Archive for August 2008

Gone Fishin’

August 22, 2008

Hey, kids.   I’ll be off for a bit.

I’m heading up north.   To storm some castles, annoy some asshole-squirrels, and chase down some monster fish.

In the mean time,  here’s one of my old posts.

Actually, it’s the first one I ever did.  And it’s one of my personal favorites.

I know it’s a re-run, but it only got 15 views the first time around.   So I figure it might be worth  posting again.

So without further ado, here’s the link to the  Highlights of the East Knobville Livestock Auction.

(Have fun discussing this among yourselves while I’m away!)  🙂

See ya sometime after Labor Day.

-Friar

Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?

August 21, 2008

There’s this meme going around, where you’re supposed to describe yourself by answering simple questions.

I don’t know who started it.   But the first I heard of it was from Steph.   Then Monika.

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone.   I had to make my own version:

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I am:      Olaf the ThunderFröck, son of AelFrùd the Horrible.
I think:   It’s time to invade England.
I know:  Those Englishmen have a stash of booty hidden in their church, somewhere.
I have:   A broad-sword, and a battle-axe.  (Who among you, shall challenge me ?)
I hate:   Englishmen
I love:   Thumping and pummeling Englishmen.
I miss:  The Vinland
I fear:    (???)  I don’t understand.   What’s this word mean?
I hear:   The battle cries!….HNYARGGH!  Excuse me.  I must go burn and pillage now.

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I am:      Caillou, that whiny little cartoon character.
I think:    I’m an accident.
I know:   Mommy has a drinking problem, and Daddy’s been having an affair with the social worker.
I have:    A remarkably spherical head.
I miss:    Riding the Little School Bus with my Special-Ed classmates.
I hate: Making boom-boom in my Pull-Ups (like I just did now).
I love: Sippy cups, cheerios stuck up my nose, and cartoon characters even more obnoxious than me.
I fear: My lack of hair.   (Why am I bald?  Is it chemo?  Am I going to die?)
I hear: Mom and Dad arguing in the next room, over who gets stuck with me in the custody battle.

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I am: Tippy, a hyper-active Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
I think: I’d like to retrieve a BALL right now.
I know: There must be a BALL stashed around the house somewhere.
I have: A nose that can detect the odor of a rubber BALL, to within one part per billion.
I miss: When nobody is around to play with me and throw the BALL.
I hate: Cats, vacuum cleaners, and fireworks.
I love:   Swimming, and retrieving.  (Did I tell you I like to retrieve?)
I fear:    I have lost the BALL.  Wherezit?  Where?  Where?  OMG!  I must FIND IT FIND IT FIND IT.
I hear:   My masters’ car, ten miles away.  He’ll be here soon.  Maybe he’ll throw the BALL.  YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP!

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I am:       Old Man McGillicuddy, the cranky old guy down the street. (That’s MISTER McGillicuddy, to you!)
I think:    Today’s young folks have it easy.  Not like WE had it, back in our day….
I know:   That I’m smarter than all you young folks think you are. .
I have: Way too much time on my hands.
I miss: MattLock.  Big Band Music.   Getting it up.
I hate:    Today’s music.  Today’s values.  Those damned kids who won’t stay off my manicured grass.
I love:    Hosing down my driveway.  Old-man hats.  Werther Originals.  Canary-colored golf pants.
I fear:     ATM’s.   Anything electronic.  And especially, driving more than 30 mph.
I hear:    Eh?   What’s that?  EH?

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I am:      Chinese Olympic Medalist.
I think: I better just do what I’m told
I know:   I would be in the salt mines, right now, if I hadn’t have won.
I have:    A gold medal.  Anything less would be unacceptable.
I miss:    My family.  But they promise I can see them again, now that I’ve won.
I hate:    Failure.   Like getting Silver, and being second-best in the world.
I love:     My country and winning and representing China (at least, that’s what I tell them).
I fear:     My coach.
I hear:    They’re looking for gymnastics coaches in the U.S.

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I am:      A Canadian Olympic discus thrower.
I think: I should just enjoy this while it lasts.
I know:  Nobody will remember me, after this is all over.
I have:   A positive attitude.  After all, isn’t the Olympics about doing your best and having fun? (I keep telling myself this).
I miss:    Tim Horton’s.
I hate:    Coming in 38th.   (Last Olympics, I made it at least as far as 36th).
I love:    Being able to get away from the crummy summer we’re having in Canada, and experiencing some warm weather for a change.
I fear:     That if talk too loudly about wanting to win, my fellow Canadians will scold me and accuse me of flag-waving.
I hear:    They’re hiring at Tim Horton’s.

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I am:      Fallopia Moonchild
I think:   Like, if we would just stop judging everyone, and accept each other’s energies and karma,  the world would be a better place, you know?
I know:  That the Republicans are large corporations are conspiring together to create global warming, to cause the extinction of the whales.
I have:   Multiple tattoos and face piercings.   And lots of free time on my hands.  (Even more than Old Man McGillicuddy).
I hate:    Stereotypes, racism, and negativity.   And also spiders in the bathtub.
I love:    All of humanity.   The vibrations of the Universe.  And granola.  Sweet crunchy granola.
I miss:   The sixties. (Too bad I was born in ’82).
I fear:    Having to shave my legs, and getting a job.
I hear:   The sound of my own inner drummer, beating to the pulse of Mother Earth.

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I am:      The Friar:  full-time engineer, part time smart-ass (or is it the other way around?)
I think:   I’m hungry.   When do we eat?
I know:   Shit floats,  you can’t push a rope, and water flows downhill.  Aside from that…not much else.
I have:    An attitude problem. (Seriously…someone ought to give me a good talking to.)
I miss:    Playground swing-sets before they got all fucked up and were made too “safe”.
I hate:    Lima beans.   Asshole squirrels.  And the Berenstain Bears.
I love: Red meat.  Southpark.  Large-mouth bass.   And making hamburger out of sacred cows.
I fear:    Evil Cirque de Soleil clowns (Shudder).

Friar’s Random Olympic Thoughts

August 19, 2008

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If there were aliens observing us, they’d find this whole Olympic thing pretty funny.

I could just imagine their report:

“Every fourth orbit around the sun, the hairless apes on the Third Planet put great emphasis on which fellow primate can move between point A and B the fastest, or who can throw an object the furthest.

Great excitement is displayed over the dominant ape who wins:  these are awarded shiny round pieces of colored metal.”

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The only sports that are truly fair are the ones that you can measure with a stopwatch or tape measure.

When humans are used to judge a score to within five significant figures, I’m sorry, that’s just bullshit.

Come on!   Can you HONESTLY tell me the gymnast with a 16.550 was better than the one who had 16.540?

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They have the biathalon, triathalon, pentathalon, heptathalon, and decathalon.

So that takes care of numbers 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10.

But what about 4, 6, 8 and 9?

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So apparently those munchkin female Chinese gymnasts are all sixteen.

Of course they are.

I know this because the Chinese government tells me so.

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My brother-in-law once said:  it would save a lot of time by scheduling all the running events in one big race.

All the athletes would line up and start at once.

They’d just finish at different times, that’s all.

Hard to argue with that, actually.

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What if Michael Phelps won seven gold medals instead of eight?

The whole planet would be heartbroken for him.

But what about the poor bastard from Upper Dorkistan who didn’t even qualify, who came in Dead Freaking Last?

Nobody cares about the DFL guy.

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Why would I want to watch Womens’ Olympic Softball, when I could watch Mens’ Olympic Baseball?

Why would I watch Mens’ Olympic Baseball, when I could watch the Major League Baseball?

Actually, why would I watch Major League Baseball, when the Olympics are on TV?

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The marathon is said to be the toughest event of the Olympics.

These athletes run a grueling 26 miles in just over two hours.

Compare this to the pistol shooter, who just stands there, firing bullets.

Yet the winners in each sport get the SAME gold medal.

(Boy…THAT seems fair.)

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Candy-Ass Olympic Sports that I think should be banned:

– Pistol shooting (see above).

– Softball (see above).

– Synchronized anything.

– Any equestrian event where they wear a top hat.

– Rhythmic Gymnastics. (C’mon…dancing with a ball and ribbon doesn’t fool me!  You just didn’t make the REAL gymnastics team, did you?)

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Coming back to the poor bastard who came in DFL.

All those years of training and sacrifice…for what?

If he had just stayed home and done NOTHING except watch Oprah and eat bon-bons…

…he’d have accomplished the same thing.

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Boobs + Gymnastics = Mutually Incompatible.

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If it weren’t for the bathing suits,

I couldn’t tell the difference between male and female swimmers.

I really couldn’t.

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Some countries can be really harsh with their athletes.

Like if you come in second, you’re a national disgrace and they send you and your family to the salt mines.

In Canada, it’s different.

Heck, we’re thrilled if the athlete has enough bus fare and makes it to the stadium.

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There shouldn’t be weight categories in boxing.   You’re either the best fighter, or you aren’t.

The only real winner, I think, is the Super-Heavyweight champion.

Because he can pummel not just everyone in his own weight category, but probably everyone below him too.

Midget and flyweight boxers.  Huh.

Sorry.   I just can’t get excited.

Not unless they can beat the Super-Heavyweight guy.

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Sailing as an Olympics sport.

With about seventy different boat categories.

Yeah, right.

Why not hot-air ballooning, while we’re at it?

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If the Touchy-Feely Barbie-Bloggers ran the Olympics,   every athlete would be a winner, just for being a source of inspiration to us all.

There would be no Gold, Silver, or Bronze.  We’d just give out hugs.

Then we’d write about it, and weep tears of joy and gratitude as we did so.   🙂

Why I Think Northern Pike Are Awesome

August 15, 2008

They’re shaped like torpedoes.

I associate them with the unspoiled North.

They’re tenacious buggers.  (When they bite on a lure, they say “MINE” and they don’t let go.)

When they’re hooked, they fight like a sonnavabitch (unlike those wimpy Walleye).

They can grow up to be monsters, 40 to 50 inches in length.

The larger ones are known to eat baby ducks and muskrats (how cool is THAT, for a fresh-water fish!?)

When you try to remove the hook from their mouth, they’ll chomp down on your pliers.  Tough bastards, they are.

Not counting humans, they’re the Apex Predator of the aquatic food chain.

If you’re day-dreaming, they can scare the crap out of you, when they strike your lure 2 feet from  the boat.

Let’s not forget the razor-sharp teeth that can cut your line (or your fingers).  (Watch it!)

Contrary to popular belief, they actually taste quite good and aren’t bony if you know how to clean them.

Even the tiny hammer-handles are fun to catch.

They’re not the most popular fish.   Which is fine with me.   Let everyone else go after the walleye and the  trout…I’ll have the pike lakes to myself!

Basil the Special Dog (Update Part II)

August 13, 2008

Author’s Note: Here’s the latest draft of my childrens’ book.    Any comments or constructive feedback more than welcome.

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

But sometimes he behaves funny.

He’s…well…a “special” kind of dog.

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

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

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Some dogs are afraid of the vacuum cleaner

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

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Some dogs like to dig in the garden

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Basil is so special, he’ll destroy the flowers, even before they’re planted.

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Some dogs get excited when they ride in a car…

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Basil gets so excited, he once smashed the car windshield WITH HIS HEAD!

Of course, Basil’s head is so hard, that he was okay

But my Dad was not too happy.

Dad says Basil is a sometimes a few bricks short of a full load

I don’t know what that means.

Maybe that Basil might not be too smart.


…..TO BE CONTINUED.

The Philosophy of Life Using Everyday Household Objects.

August 13, 2008

Pick an object, any random object.  

And I’ll write a “deep, meaningful” post about it,  using it as a metaphor to explain the intricacies of Life.  

 For example:

Vacuum cleaners
Life is like vacuuming.   You pass the vacuum cleaner over the carpet and remove all the undesirable dust and dirt.   

Similarly, we need to periodically “vacuum” our lives, to get rid of the dirt on the Carpet that is our daily existence.

Vacuuming needs to be done regularly,  otherwise the dirt gets matted in, and then a rug-shampooer in needed.   An otherwise simple household chore has now become a bigger, more complicated job.    

It’s a lesson that we should always take care of the little problems, before they get out of hand.

When do YOU vacuum your life?    What kind of vacuum cleaner do YOU use?

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Blenders
Life is like a blender.   You take separate ingredients, mix them together, and create a new type of food that’s tastier than the sum of the individual ingredients.

Fresh berries, fruit juice, yogurt, for example.   Each is delicious on their own, but combine them together, and you get a Smoothie!

Thirty years ago, very few people knew what a Smoothie was.   But someone tried a new idea, and now Smoothies have become a nutritious part of our mainstream diet.  

Similarly, we can all discover new “recipes” in life, by abandoning our pre-conceived ideas of what concepts “should” go together, and trying and creating new things.

What new ideas have YOU blended together?   What flavour is YOUR Smoothie?

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Staplers
A stapler is a fascinating device.   It produces strips of bent wire.   Each only worth a fraction of a penny.   Nothing much there, one might think.

But look at what staples can achieve.  They help bind together important papers and documents. 

Have you ever tried to write a report, or produce an important contract without a stapler?  Imagine  how disorganized and messy our work would be, if we didn’t have staples.

Life is like that.   When things get too complicated, we need to look for our “stapler”.   It provides a central anchoring point to keep all our important “pages” together.

Our stapler can be any number of things: 

Our values/beliefs.  A best friend.   A role model.  Or faith in a supreme being…

Regardless of what your “Stapler” is…it’s as essential part of your Life.   

What kind of staples do YOU use?    What do you do when your stapler runs out?

 

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Bumblebees.   Thumbtacks.   Picking up your dry cleaning…etc.

You name it…I can philosophize about it.  🙂

Now…go and find YOUR philosophy!

The Gospel of Action Movies According to Hollywood.

August 10, 2008

I know this is true, because Hollywood tells me so:

Every Asian is an expert in Kung-Fu, and they’re ready to use it at a moment’s notice.

Similarly, everyone in Japan has Ninja skills, and is an expert with a samurai sword.

A Good Guy rarely gets shot.  And if he does, it’s only a flesh wound which quickly heals itself, and is of no consequence within the next couple of scenes.

People can easily outrun explosions.   Diving into the air in slow-motion at the last moment helps.

Terrorists aren’t Arabs (or any other visible minority).   They’re always Euro-Trash White Supremacists.   Just remember:  the only acceptable villains are Neo-Nazis.

After a brutal fight scene,  the only injury the Good Guy will ever exhibit is a small cut on his lip, or a tiny trickle of blood from one nostril.    He’ll then touch his wound, incredulously look at the blood on his fingers, get angry and come back fighting even stronger than ever.

Someone armed with a gun is no match for a skilled swordsman.

The 250-lb. Bad Guy who’s a martial arts expert will still get his ass whupped by a 115-lb. woman.

City waterfronts are huge areas of urban blight, with countless miles of abandoned buildings.  It’s where the Bad Guys can hide, and their kidnap victims can be concealed.

Don’t worry about torn muscles, damaged organs or the risk of infection.   A gunshot wound can instantly be healed, by just removing the bullet from the victim’s body.

Every secret agent or Special Ops person can fly a fighter jet with greater skill than the Air Force pilots who spend their entire careers mastering the same aircraft.

Downtown streets are always full of fruit vendors,  whose carts are readily available to be destroyed during car-chase scenes.

Falling through a plate-glass window is perfectly harmless.  You won’t so much as get a sliver of glass stuck in you.

Women are rarely ever the Bad Guy.   If they are, it’s mandatory that they’re portrayed as either East-German or Russian.

Bad Guys have still not figured out how to use handcuffs or zip-ties to restrain people, like the Cops do on a daily basis.

There is no set limit of the firepower of a shotgun shell.  It can be used to shoot a victim, or it can blow up and overturn an armored vehicle.

Helicopters are constantly flying into sky-scrapers and/or crashing in downtown streets.   No one ever gets hurt, though.  (Except the helicopter pilot, we assume).

All factories are poorly-lit buildings, and run automatically with no production staff or management supervisors.  There is plenty of steam and welding sparks, but nothing ever seems to be manufactured.

A high-caliber gun will have no recoil on the shooter, but it will lift the victim in the air and hurl him back ten feet through a window.

Every Police Captain is a stressed-out Type-A personality, often an African- American.  He constantly yells at the Cop Hero, and reminds him: “One more screw up, and it’s your badge!”.     Despite his grumpiness, the Captain grudgingly tolerates the Cop Hero’s unorthodox methods, because in the end, he gets the job done.