Sending Cameo Videos to the Wasp Hunter

Even as a self-proclaimed well put together dude, the constant pounding of bad news and the world being in turmoil is starting to wear me down.  My company has decided that we should continue to work from home until 2021.  What does this mean going into winter?  You look outside that window and see snow piling up, search the internet and either see something Trump has done or Covid cases are rising.  You’re bombarded by stats and experts warning you of everything from global warming to being in quarantine for another full year… I can’t imagine being someone that is already battling depression or anxiety.

Now that you know the world is shit…

How do comedians perform for drive-in crowds?  Do cars honk their horns when they like a joke?  The only good thing about this is that there likely isn’t a shot that you’ll get heckled while in a car.  Unless you’re repping the nutsack on the back of the truck – that’ll likely get you a chirp or two.

The one thing that’s good about this pandemic is that I get out of awkward hugs after seeing people – giving a wave is the absolute best.  The hug sometimes has a kiss on the cheek as well, I have no idea how to position myself and sometimes headbutt the person – all of this gets taken away with the wave. 

During a coed slopitch game this past week, I went way past the acceptable amount of intensity.  Playing for the ‘b’ championship in a league at the Cambridge Ice Park should only be a 5/10 intensity level.  I ripped a 9/10 by throwing my glove against the fence after the final out of a 1 run victory.  Last year the winning team received a backpack that said Cambridge Ice Park Hockey Champions (or something similar) and we were playing baseball. 

Sport car purchases are on the rise.  This is obviously a result of the world being at a stand-still and needing excitement.  Pretty sad existence by having to buy a 40k car to rip up and down Margaret Ave at 2 am, once a week.  Soon we’re going to see vehicles that have fire coming out of the back.  Maybe someone strapped to the front playing the electric guitar… wait, I think this was a movie?

Top 3 Breweries in Tri-City Area

3 – Counterpoint Brewing – good dudes and great hazy IPA’s.  They’ve stepped it up recently and released a few great porters and stouts as well.

2 – Wavemaker – Don’t brew a tonne of different beers, but when they make an IPA it’s always fantastic.

1 – Jackass Brewing – Have mastered the art of the New England IPA.  Really good guys that have a great patio in the back and the coolest symbol of all the breweries in the area.

Hunting is weird – I don’t even like seeing a deceased animal on the side of the road.  I can’t imagine wanting to kill something like a deer… One thing that I wouldn’t mind hunting is wasps – fu** those guys.  I’d have a stick that would just electrocute them one by one.  My soundtrack would just be ‘Kickstart my Heart’ by Motley Crue the entire time.  My costume would be Bam Bam Bigelow’s wrestling outfit – head tattoo and all.

I’ve never owned an umbrella – can only think of 10 times in my life that it would have really come in handy. 

Seeing memes of people dropping knowledge and using a celebrity’s picture that doesn’t make any sense is one of my favourite things.  Picture of Brad Pitt pointing at you from Fight Club talking about problems with the Liberal Government. 

There is a website called Cameo.  It has a bunch of ‘c’ and ‘d’ celebrity actors that will film a small clip and send it to someone for a fee.  There are a bunch of awesome old school wrestlers that have examples up.  If we go into full quarantine, I’m going to send random people messages from actors or athletes that they’ve never heard of before.  Fred Anderson (Zombie from Resident Evil) “wishes you a happy Wednesday, hope you are enjoying the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, and that the pancakes that you made were up to par.”

As you all (should) know, Sara had Covid at the start of all of this.  Since she’s recovered, I’ve beaten her multiple times at games that she used to own me at (Catan, Connect Four, Jaipur).  Now, she has a great excuse why I keep winning – Covid brain.  This has been her one bright spot of the pandemic.

The Whirlwind of the Past Five Years

This is my experience over the past 5 years…

For over a decade I worked in the retail field and didn’t have a desire to leave it.  It was comfortable and the money was decent enough to make a living.  It was always an assumption (of mine) that I would end up working in Real Estate or managing a big box store of some sort down the line.  Around 2 years before Future Shop closed its doors, most people could see the writing on the wall.  Instead of doing 70-80k per day on the weekend, it was dwindling down to 30-35k.  Staffing was non-existent in certain departments and sales-people were asked to be experts in all different areas of technology. I actually sold a fridge with a closing line of “that it could take a punch if you ran out of beer”. It was only a matter of time before our store in Cambridge was going to fold up and I would receive a buy-out.  At the time in my head, it did not make sense to look for a new career because of this.

Over those two years, I was determined to figure out what to do next – Real Estate, Insurance, and Managing in Retail were all possibilities… sales in tech was where I decided to go.  It wasn’t easy to get into, there were many companies that didn’t want to hire a mid-30’s retail sales dude as an Account Executive.  Most tech companies want b2b (business to business) sales experience which I did not have.  Business Development was generally a role for young adults straight out of school and had a salary that was going to be a pay cut compared to what my commissions were at FS.  Even after deciding that it was worthwhile taking the dip it was still extremely difficult to get hired into this role. Most companies figured that I would leave at the first chance I got.  That, or my expectation to move up within the company would be urgent – interviews were piling up in tech, but no bites.  There was a job at a Bell store that was sitting waiting for me, but the burnout from Retail was real for me.  I did work one day at Bell and dealt with a (Karen) customer issue of their kid streaming media while in the States and the bill was in the hundreds… that afternoon I decided to quit with no offer in hand.

Finally, I interviewed with a cybersecurity company called eSentire… I’d never heard of them and had no idea what they did.  I met with a VP at the company that was building out the Business Development program and ran the Inside Sales team as well.  This dude interviewed me in a style that I had never seen or been a part of before… no standard template of interview questions or typical fluffy banter.  It was a relaxed conversation asking me questions on how I (the style) sold computers at Future Shop and drilling into what his concerns were about hiring someone that had so much experience selling a certain way.  Instantly, my guard was down, and it felt like a real-life conversation you would have at a bar versus being judged and analyzed.  It was refreshing and I laid it all out and ended up getting the gig.

Since then it has been a crazy ride of moving into different roles and learning all sides of how tech sales works.  The easiest way to describe the fast-paced world of tech is, it is like a very addictive drug.  Every decision and direction that you take has a huge impact on the business – I have been lucky to be given a lot of free reign on the moves and vision that I have.  To make changes at most companies it has to run through multiple layers of the business before even the smallest thing can be changed.  This is not the case at most tech companies, changes are often made on the fly. This makes the job fun, and also extremely stressful.

In my case, I’m directly/have been responsible for the livelihoods of dozens of young professionals that for the most part is in the first “career” type job.  The hiring strategy that I take is that it is preferable for the candidate to have had a tough job (retail, serving, door to door, etc…) in the past. Cold calling potential prospects requires a thick skin and have already dealt with tough situations it is easier to get over that “fear” barrier. Generally, with the talented people that I have seen it takes 6 months of the job before I see the light bulb “turn on” above their head. At that point, you can generally see what skills they have to help them choose a career path to strive towards in the future. Anywhere from the 1 year to the 2-year mark they leave the nest so to speak. It’s extremely satisfying seeing people that I’ve managed to move into different areas of tech, and quickly have success… that’s my drug! If I didn’t get a chance to work with my original VP there’s no doubt in my mind that things would have ended a bit differently. He taught me that I could be myself while managing… (I’d like to think of myself as) honest, genuine, and empathetic when leading. I always had this idea in my head that you needed to “become corporate” when in charge – there is nothing further from the truth. The goal that was imprinted on my brain was that you allow people to show you their skillset, give them structure and confidence to excel in the role without hanging over them.

I’ve been lucky to have great leadership for nearly my entire time moving from eSentire to Axonify, and back to eSentire – you don’t know how important it is until it’s gone.  I have no idea where/what I will be or doing in 5 years… that used to stress me out.  Now, since living in slightly controlled chaos it does not give me the same anxiety – it’s a nice feeling.

A Strange New World

It’s been an extremely odd last couple of weeks.  I went from being a dude that was able to go out and do whatever I wanted to a guy that was restricted to his house for the majority of the day – adjustment has been difficult.  All of these articles you read telling you about the wonderful things that you could be (re)discovering while you work from home… play board games, read books, cook wonderful time-consuming dinners, watch all of the movies, etc… all of this is true.  It does take time to get used to though – when your world gets flipped upside down (bonus point for anyone that read it in the Fresh Prince tune) like it has for many of us it’s a strange existence.  It’s not the fear of getting the virus that I’m afraid of, it’s the time that it will take for things to go back to normal.

When will sports resume? Going to a pub with a buddy? Having lunch with people from work? None of these questions are even close to being answered.  Trying to stay informed is fairly easy right now with nothing else to report on (Tom Brady somehow still wins), the entire world is on pause right now.  There are a few sides that you can see on social media.  Some people are afraid and are posting things that the Government should do (becoming upset when it doesn’t happen the way they believe it should) and/or becoming vigilantes for the general public of things they see wrong.  Others (myself included) are trying to make light of the situation ease their own tension behind the severity of the virus.  Lastly, you have the realists that know we haven’t seen the peak of this, and expect things to get much worse.

I’m trying to stay positive during this whole time.  I do believe Canada got ahead of the virus quicker than other countries.  It would be difficult for me to believe otherwise.  My personality doesn’t suit a doomsday persona.  I’m abiding by all the rules and know the severity of the situation… it’s just not healthy for me to believe that I won’t be able to enjoy the company of others through the summer months – taking it week by week is the healthiest approach for my own personal sanity.  Eating properly, exercising, writing, keeping things light on social media, and staying productive while I work from home is how I’m surviving this.  Adjustments are being made daily – it’s easy to get into a mode of extreme routine.  Unfortunately, this becomes problematic after even a couple of days.

Others will have zero issues handling this.  Many people seem like they’ve been training their entire lives for this.  It really is as easy as sitting on the couch and keeping yourself entertained.  It’s interesting watching people handle this situation online.  None of it is incorrect, other than sharing misinformation.  I’m trying to keep an open mind that not everybody will handle this the same and that people on social media are scared and they’re digesting everything the only way their body will process the fear.

After this is all over there are multiple things that will be interesting to watch moving forward…

  • Will this be the kickstart that the world needs to see to try to solve global warming?
  • Is technology going to be as heavily relied on for entertainment? It’s one of our sole sources currently.
  • How will the economy bounce back? Will we go into a multi-year recession?
  • Will Governments be more prepared for the next time this happens?
  • What will Charmin (toilet paper company) do first when they purchase the country of Ukraine?

This is the weirdest situation that I’ve ever witnessed.  During 9/11 we had a bad guy(s) to blame and it was simpler to understand how to keep people safe.  This is a silent killer that we can’t blame (unless you are Trump blaming China).  The fix is not easy, it requires an adjustment across the entire world.  With over-population and the ease of travel all over the world, this virus will definitely have staying power.  In years past with deadly diseases we couldn’t travel as simply to spread it – this made it so much easier to contain.  Now we have to deal with misinformation, ignorance, unpreparedness, fear, and a global spread.  Fuck, this is depressing! It’s only been a short time of course, and at the end of the day, we are really only being told to stay home.  My job has been fantastic with the pandemic and the team that I lead has been phenomenal during this whole ordeal.  There is no doubt that my situation is ideal compared to some… it is still taking time for me to adjust, and the way I deal with processing issues is downloading my thoughts into my blog (you must sanitize your hands when leaving my brain).

Also, yes, I realize that Facetime is being used commonly to communicate.  I find it to be very similar to having a conversation with a girlfriend in grade 11 over the phone.  You are constantly interrupting each other by accident, making small talk about nothing, and struggle with when it’s time to hang up.  If I’m going to partake in a (buddy) date it will be while enjoying a pint of Guinness, asking for the bill when it’s obvious that the hangout is done (two empty Guinness glasses)… this is my preferred type of hangout.  You shake their hand or give them a hug and wander home feeling a bit better about the world.

(virtual) Cheers to hoping things get back to normal sooner rather than later.

Stay safe out there!

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Sitting in a Steamroom with Roger Gaston

The world of the selfie is strange.  “Here I am sitting on a couch – well I’m thinking I should take a picture of myself and pot it.”  Could you imagine doing that before the smartphone?  Take the film into the camera place and it’s just headshots of you.  The camera shop dude would probably think that you are either a model or an actor.  “Nope, just felt like taking a picture of my face after finishing an episode of ‘Cheers’ – might put it up on the fridge even.”

Joined the gym again – I’m back at Movati.  It’s got a few nice bonuses there.  There’s a pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, smoothie bar, basketball court, etc… So far the steam room is the place with the most entertainment.  Old dudes just don’t give a fu** – the towel is barely hanging on – spreading those legs out for comfort.  Talking politics, weather, sports, or whatever other small talk topics that are common. I’m happy that I need my glasses to see properly.  I sit there with the head down making weird noises that are commonly heard while middle-aged men are attempting to relax.  Like all of the stresses from the week are being put into a puddle on that steam room floor.

Sara and I went to the Dominican over the holidays.  It was a nice week of rest and relaxation.  They offer a VIP package at the resort that we declined.  The extra perks were your own pool area, a bar that only that group could go to, and premium liquor.  While eating at the restaurant I could see into the bar area.  There was a dude sipping a Heineken watching the Bills/Patriots game.  He’d bust out a laugh every so often while chatting with the bartender.  They were having a grand old time.  I envision this man’s name is Roger Gaston from Quebec.  He hunts whales in the winter and owns a sweatshop in China.  Roger, you don’t deserve this luxury.  Sara stopped listening after I started whining about the Heineken being drunk.

End of year benefits season is over.  I still had some wellness dollars left on the last day and needed to use every last dollar.  I’m now the proud owner of a Navage and 3 dozen golf balls.  If you’ve never seen the Navage it’s that crazy device that you put up into your nostrils to clear out your sinuses.  Even a few years back when I saw the commercial I started laughing at how ridiculous it looked.  The bastard works – it’s extremely gross though.  I always wonder if it could pull the crayon out of Homer’s brain from that episode of the Simpsons.

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Neil Peart passed away.  I wasn’t a huge Rush fan but Tom Sawyer really gets me jazzed up.  I think they should rotate the $5.00 bill every five years between Terry Fox, Gord Downie, Neil Peart, and manly (bearded) Justin Trudeau.

The family all pitched in and gave my nephew a Nintendo Switch for Christmas.  Precisely as predicted the first time I saw it being used it was the adults that played it while my nephew had to wait his turn.  “Just one more game Milo…  I know you’ve been waiting 2.5 hours, but this time I swear we’ll let you play it.”

My first real job was delivering a weekly paper to a neighborhood.  As soon as I got the job I thought to myself – I’m going to save 25% of it, give another 25% to charity, and then take the other 50% and spend it on CDs.  My first paycheque was $14.00.  I bought a Florida Marlins hat and then quit that stupid job.

The Lighthouse – 8.6/10

Brittany Runs a Marathon – 8.1/10

Cats – 9.2/10 (I actually didn’t see this movie – this rating is based on how much joy reading the reviews has given me)

As a teenager, I remember getting braces.  There was no option of Invisiline at that point – just grey steel.  Couldn’t they at least make it closer to teeth colour?   “No, no, we need the entire school to know that your teeth were fu**ed up.   Wait until your face gets full of acne as well.  All the bullying will toughen you up Daryl.”

Top 3 things that the majority of children were able to do with ease, but I struggled with it.

3 – Tying my shoes:  It took me quite a bit longer than the average child to pick this up.  I blame being a lefty (pretty shit excuse, I know).  I thought to myself one day.  “Well, I guess its Velcro shoes for life.  It won’t look weird being 38 and rocking grey Velcro shoes will it Mom?”

2 – Climbing a rope:  There were kids that would just whip up that rope in mere seconds.  I’d get two feet up and try to go without using my feet like I was Sly Stallone or something.  There wasn’t a lot of strength in the arms at that point (I lost multiple arm wrestling matches to young children).  I’d jump down and my gym teacher would shake his head disapprovingly.  After a few times, I would stretch my arms while grimacing to try to fake a slight injury.

1 – Going down the stairs like a normal human being:  I would put one foot on a step and then the other foot on the same step.  It would take me twice as long to go downstairs then the average child.  This one still boggles my mind, and I have no explanation for this.

Figure Four Leg Locks During the Holidays

The company had their work holiday party on Friday at Bingeman’s.  Later that evening we ended up at the Chainer (Chainsaw).  If you are not familiar with this bar it’s a place where you get every flavour of the human being in one place singing karaoke. There could be at any given time a 60-year-old man singing Britney Spears, to a 23-year-old playing pool against a 74-year-old war veteran, to a 45-year-old woman in a tracksuit that looked like she may have just gotten out of bed.  It’s always a good and weird time.

I’ve finally resolved the cheque and car issue. Here’s the final and maybe most painful exchange.  I think to myself that there’s no way this can end badly – finally having the documentation and cheque in hand.  The letter I received told me to go to a local Bank of Nova Scotia (I do this).

“Sir, did you purchase this car in British Columbia?”

(Trying not to laugh) “No, I purchased this car in Kitchener, Ontario”

“We can’t process this here to pay the loan off due to it being a BC loan”

“Ok (trying to stay calm), what needs to happen next?”

“We can send the paperwork off with the cheque and that will take care of the loan.”

“Great, do that… “I’m assuming that I’ll receive money back in the mail for the remaining amount I’m owed since this my loan is less than the value here?”

“I’m not sure if that’s how it works in this case. Maybe you should call the number on paper here”

“You mean the number for the Bank of Nova Scotia (the bank I’m currently in) to talk to an employee in British Columbia when I purchased and live in Ontario?”

“Yes”

“Ok…”

 

The whole Don Cherry thing makes me laugh.  This dude is going to do a podcast and be able to speak his mind on whatever topic he sees fit.  Think of it like this… When you watch shows on cable TV they have to walk every single line possible to not offend anyone (whether or not you agree with this it doesn’t matter – it’s the way it is).  This is one of the many reasons why cable TV sucks.  When a show moves to HBO or Netflix they can (practically) do whatever they want.  If you agree or don’t agree with his points of view he will not be (as) filtered with whatever he decides to do next.  I also bet that he won’t be nearly as entertaining because of this.  Half of his shtick was that he was able to get away with saying things that nobody else would dare to say.  This made watching him entertaining in a cable TV environment.

If you want to feel like an idiot attempt an Adventure Room with the level set to difficult.  I’d still be in there from 3 months ago if it wasn’t a game.  Who the fu** knows to breathe on the mirrors?  Screw you Adventure Room.

Figure four leg locks hurt.  As a child, my brother put me into one at the age of 6.  This went on for at least 3 minutes longer than it should of.  I still don’t know what could have possibly got me into this situation.  Just reading a Dr Seuss book – turning to page 5 then being ripped off of the couch and thrown into a wrestling move was an average Wednesday afternoon in Listowel, Ontario.

When banks see weird activity on your account they will put a hold on your card.  This happened recently to me.  When calling in their second question was what I purchased last Thursday afternoon worth $23.56.  What kind of question is this?  I felt like asking if I should take a stab at it (sounds like a lunch type purchase).  I’d have a better shot at Flyers trivia.  Give me a question like what was the worst Flyers signing in the history of their franchise (Ilya Bryzgalov)?

Top 3 most memorable holiday retail moments:

3) After a busy day at work one of the managers comes out and tells me to check the guy’s washroom (with a huge grin on his face).  This is not a good way to start a conversation.  I walk in and everything seems normal – until I check the urinal.  Somebody decided to go number 2 in the urinal… Really felt bad for the cleaning people that evening.

2) (Told by the GM of the store) older gentleman walks up to our GM of the store and asks where these arrows are taking him?  GM is extremely confused by this question and asks what arrows? The dude was pointing to the fast forward symbols (Future Shop’s logo) asking him where they led.  He was just walking in circles in the store…

1) A girl walks into the store with 4 huge bags of clothes (this is already on the radar for theft – who doesn’t leave giant bags of clothes in their car when purchasing a computer).  She asks for a Mac – asking zero questions.  I decide to have some fun with this.  “Are you sure you don’t want this $3k one instead?” Agreeing to take the higher end one I begin to fake put the purchase through.  “Oh shoot, I have to call for authorization – I’m going to take your card to the back.”  As I sit there and pretend that I’m doing this we have a camera and we can see this girl beginning to freak out as she’s pacing in front of the counter.  I then ask her for ID trying not to grin (we called the police already).  “Why do you need my ID,” she asks angrily.  “Because you have a stolen credit card and are attempting to purchase a $3k MacBook without asking a single question you dipshit.” (I didn’t say any of that).  She took off right after that and I won an award basically for not being an idiot.

Pocketing Discounted Halloween Candy in a Pink Floyd Jean Jacket

My entire team dressed as me for Halloween.  I’ve got a few quirks that they nailed (two glasses of water, cold-pressed juice, scowl, beard, leather jacket, legs crossed, etc…).  I assumed that they were up to no good when I kept on receiving texts asking when I was going to get in.  My new car was supposed to be picked up a couple of hours earlier but I thought I would relax a bit and allow the team to sweat.  I almost decided to not go in at all to really throw them off – didn’t have the heart to do that, unfortunately. It was pretty cool to see a bunch of mini-Daryl’s.

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One thing about a beard is that it can get out of control quickly if you don’t keep an eye on it.  Got up one morning and was a little bit foggy.  While looking in the mirror I could have really passed for a man that has lived in the wilderness for years.  My salesman hands would give it away that this was not the truth.  I’ve had to get others in the office open up difficult bottles.

I’ve made it my mission to try to not talk about how winter is coming as a small talk topic.  This is nearly impossible as every person that is an acquaintance speaks about this first.  When I respond with “buttery popcorn makes my hands greasy”  as a response they usually look confused and leave.  Maybe this is ok…

Terminator: Dark Fate – 7.2/10

Zombieland 2 – 5.2/10

Caribou is playing an extremely tiny venue in the New Year.  They’ve become extremely big and this could be a rare thing to happen going forward.  While seeing them in Guelph years ago I had a chance to meet Dan Snaith (the mastermind behind the band).  He was sitting in this weird green room right by the washroom.  Thought it might be awkward to have him sign my vinyl after coming out of the can though.

Just completed the necessary week of sugar intake.  Discount Halloween candy is impossible to say no to.  “Why yes, I do need 90 mini chocolate bars for $5.00.”  After 7 of them, you begin to feel sick.  Then you do this daily until the box is gone.  Rinse and repeat the following year.

Had to YouTube how to start my new car. I’m sure the dude that sold it to me was trying to figure out what was going on.  It’s a push-button and the brakes need to be held down while pressing the button.   I also had to YouTube how to open the gas tank.  If it wasn’t for YouTube I’d still be sitting in a parking lot in London.

Top 3 very small town things that I did as a teenager.

3) Threw ice cubes off of the cows that would approach the fence for fun.  I really found it hilarious that they would just stare at me and not even be affected by the ice cubes.  Had hours of fun with this one.

2) Wore a Pink Floyd jean jacket (I’m not sure how small town this is but should be brought up) out to the mound during my pitching days.  This combined with a hefty mullet looked extremely intimidating – this allowed complete domination of Walkerton and Kincardine on a consistent basis.

1) Getting stuck while on a beverage tour (drive to a side road and drink “beverages”).  The snow started to come down heavily.  As we discussed the Chemistry test (this is how it’s remembered by me anyways) that was just taken – the group decided that we’d be fine.  This was not the case and required a farmer with a tractor to get us out of the ditch.  His head shake (you bunch of idiots) was classic.

Checking out Local Libraries in Las Vegas

Was in Vegas recently for a conference.  It’s really a shot to the senses there.  Characters everywhere, flashing lights, giant crowds, money being thrown around, alcohol flowing, and degenerates all about.  Perfect place to bring a child if you want them to see the worst part of humanity all at once.  I do really love it there.

Went to Steeltown (Pittsburgh) a week later for a baseball and golf trip with a few buddies.  You’d really like to think that we got up to no good.  Well, the one night we did hit three bars and had appetizers at all three of them.  Then ended up at a duelling piano bar.  We almost decided to go to the local library but thought we had enough for one evening.

The drive is extremely pleasant to Pittsburgh.  Once you get used to their obsession with fireworks and focus on the mountains instead you’re instantly put into a good mood.  Their ability to combine ridiculous things in one store is impressive.  Fireworks and Karate supplies was a good example of this.  “Honey, we need to grab nunchucks, a ninja star, and some fireworks.  Look online to see if there’s a local store that provides all of this in one location.”

Old Vegas has kind of a cool vibe.  Until you actually want to go to bed.  There’s live music cranked until around 3 am.  When you are sitting in your hotel room it feels like you are inside of Miley’s Cyrus’ head and are attempting to find a safe place to hide but she’s coming to get you with all of the drugs shortly.

Bill Callahan is my new favourite summer vibe.  He just speaks to an acoustic guitar with lyrics that flow effortlessly to the next verse without really making any sense.  Bill Callahan also seems like the name of a guy that a 63-year-old man would meet for breakfast every other Sunday at a restaurant called Buddy’s Place. They are known for the $3.99 special – with endless coffee.  Bill Callahan stays there for a minimum of 2 hours – then Gloria calls to remind him that she has to head out to get her hair down.

Heading to a cottage for the long weekend.  I just enjoy being around water.  Don’t even need to go in it.  Calming nature noises and a body of water is good for the soul.  Until the damn mosquitos come out.  There’s nothing more enraging than being eaten alive by those fu**ers.  What evolutionary purpose do they have?  Bugs that constantly search for blood.  When they get the blood they make an extremely annoying itchy bump.  They should change the name of Mosquitos to fu**ing a**holes.

While writing all of that I scratched myself 4 times and my blood pressure rose by a significant amount.  Wonder what Bill Callahan is up to right now – bet you it’s something cool?

Went to the horse races recently.  This was a team event for work.  It never really occurred to me that we’d be the youngest group there by about 30 years.  This was pointed out to me by a colleague asking me to count how many people had grey hair there.  After 10 I stopped and said that they had proved their point.  Then they wanted me to continue on.  This person no longer works with me (just kidding – I’m hilarious I know).

Pretty sure I’d be dead within 3 minutes if I fought in World War II.

Top 3 worst shirts that I’ve worn/owned at any point of my life.

3 – White Zombie 666 Bad Mutha Fu**a.  I was asked to take this shirt off in high school.  At the time I was somewhat rebellious (mostly not – this was an act).  I put up a bit of a stink and was sent to the Principal’s office (I pretended to have an attitude but I was actually very terrified).

2 – Big Johnson – Softball “slow or fast have a blast”.  Ladies couldn’t resist a gangly, geeky, 6’0” tall dude with this shirt on.  Surprised that I was single for so long.

1 – Beavis and Butthead Tommy Pull My Finger.  Don’t even need to crack a joke about this one.  I wore it on my 19th birthday to the strip club in Waterloo.  A waitress asked me what I wanted to drink and I instantly went to grab for my ID.  Really played it cool Daryl.

Eating Lucky Charms with Britney in Vegas

Rule of thumb is to never look at anything on the internet.  My Instagram feed is full of credit card offers, hotel deals in Las Vegas, and Chicago Bears merchandise.  I’m trying to look at memes of kittens saying human things.  Don’t have time for an ad about Britney Spears being an unbelievable show and life-time experience that you won’t want to miss.  Just a couple of side questions though.  Has anybody seen her before?  Is it really a lifetime experience?  How many outfit changes does she do?

While driving to work the other day I noticed a handmade cardboard sign that said “Need Website?” with a phone number right below. You’d think they could try just a wee-bit harder than that.  “Oh, June, I was thinking about making a website.  Let’s give this number a call and see if they can help.”  I don’t know why I used the name June – nobody has been named that in 37 years.

Try not to watch much TV in the summer.  I find that outdoor activities are required to keep the mind in a solid-state to go through the grind of winter.   By the time April rolls around, I’ve just decided to not wear a jacket out of spite.  I’ll still complain that I’m cold, but out of stubbornness, I will not wear that jacket another fu**ing day.

My company has massage chairs at work. Unfortunately, I’ve already claimed that in sales you are not allowed a stress relief at work at any point and have to stick to my guns.  You drink and smoke if you are stressed out.  That’s how Don Draper did it and that’s how I do it (I don’t actually smoke).  Those chairs do look like a delight though.

I received a Bluetooth speaker for my birthday last year.  My vinyl collection has come to a complete halt.  Flipping over the record after three songs is sooo much work.  Is anybody available to be paid in craft beer to flip the record for me?  You will also need to listen to me complain about the weather, work, and the dude that was cutting the grass at 7 am on Thursday.

My beard has come in (fairly) full.  This is the first time that I’ve actually received compliments on it.  This is what it feels like to become a man eh?  It only took 40 years but it was well worth the wait.  Still waiting on those compliments on my physique – I’m sure that will be any day now.

Turning 41 in a few days.  Ageing is interesting.  When you are young you feel like there must a switch that gets flipped and you become a wise older person.  My brain works exactly the same as it did when I was 21.  Every time I go through the cereal aisle I pick up a Lucky Charms box and say to myself “you’ve earned this cereal because you walked the golf course today.”  Then I look down the aisle and see that stupid box of Bran Flakes and make the right decision.  Then I talk shit to my own body for sucking.  “Yeah, stomach – because of you we can’t have delicious things.”

As mentioned I’m hitting Vegas in about a week.  This will be a work conference.  I have to lead the team properly and not get up to any shenanigans.  “Ok, Daryl, is that a good enough pep talk for you?”

Top 3 lies that you tell yourself when you go on vacation.

3 – I’m going to put the phone away for the entire week.  No social media, no work, and no web surfing.  Within 13 minutes of the newest book (of the 3 that you picked up) you are watching a dog run around a horse in circles while the horse gets fired up.

2 – That you will read any of those 3 books mentioned above.

1 – That you made the right decision going with the cheaper resort that had kids there and not the adult-only option.

Top 5 Albums of 2018

5) Beach House – 7

Beach House has really grown into the sound over the years. Earlier albums seem to lack identity – filtering in and out of dream pop and psychedelia. This album is the perfect mix of both but added in a haunting feel to it. The key to the entire record is the added deep percussion. It’s really just about a band that has hit their groove at an exact time. This is also a masterfully edited album. It isn’t often where you’ll notice the sounds working perfectly together that are not always a standard instrument. The deep heavy keyboards create the haunting sound that perfectly sets the mood of “7”.  Top song of this record is “Black Car”.

 

4) Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance

This dude can pump out music. With a mix of acid jazz, rock, and a Cornell style voice. It’s a weird mix but works extremely well on this record. Walker seems to be some type of musical madman with the types of sounds he makes. Not afraid to test the boundaries of any type of instrument. There is flute, saxophone, tall bass, and recorder on top of the standard drums and guitar. It’s poetry in motion as his voice finds the niche of the sound. When asked to describe his sound I can’t do it. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard. There are points where I feel like I’m in a car chase and then others where I’m having a hot chocolate around a campfire. This is the draw of Ryley Walker. The top song on the album is “Telluride Speed”. (couldn’t find a good live feed of this tune – this concert is solid though)

 

3) Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

My boy has done it again. This album took a solid 5 or 6 listens before I really got into it. It’s really a mashup between his previous two albums with a bit of Courtney Barnett mixed in there. At the end of the day, Vile is trying to get you to have the feel of a long hair dude wearing a leather jacket with headphones in, head bobbing in a downtown area. The entire record has a coolness to it. It never really steps on the gas at any point, but you feel accomplished once through it. Of course, Vile’s guitar skills are on center stage as always. His sound comes so naturally out of him that would be impossible for another artist to attempt it. The top song on the record is “Check Baby”.

 

2) Wild Pink – Yolk In The Fur

Opened up Pitchfork on a random day in June and read a review on this album. Seemed to be right up my alley in regards to sound. Slow burn rock with an unassuming lead singer that had a bit of a Built to Spill vibe. One of the best parts of this record is how it flows from one song into another. In the days of Spotify, this is a rarity. This is supposed to be listened to from start to finish. Wild Pink does a phenomenal job of taking you to one part of your senses and then turning on a dime to another part. Soft vocals with a mild guitar straight to a solo. This is a bit of a throwback album to the early 2000s. They have minimal use of keyboards and mixers. This is an album that tells a rock story. Soft Grandaddy to hard Built to Spill. It mixes everything in. “The Séance on St. Augustine St.” is the tune to check out.

1) Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

I’m sure you’ve heard me speak about this band. One of the coolest fu**ing bands that I’ve seen/heard over the past decade. The guitarist is a wonderfully talented musician – one of the best currently. Underrated is the supporting instruments. The drums and bass all revolve around the lead guitar. Creating a nest to support any unique sound that comes out of his mind. From top to bottom this album will make you feel fantastic. It’s meant to be thrown on while sitting on the dock at the water of your cottage. It’s nearly impossible to not be in a good mood or be put at ease when Khruangbin has been thrown onto the stereo. This record has been on my heavy rotation for the entire year. Best album of the year with a bullet. Song to check out is “Maria Tambien”.

Watching Gritty get Inducted into the Level of Excellence

Sitting in Smile Tiger having a muffin and a tea while writing this.  This is not a common occurrence.  This is mainly because I don’t want Sara to come home to a bachelor pad.  I’ve hired a cleaning lady to take care of things.  Some would call that laziness; others would call that smartly outsourcing.

Gritty (the new Flyers mascot) is absolutely my favourite thing right now.  There was an ad that had Jimmy Fallon and Ricky Gervais dancing in a room and Gritty wanders by and decides to get involved in the dance party.  Ricky and Gritty start shoving each other which ends up turning into a fight with Fallon trying to break it up.  Amazing!

Read an article about John Gibbons getting a spot in the level of excellence.  One division title, two playoff appearances, and .501 winning percentage over 11 or 12 years.  Only in Toronto would this be considered “excellence”.  Remember joke blog.  Please for the love of all things that are actually excellent don’t go down the rabbit hole of “I love Gibby” comments.  Stop typing, don’t do it, don’t hit enter… Damn it!

I’ve booked a trip to Arizona with a buddy of mine.  It’s always enjoyable to spend 4-5 days pretending like you are a retired old white man.  The streets are wide (not sure how anybody could possibly get into an accident), everybody is moving at a slow to even slower pace, conversations are only about sports or the weather.  I find this enjoyable for a very small amount of time.

I tried out for a football team when I was in Grade 9.  The thought was that I was very accurate throwing a baseball – football should translate well.  My first practice I took a fairly decent hit.  That was the end of the football dream.

There are at least 6-7 dogs that I know personally that I’m fairly certain I could beat in a 100 metre race.  I’m not talking tiny dogs – full size dogs.  Dogs don’t have the same motivation for success as humans.  I even know a few dogs that would fake an injury.  “oh, my poor paw, I stepped on a rock.” Quoting dogs is weird.

Went to the Rock Spa recently.  They have this steam shower thing that’s somewhat cool.  You sit on this stool and steam begins to rise from the floor.  It does feel kind of like you’re in a gas chamber, but once you get over that sensation it’s kind of neat.  They have a radio in there as well.  I assumed that the music would be pre-set to something soothing.  Nope, Bruno Mars was being ripped while steam filled my insides.  I did quickly think to myself “Well, this is how I go out”.

When I pass away I would like the line of funeral cars to go onto the 401 all the way to Toronto during rush hour.  This would entertain me from a distance.

You would think being a 40-year-old man that I could take care of myself properly.  Went camping recently with the family and I forgot my belt, toothbrush, and almost my pillow (twice).  Standing up to go to the bathroom I had to hold my pants up.  Brushed my teeth with my finger.  There is no way another human could be trusted in my care.

How many people in Canada and the US have been named Art or Chet in the past 10 years?  I’m going to go with under 90 people in total.  Chet always seemed to be the name of a dude that had one too many Bud Light’s and was going to pick a fight with a nerd (his words not mine). “Hey, why don’t you grab a book and read it.”  That was always Chet’s top insult.  Really got Art and Morris going.

 

Looking back on the summer I feel that it was one of the best weather wise in the past decade.  I give Mother Nature 9.2/10 for this past summer.  You are up in Radiohead album rating territory Mother Nature.  You should be very proud of yourself.