Wednesday 30 November 2011

The Dingo Ate My Baby

More than a few years ago now, I was a venturer leader. Venturers are what the scouting movement calls young people between the ages of 14 and 17. We had a pretty good time because the other leader and I weren’t really “scouting” people and I have a pretty flexible attitude when it comes to arbitrary rules, or what I consider to be arbitrary rules.

Scouter Ken B. and I had only one rule. We figured that at their age more than one rule would get in the way of all of the hormones that were bouncing around inside of their heads. It was a simple rule, but it covered pretty much all situations.


Of course this rule was broken countless times, but usually because of those arbitrary rules that I mentioned earlier. In Venturers they do all of the planning and pretty much all of the work that needs to be done. It was my kind of job. One year, for our big trip they decided that we should go to Kelowna BC. and stay in a youth hostel. They had done the tenting thing so often that they wanted to experience a different form of travel and if it involved me sleeping on a mattress indoors instead of a tent, I was all for it.

The boys did all of the planning from the activities we would do to the menu and shopping list and the number of cars that we needed. Ken and I just checked it over to make sure we weren’t eating sour gummy bears for the entire trip. The only thing that we didn’t do was to get permission from Scouts Canada to take the boys out of province. It seems that Scouts Canada are a little touchy about it and we would need all sorts of permission forms, insurance forms and forms for the forms that weren’t formed yet. It would take months to get the clearance and it would quite possibly have to be put off until the next year. The other option was to not tell anyone we were going until we came back and then say “Sorry, we didn’t know.” Guess which way we went?

We had a great time travelling and while we were in Kelowna. We cycled the Kettle Valley Railway and did other stuff that I can’t remember. The hostel we stayed at reminded me of my hippie days. It was the Samesun Hostel, because we all live under the same sun. One of the owners was a lingerie model from Europe, and I tried to get her to show me her portfolio without any success. It seems she thought this was a good investment.

We were getting ready to leave when a pretty 20 year old Australian girl came up to me and asked if she could catch a ride with us back to Calgary. I told her that we were pretty full, but I would ask the boys and if they said yes then she was good to go. I think she went to pack right away. We both knew what the 15 year old boys would say. After getting their answer I went back and told her that she could come on one condition. She asked what she would have to do. I told her that she would have to say “The dingo ate my baby!” at least three times. She thought it a little odd I am sure, but she was getting a free ride after all.

During the trip, we found out that she had been travelling for about a year and when she was done in another year or so she would go back home and take over the family banana plantation. Since bananas are harvested year round, she would never get another holiday. She also told us that there are about five kinds of deadly spiders that make their home in banana bunches and several varieties of poisonous snake that hang around the grass. I couldn’t believe she would do this and asked her why. She told me that her father had worked on other plantations all of his life and finally earned enough to buy a small plantation of his own. Being your own man is quite something. I told her that she was a very good daughter and her father should be very proud of her.

When we dropped her off I said one last thing to her. “If you happen to get married and have children, you should watch out for the dingoes.” I drove off laughing and I am pretty sure she was thinking “Thank god that nutter didn’t kill me!”

Tuesday 29 November 2011

The Other Side Of Vision

I started the blog last night with the intention of talking about magic, but I was shanghaied by whatever drivel I ended up writing. I will try to keep on track tonight, but it just might be that “magic” doesn’t want anyone talking about it at all. We will see about that.

For the past little while I have been thinking about magic and just what it is exactly. Part of what intrigues me about it is that it seems to be universal. Throughout recorded history man has talked about and actually worshiped those that practiced magic. In very primitive cultures the shaman would not only look after the tribe’s physical needs, but also their meta-physical needs. The Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and even the early Christians have magic that pushed their societies forwards.

It isn’t what we call magic today, where some very talented sleight of hand artist makes a quarter disappear and then reappear in a different place. Sometimes it is a quarter, sometimes a lion, and I think someone has even made the Eiffel tower disappear. No, that is just misdirection, and although I eat that stuff up it isn’t really magic. Doug Henning was one of Canada’s greatest magicians before he passed away and he spent his life searching for “real” magic. He believed he had found it in Transcendental Meditation which was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.Doug was a very smart man and not easily fooled, so I am inclined to feel that he saw something there.

It seems odd to me that some of the world’s greatest illusionists become fixated on proving that there is nothing paranormal about the world. Harry Houdini spent a good deal his time debunking psychics and pretenders. I wonder why they would even care. I can see them fighting for the other side of the argument, but they don’t believe what they do is real anyways. Perhaps they have seen a hazy image of another world that they just can’t reach or explain away.

My friend has a form of magic. He can almost always get a parking spot right in front of the store that he is going to. It is really uncanny, and I would stop hanging out with him except that I would then have to walk a lot farther to get my coffee. I myself have some magic hanging about. Whenever I leave a store, no matter where I park there is always someone at one of the cars in front, behind or to the side of my car. Louise gets mad that I waste my luck on this bizarre thing instead of winning the lottery. Oh, and what about those people that have won the lottery multiple times?

So, is that just luck, coincidence or is it magic? Maybe magic is just technology that is far beyond out understanding. There doesn’t appear to be as much magic now as there was a few thousand years ago. I wonder why? I believe that there is magic in the world and we live with it every day. Perhaps if you take the time to slow down your life you just might see the magical world just on the other side of your vision.

Monday 28 November 2011


I have just spent the last two weeks trying to read a book. It isn’t that my eyes are failing or that I am having trouble with some of the larger words, it is just that it is so…so…I guess the word I am looking for is boring. It is the sequel to “A Canticle For Leiboitz” which I have loved from the first time that I read it. Over the years I have read it more than a few times and I always wished that Walter Miller Jr. had written a sequel. I just can’t describe my joy when I saw the sequel “Saint Leibowitz and The Wild Horse Woman” on my son’s bookshelf. He loaned it to me with two other books that he thought that I might enjoy and I began to read the Leibowitz book as soon as I got it home.

What a piece of shit! If the name on the dust jacket weren’t the same on both, you would never know that the same author wrote both books. How could you write a book that is loved by millions and then follow it up with this thing that lets you down on so many levels? I tried to read it, oh God how I tried! I managed to wade about half way through, hoping that it would get somewhat interesting, but it was like watching painted grass grow. I could understand it if good old Walter let the fame go to his head and he began experimenting with mind altering drugs, and had his mind altered to that of a moron. I was the one on drugs when I read the first book, and that was in Mr. Stapleys high school English class. Perhaps if I were on drugs now the Wild Horse Woman would have made sense, or even been a little entertaining.

Well, I gave up trying to read this thing. If it were my book I would burn it so that no one else would waste even a minute of their precious life. I don’t have as much time left on this planet as I would like to have, but I know that I just pissed away some of it. Oh well, lesson learned and I guess it just goes to show you that you can’t go home again. More to the point, you can’t revisit a post apocalyptic world after the second nuclear holocaust.

The other two books are books one and two of a series, “The Magicians” and “The Magician King” by Lev Grossman. I am about five pages into the first book and it has already given me far more joy than Walter did in half of his book. I will admit that isn’t really saying very much, but I am going to recommend this book to anyone who has a bad taste left in their mouths by a horrible book or even a really bad blog. Not mine of course.

Well, considering the fact that this blog was supposed to be about magic, I think it turned out not too bad.


Sunday 27 November 2011

Sleep Well Tonight Calgary…

It was quite a day in Cowtown. My son and I finished running wires, hooking up thermostats and the install of an electric heater in his basement today. So far, no one was electrocuted, the house hasn’t burnt to the ground and we are still talking to one another. All in all, I would call that a job well done. Congrats Brendan!

For the most part it was a lovely sunny day in the city and the temperature remained at a constant 13º pretty much all day. That is one of the benefits of Chinook winds. The other things that you can expect are violent mood swings from crazy people (women), migraine headaches and inanimate objects taking flight. Quite a few things took flight today.

I just saw a posting on facebook that a friends siding decided to slide off of his shack. I hate it when things become sentient that shouldn’t be sentient. The winds at the top of the Bow building (Calgary’s tallest building) reached speeds of 149 KPH and at the airport winds of 91 KPH. Outside the city winds were clocked as high as 144 KPH. The entire downtown core was closed for the afternoon because of the debris and glass that was falling off of the high rise buildings. Trees and branches were falling all over the city and it wasn’t uncommon to see lawn furniture out for a stroll. The 911 emergency call line at 3:30 had 140 callers queued up. The only good thing about the wind is that it was a Sunday and being Calgary the downtown was virtually deserted anyways. The highways north and south of the city were littered with semis that had flipped onto their sides and eventually the roads were closed.

I have always loved strong winds. When I was a boy I would stand out in the wind and lean into it, trying to see just how far I could lean before I fell on my face. I didn’t say that I was a smart boy. When the wind was particularly strong I would pretend that I was a super hero that fought crime by spitting on the bad guys. The “Horkinator” caused evil doers to tremble in their boots. I am pretty sure that I could spit about from here to the horizon if the wind was really strong.

I was at a party once, and having to pee I went out into the wind and attempted to one up the “Horkinator”. I would be “The Urinator” and not only would I strike fear in the hearts of evil doers, but I would be able to set a world record with this wind at my back. The funny thing is that just standing in a wind like that you cause a vortex which causes any fluid to continually swirl back to its place of origin. It was an untimely and ignominious end for The Urinator.

The wind has died down now and the city and outskirts are repairing the damage that this latest Chinook has caused. I am sure that many people are glad to see the end of this wind, but not me. I am eagerly looking forward to the next time that time that trees bend and shingles fly, for it will be on that day that a new force for good will be born on the planet. “The Vominator” will take his place alongside of “The Horkinator” and “The Urinator”

Sleep well tonight Calgary

Saturday 26 November 2011

I Still Have A Reflection

Some days it would be the smart thing to just stay in bed.

I tried this morning, but I had to get up eventually for fear of developing bed sores. I had no reason to want to stay in bed so long at the time, but I guess that my subconscious knew what it was doing.

Nothing bad happened; it is just that I have been out of sync all day. I accomplished nothing and for all I know, the world just paused while I got my shit together. It was one of those days that I wished I could have spent it sitting on the couch watching barrel jumping. I miss barrel jumping!

I would always check to see if the Wide World of Sports had barrel jumping scheduled, and if it was I would hunker down and watch one of the world’s oddest sports. It isn’t that hard to explain the rule, you skate around the rink/lake/pond to build up speed and then you race at a line of barrels and …well…jump over them. The challenge is that others were trying to jump over more barrels than you did and if you succeeded in clearing the line of barrels the officials would add another barrel and it would start all over again.

It might interest you to know that Yvon Jolin of Canada currently holds the world record of 18 barrels which is 29 feet 5 inches which was set on Jan. 25, 1981. The sport started with speed skaters jumping the barrels which were used to mark the course. Speed skating became more popular and lucrative, so they stopped risking injury on what everyone (almost) would agree is an odd sport. They tried for years to get it sanctioned for the Olympics, but year after year they were shot down. I think the Olympic committee missed a golden opportunity.

Well, thankfully the day has passed and it is now an acceptable time to go to bed. The only drawback is that I am no longer tired. Maybe I am becoming a creature of the night. Vampires and werepeople seem to be very popular lately.

I think I will check the mirror to see if I still have a reflection.

Friday 25 November 2011

It's A Wonderful Life

Some days you feel good about yourself, and other days you wish that you had never been born, like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Thankfully, I am happy to be me most of the time. I make me laugh, I have wonderful insight into the world at large and I always like the same things as I do.

I love Frank Capra movies in general and Wonderful life in particular. For most people it is a holiday movie, but I can watch it anytime of the year and I am moved each time I see it. I suppose it makes me wonder what the world would be like if I had never been born. There are at least five people that wouldn’t be on the planet and from my point of view the world would be a lesser place without them. I think that I have touched people through out my life and I hope that I influenced them in a positive way. You never know though.

Sometimes it is the things that you don’t pay any attention to that may have the most impact. A few years ago, at around this time of year I received a facebook notification from someone from my past. I replied and she said that I probably didn’t remember her, but I broke her heart in high school. She was right; I didn’t remember her, which is very strange because I wasn’t one of those guys that dated a lot. I was a shy kid back then and in certain ways I am still that shy kid. I looked her up in the yearbook and once I saw her picture my memory kicked in. I still couldn’t imagine breaking her heart, or even breaking up with her. Weird. The point I guess that I am trying to make is that I touched a life in a negative way (in this case) and had no idea that it had happened at all.

I wonder what good I have done in this life. Some I hope, but I guess that I will never know and perhaps that is the way that the great power in the universe wants it. If I knew all the good that I did, assuming that I did some good, I more than likely would be pretty obnoxious about it. I am not a very good winner. Yeah, I better never find out.

Over the years I have heard people parrot back my opinions and I just smile to myself and think that this small corner of the world just became a better place. Well, they agreed with me didn’t they?

One of the things I have been trying to sell over the years is my belief that hockey is fixed. If I was in charge of a multi billion dollar industry there wouldn’t be very much about it that I didn’t control, down to the size of the cups with beer. I can think of ways that the games could be nudged in the direction that the owners wanted and I am not really that smart. You couldn’t involve the players, because that many jocks could never keep their mouths shut when they were drinking. It would have to be the officials. We are talking about a very small group of people whose lives are centered on the game of hockey and what is best for the sport. They would just have to make a bad call here, or give a penalty there for something that they normally wouldn’t call. God knows they make enough bad calls. This wouldn’t be a fool proof system, but it would work in a subtle way to steer the sport.

This could be paranoid and delusional, but I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, it shouldn’t take away from anyone’s enjoyment of the game. Besides, it makes me feel good that someone is in control and trying to make the world a more balanced and better place. It’s a wonderful life!

Thursday 24 November 2011

How Did Your Day Go?

I can’t believe the amount of stuff that I don’t know! In fact, the more that I learn, the more ignorant I become. Pretty soon I will be messing myself and drooling on a bib and trying to eat my socks.

I changed the filter on the furnace the other day and after I was done I took the time to sit back and watch my handy work in action. Well, I guess that action isn’t really the best way to describe a furnace filter; it was more like I was watching my handy work “inaction”. Just as I was about to leave the furnace room, the furnace came on and the filter moved the wrong way! It should move the direction of the airflow which is cold air return to fan to furnace. What? Have I been installing the filters incorrectly for over twenty five years? The arrow on the filter should be going the direction of the airflow! I turned the filter around after the furnace had powered down. When self doubt creeps in, you are in trouble.

I had best do some research on this. I have quite a few how to books and of course I have the internet, so you would think that it wouldn’t be a problem to get an answer to this pretty quick. Surprisingly, all of the books and so far all of the internet sources assume a certain level of competence, which I obviously lack. They all say cold to hot which is like saying that the butter goes on top of the bread. So, which is the top and which is the bottom? Just because the slice is facing up, it could very well be that someone took it out of the package and put it top side down. When bread falls it always seems to land butter side down which would indicate to me, that, is actually the bottom and the unbuttered side is the top. How do you know? The slice of bread isn’t labelled. If it had an arrow on the side like a furnace filter it would be easy. Okay, that was a bad example.

I went to Lowes today to buy some filters and perhaps get some advice from the packaging. I couldn’t believe the number of different kinds of filters there are. The price ranges from $5.89/four all the way up to $ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?$ I don’t think I paid that much for the furnace. Wow! Back in the real world, I was torn between the $5.89/four and $15 for one. The $15 dollar filter supposedly lasts for three months and the cheaper one should be changed monthly. There is really no way to tell which is the better one by looking at the package, and I know that if I ask the guy, he will say the more expensive one is better. You get what you pay for I suppose. I took the four pack home. I am covered for the winter and hopefully by then I will find out which is the better filter to have.

I still have the problem of which way to install the filter. I decided to stand beside the furnace and when it went on I put my hand on the ducts to see which one got hot. That would be the direction of the airflow…I think. That is the way I have always put it and that is the way it is now. Oh, I just had an idea…hang on, I will be right back.

That didn’t pan out at all. You would think that an instruction manual would…instruct. It talked about airflow and downdraft filters, but the picture doesn’t look anything like my furnace. I think the manual is from the previous furnace.

This furnace is a KING furnace. I have to agree with that, but from now on I am going to call it the FUC-KING furnace.

How did your day go?


Wednesday 23 November 2011

19 Cent Pumpkin

Well, tonight I finally did something with that 19 cent pumpkin that I bought on November the 1st. I didn’t smash it on the road or toss it into the windshield of a pickup truck from an overpass (although the thought had crossed my mind), and I didn’t compost it. I will compost some of it tomorrow. I decided to make pumpkin filling. It is just pumpkin filling, because there are no spices or sugar or really anything other than pumpkin in it. However, I am getting ahead of myself.

First, I had to find out what the hell I was going to do with the pumpkin, so I needed a recipe. We have about forty cookbooks and uncounted Christmas and holiday magazines that are just crammed full of recipes. God, I didn’t want to wade through that mess, so I opted for the internet. Now, I have about 5,800,000 results from Google. Gee thanks for the help. I picked one site and read what they had to say. It seems that there is nothing better than making a pie with filling that you made from a fresh pumpkin. Well, since this is nothing like a fresh pumpkin, I am in.

I have to quarter the pumpkin (lets call it Joe from now on, I am getting tired of typing pumpkin), take the seeds out and scrape the insides with a spoon. Then we should put it in a 325º oven for about two hours in a roasting pan with some water. Let me tell you, I have a pretty big roasting pan but there is no way it would take “Joe” cut into quarters. I went all Jack the Ripper on Joe and shoved him into the pan. I took Joe’s seeds and rinsed them, but they were still really gooey and I was pretty sure they were just too gooey. I put them on a napkin to dry off a bit before I toasted them. Everything seems to be going pretty well.

I went back to Joes seeds in ten or fifteen minutes to find that they and the napkin were now dryish and thoroughly bonded together. I picked off as much of the napkin as I could (not much) and then rinsed the seeds again. Now they are gooey, wet and covered with napkin. I eat paper sometimes, not usually with Joe’s seeds, but when in Rome. I seasoned the seeds and mixed them up in a bowl. Wow, the seasoning loosened the paper and I was able to pick it off. Things are looking up. I put the seeds into the oven and in about a half hour or so they were ready. I tested one and remembered that I don’t particularly like pumpkin seeds.

I went out and turned a few snowman decorations for the tree and came back in to a smell that reminded me of my childhood. Every Halloween mom would put candles in the carved Joes and in short order the house stunk of burnt Joe. Wretched smell! It should make a lovely pie.

Now, I have to scrape the insides off of Joe and toss the skin. It isn’t as easy as you might think to strip soggy boiling hot mush from the insides of Joe. I’m going back to using pumpkin. I managed to get all of the pumpkin guts into a bowl and went back to the directions. Okay, now it is time to puree this stuff. I figured that I will use the blender, because it has a “puree” setting which is probably just what the doctor ordered. When I was pulling it out the top dropped into the dog’s water. I shook off the top and got the rest of the blender out. What? It is just water!

I put a hefty scoop of the guts into the blender and hit puree. It spun really fast, but didn’t do anything to the guts. Okay, time to get the food processor out. More fricking dishes to clean, and tough ones too! The food processor made short work of my old pumpkin, well, after I put the right blade in, and now I have a large bowl of pureed pumpkin guts. The recipe says that I now have plenty of prepared pumpkin that can be used in all of my pumpkin recipes. I only have one recipe that calls for pumpkin, Pumpkin pie! The recipe doesn’t say what I should do now, but I still like the idea of tossing it into the windshield of a pickup truck from an overpass. I suppose that I will carefully measure and weigh it and then put it into freezer bags with a label with the date and contents clearly marked on the outside. I am pretty sure it will never be used for a pie (not just because of the dog water incident) because who wants to jeopardize good pastry? I think you can get a can of pumpkin pie filling for about 19 cents at Superstore.

Next year at about this time when I am clearing out space in the freezer I will come across this yellowish, orange, freezer burnt mess and just toss it. Maybe off of an overpass…

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Simple (Cheap) Things

I bought a program for my computer today. I don’t normally buy programs, or at least I haven’t for such a very long time. Usually they come installed on the computer or I will find a free program on the internet that will suit my purposes. I have been looking for a pretty simple address book and haven’t been able to find one that would suit my needs. Until today that is.

I was stalking the aisles at Princess Auto looking for shiny things that I might want when I saw a disk with Address Book written on the front. This could be what I have been searching for without success for all of these years. I picked it up and flipped it over to read the description and it looked pretty basic and, well, simple. It is just what I have been looking for. The price was right too, only 49 cents! Hell, even if the program is shit the jewel case is worth 49 cents, right?

I took it up to the counter, paid the lady my hard earned cash and left the store like a thief in the night. I was kind of afraid that they might realize their mistake and take the disk away from me.  When I got home I tore off the cellophane, well, I couldn’t get the damned stuff off and finally after two pair of scissors and a trip downstairs to get a razor sharp carving knife it peeled off like butter. Now I read the back. The system requirements were Windows 3.1 or newer, a 486 or higher PC, 8 MB of RAM, a CD drive and 14 MB of free hard drive. I wonder if it would work on my Commodore 64?

I can’t remember how many computers it has been since Windows 3.1, but this software was copywrited in 1999. Well, no time like the present to see if this blast from the past will even work on the new fangled computing machines. It booted up fairly easily, but unlike most modern programs it didn’t ask if I wanted a desktop icon. Well I did, so I had to Google how to set up an icon on the desktop. It turns out that Google was incorporated just four months before this program was born.

So far I have managed to enter just one name, my own. Now, if I am ever lost, can’t remember anything but my name, and just carrying my desktop computer, I should be able to find home. Well, as long as I can find an outlet for the computer. I look forward to entering names and addresses of friends and family and even using this program to write my Christmas cards. The sky is the limit and it only cost 49 cents.

Sometimes it is the simple (cheap) things that make life worth living.

Monday 21 November 2011

That Asshole With The Beard

I am one of those men that wear a beard. I think that it makes me look much better than if I wore no beard at all. I could look better I suppose, but that would involve a large bag covering my entire head, which would make driving, eating and touching my tongue to frozen posts nearly impossible.

I guess the main reason for my beard is that I don’t have to shave every morning. I know that you don’t have to shave every day, but if you don’t you look pretty scruffy, and if scruffy is the look you want, then just grow a beard. Beards make a statement about the man with the beard. Generally it is “Look how rugged I am.”, but it can also be “Have you been a good little boy this year? Ho…Ho…Ho!” Kids are starting to look at me and stop whatever bad things they are doing.

I picked up a bag of disposable razors a few years back and they are great for the touch ups that I need to do on my neck and cheeks. When you only shave a couple of square inches of face every week or so, the razor will last almost indefinitely. Well, they will last a few years. I thought that I should buy a proper razor that you can use over and over again. I actually have a shaving brush and it would be kind of nice to use it again. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that razors were from ten to twenty bucks and the replacement blades require a small loan from the bank. Well, that just isn’t going to happen! It has been about two months, and I am still using the last blade, but it is beginning to bite me of late.

I thought that I had the solution a couple of weeks ago when I went in to get the Holtor monitor attached at the hospital. I guess some men actually have body hair and it needs to be shaved off in order to hook up the electrodes. I sat on the bed waiting for the guy to come in and deal with me when I noticed about thirty disposable razors that had been…well…disposed of. I just couldn’t think of a way to ask for them without sounding really creepy. They would have been okay; I mean they only had one use and I would have washed them. I am still in a quandary about what to do about a razor. I just might have to bite the bullet and buy some more disposables. I did see a straight razor at the second hand store not too long ago, but the thought of bringing a four inch razor to my throat the first thing in the morning before my first coffee, doesn’t bear thinking about.

I was reminded today of a time when I did shave off my beard. I had had it for about 27 years and not only was I curious about how I would look, but the kids had never seen me without a beard. Should be fun. I shaved when I got home from work, and the kids were a little weirded out when they saw me, but they took it all in stride. They thought I was a doofus with or without the beard. Louise came home and screamed when she saw me. Not a good thing really. My buddy was picking me up outside the doctors and he just drove past me. I forgot to tell him that I might look a little different. I looked in the mirror and I saw my dad’s face. That was kind of eerie.

The next day at work I took a little ribbing from my co-workers and it was business as usual. When I was delivering the mail I came up to a house and the guy came to the door and said hi to me. I said hi back and he said “It’s nice to have a new mailman, that asshole with the beard was a real jerk!”

I looked him in the eye and said “Yeah, I have heard that a lot today. You know between you and me I have never really liked him, and you are right. He is an asshole.” I gave him his mail and kept delivering the mail, happy that I had a new friend. One positive aspect of shaving was that all of the people that I didn’t want to talk to couldn’t recognize me. It was bliss for a while. The trouble was, I had to bring a razor to my throat every morning before I was really awake, so I started to grow it back and have been fuzzy ever since.

My beard grew too…

Sunday 20 November 2011

The Rule Of Three

I am not what you would call a clothes horse, by any stretch of the imagination. I have clothes that I like to wear and some that I don’t like to wear. The problem that I have is that I lack the ability to make informed choices even when I am informed. This inability limits my wardrobe and in certain respects it bleeds into the rest of my life.

Every time that my son comes over, he will eventually look at my feet. I don’t think that he has any kind of weird foot fetish, but I can’t say for certain and it doesn’t apply here at all anyways. When I catch him looking, he will usually mention something about how I should buy new runners because the ones that I am wearing have holes in them. I tell him that I am good for runners and the reason that I have the number “3’s” on was because I was digging in the garden. Sometimes I am wearing the number “2’s” which are my everyday going hither, thither and yon kind of shoes. They have holes in them too, but not as large as the number “3’s” and these ones actually have tread. The number “1’s” which I rarely do wear and he wouldn’t have seen them except in a going out on the town kind of event. They are in pristine condition and have been since I bought them in Las Vegas over a year ago.

The last time Brendan was looking at my feet I acknowledged that I was in need of a new pair of runners which would effectively bump all of the others down a notch and would send the current number “3’s” into the garbage bin. I would salvage the laces if they were of any use, but after such a long and storied career on my feet, that seems unlikely. I always buy the same brand, so it isn’t a matter of making a decision (which would be excruciating) but just waiting until they go on sale.

This is the Rule Of Three. You need a back up and a back up for the back up. It isn’t that complicated when it comes to foot wear. My poor dress shoes (all three pairs) just sit under the desk and collect dust until I have a use for one of them. They are selected on a strictly “what is appropriate” basis. The Rule Of Three applies to jeans as well, but number “1” and “2” are interchangeable and number “3” is relegated to work situations only.

T-shirts are more problematic, because I tend to acquire them in bulk and different quality shirts wear out quicker than others. I tend to cycle through the same five to seven shirts until I have to retire one to the rag bin and another is moved in to take its place. The Rule of Three should apply, but for some reason Louise won’t do the laundry on my schedule. Weird! I do have a drawer for wearable in public t-shirts and a drawer for painting and gluing t-shirts.

The Rule of Three applies to most things in life, or it should. I have three kids, I have had about three real jobs in my life, I have loved three women in my life (Louise, Louise and Louise) and we have had three dogs. Buster is the last.

The rule doesn’t apply to the number of gifts I should get for birthdays and Christmas, or the number of hugs and kisses the grandkids give me. For all else in my life, just look to the Rule Of Three.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Next Week You Will See My Picture In The Paper

I am not sure whether I am an optimist or a masochist.

I suppose that I am a little of both. I am certainly an “ist” of some kind. Only an optimist would continue to buy lottery tickets week after week, month after month, year after year for over forty years, without a significant win of some kind. I have won free tickets, $2 and the odd time $10, and once I won about seventy dollars! That was the high point of my lotto luck. I couldn’t believe that I had actually matched five numbers. Well, it was only four numbers, but the almost fifth number was a 23 and I had 24, so if it were horseshoes I would have had five numbers. Yes, I know that even though it was close it still didn’t count as a win.

So, why do I keep buying tickets? Stupidity? Insanity? Could I really be a masochist? Could I really be this stupid? Yes, yes, yes and yes. I suppose that the really sad thing is that I do believe that one day I will select the correct numbers and I will be able to do the cool and helpful things that I have been planning for years. Sure, I will admit that some of the things I plan to do are meant to fool Lady Luck into giving me a chance. I will help my family unless they have pissed me off recently, and charity, well, Louise usually looks after that. I am sure that they will benefit from her share of the booty. There might even be some strangers that will drink from the well of good fortune.

You know, now that I am thinking about it, there really isn’t that much that I personally desire. Pretty much everything I want the money for is for others. I don’t think that I will suffer, but my needs are simple and I have pretty much all that I desire now. Yes, I would get bigger and better, house, car, bicycle, vacations and I would collect all sorts of crap and not listen to the voice in my head that says “Why do you need a silver belt buckle that says Thomas Engineering?” Just because, okay head?

Maybe with the disappointment I have suffered this weekend I will stop buying tickets on a regular basis. I could be the guy that says “Well, I haven’t bought a ticket for months and as I was walking by the booth I just had a good feeling.” I hate those guys!

No, I will more than likely keep buying tickets on dreams and perhaps next week you will see my picture in the paper. If not next week, then for sure the week after…

Friday 18 November 2011


Well, winter came to stay today. We all knew it was just a matter of time, but being optimists we always hope that it will hold off until just before Christmas. I guess that just isn’t to be this year.

Oh, the signs were all there indicating an early winter. The Stampeders were shut out of the Grey Cup which isn’t really a surprise, but being optimists we always hope that it will hold off until just before Christmas. Lite 96, a local radio station, started to play all Holiday music from now until Christmas day. Being optimists we always hope that it will hold off till a couple of weeks before Christmas. This is the weekend that most cities have their Santa Claus parade. I am always optimistic that once the parade happens I will be inclined or should I say panicked into getting the presents for Christmas. It never works, but I am always optimistic.

It was clearly cold because when I opened the door for Buster to do his morning ablutions, he was back inside in about ten seconds. You know, for an animal that has a brain the size of a walnut and spends most of his time smelling other dog’s urine, he showed pretty good sense. Only a fool would go out in weather like this if they didn’t have to. When Dave called and asked if I was up for coffee I said when and where? I could have put him off, but it seems that I am something of a fool. I am certainly not as bright as Buster, because instead of his usual barking when I left he was just sitting curled up and looking a little smug.

I needed to get out anyways. It seems that there was a glitch in my Holter monitor readings from a couple of weeks ago and the test needed to be repeated. I just hope that they don’t end up naming some heart affliction after me. Nothing interesting happened at the hospital this time. No crazy ladies running away and no security force trying to bring her back into “protection”.

I decided that for the rest of the day I was going to be more dog like and curl up in front of the television watching some badly made movie, or listen to Christmas music on Lite 96. I am really a sucker for Christmas music. I am one of the few that actually listen to holiday music all year round. It has nothing to do with my being a chubby, greying elderly gentleman that happens to like wearing red plaid and loves children. I like cookies too, but since Louise and I have taken to watching what we put in our mouths I am afraid that cookies and I may just have to cool our relationship this year.

Well, I suppose I had best break out the long johns, toques and wool socks. Where did I put those scarves last spring…?

Thursday 17 November 2011


I keep hearing these loud thumps outside the window. It’s like someone is slamming a car door five or six times in a row and then nothing for a while and then the thumping begins again. Of course I get up and look out of the window to see what is making the irritating noise and there is no one there. Not only is there no one there, but there isn’t even a car or truck on the street. Before I look out the window, I turn off all of the lights so that if there is someone outside he/she won’t follow the advice from the voices and kill anyone that looks out the window. I suppose that I could be going crazy, but I don’t think so.

Would you know if you were going crazy, or would you just assume that you were OK and everyone else was what passed for OK in their world? Is it possible that you would think that you were sane and everyone else is crazy? Sometimes that is the way that I feel. Usually it is when I am driving or shopping or pretty much anytime that I stop to look at people.

You can tell the crazy people driving pretty easy, they are the ones driving a Honda Accord with a spoiler on the trunk. Do they think that will make the car go as fast as a formula one car? Crazy! How about the idiots that will drive side by side doing the speed limit so that you can’t pass? Crazy! I have to admit that I have played that game before. You pick someone doing the limit on a long stretch of road and wait for someone coming up from behind really fast, and then you match speed with the blue hair/oriental/drug dealer/drunk and wait for speedy to catch up. You accelerate and slow down at intervals giving speedy hope but never letting him get by you until you turn off. The key to not getting shot or beaten up is to make it look natural.

I was having a coffee at Tim’s today and I saw a guy get out of his Accord and he had shorts and flip flops on. It was pretty cold, so he was wearing a heavy coat. I know, crazy! The only possible explanation is that he was in bed with someone that told him she would like a coffee and some Tim bits and to be back soon. So, he pulled on his shorts and flip flops, hopped into the Accord and raced to Timmy’s. He would have gotten here faster, but for some asshole that was playing games and wouldn’t let him pass. I guess the passion will be as cool as the coffee when he gets back.

I was in Superstore the other day and it is under construction. Well, they had tarps up and had changed the location of everything. I didn’t hear any construction, but that just means they could be on break. It looks as if this store is changing to look like the other store. What that means in “Kennese” is that they are moving everything around so that it makes almost no sense at all. I was looking for saltine crackers and of course they weren’t in the cracker aisle, they were in the soup aisle. What was I thinking? Sure, put some in the soup aisle, but the vast majority of people will look in the cracker aisle for crackers. I’m right about this aren’t I? Maybe I am just going nucking futs. I blame that gimpy Galen Weston for this bullshit. Who would name their son Galen? Crazy!

Well, the thumping has stopped, so it would seem that sanity has returned to the world…for now.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Handcuffed In The Back Of A Cruiser

Today my grandson, Hurricane was handcuffed, put in the back of a police cruiser and finger printed. I might add that he was smiling the whole time. He even laughed out loud when he saw the bars on the windows in the backseat.

I tell you; those kids in the playschool have had a good week. They got to go to the fire station and use the  hose to shoot water at an orange pylon, sit in the cab of the fire truck and then watch the truck leave with the siren wailing. Today they got to check out a police cruiser, learn what 911 means and just when to use it and of course get handcuffed. Too much fun!

The fire station and truck tour I mean. I have been hand cuffed and in the back of a police cruiser and I can tell you that it isn’t the laugh a minute you might think. It might have been fun if you hadn’t just been forced to spread yourself over the hood and empty your pockets with one hand. That’s pretty difficult under the best of circumstances, but when you have been partying all night it is near impossible. No hard feelings though, the cops were just doing their job (Them and Hitler’s Storm troopers). I have nothing against the Calgary police department, but the cops in Toronto were a pain in the ass for a few years. There were some arrests, but no convictions…to date.

Next Wednesday the class is going to be visited by trainee dental hygienists. I imagine the theory is that if they damage the teeth somehow, there isn’t really a problem because they are only baby teeth. It isn’t as if they are really attached to them anyways. I can only hope that they don’t do the same bullshit that my dental hygienist does. I sit there and she is poking, prodding and picking at my teeth and gums. Eventually she will say something like “I don’t like this, your gums are bleeding. You should floss more often!”

I tell her “If you stop sticking that sharp, pointy metal thing into my gums, I bet they wouldn’t bleed at all.” I guess if you are a regular flosser, your wounds somehow, magically won’t bleed. I know that I am going to miss this class because they just might want someone with lots of blood to demonstrate on. I wish him luck.

I bet the kids would like to see an army guy in full body armour. I know I would. I wonder if the school takes suggestions.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Bogged In The Blog

The way that I write these things is that I just sit down and start to write. The odd time I will have something that I have thought about during the day or a memory popped into my head. No big plan and nothing to prove. Well, if you are a regular reader you must know that there isn’t a great deal of thought that goes into this.

I am having a Dickens of a time coming up with something to write about tonight. This is the fourth attempt and it seems to be doing all right, but a blog about not being able to write the blog seems to be pretty lame. Okay, lame it is!

I could write about my walk with Buster this morning, well I could if anything interesting had happened. That is the thing about Buster; he really doesn’t do anything very interesting. I suppose that if you were interested in sleeping, eating, barking at squirrels and smelling for traces of other dog’s urine, then he is interesting. We did meet our friend Patricia walking her dog Zooey and buster and I turned around and walked with them. Talking to Pat is far more fun than watching Buster disgrace himself on someone’s lawn. Other than that, it was a normal walk.

I was going to go to have a coffee and muffin, but I am on this “watch what you put in your mouth” kind of diet and muffins are bad for you. They would be the Hitler of the food world. Maybe not Hitler, but perhaps Mussolini. Pretty bad, but there are foods that are worse, like Five Guys burgers and fries. That would be the Hitler! Pastries would pretty much be Napoleon. So, anyways I didn’t go out but stayed in and had a stick of celery and an apple. They are the good guys of the food world, but who remembers the good guys?

I decided to work on repairing the chair and start to winterize the house. The chair is frustrating, finicky detail stuff that I can only do for a short period of time. The house is getting its unused windows covered in plastic to keep the winter cold out. I picked up some of those outlet insulator thing-a-ma-jiggys and will tackle that tomorrow. I promise not to write about that, unless they are really useless.

Tomorrow is another day and I had best get to sleep so that when I wake up I can be at my sunniest best. Yeah…right!

Written but not read. I was smarter than you…  

Monday 14 November 2011

It Doesn’t Owe Me Anything

About two weeks ago I was going into Superstore when I noticed bins and bins of pumpkins. It was the day after Halloween and someone in the Superstore family had screwed up big time with the pumpkin order. I think it was that smarmy Galen Weston. This fiasco should take him down a peg or two. Can you take a billionaire down a peg or two or do they just hire someone to take the blame for them?

I was chuckling to myself when I noticed that they were on sale. Not only were they on sale, but they were on sale for 19 cents! Not 19 cents a pound, but just 19 cents! Well, what could I do except give them the once over and pick the most perfect pumpkin of the batch. It was roundish and sort of flat on the top and bottom with a stem coming out of the top at a rakish angle. Small indentations ran from top to bottom about an inch and a half apart all around the circumference. Everyone knows what a pumpkin looks like, but this was the most perfect one that I think I have ever seen.

I put it in my cart and went into the store with a light step and a song in my heart. It didn’t even bother me when I got behind the morons at the self checkout. Okay, that always bothers me. These idiots more than likely wear Velcro shoes because they never mastered the whole lace and bow thing. Why in the name of all that is holy would they think they could figure out the code of asparagus? They more than likely don’t even know how to spell asparagus. I put the pumpkin on the scanner and punched the code. Sure enough 19 cents! Life is pretty good sometimes.

On the way home I was thinking about what I would do with the pumpkin. Hell, even if I just take it out and smash it on the road it won’t owe me anything. I could carve it into any number of things. I am a not too shabby carver if I do say so myself. No, I think that I will use this to eat. I will cut it up, boil it, and freeze it to make pumpkin filling to use at Christmas time when the family is all at the table. I will then regale them with the story of this 19 cent pumpkin and the idiots at the checkout. I think that I will even use some of it tonight for dinner instead of potatoes. The kids think that I don’t have an adventurous palate! I just prefer a dish that has had all of the nutrients boiled out of it and the only spices that you really need are salt and pepper. I guess that is the English ancestry coming out. Maybe I will carve it and then cook it. Oh, and the seeds. I will clean out the insides and separate the seeds, lightly oil them, sprinkle a little salt, and roast them.Before you know it I will have about two bucks worth of toasted pumpkin seeds.

Well, it has been about two weeks and I just noticed the pumpkin sitting on the sideboard waiting to have something, anything done to it. I will get on it first thing tomorrow. I don’t think I will carve it, and if it has developed mold, I am pretty sure that Louise won’t let me cook it. I think we have a can of pumpkin pie filling downstairs anyways, and the canned stuff is already spiced.

You know I just might go out and smash it on the street; after all, it doesn’t owe me anything. It will compost nicely too.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Good TV

Today is the first winter day that I have spent so far this year. It isn’t terribly cold, and there is no snow on the ground…yet. We dodged the snowfall that hit most of Alberta yesterday. I think that there is skiing in the mountains already and I hope that they keep it there. I love to look at the snow and I don’t mind being out in it, if it is my choice to do so. It hasn’t been my choice to be out in the snow for the past few years. I am going to try and get my “snow joy” back this year.

What I mean by the first winter day is a house bound day. I did stick my nose out the door to get the paper and at different times I looked out to see if there was anything going on that was interesting. I did go out to the recycling bin, but by and large it was an indoor day.

I kept busy doing little things around the house. I even started on last year’s spring cleaning. Better late than never I suppose. I have given some thought to what I will paint on the window this year. The only thing for sure is an Easter ear Domo for my grandson Hurricane. For some inexplicable reason this is what he has latched onto for Christmas. Maybe some penguins and Elves holding a banner that says “Christmas Is in your heart: Not under the tree.” Hmmmm… Maybe not. I don’t want to belittle the “under the tree” part.

I almost started to pack up the knick-knacks that are cluttering up the tops of tables and shelves. They have to go before the Christmas knick-knacks come out to replace them. I think I will swap out the holiday dishes and mugs tomorrow if I get the opportunity. There is a big general cleaning that needs to be done before decorating. This year I decided to cover the front entrance hall in Christmas wrapping. I just wish it was really a hall, and not a landing. Perhaps that will change if Mr. Lotto and his wife Quick Pick come and visit.

My winter day ends at midnight, because I am going to the Fire station tomorrow with Hurricane’s playschool. I am not a real big on kids, but I do love fire trucks. I know who the biggest kid will be. I wonder if they will let me drink from the fire hose.

Really, most of what I did today is to think about what I need to do in the next few days. Sometimes we need these “thinking” days to put our life in perspective. You can’t just go blundering about the world without any plan. I did that for the first five or six decades and look where I ended up! Nope, from now on it is thoughtful calculation and then directed action. Well, starting tomorrow, because there is some good TV on tonight.

Saturday 12 November 2011

South For The Winter

I just watched a movie that is called “The Girl In The Café” and it is a well written moving comment on our society. It is thought provoking and humorous and it deals with the fact that 30,000 children die of starvation every day and we (the first world countries) could stop it anytime. Well, we could if we had the will to do so. If you get the chance to see it, you really should. There is even a very small amount of frontal nudity.

Louise and I went for a walk down by the river today and spent a little time watching the geese and ducks. They are always there, but what interested us was that the water was frozen and they still were hanging out. The geese stay pretty much for the whole winter; I suppose that in a city there is enough food to keep them happy. It looked to me like the ducks were getting ready to head south but they just couldn’t get it together enough to actually leave.
There was a male and female, and I could almost hear the female saying “I told you we should have left with the others. Now we are alone and I bet you don’t even know the way. If we had gone with everyone else, we could have followed Horatio, and he knows how to get south.”

“I know how to get south! Horatio, Horatio, Horatio…I am sick of that guy! Big deal, anyone can find the south, you just keep the sun on your left and you stop when everything is green and wet. Besides, that guy is pigeon toed!” He ranted.

“Oh, don’t be stupid, all ducks are pigeon toed. All pigeons are pigeon toed. I have seen a lot of people that are pigeon toed.”

The conversation probably went on and on, but Louise and I had better things to do than watch some birds skating on the ice. Well, not really but we saw a building that had construction guys working on it. Louise went to take a picture, and the guy on the roof yelled down “No pictures”. Louise took the pictures anyways, after all what was he going to do, jump down. Now I am wondering what his problem was. If it were a big secret that they were working on the building then they shouldn’t have wrapped the entire three floors of the building in a large white tarp and had the crane and construction supplies around. Perhaps they were really shy. A lot of construction workers are shy.

Perhaps the construction guys just wanted to get this job done so that they could head south for the winter. The rest of the workers and their wives have already gone south. I can almost hear their wives saying “I told you we should have left with the others. Now we are alone and I bet you don’t even know the way. If we had gone with everyone else, we could have followed…”

Friday 11 November 2011

Thanks Artie

Like millions of people in Canada and around the world, I took a minute today to honour the men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Our world is a better place thanks to these brave men and women. I am not sure how I would have done in the same situation, and am glad that I was born between wars and did not have to find out. My daughter, her son and I went to a ceremony at the Aerospace museum today and it was pretty cool. We were surrounded by all sorts of planes and models which chronicled Canada’s airborne strength through the years. Part of what made it a good ceremony is that it was short and to the point, covering all of the pertinent points with military precision. As it should.

My father was one of these brave young men that went to war when his country needed him. I think that he was eighteen when he enlisted on his birthday in 1940, and by the time he was just over two years older he had been reported missing following a raid on Stuttgart. It turns out that dad (the pilot) had to emergency land the plane as three of his crew were injured and the plane wasn’t in any better shape. He managed to land his Wellington bomber on a mined beach which they found out when the Germans came and took them into custody.

In his first letter home he was apologetic to his mom and wanted her to know that he was fine and all was well. Dad never talked much about the war at all, which I have noticed about most people that have seen action. He did tell me that he was treated pretty well by the German Luftwaffe who were in charge of the air force prisoners. One of his biggest complaints was that he was terribly bored most of the time. He told me that they would play tic-tac-toe by shaving a guys head. Dad spent about two and a half years in different prison camps until the war ended in 1945.

I asked him about escape attempts like the movie “The Great Escape”, and he told me that those things were planned and executed by the older guys, twenty five and twenty six year olds. I remember that he would get a Christmas card every year from a German guard that he came to know and I guess befriend. The Germans were after all doing what they thought of as right and just.

War is a strange pastime, and I am so very glad that I have been protected from it by these brave men and women in the armed forces.

Thanks “Artie”

Thursday 10 November 2011

Intestinal Express

The other day I was at the dentist having a crown place on my upper rear molar. Dr. Julie was just checking to see how the fit was and told me that if I feel something drop on the back of my tongue, under no circumstances should I swallow. I told her not to worry, but in a worst case scenario I would just wait a while and go fishing. She told me that if that happened, she would be sure to run it through the sterilizer a few times.

We got to talking and I told her that it wasn’t the first time I had fished something out of the toilet that had taken a ride on the Intestinal Express.

Back when I was in university, my friends and I had spent the day smoking uncontrolled substances and ended up at Gregg’s apartment which he shared with his brother. Gregg was a pretty good chemistry student, at least I think it was chemistry, and his brother made his living as a dealer. We were drinking some tea, and had finished pretty much all of our stash, except for a piece of hash that I was about to bring out. There was a knock on the door, which was weird because we hadn’t buzzed anyone into the building. Gregg got up and opened the door a crack. The next thing we saw was Gregg flying backwards and four guys running into the apartment, guns drawn.

These were pretty rough looking characters and I was sure we were going to get shot over a drug deal that had gone wrong, until one of the guys said ”No one move! RCMP!” Well, that’s a relief, I’m not going to die but I am going to jail. I was the only one with any drugs at all and my buddies all knew that I was carrying. The cops spread out through the apartment to search I guess, while we sat where we were when they came into the apartment. One at a time we went up to the table and emptied our pockets. Gregg went first, but there was nothing in his pockets except for an alligator clip. The cop asked what it was for and Gregg said it was an electrical connector.

Just about this time one of the searchers came out of the back room with one of those small tin aspirin containers. He said “What’s in this?” Gregg looked at it and shrugged, saying “Aspirins?”  Next it was Gary’s turn to be searched, and as they were looking over the contents of his pockets a crash came from the bedroom which drew everyone’s eyes. I took this opportunity to slip the ball of hash out of my pocket and into my mouth, managing to swallow just as the cop pointed at me, saying “You next!”

I wasn’t as confident as you might think, as the ball of hash in its rough tinfoil wrapping had gotten stuck in my throat. I had a vision of coughing and a spit covered ball of hash bouncing off of the cops face. It became evident that although it was stuck it was going to stay where it was for the time being. My buddies were dumbfounded that the cop didn’t find the hash in my pockets. They finished searching me and Tommy, and eventually the rest of the apartment while we sat there trying to look very innocent. The only thing that they managed to find was the aspirin container. They told Gregg that he would have to go to the station on Monday and fill out some forms. You could tell that they were pretty disappointed. I guess they thought that they were going to nab public enemy number one and all they got was an aspirin container and some university students drinking tea. Bummer!

I was pretty happy right about now, because we weren’t dead, the cops were leaving and I would be able to cough up some hash for us to smoke. I would become a cult hero! Well, I would have been if the hash hadn’t chosen this moment to slide down my throat. I explained what happened to the guys and we were all grateful for what had to be divine intervention. What had happened to Gregg’s brother’s stash? Oh well!

You know, I was a poor student in more ways than one, and I didn’t have so much money that I could afford to flush the cost of that hash down the toilet. For the next couple of days I had to do some “fishing” and eventually I found what was lost. It had been wrapped pretty well and of course I cleaned it off, but I couldn’t bring myself to use it knowing where it had been. I carried it around for a while, thinking that time heals all wounds and eventually I could forget where it came from. Nope, I couldn’t do it.

I was beginning to think that I would have to just toss it out when a virtual stranger came up to me and asked if I had any dope to sell. I looked at him and smiled.

“This is your lucky day son, it just so happens that I have a piece of hash and you just have to believe me when I tell you that it is real…good…shit!”

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Weird Day

You know, I thought that I was done with the hospital after last night’s blog, but it appears that I still have something to talk about.

I had to drop off the Holter monitor around nine o’clock, but since I had to deliver Hurricane to playschool at 9:15, the hospital can wait. I did decide to take off the electrodes at home. I am not sure just how much skin I ripped off, but there is a possibility I could make a smallish child. What kind of adhesive do they use?

I parked in my regular spot on the road and did the short walk to the entrance, dodging seriously injured smokers that can’t help themselves and hospital workers that should know better than to smoke. I paid particular attention to how I got to the CV lab today in order to avoid yesterday’s fiasco. I dropped the monitor off and retraced my steps to the elevators. I was feeling pretty smug and relieved when I heard a woman yelling “Nooooooooo….” Then I heard a voice say “Just come with us dear!” Uh-oh!

Then, an ethereal vision glided past with her hair and hospital gown flowing in the non existent breeze, looking back at her would be captors, a look of terror on her face. Two nurses were in pursuit and a third was calling security on a cell phone. I stood there wondering if I would be the headline on the six o’clock news. The elevator doors opened up and I got on, pressed “M” and then kept pushing the door closed button. I am convinced those buttons aren’t even hooked up; they are just there to give you something to do while you are hoping that a psychotic killer doesn’t run through the open doors of the elevator. The doors finally closed and before I could click my heels together three times and say “I wish I were home, I wish I were home!” I was on the main floor.

I walked out into an armed camp! There were burley security guards everywhere. I don’t think I have ever seen even one guard in a hospital, let alone twenty. They were making plans that would have made Hitler’s invasion of Poland seem like child’s play. I thought it’s lucky that they aren’t after me. Hmmmm…lucky…maybe I should buy a lotto ticket. I went into the store and while I was waiting I noticed this guy, I am guessing he was either a heroin addict, crack addict or someone with really bad personal hygiene looking at the scratch tickets. He was mumbling to himself,”Hmmmm…fifty thousand…100,000…a million…I have a million.” and he turned and shuffled off putting the fistful of twenties and fifties back in his pocket. I didn’t know that being a bum was such a lucrative occupation. I could do that! I am almost there now. I bought my ticket on a dream, dodged the walking dead and security guards in the lobby and made my escape. Once outside, I looked up to the rooftop just in case the whack-a-doodle decided she could fly. I didn’t want her to land on me.

I started to go back to the car, my attention was drawn away from the roof when I noticed a guy walking out of the Emergency holding one of those kidney shaped trays they give you to puke into. They are pretty much useless, because if I am in the hospital to puke it is going to be projectile vomiting and that little kidney shaped pan will just act to deflect the stream away from me and on to someone else. So, this guy is walking away from the hospital and every now and then he stops to puke on the sidewalk. It was projectile vomit by the way.  I was going to yell out “Hey, use the pan!” but I thought better of it. I watched him puke five times before I got to the car and couldn’t help but think that he should have stayed in the Emergency room.

I said a little prayer thanking my personal deity for not encouraging me to seek a career in the health field.

Weird day and its only 9:15 AM.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Must Be An Escaped Mental Patient

Well, I had to go to the hospital today to have a Holter monitor attached. I wonder if it were named after a guy named Holter? If it was, I am guessing that would be his last name although there are some pretty crazy eastern European names. The first time that I wore one of these things I was pretty sure it was called a Holster monitor. It is kind of like a gun belt, except I imagine that they would frown on you practicing your quick draws with it.

I am to wear this for the next 24 hours being sure to just go about my business as usual, except that I am not to bathe.  Business as usual shouldn't be  a problem for me because I take it pretty easy for the most part and with an almost excuse not to do anything, I foresee the couch and I spending some quality time.

The guy that hooked up the wires told me to see him as I was leaving so that he could give me the directions on how to get back to the elevators, I told him that I was good. Oh, I was good alright, good and lost. I dont get it, I walked down one hallway and made a right turn and then a left turn when I came in. I think? Maybe it was a left turn and then a right. I remember seeing a garden growing on the roof of one of the hospital buildings coming in, but so far no rooftop garden on the way out. Hmmmmm. I wandered around the halls for a while, but I knew that I was hoplessly lost. Why would they design the place to be this confusing? Its kind of looks like what a doctors writing would look like if it were a building. No one can make heads nor tails of it. To make matters worse, I was in street clothes so I didnt really blend in with the hospital staff and their scrubs. My ass wasnt hanging out the back of a gown so everyone knew I wasnt a patient. Finally after what seemed like hours, a Lady with a stethoscope around her neck stopped and asked if I were lost. I said ahhhh and then she said Follow me.

We walked along a hall and she pointed vaguely up there and said something about elevators. I mumbled thanks and watched her stride purposely back the way she had come. Geez, I hope I didnt cause someones heart operation to be postponed. Well, if there is a problem, at least this is the best place for it. Now, where are those elevators? I was sure she pointed in this direction. Maybe this is like those old English homes with a secret passage. I just have to touch the corner of this picture frame and the door will open. Nope! Shit! How the hell can I be lost again? Luckily two old ladies smelling of smoke happened by just then. I figured that they must have just been outside and asked them where the elevators were. More vague pointing, but this time there were two so I could triangulate the proper direction. I never did find the public elevators, but I figure Authorized Personel Only was more of a guideline than a rule.

 Once in the lobby, all I had to do to get out was dodge around the people in wheel chairs and crutches, pass the old guy with a pack of cigarettes in one hand, an IV in the other and his ass hanging out of his gown. Nice ass for an old guy! Finally, fresh air! Im sure that finding my way back tomorrow will be much easier.

The hospital parking is really expensive, so I generally park on the street about a five minute walk away. Dont get me wrong, if Louise was really sick or bleeding, I would probably park on the hospital grounds...probably.  I was waiting to cross the road and this guy starts to walk across the street against the light. It isnt as if there wasnt traffic, he just hoped for the best I guess. I looked at the fellow standing beside me and he looked at me, and then we both looked at the guy crossing the road. I shrugged my shoulders and said Must be an escaped mental patient. We both laughed while we waited for the light to change.

Weird day, and it is only 9:00 AM.