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Archive for March, 2010

Lingering Legalization, Uber-Donkulous Advertisements, and The Folgers Fascade.

March 31, 2010 6 comments

At least all he has to do today is eat, sleep, poop, and sniff butts. You got nothing better than that going on?

If “the best part of (you) waking up is (really) Folgers in your cup”, then you’ve got a real problem, and you should probably look into a form of rehabilitation.  You’re telling me you have nothing better to look forward to in the next pending 24 hours than a stupid cup of coffee?  There’s more to life, man…

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It’s amazing that stoners masquerading around as medical marijuana lobbyists (the fake ones I mean, don’t email me about your serious condition that requires it, I get it) really think that our governments are going to someday give into their supposed logical arguments of federal revenue from its taxation, and just let them all get high anytime they feel like it.  Give it up already, it’s over.  The Marijuana Party will never have a majority or minority government.  It’s never going to be legal for you to be higher than or equal to Snoop Dogg with arthritis on a Scandanavian vacation.  If even California vetoes it, it’s time to move on, munchie-mongrels. 

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My wife has a hair product called “Frizz-Ease”.  Women, you really want to exchange money for a product, and willingly put something on your head that rhymes with disease?  Really?  Is it boggling at all to anyone else that people sit around in meetings, agree, and approve as a group, names like this as good ideas to sell their products?  I suppose no more boggling than the consumers who bite on their advertisements.

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I’m officially done hearing, and I would like everyone else to officially stop saying, “uber” in reference to adjective enchancement.  Also, “re-donk-ulous”, an inflated version of ridiculous; apparently so atrocious, it’s been blended with a donkey.  It got a few laughs, but it’s time to call it.  Everyone on board?  Cool.  Good talk. 

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Do you think the people at Pro-Activ (you know, the people that promise to give you back your lost self-esteem and sense of self-worth after their acne products clear up your mangled skin) are equal opportunity employers?  Do you think an adequately or over-qualified individual who happened to have visible acne would be hired on equal grounds as a person without acne?  I think the people with acne should be hired ahead actually, on the grounds to be used as before and after examples.  If it really works, these people should be clear as day when they’re done their cycle.  Not like bodybuilders pushing the latest creatine or protein supplement, crediting that substance for all the muscles they had far before they started using the stuff.    

Serenity Now!!

Wrestling With Shadows No More: Why Bret Hart is Back With WWE.

March 23, 2010 4 comments

 

If you’ve been watching WWE’s Monday Night Raw at all since January of this year, you’re probably fully aware that my boyhood hero, Bret “Hitman” Hart is back working for Vince McMahon.  Bret made an absolutely stunning return that made my nostalgic emotions struggle to keep composed, and kept my neck hair standing on end.  Though he looked like the weathered and beaten down war-horse Vince would later describe him as during the in-ring promo, it’d never been better to see Bret.  Regarding his re-introduction to the WWE audience, Bret mentioned, “”It’s hard to begin describing what a surrealistic feeling it was to walk out on the ramp to “Hitman” chants and my music pounding in my head.”  After 12 years of Bret standing by his actions, and standing against what WWE had done to him, Bret had mended the wounds.  As justified as he was, and would have been in carrying that bitterness around for the rest of his life, it really felt like Bret had done the right thing; forgiven his trespassers, and made an attempt to make a positive out of probably one of the largest negatives in history.  Inadvertently, it seemed like peace and closure to a tumultuous life chapter was on the horizon.

It was incredible to first see Bret “bury the hatchet” with long time, documented real-life enemy, Michael Hickenbottom, aka Shawn Michaels.  Of that encounter, Bret said,

“ It’s worth mentioning that although I did see Shawn earlier in the afternoon in the cafeteria, our in-ring face-off was unrehearsed and heartfelt on both sides and I can finally say that Shawn and I have finally made peace in what has been a long, draining, and sometimes pointless war of personalities…I finally found some closure.”

In the world of kayfabe and storylines, it’s pretty difficult to really know what’s going on for sure; even the writers don’t even know.  This one seems legit though.

Beyond the personal reasons, many still speculate the “real” reasons for Bret’s return.  Some thought Vince McMahon feared Hulk Hogan’s arrival in rival wrestling company TNA as a ratings threat ala the Monday Night Wars with WCW in the 90’s, and bringing Bret back was Vince’s neutralizer to secure winning ratings.  Bret disagrees.  In fact, Bret himself has said he approached WWE about the comeback 3 years ago.  It is fishy that WWE became interested at the time of the Hogan situation though, despite McMahon’s repeated denial that TNA is any sort of threat or competition for WWE.  Hulk Hogan himself commented on Bret’s return, saying,

“I’m so happy to see Bret Hart come in to go against me because he hated the business. He was bitter. He hated Vince. And you’ve got to move on. Positively. I’m so happy to see Bret – and I’ve talked to some of Bret’s family members and he’s excited about coming. He’s excited about coming to RAW. I love Bret Hart to death. I’m excited for Bret to come back. And guess what? I already won again. Because Vince McMahon is now showing that he’s worried about Hulk Hogan going head to head.”

Hogan clearly feels that Bret’s return is suspiciously motivated.  Hulk has been known to make some debated claims though; hard to say if he actually talked to any of the Hart’s like he’s claimed.  And also, Bret and Hulk haven’t exactly been the best of friends either over the years.

TNA’s Eric Bischoff also commented on Bret’s return, saying,

As expected, WWE is reacting to the competition by bringing in Bret Hart.  I am happy for Bret. Hopefully, by going back to work for Vince and the WWE, Bret will be able to put a painful and personally traumatic part of his life behind him. I have always liked Bret as a person and respected him as a professional. It was disappointing to me when I would read or hear comments that Bret would make, that reflected the bitterness he has been carrying around with him for so long. Bret has an opportunity now to write the last chapter of his book in a way that will allow fans to remember him in a more positive way.  I wish the best for Bret.”

There are also those who have speculated that Bret’s return is simply motivated financially.  Bret has been receiving disability insurance money since after his career-ending concussion, and subsequent stroke.  A wrestling match couldn’t possibly be encouraged by an insurance company forking out money to someone wrestling a match when they’re supposedly not physically capable of doing it.  Either there’s a loophole in that deal, or WWE has bought out the policy entirely; who’s to say?  Bret has said, “I’m not opposed to making a little money . . . but I still don’t need to do it.”

Other motivations include the pending induction of Bret’s father, Stu, into the WWE Hall of Fame, a Hart Family DVD being released, and the promotion and elevation of Bret’s family members, DH Smith, Natalya, and Tyson Kidd; aka The Hart Dynasty.  However, The Hart Dynasty appears on Smackdown rather than Raw, and hasn’t been featured once during Bret’s segments, with the exception of an off-camera segment after Bret’s return night.  So much for that theory.

A common theme of Bret’s return rationale seems to be that he’s just simply been bored, and that he was looking to have some fun, as I heard him say in TV interviews on Off The Record, and The Hour.  I hope Bret’s been enjoying it, because much of it has been hard to watch.  Surely it’s all part of a lead up to the Wrestlemania Street Fight between Bret and Vince, but I don’t know if Bret’s really needed to have Vince spit in his face (like Bret did to Vince after Survivor Series ’97), and generally embarrassed in a few other seemingly unnecessary ways.  Former WWF, WCW, and current TNA writer, Vince Russo said,

All that is coming across is how egotistical McMahon is – and it’s a travesty for Bret to come back and be treated the way he’s treated. There’s a way to do an angle and do it with class and a respectful manner to not do some of things to Bret.”  Russo also says, ” that just reeks the ego of Vince McMahon” and that’s one of the reasons he (Russo) left the company.

It has been fun to see Bret “beat up” Vince once, and blast him in the face with a cast though.  Bret’s always claimed to be the safest wrestler of all-time – never hurting any of his opponents.  Ever the consummate professional, it may be tough for Bret to not let a few rights “slip” their way into Vince’s jaw for real, just for old times’ sake.

So whatever the motivation, I’m glad to see Bret back.  It’s the right thing to do, and I’m looking forward to riding the nostalgia wave as far as the tide takes it.  Now could someone please inform Bret that those aviator sunglasses he keeps coming out wearing look brutal, and that he needs to wear his old sweet wrap-around sunglasses?  Also, don’t expect to see Bret donning the pink and black tights of old; he’s vetoed those as well.

Jeremy Roenick, Larry Fitzgerald, and The Terrible Trouble of Toppers.

March 13, 2010 15 comments

You stay classy, JR.

Sometime back in November ’09, I was sitting in a Kelowna pub, waiting for my boss to drop off a cheque to me.  He clearly wanted me to drink the money away with him right then and there, but I vowed to keep it, and my immediate debts clear.  Amidst my time biding, a man with an odd familiarity, though seeming out of place, caught my attention.  I puzzled to put the pieces together… finally assembling that it was former loud-mouth agitator showman NHL’er, Jeremy Roenick.  Once I put it together, I opted not to bother him (he was a good player and all, but I just didn’t seem to care that much).  He seemed a little perturbed, as if someone had just called him spoiled for getting paid to play “a game” for a job.  I found out later he was in town for the Kelowna Jaycee’s Gentlemen’s Charity Dinner… go figure.    

I still thought it was cool that I saw him, so I texted my friend, Justin Bourne, who resides in Arizona, about who I’d just seen.  A few minutes later, I got a text back saying something to the tune of, “Oh yeah? Well I just walked past Larry Fitzgerald.  Take that.” {editor’s note: verbatim may be exaggerated for effect}  He included the following picture:

My immediate reaction was to accuse Mr. Bourne of being a “Topper”, and of attempted topping, while under suspicion of conspiring to top.  He refuted the charges. 

Now you may be asking yourself, “But SDC, what is a Topper, or topping for that matter?”  Well, I’m glad you asked, and I’ll be happy to explain.  Or better yet, I’ll let Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comics visually explain:

So basically, a Topper is someone who always seems to conveniently have a better story than someone who is currently, or has just finished telling a story; generally for the purpose of garnering attention and admiration of others in earshot of the happening. 

Now, to be fair to, and in defence of Bourne, this definitely was an isolated topping incident, and I hold no other claims to current or former toppings.  But there are definitely people out there who do this on a regular basis, quite purposefully. 

The other side of this scenario is that, at the time, I had no idea who Larry Fitzgerald was (apparently he’s good at that game with the weird shaped ball that’s hard to throw, and a super guy) as I don’t watch football, but Bourne definitely knew who Roenick was (was good at hockey, and apparently a huge jackass).  So Justin may have a claim to innocence based on the fact that his topping criteria was not necessarily of topping magnitude, considering that I was not aware of Larry’s level.  But one could also cite that this point is irrelevant, and nullify the claimed innocence.  So what do you think?  Does the evidence speak for itself, or is topping relative to the participants?  Did Bourne (try to) top me? 

My conversational provoking query to you is: Do you know a topper?  What is your best topper story that you’ve seen or heard of?

Also, enjoy some more Topper comics, my favourite character in the Dilbert series.

Idle Disney Threats, Guess-timates, a Breakfast Bluff, and the Entertainment Tonight Tractor-Beam.

March 7, 2010 5 comments

Here’s what’s been additionally on my mind, while my brain was auto-pilot Olympic blogging…

Isn’t it unfortunate that anyone who is within eyeshot of another human being simply cannot run anywhere, at any speed, without one of those human beings yelling, “Run Forrest, Run!” at them?  You know you do it too, or at least think it, every time. 

Also from the Forrest Gump world, you know that crap about, “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get”?  Well, unless you haven’t eaten a box of chocolates since 1805, all you have to do is just look at the insert map included with the chocolates to see exactly what you’re going to get.  Come on, idiots.  By the way, orange or strawberry crème filled chocolates are the best.  Also, white chocolate. 

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Ever accidentally started watching Entertainment Tonight while flipping channels, and tried to change the channel?  It’s nearly impossible.  The segues into the next segments are always so enthralling and dramatic… I know I don’t care about what’s shocking revelation will unfold on The Bachelor, Kate Gosselin’s new haircut, who’s pregnant, who broke up, or how much weight somebody lost/gained, but I… just… can’t… look away…

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When did the word estimate officially get merged into the word guess-timate? Did we give up on arriving at educated assumptions based on minimal available data?  Did I miss the memo that says we’re all just taking wild stabs in the dark now?  When was the last time you heard anyone say estimate? Somewhere, a generations worth of math teachers collectively said, “That’s it, we give up! It’s bad enough they don’t understand the numbers… now the letters too!?!?” Heh heh, I hate you too, Mr. Treadgold.

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If you’re a homosexual and you’re not well-dressed, overly polite, and really good friends with women, it must be tough to find a niche in society, wouldn’t you say?  All I’m saying is, you just don’t see or hear of many slobby-looking, potty-mouthed, jackassy, gay men, do you?    

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It’s insane for liquor stores to advertise as having “The Coldest Beer In Town”, isn’t it?  Everyone’s got the same fridges, and they’re all set not to freeze the liquids they’re trying to sell.  Unless you have a cryogenic freezer built into the dashboard of your car, whatever beer you buy will, inevitably, get warm in the car on the way home.  And when you get home, you put it in your fridge anyway, where it re-adapts to that fridge’s refrigeration settings.  Stop lying to us.

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Something tells me no one has Tea and Froot Loops for breakfast in England.

“Continental Breakfasts” are one of the biggest charades going.  Err, excuse me Best Western, let me get this straight – you’re telling me the whole world eats serve-yourself cold cereal for breakfast?  Can you just put up a sign that says “Free ‘we’re-too-cheap-and-lazy-to-serve-you-an-actual’ Breakfast” instead?  You’re lucky I still like Rice Krispies…

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Is anyone else no longer afraid of the Disney Vault threat?  You know, the commercial that advertises a classic Disney movie being re-released on DVD for a limited time, until it’s threatened to be locked back in the Disney Vault FOREVER… that is, until it’s re-re-leased on HD-DVD, or Blu-ray, Laser-Disc, or whatever other money making scheme the fine folks at Disney are up to, instead of making an entirely new movie?  Somewhere, someone way too old to be watching Disney movies has around 7 formats of Aladdin, The Lion King, and the Little Mermaid… all still wrapped in the packaging, for fear of decreasing the value of their “collector’s item”.  They also live alone, and own way too many cats.

Serenity Now!!

Best. Olympics. EVER: Final Thoughts on Vancouver 2010.

March 1, 2010 1 comment

 

I’m pretty sure I’m going to need some Olympic detox.  Withdrawals are surely on their way.  I was hyper-tweeting on twitter, and my blogs reached record outputs (and hits!).  A few of my readers were concerned I’d never return from Olympic themed blogs.  So, with the intention of moving back to various topics, here is my last Olympic blog… for now.

Sidney. Freaking. Crosby.  I could watch that “Golden Goal” (as announcer Chris Cuthbert called it) on loop for, probably ever.  I heard one comparison already of that goal to the likes of the Paul Henderson goal in the ’72 Summit Series, and the Gretzky-to-Lemieux Canada Cup goal, and I have to say I agree with the alignment.  It really was one of those goals that you’re going to always remember where you were and who you were with when it happened.  It didn’t matter if you were a hockey fan, or even ever played hockey once in your life – if you are Canadian, you were excited.

And wasn’t that the spectacle of Vancouver 2010?  All of us Canadians were excited, everywhere; seemingly all the time.  Not just in Vancouver; not even just in Canada.  Every living room, every pub, bar, airport, restaurant, Tim Hortons’, basement suite, townhouse, apartment, mobile home, rancher, bus, plane, car, city street, or any other dwelling place across the globe that displaced Canadians were currently occupying went absolutely bananas when they saw on their TV or computer, or heard on  their radio or phone that Crosby’s shot went in.  And it wasn’t just during that game; the jubilation and camaraderie really lasted throughout the entirety of the 17 days that were the 2010 Winter Olympics.  There was video evidence from various cities from the East Coast all the way across the country to the West Coast of Canada; from Kandahar, Afghanistan to LAX; of Canadians loving every moment.  I got to experience a few events, and even sported car flags on my vehicle (2 lost due to accidental window roll-downs, and one to manufacturers defect).  And who could forget the red Olympic mittens?  I had my pair.

We cheered and applauded, and/or got a little teary every time a Canadian earned a medal.  Was there a better back-story than Alexandre Bilodeau drawing inspiration from his disabled brother and winning Canada’s first gold medal at home?   We loved seeing giddy Marianne St-Gelais and Charles Hamelin win their medals and embrace.  Who could keep their composure after Joannie Rochette won her bronze just days after the death of her mother?  Canadian males everywhere grunted as Jon Montgomery screamed in victory, and guzzled a pitcher of beer.  We couldn’t stop from singing “O Canada” in the curling rink, and causing non-traditional delays.  The stories go on and on.  And as I referenced already, when Crosby went five-hole on Miller, silenced the fear of loss, and Canada triumphed over the US, and took the overall gold medal lead and set the all-time Winter Olympic record, well, is it of any surprise that IOC President Jacques Rogge was “boo’ed” when he announced the games were officially closed?

Our hearts broke every time one of our athletes told us they felt like they let us down.  Skeleton’ist Mellisa Hollingsworth, and cross-country skiier Devon Kershaw both broke down in tears as they fell short of the medal podium, and Jeremy Wotherspoon capped is career off still without an Olympic gold medal.  Through them wearing their hearts, pride, and passion on the sleeves of their Canadian uniforms, we not only forgave them (we were never mad at them), but we embraced them.

We rallied together anytime negative and irrelevant criticism was thrown our way, and retaliated in a civil way, if necessary.  We defended ourselves in, probably, a most unexpected manner.  When foreign newspapers and other media outlets tried to point out all our shortcomings as hosts, we accented our strengths, did our best to clean up our messes, and kept on waving the Maple Leaf and breaking into spontaneous street-hockey games anywhere and everywhere, with anyone who wanted to join in.  From the time the torch reached our shores from Greece and paraded to every corner of our country, to the time the flame was extinguished and started its journey to the next host, we were a team out there.  Even our Prime Minister placed bets on u

IOC President, Jacques Rogge, assessed Vancouver 2010 as “excellent and most friendly”.  Perhaps in part from being Canadian and watching Canadian broadcasts, my spectrum of the games were quite partisan.  But in all honesty, compared to any other Olympics I’ve seen from any previous year, Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Games were the best. Games. Ever.  Many have said Canada forged itself a new identity, and put some swagger in our step.  Some say it was there all along.  Whatever it is that we’ve become as far as a united nation, I hope we never forget it.

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