Posts tagged “Canada

Good things come…

…in small packages.

That leaves a lot to the imagination especially if you are a frequent visitor to this blog. I could very well just let your minds frolic in the gutter. After all I’d have to agree with the first part of the blog title wholeheartedly. Course referring to someone as a thing is just crass. But then again if you look at the whole phrase if I’m the good thing then is it derogatory to little people?

Anyway before the train of thought veers down the track into Perv Town, my title is in reference to the innocent old adage referring to a meaningful gift.

I take you back a couple of weeks to a certain young girl who is on the precipice of a landmark birthday. She’s knocking on the door to the wonderful world of teenagerdom and I wanted to welcome her to the next stage of her life with a very special gift.  Her ridiculously cool mother and I concocted a plan that was ABC After School Special worthy. It was a scheme so deliciously sweet it made my cavities ring and would serve as my Get Out of Hell Free card for the Rapture.

Oh wait… that passed already and I didn’t get taken away. Dammit! I guess I have to go back to being bad then…

The mission was to craft a piece of artwork for the young lass and get it to her by or before her birthday. On the outset it looked like an easy task. The picture was completed in only a couple of days leaving plenty of time to get it sent off. There were a few obstacles to overcome first in order to get said package from point A to point B. The first of which is the fact that I live next to Santa Claus and she lives near Sin City. That’s a  heckuva distance for a flimsy parcel to travel. I’m no stranger to undertaking improbable missions though. Heck I first met my wife face-to-face on a dare. Traveled all the way from the heart of NYC to Niagara Falls Canada just because she didn’t think I’d do it. But that’s another tale…

I know. I’m awesome.

Nunavut to Nevada doesn’t seem to be too insurmountable but then there stands my old nemesis and the second gateway obstacle  – good ole Canada Post. There is no love lost between us. We’ve engaged in many wars against one another and have fought each other to a stand still. A peace treaty was established earlier this year in the hopes of putting an end to the decade of conflict. The peasants rejoiced. Unfortunately CP caught wind of my super secret Priority One mission and shattered the pact by announcing there was going to be a nation-wide union strike.

Right on. Couldn’t have waited a couple more weeks right? Of course not. You are the bane of my existence. Why should I expect anything less. Touché.

I was wily in my ways and dispatched the package with a tracking number a week and change before the rumored start of the strike. Although it was a sneeze above regular mail priority it didn’t bring me any relief. Mail moves like frozen crap going uphill in the north and my greatest fear was that it would take too long getting to the south then get stranded there just as the strike would erupt. Sheer luck allowed it to blaze a trail all the way to the border without so much as a delay and avoided the strike by mere days. Up next the greatest challenge – Americans.

The final challenge was a twin fanged threat. American Customs can be a very fickle entity. You can easily get a package opened, confiscated or even destroyed depending on the mood of whoever is on duty doing the processing at that time. It’s their discretion. We all know how dangerous a piece of paper and a CD can be so naturally I anticipated the worse. Remarkably though it passed right on through customs and made its way to my old stomping grounds of New York City by the 1st of June.

I was giddy all day yesterday. When I checked the status it had reached the Las Vegas Sorting facility on Sunday (the 5th) and was slated for delivery. My hopes were high, but still I held on to that little shadow of doubt because I know far too well how the final leg of the race is always the toughest. I waited and waited to receive word. Finally, later that night I got an email from Thypolar informing me that the package arrived on time and intact.  (12) was given her surprise gift(s) early and I was treated to a couple of pictures mommy took of her reaction as she opened it.

Mission Accomplished.

I have to say the smile she had and the look of shock on her face gave me the warm fuzzies of doing something good for someone. I may say I don’t like children but that’s just generally speaking. I don’t like people either but I have quite a few that I consider very dear friends. The same holds true with kids. Some kids I truly do like and appreciate. (12) is one of those. She’s a great little gir…err.. ‘scuse me… soon-to-be young lady who has a very pure heart. She’s not selfish. She’s not caught up with all the nonsense many children nowadays get wrapped up in and still has that precious dose of innocence. She also has the luxury of being surrounded by an awesome (yes I referred to someone other than myself as awesome) family and good friends. I was really tempted to post at least one of the pictures she sent but alas, she is not my child and I’d never violate a family’s privacy like that. I’m bad but I’m not a douche. I trust there will be a great many pictures of the newly crowned (13) once her birthday has come and passed so stay tuned to Thypolar’s blog for more updates. I don’t like to get sappy too often because it seriously tarnishes my gangsta nerd reputation but sometimes it eeks out.

I’m man enough to show respect when respect is due. I’ve bashed Canada Post and the United States Parcel Service on numerous occasions but this time you came through big time and were spot on in every phase of the transit. For that I thank you. You’ve done Kevin Costner proud.  Somehow though I suspect we will meet once again on the battlefield. Until then you have my respect.

So… what does a sanity challenged individual who made a child happy do for his next trick?

Start pushing my way back to the front of the line to HELL of course! I can’t very well start getting a reputation for being a do-gooder now! There are far too many assholes in the world for me to rant about and stupid people to cruelly mock for me to turn good. For now it’s back to the drawing board (no pun intended).


Overinformation: The Secret to Unproductivity

Overinformation. That’s right.

You won’t find that in Webster’s. It’s yet another word I’ve made up. I’m not only a Professional Dumbass but I’m also on the Board of Directors for Procrastination Incorporated. I’m quite certain my severe lack of book smarts leads me to get easily distracted by the shininess of the Internet. I’ve found that a good chunk of my time “working” is spent being sidetracked by a mind that thinks like a 10 year old and having access to any information you want instantly.

Good thing I’m my own boss. I’d fire my ass if I were employed by me.

In an attempt to display some faux intelligence I’ve developed a formula for my procrastination. Do I care if it makes mathematical sense or not? Of course not. If someone tries to explain the nuances of Algebra and Calculus I’ll just nod in agreement and put on my interested face as I start playing “Deep Cover” in my brainPod. Anyway here’s what it looks like:

(My Childlike Brain / My Music Taste) x ((Wikipedia + Google + IMDB) x ( YouTube + WordPress)) =  (Un)Productivity

So once again I’ve decided to take you all on a strange and beautiful ride on my Train of Thought as I cruise through a typical work morning. Mind you everyday isn’t like this. Sometimes I’m actually so hard core into the work sitting in front of me that I’ll start seeing the real world in pixels, but every so often I have an experience like this:

  • Throw on headset and start working…
  • 2 hours  into coding “Push it” by Garbage comes on. Halfway through the song I wonder if I just heard Shirley Manson say Push it. Make the penis go harder. That’s perverted kinda. Did she actually say that? I’ve never really paid attention to the lyrics. I’m quite certain she said that. I have to check the lyrics on that…
  • Open up Google in another browser tab and type in “push it garbage lyrics”. Dang. It says Push it. Makes the beats go harder. My lyrics make more sense. I wonder what Shirley is up to lately? Last I saw she was on The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I wonder if she ditched music all together and is acting now…
  • Google “shirley manson”. Hmm… lots of rocker pictures of the demented red head. She’s hot in a weird sorta way. Ah. The Internet Movie Database. Always one of my favorite sites. That should be able to tell me if she’s full time acting now…
  • Nope. She was just in the The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I liked that show. A lot of people bashed it but it was fun watching. Lena Headey was hot. Oh man. It must be the accent and the look. Not so much of  a fan of the tats but she has that “I’ll break you” look in her eyes. That’s provocative. Boy if I was rich and famous… and single… and in Hollywood… let me click through see if she’s up to anything…
  • Right on! She’s in that series coming on HBO soon – Game on Thrones. That looks like something up my alley. Reminds me of the good ole days of gaming. I should really try to rally some forces and bring the art of gaming up here to the north. There are tons of nerds up here. I just got to crack their tough business exteriors…
  • Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode comes on. It immediately makes me think of Karl Pilkington. I remember him rocking out to that while in Mexico on that show An Idiot Abroad. That dude is trip. How can anyone be that clueless yet utterly brilliant? I heard he didn’t want to do a continuation to that series. I wonder if there’s any info on that…
  • Google “karl pilkington”. Ahh.. Wikipedia. They always keep up to date with stuff. 10 minutes into reading through his Wikipedia page “Putting Out the Fire” by David Bowie chimes in…
  • Hmm. That was such a perfect song in Inglourious Basterds. I’d like to put fire out with gasoline. That’d be like a huge fire…hehe. I wonder if Quentin is putting out another movie sometime soon. I rarely don’t not like his flicks…
  • Jump back to One of the headlines reads “Oh No! Jackass Star Steve-O Busted in Canada“. Oh lord. What has he done now? That nut. Busted in Canada, eh? I’m in Canada. I have to read this…
  • Outstanding warrant? Figures. That wasn’t all that interesting. Hey what’s this (as my eye glances to the Top News”)… “Could Will Ferrell join ‘The Office’ full time?“. Ha! That’d be hilarious. I have to read this…
  • After clicking through and reading the full article on E! Online I look down at my system tray and notice the time – 11:41 am. Dang! I just wasted about an hour browsing around and writing this post. Dammit! And I have to find a picture for the post too. Can’t very well post without at least one picture…
  • Google “procrastibnation” . Screw you Google. I know I misspelled it. I don’t need you to tell me that.  Stop trying to prove your intelligence to me. I’m not impressed. My finger slipped. You know what I was meaning. Just show me the bloody images…
  • 5 minutes into sifting through images I realize none of them suit me. I should just make my own. I am a designer after all, right?
  • Google “computer mouse”. “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’s comes on. Ha ha. This song is the worst most awesome song ever. Why am I listening to this? I heard they put out another album not too long ago. They’re old… but I like Kate Pierson. She’s a gilf for sure. Am I weird for saying that? I should find some pictures of her. NO. Stop it and finish your post!
  • 10 minutes later with “One” by Metallica shredding through my earphones I manage to finish off my crappy graphic and get it uploaded to photobucket. OMG! This is without a doubt one of the best metal songs ever. Old Metallica rocks! What the hell happened to them? They went to hell when Jason Newsted left. They used to epitomize cool but now suck so much ass. How can Metal Gods turn into mortal douches? Dammit. I hate the net up here. Why does everyone have to come online at the same time? Oh wait. It’s lunch time. Time for a break…

You see ladies and gentlemen, that’s how a typical morning can just get away from me. I’ve purposefully laced this post with more links than usual just to prove a point. If you’ve been here reading this and clicking through links I’ve posted and doing everything but what you’re supposed to be doing then you too are a valued member of the Corporation.

Remember. The only real recyclable waste is wasted time. Cheers!

Breaking News – The Jolie Uncensored

The Jolie caught engaging in lude behavior with the Bloom during her Arctic vacation
February 21, 2011 3:12 a.m. EST

By: The Frosty Bear

(DTN) – We’ve all watched as the Jolie’s path of mayhem blazed a trail across America and straight into the Canadian north. After having a rambunctious outing in New Brunswick, the Tomb Raider’s travelling circus hit the road once again, this time heading to near the top of the world  in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She wasted no time shacking up with her kindly hosts Ian & Suzanne Etheridge. Lucky for her she arrived during Super Bowl week. She had no hesitation joining in the hardcore football flavored festivities and wasn’t shy about being in front of the cameras.

After all she is the Jolie.

However after the dust settled, the chips eaten, the alcohol consumed and the Packers crowned champions of the football universe, I got a lead on something that would blow the roof off anything and everything we’ve come to know about the Jolie. I was approached by two gentlemen who told me they had exclusive information about the Jolie’s illicit affairs while in the capital city.

The two men wished to remain anonymous so I met them at an undisclosed location near where the Jolie was staying. The individuals, who had been living with the Etheridges for several years now, claimed that the one time World’s Sexiest Woman had been engaging in activity unlike anyone has ever seen before. We had suspicions when we saw her flirting with various shady characters throughout her travels but no solid infidelity claims could be made (sans some heavy petting issues that she’s cleared up in several press conferences). What these two whistleblowers promised me was clear-cut evidence and a guaranteed DTN exclusive.

Initially I thought it was yet another desperate attempt at wannabe fame-seekers trying to gain their 15 minutes in the spotlight. However after meeting them face-to-face I saw immediately that these men were dead serious. We met atop a platform with lighted floors that served no practical purpose to discuss their accusations. Apparently they had bore witness to several questionable acts by the Jolie and guaranteed they could provide us with the 411 on how to catch the scoop. One of the men, a former Republic employee spoke with me one-on-one.  The longtime resident of the Etheridge household went on the record telling me about the first few days following the Super Bowl.

“It was awful. We’ve always known our place here. While we don’t pay rent we contribute to the household in some way. Sometimes it’s standing around posing for guests. Other times it’s entertaining their cats. That woman… wow. I have no words. From day one she’s been taking advantage of every little personal freedom she can – with reckless abandonment. She drinks hard liquor, swears constantly, raids the refrigerator on an hourly basis, bullies everyone when Ian & Suzanne aren’t around and gets her dirty little fingers into everything. If something isn’t done soon I’m not so sure how long my Padawan and I can stay here.”

The Jedi first lead me to a location where they knew the Jolie would be. We arrived in time to see the Jolie confronting what appeared to be the Bloom near a broken down tenement.
Weapons were drawn and we were certain there would be bloodshed but apparently the Jolie respected the Bloom’s awesome man tunic and spitfire attitude so nothing ended up transpiring… for now.
The next day the informants tipped me off to where the Jolie was once again. We observed from a distance while she covertly met with the Bloom over by the Shelf of Oddly Stacked Books. My tipsters left me own my own to survey the area while they tended to important business of their own.
Coincidentally a few minutes after they left two other former Republic employees showed up at the scene and met with the Jolie as well. What are the odds of this many Jedi being in Iqaluit?
The quartet headed down to the local Table with a Runner and quickly setup shop for an impromptu dominoes session. The bones, candy and money flowed freely as the Jolie seemed to have the drop on her fellow gamblers.
After a few rounds of dominoes (and cleaning the two Jedi out) the foursome dwindled down to a twosome. I followed her as she made her way to the Storage Room. She managed to scale several stories without a rope and hit payday when she ended up on the Liquor Level.
She and the Bloom proceeded to drink the day away. Love was in the air when the Bloom graced her with a fancy (and expensive) pair of kamiks.
Before long it was quite obvious where this was all leading. The two of them headed up to the Bloom’s Shelf-top Highrise apartment.
I swooped in close enough to catch this exclusive footage. Watch out Brad! It’s the Jolie Gone Wild!
Needless to say we all know what happened next. You saw it all here on Dystopian Times North first folks!

The editors, writers and staff here at Dystopian Times North and The $#!& I Think About would like formally declare that the opinions, stories, and names depicted in this article are purely coincidental and have do not reflect the behavior and/or demeanor of Angelina Jolie, the actress, whatsoever. She is a kind, loving and nurturing mother who is an active member not only in her community but in communities around the world and is an Ambassador of Goodwill to all. She is a wickedly talented woman with a heart of gold that would never sue a person for poking a little fun at a demented little representation of herself. Right?

The power of the force has stopped you, you hosers.

It’s funny hearing about all the myths and misinterpretations regarding Canadians. Being a former New Yorker I too am guilty of either cracking jokes or being misinformed about at least a couple of them. I have the unique perspective of having lived on both sides of the fence of ignorance and I feel compelled to clear up the fog of confusion regarding the World’s Most Friendly Country:

  • It’s always cold in Canada and everyone lives in igloos – The latter is more playful ribbing than anything but one of the most popular misconceptions is that it’s always cold in Canada. The majority of the country is  along the same latitude as the United Kingdom yet you never hear any cold jokes about the Brits. Some of the northern regions are of course in the Arctic circle and tend to have rather frigid conditions but for the most part Canadians experience the same weather one would receive in any northern state in the US. In fact I can recall quite a few days just this past summer where highs Toronto beat out those in New York and Boston. Winters may last a little longer but the temperatures are pretty consistent. Here’s the averages in January from various locales across Canada:
    (Source: The Weather Network)  

    • Vancouver, BC: 32 / 43°Fahrenheit (0 / 6°Celsius)
    • Edmonton, AB: -2 / 18°F, (-19 / -8°C)
    • Yellowknife, NWT: -24 / -9°F, (-31 / -23°C)
    • Inukjuak, NU: -17 / -4°F, (-27 / -20°C)
    • Winnipeg, MB: -9 / 10°F, (-23 / -12°C)
    • Ottawa, ON: 5 / 23°F, (-15 / -5°C)
    • Toronto, ON: 14 / 28°F, (-10 / -2°C)
    • Montréal, QC: 7 / 23°F, (-14 / -5°C)
    • Halifax, NS: 16 / 30°F, (-9 / -1°C)
    • St. John’s, NF: 19 / 32°F, (-7 / 0°C)
  • Canada has better beer than the States – I’m not going to touch this one for fear of being hung from the gallows by overly-patriotic Americans. Everyone is proud of their nation’s beer. Germany is probably the world’s undisputed King of the Brew but as far as who follows after is dependent on each individual’s personal taste. I for one am not a huge beer drinker (heresy I know) so it doesn’t really matter to me. All I do know is that two of the American big guns, Budweiser and Coors, taste like someone spilled their crappy beer in some club soda. Labatte Blue (known locally as just a Blue) and Molson Canadian are far stronger beers and are way easier to down – that’s just a personal opinion though. While Canada may or may not rank in the top 5 worldwide I seriously doubt they fall below the US in that category. I invite anyone from abroad to come sample the ale before making rash judgments. You’d be quite surprised with the results.
  • Canada only has poutine and maple syrup as their only contributions to fine cuisine – Canada has a very diverse range of dishes that spans from coast to coast. Canada, like most large nations, is a melting pot of cultures so you can see a lot of Eastern European, South American, African and Asian influences in the cooking. Some examples of regional foods are:
    • From the East Coast – Irish Stew, Fish Chowders, Bangbellies (a pork/rice bun), Toutons (Pork Bread), and Duffs (like a dumpling), Molasses Tarts and Partridge Berry Coffee Cake, chocolate bread pudding, oat bread, Cape Breton scones, Creamed Potato Balls, Baked Stuffed Lobster
    • Native – Posole Stew (uses hominy), corn casserole, Frypan Fork Bread, Cornmeal pudding, Maple Fudge, Wojape (a berry pudding)
    • Quebec – Crème Caramel, French Onion Soup, Split Yellow Pea Soup, Garlic Pork Pot Roast, Cipate (Chicken, meat and vegetable casserole with biscuit topping), 3 crust blueberry pie, poutine
    • Ontario – Pine Nut Stuffed Quail, pickled yellow beans, apple butter, headcheese, smoked ham, creamed potatoes, vanilla pie, ice wine, BBQ’s, hot sauces, doughnuts, perogies
    • Prairies (I’m not too familiar with foods from this region of Canada) – Crusted Pork Tenderloin, Wild Mushroom Barley Ragout & Summer Vegetables, Grilled Asparagus, Saskatoon Pie
    • B.C. – Goats Cheese Terrine, Raisin scones with clotted cream, sablefish, Nanaimo Bars, Poached Salmon, Maple Glazed Chicken Breasts, Oysters, Flatbreads, Vegan cuisine and anything disgustingly healthy (i.e. tofu, miso soup, etc.)
  • Canadians always say “eh” and “aboot” – I can honestly say that I have never heard a Canadian utter the words “aboot” in the 10+ years I’ve been here. Course I’ve only been in the Ontario region for the most part so who knows what goes on in the rest of the country. I don’t know where it came from originally but I found it funny as hell when South Park would make fun of it (even if it was confounded). “Eh” on the other hand is something you hear quite frequently though. I’ve even mastered the dialect well enough to use it like a true Canadian as well. Oddly enough it’s not used any more frequently than New Yorkers use “yo” or “aye”. Basically all I had to do to fit in was replace my yo’s with eh’s and say cah-fee instead of cawfee when referring to coffee and all is well.
  • Canada has no military – I’ve always made fun of the Canadian Armed Forces having to fight with sporks but the Canadian military is no joke indeed. This one institution consists of three main branches: Maritime Command (MARCOM), Land Force Command (LFC), and Air Command (AIRCOM), which are together overseen by the Armed Forces Council, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff. Their annual funding comes to approximately $21.8 billion (ranked 13th), and are presently ranked 74th in size compared to the world’s other armed forces by number of total personnel, and 58th in terms of active personnel, standing at a strength of roughly 67,000, plus 26,000 reservists, 33 warships spread out amongst 2 fleets, 391 aircraft (which is the third largest in the Americas) and over 3600 currently deployed in the Middle East. The statistics are truly humbling and I tip my hat to all those men and women across the world who are serving for their respective countries. It’s a thankless task but your efforts are truly appreciated by many.
  • Canadians are always nice – True to an extent. Every country has their fare share of assholes, douches and idiots. You tend to find them once you’ve lived there for a while. Canada just does a good job of not letting them be the face of the country.
  • Canada has no contributions to science – Blasphemy. In fact Canada has burned a trail in many fields and is a world leader in regards to contributions to scientific advancement. From Canola Oil to the Blackberry Canada has had it’s hands in the development of many of the technologies and medical breakthroughs we take for granted. I could probably ramble on for days about all of the innovations but if you’re really interested have a peek here and see for yourself.
  • Canada has no film industry – It’s hard to find a movie or TV show that isn’t shot in Vancouver or Toronto nowadays. Chances are if it’s shot in Canada, it has some Canadian actors in it as well. They’ve assimilated into Hollywood so well that many of you don’t even realize some of the best stars are in fact Canadian. From Playboy’s Pam Anderson to Star Trek’s William Shatner Canadians have infiltrated all facets of media. Okay so Keanu isn’t the greatest star ever, but you all ate the Matrix up with a fork and spoon so he did his job.The actual Canadian film industry is a budding one. It makes me laugh whenever I hear Canadians say “Yup, that’s definitely a Canadian film” having only seen a few minutes of whatever is on. It’s not from lack of effort. Despite many film and television projects being funded by the government, it nowhere near the same league as Hollywood in regards to financial backing. The Toronto International Film Festival, founded in 1976, l is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world now. In 1998, Variety magazine acknowledged that “the Festival is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity.” If you think Canadians haven’t got their fingers on the pulse of the movie industry, you’re sorely mistaken.
  • Everyone speaks French in Canada – While that may be true to a degree in Quebec, the majority of the country does in fact speak English – well. In fact most Canadians are bi-lingual.
  • Canada’s national sport is hockey – True. In 1994, the Federal Government introduced Bill C-212 that officially made hockey Canada’s National Winter sport and Lacrosse Canada’s National Summer sport. Canadians are definitely passionate about their hockey but don’t believe for an instant that is the only sport accepted up here. Baseball, Football (American and Soccer), Golf, Curling, Boxing and MMA as well as pretty much any winter sport you can imagine from skiing to snowboarding.
  • Canadians have no guns or crime – Oh there’s crime here, believe me. And guns. Domestic violence and Robbery/burglary crimes seem to be the most prevalent. There are probably more guns in Canada than in the States based on the fact that this is a hunting nation with the vast majority of the country being wilderness. The big difference is that Canadians aren’t shooting one another. Their preferred methods tend to be fists and knives. It still strikes me as odd to read about small businesses being robbed at knife-point. You don’t hear about that much in New York.
  • All Canadian cops are mounties – That’s probably as ignorant as it gets. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. The RCMP provides federal policing service to all of Canada and policing services under contract to the three territories, eight provinces (the RCMP does not serve as provincial or municipal police in Ontario and Quebec), more than 190 municipalities, 184 Aboriginal communities and three international airports. They’re like the Feds in the States. Every province has their own police service such as the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) which are the equivalent of state government agencies such as the NYPD or LAPD. The RCMP have jurisdiction over them all. Cool, eh?
  • Toronto is the nation’s capitol – With over 2.5 million residents, it is the fifth most populous municipality in North America. I think the popular misconception is that Toronto is in fact the capitol of Ontario. Ottawa, the second largest city in Ontario, is the nation’s capitol.

My name is Ian and I am proud to call myself an AmeriCan. 😀