Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dad Tip #31

The best way to embarrass your teenage daughter will take some planning and possibly aerobic exercise.

The first step is to learn what music she listens to and memorize the lyrics, especially the refrain because those are the moments you'll want to sing loudest.

It's especially relevant to note that volume is of higher priority that being able to carry a tune or knowing every single word to the song. In fact, it might be best to intentionally make up some phrases that are close enough to the words to sound correct but are completely wrong. Or random insertions of "LA, La!" and clapping.

This should bring about an embarrassment level of a 6 out of 10. You know, for those times when you're driving your daughter and a group of her friends to a movie or soccer game or wherever. Whatever song comes on the radio you must be ready!

For true mastery, you'll need some space to execute specific dance moves that more or less (go for "less") ape the dance moves from the video as you sing loudly to a song that you only know 3/4 of lyrics to. This is where the aerobic exercise comes in to play.

I've you've ever wanted to see your daughter actually phase-shift to another dimension -- dimension 22 where there is no Time and only Embarrassment exists -- a properly executed (i.e. fumbled) dance routine in time to the latest Miley Cyrus tune (or whatever tunes your daughter enjoys) will allow that kind of inter-dimensional travel.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


After Esi Edugyan's "Half-Blood Blues" I've started reading a book about composting.

Really, it's a logical leap. After the experiences of a group of black musicians trying to wade through Nazi Germany, why not read up on a composting method seemingly popularized in Japan that uses fermentation to create compost rather than piling the organics in an aerobic mix that may or may not result in compost months later?

"Bokashi" composting... well, it actually has my interest piqued. And it sounds so simple. At least on the face of it. Plus, we may actually be able to use some of the massive 50lb bag of bran that we inexplicably wound up with over the weekend.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Before we call the meeting to order, I'd like to bring your attention to the whiteboard. I hope that by following these basic principles we'll have a civil meeting. I won't pretend that I don't feel the animosity in this room but there are many items on our agenda that need to be reviewed and we only have two hours. Squabbling and pettiness, have no place in this acronym as you see.

First "R." The "R" is for Respect. In part, respect is defined as "the condition of being esteemed or honoured." And there's been some amount of ink spilled about respect being earned rather than given but this meeting will go much smoother if we give each other some respect. We don't have time to earn it this time, but you will have my respect if you provide some for your fellow Council members.

The first "E" stands for "Energy." We need to exude positive energy. Without some positivity, our judgement may be clouded by personal grudges. With that positive energy we have to make sure the rest of the owners are being served in the best way possible.

Now the letter "S" which our comic book friend from Krypton wore so proudly, stands for "Spaghetti" because I couldn't think of anything that fit with this acronym or whatever this thing is called. A mnemonic, perhaps?

"P" is for "Pleasure," pure and simple. That's what we will all gain from this meeting should we stick to these principles. I mean aside, from "spaghetti" because spaghetti isn't so much a principle as it is a delicious pasta dish.

The second "E" is excitement. The moment we leave this meeting, we should all be excited for the possibilities of the future, the potential opportunities your decisions will lead to. A better tomorrow? Well beyond that! It will be a better month, a better year.

Join with me in Clapping for the letter "C." If someone makes a good point, offers respect to another council member or just feels happy show your approval with a round of applause. Let's bring Tinkerbell back to life with our affirming and polite clapping!

Lastly but maybe most importantly, we should all keep in mind, "T." Without this letter we will be here all night trying to move through this agenda. I want to keep things Tight. Like comedy, timing is everything and without a tight and wary eye on the clock, this meeting has all the potential to descend into tragedy, particularly if we do not heed this acronym: RESPECT!

Now, the time is 7:05, the meeting is called to order.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chapter 11: All Things Embraced

The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."

Phineas read the story again.

It started on the front page, accompanied by the most incomprehensible picture he'd ever seen, and he'd seen many, many pictures, the story lacked some detail but even the generalities and the statement from the first responders to the scene – “I've been a paramedic for 20 years and I have never, ever seen anything like this.” – were enough for Phineas to realize that he needed to find out what was going on there. One other strange detail – and there were no officials that even commented on how it could have happened – was the blanket media broadcast that occurred alerting everyone within a bubble of 20 kilometers to the address of the biggest crime scene that part of the country had ever seen. The fringe corners of the Internet and late night radio were inundated with various recordings of the soothing female voice repeating the address over and over. This was something Phineas found out later. He also found that several other details were being purposely omitted by the mainstream media.

There was no hiding the details though. The fact that media, curious people, and first responders arrived on the scene almost at the same time, meant that amid the chaos of the scene there was no control, no one to put up police tape and push people out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Difference of Opinion

What did you do that last time you had a difference of opinion between you and someone else?

Did you reach for your worst insults and psychopathic ramblings, step menacingly forward and crunch a meaty paw into the face of the one that dared to voice a difference opinion? Did you just shrug your shoulders and carry on with a, "Hey, we don't agree on this but let's grab a beer?" Did you banter back and forth, ironing out the wrinkles between you? Grope for understanding or staunchly dig your heels in, not wanting to understand?

A difference of opinion, is that really licence to threaten the other?

From my corner of the Internet -- or least the view from my corner of the Internet -- is that one. If someone dares to offer an opinion different than your own that's a blanket licence to threaten not just the person that holds a different opinion but also threaten friends and family of that person. And if the individual with a differing opinion comes from a woman and involves video games... oh dear God.

Suddenly it's "okay" to assume the persona of the Zodiac Killer and tweet epically vile hate in an effort to elicit terror and fear. What the hell is wrong with people?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


It's amazing to me that until recently I had never heard the word "listicle." Out of context, it could describe either a popsicle gone wrong or the way a man walks after having a testicle removed (i.e. listing to the side, like a boat taking on water). For the uniformed (and a reminder to myself), a "listicle" is an article on the Internet which is a list. (They used to call "Top 10's" but for some reason that fell out of favour -- and besides coming up with 10 of anything is hard. The 5-8 range is much easier to hit.)

Topics of these lists oscillate between dumb to incredibly stupid. You've seen them before and you probably haven't seen the last of them.

One that caught my eye recently was posted on Inc.com, "8 Things You Should Never Do in a Job Interview." The list included such common sense items as don't eat during the interview, don't slouch, and don't answer any calls or texts during the meeting but in practicality there's no end to a list like this one, so I present to you "8 Other Things You Should Never Do in a Job Interview."

Don't Shit Your Pants
Take care of any bowel movements prior to the interview. Nothing sinks your chances of a getting a job faster than filling your pants as you say, "It's nice to meet you, too, Gerry."

Additionally, try to empty your bowels at home because you don't want to be known as that would-be employee who fogged the bathroom with an unspeakable and nose-exploding odour. And if you landed the job... It's the kind of thing a person has a hard time living down.