Apr 27

The Time Draws Nigh

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Yeah, I can feel it weighing heavy on my heart and mind. It’s the unspoken grief that we can feel as we snuggle in for another night. One of only a few that are left.

For this trip.

I’ll be back in June to start packing everything up and begin our trek to the west. We are hoping to be out there and going by early to mid July, and if things work out the way I hope, I will be driving a school bus that we will later convert to a motor home for some treks up the Alaska Highway, and to meet Skippy and Dancing Queen in the Jasper and Banff areas for some camping and shenanigans.

There are some pretty neat conversions that I’ve found online so far. I might need to learn to weld and do carpentry though. It looks like those are some pretty handy skills when it comes to building an rv.

But enough of that happy shit. Now is the time to mourn.

I have to leave in a little over a week and I really don’t want to. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things, when it seems like I’ve just got into my groove here. I have just gotten used to the feeling of Mrs. Birdman’s warmth and energy in the bed at night, and between her and Blue, I have relearned how to sleep in three square feet of mattress.

How can I go back to having a whole bed to myself?

I’ll also have to get used to the taste of frozen boxed food and pizza again, because I’m sure it will be 85% of my diet. Like usual. There will probably be very few home cooked meals between May 5th and the end of June.

Bah, I’m just being pissy. I have a lot to do while I’m out there. I have to get my little truck going.

It works, but I need to put a new carb in it. We should get some good camping out of this baby.

I also have to secure us a place to live and get things ready. In a month and a half. Hopefully while working.

When I write it down, it seems a lot harder than it feels. Maybe I should be more nervous than I am. For whatever reason, I just feel like everything will work out fine. We’ll sell or rent the house here, and we’ll buy or rent a house there. No problem, right? It sounds pretty simple, so let’s hope that it is.

Oh, back to the school bus thing. I found some pretty cool blogs from people who are living their dream in a bus.1)Not like the guy from Into The Wild. Here’s a cool post from one of them. Catching Eddies

I’ll leave you with one of my favourites.

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Not like the guy from Into The Wild.
Apr 15

Well, I Guess I Need Therapy

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Yeah, I know it’s been a while.

More than a year, I think.

I have been very busy with work, and when I did get some time off the last thing I was going to do was write. I had all of the best intentions, but you know how it is. I would rather power watch movies and stuff myself with junk food than actually do something productive.

I digress.

Last night I came to the conclusion that I’m going to need help to deal with my mental issues.

The first of my help was to delete Facebook, yet again, then after I get back out west, I am going to go to the mental health place and see about some form of counselling for depression/rage issues. There is really no need for me to get so angry with people that post shit on Facebook, whether I find it mildly annoying or completely abhorrent.

Last night someone on my Facebook feed posted a political post that I agreed with in principal, but when I started reading the comments, I was filled with this seething anger that is completely inexplicable. I mean, yeah, I know why it makes me angry, but not to that extent. When they responded to my childish, and condescending comment, I quite literally felt like inflicting physical and emotional pain on them.

What the fuck?

It’s not like me to not be able to debate in a cordial manner, but there I was with so many things to say, and only enough control to lash out, because I just realised that some people will never see my point.

Like I said, I can’t explain it, but it was there. I immediately unfriended them and started looking through my phone to figure out how to deactivate Facebook from it. I decided to go upstairs and use the computer to do it, when I saw a message asking about the defriending. I was trying to explain that I was going through some mental troubles and saying that it was a problem that I was going to get help for, but the political debate started again, and I just deactivated. It was seriously the only way that I could keep from exploding.

I tried to calm down and rationalize what was going through my head, but it was just so strong that I couldn’t focus on anything but the negative. That started to get me very frightened. I went to bed and Mrs. Birdman woke up and talked me through it, but it took a while. I could barely get words out of my mouth as fast as my mind was thinking them up, so it must have sounded like I had a speech impediment.

Luckily I have the best possible choice for my wife, and she was able to love me to a place where I could sort out my thoughts and get back to logically assessing the situation. I really am so fortunate to have her, and the rest of my family for support. They make it so easy to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.

So that’s where I am now. If you were going to get a hold of me on Facebook for anything, don’t bother. I’m not there, and if you ever see me back there for anything other than trying to swindle some Movember dollars from you, please kick my ass.

Birdman

P.S. I shut down the Reboot site, so I’m back to swearing on here.

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.

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