Saturday 31 August 2013

A Geek With a Leak

I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but it does bear repeating. Even though I think I should be able to do minor and medium repairs on an automobile, I can’t!

I know what I have to do, I have done some research, I have talked to friends that know about cars and I have a positive mental attitude towards success. Something always seems to go wrong. Often, the photo that is in the book and the engine in my car don’t look anything alike to my eyes. I know that they are the same, but mine is covered with rust, grease, dust and often old dried leaves. To my way of thinking, the people who write the book should take pictures of cars like mine so that guys like me will have some clue where to start. I don’t really want to work on the car at all; I sure don’t want to start by spending two hours cleaning a dirty, greasy engine.

Often there is whitish green powder on the terminals of the battery. I know the battery has nothing to do with the job I am attempting, but why is there powder there at all? I know I can clean that off and starting a job with a small success always makes me feel good about myself. I get a wire brush and start scrubbing the terminals like I am shining a pair of funeral shoes. This just spreads the powder all over the engine and some of it takes to the air and settles deep into my nasal cavities. Ok, now I could die from inhaling this greenish, white fucking powder. Nope, I don’t feel good about myself, my abilities or the upcoming job.
The rad on my car sprung a leak the other day and I was lucky enough to make it into the garage so that it could leak coolant all over the floor. I spent a day or so feeling sorry for myself, because I knew that I would either have to take the car to a mechanic or try to fix it myself. I did a Google search and found numerous articles and Youtube videos on everything to do with a leaking radiator. I narrowed the field down to using “Bars Leaks” or replacing the radiator.
Replacing the radiator would be the perfect solution and if I did the work myself it would cost about $100 and if I had a mechanic do the job it would be closer to $250. There is a very good chance that I would damage the whole car if I did the work, but I think I could do it with a moderate amount of frustration. Plus, I would save about $150, which is nothing to sneeze at.
“Bars Leaks” is a product that has been on the market for decades and I think I have even used it in the past. Unfortunately, I can’t remember if it worked or not. It is one of those products that you either love or hate. I would read a glowing report about someone that used it and it has been two years without a leak. The next comment would be from someone that tells you how it will clog the rad and heater core and it is at best a temporary fix. They say you might just as well use an egg white or some black pepper. WTF??

How is someone to decide? I went with the cheapest option and used the “Bars Leaks” ($4.79). Well, black pepper would have been cheaper, but I don’t want the kids to raise their eyebrows at me when I tell them why dad is riding his bike everywhere now. I read and re-read the instructions and then watched a video on how to use the stuff. You shake it up, pour it in the rad, and then fill the rad with coolant, which is just what I did. It says to let it run for 15 to 30 minutes, so I let it go for 40. It was still dripping coolant, but I didn’t know if it was the stuff left from the original leak, the stuff that leaked waiting for the “Bars Leaks” to take effect, or if God was just messing with me.
Surprisingly, the God thing happens more often than you might think.

I let it cool down out in front of the house, washed the residual coolant off of the engine and later took it in to get gas. The last time I looked at the garage floor, there were no tell tale drips. It looks like the cheap option worked! It has rarely been the cheap option that works. Things are turning around finally, and the universe is beginning to make sense.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life!

Friday 30 August 2013

In Spite of POG

I’d like to believe in a supreme being that watches over us like a doting parent trying to protect us from the big boys on the playground. I’d like to believe, but it is pretty hard when you see all of the pain, suffering and death in the world.

The vast majority of people on the planet are affiliated in some way with a religion that worships one of these beings. Is it possible that I, with my doubts could be more correct than billions of people? Yeah, sure that makes sense. I suspect that I just don’t understand the complexities of worship and or deities. Perhaps it is the other way around and the deities need to understand me before I can understand them. I’m not really that complex, well I shouldn’t be for an all knowing, all seeing, omniscient God.

Lately I have come to think that the reason I don’t understand just how things work is that I am not privy to the big picture. I generally have just a snapshot or a moment in time of the picture. That’s is with normal things like why when I was working a week or so ago I would put tape down on the floor one day and the next day I would pull the same tape up and then put more tape down in another place which was pulled up a day or two later I suppose. Someone must know what is going on. Maybe it is God. Could it be like in primitive times when there were Gods for everything? Maybe I was dealing with the God of the Post Office. Perhaps it was Post Office God (POG) that decided to cut me a cheque for 56 hours of work instead of the 16 hours I worked. Maybe I won’t have to pay that money back; it’s from POG after all.

A friend of mine is in the hospital tonight, and many of his friends and myself have been sending prayers to him. I suspect that most people wish him well and some may pray to their Gods to intervene on his behalf. I have sent in a request to POG, since he is a retired Postal Worker and his wife is still working in the service of POG. I also covered my bets, and told him to avoid the light at all cost on his wife’s facebook feed. That should take care of it.

Generally though, I just think that God has better things to do than to watch over us all every day. I don’t think He really cares if I have impure thoughts or if I touch myself in an impure manner. He might care that some greedy bastards bring the world to the brink of financial collapse, but it doesn’t look like they are going to pay in this lifetime or this plane of existence. I have seen people praying for a solution to problems and seemingly not getting an answer. Thousands of children go hungry every day and there are people that suffer painful, unjust deaths, with God watching. I guess they just don’t see the big picture.

The only time that I really see the hand of God is when it seems as if things are finally working in my favour, only to have something happen to upset my apple cart. It is a real pain in the ass. Not a pain in the ass like children starving or financial ruin at the hands of greedy bankers and politicians you understand.

It could be that my God is POG and he is putting all of his effort into the new “Postal Transformation” that promises to bring the Post Office into the new century, the 1900’s.

I pray for my friends, family to have health and happiness, and for the little corner of the universe that I live in to make sense. You know, it generally does. In spite of POG.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Prehensile tail

The other day I was trying to take out the garbage in one hand, the recycling in the other, and open the door with my other hand. Unfortunately, I like everyone else have only two hands. Why is it that when something drops, it isn’t the dry paper and plastic, but the wet, messy garbage? Well, that is the way things work for me. Just for your information, I dropped the garbage a second time trying to open the garage door.
There are a lot of times when I could use a third hand. In fact, there is a tool called a third hand for holding the brakes on a bicycle while you adjust the cable. There is another tool used for soldering which is called a third hand as well, but that one comes with two adjustable alligator clips and a magnifying lens. There are many times in life when a third hand would come in handy. In fact, I suspect that is what is behind the buddy system. Everyone should have a buddy for when you need that extra helping hand.
Journeymen in all trades have known the benefit of having an extra hand while working, that is probably how the apprentice system began. I can remember teaching my kids how to tie their shoe laces, they would handle the loops and I would place a finger to hold the knot in place before the final tie. I always get Louise to put her finger on the crossed ribbons whenever I am getting fancy with Christmas presents. A third hand would be an asset at work as well. You could keep working and either drinks your coffee or play video games with your spare hand. A third hand would help me playing the guitar; God knows the other two are useless.

I was thinking about how handy that third hand would be and wondering why the human race hasn’t had one evolve. Something that useful would certainly be a boon and really, anything that can help me carrying out the garbage would be welcomed. It occurred to me that evolution only seems to work taking things away now. There was a time when a creature would grow a long neck in order to access the tender leaves at the top of a tree. Feathers and wings would evolve to help creatures evade those other creatures that had evolved long, sharp, ripping teeth. When the competition for food in the ocean became too difficult, legs and the ability to breathe air evolved. When survival depends on adaptation, can evolution be far behind?

In humans, evolution seems to be going in reverse. Evolution has pretty much made the appendix obsolete. Whenever they can, surgeons will cut out the appendix just in case there might be something wrong with it at some time in the future. Hell, it might be the organ that controls musical ability or being able to multiply 13 X 13 and come up with the correct answer. 143? I still have my appendix, so maybe it doesn't control math. Perhaps it is the wisdom teeth that control the math thing, and I had mine taken out at an early age.

There are indications that humans used to have a prehensile tail at some point in the past. It was handy for hanging from trees, and giving an extra point for balancing on tree branches, or just whacking someone that pisses you off by stealing your banana. They say that human fetuses have a tail, but it is absorbed into the body before birth. I kind of wish it would grow to become a full fledged usable tail.

I bet it would be handy for opening a door when you have two hands filled with garbage and recycling.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Safe Place

I’ve lost one of those remotes for my Blue-Ray player. We have two Blue-Ray movies and although they are good movies, “The Complete Harry Potter” and “Cars II”. However, no matter how good they are there is a point where you just don’t want to see the movie for a year or two. Well, unless you happen to be a three year old and then you can and do watch the same movie seven or eight hundred times. We picked up the Blue-Ray player in anticipation of the eventual accumulation of many and varied Blue-Ray movies. So far there hasn’t been a lot of accumulation.

I tried to keep the control near the machine, but what with irregular tidying up and a three year old that acts more like a magpie or a squirrel than a human boy, it has disappeared. I have searched in all of the places that I think I would have put it so that I would be able to find it whenever I wanted to, but so far no luck. Louise is generally one of those people that will leave something where it belongs so that it will be easily found. It’s a crazy system, but there is a certain logic to that method.

I have tried to think like a three year old packrat, but so far I haven’t had any luck. I have checked the heating vents, under the furniture, all of the toy boxes, drawers that can be reached and any container that might just hide a Blue-Ray remote. I am praying that it wasn’t tossed in the garbage, because as foolish as it may sound now, I didn’t search the out going trash every time that Tornado had been here.

Part of my problem in the search is that I have every remote control for every machine that I have ever owned and some for machines that I never owned, and they are scattered all over the house. I have found about fifteen remote controls so far and the search still continues.
You might be wondering why. Well, you just never know when you might have a need for a twenty year old VHS controller. They are great for toys…not really. I might take them apart and make that awesome Borg costume from the parts…not yet. They might be worth something in the future to someone who has the machine but not the remote…not never.

So, now I am looking at the remotes that say “Universal Remote” and I am wondering if I kept the directions on how to set them up for a Blue-Ray player. Most of them were purchased before Blue-Ray was invented, but they should work…right?
I can work the machine by getting up and pushing buttons, but that is so 1950’s. If I wanted to get exercise, I wouldn’t be watching TV; I would be going for a walk. I did watch the first part of the Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, but I couldn’t really pay attention because I was wondering where the damned remote was. ACCIO…Blue-Ray remote… nope.

I know that it will turn up once I have forgotten that I am looking for it, but since I will have forgotten about it I will just leave it in that safe place.

You know the safe place where it is easy to find…

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Forgotten Memories

I have mentioned before about my families decision when I was fourteen to forgo the traditional gift giving Christmas and instead we would spend a couple of weeks in Florida. My brother and I were in our mid teens, so most of our gifts were of the useful kind, socks, underwear, shirts and school supplies, and really who cares about that?

The first time we went, we flew and as I recall we arrived at the Beach Terrace Motel around nine o’clock or so. The first thing we did after checking in was to go for a walk along the beach. We were all so very excited just being there and the sound of the night time surf as well as the smell and moonlight reflecting off of the ocean, told us that this would be far better than new underwear. We noticed lumps on the beach and as we came up to them we realized that they were conch shells of varying sizes that were washing up. We each grabbed a couple and eventually found ourselves back in the lobby of the Beach Terrace.
One of the other guests staying at the motel, a long time regular we found out later, shrieked “Where did you get those?” Mom told her they were all over the beach and we continued up to our room while this woman ran down to the beach. It turns out that we were very, very lucky, as no one had ever seen that many shells wash up. There must have been some kind of underwater disturbance which was just fortunate for us as we managed to get some real good souvenirs. In all of the years we went down to Florida, we never found another shell.
When we got home, I commandeered one to make into a shell bugle like they had on the Disney movie “Swiss Family Robinson”. I took it downstairs and spent what seemed like hours cutting the point off with a hack saw. I managed to get it cut off, but it either wasn’t a big enough cut or I couldn’t blow hard enough to make the thing work. There was no way I was going to try cutting more off of it and it ended up sitting in a pile with the others some where in the basement or the garage. Every now and then, I would pretend that I was one of the crew of the Nautilus and these shells would be my “brass knuckles” for my under water fighting.

The next time I saw that shell, it was years later decorating mom and dad’s new home in London around the outside of the pool. They looked good there, and every time that I visited, I would look at that shell and wonder why I couldn’t make it work. The shells spent years in the sun and eventually they had most of their colour bleached out and became universally white. Mom and dad eventually passed and one of the things I brought home was a shell. It wasn’t the one I had cut, but it was similar and it sits on a shelf downstairs, a forgotten memory.
I brought it up today when I was looking after Tornado. We had been looking at some small shells I had brought back from Hawaii and we needed something to put the small shells in. He and I were in and out of the pool (inflatable) and shells just seemed the right thing to play with. He spent an hour or so with Louise making “shell soup”, pouring the shells from a bowl to the large conch shell, over and over and over again. It was fun.

Tornado’s mom came and took him home, I put the tiny shells back in the plastic bag I have been keeping them in and put the conch shell back on the shelf down stairs with all of the other forgotten memories. I guess the thing about memories is that they are never really forgotten, especially when they start making their own memories.

Monday 26 August 2013

More Money Than Brains

I had to pick up some developed photos from London Drugs this morning. We will generally get our pictures developed at Costco or at the odd time Walmart, but the quality of the prints is just better at London drugs. I guess it’s true; you do get what you pay for. Sometimes you get screwed over, but generally speaking, quality = $$$. Well, that’s assuming that greed didn’t creep into the picture.

I had some work done on the car this morning, and they called to ask if I wanted to buy new tires. No! Did I want them to replace the burnt out light bulb? No! I can change a light bulb (if I see that it is out) and I don’t have to pay $13 for it. I figure that when you spend a few hundred dollars on maintenance work, you would think that they would toss in the bulb for free. I figured wrong of course. I went to a place called Parts Source and picked up two bulbs for $7, installed them in two minutes and now I have a spare bulb sitting beside the jack, just waiting to be used. Thirteen bucks for one bulb! Fucking thieves!

Anyways, back at London Drugs I saw something that caught my attention. It was something called Boogie Board Jot 8.5, an eWriter. It is basically a tablet that is just meant for taking notes. I thought that it would be great, I could write the blog long hand and when I got home I could type it out which would give me a chance to revise. It would undoubtedly improve the blog. I have a birthday coming up and I am always at a loss when asked what I want.
I checked out the specs when I got home and was disappointed. It turns out that it is just an electronic note pad. There is no way to save what you have written, or to even transfer it to another computer. What is this thing for? It does come with integrated magnets so that you can stick it on the fridge and make a grocery list or a To Do list. I can do that with a scrap of paper.

I watched a guy on Youtube rave about this product and while I was watching I just didn’t get why he was so excited until the end of the video when he thanked the company for sending him a free Boogie Board Jot 8.5. I would be happy if they sent me a free one too, it would still be pretty much useless, but free is free!

So, don’t buy the Boogie Board Jot 8.5, it’s a useless piece garbage and never buy brake lights from a car dealership, unless you have more money than brains. If that’s the case you might want to pick up a Boogie Board Jot 8.5 to make a note not to buy the bulbs and stick it on your fridge.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Bill Gates’s Whore

I just read a new entry on facebook. It seems that Bill Gates wants to give everyone who shares his photo $5000. It goes on to say it’s no joke. Well, you don’t see me laughing do you?
I can believe that Bill Gates has nothing better to do that to spend all of his time writing checks to people who share his picture on facebook; so that even more people will share his picture and he can write them all checks as well. Why wouldn’t he? He is worth about 67 billion as of March according to Forbes magazine. I suppose it’s possible that he is only worth about $50,000,000,000 but in order to keep up with appearances he bought the Forbes publishing empire for about five hundred million so that he could stay the richest geek in the world.

I’m not sure why he so desperately wants his picture to circulate on facebook, but if he is willing to pay all of that cash out to perfect strangers, he must have a reason. Perhaps he has a bet on with Carlos Slim and Warren Buffet to see who can get the most hits on facebook. So far, I would imagine he is in the lead, but if Carlos or Warren make me a better offer, I’m their man. Yes, I am something of a money whore. I can be bought, but you have to keep upping the ante if you want me to stay bought. Right now I am Bill Gates whore.
Quite a few months ago, I “liked” the apple iPad. In honour of Steve Jobs death, if you “liked” the page or shared it, you would be sent a new apple iPad. I’m still waiting for the iPad by the way. I don’t even care if it is a new one, I would be happy with one of those reconditioned jobs. I appreciate that there were probably a lot of requests, but it has been quite a long while now and I think I have been pretty patient. I’m starting to think it is all a hoax and I will never see the iPad.
I am getting older, and us old geezers are susceptible to scam artists that prey on the elderly. Just the other day in the paper I read about two older women who sent this guy in Europe over $300,000 between them because he asked them to. Because…he…asked…them…to. I gather that they both were in love with this guy (long distance) and he needed some cash to buy some diamonds or sell some diamonds, but he would pay them back in a week or two. If anyone asks me how stupid women are, I now have a story that I can relate.

I realize that these people are silver tongued devils, but “I love you and incidentally, I’ll need to borrow $150,000 to buy some diamonds which I’ll sell in a day or so for double the money.” Long distance! I know what my reaction would be. Hahahahahahahaha.

“I don’t even buy myself underwear, there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell I’ll give you money for diamonds.”

I have always believed that you can’t cheat and honest man. You can’t cheat someone if they aren’t greedy and you can’t cheat someone that is sceptical about pretty much everything. When I get one of those phone calls that start out “I’m John with Telus and we’d like to save you money.” I always pause and ask “tell me John, why is it that you are so concerned with saving me money? Wouldn’t it be better for Telus if you didn’t call me and just let me keep paying too much for my phone plan?”

It gets into a “he said, we said” kind of circular debate that always ends with one of us hanging up in frustration. I don’t blame John; he is getting paid by the call, not by the amount of abuse he takes. I’ve got nothing better to do than to harass John and “like” the picture of Bill Gates on facebook.

Saturday 24 August 2013

The Best Reward of All

Yesterday was a good day. The weatherman gave us one of those days that you think of when you think summer, There was a brief dust/rain storm which was kind of interesting to experience, and I got to spend a lovely evening with friends from the past.

My friends Rob and Linda have finally come west and are discovering the beauty that we Albertans try to keep secret. They are visiting for a couple of weeks and have been staying with other good friends Mike and Esther who have shown Rob and Linda the glory of Banff, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump and the dinosaurs at Drumheller. They had a very busy three days. Friday was a rest day before they headed deeper into the Mountains and discovered British Columbia for a week or so. They are getting the royal treatment thanks to Mike and Esther.

Last night we met for dinner and conversation. Whenever I get together with friends from the old days, it is as if no time has passed and we just pick up the conversations from a few years past. We laughed and caught up on recent histories of kids and grand kids. “Hi’s” from friends back in Ontario were passed on and sent back. We left Mike’s place with a good feeling and feeling good.

I was wondering today if we would still be friends if Louise and I hadn’t moved out west all of those years ago. I am definitely an acquired taste and a little of me goes a long way. I know I would be a different person if I had stayed in Ontario, but whether I would be the kind of person worth being a friend, I just can’t answer. I’ll never know for sure.

What I do know is that the way life has swirled around me and mine has allowed a place for these wonderful people from my past to remain in my life, if only just a few hours at a time. We can’t predict the future, but I suspect that there will be tears and smiles when each of us reach for the great reward. When we all finally meet on the other side, we’ll pick up the conversations we had just a few years in the past. I’ll tell them how good they look now they are dead and I hope they are willing to lie to me as well.

Who knows, there’s a good chance we will be reborn as friends and get to do this all over again. That would be the best reward of all.

Friday 23 August 2013

I Would Prefer a Bald Barber

That time had rolled around again and I am past due for a haircut. I took the bottles back to be recycled and made enough to pay for my haircut. That is what they call serendipity. Probably no one calls it that, but I rarely have call to use “serendipity” in my life, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m just not that comfortable with it. Hmmmm.

I got in the car and headed down to see Dennis at his relatively new place of business. For those who have read this blog on a regular basis, Dennis is my barber of many years, mainly because he was conveniently located and he charged less than most barbers. I wrote a blog a while back about Dennis called “Human Sphincter” which tells of my months of agonizing about whether I should follow Dennis, who I don’t really like that much, or find another barber. I opted to follow Dennis since it was just easier in the long run.

I walked into the “new” barber shop (est. 1967) and asked the young girl there if Dennis was around. She said that he had retired to Lethbridge AB. Retired? WTF? How could he retire after I decided to follow him to this new place? I wasn’t aware that barbers retired, and I told the girl that. How could he do this to me? Now I was stuck! I am standing face to face with my new barber it seems, and I ask her if she thinks she can make me good looking. The way she hesitated before answering gave me confidence that she was basically an honest person and didn’t trust herself to lie convincingly.

I sat down and we began talking about Dennis. I guess a couple of his kids live in Lethbridge (why for God’s sake) and one managed to get Dennis a place in the senior’s complex. I can imagine there are lots of spaces available; nobody wants to live in Lethbridge. Even the dinosaurs choose to die off rather than live in Lethbridge. Dennis isn’t too happy in Lethbridge either, and a couple of weeks ago he hinted that he wanted to come back to the shop. WTF? I have a new barber now! I guess I will have to wait and see what happens.

I think I will stay with the new barber, because she was telling me that the main reason Dennis retired is that his eyes were so bad. His fucking eyes are bad? I followed him to the new place and he couldn’t see to cut my hair. That explains the giggles and whispers I hear behind my back every time I had my hair cut. It also explains why he stood so close to me when he cut my hair. I hope that’s why he stood so close. I could tell how many coins he had in his pocket sometimes.

Earlier today, this blog was going to be about whether you should go to a bald barber, or stick to one with a full head of hair. I don’t really see any difference, but I would imagine the bald barber would dream of having hair that needed cutting and would spend more time thinking about hair and how to cut it than a less follically challenged barber would. One thing is for sure, I would prefer to have a bald barber than a blind one, no matter how much the blind one rubs up against me.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Willing To Risk Alzheimer’s

Why is it that we do things that we know aren’t good for us?

Some of us will eat potato chips and chocolate when we are thinking about how much we need to lose weight. Maybe it is the stress of wanting to lose pounds and not actually knowing how to go about it that makes us eat. Maybe it is just the salty goodness and the silky smooth feeling on your tongue. Maybe it’s just the fact that no one really cares how we look anymore, including your self. Maybe you read an article once that said that eating vegetables (potato chips) and cocoa are actually good for you. Cocoa is said to improve the cardiovascular system, reduces the risks of cancer, coughing and heart disease. Not to mention the improvement it gives to improve the neurons firing in your brain. Well, I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere.

We watch TV which is really just a way to numb our minds so that we don’t notice what the people in power are actually doing. Mind you, if you are watching a show about the negative effects of watching too much TV, then it would be good for you. Well, not the commercials of course. Well, unless the commercial was about how to improve your brain power by eating chocolate.

We use aluminium pots for cooking and there are some suspicions that there is a correlation between the use of these pots and Alzheimer’s disease. That has pretty much been proven to be wrong. We would have to ingest far more aluminium than we do for it to have any ill effects. Well, that’s what the study sponsored by the Aluminium Manufacturers Association tells us. If you can’t believe the manufacturer, then who can you believe?

When I was a boy, aluminium was relatively new and things made of it were cheap and long lasting. We had aluminium plates, aluminium glasses, aluminium pots, aluminium cutlery and pretty much anything else that could be made from aluminium was made from aluminium. I remember how on hot summer days my mom would put ice cubes (from the aluminium ice cube tray) into aluminium glasses that were painted bright primary colours and then pour ice cold Kool-Aid into them. The glasses would sweat almost immediately and not only did the cool liquid soothe your insides, but the glasses cooled your hands and face. It was heaven on earth in a made in Canada, “Wear-Ever”, aluminium glass.
I have been looking in the second hand store for one of these glasses for three years, and today I found two, one red and one green. Tomorrow when the temperature climbs above 25° I plan to cut the lawn and when I am finished, all hot, sweaty and with a need to quench my thirst, I will come in the house, put some ice cubes in the red aluminium glass, pour in some Kool-Aid and take a trip back in time to when life was simpler.

Sure, it might not be good for me, but the little boy in me is willing to risk Alzheimer’s just this once…

Wednesday 21 August 2013

It’s Not a Stupid Game

I was sitting around a table today with a group of co-workers, fighting off imminent exhaustion, when I mentioned a park in the city. Everyone knew the park and most have fond memories of either playing in the park when they were younger, playing with their kids or grandkids.

One of the guys asked if that was the park where they have a cricket pitch. Well, he actually said “Is that where they dress in white and play that stupid game?” We all knew what game he was talking about and no one at the table made any attempt to correct him. The sum total of my knowledge of Cricket comes from TV and movies.
I did have a personal anecdote that I contributed to the conversation. I was responsible for painting the lines on the soccer fields for our area. It was an onerous job and thankfully I only had to do it once in the springtime. We would mix “roundup” in with the paint and it would effectively kill all of the grass wherever the paint was for the season. There was another, greener, community that put a strong fertilizer in with their paint. The lines on the fields were outlined in emerald green grass. It was really quite unique and beautiful! The only draw back is that the grass on the lines grew much faster and thicker than the grass on the field and often the ball would be deflected or stopped by the lines. We stuck with the Roundup.

One day I went to paint lines up in Falconridge, and found a group of young men playing Cricket on the soccer field. I watched the game for a while and it still made no sense to me. I told the guys that I was there to paint the lines on the field and asked them if they wouldn’t mind playing their games off the soccer field in the future, because the running back and forth had killed the grass in that area. They said sure, no problem. Of course they continued to play where they were, but I’m not the field police and they were just having fun.
The odd thing about the negative comment about Cricket is that it came from a guy that played golf several days a week and in the winter he is a  curler. I suggested that just because it seems stupid, some might say the same about golfing and curling. I didn’t mention that I was the someone I was referring to. We went on to talk about all of the stupid, boring games that people play, and for every stupid game mentioned, there was someone at the table that either played it or watched it. 

It is possible that I was at a table with stupid people (likely), or that no game is stupid if you like it. Right now in Canada, we are pretty much in the middle of football and baseball season. They seem to go on forever. However, for a really stupid game that goes on forever, we are just about to enter the Hockey season. There is game after game after game for eight or nine months, and it isn’t until the playoffs sometime in the spring or early summer that the players take the game seriously. Maybe I just don’t get enthused until the spring. Maybe my heart has been ripped out by teams that just don’t seem to care about winning as much as the fans do.

Anyways, they play Cricket at Riley Park and unless 20,000,000 people in the world are wrong, it’s not a stupid game.