Archive for July 2008

Only in Splat Creek Ontario (*)…

July 31, 2008

(*) Note:  Based on an earlier post.
ONLY IN SPLAT CREEK….

…Can you go to a picnic area after work, and meet two drunken yahoos who invite you to drink beer with them, fire BB pellets at cans, and teach you how to throw a hunting knife at trees so that the blade sticks in.

…Will the only major Burger King within 30 miles refuse to sell you hamburgers, because their “grill is broken”.

…Can you personally email a restaurant manager about the poor service you received, and the next day get scolded by people all over town, who tell you that you “oughtn’t to have complained like that”.

…Will fellow fishermen act so friendly at the dock, that they’re not the least bit shy about taking a piss where they’re standing, three feet away from you.

…Will the only donut franchise on a 100 mile stretch of highway run out of DONUTS after 8:00 PM.

…Will the only Chip Wagon (located next to the main park and soccer field) close at 6:00 PM during peak summer hours.  (Actually, I heard if you showed up at 5:50 PM, the owner would grumble at you about it being almost closing time).

…Will the Town Library stay open all day, but close between 5:00 PM-7:00 PM,  just when everyone is getting home from work.

…Can you buy Baby Formula at the Cheezi-Mart, but when your kids are weaned and you stop buying it, the store manager gives you shit. (Because you should have TOLD him…now he has stuff back-ordered.)

…Will you find a video store that sorts its movies chronologically rather than alphabetically.   (Good luck trying to find a movie unless you know what year it was made in.)

…Will the local restaurant refuses to give you a table for the buffet because you didn’t “reserve”, even though the place is 90% empty and nobody is waiting in line.

…Can people living in a small town of 4,000 feel superior to the people living in the adjacent village of 900.

…Can you drive through the bush, and meet a Grizzly Adams look-alike wearing combat pants and hunting boots, who invites you to his shack for supper, offers you beer, and (if you want), some weed.

…Can you write a Letter to the Editor to the local paper, and then have some old retired fart harass you on the phone, and try to come by your house to talk to you, because he doesn’t agree with what you said.

Wedding Tips from a Cynical Bachelor

July 30, 2008

Stick to the three-month rule for the wedding ring
Somewhere along the line, some genius (probably from the jewelry industry) decided that the price of a wedding ring should equal three months salary.   And people have been swallowing up this urban myth ever since, as if it were Gospel Truth.

Of course, they didn’t specify whether this applied to someone earning $20,000 a year, or $200,000 a year.   Just pay three months salary, regardless.

Theoretically, you could use that money to buy useless things.  Like a down-payment on your new house together.  The 2nd car.  A Honeymoon in Hawaii.  Or even help pay for the wedding itself.

But instead, prioritize.  It’s important that you invest all your extra cash in a tiny sliver of crystalline carbon mounted in soft yellow metal.

If your future hubby truly loved you, he’d feel the same way.

Schedule your wedding during the best weekend of the summer
Never mind that you have the entire year from which to pick a wedding date.  Never mind that you’re gong to spend 95% of the day indoors.

It’s important that you get married during the precious weeks of June/July/August,  at precisely the moment everyone else wants to be at the cottage or the beach.

GOD FORBID, should you schedule your wedding in April or November.   You could die.   This is just NOT DONE.

Just remember.   There’s nothing people enjoy more than spending a beautiful summer day stuck indoors, wearing uncomfortable itchy clothing and baking in 95 degree heat.

Give yourself bonus points if you schedule the wedding on a long weekend.

Triple Bonus if the reception hall isn’t air conditioned.

Make it a Catholic Wedding, if you can
Churches are rarely air conditioned.  So Hooray!  Now you can extend the sweltering wedding ceremony to a full hour by throwing in an entire Catholic Mass, to boot.

For the Catholic guests, this is fine.  At least they’ll they know how to follow along.

But the non-Catholic guests might have problems keeping up with the priest playing Simon-Says.

Stand up.  Sit down.  A letter from St. Paul to the Crustaceans.  Sit down.  Stand up.  Kneel.  Stand up…etc.

But at least they get to watch everyone else eat the wafer.

Obsess.  And assume everyone gives a shit
The color of the table cloths.  The design of the salt and pepper shakers.  The shoes the ushers are wearing.  The Easter-egg pastel shade of the bridesmaids’ dresses.

There are hundreds of these details to worry about.  And if you think some of these might be trivial…DON’T YOU BELIEVE IT!

My God!!  Haven’t’ they told out about the Double-Secret Probation Checklist that everyone will be filling out at the reception?    Don’t you know that all your friends and relatives will be monitoring and recording each and every nano-detail for the entire day?

Later, everyone will meet in an undisclosed location, and they’ll be comparing notes with each other.  You’ll then be assigned a Wedding Grade that will go on your PERMANENT RECORD.  It will follow you for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and will determine how your peers judge and treat you.

So you better think twice, and start choosing more carefully, when it comes to the flowers for the bouquet, or the style of the limo driver’s necktie.

Because you’ll never know…

Make it a Fruit Cake
Regarding the wedding cake, forget what everyone likes (i.e. chocolate cake or angel-food).  Go with the crappy fruit cake.

There is NOTHING more appetizing than a raisin-encrusted quasi-edible brick.

Except when the same raisin-encrusted quasi-edible brick is smothered with $1200 worth of  fancy white icing.

Yum.

If your guests don’t like it, they can always send their portion to NASA, where it  can be used as a re-entry tile for the Space Shuttle.

Assume Every Memento will end up in the Smithsonian
This is the most important day of your life.   So obviously, it’s your guests’ most important day of their life, too.

So don’t skimp on ANYTHING.   Everything must be as complicated and expensive as possible.

Wedding invitations, for example.

Sure, you could order the store-bought ones that just specify the time, date, and place.  But that would be TOO EASY.

Instead (seeing as how you have copious amounts of free time), why not do it yourselves?

Invest in a paper-making workshop, and fabricate your own poppy-seed gilded rose petal paper at $50 a sheet.   Then take a calligraphy class 6 months beforehand, so you can hand-write the invitations in Gothic manuscript that would put Gregorian Monks to shame.

Never mind that this will take you 1500 hours.  It’s worth it, for the 30 seconds that it will take your guests to read the invitation to find out where the church is.

After the wedding, I’m pretty sure everyone will treasure these mementos of your Special Day, and frame them over their mantelpiece, to cherish for decades to come.

The same things applies to those 250 lovingly-wrapped doily-covered pieces of wedding cake that each guests takes home.   Into the Time Capsule with those.

Make sure the DJ sticks to the tried-and-true formula
Wedding By-Law 102 (Paragraph b) dictates that the following songs MUST be played at each reception.

Lady in Red.
Footloose.
New York, New York.
Shout.
You Make a Grown Man Cry.
Mambo Number 5.

Also, don’t forget:

Hot-hot-hot (so all the women can form a Conga Line and force their reluctant husbands and boyfriends to join in ).

Mony Mony (so that the DJ can turn off the speaker at the precise moment, allowing the younger audience to yell out about mothers’ companions having intimate relations with each other…)

The Bird Dance (make sure everyone is pleasantly sloshed before you play this).

The Macarena (It’s always a pleasure to see middle-aged overweight dance provocatively in sausage-skin tight pantsuits)

Crank the Volume after 11:00 PM to Drive the Seniors Away
Wedding receptions give families the chance to catch up with long-lost relatives and friends they haven’t seen in years (if not decades).  But this can only be allowed for a couple of hours.

To prevent any further conversations or family bonding to take place, have the DJ crank up the speakers to 120 decibels and play really bad Hip-Hop music.

This will drive the older crowd in droves.  The added bonus is that this allows the 20-something yuppie suburban white kids to pretend they’re part of “The Hood” as they “get down” with the music.

(Well, it was past Aunt Matilda and Grampa Yårgen‘s bedtime, anyway!)

My Dog Basil is So Special

July 23, 2008

Author’s Note:  I’m working on a childrens’ book.  Here’s a rough draft of the first installment .  Feel free to let me know what you think…

*********************************************

This is my dog Basil.
He’s a big old friendly dog.

But he’s also, well….kind of “special”.   My Dad says a few bricks short of a full load.

When some dogs bark, they go “Yap! Yap!”, “Woof Woof” or “Bow Wow”.

My dog Basil is so special, he goes “Nee!  Nee!”

Some dogs are afraid of the vacuum cleaner

Basil is so special, he’s afraid of the barbecue.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

Increasing your Traffic with Mr. Dylan

July 23, 2008

For those of you who are new to the Deep Friar, I’m just an amateur blogger.

I write for fun and I’ve managed to generate a small, but loyal following.  But certainly not anything large enough to quit my day job over and start blogging full-time.

And I claim to know NOTHING WHATSOEVER about customer satisfaction, free-lance writing, e-commerce or sales and marketing.

Yet suddenly, I received 2400 hits in just under two days.

At first I thought it was a glitch on the Stats software, but no, it was true.   In fact, I even made the WordPressTop Posts of the Day” and “Growing Blogs” lists.

Holy crap. What happened?

Bob Dylan, that’s what happened.

I wrote a silly post about Bob Dylan, and it got picked up by another website:  http://expectingrain.com.

The site provided a link to my blog, and this was responsible for generating most of my traffic.

Seems Bob is quite the popular conversation topic.

So I’m enjoying my 15 minutes of fame while it lasts.  (But already, I can see my traffic spiking back down to more modest levels.)

My advice to you bloggers out there:  if you want to increase your traffic, then write something about Bob Dylan.

But be warned:  Bob Dylan has many disciples out there…

…and not all of them take kindly if you dare to mock their Prophet.  🙂

Bob Dylan is Messing With Us.

July 21, 2008

Bob Dylan:

Brilliant musician and genius troubadour?

Or just someone spaced out of their gourd, putting random words together?

It’s hard to tell…depending on which song you listen to:

*******************************************

He went down to Oxford Town
Guns and clubs followed him down
All because his face was brown
Better get away from Oxford Town

Oxford Town around the bend
He come to the door, can’t get in
All because the color of his skin
What do you think about that, my frien’ ?

– Oxford Town

Friar’s Critique: This light-hearted cheerful tune poignantly contrasts with the dark underlying message of racism and civil unrest.

Biting satire and social commentary at it’s best.  Brilliant.

*******************************************

I like to do just like the rest, I like my sugar sweet,
But jumping queues and making haste,
It ain’t my cup of meat.
Ev’rybody’s ‘neath the trees,
Feeding pigeons on a limb
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
All the pigeons gonna run to him
.

– Quinn the Eskimo

Friar’s Critique: Okay, this one just makes my head hurt!   An Eskimo named QUINN?  Feeding pigeons?

Rhyming “sweet” with “cup of meat” ?

Bob…tsk! tsk!  tsk!  What were you smoking when you wrote this?

*******************************************

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true;
May you always do for others
And let others do for you,
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

-Forever Young

Friar’s Critique: Simple lyrics, but powerful.   This could be a farewell to someone on their deathbed.  It could be advice from a grandfather to a grandson.

This song works on so many levels.  I consider it one of Bob’s hidden gems.

*******************************************

Lord, I aint’ goin’ down to no race track
See no sports car run
I dont’ have no sports car
And I don’t even care to have one
I can walk anytime around the block.

Well, the wind a keeps a blowin’- me
Up and down the street
With my hat in my hand
And my boots on my feet
Watch out, so you don’t step on me.

– Bob Dylan’s Blues

Friar’s Critique:  There are only two verses but the whole damn song is like this.  Bob’s just wailing away on his acoustic guitar, and spewing words in a random torrent.

I can just picture the coffee shop pseudo-intellectuals listening to this, and hanging onto Bob’s every word.

But I wonder if he even knew what the next sentence was going to be when he sang this?

*******************************************

There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke,
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

– “Along the Watchtower”

Friar’s Critique:  The lyrics are totally stupid and make no sense to me whatsoever.   Jokers and thieves along the line.  (Whaaat?) Not to mention servants (which apparently had to be barefoot).

Yet there’s something about this song that’s compelling.

I have images of princesses and dark castles and a knight riding through a torrential storm.  Getting ready for some big show-down with the Forces of Evil.

I’m on the fence with this one.  This is a great song…but don’t try to tell me there was any conscious thought or meaning put behind these lyrics.

*******************************************

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

– Mr. Tambourine Man

Friar’s Critique: In my opinion, these have got to be some of the best song lyrics ever written.  This is pure genius.

While other artists at the time were rolling out simple pop songs with “moon-June-spoon ” lyrics, Bob sang about smoke rings of the mind, circus sands and diamond skies.

He was so far ahead of the pack.  My mind reels with visual imagery whenever I hear this song.

The words “Let me forget about today until tomorrow” really hit home.

It’s amazing how one sentence can say so much.

*******************************************

Well, I got a woman five feet short
She yells and hollers and squeals and snorts
She tickles my nose pats me on the head
Blows me over and kicks me out of bed
(She’s a man eater,
Meat grinder
Bad Loser).

– I shall be Free

Friar’s Critique: (Snicker).    OMG!   He ACTUALLY said “Meat Grinder”.   This entire song is hilarious, and worth checking out.  You know Bob was having a lot of fun when he sang this one.

But what happened to Mr. Poet, Troubadour of our Generation?    This is not exactly the same calibre as Mr. Tambourine Man, is it?

*******************************************


CONCLUSION
:  There is no way anyone this talented can simultaneously put out such brilliant and such stupid lyrics.    Bob Dylan must be two different people

Either that, or he’s just messing with us.

(You know he is.)

I tried, but couldn’t eat this candy…

July 18, 2008

A fluorescent marshmallow SpongeBob Square Pants.

On a stick.

Made in China, no less.

This is wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to begin.

Watercolors: Too Many Tulips

July 18, 2008

Once in a while (not too often), I’ll paint flowers.

Here’s one I did, when I decided to try tulips.

Oboy.   By the time that painting was done, I never wanted to see a tulip again.

That was five years ago.  I haven’t painted tulips since.

But I think I’m ready again.

Wonder if I should try any of these?  …(or am I just asking to drive myself INSANE?)

Friar’s Random Rants (Part II)

July 16, 2008

****************

When the Bad Guy on TV ties up the Damsel-in-Distress, he always does a lousy job.  But she’ll still sit there helplessly for hours.

And when the Good Guy comes to the rescue, it takes him maybe 2 seconds to loosen the ropes.

Makes you wonder:  was she even TRYING to get free on her own?

Shittiest.  Escape artist.  Ever.

****************

To sound like a stereotypical native-American in the movies, just state the blatantly obvious, and use animal references to make it sound like ancient wisdom.

For example:

“When the wolf feels hunger, it will hunt and eat.   When it has eaten its fill, it will hunger no more”.

Try it.

It helps if you speak slowly, and pause thoughtfully as you say it.

****************

If Bill Gates is such a gazillionaire, why can’t he hire someone to give him a decent hair cut?

He looks like turtle, for Chrissakes.

****************

Forget the genetically-modified corn, radishes, carrots.

Show me plants that can grow pizza, cheeseburgers and chicken wings.

****************

On the cartoon Superfriends, it takes them so much longer to explain how to deal with an on-coming threat, than the time it takes for the actual threat to occur.

Great Mechanical Horrors, Batman!  Those giant robotic horses are galloping straight at us at full speed.  They’ll be here within seconds!  We’ll be trampled!”

“Not if I can help it, Robin.  I’ll tie the Bat-Electromagnet on the end of the Bat-Lasso, and try to magnetize those rail-road tracks over there, which will hopefully cause an electric field that will short-circuit the Horse-robots”

While you’re at it, Batman, why don’t you issue a memo in triplicate?

Shouldn’t those robots have KILLED YOU by now?

****************

The same exact dialogue over heard on every TV fishing show:

– Hey,  Bubba!   I got one!

– Oh, wow. NICE FISH.

– Yeah.  Wow!   That’s a NICE FISH!

– Woo-hooo!  Look at him jump.   What a NICE FISH.

– Get the net ready..there he is…NICE FISH!

– (Picking it up).  Hoooo-Weee.  NICE FISH!

If we ever removed the words “Nice Fish”  from the English language, those shows would perish.

****************

On Star Trek they have transporters that allow them to beam themselves all across the Universe.

Imagine how else they could apply this technology?

What about some kind of biomedical implant that goes in the digestive tract, that collects your waste and beams it somewhere else?

Think about it.  Never having to go to the bathroom again.

Never having to pull over on the side of the road, or getting up in the middle of the night to do your business.

That would be AWESOME.

But where would they transport the waste to ?

Jersey, maybe…?

****************

Quick.  Think of a woman named “Bertha”.

Are you picturing someone slim and attractive?

I didn’t think so.

Me either.

****************

Polly wanna cracker?

Yes.   What a wonderful natural food for a captive bird.

They used to eat crackers in the tropical rain forest EVERYWHERE.

****************

Ladies, at wedding receptions, when the DJ plays that infernal song “Hot Hot Hot “…

And you try to get everyone to join a Conga line…

Please.

For the love of God.

PLEASE…

DO NOT force us men to participate !!!

Just LEAVE US BE.

****************

The laws of entropy dictate that sandwiches lose their taste the second you leave the house.

Try it.  Make a fresh sandwich.  Bring it outside your front door for 2 seconds.   Now walk back inside and take a bite.

You might as well be eating cardboard.

Fuck.   This is why I hate brown-bagging my lunch.

****************

If there was a mutant fungus or plant virus that attacked Lima bean crops world-wide, causing this nasty legume to become extinct…

…well, I wouldn’t exactly be heart-broken, would I?

****************

Oscar the Grouch:  TV’s first homeless person.

No wonder he was in such a pissy mood all the time.

****************

On Three’s Company,  how many times does Janet asks Jack:

“Can I see you in the kitchen for a moment?”

And they go inside and have a big noisy discussion?

And the person in the next room 10 feet away is oblivious and can’t  hear a thing being said?

Geez.  Where can I get an fantastic sound-proof swinging kitchen door like that?

****************

Nobody on Star Trek (The Next Generation) ever talks the way normal people do in everyday life.

The dialogue is so stilted and fake, you might as well be watching a play.

Instead of asking:

“Hey, guys, let’s go down to the pub and pound back a few brewskis.”,

Captain Picard would say something like:

“Number One, Data.  It would delight me if you would accompany me to the Refreshment Facility and partake in a beverage.”

Umm, no thanks.   I think I’d rather read go Plato or something.

****************

I don’t know what’s scarier to look at.

The chimpanzee-pelt hairpiece on top of Donald Trump’s Head.

Or Rosie O’Donnell’s head, all by itself?

(Good Lord, have you seen the SIZE of that thing?)

****************

I’d gladly pay big bucks to see a good entertainer perform live, in concert.

For a mediocre entertainer, I wouldn’t pay money, but if you gave me a free ticket, I’d probably go.

For someone I can’t stand, you would not only have to give me a free ticket, but you’d also have to PAY ME to go see them.

I put Céline Dion into that last category.

****************

Note to the guy at the gym:

Dude.

Working out with your baseball cap on backwards DOES NOT make you look bigger.

But it does drop your IQ by twenty points.

****************

If what the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) tells me is true, no sit-com or drama is worth airing on TV unless it:

a) is British
b) takes place before 1930
c) involves Natives somehow.

****************

Every orthopedic surgeon, by default, must have a shitty bed-side manner.   It’s a prerequisite for med school.

I refer to my last knee specialist as  “Dr. Toaster-Oven”.

Because he had all the warmth and personality of an electrical appliance.

****************

You know those horn-rimmed glasses, that are attached around the neck by a chain?

They give those out to Librarians.

But only after menopause.

****************

Yes, Aquaman.  I realize that you can communicate with fish, and that you’re a respected super-hero…

…but what have you done for me LATELY?

****************

Where did the French-Candian name Réjean come from?

Maybe someone had a baby boy named Jean, and they liked the name so much they decided to re-cycle it when they had a 2nd kid.

****************

If you can somehow manage to eat an entire pound of butter, without drinking any water, the worst you can do is gain one pound.

Seriously.

If you don’t believe me, then don’t believe in the Law of Conservation of Mass, either.

****************

I challenge you to find a woman named “Pearl” or “Blanche” who is less than 65 years old.

I challenge you.

****************

On the Sound of Music,  my favorite part is when that dorky Von Trapp boy sings:

“Adieu, Adieu, to Yieu, and Yieu, and Yieu-eu”

I’ll watch the entire saccharine-sweet movie, just to see that scene.

****************

On Gilligan’s Island, if the Professor wasn’t such a tool, and didn’t have his nose buried in his books so much, I bet you he’d have a chance with Ginger.

****************

Nuns were never little girls or teenagers.

No. They emerged as middle-aged women, when they hatched from Nun-Eggs at the Convent Incubator.

Mother Superior uses her ruler to break the egg shells to help them get out.

****************

When you’re an infant, each additional year is the equivalent of a whole other lifetime.

But when you’re older, each additional year now only represents a small fraction of your life.

So you see, the relative progress of time accelerates as you get older.   Events and milestones will appear to occur more often.

Maybe this explains why Seniors drive so God-damned slowly.

***********

Another Typical Week Here…

July 14, 2008

I’ve been known to (er…occasionally 🙂 ) vent about where I live and where I work.

A common question I’m often asked is how do I “put up with it” ?

Well, I go out into the bush a lot.  I eat nuts and berries, and commune with nature and the Great Outdoors.   I find this helps.

To give you an idea, here’s how a recent week went:

Friday July 4th
Drove to a favorite lake right after work, and plopped the canoe in.

Had some of the best fishing within recent memory (see Magic Time).  I lost count of how many large-mouth I caught.

Saturday July 5h
Tried another local lake.  It was the weekend, I had the place to myself.

That’s because there are so many damned lakes in the area, you can pick and chose where you want to go. (I know…we’re spoiled) .

Caught more bass (another 8-10), just for fun.  I threw them back.  (I hadn’t finished eating the ones I had caught on Friday).

Sunday July 6th.
Paddled up a creek off the main highway, past beaver dams and marshes.  Saw a blue heron.

Cast my line, and had a major battle with a monster small-mouth bass,  which I caught and let go.  Already the outing was a success.

Came to a set of rapids and a dead end.  Portaged up a hill, only to find a beautiful small lake.

It was a natural amphitheater, surrounded by gray walls of granite, with a roaring waterfall framed by a cathedral grove of White Pine.   A hot warm wind blew.  I plunged into the cool dark water, and basked on the warm rocks.    I tried fishing and was rewarded with plenty of small eager bass to catch and release.

I was only 1 mile from the highway as the crow flies.  Even though this place was on the maps,  as usual, no-one was here.

From the looks of it, hardly anyone ever came here, either.

Good.  I’ve found my secret corner of paradise.  My natural Zen garden.

I’m definitely coming back.

Monday July 7th
Day of Rest.

Tuesday July 8th
It was a warm muggy day, threatening to rain.  The river was like glass, with blankets of moist fog hugging the shore and the hilltops.

After work, I put my canoe in from the edge of town.  I was the only boat on the water within miles.

I tried my luck, and was rewarded with two nice pickerel. (Or walleye, as my American friends call them).

Not bad for 2 minutes from home.   I had the fish cleaned and fried up within minutes of them still being alive.

You can’t get any fresher than that.

Best.  Tasting fish.  Ever.

Wednesday, July 9th
I turned 44 today.

(In Polish, 44 is czterdzieści cztery)

If you want to try to pronounce it, it’s “Shtair-reh Djesh-chee Shtair-Reh “.  (But I don’t recommend it, you’ll give yourself a stroke).

My Mom came from out of town to visit for the evening.    After supper, we drove on a bush road, and I terrified her when I coaxed my reluctant SUV through a small swamp.   We arrived at yet another one of my secret lakes.

It was too windy  to canoe (whitecaps on the water!).   We fished from shore instead, along the railroad tracks.

We didn’t do too badly, actually.    Friar’s Mom got a large bass.  I got a decent pike, and a smaller bass.

As an added bonus, we discovered the Mother Lode of Wild Blueberries.   Right next to where we stood.

I’ve never seen so many.  And it looks like nobody’s picked here before.   Ever.

In between catching fish, we gorged on berries, and picked another gallon’s worth to bring home.

Not a bad birthday present.

Not a bad week, actually

Hopefully, THIS might answer some of the questions on how I “put up with it”. 🙂

***************************
Photo credits:  Friar’s Mom

Friar’s Random Rants

July 12, 2008

**********

If we learn from our mistakes, then I must be the smartest guy in the whole world.

**********

There’s only three things you need to know to be a Civil Engineer:

Shit Floats.
Water flows down hill.
And you can’t push a rope.

**********

When people say:

“Oh well, to each their own”,

what they really mean to say is:

“Ewww!!!  How can you possibly LIKE that?”

**********

I love it when people at conferences say “It gives me GREAT PLEASURE to introduce the next speaker”.

Standing on a podium…

In front of 200 people…

Introducing some obscure academic buffoon…

Who will bore the room to tears with some lame Powerpoint presentation…

If THAT’s what “great pleasure” consists of, then I want none of it.

**********

Overheard dialogue from two different 1960’s TV shows:

– Woof Woof!
– What’s that, Lassie?  Timmy is trapped down a well on Old Man Anderson’s farm, and there’s a forest fire on it’s way and we only have one hour to save him!?

– Click Clack!
– What’s that, Flipper?   Bud is stranded on Andersons’s Reef, and there’s a hurricane coming and we only have one hour to save him!?

**********

In the corporate world, a woman’s hair length is inversely proportional to their career progression.

**********

When people tell you:

“Oh well, different strokes for different folks”

what they really mean to say is:

“Your values and beliefs are just so WRONG!!!”

**********

If I had access to a Holo-Deck like on Star Trek, where I could create any reality I wanted,  you could be pretty sure that I would NOT be dressing up in 19th-century clothing and re-enacting  a Sherlock Holmes novel.

I think I’d be able to come up with a better fantasy than that.

**********

A professor once summarized the Second Law of Thermodynamics to our class:

“You can’t run a fridge, unless you plug it in”

That’s an excellent way to describe it, actually.

**********

If I had a nickel every time I heard (insert quote here), then I’d have $1.45 by now.

**********

In any given Wallmart store, it must be company policy to have at least one screaming pushcart-kid for every 1000 square feet of floor space.

**********

They say never forget to be grateful for what you have.

Okay, I’m grateful that when we’re stressed out, we don’t fling our poo around like some of the other apes do.

Imagine how messy the office would get.

**********

“If you fall off the horse, you have to get right back on it.”

Yeah, but what if I never learned to ride in the first place?

People get KILLED that way, you know.

**********

“It’s always darkest before the dawn”.

Uhhh…no.

Actually, it’s darkest at midnight (Standard Time), when the sun is 180 degrees opposite the zenith.

*********

If I see a penny on the ground, I leave it there.

I figure it costs more than $0.01 worth of food calories to bend over and pick it up.

**********

If what PBS tells me is true, then everyone in Britain is an Upper-Class twit, spending their time wandering about huge estates in tweed jackets, sipping tea, and puffing their cheeks in indignation while being interrogated by the Inspector who’s investigating a “Muuh-Deh”.

**********

The Brady Bunch lived in a house that was apparently designed by Mr. Brady himself.

Six kids, and one bathroom.

SMOOTH MOVE, DAD.

Who would ever hire such a shitty architect?

**********

When talking about Gilligan’s Island, guys always ask each other:

“Who would you prefer…Ginger, or Mary-Anne?”

Notice nobody ever picks Mrs. Howell.

**********

I really like to eat meat.  But not organs or glands (liver, kidneys, tripe, etc).

I just do the voluntary muscle.

**********

If a screaming kid is driving you crazy, pretend you’re at a zoo.

Pretend it’s a baby monkey acting up, and that this is cute and funny.

I find this helps sometimes.

**********

They say no matter how bad off you are, to count your blessings, and remember that there are those less fortunate than you.

Like the Lowest Common Denominator Guy.

He’s deaf, dumb, blind, brain-damaged and retarded, with no friends and family, who’s a quadruple amputee with psoriasis and impacted wisdom teeth.

EVERYONE is better off than the Lowest Common Denominator Guy.

**********

Your horoscope depends on the precise moment you’re born.

So apparently, the only thing protecting an unborn baby against the bad astrological influences of the Universe is the Mother’s uterus and abdominal muscles.

If this is the case, and they know a baby is going to be born under a “bad sign”, they should probably rig some kind of incubator-device lined with meat.

Keep the kid in there, and let him out when the stars are aligned more favorably.

**********

You know at parties or wedding receptions, when it’s the last song of the night?

And they turn the lights on and the DJ plays “New York, New York”?

And people lock arms and start dancing in a chorus line?

Doesn’t this make you just want to gouge your eyes out and run screaming from the room?

**********

I say when Life hands you lemons, collect them in a basket, and then chuck them as hard as you can, right back at at Life’s head!

*********