The Worst (or Best) Rod Black Quotes from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver

Watching the short-track speed skating and figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver I was reminded of the sheer awesomeness that is Rod Black. Some love him, others want to strangle him (or maybe just hit the mute button). Throughout the Olympics I jotted down some of the most puke-worthy and groan-worthy things Rod Black said. Then I went to CTV's website and uncovered a few more gems. I'll leave the delivery up to you. Make sure to use lots of long pauses and think of Rod and his glorious mustache (which he unfortunately shaved off). Rod Black, if you see this, I hope you have a sense of humour!

Rod Black 2010 Olympics Quote
"Celebrate Ilderton. Celebrate Moirs. Celebrate Virtues. Celebrate Canada."
"Flawless. If there was a slip in their program, it was nary a slip."
"They just happen to be the best ice dancers on the planet."
"The Americans were perfect. The Canadians were perfect."
"We CAN believe!"
"Ohhhhhhhh Canada. Dream ride, golden quest. They've skated together since they've been kids. They are 4 minutes away from the ultimate goal."
"Is it enough!? Magic!!! 11,000 in here think so."
Marilyn: "It was an exquisite performance. Exquisite." Rod Black: "It melted this ice. It brought the crowd to its feet, and the house down."
"The theme has been 'believe.' Do you believe? <Virtue and Moir score announced> Yes!!!"
[Virtue and Moir] Friends, Virtue-aly forever. Born to skate together."
"We've got a couple of Americans, a couple of Koreans, and a couple of Hamelins"
"4 skaters. 5 laps. 3 medals. 2 Canadians. 1 Gold."
"The brothers Hamelin."
"You CAN believe Charles Hamelin, you CAN!"
"It is — Charles Hamelin. It is — Francois Louis Tremblay. It is — Canada. Gold and Bronze, here TO-night!"
"Pure. Canadian. Gold!"
"China, to the fore!"
"The golden boy, Charles Hamelin."
Absolute Gold here tonight!
And the brothers Hamelin are going to be on a podium together — their dream — here in Vancouver.
The Canadian men had been shut out. Couldn't crack the podium. They were saving the best — for last.

Idea for puke-ometer shamelessly stolen from the Christie Blatchford Hall of Shame


I Failed My Bank's Security Questions

A couple days ago, my PC Financial debit card stopped working and I was unable to make bill payments online. The error was "Card Use Limited" rather than the "Insufficient Funds" message that I am somewhat familiar with. I called them and apparently there was some "suspicious activity", such as possible card-scanner use at an ATM that I had used, and so they de-activated my account. I called them and answered some minimal security questions which were easy to answer because I was in front of my computer and logged in to my bank's website. I was told to go to a bank ATM within 2 hours and set a new PIN. Evidently I missed the part about going "in 2 hours" and went the next day instead. Oops. I called them back, this time from the ATM, not my office. I couldn't answer any of the questions. It was a bit ridiculous and went something like this:

PC: Sir can you tell me the last 3 digits of an account of a bill that you have set up with PC Financial?
Me: Um, yeah , uh.. XXX.
PC: Thank you. Can you tell me the amount of a recent cheque that had been drawn from your account?
Me: I'm not sure, my wife has written some cheques recently and our account is joint. I have no idea what the amounts are.
PC: Can you guess?
Me: Oh wait, I think she wrote a cheque for around $1000 recently to an interior decorator. Actually she just told me that so maybe it didn't go through yet. Oh wait, actually she might have paid for that in cash, you know, under-the-table.
PC: Can you tell me the amount of a recent deposit into your account, like a paycheque?
Me: I dunno, $1500?
PC: Can you be more specific?
Me: It isn't always the same, I dunno, $1600, $1700?
PC: Can you hold for a minute sir while I get a supervisor?
Me: Sure, whatever
PC Supervisor: Can you tell me the amount of a pre-authorized debit that you have set up with PC Financial?
Me: Um, E*Trade. Oh no wait, that's an automatic bill payment, umm, ING Direct? $1000
PC Supervisor: Can you tell me the amount of a recent transaction with this company?
Me: I dunno, maybe $1000? I change it sometimes. And I usually don't pay attention to it (that's the point, it's an automatic savings program that I don't need to think about).
PC Supervisor: Can you tell me the amount of a recent debit purchase you have made.
Me: No, sorry I haven't been able to use my card for a few days. I eat lunch often and it is usually $5.75 or $6.25
PC Supervisor: I'm sorry some of the answers you are giving just don't match up. There is nothing I can do for you right now.
Me: I would have gotten all of these questions correct if I was just sitting at a computer logged in to my PC Financial account.
PC Supervisor: Sorry sir.

These security questions are pretty dumb when you think about it. They can all be answered correctly just by logging in to my online banking account. Why not ask me something only I would know (or that someone who was just logged into hacked into my account most likely would not know), like my social security number, my driver's license number, my eye colour, whether or not I have a mole on my right temple, etc... a much better system would be if there was a computer system over the phone that asked me a bunch of questions upon account creation. Real personal stuff. You then repeat it into the telephone/mic/whatever and it records it. Later, when the bank needs to verify your identity, you provide the answers and the computer recognizes not only the answers but your voice (or rather it wouldn't recognize the answers if they voice wasn't close). Simple voice recognition stuff. Asking about recent transactions or about what automatic bill payments I have set up is stupid and if you don't receive print statements and have also lost access to your online account for any reason it becomes a pretty difficult question to answer.


It Sucks Being David Grant

Because my name is so common I get at least 5 e-mails a month from people who think they are e-mailing a different David Grant. I sometimes get poked on Facebook by people who think I am a different David Grant. While I was in grad school in Waterloo, ON I got mixed up with a different David Grant many times and I was even awarded his scholarship by accident (it was rectified). Someone once ordered some products on the UK equivalent of BestBuy and used my email address (accidentally) so I received all the receipts, shipping notifications, etc... I sent him a snail mail letter informing him of his mistake. Recently a Dr. David Grant in Toronto used my email address in his Aeroplan (frequent flyer miles) account. I started receiving his monthly statements by email. The only way for me to find out who he is was to use the "I forgot my password feature" and change it. After doing that I found out his mailing address but I have yet to inform him. He has like 300,000 Aeroplan miles which I think is worth about $3,000 but I can't remember.

Getting e-mails from people who think I am a different David Grant is what bugs me the most. My inbox is almost completely free of spam. All my subscriptions to mailing lists are properly filtered into different labels (for those of you who don't know what I mean by a label you don't deserve to find out) so any email that appears in my inbox is usually important and is something I care about (by design). So when I get these "spams" from people who think I am a different David Grant it really pisses me off. The worst is when the email is to a large group of people and someone hits the reply all button. This usually sets of a chain reaction of reply-alls leading many people to have my email address in their address book, causing them to spam me at a later date.

I sometimes have a little fun with it. Once somebody emailed about 5 people (including me) some family photos. I chatted it up a bit and made some funny comments about the photos before letting them know that they had the wrong address, explaining that I thought I knew them but I was mistaken. Another time someone emailed me inquiring about a place to rent (that I knew nothing about). I replied that I needed to see photos first. The person sent some photos and I replied "I'm sorry based on these photos I just can't take you." I have gotten several work-related emails as well. My email address domain is so I got some emails from telus employees thinking they had emailed a felow employee. I think the company's employees use I haven't done that in a while but maybe I should start doing that again. It could be fun.

On the plus side, being David Grant means I will always be somewhat anonymous. At least more anonymous than others will less boring names.


Sure Ways to Get Your Resume in the "No" Pile

We were recently looking to fill a "Senior Java Developer" position. We got some interesting applications that went straight into the "no pile". I'm sure there are tons of list out there like this one but I couldn't resist listing a few of the things I saw:

  • Your resume looks like it was written using Microsoft Works for Windows. It kind of document I might have made in 1990 with my old 386.
  • Your resume is 7 pages long. This guy thought "don't make your resume 3-4 pages" meant that it should be even longer, not shorter. Sorry, if you can't summarize your experience in 1-2 pages, or, if you can't put in the effort to tailor your resume for the specific position, you're probably incapable of doing a lot of other things.
  • The subject line of your email says that you are applying for the Senior Software Developer position and then in the closing line of your cover letter you say "I'd like to apply my skills and experience in working as a Scientific programmer." Never let on what you really want to be doing. Pretend that you actually want the job you're applying for. It is possible that this particular applicant copied and pasted from a different cover letter. So double-check your letter for typos. But there's still no way we're going to higher someone who applied for a Scientific Programmer position at a different company for a Senior Developer/Architect type position at ours.
  • You used Word's highlight tool to highlight certain words in your resume using red, green, and yellow. Yeah that's right, I'm not talking about using the "font colour" tool, but the "highlight" tool in Word. Someone actually did that.
  • You didn't attach any resume. Only a cover letter contained bulleted lists and a transcript. You're wasting your time (and mine).
  • You put things like "Watching movies & TV", "computer games", "listening music" (is the music doing the listening?), "internet surfing", and "driving" in the hobbies section of your resume. Better yet, don't even put a hobbies section. What you do in your spare time is your own business. Well, put a few interesting or unique things in if you want.
  • Your resume lists the 3 Indian languages you are fluent in. Ask yourself: is that important for this job with a North American company?

Bacon vs. Bears

I'm going up to Bella Coola for a few days, so when I saw the fiece-looking Grizzly bear on the front page of Saturday's Vancouver Sun and the headline "Grizzly attacks plague central coast" I had to pick it up. Bella Coola is definitely central coast and as it turns out the entire article focused on Bella Coola. I hope you are as shocked as I was when you read the following story:

"Instead of going after the bears, he (Gary Shelton, a long-time Bella Coola Valley resident and author of three best-selling books on bear attacks) said, the government tells people what to do. 'I'm not supposed to feed my dog on my porch, we can't have bird feeders, you can't cook bacon on Saturday morning with the window open.'

'This is bullshit. People have a right out here to live as they want to live. At no time in history have grizzly bears and humans ever lived together in any kind of complacency. It's ridiculous.'"

I really felt for him. Not being able to feed one's dog on the porch has got to be a major PITA. And I could never live without my bird feeder, so I totally know where he's coming from on that one. But just imagining not being able to cook bacon on Saturday morning with the window open, that's when I lost. How dare those Grizzly bears confine the smell of bacon to our homes! Bullshit is right.


He-Man Sings

I saw this "He-Man sings 'what's going on'" video when it first came out and recently discovered it again. I was a huge He-Man fan when I was a kid. I enjoyed seeing my old friends Man-At-Arms and Skeletor. The over-dubbing and editing is masterfully done. Love the IM chatting between He-Man and Man-At-Arms and Skeletor's entrance.

If you get really nostalgic you might enjoy watching the intro:

I can't believe I actually watched that show.


Best Astronut Headlines

According to Google News there are 3,226 stories on the astronaut who went psycho and drove 900 miles in a diaper to mace co-worker. Along with crazy stories come some funny headlines. Here are some of the best (or worst):

  • "Astro-nut's fixation out of this world"
  • "From high-flying career to 'astro-nut'"
  • "Lust in space: Shuttle astronaut held over attempt to murder love rival"
  • "Moonstruck astronaut’s mission improbable to murder her rival"
  • "Lust in space"
  • "Strobel: What makes an astronaut a stalking, vengeful space cadet?"
  • "'Robochick' aimed to kill rival in love triangle, police say"
  • "Astronut girl wore a nappy"
  • "Astronaut's wild arrest orbits around Alaskan"
  • "Houston, we seem to have a problem"
  • "Fallen Astronaut Returns To Texas"
  • "With Discipline Honed by Training, Police Say, Astronaut Set Out to Kill"
  • "Space community shocked by love-struck astronaut"
  • "When the 'right stuff' goes wrong for an astronaut"
  • "Arrest mars stellar career of US astronaut"
  • "Astronaut's descent casts doubt on NASA screening"
  • "Shocking descent for a woman of high achievement"
  • "Astronaut's Life Took Swift Nosedive"
  • "When love goes wrong -- a bizarre mission"

Scrabble Scoring Oddity Nets Scrabble Win for Me

Was playing Scrabble last night with my wife. She was kicking my ass and before I played my last "A" on the board to spell P-A-R for 6 points, and was beating me by about 30 points. As I played out, it was time to count her remaining tiles. She unluckily had a Q (10) left over and an extra piece worth 1 point. She lost the 11 points, but according to the rules, because I used up all my tiles I also get whatever tiles my opponents had left ADDED to my score. So another 11 for me and that was the game. What an awesome way to win! Neither of us will ever leave a high-valued letter on our racks again.


Borat's Makeover: What Happened to the Old Borat?

[img_assist|nid=158|title=Borat: Before|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=77|height=100][img_assist|nid=159|title=Borat: After|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=96|height=100]Over the past few weeks I have noticed something odd with Borat. It looks like he has been given a makeover. A makeover of his looks and personality. He no longer has the same receding hair line, his hair is bushier, his moustache is much bigger and thicker. He smiles all the time and speaks in a chipper voice and squints a bit. He now does strange things like dancing randomly (see SNL bit below). What happened to the old uncoordinated Borat that I watched trying to learn cricket and football in vain? Actually I was wrong he has done that dance before, but not with a weird smile on his face and not randomly when there are 4 seconds of camera time to fill. He's also a bit more annoying for some reason. Something about his demeanour, it's just not the same Borat that I once knew. Here are some videos of the old Borat in action:

The following video is from Season 1 of the Ali G Season 1 DVD. Classic episode where Borat gets advice on dating and does some speed dating.

Here is another great episode where Borat tries to "buy a slave."

Now for the new (although I wouldn't say "improved") Borat. This video is from "Night of Too Many Stars" with Jon Stewart and this was the first video of Borat that tiped me off to his makeover:

Then I saw this opening skit on SNL and it confirmed my earlier suspicion of a complete Borat transformation:

Did the movie producers force him to change his character for the movie and for all movie-related promotional material?


Stephen Colbert, Wikipedia, and 60 Minutes

Stephen Colbert was all over today, with 3 stories on the front page last time I checked. The first was related to this, Colbert's "The Word" segment, which last night was "Wikiality":

That article sparked a flurry of page vandalism (as it is called) on Wikipedia, part of which was stopped by this guy, a Wikipedia administrator from Vancouver. There is a detailed account of what went down at Wikipedia here.

Finally there was a 60 minutes piece on Stephen Colbert, which included a very tiny one-on-one intervivew:

Well a busy day for Colbert, I'm still amazed that he was featured in 3 of the top front-page digg articles for the day.

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