The Woody Project Blog

August 7, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 9:23 pm

Sciurus Carolinensis (Eastern Gray Squirrel)

If you haven’t already seen the publicity, there’s a Samuel L. Jackson movie coming out soon called Snakes on a Plane. From what I can tell, this low budget film is already a cult classic even before anyone’s seen it. The general consensus as to why it is so successful is because it combines two of the most common fears: snakes and flying.

I’ve written about this before (a shiny toonie to the first person to find that entry): the fact that movies seem to be released in pairs – Deep Impact and Armageddon as one example. I think this is my chance to make it big.

I’m going to write a screenplay and send it in to Hollywood to ride on the coattails of Snakes on a Plane. I can make it on almost no budget, all the characters will play themselves, and I already have the location scouted. We’ve even done a dress rehearsal.

I call my movie-to-be:

Squirrel in a Living Room

Think about it… approximately 15% of people have flown and 90% of people are afraid of snakes. Compare that to the number of people who have living rooms, say 99.9% (developed countries only) and the number of people who dislike squirrels, say 90%, the same as snakes, for arguments sake.

If we do the math (I’m a math major, I have years of training, don’t try this at home) and calculate the total fear of each scenario we get the following:

1) Snakes (90%, or .90) multiplied by Planes (15% or .15) equals 14%

2) Squirrel (90%, or .90) multiplied by Living Room (99.9% or .999) equals 90%

As you can clearly see, when expressed as a percentage of the population, Squirrel in a Living Room is much more frightening than Snakes on a Plane.

I can also outline some of the things I’ve learned while researching my film:

1) Squirrels reacts badly to banging on fireplace doors when they are inside.

2) Squirrels do not find peanut butter on a plastic spoon very enticing.

3) A squirrel in a living room is much faster than brother-in-law with a golf club (1-wood I think).

4) When trying to catch a squirrel in a living room it is best to close the doors to the living room because Squirrel in a Living Room could turn into Squirrel in a Dining Room, or Squirrel in a Kitchen, or even Squirrel in a Bedroom, and nobody wants that.

5) When trying to catch a squirrel in a living room it is a good idea to turn on the TV. The particular actor that I had playing the squirrel was mesmerized by the images and kept launching himself off the top of the couch head first into the screen. After about 20 “landings”, the squirrel starts to become disoriented and is much easier to corner.

6) Audiences of Squirrel in a Living Room seem to enjoy it more with a stiff drink in hand.

Good times.

June 25, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 7:50 pm

Tight Fit

Have you ever done something and then half way through realize there’s probably a more appropriate way to do it?

Me too.

June 5, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 8:40 pm

Stanky Drawers

I clearly remember the professor in one of my first year accounting courses telling us “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” And it’s true. Everyone knows it. The problem is that sometimes we forget this simple truth and then we do something that reminds us loud and clear.

This story starts with two facts:

1) I’m just starting out and so I don’t have a lot of furniture in the house; what I do have is hand-me-downs.

2) Old houses aren’t known for their abundant closets.

I got it into my head that I needed storage and that it would be even better if I could get it for free. (Here’s where the free lunch thing should have stopped me.)

Earlier that week I had listened to an interview with someone from Freecycle. Freecycle is an internet discussion forum where people exchange things (for free) that they don’t want/need anymore.

I found the Ottawa Valley Freecycle chapter and joined. I then sent out a message asking if anyone had wooden dressers to give away.

What could possibly go wrong?

A couple of weeks later I got an email from a lady who said she had 2 antique dressers that she had been meaning to get rid of and did I want them?

Sure I do. Free, “antique” storage. All I had to do was arrange to go and pick them up. In Quebec.

What could possibly go wrong?

A week later I talked my best buddy Chad into picking me up with his van and driving to Waltham to pick up the dressers. When we got the the house, the dressers were out in the driveway with my name taped to them. The dressers looked a little rougher than I had hoped for but I figured beggars can’t be choosers and I could probably repair and/or salvage at least one of them.

We quickly loaded them in the van (please note that this was in the middle of winter and it was very cold outside) and began to make our way back to town.

The ride from dresser lady’s house to my house is about 20 minutes. About 10 minutes into the trip the van begins to warm up again after having the back door open.

“Hey Chad, do you smell something?”

“Yeah, I do, it smells kinda like cat pee.”

We made the rest of the trip with the windows down.

Until now I’ve been too embarrassed to write about this, but with time it has become one of those stories you can laugh about.

After all the planning, emails, driving, loading and unloading I had no more storage than when I started and 2 dressers that reeked of cat pee in my basement.

2 missing drawers, 2 smashed drawers, 2 broken legs, mould, mud and corn(??!?) in the remaining drawers, holes punched in the sides, initials carved into the surface and then filled with liquid paper, skateboard stickers, and CAT PEE!

Here comes the best part of the story, the next day I got an email from this lady:

“Thank you for picking up the dressers. I had to run out for a minutes so I just left them in the driveway for you. Please be very nice to them, they were my parents and were vey special to us. I would hate to have them ruined.

Talk to you later…


They went out in the spring cleanup garbage collection this evening. They lasted an hour on the curb before someone came and loaded them into their truck.

I hope they take good care of the dressers, they were very special to me.

In addition to reinforcing the No Free Lunch rule, I have learned some other valuable lessons:

1) “Antique” has different meanings to different people.
2) Cat pee doesn’t smell at -20 degrees.
3) Cat pee smells very bad at 20 degrees, and
4) Friends who are still your friends after convincing them to drive around backwoods Quebec with cat pee dressers in their vehicle are very good friends indeed.

P.S. Does anyone have old wooden dressers they would like to give away?

February 14, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 7:38 pm

Take The Plunge

I don’t know what it is but there’s something inherently funny about plungers.

Just carrying one makes you simultaneously feel like a king and a fool.

Walking around the house with a plunger always puts a smile on my face.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s not the plunger…


January 28, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 2:27 pm

Mr. Man wishes you a happy winter!

December 10, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 1:51 pm

10 feet tall and 7 feet wide.

Merry Christmas.

November 18, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 6:24 am


So it turns out that New York state toll booths don’t accept Canadian Tire money…

Here’s an exercise for you: get a US $1 bill and a Canadian Tire $1 bill and place them side by side. You will find that they look remarkably alike.

I have rearranged things so that my Canadian Tire money isn’t kept in the same place as my US money.

Ok bye.

November 1, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 5:18 pm

Halloween Update

127 monsters.

October 16, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 4:41 pm

Turkey Day!

My Family, Christina’s family, Grandma, Nicole and Nicole’s Mom, and Meghan…12 people altogether.

June 11, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 7:17 pm

I Have A Twin

I recently went to the Kelsey’s in Petawawa and the waitress kept giving me funny looks. Finally she told me that she recognized me from somewhere, but she couldn’t remeber where. Ok, fair enough.

Towards the end of our meal she told me that she remembered seeing me at the license bureau last week when I registered a new vehicle – a grey Jeep.

Hmm… two problems, I wasn’t at the license bureau and I didn’t buy a Jeep. The waitress was adamant that it was me or “someone that looks enough like you to be your identical twin”.

Nope, wasn’t me.

After arguing about my identity with the waitress, Christina and I went to the local nursery to get some flowers to pretty-up the house a bit. While I was wandering the aisles of flowers one of the staff approached me as though he knew me…

Him: “How’s it goin’?” (innocuous enough question)

Me: “Ok” (standard response to people I don’t know)

Him: “Are you playing volleyball again this summer?” (huh?)

Me: “Huh?”

Him: “Didn’t we play volleyball on the same team last summer?” (huh?)

Me: “Nope”

Him: “Sorry, you look exactly like someone else.” (huh? – as you can see I found this conversation very confusing)

Me: “Ok” (standard response to being told I look exactly like someone else)

And then he left.

Lets pause for a minute and review. I go for lunch in Petawawa and get told by my waitress that I look exactly like someone she’s dealt with recently. 10 minutes later I go to a nursery and get told by some guy that I look exactly like someone else he knows.

I think the only possible explanation is that I have an identical twin running free somewhere and this is what I know about him:

1) He looks exactly like me. Damn twins!
I’m not sure if he’s evil or not… if he’s not, what does that make me?

2) He recently purchased a grey Jeep.

3) He played volleyball last summer.

4) He most likely lives in Petawawa.

I’m going to ask for your help…

If you see me (or someone who looks exaclty like me) make a point of approaching me and asking if it really is me. If I confirm that it is indeed myself, we’ve neither gained nor lost anything. However, if this person you’ve approached who looks exactly like me turns out not to be me, please find out who he is, what he does, and anything else you think may be of interest to an identical twin.

Perhaps if this Woody look-alike isn’t busy at the moment and he’s agreeable to it, and you’re not busy at the moment and you’re agreeable to it, you could bring him to see me so we could sort this whole long-lost twin thing out.

Thank you in advance for talking to me (??) or anyone who looks like me. That sounds strange but you know what I mean.

I just thought of something… I’ve been assuming this whole time that the waitress and the nursery guy (horticulturist??) were referring to the same person. Maybe they weren’t. Maybe there are two more of me out there. I could be an original, a duplicate, or even a triplicate. Strange…

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