Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shut-up you Homer!

     Homer fans are annoying.  Yes they are.  Sure they can be cute to watch as they lose all sense of reality and go berserk over a bang-bang play at first that they think the umpire has screwed their team on, but generally speaking they are annoying.  There are a number of examples other than screaming like an idiot over a close call that the other teams homer fan would have been screaming about if it had gone the other way (I hope I didn't lose anybody there).  I admit to borrowing these ideas liberally from recent readings on other blogs, but the inspiration comes from having recently attended a home game of the brand spanking new Victoria Seals baseball team.

     Another way the Homer Fan (henceforth the HF) annoys is with the "WE" factor.  This is when the HF refers to his team as "we".  As in, "we should have taken more three point shots last night".  The HF seems to mistakenly believe he/she is actually part of the team.  

     The HF annoys yet again by adopting into his heart players he couldn't stand if they were playing on another team.  Bertuzzi being a case in point.  I promise more on Bertuzzi in an upcoming blog, so if you don't know who Bertuzzi is stay tuned and if you do then prepare to nod your head in agreement.

     Last summer I spent some time at the Cape and in the Boston area.  Boston is probably has the most per capita homer fans in North America (well I can't really speak for the Mexicans, but in the U.S. and Canada).  They are so okay with homerism that they have a network there called the New England Sports Network that I took to calling the Homer Sports Network.  My god, it was awful.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bring on the Vanilla!

     This post I have a bone to pick with the Girl Guides.  No, I'm not concerned with their outdated fashion or their strange rituals.  The problem is the cookies.  

I'm a sucker for Girl Guide cookies and as an elementary teacher there is often a ready supply.  Smart sales girls have been known to hit me up for a half dozen boxes.  The thing is, I really only like the vanilla cookies.  

If you're not familiar with Girl Guide cookies (perhaps you've been living on Mars), they come with two rows of cookies.  One is vanilla and the other is chocolate.  Generally speaking I'm a chocolate guy, but not with these cookies.  The vanilla are scrumptious, while the chocolate are mildly disappointing.

For years now I have been asking my contacts in the Girl Guides to let the higher ups know that they should offer all vanilla packs.  I have gotten nowhere with these low level lackeys and remain annoyed at having to eat or give away half of the cookies in the box just to enjoy the ones I really want to eat.  If you're listening grand poobah of the Girl Guides, please, please, offer us the cookies we really crave.  And for god's sake, I don't mean those mint ones you've tried to foist upon us in recent years.  Bring on the vanilla!

     Speaking of cookies...  The missus has a weakness for cookies and when we were a young couple she didn't like me to buy cookies.  Now she is outvoted by our two teenage boys and there are plenty of cookies around.  But back in the day, I used to like to have a cookie every now and then, but if I did buy cookies she would eat most of them before I'd gotten the chance to enjoy many at my much slower rate of consumption.

     So what did Little Jackie Showers do?  I hid them in the kitchen drapes.  You could see them hanging up there above the sink if you looked up, but nobody every looks up.  Especially not the missus it turns out.  I was able to enjoy those Fudge'O's for the next three months.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Radar Said No and You Can Too!

     Tattoos are mildly annoying at times.  Sometimes they can be cute, sexy, or inoffensive.  Other times they score high on my Annoyance Meter (soon available in fine retail stores).  Why do they annoy you Gramps, you ask?  Well let me tell ya.

     First off the tattoo fad has been going on for awhile now, but not as long as the young people may think.  About 25 years ago the only people with tattoos were ex-Navy guys or bikers.  It was definitely not a cool thing to do.  Unless of course you thought being in a biker gang was cool.  Somewhere along the line most of these tattoos became old news and the young folks didn't know about them and tattoos became cutting edge fashion.  Now most youngsters are sporting them.  Even my younger brother has one and he's not so young.  

So what you say? Well, I remember the M.A.S.H. episode in which Radar wants to get a tattoo and he is talked out of it.  It was very educational and had plenty of good reasons why you shouldn't get a tattoo.  So there.

     What really bugs me about tattoos is not the odd little tattoo someone is sporting.  It's when the tattoos start to dominate the human canvas.  What's with covering oneself in the damn 
things.  It really looks silly to me and I'm sorry, annoying.  Beats those piercings though.

     I have no tattoo anecdotes other than I learned tonight that tattoo has three t's and not just two.  Who knew?  Good thing the spell check caught it for me.  Would have been two misspellings in a week!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's the Scoop on Scoops?

     More on the topic of ice cream tonight.  Might as well milk the topic while I'm on it.  Wouldn't want someone else to get the scoop on me when it comes to ice cream annoyances.  

My youngest son rightly pointed out to me after our weekend ice cream experience that a scoop is not a scoop and this can lead to confusion amongst the ice cream buying populace.  Shame, shame.  How is the customer supposed to get a handle on the ice cream quantity when a scoop is not a scoop.  Now, some ice cream places (mostly gelato or Baskin Robbins) actually mean a scoop when the say a scoop.  And that's a rip-off, which would explain why you don't see many Baskin Robbins around anymore.  You might not recall, but they used to weigh the cone to make sure they were giving just the right amount.  Talk about chintzy.

     So, I'm not complaining that ice cream joints mostly give more than a scoop when you order a scoop (in fact I'd estimate the average to be about three scoops to make a "scoop"), but maybe they should just call it small, medium, and large.  Or one ball of ice cream, two balls or three.  

     Enough about ice cream.  Spring is in the air and the flowers are all in bloom.  You know, I've lived in Victoria all my life.  What is Victoria's most famous attraction?  Why Butchard Gardens of course.  As a life-long Victorian, certainly I've been to Butchard Gardens. 
It only took till I was twenty-two to go the first time and that was because a friend of a friend was visiting from Quebec and wanted to see it.  Awww, flowers.  Who needs them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We All Scream for Ice Cream

It's the long weekend and I don't have to work tomorrow! And today I had ice cream. Not in a bowl at home, but out with family and friends at a cone place. On a hot day, the ice cream cone joint is always ahopping and this was no exception for us. We all enjoyed our ice cream experience, but it did get me to thinking...

We last dealt with the grocery store line-up and people weaseling their way into the express line. When it comes to line-ups, why is there no standard protocol? There's the grocery store guess-the-fastest-cashier method (also used at McDonalds and A&W). There's the bank line-up method in which there is one line and when a teller becomes available the next person in line gets helped (used by Wendy's and Tim Hortons). Meat fans will be familiar with the deli method of taking a number (not used by any fast food joints). Lastly there is the free-for-all method favoured strangely by ice cream counters. This is when it comes down to who catches the employee's attention first gets the attention first (also in use at Cob's bread).

Seems to me we should reach some consensus on this whole line-up thing and whenever possible use the methods that are clearly fairer and less annoying. I say we go with the bank method except where we need to view the product options carefully (the deli, butcher shop, or ice cream place for example) and in those cases we try and be civil and let the person who has been there longer than us get served before us. And boo the weasels who try and get the cone guy to scoop their cone before their turn.

Now a story about ice cream...

Most people get pretty excited about cone places that really pile it on the cone. Those where the definition of a single scoop is stretched to the breaking point. So it was with me, as I stopped for ice cream on the way home from work one day. I excitedly brought the cone back to my car and began the drive home on what was a very windy road.

Now the top of this cone was massive and the bottom was just one of those regular type ice cream cones that you can buy out of a box at the grocery store. About three corners into my trip it was a hard turn to the left. That was it for the cone as the gravitation forces snapped the top off and sent the ice cream portion flying to the floor on the passenger side and left me holding the empty bottom of the cone. Another lesson learned about greed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Boo to the Wienees

     One of my loyal readers tossed out this annoyance for me to run with (other requests are welcome).  The person in the grocery express lane who goes over the limit.  Bastards!  Or maybe wienees is a better term.  Where's the sense of fair play?  Where's the respect for your fellow shopper?  How selfish is this behaviour?  Or can some people just not count?

     For those of you who aren't sure what I'm talking about, let me explain.  Grocery stores have express tills where you can go if you have ten items or less (I know it should be "fewer", but the signs usually say less).  Sometimes it is twelve or some other number.  Some people get in line with more than ten.  Sure, maybe if you've got a couple over you just weren't sure until you laid them out on the till, but if you're way over then you're damn well cheating.  Most grocery stores are reluctant to call their customers on this.  I say, we start booing them.

     Speaking of grocery stores, at my local store they have one of those crab tanks.  I like looking at the crabs.  Sometimes one crab will be making a darn good effort to escape the tank. His claw will be hanging on to the upper edge of the tank wall and it seems he just might be able to pull himself up and over.  I often stand waiting to see if it can be done.  I haven't seen it yet, but some day...  Some day a crab will launch itself out and on to the freedom of the fish department floor!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's Have More News That's Fit to Print

    The news can sure be annoying.  I like to read the newspaper and try to do it every day.  I watch the CBC National quite often too.  Some of this news is well done, but there sure is a lot of crap.  Which part is the crap?  I'd say the overblown, sensationalized, and only scratch the surface stuff.  Election coverage is the most obvious culprit, but in B.C.'s current election the Swine Flu has been competing for the worst news coverage.

     I suppose the populace is to blame for such things.  If the superficial is what people watch then the superficial is what we'll get.  Or maybe the superficial is just cheaper to produce.  As I'm writing this I'm enjoying some nice pork chow mien.  Those pigs don's scare me.  At least not yet.  Same with SARS, killer bees, and earthquakes.  Crosswalks on the other hand I worry about.  

     Yes, we should be prepared for such problems as a flu epidemic and we should put resources into being prepared for it.  I'm not sure we need to report on it like it's some killer virus like those in the movies.  Let's keep a sense of perspective and a sense of how much news space should go to such a thing.  Maybe if more news effort was put into how to prepare for the pandemic than reporting on the panicdemic we'd all be better off.

     My flu anecdote...

     My father rarely missed work because of illness.  In fact he probably didn't miss any days most years.  One year though he caught a bad flew bug and was at home for a whole week.  My mother had a rare cure for his illness.  She went out and bought a color TV to replace our black and white.  The cure worked wonders and Dad was back on his feet in no time.  It's hard to believe that I was a black and white TV kid.  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Please Shine Down on Me.

     I hate camping in the rain.  I like camping. Especially the part where I stare into the campfire and drift off into another dimension.  But if it is raining then camping is like prison.  I've tried the tarp thing and it doesn't work for me.  Just thought I'd share that little annoyance with you today.

     And before you start chirping in, you anti-campite bastards, I also find it annoying when people dump on the idea of camping.  That's right, no smores for you!

     One time when the kids were young, me and the missus went on a camping trip on the Sunshine Coast.  On the last night of the trip we were heading into a campground in Powell River.  It started to rain just when we arrived.  We got the tent up fairly quickly and the family disappeared inside as I began putting up the tarp.  

     It started to rain really heavily about this time.  I mean it was coming down in a sheet and I was battling with the tarp and getting soaked to the skin.  After a few minutes of this I announced I was giving up and we bugged out and left the tent behind to weather the storm.  We drove into town and found a hotel room.  Soon the sun came out and we lucked out because there was a festival in town.  The Blackberry Festival.  A good time was had by all and we got a good nights sleep in the hotel that night.

     Oh, did I mention I don't like camping in a tent either...  The ground is kind of hard.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Never Leave on Today, What You Don't Want to Turn Off Tomorrow.

     Hey kids, how's it going?  I am happy to report that the Sunshine Breakfast poll is proving that the silent majority want their Sunshine Breakfast back.  I didn't get to have the Sunshine Breakfast on my recent ferry trip and had to settle for the buffet instead.  No annoyances to report from the buffet, but I can't say I was thrilled.  As for anecdotes, there was the chubby kid sitting next to me drinking a coke with his breakfast.  But on to new things...

    Here's something that has always annoyed me, but until recently I didn't really grasp just how much.  It is the habit of programs to show the audience whenever someone on the show says something funny.  It's like the comment or joke can't stand on its own two feet.  I have to be shown how other people think it is funny, just in case I need more reassurance that it is okay to laugh and that I should be finding the program highly amusing.

     This all came to a head for me when I was recently watching a self-help type DVD (yes, Little Jackie Showers was in need of some help) and the speaker on the program was making the odd cute aside and they'd always cut to the audience.  Funnily enough as the program wore on they cut to the audience at other times as well and I could tell that the audience, like me, was not quite buying what this guy was selling.    Now that was funny.

     Tonight's anecdote is from the world of barbecuing and is meant as a safety reminder at this time of year.  One night I was barbecuing and when I finished there were quite a bit of meaty bits left on the grill that had come off the main meat chunks when they had been removed from the BBQ (perhaps a little Olive oil would have helped).  I decided I would leave the barbecue on a little while to burn off these remnants and come back out and turn it off later.  Well later turned out the be the next morning when the missus happened by the barbecue.  It was pretty damn hot by then.  Thankfully it was only the barbecue that was hot and not the flaming wreck of my house.