Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year in review

- TeamID plays Rock Band to usher in the new year
- Cash and SaraDooch come by to visit

- My wife loses her wedding rings in the snow. It takes us an hour to find them.
- CathyAl moves into the rental townhome, and waits for construction to finish on their new home.
- I get 2nd place in a 30-player poker tournament. Woohoo!

- CathyAl make their colour selections for the new home

- Logan Torreno is born! CathyAl skip work to stay at the hospital.

- TeamID watches Iron Man
- Raps get bumped out of the playoffs
- Lost season finale! Lost fanboys need to wait until Jan 2009 for season 5!? WTF?!
- My Grandmother turns 85 years old. Grandchildren+spouses and great-grandchildren are pictured (and this ain't all of them neither!)

- TeamID has their annual barbecue for May 2-4. It's flippin cold, and Shaun decides to cry the entire afternoon.

- Construction continues on CathyAl's new home.

- Cathy has a "Cake Party" for her birthday. People get sick and grouchy after gourging on sugar all afternoon.

- Al takes time off work to ... play Metal Gear Solid 4
- Judy organizes a surprise birthday party for Jay. Retro-themed clothing and Transformers are involved. Oh yeah, and Excitebike. Good time ensue

- Logan laughs!

- Logan gets baptised
- TeamID goes to Cedar Point. The park is so friggin busy that we only get to go on 5 rides. 3 of them were so sick that they were each the greatest roller coaster ever -- until I rode the next one.

- CathyAl celebrate their 5-year anniversary. Head to Grove City on a discount shopping trip to celebrate
- Chris Rock HBO special comes out. Hilarity ensues.
- We head up to Sudbury to visit Cash and SaraDooch. Chris goes hunting for cougars. Al can't do one chin-up.

- Construction is almost finished!

- TeamID invades Washington DC. Shaun gets a speeding ticket, and blames it on Street Fighter II.

- New house closes! Moving day is a just a few weeks away!
- Al wins 3rd place in his company halloween party competition. Logan dresses as Batman. "Why so serious?"

- Cathy tries on Joy's halloween costume.

- CathyAl move into their new home! Exciting times!

- CathyAl put up their first ever Christmas tree! The wife buys an expensive shitload of decorations :(

- Al turns 30. Friends come and see the new house. Manny Pacquiao demolishes another Mexican boxer. Some golden kid or something.

What an amazing year! Let's do it bigger in 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


This review, appropriately enough, is being typed out from my iPhone.
The short review: It rocks!!! Let me give you the lowdown:

The good stuff:
Mobile Internet: I can check email, catch up on my RSS feeds, check
out Face-bizzook, and surf the interweb from a device that fits in my
pocket. Safari on the iPhone has a real rendering engine, which means
sites look the same as they do on my laptop. F that Blackberry

Music and phone integration: I can listen to Ashanti's new album with
my earbuds, or connect to my aux input in the Civic, and crank that
shit as loud as I want, because if a call comes in, the music
automatically fades out and I can take the call. After I'm done
telling whoever is on the line that I'm trying to get my Ashanti on, I
can hang up and the music fades back in. Aw snap!!!

Maps and GPS: Whenever I find myself in a strange place (like
Scarborough), I can find the closest Tim Hortons thanks to Google
Maps, built-in GPS, and (free) third party app Timmy me. Welcome to
the future, bitches!!!!

Games: The iPhone is not like the crappy Nokia N-Gage ("what's the
N-Gage?" ... exactly). The iPhone has graphics hardware that's
stronger than both the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, it has the touch
screen interface at its disposal, and a healthy community of
developers. A lot of the games are free too, a price that I can work

The bad stuff:
The iPhone takes a step back in a lot of areas, which is extremely
lame. I cannot wirelessly stream music over bluetooth. I can't voice
dial from my bluetooth earpiece. The only iPod controls use the touch
screen, which means that if I'm driving I can't easily skip songs.
I've got GPS built-in, but there are no voice turn-by-turn directions,
or re-routing. Applications crash a lot.

So it could be better, but it could be worse: I could have your phone
instead of having my iPhone ;) For real, y'all should pick one of
these up. Apple Fanboy recommended.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's nuts up in here!

My strategy for parking at Square One: find the worst spot and just
walk, because I'd be the only one willing to park there. Wait time
would be zero minutes! Walking is a cinch when you have a tuque.

It turns out that such a spot does not exist this time of year.

Read my blog

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thanks for the birthday goodness!

Thanks to everyone that came out for ChrisAl's 30th birthday celebration. The wife and I were very happy to host the first of many friends gatherings at our new home in Milton. We were dying to show off the new digs, and once we complete a few of the many projects we have planned, y'all need to come back and check it out again.

Thanks to my wonderful wife for organizing this party. She's the best! Thanks to SaraDooch for making it all the way from Sudbury for ChrisAl festivities. Thanks to Michelle and Mike, Joy and Jay for picking up the food. Thanks to Chin for hooking us up with some extra chairs, as well as some Rock Band 2 action. Thanks to everyone that helped clean up at the end of the night. I appreciate all of it.

I couldn't have asked for a better night:
- Friends hanging out in the family room and kitchen, just as we had planned when we saw the floorplan at the sales office 2 years ago!
- Manny Pacquiao demolishes Oscar de la Hoya! Filipinos rejoice! Larry Merchant interviewing Pacquiao was like an SNL skit.
- Got to play Linkin Park's "One Step Closer" on the drums. Rock band 2 rocks! "Shut up when I'm talking to you!!!!"
- Spending time with baby Logan and baby Cash. Babies rock.
- Delicious shawarma and chicken wings, two of my favourite foods.
- No leftovers from my baked goods. I slaved in the kitchen for them shits, son!
- pocket aces, pocket kings, and A-J in my first 10 hands player poker. Oh snap!
- Made it heads up against Jay. Lost. Hmmm, maybe I could have asked for more (but then that would be selfish).
- Got to play with Airport Express, Airtunes, and the application "Remote" on my iPhone. Apple fanboy strikes again!

Let's do this again sometime soon :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I need to take another look at Andrea Bargnani's defense. Last night against the Bobcats he was rebounding, moving his feet, blocking, and even picked up a charge!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What's wrong with the Raps

No, I did not forget to put a question mark in the title. I know what's wrong with the Raptors, and I'm going to share it with y'all today.

Some people may look at last night's loss against the Nets (I feel a wave of nausea as I recall the VC "heroics"), and talk about certain key possessions in the 4th and in the overtime period. "Bargnani couldn't inbound the basketball" ... "Bargnani missed the 3" ... "Parker shouldn't have left Vince wide open". But this is basketball, dummies. If you allow a team to be within 2 possessions, they have just as much of a shot at winning as the team with the lead.

No, you can't look at the last 2 minutes to see where the problem lies. You look at the double-digit lead that we gave up, and certain players that are underperforming, and there lie the reasons not only for our horrible loss to NJ, but also for our other losses.

Backup point guard
Will Solomon is absolutely horrible. His deficiencies run longer than the roll of toilet paper that my wife uses whenever she's on the toilet (that's a lot of friggin toilet paper!). He takes too long to start the offensive set. He holds the ball for too long. He takes ill-advised shots. He takes too many chances on defense. He turns the ball over too many times. What the Raps saw when they signed him is beyond my comprehension.

Roko Ukic doesn't the turn the ball over as much on the offensive end, but is a defensive liability when he's on the floor.

The lack of a trustworthy backup point guard allows other teams to erase double-digit leads (see Magic, Celtics, Nets). It also leaves coach Mitchell with no choice but to leave Calderon in the game, tiring him out and rendering him ineffective at clutch-time.

Can't guard the twos and threes
We have one of the most forbidable front courts in the league (as I type this, I have my fingers crossed, waiting for news on JO's injury). We're doing a great job on the defensive end, swatting away garbage and making life difficult for post-up players.


A lot of the league's dangerous scoring options are out at the wings. We've already seen a few of them this season, and they've torched the Raptors defense like Pepsi and Mike. Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Hedo Turkgolu, Rashard Lewis, and Dwayne Wade have put up big offensive numbers against us, and now you can Vince Carter to the list as well.

Who's responsible for guarding these players? Well, there's Anthony Parker, once considered the Raptors' best defender. I felt last season, however, that he was one step slower, and I feel this season that he's two steps slower. He is no longer capable of shutting down or even slowing down the league's best.

There's also Jason Kapono, who can't guard a television from a Mennonite. Enough said.

Finally, we have Jamario Moon, who some consider a good defender (but not me). He's a weak-side shot blocker, who loves to block shots, even when he's defending a player at 24 feet from the bucket. Jamario + shot fake = foul. He only got 9 minutes of playing time against the Nets. Ever think why?

So what needs to be done? Well, let's cut our losses, literally. Cut Will Solomon today. Let's find a veteran point guard that can give us 12-15 solid minutes of low-turnover basketball. Then, we shift our attention to defense. Maybe we need to play zone for most of the game, or maybe we need to package 2 of either Jamario/AP/JK. Until then, we'll continue to see a trend of blown leads, and heartbreaking losses. You'll probably also see me standing in the corner, banging my head against the wall.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

WTF signs

I was collecting funny signs on my Motorola KRZR before switching to my iPhone. Enjoy.

It's not just any type of fence!

Gatdamn, so many rules!

I found this funny, because it seems like such a random and incomplete collection of rules. What about fighting? Don't you want a sign letting people know that fighting isn't appropriate on school grounds? Perhaps it's frowned upon, but not "strictly prohibited". Golf practice, on the other hand...

Look at this guy! His arms and legs are flailing, and he's about to get owned by the floor ... It's rough times, man.

Very professional signage.


This Indian grocery store likes to play Birdman and Lil Wayne when they get home. "Cash Money is like the Army, better yet the Navy"!!!

What if my hands or face are really dirty? The water is good enough to drink, let me rub some on my face!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why ... So ... Serious?

It's 11:30, and I should be sleeping, but on Thursdays I help Chris coach a youth basketball team. It runs pretty late, but after running around and yelling for a few hours, I'm a bit too wired to go to bed. So instead, I'm going to start blogging.

This post is a few weeks late, and anyone that has my on Facebook has already seen it, but for Halloween I dressed up as The Joker. It was the first time that I really got into the Halloween spirit, and put some effort into a costume. I still remember going out when I was in grade 10 (which, by the way, is way too old for someone to be trick-or-treating), and not putting in any effort. I probably still had my school uniform on, a coat, and a garbage bag. Gimme gimme gimme!

This time around, I wasn't out for candy, but for prizes at my company's first annual Hallow-bowling night. The effort paid off, cuz I grabbed third place! My wife is now the proud owner of a $100 gift card to some schwanky-lank downtown spa. Congratulations yo!

A few days later, I put on the costume again to hang out with my nephew Logan, who was dressed up as Batman. Hilarity ensued. Here are some pics ... Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

All moved in!

For my cousin's son, Keagan, seen here sleeping on my kitchen island, CathyAl's big move wasn't a big deal. But to us, it was huge! I'm upstairs in the master bedroom writing this, and it smells like new carpet up in here.

Boxes and smaller / easier / less back-breakage furniture was transported via TeamID and friends. Thanks to everyone that came out! For those that didn't, y'all missed out on Thai Express and Shawarma from Osmow's. You also missed out on my multiple cranky meltdowns.

I found it funny that Chris and Jon, the two navigation retards, drove together to the new house. I provided a well drawn-out map using Google Maps, and also provided turn-by-turn directions in my email communications. But if you're not smart enough to read it, well, you end up getting lost. Twice .

The professional movers took over the next day. I asked one of the movers if they could move my mother-in-law's piano to the basement, and he sorta half-shook his head and then walked away. Oh punk!

I'll get some pictures up soon, I promise*. And I'll also set up a date when CathyAl can invite y'all over to take a look at the new digs!

*Not a promise

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blogging from Milton

It's been a full day for me here in the Milton house. I arrived around 8:00am, waiting for the security system guy, the Bell guy, and the duct cleaning guy. It's now 5:53pm.

I won't bore you with the details, but I will tell you that I'm friggin tired. I want to go home. And what's worse: I've got more people coming in tomorrow! The day that we are settled in and this house actually feels like a home will be a happy day indeed. Until then, I'll close my eyes and imagine. Two more days until moving day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I've added a Twitter gadget to my blog layout. Looks nice, ya?

Also, I've started using a free service from ping.fm which lets me send status updates to Twitter and Facebook at the same time. I can even write micro-blogs (which apparently is defined as a blog entry with 140 or less characters) to Twitter and Blogger via ping.fm.

To top it all off, I've added a ping.fm Google gadget to my iGoogle homepage, so I can update my status without ever needing to visit the ping.fm website.

Technology, ain't it grand?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our pre-delivery inspection is next Monday! We're so excited that we're going to snoop around on Sunday! Can't wait...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Can't wait to move!

It's just 11 days until our closing date, and I'm friggin amped! The place is really starting to take shape, and now that it's starting to look like a home instead of a construction site, my level of patience is starting to diminish. Lemme in!

All of the upgrades that we selected in the spring are being delivered and installed. We saw the tiles a month ago, and the kitchen cabinets a week ago. We have yet to see our biggest purchases, the kitchen countertop and the hardwood floors, so you know CathyAl is making one more visit next week.

When we went to visit today, they locked all the doors (oh punk), so we were limited to peering through the first floor windows. We saw stain on the stairs (yay!), plus a toilet and sink in the powder room (yay!). One of the basement windows hasn't been installed yet, and I was thinking of slithering in, but it would really suck if I wrecked the insulation before we moved in. I also might have twisted my ankle, which was suprisingly less of a concern.

We've started purchasing stuff for our home, and ordering services (LCD TV + HDTV? Oh my!). Our move comes in time for Raptors basketball, which is great because I don't think I can stand anymore of this standard definition bullshit.

How many more days until we move again? Gatdamn!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stand-up comedy goodness

Shaun was the first to introduce me with the idea of listening to stand-up comedy during a long road trip. It passes the time much quicker than music, keeps you from starting fights in the car, prevents itis, and it reduces road rage (which happens very easily with the number of crappy drivers on the road).

I brought along a number of acts, and when we hit the hotel in Erie PA, I downloaded a few more. Here's a quick review:

Rex Naverette: Bastos
Don't recommend it. He wrote one good bit, "Tito Boy", which he saved till the end, and then padded it with more filler than a Shaun S story.

Margaret Cho: Assassin
Very funny. She's so angry! I especially like her attacks on the US government, and the misguided nature of right-wing religious types.

Dane Cook: Viscous Circle
Grade A punkage! This shit is so flippin hilarious that we'll probably give it one more play before we head home. If you haven't listened to this yet, I highly recommend it.

Stephen Wright: I Still Have a Pony
We're only halfway through this one, but what we've listened to so far is alright. He has a monotonous, non-flowing, one-joke-at-a-tiime (is there a special term for that?) style of comedy, but the kids on the interweb seem to like it because the torrent had a lot seeds.

Brian Regan: Comedy Central Presents
haven't listened to it yet.

So Al, why the fuck did you put a picture of Chris Rock on this blog post? Lemme tell you why. I was flipping channels last night, and came across his latest act, "Kill the Messenger". This had my wife and I laughing so hard we probably woke up the other guests. He covers the typical stuff (the difference between men and women, US politics, racism) and does it it typical Chris Rock fashion. Highly recommended.

Well, that's it. We're going to eat at IHOP now. Delicious!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary

5 years ago today, I married the love of my life! Here's a before and after shot:

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Raptors' jersey!

ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod

I wish to purchase this product! Sick guy!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Blogging from Mississauga Honda

That's right, it's time for Ruby to get her oil changed again, plus some other shit (change air filter? Check tires? Bah, as long as it continues to run).

So I'm taking advantage of free wi-fi, and free time alone, to spew some random thoughts

My wife and I are pretty pumped now that the 60-day countdown to our new home closing date has started. We just came back from the countertop place, to verify the colour of the slab. It's flipping white! It's going to look really, really, really sick.

Google Chrome is a very nice browser. I like the single search/location bar. I can feel the speed increase in the javascript engine when I surf sites. Most importantly, Google Gears! Goodbye MS Office, don't need you no more! Give it a try. Or try Firefox 3. Do anything except for use IE6. Please. Think of me.

I haven't replied to Shaun's Evite yet. I may not reply at all. Why? Because it pushes his buttons.

Last night, we played a few games of poker. Game 1, I made it heads-up against Jon. I had him right where I wanted him, flopping two-pair and trapping him. He was in for all of his chips, with only one pair. Just need to survive the turn and the river. The last card pairs the board, negating my two pair and giving him a better two pair. Fucking bullshit!

The second game, I made it heads-up against Chris. This time it was my turn to catch some of this suckout sweetness. Two times I needed help from the river, and both times the river delivered. The final blow had me calling on a flush draw, and catching a heart on the river. Oh snap! Sorry Chris, it was dirty, but that's poker.

I'm listening to Jay-Z and Linkin Park: Collision Course. Look how happy I am!

If you had to choose between the Honda CR-V, the Honda Odyssey, or the Honda Pilot, which way are you leaning?

Well, that's it for now. Talk to y'all later.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm sure Chris already knows about this...

You can vote one of these five girls to the Irish Spring Raptors Dance Pak.

I voted for Karissa!

Uhhh, yeah, this post is hurting. I really really need the basketball season to start soon. I'm dying inside! All of this off-season analysis sucks! Let's get these guys on the court already!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cedar Mothafuckin Point!

Dear Team ID members that didn't make it to Sandusky, Ohio:

Y'all missed out. For real. Cedar point kicked butt. I will never, ever, ever go to Canada's Wonderland again. Those rides wouldn't thrill me anymore. Let's break it down:

Top Thrill Dragster:

From a stationary position, you accelerate to 120mph, where you climb up 420 feet at a 90 degree angle. Then gravity takes you back down.

The worst part: This was our first ride! We went on Magnum XL afterwards and it felt like Ghoster Coaster.

Millennium Force

Named the "greatest ride ever" by Team ID, but only for 2.5 hours. The drop on this ride is absolutely sick. When we were in line, people coming off the ride were applauding like they just watched game 7 of the NBA finals. After we got off the ride, we sorta did the exact same thing.


After Millennium Force, I didn't think that coaster could have been topped. It was late, I was tired, I wanted to go back to the hotel. But we had one more ride to go, and guarantees from a.i. and Shaun that it was going to be worth it. We waited in line for over 2 hours, and after the ride was done, we understood why the lineup was so friggin long.

Best ride ever! OMFG! The grand flippin finale! Hope to see y'all in Sandusky sometime soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What are you subscribed to?

Wow, it's been almost a month since I last blogged. That's what I get for going back to work!

I want to find out what kind of cool websites you are subscribed to via your RSS reader (which is probably Google Reader, if you're cool). There are a few that I like, and there are also a few that I would love to have:

Shit I'm reading:
- NBA.com, ESPN.com NBA, NBA.com Raptors news: Ball above all! It's free-agent signing period, and you gotta keep up with the latest rumours, ya heard?!
- Kotaku, Joysiq: My sources for video game news. these two feeds have so many posts that I can never keep up.
- Lifehacker: Thanks for the hookup Chris! This site posts lots of cool tips and tricks, mostly tech related.
- Starcraft 2: As soon as they post shit, I'm reading about it. Fuck you Shaun, you're not beating me!
- Thinkgeek: Any new products they release, including this one, I can place my order right away!

Shit I want:
- A feed for music release dates, reviews, etc.
- A feed for movie news
- Raptors fan websites
- Basketball rumour sites
- Upcoming Toronto events

You have any hookups? Let me know!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Review: Metal Gear Solid 4

Snake ... Snaaaake!

The fourth installment of my favourite video game series delivers, and delivers big. This shit is sick! How sick, you ask?

Things I loved:
- The graphics are the best I've ever seen. The cut scenes deliver the same attention to detail as a Hollywood CG flick. Facial features, hair blowing in the wind, lighting up a cigarette, all of these things look real. It almost makes me want to get a PS3 ... except I just finished the only game I ever wanted to play! Fuck you, Sony!
- The little things make this game so good. When Snake is crouching in the dirt, and quickly stands up, dust starts to kick up in the air. When you walk too close to a bird, it flies off. Cans and bottles litter the streets, and running by them too quickly creates a loud commotion that might tip off your position.
- There's a monkey, drinking pop and smoking cigarettes. What else could you ask for?

Things I really liked:
- Otacon uses Apple product! He even has a Macbook Pro, just like yours truly!
- This game's storyline ties in every other game, from the original Metal Gear on the NES, to MGS 1, 2, 3, to MGS Portable Ops.
- The hilarious back-references to MGS1 rock. This by itself was worth the price of admission. I don't want to spoil anything, but if you ever played Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation, you must play this game!
- First-person shooter gameplay that was lacking in the other games makes you want to say, "to hell with sneaking, let's just shoot all these guys!"
- M4 Custom, with a Master Key on the bottom mount, suppressor, and laser sighting? Oh, they didn't have a chance!

Things that they could have done better:
- The boss battles were blahzay.
- The cut scene / gameplay ratio is unbalanced, like MGS2. I was surely sitting and watching more than I was playing.
- Chris asked if this game was better than Metal Gear Solid 3. I had to think about it for a while, and I would say that MGS3 is still the better game. They added so many cool gameplay elements on top of MGS2 (hunting for food, healing injuries, camouflage). For MGS4, they removed a lot of those elements, and the replacements weren't revolutionary.

Things that sucked:
- The story became more and more convoluted as the game went on. What's going on now? Is that character working with us, or working against us? Ugh.
- So much melodrama! Stop crying, bitches, this is Metal Gear, not The Young and the Restless!
- A lot of the cool gameplay from the previews didn't seem to make it into the final release.

The final verdict: Play this game. It pwns.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4! Monday Night

I blinked a couple of times ... and then it was 5PM. This game is absolutely sick. I'm going to try and get a few more hours in, and hopefully fit it time for a shower. Yep, that's right. A shower. It could have been worse, trust me.

Metal Gear Solid 4! Monday morning

I've dropped off my wife and Joy at the Go train station. I've emptied the dishwasher. Now, it's time to put some major minutes into MGS4! The best part: It's only 7:20AM ... This game is about to get pwn3d1.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4! Sunday night

I watched the intro, and played for a minutes...

I hereby declare this game the greatest game ever! It's taking a lot of willpower to not play all night. But the vacation starts tomorrow, after I drop off my wife at the Go train station. So I guess I should get some sleep.

I've also scored Rock Band for the Wii. It's like Christmas up in hurr! Don't expect me to leave the house for the next few days.

Metal Gear Solid 4!

I am on vacation for the first time in a long time. What does Al do when he goes on vacation? He plays Metal Gear Solid, that's what he does! And this time around is no exception, with the recent release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The stupid kid at EB Games told me that I made a "good choice". Do you know who the fuck you're talking to? I was playing Metal Gear Solid on the original Playstation, son! You don't know MGS ... I know MGS!

Right now, I'm sitting here waiting for the game to "install". I didn't know you had to install games on the PS3. 8 Minutes I have to wait! Bah.

I have 2 1/2 days to myself before my wife has time booked off at the end of the week. That should be enough time for me to finish the game, as long as I don't shower or eat on Monday and Tuesday, and cut myself off from any social interaction.

k, it just finished downloading, gotta bounce!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Random Blog-age

Today, I'm at the Queensway Car Wash, and Ruby is getting a wash, wax, her tires and rims cleaned, and her interior vinyl treated. There's no wi-fi here (which is ghetto).

Firefox 3 or Safari 3? They're both smoking fast! I'm undecided still, but I'm happy that it's forcing Microsoft to make Internet Explorer more standards compliant. IE8 should be out within the next year, which hopefully means IE6 (aka the worst browser ever) will finally die the death all front-end web developers have been praying for.

I'm sad to hear that Jorge Garbajosa won't be a Raptor next season. He was sorely missed this past season, evidenced by our complete lack of commitment to defense. How many games did we lose because we allowed so many offensive rebounds? Or because of big men that bullied us around? Finding someone to replace him will be difficult, but it's a necessary piece to any team's success in the playoffs.

I had problems sleeping the night of Lakers-Celtics game 6. Why couldn't I have problems sleeping during game 4? Game 6 was absolutely horrid.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Random blogging on a Saturday morning

I'm at Mississauga Honda right now, and they have free Wi-Fi! I'm here for another hour, a good opportunity to connect with my "loyal" "readers" (The first set of quotations questions the idea that I have a loyal following ... the second set questions the intelligence of those that actually choose to read this).

What's been happening lately?

My wife and I visit our nephew Logan once or twice a week. He rocks!

I fell asleep around the third quarter during game 4 of Lakers-Celtics. I woke up in the morning to discover that I missed the greatest comeback/meltdown in finals history. Fuck!

I called EB Games to find out if they were still taking pre-orders for Wii Rock Band. Too late. My lack of advance planning really stings because I have a week's vacation when the game is released.

Waking up early on the weekend kicks butt.

I'm trying to give Usher's new album a chance. But ... There's so much filler! Thank goodness for digital music; with a bit of trimming I can get a solid 4-track album out of it.

I gave Rihanna's new album a chance. But ... It's all filler!

The 2009 models here at Honda all have GPS and bluetooth installed as a standard. That's pretty sick.

Isla Fisher is hot! On a slightly related topic, Hot Rod is quite the entertaining comedy. Good call Shaun!

I've loved playing Metroid Prime 3. But just like when I played the original Prime, the final boss for Corruption is friggin impossible! It's not even enjoyable anymore -- It's a burden and a chore. I wish I didn't have this burning desire to finish what I've started. It's tearing me apart!

That's all for now. Until next time!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How do the Raptors improve?

As the NBA season draws to a close, I am watching these top-tier teams battle it out, and thinking to myself that the Raptors are nowhere close to playing at this level. As much as I love the players on the team we have right now, deep down I know that we need to replace some of these pieces in order to escape from the first round of playoffs next year.

So where are our deficiencies? 
  • Rebounding: Night after night, we got killed on the boards. Chris Bosh can only do so much (8.7 RPG), but after that there's a huge dropoff. 
  • Interior Scoring: Everybody wants to shoot the 3-ball! Nobody wants to take it to the basket, invite contact, post-up, get physical. Either a few players need to mix it up (ahem, Jamario, Andrea), or we need to bring these type of people in.
  • Defense: We're one step too slow on our rotations. Unable to contain the LeBrons and Kobes of the world. We're always allowing other teams to slash and cut. We can score easily enough, we just have a problem with stopping other teams from scoring.
Well, now that our problems are on the table, what are our options for remedying the situation? I think a few key players need to go:
  1. Anthony Parker: I'm a huge Anthony Parker fan, but I feel that he was one step slower in 2007-2008 compared to 2006-2007. That'll probably mean that he'll be another step slower come October. He is no longer a lock-down defender, and superior 2's and 3's ate us up because AP couldn't contain them. His infatuation with shooting 18-foot stop and pops during the first few seconds of a fast break absolutely infuriated me. His shooting in general was inconsistent. I don't believe his game has any room for improvement, and as much as I appreciate his contribution to turning the franchise around, I would much more appreciate his roster spot opened to make room for his upgrade.
  2. Carlos Delfino: So much promise, not enough delivery. He's a great defender, 3-point shooter, ball handler, he finishes well close to the basket -- but only once every 5 or 6 games. The rest of time, he seems to disappear into thin air. We can't have players on our team contributing some of the time. They need to bring it every night.
  3. TJ Ford: His heart, his desire to win, his mental toughness are unquestionable. His motives are what I call into question. TJ seems to be all about proving others wrong, instead of trying to be part of the team. He's been vocal in his desire to start, a rather selfish and silly request. After coming back from his injury after the all-star break, TJ was dribbling deep into the shot clock, and shooting more often than he should, leaving the other 4 players standing around unsure and dumbfounded. You want to start? Fine. But not for the Raptors, we already have a point guard. 
What, no Andrea Bargnani? No. We need to stop with our instant gratification ways, and start looking at the big picture. Bargnani is only 22 years old. He's allowed to be inconsistent, and he's allowed to be soft, as long as he's ready and willing to improve. I continue to hold out hope that he will become the matchup nightmare that Brian Colangelo envisioned he would become. 

I think that after losing to the Nets in '07, Raptor fans were happy with the team, and thought that we could stand pat and make another run. But after watching us get smoked by the Magic in '08, reality has set in. We need to get much better, and to do that, we need to replace some major pieces. Here's hoping for a big offseason of wheeling and dealing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Voice dialing

My Motorola K1 Krzr not only helps the children in Africa, but it also allows me to punk my friends every time I use it!

I'm a big proponent of voice dialing, which allows me to make phone calls in my car without staring at the display/keypad (that shit is dangerous!). I spend a lot of time in my car, and I make a lot of phone calls from my car.

With my last cellphone, I needed to pre-record my voice dialing. This worked fine I guess. But with the Krzr, the voice dialing is phonetic. It tries to match what I say into the microphone with my phonebook entries. Great, now I can voice dial anything in my phonebook without all of the set up work.


Thanks to having lots of ethnic friends, my whitewash Krzr can't match what I'm saying with any of my phonebook entries! 

So I decided to improvise, and give my friends names that the voice dialer would recognize:

Chin Ghetto: Named after his love for hip-hop music. Or the fact that he's so cheap with the heat at his condo. I can't remember which one.

Shaun Stupid: It's great, because my full voice command goes, "Call Shaun Stupid." Get it? Call Shaun stupid! 

Chris Quiet: Once nicknamed the silencer, This voice dialing option is severely out-of-date. It should probably be changed to Chris Hero, in recognition of sticking it to the corporate stuffiness of Harry.

Anthony Sellout: A few years ago, I left my phone at Chin's place, and he proceeded to rename all of my entries. This was Anth's. The first time I tried voice dialing the entry, the Krzr picked it up right away. I guess it was meant to be?

Jon Retardo: "Retardo" isn't even a word. But that's what Jon is. He's a fucking tard. He's slow. 

You want a nickname on my phone? You think your current name is unfair? Let me know!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Review: Iron Man

One week late is better than never. And for those that were hating on my Raptor post-game blog posts, here you go -- stop crying you friggin babies.

Iron Man was one of those comic book characters that I never seemed to care about when I was growing up. I was all about Wolverine and the X-Men. So when news of an Iron Man movie started leaking through the interweb, it was met with an indifferent "meh" and a dismissive "shrug".

But then I saw the teaser, and watching the scene of Iron Man flying alongside a pair of fighter jets got me pumped. Teasers, of course, don't guarantee a quality comic book movie. Lest we forget Ang Lee's Hulk, aka the worst piece of shit mothafuckin movie ever made in the history of moviemaking, a movie which also had a terrific trailer.

For those that have been burned by the overhyped trailer in the past, worry not: Iron Man totally rocks. It lives up to the teaser, and it exceeds the comic book. Go watch it now!

Unlike mild-mannered, humble superheroes like Clark Kent and Peter Parker, Tony Stark is type of guy you want to look up to: A brash, arrogant, egotistical, witty, alcohol-abusing playboy -- what a friggin prick! And Robert Downey Jr., sharing the same character traits, was the perfect choice for the role. "You're late", Colonel Rhodes yells out to Stark. His reply, in reference to sleeping with a reporter, "I was doing a piece for Vanity Fair." Hilarious!

Stark/Downey is just the beginning of what makes this movie entertaining. I proudly present Leslie Bibb and Gwenyth Paltrow:

Gatdamn! The exchange between these two characters (Pepper Potts and Christine Everhart) was also great. After a slutty one-night stand, Everhart tries to take a jab at Stark's assisstant:

Everhart: "After all this time, you're still picking up the dry cleaning"
Potts: "I do whatever Mr Stark asks me to do, which sometimes includes taking out the trash"

That's right, bitch! Damn, I'm so juvenile.

Alright, so what else does this movie deliver? CG goodness. Unlike the crapfest that some people call Hulk, my suspension of disbelief was never broken. The technology is now at the point where CG helps directors tell a story, instead of distracting and annoying us (Jar Jar Binks, anyone?).

The writing was great, it was very funny and it wasn't cheesy (fuck you Hulk!). The A-list cast brought the characters to life. The attention to detail when it came to technology was terrific. The pacing was just right. Seriously, I liked this movie.

Bring on the sequels! We want an Avengers movie! Don't listen to Chin, Gwenyth Paltrow is mad sexy! I'm a huge Nick Fury fan! Watch this movie now!