Tuesday, January 31, 2012

#28. or, to tattoo or not to tattoo

   So, when i got out of the shower yesterday it was gone, well, for the most part anyways. My fake Mexican tribal turtle tattoo is pretty much gone. I can still tell what it is because i know what it was. There's still a shadow of it there, but when i imagined that i was actually someone else looking at it, the shape has been reduced to something unrecognisable. That bothers me a little bit.

   I call it my fake Mexican tribal turtle tattoo because i got it in Mexico, not because it was a symbol of some turtle worshipping Mexican tribe. Either way, it had made quite a comfortable home right there on my left boob. I'm going to miss it. To the point, i think, that i am considering replacing it with a permanent version.

   I'm comfortable with the turtle symbol, it holds a little meaning to me. I don't have any other piercings or artwork defacing this impeccable canvas that i wear. Truthfully, my canvas is anything but impeccable and that might be why i have never done anything like that before. I always worried that anything i get as a tattoo would slide and stretch into something that bore no resemblance to what it originally was as my body ages.  For the most part, i have no problem with tattoos. Discreet ones. The ones you can hide when you really want to dress up. When i say that, i am talking about myself. There are some quite interesting tattoos out there that people have and i can appreciate the artistic ability taken to create some of them. It's just not my thing. But this little turtle tattoo, i could do that.

  Getting a tattoo has crossed my mind in the past but i never really knew what i would get. I often thought that i would get something that would symbolise my family but i haven't been able to think of anything that says what i want it to say and still be a manageable size. Sometimes, some of the ones that you see out there hold complex stories to the owner but end up just looking like a mass if ink because it's too complicated. The ones i like are immediately distinguishable as something interesting plus have interesting twists for the owner.

  I'm about 90% sure i'm going to do this. All that's left to decide is the actual design, the color i want, the exact position, the size, and if the turtle is what i want on me for the rest of forever?

  ...............i wonder if there's such a thing as a tribal German/Dutch heritage turtle tattoo? I wouldn't be surprised if i came from a long line of stable sweepers or something equally mundane. Maybe i should go with the crossed shovel and pitch fork? Maybe i should do some more research?


Monday, January 30, 2012

#27. or, my radio friends

  Sometimes, while i'm in the tractor i like to listen to the radio. OK, i always listen to the radio. For the past while, i seem to spend quite a bit of my time listening to 102.3 NOW Radio. They play a lot of the newer stuff, but quite often you get surprised by a song that they play that falls outside of their format. One of the cool things that they do over there is take texts from the listeners. Quite often, if what you say is pertinent to the conversation at hand they will read your text out to the listening world and that is kind of neat. It sometimes feels good to be part of the conversation.

 I have texted in to all of the on air hosts at one time or another, and have had them read what i've had to say on the air. The hosts of the weekend morning show used to be Chris And Joelle. I really liked the weekend morning show because it seemed so casual to me. Besides co-hosting the show Joelle usually fields the texts and sometimes we end up having our own little conversation outside what's going on, on the air. She has her own blog, called j is for joelle (that's a link, hope it works) which is one of the blogs that i try to read and it has also been a bit of an inspiration for me on getting my own blog going.

 Yesterday morning, Sunday, i texted something in, i really don't even remember the conversation, but they started to talk about my blog. I was, for lack of a better term, shocked. These two radio hosts took some of their time to mention what i'm doing here and i was grateful for that. If you write a blog, one of the things that you like, well for me anyways, is to have what you create find more of an audience. I'm doing what i can to spread the word about what i'm doing here and to have these guys give my little blog a bit of a plug on the radio is wonderful. Saying "Thank You" just doesn't seem sufficient.

 On a sad note, Sunday was also Chris's last weekend show, as he is leaving the station to be closer to his family. I'm going to miss him. I think Chris and Joelle worked well together and whoever replaces him is going to have some big shoes to fill.

  ..........oh, when Joelle was saying who i was, she described me as a humble guy riding around in a tractor spreading my wisdom like Yoda. Truthfully, i think i resemble Yoda more in appearance than wisdom, but i'm not going to argue with the lady.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

#26. or, white socks

    I'm not usually a wearer of white socks. Truthfully, i don't even know the etiquette for wearing socks. While i do make an effort to look good and happen to have a fondness for bitchin shirts, i don't have a very keen fashion sense. Thankfully, i have a wife that helps me out with that. I am aware of the basic rules regarding not looking like an idiot, not wearing socks with sandals, or don't jam on flip flops over socks so you get that toe wedgie thing happening. I can dress myself, it's the suttle nuances that she helps me with. Things like, don't wear anything red, it washes out my color, which usually happens to be pretty washed out at the best of times. Or that sometimes, two different shades of blue don't work together, to me blue is blue? I am grateful for her assistance in these matters because without her, i most likely would only be a shopping cart away from filling out my hobo ensemble.

  So, the white socks. I got them for Christmas. I probably failed to mention them because, well, they're socks. Now, in defence of the white socks, they do happen to be Edmonton Eskimos white socks, so the do have a coolness about them right off the bat. Until now i have always been a dark sock fellow. Grey being the lightest i would generally lean toward. When you live on a farm, dark socks are more forgiving. You never know when you might step in something soft.....and warm. It's not like i don't change my socks regularly, it's that white socks don't really stand a chance. That green colored stain just above the top of ones shoe line is going to be pretty unmistakable to anyone who knows what that green colored stain comes from.

  The white socks. Heading out to watch my kid at a basketball tournament, i decided to give them a chance. What the hell, it's relatively safe in the confines of a high school gym, right? You know what? White socks are empowering! They're like saying "SCREW YOU UNIVERSE!" i'm wearing white socks today and there's nothing you can do about it!  Bring you're worst and i will laugh in the face of destiny, rise above anything terrible you can hurl at me and i will prevail, unscathed, and still  looking......AWESOME!

  ............i wonder if my wife will let me wear white pants?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

#25. or,what i've learned

  Let me tell you everything that i know about blogging.............ahh..........um.........well..........ya, I don't really know anything about blogging.

  I know why i'm here doing this. I like doing it, i like being able to create something interesting. Mostly, i'm doing this for myself then? I guess so.....to an extent. I really like it when something interesting falls out of my head and it becomes entertaining to people. That feeling, as it turns out, is almost the same as the actual act of creating something. It feels good. Still though, what do i know about blogging? The truth is......nothing, well, a little..... now. More than, say 25 posts ago, and that i guess is the point.

  I'm right around the corner from being 44 years old and i'm still learning to do new things, things that interest me, and i like to do. I think that's important. Try new things. Write a blog, learn to drive a bus, something, just don't stop learning new things.

 So, what do i know about blogging then? A little bit. I'm still learning. I've been trying to do some research to find what other people do to make their blogs interesting. Turns out, the majority of the blogs that i've seen are written by women, well the ones that seem to be the most interesting. Guys seem to blog about politics and the curvature of the Earth and other smart things. The few "man-blogs" that i do like are by actual paid comedians so entertaining as they are, i'm not going to be able to compete with those.

  I have an idea or two that i want to add to mine to make it better. Really, it's more aesthetically pleasing than i had expected it was ever going to be when i started this. (well, to me anyways. Women like lacy borders, bright colors, and flowery accents) I hope the content is OK. Sometimes i wish it was more humorous, but it seems at times to just reflect how i feel when i sit down to type. If you can call hunting and pecking typing? I'm still learning that.

    ............it's quite possible that i'm having a mid-life crisis and can't afford a convertible to drive around in with my shirt half open, showing off my gold chains around my neck. Writing a free blog is way more affordable than that, but if that's how you want to imagine me while you read these, i'm fine with that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#24. or, new facebook is coming

  So, new facebook is coming. Apparently, within 7 days or so, everyone is going to have their facebook updated to the new system, It looks nothing at all like the old one. I fully expect there to be an outcry from the masses that they hate the new facebook and want the old familiar page back. My mind is open.

 Let me tell you about twitter. I have a twitter account. My profile is basically the same as the title of my Blog page, @ken_inatractor. When i got it, about 2 1/2 years ago it was something else. It was terrible so i changed it to what it is now. I wanted the hyphen but twitter doesn't like hyphens so i have to use the lazy hyphen thing that lays on the ground. Plus, people seem to like to run a lot of their words together on twitter. Real estate is valuable, you have to say what you want in 140 characters or less. I follow 139 people. Some of those are not people though, some are businesses. 46 have decided that they want to follow me and of those 46, some of those i don't follow. My first tweet was sometime last September. I think i have just short of 200 tweets in that time but i don't think anyone is listening to me there. I really only talk to one person on twitter that actually talks back and all of those conversations cover about 30 tweets. I kind of dislike twitter.

  Twitter is like going to the mall on the Saturday before Christmas, or like high school. Its full of people bumping into each other and unless you are the cool or popular one you sort of disappear into the masses. I don't do well on twitter, i'm too long winded. I am constantly editing down to fit the character constraint and it's unforgiving. You can't delete a tweet, as far as i know, so you need to send a 2nd one apologizing for your ineptitude. Mostly, i use it for the news, sports, and weather.

  I like facebook. This blog would not be here if it was not for facebook. All of the friends that i have on facebook are friends because when i asked they accepted or vice versa. The community is tighter. Its like talking to friends over coffee, or across the campfire at the lake. I have made new friends and reconnected with old ones. To me facebook is easy. Sometimes that little thumbs up like button is all it takes to know people are listening to you.

 Of the people that come here to look at my blog, 95% of them get here via facebook. A hand full are google searches. How many from twitter?  2.

  They say that the best coffee in the world comes from Brazil or Peru or someplace equally tropical. There is this cat there that wanders about the jungle and has a taste for coffee beans. It eats the coffee beans and they travel through its digestional tract where they get infused with inside of cat stuff. Then, after the cat poops them out, someone sifts through the mess, cleans off the undigested beans (i hope) and BOOM......the best coffee in the world! What ever possesed someone to look at a pile of cat droppings, discover it was coated in coffee bean sprinkles and decide that those were the beans they wanted to make their coffee from? Wouldn't have occured to me?

  ...............new facebook is coming, i'm going to give it a chance. Sometimes you need to dig through the shit to find the gold.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

#23. or, a head full of snot

  Somewhere, on the other side of the world, a meanering heard of pachyderms, on their migratory trek across the barren Africian desert are slowly coming to a halt. They cock their flapping leathery ears to listen..........

  I am sure that the amount of nose blowing going on in this house sounds incredibly close to the desperate bayfull cries of an elephant stuck in a water hole as it slowly dies.

  A nasty sinus infection/head cold has taken its hold on this household. Unfortunatly, the speck in my brain reserved for creatitivity seems to be inundated with snot right now and when i sat down to blog about something i had no idea whatsoever of what i wanted to talk about.

  I have completely fallen off my fitness program, the idea of making a salad for lunch and putting crispy vegetables down my throat makes me cringe to just think about it. Truthfully, i would be happy to spend the day on the couch with a glass of milk, eating gooey muffins.

 I am hoping that i can shake out of this by the weekend, i'm driving the bus on an overnight trip to Edson for a high school basketball tournament. I am quite looking forward to it.

 Yesh.....this blog has turned out to be quite negative. On a positive note, when i opened up this page to write about something i discovered i had crossed over the 1000 views mark on my blog page. I find that utterly amazing. I thank you guys, whoever you are, that stop to check me out. Sometimes it makes me scratch my head that i can write something that makes you want to come back and see what's going on day to day. Again, i thank you.  :)

.............one more positive thing just happened, i just hit the spellcheck button and there was no spelling mistakes to correct. Apparently, sinus infections improve your ability to spell, who knew?

Monday, January 23, 2012

#22. or, 1000 pieces of ipod

  About 2 weeks ago, Wyatt, our youngest, busted his ipod. Now, he paid for it himself when he bought it, and we have made a pretty big deal about the responsibility of looking after what is in fact, quite an expensive piece of technology. I know that there are other 12 year old kids out there that already have cell phones, i've seen it myself. He would like a cell phone in the worst way but he's not getting one. Not yet. He has his ipod. He has an app to text from it if he is near a source of wifi, which in his lesson in responsibility, he has had taken away for texting irresponsibly. I guess he's been pretty good with it, until about 2 weeks ago when he made the bad decision to keep it in his pocket when i took him to town to play hockey on the outdoor rink. Now in his defence, he did have at least a partial argument when he said that when he remembered he had it, he didn't want to leave it unattended in his hockey bag in case it got stolen so he decided to keep it in his pocket. Either way, you should know that if you get a hockey puck shot at a pocket containing an ipod, you are going to end up with a 1000 pieces of ipod.

  In an effort to remedy his dilemma with the least amount of cost, we took it to the apple store in the city. They wanted $160 to replace the screen. I thought that i could do better than that. On e-bay, i found a kit with a replacement screen plus the tools to do the job for about $45. That seemed to be reasonable, and me being the handy sort of fellow that i am, we ordered the parts. Last Friday they arrived in the mail.

   Wanting to do the job correctly, and not blindly start ripping and tearing (which used to be how i tackled a lot of jobs) i decided to research the proper procedure on You tube. (because i am so tech-savvy.....ppfftt!) Over the course of at least five instructional videos, none of which were exactly the same, i got to work.  Now, i think i need to point out here that the longest instructional video ran a total of 15 minutes, 28 seconds. piece of cake right? Wrong! it took at least 3 times that just to dig all the broken little shards of glass out of the case! Everything in there is so tiny, i had to get my light thing that goes on my head and makes me look like some kind of urban miner just to see the pieces. I ended up having to take frequent breaks to keep from getting a headache because after 5 minutes of trying to focus on a part smaller than a head of a pin, my eyes would cross and the back of my neck would start to spasm. Four of the five videos instructed to just slightly lift the circuit board up and simply plug in the new screen to the bottom of it. It took me an hour of trying to line up the connections of the plug just to get the screen connected. From start to finish it took at least 3 hours to do the job. A far cry from the 15 minute, 28 second instructional video. But in the end, when we turned it on everything worked the way it was supposed to and Wyatt got his ipod back for $41.89.

..............the new screen is not quite as tight in the case as the original and even though i desperately wanted to, Wyatt would not let me secure it down with Duct Tape. I know it would have worked brilliantly.

Friday, January 20, 2012

#21. or, yo ho ho

  So, while on holidays last week (this is most likely the last time i'm going to go back to this well.) i made one important discovery about myself. Firstly, you should know that in my youth (and last week) i had always envisioned myself as a swashbuckling adventurer. Some sort of Errol Flynn type, sailing the high seas, waging glorious battles while standing on the bridge of my tall ship. Last week that dream died.

  On holidays, we decided to do this dinner theatre type cruise on an authentic replica pirate ship. I took my prerequisite Gravol and off we went. Now i am pretty sure that 150 years ago, pirate ships didn't run on diesel engines but my imagination is pretty active so i was willing to make allowances. Our assigned pirate. Coral, happened to be the only female pirate of the crew and was pretty smok'in hot. I couldn't help but wonder how she actually would have fared on a ship full of blood thirsty, rum fuelled, pirates but i may have been over analysing it.

  As we waited in line for our turn to board the ship, i should have seen the for shadowing as a couple who had already been seated got up and bolted before they even untied the boat. (i'm pretty sure there is a nautical term for untying the boat but i don't know what it is.)  We boarded, got our souvenir pictures taken, went to our assigned section, sexy pirate Coral brought us our drinks, they untied the boat, and off we went. And i got sick. We didn't even leave the bay and i was queasy. I had to trade off my rum for a bottle of water, which i am sure impressed Coral immensely. As we headed away from shore it wasn't too bad. The show, and the ship was awesome, we went below deck for the supper and i got to feeling a little better. Because of the number of people and the size of the dinning area we ate in two shifts, we were in the first group. When we came back up, the ship had turned back toward shore as the show continued. I truthfully tried my darnedest to focus on the actors but the sight of the shore going up and down, up and down in my peripheral vision did me in. Now, i want to be clear that i did not hurl at any point during our 3 hour tour but i was never so glad to return to shore as i was that evening.

  I could pull off the bitchin hat, i could do the boots, i could rock the sword and pistol, i would be awesome in the leather belts and buckles, but it's pretty hard to strike fear into the heart of your opponent when your skin has turned to green and you are sipping on a water bottle.

  ................i will now focus my dreams on becoming the Batman.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

#20. or, whats up with that?

  I don't know what it is, but it's a little embarrassing. It might just be that it's deep into the middle of winter during the coldest stretch in a couple years? Perhaps it was the plethora of fruity tropical drinks that i indulged in over last weeks holidays? Maybe i'm sympathetically somehow getting in sync with my wife's monthly gift? I don't know what it is but i find it a little disturbing.

  During lunch yesterday, the movie Secretariat was on. You know, the triple crown winner horse movie? Anyways, in the final race scene, where he (the horse) wins his final race handily to win the triple crown, i found myself getting all weepy. What's up with that? I mean, i'm a manly man! I drink Scotch, smoke cigars, and like to look at women's boobs and things! I shouldn't be tearing up over an inspirational horse movie?

  Now, i realize i am in middle age denial. I have taken a concerted effort to cling to the fleeting vestiges of whatever remains of my youth. I am actually having a lot more fun that i had, say, 10 years ago.  It's just that i was preparing myself to be the "Hey you kids, get the hell off my lawn!" guy. Now i'm worried that i might turn into "Hey you kids, bring me that cute puppy to snuggle." guy. That is something that i had not prepared myself for.

  So, in an effort to curb this disturbing trend, i think that i might go out and rotate the tires on my truck or something equally manly. Maybe i'll watch 300 again today? I hope my wife doesn't decide to bring home a chick flick.

..........i had actually considered saying something about doing some testosterone shots, but then my mind wandered into a terrible place so i decided against it.

  (you might have noticed i added a picture of myself that isn't particularly farmy. truthfully, i don't actually have one yet. This will have to do until i can get one of myself not all bundled up in my winter attire.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

#19. or, it's fricken cold out

  It was cold yesterday, in the minus 40 degree Celsius range with the wind chill. So cold the school buses didn't run.  The bad thing about colder weather is that more problems come up with outside things. We had a cattle watering bowl freeze up. Sometimes it's just the float system on top and a pail of warm water will fix it up. When that doesn't work, you have to open it up and dig deeper. This one had a frozen hose underneath the bowl part plus a leak near the hose clamp.

  So, by the time you asses the situation, you already can't feel the tips of your fingers. We shut down the well, and i cut the hose. Sent my kid, who was home because the buses didn't run, for a screwdriver to loosen the clamp. Gave my knife to my kid and took the screwdriver and spent 5 minutes trying to get it onto the clamp which was at absolutely the worst angle possible. Finally got the clamp off, then needed to cut off the remaining piece of hose that was under the clamp. Checked all my pockets, couldn't find my knife, fingers are now cold and wet from the leaking hose that i can't feel them at all. Discover that i need to pee. Decide against exposing my tender man-bits to the extreme temperature. Need to warm up while my brother goes to the shop for another knife. Go into the barn and try to run warm water onto my fingers to get the feeling back and remember that the well is shut down and no water is going to come. Fingers are too numb to manage my zipper to pee so head back to the watering bowl. Find my kid standing there with the first knife i had handed to him. Get everything back together and discover that the small propane torch we brought to thaw the hose won't work properly because it is also starting to freeze up. While my brother goes to turn the well back on, i try to thaw the frozen hose with sporadic blasts of flame from the frozen torch. Finally get a trickle of water, then full pressure, gather up the tools, head to shop and discover we lost the second knife, which we didn't actually need, somewhere on the way.

  ....................it's even colder this morning, i'm going to pee before i start anything.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#18. or, my day with the turtles

  So, here's something a lot of people don't know about me. My first word ever was turtle. Now i'm trusting my mother on this one because while i was presumably there for the event, i cannot actually remember uttering the word for the first time. Apparently, some friends of my parents had some turtles for pets and i was somewhat enamoured with them. Anyways, i've always liked them and enjoy the times when turtles and i cross paths.

  Last week, we were on holidays in Puerto Vallarta. The resort we stayed at was in Banderas Bay. It's absolutely beautiful there. I hope to return some day. The beach in Banderas Bay goes on forever and it is one of the places where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. Because there is so much tourist traffic, there is a conservation effort going on where guys on quads travel up and down the beach and if a sea turtle lays her eggs there, they relocate the eggs to a sanctuary after the turtle returns to the ocean. This is a track left by a turtle that had come up to lay her eggs some time during the night.

 This is what the sanctuary looks like. It isn't much but it does the job.

    So there was one of these sanctuary's within walking direction either way from our resort. Apparently, if you are there when it happens, they will let you help move the baby turtles into the ocean. There was supposed to be a nest hatching the day after we left so i missed that one. I think i had missed one earlier in the week as well but i didn't know about it at that time. I am pretty sure they had released some because one day while i was walking on the beach i came across this little fellow.

  I saw a few of them on the beach that afternoon. I think they were probably the weaker ones that couldn't get out past the waves. Here is me fulfilling a long secret desire of mine to help a baby sea turtle make it into the ocean.

 That was surely one of the cool things that happened to me while we were on vacation. It is something i have always wanted to at least see and to be able to actually help a baby turtle out was an added bonus. Here is me with my fake Mexican beach turtle tattoo. (also pretty darned cool.)

(this picture was obviously early in the week, well before my awesome tan developed. Also, by the looks of the picture, probably after one of too many trips to the buffet.......i could have sworn i looked much cooler while this was actually happening?) Anyways, that was one of the happy accidents that happened on our vacation. Its funny how things turn out sometimes.

............oh,  If you ever travel to Mexico for holidays, a good rule of thumb is that if you do more than five shots of tequila while you are drinking, you are going to lose one of your vacation days.

Monday, January 16, 2012

#17. or, the bladder of a farmer

   I am submitting this post to Dude write this week. It's where guy bloggers come together to submit posts, that get voted on from Sunday to Tuesday evening to see whose was most popular. I encourage you to pop over and take a look at them and maybe come back and vote on your favourites. 
You can get there by clicking on THIS LINK!

 Due to lack of time these hectic days, I'm submitting this older post to Dude Write this week. So while it may seem that I've been spending my valuable harvest days lounging on the beach, I haven't. All this tropical wonderfull-ness took place last January.

Alright, one of the good things about being a farmer is that the world is my bathroom. Now, I don't mean in the sense that I need to carry around a pooper-scooper to clean up behind myself. It's just that I have the freedom to pee wherever I want, whenever I am stricken by the mood. More than once, I've pee'd off the top step of the combine while I unload grain into the truck. It's somewhat liberating.

  One of the bad things about being a farmer is that the world is my bathroom. Having the freedom to pee whenever the mood strikes me has left me with pretty much the bladder of an 80 year old. If I need to pee, I had better go quickly or i am going to be in trouble.

  So, anyways, we spent the last week in beautiful Puerto Vallerta, Mexico. It was very lovely. To the South of our resort, I think around a mile and a half away (for the sake of this story, you can imagine it was at least 5 miles.) was a stone wall. Two times, I struck out to make it to this wall. The flaw in my first two attempts was that it was in the afternoon after a few rums. I got about a third of the way the first time, about half the way the second. Both attempts fell short. Both because I was stricken with the necessity to pee. (The second time, I actually considered going into the ocean to relieve myself. I didn't though.) On both failed attempts, if you had passed me on my way back to the bathroom, you might have mistaken me for someone who was actually a little bit ripped. This would only be because by the time I made it back, every muscle in my body between my chest and knees was so clenched, it actually looked like I had bulging muscles. (which in reality I don't, but I don't mind if you imagine I do.)  The third attempt, I made it, only because, I headed out early enough that the bars hadn't opened yet, and did not contain enough liquid in me that I was able to complete the trip. It was starting to get a little pressing though, by the time I made it back.

  Turns out the rock wall was one side of an inlet into a marina, and it was quite a nice thing to see some of the sail boats heading in and out of the bay. There was also a few fellows fishing there and I would have liked to have a few more minutes to spend to look around.

  So now, I guess that I need to go into pee muscle clenching exercises so that I can actually walk more than a mile or two before I find myself in dire circumstances. Still though, it's at least two more years I think, before I can do a tropical vacation again so maybe I'm still OK to pee off the top step of the tractor for a while before I start to train.

.........oh, also, I was a little disappointed in the number of people who just look away when you smile and say good morning as you walk on the beach. A lot of the ones who did though had farmer tans and tractor company hats on their heads.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#16. or, i am humbled

  So, this is how this works. Something that happens to me over the course of the day plants a seed in my head, then, when i get the time, i sit down at the computer and let whatever is in there just pour out. I don't seem to be able to put too much thought into it, if i do, it reads like it's over thought. Well, to me at least anyways, and i don't really like that. I try to type it out in the same style that it would be if i was just talking to you over a cup of coffee. While i try to follow some general grammatical guidelines that i remember from school, my style tends to be rather loosey goosey. (for lack of a better term) Some are going to work better than others do and some turn out better than expected. Sometimes, what i sit down to write becomes a completely different animal than i had intended. But i'm always having fun doing it.

  Also, most of this post was actually written before i left on holidays, so i'm not sure if it's going to be in the proper order or have the correct date. I hope it doesn't get too confusing if it seems out of whack. Sometimes, i don't know how things are going to work until i push that publish button.

 I have never thought that anything i have to say would be something that someone would actually return to, to see whats going on in my world, yet people seem to check in. I had never dreamed that over 16 rambling posts that over 600 times someone opened my page to see what i have to say. (some of those 600 were actually me, checking to see if everything looked like i want it to.) People have looked in from the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Malaysia, and of course Canada. That just floors me!  I thank you. I am amazed and completely humbled that anyone finds me interesting. Thank you.

 I have some ideas that i want to add to my blog soon to try to make it better. The link to the about me page actually has something there, so feel free to take a look at that. I find that i have started to take pictures of things i never would have thought to because even if there is no story there at the time, the picture may become relevant. I will try to add more pictures.

 I am not really sure that i am going to be able to do this over holidays or not. I would like to, but it all depends on the availability of internet where i am at. If i am not here over the next week, it will not be for lack of trying. I'm planning to at the very least, jot down things that are going on so i can tell you about them when i return. Don't go away, i will return.

 ........the only negative thing i have found about this adventure so far is that my spam box has been inundated with ads for male enhancement pills, and European on line gambling sites. I can deal with that, and rest assured, i have never,ever, in any way shape or form, ever even considered using a European on-line gambling site!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

#15. or, you can't reason with a cow

  It was my plan to post something new for DudeWrite this week. I had an idea for the story that i had planned to post. I didn't get it done. I was busy moving cows all week, then i had to get ready to go camping. It was the first trip of the year for us,  so that meant quite a bit of stuff needed to be done to get the trailer ready for that. Anyways, no new story. Thankfully, The swell Dudes at DudeWrite opened up the posting for one more week of older posts. I hope that next week i will have a fresher offering.

  .......and so, I humbly offer you this post from back in January.

  Well, i had a completely different story already prepared to share with you today, but something actually interesting enough happened "down on the farm" yesterday that i decided to blog about that instead. Considering that this blog was somewhat intended to be about things that happen to me "down on the farm" and i can't actually remember writing much about that part of my life, this story sort of took precedence.

  If you know anything about cows at all, they have one unique inherent talent. (other than being tasty as hell, of course) Cows have the ability to turn the calmest, level headed, clear thinking person into a raving lunatic. This generally happens only when you actually have to handle the cows, as in, move them from one place to another or bring them into corrals for vaccinations or something equally farmy. Plus, the level of raving lunacy, is directly proportional to the number of cows you are actually handling. More cows means more idiocy. Also, something just occurred to me is that this condition may be most prevalent in the males of the population. I should do a study on that, maybe i could get a grant?

 So, last fall, we put in a new fence. It's brand new, the barbed wire still glitters in the sun. This fence now splits a pasture into two pieces. There is one gate in the fence, which for now is open and i feed the cows on the far end of the field, so they get some exercise to make giving birth later in the spring easier. It's been raining here, which in itself is odd for the winters we have normally here, plus just cold enough to make the pasture into one large sheet of ice. Cows do not navigate ice well at all and there was about 15 or so cows, that would not come down to the gate to get to the other pasture to eat because that area was visibly more icy. Yesterday, i used the tractor that i was in (ken-inatractor, see how that works.) to rough up the gate area to be safer for the cows. Then, because those 15 or so were still hesitant to cross the roughed up ice, we had to chase them through the gate.

  OK, one tractor, one quad, calmly move behind the cows and gradually suggest to them that they need to move to the gate. Cows don't move, my stupid level goes up one notch. Suggest with more vigor that cows need to move to the gate by driving tractor and quad with increased speed, cows don't move, stupid level goes up another notch. Verbally suggest to cows they should move, in loud voice while increasing the speed of tractor and quad. Cows don't move, add profanity, to illustrate to cows the importance of them moving toward the gate, cows don't move. Stupid level rises another notch. Abandon tractor completely for fear that the speed has now gotten to a point where bouncing across frozen piles of manure is going to make the wheels fall off the tractor. Cows walk in circles and make no effort to approach the gate. Stupid mixes with anger and decide they need to approach the next level. Cows are now along side the fence, quad is racing side to side with dangerous speed on the ice, calf decides to climb though fence, gets leg caught in wire, everything stops while i cut brand new wire to get calf out, cows return to original position, fencing pliers get thrown across the field. Wipe drool from corner of mouth, resume chasing cows at dangerous speed on quad, completely lose control of quad on ice, crash through barbed fence, shearing off two brand new fence posts in the process. Make split second decision on whether to leap over fence while quad is passing through it, opt for under, hit the ground, roll onto back, and slide clean under barbed wire, on back, on ice. Clothes begin to shred as skin starts to turn green.  (you won't like me when i'm angry). Cows eventually decide to go through gate, after more cows come from other side of fence to eat hay bale i had originally placed near the gate to make it more appealing. Spend rest of day in grumpy mood.

...............i am so glad i leave for Mexico today.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

#14. or, only 1 1/2 sleeps

  I've tried to keep this rather low key. More for my own benefit than yours. Mostly to keep myself from getting way too excited and getting myself all worked up about it. Early Sunday morning we get on a plane and go to Mexico for vacation.

  This morning, after chores, some neighbours stopped over for coffee, as is usually the case. We got to talking about travelling and vacations and during the course of the talk, i knew i was not going to be able to hold it back any longer. It started off rather slowly, then began to bubble to the surface until, by the time they left, i'm pretty sure they thought i had turned into a blithering idiot, rambling on about how much i enjoy winter vacation. So there you have it, 1 1/2 sleeps, more or less. I don't expect much sleep Saturday night. We have to be at the airport at around 3:00 AM Sunday morning, so it's going to be a long day, but i'm sure i will love every second of it. There is still plenty of packing left to do, although we do seem to have a multitude of random lists about with things we need to get done. I am sure it will all come together....tomorrow.

  While the 2 older boys are pretty much self sufficient, we are so lucky to have my Mom available and willing to look after Wyatt while we are gone. Thanks to her for that. I am sure she will be entirely sick of watching the sports channels by the time we get back.

...........oh, i must say thanks also to Sublime Swimwear in St. Albert for having a swimsuit for my wife that i actually think she is going to be happy to wear. In 20 some years, i can't say that i've seen a bad one yet but this one is particularly awesome.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

#13. or, i might have a competitive streak

  Just to qualify this, i wrote it yesterday in the evening and am posting it this morning. I did, in no way get up before 7:00 AM, drive a half hour to town and run on the track already today. I'll try to remember that when i empty my head next time.

  Damn you, green sweatshirt, 20 something athletic guy with legs 6 inches longer than mine at the track today. I was perfectly happy, doing my thing, had my own comfortable little pace going on. Then you show up, right away with the running. I mean really fast. Lapping me 3 times in the half hour that you were there. You didn't know that i had already been there 20 minutes. I had already finished my running part for a bit. I was doing the fast walking part for a while, just until the pain in my side stopped, and i could feel my legs below my knees again. What was i to do? I couldn't let this guy half my age own the track, my track,......me. So i ran. OK, right now, i've just got the vision in my head of a stadium full of college students yelling in unison "RUN FOREST!" Don't think that! it does nothing for this story. Um.......pain in side, no feeling in legs.....oh ya, so i ran. Still, he lapped me three times in half an hour, but when he stopped to stretch, i kept running, past him three times, and then ...thank god, he just left. I'm pretty sure he had to leave, he had no choice, i owned him. Well, in my head that's what happened. I'm glad he left, i had to stop to die. Now i need a handful of Advils, and to put my feet up to try get the swelling to go down.

......i have a dilemma, i just realised my hat, my favourite hat, the one that i look way awesome in, comes from the East side of Mexico. Is it bad form to wear an obvious souvenir had from last vacation on new vacation to the West side of Mexico?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

#12. or, the right underwear for the job.

  So, am i disappointed to have to be watching Canada play for third or fourth at the World Juniors, ya, it stings. Those young Russians played a hell of a game. Congratulations to them. Thanks to the Canadian boys for a flurry of goals at the end of the game to make it respectable. I am confident, if we had another couple minutes, we would have seen overtime. Very exciting finish. i was on the edge of my seat.

  Went to the track today, made a bad choice of underwear. I have some pretty good ones that serve me quite well. Some of these are packed for vacation, some are in the wash. I had to go with my back-up goalie of ginch today. Unfortunately, the leg holes are a little loose and i ended up running with a wedgie most of the day. Add to that, the fact that the walking track was full of people, still trying to fulfil their New Years resolutions to get into shape, i had no opportunity to discretely remedy the situation. If you're going to run, wear good ginch.

  I was glad to hear from my son this evening. Off on the first major road trip of his life with his crew, skiing in Jasper. The rain has once again made the roads virtually undrivable. I guess we've all been there. Sometimes i worry a bit.

  ........i am happy for Febreeze, making the bag that i take the stuff that i wear to the track smell better since.....well, tonight. Wish i had thought of that earlier

Monday, January 02, 2012

#11. or, Daniel Fricken Craig

 Last 2 weeks aside, i have been making a concerted effort to get myself into some sort of reasonable shape. (other than round, of course.) I've been trying to eat better. I've been trying to do some exercises as often as i can in the morning, along with some stretches, despite the fact that my shoulder usually hurts like hell. I try to get to the track at least 3 times a week and do my best to push myself for at least an hour. Usually, ending up with a sore hip or knees. I generally feel better, my cardio has improved, i can spend more time actually running than i did when i started this. I am confident that i am healthier than i was, say, 2 months ago. Am i closer to the weight that i had chosen as a target to be at by this time......no. 175 pounds. That's where i wanted to be. I am somewhere between 181 and 185. Each week i weigh, each week i am somewhere between 181 and 185, consistently. Sometimes i let myself get a little discouraged by this, but still, i trudge on.
Now, i'm 43. i'm never going to be that stunning movie star looking fellow. I don't think i'm too bad, just pretty darned average. I'm comfortable with that. I think i've held up pretty well, but recently, my hopes have risen a bit. The other day i found this.

  Daniel Fricken Craig! Daniel Fricken Craig is awesome.He just happens to also be 43. Daniel Fricken Craig has no problem whatsoever going on the cover of a magazine with messed up hair, stubbly unshaved beard, and in an awesome scarf. And look....Daniel Fricken Craig even has a light dusting of snow on his shoulders??  Now it might be coincidence that often, i can be found with messed up hair, stubbly unshaved beard, bitchen stylish scarf,(which i also now have thanks to a Christmas gift) and a light dusting of snow on my shoulders. It might be coincidence, i call it fate. The best part of average looking Daniel Fricken Craig is that he is also......James Fricken Bond! I mean, HOLY SMOKES! I spend the majority of my time looking like he looks on the cover of this magazine. And did you happen to see Daniel Fricken Craig in Cowboys and Aliens? Nobody pulls off dirty faced brooding sexy guy like Daniel Fricken Craig!
  So thank you, Daniel Fricken Craig, because of you, i will continue to strive to get into the 170 pound range, work out and be a better me Who knows, somewhere in here, there might be a James Fricken Bond lurking?
  .........i hope i don't get my ass sued off for using this picture without the expressed written consent of the copyright holder. I did pay $7 for it so i hope i'm in the clear?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

#10. or, Happy New Year

   Well, we rang in the New Year in grand style. Fell asleep before midnight and woke up with a headache without having consumed any alcohol at all. The plan was to share some New Years mimosas but alas, no. I'm ok with that, aside from the headache that is. New Years has become a little more about reflection than an excuse to party as i've gotten older. I can't say that i have had any dramatic revelations over the past year, but i have a couple thoughts about what has happened and where i'm headed, so if you care to indulge me, here goes.

   I might have turned into my dad because i can say to my kids, "when i was your age, it was way colder and the snow was so deep that...." you know the line. Last winter was that winter. cold as hell and deep deep snow. While i am grateful for the easy time of it we are having this winter, last winter reminded me of when i was a kid. As miserable as it was, i'm glad i got to experience it with my boys. It will sort of be that reference point from here on in. Remember the winter of 2011? it was so cold, and the snow!.......

   Over the summer, we took what may well possible the last long road trip holiday vacation that we will take as parents with children. Only our youngest was with us, the older boys, stayed home with summer jobs. It really hit home when we stayed at Rampart Creek campground near Jasper. There is a rock formation on top of the mountain when you look across the creek from within the campground. It looks like a truck. One of the older boys, Kyle i think, named it truck top mountain.I showed it to Wyatt, i had a tear in my eye........ but no one saw.

  There will be other vacations together, but i think the ones where we travel, day to day, looking for a sight as the evening approaches might be behind us.

   After, an adventure, that turned out to be way more intensive than i had hoped, i finally completed the bus driver training and got the S endorsement on my licence. I'm good to drive bus anywhere in the province. Originally, i had just planned to take the basketball teams that my kids were on to tournaments but i've also done a few field trips. This fall, i took Wyatt's grade to Jasper to hike up a mountain and, i took a couple trips that had classes that my kids were not in. Went to the Arden Theatre in St. Albert and saw Peter Pan, and saw The Velveteen Rabbit at the Capital Theatre right in Fort Edmonton Park. It was a lot of fun, i enjoy the kids.

   Before Christmas, my oldest son Joey, helped to organise an alumni basketball game at the school. The proceeds went to help a girl from the school with cancer. I was pretty proud of him for that. Plus the fact that after following High School basketball for the last 7 years, i finally got to see two of my boys play against each other. It was fun to cheer for both teams.

   Now, this blog of mine. I have alot to learn yet. I hope you bear with me and that i can continue to be interesting enough that you want to stick around. I'm hoping to make it a little more about who i am than my facebook rants used to be. I hope i can still make you smile, i still think the same, i'm just trying to mix in some more about me.

   I am sure the New Year will be exciting. Thank you to all my friends who followed me here. Thanks to new friends i've made recently.You all help me to be a happy fellow, Hope i can return the favour.