Jul 18

Therapy Thursday S01-E03 – Comedy Open Mic Round 22

Yep, we are back, thanks to @cryptkeeper17 and some poor choices on our part. We really appreciate the letter and if anyone else wants to send something in, we will be offering two shares in Steem Basic Income to anyone that gets onto the show.

Send your problems, questions, or thoughts to birdman@changethetopic.com or, if you are brave you can throw it in the comments here. I’m also on Discord at Chris Bird#2542 if you want to DM me.

You can find out more about Comedy Open Mic Round 22 on the link you just passed by. This week I am nominating @mourningnoodles and @enginewitty to join in the fun. Maybe wait until next round though. It’ll give you a bit more time to prepare.

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Jul 14

The Many Lives And Deaths Of Dovey-Doo – Chapter Three

Okay, I’m awake.

I’m a little fuzzy from the few beers I had before bed, but I can distinctly feel the paws trying to pierce different parts of my body while the whining is piercing my brain.

I guess the dogs want out for a pee.

I open the door and as they bolt out, I crack my eyelids to see the sun peeking over Butler Ridge and licking the treetops above the truck. I check my phone.

Grrrr, it’s 4:30 AM. We mumble some questions, like “Why do they need out this early?” and “Shouldn’t they be exhausted from all the running they did on the beach last night?”

I wait a few minutes and open the door to let them in. They want no part of the offer.

“Should we go out and get them?” Gerri asks hazily.

“No, they probably just want to smell around and see if anything visited in the night. They’ll be ready for a nap by breakfast.”

We drifted back to sleep and woke up around 6:30. They still weren’t back, so we got up to get the coffee ready and realized that we forgot the kettle or any sort of a pot to boil water in.

We improvised. Coffee was fundamental.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

I don’t know about you, but I went through the levels of Scouts Canada. The motto was “Be Prepared.”

I stole this from Wikipedia to explain:

Baden-Powell on “Be Prepared”[edit]

In English, this motto is most commonly Be Prepared. In the third part of Scouting for Boys Robert Baden-Powell explains the meaning of the phrase:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.

  • Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
  • Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.[1]

“To do the right thing at the right moment” can be extreme:

“Where a man has gone so far as to attempt suicide, a Scout should know what to do with him.”[2]
“BE PREPARED to die for your country if need be, so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed or not”[3]

Okay, so I might have started drinking and smoking weed before they explained the last part, but you have to admit we were pretty prepared with those empty booze cans. Sure we forgot cell charger cords and almost all cooking implements, but look what we did remember.

Our neighbours were kind enough to give us some homemade Irish Cream. They must have been Scouts as well.

Even though we were facing great hurdles, we made do, just like they taught me in Scouts.

Here’s the proof.

Oh good, we can start our day.

At 7 AM, there was still no sign of the boys and it was supposed to start raining in a couple of hours. Blue, I could see not caring about meals, but Dover was only keeping himself alive to eat. He has never missed a meal since we have had him. It’s not that we wouldn’t have forgotten, it’s just that he starts the high-pitched whine about thirty minutes before mealtime and doesn’t quit until he’s fed, so we can’t not feed him.

As we drank our delicious elixir, we walked around and yelled for the boys. We wanted to pack up the dining tent and trailer, but we didn’t want it to start raining if we were still there looking for dogs. So we left it up. This proved to be a good choice.

It’s a pretty sweet setup.

As I walked along, drinking my boozy coffee, a feeling hit me that has probably hit a few of you after a bit of coffee and exercise.

Lucky for me, there were a couple of outhouses just around the corner. I started heading that way with a can of bear spray in my hand. I walked into the shitter and the door, which was on a spring and swings inwards, slammed behind me.

That’s when I heard it.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

I looked up and there was a wasp nest on the ceiling, maybe a foot above my head. The slam must have woke them up and they were piling out of the hole. Of course, I had a roll of toilet paper in one hand and a can of bear spray in the other and the door handle was one of those small, D shaped ones that I just couldn’t grasp until I stuffed the spray under my arm. I could feel them on my head and neck, so as soon as I got the door open I was running and screaming towards the truck with my free hand swiping wildly.

Gerri, who had watched me grab the bear spray, thought a bear was chasing me and was preparing to jump in the truck. I managed to escape with only one sting on the back of my leg, but now I felt the call of nature even louder than it’s already urgent cry.

Well, bushes it is.

By around 10:30, in the pouring rain, we unhooked the trailer and started heading for Moberly Lake to get a charger cord and some more food in case we had to stay an extra night. We hoped that the dogs would be waiting there when we got back but figured a pack of smokies and buns wouldn’t hurt, plus we could use another jug of water.

When we got back, Blue was there but Dover wasn’t. Blue was in rough shape, but he’s a pretty tough dog. It’s Dover that isn’t very bright or worldly. He was the one we had to save.

We had to figure out what had happened out there. This is what we came up with.

This is where all future chapters will jump off from. You may have noticed that there are some repeats from Chapter One, but I was trying to get a bit more story in. Remember that these are basically all rough drafts for the final project, so if you see things that don’t make sense or work well, please let me know in a comment or some other way that you would rather get a hold of me.

I’m always open to suggestions.

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Jul 11

Therapy Thursday S01-E02 – Comedy Open Mic Round 21

Yes, that’s right. We are trying this out on video now. We did another one a while ago, but it was only on Steemit. It was one that only Steemians would understand anyhow.

So yeah, we also address the return of Dover at the end.

As usual, send any questions, problems, or topics to birdman@changethetopic.com and if you want it to be anonymous just use Guerrilla Mail or some other shady email service. Apparently, there are a few.

For any Steemians out there, we will reward any of your submissions that make it into a post with a total of 1 SBD. This means that if it takes two to make an episode, the prize will be .5 SBD for each of the submissions. Just throw us an upvote, comment, or a resteem and put your steem ID in the submission email and we’ll go from there.

For this grand entry, we nominate @jonatftforest to come up with something funny that’s carving related and @friendsofgondor to post something donkey related.

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Jul 07

The Many Lives And Deaths Of Dovey-Doo – Chapter Two

A bit of backstory about Dover.

Three years ago to the day of posting this, we moved our family across the country to a new home. It was a pretty drastic move for some of the family, and rightly so.

Teenaged girls, and an adult, that have been uprooted from the only life they know and transplanted in a brand new, small town with few familiar faces around is pretty traumatic, to say the least. I had moved several times and was already adapted to the area from years of working here, but everyone else was completely new to it.

Seeing as Blue was already established as my dog, we decided to get a friend for Blue and the rest of the family from the BCSPCA to utilize the fenced yard we now had. We took Blue into the pound and let him run around in the yard while they brought Dover out. They had a sniff of each other and then both peed on anything they could find.

Not overly friendly, but no aggression, so that’s a bonus.

Well, they weren’t fighting, so that was good. They seemed okay in each other’s presence, and everyone seemed to really take to Dover, so we started discussing adoption.

As we filled out the papers, they explained that Dover had some health concerns. He had some ear infections, gum infections, and he was fifteen pounds overweight. That may not seem like much, but he only weighed about fifty pounds, so it’s a pretty big percentage. He had breathing troubles and needed his gums rinsed with a solution from the vet every week or he might lose his teeth.

The day we got him. A little pudgier than he is now.

He also was obsessive with food and showed signs of mistreatment. That seemed okay, as long as he wasn’t aggressive. They assured us he wasn’t and they weren’t lying. He was the least aggressive dog I know.

The SPCA called after a few days and said that we were approved and could come and get him. He seemed grateful to be out of there, plus we got him and Blue new leashes and collars.

This was from the ride home.

When we got him home, there was much humping by Blue. Dover didn’t really like it, but he accepted his new role and even cleaned Blue’s dink for him.

A lot.

No, like it got uncomfortable to be in the room with them when they came in from outside. It makes me glad I had my lips pursed tight when he licked me with his hot, sheep manure tongue.

Anyhow, we learned quickly about his food obsession and his pissing on absolutely anything he could. Most notably Gerri’s photography equipment, our white, floor-length curtains, and a prized iPad. Right in the charging port while it was plugged in. No amount of rice in a bag was fixing that.

After some exercise and some good quality, not all-you-can-eat food.

He also hated going outside. I think it was because he couldn’t see if anyone was dropping food on the kitchen floor.

I shouldn’t say that he didn’t like going outside. If you took him somewhere at first, you had to be careful he just went.

One time, we decided to let him run down by the river in the early spring. He took off running and we got freaked out because he wouldn’t even turn around when we were screaming his name. We didn’t even know how he was doing it, as he is a foot tall and the snow was a foot and a half. Needless to say, it was easy to follow his tracks for the kilometre that he was somehow leaping. In the end, we had to carry him out of there. It was a gradual incline from the bottom of a hundred foot drop and over probably six waterfalls. I really didn’t think I was going to make it.

Guarding his recent kill.

Another time on our winter solstice trip to the Liard River Hot Springs we stopped to let everyone pee and to clean the windshield. As soon as the dogs hit the snow, they quickly pissed in the same spot and bolted. The speed was phenomenal and we yelled, but they didn’t even blink. It was -30C and we couldn’t take the chance of losing them for even an hour, so we jumped in and pinned it. We caught up to them in 1.5 kilometres. Just before the end of the plowed section we stopped at. We hit 90 km/hr trying to catch them.

For the last two years, Dovey would barely leave the couch, but we would take them out to the woods and letmake them run. The only way Dover would run around, was if we drove away. If we stopped, he stopped. We just got used to him never wanting to go anywhere that was not near his food.

Yin and Yang.

There were a few times that the gate was left open and Blue would take off, but we would find Dover sitting on the step, staring at the gate. It was like he was saying, “He went thatta way.”, and also proving what a good boy he was for guarding the pantry while Blue was away. He, of course, felt he deserved a treat for this and let you know by dancing excitedly by the treat cupboard when he came back in.

On the other hand, we did get him as a rescue because he ran away from his first home. I know it was probably a lot worse there, but he waited years to do it and was in a lot worse health then. Maybe he just gets bored and wants a change of scenery.

Who really knows? God?

I doubt it. I don’t think Dovey was a believer, at least not since he was living with us. I remember talking about The Rainbow Bridge to him and he was just like, “SNOOOOORT, CHUFALUFALUFA!”. Then he jumped off the couch and ran to the kitchen to get whatever just fell on the floor.

Jokes on you, Dovey-Doo. It was a chunk of onion.

In his element.

Well, Dover, I don’t know where you are, or what you’re doing, but I hope you have all the treats, couches, and sunbeams that you can handle.

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Jul 06

The Many Lives And Deaths Of Dovey-Doo – Chapter One

I don’t know if it’s normal to immediately start thinking of how you will write things, so soon after losing your dog. Maybe that’s how you know you have a writer’s mind.

For me, I think it’s a way of coping with things. @amirtheawesome1 wrote about how he uses dark humour to deal with life and for me, it isn’t totally different. I deal with my thoughts via scenarios.

I linked to that post because I don’t feel like explaining the scenarios when I already have a post written that spells them out.

What I am planning to do here is to string a bunch of my scenarios together as best I can, and publish them in a series of chapters that I might turn into a 99¢ ebook on Amazon one day.

I can’t say for sure that I will, but I do have big dreams of earning $7-$9 a month and this looks like a good way to get the ball rolling.

As I write this, we are still not sure what has happened to our dog, Dover. We went camping out by the dam and both boys, Blue and Dover, took off at 4:30 AM when we let them out for a pee. At least that is what I assumed they wanted. They were dancing around on us and whining, so I opened the door.

When I opened it to let them back in, they wouldn’t even come near, so we left them out there to do dog things. It was still a couple of hours until their breakfast and they don’t often get the chance to run around in the wild and explore.

Before I go further and get the “better pet owner than you” people telling me I shouldn’t have let them out on their own or giving me flak about not having them on about leashes, let me say that I don’t think it’s fair to coop animals up if there is a chance for them to be free. Even if it’s just for a day.

In my mind, a dog is no different than we are. They have a purpose in life, and their government(us), won’t let them realize their destiny because society gets angry when the garbage is torn up all over the porch and the brand new haskap bush that they just bought for $50 at the nursery is dying from concentrated urine streams.

So we have to fence them in.

Or they get put down by the dog catcher. There is no in between.

Well, I guess we could keep paying the $50 fine every day, but then they would probably get hit by a car as we live in town and the dogs aren’t street savvy.

We, as people, are fenced in as well but unless you are imprisoned it’s usually figurative, like jobs, lack of funds, etc… I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel all that free. I feel freer than a lot of people, but I still have to appease The Man for my food and shelter.

I even have to do tricks and entertain for a few extra scraps.

Just like a dog.

So we find places where there are no dog catchers, asshole neighbours, or traffic and we let them run around. They chase things, bark, and see what new smells are out there. Oftentimes they will com-pee-te. That’s when they keep pissing on stuff the other dog has already pissed on. Sometimes it’s at the same time and someone comes out with the stain of shame. It was usually Dover because he was closer to the ground.

In short, they get to be dogs.

So after they didn’t come back for breakfast we started to worry a bit. I reasoned that they were just having too much fun to be bothered with food, but it was not like Dover to ever miss a meal. We went for a drive and honked the horn a lot.

By around 10 AM we were walking along the beach with a whistle, a can of bear spray, and yelling for the dogs at the top of our lungs. It was pouring rain by now. We did that for an hour and then went to buy a cell phone charger as we were both out of battery. We figured we would be home by now and wouldn’t have service anyhow, so we didn’t even think to bring a charger.

We got back after noon and Blue was crying in the bushes and could barely walk. He was drenched and shaking really bad, but there didn’t seem to be any broken bones or lacerations so I gave him a handful of food and put him in the warm truck. Then we went looking for Dover. Gerri waited at camp in case he came back.

We stayed an extra night there, hoping he was just waiting out the rain somewhere, but he didn’t come back and didn’t answer our calls the next day either. The rain was knocking the shit out of everything and I could feel a buildup starting in my lungs, so we packed everything up and went home.

That was three days ago. We still haven’t heard anything.

This is the general area. Probably about 50 km²

The road across the dam is closed, so it’s about 70 km of mostly logging roads to get there now. Usually, you could be there in about 25 minutes going across the dam, but now it’s about an hour and a half.

This is a closer view of the immediate area.

Just in case you wanted more details. The water level is way down, so you can walk further up the beach.

It doesn’t look good, but we are hoping a logger, construction worker, boater or random person finds him and contacts us. We have put up signs, contacted the dam security, and did the online thing in hopes of locating him.

There are so many things that could have happened and I created an amazing number of scenarios in my head while I was looking for him.

That’s what this is all about.

 

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