Jun 11

I Got A New Phone

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As four of you know from my review, my everything proof phone got all busted up a while back. It dropped from a couple of feet onto the ground and broke. It got me thinking about how fragile phones are nowadays, and how durable they used to be.

So I went old school and picked up this baby.

They don't make them like this anymore

They don’t make them like this anymore

You might think I’m joking, but you always think that. This phone is the real deal, and probably tougher than anything on the market now. The battery life is off the hizzy, but even if it does start to get low while I’m out keeping the roads clean, I have this.

Hard to get a new phone with a removable battery now.

Hard to get a new phone with a removable battery now.

Not only did it come with a spare battery, but it’s just one button to push to change them out.

Notice the screen now? Fully charged, bitches. I’m good for a week on standby now.

But Birdman, the plastic is pretty soft on those old phones. They may not crack, but they get dented up pretty easy.

Oh yeah?

It's Body Glove. I can probably go scuba diving with it.

It’s Body Glove. I can probably go scuba diving with it.

Try denting my new phone through it’s neoprene Body Glove protective phone case. Yeah, I didn’t think so. Backtracking now, aren’t you?

Well that’s all good, but what about when you need to charge it up in a week, or when you need to punch in one of the complex codes to see how many minutes you’ve used?

Oh, I see you think it’s my first rodeo.

Booyah! Bases are officially covered.

Booyah! Bases are officially covered.

That’s correct, naysayers. This came with a manual, a wall charger, and a car charger. Any other negativity you want to spread around? This thing has lasted since the 90s, and my S5 Active with it’s milspec casing and Gorilla Glass 3 didn’t make it two months.

Also, I don’t need to worry about getting caught texting and driving, playing Ingress at work, or even talking on hands-free, because there are no capabilities for any of that. That’s a win for me, my employer, and the people on the roads.

So while you sit there and try to figure out how to get a phone like this for yourself, I’ll be happily not looking at my eBay app and safely driving myself up to The Share Shed to see what other sweet goodies are around.

Birdman

P.S. If you were wondering what I did this week, I wrote a post about the new chicken tractor, reviews here and here at Profane Reviews, and I updated a bunch of products at Dirty Bird Soap. You should go check them out and let me know what you think. We always like to know where we can make things a bit better. Not too much, just a bit.

P.S.S. The Father’s Day Fishing Derby is next Sunday, so we will probably be busy helping with that. If you are in the area, come down. Tons of prizes, and you might get to see us hiding somewhere.

Mar 11

Hello, I’m Steve Podborski

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That’s what I said to my beautiful wife when I I got to the bottom of the hill on Saturday.

This hill.

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Trixie, don’t mess up Aaron’s nice grooming job, and don’t try to eat his lunch.

Without falling.

That’s Williston Lake, and off to the left is the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. They are both pretty huge. The shack at the bottom is the power shed for the tow.

This is our ski hill.

This is from the other side.

This is from the other side of The Dam Run. Pretty clever, huh.

When we moved here, we heard about the volunteer-run ski hill. There is all kinds of stuff to keep yourself occupied in the summer around here, but the winter can get pretty dreary, so we decided to go to the AGM for the ski hill and see if we could help out.

Turns out we could.

Hello, my name is Chris, and I'll be your handle on the bum specialist today.

Hello, my name is Chris, and I’ll be your handle on the bum specialist today.

I know I have mentioned before how much I love this town that we live in, but I feel like I have to sing it’s praises a bit more. I have never lived anywhere with such community spirit and involvement. It’s a place that you just want to help out in. I look around all the time at people putting their heart into projects that benefit the whole community, and it makes me proud and happy to be here.

It’s a lot of responsibility to ensure that your community has a safe, fun place to spend their wintry weekends, so we were glad to be able to help out the amazing group of people that were running this club so smoothly.

Then we didn’t get any snow, and we lost hope. Oh, and Jenny is leaving, so that makes us sad too.

This is the last part of the beginner hill.

This is the last part of the hill that we named Darryl’s Elbow. Get it? I guess I should mention that without Darryl, this would not be here. Any of it.

Then, last week it snowed, and there was much celebration. Darryl, Aaron, and I went up to see a few inches of new powder on the hill, so we tuned up the lift and got it ready to open for the weekend. I was finally going to get to do some work at the hill when it was running. It was pretty spectacular.

This made everything worth it.

This made everything worth it.

At one point, we had seven kids going up the lift at one time, and I nearly wept with happiness. I’m almost crying now as I think about it. It’s hard for me to explain, but I think that being around people that give so much of themselves to a remote community really wears off on me. It’s a pretty amazing feeling when you are around them, and it’s not just the ski club. The town is full of groups that are trying to make a better place for themselves, and for the kids. Hockey, rec badminton, Rod and Gun Club, Book clubs, The Friends of Hudson’s Hope, Curling, and figure skating are a few that come to mind, but there are many more.

That’s pretty phenomenal for a town of around 1000 people that’s an hour from anywhere. I think these folks all deserve a pat on the back and a round of applause for their efforts, because in the end they are what brought us here, and also who make it easy to stay.

Here are a few of them. Notice they don't pose for photos properly. That's because they make the rules, not follow them.

Here are a few of them. Notice they don’t pose for photos properly. That’s because they make the rules, not follow them.

Now back to the title of this post.

At the end of Saturday, I strapped on the first set of skis to touch my feet in twenty years. I took three trips down the hill, and I didn’t fall once. Gerri was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill and told me that I looked like a natural, Steve Podborski was who came to mind. I guess because he was quite relevant the last time I was skiing.

When I first learned to ski, at Camborne Ski Club in the early 80s, I absolutely loved it. It was a little bigger than this is now, but it had the same, small town feel to it. The quiet, electric tow at our hill is much smoother than Kent Harper running the old rope tow in Camborne, but there was a charm to an old vehicle chassis with a makeshift wheel running a huge rope loop up a hill, that you don’t get nowadays. What with all the safety BS that’s around. I remember that if you didn’t grab fast enough, you could easily wear a pair of ski gloves out in a weekend. If you don’t believe me, or even if you do, check out This blog post that I found while researching.

Anyhow, over the next few years, we got a family membership to the Oshawa Ski Club, but I lost my love after Camborne shut down. By the time I hit high school, smoking and drinking took the place of everything else I loved as a kid. Sometimes I blame my dad for making us go all of the time, but in the end I’m sure I would have fell out of love with skiing on my own. Just like I did with hockey.

I'm afraid to go down The Energizer, even though the hydro poles have pads. Maybe next time.

I’m afraid to go down The Energizer, even though the hydro poles have pads. Maybe next time.

I’m falling back in love with it. Thank you, Hudson’s Hope.

Maybe hockey is next year. If I can find some old skates at the thrift store.

Birdman

P.S. Jenny is still leaving, so we are still sad. Our hopes are that she will miss us so much that her heart forces her to come back. At gunpoint, if need be.

May 19

I Love Hay Day, And I Don’t Care Who Knows It

Can't you almost feel the soil between your fingers?

Can’t you almost feel the soil between your fingers?

Yeah, that’s right. I love a farming game, and I’m not ashamed of it. It brightens up my days.

It also gives me hope for my career as a farmer.

I can’t wait for the day that I can grow crops, raise livestock, and mine my own land. It will allow me to create artisan goods that I can then sell at my roadside stand and command premium prices. Serious prices. Check it out.

Muffins are fucking easy to make.

Muffins are fucking easy to make, and that isn’t even a really nice coal and iron bracelet. I’ll be rich!

You just find the duct tape, paint, and other shit in trunks and tool boxes, or somebody gives it to you for selling them a bunch of your overpriced junk. You then sell it for fifty times what it’s worth. It’s fucking insane in the membrane.

People always ask me why I would want to be a farmer. I usually just stare back at them in disbelief and show them my garden.

See that in the top right corner? Diamonds and gold, bitches.

See that in the top right corner? Diamonds and gold, bitches. Farm on.

In case you need it translated, I’ll give you a little glimpse at what we’re talking about here.

Yeah, I really can sell a three pack of olives for $82. Half a cacao pod for  $86? All fucking day, bud.

Yeah, I really can sell a three pack of olives for $82. Half a cacao pod for $86? All fucking day, buddy.

I’m probably going to need a greenhouse for some of this stuff, only because I think that some of it might need longer than the 45 day growing season that we have, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to afford one after I sell a bunch of strawberries at $50 a piece. Booyah, motherfuckers. Getting paid like Tyson. I’m going to be making it rain at the Pro Hardware when I’m picking up the stakes for my over abundant tomato plants.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just in it for the money; that’s just a bonus. I’m also in it for the satisfaction of seeing an odd array of people happy after shopping in my town. They are just strolling about and buying locally sourced products in a quaint setting; it just warms my heart.

If you really go out of your way to help them, they will reward you with things that are sometimes priceless. Like a bolt.

Woo hoo! Now I can finish upgrading my barn. Thanks, pretty lady.

Woo hoo! Now I can finish upgrading my barn. Thanks, pretty lady.

Another great thing about farming is how willing the local kids are to help you succeed. Take Tom for instance.

What I want are some marker stakes, Tom.  Can you get me some? Of course you can't, you simple freak.

What I want are some marker stakes, Tom. Can you get me some? Of course you can’t, you simple freak.

He will run and find you all kinds of things. Not the things you want the most, but for nine diamonds a day, he sure makes your life easier.

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Doesn’t he look like he should be playing Dueling Banjos?

I know that $1087 looks like a lot of money for nine lollipops, but I can turn them around easily for over three grand. It’s all organic sugar and colouring.

Anyhow, as fun as Hay Day is for me, the best part is that my sister is in my neighbourhood too. So is Alice, but she never talks to us in chat, so we think that she’s an asshole.1)I’m just guessing that we both do. We love to help each other out, and it’s really nice to be able to shoot the shit with her when we end up on at the same time.

When I got home at Easter, our other sister and Mrs. Birdman, in a fit of jealousy, started calling us farm nerds, because we were doing some insider trading at the table. They called themselves Rebel Nerds, obviously because they were upset at not being invited to our neighbourhood, and then they teased us relentlessly.

It was like water off a duck’s back with us, as we are emotionally secure in our Hay Day bliss, but I did secretly want to hear them beg to be let in.

On Easter morning, after hearing about how the rebel nerds were all chummy and shit, I sent an Easter card to celebrate the death walk of old Jebus.

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That sealed it for us being the coolest nerd team in the family, and it also made us remember to feed our cows.

Birdman

P.S. If you’re active on Hay Day and like the derby, come and look us up. Here’s where to find us.

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Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. I’m just guessing that we both do.
May 12

Hypocrites In Action – The Prostitution Of Jasper National Park

(editor’s note: This is the first of hopefully many articles from my Uncle Kevin. While he doesn’t share my passion for swearing and blasphemy, he does care a great deal about our planet and Jasper National Park in particular. He loves it so much that he has spent most of his life there, thoroughly enjoying all that it has to offer.

He is an accomplished photographer, guide, and steward of the land, and even though a lot of it falls on deaf ears, what he has to say is of great importance to the future of our national parks, and our country as a whole.

If you would like to contact him about possibly purchasing some of his superb photos, you can email him at kahass at live dot ca. I probably should have asked him if he is even selling them, but why wouldn’t he? ~Chris)

***********************************************************

It’s fascinating watching hypocrites in action. You just have to wonder if they realize their own hypocrisy, or if they are totally oblivious to it. I watched the Superintendent of Jasper National Park of Canada dance with First Nations peoples at an event held here in Jasper National Park. He wore a green Parks Canada baseball cap, but I think a cap that stated, “I’m a Brewster Toadie!” would have been more appropriate. A good hypocrite at least knows that they are one; a perfect hypocrite is oblivious.

Moon over Mount Wooley

Moon over Mount Wooley

Being from Jasper himself, I now consider him a traitor to his home town and his home National Park, but hey, he’s just trying to keep his job and from being relocated to the arctic.

This was one of the most flagrant examples of arm-twisting, purposeful obfuscation, and lying that I have ever seen Parks Canada commit, and I don’t think it will be the last. It may be trumped soon! Now, Maligne Lake Tours wants to build an hotel on beautiful Maligne Lake, in Jasper National Park, and Parks Canada is seriously considering it! More to come on that later.

The Brewster’s Environmental Assessment report is a piece of self serving garbage and junk-science, all wrapped up in a pretty package with meaningless charts and tables. I take back that word, science, and will never use it again where the Brewsters Glacier Discovery Walk is concerned. Sorry, they’ve changed the name already, and it’s not even open. What is it now? Glacier Skywalk?

Woohoo. The nearest glacier is 6km away. What do you see when you walk out and look down through the transparent floor? A pile of rubble. That’s it. Would you pay money for that experience?

Mount Athabasca

Mount Athabasca

Now we have a new permanent scar on the stunning landscape of Jasper National Park of Canada. Why? For money, for greed, for lack of foresight, for not caring about the future of this Park and the ideals that Canadians and others, hold for the National Parks of this world.

How much money is Parks Canada getting, initially and long-term, from Brewster’s for allowing them to build the Glacier Skywalk? They won’t tell us.

I refuse to accept Parks Canada initial statement published in the Fitzhugh, Jasper’s local paper, that this amount won’t be disclosed as it was part of the “private” negotiations with Brewster’s. We all know that means “secret” and that is not acceptable at all.

Concerning the market survey done for Brewster’s by Salt Marketing, I quote;
“88% of Alberta residents say they would visit the site on a day trip”

Thank you so much to Brewster’s for actually including this so-called market survey at the back of your silly assessment. Here’s their summary, and again I quote;
“Distribution:
Survey was sent to 7,859 email addresses (combination of subscribers to Explore Rockies
and Brewster Vacations Canada) 1) Note: Both are Brewster’s promotional websites!

Response:
474 completed surveys
6% response rate”
They sent out 7,859 e-mails to their target market and only received 474 replies! A whopping 6% response rate (from those already on their own mailing list!) and they extrapolate this to include ALL ALBERTANS!

Hoodwink alert!

These are junk statistics at their worst and Mr. Greg Fenton, Park Superintendent of Jasper National Park of Canada, didn’t so much as raise a whimper. This had his complete approval and the approval of the Parks Canada Agency and the federal government. They must assume Canadians are stupid and that we can’t reason for ourselves.

Mount Kitchener

Mount Kitchener

There is absolutely no way on earth that you can extrapolate these pitiful numbers to confidently state that they represent the views of “Alberta residents”. Shame on all those involved.

At the end of this silly survey it also states,
“Two open ended questions were asked related to what the respondents liked
most and least about the GDW concept. These results have been attached and
may provide insights for the development of the GDW marketing strategy.”
They actually were NOT attached and I now ask Brewsters and Salt Marketing to please publish them. What are you hiding now?

Last thought for the day: Brewters is no longer owned by the Brewster family, nor Canadians. It is owned by Viad Corporation, USA. Thanks for ruining my National Park.

Uncle Kev

(another editor’s note: Uncle Kevin sent me this explanation with his article. It works better than anything I could write, so here it is. ~Chris

“I have been able to stop at this viewpoint, where I took these three photos, and so have all guests of Jasper National Park, ever since the Icefield Parkway was opened in 1940. This is the spectacular roadway that connects Jasper and Lake Louise, alongside some of the highest mountains of the Canadian Rockies.

But no longer.

Since Parks Canada has allowed Brewster Canada to build a glass-bottomed walkway here, they have also allowed Brewster Canada (VIAD Corporation USA, remember), to monopolize the entire length of the once public viewpoint; for no reason necessary to the actual construction project. It was only to allow Brewster a monopoly of the entire site, so that we all will have to pay Brewster for the damned privilege!”

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Note: Both are Brewster’s promotional websites!
Dec 04

Gala Parté 2013

And Darrin!

And Darrin!

Well, Movember has come and gone, but that shouldn’t mean that you quit thinking about men’s cancers. They get people all year long, so  keep on top of it.

There, I’m done all of my harping and begging. We rang out the end of what has become my favourite month of the year, and we did it with style and grace. That means that I’m going to have to wing it until the time comes for Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny preparations. It also means that I have a few photos to show you. Some are like this.

This is excited she gets when she sees a razor in my hand.

This is how excited she gets when she sees a razor in my hand.

Or there was the one on the Brady’s bed before they got to the hotel.

Nothing like a good pillow hump.

Nothing like a good pillow hump. Yes, I got them both.

I just like to be the first to hump in a fresh hotel bed, that’s all.

Come on. With a mo like that, you know he's going to destroy that bed as soon as the room gets cleared.

Come on. With a mo like that, you know he’s going to destroy that bed as soon as the room gets cleared.

Soon we had the whole gang in to our little home away from home.

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Then Scooter and Homes brought me something to wear.

Too much teeth. I'm not good at being a gang banger, but I'm trying, Mo. Really I am.

Too much teeth and glass. I’m not good at being a vato, but I’m trying, Mo. Really I am.

Scooter, Gadget, Homes, and I had left the hotel first, and while we were in the cab, Homes passed me half a bottle of tequila.

“No, I’m okay.”, I said

“That’s not the answer I was looking for, Ese. I left the cap in the the room and we can’t take it in the bar.” was his reply.

“You can’t waste good tequila.” said I, and then the bottle made it’s rounds. Apparently Scooter and Gadget aren’t wasteful either.

Gadget dressed up too. Looks like it's working for him.

Gadget dressed up too. Looks like it’s working for him.

Remember this from last year? Well, remember it for later.

Remember this from last year’s party? No? Well, remember it for later.

Homes and Scooter buggered off somewhere after they got their free beer tickets. Gadget and I cruised the strip looking for action and we found it at the Sher-Wood booth.

He, of course, kicked my ass, but we both got a free mini stick out of the deal, so it was all good. There was also the Harley booth.

He likes to touch my belly sometimes.

He likes to touch my belly sometimes. It’s because I’m gangsta.

We made a flip book thing too, but it would be hard to show here. Also, I don’t have it.

Dwayne Gretzky played again. They were awesome again. Scooter showed back up and danced.

With the devil!

Or maybe it's Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly.

Or maybe it’s Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly, they’re very similar.

It was about this time that everyone else showed up. Mrs. Birdman started a game with Firecracker where you had to get your picture taken with as many people as possible, but she promptly forgot about it because of her amnesia juice. That juice also made her forget to check her phone while she stood in the crowd and watched the band. Not that I was trying to find her. Much.

Firecracker, on the other hand, did not forget that shit. I would need three posts just to show the dedication that this spunky little ginger showed at that party. I guess I’ll just post all of the photos on the Google+ page for whoever wants to see.

Cheers, Tweezle. You're not going to see much of her for the rest of the night.

Cheers, Tweezle. You’re not going to see much of her for the rest of the night.

(While you’re there, you might as well add us to your circles. We don’t bite… hard.)

There is one chain of events that transpired with The Centaur, Mrs. Brady, Firecracker, and the Coke man, that is too funny to not post. I wasn’t there, but Tweezle did a great job of capturing it’s entirety, so it feels like I was.

She probably thought it was a lead shank.

She probably thought it was a lead shank.

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So she has now let go and things start going downhill.

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But wait! The Coke man thought he had better take control of the situation.

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Don’t let go until his balls drop.

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Okay, you’re good, Now let go of that stud and go on about your business.

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Upsy daisy.

While these guys were clowning around, Dale Jr. and Danica were out making new friends.

I don't even want to know where this is going. Wait. Yes I do.

I don’t even want to know where this is going. Wait. Yes I do.

Do you like the way I painted it grey like an elephant's trunk?

Do you like the way I painted it grey like an elephant’s trunk?

Things started to slide after the band stopped, so Gadget and I loaded one cab full and went back in to round up the rest of the crew, but Firecracker would have none of it. I think we had a pants off dance off, because I remember dancing, then I remember wearing some black, lacy panties when I was back at the hotel. I am just guessing of course, but she claimed them, so I’d say I won.

While we were back inside, we decided that we needed a huge inflatable moustache.

It's the one that's obvious.

It’s the one that’s obvious.

The problem was that there was a security guard that was no help at all. He wouldn’t even lift me up so I could undo the ropes. He said I had to go and ask one of the Movember Canada staff.

I’ll find Emma. She seems awesome in her emails.

No dice, but I did meet her partner. She thought it was a great idea for us to steal the stache. She put me in touch with Dancy McGee, but she said that we could absolutely not steal that moustache. I believe she then got some more security on it and pointed me out as a possible culprit.

This left the front door almost wide open with three guards at the back door.

Hello, what feels like an 80 lb block of ice.

Hello, what feels like an 80 lb block of ice.

This will look so good on your lawn.

This will look so good on your lawn.

Tongues don't stick at +3°C

Some dude asked us if we wanted to go outside and do some ice. It wasn’t that good.

Rub a dub dub.

Rub a dub dub. What a pair of assholes we are.

We want to thank Appleton Estates for the delicious rum, ginger beer and cranberry drinks. You maybe shouldn’t have given out so many, but we’re glad that you did.

Oh, and If you were planning on using this sculpture again, you aren’t.

I woke up still drunk at what I thought was 5 or 6 AM and sat on the toilet eating Zantac and drinking water to cure my pounding headache. I then started investigating where the cold air was coming from. I looked in the shower. My memory started to come back and I decided that I should start melting it down so people could shower if they wanted to.

Apparently just having the door closed wasn’t very much soundproofing. I was startled by a beautiful face in the doorway telling me I was waking up everybody, and to go back to bed. I explained my logic in my trademark loud whisper and was told that it was still night and to shut off the shower and get the fuck back to bed.

I did.

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This was all that was left after Mr. Brady’s shower, so I’d say we did a good job of getting rid of the evidence. Well except for this blog post. And all the pictures on G+. Oh, and the eyewitnesses. Meh. What are you gonna do?

Thank you to all who contributed your money to this year’s Movember campaign, and to all of my brothers and sisters who donated their time and their souls to it; I am so proud of you. You restore my faith in humanity daily and it keeps me going. That and Mrs. Birdman’s sweet love.

Mo on, Mo Fos,

Birdman