Saturday 30 April 2016

Hit The Hay

I haven’t actually been avoiding writing as directing my creative juices in other directions.

For instance, yesterday I woke up around nine…ish, had breakfast, walked the dog and then watched a little TV. After a hearty lunch, I napped for about an hour and a half when I woke up and made some popcorn and watched a rerun of NCIS. I looked outside and after determining that the lawn could do with its first cut of the season, I had another nap. This time I slept till shortly after seven. I had some supper and after watching some TV I decided to make it an early night.

Today I gave blood, walked the dog, looked at the lawn again, bought some lotto tickets and went to the library. When I got back, I put the sprinkler on the lawn and as everyone knows, you can’t cut a wet lawn. Maybe you shouldn’t cut a wet lawn. I effectively put the lawn situation off until sometime tomorrow. Can or should you cut the lawn on a Sunday? Isn’t it sacrilege? Hmmmm… I should check that out for use later in the summer.

I have been making some tiny easels for a friend’s niece. I am not really sure why she wants them, but it is a fun learning project. I suspect she must draw tiny oil paintings that need to be displayed. Tomorrow I think I will start carving again and I just might turn an egg on the lathe. You see, I gave a painted egg to Tornado last week and I suspect that no matter how careful he is with it there will eventually be an accident. Hence, a duplicate wooden egg.

I have done some baking as well, but there is no remaining proof.

I am pretty sure it is time to hit the hay and with any luck I will have some pleasant dreams.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Thuja Occidentalis

Thuja occidentalis; is better known as the Eastern White Cedar. Well, better known by horticulturalists and botanists I suppose. If you know the bush and think it would look just lovely in your front yard or as an accent on either side of your bay window, you can probably just go to the local garden centre and ask for it. I’m sure that you will pay too much for it, but if you really want it then money shouldn’t matter. It will break your heart though.
Over the years I have had neighbours who planted this and have lived to regret it. Regret is a strong word, but I am sure if they had the choice to do it over, they would pick something else. Maybe something that is native to this part of the country would be a good idea. One guy planted about thirty of them in a row on the edge of his property. I guess he thought that they would provide a nice bit of privacy and become a natural fence. Two thirds of them died the first summer and the rest lingered for a year or two until he hired a company to come and rip them all out and plant some other kind of bush that seems to be thriving. It would be nice if he trimmed it every now and then…

The bush also has a tendency to die from the inside out. Maybe it is due to a lack of water, too much sun, too little sun or just poor soil conditions. Who knows? My daughter had a couple by her windows that grew to the eaves and died inside. Crazy tree/bush.
I have fond memories of these bushes. They grew wild on my grandmother’s property at the cottage and pretty much everywhere else in the general vicinity. Well, they did until Gram waged war on them. She felt that they were breeding grounds for mosquitoes and she had suspicions that mice lived somewhere near the roots. My brother and I were behind this idea 100% because it meant that Gram let us use the axe to cut the trees down. They were only about four or five feet high, but we were little kids and to us they were forty foot maple trees. We lost interest when it came to digging the roots out of the ground, but that is what dads are for. Maybe that’s why dad was against cutting them down, well, that and if they weren’t there then it would be more grass for him to mow. Once we chopped them down, we tossed them on the fire and they would crackle and burn like mad, being full of sap. I still remember the smell of the bush and the fire.

My neighbour has an Eastern White Cedar that is half dead; I was thinking that I could do her a favour and relive a chapter from my youth if I tossed a match or two into the dead centre of the bush. It would burn so nicely and smell heavenly. Unfortunately, so would her fence, attached deck and more than likely the house would burst into flames.

Hmmm…I have always liked watching firemen in action. 

Monday 25 April 2016

Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone

“Man does not live by bread alone.”

I’ve heard this all of my life. I have said it more than a few times as well. When I said it I meant that there is more than one way to look at a problem or live a life. I suppose that I always knew in the back of my mind that it was a quote from the bible. It could have been Shakespeare of course or any number of old Romans, Greeks or Tibetan. I doubt that it could have been a German philosopher because it doesn’t mention hating your father or lusting after your mother or having a breast fixation.

I like bread, pretty much all kinds of bread. I think that bread likes me even if it never lasts very long when I am around. Often, I will look in the pantry and see several different types of bread, pita, tortilla, buns, bagels, artisan loaves, sourdough, whole wheat and your basic white bread. Sometimes one or more of these breads are sporting greenish blue mould and has to be tossed out. I have been known to have a sandwich and half way through I will notice the mould. Penicillin is made from bread mould isn’t it?

Anyways, today I looked in the pantry and there wasn’t a loaf, a slice, a bun or a crumb. I don’t know how I got to this sorry state of affairs but it needs to be rectified. I went out a couple of times today, but both times I forgot to buy bread. For the past few months I have been making my own bread which is one of the reasons there is always some in the house. I sometimes make my own tortillas (easy), we have a bread maker but in the past couple of years we have avoided using it for no particular reason. There is a wonderful no-knead bread called the New York Times 24 hour bread which produces a lovely loaf of artisan bread with almost no effort at all. That one is too good and never lasts very long. The recipe I make now is good but not so good that I will have a slice of bread because it is there. This bread is great to toast and is also good for sandwiches. It also costs less than a dollar a loaf which appeals to the tightwad in me.

So, long story short I just took two loaves out of the oven and if Louise doesn’t eat them both while they are warm, I should be able to have freshly baked toast and home made jam for breakfast tomorrow.

I may not be able to live by bread alone, but a dollup of butter and a generous helping of jam certainly can’t hurt.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Stay Within The Lines

In the past year or so we have become the owners of at least three adult colouring books. One is of “The Enchanted Forest”, another is called “The Time Chamber” and the third is selected scenes from “Harry Potter”.
The “Enchanted Forest” is filled with highly detailed sketches of woodland scenes depicting leaves, trees, nuts, fairies, wood nymphs, small animals and although I have yet to see one, I am betting there will be a unicorn on one of the pages. I did flip through hoping for a picture that has a winter scene. My thinking is that snow would be pretty easy to draw considering the paper is white to start with and all I need draw would be the odd shadow. No such luck though. I suppose I can hope for a unicorn in a forest of birch trees.
“The Time Chamber” is filled with depictions of clockwork gears, lattice, plants, tea cups, hot air balloons, cutlery, keys, and measuring tapes and of course clocks. There are any number of little boys or girls (trans gender) hiding behind whatever happens to be in the picture. Some of the drawings are very Escher-esque. All in all, a pretty bunch of black and white drawings.
“Harry Potter” is as you might expect filled with places, magical creatures, plants, dragons and the people who populate the imagination of J.K. Rowling. This is my favourite, mainly because I haven’t looked at it and imagine that it is relatively simple. I like simple!
With the first adult colouring book we dug some coloured pencils from a box in the basement that the kids left when they grew out of them. Little did they know that in a short ten or fifteen years adults would be colouring again. For whatever reason, the colour of those pencils was less than satisfying. They seemed to be somewhat washed out, maybe it’s just that they are old and tired pencils whose lead has atrophied over the years. That could happen…
We went to Michaels to pick up some coloured pencils that would do the trick. The ones we found were Oil Color Pencils which boasted “brilliant colors”, “acid free” and “photo safe”. How could we go wrong? The drawings were still washed out like the colours of a two year old dish rag. I thought that perhaps I just wasn’t pressing hard enough or that if I could only get a large enough area filled in the colour would magically get more vibrant like the ones I picture in my mind. I didn’t do a huge area, but it was enough to tell me that the Oil Color Pencils had been a waste of money and time.
Back at Michaels in the art section where you have to take out a mortgage to buy a brush, we found some felt markers for between five and ten bucks each. Needless to say, we went over to the kid’s art area and picked up 24 markers for a much more reasonable price. I’m sure those expensive markers would be fantastic, but really I’m not really looking for fantastic. I will be satisfied with “cool”, “okay” or adequate. I tested out a marker or two and the colour is more like I expected.
Now the problem is to make time to fill in all of those lovely drawings and with any luck I will be able to stay within the lines.


Sunday 17 April 2016


Of all the things that tears my heart apart, disappointing children is at the top. I have never willingly done so, but there have unfortunately been many times in my life. Part of the problem is that kids don’t understand “maybe”. They have “YES” down pat and sometimes “NO” will register with them, but not for a long time. Too many “maybes” have become “YES” in a little mind and turned out to be “NO”. I would like to apologize to my kids for all of the “NOs”, “maybes” and even the “YESs” that were less than stellar.

Perhaps that is why grand parents spoil the grand kids. Well, aside from the fact that they are far cuter, smarter and more fun to be around than their parents ever were. We as grandparents have said too many “nos” and too many “maybes” as well.

Last week, Aunt Maegan was out for a visit and we had the pleasure of Hurricane and Tornado for four or five days in a row. Maegan did the heavy lifting, but Louise and I were back up entertainment. Over the period of time that the boys were here, Tornado wanted to do a pysanky egg like the ones that I had done in the past few weeks. He selected the design, helped to draw it on the egg and did some of the waxing. For a nearly six year old, he has pretty good concentration and was focused on the project. He particularly liked dropping the egg in the different coloured dyes and in the fullness of time bringing them out again.

We spent a few hours in the workshop over several days and the egg looked pretty good with the wax still on it. I was taking the wax off bit by bit and was almost done when a slight crack that we had been working around made the egg too weak and my thumb went through the side of the egg. We both wanted to cry and Tornado did. I didn’t know what to say to him and just gave him a hug. He went upstairs to get away from me for a while. I couldn’t blame him; I destroyed all of his hard work.

Maegan has gone back to Toronto and Tornado has gone back to his normal life. I have spent the last few days working on a replacement egg. The first one broke like the one Tornado and I worked on. The second eggshell broke when I was doing something I knew I shouldn’t do. I have just now finished egg number four and so far all is well. I do have to take the wax off and with any luck it will not break. I will then put a coat of varnish on it and maybe find or build a small display case to protect it from big, clumsy fingers and small, sticky fingers.

It is Tornado’s birthday in a week or so and I would like to surprise him with this egg as a replacement for the one he worked so hard on. Maybe this can turn into a “YES”.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Dream Ken

You know that feeling when you wake from a dream and you desperately try to get back to sleep and back to the dream. More often than not it is impossible to recapture the dream that melted away when wakefulness interrupted. Oh well, there is always another night and another dream.

This morning I woke up too early from a dream, or should I say that I woke up too early and I had been dreaming. I had no desire to recapture that dream and even though I was still tired and half asleep, I just couldn’t take a chance the dream would return so I got up and got dressed.

I dreamt that I was in the dentist office with the bib on and all of the grizzly tools of the dental profession arrayed just out of sight. I looked down the hall and saw this young guy in a too tight t-shirt and a really too tight pair of denim shorts bopping along with a California smile, hair and tan. He took a quick look at the x-rays and then turned his smile on me. He told me his name was Dr. Billy and he would be filling in for Dr. Julie. If I had known, I would have cancelled until Dr. Julie was in town.

Dr. Billy bent over and had a look in my mouth. Well, he didn’t look so much as stick his fingers in my mouth and grab my back molar twisting it this way and that to see if it were loose. He said that with any luck he would be able to just twist that little rascal right out of my mouth.

“Listen Doc, I haven’t had any freezing at all…just sayin’”.

He smiled at me and said “Oh, I don’t believe in anaesthesia, it just isn’t natural.”

I told him that I was a product of the sixties and self medication was like a religion for me. Besides, I didn’t believe that pain was terribly natural either so if it was all the same to him I wanted him to use as many drugs as possible.

“Heh…heh…heh, I’m the one that went to university for four years and dental college for another four years, so of the two of us, I am better suited to make any medical decisions.” I hated that smug look he had on his face.

“Well, if you don’t want to spend a year in a full body cast, give an old hippy his drugs!”

Thankfully, this is when I woke up. There is no way I could have taken this guy. Maybe dream Ken could do it, hell, dream Ken can fly when he wants to.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Jumping on The Bed

Like most people, I can remember jumping up and down on my bed. I remember the feeling that I was flying or maybe somehow my legs had turned to rubber and I could jump higher than anyone. I also remember getting yelled at by my mom to stop jumping on the bed.

My dad watched all kinds of sports on the TV, and one of the sports I would stay and watch was the guys and gals on the trampoline. I don’t know if it ever made it to become an Olympic sport, but just watching them do all sorts of flips and twists in the air was incredible. I understand that trampolines are used by free style skiers while they are working on aerial tricks. I guess any sport that involves spinning in the air would also involve training on trampolines.

There was a trampoline in our high school, but it mostly stayed folded up against the wall or in the equipment room collecting dust. I don’t know what the gym teachers had against the trampoline. Perhaps there was an inherent danger putting teenagers four feet off of the ground with the ability to bounce with wild abandon and no common sense or fear of heights. The few times it was brought out, the teachers managed to suck all of the fun out of what should have been the best thing we did all year. Even the kids with no athletic ability could bounce on a trampoline and for just a few minutes, they got to feel like Superman.

When I went to Florida with my parents on holiday, there was this magical place that had forty trampolines imbedded in the ground. The beauty of that was if you bounced off of your trampoline you wouldn’t have so far to fall or you might simply bounce on the next trampoline in line. FANTASTIC!!! Of course the down side was that it would cost to bounce on the trampolines and I only had so much money to spend which was spread pretty thin already. One night, we climbed the fence and had the whole place to ourselves. We jumped until we were exhausted, lay down on a trampoline and watched the Florida stars, then we would jump some more. One of the best nights of my life!

Today, I went with Aunt Maegan, Hurricane and Tornado to a place called the Flying Squirrel. I thought that the place in Florida was magical, but it pales in comparison to this place today. There were fields of trampolines, trampolines angled up the wall, trampolines in front of basketball nets, trampoline dodgeball, pits filled with foam rubber that you could dive into, swing into, tightrope walk into and of course trampoline into. There was also an obstacle course which although pretty dangerous looking, it also looked like a lot of fun.

The boys had a ball! Aunt Maegan had a ball! I had a blast just watching them and maybe if/when I get in a little better shape I will test those trampolines out. If you have to break a leg or a hip, I can’t think of a better way. If there is one of these places in the town or city that you live in, go to have a look at the very least. Who knows, you might just get the feeling you had as a little kid jumping on the bed.

Monday 11 April 2016

Every Week All Summer Long For The Rest Of My Life

I was waiting on the corner of my street for my buddy to pick me up so that I could get a well deserved coffee. There isn’t a lot to do standing on a corner in the suburbs. Nothing much of anything ever happens on either of the streets, so you can imagine how dead it was on a weekday afternoon. The high point was when a car drove past me or was it when the wind blew a piece of newsprint, hard to tell.

My neighbour had done a lot of yard work two or three years previously. Well, she didn’t do the work, but she paid for it from her husbands insurance or alimony payments. I don’t know if he is dead or just gone, either way I am happy. She had some trees cut down, some shaped by tree monkeys, the sod on one side of the walk was dug up and levelled off. They then put down black ground cloth and covered it with four or five inches of red wood chips, the wood chips were probably meant to look like redwood, but they were just chips dyed red. The overall effect was stunning! It kind of made my yard of patchy grass and weeds look pathetic. Nice neighbour.

Well, a couple of years have passed, a couple of winters, more than a few rainstorms, wind storms, minor flooding and of course the unrelenting, harsh sunlight. The neighbour’s yard leaves a lot to be desired now. The black ground cloth can be seen through a thin coating of what is left of the wood chips which have all lost the red colour they started with and are now uniformly grey. I guess you have to work to maintain that original look. My pathetic lawn looks much better now in comparison and didn’t cost me a cent. I feel for her.

When I was working and walking around the city neighbourhoods, I had the opportunity to see how other people dealt with their front yards. Some people had the sod ripped out and poured concrete in its place, making the yard one big driveway. Some others had the sod ripped out and replaced it with river rocks of various sizes, interspersed with lovely bushes that required little or no watering. One guy dug up the sod and seeded it with wild flowers (weeds) which made all of the neighbours hate him so very much. One guy built a multi level deck over the entire front lawn, doing away with yard maintenance all together.

These guys all have two things in common. They hate the idea of cutting the lawn every week all summer long for the rest of their lives. The second thing they have in common is that two years down the line their front yards look like shit. The concrete is all cracked with weeds growing from the cracks, the rocks have all settled and shifted and there are weeds every where and those bushes are for the most part dead or dying. The wild flower yard never did look very good and is still pissing off the neighbours. The guy with the yard wide deck now has weeds growing through the cracks in the heaving deck and he can’t get under it to do anything about the weeds.

There is a reason that developers lay down sod, it is relatively cheap, easy to care for and when weeds inevitably grow, they tend to blend into the green of the lawn. Oh and it lasts as long as the house does. Yep, I have a crappy, patchy lawn, but the weeds tend to fill in the bare patches and it looks spectacular on the day I cut it, every week all summer long for the rest of my life.

Sunday 10 April 2016

Saturday 9 April 2016

Disaster Doesn’t Ask Permission

I was talking to some friends the other day and they were telling me about their preparations for disaster. They have dried food in storage, survival tools of all sorts; appropriate clothing, probably cash, hopefully survival knowledge and I wouldn’t doubt that they have a large supply of dehydrated water.

I have a lot of that stuff as well; perhaps not the money, dehydrated water, or dried food, but the difference is that my stuff is all over the house and garage. In a true disastrous situation, I would be in big trouble. I don’t even have a gun to take the stuff that other people have. There is a very good chance I would be rendered down for my fat content.

I have good intentions, but my follow through is less than stellar. Every time I go to the mountains and find myself lacking a stove, gloves, cleats, walking stick, power food, water or any number of other useful things, I vow that I will put together a “Trip Bag” with all of those things I feel would be helpful. I would also like to throw together a “Go Bag” for those occasions when I have to race to the airport and hop on a plane to paradise. That hasn’t happened yet, but I have high hopes that it will very soon.

I should get those bags ready to go and I do intend to in the very near future. However, I am talking about basic travel bags, not survival bags. I think I could muddle along for a week or two if some disaster dropped down from the sky, probably. I doubt that I could survive if the government didn’t send help right away. I just don’t have the skills.

I don’t think I have the desire either. I’m not sure that if civilization as I know it came to an abrupt end that I would want to live past the end. Food shortages, disease, fighting for morsels and having to shit in the woods do not appeal to me at all. I might be wrong; the human animal is nothing if not adaptable. I guess that if I could help my grandkids survive I would do all in my power to do so. I have a few skills that might help and knowledge of the way things were done before machines did those things for us.

I have rarely longed for a simpler life. My life has been pretty simple and I do love my modern conveniences. My idea of a simpler life is to have things done for me.

Disaster doesn’t ask permission and if I am caught up in a horrible situation I will do my best to protect my family and friends…but I am not hopeful for survival.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Not Stupid at All

So, today was the day for my blood tests, not last Wednesday. I consider last weeks trip to the clinic a trial run, not stupid at all. Nope, not stupid at all.

I was going to say that I needed to give them samples of my blood, urine as well as a stool sample, so I left them my underwear. I’m pretty sure that is in bad taste, so I won’t mention it.

Everyone gets tested every now and then, so I won’t dwell on my experience except to say that something needs to be done to shorten the waiting times. I made an appointment and got tested pretty quickly, but the waiting room was packed and I suspect some of those people would be there for a long time. There is no reading material, no real TV, just medical propaganda and nothing to decorate the walls or make the place look like it was built to deal with humans.

This is not a complicated issue; the solution is to hire more people. The more people that are doing the tests, the less time the people getting tested will need to wait. The woman that took my blood had trouble finding a vein (artery?) and had to literally take three stabs at it. Maybe she was new, maybe she was tired, and maybe she just didn’t like the look of me. I tried to be pleasant, but I have trouble keeping a smile on my face when being used as a pin cushion. No real complaints but I hope the new government can do something about our healthcare systems difficulties.

I went to McDonalds for a coffee afterwards and it seems that they were having a job fair at this particular location so there were lots of local high school kids milling about. I like to watch people, watch how they interact, check out their shoes, clothing and hair style. I’m really just looking for weird so that I can entertain myself.

Today the thing that stood out was the style of pants that the kids were wearing. They looked kind of like very poorly made riding pants to me. They fit very snugly to the calves and just above the knee they ballooned out and looked very loose. A couple of the guys were wearing them half way down the ass. Some had built-in wrinkles, kind of like horizontal pleats. The pants did not look comfortable at all.

I am by no means a fashionphile, but these kids looked really stupid. I know that my parents thought the same thing about me and my buddies for wearing “labourer” clothing, jeans and t-shirts. I still dress the same, but now it is the accepted norm. These new tight legged, baggy ass pants are no doubt the height of fashion and I bet they look wonderful on a select few stunningly beautiful people. They would look good in a burlap bag. Everyone else should go home and put on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Eat Dust Bunnies

It is said that cleanliness is next to Godliness. I don’t know who said it first or if anyone still says it now. I suspect that some bible thumping neat freak came up with the saying to justify their sick obsession.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the smell of people who wash their bodies, hair and clothing. Well, perhaps it would be better to say that I don’t like the smell of people who don’t wash their bodies, hair and clothing. I don’t go around smelling random people, that would be weird and FYI the mall security will ban you from ever returning to Marlborough mall if you are caught smelling people…so I’ve heard.

I like to drive around in a clean car, but it isn’t worth going to a lot of effort to clean your car if it is just going to get dirty the minute you leave the car wash. In Canada during the winter you rarely can drive 100 metres before the car has road grime covering it again. Sure some people say that they want to clean off the salt before it eats away the metal. Before the salt eats the metal? The closest ocean is about 1000 miles away and the amount of salt this city puts on the streets wouldn’t be enough for a box of movie popcorn. These people are borderline crazy and the border is way back behind them.

Now, I’m aware that I should do more house cleaning than I do and I probably would if it if didn’t get dusty all over again in a day or two. Now, either something is either wrong with the way houses are built or our standards need to be changed. What a colossal waste of time every week. I would design homes that faces the prevailing winds and when the wind was up you could lift up the front and the back of the house and let nature do the cleaning for you. Of course you would have to be more diligent about leaving important papers on the table and you would need to keep small children tethered to a supporting wall. I’d be willing to give it a try.

Anyways, I guess I had better end this and do some cleaning. Maegan is coming for a visit next week and Tsunami is scheduled for a sleep over on Friday night. Her mom and dad are pretty casual mostly, but draw the line at having their baby eating dust bunnies. Maegan is an adult and if for some reason she wants to eat dust bunnies that is entirely up to her.

Sunday 3 April 2016



How often have you seen this when you are playing a DVD or a Blu-Ray movie? Probably the question I should ask is have you ever seen this and do you care? I know that every time I see it I think about Long John Silver, Captain Kidd, Blackbeard and of course Jack Sparrow and how little they would care about the studios losing money. I have to say that I tend to agree with them.

Yes, if the studios don’t make money they will stop making movies or will only make movies that they know have a built in audience and sure to make money. Oh…wait…that’s what they do already. I’m sure that lots of movies are made that are worthy of my interest, but at $12/person I have to be pretty sure that I am going to like the movie. Not only that, but I have to be sure that I can’t wait three to six months before it comes out on DVD or Blu-Ray. Why have a big screen TV if you aren’t going to enjoy movies made for the big screens.

I grew up going to the movies every week. Mom and dad would drop me off at the Golden Mile Theatre where I would meet my buddies and we would go in to watch the show while our parents had a couple of hours off to shop, clean, rest or drink. We would get a Coke and some popcorn, argue about where the best seat in the house was and then settle in for an afternoon of fun. There would be a cartoon followed by a newsreel (sometimes), maybe another cartoon, and then the first movie would play. There would be an intermission to give us a chance to go to the bathroom and buy more popcorn if we had enough money. The second movie had another cartoon first and this movie was probably the one everyone really wanted to see. When all was said and done, we would wait outside until we were picked up to go home for supper. Mom and dad always seemed relaxed and ready to deal with kids for another week.

When I grew into my teen years, going to the movies was part of becoming an adult. It was through movies that we became aware of the important movements of our time. Woodstock, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Star Wars, The Sting, The Godfather, American Graffiti, All The Presidents Men, Blazing Saddles, Deliverance, Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Smokey and the Bandit, Logan’s Run, Billy Jack and every Saturday night we would get herbed up and watch Reefer Madness and Marx Bros movies at the 99¢ Roxy. Good times…good times.

I don’t know when my love affair with the theatres ended, but I am sure it had something to do with pop and popcorn costing more than the movie. If going to the movies becomes an affordable alternative to staying home and renting or downloading, there would be a lot more people in the seats. What the industry needs to do is take a good long look at why and where that money is going instead of threatening their customers with fines and jail terms.

Piracy is a crime, but so is treating your customers like shit.

Friday 1 April 2016

Torment The Cat

There is something that feels just a little off when you are sitting in someone else's empty house. I suppose it would be even more unnerving if you hadn't been invited to be there and the possibility of police intervention a very real possibility.

I have an invite just in case you wanted to know. My daughter and her husband are having central air installed and neither of them could be here for the service call. This is exactly the thing I envisioned myself doing when I retired. I am a useful tool when needed and a useless tool at all other times. Hmmmm.... That didn't come out right. I got here just a little early in case the guy/girl was ahead of his/her schedule; it wasn't as if my appointment book was filled.

The first thing I did when entering is to reassure Lola that she was a good girl and give her a good, long belly rub. Then I let her go out to take care of business, now, I just wait.

Houses have their own distinct personalities, and this one is semi-organized mayhem with music in the background. This is the place that Hurricane and Tornado hang their hats and race up and down the stairs calling out for Poppa to "come see...". Today there are no excited little boys showing me that latest Happy Meal toy, no mom serving or cleaning and no dad wandering around inside and outside the house catching up on those things that never seem to get done. No coffee or tea being made and no conversation going on. It is just quiet!

The only thing actually moving is the timer on the stove that is flashing "4:16" over and over again. I would fix that for them if I could, but to tell the truth I have more than a few flashing digital numbers in my own home that I don't know how to deal with. There is a steady hum from the refrigerator and eventually, the furnace will probably kick on. There is a half eaten bowl of Cheerios which was probably abandoned in the rush to get to school and or work.

The cat just made his way up the stairs from the basement and is going up to the sleeping area of the house. Good, cats and I don't mix very well. They like me but I have an allergy to them and would prefer never to see them. I don't see the point of having a cat. Why not just buy a stuffed animal if you want a pet that ignores you? I have a lot of friends that own and love their cats more than you can imagine. They obviously aren't smart friends or they would own dogs who do appreciate everything you do for them and sometimes will drive would be burglars to the next house on the block.

Still waiting and I am starting to think I will be here for hours and hours. I hate servicemen. However, I don't have a lot to do and I came prepared with iPad, book, journal, newspaper and if I am bored with all of that, I can torment the cat.