Month: August 2009

I knew it!

So when LovelyWife sees this, she goes:

rat

HOLY CRAP IT’S A F*CKIN’ RAT! HOW F*CKING UGLY! KILL IT! AAAAAARGH!

But this:

squirrel

Well look at that cute little squirrel! Awwwwwwwwwww! ❤ <3<3

Now tell me the size of the tail doesn’t matter?

Quirky

All right.

Yesterday I Tweeted that LovelyWife was a little weird quirky. Poppy told me you’re supposed to use quirky instead of weird when I talk about LovelyWife. Makes sense.

Anyhoo, I said LovelyWife was quirky because she can spend hours watching previews. Some of you Tweeted back that it was perfectly normal, and I explained that I didn’t mean previews at the movies (those are a must) or a television show were they’d show previews of upcoming movies for half an hour: I meant previews from the PPV channel. Previews from movies that came out years ago. Previews from movies we have already seen in the theater months or years ago. Previews from movies we own on DVD.

No in order to redeem myself a little, let me tell you about a few things that make me quirky weird.

1) I floss before and after brushing my teeth. I have massive spaces between my teeth, and that first floss is necessary to dislodge bits of food stuck in those spaces. If I only floss afterwards, I feel that the spaces between my teeth are still dirty – if there was food in there, no toothpaste ever went there, right?

2) When I forget to wear my wedding ring, I feel naked and I tend to hide my hands so people will not notice that I don’t have it on. This happened less then 10 times in the past 14 years, and on many of those occasions I backtracked home to put it on before getting back to my regular scheduled activities. BTW: This is a complete departure from LovelyWife’s habit of wearing hers. In fact, I often say that when I celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary by booking an Alaska cruise, I’ll have to bring the bedside lamp because my wife’s wedding ring spends half of it’s time on there. This is part of the secret why LovelyWife and I are sticking together so long; We’ve only been married 7.5 years! Which brings me to my next thing…

3) I’ve been married to a lamp for 7.5 years now. 😉

4) I like reading instruction manuals. I have read every single instruction manual that came with anything I bought – cover to cover. If the manual is in English and French, I read both languages. I have a few manuals that are in English, French and Spanish. In those cases, also “read” the Spanish part even if I can’t really read Spanish. It doesn’t matter how simple the product is: I RTFM. As a corollary, a lot of the manuals I read multiple times. Very few novels have I read multiple times.

5) I will only park in certain specific parking spaces. I always park the car to protect the right side. I’m obsessed with preventing any dings on the car, and I figured that protecting the right side prevents me from circling the car every time I get in (since I always see the left side getting in the car). To further illustrate, here’s my grocery store parking lot:

parkingLoblaws

I will only park in the orange spots. And you can totally see my car there. Clicking makes it bigger.

So there you have it. Five more things that make me… Well, if you love me you’ll say quirky. If not you’ll say weird. I’ll let you decide.

Insulted

I don’t get insulted easily.

I mean, I do get insulted sometimes, but never to the point where I’m speechless. I’m always quick with some sort of clever comeback or witty retort. I swear. I tend to brush these off as fear, dumbassery or just plain lack of communication skills. I strongly believe that people are entitled to consider me a dumbass, an idiot or a jerk and voice that in some way. I recognize that some people are better at expressing this than others. In all my life, I have never cut all lines of communication because of one single insult.

Until now.

Now, I won’t get into many details – I’ve been writing and re-writing this for the past hour or so –  as this person would easily be identified by people who knows me IRL, and yes this person reads this blog, and I hope he or she recognize himself or herself.

Yesterday morning, I have been insulted like I’ve never been insulted before.

As I’m riding my bike to work, I see this person that I know, waiting to cross the street at a crosswalk. That person is also riding a bike. So I pull over besides that person and say hi, smiling. This was the reply I got:

“So you ARE riding your bike to work. I thought you were lying about that.”

I thought “WTF?” but I said… Nothing. The light changed, I said goodbye and we went our separate ways. And that’s the last interaction I’ll have with this person.

I guess I really don’t like being called a liar. I guess that’s funny since I make stuff up all the time on this blog, and I’ve been known to tell and embellish stories all the time. I like to think that people are smart enough to get the difference between me saying something like “I have X-Ray vision” and “I ride my bike to work”. I know, I have issues. I’ll go work on that now.

Goodbye, old “friend”. You’re a dumbass.

And FYI: I do have X-Ray vision.

Note to the reader: If you don’t live in Canada, specifically in the general Ottawa region, if you don’t know me IRL, if you don’t ride a bike to work, if you didn’t see me and talk to me on  Thursday morning around 7:30 – this post is not about you. And yes, all those conditions are cumulative. It’s not a parable in any way shape or form. I really did see someone I know, and we really had that verbal exchange. This only applies to one person.

Ask Canadia’s Blogger (2)

Bonjour Michel,
Comment ca va?
L’ autre jour, j’ai ete au Canada (c’est tres jolie en Juillet) et j’ai noticee un livre de timbres Americaine …
[In all fairness, that’s not too bad up until I created the conjugation for “I noticed.”]
The other day I was in Canada (it is lovely this time of year) and couldn’t help but notice the book of American postage stamps my wife had on her kitchen counter. During the conversation that ensued, and as I’m not convinced a casual email is the appropriate place for a dramatic re-enactment when it comes to things as important as postage I’ll just summarize, she said she could send mail to me (in Ohio … which is also lovely this time of year) using American stamps.
As I wondered how the Canadian government made money off this arrangement she then went on to say she could send mail from Vancouver to Montreal (which is lovely, well, you know) using American postage and that no Americans would be involved in the delivery process at all (which may be the best way to assure your mail gets delivered in the first place).
As a boy I used to collect stamps and am well aware the Canadian people have had postage stamp-making technology since at least 1972 (which is when I started my collection). And, as I recall, you guys turned out some pretty nice work – so much better that the stuff the Brits were cranking out which seemed to consist of nothing more than some old gal in profile on different colored backgrounds – which makes your use of American stamps even more puzzling.
Oh, I almost forgot, she said she bought the American stamps at her local post office.
Naturally, I have a question or two:
Can you send mail from Ottawa using American stamps or is the cross-use of postage a West Coast Canadian thing?   Can you buy American stamps at your local post office?  Do you feel the allowed use of American stamps in Canada is in any way oppressing the Canadian people? Would the people of Quebec be better off spending their time fighting off the pox that is the use of American Postage Use in Canada rather than succession?  Have the Canadian people (and I assume you speak on behalf of each and every one) considered that if they required their citizens to use only Canadian stamps the cost of beer might drop considerably? And milk? Eggs too?
Americans want to know (and I speak on behalf of each and every one of us … except for the Republicans; and even they don’t know what their common interest is these days.)
Mot en haut,
Delmer
Dear D,
I am doing well. I think I’m gonna turn your emails into a “Do you have THIS in Canada”. 😉 So, on with the show:
Can you send mail from Ottawa using American stamps or is the cross-use of postage a West Coast Canadian thing?
I’m pretty sure I can, but as I am not looking to marry an American, I have little to no reason to have American stamps on hand. I’m curious, and might try this in the near future.
Can you buy American stamps at your local post office?
Yes – If I couldn’t, it would require me (and every Canadian) to drive to the States to get USA stamps, and then drive back home to send you a letter… That wouldn’t make sense. 😉
Do you feel the allowed use of American stamps in Canada is in any way oppressing the Canadian people?
I think we have much bigger fish to fry. And chickens.
Would the people of Quebec be better off spending their time fighting off the pox that is the use of American Postage Use in Canada rather than succession?
Postage Schmostage. Make love not war!
Have the Canadian people (and I assume you speak on behalf of each and every one) considered that if they required their citizens to use only Canadian stamps the cost of beer might drop considerably? And milk? Eggs too?
I don’t think we have. Beer, milk and eggs are already pretty affordable, and I think it would be dangerous to make it more available to the lower-lower classes. I mean even homeless people can afford beer around here (milk and eggs too, but they seem to prefer beer), who’s making less money than a homeless dude? Well, me apparently. I also see a lot of them with 1,000$ bikes and it pisses me off. That’s a completely different post. 😉
So there you have it, my stamp knowledge in a nutshell.
Notice how nice I was and didn’t mention your geekness for collecting stamps? Yup, I’m nice like that.
Prends soin,

incanada

Once again in a blue moon, it’s time for your favorite Internet column, Ask Canadia’s Blogger. Every week Once in a while, I’ll pick a few interesting questions asked by my loyal readers and provide super intelligent and relevant answers. And by that I mean I’ll make some shit up.

I started things with a bang with the Janelle Edition, this edition of ACB is the extra very special DELMER Edition. Delmer writes…

Bonjour Michel,

Comment ca va?

L’ autre jour, j’ai ete au Canada (c’est tres jolie en Juillet) et j’ai noticee un livre de timbres Americaine …

[In all fairness, that’s not too bad up until I created the conjugation for “I noticed.”]

The other day I was in Canada (it is lovely this time of year) and couldn’t help but notice the book of American postage stamps my wife had on her kitchen counter. During the conversation that ensued, and as I’m not convinced a casual email is the appropriate place for a dramatic re-enactment when it comes to things as important as postage I’ll just summarize, she said she could send mail to me (in Ohio … which is also lovely this time of year) using American stamps.

As I wondered how the Canadian government made money off this arrangement she then went on to say she could send mail from Vancouver to Montreal (which is lovely, well, you know) using American postage and that no Americans would be involved in the delivery process at all (which may be the best way to assure your mail gets delivered in the first place).

As a boy I used to collect stamps and am well aware the Canadian people have had postage stamp-making technology since at least 1972 (which is when I started my collection). And, as I recall, you guys turned out some pretty nice work – so much better that the stuff the Brits were cranking out which seemed to consist of nothing more than some old gal in profile on different colored backgrounds – which makes your use of American stamps even more puzzling.

Oh, I almost forgot, she said she bought the American stamps at her local post office.

Naturally, I have a question or two:

Can you send mail from Ottawa using American stamps or is the cross-use of postage a West Coast Canadian thing?   Can you buy American stamps at your local post office?  Do you feel the allowed use of American stamps in Canada is in any way oppressing the Canadian people? Would the people of Quebec be better off spending their time fighting off the pox that is the use of American Postage Use in Canada rather than succession?  Have the Canadian people (and I assume you speak on behalf of each and every one) considered that if they required their citizens to use only Canadian stamps the cost of beer might drop considerably? And milk? Eggs too?

Americans want to know (and I speak on behalf of each and every one of us … except for the Republicans; and even they don’t know what their common interest is these days.)

Mot en haut,

Delmer

P.S.: As you might be aware, I married this great Canadian Chick. I was wondering if you could give me any tips about (or is it aboot?) what Canadian Chicks like? I mean I can sort of figure out what “Caribou-style” means, but that’s about the extent of my Canadian Chicks knowledge. Any help appreciated.

Of course I replied:

Dear D,

I am doing well. I think I’m gonna turn your emails into a “Do you have THIS in Canada”. 😉 So, on with the show:

Can you send mail from Ottawa using American stamps or is the cross-use of postage a West Coast Canadian thing?

I’m pretty sure I can, but as I am not looking to marry an American, I have little to no reason to have American stamps on hand. I’m curious, and might try this in the near future.

Can you buy American stamps at your local post office?

Yes – If I couldn’t, it would require me (and every Canadian) to drive to the States to get USA stamps, and then drive back home to send you a letter… That wouldn’t make sense. 😉

Do you feel the allowed use of American stamps in Canada is in any way oppressing the Canadian people?

I think we have much bigger fish to fry. And chickens. Seals to club. You get the point.

Would the people of Quebec be better off spending their time fighting off the pox that is the use of American Postage Use in Canada rather than succession?

Postage Schmostage. Make love not war!

Have the Canadian people (and I assume you speak on behalf of each and every one) considered that if they required their citizens to use only Canadian stamps the cost of beer might drop considerably? And milk? Eggs too?

I don’t think we have. Beer, milk and eggs are already pretty affordable, and I think it would be dangerous to make it more available to the lower-lower classes. I mean even homeless people can afford beer around here (milk and eggs too, but they seem to prefer beer), who’s making less money than a homeless dude? Well, me apparently. I also see a lot of them with 1,000$ bikes and it pisses me off. That’s a completely different post. 😉

So there you have it, my stamp knowledge in a nutshell. Notice how nice I was and didn’t mention your geekness for collecting stamps? Yup, I’m nice like that.

As far as your Canadian Chick question, I always knew you were nice enough to be Canadian (and you kinda are now!). I’m pretty sure you’ll figure things out once you’re in Canada, so to speak. Whatever you do, remember to never stick any wet item on metal when outside. That and the excellent documentary Men with Brooms.

mwb

Those should take you as far as you want. Now plow that Tundra!

Prends soin,

Mike – Canadia’s Blogger.

A story and a quick question

I instantly regretted my decision, and then I had about 30 minutes to really reflect on the bad decision I made. You see this morning I didn’t bike to work – a complicated affair of inaccessible showers at work and a flaky weather girl saying “it’s gonna rain all morning” – and ended up waiting for the bus for 30 minutes. Thirty long rainless minutes.

Did I mention I now bike to work in 35 minutes? So by the time I wrote this first paragraph, I could have been sitting at my desk – sweaty, smelly and happy? This really rubs me the wrong way.

Silver lining to this cloud: I’m writing this on the bus on my Blackberry, so you have something to read. 😉

Speaking of biking, I had an adventure yesterday on my way back from work. I almost fought a French (meaning from France, not just french-speaking) dude. Well, two dudes really, but I don’t know if the other one was French.

You see, there’s a small section of the bike path that is actually a very wide sidewalk that cyclists and pedestrians share. BTW, the bike paths are also shared spaces. The problem on the sidewalk part is that there is no lines to tell people where they should be walking/biking.

So here I am on my bike, right behind those two dudes. I slowly move to circle them on their left, but they quickly sidestep to the left. I stood still for a moment – to let them take a few steps so I can have some distance to make a wide swerve to their right. At the last second, they again step right in front of me.

I figured that it wasn’t a problem, that I was just going to slowly follow them. I knew the actual bike path wasn’t too far off, and that they would have to stick to the right at that point. So I’m about 2 feet behind them, matching their pace when the French dude turns around and starts yelling at me.

“You know this is a sidewalk?*” He shrieked with his very feminine voice.

“Yup, I said, that’s why I’m just quietly following you. Notice how I didn’t ring my bell or asked you to move to the 10+ feet of empty space to your left?”

“BUT THIS IS A SIDEWALK! SHOW SOME RESPECT!” He yelled as he stopped squarely in front of me, forcing me to stop. He grabbed the handlebars. I stepped down and put my bike on the stand.

“Since this is a sidewalk, may I kindly suggest you WALK to the SIDE or should I kick your ass?”

I had never seen a French dude run that fast. The other one stood there, raising his hands in the universal “I want no troubles” gesture.

I swear I’m not on steroids.

*Of course the whole conversation was in French,and it went like this:
“Tu sais que c’est un trottoir ici?”
“Yup (I say yup even in French), c’est pourquoi je fais seulement vous suivre. Je n’ai pas sonné ma cloche, je ne vous ai pas demandé de vous déplacer vers les 3 mètres d’espace libre juste là.”
“MAIS C’EST UN TROTTOIR! UN PEU DE RESPECT QUAND MÊME!”
“C’est effectivement un trottoir… Alors tu TROTTES ou je te botte le derrière?”

And now, a quick question:

Should I shave my hair? I’m getting to this point where I kinda have long-ish hair on the top, and it’s getting really hard to style it in any way except for the slickback. I could wait about 4 months to gather the hair in decent a topknot – and from there sky floor is the limit – or I could shave it off and keep it short for a while. Have a look:

MyBush

Top shot – this morning.

before

Unstyled – a few weeks ago.

after

Slicked back.

I’m on the fence about the whole thing, so I’m asking you for some assvice. WWTID?

One bullet short of a full gun (21)

It’s been a while since I did this…
There should be a formula to calculate the weight to cost ratio of patio furniture. I guesstimate that every plastic chair under 200$ can support not the total sum of my weight. The same applies to wicker.
The sentence I fear the most: eating outside. It’s just  a sentence I should get over it. But it’s a sentence.
I’m a fat guy, therefore I’m an easier target for mosquitoes. The problem is that I always get the older and slower mosquitoes or the mosquitoes in training – they have an instructor.
For some reason, “careful, the plate is hot” forces me to touch the plate but “that water is freezing” does not make me jump in. It’s like I don’t trust hot things. Also the reason I can’t keep my hands off my wife. Because of the hot part, not the mistrust part. When Paris Hilton said “that’s hot” I wanted to touch it. Not Paris Hilton.
When I was 16, having sex at light speed in cramped hot and stuffy spaces, half dressed while keeping quiet was pretty exciting. Now that I’m 38 I feel it’s a step backwards. I think I earned the right to have sex in a decent-sized room, on a decent-sized comfy surface, in a nicely AC’d room and making noise at a acceptable level. Come on people, I have two kids do you seriously think I never have sex? As long as I’m not going at it on the kitchen table in the middle of thanksgiving dinner, guests in my house should live with the occasional grunt and pant.
  • If I go to your house because you invite me to eat a 25$ steak, I’ll most likely bring a 30$ bottle of wine. Please do not make me sit on a 5$ plastic patio chair to make things even.  Speaking of patio chairs, there should be a formula to calculate the weight to cost ratio of patio furniture. I guesstimate that every plastic chair under 200$ can support not the total sum of my weight. The same should apply to wicker.
  • The sentence I fear the most: eating outside. It’s just  a sentence I should get over it. But to me it’s a sentence. You see, I’m a fat guy, therefore I’m an easier target for mosquitoes. The problem is that I always get the older and slower mosquitoes or the mosquitoes in training – the ones that have an instructor. I get bitten a lot.
  • For some reason, “careful, the plate is hot” forces me to touch the plate but “that water is freezing” does not make me jump in. It’s like I don’t trust hot things. Also the reason I can’t keep my hands off my wife. Because of the hot part, not the mistrust part. When Paris Hilton said “that’s hot” I wanted to touch it. Not Paris Hilton.
  • When I was 16, having sex at light speed in cramped hot and stuffy spaces, half dressed while keeping quiet was pretty exciting. Now that I’m 38 I feel it’s a step backwards. I think I earned the right to have sex in a decent-sized room, on a decent-sized comfy surface, in a nicely AC’d room and making noise at a acceptable level. Come on people, I have two kids do you seriously think I never have sex? As long as I’m not going at it on the kitchen table in the middle of thanksgiving dinner, guests in my house should live with the occasional grunt and pant.
  • Every morning that I bike my ass to work, I pass by a colombarium. Every time I bike pass that place, I notice the grass has been freshly watered. I think if there’s one place people expect to see dead things, it’s around a colombarium.

In pure Call of Cthulhu tradition, I’ll keep the last bullet for myself for when the actual madness comes.

cthulu
Grrrrr! Where are my dead things!