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 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)

Mar 19

So You Want To Be Popular?

Birdman Living with a couple of pre-teen girls makes me privy to a lot of topics that I had completely forgotten about.

One of these things is the desire of young people to be popular.

Now, we all know that this isn’t a new thing*, but it does seem to be happening at a much younger age now. I would estimate a full two grades younger around here; maybe more in an urban setting.

* Remember these two?
Listen, I've got this whole high school thing psyched out.

Listen, I’ve got this whole high school thing psyched out.

 Needless to say, I have watched the whole series. Add that to my experience of wanting to be popular myself, and you get a chance to learn from my, and other’s, mistakes.
School is a tough racket, but I think I have a few tidbits of advice to help you kids make it to adulthood with your sense of self intact.

1. Be nice to people.

That’s it. Just be nice to people. Whether they can help you in any way or not, treat them with kindness and respect, until a time comes that they don’t deserve it. Don’t assume that because someone doesn’t “fit in” with the people that you consider cool, that those people aren’t worth your friendship. They usually are.

I say “usually”, because some people are mean, and it doesn’t matter what you do. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be kind to them too, I’m just saying that I don’t expect you to go out of your way. That doesn’t mean you can treat them poorly though. There is a reason that they are angry, and it’s probably because their life isn’t as charmed as yours is.

While you think you have it tough when you don’t get all of the things that your friends have, some kids only get to look forward to abuse and cruelty when they get home. Consider that before you take any actions toward them. They probably have enough crap to deal with after school.

2. Always stand up for what you think is right.

Throughout your life you will see injustice firsthand. Don’t be party to it, and don’t ignore it, just because it “isn’t your problem”. Remember: a fat lip or a bloody nose only hurts for a short while, but your memories can haunt you for a lifetime. If you see something that needs to be stopped; stop it. You will feel proud of yourself, and you might even get a cool scar to show your kids when they ask about the time you saved Suzanne’s* mom from a bunch of bullies.

* It will probably be something like Trinzy’s mom, but I keep dreaming of names staying quasi-normal for a few years.

3. Conduct yourself with honour and integrity.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

― Mark Twain

I bet Mark Twain would have been a great friend to have.

I bet Mark Twain would have been a great friend to have.

Take it from me, lying and being sneaky will bring you nothing but grief and poor sleep. When I was young, I used to lie all the time. I thought it worked out well for me.

It didn’t.

Sure, you might get away with it for a while, but in the end you’ll be in a confession booth or therapist’s chair, and you’ll probably melt someone’s mind with the fury in which you unleash your guilt. This isn’t healthy for anyone, so if you feel like being dishonest about something; choose your words wisely. They can come back to bite you twice as hard if they aren’t true.

4. Listen to others, but think for yourself.

Some of this stuff I practiced from an early age, but most of it I have adopted after seeing that it was much better than the way I was doing it. I really wish I had listened to my folks and my heart instead of people who weren’t going to matter in the end. Always consider the source when getting advice on anything. Your heart will tell you what to do, and as long as you aren’t evil, it is probably pretty close to correct.

I guess that’s about it for now. If you follow these, and a whole bunch of other rules, you will find that as you get older, you will never be without friends that are as true to as you are to them.

No matter where you go.

Someone I’ll always laugh with, even at my worst I’m best with you,

Birdman

Feb 20

I’m All Fired Up

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

Remember a few weeks ago when I went to Winnipeg for a blog conference? It was the shizz. I started to tell you about it, but got sidetracked by a bunch of stuff, like the new blog, going to camp, and The Savvy’s birthday party.

What the conference did was got me writing and thinking again. Not so much here, but I’m going to try and split my time up between the two blogs. Now that Aiming Low has been suspended, I will have a bit more time for my own thing.

Yeah, Anissa has been sick since December or something, and she wants to get healthy and spend time with her family. How selfish. Nah, I don’t blame her at all, but I’m still a little bit sad about it. I enjoyed having a deadline, as strange as that sounds, and I’ll miss all of the Google group firings and tomfoolery. If it hadn’t been for my AL posts, I wouldn’t have written anything for a couple of months.

Yipes!

That’s why I needed to go to the Peg. I knew months before I went, that I was going to start a new blog, but that was the kick in the arse that I needed. I had forgotten how exciting blogging was when I first started.

Researching, typing, finding photos, reading, correcting, and re-reading for hours, and then you get to hit that “Publish” button.

It doesn't looks as ominous as it used to.

It doesn’t looks as ominous as it used to.

And you wait.

Will they like it? Will anyone even read it? How many people will be offended by the “C” word? I hope they share it. They probably won’t, but I still hope they will.

These are the things that go through my head, and then I go to bed. When I wake up, I’m sharing it around and checking the stats (today’s post took the lead by 3). As much as I feel foolish admitting it, it really is a rush.

For me. Probably not for you.

On Change The Topic, I rarely ever look at the stats anymore. I will if I write a post that I really put a lot into, but that has been less and less lately. I still need the old girl, but things have changed.

I think it’s like my mom’s Swiss steak, it always makes me feel good, but Reboot is like sitting down to a whole bunch of shared plates at our favourite Thai restaurant. It’s an assortment of exciting flavours, and because Harry doesn’t hear as well as he used to, it’s a crap shoot as to whether you will get your basil beef in any sort of mild form.

If you know me, you know that I’m not always mild. It doesn’t make me a bad person.

My Point

I just wanted to let you all know what is going on in my world. If you care.

Oh, I’m in a way better camp now. It’s the Wonowon Lodge. If you end up working in the area, this is way better than the Super 96. Just a heads up.

Speaking of camps, we have a reviewer who is going to be submitting reviews of camps that he has been to. He’s sort of like Smarty Pantaloons, but I don’t believe he’s addicted to any sort of household cleaner. That won’t be here, if he writes like he talks.

I’m looking forward to coming home in March. I have a urologist appointment to find out why there is blood in my urine. The ultrasound found a cyst, but my doctor said that’s common, and it shouldn’t cause any bleeding.

That’s not why I’m looking forward to it though. I want to go to this.

It's going to be SAH-WEET!!!

It’s going to be SAH-WEET!!! Click the link above, or contact someone to get your tickets.

I can’t even imagine what kind of shenanigans there will be. I won’t have had any libations since the 8th of February, so I should be in fine form. I hope that some of you will come out to this and get your party on with me. I probably need to flush my system for the urologist on the next Tuesday and I might need help holding the funnel.

Alright. I guess that’s it. If you want to check out the new blog, it’s at www.rebootcommonsense.com, but I am warning you now. It is right full of swearing and possibly some anger. It’s oilfield swearing, too. Not your run of the mill cussing going on over there.

Jenny, don’t change your number, 867-5309 867-5309 867-5309 867-5309,

Birdman

Dec 18

Where Did We Go Wrong?

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

A good friend posted a status on Facebook about the changes to school safety and restrictions since we were teenagers. It was more a question about us as a society, but mentioned how he was allowed to make a crossbow in shop class, and also transport it to and from school on the bus. He alludes to the fact that this would not fly in today’s world, and he wants to know what the hell happened to us to cause such a huge shift, and how we can reverse it.

Fair enough right?

When I was in high school, a kid from another school in town was making a meat tenderizing hammer in shop class. While he was minding his business at his locker, another kid started teasing him about who knows what. Turns out this was one too many teasings, because he clocked the asshole in the eye with the hammer he had just made.

Maybe not exactly like this one.

Maybe not exactly like it, but it was metal.

Is that the right way to handle a bully? Probably not, but it would sure get the point across. To me, anyhow.

Did it stop the other guy from teasing him again? Probably not; that guy was a fucking douchebag. I assume he still is, but I’d like to think that he’s changed.

Now the guy that did the hitting and I had some pretty good fights over the years. Probably because of me being mouthy, but I think it was more like neither of us took shit from people, including each other.

It was always hit and miss with us. I can’t even count the amount of scuffles we had, but I don’t remember one time that we told on each other. I remember after one fight; he smashed my window with his fist and I had to sit in the principal’s office the next day and tell everyone that I thought a bunch of kids were throwing snowballs and that one must have had a rock in it. I had to do this while sitting beside him; both of our faces and knuckles probably cut and bruised.

It never even occurred to me to throw him under the proverbial bus.

I guess it’s possible that it was him, or a bunch of guys like him, that brought about heightened school security and the beginning of humanity’s demise, but I doubt it.

The guy who got hit, on the other hand, was a spoiled brat. He acted like he was better than everyone else and was quite vocal about it. I really believe that he thought he could do no wrong. Even as a young adult he was a rotten prick.

One night, I was on a friendly date, (that means she wouldn’t have sex with me) and we went into an establishment owned by his family. He was drunk and obnoxious, as usual, and proceeded to sit at our table and start hitting on the girl I was with. When he saw the grimace on my face, he asked her what she was doing with an asshole like me.

I took offence to this, as I was wont to do back then, and told him to step outside. As we were on our way out to the beatdown, I was stopped by three older gentlemen who explained that they were regulars there, and that I should just leave him alone. They told me he was drunk, and it wasn’t his fault that he was being a complete dick.

I was pretty sure I could take any of them, one on one, but they made it clear that it wouldn’t be going down like that, so I allowed the waitress to put the drunken fuck in a cab and get him out of there. He didn’t lose his job, and was probably clapped on the back by his friends for putting that “skid” in his place. Probably as they stood around drinking Molson Brador and lighting their hash oil doobies with five dollar bills.

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Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The problem was that this guy’s family never seemed to punish him for his behaviour. There were never any ramifications for his actions, for some reason. If there had been, I think things would have been much different, but you have to remember that it’s not just him. There are millions of people out there that think they can talk to people like they are somehow less deserving of respect for some reason. It might be their looks, their financial situation, their ancestry, or their intelligence. No matter what it is, they have the right to live their life without fear of being bullied. Unless they are Irish or something, then all bets are off.

Another thing that was mentioned in a comment was that the reason for the lack of morality in the world was the lack of God. I assume the person meant the Christian god, but I may have misread that.

As you may know, I don’t care what someone believes in, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, and it isn’t pushed on others by way of the public school system or other secular places and events. Well, unless all religions are going to be taught equally, but what are the chances that will happen?

As for morality being linked with Christianity, or any religion, more than Atheism or Agnosticism? That’s bullshit, and anyone who knows non-believers and faithful alike, knows this. There is good and bad in every religion, race, country, and person. You should believe in whatever makes you feel good, and not because your family, friends, or a charismatic stranger says you should. Study up on everything and make an educated choice. Don’t ever feel that if you choose one or the other, that you will be more or less righteous. It just doesn’t work that way.

You are who you are. That doesn’t mean that you can’t better yourself, but it does mean that if you want the peace and love, you can have it. As much as you want to strive for, if you go about it the right way. It also means that you can go the other way if you want. It’s totally up to you.

I guess the question is whether you want to ruin people’s lives or enrich them?

Make the right choice for you, and for the love of whatever you believe in, pay attention to your kids. They need it more than you think.

Birdman