A New Post for Handy Solo

A friend of mine complained on my Facebook page that I never post here anymore and you know what? He’s right!
I never know what to post about. I guess since it’s season and series finale time I could post about the shows we watch and my thoughts on the finales.
Grey’s Anatomy – A shooter on the loose in the hospital. A story of a grieving husband who believes that revenge is the only way he can get any closure in his wifes death. There was a lot of violence with a lot of people dieing and even more teetering on the brink of life and death. The ending was kind of predictable but a good end to a mediocre season. At least it had about 90% less whining over relationships. Sometimes I wonder why I still watch it.
Lost – The two and a half hour finale was on last Sunday but we didn’t get to see it until Tuesday night. The six season story has finally come to an end – the main story line has been resolved, there are still many unanswered questions but I’m satisfied. As one of my friends said the finale was a definitive ending – there will be no spin-offs and no reunion episodes. After six years I am finally satisfied – and if you want to know what my theory about the finale is contact me.
How I Met Your Mother? – No major cliffhangers here but as always good entertainment. A baby may be added to the cast (will this cause a shark to be jumped?), a mistake averted due to bleached hair, a love lost and potential love rekindled next season. The only thing I hope is that in the next season they identify the mother before they run completely out of steam and get cancelled.
Big Bang Theory – Another great comedy series. The episode was good but no real cliff hanger – but I will still be watching next season.
Modern Family – If you are not watching this yet you don’t know what you are missing. It’s the new Arrested Development without the plot (meaning you can jump in at any point and watch the show – unlike AD which was one really long, amazingly awesome movie).
The Office – One of my favorite shows of all time. I love that it is syndicated like 200 times a day. The finale was no exception. Kathy Bates character of the Sabre founder Jo Bennett is priceless. And will we see the return of Holly? If so what happens to Toby? The questions!
Community – Another hillarious show. The cliff-hanger? Who will Jeff choose? Brita, the study group partner? The hot teacher? Or the twist contender at the end of the show? Can’t wait to see.
And those are the shows that we watch that have finished for the season. Shows still ongoing are Breaking Bad and Glee.
Was this adequate for you Handy Solo?

Online Presence

So my blog is being neglected and my online presence has been reduced very close to zero (except for a few comments here and there – though I swear I am still reading your blog posts). It’s unintentional. My brain just hasn’t been in the mode to string coherent sentences together into blog posts.
I also find that when I try to create a longer blog post I run out of steam half way thorugh. I have several abandoned posts that I really need to get back to.
In the meantime here is a link to a sweet video by Vampire weekend for there song “Giving Up the Gun” – featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Joe Jonas and RZA. If you don’t know Vampire Weekend you really should.

Closing Ceremonies

The first part wasn’t too bad with the hand off of the Olympic flag to Sochi, Russia was as exciting as it could be. The presentation by Sochi was amazing with the theatrics and the orchestra playing in the Red Square.
The Olympic closing ceremonies are supposed to be the shining star at the end of the games. Sadly the only shining I saw was when Neil Young and Michael J. Fox took the stage. The “musical” selections were suppose to represent the best of Canada but the majority of artists came from Ontario with absolutely no representation from Altantic Canada. The only musical acts I enjoyed were Neil Young, Alanis and K-Os. Sadly I’m not a big fan of Nickelback, Simple Plan or Avril Lavigne.
The comedic elements were a little luck lustre as well. William Shatner did a skit that was very reminisent of his “I Am Canadian” sketch but not as funny. Then Catherine O’Hara did a “Canadian’s are so humble and polite” skit which got a few giggles out of me but fell short of funny. Michael J. Fox was the only good comedian and he didn’t play the crowd for laughs but was sincere.
I don’t know how this closing ceremony compares to other closing ceremonies but I sure hope Sochi does a better job in 4 years time. Thankfully a bad closing ceremony doesn’t tarnish the performances by the world’s athletes!

Vancouver 2010

I type this 15 minutes before the 2010 Olympic closing ceremonies begins and I couldn’t be prouder of our athletes and my country!
These past two weeks of the winter Olympics have been the most memorable that I have ever witnessed. The Canadian athletes gave a phenomenal performance. Half way through the games everyone was wondering if we were even going to end up in the top 10 countries but our athletes stepped up and won medal after medal to end up 3rd overall.
With that 3rd place we have some honorable distinctions of being the country with the most gold medals (14) – this number actually means that Canada has historically won the most gold medals in this single winter olympics than any other country during a single winter olympics.
It was an amazing games and I’m saddened that it ends tonight.
Thank you British Columbia for hosting these Olympics. We know it didn’t go perfect but they are a games I won’t soon forget.
And thank you to the athletes from all countries. Even if you didn’t win a medal you are still winners for being world-class athletes! Keep skating, skiing, curling, luging, sledding, and everything else you do! Can’t wait for the next games

Mr. Buttons

Mister Buttons

Originally uploaded by firda

My parent’s dog, Buttons, passed away today. He was only four days shy of 16 years old.
While he wasn’t a “childhood” dog for me he did hold a special place in my heart. Before he was my parents dog he was my maternal grandmother’s dog. When she passed away my parents decided to take Mr. Buttons in. I believe he was around 6 years old when my parents took him in.
He had been having a hard time for the past couple of months. Having spells where he couldn’t maintain his balance. The vets weren’t sure what was causing these spells. Today something different happened. He started wheezing and struggling to breathe. They had an appointment with the vet around 11:30 today – but Mr. Buttons couldn’t hold on and passed away on the way to the vet.

2010 – Here you are!

Happy New Years! 2010 is here! A new year! New possibilities!
How did everyone spend there new years? We hung out with a group of friends in Guelph, Ontario. It was good times hanging out with people we haven’t hung with in while. It was so good that we didn’t get to bed until 3 a.m. in the morning. That doesn’t happen all that often anymore! We spent the night with our friends SMooSH and Loba in Guelph which was very nice of them to let us stay at their place.
New Year’s Day we headed down to my brother and sister-in-laws house for our niece’s first birthday. Even though we were super tired we still had a good time. In the last couple of months my niece’s personality has really started to shine – she has also gotten to the point where she is understanding words and actions.
The day after New Year’s Day we spent shopping – mostly thrift stores. We returned a board game present (which we got doubles of) and picked up another board game called Zooloretto (which is quite simplistic but a lot of fun), I also picked up an XBOX 360 to complete the trifecta of next gen consoles. If you have an XBOX 360 add me to your friend list – my handle is “ForestPirate”.
Well off to enjoy the last day before I head back to work!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!
Firda and I just got back from my parents place earlier today. We spent the past couple days (since Christmas Eve) with my parents. We had a good time with the family – it would have been great if we both weren’t battling a flu/cold. We are feeling much better today though still quite drained.
So how was everyone’s Christmas? Did you all make out like bandits? We did pretty good this year. Video games, books, board games (Ticket to Ride, Dominion: Intrigue, Dominion: Seaside and the Agricola Expansion), a heating blanket (to preheat our bed before we jump into it), a dining room table (used from Kijiji) and a bunch of clothing.
It was also my niece’s first Christmas. I think she enjoyed it – though she had to take a nap half way through the present opening. She turns 1 on New Years Day so we are planning to go down there for the party.
What else? We say the Olympic Flame come through Stratford today. We just got into town and had to park on a side street (since the relay route passed in front of our house). We had about a 10 minute wait since we got home and they ran by. It was a “blink and you’ll miss it” type event but interesting to see nonetheless.
I also had a chance to do out for dinner with a bunch of old friends I haven’t seen in a while including two dear friend who live in England now (Kaley and Nasser), two friends from Toronto who we haven’t seen since likely the summer (Caiti and Ian), and my best bud Joe and the always cantankerous Tom 🙂 Sadly Firda didn’t feel well enough to join us but we had fun.
Well it’s off to play Ratchet and Clank now! Happy Holidays everyone!

A Trip to the Middle of Nowhere

I’m sad that Sunday is almost at it’s end. It feels like my weekend just started. Oh wait – it did just start. Why you ask? I was up in Northern Ontario from Thursday afternoon until Saturday night. For work of course.
Our client called us on Thursday morning to see if we could be on-site on Friday. After a rather frantic Thursday morning (buying plane tickets, reserving rooms, renting cars etc.) I flew out on Toronto for Thunder Bay at 2:30. I grabbed my rental car and drove 1.5 hours to my first motel in Nipigon.
The motel was relatively nice, in that it had a bed and a bathroom. It also had paper thin walls so I could hear the neighbours TV – even though it wasn’t overly loud. Since myself and the gentleman next door were the only two renting rooms at the motel I asked the motel owner if I could move a couple of doors down. He graciously allowed me to move from my single room to a double bed room several doors down.
The next morning I woke up and got on the road quite early. I had a 5.5 hour drive to get to our client site and I needed to be there by noon. The drive basically consisted of driving east for 4 hours and then north for 1.5 hours. The east part wasn’t too bad – the roads were clear and the driving was easy. The north part kind of sucked. Apparently it snowed the night before and the roads were still kind of messy. I took it slow but I still made it to the site 15 minutes before noon. One of the highlights of the drive (other than the beautiful scenery) was the “no gas station for 97 kilometers” sign when I turned onto the north highway.
I spent the night in the only motel in town, which was actually in a “mall”. I use the term “mall” very loosely, but it was a mall. The mall had the motel, a liquor store (LCBO), variety store, library, community swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar and I believe there may some government administation offices (though I’m not sure). It was an interesting atmosphere since everyone seemed to know everyone else. It was a nice enough motel – the room was super warm but I had a good sleep and that was the most important thing.
Saturday morning I got up – hit the road and got back to Thunder Bay in about 5.5 hours. The road conditions had approved greatly since the day before so I made good time. I arrived in Thunder Bay around 1 pm and had a little bit of time to check out the town. I stopped at the Terry Fox Memorial just outside of town which was very nice.
For those of you who do not know Terry Fox, he is a Canadian icon. He was diagnosed with cancer in his teens and lost a leg to cancer. In 1980 he decided to start his “Marathon of Hope” while his cancer was in remission. The Marathon of Hope was a cross-country run to increase cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research. He started his run in St John’s, Newfoundland and made it through five provinces and 5,373 kilometers before his cancer returned and he had to quit the marathon. His plans were to continue when he got better but sadly he passed away in 1981 from pneumonia. Every year the “Terry Fox Run” events take place all over Canada to raise money for cancer research and to continue the legacy started by Terry Fox.
Back to my story. I jumped on my plane back to Toronto at 4:55 pm – the flight took around 1.5 hours and I was home by 8:30. It was good to be home, but sadly I had missed most of the weekend by then. If it was possible I would have taken a day off this week but alas things are really busy right now and there is no way I can do that.
Oh well. Hopefully I will have some time off around Christmas (other than Christmas Day and Boxing Day) but I’m not really counting on it.

15 Movies that Stick With Me

(A quick meme – stolen from Nikki on Facebook.)
Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you’ve seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
1. Donnie Darko
2. Dance Me Outside
3. Requiem for a Dream
4. Best in Show
5. Brewster’s Millions
6. Ravenous
7. Highway 61
8. A Mighty Wind
9. Hard Core Logo
10. Dancer in the Dark
11. The Fox and the Hound
12. Monsters Inc.
13. Evil Dead 2
14. Army of Darkness
15. Amelie