Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour 2009: A Bust?

Sneaky burglaries rose 217.8% during Earth Hour's darkness.

Earth Hour, an environmental proactive movement where people around the globe are encouraged to shut off lights and other electricity-consuming devices for one hour, didn't work out too well this year.

This year, the 3rd ever Earth Hour, and the 2nd ever in Ontario, was not nearly as well-promoted as 2008. And that may be one of the reasons there was actually a spike in energy useage, instead of a dip, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Suz and I duplicated our trip from last year, taking our sweet hybrid car to a nice lookout point over the city, to see the vast darkness.

Abandoned Tim Hortons with lights on for Earth Hour.We were the only ones perched atop the city, staring down at the thousands below us. Street lights, of course, stayed on, but residential blocks were shrouded in shadows as, it seemed, most people turned off their lights, TVs, clock radios and dialysis machines.

But the view was disappointing. Earth Hour was a bust. Take, for example, this empty Tim Hortons. Once bustling with thousands of donut-craving customers a day, it has sat, abandoned and desolate for over a year. However, despite the lack of patrons, it was still fully lit inside, wasting precious energy every day, including during Earth Hour.

And www.ieso.ca confirms the disappointing news. Ontario witnessed a 400 megawatt spike of energy consumption during Earth Hour instead of last year's roughly 500 megawatt dip. Check out this graph from ieso.ca.

But wait. There is some good news. Comparing last year's energy useage to this year's one will notice that during the day as a whole, Ontario consumed far less energy in 2009. The daily high for 2008 was approximately 17,800 mw, while 2009's was 15,500 mw. And while Earth Hour 2008's energy useage was approximately 16,300 mw while 2009 jumped to 14,900 mw. Yes, even though energy consumption jumped upwards during a time we were supposed to be conserving energy, it was still 1,400 mw less than last year.


Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blockbuster: Worst Rental Outlet. Evar.

Drabble's got right: Lackluster is more apt.

Blockbuster Video, the largest video rental company in the world, has been entirely ruining the video rental experience since 1985.

How? You're asking yourself that very question right now. I know. That's because I'm smarter than all the Rainmen managing all the Blockbuster's in the world, combined. If you work at Blockbuster, my condolences. I know it isn't your fault. I know you feel the same way I do... because I've talked to you.

Now, before you Blockbuster managers leave me thousands of hate-comments, I would like you to give me a fair and logical explanation for the following shit Blockbuster has pulled for years.

Why can I rent the crappy sequel to any movie ever made, but not the fabulous original? Seriously. Tell me why I can rent Gremlins 2: The New Batch, but I'm not allowed to rent Gremlins, after midnight, or ever. Tell me why I can take home Batman Returns, but if I want to see Jack Nicholson play the Joker in 1989's biggest summer blockbuster (pardon the pun), I have to buy that movie somewhere else. Tell me why you've got The Gods Must Be Crazy II, but I'm the one who's crazy if I want to see the original. Why do you have straight to video garbage like the four-year old Hellraiser: Hellworld, but none of the first four original theatrical releases?

I'm sure there are more modern examples, I just haven't wasted my time looking through my two local Blockbuster's for them where there's more shelf space for candy than there is for genuine movies.

While that exclusive little Blockbuster feature is perpetually annoying, the most frustrating thing is their complete lack of selection. My home DVD collection is larger than either of my two local Blockbuster's. And that's not saying much considering my entire DVD collection is worth less than a new 2009 Chevy Aveo. And that IS saying much because GM is practically giving those things away.

We used to avoid Blockbuster at all costs, but every little independant rental shoppe that dares to go up against the brainless goliath is out of business within the year, forcing Suz and I to rent at the vomit-inducing blue and yellow store.

To give you an idea of just how terrible my local Blockbuster is, here's an example of what's on their shelves this week: 55 copies of Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist, which NOBODY was renting, and ONE copy of the award-winning, 5x Academy Award nominated, and 5x Golden Globe nominated, Frost/Nixon.

Which was rented.

There is one thing I like about Blockbuster, however. My favourite part of each visit is answering that ever-so-friendly question, "Did you find everything you were looking for?"

The answer is always no. But during this most recent visit I had to ask, "Do you seriously only have one copy of Frost/Nixon?" The reply? "Yeah. Sorry. It's ridiculous. But that's what head office sent us."

Do you hear that "head office"? Even your employees know how ridiculous and stupid you are. LEARN.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Magical Beer Fridge

Is Coke putting the pressure on Pepsi?

Just like this pop can, I've been feeling the pressure lately - pressure to post something. Have you ever seen what happens when a tin of sody pop is placed inside a freezer? I presume this is what happens, although I wouldn't know. Why?

Because this can was in an eensy weensy fridge.

I won a tiny Labatt's bar fridge a few years ago from a radio station, thanks to Jodster over at Useless Advice From Useless Men. It has performed its cooling functions for a number of years now without fail. Until now.

I placed 5 tins of Pepsi Cola brand soft drink alongside 5 equal sized tins of A&W Rootbeer inside my fridge for safe keeping. Less than a week later, I opened my fridge door.... to disaster.

Frozen pair.Half of the cans had exploded and leaked their precious contents all over the bottom of the fridge. The other half had expanded to the above state. Upon opening the cans, I discovered the pop was not ruined at all. It was still as tasty as ever.

Figuring something was drastically wrong with the fridge, I tried an experiment. I placed a half-empty cup of water on the bottom of the fridge and shut the door for a week. Upon opening the fridge, I was shocked to discover the water was perfectly liquidy, and just the right amount of cold.

Magically, my fridge had healed itself. Giddy for chilled soda, I hastily rammed 5 or 6 cans of Pepsi back into the fridge. But deep in the back of my mind, I was still worried.

So, just before heading to bed a mere 4 hours after I had filled the fridge, I checked on them. To my surprise, they had exploded. So, having said that, does anyone want to buy a magical Labatt's bar fridge that can freeze pop, but not water?

I didn't think so.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Scammed In Mexico

Mexico: the only thing bigger than their flag are the egos of their scammers.

Although I learned of the current dangers of Mexico nearly two months ago, the federal government of Canada has formally warned Canadians this week against travel there due to rising danger spawned by a failing economy. I'm not talking liquid bum type dangers here. No, Mexico is a country on the verge of collapse.

During our vacation, we were lucky that we didn't find ourselves running to the toilet with clenched cheeks, and more importantly, that we didn't encounter any violence. But it's hard to imagine bad things could happen in the tourist-heavy Mayan Riviera. After all, tourism dollars is easy money, and why chance disturbing that cash flow?

In fact, tourists, from Mexico's point of view, are loaded with cash - and it's their job to separate them from it. But instead of offering interesting or original souvenirs and mementos, many would rather pull a scam. And here's how one of those scams works:

With your luggage in hand, as you head towards the airport exit, you'll be on the lookout for reps from your travel company. But you won't find them, because they'll be arrested if they set foot inside the airport.

Somehow, the people inside the airport know exactly where you're going and impersonate employees from either your resort or your tour company, calling out, for example, "Signature Vacations, over here!"

Cozumel Airport has been bought off.As you approach, the friendly, well-dressed Mexicans will welcome you, pull out a map of the island, and proceed to show you where your resort is situated. They will continue, explaining where the best scuba diving and shopping is, and how much taxis cost. They will, in a nutshell, give you good advice and valuable information. And because they are inside the airport, untouched by security, you'll believe they are there to help you.

They'll ask if you are planning on visiting any ruins or renting a car. They will tell you this is the cheapest, easiest and even safest way to see the ruins, as they claim the taxi drivers race along roads at very dangerous speeds and charge far, far too much.

They will explain how they work in conjunction with the tourism board of Mexico and the government to offer tourists cheap rental cars and passes to the ruins in order to boost the economy. And it sounds perfectly reasonable.

They will then offer you various 'packages'. For example, ours consisted of a rental car for 2 days, 4 passes to the Tulum ruins, 4 ferry passes, 4 free breakfasts at the Sandos resort and a bottle of Tequila. The total price is quite consistent; it will likely be $89 US.

Once you hand over the cash (they don't accept credit cards) they will fill out an official-looking receipt and ask to see your driver's licences for the car rental. After they ask you to sign the receipt, they ask you to do something strange.

They'll tell you that outside the airport, the men yelling "Signature Vacations out here!" are their competitors. They'll fold up the receipt, hand it to you, and tell you to hide it. They'll ask that you do not let their competitors know the great price they gave you, because they'll be very angry that they did not make the sale.

If you actually read what you signed, you'll see that it's a timeshare scam. In order for you to receive the "gifts" that you paid $89 for, you must attend a 90 minute seminar/presentation on buying a timeshare at the Sandos resort. And if you do any research into this, you'll see it's a very "hard" sell, where you'll essentially be locked in a room until you've agreed to buy a timeshare.

If you're landing at the Cozumel airport, don't give money to anyone. And if you see Adrian Torres, give him a kick in the balls, and tell him Martini says hi.

Labels: , ,


This many people accidentally stumbled upon my site
...while searching for porn.