May 02

It’s Been Pretty Busy Around Here

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

I haven’t been working in I don’t know how long, but since the weather has been so nice, I have been really busy around the house. I have been writing a bit as well, but mostly on Profane Reviews and Granola Light.

I have wanted to write more on here, but there always seems to be something coming up and fucking with my program. Because I’ve been doing so many little projects, it seems like there’s no time to just blow off some steam and write shit that I feel like writing about.

I shouldn’t say it like that, because I really do love talking about soap, worms, gardening, and now mealworms, but I don’t want to curse over there and scare of the gentle folks. It’s sad, but a lot of people get turned off by crude language, honest opinions, and pictures of big, white dicks.

The review site is good for getting my cuss on, and also for trying to creatively work true stories into the reviews, but it’s pretty limited as far as far as reach goes, plus I can’t afford to buy anything to review right now, so I am relying on past purchases.

That’s great and all, but you’re not going to get a lot of people, looking for a two year old SkilSaw, on Google scanning reviews and then buying through your link on Amazon.

I did find that some people do end up on my Swiss Army knife review from Google though. I guess things like that don’t change models every year or so. Why mess with a good thing?

Things are looking up around here. The buds and blossoms are in full swing now, the hills are green, except where they got burned, and we can get back to a lot of spots on the river that we couldn’t when the water was so high. Oh yeah, I start a new job today, and it seems like a good one. It’s only temporary until mid-July, and then starts again in October until April, but it sounds like if someone quits or gets canned, I might get on full-time permanent. That would be very sweet.

There is still some trucking involved, but it’s a 40 hour week, and I’m home every night, so I am not going to complain about that. It’s a steady cheque, and a steady home life, which has been hard for me to find in a long time. I almost wondered if it even exists, but a couple of buddies told me they had it, so I guess I’ll take them at their word. As far as I know, they haven’t lied to me yet.

This job has also squashed my plans for going home at least until July, but it would have been really hard to swing it financially without the job, and at least we can still pay the mortgage. If I don’t stay on full-time, I might try to get home in August or late July for a week and see my family and a few friends. A week doesn’t give you much time, but it’s something, and until Gerri and I can get coordinating vacations, it will have to do.

Anyhow, if you are wondering what we have been up to, it’s mostly over on Granola Light, but it won’t seem very exciting to a lot of you. That’s okay, everyone can’t be interested in everything, although I have been finding a lot of stuff to be interested in. One of them has always been off-grid living, and we met a couple from Havelock that are living here off the grid, and they invited us out to their place to check it out and have a visit. It’s a ways out in the bush, but hopefully one day that we both have off will come around and we can take a good tour.

Take care, and keep on truckin’

Apr 18

Blue Fucked Off, Again

birdmandesk

Blue.

This is one of the mornings since he has been sleeping in his crate. He takes every chance to sneak onto a pillow.

This is one of the mornings since he has been sleeping in his crate. He takes every chance to sneak onto a pillow in his old bed.

You might remember him from such posts as Today’s The Day, I Love That Boy, or Blue And The Wolf.

Now he’s going to be known for this one. Hopefully it won’t be his last appearance.

Yesterday, we decided to do a bit of van camping, kind of like when we went to the hot springs. The girls were at their dad’s, so we were going to make some soap, pack up the van, and head up to the ski hill and then to Bullhead Mountain.

Then I got pretty sick and we decided to just go up to Bullhead, let the dogs go for a good run, and cook some burgers on an open fire. After that we were going to come home because my guts were hurting and I wanted to be in my own bed. I’m getting quite old.

We let them out at around the one km mark and they chased the van. By two km they had passed it. We got ahead of them while they pissed on a tree and they were starting to lag a bit by three, so we let them in the van and drove another little bit to the gravel pit that we decided would be a good stopping point. They were pretty beat, so we figured they wouldn’t stray too far from camp.

Then Blue fucked off.

This was on the hot springs trip. Dover was Yang or 9 depending on how your mind works.

This was on the hot springs trip. Dover was Yang or 9 depending on how your mind works.

They both were meandering along the side of the mountain, and Dover was sticking close to the camp on account of food.

Blue, not so much.

As we were getting the fire going, we heard the baying start.

“Oh shit, Blue’s after something.” I said. I was hoping it was a squirrel up a tree or something simple like that.

We just kind of shrugged our shoulders and finished splitting the kindling and the old punky shit that was lying around the pit. He wasn’t too far away.

Then his baying got fainter. A bit further up the mountain. Oh well, he has already had a good run, so he should be back before too long. We were going to be a few more hours anyhow.

And then the wind started to pick up. A lot. The baying was moving back closer to us. We walked to the edge and watched for him, yelling his name. I caught a quick glimpse of him, nose to the ground, moving through the edge of the trees, far below. He wasn’t really interested in what we were saying.

After a while it sounded like he had crossed the road. And then about an hour later, he crossed back again. I think. The wind was just howling through the valley by now. We could hear him every so often, but couldn’t tell where he was. You couldn’t even hear the echoes anymore. We weighed his cushion down with rocks on the edges and left him some food and water, then we went home. I was going to leave my jacket, but Gerri figured he would like his outside bed better. She’s usually right.

Blue

The arrows are where we know he went. The circle is where he might be now, if someone didn’t pick him up.

We then put Dover, some food, and the bed in the van and headed back out there for the night. We wouldn’t be able to sleep thinking he was waiting out there for us. When we got there, he was nowhere to be seen. The food and water was untouched, so we parked and honked for a bit. Then we dozed on and off until morning, got up, had a pee in nature (Dover’s was on Blue’s bed.), and headed back to get the quad to see if we could find him on some of the old logging trails.

We looked up and down every trail that we could find, calling and whistling, but there was nothing. I’m just going to assume that he made it to one of the roads and someone picked him up. He’ll climb into anyone’s vehicle, so there would be no problem there. We will just wait until tomorrow morning and put out a PSA and hope that someone calls the district with his tag number. He’s been gone for 24 hours, so if a cougar didn’t get him, or he didn’t run off a cliff, I’m guessing someone has him.

This is when he was a bus driver on our journey west.

This is when he was a bus driver on our journey west.

I have had some pretty crazy scenarios running through my head since we lost him. I have envisioned him bringing down a deer and then having to fight of a couple of coyotes for his kill. He was pretty beat up, but was able to drag himself back to his pad and wait for us to come and get him. In another, he was chasing an elk, but so was a cougar. As he was gaining on the old cow, the cougar got him from behind. He was so excited about the hunt that he didn’t feel the two inch canines1)Shouldn’t they be felines? sink into the back of his neck.

He didn’t make it home from that one.

Another was where he ran back down the road and saw the guy loading his quad onto his trailer and just jumped in with him. That’s the one I am hoping for.

It doesn’t matter which one I think of, I get really sad and happy. Happy to have known him, and sad to think of never seeing him again. Next to my wife, he is my best friend out here. His emotional neediness is endearing, and his love is unconditional.

Unless there’s hunting. If there’s hunting, you’re shit out of luck in the friend department.

Birdman


*Note: We got a call last night from Blue’s rescuer. We went and picked him up and other than being gimbled up, he seems okay. Thirsty, tired, and hungry, but his tail still wags and he doesn’t have any puncture wounds in his neck, so that’s awesome. I guess he was found on the cushion that we left. 🙂

Thank you so much, James. You saved us another restless night.

BTW, I already had the post mostly written, so I decided to finish it. Call me cheap if you want, but it’s hard to get the motivation to write, so I wasn’t wasting it.

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Shouldn’t they be felines?
Apr 03

Wasn’t That A Party

Originally posted in June of 2012, I was going through and adding Amazon links to posts as people read them and this one came up today. By far my favourite night, and revisiting it has made me feel all happy and shit.

Well, we showed you the first batch of blissful photos from the wedding. Now you will get to see a bunch from the not so glamourous, but much more fun wedding dance. If you see yourself here, but don’t want your photo posted, please go to the Harass Us page and let us know. We can put a black circle over anyone’s head like it’s nobody’s business. I can’t imagine that anyone would have a problem, because like Gadget says: “If you go drinking with a photographer, and a guy with a blog, you have to expect to see yourself online.”

Totally accurate, and quite logical for a guy who wrote the C word on my arm at new years.

So now, without further ado, I give you some of the party pics.

I believe that Beaner is pretending to be a pterodactyl and Mrs. B is whatever the hell they eat.

Continue reading

Mar 12

Sumofus.org And All The Rapist Pilots At WestJet

Birdman

You can install the sarcasm font on that title and most of my words in this post.

Maybe.

I recently received an email from Emma Pullman at SumOfUs.org. This is how it started:

sumofus01

Holy shit! That’s horrible. Up to dozens of women? This guy sounds like a monster.

It’s no secret that WestJet is my favourite airline, so this was especially troubling to me.

It continued:

sumofus02

Good for her. Those bastards need to pay. Wait a second. They are literally in the business of safety? I think we need to define what the word “literally” means. I think that they are literally in the business of transportation and serving deliciouscookie tubes with my club soda. I know safety is a part of their business, but it is also a part of every business. A construction company can safely build twelve skyscrapers, but I don’t think you’d say they were in the safety business. Anyhow, I’m nitpicking. Let’s continue with the persecution of the dirty rapists and their protectors.

sumofus03

Cough* Jian Ghomeshi* Cough

That’s right, they are a public company, and they do care what people think. I know from all of the times they responded to my tweets. Maybe that Saretsky guy should step down if he is just allowing up to dozens of women to get raped by this pilot. That’s a horrible person to protect, even if it’s his brother.1)I highly doubt it’s his brother I don’t understand why he’s doing this dastardly deed, because he seems like a great guy, judging from his blurbs in the in-flight magazine.

sumofus04

OMG, they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary already. They are definitely more vulnerable because of that. My friend was celebrating his 20th anniversary and while he was at dinner he caught his wife behind a dumpster with the waiter and a pastry chef that had a neck tattoo. We should attack WestJet now, while they are feeling all emotional and shit.

There is a whole other part of the email containing news and links to external news sources like The Globe and Mail and please send us $3, but that doesn’t matter, does it? I mean that we are thirsty for blood, after reading about this rapey pilot. Right?

Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have a skim through the Globe And Mail story.

Here’s a part that I found interesting:

sumofus05

First of all, NO means NO!

Period.

I am not by any means condoning the pilot’s alleged behaviour, but she should also know to leave a party when the party is over. Especially when the pilot is drunk. Drunk people have poor judgement as a rule, but especially if they are of poor character as well.

Second of all, why only report it to a coworker the following day? Why not call the police, or at least a manager right after it happened? That had to be traumatizing, and would keep you up all night, I’m sure. Wouldn’t you want to immediately have this documented as a criminal act? I know I would, but I’m not a 24 year old woman in a foreign country, so I may be out to lunch on the subject.

sumofus06

Wait a minute. That says “None of the allegations has been proven in court.”

But SumOfUs.org emailed me and said that it did happen. Why would a so called “international consumer watchdog” send out a petition to force the resignation of a company CEO over unproven allegations? That seems completely slanderous and illegal, because there hasn’t even been a court hearing yet.

Don’t get me wrong. If he did these things, I hope he gets to spend a few years with a horny roommate named Big Jim, but whether he did or didn’t do it is not for Emma Pullman at SumOfUs to decide. It is for WestJet, and ultimately, a court of law to exact the judgement and punishment in this case.

As for the CEO of WestJet, I would hope that if it’s true that he knew an employee was raping and assaulting coworkers and then helped to cover it up so that said employee could go on raping and pillaging staff, he will discover a fate that is far worse than losing his cushy job. I’m thinking that maybe Big Jim would have enough love in his heart for two roommates.

Of course, if it turns out that it isn’t true, maybe I’ll start a petition company to force Emma Pullman to resign from SumOfUs.org.

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander, right?

Birdman

P.S. You guys know that this is in no way a question of the accuser’s honesty, right? I’m not trying to make light of sexual assault in any way. I’m just trying to get the point across that until you know something is a fact, that you shouldn’t claim it’s so. Kind of like deities.

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. I highly doubt it’s his brother
Mar 11

Hello, I’m Steve Podborski

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

That’s what I said to my beautiful wife when I I got to the bottom of the hill on Saturday.

This hill.

20160308_141120

Trixie, don’t mess up Aaron’s nice grooming job, and don’t try to eat his lunch.

Without falling.

That’s Williston Lake, and off to the left is the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. They are both pretty huge. The shack at the bottom is the power shed for the tow.

This is our ski hill.

This is from the other side.

This is from the other side of The Dam Run. Pretty clever, huh.

When we moved here, we heard about the volunteer-run ski hill. There is all kinds of stuff to keep yourself occupied in the summer around here, but the winter can get pretty dreary, so we decided to go to the AGM for the ski hill and see if we could help out.

Turns out we could.

Hello, my name is Chris, and I'll be your handle on the bum specialist today.

Hello, my name is Chris, and I’ll be your handle on the bum specialist today.

I know I have mentioned before how much I love this town that we live in, but I feel like I have to sing it’s praises a bit more. I have never lived anywhere with such community spirit and involvement. It’s a place that you just want to help out in. I look around all the time at people putting their heart into projects that benefit the whole community, and it makes me proud and happy to be here.

It’s a lot of responsibility to ensure that your community has a safe, fun place to spend their wintry weekends, so we were glad to be able to help out the amazing group of people that were running this club so smoothly.

Then we didn’t get any snow, and we lost hope. Oh, and Jenny is leaving, so that makes us sad too.

This is the last part of the beginner hill.

This is the last part of the hill that we named Darryl’s Elbow. Get it? I guess I should mention that without Darryl, this would not be here. Any of it.

Then, last week it snowed, and there was much celebration. Darryl, Aaron, and I went up to see a few inches of new powder on the hill, so we tuned up the lift and got it ready to open for the weekend. I was finally going to get to do some work at the hill when it was running. It was pretty spectacular.

This made everything worth it.

This made everything worth it.

At one point, we had seven kids going up the lift at one time, and I nearly wept with happiness. I’m almost crying now as I think about it. It’s hard for me to explain, but I think that being around people that give so much of themselves to a remote community really wears off on me. It’s a pretty amazing feeling when you are around them, and it’s not just the ski club. The town is full of groups that are trying to make a better place for themselves, and for the kids. Hockey, rec badminton, Rod and Gun Club, Book clubs, The Friends of Hudson’s Hope, Curling, and figure skating are a few that come to mind, but there are many more.

That’s pretty phenomenal for a town of around 1000 people that’s an hour from anywhere. I think these folks all deserve a pat on the back and a round of applause for their efforts, because in the end they are what brought us here, and also who make it easy to stay.

Here are a few of them. Notice they don't pose for photos properly. That's because they make the rules, not follow them.

Here are a few of them. Notice they don’t pose for photos properly. That’s because they make the rules, not follow them.

Now back to the title of this post.

At the end of Saturday, I strapped on the first set of skis to touch my feet in twenty years. I took three trips down the hill, and I didn’t fall once. Gerri was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill and told me that I looked like a natural, Steve Podborski was who came to mind. I guess because he was quite relevant the last time I was skiing.

When I first learned to ski, at Camborne Ski Club in the early 80s, I absolutely loved it. It was a little bigger than this is now, but it had the same, small town feel to it. The quiet, electric tow at our hill is much smoother than Kent Harper running the old rope tow in Camborne, but there was a charm to an old vehicle chassis with a makeshift wheel running a huge rope loop up a hill, that you don’t get nowadays. What with all the safety BS that’s around. I remember that if you didn’t grab fast enough, you could easily wear a pair of ski gloves out in a weekend. If you don’t believe me, or even if you do, check out This blog post that I found while researching.

Anyhow, over the next few years, we got a family membership to the Oshawa Ski Club, but I lost my love after Camborne shut down. By the time I hit high school, smoking and drinking took the place of everything else I loved as a kid. Sometimes I blame my dad for making us go all of the time, but in the end I’m sure I would have fell out of love with skiing on my own. Just like I did with hockey.

I'm afraid to go down The Energizer, even though the hydro poles have pads. Maybe next time.

I’m afraid to go down The Energizer, even though the hydro poles have pads. Maybe next time.

I’m falling back in love with it. Thank you, Hudson’s Hope.

Maybe hockey is next year. If I can find some old skates at the thrift store.

Birdman

P.S. Jenny is still leaving, so we are still sad. Our hopes are that she will miss us so much that her heart forces her to come back. At gunpoint, if need be.