Saturday, September 28, 2013

RUSH - Movie review

My wife and I are of different times insofar as the mid 1970's goes. I remember some of the going on in F1, watching some of the races, I knew of the rivalries , World Driving Championship outcomes, and other events.

She has come to know F1 because I watch every race in a season, either at 6:55 Sunday morning, or recorded on the PVR. Aside from that, F1 means nothing to her.

Between us, we viewed the movie through different interests insofar as the topic of racing goes, but both came away talking about what an excellent movie we had just seen.

Set in a time when racing was far more dangerous than it is today, Ron Howard does an excellent job of telling the story of race car drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt. I won't spoil the movie for you if you don't know how it ends, but even if you do remember the season, the events, the drivers, this is likely a story that you'll thoroughly enjoy. The casting is incredible in that Niki's accent is spot on, and both are dead ringers for the original men. Little known Daniel Bruhl is an incredible likeness to Lauda, and the character portrayal and accent are amazing.

Chris Hemsworth plays James Hunt, the Playboy/bad boy to a T, and between them we get a glimpse of what the "behind the scenes" life can be like in a world charged with the egos of people who have to be a little "out there", willing to strap themselves to a fuel tank with an engine at speeds that defy the average persons ability to even process information, let alone make a driving decision. Let's face it, these guys are all a little nuts.

You don't have to be an F1 fan to become completely involved in this very entertaining movie.

 Statler and Waldorf give this one "Two thumbs up"


Perhaps I live under a rock, but I had no idea this was available. I had seen the ticket upgrades at the kiosk, but didn't know what the D-Box up sell was. Moving seats...

The floor rumbles in the last row behind the D-Box enough for me, and I don't know that I wouldn't have found it distracting... I don't have to be "there" to enjoy the movie.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Bombers, IGF, buses, and the food

So it was our first trip to Investors Group Field. Some of me was curious to see what sort of stadium Asper built started, but mostly I thought that by buying a ticket this late in the season, they'd have a decent team.

Well... maybe I'll just focus on the stadium since I'm not really an arm chair coach, and I think that any team that implodes on a 20 point lead... well let's say that attendance was down, and will likely continue to slide.

You see, attending costs money, and opportunity cost. "What else could I be doing?" I could have been going to the cabin... but we decided to go see a game.

We took the bus. The trip there was probably the best part of the evening. The 36 super express was right on time and got us pretty much to the door. No after getting "scanned", we looked for signs to help us find our section. 228. Numbers other than "Level 200" were no where to be seen, so I suggested that we try the section on our left.        Wrong!

Next side. Sure, I suppose that the lower section and upper section numbers would correspond, but since the sign I looked at simply said "Level 200", I made some assumptions. I think a sign with the section numbers would be clearer, but maybe this was just an issue for me.

Now we had found our section. It was about 15 minutes before kick off, so we stood in line at "Gridiron Grill". We stood... and stood... and stood... and wondered aloud what was taking so long. Kick off came and went, as did the first quarter. We stood in line for two burgers for 35 minutes. Ovation Foods had a sign on the condiments, "Tell us how we're doing".

You really want to know? BRUTAL. There were two lines, and one was substantially faster, so much so that people who were behind us left the line we were in and went to that one (obviously paying more attention) and were served before we even ordered. Listen, I don't mind $10 for a burger and fries but the service was so uncoordinated I can't even imagine how you could fix it aside from a clean sweep of staff... or a training day that didn't include the pressure of customers.

It took about 8 minutes between actually ordering and receiving your food. Not bad if you're at a restaurant, but we were not... we were at a fast food joint at a foot ball game.

The girl at the till was SO flustered that SHE signed my credit card receipt. You can't make shit like this up... it was a brutal wait, one I'll never do again. Lemme tell you what you can do with your Winkler wiener.

(add to that, we missed the first 1/4, which was the best part of the game)

The seats were ok, although we were pretty high up. As far as the venue goes, it was nice. You could see the field, see the jumbotron... it was a little smoky though. How much smoke can billow from the concessions? A lot I guess... you can see it wafting in front of the field lights.

Getting out wasn't too bad, but that bus route I liked so much doesn't run after 7pm, so we rode the bus to the Osborne BRT Station and transferred on Osborne. Didn't wait too long and caught another bus north bound (16) and got off at the Bay downtown. Here is where things get a little sketchy. We missed the 15 because we didn't run and jay walk. We took the 14 and walked home. While I'm not sure I liked figuring out the routes I needed to take on the fly (yes, I assumed the 36 would still run), the transportation was probably the least aggravating part of the evening.

All in all, I'm not rushing to go back any time soon, and if I do, I'll take a bus. I'll probably wait until they have a product on the field worth paying admission to see. This loss was so bad, someone should call Lapolice  the police.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A trip to the dump. More fun than it should be.

It seems that I seem to have issues with most City of Winnipeg services. The landfill is no different.

I attended the "dump" this evening with a loaded trailer. As I pulled onto scale #1 (scale #2 is regularly CLOSED), the nice attendant (at 7:16 pm) said, "You're a little heavy, so I'll have to ask you to weigh back on your way out."
"Why's that? I thought the sign said "Pickup trucks and single axle trailers $11"".
"You're allowed 500kg free garbage, but after that it's prorated at $46.50 a tonn."

I drove off to unload and returned after beating the tar out of my full time 4wd, scraping the underbelly on the brutally deficient donkey path. I considered my self very fortunate that I didn't hear the ominous "hisssssssssss" so typical of a visit to the finely oiled machine known as Brady Road. After being told where to dump, I left my trailer full behind and drove back to the scale.

"You dumped 800kg, so that will be $34.80."
"Umm. What about the 500 free kilos, and the prorated charge?"
"Well sir, you have to pay on the entire load after 500 kilo. Had you dumper 600 kilo, I would have charged you about $26. We charge you for everything in the load if it's over 500 kilo."
"But that's NOT what you told me. YOU said it's prorated. You do understand what prorated means... right?
"I just work here."
""Well I just work somewhere too, but my boss would hold me to account if I gave out bad information."
"All the information is on the website, and if you have a problem with that, you can call 311."

Ahh yes. The inept public employee, proud member of CUPE, defender of all things good like water and the public services we all rely on, and likely well compensated in spite of her inability to understand the meaning of the words she strings together in a sentence tells me to go to hell call 311. Isn't THAT choice. Send me to some other useless branch of the city that will promise...nothing and deliver even less.

"BFI dump is at least honest. They advertise a price for pickups and trailers and actually charge THAT price, not some game you play here. Quite a scam you have going!"

"Go there then. Have a nice evening."

This is the level of service you can expect at pretty much every City run facility. "I don't give a shit, no one can fire me, and you can't even complain to my boss because 311 won't let you near them."

Pro rated. I assumed that meant that AFTER the "free 500 kg" they'd charge me, and even THAT goes against everything their signage indicates.

A review of the site she referred me to concurs with everything but her own inability to use the word "prorated" in a sentence correctly.

That said, I don't know how to set my bathroom scale under the wheels of my trailer and weigh my garbage. Maybe if I weighed every item before I put them into the trailer. Even the web site is confusing.

The picture shows lane 2 (never open) as being for pick-up trucks and trailers... that's the ONLY sign there.

Brady Road Resource Management Facility (Brady Road Landfill) entrance sign
You'd just believe that when you have a pick-up truck, or a car with a trailer (as I did), that you're in for $11.


You're in a vehicle OVER 1/2 Ton. Is that over a half ton... like a 3/4 ton truck? Like a one ton truck?

WTF are you meaning to say on your sign? do you mean all loads over a half a tonne? You see, words have meanings. Are we talking weight? tare, gross? vehicle description? The pictures indicate a 1/2 ton truck a car with a trailer... lane 2, so if you CLOSE lane 2, I have to go through lane 1. NOW you weigh me, regardless of the fact that I am driving neither of the two vehicles pictured.

You're a cheat.

If you mean all loads that tare over 500 kilos (as in a half a tonne) then SAY half a TONNE, don't say over a 1/2 ton. Did you consult with a weasel to determine how to screw people over more effectively?

Randy Park is the head cheese there, (epoisses cheeses I assume, at least the way it smelled when I was there). Did you authorize this sign... and the unclear web info? Perhaps you could review the training for folks at the scale. Teach them how to use the word "prorated".

Don't even get me started on the provincial "tax everything" environmental levy of $8.00 . Didn't you already tax the consumable items I am now discarding? Taxing me again, are you?

Typical terrible service, no one to complain to, and most of all, no one who cares.