Monday 31 May 2021

Bleached Asshole

There will be no photos in this blog. The reasons will become obvious.

I know that I watch far too much television and in the past few years I have taken to talking to the television which I know isn’t completely normal. I pretend that I am talking to Louise, but I would and do say the same things if she is there or not.


I question the plot lines and comment that a character would never act is such and such a way, they are too nice/mean/stupid. I’m not sure if the writing has dropped to a new low or if the writers are dumbing things down for the base audience. We have to remember that a majority of Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and that was incredibly stupid. There are still a lot of incredibly stupid people that firmly believe he should be back in the White House. He should be in a white jacket with wrap around sleeves and buckles in the back.


I don’t know why I can accept The Avengers in my world, but have trouble with 20 bad guys with sub machine guns missing one good guy hiding behind an open door of a cop car. Yes, any kind of bullet would rip through a car door like it was going through tissue paper. Oh, and if you happened to be shot in the upper chest, arm or leg you would be rolling around on the floor in agony, not driving a car out of a tunnel and somehow managing to take out a helicopter in flight. Iron-man could take out the helicopter with no problem.


Commercials are really stupid too. I can only imagine what my doctor would say if I said to her that I would like her to prescribe a drug I saw on TV and no, I am not worried about possible blackouts, loss of fine motor control and anal leakage just so long as I get rid of that irritating itch.


When did people get concerned about having ultra white teeth? Who would go to the effort of pasting strips of God knows what on their teeth for an hour before bed? Why? I get that a mouthful of broken, decaying teeth would be a major turn off, but if you have kept up your regular dental appointments a little yellowing and the odd piece of spinach caught between your front teeth shouldn’t be a problem. There is one tooth whitening commercial that makes me want to break every tooth in her mouth. See what you would look like with dentures!


There is one thing that I haven’t seen a commercial for, but it is only a matter of time. I have been told that this is something that people actually do and have done to them. These crazy people are having their assholes bleached! Personally I don’t want bleach anywhere near my asshole. What if you made a mistake and mixed the bleach with ammonia which makes chloramine gas which will burn your eyes, lungs, cause internal organ damage and in some cases it can be explosive. Of course you know that people who are concerned what their assholes look like generally have lots of money and they hire people to do the bleaching. I thought working at the Post Office was a shitty job.


Who gets close enough to be aware that your asshole is a lighter shade of dark than it was last week? I am of the opinion that by the time that special someone is getting up close and personal with your rectum, he/she is beyond caring about appearances. “Oops…sorry…I have to draw the line at chocolate brown. See ya never!


Well, there is TV to talk to and things to be critical of.

Thursday 27 May 2021

Close the Circle


When I was seven or eight, I was caught trying to steal something in a Zellers store. I really can’t remember what I was trying to steal, I want to say pens, but I seem to remember that ball point pens were just getting popular and it seems to me that I didn’t get to use one until grade seven or eight. I could be wrong about the pens, but I was caught stealing from Zellers.


You would think that the store would call my parents to come and get me and the adults would deal with any apologies or compensation that was needed. The store did call my parents and the police. At the time, Zellers had a zero tolerance policy toward shoplifting and ANYONE caught was charged and taken to court. Suffice to say that I was punished at home and after my bum lost the redness the whole incident drifted away from me as serious things do with little children.


Some time later, I found out that I would be getting a day off school. It wasn’t a fun day off, it was so that I could appear in Family Court with my dad. I can still remember that drive down the Don Valley Parkway and we turned off at what I now know was the Bayview Ave ramp. Little Kenny had never driven there before so it stuck in my mind. I also remember crying because at some point I realized that dad had to take a day off of work and it was because I was a bad boy.


I don’t really remember anything about the courtroom, but I am sure there was crying involved and now I know that dad probably was treated as s bad parent because his child was a common criminal.


I am so sorry dad!


The one positive that came from that incident is that for most of my life I have refrained from theft. Mostly. I did steal a book when I worked at M & S publishing called “The Book of Tea”, but I gave it to my friend John so…no touch backs. I think that was the name of the book, I looked on his shelf a few years ago and saw that book there. I imagine John has forgotten where the book came from.

Yesterday the neighbours across the alley had the lumber to build a fence dropped in their yard. Now that fence is going to be about 120 feet long at least, it is a corner lot. With the price of lumber now I am sorely tempted to sneak across the alley at three in the morning and spirit away a few hundred dollars worth of fence boards. The trouble is keeping the theft secret. Stealing from neighbours is frowned upon even in Alberta.


I suppose that I could take some boards and ship them to my buddy John. He is a pretty good carpenter and could make a bookshelf for all of his books on tea. That would close the circle.


Wednesday 26 May 2021

SPACE PEN: Put Down The Probe

When you work for a living and it doesn’t matter what you happen to work at, there are specific challenges related to that job. Sometimes the biggest challenge is dealing with your co-workers and the customers. It is those smaller, technical challenges that you can often spend years thinking about and trying to solve. Often there is no easy fix so you just give up and suck it up. Sometimes, there is a solution.


When I delivered mail, the weather often posed the biggest challenge. Thankfully, the Post Office wardrobe department provided us with semi yearly “issue” of clothing that covered everything from drenching downpours to minus 40°C. The only thing they couldn’t do is to provide clothing that gave the naked feel in very hot summer weather. I am sure there were some carriers that took matters into their own hands and did naked until the police came for them. Not me!


One of my bug-a-boos was that in very, very cold weather my pens would freeze and I had to ask the people not only to sign for their Registered mail, but to also provide a pen to do it with. Often this was no problem, but sometimes the person would disappear into the house for what seemed like hours while you stood on the stoop in the freezing cold. How could someone not have a pen that is easy to find? After a (long) while they would come back with a pencil and I would have to tell them that it had to be signed in ink and that ink should be black because the Post Office scanners didn’t scan blue ink very well. Of course this developed into a discussion of the inner workings of the Post Office and how I did not make policy I just did as I was told. Often I would end by telling them that although they couldn’t sign for the letter in pencil, I could write a card for them to pick it up at the sub Post Office the next day. That never went over well.


This went on for years and poor Louise had to listen to me whine not only about the weather but how I couldn’t get a signature. One year for my birthday or Christmas, Louise bought me a Fisher Space Pen! This marvelous pen would write upside down, on greasy paper, on wet paper and in -40°C temperatures. I loved that pen! I just had to remember to get it back from the customer after he/she signed for the registered letter. It also came in black and till the day I retired I didn’t have that problem again.


A few months ago I began to think about that space pen and wondered what it had been doing since retirement. I started looking in my desk drawer to see how it was doing, but no space pen. I looked in the kitchen where we have a tiny bucket filled with pens. No space pen. Over the next few months I looked in every drawer in the house, every pocket in every jacket I own, the postal uniforms that I still have and in the garage. The pen might have found it’s way into a car. No space pen.


I have several coffee cans filled with pens because I just can’t resist buying baggies of pens at the second hand store. I knew that the space pen wouldn’t be in any of those cans because my pen fixation came long after I left the Post Office, but I had to look. I am still looking for it from time to time but so far no luck.


I did find the refill that came with the original pen, but because it has an innovative design you just can’t slot it into any ball point pen housing. However, it turns out that the refill came with an adapter so that it would fit a Parker Pen. I was sure that in all of those drawers, coat pockets, automobiles and coffee cans I would have a Parker Pen. Out of perhaps a thousand pens I did have one Parker Pen which I put the refill in and labeled it as a Space Pen so that it wouldn’t get misplaced or tossed out.


I don’t have a use for the Space Pen any longer and I have pens that I like much more for writing. I don’t have any other pen that I spent so much of my retirement trying to find so in a way it is precious to me. It sits to the left of my keyboard and well, it just sits. There may come a time when I will be abducted by aliens and if I am allowed the time to fetch my Space Pen I will be able to leave Louise a note telling her where I have gone even if I am upside down writing on greasy, wet paper in -40°C weather. I hope this marvelous pen will convince the aliens to put down the probe.

Tuesday 25 May 2021


I know that I am getting old and that the things I now care about I probably wouldn’t have given a thought about a few decades ago. Obviously, I care about COVID now and just two years ago if someone had told me about a global pandemic I would have said that I saw that BBC TV series from 1975 and I liked it even though it was more than a little dark. “Survivors” ran for two or three years and I actually own a copy. I haven’t watched it since COVID, because frankly it scares me shitless.


I like watching little kids more than I did when I had little kids, probably because I’m not to blame if something goes wrong. Even with Hurricane, Tornado and Tsunami, I can’t be held responsible for getting into trouble with them. It is the parents fault for trusting their kids with someone of questionable decision making ability. If it burns or can put an eye out, how can it not be fun?


I like all manner of tools. New tools that make working easier are exciting to own and using them make me feel that I know what I am doing. I don’t, but the tool does. I really love old or “vintage” tools. Those tools were made to last for craftsmen who would use them on a day to day basis. They couldn’t afford to go out and buy a new saw or plane if they got dull, they would never buy the brand again. The brands knew and therefore made quality items. That is why I can find tools that are 100 or 120 years old and still work much the same as they did when they were bought. To know that someone made a living with one of my tools is inspiring. I’m not inspired to work of course, but it is inspiring.


A couple of weeks ago our bread maker died on us. We have had it for twenty or twenty-five years and used it throughout that time rather sporadically. During the past few months we have used it to mix and knead the dough and we would then shape the loaves, let them rise and pop the loaf in the oven. That way we didn’t have that awkward hole in the bottom of the loaf from the mixing paddle. Anyway, it died and I let it go without trying to repair it.


By the way, if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer that craps out on you here is a link for a video that will help you to fix it.


Glen and Friends cooking videos are really pretty good, you should try some of his recipes.


Okay, back to the subject. We ordered a new B & D bread maker from Amazon and got it the next day. I have no idea how they can ship and deliver that fast, but I think if has something to do with Jeff Bezos inventing a time machine and paying his workers minimum wage. What a prick!


This new machine has a timer function so I can set it to start in the middle of the night and have a fresh loaf of bread ready first thing in the morning. Pretty cool!


I know it won’t be around for some aging ex-hippie to use in 2121 and I suspect that it may not be around in five years but for $80 bucks it will more than pay itself off in a year or so.


Tomorrow I am eating a loaf of home (machine) made French bread.



Saturday 22 May 2021

The May 24th Long Weekend!

This is the official end of winter and the beginning of summer. Really we only have the two seasons in Alberta, as spring and fall are just transition periods that are impossible to predict whether the weather will be warm or cold. You just can’t count on the weather at all.


The May long weekend is the weekend that in years before Covid heralded the beginning of camping season. Before we had kids and shortly after we had kid, Louise and I would always go to Waterton Park in the south of Alberta for a long weekend of camping. There must have been some really good weather, but all I remember is huddling around the campfire in the rain and every now and then pushing up on the tarp to get rid of the pool of water that had accumulated since the last time I pushed up on the tarp. 

Sometimes we would huddle around the campfire and watch the snow fall. We were young and the campground smelled wonderfully of smoke and or pine. Often Lake Crandell would look like an extremely large Slurpee. The ice had slivered and hadn’t yet melted, remaining somewhere between solid and liquid. Not a place to swim unless you happened to be a fish.


One year , the year Arwen was born, we went camping with friends and on the Monday morning we woke up to the cars, tents, picnic table and pretty much everything in the forest covered in a thin layer of ash. I assumed it was one of the assholes in a Motorhome that made the fire so big they could see it from inside while playing cards. Firewood was free back then. On the drive home we learned that the ash was from the Mount St. Helen’s volcanic eruption. The news that week was very interesting.


The May long weekend is also the weekend that the good people of Calgary plant their gardens. It might still be a little early, but it’s certainly worth the risk. I have been moving the plants we bought in and out of the garage for two weeks now. If you don’t get your plants early, you don’t get your plants. We went to buy a couple of extra plants today and found that the more delicate plats died from the below freezing nights we have been having. The big box stores don’t have the ability to move the plants inside at night I suppose.


Tonight will be the last sub zero night for a while and I feel confident that once in the ground my plants will be alright. They may not be, but I am willing to take the chance. Worst case scenario the plants die and I have some expensive things to add to the compost bin. Everything should be fine, barring a mountain exploding.

Thursday 20 May 2021

Double Batch

We have all been doing things for the past year and a half or so that we never, ever thought that we would be doing. I can remember seeing people wearing masks in stores, on the streets and riding bikes and I thought to myself, “What do these people think they are doing?” How nuts were they? I guess I should have been asking “How healthy are they?”


Like a lot of people I have gone thru the jigsaw puzzle phase, the baking bread phase, the bingeing on Netflix phase and the puttering about the house phase. To be fair though I have always watched far too much TV and I’ve been thankful for the pandemic to give me an excuse. Thanks pandemic!


My life didn’t really change too much, I was retired and take it pretty easy most days. Even when I worked I took it pretty easy most days. I consider my thirty years at the Post Office as kind of a pre-retirement training. The only real difference is that I don’t have to wear a uniform five days a week. Most days I can be found wearing an old Post Office hat or wondering what I should do with the uniforms that I still have. I kind of thought that they would be on mannequins in the KEN HARRISON MUSEUM by now. That might not happen…


When the twins were born (about forty years ago) we joined the Calgary Twin and Triplet club which was a support group for parents of multiple births. Having twins is a whole different thing than having a singleton and it was nice for Louise to be able to talk to other women that were bordering on going crazy. They also held a sale twice a year which allowed us to buy doubles of things for a fair price. The favourite thing was the Dukes of Hazzard pedal cars. It was a good fund raiser and another one was the sale of a cookbook called “Double Batch”. It had many wonderful recipes that we  used when the kids were small and more than a few that we still use.


Well, forty years takes it’s toll on a well used cookbook, so a couple of years ago I decided that I should retype the recipes so that we would have access to them digitally and if there was interest I could give the kids copies for their very own. Maybe other people as well. That was a couple of years ago and since then I have been hit or miss typing the pages. I can’t imagine the work that creating a cookbook would be. The virus came last March and I have been very busy doing nothing so the cookbook just sat on my desk collecting dust.


Two or three weeks ago I decided that it would get done sooner than later. I think I must have been avoiding doing some real work, but the pages started to get done. Some of the recipes are dated and there is little or no chance of ever getting made in this house. Our favourites are still there and since typing them up I have rediscovered a couple of old go to’s.


I just found a page that I missed containing recipes for Playdough, Finger Paint and Coloured Macaroni which will be added to the Wit and Wisdom section tonight. I will end this with the recipe for the





Measure one cup flour into a bowl.

Remove Julie and Johnny’s hands from the bowl and wash them.

Re-measure the flour, add baking powder and salt.

Get eggs and milk from the refrigerator.

Sweep up pieces of the bowl from the floor.

Get a new bowl and measure the flour, baking powder and salt into it.

Answer the doorbell.

Return and remove 1/2 inch of salt from the greased pan.

Look for Julie and Johnny.

Answer phone.

Sweep up the pieces of the new bowl.

Clean up the egg on the chair.

Remove the stopper from the sink to allow milk to drain out.

Find Julie and Johnny by following the egg and floor footprints.

Wash Julie and Johnny, the floor, the chair and the remaining dishes.

Call the bakery and lie down.


Vivian Krogstad


Wednesday 19 May 2021

I Like The Look of the Dirt

A couple of years back Louise and I went to one of the best Garden Centres in the city to find a grassy solution for where the three trees were taken out. The stumps were ground out and that leaves a mix of wood chips and dirt. I figured that since the lawn  is pretty crappy anyways and I know almost nothing about maintaining a healthy lawn it would be prudent to consult a Garden Centre expert.


We found our expert and told him all about our grassy needs. We told him about the trees that had died over a few years and the one that we just wanted to go. If a tree can be an asshole, then that tree was one. I gladly signed the death warrant with a smile on my face. I was more than willing to spend hard earned cash to ensure that I couldn’t see it. Our expert seemed to comprehend our lawn care needs and walked us over to the grass seed area. He made a production of rejecting one bag after another and eventually selecting the bag that would fit our needs.


He explained that suburban lawns, unlike wild lawns, are never allowed to go to seed and therefore don’t reseed themselves. I had no idea what whiny babies lawns were. I just thought they were a pain in the ass that needed weekly cutting, sporadic watering and very infrequent fertilizing. I have even watched people rake their lawns in the springtime to get rid of thatch whatever that might be. Of course we had to buy an extra bag or two of seed to help it get healthy after years of neglect. His words, not mine. I think we even bought some chemical or powdery something or other to counteract the acidity in the soil. WTF?


We went home knowing that in a few short weeks our lawn will look like something out of Home and Garden Magazine. I prepped the spots where the trees had once been and dutifully seeded and powdered said areas. Of course I also spread seed on the existing grass so that it wouldn’t feel left out. I kept the lawn watered and wet for the next few weeks and was rewarded with microscopic blades of green coming out of the ground. I am sure the birds had more grass growing out of their ass holes. I couldn’t tell if the lawn was happy, but it seemed to be the same surly, worn carpet that it always had been.


For the next couple of years I waited for the areas where the trees had been to grow nice thick, luxuriant lawn that was on the bag of seed. It always looked like it had jaundice and the blades of grass never got past the needle stage. I knew by last fall that I had been taken by a smooth talking Garden Centre grifter that obviously worked on commission and saw two rubes ready for fleecing.


Today I put down my own compost on those pathetic, jaundiced spots where the trees had been, mixed some seed bought at Costco in with the soil and stomped it down well. I watered it and will continue to keep it moist for the next few weeks or until the birds have eaten all the seed. I also spread seed on the rest of the lawn because I kind of feel sorry for it somehow. Thirty five years of neglect does seem like it could be my fault.


Anyways, I am done for the day. I looked out the window at the spots of seed covered dirt and realized that I like the look of that dirt more than I will ever like a green lawn.