Category: Personal


Skating through winter

It’s January, it’s -12C for the high today, it’s sunny – and it’s a great day to skate.  These are the things that make winter bearable.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Build your rink

An interesting story that I have a personal interest in.

As winter temperatures appear to be rising, skating on natural ice may be a thing of the past, something we remember, the way we remember wearing scratchy woollen socks when we go out in the cold instead of smooth, modern polypropylene ones.

I used instructions from…, and so far, have invested hours and hours of time and nearly $1000 to buy lumber and tarps to make a great rink.… is a little pricey for tarps, so I ordered a huge tarp from Polytarp. Ask for Irving when you call – they supply a lot of backyard rinkmasters with their white poly.

Last year we had a pretty good rink.  The biggest problem was the slight slope in the yard, which creates severe stress on the boards in one corner.

That said, it’s great building a rink when the weather is in double digits above freezing.

Wonder if it’ll get cold enough this year at all?


Collateral damage speaking

My brother-in-law killed himself Tuesday afternoon.

He did it in his van, in a small plaza parking lot.

He took some pills, and then lit a small, home made BBQ on the floor in the back.

Soon after, he went for the Big Sleep.

Someone must have called 911, because he ended up in the hospital, where they worked on him for over an hour.

His obit says he died suddenly, peacefully.

I wouldn’t call it peaceful.

Suicide is violent.

“He did it, didn’t he?”, my sister-in-law said when she saw the cops at her door.

They say successful suiciders try 8 to 25 times, on average.  70% of them are white males, most older.  Since he matches the last two stats, I shudder to think of the other times he tried.  I knew of only one other, last April.

Did you know it’s illegal to attempt suicide?

Images flash in my mind of him holding and hugging my children.  Fresh ones.

Sounds of his voice thanking me profusely for helping him with his new job at my company echo eerily in my head.  Haunting ones.

Wondering why anyone would go to the dentist (who scared the hell out of him) in the morning, only to polish himself off in the afternoon.

Wondering what the hell he was thinking when he decided to head out to the plaza.  Wondering what his last thought was.

Wondering if he thought about any of the good things in his life.  His wife, his daughter, my family, his new job, his expensive condo, his rags to riches story.

Wondering if we would have become better friends if he continued working at our company.

Wondering if we know anything about what bubbles beneath the surface of our closest family and friends.  I doubt it.

I told others of his suicide.  Both had their own tales of self-killers they knew.  From this week.

We don’t read their “died suddenly” stories anywhere.  Are we so ashamed or embarrassed?  Why?

The first family dinner a couple of days later was funny.  His name barely came up at all.  Would it have been wrong to stand up and scream “What the hell is wrong with you people?  Aren’t we going to talk about him at all?” I guess no one wanted to crack the ice, before it thickened and entombed his now finished life.

All those birthday parties he’s going to miss.  All those Saturday morning coffee and donut visits he won’t be at.  All those current event conversations we won’t have.  All the lottery pools he won’t be in.  All the holes in our lives he’s left.

Soon, anger and guilt will subside into sadness, compassion, and forgiveness.  Final letters found will hardly answer the endless questions that we’d all like to drill him with.  The what-ifs, the what-could-I-have-dones, the why-didn’t-he-want-helps will all vanish.

All that’s left is to pick up the pieces and carry on.

Because a bomb went off.


A class celebrity

I’ve always loved Styx, and now I know why.


Amazing bridge

One of my favorite parts of my trip to FLA was this bridge.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is the world’s longest cable-stayed concrete bridge, with a length of 29,040 feet (exactly 5.5 miles or approximately 8.85 km).

Quite a site—and all for only $1 toll.


Take a break

If you’re in the Toronto area and need a great place to get away from it all and jump in a lake, check out this lovely resort. Family run for 75 years, they must be doing something right.

The best part about it is the food, and the lack of telephones or internet.  A great disconnect.


Old enemies surface

It’s odd in today’s modern age to read a story of an enemy kamikaze (suicide bomber).

The U.S. warships were so close that Toshio Yoshitake could see the black puffs of anti-aircraft-gun smoke wafting up from the blue sea below. Flying over the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, he figured that in another 20 minutes he would be upon them and, in a ball of fire, fulfil his duty.

What’s even more odd is that he was involved in a battle where my grandfather’s ship was sunk.


A fan

How could I not link to Alexa’s blog?


Your blog Right On! is fabulous. Not necessarily all women. I’ve known a

few men whove had no interest in sex. Nada. Weird. I just started a blog

and I am trying to attract some readers. I was wondering if you wouldn’t

mind popping by and taking a look at it. I’m always open to comments and


You’re under Misc right now, Alexa.  Let’s see if you get boosted to Must Reads.


Very sweet

This site fulfills 2 of my fantasies.

VIA J-Walk


Rob test 1



Chicken tax

It seems the BC Chicken flu has hit Toronto: Swiss Chalet is charging 30cents more for white meat on all its orders.

Their chicken entrees are still the best taste and value out there.


Oh really…

Charlie Brown
You are Charlie Brown!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


No Fawlt

Have spent the last few evenings watching a friend’s video set ($US orders) of the incredible Fawlty Towers.  I’m amazed by how many of my 20-something acquaintances have never heard of it.  Compared to the crap on TV today, watching this quality is a welcome break.


Rush in Rio

rush.jpg style=border-style:solid;border-right-width: 20px; border-color: orange width=108 height=140 align=left One of my Xmas gifts was Rush in Rio DVD ($US orders), clearly the pinnacle product of the band Rush’s career.  I wrote a bit of an amazon review below.

Some links to sample:



Read More


Merry Xmas all – and Saddam!

santa-saddam.jpg style=border-style:solid;border-right-width: 20px; border-color: red width=317 height=450

A photo montage Christmas greeting made by members of the 1-22 Battalion of the U.S. Fourth Infantry Division, featuring the face of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein manipulated to look like the head of Santa Claus, is posted on the wall of army barracks in Tikrit, Iraq December 22, 2003. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra

via LGF

Merry Xmas to all [url=][/url] readers!  I’ll post tomorrow I’m sure as the (extended) family drives me crazy.