Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category


Nine Times Nothing II

November 23, 2011

Oh, it’s one of those mornings when Milo had me up far before I wanted to be out of bed. Just wanted to snuggle back down into the warmth and catch a few more zzzz’s. What is it they say about best laid plans? Ah yes, they often go awry. Murphy!  Sort of a brain-dead haze in front of the computer catching up on news and posting a couple of pics on Facebook.

Things to do – must get motivated and moving. Murphy!


Looks like the cloud is cupping the sun, doesn’t it?

My Attitude Adjuster

(The image above is the intellectual property of my friend Lea Kelley; all rights and credit for its creation are hers. Her writings can be found here: ) 

Must choose my attitude before I head out into society at large. Clean up; show up; give it a shot.

Sidewalk Chalks

Co-ordinate my colours and put a smile on my face.

My Yoda

Seek wisdom from the ancients. Ssssh…. listen and you will hear.

Okay – I’m ready to face the day. Have a good one!


Parallax Distortion

November 11, 2011

…..deceives what the eye perceives.

During the time I’ve been blogging (just had a peek at the original blog to see that I started in October ’06 ! – 5 years ago) I’ve tried to keep my posts in the tasteful range; not to shock or offend anyone’s sensibilities. I may struggle from time to time with boundary issues but everyone has their own set of peccadilloes, I suppose. Anyway this photo that I’m about to post would be considered strolling up to the edge of said ‘tastefulness’ and having a peek over the side. It makes me laugh, is what it does, because it is SO far from depicting reality…. and I’ve always enjoyed things that trick the eye. So here goes; I hope it gives you a chuckle, too.

Elephant Man

Overlapping shadows from diffuse light sources caused my shadow to look like this. I was walking past and paused wondering, ‘why I was going to this room and what had I planned to do there anyway? and noticed the shadow. Couldn’t resist shooting this image.

So, that’s my Freaky Friday Fhoto. If it gave you a giggle, please say so. If it didn’t… click away to your next favourite blogger. Enjoy your weekend! 



Recent Readings

October 19, 2010

Alrighty then……. (drum roll) here we go. Not sure I have enough time for a lot of description or editorializing or rating what I’ve read during these last few months but we’ll see if I have time at the end for that. Right now I’ll concentrate on getting it down accurately.

First off a couple of books about writing – how to write properly; and the process of it.

– re-read Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” – the sourcebook of choice.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” – wonder of wonders; well written!! (Ha,ha) Very accessible.

A couple from my ‘recommended list which I haven’t tracked down as yet but intend to read as and when I can. Anne Lamott’s “Word by Word”, Lawrence Block’s, “Spider Spin me a Web” and anything I can lay hands on by Natalie Goldberg (esp. “Writing Down to the Bones”). We have a good, well stocked library system but alas, no Natalie to be found.

Carrying on, this next list wouldn’t be here except for the interest generated in me by the two women at red Ravine, ybonesy and QM, who have written extensively about memoir. I used to think it was a fancy name for autobiography and have happily learned the difference. Onward!

“Glass Castles” by Jeanette Walls

“Drinking: a Love Story” by Caroline Knapp

“Liar’s Club: a Memoir” by Mary Karr; it’s sequel “Cherry”, and completing the tryptic “Lit’.

Roseanne Cash’s recently released memoir “Composed”. (Same trip I found her new CD “The List”. Woo-Hoo! Bonus!!)

Neil Peart (drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush) “Traveling Music: Soundtrack to my life and times”.  {Robin – I think you’d like this. It’s not about band tours} I’m currently 100 pages into his previous memoir “Ghost Rider: Traveling the Healing Road” which describes the extended road trip he took following the deaths first of his 19 y.o. daughter, then of his wife 16 months later.

Autobiographies – Biographies – Tributes

Eric Clapton; an autobiography

Michael Moore; a biography by Emily Schultz

Michael Streissguth – “Always Been There; Roseanne Cash, The List & Spirit of Southern Music”

Crystal Zevon – “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: the Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon” – interviews and anecdotes from bandmates, friends, producers, etc compiled in a chronologic fashion. Very interesting.

A tribute to life lessons learned from late husband Hunter S Thompson – “The Gonzo Way” by Anita Thompson.

Farley Mowat’s “Otherwise”.

Next on my list is Micheal J Fox’s “Always Looking Up” which marks 8 years since his first autobiography.

Next section is short and untitled but comes from the fact I needed a spiritual kick-in-the-ass as I recovered from my stepson Craig’s death back in June. Had a wee problem with this ‘power greater than myself’ – anger, resentment, etc – not a good head space. So I picked up one of Joyce Meyer’s many books – ‘The Secret to True Happiness’. No I didn’t expect to find my solutions between the covers of a book but it managed to at least begin the dialogue once again. God and I are on speaking terms again – I try to let him do most of the talking, then act accordingly.

Novels; I haven’t read very many and found a couple which I couldn’t get into lately. I’ll share a few I really enjoyed. First off, one recommended by cousin BJ – “Water For Elephants” by Sara Gruen. Excellent!! She has a just newly released book called “Ape House” which is also getting good reviews (edit: subject is a species of monkey called Bobobos). Another Canadian author is Elizabeth Hay. I really enjoyed both “Student of Weather” and perhaps slightly less “Late Nights on Air”. Great flowing prose, wonderful eye for detail. Hmmm…. another Canuck; a humorist by the name of Arthur Black, author of “Black is the New Green”. I like his satiric take on the everyday. (He works his surname into all his titles.) One novel that broke a lot of rules and that I liked is Reif Larson’s “Selected Works of T S Spivet”.

Is anyone excited about non-fiction?? In Stephen King’s “On Writing” he recommends reading more than you write; read according to your interests; and read great writers as you’re bound to pick up things useful to you for your own expression. Well, one of Canada’s greatest writers – prolific, varied, etc. – is Margaret Atwood. Over the years I’ve read some of her fiction and enjoyed it but I recently borrowed her “Moving Targets: Writing With Intent 1982 – 2004”. It’s a compilation of her essays, book introductions, speeches, reviews…. you name it. I started the book with some trepidation as she can be a sometimes daunting figure to approach. What I found was one of the singularly BEST collections of writing I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Fluid, insightful, compelling… now wonder she’s Canada’s acknowledged ‘Lady of Letters’. She has written poetry, fiction – both in short story and novel, criticism, a couple of series of childrens books, taught at several universities, been writer in residence, etc….. it goes on and on.

Writing about her reminded me of another noted female Cdn author – Alice Munro. Noted short story writer and recipient of awards too numerous to mention… I read one of her collections a few months ago, Selected Stories (?). Highly recommended.

That’s all the time I’ve got right now. I’ll expand on impressions when I get a chance. Funny how I when from a very occasional reader to hard core in such a short time. Reading is a great diversion sometimes but this has also been an interesting and entertaining portion of my life lately.



October 6, 2009

I’m enjoying(?) a little downtime cuz it looks like I wore myself out enough that I’ve picked up a touch of the flu. Chills, a little fever, aches, nausea – lovely! But no rest for the wicked; my boss called to see if I could do one of those 26 hour sleep-over shifts tomorrow into Thursday morning. Sure, John; no problem. I’ll have two admissions to complete before noon and two discharges in the afternoon. Also, the fellow I share my night job with has asked me to cover for him Friday and Saturday night so I’ll be doing 9 nights in a row instead of seven…. arrgghhh! It looks like I had better be extra kind to myself so I don’t get really sick and run down.

Here’s a shot of something I had never seen before – my Mom giving me the ‘finger’. On this day she didn’t want her picture taken and saluted me instead. I love you anyway, Ma.

naughty girl

naughty girl

Oh Mabel – what are we going to do with you?? You’re a bad one.


Feeling Good, Feeling Alright!!

September 17, 2009

cell2 169

This was the view upon arriving home this morning of Venus and the ‘fingernail’ moon snoggling up in the eastern sky just before the dawn. Man, was I ever glad the worknight was over and I could climb immediately into bed. Tuesday I had no sleep – nada, zero – and really struggled to stay awake through last night. Actually, I was head down on the desk for about an hour and a half. It’s amazing really what 6 hours sleep can do for a body and mind. (Now if I can just get two days in a row… wouldn’t that be nice?)

Here is a companion shot to the one I posted last night, taken during the same drive to work. Imagine how good it might look if I was to actually stop the car & get out to shoot it??

cell2 156

I like how at dusk the contours of the underside of the cloud are accented.

The music is here: LINK

shadowcast IV

shadowcast IV

Bonus shot: What do you see Sue?

BTW – 100th post here at Unmerited Gifts. Woot – Hoot!!


What’s Bugging You??

September 2, 2009

It can range from little pests and annoyances right on up to major fears and phobias. Things that make your skin crawl and you shudder.

gnarly winged creature

gnarly winged creature

I spotted this loverly bugger the last week I was on nights resting on the seat of a molded plastic chair. He was 3/4’s the size of my hand with those out-stretched legs. One reason I’m sorta glad summer is winding down is that it’ll spell the end of so many creepy crawlies. One of my pet peeves, especially working nights, is walking into spider webs and having them draped across my face, in my hair and beard. Gack! Stutter and spew!

Last week Lynda decided to take Freedom down into the backyard for the first time since this most recent surgery. It was a nice leisurely stroll until Lynda spotted a good sized black snake threading it’s way through the grass. She found herself in the uncomfortable position of having to remain calm for the dog’s sake, all the while shrieking on the inside. Lynda is positively phobic about snakes and would gladly walk across burning coals than cross paths with a snake. This one was probably a water snake that had roamed the 100 yards or so from the creek running behind the house.

Friday I was out there roaming with the dogs and nosing about the yard when I spotted another one amongst the grapevines and sunning himself atop the fence rail. Knowing how Lynda feels about them I considered whacking him with a shovel and declaring myself the hero… but, one of God’s creatures and all… who am I to take a life, etc., etc. After I took a few shots of him with my cell camera and my digital I brushed him into the long grass over the fence and watched him depart. Looking at an on-line field guide it was probably a Corn snake. Very lightly marked; sandy coloured.

digital - snoozing snake

digital - snoozing snake

cell - another view

cell - another view

When I told Lynda what I’d done she became a raving lunatic, cursing me out and declaring she’d never set foot in the back yard again – why hadn’t I killed it?? So far as I know she’s been good to her word. Lord, she’s ready to list the house! Me, I would have just as soon caught him and put him in a terrarium for a few days.

So, what gives you the willies??


And on the plus side ++++++++ Lately I’ve seen:

– on two occasions – hummingbirds. One checking out our roses; the other zooming over the neighbours house at top speed.

– a crane lifting off from the creek and gaining altitude over the greenbelt. Great lumbering sweeps of his wings getting him aloft.

– one of the largest and most beautiful dragonflies I’ve ever seen. A brilliant, shimmering neon bronze colour.



August 27, 2009

Outside our front door we have a couple of decorative cut crystal baubles hanging from a light. When they catch the sunshine they cast prismatic rainbows all over the place – you just don’t want the beams to hit you in the eye cuz they’re like bloody lasers. Killing time the other day I held one up to the lens of my cell phone camera and here’s what I wound up with.

Ahh, the memories…… reminds me so much of my hallucinogenic indulgence days; LSD, peyote, magic mushrooms, MDA. In case you missed those days this is what it resembled:





wwoooowww, maaann!

wwoooowww, maaann!

Love, peace and groovy-ness people!! Out.


Random Shots

August 18, 2009

I’ve been doing quite a lot of this lately – whipping out my cell phone and snapping whatever is before me.

driving into the dawn

driving into the dawn

One morning on the way home I had to drop something off at my townhouse for a tenant and got this shot as I drove. I think I was still seeing spots before my eyes as I laid myself down to sleep a half hour later.

'smoking is very attractive'

'smoking is very attractive'

Do you suppose a poster sized print of this would support aversion therapy?? Yes, I’m still working up to another quit attempt….. how many months has this been going on now?? Too many.

mulberry tree - obverse view

mulberry tree - obverse view

What do I like about this one? The texture of the bark; the shades of green in the lichen and moss; the negative shapes left by the trunk and branches; the ‘face’ looking left from the right side of the trunk.

woeful whitewashed wall

woeful whitewashed wall

Try saying that 10 times fast… woeful whitewashed wall. Good luck with that. Actually it was Stevo’s post I had in mind when I took this one but as you can see (if you follow the link) his is wonderful in it’s craft and execution. And all I got was a picture of paint peeling off a wall; I’ll blame the lighting…. and equipment… and the angle… and the cropping (lack of). Maybe I’ll go back on a sunny day with a real camera and a tripod and see what I get, ha, ha.


Extreme –

August 17, 2009

– ly unflattering self-portrait.

To start the week on a light note, check this out….

very scary

very scary

In this reflected image an overhead spotlight almost completely flares out my hair, deeply shadows my eye sockets & cheeks and highlights my moustache and beard. Someone really ought to clean that window! … and I know what you’re thinking; ‘God, this guy must get really bored!’ Yes, sometimes I do.

Same night, same window, different view and distance.

lemme out

lemme out

Yup… really, really bored.

What’s new?? Well, last night Lynda and I got out with friends (Janis & Eric) to celebrate Eric’s and my birthdays. Eric’s had just passed; mine comes along later this week. This is one of those big milestone ones for me… as in, some stores and services begin offering ‘senior discounts’ at this age. Oy vey, never thought I’d get this old but it beats the hell out of the alternative.

Our fave restaurant came across once again with excellent food and service. Think prime rib roast beef with lobster or honkin’ big strip loin steaks smothered in Bearnaise sauce with shrimp, lobster and asparagus. I followed up dinner with a big slab of cheesecake. Mmmm….Mmmmm! To top it off Lynda treated me – bonus!!

The weather is gorgeous. Hot clear skies and muggy as hell. 30C with a humidex over 40C. Lynda has the AC running at 22C constantly so I have to outside occasionally to warm up.



July 26, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doppelgänger: In the vernacular, “Doppelgänger” has come to refer  to any double or look-alike of a person.

Earlier tonight one of our clients calls me aside and says, ‘ I finally figured out who you remind me of; it’s Peter Fonda.’

‘Hmmm…???’, I’m thinking. Okay, is this a set-up?? Where is the zinger coming from?

Yeah?, I say.’ The more current one of ‘Ulee’s Gold? (1997) Or the old one from ‘Easy Rider’? (1969)

Peter Fonda - 1997

Peter Fonda - 1969

‘Oh – definitely Easy Rider’, he says.

‘Good answer’, sez I.

(Buddy should really get his eyes checked.)


Mistaken Identity:

A few weeks ago I had just arrived at work wearing a dark crewneck shirt that had a cream-coloured band around the neck, a collarless black shirt over it and a grey jacket. From 15 feet away the mother of one of our guests looked my way and said to her son, ‘My, I didn’t know they had clergy on staff here, as well.’

in my father's house

in my father's house

I laughed nervously as I waited for the bolt of lightning to smite me straight to hell. From on high my father is laughing his butt off. ‘Say WHAT???’


Self Image; Self Esteem; and the Face we present to the world

Recently someone (who shall remain nameless) commented on a shot I had posted here of myself and called me ‘handsome’. My reaction to the compliment was same as always – HUH!?!? – I never know what to do with them when they come my way. I suppose it’s because I don’t think much of my looks and like most folks I ‘get up, suit up, present the best face I can, and show up’. Like Popeye always said, ‘I y’am what I am and that’s all that’s I y’am.’ Gotta work with what God gives ya.

I think I could get a consensus to this proposition – 10% of the population would get classed as attractive, beautiful, handsome; at the other end, 10% would be lumped in as unattractive, ugly, hard on the eyes; the rest of us – the other 80% fall somewhere in the big middle ground.

A post I was reading last night included a section where the gal used to play a game with herself – ‘if I could change one thing about myself it would be…..’. Well, as I’m starting to show the signs of my advancing age that one thing would be my eyelids. I’m getting this hooded look to my eyes that I don’t like but in the big scheme of things…. so what?? I’m not going under the knife anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Far more importamt to me these days than the external is anyone’s internal composition – heart, mind and soul sorts of stuff. By the time I sought help for my problems with addiction I was a hurting unit bled practically dry of identity and self-esteem. This process of recovery I’ve engaged in for the last 6 years has been very much one of  re-building; putting things back together when you don’t have all the original pieces. At first it was all about substance, the absence of it and finding ways to a new state of ‘normalcy’. Then it got to be about re-attaching to roles – son, husband, father, friend, employee. Finally it came about to integrating values, ethics, qualities of character, moral beliefs and living a life that included spirituality. From that eventual internal foundation I’ve been able to move more to outside concerns where I’ve been allowed to be of use to others – family, friends, clients and strangers. It’s being open to ongoing change, adopting an attitude of willingness and engaging in action toward improvement. Progress not perfection….. hand steady on the tiller.


When is the last time someone confused you for somebody else or told you that you strongly resemble someone??

Has anyone ever thought you actually were someone you aren’t??

How do you deal with compliments?? How do you feel when complimented??

Do you feel good about how you look?? Satisfied?? or, are there things about your appearance you would change, given the chance?

How do you feel about your internal condition?? Mental, emotional, spiritual??

If other people could see / hear the nature of how you think would they be terribly surprised??

Have some fun and comment.