Saturday, 31 December 2011

Start Your New Year Snuggling

Well, I guess we have ploughed through another year and we are in a position to reflect upon our successes and those things that we have yet to succeed in. I suppose that there are always things that don’t get done and those things that you do that you wish you hadn’t done. Such is life.

The important things have been wonderful. Everyone that I love and like is in good health and they seem to be happy in their lives. You can never tell for sure, but from my vantage point things look to be doing all right. I have had a few people that I care for go through some serious health issues, but at this point in the year I think they are winning their battles. I send them New Years magic to continue the fight and to vanquish their foes.

I am on the road to become the person that I wish to be. I have been fighting it for most of my life, but finally I am winning. Most days I can look back and be glad that I was alive. I continue to strive to be the person that I can and will be. Yeah, enough about me. Even I am getting sick of hearing about me.

I am not sure where the world is, but from what I can gather from the local propaganda sheets, the movers and the shakers have yet to totally fuck everything up. They are doing their best, but I think the world is beginning to fight back. If there are enough hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, heat waves and any other natural disasters then we will be more concerned about survival than filling our bank accounts.

The Mayans have predicted the end of the world on December 21st of this year. I don’t worry about things like that because I am not a Mayan and even if I were I suspect there wouldn’t be anything that I could do about it. I am going to try and live this year like it is going to end on December the 21st, that way I won’t have any regrets. I guess that means more hugs and kisses, more help for those less fortunate and more treating my family like strangers. You tend to be nicer to strangers than to your own family, and I don’t know about you but my family puts up with a lot of crap from me that they don’t deserve.

We have Hurricane and Tornado for a sleep over tonight, and I am looking forward to beginning the new year with  a couple of cute warm bodies snuggled up to me first thing in the morning. Not too first thing I hope, but I guess I will take it when and where I can get it.

Here’s hoping that you start your New Year snuggling with the people that mean the world to you.

Friday, 30 December 2011


I fear that I am beginning to repeat myself. It is bound to happen I suppose, but the problem is I can’t remember if I am repeating myself or if I have just had this thought before. I spent about thirty years walking the streets delivering mail and for the most part I could slip my brain into neutral and do the job without conscious thought. Yes, you are right; I did misdeliver the mail more often than I should have and you would think that I might feel some remorse. Well, I really couldn’t give a shit and to all of those who think it is a big deal to have to walk to your neighbours and drop a letter off once every year, to them I say “Suck it up Princess!”

The point that I am trying to make is that I had a lot of time to think about pretty much everything and no one to talk to about it. That is where you come in. I do have a way to check the blogs, but it is painfully slow and I can’t believe that anyone reading this has a better memory than I have. If you happen to notice that I am repeating myself, I would appreciate it if you would keep that information to yourself. No one likes a smart ass!


I have always liked washing dishes. In fact, I have been known to take them out of the dishwasher and do them by hand. I think of it as a kind of active meditation. You immerse your hands in warm to hot water and your focus is entirely on cleaning that dish. There are several benefits to this form of meditation. Firstly and I suppose most importantly you get your dishes cleaned. Secondly, you have time to review the day and how you can improve tomorrow. I sometimes will listen to the radio and depending what I am listening to I might even learn something. When you have finished, you have a pile of clean dishes in the cupboard, an immaculate countertop and dry wrinkled hands. Okay, it isn’t perfect.

The reason that I mention this is that for the past few weeks I have had to do the dishes a lot more than usual and it has become borderline work. I found I was putting off doing the dishes later and later until I would do them just before bed or first thing in the morning. I didn’t always do the dishes as a way to find Nirvana; in fact I didn’t always do the dishes. My mom did the dishes when I was young and for a time paper plates seemed like the best idea that mankind had come up with. Imagine, you could eat without having to do anything except toss the plates into the incinerator! Just about this time I came up with the idea of a spray on coating that could be peeled off at the end of the meal leaving the dishes sparkling clean. It probably would have been highly toxic, but those were the days when four out of five doctors preferred Marlboro plain.

I came into my own, dish wise, when I started to go to Louise’s family get togethers and volunteered for dish duty. It would help get me out of those uncomfortable discussions with the family or those strange prairie card games where everyone cheated and I always lost. The downside of course was that they thought that I was peculiar at best and more than likely just “odd”. I am good with “odd” and I always knew where the glasses were kept.

Later on, it kept me from showing the kids just how bad dad was at math when they were doing their homework. “I’m doing the dishes; ask your mother what a polynomial is.” Now, I get to listen to the conversations and I am far enough away so that I can’t make a comment. Whenever I do, I tend to say the one thing that everyone agrees is just stupid.

Oh well, at least the dishes are clean.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Bye Maegan…

Back in 1975, Louise and I decided to travel across the country like so many other young people did at that time. The method that most young people took was to hitch hike. I had never had a lot of luck when it came to hitch hiking, so when we decided to go we looked for an alternate method.

At the time you could drive someone else’s car across the country for them and just pay the gas, which is what we did. There is a blog or two in that trip, but tonight I am going to write about the year after our trip. When we returned, and set up housekeeping we couldn’t get the mountains and their magnificence out of our minds. Eventually we decided that we needed to live in or near the mountains.

We got out a trusty map and had a look. There were and are quite a few small towns and townlets dotting the mountains in both BC and Alberta, but neither of us had any real saleable or useable skills so we decided that a larger city would be necessary to find employment. Calgary was the biggest city that was closest to the mountains so that is where we would relocate.

Deciding was the easy part, telling our friends and family was just devastating, both to them and us. There were a many tears and more than once we questioned what we were about to do. Thinking back, I am sure that we broke our parent’s hearts. However, as parents they wished the best for us and knew that we had to do this. We were young and in love, what could possibly stand in our way. Nothing ever seems to go as well or as easily as you think it will. We struggled and it was an emotional roller coaster for the first year or so in Calgary, but we made it our home.

We tried to keep in touch with friends and family, but this was before the internet and letters and phone calls were the only real option. There were visits back and forth, but not as frequently as we would like. It was cheaper to fly to Hawaii at the time than to fly to Toronto. We didn’t do either, but Hawaii was cheaper. Whenever we did travel to Ontario or our parents travelled here, the end of the trip was always marked by tears. I often thought that we should move back, and we did for about four years, but the mountains and Calgary kept calling to us. By this time it was home. We tried to convince our friends to move out here, but our pleas fell on deaf ears. They were home too.

Well, for the past two weeks my daughter Maegan has been visiting us from Toronto. She comes for a visit at this time every year, and next to a visit from a fat man in red from the North Pole, a visit from a skinny young woman from Toronto indicates Christmas to us. The past few years I think the main reason for her trip is to spend time with her nephews.

Tomorrow she leaves to go back home and we wish the best for her. There will be tears and hugs, and I will start to count the days until I see her again. Perhaps it is something that dwells within that makes us search for a better life elsewhere. Well, I know that Toronto is the best place for her to be and Calgary is the best place for us to be. The odd thing is, when I first came to Calgary, my heart found its home. Now, part of my heart lives in Toronto.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A New Kind Of Penicillin

I am going to miss having an assortment of cookies in the house. There is something so    comforting about sitting at the kitchen table with a coffee/tea and a cookie reading the paper. It is like living in a Norman Rockwell painting, well, without the stink of oil paint or a visible brush stroke on your ass. You get my meaning though.      

The trouble with sitting at the table eating cookies, is that sooner rather than later you have to sit further and further away from the table due to an enlarged stomach. Before the holiday season, Louise and I had been on a pretty workable diet. Not a diet so much as it is limiting the amount of food that went into our mouths. I think the reason that we call it the "holiday season" is that we took a holiday from common sense. Okay, I took a holiday from common sense. I am getting back to my old, new ways just as soon as all of the good food is used up. Well, you can't very well toss it out now, can you.

I can remember that when I was growing up there were children starving in Europe so I had to eat my turnips and peas. I drew the line at liver. If it is between me eating liver and European kids starving, there is simply no contest. I didn't know those French and Polish kids, but I do know how awful liver is. Things haven't changed too much in the intervening years. The Europeans seem to have found a way too feed everyone more or less, but there are many other countries that I need to eat for.

I think that somehow I have overdosed on good food. How can that be? Shouldn't I just be thrilled about all of the goodies and my being able to eat them? Damned right I should! I think there is something in the constitution about the right to be able to eat anything that is either above or below us on the food chain. Humans come from a long line of scavengers and Canadians in particular aren't particular. Be that as it may, I seem to be experiencing some discomfort and as loath as I am to admit it, I think my intake of food is to blame.

My mouth tastes kind of like an old pair of socks that you might find in a high school locker. I have eaten a lot lately, but I am sure I haven't eaten any socks. Well, pretty sure... My stomach feels kind of queasy constantly. Sort of like the feeling you get when you are one and a half glasses of wine past your limit. You just know that sometime in the not too distant future your stomach is going to go all Vesuvius on you. Oh well, I suppose that this is just a cross that I have to bear at this time of year. Maybe I am suffering for your sins. It happened before, it can happen again.

I think that I won't have to show any will power at all, because the refrigerator is starting to thin out and what is left has greenish, yellow fur growing on it. You can still eat most of it, but I try to stay away from the stuff that is currently alive. Hey, maybe the mold will be like a new kind of penicillin that makes your mouth taste like a mountain stream and will quell the uprising in your stomach. I remain hopeful.

I wonder if I will get to name it?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

View From The Cheap Seats

A friend sent me this email of two German women doing trick riding on bicycles.

There were a few things that struck me about this video. It seems to be a half time show or demonstration at some high school or college sporting event. It is a pretty good half time show which demonstrates amazing skill, dedication and grace. I have to wonder just how long these girls spend practicing. I have done some riding in my life and when I was younger and less round I would do some tricks on the bike. They mainly involved being stupid on two wheels instead of stupid on two feet, but I was told at the time that I was entertaining. The words “stupid”, “insane”, “foolish” and a few other less flattering descriptive phrases were used. Be that as it may, this kind of riding needs a certain level of athleticism and many, many, many hours of practice. I find myself wondering, why?

Just to perform for a few minutes during half time at some university in the Netherlands? There can’t be any money in this, well, perhaps travel money. The cost seems to outweigh the return. I suppose that we all have the need to be acknowledged in this life. Some of us do trick riding on bicycles, some sing Karaoke, some people volunteer as greeters at the airport and some even write blogs in a pathetic attempt to be loved. I don’t even get travel money! To be fair though, the karaoke people are usually drunk, or at least I hope so.

I found myself watching the girls and thinking “I wonder why they don’t have flashier costumes?  They should have up beat music playing. It would be cool if they could both straddle two bikes.” This brought up something that I have been thinking about today. Isn’t it interesting how “helpful” we are? Someone does something that is pretty amazing and all that we can do is to make suggestions on how they could do it better.

I often comment on what the coach of this team or that team should do. In the first place, I have little or no real coaching knowledge. In the second place, they do have the necessary knowledge. What makes me think that anything that I could think of or say hasn’t been thought of and said by those that are much smarter than I? I bet that the coach is using every trick that he has learned in decades of playing and coaching, living and breathing the game 24/7. I hope that I think of this the next time I start to spout off. I probably won’t.

When someone tells me of the shit that is going down where they work, I can’t help but think I know how to solve the problem. This is the same “I” that hasn’t set foot in the building and has not clue one as to how the difficulty started and what are the underlying facts. I had a huge union to deal with my problems before they even filtered down to me. Maybe I just like to hear myself talk. Maybe?

Over the years I have done carvings for fellow workers that were about to retire. Mainly caricatures that indicate what they would be spending their retirement doing, but they were sometimes recognizable. I did one of a single guy sitting on a few cases of beer reading a Playboy. I did a couple of people going to the golf course and one just sleeping on a pile of mail. They were generally well received, but someone or some two would start to make suggestions. “You should have made his legs thinner.”  “He should have been eating a pizza.” “His eyes were a lighter brown.” The suggestions went on and on. I am not saying that they were wrong, but unless you have done whatever it is, perhaps we should keep our helpful suggestions to ourselves.

There may be some out there that like constructive criticism, but in close to 60 years I have yet to meet one.

Monday, 26 December 2011



I thought that I had eaten too much yesterday, and I did. It seems that yesterday was just a stretching exercise for my stomach, the upper and lower intestines and hopefully the sphincter. Years ago, we decided as a family that to have a large Christmas type dinner on Christmas day was something of a waste. You see, Santa generally leaves chocolate, candy and fruit in our stockings and of course we bake a shit pile of cookies to have a variety to leave out for Santa. Landing on rooftops and going up and down chimneys must take a lot of energy, because a conservative estimate is that there are 2.1 billion homes that Santa visits on Christmas Eve. If everyone leaves just one cookie and it weighs say 40 grams, that works out to 84,000,000 Kilograms or 184,800,000 pounds. That is a lot of calories to burn off. (the math doesn’t look right, but you get the idea)

I am pretty sure that Santa and I are in a dead heat after today. So, anyways, we decided that with all of the goodies (crap) that we eat on Christmas day it just isn’t fair that Louise spends so much time cooking for people that are actually too full to appreciate her hard work. We settled on Boxing Day. If you ask me, I think Valentines Day would be far enough away for the big meal. No one asked me!

So, big meal, ham and turkey, potatoes and yams, some other stuff, and four deserts, not counting the god damned cookies or the cheese ball. It is really just a blur to me. No, really, my eyes can’t focus anymore. You don’t think the food could be putting pressure on the back of my eyeballs do you? I know it is putting pressure on my bladder and the intestines, but I think the cheese ball is binding things up.

There was a suggestion that we should all go for a walk after dinner. Once the laughter died out we sat on the couch with our stretchy pants on and just nibbled on cookies and candy. We didn’t want to; it was almost as if we were compelled to. You know how those people that die for a time and then are resuscitated, say that they were hovering over their body watching the paramedics trying to save them and they just had a feeling of peace and contentment. It was like that. I knew that I shouldn’t be eating, and a part of me was saying that I shouldn’t, but my hand just kept picking up food and stuffing it in my mouth.

Eventually, I had to get up and do the dishes. The mounds of pots, pans, plates and cutlery took not only an enormous amount of water, but I fear my hands will never lose the wrinkles. If it weren’t for the dishwasher I would still be in the kitchen. I guess the dishwashing was my exercise today.

Well, Boxing Day is done for another year and I have pretty much finished the blog…I wonder if there are any cookies left?

Sunday, 25 December 2011


Well, I hope that everyone had as good a Christmas as I did. I ate too much, I drank too much, I was given too much and I enjoyed myself too much.

I know that there are people out there that don’t enjoy the Christmas season, and I am sure that they have very good reasons. I just can’t imagine what those reasons might be. That’s not true, I can imagine what they might be, but I choose not to on a day when I am the recipient of such love and joy. Tomorrow will be soon enough to get back to the headlines.

Tomorrow we will find out just how many people died going to or coming from visiting loved ones. There will probably be an article on how this politician or that senator was found wanting morally. Yes, some level of government (pick any one) will have spent our tax dollars with wild abandon. Our young men will still be trying to set examples for the local people in some country that just doesn’t want any of our boys and girls there. There will be some young celebrity that is going into or coming out of rehab and some aging pop star will be announcing a world wide tour because he just loves to play( for $235 a pop).

Well, today, we are spending our time with our families and friends. Oh sure, there will be arguments and disagreements but they are the kind that happen every year and are born of love…mostly. Some will get gifts from some loved one that is so far off of the mark that you have to look at the tag again to make sure the gift was actually for you. I sometimes think the person you are and the person that you present to the world is the reason for “mistake” gifts. You just have to remember that the person tried and next year you can give them some piece of shit gift to pay them back. I know of a couple of guys that have been doing just that for the last 30 years and every year they try to find a gift that is even shittier than the year before.

I didn’t expect anything this year and my lovely wife made it a year to remember. I got a signed script from my favourite Star Trek episode and a replica flute from the same episode. There was a Bluetooth keyboard that I can use with the iPad when this computer dies. I got a game that I can play with Hurricane and Tornado and my sister-in-law sent me the book on Steve Jobs. Yeah, I know, I do sound like the biggest geek in the northern hemisphere. Oh well, it is Christmas which means it is time to be over the top.

So, today there was no paper and no local news, well no local newsmen to report the news. I guess that is the same thing. Do you think nothing bad would happen if it wasn’t reported? That would be like the 50’s and 60’s. I think that is a good thing. When you read this, look over to the person or persons that you love and thank God, Vishnu, or any other divine or semi-devine being for bringing them into your life. I know I am going to.

Once again, have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and when you think about going for that second or third helping…DON’T DO IT!!!  

Saturday, 24 December 2011


I wouldn’t consider myself a very superstitious person, but I am the kind of guy that thinks it is far better to be safe than sorry.

For instance, I would never walk under a ladder. The old wives say that it is bad luck, but what is bad luck? Okay, a hammer might drop on you when you are under the ladder. You might nudge it as you pass beneath it and someone will fall, perhaps break their neck and sue you for every penny that you have and every penny that you might have in the future. I use a ladder to put up some of the Christmas decorations in the house, and invariably I will drop some stuffed animal and it will drop right under the ladder. Because of the ladders placement it is sometimes difficult or impossible to reach the toy. Yes, I have been known to take the ladder down and after I retrieve the dropped decoration I will set the ladder back up. That isn’t superstition, it’s…ahhh…

There is a saying that if you have an itchy nose you will soon be kissed by a fool. What a load of claptrap! Mind you, Louise does rub her nose from time to time. Coincidence I am sure.

We all know that the number thirteen is supposed to be bad luck. I don’t subscribe to this, but when I was working I would call in sick on Friday 13th’s, and now I don’t even like to get out of bed. There is no 13th floor in buildings, there is no 13th aisle in an airplane, and my parents were married on a Friday the 13th and (shudder) I might have been conceived on the 13th. There is undoubtedly nothing to the 13th, but why would we take a chance?

Those old wives also say that if you make a wish while burning onions then it will come true. If that were the case, then I should be able to get a wish every time that Louise goes into the kitchen. OUCH!!!!

Here is one that I have tried (unsuccessfully) more than once. If three people are photographed together, the one in the middle will die first. It may work, but not reliably or quickly. Trust me on this one.

A spider is a repellent to the plague if worn around the neck in a walnut shell. I don’t know about the plague, but pretty much everything and everyone will be repelled if you do this.

So, I have established that I am not really superstitious. Having said that, I think I may have made a karmic mistake today while I was washing the dishes (for the third time today). I picked up the strainer to wash and there sitting on the rim was a ladybug. What the hell is a ladybug doing on my strainer, in my kitchen on the day before Christmas? I picked up the strainer and gingerly walked to the back door with it and banged the strainer on the wall till the ladybug dropped off. I went and finished the dishes and later in the afternoon I started to think that perhaps having a ladybug in the house on Christianity’s most holy day might be a good thing. It wasn’t where it had dropped a couple of hours earlier. Where could it have gone? How would I apologize anyways? I speak ant, but that is mainly swear words. I know that rhyme about her house being on fire and her children having a less than stellar day, but it wouldn’t do to say that when you are hoping for good luck. I just did some research; it would seem that it is bad luck to kill a ladybug. I am sure that it didn’t die, but since it is winter and bugs don’t have a lot of body mass to keep it warm… I knew that doing the dishes would lead to no good. Ahhh…SHIT!

Well, I hope that you all have a good and Merry Christmas. I will caution you to stay away from ladders, make sure that you burn your onions, be careful about how you are placed in photos, avoid rubbing your nose around your significant other and if you happen to run into a slightly tatty looking ladybug, let me know.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Eve…Eve

What a great time of year!

I am taking a bit of “ME” time tonight. I haven’t done anything to deserve special treatment, other than suck air in and then blow it out again, but sometimes that is all that you need do to turn a hum-drum day into a special “ME” day.

Here I sit listening to some of my favourite Christmas songs that I have stolen off of youtube ( ). I have just finished a traditional pre Christmas dinner of 2 for 1 pizza and a graham cracker for desert. I have a glass of home made Baileys in my hand (makes it tough to type, but I will persevere) and the taste, although not quite as smooth as the store bought variety, packs a much bigger wallop. I can’t help but wonder on this Christmas eve, eve, just what Hurricane and Tornado are doing in the basement.

I could hear them a few minutes ago, but it has become very quiet now. It kind of makes you wonder if I should really have taken this “ME” time while I was looking after the grandkids.

That first part was to see if my daughter actually reads the blog. I will deal with the fallout later.

I don’t know why, but as Christmas day draws closer and closer, I have a sense of melancholy developing. I guess that it is because for the month or so leading up to Christmas day it seems that the world becomes brighter somehow. Well, I guess it actually does become brighter with everyone putting up outdoor lights and displays as well as the decorations and lights inside the houses. It is a boom season for pretty much our whole society. The retail businesses have their busiest, most profitable season, the manufacturers have been manufacturing to provide the retailers with merchandise. The post office goes into overdrive to make sure all of the cards, parcels and letters get delivered by the 24th of December. The aid agencies put on drives to make sure that the less fortunate can also enjoy the season. We all try to be the people that we would like to be the other 11 months of the year.

I know that I am not the person that I should be more often than not. I am not as kind as I could be and I am often more judgemental than I should be. This feeling that is omnipresent during December really is contagious. I will give money to people on the street and not really care what they do with it. They are usually in uniform and are wielding mean looking bells. Those suckers could hurt. I just read about a guy that is not only matching what the local paper is raising, but he is doubling it! I imagine he made about a gazillion bucks in dirty oil, but still it is nice. Stories of generous people are too numerous to mention. I personally prefer to give moral support, but to each his own.

Anyways, I am battling the melancholy with alcohol and drugs. Nah, I am using the tried and true method, I am watching the excitement and joy in my grandsons and living vicariously through them. Happy Christmas Eve…Eve.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

I Wonder If Louise Saved The Letter

I was just listening to the local radio station ( ) that has been playing Christmas carols since the middle of November. Now, before you think to yourself “Ahh… I hate that crap and anyone that likes it is a bone headed moron!” You may be right, but I just can’t get enough of it. I try to listen to “normal” music, but it just doesn’t seem right to me and I would rather be in silence if I can’t get Holiday fare. Call me a bone headed moron, oh yeah, you just did.

Same to you!

So anyway, I was just listening to Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas”. Well, it was a recording of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas”, I didn’t fake his death and I’m not keeping him in the basement, or keeping him alive with blood transfusions drained small children. That would just be weird. No need for anyone to check on it either.

There is a line in there about him dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card he writes, which got me to thinking about Christmas cards. Every year I decide that I am going to write them in mid November and then mail them sometime in early December. That way, I will be able to write long, witty and personal letters to go with each card. That never happens of course. What happens is that I begin to panic after the first few cards come from those dickwads that wrote all of their cards in mid November with long, witty, personal messages included. Why would they do that to me? This is about the time I ask Louise if she wrote a newsy kind of letter to include in the card. Sometimes she has and other times she gets right on it. What a nice lady!

I have a list of people that get cards. Basically the ones that send us a card will get one and there are people that are obligations. I remember that my mom and dad would send out about two hundred cards each year. The cards were cheaper then as was the postage, but that is one hell of a lot of cards to send. I would imagine that everybody they ever knew would get a card. I don’t think I know two hundred people, and if I did most of them wouldn’t get a card. The two people they sent cards to that stand out in my mind were the builder of their first house (an Italian guy that would send a card in Italian) and one of the German guards at Stalag Luft 17. Every year we would get a blue airmail envelope from Germany. The paper was very thin and folded over to make the envelope; I suppose to keep the weight down as well as the postage.

This year I sent the cards without the letter and I am starting to feel bad about it. I know that most people don’t give a tinkers damn about what I have been doing since last December. I have this feeling that there might be the odd person that does care. They would be the ones in the “just shy” category. They are just shy of being people that I contact on a regular basis and I am just shy of being on their list of people that they talk to. I think I had best send the letter to them with the help of the World Wide Web. I guess tomorrow will be a good time to do it; after all it doesn’t cost anything and requires minimal effort on my part.

You know, most of what I have been doing for the past year is documented in these blogs. Sure, a lot of this is bullshit and some is just plain made up, but there is enough truth to keep anyone happy for a while. Besides, after they have opened all of the presents on Christmas day they will more than likely be looking for something to fill the time until dinner, and what could be better than reading this blog? Yeah, pretty much anything.

I wonder where Louise saved that letter.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Twisted Fuckhead

I was waiting in line at Costco today and it just felt like Christmas. I normally try to get there relatively early in order to miss the crowds. I think I would have had to come in through the skylight at 3:00AM to beat these crowds.

The parking lot was kind of nuts, but it always is. I just love the guys that sit in their cars or truck waiting for the wife who has just gone in to pick up a couple of things. Hey there ASSHOLE everyone is just in there to pick up a few things! Park your vehicle and spend some time with your wife, or do what I do and drool over the electronics and or tools. Speaking of tools, what about those people who think the Costco parking lot is their own private racetrack? Slow down there pal, some of us actually parked our cars and have to walk the half mile to the door and have hopes of getting there without tire marks on our clothing. However, I prefer them to the cotton tops that cruise around and around the first two aisles at 3 KPH hoping that some spot will magically open. I prefer these doofuses to the ones that stop and hold up traffic in the hopes that the person walking down the aisle will get in a car and eventually vacate a spot.

My friend has had his vehicle broken into two or three times in the Costco parking lot. That was in Ontario where there are a lot more thieves and generally dishonest people than there are in Alberta. That is my story and I am sticking to it!

Once I got inside the “warehouse” there were people with carts bustling hither, thither and yon. If you were to squint and push up on your ear lobes, you might imagine that you are in Santa’s workshop. Mind you, if you do squint, there is a good chance that you are going to bump into someone and they will more than likely not be a jolly old elf. The chances are you will bump into a grumpy old prick. I don’t know why some people are in a bad mood. Did they think that four days before Christmas the stores were going to be empty? The only thing empty about Costco are the shelves. These people make you think very un-Christmas like thoughts, like wanting them to choke on a sugar plum and I know just where to put the candy canes.

I wandered the aisles looking at all of the shiny gadgets and doodads. It is times like this that I would like to get one of everything whether I could use it or not. I spend a fair amount of time in the book aisle putting the books back into the piles they belong in. Is it so difficult for people to put the book back where they got it after they have had a good look? Books aren’t so bad, what really gets me is when you see a frozen fish sitting on a pile of socks. What kind of twisted fuckhead thinks that is OK? “Yeah, I don’t want this fish so I will just drop it on these socks.” Dick!

The lines to check out were predictably long, but I took my sons advice on how to pick the best line. Simply find a line with good looking women in it and even if it is mind numbing slow, you will at least have something to look at. I had a nice chat with the woman in front of me and it turns out that her husband and I seem to have a lot in common. We both like electronics and we will wear our clothes until they cease to be useful as paint rags. The line moved pretty quickly and I managed to leave with my purchases and a smile.

Driving home I realized that I had forgotten some of the items that I went to Costco for. Oh well, I can go tomorrow. I’ll go early so that I can avoid the crowds…

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A Little Of Both

Today I saw the past, present and the future and had a ball doing it.

Tonight was Hurricanes play schools Christmas/Holiday concert. The four year old class did “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and the three year old class did a song about dinosaurs Christmas. I thought it was weird too, but basically they stood in a circle and listened to a song on the player. It was a pretty good circle.

The concert was to start sharply at 6:00-ish which means it was about 6:15 when the last little reindeer came running in. I feel for the parents that had to race home, whip up something for supper and then race out again with a little tree, reindeer, sugar plum or mama in her cap in tow. Hurricane was Santa Claus and had one of the only speaking roles which made Poppa pretty proud of his little guy. His mom and dad asked us to pick him and Tornado up from the day home and feed them supper which made it a little easier to get him to the school on time.

My goodness, the whole evening brought back memories of other concerts throughout the years that my own kids performed in. They weren’t bad memories, but I wouldn’t say they were good memories either. I wouldn’t trade them for a ton of gold. Well, maybe for a ton, but you get the idea. Half of the time I couldn’t follow what the hell was going on in these shows, but I figured that if I video taped it I could go over the recording at my leisure and piece together the basic plot line. It was a good thought, but unfortunately, having sat through it once I was pretty reluctant to do so again any time soon. Just recently, well, a year or so ago I bought the technology to convert those old video tapes from the eighties to a digital format. It has been twenty years or so and having viewed a few minutes of those old concerts I realized that it is still too soon. Maybe in another ten years I can try again.

Hurricane was pretty calm considering that he was staring in his first leading role and I wouldn’t be surprised if he took this up for a living. Shyness doesn’t seem to be a problem for him. I guess no one told him that he is supposed to be nervous just before the performance. He had his red suit and bag of toys, the trademark hat and of course a beard. My daughter commented that he had a beard just like Poppa and he replied “No, my beard is as white as snow!” Yep, Poppa has a beard like the snow at the side of the road a few days after the last snowfall. I think I would rather have the white as snow beard. I wonder if there is a reverse Grecian formula. While the actors were waiting in the wings, Santa was having some small amount of trouble keeping his beard in place and his mom had to help put it right. One of the reindeers started to cry because his antlers were bothering him. A couple of the other reindeer and a tree wandered off to sit with mom and dad. It was like herding cats!

The play went off without too many problems. The “I in my cap” guy lost interest pretty early on and had to be reminded to pay attention. The “sugar plums” forgot that they needed to dance and the reindeer and Santa arrived on the rooftop from more or less the same direction. I took too many pictures and I am sure that there will be a tear in the corner of my eye when I look at them. I am not sure if the tears will be for Hurricane or from the memories of my own little ones when that much younger man watched his kids perform in their very first Christmas concert. A little of both I suppose…

Monday, 19 December 2011

I Pissed On The Frogs Head

I had a dream last night that I was at my sister-in-laws house in Ontario. She has a lovely big home on a hill that overlooks a beautifully treed valley. The last time that I was there was in the autumn and the colours (although not at their peak) were spectacular.

We had a nice visit as we always do and as I sat in the relatively massive great room I contemplated how I would have done things differently if it were my house. There are a few changes I would make, but by and large they did a pretty good job when it was designed. The two guest bedrooms share a bathroom; I think it is called a “Jack and Jill” bathroom. I suppose because it is where you can go to get a pail of water. Seems pretty stupid to me, but I freely admit to being decorating challenged.

I think it was this bathroom that was the kernel of my dream. We were visiting and due to the amount of tea that I had been drinking I needed to go to the bathroom. I excused myself and walked down to the “Jack and Jill”. I was thinking to myself that when I get in the bathroom I have to remember to lock both doors, because this family have walked in on me a time or two and as they say, “Locked doors make for good in-laws” or something like that. When I walked into the bathroom I was stunned by the size of it! It was like a cross between a bawdy house and a Roman bath. There were plants, fountains, sculptures of cherubs and what appeared to be more than a few renaissance paintings. The floors, walls and ceilings were of Italian marble, I guess to stay with the Roman bath theme. What the Fuck?

I am used to smallish bathrooms and dislike the large ostentatious Vegas style facilities. I am just not comfortable in lavish surroundings. They don’t even have to be lavish to make me uncomfortable, just large. I was backpacking on the West Coast Trail a few years ago and felt the urge to become one with nature. In the pamphlets they encourage you to use the inter-tidal toilet. It was a day or two before I realized they meant that I should dig a hole in the sand and make my deposit there. It is an odd feeling to be squatting in the middle of a mile or so of empty beach with the ocean waves breaking behind you and the seagulls swooping around your head hoping that you will feed them. I am pretty sure they wouldn’t want anything I would give them at that particular moment. I just couldn’t do it! What if someone came around that headland a half mile away? Eventually I went into the woods and went in the woods. I need a more intimate setting when processing my waste.

Back at Ev’s, I still had to pee, so I looked for a toilet. Can you imagine that I couldn’t find a cubicle anywhere in that massive room? I decided that the large green porcelain frog with the big pink tongue sticking out was actually the urinal. I wish it wasn’t looking at me; I tend to have performance anxiety. I covered his eyes with a couple of big leaves (probably the toilet paper) and just as I was about to relieve myself a group of ladies came from behind some bushes and started to giggle. I am sure they were laughing at some humorous anecdote and not at me, but I couldn’t be sure. I squatted down and pretended to be looking at the frog until they passed. The one woman stopped and said to me “The frog is the urinal; I think you want the waterfall.” They all laughed and moved on and I was beet red from embarrassment.

I hate this bathroom!

I waited until they were out of sight and instead of going in its mouth; I pissed on the frogs head!

I hate dreams like this too!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Let Your Inner Elf Go Nuts

A good friend of mine that lives in Toronto, posted some pictures on Facebook yesterday. They were of a trip he and his wife took downtown to see the lights and decorations with their grandkids. I had written a blog lamenting the lack of Christmas spirit in some of the large retail stores that once upon a time would embrace the season and decorate their stores to awe and inspire. Well, John and Karen found a store with a window that took me back to my childhood!

It had a large clock that was marked in months instead of hours, busy elves building toys both wrapped and unwrapped, someone on a ladder putting toys up or taking them down. There was one elf that had a bucket on a pulley and I would imagine that he was pulling it up and down for some inexplicable reason. That is the beauty of Christmas and Christmas windows, it doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to make you happy. Thanks for posting those pictures John.

I was thinking about those pictures as I drank my tea and looked around me. Louise and I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to Christmas decorations. Nothing to over the top, you understand. Well, not over the top for us, but I can see it is more than likely over the top for others. Generally the decorations have some meaning for us. There is a full size sled hanging over the door that my dad used to sled with when he was a kid. There are many stuffed animals and Santas on or about the sled that seem to be hanging on for dear life.

We were at Heritage Park one year and saw garland made from ¾ inch strips of wrapping paper glued together decorating the trees. We thought it was a great craft to keep the kids busy and since then, every December our living area has been encircled with a colourful wrapping paper garland. Over the years the elves have made late night visits a week or two before Christmas and would drop off a poster or some other kind of decoration. It is neat to get decorations directly from the North Pole and it had the added benefit of defusing the excitement just a touch. I understand that the elves visit Hurricane and Tornado’s home now. Why last year they even left flour footprints on the table! Perhaps they were making “snow angels” in the flour.

Our tree is just beautiful! I am sure that everyone has the same feeling about their tree, and there are as many different opinions as to what makes for a beautiful tree as there are people. I caught a bit of a decorating show yesterday and the decorator had put five or six trees in a grouping. Each tree was a different colour, red, yellow, green, white and blue, all undecorated. I thought “How stupid!” until I realized that the trees were the decoration. Others like very sparsely decorated trees, still others like trees so covered in tinsel and angel hair that it is difficult to see the lights. Some only have room for a tiny tree, while others have gargantuan trees and the angel on top of the tree brushes her wings on the cathedral ceilings. To me they are all beautiful.

We tend to like the homespun decorations. I have one that I made from a paper cup and tinfoil when I was in kindergarten.

I might not have been able to skip, but I could wrap a cup with tinfoil and install a clapper! There are some elves that my Mom made for us and Louise has sewn some beautiful elf boys and girls that take time out in our tree during the day and travel back to the North Pole at night. I have carved one or two ornaments out of wood, golf balls, bark and baseballs.

Some of the other decorations have been lovingly purchased with our own money and fit into the general decor. I used to decorate a branch at work with elastic bands, paper clips and any other tiny coloured pieces of paper that I could find. It was very festive…sort of. I even paint a scene on the front window most years.

We can’t decorate like this all year, but for a month or two let your inner elf go nuts. I can promise that any little people in your life will be wide eyed and smiling whenever they visit. The extra benefit is that Santa may feel more generous in a well decorated home. Good luck!!!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Sanity Claus

Last night we went out for dinner. It was late and we typically have a difficult time deciding where to go. I usually don’t care where we eat, just so long as I am not served octopus (octopi?), rattlesnake or tofu. I know, I know, it tastes just like chicken. In that case I might just as well have chicken, because I know that chicken actually does taste like chicken. If it doesn’t then, it is past the best before date and you will no doubt be dead or very sick within the next couple of hours. Who knew eating could be so exciting?

We knew that we wanted to go out, but not one of us felt like asserting their own particular desires above the others. Many fine establishments were suggested, and because there wasn’t a hip-hip-hoorah we just skipped to the next suggestion. My personal preference is a place where you just pay for the food and don’t have to tip. I realize this makes me really cheap and that I am cheating my taste buds out of some kind of tongue and mouth orgasm, but that is just the way things go.

We settled on a Vietnamese restaurant which is close to the Best Buy store because Maegan is interested in the purchase of a laptop to replace her recently deceased desktop computer. There wasn’t a ceremony of any sort, or should I say that I wasn’t invited to the service. I hardly knew it other than in its role as middle man to Maegan’s emails. Its demise was expected really, and was a blessing, after all of the suffering that it had caused…err…experienced for the past year or so. So, Vietnamese it is!

I know what you are thinking, “…but Ken, Vietnamese food is shit! There are fish heads, weird vegetables and body parts that are nearly but not quite recognizable, making the food nearly inedible!” You are right for the most part, but you have forgotten about number 18 on the menu. Vermicelli, shredded pork and spring rolls, at least I am told it is pork. Tastes OK and the meal comes with a pot of free tea. I think it isn't tea per se, just boiling water that was set on the counter next to a tea bag for a minute or so. The meal is certainly edible, but unfortunately it was still expected for you to tip.

I have just come back to the blog after a short break and was surprised to see what I had written. You see, this started out as a blog about footwear believe it or not. The odd thing about it is that I remembered writing about footwear. It is entirely possible that I have either lost or am in the process of losing my mind. It would explain more than a few things that have happened over the past…ahhhh…fifty years or so. I wonder if the guys in the white coats are able to use blog writings in the sanity hearing.

Be that as it may, I am waiting for a guy in a red coat to come and visit me…Sanity Claus.

I came across this picture and I am putting it in ...because I can. Merry Christmas Doctor Who and all of the Who's in Whoville!

Friday, 16 December 2011

My Pet Rats

Did you ever have one of those days that seemed to be out of sync with the rest of the world? I had one yesterday, and I blame Louise. I like to blame Louise because not only does she love me (god knows why) but she also just doesn’t let it bug her. That’s mainly because I am probably wrong about fixing the blame.

I had a fairly busy day yesterday, not busy in the sense of I had to get that liver delivered or some poor child might not make it to Christmas, but busy in the “I had to cancel one of my coffee times” way. We all suffer in our own private Hells. I had planned to do some grocery shopping the first thing in the morning, have a coffee and read my book at Tim’s, come home and walk Buster, get the stew in the crock pot, tidy a bit, drive down to Ikea and pickup something that Louise wanted, maybe drop in on Lee valley if there is time and then go for my dental check-up with Dr. Julie. On the way home, maybe a coffee, but I had best get home and finish those Christmas cards, tidy a bit because Maegan arrives today for a visit. I will walk up to post the letters and perhaps visit the library. By then Louise will be home and after dinner I can have a relaxing night doing some carving and watching TV until Maegan’s plane comes in.

That is the way the day was planned. This is what happened.

I was getting ready to go to Superstore when Louise called and asked if I could do her a big favour. This is where things started to go south. She needed me to find a picture on the computer and send it to get some prints at Costco. This pushed the shopping trip back a bit and forced a cancellation of coffee at Tim’s. I got home and Buster and I went for a walk, but it was colder than I thought and therefore I cut it short. Not too satisfying for either of us. Quickly prep everything for the stew and nearly slice off a finger. I guess one shouldn’t rush when wielding a knife. Make a wrap for lunch and press a pot of coffee. Jeez, look at the time! There is no way that I can get to Ikea and Lee Valley is definitely out of the picture, in fact, I might just be late for Dr. Julie. On the way down, Louise called and I was a little curt with her because with the luck I was given, some cop might want to fill his distracted driving quota. I called her back from the parking lot and found she had come home from work for the day due to illness. Poor sweetie! Had a nice visit with Dr. Julie and then the hygienist did her thing. Arwen called in between the sharp pointy thing stabbing my gums and suction and I told her to call home because mom was there. I did the Ikea thing and drove home to find that Louise was OK, but Arwen had to go for some tests at the hospital. Everything seems to be good, but I would have to pick up Hurricane and Tornado for supper and who knows for how long. So, there goes the quiet restful dinner and evening I had planned.

When 11:00PM came up I headed to the airport, and of course there was an accident on the highway which raised my already topped up stress level. Maegan and I met, hugged, picked up the bags and got home and to bed as soon as possible.

You know, everything got done and then some. I did pick up the things for Louise and I managed to help out my daughter when she needed me. Sure, I missed the time that I had earmarked for me, but I will survive to drink coffee again. I used to laugh at the old farts that would have a schedule and couldn’t vary from it. I find that as I age I take comfort in my organized regime and resist change. If it weren’t for Louise I would never see the sun and be walking through tunnels of newspapers with my pet rats.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

No Upper Body Strength

The weekly Princess Auto flyer arrived in the mail today. I am always inexplicably excited when it arrives. You can’t imagine how excited I get when I actually buy something.

This is a weekly tradition for me, I get the flyer, set it down in front of me and smooth out the center fold so that I can view the flyer in all of its pristine glory. I make a coffee or a tea depending on whether I feel I should be wired or mellow when I read it. I turn the radio on low so that I can have music in the background but it won’t be so loud as to divert my attention from the Princess Auto flyer. I study each page slowly as if it were a legal document and if perchance I missed a line I would end up in some kind of debtor’s prison.

I look at all of the gizmos and gim-gaws, wondering just what the hell they do. There is about half of the stuff in there that I really don’t know what it could possibly be used for. Some kind of manufacturing I guess. On page three there is an infrared thermometer for $40 bucks off. What a deal! Why with that, I could tell if Louise had a fever from across the room. Hell, I could check out everyone in the local coffee shop to see if anyone is a carrier of some virus. Why don’t they use these things in the doctor’s office when you walk in? They could just point the gun like thing at you and sort the feverish patients into one corner. All that for only $39.

There is a paper towel/chemical holder on page four for just $9.99. It is regularly $19.99, so you get a ten buck discount. I wonder why they couldn’t make up their minds as to what it should be used for? Really, paper towels or chemicals? I can see paper towels or rags, or chemicals or paint, I mean wouldn’t you think that they should build a holder for like substances? Oh well.

God, they have a circular saw bag! I wouldn’t have to put the saw on the shelf in the garage any more, I could put it in a bag and put the bag on the shelf. No, that wouldn’t work for me. I would forget that I put it in a bag and spend three days looking for it before I remembered. There is a 6,000 pound trailer axle and a 12.000 lb weld-on drop leg trailer jack. I am sure that there are guys out there wetting their pants about these things, but for the life of me I wouldn’t know what to do with them if I were given them for free.

I just like to look through the flyer on the off chance there is something that I can’t live without or that I must have. There was a sale a few weeks ago and I bought one of those suction grips for carrying glass. The price was too good to pass up. Yes, I just bought one. I know I would need two if I were to carry a large pane of glass or mirror, but in the close to sixty years I have been on this planet I haven’t yet needed to carry a large pane of glass. If I ever have to though, I will only need to buy one suction thingy because I already have one. I took it to one of those buildings that have the smooth shiny marble to see if I could use it to climb up the side of the building. You certainly need to have two of these things and a well developed set of upper body muscles. It turns out that you also need a permit to climb the side of a building even if you only have one suction cup and no upper body strength. Cops really don’t have a sense of humour as a rule. I shouldn’t say that, I have seen videos of a group of cops laughing as someone “falls” down a staircase.

Well, I had fun with the flyer, and now I can look forward to next weeks. I still have six days to decide if I have any need for an English Wheel or a cordless grease gun. When did grease guns get cords?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

My Very First Santa

Today is/was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 89 today and I often think that he should still be here. I look at my grandchildren and know that if I am wrapped around their little fingers then he would be even more so. I see some new and impressive technology and think the dad would have been amazed by it. He would be the first to adapt to the internet, even if he couldn’t set the VCR or any digital clock for that matter.

I am pretty sure he would still be golfing and probably beating men half his age. Mind you, it would be pretty hard to pry him away from the TV during his favourite sports season. His favourite sports being hockey, baseball, basketball, golf, skiing, skating, football, and pretty much anything to do with carrying or throwing a ball and defying gravity. I don’t think that he was overly concerned with rhythmic gymnastics, but if it were the only thing on…When I was in Vegas and saw the sports betting areas in the casinos with about a hundred sports playing on a huge wall of TV’s, I knew that dad would have thought that he had died and gone to heaven. Maybe he is there now.

On his birthday I will go to a Home depot or some other home improvement superstore and just walk up and down the aisles remembering when I was able to do the same with dad. Whenever we worked together we would bicker and laugh, argue and eventually get the project done. We had different working styles, he would have to finish the job right away with a minimum number of breaks, whereas I would want to get the maximum number of breaks and the job would eventually get finished. Just like oil and water.

Dad and mom were visiting once and he decided that we needed to paint the ceilings in the house. I argued that I just wanted to visit and show him the mountains, but I now know that when you are a parent visiting your child, all you really want to do is to spend time with them. Of course we bought some paint and proceeded to paint the ceiling. It started to drop off in clumps! I guess you can’t use a latex paint on the stipple ceiling without it becoming liquid again. I was prepared to call it divine intervention and call it a day, but dad had other ideas. Back to the home depot we went and bought some oil based paint. Father knows best!

There was another time when he was visiting that he decided that we needed to put shingles on the shed at the side of the house. We got the shingles (from Home depot of course) and took them up on to the roof. Within about two minutes, the roof caved in and we both fell through and landed on our asses. Dad looked at me and said two things. Don’t tell your mother and what kind of roof did you build? I told him that it was meant to keep rain off, not support two grown men. He just chuckled and told me mission accomplished.

Dad was one of the funniest guys I met and he could tell a joke that would have you rolling on the floor. Everyone that knew him couldn’t say enough good things about him at his funeral. He would help anyone that needed it and give of his time generously, well, as long as there wasn’t a game of any kind on the TV.

Like I said, I often wish that I could call him up and tell him what Hurricane or Tornado did or said. It would be nice to tell him I loved him one more time and to look at his face. Well, I can do that if I just shave. I have a cup that I gave to my dad years ago that he surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) kept all of those years. I took it back when my mom passed away. Whenever I look at it I get all teary eyed. It is a Christmas cup and it reads “MY VERY FIRST SANTA”

I hope that where ever dad is now, they have kick ass cable, a killer golf course and I want him to know that I haven’t painted the ceiling since he left or dared to go up on the shed roof.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

They Somehow Got It Wrong

I would imagine that I am not the only one that looks in the paper the first thing in the morning to read the horoscope. I know that it is more than likely just hokum and that since Pluto is no longer a planet, I am technically no longer a Libra.

None of that really matters though. I never really believed that there was any kind of science or that my fate is being dictated by the universe. Me! Poor, pathetic little me and of course the other 7 billion poor, pathetic residents of our planet are important enough to be affected by the universe. Maybe we are the ones that are affecting the universe. Let me go on record to say that I don’t believe in astrology. I am not even sure that I believe in astronomy.

A number of years ago there was a comet that was doing a fly by of our planet and the conditions were just perfect to view this near miss. It would pass only a few hundred thousand miles, or was that a few hundred million miles. Either way, the media made a big thing of it, or not only could we see it with binoculars, but we would be able to see it with the naked eye! That isn’t my exclamation point; it belongs to the media of the day.  

I was involved on the periphery of the scouting movement at the time and it was arranged to get out of the city with the boys and a trunk load of binoculars, telescopes and of course we all brought our naked eyes. The moment approached and all of the telescopes were set and pointed at the proper quadrant of the sky, the boys were vibrating with excitement, and I was vibrating with the cold. We watched the stars and one by one the other leaders and boys started to ooh and ahh about this comet. I was starting to get excited myself. When my turn came at the telescope, it seems the kid before me knocked it out of alignment. No, it is pointed the right way, but all that I could see was a very tiny smudge on the lens. I guess that I missed it.

Wait a minute, how could I miss it? There is a pretty big ass sky out there and even a fast moving comet was going to take hours to get out of sight. Hmmmm. Well, it turns out that smudge was the comet. What the hell! Why all of the hoop-la? I was expecting one of those National Geographic views. What a let down! Why is everyone still going on about how wonderful it is? I guess I could use better glasses. Just last night, the Geminid meteor shower was doing a performance. Nasa said it would be the best show of the year. I guess their idea of a shower and mine are a little different. There would be one “shooting star” every few minutes. Big deal! If you took a shower and there was only a drop of water every five minutes or so, you would be on the phone to the plumber right away.

I think it is a good thing that I didn’t go into astrophysics. Well, aside from the IQ thing. Even though I can’t see celestial occurrences and it seems that we have been living a lie counting a very large asteroid as a planet, I still read the horoscope. If it says something good and positive about me, then I turn the page with a smile on my face and I will walk through the day like I am armour plated. If on the other hand it is a negative comment, then I just turn the page with a smile on my face and figure that they somehow got it wrong.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Easter Bunny Eared Domo

I took my computer in for a checkup, because it had been doing some odd things of late. I kept getting “CPU FAN ERROR fatal …blah…blah…blah”. When this started, I went out and bought a CPU fan and replaced it. No problem! Well, except that I kept getting that stupid message. That whole “fatal” thing is a little disconcerting to say the least. I was being threatened and muscled by the damned computer. 

Now, as a rule I don’t let inanimate objects dictate how I will live my life or more importantly how I spend my money. I decided to wait it out, I mean really how long can the computer last? Let’s fast-forward a couple of months and we will see that the computer (let’s call him HP) decided to up the ante. Now, I have to push the start button five or six times just to get it to stay on. What a pain in the ass! So, the upshot is that I lost a battle of wills against good old HP. I have to assume that for some reason he doesn’t like the blog. In the future I will have to start giving him credit for checking my spelling and grammar.

Little does HP know that I will have to make a decision tomorrow that will impact on him in a big way, he will either have to have major surgery or he will be replaced by a newer shinier model. I really hate to make decisions. It would be far easier to be wealthy and just junk whatever pisses you off. Well, that is for tomorrow and tonight is tonight. I hope HP doesn’t mind sleeping in the back room at the Memory Express store.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I finally got around to painting this year’s Christmas window. Every year I do some kind of seasonal drawing on the window with my trusty brushes and paints. Normally, I have the window done at the beginning of December, but this year I was having a little trouble deciding what to do and finding the time to do it. I opted to do a Christmas pyramid of penguins balancing precariously upon one another holding a string of lights. It would have been easier if I had some artistic talent. 

I had almost decided against a window this year because time was getting short and interest was getting even shorter. Part of the reason is that you never know whether it is appreciated by anyone or if the neighbours get together and have a good laugh about it. In many ways, it is a lot like this blog. I don’t know who is reading or even if they are enjoying the read. The difference if there is one is that I am having fun doing the blog.

Yesterday I was clearing the walk, and Abby and her owner came walking by. Abby is the big bitch that drives Buster nuts every day when she dares to walk by the front of the house. I started to chat with the owner, (which was as good a reason as any to stop shoveling snow) and she asked me if I were going to paint the window this year. We talked a bit and I decided that if even one person looks then it is worth it. I have pretty much finished the window; except that I want to put an Easter Bunny eared Domo somewhere on the window for Hurricane. I had to look it up too.

Well, time for bed, I have had enough stress and work for one day…

Sunday, 11 December 2011

I Doubt It

I was listening to the radio the other day and the topic was what makes successful people successful?

They mentioned a lot of traits that you would expect a successful person to have. Single minded dedication to whatever they are interested in, intelligence, good business sense, innovative, good people skills, the willingness to work long hours and the belief that what they are doing is worthwhile. The two things that I found most interesting, was that they must also be very good at failure and have the ability to say no.

You have to be willing to fail in order to succeed. In fact, a lot of the most successful have failed time and time again. They were able to learn from their failures and try not to repeat them in the next endeavours. How do you not let failure get you down? What kind of positive dipshit would lose everything they owned and still be willing to do the same thing all over again? I guess that is one of the reasons that I haven’t had a lot of business success. Okay, no business success.

I knew a guy once that truly lived on the financial edge. He would contract to have a house built, and not pay anyone at all until finally the trades people would put liens on the house and of course stop working. By the time that happened, the house would be 95% complete and my friend would go in and do the finishing touches. He would then put it up for sale and pay off all of the trades from the profits. I don’t know all of the details of how this worked; I just knew that I got ulcers from just being his friend. He did this over and over again, and I imagine that he made more than a few dollars at it. I am pretty sure that he would hire different trades’ people each time though. The fact that he had the gift of gab and could sell sand to the Arabs didn’t hurt at all. I think he and his long suffering wife moved 12 times in eight years.

This idea of saying “No” being important to success has me intrigued. I have never been able to say no. I can hem and haw and put off an answer for a while, but I will eventually capitulate and agree to whatever I am asked. The reason is partly because I want to be the good guy and not disappoint anyone, which I surely would if I didn’t say yes. I do like to help people, but sometimes there is a confrontation between what would make me happy and what would make the askers happy.

The other reason that I am reluctant to say no is due to my friend Ken. Many years ago he was visiting from Ontario and tried to talk me into taking the next day off, but I had already taken a few days and told him no. Just a few weeks later I found out that he died in a motorcycle crash and I have never forgiven myself for not taking the time to just be with Ken. Ever since that time, I really have a hard time saying no and most of my friends know it. I don’t mind when friends ask me things, but it is the acquaintances that kind of irk me.

One of my wife’s favourite sayings is “NO is an acceptable answer to any given question”. We don’t like to hear NO, but sometimes you have to use it so that the important things in your life can get done.

I guess that I should start to use NO more often. I don’t suppose that I will become a wealthy powerful man, but it would be nice to say no without feeling guilty. I wonder if you can change after five decades plus? I doubt it.