Oct 26

My other dad

As I write this, the man who raised me as a son since I was eight is on his way to the hospital. He hasn’t been able to swallow food or water for days now, and if something isn’t done soon, it can’t get any better. He doesn’t want us kids there right now, maybe he doesn’t want to inconvenience us, but it’s probably because he doesn’t want us to see what the cancer has reduced him to. I don’t think he understands that we don’t care about that.

You see, he grew up in a time when men were judged by their physical, mental and emotional strength, and you didn’t want anyone to ever see you in a lesser state. I’m so glad I don’t have to follow any of those rules, or I’d be failing miserably as a man. If I can’t go out fast, while stopping a stray bullet from hitting an innocent bystander in a driveby, I want all the people I love to be around me.

Long before the second bout, but after the first. Mom loves cameras

Since he was first diagnosed with esophageal cancer, some ten years ago, he was given months to live. He was pretty down about it, and had kind of lost that fire he had always had. That was until he went to Kingston. While he was at the cancer centre there, he got talking to a lot of survivors, and they all had one thing in common. They were fighters. They weren’t going to let it beat them. They wanted to live, and were going to do what it took to stay above ground. Continue reading

Oct 15

My blog is straight now, thanks to Alchymyth

I would like to publicly thank Alchymyth from the wordpress.org support forums. He/she helped me get it straightened out, even though it had to be explained to my newbie ass in the simplest of terms and several times. I’ve asked for help on the forums before, but I had always kind of knew what I was doing, so it didn’t seem like a big deal, so this time I was thinking about it and decided that these people who give freely of their time, should be honoured for once.

I wonder how many of us take for granted the help we receive on the internet? I know I do. After I got the site fixed, I looked at Alchymyth’s profile, and there were all kinds of helpful hints and how-to articles on there. There was also a donate button, which I think is a fabulous idea. There is no demand for money, just a “I’ll help you, you can help me if you feel like it, or not” option. I donated $5, because I appreciated what they had done for me, and it would have cost me a lot more to take it to whoever works on that sort of thing. I mean, come on, I know $5 isn’t going to make or break someone, but it’s something I won’t miss, and maybe it’ll buy someone a coffee after work. That’s actually how the donation part is worded.

“If this information was useful, and helped you to save time and energy, consider buying me a coffee or a beer.
Thanks.”

That’s just what it said on their site at http://www.transformationpowertools.com/wordpress/ which I found after they had helped me. Now I feel cheap for only giving $5, because it only converts to £3, but times are tough all over, and I’m relatively thrifty. Now if they came over here for a beer, I’d probably take them out and get them pissed up, because for some reason my cheap ass gets more generous when I’ve had a few wobbly pops. I’ll tell you what Alchymyth. If I ever make it over there (and I do plan to), I’ll let you know, or if you get to southern Ontario (near Toronto), you let me know, and I’ll take you out for as many beer as you can drink. I really hope that you’re a hundred pound girl that can only drink two.

Let's get pissed

In conclusion, I think you should all go and say thank you to anyone who has ever helped you on the internet for free. Seriously, go back through your life and remember each and every one of them. It would be even nicer if you found out where they live and go there with a delicious fruit basket or some chocolate covered cherries. I guess you could also just send them an email or something simple and nice like that. We all need a little pat on the back once in a while, and I’m no different. Please pat my back, and while you’re there, it could use a little scratching below the left shoulder blade.

 

Have another kick at the proverbial can,

Birdman

Oct 02

Contrary to what I’ve said, sometimes drinking is not cool

I thought that being a day of rest, I’d just tell a story about when I lived in Hudson’s Hope, BC (I suggest you Google that shit, if you don’t already know about it). I ended up there after I had become newly single, and really wanted nothing to do with women ever again. It’s a gorgeous little mountain town at the start of the Peace River, and home of the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon Dams. My friend Aaron lives in HH, and he and his wife are raising a beautiful family there. I had originally agreed to house and dog sit for them one spring when they went on vacation, because I couldn’t have dogs in the apartment and I was done work for the winter, so what the hell.

While I was there I ended up getting a job, making some great friends and almost getting my ass killed. I liked it a lot and I stayed until the snow flew, not that that means much when you’re in the mountains. When I got there in April I stayed with Aaron and Lannie for a bit, rented a trailer with a guy from work, lived in an old camper that I had bought for a grand and eventually moved in with a great couple that I rented a room from.  I mostly ate at Freddy’s Deli, On The Rim or Julie’s cafe, but I don’t think she has it anymore. It’s too bad, because she had superb home cooked soups, sandwiches and a great selection of unique drinks. The town is full of very talented people that make some really cool things. Jim Todd crafted some of the nicest longbows I’ve ever seen or drawn. The farmer’s market was full of home baking, fruits and veggies, honey, soap and crafts, all of which are made by local people. Truly worth jogging off the beaten path if you are traveling up the Alaska or Hart Highways.

Now onto a completely pointless drinking story… I believe it was around the first part of May that Aaron and I had eaten a meal of makeshift, homemade Chinese food, that we didn’t have the proper ingredients for. We then headed over to a buddy’s cabin for a visit with a bottle of vodka, a jug of Clamato and all the trimmings. It was your average visit, five guys sitting around drinking, smacking golf balls into the river, throwing sticks to the dog, eventually building a fire, and by around midnight we were riding the dirt bike with no headlight up and down the road. Don’t worry, it was safe, the headlights of oncoming cars gave us enough illumination to get over on the shoulder and out of harm’s way. My belly was starting to feel that I shouldn’t drink anymore, but I’m not one for wasting, so I finished my last caeser and climbed into the truck. I should mention that at this point in my life, I was not a huge drinker. This was the first time I’d been drunk in probably seven or eight years.

The reason for my not drinking much was a night out with Aaron several years earlier, after a good stint in camp. I either overindulged in the whiskey and tequila that night or someone slipped me some sort of pill that turned me into a complete asshole. Apparently I decided it was up to me to defend the slutty waitress’ honour, seeing as it was her night off and I think she was letting us do shots out of her tits. Good reason to walk around trying to fight the old perverts (like I was any different) that were grabbing her ass, right?  I guess I then got in a cab and not only puked all over the roof, but the interior as well.  I’m assuming he took me home because when the phone rang the next morning, I found it next to me on the bed, you know, right next to the pile of puke near the pillow.

I answered the phone, and it was my friend from work that had booked me a chiropractor appointment for that day. He wondered why I didn’t show up to my eleven o’clock session and was letting me know that they would see me if I went there now. I found my glasses in the aforementioned pile, rinsed them off, assessed the damage from when I obviously tore my shelving unit down and called a cab. I had to catch a plane later to go home for Christmas, so I needed to get my back fixed up now. Of course it was the same cabbie that took me home the night before, and he was quite surprised that I was still alive. He wasn’t too pissed off because I had given him a hundred bucks to clean up the cab and drive me home.

By the time we hit the third chiropractor office, we had found the right one. I went in, paid the receptionist and went to the washroom because I was feeling a little green. When I woke up, she was banging on the door to see if I was ok, I had no shirt on and there was a trail of bile leading from my head to the toilet. I don’t remember stripping down, but the tile floor was so nice and cool that I wished I had taken my pants off as well. I didn’t want to get up, but I knew they were waiting for me so they could close the shop up for the holidays. When the bone cracker saw me he wasn’t going to work on me because I guess I looked as bad as I felt, but after some persuasion, he fixed me up. A couple more dry-heaves and I started to walk home.

Ok, what the hell was I talking about before? Oh right, I was drinking caesers and I got dropped off at the house. I stepped onto the sidewalk, walked three steps and barfed a spray of red chicken balls out into the night as Aaron drove away, neither of us suspecting that what would happen the next day would change our outlook on life.

I hope you mofos like cliffhangers,

Birdman

Find Part 2 here.

Sep 23

I May Have Jumped The Gun

Birdman

I woke up this morning feeling like I had been trampled by a herd of Woodland Caribou. I guess I got feeling a little too rambunctious and invincible at the thought of finally being rid of the stone. I have slept and lounged around all day, and barely had enough energy to type this blog entry up.

I’m back to work tomorrow, so I guess it’s good to rest. What the hell am I saying? I shouldn’t be feeling this old yet. I’m not even forty for the love of Pete. Wait, am I forty now? No, I’m pretty sure I’m thirty nine still.

Holy shit, time is starting to gain ground on me, and I don’t like it. Two weeks ago I was riding my bicycle with my brother on what we thought was the longest bike ride taken by man. We got to pack a lunch, and ride to the gravel pit, where we set up camp and ate our sandwiches, hand picked apples and cookies. We had a wineskin full of Freshie and a few survival tools in the backpack (I think there was a compass and a jackknife). We were knights on our hard journey, and no one could have told us that four miles could easily be cycled in an hour or so. Okay, maybe that wasn’t two weeks ago, but it certainly couldn’t be have been thirty years, could it?

image

Every once in a while I’ll notice it in the mirror. The lines, age spots, tired eyes, etc… I wonder what we do it all for? Is this what life was intended to be like for the human race? I have a hard time believing that from the dawn of existence, (I’ll let you all figure out what that means) we were meant to work our asses off, just to be able to possess some “things”. I love Thoreau’s outlook on life from the shores of Walden Pond. He realized that there is more to life than keeping up appearances and slaving your life away for someone else. He wanted to live his life deliberately, and so he did.

There is a life to live out there, and we shouldn’t go to the grave with any regrets, so call your brother up. Ask him if he wants to go for a ride or a beer and talk about how you miss those days. Maybe that gravel pit is still there, or the offspring of that apple tree. Eat a couple of apples while you throw rocks at nothing and think back to simpler times. Cherish these moments, because you can, and because you never know if you’ll get the chance.

Enjoy what life has to offer my friends,

Birdman

P.S. Don’t have too many beer when you get together. There are few things worse than staving drunk assholes, crying about how they need to spend more time together, and vomiting beer mixed with sour apple chunks.

Sep 15

I Love Date Night

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

I just don’t love how tired I am the next morning. I keep trying to knock it out of park like I’m twenty, but in reality I’m rounding forty, can rarely make it through a night without getting up to pee and I have an arthritic shoulder. I also don’t like that women peak so late in life, when men are starting to feel the abuse that their bodies have taken over the years. Had I known, I wouldn’t have done things like, but not limited to:

  • Jumping out of speeding watercraft
  • Seeing how many headbutts I could take before concussing (7)
  • Seeing how many girls I could kiss, without getting herpes (18)
  • Jumping off of assorted bridges, because Scooter did it.
  • Punching bouncers
  • Other various feats of strength

Of course, my male ego likes to make me think I’m worn out because I last so long and go at it with such adolescent enthusiasm that any mortal man would faint at the task, but I think if we ask Mrs. Birdman, we would learn differently. (Excuse me as I weep silently, while clutching at the last shreds of my manliness.)

 

Oh well, now that the kids are back to school, we can get back on schedule, which is date night every Wednesday, and on every other Thursday is the best day of all. (drumroll please) Wing/date night. Jesus, can life get any better than a carnivorous, beer fueled feeding frenzy, followed by seven minutes of blissful passion?

I don’t think so.
Thanks for being here for me,
Birdman