Archive for May, 2009


Rowr!! Rowr!! Brownie Update…

May 31, 2009

I called home around 10:30, checking in with Lynda to see how the evening  had gone. The Guide leaders were just settling the girls into their tents.  The kids had been arriving one-by-one as I was leaving to come to work around 6. Their leader quickly got them into the process of putting up their own tents before getting into any of the fun stuff. Good thing cuz a short time later a cold front swept in bringing high winds and thunderstorms. I was sitting in a meeting hall with our guys and listening to the rain beating on the roof & thunder clapping, hoping that the storm wasn’t angled over toward our place. No such luck.

 Lynda said she’d never seen a storm come up so quick and fierce in all the time we’ve lived there. They whisked the kids inside through the basement patio doors while the adults ran around in the rain trying to prevent the tents from taking off into the next county. The lot of them got drenched to the ass. Once back inside and semi dry they got the girls decorating their flip-flop sandals, then gorged on some sort of Smores sandwiches and hot chocolate. Mmmmm…. lotsa chocolate.  Then they sat around and sang songs. They had to pass on building a fire as it was getting a little late once the storm had passed. The girls are after all just 7 & 8 years old.

Freedom completely freaks out whenever she hears any loud bang – a collision say, or fireworks and yes, thunder. Apparently a couple of the girls had taken a real shine to her and they petted and talked her through the storm. They oughta get a badge for that, I think.

As I was getting off the phone I wished Lynda an uneventful night – she was pooped and looking forward to a sound sleep. Rotsa ruck, honey.


Stumbling Along

May 31, 2009

A couple of questions re: WordPress ‘mechanics’.

1) About comments / commentors: Once a comment has been made by someone for the first time and that comment has been approved by me it seems that any subsequent comments are automatically ‘approved’ and are posted in real-time without the need for my approval. True?

2) I have my links set up to show a preview of the site when you hover the cursor over the blog name. Is there a reason that it isn’t necessarily the latest post that gets previewed? Or does it show the last post I viewed there?

Any input?? If anything more occurs to me I’m not too shy to ask again for help.

I feel I’m slowly getting the hang of things around WP but think I really ought to take a course (or invest some time in watching their tutorials). Yeah, good idea Norm.


– points, pointed, points-to-ponder…

May 30, 2009

– sister Linda flew out today on a two week holiday. 1 week in Wales with friends; 1 week touring around the Dublin area. I’ll be doing regular drop-ins on Mom; checking up.

– older brother Dave is in town for the weekend to visit Mom. lord, give her patience.

– later on today we play host to about a dozen Brownies – Lynda’s workmate’s Girl Guide troop. tents, campfire, singalongs, ghost stories…. sure wish i didn’t have to work.

– monday our older dog Freedom goes under the knife to repair tendon damage to one of her hind legs. 6 – 12 weeks until she’s back to normal, barring problems.

– my home A.A. group put on the in-house meeting here at the centre tonight. Bob was supposed to chair it but got a sudden case of nerves and asked me to step in – no problem. good meeting.

– i’ve been experiencing another cycle of my type of seizures (‘auras’) lately. they don’t engender a lot of creativity – annoying. i really ought to stop doing shift work.

– daughter Sarah enjoyed her b’day celebration wednesday – they had a bunch of friends over for a bbq dinner. i’m hoping she and her family will be able to visit this summer.

– son Russ & family will be visiting in early july. I finally get to meet my 10 month old g’daughter Madison. woo-hoo!!

– i’ve enjoyed receiving a couple of emails from blog friends lately. always happy to hear from you folks & exchange news. keep ’em coming.

-here’s a video link to a clip from the animated film ‘the point’ (1971)


Tagged – 7 Deadly Sins – Lie To Me

May 29, 2009

Amuirin tagged me with this meme that has been making the rounds. Most of the folks I would tag have already done it (with some pretty amusing results) so I won’t tag anyone – but I’m happy to play along.

Here is how it usually works though just in case you want to pick up the meme: Respond to each question about the 7 deadly sins by lying to me….. then tag 7 others.

What is your biggest contribution to the world?

Remember when drum solos were all the rage at rock concerts? Yup, I don’t normally brag on that but for once I’ll own up to it. The reason for them…. I came to realize that during long concerts there was a need for a break where all the guys could get into the groove and their dates could count on a good 10 minutes for a quick pee, a smoke and to brush their long tresses without missing their favourite song. No harm, no foul. Once I’d done it at a few shows I didn’t have a hard time convincing other drummers because everyone wants their moment in the sun. Now, bass solos are another matter entirely and I refuse to accept any responsibility for them whatsoever, amen.

Oh, what do you call a guy who likes to hang out with groups of musicians??  Answer: A drummer….. (Rimshot)

What do your coworkers have that you wish was yours?

Well, George’s Rolls Royce is pretty damned fine. Oops, shit! I was supposed to be lying, wasn’t I? I’m lying, honestly. I am.

What did you eat last night?

A piece of sky…. that bit next to where Venus rises each morning. You’ll notice a couple of small stars are missing if you look closely.

What really lights your fire?

Full contact, free-style ballroom dancing. A small audience, big dance floor, a spotlight following, judges…..

What is the last thing that really pissed you off?

A street performing mime who wouldn’t get out of my way until I threw some money in his jar. I hope there was no video set-up there – it could be used as evidence if it ever comes to trial. The stunned look on his face was worth the $2 and aggravation though. Faked him right out of his make-up.

Name something you hoard and keep from others:

(                                                 ) That would be telling, silly.

What’s the laziest thing you ever did?

There was the time I woke up with warm urine soaked sheets clinging to me. My first thought was, ‘no need to get up and go to the can now, is there?’. As I rolled over and went back to sleep my last thought was, ‘Lord, I hope it’s my pee….. zzzz’. 

Go on now – tag someone and lie to me!!!


Missing Children

May 28, 2009

** Update – If you’ve seen this before please see addendum below – thanks**

Most of us are fortunate enough that we never know this sort of loss  and ongoing anguish over unanswered questions-

Seeing as how I was unable to leave a comment at Mystery’s blog – tech glitch – I’ll put up an updated version of an appropriate song. Music obviously plays a huge part in her life. Thanks Lea for your post and photo of Owen at a young age.

**Addendum – I likely shouldn’t have posted this in it’s original form without some explanation or perspective added. Mea culpa – it was getting toward the end of my shift and those expressions just weren’t forthcoming at the time.

As a parent, and now a grandparent, Mystery’s subject and experience completely nail one of my biggest fears. That fear being that one of my children or grandchildren should be suddenly absent from my life whether through a disappearance like her adult son’s, via an accident or act of violence.

Our media in the Greater Toronto area has been rife with occurances just like Mystery’s Owen these last couple of weeks. Young adults who are in the midst of living busy lives and who simply disappear…. no clues, no trail, no word, no contact. Gone! I’m quite sure I wouldn’t handle a situation like that well if it involved one of my loved ones.

On a similar tack – an ongoing story in the southern part of this province is the abduction and murder of 8 year old Tori Stafford of Woodstock, ON. Police chose not to issue an ‘Amber Alert’ the day she disappeared; instead treating it as a missing person case. Apparently not all the criteria were met in order for that alert to be issued and many fear this call cost young Tori her life. There is an on-line petition circulating which I signed last night that aims to get changes made to that legislation . It was 6 weeks before police laid murder charges and there has been an intensive search conducted for the last week trying to find her remains. Witnessing her parents anguish on TV has been hard to bear.

In any case both Mystery and Lea’s posts moved me and caused me to reflect on how I would  react in tragic circumstance and also the effect of what I’ve been seeing in the news lately. God bless everyone who has been through this sort of loss.


Tinkering and Tweaking

May 28, 2009

Tinker’s damn! There is an art project I’m supposed to be working on but I keep getting distracted. You know – catching up reading blogmates offerings, writing and replying to emails, and fiddling with settings here on WordPress.

Tonight I’ve edited some links, added a category wordcloud and a Site Meter (which won’t give as many details as back on Blogspot by the looks of things).

Here’s a highly inventive video produced for Taj Mahal’s version of Cab Calloway’s ‘Reefer Man’. I heard it played while driving to work tonight and thought it was really good.

But really – Don’t Do Drugs!!


May 27th, 1981…..

May 27, 2009
Sarahs self portrait
Sarah’s self portrait

…… is one of the happiest days of my life because that is when my daughter Sarah was born.

6:12 a.m.; 9 lb., 1 0z.; a fiesty girl with a great set of lungs.
She took this shot on the way home from a conference in Atlanta, GA this past weekend. Winding down….


May 26, 2009

Here’s a real conglomeration that should keep me out of mischief for awhile…..


Listening to – courtesy of the local library:

Neil Young’s latest offering ‘Chrome Dreams’ (2009). Classic Neil with mostly strong material including ‘Ordinary People’; an 18 minute epic that includes a shout-out to ‘alcoholics doing it one day at a time’. Thanks Neil… how you doin’?

Ryan Adams – ‘Love Is Hell – Part 2’. (2003)

The Black Crowes – ‘Warpaint’. (2008) I’m not completely up on their recent history but I know they had some tumultuous years and had been back playing the bar scene and small halls. By the sounds of this they’ve been busy honing their craft and are back in fine form cranking out some fine music.

J.J. Cale – ‘Roll On’ (2009)

Sam Roberts – ‘Chemical City’ (2005)

Diana Krall – ‘The Girl In The Other Room’ (2004) A well crafted and produced album with strong song choices. (With a nice dedication to her hubby – Elvis Costello.)


I’m sorely tempted to take the night off work Saturday. Tell you why. Lynda was asked by an old friend at work if she thought our yard would hold 4 8-man tents. ‘Yeah, I suppose…. and lots of room to spare. Why?’ Her friend is active as a Girl Guide leader and was looking for a place to take her troop of girls for a night. Come Saturday we’ll have 11 girls between the ages of 7 and 11 camped out in our yard along with 4 leaders. Last night I drafted up a letter to our neighbours asking for a little co-operation as we’d like to have a fire for them to roast some marshmallows around. This evening Lynda went around dropping the letters off and talking to some of the neighbours; it’s looking good!!! I think it’d be a hoot to be around for that.


After an all too brief 4 or 5 hours sleep today I was up for the day. Checking out the day and the yard over coffee I figured it was a perfect one for cutting the grass again. Clear sunny skies, low humidity, temps in the low 70’s and a light breeze. I threw on a pair of shorts & my steel toed runners and started in. As I wasn’t 100% with it due to lack of sleep it took on a meditative quality as I did circuits of the yard. It was a little like walking my own personal labryrinth. (Is it just me or do illustrations of the one at Chartres look like a schematic of the brain?) Lynda arrived home just as I was wrapping up the electric cord… ‘Sure! Come home once the heavy lifting is all done…’ “Oh, I’d rather be working around the yard than put in the day I just had!” ‘You better come sit and I’ll get you a glass of wine so you can tell me about it.’ It was nice to get some sun on this Casper white body of mine.


Been following Elvis Costello’s music and interview show ‘Spectacle’?? I wasn’t overly impressed with the last two episodes; they featured Rufus Wainwright and Tony Bennett. In Wainwright’s case his vocals were unintelligible and the interview focused too much on his past problems with substance and his sexual orientation. At the end of the show there was a duet with his mother Kate McGarrigle (of the McGarrigle Sisters) that came off flat and awkward. The Bennett episode did include some great moments but they had little to do with his singing. His accompanist, Lee Musiker, is a brilliant pianist who had a subtle, deft touch on the keys. In what appeared to be an unarranged TV moment Bennett invited Elvis’ wife Diana Krall onstage to play piano and sing with him…. that was pretty cool to see. Bennett is also an accomplished life-long painter and a half dozen of his canvases were shown. One of New York’s Central Park impressed the hell out of me with his sense of light and colour. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be posted in his on-line gallery.)






I haven’t mentioned cousin BJ lately – we’ve been emailing back & forth still. I had promised her a couple of weeks ago that should I win a lottery that she would be at the Leonard Cohen concert the other night in London, ON. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the 6/49 $50 millon payout. Fortunately for BJ her kids had bought tickets for BJ and their father, C. I had a few emails from her today; one describing the concert, the lyric from a fave song – ‘Anthem’, and another with a link to a review of the concert. 

Lucky, lucky gal to have such good kids.


Helter-skelter, hodge podge, olio, mash-up…………. whatever you may call it, that’s it.


Poem Pre-empted

May 25, 2009

Over the course of the last few days a series of words have been floating about my brain, bouncing around gathering other ‘like-weighted’ words and forming up nicely. I wondered where they had come from and where they might lead me; thought I might be able to get them down in some form of prose. Things were starting to gel; chunky images, atmosphere, strings of sound and meaning…. Then, out of nowhere, the cadence suddenly reminded me of….

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?

(If you’d care to know more about it, click here)[courtesy of Wikipedia]

As I was growing up, every couple of years when my Dad was feeling good, kidding around and feeling goofy he would race through 2 or 3  recitations of what I had always thought was a nonsense ditty. It wasn’t until a couple of years before he died that he slowed it down one time and I realized it contained actual words. I was stunned after having heard it for over 40 years that it made some sort of sense.

Anyway….. now that I have this running through my mind I’m completely distracted and there won’t be another attempt at poetry tonight. Maybe for a long time. It’s as bad as when you get an ear-worm – one of those songs that sticks in your head all day.


Seasonal Contrast

May 22, 2009
yard & green-belt

yard & green-belt

This time of year everything is greening up and filling in (although I picked this shot up from a year or two ago). I’m loving the warmth, to say the least. For a zoomed in shot of the evergreens at the very left of this shot from just a few short months ago, see below.



This has been a very busy week full of yardwork, keeping appointments, running myself and my Mom around town on errands and tending to the 4 pets. Lynda and I have a full slate planned for tomorrow so I’ll be back but perhaps not until I make it back to work Sunday night.

Local news has been full of the GM truck plant closure here a week ago putting 2,600 out of work. Thankfully we still have the Canadian GM head office and the car plant still in operation. GM and the CAW stayed at the bargaining table long past the gov’t imposed deadline in an effort to reduce wage costs. Apparently they have come to an agreement which I imagine will have to be voted on by union membership. If it comes into play the promised gov’t subsidy money will be able to start flowing provided GM isn’t forced into bankruptcy. The local economy is in a shambles as everyone holds their collective breath waiting to see what happens.