SightsnBytes (Ted White)

August 27, 2014

back again

Filed under: It's True, I promise ya — Sightsnbytes @ 9:24 pm

While wasting time on Facebook the other day, I seen this post that claimed to predict the career a particular person was meant to do, just by answering a few easy questions. I was bored. Hell, I doubted the claim that much that I actually took the damn test. Turns out I was meant to be a writer. Go figure! No Really, that’s what the test determined. Go ahead, take it for yourself. Answer the questions as truthfully as you can, even if you may end up sounding like a true nerd. the link is http://bitecharge.com/play/career/h6

I did a similar test once, as part of some cockamamie employment program our provincial government invented in order to get people off Unemployment Insurance (UIC). The test determined that I would be best fitted to work as a crop duster. I took the damn test three times and each time I got the same answer. Trouble is, I have a fear of both heights and crop dusters.

When I  asked others in the room  what their career was, they all told me the same thing…Crop Dusters. Quite the program our government wasted our tax dollars on. By the way, we don’t have any crop dusters on the entire island.

Talking about careers, mine changed once again. When I look at all the things  I have worked at in my half a century here on earth, it is kind of scary. I started out working in a freezer truck at the age of sixteen. I would dress for the  frigid temperatures, entering the freezer at six in the morning, adorned in my one piece snowmobile suit, and at six in the evening,  my freezing fingers would crank the door handle to leave, letting out a gust of icy cold air into the hot July weather. Talk about looking nerdy….a one piece snowmobile suit while everyone else wore tank tops and shorts (well at least all the hot girls wore that.)

My next position was that of a logger. There were some hot July days where I actually wished to be back in the freezer truck, processing salt fish and other cold things. That one lasted for some twenty years. Eat your heart out Paul Bunyan!

When my back could no longer take the abuse that carrying heavy logs on my skinny shoulders any longer, I quit and went back to school. I did an information Technology program. My mind hurt even more than my back at this time, but as I struggled to keep up with the spring chickens who knew more about technology in their nineteen years on the planet than I managed to muster up, I accomplished my goal.

Seeing that I chose to remain on the island, where there was no work yet for IT (people here had no concept of what IT was in 1998), I took a job at a Radio Shack store, where I used my IT skills to sell and service computer for shitty dollars.

Things got better when I actually quit that position and returned to school once again. I was able to hit a great job afterward where I got to work with terrific people such as KJ. As good jobs go, I was fortunate to be able to help so many with this job. I hated to leave, but seeing how the city was such an expensive place to live, and my missus was able to obtain work back home on the coast, we packed our bags and headed home.

Home to the west coast where work was not plenty full and I was forced to take a job at a gas station. At first I hated it, but it grew on  me. I was able to put a little bit of myself into  the position, such as playing practical jokes on staff members had generally having a laugh working with the public. In the end, I was quite happy with this job.

Until yesterday. That was the day that I got the call. A chance to return to a position that I truly loved, and one that utilized some of the knowledge I had gained through the IT training.  That’s right, I get to work with KJ again. Well not directly, actually from  a campus across the island from her, but generally the same job that she is doing. I will be good to get reacquainted with her again.

You should never give up if you are not happy with your life. To those who truly believe in themselves, good things happen. Now if I can only get used to the 45 minute commute to and from work….sure beats crop dusting

August 25, 2014

salsa before bed

Filed under: Fiction — Sightsnbytes @ 10:09 pm
Tags: ,

I’m dreaming again, this time even more horrifying than the last nightmare. Trouble is, I remember each and every thing I encountered in this one, even if it makes no sense at all. That’s the trouble with nightmares, the mind’s revenge on me for eating such a large meal before bedtime. I think it was the salsa.

The dream started early. I think I only shut my eyes for a little while and right away I am right into the dream. I am sitting in a large living room where two other beings are on a couch directly across from me. One is dressed in blue and the other in a bright red. The blue one leans over the arm of the chair and the red one goes directly under the blue one, mouth fully open. As I stare at the two, a long length of sticky fluid the resembled saliva drops from the mouth of the blue and into the red one’s mouth.

Soon afterwards the red one is joined by other creatures, all wearing similar red clothing, and the entire group writhe and wiggle over the body of the red one who apparently ate the saliva. The whole thing reminded me of worms wiggling in the dirt, but it also reminded me of some  sort of mating ritual.

The strange thing with  my dreams is that I often awake from sheer terror, and when I drop back to sleep, I am right back in the middle of the terror. This happened again last night.

Now the beings noticed me. The red dressed ones begin to slither across the floor towards me. They make snarling noises as they quickly approach  me. Just as they reach my now frozen body (I try to scream for help, but I am unable to move or make any sort of sound. I think I am in the middle of a hag) the one in blue lets our a loud howl and the red beings return to his side. He gives me a small wink and I am free to go.

By this time, I have already awaken everyone in the house with my screams. After a cup of tea and a few paces around the living room I fall back to sleep, only to find myself not only back in the same nightmare, but into a dungeon of sorts, slime falling from the walls, and at my feet, the slithering bodies of the red dressed creatures. They are feeding on me now, I can feel sharp teeth tear at my flesh. I wake up once again, and this time I drink a strong cup of coffee. I never went back to sleep that night. In fact, I am afraid to go to sleep tonight.

One thing I did notice. The best before date on the salsa was January 2014. Next time I think I will check the expiry date before I eat anything I find in the back of the pantry.

 

August 21, 2014

missing: White Lady in the Hood

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sightsnbytes @ 11:44 am

Since beginning my blog life, I have come across some very special people. Some have come and gone, but the real special ones continued to read and comment on my posts, as well as write their own amazing stories, which I have always enjoyed reading. One such blogger was White Lady in the Hood. This lady had some great stories to tell, and I couldn’t wait to read them. It appears that she has disappeared from the blogsphere. Does anyone know how she is doing and if she is okay?

August 7, 2014

Tying Knots….or Just Got Married

Filed under: Family Stuff — Sightsnbytes @ 8:52 pm

My grandfather was good at tying knots. Unlike knots these days,  the knot that my grandfather tied lasted over 70 years. These days it seems as if people are tying slip-knots.

My dad wasn’t too bad at knot tying either. His knot is fifty years strong and  still holding tight. I can only hope that the knot I tied on July 26 will last as long.

To try and figure out just why the knots lasted so long is beyond anyone’s guess, but if my grandfather were alive today, he would attribute it to love and devotion. I can see that love and  devotion in my parent’s eyes as well.

The wedding went great. Through almost a year’s planning, everything went over without a hitch. Well, almost.

We decided on rental tuxedos. We asked around and the establishment that we chose promised to do  a great job. We got fitted in February and the tuxes only arrived on July 23…and mine was too small.  The only thing that fit right was the cuff links! A 45 minute trip to a neighbouring city and a refit and two days later another 45 minute trip to get the suits….one day before the wedding. Lucky it fit or I would be getting hitched in my jeans and a t-shirt. My bride would like that one…

All that aside, everything went great. Candice’s family arrived from Alberta and set themselves up at a hotel in town, and we all attended the rehearsal together. Both families gathered for the first time and we had lunch together.

On Saturday, the weather was hot but sunny and dry. The photographer arrived and the women and men dressed in separate houses. I wasn’t permitted to see Candice as tradition didn’t allow it. Once the men had their tuxedos on, we posed for pictures in my parents’ backyard and the ladies did the same in our yard. Hell, even the dogs got their pictures taken with Candice.

My beautiful bride rode to the church in her father’s 1986 Pontiac Parisienne, the pride and joy of her family. Her grandfather bought the car the year that he retired, and with barely 60,000 clicks on thing, it wasn’t used much since. Earlier that morning everyone got together and gave the old girl (the car, not her grandmother) a good waxing and vacuuming.

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I don’t think anyone was ready for the church we chose. Steeped in tradition and elegance, Our Lady of Mercy church stood tall in the large lot where it was erected way back in August of 1914. Originally built for the growing community of Aguathuna, the church was set to serve the growing community of miners who worked at the local limestone quarry. Maps from the era showed where the community was destined to become the province’s first city. That all fell through when the mine closed and most of the citizens left for greater fortunes elsewhere.  The church no longer belongs to the Catholic Church. It has been sold to a heritage group known as The Gravels. This organization is responsible for the church’s  upkeep and often rents the building for weddings.

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Myself  and my groomsmen arrived at the church first. We needed to ensure that we were ready for the ceremony (At least that’s what the minster said. He said that all too often grooms arrive late or not at all.) The room  where we gathered looked as if nobody had entered the room in years. An antique pipe organ sat in the middle of the room, and a few church pews and a small alter adorned the wall behind us. The  minister explained that this room was used when the congregation was small, and the outside church was used when the place bustled with parishioners.  While we explored the old records and other antiques in the room, the ladies arrived.

I had everything under control (ya right) and wasn’t even breaking a sweat when the church music began. The song “Love Never Fails’ began to play and that was our cue to enter the church and take our place.  The first to walk up the aisle was my son, accompanied by my two nieces. He had a smile ear to ear he walked up the aisle. Next were our bridesmaids, who each stopped next to the pew where me and my groomsmen stood, and took their corresponding partner to the front of the church. Cool and collective, I wiped my now sweaty palms against my pants leg. The song changed to one my lady and I chose earlier that week. The song was called “How Beautiful”, and ironically, the minute the lyric “How Beautiful’ played, the church doors sprung open and there she was. Half the congregation looked at my bride, but a few stared at me, and my reaction to the most beautiful woman  I had ever laid eyes on. I anxiously awaited her father to accompany her up the aisle, and when  he did,  we shook hands and he presented my future wife to me.

The minister gave a delightful sermon,  as he explained why people should marry.  “It isn’t due to money or riches or convenience, it has to be about love. Not the word love, but for all the things that love brings.” He went on to say that true love is so much more than words, that it can  mean standing in front of a bus for the one you love. That is how special true love is” Great sermon that really made some people think.

Afterwards we posed for pictures along the picturesque areas surrounding the church and on the beaches nearby. Later we rode in the pontiac and headed for our backyard where our photographer continued to take pictures of my beautiful bride, myself, and our family and friends. Later we headed for the club for supper and our reception. One of the good things about being a wedding dj is that I got to create a playlist and play my own wedding. Don’t worry, I charged myself a fortune!

A dance with my bride to the Keith Urban song “Making Memories of Us”, a dance with my mom, my bride’s dance with her grandfather and her dad, and finally our entire wedding party gathered  to dance to the Nathan  Carter tune “Wagon Wheel” (If you haven’t heard of this young man, do yourself a favor and check out his albums on iTunes. At only 24 years of age, this young Irishman is one of the  most talented singers I have ever heard)

As soon  as the dances were over, we thanked everyone for coming and I turned on my playlist. The crowd danced into the wee morning hours and everyone commented on the great time they had. …and now a few wedding pics….

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July 13, 2014

Spirit of the Coyote

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sightsnbytes @ 7:26 pm

Sightsnbytes:

We attended a Pow Wow today and I remembered writing this little piece.

Originally posted on SightsnBytes (Ted White):

The kids sat around in awe as the old man told his tales. Kids of all ages visited the old man, and despite their age, behaviors, or problems they may have had in the past, his audience left somehow changed forever. Maybe it was the way in which he told the stories, maybe it was because he put so much conviction in the tales. Who knows, maybe the stories were true.

“The boy who we will call Running Bird sat alone in the forest. Abandoned by the tribe, he was left to fend for himself in the vast forest of Central Newfoundland. Running Bird was not like most boys his age, he knew things. His father would take him to the forest on many hunts, and each time he would make sure that his son learned a valuable lesson, one that would teach him to survive using only his hands…

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July 11, 2014

Elmer and his new bride

Filed under: Fiction — Sightsnbytes @ 10:32 am

Every day, bright and early, Elmer drove his beat up Ford Tempo to the Little Market store to see her. He was shy at first, hiding in the aisles and peeking a glance at her, and as time went on, he grew bold and even approached her. He never said anything of course, that would be too difficult for him. He simply stared into her deep blue eyes.

Elmer was never what you would call a smooth talker when it came to women. At fifty-four, he still lived with his mother. Some said that the two of them were more than mother and son, but that could have just been a rumor. You know how rumors start in small towns, especially when the person in the rumor is a guy like Elmer Gaudet.

Elmer never had a girl-friend, or even a friend in his entire life. A loner, he chose to keep to himself in the old Gaudet home deep in Louisiana, a home riddled with trouble in all of its 200 years of existence. His mother ruled the roost, and nobody knows what happened to his father. Some guess that he ran away from the madness that went on behind those huge wooden doors of the old house. Some say that Estelle Gaudet actually took the young man’s life after giving birth to her pride and joy. For this reason, she was known by the name ‘The Black Widow’. I guess growing up with a mother with that kind of reputation was probably the reason for Elmer’s weirdness.

Elmer continued to stalk the pretty blue eyed lady until the day his dear old mother left this world. The amazing thing was that despite the fact that he sought her for over ten years now, the pretty blued eyed creature who haunted Elmer’s dreams each night never seemed to age one day. Everyone figured that Miss Estelle’s last days were in preparation for a lifetime in a much hotter place. That’s what her neighbours hoped anyway. And then there was poor Elmer, alone in the world for the first time in his life. At sixty four, he was no spring chicken, but then again, it is never too late to meet a woman and make her your wife, is it?

Elmer’s urges seemed to be under control while his mother was alive, partially due to the fact that each night, Elmer cuddled against her side, holding her tight during his dreams of his sweet Angela. At least that is what he called her. In all the years that Elmer watched his pretty blue eyed princess, he never once asked her name.

When Elmer could no longer stand to sleep alone, he deducted a plan to steal  Angela away from that horrible job at the department store and take her home with him. He would adorn her with everything she ever dreamed, and make her his princess forever.

On this dark night, he prepared for the next day. Using a few blankets from his bed, he sewed the fabrics together to make a large bag, just big enough to totally cover the unsuspecting  Angela. In the morning, he was the first one in the store. He quickly approached  Angela, who seemed to be staring into dead space. He threw the bag over her body and using his strong arms, he ran for the door,  Angela in tow.

Alarms went off in the store and the police was called, but Elmer was lucky. He made it all the way back home before they had any idea to what had happened. Elmer wondered how it could have been so easy. No police chase, no running away, it was simple. If he had only realized this, he would have taken her much earlier.

That night, Elmer was in heaven. He held sweet Angela close to his side, amazed with her smooth lines and tight tummy. He legs were solid muscle, as were her arms. She had the body of a supermodel, and she was all his. He didn’t mind if she wasn’t responsive, that would come later. On this night he would enjoy her companionship and her presence  beside him where she belonged.

Poor  Angela. The store manager didn’t care if she was gone. He didn’t demand an area wide search by the police. There was no story in the newspaper and her kidnapping didn’t make the six o’clock news. The store manager simply went to the stock room, grabbed another mannequin,  dressed her in pretty clothes and stood her in the window where  Angela stood for over twenty years.

June 26, 2014

Report Card Day!

Filed under: It's True, I promise ya — Sightsnbytes @ 8:42 am

Today is report card day for my son. He isn’t worried though, he has no reason to worry. Not because he did particularly well this year, not because his teacher knows that he is a good student and he worked hard to get the marks he needed; but because no matter how badly a kid does in school (at least in grades kindergarten to grade seven), a child cannot fail. Hell, they don’t even fail kids for cheating these days.

When I was a kid, you dreaded Report Card Day. I capitalized the words because of the importance of the day. If you did well enough, the teachers considered you smart, and told you so. You passed and went on to the next grade. If you didn’t do well, the teachers actually called you dumb, and held you back. If you tried your best and still failed, and they knew you were trying (or you failed so many times that you were a teenager in grade three) they put you in a ‘special Education class’ that we called ‘special Ed’. We had several special ed classes in our school. The kids wore headphones and listened to ‘special teachers’ on a cassette recorder. We called those kids ‘headphones’. I had a few cousins who were called headphones, and they spent all day learning how to weave baskets and do string art. If you never seen string art, it consisted of a piece of wood covered by a black cloth. Nails were tacked in over a stencil and students wrapped different colors of string until they created a picture. My cousin was the best string art headphone in school. After school he went on to use way too much weed and now he sits home staring out the window and the walls, and cherishing his many works of string art. I think he still uses his headphones too.

I remember kindergarten. The teachers were concerned that since my mother was a teacher prior to bringing me into the world (back then you didn’t need a college degree to teach. All you needed was grade eleven, which almost nobody had, and you could teach. The money was terrible, probably a few dollars each day, especially if you were female.). Anyway, mom taught me math skills and how to read and spell. Don’t get me started on spelling. Kids these days don’t have to spell. Kids these days don’t know how to spell, because some genius teacher said that spelling wasn’t important….

Sorry, got off track there…

Anyway, mom taught me more in my pre-school years than the teachers did in grade kindergarten. I was doing so good in kindergarten that the school figured that I was ‘bored’ with the curriculum and decided not only to pass me onto grade one, but to move me from kindergarten to grade three. No stress there Teddy Boy, I would be spending my next school year in a different school with kids two years older than me. The school didn’t realize the damage that can cause for a child..

That year, as I arrived at the school, the smallest and youngest kid in the playground, bullies had a field day with me. I was bloodied and beat up before school even started that day, and because I was billed ‘the smart kid from the first grade’, the teachers expected more from me, even though I was still technically a grade one student. I did poorly and my marks proved it. Still the school would not fail me and move me back so that I could be with kids my own age and not be expected to do better than everyone else. In essence, this little ‘gift’  caused me to be an underachiever until I graduated high school. Thanks a lot!

Report cards from then on were a terror. I knew that I didn’t do that well, and with a fifty average, I was moved on from year to year, always lacking the confidence to do well. I got to the point that I actually tried to fail. Of course that didn’t work. When I was sixteen in grade eleven while everyone else was eighteen or even older, I was immature and confused, and very bashful around girls. I struggled socially and my confidence was zero.  It would take twenty years for me to regain my confidence. Not bad for a kid who skipped two grades, huh? Damn report card day!

June 19, 2014

…on hiatus

Filed under: It's True, I promise ya — Sightsnbytes @ 8:26 pm

Hi Guys! Haven’t been here in quite a while, mostly due to the the wedding plans and of course work. Got several stories started, but haven’t the time to finish them. Hopefully after the wedding I will find the time to sit and at least finish what I have started. I will continue to read the fine works of the talented individuals I have listed in my blogroll.

It’s not good-bye, it is see you later…

May 30, 2014

The Last One

Filed under: Fiction — Sightsnbytes @ 9:12 am

I never slept very well last night, tossed and turned from the moment my head hit the pillow. It hasn’t been the same since she left; since everybody left.

I got up early, what was the use to stay in bed when I had so much to do today?

My every footstep echoed throughout the house, and the utter quietness was enough to drive a sane man mad in seconds.

The dog bowl in the corner is as empty as it was yesterday. What’s the use to fill it? He left with the others.

I go to the refrigerator and glance inside. The shelves are filled with everything I could imagine, but I have appetite for nothing. I only eat because my diabetes tells me that I should. Or I die. Maybe I should consider the second alternative, what with the loneliness I am feeling right now.

But I go on. I force a bowl of dry cereal down the hatch and set out for yet another day of searching….

As quiet as it was in the old house, outside is even more so. Not a breeze, not a bird chirp. Not even the sound of machinery or cars or factories or people. Dead quiet. I might as well be dead.

As I walk down the path that I have been walking since I could walk, the one that leads to the grocery store where I shopped with my sweet Charlene, and that my parents shopped when I was but a wee child, I am alerted with the sound of a loud crash. Hey, maybe someone is here. Its been such a long time since I spoke to someone other than myself.

Damn, it’s only the roof of an old building falling to the ground. The old buildings have been doing that lately. Nobody to keep them maintained I guess.

The grocery store. Step one of my daily routine. I grab a shopping cart and push it into the first aisle. The wheels of the cart are getting rusty and the effort to push the thing gets worse every day. The other carts are the same. If I had some oil I could fix them, but that won’t happen here.

Most dry goods are still good here, cereals, canned goods, grain, etc. I haven’t had milk is so long now that I know my bones are screaming for it. I don’t have time to worry about pain though, I have to keep alert.

Usually I pack my groceries in bags and carry them home, but nobody is here, who would miss this beat up old cart anyway? When I have filled my daily shopping list, I head home. Not having to wait in the checkout line is the only pleasure I have these days.

Got everything packed and locked in the shelves of the cabinets in the pantry. As I climb the stairs and head outside, I wonder what I will find today. Every day my routine is the same. Sleep, eat, gather food, and then search. Today I will head southwest. I haven’t gone that route in almost a month.

My trusty old bicycle is the only means of travel that’s left for me. Cars became useless when there was nobody to fix them. Gasoline being so difficult to find these days, how else could I use a car anyway? Too bad though, I could have my pick of any car I wanted. A hunk of rusting metal. Big deal!

As I pedal down the empty street, I think back to the days when the sidewalks were crowded with people hustling back and forth, some actually bumping into others without a care. Those days are gone now. Perhaps the only good thing about this life I am left to lead. I look on either side of the street, hoping to find some sort of life. Hell, a rodent or another pest would actually be a welcome sight right now. I probably wouldn’t mind even seeing a mosquito or an ant. But there is nothing here but me. Hell! Why me?

I pedal until my legs get too tired to move. Another colossal waste of time. At least I satisfied my curiosity for one more day. Nothing on the southwest side. Next week I will move to the next step. I have been gathering food for quite some time. Think I will alter one of the shopping carts into a makeshift bicycle trailer and venture to the next city. Maybe there is someone  there, someone like me, wondering why they have been abandoned by not only the people they love, but by every living thing in the world.

Right now the sun begins to set. I have to get back inside. God knows that night brings the terror, the terror that took every living thing on this planet away from me. Why not me? Why torture me with the knowledge that I am the Last Man on the planet?

 

May 28, 2014

The proposal

Filed under: It's True, I promise ya — Sightsnbytes @ 10:15 pm

As some of you may know, Snb’s single life will be coming to an end very soon. On July , 2014, I will be tying the knot with a very beautiful woman who I love very much.

I am lucky for a number of reasons, the best being the fact that she is doing most of the wedding planning on her own. My role is (my words, not hers) simply showing up on time. I can live with that. We already have our ceremony music chosen, the church and bar booked, and our bridal parties asked and accepted.  Being a wedding DJ, I am simply putting a playlist together and letting the music play. Think after over 25 years of entertaining couples on their special night, I can manage to play my own wedding without too much grief.

Tonight she asked me to write a short paragraph describing my ‘Unique’ method of proposing. I remember it quite well.

While driving home from a nearby city where we were shopping, I noticed that my lady was enjoying her favorite candy. Those little ‘love hearts’ with the romantic writing on the side. I also noticed that she had just ate two particular candy with the words ‘will you’ and ‘marry me’ written on them.  I kept that thought at the back of my mind.

A few years later, on December 21, 2007 to be exact, I finally  got up the nerve to ask her to marry me.  I went out and bought these little love hearts candy. I had to buy over ten packs to find the words I needed. In one box I put all the extra candy, and in the other box, I put just two candy.  ‘Will you’ and ‘marry me’.  another box contained the engagement ring.

My lady had planned on spending Christmas with her family in a nearby town, so I had to think fast.  I mentioned that I had a surprise for her. I brought out all three boxes.

She opened the first box and commented on how she loved these little candies. Then she opened the second box (at first I thought that she was going to eat the candy and ruin my plan); but then she stopped and read the writing on the candy. She never said anything, but went to the next box, which contained her ring. She was speechless!

I think it was a year or two later that she finally said yes. I think I caught her off guard with the candy!

She still loves these little candies, and you know what? So do I!

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