Friday, November 25, 2011

Mook of the Week

I had to go to Sobey's today to pick up a few things. The parking lot was half full but that never bothers me. I always park at the back and walk up. Less mooks around there. Usually. That was when I first noticed this mook.Yes, all the empty parking spots around and this asshole has to take up 2 spots. What a fucking mook.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Father

This post is something I wrote a several months ago. I often write things and never post them or share them. It is cathartic to me just to put what I am feeling into words. Often it just lets me put things into perspective or get them off my chest. I can't recall the number of emails, posts, etc that I wrote and never shared.

You will see it mentioned below but it bears repeating, or would that be pre-repeating? I don't like airing some aspects of my life. Yet I saved this. And revised it. And saved it again. And forgot about it. And remembered it. And re-revised it. And ignored it. And forgot it. And remembered it. Ok, enough, you get the idea. It goes against the grain but I am going to post this.


As I mentioned in another post, I don't like airing some aspects of my life publicly. Even if it something that happened many years ago. Sometimes I do find myself willing to talk about it. As I write this I don't even know if I will post it. Sometimes I like to write things out because it lets me work through them.

I was channel surfing tonight and came upon an episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels. He had gone back to Israeli to meet family (brother and sisters) he didn't know he had and visited his father's grave. He hadn't seen his father since he was about 7 and had a lot of hard feelings because of it.

It made me think of myself and my father. Dad wasn't perfect and god knows I'm not. He had a lot of issues going back to his childhood. It wasn't always easy to get along with him especially the last few years of his life, until the last year. Actually, before that last year, actually 10 months, we almost came to blows a few times.

Dad had cancer. The doctors figured that he must have had it for quite a few years before it was detected. When they found it they thought they had detected colon cancer early and could nip it in the bud. When they went to operate they opened him up and closed him. He was riddled with cancer. They gave him a month or so to live and he lasted 10 months.

A few years before the cancer was detected he went through a big personality change, for the worse. This caused a lot of problems in our relationship. If it wasn't that he was my father I probably would have taken a swing at him a few times. Odds are he would have kicked my ass but he pushed me to that limit. A lot of words were said between us that usually can't be taken back.

The doctors asked about a personality change in the past. When we mentioned it they seemed to expect it. The cancer was up into his head and he was in pain. Dad was the type of person that believed you never showed your pain. He had a high tolerance, as do I. His must have been phenomenal. The day before he went in for the surgery he used an auger and we put fence posts in. The doctors, based on how much pain he should be in, were astounded that he could do that let alone function. They said the big personality pain was probably due to the pain and the cancer getting into his brain.

I was torn. On the one hand I hated Dad at that point in life. If you think I am angry because of posts I make know I probably would have scared the shit out of you back then. I was fueled by my anger at my father and forgiveness was not something you would find with me. Then I found out that the last years were not all his fault or mine. (I blamed myself at times for the rift that developed with my father even if I couldn't pinpoint what it was I said or did that caused it. I felt guilty for being angry with him and hating him. It hurts to say it but at that point in time I pretty much hated him.)

Then Dad went on the pain meds. In retrospect I would like to think it was BOOM everything is sweetness and light and we all kumbayad and things were normal. Unfortunately, that is not reality. It wasn't as quick and I was still dealing with, and in some ways suppressing, my old feelings. He did change a lot as his pain receded, the old dad that I knew and loved started returning. Maybe facing his mortality had something to do with it too.

In the first couple of weeks, of what we thought would only be 4-6 weeks, Dad and I talked. We started working things out and I did something I didn't think I was capable of. I forgave him for what happened and he did something I didn't think he was capable of, he apologized and forgave me. It wasn't an easy 10 months but we salvaged our relationship.

Seeing Gene Simmons crying at his Father's grave and beating himself up because his anger and pride wouldn't let him reach out to his father hit me hard. Knowing my temper and temparmant at the time that could easily have been me with my father. If we hadn't made up I could quite easily have finished University and cut him out of my life. We made up in time for me to lose him.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Loud Mouthed Cowards

I had a run in today with a type of asshole I haven't seen in a while. The loud mouthed coward.

My mother and I went to SuperStore to pick up a few cases of Kraft Dinner for the food bank. I went ahead to the car carrying a case while she brought the others in a cart. As I was putting the case in the trunk I heard a horn. I looked up and saw Mom just finishing crossing a lane in the middle of the lot and a truck. As I watched the truck passed her and pulled into a parking spot near her.

A portly asshole lumbered out of the truck. He immediately started yelling at my mother. "Why don't you watch where the fuck you are walking!" Of course, I saw red when he talked to my Mother like that. He opened his mouth to say something else and I shouted. "Why don't you watch when you drive."

I recognized his truck from when I was crossing the same lane. He was at the end of it smacking his steering wheel while people crossed. It is a busy lot and he probably had to wait 3-4 times while people crossed. My mother being the 5th. His frustration level at actually having to wait for pedestrians was showing in his face and voice.

"She just walked right out." he said. (And she hadn't. He was a distance from her when she started to cross and he laid on the horn.) He glared at Mom and his mouth started to move.

"You want a fucking problem?" I asked him coldly as I started walking over.

For some funny reason, cowardice, he decided to keep his mouth shut now. I guess being confronted by a 6'3" man in his 40's was too different from confronting a 79 year old 5'4" woman. His bravery vanished. He slinked off across the parking lot keeping his thoughts to himself.

And just here was he going in such an all fire hurry? A bar for lunch. Probably to build his courage back up. Fucking loud mouthed coward.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Steve Jobs - Hypocritical Whiner?

Steve Job's authorized biography is out and selling like I-cakes. While I haven't read it and can't see myself doling out money for it I have heard some of what is in it. The media focused a bit on comments Jobs made about Google.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told Isaacson. "I'm going to destroy Android because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty."

And when Jobs met with the executives at Google to discuss the matter directly, he apparently went even further in expressing his distaste for Android, telling them, "I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want." According to the author, the meeting did little to cool tensions between the two companies.

Wow. Strong words. Strange words too when you consider that a lot of Apple's breakthroughs were based on the tech of others. One article cited how Apple's interface and mouse controller was based on tech designed by Xerox Corp. I can remember seeing bits of OS Warp in Apple's OS, not to mention in Microsoft Windows. Nothing stopped Jobs and Apple from using the ideas of others. It seems hypocritical for him to get so bent out of shape because someone else did the same thing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Speedy Auto Service

I have to give a shout out to Speedy Auto Service on Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth. They have always taken great care of my Mother when she had car problems. Every time they were more than fair in their dealings.

We have had a few problems with the car in the last couple of months. Every time they lived up to their name and provided speedy, and very fair/honest, service.

A couple of days ago the right rear signal light went out. Remembering how impossible it was to get in and replace the front one we just called Speedy. They fit us in the next day. It took maybe 5 minutes at the most for them to fix the problem.

Sadly, I am horrible with names. I am better with faces. The guy behind the counter (I believe he is the owner) let me know the car was ready. He then said "Consider it an early Christmas present. It's on us."

It seems like just a simple gesture but it really touched me. I deal with some of the extremes of society at work and not always in a good way. This helped improve my view of people.

For now. ;)

Scammer 2: Phone Follies Bugaloo

And the assholes that scammed my Mother for her credit card number over a month ago called back last night. This time they totally blocked out their number. It just appeared as 000-000-0000.

The guy calling had the same Indian accent as the last and started the same spiel. He purported to be representing BMO and could lower her credit card interest rate. She immediately hung up. The piece of shit then had the balls to call back and start yelling into the answering machine demanding that she pick up the phone and talk to him.

Unfortunately, I had been called in to work and wasn't there to deal with it. It left her more than a little shaken.

I talked with Eastlink about it today. The girl at Customer Service was helpful. Since the scum are blocking the number call blocking won't work. However, it turns out there is a way to trace a blocked call like that. The information gets sent to the local police to be used if/when you file a complaint. Here are the steps.

1) Answer the call and hang up.
2) Immediately pick up the phone.
3) Listen for the dial tone.
4) Press *57
5) A message should come up confirming that the number was traced and the information logged.
6) Contact your local police and file a complaint.

Next time these assholes call Mom will be prepared if I am not there. Hopefully everything works out and at the least I will be able to find out who they are when a complaint is laid. It could make for an interesting blog post.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

And life goes on.

I finished a bear of a week at work made worse by my back injury. I now look forward to 2 days off and my back starting to feel better. I don't know if I will be able to catch up on all the blog posts from ones that I follow or not. I missed a lot. I will at least try to catch up on the comments here and on WTK.

Grizzly is a damn welcome addition to the family. Even with a bad back I still managed to walk with him. He needs it and so do I. Last Monday he had a "playdate" at Doggy Day Camp aka Camp Bow Wow where Ruger used to go. The staff there loved Ruger and I am sure they will love Grizzly just as much.

My biggest fear was his head sensitivity. The SPCA said he was hit by a car before he ended up with them. One of his teeth was smashed up so badly that they had to remove it. When he first came home with us he was a little head shy. If you went to touch one side of his head he would move away. That has stopped.

However, he does NOT like other dogs jumping at his head. Two dogs did it and he put both of them on the ground, on their backs, quicker than I could react. Which lead me to warn people about his sensitivity. He has met MANY MANY dogs since then and there has been no problem. He spent 2+ hours at Doggy Day Camp with no problems. But when he has met those two dogs, since then, he has been ready to fight and very aggressive. ONLY with those two dogs.

Damn he makes me walk. Which I thank him for every day. Thanks to Grizzly I discovered a Provincial Park, Cole Harbour Heritage Park, that I never even knew existed less than 10 minutes from my door. It is GREAT for walking around.

The next week at work doesn't get crazy until the weekend. Less than 10 hours between shifts at one point. Unless of course I get called in, and I will answer the call.

Take care.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not back yet.

I tried to think of some witty way to work a back injury into the title unfortunately that was the best I can do. Between work and hurting my back last Monday I am not on the computer much right now.

I forgot that when my Mother says "A friend needs help moving some stuff." she really means "A friend needs you to move some stuff." Which I would do either way but it did mean doing it alone and I overdid it. Lifted something heavy the wrong way and I have been paying for it ever since. Sitting hurts more than standing so I was able to go to work.

I am off today for Remembrance Day and resting my back. Work the next two days and then 2 days off. I hope the problem is gone by the end of the 2 days off.

All of this means that my limited time online is even more limited. So I am way out of date reading blogs and posting on my own. I had planned on putting something up for Remembrance Day but just couldn't sit down long enough to write it up.

The weather is bloody horrible here today. Lots of wind and rain. They were calling for up to 100mm of rain.

Take care

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness Day

I am bloody tired. It has been a long week at work. Graveyard shifts, some 10 hour. Yet I had to make a post about something I caught on the news before going to work. Normally I avoid the news, it is just too depressing or stupid. Sometimes both at the same time. I saw a story about Random Acts of Kindness Day and it made me angry.

You have to have a fucking day set aside to do "random" acts of kindness? Planned spontaneity? The whole point of random acts of kindness is that you see someone who needs help and help them for no other reason but the simple fucking fact that they need help.

If you actually set aside a day and plan out what you will do it is NOT a random act of kindness. Hell a lot of what I saw on the "news story" was a bunch of self-serving bullshit. "Ohhhh look at us we did ONE thing on a day set aside to do something. Aren't we nice people? See how nice we are and acknowledge it!"

One website promoting this "special day" posted some ways to perform "random acts of kindness. Here are some of the ones that stuck in my craw.

For Employers:

Treat everyone to coffee and donuts in the morning.
Allow your staff to leave a half hour early on November 4.
Send an e-card to your employees letting them know how much you appreciate them.

Why not let your employees know you value them by TELLING them when they do a good job? Why not organize your office so that year round you support a charity in your community?

For co-workers:

Share your “to die for” chocolate chip cookies with your cubicle mates.
Make a point of thanking a co-worker for their help on a recent project.

Make a point of thanking co-workers for their help? Make a point of sharing? What kind of a fucktard doesn't do that normally? Is common courtesy that uncommon?

For strangers

Purchase a meal for a homeless person. Now that is getting better ... but why only do it one day of the year? Why not make regular donations to a local food bank? Donate to a homeless shelter?

Let someone in front of you on the highway. Isn't that also common courtesy? Wow let 1 person in front of your car on one day of the year and you are a great humanitarian.

All this "special day" really does is allow people an out for not actually doing something to REALLY help others the rest of the year.

My ire was initially raised by the inanity of having a day called "Random Acts of Kindness Day". It then became directed at the whole concept. To me it doesn't really look like a day to do something for others it is more of a day where you can do something to make yourself feel better, look better to others, and then ignore your apathy the rest of the year.

It is the people who selflessly help others any time of the year that need to be recognized. But they won't be for the simple reason that they do NOT do it for the accolades. They do it because they see someone who needs a hand, help out, and do so for no other reason than someone needs help. They do it anonymously just because it is the right thing to do.

Random Acts of Kindness Day my ass. If this is what it takes for people to do something, anything, then they are a bunch of fickle fucktards looking to be noticed.

Now, I sleep.