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The Sewing Machine

December 29, 2006 @ 09:24

I had an interesting chat with my friend Dan Duran yesterday. He's up in Thunder Bay enjoying the holidays with his in-laws.

During our conversation I asked him how his son Colton was doing. Colton is fine little fella whose company I enjoy during the summer. He's burgeoning trailerite who enjoys everything about the great outdoors - and he also enjoys machines.

When I asked Dan if Colton had received more gifts while he was up in T-Bay, Dan said he had and he was enjoying them very much, so much in fact that he had gotten over the disappointment of not receiving a sewing machine.

That's right, a sewing machine. Colton had placed a sewing machine on the top of his Christmas wish list.

However before you jump to any conclusions and assume Dan may have a challenge on his hands let me explain. Colton wanted a sewing machine because it's a machine with moving parts that interest him. His mom Jackie does a lot of sewing and whenever she uses the machine it fascinates young Colton.

Believe me, he's not a suck or a sissy or confused with his orientation. Not that there's anything wrong with that. He's a young fella with an active mind and I can totally relate to this.
You see, when I was kid about Colton's age, I wanted a doll house. But not because I played with dolls, nothing could have been farther from the truth. I wanted a doll house because it would be the perfect accessory for my toy cars or my dinky toys.

I had tons of them and as a kid whenever I'd see a girl with a doll house I used to think how cool it would be to have one of my cars drive up to a house. Not a "doll" house necessarily, but a house that fit the scale of my cars.

So as you can see I can relate to Colton's request for a sewing machine and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

There is however one difference between his story and mine. I never asked for the doll house.

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Craig Ramsay

December 13, 2006 @ 13:37

It was nice to see the Leafs end their losing streak last night but at the same time I'm concerned for a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Bolts assistant coach Craig Ramsay is a fellow trailerite. Yes, he has a tin palace very close to mine and we "hang out" in the summer.

The Lightning haven't been doing very well lately and there has been some rumblings about the future of head coach John Tortorella - and when the big guy goes, those under him usually follow.

I have mixed feelings on this subject. You don't like to see a guy get fired, but if Ramsay gets the flush, it means he won't have to leave the trailer in mid-August.

He can spend more time with us playing bocce and drinkin' beers at the Tiki Bar... Then again he could end-up with the head coaching job and we'd hardly see him at all.

Category: Friends | Sports

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Love The Guy

August 30, 2006 @ 16:58

We left Ottawa yesterday. But before we left I visited a museum while Delyse did some shopping.

It wasn't the Museum of Civilization or the War Museum or the Art Museum - it was a "radio museum" located out in Napean.

I spent a couple of hours with Peter Griffin. Peter Griffin is Pete of the old Pete and Geets Show. He's a great man with a wealth of stories about Toronto radio.

He was the original morning man at CHUM-FM after it went rock and it was shortly after that when he teamed up with Geets.

In 1980 they made the jump to CFNY. It was actually a re-union. Pete came from CHUM-FM while Geets came from Q-107.

They stayed at NY till 1987 and then Pete headed for Ottawa where he worked part time in radio until he retired a few years ago.

I can't begin to re-hash all the stories that Pete told me yesterday, and it really wouldn't do them any justice. You have to hear them from Pete with his fabulous story telling ability and his infectious laugh.

Here's a man who worked all over North America. If I'm not mistaken he told he worked at 21 radio stations in his first three years. He enjoyed moving around, and that's a good thing because he pretty well had to. Back then you could be fired for anything with no re-course what so ever.

Pete and I sat in a Montana's for over two hours and it was probably the best two hours I've spent in a long time.

I thoroughly enjoyed the seven years I did sports on the Pete and Geets show and in retrospect it provides nothing but warm and wonderful memories.

I know lots of CFNY fans from the 80s frequent this site and I'm glad to report that Pete is alive and kickin' and still laughin' in Ottawa.

He's a beaut.

Category: Friends | Radio

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My Friend Jerrold

August 18, 2006 @ 17:50

The guy standing in front of my Tiki Bar with the fish is my trailer friend Jerry. Jerry Richard.

I call him Jerrod or Jerrold. For no particular reason other than he's the kind of guy you like to dick around with.

Jerrold is one of a kind. He's a generous man with a huge heart. He's also worlds greatest bargain hunter.

Every Saturday morning Jerrold and his wife Jen get up early, hop in the car, and go looking for garage sales and yard sales. It's amazing what they come back with, and what's even more amazing is he never spends more than five bucks.

This year alone he's purchased the following for five bucks. A chain saw (that doesn't cut) A lawn mower (that doesn't work) and a set of golf clubs (that work too well).

We all look forward to Jerrold's return from these shopping trips because we know there will always be a story. A story of how he talked a guy down from six or seven bucks - to five bucks.
Five bucks, five bucks, five bucks. That's our Jerrold. Always five bucks.

Except for one time this season. He went into a Chinese grocery store and bought two strip loins steaks for three bucks. That's right. Two New York strip loin steaks for three bucks.

I'm sure if he had to he would have spent five bucks on these. I'm sure most people would have preferred to spend ten or 15 or even 20 dollars on these. But never one to let a bargain go by, Jerrold grabbed the three dollar strip loin steaks.

He also barbequed the strip loin steaks. But he couldn't eat the strip loins. And you know why he couldn't eat the strip loin steaks?

Because that bloody chain saw doesn't work.

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My 50th

July 11, 2006 @ 18:15

Sunday July 9th marked my 50th birthday. I sit here and a look at that number and I can't believe it.

I honestly don't feel 50, but then again who really knows what 50 feels like. Age is just a number and to tell you the truth, I feel better now than I did five years ago when I was constantly battling back problems.

Age, when you get right down to it, is an attitude and I'd like to think I have the same attitude that I did twenty years ago. I don't feel any different.

Anyway, if there is anything that can keep you young it's with the company you keep, and that's another thing I love about my trailer.

Delyse and I have the greatest group of friends a couple could have - and Saturday night, as a celebration of my 50th, they went wild and made it a memorable one.

We thought our kids were taking us out for dinner. To the Old Bridge Inn in Youngs Point. Reservations were for eight o'clock, and we were running a little behind time when we jumped in the truck and headed out.

But we didn't get far. About seven trailers down, there was a bright orange pylon in the middle of the road. I thought it was odd, but then figured one of the kids might have put it there.

As I approached the pylon, someone stepped out from behind the Collins trailer - our good friends Brian and Karen Collins - the man who stepped out was the resident grandfather of the park, Doug Laird.

I rolled down the window and Doug asked if he could take my car keys.

"Why" I said.

"Because we offer valet parking here at the Lakeside Bistro" he said

It was at that point that Delyse and I noticed the red carpet and burning torches leading up to the Collins deck. And then we realized what as going on.

As a birthday present to me and Delyse.. her 50th was in May.. our friends decided to honour us with a gourmet meal.

As we got out of the truck and walked up the red carpet all our friends appeared, and it was a great feeling.

Mike Kimber was dressed as the maitre'de. Pam Kimber and Karen Collins were dressed as hostesses. And Brian Collins was dressed as the chef.

My daughter Melanie also acted has a hostess, and my son Danny instantly became the bartender.

We were escorted to the Collins screen room where there was a table set for two. It was absolutely beautiful - like any high end restaurant you've ever been to.

We were handed professional looking menus that featured several cocktails, and wines and beers.

The appetizer selection was seafood scallops, delicious breads and a wonderful curried mango salad.

The main course was unbelievable. Brian Collins had caught several pickerel and they were pan fried with a light dusting of flour. It's Brian's specialty, and it was absolutely outstanding.

We also had salmon and cold jerk chicken with sweet potato fries - and for dessert we had Karens famous sex in the pan and Irish Coffee.

While we ate, Erin Abrams played the acoustic guitar in the background. It truly was magical, a wonderful gift and very much appreciated.

But it wasn't over. After dinner we headed to the Tiki Bar to finish off the night. Everyone agreed to be there at midnight, for the official arrival of my birthday.

And once we got there, I got another surprise. My good friends Dan Duran and Bruce Mallory had been busy while we were eating. They had gone up to my place and totally wired the Tiki Bar with switches and outlets.

Not only that, but they had wired something to hang my golden shoes on (the bocce championship shoes) They hung from the Tiki Bar roof and slowly turned like a disco ball. And then they told me to flip another switch, and a spotlight pointed at the shoes. It was unbelievable.

And then the party really kicked in with my good buddy Darren manning the blender making all kinds of delicious drinks that make you feel like shit the next day.

I've got to be honest. I don't like surprise parties, and everybody I know was given strict instructions not to give us a surprise party.

This was a surprise, but it was the perfect surprise. We didn't have to walk into a room full of people… several we haven't seen for years… and go through all those awkward moments. The people who surprised us on Saturday night were the same people I had hung out with all day.

It was fantastic and really made us feel great. There's nothing like having fabulous friends and then having them acknowledge you with such a thoughtful, well planned and memorable event.

Several people played a part in the evening, including some I haven't mentioned.
Like Dan and Tracy, Gerry and Jen, Lisa and Lori, Glen and April, Pete and Sylvia, Darryl and Jen, Sandra and Jackie.

Thank you all…. Ya buggers.

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