Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jason's Montreal

(This is what Google Images says Old Montreal looks like. I have to agree.)

Okay, there's no way this is an actual guide to Montreal. I was in the town for 25 hours (11 a.m. Tuesday to 12 p.m. Wednesday) for a business meeting and this is a wholly unbelievable amount of time to form any sense of a foreign city, but I've always loved reading the 1-2 page summary of a place in the famous Frommer's travel guides. They attempt to sum up a culture, customs, local attractions, and etc in only a couple of pages and it's unintentionally hilarious. I've got 3 or 4 Frommer's that I'll have to scan the summary pages of so you can see what I mean. [New theory: Did Frommer's inspire Borat? Discuss.] Anyway, this is my attempt at a satirical Frommer's summary based on information gathered during my brief stay. None of this is meant to be insulting; it's just my goofy sense of humor. Feel free to make any corrections, especially you, 'Frenchgirl'. I wanted to talk to you before I left but didn't have time.

Montreal is located in the province of Quebec in the country of Canada, which is otherwise filled with Canadians except in Quebec, which is filled with displaced Frenchmen. These Frenchmen are a proud bunch and are afraid their language is being displaced by English which is the language of the rest of Canada who are displaced Englishmen themselves. Some countries such as Switzerland, whose primary language is not English, actually print the word 'stop' on their stop signs. This is convenient for English-speaking travelers but must feel like a cop out to the local population. It is for this reason that the Quebeckers print the word 'arrêt' on all their signs. To pound the point home, the arrêt sign is used at every intersection regardless of logic. There are no yield signs or roundabout intersections to make travel more efficient. Travellers will quickly learn the word, arrêt, via vigorous repetition.

Montrealtors are very capable drivers despite what most would consider to be tight quarters. They move quickly when needed and generally understand what their respective lanes are for. This is a good thing because there is an intersection every 20 feet and a lot of time can be lost if the driver hesitates to make the right move. This is also an opportunity for the traveller to see more of the city as he/she attempts to correct the inevitable navigational errors. Speed traps are virtually unheard of because there is little time and space in which to accelerate beyond the posted limit.

Compounding the navigational difficulties is the fact that there are actually two Montreals. Montrealites founded Old Montreal some time ago and lived there while constructing the regular Montreal, which is where the newer taller buildings are situated. If unsure which Montreal you have arrived at, simply find a Montrealian and recite the following question "Dites-moi s'il vous plaît si j'ai un grand fond?" and they will indicate to you which version of Montreal you are standing in.

(The author spotted no less than 6 navy blue Mazda Protege5 stationwagons, indicating that Montrealholics appreciate fine automobiles.)

Montrealitans appreciate healthy dining for the most part and there is much less junkfood than other places in North America which may appear to be sponsored by Hostess and Long John Silvers (see Frommer's USA). Excellent dining options are located in both versions of Montreal. Because both Montreals are located near a large ocean, sea food is both common and recommended.

Music can be a contentious subject in either Montreal. Most residents prefer listening to 70's vintage disco or Stereolab (bonjour!) while in bars and gathering places. Some Montrealters and other Quebeckians have made attempts at crafting Hip Hop musical forms but have generally failed due to their overwhelming whiteness and inability to sound tough.

There is currently no plan for the evil George Bush to annex either Montreal, which is a shame.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thanks Nattyman

Fellow blogger Nattyman posted a neat Newsweek article about globalization and the former dominance of the Western world by Fareed Zakaria. It appeared in Newsweek on 5/5. It's 7 pages long but reads quickly. I posted some comments on Nattyman's blog but thought it worth reposting here. I know some of you will disagree with my conclusions but I think you'll find it a good read anyway.

I disagree with some of the minor points about terrorism (we fight terrorism not because we're afraid of being killed individually but because it's a grave injustice.) and socialized medicine (cheaper for employers, tragically expensive for tax payers financially and physically) but agree with the overall conclusions.

The evidence really is all around us and I mean this in a positive way. Take a look at the aircraft mfg'ers in Wichita. International sales are brisk and providing tens of thousands of jobs locally.

If we Americans really want to compete globally we need to continue with the ideas we've exported. The same ones that took us from farmers and settlers to THE world super power in 150 years time. Capitalism and free markets. Those aren't dirty words.

Benny Hinn Gettin It Done

Benny Hinn smackin em up and layin em down!

Either there are a bunch of paid actors in the crowd at his events or it's a prime example of mob mentality or peer pressure. Maybe it's both.

But you have to admit that this footage is high-larious with the cheesy emo hard rock playing. You don't even have to have size 4XL pants and arcade button ear rings to appreciate this.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Where We've Been

Hello Wheatland Mission folks and other Wichita buddies we haven't seen in a while. We miss you but haven't been feeling all that well lately. Last weekend I was the problem child. More back issues. I collapsed in pain in the parking lot the Friday before. All my lower back muscles were spasming at the same time. It was pain level 10, worse than the kidney stone I had once.

Luckily my dad-in-law suggested I see an anesthesia specialist for an epidural steroid injection. I got one later that day (ouch) and things got much, much better a day or two later but I was in no shape to sit in a chair Saturday. Things have really improved tremendously since the injection a little over a week ago. I still have a pinched nerve but it's manageable for now and may go away once the disc shrinks in maybe a month or so. If it doesn't shrink I may have to have surgery.

Anthony is the party pooper this weekend. The Lil Guy has had a fever off and on, but not much else. He gets to go to the doctor tomorrow.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Poop on Amici's.

I don't want this to be a long drawn out post like I'm apt to do on things like this, but let me just sum it up with this statement: Amici Italian restaurant at 37th St North and Rock Rd stinks. Don't waste your money there.

The wait staff is slow and unprofessional, although nice. The beef is tough and the prices are high. Don't bother bringing kids because they don't have a kids menu. At all. They also don't serve breakfast anymore. The entire time we were there we heard more about what they couldn't or wouldn't do than what they would be happy to do for us paying customers. We sat there and took it without getting grouchy or demanding, wishing we had left before the food arrived. The receipt I entered into Quicken (accounting s/w) said $58. This was for two adults and one child. No appetizers, no dessert, no booze.

If you do eat there against my advice, keep your receipt. You may find when you get your bank statement that they gave themselves an additional $10 tip. I've thought about going back in there to demand my $10 back but I don't have the original receipt, just a comparison to what I entered in Quicken and my bank statement which was $10 higher. $68 for poor service and bad food. Really chaps my hide.

So Amici is on my poop list. Luckily it's a short list, but you know how gung ho I get about these things. Don't get me started about Jack Miller Subaru in Olathe, KS or Buxman Motors in Newton, KS. My advice on that is never take your car to the dealership to get repaired unless it's under warranty. Even then, be prepared for a fight.

Friday, May 16, 2008

More Jason Approved Music

Jason Approved Music

Go forth and purchase.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Crazy John

Don't Touch Me!