Thursday, July 31, 2008

Things I've Been Hating

I looked back through my posts - all 310 of them - and realized that I've done several "Things I've Been Enjoying" posts but have yet to do the opposite.  Given my rather grumpy disposition and my tendency to rant, this surprises me.  It might surprise you, too.  Or not.

Anyway, here's a list of things that I've been hating recently:
  • That it's not football season yet.
  • Logging in to a website to view someone's photos.  Haven't you people heard of Flickr?
  • The cartoony interface on my Blackberry now that they upgraded the software.
  • That most product packaging is still a pain in the ass to open.
  • The following comment from a recent Peter King (of fame) article.  He's just now figuring this out?

    "I found out how little the rest of the country thinks of Red Sox-Yankees (which at this point of the year is always a megaseries).  I was changing planes in Charlotte (traveling from Dulles to Jackson, Miss.) Friday night and stopped at a sports bar at the airport with a bunch of TVs.  I looked around.  No baseball.  I looked at the sports ticker.  Racing news.  No baseball.  There was Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a few screens.  Baseball, schmaseball."
  • That Ahmad Bradshaw is going to prison but only after the football season.  I've written about this before.
  • That the majority of election coverage is so superficial and sensational that candidates only give sound bytes and are actually afraid of in-depth discussions because of the media willingness to take things out of context just to make a splash.  So then the candidates play to the media's tendency and create these ridiculous situations where we spend time trying to figure out who's black and who's not instead of talking about things like the economy and the energy crisis.
  • Speaking of the energy crisis...  Why is everyone so focused on finding some kind of quick fix for the price of gas?  In a capitalistic society the only sure way to create major change is for the consumers to get fed up with prices and begin demanding alternatives.  High gas prices will only help the progression of alternative fuel.  Plus, I don't have a car.
  • That the ringer switch on my iPhone is all sorts of fucked up.
  • That it is hot and sweaty outside.
  • That people don't appreciate rain as much as they should.
  • That I died about 25 times trying to assassinate Sibrand in Assassin's Creed.  Then I ran the fuck away (but I don't hate that part).
  • That I'm getting to the point where I've seen almost every Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: CI ever created.
  • That Apple is going to come out with a bunch of cool new stuff that I'm going to want.
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • That McCain keeps saying that he's more interested in "winning the war" than "winning an election" but never bothers to define "win".  I want him to explain to me how Obama's plan to pull out in 16 months would be any different than his plan to stay in longer and then just declare victory when he pulls the troops out.  Seriously, I want someone to define victory in Iraq.
  • That I'm really freaking hungry even though I had a good breakfast.
  • The Gen-Yers sense of entitlement coupled with their aversion to face-to-face confrontation makes them a pain in the ass to manage.
  • That that last statement made me feel really old.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Weekend

This weekend Dee decided to go down to Lake Wawasee in Syracuse, IN.  This time she allowed me to come along.  That was nice of her since my whole family was going to be there, too.

The Mason's (family friends) were kind enough to offer us the use of their house on Lake Wawasee and we were able to find a weekend that worked for everyone.  We expected the Mason's house to be nice, but not nearly as nice as it turned out to be as you can see from the photo below.

That's the view of the house from the pier.  It had more than enough room to hold me and Dee, my brother and his girlfriend and my sister, her husband and her two kids.  Plus, the Mason's were there as well.  Nobody had to double up and there were rooms to spare.

Everyone arrived on Thursday afternoon.  We all got settled in and made an early dinner.  After dinner, Ron took us all out on his pontoon boat for a tour of the lake - which is huge.  He pointed out some of the larger mansions on the lake and filled us in a bit on the history of some of the houses.  Unfortunately, he had to cut the tour a bit short as the sun was starting to set.

On Friday, Ron took us out on his speedboat for some tubing.  Little did I know that I would spend almost the entire time out on the tubes because everyone else tired out so quickly.  I hadn't gone tubing since high school and I forgot how much fun it was to have a spectacular crash.  I had plenty.  Unfortunately, we had to call it quits when Dee and I crashed into each other and she got a bloody nose.  After that, Ron towed me back to the house and dumped me one last time in full view of the folks on the pier.  Good times.

We all woke up sore on Saturday so we decided to take out the jet skis instead of the more strenuous watersports.  Drew and I went out first and were zipping across the lake having a grand old time until I looked back and noticed that he wasn't moving.  I circled back to discover that his jet ski had stopped working.  I zipped back to the house and got Brian (the houseboy) and some rope so that we could tow him back.

We also celebrated Chloe's second birthday on Saturday replete with ice cream cake and gifts galore.  She loved opening her presents and couldn't get enough of the ice cream cake.  Oh, and we all wore party hats.

I took Dee out on the jet ski for one last lap of the lake on Sunday before we packed up and headed home.  I managed to keep her injury free for the entire ride and it was good to soak in the sun and surroundings one last time before we made our way back to reality.

I'll leave you with a picture of my smiling niece and nephew.

Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Video Games

I've never been a huge video game guy.  Sure, I grew up with an Atari and Pong and then got a Nintendo and played Super Mario Brothers but I was never very good at those games.  In fact, I was consistenly put to shame by my little brother who is a bit of a wizard when he has a controller in his hands.  After a year or two of using up all of my lives over and over, I pretty much gave up.  I would just sit beside my brother and watch him play and try to help him figure out any puzzles that would pop up in the games he was playing.  The only time I would grab a controller was for a sports game.  That's still true now.

Until Sunday.

On Sunday I decided that it was time to replace my broken down PlayStation 2 with a PlayStation 3.  I didn't get it because I really wanted to play some video games, but mostly because it it also a BluRay player.  However, I do have one game that I love to play - NCAA Football '09.  I bought it.  As I was in the game aisle, I noticed that a game called Assassin's Creed was on sale for $30.  I'd seen the commercials for it and thought that it looked pretty cool.  I bought it even though I knew that it was not the type of game I like playing.

It took me a few minutes to get the PS3 set up and I decided that I would give Assassin's Creed a try.  Of course, I ended up playing for the rest of the night and was disappointed when I had to go to bed.  Just like a little kid. 

The beauty of this game is that the controls are very simple.  Fighting is done with only one or two buttons, weapon switching is very easy and sprinting around on the tops of buildings and climbing up walls is a piece of cake.  The reason I struggle with most games is that you have to remember a ton of button combinations to perform the simplest tasks so when it gets down to fighting time I just mash the buttons like a twitchy freak.  If I kill someone it's mostly by accident.  Plus, most games focus strictly on fighting.  In Assassin's Creed the focus is on stealthily sneaking up on your target and then running the fuck away.  I'm good at running the fuck away.  I'm not so good at fighting.  Therefore, I'm pretty good at this game.  I got this game on Wednesday and I've assassinated six of the nine targets already.  Then I ran the fuck away.

Now, don't think I'm suddenly going to be spending hours playing World of Warcraft or Metal Gear Solid or Gears of War with a bunch of people online.  I don't think I'll ever do that.  I like to play games by myself and not worry about some twelve year-old picking a fight with me and kicking my ass.  My brother has done that enough for everyone.  However, it does mean that I'll probably buy the sequel to Assassin's Creed.

In the meantime, I'll always have NCAA Football '09.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Sports Illustrated Dilemma

In 1988 my grandmother noticed my love of sports and decided that she would get me a subscription to Sports Illustrated.  Eventually, this became my Christmas/birthday present from her every year.  I loved it.  I was hooked as soon as my very first issue arrived at my door.  You can see why.

I loved the pictures and the articles and I would almost always read it cover to cover every week.  In fact, I developed a "system" for reading each magazine.  When it arrived, I would open it and flip through it page by page to see the pictures and take note of the articles I wanted to read first.  Then I would go back and read those articles.  The Table of Contents was wasted on me.

Eventually, I began paying for the subscription myself.  It has been my responsibility to keep it coming to my door and it has been coming to my home for the last 20 years.  Recently I began receiving renewal notices in the mail.  In the past, I would wait for the one with the most red on it (as it usually provided the lowest rates) and just send it back.  This year I'm thinking seriously about not renewing.  As I was cleaning up the house this weekend, I was annoyed at the number of magazines I had to throw out.  I was even more annoyed by the number of those magazines that I hadn't read.

I visit the Sports Illustrated web site every day and that is where get most of my sports news and information.  I've noticed that the major articles in the magazine tend to show up on the site eventually.  Not all of them do, but most.  I'm having a hard time convincing myself that I need to keep subscribing.  In fact, it's most likely that the next few weeks will be the last issues of Sports Illustrated that I ever receive.

On that note, I'll leave you with my favorite Sports Illustrated cover from the Jeff Ford Era.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How To Be a Douchebag at the Gym

I've spent many years in the gym and I've discovered that there are some sure-fire ways to be considered "that douchebag" while working out.  Follow the guidelines below and you too can be a douchebag.

  • Wear so much Icy-Hot that the entire gym reeks of the stuff.
  • Loudly grunt while lifting weights.
  • Do everything as fast as you possibly can - especially on the back extension machine.
  • Wear the same clothes every day and make sure you don't wash them.
  • Crank the incline on the treadmill as high as it will go and then hold on to the display the entire time.
  • Hoard the free weights.
  • Walk around barefoot.
  • Use at least half a can of the gym supplied deodorant.  Make sure it's in a spot where everyone has to walk through the cloud.
  • Talk to the girl who's trucking it on the treadmill at about 8.0mph - especially if she has headphones on.
  • Don't re-rack your weights.
  • Steal towels.
  • Don't wipe down the machine when you are done.
  • Pee in the shower.
  • Blow dry your chest hair.
  • Leave your towels for the cleaning crew to pick up.
  • Wear shorts that are too short or shirts that are too tight.
  • Set the treadmill to 2.0mph and talk to your best friend on the treadmill next to you the whole time.
  • Always choose the locker directly next to the only one that's locked.
  • Farmer blow.
There.  I've done my good deed for the day.  Now we can all be douchebags.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Goin' to Space

NASA has assigned the crew for the space shuttle mission STS-128.  Read the press release here.  You'll notice that the pilot is one Kevin A. Ford.  That's my uncle.  Keep your eyes on the skies on July 30, 2009 and maybe you'll see my uncle zip by.

Things I've Been Enjoying

I haven't done a "Things I've Been Enjoying" post since March, so I figure I'm due.  In fact, I'll reach back a little further and mention some things that I've been enjoying since March.  I won't tell you exactly which ones are older, but you'll probably be able to figure most of them out.

Things I've Been Enjoying:
  • Being married.
  • Kids In the Hall at the Chicago Theater
  • Avenue Q at some other theater (I'm too lazy to look it up)
  • Epic Burger
  • The new Weezer album - especially the Pork & Beans video 
  • The Get Rich Slowly Blog
  • Strawberries
  • - especially his "344 Things" posters
  • Tony Dungy's book - it provides interesting insight on how to build and motivate an NFL team
  • Remote for the iPhone - and all of the other cool stuff in the App Store
  • That they fixed the toilet in the Space Station
  • Performing in "100... Years of Losing" - last show at Second City this Friday at midnight, then it's moving to Stage Left on Wednesday at 8pm starting July 30 and running through September.
  • Realizing that I never have said, nor will say, "This is my karaoke song."
  • The orange juice commercial where the lady talks all sexy and they make the oranges look as much like boobs as possible.
  • Receiving a fortune cookie that reads, "More cheerful and hopeful than forty years old."
  • Hearing Billy Packer say the following during the NCAA National Championship game, "Kansas knows what it's like to be in an overtime game in the championship, they went to triple overtime in the championship game in 1957."  What?!  Who on Kansas knows what it's like?  Is there a 51-year senior on the team?  If so, how does he still have his eligibility?  Thank god he got fired.
  • The quarterback rating formula: {[.05(% comp per attempt - 30)] + [.25(avg yds per attempt - 3)] + [.2(% TD per attempt)] + [2.375 - (.25(% int per attempt))] / 6} * 100
  • Skype and Call Recorder - handy for interviews
  • Playing tennis with my wife
  • Getting a promotion with a big raise and bonus

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ND's New Athletic Director

Notre Dame has hired a new Athletic Director, Jack Swarbrick.  Why do I mention this?  Well, it's ND news for one.  Second, Swarbrick is the former president of the Indiana Sports Corporation.  As you can see from the first line in the article linked above, he was "One of the key players in bringing the Super Bowl to Indianapoils" which means that he went head to head with my dad on the deal. 

My dad thought that bringing the Super Bowl to Indianapolis was a great idea, but that it should not be done at the expense of the taxpayers.  One of the major requirements of getting the Super Bowl in Indy was for the local and State governments to waive sales and hotel tax on league-reserved rooms.  Dad didn't like that idea.  Unfortunately for him, he was just about the only person in the state that thought that way.  Everyone else just wanted the Super Bowl.

This is not to say that Swarbrick is an evil man.  I would guess that my dad would have nice things to say about Swarbrick because he is responsible for bringing a lot of business (and therefore tax revenues) to Indiana.  Regardless, let's hope he's the right choice for AD at ND.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Weekend

This weekend, Dee went down to Peoria (I think. Wherever ISU is.) to celebrate her friend Sheila's birthday. I stayed here in Chicago. This was one of the few weekends this summer I didn't have any plans. Since I've had plans almost every other weekend, I haven't had the time to do all of those things around the house that I've been meaning to do for a long time.

What are those things?

Turning the second bedroom into a den. Hang some pictures and reorganize our storage area. I had plenty of time this weekend to accomplish those tasks. Remember what the second bedroom used to look like?

Yeah, it was crowded.  There was a huge bed in there that pretty much took up the whole room.  Underneath the bed we jammed just about everything we didn't have space for.  The room was a crowded mess.

I spend my entire Saturday in the room moving bookshelves, shredding documents, throwing things out and generally reorganizing things.  Once I was done, it looked like this.

Check it out.  I turned the bed into a couch, turned the paper blinds into real blinds, made bookcases magically appear and made nest of computer cables disappear.  Now all I have to do is get some paint up on those walls.

Yeah, I know.  I'm pretty awesome.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Last Thursday I received my review and discovered that I got a promotion. Actually, I knew I was going to get a promotion because my boss had told me long before that I was doing a great job. He also said, "You're going to get a promotion." Now it is official. My title is no longer simply Project Manager. I am now Project Manager Supreme. Not really, I'm Ultimate Project Manager. Just kidding, I'm Project Manager Overlord. It's on my business cards.

Okay, I'm actually Senior Project Manager but that's not nearly as cool as the others I suggested. Now that I'm Senior Project Manager I get to enjoy the spoils of doing the exact same thing I've always done only now my email signature reads, "Sr. Project Manager." Also, I get paid more but that won't happen for another week or so.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence Day - Tennis and Baseball

Going into this weekend, Dee and I were trying to figure out what we were going to do.  We tried to make plans with some of our friends but they kept falling through.  Eventually one of our friends decided to have a party on Thursday night.  We went and had a great time.  While there, we were offered tickets to yesterday's White Sox game.  Suddenly, we had something to do for Independence Day.

Dee and I woke up relatively early on the 4th to play tennis at the courts near our house.  We had to wait for a little while until a court became available.  It was a beautiful, cool day and Dee and I quickly fell into a groove.  We split the first two games then I took the third game to take a 2-1 lead.  My serve started failing me and Dee kept me running all over the court and before I knew it she was up 3-2.  I evened it up then she promptly won the next two games to take a 5-3 lead.  Since there were people waiting, I knew we wouldn't have a chance to play a full second set.  I decided to buckle down and focus on keeping the ball between the lines.  I held serve in the ninth game and broke Dee in the tenth to tie it up 5-5.  I held serve to take a 6-5 lead and was close to winning the set until Dee finally closed me out after about 6 deuce points.  We were tied 6-6.  We played the first six points of the tiebreak to a 3-3 tie and I managed to edge out the final three points to win the set 7-6.  After that we were both pretty spent and decided to call it a day even though another court was open and we didn't have to vacate.  Hopefully, we'll get out again tomorrow to play another set or two.

Once we cleaned up, we had a bite to eat and headed to the Red Line to meet our friends at the Sox game.  We got to the game and discovered we had great seats along the third base line -  as you can see from the picture on the right.  Because we were so close, we had to keep our heads in the game - especially when a left-hander was at bat.

Unfortunately, the Sox lost 7-1.  I guess Dee and I are bad luck.  Last time we went to a Sox game they lost to the Rockies.

My favorite part of the game was the 11-year-old sitting two rows in front of us that kept heckling the umps and players.  However, he wasn't heckling the A's players, he was heckling the Sox players even though he was decked out in Sox gear.  His dad was even encouraging him.  Every time he said something, I shouted, "You tell him, drunk 10-year-old!"

After the game, they shut off all of the stadium lights and had a fireworks display.  I took a few pictures, but they didn't turn out like I'd hoped since I didn't have a tripod to steady the camera.  This is probably the best shot I got.

Not great, but you get the idea.  The fireworks show was a pretty darn good one.  I was glad that Dee got to see some fireworks because she loves them so much.  I was glad that I didn't have to deal with the sweaty crowds downtown.  The Sox crowd was much more manageable.  
After our big day, we were pretty wiped out and we both fell asleep on the couch watching TV before moving into bed around 1am.
A happy Independence Day, indeed. 

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Way back in November, I asked people to submit their name so that I may write a story about them. Not many people did, so I didn't write very many stories. However, Tristan stumbled upon that post yesterday (maybe she was catching up? reviewing?) and asked me to write a story about her. She asked and now she shall receive.

First, a little background.

Tristan and I met when she joined pH way back in the early days. Back then the pH folk spent a lot of time hanging out after shows and on our off weekends. During those times, Tristan and I became rather close friends. As everyone got a little busier and things changed, we spent less time hanging out outside of pH events. Somehow, she and I started trading lengthy emails on a fairly regular basis. The topics of the emails are wide-ranging but are mostly meant to amuse each other while we're stuck at our desks at work. Those emails have inspired many things I've written including the "Pros and Cons" series of posts that ran through June, July and August of last year.

On to the story.

From time to time, pH shows are canceled because we don't have any audience members. It's one of the dangers of an independent and underfunded theater. When it is the late show that is canceled, we clean up and head home. When it is the early show, we have to hang around to see if there will be any audience members for the late show. We usually fill that time by putting on some music and having a dance party.

One week the early show was canceled and we started a dance party.  It was the summer when Outkast's smash summer hit "Hey Ya!" was sweeping the nation.  Someone had just finished a dance and Tristan and I hopped up when "Hey Ya!" started playing.  We danced around like idiots for a while and then suddenly began circling each other in a running, flailing trot.  On beat we would suddenly change direction and then back again.  We - and everyone else - loved it so much that we did that dance every time we heard the song come on.  I would even do the dance when she wasn't around, leaving a little space for her.  I called it the "Missing Man Formation."  I loved doing that dance.

Those are the kind of awesome and fun things that happen when Tristan is around.

And now, a special Pros and Cons in honor of the lady who inspired them:

The Pros and Cons of Being Tristan Tanner

1) Awesome dances happen when you are around.
2) You are super talented and hilarious.
3) Boobs.

1) Everyone is jealous of you all the time.
2) April through June is way to busy at work to send Jeff emails.
3) You are a Patriots fan.

P.S. - This is my 300th post.  Hooray!

Jerkology is Not Forgotten

Nearly a year after its debut, Jerkology is still getting press - kinda.

Check out this Time Out show description.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My Week

Last week was the craziest week of my year to this point - and I got married in February, remember. At work, the CIO decided to have the IT management in from all of our offices for a conference which means that we had to listen to presentations all week and then do some sort of work event in the evenings. On top of that, I had rehearsals and shows. Here's how it breaks down.

6:00am - Wake up
7:00am - Get on Red Line
7:40am - Arrive at work
7:40-8:00am - Make and eat breakfast
8:00-11:00am - Listen to people read bullet points to me
11:00am-12:00pm - Escape from sleep-inducing presentations to work out
12:00-12:15pm - Cram down a mediocre chicken salad sandwich
12:15-12:30pm - Find the vendor that's supposed to be doing a demo for one of my projects
12:30-1:00pm - Help the vendor set up
1:00-2:00pm - Sit through the vendor demo
2:00-5:30pm - Back to the conference and people reading bullet points
5:30-8:00pm - Pack up and head over to bar where a beer garden is set up for us to drink and mingle
8:00-8:25pm - Cab ride home
8:25-10:00pm - Relax at home with my wife and make fun of the shows she watches (mostly The Bachelorette)
10:00pm - Bedtime

6:00am - Wake up
7:00am - Get on Red Line
7:40am - Arrive at work
7:40-8:00am - Make and eat breakfast
8:00-9:00am - Interesting speech from the CEO
9:00-11:00am - More people reading bullet points - sometimes they read graphs
11:00am-12:00pm - Work out, retain sanity
12:00-12:30pm - Lunch: Quizno's, I think
12:30-1:00pm - Go to desk and catch up on email and voice mail
1:00-2:00pm - Interesting and engaging speech from CFO - the only genuinely charming presenter so far
2:00-5:30pm - More reading of bullet points. Ugh.
5:30-6:00pm - Tour of roof of building
6:00-8:00pm - Cocktails on the top floor of our building with the Big Shots
8:00-8:40pm - Brown Line, then Red Line back home
8:40-10:00pm - Relax by myself, watch TiVoed episode of Bones, relax with wife once she gets home
10:00pm - Sleepy time

6:00am - Wake up
7:00am - Get on Red Line
7:40am - Arrive at work
7:40-8:00am - Make and eat breakfast
8:00-10:30am - More boring presentations made worse by belching lady sitting next to me
10:30-11:00am - Catch up on work
11:00am-12:00pm - Workout, get disgusted by guy who tries to cover his B.O. by using Icy Hot
12:00-12:30pm - Lunch at my desk while updating project plans and the like
12:30-2:30pm - Work, work, work. Will it ever end? No, not if I want to pay the mortgage.
2:30-3:00pm - Meeting with team that saw the demos. They like the one that will be the hardest to implement. I already knew that, though.
3:00-5:35pm - Work, deal with angry bosses about the above item
5:35-6:00pm - Leave work and walk to Brasserie Jo
6:00-10:00pm - Dinner with my department
10:00-10:30pm - Dangerous and exciting cab ride home
10:30pm - Wake my wife up as I crawl into bed. Sass her undeservedly and relentlessly. Sleep.

6:00am - Wake up
7:00am - Get on Red Line
7:40am - Arrive at work
7:40-8:00am - Make and eat breakfast
8:00-11:00am - Do some actual work - and actually make progress
11:00am-12:00pm - Workout, just like usual
12:00-2:00pm - What's this? More work? How about that?
2:00-2:30pm - Meeting. Status-type.
2:30-5:00pm - Meeting. "Roundtable"-type.
5:00-5:45pm - Red Line. Slow. Lots of unexplained stopping. Typical ride.
5:45-6:15pm - Change clothes, back to the Red Line.
6:15-6:45pm - Red Line back to Wrigleyville.
6:50-7:00pm - Walk to rehearsal space.
7:00-9:00pm - Rehearsal for "100... Years of Losing"
9:00-9:30pm - Red Line back home. Red Line is practically is my home.
9:30-10:00pm - Kiss my wife. Catch up on our days. Get ready for bed.
10:00pm - Sleepy time.

6:00am - Wake up
7:00am - Get on Red Line
7:40am - Arrive at work
7:40-8:00am - Make and eat breakfast
8:00-9:00am - Start working on my multitude of status reports
9:00-10:00am - Surprise! A demo/presentation!
10:00-11:00am - Some work, some surfing of Internet
11:00am-12:00pm - Workout. Nice, all five days.
12:00-2:00pm - Hammer out status reports, update other project documentation, surf Internet
2:00-3:00pm - Status meeting, shoot the shit with some of the guys downstairs
3:00-4:00pm - Finish up the last of my reports and put the finishing touches on me self evaluation
4:00pm - Leave early. I've earned it.
4:00-4:45pm - Red Line. Delightful, as always.
4:45-10:20pm - Relax, nap, hang with wife, dinner, go over lines for "100 Years of Losing"
10:20-11:00pm - Drive to show at Donny's Skybox.
11:00pm-12:00am - Run lines, pre-show run through of dance and songs. Vomit.
12:00-12:45am - Perform "100 Years of Losing"
12:45-1:00am - Gather props, change shirts, wash hands (which have beer all over them)
1:00-1:30am - Drive home
1:30am - Sleepy time

That's my week. God bless you if you actually read through the whole thing.

Happy Canada Day!

To all my Canadian friends (that means you Nick and Sandee): Happy Canada Day!

Huzzah to our friendly neighbors to the north!