Month: July 2013

don’t throw away that old appliance…

Don’t throw away that old shower head or the old ceiling fan that started giving you trouble, call the manufacturer and you will be amazed at how quickly they want to help you out.

A while ago, my lady and I purchased a Danze Shower Kit, which included the shower head, and the faucet kit. We paid a fair amount for the thing, I think it was about $110 for the entire unit. We bought it from Canadian Tire. I wanted to keep the box it came in, but my lady found it and threw it out. She figured that a shower head and faucet kit should live forever. She was wrong.

The damn tap began dripping last fall; the thing nearly drove me nuts. Drip Drip Drip, the thing seemed to get louder at night, when I tried to sleep. I tried tightening the handle, no avail. I tried shutting the bathroom door, but somehow I still knew it was leaking. When we couldn’t take it any longer, we decided to buy another one and replace it.

We went to our local Canadian Tire store with the intention  of a new purchase, but when I sparked a conversation with one of the service reps, I mentioned that our tap was leaking. Right away, he asked whether it was a Danze model. When I verified that it was, he called the manufacturer, and was told that there is a shower cartridge that plugs when used with ‘hard water’, which we have here. The company agreed to send us a new unit, despite not having the sales receipt or the box. The rep said that the unit has a lifetime warranty, and anytime it is not working satisfactorily, we should call the company. In two days we received an express post package with the new unit. A few minutes with a wrench and presto, a non-leaking faucet and a great night’s sleep. Who knew?

Just the other day, our ceiling fan went on the blink. Again, we paid a fair amount for the thing, which was one of those ‘hugger’ models that sit on the ceiling. This one even had a remote control that allowed you to dim the lights, or choose from three fan speeds. The thing started acting up by automatically dimming the lights or even shutting off after a few minutes of use, which got pretty much annoying.

Yesterday I spent about two hours taking the thing down, checking the wires, replacing marettes, taping wires and checking voltages, before reassembling the thing and trying it. Same thing.  I was ready to chuck the thing when my brother dropped by. “Its the little black box inside the unit. It shorts out and dims the light for no reason. I had the same problem. Google it and see!” he said.

I did it. I found an article where someone else had the same problem. I found an 1-800 number, called and explained my problem. When the rep asked if I had my receipt, I told her no. My lady again. “Who would expect a fan to give out?” she doesn’t learn!

The rep said that the unit had a small black box that limited voltage, and  that it breaks often. She said that it was too bad that I didn’t have my sales receipt, because I would have to pay for the part. I was thinking, I paid $99 for the unit,  how much could a little black box cost. She said it was 298. I was outraged. I said  “$298? The entire fan only cost a hundred bucks. She laughed. “Not two hundred and ninety eight, two dollars and ninety eight cents”

I started laughing. “Send the thing, I rather pay $2.98 than another hundred or more bucks”. It should arrive in a few days.

Now I think I will go out to the garage and dig out that old Simoniz Pressure Washer. The thing has been on the blink for quite some time. All I have to do is find the phone number to the manufacturer and see what happens from there.

 

Goin’ Fwoggin

While crawling under the front step this morning to retrieve a dog toy, I came across a toad who had been lodging under a board. The thing  took one look at me and  hopped away.

This brought me back to my days when I was a much younger guy. Back to the times when me and my best friend Ricky used to play together.

Our favorite pastime, (besides building go-carts) was catching frogs. We didn’t really do much with them afterward, other than to transplant them  in various ponds and rivers in the area.

Ricky, with his speech impediment and his stuttering couldn’t pronounce ‘Frogs’. He called them ‘Fwogs’, which made me snicker and giggle (to myself of course, didn’t want to hurt his feelings) every time he pronounced the word.

We fashioned a makeshift net (a few onion bags tied together, surrounded by a hoop made from a coat hanger) and arming ourselves with each a flashlight, we waited for the sun to go down.

Once the sky was black and the night was among us, we would head for a small swampy waterhole just outside the community and get ready for our adventure. The air was alive with the sounds of the Fwogs, as they burped and ribbeted. When we got close,  everything went quiet. Ricky opened our five gallon bucket (the one with the holes drilled in the cover) and waited for me to spot a fwog.

I noticed a lump in the water, and after shining the light towards the lump, I illuminated a big one. (They always freeze in bright light) Using our net, I scooped him up and  dumped him  in the bucket. By night’s end, we had collected over fifty green reptiles, and were happy to head home  with our prize.

The next day, we spent several hours dispensing our fwogs into various water holes. At  the end of the day, we figured we had done the world a favor, spreading fwogs across the entire area.

Today, most ponds and  rivers are abundant with frogs and toads. Neither of those creatures are native to the province. Apparently,  back in the 70’s, an experimental program brought these creatures into the province to help get rid of a certain insect that was damaging the trees. The little green devils were put into specific areas to battle insect infestation. We did our part in spreading the population to different areas. I only wonder what impact our contribution to the experiment had on the environment?

Dad insists that today, we have far less mosquitoes and black flies than we did before the fwogs got here. I would like to think that me and my childhood friend Ricky played some part in this.

 

The best laid plans of Tommy Welling

Thomas Welling was a man who was fed up with his life. The laugh of the town, nobody ever took poor Tommy serious. It was as if he was too stupid to live. At least that’s what his step-father used to say. Truth is, Tommy really did dumb things, and it seemed like he could never get things right.

Tommy did everything he could to please his step-father, but he was never good enough. I guess that was part of the problem. Tommy was bullied from the minute he came into this world, and  everyone knew that eventually he would burst. The other part was that Tommy used to think about doing things. Things like ending his worthless life and taking half the town with him. That’s where this story begins.

On Saturday, June 15, Tommy awoke from his slumber with a plan. Throughout the night, he devised a plan  to rob the First National Bank. If he got away with it, he would leave the town  of Hummerville and start a new life somewhere else; somewhere where nobody ever heard of Thomas Welling, his Step-dad Frank Peters, or anyone else who has ever made Tommy’s life the living hell that it was. If it went wrong, it would all be over and Tommy wouldn’t have to worry about anything ever again.

One thing that could not be said about Tommy was that he wasn’t intelligent. Some said that he was ‘book smart’ and not ‘street smart’. That being said, he had a plan, and as diverse as it may have seemed  at the time, he worked hard to make it happen.

Being from  such a small town, gathering the things he needed for his plan was no easy task. Rather than visit the local hardware store, he chose to order everything  from the Internet. He made sure that all  items were shipped in plain brown  wrappers.  God knows, the ladies who worked at the local post office were nosy enough to actually peek inside packages  if they really wanted to know  what was inside. He didn’t want some meddling old ladies ruining his plans.

When all the packages arrived, Tommy went ahead with his plans. He created a  vest wrapped with explosives and fastened it to a tee shirt that he wore  under an old hunting  vest his step-dad left in the shed. He then installed a button  that would hang at belt height, giving him the opportunity to push it when he needed to…if he needed to.

Disappointed that he could not test the device, he had to trust the instructions that he had found  on the website. He then hid the shirt in his closet, along with his other clothes, and waited for the precise time to plan the robbery.

On  Monday, August 9, Tommy was ready. That morning,  he sat and thought about all the people in town  who laughed at him, called him retarded and dumb, and generally made his life a living hell. The one who would suffer worst would be his step-dad, the Chief of Police in the area. Tommy would show this joker who was dumb.

Since this was a Monday, the entire town was packed with shoppers. The bank was also crowded, and as Tommy looked around,  he noticed that most of the people seemed to snicker at him as he entered the bank. He thought about exposing his bomb shirt to them, teaching them  a lesson, but he decided to wait a bit. Tom took  a number from  the ticket dispenser and waited in line.

He listened  to the town’s  gossipers as they whispered their crap to each other, and almost wished he could push the button, but on this day, he would be patient. He would show the town  that he wasn’t dumb, he wasn’t the town idiot, and he was fed up with everything.

When his number came up on the board, he patiently and calmly walked toward the wicket.

“Give me whatever money you can gather in this bag” he ordered the teller. “This is a robbery!” he yelled. As he was ordering the teller to do his bidding, Charlene Farkensin, the oldest teller at the bank reached beneath the counter and pushed a small red button. With that, police in the area were alerted.

Seeing how the town’s doughnut shop was just around the corner, it took no time  for the police to surround the bank. Tom’s step-dad led the others into the room where they quickly surrounded Tom and the patrons. “Tom, give yourself up and come home. We all love you. You are making a fool  of yourself.  Stop being so bitter and leave. You can’t rob a bank, you don’t even have a gun!” his Step-father said.

“I DON’T NEED A GUN, I HAVE SOMETHING BETTER!” Tommy ripped the vest open, hoping to reveal his elaborate plan and teach those idiots a lesson.

When everyone in the bank, including his step-father and the rest of the police began  laughing out loud, Tommy grew even more impatient. “THIS IS IT THEN, IT ALL ENDS HERE” With that he reached for the button. He fumbled across the shirt, expecting the button. Where was the button? He felt his shirt, from one end to the other, and discovered something. When he looked down at his shirt, he noticed one terrible error  in  his plan. It was at this point  that Tommy lost it. He began yelling “SHIT! WRONG  SHIRT!” over and over as he was hauled off to the first squad car and then onto the psychiatric ward at the hospital. Poor Tommy! 

By the way,  this is the shirt that Tommy mistakenly wore to the bank. Oh well,  so much for a good plan.

photo courtesy of coolspotters.com
photo courtesy of coolspotters.com

Someone Else’s Shoes

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Alex Jacobson. Alex, a hard-nosed, racist, asshole who got off on bullying people his entire life.

At just 26 years of age, Alex was already on his fourth marriage. He manhandled and abused the other three to the point that they couldn’t take it any longer. The latest Mrs. Jacobson was a tall blonde with a body like a supermodel. Nobody knows how or why Kelly Jacobson put up with Alex and his racist ways; especially with the way he treated Kelly’s twin brother Sandy, who was gay.

Alex was especially angry due to the fact that Sandy and his new husband were coming to visit for the next two weeks.

On  this day, Alex and Kelly were heading home from their vacation. The narrow winding roads proved a bit of a challenge for Alex. Although he had way too much to drink, Alex violently refused to let Kelly drive. When he swerved onto the left  lane to maneuver a turn, he met with oncoming  traffic. Despite his efforts, drunken Alex couldn’t get the car back on his side of the road, which resulted in him losing control. Soon they found themselves teeter tottering over a steep embankment, with at least a five hundred foot drop beneath them.

Maybe it was fear, maybe it was the booze, but for the first time in his life, Alex was speechless. Kelly was unconscious in the seat next to him, and with that, he let out a loud cry. “If I ever get out of this, I will change, God help me!”

In  minutes, the car they were driving slipped down the hill, the two passengers plunging to their death, heading towards the jagged rocks beneath them. Alex passed out.

in a blink of an eye, he was back at the wheel. This time he  was alone, but still as drunk as before. “What the hell?” he thought. “I must have passed out, it was all a bad dream!”

Alex stopped by his favorite watering hole before going home. He sat with his buddies and shot tequila for hours. Against his friend’s wishes, he grabbed his keys and headed home.

As Alex drunkenly drove the car, as he had done many times before, he remembered his dream. “Fuck it, stupid dream. I am going home and makin’ love to my wife, whether she likes it or not!” he schemed. “I won’t even wake her, she will wake soon enough, when she feels my manliness beside her!” he bragged to himself.

Alex was so drunk that he could barely see. It was a wonder that he made it home in one piece. He staggered up the stairs and into their bedroom. The walls that led down the hall were covered with family portraits, all with the same writing beneath the picture, ‘Kelly and Alex Forever’. “Damn Kelly, she has pictures of her queer brother and his ‘boyfriend’ all over my house. Tomorrow I will rip them down, but first I will  make her pay!” he muttered.

When he entered the room, he noticed that the paint was changed. Another portrait hung above the headboard of the large waterbed. Again it was of Kelly and some other guy. Sickened by this, he stripped naked and mounted his still sleeping wife from behind. He made vigorous love to her, and then passed out next to her.

The next morning, Alex reached across the bed and attempted to fondle his wife’s ample breasts. What he found was a muscular chest, bits of hair cropping up everywhere. “WHAT THE FUCK?” he hollered.

“SSH, you will wake my sister Sandy!, She is a guest here. Please show a bit of respect.” Kelly warned.

“What the fuck are you doing in my bed, you horrible queer ?” Alex yelled, not caring who he awoke. “WTF?” asked Kelly. “It’s me, Kelly, the man you married!”  Alex jumped from the bed and ran to the bathroom and threw up vigorously. When he had regained his composure, he leaned over the bathroom sink to wash. He gazed in the mirror and almost fainted. The ‘other guy’ in the portraits with Kelly peered back at him. “WHAT THE FUCK?” he questioned. “What kind of nasty trick  are you playing on me?

“Alex, you were drinking again. You really have to stop. Don’t you remember anything? We got married  last week, we are lovers, we have been for over ten years. Now shut your piehole and get back into the bed, bitch, and  make love to me like you did last night, you know I like it rough.”

Our friend Alex got himself into quite a stir. It seems that Kelly is the dominant force in this marriage, and Alex? He just shuts up and does what he is told. He has to. Kelly has a reputation for getting what he wants, even if he has to bust a few nuts to get it. Funny how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

There is probably an Alex Jacobson  in all our lives, haunting us, scaring us, making our lives miserable. Wouldn’t it be great to see the people who bullied us end up like Alex? Maybe then they would understand how difficult and hurtful it is to be bullied.

———————————————–

This story was originally titled ‘Bitten in the ass’. I wrote it late last night, but I wasn’t satisfied with the characters and the way things turned out. I am confident this version will put a smile on someone’s face.

Random stuff about our dogs

My buddy is a sex maniac! He brags that he and his missus enjoy ‘Doggie Style’. This makes me wonder, when dogs get kinky, do they do it ‘human  style’?

My buddy said that is German Sheppard was way too wild. He went on to say that after the dog was neutered, he calmed down…do you think? They cut his balls off! He had nothing left to live for! Talk  about losing your spirit!


With three dogs, food can be costly. Yesterday we were at Walmart, and decided to look at maybe feeding our dogs food that doesn’t come from the vet. That stuff is triple the cost of Walmart food. My lady says “They won’t eat anything but the best food”. I say “They eat shit in the backyard. How good does this stuff have to be?”

We found a bag of food that only contained vegetables. When was the last time you seen a dog with a cucumber in his mouth? They like bones!

We found brand of dog food that claimed to be even tastier than the previous product. Do they have people who taste dog food and then rate the taste? We settled on Lamb and Rice dog food. It is supposed to be very healthy for dogs because it only contains ingredients that dogs love. When was the last time you seen a dog sitting in a Chinese restaurant ordering Fried Rice?

Our oldest dog came home reeking. He must have gotten into something horribly stinky. My lady suggests that I bath him. Now he smells great and I stink. He gets to cuddle with her in the bed, I sleep on the chair…on a dog blanket. Something wrong there!

With three dogs (and a cat) sharing our home, things can get nasty. This morning, our newest pup (four month old Sheltie Marley) noticed that one of my hearing aids ($2300 a piece) had fallen off the dresser and found its way under the bed. She grabs the thing and runs into the backyard. I noticed something pink and dangling from her mouth while she was taking a crap, but figured it was only a pine cone or a tree branch. Two hours later I discover one of my hearing aids missing. Two hours (spent crawling on my hands and knees in the backyard, turning over every stone and searching within blades of grass) later, and I find my hearing aid, buried in her favorite hiding place. Luckily it remained unscathed and in one piece.

Speaking of the cat, Marley’s favorite pass time is chewing on the cat’s ears. The cat is REAL patient. Speaking of patient, she also enjoys walking behind the oldest dog Boots, with the poor dog’s tail in her mouth…like a little dog train. Oh well, I will miss her silliness once she ‘grows up’.

The middle dog, Halle, a three pound Pom, is coming back to herself. A few weeks back, she contracted a condition called Inflamed Pancreas. We almost lost her. Five days in a vet clinic with an unbelievably kind and very talented vet and we have our little pooch back home again. It was a close call, she vomited every fifteen minutes, and we were told that she could very well die from this ordeal.  The vet had her on IV and injections for all five days. The dog is doing great, but this week, we couldn’t afford to eat. Damn vet bills are unbelievable.

That’s all for now, thought I would share a few laughs from the world of dogs….the little furry friends who light up my day. Below are a few pics that show how hard our pets have it.

DSC02507 DSC02518 DSC025228829_292273195122_2925377_n

Stephen King’s latest novel: Joyland

After suffering through the Dan Brown’s Inferno, I was about ready to give up reading for awhile.That is, until I purchased Stephen King’s Joyland. A complete JOY to read!

The master of scary stories brings us something a little different this time. We are introduced into the world of Amusement Parks and the carnies who work there. The novel gives us a fascinating mixture of mystery, suspense, and tragedy. There is even romance thrown  into the pot. I truly enjoyed the read, and I would strongly recommend the book to anyone  who enjoys a great story. If I was to rate the book I would give it five out of five stars.

The Dark Shadow on Donnely Lane

The sun was hot that day, and everyone on the block was out enjoying the heat. People lay out on flat chairs, wearing bikinis and sipping on margaritas. Kids ran carelessly in backyards, eating Mr Freezies and drinking grape Kool-Aid. This was one hell of a summer. Well maybe Hell isn’t a good word to use right now, or perhaps it is the perfect word.

Jane Johnson was a shy creature with a body to die for. She carefully checked around her property to make sure she was alone, and then she dropped her towel and lay naked  on her patio. She was alone, or was she?

The sky was clear, and as blue as the ocean; and then it wasn’t. The shadow of a man wearing a large hat loomed over the front  step  leading to Jane’s patio. Soon the entire patio was swallowed by the shadow. No screams, no  bloodshed, but when the shadow left and the sun returned, Jane Johnson, the bashful girl who worked at the local library lay still. Still warm from  the blinding rays of the sun,  it seemed as though every bit of color was drained from her body. The shadow moved throughout the entire lane, and in a matter of moments, every person  on the block lay as still and as dead as poor Jane Johnson.

I know this because I was there on that day, hiding in the big apple tree behind Jane’s house. On this day, a kid who enjoyed spying on his sexy neighbor got a glimpse of the devil himself.

Trifecta Week 84: Evidence


This time we got him. How wouldn’t we? We have his fingerprints; hell, we even have DNA! A quick trip to the lab and we have the son of a bitch.

33 innocent women lost  their lives to this maniac, but up until now, we had nothing. Torn clothing, brutal rape, stab wounds covering the entire lower extremities of their bodies, and his trademark, the right hand severed from the body. The pattern was clear, but he was always so smart. He covered his tracks well.

Constable Connor was an expert at forensics, so he wasn’t worried this time. This time the fucker wouldn’t slip through his fingers.

Connor paced across the tile floor of the lab, anxiously awaiting the results. God knows the family of Charlene Banting were anxious as well. Connor was on his tenth trip across the floor when the M.E. came in the room.

We have identified the fingerprints, as well as the DNA. They both belong to the same person. Connor grew excited at the news. That is, until Dr Hennesey explained further.

“Connor, I don’t think you’ll like what I have to say.”  he said.

“What could it be? We have him. We have his prints, I have no doubt that he is somewhere in our system, maniacs like him always are!” Connor said.

“Well, the prints don’t exactly belong to the person  you think. The prints and the DNA both belong to Charlene Banting. Our forensic team found something stuffed into the mouth of the victim. Apparently our murderer created ‘human skin gloves’ from the hand that he severed from Miss Banting. He literally used her own  skin  to kill her. Her DNA is everywhere.

“The sick bastard! He evolved into a far more  psychotic maniac than he was before! His methods may have been crude, but he is every bit the genius I figured he would be. Damn! We have nothing!” said Connor, almost sobbing his words. “I promised her parents we had the guy!”

This is my entry into this week’s Trifecta Challenge. The word is Crude.

things kids say part 2

I spent the first 40 years of my life without kids. Then came my lady. She had a 2 year old son from a previous relationship, and as our love grew, he became a son to me. The little guy is ten now, (going on eleven in August), and despite the fact that he is growing up, he never ceases to make me laugh from time to time.

Just yesterday I had a chuckle. I noticed an  odour from  the laundry room, and upon my investigation, I found a pair of my son’s underwear lying on the floor, soiled with poop. I confronted my son  on the issue, figuring that maybe he had an accident or failed to wipe properly (kids these days are so busy with chores…hahaha), and I laughed (silently) at his response.

“I didn’t do it, it must have been someone else” he said.

“Someone else crapped your pants and hid them here?” I asked.

“Must have, it surely wasn’t me, I am ten  going on eleven, eleven year old kids don’t crap their pants!” he warned.

“Why would  someone break into our house and crap your underwear?” I joked.

“Not sure, you know people!” he responded.

“Hey, maybe the cat did it! Can’t trust cats you know” he added.

I sent him upstairs to have a bath, explaining that maybe he just didn’t wipe himself well, and that he could be soiling his current  underwear as we spoke.

“I had a bath yesterday. I ain’t having one today. They say that too many baths will dry your skin!” he said.

What is he a dermatologist now? I wondered.

After his bath, he came clean (pun intended)

“I have to admit it, I watched as the cat crapped my underwear, but I found it so funny, I left her do it.” he lied.

“SURE!” I said, unbelieving!

This morning he was outside and he came limping towards the house. Well not really limping, actually dragging his leg  like it was made out  of wood. “I hurt my foot, I can hardly walk!” he said.

“How long was it hurt? When did you do it?” I asked.

“Oh it was sore for almost three months,  ever since June 21!” he said. Today was July 3. “Three months? Your foot was sore for three months, yet you played soccer, ran, rode your bike, and only now you tell me this?” I asked.

“Well, maybe not three months, but at least a week!” he said. Time sure changes once questioned!

I took one look  at his DC joggers (stupid brand name products where you pay more for the logo than for the actual product) and the entire rear section of the shoe is squat down. Apparently he had his shoes tied too tight, and rather than untie the thing, he forced his foot  in anyway. He injured his heel doing so.

“You will have to give your foot a time to heal, maybe stay home today and give your foot a chance to heal.” I said.

“What? Stay home with you and mom? How boring is that?” he said.

“Thanks, we really are boring, aren’t  we?” I said, sarcastically.

“Hey Ted, it’s not your fault, all old people are boring.” he said.

Kids really know how to make a guy feel good!

“But I still love you, even if you guys are old!” he said, almost reviving my ego.

Raising another man’s child certainly has its challenges, but I look  at the situation as his deadbeat father’s loss, and my gain. I love the little guy…even  if he sometimes causes my blood pressure to peak.