Thursday 28 February 2013

In Like a Lamb

Southern Ontario had one of those terrible snow storms yesterday. I’m not sure how much snow fell, I think 8 to 10 inches, but what made it terrible is that it was composed of a very, very, very wet snow. I saw people walking through it on the news and it was just like walking in slush. I just can’t imagine how heavy that crap would be to shovel. I lived there once upon a time and lived through more than a few of those storms, but my mind must have blanked out most of that horrible memory.

The snow won’t last, and I suppose that most of it has drained down the sewers already, unless there was a radical drop in the temperature. They do get some interesting storms, but they don’t seem to last very long anymore. That is a good thing in case you don’t know.

I almost feel guilty that our weather has been so wonderful lately. I don’t think it has been this nice since 1988 during the Winter Olympics. The organizers had to keep trucking in snow to several of the venues from the mountains because it was melting so fast. I can remember thinking that some of the millions of people that watched the Olympics would have planned to come to Calgary for a vacation in February because the weather is so nice. Boy, would they have  been in for a surprise! February is typically the coldest month for us and quite often the temperature hovers between -20° and -40° C. But it’s a dry cold!

I know that the politicians are denying that there is global warning while the scientists are telling them that it isn’t an opinion, the statistics just don’t lie. Anyone that has lived on the planet for any length of time knows that something is amiss with the weather. I can’t say for certain that our weather has changed due to global warming or if the planet is going through one of its “cycles”. My gut feeling is that we are suffering from global warming.
It could be caused by our millions and millions of cows farting, or for that matter farting from the billions of people. Where did this idea about farting come from anyways? I think it makes more sense that we humans have caused the warming from a variety of activities. We heat our houses and businesses; we drive our cars that get so hot that you can cook a complete Thanksgiving dinner on the engine. We must have paved a significant amount of the earth’s surface, and anyone that has walked barefoot on pavement at mid day during the summer, knows just how hot pavement can get. I haven’t even mentioned all of the hot air from our politician’s world wide.
I go by what I remember from when I was younger. Winter would come and it would stay until April in Ontario. In Alberta the winter would come in cold usually around Halloween and stay until mid April with one or two short lived Chinooks during the season. My buddy remembers going out to play during the winter and as he and his brothers were leaving, his mom would call out to them not to walk on other peoples roof tops. That is how high the snow drifts were back in the day. Kids could dig tunnels in the snow and make “castles”. Now, they have to collect snow from the neighbour’s lawns to make a decent snowman. It is hardly worth owning a toboggan anymore. I have a friend that would prop the screen door open during the night so that they wouldn’t get trapped inside by the heavy snowfall.

 Tomorrow and the next day are supposed to be between 10° and 12°C which is just fine by me. March is coming in like a lamb, and more than likely will go out like a lion. I don’t care, January and February are the coldest months and once March comes, I can almost smell springtime. If the neighbour doesn’t clean up the four months of dog crap in his back yard, I’ll definitely be able to smell springtime.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Still a Giant After All

I got to look after Tornado again today. You see, he is not feeling very well and from what Arwen told me, both of his ears are infected. Most of the time he didn’t seem to be sick at all, but on closer inspection he is just not himself.

For one thing, he didn’t break anything today while he was here. He turned down a cookie and he didn’t eat the pancakes even though they were liberally coated with maple syrup. He didn’t cry when I suggested that instead of playing in the basement he should have a nap. He had a nap! I had to wake him up a couple of hours later so that he would actually sleep tonight sometime before midnight. When I did wake him up, he cried and whimpered for almost an hour while I cuddled him. Poor little guy.

Lucky me though. There is something terribly sad and at the same time terribly wonderful about a sick little boy. They will sit in your arms and let you cuddle them for just as long as you want to. They will listen and watch the TV with rapt attention; it doesn’t matter if it is Handy Manny, Sesame Street, NCIS or the Weather network. When I read a book to him, he just stares at the page and every now and then will point at something and then drop his hand as if the effort of holding his hand up was just too much. Maybe it is.

I love these times. Well, not the part where a fart becomes a “shart”, or when they look you in the face and then cough, spraying you with enough germs to put the population of a small African nation into comas. I know that in 7 – 9 days, my eyes will start getting red and feel hot, the ringing in my ears will prevent my hearing anything else at all. I will develop explosive diarrhea, feel nauseous and somehow my tongue will feel as if it has grown a thick coat of hair. I will smell that smell I remember from many years ago when dad was sick. The only good thing is that I will lose weight because the thought of eating anything at all will cause a dash for the bathroom.

In some ways, it would be nice if there were a giant that would hold me in his arms wrapped in a blanket. He could let me watch TV with him and read stories to me. I would raise my hand and point at the page, but the effort of holding my arm up would be too much for me. He could tuck me into bed with my favourite stuffed animal and a soft, warm blanket for an afternoon nap. If he woke me up too early I would be grumpy and whine and whimper. When he tried to hold me I would slap his hand and scream “NO”!

I wouldn’t put up too much of a fight though, because at the end of the day I would be very sick and the guy trying to cuddle me is still a giant after all.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

I Just Hate a Good Book

I just hate a good book!

Well, I love a good book, but I hate that it is going to finish far too soon for my liking. I am reading a book now that I am finding pretty interesting and exciting. There are concepts in the book that tickle my fancy, lots of action and it is hard to put down. I suppose I should mention the name of the book, “The Sixth Station” by Linda Stazi. I believe it is her first book, but she is a columnist for the New York Post so she has some writing creds. I have become caught up in the book and will be finished far too soon.

Part of the problem with getting older is that you begin to run out of things you want to do. It seems that most of the movies and TV shows are just rehashing movies and shows that I have seen before. The books that I like I have already read (several times) and it seems to be getting more and more difficult to fine new books. I am sure they are out there; it’s just hard to find them. I love it when you find a book that captivates you and then find that there is a whole series of books by the same author. It’s nice to grow old with the author and the fictional characters that become like old friends.

Eventually, the author dies and the books are like talking to your parents, good stories but you have heard them time and time again. I miss Robert Heinlein, Issac Asimov, Conan Doyle, J.M. Barry, Robert, Ludlum, Howard Engle, J. K. Rowling and all of their characters that I have come to love reading about. There are many others of course and many that I don’t know about I suppose. It becomes difficult to find those jems that are hiding somewhere on the shelves of my local library.

I just had a horrible thought. In the future with the publishing industry moving towards e-books, I won’t be able to browse up and down the aisles waiting for a book to capture my interest. There won’t be the second hand book stores that have heaps of books just waiting to be discovered by the intrepid bibliophile. It is really difficult to browse titles on the internet. You can’t just pick the e-book up and read a chapter or two; you really have to commit to the book. That’s like getting married after seeing someone’s picture on a poster. They might look okay, but there’s no way of knowing what is behind the smile.

I guess I will adapt and some bright bulb will figure a way for people like me to randomly browse the books for hours at a time while sitting at home. I still have plenty of years where I will be able to stand in the centre of the library or book store with a befuddled look on my face. Oh well, that is the future and in the now I have a book that’s calling my name.

Monday 25 February 2013

One Thing for Sure

Well, I stared another two week stint at the Post office today. It’s actually going to be a four week stint because there are two counts in a row. I regret the decision already. It shouldn’t be too bad, because I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be possibly one more count after these two and then no more for at least a couple of years.

I say a couple of years, but that is assuming the powers that be don’t screw up or have some better idea that will cost a lot of money and have virtually no effect on how the product is delivered. The Post Office isn’t much different from many corporations in that every time someone gets a promotion or there are rumours of cut backs these management types get nervous and attempt to justify their inflated salaries. In so doing they start tossing their “friends” under the bus whenever possible. Sometimes the status quo is the way to go.
When I finish these last two counts, Louise and I head back to Hawaii for a couple of weeks. I don’t need the rest as much as Louise needs a break from work and a rest from worry. We are heading to Maui and even if we do nothing, it will be quality nothing. Louise is taking an outrigger Paddling course while we are there and I suppose I should look into something to do while I am there other than drink coffee and work on a tan. Don’t get me wrong, drinking coffee and getting a tan will be just fine if that is all I do, but when people ask what we did, Louise can talk about the things she learned and the fun she had on the ocean. I can just say “ahhh…ummmm…well…the weather was nice.”
Perhaps I can either buy or rent a bike and cruise around the island searching out special pools and waterfalls. I could spend the days checking out the bargains to be had. Winter coats sell pretty cheap there if you can find them. I wouldn’t mind checking out some second hand stores or even yard sales. We went to a yard sale the last time we were in Hawaii and as I recall there was some pretty good camping equipment which I kind of regret not buying. One thing I am going to look for is some stuff called “Flavocol” which is the magic powder that theatres use to make popcorn taste and look like theatre popcorn. It is about three bucks for a quart box in the states, but to get it special ordered in Canada it costs about $60.
I have been lusting after a Kobo Arc for the last couple of weeks and if the price is right I might just take the plunge. Of course I don’t need one, but I want one. I also need to get some runners while I am there. Everything is cheaper in the states. Well, if not cheaper then they have a larger variety to choose from. We’ll have to see.

For now though, I have to decide whether to go out and shovel the snow before I go to bed or to do it first thing in the morning. One thing is for sure, I won’t have to make that decision when I am in Hawaii…I hope! 

Sunday 24 February 2013

Be Sure To Wake Up

This has to be a pretty quick one tonight. I fell behind in doing some tidying, have felt pretty sick for most of the day and got caught up in the Oscar presentations.

I was driving home the other day and Michael Jackson’s song “Beat It” came on the radio. Ever since the first time I heard it in 1982, I just can’t stop my toes from tapping whenever it comes on. Sure, it is a stretch to think of Michael as a peacemaker on the mean streets of Los Angeles or New York. In real life he would have had his pasty white face pounded into a pulp. Was he white then or was he still black in 1982?

That doesn’t matter, what matters is that the guy was a genius. I didn’t really think so at the time, but over the years his music does have the staying power of what I consider to be classic songs. Like anyone ever listens to me.

When I was riding in the car listening to Michael, the words I was singing were from Weird Al Yankovic’s take off “Eat It”. I’m not sure why, but every time I hear “Beat It”, I sing “├łat It”. I can’t be the only one. Do I credit Michael for another classic or Weird Al? I wonder how much Weird Al made from “Eat It” and whether Michael got a piece of it?

Like I said, it’s a short Blog tonight. Sleep well and be sure to wake up.