Posts Tagged ‘Don Mills’

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Fancy Plans… Guide to North American Trees

May 28, 2010
[In the interest of buying myself some time, I’m dragging an old post out of the archives and into the harsh glare of nearly a year’s worth of hindsight. This one dates back to 06/25/09 and features the short, punchy stylings of a blogger in his prime. You’ll notice I run a lot longer now…]

In the interest of bettering our fellow bloggers, we provide this handy guide to the trees of North America. While this can generally be a tedious and forgettable subject, we hope that, when all is read and done, you’ll walk away with at least one more fact to add to your collection of useless knowledge. Prepare to be taught at!

The over-dramatic Weeping Willow prepares to hurl itself into the river, quoting "Hamlet" all the while...

The over-dramatic Weeping Willow prepares to hurl itself into the river, quoting "Hamlet" all the while...

Weeping Willow
Easily the most “emo” of all North American trees, the weeping willow spends its lifetime sullenly hunched over, bitterly complaining about anything and everything.* It can often be found sulking morosely in the darker corners of your yard.

  • *Wind – Fine. I’m waving. Crawl out of my ass. Jesus.
  • Calm – A breeze would be nice.
  • Rain – This is how I feel inside. All the time.
  • Not Raining – Nobody understands me. Not even the weather.
  • Snow – Why can’t we live somewhere warmer?
  • Heat – This fucking figures.

Natural Enemies: Sunny, temperate days; the laughter of children

Given local wind patterns, your neighbors may be surprised by a few maples of their own, long after you've skipped town...

Depending on wind patterns, your neighbors may be surprised by a few maples of their own, long after you've skipped town...

Maple
Widely acknowledged as Canada’s only export, the maple is known for its appearance on national flags and its ruthlessly efficient seed distribution system, which is regarded by many top scientists as a “miracle.”

DaVinci’s early model for a flying machine (known today as the “autogyro”) was based on the corkscrewing flight pattern of the maple seed. The U.S. military took this to its logical conclusion in Vietnam, using their autogyros to scatter “leaflets” over the irritated population, who grumbled and told their kids to get outside and rake the yard. (“Watch out for the punji pits and anti-personnel mines. I don’t want to have to clean up two messes today.”)

Natural enemies: Rakes; currency exchange rates

Yeah. I've been working out. I also own a Big & Tall franchise...

Yeah. I've been working out. I also own a Big & Tall franchise...

Oak
A hulking metaphor of a tree, the oak tree is prized for its bold statement that even the smallest of us can grow up to do great things, like win the heavyweight championship of the world, or take out a neighbor’s water lines.

While it tends to do better in wide open areas, it can usually be found in groupings of smaller trees, rubbing its towering new look in the faces of its former classmates, who teased it mercilessly during its formative years.

Natural enemies: Squirrels; small claims court

The rarely seen, but easily activated, aspen G-spot...

The rarely seen, but easily activated, aspen G-spot...

Aspen
The most sensitive of all North American trees, the aspen is known for it “quaking” and “shivering” at the slightest breeze, while gusts in the 30-40 mph range will cause it to break down in full-blown tears. Recent scientific studies have theorized that the tree may actually be the most easily aroused of all plants, its quaking due to an incredibly easily achieved orgasm.

Either way, aspen owners should keep their distance, as it becomes emotionally attached at the slightest provocation, leading to late night surprise visits and drunk-dialing.

Natural enemies: Woodpeckers; frat boys

A promotional still from "Biker Boyz," featuring the semi-rare R-type redwood in the background...

A promotional still from "Biker Boyz," featuring the semi-rare R-type redwood in the background...

California Redwood
Although native to California, the redwood has begun to creep up the coastline into Oregon and Washington, prompting locals to bitch endlessly about these intruders. These diatribes, usually delivered from atop a bicycle or light-rail car, are usually disregarded by tourists and redwoods alike.

The looming threat of California’s bankruptcy should only increase the redwood exodus, providing the Pacific Northwest with novelty tree “tunnels” and yet another goddamn reason for tourists to visit. There is some speculation (as yet unproven) that the trees are only looking for cheaper real estate/heroin.

Natural enemies: Oregonians; tainted needles

Most Pleasant View Obstruction - Bed & Breakfast Monthly, July 2002

Most Pleasant View Obstruction - Bed & Breakfast Monthly, July 2002

Cedar
The Swiss Army knife of trees, the cedar has been used to create everything from moderately priced furniture to bedding for pet rodents. Due to its versatility and distinctive smell, the noble cedar has excelled in many areas during the last several years (listed below).

  • Intramural volleyball team captain
  • District co-champion, debate team
  • Co-signer on Aaron Nussbaum’s auto loan
  • President of the Sierra Club (1984, 1996)
  • Personal assistant to Blythe Danner, Phillip Michael Thomas
  • Toothpick of the year (1997)
  • U.S. Goodwill Ambassador to Luxembourg
  • Recipient – Don Mills Clean Living Award (2009)
  • Best Smile – Paloma County High School (Junior Year)

Natural Enemies: Cheerleader cliques; asthmatics

Close-up view of the many small parts of the common pine, which is very easily disassembled...

Close-up view of the many small parts of the common pine, which is very easily disassembled...

Pine
Perhaps best known for its involvement in the George Brett pine tar scandal (as well as its role as an “enabler” in several lesser incidents), the pine has cleaned up its reputation to become a well-known Christmas icon, on par with Santa Claus and his son, Jesus Christ.

Also well-known to homeowners and other Christmas celebrants as “nature’s litterbug,” the pine cannot help but shed needles and cones every-fucking-where constantly. Years of domestication have failed to housebreak the tree, as its shedding reaches a peak when kept indoors. “Evergreen,” my ass.

Natural enemies: Umpires; Jehovah’s Witnesses

"... at which point your grandmother, on your mother's side, fornicated with an angel..."

"... at which point your grandmother, on your mother's side, fornicated with an angel..."

Family
Ranging in size from a full-blown leviathan (Utah) to barely more than a misshapen stump with a few rare branches (Arkansas, West Virginia), this decidedly North American institution is prized for its collection of interminable slideshows and long, boring stories.

While it continues to grow all year round, it reaches its peak during the summer reunion months.

Natural enemies: Attractive cousins; Planned Parenthood

-CLT

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America’s Most Overlooked Tourist Attractions

August 21, 2009

Sure, we’ve all heard about Mt. Rushmore, Disneyland, the Amityville Horror house, birthplace of Sinbad, etc. but what about those great attractions right under our noses? (Note: if you are currently doing blow off someone’s ass, please ignore the following and continue on,  good sir or madam. You obviously need no advice on how to have fun.)

Fancy Plans would like to take this opportunity to point out a few of the many scattered vacation spots that are criminally underrated. (Again: not you, coke fiend and “special friend.” Your experience, while definitely criminal could never be considered underrated.)

Detroit: cornering the market on "ramshackle"

Detroit: cornering the market on "ramshackle"

Highland Park, MI Ghost Town
Enjoy the thrill of touring an abandoned town without all the intrusive history lessons or costumed tour guides making the most of their failed acting careers by pretending it isn’t 2009.

See $1 homes! View rusting Motor City relics! Enjoy a “vintage” 8-Mile rap battle! Watch Jack White assault various members of the Von Bondies! Man the light switch during a thrilling reenactment of the “Detroit Rock City Exodus!”

Note: Although the tour is free, the tour guide may, at some point, ask for a donation of your wallet, camera, jewelry or other valuables, often at gunpoint.

Hell yeah! Nothing but American cars and flags as far as the eye can see (20 feet - glaucoma)

Hell yeah! Nothing but American cars and flags as far as the eye can see (20 feet - glaucoma)

Codgerville, USA
Centrally located in Kansas (less than 8 hours by bus to Branson, MO!), Codgerville USA provides a pitch perfect representation of America: the way it used to be. Although great care has been taken to include the things you love (Beechman’s Gum, asbestos, doctors recommending cigarettes), Codgerville, USA is really more about what it doesn’t contain.

A short list of what you won’t find:

  • Multiple races
  • Foreign vehicles
  • Multiplexes
  • Art that my 3-year old grandchild could make
  • Excessive swearing
  • Black presidents
  • Back sass
  • Hats at the dinner table
  • An effective polio vaccination

Enjoy the pride of Codgerville, USA: a moving sidewalk which travels in the opposite direction of your gait, thus allowing you (and whatever descendants you’re torturing) to walk uphill in both directions to any attraction!

Note: microwaves in use.

Another historical haul for Gary's museum

Another historical haul for Gary's museum

Harrison County Reservoir Museum
Located in Gary Stuckett’s garage and outlying sheds, this museum boasts America’s largest collection of items retrieved from the drainage gates of any American dam or other water retention system.

Some highlights include:

  • 1,700+ beer cans in 38 different varieties (“mainly Natty Light“)
  • 1,250+ soda cans and bottles (“mainly RC and Diet Coke“)
  • 440+ empty chip bags (“split between Ruffles and generics“)
  • 128 diapers (“if you need to change your kid, just toss it on the pile“)
  • 2 sofas (“not in that bad a shape, believe it or not“)
  • 94 tires (“not a single complete set, dang it“)
  • 3 dead bodies (“fortunately, I’ve also come across nearly 300 pine tree air fresheners“)

Gary’s guided museum tour is normally available from 8am – 6pm weekdays and Saturdays (“Sunday’s for Gary“), which is full of delightful personal notes (“about half of those Natural Light cans are mine“) and horrifying details (“just couldn’t keep that body from floating once it swole up from the heat“).

Those fortunate enough to catch Gary in a sober moment will enjoy the added bonuses of their tour guide being both fully dressed (“normally the summer months will find me going “commando” under the bathrobe“) and less prone to rant about his many unanswered letters to the Guinness Book of World Records (“hell, I even drank their damn beer!“).

Hanna-Barbera Studios: picturesque as fuck

Hanna-Barbera Studios: picturesque as fuck

Hanna-Barbera Studios
Located in sunny Studio City, CA, the Hanna-Barbera Studios are the perfect vacation for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of places like Disneyland or Detroit. Lots to see and do here including these favorites:

  • See how over 70 different cartoons were made using only one background and three frames of animation
  • Get the real story behind the bizarre “now you hear, now you don’t” Scooby-Doo laugh track
  • Get the real story behind what the hell they were laughing at, because the show never really had any punchlines to speak of
  • Enjoy the William H. Hanna Library of Erotic Betty and Wilma Fan Fiction
  • Examine the Jetsons and their dystopian future that never was
  • Watch Captain Caveman hit on your wife/girlfriend
  • Get away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids
The RIAA Stables: no musical enjoyment allowed

The RIAA Stables: no musical enjoyment allowed

RIAA Lawyer Farms – Ashland, KY
Enjoy the rolling hills of Ashland, KY, home of the world famous RIAA stables. The RIAA’s amazing breed of free-range lawyers are allowed to roam the countryside, feeding on the tears and confusion of senior citizens and preteens.

Be sure and stop by the RIAA Cafe, where the whole family can enjoy a delightful meal at a not-at-all outlandish or ridiculous price.

Note: all diners subject to pre-meal strip search. All orders are 1-to-a-plate. No sharing. Soda refills – $0.99-$1.29/ea. An automatic 20% gratuity has been added to your bill for lobbying fees. Parties over 1 subject to additional fees from ASCAP.

Thorogood models a pair of Limited Edition Snakeskin Zubaz

Thorogood models a pair of Limited Edition Snakeskin Zubaz

George Thorogood’s Birthplace, Wilmington, DE
Many, many things to see and do here, preferably while on a Jack Daniels bender, shouting “WOOOOOOO!!! ROCK AND FUCKIN’ ROLLLLLLLL!!!!” the whole time. Become as “bad to the bone” as is humanly possible while 45 and balding during these tour highlights:

  • See 47 miles of barbed wire!
  • Buy a cobra-snake necktie! Just $99.99 at our gift shop!
  • See our fancy new roadside digs, done up in faux-rattlesnake skin!
  • Thrill to our “human skull” chimney, which stands over our brick pizza oven!
  • Don’t forget to pick up a rattlesnake whip! ($179.99)

Note: please do not answer George’s drunken and somewhat rhetorical questions about where your affections lie. Also, please keep in mind that we will not tolerate any attitude or mouthiness from visitors, so take it easy.

Pre-production look at "The Nelson Family Visits Niagara Falls"

Pre-production look at "The Nelson Family Visits Niagara Falls"

Roadside Attraction Land
Why run all over the country looking for that perfect photo opportunity? Come to our studios, located safely inside the city limits. Out “vacationeers” have a variety of costumes and props to make your visit to any non-licensed tourist destination (sorry folks, no Disneyland) look and feel authentic.

Put yourself and your loved ones into any of these classic vacation hot spots with our almost-cutting edge green screen technology:

  • A redwood forest
  • The St. Louis Arch
  • Birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Kansas wheat field
  • A waterfall
  • Austin, MN’s Spam Museum
  • Enron Field
  • Tijuana “donkey show”
  • The Mall of America (three backdrops: Gap Main Floor, Gap 2nd Floor, Spencer’s 3rd Floor)
  • Main Street, USA
  • Main Street, New Delhi
  • Super 8 Motels, Omaha, NE
  • The Grassy Knoll
  • Las Vegas (non-Strip attractions)
  • Downtown Los Angeles (Toronto)
  • Downtown Chicago (Vancouver)
  • That “Field of Dreams” field
  • Somali pirate ship
  • Grayline Tour Bus
  • Penelope Ann Spheeris’ backyard

So make your vacation a restful “staycation” and put those bitch, ungrateful kids in their place. An average session lasts two hours, leaving your free to spend your remaining vacation doing the things you really want to, like mowing the lawn, tracking down that smell in the basement or wandering the office in your shorts.

For other vacation news, in particular the Branson, MO metroplex, click here:
2009 Calendar of Events for Branson, MO

-CLT