Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Costume update

I should have posted this two days ago!

Anyway, despite your suggestions for costumes, here's what I did:

Keeping with the theme "The Shining" and its location -- a wintry mountain -- I wanted to be the Abominable Snowman. But Audrey's Costume Castle didn't have a suitable costume. Sure, they had Chewbacca bodies and ape bodies, but no suitable head. The Abominable Easter Bunny just wouldn't cut it.

Plan B: A mummy or zombie costume representing bandages; fake blood and other make-up to look like a) I'd fallen down the mountain; or 2) I'd been attacked by the Abominable Snowman. But both of Audrey's mummy costumes were already rented. At this point, I'm not terribly impressed with Audrey's.

Plan C: What Audrey's calls "Mountie Uniform", just because it's a red jacket with black pants. So I make a deal with Nice Clerk Lady: Find me a bellhop hat, and we're in business. After all, "The Shining" is set at the Overlook Hotel, and every swanky and/or spooky hotel needs a bellhop or concierge. So after about five minutes in the back room, bingo! -- Nice Clerk Lady finds the bellhop hat. So I take some black make-up, spread it around my mug, blend in some white to make it look deadish grey, use black only to get the salt out of my salt and pepper moustache, and scare the hell out of myself when I look in the mirror!

Actually, I did get several comments on the costume and make-up job at the party. I did not, however, win the prize for best costume. That was a well deserved landslide for a girl from work who dressed up as the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. Last year, she was a flying purple people eater, but Randy and Mr. Lahey from Trailer Park Boys won the contest.

So thanks for your help. It was truly inspiring. If I ever get a photo of moi in said get-up, I'll post it here. I didn't have my camera with me, but several people did.


That's all. Move along. Nothing more to see here.

Happy Halloween from the crabby old guy who turns his lights off and lets on that he's not home.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Gloucester Rangers 6, Seaway Valley Rapids 4

Strange game; not a stellar effort; but we'll take the two points.
And the home crowd was not chanting "Let's go Rabbits...", rather "Let's go Rapids".
Then again the NHL has the Ducks...

Gloucester 5, Kingston 4

A fine performance. We fell behind 2-0 early on, but after getting the rust out (six days without a game and a two-hour drive), we got our hockey team back.

Tonight: Seaway in Maxville.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Dixie Chicks rock!

I was at the Dixie Chicks concert last night at Scotiabank Place, and it gets two Big Bro thumbs up! Those Chicks can rock!

The Accidents and Accusations Tour has added Canadian dates to replace American venues that are hostile to the Chicks, because of their stand on George Bush and the war in Iraq. Radio stations in the States won't play their songs and even organize Dixie Chicks CD burning events. Natalie Maines mentioned last night that they just learned yesterday that NBC won't air the commercial for the documentary Shut Up & Sing, about the Chicks and the redneck backlash against them that includes death threats. She mentioned how strange that is, considering that her husband (Adrian Pasdar) acts in an NBC series (Heroes).

Question to Americans in general and Bush-ites in particular: Whatever happened to The Land of the Free? You preach democracy and say it's essentially what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are all about, but a little high-profile dissent evokes such insanity? I'm glad I'm Canadian, and glad the Chicks at least have the democratic freedom to come here.

I also want to congratulate the thousands of fellow Canadians who gave a standing ovation to "Not Ready To Make Nice", the Chicks' song that in a veiled way says "Kiss my ass, George Bush and the rest of you rednecks".

And I'm sure there have been no death threats over Maines's discussion of going to Australia and mentioning that the U.S. has Bush, but the Ozzies have Mel Gibson, leading into notable Canadians such as William Shatner and Pamela Anderson, dedicating "White Trash Wedding" to Pam and Kid Rock.

Yes, the Chicks have the right attitude about all the brouhaha, and the concert ticket and CD sales record that thumbs its nose at the backlash. You go, girls/Chicks.

One more concert note to the two women in front of us. We were second row from the boards at Scotiabank Place, right on the back corner to the left of the stage as you face it. From the first note of the Chicks' two-hour set, those two stood and swayed. The woman sitting next to me couldn't sway them to sit down, so that she and her husband could see the concert. Ushers told the woman that they couldn't allow the swayers to go down on to the floor, because they didn't have floor tickets. Instead, they found other seats for the woman and her husband. So to the Sway Sisters, I say next time, get floor tickets, or keep your scrawny asses in your seats. The rest of us paid for tickets, too.

Alright. I have vented and feel much better now, except for this stupid cold I picked up, just before a very busy weekend. Hockey in Kingston late this afternoon, then a Halloween party, and more hockey tomorrow in Maxville.

Have a good weekend, fellow Bloglodytes.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cumberland Barons 5, Gloucester Rangers 3

Ouch! They wanted it more than we did.

HOWEVER...We have put the game under protest. The third period was supposed to be 20 minutes long, not 15. And ya know what? Our guys were finally getting things going in the third period. That five minutes could have made the difference. The Cumberland excuse about not enough ice time is bogus. The Zamboni wasn't on the ice until at least ten minutes after the game was over -- plenty of time to squeeze in five more minutes of stop-time playing time.

Rules are rules: If there's a flood after the second period, then the third period is 20 minutes long.

That's not to take away from the Cumberland players. As I said off the top, they deserved to win.

And we're still in first place.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gloucester Rangers 2, Kanata Blazers 0

And the mighty have fallen. Kanata was undefeated until tonight. Now both teams are 8-1, but we take over first place, because we have a better goals for and against record.

I am so proud of my team. They played like they deserved the win tonight.

Back at it early tomorrow.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Halloween Costume Help, Please!

I've been invited to a Halloween party, the theme of which is The Shining -- the Stephen King novel/Jack Nicholson movie, not The Shinning, the Simpsons version, although it might work, too.

Anyhoo, I need help with costume ideas. I'm contemplating going as The Abominable Snowman (a.k.a. Yeti, Sasquatch, Bugs Bunny cartoon character: "I will love him an' squeeze him an' call him George"). I'm going to check at the costume shop to see if they have something that would work. A co-worker has also offered me the faux-fur coat his wife bought at Value Village, and apparently doesn't intend to ever wear again. Something about it making her look like Cruella DeVille or something.

I would go as Milky, but that's too scary. I would go as Ma Horton, but not even the best make-up artist in the world could make this hairy, chubby guy even remotely as beautiful. Besides, it wouldn't fit the theme. Then again, maybe my attempt at being as beautiful as Ma would fit the scary theme.

Okay, I digress. Fire away with your suggestions -- and be as tongue-in-cheek and/or brutal as I'm setting you up to be. I would.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Freddy Fender R.I.P.

Another memory of youth is gone. How many of us actually thought we knew Spanish, because we could kind of sing along with "Before The Next Teardrop Falls"?
Here's the obit:

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Grammy Award-winning singer Freddy Fender, whose country and Hispanic-flavored music reached across ethnic boundaries to find a broad audience, died of cancer on Saturday at his Corpus Christi, Texas home, a family friend said.
Fender, 69, died quietly with his family at his bedside, friend Ron Rogers told reporters.
Fender was diagnosed with lung cancer in January and was told this summer the spreading disease was incurable.
Born Baldemar Huerta to migrant worker parents in the Texas border town of San Benito, he began singing and playing the guitar at an early age.
He is best known for a string of mid-1970s hits that included "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," "You'll Lose a Good Thing," and a remake of "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights"
When he began his career in the 1950s, two of his first records, Spanish versions of Harry Belafonte's "Jamaica Farewell" and Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" were big hits in Latin America.
But in 1959 he changed his name to Freddy Fender -- after the brand name of his guitar -- with the intent of broadening his appeal.
In 1960, he had a hit with his first version of "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," but was also busted for marijuana possession and went to prison for three years in Louisiana.
Afterwards, he worked as a mechanic, went to school and played in bars and clubs until "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" resurrected his career.
His soulful tenor struck a universal chord and the mid-1970s hits rose to the top of Billboard charts for both pop and country music.
In the 1990s, he played with the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, both of whom won Grammys for best Mexican-American music performance.
Fender won a third Grammy in 1992 for best Latin pop with his "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta" album.
He also acted in a number of television shows and movies, including "The Milagro Beanfield War" in 1988, directed by Robert Redford.
Fender's final years were plagued by health problems -- in 2002 he had a kidney transplant and two years later a liver transplant -- but he told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in August he had had a good life.
"I'm one year away from 70 and I've had a good run," he said. "I cannot complain that I haven't lived long enough, but I'd like to live longer."

Just another Saturday in my life

Same old, same old. Got up, had toast and coffee, went and pulled a large airplane 20 feet. You know, a routine Saturday morning.

Okay, so not so routine. Nine A-Channel compadres and I went out to the Macdonald-Cartier Ottawa International Airport for a United Way fundraiser. We had to pull a Dash-8 twenty feet, in less time than any of the other teams in the competition. But for us, there was only one other team in the competition: CTV Ottawa. And we smoked 'em by almost three seconds! We even did better than the Mounties who were up right after us.

So there, CTV! Your company might be buying us, but we OWN you!

The event is probably wrapping up about now, because there were several teams after us. But if our time holds up as the best, we win airplane tickets for each of us, from Porter Airlines. It's the airline that just started service between Ottawa and Toronto Island this past week. I could use that ticket to hook up with the rest of the group that's going to the Dominican Republic in April for a wedding. The flight to Puerto Plata originates in Toronto. Most of the group of 50-some-odd are from Iroquois Falls, my hometown. The bride is the daughter of good friends of mine. I just hope I have a job by then -- one that lets me take a week off for the trip.

That's all for now from me. Have a good weekend, dudes and dudettes.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rangers 8, Barons 1

The streak begins again. The team on the ice last night was the team we've come to know and love, not those impostors who showed up last week.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thanks... a whole hell of a lot! :)

Yeah, right, lurk but don't post... and don't tell me that I had a typo spelling error in the heading on my last post. It said "Happy Thanskgiving" until I just noticed it myself.


Love and kisses,

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

If you haven't had your turkey-fuelled celebration yet, may it be as pleasant as mine was yesterday, surrounded by extended family at my sister's house. My nephew, Scott, who is my brother's son, joined us. Scooter is 23 and works in I.T. here in Ottawa. Also there was Ma Tante Sue, my brother-in-law's sister. So as my sister, Dale, said, she told co-workers that her brother, sister-in-law and nephew were going to be at her place, and then got puzzled looks when she added that they're from three different families. Sue is a widow and her only daughter, Alexie, is in university in Guelph and unable to make it home for the weekend. Of course, in addition to bro-in-law Den (my favorite brother-in-law, regardless of being my only brother-in-law), he and Dale's daughters Michelle and Caitlin and Golden Doodle Zoey rounded out the gathering.

Coincidentally, today is also Dale and Den's 24th anniversary. It's hard to believe that my baby sister has been married for almost a quarter century. Brother Danny and sister-in-law Candy (my favorite and only brother and sister-in-law, respectively) will have been married 26 years in December. I was their best man, one of two times that I've been best man. The other marriage only lasted 17 years, so I figure as best man, I'm batting .500 .

Family is among the things I have to be thankful for, and I think that's something that becomes more apparent as one ages. Needless to say, that includes Dad and StepMama, niece Jen (Danny and Candy's daughter), my Mom's sisters and their families, who continue to consider my dad family. Of course, he and Mom were married 50 years when she died four years ago, but if my aunts didn't like him, it still would have been easy to write him off shortly after Mom's funeral. Four of the five aunts who live in Cochrane attended Dad's wedding to StepMama in 2004, and his 75th birthday party this past summer, and say he'll always be like a brother to them, so I'm thankful for that.

And of course, I am eternally thankful that a certain 10-year-old kid entered my life in July, 1993. As I've said before umpteen times, if fate decided that I wouldn't be a Dad, being Dano's Big Brother has more than compensated for it.

So count your blessings today, and give thanks to God or whoever.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The transition between seasons

What is up with people who wear shorts when it's three degrees outside? I saw several of them this morning on the bus.
I mean, crap, I was half frozen, wearing jeans and just a windbreaker over a T-shirt, and these schlubs are wearing shorts! I'm all like "Dude! It's like three degrees!".
And talk about a paradox or oxymoron or whatever: I saw one young guy wearing shorts and a winter jacket!
One of the voices in my head is that of an 83-year-old Jewish mama. And this morning she's saying "Oy vey! Young people these days! They'll catch their death!". Unfortunately, 83-year-old Jewish Mama is just a voice, so she can't even make chicken soup. The frustration from that fact aggravates her condition -- never mind what kind of condition, a condition! And if there's one thing the doctors can't cure, it's a condition.
But I digress. So what is up with wearing shorts when it's three degrees outside?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Get your own personal slogan

Check out www.sloganizer.net . Type in your name (after clicking on the "English" tab at the top of course, to change it from German) and voila!

You can do it several times. My latest result is "I'd walk a mile for BigBroBob".

You've probably already heard of the Soap Opera Name thing. Take your middle name, tack it onto the name of the street you live on, and voila! My soap opera name is Thomas Innes.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Titans 7, Rangers 1

In a word: OUCH!
Oh well, we're still 5-1 on the season.

Rangers 4, Rideau St. Lawrence 3

That's all I know about last night's game so far. I wasn't there because I had to work, and the coach left a message for me when I was in the bathroom (never fails, does it?).

Anyway, that makes us 5-0 on the season. Big test tonight: a rematch against Ottawa Valley, in which the boys have to prove that last week wasn't a fluke.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cheese strings: Strings or sticks? - Discuss

Alright, so I'm scalping a bit off Linda Richmond-- no big whoop. But I want some input from my fellow bloglodytes.

I love cheese, except the really exotic ones. I'm mostly a cheddar and mozzarella man, although curds (especially from the soon-defunct Thornloe Cheese Factory) are a nearly-addictive guilty pleasure.

I live alone, so buying a block of cheese is a waste of money. It looks like a furry Grade 7 science project before I can eat it all. So I buy Black Diamond Cheese Strings -- yummy cheesy goodness in just-right portion sizes. I usually buy the marble ones, because they cater to my cheddar and mozzarella preference, in perfect proportion.

Now, here's where the debate/discussion/bloglodyte input comes in: Should they be eaten as a solid piece of cheese, one bite at a time; or should you actually peel the strings, make little stick people as the wrapping suggests, and then eat them? Discuss.

Me, I bite chunks off them. I've tried the stringy thing, but the voice of my dear departed mother elbows her way into the midst of the other voices in my head, with a stern "Robert Thomas McIntyre! Don't play with your food!".

Lemme know: whaddaya think?