Saturday 30 June 2012

Really Small

Did you ever wish that you were really, really small?
I have often thought how great it would be to have a whole new world to explore. Just think if somehow the entire human population of the earth were to shrink by about 1 1/2th, we would be around six inches tall. Well, except for the short people and they would probably still be complaining. I’d be almost six inches tall, but since I am getting to be an older gentleman, I am shrinking while my ears and unwanted body hair is growing. Who knows how tiny I will get eventually.
I’ll admit that the transition stage would be difficult, but just think of the benefits if that were to happen. We would no longer have a food shortage. A bowl of rice would feed a village for a month. Just a catch and release sized fish would stock a grocery store. One carrot would keep a family in vitamin A for the year. Our food problems would be a thing of the past.
The raw materials that we need for our way of life would now be available in abundance. No one would have to go into mines for the foreseeable future, as anything that might be needed is just lying around in giant sized piles. We could get all of our raw materials from the city dumps. There would no longer be unemployment, because everything would have to be rebuilt. You couldn’t very well live in your old house, because just going down the stairs would be an all day affair.
Yes, I know there is a down side. Everything that you own would be useless now. Even a smart car or a mini would be just too large to safely drive. Mind you, that would mean no cops to give you a ticket if you did somehow manage to get the car running. We could drive those cool remote control cars, helicopters and boats. Hell, we could fly in a paper airplane! Wow, you could ride an eagle. Well, you could if it didn’t eat you first.

I think Buster and I would still be best friends, but I wouldn’t pick up his shit any more. Talk about your giant sized piles. I bet he would let me ride him, and believe me it would be something to tear across the countryside on his back. The animals would still be their normal size which would help feed the billions of tiny humans. I’m not sure how we would go about milking a cow, but I imagine it would involve both arms and legs wrapped around a massive teat and squeezing as hard as you could. Your friends could have warm milk showers. Hmmmmm…That wouldn’t feel good at all.
Cats would be a problem. You just know that they have been waiting until the time was right to revolt. Those suckers would eat a full sized human if they could get away with it; I shudder to think what they would do to a six inch human. No, it would be best if we got rid of them before we shrunk. Maybe put them all in Australia. It’s a weird breeding ground already.

Birds are a problem too, but so far I don’t have a good solution. I’m not even talking about the wild birds. Chickens and turkeys freak me out now, I can’t imagine what terror I would be in if they were the size of a house. Eeeewwww!!!!
You know, I think there just might be too many insurmountable problems with the idea. Just forget I mentioned it.

Friday 29 June 2012

Smart Phone Experience

I have been hemming and hawing about getting one of those “smart” phones for a few months now. I really, really, really want one. The problem is that I really, really, really don’t need one. You see, I have three people that call me on a regular basis, and by regular I mean about once a week, and it is pretty hard to justify the expense of a smart phone for maybe 12 calls a month. There is no way I should get a new phone.
So, I ordered a phone about eight days ago. Here is how I justify the purchase to myself. I bought it from a company called Chinavaison which is located in…well, you guessed it…China. These are the same people that make all of the other smart phones we use (well, you use) and aside from the name they do the same things. They have Android operating systems and you can get all of those wonderful apps that I have been drooling over. The phones come unlocked and with two sim card slots. That means that I can use it on my Rogers phone plan and if I ever need a business phone, I can just put the sim card into this one and have two numbers. I will agree that it is pretty stupid for me to get one.
Chinavaison sells to wholesalers and lucky for me, individuals. The phones are priced at about half of what we pay in Canada. This particular phone was on sale for about half of the wholesale price, so I figure I got a pretty good deal and didn’t have to sign up for a plan. My son did point out that I pay the same amount as if I had a plan, but that is just him being sensible. How did I ever raise a sensible child?

So, the phone was ordered and it was sent from China to Vancouver in less than a day. Less than a day! Then, Canadian customs got their hands on it. They actually weren’t too bad as there is some kind of deal where cell phones and other “needed” electronics from China are duty free. Yeah, no one got a pay off to pass that legislation. Customs had it for two days, and then passed it on to Canada Post. Did you know that it takes five days to get a small package from Vancouver to Calgary? I can almost see that, except that it only takes half a day to get from China to Canada. I am just happy that I got it.
I charged it up and couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. The instruction booklet wasn’t much help. “Find joy and glory from Google weather time.” What???? I guess if I were writing an instruction book in Chinese, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense either. The problem that I am running into is that they assume a certain level of technological competence which I seem to lack. I managed to turn it on and after a few failed attempts dialled a number. Sure it was my home phone number which isn’t too big a stretch, but I talked to myself. I’m not sure whether it was the connection or perhaps I just didn’t have a lot to say to myself, but I didn’t talk too long. I called from the home phone to the cell, but I still didn’t have a lot to say.

I wanted to call someone else, but I am limited to my three regulars, and one is in Phoenix, one was at work and the other one would want to actually talk. What I wanted to do was say “Hi, how do I sound? Am I clear? Does this sound different than normal?” Considering the fact that it has been a week since I talked to him and he is getting older so he barely remembers to put on clothes, there wasn’t much chance he would be helpful. I will probably have to wait to talk to someone when I lose it or it gets stolen. That should be a fun conversation. “Hi…ahhh…this is my phone, thanks for finding it.” Then the guy will say “I didn’t find it, you left it on the table at Tim’s and I took it…sucker!”
I am already enjoying the whole smart phone experience.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Big Ass Record

I have been concerned with a tiny little plastic thingy-ma-bob for the past couple of days. It could have something to do with my wanting to avoid work, but be that as it may, I am still intrigued.

The little plastic thingy is or should I say was used to play 45 RPM records. I have been trying to find the official name for these once very useful and now very useless items. So far, what I have come up with is “45 adapter”, “Spider” and as I have mentioned, “yellow thingy”. It doesn’t seem as if there was ever a universal name for them, even though they had a universal use. I know that the manufacturer would have had a name for them, if only so they could be listed on the order forms.
Bigger mono record players came with a spindle adapter which would fit over the spindle which was used for playing 78’s and 33 1/3 RPM records. This way, you could stack a bunch of 45’s on the spindle adapter and kind of make the fifties version of a mix tape. You might be asking yourself why the holes on 45’s were so much larger than on the other records. Well children, it all boils down to greed just like almost everything else in life. It seems that in 1949 RCA wanted their new technology to compete with Columbia’s LP’s. People would have trouble playing both 45’s and LP’s on the same machine. Blood sucking, corporate bastards!

I am old enough to remember carrying the adapters around in my pocket, just in case you ran into someone with a portable record player and another person with a mittful of 45’s. Surprisingly, this happened far more often than you might think. We would get together and have an impromptu dance party. Well, it wasn’t a dance party because there would never be any girls with us, so I guess it was more of a listening party. I went through an Elvis stage and picked up his music on the good old 45’s. I think the first Beatles song I heard was on a 45. I still have some of those down in the basement getting all warped. The records are out of shape, but the memories are just fine thank you very much!

I have a baggie of the “Spiders” in my work room and I will take one out from time to time and think about how much things have changed. I was doing this last night when I decided that I would make a wooden replica to stick on my wall. I have the tools, the wood and an example to copy. I made it about five inches around and drew it using a compass and freehanded the parts that weren’t evenly curved. I cut it out on the scroll saw and it turned out not too bad. Just a little light sanding and it was ready for the first coat of paint today. I decided that instead of yellow, I would paint it gold to represent the golden age of music. I hope it turns out, and if it does I will put a picture of it on the blog later on.
Now, I just need a really big ass record to go with it. 

Wednesday 27 June 2012

A Place for Reality Shows

I’m not a very big fan of the reality shows that seem to have taken over TV for the last few years. I’m not into sexy vampires either, but that is a blog all by itself. I just want to say that any woman that I have bitten wasn’t very appreciative. I am thinking of Laura Snitman when I was four. Her parents were pretty pissed off and so were mine. I think my mom bit me back to teach me a lesson, kind of like the anti-Dr. Spock. No, I didn’t like it either.

Mark Burnett did one of the first reality shows called “Eco-Challenge” which I enjoyed. It was about teams of ultimate athletes that had to race across deserts and jungles, pitting themselves against the most horrific trials that nature could through at them. I eagerly anticipated it every year. I knew there was no way that I could ever even finish one of these courses, let alone race, but I was with the athletes every step of the way.

Mark Burnett moved on to produce “Survivor” which I watched for the first season, thinking it would be real people pitting themselves against nature and helping each other to survive. Boy was I wrong! I can remember a scene where there was a guy being interviewed on a beach, talking about how hungry he was with just rice to eat. During this conversation, two craps (I meant to write "crabs", but for all I know they might have tasted like crap) walked behind him across the sand. This ding-doodle would have trouble surviving in New York with a Platinum American Express credit card. I know it is still popular, but for the life of me, I don’t understand it. It seems to take all that is detestable in people and magnify it.

There are shows that I do like and I am not completely embarrassed to admit it. I watch “American Chopper”, even though I have little or no interest in motor cycles and I really don’t care much for the people. It is kind of like cousins, in your day to day life, who really cares what happens to them, but if they get crushed to death by a rampaging water buffalo, it is pretty entertaining. There are certain wood working shows that I have followed throughout the years. There is nothing better than watching an episode or two of “The Woodwrights Shop”. Roy Underhill is an amazing man and an incredible craftsman. “This Old House” used to be really good, but ever since they fired Bob Villa the projects that they work on are far too complex for me to take much interest in.

Tonight I got caught up in “Americas Got Talent”. Tonight’s show was about half way through the competition, so all of the talent were talented. I can’t get over how much time and effort that these people put into their particular interest. Some spend years training and suffering for a chance just like this to come along and for a sad few, the answer is that they just are not good enough. The judges turn them down nicely for the most part, but how do you rebound from a rejection so complete. The little kids are fine, and the younger people can always hone their craft a little more, but some of them just don’t get that they are trying to be in the entertainment business. You can’t do just what you like to do, there has to be thought given to who is watching the performance.

Listen to me thinking I know what I am talking about. Give me a good, well written drama or a comedy show any day. I guess there is a place for reality shows, it is made of porcelain and there is a lever for flushing. 

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Eat Rotten Worms

We have been having a pretty wet June. If I am reading the data correctly (there is a very good chance that I’m not), we have had about 133 mm of rain so far this month and it is raining right now. The average is about 80 mm and June is considered to be our rainiest month. There is a worry about flooding in houses close to the rivers, and in BC they are having a horrible time with flooding. I hope the rain stops soon before too much damage is done.
I personally like the rain; it is like Mother Nature is doing some late spring/early summer cleaning. Sometimes it is fun to walk in the rain. I don’t have to worry about melting, even though I am really sweet, I am not made of sugar.
I can remember the fun I used to have as a kid just after a rainstorm, jumping in puddles. My mother, like a lot of moms, didn’t really appreciate it when I would come home soaking wet and covered in mud. Sometimes, a mud puddle would eat my rubber boot and I would end up carrying the mud covered thing home under my arm. In my mind it was alright to get my sock dirty walking home barefoot, but not from putting it in the boot. Crazy!
I still like jumping in puddles, but I will generally look around to see if there is anyone looking that I should worry about. I know it doesn’t make sense, but I guess those old fears are hard to get rid of. The adult version of puddle jumping is driving through a puddle in your car at speed, creating a wave on one side of the car or the other. If you are lucky, and the puddle is big enough, you can get double waves. That is magic! I was driving with Hurricane just after a rain and went through a puddle, thinking about the smile that would spread across his face. He looked…bored.
“Didn’t you like going through the puddle?” I asked.

He said it was okay, but it is way better when he is with his mom. I should have known. Arwen not only has a lead foot, she also has a wicked sense of adventure and little or no fear. That’s my girl! Well, it’s really Louise’s girl. I wonder if dads and Poppas in the old days would drive the wagon at speed through puddles. Probably, cause that is just what we do.

A certain amount of rain makes the world smell new again. It makes you feel a special kind of joy just being alive smelling the freshness. Too much rain smells like dead worms though, which isn’t so invigorating. I have never been able to figure out why worms crawl out of the relative safety of the lawn onto the sidewalk. I try not to step on them, but it is often impossible to avoid all of them. It isn’t one of those Buddhist “Never harm a living thing.” But rather that I don’t want to scrape worm guts out of my running shoes. They stink too! I have to assume that I am not the only one that thinks they stink, because you don’t see birds having a feeding frenzy during the rainstorms.
It’s bad enough to have to eat worms, but it would be just awful to eat rotten worms.

Monday 25 June 2012


I have always loved looking at the night sky.
I can remember being a kid in Ontario, lying on my back listening to crickets and looking up, seeing the whole sky filled with stars. I could always pick out the Big Dipper; sometimes I would see the Little dipper depending on the time of year, the North Star and Orion’s Belt. I was never sure if I actually saw Orion’s Belt, or just two random stars and a Soviet satellite. Either way would be just fine for me. I was never bummed about not knowing each and every constellation for a couple of reasons. The first is that no one I knew was significantly better than I was and secondly, even without names they were beautiful.
Lately, I have been thinking that perhaps we should rename the stars to reflect the times that we live in. It isn’t celestial sacrilege, because that is exactly what the ancient Greeks did. I am sure that before the Greeks the Mesopotamians had names for the different star groupings and before that, the people called the stars after the animals they hunted and the leaders they revered. No, I think the Greeks have had a pretty good run, and now it’s time for a change.

I suppose that we will do just what they did and name some of the stars after our …ahhh…stars. Seven stars that kind of look like a glove could be the Michael Jackson Cluster. There will have to be a perfect apple shape and we will call it The Jobs. The dippers will probably look like a couple of hockey sticks and we will call them the Rocket and the Great One.

You just know there will be constellations named for different products. Certainly 7 UP is going to be an easy brand, just as a big “C” will represent Coke. Of course somewhere in the heavens will be a star or constellation named “Trump”.

I suppose it really doesn’t matter what the stars are called, because kids like I was will look up into the sky and not be able to put a name to anything and it won’t matter at all. They will still be beautiful and looking at them will be something to do on a lazy summer night while you are listening to the crickets. Hopefully, there will still be fireflies flitting about making their own constellations that flicker on and off.

I think I just might go out the next time it is a clear night, lie on my back and try to find three new constellations. Hurricane…Tornado…and Poppa. “Hurricane” will be perfect and you will know it the moment your eyes look up. “Tornado” will be a little more difficult to find, but will have a certain twinkle that will make you smile. “Poppa” will be pear shaped and just visible on the horizon. 

I’m already having fun, you should try it too.

Sunday 24 June 2012

A Good Natured Big Old Guy

I just received an email from my daughter who is in Phoenix with her family for the week. The weather is hot and sunny, the pool is cool and wet, the beer is cold and cheap and Hurricane and Tornado are having a ball. I am green with envy.

While they are away we are dog-sitting their bulldog Lola. Lola is a good natured big old gal with a slobbering problem and a bit of a weight issue. She loves sleeping and eating pretty much anything that she can sink her teeth into. It just occurred to me that except for the bulldog part, I just described myself. I had always thought I was a different kind of dog.
In my mind I could be “Lassie”, saving little Timmy whenever he falls in the well. What the hell was wrong with that kid? He either had the worst luck of anyone in the world or he was more than likely suicidal. If he was suicidal, I don’t imagine he would ever be thrilled to see Lassie. Yep, there he is, head first down the mine shaft and he hears barking. “That meddling bitch! Why can’t she chase her tail like other dogs? If they rescue me again, I am going to have her for a rug!” Poor Timmy!
I wouldn’t mind being one of those sheep dogs that can direct a herd of sheep all over a field to where ever they need to go. It’s pretty neat to watch, but I would imagine it would get pretty boring after a while. “The guy whistles I bark and run. He whistles again and I bark and run the other way. Different whistle and I lay down in the grass…” Yeah, screw that pink, frilly nonsense; let him chase his own sheep.

Buster has it pretty easy, maybe I should be a cute Lhasa-Apso/Maltese cross. I’d have people that feed me regular. I’d sleep pretty much all of the time. When I’m not sleeping, a guy would take me for a walk, pick up my shit and carry it around in his hand. I’d wonder what he does with it. Perhaps he has a collection, but I wouldn’t care. Really, the only down side would be that my nuts would have been cut off. Okay, it is a pretty big down side. Even if you don’t use them it is kind of nice to know that they are there just in case.
I’d hate to be one of those sissy dogs that have forgotten how to breed and need help. Here is a little video clip that is just wrong! I wouldn’t even know where to begin describing these nut-fuckers. Judge for yourselves.
I have always liked the Saint Bernard’s.  I doubt anyone messes with them. Only the Swiss and Italians would breed a dog large enough to carry around a keg of brandy. Best to have someone designated to carry the liquor when you’re pissed; that way, nothing gets spilled. They say that the St. Bernard’s were bred for alpine rescue. Between you and me, if I was near frozen, close to death and an animal weighing in at around 200-250 pounds was coming towards me, I wouldn’t be thinking I was getting rescued and drunk. I think I would die of a heart attack before I realized I was getting a rescue. Besides, what the hell are those dogs doing walking around the mountain trails in snowstorms for? I can barely get Buster to go out for a pee when it is cold.

I guess I will just stay a good natured big old guy with a slobbering problem and a bit of a weight issue that loves sleeping and eating pretty much anything that I can sink teeth into.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Touching My Tongue to the Electrodes

I have noticed that some of the words in my blogs are high lighted. Some third party, slug buggerer, is making money by inserting adds into random Blogs. Sorry about this, and I will try to stop it if I can. 

It seems as if I have been working on getting a computer working for the last six months. Oh, wait…I have been! No, in case you are interested (I am fast losing interest, so why shouldn’t you?) I am not done by a long shot. I have both computers working, but I feel like the little Dutch boy with my fingers and toes stuck in holes trying to stop all of the leaks. I know it is just a matter of time before I am buried beneath the dike. Good times for me…

I planted some dill today, but I’m not sure whether it will grow to maturity or not. If Buster has his way, he will either kill it by laying down on it or digging one of his random holes. What the hell is it with dogs and digging holes? It isn’t as if they are particularly deep or in an even remotely interesting place. I keep trying to make sense of the actions of a being with a brain the size of a walnut which is an effort in futility. This is a dog that takes a crap, smells it and then smells his butt to see if it came from the same place. Idiot dog!

I have chicken wire blocking off the entire garden so that shit for brains doesn’t lay down on the baby plants, it would also be nice if he didn’t piss on my food. I know, that is asking way too much. I have given thought to hooking up an electric charge to the chicken wire. It would probably work, but the problem is that I will eventually forget about the electric fence and fry myself. Don’t misunderstand; I wouldn’t be pissing on the fence or the plants! So, there will be no electric fence for reasons of self preservation.

I did notice that Princess Auto sells cattle prods for about $40. It only takes two “C” cell batteries and for the price, how can you go wrong. I could use it on the dog of course, but there are so many other uses. I wouldn’t hesitate to fry a cat, but they are too smart and too quick for me. It would be almost impossible to use on a bird (Magpie), because you would have to hold the bird and if you actually had it in your hand why wouldn’t you just wring its little neck?  No sense depriving yourself of those little joys in life.

I am thinking that it would be great for Christmas shopping and creating a path through the malls. Well, I guess you could use it on the department store Santa too as a reminder for him not to fuck up like he did last year. It would be good for negotiating a discount on that “must have” toy with the pimply faced kid from Toys-R-Us.

I am also thinking it would be pretty good to take to the dentist. You hurt me, I hurt you! Kind of like playing poker and all of the players have their guns on the table. I have actually wanted one for quite some time, but I will never get one. I know that if I had one, it would only be a matter of time before I touched my tongue to the electrodes and fried my brain. Quite frankly, I need the few remaining brain cells.

Friday 22 June 2012

Angry Birds

The older I get and the more knowledge that I accumulate, only seems to point out just how little I actually know.

I think that I am pretty smart sometimes but shortly after, someone or something will happen that changes my opinion of myself. Long ago, when I lived inside of a person that was half my size and dealt with pain much better than I do, I was pretty full of myself. The game “Trivial Pursuit had come out about a year or so earlier and I really enjoyed playing it. Partly because it was a challenge and it did stretch your mind somewhat. Sure, it was a lot of fun, especially when you were stoned or drunk.
I played with Louise a lot, and another friend, Brian. We were pretty damned good even if we did have to say so ourselves. There wasn’t a problem answering questions in most of the categories. We would be unstoppable as a team, but no one would be foolish enough to challenge us. One day we were talking to some friends of ours and the game came up in conversation. They were talking like they were as good as we were, and had thought of giving the game up because there was no one that could make a game interesting or challenging. Excuse me???

We said that maybe we should get together next weekend and have a “friendly” game. Time and place was set and I started to feel bad for them in advance. Throughout the week I must have picked up the phone a hundred times to cancel, because they were our friends and I had no desire to embarrass them or take away one of the few things that they think they do well. You know, I don’t “win” in life that much, so I figure that we may as well teach our friends how to lose graciously.

The night of the game came around, and Louise, Brian and I were pretty cocky. We all got comfortable around the table, with our smokes and tea, and prepared to beat some humility into our good friends. We won the toss and went first. Wouldn’t you know the first question would be one of those unanswerable factoids the makers put in the game so that people like us wouldn’t run the board. That was the last time any of our team touched the dice.
Who knew they were idiot-savants? It was like watching that kid in “Deliverance”, but instead of a banjo he would have had a Trivial Pursuit board in his lap. I would like to say that they got all easy questions and it was one of those one in a million games. I’d like to say that, but it would be a lie. How can they possibly be this smart? They were even stupider than I was in high school! Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but we were more than likely equally stupid.

I lost my love for the game that night. Oh, I have innumerable variations of the game, but I know that just when I think I am pretty good, someone somewhere will crawl out from under some slimy rock and say “No, no, no! The answer is Dien Bein Phu, not Buon Me Thuot!” I don’t think that I could take the humiliation.

No, I prefer any of the many forms of solitaire that are offered on the computer. I am getting pretty good at “Angry Birds” and I don’t imagine there is anyone that could compete against me, because I would be willing to take on all comers…

Thursday 21 June 2012

We Won't Turn Into Birds

Well, I am another day closer to death! We all are and I suppose that the planet is as well. I spent a part of the day at the Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller Alberta with Maegan and Hurricane and Tornado, and although it is all about death, we had a great time.
It is a really incredible place, and if you ever find yourself in or near Drumheller you should schedule a few hours to learn what it was like when the earth itself was new. Homo sapiens have been around for about 200,000 years, give or take an eon or so. That is nothing compared to the dinosaurs that populated the planet for over 300 million years.
The dinosaurs were the dominant species for about 245 million years until they became extinct about 65 million years ago. Mammals (us) came to fill the void left by the extinction, and although there are remnants still prowling the planet, we can kick their asses. Not in a fair fight, but with traps, knives, guns and our innate ability to know when it is time to run. I am talking about alligators, turtles, pretty much any reptile and there is the speculation that birds are the direct ancestors of dinosaurs.
I can believe it about birds, nasty, superior little things that think they are above us. Well, technically they are above us and around us, sometimes shitting on us. We build them little houses, put out seeds to feed them and even put up elaborate bird baths. Hmmmm, come to think of it, maybe they are the superior beings. Have you ever looked a bird in the eyes? It is like they are trying to talk to you. I think that if they could talk to us they would probably say “Whatever the fuck you do, don’t go the bird route! No fingers or thumbs, and no way to change the channel on the TV”. Maybe that is why they are always sitting on power lines and TV antennas.

You would think that I would feel sorry for them, but I say “Screw them; they had their chance, now it is our turn. It took them 245 million years to go extinct; I’ll bet we can do it in less half a million, and you know we won’t turn into birds either!”

Wednesday 20 June 2012

I Am The Walrus

Buster and I were out for our morning walk today, listening to the iPod when the Beatles song “I am the Walrus” started to play. I was listening to the iPod; Buster doesn’t even own one to the best of my knowledge. I have heard “I am the Walrus” probably a thousand times over the years, but until today I didn’t really pay much attention to the words. I thought it might be fun to check it out on the blog. Well, fun for me anyways.

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. 
Okay, I am already confused.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly. 
To me, running from guns just makes good sense, whether you are a person, pig or combination of both.
I'm crying. 
Just two lines in John, I’d be crying too.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come. 
The van and some guys in white coats I’m guessing.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody tuesday.
I feel that way about Mondays, but Tuesdays can suck too.  
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
 Does this mean he’s grown a beard or is he melting?
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen. 
I have a buddy who is a retired eggman.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob. 
You don’t have to take everything people give you John.

Mister city policeman sitting 
little policemen in a row.
I tried to stay away from the “Pretty little policemen” when I was stoned. 
See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky, see how they run.
They are more than likely chasing after you for calling them pretty. 
I'm crying, I'm crying. 
I'm crying, I'm crying.
Did you just read the lyrics buddy?

Yellow mother custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.
What the Fuck?
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess, 
This shit made you a billionaire?
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
 Naughty or nice, it is all in the eye of the beholder. 
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I wonder if “The Eggmen” was going to be the name of a new band?
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.
Now your just being silly! 

Sitting in an english garden waiting for the sun.
Could be a long wait.
If the sun don't come, you get a tan 
From standing in the english rain. 
Have another toke, John.  
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
So, that’s six “eggmen” so far.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob goo goo g'joob. 
I thought that Paul was the Walrus. Maybe you are confused, after all of these goo goo g’joobs 

Expert textpert choking smokers, 
Don't you think the joker laughs at you? 
It’s not only the joker laughing John.
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
Pigs do seem pretty happy. I guess no knowing about your imminent death will have that effect. 
See how they snied.
I'm crying. 
I’m starting to cry too, and so are the record execs at Capital Records.

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the eiffel tower.
Isn’t semolina pasta? Pilchard is a fish I think and neither has anything to do with the Eiffel tower.
Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna.
I think this is a crack about George. 
Man, you should have seen them kicking edgar allan poe.
Someone should have kicked that sick SOB in the ass. I still have nightmares from “The Pit and the Pendulum”, not to mention “The Tell-Tale Heart”.
I am the eggman, They are the eggmen. 
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob goo goo g'joob goo goo g'joob. 
Goo goo g'joob goo
I guess this proves you can write any kind of shit if you are famous. It’s a good thing that your fan base was perpetually stoned.

Yeah... I still love it!

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Maybe Louise Will

We are having a mid week sleep over with Hurricane and Tornado tonight, in honour of Aunt Maegans need to get as much nephew time in as possible. I had forgotten just how tired you can get trying to entertain and look after little ones. I was ready for bed about two hours ago. No so for my grand sons.

I can remember that bedtime was more of an event than a happening. It starts with subtle hints that bedtime is fast approaching and they have just five more minutes of play and then it is time to get ready for bed. A half hour of wheedling later, there is the struggle of trying to get flailing arms and kicking legs into PJ’s. After some warm milk and brushed teeth we are ready to pick a book to read. I now see the downside of having more than one book in the house. We finally narrow it down to three books and start to read, but having help turning the pages has me getting creative with the story line.

I can remember reading The Lorax to my kids about a thousand times and from what I understand it is a favourite of Hurricane and Tornado. I think it is a good thing for kids to be read to at night, because it instils a love of literature in them. I guess a big dog walking over to a lake and drinking the lake up is literature…I guess.

We tuck the kids in and give kisses and hugs all around, making sure the night light is on and very quietly close the door. Less than a minute later, the sound of little voices reach your ears even before you’ve managed to sit down. You open the door and find both out of bed and trying to wrestle a pillow and several stuffed animals into each bed. More kisses and another tuck, door closed and this time you make it into the chair before the voices reach your ears. I throw open the door and say “Hey! Go to sleep!” Like that is going to work.

This when they play the “mommy” card. I say that Grandma and Poppa are looking after them for tonight and they will see mommy tomorrow. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, I am lying on the floor between the two beds in the dark going “ssshhh”, “Try to sleep”. “You can’t sleep if you are talking.” This is about the point where I have to force myself to stay awake, because of the three of us; I am the only one who can’t keep his eyes open.

I wake up about ten or so minutes later and I hear steady, rhythmic breathing from either side of me. Finally! Uh-oh, I think we forgot to go potty before getting into bed. No way am I going to wake anyone up, I’ll deal with changing sheets at three in the morning. Well, maybe Louise will…

Monday 18 June 2012

Pineridge Patty

There was an odd thing that happened this morning. Louise and I were both headed out on errands, she to the doctor and I was headed to pick up some groceries and get a couple of keys cut. Of course, when I got in the car I had forgotten the list in the house. I always use a list for shopping, partly because I wouldn’t be able to remember anything that we needed once at the store, and also it is a good way to avoid blame when you didn’t pick up supper.

“Where are the steaks?” she asks just before dinner.

“Uhhhh…I don’t think they were on the list were they?” No one is at fault, well except for the list itself. Sure we have to eat peanut butter and crackers for dinner, but I didn’t screw up.

When I came back out to the garage, I saw a young girl with long blond hair, carrying a back pack. She would be about 16 or 17 years old and she looked in the garage as she passed by. I am pretty security conscious when it comes to the garage being open and strangers walking down the alley, so I generally will take an interest. I take note of the plate numbers of unrecognized vehicles driving up the alley and of course anyone walking down the alley with a back pack. I have been even more aware since someone walked into the yard and garage one night a year or two ago.

I backed the car out and made sure that the garage door was closed. I drove to the end of the alley (one house) and looked for the girl. She had disappeared! There is no way that she could have even made it into the nearest house in the time she had, let alone get down the street and onto a cross street. I drove first in one direction, and then back in the other, without seeing her. She was just gone. This was a little freaky.
While I drove off, I started to think about ghostly apparitions and how I had never seen one in my life. Truthfully, I haven’t really given ghosts much thought other than why Casper has legs and feet sometimes, and at other times he seems to have a tail. I have heard of ghosts that will move a letter or cause the lights to flicker and other small time nonsense like that. What the hell is the point of that? Can you imagine spending an eternity doing something like that? I moved letters for about thirty years and that was more than enough time, thank you very much.
So, what is this girl’s story? I can’t just call her “girl”, how about I call her “Pineridge Patty”? She was a little butch looking, kind of like Peppermint Patty all grown up. When I came home I did a little research on the area, just to see if there have been other unearthly sightings in the neighbourhood. There haven’t been many, but if our ghosts are just walking down the alley, or up the street, who would take notice? Not me and I bet not you. I suspect that there are a lot more poltergeists wandering around kind of aimlessly up and down the streets like…well…mailmen.

I looked up some back issues of the “Pineridge Pines”, and about twenty nine years ago a 16 year old girl named Elizabeth Wentworth went missing on the way to school. She was seen entering the tot lot that backs onto the alley and not again after that. She never arrived at school. There was an intensive search that went on for days, but all to no avail. This was pretty big news back then, because Calgary was more a small town than city. There were posters put up and alerts sent to other cities, but unfortunately Elizabeth was never seen again. Her parents moved from the area and the case was pretty much forgotten.

The guy that owned our house before we bought it 28 years ago was a welder that had a rather violent temper. His wife had to seek shelter at a neighbours several times and the police were often at the house for one reason or another. The article in the “Pines” didn’t mention whether this guy was questioned, but I would have been surprised if he wasn’t.

In the past few years, a pretty big crack has developed that goes right across one corner of the garage and the one corner is sinking. I am told it is because the gravel wasn’t packed down well enough before the concrete was poured or there is a hollow under that section of floor for some reason. I have decided that it just isn’t worth breaking the concrete and trying to repair the problem.

Oh, Elizabeth Wentworth’s nickname was “Patty”. I guess I may have to get used to having Pineridge Patty walking behind the house from time to time…

Sunday 17 June 2012

Who’s Your Daddy

While the last 75 minutes of Father’s Day winds down, I can’t help but think of how the day went for me.

When I woke, I had plans to do some work around the house and some tidying for Maegan’s arrival tomorrow. I am not sure when it is exactly that your children take on the role of welcomed guest as opposed to absent resident. Perhaps there isn’t a set time, but more of an emotional and intellectual attitude that creeps into the parent/child relationship. The plan was to clean the house as we would if anyone was coming to stay. I got a call from two year old Tornado, who wished me a Happy Fathers Day, I think. Too cute!

Brendan called and said that he was coming over. I was in the middle of my physio exercises when he drove up so I decided to come back to them later. Brendan came bearing gifts. He was getting rid of his old door locks, and since they were better than the ones I am currently using, it seemed a no brainer for him to give them to me as opposed to Habitat. The poor will just have to do what they do best, wait. It is like Robin Hood said about the poor in the movie “Time Bandits”, “I'm sure you'll like them. Of course they haven't got two pennies to rub together but that's because they're poor.

We had a nice chat (Louise, Brendan and I), and then Brendan and I (mostly Brendan) installed the handles and locks. Eventually, it was time for him to leave and we hugged and said our goodbyes. It was one of those really nice visits that I can look back on and think, “that was a really nice visit.”

I went down to finish my exercises, well, really to start a new set because I was due, and after that I did some cleaning and had some lunch. Shortly afterwards, Arwen, Chris and the boys came over. They wished me a Happy Fathers Day, presented some gifts and Arwen told me that she was going to cook supper for me. What a great afternoon! We played with water, tickled and got tickled, managed to get an scraped elbow, tried to drowned the garden plants, hammered nails, ate candy, cried a little and generally had a great time. Arwen cooked a terrific dinner and it was enjoyed by all. Well, Hurricane and Tornado didn’t eat too much of it, but that is their way. They left after dinner and I flopped on the couch thinking just how tired I was.

The day didn’t go as I had planned it, I didn’t get hardly any cleaning done and there were other things that I had hoped to get done which went undone, but I wouldn’t trade today for a winning lotto ticket. This is the kind of day that you will remember, not the day that you cleaned the house for Maegan. The people I love went out of their way to make me happy and they succeeded. Tomorrow Maegan flies into town and that should just make this a perfect couple of days. I can hardly wait.

I have only one thing left to say….


Saturday 16 June 2012

Rolling in the Aisle Laughing

I was going through the bookshelf today, trying to avoid the massive cleaning that the basement needs when I came across a pamphlet that I got when I took a course at the Post Office. It was the “Dog Bite Prevention Program” and it would have had to be given about twenty years ago.
I know that the mailman getting chased and bitten by dogs seems pretty funny to the general public, but it is a real and ever present danger. I was bitten several times over the years and of course I knew many that had been bitten worse than me. A buddy of mine was attacked while delivering by a German Sheppard and spent some quality time rolling along the sidewalk and trying to keep its teeth from ripping his face off. It was a pretty funny story and Brian told it so well. It might have been a Doberman or a pit-bull, I just can’t remember. I bet Brian does though. Early on in my career, I was attacked crossing the street on a windy day by two Dobermans. I held them off using my dog spray, but they were smart and stood just out of range. I went through one can and was well into the next, and thinking of my last stand. I was pretty sure that unlike Custer no one would make a movie or write a book, unless it was written in dog, for dogs. Just at the last moment, a pick up truck came by and the guy said “Hop on!” which I did of course and he drove off with the dogs chasing and me using the last of the spray.

I wanted to kiss this guy because he had just saved my life, but we settled for a handshake and I told him that if he ever needed anything from a postie, then I was his guy. I was pretty safe saying that, no one wants anything from the postman.

I remember the woman that taught this course, she was an attractive young thing that had good intentions. She really didn’t know anything about delivering mail or dogs, and I am pretty sure that she spent the last few months inside giving this course. We all went to the course because it was time off of work and they gave free coffee and donuts. She told us that 90% of the dog bites were from “fear biters” and you were to stare them down and firmly tell them “NO”.

The other 10% of bites were from “Brave biters” and the suggested method of dealing with them was to avoid eye contact and allow them to sniff your shoes, pants or crotch. “I’m sorry, what the fuck did she say?” Let a dog get close enough to sniff my crotch? Yeah, I don’t think so! We all had a good laugh and the poor woman went all red and ended the course early that day.

I heard about her a few weeks later. It seems that she had been savaged by a German Sheppard and needed about 150 stitches to her thighs and legs. God that must have been painful! It was months before she came back to work, and then only on work indoors. I guess she was a little gun shy, and who can blame her. I ran into her about a half a year later and asked her how she was doing. We traded pleasantries for a while and when the conversation was pretty much finished I asked her one last question. “Keeping in mind the Dog Prevention Course, do you think that the dog that attacked you just didn’t like the smell of your crotch?”

She said some very unlady like things to me and left me and the guys rolling in the aisle laughing.

Friday 15 June 2012

Paid In Pretend Money

I was waiting in line at the coffee shop today when a woman walked by me and I couldn’t help but smell her. Not in a creepy, perverted way, at least I don’t think so, but more in a ‘Why don’t they make these doorways bigger?’ kind of way. So, when this woman passed by I didn’t smell “Channel #5” or “Kardassian Krap”, but the rather distinctive smell of ‘Play-Doh’.
There is nothing wrong with Play-Doh, it is even safe to eat, but I have never smelt it on a woman in one of my coffee shops. She could have been a mom with small kids, or a day care worker, for all I know there might be a Play-Doh factory somewhere in Calgary. Those are the options that we could all get behind and be happy with. There is a darker and more insidious explanation. It is possible that she is trying to attract a certain kind of man. Perhaps a man of younger years that might be trying to recapture his youth, or a guy that is really immature. There are a lot of women that seem attracted to immaturity. Who knows? Like I said, she just passed me in the doorway and I thought I would share.

I have been going to Physiotherapy for a few weeks now and it has sort of gotten into a rhythm of sorts. I go in and pay, he checks to see if there is any improvement from the last time, puts some vibrating things on my shoulder with heat, does some muscle manipulation and then sends me to the gym for exercises. I come back and he does some acupuncture, after which I go home.

During the vibrating things and the acupuncture I have to sit for ten or fifteen minutes each. This gives me a chance to do what I like to do the best, listen to other people and their problems. Once I heard a woman talking about hurting her shoulder while she was dragging a body. I began to think that even hit men/women must strain muscles every now and then when they need to “clean up” after themselves. Bodies can be really heavy; I guess that is why they call it “dead weight”. I saw this “hit woman” when I was leaving, and she was in an army uniform, which meant that either she didn’t want to be spotted or that she was in the army. I guess the army makes more sense, but I would still like to know why she was dragging a body.
Today there was a woman in the next booth that was explaining to the therapist about her repetitive motion injury. She said that she wasn’t making as much jewellery and had stopped making chain mail completely. Making chain mail? WTF? Who the hell makes chain mail these days? I know that there is the Society of Creative Anachronism and there is a market for chain mail with them, but how much do they really need. I can’t imagine how much chain mail this woman must make to have caused a repetitive strain injury.
I was listening to her and all that I could think of was that if only I knew how to make chain mail I could take advantage of her infirmity. Yes, I realize that would be a pretty slimy thing to do, but I have been looking for a part time job and really, how could you beat this. It would be worth it just to be able to put Chain Mail Maker or “Chain Mailer” as an occupation in next years tax return. The market would be limited to people who pretend they live in the middle ages. I wonder if I would get paid in pretend money.  


Thursday 14 June 2012

We Will Be Fine…

I have a friend that seems overly concerned with government fiscal responsibility. I don’t like to see our elected officials pissing my tax dollars away either, but I am prepared to allow a certain amount of leeway in the way they see fit to spend those taxes. They are after all the people who are privy to all of the facts pertaining to those expenditures.

I like to think that on the whole our politicians are trying to do good as they see it. Oh, it makes me angry when they get caught spending twenty thousand bucks on a dinner, but I really don’t think it happens as often as the media reports it.

My friends concern seems to be that we are putting our children and grandchildren into debt for our excesses. I don’t think that can actually happen. Sure there may be carry over from capital projects, but we have to remember that these things take an enormous amount of money and resources. They need to be done.

Suppose that our politicians decided that getting into a war with Germany, Italy and Japan would be too expensive and future generations would be on the hook for the bill. We would have been paying a larger price than just money. The Hoover dam was an incredibly expensive project, but as a result Las Vegas was able to thrive. Where once there was only desert, a city of over a million people stands and it provides entertainment and joy for millions and millions of people each year. I am sure there were people that were against the building of the dam because the cost was so high. Sometimes you just have to do it now and pay for it later.

In Calgary recently we have had debates about whether to build a tunnel which will provide access to the airport. The price tag was estimated at between $250 million and $500 million which is a lot no matter how you look at it. The nay sayers claimed that we have other access points and it isn’t needed. They are wrong of course. It is true you can get to the airport in other ways, but eventually the tunnel would be built and every year it would be put off more millions would be added to the cost. It would be fiscally irresponsible not to build it.

I am kind of sick listening to people say that I should suffer and lower my expectations of a good life for the good of the future. WWII was incredibly expensive, but in the long run the world benefited from the experience. My parents went through unbelievable hardships but came out the other side with an appreciation of life and the decades that followed were arguably the best times of a century. How could they have been happy and our society manages to thrive while being so far in debt?

The answer is in the way that you look at life. When you base your society on scarcity and “fiscal responsibility” you stagnate. People lose their jobs or can’t get jobs in the first place. The world has always functioned better when money was spent and people had jobs that enable them to purchase the fruits of other peoples labour. There is abundance in nature as a general rule, only mankind thrives on scarcity.

Our kids and grandkids will be just fine. I suspect that when they reach our age, there will be worries about putting the grandkids into debt. Every generation should be concerned with the next generation, but not if they have to suffer and struggle themselves. We will be fine…