Dearly Departed

Gate of Honour
My aunt was laid to rest the other day. She lived a full and long life of 86 years. She now lies next to my uncle, her husband, whose death preceded hers by two years. My aunt and uncle are buried at the Field of Honour, a cemetery dedicated to Canadian military personnel who served in the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
Following my uncle's discharge from the Canadian Army after the Second World War, the two of them married and lived in Montreal for 25 years before moving to Florida. My uncle Mac was a tough guy. Not a big guy, just real tough. As a teen he was a lifeguard and took up boxing. Boxing came in handy once he joined the military, both in the ring and in the barracks. After the war my uncle drove a cab and worked as a bodyguard. In the early 70s the two of them settled in Florida and took on perhaps an easier life working in retail, managing a number of stores. They spent the rest of their working years in the United States, having worked in every state. They moved back to Montreal to enjoy their last few years closer to family. I've been told that in many ways I take after Mac. I've also been told that I take after my late Uncle Lyle, Mac's best friend who was killed in action in the 2nd world war. Lyle was the writer, Mac the fighter. 

Lawrence Tierney as Joe Cabot
Funerals are just like reunions. I have never been close with that side of my family as all my cousins are much older than I, 10 to 25 years my senior. I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time. My other uncle, Harry was there too. I don't know Harry as well since he married into the family in more recent years. I know enough to recognize him as another tough guy. A WWII vet, Harry fought overseas with the U.S. Military. Harry was telling a story in his deep gravel voice and it suddenly struck me. Harry looks and sounds just like Lawrence Tierney. You probably remember Tierney from Seinfeld, he played Elaine's dad. If not, I am sure you remember him as Joe Cabot from Reservoir Dogs. 

I saw one cousin for the first time in 20 years. The last time I saw her was when my grandfather died. She is my 2nd cousin. Her mother is a psychotic bitch. And that's not just my opinion. It is a well known fact. The Britannica Encyclopaedia has an article about her. The newspapers all know. It is a fact.

Anyway, sitting in the family room at the funeral home, my aunt re-introduced us. We chatted, we reminisced. She asked, "How are we connected again?" We aren't first cousins are we?" 
"No", I replied, "we are second cousins; your mom is my 1st cousin".

Pause. 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1.

"So, Shawn", she said, "You should give me your number. We should meet for coffee sometime."

Did my cousin just ask me out? At our aunt's funeral? She just hit on me!

She is a very pretty lady and about ten years younger than me. She is my cousin. What the hell?! I mean that's just creepy. Wherever I go, someone wants to set me up with their friends, their daughters, their cousins. I have two rules though; Don't try to set me up at a funeral. And two, I don't date family.


Mafia Wars Is Over

Goodbye Mafia Wars it was nice knowing ye... Three weeks of PC problems has made me realize that I have wasted too much time on the game.  Mafia Wars started off as a fun diversion that took no more than 15 minutes to play every other day. It later became an obsessive ordeal for which I was logging in two and three times a day to my Facebook account just to play Mafia Wars. A 90 minute time waster every freaking day! Mafia Wars is a fun game but - there is no end in sight. An addiction or compulsion is an obsessive or abnormal behaviour that revolves around a certain thing or activity. Whether your addiction is poker, cigarettes or porn, there is always a conclusion. And then you start over. In Mafia Wars there was not even the satisfaction of starting over, only the long and continuous travelling from country to country, completing operations, crimes and killing and robbing people.
Mafia Wars
An extended break from the game has allowed me to realize just how much time was lost. Goodbye to Brazil, even though I have yet to see you in person. Goodbye to Las Vegas even though I have not travelled to your far away lands. And New York, perhaps I will visit you again, face to face.
I have completed all my virtual travels to nearly every city and country without losing a dime. What I have lost is many hours. I will only blame Mafia Wars for making me late for work once. Just so that you understand, I am almost obsessive about getting to work on time. If I don't get to work fifteen minutes before my start time I consider myself late.
So with a final hurrah, I gave away all my gifts to all the hot girls with the real Facebook photo IDs who friended me for the game. I gave away cars, weapons and animals to my most loyal Mafiosa who aided me through my missions.

Things I did when my PC went down:
  • Wrote with a pen
  • Paid my bills by cheque
  • Cleaned my condo
  • Folded my laundry ( I was living out of my laundry basket for the last month, maybe I should explain that in another post)
  • Went on a couple dates (This had nothing to do with my computer, I am just bragging)
  • Cleaned my condo a second time (Here too I am bragging)
  • Did the crossword
  • Had a party
  • Took a walk
  • Got to work way too early
Mafia Wars: The Big Heist
 Things I will do instead of playing Mafia Wars:
  • Watch TV
  • Call my friends
  • Finish building my bar
  • Take my bike out for a spin
  • Shower
  • Go the nearest department store and set all their alarm clocks to go off at the same time
  • Synchronize my remote to my neighbours TV
  • Install Ubuntu
  • Have a root canal
  • Eat dirt
  • Start new rumours
  • Spread lies
From their website, "Mafia Wars is the #1 crime genre game with over 7 million players playing daily. Mafia Wars is part of the Zynga family of games. Zynga is the #1 social gaming company on the web. Zynga was founded specifically to add a social element to casual online games..." And stop inviting me to play Mafia Wars 2!


Heineken Open Your World

Heineken is at it again with another great advertising campaign called Open Your World. 'Open your world' is the new global Heineken tagline. This follows their hilarious recent Walk-in Fridge campaign. In The Entrance, a man with "impeccable" style arrives at a party, interacting in every possible way with the guests before accepting a Heineken. Check some of the newest Heineken ads.

Here is the extended 90 second version of their ad, called The Entrance.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is a Dutch band, here is their original video to their song featured in the ad. The song is called "The Golden Age".

And the Heineken version

This Heineken ad is called The Duet, featuring Siegfried and Jean-Pierre.

Heineken or not, a beer commercial wouldn't be a beer commercial without beautiful women. Open Your World.

Heineken Legends, The Date

Heineken, The Dream Island

Heineken, The Billboard



The Amazing Spider-Man New Trailer

When I heard of the announced 2012 release of a refitted and redone Spider-Man movie I could not understand the purpose. After all, we just finished seeing a highly successful trio of films. Tobey Maguire was fine as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man - although, he is better suited for a role such as in The Cider House Rules. The new Spidey film starring Andrew Garfield in the title role is scheduled for a July 3, 2012 3D and traditional release The film will focus on Parker in his high school days as he develops his powers as Spider-Man. Money grab or a necessary re-imagining?

Spider-Man in 3D
Amazing Spider-Man


Fitz and the Tantrums - Dear Mr. President

I'll give you another reason to listen to CBC Radio 2. How else are you going to discover gems like this one by Fitz and the Tantrums? A polished and tight band if I ever did see (or hear) one. Fitz and the Tantrums are an L.A. based soul band who have toured with Maroon 5. Their song Dear Mr. President leaped out at me from my car stereo as I was driving to work this week. This video, taken from the Wilcox Sessions, shows just what the band could do with their full sound. Get ready to be blown away. Fitz and the Tantrums are currently in the midst of a world wild tour, click here for a list of their upcoming shows.

Fitz and the Tantrums


No Strings Attached To Friends with Benefits

Would someone please tell me the difference between No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits? At first I thought they were the same movie. Then, I wondered why Mila Kunis was doing two movies with the same storyline. Then I realized No Strings Attached starred Kunis' Black Swan costar Nathalie Portman.

No Strings Attached plot summary:
A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it's not long before they learn that they want something more. (Stars Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher)

Friends with Benefits plot summary:
Dylan and Jamie discover that adding the act of sex to their friendship does lead to complications. (Stars Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake)

No String Attached
Friends With Benefits
Then I realized that No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits were the same movie as Black Swan, except Black Swan didn't have those guys that got in the way and I was able to focus on Portman and Kunis. I didn't actually see Black Swan. Or the other movies. But, I did look at the movie posters.
Black Swan
Edit: And then a couple weeks later I found out I was not the only one who had this idea. Or perhaps the producer of the following video came up with the idea after seeing my post.


Singer Amy Winehouse Dies

Various news sites are reporting that U.K. singer Amy Winehouse died in London today at the age of 27. So far her death is being described as "unexplained". Police had cordoned off the street around Winehouse's residence as journalists, fans and the curious gathered around outside.
Winehouse joins the infamous 27 Club, the long list of rock musicians who died unexpectedly at the age of 27. Others include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain.

Amy Winehouse

Go The Fuck To Sleep

I was in the Chapters bookstore a few days back and ran into my cousin. He introduced me to Go the F**K To Sleep by Adam Mansbach. The book can best be described as a children's story for the parent. The sweetly drawn art work is typical of any children's storybook. The profanity laced prose is what makes Mansbach's book stand out. Of course, I immediately wanted to buy the book but my good old cousin was holding the store's last copy. Here is the awesome audio of Samuel L. Jackson with the accompanying video. In the introduction Jackson says, his own experiences proved that reading stories to put kids to sleep does not work. Jackson said he used to say "go the fuck to sleep" to his own daughter growing up.

While Jackson is perfect in style and voice I started thinking about who else could pull it off. What about Dennis Leary? How about Christopher Walken? He didn't make a recording himself - here is the awesome Kevin Pollack from his show Kevin Pollack's Chat Show impersonating Walken doing the same read.

My New Favourite Beer Commercial

My new favourite beer commercial is Alexander Keith's Girlfriend spot.. Not exactly brand new but I do not believe our friends in the U.S. of A. have had the pleasure of viewing this ad for Alexander Keith's ale on the television. Some things are meant for sharing. Not only is Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale my favourite summer beer, this has to be one of the funniest ads out there.
Alexander Keith's was founded in the early 1800s making it one of the oldest breweries in North America. Beer Advocate rates this particular IPA as a C-. But it is a better brew than that. Consider it not as a traditional IPA but one of the best mass produced beers Canada has to offer. The fact that Labatt now controls Alexander Keith should not scare off the interested drinker.
I was reading some comments about the ad on the intergoogle and fell on this gem by an enraged mother, " We are trying to teach our daughters that they do not have to accept this kind of behaviour. They learn this at home and they are told in school NOT to put up with it. Is this beer company trying to be cute? I really object to them showing this on TV during the hockey games!!"

Sorry lady, hockey and beer are part of the culture and whether you are watching it on CBC, TSN, or NBC, sex and beer will always be associated with sports. You let your daughter watch Don Cherry's outdated and offensive rants, yet a funny beer commercial is a problem? Why don't you have an Alexander Keith's IPA and calm the hell down.

Here's another one, "SO SEXIST...and so insulting to every gender's intelligence levels. DUHHHH - some "things" are archaic. LAME LAME LAME Keiths, you've lost many people on this piece of poo you call advertising."  
"Every gender's intelligence"? All of them? "Duhhhhh"? "Poo"? Really? I almost took down my blog when I read these insightful comments. How could I top that?

Isn't the guy's reaction at the end just great? Sort of a, what do you expect? That's just the way he is moment. My friends put up with a lot my crap but I have never tried that. But I might.


Things to Do When Your Computer Dies

I am back. It has been a harrowing two weeks with no computer access. It is amazing how disconnected one could feel without email. Oh, how I longed to update Stubborn Fool, lurk on Facebook, and tweet on Twitter. I feel as if the world has passed me by without the regular flow of news. 
Having no access to my favourite news, sites, and blogs I found myself listening to more radio, watching more news on TV and cleaning my condo. So perhaps I should thank that the dreaded blue screen of death for rearing its ugly head. The hardware problems culminated into a burnt ram card and possibly a shorted motherboard. After six years it was time to buy a new PC. Holy crap is this thing fast or what!? After an extensive ten minutes of research I decided to stick with a PC rather than a Mac. I also went with an Intel I5 Processor, 1.5 TB hard drive, 8GB RAM, a 1GB integrated video card, and a really crappy mouse. The mouse was a thrown-in so I will salvage my old far superior mouse, even though the casing is a little warn.

WKRP in Cincinnati
One of the things I got to do was watch my video tapes of WKRP in Cincinnati. If you are thinking John from Cincinnati and have no idea what I am talking about I would guess you are under the age of thirty. WKRP is a situation comedy that premiered in 1978 and aired for four seasons. It featured the misadventures of  an inept radio station crew as they grew from a last placed station to a top ranked performer. When it aired live and then in its initial run in syndication the show featured an amazing soundtrack of rock and roll from the 50s, 60s and mostly 70s. A ten-year licensing agreement and the high cost of securing the future rights to these songs forced the producers to make a decision, edit out the music or forget about airing the show in reruns. Without its original music the show has lost much of it's charm. Much of the plot and punchlines tied into the music that has been replaced with generic riffs.

Much of the comedy remains, how can we forget the absurd newscasts, mispronunciations and conspiracy ridden rants of Les Nesman?


Hello? Hellooo Hello?

Computer problems. I'll be back in a few days. Feel free to browse and comment in the meantime.