From the monthly archives:

December 2007

I Anticipate Several Movies in 2008

by Dave on December 27, 2007

in Movies

How is that for a prediction? Yes, you heard it here first, Hollywood and countries around the globe will produce at least a handful of movies in the new year. Of course… my title relates to specific movies I am looking forward to, you silly geese. As always, my old friend Brukakke asked me to participate in his 2008 movies article which I did amazingly without having to be asked a second or third time. He’s hung up on Star Trek while I have obviously been looking forward to an excuse to post this, which was released to masses of whip-stroking, drooling 34-yr-somethings earlier this month:

IJKKS

Other movies I look forward to in 2008 include: RocknRolla, Valkyrie, Semi-Pro, The Dark Knight and Bond 22. Here is a great list of upcoming 2008 flicks and their vital statistics. Have a look and let me know what you’re digging. I think it’s safe to say it’s going to be a very good year.

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December 15th, 2007 saw the umpteenth annual Best Buddies’ Christmas Party at Jason and Amy’s house in Toronto. Thank you for the hospitality guys, and I’m glad I was finally in the country for one of these. It was no surprise that I had my video camera on hand for most of the weekend and last night I edited the gargantuan mess into what you’ll see below: Among other things, very cute kiddies, a bad game of fetch, home made Baileys, Sears Portrait Studio, spanking, bad language and my goofy laugh way too close to the microphone. Please for to enjoy…

 

Merry Christmas again to all my friends and family who read this silly blog, and I love you’se all. Thanks to Amy for the amazing decorating job and I suppose Jason played a role in the party production too. The accompanying photo gallery can be found here.

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I Still Call it “Christmas”, Thanks

by Dave on December 23, 2007

in Politics

To My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Shepherd 2: Electric Boogaloo

by Dave on December 21, 2007

in Animalistic,Heartwarming

Folks – your IMs, texts and emails in the 2 days since I posted the short blurb about my mother’s illness and Shepherd’s death pulled me right out of the doldrummy tailspin and I am forever grateful. Janet and I arrived in Florida Wednesday and spent the night in my parent’s trailer park, the residents of which are some of the nicest, most caring people I’ve ever met. I now know why coming down here was so important to my mother, although we’re still pushing for this to be the last year. As we sat around the fire enjoying a pot luck dinner in our honor, Janet and I were frequently pulled aside and given one-on-one insights (I guess you could call them) from their many 5th wheel residing buddies. Yesterday we met both of our parent’s doctors during separate appointments on opposite sides of Melbourne and that left us feeling better as well. My Dad in particular has an amazing doctor, social worker and nurse in his corner. Combined the last two days have provided us with some optimism and comfort, not to mention the nice messages from all of y’all.

Shepherd 2.0

As we drank multiple 1.5 liter bottles of white wine and ate friend chicken around a roaring propane blaze surrounded in turn by RVs and cats on leashes, I got a text message from my breeder. She informed me she’d located another young litter in our area and asked if I wanted her to look into it. She was devastated by the loss of the puppies and I really appreciate the way she sucked it up and tracked down another option for myself and some of the other disappointed families via her network of peers. I immediately got in touch with the backup breeder via BlackBerry and a few minutes later I had photos. After some more back and forth regarding family history, bloodlines, the size of the parents and finally price I had dibs on the only male in a litter of 8 born just one week after Shepherd and his unfortunate departed siblings.

Perhaps caught up in the heat of the moment, my sister told me to inform the breeder she wanted a female from the same litter too! So in one Chardonnay and grease soaked evening, which began as a very somber and morose affair indeed, we’d resurrected not only the notion of Shepherd Pye but found him a sister to boot! Janet will be getting photos of the remaining females after one other family takes first pick of the 7 little girls, but those are still great odds – and how much can you tell from a photo of a week old puppy anyway? It’s really all about the raising and the training. This is a photo of Shepherd 2.0 who greatly resembles the original in both size, coloring and genetics. I will post photos of the already named Pumpkin Pye as soon as Janet chooses her. Sometimes things go from bad to worse… and then backwards a few notches to “cool”. Punky and Shep will not be stopped!

Update: Janet has decided to name her dog Rhubarb Pye – “Ruby” for short.

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Appetizer: What was the last game you purchased?
Janet and I bought my Dad a Nintendo DS a year ago so he could play memory and brain exercise games, of which there are quite a few. After he showed little interest in the thing, and my Mom started commandeering it for a crossword game, I decided to see what else was available. Since then I have picked up hockey, football, best of Konami and golf games and some of them are quite fun. I also recently learned about a project which allows you to download and play free, pirated ROMS for the thing – which I may or may not do (insert Terrence Maddox wink here). Last week in Walmart I found a game entitled My French Tutor which I scooped up and played with on the plane to Florida. It’s surprisingly good, great for individual word memorization if nothing else and if you follow the last link you’ll find an objective and in-depth review that will have you dropping croissant crumbs all over the tiny screen in no time. Or something.

Soup: Name something in which you don’t believe.
It’s a toss up between Santa and Superman at the moment. Although I really want the new Blade Runner 5 Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition, so I should tread carefully. This Amazon description sounds like the coolest DVD box set thingy in human history:

“In celebration of Blade Runner‘s 25th anniversary, director Ridley Scott has gone back into post production to create the long-awaited definitive new version. Blade Runner: The Final Cut, spectacularly restored and remastered from original elements and scanned at 4K resolution, will contain never-before-seen added/extended scenes, added lines, new and improved special effects, director and filmmaker commentary, an all-new 5.1 Dolby® Digital audio track and more. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young, and Daryl Hannah are among some 80 stars, filmmakers and others who participate in the extensive bonus features. Among the bonus material highlights is Dangerous Days, a brand new, three-and-a-half-hour documentary by award-winning DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika, with an extensive look into every aspect of the film: its literary genesis, its challenging production and its controversial legacy. The definitive documentary to accompany the definitive film version.

The Ultimate Collector’s Edition will be presented in a unique 5-disc digi-package with handle which is a stylish version of Rick Deckard’s own briefcase. In addition, each briefcase will be individually numbered and in limited supply. Included is a lenticular motion film clip from the original feature, miniature origami unicorn figurine, miniature replica spinner car, and collector’s photographs, as well as a signed personal letter from Sir Ridley Scott”

Salad: If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?
He’s sort of like marmite or anchovies in that you either love him or you hate him – but I think the world of Gordon Ramsey. It’s not so much his cooking canon and repertoire, that’s not really up for debate. It’s the no-nonsense, brutal tough love approach to seriously effective business advice that he brings to flailing restaurants in the “Kitchen Nightmares” series. If you know him only from screaming at French kitchen porters or a fat guy named Dewberry from the English and American versions of Hell’s Kitchen – then you’re probably right in assuming he’s an arrogant, narcicisstic prick. If you’ve seen the amazing way in which he can completely transform and save a business on Nightmares – from staff motivation to getting owner’s heads out of the clouds to wedding favors to deep cleanings to simplifying the menu to even decorating the bloody dining room – he is incredibly saavy, genuine and brilliant. “Do you know that, big boy?” On one episode of the English series two (I have been watching Ramsey’s shows for almost a decade), I was thrilled to see him take one of the owners to The Fat Duck in Bray. The restaurant has gone on to international acclaim and celebrity chef status for the owner, Heston Blumenthal, but it started as a little out of the way place which just happens to be located beside the pub I worked at for two years in the late 90s. Heston even bought the Hinds Head a couple of years ago and I have written about him before. The original Hinds Head website was the first site I ever built back in 1998, and my then girlfriend and I were one of the first people to eat at the Duck which was voted Restaurant of the Year in 2001 by Michelin – and if you know anything about the international restaurant game – that’s like winning best director, actor and film oscars for the same flick. Anyway, I pick Gordon Ramsey. “Have I gone soft in the fucking head, or summink?” No, just the midsection.

Main Course: What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?
Don’t watch my father’s dirty movies when he goes for a motorcycle ride. Because the motorcycle might start making a funny noise forcing him to come home 4 hours early as a result. I remember that day, and look at him now, and it’s a complete mindfuck.

Dessert: Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.
One which features walls made of opium and contains furniture fashioned from Macadamia nuts. There’s a TV playing one of those fish tank DVDs and some sunglasses which double as x-ray specs. The only noise is generated by the subtle grunts coming from the Swedish Women’s Volleyball Team as they repeatedly touch their toes in front of me. Every hour on the hour they break to make me a very large sandwich. This is going nowhere, fast. Good luck with your last minute Christmas gift getting and all that good stuff.

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Keep Piling it on, God.

by Dave on December 18, 2007

in Animalistic

My Mother’s cancer has returned and I am moving to Florida for at least a month while she has surgery to see her through and take care of my Dad until she recoups. If it hasn’t spread to her lymph nodes she won’t require chemo and they’ll spend the rest of the winter there. It could be a quick procedure and our fingers are crossed.

On a lighter note, Shepherd, the puppy I was to give a home to in mid-February, died last night of something called “Fading Puppy Syndrome”. I am absolutely gutted and am even less interested in writing than I have been the last week since I got the news about Mom. Some cracks are starting to appear in the ‘rock’ – but I shall return, readers.

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Happy Birthday, Chairman

by Dave on December 12, 2007

in Musical

“You only live once, and the way I live, once is enough.”

Although I’ve always been tickled that I share a birthday with Larry Bird, Tom Waits and Aaron Carter simply being born under the same astrological sign as Frank Sinatra is among my greatest joys in life. Francis Albert Sinatra was born 92 years ago today in Hoboken, New Jersey, and the world would never be quite the same. We’ll consider this today’s Wednesday Wadio Part Deux. After a long review, this was the most personally enjoyable (and seasonal) Frank clip that I came across. Enjoy – and tip a glass of Jack Daniels with 3 cubes of ice towards the heavens tonight.

“I’m gonna live till I die.”

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I felt is was high time to devote some wadio writing to the almighty Moz who has been keeping me in excellent music since I first discovered the Smiths while listening to Chris Shepherd’s old Saturday night radio show on CFNY in 1987. Sadly, I started listening to the seminal Manchester band only a year before their demise, and as such never got to see them live, but Morrissey went on to put out an amazing solo catalog – and at 48 years of age there is no end in site. I saw him solo at Great Woods during the Kill Uncle tour in 1990, and caught his Smiths’ co-writer Johnny Marr play with The The at the Orpheum in 1991 – it was the best I could do as a postmortem and not a shabby accomplishment as both shows were phenomenal. I’ll have to give Matt Johnson similar attention here soon.

Due to the depth of his solo work it was a hard choice to choose one song to focus on and the final decision came down to what had a good showing on YouTube. I originally wanted to cover “The Loop” which is a noteworthy B-side that he plays regularly in concert, but the cell phone snippets I found certainly wouldn’t win over any new fans from my readership. I tried my luck with “Why Don’t You Find Out for Yourself” but had a similar problem. It would have been easy enough to use one of his many proper music videos I suppose, but none of the singles are personal favorites. Except maybe this one. I eventually found a decent live capture of “Jack the Ripper” from a recent L.A. show and we’re gonna run with it.

I first heard this song on the World of Morrissey CD which was a mix of mid-nineties singles and B-sides. It got hours of playtime during my residence in Mills Hall and it instantly reminded me of those days the moment I heard it today. Due to the title, it’s not very hard to explicate the lyrics. The protagonist seems to be Jack the Ripper himself, and he seems to feel sorry for the women of the night he encounters. Until he vivisects them, of course.

Oh, you look so tired… Mouth slack and wide.
Ill-housed and ill-advised.
Your face is as mean as your life has been.

Jack goes on to tell the prostitute in question that he wants her… and is definitely gonna get her. Unfortunately for the 18 (+/-) actual Whitechapel murder victims of 1888, Jack wasn’t just talking about getting his German helmet waxed. But let’s not let that get in the way of enjoying this soaring tune and it’s almost funky rhythm. It’s definitely a dark ditty, but it still manages to be quite catchy in spite of the subject matter. If you’re not familiar with Morrissey this is less than the tip of the iceberg, and if you are JTR is a gem you’ve likely overlooked thus far.

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Eyes Wide… Open

by Dave on December 11, 2007

in Animalistic,Heartwarming

Shepherd opened his eyes for the first time last weekend, and here`s the little guy`s first photo as an optically-enabled canine. Sounds kind of like C.H.O.M.P.S. when you put it like that – Enjoy!

Boston Terrier Eyes Open

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Major Friggin’ Disconnect

by Dave on December 6, 2007

in

Somehow in spite of my jalopy laptop, long weekend trip and intermittent as frick internet connection I hast doth returned. Getting to Toronto in a car from here usually takes 3 hours. It took 7 on Friday night and 5 the other way on Sunday. I managed to pick the worst Canadian winter in a decade and a half, literally, to relocate to the countryside and it’s doing my head in. Dead network card in the laptop, and now that I managed to hook up an old desktop to keep me working – the internet connection drops out for hours on a whim. So there’s my excuse for my MIAness. Let’s see if I can catch up for the week so far in 5 minutes or less.

Veekend Video: Mitch continues to moisten undergarments everywhere with his latest ad campaign. See you at the Best Buddy X-Mas party, where I’ll be selling spare undergarments at the “captive audience” price of $40:

Quotelet: The only photos I’m remotely interested in showing you are the first three official production stills hot off the press for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I was going to link to them here – alas I just found out the studio demanded AICN take them down. Oh well, here’s a photo of one of the temple miniatures made for the film instead. And Karen Allen‘s (Marion Ravenwood) knitwear store which is located in Great Barrington, MA. Good heavens she is looking lovely for 55. It seems like only yesterday I was a 7-year-old watching her nude scene in Animal House whilst rubbing myself in the pants.

Wadio: The only sweet dulcet tones you need to hear today are those of your heartstrings plucking… as you check out 11 new photos of my puppy, Shepherd Pye! He had his dew claws yanked on Friday and is apparently fat, healthy and cantankerous. I’m all for gender-neutrality,but I’ll have to speak to the breeder about the pink pussywillow and snow white blanket backdrop. Shep will be drinking mineral water and collecting Joan Crawford postcards before he’s housebroken.

A Few More Notes:

  • I like the new Foo Fighter’s song (the road to ruin one) and I’m relieved as I’ve been thoroughly uninterested in everything since “Learn to Fly”.
  • You know it’s 2007 (and possibly End of Days) when CNN spends the entire day discussing the fact that Romney’s Western faith might hurt him in the election – free campaign advice: start wearing a bhirka.
  • I have killed 11 mice so far in my effort to rid our garage and the Winchester of vermin. Don’t bother with the traditional wooden traps. There are these new fangled plastic ones that force mice to lift a flap to access the bait – so gone are the days of stolen cheese lumps and unsprung traps.
  • I posted my Amazon wish list in the sidebar in case anyone wants to get me something for my birthday (tomorrow) or Christmas. Call it gift-insurance, Blade Runner begging or DVD on bended knee if you like. On a related note, I have just realized that there is nothing more obnoxious than posting your Amazon wish list in your sidebar.

Thanks for your patience, kids. Missing a day on here truly bothers me and I’m striving to get PITF back to the level of activity it enjoyed this time last year. I encourage you all to comment and participate in the Quizzlets once again. I’m one year older tomorrow, but short of freezing to death in a ditch in my Charger-coffin the blog will be around for a long time to come.

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