Wednesday, February 27, 2008


As you may have noticed, it appears that I haven't been around the "blogging table" over the last few days. Though it may appear this way, appearance isn't everything. I have been around... It's just that I haven't been around writing. With the way my schedule has been recently, I have only had the time to read and not write. This includes writing my posts as well as writing comments on all of your blog posts. Over the past few months, I have also been unable to respond to the many great comments that you make simply because of time constraints. I have, however, been reading all of my favourite blogs as well as other ones that I have yet to take the time and display as one of my favourites.

While I was in high school, I never took keyboarding and so, when I write, it takes me so much longer than the fluent keyboardist. I watch my kids keyboard and I grow green with envy. Someday I will take the time to teach myself... Har! Har! Har!... Boy am I funny! That will never happen! Can't teach an old dog new tricks! My dog can probably type faster than I.

Another thing that slows me down is when I have to enter those security words after every comment I submit. What's with these words anyways?? What language are they? I don't even think that they are Klingon! ZHERYEZ or ONRQFGTH ... Why can't they give us easy words to spell like CAT or DOG or BLOGGER. I swear I never get it correct on the first try... or the second try for that matter. What language are they anyways?? Sheesh! And the fonts they use... Why can't they use Keyboard fonts? C'mon Blogspot staff... gimme a break!


So there you have it... My time constraints are getting the best of me to the point that I am running out of time to submit comments, responses or even posts. I do promise, however, that I will always make it a priority to read what you write in your posts and your comments. I am getting pretty frustrated at times which only makes me think that maybe Mavis Beacon can help me after all.

Who knows... Maybe I am a lost cause after all!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How Do I Get Myself In These Messes?!?

I sent the following joke to a female friend of mine via email.

To: "Smith, Sue" <> (name and email address changed)

Subject: Hi Sue, I thought of you when I read this...

"Two bored casino dealers are waiting at the crap table.A very attractive blonde woman from Alabama arrived ....and bet twenty-thousand dollars on a single roll of the dice. She said, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I play topless."With that, she stripped to the waist; rolled the dice; and yelled,"Come on, baby.... Southern Girl needs new clothes!" As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up-and-down... and squealed... "YES! YES! I WON! I WON!"She hugged each of the dealers... and then picked up her winnings and her clothes, and quickly departed. The dealers stared at each other dumfounded.Finally, one of them asked, "What did she roll?" The other answered, "I don't know...I thought you were watching."

Well the joke was pretty funny but it wasn't the joke that was the problem... It was the Subject line. You see... Sue in a large chested female who loves going to the Casino and when I put in the Subject line that "I thought of you when I read this," she took it that I was thinking of her as topless when in fact I was simply thinking of her as being in the casino! I quickly explained what it was I was referring to hoping that my explanation would smooth things over and fortunately it did... Whew! Anyways, I feel much better now that I explained things to her. After she realized the misunderstanding, she shook her head and laughed... An embarrassed laugh none the less. I just hope she really believes me though knowing me the way she does, I doubt it!... Naw, I think she does!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sick Days

So... I am planning to call in sick tomorrow. Though I really just need the afternoon off to attend a couple of medical appointments, I am very tempted to simply take the whole day off. I probably won't though... weather is not good enough!

I have always figured that the best time to take a sick day is when you are not sick and that way you could really enjoy your sick days off when you are well. Besides... if you are really sick, go to work, laze around and get paid for it! How easy could life be? Don't worry about your co-workers; they will do their part by staying away from you when you are sick at work and thereby giving you all the quiet you need. Also, I can say with all assurance, that your boss will be very impressed with your level of dedication to the company. So there you go... a system that works for you!

Just be sure that when you do take a healthy sick day off, you stay at home. For example, don't go shopping because that is a sure way to get caught by your employer. A friend of mine once told me about someone at his work who called in sick to travel from Ontario, Canada all the way to Ohio, USA to go Christmas shopping only to run into her boss who was in Ohio on holiday. Was not a good scene I am sure!

Now if you really do need to go shopping, go to a Wal Mart or some other large department store so that if you do get seen there, you could tell them that you were in the pharmacy department buying Pepto Bismol or something. Speaking about Pept Bismol... Has anyone seen this commercial?

What's with this??? This dancing lady does not encourage me to buy that pink stuff! This, no doubt, is one of my most hated commercials. As a matter of fact, every one of these Pepto Bismol commercials, are, without a shadow of a doubt my most hated commercials!

So, what did we learn today boys and girls? The next time you are sick... Take a pill and a pillow to work and use those sick days when you are raring to go! Hmmmm.... I sure hope my employer doesn't read this blog!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Great White North

I remember back in the early eighties, as a Canadian, going to university in the Southern United States. I had many a great experience while attending school there for four years and made many good friends. Over the years, I have lost contact with most of them but my memories of them will live on forever.

As a Canadian, I was often asked numerous questions about Canada. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Canadian history or geography weren’t in the American high school curriculum, most American’s were fairly uninformed about us Canadians. As a result, we were asked many questions that, to this day, we still laugh about. We were asked as to who our king and queen were, do we live in igloos, what we do when a polar bear comes near to us, do we have cars… and so on.

Quite often, we Canadians would have a little fun with our American counterparts as well. We told them that Canadian chickens had fur instead of feathers since it was so cold. We told them that we had to canoe to the border where we took a bus or plane to get to school. We told them that all we ate was seal meat. We would tell them that instead of pet dogs, we had pet lions and tigers.

While living in Chattanooga, TN, we heard in the news about some guy who was biking on a ten speed all the way from Cape Horn, the southern most tip of South America all the way to Alaska. As he was making his way through Tennessee, he was interviewed by the local news media. During that interview he was asked about how he has adjusted with the many different cultures he has passed through and how he expects to adjust as he makes his way into Canada. “Adjusts as he makes his way into Canada??” I said to my buddies as we watched this interview. “Where does he think he is going to be when he hits the Canada-USA border!?!... the Ozarks??” However, it wasn’t the question that blew my mind, it was his answer.

“Well, I don’t think there should be much of a problem since I have a fair idea what to expect by watching Bob and Doug McKenzie.” Bob and friggen Doug McKenzie?? He is judging me and 32 million other Canadians by watching the McKenzie Brothers??? Now, I have to admit that these “two brothers” who are actually two comedians from the popular Canadian show SCTV, certainly didn’t give us Canadians a good name but c’mon… did the world really see us Canadians this way? Sheesh!

We never really lived down this new found reputation that we blamed the McKenzie Brothers for and had to settle with hopefully people forgetting these two clowns. Despite this connection, we all secretly loved these two guys and to this day, call the land of Canada the "Great White North." Check out the video on our two famous and one time favourite Canadian sons.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Health Update

Thanks to all of you who wished me well regarding my recent episode in the hospital. Since the other day in the hospital, I have had no more "heart flipping" in my chest. It appears that the meds are doing their job. The docs drew enough blood out of me in order to test my heart ten times over and they say that there is nothing wrong with my heart at all except for the wiring regulating the beats. There are a few things that occurred that day which makes me think that this was just a random occurrence that won't happen again and therefore I won't have to stay on the meds and so I am going to be planning on discussing this with my doctor next week.

The specialist at the hospital told me that this episode had nothing to do with genetics nor lifestyle but that this just "happens" for unknown reasons.

Again, thanks for all your prayers and shown concerns. I will keep you up to date.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yesterday I Was In the Hospital

Well I never imagined that as I went to bed Thursday night that I would find myself in the hospital 16 hours later. I woke up Friday morning and immediately felt a fluttering in my chest. It sort of caught me by surprise and as the day went on, it did not disappear. My blood pressure was also higher than usual and my heart rate a lot faster than it should be. I went to my doctor’s and he sent me to a specialist in the hospital. They hooked me up to a heart monitor where I stayed hooked up until around 9:30pm. They finally released me after my blood pressure decreased and my heart rate slowed down. They sent me packing with a couple of new prescriptions to add to my already increasing repertoire of meds.

I was neither happy nor impressed. “Old age” is really starting to tick me off! I am only 47 years old and I am already on a ton of meds. When is it going to end? I now have meds for my heart rate, meds for my blood pressure plus a multitude of meds for other things as well. Sheesh! I feel like a walking medicine cabinet!

I got home around 10pm. I hadn’t eaten all day, I was hungry and dehydrated. My blood pressure was probably much lower than it should be since they pumped me with all types of meds. I was very tired. After running up and down the stairs a number of times in order to accomplish a few things I wanted to do before I got to bed, I almost passed out and finally flaked out on the couch where I remained there until this morning. I had already experienced “almost passing out” a number of years ago and, believe me, it’s not a good feeling!

And so now I have to worry about an irregular heart beat. It seems now that the only good beat I have is not going to work and banging on the drum all day! Speaking about not going to work… This Monday is a new holiday called “Family Day.” It seems that the provincial government has instituted a holiday in February to combat the doldrums of winter. Well… They sure got my vote on that one. I suppose this extra day off is also an opportunity for me to get a good rest.

So here I sit all depressed with the state of my health. I suppose that there is a positive side to all of this. I could have had a stroke instead of this little warning. The docs say that this condition is not genetic and could occur simply in anybody and has nothing to do with lifestyle. Well, if improved health means taking a few extra meds then so be it.

So there you go! That is how I spent the last 24 hours of my life.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Son, His Girlfriend and His Grandfather

I have a seventeen year old son who generally walks around with a perma-grrrr on his face. According to my daughter, he is known to walk around school without even the remotest smile upon his face. He remains pretty much to himself. When his mother and I talk to him, he very seldom responds with much more than a nod or shake of the head and even then it is only a slight movement. He has never been one to become overly emotional or caring… until recently.

This past December, during the last few hours which my father was alive, my family and I were at his bedside. During this time, while my daughter and I stepped out to pick up something to eat and drink at the hospital coffee shop, my son asked if his mother would step outside the room as he wanted to be alone with his grandfather who was unconscious at the time. Upon stepping out of the room, she observed, through the glass doors, our son turning to his grandfather and proceeded to quietly speak to him and stroke his arm. After a short while, he leaned over and gave him a kiss.

Observing this brought tears to her eyes. I so wished that I could have observed my son during this time of final farewells. I wish I was there. It was a side to him that we had never seen before. Though I have often wondered what it was that he spoke to his grandfather about, I will never ask as it was something, no doubt, which was personal to him. One day when the opportunity arises, I will, however, reassure my son that, though his grandfather was unconscious, I am confident that he heard each and every word that he shared with him.

These past couple of months, he has been dating this young lady by the name of Autumn. It is amazing how love can bring out the best in someone. We have seen this quiet, reserved young man transform into the most caring and attentive individual that we have ever seen. If there ever was time where I needed an example of how someone can affect another’s life, it is here.

Last night, my son and his mother prepared a Valentine’s Day supper for him and his girlfriend who is a vegan. This morning he was up at the crack of dawn baking her some blueberry muffins. This evening, he will be serving her vegan lasagna on our finest china and utensils. Now to most of you, making lasagna may be quite easy and inexpensive but when you factor in that you can’t have any meat, milk or any other animal products, it can get a little more difficult and costly… But he pulled it off.

So… tonight, I will make myself scarce as he shares his Valentine's Day meal with his girlfriend. His mother is staying at home, though well out of the way, just in case there is a food crisis.

I often wondered how my son would turn out and just recently, I think I now have a fair idea judging from the brief glimpses of him and I must say that I am very pleased!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where's Your Romantic Spirit?!?

I can’t believe how many cynics are out there! Man alive! I have just spent the last couple of hours reading blogs from people who think that Valentine’s Day is nothing but a sham… a way to extort money out of you… A means by which flower companies shrink your financial worth while there product grows. What’s with you guys (and gals!)??? Aw c’mon! How could you ever think such a thing!?!?

Here are some of the words that have rolled across my screen as I poured over my favorite blogs:

“But if you’re into it, more power to you, and remember: Nothing says I love you like saturated fat and slutty lingerie.”

"Today is Valentine's Day, the day for lovers, the day where you're supposed to send a sappy card, pay 3x the price for a dozen of roses that have no scent whatsoever, buy chocolates or cheesy lingerie (red thong covered with hearts... yes, very thoughtful) and if you're really in the money, take her to dinner."

"I have to say right off the top that I don't believe in Valentine's Day… Valentines Day, above all other days of the year, has the potential to make you feel like a million dollars or the most worthless piece of dog doo on this earth."

… And these were just for starters! (I do want to make mention however, that I am in no way Criticizing any of the fine bloggers who I have just quoted as this is just a fun blog with absolutely no malice intended so please don't be hatin' me.)

Man alive! Here I was looking forward to reading some thoughts all about love and then I go and read this?? Here I was looking forward to swimming in the waft of romance only to find out that I have to drown myself in a lake of Zoloft??

C’mon folks! Where is your romance…? Live a little! Even if it is only for one day in a year! Live a little!

Well, please don’t lynch me from your non-required blog reading okay? I just wanted to be happy today! Now look at me… I love lingerie (not me wearing it of course!) and I love what chocolates might be able to get you on Valentine’s Day (other than overweight!) and I love sending roses (especially the short stemmed ones on sale!) and what’s wrong with those red thongs anyways! The hearts on them only tell someone that they love you! C’mon… get with it!

Well, if you aren’t going to follow me on this wave (though small it may be!) of Valentine’s Day excitement, I am going to go it alone by posting very romantic video honouring lovers all over the world! This video truly depicts the true meaning of love and romance! (GULP!)

I would like to thank Lone Grey Squirrel for inspiring me to choose this truly inspirational video!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hey Sugar Cookie! What's my Fortune?

We had Chinese food the other night from the Bei Jing Chinese Food Take Out just down the road from where we live. We ordered our usual dinner for four consisting of Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Kung Pao Chicken, Moo Goo Gai Pan plus a couple of other items on the menu.

Now we all know that no matter what you order, you will always get those fortune cookies which you crack into at the end of your meal. It’s like…you know… tradition… You never really pay for them but if you didn’t get them, you’d be pretty ticked off because you just need to find out your fortune!

I always get a kick out of seeing if the fortunes I receive are at all accurate. Most of my family doesn’t pay any attention to cracking open the cookies and, since I can’t just throw them away, I get to receive all the good fortunes!

Here are the four fortunes I received after my meal:

1) Flattery will go far tonight - Flattery huh! Well that one sure didn’t work out!

2) Do not mistake temptation for opportunity – Well this one was sure correct.

3) Your creativity will take you to unexpected places – It constantly amazes me how my creativity has taken me to unexpected places. My creative flair in the meal I cooked yesterday unexpectedly took me to Pizza Hut after my creative flair produced some pretty creative comments from my kids right before the food was slid into the trash can!

4) Your present plans are going to succeed – Well, that would be the best news yet since my plan is to make a ton of cold hard cash and to live to one hundred in order to enjoy it.

I once heard of some guy by the name of Joe Wang who worked at a Chinese fortune cookie manufacturing company writing fortunes. He said that the fortunes he wrote had to be approved by the company’s Fortune Approval Committee and that over the years, for various reasons, the Fortune Approval Committee rejected certain fortunes citing them as tasteless. He secretly collected these rejected fortunes and later wrote a book with them in it. Here are a few of the tasteless fortunes:

1) Your mother-in-law will marry into your side of the family
2) From your cell, you will be able to see the exercise yard
3) The lawyer will get everything you own
4) The fire will start downstairs

Well… those, though very hilarious, is about as tasteless as the fortune cookie itself! So the next time you crack open that fortune cookie, hopefully it will tell you that “you will soon gain something you have always wanted” instead of “losing your mind will make the phantom limb syndrome go away!”

Have a great day y’all!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Nine Dumb Ass Things I Have Done!

When I think about some of the “dumb ass” things that I have done over the years, I cringe and wonder what the heck I was thinking about when I did them. Throughout my life I have found ways to embarrass myself in ways that most people would never find themselves in. Below are nine things I wish that I never did listed from the least regrettable to the most regrettable.

9. Ate that Spanish onion

The object of the game was to, while blindfolded, pull something out of the sack and eat it. So here I was feeling around in the sack hoping to find an apple or something round and safe to eat. Being a relay event, I was in such a rush to pull something out that I ended up with this Spanish onion instead of what I thought was an apple. My stomach paid the price for days to come. Why couldn’t the kid who selected the Oreo cookies end up with the friggen onion!

8. Dialed that long distance number into my cell phone while driving on black ice.

A few years ago while driving home, I slid into the back of a pickup truck while trying to dial a long distance number on my cell phone. Needless to say, the damage to my car was rather extensive. Lesson learned. Now my driving is priority and my radio, cell phone and coffee cup are not.

7. Blared my horn at the little old lady who turned out to be my mother’s good friend.

Back when I was much younger, it didn’t take much to blare on the horn when, in my estimation, some other driver wasn’t “towing the line.” Just as I hit the horn from behind her car and gesticulated in a fashion that would scare even the toughest old lady, I realized that it was my mother’s good friend. Needless to say, she was not overly impressed with me but fortunately she didn’t recognize me.

6. Skipped that last gas station

It was 2:30am in the morning when I passed that last gas station on the Interstate 75 in Ohio with only a half a tank of fuel. By the time I was at empty, I had yet to locate an open gas station in the wee hours of the morning. I ended up sleeping in my car until about 7am when a Petro Canada station just across the Canadian border opened up for service. My mistake cost me about 3 hours of travel time.

5. Left my guitar under a spot light prior to performing with it in front of a room full of Rotarians.

My sister and I used to perform in front of different churches and groups of people. With her on her accordion and me on my guitar, we would eek out a few tunes. Hopefully on a good day, people would recognize the songs, smile and clap more out of pity than enjoyment.

There was one time, in front of some important Rotarians, when I picked up my guitar and started playing it only to realize that, due to basking my guitar in front of a hot spotlight, my strings were way out of tune. It was not only a disaster but also the last time I ever played that thing in front of anybody. What a nightmare!

4. Walking up to a cute female friend of my sister’s and shaking the tar out of her only realize that it wasn’t her.

While in high school… walked up to her from behind, grabbed her by the shoulders and shook real hard… Wrong person… Not a good experience… Need I say more?

3. Kicking the foot of an old friend of mine only to find out that it wasn’t her.

You would have thought I would have learned from the shoulder shaking incident!

2. Numbering my speech’s cue cards with roman numerals

I really don’t know why I did it but for some unintelligent reason I numbered my cue cards for my speech with roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, V and so on.) So there I was standing in the front of my grade eight class when I realized that my cards were all out of whack. The speech was about a scouting trip from Ontario to Pennsylvania. I was all over the scope. First I was in eating my hotdog, then I was cooking it, I woke up before I went to sleep… Everything was out of order. The class was as confused as I was. Needless to say, I didn’t win that speech competition!

1. Passing a love note, with spelling mistakes, to my girlfriend

Oh! Ohh! Ohhh! No!! Don’t ever do this! I had just met this cute girl while at university and within a few weeks we were hitched. One day while in class, I passed her a “love note” with the following message… “Hi Sweaty!” I watched as she opened it hoping to observe her blush at my complimentary words when instead she shot a glare at me that would annihilate anything and everything in its path. It was there and then that I learned that the correct way to spell it was “Sweety!”

So there you go… Believe it or not, I had a difficult time paring my list down to nine. I don’t know about you but I think that becoming a hermit is probably the best way for me to cease and desist from any other dumb ass things that I may do. Sheesh!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I Don't Wanna Work I Just Wanna Bang on the Drum All Day

Well... Yet once again, today is a snow day for all our schools in the county and beyond. I swear that I have spent less time teaching this month than any other January of my teaching career. Today we woke up to a ton of rain and slush which our weather forecasters predicted would freeze by mid afternoon. Now, as a professional, I should be more concerned about the school days that my students are missing but between you and I, I am just as happy to be off school as they are. The only thing my son hates about snow days is that whenever he is off, his "old man" is off as well. Oh well Son, you can't have everything right? Right!

When I get days off like this, I often think of the song written by Todd Rundgren titled "Bang on the Drum." The part of the lyrics that reflect my thoughts on a day like this are:

"I Don't Want To Work,
I Just Want To Bang On The Drum All Day
I Don't Want To Play,
I Just Want To Bang On The Drum All Day"

Well, though I think I can hammer out a pretty mean beat with my hands, I certainly don't know how to really play the drums but regardless of that, whether it be banging with my hands or my head in thinking, I would much rather have a day off work doing it rather than banging off a lesson in my classroom. ("Hmmm...... What are people starting to think of me now!")

The other day, I read Gypsy's post on the hit TV show LOST and then when I was looking for the music video "Bang on the Drum," I found the song to a LOST theme video and so I had to post this one in honour of a good blogging friend. So the next time you don't want to work but instead bang on a drum all day or on anything else that you fancy, remember this song! Enjoy!

Monday, February 04, 2008

So here I was the other day cleaning my basement out...

Every so often, in order to move around in my basement, I have to take out the shovel and shovel out the "stuff" that we no longer need nor use. Now usually that consists of old boxes, too small or worn out clothes, old newspapers and so forth. This time, however, I decided to get a little adventurous and go on an archaeological dig into the shelves under the stairs and clear out stuff I hadn't seen for a good decade. I had no idea what I was going to find but what the heck... I thought that maybe I could find something of value to sell on eBay.

So here I was in my archaeologist blue jeans and t-shirt along with a beer for sustenance hoping to get lucky... well, not THAT lucky!

Choosing to work my way from top to bottom, I climbed up to the upper most shelf and pulled down an old binder of some sorts wrapped up in a padded envelope. Dusting off the envelope, I proceeded to tear it open and pull out what I thought was going to be an old high school binder when to my surprise what I actually discovered was my old stamp album I didn't even know I had anymore.

Back when I was just a lad of about eight years old, I, like many other boys and girls collected stamps. Nowadays, stamp collecting is not as popular as it once was and therefore, it doesn't even occur to boys and girls how fascinating this hobby could be.

I remember my weekend trips down to the local stamp collector and spending some of my hard earned money for that special stamp. I collected mostly Canadian, British, Indian, Australian and American stamps as these were the countries that most of our friends and relatives came from. I did, however, collect from many other countries as well.

Around the age of 16 when I was heavily into girls sports, my interest for stamp collecting waned but my desire to preserve my collection did not. As a result, I now still have a piece of my childhood with me to pass on to my children or future grandchildren one day. This stamp collection of mine will always be a good part of my memories and will continue to do so.

While flipping through the pages, I came across one of my favorite Canadian stamps and immediately thought of Josie and her interest in artists and paintings and I am sure that if you ask her as to who painted the picture on the stamp she would immediately tell you that it was Tom Thompson from the Group of Seven. I also came across an appropriate "LGS" Malaysian stamp while looking around on the net and wouldn't you know it... it is of a flying squirrel! So Lone Grey Squirrel, "this one's for you!"

So now that I have made this “discovery of historical proportions,” I have decided to not sell it on eBay but instead place it back into the envelope from whence it came, place it back on the uppermost shelf and save it for a rainy day when my future grandchildren come over for a visit. Come to think of it, maybe they won't even know what stamps are by then! Who knows!

Only time will tell.