Feb 03

Back On Day Shift

And it’s about fucking time.

I know I’m getting old, because having to work the afternoon shift totally fucks with my internal clock, and it never used to be this way. For two months every winter I have to go on nights, which isn’t bad, but when you are used to getting up at 4:45 every morning, it’s hard to stay up until after midnight.

Well, for the first few weeks it was. Then you get used to it.

You learn how to take naps, befriend the sleep app, and block out the getting ready for school noises that start at 6:45. You also learn how to wind down after work for a few hours by playing every type of solitaire and jigsaw puzzle app.

Then you switch back to getting up at 4:45, but it lasts for the next ten months, so everything is right again with the world.

That’s another sign that you are getting old.

When I was younger, a good party didn’t end until 5 AM and I had to listen to the old people tell me about how the early morning is the best time of the day. Now I consider 6 AM “sleeping in”.

What the hell happened to my youth?

I’m 46 and whenever I hear there’s a dance at the Community Centre, I hope that Travous doesn’t turn the music up too loud, because we’re only a block away and it might annoy me if I feel the slightest thump of bass.

When did I become a hermit/curmudgeon?

When did I get to the point that a gallon of (actually tasty) moonshine would still be in the house after two years, and a dozen beer could last months?

If Bugsy were out here he’d kick me square in the nuts. Then he’d drink the moonshine, go to the dance, and likely go home with at least one elderly lady.

What happened to this guy?

I suppose it’s inevitable that we all grow up sooner or later, and I guess that to a lot of people I took longer than expected, but I eventually got here. Now my fun is trying to get things to grow, snuggling in for an early bedtime and watching Youtube videos about homesteading. My priorities have changed, and while I don’t miss the old me, I do enjoy going back and reading old posts and looking at old photos. They remind me that I took a journey. It was extremely fun and contained a lot of characters that will always remain in my heart and in my fondest memories, but like all journeys must come to and end.

My new journey is proving to be fun, just with a lot more stability and planning. I’m excited for the future now, where as I used to be excited just for the present.

The way I see it is, as long as there’s still excitement, you might as well keep on living your life.

Birdman

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?

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 cat condo. 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 red dot. 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.

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 Anker Powercore 20100 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.
Jun 19

Where Does It Go?

Birdman

No, I’m not talking about that, although I could have used some hints when I was younger.

I’m talking about time.

I was pretty sick all this week, but what about last week, and probably next week?

It can’t always be so rushed, can it?

It’s been really good to be working again, even though it’s only forty hours a week. I don’t know how I ever did it when I was doing eighty plus. I hope I never have to find out again.

I am quite liking this new job. I’ve never had an actual union job before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but so far it’s pretty sweet. I like the scheduled shifts, because knowing when I work all week is a pretty foreign concept to me. The fact that I get a long weekend every weekend in the summer is the icing on the cake though. I am able to get things done on Fridays that would normally take up part of our weekend.

Normally that would leave more time for soaping, but we haven’t really done much of that lately. I guess it’s because we have been busy doing other things like gardening, building the chicken coop, and sleeping. We also helped at the 17th Annual Fishing Derby at Dinosaur Lake today, but that was just a day, so we can’t really blame it for using up all of our precious time.

It was a pretty cool fishing derby though. I think. It’s actually the first one I’ve been to in any capacity, so it seemed good to me, even though there were only four fish caught out of probably a hundred people.

dinosaur lake

Dinosaur Lake

Apparently fish don’t bite when the water is so muddy, but this derby doesn’t care if you catch fish, so the juniors were just drawn from all of the kids who entered. I also like that everyone gets a prize, so even if you don’t fish, you are still going to get something. I got a good length of rope and a credit card knife, along with a bunch of freebies that the conservation officers dropped off for everyone. Lanyard and floaty keychains, travel mugs, stickers, spinner lures, and some cool tape measures were given out to everyone that wanted them.

It was a really fun day, with all kinds of community spirit and a lot of smiling faces. I can’t wait for next year. 🙂

Birdman

P.S. I only wrote one thing this week over at Granola Light. It isn’t really exciting for anyone who doesn’t share my passion for the care and breeding of composting worms and the evil forces that attack them.

May 29

What’s Been Happening

birdmandesk

Well, let me tell you.

We did our second farmer’s market in Hudson’s Hope and it went very well, despite not having any way to get out of the hot sun. Some of the soap and my mind got a bit soft, but other than that it was a win. Looking forward to spending the money we made on a sun/rain shelter. Does anyone have any suggestions for one that’s at least 100 ft², relatively inexpensive, and easy to set up with one person? Throw a comment up if you do.

I wrote a post at Granola Light, and it was about my new mealworm farm. Since then, I have birthed one crippled beetle and probably 30 more pupae. I figured I had better get some larvae in the fridge, because I think 200+ beetles might overwhelm me in a short time. I think each beetle lays between 350 and 500 eggs, so the bins will be getting pretty full in a year. I’m hoping to sell them to local people, but in a town of about 1000, I think it would be a bit of overkill.

Unless I can find some of the protein crazy folks that eat the creepy little bastards in their smoothies. If I can get that fad going here, I will be in business.

I have also been hardcore working on the Dirty Bird Soap Empire website, whenever I get time. If you get a chance, check it out and let me know if I’m on the right track. We have an online store there, but there is no way to pay, so you can just look for now. I’m not sure how well online sales will go, but we are thinking of opening it up in the next few weeks to see how it all shakes out. Apparently this WooCommerce plugin is pretty simple to use, so I guess we will find out soon enough.

These are some of our beauties.

These are some of our beauties.

We also have a new FB page for the soap company, if you are so inclined. I don’t blame you if you aren’t. I just use it for the various pages and the local buy and sell. I unfollow everyone, because I find it distracting when there are people in my news feed, and all I want to do is sell/buy something or share a post on one of the pages. It’s nothing personal, but as most of you know, I swore off FB many moons ago, so at least I am acknowledging the problem. Unfortunately, I am a marketing whore and we all know that everyone is on there. If I thought I could sell something on G+, I would, but that’s not what it’s good for.

We have a bunch of new batches we are trying out, so if you are out and about in HH on Tuesday, stop by the farmer’s market and have a sniff. There are all kinds of great vendors there, and I will be selling some nightcrawlers as well. Soon we are hoping to get a local potter to make some fancy ass soap dishes for us to sell as well. If not, I guess we will have to branch out further in the province, because we need nice soap dishes too.

These actually look pretty simple to make. With the right wood and some tools.

My job is going really well, and I’m hoping I can get on steady one of these days. It is really the best job I’ve had in a very long time(ever), and for this period in my life, I don’t know how it could get better.(LottoMax)

Anyhow, I hope you freaks are enjoying your spring. We sure are. Take good care of yourselves.

Birdman