Aug 06

Who’s A Hep Cat?


Last week I got a message from the World Hepatitis Alliance on a thing called Blogdash. I forgot I had ever signed up for it, but here it was doing the job I had expected it to do a long time ago. Getting me advertisers and people to sponsor posts and all that other sellout shit.

world_hepatitis_day copy

I normally charge $100 for writing a post to hawk someone’s wares, but with these people I couldn’t figure out what it was that they were selling. They wanted me to share a video about hepatitis, so I figured it must be pills or vaccines or something like that. I watched the video and it was strange, but memorable. There was talk about the blue and red pill, so I figured it was a lead in to the site that you could buy them and either prevent or cure that case of Hep B that you caught from a wild weekend at that festival with the Chili Peppers. I see these scare tactics all the time. They show you a bunch of dangers that are unlikely to happen, then BAM, “Here’s how we can help.”

But there was no site. No mention of where you could buy these pills. I asked Kelly what they were selling as I gave my prices.

“There is no product. This is a campaign to raise awareness about Hepatitis. This video was created for this purpose. All information is at the end of the video.”


Huh. I guess I had better rethink my prices. We settled on a greatly reduced rate that would be payable to either our Movember campaign or our Float Your Fanny fund. I don’t like taking money from charities that I believe in, but I figured that it was okay if it went to another good cause. Right?

Then I started to think about how I know nothing, or next to nothing, about hepatitis. I know Pamela Anderson has it, and that’s about it. I asked Kelly for some material to put in, because I wasn’t what you would call “knowledgeable” on the subject. She sent me the info, but because their focus is on the video, it didn’t make a blog post.

This is a tweaked version of what was sent:

The World Hepatitis Alliance is calling for urgent action to address this disease that’s killing as many as HIV/AIDS. They are NOT looking for a donation, it’s just a polite request that you share an important video to help raise awareness of the disease. These are a few facts about hepatitis that.

  • The Global Burden of Disease study showed that viral hepatitis was responsible for almost 1.45 million deaths in 2010, the same as HIV/AIDS and significantly more than TB or Malaria.

  • 500 million people are living with chronic viral hepatitis. Hepatitis B and C are ‘silent’ viruses, because people may experience no symptoms.

  • In 2010 the World Health Organisation openly recognised that viral hepatitis is a major cause for concern by making World Hepatitis Day one of only 7 world health days officially recognised by WHO and all Member States.



I got thinking about how lucky I am that I don’t have to know about this disease, but also how naive I am to think I don’t need to find out.

I started with my trusty Wikipedia and found out how you can get hepatitis.

Almost any way you can think of. I had always thought you had to get a tattoo from that shady guy working out of a rubbermaid tote behind the old tannery, but that’s not the case at all. You can get it from eating, drinking, breathing, or thinking about sharing needles with someone who masturbated to the Pam Anderson/Tommy Lee video.

That doesn’t mean that you will get it, but you can, so it’s best to be careful. Go to and read up on this filthy disease. What’s it going to hurt?

I caught you knockin’ at my cellar door, I love you, baby, can I have some more,


Jul 22

You Only Live Once

mindofbirdmanYou might as well do it right. Right?

After a long, muggy week of work, I planned on heading north and doing a bit of work on the camp for the weekend.

He probably can't drive me to Bancroft hospital, so I left the chainsaw at home.

The winter was pretty hard on the old girl, so after a collaborative effort we got a big chunk of the washed out driveway replaced a couple of weeks ago, and then celebrated my sister’s fortieth birthday there last weekend . A bunch of things were noted for repair while we were there, so I nominated myself and Mrs. Birdman to start on it this weekend, before we took the kids up there for a few days

I should consult with my wife before planning things. If I did, I would have learned about the party we were supposed to attend with the girls at her sister’s place.

I should also consult with work about when everybody is going to start harvesting wheat.

So I ended up heading north with Blue, to put some tar down on a bit of flashing, split a bit of wood, and drink a bit of beer (Everything in moderation, right?). I figured I would be lonely without my baby there, but it turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. I needed to get some things ready for when the girls came up for their first time at the cabin without me, and I also needed to clear my head.

I wonder now if that’s why Paul and Jim used to go up by themselves sometimes?


You see for the last few days I’ve been looking at a ton of photos and listening to the same six songs over and over. Great songs, but even better pictures. Pictures of friends, some that I’ve known since I was old enough to know people.

That’s a shitload of beautiful in one spot.

I needed to get away, to just stop and think. No distractions, except maybe the boy needing a face rub or a half deflated volleyball kicked into the woods for him to chase. I got there and opened everything up, tossed out the mice that had unwittingly fallen into the various pails, and then sat down and opened my first of the two beer I had thrown in the cooler with my steak and an ice pack.

I opened the 12V cigarette lighter package that I picked up at NAPA, took it apart, and went over to where the car battery and it’s myriad of wires taunted me. I picked two that headed for the lamp that Paul had made out of an old coal oil lantern he probably found at a yard sale. I spliced the lighter into it and screwed the mounting bracket into the window trim. The girls were going to have a bunch of things that need to be charged and the generator will only be on at night.

I started to think back to when I used to park my ass at Kelly’s almost every night. There was a pretty waitress there that had a smoking ass, and an amazingly dry sense of humour. I knew who she was, but never had a reason to really talk to her. Well, not since I was seven or eight. That’s when her mom and dad brought her and her sisters over to go tobogganing at our house.

Anyhow, I really enjoyed talking to her, maybe more than I liked drinking beer, but that was usually my excuse for going in there. I could tell that she had been raised to not fall for any guy’s bullshit, but had probably heard her fair share of it. She was witty, smart, and strong, but even through her cynical exterior you could tell she had a big heart. Just like her sisters, and her dad, or so I’d heard anyway.

I didn’t really know him well, but I sure knew of him. When they used to come out to the house I wouldn’t have been old enough to care, or appreciate an adult for anything but whether or not they could get me a hot chocolate. Sure he smiled a lot and seemed happy, but they were all drinking in the kitchen and everyone was happy when that happened. I know my parents really liked John and Cathy. My mom always had such nice things to say about them, like what a nice man he was and how perfect they were together. My dad said the same, and Paul always had high praise for him. That probably had a lot to do with his prowess on the ball field, but I know he liked him as a friend as well.

I knew from talking to Becki, that her dad was her model for what a man should be, and that she wasn’t going to settle for less. Same as her sisters from what I know. I know two of their husbands and they are both stand up guys with good senses of humour. You would need them to survive in that family, I’m guessing. From what I’ve heard anyhow, because like I said, I didn’t really know John very well.

After his celebration of life today, I wish I did.

It’s one thing to hear your folks say what a good man someone is, but totally another to be in a room with a few hundred of his friends and family.

You could say it was a titch emotional.

Yeah, that didn't make anyone cry.

Yeah, that didn’t make anyone cry.

I thought I would have gotten all of my tears out after watching the slideshows of him and his beautiful family for a couple of days, but nothing could prepare me for that room. You could feel the hole that he’d left in that small community. You could see it in the tears and hear it in the crackling voices. He touched so many people with his friendship and sheer love of life, that I’m actually quite shocked I didn’t know him better. Those are exactly the kind of people I like to be around. I suppose I had better get out for a visit with some of his girls soon. I’ll probably start at Preston Springs.

I hope I do half as well at helping to raise our girls as John and Cathy did with theirs. Well, I hope I do as well, but that’s a pretty tall order. Luckily there’s four of us to toe that line.

You only live once, John. There’s not a shadow of a doubt that you did it right.

Love is like a dyin’ ember, only memories remain, through the ages I’ll remember, blue eyes cryin’ in the rain,


Jun 27

Therapy Thursday


Hey Birdman,
So here’s a problem. I’m in my forties (yes you’d never tell by my profile pic) and feel I have not yet found that one person who really understands me and what I’m really about. And by that, I don’t necessarily mean a man.

Yummy Mommy


Dear Yummy,

I am not sure if you are lamenting your lack of partner in general, or contemplating a change in sexual orientation to find that perfect someone.  Either way, you find yourself lacking in the one part of life that we all assume will be sorted out by now.  The funny thing is, there are lots and lots of people in the exact same situation.  Many people marry in their 20’s or 30’s thinking they have it all figured out, only to grow and change in a direction opposite of their spouse.  It soon becomes apparent that we are going to have to make major changes in our lives if we are hoping to get what we want and need. Continue reading

Jun 03

First Post Of The Month – You Know What That Means – Free Stuff!


That’s right, it’s the Guardian Bells monthly giveaway. Go to and pick out which bell you would like, then go and comment on here with which one you chose to be eligible to win it. Adam and Krista will then ship you your bell and you’ll be protected. Piece of piss, right? Right!

breastBellIf, like Carole, you enter all the time, but never win a bell, then you might have to go and buy one. I hate to say it, but nobody needs evil road spirits attaching themselves to their vehicle, and if you have to fork out a bit of cash for some peace of mind, then you’ll be doubly protected.*

Anyhow, go do all that stuff and come back here and read about a bit of a family reunion we had this weekend.

Are you back? Good, now I’ll explain a few things.

My uncle has cancer.

Yeah, it really sucks, but so do a lot of things. I’m not here to get a bunch of people saying that they’re sorry and telling me that cancer sucks. I already know that shit.

The reason that I mentioned it was that it brought us together with our cousins that we don’t get to see that often. In fact, one of them hadn’t been seen in over twenty years. Lon and I have gotten together a few times over the years, but really not enough. I didn’t even recognise his son, because he was just a baby the last time I saw him. He’s three now. That’s too long.

Anyhow, we all had a good catching up, and it was a really nice day. I hate that it took a man that I admire more than just about anyone to get sick for us all to get together, but you have to take what you can get I guess. I mean really, isn’t there always something good that comes from a bad situation? Even if it’s just a lesson learned, it’s still something.

The fact of the matter is that people get cancer. They may win the battle, or they may end up on the losing end. It’s just the way it is. The only thing you can really do throughout the process is try to look at the positive side of things. Even when there doesn’t seem to be one. Look harder, it’s there.

Focusing solely on the negative will do nothing but poison your mind and spirit, so what’s the point? It doesn’t make you feel good. It doesn’t help the person that’s fighting this shitty disease. It just gives off bad energy, and no one needs that shit.

So the positive of this was that we got to hang out with some really great folks that we never get to see, and we got to catch up on a lot of old stories that I had forgotten all about. There were adorable kids and some drinking of beer, and a whole lot of me getting labelled as a kid who did whatever he wanted.

I suppose that’s pretty accurate.

Broken hearts and dirty windows, make life difficult to see,


Apr 24

Intense Paranoia


About a week ago I got the flu and it kicked the shit right out of me. I had fevers, cold sweats, aching joints and muscles, and violent coughing fits. It really was dragging me through the mud. I went to the hospital, because my mom told me that I had better get checked out before it turned into pneumonia, and they told me that there was definitely something in my chest, but the airways were open and that I should come back if I get shortness of breath or other complications.

Well, I got the shortness of breath a few days later, and the other complications were a bit more severe than I would have liked, but they weren’t deadly, so that’s good, right? It’s really hard to describe the feeling of despair I had when I was at my worst. It was like I couldn’t control my own thoughts, and every time someone suggested something that either wasn’t true, or wasn’t even possible, my mind started turning it over and trying to figure out ways it could be happening.

For example, I have some Republican friends that are always sharing things to do with conspiracy theories. It’s almost as if it consumes them. I always have a look into them, but come up with my own conclusions, because although I see the possibilities, I just don’t see the probability in them.

Except when I was sick. Then I not only entertained the fact, I sat there with my teeth clenched, waiting for the CIA to take my friends away and shut them up for good. You have no idea how hard it was to not start crying about the inevitable loss of my friends, and the knowing that I did nothing to save them. This feeling was compounded every time I coughed, which was pretty constant throughout the day and night. I don’t know if it had something to do with the feeling of my chest being constricted, or if it was some neurological side effect of my asthma, but either way, it was all I could do to keep from calling them and yelling out, “I KNOW YOU ARE RIGHT! YOU NEED TO HIDE, BECAUSE THEY CAN’T LEAVE LOOSE ENDS LIKE YOU LAYING AROUND. WE WILL FIND YOU A SAFE PLACE HERE IN CANADA. DON’T TELL YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS.”


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