Dec 17 2014

You Can Look A Lot Less Like An Old Bag, And All You Need Is…The Stuff In This Old Bag

So, imagine that you open your door, and find a small zip-lock bag full of a strange brown substance on your doorstep. The note taped to it with painter’s tape says it comes from a local spa, includes that spa’s logo, and claims it’s a new face cream that has been developed, and your neighbourhood has been selected to receive free samples. It says that you should apply it to your face using gloves, and leave it on there for hours. Would you do it? At least one woman said yes. Obviously, since the story’s up here, that wasn’t such a good idea. I guess the stuff stained her face, although it sounds like it came off pretty easily.

How gullible are we that, just because a random package has the name and logo from a spa on it, we think it’s legitimate? Hello, it’s a bag full of random brown paste with a paper stuck to it with tape. Yeah, that’s professional. Most free samples come in proper packets.

And if that wasn’t enough of a give-away, its’ telling you that you have to put this stuff on using gloves. Usually, you use gloves to protect the skin on your hands…but you’re splatting this on the skin on your face! That skin is more sensitive than the skin on your hands! How is that going to end well?

I love this quote. “Nothing that gets delivered to my door goes on my face.”

Fine words to live by.

Dec 17 2014

Someone Other Than Rogers Now Offers WWE Network. Welcome Aboard, Eastlink

The laugh and a half national rollout of the WWE Network in Canada got a bit more national today. Here’s a press release that takes far too long to get to the damn point and still leaves out something pretty important.

HALIFAX, Dec. 17, 2014 /CNW/ – With today’s addition of the World Wrestling Entertainment Network (WWE) in HD, Eastlink becomes one of only two providers in Canada to carry this wildly popular channel.
“Over 85% of consumers now have one or more HDTVs in their home and that means they have an increasingly high expectation that their TV content will be delivered in the best possible quality,” said Eastlink CEO Lee Bragg. “We continue to work hard to deliver more HD programming than any of our competitors for a truly unmatched HD experience. While 200 may seem like just a number, it is important to our customers who are looking for all of their content to be delivered in HD.”
Mr. Bragg explained that consumers are extremely passionate about access to HD channels, particularly channels like the WWE Network HD, which attracts over 15-million fans to its programming every week.
“Our customers have been asking us daily when we are going to carry this channel so it is extra special that our 200th HD Channel is WWE HD,” says Mr. Bragg.
As Eastlink continues to outpace its competition in the addition of HD channels, WWE HD becomes the latest in a series of HD Channel launches also including: Sundance Channel HD, COSMOTV HD, Nick HD, ATN HD, Super Ecran 1 HD, TFO HD, Historia HD, MSNBC HD, TVA Sports 2 HD and Citytv HD.
About WWE Network:
WWE Network is a new 24/7 HD specialty channel featuring the best of WWE content, including all LIVE WWE pay-per-view events, ground-breaking original series, live in-ring action, reality shows and a video-on-demand library. WWE Network has ground-breaking original series like Legends’ House and Monday Night War, and will offer hundreds of hours of on demand content via the set top box. The MSRP for the WWE Network is $11.99 a month (plus tax where applicable).
For more information on Eastlink’s vast HD programming library including WWE HD, visit eastlink.ca  
About Eastlink
Headquartered in Halifax, NS, Eastlink is Canada’s largest family-owned and operated telecommunications provider, delivering world-class video entertainment and communications services to residential, business and public sector customers across the country.
Powered by state-of-the-art fibre optic and wireless networks, Eastlink’s advanced services include Unmatched TV featuring Wireless TV powered by Maestro, Personal Picks, and Video OnDemand, Internet Evolved including Personal Cloud services, wireless featuring nationwide calling, competitive local and long distance telephone, home security and automation, data communications and exclusive, locally-produced programming on Eastlink TV.
Eastlink is one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies at the platinum level with operations in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia as well as Bermuda.
Facebook www.facebook.com/eastlink  
Twitter www.twitter.com/eastlink

Uh, guys? What channels is this thing going to be on? Do they not teach remember to put the most basic of fucking information in your goddamn press releases in journalism school anymore? The prospective customer should not have to hunt up this information on his own from places like Wikipedia, which is telling me that the answer is 430. I can find nothing anywhere about the on demand half just yet, but I’ll pass that along as soon as somebody who’s job it is to distribute information remembers how to do that correctly.

Dec 17 2014

Hey, It’s Tradition!

And now, Gill’s apparent holiday VC takeover continues.

Every year around this time people gather around, put up decorations, and sometimes drag out those awful sweaters with Santa doing the hula. It’s those things that make you shake your head, want to sometimes run screaming for the hills, but you do them all the same, because it’s tradition.

The Quaint

Your family might be one of those who gathers around the piano after Christmas dinner to sing Christmas carols, while classically trained great-aunt Lautie tickles the keys. Or you all gather around the fire, hot chocolate in hands and have uncle Bob read A Christmas Carol. You might go caroling through your childhood neighborhood.

Time Honored

Some have been passed through the generations, like that recipe for perfect ginger bread, or that well-warn copy of the family Bible. Maybe you aren’t quite certain how it got there, but unlike store bought the family fruitcake doesn’t taste, feel, or look like a doorstop.

It’s Cultural

We can’t forget the traditions from the old country, can we? Weather you open the gifts on Christmas Eve, have real sweet potato casserole like I do, or receive a chocolate letter in your stocking, these are also time honored traditions.

It’s Personal

A couple of days before Christmas my family throws a Christmas party with all of our neighbors, and some of our relatives. A lot of our neighbors bring something, some finger food, and usually some wine and homemade confections. On Christmas Eve we go visiting, then we flop on various chairs and such to watch a movie. Christmas day we open our stockings, eat, and open the tree gifts.

Tell Me About it

So What do you do? From cookie exchanges to sled races, everyone’s got a tradition.

Dec 17 2014

Video Of The 1971 Bruno Sammartino Ivan Koloff Title Change

Ivan Koloff vs. Bruno Sammartino

Yes, this is the match from 1971 where Ivan wins the title. The one Bruno talks about in all of his interviews. I was under the impression that footage of it didn’t exist because the WWWF didn’t film it. But somebody outside of the company (probably a fan) did, and it was uploaded to YouTube back in 2008. I don’t recognize the voice doing the obviously added in commentary, but he did a decent job aside from the constant references to it not being Wrestlemania and being the greatest match of all time.

Here’s Bill Apter writing about the night on WWE.com, but the story sounds much better coming from Bruno himself. That’s no disrespect to Apter, who’s pretty well been everywhere and seen everything. It’s just that Bruno is such a great interview subject. If you’ve never listened to an interview with him, you should. He’s got an amazing memory for old stories and he clearly loves telling them. I suggest springing for a subscription to the Observer/F4W and searching the archives for the ones he did with Dave and Bryan.

Koloff came off the top with a devastating knee drop to do what no other challenger had been able to do all those years before. In a matter of seconds, referee Kroll made the three count and raised Koloff’s arm, declaring him the new WWE Champion.
Kroll made sure he posed Koloff with his arm up in victory for me. I looked around the arena. You could hear a pin drop. It was dead silence as the new champion left the ring with Albano behind him. Bruno was now sitting up in the middle of the ring with Skaaland just above him, asking if he was okay.

I remember seeing Bruno’s fan club president, Georgian Orsi, sitting in the front row, crying. Many other fans wept as well. I felt like we were all at a funeral as Bruno left the ring. No one knew what to say.

Dec 15 2014

Those Holiday Classics

And now, Gill is here to list a few of her favourite Christmas specials. I can’t believe she left out Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. That one’s always been a favourite of mine. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, but last night I made Carin sit down and watch it with me because I kid you not, she’s made it her entire 35 years on this planet without having ever seen the thing. I love her mom and dad, but that’s the kind of thing that should get you taken away.

She didn’t mention Frosty the Snowman either. That’s another one I always liked and another one I’ll be making Carin watch this year.

One she does mention is the Grinch. I’m totally down with the classic version, but the Jim Carrey movie can bite my ass. I tried watching it once. Couldn’t get through it. I don’t even dislike Jim Carrey, it’s just that there are certain things that don’t need messing with and the Grinch is one of them. It’s fun and over the top enough as it is.

Christmas Vacation? It’s awesome. I don’t know if I like it more than the original Vacation movie, but really they’re all so much fun that it doesn’t matter.

Alright. Take it, Gill!

Here are in my opinion the top movies or TV events of the holiday season. Why don’t you grab some hot chocolate, or cider, a bowl of something delicious, your fave blanket, and get comfortable.

The Grinch

Based on the classic children’s book one can watch either the 1965 half hour animated version, or the 2000 full-length Jim Carey future classic. The plot is simple, a whole town is crazy for Christmas, but Mr. Grinch is not. He goes down and removes every last stitch of anything Christmas related thinking that he will have also removed their Christmas spirit, but he hasn’t. Mr. Grinch transforms, and even joins the town of Whoville.

Elf

In 2003 Will Farel of SNL fame starred as Buddy an overgrown elf, adopted by Santa Clause. He heads off to New York to find his bio father, and finds love. He also finds his bio dad, and a city lacking the very basics of Christmas spirit. His love interest played by Zoe Dashanelle, has the perfect singing voice, and gathers folks in the middle of Central park. Spirit is restored, and Buddy gets the girl.

Christmas Vacation

If you haven’t seen this gem then your definitely missing out. Clark Grizwald, played by Chebby Chase wants to have a good old fashioned family Christmas, but more disaster than old fashioned Christmas occurs. On a personal note, this movie is a tradition in the Ardiel household, and we practically can quote the movie line for line.

Ok Your Turn

What are your favorite curl up with coco, and big bowl of popcorn holiday movies or TV specials?

Dec 14 2014

You Can Call A Waterloo Taxi With An App, And It Works…sort of.

I really should be in bed, but for some reason I’m restless. So I thought I’d write this down.

On Friday night, we tried out a new app that’s supposed to be designed to help you call a taxi easier…and…for the most part, it was a success. It’s kind of a neat idea, that’s for sure.

It’s called Gatahub, and I guess it’s an attempt to link you up with cab companies and other businesses depending on your city. That could definitely rock if this catches on when you’re visiting someone, and don’t know the first thing about cab companies in town. It will allow you to estimate what the cab fare will be, which is also pretty darn awesome. We did one test, and the estimate sounded about right.

Waterloo Taxi uses it, and since we tend to use that one, we thought we’d test it out to request a cab instead of phoning them up, hitting a busy signal, or other annoying things. Here are my thoughts. We did manage to get a cab and get scooped up around when they said it would happen, so I’d call it an overall success. But it was a bit of a clumsy experience. Let me break it down.

On the good side, most of the buttons were labeled and we could hit them with voiceover. Funnily enough, the only button I couldn’t activate with VO on was “complete ride” and the only unlabeled buttons I’ve found so far were the ones used to rate my ride, so sorry Mr. Cabby guy, no rating for you, even though you were awesome. Everything else seemed to work I think.

There was the ability to add a note, which is awesome for things like “I’m at the side entrance.” or “keep an eye out for the blind dude over here.” or “I’m paying using an account,” or something else. Definitely cool.

It also gave me a time estimate for when the cab would arrive, although the cab arrived much sooner. It said it would tell me the cab number that was coming, although I never saw that information appear. Was it there and just not accessible to Voiceover?

Like I said, the ride estimate feature is also awesome, although I think I’d find it more awesome when I’m in a strange town, since I’m getting familiar with how much things cost in this city.

Now, for the less cool stuff. First, hmmm its GPS accuracy leaves bunches to be desired. When we were at our house, it thought we were at a store nowhere near our house. It didn’t even pick the nearby mall. I have no flaming clue how it got it so spectacularly wrong. Actually I think I do. It uses apple Maps to drive it. If this is a reflection of the suck that is Apple Maps, then wow. It should let you specify your maps App.

Second, visually, can you click on the part of the map where you are? I can’t figure out how to target it, so I had to go to a search field to enter the correct address. It worked, but man if there’s a way to click on a part of the map, that would be way easier. At least we had an alternative.

Third, if I search for a Crabby Joe’s, and I’m’ in a Crabby Joe’s, do you really think, Mr. App, that only finding Crabby Joe’s in far away cities is smart? This is why using the search feels extra clumsy. It doesn’t zero in on anything remotely close to where you are.

So, hmmm, does this app make things more efficient for me? I’m not sure. But I guess it’s good to have around anyway, and it’s not a total fail. With some improvements, though, this app would be a super cool tool. It might be kinda helpful for a deaf person who can’t really pick up the phone and call a cab. I hope it catches on, and maybe we can convince the developers to make some small accessibility tweaks.

Dec 12 2014

Dice My Onions, Or I Might Go Snaky!

I was going to write about this on Monday, but my computer had other plans.

If I wrote this post on Monday, I would have said that I think I’m winning the battle with Captain Nameless Illness, but I’m not completely sure anymore. At any rate, it’s still robbing me of creativity because when I saw this story, my first thought was “Meh, not doing much for me.” I showed it to Steve and he said “excuse me? Not doing it for you? I have so many questions!” I looked at it again, and realized that yeah, I have some too, as a matter of fact.

So, the story goes that early in the morning, two strange fellows walked into a Tim Hortons in Saskatoon. They ordered some kind of sandwich, and one of them got into an argument with the person working at Tim Hortons about how he wanted his onions. He wanted the employee to dice them for him. this argument got more heated, until he rreached into his friend’s jacket pocket, pulled out a small snake and hurled it behind the counter at the employee. Some craziness ensued, police were called, and the dudes and the snake were taken away.

Whaaat?

Let’s start with the most basic question. This is a Tim Hortons. why the hell would they be debating with the worker about how they want their onions cut? You get onions the way they make them, and that’s that. this kind of reminds me of something I saw in a Subway shop. This woman started loudly insisting that the guy making sandwiches change his gloves. I guess if she was deathly alergic to something he just handled, then I understand, but otherwise, what the hell?

Second, who walks around with a snake in their jacket pocket? Maybe if you’re 8 or something, you mmight walk around with a frog in your pocket, but these guys were 20 and it was 7 or so in the morning, at least I think I read that in another story.

Finally, what kind of strange relationship do these guys have where guy A can just reach into guy B’s coat and take something out and throw it? Or are they not friends anymore?

very very strange.

Dec 12 2014

Twas The Holiday Photo

Sounds like Gill is about as good at having her picture taken as I am.

Twas two days before Christmas
and all through my childhood home
my sister sets up the camera
and I silently moan
Why do we do this
I think to my average self
smile bright and cheery
mother says,
gotta be like Saanta’s elves
But I know better
in fact I know well
my eye will close when the flash goes off
so the picture will
to quote my dad
look like hell

Dec 11 2014

Wastin’ Away Again In Publix Grocery Store

If this were just a guy drunkenly riding a motorized cart around a grocery store smashing into people and things as he went, I probably wouldn’t post it because it’s not my job to chronicle every single thing that happens on an average Florida Friday. And for the most part, that’s exactly what’s going on here, save for two things.

1. Photo of Wayne Morgan
This fellow’s name is Wayne Morgan. I wonder if his friends call him Captain or if they’ll start doing so once they read the paper.

2. His address is listed as Margarita Lane.

When an officer arrived Nov. 28 at a Publix in the 9100 block of South U.S. 1, a manager was following Wayne Morgan Jr., 47, as Morgan cruised around on a store electric mobility assist cart.
The manager said Morgan ran into people, cursed and was rowdy and loud.
Police noted Morgan smelled strongly of alcohol and slurred his speech.
Investigators told Morgan the manager wanted him out post haste and to not return.
Morgan started to swear and raise his voice before crashing the electric cart into a store display.
He staggered outside and leaned against a post.

He is then reported to have cursed out the officers, informing them that now they couldn’t touch him as if the post had some sort of magical safe zone powers.

Of course they touched him, after which he was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.

Dec 10 2014

A Bit Of Sexual Healing For Those Times When All You Need Is A Hot Piece Of Brass

If this doesn’t get you in the mood for love, I fear all hope is lost.

There are a bunch more of these here, including “Livin’ On A Prayer”, “Bad Romance” (which may interest a few of you) and even “Killing in the Name Of”. Seriously. It’s quite great.

How amazing would it be to have one of these march past you during a parade out of the blue one day?

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