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Monthly Archives: May 2013

High Blood Pressure… POP

Published May 31, 2013 - 8 Comments

I went to see Dr Lisa today.  Seems that our visits are getting closer rather than further apart.  Maybe with good reason.  Her staff hooked me up to the nice blood pressure monitor again… this is the one that is supposed to give a more accurate reading.  They let me sit alone in a nice quiet room, with the lights dimmed down, and the machine takes 5 readings over 10 minutes and then averages them out.  I just sat there in the comfy chair and tried to stay awake.

154/109

Shit.  That doesn’t sound good.  I knew before she even got into the room that Lisa was going to ask me what the hell is going on… except in a more pleasant bedside manner… but that would be her meaning.

I told her that I had an important meeting scheduled immediately following this visit.  It was obviously weighing on my mind.  The new house is still a disaster, and my parents are coming over to look at it tomorrow.  My co-parenting trial schedule with my ex had started yesterday.

These were all good reasons to see a temporary spike in my blood pressure… but I wasn’t fooling anyone.  It all comes down to lifestyle choices, and until I made some significant changes, my body would continue to rebel against me.

Let’s look at some of the causes of high blood pressure (also known as Hypertension) found listed on WebMD:

  • Smoking – The one vice I’ve never had to worry about.
  • Overweight or obese – Yup!
  • Lack of physical activity – Does typing count?
  • Too much salt in diet – As if you can ever have too much salt.. .
  • Too much alcohol – Surprisingly not an issue for me.  I rarely ever drink anymore… but I’m not opposed to starting again!
  • Stress – Umm… yeah… wee bit…
  • Older age – Fuck you, 41!
  • Genetics – That’s right… blame it on the parents.  I like your way of thinking.
  • Family history – Isn’t this genetics?  Close enough.
  • Chronic kidney disease – Better not be!  I need to sell these puppies on the black market to support my crack habit!
  • Adrenal and Thyroid issues – Big words scare me.

So I guess I’m going to have my medication changed around, and I’ve been ordered to start monitoring my blood pressure on my own (I have a machine) several times per week, and to start pushing that lawn mower and whatever else I can do around the house to try to improve my level of physical activity.

And back in another 6 weeks… crap.

 

Star Trek: Into Darkness… Again!

Published May 30, 2013 - 1 Comment

Please be aware:  I am going to spoil the hell out of this movie… so if you have not seen it yet, I suggest that you skip this post and come back after you’ve had a chance to watch it.

Last night I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness again.  Yes, again!  I don’t think that I’ve ever gone to the theatre twice to see a movie.  That should tell you immediately what I think of this one.  It’s awesome!  Not only would I tell you to go see it (regardless of your prior Trek knowledge… or lack of it) but I’d even tell you to see it in 3D if you don’t mind that sort of thing.  And I generally hate 3D movies!  Last night we chose to see it in regular old 2D, and it was still awesome, so 3D is not a necessity… but I found that it “worked” for this movie.  Right from the initial scene of the natives throwing spears at Kirk and Bones.  The warp scenes.  Khan putting his arm through the glass to allow Bones to draw a sample of his blood.

Khan?!?

I told you there would be spoilers!  Before the movie was released there was a lot of speculation that the villain would be Kirk’s arch nemesis Khan. JJ Abrams somehow managed to keep a tight lid on it, so even when I walked into the theatre, I wasn’t 100% sure whether the speculation was true or not.  It wasn’t until about 30-40 mins into the movie when the bad guy spoke those words that I am still repeating today…  “My name is Khan!”  And let me tell you… the guy who they got to play Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch, is perfect for the role!  His low, rumbling voice sent shivers down my spine when I first watched the movie. Even again last night I couldn’t help but feel excitement leading up to that scene.

A movie like this has to be seen on the big screen to be properly enjoyed.  It’s amazing how they can take the old style Enterprise and make it look awesome again.  The detail is beyond belief.  My brain doesn’t even process these scenes as anything but a real star ship.  When the Enterprise comes out of the water… or rises through the clouds… it just LOOKS REAL.

All is not perfect with the movie, though.  I might be nitpicking but where were the Klingon ships while the Enterprise was stranded at the edge of the neutral zone?  You’d kinda expect to see a few ships around the home world, but then again… Star Fleet never seems to have any protecting Earth either.  I just don’t get it.

What about Khan’s blood being able to cure people and even bring them back from the dead?  Does this mean that no one ever dies or gets sick from this point on?  It should!  If they were able to synthesize enough to bring Kirk back to life (oops, another spoiler!) then you’d think that they can synthesize enough to cure everyone else and stop death.  By the way JJ, beautiful reversal of key roles from Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan and this movie.  From Kirk saving the Enterprise and dying from radiation poisoning, to Spock using Kirk’s famous line… “Khaaaaan!!!”  I do have to agree, though,  with people who said that Alice Eve’s underwear scene is pretty gratuitous.  Don’t get me wrong!  She’s stunning… but from a plot perspective… getting undressed in front of Kirk served absolutely no purpose.  She might as well have just stripped down on the bridge while saying that it was too warm and sipping on a frozen lemonade.  Even THAT would have made more sense.  But it’s Alice Eve, so we’re all good.

Old Spock (sounds like a deodorant) was a nice touch, especially breaking his rule for not telling young Spock about things that happen in the future.

And Zoe Saldana’s performance as a pissed off girlfriend should get her nominated for an Oscar award.  I’ve seen that look!  When Uhura glares at Spock, and then says that nothing’s wrong… oh boy!  Been there!  If that was acting.. wow!

All in all, I thought that Star Trek: Into Darkness was awesome, and can’t wait until it comes out on video.  I will be ordering my pre-release copy from iTunes as soon as it becomes available, and can’t wait to watch it again!

Hunter Hayes – I Want Crazy … OK, You Got it!

Published May 29, 2013 - 7 Comments

I can’t stand country music.  There, I said it.  OK… I can’t stand 99.9% of country music.  Sometimes something slips through the cracks… I’m ok with most Shania Twain songs that are on the radio, although I can’t get through an entire CD of hers without having to jump to the next track a few times.  Then there’s that infamous Tim McGraw song that would just cut me to pieces… but we won’t go there.  In general though, country music makes me want to jab sharp objects into my ear drums.

So I’m walking home a few months ago, and from a block or two away I can see a large mob of people on Princess Street.  I can’t tell what they’re doing, but they’re basically blocking the intersection.  There’s a truck parked there.  Curious.

Then they start shouting to me.  I have my headphone on, and have no idea what they’re saying, but they’re kinda making me a little nervous now.  I stop, and look at my phone.. make a couple of texts… and I see someone running toward me from a block away.  Finally when he gets close enough he shouts “You’re in our shot!  Would you mind moving?”

Oh.

Why they didn’t have a guy at this end of the street to warn people of that, I have no idea.  But I moved over and watched see what happened.  I saw a guy pushing a girl in a shopping cart…  huh?  Whatever.  I left and walked home a different way.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago and someone sent me a link to the music video below… It’s country music, so I couldn’t listen, but I clicked through it… and then I saw a girl being pushed in a shopping cart!  Wait a minute…

Turns out that this video was shot entirely in Saint John.  There are several shots of Princess Street in there, and you can get an idea of the style of the old uptown core, and the building that I lived in for the last year.

If you dare to watch this video, you may want to turn the speakers down… and hide the scissors…

I so wish that I could have photo bombed the shot….  🙂

STREAKER!!!!

In Da House

Published May 28, 2013 - 2 Comments

I’ve been in the new house for a little over a week now.  It still looks like an explosion of boxes in there.  I haven’t really had much time lately to try to find a spot for everything.  I seem to be on the run quite a bit and stuff isn’t getting done.  Today I had to come into work early, and I have to come back in again tonight… there’s not really any point in going back home in between.  Might as well go to the apartment and finish cleaning there, so I can turn in my keys and get my damage deposit back.  Fun times.

I’m working on a series of posts detailing my experiences with all of the professionals involved in making my new home a reality.  Expect to see them pop over over the next week or so.  Until then, here is a quick list of everyone on Team Stephen.  I would happily recommend each and everyone of these people if you are considering moving, or are in need of one of these services.

Marianas Trench – Stutter

Published May 24, 2013 - 0 Comments

I don’t know what it is about Marianas Trench, but these guys always seem to crack me up.  I’ll be honest… I don’t really understand what’s going on in this video… but I find the song so damn catchy, especially the chorus…  it makes my feet tap under my desk…   Just seems like a really “fun” song!  I can’t get it out of my head!  I walk around the house singing “Di di did  I stutter.. stutter.. stutter…”  Yup!  🙂

 

Disney Short Film – The Paperman

Published May 20, 2013 - 6 Comments

I’ve watched this twice since first seeing it as an “iTunes extra” for Wreck-it Ralph…   Choked up both times… my daughter asked me why and all I could say was that she’ll understand someday… (I hope)…  Maybe it’s the whole Jim and Pam thing from The Office… maybe it’s something else entirely… but this short film made an impression, and I’m glad that people still spend time to make these sorts of things…

 

Paper man on Vimeo.

CHOKE

Published May 14, 2013 - 3 Comments

How do you blow a 4-1 lead with a little over 10 mins remaining in Game 7?  Just ask the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes… after 9 years of waiting for their triumphant return to post-season play, the Leafs are once again practicing their golf swing.  And Leafs fans everywhere are trying to answer that seemingly unanswerable question… HOW?!?

It may have only been Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but any Game 7 involving the Maple Leafs is bound to stir up a lot of excitement in Leaf Nation.

And so it was last night, as I watched my dreams of a second round playoff series slowly implode before my very eyes, I could feel the collective weight of Leafs fans everywhere bearing down on me.  It was painful.

I personally don’t feel that the Leafs are guilty of sitting back and trying to protect their rapidly dwindling lead.  I think that it was simply their inexperience that left them unprepared (and scrambling) when the Bruins Juggernaut finally got rolling at full speed.  They panicked.  They fell apart.    They choked.

This Toronto team is young.  As heart breaking as last night was, I think that there is a good lesson to be learned here.  I predict that this small taste of Stanley Cup playoff success (Hey, they did better than Montreal or Vancouver) will light a fire inside of those young players, and the experience will translate into greater confidence and winning.

For now I’m forced to pin my hopes on the Ottawa Senators.

All About the Benjamins, Baby

Published May 7, 2013 - 2 Comments

There’s something about money that makes normally intelligent, thoughtful, caring people turn into assholes.  I’ve never understood it, but it seems to be way too common.  I can understand if you’re hurting for money… but if you’re not, then accumulating even more of it should not be your focus.

Look at what happens in Child Support cases.  The focus is obviously money.  The idea is that one parent receives money from the other to comfortably support their children.  It’s in the children’s best interest for that parent to receive this money.  But it’s not an entitlement to the other person.  It’s not their personal allowance.  There’s a reason that it’s called Child Support, and not ex-spouse support.

That reasoning often seems lost on people.  It becomes something else entirely.  It’s no longer about the children.  It’s all about the Benjamins… And it’s sad because there really is no winner.  Only losers.

And that includes the children.

Movie Time – Iron Man 3

Published May 5, 2013 - 1 Comment

This blog post is going to contain spoilers, so if you have any desire to see Iron Man 3 in the theatre, I suggest that you stop reading this now, and go find something else to do.

No really.  Go.  Get outta here.

Still reading?  Fine… you’ve been warned…

IRON MAN 3 SUCKED!!

OK, no it didn’t… but I just wanted to put that in to throw off anyone who might still be on the fence whether or not to read this post.  Did it work?

First of all, if you are a big Marvel Comics fan and you have forgotten about the awful taste left in your mouth after reading my post on The Avengers, I suggest that you go back and read that one.  It’s a great segway into this post.  Actually, that movie is referenced a few times in Iron Man 3, but it’s not required viewing for this one to make sense.  Or nonsense, depending on your viewpoint.

My buddy and I went out to the Empire Theatres in Rothesay, where thankfully you don’t have to go through their ridiculous “assigned seating” bullshit.  It’s just like the old days… you get your ticket, walk into the theatre, look around.. and decide where you want to sit based on what you can see is available.  And if you decide that you don’t like that seat, you get up and move to another one.  It’s a perfect system.  I wonder if it’ll catch on?  But I digress.

This was yet another 3D movie that had no business being 3D.  I’m getting really tired of the money grab called 3D Movies.  I would have watched a non-3D version, but that wasn’t an option.  So for an extra $3 added to an oh-so-already-affordable ticket and concession price, I got to watch a movie that barely took advantage of 3D technology in any way.  Trust me, your experience will not be lessened in any way if you decide to save yourself a couple of bucks and suffer through good ole fashion 2D.  Just be thankful you’re seeing it in colour, and no sub-titles!

At 2 hours and 10 mins Iron Man 3 is pushing my limits to comfortably sit still.  I’m an old man.  My attention span is waning.  Then throw in a two-hander mega-gulp fountain Coke… and well.. 2 hours and 10 mins (not to mention the 20-30 mins of sitting there waiting for the movie to start) is just too long.  This movie could have easily cut 20 mins out and not skipped a beat.  It just feels like they are adding things to movies now just for the sake of adding them.  I don’t get it.

Plot wise…  Iron Man faces off against The Mandarin, who is terrorizing the American people with one hell of an explosive weapon.  There’s a really neat plot twist that I never saw coming, and as much as I warned you about spoilers… I think that this one is big enough to hold onto and let you experience it for yourself.  Let’s just say that Ben Kingsley is awesome!

I’m not a Gwyneth Paltrow hater, but the role of Pepper Potts is getting out of hand.  I understand that Tony Stark needs Pepper… I get that.  But when she’s wearing an Iron Man suit or going toe to toe with a bad guy because she’s all juiced up…. Yeah, stop that.

I will say that Robert Downey Jr is once again excellent as Tony Stark.  He truly was meant for that role!  I just wish that these movies didn’t try to rely so heavily on the special effects… but then again… it’s a comic book, so I’m probably putting too much thought into it.