Thursday, December 21, 2006

This is the End My Friends

...of 2006 anyways.
That is, unless I do have enough spare time to do a post over the holidays, this will likely be my last post until 2007.
I'm also attempting to shop tonight and there's a very good chance I may end up mangled in a parkling lot, underneath a shopping cart or in a jail cell. Bets anyone?
Anyways - to those I'm seeing in Ontario - I can't wait.
To those I leave behind in Alberta - see you soon.
To each and everyone - all the best and thanks tons for dropping by.
See you in the New Year...or, if I get bored, about a couple days from now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

On a Better Note

Dear Santa,
So you read the blog eh? Yeah...look, I didn't want to leave things on a sour note. Yeah, it may appear as though have a thing against Christmas shopping - but I'm also edgy about pretty much all other days of shopping (minus free shopping), so lets just mark it all down as a general distaste for crowds.
How's the misses? Still rocking?
Either way, I'm hoping you still drop by. And, in the spirit of covering my ass, I thought I'd post the Twelve Things I Love About Christmas.
If this doesn't work, I'll just leave the regular envelope by the cookies. Jerk.

The Snow: I've always been a winter person. Maybe I was a black bear in a previous life (see past post). Either way, seeing the ole white outside almost always gets me in the season. I suggested to MJ that we make a snowman outside our lawn with the sign: Will Give Snowjob for Food. She's down with it. Look for him in January.
The Random Bands: Apparantly there are stockades of people with instruments hidden in a bunker somewhere who reveal themselves around this time and use every public space to play. And as a closet classical music listener, I like to secretly hum along.
That Random Nice Guy: You know... him.
Stockings: Pretty much the best part of Christmas. Stockings are great because they consist of everything you have to buy for yourself but HATE buying for yourself (deoderant, socks, jock itch powder, bubble gum, etc.)
Tequila: Because all Bradford holidays are marked with tequila shots. It's just that some Bradford friends can't always handle that tradition and pass out at 9pm *ahemSTEVEahem*
Cards from Random People You Haven't Talked to All Year: pretty self-explanitory
A Sudden Slowdown of work: I'm probably jinxing myself with this one.
TV Christmas Specials: Especially because they're now being made by creators who are jaded with the uber sweet Christmas specials of years past. See Office.
Christmas Lights: Cheap and stimulating.
Gifts: Yeah - so I still like gifts but not the actual shopping for them. I never promised to be consistent.
Time Off: With most of the Bradford clan a few thousand kilometres away, Christmas affords me a couple days at least to remind them what I look like. And to also remind them that I work with radio so when I pass around the hat, I don't get any attitude.
Christmas Dinner: Despite the one time Momma Bradford left the cooking pins in (also a time she hates being reminded of), Christmas dinners are pretty much the penultimate dinners.

Thanks big guy,
(heart) Matt

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Joys of Christmas Consumerism

That's it. I'm done - outstanding Christmas shopping be damned. If I do manage to break through the gathering hordes this year, it will be the last time I do. Next year, everyone I know better be happy with things I find on ebay and/or homemade devices I can fashion together with items from my apartment.

They say (well, someone said) that 1 out of 4 men leave shopping until the very last minute. The same source (again - I forget) also says that 1 out of 6 men would also like to do away with Christmas Shopping all together. And really, can you friggin' blame them?

Sure our evolutionary history may dictate that males are the hunter gatherers (relax, it's science)- but I assure you this genetic pre-disposition wouldn't have lasted long if there were Wal-Marts back in prehistoric times. I can guarantee you that if they were, males would have developed the art of gift certificates long before modern man.

Frig. I hate christmas shopping. So, as a public service, I offer these gentle reminders:

A Shopping Carts Is NOT Personal Luggage: They are also not portable cribs, battering rams or place holders. This is one instance where the name does not beget it's ultimate purpose. Yes, they are carts for shopping - but its purposes should be limited to food and/or large items. Malls are crowded enough without having to play frogger everytime one wishes to cross an aisle, head to the washroom or line up for chinese food.

There are other people in the immediate area: And yes, they would like to also shop in this are too ... if that's alright with you. No? Going to be here awhile? Please, let me step over your seven children and your collection of bags. Fancy that, we bumped into one another! Oops! I'm very sorry to have invaded your personal space - which apparantly now encompasses the entire stationary section of Hallmark.

We're Not Happy to Be Here Either: This one goes to you, sour-faced 16 year employee who was called in to work extra shifts at Sears. Believe me when I say that no one on either end of the chaos enjoys the Christmas Shopping experience so when we ask you for a little help or more information, we're not doing it to add fodder for your angst-ridden rants to your goth friends - we're doing it so we can get the hell out dodge and enjoy a heavily laced litre of nog.

However, there are other people in the line: That is, if you do need that little extra help or information, please - for the benefit of the 30 people behind you - ensure that you've done at least a little leg work before asking. None of us are experts, but if you're asking about prices on the display to DIRECT LEFT OF YOUR PERSON, then understand that you deserve the sarcasm and/or eye rolling that will ensue. Similarly - do your homework. A list is too is an inkling of a clue as to what you're after. Understand that everyone is in a hurry to escape and by hitting up the teller for information on 'what's good for kids' this christmas, you're guaranteed to win the ire and possible car-keying of those with actual physical purchases behind you.

Extended Warranties are the Devil's Tool: Dear electronic stores - we're on to you. We've watched 60 minutes and we have at least some understanding of the internet. Therefore, we're smarter and we're cheaper. So - if we say no to your 90 year all-inclusive extended warranty (which may or may not cover damage), then accept your defeat and move on. That crap may have worked last Christmas, but we're not as willing to dole out 300 more dollars on a guarantee that SHOULD HAVE BE OFFERED INITIALLY.

Ok. That's it - please feel free to join the revolution and add any further tips. Meanwhile, I'll be boarding up my windows and avoiding human contact until Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Numbers Are In

I'm watching you - or at least pie graphs representing you.
Having just installed a counter into the blog I now know a few things:

9 People visited in the 4 hours since the last post
0 Comments were made
100% Of visiters did not comment.
1 Man-child cried in the employee washroom. (hint: me)
5 Puppies will meet their grisly end if this trend continues.


The 31st Post Spectacular: Past, Present and Beyond

Long long ago in a radio station far far away I had a blog. Some people read it. Most didn't (read: people not my mom or co-workers).

Long story short, I abandoned said blog to the dark catacombs of never to visit it again. Until Now.

Last December I bought MJ a hamster for Christmas (who now lives with both of us). Her name is Meatwad - and you get bonus points if you know where that's from.
Another long story short, I wrote an entry about purchasing a hamster and it wasn't actually too crappy. So - in the spirit of celebrating my 31 Postaversary, here it is:

*Oh, and I now have a counter for this blog. which was the main point of this post - But I wanted to actually add some content.

originally posted January'06
Buying a Hamster. Not the quick shop and go experience as I expected when I first suggested getting my ladyfriend a Hamster. As a guy, the idea of a hamster for Christmas was ideal because a) I wanted a Hamster anyways, so this way I get the joys of playing with a Hamster without the nasty business of cleaning or feeding (relax, this isn’t how I feel about kids) and b) they're cute…and cute gifts win big! But alas … buying a Hamster? Not so easy.

AVAILABILITY: This may be a Peace River problem only since Malls typically close around 6 pm which is, of course, perfect for 85% of the population who work until 5 pm and then eat. By perfect of course I mean horribly inconvenient. Hence, lesson One: Plan Ahead.

COST: There’s a popular theory about fish that it costs more to let them die than to feed them. After stocking up on wood chips, treats and food I’m tempted to extend this theory to Hamsters. Though… I won’t….because I would risk loosing those cute points by evening mentioning it. Let's put it this way..a hamster costs 9.99….food costs about 20 bucks a month and that’s if you're mean and don’t buy any treats. So … yeah … you make your own decision … just don’t let me know about it.

CHOOSING A CAGE: The Hamster Industry is catching on to the Hamster trend…which means that you can expect to shell out at least 50 bucks for a decent cage. And these aren’t the cages of 10 years ago, my friend, these are the decorative, colored plastic tube utopians of the future. I wish my room looked like these things. Anyways, so these are built on the premise that your hamster will be mini acrobats…which they will be until they get fat at around month 4. Then all those fancy tubes just equal pooping dens and clogged up memories of the agile hamster you once had. My advice…go middle of the road so at least when your hamster gets fat he/she wont be reminded of their prime on a daily basis (just like that chin-up bar I still have hanging around).

CHOOSING A HAMSTER: Luckily we had a whopping three to chose from. But they were three different kinds. Understand this…no matter what you pick, they’ll all eventually look like one big lump of fur lying in the corner of the cage. And you can’t pick based on smarts or how well it seems they recognize you…they don’t. Here’s a quick look into a Hamster’s mind “Food? Food? … Food? Poop … Food?”That said…Teddy Bear Hamsters are cutest. But you can’t really go wrong. If you subscribe to the ‘Hamster Cost Analysis Theory’ above, then you can chose a different one every week! But again, don’t let me know about it.

TAKING IT HOME: Fortunately most pet stores provide a steel enforced carriage device to take your hamster home in. And by this I mean a cardboard box which serves to stir your new pet into a state of frenzy. We made the smart decision of bringing it home first and then buying dinner. Even still, it bit Marijana and had a good go at my toe. Lets just say we initiated a little eye for eye justice. Try climbing now biatch! Otherwise it's best if you assemble the cage and get it in as soon as possible. Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t feel particularly playful after being ripped from its home, transported in darkness and thrust into a colorful tube utopian it will soon recognize as the last place it will ever live.

NAMING YOUR HAMSTER: A friend of ours made a good point…that you should name a pet after you see it. The rebels we were, we named it before. Hence: Meatwad. You may know the name from the popular Aqua Teen Hunger force show…which was the genisis of the Hamster idea in the first place. For all you other creatively challenged people, I’ll make it simple. Think of the first three ultra cute fat-related names and them immediately abandon them. Also, name it something you won’t regret years down the road. My last hamster was named Frodo. Frodo died in his sleep , but I’m told his dying words were ‘thanks for naming me Frodo, nerd.” Alas, we buried Frodo in the front yard where a lonely golf ball and food dish mark his remains.Just as a side note: I recently learned that Hamsters sometimes hibernate. In which case, I sincerely hope Frodo was actually dead.

That’s about it. Good luck and happy hunting. For all my sarcasm, hamsters are pretty much the perfect low maintenance pet for most students, children, and radio employees … aka the mentally and financial challenged.

Monday, December 11, 2006

All Good TV Things Must End

It's always been kind of a love/hate thing with me and Series Finales.
For one; they're almost always bittersweet. When I love a show, I love a show. And If I've cared enough to follow a show straight until its natural end (which, these days, is rare), I'm always a bit hesitant about seeing it fade off into re-run heaven.
On the other hand, if a show has run past its prime, then I'd rather see it end on a high instead of watching an X-File-ish descent into sheer old-age madness.
Then there's the issue of closure. That is - how the hell do you wrap up a long-running show while pleasing its entire audience? You can't. So again - love/hate.

This weekend, I had the immense pleasure of finishing Six Feet Under. But more on that later. While renewing my hope for great TV, it also got me thinking about other Series Finales I've seen and how they've either changed or enhanced my feelings on their respective shows.

So...if you care, a little review. Warning: Spoilers Ahead.

Show Plot: Scully's pregnant, then she's not. Then she is. Mulder's dead. Then he isn't. Then he is. Aliens are here. Then they aren't - then they might be back. Scully and Mulder leave. Come back. Rinse. Repeat.
Finale Plot: After multiple years of having the same argument, Scully and Mulder finally get to the bottom of the alien invasion and their love/more-than-friend feelings for each other. Oh, and Cancer man is
Series Finale: Sarcasm aside, the X-Files were my first true plunge into TV Geekdome. I remember calling home in University just to hum the opening intro with my mom. No, I did not have a girlfriend at the time...why? Either way, after about 1 movie and three seasons too many, the show had jumped its last shark and was finally ending. Now...up until the end, the entire series had led up to some mysterious and uber-complicated alien conspiracy. That and an often-baffling love affair between the two main leads (something the creator swore would never happen). Needless to say, expectations for the 2 hour finale were high. And they remained high until the last 10 minutes when the alien invasion kinda semi-began. huh? HUH? Almost nine years of teasing open-ended closing? No. This shit may fly with other shows, but X-Files needed closure. Until this day, I still think FOX misplaced the last 10 hours of the final season. I'll still love the X-Files, but I'll always shake my fist when I think of what could have been.
Rating: 2 flip-flopping plots out of 5

Plot: Angel (of Buffy Fame) wrangles up his own army of do-gooders to take on do-badders.
Finale Plot: Angel and his team make one last desperate plight to rid the world of ultimate evil from inside the bowels of the beast (aka a law firm).
Series Finale: The last two seasons of Angel were nothing short of pure giddy geek fun and the series finale embraced this feeling right up until the final lines. Many balked at the jarring ending, but there was no better way to say goodbye to Angel and friends. After successfully bringing down the worst of the worst, the worst strike back in the final moments by opening up a can of wup ass on earth. Broken, beaten (and some dead) the remaining members of Angel's posse run off into their certain deaths...doing what they do best. Perfect. Goosebumps. While I wanted everything to be wrapped up all nice and pretty, this was Joss Whedon's way of reminding us that these heroes are immortal and should be remembered as such. Whedon has a gift for making you really care about his characters - be they interdimensional Kareokee singing demons or vampire brides - they feel real. So when the show ended, it felt as though we were saying goodbye to these very real people - and some, like Wesley, for good. Action packed, funny, touching and all-round great - Angel's last moments left you wanting more, but not needing more.
Rating: 4 'hell yeahs' out of 5
Plot: TV's most depressing/quarky family struggle to maintain the family funeral business while staying sane and pursuing their own 'lives'. I wrote a spec for this show back in University. know...plugging myself.
Finale Plot: The last season took a turn for the dark and stayed this way until the end. Pretty much everyone who was still kicking by this point was either reeling from a loss, affair, mental breakdown or near-death experience. The final few episodes even saw the departure of one of its more complicated characters and the arrival of two new adopted children in David and Keith's lives. The ultimate highlight of the series finale was the uber touching montage at the end which had Claire driving off into her future mixed with scenes depicting the eventual death of everyone in the series. Starting with Ruth's peaceful goodbye in 2025 to Claire's bedridden fairwell in 2085 - everyone meets their maker (and some, like Keith, more violently than others). I can't remember a time in TV when I was so moved/taken. This was the payoff I wanted. After the final Fisher bit the dust, I knew I would never need to know what comes next and that happens man.
Review: 4.5 Choked up Matt's out of 5

Plot: A show...about nothing! Ingenious!
Finale Plot: The famous foursome stand trial against their peers for just being plain assholes.

Finale Review: How do you wrap up a series about nothing? How do you complete one of the best modern sitcoms? Seems the creators didn't really have an answer themselves. Instead of breaking new ground, Seinfeld digs up the ultimate cliche and brings back all the famous one-off characters for tv land's biggest interventions. I wasn't a huge fan of Seinfeld, but I still respected it for its ideas and fresh take on the genre. This final episode didn't help bolster this impression. Left in a jail cell to (presumably) continue being assholes, the series ends with a pretty bold statement about its characters and a somewhat hollow feeling inside.

Review: 2 point 5 NEWMANS! out of 5

The Office (British Version)

Plot: Regular joes amble through their jobs at a paper company under the insane rule of a severely insecure boss in this 'mockumentary' of office life.
Plot Finale: Done as a 2 hour movie - everyone returns to the office for one last Christmas Party.
Review: As the American version looks to be mirroring the British, I won't give too much away. Suffice to say, the series wraps up on a very touching note and does a fine job of making you laugh out loud until it does. Highlights include David's run as a washed up reality tv show celebrity, his adventures in online dating and Tim's special gift to Dawn. Oh - and a music video that will leave you with a warm feeling inside.
Review: 4 'will they or wont they's' out of 5.

Farscape: Yeeeeeeeahhhh! Cheers: Awwwwwww Wonder Years: Sniff sniff.

So - in the spirit of opening up discussion - what are your favorite series finales?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Superman IV: Deleted Scenes

Well, MJ and I completed our Superman tour with Superman IV: the Quest for Peace. And while not as bat-crap insane as Superman III: Superman vs. Computer Code, it did warrant one final commentary.

Namely - it's about time someone called Superman on his shit. Seriously, this guy has been left unchecked for waaay too long. I was hoping this would have been addressed in the fourth film, but alas, no. So instead, I'm submitting two new scenes for use in upcoming re-releases.

INT. UN Forum - DAY
SUPERMAN addresses the delegates.
SUPERMAN: ...and in conclusion, I will single handedly rid the world of nuclear weapons.
They Clap. The CANADIAN delegate raises his hand.
CANADIAN: Superman. I think I speak on behalf of all us, when I say that we, as a people, are truly greatful.
SUPERMAN: Hey, for you guys ... anything.
CANADIAN: Still...uh, this whole idea seems pretty...complicated. How do you intend to collect the world's nuclear weapons?
SUPERMAN: A giant space net.
The delegates react...confused.
CANADIAN: said a giant space net...?
SUPERMAN: Sure. I'm thinking either a fishing net or, you know, something I make out of my own hair. Of course, if anyone wishes to donate their own space net...?
The delegates stare blankly at Superman.
SUPERMAN: No? Ok. Just don't come running when your space net suddenly disappears-
CANADIAN: Superman, what will do you with the weapons once collected?
SUPERMAN: Hurl them into the sun.
The delegates gasp
SUPERMAN: ...what?
CANADIAN: Superman, you do realize that the sun is, essentially, a giant ball of gas.
SUPERMAN: and...
CANADIAN: You intend to hurl nearly a million tonnes of nuclear weapons into...the sun.
SUPERMAN: I'm still not following.
CANADIAN: Can we vote on this?
They vote. Superman wins. Rigging is suspected.

LOIS interviews SUPERMAN following his defeat of NUCLEARMAN
LOIS: Once more, Superman, you've saved us. How did you do it?
SUPERMAN: High School physics, Lois. Nuclear Man, born of the sun, would obviously be powerless in complete darkness.
LOIS: you, like, lured him underground?
SUPERMAN: No, I pushed the moon infront of the sun.
LOIS: Holy fu-
SUPERMAN: What? I cut an entire mountain with eyes, rebuild the great wall of china with my mind and this is what I get shit for?
LOIS: Superman, you're aware that millions have died in freak tsunamis since you moved the moon.
SUPERMAN: That's impossible.
LOIS: Whole continents have been leveled due the dramatic shift in-
SUPERMAN: Screw this noise, I'm outta here.
Superman throws his Mic down and goes to a bar where he becomes...Dick Superman!

On another note, Marijana asked if they sold insurance for 'Acts of Superman' in Metropolis. Genius.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Skeletons on the DVD Shelf

One thing I've never been faulted for is my unwavering good taste. I have a friggin Mel C album for crap's sakes - even when I could have burned it.

Still, everyone has their weak moments - especially when it comes to movies. And whether they be gifts or a horrible lack of judgement, we all have a few skeletons hiding amongst our DVD collections. So, in an act of purging, here are a couple of mine:

Battlefield Earth
Plot: Tull and Brull (or something 'Ull') head an army of gigantic aliens against a Hu-mon revolution.
How I ended up with it: At some point, a couple friends of mine caught on to the fact that I was first in line for crap movies so, when Crapfield Earth was shat out onto DVD (mere weeks after release I imagine), they automatically assumed it was my favorite film. This was given as a joint birthday present and is watched on occasion if only for the scene where the rebellious 'Hu-mons' find a hanger of fully fueled 1000 year old jet fighters and teach themselves to fly.
Moulin Rouge
Plot: Ewan and Hottie McKidman engage in a tragic yet delightfully musical affair at the Moulin Rouge.
Why its There: I'm not going to lie: I love this movie. Admittidly, this is like the Ghandi of Chick Flick movies, but it just keeps calling me back. If anyone asks, I say it was for a project on 18th century Bohemiem movement - but if my heart asks, I say it's because I just can't get enough. sigh.

About a Boy
Plot: About a Boy
Why the Hell I Bought it: Believe me, I'm as stumped as you are. I think its' because there was a cool song in it. Beyond that, I don't know...Hugh Grant's charm? A discount at Rogers? Will I ever watch it again? In the event that my cable is out and all other movies past 'A' are unable to function...maybe. This was one of those 'hey, that was cute, I'll buy it' films that will probably never again feel the warmth of a DVD tray.

Making of the Matrix

Plot: A 3 hours scene by scene documentary about the making of the Matrix
Why Oh Why?! Those who know my once-addiction to the Matrix will see nothing out of the ordinary with this selection. It was THE movie and, as such, I just HAD to see how they made it. Highlights include the 'unthawing' of the Keannu-Bot before all major fight scenes and the part where the Wackowski brothers call an emergency meeting on how to ruin the triolgy.

Final Fantasy: Spirits Within
Plot: NOTHING at all to do with the video games.
And You Have This...Why? Because I'm an instant-geek for computer generated action. I love it. This film when widely ignored, but I guarantee you that 300 years into the future, mankind will unearth my apartment, find this movie, and re-discover what it means to have fun.

Well...that's all...that I can remember. Updates to come. Why not tell me YOUR guilty pleasure (movie related, please).

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ode to Dick-Superman

You know what the world really needs? More Super-assholes. Not your standard everyday assholes, but your Krypton-born/Radiated/Astral-being breed of douchebags.

Do you know what the best part of Superman III was? (Some points if you said 'when it ended'). It was when bland Superman took a hit of fake kryptonite and became an absolute dick.

Not evil...a dick...and this was the best decision ever made in the Superman Universe.

What did Dick-Superman do? Why, he did what ever other guy would do with god-like powers...he messed around with people. In the span of just a twenty minute montage, Dick-Superman grew a 5 o'clock shadow, gelled his hair, straightened the Leaning Tower of Pisa (thus expertly destroying local tourism), blew out the Olympic Flame (which is about 10 on the douchebag scale of international dickery), trashed a bar and scored with the bimbo villainesse - in the villain's own ski chalet. Kudos, dick superman, kudos.

Needless to say, Dick Superman was a hit at the Bradford-Ancic apartment. We even made a song:

He'll stop traffic just to keep you late,
He'll melt the ice so you can't skate,
He'll take the last M&M's from the vending machine,
And throw them out just to be mean,
He'll spin the earth backwards just for fun,
And make it rain in Florida - when he's done!
He's Dick Superman!
Dick Supermaaaaaaan!

So here's to you Dick-Superman. Though you may be mild-mannered now, here's hoping there's plenty of red/funky kryptonite in your future.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Matt 2006: Now With Wheels!

This is a Ford Fusion 2007 (Yes, reality does warp around the vehicle as depicted. It's a new feature)

On the list of stresses, I figure buying a car (new or used) ranks pretty dang high. I see it equalling both 'loosing all your limbs' and 'having to wrestle two panthers with a wooden spoon'.
Personally, moving from Peace River to Red Deer still ranks 1, but 'Buying a Car' has just entered the top 3. (narrowly edging out 'Missing 24 on TV')

I've done this before - last year with an owner-sold '88 Corsica for 600$.
Today I just finalized a deal for a 2007 Ford Fusion.
Needless to say ... there's a wee difference.

*Note to Parents: By the way, I'm leasing a car. Don't worry, we'll talk later. Call me.*

From the get-go MJ and I were bent on running down another beater car. The logic, of course, being that we'd keep buying beater cars and running them into the ground. Our budget for starters was about 3,000. We found said 'beater' at a local dealer. Of course, there were the added charges - namely 1500 in essential repairs. Small potatoes, I know. Who knew that a 'transmission' and 'motor' were essential. Kids these days.

The real warning lights went off when I asked to see the inspection report and the words 'DO NOT DRIVE!!!' were discovered written over the 'closing remarks'. No joke.

Long story short - a $4500 beater with no warranty didn't really make us feel, as the industry says, 'secure'. So, while we waited in the truck for the $4500 beater to start, we started discussing leasing a new vehicle. And by 'we', I mean 'Salesguy'. In retrospect - I think this was the plan from the start. Scaring us with the beater was just foreplay.

Jump ahead 2 hours and I'm handing over my credit card.

Now...I'm not a complete consumer pushover, but I'm not my dad. I think had my dad been in a similar situation, we'd have gotten the car for free in addition to a share in the company and a free Keg dinner. Basically - I'm not a haggler. I'm a stickler...but not a haggler. As a stickler, I made sure I knew exactly what we were getting into and beat down the monthly payment as much as I could. It's funny how you have an idea of how badass you're going to be in a car negotiation and what a wad of cookie dough you turn out to be when faced with two guys in expensive suits holding the keys to an amazing car.

The good news in all this is that not only can we afford this, but the insurance is dirt cheap. Further good news is that, as mentioned before, the car is kick ass and we bought as much warranties and 'extra car care' plans as we could to make sure that we'll never have to worry about when and if the car breaks down.

So...I get the keys tomorrow - at which point I will begin repaying the entire city of Red Deer for rides.

Give me a call - we'll work something out. No eating or kids.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Bear Vs Puma

What exists outside our universe?

How did we come to be?
Who actually watches JAG?
These are the timeless mysteries of our time - questions which demand answers. But possibly the greatest amongst these is the one question that has dominated the greatest minds for generations:

Who would win in a fight: A Black Bear or a Puma?

The answer, of course, is Black Bear. It's simple. For, like, a gagillion reasons. Still, in the spirit of fair debate I present an unbiased comparison of these two glorious combatents (well, one definitely glorious combatent and one semi-capable predator).

Part panda, part Uma, the Puma has long been regarded as the 'Emotionally Challenged' little brother of the jungle. Chief among the Puma's strengths are its ability to cry like a sissy and perform ballet to a considerable degree of talent (note: no Puma has yet to perform in any notable shows).
Where the Puma lacks in upper and lower body strength, it makes up for in pearly white teeth which it uses to drink Strawberry Dacquiris and eat small chocolate treats all day long while the other more ambitious felines put in a full friggin day of work.
Natural enemies of the Puma include: inclement weather, spicy food, manual labor, upset stomachs, sniffles and stage fright.
Danger Rating: 2/10 slightly dented tin cans.

Part Legend, part super soldier, the Black Bear is often thought to be the product of a genetic Army project gone terribly terribly right! With a left hook carrying the destructive equivalent of three industrial Mac Trucks and reflexes like those of Superman on crank, the Black Bear is oft regarded as the apex of evolution. Recent research has shown that the only thing holding back the Black Bear from complete world domination it its need for hibernation (during which, the Black Bear has been shown to devastate entire species by mere thought alone)
Natural enemies of the Black Bear include: Asteroids, Alien diseases and the Apocolypse
Danger Rating: N/A
There you have it. Science. Feel free to make your vote.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Juice Has Been Squeezed

I thought my title was original until I read every damn news article on the subject.

Long story short: OJ won't get to eat steak tonight thanks one or two Fox execs taking the moral highroad and cutting his "If I Did It" Sweeps-travaganza. For those who didn't hear 'what may have been' (i.e ludites), the aforementioned show would have been two hours of our favorite Naked Gun co-star telling us how he would have killed his ex-wife and friend...of course...IF he did it. There was also a book planned.

Yes, that was your mind blowing. Please re-insert and continue.

For some reason I remembered that SNL sketch where OJ played a football sportscaster who eventually details a play strategy by writing "I DID IT" on the telecaster. I pictured the same smug 'Eat Me, Justice System!' smile when he and his agent came up with these new bright ideas.

But oddly enough, I'm not entirely convinced that OJ and Sweeps-hungry Fox Moguls are all to blame. I mean, we all bought in at one time or another...didn't we? For me it was a hilarious picture book based on OJ's notes during court in grade 9. For others it was the latest paper to milk the story and for even more it was watching endless hours of court TV (ads included).

The OJ Mess became a market and we all bought in. Can you blame the guy for thinking he could squeeze us for a little more?If this were all handled a little more subtly, it could have worked.

Luckily, OJ isn't the ripest juice in the fridge (I was stuck for an analogy) and we've saved ourselves from crossing the line from idiot-worship to some far shadier uber creepy territory. But enough. It didn't happen and the world turns. It has, however, given me inspiration. Behold, my new line-up of autobiographies (open for optioning):

How it Would Have Happened: If I Did, In Fact, Pee in Phil's Coffee Mug
What Movie Was On: Had I Actually Been Watching Adult Films In Junior High
Where the Body Could Be: If I Killed That Working Girl

(One of these is fake....which? Oh, my friend, wouldn't you like to know)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Death By Pixels

I don't know when it happened, but I've become offended by videogames...and I'm frightened. Typically, I'd be the first gamer to tell anti-gaming activists to get a life because, really, its just a game. Blame anything on gaming and you'd have to pretty much point a finger at every other autiory and visual influence. It's just silly.

And yet, here I am...offended.
Ok, maybe offended is the wrong word. Let's use 'leery'. And, to be clear, I'm only leery of one genre: War Games.
My thinking goes like this. Who loves War Games? Easy: Gamers (because they're fun and endorse co-op play), Designers (Because the history is already there and the gameplay comes naturally) and Game Companies (Because they're an easy sell for reasons above).
Who probably doesn't like War Games? People have fought in real wars.

I shudder to imagine how the situation would unfold if I were to whip out the Ps2 and pop in Call of Duty 2 with my grandfather in the room.

Me: Hey pops. Check out the awesome next-gen graphics.
Grandfather: Sweet jesus, I lived this.
Me: Yeah! Aint it cool? And check it out the death animations. Soooo lifelike.
Grandfather: Why are you killing your friends?
Me: It's a deathmatch.
Grandfather: A deathmatch? You do this...for fun? Is that a rocket launcher?
Me: Duh! I can kill like 1o people with this puppy.
Grandfather: My friends died during this exact war. Millions died during this war.
Me: I know! It's soooo much fun.

Ok, I wouldn't be this callous, but hopefully the point is made. That is; war games are creepy. I don't give two craps about the sci-fi/fantasy war titles (that whole violence debate is done to death), I'm more put-off by the ease by which gamers and companies are slapping a shiny gloss to the whole experience and translating what was, realistically, a horrible milestone in human misery to a fun carefree romp.
"Destructable Environments! Upgraded Weapons! Improved AI who actually suffer! Team up with a friend or go it alone - it's war, baby - have a blast!"

As videogames become more and more lifelike, so too does the experience and the influence. Yes, I said influence...because we're not talking about 8-bit sprites with little black guns anymore. We're talking about entertainment that's becoming so immersive that it can't help but change our mindsets about the subject matter it portrays. This is exactly why even the American Army has a game out because they know how effective a game can be at selling a romantic notion of war while blissfully leaving out the pesky downsides (death, mutilation, grieving, emotions, etc).

And then there's the reality.
War Games are, and will continue to be, a measure of just how damn good a system is. As such, they will continue to be the 'must have' launch titles and the persistant top sellers. Gamers love to play them, and Developers love to make money. Why stop the this lucrative partnership over something silly like respect for the dead?
In the meantime, I guess I'll just continue my one-man boycott and hope grandpa Bradford never watches G4Tv.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Link Lot #2 : The Linkening

Remember that whole idea of posting links every day or so?'s been a month ... and I only have one.
But dangit, it was worth the wait.

Click here for maximum mind blowage*

*Blogger does not guarantee nor endorse the physical act of mind blowing. In the event that viewing or sharing said link results in a physical blowing of the mind, the blogger washes his hands of the whole bloody mess. If you would like to photograph or otherwise reproduce said 'mind blowing', then please feel free to submit your account to this blog for possible posting in future Link Lots

Matt Eats Red Deer #1 (SHISO)

A little background.
Marijana and I met in the uber-scenic town of Peace River. While pretty to look at and great to live in, choices for eating were limited to Boston Pizza, about a half dozen chinese eateries and a couple bars.
Upon moving to Red Deer we vowed two things; 1) Never to eat at Boston Pizza again (which, I've since broke) and 2) to try a new restaurant every week.
So far we've hit the Mongolie Grill, George's, Mike's Steakhouse, the RanchHouse, Blarney Stone North and East Side Marios.
Since I'm lazy - my review for all of the above is: Mmmm delicious.
However, now that I have time, I present to you the first official Restaurant Review in a series of...well, 1 for now.


Shiso crazy! Ha. I just wanted to get that out of the way.
Food: Japanese cuisine - complete with a complicated menu and about 1000 varieties of fish on rice. Includes: Sushi, Sushimi, Chicken, California Rolls, Squid and other ocean delights.
Location: On top of the hill next to Jasmines. Awesome view.
Price: Ehhhhhhh. Not McDonalds - Not the Keg. A good 'pay-day' destination.
Decor: Fancy Japanese sitting booths make the occasion. Also - huge bay windows make it classy. Otherwise, the dining room is fairly generic and I can't help wonder what the reno pros on TLC's restaurant makeover would do with it. I also can't help wonder why I watch that show.
Service: Considering I must have come across as the 'White Guy Who Has Never Eaten Japanese Food', they were very nice and helped me figure out exactly what I was ordering. Turns out Sushimi and Sushi are a difference of rice and '7-Up' and 'Sprite' are a difference of suppliers.
Pay to Food Quality/Quantity Ratio: Good. We were stuffed, but not like 'Bleeeeh' stuffed, more like 'ahhhh lets get an icecream' stuffed. Could use more specials.
Arbitrary Rating: 7.5/10
Overall: A different atmosphere and menu make Shiso an 'event' dining experience. Slightly high prices and intimidating menu stop it from being a regular/casual choice.

Voila. Next Week: Uhh. Pizza?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I Put the Fun in Fun-Do! (Recipe Inside)

Now that I'm a card carrying member of Club Awesome, I can make puns like that. Deal with it. A downside of Club Awesome is that it takes me longer to recover from my most favoritest of meals:

The Fondu.

If you like eating entire bricks of cheese, pounds of steak, gallons of vege oil, seafood, mushrooms and bathroom breaks that last an entire episode of the Office, then you know why I love 'The Fondu'.
Maybe its a sense memory thing. My parents used to reserve 'The Fondu' for special occasions and thus, they were something to be anticipated. Usually on the day of, Mom would let me make the beer batter and (gasp) let me drink the rest of the beer. Suffice to say 'The Fondu' was an event - and the fact that it tasted like pure angelic bliss only served to solidify 'The Fondu' as my special dinner of choice.

I've since led many down the blessed path of 'The Fondu' - and while most are pissed to all hell about how they feel for a day or two after, they all come back eventually.

Of course, even your average everyday radio employee can dip things into burning hot oil. The secret of 'The Fondu' is, without question, 'The Beer Batter' (aka the heavenly dip upon all cheese must be dipped). my present to you, dear blog reader, the recipe for beer batter (as provided by Momma Bradford)

3/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup corn starch1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cup of beer

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients. Beat the crap out of the mixture until its smooth and creamy (get your mind out of the gutter).
Chill overnight.
Enjoy. Pass out. Swear never to have a fondu again. Repeat in two months.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Club Awesome (or, I Never Thought at 25)

Yes, I've joined club Awesome. A friend of mine emailed and welcomed me to quarter-life (aka the aforementioned 'club awesome'). It also made me realize that I'm not a spring chicken anymore. I'm not old, but I'll never be an astronaut. And that makes me sad.
So, without further ado: Things I never thought I'd be doing/thinking/considering at 25

I never thought I'd still be a cheap drunk
I never thought I'd be thousands of miles away from home shacked up with some hot Croatian newsie.
I never thought I'd still be learning so much from my parents
I never thought I'd actually take things like color schemes and matching dinnerware seriously
I never thought I'd still be taking public transit
I never thought I'd be consitantly in bed by 11pm
I never thought I'd still be playing videogames (Although, I hoped)
I never thought being 25 would (mentally) feel exactly like being 19
I never thought I'd still be in touch with the McRock gang. (and while some have moved on, and others don't talk, I couldn't be happier that I am)
I never thought I'd have RRSP's and be excited by updates from my bank
I never thought I'd maintain a blog for more than 2 days
I never thought I'd finish a complete tho

Ha! See what I did there? Comic genius. Part of being in club awesome is being comedic gold. Or at least you're own fan club.
So here's to club awesome and for the awesome years to come!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ode to the Wolf Sweater

Growing up, I wore a Wolf Sweater. It was one of my favorites. In glorious iron-on beauty it told the lonely tale of a single solitary wolf alone in the cold harsh tundras of sweaterville, standing form his rock (it was a he) and staring ominously out of my chest to anyone who would dare look it eye to eye.
I had the spirit of the sweater form.
I also wore dragon sweaters (knit by a family friend) and on one of my first days of junior high I proudly displayed a full-on Popeye sweater which came to my knees.
How I survived that day, I don't know. Maybe...just maybe, it was the spirit of the wolf.

In any case, my own experiences have allowed me to be tolerant of the Wolf Sweater. Where some may laugh and cite them to be a gross display of tack, I see them as an affirmation of life - of nature - of the wolf within us all.

Which is why I claim November 12th to be National Wolf Sweater Day. Unpack your boxes, head to your nearest flea market or discount warehouse clothing outlet and wear your Wolf Sweaters with pride!
Tundra Wolves! Red Wolves! Mexican Wolves! Steppen Wolves! The spirit of the wolf is alive ... in YOU!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Round of Birthday Thanks

In no particular order, a special thanks to:

Marijana: For simultaneously making fun of the fact I blog and helping me take pictures of the event for it.
Kelly, Carlos, Erin, Amy, Phil, Sam, Darryl, Stephanie and Adam: For making it a great night.
Adam: For running the show and not cutting my mic off on numerous occasions
The Darkness: For making a song that I could KICK ASS with during Kareokee
Lottery Woman with Wolf Shirt: For listening
7-11 Lady: For obviously seeing that I was intoxicated, yet selling me day old chicken tenders regardless.
Mom and Dad: For bearing me. mostly for the actual physical part.
Pearl and Friend: For going along with the craziness.
The Makers of Tylenol Extra Strength: For saving me.
Guy Upstairs: For laying off the electric bass this morning.
Dare: For kicking my ass about not updating!

It was a great night! Pictures to follow (if appropriate).

An Open Letter to My Body

Hey Buddy,

Still mad? I was doing a lot of thinking in the shower this morning about how I treated you last night. Or, for that matter, this last year.

You gotta know I don't mean to do the things I do when I'm drunk. I know that's a horrible excuse, but hear me out. At the time, it seemed like a great idea to follow up 5 unknown shots, 3 pitchers of beer and second hand Caeser Salad with chicken wings from 7-11. I mean, they looked just so good ... and if you want to get technical, it was you who made me hungry.

But I don't want to start playing the blame game. Point is: I'm trying. It's been a good 25 years and I mean it when I say that I'm looking forward to another 50. Or at least 40. 30 would be a bit of a piss-off. I know it might not seem like that when I eat pizza for three days straight or lick the fork after marinating raw chicken (and lets not even get into my '5 minute rule'). And I know that I send mixed signals to you when end a night of Volleyball with a dozen .25 cent wings - but hey that's just me and those are my quarks (well, again, technically they're your quarks too).
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm working on being better to you. And if that means less fondus and cheese ... well, damnit, I'm going to try. But I can't do it alone. I need a committment from you too.

For one, I don't know if you noticed, but all the males in my family have a thing with loosing their hair early. I URGE you to buck this particular trend. I also urge you to look deep within yourself (or, I guess, myself) and remember what it was like to have abs. Those were good times, huh? Lets say we get back to that?

Of course, I also expect you to keep everything else in good working order... especially ... know.

I guess that's it. I'm turning over a new leaf, my friend and I hope this means we can both mend our difference and work together for the same goals. We didn't pick each other, but we can still love each other.

That said, I apologize in advance for the gigantic roast beef dinner I'm planning for tonight. Also the ice-cream. And the complete day of laziness to follow.

Love ya man!

P.S: Remember this?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things I Thought While Watching Superman I

"I can't believe Roger's was out of Hollowman 2"
"Margot Kidder isn't Kidding around. Hah! I should tell that one to Marijana."
"She's right. That was stupid."
"Krypton is probably the most depressing/poorly designed/dangerous spike crystal city ever conceived"
"Marlon Brando's looking good."
"Zod looks like my uncle after drinking"
"What did Clark eat in that spaceship?"
"This isn't at all following Smallville"
"The same actress played Clark's girlfriend in the movie and his mom in the show? Creepy."
"So...when do we get to Zod?"
"Hey Clark, you Dad just died. Why don't you be a dick and leave your mom? Oh wait. There you go."
"Wait. Lois Lane is at least 12 years younger than Clark? Creepy"
"Lois can't spell 'rapist'? Seriously?"
"Is this where Zod shows up?"
"Oh look - they're flying. Together. Impossibly."
"Still flying"
"Shitty poetry...and more flying."
"Lois falls! Awesome! Shit. More flying."
"So let me get this straight. Before his date with Lois, Clark gets her all excited as Superman? Is he trying to be his own cock block?"
"We're entering zero-hour for a Zod appearance"
"Lex Luther lives in a submerged train station? ... ?"
"Lex Luther's girlfriend has gigantic breasts."
"Breasts somewhat make up for lack of Zod."
"Note to self: Fault lines can be repaired by simply lifting them back into place"
"Further note to self: I can reverse time by reversing the earth's rotation"
"Hey Superman - now that you reversed time, you do realize that you have to go back and re-save those people - oh, wait. No? Ok then."
"Superman's Greatest Foe: Logic."
"I wonder if I can reserve Hollowman 2"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Campaign Begins

Fellow NewCap Employees,

It's been a big year, hasn't it? A successful year. I don't know about you, but each and everytime I enter these hallowed snow-stained halls, I cannot help but be taken aback by the sheer magnitudeness of our journey.

You may ask yourself: is Magnitudeness a real word? No, it is not. But I argue - why not? Why fear change? Must a word be established before it is said? Must an employee have been with a company longer than 6 months to be awarded a yearly honor? The answer, of course, is no.

Which is why, this December 2006, I urge you to vote Matt Bradford for Employee of the Year.

Some may argue that to be employee of the year, one must first have worked an entire year. Technically, this may be true. But i ask you this: What of Napoleon? What of Einstein? What of Tom Hanks? Must they have also worked an entire calendar year in their professions to be recognized for their achievements? The answer is, again, is no.
Committment, my friends, is a state of mind ... not a timesheet.
In my short time here I have put helped pave a bold new path for our glorious company. In just 5 months, I have increased sales by 300%* and given rise to strong new initiatives that have bolstered the continued providence of our illustrious repitoire...or something. I have single handidly lobbied for the important issues (Most notably my recent Coffee for Creative'06 campaign and the 'Hey Can I Borrow 25 Cents, Drew? program). In the coming future, I promise to think about getting around to doing more.

And isn't that what an Employee of the Year is? More? Think about it.

I am not saying that the other candidates do not deserve this honor. I'm just saying that I saw one beat a small puppy to death with a rolled up Broadcasting magazine in the back. Is that how you want our industry news handled? I thought not.

This December, vote for change. Vote for Vision. Vote for Hope.
Vote Matt Bradford for Employee of the Year.

Because you don't kill puppies...and neither do I.

(all emails and questions can be forwarded to Kelly Thompson, my campaign manager. Donations accepted)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Personality Test Sheep

Two updates in one day? Unheard of you say! Proposterous! Slow Work Day!
Online tests - I love 'em for their randomness pseudo-science and I hate 'em because they so often miss the mark.
Either way, they provide good blog fodder.

Like this: Turns out I'm not as much of a nerd as I think I am:
Or this - I'm definitely not a loser:Though really - each of these tests should have but one question: Do you take online tests?
If the answer is yes, you get the following:

(update: want to kill 5 minutes of your own? Click here - Thanks to Phil for pointing out my lack of hyperlinking savvy).

Proof I'm Not Lazy

Rather - proof that being lazy isn't exactly a bad thing.
Have a read:
"Bad Habits Can Be Good For Your Career" - MSN Candace Corner
Like I've always said - a little gaming before, after (and possibly during) work can help keep the voices inside my head at bay. Lord knows after dealing with some clients (I like saying that, makes me sound like I'm getting paid good money), I need to unwind with a little mindless thumb-on-controller action.
And I'm not alone. There are millions of us 'gamers'. And they look just like everyone else.

"The truth is, a little time in fantasy land could be just what you needed. Dr. Kathleen Hall, [Insert tons of credentials] recommends 10 to 15 minutes of online computer play to refresh and get you ready to work."

Doing the math - 10 to 15 X Afternoon = Super productive Happy Matt. And everyone wins when I'm happy Matt.
Once again science comes through.
Other 'Bad Habits' include Gambling (check), Watching TV (Check), Air Guitaring (Check) and Killing Hobos (Check).
Ok, I made that up - I never air guitar.
Read the article.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Halloween Past

A quick follow up to yesterday's (or yesterday's yesterday) blog.
Behold: Halloween 2005! Matt and Marijana do Pulp Fiction!

Now its time to play "Spot the Similarities!". Answers below:
a) Matt is once again wearing a suit. Marijana's shirt is unbuttoned provocatively.
b) Matt once again spent much of the night praying to the porceline god
c) Marijana once again won something for her costume
d) Matt, once again, did not

Fun times. Next year: Jackie Brown (I pray he releases something better)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Matt and Marijana Do Tarintino

In continuing with our 'Tarintino' theme, I present to you: Matt and Marijana Do Kill Bill!

Yes, for yet another year, I was able to wear a suit and cheap Spencer Gift items for my costume while Marijana put time and effort into hers (although, I did help make the mace - which, by the way, is made of rolled up Maxim Magazine covers and my old Ryerson T-Shirt)

In case you couldn't tell, I was a generic member of the Crazy 88's and she was 'Gogo' the psycho mace girl. Awww...aren't we cute...yet dangerous!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Half-Assed Costume Critique '06

Last year's theme: Pulp Fiction. This year's theme: Kill Bill!
In mere days I'll be posting pictures of MJ and I in our Halloween gear. She was Gogo and I was a Crazy 88. Unfortunately, she had to carry a homemade mace around all night so people wouldn't think she was just a psycho schoolgirl.

In the meantime, I thought It'd be fun to be a jerk and review Halloween Costumes. Specifically: Half Assed Halloween Costumes.

(Update: Upon review my costume was fairly half-assed as well.)

The Name Tag Costume:

Here's a quick test - if your costume can't be deciphered without a name tag ("Hi, I'm an 80's Vampire") - then you, my friend, have a bonefide half-assed costume.

Exceptions: The guy who was Mel Gibson in Rehab. Funny stuff.

The 'One Piece':

Upon deep reflection, my costume this year was a definite 'One Piece'. I.e, if I were to take off just one part of my costume (in this case, a mask), I would have just been 'guy in suit'. Granted, I added blood for a combined costume cost of 4$. Point being - if it comes down to some 'crazy wicked prop I found in storage' - then you, good sir, have a half assed costume.

The Novelty Shop Costume

Funny - but half-assed. You know these guys or gals walking around in a 'kissing booth' or 'Donkey's Ass' shopped at a Spencer's gifts the night before and put down a cool 50$ for a pre-fab novelty costume. What's worse is pre-fab novelty costumes that take up the space of 3 people in a party. As much as Joe looks funny in his 'Portable Mammary tester box' - it looses its appeal the third time he knocks your drink out of your hand.Exceptions: Home-made novelty costumes. Effort = full-ass and risk.

The Generic

These are the guys who shopped last minute but couldn't really muster up the energy to go beyond the fall backs. I'm looking at you "Doctor and Nurse Combo" or "Cowboy" and even "2$ Horror Mask and Robe"

The 'Yo, I 'aint Dressin' Up' No-Costume'

A 'too-cool' fallback. Dude, its Halloween - you wouldn't show up to a wedding without a suit would you? Or maybe you would because 'you're beyond that'. Have some fun! Live a little!

The 'Excuse to Be Damn Sexy' Costume

Actually - I have no problem with this.

Disclaimer: I've been known to be a half-asser on multiple occasions - so if you took offense, let me be the first to apologize...right after I get up off the couch...which doesn't look likely to happen anytime soon.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Amazing Changing Format

Ok, blogspot, I give.
I've been trying for a half hour now to format these entries but it seems everytime I click the program randomly chooses a new spacing/size.
So...apologies if the following is hard on the eyes. I assure you it'll be soft on the mind.

Attack of the TV Cliches

Alternate titles include: "TV Cliches That Must Die" or "My Semi-Complete Guide to Over-Used TV Crutches (and How They Must End)"
You get the point.
I watch a lot of TV. Me and the ole radiation box have enjoyed a healthy, warm and open relationship (I'm allowed to watch other TV's).
Still, like all relationships - there are the inevitable bumps in the road. So in the spirit or getting things back on track, I offer this list of TV Cliches that must immediately pack up and move out.
Feel free to add...

The Inconclusive Season Finale: Everyone loves a great cliffhanger, but how many people love watching 22 episodes just to be treated to more questions, more loose ends and the obligatory '[insert character] might be blown-up/shot/drowned/choked or otherwise dead!' As viewers, a season is an investment - and to have that investment end with no closure is like standing in line for a ride only to be told we have to come back next year when we're tall enough.
Recent Offenders: Smallville (Zod's coming, Zod's coming! He's here! To be continued) and Lost (Oh! Finally! We found the others! The hatch is about to blow and ... to be continued).

Finally! The answers we've been waiting for! ... Next season

The 'Now I'm Evil' Complex: Shows love toying with character loyalties. And, for the most part, this makes for superb drama. However, once a character turns to the dark side, don't prolong the inevitable. Once we as the viewers know that they're up to no good - every other scene that follows is us waiting for the shoe to drop. Hold off the actual betrayal for too long and a) we don't care or b) we begin to believe the good guys deserve if for being so damn oblivious.
Recent Offenders: Battlestar Galactica (Baltar), Alias (Everyone at one point), Desperate Housewives (Don't ask)

"Bwahaha - I'm Evil. Maybe. I'll let you know in 20 episodes."

"Sometimes They Come back": A personal pet peeve. If you're going to kill off a main character - commit to it, damnit! I hate seeing characters go as much as the next boob tuber, but it's a memorable and poignant turning point - a turning point that is rendered utterly useless when said character is ressurected just episodes later! It ruins the importance of the death. It ruins the credibility of the show. It just ruins everything. Unless its 'Mario Brothers, the TV Show', no one should have more than one life.
Recent Offenders: Buffy, Alias ("Oh no [character of the week] everything has changed...wait, wait... there they are.") X-Files ("Mulder? You're dead? Wait. No. Now? No. How about now? Scully?)

"Noooooooooooo!!! Oh, hey...welcome back"

The Off-Camera Death: Related to both the above. Dear TV: you aren't fooling anyone. Now that we know characters most always come back, we also know that unless we actually see the brain matter splattered over the jail cell floor, its not a real death. We gotta see it to believe it.
Recent Offenders: Battlestar Galactica (A geek reference, nevermind), Every Single Dramatic TV Show - 24 included.

"Now you shall pay! Offscreen!"

Homework Required: Let's try to remember one thing; TV is our escape from work. It's our break from school and it's our time out from the daily upkeep of our lives. If we constantly have to read volumes of forums and show-created content on the web just to stay ahead, then it turns into work and at that point we might as well use the time for other things (family, friends, sleep). Likewise, a serial drama is an amazing ride for the devoted - but for the casual observer its a frustrating and alienating experience. If watching a show means freeze-framing the previous three, then you have a cult demographic - then you get cancelled in the third season and (maybe) a two-hour rushed series finale.

Recent Offenders: 24 (Miss an hour, miss a season), Deadwood - Anything HBO (Remember what Jimmy did from episode 2X03? Neither do we). Lost (sometimes I think even the writers forget where they've been). Note: I love serials, just wish I could get into others I've missed. 24

For more on Hurley's love interest, play the Lost Website game or sign up with American Express for special coded plot summaries.

I think that'll do for now. Stay tuned for future genre-specific beefs. And by stay tuned, I do mean please, please continue to read this blog.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Link Lot #1

I've decided to be highly original and post links. I know, I know - its a revolutionary concept but I guarantee you'll like the idea if you give it a chance.

That said, I think this first lot of links should be used to credit my main interweb influences:

MyExtraLife: If my friends and I got off our video-game/movie watching behinds and produced a podcast - it may sound a little like this. A great read and listen for any geek.
DubiousQuality: In a round about way, Bill's game/life themed blog was the final inspiration I needed to start this. Enviable writing and insight to be found. (plus muchly betterer grammar).
Pointlesswasteoftime: The title pretty much sums this up. I'd smack this in the category of 'comedy to take a break to'
darkhorizons: I've been going here for about 5 years now and while may be a little quicker at updates, this site makes up the balance with an awesome archive of show info/trailers/reviews and more.
theOnion: A hilarious compliment read to actual news.

That's all for now - stay tuned for more focused links.
Update: Now they work! Thanks to Nick for noticing my lack of computer skillz.
Oh - and Phil suggested these and

You can read Phil's Philadering Philosophies at

Official Movie Schmovie Rules

Behold: Movie Schmovie.

Passed down from uber geek to uber geek, Movie Schmovie is the penultimate test of 'movie-buffness' (real word) and memory. Movie Schmovie is the Olympics of movie knowledge - the Ed McMahon of Professional Wrestling Entertainment.

To play Movie Schmovie is to LIVE Movie Schmovie.

Alas, I cannot lay claim to creating Movie Schmovie (I believe it was developed by the Mayans), but I can take the credit for igniting the Movie Schmovie fire in 2 Ontario Universities and the entire province of Alberta. Yes. It's that good.

There's even a belt. I won it once - back in '02. But that's another story for another time.

Enjoy...with caution.

Players: 2 - Any
The Setup: None. Maybe Nachos. Access to or Leonard Malton's Video Guide is also recommended.
i)Choose someone to begin. This someone picks either a) a movie or b) an actor/actress to begin.
ii) The next player in sequence must then take this movie/actor and connect it to another movie or actor.
i.e, In the event that the first suggestion was a movie, the next person must name an actor in said movie.
In the event that the first suggestion was an actor, the next person must name a movie that actor has been in.
iii) Rinse and repeat for everyone else in sequence.
iv) When a player is finally stumped (i.e they cannot name an actor or movie based on the actor/movie given to them), they have the option to 'give up' or 'challenge'.
In a Challenge, the player can opt to challenge the person he has received a movie/actor from for the same answer he is stumped on. Player is 'out' if the Player before him can answer his own question. Reversely, the player who gave the movie/actor is out if they cannot.
v) Play continues until everyone but one 'the ultimate movie nerd' remains.

Sample Game:
Starter: Ocean's Eleven
Player 1: Brad Pitt
Player 2: 12 Monkeys
Play 3: Bruce Willis
Starter: 5th Element
Player 1: (now stumped). Challenge.
Starter: Milla Jovovich (sp?)
*Player 1 is now out. (if Starter could not answer, Starter would have been out)

i) The starter cannot stump right off the top
ii) No movie/actor can be named twice in the same round (even in challenges)
iii) First answers are final answers.
iv) No reference materials may be used

Optional For Beginners
Each Player can ask the following ONCE per round. However, once asked, they cannot challenge.
Initials of Actor
Description of Movie
Initials of Movie

*I cannot be held liable for any debates, fights, forgotten time and inebriation as a result of the movie game.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

XBOX Bully = the End of Civilization?

Well...its here. The game guaranteed to turn a generation of mindless gamers into an army of gun wielding moral despots. Nevermind that most gaming publications are hailing Rockstar's latest as a near masterpiece, it's called 'Bully' man. Bully. Can you even wrap your head around the sheer horror of it all? Truly, this XBOX abomination is the beginning of the end.

(Warning: Scenes of Extreme Violence)

But ... let me start again.
Today was birthday recon day. While Marijana finished off her costume shopping in Wal-Mart, I snuck into EB Games to get a little list going for the big occasion (3 weeks and counting for anyone who cares). I won't lie, I was caught up in the Bully hype - especially after reading tome after gushing tome of online praise. So I was ready for the posters - the displays - the gleaming EB geeks ready with their Bully sales pitches.

Nothing. Nowhere. Mortal Combat? Yes. Gears of War? You bet? Super Hardcore Fighter: Blood Edition? Uh-huh...but no Bully.

"You guys got Bully in, right?" I asked the nearest EB Geek
"Yeah. We have to keep them behind the desk," she responded with a blush - as if I just asked her where they kept the weed.
"We aren't allowed to display them. You have to ask. Federal legislation or something."

Federal Legislation? Or Something?? Surely, I had entered Bizzaro EB Games...where hookers, gangbangers and gut-ripping aliens were standard fare but a Teen rated video game about the life of a schoolkid was definately contraband.

Confused, I pointed to Mortal Combat Annihilation, asking: "So you guys can put this out."
"But no Bully."
"Yeah. Stupid, eh?"

'Stupid, eh' indeed. Before radio, I had worked at a videogame shop for two years, and at Roger's for another 2 (both for more pay I'm sure). I was there when WWF 2000 almost got banned and when GTA received its ill press. The most that happened in both these times is that we were made to ask for ID. That was the extent of the madness. Even Manhunt, a game the endorses hunting and killing human prey was granted immunity to this kind of idiocy.

To be fair, I understand the sensitivity of the subject and I can see where some talking heads may think the concept of a game called 'Bully' to be in poor taste (even if said concept is just that - an uneducated assumption). I also think we can all admit that the name 'Bully' was a dumb move for Rockstar considering recent events.

What bugs me though is that those who have actually played the game have reported content far tamer than half the games out there. Sure there are elements of 'bullying', but you do not (contrary to popular political opinion) play a Bully. Reversely, going to class is a key element of the game. So too is making friends, socializing, joining teams and getting exercise. I won't deify the game as it does sport a ton of other less 'school sanctioned' fun, but nothing I have seen or read would lead me to believe that this anywhere more moral corrupting than an episode of Wonder Years. There aren't even any guns!

What saddens me most is that those most against Bully won't see past the rare instances of wedgies and broken windows and not the other 99% of the game. It also bugs me that EB Games folded to this absurd benchmark for censorship. Its too easy to list the volumes of other games that may actually deserve the bad press so I won't.

Needless to say, I'm upset. Now, when I give Marijana my list it will have to say: 'Bully for XBOX- ask behind the counter'.

Oh, and I'll make sure she takes a brown paper bag.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Something Wii

This scares me
(from the Wii Experience videos)...

Nevermind that it looks like poor Mr.Wii Sr. has just thrown out his back playing tennis or that Mrs. Wii Sr is BLOWN AWAY BY THE SHEER AWESOMENESS (or aforementioned back injury), but also because it reminds me of this...

That's right. I went there. Actually, I went here: Particularly interesting are the media articles leading up to the ill-fated VB's release. It's even referred to as the 'Second Coming' by one and "BRR-IILLIANT" by another (Nintendo sure likes its double ii's)

Anyone see a trend? Nintendo releases a 'revolutionary system destined to shake up the industry' the Nintendo fanboys stir up a craze and then...boom...its a gimmick

Don't get me wrong - Nintendo is a gimmick genius and some have paid off big. I truly believe that the company wants to change the way we play, but can this new move really hold its own for an entire system generation?

That's 4 years people. 5 if we're lucky. That's 5 years of hand waving, wrist flicking, pseudo-workout gameplay. I'm a working stiff now, which means the last thing I want to do is come home, put on the gym shorts and work up a sweat playing Zelda. Ok, ok, maybe its not that strenuous, but sometimes just getting up to switch discs is all the energy I can muster when I just want to PLAY.

Remember the running pad? The super-scope? The power glove? These were all based on the assumption that 'flailing around like a moron' was a gameplay feature we all wanted. And sure, for a couple months it was.

And the developers? How long until ports are abandoned due to the time it takes to shoehorn them into a functional 'Wii experience'. Oh wait, there won't be many ports because the Wii isn't going to be on the same technical playing field. So what does that mean? It means we might see Wii dominated by japanese imports, niche games and the 'mario game of the week' (DS anyone?).

And televisions? I compell you to find an 18-35 year old with a tv big enough to accomodate one 'flailing moron' let alone 4. Save for my one buddy who works in finance...note to self: convince buddy who works in finance to buy a Wii.

I could go on...but I feel dirty. I actually really respect Nintendo and I'm leaning to the Wii side (though mostly for the virtual console features). Here's hoping I'm horribly wrong.

Until then...

Thanks again to for unknowingly lending me these pics.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bizzaro Matt

This just in:
My pimp name is Mack Master Matt Shmoove

The sad part is I'd probably make my monthly salary in just a few tricks.

Screw it - I'm now hiring. Apply in person.

Press Start

Hey, you made it! Can I get you a drink? No? Good - all I have is diet coke. Sorry, we usually do the shopping on Friday.

So? Sitting down? Good. Let's do this.

First things first: this is not a journal. I already have one of those and its in an offline directory far, far away under the watchful eye of an uncrackable MicrosoftWord password.

What this is (if all goes well) is a daily exercise in virtual geekdome. And, if you're a fan of games, movies, tv, entertainment, life, love and fondus then I think we'll get along. If you're not - well, stick around anyways.

To the two or three people I asked to read this: thanks for coming. I can't promise the content will always be pleasing or even, grammatically, correct (see what I did there?), but I can promise it'll kill at least five minutes of your day - and really...isn't that we're all looking for anyways?