Tuesday, 11 December 2012

How I Scarred My Children

I’ve been watching a LOT of “How I Met Your Mother” lately. Like… a ton of it; I’d say an hour and a half a day.

It’s entertaining enough as sitcoms go but I’ve started to notice something that I missed out on the first time I saw some of these episodes…

Ted is a major perv. 

In case you haven’t seen the show, I’ll quickly rehash the premise. Ted is the main character who is telling his teenage kids how he met their mother (his wife). This happened in our present day, so all of his stories are about himself in his late 20s to early 30s and what he and his friends got up to in New York.

Over the course of several seasons Ted has told his kids hundreds of stories, many of which seem to bear little to no relevance to the overarching story, and most of which are REALLY dirty.

Allow me to summarize some of the highlights he's told his two kids:
Hey kids, did I ever tell you about the time your Aunt Robin and I had crazy sex every time we thought we might have an argument? 

Hey kids, did you know your Uncle Barney lost his virginity to an old cougar? And did you also know Barney’s older brother traded sexual favours with her in order to get that woman to sleep with Barney? 

Hey Kids, have you heard about our doppelganger theory? All of us have an identical twin out there, and your aunt Lily’s is a stripper we paid for multiple dances!

You know kids…At that ceremony where my first wife left me... your Uncle Barney had a three-way with the bride’s sister and one of the hotel’s employees. 

Come here kids, and listen a while! Here's the tale of the time I slept with a woman and her boyfriend walked in on us! 
Seriously, this is what he’s telling his children. But it's okay, Ted has morals and draws the line on what he tells his kids. He won’t swear, or repeat language in which people swear. What a relief!

And although there’s lots of drinking, smoking, adultery, occasional theft, vandalism, public nudity, and more, he will NOT tell his kids that they smoked marijuana. Instead, he’ll tell them they ate sandwiches. Such as: Ted ate so many sandwiches that he got the munchies! It's a good thing teenagers have never heard of weed or they might figure out what he meant when he says "Sandwiches."

So Ted Mosby, you keep right on creeping your children out. I’m sure your wife, whoever she is, will really appreciate all of these character building stories you’re telling them. Oh, and speaking of his wife I forgot a classic Ted story!
 Hey kids, did I tell you about the time I banged your mom’s old college roommate?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I've finally made it!

Big news everyone! I've finally made it as a creative writer! No I didn't win any awards. No, I didn't get any recognition from agencies or make an ad go viral. What happened is I'm officially listed in Broadcaster Magazine.

Boom, right there! For everyone to see!

What's that? You've never heard of Broadcaster Magazine, you can't find my name, and that looks like a page of gobbledegook? Well check this out!

Yup, that's me, in bold 5.5 size font. They even spelled it right.

In case you can't already tell, I'm pretty much the only person jacked about this. Broadcaster is little publication that delivers to a niche-market of media places in Canada. So chances are you're never going to see it unless you work at a station or go to media school; and that's if you're inclined to read it all.

Pretty much I just get really excited to see my name in print. This is why my favourite shirt is in fact one that has my name on it and nothing else. I fully admit it's a little weird.

So let everyone know, Jake Hammell is officially in the Broadcaster Magazine 2012 fall buyers' guide issue. It's a big deal. There's only several thousand other names in it! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Sucker for Packaging

Here's something some of you may not know about me: I'm a total sucker for clever or interesting product packaging. For example last week I made my decision on what coffee beans to buy based on how bad-ass the product name was. I settled for "Rocket Fuel."

Once again on Sunday I was sucked by packaging. I was in a new wine store in Edmonton (shout out to Wine and Beyond, check it out) and since there was a pile of wine and beer I'd never heard of I figured I'd try something new. Well, lo and behold there was an entire wall of these on sale for $20 a can

I walked by it at first, but no matter what I did I kept coming back to the Wall of Weifbier. Finally I gave up and grabbed a can. I couldn't resist the lure of the 5 litre mini-keg! In case you can't tell how big it is, here's me posing with my find:

I told myself I'd save it for a weekend of partying, since 5 litres is about 15 cans of beer, and split it with someone. But last night I couldn't keep from playing with it. I really really wanted to crack this thing open.

And I did! It's pretty good, it's a wheat beer that tastes almost identical to Hoegaarden, one of the most popular European style wheat beers in North America, but at a much cheaper price.

So in this case my impulse decision making based on packaging really panned out well and you can expect on my next trip through Edmonton I'll be stopping to grab a good dozen of these. 12 packs are so last year! It's all about the German Mini-keg now!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A Trip down Memory Lane… and into Bonanza

This week a coworker took me to lunch at Bonanza. I don’t remember how it came about, but months ago he said he’d take me since nobody besides us ever wants to eat at Bonanza.

I haven’t set foot in a Bonanza since I was at most 11 years old. A trip into Brandon (and possibly Minot, ND) often guaranteed at stop at this famous steakhouse. As I walked through the doors yesterday I was reminded of years gone by. For those who’ve never been, allow me describe it to you.

 Located on beautiful 8th Street Saskatoon. Such a scenic location!

Bonanza isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience. You begin it as soon as you step in the doors a cattle chute of high-wood panels that gently guided you to the till where you order your meal. EVERY meal comes with the salad buffet.

Once you’re seated, you lay into the salad bar, which is an unorganized rodeo of lettuce, dressing, bacon bits, cheese, and perogies constantly mobbed by the elderly who you carefully navigate around. Finally, you return to your seat and wolf down as much of your salad/perogie meal as you can before the waiter brings your steak.

This isn't the actual salad bar from yesterday, but I'm %800 sure the ultra-nineties gold trim was there

The steak itself is decently sized, and well prepared considering it only cost $11.50. After you struggle through another massive course of steak, complimented by garlic bread, & a baked potato or fries, you lay back for a breather.

But no, you’re not finished yet; the best is yet to come. Yesterday I didn’t complete this final leg of the Bonanza Experience, but when I was a kid, this was my favourite part:



No human body over 12 years old is designed to handle the quantities of ice cream that Bonanza encourages you to consume. You can’t help but serve yourself monstrous, gargantuan, bowls of ice cream one after the other until you pass-out from dairy overload.

 I remarked to my coworker that I can see why my parents would take us kids to Bonanza: You can’t beat the sheer quantity of food you get for how much you spend. He replied,

 “…And then the kids pass out after eating, which would be great for the car ride home!” 
 It all makes perfect sense now. My parents didn’t just enjoy the food; they were after the Bonanza Blackout that follows. I completely understand too, wrangling three to five kids during a two hour drive home would take some effort.

Sadly the Bonanza in Brandon, like many others across Canada closed its doors long ago. It was nice to revisit though, and I don’t see why people are having such a hard time believing me when I tell them I actually had a really decent meal there. Next time someone visits me in Saskatoon, you KNOW where I’m taking you for dinner...


Monday, 29 October 2012

Saskatoon Halloween 2012

Hey, long time no blog! Haven't really been doing much lately, so since I finally did something worth mentioning it's time for an update on the "making of" process of this year's Halloween costume.

I started off wanting to make a giant Connect 4 game, but finding cardboard was proving difficult. Thankfully a coworker had a giant pile bamboo sitting in her office and after some thought I decided it would formed the base of my new costume.

I wanted to make a giant cage in which I'd be strapped inside of, looking like a captured werewolf. Jen dressed as hunter who'd captured me. Here's a few more photos of the process:

After gluing together all the sticks I bound every joint with hemp. It gave it a pretty cool look, but a bit more jungle-esque than intended.

So after that was all done I bought some plastic chains at Canadian Tire. Unfortunately the cage was just too big and unbalanced to truck around with all night. I must have spent a solid hour and half trying to get the costume to hold right, but it the end it had to be ditched. Cool idea, too difficult to execute.

So I switched gears and reworked the idea hours before going out for the night. First I made Jen a gun out of foam board and a black-painted bamboo stick. I was pretty proud of this one actually, it turned out really well and surprisingly sturdy.

I had ordered some fake werewolf nails in the mail that didn't arrive (along with several other costume parts I'd been awaiting) so I filed down some cheap-o plastic nails and painted them up.

I had an old dress shirt so Jen put a bullet wound in it and covered my face and chest with hair from a nappy wig. We used this stuff called Spirit Glue to attach it, which worked fantastic. It worked so well in fact that I still have glue all over me. It's impossible to get off. I took the chains from the cage and made a neat-o body restraint from them.

Here's Jen's costume. She bought a men's shirt and did some sewing to give it a more ladylike figure, sewed together a belt, made some scars out of make-up and wood glue, and accented it with a bandolier of bullets. Her costume turned out pretty mint as well!

Here I am looking award as possible with all the make-up on. You can't see it, but I also had a tail that I made from leftover hair, a shirt sleeve, and a coat hanger. It worked really well and actually bobbed around when I walked. Other that it riding straight up my bum whenever I say down, it was pretty much perfect.

It also stuck itself straight into a girl's crotch area. Definitely one of the most awkward moments of the night.

Here's a few more from the bar. Below is a coworker who had the "Worst Costume Ever." Probably my favorite one from the entire night.

Here's Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask

Ultra drunk Buzz Lightyear.

And that's about it! Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, 24 September 2012

My Very First, Vinda, But not reallly, Marathon

Foreword: I ran the 12x12 Race yesterday, and for those not in the know, it's a pretty ridiculous competition. I'll let my completely obliterated self explain what it is in detail in a moment. 

Last night after the race I sat down to write this blog entry with intentions of cleaning it up and posting it today. 

But I've decided to leave it as is. So below is my drunk account of the 12x12. This was written after drinking 12 beers in 2.5 hours and I'm honestly impressed that I managed to put this together. Enjoy!

Working at a young people station inSaskatoon gives me access to weird contests.

A local bra of Saskatooon operate a race every fall called the 12x12. Eseentialy, you run walk or jog 12 kilometres, and driunk 12 beer. Soudn simple, is incrediblyh hard. A coworker and I walked the whole shebang. We did not expect to take first, and that was our first disbelief. But we did exceptionally well!

Here's a pictoral progrresiion of how things went:

First, Jen made a sign to cheer me on

As I at the last second over what I'd drink, I chose my usual poison, Moosehead Lager

Here's my coworker, and i. We were the only two people from our workplace to take on the challenge. Muscle up yo! 

Here's the whole crew of competitors. Jess and I agreed after seeing some of the competitors (AKA, the 250 pound men) that we were a slight intimidated after the fact

Here's Jen and me at the starting line with the sign she made me. As you can see, there's miles and miles to run

Boom, shotgun start

Here's us at the halfway mark

 This is the finshline
and unfortunaly, I wansn't first. When the race is finished, the chief owner of the race pukes. This signals when someone finsishs of the end of the race.

 this is us comung up on the last 1km

 here's me finishing 2nd

and finally, after tipping back the last of this beer, I placed seconds. 12KM, 12 beers, and I dominated. Great fundaiser, all in efforts of suppourting anti-domestic abuse situations

Thursday, 13 September 2012

More Random Commercials

I've been quite lackadaisical in the update region of things lately, so here's some of what I've been turning out at work.

First up: Martin Motorsports

They wanted something "In-your-face and Risque," and I was having a hard time figuring how to do a boat ad that also pushed people's comfort boundaries. So I was trading ideas back and forth for about an hour until Jen suggested I do something overtly sexual. It all clicked at once and in short this got thrown through production.

Next: Anti-Drink PSA

Every radio station in Canada that runs commercials for alcohol has to run some PSA's about safe/responsible drinking to offset the "Negative social impact" booze has on our nation. That's not quite the actual legislation, but it's the basic idea. So this one of several rough-draft PSAs I made up, this isn't the final product, but an near-finished version.

Next: Burgers Blooper

This is a blooper from a commercial I ran. I told the announcer to be "More sing-songy" in the way he was reading this line. Instead of livening up the read we ended up with an actual song. FYI, let me know if you want a copy of that for a ringtone. It's perfect!

You're welcome everyone. The burgers are done.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Hammelltime Envelope Extravaganza: Update #2

Here's another update on the expanding collection of autographs in my Envelope Extravaganza! As I did last time, let's first have a look at who didn't pan out:


I got a bounceback from Raffi. I'm really not surprised as this address took some real hunting to discover. So no dice here, but the legitimate Canada Post sticker was nice to see. I say this mainly because I still feel a bit scorned and suspicious of Kevin O'Leary's bounceback.

Now on to the successes!

My first written response came from a personal idol of mine:

Terry O'Rielly

For those who haven't heard of him, Terry O'Reilly is the founder of TV and Radio production house Pirate Toronto and host of CBC Radio programs: The Age of Persuasion and Under the Influence. If you find advertising/psychology interesting, check this show out right now (or after you're done reading).

I must say I'm pretty proud of this one!

next up,

Stephen Harper

Whether you're a fan of Harper or not, I figured he was an obvious person to mail. It's pretty exciting to find a letter from the Prime Minister's Office in your mailbox.

Sidenote, the paper this autograph is on is spectacular. I can't even adequately explain how amazing the paper feels. I never thought I'd nerd-out about stationary like this!

And finally:

Rick Mercer

Mr. Mercer, CBC Superstar, sent me the largest envelope I've recieved so far. It's a pretty neat photo, and he actually wrote my name! I giggled like a girl when I saw the return address on the envelope.

 Seeing as it's summer I really didn't think I'd hear back from any of the CBC folks in good time. So thanks Rick Mercer!

Stay tuned for further updates. In the meantime, I'm going to go drinking in Grande Prairie. Have a good long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Back Alley Episodes

Just to keep everyone up on the happenings of my favourite back alley in Saskatoon, there's been some weird new graffiti.

Over the past week and a half someone scribing the same bizarre message underneath security cameras in the alley. Since it's pretty different from the usual unintelligible nonsense people tag walls with, I thought I'd actually take some time and share it with you.

It's really idle graffiti, nothing for anyone to be concerned about. But I was talking to a few people from work who all agree it's creepy.

My guess is that this is exactly what the person what going for, maybe it's some kind of protest against the constant digital monitoring we're all under? I dunno. It would make a neat idea for an art gallery show but this is no Banksy graffiti, and will more than likely be painted over in short order.

So, in that event, here's Saskatoon crrepiest back alley art. Enjoy!