thinglets: Remembering the Stubby

As a child, my family would go camping 5 or 6 times each summer for weekends. We'd haul the camper behind the Oldsmobile for hours until we found a spot that that had an arcade and vending machines... after all, there's gotta be something for the kids to do that didn't involve "nature" stuff.

One of the things I started to do was collect beer bottles. I was nowhere near old enough to drink yet, but I would raid campsites all over Ontario and try to focus on license plates that were from out of province. Sometimes I'd trade so as not to rip someone off of ten cents. Other times I'd just sneak onto their campsite late and abscond with a forgotten empty laying on the grass around the fire.

In yet another walk down memory lane, I offer up pictures of many of the stubbies in my collection. I wish I could take the credit for the pictures, but they come from a site I heartily recommend you visit -  Go there for a few hundred pictures of timeless bottles from all over Canada. Seriously, go there now!

Even if you're from nowhere near the Great White North, perhaps you can find something in the design aspects of some genuine works of art that were the beer labels of the 70s and 80s.

BTW, I'm not even start on my collection of some of the US stubbies I have... after all, when I lifted them from cross-border travelers I may have run the risk of causing an international incident and I don't know what the statute of limitations is on Stubby Theft.

lovehate: Top 12 Reasons I Love Canada

  1. The flag kicks serious ass. You know how the most effective logos and branding can be done with two simple contrasting colours, well the Canadian flag is it. For those of you who don't know the left and right red fields on the flag represent the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans while the eleven point Maple Leaf has one point for each of the ten provinces and the remaining for the northern territories. As cool as it is, it still comes a close second to the awesomeness that was the logo of the NHL's Hartford Whalers.
  2. Hockey. Okay all you haters, I know you may find the game boring or hard to follow, but in as much as 80% of the world mythologizes soccer and 19 of the remaining 20% worships football, baseball and basketball... or even Nascar, in Canada we bleed hockey. I love to watch it, but if I can't watch it, I'm just happy to know it's being played. It's part of the national identity and if you don't get, we don't care.
  3. We don't care. Yeah sure, we care about some things, but for the most part we're a laid back people. Foreigners often call us polite, but really we're just making fun of you behind your backs so we don't hurt your feelings... I suppose that's more tactful than polite. Let's call it diplomatic because it's not smart to piss people off when we don't have disproportionally huge armed forces.
  4. We don't have disproportionately huge armed forces. I've never been a "fan" of any army... especially not a fan in a way that would entail putting on a replica jersey and getting in the game, but I respect that the prime role of the Canadian soldiers have generally been peacekeepers in recent years and that those in the service generally get thrown into a shitstorm without proper backup, funding, and respect. While we have a proud military tradition in this country, our government really needs to reconsider risking young lives just to satisfy global expectations.
  5. Global expectations aren't too high. Sure you may think that's a bad thing, but it allows us to self-pace and largely concern ourselves with internal matters, like the national hockey and curling programs, exporting stand-up comedians, making Hinterland nature shorts, and advancing the latest R&D techniques to develop the most cost effective coffee and donut combo in world.
  6. The best coffee/donut combo in the world. Tim Horton's and it's competitors serve the most cost-effective, value for money, coffee and donut combos in the world. Most of this is due to the fact that the small coffee is small and the large coffee is large and even though Southern Ontario has the largest Italian population outside of Italy we still haven't allowed the elitist Starbucks to overrun our homegrown donut houses with crazy sizes like Grande and Venti. What's up Starbucks, do you think you're in a Puccini opera or something?
  7. Multiculturalism. You can have your melting pot for your chicken soup/nacho cheese/fondue gruel. I'll take them on separate plates and bowls forming a great mosaic across the dinner table that spans from Newfoundland to British Columbia, with lobster from the Maritimes, poutine from Quebec, maple syrup from Ontario, bread from the prarie wheat fields, beef from Alberta and smoked salmon from BC. Sure, it sounds like a crazy mix, but at least I can pick and choose instead of melting it up.
  8. Crazy mixes. This one deserves its very own reason. I quote from the source of all things - Wikipedia: "A Bloody Caesar, after the similar Bloody Mary, is a cocktail popular mainly in Canada. It typically contains vodka, clamato (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth), Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and is served on the rocks in a large,celery salt-rimmed glass, and typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime." I did warn you.
  9. We warn people when we're coming. Why do you think we wear the Canadian flag on everything we wear while travelling? We want you to know our laid-backedness is on its way to charming your country's existence. Sure we may wear tuques and flop on your chesterfield for a bit and drop in "eh" a whole bunch of times for your amusement, but that's just so you'll feel at ease with us and give us your beer while watching Meatballs and Strange Brew.
  10. Strange Brews. We'll drink you under the table. Set up a mickey, a twenty-sixer, a forty pounder, and a palette of two-fours and we're ready to go to town... well, take a cab to town anyway. After all, no use hitting a poor defenseless moose while drinking and driving.
  11. Driving. Although getting around Southern Ontario can be agonizing at times, driving across Canada is awesome and I would do every year if I could. From Pacific to rivers to Rockies to foothills to prairies to forests to Great Lakes to plateaus to bays to Atlantic and up to the Great White North, you will never see greater diversity or meet nicer people.
  12. People. In 2004, the people of Canda voted Tommy Douglas as the Greatest Canadian ever. You may ask who Tommy Douglas was. He "was a Scottish-born Baptist minister who became a prominent Canadian social democratic politician. As leader of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) from 1942 and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, he led the first socialist government in North America and..." still waiting for the greatest part? He introduced universal public healthcare to Canada.


Happy Canada Day to all Canadians, wherever you are!

thinglets: 5 Ways to Piss Off a Bar Full of People

All of the following have been done by myself or with a group of people. Some of them were done to intentionally piss people off, some of them were only discovered annoying after the act was complete.

  1. Ordered 6 pints of Guinness in a small bar in London with only one bartender and a slow tap.
  2. Engaged in a competition with some friends to clear the bar of young'uns with obscure jukebox music. I won when I found the live version of Dazed and Confused from Zep's Song Remains the Same clocking in at over 26 minutes.
  3. In the same vein, while playing in a classic rock cover band, once played a 45 minute version of Radar Love because the only table of drunks left in the dive bar kept yelling for "Skynyrd".
  4. During the Blue Jays World Series years sang the "Okay, Blue Jays, Let's Play Ball" song 36 times over a span of 4 hours. The song still gets sung today although there hasn't been much call for cheering until this season again.
  5. Had a peanut shell fight that turned into an all out peanut fight which the bartender kinda got into, but the regular cronies in the corner didn't appreciate... why do they give out free peanuts anyway?
As part of making amends, I offer only a 9 minute version of Dazed and Confused below. Use it well.