Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Pause Ponder and Pun # 127

Bonus points to anyone who works a song by The Searchers into their caption this week.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Truly Taxing Tale

Twelve years ago, I moved across the river from Ottawa, Ontario to Aylmer, Quebec. It was an affair of the heart. I gave up living in an anglophone environment and settled into life as the partner, and later spouse, of a lovely francophone.

A lot of things are cheaper on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Housing prices, gas, beer. You know. The essentials.

The one thing that's not cheaper are taxes. And it's not enough I get taxed at a higher rate in this province but now the Quebec Revenue agency wants even more of my money.

The tax filing deadline in Quebec is the same as it is federally in Canada: April 30.

But in mid-March I received correspondence from Revenue Quebec telling me that based on past years' claims, I would owe enough in taxes to be able to pay in instalments. The letter then went on to tell me the first instalment was now due.

I think Revenue Quebec has found a novel way to pay the construction bill 
for their lovely looking headquarters. Look, ironically it's made of gold!

Excuse me? I haven't even determined my total taxes, nor filed my return and you want my first payment? Forget that. That'd be like claiming a royalty on a song you hadn't written yet. (Hey, good analogy!)

Thinking this was an option, I ignored the letter. I really preferred to pay a lump sum once I knew how much I owed.

I filed my taxes through my accountant electronically.

Then Revenue Quebec sent me a confirmation letter with a slight addition. They were charging me interest on the instalment I hadn't paid before filing my taxes.

Reluctantly I paid my taxes, with interest, at my bank.

When the teller asked how she might help me I said "I'd like to pay my taxes." It was a lie. I wasn't liking paying my taxes one bit.

End of story?

You knew better.

Last week I received a phone call from Revenue Quebec. Seems I hadn't paid my 2008 taxes. Excuse me? Of course I had. Not according to their records.

Well, according to my records I had, I found reference to the payment, and the date of the payment in an old cheque book ledger. Ha!

Yesterday I received 2 letters from Revenue Quebec on the same day.

The first confirmed I owed $0 on my 2008 taxes.

The second one told me a $98 processing fee had been added to my tax debt.

I now have a serious purple bruise in the middle of my forehead.

Monday, 28 May 2012

I'm Just a Guy Who Can't Say No

What the hell is wrong with me?

I seem to have this huge fault.

Every time somebody asks me if I'd like to do something, I'm far too nice to say no.

I freely give to charity because I feel sorry for the people who knock on my door for the liver society.

I agree to be a table captain for a breakfast fundraiser for a local hospital foundation.

In April I agreed to participate in a 30 Days of Photos exercise because I thought it would be fun, little realizing I'd pull my hair out over trying to come up with many of the 30 day prompts.

And now...

And now...

Aw, geez, so I visit Nicky over at We Work For Cheese and I read her latest post entitled "The Post You'll Wish You Never Read". She's decided to run a 30 Days of Writing competition. Gee, I wonder where she got the idea for that.  Except, we're not talking pictures here. We're talking words - lots of them. A post a day for 30 days. And I, um, got carried away and in the heat of the moment agreed to participate. Hell, I'll soon be bald at this rate. 30 posts in 30 days. I must be freakin' nuts.

Here's her fraken' fiendish list of preposterous prompts for the 30 days of June:

Day 1: Cheese
Day 2: A roadblock
Day 3: They played my song
Day 4: Behind the wheel
Day 5: Spiders
Day 6: Pressure
Day 7: Excess
Day 8: Best friend
Day 9: Magic carpet
Day 10: The babysitter
Day 11: A sense of accomplishment
Day 12: In the kitchen
Day 13: The other one
Day 14: The short hairs
Day 15: First place
Day 16: Hanging out in the cemetery
Day 17: The awkwardness of the common banana
Day 18: Setting sail
Day 19: Camels
Day 20: Going solo
Day 21: Favors I’d ask of Satan
Day 22: Like there’s no tomorrow
Day 23: Stiletto heels
Day 24: Roast or toast another blogger
Day 25: Worst Christmas ever
Day 26: An intervention
Day 27: Side of the road
Day 28: The turning point
Day 29: Breaking the rules
Day 30: It could have been worse

Ha, that last prompt. You think so? We'll see.

So, beginning June 1, I'll be participating in 30 Days of Writing with a bunch of internet imbeciles who, like me, just couldn't say no.

Because I'll undertake this on my main blog, we'll flip Pause Ponder and Pun, which runs Wednesdays and Saturdays and Sunday Funnies, which runs, uh, duh, Sundays, to dufus daze. Don't worry. I'll give you the link on those days as needed.

So tune in Friday for my first in a series of 30 Days of Insanity Writing.

And wish me well.

Because I'm sick. I'm very, very sick.

I must be.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Pause Ponder and Preposterous Past-times

Well you guys lobbed this one around awhile until the net result became evident. Let's see who scored this week...

Marc Anthony finally found the perfect weapon to slam J-Lo's butt.

Why doesn't he carry a fly swatter like everybody else.

A scene from the film, "Honey I Shrunk Serena Williams."

Our winner this week hit one almost over the line with her caption of...

I bet you can't wait to see the size of his balls.

Well, actually, 00dozo, yes I can. But your caption reminds me of that famous Johnny Carson interview with Arnold Palmer's wife in which he asked her if there was anything special she did before a big match. Mrs. Palmer said, "Yes, I kiss his balls." And Carson responded, "I'll bet that straightens his putter."

Anyway, congrats 00dozo. You be hangin' with dufus this week. Way to go. I'd call you and cogratulate you personally but there's so many people applauding here I don't think you'd hear me over this racket. (heh, heh)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot

No I'm not talking about that 1987 song by Buster Poindexter. And I'm not talking about the weather, although it was a sultry low 30s C for our Victoria Day long weekend last week. That's around 86 to 88 or so for you Farenheit freaks. No I'm talking about...


...Lauren Odes from Twin Peaks, New York. Just kidding about the Twin Peaks. Well, sort of. Twenty-nine year old Ms. Odes it seems got fired from her job for, according to her employers, dressing too provocatively. Guess where she worked? In a lingerie store. Yeah. Go figure. If there's anywhere dressing provocatively might  improve sales it's probably at a lingerie store. But here's the catch. Her employers, who run a place called Native Intimates, are Orthodox Jews and they fired Lauren for "being too hot".

Well, Lauren's not sitting still for that. She's hired celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. You know, the one with a stable of John Travolta masseurs who complained about the devout Scientologist's touchy-feely approach with them? Yeah, that one.

Now, for me, the odd thing about this story is Orthodox Jews selling flimsy lingerie. You know, skimpy thongs with little red hearts in the crotch and the like. That sounds a tad unorthodox.

The other odd thing is Gloria Allred seems to be on a sex case streak lately. First touchy-feely Travolta and now the lookie-leery former bosses of Odes.

Anyway, Allred has filed a gender and religious discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New York. 

Says Odes: "We should not be judged by the size of our breasts or the shape of our body."

I guess we'll just have to see if Allred can "rack" up a victory here.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Pause Ponder and Pun #126

The secret to Rafael Nadal's success on the courts? His father told him to "walk softly and carry a big racquet".

Okay, that's my take.

What's yours?

I'd "love" to hear it.

Let's see if you can "match" mine.

I won't "string" you guys along any longer than necessary.

See you Saturday with the results.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Memories of C.B.

When I was a kid I had a grandfather everyone called C.B. The "C" stood for Clarence. I don't know what the "B" stood for. I have only pleasant memories of the man. After all it was a long time ago. He was married to my mother's mom. And he wasn't my mom's paternal father. He married my grandmother, Rita, after my mom's dad had passed away.

C.B. used to babysit me. We lived in the suburb of Scarborough. Both my mom and dad worked in downtown Toronto. On our street the houses were mostly all the same. "Strawberry boxes" I remember my dad saying in reference to the squat look of the three-bedroom bungalows that lined the street. A street we used to play in year round since there wasn't a whole lot of traffic. We played baseball in the summer using the sewer lid as home plate and garbage pail tops and somebody's jacket for bases. And of course we played hockey in the winter but we used a tennis ball instead of a puck. It hurt less when you got hit with it.

And in the winter I recall helping our neighbour Mr. Painter shovel his driveway. He had a home-made plow made of wood that he used to push the snow. My contribution was to sit on the plow end to provide the weight necessary to not leave any snow behind.

In the midst of this erstwhile activity, for which I did not get paid, C.B. called me from the front door to tell me he'd made me a Japanese Wing-ding for lunch. A what? I'd never heard of such a thing. So I traipsed down the sidewalk to our front door, removed my snowsuit, scarf, mitts and boots and sat myself at the kitchen table.

Turns out a Japanese Wing-ding was a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I'd never had such a concoction before but it was the best sandwich I'd ever had.

I remember thinking: Geez, I think the Japanese are on to something. C.B. sure was.!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Pause Ponder and Pipsqueak Pint Swillers

Welcome to the results post of our quasquicentennial Pause Ponder and Pun pic.

Yeah, that's right.

Quasquicentennial (trying saying that five times fast) means 125. That means we've been posting weird and wonderful pics for you to caption for 125 weeks. That's roughly 2 and a quarter years. Imagine that!

You guys have never disappointed. Every week, no matter how silly the picture, you folks come through with the most imaginative captions on the interwebs. And this week is no different.

After a tough day of potty training, it's always good to kick back and relax with a cold one.

"Hmm. I wonder what we'll look like after our quasquicentennial beer."

"What is this swill? I asked for micro-brew."

Our winner took a somewhat quirky approach to this week's pic with the following caption:

Kanye and Kim Kardashian: the early years.

"Quirky" get it? Ha, ha, Quirky took a quirky approach. Who woulda thunk? Quirks, my dear, you be hangin' with your pal dufus! Okay! Congratulations.

We can get together and swap cancer tales. Nah, that'd be too boring. How about I get the whole set of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and we can do a little marathon reality TV watching?

Maybe cancer tales might be more exciting, eh?

Anyway, congrats to Miss Quirks and thanks to everyone else for dropping by and playing this week. See you Wednesday for the next edition of Pause Ponder and Pun.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Taking Care of Lil' Man

I don't usually do book reviews. I read books and sometimes I like 'em and sometimes I don't. Then I move on to the next one. But blogging buddy Jeremy Bell from We Took the Bait, recently asked me if I'd read and review his book. And in a moment of weakness, I said yes.

Jeremy and his wife Jessica became new and foster parents last summer. And they took time off from their blog to raise the new addition to their family. Jeremy even wrote about the experience. And the result is the humorous Taking Care of Lil' Man.

In a series of funny vignettes and accompanying drawings by Dennis Cobourn one gets a quick idea of how challenging, yet rewarding Jeremy's experience as a new dad has been. For example, let me share one of my favourite vignettes by means of illustration:

Day 10 -- We were driving along with Lil' Man, and came to a stoplight 
facing a gas station displaying the time and temperature on digital readout. 
96 degrees. From the backseat we heard the sound of wind breaking, 
followed by a burst of giggles. Looked up at the temperature readout. 97 degrees. 
Way to destroy the ozone layer, Big Guy...

Funny, how in a series of short, succinct and funny vignettes we get an excellent idea of how Jeremy's life has changed after having a two year-old thrown at him. Well, not literally. That'd be cruel and probably grounds for charges being brought against him.

Another vignette I really like, goes like this:

Day Twenty-three -- Part of my breakfast this morning was a 
Boston cream doughnut with all the chocolate frosting strategically removed 
and replaced with Lil' Man saliva. 
All in all not bad... Though I'd have preferred chocolate.

Jeremy must have listened to his mother growing up when she said "waste not want not".

This little gem is a great quick read. It's quite funny the way Jeremy lets us in on his world and his new adventure with an adopted son. I can't wait for volume two when the little guy can talk! 

So, Jeremy, I enjoyed your book. You made me laugh at your predicaments. And if others want a good snicker at your expense they should hunt down your collection of vignettes where it's exclusively available at 

This is not a paid endorsement.


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Pause Ponder and Pun #125


Wow it's our quasquicentennial.

Did you know we're well into our third year of Pause Ponder and Pun?

Who knew there were that many caption-able pictures on the internet?

You guys did. You've been leaving captions for over two years now.

This calls for a celebration.

Pass me a Beck's little buddy.

I hope you and your friend are drinking the non-alcoholic variety.

Be a shame to waste that stuff on little kids.

Leave your captions in the comments and we'll see you Saturday.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Shhhh...It's The News

There's so much going on in the world, so much news to wade through, before you get to the really important stuff.

Like, hell, Dick Clark died. Sad to say we've seen the last of his balls drop at New Year's. And Newsweek has crowned Obama "America's Gay President" for finally coming out in support of equal marriage. I personally have nothing against gay marriage. Why shouldn't they suffer like the rest of us.

Anyhoo, after reading stuff like this last week I eventually came across a real news story. Uh-huh. The headline went something like this:

"Dinosaur burps and farts may have caused global warming"

Well that explains a lot! For one thing it gives new meaning to that scorched earth theory people are always talking about.

And it may help explain why dinosaurs are not only extinct but ex-stink.

Researchers at Liverpool's John Moores University say some giant dinosaurs would have undoubtedly suffered from gas after eating a diet of leafy plants, and that could have warmed the earth. I guess they didn't have beer and tacos back then. I've been known to warm the earth significantly in my time.

Experts suggest these prehistoric poopers may have emitted upwards of 520 million tons of methane emissions a year. Wow. They've sure got me beat.

Now think for a minute just what this means. Picture if you will an albertosaurus and cryolophosaurus sitting around at the local tavern after work one day, shooting the shit (as it were), having a draft or two and deciding to have a blue angel contest. Could you imagine the devastation from lighting just one dino fart?  There'd be no dino bar left to go back to, that's for sure. Man, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near those two.

But I bet it worked out great for cavemen. Sure. You know how we all say "The dog farted"? Well when cavewomen went "Eww, uhg, who fart in cave?" then cavemen everywhere could say, "Uhg, was Tyrannosaurus Rex".

I read another story last week. Some 23 year old guy in Nebraska legally changed his name to Tyrannosaurus Rex. Really. True Story.

At least now when he stinks up a room he has an excuse. "Hey, I can't help it. I'm a T-Rex!"
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