This edition features a double dip of despicable.
Recently, my friend Jeff (http://jeff-bourne.webs.com/) had an accident in his wheelchair that lead to an infection in his toes so bad that they needed to be amputated (I’m just going to sum up the story; for a more detailed account of the ordeal, click here: http://www.jtbourne.com/jeffs-ordeal/ ). So Jeff took it like a man, and entered surgery for the procedure that removed the pinky, ring, and middle toes of his left foot, in hopes of not having to remove his entire foot due to a spreading infection. The amputation occurred, but Jeff’s body struggled to adapt; he lost nearly 2 litres of blood, began seizuring, and quite soberingly, almost died. Thankfully he came around, and is recovering now.
Now, here’s the Ass part. Jeff had a backpack on the back of his wheelchair. Inside the bag was a laptop; a great hospital time-passer. Sometime between the initial amputation, room changes, and the life recovery episode, Jeff’s bag went missing. It was later recovered—minus the laptop. Some jackass (speculatively a drug user looking for pawn collateral) walked into the hospital, and stole the laptop of a man in a wheelchair who was undergoing an amputation, and a life-saving episode. Is this maybe the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever heard?
We’ve since learned that Kelowna General Hospital will write it off as an insurance claim, and get Jeff a new computer. Tip of the cap, KGH.
I don’t wish harm upon many people, but I can think of a few laws I would like to break if I ever ran into the culprit.
Some people don’t believe in monogamy, and that is their choice. But some people take this right to opinion a little too far, in my opinion. I’ve been married for over 2 years now, and I believe marriage to be the definition of love, trust, and commitment between a man and a woman.
The people at the Ashley Madison Agency have created a service that facilitates extra-marital affairs. Basically a dating site for married people. You may have seen the ads on TV, or heard them on the radio. One of their taglines is, “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” They also offer a 100% money back affair guarantee, bordering the whole service on prostitution.
I don’t feel like promoting traffic to their website, so I won’t even post a link, but this is all for real. Oprah, Larry King, Fox News, CNN,Ellen, Dr.Phil, Howard Stern and others have all ran stories on it. A YouTube search will show you Ashley Madision President and CEO Noel Biderman, a married man and father of two, being lit up by hosts and studio audiences all over the country while trying to justify his service and stance.
Whatever Mr. Biderman uses as a smoke-screen, this is a despicable service. It promotes infidelity in the hopes that sleeping with someone besides your spouse will provide the happiness in your life that you’ve been missing. Not only is this an abomination, it’s a flat out lie. Somehow their guaranteed level of “discreet” will make sure the fallout of families, psychological impact on childen, divorce implications, and every other facet that is attached to cheating on your spouse, will somehow not be an issue.
These people are making money in one of the most shameless methods I’ve heard to date. Why don’t terrorists go after these kinds of people (I’m not promoting terrorism)?
Over the last few summers, my buddy Justin Bourne and I (www.jtbourne.com) took a liking to our budding local stand-up comedy scene that a local pub in Kelowna had initiated. What started as a night of amateur-hour at best, slowly migrated into a stop on the Yuk Yuk’s tour, a stage with its own faux-brick wall, and appearances by some top notch talent that has appeared on various TV shows. After nearly memorizing Jerry Seinfeld’s “I’m Telling You For The Last Time,” and various other comics’ material, we had basically proclaimed ourselves connoisseurs of stand-up comedy; knowing what’s good, and what’s worth changing the channel in hopes of better entertainment.
It’s always been so hit and miss; between the opening act and the “headliner” (in a few instances, the opener should have been the headliner), you never really know what you’ll get Forrest Gump’ed at you. One night, both acts could be comedic gold, the next night one might leave the unnecessary sexual material in overdrive (male and female performers alike), and the next would have to clean up the mess, and some nights, both just stink. It’s incredible how often a comedian will sense that his clean material isn’t working, and will auto-pilot into his dirty stuff as a failsafe, because it’s the lowest common denominator will get some sort of reaction.
Despite all the variables however, there is always one constant that can always be counted on. Every single time you show up at a stand-up comedy act, there will always, without fail, be that guy…that one guy—drunk enough that he’s been cut-off by the wait-staff–that insists on heckling, shouting incoherent and irreverent comments that inspire a chorus of “SHUT UP!!” ‘s from everyone trying to enjoy the show. It’s incredible to try and understand what’s going through the mind of a person whose brain is telling them the smartest and funniest thing they could do at that moment is to shout the name of the comedian loudly, or offer a few inappropriate and off-topic words (not full sentences or coherent thoughts, just a few assorted words) at that moment in time. Sometimes you’ll even hear an attempt at a joke similar to one that the comedian has already told that night; only this version does not get over in the least, and the amateur funny-man gets lit up like a Christmas tree by the one that’s actually being paid to tell jokes.
The comedian’s ability to deal with the hecklers is nothing short of amazing. I can’t recall seeing a comedian crumble under the onslaught of idiotics. It’s always deflected rather impressively; and the heckler quickly becomes the heckled (only this time, the comedian has the whole audience on his or her side). Think you could do this at your job, when a customer complains about your service?
There also always ends up being one audience member that ends up as indirect target of offence. To avoid this, never, EVER, under any circumstances, should you ever put up your hand or offer a response to a question that a comedian is looking for one person to answer. Trust me on this one, it is only a gateway to your own embarrassment. As tempting as it might be to inform the talent about anything regarding yourself, keep in mind, it’s all being stored as ammunition against you. You’ve been warned. Further, never sit in the front row either; keep a comfortable viewing distance. It’s for your own good.
I’ve come to respect the comedian greatly. If you haven’t, consider some of the factors with me. According to
Seinfeld (I’m sure there’s some actual research for this), most people are more afraid of speaking in public than of death; meaning they’d rather be dead in a casket than giving a eulogy at a funeral. I know everyone thinks they can tell a few good jokes here and there, but to lace together a solid set of material that any generic audience will respond to positively, and have it last around an hour is pretty daunting when you think about it. I’m sure most comedians could tell you more than one story of nights they thought that they had been booked at a cricket convention. The time, effort, successes and failures accumulated and required over the years would likely break most people.
You’ll never hear an up-and-coming comedian brag about how much money they’re making either. They’re out there, night after night, small-town after small-town, telling their jokes about the last city they were in that the current city hates, peddling their merchandise… I respect the hustle. They’re (usually) doing it because they love to perform. Getting the kind of passion in a performance that is driven from “love of the game” is worth the $10 cover and my applause any night.
All of us North Americans got the memo a few years ago that we’re facing an obesity epidemic. So between the Atkins’ diets, wraps, smoothies, yoga, sushi, pilates, weight-loss based reality shows, low-cal, low-carb, and all the other health fads we could steal adopt from other countries, we’ve made a valiant effort to “shape up.”
It’s natural for new businesses to pop up in cities. But one recent addition to the restaurant barrage my hometown of Kelowna seems to fit into the healthy lifestyle landscape like the one thing that was different in the “One of these things is not like the other” Sesame Street song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZIvgQ9ik48
Yes, the newly city approved and built food dispenser is none other than “Fatburger.”
I mean, come on. For one, give yourself a chance; and for the other, help us out. In name alone, I don’t see how this restaurant chain can survive. Until I noticed this:
There’s not a salad in sight, 1200 calorie shakes, and burgers that look so terrible on the nutritional sheet that they’re probably the best in town. (Nutrition Info: http://www.fatburger.com/menu/Nutrition_Facts.pdf) Oh, and they also serve beer. The one element that has eluded the fast-food industry for so long has finally come to fruition at Fatburger. Beer and Burgers? This place might have a chance after all…
I guess if you’re the kind of person who has given up on diets and flipped the bird to exercise, then you may have found your haven. This place is a Weight Watchers Cheat Day disaster den. And with people like Magic Johnson, Pharrell, and our old friend Kanye West backing the chain, it looks like Lovie Yancey’s (founder, lived to be 92, somehow) eatery lovechild (along with all the other chains, mind you) will continue to trip up all the people making an honest effort to eat healthier.
I figure writing about this place probably means I have to go eat there, at least once (market research, right?). Has anyone else eaten there before?
Scoring three goals in a hockey game is hard to do. At some point around 1950, a couple of hat stores started offering local players a brand new cap as a reward for accomplishing the feat (a big score in those days, no pun intended [but presented]). Hey, it’s the least they could’ve done. And so, the term, “hat trick,” was born.
Somewhere along the line, fans started throwing their own hats on the ice when a player recorded a hat trick. Maybe the hat stores had gone out of business for giving away too many hats, maybe stores were being taken advantage of by players claiming they scored 3 and demanding a new hat, or maybe people just wanted to offer their own reward for what they perceived as greatness. Whatever the reason, fans took the tradition on themselves as a collective, and rinks of today are generally flooded with hats when a player notches the trifecta.
As nice of a traditional gesture as this is, here’s the thing. Today’s NHL players are millionaires, and can afford their own hats; as opposed to the NHL players of the 1950’s. At that level, the likelihood of them ever wearing your hat in gratitude is absolute zero. So if you just went out and bought a brand new Starter cap for your piggy bank’s ransom; one that you love of your favourite team and that fits perfectly, and your favourite player on your favourite team scores his third of the game, and you get the urge to chuck it on the ice in commendation, remember this: he’s not touching or wearing it, and you’re not getting it back. Your tattered, sweat-stained, beat up old Yankees hat is also going straight in the garbage. Harsh I know, but tough love, right?
Does anyone know what actually happens to all the hats that are collected by the rink staff?
Anyone who has played team sports in their lifetime likely had at least one team with jerseys that displayed their last name across their back from shoulder to shoulder. This was likely machine or hand stitched by an accommodating parent (probably a mom). It’s a classy look. But at least one of you players played on one team that had an extremely benevolent, but equally oblivious parent who sewed the wrong colored name-bar on the wrong colored jersey. It was atrocious, and embarrassing to be teammates with the kid with the bungled up jersey. It reflected badly on the player, the parent, the team, and to an extent, made the home association look rather bush-league.
I present to you, the current Philadelphia Flyers of the N-H-freaking-L’s jerseys:
Orange on orange, white on white, black on black. Just not that hard, is it?
This is going to be the oldest sounding thing I’ve written, but regardless, the kids of today are going to unbelievably smart when they get to an age where they’re able to contribute to society. That or, they’ll just keep being good at computers and video games.
My 3 year old niece and my 5 year old nephew know how to navigate the internet, and are showing me the how to beat levels on Super Mario Galaxy for Nintendo Wii. The other day I got beat in PS2 NHL ’08 Shootout by my friend Colin ( http://go-team-burritt.blogspot.com/ )’s 3 year old son (What kind of a controller uses shapes for button designations, anyways? Screw you, Sony.).
Back in the day, adults were in awe of our generation. In second grade, we
started learning to type on computerized keyboards and we were the lab rats used to figure out the first generation of black and white Mac computers. Unfortunately for them, we spent more time figuring out SimCity and SimAnt than we did figuring out the things we were supposed to be doing, which I still can’t remember what they were.
Around the same time, I began my domination of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, which still is relatively uncontended. Mario Brothers (all incarnations), Mega Man, Ninja Turtles, Batman, and plenty others fell to my
conquering fist and button-mashing thumbs in my basement. But these young whippersnappers of today I tell ya, they’re getting good, and they’re getting good early. I better start shopping for a strata.
Ok, so you’re Amish. Maybe you’re Mennonite. Perhaps you just simply feel and believe that showing the skin on your arms below the elbow, and neck is
unacceptable. Fine, you’re entitled to your belief set, whatever it may be. But just because you’ve decided to a strict 17th century dress code style, does it automatically mean that your clothes and their style are stuck there too? Is a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans out of the question? Are you locked into the bonnet-black dress-white apron look? If it’s a matter of not supporting off-shore sweatshop manufacturing or something of the likes, that’s respectable. But I’m sure there have been a few updates in sewing patterns that could pass as acceptable.
Also, why does it seem that the women in these societies seem to be more bound to these rules than the men? I have a few Mennonite friends that I hope I am not offending by any of this; I simply want to pose a few questions that I do not know the answers to. Please excuse my naivity and ignorance.
I don’t think the format of today’s spelling bees are a fair way to determine a
spelling champion. The contenders should not all have to spell different words. If finalist 1 gets “tetrahydrozoline” wrong, and finalist 2 gets “schematics” correct, what has that proven?
In my spelling bee, all contestants would be locked in individual sound-proof booths until it was their turn (the claustrophobic need not enter the contest). One by one, each player would spell the same word, and then return to their enclosures, until they were eliminated by their mistakes, and a legit winner was eventually crowned. If ESPN and TSN are going to continue to cut out actual sports that deserve airtime for things like spelling bees and dog-shows, then they need to amp up the legitimacy.
There was a time where commercial air travel in Canada was quite good. There were at least 2 or 3 major airlines (Air Canada, Canadian Airlines, etc…), there was great in-flight service, friendly staff, competitive pricing, and everyone’s bags always came out of the baggage chute when their plane arrived.
One time, I had a flight that was delayed 15 or 20 minutes, which was of no consequence to me at all. The next week, I received a letter in the mail from Air Canada apologizing for the delay, and letting me know I had been credited 500 Aeroplan miles for the trouble. Nice touch.
Then, something happened, and the face of the Canadian airline industry took a turn for the worse. Airlines began to go bankrupt, and Canadian Airlines was bought by Air Canada. This left Air Canada, privatized and fresh out of bankruptcy protection, as the dominant force in Northern North American flying. Perhaps they got cocky. Perhaps they just stopped trying because they knew they had no major competition anymore. Maybe there was an actual, legitimate reason to what happened next.
Suddenly, without warning, the complimentary in-flight meals disappeared, and were replaced with miniscule bags of nuts (or something resembling them). Ticket prices doubled, at least. I learned that the dreamy Aeroplan miles that are supposed to accumulate rapidly and fly you everywhere for free, expired if you didn’t use contribute to your totals once a year, and were nearly useless to me; as I am not a frequent traveler. The free headphones to watch movies suddenly had a price tag on them. Bags started not showing up on the carousel; causing major headaches and worry, until they were delivered 1,2,3 or 4 days later, if at all. I almost had to make an insurance claim for my entire bag of hockey gear when I had to miss team practices and was in danger of missing games because my equipment didn’t show up after I flew back to college after Christmas break. Even the demeanor of the attendant staff seemed to drop off. Smiles and assurances of a safe flight were replaced by cranky, angry looking old women informing me that I could NOT have another bag of cookies on the flight, and that I should just go back to my seat and buckle my safety belt.
One time I was delayed over 4 hours in Calgary while trying to catch a connection home. I, and the other plane’s worth of passengers, sat and waited, and waited, asked questions, grew agitated… and waited some more. We eventually learned that the pilot was tired and didn’t want to fly. Then we found out that there was no replacement pilot to finish the trip. It wasn’t the most welcomed message a group full of weary travelers wanted to hear over the airport PA system (you should’ve heard the groans and mutiny plots after that one). We were finally allowed to board the plane well after midnight. One may think that boarding a plane means that the flight would be taking place. In this situation, they would be wrong. We sat in our assigned seats for at least another hour, while more maintenance and de-icing were performed. Eventually we did take off, and we arrived home nearly 6 hours later than we were scheduled to.
I figured that if they rewarded me 500 miles for a 15 minute delay before, I must be in store for something substantial this time. So again I waited, and waited…and waited. No mail. No letters. No bonus miles. Not even a sorry. So, I wrote my own letter to them instead. I told my story, laid it out respectfully but firmly, and awaited a response. Sometime later, I received a reply. Air Canada was indeed sorry for the situation, but regretted to inform me that everything was part of routine and policy ( or something to that tune), and that there would be no compensation of any sort. Huh???
Since then, a magical little company named Westjet emerged, offering cheap flights, comfy, leather (?) chairs with TV’s built into the back of them, and a friendly attendant staff that oddly seems to enjoy their jobs, and is able to make passengers enjoy their flights. It was a huge breath of fresh air. It must have rattled Air Canada. Westjet began to increase their presence across the country, and all of a sudden, Air Canada recognized they had better play catch-up. Not run-past-and-beat mind you, just simply catch-up. All of a sudden, SOME Air Canada flights had TV’s in the back of chairs. The LONG flights started offering meals again, and SOME of the attendant staff seemed a little nicer. You absolutely must take an
intercontinental flight on Air Canada now (Boeing 767, and 777’s), just to walk past first-class and see what they get. There are, literally, cubicles for each seat, with footrests, and a whole pile of unnecessary things that only high tax-brackets can afford.
I will give Air Canada some credit though, even through their stubborn policies of luggage weight, quantity and size, they recently waived at least $500 worth of charges for my wife and I for extra baggage and over-weight penalties on an inter-continental flight. They did make us repack four suitcases and redistribute the same amount of weight however, but hey, I’ll take it. Incredibly, all 5 bags showed up when we got off the plane.
It’s still a far cry from what you’d find on Thai Air (oddly, they are members of the same Star Alliance), that offers free everything, all the time, whenever you want it, friendly staff that bow to you as you arrive and leave, and gets your bags out when you arrive at your destination. Also, Horizon/Alaska Air offers a free ticket to anywhere in North America if you offer to bump yourself off an overbooked flight and take a later plane (Thanks for sponsoring my honeymoon, guys). Tough to compete with I guess, but I think I see a glimmer of an effort somewhere deep down.
I still would choose any other airline if I could, but Air Canada seems to have a headlock of a monopoly over some major destinations still. Nearly immediate failure of upstart competition doesn’t help either, but obviously someone recognizes there’s a problem and is trying to offer a solution. With any luck, the big-wigs will fly to Ottawa on private Air Canada jets, and ask for a bailout sometime soon.