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Showing posts from June, 2012

30 Days of Writing - #30 - It Could Have Been Worse

Our little 30 day extravaganza of posting a piece a day kind of wore me out. I feel like I've been through the wringer.

But I suppose it could have been worse.

I would have been really pressed, for instance, to partake in a 30 Days of The Wringer exercise.

What about Cheesy Mike's idea for 30 Days of Cats?

Me, I'd have to draw the line at that. Or the feline, I guess.

Or what if we had to write about horses for 30 days? I don't know if I could rein that topic in.

Or movies, or TV shows? I guess I'd have to screen my content before I posted those stories.

Or post pictures of rubenesque models. Ha! Fat chance!

I might see my way clear to write a post about Nicky a day for 30 days. There's lots that's very interesting about her. Like how she doesn't make fun of her family on her blog. Or her stiletto heel collection.

And speaking of Nicky, I'm sure she'd be able to cover 30 Days of Cheese. If she worked it right.

I could do Cheese-Whiz and Cheetos…

30 Days of Writing - #29 - Breaking the Rules

I'm not really sure what dear Nicky thought Perhaps that we were fools But a core group of dedicated bloggers Sharpened their writing  tools.
And on June the 1st we launched ourselves Into an exercise like mules We dragged our words upon our backs Yet some posts shone like jewels.
We visited each others blogs Left comments, many cool Some were funny, others serious But none of them were cruel.
Some bloggers actually stuck it out Though some days it felt like gruel And often there were occasions When posting became a duel.
Like the time we roasted other bloggers Some writers were quite fuelled To toast and roast their counterparts T'was like being in high school.
And now there's one more day to go Our eyes tear up like pools But it certainly will be interesting  To see just who broke the rules.
I confess, I didn't break the rules. See if anyone owns up to such a transgression by clicking the link thingy over at We Work For Cheese. And we'll see you all tomorrow for …

30 Days of Writing - # 28 - The Turning Point

Twenty-eight days already? Geez, it seems like only forty. And this is my turning point. Sure, sure, I'll close out our little writing challenge with two more posts. But in my mind I have been coming to a turning point. And today is it.


Funny today's theme is "turning point", too. Coincidence?

Anyway, during the last 28 days I've written humorous posts, serious posts, pieces about my childhood, poetry, limericks - the list goes on and on.

In my personal life I've had turning points like returning to college after university, changes in jobs, changes in wives, births of children, deaths, a diagnosis of cancer and that list goes on and on too.

We all have turning points. Some are minor, some are major.

You can bet if I miss a turning point on the highway, it's major. Mrs. D sure lets me know about it.


Cheesy Mike's apparently experienced a major turning point. He got a kitten a little while ago and launched a blog about cats. Imagine! A cat blog. I wond…

30 Days of Writing - #27 - Side Of The Road

Monday night this week my wife and I, her son and a friend of his crossed over to Ontario and headed out to Kanata on the outskirts of Ottawa where on the side of Highway 417 sits Scotiabank Place. The arena is home to the Ottawa Senators of the NHL. But this night, with hockey over and the Senators long since on the golf course, the hockey barn was home to a touring rock and roll act.

For over 2 years now, former Pink Floyd member (remember them?) Roger Waters has been on tour performing his 1979 double album "The Wall". Monday night, after travelling through here last year, Waters stopped for another performance. And what a show. I'll remember this one for a long time.


He was backed by an incredible band, including G.E. Smith the former Saturday Night Live band leader in the late 80s and early 90s. But the star of the show, apart from Waters, had to be lead guitarist Dave Kilminster who plays all of original Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's parts. With your eye…

30 Days of Writing - #26 - An Intervention

Yellow is mellow Brown goes down
This relaxed approach to toilet etiquette more or less defines my laid-back week at Lake Temagami's Loon Lodge last week. The lodge is on an island, so to save water the rule is to only flush when there's a major development in the toilet bowl.

After two weeks of 30 Days of Writing I gave myself an intervention. Yep, that's right. I stepped in, dashed off a third week's worth of posts, post-dated them to run each day I was away, tore myself away from my computer and a buddy and I drove 500 kilometres north to Temagami, Ontario to sit back, relax, crack open a couple of cold ones and fish.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon. I'd already golfed in the morning and brunched with my kids and grandkids. Then I picked up my buddy and off we headed for a four hour drive to Temagami. After dinner we caught a species unique to the region - a couple of Corona.



Monday we headed into town to do some shopping. We needed groceries. Man cannot live on b…

30 Days of Writing - #25 - Worst Christmas Ever

Two years ago I wrote about the worst Christmas present ever. Some of you may have seen it then as part of a Tribal BlogsBlog Carnival. If you didn't, or can't recall it, sit back, relax and enjoy this little reprise.




Remember Ralphie in the movie A Christmas Story? His Aunt Clara sent him a bunny costume. Yeah, it sure sucked to be him.

Hey sometimes Christmas doesn't work out for some of us. Look at my grandsons last Christmas. Things went from this...
...to this...

Heh, heh. That's one picture my daughter doesn't want to share too widely. So keep quiet about it, okay?
When I was a kid, Christmas was such a special time. The snow outside, the tree, the lights, the food, visiting relatives and neighbours. And of course the presents.
My own kids loved Christmas too and would pore through the Sears Wish Book Catalogue as soon as it arrived in the mail, dog-earing pages upon pages of pictures of gifts they wanted for Christmas.
And they were pretty lucky. They usuall…

30 Days of Writing - #24 - Roast or Toast Another Blogger

There once was a girl named Nicky Who a bunch of bloggers thought was a sicky She coerced us to write 30 days was our plight In her honour I eat something sticky.

Nicky, of course, Works For Cheese. So a "toasted" grilled cheese sandwich is an apt response to today's prompt. Hit up the links on her blog to see how the remaining cheese lovers reacted to today's prompt.

30 Days of Writing - #23 - Stiletto Heels

Stiletto heels?

What do I know about stiletto heels?

They're for women. Sure.

And perhaps transvestites who want to impress.

But guys?

No they're not for guys.

Unless beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And guys admire girls who wear stiletto heels.

But who looks at women's feet?

Not me.

For me there are other things to admire.

Way above the feet.

I'm no heel.

Indeed, I've been told I'm a real sole mate.

And if a woman needs a lift.

I'm happy to pump her with compliments.

Or slipper a gift.

Like a pair of stiletto heels.


See what heels the other participants are over at We Work For Cheese. That's Nicky's blog, our Queen of heels.

30 Days of Writing - #22 - Like There's No Tomorrow

What would I want to do today if there was no tomorrow?

Good question!

There's an expression "dance like there's no tomorrow".

I could do that. But then I'd be awfully tired.

I can't dance.

I don't dance.

I have to drink a bit before I can dance.

Like there's no tomorrow.

I'm okay.

As long as I don't drink like there's no tomorrow.


Now dash like there's no tomorrow over to We Work For Cheese and check out the link love Nicky's got going over there.

30 Days of Writing - #21 - Favours I'd Ask of Satan

In no particular order:

That there be no such thing as  high cholesterol.

That I could drink as much as I wanted without a hangover.

That I'd win the lottery.

That I could sing in a supergroup featuring Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Eric Clapton.

That I could sing.

That my wife let me buy madras shorts to golf in.


Head on over to We Work For Cheese to see what the rest of those yahoos would ask of Satan.

30 Days of Writing - #20 - Going Solo

Here's a bit of a twist. My response to today's prompt of "going solo" is actually about a solo going in partnership.



Yeah, when I saw the prompt, I immediately thought of Napoleon Solo. Remember him? I'm probably showing my age here but Napoleon Solo was one half of the television team known as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. U.N.C.L.E. was an American television series that ran for 4 years on NBC in the mid-60s. I remember watching it. It was a serious - more or less- counter-balance to the not-so-serious Get Smart which I also watched without fail.

Solo was the character portrayed by Robert Vaughn. The series initially was to be built around him and was developed by Ian Fleming. Yeah, that Ian Fleming. The man responsible for James Bond.

Turns out, though, that a scene featuring a Russian agent named Ilya Kuryakin went over well with viewers and so the two were paired and the rest is history. Kuryakin was portrayed by David McCallum who, these days, portrays "Duc…

30 Days of Writing - #19 - Camels

One hump or two?

I always wanted to say that. With today's prompt I get the chance.

It's the only camel joke I know.

I sat on a camel once. It was Tel Aviv in the mid 80s. I was a parliamentary journalist at the time and somehow got myself invited along with a bunch of travel writers on a whirlwind tour or Israel.

Marvellous country. I got to float in the Dead Sea, melt in the heat of Masada, visit the birthplace of Christ, walk the way of the cross and, best of all, sit on a camel.

The camels were there largely for a photo op.

"Get your picture on a camel."

And I got some great pictures, although I have no idea where they are these days.

I had a cheap little Kodak instamatic camera, as I recall. A point and shoot. No zoom.

So I had to get in close to get a good picture of this camel.

But this camel didn't like me getting in close and let me know it.

In the blink of an eye my eye was covered in camel spit.

Yep, this dromedary drooled all over my face.

It was a p…

30 Days of Writing - #18 - Setting Sail

Set sail? Set sail? C'mon, who ever came up with that prompt? I don't even own a boat. How could I set sail?

The closest I've come to setting sail is going fishing. And in 2009 I wrote a piece about it called Fishin' Buddies.

And it goes like this...


For about 8 years now several of us have been hitting Lake Temagami in northern Ontario for a week of fishing in late June/early July as soon as bass season opens. The characters change a bit from year to year: another friend, a brother or two but the two mainstays have been me and my buddy Pierre. Some years we catch a ton of fish and others very few. But at the end of the day the beer's always cold and they have to carry you away from the dinner table 'cause the home-cooked meals at the lodge are to die for.


Temagami is about an hour north of North Bay and for us about 6 hours from Ottawa. The first year I ventured forth I didn't know a bass from my ass, had to get Pierre to worm my hook and if I caught a fish…

30 Days of Writing - #17 - The Awkwardness of the Common Banana

So we're more than half way through our little romp
Of 30 days of whacky word prompts
Today, however, dear Nicky's a real brute
As she prompts us with a type of fruit.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Or at least that's what some people say
And oranges are like sunshine said Anita Bryant
And I drink orange juice as my eggs I fryant.

Kiwi is cute don't you think?
And I'll eat a strawberry in a blink
Grapes, cherries - they're great too
They all make you regular, they really do.

But there's a fruit for which I feel sad
Particularly on this day that honours Dad
Though that has nothing to do with how I feel
Although like a certain fruit it holds a lot of appeal.

See I like bananas. I like them a bunch.
Sometimes in a peanut butter sandwich, I'll have one for lunch.
And as I sit here today relaxing, listening to Santana
I wonder who ever came up with such a silly prompt as "the awkwardness of the common banana"!


Okay, now that we got through th…

30 Days of Writing - #16 - Hanging Out In The Cemetery

I'm going to warn you right now. This isn't going to be much of a humorous post. When I first saw today's prompt I got a bit of a lump in my throat. And I wondered if I'd really be able to bring myself to write what I'm about to share with you. I don't talk about it much. But I live with the memories of death every day. So you see, I don't hang out much at cemeteries. Too many bad memories.

My Dad died at 55, after his third and fatal heart attack, and my Mom a little over a decade later at 66 of kidney problems. Her last years on dialysis weren't fun. My former mother-in-law died one day apart from my mom. That was a fun week. My sister-in-law died of cancer a couple of years back, too. That was a big loss to our family. Because she was so full of life, right up to the end. And Mrs. D's Dad died at the outset of our relationship, 12 years ago. A very difficult time for her and her family. But worst of all, for me, was the loss of my eldest son 20 y…

30 Days of Writing - #15 - First Place

With today's prompt we're half-way through this infernal blah-de-blah, blah, blah. And there are other bloggers blah, blah-de, blah, blah. Yak, yak, yak @ We for For Cheese where Nicky is yakety, yack, not talking back. (I hope.)

Nicky and I go back a couple of years. We were members of Tribal Blogs before Jenn and the girls over there went all commercial on our asses. Jenn, blogs for money. As Jerry Seinfeld would say "Not that there's anything wrong with that." But I know I sure don't blog for money, although if you want to send me some I can give you my address. And I don't think Nicky does either. Hell, neither of us can afford a blog makeover. Isn't it obvious? But Tribal Blogs just isn't average Joe blog-friendly any more. Hell, they even hid their forum so their new serious corporate customers couldn't read my punny  comments.

Now last year, guess what?  Tribal Blogs had a Blog Make-Over Contest. During the competition Nicky and I engag…