Welcome to JTC Inc.

Chaps: because if they had an ass, they'd just be called pants.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Update / Crazy Golfers

So, let's face facts - April was not a banner month for the JTC blog. Only 7 posts in the month (including this one), with 5 of those happening in the first 10 days. Things have definitely been a tad quiet over the last few weeks, so we'll see if we can't get the old posting output up a little to satisfy our faithful reader(s). Kudos to Co-Co for sending PChrist and myself scolding e-mails for our lack of posts. (Not really - GFY, Co-Co)

And I mean really - I should have a ton of material...I'm leaving work early (and by "early", I mean "6:15pm") every day to come home and shoot up my parents' diabetic cat. There have been all sorts of jokes about problems finding veins, strapping a belt to his arm, etc., etc. The photos I could set-up alone would be pure gold. Ah well...

In other news, last weekend I played my first round of golf for the year. I could only find two friends who were available to play, which always makes me nervous, because there's always a chance we might be grouped up with a "single" golfer to round out our foursome. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like I don't like other people (actually, that's a lie - I don't), it's just that people who are single golfers invariably turn out to be fucking nut jobs.

They're not the type of nut jobs you would see on the TTC (now, THERE'S an idea for another post), you know - dirty, urine-soaked clothes, etc. They're far more dangerous, because they APPEAR to be normal. They're all, "Hi! You fellas don't mind if I join you, do you?" And while you want to reply, "Actually, I do mind. Why don't you have any friends? Alarm bells are ringing over here, buddy." You instead reply, "Of course not!"

Then, after 2 - 3 holes, you realize that you've committed to spending the next 4 hours with a raging psychopath. The dude we were golfing with last weekend alternated between screaming at his putts ("GET IN THERE, YOU LITTLE PRICK!") and screaming at his drives ("I GOT A HOLD OF THAT ONE!") It was all very relaxing. After the round, we got to enjoy him screaming at the Raptors game on the TV in the clubhouse.

I feel this whole phenomenon of crazy single golfers raises an interesting question: Are single golfers crazy because they golf by themselves? Or are they golfing by themselves because they're crazy? Riddle me THAT. If anyone out there wants to give me about $1 million in research funds, I will commit to getting to the bottom of this mystery.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Pabst Earnings Fall; Lowers Outlook On Weak 'Smear' Sales

SAN ANTONIO — Pabst Brewing Company [PBC-N] said its first-quarter earnings fell on disappointing sales of it's newest brand, 'Smear'.

The troubled brewer was seeing a resurgence of sales due to the cult following of it's 'Blue Ribbon' beer at US colleges and universities, and in turn invested the success into the development of their latest beer, 'Pabst Smear'.

"I just don't get it", said Theo Dominique, a local distributor we spoke to who was busy promoting Smear at a downtown nightclub, offering a free Pabst Smear to patrons.

"Head office is asking me to push the Smear, but when I talk to my buyers, they say everyone keeps asking for Pabst Blue Ribbon."

During our interview, Mr. Dominique had trouble passing out samples. "See? I can't even give the stuff away. I keep offering one, and all I get are weird faces."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Anna: The Swedish Girl Around

It's been over a year since we last checked in with our good friend Anna, so I thought I'd drop her a line and see how things were going. As usual, she's up to her old flirtatious ways. Here is an excerpt from our conversation today:

Anna: Welcome to IKEA. I'm Anna, IKEA Canada's Online Assistant. You can ask me about IKEA and our products and our services. How can I help you today?

Coco: Hi Anna. Right off the top I'd like to say you are looking beautiful today.

Anna: Thank you, my creators made me easy on the eyes. If you have any questions about IKEA please ask me and I'll be happy to help.

Coco: Actually, it had been a while since we here at JTC Inc. have checked in with you, so I have a few questions if you don't mind.

Anna: I have a vast knowledge of IKEA products, procedures and services. My creators analyze the log files of all conversations, and constantly update and improve me to better serve visitors to IKEA's website. Ask me a question and test me yourself.

Coco: Woah there Anna - aren't we going out for dinner on Friday? I'll test you myself after that. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the new JTC Inc fan club? I'm assuming you are a member.

Anna: As I am only an advanced computer program, I cannot answer more than one sentence at a time. Please simplify and repeat the most important question within your previous input, and I will try to reply as accurately as possible. I am opening a page now which you can use if you wish to contact Customer Service via e-mail. Thank you very much!

Coco: Ok, ok, stop opening pages. Sorry about the long sentences – we all know you Swedes like it short and sweet (again, more on that this Friday).

Anna: Please take a look at Swedish Sweets.

Coco: I’m looking at one, babe! Anyhow – thoughts on the fan club?

Anna: On this page you will find valuable information about hoods and fans. Would you like to browse through our range of fans in the product area?

Coco: Unless you have fans of JTC Inc in the product area, no thanks. Let’s wrap this up – are we still on for Friday my Swedish Sweet?

Anna: Which IKEA store do you want the opening hours for?

Coco: Let’s say I pick you up when you get off work - around 7pm at the North York store?

Anna: On the page that I am opening now, you can find all information about opening hours at IKEA North York.

Coco: Ok – looks like you’re open. See you, babe.

Anna: Goodbye. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

Coco: My pleasure.

Anna: Great, is there anything else I can help you with?

Coco: You can take your shirt off.

Anna: Thank you for being so polite.

A Tough Way to End It, by John Ferguson, GM, The Toronto Maple Leafs

Sunday, the New Jersey Devils scored with seconds winding down to push their final game with the New York Islanders into overtime. A Devils win would have pushed us into the playoffs. Thank god the Islanders won in penalty shots. The last thing we needed was more work in the form of weeks upon weeks of ‘playoffs’ – ugh.

It was a close end to the season. On Saturday, we fucked up and came back from two goals down to defeat Montreal and eliminate them, but we held confidence in the fact that the Islanders would end it for us. Looking back, I thought we needed to get less than 92 points to avoid the playoffs. We got to 91 and we left it to chance. We ended up on the right side of the shootout, but man was that close.

Admidst the sea of cameras on the doorstep of the Leafs dressing room yesterday afternoon, my boys explained that in the end, they know what it’s all about. “I'm happy, personally," said Andrew Raycroft, the goalie who was pulled from the biggest game of the season. "I got to play a lot of games – but all the ‘work’ is over now! See y'all in five months, motherfuckers!” It’s heartwarming to hear Raycroft pat himself on the back for really pooching games when we needed him to, despite winning 37 of them.

When asked about prospects and possible changes for next year, Darcy Tucker said “My personal opinion is I don't think we're far off where we need to be to avoid a championship until after Global Warming makes the formation of ice impossible.”

Towards the end of the season, injuries to our experienced players really took the wind out of our sails. It was an opportunity for a lot of young players to come in and be productive, which made our job even harder. I’m talking about players like Colaiacovo, White, Stajan, Steen. Pohl had 13 goals, that sunofabitch! These are players who will reprimanded.

Because of our young core, we’ll be a better team next year and will have to work even harder to extend our 40 year streak of mediocrity.

But that’s what makes this team so damn exciting.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Descent into Madness '07 - A Recap

Last night, the JTC Board of Directors and several associates went out to enjoy a little something we like to call the "Descent into Madness". For a brief description of the history of this glorious event, see the end of my previous post.

Seeing how it's been a couple of years since we've had a "Descent", this year's event was aptly described by PChrist as a "rebuilding year". We were definitely a bit rusty with the old pub crawl, and there were several "lessons learned" which, I've documented below:

1) Don't leave the Descent to go play a soccer game - I really don't know what the hell I was thinking by doing this. It really cut into my drinking time and left me, later in the evening, as being more sober than anyone else - never a good spot to be in. The fact that I played like shit in said soccer game really is just salt in the wound.
Next time? Fake an injury. This is very believable, as I'm usually injured anyway.

2) Don't put Co-Co in charge - I think this exchange pretty much sums things up:
JohnnyM: "Hey - I thought we were going to the Rebel House"
Co-Co: "Yeah - we are."
JohnnyM: "But the Rebel House is south of where we are now."
Co-Co: "Really?"
JohnnyM: "Yes - really. I thought we were planning on heading north on this pub crawl."
Co-Co: "We are."
Next time? If you want something done right, do it yourself.
3) Don't have an important Leafs game on the night of the pub crawl - I'm not sure if this one is written in stone - if memory serves, during one DintoM a few years back, I clearly recall watching a Leafs playoff game at Scruffy's. Anyway - having important Leafs games really cuts down on your ability to move between bars, and if you do try to move bars, it's damn hard to get decent seats.
Next time? Ensure the Leafs have wrapped up a playoff spot months earlier, or better yet, aren't playing that night.

4) Have a proper itinerary - Back in the day, I used to have all the bars planned out with very specific time periods spent at each bar. I'd then crack the whip, and get people moving between the bars at the proper times - or leave them behind - which really kept the group going, ensuring that we hit the scheduled 4 - 5 bars.
Next time? See the response to item 2 above.

Keeping all four of these items in mind for next year will ensure that it's a night to remember. Book your calendars now - Descent into Madness '08 will be occurring on Thursday, March 20th, 2008.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

On the Street...With A Cell Phone...uh....EVERYWHERE!

This afternoon at work (my real job, not JTC Inc.) I received a scathing e-mail from Co-Co, asking me why I'd been so lazy with the blog writing lately. When I pointed out that compared to PChrist, I'm about as prolific as Stephen Fucking King, he helpfully forwarded my comments to none other than PChrist. He also offered me several potential blog topics - the upcoming Descent into Madness? The "hilarious" story from Sunday where I chased after a dude in a stranger's luxury SUV who stole a Muskoka chair off my porch? Not bad options, but both ultimately unsatisfying in my opinion.

I needed something with a bit more "zing". After surfing on Facebook for an hour or two, making ludicrously witty comments on multiple people's walls, I still felt no inspiration. Wanting to see what was happening on tonight's episode of "The News", I decided to check out citynews.ca, where I came across the following picture:

Can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on here? In the foreground, we have a CityNews "reporter" who, thanks to the grace of gravity is apparently "on the street". She appears to be unfamiliar with the concept of cell-phone use, and either thinks that she's picked up a pocket mirror given her locked gaze, or some sort of Star Trek communicator. In the background, we see a City "News" truck, with it's broadcasting antenna up. Presumably it's picking up whatever the cell phone is being pointed at. Either that, or it's sending the Klingon's demands back to Star Fleet Command.

In other news, the Descent into Madness is a ludicrously successful and long-running pub crawl that happens every year on the Thursday before Good Friday. "Celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Through Massive Alcohol Consumption" as we like to say. This year the location is on the stretch of pubs on Yonge between Bloor and Summerhill. And I have a soccer game in the middle of it. Should be fun.

Also, that whole Muskoka chair/SUV thing actually happened. I'll try to write it up, if I get some time in the next few days...