November 23, 2006

Robert McCall, in white fluffy form

{edit} I'm bringing back this post... not only because I like it alot and we got a big dump of the white stuff today but... I'm friggin' lazy these days with the posting etc.{/edit}

Snow really is the great equalizer. We received about a couple of feet of snow overnight, and as I was driving home last night I realized that there are a few things that snow does to throw everyone in the same boat.

  1. Smoothing goodness
  2. Everything smooths out when it snows; the landscape seems smoother, your walking is forced to be smoother (no running dude), and damn you have to drive smoother unless you like spinning out of control into light posts. The highways become smoother, although that's not a good thing, this usually has the effect of making your back less smooth as it becomes twisted in knots.

  3. Cool becomes uncool
  4. Your ultra pimped out lowered ride suddenly becomes more of a hindrance than a help as you try and get it out of your back alley clogged with snow. Meanwhile the old shitty looking toyota tercel from down the street passes you on the street because that guy drives a sensible vehicle. Cool people with thin leather jackets and no gloves now look ridiculous as they stand outside teeth chattering with an inch of snow in their hair and snot-cicles hanging from their nose. Some think SUV's are the way to go, you may be able to take off faster, but if you think you have a superb ability to stop at an icy intersection you will be unhappily surprised as you go careening into the side of an eastbound car.

  5. Distraction
  6. Snow is a great distraction and can smooth out your worries. If you've got money/girl/family/work problems they disappear as you concentrate on keeping your car on the road and navigating around the idiots trying to find a way around the great equalizer.

  7. You can't escape
  8. There is no escape, everyone has to travel through it, and experience the wonders of being late to work. The snow falls on us all, whether rich or poor, tall or short, smart or dumb. It's almost comforting somehow to think others are just as miserable as you are, kind of calming. We're all in this together.

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April 25, 2006

Some slight pulling and tugging

I'm officially neutered, sterilized, whatever you want to call it. It really felt like a spay clinic in the dayward of the hospital, you walk in and there are a bunch of guys sitting around trying to not make eye contact or laughing nervously, and then watching with big eyes the ... patients try to hobble all nonchalant. If you've ever dropped your pet off at a spay clinic you'll know what I mean.

I have a couple of tips for those planning about going under the knife:

  1. Don't believe them when they say it doesn't hurt, or all you will feel are some tugs and pulls. Not if you apparently need more anesthetic than most, and they miss an area. One word: Cauterization. It felt like somebody plugged a 9 volt battery onto one of my boys: electric shooting pain.
  2. Have someone drive you there and back, and make sure that someone knows on the way back NOT to drive like he's in a rally car race.
  3. Follow the instruction for pre-op. If they say shave the area, shave the friggin area. You really don't want some grumpy bitch in scrubs taking a hoe to your private parts, the one who did mine apparently thought she was working in the friggin garden or scraping of her windshield.
  4. Be on time, or the above nurse will be even grumpier.
  5. Continually remind yourself the following: "My wife pushed a friggin canteloupe sized head out of her crotch, this is the least I can do" for me I thought "C-section". Of course this won't help with the pain, but it will distract you temporarily.
  6. Afterward, peas and (surprisingly) frozen bagged cooked pasta are your best friend. Put them on, keep them on, just do it, the next day you'll thank me.
  7. Don't sit on your ass all day afterwards it will just make it worse. Get up and walk around, not too too much, but the boys need their adjustments and exercise.

I swear to everything that's unholy, if I have a shaver handy and I see that nurse... she's gettin' it right back. Apparently once you're 50ish you can completely forget caring for the patient and just treat them like they have no pain receptors. I'm pretty sure the shaving will bug me longer than the incision.

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March 24, 2006

Get it before it's gone

Something I've noticed in the past few months, I don't know whether this is because of cheap accomodations/airfare, the age I'm at, or a subliminal urge brought on by worldly trends and developments, but a lot of the people I know have or are have planned out a trip to somewhere outside of the country. The destinations vary from tropical getaways to far away countries like China or Thailand.

I've been thinking that I will have to plan a similar flight soon, my purpose would be different and planned: to witness world wonders that will not be in the state that they currently are in say 10 years. One of these places is the sinking city of Venice, I've heard the square is only above water for a handful of days a year, if they can't create a solution that will be a worldwide loss of history. I would have liked to visit New Orleans, there's another place that will never be the same.

They're saying now that in the next 100 years we're going to see substantial rising of the oceans because of accelerated melting of the polar caps. If the recent weather is anything to go on, I don't want to see what we're going to be hit with in 2050. I'm no scientist, but I"m thinking constant hurricanes/cyclones somewhere in the world, tidal waves, increased earthquake activity, disappearing islands and land shifts. With the increase in temperatures there will also be an increase in sickness, pestilence and bug infestations, resulting partially from a lack of extreme cold weather which seems to kill off many of the disease carrying pests. I also predict an increase in winds and a decrease in arrid land, in northern Alberta alone I've noticed there are few days that the wind doesn't blow, and when it does it's usually pretty brisk. When I was a kid there was more moisture, less warm days, more snow and less wind.

I hate being negative, but I think we're going to have to start adapting to this place while trying to change our behavior, as we've gone past the point of no return. There will never be a time like there was, the weather will get wilder and more unpredictable, the seas will rise and our environment will change, that's a given. The amount of ground-level ozone and CO2 that we've generated is out there and there is no way of bringing it back, and the leaps and bounds that science has achieved in alternative fuel and combustion engines over the past few years is too little too late. If they would have started back when science found out about global warming maybe we would be in a situation where we could postpone the impending changes.

Humankind has some work ahead and some changes to do but what are we doing? Killing each other, squabbling over land, fighting over who's g*d is the real g*d, vainly trying to eek out ever last drop of our addiction (oil) out of the planet, even though the reliance on it is partially what's killing us, imposing our beliefs and morals on other people, judging, convicting, and sentencing ourselves to death.

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August 11, 2005


Fear of the dark, or Lygophobia, yeah I've got it, just like Shank apparently has it. It's not so bad now that I've grown up and have kids etc. but every once and awhile when I'm sleep deprived it seems to rear it's ugly head, it's definitely not as bad as Ted's appararent fear of household appliances.

The root of my fears probably stems from my 2 older sisters, one 5 one 7 years older. When I was say... about 4 or so, I distinctly remember them torturing me on "babysitting" nights. I'd be doing something, who knows what, and suddenly all the lights would go out and they'd be running around saying "Daaaaaviiiid..... DaaAAAAaaaviiiid"... (Funny... I get the sudden urge to punch someone right in the kisser). And of course that would result me yelling, screaming "I know you're there" "I know you're there" etc. etc. until either I frantically found the light switch or they gave in and turned the lights back on. They apologized many many years later for it, or at least my oldest sister did, but I still wanna give them a swift kick.

The house we lived in when first moving to Alberta was another contributor to the fear. It was about 60 years old or more, and many local people new it was haunted when we moved in. Not until we had been living there for a good 10 years did we find out that about 4 people had died in the house, one in a not so natural death. Both parents who built the house died in it, one son apparently didn't want to go to war or something, so he hung himself in the attic, and the other died of a heart attack in the room that would be my parents. They didn't find the last one for a good 2 week or more, in July. An odd nasty odor could be smelled in my parents room when the wind was right.

We noticed the ghostly housemates early on, things like books falling off the music holder on the upright piano down onto keys while we're eating supper in the next room (no-one in the piano room). Mom had a guitar hanging in their bedroom, we were all sitting in an adjacent room and heard it strumming, we all went to look, no one there. My oldest sister slept on the second floor, one of the bedrooms under the attic, she used to hear footsteps upstairs all the time, like someone walking around.

My own personal experiences were bizarre. I was almost asleep one night (I also slept on the second floor) I turned over and noticed kind of a fuzzy figure tiptoeing into my room, then disappearing into the window. My parents told me that it sounded like I jumped from the top step to the bottom, and came skittering into their room, I didn't sleep in my bed that night. One morning I got up earlier than everyone else, in our stairs down to the kitchen there was a sliding peephole so you could look down into the kitchen, I looked through it and saw something I denied for a long time. The cupboard doors were swinging, and not just a couple but almost all of them. I ran back to bed in disbelief and tried to go back to sleep.

You can imagine why my lygophobia was so strong. The fear of the dark was still alive and well in our trip back home from Victoria, at about 2 in the morning we stopped at a roadside stop for a nap, at some point I woke up to relieve myself, got out of the car, started my business, thought I heard something in the bush, hurriedly finished, got in the car and drove the rest of the way home... it being something like 5 in the morning, bleary eyed and delirious. Of course that time of day in Jasper National Park is scary because the wildlife take back the road, they are everywhere, it's like mountain goat slalom with your car.

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July 22, 2005

Security Nets and other things

I ducked out of a conversation here at work yesterday, mostly because of the insane possibilities for argument and I wasn't in the mood. Also because I know the person who started it, and from what I've seen their view of the world comes only from the big tv stations, newspapers and gossip. She tried telling us this: Homeless people choose to be homeless. Ok in my opinion blanket statements like this should be grabbed, strangled, stomped on a couple times and then thrown in the deepest pit you can find, because they just don't belong in a forward thinking society. Upon this statemtent I merely said "I'll just sit here drinking my coffee, I'm not getting into this", and luckily the "discussion" ended not long after that. As I was driving home I thought more about it and came up with some thoughts I had to post, to get them out of my head.

From my perception, albeit limited to my experience and knowledge, homelessness comes from a variety of beginnings:

  • Poor family, bad neighborhood, parents die, no support group
  • Abuse in the family (sexual or mental), runaway
  • Psychological problems or substance abuse, no support group
  • Financial trauma, loss of income and housing

If I've missed something out please let me know.

The instigator of the "discussion"s one argument was that there are so many social programs available for people that they have no reason to stay on the street, that they can get help if they want it. Ok yes, there are many social programs, and yes, they could probably pull themselves out of the gutter in say the 4th instance I listed, where they had recent memories of things being better. But when you were born to poverty, abuse and/or depression, there's apparently a big chance that you also will continue that poverty, abuse and/or depression unless something happens or you are smart/willful/hopeful enough to make something of yourself.

I read once in the Scientific American (ok, now I can't find a free link to the article) that extended sadness, where there is nothing that relieves misery, no good things happen, can actually change the makeup of the brains chemistry and create clinical depression where there was none. I truly believe this because before my little guy arrived I'm absolutely sure my world would have taken the down road to depression. When you continually perceive that nothing matters, that nothing will make it better, and that you really don't deserve better, you're view of this world is a flip-flop of what a "contributing" member of society is. I'm sure I could have found help, but I truthfully didn't think it was worth it. I'm lucky that I have a wonderful family, and I had that to fall back on during difficult times, others are not so lucky.

It's so easy to make snap judgements when you grew up with sane parents in a "normal" family where you went to school without the constant worry of going home to find no one or constant fighting or the threat of violence. Those of us who are the lucky ones take for granted that we always had food, and clothing, and a hug from a parent when we were sad. I thank God every day for my parents and they way they brought me up; we never had excess but we always had enough.

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June 08, 2005

blogs and bumper stickers

As I was heading home last night I saw a couple of bumper stickers that made me shake my head, one was "Marriage = " a cartoon man + cartoon woman (y'know, the ones from the public washroom doors) and another was something about guns and liberals. Last night I was also browsing through a swack of blogs, and was amazed at the amount of political, right-wing conservative and/or pro-gun and/or "anti-pc" and/or one or two left-wing blogs. I started to think of how these two things go together, blogs and bumper stickers.

Are blogs the 21st century version of, or in some way the evolution of the bumper sticker? It's definitely a bandwagon thing in many cases, one person gets a sticker, their friend sees it, they put it on their car, etc. etc. Now it's the same thing with blogs, we see a link, link to it and link link link etc.

Bumper stickers were/are used to convey mostly strong feelings about certain things whether political, environmental, emotional, or of course comedic, bizarre, and radio station stickers. Blogs fall right in line there too: you have funny blogs, family blogs, bizarre story blogs, ranting anti-this-or-that blogs.

Bumper stickers when applied en masse become invisible and meaningless, just like some of the icons, images and stories across blogland: how many times do you actually look at sidebar icons? Things are funny/interesting the first 2 or 3 times then boring or annoying the next 30,000. Reading the same story or different rants all saying basically the same thing adds up to following a van with the bumper sticker "Get in shut up hold on".

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August 05, 2004

Happy Birthday

He's gone, 3 years gone, and no matter what I do I can never bring him back.

I didn't know him well, and he never saw my face but that didn't matter, he was still a part of me. I loved him and I love him still.

Today my next born put a rose on his grave, for his brother who now looks over him. I'm pretty sure they've talked, and I know he looks over us.

We celebrate the time we did have, 37 wonderful weeks of joy.

Happy Birthday Tristan

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