Category: I've Noticed…

My Fab Five

This is my fab five. Hey, if  cell phone providers get to have fab fives, why can’t I? Here are my favorite five posts in no particular order. Give em a read and let me know what you think.

  1. While working away in the city, I got lonesome for home. This inspired me to write about my life before the busy streets and honking horns, and back to a simpler time. The story was entitled A Pot of Tea. When I wrote this story, I wanted to bring the reader deep into the woods with me. I worked especially hard to bring the reader all the sounds and smells of the outdoors. I hope you like reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. By the way, I think it just may have brought a tear to my dad’s eye when he read it.
  2. In an attempt to write a nice Christmas story for my son, I came up with this jewel. The entire story came to me on my way to work one day. When I arrived, I jumped to the keypad and wrote the story from beginning to end in one sitting. I tried to include a bit of my own heritage in the story. My ancestors were French-Indians who were also known as the Mi’Kmaq. The title characters were Mi’Kmaq as well. The story is titled Footprints in the Snow.
  3. They say that part of the charm of a true Newfoundlander is the ability to laugh at ourselves. Some people around here make it all too easy. I wrote a collection of funny stories that happened to me over the years. In an attempt to draw more readers, I sneakily used the title ‘Boobs’. I bet everyone who showed up thought I was talking about…You Know…!
  4. For some weird reason, the story I wrote about Marbles drew the most attention from readers. I am not sure whether it was the picture of marbles that drew readers, curiosity of the game of marbles, or fluke. Whatever the reason,I appreciated the attention. Give it a read.
  5. Maybe I read too many Stephen King novels. Whatever the case, this little nugget came to me while I was asleep. Maybe it was a nightmare. I write my best stuff while sleeping, and that night I had a baloney and mustard sandwich before bed. The story is called The Dark Shadow on Donnely Lane. Hope it doesn’t keep you up at night.

Well that’s it for now.  Leave comments, they are all appreciated.



some find their talents when they are very young. My sister used to love playing with crayons. She ate all mine when she was a wee child. Eventually her love for colour led her to begin drawing. She started out small, with the paint by number kits that our aunt bought for us. I had no use for such a thing…an allergy to paint and a hate for colouring meant that my gift was quickly regifted to my sister.

She progressed to water colour (no, not spelled wrong…I am Canadian. We use ‘U’s’ when you don’t) and then to oils and other paint terms that I  am not all too familiar with.  A marriage to an unloving man and two children soon overtook her desire to paint. I don’t think she paints anymore, but I imagine that she can still do magic with a paint brush if so inclined.

My brother had a musical talent when he was a kid. At six, he could pick most songs on the guitar and sing along with his music. Unfortunately his school teachers enjoyed his musical talent much more than they had a right to. The used to make him stay indoors during lunch and recess so that he could play for them. With that (and a streak of stubbornness that he still has), he put the guitar down and never played again. What a waste of talent.

My youngest sister used to watch my dad play guitar when she was still in diapers. My dad was quite the picker. I remember he and mom sitting in the living room bellowing out country songs together. Dad can’t play any longer. Arthritis and years of hard work has made his once nimble fingers stiff. We don’t mention guitar around him anymore. It upsets him. He does, however enjoy my sister’s tunes.

Back to the baby of the family. She learned all dad’s licks and since she was five, she has been picking and singing. She was in a band for awhile, seeing how she used to sing as well as she played. About three years ago she was rear ended by a careless driver. With soft tissue damage that has disabled her to the point that she can no longer hold a guitar for very long, she had no choice but to stop playing.  Now after countless injections and physiotherapy, she manages to pick up the guitar a bit. She spends her time teaching young kids her talent. God bless her.

That leaves me. As far as singing, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Being tone deaf, I know lots of guitar chords but cannot distinguish between them. I did work for years as a DJ, but that only entailed playing CD’s of other people. I never considered myself particularly talented. Until WordPress.

WordPress has allowed me to discover a talent that I was not aware of. I am not tooting my own horn here. I am just grateful for all the people who stop by and give my work a second look. I appreciate the comments and suggestions that you offer. I even welcome criticism of my grammar (hey, I am a Newfie after all). My writing was completely self taught as I have never been able to afford an English degree or anything similar. Again, thanks for stopping by and I appreciate and welcome your comments.

Privacy in the 21st century

This is not  sightsnbytes, rather it is an altered photo that could get the poor guy in trouble with his lady
This is not sightsnbytes, rather it is an altered photo that could get the poor guy in trouble with his lady

Above you see a photo depicting SnB getting ravished by two wordpress groupies. Before you jump to conclusions, this was not me.  This was a photo of  me  altered using easy to use software on the  website. This photo is just one example of the harm that can be caused by an overzealous imagination, a cell phone camera, and a bit of software.

Imagine a world where your every move could be photographed, or even worse, videotaped. Imagine a world where anyone could take that picture or video, upload it to a website and alter it. Sounds like science fiction to most, but this happens each and every day.

To add to this grief, a person can take your picture, and in minutes, send it to thousands of their friends, all without your permission. We don’t have rights anymore, at least not when it comes to privacy.

A while ago a friend of mine thought it was funny to take a picture of some lady who was stuck in traffic and post the picture on Facebook. The poor lady looked frustrated, and the girl who posted it thought it was a big joke. What if the lady was dealing with painful personal matters, a family death, etc? Hundreds of thoughtless people commented on the photo, poking fun  at the lady, whom of which none of them knew anything about.

Ah Facebook. Damn Facebook. I know countless people who have been hurt by pictures posted on this incredibly popular website. Pictures of people  in nightclubs, drunk and disorderly, consuming alcohol underage, half dressed, etc., all  featured on people’s Facebook  with our without anyone’s permission or knowledge. Where are our rights?

If twenty years ago or so, someone described a time where everyone  carried video equipment, and filmed you whenever they wanted, someone  would accuse you of being  paranoid. Nowadays it is quite normal. With high tech devices such as the iphone in even the biggest moron’s hands, everyone  is capable of not only videoing and photographing a person without their knowledge, but also altering the picture into whatever compromising situation they feel  fit.

This past weekend a friend of mine received a suspension from their job. Apparently he and his lady were at  a popular nightclub, drinking and dancing. Seeing how his job entails working with the public, one of his clients thought it would be fun to take a video of him dancing with his lady, and altering it so that it appeared that he was acting in a porno video. The video was then uploaded to Facebook. Sounds difficult, but it really isn’t that hard. Like the saying goes…”There’s  an app  for that!”

Personally I believe there should be a worldwide ban on cell phones  that contain cameras. At least  with a real camera, a person has some  knowledge that their privacy has  been violated. Just Saying!

For Sale, Cheap~!

My dad went to sell his car once. The car was a Hyundai Elantra, I think it was a 1998 model. The car was in great shape, as my dad fixed everything that ever went wrong and replaced any broken or worn parts with new parts ordered directly from the factory. He also babied the car, washing and waxing the car on Sunday of each week. The year was 2010, so while the car was anything but new, it really wasn’t all that old.

My dad is such an honest person that he pondered on exactly how much to ask for his car. I remember passing his driveway and looking at his sign. FOR SALE: FIRST $200 TAKES THE CAR!

Nobody answered his ad. He was confused. How could anyone turn down such a great car at such a great deal? I asked if I could sell the car for him, and reluctantly, he agreed. My sign was a bit different.

FOR SALE: ’98 Hyundai in Excellent Condition. All New Parts. Asking price $1500 or Best Offer.

He had ten calls. I was so proud. This guy showed up late Sunday evening, right after my dad washed the car. Unfortunately I wasn’t home at the time, so my dad worked the sale.

The guy oohed and awed, and finally made my dad an offer. He offered my dad $500 for the car. My dad agreed. I would have held out for more money, but my dad and I think differently sometimes. My dad’s way of thinking was that he had the car for a few good years, mostly without problems. He felt that the car had served him well and that he had got his money worth, and he wasn’t out to make any money from the car, he simply wanted to sell it and buy something else. That’s my dad.

Anyway the guy said that he needed some time to come up with the money and asked if he could take the car and bring the money up later in the week. Lets get something straight right away, my dad is a fair man who always looks for the positive, but he ain’t no pushover either. He told the guy that if he wanted the car he had to buy it now, and that he couldn’t hold it for him or anyone else. The guy then asked if there was any sort of Warranty with this car. Buddy, this is a car you are buying for five hundred bucks. A warranty? Was he serious?

My dad was speechless. A warranty on a used car that cost less than $1000? That was crazy! He calmly told the guy to leave his driveway and never look back. Surprised, the guy left. I was lucky enough to be at home the next time someone came looking. I instructed that we didn’t need tire kickers. I assured the guy that the car was a dependable vehicle, but didn’t guarantee anything. He agreed that asking for a guarantee on a used car from a private owner was preposterous, and he was glad to pay the money, the full $1500. Maybe I missed my calling.

A few summers ago we had a garage sale. It was our first and last garage sale. When my lady and I moved in together we had two of everything, so selling the microwave, the color printer, and other household items and equipment was our only solution. Since the printer was out of ink, but still a great printer/scanner/fax machine, I decided to give it away for free. I put a big sign that read ‘Perfectly working Printer. Take it for free.’

I put a price tag of $10 on the microwave. Hell I only bought it a few months earlier and paid $80 for the thing, but like my dad, I didn’t need it so I wanted to get rid of it quickly as I could.

This guy came over. He was looking over the printer. “Free? What’s wrong with it?” he asked. I assured him that it was a perfect printer,  all it needed was an ink cartridge. “You trying to rip me off?” he asked. It was free. How could I rip him off by giving it to him for free? He walked away, complaining.

Another guy showed up to look at the microwave. “Ten dollars? What is wrong with it?” he asked. I told him that it was only a few months old and that I didn’t need it anymore. “Ah, I see your game, you are trying to rip me off with this piece of junk.” he said. I told him that it was a good item and that if he didn’t want it to walk away. He did.

Then I thought of my dad and his car. With that, I tore the tape from the microwave and instead of $10,  I listed the price for $50. The same guy came back, and when I looked over, he was standing in the lineup with the microwave under his arm bragging to everyone around about the great deal he had found. “Now THIS is a great microwave, much better than that ten dollar piece of crap you tried to sell me.” There is just no help for some people!

Just as the sale was about to end the printer guy came back. He said that he checked online and the exact printer was over a hundred bucks at Walmart. He went on to say that the cartridges were on sale at Futureshop. Then he shocked me. Here he stood, free printer in hand, and had the nerve to ask if we delivered. He lived some four hours away. I wanted to chase him out of the yard with one of the spatulas we were selling.

Hair Today

Just when I was beginning to understand women (well not fully understand them, but beginning to sort of understand them), my lady goes out and orders hair extensions from ebay.

Not only did these blonde locks come from ebay, but they came from China. I am sitting here stumped at where some Chinese missus managed to find blonde hair in China, and how she managed to talk that person out of said locks. At first I figured it was plastic hair like found on dolls, but nope, real human hair.

The ironic part of it all is that the hair is EXACTLY the same as my lady’s hair. Same color, same thickness, it is identical. If I didn’t know better, I would have swore that she went to bed with short hair and woke up with long blonde hair. Almost makes me feel like I am cheating on her with someone else’s hair.

She goes on to tell me that if she bought these hair extensions anywhere in North America, she would have paid $300 +, but since they came from China, they only cost her $25. I would say that this is possibly ‘Hot Hair’, and somewhere someone  is looking for them.

I must say,  I do like the long blonde hair on my lady, even if it isn’t all hers. In these days of fake body parts like breasts, lips, and even ass cheeks, I guess I can live with fake hair. Just saying…


Snow Flurries with a chance of a snow squall and snow showers WTF

Just checked the local forecast. Not sure why I did that, as I just came in from my daily walk, and couldn’t see a damn thing. Newfoundland winters are like that. One minute the sun is shining and the next thing you can’t see a hand in front of your face. What gets me is the way that they have begun to explain the weather.

When I was a kid there weren’t too many different terminologies for snow. You had snow or blowing snow.  If you had blowing snow it was called a storm. If you had snow, it was the light fluffy stuff we loved to crawl through and build tunnels in. Not any more. So many different terms for snow. We have light snow, heavy snow, wet snow, dry snow (?), hail, sleet, freezing rain, freezing rain pellets (snow?). We have snow showers, snow squalls, snow flurries, and blizzards.

Apparently all this snow confusion has led me to research the white stuff that fills my driveway and weighs down the roof of my house. My research has led me to learn the following;

  • Snow – White stuff that you see on Christmas cards. It is great for one horse open  sleighs and sliding. It is cold, unique, and melts on your hand. Some kids eat it (like my cousin Larry who especially liked the yellow variety (yuck))
  • Snow Flurries – large amounts of snow that fall suddenly. This is the stuff that can make driving hazardous and can block roads (but not enough so that they cancel work or school)
  • Snow Squalls. This is a relatively new term when it comes to winter. It is basically a snow shower (I will explain later) accompanied by wind, sometimes heavy. This is somehow different than snow flurries in that it makes driving even more hazardous and blocks roads quicker. Squalls can begin and start instantaneously and that is what makes them frustrating. (ME: Boss, it is so stormy I can’t see a thing, so I am staying home! BOSS: WTF are you talking about? It is sunny and clear here, so get to work!)
  • Wet snow – snow mixed with rain, this stuff is heavy as hell to shovel, and makes driving treacherous.
  • Dry snow – term used mostly by cross country skiers, the perfect snow for skiing.
  • Freezing rain – freezing rain.
  • Freezing rain pellets – freezing rain that has frozen.
  • Hail – frozen lumps of ice, they hurt on the head.
  • Yellow snow – snow that has been peed on by dogs, cats, or desperate humans
  • Blowing snow – kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
  • Snow Showers (I promised this one) – the latest term, never before used. The 2013 term snow showers refers to a short to moderate duration of snow. Sometimes accompanied by wind and can cause temporary loss of visibility.
  • Blizzard – a combination of many snow squalls, freezing rain, freezing rain pellets, blowing snow, snow flurries, snow showers, and snow. Not to be taken lightly, this phenomena can last a few hours or several days.

There it is, clear as a winter storm in Newfoundland. Hopefully I didn’t confuse anyone with the terminology. Now I shall go and attempt to blow the damn white stuff from my yard and driveway with my trusty snowblower. Wish me luck.

U L00K Gr8 2Nite

My lady and I had dinner last evening at a local restaurant. While at dinner we noticed one of my lady’s co-workers sitting across from us. Melvin (not his real name) had a woman friend with him, and it appeared to be a date. My lady mentioned that he didn’t have a girlfriend, but that he had mentioned that he recently met a nice girl and they planned to go to dinner together. She said that he had planned the night during work, and that apparently although this guy was in his 40’s, it appeared that he was very green when it came to women.

In an attempt to act professional, we did our best not to pay any attention to the couple, but when Melvin took out his cell phone and first began to text friends and then proceeded to play a game on his cell, we knew his date wasn’t going well. The woman appeared to be  bored, even yawning during the lunch. My lady started giggling when she received a text from Melvin.

“Do you know where I can buy honey mustard? I am craving mustard!” he told her. “Aren’t you on a date? Put the damn cell phone away, talk to the poor lady, for the love of heavens” my lady instructed the guy.

We watched as he looked around, not realizing that we were sitting behind him. He stuck his cell back in his pocket and held her hands. She wasn’t long pulling her hands free, as her cell rang. She then began texting friends, and eventually he had his cell out, and the two appeared to be texting each other. There they were, at a supposedly romantic dinner, not uttering a word, simply texting each other (or other people) and laughing hysterically. It was like lunch with the deaf, as not a word was said for the entire meal. Smooth baby! There was no way this was progressing any further. I sure hope he didn’t book a hotel room, or he will definitely be sleeping alone!

What ever happened to the art of dating? Taking your lady out for a romantic dinner, perhaps engaging in an interesting conversation, a means of breaking the ice, and even getting to know each other a little better? What happened to the intimacy of a date, being in a situation that you are in a crowded room and in your eyes and heart, the only two people are the two that sit next to each other? Cell Phones, that’s what!

Since cell phones have taken control of our lives, nothing has been the same since. We talk of technology, but what is the good of technology if we lose the ability to communicate? What happened to body language and smiles and nice words and intimacy? Leave the damn phones home, and get to know each other! Are we getting to the point where our lips fail to move, and our fingers do our talking for us? Does this mean that once the cell battery goes dead that the date is over?

I can say one thing for sure, and that is I am glad that I was born and raised back in the days where human beings actually spoke to one another! I hate texting, and will only do it if I have to. Just saying…


Facebook request!

Facebook originally started out as a method of staying in touch, adding a few family pictures, and maybe having a chat with friends you haven’t seen in a long time. What it has become is quite the opposite.

Nowadays Facebook is a means for bullies to go worldwide. Facebook is a way to show just how drunk a person can get while their friends take pictures of them. Facebook is also a way to gossip about others so you don’t have to look them in the face afterwards. Below is a list of dont’s for facebook users. Please read and heed.

  1. For the love of God, don’t post pictures of your half naked wife. You may be turned on by those pictures, but there is something about a 64 year old woman half naked that doesn’t exactly stir up the same emotions with your ‘friends’ as they do for you.
  2. While on the naked picture routine, also refrain from posting almost naked pictures of yourself. You aren’t exactly Mr. Universe, and those gigantic hanging ‘moobs’ (man boobs) are definitely not sexy.
  3. Pictures of your dog fornicating are not tasteful, nor are they funny. Give your dog some privacy and show a little respect….and for the love of God, separate those two, there is just something not right with the mating of a Great Dane and a Chihuahua…talk about rape.
  4. This one is for all the under-aged drinkers out there. Taking pictures of yourself while drinking beer and other liquor and then posting them on Facebook is a good way to get caught. Get a brain! Another note here. If you are a professional (lawyer, judge, social worker, school teacher…Minister…the list goes on), please refrain from posting pictures of you intoxicated and drinking. You are in a position of power and respect, and this will do nothing other than help you lose respect.
  5. Same goes for drug users. If you want to spend your early thirties in a jail cell with a 400 lb man named Bubba who has a passion for new meat, that is up to you; if not, don’t post pictures of yourself snorting cocaine or smoking a joint. Cops do use facebook you know.
  6. For those who post status messages about everything from the fact that they just took a piss to their opinion on your haircut, nobody wants to know. I seen one missus whose FB status changed from “experiencing pain in the groin” to “feeling better since I peed”…too much information guys. Please!
  7. Nowadays it is all the rage to join Classified facebook pages. This is where people sell items usually left for garage sales. Some even try to sell cars. This is becoming an issue when ‘car experts’ who have no knowledge about cars and also have no money take the time to comment on the ads, stating how those items are not really worth the money. If you don’t want to buy the item, shut the hell up.
  8. Posting pictures of your last vacation in Cancun can be both tasteful and not so tasteful. A picture of you and your hubby walking on a beach is okay, but a picture of you squeezing into a bikini so small that it virtually disappears once you put it on leaves a little too much to the imagination….and also helps bring up yesterday’s supper at the same time.  You are not 17 anymore,and this proves it. Just as spandex should have a weight and age limit, so do those tiny string bikinis.
  9. Using vulgar language in your status messages will get you kicked off my friend’s list. I don’t care if you think using the ‘F’ word is funny, many kids are around when I have facebook up, and I don’t want them learning anything they haven’t already heard on the school bus.
  10. Uncle Fred, I know you love playing those little games on Facebook, but for the love of all that is holy, stop sending me requests. I don’t have time to play pin the tail on the president, nor do I think that farming games are fun.
  11. Finally, Please, (I am begging you here), Don’t find old embarrassing pictures of me from high school and tag them so that the whole world sees them. No permission should mean no permission. While you are at it, please refrain from taking pictures of me (and other people) without their permission and displaying them on facebook. This should be illegal.

Things you wished your doctor to say

Why is it that whenever we visit our doctors, they never tell us good news? Back in the day, my aunt visited her doctor. She explained how she had eight kids, and she was always stressed. The doctor wrote out a prescription for cigarettes. That’s right, he told her to smoke, because everyone knows (in the 1960’s anyway) that smoking helps stress…doesn’t it?

I had a similar experience a few years back when my doctor (we shall call him that) noticed that my cholesterol was up, and after trying various types of medication and failing, he suggested that I drink a beer a day. He even wrote it on a prescription. I didn’t know whether to get the ‘script filled at the drugstore or the liquor store. The pharmacist on duty made a copy of the prescription and posted it on his wall. He also sent it in to some pharmacist magazine and won a prize for the worst prescription in Canada. Go figure. And where was my share of the prize? And where was my beer? He just laughed and refused to give me free beer.

So now, without further adieu, is my list of things that I wish my doctor would say to me on my next visit.

  1. Sir, it appears that your body is lacking bacon. Please eat as much fried bacon as you can before your next visit.
  2. That beer gut is looking good. Studies have shown that men with beer guts far outlive those with six pack abs.
  3. I think you are doing far too much exercise. Take it easy, sit back, and have a few now and then, its good for your heart to relieve stress, and I believe exercise is giving you stress.
  4. Don’t like veggies? French Fries are potatoes you know, and fried or baked, they are still healthy. While you are at it, throw some gravy over them, makes them digest better.
  5. Blood-work? No need, we have all that info on your file.
  6. Pee in a bottle? No worry, we have lots from your last visit.
  7. Work causing you stress? Here is a note for four days off work to recover. Make copies, isn’t your health worth it?
  8. Your blood pressure is up. Good news is that studies show that high blood pressure is a sign of a person in excellent shape. Go on, eat all the salty food you want, it will only make you healthy.
  9. Hamburgers and hot dogs are an excellent source of red meat. To ensure your ticker is working good, make sure you eat lots of the stuff.
  10. As stated above, this one actually happened to me: Since Lipitor and Crestor failed to help your cholesterol drop, try drinking a bottle of beer each day. Hell, have two or three. It is a widely known fact that people in France rarely have cholesterol problems because they drink wine with every meal. (It is also a widely known fact that the chief killer of French people is Cirrhosis of the liver…caused by too much alcohol)

There you have it, a list go ensure a relatively short life and many long boring visits to the local doctor.


Shingles and my mom

My mom began the new year in a quite painful manner.

A few nights ago, she began to feel intense abdominal pain. The pain was so bad that dad rushed her to the hospital, in fear that she was taking a heart attack. Our medical services here on the island are so poor that she had to wait six hours before being examined. If it was a heart attack, she would have died in the waiting room. When she finally got to see the doctor, he was very rude and totally hard to understand. The doctor was an east indian who had little concern for my mom. The nurse who worked with him had to translate for him, and he told my mother that she was wasting his time because all she had was a pulled muscle. He attempted to prescribe VERY strong pain killers, but my mom told him that she would not take those tablets, and would deal with the pain herself. My mom is a very strong woman.

Over the next few days, mom suffered from the pain, and upon examining herself in the mirror, she discovered a very painful rash developing where the pain was. She realized that she had the same painful rash her mother had many years ago, a rash linked to chicken pox, Shingles.

Upon realizing this, she once again visited the doctor to see if her diagnosis was correct. This time she waited seven hours in the waiting room, and finally got to see a doctor. This time the doctor was again from east india, but this time he seemed more courteous than the last ‘doctor’. He said that she was correct and that it was indeed shingles. Mom asked if there was anything he could do for her, and he prescribed some medication (these guys prescribe narcotics at the drop of a hat). When she asked about the medication, he said it was very strong and would help with the pain. She instructed the doctor that her son was a pharmacist, and that she would check with him first. At that, the doctor tore up the prescription and wrote her one for a medication designed particularly for shingles. When she asked if she was contagious, he said he didn’t know, and left the room. Talk about professionalism!

She is home now, the rash has since moved around her body, a painful band of red swollen skin. The medication helps a little, as does the Tylenol that she takes every four hours. There is no cure for Shingles, only time. The research she did online told her that once a person has chicken pox, they are open to contracting Shingles. Apparently if a person who has not had chicken pox in their lives can contract the disease, but if they never had the disease, then they wont catch Shingles from another person. Strange disease that can now be controlled in small children. There is a vaccination available for kids under ten. For now I sincerely hope my mom a quick recovery, I hate seeing her like this.