Tuesday, December 28, 2010


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.


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.


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.