Tuesday, May 29, 2007

what goes up

So, there I was with a co-worker in the elevator yesterday---

---when suddenly - lurch-drop-slam!

The damn thing dropped about a foot and jammed to a halt. Scared the crap out of me (figuratively, not literally).

It did resume and come to rest at a floor (forgot which one) and we beat a hasty retreat from the death trap.

The story goes that when our office building was built they cheaped out and bought "used" elevators to install.

From now on I'm using only the stairs . . .

. . . I just hope they didn't cheap out on concrete as well.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

murder most fowl

ever just kill something because you could?

Ever feel remorse because of it?

If taking a life is murder then I am responsible for much death. But by life, I’m not talking people (they kill themselves off - smoking, drinking, speeding, drugs, hate, obesity - quite readily by themselves),

no, I’m talking about the so called “lower” life forms. Mosquitoes, spiders, ruffled grouse and a toad . . .

Yup, guilty on all counts, but unlike Charles Manson (up for parole again - yeah, right), I do genuinely feel sorry for those creatures I have offed.

Well, maybe not so much the mosquitoes - that’s more of a survival of the quickest thing.

. . . I recall (I see you rolling your eyes and thinking - oh, no he’s going off on some when-I-was-a-kid-thing again . . . well I am, so suck it.)

When I was a kid going partridge hunting with my dad was a way of rural wilderness life. We would head out to some deserted country road with our .22 rifles and forage for the elusive, but quite stupid, ruffled grouse.

It was always best to go out while the sun was just coming up and catch the birds pecking for stones on the side of the road. The thrill of coming around a bend and seeing one on the road was, for me, quite exhilarating.

My dad would stop the car and we would, as quietly as we could, get out and ready our weapons (to a partridge a .22 rifle is a weapon of mass destruction - just clarifying). Now, for those who have never hunted ruffled grouse, I have to tell you their heads are about the size of a pea - which means the brain housed inside is even smaller. And trying to hit that head with a .22 rifle at one hundred yards is almost impossible.

But, after several shots (the bird would most likely just look up then resume pecking again), either I, or my dad, would bag the sucker . . .

. . . supposed to be lovely father-son bonding memories, right? Well, I recall, after the kills, feeling kind of sorry for the birds. And I even remember petting one (quite dead I assure you) in the back of the car and telling it everything would be alright (yeah, I was like six). What did I know?

We did eat them, so it was not just killing for sport. And I don’t hunt anymore, nor will I. The desire has left me.

Why did the desire leave me . . .

. . . enter the toad.

One last instance, which is forever burned in my mind, was the demise of a friendly toad by my hand - and my Lakefield 12 gauge shotgun. It may be fun to blast imps in Doom with one, but taking down a defenseless toad is, well, kinda stupid and pointless.

I was walking (not six anymore, but like sixteen - I know, no marked intelligence improvement there it seems) down a country road hunting for partridge when I spied, in a small pool off the side of the road - a toad. Hey, I thought to myself, I wonder what will happen if I creep up to this guy and take a shot at him?

Gee, Mr. high-school doofus, what the hell do you think will happen?

As you may well have guessed, the toad, sitting on a stick, paid me little to no attention. I mean why should he, master of his environment, king of this little pool, flies buzzing about him - dinner on the wing - pay me any heed?

Cause I was armed, dangerous and dumb - that's why.

I sighted down my (must have been ten pounds) shotgun and closed the bolt action securing the toad’s fate in the chamber. With some sort of demonic glee (what other kind of glee can there be at a moment like this?) I pulled the trigger. If you have ever watched any World War 2 footage of sea battles you know what water explosions look like.

Well, one second Mr. Toad was grinning the good life, the next he was no more - literally. After the water, mud and stick fragments came back to earth, the toad was absolutely gone.

What did I feel? - kinda sick actually.

It was one of those quintessential moments in my life. I realized right then that what I had done was terribly wrong, that taking that life was sick and that I, by doing so, must be sick as well. I put a stop to that kind of behaviour. I stopped hunting - I put the shoe on the other flipper so to speak. How would I feel if somebody took a shot at me just because they could?

Now I don’t want to sound hypocritical (I eat meat and I know these defenseless animals are slaughtered for food) but the act of killing in cold blood I find distasteful and disturbing.

Here's hoping Manson stays where he is.

His kind, in my opinion, serve no real purpose in this world.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

10000 maniacs

seem to have visited this twisted place in just over a year . . .

. . . which for some (like me) is shocking, considering the drivel I spew here, and unimpressive to others (like Wil) who gets more visitors in one minute than I get in an entire day . . .

And no offence to Wil (I read and really enjoy his blog) but I’ll take quality over quantity any day . . . unless we are talking cash, then just reverse what I said.

So what can possess someone to spend time away from reality TV or their loved ones to seek out and find new blogs to entertain them?

I mean there are 10000 (that’s right - ten thousand) new blogs popping up every three and a half hours . . .

Staggers the mind, doesn’t it?

Or does it?

Most are spammers looking to cash in (wouldn’t the world be a much better place without them?)

Others are people keen to participate in the electronic global playground, but soon fade away and give up after they realize that few, in some cases nobody, is paying them any attention whatsoever.

Then there are we, the ones who, despite endless head-to-wall banging, feel the need to relate things to cyberspace in the hopes that maybe another human out there will chance upon it and laugh, or cry, or vomit . . . Okay, not vomit - but you know kinda what I mean.

Must be the whole social animal thing. Pack minds seeking out approval, or guidance or acceptance in this existence . . .

. . . or maybe just plain attention whores?

Who me, you say?

Well, okay, maybe not you, but others for sure.

But not me.

If I wanted to be an attention whore I would buy a bright coloured sports car and . . .

. . . er, nevermind.

Oh, and the point of this post?

Thanks to all those maniacs who dropped and/or will drop by here.

It makes the ravings just a wee bit easier to write, knowing you are out there . . .

Now, if only “certain” TV show stars would start a “blogsite” of their own, well, then you could drop this site and bookmark that one - cause it would be so much the better.

Just a question for those few out there.

Do you think I should start a regular series of short stories (comedy) to entertain (kinda like Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser meets Buffy meets Teen Titans meets Robot Chicken meets Wonrole the Warrior (inside joke, sorry) . . .), or just concentrate on my big writing projects?

The deal would be for me to once a month post another adventure here, (not to be confused with the cycles of the moon or female bilogical. . .)

Just thinking, which gets me in far too much trouble already.

It would really get my writing muscles toned up knowing I had to have another installment of silliness ready each month.

If I get four replys from different people I will do just that - starting with the pilot short story July 1st.

If I don't get four replys from different people I will do it anyway - so no pressure . . .

Until tomorrow where I spew again like old faithful, or that faucet drip you just haven’t gotten around to fixing . . . or something . . .

. . . yar . . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

meeting the challenge

So there I was, writing this morning.

I put on my computer music, sucked away at my fresh ground coffee (less the roasted black mustard seed) and got to it.

And "all" of my computer music is copied from CDs I own - so go sue somebody else please.

After about 45 minutes, to my surprise, I was done another short story.

Which now has me wondering if I am a short story writer instead of the other stuff you can write.

Maybe it just comes naturally, or I feel confident, or it is something I can bang off quickly before the caffeine buzz dies away . . .

. . . whatever the cause, I have a story for our next gathering.

Heck, I may even post it here after that.

And I guess I need to keep writing stuff on this blog if I expect paying customers (as in paying attention) to show up.

Now, back to work.

Monday, May 21, 2007

black in back

Seems that part of my brain used for creative writing has been in shadow for the past month.

At our last gathering, after I read the second last chapter of my (old) Star Trek novel - somebody said - you should write something new . . .

Hey, what a great idea.

Now that the flames of visiting, car buying and spring cleanup (okay, spring cleanup avoidance) are past - it's time once more for me to crank out some fresh prose.

So, starting tomorrow morning, that is just what I plan to do.

We shall see what happens.

Maybe comedy, maybe something dark, maybe blank pages . . .

But, come what may, I will have something new to read for our next gathering in June . . .

Gulp, now that I've said it and put it in writing, I have to follow through . . .

I wonder if I can use this blog post as my new writing? . . .

No, that would not do.

As for the novel I have all planned - I'm going to tackle that in the fall and through the winter. So, most likely short stories for the summer.

And I think I've been booted at work again from this site. Sucks big time.

So, posts will either appear in the evening (yeah right) or weekends (more likely).

Now, on to my last holiday - and the dreaded lawn - seems creeping charlie has taken over a huge swath of my lawn.

My back is already protesting.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

the stars like dust


me - back again for a brief post.

Seems as though the July thingy may be a bust - sold out already and in only three days.

Too slow on my part (could be the age thing).

But how about this for mixed messages;

"Look before you leap" and "he who hesitates is lost"

Oh, well.

Would have been a blast, now it looks like a bust.

Oh, well.

Is there an echo in here?

Say, anybody watch Wonderfalls?

I've been wondering if I should pick it up - seems the jumbo superstores now have it on sale for like 17 bucks.

Now, on to plan B.

Whatever that is . . .

Saturday, May 19, 2007

four leaf clover

The past several years have seen me not smiling a whole bunch.

Work, or the skulduggery of it, has caused a sort of internal blight which spreads across my soul and damps out the silly-daddy part of me more often than I'd like.

I used to be a lot more fun - trust me, and I aim to regain so form of my old self before I grow old and expire.

And, like some manic depressed goomba, I seem to seesaw up and down the satisfaction scale depending on the day.

Today I'm near the top and I actually smiled three times already - and it's not even noon yet!

The fun new car is part of it. I went cruising yesterday while boppin to 80s tunes - but it is just a thing really. A mechanical thing. And while it alleviates some of the blight, I know it is only temporary as the pendulum will surely swing the other way again.

But, for today, I'm smiling knowing the future looks much brighter.

Got some news two days ago which really piqued my happy place . . .

And, though I really wish I could spill all the details, I fear that doing so would screw up that which has me really looking forward to it . . .

Am I making any sense?

Sorry for the Mr. Cryptic routine, but, you see, certain people need protecting and blabbing about it could compromise their position - not good.

Also, other certain people don't really like to hear about it or truly understand - pisses them off I think and leads them to think all manner of crazy things about me - which are totally untrue!

So, suffice to say something really cool is looming for mid-summer. And, if it pans out, I will have a tale to tell as well as possible photographic proof of the experience . . .

Just thinking about it made me smile again - wow, four times - for about once per hour.

I keep this up and I may even join the human race again soon.

And a Saturday blog even because - my two girls are out a friend's yard sale trying to pawn off some of our old baby stuff.

Let's hope it sells so somebody else can use it and it doesn't end up in the landfill.

Now, where did I put those keys?

I hear Devo rockin!

Friday, May 18, 2007

shifting gears


the deed is done.

In my driveway now sits a "bright" (like eye-scorching) rally yellow Cobalt SS.

Mine, all mine . . .

Manual shift too - which I will tell you had me very nervous for days before I actually picked it up.

You see, I haven't driven a manual transmission car in over ten years. What if I forgot how - what if I pulled out of the dealer's lot to stall in traffic and look like an idiot getting t-boned by some irate taxi driver?

Well, it didn't happen. I shifted from 1st to 2nd without a problem and cruised through the next three gears to take the beast home.

And it has an absolutely killer stereo system. And for those who know me, you know this is important.

And XM radio - set to the 80s channel of course. I, being a child of the 80s, love the music still. Now, I have commercial free digital broadcast 80s music direct to my 270 watt pioneer sound system complete with 10 sub-woofer in my eye scorching yellow car . . .

. . . you just wait until you hit mid life and see what you get . . .

So of course my neighbours think I'm crazy. But, since they are all about 70 years old plus, they think everybody is crazy and should stay off their lawns.

I'm happy with my new toy and this sunny weekend is prime time to go for a cruise.

Oh, and 45 miles per gallon - so not the biggest gas guzzler which suits me fine considering the gas gouging going on these days.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

flotsam to jettison

With the impending trade in of the “boring” car for the “better-gas-mileage” car, there comes a time when you have to go through the contents of the old car and clean it out.

Since today is rain – looks like tomorrow will be the scouring of the Ion.

Some things I’m pretty sure to find in there;

Tim Horton’s paper coffee cup(s) – If you are Canadian this is a given.

Used facial tissues – plenty in those hard to reach places like under/around/between the seats.

Plastic bags because; well our society is just gaga for plastic bags. We really should phase those damn non-biodegradable embarrassments out of existence . . . yes; I know we are . . . eventually . . . someday . . .

Dirt – as in grass clippings, road salt, pebbles, sand and earth. Lots of it. Enough to choke a vacuum cleaner – which is most likely what it will do.

Mummified bugs – wasps, ants, spiders, raccoons . . . , um, well, okay not raccoons then since raccoons aren’t bugs.

Garage door opener – you know, so you can sit on your duff, press a button and have the garage door open all by itself like magic.

Pencils and Pens – So that’s where the damn things go. If I look hard enough I’ll probably find socks too.

Crumpled paper – stuff that just accumulates, like directions to places printed from Mapquest and such. You know how it happens – you should take it away at the time but it just ends up tossed behind the seats.

CDs – stuffed in every nook and cranny that the car has to offer rendering the clove box useless for, um, gloves. People still wear gloves?

Oil Change receipts – you just know you should keep those things – right?

Broken plug-in air compressor – yes, made in China.

Umbrella – you know, should it rain. You can think to yourself as you are walking to the car getting soaked (Oh, yeah – I have an umbrella in the car)

Extra pairs of running shoes – what, you don’t think you could ever get a flat?

Beer cans – the ones that you were going to return to the beer store . . . three years ago . . .

I’m going to leave off the list here now and maybe you can fill in some comments with other things you have lurking in your ride. What is the most bizarre?

And four days in a row . . .

I must have hit my head or something.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

threefer madness

Yup, three days – three posts.

What gives?

I guess more is going on that I thought.

Like last night.

Last night was tennis night again (start of the season). The night when I see if I can remember how to hit the ball, serve, volley and generally sweat (or is that swear?) a lot.

I didn’t fall down like I did first day last year – bonus points for that.

Which is good.

Must be all those hours on the trampoline.

So, overall - had fun, played okay, and didn’t sprain/break/damage/mutilate anything.

Sensing a mind shift - hang on . . .

Since I plan on living till at least 86, and I’m almost 43, seems (mathematically) to be my mid-life.

And what would my mid-life crisis be without getting a new toy?

So what is my new toy you ask?

Why a bright yellow Cobalt SS with a stick shift, of course . . .

. . . let’s the laughter die down before continuing . . .

. . . feeling better now?

Since this will likely be the last vehicle I buy (for a very long time) I thought I would go for the gusto and get something more exciting than my current Ion.

Now you know. And it has nothing to do with Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Nothing do you hear me . . .

Oh, and I installed a new light fixture in place of the faulty made-in-China smoking/melting one I posted about yesterday.

I paid a good price, got good quality (or so I thought) only to crack it open at home and see the dreaded – wait for it . . .

. . . Made In China . . .


What can you do? I mean the box had no indication of this. It was only once I got to the actual unit that I noticed the sticker.


At least my new car isn’t Made-in-China (YET) . . .

. . . It’s made in Ohio

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

burning life fixtures

First off – no I was not contributing to Spider Man’s record take this weekend.

And since I didn’t even see the second one, I think I’ll skip the third altogether – that is until is shows up in a bargain DVD bin. Still, it they want more than 5.99 for it - I think I’ll pass.

So I was sitting in my lair last night when the lights began to flicker . . .

. . . like a horror movie.

The smell of melting something was filling the air.

Not a good sign.

I made the assumption that one of the fluorescent bulbs was packing it in, and when I pulled out the one that was flickering I did notice it had yellow scorch marks on it and it smelled burnt. They will eventually die, after a very, very long time.

No big deal.

So I changed it. But something very weird happened. One bulb was burning bright white, the other was dull orange . . .

When only one bulb was in the fixture – bright white. It didn’t matter which side either.

Now here is the wacky part. The first bulb to be screwed in was white – the second was dull orange. And it didn’t matter which bulb or which side I screwed in first – the second bulb was always dull orange.

It even happened with incandescent ones too.


So, I pulled the assembly apart (yes the breaker was off) and started looking for the cause in the wiring. But – nada.

I am not Mr. Fixit by any stretch of the imagination, but I could see the black wire was connected to the black wire and the white wire was connected to the white wire. And all wires were firmly in place.

So, I got to looking at the bargain fixture – a double socket (made in China) special. The tinfoilish wrap-around label telling you not to put in more than a sixty watt bulb was crinkled and sorta melted.

Hmmmmmm . . .

So, I must go out and get another fixture.

I’m going to try to get one not made in China – wish me luck.

Life – just when you think the bulbs are burning bright – one goes out and the other turns orange . . .

. . . or something.

I want one of those funky round half dome kitchen style lights anyhow.

Not made in China.

As you were.

Monday, May 07, 2007

And all the men and women merely plagues

Three words to describe my life over the last two and a half weeks.




Holy cow batgirl, no more flesh for me - please!

Yes, visits from my folks mean several species grow that much closer to extinction. And I, the dutiful son, must play along in this ritual of carnage or take excessive amounts of abuse.

I know, I know.

Nobody shovels the food into my mouth except me. But years of training has me still eating masses of seared flesh when all I really want to do is sing . . . er, eat some steamed veggies.

Well, for the next month (or three) I’m going to do just that. It won’t be totally flesh free, but it will be far far far far (can’t exaggerate enough on this point) less than the last while.

And, how does one digest such quantities of hormones, antibacterials and protein?

Well, you get a game that raises your heartbeat and blood pressure to de-stress from long days of muscle munching.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Okay, go ahead and laugh. But I have a tricked out Cobalt SS - Lime Green with a dragon motif, supercharged racing engine, Kona racing rims, hood scoop and of course for those high speed races from the cops - Nitrous Oxide boost!

Can’t you just see me oozing attitude in a baseball cap with a “Suck your Mother” tattoo on my shifting arm?

Er, see what I have become - I am so ashamed.

Actually the game is fun if you like arcade style race-from-the-cops games. The early cops are dumb and you could outrun them on foot, but later in the game, in come the state troopers, helicopters and trucks made to ram you off the road. Oh, and the unmarked cars and corvette units are just plain nasty.

I’m afraid my little Cobalt SS wouldn’t stand a chance there. So the key is to win races and money and move up the cops most wanted list to unlock better cars and car upgrades.

Once I have a fully upgraded Mustang GT - well, look out.

And one fun feature is a destructible environment. You can knock down signs, crash through fences, even take a spin across the golf course - all while cops are in hot pursuit. There are several structures that can be used to stop or disable cop cars too.

Let's see - you can knock out the water tower’s support legs and have it come crashing down. There is a giant donut (ala the Simpsons) you can knock down too and if you are feeling really evil you can crash through the gas station's pumps and blow the whole thing sky high . . .

Er, you see what eating too much meat does to you kids.

Stop it, stop it while you still have the chance.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

all the world's a phage

Geez, have I been gone that long?

No, I meant from here, not mentally – that one is a given.

Seems like only yesterday I wrote a blog – must be the Mobius Strip I fell into three days from now.

So I was wondering how to rekindle the excitement in my life and hence make this piece of cyberspace not cyberwaste, what with such a soul-sucking mind-crushing job.

On the distant horizon looms the career change – pretty cool, but seems years away yet.

In the near future looms a change of vehicular transportation – fun deciding what to get.

In the present looms DVD purchases of shows I like. – adds some excitement to the non-work time.

In the past loomed good health and a flat stomach – er, not much to say about that one.

Once I cast off the old chains and put on the new silk shirt (good for pulling out those arrows) I will be blogging much more because there will be something I really like to yammer on about to yammer on about.

The writing updates here turn into – gee, look what I did or didn’t get written this week.

B-O-R-I-N-G for me and B-O-R-I-N-G for you.

Reader’s Den at least has a purpose. It’s a non-commercial review site for the stuff I read or watch – may come in handy for those thinking of a book or movie to see.

Of course, I may only be suffering from “relative” overexposure at the moment.

I love them and all, but well – I know I’m just whining.

Well, seems as though I should be getting something done – so I’ll get to it – whatever it is.

One last thing though. On the way home last night a girl was driving a Honda SUV in front of me. The weather was perfectly clear, no real traffic to speak of. She and I were making a left turn at the lights. She was in front of me. For whatever bizarre reason, she made the left turn and drove directly into the light standard in the middle of the lanes. I was dumfounded. I felt sorry for her. She hit it so hard she destroyed the fender and punctured the radiator, which promptly gushed coolant all over the road. Maybe the steering broke? Maybe a bee stung her? I will never know. It was pretty strange though.

Okay, enough.

Please move along.