Jan 16

Well, Another Year With Nothing To Say

I suppose that’s not entirely true. It should probably read:

Well, Another Year With Not Much Said

I have had a lot to say, if the truth be known, I just didn’t get a chance to say it on here.

Or I just didn’t. It’s not like I couldn’t access the internet.

Since simplifying our lives a great deal, we have changed the way we do a lot of things. I have quit working in the oilfield, and after a year or so, have lucked into a year round job with our local, provincial highway maintenance contractor.

It’s a pretty sweet gig.

It’s been many years since I had a steady schedule and actual benefits, let alone a pension plan, plus I get more home time than I’ve had since being unemployed and writing this blog in my underwear after six cups of coffee.

I just haven’t been spending it as online as I used to.

I still have G+ and Twitter, and have enjoyed quite a lot of Reddit, but I mostly just look at things. You know, funny GIFs and cat pics/videos.

Oh yeah, did I mention that we got some cats last winter?

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B01KUGG8AO” locale=”CA” nw=”y” src=”http://changethetopic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/41ORyZMw88L.jpg” tag=”chathetop0f-20″ width=”349″]

A really caring family had an unexpected litter and set about to finding them homes.

It didn’t start out like most ads to get rid of unwanted kittens. This one was offering to pay for the shots/spays/neuters, give free food and litter/boxes, and if you took the last two, they would come with a free [easyazon_link identifier=”B008SM4GUW” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]cat condo[/easyazon_link]. They were supposedly very attached, and it was preferable for them to go as a pair.

We don’t have a huge house, and the two dogs were pretty established, so we told the nice folks that we just wanted one kitten. I told them that if they didn’t find a home for both, we would take one of them off their hands.

Later, we got a call saying to stop by and choose the kitten we wanted.

Who’s a good boy?

We got over there and Mrs. Birdman picked up the first tiny, ginger baby and fell in love. It was so little and sweet. I picked up his brother (pronounced “bruvver”), and started my own little cuddlefest.

I then was asked how to know which one to pick. I said to hold on to each of them and pick the one she liked the most. We switched and I started to cuddle the other one, but just for a minute. She then wanted to see both of them at the same time. I turned to look at the mother cat and a different kitten, when I heard Mrs. Birdman say to the man, “Would it be crazy to take them both?”

As I turned, he was saying that it wouldn’t be crazy at all, and that they really loved each other. Then she was looking at me with the happiest tears I have ever seen.

It took a few hours of dogs ramming their heads into the carrier and tiny kittens hissing, but eventually they all got comfy.

So we now have a couple of the coolest cats I have ever met.

When I saw her face, and how the kittens were getting wet from her tears, I couldn’t/wouldn’t dare put my foot down.

We felt wrong taking all of the free veterinary care, so we traded off eggs and soap for the shots and just paid for the neuters. The chickens were producing quite well, and they mentioned going through 3-4 dozen eggs a week, so we figured it was a pretty good compromise.

Pretty close, wouldn’t you say?

When we got them they were almost identical, except one was a touch darker than the other. You couldn’t tell unless they were juxtaposed, so it was mostly a guessing game.

They went through a few name changes:

Darky and Lighty; Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers II and Harry and Voldy were a few of them, but as they got older we changed our minds on how to differentiate them.

They are now known as:

Tubs McGubs and Skins McGinns

Can you guess which one this is?

We kind of attribute Tubs’ name to when he chewed through the light cord as a kitten and then shot down the hall screaming with two weakness-sensing hounds hot on his tail.

Since that day he has never been as active as his brother, or as good at cat things such as leaping or playing [easyazon_link identifier=”B00CWR8628″ locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]red dot[/easyazon_link]. We can’t say for certain it was the cause, but it’s a pretty solid theory.

Now Skins, on the other hand, is a formidable, long specimen.

The little guy found a fanny pack somewhere.

He is a lot more agile than Tubs, but not as strong. I picture them sort of like The Mountain and The Hound from Game of Thrones, especially when Skins came home with a claw stuck in his back that turned into a big abscess. A few poultices, shaving, and some peroxide, and we were back in action, but it was pretty leaky and gross for a few days.

Here is a video of Tubs showing his great strength, and lack of prowess. I mean really, what is he going to catch like that?

We just love these cats, and the fact that they hang out with the dogs, chickens, and the deer that freely roam the neighbourhood. Seriously, they walk around between the deer’s legs and rub up on those docile bitches and the only times I’ve seen them be aggressive towards non-prey is when you try to Bogart the catnip.

Don’t ever Bogart the nip, bro.

Birdman

P.S. If you didn’t click the red dot link, this is what I’m talking about. Ours is a Frolicat Bolt that we got at the local pet store for $29.99, but this is the same thing if you can’t find one, or just want to help out. The cats love this one, and it has a 15 minute timer so you don’t have to sit there all the time. It’s better if you do, but your arm gets tired after a while. Mrs. Birdman figured out to aim it down the hall for more up the wall action.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B00CWR8628″ locale=”CA” src=”http://changethetopic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/41z58ehPJ2L.jpg” tag=”chathetop0f-20″ width=”427″]

May 03

Being A Frog Is Actually Really Cool

WARNING! CONTAINS INGRESS!

 

So I met up with a couple of my new teammates for a visit and to get some keys and low level gear, because I’m only a level 6 now and I need help.

We went to the Noodle Bowl for some tea and a visit, and to play around with the portal we could reach from our table. When we got there, I was presented with this beauty.

Other than the blue lights, it’s perfect.

In case you don’t recognize this, it is the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00X5RV14Y” locale=”CA” tag=”chathetop0f-20″]Anker Powercore 20100[/easyazon_link] that I have been trying to get you all to buy through my Amazon links, because I am poor. We’ll come back to that later.

Some teams give out buttons and keychains, but these guys went above and beyond! This is the best present a new team member could ask for, and it has secured my froggy friends a good supply of fresh eggs, so that seems like a win-win to me.

Might even give them a Torpedo Omelette Egg™1)Not really a trademark, but it should be.

That’s like a level 8 resonator for your guts.

We had a great chat and were able to get Mrs. Birdman to level 42)Yes, she switched as well, but I’ll let her tell you that story. If she wants too. before the local blue thugs showed up and got the party livened up.

That was actually the second time they showed up, but the first time we were eating dinner at the lookout and didn’t really feel like wasting our meager gear on a futile battle. Instead, we just sat and chuckled at the scare/stealth tactics and finished our two for $10 Whopper meals.

I’m poor, remember? That’s not why we were eating Whopper meals though. We were eating them, because we don’t get fast food very often where we live and Burger King is fairly new to town.

I keep mentioning the poorness, because apparently the blue “leader” keeps bringing up the fact that I’m laid off from work for the summer in open comms. He even stooped so low as to tell a new player that, and to mention that he is saving me some bottles and cans. You know, to help me out in my time of need.

Well, I don’t see how I could ever become that needy, being a truck driver, but I guess it makes him feel better about his own lot in life. Of all the things in this world to find joy in, another person not working seems like it should be at the bottom part of the list, but I could be wrong.

Anyhow, back to our new team of compatriots. We are both really excited about joining up with these guys. We already liked them as people, but it was hard when you can’t talk about certain things because you are always on the outside of plans and schemes. Now we are on the inside and we’re excited to get some actual recon missions going.

In a way, I’m glad that not many of the blue team ever gave me the time of day, because it made switching very easy. There were no feelings of loyalty to old friends and lots for the new one.

Plus, they are really cool people.

Birdman

P.S. This is the hen that lays the torpedos. And the reason my doctor said I need to exercise and cut out the Whopper meals.

Yes, I’m calling myself portly.

She’s not as fond of me when I don’t have treats.

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Not really a trademark, but it should be.
2. Yes, she switched as well, but I’ll let her tell you that story. If she wants too.
Apr 23

Prayer is Actually Very Useful

 So I woke up this morning and there was a crazy message on my computer. I saw that a whole lot of people had left the chat and as I scrolled through, I read that an old friend from high school was in trouble and needed help. I also saw that in between leaving the conversation there were a lot of these before the person left the group.

At first I was pissed off, but then I realised how brilliant that is. I should never have denounced religion when I was old enough to think for myself, because…

It can get you out of social responsibilities!

I mean seriously, check it out:

“Hey man, we lost our jobs and got kicked out of our apartment. Is there anything you can do to help? I’ll pay you back as soon as we get back on our feet.”

I’ll pray that God finds someone else to help you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or:

“Hey, it’s actually been really hard this winter. I could sure use a friend right now. It’s to the point where I can hardly get out of bed in the morning, and I think my wife is going to leave me. Maybe we could grab a coffee and talk?”

I can’t because I have a thing, but I’ll pray that God gives you strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another one might go like:

I heard about your son’s accident. I’ll pray that God spares him any pain. Except for the pain he has already caused him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know that I’m being petty, and most people don’t know how to help, so they say that they will pray for the afflicted. That’s a nice sentiment, but how the fuck is it going to help?

Going by percentages, how many of your prayers get answered? If it’s more than 30% you aren’t praying for hard things like curing cancer or the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup.

Prayer is merely wishing, and if you actually believe that God has a plan for everything, then what are you praying for? If you don’t know how to help, ask. If they need money and you don’t have it, see if there is anything else you can do.I’m sure they understand being broke, because they are there as well.

Maybe you could pray that God gives you a shitload of money so you could lend them some, or you could go to your church and see if they can help out in any way. They probably won’t, because unless it’s a tithing member of said church, they usually don’t have a lot of use for poor people.

Relax!

I said “probably” and “usually”. I know that your church isn’t like the other churches. It stands for everything that Jesus stood for, and that is nothing but peace and love. Your church doesn’t even follow the Old Testament, that’s how progressive they are.

My point here isn’t that you should feel obligated to help. What I’m trying to get across is that instead of clicking the emoji for prayer, try typing  the words out and use the person’s name before leaving the conversation for greener pastures. Maybe that’s what they need is to know that you actually care. You could also just leave and get on with your life. You can’t help everyone, and maybe you just exhausted your resources. Whatever.

Better yet, start a conversation. That’s been a great help to a lot of people. Just knowing that you aren’t alone is sometimes enough to make something horrible seem a little more bearable. You’ll probably feel a lot better yourself.

Birdman

P.S.

You’ll get a lot more production out of this emoji

Apr 18

Well, I Switched to Green After All

You may remember a while back, I wrote some posts about [easyazon_link identifier=”B00RP7VE2Y” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]Ingress[/easyazon_link] and a player that you would call less than honourable. I would link to it, but for some reason it seems to turn him on when he is called out on his harassment and just plain shitty behaviour. He has stalked this blog, and has tried to sabotage our business (I have his IP address), and has come right out in comms, asking me to write another blog post about him. He calls it his fan blog.

For that reason, I’m not mentioning him or linking to past posts. I wasn’t even going to write another post about him, but I have just finally had enough of it, so here we are.

It was not too bad for a little while. I had a couple of level 8 portals near me that took a couple of months to build up, but it was pretty good going. A couple of times greens would show up and use them, because they couldn’t get high level gear in town, as there were quite a few new blue players. They wouldn’t smash them, for one, because then they couldn’t use them again, and also because they didn’t want to waste their gear in the middle of nowhere.

That suited me fine. I was just happy that they didn’t smash the portals that I had spent so long on.

Until last weekend.

I saw the greens were out on a tour hitting portals on their way here, and after they had left, my fellow blue player flipped the blue portals to green and smashed them, leaving one resonator, so it couldn’t even be built up again.

I was done. I had had enough. I was embarrassed to be on the same team as them. (Him and his wife.) I just started to write out my letter to Niantic telling them that I was quitting the game, when I decided that I would just switch to green.

It made more sense, because I do enjoy playing, and I really like the local green players. They are much more of a team, and so far I have not seen any evidence of them cheating, so that’s a plus. I won’t be getting into the game very heavy, but every player in our town is blue, so at least this way I will have someone to play against. (Even if it’s just my wife, because she isn’t switching. Well, unless the harassment gets too bad with her too.)

I have him blocked, but apparently he has already stated that someone took a photo of me using her account the other night. I wasn’t, so I guess I will keep waiting to see that proof. The fact that he puts that into open comms, but then invites my wife out for faction events right afterwards, should point to the mental state that he is in.

Anyhow, I won’t bore you with the whole story, but suffice to say I am now a green player and had to start all over again. It was hard to get going, because they said it would take about six weeks to to do the switch and it was really only two days, so I lost all of the gear I was saving for my demotion.

I got this yesterday. Lots of glyph hacking and fielding.

Starting again was probably the best thing I have done in the game. Working my way up has been very rewarding and it has made me remember all of the things I loved about playing, plus I have walked thirteen kilometres in the last five days, so that will help burn some of the fat my doctor says I need to get rid of.

Obese, my ass!

Oh, and I guess I’m going to need one of these suckers soon. In case anyone was going to buy me a present. 😉

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”160″ identifier=”B00X5RV14Y” locale=”CA” src=”http://changethetopic.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/31qr0d1QdML.SL160.jpg” tag=”chathetop0f-20″ width=”160″]

I have already had to head home early to recharge, and that sucks.

Well, that’s about it. I hope that keeping them blocked will make my gameplay stay fun, but you never know. All I can do is hope.

Birdman


Sep 13

Life Is Good. For Me.

Don’t you think?

Sure, sometimes things happen that make you get all mopey and shit, but all in all, I would say that I have been dealt a pretty decent hand.

I have a wife that I not only love, but like very much as well. My health is relatively good, I am usually employed, and I eat pretty well, as is evident by the shrinking pants episodes. Our soap is selling as fast as we can make it, two of the chickens are laying, and we were able to put enough worm compost in the gardens to completely rejuvenate the soil.

I did get laid off a few weeks ago, but as I was filling out my unemployment forms online, a company that I used to work for called to see if I was available, and they will work around my schedule, so that’s extremely helpful. We were also able to get out a couple of times on the quad, and down to Jasper for a little R&R this summer.

Like I said, it’s been pretty good for us.

Too bad it doesn’t go this well for everyone.

Some of you may remember a little spat that was going on in a game I play. I’m not going to link it, because the party involved seems to think that it is a fan page dedicated to him. Anyhow, after letting a few things slip about how they are keeping up with my blogs, I started to get a bit worried that maybe the line had been crossed from the game into personal life. I backed off of conversing in the game, as I should have done from the start, but by now there were more people harassing and abusing me in the game, so I decided to throw caution to the wind.

Bad choice on my part.

Yesterday, one or more of those players started leaving harassing comments on our business website. The first one I played off, as they left a crude, fake email address, and used one of the players from the other team as a user name.

I changed the email, and the name, but left the comment up, because I thought that it might have been a one off, and decided to have a bit of fun with it.

Another bad choice.

Today, I received three more comments with similar messages, falsified emails, and user names.

The three today were sent from the same IP address, which is a Telus address, but the one yesterday was from an Xplornet IP. Do I call the police with them, even though there has been no threats? Normally I would just duke it out on the battlefield, but I have a family now, and other people to worry about.

I have seen them personally attack others in the game, but as far as I knew, it was only in the game. Now it has become malicious in real life and is attempting to attack a part of our livelihood, and who knows what else.

I guess I should at least mention it to the RCMP, in case it escalates further and they can at least have a history of what’s been happening.

I should have just listened to my wife and ignored all of this, but how was I to know that an adult might have so little to do with their time, that this seems like a viable pastime?

Birdman