Monday, July 27, 2015

Are You #%^1n' Kiddin' Me #9

I used to think the Royal Canadian Mint was a kind of cool institution. I imagined serious, expert engravers and artists crafting collector and circulation coins that would have real cultural meaning to Canadians.

Apparently American cartoons now fit that description.

When I first saw that ad I thought it must be some kind of sneaky poser mint pretending to be the Real mint. Not so. The Real mint has gone into the cheesy licensed image collector coin business. I don't know why this seems like a betrayal to me, but it really does.

I have no doubt that the Mint employs many wonderful people with very well developed artistic, historical and cultural sensibilities. If this kind of crap pains me as a proud Canadian, I can only imagine what it is doing to them.

I guess I should be glad the Canadian mint isn't doing Disney Princess coins. They're just reselling the New Zealand mint's Disney Princess Coins:

Is this what the producers of legal currency around the world have come to? For God's sake, why? I mean, WHY? AAARRGGHH! Are You #%^1n' Kiddin' Me?

Yer Pal,

PS - I sure didn't think so, but I guess there's a chance that the Mint has been involved in this kind of thing for decades. If so, it doesn't make it any less repugnant to me.

PPS - Now I see that thanks to my searching on the topic to see if anyone else was incensed, there's an ad on my site (I don't exactly pick 'em) to go buy one of these damn things! Insult, meet injury and irony.

PPS - I feel the need to report that upon typing the words "injury and irony" above, the tune "ebony and ivory" sprung to mind. I am trying to stop myself from composing a full damn word-substitution Weird Al - style "Injury and Irony" song right now. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Gone Campin'

The Rantwick clan is going camping next week, for the first time in quite a while. I will not be writing blog posts during that time, but if you're just addicted to the small details of my life I will likely be tweeting pictures of anything cool we come across. There's a Twitter "follow" button in the sidebar if you're so inclined.

We're going to Bruce Peninsula National Park near Tobermory Ontario, so not too far from home. We've been there before but the kids were too little to enjoy the excellent hiking and stuff that's available. Should be awesome.  

Yer Pal,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Link Not Taken

Before we begin, can we agree that despite terrible over and dare I say ill-use of it, the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is still really great? Having ill-used it once more in a glancing way with my title, I re-read it for the first time in a long while. You hear it all over the place (i.e. graduation ceremonies), but reading it in print is, for me, so much better. So easily bent to the private emotional purposes of the reader! Ugh. Good stuff. Now, on to your scheduled programming: My stuff, which is of a consistency and quality that most definitely belongs in some other category, preferably a category of its own since it could potentially harm the other words...

I can't believe I missed this post from my friend Steve at . It was posted back in February of 2014. It is a good post about our mutual friend kermit, who rides on Steve's handlebars and was on that occasion lost, run over, and found. I had previously written about (and mutated) kermit in a post in 2010, taking

this: to this:  

Turns out, if you visit Steve's post from 2014 you'll find a link to an image I had no idea existed until just yesterday. It is fantastic, depicting kermit when he is, in Steve's words, Rantwick Mad:

Oh man, he just looks so wrong... He features not only my squinty eye and mouth, but dinosaur head, dripping blood, and claws! It is a fr***kin' masterpiece, yet it was not displayed in the post; it was just hiding under a link! Bravo, Steve, I love it!

That got me to thinking about stuff on this blog that I had assumed just hadn't been of interest or worth comment. Had some things suffered the same fate, hiding under links not taken?

So, I now beg you to follow these links:

Mordecai McBumpanoggin's website. Mordecai was first referenced and his site created for this post, which was written March 2012. Mordecai's site was not directly linked to (other than in the comment sections) until October 2013.

The indie band website for Evil Peace created and linked to in this post from June of 2012.

Now, if you had already seen these and just thought, "meh" to yourself, don't tell me that. Instead pretend you didn't see them until now. If it's still a "meh", don't tell me that either. Praise me for how great they are. I mean it. I don't care at all if your praise is sincere; just try to make it seem that way.

Yours In an Ongoing and Inane Quest for Validation,

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Huff N' Puff Cycling Groups

This Wednesday morning I once again ran across a local cycling group comprised mainly of seniors. The first time was in 2011...

I posted on that encounter here , and explained that I was unable to locate any info on their group after we met, having only been told they were the "Silver Spokes". This time however, the leader told me they were a Huff N' Puff Cycling group, which when I looked into it yielded lots of good info.

The Huff N' Puff Seniors Fitness Association in London Ontario has a large membership and they do all kinds of stuff, not just cycling. I had never heard of them before; these people (at least the cyclists I met) are so nice it makes me almost wish I were old enough to join. I've been an old man at heart for, like, a decade at least anyway. Seriously though, their motto is "Because for us, life is not a spectator sport!" I think that is awesome and I sincerely hope to be that kind of senior when I get there.

I'm not going to post video from this morning, because the 2011 one is better. Today I was overtaking the group, so the video is just the back of a lot of heads and people yelling "bike on the left!"

When it comes to Huff N' Puff & cycling, the best info I could find was in their Spring newsletter, from which I snipped the following:

This seniors group appears to have THREE cycling groups, some of which have a WAITING LIST! I think that is just outstanding, since I think cycling is a great fit for seniors and I hope to do it forever myself.

Also, like I've already said, they do a ton of other stuff 
too, so go to

If you're interested.

Yer Pal,

Monday, July 13, 2015

Knowing Wave

Hey everybody! Did you all have a decent weekend? I did, because I attended a wedding on Saturday and had such a good time (hic!) that I slept most of Sunday. But enough about me. This post is (I think) about one of you.

A cyclist going the opposite way on the TVP (Thames Valley Parkway, or in more common parlance "The Bike Path") gave me a wave that looked like they knew me. I came this closeto signalling them to pull over for a quick hello. What if it wasn't somebody I "knew", but rather just somebody who's waves are inadvertently familiar and encouraging? Even getting somebody I sort of know to pull over and say hello would feel kind of awkward to me. I ended up just saying "good morning" on my way by.

So, tell me, is this you, and god help me, should I have known who you were? Is the mighty Richard Sleegers just sporting a beard now? I may never get an answer, but you can't say I didn't try.

Yer Pal,

Friday, July 10, 2015

Things People Say Fridays #16: GoPro Kids

I sometimes wonder if there is some ad campaign I am unaware of, or an Internet meme, or something that explains why people (usually young people, but not always) feel compelled to yell "GoPro!" when they see my helmet cam.

If not, why does this happen with such regularity and in such a similar way? I hope somebody can solve this mystery for me, because otherwise I think it's a little freaky. I'm trying to think of some other consumer item that prompts people to yell out its name on sight, but I'm coming up empty. Here's a just a sampling of what I'm on about:

Mrs. Rantwick, the best (and perhaps most intelligent) woman on the planet, theorizes that it is just the combination of realizing you're being recorded, wanting to stand out and the fact that the ubiquitous GoPro brand name has achieved something like the common usage enjoyed by Kleenex. By that I (or more accurately, she) means people yell "GoPro" rather than "helmet cam" because they have no built-in fear of the willy-nilly use of trademarked names the way online or print writers do. Or, um, should*.

Problem is, despite how cool and smart she is, I don't always take Mrs. Rantwick's opinions as gospel truth, because, well, we're married and if I did, that would be sort of wrong. There is great interest and entertainment to be had in arbitrarily disagreeing with the one you love most. I'm sure many of you do it all the time and know exactly what I mean.

So, I ask you, dear reader, do you know what's going on? Theories are OK, but I'm still kind of hoping for some meme or ad or whatever like I said at the start. Help me. Like, really, please help me. Hey, maybe the good people at GoPro know... I'll tweet them a link to this post just in case. 

Yer Pal,


* Dear Trademark™ owners: Please know that I thought that this blog post constituted normal and reasonable use of your brand names. Please don't sue me, because, well, I'm a good guy who just wanted to talk about your products for what I think are decent reasons that don't really convey any message for or against the stuff you sell. If you disagree, please let me know via email at which time I look forward to entering into a lengthy and confusing period of correspondence culminating in my doing whatever saves my ass. Be warned, however, that if you think this little blurb is running long, this ain't nuthin', and you or your lawyers will be in for a veritable shitstorm of me trying to be funny about something that is potentially very serious.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Know I Shouldn't Give A ****

I took a nice ride yesterday after work, lengthening my afternoon commute by about 15k just for kicks. It was rainy, which was nice because 1) I like riding in the rain and 2) it reduces the number of people out on the paths and 3) I was nice and cool. Anyway, I was in a pretty good mood and getting fairly close to home when this happened:

I didn't have to touch my brakes. I did have to let up on pedaling a little. In the grand scheme of things, it is not a big deal. It shouldn't even be a small deal, but it is to me. Would the officer have done that to a slow car? Maybe, I don't know. I do know that if it is OK for cops to do it, surely it is OK for everybody else, right?

I wonder a little if I'm just being opportunistic, because cops make great video fodder. There may be an element of that in my posting of this video when I let so many other drivers off without a mention here or on youtube. That said, shouldn't I be able to hold police to a higher standard? I know when I'm in a marked work vehicle I drive like anybody might report me for just about anything, which is probably true.

So, having seen the video, what do you think? Cheap shot or legitimate beef? I'm starting to think a little of both.

Yer Pal,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Review: Doritos Intense Pickle

My last post was about how I wished  for a return to the days when I wrote more and better stuff for this blog.

Today does not mark such a return, but something rather far from it. Nonetheless, this is IMPORTANT STUFF. There was a 2-fer kind of sale on Doritos at the grocery store today, plus there was a flavour on offer that I had never seen before: Intense Pickle!

hmmm. Bag opened, but not empty. A clue to the reviewer's opinion, a symptom of his level of satiety or merely the state of the bag at the time of the photo? We shall see, dear reader. Oh yes, we shall see. That much is certain...

Speaking of junk food, I am always rather amazed at the wider variety found in American grocery stores as opposed to Canadian. I mean, in Canada you might find like 3 flavours of Mountain Dew on any given store shelf, where in the US it is more like 6 or 8. Same goes for chips, candy, etc.

Given the fact that our national diets are very similar, I'm guessing it is simply a function of how much larger the US market is; there are enough consumers to make more variety financially viable. Or maybe, Canadians are simple folk who would just stand in the aisle undecided until the store had to close if presented with so many choices. Hell, I don't know why, really. Why are we talking about this anyway? Can we just talk about the chips I tried today, please? Sheesh! You and your rambling tangents! Don't get me wrong, it's kind of endearing and one of the many things I quite like about you. You da best, dear reader.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Intense Pickle Doritos. I think pickle flavoured chips are one of those black-and-white, love 'em or hate 'em kind of things. People who like pickle chips really like them, and people who don't really don't. Obviously, I'm in the pro-pickle chip crowd. Even so, I couldn't quite get my head around corn-tortilla-chip-pickle-flavour fusion, let alone an intense version of said synthesis.

Sorry I'm so damn wordy. This was supposed to be a review, not a never-ending run-on continuous stream of ceaseless meandering without final destination of a textual journey that fails to come to any conclusion within a reasonable time frame! So here it is:

Intense Pickle Doritos are frikkin' awesome. Also, not too intense.

That is all.

PS - In case you're new here or whatever, please know that I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, with the makers of these pickle chips, and as such have not and could not receive any kind of consideration monetary or otherwise for my frikkin' awesome review.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Personal Faves

I've added a new item under "Post Series and Emerging Themes" on my sidebar called "My Personal Faves". I've gone through the 605 posts on this blog and applied that label to 49 of them. That means while I am almost always OK with what I'm putting out, I am really really pleased with myself about 8% of the time. The distribution of Faves, however, is heavily weighted toward the first few years, which makes sense because I used to spend untold hours thinking about and writing for this blog. Although I of course would love for everybody to read them again or for the first time, this particular label is really more for myself.

Reading some of the old posts reminds me of when I've enjoyed writing and goofing around here the most, which fires me up to do more and better stuff than I have of late. I wanna get back to the sort of writing I used to do all the time. I may or may not succeed in this regard, but I want to try.

I love writing for this blog and the conversations that ensue afterward. I find it amazing that there are still a few of you hanging around after all this time and after lengthy absences.

Thank you so much.

Yer Pal,