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.

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 20

I’m All Fired Up

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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

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