Apr 08

I Love That Boy

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Relax, I’m talking about my dog Blue.

Something I’ve been thinking about for a while now, is how he occasionally gets this worried look on his adorable face when I approach him. It’s not a frightened look, per se, but more like a “I hope the beating doesn’t hurt too bad.” kind of look. Oh, and he just stands there, not looking at me.

Sometimes he thinks he's a real boy.

Sometimes he thinks he’s a real boy. This isn’t the look.

When the hugging, playing, or whatever we’re doing starts, he takes a moment to compose himself, and I wonder what happened to him in his earlier years to make him like that.

Does it have something to do with why he doesn’t like beer bottles, fireworks, or handguns? I would imagine it does.

He is from North Carolina, after all.

I know he trusts me, because he shows me that every day, but that look always makes me feel bad for him. It’s just one of those pity feelings, like the feeling you get when someone you know gets hurt and never fully recovers.

Yeah, you’re happy that they are alive, but you can’t help wishing that you could go back in time and stop something from happening.

Mrs. Birdman assures me that he has a great life now, and that he appreciates and loves how well he has it. I think it’s true. I do know that it’s better than the gas chamber he was headed for, but I still get those pangs of sadness for him. I still feel like even though he’s gained a life; somewhere, sometime, he’s lost one. I hope he gets it back.

Don't worry boy. I won't tell your mom that your stinky, slimy toy touched her pillow.

Don’t worry boy. I won’t tell your mom that your stinky, slimy toy touched her pillow.

So yeah, at some point he was mistreated, but he’s resilient, as dogs usually are, and he keeps on living his life of protecting his yard from vermin, or occasionally climbing the stepstool to lick the butter.

Only a couple of licks. He doesn’t want to get the squirts.

I can’t stress enough for people to rescue an animal instead of buying a from a puppy mill pet store, or backyard breeder. If you’re not sure how to tell, please do your research. Every time that you support one of these despicable markets, another abused animal is forced to breed and birth a handful of puppies. I’m not going to show the pictures, but believe me, they’re out there.

I can honestly say that I don’t know what I’d do without our boy, because he has helped me through a lot of my darkness. It’s like he can feel it when it’s time to stop playing and just get hugged. I don’t know how many times that I’ve been sitting at the computer and just had the urge to go in and lay down with him on the bed, but every single time, he snuggles right in and makes me smile.

Did I mention that he was a shedder?

Did I mention that he was a shedder?

Smiling is always good.

Anyhow, I guess it’s fight time, so I had better get what’s left of the squeaky toy and get in there. The fights can’t start without me.

Properly, I mean.

Inside the fire’s burnin me, in my mind you just keep turnin me, every which but loose,

Birdman

P.S. I was going to put the lyrics for that song in the horrible Sarah MacLachlan commercial, but decided that it wasn’t going to help me win the fight with the boy, so I went with something a little more scrappy.

The movie, not the song. Right turn, Clyde.

P.S.S. There are a lot of great pet rescues out there, so look one up in your area. Maybe you can’t take a dog right now, but most of them would probably love some help walking, feeding, and generally being there for the animals that are already in the shelter. Donations are always welcome as well, because these places aren’t cheap to run.

We got Blue from a lady named Miranda near Norwood, ON. You can find her at Save My Tail or on their Facebook page.

Apr 04

Eeeek, I Shopped At Walmart

And you’ll never guess what I got there.

I know, I know. I’m never going to live it down, but hear me out. I lifted my boycott a couple of years ago when I found out that they were carrying more products that were made in Canada, so I decided to lighten up on them a bit. From what I understand, Walmart Canada is run differently than the US, but all of the profits still end up there, so it doesn’t get me all giddy or anything.

What does get me giddy is seeing my friend Steph. Actually, seeing anything is good, which is how I ended up at Walmart in Trenton, Ontario.

I forgot my glasses out west in the dump truck, and was left with these.

They're a 10 year old prescription on safety lenses.

They’re a 10 year old prescription on safety lenses.

I was thinking about getting someone to ship my glasses to me, when I thought about it. They are a couple of years old, I hate them, and the prescription was taken off of these decade old safety lenses by a drunk chick. It really isn’t worth the few bucks to get them shipped.

So I got an eye exam and then went to see Steph, who is an optician at the Walmart in Trenton, Ontario. When I looked at the situation, it didn’t really matter where I got my glasses. I checked all of the stores around, and online, but they are all made overseas. So I figured I would keep my friend working for at least another hour or two.

She helped me try on glasses like these.

Nerdy, but dead sexy professor.

Nerdy, but dead sexy professor.

And these,

I think that these came in second.

I think that these came in second.

And a whole bunch of other ones as well, but these were the ones we settled on.

Apparently they are nice. They're comfortable, so I like that.

Apparently they are nice. They’re comfortable, so I like that.

Steph picked these ones, but I wasn’t sold, so I put it to a vote on G+. Everyone must understand that the voting is just so I get to try things on, while the final decision is made by Mrs. Birdman, and she picked them too. Actually, almost everyone chose them, so I guess my sense of style sucks.

There was a two pair deal (shocker), so I took it, because I needed some decent sunglasses as well. This was also put to a vote, and these were the winners by Steph, Mrs. B, and almost all of the five voters.

These totally distract you from noticing my wattle.

These totally distract you from noticing my wattle. Doh!

In case you are now saying to yourself, “Birdman is whipped. Why would he blindly let his wife pick out his glasses? Be a man.”, think about this.

I rarely look in the mirror, as most people can tell by my hair, so I will rarely see the glasses.

and…

I like to cocoon, and nobody wants to cocoon with someone wearing these.

Not as creepy as Jon LaJoie, but that's just because of my grin.

Not as creepy as Jon LaJoie, but that’s just because of my grin.

All in, I got two pairs of good quality glasses; one with polarized tint, and both with all the coatings and such, for $340. That seems like a pretty good deal to me. I wear my glasses all day, every day when I’m working, and I want to know that my lenses are matched up with my eyes, because I know what it’s like to have a pair of specs that are a bit off. It can make for some pretty bad headaches, and can probably result in your eyes getting tired or something. (I’m looking for scientific confirmation here.)

Anyhow, if you find that you need glasses, and you aren’t sure who to see, I highly recommend that you head down to Trenton and look for this beautiful face in the Wallymart Vision Centre.

The one on the right. You'll have a hard time finding me there before my next pair.

The one on the right. You’ll have a hard time finding me there before my next pair.

If you don’t see her, just ask for Stephanie. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was six years old, and have been fitted for a lot of pairs. She knows what she’s doing, and takes her career very seriously.

There, now that’s probably the last time you will ever see me recommend Walmart for anything.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,

Birdman

(I was in no way compensated for this post. I just like to pass on tales of great service. – CB)

Feb 12

Things Are Sometimes Good

Birdman

I don’t announce it much here, but I’m still travelling out west for work from time to time. The reason I don’t write much about it is because I already have, on several occasions, and I don’t think that there is much different than any of the other times. I still miss the hell out of my girls and the boy, and I still wish that I could make a decent living and be home every night.

Plus, I have plans on turning my travels into something bigger than blog posts, so it wouldn’t be good to give it all away. Right?

Anyhow, I was trying to save a little money and hardship for my sweet baby, so I booked a 1:30 PM flight from Toronto to save $100. The shuttle leaves at 4:30 AM, so I knew I was going to have a while to wait, but I was okay with that. I figured I would write a blog post for the new blog, mess around on Google+ and Twitter, and try to plug our new project without offending too many of the gentle people.

I didn’t know that you can’t check your bag in that early.

Ah, the airport. It has a homey feel to it. No?

Ah, the airport. It has a homey feel to it. No?

The kiosk said I needed to go to guest services, but didn’t say why. I got in line behind about 10 other people, while the West Jet CSAs kept escorting people that were arriving late to the front of the line. I was starting to get a little miffed, but I figured that I had six hours, so I wouldn’t say anything. What’s the point, right? Some day it might be me that is rushing to make a flight for one reason or another.

After standing there for forty five minutes, I was next. As the people were getting checked in, the CSAs were leaving. Either going on break, or off shift. I stood there for another fifteen minutes or so before someone came up and sent me to the international side.

8492654-illustration-of-a-man-fuming-with-angerBy now I’m fuming inside of my head, because everybody that shows up late is given special treatment, but the people who arrive well ahead of their flights have to stand there and let their feet burn. There is a reason that the airlines ask you to arrive a couple of hours early, and it’s to allow all of the people who show up late, a speedy escort to the best service on any major Canadian airline.

I digress. As usual.

The lady knew that I had stood there for over an hour before telling me that I couldn’t check my bag in for a few hours. Before I could say anything, she asked if I wanted to bump up to a 9:05 flight, but seeing as my connection wouldn’t be leaving Calgary until quite a bit later, I opted to wait where there was better wifi.

She then offered me an upgrade for having to wait so long, and I accepted graciously, because you get a free sandwich, booze, and a can of Pringles, plus some sweet leg room. I then took my new, upgraded boarding pass and went looking for somewhere to eat breakfast that wasn’t Tim Hortons.

I found a little sandwich shop that I almost bought a breakfast sandwich at before remembering that I am trying to eat wheat free. I died a little bit inside, and as I was about to buy a gluten-free energy bar, I noticed a cooler with sushi in it.

Looks like it’s a vegetarian roll and a coffee with milk for breakfast. (they were out of cream as well)

My point in all of this is that I kept my mouth shut.

Even though I wanted to yell at all of the ignorant people whose time is so much more important than everyone else’s, that they get to move to the front of the line. I didn’t and I was just given a $45 upgrade, had a much healthier breakfast, and I didn’t have to make anyone feel bad for being an inconsiderate jerk, or for catering to said jerks.

Now I’m going to check in for my flight with the free food that I can’t eat, but you can bet that I will enjoy a couple of beer and some Pringles.

As long as it’s not wheat beer.

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go, I’m standing here outside your door,

Birdman

 

Feb 07

Ponytails Turn Me On

birdmandesk

Today we went to the Cobourg Community Centre and walked around the track. We tried to walk Blue around Colborne, to get some fresh air and beat the winter blues, but the boy can be a bit of an asshat when he gets rambunctious, so we ended up turning around and taking him home. The drifted in sidewalks also helped with our decision to go to the heated, indoor track.

Now I will admit that I have always thought walking around anything just to walk was pointless, but today we couldn’t go for a walk around town very safely, so it was decided that we would go to the track and then out for lunch with Gadget.

When we got there, I queued up my newest love; Slacker radio, and hit the track. If you haven’t tried Slacker, you should. Aaron turned me on to it during a rum soaked game of darts, and I liked it so much that I got the paid version.

Photo by Pete Fisher – Northumberland Today (Click photo for original article.)

I turned on a cool eclectic rock station and held hands with my one true love.

Well, until the first old doll came trucking up the left with her arms just a swinging. That was when we figured that we should keep the left lane open for the old folks that were passing us incessantly. No one wants to get hit with a stray dumbbell.

On our second lap, my sweet baby decided she was going to run. She looked back at me with a smile and a wave, and off she went. That brought a grin to my face as I watched her bounce away.

She has the best smile I’ve ever seen.

Seriously. I melt every time.

Seriously. I melt every time.

Sure, the swinging ponytail gets my motor going, but the way she smiles at me stirs my soul in ways that I didn’t know existed. It’s a look that made me want to yell to the old guy that was wheezing on by me, just how much I loved her.

It’s an immeasurable amount.

I hope I can keep her smiling forever. I know I will be.

One minute you’re waiting for the sky to fall, the next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all,

Birdman

P.S. Do you utilize any of the amenities offered by the CCC? Which ones?

Consider a donation to the cause. They are still trying to meet their original fundraising goal, and every little bit helps.

P.S.S. The new blog should be up and running by Monday. I’m pretty excited.

Nov 11

It’s Remembrance Day Again

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We’re going to the school for their ceremony and then to the cenotaph for the public one.

I’ll be all misty eyed I’m sure. I get like that every year. Something about freedom does that to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not delusional enough to think that I’m truly free, but I’m not busting rocks with a chain around my ankle, so I’d say I’m free enough. The people who have fought for us, achieved the desired goal for the time. It’s not their fault that we as a society allowed politicians and corporations to ruin our world. They fought for the right to give us the choice of which asshole gets to screw us, and I thank them for that. I really do.

Think about all of the leaders over the years that just would have enslaved entire nations if they were given the chance. I don’t know much about slavery, but I know it’s horrible. I know people that have lived in countries where they are forced to fight, whether they believe in the cause or not. Guys with bullet wounds all through them, because after they healed up, they were sent right back out to start killing again. One guy had been shot up on three different occasions. The last time was in his back and the doctors said he couldn’t fight again as his spine had been damaged. He went home to pack his things and get the hell out of there. His wife and son had been shot and killed years earlier while he was out killing other wives and children, so he took off for Canada and a better life. He found it, but at what cost?

When you hear what it was like where he came from, which was under Nazi rule during the war, it makes you appreciate our government, even with their greed and corruption.

Pretty sad isn’t it? These people go and fight at the drop of a hat for their country, and when they come home it’s in a worse condition than when they left. They get shit for benefits and pay, but the people who are sending them to where they will possibly lose their life are double dipping their expense accounts, taking lavish vacations on the tax payer’s dime, and getting a very healthy pension plan out of the deal. Not too shabby for never having to put yourself in danger or even being accountable for anything you do.

I know this is a lot different than my usual Remembrance Day post, but to be honest with you, I’m not in the spirit this year. I’m a little bit angry about a lot of things and I haven’t got it in me to write a sappy retrospective of how our freedom was dependent on all of the people who fought for us and gave us the life we now have.

I know it was, but I’m a little pissed that we are wasting it so badly, and at such a fast pace. Free trade, pipelines, oil sands, corrupt senators and crack smoking mayors. Nobody gives a shit about anything anymore.

Poppy-Day

Sorry, that isn’t entirely true. We still care about money. Not enough to ensure that our jobs stay in our country, but we sure do like to vote for whoever offers the right economic agenda in their platform. Who cares about pumping billions of litres of contaminated fresh water down disposal wells? It doesn’t matter right now, because we have lots in our lakes and rivers. Oh, all of that water is coming from our lakes and rivers every day? Oh well, I’m sure the government is looking out for us. They wouldn’t destroy our country for a bit of oil and gas revenue would they? Oh, they would? Well, I’m sure they are working on ways to clean it up. I’m sure some of our tax money will go to research. I don’t think that those disposal wells are near the water table or anything. They’ll figure something out.

I’m no different, I just wish I was. I have computers and gadgets. I drive a gas powered vehicle and I fly to my job that helps get the oil and gas out of the ground. I’m not pointing fingers at you and telling you that you’re bad.

We all are.

Actually. We’re not just bad. We’re fucking horrible. The problem is that the bar has dropped over the past few years. It’s actually below the mat now. We’ve been trained to settle for so much less than we should, and it’s all our fault. Oh, it’s also our parent’s fault, and our grandparent’s fault.

That’s right, they are the ones who fell into the original trap of needing all of this useless shit after WWII. The worst of it, in my opinion, was television. There’s nothing like a bunch of greedy corporations sending you something to rot your mind, all the while plugging thoughts of entitlement into your family’s head.

You work hard. Why don’t you buy our gizmo to make your life a little easier? It would save you thirty minutes a day, and that would give you some more time to relax in front of your new colour TV. Has conventional cooking started to interrupt your soap opera time? Here’s a handy microwave. You can cut your meal preparation time in half or more. Was working, reading, and talking to each other that bad?

I’m sorry. This isn’t a day for griping. It’s a day that we need to stop and thank the men and women who have, and continue to, lay down their lives for us. They willingly give everything so that we aren’t forced into killing our neighbours, and there is no amount of thanks that can repay that.

So let’s have a moment of silence to think about what has been lost, and how we can live better and truly honour those that have put their lives on the line to give us that freedom.

I remember.

Birdman