Monday, November 13, 2017


I was getting gas at Petro Canada a few weeks ago and as I went inside to pay I noticed a big banner over the front window promoting a Reese's/NHL t-shirt giveaway.  I'm all for free shirts especially if they have peanut butter cups on them.  I paid for my gas and got a package of peanut butter cups.  I bought a package with an NHL logo on it and figured that was one of the ones to try and win a free shirt.  I opened it expecting to find a PIN code inside the label or something, but there was nothing.  I was mad I didn't have a chance to win a free shirt, but consoled myself with some delicious peanut butter cups.

I did some "research" and it turns out this is an online contest where you buy and two Reese's products and go to and then enclose a picture of your receipt for a chance to win a shirt.  I gave it a try and...


I'm not sure how they can figure out that you bought two Reese's products just by uploading a picture of a receipt.  Maybe they go through the winners and if there is any funny stuff you get disqualified. 

I went through the whole process on my phone because that's what I used to take a picture of my receipt.  There are three different t-shirt designs to choose from and you get to pick a 1st choice and 2nd choice.  After I submitted all my info for my free shirt I realized that nowhere did it ask me what size shirt I wanted.  Maybe I missed it?  Maybe they are all the same size?  I imagine they will probably all be L or XL, but I guess only time will tell.

If you want to try and win a shirt then you'd better get on it because there only a limited amount to be won.  My recommendation would be to hit up Dollarama and get two packs of Reese's Pieces or Peanut Butter Cups because it's cheaper than 7-11 or where you buy candy.  Also, have a calculator ready to answer the mathematical skill testing question.  But I totally didn't need one.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Bonus disc

So last week I mentioned I went to the thrift stores and Phoenix comics and got a bunch of stuff I never mentioned what CDs I got from the thrift store.  I meant to, but then I forgot which is fine because then I can drag it out into an entire post.

I got those four CDs for $1.00 as part of the bizarre pricing structure at WINs.   I can't believe I didn't already own that Smashing Pumpkins CD or maybe I do and just forgot about it.  I'm pretty sure I don't though...probably.  Also you can never have too many Selena Gomez CDs.  The Ice Cube album is currently playing in my car and is pretty good.  It's more of an EP though with only seven tracks.  Turns out there was also an unadvertised bonus inside the case.

The Ice Cube case also had this "Dance/Rap May/02" disc stacked on top of it.  At thrift stores you always gotta check the cases to make sure it has the proper disc inside it and sometimes you'll get lucky and get an extra disc.  At the same thrift store a while back I bought the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince CD that also came with an extra disc inside it.

I popped the CD in my computer to see what was on it and while it holds 14 tracks, they don't come up with any artist or song names.  Most of the songs are from that 2002 era rap/hip hop stuff, but then out of nowhere is older stuff like Young MC, Tone Loc and then the one song that is completely out of place is Lust for Life.  I guess someone saw Trainspotting.

Forget going and buying brand new CDs when I can go buy four CDs for a $1.00 at the thrift store.  It's way cheaper and nice to catch up on albums I missed out on.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Late to the party

Well I finally got on the hype train and watched Stranger Things.  I liked it, I really liked it.  Despite hearing nothing but good things about it upon it's initial release on Netflix, I still had no interest in seeing it.  I read positive things online and had people tell me face to face what a good show it was.  When I heard they did a Season 2 that would be released the end of October I just said I would watch the first season right before the second season came out.  And then I didn't it.

Cody had watched Season 1 when it was released and then watched Season 2.  He asked if I had seen it and of course I didn't bother.  On Thursday night we watched the first two episodes of season 1 because Cody wanted to rewatch it after seeing season 2.  After those first two episodes I was like, okay I'm digging it.  Friday night we watched two more episodes and then I was like "Screw it" and I binge watched the remaining four episodes.  Cody couldn't keep up, so I watched second half of the first season without him.

I'm looking forward to watching Season 2 now, but I might wait a bit before watching it.  I need to let Season 1 digest first.  I'm also thinking about making a trip down to Chinatown because they had it there on bootleg DVD.  I'd prefer to watch it on DVD because I still hate streaming.

I didn't make it through a single episode with out some kind of freezing, buffering or picture quality switching from 1080p to 180p while the feed catches up.  It's incredibly annoying and really takes enjoyment away from whatever you are watching.  I had the same problem watching the Defenders which was a lot worse.  I swear one episode was in HD for 5 minutes while the rest was like watching a second generation VHS tape.   What are we paying Shaw cable for it we can't even stream a movie on Netflix without it looking like garbage? 

Maybe if I could figure out a way to rig up Netflix on my little Free Soup TV the lack of being able to constant stream HD wouldn't be a problem.  Hey Cam, is it possible??

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Today's new...Part 377

I haven't been out and about hitting up my regular spots in a while, so I had the afternoon off today and went to the thrift store, Phoenix, the other thrift store and then got lunch to go at the Vietnamese place by the "other thrift store".

That is my haul from today!

The first thrift store I went to I got the Transformer DVDs and the three pack of die cast cars(by the Scoobs).  I only bought the cars because there is an old beat up A-Team van in the bag, the others will be going back to the thrift store.  DVDs are 2 for $2 on Tuesday, so I got those two Transformers even though it's technically three discs.  One case has the complete season one on two discs and the other case has the third disc of special features.  Best part of the special features is the vintage Hasbro commercials and a PSA.   I do own the original Rhino release, but I'll probably watch a bit of it and then pass it on to Mike and Eli.

At Phoenix I went in looking for the Wildstorm 25th Anniversary hardcover, but they didn't have it.  I still ended up leaving with a Funko Pop Scooby-Doo, the smaller loose Scooby-Doo as well as DVDs for Dirty Pair Flash and Strange Days.

Then at the other thrift store I got some CDs, a blu-ray and a t-shirt.  They sell CDs/DVDs for $1 each or 4/$1.00 which is some really weird math.  It's crazy cheap though, so you always get at least four.  Of course, it was really  busy and it was hard to look, so I grabbed the four CDs and a fifth movie that I ended up paying $1.00 for but it's only a dollar, so no big deal.  

The movie is the FIFA 2010 World Cup Film and I only bought it because it's in 3D.  Specs on the back says it's 720p, why isn't it 1080p?  I'll check it out and see what it's like.

When I was browsing the CDs this younger 20-ish guy was looking at CDs too and he reached for a copy of Sloan "Twice Removed" and I told him that it was a good album.  He said he had only heard one of their songs on the radio, but wasn't familiar with the band.  Then we just talked about how it's only 25 cents a CD, that it's just so cheap and easy to get bands you haven't heard before.  Then I also recommended Garbage and Metric to him and he said he hadn't heard of any of those bands.  I thought it was a bit weird like, what rock did this guy just crawl out from under?  When I left he said, "Thank you sir for your recommendations." and I was like I gon slap this foo.  He wasn't being rude, he just so polite and seemed a bit naive it's not something you expect from "kids" today.  He was probably religious or raised in cult or something like that, I dunno.

The shirt with the knives on it is actually a Metric shirt, but it's only a medium.  I got it for Logan who also probably doesn't know who Metric are, but that's because he's an ignorant kid.  I'm sure he'll still wear it because it's got knives on it.

And tonight was Halloween and Cody had to work, so I was giving out candy.  It was rainy, but I still had a few kids show up.  I gave a kid and his brother some candy and they said thank you and I said you're welcome then when they were leaving he told me to "Have a good trick or treat." and I replied "You too."  A bit later another little guy came to the door and said "I want candy." and his dad who was standing back a bit down the walk said "You are supposed to say trick or treat."  I said, "That's close enough!" and gave him his candy.  I should've gave him extra candy.

Monday, October 23, 2017

No soup for you!

I just thought I'd let you know that I'm back in Cranbrook, but I'm leaving tomorrow.  I was originally hoping to come back to Cranbrook this coming weekend and stay for a bit longer, but due to stupid stuff at work I was only able to come back for four days, Saturday the 21st to Tuesday the 24th.

I wish I could've stayed a bit longer, but I said hi to everyone and got my winter tires on which is major bonus.  If it had snowed and I didn't have my tires then I would've been walking for the rest of the winter.

This afternoon Willie and I hit up our usual spots, in fact some spots we went to twice!   That's because we saw something we wanted, but didn't get it and then caved in later on and went back to get it.  Willie was too cheap to pay $3.00 for a mug, but he found out it was half price, so he went back and bought it. 

I saw a TV/VCR combo at Bibles For Mission, but decided to keep looking because the Salvation Army usually has decent selection as well.  Salvation Army did have two small TVs and one was $5.00, but I ended up going back to Bibles and getting the other TV because it was $5.00 as well, but now I can watch VHS tapes on it.  Plus it has the added bonus of custom artwork on it.

Yes, it does say "FREE SOUP!" on it.  I'm mostly hoping to hook up my old PS1 to it and play some games, so the VHS capability is a plus.  It doesn't have a remote, so I'm really hoping it "knows" which input is selected and will change accordingly because there is not a button on the front to select video source.  There is a "Picture" button on the front, but that is just for settings like colour, brightness, contrast, etc.

I did dig out an old anime VHS tape out of a box and watched it and it worked fine.  I'll have to wait until I get back to Calgary to hook up my PS1 and try it out though.  Bummer it only has a mono audio input, but I have an adapter for that.

We also went to Aabco which you already know if you saw my Instagram because I put up a cat picture.  They are way off on their electronics pricing as they had a TV the same size as the one I got but for $39 which is nuts since it wasn't even a good brand.   Salvation Army is usually the best, but this time I got lucky at Bibles.  Finally, I can watch Nukie and The Double O Kid.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Clown Harder

Above is a picture of a "sad clown" painting that I bought years ago at the thrift store.  I'm pretty sure I wrote about here or maybe on MySpace back when that was a thing.  Now, I can't remember which thrift store it was at, maybe Good Will I think.  They actually had three different sad clown paintings, but since I didn't want to be greedy and take all the sad clown paintings for myself I just got the one above and left the others.  It has had graced the walls of our various domiciles since I brought it home.

I recently got the Die Hard blu-ray boxset and last week Cody and I watched Die Hard 2: Die Harder.  After we watched the movie I checked out some of the specials features which included four deleted scenes.  One of the deleted scenes was an extended scene where McClane meets Marvin the janitor.  In the scene McClane discovers Marvin has been living in airport basement and goes into his room.  Cody spied something on the wall in Marvin's room.

I didn't see it at first and had to pause and rewind to see it.  It's like the same face, but with no background.  It's still pretty cool, but now I'll never get rid of that sad clown painting.  Not like I was ever going to anyway!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

HK Imports

Last post I mentioned I ordered some movies from Hong Kong and they actually arrived last Tuesday!   It took only six business days to show up which is pretty awesome compared to three months not that long ago.

Starting in the top left corner and going clockwise we have the blu-rays of; Lupid the 3rd, From Beijing With Love, Ghost in the Shell S.A.C Solid State Society 3D and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 3D.  GOTG 2 was why I mainly did an order, I just picked up the other movies because they were cheap and since I was making an order might as well throw in some extras.

Lupid the 3rd is a Japanese movie based on manga which was originally published in 1967.  It was also a bunch of animated TV series, specials and movies.  I've heard of it because it's fairly famous in anime circles, but I've only seen two of the animated movies.  This live action version was kind of "meh", lots of style of substance but all that style was Meisa Kuroki as Fujiko Mine.

Then is From Beijing With Love which is an upgrade from my DVD which was an upgrade of a VHS bootleg I made.  I actually first saw this movie when I rented it from Video Update,  the Video Update that is now Little's Caesar's.  Of course this was forever ago when I was still living in Cranbrook and I couldn't believe they had this for rent.  I rented it and it was funny, so I made a copy of it.  From Beijing With Love if you can't tell by the cover art or title is a 007 spoof and it is funny.  It stars Stephen Chow of Shoalin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle fame, so you know you are in for something just as wacky.

Next is the Ghost in the Shell 3D movie which is based around the TV series.  This movie was originally released in 2006 on TV, but then again in 2011 in theaters after a 3D conversion.  The movie mixed traditional animation with 3D animation and and the 3D effect wasn't too bad.  I wish there had been more action though!

The 3D in GOTG Vol. 2 was way better than GITS though.  GOTG was the reason I ordered from Hong Kong because for whatever stupid reason, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 never received a 3D blu-ray release in North America.  It was released in the UK, Europe and Asia, so importing it was my only option as the HK release was a multi-region disc.  No bootlegs this time!

I should be good for a while or until I have to order the Terminator 2 3D blu-ray from HK since once again North America isn't getting a release.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Comin' At Ya!

Sorry the posts here haven't been as frequent, but lately (the past 42 years actually) I haven't been doing anything interesting.  I went and bought a pile of movies for myself online.  I did an order from Hong Kong which should be in by the end of week next, but in the mean time I got two movies that I ordered from Amazon.

First up, who the hell delivers the Amazon packages?  I'm pretty sure it's not Canada Post.  Cody ordered stuff from there for his new computer and some random guy delivers it to the house where I have to sign for it on his iPhone screen.  I actually signed "Cody Brown" just because when he asked if I was Cody Brown I said yes, so I had to keep the charade going.  When my movies came, the doorbell rang and it was after 6pm and I open the door and nobody is there, but a car is pulling out of the parking lot.  I look in mailbox and my movies are in there.  Amazon must use some weird delivery company.

Anyway, the package has these movies in it...

I've had that Mosquito movie on my Amazon wishlist forever and finally pulled the trigger on it.  Can't wait to watch it, but I may put it on hold at least until October when I start to watch the horror movies in my "to watch" pile.

We did watch Comin' At Ya! which is a 3D western from 1981.  I actually thought it was from the 70's, but IMDB says I'm wrong.  I bought it just because it was an older 3D movie and those are harder to find.  The 3D is all straight up gimmicky 3D shots with lots stuff being shoved in the camera like, guns, knives, falling coins and a baby's ass!  I really could've gone without the last one.  But I guess stuff like darts and spears flying at you is why the movie is called Comin' At Ya!  I don't mind some gimmicky 3D shots, but they do over do a bit here and it's straining on your poor eyeballs.

The movie wasn't bad, it had some funny parts in it (some unintentional) and I did like how they mixed B&W footage in with color footage and the inventive opening credits sequence, overall it was a fun watch. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New cookies

I already posted a picture of the new Oreo Apple Pie cookies on Instagram last week.  I had been seeing pictures of these online for a while and thought it would be just another flavor that the US gets that Canada doesn't.  Luckily, I found some at London Drugs when I went in to mail a package to my mom.

A few days after finding the Apple Pie Oreos I found another seasonal cookie flavour, Pumpkin Spice creme.  I found these at Safeway, and since I'm old I can't remember if I got these last year or not.  I don't think so???

The Pumpkin Spice definitely wins in terms of smell, but I can't really say one tastes better than the other.  They both taste okay, but nothing too great.  The problem with the Dare Pumpkin Spice cookies is the the actually "cookie" part is too thick so it overwhelms the creme filling and all you taste is cookie biscuit.

I'll just be over here waiting for Nabisco to bring back the Gingerbread Oreo, please and thank you.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

To Cam/Cara, Mike and Willie...

It seems every time I'm back in Cranbrook I can go through my boxes and get rid of a few things.  If I keep this up then maybe eventually in time I'll actually start to look like I'm getting rid of things.  The same can't be said for my stuff here in Calgary down in the basement.  Most of it is all good stuff and I've already gotten rid of most of the excessive crap, but that doesn't mean if I try I can't get rid of a few things.

I found these following items stuffed in a plastic tower drawer.  I haven't actually used them at all and probably never will, so why do I have them?  Well, some of them are still pretty cool.

Four super cool CD wallets, or VCD wallets if you are to believe the stickers.  The Spider-Man one came from Bianca Amor's along with the classic plush hamburger CD wallet.  The "Cute Carry Its" are from a long closed down store in the Dragon City Mall in Chinatown.  I actually liked that store because back then they had lots of Afro Ken stuff.   

My mom is going to Taiwan in October/November, so I'm going to fill the Astro Boy one with CDs and movies for Murray.  I'll probably hang on to the Spider-Man one for myself, but the Ultraman and Afro Ken ones are up for grabs.  FYI, they look cool, but the build quality is definitely lacking.  But where else are you going to find stuff like these?  I got chu.

Wallets!  I don't have any money, so what do I need with a wallet?  The top are ones I bought for myself and then never actually used.  The bottom two are ones I got as gifts for my birthday or Christmas.

I actually hate having a big wallet, my current wallet is small and holds just the essentials.  I don't have a lot of cards I need to carry around and I never carry cash, so having a big wallet is pointless.  Unfortunately, my current one is falling apart and it looks like I may have to get a new one.  Finding one I like is hard, so I might just have to give the Star Wars wallet a try and see if I like it.

The other three are also up for grabs if anyone wants a new wallet.  The bottom ones are more traditional leather wallets.  The Spider-Man one is a biy different as it's made from folded paper with a wax paper feel to it.  It's made by Mighty Wallets, the link is to their website.   

Let me know.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mo' Movies

I haven't been into Phoenix Comics for a while because I've just been busy or away on vacation or just avoiding them to save money.  I finally stopped in this week and picked up some goodies in form of music and movies.

I got some new music and yes they are mostly new.  The Aggrolites is used, they are ska, but not like horns ska, more like reggae ska.  The Mezingers is actually still sealed and even from 2017!  The Fashionism is the obligoratory Canadian content and is their latest 7" single.  I had looked into buying this record online, but it wasn't worth when the shipping is twice the price of the record.  Luckily, Melodyia had it for like $5.25, so it was a deal.

I also got these old school anime DVDs for only $1.00 each.  Even though Crying Freeman has a price tag of 29.95, he only charged me $1.00, so I'm not going to argue with them.  I got Crying Freeman which was six OVAs and is collected on two discs.  Wicked City and Revolutionary Girl Utena are both movies.   These are added to my "To Watch" pile which only seems to get bigger no matter how many movies I watch.

I just watched another older anime blu-ray from the Dragon Ball Z series, The History of Trunks.  I picked up the blu-ray used because it actually had to DBZ specials on it.  I figured I'd get it because I've never seen the one special and I could dump the DVD for the special I did own.  I watched the blu-ray and I gotta say it is just terrible.

When this originally released it was older before widescreen was the norm, so it was full screen.  When they did they the blu-ray when forced the full screen to widescreen, so just watching it you tell parts of the picture have been cut off.  Just the framing of the shots gives it away.  That wouldn't be so bad, but the picture quality is awful.  Its so bad, it's hard to watch.  I popped in my old DVD which is the original full screen and the picture is so much clearer.  I guess blu-ray HD isn't always better.  So much for dumping my old DVD copy.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Treasure Map!

Today, Willie and I hit up a few stores in Cranbrook and Kimberley and found a few goodies and bought everything with pocket change.  We didn't find anything in Kimberley, but in Marysville they were having a bag sale for $7.00 a bag plus it was buy one bag, get one free!  All the super cool shirts weren't the right size, but we did get one bag.  Willie got a pink polo/golf shirt, I got a purple polo/golf shirt plus some books and the rest of the bag were shirts and a hat for Logan and Avery.  One of the shirts I got Logan was a Mr. T shirt and was his favorite of the three shirts I got him.  If he wears any of them just once I'll consider it a success.

In Cranbrook, we went to the Salvation Army and spent quite a bit of time there because the re-organized their media section so it was easier to look at stuff.  I got movies and Willie got a couple CDs.  At the "checkout" I noticed a brochure called "The Picker's Paradise Treasure Map", so I grabbed one.

It's a brochure of all the second hand stores in the Cranbrook, Marysville and Kimberley area.  

One side lists all the stores and breaks them up in different categories.  It also has the address, phone number and store hours.

The reverse side has a handy dandy map showing all the locations.

Overall, it's pretty good idea and I wish they had done this a while ago.  Looking at the map there are actually a couple places I've never even heard of.  I've probably driven by them though.  The Great Western Garage Sale sounds decent, so I'll have to check it out next time I'm back and be disappointed.

Monday, August 14, 2017


I was going through some of my boxes looking for a DVD that I wanted to get rid of, but I couldn't find it.  I looked in one box and found the EDGEfest '98 program guide hiding inside a bag at the bottom.  The one thing I remember most about that weekend is mainly Willie not putting on sun screen and then getting cooked like a lobster.

I gave the thin magazine a quick flip through which has short band write ups and a lot of ads inside.  When I hit the page with Sloan on it I discovered I had gotten the page signed by the band!

Pretty sweet.  I know I also had them sign my ticket stub which is somewhere in a box.  I totally forgot that I had this program signed, so it was nice find.

 I also found some other miscellaneous letters and stuff I had gotten in the mail including a letter from Virgin Music Canada and the band Pluto.  It was promoting their new album at the time, "Shake Hand with the Future".  I got a letter with a bunch of tour dates(all out East) plus two stickers.  Fun fact, send me stickers and I'm your new best friend.

You'll notice the bottom of the letter has all the band members names and signatures, yes signatures.  Those are printed facsimiles, they band actually signed the letter.  That was pretty cool they did that.  I wonder how many of those letters they sent out?

I also found an envelope from Handsome Boys Records and Rusty, but unfortunately there wasn't much it in, certainly not any stickers.  The letter I got from Exan and YTV News is in there too.  That's the one where I got the free Nirvana "From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah" single/promo CD.  Cam is still cheesed over that one.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I didn't bring any socks

Running a bit late here as I'm on vacation and in Cranbrook right now.  I actually came back last Wednesday and meant to post on here that I was planning on going back, but thought I'd wait until I got to BC to do it.  Then I didn't.  On Thursday we went over to Kootenay Lake and we drove back into Cranbrook this afternoon.

On Thursday we took the round about way to the lake and went up the Creston/Salmo Pass and through to Castlegar. On the way there was passed Shabadoo or Shambala or whatever that music festival is called.  They actually had traffic control at the entrance with flaggers and you had to reduce speed.  I bet they were we checking vehicles for marijuana, like if you didn't have they would give you some.

We stopped in Thrums to see the place my brother and his girlfriend just bought.  It actually has two house on the property, the larger one they rent out and the smaller one they are fixing up for themselves.  The large house is total time warp back to the 70's, the smaller one needs a lot of work too, but at least it's small.  Its also right off the highway, so it's loud and there are train tracks.  I hope they got it cheap!

After that we went to Nelson and walked around downtown a bit.  It was very "diverse".  After that we caught the ferry and went to the cabin.  It was pretty smoky and today when we left it started raining which is probably good because they need it.

I'm back in Cranbrook for a couple days and don't really have any plans.  I need to go to Pages and Tuesday I'll see Willie.  We'll probably go for lunch and hit up some thrift stores.  I need to find a 9V power supply and I know the Hospital Aux has a big wall of electrical stuff.

I also mentioned on my Instagram that I went geocaching and while I was sitting in front of the TV here in Gold Creek I opened the app, which is simply called Geocaching, and got this map.

The blue dot is me at the house and all the green dots below it are geocaches all over the South Star Trails.  That's a lot!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Kick out the margarine

Back on a post I did called, Kick out the jams, I mentioned how whenever I finish (or get close to finishing) a jar of jam, I just push it to back of the fridge and put a new jar at the front.  I do the exact same thing with my margarine tubs.  I figured things were getting out of hand and decided to finally clean out the fridge of margarine tubs.

My fridge had eight empty margarine tubs in it!  They were empty, but I did wash them all out and now its time for the recycle bin.  Also, even though I did a cleaning of jam jars back in February I still cleaned out five more as well.  Now I have room for food the fridge!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

World studies

I posted some pictures of some old posters I found and put on my bare fridge.  Well, I finally have some new magnets to add to that.

My mom was in Toronto a couple months ago for a work conference and went to Niagara Falls and got me this magnet.  Now I have the magnet I don't need to ever visit it.  So majestic...

Around the same time a guy from work took a month off to go on holidays and he told me he was going to Afghanistan, he's from there, so I asked him to bring me back a magnet.  Turns out he actually got me a magnet!  Of course, he couldn't find it, then kept forgetting to bring it to work, but he remembered to bring it last Friday, so now it's stuck on my fridge.

I guess Afghanistan was too dangerous to visit (insert sarcastic remark here) so he ended up visiting Iran instead.  Because you know Iran is so much safer??   Well it looks okay in that picture anyway.

Side story!  Once upon a time at T.M. Roberts in Mr. Minnis' grade 6 class, we had to do a report on a country.  I don't remember how it was decided who got what country, but I did my report on Iran and Cam did his report on Iraq.  There were a few arguments on which country was better, Iran or Iraq.  Looking back on at it now, it's not like one was better than the other, it's more like which is less bad.  Although, to be fair Iran didn't get invaded...twice.  Sorry Cam.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Import business

Back in February I ordered a blu-ray from Hong Kong and it took three freaking months to be delivered.  The longest I've ever had to wait for a package from HK was a month, so three months is brutal.  I saw a story on the news that in Vancouver there was a huge backlog of shipping containers of mail just sitting in the port waiting to be released by Canada Customs.  Some containers sat there for two months before getting cleared to Canada Post for delivery.

I went and did another order of legit movies from Hong Kong and crossed my fingers they wouldn't take three months to be delivered.  Luckily, they only took a week to get here!  Pretty crazy how mail delivery can vary from one week to three months.  I'm just glad I didn't have wait another three months.

And now here is what I got!

The Super Inframan, 1975, was Hong Kong's answer to Japanese super hero shows like Kamen Rider and Ultraman.  The filmmakers even enlisted the the help of Japanese studios while making the movie.  The movie is pretty crazy and totally awesome.  It had lots of monster dudes in rubber suits and insane fights.  Like Kamen Rider, Inframan is human sized and fights human sized monsters, but one scene has him grow giant size (like Ultraman) and then squash a enemy monster like a bug, literally!  The Super Inframan is also the first super hero movie out of Hong Kong

Then back to original Japanese superhero stuff with Ultraman X: The Movie!

More Ultraman with Ultraman Ginga S, the complete series.  I have had my eye on these discs, but always thought they were too expensive.  They have been available for a little while and now the price has dropped to half what it used it be.  My waiting actually paid off, but not really cuz I still spent money.

And another Japanese movie, Sadako  Vs Kayoko, the Japanese version of Freddy Vs Jason!  I mentioned I bought this on bootleg DVD in Chinatown, but it didn't have subtitles.  The legit Hong Kong blu-ray does, so it's all good.  I guess I should be buying legit discs to avoid that problem right?

The last one is a HK movie called Screwball '94.  I don't know much about it other than that it's like the HK version of teen sex comedy.  As you can see by the logos, it is a Category III movie which is the same as being rated R over here.  I guess that means there will be boobs in it.  The cover also hints at this.

I should be good for a while on ordering movies from Hong Kong.  There are a few movies I'm keeping an eye on to see if if they get a release like the new reboot of Cutie Honey and Hurricane Polymar.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Google is watching

If you follow my Instagram account, then you've saw a picture I posted a few a weeks ago when Cam was in Calgary.  I took him to Boardwalk fries and burgers and despite the long ass wait for our food, it wasn't terrible.  The buns were slightly blackened, but still overall the burgers were good.

I ordered some upgraded fries and stupidly thought I would get them with the combo meal I ordered, but no.  I got the combo meal plus an extra order of bacon cheddar ranch fries.  When I saw them on the menu I only saw the words "bacon cheddar" and that sounded pretty good.  It wasn't until I ordered them and said it out loud and then realized the ranch was on there.  Long story short I will never eat them again, and Cam probably won't talk to me again.

I'm sure you are wondering where I'm going with this, but I'll explain.  Whenever I go anyway, to a store or whatever, Google on my phone logs it with GPS and then asks me questions about various locations.  Google maps will ask for pictures, Google will ask for a review and Google Guides will ask specific questions about where ever I went.

This is the original picture I took of the bacon ranch fries after Cam and I had ate some them.  Mostly we had a few fries and picked out all the bacon.  

This is a screenshot of what Google asked me when I opened the picture.  It just wanted to know what the picture was, so if I wanted to upload as location photo it would know.  I just cropped it a bit for my Instagram post.  The caption couldn't be anymore perfect for the picture of those soggy soggy ranch fries.

Then yesterday I get an e-mail from Google Local Guides telling me I can get a special version of Google Maps since I'm a contributor.  The e-mail also included tips on taking pictures of food.  It's like they saw my picture of those fries and thought, I needed help or something.  I thought I captured the "essence" of the fries pretty good.  If you need some tips on taking pictures of your food, here you go.

Now I know what "flay lay" means!  It's not as dirty as I thought.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DIY Whitening

When I back in Cranbrook I found a couple bags of old Star Wars Kenner figures that I had picked up over the years at thrift stores and garage sales.  I brought them back to Calgary to put with my other old Star Wars figures I have that I found at thrift stores here in Calgary.  Some figures look better than others and then there is this one.

While I love all Stormtrooper figures, the Biker Scout figure is one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, this guy has seen better days.  He is pretty worn with lots of the black rubbed off/wearing through, he has loose joints and even a big crack in the upper left torso.  Add to that the torso is severely yellowed.  

The yellowing happens to a lot of Stormtroopers just due to aging of the plastic.  I had read about a home remedy to fix the yellowing, so I thought I'd give it a try to see how it works and since this guy was already so worn it wasn't going to be a big waste if it didn't work.

You need three things to do this and the first two are hydrogen peroxide and a clear glass jar.  The jar I just bought with pocket change at the thrift store because my empty huckleberry jam jars were too small.  The hydrogen peroxide can be found in any pharmacy, but in the guide I read the guy said to use a 6% solution. I looked everywhere and everyone only carried 3%.  I even asked at my pharmacy if it came in a stronger solution and if they could order it.  Again, all the were able to get was the 3% solution, so looks like I'm not off to great start.

Just fill the jar with the hydrogen peroxide and drop the figure in it.  Of course, he should be full submerged.  Before I put my figure in the jar I gave him a wash in warm soapy water just to get any surface dirt and grime off.

The third thing you need is a window and some sunlight.  Is that four things?  Once again the guide I read recommended leaving the jar out for an entire week.  Every day just rotate the jar so the front and back get equal exposure to the sun and shake off any bubbles that form on the figure.

It worked!  Here is a before and after shot of my biker scout and he definitely looks a lot cleaner now.  Even after the first day in the jar there was a noticeable change in colour.  I guess not having the 6% hydrogen peroxide didn't really matter in the long run.  I'm pretty happy it worked and can't wait to find some more old yellowed Stormtroopers to experiment on.  It's like science and stuff.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kung Finally

Way back on May 29, 2015 I did a post, Friday night movie night, about a short movie called Kung Fury.  The movie had just launched to watch for free on YouTube.  I was one of the backers of the kickstarter back when they were raising money to make it bigger and better.  The tier I bought in got me a free digital download of the movie, song downloads, behind the scenes videos and a physical blu-ray copy of the movie.  It took nearly two years, but I finally got my copy of the blu-ray!!!

They had a lot delays and problems with making the blu-ray which is why it took so long to get made and shipped out.  It still took forever to get around to even making the blu-ray, then original pressing had an audio issue with the sound being slightly out of sync.  They pressed a second disc, but I believe while the movie itself had no problems there was a problem with one of the special features.  The movie came with the original pressing and then a second disc in a plastic sleeve was stuck to the outside of the package, so I got both discs.  I actually tried the original disc in blu-ray player and it doesn't even work.  The second disc works fine though, so it's all good  .Add to that they had problems with the company in charge of fulfilling and shipping out the orders.

The blu-ray is pretty good, HD and all the that of course, with some fancy animated menus with music.  There are a ton of special features which include the following...

  • Commentary
  • Interview with David Sandberg
  • Fido CGI VFX Breakdowns
  • Fido "The Untold Story"
  • Behind The Scenes
  • Location Hotspots
  • Heaven Animation Sequence
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • How to Hack Time
  • Gold Moments
  • True Survivor Music Video
  • Bloopers
...but no trailer??

The blu-ray was only for backers of the movie, but they plan to release a version to everyone else sometime in the future.  Until then you can still watch it FOR FREE on Netflix or YouTube.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

(Cell)Phoning it in

For the past few years I've been using my very first cell phone, a Motorola flip phone, as my alarm clock.  It's worked out pretty good until this week when...

Of course I haven't used it in like ten years, but it still connected to a network for emergency calls only.  Then it was fine one day and the next day I turned it on and "No Service".  Is guess there is a limit to how long the number/phone will stay active?

I actually didn't even realize it at first because I just turned it on and then set my alarm and went to sleep.  My alarm went off and I was like, "What's happening, it's still dark out?"  I checked my actual cell phone and it was 1 hr and 15 min earlier than what my Motorola was saying.

I'm using my current Samsung as my alarm clock now.  I do have two older Samsung phone that I'm not using, so I guess I could just use on Galaxy II as my new alarm clock.  So long Motorola!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

VCD of the Day

I've been meaning to post this for like a week, but I'm just getting around to it now, so here we go!

While I was digging through my many boxes in my mom's basement I came across the box that has my VCD collection in it.  If you aren't aware VCD stands for "video compact disc" and is a video format that was quite popular in Asia due to it the fact that it's cheap and there is no region locking.  Movies or TV shows are put on CD format, but since CD only holds so much data,  a movie is usually put on two discs.  The quality can vary quite a lot, but a newer movie on VCD can be as good or better than a VHS.  Also, in HK VCDs could have to audio tracks on one disc, the left channel would be Cantonese and the right channel would be Mandarin.  Popularity has dropped due to the blu-ray format, lower prices on DVDs,  and digital downloads, but popular movies in Hong Kong still get a VCD release to this day.

I was buying VCDs back in the day of Hong Kong movies because some of the movies I wanted to watch were only available on VCD or the VCD was cheaper than the DVD equivalent.  I still hang on to my VCDs because a lot of them I haven't upgraded yet and some are still only available on VCD.   I went through my box and brought back a few VCDs to re-watch because I haven't seen them for ever.

Going clockwise there is Purple Storm, The Avenging Fist, 2000 AD and My Schoolmate, The Barbarian.  These are all fairly "big" Hong Kong movies.

These four are from around 2000ish and are the fancier ones with a cardboard slipcase over a jewel case or in the case of Avenging Fist just a plastic CD holder.  Fun fact: The Avenging Fist was originally supposed to be a Tekken movie, but since they didn't have the rights to it a bunch of changes had to be made so they wouldn't get sued.  I remember it being pretty cheesy.

I already watched Gen Y Cops.  If you are looking at the cover and wondering about that "2" it's because the movie is actually Gen X Cops 2: Gen Y Cops.  Unfortunately, a Gen Z Cops was not made.

I liked Gen X Cops, so was looking forward to Gen Y Cops when it came out.  Despite some terrible acting, Richard Sun I'm looking at you, the movie is still pretty fun.  Yes, it's not very realistic and some times it is cheesy, but that's why it's cool.  Plus a blond Paul Rudd as an FBI agent gets in on the action.

The video quality doesn't hold up a good as I remember, but that's probably because I used to watch VCDs on my old TV which was the old school CRT style.  VCDS aren't really made for the new HD TVs of today.  It's a shame because now I really want to upgrade to DVDs...or buy an old TV to watch them on.

Speaking of outdated A/V material I still have a CED player and movies in my basement.  I have a box of movies, but they weigh so much I nearly killed myself packing them down there when I moved.  You'd have to be crazy to collect that format.