Thursday 31 January 2013

Everyday Magic

I was thinking about magic today. Okay, I was trying to do magic today. You see, I am working for the Post Office doing another volume count and I think this must be the 20th one I’ve done over the past five years. Every time they feel the need to train us all over again, and I was trying to “magic” time to make it go faster. I didn’t have any luck in the classic magic sense.

I think in my own way I do use magic, but it is every day magic. Every day magic is the kind of thing that you can do to make an unpleasant time move just a little quicker or if it is a wonderful time it is the kind of thing that makes time slow down. In the first case, I make jokes, think unsayable things, and I sometimes say them. In the second case, well, I have never really been successful at slowing time down. Usually, those fun times tend to race by and before you know it, the day is done and all you have is the memory.

There is a belief that the whole of your reality is created by you and for you. I was told this many years ago by a trance psychic and I called him on it. I asked how is it that I am creating a reality with all of these people who would be creating their own reality which would be populated by many others creating their own particular reality. The trance psychic said “Precisely! In order that you can understand now instead of after many years of meditation, we will demonstrate. Picture in your mind a turtle. Do you have a turtle in your mind?”


“What colour is the turtle?”

“Green and yellow with grey toenails.”

“Where is the turtle?”

“On a table.”

“What kind of table?”

“A wooden kitchen table.”

“What is the turtle doing?”

“Walking away from me to the other side of the table.”

Then the psychic told me “So… there is now a green and yellow turtle with grey toenails walking across a kitchen table that didn’t exist two minutes ago. You say that you don’t create reality…but you just did.”

That happened over thirty years ago and I am still working on the whole control issue. We all create our own reality, but I suspect that the practitioners of real magic can control what they create. Most of us live lives caught up in uncontrolled reality and every now and then magic happens. Like meeting someone you want to spend your life with, holding a newborn baby and then holding that babies baby. 

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Buster Can Be an Asshole

I have been feeling a little under the weather for the past few days and have spent my time watching TV, surfing the internet, playing mindless games, sleeping and for some of the time I have been watching Buster.

Everyone should take the time to watch a dog, it is very interesting and makes you wonder where the saying “It’s a dogs life.” comes from. It is used to mean that life is hard and unforgiving. I don’t see it myself and I would bet that Mr. Webster or Mr. Funk and Wagnalls never had occasion to be around a dog.

Buster pretty much ignores me unless I have a doggie treat in my hand or he needs a warm lap to sleep on. He sleeps for a good portion of every day, but then I have been lately too. I tried to get him to watch “Dogs with Jobs” today, but he didn’t seem interested at all. I really can’t blame him; almost no one I know would willingly work if they didn’t have to.

What I find very strange is his habit of looking out of the window. I will look out the window too, but I am looking at cars driving by, the snow blowing off of the roof and the mailman walking up the walk to drop off those flyers. Poor bastard! Buster doesn’t seem to see the same things that I see, in fact things that I think he should bark at he doesn’t even notice. We have a couple of squirrels that run back and forth in front of the window all day and he doesn’t even look at them.

He will sit and stare at nothing for about twenty minutes, not moving a muscle. I get up and look to see if there is a rabbit or another dog/cat or really anything, but he is looking at nothing. Then, all of a sudden he jumps up and starts to barking like alien cats are landing their space ship just out front of the house. He jumps down and runs to the back door and then comes back to look out the window again, as if to say “Get up and get the shotgun you stupid human!” Then he runs off and out the back door barking as if his life depended on it.

You would think he would run to the front gate to bark, but stupid animal that he is, he goes to the back corner of the yard and barks at the fence. I am sure it makes sense in that tiny brain of his, but for the life of me I just don’t get it. Perhaps he is trying to justify his upkeep by scaring the shit out of me every now and then as if to prove that he would be useful if anyone actually broke into the house.

The little bastard will do it at two in the morning sometimes. He stands up on the bed and barks like some machete wielding maniac is standing at the foot of the bed trying to decide to kill Louise or me first. I of course have to pretend to be the brave man and get out of the warm bed and check to see if some homicidal maniac actually did break into the house. That is just what I want to do in the middle of the night, confront some psycho slasher while wearing my pj’s in the dark. What would I do if someone was there? I’d run for the nearest door screaming “Save yourself, I’m going for helpppp…” Of course there never is anyone in the house and after banging my toes on table legs, I make my way back to bed only to find Buster curled up in the warm spot that I had left ten minutes earlier.

It is hard to get back to sleep with the adrenaline flowing through your veins, especially when every few minutes Buster gives a throaty bark that sounds suspiciously like a muffled laugh.

Buster can be an asshole.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

The Wind Can Blow the Toxic Fumes Away

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching TV and somehow saw a commercial. Normally, I flip from channel to channel during the commercials and more often than not I will miss the first 30 seconds or so just after the commercial. I don’t think this is something that Louise likes very much, judging from the looks I will often get. Maybe that’s why we were watching the commercial.

You have seen the commercial, it’s for some car company (not too effective) showing how a mini van can grow with the family, or how the seats fold up and down, I can never tell. In one of the video clips, the dad is loading a volcano into the back of the van. I can only assume that it is a school project and if I remember correctly, the volcano was going off in the car. Speaking as a dad, I know that I wouldn’t be smiling if my kid’s volcano erupted in the back of my van, and neither would you be smiling.
It did get me to thinking that I have never made a volcano. Perhaps when I was going to school the teachers thought it was beyond our abilities or maybe they thought that it wasn’t safe. No, it can’t be the safety thing, because these same teachers thought it was all right for us to play with mercury for hours at a time. Mercury is a lot of fun to play with, but I guess it is pretty toxic and now you can’t even find it in thermometers. It is so much fun, that I thought maybe if I could get my hands on some I could let Hurricane and Tornado play with it as long as they wore latex gloves. Playing with mercury isn’t like giving the kids an extra cookie after supper, so I imagine their mom and dad would be pretty pissed.
mercury cartoons, mercury cartoon, mercury picture, mercury pictures, mercury image, mercury images, mercury illustration, mercury illustrations
They probably won’t get mad if Louise and I build a volcano for the kids. I would build the superstructure and they could help to paint the mountain and of course they would get to set it off. I haven’t looked into it, but I think there is a couple of different ways to go about the eruption. There is flame and boiling hot liquid of course which might not be the best of ideas from a safety point of view. I imagine we could do some kind of chemical reaction which would spew some toxic looking foam all over the mountain. That would be safer, depending on the chemicals I use of course. I need to do a little more research on this one before I spring it on Hurricane and Tornados mom and dad.

We can make it work I am sure…probably.

So, if it weren’t a safety issue when I was in school, then the teachers must not have thought we were up to the challenge. That’s odd, because as I remember, every one of my report cards had “challenged” in there somewhere. I was pretty good at not eating the paste or the paper, although if you got enough paper in your mouth it kind of tasted like gum that had lost its flavour.

I am going to research this whole volcano thing and I imagine that it will blow sometime in the spring, once the weather is warm and the wind can blow the toxic fumes away. I imagine it will be good for at least one blog.

Monday 28 January 2013

Friends and Pens

I have a friend that has been visiting his grand daughters in Saskatchewan for the past few days. He asked when he left if I would clear his walks of snow if it happened to snow while he was away. Before I answered, I checked with the Weather Channel and the forecast was sunny and warm until he returned. Of course I told him I would be more than happy to look after his walks. The way that I figured it is that I was building up some positive Karma and he would owe me for doing nothing. Not a bad bargain.

He phoned me today (he was supposed to come home today) and said that one of his grand daughters was ill and they were staying an extra day or so to look after her. I don’t think I will be out of line if I ask for a doctor’s note, just to verify the kid is actually sick. You see, the warm weather has quite literally gone south and a deep arctic freeze is settling in with accompanying snow. To make matters worse, I have been sick as a dog today. Well, sicker than a dog because although Buster spent as much time in bed today as I did, he didn’t go through nearly as many tissues as I did.

Why would anyone choose to drive eight hours in a snow storm just to avoid shovelling a couple of inches of snow? I said he was my friend, that doesn’t make him very smart. In fact I guess the argument could be made that makes his judgement suspect.

Hopefully I will be much better tomorrow and I will shovel the walks. I will still get the Karma and he still will owe me, but now I will have had to do the work. Why is it that oft time’s things just don’t turn out as I plan?

I have been practicing my penmanship lately, since my fountain pens arrived from China, but the practice doesn’t seem to have had any effect. I suppose that it will be one of those “wax on…wax off” sort of things. One day my hand writing will be its normal, illegible scrawl and the next day I will have a beautiful flowing script that will make grown men envious and women swoon.

When I print or write the individual letters in lower case, they look well rounded and quite frankly they are a treat to look at. You would never know that I created them. When I try to join them together on just one small line, I quickly revert to my normal scrawl. The upper case letters just seem odd to me, especially the written ones. Sometimes they look to be more like hieroglyphics that our modern day script. They just don’t seem right somehow.

Maybe I should create my own writing and then even if it is messy I can say “No, that’s the way the letters are supposed to look…really!”

Sunday 27 January 2013

Ruling Class

I’d decided that I wasn’t going to write the blog tonight because I don’t feel 100%, more like 17.375%. In fact, I was just about to go and try to sleep when a buddy called and wanted to have me Skype him to see if it was his computer or his daughters that wasn’t working. We determined that it is his daughters, so he blew me off to talk to his daughter. I understand, but now I have moved beyond sleep and may as well type the blog.
I was going to talk about Kathleen Whyte getting elected Premier of Ontario. It is a big thing I suppose and it will be interesting to see if Ontario politics will change now that a woman is running the show. I do hope things go well, but I am not actually very hopeful.

We have had a female premier in Alberta for a year and a bit now and to tell you the truth I couldn’t tell the difference between Alison Redford and all of the other lying, cheating, thieving bastards that have been the premier over the years. In fact, she lied her way through the last election and now we are facing the largest deficit ever. Her fellow ministers have been caught red handed; dipping into the provincial cookie jar and nothing is said or done to stop it. How Alberta could find itself in a deficit position is beyond me, with the influx of oil money for the last fifty years or so.
It would be different if we had the best health care, education system and social safety net in the country, but we don’t. Not by a long shot!

Every now and then over the years I have heard women lamenting about the war mongering men who wield the political power and how life and our world would be so different if women were to rule instead of men. I don’t see it. I see that the women in power do pretty much the same kind of power brokering and have the same amount of graft and corruption that the male counterparts have done for thousands of years. I guess that it is because these powerful women had to rise through the same ranks and sell themselves the same way that the men did to get where they are.

Perhaps in a thousand years or so, we men will wistfully think that if men were in power there wouldn’t be the wars or corruption there is with the women in power. The way that I look at it, we may as well have the Alison Redford’s and Kathleen Whites take their shot in the top spot, they couldn’t do any worse than the clowns that have been running things up till now. Who know, I may be in for a pleasant surprise and the ruling class might actually start to concentrate on how to rule instead of how to get re-elected.

Saturday 26 January 2013

Stupid Computer

Spider Soltiaire Set Up
I will often piss away my time playing solitaire on the computer. Specifically, I will play “Spider Solitaire”, and I have played it for the last two or three computers.

It is funny how I am starting to mark my life not in years, but in computers. I suppose that eventually we will all know that a computer will last three point five three years and automatically pick up a new one before we have to go through the crash and tears of losing all of our data. I have been thinking lately of trying to build a computer for fun and to have a spare for when one of our computers automatically decides to die. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of the information and programs already loaded and up to date when the old one died? Fuck you HP/ASUS/Apple/Dell/Acer/Lenovo/IBM and Toshiba; I beat you at your own game! Yep, it would be nice.

Now, back to solitaire, it’s been at least three computers since I played any other form of solitaire and by accident today I clicked the mouse on the wrong solitaire. It was just the regular solitaire and I thought “What the hell, it might be fun.” Turns out that I had forgotten how regular solitaire is played. I picked it up all right, but only because every time I made a wrong move, the computer couldn’t wait to tell me. Know it all computer! I don’t know about you, but I do use the “hints” that the computer gives and more often than not it hints me into a losing game. I wonder if somewhere in the cloud there is a digital version of Las Vegas that only personal computers can go to and the games they play are to see how long they can keep us meat morons busy doing nothing. My computer probably gets his room and meals comped, and is a legend.

I got to thinking today how odd it is that I of all people would forget how to play solitaire. I played a lot of solitaire ten or twelve computers ago with cardboard cards and I didn’t call it “hints”, I called it what it was…cheating. Yes, I cheated at solitaire and I wasn’t very good at it. I enjoyed it though and there was a time when I searched out other types of solitaire to play. There was Pyramid solitaire, Golf solitaire, Yukon solitaire and hundreds of other types of solitaire invented by lonely people before the invention of personal computers. That isn’t fair, they probably weren’t lonely, just bored because there was no TV or computers to occupy their time. Sure, a lot of the folks back then did creative and productive things with their time, but there must have been people like me that just wanted to kill time as unproductively as possible.
Well, I could continue this blog or I could play a game of Spider Solitaire. I won’t play the regular solitaire because it is too hard and I think the computer is laughing at me. Stupid computer, at least I will live for decades and you only have 3.53 years, well about 2.74 years now.


Friday 25 January 2013


We may spend our lives surrounded by people, but we are always alone. Most times we don’t think about it or maybe don’t consider it at all, but we are alone.

I was spending time with Tornado today and there was a time or two when he just couldn't get across to his thick Poppa what he wanted to say. I have that trouble too. I know what I want to say and I think that I am saying it, but more often than not, the people I am talking to just don’t get it. This blog is partly a way to improve my skills at communicating my thoughts. I don’t think it is particularly effective. I think the problem is that I am all alone inside and so is everyone else, so we develop our ideas and tweak them to fit with the way we think not the way others will understand.

Sometimes when someone commits suicide, it comes as a shock to the people that he or she has been close to. “He seemed to be such a happy, outgoing person.” We all have a public persona that allows us to get through every day and often it isn't even close to who we really are. I consider myself to be a quiet and rather shy person who has managed to learn how to be outgoing and personable. If it weren't for family and friends, I suspect that I would be a hermit in the classic sense, living in a cave and shunning people.

The market for hermits isn't what it used to be in the olden days when hermits were considered to be wise men or women that spent their lives contemplating the secrets of the world. People would bring food and clothing just to be blessed by the hermit. Now, they are just thought to be flakes. I think they actually fall somewhere in between being wise and being foolish. You just never really know what is going on in someone’s head, so maybe you should toss them a coin, you might get a punch in the mouth but you just might get a blessing. 

I feel sorry for kids because they are almost never asked what they think of anything and when they do speak, no one really listens. Their friends listen, but no one listens to them. Perhaps that is why grand parents are so important. We have the time to listen and whether we actually pay attention, it seems like we do which can give the kids an outlet for their thoughts. I only knew my grandmother on my father’s side, and she was very special to me. She didn't like men very much, but she did like little boys and knew how to keep us feeling needed and important. I kind of wish I had known my other grand parents. Not only because it would have given me hope for a long life, but perhaps I wouldn't have to wait six decades before I felt happy in my skin.

I will stay alone, with many friends and family to keep my public persona company.  

Thursday 24 January 2013

What a Couple of Dumb Asses

You think I would learn to write the blog earlier in the day, wouldn't you?

I tell myself that I can’t write it early because I haven’t done anything early in the day, but the truth of the matter is that the blog is rarely about what I have done that particular day. It is funny how you can lie to yourself and not even think twice about it. I lie to someone else and I feel guilty for days, unless it is the cops and then I feel pretty good about myself.

I didn't do too much today other than take Buster for a walk. It has been a while since we walked, kind of a combination of too cold, I have been working and I am just plain lazy. The last excuse is the more appropriate one. We walked past the vehicle trap and there was a mini van stuck in it. I don’t know if you know about vehicle traps, but they are only meant for buses to drive through and not cars. It is an old school traffic control method, just a little more civilized than putting a .45 slug into someone’s vehicle. A bus has a wider wheel base than a car does and is able to drive through but the front end of a car will drop into this pit and more than likely do damage to the car and after the tow and ticket, damage to your pocket book.
Through the years I have seen one of those big old cars with fins bounce its way over the trap and once a carload of teens managed to lift the car out, but they are the exception. I figure that if anyone can’t see the flashing lights, the huge sign that says “VEHICLE TRAP”, the STOP sign or (and this is the big one) the large fucking hole in the ground, then they should automatically lose their license. They should probably be smacked on the head by someone repeating over and over “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!...”

This particular mini van had a couple of teenage girls in it that were laughing for some odd reason. They might have been stoned, or they just might have been too stupid to know that they were in a big hole. While Buster and I were walking past, a tow truck came up and the girls sent him away. Maybe they didn't have any money, or maybe they had already called for help, but if the cops got there first it would be the tow and ticket that I mentioned before.

I will never know just what happened, because it isn’t news and neither the TV stations, or the newspapers will report on something like that. To tell you the truth, I would much rather hear about how Betty Sue got out of the pit than how much the price of gold went up or down. I suppose that is important too, but I have to think that most of us don’t have enough gold for it to matter on a day to day basis. There are things happening on the roads and the neighbourhood all the time that we see and never find out how they turned out. When I see the ambulance up the street, it would be nice to know if Mr. Johansson is alright or if we should send our condolences.

There just might be a website or facebook page out there for this kind of thing and if there isn't  then I think there should be…don’t you? Maybe I will start one, or maybe I will just walk by and think “What a couple of dumb asses!”

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Blue Lagoon

I was just watching a commercial and the kids in the back of the minivan were watching videos. Each kid had a different show on their personal head rest screens. It is a fantastic use of technology. I would have given anything to have had something like this.

When we went on trips as a kid, which was pretty much every weekend going to Gram’s cottage, there was no such thing as DVD players for the car. There was no DVD player for the home. There was barely TV for the home! We did keep entertained however; Gram would sit in between Steve and myself and tell us a story. Our favourite was about two kids that were ship wrecked on an island. We made her tell us that story over and over again and eventually we would correct her when she forgot how the story went. I never knew the name of the story, but there was a movie made of the story in 1980 called “Blue Lagoon”. It was based on a book by Henry De Vere Stacpoole called “The Blue Lagoon” which was published in 1908. God I loved those drives!
We did other things to pass the time as well, like the favourite kids game “Are WE There Yet?” and how close your big brother can come to touching you without actually touching you. I particularly liked hot summer drives with the windows rolled down and 60 MPH winds blowing in your face for the entire drive. Every now and then, dad would spit out the window and the spray would hit me in the face. Loved that…just loved that!

When we went on drives, we did all of the normal things to keep the kids busy. Count the different coloured cars when the kids were younger and as they got older, we kept track of out of province license plates. I always tried the lets see how long we can keep quiet game, but it never really caught on. When they got older still, I counted the arguments the kids had in the back seat. That wasn’t fun for anyone. I am the only one that likes to read in the car and since I was the driver, I was the only one that couldn’t read. Whenever we drove past cows or horses, they would ask the kids how they were in a voice that was suspiciously like mine only deeper.

Like all parents, I threatened to stop the car, turn around and go home or any number of threats that we all knew wouldn’t happen. I pretty much hated the family drives, but loved being places with the family.

When Louise’s mom passed away last year, we all met in Toronto and drove together to Oshawa. It was like old times, me driving, Louise riding shotgun and navigating and the kids arguing in the back seat. They were also navigating as well, with their smart phones and I kind of liked the fact that we were together as a family once again. It isn’t something I’d like to do on a regular basis, but it was nice.

I don’t know what it is like doing the family trip thing with the DVD players, but I have the feeling that personal electronics will transform the experience and make the time just scoot by. Who knows, it is possible Hurricane and Tornado will pop “The Blue Lagoon” in the DVD player and enjoy the same story that I did fifty some years ago. More likely, they will be cruising down the road watching “Spongebob” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!” and keeping track of the talking cows.