Posted on July 1st, 2017
Well, hey there... it's Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation!
Many congratulations to our lovely neighbor to the north...
And thank you for not taking a cue from your confused neighbors to the south and building a wall to keep us out. I don't know what I'd do without an occasional bag of TimBits.
Posted on November 4th, 2015
I loathe most all politicians.
Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part I find them to be arrogant assholes who have zero interest in actually representing the people they have been elected to represent. There's always an agenda... usually dictated by lobbyist money... and their only goal is re-election.
Which is why seeing somebody actually try to buck the system is so heartwarming.
Against my better judgement, I like this new Prime Minister of Canada...
If only the USA had anybody in our presidential race that even pretended to give this much of a shit.
Posted on October 18th, 2015
Let's get ready to rumble, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Canadia. Best of luck to our friends to the Great White North on their Prime Minister election. Will ten long years of Stephen Harper douchebaggery be enough? Guess we'll find out.
• Feels. ZOMG. Kitten raised with ferrets thinks she's a ferret!
Photo by MichaelMankus.
• Future? Now incredibly sad at how badly our once-promising future has so severely missed the mark...
I can only guess that Biff Tannen has created an alternate 1985 that turned into this pile of shit.
• Fleeced. Yet another terrific article tearing down Carly Fiorina's carefully constructed (and wholly hysterical) façade that she's some kind of awesome businesswoman that's fit to be president...
Photo by Justin Sullivan and Getty Images.
All hail to Jobs!
• Duty! The Duggar clan is a never-ending fountain of wisdom that just keeps giving. Apparently men are merely sexual animals with absolutely no rational thought when it comes to getting the sex they need. Yes, NEED. They will die without it. Or cheat on you. Regardless, it's all your fault. So if you have a headache, you just need to buck up and fuck your husband before something terrible happens. If you don't, that would make you a murderer... or single... or both. It's not your man's fault that you are physically and mentally exhausted. So don't you dare put that on him. He doesn't need to deal with it and he is mentally unable to understand it. Slam a 5-Hour Energy and fuck your husband. Stabbed in the eye with a fork? Throw on an eyepatch and fuck your husband. Nine months pregnant? Fuck your husband. Get shot foiling a bank robbery? Fuck your husband. Bad hair day? Make yourself presentable THEN fuck your husband. Because men? Men simply cannot process the alternative. And shame on you for even thinking that they should have to.
• Wonder? And I thought the David E. Kelley's 2011 Wonder Woman pilot was heinous crap. This... this... has to be the most horrendous take on the character possible...
Thank God Lynda Carter came along in 1975 to give us a Wonder Woman that still holds hop even today. Lyda Carter was Wonder Woman. Still is. Probably always will be.
And... time for bed. Sundays make me sleepy.
Posted on April 21st, 2015
I had such grand ambitions this morning... my flight didn't leave until 1:15pm, after all. Plenty of time to wake up early and wander around downtown Vancouver on this beautiful day.
But instead I worked in my hotel room right up until I had to leave for the airport.
Oh well. I had some leftover Timbits for breakfast in bed, so there's that.
Unlike the horrendous ordeal I had to endure getting into Canada, getting back to the US was a piece of cake. I pre-cleared customs before I even get on the plane in Vancouver. Which meant I could just stroll off the plane to the food court at SeaTac for some Qdoba before my connecting flight home.
Which was a piece of cake.
Posted on April 20th, 2015
And so I'm leaving a place where recreational marijuana is legal to a place where it is illegal on 4/20. I'm guessing this is ironic. Except Alanis Morissette, though Canadian, doesn't actually live in Canada for me to ask (DOUBLE irony? I dunno).
The flight to Vancouver, BC was uneventful. What happened when I landed was anything but.
I'm getting ahead of myself though.
I've been to Canada many, many times. Mostly after driving across the border, which has never been a problem. I've also flown into Toronto a couple times without incident. But flying into Vancouver? I'm now four for four on getting completely screwed by immigration and customs.
After arriving at the border agent's podium, I got the usual round of questions. Why are you here? Have you been here before? Who are you meeting? Where are you going? What do you do for a living? Etc. Etc. Etc.
No matter how I answer, I always get routed to customs. Apparently a graphic designer who is a Hard Rock collector in town to visit a casino and have dinner with a friend is highly suspicious. It doesn't matter than I have a hotel reservation. It doesn't matter that the only thing I'm bringing into the country is a change of underwear, a fresh shirt, my laptop, and an iPhone. It doesn't matter than I have a return ticket for the next day. It doesn't even matter that my double-passport book is packed to the rafters with entry/exit stamps and a wad of visas marking me as a frequent traveler.
My entry card gets marked like this...
I have no idea what "682" means. I think it probably goes like this...
Or something like that.
And so off I go.
Despite a line of 17 people, there are only three desks open. The first is occupied by a guy from China who thought he could just show up in Canada and go to school. The officer in charge of his case makes it known in no uncertain terms that he is mistaken. "There's a right way to do this, and you've done everything wrong!" After some back in forth, the officer grows impatient and starts threatening the guy with a stay in their jail. Over an hour of questions and typing later, the Chinese man is released and allowed to spend the night in the city... but if he doesn't return by 11:00 to arrange his flight back home, a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
The third desk is occupied by a guy who apparently just wants to visit the province for a month. For this he ends up having to unpack his three large suitcases to the last sock and answer question after question after question for over an hour.
The second desk is the only one moving people through. Albeit very, very slowly.
On occasion a random officer will show up and pull somebody out of line that they consider an easy interview. This moves the line forward, but any progress is ruined by people showing up in a second line on the opposite side of the building and jumping in line ahead of people who have been waiting for 40 minutes or longer.
Eventually I was called out by a random officer... but only after an hour and fifteen minutes of waiting. I then had to explain my situation, again, and stand there for fifteen additional minutes while the officer went into another room and did whatever she had to do with my passport. It probably wouldn't have taken that long, but she had to joke around with other officers there about how long the line was. Nice.
All told, I was stuck in customs for just over and hour-and-a-half.
For an hour visit to a casino over a stay that's less than 22 hours.
I don't doubt the need for all of this drama. On the contrary, protecting your borders is a very important job that deserves a serious amount of care. The results could be catastrophic if you don't.
But the way it's handled is abysmal. Indeed, it's the worst of any country I have visited. Ever. Excessive wait times, gross understaffing for the volume of people, and unfair line-jumping is not the impression you should be making on your guests.
A 30-minute ride on the SkyTrain and I'm at my downtown hotel. An hour ride on the Expo Line followed by a bus transfer and I'm at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver that's actually not in Vancouver, it's in Coquitlam...
By joining their Players Club, I get $10 in free slots money. It's blown through in two minutes playing a slot machine I can really plug my hair into...
Time for pins at the Rock Shop (which is very nice, by the way...
The main bar is called "Asylum," which feels kinda forced, but looks pretty...
There's a surprising amount of memorabilia awaiting you. And it's some really good stuff too. The problem is that the casino is kinda big, so the artifacts are ultimately rather sparse. The clustered memorabilia in showcases is really cool though...
There is no Hard Rock Cafe on the property. The people responsible for the place only have a license for hotels and casinos West of the Mississippi. Because of that, your Hard Rock Rewards card/points are useless. They don't even give you an AAA/CAA discount. If you sign up for the player's club (Free!) you do get a 10% discount on everything, however, which is nice.
I ended up eating at their burger joint. The veggie burger I had was a bit bland, but perfectly edible. The fries, unfortunately, were undercooked and oversalted, which meant most of them ended up in the garbage.
On the hour-ride back to town I saw the old Expo 86 dome, which looks pretty much as it did back when the World's Fair was going on...
Here it is in 1986...
After arriving back in Vancouver proper, I stopped at Tim Hortons' for some Timbits and a Coke. Because no visit to Canada is complete without Timbits!
And that was that. I'll spend the rest of my evening working, then head back home in the morning.
Hard Rock No. 164 accomplished! It was probably mostly worth the trouble to visit.
Posted on July 1st, 2013
Ooh! Today was Canada Day!
Apparently "Canada Day" is declared as such because July 1st is the anniversary date of the day when three North American colonies were super-glued together to form "Canada" in 1867. It seems a little unfair that there's no USA Day today. Instead we get Independence Day in three days and a newspaper called USA Today. I guess that's a fair trade.
In honor of The Great White North's special day, I've decided to re-print my "Canada Travel Journal" from 2009. Which, in turn, is a re-print of a guest-post I made for my Canadian compadre, LeSombre (whose blog is apparently down right now?).
And so, without further ado, here's my trips to Canada...
So congrats to our neighbor to the north, and here's to many happy Canada Days to come.
Posted on July 1st, 2012
There's a heatwave plaguing the nation! Well, not here, really, but most places in the USA. Though it is supposed to get up to 90° next week. Guess that means it's time for my American readers to park themselves next to an air conditioner... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Canada! Happy Canada Day to our lovely neighbors to the north!
• Hadia Gwaii! And speaking of Canada... one of my favorite travel blogs, Everything Everywhere, recently landed on a place I have long wanted to visit, Hadia Gwaii. Gary's 8 Things You Might Not Have Known About Hadia Gwaii just makes me want to go even more. Sure it's less than 600 miles northwest of Seattle, but getting there is not easy. There's a ferry that runs out of Prince Rupert, but you've got to drive 1000 miles to get there...
Map courtesy of Google Maps.
That's a 7-hour ferry ride after a 21-hour drive. Not really a great option for me. I'd rather fly to Vancouver, then transfer to a connecting flight to Sandspit... at a cost of about $1000. Yikes. Maybe an entire day driving wouldn't be so bad if I did a stopover in Prince George or something. But, given the price of gas, maybe the $1000 flight isn't so horrible after all? I dunno. If you want to see a little of why I want to go there, here's a Hadia Gwaii info site.
• Oatmeal! Matt Inman, creator of some of the funniest stuff on the internet you will ever see over at The Oatmeal, has been embroiled in a stupid, stupid lawsuit. What's particularly stupid is that he was first sued because somebody STOLE HIS WORK... and then again BECAUSE HE TURNED THE DUMB-FUCK LAWSUIT INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO RAISE $220,000 FOR CHARITY. Yes, he was sued for raising money for the National Wildlife Foundation and the American Cancer Society with OPERATION BEAR LOVE GOOD, CANCER BAD...
Now, as somebody who has been threatened with absurd legal action more than once for the crazy stuff I've published on my blog, I have a low tolerance for ridiculous crap like this. If there's any justice in the world, douchebag lawyer Charles Carreon will end up paying all the legal fees for filing this bullshit in the first place... right after his lawsuits are dismissed for being STUPID. Anybody wanting to see what's going to cause the downfall of this country need look no further than our legal system's frivolous lawsuits.
• Pot! Kettle! And speaking of stupid... "Nancy Pelosi is a dingbat!" —Irony's Official Spokesperson, Sarah Palin.
This may be a true statement. Nancy Pelosi may indeed be a dingbat. But anything that comes out of the mouth of this vapid joke regarding the lack of smarts IN OTHER PEOPLE just makes her into a bigger fucking idiot than she already is. If that's even possible. It just proves that Sarah Palin isn't even self-aware. Or able to learn. As in lacking sentience. Like a rock. A stupid, stupid, stupid rock.
As much as I loathe John McCain for betraying our POW/MIAs, the fact that he unleashed this monster on us is beyond unforgivable.
Blargh. Guess I'd better stop shooting bullets and go into work since I'm running an hour late and all. This coming week is going to be a rough one...
Posted on April 24th, 2010
TequilaCon Day is here...
Posters from previous years are in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on February 18th, 2010
After dealing with my work emails this morning, I had a bit of extra time and decided to take a quick look through my feedreader. One of the first new blog entries to pop up was from my buddy LeSombre, where he was explaining his bus route to work and how a small detour today turned his 50-minute commute into a whopping 1-hour and 35-minute ride. He wrapped up his entry by theorizing that he might have to try winter cycling as a more efficient way of getting to work.
"How nice!" I thought. "LeSombre is trying to be all environmentally conscious and stuff, when most people would just drive their car to work. Good for him!"
But then I watched a speech that Sarah Palin gave at a tea-bagging rally, and suddenly realized that I've been looking at this whole thing entirely wrong...
"But my plastic surgeon doesn't want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose!"
After listening to Sarah Palin kick ass and put things into perspective as to what "America" REALLY means, I now realize that when people talk about the "pussification of America" they are actually talking about the "pussification of NORTH America... BY CANADIANS!"
Because, seriously, 50 minutes in a frickin' BUS?!? REALLY?!?
It's LeSombre's kind of thinking that explains why Canada is still a third-world country. Well, of course ALL countries are "third world" when compared to us, which begs the questions "what's a second-world country?" I dunno... perhaps The United Kingdom when Maggie Thatcher was running things... but I digress. The point is that I am totally embarrassed to be sharing a continent with the American wannabes that call themselves "Canadians." How they managed to win hosting duties for the Winter Olympics when they don't even have a Disney theme park is a mystery to me.
I mean, come on, they're half-French for crying out loud!
Just look at this "bus route" that LeSombre takes to work every day. It practically screams "pussy!" Where's the spirit of adventure? Where's the sex and violence? Where's the ideals that are true to the AMERICAN WAY?!? What good is their "free socialist health care" if THIS is how you have to get to work each day? Hey, if this is what it means to live in a communist country like Canada, then I want no part of it...
Now let's take a look at how a REAL AMERICAN would get to work (click map to enlarge)...
NOW THERE'S HOW YOU FUCKING COMMUTE TO WORK IN AMERICA, DAMMIT! Please note that's there's no bitching and whining about a frickin' BUS anywhere in that route.
Also note how once you acquire a Canadian Forces* tank, that you no longer have to pay attention to roads, and can go directly to your destination. How cool is that?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go scrounge up $1000 so I can buy a ticket to go to Sarah Palin's next tea-bagger rally. A rally for TRUE Americans** to fight for taking back The United States of America from the godless socialist regime that is destroying the greatest country on earth!! Because THAT, my friends, is what DEMOCRACY is all about!***
And to have testicles put in our mouths, if I'm understanding this whole tea-bagging thing correctly.
* Canadian Forces is kind of like the US Millitary... but without the ability to actually defend their country or invade anyplace (they rely on TRUE Americans to do that for them, but don't pay any taxes to us... the bastards!).
** Well, TRUE Americans that can afford to spend $1000 a plate, that is. But that would be ALL Americans, because POOR Americans are not REALLY Americans at all... otherwise they'd be wealthy! This IS the land of prosperity, after all. It says so in The Constitution!
*** Unless, of course, your democratically elected president is a Democrat, then it's not democracy at all... because everybody knows that elections are only democratic when Republicans win!
Posted on September 19th, 2009
Today's port of call was the beautiful city of Victoria in British Columbia... except the ship didn't arrive until 6:00pm. So while you do technically get a five-hour visit in the city as advertised, it's at night time. This means you can't really go sightseeing, and many of the stores are closed. I have no frickin' clue why NCL even bothers to stop, except it looks good on the itinerary they sell you.
Fortunately, I've already been to Victoria three or four times, so it's not a big deal... except such a short visit at such wacky hours seems kind of pointless. If there wasn't berthing space to let us dock at a decent hour, why not stop in Sitka or some other port where you actually have time to see things in frickin' daylight?
There's a restaurant here in Victoria I have been trying to visit for years. It's a vegetarian place called "Re-Bar Modern Food" that comes highly recommended.
And deservedly so, because the food there was frickin' amazing...
After dinner, there really wasn't much to do but wander around the Inner Harbor. The tourist shops there are gearing up for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and their Quatchi mascot is everywhere...
He's cool and all, but personally, I prefer... FIDDLER DARTH VADER!
It's getting pretty cold out at night, but roses were still in bloom...
The world-famous Empress Hotel looks even nicer at night...
Victoria Legislative Building in Lights...
And that's the end of my cruise.
But not my vacation... at least not quite yet...