Wednesday, May 31, 2006
We already know that there are killer bees out there, so what really prevents butterflies from going homicidal??
For one thing, butterflies are 10 times the size of your average bee, so if these guys formed gangs and developed attitudes, we'd all be in serious trouble...
Oh sure, they can look innocent enough - with their fluffy little wings, and gentle summertime floating about the yard. But Monarchs already have exotic tattoos on their wings, and they my friends are downright benign compared to some of the freakish ones around the world that we aren't even familiar with yet. South America boasts butterflies big enough to lift off with a weiner dog in tow!!
AmI just being a Chicken Little?? According to butterflywebsite.com, there's a butterfly in the Brazilian rainforest called the Sulpher Brimstone. They probably prefer their Chicken Littles with a little Sweet & Sour barbeque sauce...
Why in God's name am I looking at a website about butterflies, you might well ask??
Hey, an ounce of prevention...
Chow for now!!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Collector, treasure seeker, or pack rat - call it what you will. If there's one thing that I am compulsive about, it's collecting.
I'm pretty sure I get that trait from my mother, who has every copy in the Harlequin Romance series since Harl first sat down to scribble.
It would be manageable for my wife if I could focus on littler things - like stamps, or oxygen molecules. No ma'am, in trademark masculine style, it's go big, or go home!!
I enjoy collecting books, which I have every intention of reading someday. I still have almost every comic I ever bought when I was a young whippersnapper, except a couple that I lent to my best friend in Junior High.
I also tend to hoard old magazines, just in case I need to consult a columnist on composting a stubborn pile of dry onion peels. Hey, it's not like someone's invented an online resource for that kind of thing...
I will never give my wife allowance for her wild-arse theory that none of these treasures have any value, even to a recycling depot. Where else will you ever find a copy of the June 1972 Time Magazine for easy household reference, or a 45 RPM copy of "What A Feeling", by Irene Cara??
Man, if my treasures could talk...
Chow for now!!
Monday, May 29, 2006
I sure do hope that all is well wherever you may be today... (oh boy, sucking up now. What's next??)
It's been rainy out where I am, these last few days... (grasping at straws that obviously do not exist...)
Makes me think about that old joke, about how it must be raining cats and dogs, because I just stepped in a poodle!! (Oh my God...leave now, while you still can. He's lost it today....)
The rain is OK - it is springtime after all, and the greenery does needs nutrition... (Mr. Science now?? Egads!!)
Still, it would be nice to get a little bit of sunshine...("And, they're coming to take him away, hee hee ha ha...")
Hey, I see The Sopranos is off for awhile. They had some ballroom dancing documentary instead, last night. Like THAT'S going to replace The Sopranos... (hey, you're typing up this crap instead of a blog...don't be throwing stones in your glass house, Fuzzball...)
Well, I need another cup of coffee, think I'll pack this one in early today.
Chow for now!!
(Merciful Saints, we offer our thanks to you...)
Sunday, May 28, 2006
One item in particular has been with me since I was a teenager. I don't even remember where I may have picked it up, but I've taken this old friend to the beach annually for probably over thirty years now.
My sombrero is so authentic, you almost smell tequila and limes when you look at it. Just picking it up now, I hear the gentle clacking of mariachis, and some big guy in a tight black suit, with an even bigger guitar.
Who knew straw would stand the test of time so well, and with more exposure to the sun than George Hamilton?? Aside from a bit of fraying here and there, and a couple of missing dingle balls, it looks as good now as it did 30 years ago. And just as stylish, if I do say so myself.
For the life of me, I just can't figure out why the sombrero hasn't stayed more popular over the years. Oh sure, you see a few every Halloween, and maybe one or two on St. Pepe di Kahlua Day, but you'd be honestly hard pressed to spot any in the mall, even on a blazingly hot summer day.
Try beating a sombrero for shade. A cowboy hat won't even come close, and as a Canadian, it is WAAAY more comfortable than a toque.
Try finding a baseball cap with dingle balls. I know, I've tried. It can't be done.
For some reason I just cannot comprehend, my wife refuses to wear the one I recently bought for her. Granted, it doesn't capture the "essence of sombrero" like mine, but I thought the border of lace made it look a little more feminine. And here I thought she liked them, after all the fuss she makes whenever she sees Antonio Banderas wearing one...
Ah well, maybe she'll warm up to hers. For now, I must add some moisturizer to my own - that straw does dry out some over the winter...
Chow for now!!
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Hey, whatever happened to those wacky Bay City Rollers?? They were huge back in the day, like that Timbalake guy was for awhile in these more current times. It dawned on me this morning that I've haven't heard any new songs from The Rollers. Have they broken up??
I have a true story about the BCR's, from back when they really were the biggest thing since sliced bread. And yes, they were most ABSOLUTELY white bread...
Anyhow, back in my formative pre-teen years, a buddy and I used to live in entirely opposite ends of the city. It was a ritual for us to each take the city buses from our own respective neighborhoods, and meet in the middle. Which just happened to be downtown, in front of The Winnipeg Inn (this means nothing at all in relation to my story, but that hotel changed ownership several times, becoming The Westin for awhile, and then The Fairmont. If you're a trivia person, you're welcome...).
And now back, to my story.
One particular Saturday (it justs dawns on me at this very moment, the irony of that), I was on a transit bus, as it came around the corner, and pulled up to the Winnipeg/Westin/Fairmont Inn. Which was like something out of a mob scene. There were THOUSANDS of young girls everywhere.
Honest to God, I thought word had gotten out that my friend and I (both single and pimply at the time) met regularly at this bus stop, before proceeding into downtown Winnipeg, and ultimately Eaton's department store, which was the base camp of our nonchalant weekend trolling expeditions for female attention.
Sadly, these young ladies were not gathered there for us that S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y. We discovered within moments that The Bay City Rollers were in town for a concert that NIGHT(!), as one mop-topped head popped out of the front door of the hotel. In my life to date, I have never seen a man move so fast as that guy, as the tide of girls rushed to get closer.
That, my friends, is my own (brief) brush with musical history.
Chow for now!!
Friday, May 26, 2006
No wacky road trip adventures; no new book of enlightenment - just Jack Squat.
I'm not entirely sure why I decided to make this a daily task, now that I really have to sit here and think about it. I mean, it's not like a couple of burly gentlemen in blue pinstripe suits are standing over my shoulder, ensuring in their speechless but menacing vigil that I crank these things out each and every day (Help. Please. Send help, for the love of God. One of these guys has a serious B.O. problem...).
No, like so many other things in my odd life, I have taken it upon myself to sit on a chair that's not even made of real leather, and blither away for a few hundred words, should I be so lucky as to get past the first fifty. Every freakin' day...
Oh, I suppose you're right. There certainly are far more wasteful things a person could be doing with his life. I could be organized. Like my wife. That takes up loooooads of time that could be much better spent reading the comics section of the newspaper, or surfing through the entire lineup of digital channels available here from our cable provider.
I could wash her car, like she has so nicely asked all week long. But you know damn well that as soon as you finish polishing the thing, it will rain at least once this year. Why lose those valuable moments of your life?? I could be rotating the inventory in my beer fridge instead!!
Hell, I could be SAMPLING the inventory in my beer fridge..
Chow for now!!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Man, is that a handy little book to have...
For example, if I wanted to dazzle you here in these blogs with a fancier word for...say, parallelism, I can now substitute equidistance, or concentricity. They don't teach ya that in boardin' school!!
My only complaint is that even though it claims to be a "pocket thesaurus", you'd have to be pretty geeky to actually walk around with one in your pocket. You'd likely get a lot of "is that a thesaurus in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me??"
How did I ever survive so long without one of these bad boys?? Are you just supposed to know that top/vertex/apex/zenith are some of the other words for summit? Would even Alex Trebek know that kind of thing?? He'd sure pretend to, let me tell you...
I am now confident (having spent last night reading my thesaurus from cover to cover) that if I were in one of those trivia games you play in local bars and pubs, I could nail a question on bifurcation. My tablemates would probably even hoist me over their shoulders, although just between you and me, several of those girls are a little too skinny for their own good...
Kidding! If I was out at a bar with a table full of women, even innocently playing trivia games, my wife would ensure that I'd learn several new words for "wuppin", with or without my new thesaurus...
Chow for now!!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
So, when last we left this blog yesterday, I had been beaten in a stare-down contest by a mountain coyote. And, I was enroute from Calgary to Kelowna BC.
Now, I should tell you here that this was not the first time I've ever taken that trip. If you wanted to get technical about it, I've been over those mountains time and time again since I was a kid, coming back then all the way from Winnipeg (which I just discovered on the Late Late Show last night is also the hometown of actress Anna Paquin, of the upcoming X-Men movie...small world).
The only thing you really need to remember if you are traveling east in Canada, is to keep traveling east. Which I was doing, in conjunction with a hearty and robust singing of Take Me Home, Country Roads, by John Denver.
In Revelstoke, I ran into rain again, which had been some mild bit of amusement on the way down to Calgary. This time out, it was really making an honest effort. Enough of an effort to apparently make me miss a turn-off I wasn't even aware existed. An alternate route to Kelowna, adding 2 hours to an already long and wet trip.
As a short aside here, I should mention that even though it is alleged that 2000 people a day are moving to Calgary, they all spend the long weekend in the Okanagan. Almost every car and truck I passed had Alberta plates.
Sorry, there's another short sidebar. Alberta vehicles are apparently not required to have license plates on the front of their car. Which must indicate that the Alberta Correctional Facilities license plate shops must have a really good union...
But, I dissect.
About the time I hit Chase, and saw a sign indicating I was almost in Kamloops, I realized somewhere along the way I had blundered in my travels. As my blood pressure rose, so did my distaste for that high-pitched, whiny John Denver character. I sent that CD into orbit - to the place where it belonged...
It was here where I pulled over, and consulted a map. Not having a helicopter in the back of the Jeep my only options were to go back, or keep on until Kamloops.
But there was another option. One of those black roads on a map, that aren't a provincial highway. It seemed to be a shorter route, and would bring me closer to my ultimate destination.
10 minutes in, I realized that this was indeed no provincial highway. Not exactly a road a billy goat would be confident on either. Especially slicked over with rain. It also had no name on the map, so I had no way of knowing if it was even taking me where I hoped it would.
30 minutes later, I pulled out of the forest in Falklands, just north of Vernon. I was back on track, and about 90 minutes from home. Blood pressure returning to normal, I almost went back to get my John Denver CD, but determined I would buy another one instead.
Chow for now!!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Nothing like a long weekend to get out on the highways and beatup roadwork of this gigantic yet essentially empty country we call Canada!
I had to make a journey out to Calgary this weekend, and if you're not familiar with our geography, my route took me right through the Rocky Mountains - a magnificent and under-utilized location for condos.
As seems to be a non-negotiable requirement for any trip I will ever take from Kelowna to Calgary, it poured rain like Niagara Falls on steroids. Have I ever mentioned that my sunroof leaks like Niagara Falls on steroids, even on sunny days?? Our trip was interrupted by one brief stop along the way; to buy some Dollar Store tea towels, which held back the current enough to stop the fish from spawning on our leather seats.
We were stopped for 2 hours enroute, just outside of Golden, by a traffic jam resulting from the unfortunate but all-too frequent occurrence of a long weekend traffic accident. Sitting in a car for over 120 minutes, with a waterfall running down the mountainside, rain beating a steady rhythm on your roof, an empty extra-large Tim Horton's coffee cup in your hand and a mini-van full of nuns behind you may have been the inspiration for the term "girding your loins"...
The thing about a road trip is that after you arrive and settle in at your final destination, you ultimately have to make the trip back. Which I did, on the holiday Monday.
Leaving Calgary, you drive by farmers' fields straight into the Rocky Mountains. And (I am not making this up) as I got closer and closer, the CD I had chosen to play for my drive (The Remembering Ultimate Top 20 Hits Of The Memorable 70's Of Your Life) just so happened to spin up Mr. John Denver, and his famed international hit "Rocky Mountain High". You just can't make up stuff like that...
On a fence post over to my right, I happened to catch an eagle staking out his breakfast buffet in an adjacent field. I suppose it could have been a brunette crow with a peroxide dye job though, I am due for a new pair of glasses...
As I made my way up into those High Rocky Mountains, I was perusing the scenery, and just happened to notice a head pop up, over the concrete abutment. Then, bold as Hell, the entire body of a large coyote followed, and stood right up on the cement blocks. For the record, and poor grammar aside, the head was attached to the body...
He was a big beast of a coyote. Not some scraggly suburban coyote, this was a mountain coyote, coming up the freakin' side of a...mountain!! There was some road kill on the shoulder he had his eye on but he turned away long enough to meet my gaze, and I actually felt so uncomfortable, I turned away...
Beaten in a stare-down contest by a dirty-brown brother of a dog...
to be continued...
Tomorrow: Choosing The Wrong Fork In The Road...
Chow for now!!
Monday, May 22, 2006
After my lizard flinging experience from back a few days ago, and now also including my squirrel flambe comment yesterday, my membership application for PETA has been denied.
It's probably just as well, I would have missed hot dogs alot, even though I'm still not entirely certain that actual meat is used in the ingredients, or that "hot dogs" are in fact mistreated before being packaged.
And to be perfectly honest, I don' t think I could have lived without the occasional piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken... I could have worn a chicken suit, like others have to make some sort of point. Knowing me, I would have a long gravy stain on the front, perhaps a little inappropriate at a protest march...
Instead of being a member of a national animal protection group, I'll just have to start being nicer to animals in general - both in this column, and in real life. I must pet a puppy whenever I can!!
But if I throw a rock at a pigeon, or have a hamburger now and then, I'll just have to keep it to myself.
Chow for now!!
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Three days that you don't have to even think about work, and usually the first time of the year to get out and go camping.
Also often three straight days of wind and pounding rain, while you huddle shivering like a bulemic Greyhound in your thin little tent, without light because you forgot to bring fresh batteries for your flashlight.
But at least you got out of the house! That counts for something. On those frequent occasions when you need to sprint across the muddy field to the outhouse, you make mental notes to get that umbrella out of your golf bag back in the garage, and back into the camping supplies box.
You forget completely about the umbrella though when a bolt of lightning ignites a squirrel that had been quizzically observing you, from the branch of a big oak tree... Returning quickly to your tent, you determine that you could probably wait until morning to use the facilities, after all...
Chow for now!!
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Think about it.
If you go to a party, and someone just happens to pull one out of their back pocket, it is like some sort of human being magnet, drawing everyone around in to see what will happen next.
What happens next most often is that whoever ends up strumming the thing only knows about the first three chords of any song, and even less of the lyrics. The crowd gathered around won't be much help either, even if the song being attempted is Kumbaya, or 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall.
If the guitar person is fluent in the musical language of the guitar, the tradeoff then is generally his or her singing voice. On more than one occasion, and even with slightly more than my fair share of Smirnoff Ice acting as a distraction, I've heard amateur "Idols" sound like Bob Dylan impersonating Bullwinkle the Moose. For most people, Bob Dylan alone would have been sufficient as an example...
One guy that could save the day at your average late-nite house party would be TV's Spanish guitar sensation Esteban. He'd raise the bar of attendance just by showing up in that "Zorro meets Roy Orbison" outfit he likes to wear during his infomercial...
Chow for now!!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Turns out that even though I personally thought that I had shown great compassion yesterday, throwing a live lizard downhill in the dead of night is in fact not the brightest thing to mention while applying to join an organization like People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals.
I kept the guy alive, doesn't that count for anything?? It's not like I shared my comical story about how when I was a youngster my best friend and I put his family cat in the dryer for a few spins! And I was smart enough not to show up at their office with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, so give me a little bit of credit!!
I never seem to engage that radar or intuition that normal people have when it comes to situations like this. If I get pulled over for speeding (hypothetically...), I'll blurt out something about how the honey crullers are my personal favorite. Then I've got to buy tickets to their bloody regimental ball, attend a sensitivity training course for three weeks, AND pay for a speeding ticket (theoretically...come on, that could NEVER happen in real life...).
I had a friend walk into my retail store several years back, looking like his dog had just died. I commented on this to him. Turned out his dog had not died. It had been his mother...
So, this weekend I'm driving out to a Psychic Fair & Farmer's Market that happens to be running all weekend in a nearby town, to see if I can get a tuneup on this clearly inept "spidey sense" of mine.
If all I take from it is how to gauge the look on my wife's face after I've just brought home a collection of rare Partridge Family 8-tracks, I'll be ahead of the game...
Chow for now!!!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Walking into my home office last night, I must have walked right past him. But as I sat down in my chair, he caught my eye.
Now, we've had critters in the house before, but this was a new one to me. Standing in our hallway, outside our 2nd bedroom, was a gecko. Or a salamander, if the former isn't native to our area of British Columbia.
He must have noticed that I had noticed him, as he paused in his slow skulk forward into our home. Much like myself when I get caught sneaking a chocolate chip cookie just before dinner time, freezing in place is supposed to be an adequate camouflage. At my size, that's like trying to smuggle away the Statue Of Liberty in a beach bag...
He then regained his courage, flattened himself for good measure, and proceeded to check out his new home. My options raced through my mind like a three-alarm chili through...well, just about anybody I suppose.
Do I throw this large and heavy copy of the 2005 Writer's Market on him?? How much stain would a flattened lizard leave?? Do I use a flyswatter, on something about the size of my index finger? Do I just holler at him, like trying to scare a furry marmot away from a flower bed??
I opted for several pieces of Kleenex, and scooping him up in one fluid motion. However, unlike the dozens of spiders that have come before, I couldn't bring myself to squish the tiny trespasser.
I turned over the Kleenex, and looked right into his little eyes. You may not believe me, but this guy had an expression of "please release me" on his face, in his sad and pleading eyes...
The fact that he didn't try to help me save money on my car insurance probably helped spare his life as well...
Unsure of what to do, and entirely incapable now of flushing him down the toilet, I went out my patio door, and flung him as far away from the house as I could.
I'm hoping he stays out there, but compared to big hairy spiders, he's not a bad dude to have stop by for a visit, after all...
Chow for now!!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
OK, I know that Buck Rogers is hardly the most timely example of space-age wonder anymore, but it seemed to be a reasonable metaphor for my latest attempt at embracing what most 8-year-old kids today take for granted. I'm talking the relatively simple task of text-messaging.
I've had the capability (like anyone else that owns a cell phone - duh) for years now. And, I've been getting spotty transmissions from time to time from as far away as Manitoba, but even until as late as yesterday had not even tried to return them.
Last night, sitting on the sofa, sweat dripping from my brow, I broke down. I (honest to God) READ my instruction manual for the cell phone. You have no idea how hard a struggle that was.
Not the reading part, for Pete's sake!! A guy referencing a manual is like a fish having to ask Yoda how to grow gills. If word of this gets out, I could lose my membership...
At any rate, the risk was worth it, if I have finally managed to join my brethren in the 19th Century. I typed out a few test messages. The first one: "msfntT djdgj arkshgfs?" wasn't really successful, to my mind.
It took some practice, but I eventually figured out how to scroll the lettering, and watched in wonder as the screen said "Sending"! If I get a response (and knowing those characters out east, I suspect I will), I can hold my head up proudly. If I don't get a response, I'll never know if they got it or not, and aren't just messing with my head.
Hmm... Maybe I should text someone else, just to be on the safe side...
Chow for now!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
This word generally covers a situation that has gone badly, or awry. A good example might be the typical home renovation experience.
If people have no aptitude or clue, the cardinal rule of home renovation is to only go so far as to draft up a plan, then consult seasoned professionals. This is why the phone was invented.
A debacle ensues when someone like myself considers repainting even just a tiny sliver of a mostly hidden wall.
And by debacle, I don't mean mishap. A mishap means leaving visible paint lines dripping down the wall, once it has all dried. A debacle includes the dripping paint lines, a soaked carpet directly under the wall, and a screwdriver that had no reason to be there in the first place sticking out of the drywall like a NASA astronaut's flag on the surface of the moon.
A debacle would also be a fair description of the end result achieved after trying to hang a cartop carrier in my garage.
Even though the little aluminum rack seemed completely weightless, every hole I drilled into the roof of my garage went straight through the ceiling, and into what I suspect was the open space above. Is that still considered attic if it's over a garage?? I never once considered trying to find a stud, and discovered after 10-20 holes that drywall is not the most solid thing you'll ever hang a hook from. No matter how many times I relocated the hooks, the damn carrier kept falling from the ceiling, and onto my car.
In retrospect, I should have moved it outside...
Again, the word of the day today is debacle.
Chow for now!!
Monday, May 15, 2006
My wife is convinced that I need to walk with my eyes always facing the ground, as I tend to trip more often than John Ritter on a Three's Company 7-day retrospective.
I've tripped on carpet, linoleum, hardwood, and tile. I've tripped on grass, pavement, and once even in water only as high as my ankle. Several years ago I tripped on some wet grass at a local golf course that literally flipped me head over heels, and once conscious again, had me wondering whether or not the ribs on my frontside and backside had melded. I landed so hard I looked like one of those anatomical display dummies you sometimes see in a doctor's office. Although those educational characters generally don't tend to have their entire intestinal tract located above their lungs...
I am also famous on a grand scale for bumping into things. Which kind of discounts the questionable advice to always be looking down, as I am capable of (and have indeed done so) walking into a closed screen door on a balcony, while trying to avoid tripping on the area rug placed in front of it...
Not so long ago, my wife and I were in an antique store. I swear she was sweating like a yak doing aerobics on a sunny summer day, until I made my way back out of the store without incident.
I should be more aware of things in my path, as I never seem to be the winner in a collision. My legs have bruises up one side and down the other at the exact height of coffee tables, dressers, and desks. I will still manage to find a way to bump into something I've already walked into three or four times before. We rarely ever rearrange the furniture in our home, as it's a one-way ticket to the emergency ward for me. A person shouldn't have to require a sizeable medical staff, just to extricate a small table lamp...
Chow for now!!
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I'm like a low-budget version of the Knowledge Network. Not so much ground-breaking as I am puzzling, like yesterday's column about the big toe. I don't want to get started on that all over again, but for Pete's sake, what is up with that one humungous toe, compared to all the others on the foot?? Maybe I'm not so much in the knowledge department after all...
I don't know what it's like where you are today, but here it is already hot enough to be sweating while just sitting quietly on the sofa. I should probably open a window, it's only like 8:45 Am, so it's just going to get hotter in here if I don't take some sort of action pronto.
Hey, it's Mother's Day today!! I'll have to make a call, and hope that the card I sent last week got there on time, for once. I sent it plenty early, but the card I sent to my sister for her birthday didn't get there on time, so my mother could be devastated if hers was delayed as well...
I should have sent it Priority Post to be on the safe side. But, I will make a call, just to cover my bases.
Happy Mother's day,wherever appropriate!!
Chow for now!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Looking at my foot right now, the "big toe" (as society recognizes it) is just about twice the size of its closest companion toe!! Is that right?? Am I alone with this thing?
No wonder when I wear rectangular shoes, I get corns the size of a marble...
I'd estimate I could put four baby toes together, and still not have a toe that matches the behemoth that lives on the other side of my foot. Is everybody else dealing with this??
On top of that, the toe closest to Mr. Big must have esteem issues, as he extends even further than the oversized beast beside him!! Can none of these toes just get along??
Actually, taking a real good look at that foot, I may need to go see a doctor...I'm wondering if I may have had a lawnmowing accident that I've blacked out in my memory bank. Although, the other foot looks exactly the same, so could it just be a birth defect???
That's it. No more sandals, no more barefoot on the beach. They've got these water mocassins now that you can wear to go swimming, but they were probably invented by some guy with a set of flippers like I've got for feet.
I wonder if Tom Cruise deals with this kind of crap???
Chow for now!!
Friday, May 12, 2006
Not too long ago (before I purchased my beloved carpet broom), I noticed a piece of lint or what-not on the carpet. I picked it up, and then realized that the little piece of debris not only had legs, but that they were entirely anxious to propel the rest of the object out of my clenched fingers. Which became even more clenched, as I madly tried to decide whether to drop said piece of fluff, or or squish it into submission. Ultimately, I chose to drop, stomp, and grind. Unfortunately, that prevented even the most seasoned of CSI investigators from identifying the carcass. I'm going to suggest it may have been a spider at one time.
As a young boy, I enjoyed playing with bugs. We all did, it was in our DNA. If I wasn't attaching one to a fish hook, I was presenting it with dramatic flair to my sister, not sharing in the same masculine DNA as I (I know that technically we must have shared DNA as family members, but for the purpose of this short piece, I ask you to indulge me. More to the point, she was not a fan of bugs).
However, as I 've gotten older (funny I didn't choose to use "matured") I no longer enjoy playing with bugs. Especially registered, trademarked bugs that belong to a massive American entertainment conglomerate. But, I digress...
Now, I have to wear steel-toed safety boots before I step on an ant. I put on oven mitts before I roll up a newspaper to flatten a spider (pronounced "spidder" in our home). And, if I ever have to use a flyswatter, well...let's just say there's not enough soap on a rope to make me feel clean again afterwards...
And, I carefully inspect a piece of fluff now, before I pick it up...
Chow for now!!
Thursday, May 11, 2006
This miracle of modern technology assigns a dedicated piece of pipe to every tap and fixture in the home, thus eliminating the "Pummeling Spikes Of Ice" in the shower, when someone flushes a toilet elsewhere in the home.
If you've got a large family, chances are that even if you arise at 4:30 AM, and bolt directly from bed to shower, someone else will pick exactly the moment that you are lathering in suds to begin a load of laundry. You will spend the rest of your shower shivering and scraping icicles off of body parts that really should have their own source of heat to keep sufficient warmth.
How we as a civilization survived so long without the household manifold water delivery system boggles the mind. It even sounds poetic when you say it. Practical, and sublime.
As you might have suspected, we currently have a household manifold water delivery system in our home, and I have every belief that it has personally saved my life, even in this year so far.
In our old home, I would somehow always seem to have to use the "water closet" whenever my wife was trying to get ready for work. Specifically, as she was showering.
Now, even rats in a lab will learn to quit biting into cheese that has an electrical current attached to it, but do you suppose that I would learn not to flush a biffy when I hear the water running in a shower?? It is an amazing exhibition of patience for a woman to wait until her shower is completely over and done with, and hair perfectly styled to then search me out in the home, and thank me so much for altering the temperature of her water. That Nerf bat can still pack a sting, let me tell you...
Chow for now!!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I received a phone call at home yesterday, after my last posting went online. From the Disney people, no less!!
Apparently they own (all rights reserved - several lefts as well) the character I casually mentioned at the start of the blurb, that lovable little cricket from their adaptation of Pinocchio.
I suppose I had to know that at least on a subconscious level, but who would have guessed their Trademark Police would be so diligent?? I didn't even think I used the proper spelling, but that is inconsequential when dealing with such an efficient organization, sworn to protect anything they have themselves invested in.
To be honest, the whole experience (I had to agree to go back and change the name in the piece....something like Jibbidy Crockett) saddened me. I've tried to live a Snow White life, keep my nose clean. I don't like losing my temper and going off on a rant like, say...Donald Duck.
Honestly, it was such a Mickey Mouse comment, not much even all that relevant to the integrity of the posting.
I was just trying to write one of my usual Dumbo columns, the kind of Goofy thing I do every day of the week. I'm a male Mary Poppins, I swear. The most crazy I get is cheering for the Mighty Ducks as they try to move along to the next round of this year's NHL playoffs.
There goes my plans for tomorrow's blog. I had created a recurring character, to help add some variety to this writing. A monkey named Herbie. In the first episode, he was going to go bananas. Not now...
Chow for now!!
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I had an appointment yesterday with a "certified specialist in endodontics". Not exactly sure what that is, but I have a pretty strong hunch that it may be layperson code for a dentist that earns more than the average American oil baron.
I was sent to see if they could determine (caution, pun alert...) the root problem of my throbbing molar. Aside from agreeing with me that it would be a way cool name for a rock band, I have to say this fellow wasn't much more effective than my original doc. We are tentatively proceeding with treatment via "educated guess". I'm no doctor, but isn't that kind of like playing eenie-meenie-miney-moe??
That wouldn't be such a bad proposition if it wasn't for the fact that I will lose all sensation in my right cheek for at least half a day, and there will be no guarantee that this tooth is the actual cause of my throbbing.
On top of those considerations, this lovely little afternoon out will extract from my wallet about the financial equivalent of a fully-loaded, top of the line new laptop computer, or cost me just under a half a tank of gas in my Austin Mini. So my dilemma is, do I just learn to chew on the other side of my mouth and get that new Dell, or do I sell off one of my livers on e-Bay, and settle down the sensitive little toothy once and for all?
How do I get myself into these pickles???
Chow for now!!
Monday, May 08, 2006
The thrill seeking days of youth somehow get sidelined. What you once thought was so invigorating at one time in your life now becomes something that you wouldn't do on a dare at this later stage of your life. Hence, your boat gets floated by the most unlikely of things.
Case in point:
Yesterday, I bought a carpet broom. A Bissell PerfectSweep no less. This has to be the least technologically advanced product since the bird nest, but after trying it out yesterday, I am walking on air. Or at the very least, a cleaner carpet...
This humble and entirely affordable (still looking for an endorsement deal for this here blog, Mr. Bissell) household product is assembled within seconds, and ready to go to work as soon as that simple assembly is completed. Try doing that with yer typical goddam shelving unit from IKEA.
So, carpet broom in hand, I roamed my upstairs living space, deftly maneuvering between living room carpet, and kitchen linoleum. Exactly as the packaging proclaims, it works on virtually every style of flooring. And no sound similar to a jet airplane engine as generally enjoyed while using a vacuum. It's like a vacuum, but without the actual vacuum itself. More like Bounty paper towel, it's a freakin' "quicker picker' upper"!!!
So, it is a bittersweet discovery. I am thrilled with this new addition to our home, but saddened to note that rather than rappelling up one of the Great Pyramids (there's more than one, isn't there?), I am given an exhilarating rush by pushing a $40 glorified lint roller along my floors.
Uh, I think I may have just killed my endorsement deal there...
Chow for now!!
Sunday, May 07, 2006
I'm talking about envelopes that bear the name of a national retail giant (unnamed....could affect my lucrative future endorsement deal), yet don't seem to do much more than cover paper, as opposed to sealing it inside.
People, if you're gonna slap your name on something, it should at least perform the same fundamental functions as the Acme product you are competing with. If their envelopes open, allow something to enter, and then successfully seal with a good slobbery lick, then that should be the minimum bar set for your own version. Two out of three is bad in this instance...
When I lick these (identity withheld to protect the meatheads) envelopes, I certainly taste something that reminds me of glue, but when I press the flap down on the part that I have no name for other than the "body", it just kind-of lifts back up, with a wet flap now curling in the wind.
Which reminds me, after this posting, I had better close that kitchen window...
So now I have to spend twice as much to seal these blasted dysfunctional envelopes, by adding no-name (well, not exactly no-name...same name as the turkeys that make the non-seal envelopes) invisible tape. Where is the justice, I ask???
I realize, as you're probably thinking right now as well, that there are certainly far more important things to worry about in this cold, cruel world. And I agree, but just because the wrong people keep getting fired on The Apprentice, should that silence my frustrations on other matters?? I feel I must speak from my heart - be the voice for unhappy envelope owners everywhere. We must stand united, and let these national retail giants know that just because they can produce a product similar to ones that actually work, we shouldn't be willing to accept their version if it doesn't do the job 100%.
Unless of course said retail giant was offering say...a lucrative endorsement deal....
Chow for now!!
Saturday, May 06, 2006
My naughty little ponies...
If you recognize either of those two lines, there's a good chance you probably watch The Late Late Show with TV's Craig Ferguson on occasion. If you recognized the lines right from the get-go, you likely watch the show more than occasionally...
Being a borderline olde pharte, I tape the show and watch it in the morning, without the pesky commercial breaks.
Oh, I still watch the other big-name hosts as well, alternating to try and get a good blend of funny ha-ha over my morning coffee (note: if my wife is reading this, I have that morning coffee while tidying up the TV room, forecasting the weekly lawn and yard maintenance program, plus compiling a handy list of trendy new clothes and shoes currently on sale in the newspaper flyers...).
Even though both Leno & Letterman are still consistently a great hour of TV, Craig Ferguson just brings something different to the table. Beyond his Scottish accent I mean. If you've never tuned in, stay up late one night next week, or tape the blasted show. His monologues alone are worth the price of the VHS tape. His banter with (most) guests is also somehow different than the other guys - just like having a beer with a buddy. Unless, of course, that buddy has had 11 beers, which would make for a pretty free-wheeling conversation, none of which would ever be suitable for airing on national TV... Well, maybe Maury Povich, but leave me out of that...
So there you have my valuable TV viewing tip for the day, plus my one slim shameless shot at getting free tickets to a future taping of The Late Late Show. Will someone out there please be so kind as to forward this posting to CBS???
Chow for now!!
Friday, May 05, 2006
I was recently caught in a little white "artistic license", here in my daily blog.
A couple of days ago, I posted a commentary on my filing system, or the clear and apparent lack thereof. I even posted a picture to illustrate my technique, or lack thereof. I then posted a different commentary a couple of days later on the stringent filing system of my supposed record collection, most specifically the dastardly P. Diddy, who just can't stick with one name for more than a week. Chameleon diva...
That brought about a response from a reader, who (rightfully so) wondered which of the two postings was truthful.
Well, the lesson I learned here is that if you're gonna play in Texas, ya gotta have a fiddle in the band, but also if you're going to expose your actual horrific filing practices to the global community, one of your next columns should NOT be about how you file your record albums, when "sort" in your home is clearly spelled S-T-A-C-K.
So, the big question is, was I "artistic licensing" about my poor filing abilities, or was I "artistic licensing" about organizing records or cds??
Well, with the pictorial evidence of the first posting, I would say there's about a 1000% chance that even Perry Mason couldn't get me acquited on those charges. Therefore, I plead guilty on that matter.
However, even though I am clearly the world's worst filing filer, I DO have my cd collection in alphabetical order. Which I why I resent Mr. Diddy, or Mr. Daddy and his interchangeable moniker choices.
So, in future, I will either space these glaring contradictions further apart, or I will "artistic license" a little better.
Chow for now!!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The Calgary Flames went down in flames last night, getting spanked in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. By Anaheim!!! The Disney Ducks!!! To make it worse, Emilio Estevez wasn't even coaching the Ducks last night....
How do these things happen??
Every time I pick a team to cheer for, it is the inevitable kiss of death for the poor buggers. First, the Vancouver Canucks went down without even getting to see playoff ice. Montreal got whacked out in overtime, so I had to go with Calgary, but even that was all for naught. I guess if I want to stay with supporting a Canadian team, I'll have to do some serious thinking over the next few days, and realign my loyalty with either Edmonton (not a friggin' chance), or Ottawa.
Or, I could just go with Anaheim. Or Colorado. Or I could start to watch Darts on one of the sports channels...
Was that a whole lot of "or's" in the last paragraph??
I suppose I will be able to dust myself off, and start to live a productive life again, after a few appropriate days of mourning. I must force myself to find the strength to get over this...
Hey, there's only a few hours until The Price is Right...
Chow for now!!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I'm trying to file some 45 RPM records, and guys like Sean Combs drive me freakin' nuts! If you don't recognize that name, first off - congratulations on your upcoming 55th wedding anniversary. Secondly, he's perhaps more likely to be known as Puff, Puffy or P. (P...hee hee...that's pretty funny...)
Yessir, I'm talking about the former paramour of J-Lo, the hip hop recording star and clothing magnate himself, Mr. Daddy.
And here's where he personally drives me crazy. How do you file this guy's records, when he changes his name every goldarn time he makes one?? Does he go under his original birth name, of Sean "Puffy" Combs? Should it be his most popular nickname - Puff Daddy? Did he once test-drive Puffy Combs??
It gets more confusing yet. He's also been asking us to call him P. Diddy, and even just Diddy as of late. For the love of Pete, this isn't an aftershave...pick something and stick with it for a while. You don't see Fiddy Scent changing his ding-dong name every couple of months...
Now J-Lo I can understand. She's had to play around with different names to help differentiate the various eras (ex-husbands) of her life. But at the end of the day, I just file all her discs under Lopez, Jennifer, and I'm generally pretty safe in the expectation that I can continue to do so.
I worry more about some of the names Mr. Daddy has yet to come up with. He's already gone with P. Can Poop be coming (that sounded less inappropriate before it appeared on the screen)?
Has he considered other letters of the alphabet?
All I'm asking is, keep one for more than a week.
Chow for now!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
So, I decided to do this blog thing (and even put that into my comments at the top of this page) to start weaning myself off of these blasted "Morning Papers", a daily writing exercise I do. So, three months into daily blogging, am I done with the other task?? Of course not!!
These blogs are rarely ever longer than about a half or three-quarter hand-written page. The Morning Papers are supposed to be three full hand-written pages. Even using big block letters like I did in Grade One, that's considerably more than I ever come up with here in The Land Of Blog.
Anyway, now I have to do this blog, my Morning Papers, any and all real writing for local and national columns, PLUS try and find time to squeeze in The Price Is Right, and playoff NHL hockey.
Life can be sooooooo cruel.
Or, I can just be a monumental bonehead. This loyalty to a needless endeavor is but one of the areas in my life that I am compulsive at - collecting, videotaping (still have new episodes of Growing Pains to watch), and said senseless daily tasks come immediately to mind. I can't dedicate myself to doing any number of practical things on a regular basis, but I'll put my nose to the grindstone to ensure a blog gets posted everyday.
Well, seeing as how it is getting pretty close to break time, and I have to get started on that other task, I had better bid you a fond ah-doo.
Chow for now!!
Monday, May 01, 2006
What's all this fuss about filing? I have a system that works perfectly fine for me, even though there's somebody else in this joint that may not be as sold on it as I am...
Pictured here is my inbox - just a few of the things I need to tackle, should read over, or maybe even (God forbid) discard.
However, this simple and effective filing system allows for all of those tasks, just as easy as pie. No color-coded filing tabs, no neatly printed filing labels, just a stack of paper and other various office debris. Believe it or not, I know exactly where anything is, in that haystack.
Although, this could also be where my income tax for 1997 is hiding...wattaya gonna do??
Today I need to sort through this stack, as I will do periodically throughout the year. This keeps the stack and its contents fresh in my mind, and for my generally ho-hum lifestyle, it can be almost like living on the edge - will I get a papercut, or will I make it through the pile safe and sound yet again??
Oh, I know what you're thinking. Dan, for the love of God, go out and buy yourself a filing cabinet. Well, Mr. or Ms. Know-It-All, I already have at least four. That would require organizing this...uh..this...unique system, and I'd never be able to find anything. Plus the filing cabinets are greats to hold snacks for when hunger pangs gnaw away at me...
There you have it folks, my tip for the day. For more information on this simple yet effective filing solution, feel free to send off a note to this blog.
I'll put your e-mail on the top of that pile...
Chow for now!!