Apr 17

The Plan

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First off, I want to wish my dear mother a happy 40th birthday. She’s been younger than me for three years now, and in better physical shape for about seven. I love you, Mom. Thanks for always taking care of me.

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I guess I should update anybody that gives a shit about us moving out west. I have already moved and did the address change and everything, but Mrs.B and the girls are coming out in July, after school is done. We will be moving to Hudson’s Hope, BC which is about an hour from Fort St. John and around half an hour from Chetwynd.

We are also starting to plan an off-grid life for after we get out there. For simplicity, and because we are fed up with our consumerist society. Well, me more than Mrs. B, but she’s not far behind. I’ve been wanting this for a lot longer than she has. I guess this is our way of starting up the steps to freedom.

Not everybody’s freedom, mind you. A lot of you will find freedom in a big home, with a brand new truck and a bunch of toys in the garage. That’s perfectly fine for you and I hope you get it. It just doesn’t work for me. I’m ready to find my Walden Pond.

When we first get to HH, we will live in town in an affordable home and start looking for an acreage with a water source and a nice view of some sort of mountain. I’m thinking that it will take 3-5 years to get the land, clear a lot, and set up some sort of agricultural area (pasture, shelter, garden, etc…) near where the house will be built.

That might be totally off, but it seems doable to me. By the time we get to the point of building the house, the kids will be old enough to fend for themselves if they don’t feel like partaking in a much simpler life. They will be welcome to join us in our effort to be self sustaining, but I imagine that they will want to pursue the dream of acquiring all of the shit that every kid wants.

Have at it, kids. When I was young, I wanted to own an island. I still do. Believe me, if I win the lottery, or get my show on the air1)Do any of you know how to pitch things to networks? , I will be buying a largish island and building a self sustaining community on that sumbitch.

Anyhow, I need to go have a beauty nap. We’re going to see The Spirits at The Station in Port Hope tonight. They are so good. That’s one thing I’m going to miss about this area; the amazing live music scene. If you can’t get out to see them tonight, you can catch them tomorrow in Cobourg. Check out their page for info.

Birdman

P.S. Did you see the awesome footnote plugin I installed? When you see a number like this2)You can hover over it, or see them at the bottom of the post. So awesomely awesome

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Do any of you know how to pitch things to networks?
2. You can hover over it, or see them at the bottom of the post. So awesomely awesome
May 05

I’m Going Back To The Land

mindofbirdman

But not in a good way.

Yet.

I’m heading back out west in the morning, and I’m not looking forward to it. I know that I never am, but this time it seems harder. Like having to cut off your own leg kind of harder.

I guess everything is harder when I think about it. Life just seems to get tougher as you get older. Better, but tougher nonetheless. Take the internet for example. It’s here to make our lives better, and in some ways it does. I couldn’t imagine not being able to look up anything that I wondered about at the drop of a hat. The knowledge that I gain from having that privilege is immense.

Then there is the part of the internet that isn’t quite as helpful, but helps to pass the time. You know, for when you are bored, sitting on the toilet, or maybe don’t feel like going out on a Friday night.

Social Media.

Sure it lets you keep up to date with who and what your friends are doing, what coffee and supper looks like, and how cute cats are, but it doesn’t take much to get addicted to it. I know. It happened to me.

As most of you probably know, I quit Facebook recently. Strangely enough, I don’t miss it. I miss a lot of the people, but some of the important ones have joined G+, and the ones who didn’t probably don’t need to get a hold of me anyhow.

No_twitter

I watched this yesterday. Two days after telling Mrs. Birdman that Twitter was getting the axe next. They have been ticking me off lately, what with them sending me notifications about who all of my followers are following. Like I care that they’ve all decided to follow Visa back, or whatever the case may be. Oh, and I have just figured out that there is no value in it for me. Anyhow, this really hit home.

It got me thinking about a lot of things, and one was that I need to stop wasting time online. There’s life out there, and procrastinating with my face tanned from the glow of my phone screen isn’t helping anything. I like information, and I need to start using the internet for what it was made for, which I’m certain isn’t trading cat photos and masturbation.

I need to start using the few years that I have left to do things.

Big things.

Important things.

Things like growing food, creating, and enjoying my time with friends and loved ones, which I suppose are one in the same. I love my family, and shouldn’t be spending my time socking away as many hours as I can work, so that I can come home and be depressed about either having no money, or having to leave the love of my life to go back to work in an industry that I only partially agree with.

For twenty some odd years, I have been thinking, wishing, and dreaming about buying a piece of property for cash and building an earthship home on it. Granted, that would take a lot more money than we have, so I guess we’ll have to just keep on working and dreaming. Dreaming of the day where I can get up in the morning, collect the eggs, move the chicken house over to some fresh grass, and empty the compost toilet.

A lot of people don’t understand the appeal of it, but I know that there are a lot that do, so I know I’m not alone. As I was researching I came across this guy.

His videos were interesting, especially this one. I can relate to his feelings, but not to his past. I find it interesting that so many people from such different walks of life are interested in the shift to more simple living. There are doctors, lawyers, truckers, and probably any other occupation that you can think of that just want to get the hell out of the rat race and slow down to a snail’s pace. I think it’s got to be that people are stopping to think about what they’re doing and realizing that everything that they have been taught all of their life is a big load of BS.

If you get a chance, check out The Story of Stuff Project

If you get a chance, check out The Story of Stuff Project

Whatever the individual reasons are, I am very happy to see people figuring things out, even if it is such a tiny percentage. People can see that things need to change and they are effecting the change themselves. That makes my heart smile.

Anyhow, I should go crawl into bed with the most beautiful soul that a person could know, and see if I can get my feet warmed up. I’ve got a long day of travelling and feeding the corporate machines.

For now.

Birdman

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.

Feb 07

Ponytails Turn Me On

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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.

Aug 26

Saturday Night’s All Right

mindofbirdman

My cousin Ryan got married on the weekend and I was invited to share in his special day. I should probably say our special day, because for a few reasons I felt really happy and uplifted there.

For one thing, one of my favourite people in the world was at the wedding, and she got to ring the final bell at her chemo clinic on Friday. When I read Steph’s post, I immediately got weepy with tears of happiness for her family. They were kind of like the tears I’m crying now, only more of them and I wasn’t lounging in my underwear.

photo credit - John Bevan

photo credit – John Bevan

Anyone who knows Judy will tell you that she is one of the brightest lights in any room. Her smile is so warm and inviting that you can’t help but want to give her a hug, and if you get the chance, I highly recommend it. She hugs from the heart, that one.

I really don’t remember her when I was a kid, but as soon as I started hanging out in town she made herself known to me. I can’t remember the exact moment, but there was probably a party going on and she most likely said something like ” Oh I know who you are, Chris Bird. I used to live down the street from your mother. I also know your father and if you’re anything like he was, you’d better stay away from my daughters.”

I instantly had a crush on her. Still do, to be quite honest, and I know I’m not the only one. She’s a beautiful soul that’s wrapped in a beautiful shell, and I’m so glad that she’s going to be making the world a better place for a while longer.

Here’s to you, Jude. Keep smiling and we’ll keep smiling with you.

Another reason I was glad to be there was because I got to sit with my Aunt Audrey. She’s my Nana’s sister, and has always been a big part of our lives. We used to go across the field from Nan’s house and through the back gate to visit and swim in their pool. This was before the strip mall and the Sir Sandford building was there, so there were no obstructions in our way. She was always home. I guess we wouldn’t have gone if she wasn’t, but Uncle Mike was usually out somewhere being busy. He was really good at finding things to do. There was the odd time that you’d catch him home at lunch or something and that was always a treat, because he was one of those really loud guys with all kinds of jokes. He would keep me laughing with all of his crazy sayings and facial expressions as he listened to the old bitties talking. He was one of those guys that had a huge heart that matched his voice, so when Ryan and Danielle lit a candle for him during their ceremony, it brought a big smile to my face.

Chips off the old block.

Chips off the old block.

I really miss seeing him around when I go over for a visit or drive by the lot where I’d sometimes find him working on something or the other.

Anyhow, let’s not think about that, because this was a night of happiness and celebration, and Uncle Mike sure wouldn’t want anybody sniffling over him. We should just be thankful that we knew him at all.

Oh, I got to also hang out with two beautiful ladies that landed me in shit with the local liquor authority when they lured me outside for some fresh air. The dude who is in charge of making sure people aren’t drinking out of the venue told us we had to take our drinks back inside. I’m glad he nailed us and not the forty other people that were scattered around the parking lot drinking beer out of their trunks. He had to have seen them, but I suppose we were the easy targets as we were standing at the door, and at least he could feel like he was doing his job.

Normally I’d be pissed at the interruption, but seeing as it didn’t seem to be going anywhere with those two ;), so I welcomed the chance to sit down again and wait for the beautiful bride and groom to return from their photos.

This is almost too cute.

This is almost too cute.

Giddy up!

Giddy up!

Here’s to you, Ryan and Danielle. Thanks for letting me share the night with you and your fine friends and family, and what I hope are many years to come. When you marry your best friend, you have already made it farther than most. Congratulations.

After the wedding, I had to skedaddle over to Mr. and Mrs. Brady’s wedding reception at Shifter’s place. Things were in full swing when I arrived, so I was able to blend seamlessly into the food table where I enjoyed the fruits of many people’s labour.

Now that's a pretty smile.

Would you look at that pretty smile.

I had a great time shooting the shit with Stella and her pole dancing friend, and by the time Dora and Swiper were having a pong off for “favours” (he won), I knew the night had better come to a close soon. I don’t know exactly how many jello shots I had for dessert, but I knew it was too many to drive, so we crashed in the trailer with Jack there to make sure nobody tried to sneak up on us. I guess someone must have tried at around 5:30, because he was sure barking and letting us know that he heard something.

They say that karma’s a bitch, but looking back at all of the friends I’ve made over the years, I’d say that that’s not always the case. Yet.

Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair,

Birdman