Friday 31 August 2012

Why Do You Want To Know

I got one of those emails today that tell you to forward this email on within six minutes and you will have good fortune. There were a lot of “how to live your life” things attached to this email and I am pretty sure that I went past the six minutes. There is a very good chance that I may not have good fortune. This email wanted me to forward it on and the more people I sent it to then my good fortune would increase exponentially.

I pretty much just delete these kinds of emails. I feel bad about it sometimes because I usually get them from people I like and they obviously like me enough to want me to have good fortune. Either that or they are trying to boost their numbers and therefore boost the good luck coming their way. What if I don’t forward it on and they have shitty luck? What if all of the bad shit that happens to my friends happen because I didn’t send that damned email? What if they can trace just which of the people they wished happiness and good fortune to, just fucked them over?

I can’t stand the pressure! God, I just went to write “stand” and I wrote “satan”. That can’t be a good omen. Pretty much anything where the name “satan” is involved is bad. Okay, just don’t send me any of those things anymore. Don’t send me those emails anymore, you are driving me crazy. Maybe that’s why I haven’t won the lotto yet or why I can’t lose weight. Just STOP! My life is pretty good and obviously yours will be better if I am not one of your go to guys.

So, this email had a list of things that will make your life be better. If I follow the list I am thinking I don’t have to worry about forwarding the email. Sayings like “Talk slowly, think quickly” and “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson”. There were enough of them that put me past the six minute mark. I liked most of them, but I really liked the one that said “When someone asks you a question that makes you uncomfortable just smile and say; why do you want to know?”

I have trouble dealing with people that ask those uncomfortable questions. You know the kind; they ask you how much you make or how much did your car cost. There are a lot of people that just seem to need to know all about your finances. It is really none of their fucking business and from now on I am just going to smile and say “Why do you want to know?” Let’s put them on the hot seat for a change.

The next time a cop pulls me over and asks me if I know how fast I was going, I am going to smile and say “Why do you want to know?” When someone asks me what I want for my birthday, I am going to smile and say “Why do you want to know?” When Louise asks me what I would like for dinner, I am going to smile and say “Why do you want to know?” When someone asks me why I spend my time writing this stupid blog, I am going to smile and say “Why don’t you go and fuck a duck?”

This is without a doubt one of the nicest good luck forwards I have received... Hope it works for you -- and me!
You have 6 minutes  
There's some mighty fine advice in these words, even if you're not superstitious. This has been sent To you for good luck from the Anthony Robbins organization. It has been sent around the world ten times so Far.
Do not keep this message.  
This must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES. Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise. This is true, even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO ... Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR . When you say, 'I love you ,' mean it.
FIVE. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
... Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN.. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
NINE . Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
TEN. ...  In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
Don't judge people by their relatives.
Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN.  When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
FOURTEEN.  Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk..
FIFTEEN.  Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.
When you lose, don't lose the lesson !
SEVENTEEN.  Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN..  Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship..
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone.. The caller will hear it in your voice.
TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.
Now, here's the FUN part!  
Send this to at least 5 people and your life will improve.  
1-4 people: Your life will improve slightly.  
5-9 people: Your life will improve to your liking.  
9-14 people: You will have at least 5 surprises in the next 3 weeks  
15 and above: Your life will improve drastically and everything you ever dreamed of will begin to take shape.
A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart Do not keep this message
This is without a doubt one of the nicest good luck forwards I have received.. Hope it works for you -- and me!

You have 6 minutes

Thursday 30 August 2012

That Should Save Them Some Cash

When I grew up in Toronto during the fifties, sixties and seventies it was then like it is today, something of a melting pot. The pot was a lot smaller than it is now, but it seemed that Canada was a very desirable country to immigrate to. Well, if you couldn’t get into the US for some reason. The US was the country to going to back then, certainly for those peoples of the world that could no longer make a good life for themselves in their home country.

It was said that there were more Italians in Toronto that any other city of the world except for Rome. I have never quite believed that, but it hasn’t stopped me from telling people that for most of my life. How would anyone know if I were telling the truth or lying? Let’s just say that there were a lot of Italians in Toronto and leave it at that. I can’t say that I had a lot of friends that were Italian, but then again heritage was never a criterion for my friendship. Pretty much anyone that was willing to like me, made it on to the friend list. Kids were kids and who cares where their grandfathers came from. It didn’t start to matter till grade 10 or 11 and it became important because Italians made wine and made a lot so a few stolen bottles wouldn’t be noticed.

The people that I went to school with would have been second and third generation which means that they were at least as Canadian as I was and perhaps more so because someone in their family knew the names of all the Prime Ministers. I did work with real Italians for a couple of summers which gave me a chance to know them a little better.

I didn’t take the opportunity to learn much Italian, but my co-workers were more than happy to teach me enough to get by. Most of the things they taught me they wanted me to tell the boss. I was young, I wasn’t stupid or as the Italians would say stupido. I learned  words like vaffanculo ­(fuck you), un bastardo(bastard), merda(shit), testa di merda (shithead), che cazzo staidicendo (what the hell are you talking about) and more of the same. Surprisingly, knowing how to swear in another language isn’t very effective if no one else knows you are swearing at them. I would have had to find a real Italian and swear at them which would more than likely end with me in the hospital.

Anyways, my son and his wife are going to Italy on Friday for two weeks and I get to look after their mail and water the lawn if it needs it. Why do people ask me to look after their lawns? One look at the piece of shit I have in front of my house should make them want to take a chance on Mother Nature. My buddy has gone to Saskatchewan (yeah, I know, but he is a little simple minded) and actually asked if I would fill his bird feeders while he was gone. Sure…I’ll make sure the tiny, feathered dinosaurs have enough to eat, if I run out of seeds I’ll just lay on my back and let them peck my eyes out.

Neither Brendan nor Tara speaks Italian other than linguini, fettuccini, Mafiosi and I think Tara knows the names of some Italian cheeses. I taught them all that I know, but somehow I don’t know if any of that will come in handy. I did find a phrase that might just be useful for them and they can feel free to use it. They are after all going to a three star Michelin rated restaurant.

Vaffanculo a Lei, la sua moglie, e' la sua madre. Lei e' un cafone stronzo. Io non mangio in questo merdaio! Vada via in culo!

It means “You, sir, go fuck yourself--and your wife and your mother. You are a common turd! I'm not going to eat in this shithouse. Fuck you!

That should save them some cash.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

See You on the Other Side

I know that I mentioned installing new floors a couple of months ago. Just so that you know, we are quite happy with the floors and should have done them years ago. The problem with doing a project of that sort is that it is necessary to clear out the room completely. The problem with clearing out a room completely, is that if you have been in a house for many years and just happen to be something of a pack rat, clearing the room is a major job.

When you clear out a room, you have to decide up front if you are going to sort through the piles of stuff when you are packing up or after the job is complete and you are putting the stuff back into the room. I opted to just box everything up and deal with the unpacking at a later date, following the maxim that you should “Never do anything now that can be put off until later”. It isn’t the best way for someone to run their life by, but so far I am more or less happy with it. The key items are back in place and have been for some time, but it those other things that you don’t really need, but just as they somehow found the way into the room once, they are beginning to find the way back.

The thing I am looking for now is my remote that allows me to watch TV while I am on the computer. I don’t really watch TV on the computer, and never have really. The odd time I can use it to check and see what is coming on at 9:00PM, or what I have missed for the better part of the last hour. That is exactly what I wanted to do tonight and I realized that I hadn’t hooked my TV connector and remote up after the cleansing. I have been looking now for about two hours and things aren’t looking good.

I checked the box of stuff under the desk, to no avail. I looked in the spare room and I don’t think there is anything there at all. I will have to give it a major search tomorrow, but my gut tells me that it there is nothing in that room that interests me. I went down stairs three times so far and on each occasion I have forgotten why I was down there in the first place. I’ve come back up with a cake mix, a book on carving Christmas Santa’s and a bar of Irish Spring soap. I am going back down after I finish the blog and I suspect that I will somehow return up the stairs with some other piece of garbage that should stay downstairs.

I tried tying a string on my finger once as a memory aid and I came back up with a ball of string, what else could it possibly mean. Maybe I should just forget about it. Generally, whenever I am not looking for something; that is the time it shows up. So, if I don’t look for the remote, there is a remote chance that it will show up. Uh-huh!

You know, maybe I should just forget that remote. I’m just going to walk the ten feet to the living room and watch there. Nope, I have that anal personality which will keep me searching until I either find it or die trying. See you on the other side…

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Stairway To Heaven

Today was or should I say is one of the last really warm days of the summer. I hope! I have never been a big fan of the sun, heat, patios, George Hamilton tans or buses filled with hot, sweaty tired people. I do like that I don’t have to shovel snow, wear layers, plug in vehicles, pay crazy heating and electric bills and being able to wear shorts for months at a time.

Personally, I just love the autumn. The crisp clear days, the frosty nights and the stunning beauty as the trees and bushes change colours. You can work outside in relative comfort without working up a sweat. A friend of mine mentioned last year that you can put your beer down and it won’t get warm. In the same vein, ice cream cones won’t melt and something about having a coffee on one of those crisp days turns it from an every day drink to a magic elixir. It is also an indication that Christmas is just around the corner and that is something to be happy about.

However, that is about four months away and right now it is still stinking hot. One of my mother’s uncles would get drunk and sit in the kitchen with his shoes and socks off, pants rolled up, his feet in a bucket of water and a drink in his hand. When he was asked what the hell he was doing, he would reply that “It is plain as the nose on your face. With my feet in the bucket, the ants can’t crawl up my legs!” It’s hard to argue with that kind of reasoning, especially to a drunk with his feet wet. Just to be clear, no ants ever did crawl up his legs while he was drunk.

I was thinking of this long dead uncle tonight when I was outside sitting in the shade brushing the odd ant off of my legs. I don’t know, but if I had to guess I would say that he died from liver complications or walking in front of a milk wagon. 

I picked up Hurricane and Tornado from their day home, and we played with water, pouring it from one bucket to the next. It is always fun when you get kids and water together. Their dad picked them up after a while. Part of the reason I was outside was to clean up after our play. I was about to pour out the buckets of cool water when my distant uncles odd behaviour came to me.

Why not? I brought the bucket over to the chair, got a drink and a book, sat down and put my feet in the cool water. It wasn’t heaven on earth, but I was on the stairway to heaven. My whole body cooled off in very short order. Perhaps uncle told people about the ants just so they would piss off and leave him alone with his cool feet in the bucket. I will do this again the next time I am hot and need a little time to myself. 

If you see me like this and decide to ask what the hell I am doing, rest assured that I’ll tell you “It is plain as the nose on your face. With my feet in the bucket, the ants can’t crawl up my legs!” You can find out about the stairway to heaven by yourself.

Monday 27 August 2012

That Swedish Dick

I have been drinking tea since I was able to choose my own drinks. During high school tea was my drink of choice, not beer. I had other means of expanding my mind and freeing my spirit. I started every day of my working life with a cup of tea. Sometimes I would skip breakfast, but never would I skip my morning tea. I still have a tea every morning, it seems to be right somehow in a way that coffee doesn’t. There are days when I don’t have my tea, but somehow those days just don’t feel complete.

I talk a lot about having coffee in this blog and I do drink a lot of coffee. However, if I had to make a choice to never drink either coffee or tea again, I would have to choose tea. I am not likely to ever have to make that choice, but I wouldn’t have to think about it at all. When the family gets together for dinner, the meal is always topped off with a steaming hot pot or two of tea. It isn’t something that is even discussed, the kettle boils and tea appears. It is partly because there seems to be a lot of weak minded people in the family that have bought into the fantasy that coffee will keep you awake at night.

The first teapot that I ever became attached to was a little one cup, yellow metal jobby that would leak when you poured and if you weren’t careful it would give you third degree burns. It looked like the pot in the foreground of this picture.
I carried that pot around for quite some time and took it with me when I first left home and worked at Sunshine Village. If I recall correctly, my daughter Arwen took over ownership. I’m not sure if she kept it, tossed it or left it here. Over the years we have had more than a few teapots and most have been faithful servants that were retired from service with honours. We have had teapots that did their job and didn’t worry about how they looked on the table. Well, until recently…

Our last teapot, one of the classic teapot designs, chocolate brown with two stripes of darker brown around the top. It was a teapot, short and stout, one side has a handle, the other a spout. It lasted us for years before it developed a crack or two and then lasted a couple of more years, until the fear of it breaking and a full pot of boiling tea splash Hurricane or Tornado. I couldn’t get rid of it, and thought that I might somehow re-purpose it into a herb pot or coin bank.

We needed a new pot, so we went to Ikea and bought a kind of modernistic rendering of a teapot. It was pure white and looked as if it would hold quite a bit of tea for those after dinner gab fests. The problems started as soon as we got it home and tried to wash it. Neither Louise nor I couldn’t get our hands inside and had to use a brush. It came with a rubber ring that fit over the spout to stop spillage. That would have been great if it had actually worked, all it did was hide the drips and was hard to keep track of when it came time to clean it. Why sell a teapot that needs extra bits to fix what shouldn’t even need fixing? What fucking Swedish dick designed this piece of shit! We suffered with this thing until today.

Today, we were at Ikea again and saw a teapot that was more or less like a regular teapot. It was white with a blue design, but I have faith that it will do what a tea pot is supposed to do. Hold hot water, dribble a little and pour out conversations, laughs and love. I can’t get my hand inside, but Louise can. So far it hasn’t disappointed, but I have yet to make any tea in it. If you hear a primal screech and see something flying through the sky, you will know that I have been had once again by that Swedish dick.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Opiate For The Asses

I think we can all agree that television for the most part is a colossal waste of time. Just because I am aware of this, the knowledge doesn’t deter me from watching my weight in crap TV daily.

Karl Marx once said that Religion is the opiate of the masses, and is his day I am sure that had more than a little truth to it. I think that television has replaced religion as the opiate of choice and it has replaced learning, reading, entertainment and social interaction. Don’t get me wrong, I think that TV is and can be a wonderful tool for the betterment of mankind, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction it is headed. By television, I mean video entertainment shows whether they are on regular TV or on digital devices of any sort.

I spent a few hours today helping build a deck with my son-in-law and while we were working, Chris mentioned that he had watched a few shows on deck building that have become popular this year. The problem was that although the show builds wonderful and amazing decks, they don’t really show just how they do it. There is a lot of time spent on the show doing demolition, followed by site prep which they just kind of gloss over. You know the digging of numerous holes and pouring cement footings and squaring the posts as well as making sure they are in a straight line. This is a challenge at times and helpful hints would be appreciated. The design is pretty airy-fairy and really not too realistic for most back yard spaces. The selection of materials don’t take into account the common mans budget and most of us don’t have an experienced crew of deck builders and designers at our beck and call.

I know that this is first and foremost and entertainment program, but there have been shows in the past that were actually helpful for doing home repair. Shows like This Old House and Woodwrights shop stand out in my mind. Both are still in production and teaching techniques as well as entertaining people. This Old House only does very large projects now and they love to use all of the latest, most expensive products and techniques on the market. It is fun to watch what can be done, but they tell you that most of what they do is done by professionals. They have a show called Ask This Old House and it is all about showing the home owner just how to do these simple projects. I have been a fan of the Woodwrights Shop since it first aired in 1979 and Roy Underhill continues to amaze me with his knowledge and talent. He manages to teach in a way that feels like you are talking to an old friend.

There are quality shows out there, but if the show you are watching doesn’t have mistakes and challenges to overcome, then just turn it off. I kind of like Mike Holmes, but his show is really about learning how to get a good contractor and not about how to repair the problems.

I will continue to watch all of the garbage that the networks put out, but I will also seek out those shows of quality that entertain and inform. Just in case you were wondering, the deck turned out wonderfully, with just a few problems that will only be seen by Chris. I think that Hurricane and Tornado will have many wonderful years using the deck as a pirate ship, a stage, an outdoor kitchen, a bowling alley, wrestling ring and many things that Poppa can’t even begin to imagine.

Here are some links to some fine shows that actually are entertaining and instructional.

Saturday 25 August 2012

A Box of Dilly Bars

Quite a few years ago now, while I was still working as a letter carrier, I had a rather odd encounter. It was a hot summer day and I was delivering my mail in a rather run down townhouse complex. I didn’t like to work in the run down areas very much. The mail was light, mostly “Final Notice” letters, credit card statements and a lot of envelopes from collection agencies. I felt bad for the kids, the adults found their way into this kind of life, but the kids were starting life with two strikes against them. They were all nice kids and at the time my kids were roughly the same age and it was a case of “There but for the grace of God…”

This was the same complex that a year before I saw a quarter on the sidewalk, and when I tried to pick it up it wouldn’t come. When I heard the laughter I realized that it was probably crazy glued to the pavement. Luckily, I had a government check for a unit about five away from this one and I held up the check and stuffed it back in my bag. Let them think that their little trick caused them to not get the welfare check. Laugh at me…bastards!

I had a registered letter for this one unit and when I went up and rang the bell I saw two young men just in shorts sitting on a ratty old couch watching TV through the screen door. The thing that seemed a little weird is that both of them had large parrots sitting on their shoulders. That isn’t something that I see a lot of, so when the one guy came to the door I said “Cool! Just like a pirate!”

He looked at me and said “What do you mean?”

Could this guy be that thick? “You know, you have a parrot on your shoulder.” I figured that things took a while to get through the drugged up haze.

“Yeah, so what?”

Well, although I wasn’t doing anything of any great consequence, I knew that talking to this half moron any longer would just be a waste of time. “Here! Sign this sheet and you can get back to the TV.” He signed and as I walked away I realized that I should have been talking to the parrot.

Louise sent me to pick up a desert at the DQ yesterday and when I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a guy waiting by his car with a tiny dog on the roof. Getting out of the car I saw that he had two more of the same kind of dog inside the car and a parrot sitting on his shoulder. I was pretty cool, not making eye contact and giving off the air of someone that sees guys with parrots on their shoulders all of the time, it was just two decades ago that I saw two guys with parrots on their shoulders. I went inside and bought the treat, but when I came out I lost the cool and asked if I could take his picture. He said sure and took a pose that I am positive he has done many, many times before.

I got to talking to him and found out some interesting facts about Parrots. If you feed them apricots they will lose their feathers. That’s a tough lesson to learn I bet. Some birds can lose their feathers due to diet, self plucking, allergies, loneliness and depression. Yes, that is what he said…depression. This parrot doesn’t have to worry about loneliness because this guy said he had eight parrots. Eight parrots!!!

They will die if you feed them chocolate, and I will die if you don’t feed me chocolate. Parrots can live to be eighty or ninety years old. That’s one hell of a long life span! It is also a pretty major pet commitment. You are taking on the pet for possibly three generations of your family, and I had trouble getting my kids to walk the dog. The commitment is like getting a tattoo that shits on your shoulder and keeps asking you for crackers.

I said thanks for the picture, all of the information and wished him well. He had eight parrots, three dogs and probably an apartment covered in bird shit, while I had a box of Dilly bars just waiting for me to eat one of them. 

Friday 24 August 2012

Truth In Advertising

The other day I was talking to Hurricane on the phone and he had been busy hunting flies. I guess they had picked up a fly swatter at the dollar store and shortly after I talked with him it was broken. You can’t hunt without a weapon of some kind, so I suggested a rolled up newspaper or a damp cloth. I could tell from the silence on the other end of the phone that Hurricane was more than a little dubious about those old time methods.

I remember many hours of fun at the cottage swatting flies which just didn’t get the hint that they weren’t wanted. I was a pretty good killer, but there were so many flies that I would have been hard pressed not to hit one. Those were the days when you would hang fly paper strips around the house where you thought that flies would gather. They were disgusting, and so are flies.

We had work friends many years ago that went to Minnesota to get married. We weren’t good enough friends to be invited to the wedding, but we were good enough friends to be happy for them. She was from a farm family and the wedding reception was held in the family’s farm house. They told us that for some reason they had to move the outdoor meal inside. Before they could go inside, the men used sheets to herd the flies out of the house, making many passes before the number of flies was at an acceptable density. Whenever I here the word “disgusting” that is the image that pops into my mind.

In the springtime (mainly) the flies are pretty bad in southern Ontario. There are Horse flies and Deer flies that actually take small pieces of flesh out of you when they bite, leaving little trails of blood on your sweat soaked body. I guess they are named after the type of animal that they prefer, but I am sure that if I had been anywhere near when they were being named, everyone would now be calling them “Ken” flies. I hate them with a passion and I hate the non biting ones marginally less. I remember a time when I was standing in a field with my shirt off waiting for one of these flies to land so that my sadistic friends would be able to slap them dead. Turns out that my friends were pretty much short of useless when it came to killing deer flies. Oh, they had a lot of fun slapping me till my upper body was pink, but there were too few dead flies to justify the pain.

I have in recent years mounted dead fly bodies on pins outside of my door in the hopes that the other flies would take the hint. The fly can see quite well with what is known as a compound eye that is made up of many lenses. Each lens is like a pixel, so the more lenses in the eye, the sharper the image. Even with these marvellous eyes, the flies still come into the house in spite of the dire warning outside each door. I guess it doesn’t matter how good your eyes are if you have a tiny insect brain.

Last night I tried my hand at making a fly swatter that would not only kill flies, but would be strong enough so that a five year old and a two year old would have a hard time destroying it. It turned out pretty good with a sturdy twisted wire handle, a leather swat surface and a turned wooden handle. I have hopes that Hurricane will claim many kills before the end of summer.

I had a friend many years ago that hated flies probably more than I did. Sonny found an ad in the paper for a method of killing flies that was 100% guaranteed effective or you money back. It was $3.85 and he sent away for it and waited daily for the mailman to deliver this “final solution” to the fly problem. The day it came he called me over to his place to show it to me. It was two blocks of 2 X 4 about six inches long, one of the blocks had a large “X” and the words “Place Fly Here” printed on it. The other piece had the words “Strike fly with this block” printed on it. The ad didn’t lie, if you managed to convince a fly to stay on the X and struck it with the other block, it would truly and surely be dead.

That is what we call truth in advertising.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Weird or What

The last few days I have been thinking about writing the blog about rain sticks. I have resisted the urge quite well until tonight. I don’t know why I feel this compulsion, but perhaps there is someone out there that for some reason has influenced the universe to cause someone (me) to inform them about rain sticks. It is possible I suppose.
I don’t want anyone to confuse rain sticks with Klingon Pain sticks. Klingon pain sticks are a cattle prod like device that are used for rituals in the Klingon Empire. They are used in the Rite of Ascension where a young Klingon must walk between two lines of Klingons bearing Pain sticks to test spiritual and inner strength through physical suffering. They are also used during the wedding ceremony and in some cases, to torture humans. I am assuming that not everyone is as familiar as I am of the Star Trek universe. I guess this is the reason that I want to get a cattle prod from Princess Auto, to test my inner spirituality.

The rain stick we have is about three feet long and three or three and a half inches in diameter. It is made from a type of cactus, don’t ask me which kind, which is hollow or hollowed and then dried in the sun. The spines are removed and then driven back into the cactus like nails. The hollow tube is then filled with pebbles or some other small objects and the ends are sealed. When the stick is turned over, the pebbles striking the spines cause a noise like rain falling.

I guess that the indigenous peoples would use these sticks to help influence or fool the gods into making it rain. Really? He can make it rain or not, but you are going to trick Him with a hollow stick full of pebbles. If He is that gullible, why not go for gold, women or money. I wonder if there is a “too fucking much rain” stick?

The thing that I find interesting is how and why the first guy did this. He would have had to cut a large length of cactus which wouldn’t be really easy, pull all of the spines out of it and then hollow it out. Then, after a couple of weeks drying in the sun (hoping that it doesn’t rain I would imagine), this guy then takes a rock and drives all of the spines back into the now hollow tube, fills it with small pebbles and then seals the ends so that when he turns it upside down he would hear the sound of rain.
That is all well and good if this guy had seen a rain stick before and was just duplicating one. Nope, this guy did all of this work on spec. I wonder what all of the other hunter gatherers thought when this doofus sat around for a couple of weeks watching cactus dry. No one knew that this was going to eventually make the sound of rain and fool the rain god. Not only would this thing have to make a sound like a rain storm, but it would have to work and make it rain the first time it was used. If it didn’t rain, then it would be tossed on the heap of useless inventions and not even looked at until thousands of years later when the peasants were looking for something to make that the gullible white men would end up buying by the truckload.

I turned it over tonight to listen to the sound it makes while I was writing the blog and guess what? It is supposed to rain tonight, is that weird or what?

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Deerfoot Trail

I had to make a trip today to the southern end of the city for a visit with my favourite dentist, Doctor Julie. Every now and then small bits of porcelain break off and roll around my mouth, sort of like when an iceberg is calving. It happens every now and then and even I know that a tooth with a missing bit isn’t a good thing.
My appointment was for 2:20 and I knew that if I left at 1:50 I would get there just fashionably early. When I looked at the clock and it just stared back at me with a 2:00 o’clock smirk on its face, I realized I would have to hit all green lights getting to the dentist. I was only about five minutes late, but both Sarah and Dr. Julie was standing in the hallway waiting for me. I’m thinking they were on their way out for a coffee because of the 2:20 no show. They managed a smile and wave and strapped me into the rocket seat. Okay, no straps, but I do feel like an astronaut for the first few minutes though.

I am pretty sure real astronauts do a pre flight checklist, and aren’t trying to find out if the people about to stick the sharp pointy things in their mouth have had a good day. They were in a good mood and other than bombarding my body with lethal amounts of X-rays, we had a good time.
On the way down I was thinking about how shitty it is to get around this city. There just isn’t what I consider proper east – west, north - south routes that make it easy to move about the city. I was born and raised in Toronto and it has a couple of great highways to move people around. There is the 401 which in and East – West road and has sixteen lanes in one section I think. It still isn’t enough, but the traffic does move. The major North – South route is the Don Valley Parkway.
It has been about 35 years since I was a regular on those roads and my memory of them is probably pretty far from realistic. I am sure that now driving on either one at rush hour is like entering the seventh gate of hell wearing a thong. I started to think about how Toronto is aligned east to west because of it’s location on Lake Ontario. Toronto was built by the lake and over the years spread in every direction except south. It was called York in 1793 and I am sure that traffic congestion wasn’t much of a problem and when traffic problems arose they had time to work them out. Mostly.
Calgary is a different kind of city, with no real good reason for it being here other than the fact that William Cornelius Van Horne ran his railroad through Calgary on Aug 10 1883. The Elbow river joins the Bow river here and I guess anyplace on the prairies that has water is a good place to put a town. There are no real natural barriers in this part of Alberta, so Calgary just seems to spread like spilt milk does on the kitchen floor. I am sure there is a reason for the odd amoeba like shape, but I can’t figure it out. For the milk or for Calgary.
While driving down Highway #2, Deerfoot Trail or Queen Elizabeth II Highway, take your pick, I realized that Calgary more or less follows this road and has spread out north to south not the east to west that Toronto did. It only took me 35 years to realize this. That’s 35 years of bitching that Hwy #1 is so crappy (it is). Somehow in my mind I have always thought it to be the Albertan version of the 401, and a poor version it was.

It still sucks getting around this city, but now it makes just a little bit more sense. Not much more, and it still doesn’t explain why the snow removal people are so bad at their jobs.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Ken Is Really Stupid

I don’t know why I do it, but for some reason I always seem to find myself waiting for Louise. This time, she told me that she would meet me in a “little while”, so since it was a beautiful morning I figured it would be better than going shopping with her.

For some inexplicable reason, I was to wait in the back alley of a small industrial area. Weird, but what are you going to do. I generally like being in back alleys because they are filled with interesting things that most other people don’t consider interesting at all. There are the beautiful flowers of course; some call them weeds but not me, as long as they are in someone else’s yard. An alley is chock full of discarded items and an alley in an industrial area actually has useful stuff. I filled my pockets with still useable rusted washers and screws, tie wraps, interesting bits of metal that might or might not be useful. Lots of string and wire, you can never have too many little bits of string and wire.

I was shuffling along, head down when I heard someone yell out “Hey you!” I looked up and a guy was waving me over. I made sure it was me that he wanted and I walked over and asked if I could help him. He told me that his helper called in sick for the third time this week (the lazy little prick) and asked if I would mind giving him a hand moving some steel pipe onto his truck.

It seemed an odd request, but I really had nothing better to do, so I said “Sure, if you have a pair of gloves. My hands are pretty delicate and I might want to play the piano tonight.” He handed me some gloves and we started to work. It only took about ten minutes and in that time I had a very nice chat with Paulo. He thanked me and said that I was a life saver. He called out to the building and a woman with a hairnet came out and he talked to her in some language that definitely wasn’t English. Paulo said that Luce will bring out some meat and I was to help myself to whatever I wanted. Then he hopped in the truck and took off.

Luce dropped a whole side of some animal on the ground in front of me, smiled and went back in the building. It was really weird looking; one side of the meat was hamburger and the other side ribs. I pushed what must have been fifty pounds hamburger off to one side and got down to the ribs. I pulled out my pocket knife to start cutting the ribs into manageable pieces. Just then, Luce came out and scooped up all of the hamburger and the ribs, and went back into the building. I called out, but she just ignored me. Maybe she is packaging it up for me.

I have no real use for that much meat, and to tell you the truth, it was pretty dirty after being on the ground. I wonder if Luce was washing it. How would I explain this to Louise? I was covered in bloody bits of hamburger and I was starting to think that Luce wasn’t ever coming back. Fuck! I was had! This just goes to show, no good deed goes unpunished. I shook my arms and all of the hamburger bits and blood came off. That’s just not possible. The only way you could do that was if you were in a dream.

Ahhhh shit!

Dream Ken is really stupid.

Monday 20 August 2012

The Other Side of Midnight

Well, I have about fifteen minutes to come up with something tonight. I had given up on the blog for tonight, figuring that no one would really miss it. Then, I realized that I would miss it and really, I am the only one that matters when you come right down to it.

That still leaves me with nothing to say. I have been somewhat moody lately and the only thing that has been able to pick up my spirits are visits with Hurricane and Tornado. They make you remember when life was new and nothing mattered but cookies from Mom and popsicles on a hot day. Everything else is just filler. I was going to buy some freezee pops today, but I didn’t have room in my basket and the adult in me said you don’t need the sugar. Stupid adult!

I am fine when I am with people or when I am actually doing or making something, but in the quiet hours of my life, things seem to be a dull grey. Yes, I know that I just gave myself the answer, but sometimes you just need to sit and wonder…Why? Tonight I am wondering why and I am sure that after a good nights rest I will be wondering Why Not?

Here’s to tomorrow, the why nots and the might be’s. See you on the other side of midnight.

Sunday 19 August 2012

They Will Do Just Fine

Well, I got screwed over by the Muslims today.

They didn’t set out to screw me over, but screw me over they did. Perhaps I should start at the beginning. Louise and I decided to go for a coffee at Tim Horton’s and since Ramadan is over I was going to take Louise to see the huge party tent they had erected in the field by the Mosque. I saw them set it up last week and was amazed by the size. I have been to a travelling Cirque Du Soleil show and that tent would have fit in a corner at the Mosque tent. A small corner at that!

Everything went well until I turned onto the road of no return. Perhaps I should call it the road of no turning around. How was I to know that Ramadan didn’t end yesterday, but ended today? How was I to know that the service ended just minutes before? Whose idea was it to put a Tim Horton’s right by the Mosque? How could I have been so stupid? Yes, good questions all, but the fact remains that I am stuck in the middle of a bunch of starving Muslims desperately trying to find the nearest food. Well, that is what I would be doing after a month of fasting.

Later in the day when I was telling Brendan about this, I made the comment “Why would Mohammed form a religion that included all of the worst drivers in the world?” He corrected me and said that it was Budha. Yes, I am aware that is a horrible stereotype and there is a good chance the Muslims will declare Jihad on me and the Budhists will light some incense and say a prayer.

Honest to God, (whichever one you believe in) the traffic was just horrible. People were constantly cutting in front of you, making illegal turns, honking horns, walking so slowly across the street that I thought one old guy had passed away smack dab in the middle of the street. You would think they were all cab drivers….????......????

Eventually we made it to a side street and made our get away. For some reason, the side streets were more or less deserted. I suppose Muslims must believe that the shortest distance to anywhere is a straight line following everyone else. I kind of wished that I was in a helicopter looking down, because I know it would have looked like that ant hill on the front lawn when I step on it. Like I said, we made our escape and went to the next closest Tim’s. It was packed with some of the same people I had just seen by the Mosque, so we got back in the car and went to the next one. Three Tim’s later and half way across the city there was a Tim’s that had a normal Sunday line up.

Somehow, the coffee and everything bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese was just a trifle anti climactic. While I was eating and thinking about my narrow escape from religion, I looked up and noticed that the employees looked like they could have been Muslim. Perhaps they are Muslim like I am Christian. I won’t believe it till I see it and I won’t see it till I believe it. More likely, they will be going to the Mosque later or they had already been. I hope they find their way in the world and in the after life and if getting away from the Mosque today was any indication, they will do just fine.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Just Tornado

It turns out that if you are going to look after a two year old grandchild you might not want to donate blood first. I think he had a good time, but I had trouble keeping my eyes open.

I had him sweeping the back steps and pad, as well as raking the front yard while I was either lying on the grass or sitting in a chair. He didn’t do a very good job, but he is only two after all, and with practice he should improve. What age do you think it is appropriate to get the grandkids to change your oil? I am figuring five and three quarters to six and up. They have to have the upper arm strength combined with small but powerful hands so they can reach into the engine and give the oil filter a good twist. The raking, sweeping and pushing the lawnmower should take care of the upper arm strength and giving him candy and then pulling it away should build up a good firm grip.

Tornado thought it was pretty funny to smack Poppa in the face with the rake while he was trying to sleep on the grass. To be fair, it was Louise that encouraged him, but he isn’t too young to take responsibility for his actions. I cut his cookie consumption in half. I call it tough love, plus I get more cookies to keep for myself. I am not totally mean, he will be able to redeem himself in the future, it may take a few years but I am willing to go the extra mile if he is.

I found out why Buster doesn’t like to be brushed with that metal bristle brush today too. Tornado thought it would be a good game to brush Poppas hair and beard. One of us was laughing, but the other was less than impressed. I have to admit that my hair looked silky smooth afterwards.

I understand why babies will shit in their diaper and just lay there until someone notices the god awful smell, they can’t do anything but eat, sleep and shit. Two year olds are a different kettle of fish though. They kind of speak, well, they speak but I don’t understand what they are saying. They must know that the diaper is full of warm shit and yet they just keep playing and demanding cookies. It’s been a while since I sat for any length of time in my own shit (not as long as you might think), and as I recall it isn’t very pleasant.

Sure, at first it is warm and squishy, but soon it turns cold and sticky. The cold and sticky is where I expect to hear from Tornado, but that isn’t always the case. I suppose that if he is busy it is something he can live with. I don’t get it! I have had a wet fart that went unattended for an hour or so and by the end it was like I was wearing a sand paper thong. Not very much fun at all, and not only can’t you talk about it to anyone, if you did find someone to tell, they wouldn’t have any sympathy at all. Most people would laugh.

Oh well, Tornado will soon grow out of this and probably be embarrassed when I talk about it…and I will. I should take some pictures before it is too late so that I can bribe him to take me places when he gets his licence and I lose mine. It was fun with just Tornado today and I hope to do it again.  

Friday 17 August 2012

The Last Explosion

I was doing the dishes tonight listening to the far off Boom…boom… boom of fireworks. Every year at this time we in Calgary host the Global Fest which is a fireworks competition that takes place over five nights and every night the fireworks come from a different country. I don’t know what the winners get, other than perhaps a little prestige and I would hope some money for their efforts.

It is a truly awesome show and I guess they are judges on how the fireworks fit the theme and blend with the music they have chosen. It is a pretty ephemeral art form. Thousands of people go every year and many don’t miss a show. There are kiosks selling pretty much anything you might want and quite a bit that nobody in their right minds would want. We have gone many years, but are going to give it a miss this year I think.

When I was listening to the soft thumping earlier tonight I wondered what it must have been like the first time people saw fireworks. I imagine that the first people to see fireworks were actually soldiers and those explosions were meant to kill and maim them. I’m talking about the first people that watched them for entertainment. What a rush that must have been. We have seen them all of our lives and still “ooohhh and aaahhh” like retarded pigeons with a beak full of fermented berries. I don’t remember the first time I saw a display, but I am sure I was a baby and dragged along sleeping in a wagon.

I did look forward to the fireworks they would have at the school on July 1st every year. Crowds of people gathered around and it was one of the few times we would see our friends with their parents in tow. We would stand there while our parents introduced themselves and talked about what a nice boy so and so was and he is never a problem. Then so and so’s parents would express shock at this and they would all laugh at a joke the kids didn’t get. We wandered off (not too far) and found the perfect place to watch from.  Well, perfect until someone with a big head or huge body stood in front of us.

The display would be a pale imitation of modern day extravaganzas, but to my kid eyes there was nothing better. We had the whiz bangs, the pin wheels, the multi coloured blossoms, the really loud ones that would shoot up and explode in a flash of white light and they always seemed to finish with the waterfall. It was a cascading stream of sparks that went on forever. Well, to me they went on forever, and truthfully I am not sure if they ended with them, but I loved them just the same.

I learned at those fireworks that you should never bring a dog unless you liked to chase your dog. I learned that you can never really describe them to a person that wasn’t there. I learned that I just love the smell of fireworks smoke. I learned that it doesn’t really take too much to bring a community together, just some explosive powder and a match. I learned that for the most part, kids have more fun at things like this than adults, because adults are remembering what it was like to be a kid and kids are kids. I learned that even though you can take pictures of fireworks, you can’t capture them, really. I learned that there is nothing as quiet as the seconds after the last explosion.

The sound from the venue has faded away, the house is quiet and I can still see the waterfall, the pin wheels, the blossoms, wiz bangs and I can smell the smoke from that July 1st fifty years ago.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Still Tasting the Donair

Louise and Regina decided that it would be nice if we drove up to Canmore for supper as a kind of combination thanks and goodbye celebration since she is leaving tomorrow. I haven’t been for quite some time and am always up for a trip to the mountains no matter how brief. I told them that I don’t want to be involved in the decision regarding where we will eat, because I can’t make my mind up at the best of times.

The drive was invigorating as usual and we got there just as the weekly market was closing down. It looked pretty cool and I promised myself to go at some indeterminate time in the future. We started walking and looking for restaurants that seemed like they would have good food at a reasonable price. We walked and walked and walked in a circle actually without finding anything good.

I took to asking strangers walking by if they were from Canmore. It turns out that a large number of people in a tourist town are tourists and actually know less than I do. Yes, it is hard to believe. I think I asked three women, two just brushed me off with an “I’m not from here.” The last one recommended an Italian place just down the street. The other thing you should know about people in an upscale tourist town is that they more than likely have more money than I do. The prices at the Italian place would keep Greece financially secure for a couple of months.

I decided that women walking down the street were of no use at all, and I should not only have to find a man, but a man that lived in Canmore. We were walking past the Canmore Hotel and I saw a guy staggering out of the doorway trying to figure out how a cigarette package opens. I asked him if the food in the bar was any good and he kind of slithered down the two steps and looked right through me. I asked him again and he kept staring forwards. I guess this guy is deaf.

It turns out that he wasn’t deaf, he was very drunk and it had taken about 45 seconds for the sound from his ears to reach his alcohol fuddled brain. “I’s Fuckin’ good food! Is good food! Fuck yeah!” I looked at the girls and gave them the “What have we got to lose?” look. There was an upstairs patio, but you have to walk through the bar and the pool room to get to the stairs. I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t get raped, but it was touch and go for the ladies. We made it to the stairs and Regina made the mistake of looking in the kitchen. Foolish rookie move!

Up on the patio, there were another couple of drunken guys but that was it for patrons. I was thinking that a restaurant that has no one in it at supper time might be a little iffey. What the Hell, I’m hungry and how bad could it be? I got my watered down coke (never offered a refill by the way) and placed the order for a Donair. I don’t really like donairs, so my way of thinking was that since I don’t like them anyways I won’t be disappointed. I wasn’t! The girls ordered the steak sandwich and I suppose it was passable.

We had to ask for ketchup, cutlery, steak sauce and something to put on the dryer than dry potatoes. I could tell my crappy donair was looking pretty good to Louise and Regina right then. In spite of the food, it was a good meal. 

Okay, we had a nice visit in a beautiful setting with people that made us happy. What more could you ask for? It was good value for the money too, I am still tasting the Donair…

Wednesday 15 August 2012


I don’t know why, but when I sat down I decided that I should write about Trust. I have always loved a sign that I first saw in a garage that was at the end of our street when I was growing up. It said “In God we trust. Everyone else pays cash!” the idea that everyone paid cash gives you an idea about how long ago that was.

It is funny how much trust we have now. We trust that the stores won’t lose our financial information or abuse our financial information. We trust that our employers will deposit our pay checks in our bank account on time. Since I have retired, I don’t even get a pay stub of any kind. The theory is that since the pay never varies, I don’t need to get that extra bit of paper unless of course there is a change. Supposedly I will get a new stub if my pay goes up for some reason. Hahahahahaha

I can remember the first pay check that I got. I was working for the summer at a place called Premium Forest Products. My mom got me the job, but I still love her in spite of that. I don’t know why it was called Premium Forest Products, all they made was doors but I suppose to say Premium Forest Product would sound stupid. There was one old guy there that demanded to be paid in cash because he didn’t trust banks. Funny, it took the rest of the world forty years to see that he was right, but now a company wouldn’t know what to do if they had to make up pay envelopes.

I always loved getting my pay check handed to me. I felt that every other Thursday, the employer would come around and acknowledge the contribution you made to the company in a very real, tangible way. You would then have to take the check to the bank at the end of the day and stand in line with all of the other people that were paid. When you got to the teller who you knew by name, you would have a nice chat, pay bills, and keep out enough money to carry you until the next pay day. It was a very real affirmation of job well done. Well, it was to me anyways.

I fought getting automatic deposit for as long as I could. It got to the point where I was told that I needed to give payroll my banking information. I was sort of worried that the Post Office would screw up my pay if I didn’t actually get a check, but the reality was that I just didn’t like the idea of automatic banking. I still don’t. When I go in the bank now I don’t recognize anyone and it seems that they are just there to facilitate my e-banking experience. There are fewer tellers every year and more bank machines which will rarely chat with you and the only name they seem to have is Auto.

When I buy things now, I use debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, pay pal, pay pass and the other day I got a card in the mail that is a debit card specifically for use on the internet. I still like to have cash, but it is becoming more and more passé. There is a move towards using our smart phones to pay for everything. I guess it is progress and whether I like it or not this is the way of the world now. You know they tell you that paying for things this way is far more convenient and much safer. What they don’t mention is that it is also much more profitable for the banks.

I wonder if we could go back to using cash. I’m not sure if I would want to, but when I do have cash in my pocket, I walk with a spring in my step and something of a confident swagger. Well, until I realize that some thug might look upon me as a walking, swaggering ATM machine. I guess it boils down to the fact that I just don’t trust people.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Enjoyable Breakfast

Louise and I ran into a woman that we hadn’t seen in year’s yesterday morning. We all happened to be at the same restaurant for breakfast and figured that if we were going to get bad service (and we did) then we might just as well sit together and chat.

We met Anne when the kids were smaller and we started to attend Saint George’s Anglican Church. I was baptised Anglican and I knew the name of the religion, so we thought why not. We are not and have never been religious in the sense that we needed an organized religion to be fulfilled. Both Louise and I have spent a lot of time looking into the various religions that are vying for our souls and have come up with an amalgam of sorts that seem to fit us well. I thought that it would be beneficial for the kids to have a firm grounding in one religion so that they could reject it and others like it based on personal knowledge.

It turns out that they didn’t really pay that much attention during the service or in Sunday school. They actually had a pretty bad time, except for the criticizing of the church goers. I still think it was a good idea, but they learned to mistrust the church for totally different reasons than I would have thought. Maegan writes a wonderful blog about her take on religion and the subsequent trips for ice cream afterwards. You should check it out. We were quite involved for a while there, Louise was on the alter guild, the family was roped into the Christmas Pageant (I was either a wise man or a shepherd) and I even shovelled the sidewalk a couple of times one winter. It was a big ass sidewalk too!

Anne was and still is very involved with the church. I would think that someone that has had as much bad shit happen to her as she has had would have lost faith by now. Perhaps she could give another religion a chance, it couldn’t do any worse. I guess that turn the other cheek and love thine enemies is an integral part of the Christian faith. Good for them! The meek will inherit the earth, at least a 3’ X 6’ X 6’ plot anyways. Listening to her talk about the church and why she left St. Georges for another church took me right back to the days when I was dozing off in a pew. I did get some good naps in. The minister used to ask if I had a nice nap during his sermon.

There was a point when Louise and Anne started to argue about God and religion, but luckily they decided to agree to disagree and that was that. I think it is odd that if you agree with a person about their view of religion, they think of you as a well informed, broad minded and extremely likeable person. However, should you disagree, then you become an ignorant, narrow minded and thoroughly distasteful person. Potato…potato…tomato…tomato.

I can’t say that I haven’t had a more enjoyable breakfast before, but I am looking forward to not seeing Anne for another fifteen or twenty years. 

Monday 13 August 2012

Maybe They Are Assholes

I shy away from the thorny issues in this blog for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am just not that deep or complex. Secondly, I take a live and let live attitude towards other people. Well, I kind of have to since a jail term would be mandatory if you decided to kill every son of a bitch that deserved it. I don’t know where the blog will end up, I rarely do, but it is going to start with common courtesy or the lack there of.

When did it stop being the norm to hold a door for someone? I’m not talking about holding a door for women, you should always do that, but I’m talking about not letting a door slam in someone’s face. I will grant you that it isn’t always obvious whether you should hold the door or not, depending on how far away the person is and just how fast they are walking. If they are taking their sweet effing time then just go through the door and let the slow pokes get their own door. They need the exercise anyways probably. Of course that is not the case if the person in question is on crutches, is using a cane, has a baby in a carriage, is carrying parcels or just looks like they could use something positive in their day. Hold the door and smile when you are doing it!

DON’T SPIT YOUR FUCKING GUM ON THE SIDEWALK!!! I don’t know any other way to phrase that. Not only is it disgusting when you step on someone’s gum when it is half melted, but usually there is a garbage can nearby. I would rather see you swallow the gum and have your bowel get plugged up, eventually resulting in a very long and painful death. I will gladly pay my share of your medical and eventual funeral bill.

I saw a documentary recently on building cheap and efficient electric cars. I was amazed at how much thought and planning goes into the design of an automobile. Truly an amazing thing! There is nothing in that car that doesn’t need to be there; everything has a useful purpose and often dual or triple uses. With all of the thought that goes into the design, I am amazed at how often people decide not to use aspects of that design. I am talking about the signal lights. I’m not sure exactly when it was that I first noticed that a lot of people didn’t use the signals anymore, but I would bet you that it coincided with the advent of cell phones.

It is almost impossible to hold a phone to your ear with one hand, steer the car with the other and flick the signal switcher at the same time. Once you get into the habit of not using the signals, I suppose that it becomes a habit. I would like to see the cops pull people over and ticket them for unsafe lane changes. I tell you, if you are faced with a couple of $172 tickets, you will use your signals when you turn out of your driveway. There is no real worry about getting a ticket, because the cops are far more interested in watching people suspected of being in gangs than traffic infractions. Gangs are so much more glamorous.

Maybe these people are just very frugal and want to prolong the life of the bulb. Maybe they don’t know that modern cars use LED lights which have a lifespan of from between 25,000 and 100,000 hours. That is a lot of turn signals. Maybe these people feel they are performing a service to society in general by testing the reaction time of drivers following them. Maybe I am just unlucky and get behind people that don’t signal. Maybe my eyes are getting worse and I can’t see the signal lights. This is the one I think is most likely. Maybe they are assholes!

Sunday 12 August 2012

Get Rid of the Alligators

There were a few things that occurred today that made me think of how many design flaws there are in the human body. I’m not saying that I could have done a better job, especially starting from scratch and under some pretty unrealistic time constraints. Then again, I am not all powerful, omniscient and omnipotent and I freely admit I make mistakes, unlike He who won’t be mentioned.

Like I said, six days to create a whole universe and populate it with all of the birds in the sky, the animals on land and all of the creepy crawly things underground seems to be overestimating even a Gods considerable talents. I can see wanting to get the job done quickly so that you can get on to more pressing things. Come to think of it though, what could there possibly be that was more important than the universe? Was Mrs. G nagging Him to get the universe done and stop watching sports and/or drinking with the buddies? I don’t know anything about that, but I would imagine that in the eons that have passed since the creation there must have been a chance to review and perhaps to improve.

I don’t want to get into all of the weird and totally fucked up animals that are out there other than to say who needs alligators? I guess they make good shoes and handbags but that is pretty much it. No, I believe that the all powerful, could have looked at the design of the human animal and made a few positive changes. I was working on a deck this afternoon and I could have used a third arm and hand more than once. If I were changing the design, I would put a tiny eyeball somewhere on the fingers so that you could see in those hard to get to areas. It would have been nice to have magnetic fingers so that the nails would stay in place while you drove the nail in with the hammer. While I am at it, maybe make the fingers either rubbery with no nerve endings or just make the damned things out of steel.

You know how there are shut off valves on the pipes under the sink in case of a leak? Why not put some kind of a shut off valve so that when you drop the toolbox on your hand the blood wouldn’t just keep pouring out of you? It would be handy for donating blood too. Perhaps shut off valves for the eyes so that I can still seem manly when watching “Rudy” or “Armageddon”.

How about sweat glands that would sweat fat instead of …sweat? I would put taste buds on at least one finger so that you wouldn’t have to lift your hand to your mouth when sneaking a taste of the wedding cake. That could backfire when you were going to the bathroom. Maybe just forget about the finger taste buds.

You know what I could really use? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to put in a little more RAM in your brain? Also, I could do with a boost in memory since I was born with 32 K and I now live in a world that demands several Terabytes.

Replaceable parts would be really handy. Some of the ones that I was issued with are pretty much worn out and there are some parts I would like to exchange for a large. This shouldn’t be too difficult for God. I bet He could do it in less than two days. That is an official challenge.

Don’t forget the extra memory, and get rid of the alligators!

Saturday 11 August 2012


For the past couple of months I have been having a problem with my router. The router itself works pretty well, but ever since I had a computer problem that I mentioned over and over and over again in this blog, the router won’t let me set up a secure network.

I am one of those people that like to think he trusts everyone, but the reality is that I don’t trust too many people at all. I trust that even though their intentions are good, they will do what is in their best interest. Some people will lie, cheat, steal and even get violent if they can only justify it to themselves. Louise has a saying that applies here, “Man is not a rational being, he is a rationalizing being.” Too true! Yes, I know that I am going into a dark place, when you thought that I was going to talk about a computer peripheral device.

I am, but I just wanted to establish that I don’t trust people. I don’t lock my car in the garage, but I lock the gates and the garage door. I also have a fake garage door opener on the wall by the door which is meant to fool a thief. What it would do actually is piss him off enough that he would clean out the garage and come back in a week or two and strip the house. I picture thieves as kind of human Grinches.

So anyways, for some reason the router won’t let me form a secure network. It will take me through all of the steps, but at the last minute it asks for a PIN number which is on the underside of the router. There are more than a few numbers on the underside of the router, but not one of them is the PIN number. I know because I have tried them all. I have done a web search and I get the same information there. I have entered those freakin’ numbers about a hundred times and have had no luck.

I thought I was going nuts! My daughter suggested that I just not worry about it because the signal isn’t strong enough to go very far. Up until then I was under the impression that not only was I providing free internet to half of the city, but all of my important digital information was available to whoever wanted to take it. I thanked her and since I am not a very trusting sort, I took the iPad outside and walked down the street until it lost the signal, which was about ten feet from the property line. My immediate neighbours might be able to access the signal or perhaps someone parked in front of the house, but no one else really. Whenever I see someone parked on the street I unplug the router and I do it at random times so that I can piss off the neighbours if they are stealing my signal.

(I just got a wrong number, I wonder if it came from someone parked out front and is just messing with me?)

The other day I was talking to Ron the Lottery guy and he is having the same problem with his router that I am having with mine. He just hadn’t been using his computer for fear of the dreaded cyber theft. We talked about our mutual problem and I told him what I did. I could tell he didn’t believe me and I know that he would walking down the street with his laptop in his hands that evening. I also told him that if he was worried about someone violating him electronically while he was at work then he should just unplug the router.

You know that moment when you realize that not only was your problem not very complicated, the solution to your problem was simple as well. That was the look that came over Ron’s face. I took my losing tickets and left, confident in the knowledge that Ron will be unplugging his router when he isn’t at home. Unless he forgets.

I know that if times get tough I will be able to park in front of Ron’s house and post this blog. Ron seems to be a pretty forgetful person.