Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Joy of Moving. And Hockey...

...and then Alan opened his eyes and realised that nearly a week had slipped past...

Yes, I'm still visiting the bloggy world when I can find the time (and something to ramble on about). I'm also still trying to keep one step ahead of the evil work overlords with their long whips (long enough to reach even me hiding on this rock in the Atlantic).

I took a couple of days off this week to help my parents move from the NW corner of Conception Bay to the Southern Shore. They had a rented U-Haul truck and there were the usual problems with reserving the truck, with realtors, with cable companies and with lawyers. A legal issue prevented us from being able to start unloading the truck until 4:30 in the afternoon.  *Alan shakes fist to sky and vehemently curses the evil lawyers* (Alan is also Canadian and must now profusely apologise to any and all lawyers who are currently reading, or in the future may stumble across, this blog post). Anyway, they are in their house and now in the process of unpacking and moving furniture from here to there. And back again. One day they will have time to just sit and enjoy the view of the harbour. My dad said that this is definitely the last time they will ever move. I agreed. That is until the day we move them from the house into that nursing home with the bland food, high-fibre diet, cards three nights a week and invigorating geriatric exercises.

On a side note...our new AHL hockey team has been 'officially' named in the media. The St. John's IceCaps have now come into being. The name has been one of the worst-kept secrets in the city's memory and outrage over it has been spewed into cyberspace for about a month now. For the non-Canadians in the crowd...the name IceCaps brings to mind a certain frozen, cappuccino beverage by a certain major donut doughnut chain in our country (and parts of the northern US). I am in that camp of not liking the name but think the logo is tres cool looking. The top of an iceberg stylized from the Newfoundland and Labrador parts of our province. Very nice. Now is the time for whining over the name to stop and for everyone to move on in support of our local hockey team. *Alan gets off soap box (the same one he stood on when he cursed the lawyers)*.

I have put a down payment on a pair of season tickets for this new team. It's quite a chunk of money, but I'm going half's with V's sister's husband (did that make sense?). We'll also eat less lobster and more hamburger. We'll also force the boy to chip in by mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. The boy can even work George Street this tourist season by singing and dancing outside the swankier pubs...or...perhaps I should sell my body for money. I would come home from downtown with $150.25 in my pockets. V would ask me "where did the odd quarter come from." I would reply sheepishly, "Everyone."

I'm to go to the arena tomorrow to select the two seats that we will plant our butts in this inaugural season. I'm live in hope that there are a few moderate views of the ice surface left as we are near the bottom of the pecking order as far as priority on the season's ticket list is concerned.

It may be July in Canada but the smell of professional hockey is in the air--the first sign that winter is coming to the north. We will be there to support our team and certainly don't want the weeks to slip past unnoticed.

Let the games begin.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Can These Guys Jump, or What?

The coolest thing about the Internet is the opportunity to see weird and wonderful things (no, not THOSE things). It's really very educational out there. Mostly.

One can use it to 'travel' to other parts of the world and experience cultures in an indirect sort of way. I saw a story today about a popular south-east Asian sport I had never heard of before. Sepak Takraw is kind of a cross between volleyball and hackeysack. A team of three has to keep a rattan ball in the air using only their feet, knees and head (basically, anything but their hands) and then send it over the net to score a point against their opposition. I was once able to jump and twist like that (did I just hear someone call bulls*&t?) Here's a 2 1/2 minute sampling...

While reading the Wikipedia info on this (linked to above) I discovered that they have an association here in Canada. After watching the video, I got thinking that it reminded me of the Inuit sport of high kicking that is part of the World Eskimo Indian Olympics held every other year in the North. There is the one foot and two foot variety of kicking. Here is a short video of that...

All interesting stuff. Maybe the world is now a closer place and learning more about each other all the time. If I may quote Martha Stewart, "...and that's a good thing."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I've Been Memed!

I know...I promised to post my answers to this meme on the weekend but somehow life throws curve balls at you (or perhaps sour grapes, or even Yorkshire puddings once in a while). We had a bit of a family situation come up that is now mostly resolved and we can move on. Don't worry...nobody died and I'm reasonably sure there was no blood-letting. Also, believe me when I say that no moose were harmed during the commission of this family drama...

Anyway, who's dad didn't say "When somebody hits you, hit 'em right back" at some point of time. In my case, I was memed by my good friend Katey Taylor at her blog KV Taylor--Spec Fic and Nonsense.  Umm...I guess I can't meme her back because the game doesn't work that way. I imagine that I'll have to "pay it forward" (see my victims selections later on). Check out Katey's blog...if she's not there, perhaps you can find her lurking at The Red Penny Papers (an electronic journal of sensationalist and fantastical fiction).


Are you a rutabaga?

Not exactly, but I DID once have an old girlfriend call me a cabbage. Is that close enough?

When was the last time you ate lion meat?

You know what? I've never eaten lion meat (I know, I've had a sheltered life). Does a nice goat curry work as a substitute for Simba? How about shark steak...

Upload a heartwarming picture of something that makes you smile.

Baby pics can be very heartwarming. Lord knows, I've thrown enough pics up here recently to be an authority. There are probably underlying stories going on here. A commentary on violence with today's youth? Perceptions of French-English relations in Canada? Stuff like that. Or perhaps its simply a little Habs fan giving a little Leafs fan a left cross. Or maybe its just a clever segue to the next question...

If you could go back in time and kick the crap out of someone, who would it be?

Hmmm....most of the boys (and some of the girls) in the 6th grade for starters. Perhaps I was teased mercilessly because my mother dressed me funny--it WAS the 70's after all--or maybe it was because I was just a little a**hole...luckily for those folks, I have taken a path of non-violence. As my cousin, wise sage and long-distance truck driver, used to say, "I won my last fight by 50 yards."

Name one habit that makes other people plot your demise.

I've heard that my biting my fingernails can be quite annoying. It's a habit that I picked up from my father in my childhood (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). My God...the things my mother used to do to get me to stop. Punishments, harsh words, tying on mittens at night (I know that some of you are thinking that the mitten thing was during my teen years). She even used to paint nasty tasting 'stuff' onto my nails. I got used to the taste. People around me should be happy that I've made progress over the years. At least I'm no longer biting my toenails...

What song would you like to be playing while you are kicking the crap out of someone?

If I were to venture into crap-kicking I think that I would like a little Great Big Sea accompaniment. Something lively with a good beat. It seems to me that question is right out of "A Clockwork Orange."

Where da muffin top at?

He, he, he...when we were kids, my cousin's nickname (a different cousin) was the Muffin Man. I think that was on account of the shape of his face and head. In retrospect, after close scrutiny of my once-svelt body, I think that I should have been given that nickname...let's move on...and could you pass me another Danish, please?

How many goats, stacked atop one another like Yertle’s Turtles, would it take to reach the moon?

It seems to me that one would reach the moon faster if giraffes were used. I'm wondering, though, if they will be more prone to the effects of wind and such than goats. *Goes off for another cup of coffee to ponder this*

Describe yourself using obscure Latin words.

I'm always thinking ahead (and some would say worrying too much). Non incautus futuri apparently means "Not Unmindful of the Future".  Yeah, that works. Needless to say, I didn't know that off the top of my head and perused Wikipedia for a while to find a suitable response.

Why does evil exist?

To maintain a fine balancing act with good, of course. Then again if there was no evil what would horror writers have to write about?

What the chiz are you thinking right now?

I'm wondering what the frig does 'chiz' mean? Going to online Urban Dictionary now...

Tag five people who will have amusing answers if they choose to do this. No hard feelings if not, of course. But it’ll be fun! (or a decent time-waster.

1. Cathy Webster

2. Laurita Miller

3. John Wiswell

4. Gigi

5. Harry Sanderford

Pick a funny nickname for number 1.

The Muskoka Mistress of Hilarity Who is So, So, Pretty.

Make up a rhyme about number 2.

There once was a girl from the shore who wrote day and night until the words she could think of no more...

Where would number 3 hide in the event of the apocalypse?

I daresay John would seek shelter in his bathroom. Perhaps passing the time by sitting. And working on another monologue or maybe a satire.

Where does number 4 purchase her pants?

Ya know what...if I was to answer such a question about Gigi with any degree of accuracy I'd be branded some sort of a creepy stalker guy. In a fez (does it get any creepier than THAT!)

What would number 5′s favorite dance move be?

I'm picturing him busting a move, doing some sort of a cowboy boot, Yee-haw'n line dance. Oh, yeah, it would involve a surf board some how. I can't imagine why.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh, the Rumours...

Yeah, I know that the Vanity Project ended a week ago and there's been radio silence at Land's Edge ever since. I had to drop in to address rumours that I have been hearing about me in the darkest corners of cyberspace...

The rumours that I had passed away while eating a piece of toast are not true. However, the rumour that I nearly hit a moose on the highway 12 days ago is correct. If not for my cat-like reflexes at slamming my foot on the break peddle I would have had a lap dance from a 1200 lb moose. It's a good thing I always keep a clean set of underpants in the glove compartment...

The rumour that I was offered a juicy book deal was not true. However, I did manage to finish a story and submit it to this year's Cuffer Prize here on The Rock. I was going for two stories but finished only one. A 50% completion rate. What would you think if, just as the mask was placed on your face and you were counting backwards from 10, your surgeon told you that they were in the 50th percentile of their class...?

The rumour that I had won the Atlantic Lotto was greatly exaggerated. However, I did manage to find 38 cents while vacuuming under the cushions of the couch. I know, who am I kidding? Me, vacuum?

I was going to post a few answers to a meme I was recently clobbered honoured with. But I think that I will leave it until the week end so that I can give the questions some deeper reflection *snort*. Then again, it's our anniversary on Saturday and I may get sidetracked with tidying up (vacuuming and such) the place before my parents drop by for a visit. Isn't that the time most people tidy up? When company is dropping by?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vanity Project- Part X

Part 10...where Alan FINALLY uses up those photos...

Is that a collective sigh of relief I hear? I know, my friends, I have pushed your patience to the limit with all of those photos and I promise that this is the last batch and I won't make you endure any more (assuming there is still anyone reading my blog by today...) Thanks especially to Gigi, Cathy and Laurita for hanging in there the entire project and commenting all the way.

This was March, 2010 on one of those double-decker bus tours in Manhattan. One eye is on the camera while the other is watching for low hanging traffic lights...

This was the second part of the same trip last year. Sean and I were preparing to ice skate on the lower deck of the cruise ship we were on. A side note: we will next be able to afford a to take a cruise in 2020. Maybe.

The next three photos were taken on an overland bus tour I took from Sept. 1990 to Jan. 1991 from London, England to Kathmandu. The proverbial 'trip of a lifetime'. I got it into my head to quit my job and give up my apartment and take the plunge. I recommend this type of adventure for those who like foreign countries, camping and travelling on a small budget.

This is on the travertine (limestone) deposit at Pamukkale, Turkey in Oct. 1990. It is part of the Hierapolis, an ancient Greco-Roman city that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

A horseback/camel trek in the desert near Giza, Egypt. S%#&! I think I'm wearing the same shirt as in the previous picture!

This is on Christmas Day 1990 in Udaipur, India. Don't even ask me why Aussie Pete and I are dressed that way (notice that one leg of my shorts is longer than the other--hey, I think I still have those in a drawer somewhere). It's TOO long a story...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vanity Project- Part IX

The silly side of Alan...

My younger sister was here on vacation three years ago. She doesn't always look that grumpy. I think she wasn't feeling very well

Father's Day lobster boil up three years ago. This one's called "Smokin' da fish"...where I bite the head off a smoked caplin. They're really very nice...taste like chicken...

Playing cards with my mother on Christmas Day three years ago. Like a boy scout, I am wearing my warm hat and am prepared for anything. I wearing that damned shirt AGAIN! Note to self: Go to closet today and throw out brown shirt...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vanity Project- Part VIII

Just me and the boy...

It occurred to me that in that last family post I didn't include a photo of Sean. I have posted three below from the archives.

This one was shortly after we found the lad in the cabbage patch. I'm sure that 'V' has a different version of how we acquired the boy. Note that I am looking feverishly for the instruction manual that was supposed to be included.

I think this was taken in 2007. We were over on Bell Island and took the tour of the abandoned iron ore mine. Spooky. Whoa, look how short the kid is. It's hard to believe that he's nearly as tall as me now!

On vacation last year. Somewhere warmer and with nicer water than around here. I look very svelt when photographed from the shoulders up. I should insist that I only be photographed this way in the future.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vanity Project- Part VII

Happy 4th of July to my American friends.

This weekend was the Canada day weekend and a good time to get together with family.

Here's a few shots of the vain one with family in days past.

Yep, with my mum and dad on wedding day back in '94. I just don't have the knees to wear a kilt.

The auld y'ins arms stopped working so I fed him his Christmas trifle.

At the lookout at Grate's Cove, Newfoundland with my mum and 'V' ( I wearing the SAME shirt as that iceberg photo from the other day?)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Vanity Project- Part VI

The infamous hair day...

I know, I've gone on a lot about baldness....from the fine fundraising of Laurita Miller of Calling Shotgun to the shaving-of-the-head-to-make-a-buck by the boy...

This is the final word on the hair thing. These were taken by co-workers at the steel plant back in Aylmer, Ontario when I and another employee shaved our noggins to fundraise for a couple of local food banks back in 2003. They stopped production for half and hour and we had an audience of over 100 people...

My mugshot...pre-haircut. I let the hair and beard grow unfettered for about 5 months before the cut.

Look at the hair sticking out like wings. With a bit of white face paint and red lipstick I could look like Bobo the Clown. Or perhaps like the guy below...

Still have the beard to be shaved off. Look at that round, Charlie Brown cranium. Some of the guys at work figured I looked like a biker (no offence to the real bikers out there).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vanity Project- Part V

Me, standing about by the water...

I've only just noticed the number of pictures of me there are out there with me striking a pose near the water. I bet that a psychological professional could have a field day with me on the couch. That didn't sound right, did it?

In Goa, India back in 2008. Was there to help with training of sub-contractors we used back then (don't get me started on THAT...)

Visting the ecological reserve at Cape St. Mary's here in Newfoundland (and trying to suck in my gut)

Look closely...notice my catch of the day at Gull Island pond. Bait fish...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vanity Project- Part IV

Would you like some ice with that...

Icebergs are part of the experience when visiting Newfoundland and the right place at the right time. We have been up to Fogo and down the southern shore to see these beauties since moving to The Rock. Prime time is approximately mid-May to mid July. That being said, the only icebergs visible the past three summers have been along the north coast, up the northern penninsula and Labrador. Perhaps there IS something to that global warming business. I'll let the next few pics speak for themselves. They were taken mostly in 2007 and 2008.

Fogo, 2008

Quidi Vidi gut.

Bryant's Cove (notice the size compared to the houses along the shore)

I call this one the Sydney Opera House...

Tor's Cove, 2008