Friday, December 28, 2012

St. Lazarus's Church

The team needs to find a way into the sub-basement of St. Lazarus's Church in Lanarka. 
Yeah, follow the link - this took me from September to finally get this whole scene posted, so I hope you enjoy it. In particular, pages 126 and 127 took a significant amount of time. I hope you like it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Minestroned

Urban Dictionary:

min·e·stro·ned

[min-uh-stroh-need; Italian mee-ne-straw-need]
verb, to receive a bad hair cut.
an unsatisfactory haircut provided by a stinky (usually very old) barber who smells like a vegetable soup, often containing herbs, beans, bits of pasta, etc., and served with Parmesan cheese.
Origin:
2011; Canadian,  equivalent to minestr ( a ) kind of soup (literally, something served; see minister) + -one  augmentative suffix


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tyrannosaurus Hates handshakes

I drafted up a new comic idea, a short series of jokes I thought up - but was a bit surprised to discover that ... well, I'm not the first to come up with it. This after I designed the entire project around the name, "Tyrannosaurus Hates" and the premise to try and understand why it is that tyrannosaurus became the Tyrant Lizard.

It was to my dismay, but also pleasure, to find a series of jokes that are VERY similar in conceptual style and design BUT instead of rewriting everything, I said screw it, and that I'll just JOIN in. I'm not first to the party, but so what?

Without further ado, here's Tyrannosaurus Hates.You'll have to click on it to read the whole thing.


If you like this, be sure to read more about what Tyrannosaurus hates by visiting Zazzle, and it's "funny dino shirt." Funnier still is this list of Tyrannosaurus Trying to Do Stuff from 9Gag. Like I say, conceptually identical, unfortunately.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Welcome to Dinosaur

That's right - earlier this week I discovered there was a place literally called Dinosaur, in Colorado. That's pretty awesome. I was immediately overjoyed, and then dismayed, as I noticed on the town map that their two main streets are Tyranosaurus [sic] Trail and Brontosaurus [sick] Blvd.

Before you head out there, just understand that Dinosaur, Co. has all the paleontological accuracy of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. 

That's right - the first is spelled incorrectly, and the other is named after a dinosaur that the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature renamed in 1903 - so, when Dinosaur renamed its streets it was basically just naming dinosaurs off the tops of their heads, and didn't bother consulting a book for the spelling. Other issues with their naming strategy - Antrodemus Alley refers to an archaic version of Allosaurus;

Brontosaurus isn't the only thing with a name that's no longer in use: Dinosaur was originally called Artesia, but they adopted their new moniker in 1966.

Otherwise, they have a series of dinosaur-themed streets, including Triceratops Terrace, Platesaurus Place, Stegosaurus Freeway, Brachiosaurus Bypass, Ceratosaurus Cir. (which isn't a circle/circus), Allosaurus Lane, Diplodocus Drive, and then a series of gravel alleys.

Morrison Ave. sounds pretty normal - I would hope it's named after the Morrison Formation, but we can only hope.

There are also some regular-sounding streets like Frontier Ave., Dakota Ave., Blue Mountain Ave. (named after the Blue Mountain RV Park), and Deserado Dr. Then imagination and creativity was mined dry, and they revered to simply School St., and then a series of arteries called 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. Then, because they couldn't think of any other dinosaurs, and there weren't any further businesses on these routes, they resorted to 5 1/2 St., 6 1/2 St. Half-streets - nice.

Why have you never heard of this place before?  Well, it's less than a square mile in size, with around only 300 people counted on the US Census in 2000. Plus it's tucked way up in the top cupboard of Colorado, in the north-western lands of Moffat County.

So there were about 300 people in about 0.8 square miles - which means the Population / Square Mile had to round UP to get their figure of 400, which is a geeky way to use stats to prove your town is wicked small.

BUT - there must be some cool stuff there, right? YES - the National Dinosaur Monument is there - and it's so awesome the entire town renamed itself after it! You can walk around and just see fossils out in the badlands - like hiking the Grand Canyon WITH dinosaurs, too.



So, as you head into Dinosaur, drive right on past the auto-wreckers on I40 and spot some of the kitschy local spots like the Bedrock Depot (gas station)

Almost the only thing in Dinosaur CO, according to my source's family road trip diary.
and get straight to the Dinosaur National Monument - it looks SWEET!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The missing links, dino tweets and swimming sauropods

I was going to show you some fun links, but the URLs weren't working, by my own misdoings, HOWEVER, it did lead me to one of the greatest 404 Page Not Founds I've ever seen:


404 Page Not Found!

Sorry, but the page you were looking for is not here. You can try finding what you're looking for by searching up top, or emailing tips@baristakids.com to let us know if there's a missing link!

Love it!



From the Smithsonian - they answer whether or not dinosaurs could swim


Read from the link above at the evidence supporting swimming sauropods - check it out!

No good dino-tweeters?
I've had trouble finding any good Twitter feeds that share dinosaurs news, and here's an interesting explanation as to why: Carowinds atwitter over dinosaurs 

In short, it's hard to share any cool information about dinosaurs in only 140 characters, I guess.

Big discovery!
And for good measure, 20 hadrosaurs have been discovered (featuring something like 200 fossils) in Espinau. Where is Espinau? Well, it's in Cataluna, of course.

Where's that? Apparently in North-east Spain - but don't quote me on it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fringe prep, Ruyangosaurus and tailpipe burgers

Here are some interesting things from the world going into this week:

Fringe Season Five: Five Things To Know Before Next Week


What do you need to know about the Observers, the Purge, the Rebellion, the Fringe and the Daughter going into the new (and final) season of Fringe - check it out at the link. My wfife and I re-watched that flash-forward episode with Henry Ian Cusick in it yesterday, and it was a great prep-course in what's coming up.


Carowinds to open dinosaur attraction
Where can you see a Ruyangosaurus (the closest dinosaur to having my name, specifically)? Wherever it is that Carowinds amusement park is (somewhere in South Carolina).


Carowinds amusement park announced the addition of a new dinosaur attraction for Spring 2013 that will feature 32 animatronic dinosaur replicas.

“Dinosaurs Alive!” will cover five acres and will be “the largest animatronic dinosaur park in the Southeast,” according to Carowinds Public Relations Manger Julie Whitted. The attraction’s opening will coincide with the park’s 40th anniversary.

The largest of the featured dinosaurs, a Ruyangosaurus, will stand more than 40 feet tall and 60 feet long. It will join more popular species such as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops.

Several dinosaurs will come with a console so visitors to the park can operate them while learning about how the reptiles lived millions of years ago.
And in Iran, someone is finding a way to prepare a hamburger with the heat from your tailpipe while driving.



But frankly, I don't want to have one of those. Period.


Friday, September 14, 2012

A tough day for me

This is going to be the day - and it's going to be tough. To follow up on my earlier posts about my displeasure with being a "sports fan," I'm ready to go cold turkey. But it's become so ingrained in my everyday life that it's going to have be both intentional and difficult.

No, I'm not quitting Lobo or smoking cigars - I quit being a sports fan.

The radio all morning used to be sports talk from 590 and 1050 AM. My entire Twitter feed is basically sports writers splitting hairs (hilariously at times) over what's going on in the league, and most of the articles I read online are related to what's going on in the NHL.

Now - my disillusion with sports is probably only part of the reason I'm doing this. More importantly, having a kid makes spare time slim. No doubt, to embrace doing something new means sacrificing old things. There's only so much time. And sports is one of the things I'm willing to give up - especially when my favourite league won't be around to watch anyhow. The time is right.

So - what will come next? What's going to be so interesting?
More importantly, flipping the channel because I don't give a rat's ass about tennis, golf, soccer, football, etc won't be such a source of frustration.

For the past 10 days, my solution to skipping the inane sports talk has been the Offsprings' new album Days Go By. It is absolutely fantastic!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's here! It's here! Finally

Doesn't it seem like we've been hearing about the commercials getting quieter for ages? Well, Sept. 1 marks the day! Finally, we won't have to race for the remote to turn the volume down mid-broadcast of shows.
OTTAWA and GATINEAU – The CRTC has told broadcasters and television service providers how it intends to enforce its new rules controlling the loudness of television commercials which kick in on September 1.

Thursday’s bulletin directed TV broadcasters and BDUs to submit a report before October 15, 2012 to the Commission confirming that all applicable steps have put in place and are being followed in order to comply with the new rules.  

Those regulations, announced in May, require Canadian broadcasters to adhere to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) standard for measuring and controlling television signals to minimize fluctuations in loudness between programming and commercials.  The international standard only applies to digital television services and not to analog services.Those regulations, announced in May, require Canadian broadcasters to adhere to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) standard for measuring and controlling television signals to minimize fluctuations in loudness between programming and commercials.  The international standard only applies to digital television services and not to analog services.

Viewers who believe that a commercial was broadcast at an excessively loud volume should first contact the broadcaster or their BDU in an attempt to resolve the complaint directly, and may then contact the CRTC directly if their concerns are not addressed to their satisfaction.
 
Click to read more


You need a haircut | New caper
























The thrilling conclusion of the latest King St. Caper story arc. Elton John calls this the Circle of Life.

Read the complete collection here

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sept. 15 is MY lockout, but what am I waiting for? Part 4

So, ultimately, this is a pretty cut-and-dry response.

Sports used to be wildly fascinating and engaging subject, particularly the Maple Leafs and the NHL. However, lately, (and you could argue for almost 10 years) it's been unrewarding.

The logical conclusion is to stop bothering with it. It's not fun anymore. And honestly, I don't know why I'm letting the Sept. 15 deadline for the NHL lockout set a "milestone" for me to call it quits.

There's no reason to believe that what I'm looking for can be found in any sport out there - I may as well just cut them all out. 

It's going to be a really different world for me without sports, though. Half my Twitter feed is sports reporters or athletes. Two thirds of my radio presets are for sports stations. Readers of Spring Chickens will know that a majority of my blog posts throughout the year are focused on the Leafs.

But, I'd rather be frustrated in pursuit of finding something new and exciting to be passionate about than being frustrated with something I know can't give me what I'm looking for.

So - there's a very tenuous thread that I'm holding out hope for. The league doesn't go on strike, the players come back, and I get caught back up in the same old narrative about the Leafs fledgling hopes, ... or it's a genuinely new world for me.

It'll be an interesting day on Sept. 15 - when I purge all my connections with the sports world ....... stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Can other sports fill the void? Part 3

The Leafs have been a disaster for years, and I hadn't realized until the looming NHL lockout at how radioactive that's become for me. They've poisoned my interest in the whole league - I'm not financially investing in seven new sports channels to watch different hockey teams, but could I find what I'm looking for in terms of engagement and fascination with other leagues?

New story lines, rules, plays, highlights, athletes and  history could be really interesting to jump into.

I've had to broaden my horizons (a little) over the summer, what with no hockey, of course, but also with the Olympics. There's been a LOT more soccer going on (that stupid Euro-Cup was overwhelming in the media - plus god-awful). But there's also the other main leagues, with basketball, baseball, cycling, football, and the ubiquitous presence of golf and tennis. 

I can't stand tennis.

Never played, don't know anything about the players, and I don't want to watch it.

Golf is surprisingly good TV. It's more fascinating and fast-paced than watching any other sport, I'll argue. They're ALWAYS flipping to a new highlight as one of dozens of players on the course at any given time are making a difficult shot - and they're interesting to watch! They're constantly cutting away to another amazing feat of accuracy, chance and excellence.

Baseball can't do that. Hockey can't do that. Football and basketball need play clocks or else the players would never get moving.

Doesn't mean I like watching golf, just means there's an argument to be made for it being better television than the rest.

So, what are the big sports stories out there? 

Sports officials making bad calls, steroid use, mouthy managers/players, what rules could be improved, and contract negotiations. Athletes getting arrested, dying, and "big trades."

Some of these are frustratingly awful to listen to, watch and read. 

Another bad narrative is the "hope for the future," narrative, which says fans can have hope that some minor-league prospects will be exciting in the future, bringing a championship back to the franchise.

Ultimately, I want to get caught up in an interesting world where the characters and the stories are rich and interesting and where the feats of excellence keep me wondering "what's going to happen next."

Sports has s failed to do so lately, and it's been a terrific source of frustration for me.

And if you've read through all this, then you're likely wondering - why bother anymore? 

Then you can understand why I've titled my last post:
Part 4: Sept. 15 is MY lockout, but what am I waiting for?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Is being good at sports an "inspirational story"? Part 2

Being good at sports is fun. It can be cool to watch people being good at sports. BUT - is it an "inspirational story"?

Coming out of the Olympics really demonstrated something to me, and it's the standard, predictable narrative for people who are good at sports, and if they fit it, they're heroes in the media.

The narrative is this:
A dedicated athlete has something bad happen to them, hurting their body or feelings, but they're still good at sports anyhow.

If you haven't faced "something bad" then you don't have a good story. Inspirational stories seem to rely on some idea that people all over the world are quitting all the time because of bad things. Bad things happen and they quit being what they are or what they do.

BUT not to athletes. Bad things happen to them, but they are still athletes.

This is not to take away from the genuine "badness" of the things that happen to them. Bad things are bad - and it's unpleasant and unfortunate for everyone involved - but the idea one can only resume doing the thing they're doing (sports) because they're individually great in character, is a bit flawed.

I have a LOT more respect for people who overcome poverty than people who overcome injuries or illness.

If you're an athlete and someone in your life isn't dead or dying, then you've had it easy, man! Be prepared for a long anonymous life in the majors!

I just can't understand why someone has to be sick or dying for someone else to have a "good story."

I guess that's just a rant on the predictability of the sports star narrative - but let's face it, celebrating sports is about as flaky as things get. Enjoying sports is one thing - but dredging the lives of athletes to uncover their
"TSN Turning Point" is getting disgusting.

There are many different narratives, but this one comes up all the time and it's so predictable (right down to the same music in the background, striking the minor notes to tug at your heart strings at just the right moment) that it's becoming a distraction.

But are there fresh new sports narratives that could replace the inane repetition we're hearing all the time? Could I just follow along with another professional league and rekindle my interest?

Part 3: Can other sports fill the void? Part 3

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lockout the last straw? Part 1

Since the last NHL lockout, the only sports franchise I've really ever followed with much vigor (and it's been a lot of vigor) has been the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 2004 lockout didn't really have a big impact on me, because I was away in college, too busy with other things to watch the games, anyhow.

After the games returned, I was pretty busy studying for finals, and it was something of a relief that the Leafs weren't in the playoffs, because it would have been tremendously distracting - as you can imagine.

And, apparently, the last labour agreement was the worst thing to ever happen to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They've been absolutely unable to operate under its rules and regulations, and they've failed miserably.

That being said, I have been somewhat hopeful under the new terms in the upcoming agreement that they might be able to get that back on track but .... who am I kidding?

Sports is supposed to be an escapist reality full of drama and inspirational stories. They're modern-day war stories, where you watch these athletes "battle" and achieve victory, and ... basically, you can get caught up in what they're doing, probably forgetting the rest of your life during that time.

It gives you plenty to ponder, imagine and hope for. It's a story that unfolds in real-time and activates your imagination - but in all practicality, it's been a lesson in managing disappointment.

And therein lies the greatest flaw in following sports at all - unless you "win," what do you really get? You could say: Inspirational Stories. The flaw here is that too many stories are heavily focused on trying to rewrite being good at sports as "inspirational."

I've been thinking a lot about some of my dismays in giving two shits about sports, and I hope to explore those in the next few blog posts.

Part 2: Is being good at sports an "inspirational story"?
Part 3: Can other sports fill the void? Part 3
Part 4: Sept. 15 is MY lockout, but what am I waiting for?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The popular, yet little-known chapter of Paul Ryan's life


Before pulling himself up by his bootstraps, Paul Ryan was a blond slacker in high school, named William S. Preston, or "Bill" for short. He was facing a failing grade on his history assignment, while struggling to make it in a band, the Wyld Stallyns (which sounded an awful lot like KISS back in 1991).

At the risk of failing their history class, the future of humanity was threatened by Ryan's best buddy Ted's father, who was fully willing to ship Ted to military camp and cease their efforts to forging the music that would unite the world in harmony.

George Carlin intervened, helping them travel through time to recruit historical figures and find out what they think of San Dimas, California, while practicing homophobic slurs in medieval times.

Be excellent to each other. (Then busts out his "air guitar" finger licks)

Carlin was successful, and prevented any deviation from the timeline that allowed the Wyld Stallyns to
become the single-most influential music in the history of mankind.

"Bill" a.k.a. Ryan Paul, named his guitar "Les Paul."
However, somewhere along the way, the timeline was diverted after all, and "Bill" became "Paul," and the world never got to listen to the Wyld Stallyns.

How did this happen?
Without a functioning, time-travelling phone booth, it's hard to pinpoint exactly when the Wyld Stallyns went off course - but today, instead of heavy metal bringing us world peace, we have Justin Bieber offering Prince William a reliable hair restoration solutions.

Regrettably, Carlin passed away in 2008, likely preventing him from returning for a third time, to carry the world into his preferred utopia.
Cheer up, there are other ways to influence the world than heavy metal.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Long weekend garden

Did some garden renovations this long weekend, and it's made the front of the yard look a bit better.

I'm looking forward to having a herb garden at hand, and some scotch bonnets, which will be great!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Port Perry walk this morning

Out for a quick walk to calm Sullivan down this morning - great sunrise.


 Moon was still out, too.

Port Perry became Hemlock Grove

This is about a month old, but I have a bunch of neat pics from when the Hemlock Grove crew came to town and transformed Port Perry's Queen St.


Stars of the show 
While Famke Janssen and Lili Taylor weren't around (as far as I could see), we spotted a few of the stars, including Bill Skarsgard.


And we were always happy to watch Terra Nova while it was on. Instead of being busy filming any new episodes of that, Landon Liboiron was filming for Hemlock Grove.


I'm not really sure who this is. I'm only guess it could be "Penelope Mitchell";

Downtown was transformed, and the familiar locations were refaced, including our local CIBC;


 The Home Hardware was transformed into Easter Valley hardware.

The Hardware Feed is really Port Perry's Car Quest Auto Parts;


 Downtown's Post Office of course had to be fixed to look like a US Post Office;


 The ReMax office was turned into a simple realtor.


Palmer Park was fixed up to fit the town's new nom de plume.

  The buildings were fixed up, too. This was really well done - looked genuine.




Local celebrities 
A local celebrity survived the casting couch and will be in the show, as far as we can tell. The White Feather Farms and Country Store's chicken truck took a trip down main street during filming. 

Production crew
Here are a few random shots of the set and production crew.

 




Sullivan on set - his first taste of show biz.