Apr 08

I Love That Boy

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

Relax, I’m talking about my dog Blue.

Something I’ve been thinking about for a while now, is how he occasionally gets this worried look on his adorable face when I approach him. It’s not a frightened look, per se, but more like a “I hope the beating doesn’t hurt too bad.” kind of look. Oh, and he just stands there, not looking at me.

Sometimes he thinks he's a real boy.

Sometimes he thinks he’s a real boy. This isn’t the look.

When the hugging, playing, or whatever we’re doing starts, he takes a moment to compose himself, and I wonder what happened to him in his earlier years to make him like that.

Does it have something to do with why he doesn’t like beer bottles, fireworks, or handguns? I would imagine it does.

He is from North Carolina, after all.

I know he trusts me, because he shows me that every day, but that look always makes me feel bad for him. It’s just one of those pity feelings, like the feeling you get when someone you know gets hurt and never fully recovers.

Yeah, you’re happy that they are alive, but you can’t help wishing that you could go back in time and stop something from happening.

Mrs. Birdman assures me that he has a great life now, and that he appreciates and loves how well he has it. I think it’s true. I do know that it’s better than the gas chamber he was headed for, but I still get those pangs of sadness for him. I still feel like even though he’s gained a life; somewhere, sometime, he’s lost one. I hope he gets it back.

Don't worry boy. I won't tell your mom that your stinky, slimy toy touched her pillow.

Don’t worry boy. I won’t tell your mom that your stinky, slimy toy touched her pillow.

So yeah, at some point he was mistreated, but he’s resilient, as dogs usually are, and he keeps on living his life of protecting his yard from vermin, or occasionally climbing the stepstool to lick the butter.

Only a couple of licks. He doesn’t want to get the squirts.

I can’t stress enough for people to rescue an animal instead of buying a from a puppy mill pet store, or backyard breeder. If you’re not sure how to tell, please do your research. Every time that you support one of these despicable markets, another abused animal is forced to breed and birth a handful of puppies. I’m not going to show the pictures, but believe me, they’re out there.

I can honestly say that I don’t know what I’d do without our boy, because he has helped me through a lot of my darkness. It’s like he can feel it when it’s time to stop playing and just get hugged. I don’t know how many times that I’ve been sitting at the computer and just had the urge to go in and lay down with him on the bed, but every single time, he snuggles right in and makes me smile.

Did I mention that he was a shedder?

Did I mention that he was a shedder?

Smiling is always good.

Anyhow, I guess it’s fight time, so I had better get what’s left of the squeaky toy and get in there. The fights can’t start without me.

Properly, I mean.

Inside the fire’s burnin me, in my mind you just keep turnin me, every which but loose,

Birdman

P.S. I was going to put the lyrics for that song in the horrible Sarah MacLachlan commercial, but decided that it wasn’t going to help me win the fight with the boy, so I went with something a little more scrappy.

The movie, not the song. Right turn, Clyde.

P.S.S. There are a lot of great pet rescues out there, so look one up in your area. Maybe you can’t take a dog right now, but most of them would probably love some help walking, feeding, and generally being there for the animals that are already in the shelter. Donations are always welcome as well, because these places aren’t cheap to run.

We got Blue from a lady named Miranda near Norwood, ON. You can find her at Save My Tail or on their Facebook page.

Google+ Comments

Apr 04

Eeeek, I Shopped At Walmart

And you’ll never guess what I got there.

I know, I know. I’m never going to live it down, but hear me out. I lifted my boycott a couple of years ago when I found out that they were carrying more products that were made in Canada, so I decided to lighten up on them a bit. From what I understand, Walmart Canada is run differently than the US, but all of the profits still end up there, so it doesn’t get me all giddy or anything.

What does get me giddy is seeing my friend Steph. Actually, seeing anything is good, which is how I ended up at Walmart in Trenton, Ontario.

I forgot my glasses out west in the dump truck, and was left with these.

They're a 10 year old prescription on safety lenses.

They’re a 10 year old prescription on safety lenses.

I was thinking about getting someone to ship my glasses to me, when I thought about it. They are a couple of years old, I hate them, and the prescription was taken off of these decade old safety lenses by a drunk chick. It really isn’t worth the few bucks to get them shipped.

So I got an eye exam and then went to see Steph, who is an optician at the Walmart in Trenton, Ontario. When I looked at the situation, it didn’t really matter where I got my glasses. I checked all of the stores around, and online, but they are all made overseas. So I figured I would keep my friend working for at least another hour or two.

She helped me try on glasses like these.

Nerdy, but dead sexy professor.

Nerdy, but dead sexy professor.

And these,

I think that these came in second.

I think that these came in second.

And a whole bunch of other ones as well, but these were the ones we settled on.

Apparently they are nice. They're comfortable, so I like that.

Apparently they are nice. They’re comfortable, so I like that.

Steph picked these ones, but I wasn’t sold, so I put it to a vote on G+. Everyone must understand that the voting is just so I get to try things on, while the final decision is made by Mrs. Birdman, and she picked them too. Actually, almost everyone chose them, so I guess my sense of style sucks.

There was a two pair deal (shocker), so I took it, because I needed some decent sunglasses as well. This was also put to a vote, and these were the winners by Steph, Mrs. B, and almost all of the five voters.

These totally distract you from noticing my wattle.

These totally distract you from noticing my wattle. Doh!

In case you are now saying to yourself, “Birdman is whipped. Why would he blindly let his wife pick out his glasses? Be a man.”, think about this.

I rarely look in the mirror, as most people can tell by my hair, so I will rarely see the glasses.

and…

I like to cocoon, and nobody wants to cocoon with someone wearing these.

Not as creepy as Jon LaJoie, but that's just because of my grin.

Not as creepy as Jon LaJoie, but that’s just because of my grin.

All in, I got two pairs of good quality glasses; one with polarized tint, and both with all the coatings and such, for $340. That seems like a pretty good deal to me. I wear my glasses all day, every day when I’m working, and I want to know that my lenses are matched up with my eyes, because I know what it’s like to have a pair of specs that are a bit off. It can make for some pretty bad headaches, and can probably result in your eyes getting tired or something. (I’m looking for scientific confirmation here.)

Anyhow, if you find that you need glasses, and you aren’t sure who to see, I highly recommend that you head down to Trenton and look for this beautiful face in the Wallymart Vision Centre.

The one on the right. You'll have a hard time finding me there before my next pair.

The one on the right. You’ll have a hard time finding me there before my next pair.

If you don’t see her, just ask for Stephanie. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was six years old, and have been fitted for a lot of pairs. She knows what she’s doing, and takes her career very seriously.

There, now that’s probably the last time you will ever see me recommend Walmart for anything.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,

Birdman

(I was in no way compensated for this post. I just like to pass on tales of great service. – CB)

Google+ Comments

Mar 19

So You Want To Be Popular?

Birdman Living with a couple of pre-teen girls makes me privy to a lot of topics that I had completely forgotten about.

One of these things is the desire of young people to be popular.

Now, we all know that this isn’t a new thing*, but it does seem to be happening at a much younger age now. I would estimate a full two grades younger around here; maybe more in an urban setting.

* Remember these two?
Listen, I've got this whole high school thing psyched out.

Listen, I’ve got this whole high school thing psyched out.

 Needless to say, I have watched the whole series. Add that to my experience of wanting to be popular myself, and you get a chance to learn from my, and other’s, mistakes.
School is a tough racket, but I think I have a few tidbits of advice to help you kids make it to adulthood with your sense of self intact.

1. Be nice to people.

That’s it. Just be nice to people. Whether they can help you in any way or not, treat them with kindness and respect, until a time comes that they don’t deserve it. Don’t assume that because someone doesn’t “fit in” with the people that you consider cool, that those people aren’t worth your friendship. They usually are.

I say “usually”, because some people are mean, and it doesn’t matter what you do. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be kind to them too, I’m just saying that I don’t expect you to go out of your way. That doesn’t mean you can treat them poorly though. There is a reason that they are angry, and it’s probably because their life isn’t as charmed as yours is.

While you think you have it tough when you don’t get all of the things that your friends have, some kids only get to look forward to abuse and cruelty when they get home. Consider that before you take any actions toward them. They probably have enough crap to deal with after school.

2. Always stand up for what you think is right.

Throughout your life you will see injustice firsthand. Don’t be party to it, and don’t ignore it, just because it “isn’t your problem”. Remember: a fat lip or a bloody nose only hurts for a short while, but your memories can haunt you for a lifetime. If you see something that needs to be stopped; stop it. You will feel proud of yourself, and you might even get a cool scar to show your kids when they ask about the time you saved Suzanne’s* mom from a bunch of bullies.

* It will probably be something like Trinzy’s mom, but I keep dreaming of names staying quasi-normal for a few years.

3. Conduct yourself with honour and integrity.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

― Mark Twain

I bet Mark Twain would have been a great friend to have.

I bet Mark Twain would have been a great friend to have.

Take it from me, lying and being sneaky will bring you nothing but grief and poor sleep. When I was young, I used to lie all the time. I thought it worked out well for me.

It didn’t.

Sure, you might get away with it for a while, but in the end you’ll be in a confession booth or therapist’s chair, and you’ll probably melt someone’s mind with the fury in which you unleash your guilt. This isn’t healthy for anyone, so if you feel like being dishonest about something; choose your words wisely. They can come back to bite you twice as hard if they aren’t true.

4. Listen to others, but think for yourself.

Some of this stuff I practiced from an early age, but most of it I have adopted after seeing that it was much better than the way I was doing it. I really wish I had listened to my folks and my heart instead of people who weren’t going to matter in the end. Always consider the source when getting advice on anything. Your heart will tell you what to do, and as long as you aren’t evil, it is probably pretty close to correct.

I guess that’s about it for now. If you follow these, and a whole bunch of other rules, you will find that as you get older, you will never be without friends that are as true to as you are to them.

No matter where you go.

Someone I’ll always laugh with, even at my worst I’m best with you,

Birdman

Google+ Comments

Feb 20

I’m All Fired Up

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

Remember a few weeks ago when I went to Winnipeg for a blog conference? It was the shizz. I started to tell you about it, but got sidetracked by a bunch of stuff, like the new blog, going to camp, and The Savvy’s birthday party.

What the conference did was got me writing and thinking again. Not so much here, but I’m going to try and split my time up between the two blogs. Now that Aiming Low has been suspended, I will have a bit more time for my own thing.

Yeah, Anissa has been sick since December or something, and she wants to get healthy and spend time with her family. How selfish. Nah, I don’t blame her at all, but I’m still a little bit sad about it. I enjoyed having a deadline, as strange as that sounds, and I’ll miss all of the Google group firings and tomfoolery. If it hadn’t been for my AL posts, I wouldn’t have written anything for a couple of months.

Yipes!

That’s why I needed to go to the Peg. I knew months before I went, that I was going to start a new blog, but that was the kick in the arse that I needed. I had forgotten how exciting blogging was when I first started.

Researching, typing, finding photos, reading, correcting, and re-reading for hours, and then you get to hit that “Publish” button.

It doesn't looks as ominous as it used to.

It doesn’t looks as ominous as it used to.

And you wait.

Will they like it? Will anyone even read it? How many people will be offended by the “C” word? I hope they share it. They probably won’t, but I still hope they will.

These are the things that go through my head, and then I go to bed. When I wake up, I’m sharing it around and checking the stats (today’s post took the lead by 3). As much as I feel foolish admitting it, it really is a rush.

For me. Probably not for you.

On Change The Topic, I rarely ever look at the stats anymore. I will if I write a post that I really put a lot into, but that has been less and less lately. I still need the old girl, but things have changed.

I think it’s like my mom’s Swiss steak, it always makes me feel good, but Reboot is like sitting down to a whole bunch of shared plates at our favourite Thai restaurant. It’s an assortment of exciting flavours, and because Harry doesn’t hear as well as he used to, it’s a crap shoot as to whether you will get your basil beef in any sort of mild form.

If you know me, you know that I’m not always mild. It doesn’t make me a bad person.

My Point

I just wanted to let you all know what is going on in my world. If you care.

Oh, I’m in a way better camp now. It’s the Wonowon Lodge. If you end up working in the area, this is way better than the Super 96. Just a heads up.

Speaking of camps, we have a reviewer who is going to be submitting reviews of camps that he has been to. He’s sort of like Smarty Pantaloons, but I don’t believe he’s addicted to any sort of household cleaner. That won’t be here, if he writes like he talks.

I’m looking forward to coming home in March. I have a urologist appointment to find out why there is blood in my urine. The ultrasound found a cyst, but my doctor said that’s common, and it shouldn’t cause any bleeding.

That’s not why I’m looking forward to it though. I want to go to this.

It's going to be SAH-WEET!!!

It’s going to be SAH-WEET!!! Click the link above, or contact someone to get your tickets.

I can’t even imagine what kind of shenanigans there will be. I won’t have had any libations since the 8th of February, so I should be in fine form. I hope that some of you will come out to this and get your party on with me. I probably need to flush my system for the urologist on the next Tuesday and I might need help holding the funnel.

Alright. I guess that’s it. If you want to check out the new blog, it’s at www.rebootcommonsense.com, but I am warning you now. It is right full of swearing and possibly some anger. It’s oilfield swearing, too. Not your run of the mill cussing going on over there.

Jenny, don’t change your number, 867-5309 867-5309 867-5309 867-5309,

Birdman

Google+ Comments

Feb 18

We Had A Good Day

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

It’s amazing how starting your morning off right can make or break your spirit for the day.

Take this morning for instance.

I woke up, for the fourth time, at 5:25 AM. Precisely five minutes before my alarm was set to go off. I drank a few gulps of water and went to the washroom…for the fourth time. After doing all of the things that I do to get ready for my day, I went out, fired up the truck and back in for breakfast.

I went up to get my usual sausage, bacon, and eggs from the girls in the kitchen, but I noticed a pan of stuffed, roasted tomatoes.

“Those tomatoes look delicious. What are they stuffed with?” (please don’t be wheat, please don’t be wheat)

“Shredded bacon and Parmesan cheese. I normally would put bread crumbs in, but I remembered that you don’t eat wheat.”

After bowing to her magnificence and taking two tomatoes and a scoop of baked beans, I went and sat with Randy. I was so excited, I just started hacking into the first one, and then I tasted it.

Oh glory be to the gods on high. It was fantastic.

I gobbled up what was left and then packed up my lunch that the night guys made for me. It was ribs and chicken stir fry, so I grabbed a bunch of fruit and some yogourt to go with it. I then buggered off for work while talking to Mrs. Birdman until service ran out. (Yes I used hands free.)

Around mid morning, the sun came out with a vengeance. It was as if it needed to start spring, and it had to be now.

DSC_6905

I had first coffee and lifted my dump box in the air to see if the sun would warm it up enough to free the mass of frozen dirt that was stuck in the front.

It didn’t, but that was okay. I got to sit in the sunshine and just chill out for fifteen minutes. I shut my eyes and just let the warmth soak in.

It reminded me of the time that Mrs. B and I had our epic date. It ended at around nine on a Sunday morning with us having breakfast sandwiches and coffee in a lifeguard tower at the beach and then laying in the cold sand while the hot sun washed over us. It was such a fun time, but I can’t go into detail about the night leading up until then.

Just know that it was magical, even if I did pass out.

sleepy

So around came lunchtime and I again lifted the box in the sun and ate my lunch. Everything felt really good, even though I’m stuck in the bush with a bunch of truck drivers.

After I ate, I went and slammed the tailgate a few times and down slid the two ton dirt brick. Success was mine.

The rest of the day went fast and then I headed back to a nice supper of barbecued chicken, salads, and a chat with one of the other drivers.

It turns out that everyone had a nice day. Even the guy who never has a good day. I was pretty impressed with myself.

Hey, you would be too if you knew that everyone around you had a great day, just because you had a fabulous breakfast.

You like tomato and I like tomahto,

Birdman

Google+ Comments