Thursday, 19 September 2013

Birthday 2013

I'm always really proud of the cakes my dear Lady Friend whips up for me, and this year she decided to try making a 3d cake with sugar sheet icing on it.

That's the final product! She decided to make me a beer bottle cake just because, and since Pacifico is one of my top ten favourites she settled on that being the brand.
First she baked several small round cakes, with a touch of yellow dye in them to give it that yellow Mexican Cerveza colour.

 Then she sliced them in half, lined 'm up, and this made the bottle portion.

Then, with scrap pieces, she assembled the neck. Afterwards she said she wished she'd made it a bit longer, but it looked pretty okay to me!
Then she made some brown icing, which apparently took some réal effort to get right, glued all the layers together and chilled it.

Then I took a sugar sheet, which is like paper but edible, and traced out a logo I printed with an edible marker. Jen then painted it in using some type of dye/alcohol product....

And bam, we stuck it on like a sticker with only a couple little mistakes

Pacifico beer cake created! Tastes good, looked good, and a few people didn't even realize it was a cake.

So that's about that. Birthday 2013 complete, did some drinking, got a nice new coffee press to be a snob at work with, and did a muff diver shot with zambuca in it. Terrible combo.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Kraft Dinner - again

I like Kraft Dinner, that’s a genuine fact. I’ve had “gourmet” mac and cheese before that’s great, but there’s something to be said about a box of the nuclear orange stuff that hits that certain spot.

But as much as I like the stuff, there’s a few ads running right now for KD that strike me as a little odd. This campaign about two guys who are always competing for each other’s Kraft Dinner.

It’s an okay concept but aren’t they a little old to be fighting and pranking each other for macaroni? It’s not like it’s been seasoned with truffle oil and flakes of 24 karat gold, it’s a box of $1.25 macaroni.

Don’t they have jobs or something that might allow them to buy their own Kraft Dinner? You know, instead of sharing every box they buy, maybe the black-shirt guy might say “Hey that looks good. I’ll make some for myself!”

But no, instead he puts a noodle on his face as a distraction tactic to gank his roommate’s Mac.

 I know I once LOST it on my roommate when he drank all my milk, so I can only imagine what I’d have done if he literally took my plate of food and ate it in front of me while coldly staring me in the eyes.

Finally, here’s what really bothers me:

I mean Jesus Christ, Could this guy find a SMALLER pot? He's already got a few noodles on the stovetop, who knows how much crap he managed to burn on the elements or get in the pan underneath. This is just straight up poor decision making.

Maybe they’re trying to make KD cooler for college kids or something; but unless everyone switched from cheap starchy food to filet mingon and salmon cakes, I doubt it’s much of a problem. 

But then again, what do I know....

...that looks like the face of a young man whose roommate constantly plays demeaning pranks one after the other to steal his food; and humiliates him day after day by making him recite oaths about his own mother's attractiveness...

...and all he wants is a damn bowl of macaroni. This simple meal is probably the only joy that this guy has left in the world. He probably has no friends and as a result is forced to hand out with the KD-Bandit. And the more I think about it, the more this guy's roommate kind of seems like a bit of a villain actually.

Hopefully this ad campaign escalates into the plaid-shirt guy freaking out and snapping on his roommate, because that's the only logical conclusion to this saga.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Coffee Break!

I was listening to the radio last week and they had a nice little story about the TV show Friends.

Specifically, they interviewed a researcher who sat down and figured out how much coffee Monica, Pheobe, Rachael, Ross, Chandler, and Joey drank over the course of the series.

He estimated that each character drank two giant cups per episode. After some fancy math (AKA basic multiplication) he figured out that they drank 1683.5 litres of coffee over ten years. Apparently that’s enough to hospitalize 300 people (if you gave them each 5.6 litres and they drank it all at once)

Which got me thinking…how much coffee do I drink? I know it’s a lot, but how many times should I be dying in a year?

Well, after following the same formula, I worked out that I probably average about 418 litres of coffee in year.

This is equal to 2357 6oz cups(equal to a small mug), and according to my body weight it’ll take about 106.66 small cups all at once to kill me.

Which means, after all that mumbo jumbo, I drink enough coffee per year to kill me 22 times, which in reality isn’t all that bad. It is a little surprising when you do the math though, because if you break down even more it turns out I’m burning through 2.4 cats worth of lives in a year.

Which we all know is a standard imperial unit of measurement alongside a hogshead, a puncheon, and a firkin. Also, I learned how to use a calculator.

Monday, 18 March 2013

My Wayward CD Wallet

I found about a month and half ago that the CD wallet in my car was missing. I’d like to say they were stolen so that I could shift blame from myself, but it’s just as likely that I set it down on the inside of my car door and it flopped out into a parking lot.

This is what the CD wallet looked like by the way (except black).

 It’s super cool and totally stole this from my little sister.

I’d be upset over their loss, but of the 15 or 16 discs that were in it, I only listened to about 3 of them, one of which was in the CD player at the time. But they were really good CDs.

The first: Stunt – Barenaked Ladies

I jam to this one on sunny days. Of all the CDs I’ve ever owned, this is the one I can consistently say that I listened to the most. I got for Christmas from Santa when I was 11 or 12, and from all the CDs that I’ve lost over the years, at no point has this disc gone wayward. Needless to say, I’ll be tracking down a new copy of this ASAP.

The Second: Maroon – Barenaked Ladies

 Yeah, you’re probably noticing a trend here. This was a great happy sounding album, with super depressing lyrics. Probably the best album ever from BNL. I don’t remember who gave me this disc, or when I got it, but I’ve been listening to it on repeat for years and years. Luckily this one was in the CD player, so I’ve still got it!

3rdBurglar – SJ the Word Burglar 

This is as white and nerdy as it gets when it comes to hip-hop. The Word Burglar is a guy from Toronto who makes his living writing clever rhymes and reading comic books, and that’s pretty much exactly what this album is about. So whoever found this one is either going to really love or really hate this CD. This one isn’t a big loss because I bought it as a digital download, I can just reburn the album.

And that’s about it, I can think of maybe 3 other CDs that were in the wallet, but I don't remember the last time I listened to any of them. Plus, I had the foresight years beforehand to save all the music to my computer. So I’m A-OK and haven’t really lost anything. It just kinda blows to only have 1 good CD in my car.

So, what are some of the discs you've lost over the years, and any suggestions as to what my new jams should be?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Laser Tag

This past weekend the girlfriend and I went to Edmonton for her birthday. Everything we did was a pretty good time but the highlight for me was laser tag.

I haven’t played laser tag in years and years. The last time I remember going was either the late 90s or early 2000s at the Dark Zone in Winnipeg (which I just found out is actually open again, awesome!) and it was pretty sweet to revisit the experience as an adult.

When you’re a kid, you’re at the bottom of the laser tag food chain. You’re hunted, taken out easy, and have bad aim so you can’t really retaliate. But it's still fun all the same. However, when the shoe is on the other foot and you’re the one doing the hunting, it’s even more fun. Thumbs up A++ experience.

How I Met Your Mother nails the Laser Tag experience every-time
Which got me thinking…there’s no laser tag centre in Saskatoon. So maybe I should open my very OWN entertainment park with laser tag! With a cool two story catacomb design with hidey-holes, sniper nests and more! And it’ll even have changing rooms for people to use because everyone gets disgustingly sweaty playing Laser Tag.

We’ll have booking options for businesses, birthdays, weekend tournaments, parties, and groups of all sizes!

Plus, while you're there check out "Jake’s Restaurant & Sports Den." Bring the whole family for pizza and laser tag, or for the 19+ crowd, have a drink and catch the game while you wait for your turn in the Lazer Zone!

Mine won't have the garbage in front
So who wants to lend me $400,000 in start-up dollars to get this Laser Tag business off the ground? I’m totally good for it in ten years.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Classy Pants Programming

I recently got TV after being cable-free for over a year and a half. When I moved to Saskatoon it was an easy-to-cut expense after I sat down and tabulated the cost of TV. Pretty much every program I watched could be streamed online or was available on Netflix.
But at the start of February my girlfriend and I decided it was time to get back on the cable boat, we went with Sasktel and are enjoying a fantastic array of programming. However, there’s still mounds of TV that is just terrible, and this past Sunday I stopped to watch a little bit TLC’s latest scum-of-the-earth TV show:

Gypsy Sisters

They’re Romanian Gypsy women (who happen to have thick southern American accents) who don’t take guff from ANYONE! They fight and scream at other! They’re all married and have kids! One’s a stripper! And so-on and so-forth. I made an info-graphic to summarize the characters and premise, see it below:

Even in terms of bad TLC reality shows this a tough one to watch. I made it 3 minutes before changing the channel, right after one girl said she puts mayonnaise in her hair to keep it shiny. Yup, that’s what passes for a TV show these days. Mayo in the hair. Classy.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Station, New Sounds... AKA: Imaging, the Journey

Well everyone, it's been a crazy couple of months at work, and here's the lowdown before I get into the meat of this blog:

Back in mid-November (the 17th to be exact) my radio station flipped formats. The day before we were playing top 40 dance music and at the stroke of midnight it changed into a 24/7 Christmas Music station. I won't go into great detail as to why this happened but essentially the powers that be felt it was time for a change.

So for 40 days I worked away writing holiday commercials and radio-bits. After Saskatoon got over the initial shock there was lots of positive feedback. One guy even came in and gave the staff a card that said our station's Christmas music helped him pull through a bad patch of suicidal-depression and now he's going to rehab and getting his life back together. Warm fuzzy feelings were felt by everyone.

Then on December 26th we unveiled the new format, Cruz FM!

Playin' Saskatoon's Greatest Hits, 70s, 80s, 90s, and some 2000s.

As a part of launching a new station, there's this stuff called "Imaging" that needs to be written. Imaging is the snippets of audio before, after, and between songs that things like "963 Cruz FM is super duper awesome, now back to the music." They're around to help establish and identify the brand and attitude a station wants to portray.

Now here's the process of making fresh new imaging. Believe it or not, I find writing these 10 second bits just as difficult as any 30 or 60 second commercial.

Here's how it all starts: With an email from the Program Director:

And that's all the info I get to make scripts with. Around holdiays or station events they get more specific, but that's about it.

So then I spit and swear at my computer for a while and watch Youtube videos like this to get the creative gears in motion:

And finally I email the scripts to the Program Director. He makes fun of my grammar and spelling for a while, and we send it off to our "Big Voice." A Big Voice is slang for a professional radio voice-actor. Like every single radio/tv commercial this is 50% of what makes your scripts come alive (our man is Jamie Watson FYI, he's fantastic.)

Our Big Voice sends back raw audio which in turn is passed to our producer. He puts all the music/voice/FX together into what you hear as the end product from your radio.

Now I'll show you some of what I wrote, and how it turned out. Sometimes what I write isn't even close to what the final product turns out to be:
"We like the quality work you do, so here’s another hit to help you keep up the pace. Keep on Truckin’, 96-3 Cruz FM"

"We’re playing hit after hit, and giving you cool words to describe us to your friends. 96-3 CRUZ FM, Playing Saskatoon’s… (To the Max)(Super-Ace)(Copasetic)(Mega-Foxy)(Totally Bad)(Righteous)(Ultra-Rad) ….hits."

"We’re playing the greatest hits, one after another. It’s like we’re a carousel of non-stop rock. That didn’t sound quite so wicked-awesome as I thought it would. 96-3 CRUZ FM, Saskatoon’s Greatest hits."

"Here’s like, another like, hit from Saskatoon’s biggest music library…96-3 CRUZ FM…like."

"963 Cruz FM is worldwide, from Eston to *Scottish accent* Edinburgh Scotland, *regular* Stream us online at 963 Cruz FM dot com"

"96 point 3 Cruz FM in Saskatoon, Also known as CFWD, which stands for Cool Friends Walk Dogs. Hint hint, nudge nudge."

And that's how it all works from start to finish! Any questions?