Archive for December, 2008
Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
With the latest dumping of Mother Nature in our fair city, snow shovels are a hot commodity.
What I will not be purchasing anytime soon are the electric snow shovel or the heated snow shovel. If you’re going to splurge, opt for a real snowblower, not some spade that plugs into the side of your house. Those might work in Vegas or possibly Vancouver but here in Canada’s Winter Wonderland, we should know better.
Much like mittens and touques, snowblowers are a staple of Canadian culture. And with the exception of the odd freak accident where one may lose a finger to the snow auger portion of the blower, the best part of the snowblower is the option of being able to douse the neighbor’s driveway with a rotation of the snow chute. Add to that, any piece of equipment that incorporates tire chains have my rubber stamp of approval
I do like the idea of a neighborhood snowblower though. Basically, if you know your neighbors well enough to have a beer with them, there’s a chance that if you team up with 5 or 6 dudes from down the street, you all may want to invest in a community snowblower. Take turns cleaning up the neighborhood and the last guy to leave the ‘hood gets the snowblower.
Monday, December 29th, 2008
I consider myself to be very open minded, a little too open minded sometimes. Like all of us however, we draw the line somwhere and I’d like to spend a minute or two about crossing that line.
Niki informed me this morning that her ‘new guy’ met the parents over the holidays. He must have made a great impression because they shared the same room during his stay. Now maybe where you come from that’s all fine and good but if I brought a girl over to the parent’s pad, it was a given that she would be sleeping in the spare bedroom with the squeaky floorboards and the broken door that doesn’t shut while I would spend my night as far away from said girl as possible. This was the law at the farm back in ‘Toba.
What you did on your own time couldn’t be controlled by ma and pa but as long as you were under their roof, it was their way or no way. I agreed with that rule then and while I may not have any kids, I still agree with that form of mentality now.
I’m reminded of a certain Aretha Franklin song and while I’m sure Niki and New Guy respect their folks, it only hits home further that the older I get, the more things change.
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
Well, I think I’ve finally done it right this time. After years of dealing with relatives and too close for comfort conditions, I may have stumbled upon a positive solution; that of the hotel.
No more sleeping on that piece of crap couch while Uncle Reg sleeps in my bed. No more of relinquishing of the remote control so Aunty Doris can get her fill of Coronation Street.
Instead, I will be traveling to the folk’s hotel room. Room service, a lounge not too far away, a hot tub, pool and even gambling are all options, options that do not see the light of day at my pad.
And then when I’ve got my fill of the relatives, I can still find peace and solace in the confines of my quiet home. It’s a win-win situation.
Monday, December 22nd, 2008
The wooden tobaggan, crazy carpets, snow racers, all fine products for racing down hills covered in snow however are they worthy of being dubbed the ‘fastest toboggan on the hill’?
The answer has yet to be determined but one point was definitely made on the show this morning, the fact that us ‘grown ups’ still have a trick or two up our fleece covered arm.
And then we heard from the true prairie toboggan vets, like the dude who who nailed a 2×4 to a dozen single skis and called that a toboggan. Or the cat that sprays down the bottom of his ride with cooking oil to get all the speed he can.
Of course no toboggan story would be complete without hearing from the farming contingent where tractor inner tubes and grain shovels make for a fast ride. (and one of my personal favorites by the way)
Now if you don’t have a toboggan you still weren’t out of luck. Canoes, car hoods and even waxed pieces of cardboard can carry you through to the bottom of the hill.
Personally, I’m still opting for the 3 person wooden toboggan, complete with a thin layer of Pam/ski wax on those runners, after it’s been sanded down of course.
Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
Aside from my co-host Niki who still believes that no human would be willing to live to here during our winters, compared to yesterday, today is like a day at the beach.
Really, after our 60 year record breaker of -50 C, I’m almost positive I saw a guy in his Speedo shovelling the walk this morning, enjoying our -20 C day.
It’s funny that when summer comes to an end and we experience our 1st fall day, we’re all cold. I’m talking losing the dentures on the kitchen floor kind of cold. Within a day or two, we, as a people, have acclimatized to such temperatures.
And winter is no different. After being blessed with little to no ‘loss of extremity’ weather, those first couple of -8 C days seem like the last scene from ‘Day After Tomorrow’.
After experiencing -50 C yesterday, I say ‘bring it’. We’re ready for you Mother Nature and if anything, we can walk proud knowing we have endured a true Prairie winter. (until the next snowstorm hits of course)
Monday, December 15th, 2008
You know how the red carpet is rolled out for big events and the question on everyone’s mind is, ‘Who are you wearing’?
Well, I think one of the reasons no fancy shindigs like the Grammy’s are held north of the 49th parrallel is for the sole purpose that no one has created a line of fashionable winter clothing.
Walking my dog the last couple of days I’ve seen nothing but furry winter parkas, bulky snowboots, wool mittens and pletheras of plaid but not a single individual wearing 3 inch lifts and an original Vercase. I know, weird and yet I wouldn’t want it any other way as the majority of my wardrobe ironically, does consist of plaid. (summer and winter wear)
And aside from an incredible urge to stick my tongue to anything metal these days, I’m pleased at the thought of digging out my snowshoes and partaking in some winter activities, like adding Bailey’s to my coffee for example.
I will admit that winter is my all time favorite season but with the Gas City breaking an official record that has stood the test of time since 1948, temps of -50 C are even a little too cold for me.
Friday, December 12th, 2008
I’m anticipating this weekend of cold weather for a few reasons.
1. Fleece clothing always feels better when it’s -27 outside.
2. Bailey’s always tastes better in your coffee when it’s -27 outside.
3. It’s a great opportunity to re-watch my collection of Eastwood westerns when it’s -27 outside.
4. The parks and sidewalks are yours to call your own when it’s -27 outside.
5. The scent of a warm car actually smells good when it’s -27 outside.
6. It gives a guy a real opportunity to wear his mad trapper’s fur hat when it’s -27 outside.
7. Unlike when temps hit +27, a dude can always add on another layer of clothing when it’s -27 outside.
I could go on and talk about curling, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, pond hockey but I’ll just stop here as it will take me the rest of the day to dress for the cold.
Monday, December 8th, 2008
I love that snow, man. (no pun intended) Winter is my favorite season and with the dump of everything winter yesterday, it was a great feeling to sit in the living room and anticipate the shoveling of the driveway. (really)
My neighbor’s X-mas decorations no longer look out of place but I will miss the dude who was running his sled up and down the graveled back alley, complete with sparks emanating from his skis, no longer able to wait for that first snowfall.
Hoodies and clothing made of fleece make more sense now than ever during these times of winter and I wonder how long before I see my first driver towing 40 feet or orange extension cord behind his 87’ Sprint.
This is the time of forgotten snow brushes and misplaced mittens as families trek to the garage and dig out snow shovels, sleds, skis and anything else that requires the use of a hard piece of plastic, waxed or other.
The stomping of boots can begin at front entrances everywhere and the blowing of noses before entering the mall can once again resume during our snow filled season.
The squeak of the snow under the boot, the red cheeks and flowing scarf; I’d be lost without winter.
Friday, December 5th, 2008
Here’s my personal rundown of the Top 10 albums for 2008 that have been getting the most playtime at Chez Poncho.
10. The Doors: Vinyl Box Set
Why: Not only do I love the blues guitar of Robbie and the poetry of Jim, The Doors on vinyl is the way it was meant to be heard.
09. AC/DC – Black Ice
Why: It’s rock. It’s AC/DC. Any rock lover must/will have a compilation of AC/DC music and after 8 years, I was ready for new tunage from these dinosaur rockers.
08. Scott Weiland – Happy In Galoshes
Why: It’s not a great album but I always appreciated Scott’s ability to not only rock out, but to mellow out as well.
07. Guns’n'Roses – Chinese Democracy
Why: a) after 14 years, I gotta know what it sounds like. b) Think of him what you will but the man has a voice like no other.
06. Faith No More – The Works
Why: A much underrated band in my eyes and this album is a must have for fans. Have you heard? They could be reforming!
05. The Trews – No Time For Later
Why: It’s Friday night music.
04. Matt Mays & El Torpedo – Terminal Romance
Why: This is Friday, Saturday and Sunday night music
03. David Gilmour – Live In Gdansk
Why: If I could have a beer with any single person on planet earth, it would be David Gilmour.
02. Kings of Leon – Only By The Night
Why: I’ve been a fan of these brothers for years now and so my opinion might be biased when I say that this could very well be the album of the year.
01. Metallica – Death Magnetic
Why: No reason needed.
Thursday, December 4th, 2008
I partook in 2 office X-Mas parties over the weekend and I should state for the record that I was mildly disappointed that I didn’t run into ‘that guy’. There’s a bountiful selection of ‘that guy’, some of which follows below:
*Please note that to become ‘that guy’, it’s assumed he/she has already worn out their welcome at the open bar.
1. That guy, who tells you how to do your job. It’s amazing how you can do no right in the eyes of ‘that guy’, after you’ve watched him consume the magnum of Baby Duck in 6 seconds flat. Sure, he might not have any experience in your career of choice but that doesn’t prevent him from telling you what you’re doing wrong and that if he were you, he’d show you how to do your job properly,( you slacker.)
2. That guy, who shows up early to take advantage of the open bar. This is the same dude who misses out on the office X-Mas dinner because he’s had his fill of whiskey/rye even before the sun sets at 4:30 pm and will spend the remainder of the night in the public restroom, specifically stall number #2. ‘That guy’ is under the belief that the bar will disappear into a puff of magical smoke if not taken advantage of. Expect to hear a lot of groaning, moaning, gagging and life statements that revolve around never drinking again for the rest of your life.
3. That guy, who for some reason, after chugging the entire bottle of red wine set out for the table, transforms into the ‘Lord of the Dance’. Even if no music is playing, ‘that guy’ is out on the checkered floor, tie around his head, shoes and socks shucked off, his head bobbing back and forth like’s he demonstrating a sever case of whiplash, arms and legs flailing about like he’s been set on fire. Of course in his head, he should be the winner of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and will attempt to get everyone on the dance floor before offering up a lesson on how to tango. (please see ‘that guy’ number #1)
4. That guy, who travels back in time to his grade 9 high school dance. He’s basically a walking hormone and will be looking for a hip replacement due to all the gyrating that is going on. Men, women and any pets/small animals are not safe from ‘that guy’ and he makes ‘Dirty Dancing’ look like a child’s cartoon in comparison. ‘That guy’ almost always ends up making out with the college intern while waiting for the taxi when he’s not sucking back his pack of Sportsman’s cigarettes. Even the former exotic dancer turned accountant is embarrassed from this sort of behavior.
5. That guy, who likes to get naked. It might have something to do with his apparent allergic reaction to everything made of cotton and polyester according to his girlfriend of three hours. More than likely it’s the 9 long island iced teas he drank for dessert. ‘That guy’ also falls into category ‘that guy #4’ and borders on ‘that guy #6’, which we’ll get into directly.
6. That guy, who loves ‘everyone’. It doesn’t matter if you work with ‘that guy’ or not because tonight he loves you, man. It’s important to know that by saying ‘man’ after ‘I love you’ only accentuates his love for you and everyone else in the room. This includes loving the caterers and the bingo group working the coat check.
Now I know I’ve failed to mention several other categories but hopefully this will give you a basic guide for your upcoming office X-Mas party. Ya’ gotta love the holidays.
There you have it. Some more ramblings that will more than likely never help you get that raise but it’s still not a bad way to kill some time at work.