Thursday, 26 June 2008

Because of a Friend . . .

I have removed my previous post. It's caused a little controversy, and that was certainly not my intent.

It's also caused some trouble for my hard-working friend, and I can't have that.

For those that were offended by my post about your property, please forgive me. Had I known my words would cause such trouble, I never would have written them. You have a lovely property, and you should be proud of it.

I never meant harm to anyone. I'm not wired that way.

There was no secret, no hidden agenda. I really was in awe.

Again, my apologies, especially to my friend.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

I Rock. That's All.

Okay, I rock because Guitar Hero told me I do. And so did the legions of screaming fans through the encore session of my latest concert, somewhere on the back of a big-rig truck. It was all so crazy rock-n-roll that I don’t remember where the concert was. But that’s okay, because tonight it will be another concert, another night of desperate, screaming groupies, clamouring for my rockin’ guitar abilities.

Ah, the life of a rock star.

Like the road of any musical genius, my path to superstardom started with guitar lessons that were not as easy as I thought they would be. But eventually (15 minutes), my fingers found the correct colour-coded chords to press, and my strumming hand managed to find its own rhythm. My instructor told me I was ready to start playing in a garage band, and maybe follow them around on their quest for fame.

It was an intimidating offer. Was I really ready? Did I have what it took? Gulp.

I accepted the offer. I donned my torn leathers, teased my hair and shined up my Gibson. I was as ready as I would ever be.

My first song in my first concert? Slow Ride, by Foghat.

I must say that the crowd was not very forgiving. After messing up the first 30 chords or so, those ungrateful fans booed me right off the stage.


Good thing my band members were more forgiving. Slow Ride, one more time please.

After being booed off three more times, I finally got it. 79% of chords hit. YEAH! I rock. What? That's like a C+, right?

But as the songs went on, I didn’t rock so much. Even though I was booed off the stage more times than I was congratulated on my guitar playing prowess, I soldiered on, and it was all worth it, when the final song was played, and the crowd wanted an encore.

That’s right. An encore. From me, the rock goddess. And I gave them one. A rockin’, shockin’, jumpin’, clappin’, throw your bra at me encore.

Oh yeah, I rock alright. When I finally put my guitar down for the night, I was exhausted. My arm hurt from strumming, my fingertips were sore from the guitar chords, but it was a fulfilled exhausted. Because. I. Rock.

Wait – did I tell you that was on the easy level? Doesn’t matter – I still ROCK. And I beat Slash. Who's the rock god now, huh? Huh?


Here’s the thing. It’s just not acceptable to let all the kids have the fun with video games. Although it’s not healthy to spend every spare moment trying to obtain the status of deity in a video game, it’s also not healthy to go all ‘adult’ and pretend you’re too old to enjoy playing one.

I am convinced that Guitar Hero is for our generation, not that of our kids. Go ahead, ask them – who is Foghat? Who is Cream, or Heart? Their blank stares alone should have you kicking them off Guitar Hero so you can show them how to really rock.

Promise me, parents. Promise me you will take just two minutes to try out some of these games that your kids love so much.

After all, we had to play outside when we were kids. We didn’t have this cool stuff. It’s your turn to zone out on the video games that you probably bought in the first place, while you kick the kids outside to study plant or highway life.

I wasn't the only one Dad told to go play on the highway, was I?

Have fun, parents. And don’t forget to get your ROCK ON!


Friday, 13 June 2008

Friday Night With a Thunder Storm

The other day, my brilliant husband (and I mean this literally, the man is wicked smart) was about to get in the shower when I said that I'd heard some thunder.

He responded with, "Yeah, but is there lightning?"

I wasn't sure where to hang the 'here's your sign' on him. He was showering, after all. And for those of you who are asking the same question that Peter did, there is NO thunder without lightning, my friends.

You see, the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. That's why our parents taught us to count how far away the lightning was by timing the silence between the light and the sound.

Peter recovered nicely by stating that he meant whether or not the lightning was sheet (up in the clouds) or forked (aiming at us), because it’s dangerous to shower when the forked stuff is doing a tap dance across the road.

Uh huh. Cute but dumb. That’s how I like ‘em.

So tonight the Gold Canyon Vanilla Mint candle is glowing, an old episode of Ghost Whisperer is showing, and the lightning is flashing among the puffy night clouds, its rumbly thunder following close behind.

The television is silent. There are crickets and night birds, and I can almost be pulled away into the coming storm, lulled by the sound of the breeze among the branches outside. It is a lovely little moment, and I walk to the window to breathe in some of that great smelling air that comes with an impending storm. . .

Then I hear Peter cry “Shit, the internet is down.”

. . . and I am back, stormy adventure over.

Happy Friday, all. Hope your weekend is fantabulous.

And one more thing. LOVE with abandon and leave no words unspoken. Life is much too short, and when your time comes, you may not have a chance to even say "I wish I'd . . ."

Goodbye to Campbell Melvin, 46, dead from a heart attack while he was playing a soccer game today. He leaves behind four children and a beloved wife. There are no words.

And appropriately, here comes the rain.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Of Wild Turkeys and Woody Woodpecker

I love living in the wilds of Lanark County. I love the trees, the wide open sky and the amazing glittery carpet of stars at night. I especially love the critters, as long as they don’t want to suck my blood.

However, as much as I love the critters (Peter, too- we often will stand by the windows and watch them go by), apparently we don’t love them as much as our tabby, Wick.

I’ve told Wick stories before, and they always seem to start with . . . there was this really strange noise . . . you know, the kind of noise that registers in the cacophony of every-day sounds as not normal?

So there was this really strange nature noise that had me standing up to look out my office window. And what do I see? A fat white wild turkey running helter-skelter down the driveway with Wick in hot pursuit, her legs flying like the fastest cheetah.

I wish I could have seen it from the beginning. I imagine it would have been Wick, thinking to herself that whatever it was she was watching was the biggest thing she would ever try to tackle (besides the dog or me). I imagine she became a mighty huntress, stalking through our too-tall grass, crouched low to the ground, her tail swishing in dangerous arcs, her eyes wide, pupils dilated. She is no longer a house cat, she’s the mighty lioness, ready to bring down the meanest wildebeest on the plains of the Serengeti.

But, of course, all I got to see was the white wobble of the turkey and Wick’s rapid chase. By the time I screamed at Peter to come see, I was laughing and the frightened bird and our mighty cat were gone, only ghosts of dust clouds remaining.

Seriously, what in the world would she do with a turkey if she caught it? Would she expect me to serve it up with some stuffing and gravy? If she’d managed to drag that thing back, I would have served it on a silver platter to her. But the turkey managed to get away.

When the deer munch near our crab apple tree, Wick lays in the branches above or at their feet. I wonder if she provides the dinner conversation?

So there was this really strange noise, this time out the back bedroom door. I crawled out of bed and opened the drape, much to Peter’s dismay. It was kind of early on Saturday morning.

But that danged Woody Woodpecker was back, his full head of red feathers swaying in time with his loud hammering on our birch tree. The woodpecker was a full foot tall, and quite beautiful.

But what did Wick see?


So she’s at the base of the tree, and the woodpecker stops hammering and starts bellowing at the cat, six feet below.

Peter didn’t want the woodpecker on the tree anyway, so he started egging her on, telling her to get that nasty woodpecker.

It’s not like she could have caught the bird, but she sure shot up that tree fast enough, accompanied by the ‘good girl!’ shouts from both of us.

You’ve got to love the chutzpah of our little Wick. She dreams big, and she goes after her dreams. I guess we could all learn a lesson or two from our pets, couldn’t we?

Maybe, but I won’t be climbing trees or chasing wild turkeys anytime soon. And the deer? They can have the apples, thankyouverymuch.

I'm sure Wick will let them know when she's had enough.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

In Space, Nobody Can Hear You Pee. . .

So the big news last week was that the International Space Station was suffering from a plumbing problem, a broken toilet. And since a broken toilet at home is a big nuisance, I can’t even imagine a plumbing problem in space, where there is NO gravity.

Peter called me from the road when he was off doing some soccer thing or other, and was laughing when he told me that the toilet on the ISS (International Space Station) was broken, and that they had to fly in someone special to fix it.

Which, of course, led me to all kinds of suppositions.

So I did a little research and followed the story. As in, THIS, I gotta see.

First, how did the toilet break? Well, it seems that there was an astronaut using the facility. There’s a fan that pulls liquid waste away from the body and into a liquid waste receptacle. Apparently the fan broke while in use.

So you’re the astronaut, and you’re sitting there, stripped of your one-piece suit, naked, with your feet strapped in so you don’t float away (maybe you’d be jet-propelled into the ceiling for some reason when you sat down), and instead of your waste being pulled away by the fan, the fan stops. . . and then what?

Anti-gravity and a bum wash is what happens. But here’s the question. If you’re the astronaut sitting naked, and your bum is the only thing keeping the liquid IN the toilet, who do you call to say there’s a problem, and how do you get off the toilet?

Did the guy get up and run? Duck and cover while his waste hit the ceiling? Run like mad (in anti-gravity slow-mo) and scream “GET THE PLUMBER!” as he slammed the bathroom door behind him? Was he able to get his suit back on before it all hit the fan (so to speak)?

The ISS toilet is a 19 million dollar piece of equipment. If it cost 19 million to build it and install it, what in the heck is the plumbers fee going to be, and who on Earth (literally) do they call?

Down at Ground Control, Russia has been contacted to supply the parts, and the Space Shuttle Discovery is taking the parts and necessary personnel to fix the toilet.

So there are eleven plumbers in Carleton Place. I wonder what they would charge if someone called and said they needed a space toilet fixed? Would it be like the Bruce Willis movie, Armageddon, when they had to destroy the asteroid or else all would be doomed?

Would Bruce Willis the plumber go in while his daughter watched with teary eyed fear from Earth as he braved what is sure to be a wet storm of biohazard waste? Would the world watch in anticipation, hoping against hope that the pee storm would end?

And while the pump is replaced, will Bruce the plumber die while becoming an international hero at the same time?

Okay, probably not. The truth is that the astronauts managed to bypass the problem until the world’s most expensive plumber arrives on the Discovery. Good thing the Discovery has its own toilet.

As Peter said,” I hope the Space Station doesn’t fly over Carleton Place anytime soon.”