Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bacon

We are going to talk about bacon today, the American bacon as opposed to Canadian back bacon. I like both don't get me wrong, but todays rant will be over the selection of a good package of American bacon.

I don't know about all of you but I like bacon, so does the entire family, it is not uncommon to go through a package a one sitting. But what do you look for in a package of bacon? With me, it is not about price, it is about a quality pound of bacon. I will look at the following:

  • Slicing - are the slices thick or thin (some days my wife says she just can't handle it that thick)
  • Marbling - there is a balance to the amount of meat/fat content
  • Smoked/Flavoured - what was the bacon smoked with? I have some recipes that call for a maple bacon and some that require a hickory smoked bacon
  • Price/Packaging - if the price is too high or too low or if the packaging doesn't look right I may not buy the product
Why am I spending the time discussing bacon? Why am I not using my blog space to write about world peace or how shitty Justin Bieber music really is? Because - well it has to do with my Mother-in-Law and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity.

I think I mentioned in the Christmas blogs that my in-laws were down for Christmas. Well they brought some groceries with them since they were spending a few days, and one of the items was a pound of bacon. We never got around to doing the bacon, eggs, toast and hash browns breakfast so when they left they also left a bunch of the groceries as well.

My Mother-in-Laws Bacon

Let me start off with saying my mother-in-law (MIL - why is that really close to MILF? That's so not cool. My head hurts now) is not that bad, there are things that drive me nuts about her but in the long run she is ok. However, her bacon purchasing skills need work. Not that I would expect her to know how to purchase bacon since she sticks to chicken when it comes to land animals she eats. But you know she pretty much purchased this pound of bacon based on price with a total disregard to the other attributes I mentioned above.

Let's review this pound of bacon's stats:

  • Packaging - Company name: Bob's Bacon, that pretty well sums it up, cheapest looking packaging I have ever seen
  • Smoked/Flavoured - no mention of any special processing
  • Marbling - I would say about 95% fat - what were they feeding their pigs - Joe Louis' and Twinkies
  • Slicing - My favourite here - the package was only about half sliced, the other half not so much. One big slice about 2" thick.
So at least I could say I am cutting down. My daughter had about 4 slices and I had only one. Granted it was a 2" thick slice.

So what am I getting at? Well take the time, look at the bacon and select a good package. To my MIL, throw an extra 10 cents in the next time and get a decent package of bacon.

WOW Stuff

Planning to get another toon to 85 today, but right now I am looking over my daughter's shoulder as she plays with a group in Gnomer.

Have a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Traditions

"N" is for Nuts

Now the best part of being an uncle is knowing that you have the obligation to teach your niece or nephew the important life lessons, the ones that their parents are too whishy washy on.

It's Christmas Day, and what does one do on Christmas Day? Well you get liquored up and you head to your parents house for Christmas dinner with the family. Luckily for us we live next door so there is no endangerment to the public. There is no operating of heavy equipment involved, when trying to get to the holiday festivities. One literally has to pull on their best Cousin Eddie baby blue leisure suit and just walk on over.

Now, Christmas at Alt37's parents house is an adventure, present are my wife and daughter (my son headed off to his own personal purgatory - his mom's house), my brother, his x-wife (no idea why she still comes over - but hey it helps with blog content) and two kids and my parents who are in there 80's.

Now my mom is funny - she probably cooked Christmas dinner in August and froze it. Because she apparently doesn't have the time on Christmas day to make it. She is retired - she has all sorts of time. She threw me a curve ball this year though. Fully expecting the winter medley of vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) but we got the bean medley with carrots instead - still boiled to mush though, glad one tradition remains. Yellow ochre coloured roast beef (does it usually change to that colour when frozen?), mashed potatos, cabbage rolls and salad etc. It was pretty good though - can't complain. I don't recall hearing the "Griswold cutting of the turkey sound" when she peeled back the aluminum foil on the beef bucket. Maybe it was because my wife brought 4 bottles of wine with her, wine makes everything taste better. Kidding mom - it was good.

Highlights

At the beginning of the blog I mentioned that "N" is for nuts. You see my nephew got one of those electronic gadgets that allow him to key in a letter and it will tell you a word that starts with that letter. Being a responsible uncle. I taught Bruce (alias - honest) that "N" is for nuts. I then proceeded to teach him what B, G, and T were. Seeing that the ladies in the room were feeling left out - I started to teach him what C, P, T and V were for, but the topic was quickly changed. Shame - this is important stuff.

At this point in the evening I tried to start up some carolling but my mom said she couldn't. Apparently my dad's organ isn't working. Hasn't been for a couple years. She wants to get some guy in to take a look at it. She said she blew some air through the pipes, but that didn't help. What that little tangent had to do with carolling I have no idea. Maybe she was referring to the electric organ she used to play sitting in the corner. Old people are funny.

My nephew wants to be a fireman when he grows up. I guess so he can be in the calendar and show off his nuts.

WOW Christmas

Did you collect all your presents yet? I managed to get through two of my toons. Thirty five more to go. You get 5 presents for each toon, the total of which will equal the number of presents my daughter got in RL. Math - 5 x 37 = N, where N does not equal "Nuts". It's going to take me forever.

Any way - Merry Christmas, I need some more wine.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh Shatts... It's Christmas

Well it is Christmas Eve already. My Christmas celebrations started last weekend with the yearly trip to Bobcaygeon to be with the in-laws (part #1). My wife's brother doesn't like to drive so we trek up there for Christmas the week before with them, then my wife's parents come down to spend the actual Christmas day with us (part #2). I thought I would get considerable writing material while up there, but the weekend was wonderful. The only thing I got while up there was a cold (apparently the whole family including the in-laws caught it). I think it originated up there - on the microscope slides the viruses only had one tooth.

So what do I blog about now? Well, this past week I did my volunteer duty with Community Care. The place where I work rents a truck and for the two weeks prior to Christmas, an employee volunteers to go around each day to the different businesses to pick up the food donation barrels. Both years I took my daughter out of school so she can give me a hand. She really enjoys helping me out on this.

It surprises me, the different places I visit. Just a quick overview of what I have seen this week.

  1. Stopped at a Salon with the stereotypical male salon owner (not that there is anything wrong with that) throwing a hissy fit and screaming at his employee's (in front of their customers) regarding there being hair on the floor and it is getting every where. News flash buddy, you cut hair, gravity causes it to fall on the floor. Get used to it.
  2. Kudos to a highschool that had at least 6 barrels of food contributions. The sad part was they had an equal number of barrels contributed for the 10 families of students that actually go to the school that need help on a monthly basis. Even more disturbing is that they have a breakfast program where they feed as many kids as they can every morning so they will at least have something to eat.
  3. Went to a provincial government office, nine floor office tower. Six cans of beans and a tin of sardines. You guys rock... NOT! You should be ashamed of yourselves.
WOW Stuff

I think the special Christmasy stuff in WOW was lost on the expansion this year. Everyone is either leveling, exploring or working on professions. I managed to get one of my toons to 85, got it part way through the Uldum quests. Which are awesome by the way. All the Indiana Jones related quests are great. Most of my other 80's have graduated to either 81 or 82 and yes I made a worgen and goblin (they are only in the 20's).

A shout out to Gethendor - Guardian of All That is Good. He was in town this week and we couldn't hook up. He was heading home for the holidays this morning and left me liquor in between my house doors. This is what the holidays are about, liquor between your doors.

In General

This is all I have, I have been writing this article in my head all week. It was alot funnier in there. I guess I should have wrote this stuff down. I am going to my parents tomorrow for Christmas. That in itself will probably be worth an article.

By the way, the photo of cousin Eddie up there, that's what I will be wearing to Christmas dinner tomorrow.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

stupidus geekis - Disease

Well it has been about 36 hours since Cataclysm has been live. I have been totally overwhelmed by the change. I didn't pick up the expansion till about noon on December 7th, I had plans to do the midnight madness at EB Games but something happened that changed that plan. I will get into that in a bit.

With regards to the changes, I got home from work yesterday and ran upstairs to boot up my computer so I could do the install. The boot up stalled, seconds turned into minutes, minutes turned into what seemed like forever, do I push the restart button, do I wait and see if my Windows 7 figures it out (I did a fresh Win7 install about a month ago and the machine has been running awesome since then - figures on the day I needed it to be solid). I swallow the bile that was starting to well in my throat and push the reset. It starts to reboot, a screen - push 1 to cry, push 2 to have WIN7 do a Start Up Repair. I push 2 (they should have a third option - cry AND do the repair). Off it goes, chug, chug, chug... 15 minutes goes by, up pops the screen and I paraphrase - Sorry, couldn't figure it out, you are SOL.

Ugh, I pushed the reset button again, nothing to loose now except about 15 hours sleep rebuilding my system again (if necessary) but this time it worked. System started up like nothing happened. I install the game, I log in, now the chaos begins. Two and a half hours to log into each alt and upgrade professions and secondary professions, get my flying certificate then log out.

Next on the to do list - roll the worgens and goblins, whose names we parked months ago. A set for me and a set for my daughter. Facial expressions, hair styles, ears, sex and class all have to be just right, we write down the "code" 2, 3, 1, 5 - which is the right arrow selections for the different attributes. We now hold our breath, delete the toon that was holding the name and frantically recreate the toon we just "spec'd" out, enter the name and take a deep breath when we realize that no snot nosed kid scooped our brilliant toon name in the 20 seconds it took to remake it.

Success, I finally have my world settled down.

My son shows up now, "hey dad, hows Cata going."

"Fine", I state, "finally have my alts taken care of. Have to decide what I am going to do now. How is your Cata experience so far."

He replies, "Good, good, good. I am level 84 1/2, was trying for server first for paladin, stopped to go to the bathroom when it was announced that I missed it. I feel better now."

"Good, good, good. Benefits of being a college student - eh! Study for exams yet?" I am met with stunned silence. Oh well.

I managed to get my worgen to level 11 and my goblin to lvl 5 when I realized the time, tonight I think I might play one of my 80's and check out some of the new areas.

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

I had the best intentions, I came home from work on Monday, had dinner and just did a couple cooking and fishing dailies. I logged off at 9:00 because I was going to take a nap. You see, I have been sick the last few days with a fever, headache, aches and pains (isn't that the same thing). I lay down on my office couch. The plan was to get up at 11:00pm, bundle up and then head to the local EB Games with my son. Hang out with all the other geeks and think to myself - I am the coolest guy here.

My alarm went off, I awoke with a start, I was completely disorientated, had the shivers and sweats, and a crushing headache. I text my son - I couldn't even get up to go down to his room and tell him in person. "You take the car and pick up your game, I will get mine at lunch tomorrow." I get up - WHOA, bad idea... I crawl down the stairs and into my bed. My wife groans, "back already?" "No, too sick to go."

Really - Midnight madness, what was I thinking? It wasn't as if I could install and play right away. I am in the eastern time zone. Install and sit around until 3:00am EST? I had an audit at 9:00am at work. I would have been a mess, especially since I am already teetering on the edge of having the plague.

I think the infection that was in my body was stupidus geekis, or the more common name - 47 year olds shouldn't go to midnight madness no matter how cool they think they are (in their head) syndrome, and my body successfully tossed it out.

Enjoy Cataclysm - oh, in case I don't write another article until after the holidays - Seasons Greetings (very PC of me)

OK - lets face it, I am having Christmas with my family and out-laws. I will have plenty of stories to write.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

OMG This Tastes Like Crap 'or' Old is New

My dog is old. He is a purebred golden retriever and he is about 13 1/2 years old if my math is correct. He is going blind, his hearing is pretty much shot and he moves around a little slower than he use to. All this stuff would be happening to you if you were 90 something years old. He has been a vegetarian all his life, ever since he was a puppy everytime we tried to feed him dog food with meat in it, he would throw up. So he might possibly be the only vegetarian dog I know. A semi-strict vegetarian - none of this - well fish is ok, and chicken because it is white meat. I think the only time he falls off the vegetarian band wagon is when he gets his raw eggs. They make him happy and he gets a shiny coat. He's a good dog so we try to give him the best possible care in his golden years.

He goes to the vets and the Doctor suggests some arthritis medicine for him. So we get it for him. It is the difference between night and day, and he knows it. He even yells at us if we miss giving him his dose.

Today I get home from work and he runs around (yes runs around - its dinner time, don't you run around all happy like), barking to let everyone know I am home. It's wasted though since I am the first home. I get out his food and prepare his medicine. Preparing the medicine means putting the 35mL of goo on a piece of whole wheat bread. He scarfs it down. In the meantime I decide to make a warm beverage because the house is a little chilly. We have one of those Kuerig machines and as I get the thing brewing I feel something wet hit my hand.

Instinctively I lick the spot, not wanting to waste any of my yummy coffee. Aaarrrgghh! Buckley's medicine for dogs. OMG it's awful (but apparently it works). What do I do, I ingested dog medicine (and once you actually get past the taste,and the fact it's for dogs it really wasn't that bad ), and if it makes my hips feel better, you never know I may have a goo sandwich every day too. This stuff makes him feel young again or as my title eludes too - makes him New again.

Now for WOW - unfortunately I don't have a fancy countdown clock but there are only a few sleeps left before Cataclysm happens. The guys/gals at Blizzard have recreated our gaming world in essence making the Old World - New again. The last few days just playing in the 4.0.3 The Shattering world I felt overwhelmed by the newness of the artwork, the rendering of the water (from 4.0.1 - I believe), and the talent trees are only a few of the ways. Yes some of the changes are hard to swallow (had to fit in a Buckley's reference), and there have been some nerfs (or perceived nerfs), but overall it hasn't bothered me. The video monsters still die and I still line my pockets with virtual money, so all is still good in my now New World.

Enjoy the next few evenings, get some extra sleep, get caught up on your work, buy a case or two of Monsters because next Tuesday is coming quick. Don't prepare and you will feel really old again really quick.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Happened?

My work at the school board is complete, at least until the next time they call for some assistance. So now I can get back to writing about World of Warcraft. For the last two weeks or so the Pilgrim Bounty was going on. It spanned the old world and the "Shattering", and for me was the one my biggest noob moments. I haven't done any of the Pilgrim Bounty quests for the last couple years (ever since I did it on my main), I didn't think it necessary. That was of course until my daughter (and I guess, Nebz) opened my eyes.

You see, I totally forgot that you could use the "bounty" quests to totally get your cooking leveled. From zero to about 330ish in about an hour. I had a smattering of alts at 80 that still had cooking level 1. This would be a God send, you don't now how embarassing it is when your resident cook (I use my main - a rogue to do all the farming for fish feasts.) sends a stack or so to my other toons and they can't actually set up the fish feasts. You then have to PST the raid leader to see if they will do it for you.

So I figured I would get my toons up to the 330 mark really quick then spend some time getting them up the rest of the way (I really only dreaded the 0-300 trek). That said, I started to do the quests. I had 6 80's, a 60 and a level 8 (yes my daughter started a troll druid) to take through. What do you do on a Friday night? I decided to cook - virtually.

Around 10:00pm after a couple of hours of cooking I was getting a little peckish. So I went down stairs to make a sandwich. I made a hot salami on Italian bread sandwich. I also noticed that my wife had opened a bottle of 2008 Cabernat Merlot from Pillitteri Estates Winery, so I decided to finish off the bottle. Which would be about a half bottle (we have big glasses).

So here I am, back up in my office making stuffing, turkey and sweet potatos. Things are getting a little blurry. Next thing I know, I wake up on my office couch at 3:00am, feeling like I had the worst bender of my life, with my shirt untucked (Seinfeld dentist episode). Not only am I a WOW noob (when it comes to understanding my special events), I am a wine drinking noob now.

Well Christmas is coming up. I better start training.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Statement of the Day

Well I am still doing the inventories for the school board for their high schools. The school I was in today had two storage areas I would have to work through. The first area was in an actual class, so in order to inventory in this area I would have to be very quiet while I went through the chemicals. Things were going well, at least for the first half hour. Then the school went into lockdown. Twenty minutes of sitting in the dark, smelling fear and urine. Only to receive the all clear that it was a drill. The funny moment in lockdown was when one of the nerd kids whispers to one to the hotter female students, "If this is the end, do you want ta...". That almost made my day - however; my day had barely started.

This batch of chemicals wasn't too bad to sort out. During this time however; Nebz called to inform me that he had sent me an email. It was regarding a chemistry class lab accident in Windsor. You can read the article here .

I personnally like the line from the story,

"It was a typical lab experiment," said Braido. "Who knows today why there was a reaction?"

Hmmm - let me see:

Potassium Chlorate - A very strong oxidizer

Manganese Dioxide - A very strong oxidizer

Glycerine - An organic liquid (consistency of corn syrup)

Sugar - A carbohydrate (organic)

Plus the teacher added some heat.

Usually you get a strong fiery reaction when you mix oxidizers and organics - What a moron. "Who knows today why there was a reaction?"

Anyway, I finish the first area and go up to the preproom. Ugh, I remember this room now. Absolute nightmare. Usually I focus on the oxidizers first, since it is usually the worst. Remember last week, the oxidizers were causing the labels on the jars to smoulder? Well I open the cupboard that appeared to have the most oxidizers in it and began taking out what shouldn't be with them. I end up removing approximately 20 jars of various organics. Can you imagine what could have happened if the reaction started. Apparently teachers can't - remember the shrug from last week as well. I can see the line in the newspaper article, "Who knows today why there was a reaction?"

Around this time I was getting hungry. This is when I came up with the statement of the day:

"I have to eat now, I am getting whoozy from all this stupid."

In addition to all of the oxidizer issues was the cabinet full of acids, bases and flammable organics, but that is a rant for another day.

Before I talk briefly about WOW I have to make one more comment about the chemistry lab accident. In one of the newspaper articles I read regarding the accident it prominently stated that, "the teacher and students were all wearing safety goggles." I have to call BULLSHIT on that. In my Health and Safety Audits from May and the inventorying I have been doing the last month, I have been in these 15 schools twice for extended periods of time for which I have observed approximately 90 classes. Even if a third of these classes were doing labs, I only recall one class where the students were wearing goggles. That is 1 of 30. So highly unlikely - nice PR attempt, but you already stated you had no idea why something like that would happen.

WOW Stuff - 4.0.3

I am still reeling from the patch yesterday. I got my few alts re-talented that had their talent points reset. I also flew around using the flight paths to see the devastation. I thought it amusing that Deathwing chose to destroy the park in Stormwind. Where are all those little gnome babies going to play - Gnomer? Isn't that still suffering from radioactivity? Please no NerdRage emails because I don't have the lore correct.

I really don't have a clue what I am going to do in-game tonight. I was thinking of picking more herbs. You see my Worgen that I am rolling on expansion day needs to be an alchemist. So I want to give him a leg up, so to speak. (Leg up - you see they are Canus lupus (wolf) like creatures. Stake out a fire hydrant, you will figure it out.)

I am hungry again, must be the stupid. CYA

Friday, November 19, 2010

Smouldering

Its the end of the week again. Thank goodness. Vodka Sodas for everyone. I am still doing the school board inventories with one more week to go. In my last blog I discussed going back to school to get my teachers certificate. I think I would be somewhere in between the "Shut Up" teacher and the "Basic Instincts" teacher in teaching style. I really don't think I could crop my testicular hair short enough to do the "Basic Instincts" style justice.

Other than the schools having much more inventory this week, only one situation really stands out. I arrive at this one high school and immediately have the feeling of "impending doom". The naked statue out front reminded me of their corrosives cabinet. You see I visited all of the schools in this school board a few months ago to do a comprehensive health & safety audit. Part of my focus was to assess chemical storage safety and at this school there was literally everything in this one cabinet.

There was:
  • Concentrated Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
  • Concentrated Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4)
  • Concentrated Nitric Acid (HNO3)
  • Glacial Acetic Acid (CH3COOH)
  • Concentrated Ammonium Hydroxide (NH4OH)

There was even a bottle of Ferrous Sulfide (FeS) in there.

As a review for all you teachers.

FeS + 2 HCl = FeCl2 + H2S

H2S if you do not know equals DEATH.

Why would you put Ferrous Sulfide (any sulfides for that matter) in a corrosives cabinet filled with acids?

Anyway, flash forward to this past Wednesday. I enter the chemistry prep room with my chaperone teacher and say the first thing that comes to mind.

"Do you smell something burning?"

"No, it just smells like a chemistry prep room in here.", he exclaims.

After some searching through the cupboards, I open the oxidizer storage cupboard to find a whole array of materials stored together: nitrates, chlorates, organics all sharing the same space, with most bottles having loose caps or no caps at all. Many of the labels were in various stages of combustion.

I take action. Defuse the issue and make everything right in world.

Now the rant.

WTF (I say in my head). Outside my head I give the teacher the lesson.

"OK, when you come into the prep room and you see the 'white' labels staring back at you, things are good. When you come into the prep room and you see that the labels that were once white, now a shade of brown -> black (with wisps of smoke) there is an issue and it needs to be investigated.

A shoulder shrug, a FREAKING shoulder shrug.

"When am I going to find time to 'investigate'. I don't have enough paid prep time as it is.", he states.

/facepalm (inserted WOW reference - I am already off my WOW topic when I said I was going to get back to it)

Anyway, the impending doom of the corrosives cabinet. They actually heeded the warning and it was cleaned up really well. Now if they could only keep the smouldering labels under control.


WOW Stuff

The elemental stuff is happening with 4 bosses. Unfortunately, I don't think it is going to last longer than next Tuesday. That is when 4.0.3, I think is going to happen. Shame, I have a few alt toons that could really use some of the gear that has been dropping. Unfortunately, the gear is dropping when the wrong toon is in the instance.

I am staying strong. I am sure the odds will finally work in my favour.

Final Thought

Remember, fire in a chemistry prep room is bad. Shrugging shoulders makes it all better.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Title

I literally sat staring at my computer screen trying to come up with a title for this article. I thought to myself, "If I am having this much trouble coming up with a title, how am I going to actually write anything?" It has been a strange couple of weeks. I believe I had mentioned that my main line of work is in the environmental management field and the company I work for has been contracted by a school board to do some health and safety/risk management assessments.

That being said, we did the first part of the work a few months ago. This consisted of the health and safety assessments. Now I am back at each of the schools to do a chemical inventory and to rearrange their chemical inventory so they are properly (safely) stored. Needless to say that when we did the H&S assessments, we found that most of the high school chemistry, biology labs we visited were anything but healthy and safe. Heck in one of the biology labs, I witnessed the class doing fetal pig dissections and none of the kids were wearing gloves, let alone eye protection. When the bell rang for lunch all of the kids left the class without so much as washing their hands.

So now the inventories. My work has led me to believe that in order to be a high school teacher you need the following:

1) No actual teaching skills

2) No actual understanding of the topics you are to instruct on

To demonstrate this I will give several examples.


No Actual Teaching Skills

The first school I was at had me situated in the chemistry prep room. There was access to the teachers office area through one door and to a couple of classrooms through two other doors.

In one classroom the class was rather boisterous. I think I counted the instructor yelling (yes yelling), "Shut Up!" 58 times in the one hour that he had the class in session. How is he getting anything done? I am not hearing any lecture materials being taught, only the constant drone of, "shut up!".

In the other classroom the instructor was discussing the principles of pH. The class was dead silent "taking" it all in. I was curious, how was she doing it. I positioned myself so I could catch a reflection into the classroom from the glass in the door. I chuckled to myself. Here she was, sitting on her desk with her legs slighty apart wearing a mini skirt. Ah the, "Basic Instincts" method of teaching.

In both these methods, I am not sure how much information is actually being retained . I do know that the "Shut Up!" teacher needs a sabatical and potentially a life review to see if this is the job for him.


No Actual Understanding of the Topics

This may require a bit more set up. At a different high school, we went to do the health and safety/risk management assessment back in May. At that time we quickly reviewed some of the chemicals and I was asking some questions of the staff member that was left with us. To my chemical questions he replied, "I am just the gym teacher, I don't know anything about chemicals." I asked what he did in the department, to which he replied, "I teach grade 12 chemistry to fill up my schedule. The rest of the time I teach Phys-Ed."

Fast forward to this past week. I am back at this school to do the chemical inventory and the safe rearranging of how the chemicals are stored. I dreaded this school so I never bothered to look up the contacts name (The contact was female back in May and she was a "joy" to work with - can you see that statement dripping with sarcasm.). When I arrived at the school I took out the email I had printed of the contact names, looked up the school and moved my finger across to the contact column. It was the name of the gym teacher. "What?", I asked myself.

I go into the school's office and ask for my contact. He comes down, greets me and tells me how happy he is to see me again. I ask him where my other contact is.

He states, "She did what all new female teachers do. They teach their first couple years and then get knocked up so they can get the next couple off on maternity leave (you see the teachers union is king in the province I live in)."

"Wonderful", I exclaim, "and what do you do at the school now."

He responds, "I am the new Science Department Head. When she left they posted the job and I applied for it and got it."

In my head I am screaming - "BUT YOU ARE THE GYM TEACHER!!!" On the outside I say, "So how is your teaching schedule."

"Grade 12 Chemistry in the morning and the rest of the day is Phys-Ed.", his answer.


With more prodding I basically realize he still knows nothing about chemistry. He leaves me to inventory the chemicals.

Some time passes and another chemistry teacher comes into the room carrying a cup of chemicals I guess. I watch him as he goes over to the "waste containers". These containers are labeled: flammable wastes eg organics, caustic wastes eg hydroxides and finally acidic wastes eg inorganic acids.

He ponders each of the labels and finally asks me, "What does caustic mean?"

"Basic", I answer.

He shakes his head and stares at the flammable waste container, he shakes his head as well. Finally he mentions to himself, "acidic, that's it", and he pours what I now know as waste into the acidic waste container. He then goes over to the sink to rinse out his cup.

I notice that his cup is leaking, the bottom then falls off and I state, "There's a hole in your bucket." (I try to put a plug in for Newfies as often as possible.)

"Yes there is.", he replied, "I don't understand why, this is a new cup, I just got it. I will have to call the manufacturer to complain."

I said, "Before you do that, you do know that the acid you had in your 'metal' cup probably had something to do with it." He's puzzled, I continue to explain that acids are corrosive to metals and that the acids probably weakened the cup to the point the bottom fell off.

He drops the useless cup into the garbage can and states, "You learn something new everyday." and leaves the room.

I literally collapsed onto a stool and began rocking back and forth. Apparently you don't have to know anything about the topic to be put in front of a class to teach "said" topic.

Teacher's Union Rules - did I mention that. So when a kid dies, the Teachers Union will be the first to bash the government over it.



How does this relate to WOW?

I did promise to get back to a WOW oriented blog. Well RL (real life - for my non-gaming followers) is way more funny. But, I can relate it to WOW. When you play WOW you have your toons. Those of us with alts, I think for the most part try very hard to learn, know our characters so we can play them to the best of our ability. We learn our rotations, study our different spells and abilities and watch the videos in some cases on the 'Net' to be able to play our toons better and not be called a "Noob". We want to be able to play these "alts" as if they were our main toons. Just the other day, I was playing and one of the others in my group asked me what my main toons name was. He said that he used to be in my guild and couldn't remember seeing my name. I rattled off a list of 4 or 5 names and he goes - Oh I remember you. You are the guy with 10 mains.

I smiled.

What am I going to do in real life? - apparently I am going to look into going back to school to become a teacher. I apparently don't need to know anything about teaching, just look good in a mini-skirt, and I also don't need to know anything about the topic I am to teach. Win - Win

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Meat

For those of you that have been following my epic birthday journey, the final installment.

As a recap my wife gave me a 'little piece' on Sunday. On my birthday which was this past Tuesday, she gave me a 'rack'.

Well to thank her for the aforementioned gifts, I decided to give her 'my meat' last night. Yes my meat (as pictured to the left). Not quite sure why it's hooking to the left, but it was still good.

When she got home from work there I was with my meat out on the counter. I trimmed the silver skin, seasoned it with fresh ground sea salt, crack peppercorn, and coriander. I then braided it with bacon. Everything is better with bacon, trust me.

I tied it up with cooking twine because wrapping it in latex would stick to the pan (sorry latex fetish guys) and browned it in a skillet for about 10 minutes a side.

I then popped my meat into her oven for about 30 minutes at 350 Celsius. When done I sliced it into 1 inch thick pieces and served it with Cajun spiced roast potatoes and peaches and cream corn. For desert we had apples sauteed in brown sugar and dusted with cinnamon.

After all that I was spent, and since I don't smoke, I went for a nap.

That's it, that was my epic birthday journey. I hope I didn't cause anyone to soil their keyboards.

Back to the regularly scheduled WOW related blog next week

No penis' were injured in the writing of this blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Big Piece

Well, since yesterday there has been a ground swell of interest in what my wife could possibly give me for my birthday that would better the "little piece" she gave me last Sunday.

Many have guessed - A pound of butter. Although it would totally go with my new butter dish that is not it.

After having my fill of tacos, my wife smiled and presented me with...


PAUSE... (for dramatic effect)



A "RACK"


It was gorgeous , the proportions were perfect, symmetrical if you will.


I can't wait to sprinkle their contents on my meat. It would make it very tasty. As a matter of fact, the SPICE RACK is just what I needed for my kitchen, after having it remodelled last week.


So there you have it, for my birthday I got a butter dish and a big 'spice' rack.


mmmmm

Monday, October 25, 2010

What a Week

What a week. Off the top of my head I can’t remember if I have written on this topic before. Actually, I think all my blogs have something to do with the, “What a week” topic.

A number of things have happened to me, they include:

  • Inventorying chemicals at high schools because the chemistry teachers can’t handle it.
  • My computer explodes from a rootkit virus I got from the CBS website resulting in a full format/re-install to Windows 7.
  • My birthday is tomorrow and my wife gave me a “little piece” a bit early, this past Sunday.
  • And finally - My Wife's BELL MOBILITY bill

Chemical Inventory

My main source of income is working at an Environmental Management company specializing in Hazardous Chemicals where I am the Health & Safety/Compliance Manager. We were contracted by a local school board a few months ago to do a Health & Safety Audit. This audit would include the chemistry classes in all of their high schools.

Needless to say the results were less than stellar. In one classroom the first aid kit was full of mold, in another the water to the eyewash/shower was turned off because it was dripping and annoying the teacher. In other schools it was as simple as incompatible chemicals being stored next to each other, where you could visibly see that there were reactions starting to happen.

Now I have been asked to go back and inventory (WHMIS requirement), which when I ask why the teacher isn't doing this, I am told, "We can't expect the teachers to take on this responsibility." When inventorying, I am also required to colour code all the bottles so they can properly store the chemicals. Which I am at a loss to understand how this is going to help. They didn't know how to store the chemicals by reading the labels, not sure how looking at the colour coding is going to make it better.

Computer Explosion

Last Thursday, I was leisurely tabbing through the news and came to an article on the CBS website. Following the headline link, I started to read the story and got to a link to watch a CBS video. I clicked the link and was asked to download a "viewer". I downloaded the file, ran a McAfee scan on the file and proceeded to install the "viewer". My video didn't open. Hmmm. I was concerned. I ran a Malwarebytes scan and all the virus scanners alarms started going off. The CBS Video Viewer file was full of rootkits and other associated viruses. Thanks CBS.

Well I decided that I was going to try Windows 7. Yes I know, Windows 7. Well so far I have been extremely happy with the install and with no issues. It's even a legit copy, imagine that. So "Installing I must go." - I begin adding all my software. I got everything in and started installing World of Warcraft. The original and the two expansions, then the 4.3gig upgrade to 4.0.0. This I started at about 1:00am, by 1:00pm that afternoon only 500M had downloaded. WTF is that, I have a business account, I am suppose be on a 1M/sec account. I noticed that when the download was happening, that Internet was not available to the other computers in my house. Something is wrong here, so I decided to get a new router. WOW - freaking awesome. I am now connected at the 1M/sec. The rest of the download happened in about 15 minutes and the next download of about 3gig to go to 4.0.1 happened in minutes as well. Happy days, I was killing things in no time. I do notice a huge difference in my gaming, no more lag and my frame rates are really good.

A "little piece" For My Birthday

It's my birthday tomorrow, and over the past weekend my mother came over Saturday to give me my canister of peanut butter cookies, my Reese's Peanut Butter cups and my $20 bill. Huzzah, WOW snacks. On Sunday my wife goes out to "shop", I find out from the kid that it is for my birthday gift. My wife gets home and asks if I want my gift today (as in Sunday and as in early). I tell her I don't care, on the day is fine. Fast forward to Sunday dinner time.

I did a grilled steak, red peppers and onion stir fry that we placed on panini's and these triangular fancy buns. After, dinner my wife takes the plates to the kitchen and comes back and asks, "DO YOU WANT A LITTLE PIECE?"

I am thinking, "Now we're talking, we should probably take it up stairs so we don't damage the kids."

My wife looking at me sensing the wave of "Barry White" music, quickly states, "No a little piece of your gift, you will get the bigger part on Tuesday." She then hands me a box.

She got me a 'Butter Dish'. Now we need a butter dish, but after getting my hopes up, it was a rather flaccid moment. Can't wait to see what the second half of my gift is. A pound of 'butter' to go into the dish? I am sure I will love it none the less.

Bell Mobility Bill

I get home from work today and there is a brown envelope waiting for me saying, 'personal and confidential'. I open it up and it is a letter from a collection agency saying I owe them $245.00. I call to find out what is going on and they refer me to Bell Mobility because oddly enough they have no idea why I am in collections. They have no documentation regarding the case.

I call Bell Mobility and find out that the charge is for my wife breaking her cell contract on July 29, 2010, when her expiry date on the contract is supposedly July 29, 2011. Hmmm funny. Prior to that date she called several times to find out her contract date because she was interested in a hardware upgrade. The most recent was in June 2010 when we got our daughter a cell phone for her graduation from grade 6. We researched cell packages for a twelve year old and found that a Virgin Mobile package to be the best. When we picked up the phone my wife inquired about a cell package for herself, saw something she liked and to verify her contract date, the Virgin Mobile lady called Bell Mobility to again verify the contract date - July 29, 2010. YES July 29, 2010. So my wife said in her best Schwarzenegger voice, "I'll be back". I remember the day very well, we had tea and everything from the tea place in the mall. She even sent me an appointment in Outlook regarding her trip to the Virgin Mobile kiosk July 29, 2010.

July 29, 2010 - she got her phone. She was happy. Now this collection letter. Calling Bell Mobility was the usual, "we mailed you on three occasions, we called you on your cell, as well as, your back up land line, we emailed". Funny, we never received any correspondence from Bell Mobility until this collection letter from the collections agency. Bell Mobility on the phone even went so far as to say that the Virgin Mobile lady lied to get us to switch. So I guess they are also saying my wife is suffering from a mental issue when on three occasions she called and Bell Mobility told her the same thing - her contract was up July 29, 2010. It all ended up with Bell Mobility saying that it is an issue we need to take up with Virgin Mobile.

We called Virgin Mobile told them the story, they sympathized with us, and stated that unfortunately they couldn't really help us. But to take some of the sting, they would credit my wife's account $50.00 just for being a valued customer.

Well we decided we are going to pay the collection notice - I don't have it in me to fight it. The "case of the dog-faced hooker" (that is another blog) sapped all my legal battle fighting power.

To Bell Mobility we say - F U

Friday, October 15, 2010

Patch Day + 3

Well it has been almost 3 days since the patch that rocked my world (no pun intended). We have had earthquakes starting in all the major cities. I even experienced one on the Death Knight mothership. How is that possible? It is hovering in the air. Sure you may hear something going on down below, but would it actually move our hovering homeland?

How about those glyph and gem prices? Through the roof on your server? They are on both of the realms I have toons on. A glyph I couldn't give away for 2G is now sitting at 399G on the AH. Although it didn't last long, I am sure a few people bought them at the inflated price. Even gems that were in the middle of a price war of about 70G each are now close to 200G. Crazy.

We have had the Wow Insider folks helping us out by publishing a guide to what to do before and after the patch. It was pretty helpful. Lets just say, I am glad on one of the realms I play on, I have the whole ball team (10 toons). Everyone does a profession or two as needed. I spent almost nothing on re-gemming and glyphing. I think I may have spent a couple thousand gold to get everyone updated and that was because I was too lazy to wait out my transmuting cooldowns. Compare that to another realm where I have 3 Alliance toons and 1 Horde toon, and they don't cover all of the profession choices, I believe I spent closer to 5000G re-gemming and glyphing just the 4 of them. That's crazy as well.

What is more crazy is what I saw on the way home from the chiropractor today. Apparently with Cataclysm coming out, the Blizzard folk have decided to remove the portals from Dalaran. I guess it makes sense since the focus is now on the 'new' old world and Dalaran will be a veritable ghost town like Shattrath is now. Anyway, hopefully this is not a distant memory for you, the well in Dalaran. On your realms do you have the guy or guys (and they are usually the toon/toons that everyone knows on the realm - usually the trade chat trolls) that hover their fancy mounts over the well, immune to the dismounting for some reason. The one that I remember on my realm was the guy that would hover in the Mimiron's head, I always pictured him as the middle aged looser from the basement. Well photos apparently surfaced of him, and I guess he is a teen aged looser from the basement. Anyway, what I saw on the way home from the chiropractor was a teenager in a Saturn Astra, windows rolled down (it's about 10 Celsius here), with his smoke (not cool any more - you are not the freaking Marlboro man), with his seat set all the way to the back with his arms perfectly straight and he is now looking through the steering wheel. I swear to God that I thought the car was empty when he was driving behind me. All I could think of was the guy in the head. Buddy you are not cool. Same as with the guy in the head. You had 24 others that carried your ass through Ulduar to get it. You had 24 others that failed the roll and you got it. God, felt sorry for you because you live in a basement. I had a nice vehicle, then I realized that I don't need to pay $600/month to get from point A to B, so I got a small cheap car. In a year I filled up the car about 15 times with fuel. So to tie this back to WOW - I won't be forking out 5000G to get the upgrade from 280% flying to 310%, once was bad enough. There isn't anywhere I really need to get to that fast.

Next can I talk about mods? Thank you to all the writers out there that are working diligently to update my life's blood in game. You don't know how much you miss something until you are staring at a standard Blizzard UI.

That's it. I had a couple more things I wanted to talk about. Unfortunately I had a bout of Alzheimer's kick in and those thoughts left me. I don't actually have Alzheimer's, I guess I am just old.

Just One More Hit

Hey, did you know that you can't use a "Scroll of Resurrection" on an account that has been upgraded to Wrath of the Lich King? I sure didn't and I'm willing to bet Alts didn't know either.

I finally had everything all patched up and I was twitching at roll a new character last night. I accepted the invitation to use the "Scroll" and behold yet another error message. "This account does not meet the requirements to use the Scroll of Resurrection." 

I'm starting to think that this is a sign. A sign from above warning me not to put the Warcrack back in my veins. 


Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Suck

So I reinstalled the game and patched everything up nice, nice last night. However when I went to start the application I received the same error message as before. For some reason my system is refusing to connect to the game server. This is most perplexing indeed. 
Everything used to work fine and now I can't connect, time to troubleshoot this bad boy. Let's see, what has changed on my system in the past eight months?
...Oh...I Suck....
Here's a tip to anyone that cares to listen. If you install a program on your system to prevent unwanted connections to other networks (ie Peerblock) it will block the connection to other networks! That's what it is supposed to do, that's why it's not called "Peer-allow" or "Connection-encourager". So I turned off my connection blocker and hey, what do ya know I can connect to Bliazzard again. (IDIOT).
So once again my computer sits at home updating to the current patch. Hopefully when I get home today I will finally be able to reenter the World of Warcrack. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Insert WELCOME BACK KOTTER theme here

Like a phoenix I have been resurrected from the ashes.

A friendly soul has cast a scroll of resurrection on Uncle Nebz and in doing has unknowingly unleashed a hell upon the land of Azeroth like none have ever witnessed before! That is assuming that I can get the game to load. You test my allegiance once again Blizzard.

I successfully installed the patch yet when I attempt to start the game I receive an error message telling me that it can not initiate the streaming installer? "Streaming Installer, what the hell is that?

Now the old Nebz would not have accepted this fate. He would have punched a hole in his screen, drank a bottle of whiskey and then proceed to write a crap- filled blog article on how Blizzard is F'N SCREWING WITH ME! But I stand before you a much gentler and kinder Uncle Nebz and I reacted with a meager "meh" and then proceeded to attempt a "repair" on the WOW folder. After 10 minutes of the game scanning itself and trying to fix the holes in my game code I received a lovely little note saying, "Unable to repair, please reinstall."

Hmm, reinstall? Really? Ok then, let's do that. So I break out my DVDs and start reinstalling the now bloated 16.5 GB game. After a half hour of physical installation the game is finally on my hard drive and ready for… play? In the immortal words of Consuela the Spanish housekeeper from Family Guy, "No"

It's update time. So my computer now sits in a perpetual state of updating. It seems that it has been downloading patches now for five hours. But that's fine and I'm okay with the wait. I am in my happy place, the sky is blue and the ocean is calm.

Good for you Blizzard, you have tested me and I am the better person for it. I'm looking forward to reentering the World of Warcraft. I will update again with my progress and of course my thoughts on the present state of the world. Everything is finally rainbows and puppy dogs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Patch Day 4.0.1

Well it's patch day, 4.0.1 is being applied in an extended server maintenance. At the time of my writing this, the server maintenance has been extended a couple more times and we are supposed to be able to "play" at 5:00pm PDT. I use the term "play", when in fact it will most likely be the picking up of the pieces of our shattered virtual lives.

Anyway, as you know I am on vacation this week. As I mentioned yesterday I think I nailed the weather component, so if I feel like sitting out on my patio in my pajamas and drink coffee infused with Baileys Irish Cream I can. But today the focus was on getting a couple of chores done during the maintenance down time.

My chores were:
  1. Assemble my daughters new dresser.
  2. Create talent trees for 15 level 80's some of which have a duel spec.
  3. Correct an Income Tax Remittance issue for my home business - this after I called and was told by the help guy that the Gov't of Canada screws this up all the time.
  4. Search for updated Mods
So I had to plan my day. I figured I would start with the Income Tax Remittance issue.

Income Tax Remittance Issue

Back in June 2010 I received a letter stating that my T4-Summary was messed up. It appeared I may have remitted too much and I was tasked by Revenue Canada to prove that I in fact paid too much before they would give it back. Well I successfully proved that I had overpaid by about $670. I was instructed to short/not pay my monthly remittances until I had used up the entire credit.

Come September, I got a form from Revenue Canada stating rather humorously that they haven't received any payments from me lately and that they missed my money. I was suppose to complete the form to let them know where the errant money had gone, or if I had closed my business. If that was the case, they wanted me to know that "They were saddened by their loss." Yes I phrased that right.

Well I called the help number and explained to him that I had a letter saying not to pay until my credit had been used up. I stated I sent in my remittance forms each month with a yellow sticky note saying this is what I was suppose to pay, but I wanted to apply it to my credit. "That is the problem", he stated. "Government pink slips are actually yellow and opening my letter and seeing the yellow piece of paper probably set the guy off" - he asked that I don't use yellow anymore. He then proceeded to state that the 'left hand doesn't usually know what the right hand is doing' and that he would make some notes on my file, but that I should fill out the form and send it back just to be safe. So that is what I did today - I decided to wait until the credit was completely used so I would only have to explain once.

Talent Trees

I must thank the Wowhead Talent Calculator guys for their wonderful utility. It made my life easier even though I ended up making 23 different builds to cover all my alts and their dual specs. Enough said about that - I am sure there are a large number of you rocking back and forth in your basements as we speak.

Assembling the Dresser

When the hell did Ikea change the rules. I open the boxes expecting an Allen Wrench to fall out into my hand - it didn't. Instead I open the instructions to reveal that I had to use a Phillips screwdriver, a slot screwdriver and a hammer. Wow, real tools, I almost felt like a master carpenter except that I was assembling "wood" made of wood dust and liquefied horse ass.

This task took 3 freaking hours, you would think that those Swedes were a little smarter. Apparently, one of them can't count up to 6. I love getting down to the bottom of my part bag only to find out that the guy can't count and their quality assurance guy didn't catch it.

Luckily I had the part I needed from one of my past furniture endeavors.

Updating Mods

They will come - my son is under the delusion that he will be raiding tonight. Good luck with that.

Side Note

Did you see the size of the list of known patch issues. There must be a pile of programmers at Blizzard running around like Chicken Little. They must be stressed - sort of like the Enron accountants on audit day.

Anyway, see you in Azeroth sometime this evening. I have a few toons to talent up.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving

I am on vacation this week, so I am going to try and write a few articles this week to make up for being lazy the last couple of weeks. Since it is Thanksgiving in Canada today, I figured I would write about the things I am thankful for.

For one, I think I picked a good week for a vacation. The weather looks as if it is going to co-operate the whole week. Eighteen Celsius and mostly sunny all week. So I am thankful to North American Indians for coining the term "Indian Summer", or was it those oppressive pilgrims because I think this is it.

Since we are thanking our ancient peoples, I would like to thank all of the ancient civilizations that thought the fermenting of grains, vegetables and fruits was a good thing. I would have to concur. Cheers.

I would also like to thank Blizzard for developing a game that I can truly enjoy (although there is the occasional rant about the stupidest mod on the planet - GearScore - wait it isn't the mod that is the problem it is how people use it.)

I am thankful for my wife's patience when it comes to my playing of WOW.

I am thankful for having a couple of great kids. Especially the one that does all my pvp'ing for me.

I am also thankful for my parents, because if they didn't do the nasty I wouldn't be here. It burns the inside of my head every time I think of that.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article and I included an honorable mention of my ancient neighbour from across the street. Her photo is shown above, as she picks up leaves in her driveway by hand. I am thankful that her mind isn't so far gone that she is doing her leaf collection naked. The nightgown is bad enough.

That's it. I have got to go and put my daughter's birthday present together. While I am doing that I have to think of a serious WOW article since the 4.0.1 patch is rapidly approaching. Oh, I am thankful for the development of the Allen Key.

Have a great day everyone - Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I See Hillbillies

It always takes a bit of time to re-acclimatize myself when I get home from a business trip. I was away for a few days about 5 hours north of where I live teaching at the university up there. The course being taught doesn't matter, the fact is, the time away messes up the family equilibrium. You read the signals and react but the outcome is wrong. I am starting to get things figured out. I decided to go outside and collect the dog crap that has accumulated. If anything it will keep me out of more trouble.

WOW seems to have changed for me as well. You see my notebook doesn't have the testicular fortitude to run WOW so for the time I am away all I can do is read the wow.com articles (Notice the URL change - even that was stressful for me). I will talk about that later. Most if not all articles are about the Cataclysm Beta, and as I read them I practically put myself into an anxiety attack. It's OMG, OMG, OMG this is changing, that is changing. I have 15 level 80's to figure out. New spec's to try and understand, more leveling to do. The list goes on.

Then there are the guild achievements. Please if anyone has an answer for this question, please let me know. There are cool guild mounts. I would imagine that these mounts become available once the guild achieves a certain status/level. A number of points or something. My burning question is, "Will all guild members be able to purchase these mounts?" or is it just the persons that participated in the particular instance or whatever that unlocked the guild mounts. You see, I had to drop out of my raid spot due to RL during the fall of 2009 and I have not been able to get it back. There have been openings but because of the time off, I am behind in gear and the knowledge of some of the fights. So the guild preferred to poach (I mean recruit) from outside instead of trying to get me (and a few others that had some other commitments) back up to speed. I would find it incredibly unfair if guild mounts were only available to the raiders of the guild.

As I mentioned above, Wow.com is moving again. I can handle only so much change. Are you people trying to kill me? I now have to book mark new URL's on 4 computers and on my phone. Oh the pressure.

I read an article saying that there was patch stuff to download. They were saying that Cataclysm must be close. Can you imagine my horror when I got home Friday evening and the downloader kept giving me a "runtime++" error. Thank goodness I was able to find a fix for it on one of the World of Warcraft Community forums - "change the compatibility to Windows 98/ME". IS BLIZZARD SERIOUS? WinXP has been around for at least 5 years and they screwed up the downloader. This does not bode well for Cataclysm release night. On the bright side my patch info has been successfully downloaded.

Friday when I got home I didn't play much. I just re-applied my auctions (I love my Armory App but not enough to purchase the subscription to be able to do my auctions on my phone), and did a few fishing dailies. On Saturday I did do a little more before relinquishing the computer to my daughter. I did a few VOA's, even one where the raid leader insisted on a GearScore of 5500+ for a VOA10. At least somethings haven't changed, we will not be without the idiots come the expansion.

Finally, the Real Life highlight of my trip. I got to see a hillbilly couple out on a family excursion. As I drove north on the highway I looked off to the right to see a couple driving their his and her ATV's, both fully decked out in their finest camouflage. However; on the back of his ATV was a baby seat bolted to the cargo rack facing forward. Sort of like a navigator in a fighter jet. The kid was probably 6 months old or so, dressed in a little camouflaged outfit with a little camouflaged blanket. Now this couple thought of everything. I would have been concerned that this little guy or girl would get pelted with branches as mommy and daddy went plowing through the underbrush. Oh no - this baby seat was decked out with a plexi-glass shield. Did I lmao for the next couple of kilometers. I can see it now, half the USA is thinking, "What's so funny?" and the other half is thinking... I am not even sure what they would be thinking.

Anyway, that's it. My daughter went to a friends, so I have a couple of hours to work on my GearScore for the next VOA10.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where Can I Find a Bonar?

Yup, that's my title for this article. Last week I was sitting in my cube, with a co-worker in the cube next to me, when one of the owners comes out of his office to ask us that very question. "Where can I find a Bonar? Google that for me please", he says. "I am afraid to Google that." I reply, "I am afraid of what I might see on my monitor".

Well you see, the environmental management business is full of interesting terms for "Packages". You almost have to shake your head there. Bonar, to the uninitiated is a plastic cubic yard container, although they can come in a variety of sizes and colours (I almost can't contain my chuckling on that line). Another container in the environmental management industry is the Gaylord. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Time to change the subject.

Anyway, other stuff to talk about. I find humor just staring out my front window. I am talking popcorn and a pop (soda for those south of the border) funny. The lady across the street from us is probably close to a million years old, and she just can't stop working on her yard. You would think that once you get that old you would have your son come over and do that work for you. Wait, her son's in his late forties and lives in her basement (I am suspecting a Tauren Warrior).

Nevertheless, she has a thing for leaves. Leaves are not allowed on her lawn. She stands out there all day and she picks up every leaf that falls onto her lawn by hand. No rake. I even saw her this morning trying to catch the leaves as they were still falling. Believe me, that was hysterical, my daughter and I were just killing ourselves. Additionally this morning she was being harassed by this pesky dove, it would keep landing on her sparkling driveway. You see she wipes it down on her hands and knees with a wet cloth pretty much everyday. The dove would land, she would run over (as fast as a million year old lady could), broom in hand and scare the bird away. Kneel down and wipe the spot where the birds dirty feet made contact with her driveway.

Oh the jocularity.

Garage Sales - Is it all the same in North America? I had one once, a few years ago. I put the ad in the newspaper on a Friday night. "Garage Sale - 9:00am Saturday. 123 Anywhere Road". The paper around here is delivered around 5:00pm maybe, by 6:00pm Friday night I had people cruising past my house and coming to my door asking me if they can "Preview my stuff". Get the hell out. The ad said 9:00am Saturday. What is wrong with some people? Then of course, people start knocking at my door at 6:00am, wondering how come I have not started the "sale". How can they not understand - 9:00am. I can't believe they were fighting over my shit. I had a hard time taking their money. Even when they tried to barter with me over the cost of an item I had priced at a $1.00 and they only wanted to pay 75 cents. Holy Crap! They could have had the whole yard for 5 bucks. I just wanted to get rid of this crap. Well fast forward to this past Saturday.

I rented a 6 cubic yard bin for this weekend. After my "garage sale" fiasco mentioned above I decided to just rent a bin every so often and purge. Well amazingly it only took a couple of hours to fill up. You see I was going to clean out a few storage rooms in our house, but I ended up filling the bin with the contents of my shed. Now I have to get a bin next month for the interior two rooms. "Where is the humor?" you ask. Well as I am filling the bin in the driveway a few people stopped to see if I was having a garage sale. "Yes", I exclaimed. "Everything must go. I conveniently compacted it all in this handy dandy 6 cubic yard carrying container." One person actually made an offer. I almost fell over. Some people shall I dare to say it, "are retarded". I can't even throw crap out into a garbage dumpster without someone coming over and wondering if I am having a garage sale. They were actually mad at me for not offering the crap to the public prior to my depositing of it to the bin.

That's it, I am spent. It was actually pretty tiring cleaning around the house this weekend. I am glad we are sort of in a lull waiting for Cataclysm. It gives me a chance to rest, do some of the vanilla and BC achievements and store up some gold (Have old world flying to purchase for a few toons. So happy it will only be 250G each.). I am going to be traveling this week. I should have a whole pile of stuff to write about next weekend.

TTYL

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Need to Know Your Toon

I think I read that title in one of the Wow.com blogs. To summarize the article, there is either the GS argument or the skill argument. I totally believe in the skill conquers all argument. The "don't stand in the fires", "more dots", "phase two ranged only" blah blah blah. Just the other day I did a GDKP in TOC 25 with the raid leader sporting a 3800GS. We never wiped once and he never died during the whole raid, because he knew how to play his toon. Funny enough, he also came second on the healing charts. I consider myself to be somewhat competent with my toons. I also know my limitations and do not attempt instances/raids when I know for sure I neither have the gear and my skill is not quite there. For example, I duel spec'd healing tree on my druid and the first random instance I got into was HHoR. So here I am with mostly feral druid gear on, attempting to heal my first time on a druid. I politely told the group I was with that I was not ready for this instance and kicked myself. I am slowly getting my skill and gear up but I am still not ready to attempt that instance.

The above being said - "Know Your Toon" can apply to RL as well. Just yesterday, I was asked to go out on the road for work with a "temp" driver. As in, can you go with this temporary AZ (tractor trailer) driver and go service some of our customers. Although I didn't like the idea of going with a temp driver it was a day out of the office.

So here I am, sitting in the passenger seat of the tractor listening to the driver tell me that he didn't remember how to do a circle check (and the required paperwork to fill out) and what I thought was the best (although it was going to be a day of "bests"), he states he doesn't know how to back up a tractor trailer. I shuddered thinking that I had 3 loading docks to back into during the course of the day.

Off we go, heading to the biggest metropolitan centre in Ontario, on one of the busiest highway systems in Canada with a driver from a temp agency (that can't back up a tractor trailer). During the two hour drive I determined that my driver had two speeds:
  1. Complaining that the vehicle was governed at 100kph; or
  2. Locking up the brakes (because monitoring the flow of traffic and adjusting your speed accordingly wasn't in his skill set)
Well we got to our first stop. The business was a building sort of behind a strip plaza, so there was a need to back down a driveway. I got out of the truck because I knew a spotter was going to be needed. It took close to 1.5 hours for him to negotiate the backing up of the vehicle. I along with the owner of the plaza had to stand at the drivers door and relay wheel turning instructions to my temp driver as an additional 2 spotters at the back of the trailer relayed everything to us with respect to distances and location of the trailer to inanimate objects like gas meters and the like. Once positioned my temp driver stayed in the cab as I off loaded the 20 drums (it took me about 20 minutes). Did I mention it was 32 degrees C plus humidex. Tally - 2 curbs crushed, chunk of lawn flattened, section of interlocking brick pulverized and close to 4 dozen vehicles with their schedules impeded.

Our second stop afforded us with the "mistake" that when we pulled into the wrong driveway, it inadvertently positioned us to easily back into our assigned loading dock. I got out of the truck to find our contact and when I returned I found my temp driver now perpendicular to our assigned door. How the hell did he do that? No problem the facilities loading dock area was "L" shaped and he actually positioned himself in front of one of the other doors. The contact and I ran to the other loading dock and opened the door. Waving the temp driver to back into this dock instead. 5 minutes later, he was no where near the second option but he was in line with a third dock. We opened that door for him. Yes, he missed that door too. I finally yelled, "Pick a door, I want to get this job done." He got the truck parked and disappeared (ashamed of himself perhaps), I ended up loading this customers material by myself (about 10 skids and a dozen drums). This job took 4 hours for me to complete by myself because I had to actually pack the material onto the skids and shrink wrap them.

Off to our final stop. We pull in and I get out to find the contact. I walk with my contact to the loading dock and open the door. I go out to truck and tell the temp driver which dock he needs to get into. Sixty eight attempts later and the following items violated:

  1. One sea container bumped (no damage thank God)
  2. One landscape boulder ran over and pulverized (they don't make rocks like they used to)
  3. One abandoned skid crushed
  4. One building across the parking lot - scuffed (no one came out so I guess they didn't hear the noise of the vehicle crashing into it.)
As soon as he got it into the dock I noticed that he hadn't opened the back doors of his trailer before backing in. So he actually had to pull out in order to get them open. Once opened he took another 32 times to get back into the dock. He didn't come in to help me load, he stayed in the cab and I loaded 30 drums of sulfuric acid by hand, by myself.

By this time I was about 12 hours into my day (the whole day was expected to take about 8) we still had to drive back to our base. I get a call from our dispatch, "Drop the trailer at Plant 2 and bob tail back to Plant 1.", "Ugh" I say. "Don't worry about backing it into a spot, I will get one of our regular drivers to do it in the morning.", dispatch says. "That is assuming he knows how to drop a trailer.", I reply.

Well a two hour drive back to Plant 2 through the extended rush hour. As we are pulling in I tell him to just drop the trailer along the fence. I get out and gingerly walk around the yard gathering some wood in order to put under the landing gear, you see the asphalt is a little rough in that area. As I am returning to the truck/trailer I notice him tearing apart the cab. "What are you looking for I ask?" He states, "I am looking for the 'button' that disengages the fifth wheel." I am about to explode. "So you don't know how to drop the trailer." I query. "Not entirely sure, I haven't actually did it before, I haven't driven a tractor trailer in about 3 years.", he replies. I get a pair of gloves on and reach under the trailer and pull the fifth wheel release, "Get in the truck and drop the trailer, I want to get home."

Dropping trailer done, Plant 2's gate is closed and we head back to Plant 1 so I can get my car and go home. My 14 hour day complete. We pull into the driveway, he extends his hand and say's, "Thanks for the work today, and how did you think my driving was?" In my head I was screaming 'EPIC FAIL' but not wanting to totally crush him, I stated, "You showed improvement throughout the day, I would suggest a lot more practice in backing up. Try to visualize a situation and run through it in your head how you would do it." I am a nice guy. Had this been WOW there would have been a vote to kick about 10 minutes into our "instance". I couldn't trash him to his face, I will just do it in my blog. He was an example of not having a good gearscore, as well as, not knowing how to play his toon.

Not only did the landscape have a heavy toll taken on it, a pretty hefty toll was exacted on me:
  1. Two upper back muscles blown out
  2. One hernia irritated (I had a hernia operation about 3 years ago, I think I stressed it out)
  3. Two red and chaffed testicles - It was 32 degrees C all day and I had meatball soup happening
  4. Both knees messed up
I got home quaffed 3 beers, a monster energy drink, swallowed two Robaxocet, ate dinner, and Heath Ledger'd on the couch until my wife shook me awake this morning.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Just Have to Shake Your Head

Nebz has spoken. I thought he was dead I haven't heard from him in so long. It looks like he is riding off into the sunset like a SpaceCowboy :) He may be back for Cataclysm but I think he may require a cooling off period. Always so angry.

I am glad he took the time to write his article though, because just yesterday something happened to me that I thought would be wonderful to blog about but it tied into his hacking incident. You may have heard the phrase, "You can't fix stupid." If you haven't - remember I coined the phrase :p

Nebz regaled you with his account hack drama. Isn't that insane, what hacker actually improves your account when they have it under their control? Additionally, something Nebz forgot to mention - they actually were adding stuff to our guild bank - not taking it away. This must have been the worst hacker ever, at least in his ability to leech the life's blood from a toon and it's guild bank and then return it with only the virtual skin he/she is wearing with no possessions.

To expand from there - I think this same hacker broke into my car over the weekend. You know the second you get into your car that it has happened. This is my 4th time this year. I will explain how my car looked in the mornings when I got into it to go to work. Oldest to most recent.

  1. Door left open, crap thrown around the car, glove compartment open and contents on the floor, all change taken from the console/ash tray. It actually takes you an hour to figure out if anything has been taken.

  2. Door left ajar, glove compartment open, all change taken from the console/ash tray, jacket taken but hung on front banister once it was found to not contain anything valuable.

  3. Door closed, glove compartment left closed (but looked through), all change taken from the console/ash tray.

  4. Door closed, all coins taken from console/ash tray, car detailed to be cleaner than when you parked it the night before. Glove compartment not even opened.
So this weekend I decided to take all the silver coins out of the car - my daughter has been hitting me pretty hard for Slurpees lately so I was dangerously low on coinage. When I counted my change, I left $1.50 in pennies in my console. THAT'S RIGHT - THE CLOWN BROKE IN FOR 150 PENNIES. Not only that but he left my $125 Bluetooth/charger and my $85.00 power converter plugged into my console - he/she even tidied so the cords were not all over the place. They didn't even go into my glove compartment, which is really disconcerting, they didn't take my Beach Boys CD. What is wrong with the Beach Boys? Is there something wrong with me?

Sorry if I am not being politically correct but - What a retard!!!

I am so sure now that the same hacker that got into Nebz' account was the person responsible for getting rid of all that annoying penny change and tidying my car. I am stunned by the magnitude of their stupidity. I want to say - why would you put your freedom in jeopardy by stealing $1.50? Although that question was answered when I called to file a police report - they are not in jeopardy of loosing anything.

But that story is for another day.

Well, I feel shame

I have been neglecting you the faithful reader for months. After all those emails pleading me to please write again and then there's the facebook page that you made trying to persuade me to come back. To you my fans I say "Thank you."

Many of you have been wondering just what I've been up to. What could have been so damn important? To you I say, "What the hell.  Are you my mother? Stop nagging me already!"

Sorry.

So what have I been up to… well let's see. I've been working, actually working. Not like the last job I had where I would show up in the morning, set up my laptop in general seclusion under the guise of needing the privacy to make "sales calls" and then play WOW all day (why did I get fired? Oh yeah, FUCK YOU SHAWN). I am actually working, and you know as hokey as it sounds, I have a much better feeling of worth. I enjoy what I do and it's carrying over into my family life. I don't want to hide behind a laptop when I get home anymore. I like being accountable for my hours (if that makes sense), what I mean by that is by the time I go to bed at the end of a day I can look back and remember what I did. There were times when I played WOW, as some of you can attest to, I would start playing with a coffee in the morning and by the time I turned the computer off it was the NEXT FREAKEN' DAY. That's not cool.

After reading my past few posts I can see that my interest in WOW had been waning anyways. I wasn't playing the game anymore, I was logging into another job. (I feel like I should add something here. I just deleted an entire paragraph ranting about WOW and my obsession. In the end it wasn't going anywhere, so in the interest of comprehensive journalism I had to sacrifice it.)

Although I have not being smoking the Warcrack for the past few months doesn't mean that I don't have any WOW news. My account was hacked, and before you ask, yes I have an authenticator. I know, I was baffled to. It goes down like this;

I get an email form Alts one morning giving me right shit that I didn't say "hi" to him last night. Apparently I logged in and was soloing some dungeon from the Burning Crusades expansion all night.

I read the email carefully, it didn't make any sense. I never used the handy Blizzard "give me your credit card number" payment scheme- plan. So when I stopped playing WOW those few months ago I didn't have any time on my account. It was then that my stomach dropped, I knew that my account had been hacked. It began to eat me up inside, I tried to pretend that it didn't really matter. 'I could call Blizz in the morning and explain the situation and I'm sure they could reverse the problem and restore my account.' The more I thought about it, the more I worried. 'Good 'ole Blizzard will fix everything, they'll verify who I am and then restore my account… oh crap… they need to verify who I am.'

Side note- I'm kind of a "tin hat" wearing guy. I don't think anyone has the right to know who I am or what I do unless I want them to know. So to cover my tracks I always use an alias when I register for things online, fake name and fake address. ALWAYS!

I'm screwed! I can't remember what address I used to register for my WOW account. I remember the name I used, but not the address.  'I'm doubled screwed! My email password for my email address is the same as my login password. The hacker can screw with my email account!'

I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs, logged into my gmail account and quickly requested a password change.  'Whew, done and without any damage to my account…. Picture rusty wheels turning…gerbil running in a wheel…faster…faster…hmmm, I wonder…the train's leaving the station….faster…do you think…the power is flowing to the light bulb….you don't think….'

I try to log into my Battle.net account, DENIED, so I request a password change. "Your request has been sent to your email address for verification."

I look in my email account and there it is, password change verification. SWEET, the dumb ass hacker didn't change my default email address. I change the password to my account, switch email address to an alternative one and add a new authenticator (courtesy of iTunes). Within minutes I am logged back into the game I loath. I quickly check all of my 14 toons and they all seem to be in good shape. Actually, they all seem to be in great shape.

This is going to be hard to admit… the hacker actually improved my gear score! I had more gold, better gear and even a couple of new achievements. The hacker played my account better than I did. Hand- Face- Shame!

So to recap my experience of having my account hacked:

  1. The hacker put a months worth of time on my account.
  2. My gear score drastically improved for most of my toons.
  3. I have enough good now to buy epic flying for a couple of my toons

What the hell is everyone whining about? Having your account hacked is freakin' awesome!

I am back in control of my account and I continue to ignore the game just as much as did before. My "free" month is almost up and I haven't played for more than ten minutes. The most I have done was, in the interest of cleansing, I deleted most of my low level toons. 

I get hacked and my account is improved. I get my account back and I destroy more than 75% of my toons and spend all the gold. I'm not sure, is that ironic or moronic? 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Power of the One Ring to Neuter them All

Summers winding down and back to school is right around the corner. This past Saturday my daughter had her soccer banquet. The league she is in is spectacular. I have been very impressed with the way it is run. At the end of the year they treat the kids to a carnival like day at the field where they play - tons of food and those bouncer things. Although I am not sure if a hot dog/bouncer combo is a good thing, the kids seem to have fun. I think my daughter is past the bouncers though, being a tween and all. It is tough to text when little Jimmy is bouncing around next to you spewing hot dog bits.

Anyway, today's blog will be the telling of the tale of us heading to the soccer field. It starts with us sleeping in, at least in my wife's mind. You see my daughter's team wasn't in the championship game which was to start at 9:30am, with the awards to be handed out after the game which would be around 10:30am. We got up and scrambled around the house. I decided that since it was going to be a hot day I would spray on a small amount of AXE to keep me smelling fresh (remember the antiperspirant article from last week). We left the the house about 9:15am and before getting to the park we had to stop at the local Starbucks to grab a couple of coffees. The wife and kid stayed in the car while I ran in.

At this point I need to throw a bit more detail into this AXE business. We have all seen the commercials, guy sprays this crap on and goes out, guy gets swarmed by chicks, makes for a happy guy. Now I was never one to actually believe the commercials. They were way too far fetched until now. Lets return to the Starbucks shall we.

In I walk, up to the counter and I place my order. The girl behind the counter was blond, visually pleasant and petite. She asked for my order - Venti Caramel Macchiato, Grande Caramel Macchiato extra hot. I always order mine extra hot. I hate it when the coffee gets to you and its already lukewarm. Damn you Stella Liebeck.

This is where it got weird, she started to talk to me. Nice hat, is it Michigan State? What you doing today? I know, customer service, stroke the customer's ego, get them coming back crap. This was different, this girl has never talked to me when I have come in before. Was it the AXE? OMG - the gay barista started to talk to me with that twinkle in his eye. Was the AXE jamming his gaydar? Not that there is anything wrong with that.

I knew I had to get out of there fast. I raised my left hand, the power of the wedding band would protect me. They cowered in terror (at least that was how I saw it) so I could make my escape. I returned to the sanctuary of the car. I was safe. From there it was an uneventful day at the soccer field.

To think a visit to the Starbucks could have been a life or death experience. Now many of you that play WOW have done a cooking daily. Many of you, no doubt have opened your Small Spice Bags to find your Northern Spices and possibly some - Old Spices. You take these Old Spices and toss them at other player characters and they end up having a buff that says, "they smell great". Wouldn't it be awesome if and when you threw these old spices at a player character that all characters in their vicinity were temporarily mind controlled and were drawn to the toon that had the buff? It would be hysterical (in my mind), of course you would have to put a cooldown of a couple hours in there, or no one would be moving around Dalaran - other than to have no control of their toon as it chased down a guy that "smelled great".

Oh the rants on Ventrilo this would cause. I remember the Shattrath undead craziness after a patch (can't remember which one) and the Ventrilo rants it caused.

Have a great week.