I was pushing carts into the Food Basics store on Merivale in Nepean where I work when one customer informed me that someone outside the doors was trying to speak to me. I went outside, and he pointed out this bird on the ground. He called it a woodpecker, but I was pretty sure it was a chickadee. It was sitting there, unable to fly away for some reason, and he was afraid someone would step on it, or that a car would run over it, and he was concerned for all of "God's Little Creatures". I told him that caring for an injured bird was a little beyond my area of expertise, but he said that it's beyond his area of expertise too. I told him that I'd take it to the little wooded vacant lot behind Colonnade Pizza, but that's all I could do for it. He didn't seem quite satisfied with that answer, but our store doesn't have a birdcage, and if the bird is so weak that it doesn't resist me picking it up, it's not likely to survive much longer, regardless of whether or not I somehow perform emergency avian surgery.
He was wondering if the store had some kind of policy for injured birds, but I said I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Then he saw Arif (a cashier and assistant manager) walking towards the store and asked him if he could do anything, but Arif told him that he doesn't know what to do either.
After that, the man went away, and I arrived at the vacant lot. I wasn't too sure where to put the bird, so I held my finger near low-hanging branches of various trees to see if it wanted to climb on. Surprisingly, it seemed content to rest on my hand, so I finally got to one of the wooden posts that separates the vacant lot from the end of Eleanor Drive and nudged it off.
I then headed straight towards the customer washroom to thoroughly clean my right hand, since it pooped a tiny bit on my pinky finger (the streak visible in the photo) and I didn't want to get Chinese bird flu.
I checked the post again half an hour later, and the bird was gone, so I guess it regained enough strength to fly off. Either that, or a hawk got it.
Yeah, Late Night with Conan O'Brien's graphic designer Pierre Bernard is not the only person you haven't heard from for a while, I know. But this entry isn't about me.
Incidentally, as the person who has committed himself to chronicling Pierre Bernard's rants, I narrowly dodged a bullet. Before Tuesday night's episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, I fell asleep in my armchair, playing Test Drive Unlimited on the PlayStation 2. I was just too tired after trying, and not quite succeeding, to keep up with the demand for shopping carts during Food Basics' one day sale, where the flow of people coming in the store far exceeded the flow of carts I could push to the front of the store at any one time, and way more people than usual were leaving the carts everywhere but the corrals where they're supposed to be put. So, if this had aired one night earlier, I'd have missed blogging about it for the first time since at least 2005.
Here's where I started taping...
Conan O'Brien: ...phic designers, Pierre Bernard. There he is. Pierre says he knows how America feels and he's ready to articulate our anger for us. So here he is, once again, in a little segment we like to call "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage".
La Bamba: (singing) PIERRE BERNARD'S RECLINER OF RAGE!
Conan: Hello there, Pierre, are you comfortable and angry?
Pierre Bernard Jr.: Comfortable and furious, Conan.
Conan: Then go ahead and speak for America.
Pierre: Okay, here goes.
Last weekend, I attended a comic book, sci-fi and fantasy convention called Dragon*Con. DragonCon isn't as famous as San Diego's Comic Con, but, in my opinion, it far exceeds it in quality.
I was especially excited about getting my Dragon Con convention badge, a four-by-six laminated picture of a purple-winged dragon holding a sword and a lightning bolt. Plus, the badge came attached to a cool orange and black neck brac- necklace. Unfortunately, I ran into a serious problem when I tried to pick up my badge.
First, I got into what I believed to be the right line, only to find out that it was for people who had already pre-registered for DragonCon on the Internet. I then was sent to a lower level where I was forced to wait in a very long line to pay my admission fee and then another very long line to register and finally pick up my badge. Luckily, I had brought along a Chick-fil-A sandwich with fries and fruit punch, but, with all the people around me, I became too self-conscious to eat it.
After standing in line for two hours, you can imagine my shock when I was finally handed, not the four-by-six dragon badge with the orange-and-black neck string, but a little business card-sized plastic badge that I had to pin on my shirt. I didn't even have the whole dragon on there, just the head, and that was almost covered totally by my ID information.
I asked the girl who gave it to me why I didn't get the dragon with the wings, sword, and lightning bolt, but neither she nor her supervisor would give me an answer.
It cost me eighty-nine dollars to attend DragonCon, so I can't understand why I got such a crappy little badge.
Bottom line, America?
The sponsors of DragonCon should give all convention-goers the four-by-six dragon badge they deserve, or at least reimburse me for my uneaten fish filet... chicken filet sandwich.
Conan: Thank you, Pierre. I'm sure there's at least one or two other people in the world who know exactly what you're talking about.
Pierre: Divided we fall, my brothers.
La Bamba: PIERRE BERNARD'S RECLINER OF RAGE!
Conan: Fish filet, chicken filet. Alright, we'll take a break. When we come back, Alan Alda's here. stick around!
Hmmm... Pierre, if you're reading this, and I know you do from time to time, I have a suggestion for the next installment. Try and convince Mattel to make sure that there are no duplicates in each shipment of the Mystery Hot Wheels cars with the blacked-out blister pack where you can't see what you're buying.
Anyway, when I have a little more energy than I've had lately, I'll write a definitive account of my General Motors-sponsored blogger-and-or-Flickr-photographer junket trip to Detroit to see the Woodward Dream Cruise last month, but here are a few photographic highlights.
Me, in the front seat of a carrot-coloured Chevy Camaro convertible concept car. (Photo taken by Alicia of GM Blogs.)
The Hummer H2 that played Ratchet in the Transformers movie.
And the Camaro (which was really a modern Pontiac GTO with a Camaro shell on top) that played Bumblebee (since Volkswagen wouldn't let Michael Bay use a New Beetle).
Larry Shinoda's Mako Shark Corvette concept car from 1961 that was the basis on which the first generation of Corvette Stingrays was designed.
The 1973 AeroVette.
And the 1968 Astro Vette, which is like the bastard offspring of a 1969 Corvette Stingray and Speed Racer's Mach 5.
These Corvette concept cars were all on display at the GM Heritage Center in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights.
A blue Shelby GT500 Mustang almost exactly like the one that Rally Vincent drives in Kenichi Sonoda's Gunsmith Cats manga, except without the white hood stripes.
A star-spangled '57 Chevy.
A Budweiser beer can car that poured out free samples... but it was only root beer.
A jaguar-spotted Jaguar XKR.
A whole buncha AC Shelby Cobra 427's.
An Austin-Healey 3000 Mk II, about my favourite 1960s car that isn't a Ferrari, a Corvette, a Mustang, or a Shelby Cobra.
And, finally, the first Ferrari Enzo Ferrari (yes, that's the full name of the car) I've ever seen in person.
Check the first damn post, though I'm not at the animation college anymore.
January 2005: Moved to Ottawa in December 2004. Not currently in college at all, though I will try and enroll for this autumn somehow.