Saturday, December 31, 2011

Snowboarding Day 1

Last Christmas I told my Aunt and cousin that I would like to learn how to snowboard.  My brother in law Greg was going to join me and it was to be a legendary adventure possibly involving several broken bones and many trips to the hospital.  I mentioned this to my aunt and cousin as their whole family were avid snowboarders and skiers and I was hoping to score the lending of equipment so that I would not have to go out and buy my own.  They did happily lend the equipment but the idea never really took off because it costs about $100 to go to a ski hill around here and at the time (and even now) that’s a lot of scratch to spend learning to go down a hill quickly, and falling a lot.

Today is the start of a long weekend for me and we just had a lovely amount of snow fall and it’s above freezing today (about 5 or 6 degrees Celsius – about 40 F for my American readers). And so I decided that today would be the day that I learned how to board on snow!

Why you might be asking.  Because if videogames have taught me anything (and they have taught me plenty) snowboarding is awesome.  Observe:

Anyways, I set out to learn to snowboard today and after driving around to find the least populated sledding hill I did a couple of quick runs on the Armour Heights Public School yard where there is a short hill.  I felt I got the hang of that pretty quick and moved on to the hill in front of the courthouse.


The hill is not too steep really, but it’s nice and long and I figured a good training ground for a first time snowboarder.  Turns out I was right and while I fell a number of times on my first few attempts I was able to stay upright for the length of the hill by about the fifth or sixth run.  I could not, and still cannot after probably twenty runs at it, steer very well or gracefully stop.  But considering that the only pointers I got about snowboarding were about a year ago in my Grandma’s living room I feel I did pretty well.  By the end I was asserting that I was only going to do ‘one more run’ about three or four times and during that span landed a small jump and nearly landed a more energetic launch off the same small jump.

As far as Day One is concerned with no outside instruction I’m calling this a success, hopefully tomorrow will yield the same amount of growth, it would be nice to be able to steer and stop!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Mario Power Ups

Sometimes I am embarrassed for my wife.

She was born only a few years later than I was, owned a Nintendo Entertainment System, grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and yet I discovered a few Friday nights ago that she did not know that there was such a thing as Raccoon Mario.

See what happened is that Erin and Greg (my brother in law) awesomely gave me a Nintendo wallet and a keychain featuring the new Tanooki Mario from Super Mario 3D Land. Amber was all like “What’s Tanooki Mario?” I just gestured to the keychain, she noted that she figured that that was Racoon Mario and I explained the whole in Super Mario Bros 3 there was a Raccoon Mario that had ears on his cap and a tail, and also Tanooki Mario who has the whole suit. To me, this should simply be common knowledge for anyone between 35 and 27. Super Mario Bros 3 came out in like 1990 I believe. After a quick Google check I am right (!
Over the years there have been so many power ups that it is hard to keep track of them all. Some of them are timeless that everyone does know, some are just awesome, and some I doubt we will ever see again.

The classic items of course show up in almost every Mario game. The super mushroom is in almost every game and was actually the first item Mario ever got in a Super Mario Bros. game. I later learned that that first hit the block then have the mushroom bounce off the pipe and back to you was specifically designed to have it be very very difficult to dodge the first mushroom letting the player know it was ok to touch them in a game were touching almost anything else resulted in death.

The fire flower is another that pretty much everyone should know about even if you don’t play video games, grab it and it gives Mario (or Luigi) the ability to send bounce balls of napalm as whatever is nearby.

The star, or more accurately, Starman. This item has been in every Mario game I can think of off the top of my head and also shown up in a variety of Mario spin off games (Mario Kart comes to mind right away) it makes you invincible, and faster and it changes the music and in Mario Galaxy you turn all rainbowy.

Those are the ones I think everyone is aware of, there are some that I have never played as like Rabbit Mario and some I hated in certain situations like Frog Mario if you are on land. But the one in question of course is Raccoon Mario from one of the best selling games of all time, Super Mario Bros. 3.

This –> is Raccoon Mario is you are about 30 years old and have not seen this picture you must have been covering your eyes to play hide and seek for about two years around 1990. Now only was the game a best seller but there were tie ins with McDonalds and promotional posters and a whole flipping movie, The Wizard, about playing Super Mario Bros. 3. you became Raccoon Mario within 20 seconds of playing the game and he could fly by running fast and wagging his tail. Pretty awesome!

There are of course many more power ups now, and new ones for each game it seems, here is an old chart of all the Mario Power ups that there was at whatever time the chart was made. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fitness Goals For 2012

There I was walking down the street yesterday just about to head into the used game store downtown and I hear my name shouted. “Chris!” the shout came since that is my name and who was it but Matt and Kate who just so happened to be in town.  Coincidence or what?

We had lunch and then a coffee and hot chocolate, I had the hot chocolate.  During the course of the afternoon Kate asked me what my fitness goals for the year are and really I didn’t have much in mind at the time, just maintaining what I have achieved so far I supposed and running in my race, the Warrior Dash.  Oh and lifting things, but I mentioned that as sort of an afterthought.

I’ve had the chance to think about it a bit further and even now I don’t have many goals beyond those few things.  At the gym I would like to be able to bench press my own weight and then two plates (180lbs) by the end of the year.  I have no idea if that is actually great or not.  At the moment I can lift 120lbs (plus the bar – which turns out to be my own weight) which isn’t a lot I guess, but I have not been training for heavy lifting, just fitness for the last two years.  I do my bench press as part of a routine and so I lift that weight 30 times with two varieties of push-ups in between each set of ten lifts.  So it’s not that I want to lift my weight period, I want to be able to lift it 30 times.  So far I have been upping the weight I press each week by 10lbs for the last five weeks or so since I just returned to doing the bench press after my two previous workout plans didn’t have it at all.

Last year I left off running a 5K route in about 23:30 on average, I’d like to get that down under 23 minutes consistently in time for the Warrior Dash.  That will take some doing I am sure, and I’m not certain how to actually go about it other than just run, so we will have to see about that.

As for maintaining what I have achieved so far I think that is quite doable, I have done it now for over a year and fluctuated within five pounds bouncing over 165lbs only after our cruise for about two days.  I’ve also been at my ‘new’ job for six months now and have been able to fit in gym time and such without too much difficulty so all things being equal maintaining my fit and healthy body should not be a huge challenge.

What are your fitness goals?  How to you plan on getting there?

Friday, December 23, 2011


I love my 3DS and lately it just keeps getting better!  I picked mine up on launch day with one game and was blown away by the 3D effect that you did not need to wear glasses to experience.  The trick to it is that generally one holds a hand held device like a portable game system with a certain distance from you face, Nintendo took advantage of that an made their system 3D, it' is very cool.

Recently as you may have seen ads for it on TV Nintendo has been pushing out some pretty awesome games for the system.  Super Mario 3D Land came out early in November and was everything I expected it to be.  Nintendo never fails to amaze me with their ability to make me feel like I am ten years old again discovering a game for the first time.  It is typical Mario, you run, you jump, you die over and over, you smile the entire time because it’s so much fun!

A few weeks later Mario Kart 7 came out and it has not move from my system since that day.  Everyday at lunch I play a couple of races and now that we have wireless at work as well I can play online there and at home!  Again Mario Kart was exactly what I was expecting with a few new twists the game is fun and challenging.  I love the online match up system Nintendo has created for Mario Kart that keeps you playing with player in and around your own level so as to give every one of the (up to) eight players involved a shot at winning.

Last night Nintendo put out another free piece of software for the system that you download from their eshop service called swapnote.  It lets you send messages to other 3DS systems, but you draw them like you would on a sticky note, and can send multiple pages at once.  The really cool thing is you can do it in 3D!  Being able to draw a 3D picture is pretty cool and it makes me wish I knew more people that own a 3DS just so we could trade messages.

If you are thinking about getting one of these systems for someone at Christmas, do it! If you are thinking of getting one for yourself, do that too and then l-ink up with me!  If you already have one, we should swap friend codes, mine is:
0903-2736-8751 post in the comments below if you have one!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Drought Is Over - What Setting Objectives You are In Control Of Can Do For You

Yesterday I was eager to go and play hockey, we were going to be playing a team that typically we do well against and I was hopeful I would be able to score a goal or at least get some shots on net as that is my current objective.  You can not score without shooting so a minimum of three shots on net per game is what I am aiming for.   You see when I was so frustrated a couple of games ago with my lack of ability to find the twine, as they say, I decided to change my mind set. Each Saturday I was going to the rink with the intention of scoring. Scoring involves a lot of things but mainly it requires a shot of mine to get past the goalie. I only have total control over half of that situation. So I decided to focus on my half of it and just try to get shots on net. It was time to put the plan into action.

At about 1pm though, Todd, our Captain, called and asked if I could fill in for our goalie as he would be away.  I agreed of course and began to plan to play our game in net and take my forward gear as well in hopes that I could play the second game out as a winger.

It turns out that it was not just our goalie missing but almost half our team!  Two of our usual defenseman were missing and Mark who usually completes the line with Jeff and I.  So we were a bit outmanned right from the start with only one spare for all the forwards and one spare for defense.  We held up well for about half the game.  At that point I had only allowed one goal and made a couple spectacular saves.  Unfortunately the wheels fell off after that and they began to pick us apart due to our skaters being so tired.  The final for that game was 6-3 and while I usually would not be happy with a score like that (and I am not now even) the deck was stacked against us winning.

As we came off the ice Jeff went and asked if Calvery needed players and got me in on the next game, I stripped off my goalie stuff, packed it up, ran out to the car and then back in with my other hockey bag.  I dressed just in time to skate a couple laps and warm up my skates (they were freezing from sitting in the car since 5:30 (by this time it was 9:30).  I was playing with Jeff and Ron.  Jeff is the guy that usually centres the line Mark and I play on for our team, and I used to play with Ron at centre when I began playing in this league years ago.

The game was fast and I was eager to avenge all those goals scored against me.  I started out the game feeding Jeff a couple of passes but then got a break up my left wing side and sniped a shot 5-hole. What a relief to score a goal on an actual shot!  My last goal seven(!) games ago was a bang in while I flew past the net. My only goal before that was on an actual shot was way back in the first game of the season!  Later on Jeff, Ron and I were set up in their end passing the puck around.  Jeff, from behind the net, got it out to Ron at the right circle who passed it across to me and I shot it in to a wide open net for my second of the night.

While I was ending my goal scoring drought Jeff was simply dominating when he was on the ice!  By the end of the night he had six goals! 6!!  It was pretty unbelievable, Ron got one on the night as well but I was not done either.  Ron had decided that since Jeff is a right shot and I am a left that when we took face-offs on the right side of the ice I should switch from left wing to centre so I could try to win the draw to Jeff and he could fire it in the net.  That was a plan that actually worked perfectly on the first face-off I took, but towards the end of the game it resulted in a broken play that allowed me a shot from right in the slot that zipped by the goalie for my third of the night.

A hat trick.  I didn’t just end the drought I proved to myself that perseverance and setting goals that I am in control of (shots on net instead of scoring as a set objective) will make me successful.  It was a great night and a great game.

We do not play again until after the new year, apparently people like to get together over the holidays instead of playing hockey – ridiculous!  So I was really happy to get the scoring monkey off my back in this game and hopefully now that the gate is open more will follow after the break.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Damion sent in an email after my update post with a whole pile of answers from them trivia contest!

Damion answered all the questions correctly except the 1st stop on the cruise. We went to San Juan.

Congratulations!  I cannot wait to see his blog post!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Hey everyone some updates for you all.

Yesterday I had a view from South Africa, which means that aside from Antarctica I have had at least one read from every continent!  That’s pretty cool!

There was no winner to the contest, no one sent anything in.  Amber said maybe it was too hard, or that the prize sucked.  One day I’ll have something meaningful to give away I promise.  (or all you need it one correct answer to win this one, anyone??)

You can follow me on twitter   @Chrispy47 I know a few of you have.

Sometimes You Just Feel Like Hanging It Up

I left work yesterday feeling pretty defeated, I think that is the most appropriate word to use.  I can not get into particulars obviously, but I just felt  generally like putting the whole ECE thing on the shelf.

I won’t, it is not an option really, I do love my job.  I definitely felt the support from the people I’m supposed to feel support from.  Encouraging words were said and they certainly did help.  I still left feeling that I was not all that good at what I do simply because of being who I am.

I went to the gym after work, mainly because I did not even feeling like following through with that.  I have learned at karate that it is the days when you feel like staying home that you get the most out of things (I wish there had been karate last night honestly).  So I went and I sweated, there is no more honest work than work done completely for yourself.

Today is a new day, I need to give it the opportunity to be a good day instead of carrying the baggage over from the day before or else it will be predestined to failure.  So, here we go!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We Got A New Kitty

After losing two cats in ten days back in October and November we decided after a while to get a new kitty.  Cringer I think was a bit lonely and while her immediate reaction is to growl and hiss as the new housemate, she ([pp’;’[

hy[-|||”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””)  <—that was the new kitty saying hi.

will eventually get along with this new tiny, tiny friend.

She is the most high energy thing I have seen.  She’s spent every waking moment playing with anything that moves, and a lot of things that don’t, as well as running back and forth around the house.

You may have noticed that I have yet to mention a name.  That is because we can not agree on a name yet.  Amber has not really given any suggestions other than to say ‘A nice girl cat name’.  While I have given plenty, she just thinks they are no good.

Now to explain, naming a pet I think is the perfect opportunity to express yourself.  That is why my first cat ever (and the one we have now) was named Cringer.  Cringer was the name of Prince Adam’s big tiger on He-Man, who when Prince Adam became He-Man the tiger became Battle Cat.  When we had brought that cat home she was a barn cat and was afraid of everything (just like Cringer on the show) but when she got mad she would tear your face off (as on of the children my mom babysat many years later learned the hard way).  Years later Daisy came into my house and was so named because of Princess Daisy from Super Mario Bros (the obvious choice of Princess Peach was overruled).

So far names that have been rejected are:

  • Peach
  • Zelda
  • Panthor
  • Isis
  • Battle Cat
  • Kurbio
  • Yoshi
  • Toad
  • Fangs
  • Optimus Prime
  • Megatron
  • Kimeer
  • Meow – then she would be able to say her own name!

and after looking at a list of cat names online my new personal favourite:

  • Dr. Applesauce.

So, you know a bit of her nature, and here are some pictures:

2011-12-14 17.27.052011-12-14 17.38.48[5]2011-12-14 17.39.12[3]2011-12-14 17.42.09[0]

Name suggestions anyone?

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Running Is A Bad Friend

I got off work early yesterday, which was good because I was quite tired due to being out at work on Sunday having breakfast with Santa at 8am.  With this time off I decided I would go to the gym since I could be done at the gym at the same time I would be done work.  It was not the most relaxing choice, but since I skipped the gym Sunday to go do the breakfast with Santa I figured it was the universe’s way of paying me back the time.

I got to the gym and noted how few cars there was in the parking lot and thought I would have no problems doing the things I needed to do for my leg day.  Apparently fewer cars in the afternoon does not mean fewer people, I guess because people walk over from the college nearby or take the bus.  I got my leg presses done, and my hamstring exercises.  Then it was time to use the rack to do squats and such, but some due was busy pretending to use the one where the bar is free, and someone was actually using the one where the bar is guided on rails.

I thought to myself, I’m not waiting around for these guys, especially dude that is doing more stretching than actually working.  I have not run in a while, I’ll do that.  So I wrote on my sheet, in place of where I would check off the six different exercises I had left, 5k run.  No problem I figured, I could run 5k in about 23 minutes the last time I did it (back before hockey started) that was only two and a half months ago. 

You know how you have those friends that you can go months and months without seeing them and just pick up where you left off?   Like my friend Matt is one of those guys, we’ll go quite a while without hanging out, but then we do and it’s like we’ve been together every weekend for our whole lives.  Yeah, running is not a friend like that.  Running is the friend that when you visit after two months, complains about how you don’t call or make time for them.  I’m sure it didn’t help too much that I had just done a bunch of legs presses and hamstring curls, but I could not run 5k straight, or at a pace I was happy with.

I did complete it in just over 25 minutes, but I had to have a little bit of a walk about half way through.  When I was done, I of course sprinted the last minute or so, I was so dead.  My legs were alright, but my head was wobbly and I knew I needed a Gatorade or something.  In short I learned that after more than two months and some about 20 minutes of leg exercises I can’t just expect run 5k in a time comparable to my best runs.  Go figure.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Trees

On Tuesday night Amber and I went and bought our Christmas tree from a lot a few blocks over.  As we brought it in the house and needle fell all over the floor she commented that for someone that wanted a real Christmas tree I was doing a lot of complaining.  It was at this point that I told her that I was complaining because we in fact did not have a real Christmas tree, we had areal, fake tree.

The tree we brought home has been cut for at least a few days already if not a week or so, it was farmed as well in some field perfectly spaced from other trees to allow sun from all sides and so on.  Yes it is a real tree in the sense that it is not a plastic or metal tree, but it is like some tree from the matrix or something.

In my childhood we went and got real trees, usually on Christmas eve.  My dad and I would go out into the woods (we lived in the woods) in search of a great tree.  Within fifteen minutes we would see a tree or two that looked ok, but there must be something better so we would keep walking.  Eventually we would be cold and snow would be in our boots and anything resembling a tall green thing would be up for consideration. 

A tree would of course be found and we would drag it back home.  It would be put up in the stand and then have to be turned to show the best side of it away from the wall.  This was key, because since it was a real tree there was a ‘best side’ because usually the side deemed ‘not best’ would have a huge gap in branches and such.  Typically then we would have to use some twine to tie the tree up to the ceiling.  If we did not do this step it was usually the case where the tree we had selected could not bear it’s own weight, I think this was partly due to the fact that until dad made his own we must have had the worst tree stand in history.

I have been known to go out into the woods and get my own tree in my adulthood as well, following almost the exact same plan as my dad, but this year we were a bit rushed since Amber’s mom is coming tonight to do the whole Christmas thing and going out in the dark to find a tree would be pointless.

Next year we are getting a real, real tree. For now, this will have to do.

2011-12-09 06.18.21

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


On Sunday I bought Mario Kart 7 for my 3DS.  It is just another example of how Nintendo can make a long running series of games with each one being a hit.  It also shows how they know their fan base and can turn out products that please them.  Another example of this would be that just a couple of weeks about I bought Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword which I have talked about already, and just also in the last few weeks I’ve bought Super Mario 3D Land.

Each of these games are unique from each other and indeed unique from the rest of the games on the market.  Yes there are other kart racing games, but Mario Kart did it first, and it always does it better than a game that is trying to imitate it’s success.

I think it is funny that Amber actually refers to playing video games at all as “Playing Nintendo” if I am using the TV to do it.  I have an Xbox 360 and that is actually something I thought I would never get was a non-Nintendo gaming system, eventually it became essential since just a few really amazing games where not done quite right by third party developers on the Wii, or simply not done at all (the NHL series, Rock Band, Portal and the new Batman games).

It is quite interesting to look at me game collection actually I think as I only have a handful of Xbox games, basically those mentioned above and a couple of downloaded ones.  As for my Wii, DS and 3DS games I’d say about 95% of them are Nintendo made which is considerable since I have had each of those system since the day they came out.

I think somewhere along the line I missed the day where I was supposed to love games like Halo and Grand Theft Auto.  I would rather play the original Super Mario Bros. than either of those series of games.  If I want to shoot things I have Metroid to do it with, if I want and adventure I have so many versions of Legend of Zelda to do that too, if I want to race I have Mario Kart and if I want to just have some fun I have Super Mario.

I’ve always been a Nintendo guy, and always will be I think, they just make so many games I love, and that I can share with anyone!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Thanks to we have another Friend Making Monday, take part do your own, post the link in my comments section and over at, get readers, have fun!

1. I am good at… Karate, being sarcastic, finding time for the gym.

2. I am happy when…most of the time actually, but specifically when I’m with friends.

3. I am working on…getting better at playing guitar, now that I have been shown an easier F chord I hope to learn some new songs.

4. I am interested in…taking trips and learning new things.

5. I am always…looking to improve my abilities.

6. I am enjoying…all the new video games I have gotten lately!  Batman Arkham City, Super Mario 3D Land, Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword and Mario Kart 7!!

7. I am in…My PJs, at home, in the living room, in Peterborough, Ontario Canada.

8. I am reading…The Batman Files, very interesting, written like a cross between a diary and a scrapbook.

9. I am concerned about…my Grandma that is in the hospital, nothing too serious but concerning nonetheless and what fun things I will do at work this week.

10. I am looking forward to…Hockey tonight, My wife’s birthday next week and then Christmas!

Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to come back and share a link to your blog in the comments! Happy Monday my friends!

Friday, December 2, 2011

What I Notice About Professional Development

I went to another Professional Development session last night and got to see a couple friends from school yay!  Oh yeah but I also learned something great about doing learning stories, far more useful than what we learned about learning stories in college.  I enjoy PD sessions, it’s nice to be in that type of learning setting again.  However, I do wish people would speak up!

Last night there was eight of us there, everyone knew at least one other person and yet it was still like pulling teeth to get responses from the crowd when the facilitator asked a question.  It was like being in the first year of college all over again.We all know that everyone there had good thoughts and ideas, I know for sure that at least half of us were college graduates, and everyone works each day in the same field (some folks were school age staff).  Why go to PD if you have no intention of taking part?

I get singled out enough as it is at things like this because I’m a guy.  In fact in a company of more than 150 employees I’m the only male ECE, and just one of two guys that works for the company!  So to pipe up with a response or answer first on each open question the facilitator gives makes me a little on edge I guess (I’m so glad Keri had things to say first only a few questions in a couple of times!).

It is not about appearing smart or trying to be right, it is about moving the whole process along.  I do not want to give up my evening to spend a quarter of it sitting in silence waiting for someone to be brave enough to give a response, just say what you have got to say. 

In school I truly believe that it was my early ridiculous answers or actions that gave some of the other members of the class the ability to speak up without worrying about being wrong.  I mean after a college instructor asks a group of students how you can effectively discipline a child and I make a backhand motion in plain view of that instructor and get a “Chris! You can’t do that!”  Any answer is a good answer and folks say what’s on their mind.

Take part in your own learning, speak up, be unafraid to say what’s on your mind.  The whole learning process is much more enjoyable that way.  And it moves along a heck of a lot faster!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snow Is Better Than Rain

Today it is snowing here, not the little dusting we had a while ago, but actually snowing. I love it. Yesterday it rained all day, and if you think it is bad when you are inside with one or two children at home on a rainy day, try it out with 18 at a day care.

Getting snow suits on was a bit of a hassle, mainly because it seems that children that are at times fiercely independent become suddenly utterly dependant when it is time to get ready to go outside.

But even with that consideration, going out into the snow with a clouder of kids is so much fun. We threw snowballs at the building, rolled huge snowballs to make a snowman and generally just had a blast.

Plus all this snow gave me a chance to wear my snow pants that I love!

Many people lament the time when it starts to snow, I welcome it, we can go outside and have fun in the snow, even at home I still build a snowman out front each year.

Yay snow!

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Monday, November 28, 2011

FMM–Holiday Shopping

Here it is again friend making Monday with the idea brought to you by you know the drill by nowm read mine, copy and paste it with your own answers in your own blog and be sure to link back to their original post.

  1. Do you like to shop? Sometimes
  2. Have you started shopping for Christmas gifts yet? I have bought a few things, but I wouldn’t say I have started really
  3. Did you shop on Black Friday?  If so, what did you buy?  Nope!
  4. List a few of your favourite stores. To shop at for my wife - Chapters, Simple Wal*Mart
  5. Do you prefer to shop in-store or online?  In store for sure.
  6. If you could purchase one thing that you don’t need at all for yourself today, what would it be?  More Comics
  7. Does your significant other shop with you?  Do they love it/hate it? Amber and I do shop together sometimes.  I think it depends where we are going if she likes it or not.
  8. Do you shop at thrift stores? Not usually unless it' is for old video games.
  9. When you’re holiday shopping, do you make lists?  I get a wish list from Amber, otherwise I’d have no idea of what specific things to get her.

I Reject Your Reality And Substitute My Own

I tend to watch Mythbusters a lot.  It’s a fantastic show and one that has provided me with dinner table topics and great experiments to try at home and at daycare.  It’s definitely my favourite show that is not a cartoon. 

It turns out the show is eight years old!  I was astounded when I heard that and realized that it was true.  The first episode I remember seeing was the one where they blew up a cement truck.  See the myth was that when you have just a bit of cement caked and hardened on the inside of the barrel of the cement mixer, rather than chip it out with a jackhammer the truck drivers would just toss a stick of dynamite into the truck, wait for the BOOM and sweep out all the bits of cement.  It didn’t really work that well, but in what has become typical Mythbuster fashion they ramped up the whole experience for the finale of the show and had a cement mixer nearly full of hardened cement and packed the rest of the barrel with high explosive.  They stood watching about a mile away and the whole truck simply disappeared as a result of the explosion.  It was fantastic.  It was real.  And it was my new favourite thing to see on TV Sunday nights.

I also find it funny that this is pretty much the only “reality” show I watch and it’s a hundred times better than any so called reality show that has ever been.  There are some parts of the show where they are trying to explain things and they do multiple takes because they are trying to be specific about something, but all the results and reactions are completely unscripted.  Even with that unscriptedness having seen the show for eight years Adam, Jamie, Tory, Carrie and Grant are characters simply due to their personalities and you can see how so many of their interactions come from working together for a long period of time – like how Adam imitates Jamie’s voice and mannerisms all the time.

More TV shows should aspire to deliver the same type of quality with the same type of enthusiasm as Mythbusters does.  The show is fun and entertaining and I learn something almost every week watching it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snakebit and Hard Work

At hockey this year I cannot find the back of the net.  It is starting to boggle my mind how much I can’t score this year, I feel like Scott Gomez except I don’t get paid $8 million per year.  Now we are winning and I am putting up points so I’m not complaining that much, but it sure would be nice to score.

This year in 9 games I have scored only 2 goals.  One was our teams first goal of the season a nice shot from the right circle.  The other goal came 5 games later and it was a garbage goal, I was cruising toward the net, a rebound came and I just whacked it in as I twisted and fell because I had to contort so awkwardly to hit the puck.

So after 9 games this year I have 2 Goals, 13 Assists and 23 shots on net.  Not bad, thankfully I can still pass it seems and the guys on my line are filling the net (Mark had a hat trick last night and Jeff had two goals as well)!  This 9 games also includes one game where I played goalie, so it’s really only the stats of 8 games I guess.

Last year after 9 games I had 7 goals, 10 assists and 27 shots on net.  Not much difference shots wise, and only 2 points difference, but I had a hat trick myself by then.  Honestly I thought that I would have more goals/points this year as I am not wearing myself out at the gym each Saturday after karate, maybe I should be!Come to think of it, the game last year where I scored the hat trick was after my black belt grading, a gruellingly physical day ( I even added 2 assists that night).

Last night was also the hardest time I’ve had getting air and having my legs work as I would like in a long time, I think it is due to the fact that I am picking up my wife’s cold a bit.  However, in my overreactionary sort of way it mean that cardio will be bumped up.  I think that I’m going to be hitting the gym on Saturdays again too, I mean it didn’t hurt my game last year, I’ll be done there by 12:30 or so and that gives me at least eight hours to recover.

Unfortunately I am not the type of hockey player that is naturally gifted, I have to work hard for what I get on the ice, and I’ve been shown (by myself really) that if I want results in one area there is usually work you can do to back it up in another area.  Hard work at the gym did me a lot of good for hockey last year.  I was hoping that I had done enough that I could afford myself a day off from the gym this year and count hockey as my exercise.  It appears that that is not the case if I want results, and if you know me, I want results!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Animated Movies

My wife has this thing about animated movies where she hates them unless they are made by Disney.  Specifically I mean actual cartoon movies.  Things like How to Train Your Dragon and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs she has no issue with.  But When I bring up the possibility of watching Batman: Under the Red Hood, that is apparently not an option, or she will agree and then promptly fall asleep.

To be fair nearly all of my animated movies are superhero movies (mostly Batman) and she’s not that big of a fan.  But consistently the stories in these movies are far better than the story in live action films.  At least to me that is how it is since there is no time wasted on needing to have a love interest for Batman, and the action sequences can be as big as big since the only cost to the making of the movies is drawing pictures and being creative.  I know they can really do anything they want now in a live action movie with CGI but usually they drop the ball on a lot of those things.  And I know that usually they do not kill anyone in an animated movie, but in the more recent DC movies it happens as they go for a more mature audience.  Really the lines of what you do in one medium and not the other are blurring because of the demographic the producers are trying to go after.

I love animated superhero movies.  To me they are almost always presenting the best version of that character simply because the guys who write the stories for comic books are directly feeding the scripts for the movies.  Those same folks are doing the designs for the characters in the movies as well.  Yes I really like the outfit for Batman in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but in every comic I have read Batman wears a grey suit and black everything else and you can not see his eyes and his voice isn’t ridiculous.

In my opinion Batman should look  and sound like this:



And, Although it does look alright, not like this:

Batman sounds like he’s trying to sound that way as opposed to natural… the Joker however is awesome!

Just as I think Superman should look like this:


And not this:


I mean yeah they show him lifting a big thing there, but Superman should be big, a stiff breeze could knock this guy over.

Anyways I’ve lost my point because I have come back to writing this a few times this morning, but animated superhero movies are almost always better than their live action counterparts.  It is a lot more epic to see things real-life-ish, but everything just seems to go together better in an animated film.

Friday, November 25, 2011


This I feel is a basic skill.  We watch a whole pile of cooking shows here at home of the Kitchen Nightmares, Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen variety and just started watching Worst Cook in America.  It boggles my mind that anyone can be that bad at cooking in general.  One girl said she could not even boil water before she came on the show and I really do hope that was an exaggeration.

I learned to cook a few things before I was even a teenager.  Actually in grade two our class learned to cook grilled cheese sammiches (yes I know it’s spelled sandwiches) at school on day using a toaster oven. I could make soup (but really if you can’t make soup from a can I weep for you) and hotdogs.  Side note about hotdogs apparently some people think it’s odd that I cook them in a frying pan – and now in the toaster oven on the odd occasion that I have one, I think boiling them is ridiculous, some much better by the other methods unless you have a barbeque handy.  Oh and I could make Kraft Dinner by then too, which due to a video I watched last night is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the US – ours is better by the way.

KD vs KM&C ooohhh try it with ketchup on it, or cut up hotdogs or bacon into it, so good! Yeah I was doing that at 12 too, I was a chef even then.

Now, of course, I can cook all sorts of things.  The worst thing I have ever made as far as I am concerned is Mr. Noodles.  Not that I cannot make it, but just that it was, by the hundredth time I made it, inedible.  I have not eaten any since and that was ten years ago at least now.  My biggest cooking failure that I fed to other people was biscuits because we did not have any baking powder and it substituted baking soda – they are totally not the same thing even though they both start with the word ‘baking’.  It was like trying to eat hockey pucks.  The taste was not too bad, but you needed a chisel and mallet to break them apart.

I don’t really know what the best thing I make is now.  I make a pretty mean hamburger (now with ground chicken!) and amazing homefries (no deep fryer required).  Baked pasta is always good and maybe one of my favourite things to eat, I do have the quick version and the extra cheesy version of the same dish.  No, I’ve got it, breakfast bake, that’s probably the best thing I can make,  It’s not overly hard and I got the recipe from Chef at Home with Michael Smith.  Get a baking dish, a bunch of eggs, some day old bread, cheese and sausages.  Cut up the sausages, grate the cheese, scramble the eggs and season them, cut up the bread into cubes, mash the whole pile of that together in the baking dish and them bake it until it’s done.  So Good!

But back to the main point.  Cooking is a basic skill, if you struggle with it, go get some pointers or take a class, it’s cheaper and healthier than ordering out and way more satisfying to your tummy and your ego to cook your own food.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holidays and Calories

Today is the American Thanksgiving and while I won’t be doing anything in particular about it (other than visiting Calendar Man in Arkham City – I love games with date sensitive content!) I know many of my readers are American, and I was told again yesterday that I should help people out that what to lose weight and get fit.  Which brings up the topic at hand.  Holidays and Calories go hand in hand, it’s pretty much unavoidable unless you are going to sit there and make a pouty face while the rest of your family eats delicious things.

My solution to the whole situation especially when I was losing weight was a two part attack.  Save my calories for the big meal of the day and do something either on the day of the even or the day before and day after.  The second part of that was a cinch for me because I did exercise pretty much every day anyways so there was no extra planning involved at all.  Do something cardio that burns some calories, it’s even better if you can do it the same day.  I have no fact based proof that that is true, but I know it made me feel a whole lot better about eating the big holiday meal.  I knew my weight was going to go up a bit, bit I also knew I had worked hard that day, and that two days hence the going up would just be a little blip on my Wii Fit chart.

Saving calories is a bit harder, depending on when you meal is.  Somewhere along the line my family decided that holiday meals were to be had at about 1pm, something to do with the length of time it took to drive to visit.  Thought about ten years ago that point became moot since we all moved to within a half hour drive of each other, but it stuck so whatever.  Thankfully we had no big eating holidays while I was while I was losing weight, because I ate so little I  would have had to have water and air for breakfast and dinner to have any calories to eat the big meal.  When my first fit Thanksgiving rolled around I was eating about 2200 Calories a day, but as you know pie has lots of calories and I like pie.  So typically then and even now I tend to have a filling but low calories breakfast on a day like that say two eggs and and English muffin, that’s 270 calories, then for dinner it might be something like cereal or left over turkey made into a sammich, so say 300-400 calories so two meals of the day only account for 600-700 calories.  That leaves like 1500 calories to spend on one big meal, not exactly the ideal way to portion out the day, but again I wanted to be able to take part, and eat what I wanted without much worry.

My second year of fit holiday meals is just coming up, well thanksgiving is already past for us in Canada, and I know I can now eat what I want.  It’s a liberating feeling once you are in shape, but the thing is, what I want to eat now is only about half of what I would eat two years ago.  The mentality of eating right is burned into my brain, and I’ve eaten the right amounts for so long that my tummy knows when it’s time to quit and I listen.

So for that reading that are getting in shape, enjoy the day, if your a fanatic I was, go for a run this morning then enjoy knowing you have done your exercise deed for the day and save a few calories somewhere else so you can have a big piece of pie rather than a little sliver.  If you simply don’t have the time for that, then don’t sweat it too bad, you’ll be up in weight tomorrow, but back to watching the scale go down the day after that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Legend of Zelda Part II

As I was saying , my love for all things Zelda has been brought to the forefront of my mind due to the release of Skyward Sword. With the game of Zelda came a CD with eight tracks from the 25th anniversary performance of the orchestrated arrangement of Zelda songs.

I thought it would be a great way to share this whole 'Zelda' thing at daycare would be through that music. It really is fantastic and if I was not doing this on my phone I would link to some youtube videos of the music. So I put on the main theme that nearly everyone of my generation would recognize and asked the children how it made them feel. Big said one excited said another. Then I got them to draw how it was making them feel.

I got things that ranged from big circles to people traveling. It was great! I think video game music when it is actual composed music with themes and use of an orchestra in mind really does get overlooked. A great musical score can really set a tone for a game and for the player.

So many of the songs on that CD reminded me of time spent solving puzzles our playing A Link to the Past at Dan's house.

If you have never played any of the games in the series I really encourage you to do so.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Legend Of Zelda Part I

Yesterday I picked up The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword in what continues to be a gaming delight that for me personally has lasted about twenty years (though The Legend Of Zelda series is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year).

For those unfamiliar with The Legend Of Zelda, it is a series of games produced and published by Nintendo (and created by the same guy that created Mario - Shigeru Miyamoto) and while the main thrust of the story is similar in each game the details are always very different.  Basically the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda, gets placed in some sort of peril and the Hero of Legend, Link, must save her and the land, usually by defeating Ganondorf.

Some would argue that the whole save the princess story is done to death, and how can you create so many games (nine console games I think) based on the same premise.  Honestly I think it's because each of these stories is told in such a unique and compelling way. I'm always thrilled to get the green tunic that Link wears, to get my first sword and shield.  It's fantastic.  I think my favourite moment in each game though is when you find the Master Sword. In each game it means that you have finally taken hold of the weapon you need to defeat whatever particular evil is haunting the land.

Now I did play the original Legend Of Zelda on the NES and Zelda II The Adventure of Link as well, but I didn't really comprehend what I was doing with those games at the time.  It was not until the Super NES and A Link To The Past that I really understood Zelda and played it purposefully.  I remember thinking that the world that was crafted in that game was huge and I was always so proud to solve the puzzles of the dungeons.  It is a game so far removed from the mindless fighting (like Mortal Kombat) and high scores (like Tetris) and levels and segmented worlds (like Super Mario) of so many other games.

Indeed the original Legend of Zelda game created it’s very own genre, and the ones that have followed it have tweaked that idea to different levels of awesomeness each time.

I’d write more but I would like to play some more before I go to work today.  I already have something ‘Zelda’ brewing in my head for tomorrow!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friend Makin’ Monday: Thanksgiving

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

It’s actually not thanksgiving for me here in Canada, we had ours in October.  That probably has something to do with the fact that we are a bit further north for the most part and our ye olde harvest time would have been earlier.  If we waited has waited until now most things would have gotten ruined by frost or we’d be trying to get them out from under the snow some years.

As for traditions, my family has had the same tradition for both Thanksgiving and Christmas for as many years as I can imagine.  We go to my Grandma’s house and have dinner – well typically a very late lunch and early dinner , like brunch but in the afternoon, so ‘linner’ or ‘dunch’ whichever playful combination word you prefer.

There is always turkey and squash – which I did not like until about a year ago – peas corn potatoes and candied yams which only my Grandma seems to make right, my mom cannot make them the same no matter how hard she tries.  Only in the last four or five years had the majority of the cooking passed to my mom and my aunt.  Be for that my Grandma would do it all and be sure that everyone had gotten what they needed before she would even sit with her own meal.  I think it has to do with the era and family style she was raised and lived in, she looked after everyone!

There is always pumpkin pie for dessert, which I love! and at Christmas there is Christmas cake as well – which I hate, both because it’s gross and it would make my dad fart all the way home when it used to be almost a two hour drive from Grandma’s house back to ours.

I don’t think there is anything else specific as far as Traditions for the gathering of those two holidays that I can think of, but I’m sure there will be much more talk about Christmas in the weeks to come.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

When Is A Hockey Game Not A Hockey Game

When it’s 3 on 3 (or 4 on 3) the whole time with only one goalie.

I have had the opportunity to play goalie three times in the last seven days.  Last Saturday our regular goalie was away so instead of lining up at my usual spot on right wing for the CFL Flyers I strapped on the pads and played net for our team.  I played pretty well except for one goal that I would like to have back and we won 6-4.  I figure in that game I likely faced about 30-35 shots and so I was quite happy not only with the win, but with the performance.  My team definitely helped be out quite a bit breaking up plays and clearing rebounds along the way.

On Monday I played in my brother-in-law’s place for the local regiment hockey team and again only allowed four goals in what turned out to be a 4-1 loss.  In that game I probably had about 70 shots thrown my way and so while I was not happy with the outcome, I was really pleased with how I played personally.  In this game I did not get much defensive help but at least it was exciting and engaging.

Tonight (Friday that is if you are reading this Saturday morning) I played my usual ‘game’ as goalie for a bunch of guys that play pick up out in Millbrook.  This is the sixth time I’ve played for them and it was by far the least engaging game of hockey I have been in that I can remember, at least from a goalie’s point of view.  We had so few players attending that nearly everyone played the full 50 minutes, so by the end all the skaters were tired, plays were broken up easily and if anyone even had something close to a break the defense simply gave up.  It was not all that fun to be a part of really.  I was bored for long stretches and during those lengths of inactivity I could feel my body stiffening up a bit.  I can see how commentators of NHL games say the hard games are the ones where you hardly face any shots as your mind begins to wonder and it’s easy to lose focus.

I’m glad I get the opportunity to play Friday nights as goalie each week, I’m even more glad that it’s free!  But I’d really enjoy to be in the calibre of games that I was in earlier this week as I feel that it’s in games like that that I am challenged and where I have a better opportunity to improve.  But most of all it is games like that that are fun!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Miss The Gym

So I have to confess that I have not been to the gym very much in the last two weeks.  This is mainly due to the fact that all last week I was sick and there were things I had to do for this week.  It frustrates me when I can’t get into the gym and while my weight has fluctuated easily within the normal boundaries I feel fat, and soft and weak.

Part of it is that I am not there as much as I used to be simply because I am getting exercise from hockey but also because my tuesday work schedule gets in the way a bit.  Typically I play goalie Friday nights and then as a forward for at least one game Saturday nights.  I think where my issue is coming from this week is that I missed the gym on Sunday due to the fact that I was doing my respite care job starting at 9:00am Sunday morning so that I could take the boys paintballing and that simply gave me too short of a window to get to the gym in the morning.

I did go to the gym Wednesday evening before going to karate and then eating a bit too much sushi.  I loved it, it was Tabada day which consists of ten sets of two exercises done 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest, then switch to the other exercise and repeat four times.  I felt good about that.

I’ve decided that in order to get in as much gym type exercise as I would like I’m going to go buy some weights for at home.  The Tabada day that I do is fairly simply and designed that I need almost no equipment.  Its a day that with a couple of dumbbells and a box I could do at home and that would leave it so that I would have time to get both my arm and leg day in at the gym on the same week.

I miss going to the gym four or five times a week like I was able to do in the summer, so I’ll bring the gym home (and try to remind myself that the hockey rink is a pretty good substitute).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Well, I’m 32 Now

My birthday this year was like the Olympics, we had an opening and closing ceremonies that surrounded the actual event.  On the day of the even I got a few surprises and a few let downs (with valid reasons).  All in all it was great.

This year was not as full of personal epiphanies as last year was, but there was just as many achievements and adventures I think.  We were on another cruise in January, I graduated college and got not one or two but three jobs out of it right away.  Those three jobs boiled down to one fantastic new career at a place I love working.

I began running and entered my first race (and really second competition of any kind) and did just fine in the results, I have managed to stay fit and keep the desire to be at the gym and pursue new fitness goals even after more than a year of being in shape and more than a year and a half of being at the gym almost as much as if it were a part time job.

Year 32 was pretty darn good to me, and from the looks of it year 33 is shaping up to me not so bad either!

I’m especially grateful to my friends who came to celebrate with me and dropped notes on my facebook to say happy birthday.  As I get older I realize that it is things like that, the well wishes and company of others that makes these events memorable.  Thanks!

If you feel like you want to get me something, you can follow me on Twitter (!/Chrispy47 ) be updated about cool and lame things I do and get notice about new blog posts!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Contest

I’m not really sure what to offer up as a prize, that is mainly what has been holding me back from having this little contest, especially when I consider the wide range of people I know of at least that read my blog. 

Oh and it just struck me now that I was very excited to hear that Amber got invited to do a guest post on another blog and I thought that was quite exciting last night.  So the prize is a guest post on my blog! Yeah that’s cool, whatever you want to write about as long as you include an introduction about yourself.  There that is the prize.  And something cool that I have not thought of yet.  This of course means that anyone is eligible to win.

‘So what is the contest then?’ you are asking.  Well as I’m sure you have guessed I’ve been playing a lot of Batman and going head to head against the Riddler and so I’m going to pose a few Riddles to you.  You are going to come up with the answers and email them to me so as to not give them away to other folks.  I’ll also include a few questions about facts I have left about myself through the posts on the site.  I’ll leave the contest open for a week.  If there is more than one person that gets all the answers correct then I’ll come up with some sort of tie breaker.

So let the contest begin!!

Riddles – Be honest, don’t use google!

Riddle 1
“If you know me, you’ll want to share me but if you share me, I’ll be gone. What am I?”

Riddle 2
The more there is, the less you see. What could I be?

Riddle 3
“I have a head , a tail, but never any legs. Do you know what I am?”

Riddle 4
”I’ll be right under your feet in the midday sun, you cannot lose me no matter how fast you run, what am I?”

Riddle 5
”Hit me hard and I will crack but you’ll never stop me from staring back.  What am I?”

Facts to find or deduce

  1. This year, 2011, I’ll turn ___ on my birthday.
  2. I have a _____ belt rank in __(this martial art)__.
  3. The first stop I had on my cruise last January that was outside the US was?
  4. I lost a bunch of weight in 2010, how much was it? (I did a bit of a recap near the year anniversary date of the beginning of the process).
  • Your guest blog post topic might be? (just so I can have an idea).

Email me at include answers for all the riddles and questions and a possibility for your guest blog topic.

Contest Closes November 18, 2011 – 11:59:59PM

Thanks in advance for entering, I really look forward to announcing the winner!

What A Week!

What a miserable week!

You may have noticed no posts since Monday.  That is because I slept pretty much all day everyday since then with a fever that hovered around 102.  It was awful.

But the sickness is mostly over now and I can return to living a normal life, well as normal as it gets around here that is.  Pete had a theory about why when he and I get sick it totally knocks us out and that is we live on the edge.  Like having 12-15% body fat is great, except when you need reserve energy for taking on a virus coursing through your veins.  I buy in to that I think because when I was a big guy I got sick once every four years or so and now I have been sick for a week twice in a year.  Of course now I also work with kids so the chances of me catching something are much greater.

I was better enough in time to play goalie for my team last night (instead of my usual place on right wing), because our goalie was away.  We were playing the second best team in the league (the first is us, we have only lost one game so far this year).  I was not spectacular but I was good when it mattered and we won 6-4  that marks my first win in and actual game with set teams and a ref and everything (only on the third try too – one game last year and two this year).

I did mention a contest to celebrate the one year of my blogging and I have not forgotten, I was just asleep for a week!  Later today I promise!

Also today marks one year since I got my black belt at karate!  What a fantastic day that was, it seems both a long time ago and like yesterday at the same time if that is possible.  I remember how tough the grading was and how elated I was to achieve the goal.  Still I recognize how far I have come since the first day and how far I have yet to go.  Karate is something that has given me so much and I am glad to give back by instructing others!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Once upon a time I used to frequent a message board on the internet that had to do with all things animated about Batman. It was here that I made my first exchange with another person over the internet.

We didn't have kijiji yet and I think ebay was just barely beginning. So this guy who was in England wanted some Batman episodes and I wanted some Wallace and Grommit toys. We exchanged mailing addresses and each sent the agreed upon items. I actually did this more than once and each time both myself and my trading partner received the items promised.

I bring this up today because I have endeavored to do some trading on the Arkham City board for bonus downloadable content that I can not get in Canada. Out of three trades that I thought I had worked out, one went as planned and two others I trusted that the person on the other end would be honest. They were not, I gave them codes for downloading and got nothing in return.

Are people simply more dishonest these days? Our am I dealing with a different generation who's word means nothing? I'm not sure.

I do know that the people that ripped me of got a very small reward in the end something that is only going to be worth a couple bucks in a months time. But I also know they have no integrity.

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching over your shoulder to make sure you do it. This world and the internet for sure would be a better place if more people had it.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Monday, October 31, 2011


All the kids here at work are excited for Halloween tonight. We had a party here for them on Friday and that was cool. As you would expect some children wore their costumes to day care today. Ashley and I had a bit of a conversation about that at lunch, how so many costumes you see these days are store bought and require very little creativity and imagination. Not that my Mario costume was all that elaborate on Friday, but my Nightwing one for the karate Halloween party was all kinds of homemade awesomeness.

I was telling Ashley about when I was a kid and had made a ghostbusters proton pack out of plywood and that yellow nylon rope for straps. It was great, but oh so heavy and painful to wear! Another year I was a ninja and when I showed up at Matt's house his dad opened the door and said 'What are you supposed to be? A kid with a stick?'

Last year I actually went to a Halloween party that my friend Keri threw and was superman, probably my best costume ever, though the shirt was a bit big.

What was your best costume? What are you planning to be this year? Comments!

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Year Of Blogging

Today marks one full year of blogging for me.  My thoughts and opinions, sadness and exciting events.  Some things I’m sure none of you cared about (the post read count numbers prove it) and some things you guys have loved to read.

I’ve found new people out here on the internet that share my opinions and are encouraged by my rantings, and others that inspire me.  My wife took up blogging as well and it is nice to read what she has to say most of the time.  Mandy, Marion, Andrea, Lim, Amber and Kenlie as well as a few others have left encouraging or funny comments that I love to read (seriously comments people, I love them).  And sharing with those peoples sites have brought me lots of new readers, another thing I love. 

I, as you may have figured out by now, am a stats guy, sort of.  I can’t tell you much about professional hockey stats or whatever, but personal stats, yes! (like how this year I’m on pace to get more points at hockey, but way less goals it seems than last year).

in the last year as you can see by the counter there I have had just over 4100 page views, I’m pretty happy with that.  The post you folks loved to read the most was How I lost 80 pounds. Rounding out the top five are:

  1. How I lost 80 pounds
  2. That Was So Awesome!
  3. A New Beginning
  4. My Friend Gym
  5. Effort

I think it’s kind of funny that my original post is still in the top five, but as new people come most like to read about where it all started I suppose.

Thank you everyone for stopping by, I like writing, and I’m glad that a few of you enjoy reading it.  I’m going to do some sort of contest and give away some fairly awesome (at least in my opinion) prize, more on that later today I think!  In the meantime, here as some of my odd site stats that I have gathered over the last little while in preparing for this post.

Best Month

681 hits in September 2011

Worst Month

78 hits in April 2011

Weirdest Referring Sites (click at your own risk)

Which means either they had a link, or someone was finishing up and them came right to my site!

Odd search terms that lead people here:

  • hurts wisdom
  • +management +"knowing when to speak up and when to keep quiet”
  • "chez chris"
  • and knowledge put to a test
  • courage fortune cookie

Visits from outside of North America

Double digits

  • UK
  • Germany
  • Singapore

Odd one offs

  • Qatar
  • Philippines
  • Netherlands

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Anticipation Vs Reaction

We’ve had this discussion at karate a few times, usually during randori.  That’s where one person stands in the middle of a group and is attacked by the people forming the ring around them, the person in the middle must defend themselves by blocking or redirecting the attack and then taking the opponent to the ground.  What happens quit often is that people begin to guess what is to come new and have a pre-set response in their head to use when the attack comes.  Rarely does that turn out as planned, mostly because the attack that is being anticipated is not the one that comes and the grand idea you had does no good.

It is then at karate that I bring up this little story.  When I was a teenager I played a lot of floor hockey, I was the goalie then.  The type of goalie that got picked first in gym because I was usually that good.  That skill came from practice.  My dad and I watched hockey a couple times a week on TV and during the 15 minute intermission we’d go down to our mostly empty basement where my dad had made a 4’x6’ (regulation size) hockey net out of some wood and a tarp, I’d strap on a couple road hockey pads, one regular hockey glove as a blocker and my baseball glove on the other hand.  He’d start out about 15 or 20 feet away and shoot tennis balls at me, trying to score.

It was challenging and fun and most of the time I’d stop him, eventually though a few would get through and I’d get frustrated and begin to go down early, or move before he’d even really shot the ball.  One night he asked me what I was doing.  I said “I’m guessing where you’re going to shoot”.  We had a short discussion about the flaws in that, and once I was back to reacting to the shot I would stop many more shots than when I was guessing.

As an adult this idea comes in handy fairly often, not just at karate or playing as a goalie now (though that is what brought it to mind), but because how you react to things and when you react can make a great impact on your day to day life.  Anticipation is important, you need to be able to see things developing in front of you and prepare, but when the time comes reacting appropriately is essential.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sad News

Sadly we had to put her down. Her kidneys were not failing- they had failed and her blood was pretty much toxic inside her.

I said my goodbyes but I couldn't be in the room while it happened.

I'll miss you Daisy.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

My Cat Is Sick

My youngest and tiniest kitty, Daisy, is very sick. Amber took her to the emergency vet clinic last night and they told her this morning that she my be having kidney failure.


So today or tomorrow I'll find out how much love costs and if I can afford it.

I'm sitting here for now with one arm holding the cat box closed, because even as sick as she is, Daisy hates being in a box. She's got an IV in her leg is why she's in there. She's meowing away, and is showing more life at trying to get out than she has in general for the last few days.

I hope when I take her to the vet this morning it ends up with good, and not too expensive news. It bothers me that money and the expense of possible treatment could be the deciding factor on what is to be done with her.

Here's hoping that it all turns out for the better.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Up All Night

I have not stayed up till 2am on consecutive nights since I was unemployed.  But this weekend I did I couldn’t help myself. 

First of all there was no shortage of activity this weekend as usual.  I took Friday off work and played hockey Friday morning and then I played goalie that night.  It was by far my best game as goalie this year.  I made some pretty good saves and had my lowest number of goals against me in a night so far, eight.  Out of the eight shots that got past me I was screened completely by my own defenseman on one, two were deflected and two more were perfect shots to the top corner.

I came home from that pumped and started playing Batman, mainly the challenge maps, they are so much fun, the combat in this game is just about flawless and I can’t get enough of it, especially as Catwoman.  Her fighting style is great and so different from Batman it’s like playing a different game.

Saturday night I was up till 2am again.  I went to karate in the morning and then had the boys I do respite care for over and played Black Ops all afternoon then again it was off to hockey.  This game as a forward, but we were still missing our regular line as Mark was MIA, something to do with his wife’s birthday I guess.  I did end up with an assist and four shots on net, so not bad, but not as good as it could have been. 

I came home from that and again played Batman.  This time it was the story mode and it’s one of those games where you get a new objective continuously and so I am compelled to find out what happens next and get to the next objective.  Finally Amber told me to come to bed for the third time or so and I did.

Today I woke up at about eight and headed to the gym for my new arm day, killer, but awesome.  As usual I loved the gym on Sunday it was a cinch to get to all the equipment I wanted and by the time I was done my arms were screaming at me. From there it was off to paintball and then home to help my dad take out the air conditioner, fix the front step and do some more work on the back deck.

I have spent this afternoon playing Batman again, mostly flitting around gathering Riddler trophies and trying forever to beat up on Mister Freeze and the Joker.  I have tired a few more channels to get a NOS energy drink code other than my plea on here but so far nothing, so if you can help me on that front I would really appreciate it.

All in all my self appointed long weekend was a huge success even if I will be a bit tired tomorrow morning.

An Odd Favour

Hi everyone, this favour is for my American readers because the favour I’m about to ask cannot be completed here in Canada (which I think is dumb). 

As you know I bought Batman: Arkham City for my Xbox.  It is awesome and I am enjoying it greatly.  What the publisher of the game decided to do was to offer about a million different pre-order bonuses and exclusive deals with companies for free downloadable content.  One of those companies are the producers of the NOS Energy drink (Coca Cola).  Now we have NOS here in Canada, but it`s bottled and sold by the Canadian arm of the company, the US bottles have codes on them that can be redeemed for points and all it takes is one point to get the downloadable content for the game.

Why didn’t the Canadian side jump in?  I don’t know, but it’s annoying since I didn’t even think there would be a difference and spent $3 on a can of the stuff earlier yesterday.

So what’s the favour?  I can hear you telling me to get to the point already!  The Favour is, if you drink NOS or know someone that does could I pretty please have the point code from under the bottle lid or from the pull tab?  It would be super awesome of you!

If you are so inclined to do me this favour send the code to my email account –

Thanks in advance!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Using Game Walkthroughs Is Cheating

Is case you are not aware I am a fan of video games.  I have owned every Nintendo home system, most of their portable ones and also an Xbox 360.  I have played and beaten countless games as a kid, as a teen and as an adult.  Games can tell a good story, they can bring friends together (like when me and my roomies played hours upon hours of Super Smash Bros Melee) and games can challenge you and make you think.

That is unless you use walkthroughs.

I’m proud to say that on my first play through of games I avoid hints as much as humanly possible.  I want to figure out things for myself, how to beat that boss, how to get to that area and how to find that item.  That’s the challenge, it’s the whole point of why the game makers make things hard to do.

Back in the day there was no internet to figure things out, but I found all the warp pipes in Super Mario Bros (and Mario Bros 2 and 3).  How? By hitting every hittable block and trying every bloody pipe I could get to.  Some things I learned from a friend but that’s coming together to discover and share information, I feel that is different than going to Google to look something up.

I just got Batman: Arkham City as I mentioned a couple of days ago on here.  It’s a game with a massive open area of Gotham city to explore and discover things in.  The Riddler has placed trophies and riddles throughout the city.  This element is one of the challenges of the game, can you find all the riddle answers? can you collect all the trophies and solve all the puzzles?  Now in the game there are certain guys placed around the city that you can come across and interrogate and some things will get marked on the map for you, that’s fine, it’s part of the game.  However this morning I saw that there is an app for your phone that will tell you the location of ALL the trophies and the solutions to all the puzzles and riddles!  Three days after the release of the game! Ridiculous!

Why spend $70 on a game and then use the internet to complete it?  I understand that people get stuck, I do as well, so far I’ve been stumped on a couple of solutions to get trophies in the game but I figure I just don’t have the upgrades to solve the problem yet.  I’ve got hours to put into the game still, it will come to me. 

When I get to the point that I’m so stuck on a key element of the game that I’m about to throw the controller yes I’ll look up something, for instance I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and early in the game I had to get across a gap, I tried every single thing that came to mind I was stuck on this one flipping jump for probably an hour (you had to climb and go through a series of rooms to get back to the jump, so every failed attempt meant about five minutes of work just to try again).  Finally instead of smashing the TV I looked it up, use the leaf as a parachute to float across – ugh.  Infallibly when I am that stuck the answer is something like that, staring me in the face the entire time, use a certain item this way – the sad part is I even knew you could use the leaf that way, but totally didn’t think of it.

Now to be fair, after I have beaten a game on my own I have used walkthroughs to unlock things or find other items on a second play through, my reasoning there however is that I have already beaten the game and found as much as I can find on my own, so at least I know I have done the main task the creators wanted me to do on my own.

I only know one person personally that is has Arkham City, I don’t know if he reads my blog.  But I challenge him and any others that come across here to complete their first play through without looking anything up.  If you get stuck, ask me maybe I’ll have figured that part out, and then if you do as me, I’ll know that there is someone I can ask when I get stuck.

Even Batman has Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Jim Gordon and Alfred to turn to for help.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Legs, They Hurt!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, before sitting around all evening and playing Batman: Arkham City I went to the gym.  My goal was to be in and out of there in about an hour, which is no mean feat considering that I was starting a new leg day fitness program.

My previous program (that I have been using for about ten weeks or so) was designed to help me with running over great distance with as much speed as possible.  This new program is about making me explosive again. To be able to turn on the jets when I need then at hockey.

So mixed in with a lot of squats and legs presses are plyo type exercises meant to wear me and my muscles out.  From all the things I did yesterday though by far the most painful, both at the time and now, are (were) the hamstring exercises.  I was in agony doing them and it hurts to sit and get up now. I think the thing I liked most were one leg alternating leg presses, tossing the weights up in the air with one leg and then catching them with the other.

The rest of the twelve different things I did were just as trying, but not as remarkable.  It was totally the right thing to do as well.  I didn't get as much time with my new game, but I felt amazing, and painful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader

A couple of weeks ago on my facebook I declared today Batman day.  This announcement is because today two great Batman items hit the stores.  Batman: Year One gets the animated feature treatment.  This is a Frank Miller comic book, an d one of his good ones.  It looks at the growing pains of Bruce becoming the Bat-man and the tough time Jim Gordon has in adapting to life on the Gotham PD as opposed to the Chicago force.

The other item is the Batman: Arkham City game, of which I will be picking up the collectors edition.  I have had Batman: Arkham Asylum since it came out and played it to death and would still happily do so, so my expectations for this new game is high and given that you can play as Batman, Robin, Nightwing and even Catwoman!  I'm pumped to get my hands on my copy tonight and begin playing.

I have however made the decision to take time to go to the gym this afternoon in spite of the overwhelming desire to just go home and play.

I've mentioned earlier on here that the drive and dedication of Batman (among other people) are part of what kept my mission for fitness going, so it wouldn't really be right to skip the gym to sit and play a game, even if I have been waiting on pins and needles for almost a year for the game.

With that in mind, since I declared the day in the first place, I proclaim that part of Batman day is doing something that exhibits your drive and dedication to do something amazing.  Go forth and celebrate!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Marriage: Year One

Today I have been married for one full year.  It was a great year and I’m really happy with everything that we did together.  I’m also so proud of my wife at the moment as she has reached her first weight loss milestone this week!

I find it a bit hard to believe we have been married for a year it seems like it’s been such a short time what with the whirlwind of school and jobs and such that we have been bombarded with in the last twelve months.

I wouldn't change a thing that has occurred since our wedding and I think my favourite moment since that day was taking our cruise last January.  We’ve done some many great things in our first year and I can’t wait to do so much more in the years to come!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friend Making Monday: 8 Taboo Topics


Now it’s time for FMM!  If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

And Here, we, go!

1. How often do you read/watch the news?

a. Since we only get one channel on the TV at work I end up watching the news for about twenty minutes each day, except Tuesdays because my lunch starts later. Before I started working there, I almost never watched the news, though if there was a topic of pertinent interest I would make sure I found out about it.

2. What is your opinion on beauty pageants?

a. I think they are great on one point and stupid on many, many others.

3. Would you date/marry someone who has different religious views than you?

a. Yes, I think I already have actually. My religious views are not all that strong, but I have a few points that I try to stick to. As long as the other person and I can agree on those main fundamental points, I’m not concerned about the specifics of a religion getting in the way of a relationship or friendship even.

4. Do you follow politics?

a. I follow them enough I know which party I want to back in any given election. Politics is not surrounded in the hoopla here in Canada nearly even a fraction as much as it is in the United States and so most of the time there is not the drama getting in the way of the actual politics so it’s easier to keep a bead on things.

5. How often do you talk about sex in your daily life and/or on your blog?

a. I talk about it enough, but not on my blog.

6. Does it make you uncomfortable when someone asks you about your salary/income? Does it ever happen?

a. I don’t understand the convention of keeping one’s salary/wage under wraps. And I especially think it’s weird to apply for jobs when the company won’t tell you up front what the wage will be. Want to know what I make? Read enough of the blog to deduce what company I work for, then go to their website and look it up. I’m not going to tell the whole internet what I make, but if a friend asked me, I’d tell them. Does it come up? Hmm recently yes because all my friends and I are getting different daycare jobs at different places and it’s interesting to compare.

7. Do you tag friends and family in pictures that you post on FB, or do you seek permission first

a. I tag people, they where there to have their picture taken, most of my friends know each other, and we only get up to varying degrees of legal/hilarious antics, If I’m at an event and I’m posting pictures, you can be sure there is nothing incriminating on them.

8. Can you be friends with people who have opposing views on ‘taboo’ topics?

a. Yes, though I would hardly call these topics all that taboo. Maybe for acquaintances or people who take their personal views super seriously. I can be friends with a lot of different people and differences spark discussion and debate, and creative name calling, and we all love that.