Feeling a little overwhelmed of late on the home and work front, looking ahead to the summer, Christmas vacation and beyond.  Since post-production work on Transporter: The Series will keep me busy through December, it looks like I’ll have to push my annual Japan trip to January.  And, yes, I fully intend to go – although, even before the quake, I was considering taking my old Tokyo travel buddy, Stefan, up on his suggestion and maybe do a train tour, starting in Hokkaido in the north and ending somewhere in the South (Kyushu?).  Akemi, however, thinks I should just do my usual two-weeks in Tokyo.  She really misses the city (almost as much as Vancouver) and really wants to go back and visit with me.

Speaking of going back, this marks the last day of our week+ house-sitting Fondy’s place and her adorable but badly behaved frenchies, Brie and Stewie.  I thought four dogs were more than a handful.  Try six – competing for your attention, needing to go out, begging for snacks and table scraps, waking up way too early every morning, getting a running start from the opposite end of the hallway and then launching themselves at you from a three foot distance.  It can be exhausting.  Of course, nowhere near exhausting (or frustrating) as the 1 hour + drive each way from the house to the office.  The traffic in this city is miserable. Here’s an idea to help alleviate congestion: Finish the work!  95% of the bottle-necked construction zones I pass on a daily basis are devoid of actual workers.  Of course compounding the problem are Toronto’s drivers, the douchiest drivers I’ve ever encountered (and I’ve been to Paris!) who think nothing of cutting off other cars, swerving into traffic, or double-parking on busy streets…

June 15, 2011, approximately 5:45 p.m., Wellington Street West. Traffic was backed up for miles. What I at first assumed was an accident turned out to be this asshole who seemed to think that only being half on the street meant he would only cause his fellow drivers half the headache.
June 16, 2011 - North York. Sorry, having your own caution sign doesn't give you the right to double-park.

Yes, all sorts of annoyed.  And so, to cheer myself up, I went out for lunch, then stopped by a local comic shop (Cyber City Comix) to pick up a few items and round out the office decor.  My interior designer and I put our heads together and decided on a supervillain theme for my workplace:

Electro.  Sure, the headpiece if borderline silly but, much like Mysterio (who sports an equally silly headpiece), the character takes me back to my youth, reading Spiderman comics and watching the old Ralph Bakshi cartoon (incidentally, I picked up the box set.  Once I’m back in Vancouver, I plan on having a marathon in my home theater room.  Who’s in?).

Deathlock the Demolisher.  Technically, not a villain but more a grey area character (like Deadpool who also decorates my office).  Along with the Beast, one of my favorite comic book characters growing up, so I snapped him up.  Hmmm.  Come to think of it, I may already have him back in Vancouver.

Lizard.  Another Spiderman villain.  No nostalgic connection to this character, but I figured that, since I was picking up bad guys and he was available…

Sandman.  Another villain with a Spiderman connection.  In this case, I picked him up not because I grew up with the character, or to round out the collection, but because the sculpt is so damn cool.

Terrax.  Galactus’s former herald comes with one sweet swingin’ axe.  He’ll look great standing beside Thanos (who awaits him back in Vancouver).

Two statues I considered but, ultimately, didn’t make the cut…

Kraven the Hunter.  Yes, he’s a Spiderman villain but ever since Martin Gero walked into my office back in Vancouver, pointed to an alternate statue of Kraven I had sitting up on my shelf, and asked: “Who’s that?  Freddie Mercury?”, I’ve had a hard time taking the character seriously.

Sinestro.  On the one hand, here’s a rare DC villain statue.  On the other hand, what’s with the base of swirling yellow nothingness.  Also, sadly, working against him: the Green Lantern movie.

Anyway, the new additions will join my Toronto office rogue’s gallery that includes the likes of: Dr. Octopus, Deadpool, Bullseye, and Ultron.  Almost makes me eager to get back to work.


39 thoughts on “July 25, 2011: Weary! Toronto = world’s douchiest drivers! Additions to the rogue’s gallery!

  1. World’s douchiest drivers? Try Barcelona. Drivers accelerate if they see you crossing the road, even if they’re a mile away, and manage to skid to a halt right in front of you and honk their horns and accompany them with colorful hand gestures and language. It was fun, for the first day.

  2. @PBMom: Congratulations! Way to go!

    Mexico City has the worst (and douchiest) drivers in the world. 🙂

  3. I’m sure whatever you decide for your trip, will be fine. I imagine tourism is down in Japan. Kind of like after the oil spill. Also, we are “told” the seafood is safe, but well, no thanks. And that’s just oil. I’d worry about nuclear. Bad enough dolphin meat is being sold as whale meat (with tons and tons of mercury in it, too). I wouldn’t trust any government telling me it was “safe.” Code word for “it’s not.”

    Just 2 more dogs, Joe, and we can call you Octo-Joe.

  4. @Joe:

    Of course compounding the problem are Toronto’s drivers, the douchiest drivers I’ve ever encountered

    As a Road-Warrior veteran of the DC Beltway and now Chicago’s Kennedy and Ryan Expressways, can I offer some advice?

    1. Buy a beat-up car (preferably with BIG visible dents on both sides)…it shows you don`t care and gives them pause when they go to cut you off.

    2. When they’re driving rudely in a parking-lot, park as close to their car as possible…if they dent your door, who cares…its a beater! This works great with those guys that take up two spaces…

    3. Don’t use turn-signals…it’s a sign of weakness and only invites them to cut you off. Blow your horn instead 😉

    I’ve thought about installing paint-ball guns under the front bumper with remote triggers, but given today’s PC culture, I’m sure I’d be the one to go to jail regardless of what the other driver did.

    BTW, maybe you should start the Toronto chapter of this:


    I read some of the Chicagoland reports…yikes! Makes me glad I drive a big pickup.

  5. Why not climb Mount Fuji if you go later than January for your Japan trip Joe? They have several trails for familys, normal people or experienced climbers, its an annual thing. itd be kinda interesting to see a blog entry from you with pics of you ontop of Mount Fuji, people traditionally venture to the top before sunrise because it looks better.

  6. I don’t know if you have a winner there, after watching IRT Deadliest Roads I think they(Himalayas) have Toronto beat.

    Lizard is a character I always enjoyed, considering his goal was a noble one at first. It was only after he turned that be truly became a villain.

  7. I’ve been thinking about installing a CRYSTAL BALL HOOD ORNAMENT! Something to assist the MIND-READING Portion of My commute against “Those” who are too busy “Driv-exting” to use their Turn Signals!

  8. Joe,
    Instead of visiting Tokyo again this year, you should go to Beijing or Shanghai. Those cities are awesome. Just a thought.

    That Sandman statue is awesome.

    Speaking of bad drivers, have you ever been to Boston?

  9. Worst drivers I ever experienced? Jamaica, c. mid 1970s. Spent two weeks there and that place was full of crazyass drivers! Since I was too young to drive, I was at the mercy of whoever was behind the wheel – sometimes a Jamaican, sometimes a fellow tourist. No one obeyed rules. The locals passed on blind curves, honking the horn as a warning. The fact that the honking the horn wasn’t as effective as actually obeying the rules of the road was evidenced by all the mangled remnants of vehicles scattered all along the roadside. I’m pretty sure that – at least in my imagination – I saw human remains in some of those cars. It was like Road Warrior, in the Caribbean, and I’ll never forget it.


  10. “My interior designer and I put our heads together and decided on a supervillain theme for my workplace”

    Your interior designer? You mean the guy behind the counter?

    I really like your new Lizard and Sandman the best, and think Sinestro is kinda neat and artistic. He must be materializing out of something. Is Kraven the Hunter wearing heels?

    I love your office theme! My compliments to your “interior designer”.

    I think a lot of Texans drive like a-holes. Get them out of their cars and they are really nice people.

  11. It’s nice to see that your developing road rage is coming along smoothly. You have such a flair for expressing yourself that reading any ‘road related’ posts during your time in T.O should curve very nicely on a graph.

    Seriously though, I can relate to your experiences. I remember one time I was driving on the 417 around 130am. I was visiting and had a rental. The highway was so busy you’d think it was rush hour at that time of night, and at 150km/hr, I was the ‘slowest’ vehicle on the road. It was crazy, if I had driven any slower I would have caused or been in an accident for sure, which is pretty sick considering I was already way over the limit. Some crazy,crazy drivers there.

  12. I have a great idea for making a commute through heavy construction more pleasant. Get one of those insider contracts to rent the orange barrels to the construction project. Then, when you see inefficient roadwork, you’ll be happy.

  13. Oh, I think the Southeastern United States has all of you guys beat. 🙂 Down here, they drive like they’re in a Nascar race ALL of the time. And we also have the construction zones with no workers at all. Who are they kidding? It’s just an excuse to pay someone who has no idea what they’re doing.

    My brother would be impressed with your office decor.

    Have a good night!!!

  14. Oh, Joe – you just ruined Kraven for me. Now I’ll never see him again without hearing Bohemian Rhapsody.

  15. To Joe,

    I know its a bit (very) late but I’ve had the last episode of SGU recorded for ages but just never got around to watching it.

    However, I just finished watching it and would just like to say Congratulations for your great work on Stargate and particuarly that last episode which I agree is a poignant yet fitting end to the series.

    I only wished you were given the green light to make more.

  16. Why don’t you do both a train tour and then a week in Tokoyo? That way you can do both and see which you prefer for the future.

    I love you character figures. do they inspire you to write?

  17. I don’t think anybody ever mentioned the greatest baby name of all time in yesterday’s comments…


    Just don’t tell George Costanza!

    I knew a guy that named their first born son SIR. True story! Without trying to be funny, I asked why and he said that he wanted his son to always command respect from other people. Now, in an off-centered way I kind of understand his thought process, but the poor kid is going to be pigeonholed when it comes to finding a job in the real world. If you are “SIR” than your job prospects are pretty much narrowed down to becoming a knight (and bumming around Medieval reenactments) or having a successful career in the music industry like Sir George Martin & Sir Elton John. No different than if you name your child Jeeves… the kid’s career path is pretty much going to be set before leaving the birth canal.

    I remember when I was a little kid, there was a lady at church telling about how her sister (Mrs. Smith) was mad at the hospital for naming her baby. Apparently when the nurse brought the baby in for first feeding there was a name tag on the rolling baby bed. She told her sister, “The hospital named my baby “FUH-MOLLY SMITH” and I’m going to sue them for not letting me name my own child!” Her sister tried to explain to her that the name tag just said “female Smith” and the hospital wasn’t trying to name her little girl. I never found out if Mrs. Smith won the lawsuit or not, but whenever I go back to that little town I always keep an eye out for a girl named “Fuh-Molly”

  18. The swirling yellow nothing-ness on the Sinestro statue is the yellow energy of fear, come one man.

    Also re-watching the first season of SGU, it’s weird seeing some characters all clean shaven and with short hair, after getting so used to them shaggy and/or bearded. I would have loved to have seen Brody or Volker just go full mountain man in like season 4, ah what should have been.

  19. LOL, sorry the pups all took advantage, but at least you know you don’t need another at this time. So is going back to Vancouver a definite or simply possible unless the 2nd season gets picked up?
    >>>> Akemi, however, thinks I should just do my usual two-weeks in Tokyo. She really misses the city (almost as much as Vancouver) and really wants to go back and visit with me.<<<
    Also, does that mean Akemi is still going to Japan and wants to meet you in Tokyo, OR she is staying here and wants to go with you TO Tokyo?

  20. Hey Joe,

    After re-watching SG1 Season 10, I’m am confused as to the proper pronounciation of “Vala”. Various actors pronounce it different ways, including amongst the principal cast. The guest stars seem to have the most trouble with the name. Is it Va-La, Val-La, or Val-A?

  21. For the casting of role of Dieter I can only recommend that an actor who is fluent in English, German and French (without accent) and has a good sense of humour would be the best choice 😉

    don’t you think so ?

    Good luck with the project


    Alex Tondowski ( Also seen in casting in Berlin )

  22. Man. I though Jersey drivers were bad. I’m used to being cut off…tailgated…almost sideswiped by drivers who don’t know how to stop at a stop sign. Our drivers turn into road warriors when they get behind the wheel. They think they own the road. We got a lot of big trucks and big SUVs, too, with drivers who think just because they got a big ass vehicle it gives them the right to rid your bumper. That guy straddling the sidewalk is definitely a douche.

  23. Lewis post reminded me of two – not common first names.
    These are real, I worked with them and each had a bunch of hilarious stories because of their name. Senator and King.

    Another nice guy that I did not know well, was named Valentine.
    Which leads to thinking about other uncommon names which makes one wonder why parents “inflict” their child with a name that becomes joke material. And, as another person mentioned….the combination of initials.
    oh well….

  24. @archersangel

    You don’t really need to bean outdoor type to venture up Mount Fuji, the main trail is just like walking up the thing, has some inclines but is a breeze, you’d need someone with you incase you get altitude sickness but they have various inns etc dotted up the side of the mountain anyway, and people make day trips or two by doing it, i.e you set yourself target goals to reach a certain point, then sleep overnight at an inn near the top, wake up before dawn and venture to the summit, grab some food etc, take some pictures, generally take in the view and go back down again.

  25. I’ve been deep in “no cell phone/no wifi” country. Catching up.

    Worst drivers? Chicago!

    Baby names? Has anyone every read the Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz? He has a character named “Stormy”. That is a cool name for a girl. BTW, I loved your baby story from the other day’s blog. Thanks for the laughs!

  26. I think jojo has a good idea: split your time between the train trip and Tokyo. Akemi could either go along with you or spend two weeks in Tokyo with you joining her for the second week . You might just want to search for interesting restaurants in cities along a potential train route and use that to plan your trip.

    You might even try a traditional ryokan for one night if you don’t mind having your menu selected for you and just want to spend an evening relaxing in a hot spring or reading or enjoying the company of your companion(s). Not sure it’s something you would enjoy, though.

    Nice knick-knacks, by the way. I’m sure they’ll enhance the ambiance of your office.

  27. @ Randomness

    Hi!! I just took a peek at the Mt Fuji article you linked to. It says…
    “From October to around mid June, climbing to the summit is highly perilous due to extreme wind and weather conditions, snow, ice and a risk of avalanches.”

    It also says…
    “Everybody without much hiking experience is strongly advised to tackle the mountain during the official climbing season.”

    The official climbing season is July and August, so I’m thinking that Joe may not want to put it on his itinerary for this trip, as he is planning to go in January. But it would definitely be a cool thing to do at some point!!


  28. @ Randomness – I believe Joe goes to Japan for the fine dining and cuisine experience, not to climb a mountain. Sure, he’ll visit the Hotel’s on-site workout facility while there, but that is to stay in shape…just in case he has to run from that knife wielding maniac in the subway system late at night. 🙂

  29. Electro looks a lot like the Tick’s El Seed. Stayed up watching the Misfits, after watching Treme and Wonderfalls this weekend; I’m bleary eyed but happy. Misfits is very cheeky but some of the powers are pretty lame stuff, like straight out of Charmed.

  30. @Ponytail

    Lol, I love the way you worded that. Yeah if anything it was just a suggestion if Joe wanted to do something different in Japan. What I suggested was a common thing that most Japanese people or tourists have done when visiting the country anyways.

  31. Houston drivers are the same as drivers elsewhere, except when you yell back at them or flip them the bird, they will shoot you!

    @Deni: Thanks for the congrats.

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