Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Funny email that Todd sent me

Dear Sir,

I recently purchased an xbox controller from your store.

During a particularly frustrating game of NHL 2K7 I became enraged and smashed my controller into this configuration:

Please advise the cost of repair.

Yours truly,

Todd Knight

And the reply:

Dear Todd,

Thank you for contacting

We do not repair items. Unfortunately it sounds like you will need to
purchase a new controller to replace the one you destroyed.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Best Regards,
Customer Service Agent

bwahahahahahaha :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A quest for a good chicken wing (Duff's Wings - 558 College, Toronto)

I cannot deny.. I like the wing. I like the stupidly hot wing. Me and Pinto went to Duff's Wings. I had really high hopes that I would be running out of there with steam coming out of my ears and frantically looking for a wax candle to pour all over my tongue. I know that the equivalent of Guatemalan insanity peppers exist (awesome Simpson's episode by the way), but there has never been a suicide wing sauce that I couldn't eat. I'm going to be sorry one day, but I generally order suicide or hot with a side of suicide on the side that I liberally dip through.

So there is something called the Scoville Heat Unit and there is this place called Duff's. I'm calling bullshit.

I approached the first opportunity to peg my diet in SHU's with trepidation and a kind of a strange giddiness. Duff's try really hard to scare the crap out of you about spiciness and without a reference point, I stupidly bought into their propaganda. We ordered "Hot" wings with a side of "Superhot". The wings themselves were pretty good in terms of meat and level of cooking, but the sauce was garbage. The hot sauce tasted like Frank's sauce and vinegar and the superhot sauce was like vinegar concentrate. Garbage. You could barely put your nose over it (like a saucepan of burning vinegar might smell, I imagine). So we skipped over "Death" and got a side of "Armageddon". My big chance to "see through time".

This was the only sauce of the three that we tried that actually tasted anything near what I would call "good". It was rich, not butter based and taste-eeee. .... and ouch-eeee. It was really hot. It kind of snuck (Snuck is one of those words that I look at these days and ask whether or not its right) up on me, but I couldn't stop eating it somehow. I was shoveling the stuff into my mouth and making stupid sweat stains on my hoodie as I wiped my brow. (well for 6 wings or so).

So they were the hottest wings that I have purchased from a restaurant, but this was not the hottest sauce that I have had by far. I guess thats where the BS call comes in. It would be almost impossible for me to eat a wing that was heavily doused with Dave's Insanity Sauce, for instance ("rated" far less than these sauces). Or read this review of a 300,000 SHU sauce - "Pour it on a buffalo wing and go for it! If your butt doesn't bleed the next morning, you didn't use enough."

So either Scoville units are so unreliable that "spicy" and "bleeding out your ass" exist on the same stratum, or I went on a bad night to the wrong location, or, or, or.

I'll go back, I will order the armageddon off the top and maybe find out that I think that I am cooler than I really am. ....

Or maybe Duff's is a lying sack of scoville optimism.

So I want hot, tasty wings in Toronto. Who's buying? Who's selling?

A note on west coast snowboarding

Wow. I had kind of forgotten about snowboarding. Historically the problem was partially due to my cheap and outdated equipment. Part of the problem (actually most of the problem really) was that the closest and bestest "mountain" from Toronto features long lineups and a staggering 720ft of vertical. It isn't all that inspiring and its easy for me to find something else to do with myself on any random winter weekend.

I boarded at Grouse Mountain, Whistler / Blackcomb and Cypress while I was in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago.

The first thing to notice is travel time. 15 minutes from Matt and Meghan's place (NorthVan) to the local hills and about a 2 hour drive to the resort. The second through seventh things to notice are the overall quality of terrain and breathtaking scenery (even though visibility was pretty crap by local standards). Then there is the snow. Its ridiculous. Grouse has a base of between 15-20ft (FEET!) of snow this year.

It was a powerful reminder of how easy it must be to take for granted the good things in life around you. I wish I was better at not doing that.

Anecdotal points in no specific order:

1. When the sign says "Experts only due to extremely bad visibility in Whistler bowl" - believe it. At times I couldn't see the snow below me and at times the powder would run up the face giving me a false sense of speed. Kind of scary. I caught some bad edges and banged my head (making the whole situation worse).

2. My favorite run on Grouse was "The Cut", a green run straight down the centre of the hill. You can bomb down it while watching the cityscape and the barges in the harbour doing whatever barges do on sunny Wednesday afternoons in Vancouver. "Or, if gentle slopes and easy-going turns are more your style, head for The Cut..."

3. Blackcomb? Ridge Runner. A beautiful and long blue run from the Blackcomb peak. "Ridge Runner, incidentally, is one of the best cruising runs on the mountain".

4. Whistler? Peak to Creek. Again, I tended to really like the long, intermediate style of run (mostly because it is so foreign to me when it takes an hour to go down a mountain once). “With over 5,020 feet of vertical and seven kilometres of variety, there are no other runs like Peak to Creek around.”

5. Cyprus? First Sun. We went down this a number of times. We went to Cypress when we did because they had just got 20cms of fresh snow overnight. It still seemed like we had the chair to ourselves on this side of the mountain and I didn't see another single person on this run all day. It was advanced and just about as steep as I could manage, but there was SO much snow that it didn't really matter. Cartwheeling in 3 feet of loose snow kind of makes me giggle. There where also lots of places that I could drop in through the trees and pretend that I was hardcore. "But I'm looking down beyond my boots and snowboard at the black diamond run called First Sun ..... The depth perception is so bad halfway down that I reach up and shove my frosty goggles onto my head without stopping. And this stuff isn't really powder, it's not that light and not that dry. But we score clean tracks 90 percent of the way and it's knee-deep, magical and mesmerizing, like riding an orca on a tidal surge." A little bit dramatic perhaps, but pretty accurate for the day I was there (although I missed "first tracks" by about 3 hours).

Matt kept saying, "You won't believe how big Whistler is". Whatever - I am a cynical bastard of late and it would take a pretty big mountain for me to be awed. I have to say though.... "You won't believe how big Whistler is". The sheer immensity and vertical there is awe inspiring and the stuff that dreams are made of. I now understand how people can live there for a winter and feel like they have not truly explored the pair of mountains. One guy we met there was talking about a book he has that charts 200 runs that aren't included in the 200 published runs. I get the feeling that this is just the beginning.

I'm back to loving boarding, but somehow its been wrecked for me. Blessed and cursed... again. Crap.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Small maintenance note

Not that it really matters, but anyone can post comments now - not just people with Google accounts. We shall see how that goes :)

D. B. Cooper: Imagination spark and general bad ass of the day.

Fascinating little piece of history here:
I remember hearing about this guy a long time ago. I found it quite entertaining to read the history again / for the first time? Who knows. The mind is the first to go. Read the "suspects" section if nothing else.

This was triggered by an article that I read in the newspaper. It was about the kid who found some of the ransom money, who is now auctioning some of the $20 bills.