Friday, November 30, 2007

Top Twelve Bad Bosses...

  • I'm not going to win any awards for this blog... what a mess... rookie mistakes.

12- Dilberts Boss
11- Larry Tate
10- Mr. Spacely
9- Lou Grant
8- Mr. Slate
7- Mr. Dithers
6- David Brent
5- J. Jonah Jameson
4- Mr. Burns
3- Michael Scott
2- George W.
1- Darth Vader

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thoughts And Musings 2...

  ~ I can't believe I had a moustache for ten years. 
  ~ A bandage makes even the tiniest cut feel better.
  ~ Can there be any job more frustrating than 'soft core porn' actor?  Why would anyone want to 'pretend' to have sex ?       
  ~ The bunches of green onion are too big for a single person to use up... you can buy single    stalks of celery why not green onion? I only use it for tuna salad anyway.
  ~ As I get older I find myself in parts of London Drugs I've never been before.
  ~ Being a wine aficionado is a great cover up for alcoholism.
  ~ How do the elderly get there jars open? I struggle with some of them.
  ~ Why would you need more than one credit card ?
  ~ It's hard to walk by a crowded bus stop without feeling at least a little self-conscious.
  ~Why aren't we naturally drawn to carrots instead of chocolate ? 
  ~ Thinner is better than fatter.
  ~Money is better than broke. Or at least being at zero is better than $15,000 worth of  unsecured credit card debt.
  ~Sober is probably better than drunk... but not always.
  ~It's hard to find a good orange.
  ~All that courtship, romance and love ends in two people watching a child play in a ball room.
  ~I don't understand people making requests to a Classic Rock station. A- haven't you heard that AC/DC song a thousand times... And, 2- you must have a copy of that CD by now.
  ~British Music is generally better than American Music.
  ~You can avoid a lot of unnecessary stress by leaving yourself more time.
  ~Low flow toilets are a good idea... only you have to flush twice.
  ~Same with cheap toilet paper, you use twice as much.  
  ~ If you're going to start an exercise program, don't rush out and buy a Bow-Flex or expensive  treadmill. I've seen quite a few covered with coats and hats... try walking first.
  ~ Women, resist the temptation to turn your man into your best girlfriend. 

Monday, November 26, 2007


     When I was an adolescent roaming the mean streets of mid-seventies Port Moody, we used to spend hours hanging out in the Port Arms Hotel coffee shop, taking up booth space, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. A cup of coffee was a dime and the refills were free. It was around this time coffee made the huge leap to a quarter a cup and I can remember thinking,"Nobody is going to pay that much for a cup of coffee." It seemed outrageous.  
      After graduating high school I moved to Penticton and took a job in a mobile home factory. The Sands, The Elite, and The Do-Nut King restaurants supported local coffee culture, the latter being the most popular. It wasn't unusual some nights to swill ten cups of coffee and suck back just as many smokes ( free refills, I don't know how they made any money). I think the first restaurant chain in town, even before Mcdonalds, was Tim Hortons. People in Penticton loved their coffee.
         When I moved to North Vancouver in 1987, there were three places to get a cup of coffee in my neighbourhood, Macs Milk, 7-11, and Harmony Do-nuts (classics). Today within a few blocks of home there are seven Starbucks, three Tim Hortons (one with an insanely busy drive-thru), three Bean Around The World stores, a Delaneys, a Java Hut, Bread Garden,Blenz, Roastmastirs, Brazza, Raincity Coffee Co., a Waves Internet Cafe, and an assortment of restaurants and gas stations where coffee can be purchased. 
        I don't know if it's a reflection of a rising population or maybe people drink less booze now(doubtful). That just seems like a disproportionate number of coffee shops, but none are going out of business. Six dollar lattes probably help and there obviously aren't any more free refills.
        I like coffee, I no longer like 'going for coffee'. Due to recent spending disciplines the morning coffee and biscuit 'out' is not in the budget. I bought two tins of MJB for five dollars and make it myself, and it tastes just fine.   


Friday, November 23, 2007

A History Of Fragrance...

    I wear Old Spice and I'm not ashamed to admit it. The classic Old Spice after shave and deodorant, not the anti-perspirant,it's a little gummy and I don't sweat much. They finally came out with a body spray (I bought three in case they quit making it) in the classic fragrance, it's pretty good but you can't beat the original and they still don't have body wash. Recent developments at Proctor & Gamble include a line of deodorants and body sprays to attract the youths. With names like Mountain Rush, Pacific Surge, Smooth Blast, After Hours, Glacial Falls, Pure Sport, Aqua Reef, Arctic Force and Showtime they're sure to attract a younger crowd. I've tried a few of these, but they just seem second rate and they quickly end up in the trash.
   I really can't recall my first bottle of Old Spice (the first bottle of C.C. is another story) but it wasn't always the only scent I had around. I remember the late seventies Disco Era, I bought a spray bottle of Jovan Musk probably the same day I bought my first pair of Le Coulotier (?) jeans. The really tight ones with no pockets, God only knows what we did with our keys and wallets, but I do seem to remember stuffing something into my knee high, tan platform boots.
    That bottle of Jovan drove the dollies wild, I think I had more compliments on that cologne than any other I've owned since. After that they came out with one called Sex Appeal, a little too overt and it rarely had the same impact. I've bought a bottle of  Musk since that time, the chemistry must have changed, or my nose, but it never smelled the same.
    In the early eighties I was given a bottle of Prince Matchebelli cologne for Christmas. I don't know who Prince Matchebelli is or if he was a real prince but I don't think he's alive today. Around this time a girlfriend I had worked in the pharmacy department at Woolco. I was picking her up from work one day and her boss, an older lady with really high hair and horn-rimmed glasses on a chain around her neck, said to me, "Here try this, it's new." It was my first bottle of Stetson, an instant classic, my girlfriend loved it. She's no longer in the picture and nothing smells worse than the stale stench of Stetson.
    It probably would have been some time in this period of my life the first bottle of Old Spice  made an appearance. Possibly an impulse purchase at the drugstore, the bottle is timeless. I never bought it because my Dad wore it, he had a brief stint with Grey Flannel because my Mom liked it, but he was never a cologne kind of guy. My Grandpa had some under the bathroom sink but he usually wore Aqua Velva. I've tried that too but I find it makes a better mouthwash than a fragrance. Speaking of Grandpa, it says on the new classic body spray, "The original.If your Grandfather hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist." 
     This brings me to one of the strongest arguments to not wear Old Spice and probably the only one. Nobody wants to remind their wife or girlfriend of  Dad or Grandpa when it's business time. I've asked girlfriends about this and most seem to like it's well known, musky scent. A quick side note. My sister wore Lauren it the eighties and my girlfriend borrowed some one night... not good.  
    The girlfriend I just mentioned decided I needed to smell and dress better so a complete makeover was in order. This new look included another Musk cologne that came in a square black bottle, I can't recall the manufacturer. She also bought me a bottle of Chanel For Men that she said her Dad used to wear. I'll leave that one alone. 
    Along the way I experimented with a variety of colognes and after shave products. I remember Bjorn Borg had a scent out in the late eighties called 6-0(six-love, get it ?) I quite enjoyed that one but where is it today, I ask you. There was was Polo (stinky), Hugo Boss (pungent but I quite liked it), Azzaro, Drakkar and who could forget Blue Sratos ?
      The early nineties brought me to Escape (after shave balm though, not the cologne)and Red. I spent a good amount of time wearing Fahrenheit (still a fave) and Eternity For Men (seems sickly sweet now though and evokes some quite unpleasant memories). A girlfriend brought me back a bottle of Jean-Paul Gautier when she was on a trip to London. It wasn't even out here yet, what a hipster. Old Spice even came out with another cologne called Pure Sport. It came in a cool bottle (I'm a sucker for packaging) but the scent left me empty and alone.     
      Recently, an almost full bottle of Boucheron ( you have to pronounce that one with a French accent) made it's way into the trash, the second time that's happened. I've even committed  the ultimate transgression, in what I could only call now a fit of utter madness, I sent a vessel of Old Spice to Davey Jones locker.
      Even as this is being written, vague recollections of other toiletries come to mind but none with any real lasting impression. A few years ago they deemed it wise to change the logo, and although I found forgiveness in my heart for that mistake, under no circumstances should the bottle design ever be changed. I believe around this time Proctor & Gamble also came up with an Old Spice Cologne. I gave that one a big 'whatever'.
     Like the old saying, " If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Old Spice is the only fragrance in my house now. It's scent has always been there, even if it was only in deodorant form, over the last twenty five years. It's comforting aroma has been with me like an old friend, through good times and bad, and has endured the ever changing landscape of fragrance. 
   Old Spice has a cool website... It's the first time I've tried to paste a link, hope it shows... 
   And remember kids, if squirrels didn't have cute fluffy tails there'd be panic in the streets...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Random Thoughts and Musings...

 ~ There is nothing as uncommon as common sense.
 ~ Women's purses and sunglasses are getting bigger and their pants are getting tighter and lower. 
 ~ With the pain some people seem to be in when running, I can't help think they'd be better off going for a brisk walk instead.
  ~ How many people working out would do so if they stayed naturally thin?
  ~ How could the people working in vitamin stores possibly know everything there is to know about all those supplements and how they affect the individual? 
 ~ The doctor has never told me to take vitamins.
 ~ I've done just about every stupid thing there is to do... twice, and smoking cigarettes still seems the dumbest. 
 ~ It's hard to understand how a mother could put a newborn into daycare or in the hands of a nanny for the sake of her career.
 ~I always seem to be the one that moves out of the way of people at the mall or on the sidewalk... maybe it's time to start plowing into them.
 ~Hair is better than bald.
 ~Tan fat looks better than white fat.
 ~There could be some wisdom that comes with getting older but let's face it... aging sucks.
 ~ First dates and blind dates... shoot me now.
 ~ Maybe nothing happens for a reason.
 ~ It's almost 2008. It must be common knowledge that dress socks with sandals pulled up to your knees doesn't work.
 ~Having said that, I swear some people don't have mirrors at home.   
 ~ I should have listened to my parents when they told me to save my money.
 ~It's easier to drink eight glasses of beer than eight glasses of water and you pee about the same.
 ~Opera is painful.
 ~I really should learn how to type.
 ~Whether I go to the dentist every six months or every two years, I'm still an hour in the hygienists chair.
 ~If I had it to live over, I'd live over a liquor store.
 ~Something seems wrong with those cheap, grey velcro runners from Wal-Mart. Come to  think of it something seems wrong with Wal-Mart. 
 "Try to dwell in the past. Think of all the mistakes you've made, and how much better it would be if you hadn't made them. Think of what you have done,and blame yourself for not doing so. And don't go easy. Be really hard on yourself."      

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

To Sir... With Love.

    It's hard to believe, but I'm edging closer to the big Five-O (and not Hawaii). While it isn't surprising I made it this far (well maybe a little), it is surprising at just how fast the last two decades went. At twenty eight I remember hearing of  an acquaintance turning fifty. It was the first time being aware of a person reaching half a century that wasn't a family member. I didn't think it was "old" but I did think, "Wow, fifty, that's a long way off." 
     We're all going to get old (if we're lucky), and the older you get the older old gets. At nineteen I had a friend who was twenty two and recall asking him if he minded hanging around with people "my age." At thirty somebody who was seventy seemed ancient, but at forty eight, seventy is looking pretty good.  
   As long as I'm healthy I think I can deal with the aging process. I have a little grey hair now but at least I've kept most of it. I really don't like shaving, so the grey in my chin is a bit of an annoyance and "Just For Men" for beards and moustaches gave me a rash. I've noticed a few extra brown spots, some hair requires a bit more attention and occasionally I catch my reflection out of the corner of my eye in a department store mirror and wonder who that old guy is. These things can all be dealt with. Here's the problem...
    People calling me "Sir."When exactly does a person become a "Sir"?(or a Ma'am, which I was told by a good friend is even worse). Looking younger than my birth certificate most of my life,  I'm certainly not vain or foolish enough to think that was going to last forever but I still see the world out of twenty year old eyes and will never feel like a Sir. There's nothing like the sense of relief I feel now when I enter a store, coffee shop or restaurant and manage to escape without being called "Sir".
      "You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Last night I had this dream...."

    That statement in conversation invariably invokes thoughts of, "Oh great, just get me through this." or "Go ahead but just make it quick." So here goes... 
    I play a bit of golf. I'm a fair weather hacker but I enjoy it and it's fun to get out with my buddies. That having been said I have these recurring golf dreams. Usually it involves me in a strange living room or dining room, trying to hit my golf ball out some narrow doorway or window off of the carpet. There's furniture around, glassware and china cabinets the walls are close and there's no room to swing. Well last night I had this dream...
    It starts with me in the middle of this lush green fairway, the weather is beautiful and I'm aware that I'm on a very expensive golf course. I'm preparing to hit my second shot, the lie is good and I check the yardage marker, it reads 52 yards. I decide on a lob wedge. I'm no wizard with any of my clubs but this one is especially difficult for me to hit. When I look down the fairway towards the green, it looks more like 200 yards than 52, and I yell to whoever I was golfing with, "I think these yardage markers are wrong!"
    I change to a club better suited to the longer shot but look down and my golf ball is no longer there. In the back of my mind I'm aware that there are golfers breathing down my neck, and I'm trying to keep up with the group in front and the people I'm playing with (who I don't even know, by the way.) I reach into my golf bag to try to sneak a ball out without anybody noticing because by not cheating you're only cheating yourself. I manage to retrieve a ball from my bag, conscious of the fact I may get caught. Dropping it on the fairway, I notice that the grass has become longer and the ball is dirty and scuffed up (I like playing with clean balls... who doesn't?) When I drop it, it rolls down a hill ending up in longer grass and a disastrous lie. I filch another filthy ball from my bag, drop it and hurriedly have a whack at it. 
     Now the real frustration sets in. The ball comes up way short of the green and lands on some plywood flooring in a room of a new house that I'm painting. There are sheets of cardboard on the floor and I'm slipping and sliding on them, desperately looking for some grass that I can drop my ball on, so I can make the next shot. I find these tiny tufts of grass growing here and there out of the plywood and I nestle my ball in one of them. The grass in these tufts is fairly long, I have the lob wedge back in my hands and I'm fully aware of all the people waiting for me.
    Determined to prove to myself that I can use this challenging club and overcome the increasing irritation, I prepare to make my shot when a wall pops up in front of me with two doorways in it. I'm lining up the ball to hopefully hit it through one of the doorways when they suddenly both close. I go over to the first door and look for a doorstop to try and prop the door open with. By some miracle I find one but the space under the door is too high and it passes right over the wooden doorstop. Out of nowhere appears this little girl who proceeds to tell me that I need to cut a piece of wood to raise the doorstop up to keep the door open.By now I'm agitated to the point of breaking and still cognizant of the waiting golfers.I'm thinking,"Who is this little girl? I know she's right but doesn't she realize I'm trying to make a golf shot here? I don't have time to cut a piece of wood."
    Now I have a brainstorm.I try the doorstop on the second door and it works, propping it open, I glance at the little girl and think, "HAH! I made it work without cutting any wood." I head back to my ball now to make my shot. Intimidated by the doorway, the club, the crowd, the lie of the ball, the girl, the slippery cardboard, and my escalating exasperation I draw the club back to make my swing. Any amateur golfer knows that point in your backswing when you pull the club back and just hope for the best. This was magnified tenfold but at this point I had to make the shot.
      Taking my swing, I make horrible contact with the ball. It kind of slices to the right, low and along the plywood flooring but does, however, manage to make it through the doorway. The ball rolls off the edge of the floor and falls about twenty yards below me, close to the green and the waiting golfers. Sweet relief ! It wasn't pretty but it worked.
      I'm not sure if there is such thing as dream interpretation but I'm absolutely sure there is such thing as dream frustration and the parallels between golf and life. I also know that I had the golf nightmare to end all golf nightmares and if I have another one it'll be too soon.    

Sunday, November 18, 2007

America's Pastime On Film...

    I Spent Friday and Saturday night home and alone in front of the idiot box,which come to think of it really isn't that unusual,but that's a story for another day.I did get a chance to see a couple of movies I hadn't seen in quite some time, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. While the former didn't seem to age as gracefully, Field of Dreams remains an all time classic of mine. The scene where "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) says to Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) "I'd have played this game for food money,"gets to me every time. As a matter of fact I think I watched the whole movie with chills up my spine and a tear in my eye.
    This got me reminiscing about other baseball movies I've enjoyed over the years, Major League, with Charlie Sheen as the wild ass rookie and Tom Berenger as the cagey veteran, Eight Men Out,the story of the underpaid 1919 Chicago Black Sox accepting bribes to throw the world series, and my all time favorite, The Natural with outstanding performances by Robert Redford, Glenn Close and Kim Basinger. All I ever need to do is think of the scene when the aging Roy Hobbs (Redford) homers into the lights at the end to have my cockles warmed(I said pardon?)
     Although there have been many exceptional films made about the other major sports, none seem to hold my imagination quite like baseball. It may be the history of it or the fact that we can all participate at some level, you don't need to be a freak to play it. Maybe it's because there's not a clock involved, it's origions  as a pastime or it could be just peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs, Cracker Jack and beer. Whatever it is I have developed a deep emotional attachment to these films,I never seem to tire of them and it's been a long time since a good one was made.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One born every minute Part Deux...cont. from Friday

    Yeah so anyways...The booklets keep coming for three or four months without me opening them.Finally some time in July I open up one of the colourful pink envelopes and inside is the usual twaddle and a bill for $104.85. I'm on fire. I immediately send off a nasty letter stating what an outrage this is and you can cancel my subscription straight away,thank you very much.
    A few more weeks go by and another letter arrives indicating that I still owe the $104.85 but this time the"psychic" says that I can just pay what I feel is fair(which is nothing)and I write another letter relating my disdain and stuff $30.00 cash in the envelope.I know it's completely stupid to send cash in the mail but I was concerned about I.D. theft and her knowing my chequing account number. 
    By now a few months have passed and I've forgotten all about it and assumed it's all been dealt with.I get another letter saying I've tried to be fair with you but if you don't take care of  this bill I'll be forced to take this matter to collections. Right away I call customer service and of course they have no record of the cash I sent.What are the odds? They tell me to write her a letter explaining my situation, I'm sure she'll be understanding.I just about bit my tongue off.
    Long story short.I get a money order($50.00)which was an ordeal because the bank was busy and the printer was broken,another letter,trip to the post office etc. I just hope it's over. What a knob...   

Friday, November 16, 2007

One born every minute...

    A few months ago, amongst the other junk that comes in the mail, I received a letter from a "psychic". I had never received a letter from a "psychic" before so I opened it. I don't usually fall for this sort of stuff but the contents within was very interesting, convincing and she had also helped the FBI or the police with some investigations, so for some reason I deemed her reputable. I filled in the necessary information and was going to send it off  to her but then decided to crumple it up and throw it in the garbage.It sat in there for a day and I ended up taking it out and uncrumpling it (if that's even a word,spellcheck says it isn't), I don't know what I was hoping for but I still felt a strange compulsion to send it off...I didn't. A few weeks went by and I received a follow up letter pleading with me not to miss the chance of a lifetime, my lucky numbers were coming due etc.,etc. Curiosity got the best of me and convincing myself it was for entertainment I said "What the heck", filled out the required information, wrote a cheque for $24.95 (one month of daily readings) and mailed it.
   A couple of weeks go by and I receive a package in the mail with my readings and a cheap keychain with Michael the Archangel on it. I can't remember what he was supposed to do for me but I'm sure it was something pretty good. I opened the booklet of uninspired, generic blather, positive affirmations (everybody knows they don't work) and my lottery winning lucky numbers. I tried reading it daily for about two days, it sat on the shelf for a while and eventually made it's way to the trash.
     I thought that would have been the end of it because there had not been any mention of money or payment of any sort for subsequent readings,but the following month I received my new booklet.In the back of my mind I was troubled by this but I kind of shrugged it off because even though I didn't renew my subscription with Sports Illustrated, they continued to send me issues. (Continued...)          

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blogs are for knobs.

A good friend of mine had started her blog about a year or so ago,I'm not exactly sure of the time frame but I do know it was before I bought my first computer. I can remember at the time thinking,"Blogs are for knobs." and my Dad asking me,"What's a blog ?" To which I replied something like," Oh look at me, look what I think, look what I like." Then I bought a computer. It's a Mac, a couple of my friends have one so I knew I could count on them for help while I was trying to learn how to use it.(surfing certain "sites" helped). Soon I found out about Facebook,which led me to,"Oh look at me, look what I think, look what I like." This leads me to try to sum this thing up. I always wondered why people would leave the comfort of their own homes to read a book in a coffee shop or surf the internet on their laptops. Although I may never fully understand those two things, I know two things for sure...I'm a knob and this is my first blog.   
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