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There's A Buzz In The Kawarthas

August 25, 2008 @ 10:50

I got up this morning and had to drive up Hwy. 28 to a little place called Big Cedar where I buy my fresh drinking water.

It's a neat little general store and if you look up above the counter there's an autographed picture of Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies. Apparently, Ed often stops in at Big Cedar on his way to his cottage near Bancroft.

There were a few people in the store this morning and that was the subject at the cash register. Ed had crashed his plane but he had survived.

Rumour has it that Eddie has created quite the place up there. He bought a huge piece of land with a real sweet cottage on it and then to protect his privacy, he bought a whole pile of land directly across the lake so nobody else could build on it.

On the top of a nearby hill he built a landing strip for his plane. For those times when he wants to avoid weekend traffic and just fly to his cottage.

However yesterday, he wasn't using the landing strip, he was using the pontoons on his plane when he attempted to take off from Lake Baptiste and things went terribly wrong.

He couldn't get enough altitude and the plan plunged into the woods. Miraculously Ed, his wife Natalie and two friends not only survived, they walked away, and from all accounts they had no business doing that. The plane is a wreck.

It gets a guy like me, who doesn't like heights or small planes, why a guy worth millions of dollars, who's got the whole freakin' world by the tail, would want to fly around on an engine surrounded by a thin hunk of metal.

I often think the same way about Humble, except for the millions of dollars part. I've been up with Howard a couple of times in a plane, and although I full confidence in his ability, I've got to be honest, they weren't the most enjoyable times of my life.

There was something weird about sitting a studio with a guy telling fart jokes and the radio and then having that same guy pilot the plane you were flying in. It's one of those situations where you almost "don't" want to know the guy who's flying.

It was hard to get my head around having the pilot as the same guy who got on the phone with his friend "Stinky" only to make weird childish noises that made them laugh like school kids.

Although it was completely unfair and Howard handled the plane flawlessly, it still made things somewhat unsettling for someone like me who doesn't like to be too far above the earth at any given moment unless I'm in a huge jet with a couple of Gravol in me.

Anyway, all this stuff went through my mind this morning while I stood in Big Cedar and heard bits and pieces of the story about Ed Robertson crashing his plane a few miles north of where I was standing.

Eddie had a close call yesterday, and you just shudder when you think his wife was with him and what that could have meant to their children if the worst had happened.

If I'm Ed Robertson, from now on I forget about the airplanes and put up with the traffic on the 401. (yes I know, statistics probably dictate you're safer in a plane, but I like to be touching the ground.)

There was another interesting angle to this story, and one I'm sure that drives Steven Page crazy.

Every newspaper account of yesterday's incident that I've read on line today have mentioned Page's arrest for cocaine possession earlier this summer.

Category: Show Biz | Stuff

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For Kids Who Were Born Before 1980's

August 22, 2008 @ 07:51

I received the e-mail from neighbour John, who got it from his father. A good read for today's parents who like to bubble-wrap their kids.

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because..

WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........

WE HAD FRIENDS AND WE WENT OUTSIDE AND FOUND THEM!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned

HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! AND YOU ARE ONE OF THEM!

CONGRATULATIONS!

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The Flying Weed Whacker

August 19, 2008 @ 11:00

I got caught in one of those moments yesterday. Not like George Costanza in the bathroom with the Cosmopolitan, but it was almost as embarrassing.

Let me preface this by saying I'm married to the world's most well adjusted, calm, cool and collected woman alive. She's got endless patience and wouldn't say shit if her mouth was full of it.

I'm somewhat the opposite and tend to let little things get the better of me sometimes.

Like yesterday when I was attempting to use my weed whacker again. It's useless. Delyse bought it for me a couple of years ago, and she bought it because I asked for it.

My Weed Eater had screwed up for the one hundredth time and against my better judgment I asked for another gas powered small engine jobby even though I knew these things are more trouble than they're worth.

I should have asked for the cordless re-chargable but I thought by the time I asked for a new gas machine they would have ironed out all the wrinkles and the tendency for these things to stall all the time or refuse to start for no goddamn reason.

I was wrong.

Delyse bought something called a Homelite and although it worked properly for maybe the first two or three times, since then its been a bitch bastard pain the ass.

It always starts OK when its cold, and it actually whacks a few weeds before something comes over it and it refuses to continue.

It stalls, and then you have to choke it before it even pretends it wants to start. And then if it does start, as soon as you take the choke off it stalls. And if for some reason it doesn't stall at that point, as soon as you give it some gas it definitely stalls.

Imagine being in the middle of yard work and having to deal with this. It got so bad at one point yesterday that I was continuously yanking the cord, and if it ran for a brief few seconds I would run over to some grass and try to cut it before it stalled again.

It was brutal, frustrating and extremely aggravating. So I did it. I threw it across the yard.

But I have to admit, just before I threw it, it crossed my mind that somebody might be watching me. But it was early in the morning and there was nobody else outside so I went with the law of averages and flung the son of a bitch halfway across the yard where it landed with a bang against the bottom of the fence.

And then almost instantly I heard a tapping. Like someone was tapping on a window. So I looked up, and there in the bedroom window was Delyse giving me a sarcastic thumbs-up.

In my world, this was trouble. Delyse is the most patient and tolerant person in the world, but when it comes to my impatience, she has no patience or tolerance.

I sheepishly nodded as she left the window with a look of disgust on her face.

I finished doing a few things around the yard and then prepared myself to go into the house and face the music. But I decided to be pro-active. Rather than wait for her to bring it up, I decided to bound into the house and explain myself.

"Dol" I said. (That's what I call her) "What I did was stupid, silly and immature. There's no excuse for it and it would have been awful if someone else had seen it. Like one of neighbour John's kids or Danny's girlfriend (who I'm just getting to know). But I had to do it hon, that piece of crap has been haunting me for two years now. It was the wrong thing to do and solved nothing..... but I'll tell ya something, it felt great!"

What happened at that point surprised me. She laughed. My little darlin' laughed.

Turns out she has witnessed what I've been going through with that hunk of junk over the past couple of years and she understood. She understood the extent of my frustration and how it could push me to the point of an outburst.

Too many times she saw me pulling on that cord to the point of exhaustion only to have it sputter and spit in my face. She understood.

Today I'm going to crush it with the back wheels of my Pathfinder.

Category: Family | Stuff

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Peterborough Eats

August 12, 2008 @ 09:48

Hey, if you're ever in the Peterborough are, or you frequent the area like I do, you should know about it's wealth of restaurants.

I don't have the data to back it up, but I'll step out and say it, Peterborough has the best restaurants per capita in the country. For a city of less than 70 thousand people, they sure have a lot of great places to eat.

I'm sure it has something to do with being a tourist destination and the face that it's also a University town, but whatever the reason, Peterborough has a ton of good restaurants and neat coffee shops and the list is growing monthly.

If you're up their you can check out "Hot Belly Mama's" on George Street. Try their Roti.

For cool salads and fantastic mussels try St Verona's Café and Tap Bar at the corner of Hunter and Water Streets. It's a Belgium theme with close to a hundred beers on tap.

Also on Hunter St. you'll find Nicolini's. An Italian restaurant that usually requires a reservation it's so popular. I once had their blue steak over pasta with gorgonzola sauce and it made my eyes roll back in my head.

For Thai food there's Cosmic Charlie's on Charlotte Street. As good as any in Toronto and a cool atmosphere.

Speaking of Thai, if you want some great chicken wings with a beer, check out Girdy's on Hunter Street. Their thai wings are fabulous.

And if you want to venture outside of Peterborough for a great dining experience, try "The Old Bridge Inn" in Youngs Point, about 20 minutes north on Hwy 28.
They have a short menu, but it's fabulous.

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Reminiscing

August 8, 2008 @ 12:12

My sweet darlin' had to work this week so I was up at the tin palace all alone, until yesterday. In the late afternoon, my buddy Doug arrived.

Doug is my longest and dearest friend. We've been friends since we were five years old, and we've been through a lot together, including many great times on the lake where my trailer sits.

As kids our parents rented lots at a nearby park and we spent every summer in the Kawarthas gathering memories which have led to great stories.

A good portion of yesterday was spent looking up the lake and prefacing most of what we said with "do you remember that time?"

It's actually bitter sweet because as much as fun as it is to remember, it's a bummer to realize how the years have flown by.

Doug and I talked about things that happened 40 years ago, as if they happened last week.

Spin the clock ahead by the much and we'll probably be like Scruff Connors isn't.


Category: Friends | Stuff

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No Brad Pitt

August 7, 2008 @ 15:09

OK, let's get this out of the way right away. You can't judge a person by their looks, and it's downright unfair to connect anyone to anything just because in your own mind "they look the part."

But let's be honest, when you saw the picture of this guy this morning, were you at all surprised that he's been charged with abduction and sexually assaulting a 12 year old girl.

I'd like to have a nickel for every time it was said by a water cooler this morning. That this guy looks the part.

That doesn't mean he did it. Even though he's got a history of weird behaviour, and his own mother said this afternoon that they should lock him up and throw away the key, it doesn't mean just because he looks like he does, that he's guilty of anything but being an odd looking fellow.

I struggled before writing this piece because it just isn't fair, but I couldn't ignore the nagging reality of what is probably being said throughout the country today when people first lay eyes on the photo and then read the charges.

On every level imaginable, it's wrong to make the connection.

But on every level imaginable it's hard not to.

Look at the guy!

By the way, he's been denied bail, which is encouraging considering our pathetic justice system that often doesn't protect our children.

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Their Kind Of Town Chicago Is

August 6, 2008 @ 10:21

As a parent, you want your kids to experience all they can. Why wouldn't you?

Life experience develops character and we all want our kids to be solid citizens don't we?

OK, not all of us. I'm forgetting about the skunks in our society who blast their seed all over the place and then take off with no accountability, but if you read this blog often, you know how I feel about that, so I'll move on.

This past weekend both my kids went to Chicago for Lollapalooza and it made me feel good.

I remember when I was in my early 20's and how enjoyable road trips could be, especially to far away places, and considering that Chicago is a nine hour drive, it qualifies as a far-away place.

Not only that, I think them to experience not only the things that I have, but also things I haven't, and other than a brief weekend jaunt to Chicago back in 1991 for a Blue Jays series, I really haven't experienced Chicago.

Since then I've often said to my wife that we should go there for a long weekend and check-out all the neat stuff they have in Chicago, including Wrigley Field, the Sears Tower and some great food.

It's often been said that Toronto could be the twin city of Chicago. The cities have similar profiles and sit on the waterfront of a Great Lake.

It was one of the first thing my daughter Melanie noticed, but on closer examination she quickly realized how Toronto is failing while Chicago in thriving.

It's hard to believe this because Toronto used to take pride in its cleanliness, but according to Melanie, there's no comparison.

The litter is a minimum, graffiti doesn't seem to be a problem, there are no bums on the streets and she found the general attitude of the people to be a lot nicer.

She also noticed that the Chicago waterfront isn't cluttered with condominiums. The city isn't "cut off" the way it is in Toronto.

My son Danny made the same observations. He fell in love with the city and wants to go because he felt a much different vibe in Chicago, as compared to Toronto. Chicago is on its way "up" while Toronto is heading in the other direction.

I find it sad, because when I was their age, Toronto was a model city and when I compared to most of the cities I visited, my hometown came out on top.

The streets were tidy, the roads were in good shape, there was no graffiti and the subway wasn't a filthy mess.

Toronto was a functional city run the way Chicago is now. As a business. A serious business run by business minded people with rational thought and fiscally responsible decision-making.

While Chicago has improved, Toronto has been pulled into the mud by a socialist city council, led by a delusional maniac.

Toronto is suffering. All you have to do is look around, and then listen to people who travel to other cities and report back.

Toronto is no longer the model that most other North American cities are compared to. It's become trashy, mismanaged experiment for a pack of losers who are ripping it apart.

When I was in my early 20's wherever I traveled I found comfort in the feeling that Toronto was a better place than pretty much everywhere else.

It's not like that any more.

Category: Family | Stuff

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Visit Toronto Mike

August 1, 2008 @ 09:39

I’m going to direct you over to Toronto Mike’s site now, because I don’t want something he posted yesterday to be on my site.

It’s the Obama Song, by an arsohole named Ludacris.

I can’t call him a singer because he doesn’t sing, and I can’t credit him with making music, because he’s a rapper and from this old bastard’s perspective, most rap doesn’t quality as music.

And don’t get me wrong, I like Barrack Obama and I hope he becomes the next president of the United States.

He has distanced himself from this piece of racist garbage, and so he should have.

It’s fascinating how in our society racism is considered a one-way street by so many.

Can you image if anyone endorsed John McCain simply because of his colour?

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The Poop On Several Things

July 29, 2008 @ 11:46

I’ve got to admit, I’m amazed at the lack of juicy issues that have been in the news lately.

It’s been a quiet summer when you think about it. There’s been some gun play in the GTA, but nothing like past years, and the gang activity seems to have thinned out.

Mayor Miller has been rather quiet. He must be taking some time off this summer because; there have been very few puzzling or mind boggling decisions or statements by the man who’s slowly destroying Toronto.

Federally, it’s the same old story. A Liberal leader is attempting to destroy himself, but Ontario won’t stand for it. Canada’s most twisted province prefers to over-look the obvious shortcomings of the Liberals, and instead, dig deep for anything that might make the Conservatives look bad, even if it’s fantasy.

It’s left me scratching my head many days this summer wondering what to write about.

You need issues to sink your teeth into, but there’s been no meat outside of my little world in the Kawartha’s.

Inside my world however, there are have been two issues lately.

A bear and poop.

There’s been a black bear spotted at the garbage dumpster just down the road from us, and we’ve had some trouble in the trailer park this year with having our black water tanks emptied.

The bear, which very few people have actually seen, has most of the women, including my wife freaked out. They feel we’re under the constant threat of being torn apart by a bear, who in reality, would rather eat our garbage than eat our limbs.

Even during the day when we walk near the vicinity of the dumpster, Delyse walks a little closer to me and her head spins like “what’s her name” in the Exorcist.

I keep telling her there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve been coming up to these parts since I was “crappin’ yellow” and never once has anyone been threatened, let alone attacked by a bear.

We used to make special trips up to a dump just to watch them play and eat. Black bears don’t care about us unless we threaten their young, and I don’t think anyone is going to go out of their way to threaten a cub.

“But what about at night” said my sweet.

“Same thing” I said. First of all, chances are the bear will be way more interested in the garbage than he is in us, and if you leave him alone, he isn’t going to do anything.

It’s really a needless worry, especially when you consider that only a select few people have actually seen the thing.

To be honest, I’d love to see the bear. I’d take a few pictures and put them on my website. In fact I’d like to lure him to the Tiki Bar with a shot glass of honey.

Baby come on! That would be a picture!

What I find a lot more threatening in the park right now is full black water tanks.

Black water thanks hold your poop and pee and through a management change this summer, there’s been a problem with emptying these things on a consistent basis.

They’ve been done every week, but it’s been a bit of a “crap” shoot when it comes to the actual timing. This week it was done on Friday night, right at the dinner hour. Several people were just sitting down to a nice meal when the “Poop Wagon” guy was sucking stuff out of their trailer. And believe me, no matter what you do, while the process is taking place, there’s an odour.

My buddy Darren was a nervous wreck on Friday. He was expecting company, yet his holding tank was brim full of chocolately goodness. He was at his wits end wondering what he was going to tell his guests. Luckily, all embarrassment was avoided at the eleventh hour.

Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for my other friend Chris. Her black water tank wasn’t emptied properly and what she thought was an empty tank turned out to be a “still full” tank. How unfortunate that my other friend Danny Bonchek was the first upon the scene and responded to Chris’s distress.

He put a bucket under the valve and cranked it. He created enough room until the next pump out - and let it be known Chris disposed of it in a very environmentally conscious way.

My buddy Bruce had an entirely different problem. His valve was broken, so there was no way of getting the nectar from inside his tank into that of the “excremental engineer.”

He’s in the process of replacing the valve while not having any of his own body waste splash him in the face. He’s a handy guy, but this situation poses a major problem that I hope I never experience.

Amazing eh. I start out saying I have nothing to write about but I end up with his long drawn out story about something you’d probably rather not think about.

Hey, but that’s exactly why I’m so concerned about black water pump outs.

I’m full of shit.

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Let Me Explain

July 28, 2008 @ 10:17

I haven’t been writing a lot of things of any depth on my website lately, and the explanation is simple.

I’ve been up north enjoying some time with my wife, and for the most part I’ve considered it a bit of a holiday.

I’ve scoured the newspapers and posted stuff on CanadianThinker.com, but I haven’t really sunk my teeth into anything because to be honest, nothing has really inspired me.

I got mildly pissed off at the Commissioner of the MLS (Major Soccer League) who said he wanted the Argonauts to stay OUT of BMO field.
Of all the nerve, some upstart Mickey Mouse soccer league that probably won’t be around in five years, and this guy is dictating to one of the oldest franchises in North American sport.
That stadium was built with taxpayer money, and if the Argonauts want to eventually play there, they should be able to “bump” TFR or TYF or TDG or whatever they call the soccer team on a days notice.

I was mildly amused by the Loreen Small story. The mother of murdered teenager Jordan Manners, who along with her daughters were shot at last week.
Why is it that more and more I feel a connection somewhere along the line? That there’s way more to Jordans’s murder than meets the eye and the incident last week was just an extension of that.
Again, it’s just a feeling.

I’m fascinated by Stephane Dion.
Incompetent, confused and downright silly, but he still rivals Stephen Harper in national polls thanks to the people of Ontario.
Until Ontario grows up, wakes up and smartens up, this country is in trouble. Ontario has to get over its anti-Conservatism before it’s too late.
We could easily end up with another Liberal government within the year, and that’s scary.

And I’m totally blown away with extended weather forecasts.
I laugh when I go on-line on a Monday and one of the weather sites has posted the forecast for Friday and Saturday.
Ha Ha Ha.
Give it up.

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