Aug 04

Hello from GLORIOUS BRITISH COLUMBIA!!!

*I STOLE THIS FROM MRS. BIRDMAN’S BLOG POST TODAY*

fromthedesk

Most of you know that our moving date for going out west has come and gone. I’m here to report that we made it, safe and sound. The only casualties were a long-suffering fan on a stand, and 3 out of 4 panes of glass inside our hutch. Not bad, eh?! We headed west exactly one month ago, in a converted school bus that carried the four of us, all of our stuff, our dog and our dreams for a new future. I have been thinking and preparing for the move for the past year, but I couldn’t have guessed how well our journey would go. When we told people we were moving out west in a school bus, we definitely got a lot of strange looks, but it was a fantastic journey. Our friend Dan helped us pick out the most mechanically sound bus we could find, and then we began the process of ripping out the seats and preparing it for our trip. When the seat removal was complete, we had a huge tin can on wheels, ready for our adventure. We began moving our things onto the bus in what can only be described as a real-life game of tetris. There was not much space that went unused, floor to ceiling. Eventually, the bus was packed to the roof, with a retaining wall that separated us from the stuff. We were 4 people and 1 dog on an EPIC CROSS COUNTRY ADVENTURE! The first hour was spent crying. All of us. It was a pretty miserable place for a bit, but after a good bawl, some hugs and some snacks, life seemed cheerier and we were on our way. As we drove, the scenery got more scenic, and we became settled in our spots on the bus. If you’ve ever driven from Ontario to Manitoba, you will nod knowingly when I say that Ontario is a big place. It took DAYS to get out. While we were making our way across our native province, we saw a familiar site in our side mirror.

D’OH!!!!

We drove over 4,000km in that bus, and this was the only time we got pulled over. I think we were both surprised, since we figured we’d be getting pulled over a lot. The officer was very nice, and even though I was very nervous about being stopped, we were found to be in compliance with all vehicular laws governing Cool Bus operation. Woo Hoo! Score one for the weary travelers. He gave us a souvenir of his visit. 🙂

Officer Friendly leaves his autograph

While we traveled, we were on the hunt for any ‘Giant Stuff’ for my sister-in-law Katie, who loves all giant fruits, furniture and animals she encounters. We were not disappointed. Here’s a selection of just a few of the giant offerings. Not included are the giant snowman, groundhog, UFO, and other assorted things that didn’t make the cut.

There’s a LOT of weird, giant stuff out there…

There were a few provinces to get to after we finally made it out of Ontario. Manitoba was one of my faves, probably because I drove all day through it. I loved being the pilot on the Cool Bus. There was one small domestic that threatened to break out during my time at the wheel, but after I promised not to enter any more curves at breakneck speed (his opinion!) we were back on track. My basic impression of the provinces were that Ontario was huge, Manitoba was flat, and BC was a welcome sign to get to after 5 days.

Been there. 🙂

At night we were treated to endless sunsets of blue, pink, purple and orange. The windows of the bus allowed a huge, technicolor display that kept us impressed, province by province. I spent most of my time in one of the two remaining seats on the bus, so I could take advantage of the scenery. If you get a chance to cross the country in a motor vehicle, I do hope it’s a cool bus, with the kind of spectacular views that I saw.

Just one of the beautiful nights on the Cool Bus

Just one of the beautiful nights on the Cool Bus

I snuck this one in here, but fellow Ingress players will appreciate the milestone I reached on our last day of travel… #vivelaresistance

Us at Kakabeka Falls, Thunder Bay Ontario <3

We made a lot of memories. The kids were amazing. They didn’t complain about the drive, or the vagabond lifestyle. We had a life-changing, family-bonding experience. I could never explain what happened to us as we moved across the provinces, but it was pretty great. Eventually we landed in beautiful HUDSON’S HOPE, BC!

It’s really, really beautiful here.

Our home is warm and cozy, and our yard is absolutely gorgeous. We have a large covered porch that runs along most of the side of the house. Our bus even fit in our driveway! After several weeks of cleaning, unpacking and sorting, we are finally home.   I really like it here. It felt like home as soon as we arrived. I’m really, really happy.         If you want to keep in touch, you can find me on Instagram ( missclicks ). Or you can email. Or text. Or send an old fashioned letter. Or hop on a plane and visit. I’ll pick you up at the airport. Cheers from glorious BC! Gerri

Jun 21

2.5 Days

birdmandesk

It’s been a long time since I’ve woke up this happy.

Well, except for almost pissing the bed and then smacking my head on the door jamb as I stumbleran to the toilet.1)No more drinking two cans of club soda at 2 AM and “stumbleran” can be a word, you just need to use it enough.

Perhaps I should say that it’s been a long time since I was this happy, a few minutes after I’ve woke up. That’s a little more accurate.

On my way back to bed, I noticed the light blinking on my phone. I checked, and there were three text messages on there. One from each of my girls. The first one was exciting, because it contained this.

mufgI got one last night during a hardcore hacking session, and was very pleased to see that my sweet baby got one too. It won’t mean much to most of you, but any Ingress players should be a little envious of us right now.

Imagine my joy at this, and then reading the texts from the girls wishing me a happy Father’s Day and telling me that they love me and miss me.

I’m still crying.

I really had no idea that being a stepfather could be so fulfilling, emotionally.

In a few days, I will be flying home for Liv’s graduation, and to pack my family up for what is to be the greatest adventure of our lives, thus far. It will be filled with every kind of feeling that you can imagine, and I look forward to most of them, but especially the ones like I’m having now.

Those are the ones where I feel truly loved. I really don’t think that there could ever be a more complete feeling of worth as when you are really loved. I’ve had it all of my life, from my mom, and I’m pretty sure from my sisters 😉 , but I think that finding and marrying my one true love solidified it for me.

She didn’t have to love me.

Neither did her daughters.

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Courtesy of the fantastic Erin Campbell Photography (905) 372-7435

But they did, and I am forever grateful for that.

Happy Father’s Day to me, and to all of the other dads out there that get an immense feeling of pride and satisfaction when they think of their family. It’s probably the only reason that I’m not a crazy, eight dog owning hermit in central New Brunswick right now.2)Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. No more drinking two cans of club soda at 2 AM and “stumbleran” can be a word, you just need to use it enough.
2. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Jun 14

When Is It Okay?

Birdman

Last night I finished my long day of Ingress and met some of the players for a bite to eat and a drink. While I was there, I heard a guy allude to wanting a certain sex act with our server.

Loud, and to the server. It made me feel a bit shocked and embarrassed.

That’s not cool, right? I mean flirting is one thing, but to loudly exclaim about what you would like them to do with their genitals is completely inappropriate.

Hint: These were mentioned.

Hint: These were mentioned.

I’m right, aren’t I? I like to always be right. It gives me a holier than thou feeling.

Now, does it make a difference if it’s two gay men?

I am legitimately asking a question, because I have seen it on several occasions, and I wonder if it’s a different protocol when it’s guy on guy.

Do you remember the time I shamelessly plugged an old post about flirting that reminded me of this?1)That’s right now.

There was another time that I was driving taxi, and a man with two drunk, middle aged women got in the cab. He started talking about getting me out of my shirt, and then reached up over the seat and started rubbing my chest. I grabbed his hand, twisting his wrist back and maybe making him squeal a bit. Partly because he startled me, but mostly because he was wildly inappropriate and invading my space.

Him and his cackling hens started calling me a hillbilly gay basher, and a piece of shit homophobe, and when I tried to explain that it would be no different than if they were driving and some dude that they don’t find attractive did that to them, there would be charges laid, but the one chick said that there was no way she would ever stoop so low as to be a cab driver. Anyhow, they wouldn’t shut up or listen, so I kicked their drunk asses out on the curb.

Luckily for them, it was pretty close to a bar, so it was kind of a bonus. Free cab ride, and they got their excitement for the night. I should have had my wits about me and drove them to Precious Corners or something.  At least then I would have got a little satisfaction from the deal.

I’m not painting gay men with the same brush2)unless they’re into it and there’s a cool sawbuck in it for me, because the overbearing, lecherous ones are a very small percentage. I just find it odd that people don’t seem to be as offended when a man openly does something to another man that may or may not be welcome. For all I know, it’s a globally accepted practice, and I’m crazy to think that the same courtesies should be offered to everyone, no matter who they are.3)Excluding the Welsh, of course

So what are your thoughts on it? If you are gay, would this offend you, or would it be a thing where it depends on the circumstances? If you are straight, please go out and do some field research for me. Remember to take precautions for your safety.4)mainly condoms, a panic button, and some lube

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. That’s right now.
2. unless they’re into it and there’s a cool sawbuck in it for me
3. Excluding the Welsh, of course
4. mainly condoms, a panic button, and some lube
May 19

I Love Hay Day, And I Don’t Care Who Knows It

Can't you almost feel the soil between your fingers?

Can’t you almost feel the soil between your fingers?

Yeah, that’s right. I love a farming game, and I’m not ashamed of it. It brightens up my days.

It also gives me hope for my career as a farmer.

I can’t wait for the day that I can grow crops, raise livestock, and mine my own land. It will allow me to create artisan goods that I can then sell at my roadside stand and command premium prices. Serious prices. Check it out.

Muffins are fucking easy to make.

Muffins are fucking easy to make, and that isn’t even a really nice coal and iron bracelet. I’ll be rich!

You just find the duct tape, paint, and other shit in trunks and tool boxes, or somebody gives it to you for selling them a bunch of your overpriced junk. You then sell it for fifty times what it’s worth. It’s fucking insane in the membrane.

People always ask me why I would want to be a farmer. I usually just stare back at them in disbelief and show them my garden.

See that in the top right corner? Diamonds and gold, bitches.

See that in the top right corner? Diamonds and gold, bitches. Farm on.

In case you need it translated, I’ll give you a little glimpse at what we’re talking about here.

Yeah, I really can sell a three pack of olives for $82. Half a cacao pod for  $86? All fucking day, bud.

Yeah, I really can sell a three pack of olives for $82. Half a cacao pod for $86? All fucking day, buddy.

I’m probably going to need a greenhouse for some of this stuff, only because I think that some of it might need longer than the 45 day growing season that we have, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to afford one after I sell a bunch of strawberries at $50 a piece. Booyah, motherfuckers. Getting paid like Tyson. I’m going to be making it rain at the Pro Hardware when I’m picking up the stakes for my over abundant tomato plants.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just in it for the money; that’s just a bonus. I’m also in it for the satisfaction of seeing an odd array of people happy after shopping in my town. They are just strolling about and buying locally sourced products in a quaint setting; it just warms my heart.

If you really go out of your way to help them, they will reward you with things that are sometimes priceless. Like a bolt.

Woo hoo! Now I can finish upgrading my barn. Thanks, pretty lady.

Woo hoo! Now I can finish upgrading my barn. Thanks, pretty lady.

Another great thing about farming is how willing the local kids are to help you succeed. Take Tom for instance.

What I want are some marker stakes, Tom.  Can you get me some? Of course you can't, you simple freak.

What I want are some marker stakes, Tom. Can you get me some? Of course you can’t, you simple freak.

He will run and find you all kinds of things. Not the things you want the most, but for nine diamonds a day, he sure makes your life easier.

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Doesn’t he look like he should be playing Dueling Banjos?

I know that $1087 looks like a lot of money for nine lollipops, but I can turn them around easily for over three grand. It’s all organic sugar and colouring.

Anyhow, as fun as Hay Day is for me, the best part is that my sister is in my neighbourhood too. So is Alice, but she never talks to us in chat, so we think that she’s an asshole.1)I’m just guessing that we both do. We love to help each other out, and it’s really nice to be able to shoot the shit with her when we end up on at the same time.

When I got home at Easter, our other sister and Mrs. Birdman, in a fit of jealousy, started calling us farm nerds, because we were doing some insider trading at the table. They called themselves Rebel Nerds, obviously because they were upset at not being invited to our neighbourhood, and then they teased us relentlessly.

It was like water off a duck’s back with us, as we are emotionally secure in our Hay Day bliss, but I did secretly want to hear them beg to be let in.

On Easter morning, after hearing about how the rebel nerds were all chummy and shit, I sent an Easter card to celebrate the death walk of old Jebus.

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That sealed it for us being the coolest nerd team in the family, and it also made us remember to feed our cows.

Birdman

P.S. If you’re active on Hay Day and like the derby, come and look us up. Here’s where to find us.

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Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. I’m just guessing that we both do.
May 18

Working On My Shit

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I got back out here on Tuesday night, and went to work for a couple of days, but have had the last few off. The days off, were really busy, but also good to keep my mind off of being alone again. Today, I am taking some time to relax in my underwear and catch up on shit.

My own shit.

Johnny got his BBQ fixed up, so I’m going to head over there in a bit and eat some food. I might possibly drink a cocktail or three, if he allows me to sleep on his couch or finds me a ride home. His place is cleaner, and it has better snacks, so I hope it’s the couch that he chooses.

Yesterday, I went down to look at the house we are buying when the girls get out here. It’s as cool and homey as I remembered it, and brought back a lot of great memories. It was a safe place during a lot of my gloomier days. I think that’s why I like it and Hudson’s Hope so much. It’s where I went to escape some shitty times. Aaron and Lannie, and then the boys after they came along, always made me feel better, and still do.

(Update: I didn’t finish this before going for a delicious dinner of steak, asparagus, beer, and new potatoes. The post from here on out is today.)

As the big move draws near, I find myself getting very emotional, because it’s really happening. My dreams of off grid living are getting their start.

I know it’s not going to be immediate, but the dream is alive and growing, and I got my subscription to Small Farm Canada when I was home. My first issue was waiting for me when I got here, and I’ve read it cover to cover, twice. I get to the point of weeping tears of joy, when I read this magazine, and I always have, as I dream of our Dexter cattle, farm fresh eggs, and crop rotations.

I know that it’s not for everyone, but I have become so incensed with the way our world has changed that I found myself getting more and more depressed as I thought about it.

Until I met Mrs. Birdman.

She encouraged me, even though she wasn’t on board with my ideas from the start. She would give me little pushes when she could see me losing sight of my dream, even if it was just sharing an article about alternative homes, talking about growing the ingredients for her favourite salsa, or mentioning that having eggs from our own chickens will be a nice addition.

It all helped. Whether she knew it or not.

Now I can’t get it out of my head, which is good. It’s a lot better dream than the crazy one I had last night. Meat dreams are insane.

Birdman