January 26, 2010

A Peeping Tom's Perfect Location

Category: Miscellany — Cranky @

When I look out my office window I can see two tall apartment buildings, the “Icon Towers”. The first was completed last year, and the plan was for these two towers to be the tallest residential buildings in the city.

I looked at buying a suite in that building when it was in the planning stages, but the price for units 600 square feet in size was exorbitant. The penthouse units were over $1,500,000. For that price you got 1846 square feet and massive windows through which one can take in an unparalleled view of the city. Unparalleled, but boring. Why they put the huge windows on the north face, I have no idea. The river valley, golf courses, and parkland is south. To the north is a derelict airport and a flat, featureless landscape.

Then up went tower two, and it’ll be completed this year. It’s immediately north of the first one, and taller by five or six floors. It completely blocks the great view from the penthouse of tower one. Now you stare into the back of another building, and all for the low, low price of a million and a half dollars. If I owned a penthouse in tower one I’d be furious.

The thing is, they planned from the start to build the tower with a crappy view. All they had to do was reverse the plan for tower one and things would have been fine.

Sometimes I just shake my head and wonder how people that short-sighted can be trusted with such enormous sums of money.


July 30, 2009

Unnecessary Exaggeration

Category: Miscellany — Cranky @

I’ve got something to say, damn it. Listen, and listen good.

Don’t say “infinitely” if you aren’t talking about something that is “infinite”. I don’t care how vast you perceive the gap to be, Led Zeppelin is not “infinitely” better than Nickleback. They’re just much, much better.

Don’t say “literally” when you mean “figuratively”. If you were literally blown away, you should be in tiny pieces all over the walls.

Don’t refer to anything other than Nazis as Nazis. I don’t care how mean and overbearing your boss is, unless he’s gassing minorities or invading a neighbouring eastern European country, he’s not being a Nazi.

Don’t say “drank the kool-aid” when you mean “buying the company propaganda”. No matter how much you think the company is lying, the CEO isn’t Jim Jones, and they aren’t promoting mass suicide.

All of these examples involve making something small into something bigger than it needs to be. If you can’t get your point across without being ridiculous, just shut up.


April 18, 2006

Bad Beer

Category: Miscellany — Cranky @

I’ve never really been somebody who enjoys pale beers. I prefer the taste of pop to that of most lagers. When I was about 20 years old I discovered that I prefer darker ales, and primarily Guinness. I’ll drink a Molson Canadian if I can’t find a diet coke, and everybody else is drinking, but when there’s beer left over at my poker games it’s untouched when the next one rolls around.

On Saturday I was out with a buddy, and the place we were at only served three kinds of beer on tap – two I disliked, and one I’d never tried. Millers Genuine Draft. So MGD it was.

You know that yucky taste you get when you haven’t put enough juice crystals in your pitcher, and it’s clearly just insufficiently flavoured water? That was my first impression. Second came the realization that the foam on top of it resembled nothing so much as dishwater suds when the dishes are nearly done. Finally, it seemed like somebody had carefully coloured that water by delicately pissing in it.

I only drank half of it, but that was more than enough. It was bad beer. Bitter, pointless, unsubstantial beer. Why would people drink this? It’s got no redeeming qualities. It’s about as robust as kool-aid made by a family on a budget, and leaves a horrendous aftertaste. After 150 years of brewing, how come they couldn’t make it reasonably tasty?

It’s not even really cheap. I can only assume that it survives because of generations of families have kept their heads in the sand and swore by their brand. “This was my daddy’s beer, damn it, and it must be just fine. No, I won’t try anything different.”

I’ve tried some bad beers in my day. I’ve got family who drank Pilsner. I’ve even tried “Beer Beer”, the no-name variety from our past. But this beer sucked beyond all other levels of suckitude. If the point is to get drunk, and this is all that’s available, then go for it. But if you want to actually enjoy a beer, you can do much better.

Remember, people. If you buy crap they’ll keep making crap. Discriminate a little.