Tuesday, 30 December 2008

New Year's Resolution time

Here's my resolution - stop making them. Or, if I do make one, put a time limit on it. Like say, one hour. That's about how long they normally last anyway. Last year it was to quit smoking. Yeah, that worked well, I just lit one. 

We all make them, and nobody ever keeps them. We resolve to get into shape, quit bad habits, be a better person, blah blah blah. Why bother? Why this particular date on the calendar to change your ways? Why not just be that person you want to be all the time.

Maybe this year I will make a resolution or two that I know I can keep. Maybe I will resolve myself to stop eating foods that give me heartburn. Not because I think I should, but because heartburn really sucks! Maybe I'll quit smoking - really, I will. Not on New Years though, there's a party to be had. Maybe sometime during January when I can't breathe anymore. (lecture coming, I can smell it). 

Maybe I'll resolve to make a better go of things at work, be a better manager, work harder to make a difference. Or, maybe I'll just decide to ride the rails and see how it goes. There's the solution - make two resolutions - one in either direction. Then you can't go wrong.  Give yourself a fallback position.

Maybe I'll resolve to be more active. This is something I know I want if not need. I want to get back into shape, I want to get out there and play ball, hockey, run, bike more. This is the only "resolution" I think I can keep. Just in case I fail I entered the contest to carry the Olympic torch. They announce the winners in May, If I get it I will have until December 23, 2009 to get into good enough shape to run with the torch. What I hear now is I have until May to be a lazy slob. After that I have to change my ways. I needed motivation for this one, the resolution didn't have the punch to get me off my ass. Maybe the Olympics will!

I also resolved to make more money this year. The jury's out on that one, I just haven't figured out how to accomplish this one yet. Stay tuned.

I resolve to be a good husband and father. This one isn't too hard, I love my family and would do anything for them. However, This one too could always use a fallback resolution. I could say that this year I will stop giving of myself and be a little more selfish. Nah. Then I'd get a reputation.

I do resolve this year though, to be more green. Drive less, recycle more, walk more, turn off lights, et al. My kids are wonderful with this concept, they're the green generation. They're the enviro-cops around here. And we listen! Growing up everything was eventually landfill fodder. I can't believe how much we recycle now, all thanks to the kids. Someone should buy me a Chevy Volt for my next birthday. Start saving.

Finally, I resolve to end all war, famine and disease in the world. 
I know this is impossible globally, so I'll start in my house. I will play arbiter, keep the fridge full and make sure the kids are healthy. This is probably the only resolution worth making. Take care of your family and they will take care of you.  Because, at the end of the day, they choose your retirement home.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Road Trip

Road trip today, off to see the wife's family in London. It isn't too far, just a couple hours up the road. The fog this morning is so thick I can't see the car across the street. This should make for a fun drive. I love taking these little trips, it's the excuse I need to have the kids clean the car out.

Cheers and Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

All I want for Christmas is my wisdom teeth out.

I went to the dentist yesterday to get a problem tooth removed. The dentist took one look at it and said yup, it has to come out. It was a wisdom tooth anyway, so no harm done. The X-ray showed it should be a relatively easy extraction. He froze the area, put me under the gas and got to work.

That's the end of things going right. 

First off, I had a reaction to the anaesthetic and went into an adrenaline rush. I started shaking and shivering uncontrollably. The tech put a blanket over me and the gas was switched to pure oxygen, but it didn't work. The dentist kept working, eventually I came down and relaxed. 

The tooth didn't want to come out. It started breaking apart instead of coming loose. He finally decided after about an hour that he would remove the nerves and send me to an oral surgeon. But when he got the nerves out, the tooth started loosening up. Now at this point, I have more tools shoved in my mouth than necessary, my lips are cut from them. My jaw is in so much pain that it makes the tooth seem inconsequential, and the gas isn't on, so I can feel everything. Three people working on this tooth while I'm recovering from shock, ripping my mouth apart for over two hours. It should have come out within a half hour. Not cool. He finally got the tooth by standing over me and reefing it out. Imagine my comfort. It turns out the roots were curved and the tooth impacted. It should have been surgery from the start, which after an hour the dentist reminded me of in no uncertain terms. He was not having fun either. 

After coming down off the rush I drove home in a snowstorm, and headed off to bed. Tylenol 3 in hand, I curled up in bed. I couldn't get warm, Kim put a hot water bottle at my feet and an extra blanket, but I couldn't stop shivering. All I wanted was something to eat, but that wasn't an option yet. I took about 4 hours for the bleeding to stop before I could take a couple of spoonfuls of apple sauce. More Tylenol 3 around 10, then tried to sleep. They even gave me a bag of frozen veggies (a Wilsonworld icepack) to keep the swelling down. Great, add cold when I can't get warm. 

This morning, the bleeding has stopped, and I started my day with more apple sauce, but I feel so week. Everything seems to be a chore, even coming down the stairs. I'm going to post this and go back to bed, nursing my cut mouth. 

This was the worst trip to the dentist I've ever experienced, anything from here on in should be a cakewalk. The dentist did a great job considering what I through at him. I know he was frustrated as hell, I joked later that I just wanted him to work for his Christmas break. 

Tomorrow is Christmas day, and I may have to have my dinner puréed. Not nice. The thought occurred to me to wait until after the holidays to have this done, I guess I'm glad I didn't wait, I would  be going through this no matter when it happened. At least it's done now. 

Hopefully as the day moves forward I will get a little stronger and this will begin to heal. Either that or I'm spending Christmas on my back.


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Under the must be done column

I'm dreading today. I have to go shopping. I look outside into the white beyond that used to be my quiet little street, see my car parked on an angle in front of a snowdrift, behind it is another drift man-made by the guy who shoveled himself a parking spot last night. This is the only time of year that I would ever consider putting in a driveway. But then, I'd have to shovel it. 

I'm still sick, we left the company Christmas party last night after dinner, the shortest stay ever. I was hacking too much, my head hurts, my chest aches, I'm so tired I could sleep standing up. I haven't slept in days, anyone who's gone through this crap can attest to the fact that every time you lay down, your chest fills up. Let the hacking begin. I'm so desperate for sleep. Last night, Kim made me Chi tea, I sucked back Robbitusin for my chest, slathered Ambasol on my broken wisdom tooth, and finally opted for  a Tylenol 3 to kill whatever pain the first two failed at. I actually slept, waking up at 9:30 this morning. I didn't even have the beer that awaited my arrival last night - I would not drink last night knowing I had to negotiate the wonderland coming home in such a state. It's bad enough in this crap without adding a drink or two. Maybe tonight. 

I have to go Christmas shopping today. I'm afraid. I have tried to prep myself, more Robbitusin, more tea, more Ambasol, we'll see how it goes. We haven't really started yet, just a few trinkets, today we have to finish things up. No more time left. With another snowstorm on the doorstep this is probably the only day we can go. I feel like shit. Maybe we'll get lucky and find everything we need in one store. What am I saying, that's about as likely as the neighbour who buried my car feeling guilty and undoing the damage. We will spend the day hopping around the city looking for anything that might appease the offspring's penchant for stuff for another year. Cause you know, stuff makes the world go round!

I'm not ready quite yet. I'm building up my willpower, and working on clearing my lungs first. I have to find my mojo, which is difficult when you can't breathe. As I sit here writing this, I'm seeing people huffing it down the street carrying packages. Some have already started, I need to take a cue from them. 

Or maybe I can just mug the next one who trudges by.


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Absence makes the blog grow fonder

I haven't been here in five days. Not for any other reason than I really didn't feel like typing. I've been on the computer, checking email, playing games and surfing, but typing wasn't high on my list of things to do. Let's recap the past days...

1. Daughter got her fish finally, and within an hour one of them jumped out and committed fishacide.

2. Son was jealous of the fish and ended up with a 5 gallon tank with 2 crabs - named Red Bull and Hungry Howie. Don't ask, I don't know.

3. My boss has gone completely insane and is instituting new ideas. That always scares me.

4. I finally got over the flu only to develop a horrible cold. Hence my head is pounding with the amount of hacking I'm doing. At least I got to take Nyquil. That stuff rocks. I can't remember the last time I slept like that.

5. We finally got snow that is worth talking about. A whole 3 inches. Just enough to make people drive like idiots. Son is shoveling it now, and he ain't happy about it. 

There. Five things to cover five days. I still don't feel like typing.


Friday, 12 December 2008

Today's most asinine news story

This is ridiculous. A news story this morning warning of contaminated cocaine. So what? I know I'm going to piss a few people off with this, but who cares? Deep recession, factories closing, terrorism on the rise again, markets in crisis, families about to go through Christmas with nothing, and this is a concern to... who? 

Let's think about this for a minute. Contaminated cocaine. There's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. The stuff isn't exactly aspirin. It's a dangerous drug that can kill you. So they found a batch that will do that a little faster than normal. I say put that crap into production! Distribute it out and let it do it's work. The people addicted to the stuff I do feel for - life hasn't exactly dealt them a fair blow, but this is the basket they landed in. Maybe getting seriously ill will be the catalyst they need to get the fuck off the stuff. Make the stuff safer will only encourage more use! 

Let the stuff do it's worst and let the rest of us get back to what concerns us. Life on the legal side. 

Gimme a break.

What's your stupid news of the day?


Thursday, 11 December 2008

16 years

It's been 16 years since Kim was last at class. 16 years of prodding her to go back. 16 years of convincing her that it was the right sacrifice to make. 16 years of Kim saying that she regrets not finishing university. 

She's done.

Kim had her last class today, which will satisfy the requirements for her double honours degree.

I am exceptionally proud of her! Just a short couple of months ago she huddled over the computer on the registrar's website, nervously holding her finger over the submit button. She asked me if she was ready for the step, I said she has been ready for 16 years.

The semester was short, I can't believe it's over already. She was so nervous, looking over her books, checking the exam schedule, wondering how the kids would get along 'without her'. Wondering how I would handle the extra load. She didn't need to worry, we got through it fine and Kim took to her new task the way she always does - with incredible enthusiasm. The kids were fed, the house was cleaned, the exams were passed, she did great. If this semester was an indication she will do wonderfully next semester. Yup, she's not done. She caught the bug again and will head back for even more abuse. 

I'm getting used to it now, seeing her geeked about learning. She has always thrived on school, it's really where she belongs. Wouldn't it be cool to get paid to do that? 

I can't wait to get pictures posted of Kim in her cap and robe, 16 years on, but not too late. It's never too late to start over. Now if she would just decide what she wants to be when she grows up....

Congrats Kim, you earned it.


Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Crappy nothing happened kind of day

Nothing happened today, or yesterday, an amazing lack of anything. Nothing happened on the way to work, at work, and on the way home. So much nothing that it astounds the imagination as you watch so much nothing all around you. It's like being in a nebula, surrounded in every direction by whirling masses of gaseous nothingness. It was freakin' everywhere. 

Astounding nothingness. 

Tonight's news will be that nothing happened today, so much so that it won't be a slow news day, the nothingness of today will be the news. It will break into your regular scheduled shows to announce that with resounding and overwhelming if not stupidly useless enthusiasm, that nothing happened.


It's nice to have days that something happens, however minor, however useless, at least it's something. Today, I went to work, I came home. The closest I got to something all day was walking out the door.

There, I've written a completely useless blog post on nothing happening. 

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


Saturday, 6 December 2008

Tree Day

So today is tree day. We all jumped into the car on the first day this year with snow. A lot of snow. There is a large storm front heading our way bringing high winds and blowing snow. Out in the county the winds are the problem, there's not much on the ground and too much in the air. We found the tree farm, requisitioned our saw and trudged off into the treeline with our ears open for the trees that were speaking to us. That's Kim's ritual - the perfect tree talks to her, she must have complete silence to hear it, sometimes it just whispers, other times it yells. The kids of course have taken to this little quirk and head off on their own to commune with nature as it were.

No trees were talking today. There were lots of them, from immature pines not ready for the holidays, to Charlie Brown trees that will be passed over by countless families. Tall, short, scrawny, fat, one tree I wanted to investigate ended up being two grown together to form a super tree. We found one that spoke in the appropriate tone, and parked our son next to it to guard it while we headed off to see if there was anything better. A half hour later, we remembered about him and headed back. I thought he would be upset with us, leaving him there, but he was happy, staying behind the tree to avoid the wind, listening to his iPod. What a woodsman. 

Going to the tree farm brings back memories. Not of hunting for the perfect tree as a kid, we had an artificial tree. Memories of being in the woods in the winter, camping. Yup, that's right, camping. Nothing like it - building a snow shelter, keeping the fire going all night, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, that kind of stuff. I used to teach cadets winter camping and I had more fun doing that than summer camping. No mud! 

I stood in the tree line today, wearing my old combat coat (warmest thing I have) and my old combat boots, recalling days where I would hide lunch in the middle of  a 100 acre woodlot, hand out compasses and tell the 40 kids it was lunchtime and they were cooking for me. I miss those days, someday I will take my kids winter camping. They think I'm nuts for enjoying it, but it's one of those activities you have to experience.

We strapped the tree to the car and began our journey home. Every now and then peeking out of the sunroof to make sure our new passenger was comfortable. We drank hot chocolate and watched the wind blow around the country roads while listening to a Christmas mix CD Kim prepared for the trip.

Tonight is the Santa Claus parade on Riverside Drive. The wind has died down and the snow is falling lightly. Perfect night for a parade. Tomorrow, Christmas truly arrives, the tree will be decorated, and lights outside strung, and other decorations put out. It's about time, we've been having trouble getting going this year with everyone being sick, The spirit is here now. Let's hope the season brings all it promises.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Thank You Thank You Thank You!

My wonderful wife found my missing Tiger install disks that I lost over a year ago.

Thank You Thank You Thank You!

Note: If this means nothing to you, you are a PC user. Move along please.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Goodbye old girl

Tonight is the end of an era. 

Tonight is the last game for the Windsor Spitfires at the venerable old barn - The Windsor Arena, and I can't go. All I've wanted since the announced move to the new WFCU Centre on December 11 is tickets for just one more Spits game in one of the worst arenas ever built, and it happens tonight without me. With everything going on around here lately we just couldn't pull it together to run down there and get tickets for at least one final game, even though the place is only a couple of kilometres from here. 

I grew up going to the barn for games, the smells, the crowded concourse, the bad food at the concessions, cramped seats (when you could get one, most times we were relegated to the benches in the nosebleeds), dreadful acoustics, so on and so forth. The place was terrible, but the games were great! The arena only seats 4,400. It's small enough to watch a game in an intimate environment while at the same time big enough to feel like you're at a big time game. It was amazing as a kid there even if you had to look around the support beam you got stuck sitting behind! We chased the players down the corridors vying for their autographs behind the hoards of other kids. It became a game on some nights. I can't ever remember who's autographs I got all those years ago, but I can tell you that I was chasing Joel Quennville, now the coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. I also grew up watching Keith Gretzky, Steve Ott, Marcel Pronovost, Jason Spezza, Cory Stillman, Jason Ward, Kyle Wellwood, Roland Melanson, Ed Jovanovski, and more. These guys are all my childhood, most of whom still have their careers in the NHL followed closely by my own children.

My son has sang the National anthem with his class at the barn, as well as taken a shot on net to win a prize. I still have the video of him at 5 years old, standing in the middle of the ice in a crowded arena lining up the puck on an empty net; the whole while the thousands in the stands yelling CLOSER! CLOSER! The team official kept shuffling him up until the crowd was satisfied he wouldn't miss. He did anyway, but it didn't matter, I don't know who was more pumped that day, my son or me. I was enjoying the moment and will always remember it. I wanted my kids to have the same childhood experiences of that old place that I did. Up to the last game we saw in the Spring they did. They even got the autographs of the teams current owners, all NHL alumni themselves.

We've been complaining about this decrepid old arena in this town for years. We have needed a replacement for years. I lost count the amount of times we have come close to replacement over a twenty year period. From the Western Super Anchor site, to the Jebb Proposal featuring Wayne Gretzky as a partner, and so on, and on and on. There have been so many. The underlying reason none ever came to fruition was the cost, nobody wanted to cough up the $20+ million or $30+ million to build it. Every proposal got more expensive until it seemed like it would never be. The barn, built in 1924 and long since inadequate, was here to stay. All that changed a couple of years ago when council finally decided enough was enough and signed the deal for a new 6,500 seat arena with an adjoining community centre featuring 2 standard rinks, a full gymnasium banquet hall, community meeting rooms, and so much more. A steal at a mere $65 million. (Pause for effect).

The city was finally at the point where the cost didn't matter. Just build the damn thing and get on with it. We needed the investment in our sports community. There was really nothing here in terms of training. No sports facility worthy of hosting major sporting events that could bring notoriety, prestige, and of course, money to Windsor. Hopefully the new WFCU Centre will do that.

What the new place can't bring, is the history of the barn. The memories, the smells and sounds, the intimate crowds, even that burnt out light in the rafters they never really got around to fixing. 

Tonight they will lower the banners and dim the lights on the Windsor Spitfires old home for the last time. Guests of honour will speak of fond memories and probably bore the crowd, who with all the pageantry, are really there to see a hockey game. The team will take to the ice for the last time at the old barn and given their number one standing in the OHL, will probably win. Next week they will start anew at a new home. Bigger, better, roomier, brighter, cleaner, more comfortable, more parking, just plain and simple a better facility. But none of that matters. Die hard fans follow the team anywhere; new or old they follow the players. But there are many of us who will not take well to the changes. The price of progress. We need this. 

But the food will still suck.



Windsor Spitfires 2
Guelph Storm 1

A fitting end. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Trying to rejoin the living

I'm up finally, barely moving, still sore, can't breathe well, every bone hurts and frick am I hungry! I'm going to try to post, but my fingers are numb. This is the worst flu I have EVER had. Read Kim's post to get the whole story, I don't feel like writing that much. Suffice it to say the past week has been eventful around here. I've missed almost a full week of work, not to mention trying to remain coherent during one of the most turmultuous periods of Canadian politics - Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition is making a coalition deal with a political party who's sole mandate is sovereignty of Quebec and the break up of Canada. Sadly, my on again off again state of being has meant I have missed most of the coverage. The next few months will be interesting in this country. Stay tuned, let's see if CNN clues in that something is actually happening in Canada worth covering for more than 10 seconds.

Enough for today, time for a nap.


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Happy (blaachh PUKE!) birthday

My daughter had a birthday yesterday, and was up all night puking her guts out. We're now cleaning up the damage. She sleeps in a loft bed and didn't quite make it. Do the math. Today is her party at the movies with eight friends, we have already paid for it and now don't know what to do. She's stopped throwing up, and says she feels better, but we really aren't taking any chances. We have about 4 hours to figure out this little dilemma. 

When presented with a birthday present it really isn't good protocol to puke on them.


Friday, 28 November 2008

Some days are just crazier than others

Happy birthday to my daughter - you turn 8 today.

I can remember you being small enough to fit on a couch cushion, when you didn't walk or talk, when you rode your bike for the first time, your first tooth, your first play-date. A lot of firsts. Now you are 8. You have grown out of that awkward toddler stage into a little girl who wants to wear dresses to school, worries that her shoes don't match your nylons, you want to paint your nails and wear earrings, and the Jonas Brothers are your new best friends. How you have changed over such a short time. When I look around my home I see things that I had when you were born, they haven't changed! My coffee cup was being used the day you came home, the living room table held your baby carrier, we even have plants that age. How is it that life has a way of changing so much while our lives themselves appear to be static? You have made our lives dynamic. Not the things in our house, but a little girl who takes on every day as a new learning experience. Happy birthday bug. Even though we aren't really celebrating today, it's still your day to start again. Just like you do every day.

Now as for the reason we're not celebrating today;
My son is having his Confirmation tonight. 

The Bishop of London has seen fit to schedule such an event on bug's day. How rude. Bug wanted us to call him and have it moved. They wouldn't budge.  He has his new suit, family is on the way, the refreshments are being prepared, etc, etc. Good thing that everyone is home today to help with this. Leading me to the third events today - I'm still sick. I still have the flu which has racked me for almost a week now. I feel like sleeping at any given point and I can't get warm. This really sucks. I took another sick day today, I just hope I don't fall asleep while playing chauffeur to the wife while she takes care of the last minute details. Snoozing between deep breathes will be the game today.

This morning I put the news on to see how the world is celebrating with us today, not good. Not a day of memorable events my family can look at down the road and relate to our little world, however, important none the less. The Mumbai terrorist attacks claimed more victims overnight. There are now 147 confirmed dead including at least one Canadian. The coordinated attacks at 10 sites through the city have the hallmarks of Al Quaeda written all over them. The financial centre of the world's most populous democracy. These attacks had the potential of making 9-11 look like a shooting gallery at a local fair. Luckily the morons did not quite achieve their goals. Thank God.

Secondly, it appears that our government will endure a vote of non-confidence on Monday. The opposition parties thinks the Conservative government is doing nothing to bail this country out of the recession they have now confirmed we're in. So, bring 'em down! They are talking about a ruling coalition of opposition parties to take over the government. This is unheard of in Canada. Scary when you think that Gilles Duceppe is a separatist leader of the Bloc Quebecois whose sole desire is to have Quebec separate from the rest of the country. In a coalition, the Prime Minister's seat can go to one of three people - the Liberal leader who is leaving in May because he failed to lead, reducing his party's status to the lowest number of seats EVER, The New Democratic leader, who I like, I just don't agree with his party's doctrine, and a separatist. Monday will be interesting. How do you fix the economy in Canada? Call an election! We're all doomed.

Happy birthday bug.
Happy confirmation Munch.
Happy sick day dad.
Happy running around getting ready for it all Kim.
Let's all hope those having a normal boring day enjoy it.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

To my American friends

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your turkey, we eat ours without snow. 

I'm just sayin.


Tuesday, 25 November 2008


I'm sick and ready to collapse. I hope all you healthy people get it so I won't be alone in my misery.


Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sundays are getting weird

Two young children were baptized at church this morning, families were in attendance in the packed house worthy of a rock concert. No empty seats in the house. I'm sure Father's heart rose when he looked out the peep hole prior to mass a the assembled throngs of parishioners. Young and old, black and white, men and women, hundreds in attendance to celebrate, well, nothing really special, except for the baptisms. These of course, are rather routine in our parish. 

Near the end of the service Father asked if there were any medical personnel that could attend an elderly lady who had collapsed. The announcement was made to leave the centre aisle clear for the approaching ambulance, and the recession headed off to the outer aisles. The gathered flock began to disperse as emergency crews arrived to treat the lady. Turns out she was simply suffering from heat stroke and collapsed all bundled up in her coat and scarf. The uncertainty of the situation caused several tense moments. People knelt down immediately to pray for her while others headed in to help. Father, the consomate professional kept the situation calm and the service moving along. 

I'm sure the parents of the two young girls freshly baptized will have stories to tell them years from now. 

The lady is fine, she refused to go the hospital once she was revived. We all headed downstairs for coffee and snacks. 

I started the day addressing the parish council about the new website I'm building for the church. I'd love to post the link, but there's no use, the site is a blank shell at this point - nobody has offered any content! One page actually says "Write something witty here." I spent the first 45 minutes of that meeting listening to how disorganized the parish is and how there is need for fresh ideas and fresh blood. Ironic that I was there trying to fix exactly that. The funny thing about all this - I'm not catholic. Kim likes to point out at any point that I'm a heathen, a pagen of sorts, I'm still protesting. My faith is strong, I am quite involved in the church, I just don't see the need to go to class to be a good Christian. I was born and raised Protestant, and as much as I encourage my children's Catholic upbringing, and the fact that I prefer the Catholic mass, I'm still not convinced that I should convert.  That' another story.  I accept the heathen title, and will gladly write that on my name tag just to get the looks.

I am actively campaigning to bring the church into the 21st century with the website and the facebook page, this is how to attract the youth. This is how to get new blood in the door. This is how is has be in order to grow the parish. However, seeing that crowd today, you wouldn't think it's necessary - more in there today than most Christmas masses I've seen. It'll be standing room only on that day!

The youth group in this parish is struggling because of a lack of involvement from the parish, not the kids. They will participate, but someone has to get to them. Word of mouth just doesn't work anymore. You want to get to the kids? Get online! That's all I'm saying, connect with them. I really don't think the council gets that. At the end of my little presentation I was thanked for my input and promised that I would have support and ideas. Father took me aside and said "That's a side of you I've never seen; passionate and articulate, convincing and determined to get the point across." 

That's a side of me that comes out when I know I'm right! I know  this will work, and they don't quite get it. We'll see, the hardest part of any progress is getting through the politics involved. The people in charge usually have their own agenda they're pushing. They'll come around. The youth will see to that once they get the word. We have a lot of kids in this parish who want to get involved, with any luck they will take the ball and run with it. 

I spend about 4 hours today involved in a church I don't belong to in the general sense. It's time for those who do belong and help govern this parish to do likewise.


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Once in a lifetime chance

I just entered the contest to be a torchbearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics. 

I will just let that sink in for a minute.

As well as the opportunity to do something that will literally be a once in a lifetime experience, now I have to quit smoking and get back into shape. I mean, if I am an olympic torch runner, that means I have to run. 

I'll start tomorrow, right now I'm feeling kinda lazy.


Friday, 21 November 2008

Chin up

It's Friday, so no more negative posts. Here's today's happy go lucky yippee yahoo la-di-da post.


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Don't piss off the computer guy again

So this morning I'm greeted by an email from the previous post. She indicated 6 things in great detail that she was not happy about and wanted my to drive there and fix them. She also indicated that the cursor was "very funny", and that there would be revenge. I'm not looking for revenge, that was my psychotic little way of revenge on her!

I replied back to her with simple instructions and indicated I would not be coming down today. Silly things but they annoy me. People who refuse to use the noodle in their heads and are content to let others think for them piss me off. Lazy people suck. 

I didn't hear back from her the rest of the day after my reply and that's a good thing. It's bad enough I have to deal with others who refuse to listen to the same instructions handed down over the course of 6 years, today, for them, and just because I didn't feel like doing it a second time, I had a little lesson at the network printer to explain for the umpteenth time how to see if it was actually processing anything.

I started with SEE THE GREEN FLASHING LIGHT? (pointing)
T H A T    M E A N S    I T ' S   D O I N G   S O M E T H I N G !!!!!

End of lesson. 

I kid you not. 
People want someone else to do anything for them, either because they don't want to learn or because they aren't capable of learning.
People are generally lazy and that pisses me off. 

I am so tired of hearing "you're the computer guy, you do it".
Yeah, I'm the computer guy, not the photocopier guy, or the bathroom light guy.

I miss the days of building ads and designing newspaper. Working with editor and sales people in a positive productive manner that leads to awards. Things have changed over the years, maybe I'm just getting grouchy in my old age, or maybe I was always like this and just wasn't provided the proper catalyst to express my displeasure (or disbelief).


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Don't piss off the computer guy

I had to do a complete rebuild of  a production computer today, a process that can take up to 8 hours of boring tedious annoying work. Reinstalling all drivers, software, utilities, files that were removed and backed up and the like. Really fun stuff. One would think that after spending the past few weeks bitching about a failing hard drive, one might be a tiny bit gracious about having it fixed by someone who has driven across the county and sacrificing my day to fix it. 


She stood behind me most of the day complaining about having nothing to do while I worked, asking constantly how much longer it would take, and bitching because she didn't like the desktop pattern I chose. 

This person needed a large glass of shut the fuck up.

Some of her comments:
• The fonts don't work right
• The desktop pattern is wrong
• That printer isn't printing fast enough
• Why do you have to update my internet browser? I liked it the way it was
• I have nothing to do so I may as well leave
• I don't make PDFs like that, I do it the long way - it's easier
• Your tools are all over my desk
• You shouldn't open a computer case on the floor - static electricity you know
• You shouldn't open the case with the power on - It can electrocute you and blow up my computer
• You shouldn't park your car in front of the building - we have employee parking across the street
• Aren't you done? I have work to do
• Why did you wear that colour shirt today
• I don't like the sky being blue
• People who complain a lot are jerks

I'm sure there were more, but I was desperate to tune her out. After she finally left in a huff (without even saying thanks for all the work), her coworkers gathered around and let fly on her. Good to see I'm not alone in this thinking, at least I can go back to my own office. These people live with her every day. Poor people. 

Just before I went home today, I blew her cursor up. I hope she has fun figuring out how to fix it. I will giggle tomorrow thinking of the fit she's throwing over it. The rest of the crew saw me do it, and laughed. "You aren't going to leave it like that, are you?"

Yup, I said, don't piss off the computer tech.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Winter prep

I've got an appointment this morning to new rubber on the car. Several hundred dollars for piece of mind this winter. Right now I'm driving on what could be used for NASCAR slicks. Turning corners in the rain is fun!

Neighbours are putting up Christmas lights, across the street the tree is up in the window, plastic santas and snowmen and making their annual appearance, and the stores are decorating with Christmas music playing overhead. But customers last night at the mall were far and few between. The recession strikes again!

I'm weighing my priorities right now and Christmas just lost. I need tires (Merry Christmas to me), oldest needs a suit for confirmation, youngest has a birthday in two weeks, Kim has tuition to pay, and oh yeah, we need groceries. Christmas hasn't hit yet. The snow arrived early this year, which of course disturbs the hell out of me, hence the tires. I'm not ready yet, and can't see when I will be. Maybe after the birthday. 

It's hard to focus on something so far off these days - so much to worry about now. I envy people who's lives are so organized that everything is done months in advance. We tend to be the type that plan things an hour prior to an event. Hey, it keeps life fun! Those who plan that early for anything obviously don't have enough to worry about, their lives are in order, they themselves are perfect people with nothing to distract them from the task at hand. I hate them all. 

I saw a quick poll on the news the other days that said 16% of respondents already had their Christmas shopping finished. Take out the 5 or 6 % of them who really had nothing to prepare for, and that leaves 10% of the population that I hate. 

They probably didn't need to buy tires.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Random Thoughts

#1: I drive home down the same stretch of expressway everyday.
Every day, for the past three week, there has been a dead skunk on the inside shoulder. 

Three weeks.
Do the math. 

My theory is that it stinks so bad nobody at the town is willing to venture near it to remove it, so there is sits, I know when to hold my breath at this point - As soon as I pull out of the parking lot at work.

#2: Youngest comes down yesterday while we were the only ones home with a mitt full of dolls and other 'props'. She politely asked if I want to see her rendition of Nutcracker Suite. Sure I say, as I gave her my full attention. She then asks me if I could videotape the performance so mom and Brother could see it when they arrive home. Sure I say, but wouldn't it just make sense to wait another half hour for them to arrive and then we could all see it?
"Alright daddy, that's a good idea", and off she goes, leaving the props in my chair that I relinquished momentarily.

#3: We went shopping tonight for my son's Confirmation suit. After racking up a substantial sum on clothing we were informed that all he wanted was a hoody. Oh boy, wrong thing to say to a parent.

#4: Kim is in her PJs writing a paper that's due tomorrow. She stopped at the store, got herself diet Pepsi and smokes, curled up in her chair in her office, pillow behind her. She's got it going now, but I think there was an alternative reason for shopping for the suit tonight. I smell an all-nighter! Too bad I'll be sleeping.

#5: Got an ear full from my press manager today - The Christmas Gift Guides arrived at the warehouse this morning, two days early and will spend that time in the parking lot under a tarp. There's a reason we asked for the delivery when we did - the warehouse is slightly smaller than the average house plan. Two days ago we had a paper delivery - enough to print our customers for about 3 weeks. The warehouse also holds other products coming and going, papers waiting for pickup, waste waiting for recycling, inserting stations, etc. etc. He has to hold this stuff until Wednesday when the inserters will go to town. When he was done ranting, I informed him the second load would be arriving today. I'm such a nice guy.

Random useless tidbits of information from my end of the planet. Nothing special, just a peek inside my mind.


Sunday, 16 November 2008

'Nuff said

The end of Autumn is upon us.

Somewhere in the back of that car is my scraper.


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Saturday stuff

So what does one do on a Saturday morning when you wake up at 6am for no apparent reason?
• Made coffee
• Watched the news - California is on fire again
• Watched the best of the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival (with quick view to the fires on CNN)
• Did a load of dishes
• Fed the cat
• Did more dishes
• Fed the cat again - according to him I didn't get it right the first time
• Did the last load of dishes - I got real lazy the past two days. Yeah, the kitchen was a treat
• Kicked the now content cat out of my chair so I could check my email - got bit in the process
• Woke up the wife
• Stood in the middle of the house wondering how to waste time. Ahah! Video games! 

See ya.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Tis the season for sales to suck

We're hot and heavy into the Christmas advertising season. I should be working 50-60 hours a week right now. I'm not. This week I logged 45. Sales suck. Advertisers are scared stupid and they are reflecting that with us. The sales reps are freaking out because they can't get the numbers they need for budget, the boss is freaking out because the sales reps are freaking out. I'm freaking out because all this means late copy - building large ads sold too close to press time for comfort. 

The shitty economy has hit our little world.

This week, my parent company announced that it would reduce its Canadian workforce by 5% - 560 people. I thought we were going to dodge the bullet, at least for now, the business of media in all it's capacities seams reasonably safe in turmoil - people still watch TV, use the internet, read newspapers (although not as much anymore). Ad revenue is still there because retailers big and small in times of economic uncertainty only cut back if they're stupid. This is true - studies have indicated that those who cut the marketing budget first are more likely to fall victim first. Don't ask me to quote a source, it's just something I read last week somewhere, maybe CNN, I don't know, but it's not the first time I've heard that. I've also seen that trend first hand after spending almost 15 years doing this for a living.

Retailers want to advertise now - they have to sell they're crap. They have to grab the consumer at the busiest time of year and MAKE them buy their stuff. They have to convince consumers to change their minds. My business is just the catalyst. We provide the vehicle for retailers to beg and plead with those lucky enough to still have jobs to spend their money in their store.

Wonder how it's working so far.

The advertisers in our little corner of the consumer universe are not dumb. They see the benefit of this tactic and use it to their advantage; every time the economy swings around they are still there for us, some using the same ad for the gift guide they've used for years, "just repeat what I did last year, it seemed to work". We love these guys - so easy to please and so eager for the season, regardless of how difficult it may seem, to bring on the inevitable onslaught of last minute gift hounds. They know the drill, they've seen this before and will again. Every year, they will greet our sales reps with the enthusiasm of one who has not seen a good friend in years. They will buy an ad. Here's the problem - that ad only costs them $100, once a year. 

The big guys aren't biting. The GM ads, Ford ads, Zehrs and Sobeys, furniture stores, appliance and electronics stores, major retailers such as Wal-Mart or Zellers, after market car stores, and more. The big guys aren't spending. The little guys are.  So here's the breakdown; small boutiques with reeeaaaallllly expensive stuff are advertising and doing well, the big ones with tons of cash and reasonably priced consumer products that people migrate to in hard times due to the prices, are not.

Years ago when the big box revolution started smaller stores feared being driven out. Nay nay - they're the ones staying open!  Who knows for how long, but for now they're open and providing jobs and tax base, offering quality goods, even with higher prices. Now, if we can just find people who still have jobs to buy the stuff. There's still money in this town, these guys know it, and want it. They aren't giving up yet.

If there are people here in the backwater of Canada who are willing to keep it going in tough times, why can't we get on board with that attitude? It's a monumental problem happening now, but most of it was caused by fear and speculation. Yes, there were stupid business transactions that we will collectively pay for for years, but fear is causing most of the poor sales. People just don't want to spend what they fear they will not have in another few months. This fear has grown into a plague that threatens to consume our economy entirely if we don't buck the trend. This won't fix the mess, but it will give us the confidence we need to carry on, the consumer influence we need to keep the mom and pop shops open, keep the tire shops putting tires on cars, etc. etc. Let's face it - we all need tires, groceries, washing machines, drinking glasses, birthday gifts for neighbour's kids, etc. We still need to buy things. Even when the jobs have gone, the need will still be there. We have evolved into a consumer goods driven society and that isn't changing anytime soon. 

If this attitude is here on the small end of the scale, we can as a society drive it up to the higher end. We can reverse the trend by not being afraid anymore. We can create jobs to replace the ones that have been lost - sure, they may not pay $40 / hour to put a bolt on a firewall, but it's a start, and that's what we need - a new start.

Maybe this mess was a self-fulfilling prophesy. 
Maybe it was bound to happen by the shear fact that we have become a self-indulgent greedy society of entitlement. We have become what we keep telling our kids not to be and it threatens us all. Maybe we are the only ones who can fix it. 

The 560 who lost their jobs yesterday can't yet. More statistics, more people wondering how to buy Christmas presents. More people who have become victims of fear.