Personal Archives (47 posts)

I’m Back

I’ve been swamped with work over the last 3 months and decided to put the brakes on the blog for a little while. Back in June, Ryan and I completed web development on a pet food site for Nutrience. This being Canada we did another version of the site in French.

Now I’m working on a new website for ACE Bakery which is wrapping up and should be launched by the end of the month. Somewhere in May/June, Ryan and I also managed to launch a site for Global Risk Institute in Financial Services, develop a new back end for Trind while providing upgrades to the front end of the site.

I also managed to squeeze in some Contact and Hot Docs although not as much as I would have liked. And now I’m just about ready for a vacation. Sort of.

My vacations usually consist of working on my photography portfolio which has been neglected even more than this blog. Getting up every day before dawn, scouting locations during the day and shooting until the stars come out, isn’t really a vacation. It’s work but it’s the type of work I love most and it provides a creative outlet for me that I can’t get enough of.

Posted in Personal at 8:42 AM

5 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. I’ve never seen the movie Spaceballs.
  2. I go to bed every night around 2 AM and wake up between 8:15 AM.
  3. I notice trivial details in TV shows like House and then I waste time trying to understand why they are there — Dr. James Wilson used to have a Touch of Evil poster behind his desk for years. Just this week it was replaced with a poster of Ordinary People. Why?
  4. I’m ashamed to say that I once bought a Bette Midler CD and a Michael Bolton CD because of a girl.
  5. I recently started talking to myself whenever I get angry. My mother used to do this and it drove me crazy.

There’s a lot more you don’t know about me and I’d like to keep it that way. Carry on, as you were.

Posted in Personal at 10:18 PM

Subaru Seizure

Back in February my wife and I spent $4,000 in repairs to her Subaru Legacy. Then in March, we spent another $1,300.00 in repairs.

On Monday morning the engine in our piece of crap Subaru seized. A new engine will cost $2,000. At this point I’m ready to start using public transit. With the money we wasted on the vehicle we could have purchased a TTC Metro Pass for over 3 years!

Seriously though, we’re looking at dumping the car and leasing a new Toyota Matrix for $200/month. Somehow we got stuck with a lemon. I’ll never purchase or recommend a Subaru vehicle again.

Posted in Personal at 8:31 PM

Slow Down

On Saturday night I was driving home in my Mustang when I lost it. The guy driving the vehicle in front of me appeared to be drunk. He was driving about 5 km/h and weaving back and forth.

As I got closer I realized he wasn’t drunk, he was just talking on his cellphone. I roared around him in first gear and kept going. In no time I was doing about 110 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. I didn’t bother to slow down until I was near my house a minute later. That’s when I noticed a police car following me at a high speed. Uh oh.

The policeman got out of his car and asked me why I was in such a hurry. I told him that I was heading home to watch the start of the Leaf game and I wanted to hear the new Hockey Night in Canada theme song. He asked for my license and registration.

He didn’t get a radar gun on me but estimated that I was doing about 110 km/h. It took him 2 km to catch up with me. I thought to myself, I’m in big trouble here.

The policeman said he was sitting in a parking lot when he heard me squealing around the corner. He said that my exhaust system gave me away. The new Flowmasters on my car sound great but they are anything but subtle.

With the new street racing laws we have in Ontario the policeman said he could take my car away. Immediately. Howerver, he was in a good mood and said he would only give me a ticket for failing to produce a valid insurance certificate — the one I gave to him expired a few days before (the new insurance was sitting in a pile of unopened mail on my desk). Duoh!

The policeman wrote me a ticket then started telling me about his sister’s Mustang and how much fun it was to drive. Before he left he told me to take it easy and slow down. I apologized and was on my way. For the last few days I’ve been driving slightly under the speed limit.

Posted in Personal at 8:00 PM

Summons to juror

That’s what it says at the top of the letter from the Ministry of the Attorney General.

On October 6, 2008 I have to go to court. I’ve been selected for jury duty. I’m self-employed and I have to sit around a court room for a minimum of one week. Brilliant.

Posted in Personal at 10:53 PM

No respect

Last night I was playing hockey and I hit the boards pretty hard. Normally I would shake it off but I tweaked something in my lower back. By the next shift I felt like I was 39 going on 80 and could barely skate. I was done.

This morning I’m crippled with lower back pain. I’m popping Ibuprofen pills like candy but they don’t seem to do anything.

My 9-year-old son is very amused by my shuffling and groaning. As I inched my way downstairs, he looked down at me with a smile and said, “One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Have a nice road trip old man!”

Posted in Personal at 9:43 AM

Mustang 2.0

The price of gas has skyrocketed. 94 octane from Sunoco is around $1.30/L in Toronto which means that spring has arrived. For me its the time of year when I put the Corolla to bed and take the Mustang out of the garage.

After years of neglect my ‘88 Mustang has a fresh coat of paint, new headlights, new taillights, and a new B303 cam. It’s about a week away from being finished and I can’t wait.

It came out of the paint booth this morning and this is what it now looks like. The picture isn’t great but the new colour is a dark charcoal gray. I’m planning to ditch the traditional 5-star rims for some black rims which will give the car a completely new look.

I’ve had the same aftermarket exhaust system for almost 20 years so and plan to put a new Flowmaster exhaust kit which will put a big smile on my face.

Posted in Personal at 1:51 PM

I can’t win

A couple of weeks ago I took a puck off the forehead that required three stitches. I purchased an Itech X100 half shield for my hockey helmet. Hopefully the flying pucks will bounce off my visor instead of my forehead in the future.

Unfortunately I wasn’t wearing a neck guard last night. I stepped onto the ice for my first shift last night and blocked a slapshot with my throat. I thought I was going to die.

You panic when you can’t breathe. I had this picture in my mind that my adam’s apple was inverted after the hit, that I wouldn’t be able to talk. I ended up playing the rest of the game, drinking a lot of water and sounding like Barry White. Today my throat is swollen and I sound like a kid hitting puberty.

All of the guys on the bench gave me the Don Cherry lecture about defensemen blocking shots — you shouldn’t keep your stick in front of you when a guy winds up for a shot. Your stick should be off to the side to avoid deflections of the puck. Live and learn.

I think that I’ll probably lose some teeth next week the way things have been going.

Posted in Personal at 9:25 AM

Happy Bloody St. Patrick’s Day

I played two games of hockey last night. I was terrible in my first game but my second was much better — 3 goals, 1 puck off the forehead and a win!

I have an Elastoplast “quick-healing” band-aid on my gash at the moment but I think I may have to visit the ER and get a few stitches.

Posted in Personal at 12:40 AM

Coming up for air

It feels like I’ve been working 80 hours/week since last June. My JAK MEDIA clients have kept me insanely busy. I’m grateful for all the work but I need a break!

I’m close to finishing a major website redesign that began 5 months ago. I think it’s one of the finest sites I’ve designed and developed and I can’t wait to launch it. Prion Interactive has done a fabulous job of developing the back-end — content management system, ecommerce and more.

Yesterday another site I designed and developed was launched — Safety Smart DVDs for Disney Educational Productions. I’ve done a few projects for The Mickey but this is one of the few that people can actually see.

In the past five months I’ve also:

Somewhere in there I managed to have my house torn down, rebuilt and move my office. I still have pictures to hang, boxes to unpack and my desk is covered in inches of paper and unopened mail.

So, if it feels like I’ve been ignoring you, or if my photoblog hasn’t been updated in a while, you know why. My apologies.

I’d love to be spending my evenings doing what normal people do — watch TV, rent a movie, read a book play hockey, sleep 8 hours.

I’ve been dying to get out and take some photos with my Canon 5D since I got it last June. Hasn’t happened. But soon, very soon I’ll have a life again and I’ll be in touch.

Posted in JAK MEDIA and Personal at 10:43 PM

Trying not to panic

I’m sitting in West Vancouver, working on my wife’s laptop computer. I should be enjoying my Christmas vacation but I’m a little panicked. I’ve had 3 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours and I have to finish designing a web page for Disney, create 53 French language coupons for Procter & Gamble and update a few other sites.

Instead of actually working I’m waiting for a 796 MB trial version of Photoshop CS3 to download. The version of Photoshop CS2 that I hoped to use doesn’t want to activate on this tired iBook G4. Silly me, I didn’t bring the installer discs and serial numbers to reinstall Photoshop. Trying. To. Remain. Calm.

452 MB remaining.

Lately I’ve been in a frenzied rush to finish one job after the other and I’m running out of energy. The endless stream of rush jobs and constant panics has to end. I think they call this type of decision-making a new year’s resolution.

326 MB remaining.

Did I mention that it is December 19th and I haven’t started my Christmas shopping yet? You know that time of year where you exchange money in the form of gift certificates because you can’t figure out what to purchase for people.

My excuse is that I’m a guy and I hate shopping. What do I really need for Christmas? Nothing. Okay maybe Photoshop CS2 running on this damn computer would be nice.

If I need something I’ll go to the store and purchase it. Christmas is for children. I’m not saying that adults shouldn’t exchange a small gifts at all but there is always this unnecessary pressure to buy something and spend a certain amount of money.

175 MB remaining.

I know a few people that decided they weren’t going to give in to Christmas consumer pressure. Their families don’t buy any gifts (for the adults). Instead, they donate it to a hospital or a charity. I would rather contribute to a cure for cancer than a gift that somebody won’t like and doesn’t really need.

Now I feel like a cross between Scrooge and Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes.

126 MB remaining.

I can barely keep my eyes open now. It’s 3 AM, Toronto time. Need sleep.

40 MB remaining.


Posted in Observations and Personal at 2:16 AM

Roadtrip to Michigan

I’m heading down to Lansing, MI for some golf, college football, and an NFL game on Sunday. I should be heading to a sandy beach instead of waking up at 6 AM to get across the border for a 12:30 tee off time. Waking up that early doesn’t feel like a holiday to me but it beats working.

I still have a number of TIFF reviews to do. The best film by far was Jason Reitman’s Juno. The cast was stellar and the movie is very funny.

The last film I saw was called Surfwise — a great surfing documentary about the Paskowitz family. More to come when I get back if I can get online.

I’m moving my JAK Media office into my house on Monday. Pictures to come. I know, I’ve neglected to post more photos of the reno. I simply have too much on the go. I won’t mention the handful of sites that I’ve been trying to finish for the last 3 months. Maybe with a home office I’ll be able to get even more work done! Groan.

Posted in Personal and Travel at 12:43 AM

Home, Unfinished Home

Well, today was the day that we were supposed to move back into our house. 3 months ago we started a major renovation project.

Needless to say, our family is living in a friend’s basement apartment, wondering when we can really move back into our house. The good news is that we past our second last inspection which will allow a drywall crew to put our walls, mud, tape and sand everything. The plan is to have everything primed and painted by Monday/Tuesday. Carpet on Wednesday. Tile and do whatever else needs to be done on Thursday/Friday and move in by Saturday.

I’m holding my breath.

Posted in Personal at 10:43 PM

Renovating Sucks

This will be obvious to anyone who has ever lived through a renovation. Getting kicked out of your house for 3 months, living out of bags, working 70-80 hours a week to pay for scope creep, in a word, sucks.

One of our neighbours said, “I don’t feel sorry for you guys at all. You’re going to have a beautiful house when all of this is done.” She’s right of course. I have no right to complain at all but making it to the end of this process is a struggle.

We’re in the home stretch now. We finally received our building permit (we started building 2 months ago) and passed a major inspection. In 3-4 weeks we should have insulation, drywall, finished floors and more!

An unexpected surprise was our basement. We discovered some “water damage”. The entire floor has been ripped up and we’re in the process of having a sump pump installed. This is what happens when you live so close to Lake Ontario.

I’m happy that we’ll have a dry basement and never have to worry about the spring thaw again. I’m also unhappy because my home theatre is in a shambles. Drywall is missing in big chunks, new heating ducts and sewage pipes are taking up valuable space along the ceiling. Once the bulkheads are installed, my theatre room will have shrunk.

The most stressful part of a home renovation is watching the money in your bank account disappear like the last little bits of sand in an hour glass. Time is running out and the money is running out faster than I can track it all. This is part of the reason why I’ve taken on an insane amount of work this summer, and, why this blog hasn’t been updated as frequently in the past few weeks.

And so it goes… I just want to go home.

Posted in Personal at 4:47 PM

Bring home some milk

It used to be that the man of the house was expected to bring home the bacon. I never get asked that. Instead, I get asked to “bring home some milk” whenever I go out. We go through bags of the stuff.

Last night at 2 AM, I stopped by the local 24-hour Dominion store. On my way to the milk section (at the back of the store) I picked up some Sun-Maid raisin bran bread, cherry danishes, some salt and vinegar powder (for popcorn) and some milk.

I wiped out in the milk aisle on the freshly mopped floor and limped to the cash. The young couple ahead of me decided to do their grocery shopping for an entire month. Normally this wouldn’t be a bad thing but it was 2 AM and the only register open was the Express Check-out for 1-8 items.

Ten minutes later I limped out of the store and noticed a police car in the parking lot. Normally I don’t get nervous when I see a police car but I was driving my Corolla with plates that expired last November. My fuel economy car failed an emission test and couldn’t get my plates renewed (I plan to get another emission test this week).

Fortunately the police officers were busy with their computer allowing me drive away unnoticed. I hate bringing home the milk.

Posted in Personal at 11:27 AM

Vacation in Port Carling

I’m back from a short vacation in the Muskoka’s. I long for the days when I had the entire summer off and had to write an essay about “what I did on my summer vacation”.

In the last 7 days I took some photos around Rosseau, Bent River and Port Carling. I read On Chesil Beach by Ian McKewan. I slept. A lot.

Best of all, I dropped off the grid for a week—no cellphone, no email, no computer, no stress.

Muskoka Chairs

View larger image

Posted in Personal at 5:22 PM

Extreme Home Makeover

Our house

All I wanted was a home office. Now I find myself in the middle of a major renovation. Our entire ground floor has been gutted and we’re putting on a new second floor.

My new office for JAK Media is going to be sweet. It will be on the second floor at the back of the house with a nice view of the yard. I’ll be sitting there for about 18 hours in the future but I think it will all be worth it.

When your essentially making a second mortgage payment for office rent, it makes a lot of sense to invest it into your own house. That’s how I try to justify the chaos around me. Oh, and there is that small part where we’ll get a new kitchen, living/dining area, etc, etc, etc. The lovely just finished a show called Sarah’s House. Now she’s working on a real life reality show called Bombippy’s House.

I’ll be posting photos of the whole process on my flickr site.

You can read daily updates about this stuff and junk here.

Posted in Personal at 2:54 PM


A little while ago, I was getting dressed and ready for work. Still half-asleep, I grabbed some underwear out of the drawer and squeezed into them.

I couldn’t figure out why they were so tight. I’ve put on a few pounds in the last year but this was ridiculous. I took them off and tried on another pair. Phew! I could breathe again.

It turns out that the wife accidentally put 7-year-old Daniel’s tighty-whities in my drawer! Daniel thought this was absolutely hilarious. So every now and again he slips into my room and throws a pair of his underwear in my drawer.

This morning he was giggling while he was getting dressed and I couldn’t figure out why. I went to throw on some briefs and sure enough, at the top of the drawer were a pair of his tighty-whities. Again.

When I discovered his little prank he couldn’t stop giggling. He was proud of himself for tricking his old man again. The kid is a real joker and that puts a smile on my face.

Posted in Personal at 3:52 PM

Daylight Savings

This daylight savings thing just isn’t working out for me so I’m not going to participate this year. Why did it have to come early? My schedule is out of whack now.

Instead of going to bed at 1:30 AM, I’m falling into bed at 2:30 AM then waking up at 8:30 AM. By the time I stop off for a coffee or visit Future Shop (Casino Royale, 2-disc DVD, $19.99, today only) it’s 10 AM before I reach the office.

Look a the time now. 10:48 AM. Half the day is gone. I’m wasting time blogging.

Posted in Personal at 10:39 AM

Coffee and my ex-wife

I’m on my fourth cup of coffee of the day. I usually have one in the morning and another after dinner but today was a little different. This afternoon, two people dropped by my office and brought me coffee.

It’s 7:44 PM and I’m back at the office, finishing off a cappuccino from Starbucks. I was feeling a little sleepy and needed a boost. The caffeine isn’t working. I better work fast.

Maybe you’re wondering about the ex-wife bit in the title of this post. Relax. I don’t have an ex-wife, but a guy on my hockey team thought I did.

I told him that I didn’t get out of the office until 2:30 AM, one night last week. He asked me why I was working so hard and thought that I must have an ex-wife that was draining my bank account. Call me a weird but I found this amusing.

Posted in Personal at 7:39 PM

Organic Peanut Butter

I have the flu today and decided to take the day off (something I never do).

For lunch, I decided to make a PB & J sandwich. Instead of the usual jar of Kraft or Skippy peanut butter there was a jar of President’s Choice Organic Peanut Butter.

I opened this new jar of organic peanut butter and ruined my day. Peanut oil spilled onto the kitchen counter, my bathrobe, the floor and the garbage can. Why is there so much oil in this jar of peanut butter?!

I screamed at my wife (who wasn’t there) for purchasing this organic crap that you have to ‘stir before using’ and ‘refrigerate after opening’. Then I threw the jar of into the garbage and asked my wife (who wasn’t there) why she bought this sludge. In seven years she has never purchased organic peanut butter. Why now?

Why would anyone purchase organic peanut butter? It probably costs more than the regular stuff, you have to stir it up before using it, and then you have to refrigerate it which means it’s going to be hard as rock the next time you go to use it.

Did I mention that you have to open the jar as if it contained nitroglycerin? Bloody organic peanut butter. I’m going back to bed.

Posted in Personal at 2:58 PM

What a drag

What a drag it is getting old. Gray hairs are peppering the top of my head and I find myself breathing heavily after climbing a flight of stairs.

Today I turn 38 years old and as the step-daugther’s little boyfriend so nicely put it, “that makes you 20 years older than me!”

Posted in Personal at 2:17 AM

Too many Paul’s

The other day I was telling a guy named Paul, a story that involved two other Paul’s. It was a little confusing keeping track of the names. I seem to know a lot of people with the first name Paul. Here are a few:

  1. Paul Nethercott
  2. Paul Robertson
  3. Paul Little
  4. Paul Lantinga
  5. Paul Neary
  6. Paul McArthur
  7. Paul Newman
  8. Paul Wismer
  9. Paul Little (yes, another one)
  10. Paul Kyte
  11. Paul Brennan

I only know one other person with the first name Jay. Okay, back to work.

Posted in Personal at 5:13 PM

My bloody elbow

I played hockey on Sunday night for the first time in over a month. At some point I must have fallen and landed on my elbow (don’t remember) because it was a bloody mess when I removed my elbow pad.

When I checked my bruised elbow at home it was still bleeding. The part that really bothered me was the 2 cm worm-like piece of flesh that was hanging out of my elbow. I tried pulling it out but the pain put an end to that. I slapped a band-aid on and went to bed.

This worm-like piece of flesh, that nobody in my family wanted to look at, was going to be a problem. I could barely bend my elbow and I was running out of band-aids. Time to go to a walk-in clinic.

Two hours later I finally got to see the doctor. I asked him how a piece of your insides could squirt out of your arm and just hang there. He had no idea. He seemed amused and described the worm-like extension of my elbow as ‘a miniature tongue’.

“Do you want to just lop it off?” he asked. I gave him the go ahead. He froze my elbow with a needle, grabbed some tweezers and with the surgical scissors he snipped off the worm. It started to bleed like crazy. He grabbed my hand and told me to press on the wound with some cotton balls. He ran into the next room to get some stitches and close up the hole.

My elbow still hurts like Hezbollah but at least the worm is gone. Any doctors out there with some ideas as to what was hanging out of my elbow?

Posted in Personal at 3:00 PM

Can I see some ID

Clean-shaven and wearing a baseball cap, I walked into The Beer Store on the weekend and asked for a 6-pack of Bass Pale Ale. The guy behind the counter hesitated, then asked me to produce some identification.

A smile came across my face as I handed this guy my driver’s licence. 38 years old and I’m still getting carded for beer. Awesome!

Posted in Personal at 4:14 PM

It’s been a brutal week

A week ago, Satchmo (our family dog), began acting strangely. Overnight he became paralyzed in the rear portion of his body. It was a long weekend, the veterinary office was closed, so I tried to diagnose his problem with Google. Everything I read said he needed surgery within the first 12 hours of paralysis. Yikes!


Sunday night. Midnight. I found an emergency clinic downtown (Toronto) that would take him. They recommended surgery immediately. Satchmo has a degenerative bone disease where the discs in his back can calcify and harden. When this happens they can push up into the spinal cord and can cause paralysis and pain.

An appointment was made and by 2 AM I was driving Satchmo to Guelph — Small Animal Clinic at the University of Guelph (the best in Ontario and the costliest). The clinic scheduled him for surgery at 8 AM and gave him a 90% chance of walking again. I arrived home at 5 AM and waited for the post-op phone call.

The call came a few hours later with some bad news. There were two discs that were pushing on his spinal column. One of them had torn through the outer wall of the spinal cord causing paralysis and reducing his chance of recovery. The surgeon gave him a 25% chance of walking again.

At this point my wife and I were faced with euthanizing our pet that was only three years old. If he couldn’t walk, run, control his bladder, well, it was looking pretty grim. To make things worse, we couldn’t get a hold of the surgeon to find out if there was any hope.

We were ready to make an appointment to visit him the next day and have him put down. Then we received a phone call from the surgeon that changed everything. He said that Satchmo was making an incredible recovery. A neurologist looked at him and was confident that he would walk again.

Satchmo is now at home and gaining strength in his legs. For now we have to empty his bladder a few times a day until he regains feeling and control of his bodily functions (groan). He’s also able to stand and bear his weight on his back legs. We’re seeing a lot of improvement and things are looking a little rosier.

I can’t believe how stressed out I’ve been over this whole ordeal. It takes a lot to rattle me and this was like getting hit by an NFL linebacker without warning. I haven’t been able to sleep, eat, or get very much work done. It’s been a brutal week.

Posted in Personal at 10:38 AM


After knocking my son’s front teeth out with a kayak, cooling off in Lake Huron, and visiting friends, I’m back to the relentless barrage of email and voice mail. Here’s a couple of links/stories that caught my attention this morning:

OK Go — Here It Goes Again

OK Go has a new video for “Here It Goes Again” that takes place entirely on treadmills. Watch it now.

Top Gear

Not that I have time to watch TV right now but BBC TWO has decided to put the latest season of Top Gear on its website. The quality of the video isn’t as good as the Torrent files that are out there but it’s nice to see a broadcaster making a popular show available to a global audience.

Air Jordan

A video montage of the top 10 dunks by Michael Jordan. Awesome.

First Blu-ray drive for Mac unveiled

Logitech is making a Blu-ray drive for Macintosh. Price? Only $1,100.

What a waste of time. Who in their right mind would spend a penny on a Blu-ray drive or an HD DVD drive when they haven’t settled on an HD format?


Amazing satellite photo of a volcano erupting.

Posted in Personal and Web at 2:09 PM

Taking a break

I’m heading for the shores of Lake Huron and taking a break for a few days. Stay tuned.

Posted in Personal at 10:56 AM

Evel Knievel Commercials

If you were a kid growing up in the 70s then maybe you had a Batman or Spiderman action figure. I had both but it was the Evel Knievel action figure that seemed magical.

Evel Knievel was a real person, a daredevil, a hero — I didn’t know he broke people’s arms with baseball bats when he got mad. I was just a kid.

Check out these Evel Knievel TV commercials on YouTube:

I had both of these toys and remember watching these commercials. If you’re still feeling nostalgic, you can pick up an Evel Knievel Stunt Set from Back to Basic Toys. Tempting. Very tempting.

Posted in Personal at 1:17 PM

The Cottage Life

I just got back from an extra long weekend on Lake Kashabog, northeast of Peterborough. I’m feeling relaxed, well-rested, recharged. Being cut off from satellite TV, email and blogs will do that to you.

Friends of ours are out of town and offered us their cottage for the weekend. Nice friends. They’ll be glad to know that I didn’t crash their boat and nobody drowned while they were away.

Now it is back to a mountain of email, coaching rookie ball (baseball) tonight, tomorrow night and the night after that! I also play hockey tonight at 10 PM and then again on Thursday. Why did I come back again?

Posted in Personal at 4:11 PM

Can you speak Jamaican?

Last weekend I was waiting in line for the ferry to Toronto Island. I met an elderly couple that were vacationing from Bristol, England.

We chatted for about 20 minutes when this gentleman asked me if I was from Toronto. I told him I was born and raised in Toronto but my father was from Scotland and my mother was from Jamaica. His wife got all excited and asked me if I could speak Jamaican.

I looked at her with surprise. Her husband rolled his eyes and turned away, embarrassed. I tried to explain to her that Jamaica is a British colony and they speak English. Her husband chimed in and said, “don’t be daft dear, they speak English in Jamaica. What are you talking about?”

I got a big chuckle out of this. Maybe she borrowed The Rastaman Vibration from the public library in Bristol. Yah Mon!

Posted in Personal at 3:54 PM

I love my Crocs


At first I resisted. How could I wear a pair of bright rubber clogs called Crocs?

A lot of stores in Toronto are marketing the cayman Crocs as gardening shoes. My wife purchased a pair and kept raving about them. I gave in and purchased a black pair.

My Crocs have got to be one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve ever worn. They weigh ounces, bounce along like a pair of Nike Air jogging shoes, and you can slip them on and off quite easily.

I’m still getting used to the look. I figure that if a friend of mine (lives on the wet coast, works at a gaming company and has 5 sisters) can wear Yoga pants, then I can wear Crocs.

Did I mention the “ergonomic Italian styling” or the “advanced toe-box ventilation system”? Try them. You’ll love them.

Posted in Personal at 11:25 AM

Like a kid in a candy store

I’m feeling like a kid who just spent the morning in a candy store.

Today I boosted my ‘88 Mustang GT and took it to Da Silva Racing for a check up. It’s probably going to need a little surgery before it’s ripping up the asphalt again but I don’t care. I’m just happy to hear the growl of the 5.0 and watch people run for the curb when I drive down the street.

Da Silva Racing is booked solid with guys adding headers, superchargers and other modifications to their Mustangs. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a garage where there are nothing but Mustangs and grown men comparing their horsepower (I might have to turn the comments off for this post).

In December I plan to restore my ‘88 Cobra—body work, paint job, B303 camshaft and maybe a few other goodies. For now I just want to get it back on the road and drive it as much as possible. It’s been over a year since I took it for a spin and I forgot how much I missed driving it.

Posted in Personal at 3:13 PM

I blame the wife

The wife, the lovely, the missus, left really early this morning to go on a shoot (she’s directing a new show). I was in charge of taking the 6-year-old, Daniel, to school. No problem.

I thought the wife left at 8 AM when it fact it was 7 AM.

I staggered into the bathroom to shave and shower. I ate a bowl of Captain Crunch. I read the paper. I told Daniel to get dressed and brush his teeth. Then I panicked. I thought the time was 8:45, the time when the school bell rings.

Daniel and I jumped into the car and I noticed that there weren’t any kids on the street. Oh crap, we were really late—all of the kids were already in class! We got down to the school and there was only one car parked in front. Oh man, I thought, the wife is going to kill me for sleeping in and making Daniel late.

I told Daniel to run for it and he bolted through the front doors of the school. When I got back to the house I noticed that the clock in my car said 7:50 AM. I took the car to a garage the day before and wondered why the mechanics put the clock back one hour. Why were they messing with my clock?

When I got to work the doors to my building were still locked. The lights were off. My newspaper was on the ground outside the front door. That’s weird, I thought to myself. I’m never the first one here.

After my computer started up the first thing I noticed was 8:05 AM in the menubar. Panic set it. Everything started to make sense. I was an hour early. Oh man, I am not a morning person. I guess I owe an apology to Daniel. I wonder how long it took him to realize that his father is a loon and can’t tell time?

Posted in Personal at 8:45 AM

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday my brother.

What? It’s only 11:31 PM. I didn’t forget.

Posted in Personal at 11:26 PM


Spring has sprung and so has Lisa.

Congratulations to Andy and Lisa on the birth of their son—Samuel Xavier Kemp. I can’t decide on whether I’ll call him Sam X or Sammy. Either way, I’m sure it will drive Andy nuts.

Posted in Personal at 10:52 AM

Four things

I’ve been tagged by James.

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Digging graves (Town of Vaughan—Parks and Rec)
  2. Data entry (J.J. Barnicke Limited)
  3. New media designer (ICE)
  4. Food prep (Trattoria Orsini)

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  1. Big Night
  2. Brazil
  3. High Fidelity
  4. The 39 Steps

Four places I’ve lived:

  1. North York, Ontario (Jane & Finch area)
  2. Maple, Ontario
  3. Thornhill, Ontario
  4. Toronto, Ontario (present)

Four TV shows I love:

  1. The Sopranos
  2. 60 Minutes
  3. The West Wing
  4. Nigella Bites

Four places I’ve vacationed:

  1. Paris
  2. Scotland
  3. Jamaica
  4. New Orleans

Four of my favourite dishes:

  1. Apple Crisp
  2. Shrimp Linguine
  3. Beef Bourguignon
  4. Fruit Loops

Four sites I visit daily:

  1. Chromasia
  3. daily dose of imagery
  4. MetaFilter

Four places I would rather be right now:

  1. Vancouver
  2. Paris
  3. A movie theatre
  4. Taking photos in Rome

Four bloggers I’m tagging:

  1. Lissa
  2. Jason
  3. David
  4. Ian

Posted in Personal at 3:04 PM

Black Coffee

These days I’m drinking my coffee black, with sugar. I’m down to one pack of sugar (from three).

Just after Christmas, a friend of mine said I should try drinking my coffee black and without sugar. He said I’d be able to taste the coffee more. Graham, you were right but I still need a bit of sugar to sweeten things up a little.

I never liked Tim Horton’s coffee with cream and I feel nauseous whenever I hear someone order a “double double” or a “triple triple” coffee. Call me a snob but I prefer Starbucks’ Italian Roast, JJ Bean’s Nero Forte or a cup of house blend from the Savory Grounds Coffee Co.

Posted in Food and Personal at 8:24 PM

Growing old

You know you’re growing old when:

  • it’s Wednesday and your entire body aches from the hockey game you played on Monday
  • your step-daughter’s friend calls you “old man”
  • you start listening to CBC because you’re sick of hearing the same playlists on your usual radio stations (Q107 and CFNY)
  • you notice that more hair is growing in your ears
  • your barber offers to trim that hair
  • your wife starts buying you clothes from The Bay and you don’t really mind
  • your friend Heather, who hasn’t seen you in a year, immediately notices the gray hair taking over your head
  • newspaper stories about guys having heart attacks from playing hockey become interesting news items
  • staying up past 1 AM becomes a real challenge
  • when you start to forget how old you are (37).

Posted in Personal at 3:24 PM

A Bucket of Porn

I just returned from Blockbuster with Vanessa the step-daughter. She wanted to rent a chick flick to watch with her mom. That’s why I’m upstairs updating my blog.

Morgan, the 17-year-old guy behind the counter knows Vanessa’s boyfriend. When we were checking out our movies he asked Vanessa what her boyfriend got her for Christmas. Then he asked what she got him for Christmas. After he handed me my receipt he looked at Vanessa and said, “you should have given him a bucket of porn, he’d like that, trust me.

I thought this dorky kid said, “a bucket of corn.” It seemed like a weird suggestion but I didn’t really think twice about it.

As he handed me the movies Vanessa said, “by the way Morgan, this is my step-father Jay.” This poor kid turned bright red and politely said, “oh… I wasn’t aware of that.”

What a goof.

Posted in Personal at 8:32 PM

Christmas Day

Christmas Day has come and gone.

It started with Daniel, the 6-year-old waking up at 7:30 AM to discover that Santa dropped by the night before, delivered some presents and answered some mail. Star Wars lego, a Darth Vader mask, Hot Wheels cars and and more! Daniel got some cool stuff too.

Seriously, I didn’t want anything for Christmas and didn’t ask for anything. I hate this pressure of having to find the perfect gift. I don’t see the point of exchanging gift certificates with each other. I also don’t see the point of giving someone cash so that they can go an purchase what they really want. All of it is pointless except to the credit card companies and the retail stores.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be Scrooge. I picked up a number of gifts for people in our family and received some really nice gifts—I can’t put down my new copy of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (thanks Vanessa).

I don’t know where I’m going with this, except to say that I dislike the commercialism of Christmas or what Christmas has become for many of us. A lot of us get so caught up in shopping and gift giving that we forget where this “happy holiday” came from. Okay. End of rant.

We spent some time with my side of the family in Maple and had a great time. Then it was time to head back home and prepare for Christmas dinner. I made a batch of candied sweet potatoes in the afternoon. As soon as they were done we packed up the car again and headed across town for a turkey dinner with Lissa’s family as we do every year.

I’m blogging because Vanessa received a couple of seasons of The Gilmore Girls on DVD. I can’t get near the TV. She beat me to it.

Did I mention that the HD projector was fixed? I picked it up on Christmas Eve. The main power board was defective and replaced at no cost. Phew!

Merry Christmas.

Posted in Personal at 9:45 PM

Not at all motivated

I’m not at all motivated to do anything right now. I feel like Brian Wilson did. I’d be happy just sitting in bed for the next two weeks.

Going into the office has become painful in the last couple of weeks. I still have two websites to design, another print project to complete, and there is always something to do for a handful of clients that provide me with ongoing work. And the phone won’t stop ringing. Voicemail and call display is a wonderful thing to a procrastinator.

I can’t believe that I’m complaining about having too much work but I am. The worst thing about having a lot of work is that you have to invoice to get paid. Accounting is the last thing I want to do right now.

As I type this I’ve been asked if I would like to redesign another website. I need a break. Something longer that a three-day weekend and less than a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to Christmas.

The unfortunate thing about working for yourself is that you usually don’t have anyone to cover for you. You hate to say no to clients or put them off for a couple of weeks. Things might slow down. The work might dry up. This hasn’t happened for a few years but it’s always in the back of your mind.

And you thought being self-employed was getting out of bed at 10 AM, hanging out at Starbucks, reading design magazines, watching movies in the middle of the afternoon, sipping beer on a patio and afternoon naps. Note to self, take a day off and do all of the things in the last sentence before you grow old and die.

Posted in Personal at 3:50 PM


Oh man, I knew this day was going to come soon. I tipped the scales at 200 lbs. I’ve been eating a lot of junk lately and not excercising enough.

Playing hockey once a week isn’t nearly enough exercise. I’m going to have to diet and hit the gym again if I want to get back down to 185 lbs. Getting old sucks.

Posted in Personal at 10:06 AM

Tuborg. Blech!

I was at a corporate event tonight where they were serving beer—Blue, Canadian and Tuborg. Naturally, I chose the Tuborg, the premium beer. I was eating cheese, shrimp, fruit, the usual appetizers at an event like this.

After a couple of sips of the Tuborg, I thought I was going to be sick. I had a bad experience with Tuborg on Boxing Day of this year and think it will be.

Danish beer is officially on my list of things not to drink. Chewing tobacco and potato salad are also on my list of things no to ingest for fear of immediate spewage.

What’s on your list?

Posted in Personal at 8:55 PM

I need to get a life

Designing websites, email newsletters and CD-ROMs has become as routine as eating, breathing and sleeping. Two projects go out the door, another two come in and they always need to be done ASAP. “How soon can you show us something?” is usually how my meetings end these days.

Just when I think I’m getting ahead, the scope creep in one project starts to increase (along with my billable time). I’ve become a master juggler when it comes to managing multiple projects because I can’t say no.

I never want to say no to a client. You never know when a dry spell is going to hit and you have bills to pay. This hasn’t happened for a couple of years but it’s always in the back of my mind.

I should probably hire someone but that presents a whole other set of challenges that I’m not ready to face. I don’t think I’m a control freak. I just find it easier to do everything myself. Denial? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

I need to get a life and get out of this office. I need to watch more movies, play more hockey, spend more time with the family, take some pictures, visit a gym and get some sleep. I need help.

Only 4 CD-ROMS, 1 PowerPoint presentation, 1 email newsletter, and 3 websites to go.

At least it’s raining outside.

Posted in Personal at 12:00 AM

$209.84 and 10 Air Miles

Yesterday is a day I would like to forget.

The day started off badly when I was late for a meeting. In my haste, I pulled a u-turn in front of a police cruiser. I held my breath while I waited for the flashing lights. 5 seconds later the police cruiser was lit up like a Christmas tree. The good news is that he pulled a u-turn as well and chased somebody else going in the opposite direction. Whew!

I was doing my best to break the speed limit and make it to that meeting. I passed two speed traps and hit the brakes just in time. No tickets and I made it to my meeting—15 minutes late.

My meeting was only going to be about 20 minutes and I was late. Fumbling around, looking for change to feed the parking meter didn’t seem like a good idea at the time. When I came out of my meeting I had a $30 ticket on my windshield. My luck ran out.

Now I was late for conference call back at the office. When I got back to the office, I decided to park in front of my building. Why waste time looking for a parking spot?. I’ll move the car later I said to myself.

I’ve been consume with way too many design projects lately. Hours seem to slip by in the blink of an eye when you’re focused on work and under a lot of pressure. Hours slipped by and I panicked when I realized that it was 5:55 pm.

I ran downstairs to the front of the building knowing that my car would be gone. It was.


Rush hour commuters don’t like parked cars on Kingston Road in Toronto. Neither do the police. I could have my car back for $119.84. Great.

When I found my car in the yard I noticed another yellow ticket on the windshield. $60.00. Not a bad day for the City of Toronto I thought.

Total cost for my stupidity: $209.84

As a small consolation, I paid for everything with my Mastercard and earned 10 Air Miles.

Posted in Personal at 4:06 PM

Stressed out

What do you do when you’re stressed out? What do you when you have deadlines fast approaching and not enough hours in the day?

Here’s the Bombippy approach to dealing with stress:

  • make a call and offload some work to another designer
  • go to your favourite magazine store and pick up some photography and design magazines
  • buy a couple of Cuban cigars
  • chat with the owner of the magazine store who throws in Jamaican cigar for free
  • buy a coffee
  • go to a park with a view of the lake
  • pretend you’re from Vancouver and know how to relax
  • enjoy cigar, coffee and flip through magazines for 44 minutes

While I’m entering this post, a client calls with another job. I feel like I’m in a losing battle here.

Posted in Personal at 2:27 PM