September 20, 2015


"Binge watching" is one of those terms nowadays that just about everyone uses, along the same lines as "Hot Karl" or "Sucking Chest Wound".

A screen shot from the show, accurately
depicting a Viking woman.
Just the other day I sat down to take in 3 episodes of the Irish-Canadian produced series Vikings, and I quite enjoyed it. Solid acting, and it took me a while to adjust my thinking to just how primitive it was back in the 9th century. In fact, if a real life Viking hopped into a time machine to 2015, I'm pretty sure he'd lose his mind immediately. This is the time when rudimentary navigational tools were just being crudely shaped and invented. What's not too different is their belief in silly religious deities, and specifically the viking god Thor, who, incidentally I always thought was a DC Comics creation. Who knew?

In any event, one particularly interesting aspect of the show is that it begins in all the regular ways, with  you empathizing with the plight of the poor peasant farmer and his family. But then something happens. I guess you can take the boy out of Scandinavia, but not the Scandinavia out of the boy, because soon enough, this same peasant farmer starts gettin' down to the whole Viking raping and pillaging business. And to make it crystal clear just how brutal these dudes were, one early episode features them rolling up into a peaceful community of Monks to slice, steal, dice and kidnap. As a result, I felt a little conflicted. I mean, those Monks were just living their peaceful little delusional lives, and in comes Grog and his medieval brutes to wipe them out. Having said all that, the Monks did have those terrible Monk haircuts where the crown of their heads are shaved in a tiny circle, so in the final analysis, I suppose that justifies murder.

September 11, 2015

Strange Animal

I was in Yorkville for work yesterday. I'm always fascinated with that weird veneer you get from the place. Every thing and every one is pristine. As I was walking in the Four Seasons, the guy who opened the door for me was wearing a $1500 suit. The female guests within were all, and I mean all..unbelievably hot and immaculately dressed. Male guests wore strange short dress pants the rest of us might call floods, with multicoloured socks. There was 1 guy with high top sneakers that appeared to be made of a material that I have never ever seen before, which tells me something about the circles I run in.
When I finished my business and left the area, it reminded me of the time I was a 15 year old McDonald's employee. Hours after finishing a shift you'd still feel this thin layer of grease all over your body, and my friends told me I smelled like a Big Mac.
It's a strange universe over in them parts.

September 4, 2015

R.I.P. Active Surplus

I'd hate to be the guy who has to do closing inventory for Active Surplus on Queen west, given the store's closing soon.
I must say though, that when I've poked and prodded for cheap cables and connectors from this place, I've often thought about the salt-mine like working conditions the parts came from. I think about the poor men, women (and children?) toiling in some shit hole foreign factory, getting a couple of bucks a day, and I must admit I feel guilty...then I see that the price for a 10' HDMI cable is eight bucks, say to myself: WOW THAT'S AWESOME and then I forget all about those people.

September 1, 2015

The Sweetest Fruit...

Well, you know the rest of the saying.

There are a few variations but I have often gone with "The sweetest fruit is out on the limb". I've used it as a mantra of sorts and it's a good philosophy in my view. The basic idea of course is that you've gotta take chances to succeed at whatever it is you're doing.

Herein lies the rub with our Toronto Blue Jays. In this town we're so used to chronic disappointment from our sports teams, so we've become a jaded bunch. Lately, as the Jays have raced to the top of the standings, thousands of bandwagoners have emerged, filling Rogers Centre to capacity on a Monday, unheard of only 2 months ago.

In this photo from city archives, the
Toronto Dandelions capture
the 1867 championship 
I consider myself a true fan, but I don't mind the folks who have hitched their carriage to our ride. Butts in seats help the team - the energy, the noise, the passion. And it would be a bigger problem if the team was winning and people continued to stay away like we've seen in some baseball markets.

Some are still reluctant to emotionally commit though. There's still a lot of baseball to go, and anything can happen, including not making the damn playoffs. My lovely wife is slowly warming to the idea, but she's still hesitant. It sort of feels like the time I suggested we become swingers. At the beginning of the discussion she was horrified, and at the end of the discussion she was still horrified, so that never flew.

But in the end, this is what life is supposed to be about. It's about experiencing everything that comes with it, good or bad. You pays your money, you take your chances. No point in constantly protecting yourself emotionally given the prospect of getting hurt, whether it be a personal relationship or a major life decision. And when you look at it that way, committing emotionally to a silly game makes it all the more easy to do.