I Went To Canada For The Week And All You Get Is This Teaser Entry

OK, OK, OK, I’m updating already. Sheesh. Actually, I’ve been out of town hanging in sunny Canada (and let me tell you, it was surprisingly sunny there last week) doing odds and ends at the XV International World Transplant Games. I was a me of all trades so I got to take some pics (with the cranky camera – ours is still (STILL!) at the camera docs), record some audio, write some stories, be the transportation captain (if you ever need to get around London, Ontario, drop me a line), do some office manager stuff and yell at a Starbuck’s Employee.

All in all it was a great vacation.

Maybe I’ll make this week a “Transplant Games Recap” week. That way I don’t have to write about all the boring day to day boo stuff that usually happens to me (because the games were a whole lot more exciting than getting the mail). Sadly, I’ll have to skip some of the best insider stuff because I sort of promised Ellie (the transweb webcast goddess…among other things) that “what happens in the webcast stays with the webcast” but I’m making an executive boo decision that the frog and the whole elevator thing are issues that transcend the webcast and are therefore fair game. I’ll just change some names to protect the innocent.

The Evil That Is Canadian Elevators. I have no idea what was going on but we just could not deal with the elevators. It wasn’t all the time and it wasn’t any one person but for whatever reason there was a lot of elevator impairedness floating around. We probably didn’t convert right when using the Canadian elevators so things just went awry (Hee. There is no end to the amount of fun that can be had from making conversion jokes). It all started the first day when we moved the office in.

First off, there was a ton of stuff that had to be hauled from the cars to our assigned room but we managed to divide it up so that everything rolled out in one trip and everyone was carrying at least something. Of course this meant that the directions to our room included a ludicrous amount of walking and several flights of stairs, which we opted out of by finding the nearest elevator. It was a small elevator, only able to fit half the team and gear so we went up in shifts. The first group of people piled in and went their merry way. The rest of us (and I will admit, I was part of elevator impaired group two) sat in the lobby and waited.

And we waited. And we sat. And did some more waiting. We looked at the doors. We looked at the walls. We waited. The four of us blithely marked time, content to just be sitting there in the lower lobby and waiting for the elevator. After about two minutes of sitting and waiting, one of the writers piped up “Ummm…has anyone pressed the button?”

Oh. Right. Button. Magically, the elevator appeared moments after the call button was pressed (go figure) and we all piled in and went our merry way. Group one was milling about the upper landing, giving us all the “are you all off your medication” eye and wondering what the heck took us so long. I told them that we were waiting for them to send the elevator back down for us, which they didn’t thankyouverymuch but they weren’t buying it. In fact, they had the nerve to point out that we had a call button on our end too. Pffft, where’s the fun in that?

That wasn’t the only incidence of “press the button Frank” either. Sadly, there were more times in and out of the elevators in which we’d all be milling around and waiting for quite a while before someone would suddenly realize that we needed to be getting on with the button pushing. Maybe we needed to designate an elevator button pusher or even hire a local who was more familiar with the whole Canadian elevator button pushing concept. No idea but I do know that the elevator thing went on all week. Yup.

And just in case you wondered: if you are in the elevator on floor three and you happen to push the go to floor three button, the elevator wont go anywhere no matter how many times you push the three button. I’m just sayin.

The Frog is a whole other issue, a sort of psychotic break issue if you will. This was my first web cast but I got the hang of things pretty quick. Morning: Photographers and writers out, producers getting the office up and running for the day. Midmorning: Tech crew in. Lunch time: Photographers and writers back in, we all have lunch. Mid afternoon: Photographers and maybe writers head back out, tech crew processes morning images and stories. Dinner time: Photo/writing crew back in, we go to dinner. Evening: Tech crew does its tech thing. We go to bed. It gets really quiet and intense back at head quarters when the photographers and writers are gone what with the tech crew being all heads down doing their tech thing. Really quiet. Almost tomb like, especially at our WUO headquarters since all the AC for the entire building was piped through our office (in all seriousness, you could feel a cold draft leaking out the cracks of the door when it was shut).

So imagine my surprise when, after hanging out in the library quiet office all day, I pop back into the room to find TheMan and Ellie laughing so hard that all they can do is wheeze and point to the screen of TheMan’s lap top. They have a frog up on the screen that’s barking. Or something. I don’t know, the mouth is making huge “AHP AHP AHP” motions and occasionally the eyes blink. TheMan and Ellie? Dying. They can’t even make a sentence to explain why the AHPing frog is so funny. I mean, sure the occasional random blinks are amusing but I have no idea what’s going on with the AHP AHP AHP. It’s maybe a one “heh” on the chuckle scale but no where near “lose it” funny.

Finally, they stop laughing (and the frog stops AHPing) enough to explain that the frog is a flash program written to react to sound. You say something, the frog’s mouth moves to mimic what was said. You say something louder, the frog’s mouth gets wider. TheMan demonstrates by telling me that they got 700 photos in that day and the frog looks like it’s saying the exact same thing. Cool! Then TheMan yodels “Heloooo-oooooo” at the frog and it’s the funniest thing ever. I can’t even explain it other than to encourage you to yodel a chipper “Heloooo-oooo!” at the frog and experience it for yourself. I start laughing and the frog goes into AHP AHP AHP mode and then that is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. The frog doesn’t handle strange noises like laughing or clapping really well but damn if it isn’t gut busting.

Maybe it has to be close to 1am or maybe you have to have gone several days with little sleep but the frog quickly became our virtual mascot. We loved the frog. We kept pulling the frog out late at night and having a grand chuckle; it’s amazing what the frog can say…or not say. Give him a test run, see what you think.

OK, I’m going to quit here with the frog and elevator teaser. See you on the flip side, perhaps with pics!

Last year at the booniverse: JSFR: Chelsea Berry & Milk Scotch.

Last last year at the booniverse: The preview for the Italian Job cracked my shit up solely for the fact that everyone was taking shots at Edward Norton. It was funny. Shut up, it was too!

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