Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.

The Time Machine


This is a personal blog, all opinions expressed are meant to be in good fun - if you are offended by heavy sarcasm and jokes that are in poor taste then this is not for you. If you have any copyright related issues please contact us via messenger pigeon.


Thursday, June 30

Go house or go...home?

It seems like everyone is trying to buy condos these days anywhere they can get their hands on one. In the suburbs, uptown or downtown, it doesn't seem to matter so long as they can get on that list and make that down payment. I get it (maybe), it's a lifestyle choice right? Living in a busy area, spending most of your time out and about, sex and the city right?

While everyone living downtown is getting like 74762% more action than me I gotta say that condo living isn't really my style and I don't really have any desire to live in a super crowded area either. I also have to say that (except for that one month I spent in an apartment in Beijing) I've never actually tried it before, so just as easily as I've typed that nonsense in I could totally be contradicting myself some years down the road.

Maybe it's because I have tons of crap, but man where would you keep your stuff? I know people with 1 or 2 bedroom condos and they are quite impressive shoe boxes, but if I were in a place like that I'd probably go stir crazy and end up spending tons of cash because I couldn't sit around at home and needed to go out and do something. I guess maybe if I had a huge place like in Friends then I could handle it, but if it was just a one bedroom closet apartment that I'm paying mortgage + condo fees on, I'd probably eventually just jump out the window.

I mean sure you might get a locker and a parking spot but where would you keep your winter tires, bike, gun locker, skis and your zombie apocalypse supplies? I can't imagine giving my bike a tune up on the balcony, sharpening my skis in the kitchen or stripping down some rifles for a good cleaning on my one coffee table, but where else would you do it?

Without a doubt I'm a suburbanite through and through. I like wide open spaces, laying in my backyard, not having to take an elevator to get to my car and walking all over my parents house doing stuff. Even when I was in school renting a room, I had a place with my own separate washroom (from my foolish roommates). I even had a shower curtain that was a picture of a mountain landscape with a lake and animals that I mounted inwards so I could feel like I was bathing in a waterfall (or something like that). That's how much I like my space.

I guess the bottom line is: until I can trick some chick into loving me marry some lucky woman and we're pulling in dual income there's no way I can afford a legit house. So while a condo living is not in the books (I guess), it's gotta be a detached, semi or townhouse at least. As cool uncool as it is, I can't live with my folks forever so...

Now renting...that's a whole other post...

What a week. Long weekend, here I come...

Monday, June 27

The Burger's Priest Toronto: It's so good I have the stains to prove it

I don't know much about fancy burgers and I'm not a beef purist, so you can go ahead and proceed to eat my shorts when you tell me I should buy a plain burger at a joint like this. I like bacon, I like cheese and I do what I want, so you can spend your hard earned cash however you want too.

Anyway, as far as I can tell the basic premise of The Burger's Priest is American style cheeseburgers, cooked on a flat top and always fresh not frozen. Nothing processed or pre-made (I guess aside from the sliced cheese (but they do apparently use fresh cheese to stuff the mushrooms?)) just fresh, clever and tasty options put together the way you want.

On top of the standard cheeseburger you can get stuff like deep fried jalapenos, bacon, your patty fried in ballpark mustard, grilled cheese as the buns and this crazy cheese stuffed mushroom, breaded and deep fried. They call that "The Option" and you can get it on anything or as a vegetarian...er option. There's a secret menu as well, so you can go ahead and scour the net for the details so you can impress your friends when you get there.

Like a lot of places downtown this one is kind of a shoe box with nowhere to sit, so you basically gotta make your order, wait outside until its ready, then enjoy it on a a curb outside next to a homeless dude. Yes there was a huge line and the place was busy, but since they're not frying frozen meat into oblivion the turn around is actually pretty quick. There were about 5 people behind this tiny counter working hard squashing down and flipping those fresh patties. all part of the experience right?

Being as charismatic as I am, of course I actually managed to arrive late and totally cut in front of like 15 people while kicking over the dog-water drinking bowl next to the outside lineup. Either Canadians really are that nice or they were so shocked that I pulled a smooth move like that, that they were speechless. After ordering, I then proceeded to stand outside posted up against the doorway, in the puddle of water, right in front of the people I just cut in front of (like a Boss).

The "American style" burgers there are kind of like a more creative Five Guys but actually good...just as expensive though. Nice fresh balls of ground beef that are loosely packed, thrown on the grill, squashed down and in my case cooked to a medium rare. You can also get it jarge-style, which is when they throw it down into ballpark mustard and squash it down on that. It's not often that you can get something cooked "a bit rare" in Toronto without the whole diarrhea thing (just kidding...or am I?), but their meat is legit and you didn't need to fry the hell out of it.

For all you dragonboaters out there it's just up the road from Ashbridge's Bay too, sandwiched between the KFC and Harvey's on Queen St. (go figure). I can see myself totally cancelling out any 3 km post-practice runs in the near future since the distance to Priest is actually shorter than even half the run itself. BTW, I managed 17 mins flat for 3.1 km this week.

Anyway, here's what the burgers look like.

The Priest off the standard menu: fresh beef patty, cheese, stuffed mushroom, bacon, onion, lettuce and tomatoes. Let me tell you that the cheese stuffed mushroom tastes good...real good. I'll probably get 2 next time.

This will run you $12 with the extra bacon, but fortunately the stains on my shorts were free. A better view...

Below off the secret menu is a burger with all the options possible except the stuffed mushroom. It's called The Vatican City: two grilled cheese sandwiches made with burger buns as the bread, stuffed with two fresh burger patties jarge-style, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and fried jalapenos.

The co-captain of Swordfish got this burger - that's why he's our captain (and jacked).

It'll run you a smooth $15 after the extra burger swag.

All in all I think I prefer that style of burger over something like Woody's or Johnny's North End. But watch out, because just like Krispy Kreme you can probably eat a half dozen or so like two of them before realizing what just happened.

Also, the Jazz Festival also started that night too and we managed to check out the over-crowded streets of Toronto once again. I "saw" Aretha Franklin for a bit, and by that I mean that it was so crowded that we couldn't really get near the stage and just watched her briefly on some big screen setup in the middle of a street (in yet another crowd). We were so far away from the action that I couldn't actually even see her broken cankle in person, but only heard the sounds coming from a stage somewhere off in the distance. Just like last week in Burlington, people were just everywhere.

Let me tell you that she really is a diva - she made people wait over an hour before actually coming on, then did about 3 songs, left the stage to go and eat spaghetti, then came back on to finish her set...at least this is what I perceived to have happened, but I could be wrong...

People just love free events.

Bixi is pretty dumb... Up next: Big Smoke Burger.

Friday, June 24

Battlefield vs Call Of Duty: PS3 n00b perspective

At 11 hours and 21 minutes into BC2 (check out that killer W/L ratio btw) I can now say that I actually prefer COD over Battlefield, well at least at this point. That doesn't mean that Battlefield sucks, because it doesn't at all, it just means that I would rather play COD more often than BC2.

I can also say that I have a real long road ahead of me with this damn Dual Shock 3 controller. It's been frustrating actually, which is why I've been playing practicing so much lately (but I also gave up my receiver too because TV is just a box of lies). Check this out: DS3 swag / trigger enhancers. Actually helpful for my hyper-hydrosis sweaty hands?

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to buy Battlefield 3 for sure, but it's most definitely a different kind of experience from Black Ops. I wish I could post that video Gunns4hire made where he talked about it, but he actually got so much hate from it that NGT pulled it off YouTube, lol. He was basically saying that Battlefield is so team based and you rely so heavily on each other that as an individual you can't really control the outcome of a game as much as you could with COD...and that he's a better player than any one of us will ever be and we are all haters for even trying...

I definitely get what he's saying though because 50% of the time when I join random lobbies I come against a party of friends and it's 100% of the time a slaughter. Even just one squad actually running/working together can clean house. I've had some good games too with boss squads where we were actually running/talking to each other, but unfortunately it's pretty rare because I'm also awkward in fake life online too, so people don't usually want to talk to me there either...

The main reason though why I do prefer COD is because of the pace. Most of the time I just want to login, get some quick kills and jump right back into the action when I die. Matches in COD are usually less than 10 minutes and the maps (compared to BC2) are so tiny that you will always run into action without even having to look for it.

In BC2 the scale is huge, battles are long and you're working for it. You spend time travelling in vehicles, running from cover to cover scoping the area or even just waiting to respawn (at least in my case). I guess you can say that it's much less of a twitch shooter and you need to be more aware of what's happening because the maps are so big and full of places for people to cower camp.

As far as controls go they are much less video game like in BC2 as well which makes the experience different too. Although dolphin diving is awesome, dropshotting is not.

Anyway, I actually re-bought Black Ops (but for PS3) because few other games have private bot matches and I can practice without some 12 year old shouting in my ear about how I just got turned on.

The aim assist on Black Ops is most definitely stronger than in Battlefield too, which helps noobs like me out. It's also familiar so jumping into multiplayer isn't so bad. I actually went something like 21-7 on Array TDM in my first game. Even though the KDR was short lived it even impressed me at the time. Aim assist is much more forgiving and the thing will actually pull your sideways so long as you keep a half-decent beat on an opponent. I actually though I had leveled up before figuring out what was actually going on. Go figure...

On PC I actually have 209.8 hours of Black Ops logged! That's almost 9 days worth of play since last December. Awesome.

Gift certificates FTW!

Thursday, June 23

Kids carrying guns, shooting each other, dealing drugs and generally being awesome...

Up until 4:30 AM last night for work and then back in the office at 8 AM. Like I said, I'm getting cheesed this week. They also threw in that latest possible scheduled softball game tonight too FTL.

Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, June 22

No wonder why RIM is doing so poorly (HINT: It's because BackBerry sucks)

Like any kid with a new toy, I was pretty excited about getting this BB Torch, but unfortunately now that I've been using it for a solid week I think I can "officially" weigh in on the whole BB vs. The World thing. Sorry to say, but it basically sucks and I can't imagine why anyone would spend their own money to have one. So here comes the hate...

I can understand why work would issue a BB to you: it's because work is lame and not fun and BBs are also lame and not fun. If you actually had to pay out of your own pocket I can't see why you would choose a BB when there are so many options out there. For enterprise fine, but most consumers won't shell out their hard earned dollars for such a limited device that's meant for work. Most cell phone users are consumers who presumably want good products for the money they have to pay, which is probably why they are looking at other options these days because BB are more expensive too. RIM made their millions in the past when there was no competition, but they're sort of resting on their laurels now because crappy products that take more than 6 months to develop is not a good game plan. The landscape of mobile has changed but RIM hasn't. Boom.

With data plans costing so much too you can be certain that the guy with that Samsung Galaxy is having 5,555 times more fun than most BB users trying to do anything. I mean if I had to pay an extra $20-30 a month for data then I would want to make the most of it right? You can't really have fun with a BB as far as I can tell.

Probably For sure a lot of loyal BlackBerry fans are going to hate on me for hating on them, but I'm just going to go out on a limb here and guess they haven't had a chance to play around with Android or iOS. Go ahead and try it - you might even pull a Scott and buy an iPhone immediately the next day during your lunch break after using one for a few hours.

The first thing that struck me (other than the small low res screen and crappy hardware (WTF RIM it's 2011)) is how unenjoyable the interface is. The beauty of touch is that the whole experience is supposed to be fast and intuitive and smooth, but BB OS is none of that. I don't understand why they have that small scroller thing (which is touch) on top of the actual touch screen. Sure people might be used to that ball, but it's hardly necessary now.

It also seems like everything is buried in hideous menus too. It's just not fun to play around with when you first get it either.

Maybe I'm just so used to the iPhone/iPod, but the design of the thing is also pretty dumb. Without ranting too much going into too much detail, I'll just say that the top and side buttons are kind of misleading. The keyboard is nice too I guess, but it's not as fast as touch (go ahead look it up), so I don't see what the fuss is about or why you would need a virtual one to pop up too. Who cares with helping users transition by keeping the interface "familiar", just deal with it.

BBM is also a dumb reason to stick with BB too because you're just limiting yourself to other BBM users and convincing each other that lame is somehow cool. Break out and try something new. Just think of how often you hear about someone regretting jumping into Android or IOS - you just never hear anyone complain. Like ever.

Anyway, take that with a grain of salt and buy what you want because I'm just a hater after all and this is all just totally subjective. Keep calm and carry on...

Tuesday, June 21

I just want it to be Friday already...

Maximum cheese at work this week. Presentations, scheduled work in the middle of the night and then as a rest I get to be on call next week too for the long weekend. Great.

Clever packaging for some chocolates...

Monday, June 20

Hello again, friend of a friend... Music festivals and paddles FTL

Well Apex, you've continued to disappoint me even 3 weeks later. So I finally got the thing on Friday and guess what? The build quality is pretty disappointing compared to my previous paddle. Story of my life.

The blade is most definitely sharper and the carbon fiber has a nicer finish, but the T-grip is definitely sloppy. It's made of a rough/matte carbon fiber instead of the smooth finished kind used on the rest of the paddle, but it's also not seamlessly smooth against the shaft this time. Also, instead of the slick plastic end caps plugging the sides of the grip, they've replaced it with circular CF cutouts epoxied in. It actually gave my hand a blister after using it on Saturday because the grip's edges were so sharp. Weak.

I will undoubtedly have to take some high grit sandpaper to it in order to smooth it out, because that's pretty unacceptable. I mean it's not that bad but you'd think for $250 and made to order that they'd do a better job.

I also managed to run ran 3 KM on Sunday after an exhausting dragon boat practice - it was an all time best bringing my 3km completion count to...one...which doesn't say much, but I'm pretty happy that I was actually able to do it without fainting into a bush or something.

In an effort to light a fire under our asses after that poor showing in Pickering, our coach wants to level up our cardio for Hamilton with some post-practice jogs. I can't disagree with it but that's the furthest I ever continuously ran without stopping or walking. I made it in 17 mins 11 seconds and that was pretty much an all out effort at that point. I'll be honest, I didn't want to look like a struggling chump running jogging along the lakeside boardwalk in front of all those good looking people so I had to finish, heh.

My legs were also pretty tired from the Burlington Waterfront / Sound of Music Festival I went to on Saturday because of all the walking. I swear we just continuously walked around that city eating junk food and listening to music like all night.

I'll have to admit, it makes the Mississauga Waterfront Festival look like chump change and it was WAY bigger than I expected. WAY BIGGER. LIKE HUGE. They basically closed down the entire city for human traffic that weekend and it was sort of like a small scale Nuit Blanche + carnival, minus the confusing art and free energy drinks. There was just tons of stuff scattered all over the closed down streets and waterfront to enjoy. Bedouin Soundclash even opened for them on Thursday night this year, probably after realizing how much crappier smaller the Mississauga festival is compared to it.

We actually left midway though the last band, Tokyo Police Club (because they suck), to avoid what would have probably been the most inconvenient midnight traffic jam ever. I think it was a good call because I don't think that my stomach could have held any more tacos or beer at that point anyway. I swear as it got darker and darker, more and more people just showed up and the lineups for anything just became too ridiculously long to deal with. They were relentless.

Here's Hollerado at the main stage doing their thing in the early evening. That's the biggest of the 4 stages (there were also random street bands setup all over the place), and if you think it looks sort of busy just imagine how much busier it got at night.

I'll probably go to it again next year but with better planning on our part, heh.

Friday, June 17

Banana Boat vs Welland Dragon Boat Festival 2011

I hit a home run last night at softball. That's what's up.

TGIFinally. I got cheesed like ALL week. Someone even dinged my car. WTF

Thursday, June 16

Hey Baby, want to go for a ride?

Finally. I did a lazy man's tune up yesterday because once I washed her off I was surprised that she held up so well...you know from spending all winter covered in mud and all. A quick wash, some air in the tires and that was it. I like my bikes how I like my women - easy maintenance and fun to ride.

Anyway, the Mississauga trails look a bit different this Spring - tons of new signage and natural growth to pad my falls.

Lots of nature out too. I saw 3 deer (the other 2 of them made me shit my pants caught me by surprise as they were just parked in front of me along the trails), took some insects to the eyes and inhaled about 5 flies. Do you know how dirty it feels to get a fly caught in your throat? It's dirty.

They also put up a railing and a lip on the Sawmill Valley trail bridges. I guess people didn't like sliding into the creek too much.

City workers were apparently out too cramping my style.

My ass is pretty sore now from not having been in the saddle since some time in November, but with all the chocolate I eat you'd think that it wouldn't be the case. Funny enough because of the malarkey in Vancouver last night Dean Blundell was promoting #analstainofcanada and talking about prison rape and toilet wine. It's not at all really related but just saying...

Wednesday, June 15

First a laptop, then a pager, now this...

More company for my iPhone...my pants are so heavy right now...mang

Tuesday, June 14

Sorry, Lucius. Hard habit to break. Like stalking an ex-girlfriend.

I'm actually having problems choosing a good song for the Banana Boat edit...

Monday, June 13

If you're not first you're last...or something like that

It's pretty crazy when people actually go out of their way to hate on you in person, in real life. OK, we might not have done that well on Saturday but comon - who knew haters would come from far and wide just to disrespect the Banana Boat a little this year. I'm probably blowing this way out of proportion and completely misinterpreting the situation Haters always gonna hate, this is true, but I guess our reputation might actually be preceding us this year...

After we threw down a dismal 2:36 in our first race some dude actually went out of his way right before the 2nd race to come up to us and say, "Hey Banana Boat what happened? Did you guys throw that first heat or something? I thought you guys are supposed to be good..."

Are you serious right now? Yeah, we did well last year but our team is also about 70% new paddlers for 2011 and you're kinda pushing that all Asians look alike thing a little far. I hate to make excuses but that was also the first time we ever did a 500m piece this year and we didn't even have a finish, so cut us some slack. You don't know us *snaps fingers & shakes head side to side*.

We also got lots of comments about our new uniforms. Ok fine, a lot of it was actually just from me but our uniforms are pretty gangster this year, just have a look. I place the blame solely on our captain for that poor judgement call But so what if our uniforms don't have sleeves and look like hobo shirts? Sleeves are restrictive and how else can you show off your ripped back muscles?

That doesn't mean you have to come to our camp as we're relaxing and try to talk to us about how unique, colorful and different they are. Actually, looking back now I definitely might have misinterpreted that whole situation because the guy was really friendly and did offer us BBQ after (and I'm not talking crappy hot dogs, I'm talking real Italian sausages grilled on a real BBQ they brought in). But anyway...

The team also learned a few costly lessons on Saturday too. As far as team sports go, that whole thing about being as strong as your weakest member is a pretty reasonable motto when it comes to dragonboating. With 22 people on a boat trying to work as 1, a single misstep will cascade and throw everyone off.

But it was a good experience before throwing the noobs into the fire. With a lot of first timers it was probably first race jitters and not knowing what to expect, but now that they do have it under their belt it's time to step it up. Hamilton is in 3 weeks and we actually do have a real reputation to defend there. We can't lose, we won't lose...

Sure, we are a recreational team but that doesn't mean you shouldn't aim to win. Losing sucks, especially when you pay to play and are putting the time and effort into it - so don't let your teammates down. Hell, there are teams who practice 3 times a week and they consider themselves recreational too.

One thing we learned for sure is that you need to keep your heads in the boat. Yes, it's noisy and intense and shit's going on all around you, but every time you look outside the boat it costs us. When you don't pay attention to the people in front of you or concentrate on the calls then the boat falls back a seat, all because of you or me. With 20 paddlers, those split seconds add up and unfortunately it cost us the final race because it happened to be the case in the last few meters.

Check it out, this is how close it was. The orange buoy is the finish line. Within the last 10 meters or so, looks like we got caught up in the moment, heads turned and we lost. Story of my life...

Also, show up to practice. With only an hour on the water each week every practice counts. That's the truth, so show up and don't let your team down.

So bottom line is we got our work cut out for us, but in all fairness with only a few practices under our belt it could have been worse. Not to say that we did particularly well, but I was seriously depressed kinda disappointed that we didn't break 2:30 all day.

Here was the final race.

It actually wasn't that bad though because the weather held up, the venue was pretty nice and we had a lot of fun. We even went to Niagara Falls after.

Well I guess that's it for my disgruntled Monday, drinking crappy coffee, looking too much into things and ranting about it post, so have a nice day.

Friday, June 10

Call it a dragonboat regatta sandwich...

Banana Boat vs Welland tomorrow - we're going to take it to the lake river in style (maybe). Unfortunately the forecast calls for rain, so I'm just hoping it's not a repeat of last week because I might just have to commit seppuku.

I think we only have something like 3 practices under our belt going into this one so I'm predicting that it will be a massacre. Since our attendance has been weak, we only just "practiced" starts last week and we don't even have a finish yet, I think that we'll find ourselves comfortably in the 2:08 range...

I'm just hoping that it's as casual as the totally legitimate Cogego newscast makes it out to be, because an early season beating at the hands of country folk would be pretty depressing for the new paddlers (which is like half the team) when we still have 3 regattas to go. I don't let that kind of thing phase me though because I'm used to getting humiliated all the time I'm cool like that.

It's also a brand new regatta for us so flashbacks of that one time we decided to "try out" the Toronto Cup comes to mind. We failed to qualify for the World Championships in Macau that year but it was a savage beating great learning experience.

Apparently the Welland Canal is the premiere attraction in Welland too, but despite boasting a beautiful waterfront I've never visited it before (and I've been around (...that's also what she said)). Coincidentally, its only a few clicks from my gun club which I haven't had a chance to visit yet this year either. Damn you Promag - you should get together with Apex and have beers and give each other multiple high fives...because you both like to make empty promises to your customers.

Is that Jay Chou giving you the gun? Yes it is. Most definitely not thyme as well...

Thursday, June 9

I guess music really is the soundtrack of your life...

Man, I've been on call this week dodging bullets and it's horrible. This pager might be made of plastic but the thing weighs a ton. I'm just hoping that some fool doesn't let some cheese fly on Saturday and make me have to bail on the Welland Regatta because that would be BS. Banana Boat would not be pleased either. I'm also still waiting on that Apex paddle FYI...

The only thing getting me through the day has been Deadmau5 FLAC, that Villa remix of Rolling in the Deep and this track. I discovered it on Sunday and I don't know why, but I've been listening to it non-stop ever since.

Dude's got a voice like an angel. Just sayin'...

What always ruins a band for me is hearing a bad live performance. Like how the Chili Peppers always get made fun of on the Edge because Anthony Kiedis can't really sing that well, I can't stop thinking about that kind of thing after I hear it. Tokyo Police Club recently got the axe from the iPhone too after hearing a few of their live tracks. I mean if you've ever heard me at karaoke you know that I can't sing for beans either, but I'm just a hater pirate consumer with an opinion (I guess).

Although the quotes have been updated for a while, I haven't really gotten a chance to give the background or side images a summertime refresh too...until now.

Background images by SHOHEI and more side images to be added. Hit F5 to check them all out...so far.

I also just enabled the new mobile theme view. I kind of like it - it's nice and clean and good looking. I guess it's a win.

Tuesday, June 7

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and PS3 First Impressions

First of all, I don't know much about Battlefield. I saw some vids about Battlefield 3 and it looked pretty awesome, so I bought Bad Company 2 to ramp up for it's release. I played Black Ops/COD on PC for a while but I'm just getting into console gaming now. That's where I'm at and this was the first time playing a FPS online.

Maybe it's because I'm so used to COD and the fast pace of the mouse that Battlefield seems so different to me, but I mean it's not different "bad" just different as in "unfamiliar". Pile that on top of inexperience with the DS3 Controller and I had a veritable struggle last night trying to take control of those analog sticks.

I played about 1/2 way though the Singleplayer campaign just to get familiar with the controls and ramp up my game before trying to step up to the streets, but mang, kids have skills these days.

The first two things that struck me I missed were the fact that you can't go prone and you can't strafe-run. I mean I love to dolphin dive and never ever run in straight lines, so I was running into walls like non-stop in BC2. I guess if you compare it to real life you'd look like a clown and probably break your ankles trying to do either of those things but try it, becuase they are pretty intense physical feats. Seriously, try strafe-running. I did on the track at the Y, it actually doesn't make much sense and was pretty hard. If you know what I'm talking about, strafing in COD is shifting sideways while you run and you can look around while your body is headed in another direction. In BC2 it basically means you face the direction you're running in and looking around will actually make you turn. Once you stop running, they're the same but if you know games, you're running most of the time. I thought this was craziness at first and I still do because most games aren't built that way.

The second thing is the pace. The maps are big, you have to wait to respawn, you can destroy buildings/cover and you run with 3 other dudes in a squad. The whole thing is definitely more team based compared to COD - where everything just boils down to TDM - so it makes for much different gameplay. You get rewarded for helping out your teammates and you run around a lot or take vehicles. There's also a lot of snipers. I still haven't decided whether sniping is a legit tactic in this game or it's just camping too, but with the maps being so big they seem to work.

COD is by definition of a twitch shooter - usually whoever sees the other person first wins. While this is pretty similar experience you do have more of a chance to react to fire even if you get turned on. You do have "health" in this game, but I haven't figured out if it's BS or getting healed will really help you out in the long run. It also took me a while to realize that it's actually helpful/rewarding to run with your squad instead of solo.

In any case, one of the most important things for any game when you play online is map knowledge. When you get familiar with the maps you know where to expect to run into people and have certain routes you like to run. It usually helps when you have a general idea of where you're going but I honestly don't even know what maps I played last night and basically just started running in a random direction whenever I spawned. So while I'm not pulling any t-mart jumps, I'm pretty happy with being solidly in the middle of the scoreboard not being dead last with those tactics.

I also expected a lot more trash talk on the PSN since there's no keyboard, but you really do get a lot more spam on PC via chat and even speech. Of the games I played last night no one had a mic (or decided to talk I guesS). There's no text chat either, so there was pretty much zero trash talk or strategy, which I kind of don't like. I'd imagine if you get a party of guys running mics they would easily clean up in and team game against randoms. Not sure how common it is, but I thought I'd be arguing with dudes hearing nonsense like all day.

I'll admit that I barely knew what was going on most of the time and the maps are fraken huge and you just end up blowing up buildings, but it was fun and a real change of action.

Anyway, that's been the experience 2 hours into PSN. Check this out: first game ever.

Other than aiming, I also have a hard time pushing in the stick to run and using the damn 2nd triggers. Mouse is so much easier (for now anyway). And load times, WTF.

Man, I really need to get that bike up and running...

Monday, June 6

Swordfish @ Pickering Dragonboat Festival 2011


It was pretty easy only having to go through an hour or so worth video and throwing together a quick edit for a change. And because I was in the zone I actually started looking back at the Jay Peak/Revelstoke/Kicking Horse videos too. We'll see how fruitful this will become with another regatta on Saturday.

Rest of the race videos in the usual spot.

Swordfish vs. Mother Nature - Round 1, fight!

What a day Saturday was. It started off smooth enough, but then shit got real. Too real.

I don't know when then the last time I was outside during a thunderstorm was, but sitting through that was just about as enjoyable as sitting through The Adjustment Bureau. I think we only managed to get through 15 races before lightning started hitting and they had to call it quits put a hold on it.

That led to a couple hours of tent confinement as Gaia poured it on without prejudice. It got to the point where all I wanted to do was just stand there and be miserable endure it because everything was cold and wet and generally not pleasant. Anyway...

When the weather did clear up it became downright peachy. They made some revisions to the schedule and things got back on track (somewhat).

Despite some resourcing challenges, we managed to throw down 2:18, 2:19 and 2:21 in the Rec A Consolation Final. I can only assume that if the rain didn't bring down my our morale so much we would have just won it all outright. Legit prediction.

It's also pretty crazy how "competitive" the Rec divisions were. I'm not sure how teams get placed in the sport/rec divisions, but if you ask me practicing thrice+ a week and throwing down a 2:05 vs practicing once a week and then eating burritos after ain't exactly fair competition.

Just saying...

It was also pretty crazy how many young teams there were. I'm not even talking about university teams, I mean like children. I'm used to getting waxed by 12 year olds online, but real life is a different story...

Anyway, yesterday was another challenge...after practice in the sweltering heat, I wasn't sure if I was just sunburnt or sick from the day before, but in retrospect I kinda regret drinking that bottle of red wine for dinner. I don't know why I thought it would help, but after eating only a banh mi all day it was a real noob move.

Not sure what I was thinking there, but at least I managed to get my edit on/feel like trash today. Monday, monday...

Saturday, June 4

I raced at Pickering Dragonboat Regatta and all I got was this crappy coaster...

What a day - Mother Nature had no mercy.

Recreational A Division Consolation, 6th place.

Friday, June 3

Macho Man Randy Savage

Having 22+ people racing in your name is a tribute if I ever saw one.

First dragon boat regatta of the season...Pickering, here we come.

Despite Apex's empty promises, they were not able to fabricate my paddle in time for tomorrow's regatta. To say that I am thoroughly disappointed would be an accurate statement. What a bummer.

Anyway, Pickering is tomorrow and I've never raced there before so it'll be a new course - no big deal because I'm a boss. A lot of other teams have thrown it down at races already, so we'll see how Swordfish stacks up for the first time.

Let's also see how many people bite my styles this year and picked up a GoPro (that they don't really know how to use). Last year, I hated the awkward conversations with randoms who wanted to talk because they thought they knew something about my camera. Back off hater, get your own sandwich.

Thursday, June 2

The Cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan.

I saw a girl wearing a "I ♥ Nerds" t-shirt at the Y the other day, then I started to wonder if she would dig me. Then I started to wonder if she ever watched Battlestar Galactica. Then I started to wonder how many hours I had spent actually watching Battlestar. Turns out that it was a lot, but not as much as South Park...

Total time minus commercials:

SOUTH PARK: ~78 hours / 3.3 days

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (re-imagining): ~52.5 hours / 2.2 days

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: ~50 hours / 2.1 days

CHUCK'S DAY OFF: ~6.2 hours

So I saw The Hangover Part II yesterday...

Same old movie, new setting. Still pretty funny though, but I think Bridesmaids would have been a lot funnier. Save your cash if you're thinking about seeing it in AVX 3D - not worth it. Now, as a result I'm totally burnt out. I just want to sleep.

Man, we ate so much crap last night even I'm not that proud of it - lobster, crab, fish, peking duck, ice cream cake, dippin dots, on top of some other crap. Big baller birthday dinners FTW? It's like I'm moving in slow motion today...

These chips were also brought to me as a challenge. Hater please, step up your game.

Frak. Softball tonight too. Alright, enough complaining. Need coffee.

Wednesday, June 1

Wow, more people still play MW2 than Black Ops.

I don't plan on buying that Escalation map pack because Zombies is full of haters and the new maps look like they suck. I bought the last one and what a mistake that was. Most Canadian servers that I ping well with don't even run the new maps anyway and I didn't really enjoy playing them either.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is that the most annoying thing about TDM is that you can get a lot of bad spawns, especially in smaller maps. I just hate dying and then re-dying instantly because I get randomly spawned with my back to some dude's AK-74u. Or even worse, the spawn flips and you get thrown into a group of enemies (perfect).

After playing a lot of DEM and DOM recently, I can also tell you that pretty much every game type is just TDM anyway. People don't play objectives. I'm pretty sure that they just join these lobbies because spawns are more reasonable and you also know where guys are headed, so rather than having to wander around and react hunt them down you just spam the objectives for kills.

Also, if you want to get any Pro Perk just play DEM. Last time I did it with TDM and it took forever to get anything, with DEM it's just a few hours (if you actually play the objective). Sure, your KDR might suffer a bit but I'm one plant away from Ninja Pro and a few more offense medals for Lightweight Pro after just recently buying them.

I look forward to pro ninja sound whoring and not playing the objectives either after this.

Anyhow, check this out: the top 10 games in Steam. Crazy.

43,83266,373Counter-Strike: Source
23,00635,524Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Multiplayer
18,37230,695Football Manager 2011
17,13527,362Call of Duty Black Ops - Multiplayer
11,38616,030Team Fortress 2
9,59315,738Sid Meier's Civilization V
7,54611,191Left 4 Dead 2
6,27810,061Total War SHOGUN 2

It's also pretty surprising that peak gaming time is 12PM. Guess a lot of people prefer to game at lunch?

In a silk suit trying not to sweat...

Even still, patios are better at night than in the blazing 30 degree sun.