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McDonald’s Advertising Campaign April 30, 2009

Posted by huymix in Advertising.
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McDonald's coffee commercialfplusMcDonald's LogoI don’t what it is, but McDonald’s recent advertising seems to be working on me. I’m not really eating there any more than normal, but I certainly have soften my position on them. I think it has to be the advertising because the food certainly hasn’t gotten any better (or substantively changed) and my reasons the advertising gets an F+ is because:

  • The commercial with the little girl and her dad kills me. I know it’s cheesy and borders on the very stupid…but I still like it. It’s been able to dig under my rusted over protective shell and cut into my care-center.
  • Free coffee for 2 weeks? I don’t really know when the last time that was ever offered on such a large scale. Sometimes you get a 1-day promotion or maybe a week, but not 2. Free stuff = good graces.
  • Mac Snack Wrap. I wouldn’t eat the thing (I’d rather just have the Big Mac thank you very much) but it takes some different thinking to think that stuff up.

I guess the ultimate thing for McDonald’s is increased traffic or something. I can’t say the advertising has accomplished the goal of increasing my traffic, but I can probably say it’s prevented me from maybe moving over to Wendy’s or Taco Bell or some other junk food. Btw, I do like junk food so I’d only really be moving from one junk food vendor to another.

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Golf Umbrellas in the City April 29, 2009

Posted by huymix in Random.
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golf umbrellafminuspeople using golf umbrellasSpring is my favourite season of the year. I don’t normally mind the rain and all that comes with the Spring weather. I work downtown, so inevitably it will rain and people will be milling around with their umbrellas. Most people have what I would call “normal” sized umbrellas. Once in awhile, you do run into somebody using an umbrella meant for golf. I call these people jerks because:

  • Downtown Toronto sidewalks are congested enough as is. Add in umbrellas and you have an even tighter fit. These golf umbrellas tend to take up 75% or so of a given sidewalk width. Imagine if 2 people with golf umbrellas were to collide? A situation most dire that can only lead to bloodshed.
  • Completely unnecessary. Now generally I’m not in favour of judging what people need (ie. I could care less if you have an SUV or whatever) but if the idea is you can better protect yourself from rain with a golf umbrella you might as well wear a poncho or a rain coat. You’ll actually look less silly than with a stupid oversized umbrella.
  • These things can be dangerous! To either your face if the giant metal claws at the edge of the umbrella or to your umbrella in an umbrella-to-umbrealla fight to the death. These things are built pretty sturdy, beware if you cross one, I’d rather walk under a ladder, stepping on broken glass carrying a black cat than go toe-to-toe with one of these things.

If you really really don’t think a regular umbrella can meet your needs definitely look into a rain coat. There are some actual good looking raincoats that don’t look made for 10 year olds. The solution to the problem’s of life are not found in super-sized versions. I think next time I see one of these I’ll purposely jump in a nearby puddle to splash on them just to deliver the F- personally.

Street Fighter 4 – Seth April 28, 2009

Posted by huymix in Videogames.
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Generally, I suck pretty hard at Street Fighter 4. I play on the PS3, but I’m even worse on the 360. I do enjoy the game there’s just one glaring thing about it that I do not like. Seth is the final boss and he gets and F- because:

  • I hate his character art. Seriously, Street Fighter characters aren’t freaky mutants and I like it that way. That’s for Soul Caliber or Tekken or something. Aside from Blanka who is way more human than Seth, all the other characters are human (exaggerated but still human).
  • You ever play a game and you get so frustrated you get the feeling the game cheats? That’s how I feel when I have to face him. Seriously. I took more than double the time it took to get to Seth just for me to beat him. In other words, he alone took 2/3 of the Arcade mode for me. That is incredibly frustrating! (I was playing on Easiest and Very Easy to boot).
  • I hate his stupid face and laugh. I’m sorry but when you get frustrated like I was, everything the character says and does just annoys so much more… ugh, I really hate Seth.

Seth very very closely spoils the entire Street Fighter experience for me. To the point that I don’t really want to play Arcade mode. Ever. I still enjoy the game only because of some stupid level of patience. I hate you Seth forever and ever, I’d rather have T. Hawk back, freakin’ T. Hawk.

2008-2009 Montreal Canadiens April 24, 2009

Posted by huymix in Sports.
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Montreal CanadiensfminusMontreal Canadiens LogoIt’s been 100 years for the Montreal Canadiens. One of the most successful teams in all pro-sports. An amazing list of incredible hockey players. An amazing legacy. In their 100th season, what do produce? A big ol’ F- of a team. The non-Habs fan in me is happy they suck, but I’d much rather have my team put them down because its no fun watching a team implode. The 2008-09 version of the Canadiens deserved to impode because:

  • Guy Carbonneau was a wimp. I’m sorry but the coach does matter quite a bit. When the coach and the star players aren’t on speaking terms that’s gonna screw up the team chemistry for sure. Tone from the top matters, A LOT.
  • The fans are even worse than Leaf fans. What I mean is they are even more fickle, extreme and chant soccer chants. I love the passion, but the stupidity that accompanies the passion is sometimes too much.
  • Over relied on a very young goaltender (Carey Price). Goaltenders generally take a while to really develop. Very very few are elite level at Price’s age and he was overused this season.

I’m not a Habs fan in general. Most of the time they aren’t a team I care about one way or another. Even as a casual observer of the Canadiens, I could smell the stench of failure. Getting swept in the first round of the playoffs is a better send off for this disaster of a team. One thing to keep in mind, there are 11 unrestricted free agents on the team, so hopefully they can remake this team so it contains less suck. The ball is in your court Mr. Gainey, don’t screw it up.

Judo April 23, 2009

Posted by huymix in MMA, Sports.
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judo fplusjudo logo beijingIf you read my profile page you should already know that I think quite highly of Judo. Unfortunately, in Canada, Judo is a very niche sport. This is an odd trend considering it’s relative high global participation and the high levels of immigration from nations that are big into judo. If you don’t know what it is, the first thing you need to know is that it’s not Tae Kwon Do or Karate. There are a lot of great reasons to at least try judo, specifically:

  • Fantastic exercise. If you put in the effort, you will work your body as hard or even harder than you might at the gym. I love this quote from Fight Club “guys come in and their asses were made of cookie dough, and they came out carved out of wood”.
  • It’s usable for self-defense. You might say, “I won’t need to learn self-defence cause I won’t be in a position to need it” but that’s what a lot of victims have thought before it happened to them. It’s a rough world out there, you gotta learn to take care of yourself in it.
  • It’s pretty cheap. Unlike say hockey or football, the only equipment you need is a uniform. Not only that, but judo clubs typically have very cheap monthly rates (or drop-in rates) relative to most other sports.

I hated going to the gym. I wasn’t a class-guy but the monotonous track running and weight lifting just didn’t provide enough motivation. With judo in my life, I have a reason to work out, I have a reason to put the effort in, and exercise is not so much work as it is improving my judo. Generally, judo clubs are pretty relaxed, they’ll let you try it out for a bit without paying. Give it a try, it’ll at least be a lot different than whatever you’re doing nowadays.

Mantracker April 22, 2009

Posted by crarence in Shows, Television.
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Mantracker is another show on OLN. The basic premise behind this show is that two people (sometimes friends, sometimes paired up randomly) are trying to evade the “Mantracker,” – Terry Grant. They are usually given a 2km head start, and Mantracker must use his forensic skills and intuition to track them down before they reach their destination point roughly 40km away. I tried following the series but quickly gave up because:

  • The show is predictable. It has to run for an hour! Every time they are about to cut to a commercial break, Mantracker is just about to catch his prey. When the show resumes, they escape. As the next commercial break comes about, Mantracker is just about to catch his prey again. Of course, when the show resumes, they get away. The show is an hour long, people – Mantracker is always going to catch them at the end of the show, or they are going to get away. So the sense of tension quickly diffuses.
  • There is a growing feeling of skepticism as you watch the show. Mantracker is hunting down his prey who are trying to keep a low profile. At the same time, Mantracker doesn’t want to draw a lot of attention to himself. Yet…both Mantracker and the prey have a camera crew filming their every move. Even if the camera crew is just one guy, a lot of  “what ifs” start popping up. What if the camera guy accidently exposes the prey/Mantracker? What if the prey’s  camera guy is in cahoots with Mantracker and can communicate with him? What if the camera guy ends up slowing either party down? The concept behind the show starts to fall apart when you realize the camera guy can screw it up in so many ways.
  • The characters aren’t very interesting. None of the “prey” in the handful of episodes I watched were paticularly remarkable. And Mantracker himself makes Frankenstein look like Robn Williams in terms of personality.

If you’d still like to catch the show, you can watch at 9:00PM EST on the OLN. You can also visit the official website at

http://www.mantracker.ca/

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) April 22, 2009

Posted by huymix in Random.
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Chinese Medicine BottlesfminusTraditional Chinese Medicine Logo

Ok, so if you know me, you’ll know that I tend to not exactly respect some of the medicinal beliefs that TCM uses. The reasons why TCM is an F- isn’t due to my own rampant racism rather its due to:

  • TCM lacks consistent quality control. Put it this way, how many of you think drinking tap water is bad? Well, for some TCM the impurities and other bad stuff can be many orders of magnitude higher than tap water (this also has to do with the relatively high quality water we have in Canada).
  • TCM contributes to both species extinction as well as unnecessary pain. Have you heard of Bear Bile Farming? It’s not only disgusting but incredibly painful and inhumane.
  • Defendents of TCM make very bad arguments. Typically, you hear either calls of racism (straw man argument) and/or appeal to popularity (how can millions of people over thousands of years be wrong? type of argument). These are arguments that are used by those who don’t have a legitimate argument.

Bottom line, this stuff doesn’t work. If it did, it could withstand the scrutiny of western science standards. I’m sorry but science could care less about race or tradition, you just gotta be right. TCM will never change unless the consumers start demanding better from them. Do not support TCM.

Congee Wong April 22, 2009

Posted by crarence in Food.
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congee1

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Growing up, I’ve always been a fan of congee (or “tsuk,” as we Hakka people like to call it.) It’s essentially a rice porridge made by boiling rice in water or broth until it becomes viscous in texture. At home I like it plain with a little bit of soy sauce, but it goes well with meat and veggies as well. Many people use it as a replacement for rice. I highly recommend the Congee Wong franchise restaurants because:

  • All the food is quite tasty. They have a variety of congee available, plus traditional westernized Chinese foods and side dishes.
  • It’s convenient! There are many locations found across the GTA, and many of these locations are open very late (as most Chinese restaurants are.) Unfortunately, a quick google searched produced no locations outside of the GTA, so sorry to tease you non-Torontonians!
  • It’s well priced. If you were to get a big bowl of congee, a large rice/noodle dish, 3 sides, and drinks (a feast of food for 4 people) it would come to about $40 before tax and tip. That’s pretty good value in my book.

So if you’ve got a hankering for some tasty and relatively inexpensive Chinese food (especially congee,) I would give Congee Wong a try.

Bret “Hitman” Hart DVD April 21, 2009

Posted by huymix in Celebrity, Sports, Television.
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Bret Hitman Hart DVDfplusBret Hitman Hart Logo

The child in me still has a soft spot for Bret “Hitman” Hart. I always used to say The Hitman, which was wrong, so I suppose I wasn’t exactly the excellence of executing listening. This DVD set has been out for a while, but I pulled it out and re-watched it for the following reasons:

  • Has some of my favourite matches of all time on it. Davey Boy Smith “The British Bulldog” at Wembley, Owen Hart at Wrestlemania X and against Mr. Perfect. Mr. Perfect was so awesome, the wrestling world was never the same without him.
  • The documentary film on disc 1 is pretty candid about everything. You can tell he still doesn’t really like Vince or Shawn.
  • It’s Bret Hart. For non-hockey fans (I didn’t follow hockey as a kid), he was like Captain Canada. He was the proud Canadian and like I said, I’ll always have a place in my childhood for Bret Hart.

Bottom line, if you watched wrestling during the 90’s chances are you were a Bret Hart fan at some point. Even if you weren’t a wrestling fan, you will at least be watching one of the best of the era. Bonus points for no Doink the Clown!

Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) April 20, 2009

Posted by crarence in Videogames.
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This is a popular Warcraft 3 mod that has arguably become more popular than Warcraft 3 itself. The basic premise of the game is that you’re on a team with 4 other real-life players, facing off against another 5 player team. Each team has to fight their way in to the enemy base to destroy a central objective. Before you can do so, you need to gain levels with your character, learn new skills and spells, and buy shnazzy gear. All the while, you’re trying to stop your opponent’s from doing the same thing. What makes the game so fun:

– It’s fast, challenging and rewarding. Like WOW, you get to build up a unique character with skills, abilities, and gear. You have to coordinate your actions with teammates to defeat your 5 real life counter parts –  it’s very hard to rambo your way through on your own against 5 other players. Unlike WOW, the game ends in an hour, so there is no real tedious grinding before you can do fun stuff.

– There’s a lot of variety! The game has about 100 unique heroes. Some heroes are the “carry” who will lead the team to victory. Other heroes are support heroes who back their buddies up. Some heroes are “early game,” meaning they are strong when the game begins but plateau out in efficiency. Others are “late game,” meaning they are weak initially but get exponentially better as the game progresses. Even with general roles, the myriad items you can purchase means that you can switch roles for your heroes as well.

– The game is well supported. The game designers produce regular updates that re-balance any gaming issues, introduce new heroes, adjust the map set-up…etc for a better gaming experience. Other third parties produce programs to set-up matches easier. There are a ton of Internet guides to help players with strategies and tutorials, the best site being the homepage at

http://www.dota-allstars.com

If you’re a Warcraft fan but don’t want to get sucked up into the dark, dark hole that is WOW, I would give DOTA a try.