Tripper for passing this one on.

Halloween at the Zartimus household.

A freind of ours came over to help hand out Halloween loot so I was able to stand in front of my house motionless in a 7 foot tall Grim Reaper costume holding a huge scythe while my wife took the kids door to door. I've done this a few times over the years but I've managed never to do it two years in a row, which lulls the neighborhood kids into a sense of complacency. A few years I've even put the Reaper out on a body stand which makes it look like someone is standing there in a costume. But this year it was the real thing.

The suit has a two-way material on the front which allows the wearer to see what's coming up the driveway and if the kid is over 3 and a half feet tall, well that's old enough to freak out! Ya gotta be sneaky though, sometime you have to let one or two go by to establish that false sense of security before scaring the last few. And when I mean scare, it's rarely jumping out and screaming bloody murder, in that get-up you just have to do a turn or lean over at them to get a good scream out of them.

The big kids are my favorite. The kids that are probably a bit to old to be milking the free candy thing but do anyway. If you're old enough to date, then you shouldn't be goin' "TRICK OR TREAT!" although it's better than tossing a brick through my front window just to be funny.

One big kid I recognized as having scared him before through his earlier formative years, but he wasn't sure if it was the fake suit or the real thing. Suprise! I tossed a video cam in the corner and recordred some, although I missed some of the really good ones pausing the thing so as not to waste tape. I posted it on youtube. It's too bad Halloween only comes once a year!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

People who park like assholes bug me.

People who park like assholes really REALLY bug me. Today I went to Futureshop (to act like the typical north american consumer I am) and all the spots are taken so I park in the back of the parking lot. On the walk up to the store I see some parktard (google that term) right in front, right beside the handicapped space (which was taken up by some car with no handicapped sticker, which also bugs me) and his way cool pimped out compact sports car is parked at an angle taking up two spaces lest someone ding his door.
Don't the inconsiderate idiots who park like this know that parking like that just makes me WANT to ding their car?

There's a few parktards where I work but they can't get away with taking up two spaces (the parking fairy will give them a ticket) so they're sneaky. They have to get in fairly early and what they do is park at the end of a row and park diagonally on the last spot and on the grass, or just a small bit on the end-part of the parking lot that is not an official parking spot. In fact, it says "no parking". I think that deserves a ticket! I don't know why this bugs me just as much since they're not depriving me of a space, but it does. Must be the intelligence insulting 'I can't trust you not to ding my spectacular ride, so I'm going to make it hard to do so my taking up two spaces because my car is worth it and yours sucks!"

My car does suck. But I prefer it that way. I couldn't care less if some guy dinged my car.

I was reading some guy's blog and he said he saw some moron like that parked across two spaces and someone had left him a note on his windshield. It just said "F$&K YOU!"
I'm gonna start leaving notes like that.

One longtime parktard that I personally took action against was a woman with a FAKE handicapped sticker (she bought it somewhere, it was green or something, not blue like the issued ones) and she would park in front of the steps at the edge of the parking lot. You couldn't use the damn steps with her stupid car there. In the winter with the 4 foot snowbanks you had to shimmy past her car to reach the stairwell and I'd drag my backpack across her side panels hoping it would catch onto something and break it. It was either that or hold it over my head. I hope she had fun adjusting her mirrors every day. I blasted facilities a nasty email one day because once she blocking the damn stairs again, I detoured over the grass and stepped in a gopher hole and twisted my ankle. It was really funny to my buddies because we were all having to walk out onto the field (stairs were blocked by the parktard) and I was in the front so I turned around to walk backwards and rant about the parktard when, "THUMP" like a sack of potatoes!

They really moved after that email. It seems that clumsy people like myself who need to be protected against falling down and hurting themselves get all the attention. Try it sometime! They hear "workman's comp" and they move like the bejesus. Apparently I was not hte only one to complain, I was just the last. The "no parking" sign went up a week later.

Hey, did you know there are websites for people like me to vent on? Check out They have some official looking ticket thing you can print out and leave on people's cars. It looks like a parking ticket!

The Patterson Film is 40 years old!

Ahh, that's good old frame 352 on the left! Taken on Oct 20th 2007 near Bluff Creek the Patterson film is widely regarded by Bigfoot folks (myself included) as the holy grail of proof that big hairy bi-peds are walking around the forests of western North America.

Man, the Wiki article has been updated quite a bit! Check it out!

I love the way Patty moves (she's female, check out the hairy boobs). I have tried to walk like this, it's pretty un-natural. I also like the way she turns and moves her shoulders like her jaw is too big to do a proper head turn, it kinda runs into her shoulder like a gorilla. I think someone in a suit (not to mention the SPX back then were not so hot as they are today) would have just head turned naturally. Also the big line down the back like a silverback gorilla is really something. The muscles move under the fur too, something they can't even seem to get right today in SPX films.

That idiot Bob Heironimus who claims to be a guy in the suit for the film is totally out to lunch. he says, among other things, that the suit was made outta horse hair(that Patterson skinned a orse), that the head was fashioned from a football helmet, and that the suit came in two pieces. When pressed, he doesn't even know how many pieces the suit was in total. If the feet were attached ot not. He claims a pair of pants with a drawstring and a top that you put on like a t-shirt. Yah right.

Everyone has looked at this film and it's inconclusive, yet is is a powerful set of images. It's definitely something! Disney couldn't find a zipper! One day someone will get evidence of one of those things and it will be one of the coolest things to happen since some guy walked on the moon!

Recently some guy posted pics of a supposed baby sasquatch his game-cam caught. Great timing! I gotta go check that out! In the meantime. Here's Patty!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Aldebaran - Graphic novel series en Francais!

If there was one plus to learning French, it's that tons of cool graphic novels come from France or Belgium and they're all french. I've been a fan of Heavy Metal Magazine since I was a kid and saw some great Mobius Sci Fi (and cartoon boobs were cool when I was 12!) in my first issue. I was pretty much hooked. Many years later I found out that many of the sci fi graphic novels featured in HM were actually french in origin and had been simply traslated for use in the enlish market.

Well, the Orleans public library has about 4 or 5 floor to ceiling book-cases of the stuff, it's almost always there (because it's french I think) and a few weeks ago I stumbled across this series called Aldebaran by Léo(Luiz Eduardo de Oliveira), a Paris re-located Brazilian. It's one of the best things I've read in ages! I have to use an electronic dictionary from time to time and there are some weird written tenses ("Fut", passé simple, who knew?) but the story is top notch. They gotta start making films out of these. Oh and the cartoon boobs, forever a staple of french BD (Band Desiner), are 'partout'.

The story is about a planet long colonized by earth but forgotten and left to fend for itself as economic crises or some such thing halts space travel to the colony from Earth. The people on the new planet have no idea what's happened (no communication) and simply spend the next 100 years trying to survive and grow the initial colony population. To do this a totalitarian regime installs itself and the state decrees that all women should have between 8 and 9 babies to grow the population. Women in prison are artificially inseminated against their will. The story starts in a small fishing village where locals start to notice strange behavoir amongst the aquatic population and huge strange structures manifesting themselves out of water and then turning back to liquid. Two strangers appear on the scene and speak of a huge 'creature' that is said to inhabit the ocean and is responsible for the strange happenings.

*******Spoiler alert*******

Tons of strange quirky facts all arrange themselves to uncover the story. Like, why are the two strangers found in photos that are over 100 years old, why are they wanted by the state? Why is it that when one of them gets their hand amputated in one scene that it grows back in a few weeks (actually that scene is pretty dicey, one of the strangers gets shot in the hand, gangreen sets in and the person insists that it be removed. Since they are in the woods with no tools, on the run from the police, the other person gnaws it off with his teeth at the insistance of the other - WOOHOO!

The alien animal life is fabulously drawn and there'S an ongoing theme in the books where the stuff that looks dangerous isn't really but the Ewok-looking thing that looks like a child's toy can rip your head off.

Check it out if you get the chance!

I'm reading Betelgeuze by the same guy now..

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bigfoot 2 filming almost wrapped up

All the day scenes for the Bigfoot 2 Geocaching movie are finished up (save for the odd pickup). Just 2 more night shoots and we should be finished (then 3 months of editing begins!). I don't know if I'll ever shoot on a cliff again, it's a pain running up and down that damned thing. It's also amazing the amount of people and dogs that come down that path and then you're having to explain yourself.. Like,"No, I'm not making a gopher snuff film.." Generally the people get a kick out of it. We also see some geocachers doing the nearby caches in the area.

We got pretty much all the shots we needed and the weather kinda co-operated, although unfortunatly it will go from cloudy to sunny quite a bit as we insert the shots filmed out of sequence (hey it's a hack film, what do you expect!) but that's ok because I got a great shot of the sun clouding over. I'll show that once and all further cloudy to bright shots will be forgiven!
The stunts went off without a hitch although I have figured out that I need some kind of "fall bag" so the "actors" (hehehehe) can throw themselves to the ground without fear of killing themselves, etc.. Ahh, next movie.. Just another freakin thing to drag up the cliff. Someone took a shot of all the shit I have to bring when we shoot. I put it on a snow-sled and haul it out into the woods every time and everyone has their hands full with something or other. It's a killer!
I plan to have a special preview trailer ready for GAG11 (an upcoming geocaching get together) that will include existing we have now, minus the night shoot material. Then a real Trailer will come out in November. The night shoots will be cool because we'll use those Sony night vision cams alongside regular cams with as much lighting as we can muster. It seems to be cutting well because I find myself giggling away at the computer as the footage comes together. Hopefully there are freaks out there who share my sense of humour.
As always a big thanks to everyone who comes out to help. The film would not exsist otherwise and it's amazing that they do the silly things I ask them to do.
"Ok run down that hill backwards carrying this tripod pointed at yourself!"
"Put this down your pants!"
"Ok, I'll just attach the gopher's face to your groin with this clamp, once you lose feeling it won't hurt at all!"
"Ok, Tripper, kiss Grizz...." (Oops, that's for part 3...)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cannington 2007 Don Ross Andy Mckee Guitar weekend

It was that time of year again, time to pack up the old acoustic guitar (that looks like a bedpan) and head up to the home of Canada's best known and loved fingerstyle guitarist, Don Ross in Cannington Ontario. I stayed at one of his neighbor's again, in the house that looks like it's right outta the Munsters, a fantastic place!

As usual the food was GREAT and the music was EXCELLENT and the people were AMAZING! Some great players as always, you really push yourself to get better after going to one of these things. I wrote down the names of a pile of tunes I gotta learn now as people unveiled some real gems during song circle, not to mention the in-depth look we got at Andy's tunes, like Drifting, Hovercar, Art of Motion, etc. So many tunes, so little time! I think the thing I like the best about these weekend seminars is the oppertunity to ask the composer of the tune, who is sitting there right in front of you, to play the part of the peice you're interested in slowmo, and to break down the right and left hand fingerings. I video tape it so I can watch it later and that's where the instruction really sinks in. That stuff is like GOLD man!

The seminars were held in Don's new backyard studio. It's pretty neat that he records there considering you must have to go kill all the crickets first "Meep meep" (cricket sounds)(grin). He said he has a new CD on the go, a duets CD with Mckee and a vocal tunes CD. We heard a few cuts off of them during the weekend and I stumbled across soem more in a CDR in the disc changer in his van when I volenteered to drive to the nearby town of Lindsey to get a spotlight stand for the concert that Saturday night.

Actually that was kind of weird. Sometime around 1992 I heard Don's tune "The First Ride" on the radio and freaked, calling the DJ at the radio station for more info on the guy and here I am 15 years later driving Don Ross's van listening to unreleased tracks on his CD player as I go get a spot light for a show I'm roadieing for him. It's freaky the way things turn out.

Don showed us how to play the lovey "Brooke's Waltz" a piece he gets a lot of requests to TAB. It's in a remarkable tuning that I hope he explores further. Also, the subject of that song, Don's wife Brooke Miller was there and I was lucky enough to plunk her down on a chair with my guitar and film her fingers playing "Country from the Domecar" and "Jericho", two tunes of hers I'm gonna lift and learn how to play someday (I got all the secrets now! Muhahahahaha) She is one of the coolest people on the planet and an extremely talented songwriter in her own right. Definitely a three for two deal at Cannington these days when it comes to famous musicians!
Next year I hear the guest may be Beppe Gambetta from Italy. Color me there!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Shooting gophers in my basement

So that requires some explanation, especially since I put it up last night on facebook as my status tag. I got wall postings and emails from all the animal lovers (of which I am one) on my list demanding further clarification.

All the little hairy rats are hibernating now, there's no way I could have a real one in my basement and be trying to fill it with lead. I don't even own a gun! (neighbor does though!).

What I did was drag my finished gopher tunnel set down in the basement and began filling the gopher sequences for "Trailerpark Geocachers meet Bigfoot 2" to string together with the on-location footage from last week. It's going well!

The set looks real nice. There's some construction pics on my flicker page. Basically it's expanding monofoam sculpted with an exacto knife and sprayed with glue and a liberal amount of black earth chucked at it until it sticks. This footage is mixed in with green screen and clean plate on-location footage. I think it's gonna look cool! Here's an old gopher green screen test.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Zartimus's Acoustic guitar from hell!!!!

If I haven't blabbed about it incessantly to everyone by now, I'm having a custom acoustic guitar built by Tony Karol in Toronto. It's been under construction for over a year now and should be ready by Xmas 2007. It has every cool little feature I've ever wanted in a guitar! I first saw his work at the Canadian guitar festival and found that one of his display models (called the guiding light guitar) was pretty much almost exactly what I wanted in a guitar, save for one or two things. It was a great way to see what it would look and sound like before it got built and after having talked to him on the Don Ross list the year beforehand I decided to bite the bullet after the festival and place an order. A partial laundry list of features is as follows:

Bearclaw Sitka top
Cocobolo back and sides
segmented spalted maple rosette
Florentine cutaway
5 piece mahogany neck, black lines
K&K trinity quantum blender
Sideport sound hole
Laskin armrest and ribrest in dark spanish cedar
Multiscale (fanfret) neck , 25.5 to 26.75

It's gonna be a monster! Tony sends me pics every couple of months as it is being constructed, and initially gave me lots of choices for hunks of wood, which I just picked out of the photos he sent.

All the wood I choose had these huge sap lines which look real cool when finished, so it should have a distinct look when it's all finished up.

It was quite something to have to choose every little damned thing on it, from the purfling lines to the mitered wedges etc. In some cases I didn't know what the terminology was so it was great learning "Oh THAT's what you call that! Yeah, I want one of those things!"

It's going to be a year and a half wait all told but that's ok. It gives me time to save up to pay for it!

I even got to design the guitar case (When the page loads click on the Launch Interactive case selector). The case is gonna look like this. I choose blue because I've never ever seen a blue guitar case and when I'm in a room with 20 guitars the cases are almost always black (maybe the odd yellow one). It's gonna look like this..

I can't wait to hear what it's gonna sound like outta the case 'au natural". With the K&K trinity quantum blender it's gonna sound damned fine when amplified, I've heard them on Brooke Miller and Don Ross's guitars and the reviews of them are all top notch.

The countdown is on!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Rush concert and the foldy sleevie guy

I went to see RUSH last week with Kirok and crew. Rush is like Pizza or sex, even if it's bad it's still pretty damned good, and it's not that they were bad or anything, it's just that they played the new CD (which I've listened too once) in it's entirety and it , uhh, pretty much sucks. There are one or two instrumentals which are listenable, but the "songs" are just big heavy chord changes with disjointed lyrics over amazing drum parts.
The opened with Limelight, my favorite Rush song of all time, starting the night off on a good note but as the new material crept in more and more, it was hard to maintain interest.
It got so boring at one point I couldn't blame the guy in the seat behind me when he started carrying on a 20 minute conversation with his buddy at the top of his freakin lungs. This guy was having a normal conversation, but he was yelling it as loud as he could so his buddy could hear him. He was louder than the band. After a good long while I couldn't help myself and turned around and yelled at him "Could you talk a little louder? I can still hear the band!"..
It was at that point that I noticed that he must work out a lot, because he was wearing a little t-shirt and he was making that little fashion statement where you flip up the short little sleevies and fold them over a few times to make little cuffs so you could see how enormous his biceps were.
That always bugs me. It bugs me like people with fake boobs bug me. Not because I don't have enormous biceps(or fake boobs), but because people who do that have decided to make sure that it's the first thing you notice about them, and it ain't for any good reason.

So, I made a mental note to "turn around and look at who you're going to have a talk with in the future - like, BEFORE you say anything remotely snarky.." But it was too late, I had already started and when you do stuff like that, it's like CPR, you're not supposed to stop. So I plowed ahead like I hadn't noticed.
"I'm sure you didn't pay $70 to sit there and scream at your buddy all night, you could have just rented live in Rio!" He said nothing... Just looked at me. He looked pretty drunk.
(sigh) Time to be tactful "Look I'm disappointed they're playing all the new stuff too but it's really hard to get into it with you guys screaming at the back of my head like that...." Nothing. Just a stare. Man those are BIG biceps.. I wonder if he's not talking because he's thinking of ways to kill me...

One last try "You don't care do you......" I shook my head and turned around and sat down again.With my back turned to him I was wondering if he'd pour his beer on me. That was the next logical step for him if he was an asshole. Hmm, what was I gonna do if he spilled his beer on me? I guess I'd have to go buy a coke after and kinda walk up to the row behind him and return the favor and then he'd really try to kill me and he'd probably win but man I'd have a really neat story for my blog(and we have great hospitals in Canada!)!

But I was still dry.

He stopped talking for awhile but after every song he'd HOOT and HOLLER like they were playing the old stuff (which Getty and the boys were not) and I guess that was for me. After another few songs Rob (who was sitting beside me) stood up and told him to shut his piehole, but using much nicer words. He's MUCH better at it than me (I think the extra 4 or 5 inches in height counts for something too). I think he said something like "Hey it would be AWSOME if you guys could stop yaking away at the top of your lungs like that because you're being inconsiderate to everybody around you.." etc...

And the guy did.. I think he even apologized!

The fucker.

Epilogue.. I was at work a few days after, and there was a fire alarm, so I'm going down the stairs and I see a guy a flight below me.. Hey! It's the same big loud-mouthed guy from the concert! With the same rolled up sleevies! NO WAY! I hurried down after him. I figured it would be funny to go up to him outside on the lawn and ask him if he remembered me from the Rush concert. What was he gonna do? We worked at the same place(grin). It would be funny and we'd laugh about it.

But it wasn't the same guy. I knew it the second he spoke. The other guy had this ridiculously high nasally voice. This guy hadn't gone to the concert. Ah well.

I think I'll pass on the boys from Rush next time they come to town. I realize it sucks to play the same songs over and over again for 30 years, but it's what the fans want. They have to realize that the new CD is very weak material and the concert could have been so much better had they done a greatest hits sets. Ah well. Maybe I'm just OLD!

It was enjoyable none the less. Pizza Rush..

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Baby Fight Club

Kid #2's face met with the side of the bathtub in a bizarre soapy bathing accident two weeks ago. 5 hours after a trip to the Children's Hospital we took this picture. I think it was 1:00am. The next day it looked even worse. At the hospital they put that glue stuff on it in place of stitches, which was probably a GREAT idea!

I was at the park the next day and her sister hit her in the same eye by accident with a dog toy, one of those big rubber deals that look like soap on a rope trying to chuck it as far as she could. Ack.. everything stayed closed though, no need for Vaseline and a cut man. So back at the park the day after that, a neighbor asked me "What the heck happened to her eye?"

So I said as a joke "The first rule about Baby Fight club is, that I can't talk about baby fight club."

(horrified stare)

So I tried again "No, I'm kidding.." (she puts away her cell phone with Children's Aid on speed dail). "I can talk about it, she's undefeated at 3 and 0..."

(I think she looks like Russell Crowe in that picture)

Parc Omega

Last month we went to Parc Omega, a drive-through zoo in Montabello (an hour from Ottawa) where the animals attack your vehicle looking for food. It was a HOOT! Bring carrots. LOTS!

If you roll your window all the way down like you're not supposed to, they come right in your car! I never knew Wapiti and Elk tongues were quite that long.

Check it out, you'll have a blast! terrorize your kids! (video below)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More TPGMBF2 shooting

I've been busy as hell preparing for Bigfoot 2 shoots, getting ready for my Cannington guitar weekend (and learning french) so I haven't had time to post too much, but last week we did a full day's shoot out at Green's creek for the next movie. It was an eventful day. We met lots of people we could have done without.

First off, as we were setting up to shoot on the cliff over the remains of the old train bridge (decommissioned in like 1937) these two ladies with garbage bags walked up the back path, ignored us and when pressed told me it was TD bank's friends of the earth clean up day. They were hear to pick up all the garbage. Now I'm all for picking up garbage, do quite a bit of it myself, BUT NOT DURING THE SHOOT! Actually they were pretty quiet and didn't yell or scream when they found any especially interesting garbage but we will have to re-do the audio on a lot. About 8 other people funneled down the path with garbage bags but there wasn't that much to pick up and they moved on down the creek and we didn't see them again.

At mid-day, we were down at the bottom of the cliff and I looked up to see two cops looking down on us from about 100 feet away. One had his foot up on the cement barrier and was making the come here sign. "CRAP!" Another frickin walk up the hill, probably the 20th of the day. They turned out to be ministry of Natural Resources guys wearing bullet-proof vests and more pouches on their belts than a Delta Force Operative(why didn't they just try out for the cops?). They wer epretty nice and we explained teh drill. As long as we weren't drinking, breaking trees, or setting things on fire we were ok to continue(they wouldn't let me take their picture).

We had some kids on BMX bikes show up (one of which was the son of a local geocacher) and near the end of the day someone was doing a geocache on the other side of the creek and was watching us for awhile. All in all it was quiet enough to hammer out a great number of scenes.

Man but it was a hard shoot. Next time I'm definitely picking someplace flat! Thanks to Gwiliker, Kirok, Tripp and Grizz for a fine day of shooting. I'm still picking the rocks out of my Bigfoot poo. (Actually I got them all out during my morning break. I had to explain it to my french teacher who is from Rwanda. Apparently they don't make fake bigfoot poo there for fun and pick rocks out of it(grin). )

Oh yeah, Tripper posted a bunch of photos!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Canada wins the junior Super Series against Russia

That was some of the best junior (Canadian) hockey I've seen in my life. It's too bad the big NHL boys couldn't put something together for this remake of the 1972 summit series.
Some things never change though, European officiating still SUCKS! And I still don't understand why in International rules, when a Russian guy pitchforks a Canadian guy in the balls (twice) with his stick, the Russian teams gets a power-play afterwards. And what is with Russia and the high sticks? Brandon Sutter took 4 or 5 in this one final game! If they want to lose, just give Canada the power play, things will take care of themselves! I know the Russians sucked the bag this tourney, didn't win one game, the Russian under 18's from two years ago was proof of that, and this team is all those same kids just two years older. It must be frustrating to play against Canada, and when they get home they'll have to find a hole to crawl into, but HEY, that's no reason to make a guy on the other team who's kicking your ass sterile! It's mostly those two goofs on team Russia with the full face cages too (especially # 27, whoever the frack he was).. .

One of the nicest touches had to be the Canadian Penalty killing. When the other team gets more shots on net during your power-play, you know things aren't going well.

See you at the world Juniors boys! Way to make us proud. I always use the junior team as a measuring stick to see where we will be in a couple of years and man, our hockey future is as it should be!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Filming begins on "Trailerpark Geocachers meet Bigfoot II"

Got together with the guys after work a few weeks ago to start filming on Trailerpark Geocachers meet Bigfoot II. We shot 3 and a half scenes. A pretty good day's work! It's always surprising how 3 minutes of video in a scene takes 2 hours to film. I use a lot of cuts for a lot of reasons (reason 1 - see George Lucas directing Jake Lloyd in Star Wars the Phantom Menace) and every one requires a small camera setup. We tried out the steadycam for the first time. Many thanks to Jim, the guest cameraman for the early afternoon shots. It looks like it might be twice as much work as the first film.

Trip and Grizz performed amiably, although we had to send Tripper out of the room for some of Grizz's scenes. He makes him laugh and wastes film(grin)!

We needed nun chucks for one scene and darned if I couldn't find my foam covered practice ones anywhere! The night before the shoot I phoned the freind who actually gave them to me for Christmas years ago to see if she still had hers (every time I'd go to her place I'd take them off the wall and fool around with them so she and my brother finally bought me my own pair) and it turned out that she was in the hospital at that moment giving birth. I asked her Mom, who was over watching the kids, if she knew where they were but no dice. I almost asked what hospital she was at(no, not really).... I waited outside Orleans Martial arts supply the next day and got an even better pair that what I had before!!!!!

We'll be shooting through September and October.. We have some Cameos this time around!

Here's some other Pre-production entries
Bazooka Test
Gopher Tunnel set
Gopher blue-screen popup test
Flamethrower test