Friday, September 30, 2005

Model Behavior

I wasn’t always a successful application consultant.  Like most people, my career path to where I’m at now has taken many twists and turns along the way.  I’ve been a customer support representative, a computer lab coordinator, a video production assistant and a male model.

Before you go and start digging through the latest issue of GQ – I have to let you know that it’s been a long time since that part of my life.  

My dad is a photographer.  When we first moved to America, most of his jobs were fashion shoots.  One particular day, my brother and I were with my grandparents for the day and he was shooting for a back to school layout for a local department store chain called Fountains.  There were two young models, a girl and a boy, from a local talent agency.  The setup was supposed to be the girl sitting down and the boy standing next to her with his arm around her shoulder.  Once the boy found out what he was supposed to do – he began freaking out.  He couldn’t put his arm around the girl because girls had cooties.  My dad started to get pissed off because this kid was wasting time.  The boy’s mother tried to convince him that girls didn’t have cooties – but there was no changing this kid’s mind.   Finally, my dad called my mom and had my grandparents bring me over.

Twenty minutes later I was in a changing room putting on some really bad slacks, a polo, and a pair of loafers.  I came out of the changing room and the boy’s mother was there – saying that he was ready to be in the shoot now.  My dad said “…too bad, he missed his chance…” and motioned me over.  

“What do I do?” I asked.

My dad pointed towards the girl sitting a stole in front of the camera.  “Go stand next to her and put your arm around her shoulder.  I’ll give you $25 dollars”.

“$25 dollars?  Okay.”  That was a hell of a lot of money.  I went over to the girl, put my arm around her shoulder and smiled.  Thirty clicks later I was $25 dollars richer.  I blew the money on a Millennium Falcon.

Sadly, that was my only modeling gig.  I burnt out early – there’s just too much pressure on the runway.

We promised never to speak of it again.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Both how i'm living, and my nose is large

My brother has posted yet again over at Khansella. This is twice in four days - i'm freaking out. Check out the photo galleries of his apartment, it will make you thankful for whatever you're living in now. I have to give him credit, he's made the place look like a page from an Ikea catalog - a slightly burnt Ikea catalog - but still Swedish non the less.

Other than that - it's pissing rain here in Ontario. This is apparently left over from Hurrican Rita. There are about ten cases of empty beer bottles filling with water in my back yard. I wonder if that is a mosquito risk?

We hosted two nights in a row at the house - and i'm freaking tired. Friday night was the house warming. I bought too much beer and now I have to have another party so we can finish it off. My nice guests brought a lot of wine, lots of good wine. Saturday night, me, Laurie, Krissy and Russ drank three bottles of it. Not the Beringers Founder's Estate though - keeping that one for a special night. Speaking of keeping something for a special night - no, not that - that's long gone - well, here's a story:

The Panty Dropper

I was at this wine distributor doing an install. On the last day of the job, it was just me, the owner’s wife/office manager, and a couple of the data entry girls in the office – the owner and salesmen were out selling. Anyways – I’m up in the server room working away. The phone rings and it’s the office manager. She says “Hey, we’re going to sample some wine – do you want to join us?” Never being one to turn down alcohol, I make my way downstairs to the main office. The data entry girls are running back and forth between the office and the warehouse bringing bottles of wine and glasses. The office manager says to make sure they hide the bottles from the security cameras. Bottles are opened, crackers and cheese appear – more bottles are opened – good times for all. The conversation gets randy – what do you expect from a bunch of middle aged women drinking wine at two in the afternoon?

The topic becomes “…do you have a girlfriend?”. I didn’t at the time, had a girl who would eventually become my girlfriend – both nothing concrete at the time.

“Do you cook?” I’m asked. I do.

“Ok..” says the office manager “..hold on a second. She runs from the office to the warehouse and comes back a couple minutes later holding a nice looking bottle of red wine. She hands it to me.

“Here’s what you do. You cook a nice dinner, something simple.”

I nod.

“Then, “ she says “…you open this up. It’ll go down smooth……and so will she!”

We never spoke of it again.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Buried Treasure

My brother Ritchie has posted again at http://khansella.blogspot.com/ .  He’s doing well in Mongolia – teaching people how to better run their businesses.  If you knew my brother, you might question that – but maybe I just don’t know him well enough.  Point in case – we were in Cleggan in the west of Ireland last Christmas.  Me, my dad, and Ritchie are sitting in the local pub, Olivers (http://www.oliversbar.com/), drinking a couple beers.  The cheque comes and me and my brother both try and not notice it.  My dad finally throws the cheque at Ritchie, who opens his wallet and says “Uh-oh” in a really high pitch voice.  

“Uh-oh”?  - my dad asks?  

Ritchie’s wallet was empty and all he could say was “uh-oh”.

That’s my brother.  He told me today that he needs money to travel after his term in the Peace Corps is up.  I suggested that he go to antique shops and buy some old books.  In one of those old books, there might be an ancient map that will lead him a sexy German historian to buried treasure.  He would even get a chance to make a torch out of a stick, rags, and tar.  He told me I’m the worst older brother ever – but I think it’s really his best chance to make a quick buck.  

I never said I was good at business.



Thursday, September 22, 2005

Who owns the peanut butter cup?

I noticed something else strange here in Canada. Resse does not own his peanut butter cups here.

Exhibit A: The U.S. Peanut Butter Cup packaging -


Exhibit B: The Canadian


Notice the lack of an apostrophe after Resse? What in Canadian law prohibits Resse from owning his beloved peanut butter cups? This is one of the strangest things i've ever seen. Now it is not as strange as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese being called Kraft Dinner here. That is strange, but every "South Park" watching American knows that. They also know that when you ride the subway in Toronto, you can pass the time looking for treasure (see Philip and Terrance - "Not without my Anus").

I'm off to go look for more differences. This reminds me of this really bad 1970's film I saw once were a spaceship is launched and it's going to the other side of the sun. But there's a problem and the ship's crew thinks they've gone back to Earth - but really, they're on the other side of the sun were there is a duplicat Earth - but everything is backwards. The writing, everything is backwards and the astronauts go mad. Or something like that, I really wasn't paying any attention.

Monday, September 19, 2005

At least i'm not bitter

I had written this other post (since deleted) as an open letter to my friend's now ex-wife. To make a long story short, she left him after five weeks and is now engaged to another guy. This will be her third husband in less than six years. It's been said that obviously this new guy doesn't know how this story will probably end. I wish them all the best - honestly. If people aren't right for each then they shouldn't be together.

Of course this is something that would have been good to know before I spent a shit load of money going to the wedding. I've told my friend this - he's offered to give me money. I'm just venting, I don't really want any money back - but if there was going to be a monetary exchange, it should be from her.

Two tickets to XXXXXXX - $900
2 nights in the hotel - $250
Tux rental for a 30 minute ceremony and a 2 hour "dry" reception - $175

Add it up - going to weddings is not cheap. For the money spent, the marriage should last longer than a year at least. Really - if the marriage lasts less than a year, then the money spent should be refunded by the party that ended the marriage. Or something - give the gift back. Actually, I never got them a gift because i'm a lazy bastard. A cheap lazy bastard.

Still - I had a good time there with some other friends, so it wasn't a total loss. I just wish this girl realized that she hurt my friend and she didn't need to. She could have left way before they got married and yeah, there would have been hard feelings - but not as bad as it ended up.

That's too heavy man.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Update on Pony Ride Story

I just wanted to update the Pony Ride story to make a clarification. Due to editorial conditions beyond my control - the story was edited to remove my best friend Bryan Melzard from the story. This was a work thing because he doesn't work at the same company anymore and this story was originally posted in my company newsletter.

Bryan told me he felt slighted. I am publicly apologizing for not adding him back into the story. Bryan was there with me when we were force fed a giant plate of ribs. He was also there to laugh at me when I was forced to ride the pony. Thanks for getting my back. He took the picture, his exact words are "...Mother fucker, I took the picture....".

He also tried to do a drunk phone call in front of this supplier of ours - and I had to stop his Red Sox loving ass from doing that. Drunk phone calls are not appropriate in front of suppliers - unless they happen to be alcohol or telecommunications suppliers. Those bastards love to get in bed together.

I'm supprised Skyy Vodka doesn't include a phone card with their product. Lord knows if they did, I'd have more embarrassing stories.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Delta Goes Toe-Up

Sad news today out of Atlanta - my favourite airline Delta has gone bankrupt. Which now makes three airlines i've caused to go bankrupt. First, I had my frequent flyer (FF) with Eastern Airlines. They went under. Then I had my FF with Pan American and they went under.

Now Delta.

First the Fat Boys break up, now this?

How am I going to deal with this? Sure, sure - they're restructuring. Also, I haven't flown since May (which may or may not be the cause of Delta's financial collapse as before that I flew on Delta or a Delta Connection flight every week).

I miss the Crown Room Clubs (and the President's Club with Continental and World Club with Northwest). The free drinks and cookies or bagels. Sitting high above the peasants in a comfy chair with wireless internet. Not having to sit next to some lady with three snot covered kids or some asshole salesman (saleshole) jabbering about how he can make the deal work for lugnuts or some other shit.

I hate people, but love gatherings.

Anyway - if you can fly Delta, you should. Actually, you fly JetBlue because they have DirecTV and XM radio in every seat.

Shit - did I say that outloud.

One day I was in the bathroom of the Crown Room at CVG and i'm taking a piss - and the guy next too me taking a piss was the CEO of Delta. I was going to say hi, but I didn't want to seem gay. Unless he was into that and I could have got upgraded to first. It's first for crying out loud - they have free drinks and bigger seats.

Don't judge me.

//UPDATE

Northwest went bankrupt too. Son of a bitch.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Corn Pop Conspiracy

There is a conspiracy afoot here in North America and I want some answers. This conspiracy deals with the Kellog's cereal Corn Pops. At first glance, you wouldn't notice anything strange. Like most packaging in Canada, the Corn Pops box (right) is in French and English. Also, the letters are blue instead of red. No big deal.



Once the boxes are opened however, all hell breaks loose. First - the U.S. Corn Pops:



Normal, right? Now look at the Canadian Corn Pops:



They are totally different cereals. What is going on here? The US pops are odd shaped (they remind of Phobes, one of the Martian moons. Man, am I a geek or what?) The Canadian pops are perfect orbs - the almost look like morsels of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch.

I tried googling and wikipeding (new word) Corn Pops to see if I could find anything, but there was nothing there. If anyone knows anything about this mystery - please let me know.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Pony Ride

I’ve always worked under the assumption that when you’re at a customer’s site, you are at the mercy of the customer. They say when the day starts and when it ends; where you eat; and of course what brand of soda or beer (hopefully beer) you can drink. But the one thing I was never prepared for was when a customer forced me to ride a pony. I was installing software at a beer distributor. It was your basic run of the mill install – set up the server, connect it to the host, load the handheld, preparation fortraining – nothing out of the ordinary. Training was on a Wednesday afternoon and everything was going really well. The owner invited me out for dinner at the local barbeque place, which is renowned for its ribs. I met up with the owner and his wife, and their IT manager. The owner orders for me and I swear he ordered me 4 lbs of ribs. I tried my best to eat as many ribs as possible and by the end of dinner you could have rolled me out of there. As I was walking (waddling) out, the owner suggested that we go to the IT manager’s farm and have a beer. Off I went - who am I to turn down a beer. The farm was awesome – way out in the middle of nowhere. It was just about dusk and we were enjoying a nice, cold beer when the strangest thing I’ve ever heard was said. “Alex, you should ride the pony.” I stuttered “Uh?” Again but now with much more force, I hear “Alex ride the pony.” I had no choice - the customer is always right - so I got on the pony. My feet were scraping the ground and the IT manager led me around the yard on the pony.



We promised never to speak of it again

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Other Blogs

I have this other blog called 64hope.blogspot.com - it's about my adventures renovating (and mowing the lawn) of my house here in the KW.

My brother has a blog called Khansella.blogspot.com - he lives in Mongolia. Seriously. He lives in Mongolia.

Nicole, my fellow hater of RFID has a blog - Worththetime.blogspot.com

Rachel, my friend from FSU has one too at Sunshine and Smiles

Friday, September 02, 2005

I lack the ability to estimate

I lack the ability to properly estimate the time it takes to accomplish a task.  Sure, many people say “…give me five minutes…” or “…it will be done by the end of day…”.  That’s not my problem – my problem is that I just can’t give any where near a ballpark estimate.

Yesterday my manager asked me how long it would take to complete task A.  I freaked out at the spec and said five days.  I started this morning and I finished about fifteen minutes ago.  It’s kind of insane.  Now my manager is asking why I said it wouldn’t be done until next week if I got it done in a day.  I told him I was bad at estimating.  I really don’t have a better reason than that.  

I've also joined my friend's fantasy football league over at FoxSports.com - here's my team logo: