Car Tunes

Tara and I have very different musical tastes. They do cross at times(mostly 80’s pop) but for the most part they don’t.

In the car we tend to listen to Top 40 or News Radio, and these days it’s mostly news as we’re tired of the “witty” banter on the other stations. I want to confirm that there are no arguments regarding to music, as half the time we just hear whatever Liam is watching on the phone. So it really doesn’t matter.

But, on the occasions when I am in the car alone and can listen to whatever I like, I have a CD. Yes, one CD. A CD that I’ve been listening to, in parts, for about 6 months now.

And it’s an actual CD(well, burned, but still) and not some fancy MP3 CD with a ton of tracks. No, this one has 17. 17 tracks that I’ve listened to, over and over again, for 6 months.

And just recently did I decide that I should swap out this CD. Not because I didn’t like the songs, quiet the opposite, I just felt the need for a little change.

Oddly enought this kind of started as a experiment on my part, and it goes a little like this:

Are there songs that you can always go back and listen to without ever getting sick of them?

I think I proved this right. I mean, for some reason I just could never skip past Through the Fire and the Flames by DragonForce, even if the random played them back to back. It was just that awesome. So I tested it further and made a CD of them. Now, all the songs on the CD weren’t quite up to DF and I did find myself skipping past certain ones more than others, but for the most part I picked a good group.

Here’s the initial CD:

Through the fire and the flames – DragonForce
Gangdam style – Psy
Symptom of the universe – Black Sabbath
Painkiller – Judas Priest
Wicker man – Iron Maiden
Hanger 18 – MegaDeth
Ace Of spades – Motorhed
Breaking the law – Judas Priest
Burner – Motorhed
Over the hill and far away – Nightwish
Bark at the moon – Ozzy
Fucking hostile – Pantera
Fire fight – Rammstein
I wish I had an angle – Nightwish
The Hunt – Sepultura
Ditto head – Slayer
Justified – GangstaGrass

I found myself skipping past Symptom of the universe more often than most, and I had to skip Pantera if Liam was in the car(let him learn it the way the rest of us did; school) but otherwise I would never hit skip.

But even after 6 months I needed a change. At one point I thought I would use a completely different set of groups or songs, and I think I intended to do it, but it didn’t fully turn out:

Got the time – Anthrax
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Looking after number one – Boomtown Rats
New rose – The Dammed
California über alas – Dead Kennedies
From out of nowhere – Faith no More
New breed – FearFactory
Ran so far away – Flock of Seagulls
Doctor who theme – Fourth new season
The message – Grand Master Flash and the Furious 5
Salamanizer – GWAR
Number if the beast – Iron Maiden
Painkiller – Judas Priest
Thrift shop – Macklemore and ryan lewis (because it’s “fucking awesome”)
99 red balloons – Nena
Cowboys from hell – Pantera
True belief – Paradise Lost
Arise – Sepultura
Assimilate – Skinny Puppy

For the most part it’s a whole new batch, and only one repeat(just love those lazer bullets). And it’s really great having a new batch of music for the car.

I was thinking while writing this that, I do have this older MP3 player that’s not being used anymore, I could just load that up and connect it to the car. I mean, it’s within my power to do so. This would eliminiate the need for limited CDs. And as the aux port is right next to a power port, I could have it powered all the time.

Or, you know, use my iPhone…

Practice Converstions

I pulled into the parking lot of the local Macs store, and I could see inside two youth’s dressed in MegaDeth shirts.

I had on my usual polo and long shorts, with sandals. My hair wasn’t styled, so it had a wispy look to it. Not at all MegaDeth like. In fact, if it wasn’t for my weight, I would call myself a Douche on first site 😉

So of course conversations start floating in my head, and when this happens I need to have a comeback.

The conversation went like this:

(youth prime) “And here is someone that clearly doesn’t listen to MegaDeth(pointing at me)”

(me, channelling my best Jesse Pinkman) “I’ve been listening to MegaDeth since before you were sucking on your mom’s tits, Bitch!”

It wasn’t a long conversation, and not really a clever one, but I was in a hurry. And it didn’t actually happen. Which is too bad as I was clearly prepared.

For once…

Dexter as dad

I’ve been behind on watching Dexter so I’ve been trying to catch up.
Watching yesterday reminded me how different Dexter and I are in terms of fatherhood. Sure, one of us is a fictional character, but other than that we do have our parenting differences.
He’s off all day at work, and then doesn’t even blink if be has to run out again to do some serial killer stuff. Just leaves his son with the nanny. Doesn’t even blink I tell you. I couldn’t do that, just leave after having no seen Liam all day.
I mean, the character of Dexter is supposed to be all about providing for his family, he certainly mentions it enough, but Harrison just seems to be a convenient plot point when needed. There doesn’t seem to be any consistence there.
Anyway, it’s these odd things that I see on TV these days.
I think fatherhood has distorted my ‘suspension of disbelief’ somewhat.
I mean, really, Fireman Sam, that while town should have been destroyed sometime ago….

Brazil Day 3 and 4

I’ve gotten a little behind as I was writing these at night in the hotel room.

Day 3 ended with “happy hour” as it was the best way they could put it. It just meant we went out to snag some drinks and something to eat. As I am in Brazil, I would like to take in the cultural things that other Brazilians do(that needed some work). They all knew this and suggested some strong booze that would be typical Brazilian drinks. One was Caipirinha and it was a cocktail. It was rather sweet, but also really strong. I could feel the effects about half way down the drink. But after that I apparently needed a shot of their local super strong alcohol, cachaça. I think I disappointed them somewhat when I didn’t immediately pass out or make strange faces, reactions Winking smile

I mean, come on, I’m Canadian Open-mouthed smile

But the night ended well with a quick cab ride home and a call to my lovely wife.

Beyond that Day 3 was like Day 2 but with a better lunch. We headed to the local mall this time and just grabbed something from the food court. It was Brazilian style food and it didn’t cost a fortune, so we enjoyed.

Day 4 started too early. Actually, most of the mornings started too early. I’m not sure what the problem is. It could very well be that I’m just not having enough coffee. That’s one problem here. They claim that because the coffee is stronger, they use smaller cups. I call shenanigans. I’ll have two ‘cups’ in the morning and still be falling asleep in the morning cab. I eventually wake up, but it’s because I’m using my work brain a little more than usual. Which sounds silly, but when you’re being asked a barrage of questions about different aspects of the product, you have to think fast.

Day 4 started with terrible traffic(an hour to get here) but turned into a pretty typical day.

We had lunch at was best described as a typical Brazilian resturant. We ordered and shared food and I have to say it was all pretty awesome. It was mostly meat and cheese, but it was this great salted shredded pork(at least I think it was pork, it could have been beef). I’ll have to get the names to see if I can find something like it at home. I suspect not though Sad smile

After work was also pretty typical. There’s not a lot to do at this hotel other then watch TV/Movies. I got to the “Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones, but that was about it.

Tara, Liam and I did get to connect a little though. Skype can be a wonderful thing when it’s working correctly and not going to the wrong system. But I think that’s the problem being logged into multiple devices at a time.

I have to admit that the days are starting to blur together. Good thing I ‘m going home soon.

Don’t get me wrong, Sao Paulo is a great place, or at least what I’ve seen of it. But during the week there’s not much to do. I mean, I get off work at 6, by the time I’m catching a cab it’s 6:30, and by the time I’m at the hotel I ‘m lucky if it’s 7. That leaves a little time to connect with home, have something to eat and then, well, crash. If there were more places that were close to the hotel and open later, that would be perfect.

But ah well, that’s life Smile

Brazil Day 2

So again today I am glad I didn’t actually rent a car. What the hell was I thinking? I mean, if you brought the average Ottawa driver into the middle of Sao Paulo and let them drive somewhere, it would take about 3 minutes flat before they got into an accident. And it would have been because *they* weren’t paying attention. I have to hand it to the drivers in this city, they have their wits about them. The number of close calls I witnessed to and from work, but it all seemed so calculated, as if they meant to do that.

Still gives me shudders.

Anyway, workwise, today was an excellent day. The guys I’m training are really great and I can feel that they really appreciate me being here to give them that personal experience that you just can’t get from books and slides.

This morning was the *boring* part, the one with the most slides. We went over program features and the like and I was kinda dreading it. When it comes to learning things, I’m the guy that just has to get in there and start doing things. And I think they are too. So we’re going to work well this week.

During the *dull parts* they asked questions and we had great discussions, it really felt like being here was worth it. I mean, we could just have easily done this remotly, but I don’t think it would have turned out the same way.

So dumbass me forgot my credit card again, and this put a little crimp in lunch but it really just meant that I had to pay with cash. I didn’t want to do this as I want to use that only if I had to. Such as paying for a cab to get home. Which I had to do as well. I didn’t make any arrangements with the hotel to be picked up, and I called in the middle of rush hour so they didn’t have any cars available. And I only had $50(which isn’t a lot) so one of the other guys lent me an additional $40 and that got me home (with $30 to spare).  But it took close to an hour to get home.

So, for tomorrow, I will bring my card and my MP3 player. As I’ll need them both. The car service is good to get there, but I think the cab will be better to get home.

Right now I’m enjoying a frozen dinner and a beer, not sure how much I paid for either Smile

Brazil Day 1 (mostly)

The day really started with the trip to the airport.

No, the day really started with waking up with my wife and hearing Liam chatter on the monitor. We invited him into bed and he almost stayed for an entire 5 minutes, but wanted to head downstairs to watch Dora(or trail, or diggers, he kept changing his mind).

Then it was breakfast, pants hemming and just some last minute packing. I would like to think that, at some point in my life, I will be organized long before I actually have to do something. I don’t see that day coming anytime soon, but I like to think it’ll get here eventually.

Before we knew it we were in the car on the way to the airport. Tears were shed but goodbyes were quick(as they should be, like a bandaid) and I wandered into the terminal. The self checking thing was pretty useless(as always) but I was happy to find out I didn’t have to pay extra for my checked bag as I was just in route(American Airlines allows for two free checked bags). Not that it would have mattered, I think, as work would have covered it. I grabbed a coffee, muffin, some water(too much) and plopped down to surf and do some last minute work. The wireless at the airport takes a sec to authenticate but once it does it’s pretty quick. And little did I know it would be the last free internet access until my hotel room.

Oh, security was quick as there just wasn’t a lot of people, but I still got tagged as “random search guy” and had to go through the scanner.

I had previously setup another Skype account so that I could chat with Tara on the phone. As long as she keeps Skype running. We chatted and then off I went.

The first leg was boring, but kinda short. AC has built in screens for shows and movies. I just started to listen to music, but decided to check out the first 45 minutes of Alien. Told ya the flight was short.

Arrived in New York, tried to find out where I needed to go, found security, and was told to go back to ticketing. Security was quick as I had to ditch my extra water(didn’t expect to go through security again for some reason). And for the second time this trip had to go through the scanner. When you exit these things they show you the result, and both times, it appears there’s a problem with my head. I don’t know exactly, but a box appears on my head. Maybe an implant I don’t know about. Could be exciting! But not likely.


That’s what I got to see of New York. I mean, I could have bought some random “I ❤ NY” stuff, but as I’ve never seen it past the airport, how do I know I ❤ NY?

The next leg was about three hours, and they didn’t have something to watch. OK, not personally anyway. There were other screens that popped down, but everyone was watching the same thing. And, as I’ve seen that episode of Parenthood already, I opted out and read. And listened to music. Because I could.

When we finally landed I thought I would be really late for my connection. I wasn’t. In fact, I so wasn’t that I got some M&Ms and a drink and just sauntered over to the gate. I’m cool like that.

I was in the last row(44G) on the isle seat. I’ve been isle seat the whole way, and I don’t mind as I don’t have to crawl over people to get to the bathroom. Not as important on a 3 hour flight, but very important on an 8 hour one. The movie selection wasn’t all that great, so I ended up watching Beautiful Creatures and Identity Theft. I can’t really recommend either, but if you had to choose, go with…reading.

They did serve us two meals. “Chicken” and breakfast. I think it was croissants, but I’ve been known to be wrong about these sorts of things.

I must have slept for about an hour, as I put on an episode of Elementary and don’t remember anything past the opening credits. That was the only sleep I got. I think I’m a little bit picky when it comes to sleeping and actually need to be comfortable.

After that was done, I hobbled through security again and found the hired taxi. I am SO glad that I didn’t end up renting a car. I wouldn’t be writing this now if I had. In fact, I would be in one of two places; lost or dead. I mean, the drivers aren’t that aggressive, but just enough to get me in trouble. That, and I had been awake for almost 24 hours. Driving in a country where I knew all the rules would be tough enough. He found the hotel easily enough, I checked in and crashed. Actually, no. I checked in and called Tara. She was happy to know I had made it in one piece(as was I) and then I let her get back to sleep(it was 6am there). Then I crashed.


That’s the view from the hotel.

After a nap I wandered out a little. Not too far, but I was hungry. There’s an open mall attached to the hotel, and it has a Starbucks, movie theatre and some places to eat. Including a sushi place. Wonder if that’ll be dinner? Winking smile

The surrounding area was mostly closed shops. Shopping on Sundays is still not a thing here for the most part. But that’s ok. I grabbed something to eat at “New Dog” and it wasn’t what I thought I had ordered. I thought I had ordered a burger and a coke. The coke was right, but the burger ended up to be some smoked meat with a lot of cheese and a fried egg. Not bad really, and it totally hit the spot. I then headed down to something that could be a mini-grocery/variety store. It didn’t have a whole lot in terms of food, but it did have microwave popcorn. So I got some, even a bacon flavored one. I mean, why not?

Now I think I’ll do some last minute work stuff(tidy slides mostly) and then call it a day.

French Dora

A long time ago, or at least it felt that way, there was a rumor going round that when Dora the Explorer was going to be shipped up to Canada, that instead of Spanish she would have to speak French.

As it turns out, this wasn’t the case. She’s still speaking Spanish(and wearing shirts that don’t fit). But thinking of it now, I really wish she was speaking French. If that were the case, then Liam would actually know a useful language in Canada.

See, because of Dora, he does in fact speak some Spanish, and uses it in the right context.

He’s said Gracias to me more than once in place of Thanks. He knows that the ball goes arriba when he throws it, and eventually comes abajo.

Sometimes things are the colour rojo instead of red.

It’s cute and all, don’t get me wrong. And because I watch so much Dora with him, that I know what he’s talking about. It’s just that, if it were French, it would be that much further along.

We tried Ni Hao Kai-Lan for a little while, but it just didn’t take. Chinese would still be more useful than Spanish. At least around here.

Now, if he moved to Spain or Mexico, well, that’s different…

Disney Here We Come!

Our flights are booked, the condo is booked(and deposit paid) and we’re totally geared up for visiting the sunny land of Florida!

I’ve been to Disney World twice; once has a kid(9 or 10) and 7 years ago with a group of friends. Not sure which visit was more exciting 🙂

We’re going in April, sort of on the line between the busy and moderate season. It won’t be stinking hot, but a heck of a lot warmer than it will be here. While we’ll be in Orlando for about 10 days, I know we won’t spend the entire time at Disney(as that would cause a stupid fortune). I think there will be a fair amount of random visit time and hanging around the pool time.

The geek in me is trying to find a bunch of fun apps for my phone that would ‘help’ us while in Orlando. There are a few fun map apps for Disney, and Lego Land(more research is needed here…). I’m also thinking of the best way to travel to the US with my iPhone and not getting charged an arm and a leg for data use. I’ll have to call Virgin to see if/how much it will cost to unlock the phone and then I can get a local sim. Sure my number will change, but so what, it’ll be short term.

Actually, just found out that it’ll cost $75 to get the phone unlocked, but only if I’m off contract. There’s a place downtown that’ll do it for $40, so guess what 🙂

Overall, I’m stupid excited to go, more so because I’m the dad his time so I get to see all the cool reactions that Liam will have to things. Not to say that I won’t have any cool reactions, but I think mine will be to his.

Big Boy Room


Last night, we upgraded Liam’s room to 2.0:Big Boy. He has a twin mate’s bed(apparently captains beds have additional storage at foot), a proper dresser and we’ve moved out the crib and change table. The transformation isn’t complete(ok, we’ll call it 2.0 beta) as there’s some decoration still needed, but functionally, it’s upgraded.

And he slept in the bed last night with no wake ups. I think this is because some time ago we removed one side of his crib and replaced it with the bed guard, and kept that bed guard on the new bed, so he’s used to it. While he went to bed a little later than usual last night, there wasn’t much of a fight with the new bed(he’s been a little difficult to put down lately).

I have to admit that it’s now a little odd to go in there. For over two years it was the baby room, where we rocked him to sleep, changed diapers, fed him, and now it’s a little space for him to play and sleep in. We might move the train table up there, but we’re still on the fence as it’s an easy thing for him to play with on the main level, and it doesn’t take up too much space.

The next thing to do is arrange the basement as a play/work out area for all of us. We want to partially finish the basement and make a little zone for his kitchen and other toys so that he can hang out with Mom and Dad as they exercise. Or just hang out and have fun.

So while I miss the babies room, I’m looking forward to hanging out in the little boys room.

Indoor Activities

It’s Winter, and that means it’s cold and there’s a lot of snow. The snow wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the cold. And the cold is always bad.

I mean, I like the cold, as I can do things to combat the cold. I can always put on more layers. But that wind can be really biting. Really really biting. And I can only cover my face so much without, well, without wandering accidentally into traffic.

And it’s a little worse for Liam as I have to bundle him up a little more. Not to the point where he can’t walk or anything, but it does make it more difficult.

So it’s Winter, and we want to make sure he get’s enough exercise. Now, in terms of outdoor activities in Ottawa, they’re limited to(at least at his age) to walking and snow shoveling(of which he loves). Walking is frustrating as he needs to take is ‘bike’ with him, which is a three wheeler that doesn’t travel in the snow very well. Or the sled, and then he just wants to sit, which isn’t a great form of exercise(just ask his Dad).

So we got him a year pass to the local FunHaven. I think it might be he only FunHaven, but just in case it isn’t ill specify that it’s the local one.

If you’ve never been, FunHaven is this cool place that’s not far away where Liam can run around and be a two year old. It’s split up into multiple activities, all of which you would have to pay for separately. The nice thing is that there’s no entry fee, just a fee for the stuff you want to do. Liam likes Ballocity. It’s a huge three level platform play place with air cannon ball shooters and a couple of big slides. Off to the side is a play kitchen and a little play house thingy. Liam likes it all. Mom and Dad like the big comfy chairs for the parents. We have a blast in there every time we go and it tires the heck out of him, which is good. However, it also costs $12 every time, so the thought of a $100 all you can play pass was pretty appealing. Also, considering that we were there 3 times that week alone(between Christmas and going back to work) it should pay for itself pretty quickly.

Before making this decision though, we did check around for cheaper options, and one of the local rec centers does have this play hour thing, but it’s during the day(not so helpful) and only for an hour. So FunHaven it is.

It’s pretty easy to amuse a toddler, but almost never cheap 😉