Sunday, August 28, 2005

Take That!: The 3rd Annual Central Park Film Festival Presented by Bloomberg

The 3rd Annual Central Park Film Festival Presented by Bloomberg

So I went back last night to Central Park for another movie experience. Except, as mentioned in a previous post, I was smarter and did not bring soda cans.

However, this time my roomate and I did not get there an hour early to get seats. We almost paid dearly for this since 99% of the bleacher space was taken. So we cruised the blanket area where you can spread a blanket to sit on the ground. I had my beach towel in my backbpack. We spread out the towel with our backs to some metal crowd control gates. We sat there behind the VIP seats in front of us. The VIP seats were filled with associates of the film Little Manhattan which was seeing its world premiere that very night. In other words Little Manhattan was that nights movie which started at 8 P.M.

Shortly before 8 P.M. the two people next to us moved into the VIP area and had seats. My roomate soon followed suit as the lights dimmed in order to start the introductions. Most of the main cast members were introduced. Really the only person I recognized was Cynthia Nixon because my roomate has somehow gotten me interested in Sex and the City.

Anyway we watched the movie from "primo seats" as if we were important. I thought to myself about halfway through the movie that I had finally gotten the last laugh over the soda (pop) can fiasco from the night before. I was sitting in with the production, sound and others who were associated with the movie for its world premier.

For those interested in the movie itself, it is not bad and is well worth the wait for DVD. Would I visit it in theatres? Nope, a romantic comedy about a first childhood love is not really my cup of tea, but at least the price was right (FREE ADMISSION with popcorn...which I took two boxes for myself...hhahahahahahahaha!).

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Cheers & Jeers: The 3rd Annual Central Park Film Festival Presented by Bloomberg

The 3rd Annual Central Park Film Festival Presented by Bloomberg

Went out last night to the Central Park Film Festival in Central Park because my roomate had never seen The Muppets Take Manhattan movie. I wanted to see the movie again after not seeing it in "donkies years". So I packed an average back-to-school backpack with a bag of potato chips, three cans of soda (pop for those of you in Canada) and my beach towel for sitting purposes. Then I stopped off at the Subway sandwhich store to pick up some dinner to eat in Central Park.

We took the "B" subway train directly to the West Side of Central Park and arrived shortly after 5:30 P.M. This was perfect timing considering that the movie didn't start until 8:00 P.M.

We arrived at Central Park and had our sandwich dinner while we people watched. Great sandwich the new Pastrami Subway sandwich is, by the way!

Now it was 6:00 P.M. So we decided to head towards Rumsey Playfield and the film festival location. I double checked the list of things you are not allowed to bring in just to be sure. I didn't see anything that I had on the list. So I go up with my backpack open ready to be searched figuring this will be know problem.

The person found my three soda cans and said these weren't allowed into the movie screening area. I looked at him and said "Where on the list does it say I can't bring soda cans?" He said it was posted. I said ok, then I will come back later after I have at least consumed these so as not to waste them.

While standing outside the line area while my roomate and I consumed three root beers sodas, I checked the posted list out there as well. Not a word on soda cans. Glass bottles were mentioned but not aluminum soda cans. There were three copies of the lists of banned items these were located outside the line area, in the line area on a large banner and right next to the bag inspection area. On none of these lists were cans included. In fact on the program I picked up the banned items are listed again and, you guessed it, cans were not included.

So why then was I not allowed to bring your basic everyday aluminum cans? I asked this question to the guy searching the bags. He had no clue and said they should have been posted but weren't. I wasn't the only one who was disgusted with this lack of communication on what was allowed and what wasn't. I would suggest better training for those searching bags so that what they are looking for matches what is not allowed on the signs.

To the New York City Parks Deparment, the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting and the Central Park Conservancy I say JEERS on your staff training! These organizations should know how to put on such event with staff that know what they are doing.

To these same people and the other sponsors of the movie festival for choosing the Muppets Take Manhattan, CHEERS for providing New Yorkers with a great family movie that all can appreciate and remember for years to come.

As for tonight, I will be at Central Park again for the final movie night. I hope I don't get my sox confiscated because they have suddenly become on the list of banned objects not known about.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wrappin up the last week that was...

So last week I went home. I got to visit quite a few friends in Aurora as well as see my family in Aurora and my brother in Toronto.

I still remember hearing from my mother who said my Dad woke up in the middle of the night and said "my God, they are all home!" That was because all three Suddard children were now under the same roof. This doesn't happen that often any more since my brother lives in Toronto and I in New York City.

My sister is the same old bubbily self, yet she is becoming like my mother, very busy doing things!

As far as friends, I got to visit some from my days working at the church. Also I enjoyed being asked how things were going in New York. It was also kind of funny to hear that one of my friends was in Hoboken, New Jersey (accross the Hudson River from New York City) while I was in Aurora. Apparently we switched places for the weekend.

I also got to do some extensive bike riding while in Aurora. I loved wizzing down some of the sidestreets in south Aurora. This brought back many a childhood memory of just setting out to go on an adventure in order to see what was going on in town. I practically biked everywhere!

Well, gotta go, to all of those I saw and didn't see in Aurora I will miss you guys until the next time I am in Aurora!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pimpin da blog

Universally Translated: Michael Suddard's Homepage - Michael's Blog

As I leave Aurora later today I leave you with something interesting I found on another blog. Click here to see what I mean.

Until then, see you in New York City!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Manitoba Blogs

Manitoba Blogs

Apparently everyone in Manitoba is blind. Well at least those Manitobans who blog. I swear the font on this blog is way bigger than a size twenty-two which is funny considering a normal blog type size ranges from a 10-12, maybe up to an 18 max.

So if you ever wonder if your eye sight needs a work out, check out the Manitoba Blogs blog.

Finally, I leave with a question I love..... "WHY?"

The Era-Banner

Yorkregion.com - The Era Banner

This is an update to a previous post about the Era-Banner newspaper. Today we just received, moments ago, a copy of the Thursday edition of the newspaper. There is still no sign of last Sundays or Tuesday's editions of this said newspaper.

I wonder if the advertisers of the Era-Banner know that some of their customers are not seeing their advertisements. I wonder if the newspaper is forced to keep track of its distribution numbers in terms of what areas are not being served with timely distribution of the papers. This might effect advertisement rates.

Man has distrubition of this local paper gone downhill since I left for New York City!

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Loud Monied Crowd

The Star.com - The Loud Monied Crowd

News from the tennis tournament:

"THE LOUD MONIED CROWD: The problem of executive-suite noise during games has become such an issue that umpires have had to verbally single out those attendees during matches.

In one Monday night Rogers Cup match, the umpire was heard saying: 'Quiet please, especially those in the private boxes,' which drew cheers from the crowd. And during Serena Williams' Tuesday night match, one official with the tournament noted incessant chatter about things totally unrelated to tennis, coming from two people in the adidas suite."

Apparently the loud noise is not coming from drunks in the nose bleed bleachers like at most professional sports events. Instead the noise is coming from the rich who insist on talking about anything but tennis that causes the umpires to stop the match.

Um...if that happenned at Yankee Stadium or SkyDome (I know it has been renamed the Rogers Centre, but come on!) the baseball games would never take place. This isn't golf where a shot is worth a million bucks. This is tennis where the players make loud grunting noises in order to smack a furry rubber tennis ball back and forth. If you are appearing before 15,000 fans and are expecting to make moucho dinarios then get used to some noise from the crowd. The crowd, after all, does pay the tickets which, in turn, pay for that large cheque the players receive at the end of the tournament. Besides, this is only the Rogers Cup, not hoady toady Wimbeldon!

Dave Winfield in the 1990s had it right...MAKE SOME NOISE!

Havin' a ball 'til it hurts

TorontoSun.com - Thane Burnett - Havin' a ball 'til it hurts

Just when I thought I had seen it all in terms of contests, this one past my nose as I was reading th Toronto Sun at Second Cup in Aurora. Apparently there is a competition for cannonballers in Toronto every year complete with celebrity judges. Ok. I admit a newspaper columnist may not be big celebrity like American Idol might have, but when you first start out you need to start small.

In terms of weird competitions I would rank the cannonball contest up there with the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating conference which I went and saw on July 4th (blog entry here).

I guess the average guy needs to have his or own competitions that don't require steriods. As we all know the games of baseball and others have become out of reach due to people injecting their bodies with god knows what. I guess good old cannonballing might be the next target for drug manufacturers perhaps. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Miffed

I just got back from the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. I had hoped to go down and get my work visa for next year stamped so I could cross the border at Buffalo a little quicker in order to help out my father (who is driving me) who is a little rushed this coming weekend.

Well you see I couldn't do that because I have yet to pay the "SEVIS" fee. What the heck is the "SEVIS" fee you ask?

I had to call New York City and the Department of Education's immigration lawyer to figure out what a "SEVIS" fee is. The lawyer said the $100 fee is to pay for the new database implemented in order to process the work visas. However, I could submit the receipt form to the Department of Education in order to have it re-imbursed.

So now I have wasted half my day going down and back to Toronto for absolutely nothing. Why? Because apparently the Department of Education's lawyer didn't hear about the fee until last week. However, I am slightly frustrated because the fee was implemented less than a month from the time I left for the United States last year.

In this situation, one can only scream and move on.

ARGH!

Long Words

A list of words

Whoever put together this list must have had a lot of time on their hands.

Question! Did the person use spell check on this page?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yesterday

No this is not an ode to the Beatles. "Ba dump bump chink!"

I went out yesterday to visit my grandfather and his companion. Both were happy to see me. I realized yesterday that I hadn't seen these fine people for almost a year between me going to New York City and them going to Florida for the winter.

We chatted about everything from how I was doing in New York City to what to expect in the fall. It was nice to sit down at my grandfather's place and laugh at humour and catch up on what each of us has been doing.

I admire my grandfather in many ways. Probably the most admiring aspect is the fact he is over the age of 80 and:

- has more social engagements than you can even think of.

- drives south to Florida every winter.

- still mows the lawn and washes his own cars (perhaps I am admiring his fitness even in senior years).

Perhaps I enjoy how young my grandfather seems to be even in his senior years. He is quite a remarkable man!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Playing Games With Telemarketers

Playing Games With Telemarketers

I came accross this interesting transcript of a person's responses to telemarketers. I thought this posting was hillarious because of the way Jack has turned the whole conversation into Jack providing the information and the telemarketer answering the questions.

It always seems it is easiest to fluster a telemarketer by asking simple down to earth questions.

For example from the transcript:

Telemarketer: Ok. The reason I am calling is because Citibank would like to give you money to use on your home.

Jack: What is the interest rate?

Telemarketer: The what?

Jack: The interest rate?

Telemarketer: Umm, umm, umm

Jack: Skip ahead in your script and I am sure that you can find the numbers. Let’s talk turkey.

Telemarketer: I am confused.


Simple questions that interupt the flow of the telemarketer's script cause chaos on the other end of the phone it seems. The telemarketer is thrown off the rhythem they have developed from mindlessly reading the script in front of them over and over again. That is exactly chat Jack did above.

Another fun thing to do is simply ask them harder questions that the telemarketer will have to search information for. This is best done with a cordless phone since you will want to be doing something else (like drying the dishes) while you wait for the telemarketer. Here is an example of the above that my father actually did (this call originally took 30 minutes from pick-up to hang up, it has been condensed from what I can remember):

Telemarketer: Our company would like to provide you with all your family's groceries delivered right to your door.

Dad: that is nice, however, I do have some questions about your food.

Telemarketer: All the produce is organically grown and the livestock is humanly killed.

Dad: Where do you get your meat from?

Telemarketer: I need to look this up and I will be back in a minute or two. (Telemarketer spends 3-5 minutes looking up information)

(Telemarketer names slaughterhouse)

Dad: You just named the biggest slaugherhouse in Alberta!

Telemarketer: Nah, they take great care of their animals.

Dad: Your telling an Agriculture Canada inspector this?

Click!

I love when my Dad picks up the phone and a telemarketer is on the other end. My Dad usually has:

- these guys going around in circles in their script until the telemarketer gets so frustrated they hang up on my Dad.

- my Dad asks thousands of questions that the telemarketers can't answer

-a combination of the above.

Usually I am in the same room trying to keep my laughing down to as I roll on the floor in hillarity.

So the next time you pick-up the phone, try and have some fun

Mikeyness?

I Live in My Head and Sleep in my Bed

Interesting little ways people see me as a person are nice to investigate sometimes. The appreciation people have for me are shown in various ways.

My sister, whose blog I got the idea from, loves my cheap sense of humour. My sense of humour, if one needed a label, would be "Muppet humour". I love the Muppets because of the easy play on words they are constantly using. I guess this may be where she gets the "Mikeyness" this week. Kind of a play on words using my name.

Others see me as a hardworking and caring person. At the church I used to work hard to make sure every place was clean and polished for the groups that used the building. I was also hardworking at every aspect of my life from school to scouting. Even with my latest principal (the new one) I heard that "you sound like a hardworking guy..." Perhaps this is more of the Mikeyness.

As far as caring, I have heard it from various people, including those mentioned above, how I look out for other people. If somebody needs something I usually try and figure out how to get the thing in the quickest and most efficently. Even better is when I already anticipate what someone might require and have it waiting way before they even get there. Perhaps this is also a Mikeyness.

"Mikeyness" I guess is what I exude at all times. Perhaps that is why I am called "Mikey".

"Who would have thunk it?" -Christine (my sister)

Special Relativity from the Ground Up by Patrick Julius

Special Relativity from the Ground Up by Patrick Julius (Book)

While surfing the internet aimlessly for absolutely no particular reason at all, I came accross this website. The contents are produced by a high school student who has written a 187 page book explaining the history behind how Einstein came up with the theory of relativity.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see on this student's college application that he is an author of a book?

Where do teachers find these types of students who are so interested in investigating subjects outside of their own studies in school? Apparently in Ypsilanti (where this student is from) they produced at least one!

Very impressive Patrick!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Good friends...

Went out for lunch from a good person from my days from the working at my church. We talked about all sorts of things, but the most amusing parts were the changes in town and church since I left for teaching in New York City.

New sewer system going in on Wellington Street to the East of Yonge Street, new furniture at the church, new people coming and going from the church and much more. Just a great afternoon at Wendy's & Tim Horton's to catch up on a long time away from Aurora.

Tommorrow I am off again to visit my Grandfather who I haven't seen in maybe a year! I can't believe it has been that long!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Aurora Media has gone mad!

Since I was last home in December (in Aurora that is), the media that serves Aurora has gone mad.

First up, The Era-Banner newspaper which was normally delivered Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays to my home has now apparently stopped being delivered on Sundays. Sundays were my favourite time to read the local paper. Why? Because the Toronto Star Saturday edition I would have plowed through or needed a break from. So I usually turned to the local paper. Also, the Sunday Star usually is a bit boring and magazinish in nature. For some reason I never liked the Star's Sunday edition. But without the Era-Banner it just seems missing. The weird thing is that the online edition of the Era-Banner is updated every weekend, yet no paper copy is being delivered. Weird, maybe they stopped printing a weekend edition and decided to go online. Or may there is a problem with the distribution system. I would suggest the latter since the Sunday edition usually had sufficient advertising to support the paper for years. But who knows.
The old CKVR station (or the New VR) is virtually no more. Now we have the "A-Channel" serving us. This is basically the New VR with a paint job. Basically everything in the editorial department is the same including the reporters and news anchors. I haven't watched this channel in ages so I cannot comment on if the show line up has changed for the better or worse.

However, the biggest dissapointment is that the web camera for downtown Aurora is no longer found on A-Channel's website like it was on CKVR. There used to be a feed from the corner of Wellington & Yonge Streets in downtown Aurora. I used to cruise by the webcam images when I missed Aurora. An example of what the New VR used to provide on their website can be found on an old blog posting here. Hopefully the A-Channel will provide the images online again in the near future.

My Computer score


My computer geek score is greater than 13% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!


Apparently I am computer Illtiterate. Right....

To my friends in New York city....

New York Daily News - Home - City feels the burn

Gotta love what a short plane trip will do to bring down the temperature. Here is the difference really of how I felt:

I was sweating buckets in New York City yesterday morning. Accroding to this morning's Daily News the temperature hit 99 fahrenheit without the humidex. That is close to 39 degrees celcius (give or take).

On the way to Aurora from Buffalo yesterday I was wondering why my father had the air conditioning on in the car. It was only 28 degrees celcius.

Sometimes it is nice to go on vacation, weird thing is, I was not trying to find some heat to bask in, I was trying to get away from the heat.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

In Aurora...

JFK and JetBlue should be congratulated with the free wireless service in their airport.

My JetBlue flight from JFK airport to Buffalo airport didn't go off without a hitch though. The JetBlue plane was late from Fort Myers to JFK making my flight late. This put us behind 25 minutes. Then, once aboard, the flight was further delayed because of the thunderstorms in between. Add to this a little turbulance and you have one spilled coke, some blue potato chips (I am not kidding, the potato chips themselves were blue!) and one late person to Buffalo airport.

But at least I am home in Aurora for a week....

Sitting at JFK

Here I am sitting at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City waiting for my flight. The cool thing is Jet Blue offers wireless internet connections for travellers waiting for their flights.

Why do I have to wait for my flight? That would be because I am always nervous at missing my flight because of problems at security. Also in New York City I am also worried about the problems with the subway trains that pop up on the weekends. Sometimes theMTA does not post signs on some routes ahead of time stating construction and route changes. In fact on the way here, the MTA posted that the "A" train would be running local. That was kind of funny considering that the "A" train ran express. Weird!

Well got to go since my battery is almost dead....

heading home to Aurora for the week. See everyone later!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Badger Badger Badger....Why?

Badger Badger Badger

All I can ask is.... WHY?

Why would anyone come up with the idea for a weird website like this?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Michael's Blog

Michael Suddard's Homepage - Michael Suddard's Blog

No fear...this is not my last post...I bet you thought that with the title above.

Just one addition. Below the links is a new feature (YEAH NEW FEATURE!) where people who have linked me will get credit. What do I mean by this?

If you have linked to my blog and your readers are using the link to visit my blog, you will be listed there. Problem is it only works for a twenty-four hour period. I am looking into making it a much longer time frame, but for now it will be 24 hours.

Don't know what I am talking about?

Just look in the sidebar above the nycbloggers.com link.

Feelin' Irish in Union Square

UnionSquareNYC.org - Events

Last night I just wanted to get out and enjoy New York City. I noticed on a free event listing website that there were events at both Union Square (14th Street and Broadway) as well as Madison Square Park (23rd Street and Broadway).

So off I went, with Toni Morrison's book Paradise in tow. I admit it though, I have been having trouble getting through Morrison's book. Why? I am not sure. But I have sixty pages left of the book.


I stopped off at Union Square first after taking the "B" train in from Brooklyn and walking up from West 4th Street Station (where the "B" "F" "A" and "C" lines connect together in case your wonderin').

I stopped off to see a half hour of the Irish dancing show at Union Square. Pretty good with traditional Irish dancing, tap dancing and even some interesting ballet/tap dancing where the women go up on the toes of their tap shoes at points. Really cool to watch.

After that I decided to walk up to 23rd and Broadway to Madison Square Park. I saw some jazz for about 15 minutes. Following that I continued up Broadway to 45th streetish area (in Times Square) and picked up a chocolate shake from McDonald's.

From there I took the "Q" train back home from the 42nd street station. A nice evening out and even got to read some of my book on the train ride to and from the parks. Very relaxing evening and cheap too!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

WestJet....ARGH!

Westjet is angering me.

West jet no longer serves any New York City airport! ARGH! Now I have to pay more than three hundred dollars for a round trip ticket from New York to Toronto. When WestJet and former airline JetsGo were in New York City fares were cheap and it would cost me just less than two hundred dollars round trip.

I guess since JetsGo is no longer in business that WestJet figures New York City is no longer worth serving. Now I am stuck looking for another airline.

Continental, after checking cheaptickets.com, it would cost me, including fees, $350 dollars American dollars including taxes. Whats up with that?

Ah well, maybe JetBlue will go to Toronto soon from JFK airport. One can only hope. To give you an idea of the difference. Round trip from Buffalo to New York's JFK is 190.40 US dollars including taxes.

WESTJET! ARGH!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Common Sense Advice for One year.

eBay.ca: Common Sense Advice for One year.

Um...apparently anything and everything can be sold, including common sense.

If you bid on the above, I have bridge here in Brooklyn that can be sold as well as some swamp land in Florida. Any takers should comment (link below) to this message.

Campers test the waters

New York Daily News - Boroughs - Campers test the waters

I came accross this interesting story while reading the Daily News newspaper here in New York City. What an educational experience these students were having in one location. Think about the possibilities.

1. Science: Water quality testing and ecology in the East River.

2. History: the history behind the pollution of th East River and the river's gradual improvement over time as industries have closed or improved environmental practices.

3. History: Brooklyn Bridge and how it was built.

4. Science: The science in suspension bridges with two of the world's more famous suspension bridges within eyesight and walking distances (Manhattan Bridge is nearby as well as the Brooklyn Bridge, both have been used in movies). An added bonus is there is an education display halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge explaining how the bridge was built. The Brooklyn Bridge is also a U.S. Civil Engineering landmark.

The fact these kids were so interested in visiting these bridges again probably would not have been possible if they learned about it from the textbook.

What an interesting way to get kids interesting in the their local areas and interested in the way things work.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Joke...

Q: How is New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg like a gopher?

A: He has five "boroughs".

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Interesting quote of the week...

Interesting saying I overheard this week:

"Stop feeling guilty about not feeling guilty!"

Aurora United Church website.....WHAT HAPPENNED?

Aurora United Church

One thing that has started to irk me is my church's website from back home. The website is well set up and has won many awards. However, it is in serious need of updating content wise. For the past couple of months only the announcement section has been updated consistantly. Sure the church secretary stays on top of the calendar function. She's great at that ("TWO THUMBS UP!"). But it wasn't her job to update the rest of the site. What happenned to the webmaster?

As a member who has moved far away from the church I used the website to catch up on the going ons of the church. However, the newsletter hasn't been updated since March and the announcements sometimes take a couple of weeks to update.

Back in the day for this website, the announcements went up the Saturday before the Sunday service. It was great because I thought this would encourage people to download the copy from the website instead of picking up a paper copy on Sunday morning.

I especially appreciate it because I live in New York City. The church offered to send me the newsletter on a monthly basis in the mail. I declined because I could save the church printing and postage costs by merely downloading the online edition. But, alas, the March newsletter is the last edition to be posted.

The website was a great tool to not only keep current members in the know, but also let prospective members see what the church was about. It was also a great tool to double check meeting times and dates that you had written down somewhere and couldn't find.

Sadley, this great resource has fallen into somewhat behind. However, I have recently talked to someone who said that there are plans in the works. I wait with bated breath for updates.

But until then, I am slightly irritated that this great resource is being underutilized. What happenned?

Friday, August 05, 2005

So I haven't blogged in a while...

So I haven't updated this blog in a while. That is because I have gone through the process of moving my stuff from one place to another. To answer your questions here are the answers:

Yes I am still in New York City.

Yes I got cheaper rent.

Yes I got more space.

Yes I have a job for next year and am looking forward to it.

That should just about cover it. Except for...

Yes I now have internet again.

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