Vote Chat


The head office of FedEx is a P.O. Box


Chocolate Chip Cookie


I've seen the future

And this is what it looks like:

The following quote is very apt:

"Ever wake up one morning and think to yourself: I want to see cheesy, low-budget early 90s Québécois rap video that goes on for nine minutes about how awesome public transit is and how cool you can be if you follow all the rules and respect your fellow passengers?" from this guy.

Save the planet! And also, change the world. And also also, the 90s are back.



PODuct placement


And a great place to use a pun too. POD stands for Portable Oxygen Device. The nice woman behind POD, Kelsey, sent me a can of oxygen last week after I mentioned to her that her product was intriguing. So I wound up with a can of oxygen. Its the sort of thing that happens, from time to time, and I'm not getting paid to write this, but I am about to get high on oxygen right now...for free. I've used twice now, and here's what's happened so far:

Time 1:(last week)
I was sleeping when the doorbell rang. I went to the door, said hi to the UPS guy and signed for the package. I went back inside and opened it up. When I saw it was a can of oxygen I took a quick hit. I couldn't fall back asleep after that.

Time 2: (Just now)
I just took a hit of POD. Nothing so far, but high hopes on feeling real good soon. I went for a big run today, and then ate fresh bagels and fruit juice, so I'm feeling pretty good already. I notice POD is based in Breckenridge CO, a town situated at 9600 feet above sea level. I'm in Montreal right now, a town situated at about 100 feet above sea level. I'm assuming POD's extra oxygen would be more noticeable in Breckenridge than here. Nothing yet. Wait, a little tingle feeling in my finger maybe? I'm not sure. To be completely honest, I can't be for sure that POD and it's extra oxygen promise isn't some elaborate placebo. But then again, I'm not doing extreme mountain activities at high altitude. I'm sitting on my couch thinking about toasting a bagel. Remember when bagels were health food? Ah, the 80s. In Vancouver. Even muffins were health food back then. Yep, the 80s for me was all about muffins, bagels, and circular windows. I'm going to try another puff of that oxygen. Apparently it's the good stuff. I just did. The POD container says: 40 breaths. I'd be up for doing all 40 right now. Why not, right? Then maybe I could go swimming and hold my breath for a long time. Maybe rack up another world record. I'd have to call Oprah first though. So, anyhow. POD is good. Oxygen is the gas of life. It helps us live. From the looks of it, it helps with rambly blog posts. My mind is pretty clear, I think. If you're into living, and everything that goes along with it, then POD might be just the thing for you!

have fun,


Team Participation

I am officially forming a sprawling musical collective named Team Participation. Areas of interest will include Eurotrash repetitive techno and party rock songs, but we will specialize in live cover versions of easy to remember call-and-answer songs found on Muchmusic Dance Mix albums from the 1990s. We will tour the earth with the sole goal of having a good time. Also, we will try and figure out who these guys are. I figure forming a band is the best way to do this. As of right now, I am the only member, have no musical instruments, and my musical aptitude starts and stops at the bass line to My Prerogative by Bobby Brown, but I figure this is the sort of thing that'll work itself out.

Also, my brother Scott just formed a slo-pitch softball team in an advertising agency league. His team is named Team Participation. I plan to play on the team from time to time when I'm in Vancouver. The two events are completely unrelated.

Get in touch with me if you want to be part of this.


Mangled Bikes in Montreal

It snows a lot in Montreal. After it snows a lot, many different types of machines come along and push, scrape, lift, nudge and press all of that snow...and whatever is under the snow. My favorite are the tracked sidewalk snowplows. They're driven by anonymous superheroes who make shoveling your sidewalk a thing of yesteryear. These superheros also mangle bikes locked to pole and fences along the sidewalks beyond recognition. If you need hundreds of mangled bikes for an art display of mangled bikes for your art gallery, right now would be a great time to go to Montreal with a of bolt cutters or a Bic pen.

Pictures of the full set here.





Pictures of the full set here.

There's more than one way to save the planet.



Hi Thunder,

I'm so glad to hear from you! Wasn't 'college' the best? Man, it's been so long. The parties were so wild. Hey, this sounds like the lyrics to a Weezer song!

How are the kids? I hope they are doing well. I imagine the nest and the Mrs are treating you well.

So, have you slipped back into a lifestyle of reckless drinking again? I sure hope not. But then again, you were so much fun back in the days when you were a 24/7 sauce fest. You just weren't the same after you hung up the skates, so to speak. Here's to educations!



>>Save the Date - UBC Alumni Weekend - Alumni Weekend 2008

>>Dear Trekker,

>>Wish you were here…

>>The campus in spring is amazing! The Rose Garden is budding, the cinnamon buns are steaming and thousands of students are about to graduate.

>>I hope you and your family can join me for Alumni Weekend in May. There are so many events to choose from!

>>Check out some of the things I'll be doing during Alumni Weekend below or click here to see the full schedule. I'm going to register today, you should too!

>>Hope to see you soon,

>>Thunder, the Thunderbird

How to Do Nothing

1. Plan ahead. Whether it's an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year of doing nothing, cancel all of your appointments for that block of time. Try to pick the most boring week or day, a day where you'll most likely sleep most of the time.

2. Let people know. Tell everyone that you're going to be "busy" and will be unavailable. Whether you choose to tell them that you're actually setting aside some time to do nothing, or you just give them the vague explanation "I'm going to be busy" (busy doing nothing!), tell them not to call, visit, or interrupt unless it's a real emergency.

3. Find a quiet, private place. Go somewhere you don't feel pressured to do anything. This might be your bedroom, the backyard, or a local park. Find that place and go there.

4. Set your alarm.
Set an alarm of some kind to go off when your "nothing" time is over, so that you don't have to constantly look at the clock and count the minutes.

5. Turn off the phone.
Turn off your cell phone, work phone, pager, PDA, Blackberry, computer,Beeper,Radio,Tv and any other means of sending or receiving calls or messages. These distractions will only keep you from enjoying the nothing.

6. Sit by yourself. Feel the wind, the sun on your face, the chair touching your bottom. Listen to the rustle of the trees, birds chirping, water flowing. Never think about the past or future. Avoid the temptation to turn on the TV, listen to music, write a note to yourself, get a bite to eat, or anything else. The only thing you should do is go to the bathroom (if needed).

7. Learn how to free your mind. Clear your mind of all thoughts of work, worries, family, etc. by simply letting them go. Doing this not only allows your body to do nothing, but your mind as well. However, do not be worried if you find yourself thinking of things. Freeing up one's mind is actually very difficult to master, and often requires more discipline than some free time (Buddhist monks, for example, dedicate their entire lives to freeing their minds).


wikiHow is my hero.

Are you still trading things?

I probably get asked that question about 500 times a year. Every year. For the past 1.5 years. Yep, I'm still trading things. Just not really keeping a website about it. Trading things is fun, and maintaining a website about it was fun, but I figure I kinda peaked on the awesomeness level with that, so I just trade low pro these days. And yes, sometimes I trade things for money and sometimes I trade money for things. But usually I keep it real, do things the old fashioned way and put everything on my visa card.

I also get asked for advice on how to go about trading things. So today I'm happy to share some trading advice I've learned over the years. This advice is cultivated from personal experience, in the same vein as my experience of getting $4 and a microwave, which I wrote a nice little story about. Sure, some of the expenses associated with the advice may leave you in the red slightly, but that's all part of the game. The following trading strategies are all true, and have worked in the past, except one. Can you guess which?

How to get $75 worth of free drinks:
1. Go to Bangkok.
2. Buy a vintage Montreal Expos baseball jersey for 150 Thai Baht at the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
3. Put the jersey on.
4. Go to a bar on Boulevard Des Forges in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.
5. Order a drink.
6. When bartender offers you $50 for the jersey, say thanks, but no thanks.
7. When bartender offers you $80 for the jersey, take if off your back and place it on the bar.
8. Collect $80 from bartender.
9. Pocket the five dollars the jersey cost in the first place.
10. Place the remaining $75 dollars on the bar and collect $75 worth of drinks.

How to get a free Hot Wheels General Lee toy car and ten pieces of Dubble Bubble chewing gum:
1. Wait for the weekend.
2. Drive a Toyota to the flea market in Cloverdale B.C.
3. Find a table selling used CDs for $2 ea.
4. Buy five CDs for $10.
5. Find a table buying used CDs for $3 ea.
6. Sell five CDs for $15.
7. Walk over to the nice man selling the General Lee toy car and trade $4.50 for it.
8. Drive to gas station and buy ten pieces of delicious Dubble Bubble chewing gum.
9. Spend the remainder of the weekend playing with your General Lee toy car and laugh at Pud's latest exploits.

How to go rafting on the Bow river in Calgary for free:
1. Go to a big hardware/outdoors store, like perhaps the NW Calgary Canadian Tire location at 5404 Dalton Drive NW that has the following phone number: 403-288-1100
2. Purchase an inflatable boat and foot pump.
3. Drive a spare car to the city centre of Calgary, and leave it there.
4. Place the boat and pump in a 2001 Jeep TJ and drive upstream a ways.
5. Inflate boat with pump and toss it in the river.
6. Jump in boat before it floats away.
7. Enjoy an afternoon of river rafting.
8. Get out of river when you get to your spare car.
9. Deflate boat, put it and foot pump back in box and on the way to pick up 2001 Jeep TJ, return both for a full refund.

How to get a 1990 Burgundy Dodge Caravan:
1. Go to a convenience store on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.
2. Purchase a Mustache Match scratch and win lottery ticket for one dollar from cashier named Wally.
3. Scratch to reveal three handlebar mustaches, a $1000 prize.
4. Collect your winfall.
5. Buy 1000 Mustache Match scratch and win lottery tickets with the $1000 winfall.
6. Spend all day scratching the 1000 Mustache Match scratch and wins.
7. Return to convenience store to collect your winnings.
8. Realize your winnings are only $493 dollars.
9. Walk to the sidewalk with $493 dollars in your hand.
10. See 1990 Burgundy Dodge Caravan for sale on side of road for $450 dollars.
11. Call number on for sale sign.
12. Talk to Wally, person selling van, and realize he is the same Wally who was the cashier in the convenience store.
13. Offer Wally $493 for his van.
14. Drive home in your new van.

How get 2 sundaes and a dollar of store credit at WAL-MART:
1. Buy bicycle from garage sale for $10.
2. Go to WAL-MART and buy cable bike lock, on sale for $12.
3. Lock your bicycle to a metal fence in Montreal.
4. Cross your fingers and hope that if somebody steals your bike they have the courtesy to leave the clipped remains of the cable bike lock on the sidewalk.
5. Uncross fingers after that happens.
6. Wait a few days until the bike lock is no longer on sale and return, without a receipt, remains of the cable bike lock to WAL-MART, as it was a faulty product.
7. Get Wal-Mart store credit for $25
8. Go to in-sore McDonalds and buy 2 sundaes for $2
8. Enjoy sundaes and think of all the wonderful things you can purchase with your one dollar of WAL-MART store credit.

How to get a matching set of beige suits:
1. Walk along a sidewalk in Vancouver until you come to a low-hanging Billboard covered in actual bobblehead NHL hockey players.
2. Wait for lady passenger in a convertible to pull up to the light and say: "Hey, wanna grab me an Inginla?"
3. Grab her an Iginla.
4. Convince lady passenger in convertible to buy Iginla bobblehead for five dollars.
5. Drive to sale in gymnasium of nearby school and buy two plastic goalie masks for five dollars.
6. Take goalie masks to Sport Junkies and exchange them for twenty dollars.
collect ?``
7. Go to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul charity thrift store at the corner of Main and 12th and purchase two beige suits for nineteen dollars and twenty five cents.
8. Tell the cashier to keep the change.

I think that's enough advice for now, but if you need any more trading strategies, please feel free to ask.

Your pal,


Harvey Ghinder

I've been hanging out at Home Depot a lot lately, well, actually, let me rephrase that: I've been hanging out in several 1990 burgundy Dodge Caravans and at Home Depot a lot lately. And by 'a lot' I mean pretty much every day. All day. The cool thing about Home Depots in Canada is that many of them have Harvey's restaurants in them. And at Harvey's, you can up-buy to poutine in a combo for like only an extra $1.79. And that's a beautiful thing:


Also, in Belgium you can buy license plates from people in vans:


Which is nice.




There will always be a market for ridiculous

I heard a great story the other day that involved a stunned bobcat, a suitcase, and a get-rich-quick scheme via christmas trees, and it got me thinking about how despite all the science and religion and all that other stuff out there, most people choose to be really clueless and just like to go out and have fun without hurting others. Or really, be ridiculous. Fun is a universal need, and even though we (well, I, at least) sometimes tend to think of our long-gone relatives in black and white photographs as having led stern, sensible lives, they we're probably tearing it up just like any of us do today. As this video from 1938 clearly shows, nothing made any sense back then either.

My two votes for the now equivalent of that fun little video:

Sure, there's probably imbedded meanings about youth culture and oppression and all that, but it's way too much fun to analyze this stuff.

That's my family.

Word on the street had it that my family was on the front page of some Canadian family tree / genealogy website...and as it turns out, we are!

that's my family