Life of Pie

“Prepare to put mustard on those words, for you will soon be consuming them along with this slice of humble pie that comes direct from the oven of shame, set at gas mark egg-on-your-face.”

- Moss, The IT Crowd (Season 2, Episode 5)

As a perfectionist, I hate mistakes. Discovering mistakes I’ve made is extremely disturbing, and I appreciate it even less when someone else points out my shortcomings. It’s like being hit in the face with a pie. I also dislike showing others mistakes they’ve made. Doing so, I feel, is like throwing a pie in their face. In my little world, pies should be eaten and mistakes should be avoided. My employer (call them Cubicle Farm Ltd.) apparently does not share this sentiment.  Continue reading

Anger and Waste Management

“Here’s a good thing to do if you go to a party and you don’t know anybody: First take out the garbage. Then go around and collect any extra garbage that people might have, like a crumpled napkin, and take that out, too. Pretty soon, people will want to meet the busy garbage guy. ” – Jack Handy (click here for more quotes)

Armed with a garbage bag filled with yesterday’s luxuries, I headed towards the dumpster. I had done this many times before, but something was different on this one particular day. Sound was coming from the dumpster. And not just sound – words … shocking words, the kind that would make the South Park kids appear very eloquent by comparison… Continue reading

Warcraft 3: Reign of Wingdings

As a nostalgic gamer, I deliberately seek out older games that I enjoyed years ago as opposed to the latest games with the latest graphics. Being a big fan of the original Warcraft games, Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft 3 (2003) was a logical addition to my PC game library. What was not as logical was the game’s end user licence agreement… read more here

 

The Dreaded Seagull – Terror of Newfoundland

So what animals should we fear in the friendly province of Newfoundland? Moose? Caribou? Well, maybe. But the seagulls are equally ferocious … apparently.

Angry Birds – Newfoundland Style (Taken near Gander, Newfoundland)

This sign is a little unclear, though. Are seagulls only aggressive to children, or will they also lash out at anyone who acts like a child? If so, politicians should exercise extreme caution when approaching them. 

Perhaps the next election will help clear up the sign’s message. Until then, keep your children away from the bloodthirsty seagulls. 

A Joyful Noise

But Jesus answered, “If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting.” – Luke 19:40

What is that horrible noise? After taking a seat on the bus this afternoon, my ears were attacked by what some might call singing. Out of morbid curiosity, I looked around for the source. What I found was an individual who was putting as much effort into dancing as he was into his singing. It looked like he was auditioning for Canadian Idol and So You Think You Can Dance Canada at the same time! Sitting on the bus, I assumed the role of Simon Cowell. I was annoyed by my lack of a buzzer. Continue reading

Cute Enough to Eat

Following  a late lunch, the Missus and I visited our local pet store. The small shop was swarming with people trying to get a glimpse of three cute kittens. After finally seeing what all the fuss was about, and realising that the store carried more than adorable kittens, we ventured further … and discovered this: Continue reading

Greener Grass

Taiwan is only a memory away. With the diversity of folk and festivals in St. John’s, the memories are coming thick and fast. The problem with my memories of Taiwan is that they tend to be Utopian, drawing me into a life that never was. How do I accept my new reality when I keep looking back, longing for a situation that did not exist? Continue reading

Chinglish ma?

I don’t like to “rag” the Taiwanese about their English, it’s embarrassing to them, and I am ever so grateful that someone has put more effort into learning my language then I have put into trying to learn theirs, though let me mention that i don’t receive the same respect when trying to order a French kiss and vagina in my best Chinese (refer to previous blog, to blog or not to blog), just the other day I was proudly practicing the lesson I had done through my iPod and one of the people in the office said (over the laughing of everyone else) that I shouldn’t be so proud of my single sentence ability since I have been here five years after all. Well now, would you like warm glass of….??? Continue reading

To blog or not to blog…

To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Ok, I’ll admit it, Shakespeare would be turning in his grave right about now at that statement and if he were here, running at me with a pitchfork, a flaming torch and yelling, “Wherefore art thee fiend, show thyself or thou shalt forever be condemned to walk the eternal footpath of shame!”

Who hasn’t tried blogging? Raise your hand. Ok, granted, not all of us have tried this for a multitude of reasons, some are not tech savvy, some are not interested and others just don’t have anything to share or want to share anything or like me, tried and tried and tried. I on the other hand, have loads to share. 1) living in Taiwan (not Thailand) brings about all sorts of interesting stories like learning Chinese  where if you don’t get the tone right (there are 5) you could walk into a store and order anything from a French kiss to a vagina, when all you were really trying to say is, “excuse me, may I have soy milk please.” There’s no escaping this eventuality so after 5 years, you can understand why I still prefer to phone a friend and save myself any undue embarrassment, though I’ll admit this is a terrible excuse, learning Chinese really should be on my “to do” list as how can you live somewhere for this long without any communication skills? Ah yes, charades, patience and a speed dial button to an even more patient Taiwanese (not Thai) friend. “Dui bu chi, wo de zhongwun bu hao.”  Continue reading

Where There’s Smoke, There’s a ‘No Smoking’ Sign

“It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.” – Fletcher Knebel (Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1961)

One thing that makes riding the bus in an unfamiliar city slightly intimidating is not knowing what your destination looks like. Unsure of what to look for, how do you know which is your stop? With Google Maps proving to be a lousy travel mate, I had to rely on gut feeling. One late afternoon, after watching the bus pull away, I realised my ‘gut feeling’ was just heart-burn. I had no idea where I was, and there was no bus schedule in sight.

With only the general direction of the bus as a guide, I headed off to the next bus stop, hoping to find a bus schedule and some sense of direction. I eventually found both of these, along with St. John’s’ largest ash tray. Continue reading

I’ll have a Thousand Wings to Go, Please!

Until recently, the strangest English menus I’d ever seen were made in Taiwan. This is probably because English is not one of its official languages. Here in Newfoundland, Canada, that excuse does not hold up. But then again, Wing ‘n it gets my vote as producer of the craziest menu not because of typos or mis-translations, but because of its creativity and unconventionality. Continue reading

Google Maps Mayhem

“If you are facing the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.” - Buddhist saying

Trying to get around in this unfamiliar city hasn’t been easy for me. Fortunately, I have access to Google Maps. Unfortunately, I have a number of factors stacked against me. Google Maps isn’t the best navigation tool available; I have a good sense of misdirection; and I tend to panic easily. Owing to this trifecta of fail, here are some of the interesting places my broken compass has led me to. Continue reading