Monday, December 21, 2009


The story has been wildly reported and thanks to that I stumbled across a new picture related to my earlier post on Christmas lights. This version is much better:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

POST #89

I started 2009 with some crazy plan to post twice as often as I had in 2008. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for those brave souls who have stumbled upon my rantings) I never found the groove to hit that pace. Instead here we are, approaching the end of another year and my 89th post, which matches last years total. This also marks the end of the 8th year of this blog (hard to believe I started this in 2002) which somehow survives despite me moving three times, changing jobs 4 times, and some major lifestyle changes.

I was in Toronto recently and I drove by my old house. The neighbour who inspired this blog is still in the house next door, and I noticed that he has paved his front yard since I left.

The free tree that the city planted has grown quite a bit over the past 8 years. That is my old house (#137) hiding behind it on the Google Streetview image.

I have a busy two weeks ahead of me with the holidays and all the family headaches that go along with it. If I don't post again before 2010 I just want to take a moment to wish each and every one of my readers a Happy Winter Solstice! No matter what your faith or creed we all (in our own way) are celebrating an astronomical event. The shortest day and longest night and our hopes for the sun to return and the rebirth of the world in Spring. Happy Saturnalia, Hanukkah, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Brumalia, Christmas, Sankranti, Amaterasu, Inti Raymi, etc. etc. and etc.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


This time of year you occasionally drive past a house where you can tell the occupants really, and I mean really, enjoy Christmas. I refer to these homes as having "The Full Griswold" in reference to the 1989 classic National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase. If you have not seen this film go out and buy it today. To hell with It's a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story, this is the true holiday gem and it should be a family tradition to watch instead of the usual 3-hour orgy of bad animation that is Rankin-Bass.

Quite often you will see a couple 'Full Girswold's' on the same street, as neighbours attempt to compete with each other to see who can blow the most fuses. One such man however knew he simply couldn't hope to compete, so he made a simple statement. A statement so simple in fact, more people are coming by to photograph his house then that of his Holiday-loving friend next door.

Some examples of a 'Full Griswold' to get you in the Holiday mood...

Friday, December 04, 2009

100,000 MOVE

A recent survey commissioned by a Mortgage company in the U.K. is showing that close to 100,000 Britons moved over the last two years because of disputes with their neighbours. While the results may be surprising to some the good news is the majority of people still move for more traditional reasons. Specifically a desire to upgrade their home or because of work or school.


The last thing you would expect when playing with Lego bricks is for the police to kick down your door and point an assault weapon at your head. That is exactly what happened to a Toronto man after a neighbour phoned the police and reported he saw a man with a handgun. Technically Jeremy Bell did have a gun when the police came knocking, except that it was a gun he had built out of Lego.

I think the real story here is that cops would crash into a private home based on a report of a man with a gun. From the sounds of it there was no report that he was threatening anyone with the gun, or pointing it at anyone. While our gun control laws in Canada are far more strict then in the United States you still have the right to possess a gun, including a handgun, in your home provided it is licensed.

From the sounds of it Mr. Bell is taking everything in stride, accepting an apology from his neighbour and being quite clear that he has no plans to stop playing with Lego. His next project is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.