Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Great Grocery Divider Standoff

What did my groceries ever do to your groceries?

Just about every time we're at the store to get our weekly rations, and it happens. We load our groceries onto the conveyor belt, there's no divider for the person behind us. Panic! They refuse to put their stuff on the counter because there's no divider. Holy shit! The world's ending! As our stuff moves up and the space behind our stuff gets a little bigger, they still don't put their shit down. As soon as the cashier gets to our goods, and puts the divider that was in front of us to the little divider rack below the gum and batteries, they make their move. Quickly snatching it up and putting it down as if to say "There! NOW I can put my groceries down."

I purposely don't put it down to see the reaction of the folks behind me. About 80% of the time, this happens. Now, I realize that it's there more for the cashiers. I guess they have a hard time keeping track of who's food is who's. But, due to my stubbornness, I will continue to do what I do in pissing off my fellow shopper. It's kinda fun watching them squirm.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

7 Days

1 week from now, I'll be sittin' in a boat with a line in the water and a beer in my hand under the July sun. I'm going Fishin'!!

When I moved out to Victoria almost 10 years ago, My best buds did the same. We rocked it out here! Had awesome adventures, killer parties, and tons of stories to go along with it. We've been close ever since high school. Now we're older. Some of us have kids, families, own homes. I'm the last one to remain in Vic. Some moved back to the Okanagan, another up island. Well, we all agreed that we should meet for a camping/fishing trip this summer. Mike in Qualicum Beach is the one setting us up at a camp spot at Cameron Lake. I'm not much of a fisherman. I own crab traps, and have gone, but I don't own rods, or tackle. Last year was when Shane got married, we had a Camping trip 40 mins out of Kelowna for his Stag. It was very suitable over peelers and bars. It was at a small spot at Windy Lake north of Westbank. Shane's brother had secured the spot a day earlier, so we had the entire lake to ourselves. I hadn't fished since I was 18 and even then I didn't catch a thing. But there's something to be said for just chillin' in the boat with your pals, cold beers, and the water calmly slapping against the side of the boat. Loons make up the background noise, and the sun glistens off the water in way that can make you religious.

I don't see my friends too often, and to have us ALL together is something that only happens once every year or two. I know how lucky I am to have such great friends, and even luckier to have remained close over the many years. Whenever I talk to other people about high school, it seems that not many still keep in contact with their old posse. Facebook help with that, sure. But Facebook wasn't really in play until '06. Our friendships have remained solid since they started. Even earlier for those who went to elementary school together. We have grown up together. And I see no reason why we won't be close friends when we're old farts. That's what is going to make this trip so rad. Good times, laughs and the Great Outdoors.

The countdown begins.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Vancouver Riot 2011

It's been almost a week since the city of Vancouver was raped.

Now I'm a Calgary Flames fan, and I was quite pleased to see our rival, The Vancouver Canucks fall in game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. I was not however pleased to see it's citizens take part in the worst riot of that city's history. I was working the night of the game, but was keeping tabs on it. When it was over, I saw Facebook posts about people flipping a car. Now, I had heard hype from many people that a riot may ensue. I believed that this was a different time than the '94 riot after Vancouver lost to New York in the finals. I believed that we as a "society" had matured. After the Olympics, and the jubilant celebrations that took place night after night, how could they turn?

Well they did, and boy, did they ever.

By now, everyone has heard of the destruction, the looting, the fires and fights that took place so I'm not going to bother explaining it. What I want to talk about is 3 particular points. 1. Who it was that took part in it. 2. The accused and the backlash. 3. The city's blind sense of identity.

First off. When the initial reports came out that it was a handful of anarchists that came from Surrey and surrounding areas that brought weapons and destruction tools. With a plan to start trouble regardless of the outcome of the game. While yes, there were those people around starting shit, there were non-anarchists that joined them. There were more average Joe's and Jane's causing a ruckus than those wielding hammers, and wearing face masks. They were your co-workers, your classmates, the person that serves you coffee, and the people you walk past on your way to work. A lot of them were teenagers too. And if it wasn't bad enough that they were reeking havoc on the streets, thousands more stood by to watch and take pictures only making those causing the shit to make it worse. Oddly enough those pictures are why most of them will be caught and prosecuted. Which brings me to my next point.

You got caught, and now your upset because people are mad at you. In this social media day and age, news travels very fast. Nathan Kotylak is the 17 year old from Maple Ridge who is the dipshit trying to set a police car on fire. He has since apologized. But the backlash he is receiving from this may even put his family at risk of being ostracized. Are some of the comments directed at him and his fellow rioters like Dustin Anderson or Camille Cacnio harsh? Yeah, they are. Are the actions that these drunken idiots did harsh. Absolutely. Now I'm not condoning death threats directed at them or their families, but I see nothing wrong with thousands of angry people letting these crooks know how they feel. What they did was atrocious, and appalling. Don't come whining that people are being mean and not accepting your apology. Now I'm not saying my shit don't stink, I did some dumb things in my youth, but never to this magnitude. What these people did to the city, the shop owners, the people watching disgusted, will stick with them for a very long time. I don't think that it's fair that after a week they want people to feel sorry for them. You made your bed, now lay in it.

And finally, Vancouver is not the latte sipping, hippie drumming, peaceful place that it thinks it is. It has a dark side. Don't get me wrong, I like Vancouver (the city, NOT the hockey team). I do. But it has is it's fair share of problems. Drug addicts, crooks, gangs, douchbags and lowlifes. It seems that when there is a celebration in that city, there is always people there to stir shit. For no reason other than to take away a good time from someone else. A problem that comes with being a port city I guess. Of course every city has it's problems. But after Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa lost their Stanley Cup finals in the last 10 years. There were no riots. Mayor Robertson did shit all in preparing for this game. "Hey everyone, lets have a street party of over 100,00 people and have a only handful of cops nearby". "Nothing will go wrong, we're Vancouver after all." If I have one message of Gregor, it would be this. The next time you have an extremely large crowd, with emotions and booze running rampant, and a scar from the last time it happened, you might want to spend more money on police presence than on giant screens. Can't really point the finger in one direction on this one, too many variables, but I think they city should apologize too. For being ill prepared and foolish. It's kinda like the woman that gets beaten from her man, but she keeps saying "oh, he loves me though, you don't know him."

I would like to finish this post with a shout out to the brave men and women who took upon themselves to face an unruly crowd of thousands to defend their city. You guys deserve medals. Seriously.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Peacocks and Peanut Butter Sandwiches

This is a complete 180 of my last blog.

So, it was Sunday today and Melissa was working until 1:30. The overpaid liars at weather headquarters actually came through for us. Clear skies and a perfect 22 degrees Celsius.

The boy woke me up at 7:30, we went downstairs and started the day. I had a sweet plan of taking him to Beacon Hill Park today. I was packing a picnic lunch to bring. Peanut butter sandwiches, blueberries, and watermelon. They have a rockin' playground, a petting zoo, mini putt, and a water park. There's also resident peacocks that live at the zoo, but roam the park. If you've never heard of Beacon Hill Park, here ya go: www.beaconhillpark.com. I brought my video camera to capture the day, and anything that might happen. So we venture through the park around 10am. it has windy paths that wrap around ponds filled with multiple species of birds. My son LOVES birds. Usual crows and the occasional shithawk, ducks, geese, a blue heron, and peacocks. He runs around the paths saying hi to all the birds. After a close and intimate encounter with a squirrel, and beating a tree with a stick, he sees the playground through the brush. Bolts for it. I've never seen a playground so busy before in my life. I almost thought for a second that if I so much as closed my eyes if I sneezed, I could lose sight of my kid.

He climbed, scaled, ran, swung, jumped, laughed, and played. It was so great to see him behaving well around other kids. That twatty grandmother wasn't there. There was a scary moment when the little one ran into the path of some bigger kids on the swing. He ran right through the first one's swing, narrowly missing. At this point I'm diving and reaching for him in what seemed like slow motion. I managed to get a hand on his shoulder just enough to clear him of the second swinger. He fell into the woodchips, but that's far better that being smoked in the back by someone on a swing. A fellow dad there saw my actions and said "Nice reflexes." We left the playground to go have lunch, but Dad needed to take a wizz. For some bizarre reason, my son wanted to go and grab the rim of the urinal. Looking down at the wall toilet next to me that looked more like a beard, and him walking out with hands extended, I screamed DON'T TOUCH!!!! Luckily he didn't. I was not prepared to deal with pube hands. We found a nice shady spot under a gary oak and unpacked our lunch. We sat there peacefully eating and taking in the scenery. There were a couple peacocks in the trees behind us making their oddly human-like sounds. We completed a secondary round of the playground after lunch. The boy had no interest in the water park, and was showing signs of fatigue. I carried him home and put him down for a nap.

This is what I captured.

It was a perfect day. It was one of those days that make the rough ones go away. I often gripe about the perils of parenthood, but you can't have your ying without your yang.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Parenting 101

We drive on parkways, yet we park on driveways. This seems like an easier conundrum to solve than that of a 2yr olds mind.

I have a son who is in his 2nd year of life and acts like it to a tee. I know, they all go through the terrible two's right? They do, but I think mine seems to be taking it to the extreme. He's not talking yet, really. I don't compare him with other kids, but if you were to compare him to other kids, he would seem a little behind. He says "daddy", "mo". (That's what he calls mommy) Other words include, "hi", "bye", "take", and as of late "shit". That last one may be my fault. We are wanting to get him started on potty training, but it's impossible when he can't tell us when he's gotta go, or even care when he's got a Buick in his pants. My son could happily sit in a diaper that has 2lbs of piss and a few Lincoln logs in it, and not so much as wince. So, between his love for soiled pants, and a communication breakdown, it's an impossible feat.

I know, I know, he'll be talking and sitting on the throne in no time. I hear this from lots of parents. All of whom have kids doing this already. I take the lad to a toddler hang out place every Tuesday and sometimes Monday morning. Kind of a father-son thing I do. We've been going for over a year now, and I've gotten to know a lot of parents there, and their kids. My son is very needy. I mean, real separation issues. I can't even go take a piss without him losing his shit. So, one day, I have to use the can at toddler-time (something I avoid doing like the plague). I tell the facilitator that I'm doing this, and that the little one might throw a fit. She says, "Well, have you tried telling him that you're going?" She's a great lady, but had no idea that my son's understanding of time and space is a little different than most. So off I go. No sooner that I close the door to the bathroom do I hear,


Yup, he noticed I left.

It was last summer when his mother and I were addressing our concerns for his lack of speech, when I said "He'll be yakking up a storm by the end of summer, you watch. Didn't happen. So I go back to what I was saying earlier about not comparing my kid to other kids. I used to do that a lot. I didn't want to, I just kinda did. I have since matured as a father, and no longer do that. I think the point of this post, is just to express my frustration with his lack of speech, and our progress in parenting because of it. Something as simple as asking him if he needs to go poop, and him responding with a nod or "uh-huh" would be amazing. Our time will come. I take comfort in the fact that he spends a lot of time thinking. I can see it in his eyes when he's playing in his room, or sitting on the couch, and outside playing. He has this pensive look to him. I heard that this kind of behavior at his age usually means they will become very intelligent later in life.

That doesn't mean that he's always like that. He throws tantrums that remind me of Animal from the muppets going ape shit. I've often referred to his autistic-like spasms like a "Chimpanzee on cocaine". He likes to hit, claw, scratch, throw shit. He threw a wooden block in my face just the other day. Today at the park, some granny was there with her grandkids, and she just had to bring this big ass ball with her. My son, or course being 2, thinks everything is his. He went right over to it and picked it up. Happiest kid at the park. After 10 or so minutes playing with, the kid that it belonged to wanted it back. So, his grandma came over to get it. She told me that they were leaving the park, and needed it back. I knew this was going to end badly. So, pointlessly asking my son to give it back, he shockingly didn't give it back. She expressed again that they were leaving, and needed it. So, I did the horrible thing of taking it out of my sons hands and handed it to her. (Enter sound effect of epic explosion here) He screamed and dropped to the ground. Consoling him was no good, because he wanted me dead, so I let him lay down on the wood chip playground floor. Wood chips covered his tear soaked face, in his mouth, dirt on his clothes, and still not wanting dear 'ol dad. Guess where the blame finger was pointed? At this stupid old bitch who brought a ball to the park. Who the fuck does she thinks
is bringing fancy bouncy balls to the park? Doesn't she know what a shit storm she was going to create? I calmed down and let it go. It wasn't her fault, my son needs to learn to share. He finally calms down, and I convince him to go down the slide a few times. To my surprise, guess who hasn't left the park like she said she was? Lying fucking twat and her shitty ass grand kids. Not only did they NOT leave the park, they were playing with that ball, right in front of my son. The look on his face was devastating. I have never wanted to pull out a knife and stab a ball as much as I did at that moment. I didn't have a knife though. They'll get what's coming to them.

Chicken pox and diarrhea.