A reprieve!

So for the last while, I've been feeling nervous and apprehensive about the new manager, Stock, that's coming up from Calgary.

He used to manage Northgate when I started at Kingsway so long ago, and he was a jerk. Well, an asshole, really.

I didn't interact with him that much, but I worked with a friend of his that I had nothing but contempt for. My rationale was "If I don't like his friends, and I know of a lot of crap he did back when he was in our district, how will I be able to work as his assistant manager?"

I called up Mitch, my district manager a few weeks ago, and asked if I could be transferred to, say, Southgate, or somewhere else.

I was denied.

Yesterday, I found out that Stock's not coming to my store after all. Instead, Mitch has organized a huge manager shift in the district. It's pretty crazy, but here it is...

My manager, Tom, is still going down to Calgary. He's got himself Eaton Centre, a downtown store that almost makes a million dollars in sales per year. So, he's happy.

Stock's taking over St. Albert. It's a big enough store, and it has a lot of clientele from the North.

Gary, the manager of St. Albert, is taking over Mill Woods. Not as much in terms of sales, but the gross profit is a lot better, so it's essentially a raise for him.

Neil, the manager of Mill Woods, is going to the store in South Edmonton Common. This seems like a drop, because South Ed is buried in the middle of an industrial park. However, Neil will be buying half the store himself, in a joint venture deal. So he's happy.

Derek, the manager of South Ed, is going into West Edmonton Mall, a bigger store for him, but it's essentially a warehouse for the big West Ed store.

Which brings me to my store. Ted, the manager of the smaller West Ed store, is coming here.

I have nothing bad to say about Ted. He's smart, he knows almost everything about RS, and he's a nice guy. In fact, I think I'll enjoy Ted as a manager more than I do Tom.

So, Jeff and I are happy, since we don't have to rush for somewhere else, just because an asshole's taking over our store.

This makes my mental health over tour a lot better. I don't have to worry about what's going to happen come the first Monday in May.

* * *

Of, my hockey pool's SO screwed. I've lost half my players in the first round. This might make for me eternally getting last place, since that's where I'm at right now. Unless my remaining players do a very good job of scoring points, I'm doomed.

Reading: Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Bone by Jeff Smith.

Listening to: Some Bjork, and Blue Monday by a band called Flunk (from the Walking Tall soundtrack)


Should my voice really be an octave lower than normal?

I guess that's because of the Pay per View last night. Man, what a kickass birthday gift my parents got me when they gave me money for a ticket.

So I had SUCH a fun time yesterday.

It started with my brother Braden and his friend arriving from Saskatchewan at 7 am. They'd been driving since about 2 am from Saskatoon, so I gave then blankets and sleeping bags and went back to bed.

Hung out with Dev and MFJ to go to the Comics Fair, a place to buy a whole lotta comics and comic-related items. Picked up a cheap copy of Bone Vol. 1 to replace the one that's disappeared on me.

Oh, and I also bought this.

After that, Dev and I went to watch Hellboy with Canton and Vicki.

Pretty darn good movie, with Ron Perlman nailing the character down.

After that, I had to rush back home to get ready for the pay-per-view.

The previous night, I went to the house to put some laundry in for the show, but forgot it at 2 am when I left.

So the plan was, I'd get to my place, get Brade and his friends, get my laundry from the house, and drive to Commonwealth Stadium Skyreach Centre Rexall Place. I had given Brade my keys earlier so he could get into the house if he left.

So after running from the bus and LRT, I came upon my apartment, with no brother’s car in the parking stall. Which meant I couldn’t get in to call him. And the only place his number was at was on my phone’s call display.

I ran to the house, and phoned my parents, asking for Brade’s cell phone number. Dad said he’d call, since it was a local call for them.

I get a call from Braden. He’s already at the Coliseum with his friends. So I had to bus hop and train it to the north side.

I wasn’t too happy with my brother. Bad planning and not listening on his part, since I explained my instructions before I left. It included me being able to enter my apartment.

In any case, I got to the wrestling show on time. And what a show it was!

There were some loser matches (Tajiri vs. a non-wrestler, a meaningless tag team title match), but the big matches made up for it in spades.

Shelton Benjamin, a great rookie, faced off against Ric Flair, one of the true legends in wrestling. Although Flair was supposed to be playing the bad guy, there was so much support for Flair. So many “Whooo!”s were heard, although Benjamin was cheered for the win.

Chris Jericho, my favourite wrestler of all time, won against Trish Stratus, the woman I will marry, and Christian. Pretty fun match, and I was cherring so much my throat went hoarse.

But then came the Mick Foley/Randy Orton “No Holds Barred” match. These two went at it like there was no tomorrow. Barbed wire bats, garbage cans, etc. The kind of stuff you’d tend to see in a Mick Foley match. Until he brought out the gasoline to try to set the barbed wire 2x4 in a blaze.

At that point, the General Manager Eric Bischoff came out to tell Foley if he lit that 2x4, the fire marshall would close the event down.

So Foley brought out a twin bed-sized slab of lumber just covered in barbed wire. At which point I knew I was watching what had to be the most hardcore match ever done on WWE programming. This would be something special.

There were tacks in the ring, the wood slab used many a time, a fall from the entrance area about ten feet by Orton, and a running flying elbow right afterwards by Foley.

Orton ended up winning the match by giving Foley the RKO (Orton’s finishing move) onto the barbed wire bat.

It was amazing. Gibbel and I started “Holy Shit” chants, “ECW” chants and we were just loving it. Gibble told me, “This match alone is worth the $100 ticket. We’re seeing this live!”

And then came the main event, with Chris Benoit, the hometown boy, defending the World Title against Shawn Michaels and Triple H. The crowd was blowing the roof off the place, screaming, yelling, bellowing chants.

“Let’s Go, Benoit,” “You Screwed Bret” (a piece of wrestling history involving Bret Hart’s last match in the WWE. . We were yelling our heads off.

Of course, Benoit retained his title by making Michaels tap to the Sharpshooter. (See the Bret Hart link)

So, it was definitely a day I enjoyed.

* * *

I have been asked by Canton and Axler if I want to move back to the house, since Dev'll be moving out once his grad school starts.

On the one hand, I'm getting used to the whole "living on my own" deal. It's nice to be able to just hang out, and be myself.

On the other hand, I sometimes get lonely living by myself. Especially if I haven't seen friends in a while.

Then there's the rent. A drop of $160 is a very good thing.

I've still got some time to decide. I'm pretty torn, currently...

* * *

I've been watching a lot of movies lately. That and cooking at the house for some good meals.

On Easter, Dev invited me over for dinner, since neither of us had family commitments that night. (Dev's was on Monday, and my family lives far enough away that I can't reach the dinners by transit. When Grandpa was still alive, it was a different story...)

Dev made pasta, and I was in charge of the salad and garlic bread. A veritable feast shared by the two of us and Canton.

We then saw the Rundown, which redeemed the Rock's current movie, Walking Tall, in my eyes.

Just a balls-out action movie if ever there was one. And the Ernie Reyes fight? Wow.

On Friday, D! and I were to see Kill Bill Vol. 2 with Marauder (now the BAY Marauder. Whoo!).

Now that was a satisfying end to the first one. Although it took a completely different way of getting there than I would have thought...

* * *

Getting ready for my last choir tour. But first of all, I have to do inventory at my store the night prior, so my new manager, Stock, is ready.

Oh, joy.

In any case, tour should be fun, if completely exhausting. I LOVE going to work the day after a week of constant singing and not enough rest.

And having to deal with a new manager that I'm not really compatible with.

Yup. Everything's coming up Jago.


Funniest e-mail EVER!

Today when I opened my mailbox, I found this letter that Telus had flagged as junk mail. Fair enough, I guess.

I just wanted to see what it was, and so I opened it.

Here is the email verbatim:

OS-Adobe-Mcaoremdia etc All udner $15-$99 sshs.. get low cost sotfawre cds or donwolad! asoxi

Weclome to our olnine OEM SOTRE

Over 1200 tiltes in our sotfawre shop

All prcies 10-30 bucks only

All ttiles is Dwolnaoble

Top psotioins

Mircsooft Office 2003 Ssytem Porefssoinal (5 cds)

Aodbe Craeitve Suite (5 cds)

Aodbe PhtoSohop CS 8.0 (1 cd)

3D Sutdio Max 6.0 (3 cds)

Aodbe Prmeeire Pro 7.0 (1 cd)

Visit us right now

Of course, being the masochist I am, I thought if the email promoting their site is this laughably bad, what does the website look like?

Alas, the link doesn't lead anywhere.

Here's my question:

Was this email made by just someone who has no grasp over the english language or spelling? Was it made by a online bot who purposefully switched letters around at random? Why is the link "Visit us right now" properly spelled?

Or was the whole purpose to get people like me looking for more mockworthy material on their website?

I guess we'll never know...



I realized I forgot to tell the work story I promised to.

I told you about Stock, the new manager coming to my store. He doesn't get along with a lot of people in my district.

So on Sunday, when Jeff and Tony were working, Stock comes in to the store, and starts looking around.

He goes up to the counter and asks, "Where's the satellite feed?"

(This is all second hand from Jeff, so it's sketchy in my retelling here.)

After Jeff said he didn't know, Stock lays his hand down on the desk, and tells Jeff to look at his big, shiny RadioShack ring that he won a few years back.

Jeff wasn't impressed. Hell, I wouldn't be either if someone was trying to bully me into doing something because they were rewarded by the company with a ring.

If this is the kind of crap the employees will have to put up with when Stock takes over, I'll be trying my damnedest to transfer out.

* * *

D! and I were watching wrestling on Monday, when during a commercial break, some WWE wrestlers start hawking this new health food product.

When they started talking about how this product takes advantage of the latest "nanotechnology," D! and I did double takes. Nanotech?

They're using microsized robots in a health food product? What the hell?

Are you downing silicon every time you make a protien shake? Will this thing make you a cyborg?

Rest assured, I will follow this up...



So, what's of news, what's of interest? (Yeah, I know, I shouldn't be posting every week, if I'm having to scramble for topics and happenings in that time.

Might as well start off with the hockey pool.

Most of you might remember back in October, atht ebeginning of the hockey season, where I went into a hockey pool with members of the Kingsway store.

Lessee...Going to go back in time here...

Oh, right. I titled it I Am A Hockey GOD! (Oh, this bodes well...)

Pulled into first place in the store hockey pool.

While Jeff has a pretty impressive selection of players, I'm just getting the goals more frequently.

At last count, with four days into the NHL season, here are the stats:

Jeff: 8 goals, 18 assists, 1 goalie win, 1 goalie tie

Me: 11 goals, 10 assists, 2 goalie wins, 1 goalie tie

(You score 2 points for a goal, 1 for a tie, 2 for a goalie win, 1 for a tie, and 4 for a shutout. Stupid Cechmanek was NOT in the net when the Kings got a shutout. No points there, dammit...)

The next guy is 11 points behind us.

Lord of the hockey pool. At least for today...

Life is good.

And now the [cough] results. There's a reason I stopped posting about it. Becuase after four days, I was definitely Archduke Shit of Fornicatialand.

At the end of the season? Seven months later? Third place. Not too bad. BUT! Look at the standings...

Jeff (my then boss): 339 goals, 472 assists, for a whopping 1317 pool points.

Me: 236 goals, 421 assists, for 1054 pool points. 263 points less than Jeff.

At least I was 140 points in front of fifth and last place Darren.

So! Playoffs! A whole new ball game.

Eight competitors in the pool. Now hailing from all over the district. And it's playoff hockey, which means that you pretty much have to figure out who's going to go all the way.

It was so tough trying to figure out which teams would make it to the end. I didn't want to pick players from teams meeting in the first round, since that would be pretty dumb, losing so many so early.

I ended up going with St. Louis almost all the way. Here's hoping...

* * *

Had a flash of the past, when Songbirds, the choir mailing list, turned into more than just random announcements.

At one point, Canton and I OWNED the list. We made it our personal battleground, using it to discredit each other. We had fun. I hope the other people reading had fun. Because we sure did.

About three years ago, really, the posting became all about the choir, and not too much silly flame wars were tolerated. It became a shell of its former self.

Recently, someone asked if knitting needles were allowed across the border (when our tour goes through Montana).

Grank replied to someone saying that it would be fun to see how to hijack a bus using only needles.

Dev shot back with a funny scenario involving him not succeeding due to the choir caugh up in the cheerleader movie Bring It On.

I came out of lurk mode with my own piece, which I will reprint in its entirety. (Note: I am the list administrator. Hence, I have no qualms about trying to go old school Songbirds...)

JAGO: Okay, Dev, we're past the border. Hand me those knitting needles. I'm going to tell Bev to take this bus east.

DEV: To the Wisconsin Processed Cheese Festival!

JAGO: No. To Stamford, Connecticut. Home of World Wrestling Entertainment.

DEV: But, Jago! Cheese!

JAGO: Sorry, Dev. I want to break into wrestling, and Wisconsin isn't going to cut it. Besides, I hate processed cheese.

DEV: Hollandaise, Indiana?


DEV: Rabbit Hash, Kentucky?

JAGO: Stop it. You're making me hungry.

CANTON: Weinerwrapzfielt, Washington?

JAGO: Shut up. You're just making up names.

DEV: How about SPAMford, Connecticut?

JAGO: Give me that! [Snatches US map, rips it in half.]

DEV: My map!

JAGO: Okay, enough goofing off. Give me the knitting needles.

DEV: But I'm making a scarf! Get someone else's.

JAGO: Canton? You don't knit! Give me those!

CANTON: No! I'm a walrus! [puts needles in mouth] Ooorf! Ooorf!

JAGO: [exasparated] Sarah? Can I borrow yours? Thanks. [goes to front of the bus]

JAGO: Bev! Take this bus to Connecticut! I'll make you a sweater.

BEV: Okey dokey.

JAGO: [storms back to seat] THERE! THAT'S how you hijack a bus with knitting needles!

DEV: Cool.

CANTON: [whispers] That's right. Interstate 3, just outside Billings. Hurry! He's scaring me!

JAGO: Canton? Why do you have that cell phone?

CANTON: [hangs up hurriedly] No reason.

JAGO: Did you just call the Montana Highway Patrol on me?

CANTON: Maybe.

JAGO: WHY! WHY would you do such a thing?

CANTON: I wanted to go to the Cheese thingy. And you were being mean to me.

JAGO: Damn you, Woo! I'll kill you!

CANTON: Oh, yeah, well why don't you shut up and go back to sleep?

JAGO: [yawns] Stupid post-hypnotic suggestions... I'll get you yet, Woo...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Well, I would have gotten a lot further, if it weren't for my so-called 'friend' stabbing me in the back. With his stupid walrus tusks. After I had fallen asleep.

Man, spelling Connecticut is a lot harder than you'd think. Stupid silent C! Who silences a C?

* * *

Went to D!'s Nerd Night on Friday. It was fun, but same latecomers and some long card games gave me a rude awakening.

ME: Well, that was a good game of Wizard. Now it's only [looks at watch]5 AM!?!?! I've got a meeting at 8:30!

D!: Let's watch some Aqua Teen Hunger Force!

ME: Okay.

Four episodes later, I'm on his couch, asleep.

So I had 1.5, maybe 2 hours of sleep on Friday/Saturday. And went to work.

I came back at 6 pm, laid on my bed for a nap and woke up sixteen hours later.

* * *

On Sunday, Dev and I went to the library to watch the National Film Board's Oscar-nominated cartoons through the years.

We had a great time, starting off with the first cartoon, Richard Condie's The Big Snit, a childhood favourite of mine. And one Dev had never seen before.

During the short "Paradise" (just an awesome cartoon, with amazing animation), I heard the Zamfir song "The Lonely Shepherd" and suppressed a giggle.

Because, while, as a child, I was hugely into Zamfir, these days, that song brings up different memories.

Halfway through it, Dev leans over to me. "Where have I heard this before?"

"Kill Bill, Dev. Kill Bill."


Kinda disturbing that I can never listen to Zamfir the same way since this January.

* * *

My workplace will be changing soon.

Not just because of the new manager, Stock. (Although I have an interesting story about that later on...) But because of the merger.

Circuit City will be buying up InterTan (RadioShack Canada).

What will this mean in the short run? Not much, they assure us.

In the long run, however, it might mean big box stores run by us in Canada. And it might mean a name change, since we lease it. And RS USA and CC are competitors.

On the plus side, it's virtually impossible for the company to get any more schitzophrenic. Maybe it'll lead to better stock, more of it, and more tech for the stores.

Seriously, for a store as tech-savvy as RS tries to be, we're pretty Luddite.

A UNIX operating system. No working bar code scanners. A manual physical inventory.

We're the electronics equivalent of Amish folk selling automobiles.

So, maybe this merger/buyout will be a good thing down the road.

Hopefully, I'll be long gone before any changes start happening, though...