Feb 11

So I Was Going Through A Year Of Blog Emails

Yeah, I forgot to add the blog webmail app to my last two phones, so it’s been a while.

There were hundreds of unchecked emails, but only about twenty that I actually cared about. Those were the companies wanting me to write about their shit, or them wanting me to post something they wrote about their shit.

I responded to all of them except the eight that were absolutely a no go.

Of the twelve, one has responded back with affirmation of pure joy, but they were very good at not showing any emotion at all.

Coincidentally, they were the ones that I was most intrigued by. Mostly because of their offer. They were willing to give me a credit on their client’s website if I wrote about the product.

It is a site called Paperless Post.

They do e-cards and that sort of thing.

You can get simple.

Hey, if you’re going to drop a bomb on someone, make it a good one.

But why not go all out? They also have fancy shit.

As I looked around the site, I realised that I had absolutely no use for any of the products at the moment, but didn’t feel right about getting their hopes up and then saying I wasn’t interested.

You also can’t tell someone that you will write something for them and then take months, or most likely years, to actually get around to it. Especially when you command the attention of more than dozens of people.

So I have decided that I will let you all spend my credit frivolously.

That’s right.

Frivolously and with wanton abandon.

  1. Go to Paperless Post and pick out anything from their site, or I can pick something for you. (take a screenshot or get the name)
  2. Compose an email to birdman@changethetopic.com
  3. Send me the info and the email address you want the card sent to.
  4. Wait.
  5. Let me know what you thought of the lavish gift in a reply to the original email. Scale of 1-10 should be fine.
  6. At the end, we will tally up the site and collectively do a review.

They said the credit will be there within the next three days, so when it goes in, I will start the shitshowfestivities.


P.S. Bonus points for creativity.

Feb 03

Back On Day Shift

And it’s about fucking time.

I know I’m getting old, because having to work the afternoon shift totally fucks with my internal clock, and it never used to be this way. For two months every winter I have to go on nights, which isn’t bad, but when you are used to getting up at 4:45 every morning, it’s hard to stay up until after midnight.

Well, for the first few weeks it was. Then you get used to it.

You learn how to take naps, befriend the sleep app, and block out the getting ready for school noises that start at 6:45. You also learn how to wind down after work for a few hours by playing every type of solitaire and jigsaw puzzle app.

Then you switch back to getting up at 4:45, but it lasts for the next ten months, so everything is right again with the world.

That’s another sign that you are getting old.

When I was younger, a good party didn’t end until 5 AM and I had to listen to the old people tell me about how the early morning is the best time of the day. Now I consider 6 AM “sleeping in”.

What the hell happened to my youth?

I’m 46 and whenever I hear there’s a dance at the Community Centre, I hope that Travous doesn’t turn the music up too loud, because we’re only a block away and it might annoy me if I feel the slightest thump of bass.

When did I become a hermit/curmudgeon?

When did I get to the point that a gallon of (actually tasty) moonshine would still be in the house after two years, and a dozen beer could last months?

If Bugsy were out here he’d kick me square in the nuts. Then he’d drink the moonshine, go to the dance, and likely go home with at least one elderly lady.

What happened to this guy?

I suppose it’s inevitable that we all grow up sooner or later, and I guess that to a lot of people I took longer than expected, but I eventually got here. Now my fun is trying to get things to grow, snuggling in for an early bedtime and watching Youtube videos about homesteading. My priorities have changed, and while I don’t miss the old me, I do enjoy going back and reading old posts and looking at old photos. They remind me that I took a journey. It was extremely fun and contained a lot of characters that will always remain in my heart and in my fondest memories, but like all journeys must come to and end.

My new journey is proving to be fun, just with a lot more stability and planning. I’m excited for the future now, where as I used to be excited just for the present.

The way I see it is, as long as there’s still excitement, you might as well keep on living your life.


Jan 16

Well, Another Year With Nothing To Say

I suppose that’s not entirely true. It should probably read:

Well, Another Year With Not Much Said

I have had a lot to say, if the truth be known, I just didn’t get a chance to say it on here.

Or I just didn’t. It’s not like I couldn’t access the internet.

Since simplifying our lives a great deal, we have changed the way we do a lot of things. I have quit working in the oilfield, and after a year or so, have lucked into a year round job with our local, provincial highway maintenance contractor.

It’s a pretty sweet gig.

It’s been many years since I had a steady schedule and actual benefits, let alone a pension plan, plus I get more home time than I’ve had since being unemployed and writing this blog in my underwear after six cups of coffee.

I just haven’t been spending it as online as I used to.

I still have G+ and Twitter, and have enjoyed quite a lot of Reddit, but I mostly just look at things. You know, funny GIFs and cat pics/videos.

Oh yeah, did I mention that we got some cats last winter?

A really caring family had an unexpected litter and set about to finding them homes.

It didn’t start out like most ads to get rid of unwanted kittens. This one was offering to pay for the shots/spays/neuters, give free food and litter/boxes, and if you took the last two, they would come with a free cat condo. They were supposedly very attached, and it was preferable for them to go as a pair.

We don’t have a huge house, and the two dogs were pretty established, so we told the nice folks that we just wanted one kitten. I told them that if they didn’t find a home for both, we would take one of them off their hands.

Later, we got a call saying to stop by and choose the kitten we wanted.

Who’s a good boy?

We got over there and Mrs. Birdman picked up the first tiny, ginger baby and fell in love. It was so little and sweet. I picked up his brother (pronounced “bruvver”), and started my own little cuddlefest.

I then was asked how to know which one to pick. I said to hold on to each of them and pick the one she liked the most. We switched and I started to cuddle the other one, but just for a minute. She then wanted to see both of them at the same time. I turned to look at the mother cat and a different kitten, when I heard Mrs. Birdman say to the man, “Would it be crazy to take them both?”

As I turned, he was saying that it wouldn’t be crazy at all, and that they really loved each other. Then she was looking at me with the happiest tears I have ever seen.

It took a few hours of dogs ramming their heads into the carrier and tiny kittens hissing, but eventually they all got comfy.

So we now have a couple of the coolest cats I have ever met.

When I saw her face, and how the kittens were getting wet from her tears, I couldn’t/wouldn’t dare put my foot down.

We felt wrong taking all of the free veterinary care, so we traded off eggs and soap for the shots and just paid for the neuters. The chickens were producing quite well, and they mentioned going through 3-4 dozen eggs a week, so we figured it was a pretty good compromise.

Pretty close, wouldn’t you say?

When we got them they were almost identical, except one was a touch darker than the other. You couldn’t tell unless they were juxtaposed, so it was mostly a guessing game.

They went through a few name changes:

Darky and Lighty; Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers II and Harry and Voldy were a few of them, but as they got older we changed our minds on how to differentiate them.

They are now known as:

Tubs McGubs and Skins McGinns

Can you guess which one this is?

We kind of attribute Tubs’ name to when he chewed through the light cord as a kitten and then shot down the hall screaming with two weakness-sensing hounds hot on his tail.

Since that day he has never been as active as his brother, or as good at cat things such as leaping or playing red dot. We can’t say for certain it was the cause, but it’s a pretty solid theory.

Now Skins, on the other hand, is a formidable, long specimen.

The little guy found a fanny pack somewhere.

He is a lot more agile than Tubs, but not as strong. I picture them sort of like The Mountain and The Hound from Game of Thrones, especially when Skins came home with a claw stuck in his back that turned into a big abscess. A few poultices, shaving, and some peroxide, and we were back in action, but it was pretty leaky and gross for a few days.

Here is a video of Tubs showing his great strength, and lack of prowess. I mean really, what is he going to catch like that?

We just love these cats, and the fact that they hang out with the dogs, chickens, and the deer that freely roam the neighbourhood. Seriously, they walk around between the deer’s legs and rub up on those docile bitches and the only times I’ve seen them be aggressive towards non-prey is when you try to Bogart the catnip.

Don’t ever Bogart the nip, bro.


P.S. If you didn’t click the red dot link, this is what I’m talking about. Ours is a Frolicat Bolt that we got at the local pet store for $29.99, but this is the same thing if you can’t find one, or just want to help out. The cats love this one, and it has a 15 minute timer so you don’t have to sit there all the time. It’s better if you do, but your arm gets tired after a while. Mrs. Birdman figured out to aim it down the hall for more up the wall action.

May 03

Being A Frog Is Actually Really Cool



So I met up with a couple of my new teammates for a visit and to get some keys and low level gear, because I’m only a level 6 now and I need help.

We went to the Noodle Bowl for some tea and a visit, and to play around with the portal we could reach from our table. When we got there, I was presented with this beauty.

Other than the blue lights, it’s perfect.

In case you don’t recognize this, it is the Anker Powercore 20100 that I have been trying to get you all to buy through my Amazon links, because I am poor. We’ll come back to that later.

Some teams give out buttons and keychains, but these guys went above and beyond! This is the best present a new team member could ask for, and it has secured my froggy friends a good supply of fresh eggs, so that seems like a win-win to me.

Might even give them a Torpedo Omelette Egg™1)Not really a trademark, but it should be.

That’s like a level 8 resonator for your guts.

We had a great chat and were able to get Mrs. Birdman to level 42)Yes, she switched as well, but I’ll let her tell you that story. If she wants too. before the local blue thugs showed up and got the party livened up.

That was actually the second time they showed up, but the first time we were eating dinner at the lookout and didn’t really feel like wasting our meager gear on a futile battle. Instead, we just sat and chuckled at the scare/stealth tactics and finished our two for $10 Whopper meals.

I’m poor, remember? That’s not why we were eating Whopper meals though. We were eating them, because we don’t get fast food very often where we live and Burger King is fairly new to town.

I keep mentioning the poorness, because apparently the blue “leader” keeps bringing up the fact that I’m laid off from work for the summer in open comms. He even stooped so low as to tell a new player that, and to mention that he is saving me some bottles and cans. You know, to help me out in my time of need.

Well, I don’t see how I could ever become that needy, being a truck driver, but I guess it makes him feel better about his own lot in life. Of all the things in this world to find joy in, another person not working seems like it should be at the bottom part of the list, but I could be wrong.

Anyhow, back to our new team of compatriots. We are both really excited about joining up with these guys. We already liked them as people, but it was hard when you can’t talk about certain things because you are always on the outside of plans and schemes. Now we are on the inside and we’re excited to get some actual recon missions going.

In a way, I’m glad that not many of the blue team ever gave me the time of day, because it made switching very easy. There were no feelings of loyalty to old friends and lots for the new one.

Plus, they are really cool people.


P.S. This is the hen that lays the torpedos. And the reason my doctor said I need to exercise and cut out the Whopper meals.

Yes, I’m calling myself portly.

She’s not as fond of me when I don’t have treats.

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Not really a trademark, but it should be.
2. Yes, she switched as well, but I’ll let her tell you that story. If she wants too.
Dec 12


Chapter One – After Birth

The first thing Dean remembered was opening his eyes and feeling the sun’s warmth on his gloopy fur, while noisy things sped quickly by him and his mother. They were big things. Much bigger than him or his mom.

The second thing was his mom licking the rest of the amniotic fluid off of him. Dean didn’t know it was called amniotic fluid, I added that in there, because I do my research. There’s actually a lot of things that Dean doesn’t know, as he is a mule deer. I am just adding them in, because that’s what I do.

He tried to get up on his feet, because he felt it was expected of him. He was nervous about staggering around so close to those whizzing things, but something inside of him said that he had to learn to walk. It took him about three minutes, but he finally stood there on his shaky legs and tried a few steps.

He asked his mom what the giant things were, but she was laying back down and moving her legs around. Something was coming out of her, but it wasn’t afterbirth. Dean watched in horror for what seemed like ten minutes. It looked like a wetter, blacker version of Dean. Dean then realized that he was going to be a brother.

This was amazing news to him. He was going to have someone to learn about life with. Someone to frolic in the meadows and play little pranks on their mom with. Someone to help him track down their dad with. He must be around here somewhere, right?

As Dean watched his mom clean off his new sister, he felt at peace with the world. He couldn’t have been born on a warmer, sunnier day. Life was going to be good; he could feel it.

When his sister was all licked off, and was trying to get moving on her own, Dean watched his mom push out the placenta and then he asked her about the big whizzing things again.

“I don’t know what they are, but they mostly stay on those grey strips of land.” She explained.

“Can they hurt us?” Dean asked.

“Oh yes. I have seen them hurt many deer when they walk out on the grey strips of land. They are very hard to stop.”

“Then why would you give birth to your babies so close to the grey strip of land? That seems dangerous”

“There are many things that hurt us. Some of them, such as coyotes and bears, don’t like coming near the grey strips of land, because they get hurt too. We are very vulnerable at this time of year. I’m weak from giving birth, and you’re weak from just being born.”

Dean thought about it, and figured his mom was most likely right. She was probably two years older than him and had lived this long.

As Dean walked a little, and felt the strength coming into his legs and body, he grinned at his sister wobbling around. He went over and rubbed against her to give her a bit of support. He was glad that she had a big brother to lean on during these hard times and he wondered if he looked that funny when he was learning to walk.

He tried to communicate with her, as he did with their mother, but there wasn’t very much going on behind her glassy eyes. She just stared blankly at him.

Perhaps she just needed some time to adjust to her new life. After all, he was almost fifteen minutes older than her.

“Will she get smarter as she gets older?” Dean asked his mom.

“She might, but judging from the look in her eyes, she didn’t get enough air for her brain to fully develop. I think it happens sometimes with twins. Mine was like that too”

It was right about then that Dean noticed another fawn standing up a short distance away. Wow! there are more of us here. As his mother dozed off a bit, he tried to get the attention of the other deer, but there was a horrible noise beside them. By the time he noticed his sister it was too late. A whizzing thing smashed into her and she went sliding down the grey strip of land.