Sunday, April 29, 2007

Medieval torture

I have a problem. I have a sudden urge to inflict pain upon certain family members. Actually it's not sudden, the urge has been with me for quite some time. I don't know if anyone is into medieval torture. I am.

Thumbscrews come to mind: Justin? "yes uncle don?" "can I borrow your thumbs?"

Jim? "yes uncle don?" "would you step into the Iron Maiden, don't worry about the spikes that will penetrate your bod from head to toe when I close the door"

Robin? "yes uncle don?" "would you put your chin on the lower bar of the Head Crusher while I put the 'cap' on the top of your head and turn the screw, anyway your head needs to be smaller"

Neil? "yes uncle don?" "could you get on the Rack while I pull your bod in opposite directions, you always wanted to be six foot nine, so you're going to be six foot nine"

Colin? "yes uncle don?" "do you mind if I put you in this iron harnessy thingy called the Judas Cradle and lower you very, very slowly onto the pointy thingy, don't worry about screaming, the castle keep is soundproof"

Ger? "yes uncle don?" "I've always wanted to use the Heretic's Fork, I'm just going to thrust prongs into your chin and sternum, don't worry that you won't be able to move your head and/or talk, the world will be a better place"

Kev? "yes uncle don?" "would you get on the Wheel, don't worry that your bod will turn into a writhing, slimey, shapeless mass of flesh mixed in with splinters of smashed bones"

Tyler? "yes uncle don?" "I presume you won't mind when I impale you by lowering your bod on top of this Pointed Stake and impaling it through your abdomen and chest cavity, it will be uncomfortable for a while"

Uncle vlad, I mean don? "yes?" "I thought we were cute" "you are so I won't leave your bods to rot that long, only a couple of millenia"

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not a soul in Creston thought that the Canucks would win last night.

Amazingly, no one has complained to me about Alain Vigneault. I think he's brilliant but you see him more often than I do.

I got so annoyed that TSN and other 'experts' wrote off the Canucks after game one: "Anaheim will win in four" Mr. Vigneault is a good coach, I knew that he would never let that happen. I hope now that they think they can win. If they get that idea in their head they will be unstoppable.

The game is on.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Unlike Creston, in Toronto you don't see many conifer (pine, larch, cedar or spruce) trees so when the buds on the elm and oak trees in front of the house that I live in start to bud I get excited. In the last few days it's happened. In the winter I don't even note they exist but in the late spring, summer and fall they are fairly prominent. And in this neighbourhood, which is probably one of the oldest in Toronto, and I suppose Canada for that matter, they can be quite stately. But this tree across the street from me, which I think is a black oak, is different. The trunk at the bottom is huge and then about thirty feet up five large branches branch out and then in another twenty feet, more branches branch out, and so on. At the top there has to be five hundred branches, all reaching the same height, at about five or six stories high. In spring that tree goes from being the ugliest specimen of a deciduous tree to being awesome. I find it quite an amazing transformation. Mother Nature, aye.

I hit a wall at 3:45pm today. Not literally of course, but I ran out of energy. Completely. From 3:45 to 5:00 I was running on fumes. It was Friday, I'd kinda worked hard all week, and I was looking forward to my first cold beer. Normally I love to bike home on Fridays with the adrenelin flowing and my legs a'pumping but not today. It was still good but it was nice to get home and relax.

I haven't seen much playoff hockey. The only series I can watch is the NY Rangers and Buffalo. I refuse to watch the Senators play and I'm in bed before anyone out west starts to play so I'm limited in my choice. I'm secretly hoping the NY Rangers upset Buffalo but don't tell anyone. You know who will be in the Stanley Cup final? Anaheim and Ottawa. I'd watch cricket before I'd watch that match-up. In fact I'd watch the first round of the over 65 year old sumo wrestling championships (wouldn't that be an ugly sight?) first.

I used to be the worst person in the history of mankind as far losing. And I haven't changed much. My competitive spirit is still alive and well. I don't mind losing to family members actually. That is not a problem. But at work it's a problem. I gotta do better than anyone else. One would think it would wear off eventually. I presume family members would let me win in whatever game I was playing: "uncle don?" "yes?" "you are cheating" "I don't even know what game I'm playing" "it's called Crazy Eights Pass the Ace" "I should pass a two?" "Only if you have wild card" "which is?" "it depends" "on what?" "if you passed an eight previously and used it as trump, it could be a queen or king" "any beer left?" "no uncle don, it's very simple, think majoong with several tiny changes"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Well that was a close call. I was pleased to see Trevor Linden score the go-ahead goal, he's one of my favourite hockey players. And no rest for the wicked, they play tomorrow night, we can only hope Roberto Louongo is really hot for the series and some of the would-be scorers finally score some goals.

New pics from ger

Father and daughter.

Mother and son. Sheesh, Lane is cute. Actually soooooooo is Kristin.

Karri and Lane. Aaawwwww.

Shayna and Justin. Well, one of them is cute (not mentioning any names). I suppose Justin is too if one stretches one's imagination almost to the breaking point.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

so uncle don, no one is going to want to bike with you when you move out there: "they don't want to have fun? they are afraid they will have the best time of their life" "sez who?" "sez me, 100% guaranteed". "Kev will never go for it" "I know, I just need to get him out once". "granny, I mean Jim will never go for it" "it'll be a challenge" "Robin might want to bike" "I'm not sure, but me and him are going to eventually take our guitars up to the lookout and sing John Denver's Rocky Mountain High while having a toke" "and Ger?" "do you know what I hate most about persons whom bike?" "what uncle don?' "bikers who yap" "we may have a problem" "we will not have a problem, I'll duct tape everything on his bod but his eyes"

uncle don don't forget about kev, he's beginning to itch and be bothered. "I knew I should have left him at home, at the next mountain pass just push him into the gorge" "Granny, I mean Jimmy is fretting also" "sheesh, well there is a crevice coming up which should be wide enough to throw his large bod into" "and Robin?" "hmm, he's cute, a chasm is coming up so perhaps we can use his huge head as a bridge" "and Ger?" "we'll need the duct tape and Robin's forehead to bike over to the next glacier so just hold your hand over Ger's mouth and then throw him him into the canyon after we've crossed the bottomless pit, but keep his teeth as a beacon". Neil is here uncle don. "to rescue moi no doubt, how is his mustache?" "cute" "good, I'll need it to brush off the wear and tear of the trip from my Gore bike wear"

uncle don? "what?" we are rebelling" "from whom?" "youm" "moim?" "you said this was going to be fun and we do all the work" "I presumed you guys were born to spoil me, am I wrong?" "don't have that hurt look on your face, uncle don" "I laughed at all your inane jokes from when you were tots and my bod still hurts from the torture you guys put me through, my remaining life is devoted to making your remaining lives as nightmarish as possible" "I thought we were cute uncle don" "that too, but I still have a throb in my left vortex caused by following one or two of you down a black run" "whom was it uncle don?" "I'm not mentioning any names, but one of them has a mustache and the other one looks like a small, white biafran and has an attitude"

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yay Calgary

It's all tied up! So Calgary, win a game on the road. And the Canucks lost in overtime. A gloom is hanging over Creston.

Toronto forecast: today a high of 18 with nary a cloud in the sky. And on the weekend, highs in the low twenties with not a single cloud appearing on the horizon. It's about time.

I finally went to the doctor this week. Nothing to report other than her sending me for tests. I have to decide what day I want to take off work and go in to the clinic at 9am (I guess it's an all day thing). The doctor is so young, she could be my grandchild. Although she grew up in Toronto, she's spent the last few years in Kelowna and she's been in Creston so we hit it off.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Calgary finally wins

Calgary won last night which is good. And the Canucks won without having to go in to overtime. And, of course, the inept Penguins lost. I watched the Rangers easily beat Atlanta last night, they look pretty good. Jagomar Jagr is playing good hockey. Of course I never watch any western teams play, way past my bedtime.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Toronto weather phenomena

We seem to have some rather odd weather phenomena in this part of the country:

Nor'easter: a macro-scale storm whose winds come from the northeast, especially in the coastal areas of the Northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. More specifically, it describes a low pressure area whose center of rotation is just off the coast and whose leading winds in the left forward quadrant rotate onto land from the northeast. The precipitation pattern is similar to other extratropical storms. They also can cause coastal flooding, coastal erosion and gale force winds.

Holy moly, the "leading winds in the left forward quadrant" were definitely rotating in Toronto yesterday. I've seen windy but this was hurricane-force. I think I saw a cat fly by the office window yesterday.

Alberta Clipper: A clipper originates when warm, moist winds from the Pacific Ocean come into contact with the mountains in the provinces of British Columbia and then Alberta. The storms sweep in at high speed over whatever land they encounter, usually bringing with them sharp cold fronts and drastically lower temperatures. It is not uncommon for an Alberta clipper to cause temperatures to drop by 30°F (16°C) in as little as 10 to 12 hours. Often, the storms bring biting winds with them, only increasing the effect of the newly lower temperatures. Winds in advance and during an Alberta clipper are frequently as high as 35 to 45 mph (56 to 72 km/h).

This phenomenon isn't very pleasant either. We had several of these this past winter.

I guess what I'm trying to say (in a very roundabout way) is that we've not had any nice weather yet this year. We may never get nice weather.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sidney came through. And he beat Ottawa. I knew he would (hah). Life is good.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Calgary's road woes continue

The Flames are going to go up in flames pretty quickly this year if they can't figure out how to win on the road. What's with them? By the way, I'm hoping it's Vancouver and Buffalo in the Stanley Cup. And in the remote chance that happens I'll have a tough time choosing which one to cheer for.

And we have light snow (as in we are only going to get 35 centimeters of snow and not 97) in Toronto this morning. This weather could make the most cheerful person in the history of mankind grumpy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Vancouver wins the first one

Is anyone still alive and kicking in Creston? Vancouver won in the fourth OT period last night against Dallas. That must have been quite a game to watch.

I see Ottawa beat Pittsburgh, agh.....where's Sidney?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Pics of Tony Orlando and Dawn.
"uncle don I resent that" "I'm sorry, Tony Orlando and Karri" "I'm not Tony Orlando" "well you should be, can you sing?" "yes" "there you go, what's the prob, I'm pleased I wasn't invited to the wedding, I couldn't have surived you singing 'tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree' one more time.
My e-mail isn't working this weekend so in lieu of that:

Dear niece/nephew/friend/alien:

I think you are a blankety-blank blank. Send money and a change of clothes.

Your dearest uncle/friend/earthling,

uncle don/donald/zeke
It's going to be 19 above in Creston today. And here it's minus 7. Ask me why I'm depressed: "uncle don why are you depressed?" "because when I finally arrive in Creston all the good weather will be used up". "and?" "and it's not fair to have Ger, Robin and Kev enjoying something they don't care one whit about, they don't bike, they wouldn't know a headwind if it hit them in the head" "and?" "and the three point nine million people whom live in Toronto would give their eye teeth for nineteen above but there is this wierd, and very small population in Creston who have no clue that they are lucky and all three point nine million of us hope the wierd and very small population of Creston is wiped out by flash floods, the plague and several nine point nine earthquakes" "and?" "if Vancouver and Calgary meet in the playoffs, which presumably they will, I'm cheering for Calgary" "Robin, Kev and Colin won't like you" "too bad, whippee-effing-do, at least they aren't freezing to death"

"It will be seventeen above in Cranbrook today uncle don" "oh gawd, Jimmy's going to pass out from heat prostration" "you like 39 above with lots of humidity don't you uncle don" "uh-huh, for some reason my bones don't ache and my nose doesn't run when I'm biking in extreme heat and humidity, I should have been born on the Yangtze River delta"

"uncle don?" "yes?" "why are there 3.9 million people living in Toronto and five thousand and seventy-two persons living in Creston?" "I don't know" "Creston is pretty" "yep" "not much traffic" "nope" "the people are nice" "yep" "no smog" "nope" "cherry blossoms in the spring" "yep" "no cyclists in velour" "nope" "a low crime rate excepting for an old guy getting dinged $189 for not doing anything from a two-bit mountie who probably goes home after work and beats his pet hamster" "yep" "uncle don you aren't bitter about that incident are you?" "oh yeah, oooooh yeah, yes, uh-huh, oui, for sure" "uncle don, you got your letter of protest published in the Advance" "that does not begin to cover my annoyance and I get an invoice from ICBC every two months to remind me how annoyed I am" "you can't fight Ottawa (RCMP) or Victoria (ICBC) uncle don" "I can but I wouldn't bother normally, but this invoice every two months is starting to make my blood boil"
And I probably have one of the nicest places to live in history of mankind. Of course I've got Devin the toker across the hall and Nick the Greek upstairs whom is deliusonal but they are okay. I don't know if I've ever explained this but in my apt I have the biggest RCA wooden unit that ever existed. It actually takes up half the room, it's got a turntable and whoever left it here left records. And It has a radio of course. The greatest sound I've ever heard. I mentioned to Kevin once that I listen to classical music. This unit is made for that kind of music.

To continue, one block away there is sirens and a lot of people but here, none. And I only pay $425/month which for Toronto is unheard of. I'm sorry, but I think god looks after me. He likes to make me suffer but He doesn't go overboard. You all have big mansions and space and money. But I'm quite content to enjoy what I've got and muddle through and survive and above all read. I can't sleep at all and I never have been able to. The difference between me here and you all out there is beyond your comprehension by about twenty thousand light years. I try my best not to bring it up and I think I've been more or less successful in that regard. And you continue to amaze me. There may be persons luckier than me, I don't think so but it could happen. I'm not really that aware but I must admit I'm impressed. Even Ty sounded like he was pleased to hear from me. That never happens. And last week I talked to Brenda, hello. She cheered me up.

I'm not worthy. Although the thought of dragging Jim's, Ger's and Kev's bodies behind a logging truck between Nelson and Kaslo has a certain appeal. And then there is Neil. I have to put his mustache to good use. Does anyone know if lip hairs are good for cleaning septic tanks? I'm not sure, but we'll find out. Robin's cute. I'll only use the upper half of his body as a rats nest. I love rats. And then I'm going to tie the five bodies together and raft down the Moyie in August. People from the shore will yell: "is that Jimmybob? without recognizable features and limbs he looks different"

Are we done with the birthdays for awhile. Hello. Not quite yet, Marlene's on Monday. It's only Saturday tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to going to work on Monday. I got something in mind that I should come out there for a week but Ger talked me out of it. And of course the weather here has been terrible so I can't bike. I keep telling myself it's only April but I've seen it in Toronto where there is no spring. May 31st it's winter and June 1st it's 99 above with humidity.

Jimmy complains about the heat in July and August. If I only had that problem. If I hear Jim complain about the heat once more, I'm going to kill him and send his body to an abattoir. And after the slaughterhouse is finished with his bod, I'll scatter his few remaining remains on a glacier in Antarctica, and with his last breath I know he will say: "can we open the window". Life imprisonment is not much of a deterrent for me since I don't have much life left. Is torture still allowed in B.C.? If I hear Jim complain about the heat I'm going to build a torture chamber. And stock it with persons whom complain about the heat.

When I move to the equator, I won't complain. I'm not a cold climate person, I should have been born in Baghdad, the average temperature there is 22 above in April.

Okay I'm done about the weather but as a cyclist, the two hundred kilometre headwind in Toronto is hard to take and it gets a little annoying when it's ten above with a wind chill of minus 55. I'll kill anyone whom complains about the heat.

Love you all except Jimmy, who's bod I'm having shipped to the North Pole by Fedex this summer.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy birthday ty

I don't think there is anyone in the family whom doesn't think you are a good person Tyler. You are annoying but nice to have around. Kill Kev if possible. I'm sorry you've got his genes, not much you can do about, I personally think you should hang him from a rafter until his bod stops quivering. "

Oh, I guess he's okay in a roundabout, completely annoying way. Unfortunatly or not, it will be up to me kill him on the the canoe trip. Which I intend on doing if I'm allowed. I'll have to ask Jim if we will have the facilities for a burial at sea, or in this case, at Moyie. I'll be the first person in the history of the Moyie to mutiny in a conoe and throw the so-called captain overboard and use his body as a bumper. I'm sharpening my scabbard as I speak.

The famous virgo

I talked to Ty yesterday and he seemed to have read the blog. Agh. It's Tyler's birthday on Sunday. He'll be almost half as old Jim and they are both cute except Jim has to rely on his stomach to find his way around. And Ty has to rely on his brains, which is why he's lost most of the time. If one put Jim's stomach and Tyler's brain together one would have a fat inkblot (the Warshak Test, I'm sorry if I go over everyone's head). I'm kidding of course, they are two of my favourite persons. Which brings me to the subject of Ger:

Once every ten years or so I think I'm brilliant, once every five years I think I'm above average in intelligence but 99.99% of the time I know I'm beyond stupid, bordering on the cerabrally-challenged. Ger can't be a virgo, although he fits most of the virgo criteria (angst-ridden, practical, stable, vulnerable yet pragmatic): he's creative more than all of us put together. In our own way we are all special but when I see what Ger can do with iron I'm amazed. And his brain isn't bad either. Some of the e-mails I've received from Ger in the past are unreal, he can talk the talk and walk the walk.

But: "ger?" "yes uncle don?" "you and Justin can be so annoying" "in what way?" "you don't know, did you leave your brain at home?" "I thought we were cute" "did you ever see the movie 'The Mummies'? "yes uncle don I did" "did you note that the mummies were mum?" "they were quiet" "they were mum" "but unc.." "Justin do you have any duct tape?" Yes, but...." "may I borrow it?" "yes but dad is brillia...." "I was only going to put two layers of duct tape on your lips now you get three" "how many does dad get, mmph" "twelve, I hope he can eat through his nose, note how quiet it is all of sudden, I can actually hear the jackhammer" Yay hah.
Editor's note: I don't know what I would have done without Ger, Jim, Julie and Bob. I came so close to jumping on a plane but their phone calls and e-mails were enough. Any less and I couldn't have survived. I keep going back to this but we know. We don't have to see each other every day, it's a given that we look after each other.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Easter forecast

Well as usual Toronto is getting the short end of the stick. Flurries and cold until gawd knows when (probably May). Calgary, Cranbrook and Creston are all going to see sun and temperatures in the teens by Saturday. The only saving grace for me is that the Masters golf tournament and the world curling championships from Edmonton are on during the day time which I love watching. Sheesh, if Toronto and Montreal both win the next game, we will see them play for a final play-off spot on Saturday night. Wouldn't that be something.

Have a great Easter weekend everyone.