I think it’s become no secret by now that I love the Olympics. I really hope to go to them someday. Sadly, not as an athlete, but as a spectator. My sentiment is at its strongest right now, in the closing days of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. I may have missed the Olympics this time around, but I’m already setting my sights on the next Olympics: Vancouver 2010. I will be going to Vancouver. I mean, when’s the next time the Olympics are going to be in my figurative backyard? I’d be stupid not to go. But, I still need to put some kind of a plan in place. As always, the key thing is money.
Continue reading Planning and Execution
“Come on, people!” the project manager says. “We have to get all these old records onto computers!” It is a push that dominates offices around the world. Whole staffs are hired with the sole purpose of being hunched over a computer, entering in data, so it will be preserved forever within the computer. “Think of the ease!” the managers tell us. “In 20 years, we’ll be able to pull up any record we want, just with the click of a button! Thanks to this, the miracle of data storage, the 5¼” floppy disc!”
Continue reading Digital Philosophy
So, I was doing one of my nerd hobbies, which is looking at random articles at Wikipedia. And, last week, I was shocked – horrified really – to find that my hometown of Entwistle had no article, when Entwistle’s longtime rival Evansburg had an entry. I spent my past week putting together a Wikipedia entry for Entwistle. I was just so proud of it, that I feel like sharing it here. Enjoy!
Continue reading A Brief History of Entwistle
One of the more popular things going around Hollywood right now is the whole concept of the remake. It has to do with “established brand names” or some such nonsense. But, once concept that was introduced in recent years is the “re-imagining.” That’s where you remake something but, in your remake, you tend to start all over from the ground up; give new spins on things and more contemporary touches. I believe the term “re-imagining” was first coined by Tim Burton, as he described his remake of Planet of the Apes.
Over in the realm of television, the “re-imagining” concept is also gaining ground. Look at the new re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica. It is widely considered by many – sci-fi nerds and mainstream critics alike – to be one of the greatest TV shows right now. The whole politics, society, and war that form the basis of the show have been greatly expended upon and explored. Star Trek meets The West Wing was how one critic described it.
Continue reading Reinvention Mania!
Truly, one of the highlights of any Winter Olympic venue are those wonderful, magnificent ski jump towers that they build. I even distinctly remember the ones for Nagano because, as a kid at Augustana in 1998, I was just discovering the Internet. And, the Nagano ski jumps had that wonderful innovation known as a webcam on the roof. I watched so many images from that webcam that I just had to go see the real view for myself.
As is also becoming a growing custom in the Winter Olympics, the ski jumps – in fact, a lot of the skiing venues – aren’t in the host city. Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of Olympic-level ski hills in most metropolitan downtown areas. Instead, they are at a small ski village a short bus ride from town. And Nagano was no exception. The ski jump towers were in a small village called Hakuba. On this day, I would venture deep into the mountains to Hakuba.
Continue reading Untold Tales of Japan: Nagano – Part II
I’ve loved the Olympics. I have for a long time. And all those Olympic host cities always seemed in such distant, exotic locations. When I first set out from Omiya to Kumagaya, I was stunned at the name of the rail line: the Nagano Line. The Nagano Winter Olympics were a mere 4 years earlier, and they were still fresh in my mind. And now, to be living in a city so close to them, just a quick ride on the bullet train, it blew my mind. After I spent my first week in Kumagaya and got settled into the new job and my new apartment, I made a solemn vow. I would go to Nagano.
It was a sentiment easier stated than done. I thought I would do it on a long weekend. Head out on the Saturday, see the sights on the Sunday, and come back on the Monday. But, with the way my hours were arranged, long weekends were few and far between. And for my big vacations – whole weeks off – I decided to waste those going to the farthest reaches of Japan. But I knew that, before my time in Japan was done, I’d be going to Nagano.
Continue reading Untold Tales of Japan: Nagano
Do you know what the number one fear is among Americans? No, it’s not death. Death is number two. Number one is public speaking. Do you know what that means? At a funeral, more people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy. – Jerry Seinfeld
My parents, upstanding citizens of the community that they are, are currently in the throes of judging the local 4H speech competitions. I guess speech giving is a big part of 4H. As my parents sit over the dinner table and compare notes about the weekend’s speeches, it’s gotten me to reminiscing about my own time taking part in speech competitions. It makes me go down to my room and dig out the one and only award I’ve ever one for my speeches.
Continue reading Good Evening Madame Chairman, Honourable Judges, Ladies and Gentlemen
It’s kind of weird what we associate happy childhood memories with. We could be cleaning out our closets and come across some raggedy old piece of clothing and suddenly we’re having a scene right out of a chick flick where we remember that incident from that summer. Having once been a child myself, I do have my fair share of childhood memories. And there’s this one I’ve been having quite often of late. Working in the oilpatch with my Dad, I end up driving by it many, many times. Of course, we don’t stop in anymore, mainly because our business takes us elsewhere, or the lure of the greater services in Edson just causes to keep on driving. I’m talking about the Edson Rest Stop.
Continue reading Rest Stop
I hope I’m never murdered. A common sentiment, to be sure, but its one I’m having more often thanks to the spate of police procedurals on TV. I turned to my parents and expressed this sentiment out loud during a recent episode of CSI: Miami. See, our heroes needed to know what kind of weapon was used to crack the skull of our murder victim. And, in order to do that, they needed to see exactly how the skull was fractured. The coroner then severed the murder victim’s head, dropped it in a pot of water, and proceeded to boil off all the flesh. Of course, we didn’t actually see the head get severed and dropped into the water. What we saw on screen was one character enter the room, see the pot of water, and make a comment like, “Making soup?” The coroner then lifted out the severed head with the flesh half-boiled off and presented the explanation I just gave to you. Needles to say, it was rather disgusting.
Continue reading Blood & Guts
Never Take a Shit While Stoned
In the interview with Kevin Smith in that morning’s paper, and even on the Evening with Kevin Smith DVD, Smith mentioned that one question he’s always asked in these shows that he’s getting really sick of being asked is, “Wanna go get high after the show?” And, lo and behold, he was asked. The guy who asked was booed with angry shouts of, “Don’t ask questions that he answers on the DVD!” But, you know, Smith politely declined, and then launched into a long, meandering tale of the last time he got not just high, but stoned out of his fucking mind.
Continue reading MY Evening with Kevin Smith – Part 4