Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rod Stewart and a Vietnamese Hooker

Today is May 20 2017. It is a Saturday and as per every year here in Canada it is a long weekend for something called Victoria Day. It is officially stated that Victoria Day shall take place on the last Monday preceding May 25th. Which seems a long-winded way of saying the last but one Monday in May. It is to celebrate Queen Victoria for some reason.

Anyway, as it is a long weekend and is always in the month of May it is affectionately known as - May-long. Everyone loves Maylong as it is the first long weekend that takes place after winter. Every year people look forward to a lovely warm weekend, maybe heading to the lake, to spend time with friends or family and get some well-earned sunshine after the long drawn out winter. Then every year they get disappointed with the rain, clouds or like last year – snow. Maylong whilst not always a disappointment can very definitely bite you on the arse.

Also, Maylong puts me in mind of the name of a theoretical Thai Masseuse, or Vietnamese hooker or if you are being sensible and grown up (Unlike me) Maybe a quiet little Vietnamese village, with little kids playing in the streets, no shoes on, wearing fake European football shirts whilst following tourists around hoping for a taste of some foreign sweet or candy. The tourists would return to their homes months later and show the photos of this lovely out of the way village to their jealous friends and tell the stories of when they spent the afternoon in ‘Maylong’, the final Vietnamese oasis untouched by western influence.

Other slightly dirtier tourists may return home with completely different stories about ‘Maylong’, the slightly overweight Vietnamese hooker who has been touched too many times by western influence (and men). Either way, Maylong in Vietnam would never be forgotten and if these tourists were from Canada, there would be a certain long weekend in early summer that brought back memories of many different things.

It is with that introduction that I introduce you to the latest incarnation of ‘Ricks Extra Long Summer). It has been too long since I tippy tapped my dextrous finger sticks on the plastic buttons that translate movement into electronic 1’s and 0’s that when put into a certain order become magical symbols that allow the user to express opinion and ideas to other beings that have learned to understand these symbols. We call this ‘writing, language and reading’, it is a magical art form that allows communication across the world between hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS of people. We should take a second and think about the efforts over the millennia that have peaked today with the script that you are reading. The world is an amazing place and the wonder that brings us together today should not be under-estimated.
Anyway, much like the internet and its videos of goats screaming and auto-tune song remixes, I will take one of the wonders of human creation and use it for posting random bollocks that may or may not make you laugh, but will take you away from doing anything productive. It won’t take long…But read on young student, read on…..

Deer and Almond.
So, deer and almond is a Hipster artsy tasty overpriced (Thanks you Mrs Buffing McDaveyius for the quote) restaurant in the Exchange district of Winnipeg. We went there a few weeks ago with a gift certificate presented to us by The Morgan Family (Deb. Bill, Ariana and Eric) for a lovely wedding present. We enjoyed the delicious and originally presented food and spent a lovely evening out. Now, I’m not going to tell you any more, as this isn’t a sponsored blog, but I do think if you are in town you should visit this place – just to look at the clag they have in the bathrooms (For English people I will explain. Canadians don’t say toilet – they say bathroom. Apparently, it’s too impolite to use the word toilet as it infers using the toilet. (I have had this explained to me many times) So, I now say bathroom. Just don’t tell the Canadians that when using the bathroom, if there is indeed a bath there, I will use that said bath, because using the toilet is impolite. At least that’s how I think it works over here. Don’t, worry I always run the taps for a minute to get rid of any splashes.) So, here’s a photo of the weird stuff from the bathroom of Deer and Almond.

Remind you of anyone?

No, theres enough.

Barbecue – Broken and fixed.
Not very exciting this bit. Quite simply I went to clean our barbecue before the first burning episode of the year and the burners fell apart. You can see from the photos what they should look like and what the old ones looked like. The moral of the story is don’t ever clean your barbecue. Just leave it full of rust, burned on fat and bird droppings, then you won’t need to spend $120 on new burners.
Guess which one is new

Choir Concert Cantona.
Buffy had a choir concert. At this concert, you could drink and draw on the tables. I did both quite well. I have no photo of the drinking, but I have a photo of the drawing.
Its Eric Cantona, in famous goal celebration pose (When he scored against Newcastle United) He has rocket boots on his feet and carries an Amazonian spear.

So, I found this in a supermarket. Read the label carefully and see if you can spot the bullshit. Hmm, was there any other banana based snack before this one? 
Bullshit banana bollocks 

This photo was taken on 19th May. I ate the cereal and didn’t die. Don’t believe the best before dates.
Tasty old milk stuff from a Canadian Cows udders.
House sale – How not to advertise.
If you were going to sell or buy a house, do you think you would try a little harder than this? Perhaps a description of the house or maybe a location or even god forbid – an address? Weirdly there is another sign like this a couple of miles away with the house being in River Heights and not Wolseley. Something fishy going on here? This story may develop further if I ring the number…..

 House sale – Would you buy a house from these people?
Sir Roderick David ‘Rod’ Stewart CBE, born 1945. Hasn’t done much recently. That may be because he moved to Winnipeg and is so busy selling house he never sleeps. I would buy a house from him and so should you. Take a look at his website - It’s amazing!

I wouldn’t buy a house from Rachel though, she is carrying a sold sign like a weapon and has the shoes from Wizard of Oz as her advertisement on the side of a bin. I would call Rod.

 Incidentally, Rod Peeler is actually a really nice bloke and does actually do Rod Stewart Impressions. Honestly....he is ace!

Ok, thats it. Go have your dinner. Its done. Really. Ferris says its done. Go......shooooooo

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Disgusting and work...

Bless my old dad. He had some funny habits and weird sayings - One of his favourites was his overuse of the word disgusting. As you know the actual meaning is to cause revulsion or strong indignation. To my dad it meant anything he didn't agree with or just didn't like -
Long hair on teenage boys - DISGUSTING!!
Driving in the centre lane of the motorway - DISGUSTING!
Commentators on football matches - DISGUSTING!
All politicians - DISGUSTING!
Tuesdays - DISGUSTING!
Fat people - DISGUSTING!
The news (Good or bad) DISGUSTING!

Pretty much everything on this beautiful little planet was disgusting in one way or another, I agree with a lot of his claims, but some others just made us all laugh. However, Dad, if you are reading this in Facebook heaven, prepare to be disgusted once again, but this time its something that is actually disgusting. I mean in the version of the the word that mean off putting, revolting or just nasty.

So what do I mean? Its the little shoulder season between the end of winter and the actual warmth of Spring. It doesn't have a name, but if it did, then the seasons would read - Winter - Disgusting -Spring - Summer - Autumn/Fall  and start over again. We are currently in Disgusting....

So why, I hear you ask, do I want it named so?
Listen and I will tell you....

The snow falls here over a period of about 4 - 5 months, it falls, hardens and turns into ice, the roads are cleared and the snow piles up on the sidewalks. The roads and the sidewalks are then sanded and that sand eventually gets cleared in the next snowfall along with dirt, rubbish and all other dirty stuff.

Then in 'disgusting' - the weather warms up, the ice and remaining snow melts during the days it is above freezing and then freezes again at night. This creates uneven horrible icy sidewalks and roads that are more dangerous than shoving your tackle in the oven whilst cooking meatballs. The backlanes become haunted rails of ice with unknown forces pulling your car sideways without notice as you get stuck in the foot deep ruts of ice that build up. The wonderful dry, clean white snow is replaced with huge piles of brown, dirty shit stained ice that look otherworldly as the moisture is slowly melted away by the sunlight and warmth and what remains has hollow brown icicles hanging down. Your house and floors are ruined by the shit that sticks to your shoes and you many people wander down the road instead of sidewalks because its easier dodging cars than it is dodging foot deep puddles of brown murky freezing water - until a car drives through a foot deep puddle of brown murky freezing water and soaks you. It is disgusting - If you don't believe me here a few photos taken within 20 metres of our front door...

nearly clear path

Pile of shit used to be pile of snow

Just dirty and disgusting

effing disgusting

    So, there you go - In a few weeks it will all have melted and the city will clear the pathways. The grass will turn from grey to green and it will all be pretty again... I cant wait!!

Work has been good for me for the last few weeks. After completing my initial training I an now being let out on my own to install telephone systems - and I am loving it. I am busy, tired  and still learning everyday, but getting this job was fantastic and I actually look forward to work most days.

So what do I do? I am an Installer of business telephone systems - taking an initial agreement and meeting with customers to ascertain what they want their telephone system to do before spending a few hours programming the system and installing any cabling or equipment they need. I then install the new system and phones before arranging training and fine tuning what happens when someone calls. The whole process takes between 3 and 5 days usually spread over a 1-2 week period and with 2 or 3 jobs overlapping, its definitely busy but fun, Here's a taster of what I do....

Some of the shit cabling we have to deal with 

Bloody hell!

My nice neat cabling..

Before I did my stuff...

and after with UPS and Mitel 5000 mounted and working

I also cut holes in walls and run the odd bit of cat 5!

My latest job - fun fun fun!
So, at least you now know I ain't sitting on mt arse ALL day anymore. I think maybe its time to retire again soon though,.. haahaa.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The San Francisco adventure Part 2

So the morning after our surprise night out and open mic extravaganza, we woke up - suprisingly sober. No real after effects from out afternoon and evening of over indulgence and also we discovered that it was the cheapest evening out we had had by far! An awesome night.

Anyway the next day we decided to actually return to the exploratorium when it was open, and spend the afternoon there. We headed out and had a wander around mason point first, which is where I stayed in a hostel 5 years ago and also has nice views over the bay.

After that we needed some food and decided on the famous sourdough bread bowls filled with soup that you can get here in SF. I chose one with tomato soup and it was delicious - the biggest bowl of soup I think I have ever had and the bonus is you get to eat the bowl too! It definitely gave Buffy food envy as she ate her sandwich! Then it was off to the exploratorium....

At Mason Point

Now this is really a place to introduce kids to science, but it is also a great place for big kids like us to have some fun. We spent hours messing about with electrical experiments, teasing fish, spinning in chairs, drinking from the toilet (true) and experimenting with mirrors, lasers, IR cameras, slow motion cameras and all sorts of other things. Rather than list everything Ill post a few photos for you to look through and maybe a couple of videos too....

How big my head feels to me

New hair do!

Us in the electronic form

What the ugly kids we make will look like!

Me and a duck

Buffy on a chair

Buffy and a hat

Buffy being a tramp and drinking from the toilet
Buffy in a mirror

Both of us in lots of mirrors
We also teased some fish and made Buffy look silly..... haha

After messing about all afternoon we went home in a Lyft (another version of Uber) for a snooze before we went out for what we hoped would be a great evening - an old Saloon with live music followed by a trivia night at a local pub. It started great - the Saloon is the oldest pub in San Francisco and  looks it. An old wooden bar with dates back to the 1800's and a stage in the corner with music being played by anyone who wants to get up and play. We loved it there and were disappointed to have to leave, but as we knew trivia nights are always fun we decided it was worth it. How wrong could we be? Very wrong. 

The trivia night was terrible. Not only were the questions weird - one round with random questions from anywhere and anytime followed by a round about the supreme court of america! But the quizmaster (or pissmaster as I call her) was shit. As a quizmaster she was embarrassing herself by drinking too much, saying cxxt every 3rd word and claiming to be the best quizmaster you had ever met. In reality, I genuinely think she has some issues as she verbally abused the barstaff and customers and changed her mind during and after rounds to make things more difficult for us and her than it should ever have been. The topical team names she asked for ended up being based on her (Her name was Holly) so names like Holly sucks cock and Hollys hole wouldn't have been out of place but are gentler versions of real names I won't embarrass myself by writing here. As a quiz-night it was terrible, but as an evening out its is one we wont forget in a hurry! 

Wednesday appeared just as Tuesday ended and about 8 hours into the day we got up and went to collect our rental car for the day. We wanted to get out of the city and see some of the other sights. So headed across the Golden Gate bridge towards Sausalito and Muir woods to see some houseboats and some huge trees.....

The first few stops were all about the bridge though as we drove up Hawk Hill on the north side of the bay to get some spectacular views. We stopped at a few places and there are too many photos to post here, but follow the link to google photos if you want to see more...

 We stopped at Sausiloto to see the houseboat community and their hippy style of living before continuing out to Muir woods and the home of the giant redwood tree. We loved it here, wandering through the woods for a couple of hours and enjoying a talk about the place by a lovely Japanese park ranger. A wonderful afternoon.

Finally, after a lovely day out we returned to the city, stopping for a while to watch the sunset fall over the bridge. A great day out. 

The last thing we did in the car was drive the weird and wonderful lombard street...

On Thursday we had a free day - we had seen and done all the things we wanted to see and do - so found a place called Lands End, where there are cliffs and a park, so we grabbed a bus and went there for a relaxing afternoon. Just as we arrived we were enveloped in fog which rolled in from the sea. We thought it might spoil the day, covering up the lovely warming sun, but in reality it created a mysterious atmosphere and made it all the more fun. We found a stone labyrinth on top of a cliff edge and spent a while there wandering around and wondering what was happening in the mist. We knew the bridge was close by, but when the mist finally cleared we were amazed to see that it was in fact, just a few hundred yards away, where we had earlier joked it was. The fog here really is quite thick!!
I was tired and fell asleep on the edge of a cliff while Buffy leant against me and read a book - it was a lovely relaxing end to a lovely week away. All that was left was to have a couple of beers on our last night after a nice meal and then head to bed to get up for our Uber to the airport at 4am. 

Labyrinth and crazy woman

Fog and knobhead

Guess whats over there...

The bridge!

Told you!
An hour later it was sunny again!
We are now back home and nearly sorted out for work again tomorrow. Its arse being back at work and I want to retire again and go travelling for another few years. You never know, it might happen!