Brother James has interesting friends

Brother James from our Eastern Climes (he asked me what I should give the visiting POTUS and I said nothing, Homeland Security already hates me) has yet another story about why you should NOT dick around with intelligent people. pOp, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one….over to Brother James

A friend of mine here in Ottawa just got let go from his job of five years. In the five years, he had acquired a fair number of t-shirts, jackets, hats, pens, etc., with his old company’s name and logo. Well, he didn’t want to wear the stuff (editor’s note: Dja figure?) but he didn’t want to put it in the trash either. So he washed all the clothes and headed down to the missions. He stood outside the missions and handed the gear out to the less fortunate.

About a month later, while waiting for the bus in the financial district, he saw a homeless person going through the trash while wearing his jacket and hat. He turned to the nearest suit wearing person at the bus stop and pointed out the homeless person. “You know, that used to be a great company, and now the employees have to get food out of the trash.”



food food food music

We had a spectacular seafood potluck meal at Paul and Anna’s last night. Unbelievably good. Mike J, Victoria, Thomas, Paul, Anna, Myself and Paul in attendance. Marie and Pierre showed up in time to go to the concert.

The Powder Blues Band was uniformly tight and excellent and I have no regrets about the money spent to see them. However, as I left, I vented my opinion of the DJ by writing all over the condensation on his vehicle TOO LOUD DUDE!!!! TOO LOUD DUDE!!!!

Peaceful protest is better… it’s not like I could have made myself heard over the utterly bassed-out and distorted assortment of “classic rock” he was blasting out. I just loved watching what got people on the dance floor. Billie Jean pulled hardest; AC DC cleared the floor like a stink bomb, it was very amusing to watch. Then all of a sudden Frankie Goes Hollywood’s “Relax” comes on and I was interested to see that it didn’t have quite the dance floor emesis effect of AC DC. The guy I was sitting next to was surprised I knew what every tune was. It’s really hard to explain that it’s my JOB to know about pop culture references; what people really don’t get is how I can do it and not watch network tv. It’s a gift, what can I say. Tom and Peggy showed up later and Peggy danced quite a bit. I only danced for two tunes, being Love Shack (I’m sorry, but I cannot stay in my seat for that) and something the Powder Blues Band did. Then my hips and ankles started screaming something along the lines of “You twit, sit down”. So I did.

Now we’re off to church to do sound set up and I’m opening. La La. Then we do a shop.

Then we come home and listen to Katie complain about what it’s like not to have any cigarettes. She’s complaining about other things too these days, but with some justification, and to protect her feelings I won’t mention what. She did enough housework this week to get an allowance, so she actually has more money in her bank account than she has had since it opened.


Spent an enjoyable two hours at the Masabo Cultural Centre last night, pounding the hell out of a djembe for the first time. This west African drum is large and versatie. Fano, the guy leading the drum drop in, was having a wonderful time riffing overtop of whatever beat he established with us. I of course lost the beat about 60 times, but I was having way too much fun to care. Then over to see Mike’s place for the first time, he’s moved in underneath Jarmo (still no hot tub) ;(. Anyway, I’m being hauled out the door to grill fish and see the Powder Blues Band at a private function. In White Rock. And then, the very last time opening the church tomorrow morning. More tomorrow.

P up a Tree

I always thought that humans have pretty weird notions of how to establish reproductive fitness; reciting poetry, skateboarding, amassing piles of cash and real estate in the absence of need, being good at grinding the faces of the poor, collecting debts for the mob, wearing really really tight and semi opaque clothing while clanking with bling, getting breast augmentation, being able to belch Archbishop of Canterbury all in one go, nude beach volleyball, Nascar racing, etc etc, but I have to admit male pandas for sheer creativity have got us all beat.

Male pandas establish who’s da man by peeing up trees. The higher the urinary fountain, the more impressed the ladies are by his athletic and excretory prowess. Pictured here, caught on camera for the first time, is a male panda showing everything he has got in one diuretic display of headstanding glory.

This does not exactly qualify as a “cute” animal pic, but it sure as hell got my attention when first I viewed it. Stolen from the BBC website, no photo attribution.

riffing on stupid

Ah, how glad am I, in my node of nodes, when I behold a truly stupid person. I view the stupidity and burst into a paean of joy, because I’m not that dumb. Please view, if you are hard of heart and stern of conscience, the gentleman behind the roll down cage.

Is this a teenager, floating on hormones and beer? No, it is a 33 year old man, and you must admit that at 33 one can reasonably expect a man to have shed some of the crudities of youth. He smashed the window of a pawn shop (is this starting to sound like a blues tune, or wtf) and as he tried to achieve ingress, he turned in disbelief to watch the rolling cage come down and lock shut.

Ah, the pity of it. A concerted effort by the authorities present was unable to extricate him from his lamentable state of busted dejection, and so (oh, my, I’m getting palpitations) they HANDED HIM THE TOOLS and let him extricate himself so he could get himself properly arrested, rather than threatened rather convincingly with arrest.

Is it true that this man, at 33, is as clueless as he was when he was 13? Or is he delusional and drugged out? I doubt it somehow. He is alleged to have said to the pix snapper “Doubly punish me by taking pictures, hey?”. The arresting officer is also alleged to have remarked that they had control of the suspect but had not yet arrested him, and the head of operations responded that in this case it was a distinction without a difference. He did have blood on his hands. But don’t we all these days, don’t we all?



Wolf meets Pokey

This is a picture of Lobo, Sam’s dog, meeting Pokey. Pokey is the biggest cat I currently know, so you can tell from this picture that Lobo is huge. He currently weighs 147 pounds, and I can assure you (he is now stomping round my living room, to the intense terror of my cats) precious little of it is fat. Okay, get the hell out of the cat litter tray……

Lobo is 7/8ths wolf.

stop ze presses

Stop the presses! Hold the phone! Get very very excited! Tom L is making blackberry jelly.

Now I know that to most of you this is not exactly earth shattering news, but you have NOT had Tom L’s blackberry jelly. Superlatives fail when confronted with with his blackberry jelly. They crawl off into corners and whimper, and examine themselves for some possibility of expressing the joy, the delight, the marvel, of tasting autumn’s bounty in the dead of winter. With a little bit of butter, on a big slab o toast. While listening to cars skid in the alleyway. All those scratches on Peggy’s arms have been transmuted into a substance which is addictive in the nicest possible way. And neener neener boo boo to you, folks, because this nectar, this soma, this evidence that our redeemer liveth, will be available only at the craft fair at church on December 5th (12 pm 1200 Place Maillardville), and if you aren’t there, well it’s your sorrow and lack and woe.

If you come for a visit and you are particularly nice to me I may break out a jar in your honour.

I will be buying some for me and some for my esteemed pater. Hey pOp, you know what you’re getting for Christmas? As many jars as I can afford. And I know that you will have a carefully metered teaspoon of it every day until it is gone. I’ll dance upon dishes, I’ll trip upon trenchers (to quote Dunnett, quoting some Scots poet) it is now perfect day!

xmas free zone

I don’t imagine I’ll be able to avoid Christmas entirely, but I am hoping to keep it as Christmas free as possible this year. To that end, please be advised that I am not buying Christmas presents for anybody except my kids, my parents and my brother. I am not expecting or hoping for anything to come my way; unless the prezzie fairy feels like dumping a hot tub with all the trimmings into my back yard. World peace would be nice. And maybe a winning lottery ticket for my old man, so he can spend his twilight years on top of the largest pile of tech toys in history.

My coworker Mr. G. said that he was at an athletic tournament in Alaska just before Xmas one year, and as he’s relaxing in the motel, Santa came on TV advertising a Beretta – on special for Xmas. You have to admit it’s quite the image. There’s more than one way to punish naughty children…. Lump of coal, my fundament!!!

hard to see but

Believe it or not, at the very centre of this picture is the flare of a tiny meteorite striking earth. The superheated tube of air that attends such a strike is also very faintly seen. Wayne Pryde of the Northern Territories in Australia took this picture while taking time lapse photos of clouds building up.

Please do not repost without attribution.

I know it may not be very exciting for YOU but I sure thought it was keen; picked it up from Fark today.

If you can believe it ALL FOUR OF US went to the pool last night. I lifted weights and swam (briefly); mostly I soaked in the swirlpool and lazed around in the kiddy pool and watched kiddies, trying to remember that it was actually likely that I had once had that much energy and sense of fun. I wasn’t planning on lifting weights but Katie threatened to stay home if I didn’t, so I kind of had to.

Had a wonderful dream last night but can’t remember much of it, just remember feeling cheerful from it when I woke up.

Just got Katie up – it’s ridiculously early but she had to have a shower.

A breaker blew this morning in the house, but Paul spoke to the misbehaving portions of the electrical system and it all seems to be working now.

hymn hymn

Last night by a heroic effort of will I avoided playing on the computer all night and instead picked up the hymn book (Singing the Living Tradition, which is excellent) and worked my way through it. I noted Hymn 79, which was written by Ralph Waldo Emerson with music by John Steffy. The title is No Number Tallies Nature Up, and it’s all about the profusion of nature and how it is endlessly recycling things. The really hilarious thing about the song is that the word “satellites” is mentioned TWICE. Now being a poet (which is not always a disadvantage, I must admit) I reviewed the lyrics and started grinning to myself, because the reason he used the word satellites is because planets wouldn’t scan. Then I looked at at the music (which I can’t read) and decided it looked Yucky, so I rewrote it. Then I picked up the phone and called my mother and sang it to her. As I was finishing John wandered through so I sang it again. He liked it. Then I sang him 324, Where my free spirit onward leads (that one is by Alicia Carpenter (with a folk tune arranged by Ralph Vaughn Williams), whose lyrics I really like). The last line is so lovely and so sad, “A human life when truly seen, is briefer than a kiss.” He said, and I agree, that there’s a lot of gold in that hymnbook. I have about ten more minutes and then out the door to work. Sigh.

Almost 5 million people got AIDS last year. How high a price the innocent pay for ignorance.

Yasser is sleeping fine

Well, let’s see. I think shingles would be more fun than the four days off I just had – at least I’d get some sympathy. I only have one more week to open church, and then one more week after that to give a sermon, and then I’m off to my new life.

I see David Granirer is giving a workshop, and I will have to follow up on that. Starts on 12th night, which is one of my favourite dates of the year, for some reason (me and my magical thinking). This is part II of the stand up comedy course I took 5 bloody years ago.

Yasser Arafat was NOT poisoned. I have heard it said that he choked on his own venom, but that doesn’t really amount to the same thing.

I’m taking a cab to work this morning, the idea of hauling everything back to the office after the trip to WA makes me feel irritable. Mind you everything makes me feel irritable. Even when I do get enough sleep. Well, it’s back to work and glad I am to have the work to do and the great place to do it in and the great people to do it with and for.

No pictures today, I didn’t feel like sorting through the mess.

free range rant

So what DID Arafat die of? There seems to be a little bit of a tussle over his medical records. I am not entirely sure what purpose would be served by finding out that he had been sent to his maker via poison, or whether he just had some weird ailment. Of course it’s entirely possible that the Israelis came up with some subtle and technically primo method of killing him, but it’s also entirely possible that somebody in his entourage fed him something nasty. Nobody seems to want to believe that he just up and croaked, and seeing as how it’s not entirely clear when he died, and that the medical authorities charged with his care have maintained a discrete and somehow ominous silence, I imagine it will still be a matter of dispute many years from now. They sure buried him in a hurry, just like John Paul I.

I am listening to the comfortable clatter of somebody ELSE doing the dishes, which considering I cooked (Keith mashed potatoes and grated cheese) Roast Beast, spuds, carrots, corn, cauliflower with cheese sauce, gravy, and brussel sprouts for Katie’s birthday dinner, is a good thing.

Katie went out briefly after dinner and is now home and ensconced in her room with her girlfriend Samantha. It’s all very peaceful and domestic.

Keith and John spent the day at the Kung Fu / Tai Mantis tournament in Richmond. They volunteered for various activities and so didn’t have to pay admission. They came home rhapsodizing, and Keith just about slew me by saying, with a straight face, Those cats really WERE fast as lightning, which is pretty funny considering he wasn’t even an idea when that horrible song came out. The grace, the skill, the speed, the athleticism. Sounds like they had a gas. Keith is very happy I advocated for him to go, because had I not, he would have been stuck here all day in the middle of what was essentially an extended remix of a domestic argument. (Don’t ask and I won’t tell). We did take a break in the middle of the day to commit shopping, and frankly I’m glad I roasted beast, because going to the Keg would have set us back about $120, and the roast was only $20. Katie did have a hankering for slabs of cow. And we had leftovers! It was a bizarre thing – her friends dropped by and WATCHED US EAT despite numerous pleas to join us (I had actually been expecting them to eat with us and they didn’t.) O well, anybody who’d rather go into New Westminster for pizza – that’s the mentality we’re dealing with. I will never understand teenagers as long as I live, and I was one. Katie has been witching all day about how “she doesn’t feel older”. Jumping Jimmy Christmas, girl, I feel old enough for both of us.

Just got the latest Frank, and it’s a CORKER. The exchange of letters between Roger Ebert and Conrad Black is expletive amazing, and I must report that Roger did get the last word, and managed to skin Conrad alive in the course of the letter. Very very funny, and of course you can hear the voices of the gentlemen in your mind as you are reading it, which adds to the enjoyment.

Talked to Tish and Tammy today in separate phone calls (obviously). I really wish I could give Tammy a hug, she’s having a rough time. And I wish I could scold a certain somebody, but that would be verbally abusive. Tish seems to be doing great, except everybody in her household is experiencing a mammoth cold. Tish’s youngest and my youngest were born on the same day, so we tend to communicate/commiserate about this time each year.

Picture is something at random.

sweeet sixteen

Katie is sixteen!!! We all sat around last night and watched Shrek, which was lots of fun, and then I read the kids the “breathing” meditation. It’s amazing how I’ve known Katie rather well for sixteen years and never knew that she has no visualization ability. There are about thirty different visualization exercises in the meditation and Keith was able to do all of them without any difficulty and Katie could do about three. She could visualize being a bird, and being able to exhale fire and dry up the whole ocean, but everything else it was just a case of listen to the words.

Paul found the meditation exceedingly hard work. I’m going to have to have somebody read it to me at some point, because I think it would be very interesting.

One of the people I respect the most at church is having health problems and I am lighting a candle for him.

Since there has been a tremendous dearth of cute animal pictures on my site, here is a baby rhino. Attribution is on the side of the picture.