Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why are we afraid of obscurity?

In this day and age people find recognition through ever growing multimedia resources. I'm not just stringing together some fancy words here... how many bloggers have you browsed through today? Yes, I'm talking to you. There is no one secretly reading over your shoulder.

Why are you interested in what we are doing? 'We' being society that post their day to day happenings on the internet. Did you read somebody's Twitter page today, and found that they were just watching TV or deciding what to make for supper. Did you read some stranger's Facebook update to see that they missed their significant other? (they were probably reading somebody's MySpace page)

Perhaps we are all voyeurs to some extent... we go for an evening walk and we see someone's front window, well-lit and open, and we can't help but glance inside. We see a picture hanging on the wall and we wonder who is in the picture and what is the relation to the owner of the home.

It's like you're house sitting and you can't help but explore the non-public areas of the house. Do the home owner's have a stash of dirty magazines, drugs, or (this is slightly extreme) have bodies partially buried in the basement?

Everyone is territorial to an extent and yet we constantly crave attention. View my webpage, read my blog, see my pictures.... translates to "see me, accept me, love me... please." Those who do share with us aren't going to tell us their dirty laundry... we won't see a blog stating... "picked my nose today... passed gas in the elevator at work... blamed the new girl." If we did, generally we wouldn't see a picture or identification attached to such candid diaries, and actually I'm betting it would be popular.

Why is Paris Hilton a celebrity? Okay, so she's an heiress to a billion dollar empire, but she gained notoriety through partying, excess, a modelling career, and an x-rated video. The video is what pushed her through to internet stardom and that gave her an "in" to her music career (I'm hoping the gods here me now when I say that was sarcasm and I hope she never does another album again).

Come full circle... here I am.

Alone... in my computer room... typing my blog.

My wife was asking me, "Did you have a new blog entry?"


"It's been a while since you wrote something."


I'm not trying to be profound... just trying to find a cure for blogger's block.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The return of the missing blogger...

Hello again folks. I've not only been waiting for my computer to become whole again, I was also on vacation. And as I had so earlier mentioned, I am reluctant to state my vacation plans so boldly on Facebook, or blog about it in case some opportunist thieves decided to case my house.

We came back from Owen Sound, Ontario, where we had a great time. Spent some time at a cottage on Georgian Bay, went to the Toronto Zoo, went to the Farmer's Market and had some kettle popcorn, did some shopping and had a gazillion cups of Tim Horton's coffee.

The weather was very nice, hovering from 23 to 30 degrees Celsius, so that was enjoyable until the humidity kicked up a notch (that's my understated way of saying... "ick!") for the last three days. I'm grateful my father in law has air conditioning.

I took this picture at the cottage, and my son Ian had a great time, as you might see him mugging for the camera. For him it was a day of playing in the water, watching the boats, soaking up the sun, eating s'mores by the campfire and laying on the jetty watching the meteor shower when it was dark. He was sad to go.

So after being away from my computer for two weeks, I have some stories to tell you, but of course, I won't get to them all in one night. So, if anyone was missing me... here I am... ta dah!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Exorcism of my computer

I've sent my computer to the exorcisit. Actually, a computer tech with the great name, Adam. He's taking my computer apart, fixing it, exorcising its demons, and hopefully upgrading it. That's one of the reasons I haven't blogged for a bit. The other is that I refuse to blog on my wife's laptop as I'm doind now. (I'm going to leave in that past typo to prove my point) I hate the key placements on laptops and it's made for people who generally type properly, unlike me. PLus, her computer is about to go way of the dodo too... she's having all types of trouble with hers as well. At some point I will be doing some more blogs on my days off... believe me I have a lot to rant about. So, hope to have your atention again soon. Later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting a little love back...

Because of my shout-outs to fellow bloggers, Amy has kindly added me to NWT Blogs. So, return the favour and check it out... there are plenty of northern based blogs there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Mural for Adam's Ribs

Calling all Techies out there... I want a new mural for the title at the top of my page. The plain white words just aren't cutting it anymore... Occasionally, I browse through other blogs to see if anything catches my attention and I notice some blogs had great murals for their blogs. Being the materialistic bastard that I am (just so you know, I was born before my folks were married, and that gives me the right to call myself that!), I want one now too.

I found some other blogs from Hub Publications from around the Northwest Territories. I actually liked the creativity of these:
  • http://www.hacala.ca/journal/more-on-a-tweet/

  • http://vivacemusica.blogspot.com/2009/07/ode-to-summer.html

  • especially this one


Browsing on Blogspot I found these:
  • http://distressability.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.crossfitnewhampshire.com/

  • http://seymourcornelius.blogspot.com/

  • Great name,


  • http://poptrropicaspeedyfly.blogspot.com/

So, I'm actually asking if there's anyone out there who can help me out... I'd like someone to create an original mural for me. I know this is probably hard to do something like this for someone you might not know very well, but my computer lacks the creative tools to complete something like this, and not to mention I already have a full procrastination list (see last blog). So to assist you, I'm going to brainstorm for you all the things that I like to use in a mural using your own artwork, photography, media skills or using some of my available pics from my blog or my old website. If there are any murals that I really like, I will change the plain old "Adam's Ribs," to your creative piece of multimedia genius! Crediting you, of course!

You have my permission to use the photo above, if you wish... I think this picture captures my humour and spontaneity.

Here's my brainstorm of words to associate with me:
music, movies, acting, singing, the North, writing, socializing, having coffee, photography, entertainment news, interesting news pieces, computer games, video games, Xbox 360, aboriginal ancestry, paranormal stories, creativity, humour, travel.

Some things I love to see:
Northern lights, northern scenery, wildlife, abstract photography.

P-R-O-C-R-A-S... Oh hell, I'll spell it later.

As I may have said earlier, if you were to look up procrastination in the dictionary, you would find my picture. And it would be a non-flattering, rolling out-of-bed, after a week of Mardi-Gras, hungover, bad picture.

Part of the idea of starting a blog is to be able to tell people about what's going on in my life. Is my life so mundane that I have nothing to write about? No. Was there no events that I can write about? No. Is there no issues in the news that I can't write about? No to that too. So, what was I doing? Can I blame Facebook? Mayhaps. How about my buddy James for telling me about The Movies computer game. Probably. Or, maybe I can say I'm a weak, network socializer with a penchant for games on social networks and for old videogames that continually challenge you to do your best, while ignoring other things that should surely be done. Yep... sounds like me.

Let me make a list of the things I've been neglecting.
  1. Cleaning my Man Room(c). For those of you who don't know, my Man Room(c) is my basement dungeon where I have my computer set up at a desk, and my Xbox360 set up on a computer flat screen with a comfy couch. Notice the little copyright after the Man Room(c), it's my little way of thinking I have an original room idea (so, sue me... I'm in denial) and it's to give you an idea of how to speak it. You should emphasize it when you say it and use a deeper voice, so that you at least pretend it's important. Air quotes are acceptable as long as there is no rolling of the eyes from the females. Anyways, I have a habit of leaving empty snack bags and beverage containers where they lie. After all, it's hard to pause when playing multiplayer on Xbox Live to get up to the garbage bin. To me, it's not that bad, however when you think it's too dirty for another guy to come check out your Man Room(c), you know it needs cleaning. I also have a curtain rod to put up and my wife reminds me that my mother-in-law is coming for a visit soon. But, I don't think I can get a Bobcat in here...
  2. Blog... see posting date?? Nuff said.
  3. Scripts. All my scripts are still in development hell in my brain... casting is yet to be determined. Although if I really want to make some of these into movies, I should get my butt into gear.
  4. Although she doesn't tell me so, I feel I've been neglecting my wife. We had a nice dinner and our friend made us an anniversary cake for our eight year anniversary which was on the seventh. We had a nice barbecue with our friends, including fellow blogger Kara. I had a great time that day. But I feel like I haven't spent enough time with my wife. With work, and kids, and putting them to bed, we both yearn for our down time and I feel like we haven't spent much time together. Although I do visit her at almost every coffee break, and spend most lunches with her, I can't help feeling like she needs more of me... it doesn't help that I come down here to blog, and play. Here's my version of a public display of affection... I love my wife very much and think that I've lucked out very much in finding her. My life would be different without her and I consider my life with her, and the birth of our two boys... a blessing. She's reading this, I know... "I love you, honey."
I guess that isn't so bad... my procrastination list. Maybe everyone should make a procrastination list so that you can understand whats important to you and needs to be done. Never forget to tell the important people in your life that you love them and try to whittle your list down. As for me, I'm sure I have to visit my wife now, as she's probably added more things to my list.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day... and pics for my buddy Jay.

What is it about vehicles and guys loving them? Beats me. But when I see a kick ass ride I wish it was me that gets to drive it. When I see a 'for sale' sign on a barely drivable classic, I think, "I can fix it up," when I'm lucky enough to complete a cabinet from Ikea.

Guys are like that... we see a rusting bucket of bolts and think we can fix it up, while women see a problem guy and think I can fix him up. We're built that way to always see the possibilities of what could be. I think that if we didn't think that way, we'd still be trying to make fire in a cave someway.

My buddy Jason can fix up old vehicles. And he's shown me some of the projects he's worked on including a $200,000 car. He's proud of the work that he's done, and I can say that I'm proud of him as well.

I always tell him that I saw an awesome truck and I thought of him. Or I saw a fixer-upper for sale and I think I could buy that and bring it to Jay.

We've been buddies since high school and he lives in Prince George, British Columbia, while I live in top of the world, Hay River, Northwest Territories. We see each other when we can, usually in Grande Prairie or Fort St. John. But it only amounts to a couple of times a year.

Anyways, I put these pics on the blog for Jason.

BTW (By the way), someone here in Hay River has a Ferrari. This person, who used to be my neighbour, has a '91 Ferrari. I approached him today at the Canada Day Celebrations and told him that he had to let me sit in his car... he said that maybe he'd take me for a drive... in this case, maybe is good enough. I've never been in a Ferrari, and me sitting in one would be like a Penguin at the North Pole... it just doesn't happen.

Anyways, Happy Canada Day Everyone!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Thanks to James for turning me on to Rooster Teeth comics... just my style of humour. It doesn't say much for me, does it?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson R.I.P.

Another Part of Me died yesterday. Say, Say, Say, what you want about Michael Jackson, his behaviour may have been Off The Wall, but his music could Heal The World. Do you Remember The Time when Thriller came out? He may not have been happy with the Man In The Mirror, but he was hoping to have One More Chance with his fifty city world tour. Clearly his death is not Black Or White, whether he had a Bad heart and it couldn’t Beat It. All we know is Michael Jackson is Gone Too Soon.

Seriously though, we'll miss Michael and I give my sincere condolences to the Jackson family. He will be missed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Want to be a Ghost Hunter

I’ve been interested in the paranormal forever. I guess it started out as the normal youthful curiosity after watching some scary movies. Psychic phenomenon fascinates me. Stories of hauntings have always interested me. Even stories of monsters I’ve found intriguing. It doesn’t mean I believe it all, but I do find them interesting.

For a long time I’ve seen movies with ghosts and found them grossly entertaining. I really don’t expect a real ghostly experience to be like the Amityville Horror or The Entity. I should expect that they are more likely to be like The 6th Sense. Some of my friends said they didn’t find the movie scary, but I think that the events in the movie would be closer to a paranormal experience than others.

I’ve also praised A&E’s paranormal show Paranormal State, for a more ‘realistic’ view of the paranormal. They don’t film something and say, “Look! It’s a ghost!” But they’ll say they captured a misty phenomenon on film, and it could be explained by humidity levels from the entrance. The subject group of the show, the Paranormal Research Society (PRS), would be hesitant to jump to the conclusion that they have definitive proof of paranormal activities, but some of the cases they’ve documented have captured convincing paranormal activities. In almost every episode that I’ve seen the PRS has had some convincing experiences. For Father’s Day, my wife and kids got me the first two seasons on DVD… and I watched the first episode of season one on my lunch break.

I’ve also heard great reviews of a show called Ghost Hunters. I’ve never seen the show because for some reason my satellite provider doesn’t get it… Damn You ExpressVu! Although the personal reviews I’ve heard of the show have been favourable, the website Wikipedia notes some not so kind reviews of the show. That being said, I like Paranormal State and Wikipedia also has some bad reviews for that show too.

I think that the evidence caught on audio/video (AV) have always interested me as well. We’ll never know completely whether AV from these shows is not tampered with in any way.

Audio recordings have been used by ‘professional’ and amateurs alike for years. EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) is very popular and featured in movies and television. I saw an episode of a show called Sightings in the early 1990’s with a supposed expert in EVP. She walked through an old Civil War Prison and recorded some pretty creepy recordings. She had the entire fort to herself and captured some recordings like:

“Make it stop.”

“The pain…”

“That’ll do.”

There were other recordings that she captured, but I can’t recall what was said. She only caught those on her recorder after the audio signal was boosted and subtitled for the viewers to understand.

EVP has been so convincing and scary, that people are more likely to believe the phenomenon. However it can be easily debunked as pranksters, voices carried on the wind, etc.

When the movie “White Noise,” came out, I saw the preview of the movie and even before I said I wanted to see the movie, my wife said that I was not to bring that movie into our house. I saw the movie anyway, and I didn’t think it was that creepy.

Because of my interest in ghosts, I have a huge interest in old and historical buildings. I love to explore abandoned derelict buildings and see evidence of things that haven’t been touched in years. I took the picture in a storage building that used to be for the Residential School in Hay River, it was creepy and I couldn’t go to the basement of that building. Felt some bad mojo from there.

In the Northwest Territories we have the Naka (I’ve heard it pronounced Nuh-Guh) or better known as the Boogeyman. I’ve been told that the Naka’s origins actually started in before the Europeans arrived to Western Canada. I was told by elders that Naka literally meant stranger. And in olden times, when someone appeared near their village that was not known, they referred to them as Naka. Their appearance was usually indicative that someone from their village was going to be taken. Further stories have also indicated that this would be one tribe’s measures to prevent inbreeding. Someone would go to another village to steal away one of their boys or girls to be married off in their village.

The Naka has a fairy tale story feel to it, with historical origins, so I found it interesting. There’s been stories of Sasquatch, Yeti, Okopogo, Loch Ness Monster, and the Mothman all over the world. Some specified to certain geographical areas, such as the Okopogo in the Okanagan of British Columbia and the Lake Ness Monster in Scotland. Some evidence presented has been clearly debunked in the past.

Don’t you love hearing stories of people who had premonitions of things to happen and then proven correct later? Even I’ve incredible experiences with Déjà vu that have freaked me out. There have been shows produced about psychics like Medium and The Listener and countless movies and novels. There are different kinds of psychics with different kinds of abilities. There are different claims to different abilities and many skeptics have loved debunking claimed psychics. The most famous skeptic that I can think of was Harry Houdini. To him he took psychic claims and would disprove them because he felt people were being taken advantage of.

All this being said, I wish I was a ghost hunter or paranormal investigator. Just to be there to experience it and give an opinion of yes or no to the phenomenon. Got any ghosts? How about a demon possessing your daughter? Instead of calling the Ghostbusters, give me a call first.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Internet Security

I mentioned before that we just came back from Grande Prairie, Alberta. Spent the weekend shopping, going for nice meals, shopping, and going for coffee at the Church of the Mighty Tim (for those non-Canadians reading my blog, I'm referring to Tim Horton's, which is a coffee and donut chain in Canada and in some American States. The coffee truly is the nectar of the gods).

I just thought that I'd mention that I didn't mention in my blog, or on my Facebook account that I was indeed travelling to Grande Prairie. Why? A new breed of internet criminal.

It seems that internet opportunists are now using Facebook and Twitter accounts to their benefits when people are saying they are "vacationing in Mexico" or "Lost in Las Vegas." It seems that burglars then know which house to hit. You can check out this article here. So, think twice to calling in sick and having your pic of you partying on a friend's profile, or announcing you're going to be tanning in the Bahamas (I can understand wanting your ex to be jealous, but you might be letting burglars know to pay your place a visit).

Shout out!

Hey, I recently went to Grande Prairie, Alberta this weekend and got to visit with my Dad who lives in Fort St. John, British Columbia. He drove the two hours from FSJ and we got to meet his wife, Tess, who in turn got to meet my wife and kids for the first time. It was a nice visit even though Tess was feeling a little under the weather.

My dad asked me about my blog, having heard from one of his dispatchers at Teco Taxi. Turns out Keith has been checking out my blog every once in awhile and told my dad about it. So, here's a shout out to you, Keith. I hope you're not checking out my blog at work... just kidding, I won't tell.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amendment to Up Here

Yeah, okay, no one mentioned to me that the map was in German... at least my buddy Shawn would appreciate it. That is what happens when you get lazy and look for a map of the NWT on the internet and don't use MapQuest.

And Kara was kind to remind me that Wolverine is from the Northwest Territories. In the comics, he originated from Wood Buffalo National Park and appeared in Fort Smith. In the movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there is no mention of Wood Buffalo or Fort Smith, but it starts off set in 1840 (I'm guessing) in the Northwest Territories. In the shots there are some pretty big trees and it looks like it's in Ontario or something, when some young kid behind me makes a smart alec remark, "That looks nothing like the Northwest Territories."

I guess history lessons are really bad in Canada. Does anybody remember Rupert's Land, Upper Canada and the Northwest Territories? In 1840'sh, the Northwest Territories was across a large portion of Canada... not just the NWT today. I actually turned around and told him, "Back then, the Northwest Territories was half the size of Canada." I don't think it was that big, but it shut him up anyway.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coke or Pepcid?

Day 21 and still no colas.

I have noticed an increase in acids in my stomach causing heartburn. Apparently, when I had my gallbladder removed in September of 2007, a friend told me that to help digest foods I should drink cola. It was supposed to assist in what the gallbladder does, which is to break down foods in the stomach.

So... I don't know whether there is a direct correlation between drinking coke and not having heartburn. You would think it would be the other way around, wouldn't it? But the heartburn has becoming more frequent that I was actually thinking I should just have a coke and be damned with it.

Thankfully I have a loving and supportive wife who promised she would shove bamboo chutes under my toenails and then soak my feet in turpentine if I drank coke again... so, Day 21, and still no colas.

Just kidding, my wife would never do that to me. Although she would probably look at me disapprovingly which would be the same as the bamboo chutes and turpentine.

When creativity dies...

Such a sad title for a blog. But it does feel like a death in the family when you know of someone who has so much potential through their artistic expressions and they let their natural talents go to wayside. I'll only say first names for these people... but it's only to let them know that I think of them and their talent.

Matt used to draw and paint and play a pretty decent guitar. At one time he nurtured his artwork by working for a graphics company, but now works as a parts supplier.

John used to draw quite a bit... comic book art that showed such promise. I hope he's still doing it, but he lives so far away now... last I heard he was working for a electronic chain.

Andy used to pound his drums to Metallica and AC/DC. He had a large bedroom that consisted of a bed and a drum kit... the bed was small and the kit was large. Don't know if he's still keeping the beat, but he's a Harley Davidson mechanic which is an art of its own now.

Binky... where are you? I heard rumors you were doing a comic in Vancouver??? Whatever came of the character Jupiter???

Cameron last I heard you were hanging with Binky... you also showed some awesome potential for creating some manga or comics.

Me... you had some great years acting in theatre and you had your foot in the door with that bit part on North of 60. You used to write songs and stories and sing to the girls... what happened?

Interestingly enough, life happens to throw you curves... I don't plan on stopping, but I realize I have to be patient enough to start again when the opportunity arises. I get sad sometimes thinking of the 'would haves' and 'could haves'... but we have to make the best of the 'right nows.'

Just remember, creativity never dies but regains new life at every turn.

Up Here

I was born here in Hay River, Northwest Territories. I was born in the hospital here, where my mother and my wife works. (Mother and wife meaning two different people... this isn't Deliverance y'all)

Although I've always been one of those who yearn to be anywhere else from where they are from, I can't say the Northwest Territories is a bad place. It's the last of the North American frontier lands. It has the biggest amount of area with the fewest amount of people (I dunno if this exactly true anymore since the creation of Nunavut in 1999 which was created from half of the NWT). It has the mighty Mackenzie River, the longest in Canada. The Great Slave Lake (on which Hay River is on it's southern shore) is the eleventh largest and sixth deepest lake in the world. We have eleven official languages for the Northwest Territories.

We've been on television. The first season of History Channel's wildly popular Ice Road Truckers was shot on the ice roads from Yellowknife to the diamond mines. There's a new reality series shot in Hay River and Yellowknife about Buffalo Airways which started here in Hay River and starts September of 2009. Reality TV biker dude extraordinaire, Jesse James shoots an episode of Jesse James is a Dead Man in the NWT's arctic... check it out... it's on tonight on Spike!

We have famous actors.

Leslie Nielsen was born here in the Northwest Territories in Tulita, which was formerly known as Fort Norman. He's been in numerous Hollywood Productions, including but not limited to the Naked Gun series, the Airplane! movies, Men With Brooms, and some of the Scary Movie movies.

Margot Kidder was born In Yellowknife and became famous when cast as Lois Lane in the

Superman movies. She has also appeared in other movies, none really memorable. But has cameos in Mel Gibson's Maverick and the Superman television series Smallville.

Dustin Milligan was also born in

Yellowknife and is a newly established actor in Hollywood. He starred in the first season of the CW's resurrected series 90210 as Ethan. I never watched the show, but I'll give him a "Hell Yeah," just because he's from the Northwest Territories. He'll be appearing in the new Mike Judge film "Extract," and is currently filming a western with Paul Gross here in Canada called "Gunless." I'll be watching his career with keen interest. (Hey Dustin... psst... I'm an actor, too!)

So, I guess I'm saying I am proud to be from here. Just wishing I was closer to civilization. Somewhere where I can get back to acting on stage (or television again). Somewhere not so many people know me... anonymity does have its perks. But if you've never been here, you should come check it out... we could go for coffee.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses...

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been one week since my last blog... I'm not religious... I'm just saying it's been awhile.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Roses and sunshine...

It's occurred to me that I've been recently ranting and letting my bitter side show. I, too was a poet and a gentle soul. I've been known to soothe the soul of the occasional amorous beauty or innocent child. Take this example of my creative, nurturing, loving side of me from Grade Ten... this poem which I can still recall...

Here I stand awash with love
with the gulls flying up above.
My feet are stuck
the sand within...
O' my God, the tide's coming in!

I know, I know... the creative genius oozed from my every pore like acne from a teenager working in a fry joint. Just kidding! Thought you could use a laugh.

Go ahead... make my day...

If there ever was a time I wish the whole world could read my blog it would be now... okay, maybe not the whole world, but how about the appointment seeking population of Hay River.

If you see me on the street, you can say hello, you can compliment me on my shoes, you can strike up a conversation about the weather. Hell, you can say I look fat in the pants that I'm wearing... here are my suggestions to you...
  1. Don't ask me what time your appointment is again. I deal with hundreds of calls a day and book, cancel, re-book hundreds of appointments a day. If you can't remember the appointment date and time you wrote down in the comfort of your own home, or from the card I gave you, how do you realistically expect me to recall your appointment date and time. Call me at work, and I'll tell you. Maybe.
  2. Don't ask me when doctor So-in-so is going to be in the clinic, because honestly I don't know. If he told he'd be back in September, congratulations you officially know more than I do... I'm like a mushroom (you figure that one out).
  3. Don't ask me if I can book you an appointment or put you on the wait list for an appointment. Call me... at work... during work hours. If the phone is busy, or it takes too long to get someone... think about it... I've already mentioned I'm booking hundreds of appointments from the phone and/or people in person.
Now that we've established that, here are some things that will really not get you in my good books.
  1. Don't whisper over my shoulder at a movie theatre for the above questions.
  2. Don't interrupt me and my wife at dinner at a restaurant for the above questions.
  3. If I'm standing at a urinal, doing my business... don't ask me anything!
And since I know you from the occasional time you come in the clinic... no...
  1. I won't lend you money.
  2. I won't give you a ride.
  3. I won't introduce you to my wife. (She probably knows you already, and that's not a good thing!)
  4. I won't ask you to babysit... ever.
There are such things as boundaries... and really it seems because we live in a small town, people think it's acceptable to do these things. And if you think that I'm joking about this rant... nope, someone has asked me, approached me, bothered me for all of these things at least one time or more. It even happened today... hence, my rant.

Monday, June 8, 2009

If you build it, they will come...

I've got a blog follower... welcome Dhamone! I know other people read the blog, but it's nice to know I've got someone who might actually be interested in what I say.

My wife doesn't count because she has to pretend to at least listen to what I say. My co-workers don't count either because they want to make sure I'm not making them look bad. :)

Breaking it down...

My co-worker, a sassy nurse from Newfoundland, asked me if I knew how to send her friends a video through email, because the video was too big. I said to her that she should start up a DropShots account. She could download her video to the site, and then send the link to her friends via email.

She had her mouth slightly open like I rattled off Shakespeare in Greek. I asked her, "Was that a little over your head?"

She replied, "Yeah, explain it to me in Newfie-nies." *

I broke it down to her, only in my own cheeky way...

"Well, you put ta ting in ta ting... " Translation: Well, you put the thing in the thing...

* We refer to people from Newfoundland as Newfies... they also have a unique accent. Check out the show, "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," or the movie, "The Shipping News," with Kevin Spacey.

The key word here is RESTRAINT.

Do you sometimes wonder what it takes to drive someone over the edge and make them go postal? I have a theory that they had to deal with idiots on a daily basis. Whether they be co-workers or customers.

I can't go into too much detail on our procedures for lateness and keeping appointments, but when you're late... you are late, and too bad, so sad, we have gone on to the next appointment. When you take into consideration not all clients keep to their scheduled time with the doctors, or doctors being called away for emergencies, we have to keep moving or forever fall behind.

I keep saying to people, be on time. You wouldn't check into your flight ten minutes late and expect to be still going on the plane. Although they would ask you to check in three hours early, so I'm not sure that's the right analogy.

I don't resemble the Charmin man from the Charmin commercials... so there is no squeezing here.

"Can't you just squeeze me in?" No. No squeezing. We have a policy against squeezing clients or so-workers. Again with the plane analogy, "Our flight is full sir, but I'm sure it'll be okay if you stand in the aisle.

"It'll just take a minute..." A minute for me to put you in maybe... but I know few doctors that can diagnose in a minute.

"You'd be doing me a huge favour!" Yeah, and what would I get in return. A headache and no Excedrin.

Stare at me some more. Nope, my statement hasn't changed... there are no appointments available. Staring at me won't change my mind, but it will make my feel sorry for you. Contrary to popular belief, the Jedi Mind trick doesn't work.

Sulking... that's what I had today. An elder came in ten minutes late for her appointment and complained when I told her it was too late.

"I drove twenty minutes to get here."

"I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do."

"I'm not made of money."

"Hm hmm."

"Gee whiz."

It came to that... 'gee whiz.' And then she stood and stared... with a pout.

Then I gave in. Not because I felt sorry for her, but I was ashamed to call her an elder. Let's set an example for our youth, if you can't get your way... pout. "Sit down, please." I said with disgust. I just wanted her out of my sight.

If I sound bitter... I am. Today was a bad day... only because of her. I'm not so uncaring that I wouldn't have put her in, if she was on the last of her heart medication, or she was greiving the loss of a loved one and needed to talk to the doctor. I've made exceptions in exceptional cases.

Now, she didn't thank me... to her, it was expected of me... to make a compromise. You tell me, am I justified or being judgemental?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kara, Matt & Co. coming home!

I follow the blog The Adventures of Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan in Faro, Yukon. I know Kara and Matt from when they lived here in Hay River, and their adventures of taken them from Kugluktuk, Nunuvut (check that out on MapQuest) to Faro, Yukon, adding a couple of family members on the way. Anyways, they shared by Facebook email that they are coming back to Hay River, and our little group of friends and my immediate family are excited they are coming to visit.

Coke addiction status...

Day 8 of my trials of quitting colas, and it's gone actually easier than I thought.

My co-workers ask me how it's going and I tell them its going good. I wonder if they're actually expecting me to go stark-raving mad and forage through the recycling box for the last drops of Coke from bottles and cans. But nope... all is good.

I went to see Star Trek on Saturday night (awesome, BTW, thank-you), and went to the concession counter for my usual. The usual consists of a large layered combo (large popcorn w/ layered butter and a large drink) and I was going to substitute the Pepsi with fountain peach juice. However, the peach juice was empty and I almost gave in. Okay, I did give in, and I asked for a Pepsi. The young counter attendant then asked me, "Is it okay if it's warm? We have no ice." It's only then that I said, maybe just change the pop with a bottle of water. Not only did I barely thwart drinking Pepsi, I saved four bucks. And if I was to give in to drinking Pepsi or Coke, it would have an ice cold one.

By the way, I have to give kudos to an old school chum for quitting drinking colas on June 1st. He read my blog after I posted the link on Facebook and he commented that he had quit. I don't know whether he quit because of what I wrote (which would be cool), or he did this before I wrote my rant and coincidentally quit drinking cola the same day. But in either case, congrats Gordon Starko! May we start the "Stop the Pop" Revolution! (Actually, school kids already did.)

I work in a clinic and one of our locum doctors and a nurse practitioner read my blog on me quitting drinking cola. One suggested that we post it somewhere and that it was a very good article (B-L-U-S-H).

I was going to quit drinking pop all together because I would be less likely to fall back in with cola, but I slipped today. Isn't "slipping" the term that recovering addicts use when they screw up? Anyways, there was a big accreditation day BBQ at the hospital today because we did well on the accreditation and we're a leading practice. So I get my burger, I get my pasta salad, I get my ice cream, and I get my punch. After I've drank half my punch do I stop and say to my wife, "Don't they put 7Up in this?" To which they said they did. I was truly disappointed with myself but my wife told me not to be too hard on myself. I did impress the diabetic nurse and the dietitian when they heard I quit drinking cola. Jennifer, the dietitian, also said that her husband stopped drinking cola too.

Okay, I won't be too hard on myself, but I won't be buying any other bottles of pop either. Next thing you know I'll be drinking Pepsi Coke speedballs (Coke & Pepsi combined) out of a dixie cup out back of the soup kitchen... just kidding. By the way, Interesting Fact: mixing half Sunny D orange juice with half Pepsi equals a taste not unlike apricot juice. I also worked at a gas station convenience store and we were very bored on a Sunday.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Definition of Procrastination (and a rant about viruses and internet explorer)

Definition of procrastination??? See pic in upper right hand corner of blog. Yeah, that's me. My last entry was May 21. It's now June. Although my last blog says May 26th, I actually didn't finish it until tonight.

In my defense, my computer caught a bug. Oddly during my typing, an audio clip started playing. And it sounded like something you'd hear on America's Funniest Home Videos or something, except there was no video. And although it was harmless enough, a little toddler speaking gibberish at a mile a minute while his or her parents were laughing hysterically.

However, when this gibberish comes on it sounded like someone playing a record backwards and a voice spoke to you (albeit in gibberish) to tell you your soul belonged to someone else... it kinda creeped me out. Especially all my talk about the paranormal in my last blogs.

Another audio clip played the features of the new car in the Nissan lineup.

And another was some kind of audio of some supermodel getting interviewed about getting painstakingly painted by hand for three hours... I wish I had the video for that one...

But then typing my last blog entry, my internet explorer would boot me... mid sentence. It was a good one too. But I tell you, trying to get the essence of a joke you wrote four times down in a blog is extremely hard, especially when you think you got it right the first time.

So I did a virus check with my Security program (infurity program would be better, although I know infurity isn't a word) and it showed there was nothing wrong with my computer. So calling my employer's techie guru, Rob, (I'm sure he wasn't happy I called him at home) he told me I might still have a virus, and told me about Windows Live OneCare, where I thoroughly scanned and repaired my computer. It found one minor and major problem and fixed both.

Rob also told me about Firefox web browser and that it might have less problems than Internet Explorer (patooey, I spat on thee!). Firefox seems to be working for me.

So, after getting all of this done, the last thing I wanted to do was be creative and type what I was going to type. Instead I decide to numb myself from the neck up and play my Facebook applications.

Does anybody know a phone number for a good exorcist? I heard the gibberish again...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The end of an era... me hopes!

Alas, I've come to end my thirty some year addiction to colas and sodas in general. For years I would choose a camp in which shout whether I chose Coke or Pepsi, but no more. I will not be shamed into choosing a side only to impress friends. I will no longer support the sugary goodness, hyper-promoted, conglomerate companies of Pepsi-Cola or Coca-Cola Ltd. If you were to ask me how long I've been clean of glucose-fructose carbonated water, I can say with gleeful ephasis.... it was just after lunch today*... and damn, I miss it already.

But, isn't admitting your powerless one of the first steps to recovery?

About a week ago, I read an article in Yahoo! about the ill effects of drinking too much Cola. And again today, another article about drinking too much cola appeared in Yahoo. See, I may have mentioned that I have not had the best luck with my health.

Too much soda (main ingredients sucrose, glucose & caffeine) can cause your potassium levels to lower. Now I happen to know my potassium levels are acceptable, but lower levels of potassium can cause a condition called hypokalaemia which can cause:
  1. decreased muscle strength (and all of my male friends can attest that I'm no that strong to begin with. The only way I'm beating them at hand to hand combat is in Halo).
  2. cramping (check)
  3. palpitations (what?! Sorry, I couldn't hear you over my skipping heartbeat)
  4. nausea (urp...)
In extreme cases, it can cause:
  1. heart trouble
  2. paralysis
I kid you not.

So this was a factor in my decision to stop drink cola and soda in general, plus the fact it's bad for your teeth, high sugar content and it's "Liquid Satan**." Plus, let's look at some numbers.

I consumed on average anywhere from 1-2 600mL bottles of pop a day. So, averaging 900mL a day times 365 days in a year is 328,500mL in a year or 328 litres a year. If ten percent of that is actually sugar, than I've digested 32,850 mL (3,285 litres) of sugar in a year. Measure a cup of sugar and eat that, then imagine doing that some 13,139 more times to equal my sugar intake for a year.

Now cost. If I average 1.5 sodas a day at a dollar a day (round number) times 365 days in a year, I've spent $547.50 Times that by say thirty years and that comes to $16,425. Coka-Cola and Pepsi-Cola should buy me a bare bones Mazda 3. However, I live north of the 60th parallel (look on a map for those of you who don't know) and the average cost of a 600 mL bottle of pop costs 2.00. The cost now is $32, 850 over thirty years. Ahem... Coke and Pepsi-Cola Ltd., I'll take take that Mazda 3 loaded to the nines, thank you very much.

I am pleased to say now I am at week one (as of June 1st, 2009)... and even my co-workers are proud of me and asking me how the cola addiction is going... I tell them I'm still going strong... and taking one day at a time.

*This was the blessed blog, I wrote and rewrote four times. I was going to be pulling out hairs from my head or wires from my computer... see next blog entry.
**This was what writers Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin call soda in their book, Skinny Bitch. I saw it in their interview, I didn't read their book.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Paranormal Experience

I like to watch a show on A&E called Paranormal State. A team of students from Penn State investigate hauntings using what equipment they have available, a couple of psychic mediums they will bring to the sight, and expertise from the paranormal world such as the author/investigator of The Amittyville Horror. Ryan Buell is the team leader, and I take him with a grain of salt because I believe he has an ego that gets in the way of an effective investigation from time to time. But the evidence they've gathered over some of the shows is impressive and not concrete and proof positive. When something happens such as a chair moving, they are not quick to say a ghost did it, but usually say "it's not conclusive evidence, but the timing is pretty coincidental."

I like the fact that they don't come out and say... "I SAW a ghost." But are willing to believe that there is a possibility of a paranormal activity. And what I can say is, "I did not see a ghost." But let me tell you my story.

It was late in the summer of 1993, and I was hired on to finish the last month of the forestry season at Hart Lake Tower in the Northwest Territories. The tower is situated about sixty kilometres west of the small community of Enterprise, just two kilometres off of the Mackenzie Highway. The tower location overlooks a seventy five foot escarpment and has a great view of the forest from Hay River to the Mackenzie River. You can see the Great Slave Lake from here and can see the seventeen storey apartment building in Hay River some 26 aeronautical miles away with you bare eyes. It's quite a picturesque view.

I only had about a week left of my month at the tower. I had explored the cabin where I was staying, the storage shed nearby and the surrounding area by foot. The sixty foot tower had only a cupola but gave an even better view of the surrounding forest.

The evening in question I had been writing letters by candle light at the kitchen table to my friends back in BC where I was planning on returning after my job was done. Taking a break to go to the washroom (located handily about eighty feet from the cabin, also called an outhouse), I enjoyed the quiet night air. The clouds were hanging so low that the flashlight beam looked solid in the air, and the clouds looked within reach from the cupola of my tower. The clouds were so thick that there was no moonlight, no stars and it was completely dark. The darkness also hushed the woods as no creature made a sound, as if any movement would make their presence known to predators. The highway nearby was also silent as it was after midnight and when the Mackenzie River ferry shuts down for the night... so does the traffic.

But the darkness wasn't scary, it was comforting. And the silence wasn't eerie, it was peaceful. What I'm saying is that my imagination was not influenced by the environment. I do have an imagination, but I was not in the least letting my imagination wander.

So, after I returned to the cabin and sat at the kitchen table, I continued on with writing a letter to one of my friends. My back was to the door and the only light in my cabin was the candle by which I was writing. When inexplicably I could smell cologne. I thought that was odd because in my exploration of the cabin I found no cologne and I didn't bring any cologne (after all, there were no women here to impress). I chalked the odor up to my imagination and continued writing, mentally choosing to ignore the smell.

It was as if my thoughts were as plain to read as the headlines of a newspaper, because the smell got stronger as if saying, "Don't ignore me." Instantaneously the hairs on my arms, neck and cheek stood on end, and I indeed recognized the cologne as Old Spice. I also felt like the someone wearing the cologne was standing right behind me between me and the door (also the only exit to the cabin). I slowly turned my head around to glance behind me, I guess to prove there was no one standing there as I felt and that I wasn't a coward. I didn't see anything between me and the door and yet I felt like someone was still there. I turned my head back in the direction of the letter and pen (still in hand) and even spoke out loud to this 'spirit.'

"Grandpa (I called it Grandpa because the smell automatically made me think of my Grandpa who died when I was about thirteen), I'm a little busy right now. Could you come back later?"

Trust me, I really didn't want it to come back later, and I sounded like a young man very unsure of himself speaking this out loud isolated for miles and miles with no vehicle. But as soon as I finished speaking it, the scent disappeared and so did the sense of a presence behind me.

I spoke out loud again, "Ooooookay! It's time for bed."

I blew out the candle and felt my way in complete darkness to the bed, I felt absolutely terrified of even looking in the direction of the dresser mirror by my bed... afraid I'd see something, even though it was completely pitch dark. I crawled into bed, covered my head with the blankets and listened to the silence and the blood pumping through my ears. Eventually, after a long while, I fell asleep.

Nothing happened for the rest of my stay. Two seasons later I returned to Hart Lake Tower and stayed for the entire season not experiencing anything more.

I did find out that was an elder Native gentleman who worked at Hart Lake Tower and even called the place home, even though eight months of the year he resided in Hay River. He died previous to my first stay at the Tower, and I don't know whether I was his replacement or just finishing off the season for someone else.

It's not unusual for Native people to call their elders Grandpa or Grandma even if there is no relation, and it's not considered disrespectful to do so. So, I think that perhaps that spirit thought I was addressing him. I don't think my Grandfather chose Hart Lake Tower to come visit me.

So perhaps I have a paranormal sniffer because the next story also involves scent.

A plane was reported missing with my friend on board. A fellow musician and friend since high school. He was always friendly and would stop to chat with me. He had listened to my tape I had put together of my singing at Karaoke bars and encouraged me to keep performing. We had jammed together and he always wanted to collaborate on a project together. Despite his popularity with his friends, elders, youth, and the community, he could always make you feel like the center of attention.

His plane didn't arrive and it was reported missing December 31st, 2001 (an easy day to remember). I remember being at work shortly after New Year's waiting for word on the plane. All day I was thinking of him and imagining that he was at the plane wreckage playing fiddle around a fire that he had built keeping the other passengers warm and entertained. Near the end of my shift, I was informed that his plane was found and there were no survivors. Although expressionless I finished my shift, not letting the youth under my care as a young offender's officer know what I was feeling.

I got in my rental car (our vehicle was in a car accident a couple of weeks previously) started it up and drove home. And as soon as my car was on the highway, I started sobbing. I was grieving the loss of a good friend. And then I could smell the odor of someone who had been hanging around a campfire. I looked in the rear view mirror and so no one in the back seat, and then turned around to look in the back again seeing no one. I turned my attention to the road again and realized I had stopped crying and felt better. I felt like my friend had paid me a visit to let me know that he was in a better place now and that everything was good.

I know that it probably sounds cliche and that there are doubters out there who doubt such experiences, but that's okay... I'm a skeptic believer... and I've never seen ghosts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Paranormal

I touched on a lot of things in my first article about some of my interests and I briefly touch on the paranormal. I said that I would be best described as a skeptic believer... someone who believes but has a BS detector that goes off when I think someone is trying to pull my leg.

I grew up hearing ghost stories from people and incidents of spirit communication during the moment of death but never really anything that I thought would be possible. I was one of those kids that would be scared of scary movies but took comfort in the fact that those things never existed, or couldn't happen in real life.

However, that said, my aboriginal half of my self lent to the beliefs that spirits communicating, respecting the dead, and gifts of insight were not only possible, but plausible. My parents were told while I was in the womb, that I was to be a great Medicine Man or Shaman if I so chose to be and that it was in my ancestry. A Shaman was not only a healer who should know the plants of the areas, but an elder* who was respected in the community for having a knowledge and voice in the spirit world.

I consider myself a rational, intelligent (at least of semi-average intelligence), and logical thinker who has not shut that door of the possibility of the paranormal. But I picture that old Hollywood icon of the medicine man as the mysterious one who spoke little but usually spoke volumes. That doesn't exactly fit me, but then again I am technologically savvy aboriginal Native... the next generation wise man?

Not only was I supposed to be "destined" (?) to be a great Medicine Man, but my grandmother believed that I was reincarnated as her brother who tragically died by falling through the ice and drowning. My mother told me stories of how I used to ask for things at a young age that didn't belong to me, but belonged to my great-uncle. This would disturb my grandmother and affirm her belief that I was her brother reincarnate. My mother and I could both recall my irrational fear of falling through the ice when my dad took me ice skating on the frozen river. And I can still still recall the last images of a childhood nightmare I had of looking up at someone through the ice as I was trapped underneath.

I've been near death a few times in my life. Once as a four year old I had an incredibly high fever and my mom ran me to the hospital on foot. The poured ice and water into a tub and held me in (they don't recommend doing that now, as people tend to have heart attacks). I can actually recall me fighting to get out of the tub. My mom said there was herself and two other nurses holding me in that night... and it could be an overprotective and over-exaggerating mother when she said, "It was very close."

I had a fifteen month case of appendicitis. Don't get me started on this story, but it went undiagnosed for that long. The surgeon said that he had done some 300 appendectomies previously and had never seen an appendix like mine. He said if someone had so much as punched me in the gut, I could have died.

And I touched on the last case in the article about choosing the profile pic. That one is a little more fresh in my mind and makes me a little uneasy. Just the idea of leaving my loving wife and kids terrified me... and still does.

All this said, I believe that I may have a sensitivity to paranormal activity.

Sorry... I went all into explaining all about myself and didn't touch on the actual experiences I've had to make me a believer. But I'll leave that for my next posting.

* An article in our local newspaper called me "the elder Aylward," referring to me in reference to my child. It's official... I'm old.

Click here for Funny Video

When I think of people ranting in a movie or on TV swearing or threatening or belittling, I can think of some actors who chew the scenery well.... Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, or Joe Pesci.

That said Betty White and Sandra Bullock have always been the sweetest on TV and movies and don't stray too far from their 'comfort zone.' Ryan Reynolds has a straight deliver of sarcasm that suits him well, but he usually seems too polite to insult an old lady.

That's why I think this 'behind the scenes' interview of their upcoming movie, The Proposal is hilarious.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trials of choosing a picture.

Welcome to rant number one.

Why is it so blessedly hard to choose a profile pic? I have some theories...

  1. You can never find a pic that doesn't have the double chin.
  2. You don't want to look like the narcisstic jerk or jerkette with the pic taken by yourself to make yourself look hot... (Girls... pouty lips don't make you look hot... and if I ran into you at the grocery store looking like that pose... I'd offer to make you an appointment at the clinic to renew your anti-psychotic meds)
  3. The drunk pictures of you were funny when you were twenty-ish.
  4. Pictures of you and your drunk buddies aren't really cool when they look like they're trying to lick you ear.
  5. Why do people take pictures of their rides? No, seriously... why is that?
  6. Lastly... you want it to be a fairly accurate depiction of who you are now.

I have two pics so far. And they have interesting stories.

My profile pic (in the orange sweater) was an agency shot and it doesn't have me with a big goofy grin... if you ran into me I might even be wearing that sweater and you could say I recognize him from his photo

The pic in the last blog was my victory photo. I had a serious health issue in September of 2007. I had a routine surgery go bad... I developed a staph infection, a pulmonary embolism, had fifteen days of fever, spent seventeen days in hospital, lost twenty seven pounds (which made me look unhealthy), seriously became anemic, and was off work for two months. I missed a lot of bowling which I do on Thursday nights. I came to visit my team when I was finally on the mend and my sister, Becky, took this pic. And I thought I went through crap but I look great.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

I don't know Mike from Canmore, but I might know Joe from Fort Simpson.

Welcome to the ramblings of a 37 year old married father of two, who lives in the far north of Canada. Like most people I work, ponder, complain, and joke about all things on and off the internet. I'm highly concerned about things like my weight, my dreams of being back in the spotlight (more about that later) and finishing the dozen scripts and stories currently struggling to fight its way out of my brain and onto some form of media. I had to get some of my creative talents to use, and I hope to entertain, enlighten, and... what's another 'e' word... evacuate your stress level be maybe making you chuckle a little.

That was my opening paragraph. I am not a writer... I am a storyteller. I actually suggested this blog idea to my counsellor as a means for my rants... and self therapy. I hope to have my postings range from bizarre to domestic, serious to silly, and hopefully at least interesting. I have opinions on a lot of things, however I am not a concrete person... you will always find room for debate... and if you're flexible like me... we'll get along just fine.

First, I am as I said. A married father of two boys and I was born and raised in Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada. My wife is Frances, and my boys are Ian and Jacob, who are four and two respectively.

If my past jobs are an indication of who I am today... I've done just about everything: taxi driver; rodeo security; forestry tower operator; actor (I appeared briefly on a television show as a paid actor); singer; advocate (that's what I call my Social Work education); security officer at a diamond mine; worked with kids as a (I'm not sure what you'd call it) family support worker (?); and lastly as a receptionist at a medical clinic. I've actually probably missed something. But that's okay, it's enough to start with.

I have many interests. My creative side dabbles in writing, singing and photography. I love entertainment from some shows on TV and movies... I'm a big fan of watching movie trailers for movies that won't come out for nearly a year later... this means you, Star Trek. I like all sorts of music... it would be easier to tell you who I don't like. I surf the internet and I play my Xbox 360... probably too much. A friend of mine called me a "facebook whore", because I have some eight hundred friends... and counting. I'm the guy at work who prints off interesting news articles at work for people to read. I call myself a "skeptic believer" which I describe as someone who believes in paranormal activities but has a good BS detector. I do have a ghost story, which I'll share at some point.

I drink too much Coke, have a belly, don't exercise enough (my wife would question the definition of 'enough') and struggle to find the time to be creative.

I live up here in the Northwest Territories (pop: 40,747) in Hay River (pop: 3,568). I was born here, but I hope to die in Tahiti. I know the history of the area fairly well, and have been known to give some the visiting doctors good tours of the sights of the area. Hay River is situated on the southern shore of Great Slave Lake which is the eleventh largest and sixth deepest lake in the world... if you were keeping count. I may not know Mike from Canmore (Air Farce!), but I might know Joe from Fort Simpson.

Anyhoo (this isn't a typo as I sometimes type how I talk), I briefly touched on my life as an opener. If this was my pick up line at the bar... you'd be on your third drink and thinking you'd like to check out the washroom. So, hopefully you'd like to visit me every now and then.

Talk to you later.