Friday, October 28, 2005 at 9:36 a.m. | 0 comments
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed..."

It may not be a TV series or a movie, but I can't think of a better medium than comics, specifically Marvel comics, to tell part of Roland's origin story from The Dark Tower. Written by Stephen King and illlustrated by Jae Lee (The Inhumans, The Sentry), this book is going to be unbelievable. It'll be released as individual issues and then collected in a hardcover volume.

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Once you get past the first book, now more than 25 years old, The Dark Tower is perhaps one of the most compelling epics I've ever encountered. I'd not normally count myself a Stephen King fan based on what he's historically known for, but considering two of my favorite films, Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption, are based on his works, I suppose I am.

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NEW YORK - World Fantasy Award-winning writer Stephen King, long acknowledged as the master of modern horror, and Marvel Comics join forces this spring to launch a ground-breaking new comic book series adapted from King's magnum opus, The Dark Tower. The first issue is scheduled to debut in April 2006.

The comic series will mark the first time Stephen King has produced original content for an ongoing comic book project. The series will expand the saga of King's epic hero, Roland Deschain, whose quest to save the Dark Tower is captured in seven best-selling novels published over the course of twenty-five years. King's unparalleled storytelling power will inform new stories that delve into the life and times of the young Roland, revealing the trials and conflicts that lead to the burden of destiny he must assume as a man, the last Gunslinger from a world that has moved on. The comics will work in conjunction with the novels, further supplementing and defining the saga's mythology under the direction of the acclaimed author himself.

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"As a lifelong fan of Marvel comic books, and as an adult reader who's seen comics "come of age" and take their rightful place in the world of fantasy and science fiction, I'm excited to be a part of Roland's new incarnation," said Stephen King.

The series will be illustrated by Eisner-award winning artist Jae Lee.

King continued, "I love Jae Lee's work, and I think this is going to be a dynamite partnership. Frankly, I can't wait."

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Posted by Parallel
Thursday, October 27, 2005 at 11:06 p.m. | 1 comments
He shares my year of birth, my career path, my love of all things geekery, and my receeding hairline...

To Mr. Jeromy Lloyd, born this day in 1977, I bid thee a Happy Birthday and I look forward to raising a glass with you tomorrow night in honour of this momentus occasion.

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We're getting old, aren't we? You're 28 dude and I'm following in less than a month.


What have we done with our lives?

I'm so sad...

...happy birthday. I guess.

Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 at 11:01 p.m. | 1 comments

Just... wow. Now I think I've seen it all. This goes above and beyond anything absurd or ridiculous that I think I've encountered in a good long while.

This is just one in a series of videos featuring "real" performers singing nursery rhyme songs. Released on a DVD called Mother Goose Rocks, you have to promise to wait until other 'guest' singers begin to appear in order to get the full flavour.

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Click here to see the video.

“The newly-released DVD is a series of animated music videos introducing children to a diverse and timely set of music genres like alternative rock, country, techno, pop and R&B with the safety of familiar G-rated nursery rhyme lyrics,” explains Richard Snee, President of Boffomedia, and Mother Goose Rocks!, producer. “Very hip, very safe, very funny, and great for the whole family.”

Please comment. Comment often. We'll gather here soon after and shield ourselves from the growing insanity of the world outside.
Posted by Parallel
Saturday, October 22, 2005 at 9:05 p.m. | 0 comments
Meaning: To aggravate

Origin: Hyperactive racehorses were often given goats as stablemates because their presence tended to have a calming effect on the horses. After the horse became attached to the goat, it got very upset when its companion disappeared—making it run poorly on the track. In the 19th century, when a devious gambler wanted a horse to lose, he would get the horse’s goat and take it away the night before the race, thus agitating the horse.

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The moral of the story: give back the goat!!!
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, October 20, 2005 at 10:43 p.m. | 0 comments
Shortly before 3pm today, my father, brother, and more than 500 employees at the Guelph Imperial Tobacco plant were called into the sprawling lunchroom for an announcement. They were told to gather their lunchboxes and their jackets before they came.

Right away you know what kind of an announcement this is going to be. They aren't going to be given time off for good behaviour, there isn't a reward.

Instead, they told them that the Guelph plant, which has been open since 1959, is going to be closed.

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Many people reading this will see it as a victory over smoking. True, I'm not a fan of the habit and wish my mother and many others would rid themselves of it completely. On the other hand, this is a company that put a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on my table. It paid for my education, my entertainment, and for the peace of mind for my family.

For all of those things and more, I will always be grateful to that company.

If there is a silver lining, it is that my father had always planned to retire by the end of next year anyway. This isn't a blow to him and he'll get more than a decent severence package to go along with the tidy pension he's built up. My brother, on the other hand, is 37 with three kids. This announcement is more than a little devastating to him.

If he's smart, he'll pay off every debt he has with what severence they give him next year. That'll help him out a ton in the long run, though in the short term I can't begin to imagine what he'll be going through.

The writing was on the wall, though, with the BC government's decision to allow citizens to bring lawsuits to tobacco companies. It didn't seem farfetched at all for them to pull up stakes while the going was good. After all, the plant in Mexico pays only a sixth of what employee's here in Ontario are getting. Money savings all around.

The frustration with the government's decision isn't solely in the loss of manpower, but in a major industry that supports the back of Canada financially. The loss will be felt keenly in Guelph, but the long term impact has yet to be seen.

The full story is available at the Toronto Star website.

I have faith that my brother will be fine. He's still planning to get married next year, and he's young enough that this shouldn't be too devastating in the long run. Still, what an awful way to end your week. Planning a trip to Cuba to get married, and then finding out you've essentially lost your job.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 at 3:33 p.m. | 2 comments
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When playtime goes horribly wrong, a company creates an airport security playset. As you see, the situation is calm, serene, devoid of barking dogs, long lines, and grouchy security people. To add more realism, more aggravated passengers should be present, along with at least one East Indian passenger with a mysterious 'package.' I'd name that figure Nathan after my terrorist co-worker.

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As you can see by the accessories, this looks like a harmless toy. And I REALLY must stress at this point that this is, in fact, a real toy. I'd like to draw your attention to the two toy guns, one of which is apparently able to fit inside the piece of luggage the woman is carrying.

Why in the world does a playset like this exist? And why is it missing bombs and all the other colorful characters we've come to associate with airlines?

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Another blogger out there actually made this little scenario using a playset he ordered and received in the mail. It's really damn funny, but as co-worker Nathan points out, realism for this set would be much better had the victim been black. Still, hours and hours of fun for your pre-schooler.

In conclusion: God help us all.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, October 17, 2005 at 10:18 p.m. | 0 comments
It's all slowly coming to a head, isn't it? This technological revolution that began with the radio is continually blossoming into something out of control. My problem? I don't know if I can afford it all.

On the horizon we have the Nintendo Revolution (which looks odd but has my curiosity piqued), Xbox 360, PS3 and other gadgets. Catherine picked up an iPod (which I claim to have bought for her using freelance fees that I haven't even received yet) which holds more than 1500 songs. She's been uploading to it for two days with no end in sight.

That thing is unreal. It has games, a calendar, an alarm, and a music trivia game based on the songs you've already uploaded to it!

The madness does not end there, however. Apple has revealed that you can now download episodes of Lost or Desperate Housewives to watch for $1.99 a pop. With the new iPod coming out capable of playing video, you can watch said episodes while on the go.


I'd complain, but I'm the guy making his daily commute while watching my DVD player. Not a bad way to travel, though you do attract a lot of attention.

For all the marvels of technology, there are still drawbacks. For instance, the day-long argument I had with Catherine about our iPod and its ability to work on a USB 1.1 port as opposed to the supposedly required 2.0. We got it to work, plagues were averted, children were saved.

It was nearly a bloodbath.

So that's that.

Oh, and friends Jamie and Victoria bought a house and had their housewarming. There, I was accosted by Victoria's brother, Tim, who is the most rabid U2 fan I have ever met. It felt like an interrogation and I'm sad to say that my knowledge, once something I prided myself on, is nothing compared to this guy who must not do anything else in his free time but obsess about U2.

Nice guy, though.

I'm going to bed because I'm tired and I deserve sheep. I mean sleep.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at 1:26 p.m. | 0 comments
This is a good story, though it's a couple of weeks late. Mainly it's late because I'm lazy and can't be bothered to blog, though I do check my own blog daily to see if I've posted, remembered that I haven't, then vow to get right on it.

That doesn't always work.

So, I made plans to see Serenity in Burlington with my Dad. It's a good half-way point between Guelph and Toronto, and Paul and Victoria live there. They'd seen the movie with Catherine and I three months ago, but I figured they'd be up for seeing it again.

The unexpected part came when I invited Jer along. He was at the apartment with me on Friday night and we spent nearly 8 hours playing X-Men Legends 2 (which rocks) until 3:40 am. Tired, we went to bed as we had to catch the GO Train at 10:43am.

We got up. We were lazy. We played X-Men again for a little. Then we left to go, seeing as how it was 10:19am.

The odds that we were going to make this train were slim to none. Especially since I dove back into the apartment for my book, then Jer dove back in for his jacket.

All was going well until St. George station, when Jer rather sheepishyly states he has to go to the bathroom.

"We're like 10 minutes from the train. Can you make it?" I asked.

The look on his face suggested that no, he could not make it. I know of this pain and it is evil. Sadly, Jer decided to head up to the street to find someplace to go. I was going to keep on towards Union to try and make the train, but it sucked that Jer had to bow out. He promised to try to catch the next train or maybe see the movie with me later that weekend. I had no choice but to go as my Dad was expecting me and Paul was picking us up at the GO station in Burlington.

When I got to Union, I had less than five minutes. I ran through the terminal, got my ticket, and bolted for the platform despite the clerk telling me the odds weren't good.

I got up there with two minutes to spare only to find that the train hadn't even pulled in yet. It was two minutes late. So, I got on, read my book (good going, me), and got off in Oakville to grab the connecting bus.

As I walked towards the bus, there was Jer, standing there waiting for me with his arms folded.

No. Fucking. Way.

Before I hugged him, a million thoughts went through my head. Did he meet someone on the street and get a ride here? How could he be here?

The answer: it was a crap and go. He went at a million miles per hour, got the subway train after me. Bought his ticket, even though the guy said the train left. It wasn't on the schedule anymore, but he decided to see if it was still up on the platform.

Jer even went to the wrong platform, happened to glance across and see the train he needed, ran like no tomorrow to get it, and jumped through the doors just as they were closing.

He made the same GO Train as me. The odds on this are astronomically slim. *I* barely made it. How the hell did he do it?

I'm guessing it's because he's tall and has really long legs. He can move fast when he wants to.

Oh, and the movie was awesome.
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, October 02, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. | 0 comments
Plaintiff: Hormel Foods Corp.

Defendant: Jim Henson Productions

Lawsuit: Hormel, maker of SPAM, sued Henson’s company over one of the characters in the movie Muppet Treasure Island. The character in question is the high priest of a tribe of wild boars that worship Miss Piggy. His name: Spa’am. Hormel’s lawsuit contended that their trademark was damaged because the film “intentionally portrayed the Spa’am character to be evil in porcine form.”

Verdict: Not guilty. The court found that although Spa’am was “untidy,” he was not evil and that, actually, the character probably enhanced the value of the SPAM trademark.
Posted by Parallel
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