Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On Behalf Of Fathers Everywhere

Dear Old People,
When I am with my kids and my wife isn't there, I am not "babysitting" I am parenting.
When you see me with the kids and say "babysitting today?" in a tone that says "poor dear, having to do woman's work" it makes me want to hide your scotch mints.
If you are an old woman, I resist the urge to say "that's right, toots" and smack you on your bony ass while winking at you.
Fathers don't babysit their own children. The neighbour's kid does.
PS - you smell like moth balls.

Friday, November 13, 2009

With a compass garnish

Here's a picture I recently took on my Blackberry at the Toronto Zoo:
Sign at the Torongo Zoo: Twiga Restaurant. Closed for the day.. Africa Restaurant Is Happy to serve... Map!
Talk about a fibre-rich diet.

A common marketing mistake

I love seeing an advertising campaign that was meant to convey a particular message, but which could be taken to mean something else entirely. Especially when the unintended meaning is the exact opposite of the message that the advertiser would want to be express.
For instance, check out this billboard for the Toronto Star newspaper:
The Toronto Star: Helpful or condescending?
It's a bit blurry, so in case you can't see it, the slogan is "Until common sense is actually common."
I assume that they mean "as long as things happen because of people (such as those in government) failing to use common sense, we will report those things." But my first thought was that it might mean "until the general population has enough common sense to make up their own minds about things rather than reading our slanted, biased views, we shall continue to spread our propaganda."
I think mine is probably more accurate, but still not what they meant.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Warning: offensive content

Our apartment complex hosted an end-of-summer barbecue earlier this year (sometime around the end of summer, I think it was). They had lots of great food and treats for the kids. Our boys each got a balloon to take home. Eric's was twisted into the shape of a dog, and Alex's was made into a sword. Great fun!

Sounds innocent, right? So, why is the title of this blog "Warning: offensive content"? Because we put the balloon sword into the back of the car and left it there. As it deflated, it began to untwist, and became something else entirely:

Balloon Penis

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A spark of light indeed

I have to get my Blackberry Bold replaced, because the battery leads are loose, causing it to re-boot at random and annoying times, and because the trackball isn't working right, so I often can't scroll up or down, and also because the USB port is faulty, so I can't connect it to my PC.

The faulty USB port is proving to be the biggest pain, because it means that I can't transfer pictures and videos off of the phone to my PC before sending the Berry back. Pictures I can e-mail to myself and save them to the hard drive, but almost all of my videos are too big to send, so they will probably be lost. That sucks, because I haven't cleared off the videos since before Eric went into hospital in May, so I have all of the videos I have shot since then. Some of them are important because they show Eric's onoing recovery. Some of them are important because they show how we as a family got through this time. There are some great videos of Eric's little brother, Alex being a clown.

As I posted recently, I submitted a story to Bloorview's blog, Bloom, about the importance of laughter in difficult times, and as I go through the pictures and videos on my phone, I realize how lucky we are to have Alex to keep us laughing through our struggles. No picture better illustrates this than this one of Alex, taken on "clown nose day" at Sick Kids, 15 days after Eric's second stroke, and one day after his third stroke:

Baby Clown

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

To make a long story short...

Here's a picture I took with my Blackberry of a sign in a store window on University Ave in Toronto, listing the store's new operating hours.
The economic downturn takes its toll on a Toronto store

It says:
Monday: 10 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
As badly as I feel for the business owner that things are going that poorly, I couldn't help but laugh, thinking about how much easier it would have been to say:
Monday: 10 am - 5 pm
Tuesday-Sunday: Closed
The way they wrote it, you keep reading, hoping for better news later in the week, but just get disapointed.
On second thought, if you are paying rent for a retail space at University and College, and things are so bad that you are only open one day a week, maybe you would be smarter to make the sign say:
"Closed. Space for Rent"

Wake up to the freshness of...

You may remember (I'm talking to the three of you who check my blog on a semi-regular basis) that a few months ago I posted about Jodi's plans to remove as many unnecessary chemicals as possibile from our lives. We use a lot of all-natural products now, which is a great idea, for us and for Mother Earth.

However, the toothpast options are pretty sad for us natural product users. I complained about Ginger-flavoured toothpaste in the aforementioned blog entry, so Jodi responded by changing flavours.

Now, I can brush my teeth in the morning with the fresh taste of...

All-natural Toothpaste
... Fennel!
Sexy, huh? Kissing me is like making out with a bag of licorice candies!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I wonder how the brownies are

Can anybody explain the sign on the side of Mystic Muffin on the corner of Jarvis and Richmond in Toronto?
Crazy Toronto Restaurant - Best Appple Cake, but how are the hash brownies?

"World's Best Apple Cake"
I understand that part. But it's not true, by the way. My mother makes the world's best apple cake.
"Must be legal eating age for a slice."
What is the legal eating age for a slice?
This place got an awesome review on Torontoist.com a couple of years ago here, but I don't care how great the food is, I can't trust any place whose advertising makes my brain hurt.

Bread and Butt-er

In my experience, no matter how much work you put into a product trying to make sure that everything is perfect, you will look at the finished item and realize that that something is wrong. This happens 100% of the time, according to unscientific studies by the Lloyd Institute of Product Development.

I imagine that the publishing team behind this book I found on my mother's bookshelf went through the same process of making sure everything was perfect.

More of Canada's Best Bread Machine Baking Recipes

More of Canada's Best Bread Machine Baking Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt.

So I would have loved to have been there when they first noticed the spine of the book:

Check out Heather's Butt. I think it has a wash burn from over-entheusiastic washing. Ouch!

Who decided that putting the author's last names on the spine like that would sell cookbooks?

mmmmm.... "Washburn Butt" makes my mouth water.

Almost the Best Advertising Campaign Ever

Here are some pictures I took on my Blackberry of an ad that was posted in front of my apartment building. There were a few reasons why I took the pictures.
First, this is my new favourite company name:

Raja Come Back Moving Service - Save Your Marraige
"Raja Come Back Moving Service"
It sounds like a moving service for men whose wives are taking them back after kicking them out for a while.
Secondly, I love the slogan.

Go Baby Go!
"Go Baby, Go!"
I don't know why, but I think that is the best slogan of all time. If General Motors had used that slogan years ago, they wouldn't be in the mess they're in now!
But reason number C is probably my favourite. As if marketing only to forgiven husbands wasnt enough of a niche market, they are only targeting people 8 feet tall or higher.
Moving Service for NBA Players
I am 6'3" and had to stand on my tippy-toes and hold the Blackberry over my head to take these pictures. I'm pretty sure there's not a single Toronto Raptor living in my building, so I think that while they are obviously geniuses at niche marketing, they have problems with geographic targeting.

Don't know much about geography

Earlier this year, I posted about a frozen food brand called "Europe's Best" that alerted me to the fact that Europe had expanded. Since then, I have found more examples. Check this out:

Europe's Best Summer Fruit Salad

Europe's Best Summer Fruit Salad...

Product of Chile. The latest member of the European Union

Product of Chile. The latest member of the European Union.

And there's Europe's Best Chef's Spinach:

Europe's Best Chef's Spinach

Product of...

Product of China. Europe's Population Explosion Explained

I missed the headlines about Europe's population explosion.

I hate when companies make their brands an out-and-out lie. It's bad enough that their frozen fruit and vegetables wouldn't make the "best of" list for any continent. But as far as I can see, none of their product is actually Europe's best, second best or even worst.

But then again, I suppose "Earth's Mediocrity" doesn't make a very good brand name.

Too much of a good thing

Here is a picture I took a few months ago of a sign advertising featured dishes in the cafeteria at Bloorview Kids Rehab in Toronto:

Split Pea and Butternut Squash Soup.
I love split pea soup.
I love butternut squash soup.
But the thought of combining them makes me throw up in my mouth just a little.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why spelling is so important

I took this picture of the TV screen with my Blackberry several months ago, when some American sailors fought off the pirates off the coast of Africa. Remember that? Of course you do. Here's a reminder:

I took the picture because it struck me that if someone hadn't made a major spelling mistake on the "BEWARE OF PIRATES" sign, they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trying So Hard

This blurry picture is of a notice that was posted above the garbage can in my apartment building's lobby:

It makes me laugh because they tried to take the high road and say "feces" but decided that it would be a good idea to clarify and say "poop" afterall. For people who don't know what feces means. Or for people who think poop is the funniest word in the English language.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Here is a picture of a junk-mail piece we received a while ago for a service in Toronto called "Dial-a-bottle" who will deliver booze to your house for you when you are already too drunk to go get more yourself:

Do you see the problem with this ad? They list the products they will deliver like this:
How can we have any confidence in a company that specializes in booze, but clearly doesn't understand the first rule of drinking? Every self-respecting drunk knows "beer before liquor, never been sicker."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Number 1 on the list of places to never visit

Gorilla Rain Forest? I never want to be in a forest where it rains gorillas! What kind of umbrella do you need for that place?