Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Art Day: Dark Crusader

This time around, to you I present:

The Dark Crusader

This is the project that has consumed my life for the past 4 weeks. The latter half though has been a constant non-stop project. I haven't had a day with less than 12 hours at work at all this week. I worked, I ate, and then I worked on the Dark Crusader.

Now he is complete, free to wreak havoc and bring pestilence upon the peasants that lay beneath the heel of his gore-stained boot.

This is a work project I've put together as part of Grande Prairie's Festival of Scarecrows. 40 businesses and artists each got the basic starter set: a 6 foot pole, some wire, some pipe tubing, and some screws and pipe joints.

Before I even learned what the whole ordeal entailed I knew what I wanted to build: A dark knight. He would be life sized and properly proportioned. He would have armor, he would have would have garments, and he would kick ass. Then I found out that this was a competition and a winner would be declared, and also that other radio stations were competing, dining me towards my goal even further.

Here's a series of photos of his various features:
His arms, legs, and torso are supported by a few lengths of 2x4 I screwed together.

Then his bulk and shape was created by balling together paper inside plastic bags. On top of that I strapped thin cardboard from mostly beer cases. On top of that, paper mache.

I'm quite proud of myself for sewing together his gloves. Those were made of some wool gardening gloves I picked up for a couple bucks, and on top of that I stitched some fabric to make a gauntlet, inside is some wire; making his fingers and thumb poseable.

I strung off a few bits of paper mache from a stump, and then painted him a bloody bandaged wound. Here you can see the original colour of the plastic buckets I cut up to make his armour.

This is the only part of the guy that isn't hand made. I picked up this skull for ten bones at a halloween store. It's pretty sick, and adds a real horror aspect to the Dark Crusader.

These stupid boots took me 4 hours to make. I had no idea what i was doing, so being that something that actually looked like a boot came out at the end of it is very surprising.

This is the belt buckle. It fills the only requirement that my gracious employer asked of me before I started this beast: "It has to have the Big Country logo somewhere." So what better place than his buckle?

You can also see here his tabard. This was stitched by me and fellow blogger and coworker Kristi.

Here's the real icing on the cake:

Light up eyes! Ba-boom mo-fo! Suck on that one.
In this photo you can kind of see some of the circuits in his head. It's just a simple LED, switch, and battery. We wanted to rig something amazing up, but the circuit as is does a really slick job.

Before concluding, I have to give thanks to my roommates who put up with this for a week, who helped me attach armour, and do some planning. I can't forget my coworkers either, especially the ones the offices to the immediate left and right of mine. They endured a constant waft of spray-paint that's been hovering around for the past week.

And I pay tribute to the lost braincells who died in the line of duty here. This is because I got quite loopy and probably high from the paint fumes filling my office day in and day out. Yu giys dod a griet jorb.

He's going on display in the Canadian Tire of Grande Prairie from October 1st to 14th, and then gets auctioned off for the Grande Prairie Sunrise Rotary Club. So it's all for a good cause, not just my petty competitive streak. Hopefully there's some sort of large trophy for my forthcoming major victory though.

If I lose, I'll get medieval on someone's ass.

Gipsy Kings - Bamboleo

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Independent Female Reporter

Last night I was bustling about my house cooking up something delicious while watching The Pursuit of Happyness. It's a decent movie, but that's not the subject of today's blog.

Following the much enjoyed viewing of The Pursuit of Happyness, my roommate Jo declared the evening to be a Will Smith night, and put Hitch on.

I groaned a little, but since it's a movie about picking up chicks featuring some slapsticky shtick by Kevin James I acquiesced knowing that she owns far worse movies than that she enjoys regularly viewing.

If you haven't seen it, it's about Will Smith who plays a consultant assisting guys in getting the woman of their dreams. For those in the know, this is basically a semi-chick flick movie based on a portion of Neil Strauss' “The Game.” But instead of just teaching guys how to get chicks in bed, Will Smith is teaching guys both how to get a lay and get a girlfriend.

The movie also stars Eva Mendez as a strong independent female reporter. *Cue the generic movie trailer music* She doesn't take any shit from anyone (except her boss), she has it all together, her career is soaring, and she doesn't need a man to ruin her good thing. That is until she met Hitch. *Record Scratch*

This brings to me the topic of today's entry. Independent female reporters in film. Oh man. How overplayed is this character? If you think otherwise, let's take a look at some very popular chick flicks:

Never Been Kissed (1999)

Starring Drew Barrymore, *Cue generic trailer music* She's a plucky independent female reporter, yearning to write her first big story. She gets an assignment to go undercover as a high school student. Everything is going according to plan, until she falls in love *Record Scratch* with her teacher!

How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Starring Kate Hudson *Cue generic trailer music* She's an energetic independent female journalist and she just got the assignment of her life: Make a man break up with her in ten days! Easy enough for a girl like her; Everything is going according to plan until she falls in love *Record Scratch* with her assignment!

13 Going on 30 (2004)

Starring Jenniifer Garner *Cue the generic trailer music * She's just a 13 year old girl. She just wants to be popular. Then, she just wished herself to age 30! Now she's big dog on campus at her favourite childhood magazine. But is age 30 all it's cracked up to be? Turns out, it isn't. *Cue the downplay music*

The last one was a bit of a stretch, but I think I've made my point. It's a little strange, but the independent female reporter/journalist is just about one of the most popular roles for women to play in a chick flick.

Roll with celebrities, have glamorous work lunches, work in a wacky environment with silly female coworkers and a few gay guys thrown in there for good measure, and what hip young lady wouldn't want to work there?

This is probably because being a woman in media, and taking the job seriously can and does lead to exactly the character in these movies. Whether you're a guy or girl, being a reporter, radio jock, our journalist requires a lot of moving around before you can settle in. So these movies about women who are single and have a decent career in journalism who happen to be in their late twenties to mid-thirties aren't exactly inaccurate. I actually know and have worked with these exact kinds of women before (and those who are probably on their way to being there).

But seriously Chick-Flicks. You need to find a new profession to start stereotyping. How about a movie about a strong independent female race car driver?

Wait, that was called The Fast and The Furious.

How about a female band?

Wait, that was called Josie and the Pussycats and/or The Spice Girls Movie

How about a female astronaut/explorer?

Hold up, that was called Contact. And it was terrible.

Let's change gears entirely and instead portray some female and male characters as wildly-insecure bumbling fools. Now that's a film I'd see.

Wait a minute, they made that movie too, and it co-starred Kevin James. What was it called?

Oh yeah, Hitch.

I don't think anyone but me really notices this stuff, so if women aren't complaining, there's really no reason for me to bring it up. Next time my roommate and I watch a movie though, I'm going to pick one that accurately portrays men in the media:


Smart, good looking, and does lots of amazing things including saving lives and beating up bad guys. Sounds quite a bit like me.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Eat to Beat the Best, and Dine with all the Rest

As you may recall, I was in an eating championship back in August.

I didn't win, but I qualified for the finals on a technicality. You see, I had been training to eat 40 hot wings the fastest, but they plopped down 60 instead. I finished in second, puked, and went home to compete another day.

Well last night was for all the marbles. The finals. The moment my life has been consumed by for the past month and a half. The last day of the greatest wing eating competition mankind has ever witness, all for the glory of being the Battle of the Bone champion, master of the Mighty Wing Belt.

Yes, that really is the image of Peter Griffin fighting the Chicken. Now do you understand why I had to have it?

But it didn't come without preparation.

More lettuce was eaten to expand my stomach. And for yesterday's lunch I ate 3/4 of a giant hoagie.
This sammich actually worked out pretty well, because by the time I got to the competetion I was just starting to get hungry again.

Instead of drinking Guiness before going up, as is my usual choice, I decided to heed to advice of a friend who commented that I probably should not have slurped down the heaviest beer possible before competing.

Instead, I drank warm water, had some celery, and settled in for the big moment.

I walked up on stage to many cheers and hoots from my squad. All the other challengers were instantly intimidated by my suppourtive friends and coworkers.

as well as my fancy robe (which was kindly donated by my station's sales manger. It's one of her bathrobes, but hey, whatever works) and team jerseys.

After some pregame interviews, we all stood up, and began.

I quickly mowed my way through the first 30 wings and hit a serious wall at the final ten. That's when my closest competition, the guy immediately to my left, began to slow up too.

We were neck and neck the entire way until the final wing, but in the end he finished before me.

All wasn't lost just yet though, a glimmer of hope still sparkled in the distance. I struggled to swallow down the final bit of chicken about thirty seconds after the first guy was done, threw the bone of my discontent onto the pile, and waited for the scales to come out.

This time around they weighed the finished plates to make sure someone wasn't just eating the bare minimum, and that someone who was actually eating more didn't lose on account of being more thorough.

The final result:

Jake Hammell of Big Country places second, his plate weighs 8 more ounces than Mr Shannon George of the Grande Prairie Drillers.

Shannon George is the victor of the Battle of the Bones

Jake Hammell can go drown his sorrows in alcohol,

And suck it.

I'm really, really, bummed out about this loss. I know it's just a silly competition, but man, I wanted that belt something bad.

Next year I'm going to win that belt come hell or high water. There will be no stopping me. It's mine dammit, and I'm going to get it!

On a side note, I wouldn't recommend reading this next part if your not a fan of having "To much information," my urine this morning smelt an awful lot like hot wing sauce. That was pretty darned unsettling. But the gigantic free meal and free drinks were defintely worth it.

Jurassic 5 - Work it Out

Monday, 21 September 2009

"Sit back, relax, listen to some hip hop"

Here's the final installment of my Big 30 Contest Promos. This is the one I wanted to dedicate most of my time to, but schedules being what they were, and my lack of patience being what it is, this is the final product.

To you I present:

Big 30 – Peace Farm Power

After listening to that, you might be asking yourself “Was that Bill Cosby?” Believe it or not, that was actually me. I'm pretty amazing, I know.

Because I'm at a country station and the listenership in general doesn't dig hip-hop, I figured throwing in some Little Rascals theme music with some good old Cosby jib-jab would soothe any hot tempers.

For those who have a hard time keeping up with my dope rhymes, here are the lyrics:





Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Golfing the day away

Yesterday was the Women Fore Wishes golf tournament. I was the proud caddy of this squad of fun and good lookin' young ladies.

Thankfully they admitted to not being the most knowledgeable of golfers (they still knew way more than me) and took it pretty easy on me. Basically I just them around and drank all morning with them. Drinking with women on a sunny day is something I can definitely handle. You might even go so far as to call me a professional at it.

They ended up a little tipsy and 3 over par after 9 holes. All in all a pretty good day of golf.

Would I do this again? Definitely. Without a doubt. And maybe next time I'll actually know how to golf!

Ladytron - Runaway

Monday, 14 September 2009

Men Made for Auction

Well, it's official. I'm now legitimately a whore.

How much am I worth? $275 apparently; Which is a real steal of a deal.

Tonight was the Rainbow Society Golf Caddy Auction, of which I was one of the manly men for sale. Basically I'm sold off, then I go caddy for a squad of women for a day. The money gets donated to the Rainbow Society, which is one of those wish foundation type things.

I've never been auctioned off like a piece of meat, so it was a bit of a trip.

But let's start this story from the beginning. Quite a few months ago I signed up to be sold off, then I realized just three weeks ago that I actually had to do this thing. I'm lazy, out of shape, and have generally poor skin. So how did I make up for this?

Fuckin' pink tie. Aaaaw yeah.

I complemented my outfit with some new silver aviators, a nice black shirt, and some fine trousers.

Here's me doing my ironing at my desk at work

I also got my coworker to produce this little number for me to walk out and strut my stuff during. It's pretty accurate.

after he's done talking it's over. The rest is just music I look good walking around during.

So I get to the auction, and I discover that I'm competing with like 5 firefighters, a doctor, a rich motorbiking banker, a good looking charismatic black guy (which is pretty tough competition in northern Alberta), and some other guy whose story or job I didn't quite catch. He had a classic camaro int eh parking lot, so I assume he was doing well.

Then there was me. The shortest, skinniest, and youngest dude there. And guess what? I got to go first.

Luckily though shots of tequila and Jack Daniels were being passed around quite liberally so a bit of the old liquid courage never hurt anyone.

My music starts to play, and I strut out to many hoots and hollers. The chicks were all over the ensemble I had. But for some reason they kept wanting me to drop my pants.

I racked up a few dollars by serenading a young lass. The audience screamed for me to sing, and the only thing I could of the ever ironic "Feed Jake."

In the end I was sold for 275 dollars. Which tied for last place in the amount raised. It's tough going first, and the guy after me, who did some wild things is the other one who tied with me for dollars raised. Oh well, next year I'm going to this again and get in shape, tone up, and get some Chippendale's tear off pants. All the girls will be all over me for sure.

And it's for charity too, so I'm not just being a complete whore.

On the upside, my table had many attractive women; All of whom I'm caddying for tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this). So enjoy these photos of me all dressed up, and I'll have some killer caddying photos of me jackassing around on a golf course later this week.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Art Day: Draconian Troika

EDIT SEPT 14, 2009: So I just realized this morning that I totally ripped off the band Asia. My painting is pretty similar to the art on the sleeve of their eponymous debut album.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my artistic foibles. Damn Asia.

This is my last art day for a while because I'm pretty sick of them now. Not sick of art that is, just the lack of decent content I've had on this site.

This is a picture I did on evening on a whim. I'd been watching music videos based around the theme of colour on Much Music and suddenly was struck by inspiration and proclaimed aloud to the world, “Hey, I like colour. Let's do some art!”

It's my first serious attempt at anything using ink. I'm a big fan of the ouroboros symbol, which for those not in the know, is a snake or dragon eating its own tail making a circular symbol.

In addition to this, I also think Celtic symbols like the Celtic knot are really neat-o too.

So this is my hybrid of the two. I'd definitely like to redo it sometime because as I learned with this painting, mistakes made with ink are really F'n hard to fix.

Also, wouldn't this make a kickass tattoo? Maybe I'll pull a Mike Tyson and get it inked across my face. Mike Tyson is a cool guy right?

The Weepies - Can't Go Back Now

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Further Bastardization

As I mentioned before (and because I have no pictures of a killer camping trip I was on this weekend) here is another ad for the Big 30 contest I wrote and produced. Sticking with the musical theme, I chose to modify a rhyme that falls completely in the public domain:

Old Mother Hubbard

There are two versions of this, but only one is worth mentioning. To you I present:

Freson IGA – Big 30 Promo Remix

Believe me when I tell you the original version is much more hardcore than mine. The dog starts drinking and smoking and even comes back from the dead. It's just about as raunchy and Andrew Dice Clay's.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Bastardizing Classics

A huge contest is coming up at my station, and since us writers had absolute free range of what we could put together I've made some pretty wacky ads.

I'll have several more to share, but this is the first one I completed today. It's my take on a classic tune. To you, I present:

Midwest on Main – Big 30 promo

State Radio - Right Me Up