Thursday, 28 May 2009

Is That Your Final Answer? Part 2

The saga of finding my new car continues!

When I last updated on the topic, I explained how I lost my car to stupid driving and rust, and was on the cusp of deciding between two vehicles.

Now the decision has become harder.
The question is still

“Would I like...”

A) A 2000 Dodge Neon


B) A 94' Grand Marquis

But now I really have to make a decision, and maybe gamble a little. Both of which I've never been good at.
I'm the sort of person who likes to coast, and take things as they come. Rarely do I have to be the person who makes the ultimate decision. I'm better at suggestions and generating ideas.
Also, the only time I did any serious gambling I almost won but I went between that fine line in poker where you're legitimately doing amazing and where you're just getting cocky and everyone is playing you.

But back to cars:
I paid for a safety before purchasing the car I've decided I'd like to have most,
The 94' Grand Marquis. It's pretty much exactly the kind of car I like to drive. Big, heavy, made of metal, and lots of trunk space for dead hookers.
Plus, it's in really good condition...or so I thought.
The official safety report (which cost $100) says:

-The Steering Box is Leaking
-Idler arm has slight play, still OK
-Rear brakes down to %5
-Right Rear Caliper piston broken
-Battery Terminals corroded.

The power steering may not be leaking, they didn't do a fancy shmancy inspection where they really get in there, so they couldn't say for sure. It may just be condensation (apparently)
The idler arm thing is no problem. I think that has to do with steering straight, and it's not I can drive in a straight line anyway so no biggie.
- Battery Terminals corroded. This is easy to fix. You just gotta clean em.' Plus I may invest in a new battery before winter anyway.
- The right rear caliper piston is broken, and the rear brakes are down to 5%. I don't know what 5% means, but it sounds LOW! I once got %5 on a test (actually it was a zero on a French test) and the teacher called my mom about it. That ended badly, so if brakes are like French exams, I'd better get those fixed.

Actually, the brakes really are the big issue. Because this was a quick look-over of the vehicle, they didn't do an estimate, but it's going to cost a possible $800 to get these brakes fixed.

And brakes are important as I learned last weekend.

Now here comes the boring math portion of the story:
The Neon will cost about $4,800 to insure. (Insurance is private in Alberta. So they're gonna rip you off, especially if you're young)
It doesn't require a safety inspection because it's newer than 10 years. The asking price is $3,000, so I'm looking at almost 8 grand worst case scenario.

The Grand Marquis is asking $2,500, I dropped $100 on it already, and immediate repairs will cost another $1,000 worst case scenario.
So that's a total of $3,600
I'm going to estimate insurance being $2,500 (just to be safe) so altogether, the Marquis is like $6,100

Neon: $8,000
Marquis: $6,100

The Marquis is still cheaper, so I'll probably still go for it. I really really doubt the lady selling her Neon is going to give it away for $1,900. Perhaps I can talk down the Marquis guy though. The asking price of $2,500 is a little steep for a vehicle that I have to drop a load of money on.
As self-esteem councilors would say,
“It's not what's on the outside that counts, it's what's inside that matters.”
This is true for my car.

But completely untrue for Megan Fox.

Anyone have some car input?

Sublime - Santeria

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

A Brief Interlude

My Car story will continue later, but first, let's play the Glad Game!

Today a coworker said to me in the presence of our station's best writer,

“You know Jake, this station has hired a lot of bums. But you... You're okay.”

That's probably the highest praise I think I could ever receive. I'm not a bum, and people seem to like the work I'm getting done.

This makes me glad.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Is That Your Final Answer? Part 1

In my last post I detailed the conflict of interests I had regarding me attending a charity art auction.
I had one of three decisions:

A) Go to the art auction and support the homeless

B) Go watch the UFC fights

C) Split my time between both evenly

I decided I would split my time evenly. It was fair to the homeless, and while I wouldn't stay for the entire auction, I'd at least be there for the important part, the silent auction. Following that I'd be able to catch the two big fights of the night with no trouble.

But little did I know, there was a secret option

D) Have my car break down and spend the whole day dealing with an old Jalopy with no brakes, no future, and no scrap yards open to ditch my car in.

Option D is my final answer Regis!

My old beater, a 91' Buick Century, finally received its mortal death wound. And the reason it was injured isn't even that good of a story. It actually kind of infuriated me.

This isn't my actual car, photo for reference purposes only

So after work on Friday I go and pick up a buddy so we can go see Terminator: Salvation. Then from his house we go to another dude's place to pick him up too.
As we're pulling up to his house, my friend says,
“Do a wicked Horatio Caine U-Turn!”
And I say,
Here's what the U-turn should have looked like:

Here's a diagram of what my U-turn looked like, going along at roughly 20kmh.

I don't think it actually needed that extra loop on my 'predicted path,' I just though it looked cool. But anyway, my Grandmother could have pulled a more badass turn than me.

So anyway, it soon becomes apparent that something is wrong with car, as my brakes, which are usually as soft as a baby's bottom anyway, are suddenly like Jello and getting worse by the second. We manage to cruise to our final destination without killing anyone and park my car.
Our host was gracious enough to drive us to Terminator, although after seeing it I wish I'd have stayed at home.

The movie sucked. It sucked so bad a small black hole was created in the projector. This made me angry, not just because the movie was so awful, but also because I wrecked my car going to it.

So the next day (Saturday) I get my ride towed to a nearby Midas, where half an hour later they tell me the news.
My car's brake line had rusted through, and the fuel lines next to it were just as bad. To replace the brake line would break the fuel lines, meaning they'd have to be replaced too.
This fact combining with many other factors meant that my car was worthless. I signed it over to the shop, took my cassette tape from the deck, and never looked back.
So now I'm car hunting, and have things narrowed down to two definite choices.

A 94' Mercury Grand Marquis

or a 2000 Dodge Neon.

The Marquis is exactly the kind of car I like to drive, a big 4-door sedan with a V8 engine that could haul some serious ass, and it's in pristine condition. Not a spot of rust on it! They're asking $2,500, which is reasonable I figure. I can't find the black-book value on it though, so I'll have to do some research.

As for the Neon, it's also in great condition, there's a spot of rust under the driver-side door handle, but that's no biggie. It's the more sane decision, and while it isn't as big or sturdy a vehicle as I would like, it'll be more than adequate for driving around town. I have yet to test drive it on the highway though, so that could make or break the ride.

More updates later this week!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The Great Debate.

I have a huge conundrum, one that will go down in history as one of the great debates of all time.

And I really need YOUR help in coming to a decision.

Here's the problem:

So I painted this chair for charity. The proceeds of its sale will go to help the community village, an organization that gives assistance to the poor and homeless.

It's being exhibited along with several other chairs and tables. I'm certain that my appearance at this fundraiser, which runs 7pm to 9 and possibly later this Saturday, will increase the value of my art.

The station I work has been name dropping me along with the chair. My appearance is likely appreciated.


UFC: 98 Evans VS Machida is this weekend at 8pm. There will be burgers, beer, leather couches, and good times had by all starting at around 7pm.

The conflict: They both take place at EXACTLY the same time at opposite ends of the city.

Do I go to the charity thingy and help the homeless


Do I go have a good time and watch people fight?

Help the homeless?

Watch the fight?



Tally Hall - Welcome to Tally Hall

Zombies? Cowboys? Chris Kattan?

I was shopping for a few groceries a couple weeks ago when I came across this gem, 'Undead or Alive,' in a discount DVD bin.

Instantly its bold claim of 'A cowboy zombie movie...No really!' had me intrigued. Then I noticed Chris Kattan gracing the cover, who I hadn't heard of in years since that Corky Romano movie and the odd cameo on SNL now and then.

This film had to be purchased, and after shopping I begrudgingly shelled out the $4.99 for the movie. I went on my way with chips, a laundry basket, and sammich meats in tow, excited for the prospects of Undead or Alive.

I will also note here that the woman slicing meat at the deli was surly and did not make my deli experience the delight it normally is. I don't know why I enjoy getting sammich meats, but I do, and I always enjoy a cheerful attendant. This employee did not put the Deli in Delight.

I suppose it doesn't help though that I ding the little bell three or four times to get their attention.

Anyway, I finally got to watching Undead or Alive this past long weekend, and after much jibba jabba, here's the review.

It was bad, but in a good way.

For comparisons sake, it's very much like a Troma film.

The movie opens with a zombie eating the brains of his wife and child. The zombie is then thrown into jail and where he infects more people. A military deserter (James Denton) and local-idiot-cowboy (Chris Kattan) steal money from the local sheriff, who then hunts them down with a posse of cowboys.

One thing leads to another, the posse gets infected with the zombie gene, blah blah blah, zombies can only be killed by decapitation, blah blah blah, roll credits.

By far, the best character in the movie was the Sheriff. Can't remember the actor's name, but within the first five minutes of the show he drops the best line in the whole thing:

“I'm going to shoot your jaw off and take a shit in your chin-hole.”


I'll recommend this if you like zombie movies and can appreciate films that don't take themselves too seriously. It's filled with unbelievable acting, cheesy lines, and general stupidity. It's a real departure from the usual zombie flick, and other than having horses and six-shooters should barely qualify as a period-western.

Plus, if I bought it for $5, you can be guaranteed to find it elsewhere. It's a good candidate for B-Zombie Movie Cult status.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Here for a Good Time, not a Long Time

I woke up this morning and have decided I'm ready for the weekend. I'm going camping, and look forward to not doing anything productive.

This animation pretty much sums up how I feel today:

Cold War Kids - Hospital Bed

Monday, 11 May 2009

My Horrible Disease

Lately I haven't been so active or creative on this blog. Don't despair Netizens, I'm all better. I've been busy dealing with a horrible life-sucking disease that I've been suffering from for the past month.

I have AP Disease. It afflicts thousands of people worldwide at random. Scientists haven't yet found figured out why it affects certain people so severely, while leaving others completely unscathed. They're nowhere near discovering a cure.

What exactly is AP Disease? Its scientific name is 'Artist's Procrastination Disease.'

How and why I came down with AP Disease is a long story, and requires some explanation.

When I first moved to Grande Prairie in January, I had a lot of spare time. And by a lot I mean if I wasn't at work I was at home. So for shits and giggles I took up painting to fill in my weekends.

I've never painted before in my life, but I'd always wanted to try. I'm an okay doodler though, and have a little graphic design experience so why wouldn't I paint too?

I did this for about 7 weeks or so, and have mailed out paintings across Canada (and Oregon). Then by chance I found myself wrapped up in a charity art auction. The idea was to paint one of these chairs... the theme of 'The Four Elements.' Earth, Wind, Water, Fire. They each symbolize something important and profound. But I didn't read the entire email explaining the criteria. I got nearly halfway through it before I decided that I had gotten the gist of it and went back to drinking coffee.

So I got this chair, and conferred with my coworkers as to what I would paint on it. One coworker suggested cowboys.


Instant inspiration. Cowboys it was, and I was going to paint a comic on the back of the chair! What did this have to with the four elements? Absolutely nothing, but that's a secondary detail. I wanted to paint cowboys.

So that weekend I sketched out my idea on the back of the chair, and started painting.

There's a big gap in the story here. But basically between me painting the background, and me finishing, there was a lot of swearing and screaming at the project. This stalled me up for a long time and is when AP Disease starting afflicting me. I was getting nothing done because I didn't want to paint horses.

You see, as cool as cowboys are, I can't draw horses. No way, no how, I can't draw a horse to save my life. There's really no explanation for it, but our equine friends are beyond my scope of art. So of course, leave it to me to decide to paint the one thing that has to have horses in it.

I must have repainted the same portion of that damn chair four times while trying to paint a damn horse. Over the past month, some of my most common swears included:

-”F*cking Horses!”
-”God Damn Horses!”
-”F*cking-God-Damn Horses!”

I'm a creative writer, not a creative swearer.

Anyway, This thing was due last Friday, May 1st, but I lost so much time on repainting the sky so it looked okay, and fixing horses that I went way over-time and just finished it this morning at 1am, thusly defeating my AP Disease.

This is me at midnight last night with lots of little details left to touch up

So, here's the final photos.

I'm displeased with the comic book lines I painted. I tried taping the lines so they'd be perfectly straight, but being that this was the first time I'd ever done that, of course I screwed it up.

Also, the entire chair aside from the comic part was originally going to be black. I figured this would make both the bright and dark colours pop out more in contrast to straight up Mars Black.

But that would have taken too long, especially since the chair was whitewashed (I was hoping for natural woodgrain) when I got it. To make sure all the spots were covered would have taken more effort than I had inclination or time to give. So I slapped some white latex paint from Home Depot on it to cover up my various smudges of paint all over the arms and seat.

There's also lots of other little things I wanted to do but just couldn't. I swear here for all the world to see, that in ten years if the person who buys this chair wants me to finish it the way I intended it to be done I'll stop whatever I'm doing and paint this chair for them.

Anyway, On May 25th It'll be included amongst 24 or so other chairs painted by local artists. People who can actually paint, unlike me. They'll be sold off and the money raised will go to help improve homeless people's lives. That's a decent cause I suppose. I think I get a tax deductible receipt for however much it sells for.

Although I'm self-deprecating, and even though this isn't a great work of art, maybe it'll go for loads of money for being quirky. Maybe?
Either way, I'm going to take along $40 to the auction just in case nobody bids on it.

This chair is kind of like a mutant baby. I want to get rid of it but I'm strangely attached. So having to buy my own art wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

In conclusion, here's a picture of my palettes with most of the wacky colours I mixed up. I thought it looked kind of cool.

Monday, 4 May 2009

I'm a Weiner! A Great Big Weiner!

Me: “Guess what!”

She: “What?”

Me: “I won!”

She: “What did you win?”

Me: “A fifty dollar movie pass gift certificate thingy!”

She: “That's why you called me?” -pause- “You're so sexy.”

That is a transcription of my phone conversation this afternoon. Okay, it wasn't a phone conversation, I just did the inter-office dial thingy and talked to my coworker whose office I can pretty much see into from across the hallway.
But other than that, you read correctly, I won big today!

I also made up the last part about being sexy, but it was implied by her voice so I figured I'd add it in. was taking entries for draw. I was given a reminder to vote on some audition tapes I didn't see after attending the Short Film festival that recently rolled through Grande Prairie.

On that subject, I saw some awesome short films, mostly animated ones, but a few really f*cked up live action ones too. Those were my favourite for sure.

Anyway, as I said, there was this draw, and to enter for a prize all you had to do was watch these people audition, choose the best one, and vote! I didn't see any of the auditions, so I picked the only girl entry because I assumed she was hot, and won!

Looking at the reminder thing, it says I was supposed to get a $100 gift certificate, but hey, I ain't complaining. I didn't put full effort into voting, so I don't really expect a full prize.

The best part: This came just in time to see:

Hell. Yes.

Movits - Fel Del Av GĂ„rden