Friday, March 31, 2006

1 + 1 = Coffee and a Cruller?

So the other day, having nothing better to do during an early morning staff meeting that was endlessly dragging all attendees to that tenth circle of Hell, I started reading the side of my Tim Horton's coffee cup. Once again, the Canadian Coffee Maker has their "Roll up the Rim to Win" promotion going on. I never win. I buy my coffee and roll the win only to be told time and time again to "Play Again". All I ever win from Tim Horton's is a leaky cup that I don't notice until I am about halfway down Michigan Avenue on my way to work.

So in the conference room, as someone is talking about Synergy and Shared Mission, Shared Success, I rrrolled up my rim only to find that yet again, I won nothing.

But what if I did win?

As a United States Citizen, I would just turn in my cup for one of many fabulous prizes, like one of more than 27 MILLION donuts or cups of coffee.

But, lets just say I am like my dear friend Justin, a resident of the great Maple Leaf Land of Plenty. In order to claim his prize, he has to answer a Skill-testing question.

Let me repeat. A Skill-testing question.

In order for you to get your free cup of coffee, in Canada, you have to know the answer to...


The Skill Question of Canada Act even has a section on Wikipedia:

The combined effect of Sections 197 to 206 of the Canadian Criminal Code bans for-profit gaming or betting, with exceptions made for provincial lotteries, and licensed casinos and charity events. Many stores, radio stations, and other groups still wish to hold contests to encourage more purchases or increase consumer interest.

These organizations take advantage of the fact that the law does allow prizes to be given for games of skill, or mixed games of skill and chance. In order to make the chance-based contests legal, such games generally have mathematical skill-testing questions incorporated.
The most common form that these questions take is as an arithmetic exercise.

A court decision ruled that these must contain at least three operations to actually be skill testing; for example, a common question might be "(2 × 4) + (10 × 3)"

The Answer, by the way, is 38.

What other types of MATH questions do they use? How about this one:

A convoy of trucks loaded with Trash leaves Toronto at 7am. It travels east and reaches the Sarnia/Port Huron Bridge at 12:15. Taking into effect strict border security, at what time does this load of trash get dumped in a landfill on the American Side? What percentage of that trash is made up of losing Tim Horton's coffee cups?

Answer Correctly and you just may win!

(This column published in French by clicking on BabelFish)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Other Cheek

Sometimes I lose track of time. It often escapes me.

The opening day of Trout season (Fly Only) is this Saturday. Its going to be 50 degrees and partly sunny. Thats about 40 degrees warmer than when Justin and I went two years ago. The sun still comes up at the same time though. The question you have to ask yourself is: Do I want to stay in bed or do I want to wet my pole. Uh...

Finally earned my GOLD Card at Dave and Buster's last night. It only took me ten years to do so. Thats about nine years longer than it took Hal and Okie to earn their Gold Card. Of course they also earned enough tickets to buy the night vision goggles. Is Okie still mad at us? Does he still know why? Maybe he needs to start reading the Hippo's Ass.

Years ago I remember countless arguments in homeroom about who was the best rock guitarist. Most thoght it was one man: Eddie Van Halen was a Rock God. May still be, but gods usually don't age this badly. Now I know why Valerie Bertinelli left him.

Speaking of Rock legends....If you were accused of shooting your girlfriend/bedpartner with a shot gun, the last thing you want to look like in court is an ad for the Science Center Static Ball of Energy. Phil...its over man.

Every year I plop down my money and fillout my brackets during March Madness. Every year I know next to nothing about the teams that are playing. Every year I get my hopes up and make a run for the pot of money. Every year I lose. Stupid UCONN. Stupid TEXAS. Stupid MEMPHIS.

Because it was featured on LOST, I read, Watership Down, A Wrinkle in Time, The Third Policeman, and Lancelot. I draw the line at Judy Blume. Hello God? Its me Scott. Please make the LOST producers follow the 24 model of how to successfully run a show in primetime. Three weeks seems like a long time between new episodes.

I remember Tom Cruise in TAPS. Crazy guy in the end screaming, "Its Fucking beautiful, Man!" Back then I never liked him in the movies. Never liked his acting. As the years went by I warmed to his cockyness on the screen but never to the point of accepting him as talented. Now, what has it been, 20 years? 23 years? I still don't like him. Now more than ever. He's still a guy screaming. It IS fun watching him implode though.

Went looking at an iPod today. It holds 7,500 songs. That's more than 650 albums. Approximately 30,000 minutes of music. If you played every song without repeating, 24 hours a day, it would take you 20 days to hear every song.

I pulled out an old Springsteen album the other day. Yes I said album. The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle. I haven't played this record in about 15 years.

Battlestar Galactica rocks. Just finished watching the first season. Trying to find am inexpensive used copy of Season 2.0 on eBay. Years ago I remember watching the original series. I remember building the models of the Cylon fighters; collecting the bubblegum trading cards; reading the comic book; wishing for the toys at Christmas. It seemed like that show was on for years.

The Original series was only on for one year.

This year will mark ten years of the Fall Fishing Trip. Joe M.'s fishing pole is still sitting on the bottom of Clear Lake. Time escapes me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hippo's Ass Gets a (Lost) Clue?

Well once again this week, there is no new LOST on ABC. Actually, there is no new LOST anywhere. As much as I like the ride the show takes us on, I am often frustrated with the constant waiting in line for the next episode. Here's a tip Mr. LOST Producer, I am willing to wait 8 months for a new season, if you only just copy 24's formula and show a season without any breaks.

So, to bide my time, I cruised over to Evatt's Blog (link on the left) but his big boobathon continues...Now I like boobs, but come on! He's just Phishing for hit on his site. Anyone can put a picture of a big boob on their site just to get people to log on. Why, someone could write BIG BOOBS BIG BOOBS BIG BOOBS BIG BOOBS BOOBS BIG BOGS over and over again, but what fun would that be. Besides, I might misspell Boob and attract people who like large swampy areas that stink.

Then I went over to Joe's Blog and quickly came back here. He's had the same picture of the iron grater toilet paper since last year. Rumor has it he forgot the name of his own blog. Yeah, lots of traffic over there. At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I will move on...

Back to Lost... I found a used copy of LANCELOT by Walker Percy at the King Book Shop in Ferndale. You will remember that this was the book Sawyer was reading on the beach.

The Clue?

Inside the front cover, just before the chapter is a quote from a book of Dante's Divine Comedy...wait for it...Its not Inferno. Yup, its from Purgatorio. Here is the quote and judge for yourself:

He sank so low that all means
for his salvation were gone,
except showing him the lost people.
For this I visited the region of the dead...

Now...Go read Dostoevsky The Brother's Karamazov and report back here next week.

On Thursday, The Hippo's Ass will show you how to get your news story to pop up on Hal's News updater. And...we reveal the name of Hal's Boss. Here is a hint: Volvo. (No its not Mulva)

The Hippo's Ass will also go out on a limb and pick the second seed from the West to win the Big Dance. The HA doesn't actually know which team this is, but I got a good feeling.

And, we expect a lot of good stories and photos from the gang headed to Chicago for St. Patricks Day.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Kesslers Moment

I know...I know. We aren't allowed to poke fun at President Bush. He's off limits these days or we run the risk of being called traitors by FOXNEWS.

We can't make fun of him.

We can't hold a mock impeachment trial for him (sorry Dave, there goes your lesson plan for next week).

We can't compare him to Hitler.

But the guy makes it so damn easy! I mean, C'mon Rove, get a handle on your corporate media for heaven's sake. You think Clinton's handlers would have allowed rampid jokes about him to float across the internet and awkward photos to be passed around?

Like, take this photo of President Bush for instance...Its a Kessler's moment if I every saw one.

Speaking of lesson plans, The HA has obtained an exclusive audio tape of one of Dave's classroom lessons. Seems like somebody in the back of the class has been secretly taping Dave and wanted to submit it to FOXNEWS, but the HA offered him a good deal and we got the tape first. Look for this HOT transcript soon on the Hippo's Ass

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Sisterhood of Hal's Traveling Pants

Seems like EVERYONE today wants to know what happened to Hal’s Pants.

Ok, Here is the Scoop. On the way to Toronto, Hal and Tony decided to not wear their good clothes so they could be more “comfortable” in the car. Scott wore his. Three hours into the trip they stop at a Holiday Inn Express because Tony has a Preferred Member card or a Coupon for a free Danish, I can’t remember. Anyway, they go into the bathroom to change while Scott waits in the lobby to read the Globe and Mail about how the Toronto Subway System is going broke because they are giving Naked guys free transfers. I kid you not. Ok…I kid you about the Naked part, but the free transfers is just killing the system. You see, when you have X amount of riders and it costs M to pay for the system…what? Oh yeah…It’s George Bush’s Fault.

Back to the story…At somepoint Hal realizes that his suit pants are nowhere to be seen. To make a long story short, Hal goes to WallMart and buys a cheap pair of pants, and forgets to claim said pants when coming back across the border. He recieves a letter from Dick Cheney warning that Serious Consequentence will occur if Hal Doesn’t pay Duty and includes an invitation to go quail hunting.

Seems like that would be the end of the story…but its not. What happened to Hal’s original pair of pants you may ask… Luckily, the folks down at Random House have published a cute touching story about the journey of Hal’s Pants, called, The Sisterhood of Hal’s Traveling Pants. Here is my review:

They were just a soft, ordinary pair of thrift-shop suit pants that belonged to Hal until the four girls took turns trying them on--four girls, that is, who are close friends, about to be parted for the summer, with very different sizes and builds, not to mention backgrounds and personalities. Yet Hal’s pants settle on each girl's hips perfectly, making her look sexy and long-legged and feel confident as a teenager can feel. "These are magical Hal Pants!" they realize, and so they make a pact to share them equally, to mail them back and forth over the summer from wherever they are. Beautiful, distant Lena is going to Greece to be with her grandparents and worship at the Pagan temple of Apollo; strong, athletic Bridget is off to lesbian soccer camp in Baja, California; hot-tempered Carmen plans to have her divorced (Step?)father all to herself in South Carolina (nudge nudge wink wink); and Tibby the rebel will be left at home to slave for minimum wage at Wallman's. (Name changed from WallMART due to threats from underpaid Mexican workers without health insurance becoming jealous of Tibby’s high paying job)

Over the summer Hal’s Pants come to represent the support of the sisterhood, but they also lead each girl into bruising and ultimately healing confrontations with love and courage, dying and forgiveness. Like Hal’s Pants, the reader bounces back and forth among the four unfolding adventures, and the mélange is spiced with letters and witty quotes that speak over the readers heads and only elite Hollywood types will understand and explain to us in a feature length film that will cut out most of the story and leave us with just sex scenes with Halle Berry as Bridget.

Two Stars.