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Yearly Archives: 2009

Long Train Comin’, Pt. 7


Ya’Row tucked herself into the darkest corner of the caboose as sunlight streamed into the cabin.  During the fight with the bard, she’d let her guard down, only focusing on one target, not realizing that Shani would be close behind.  A report sounded out from Shani’s long barrel Colt, and a lantern fell to the floor, kerosene spilled across the boards and the lighted wick began to hungrily feed off the liquid.  Ya’Row was not only trapped in the corner, but a possible escape route had been cut off, as flames rose up between her and the two elven adventurers.

The flames feed off the kerosene and began using whatever fuel was left, which meant the rest of the flamable structure of the caboose.  Smoke began to billow out of the windows as seats, boxes, drapes, and wood began to light on fire.  Shani grabbed Pania’s arm and began to drag her back to the door, but the elven bard resisted, as she dove for an object just outside of the flames.

During the fight with Ya’Row, Pania managed to cut loose the intricate pendant, sending it flying to the floor.  Not only was this pendant a part of history, but for Pania it held deeper meaning.  A reminder to never give up.

“Git yer britches in order,” Shani spoke in a hurried tone as Pania rejoined her.  “We gotta cut this car loose.”  The pair exited through the door, Pania moving to the doorway of the next car as Shani began working on the clamp that held the caboose in place.

Ya’Row could only watch as flames grew higher.  She watched as Shani’s lithe fingers worked over the mechanism that held the two cars together.  She heard the groan as the clamp was released, and felt the caboose lurch as it now rolled of it’s own free will, but without the forward motion of the engine, the wheels turned slower and slower.  The train in front began to grow smaller and smaller as Ya’Row saw both elves give one last look before moving into the passenger car.

Shani heaved a sigh as she brushed down her long coat.  Pania watched for a moment longer as the caboose burst into flames, fully engulfed now.  The burning car became smaller and smaller, until it was only a brightly burning dot in the distance.  This unexpected adventure was finally over.

“Whaddya think o’ trains now?” Shani said with a small huff as she took out her whiskey flask and downed the remainder of it’s contents.

Pania studied the rose in her hand for a moment before looking up to Shani with a small smile.  “I found it kind o’ enlightenin’.”

*****

St. Paul, Minnesota, October 16, 1863

“I hope you two find what you need ta find,” Carter Stewart stated with a smile.  He removed his stetson and offered a small bow to the two elves as they gathered their belongings and looked over their horses.  “It gives me a good feelin’ ta know that there are those out there willin’ ta face the evil that exists, and try ta put a stop ta it.”

“He… heck, Reverend,” Shani said with a grin as she corrected herself.  “I’m jist glad ta know thet this here world’s got it’s own paladins.”  Carter smiled before wordlessly offering a wave and moving on.  Shani mounted her horse and leaned back in the saddle as she watched Pania finish collecting her things.  “Whaddya figger, maybe a day ‘re two ta find this place thet sent a lich after us?”

“Oh, maybe less time,” Pania replied as she slid into her saddle.  She adjusted her hat for a moment, and took note of the people around her.  Suddenly, she became very interested in one group on horseback.  “Shani,” she said in a quiet whisper.  The elven gunslinger looked in the direction Pania was and sighed heavily.

“We jist can’t git a break, kin we?” Shani huffed as she grabbed the reins and prodded her horse Gipsum into motion.  “Afternoon, Captain Williams,” she called out to the soldiers that sat in their saddles, watching the two elves intently.  “So y’all ready fer a ride?”

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in Black Mask and Pale Rider, Writing

 

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Sask Books: Fight For Justice


“Fight for Justice”
By Lori Saigeon
Published by Lori Saigeon
Review by Ryan Melnyk
$7.95 ISBN: 978-1-55050-405-7

School for a child can be one of the most terrifying places he or she might go. In the case of Justice, the main character of “Fight for Justice”, every corner is one worth worrying about. We all know that school is full of bullies and it is said that if you just mind your own business, no one will bother you. However, the modern bully in an elementary school these days has changed; it is now rare that one will do anything wrong without a group of people to help conceal his or her actions and torment the victim. They also do not resort to physical conflict without reason because they know more trouble will come if the victim had been physically hurt. Even the appearance of bullies today is different; you might think that the biggest kid on the playground is the one who picks on everyone. Bullying today is often mental abuse and even spiritual abuse. Bullies are good at finding kids’ weak points.

Fighting for Justice deals with every kind of bullying children might face in the early years and I recommend it to younger readers for many reasons. The first is that it deals with how to stand up to a bully who is one of those guys or girls no one in their right mind would dare to cross. It also shows young readers why other kids their age act the way they do, and it isn’t hard to realize why that affects their behavior.

The softer side to this story is played through Justice and his family’s Aboriginal background. Justice is very fond of his Mushum and Kokum (grandparents), even more so the reserve in Ontario where they live. Justice acts like a dog who wants to go outside when his mother tells him that his family is going to visit the reserve to see his grandparents. This is like a vacation to Disneyland for Justice and his sister Charity. Justice and Charity are both very outgoing, which makes this book a fast and interesting read that will make young readers (even reluctant ones) want to read more.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in Sask Books

 

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Making the day a little bit brighter


I love getting funny little time wasters in my email, whether it’s at home or at work.  They’re a great way to brighten up a dreary day.  However, this morning I got a good one from a friend of mine, who happens to run his own blog, Paper Hat Pirate.  Pearce has commented on a few posts here, and I did up his banner for him at his blog.  Both of us are amateur writers (with the hope of getting something published).

And yes, we have an idea for a sci-fi serial series that is begging to be told.

The item in question that Pearce sent me was a simple picture, along with a simple comment that spoke volumes.

I don’t usually send these out to people, but it definitely turned the start of a crappy day into something better. The deeper meaning is
that, you should really enjoy the moment you are in. That and bug-eyed marsupials are funny.

This was the picture.

And he’s right, on two counts.  This picture managed to smooth out a hectic day of publishing.  As well, we all need to take time to enjoy the simple things in life.  To stop and smell the roses, as it were.

And yes, bug eyed marsupials are funny.

Until next time…

…keep ‘em flyin’!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2009 in Fun, Life, photos, randomness

 

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Long Train Comin’, Pt. 6


Shani reloaded her pistols as Carter watched the entryway of the engine.  The engineer kept the coals burning as he focused on keeping the train moving as the conductor watched the pair of gunslingers.  The lithe elf took a deep breath and looked to the others for a brief moment.  Pania had been gone a long time, and Shani was starting to worry.

“Panny’s been gone a long time,” Shani mused as she looked to Carter.  His face held it’s stoic nature, but there was concern in his eyes.  “I’m goin’ back ta check on ‘er.”  She holstered her shooting irons and began to walk toward the coal car, stopping only as the conductor began to protest.

“But what about us,” he announced more than asked in a nervous voice.  “I’m no gun fighter.  And no offense to the reverend, but two gun hands are better than one.

Shani looked to Carter with a grin then back to the conductor.  “I figger thet Reverend Stewart here is better ‘n ten gun hands.”

Carter dismissed the comment with a small chuckle, then turned his attention to the task at hand.  “What do you plan on doin’, Miss Shani?  There could be more o’ them thralls in the passenger cars.”

“Inside, sure,” Shani called back as she climbed onto of the coal car.  “Them thet ‘re turned won’t be able ta walk in the sunlight.  I’m hoofin’ it on top o’ the train.  Maybe I kin hear some fightin’ an’ peg where Girly girl’s at.”  She offered a wave of her hand and began to climb onto the car as Carter murmured a silent prayer.  Hopefully, it would be seen fit to grant the righteous the might to put down this evil once and for all.

Shani climbed from car to car, moving slowly so as not to lose her footing.  The train rumbled along the tracks, keeping it’s speed constant as the engineer continued to stoke the fires.  Shani hoped that her treacherous walk would not be met with unneeded peril.  She was not surprised as she saw one of the thralls crawling onto the roof of the first passenger car.

“Ya know,” Shani shouted out as she drew her Colts.  “This’d been a whole lot easier ifn ya jist kept yer butt in the train.  Now ya gotta come up here an’ start yer fussin’, an’ I’m jist gonna have ta kick ya off o’ this here train.”  The thrall only grinned with glee as he began to approach Shani.  She took note of the look in this one’s eyes, nearly vacuous, but holding some intelligence.  Not fully turned, but kept to protect the vampire mistress during the light of day.  “I kin tell y’all ain’t too bright,” Shani huffed as she raised her pistols.

Two reports sounded out, striking the thrall dead centre.  The creature clutched at his chest and fell to his knees as Shani advanced.  “Yer ticket ain’t valid on this here train,” she said as she gave the thrall a boot to the head, and watched as he fell to the ground.  Shani didn’t stop to see if he’d fallen under the wheels or not.  She had a purpose and that was to reach the car that Pania was in.

Shakily, she continued her long walk, unimpeded by any other thrall.  She didn’t need any further interruptions.  As she neared the caboose, she took note of the windows.  These ones were heavily blacked out, but not boarded up.  A good chance that she could shoot the windows out.  As she checked her pistols again, she caught the sound of steel on steel, and a smile formed.  The elven bard had more than once surprised Shani, and now she heard the sounds of a definite duel.  It was time to even the odds.

*****

Pania raised her rapier and parried an incoming blow from Ya’Row’s gladius.  Ya’Row seemed frustrated, anger more than evident in her eyes.  Blow for blow, Pania parried like an expert swordsman, each thrust giving her more and more confidence.  The elven vampire, however, was becoming more and more angry.

“How?” she cried out as she swung out at Pania, only to find the bard’s rapier ready to push aside the assault.  “No one has ever been able to resist my charms!  How is it, a young snipe such as you are able to do so?”

“I’ve go’ talent,” Pania smirked as she moved into her defensive stance.  “I also read me ‘istory.  At one time, I wanted ta be just like ye.  I wanted ta learn how ta be the swordsman tha’ ye’d b’come.  I wanted ta rise in the ranks an’ become tha’ which ye ‘ad.  Fer years, ye were my hero!”

“And now,” Ya’Row responded with a sickening sneer.  “What do you think now?”  She thrust her blade forward, only to find the bard’s rapier easily stopping the attack.  “Now that you know how the magistrates backstabbed me.  They’d only do the same to you!”

“Oh, I’ve no doubt there ‘re them tha’ would b’come jealous,” Pania retorted with a laugh.  “Bu’ the diff’rence is, instead o’ givin’ up, I’d prove ‘em wrong.  It’s all ’bout faith.  An’ in truth, Cassandra, I dunna want ta be you.  I want ta be better ‘n you!”  As though Pania’s remark needed further exclamation, the report of a pistol sounded out, followed quickly by the shattering of glass.  The bard smiled as she knew that Shani wasn’t far, proving her guess correct as she overheard the exuberance of the elven gunslinger as she gave out a few war whoops.  Sunlight streamed into the caboose, forcing Ya’Row back.  Another report from Shani’s pistols shattered another window, and Ya’Row had to retreat further.

“Time ta turn the tides on this here little adventure,” Shani shouted out as she managed to kick in the door to the caboose.  “We got us a vampire ta destroy!”

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2009 in Black Mask and Pale Rider, Writing

 

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Black Mask & Pale Rider: Part Thirty-Five


Shani has a plan to deal with the lich, but it leaves Pania out in the open.

Black Mask & Pale Rider: Part Thirty-Five

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2009 in Black Mask and Pale Rider, Writing

 

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Long Train Comin’, Pt. 5


 

Pania’s eyes adjusted to the light as she muttered an incantation.  A small glowing orb appeared beside her, granting a soft illumination of the darkened caboose.  She saw that the windows had been completely covered, blocking out any light from the outside world.  There were a few artifacts that she knew were not common with any rail cars she’d ever heard of or seen before.  They were too familiar, something that could only be equated with the vampire mistress that stood in the centre of the car.

The smile Ya’Row held as she watched Pania held a great deal of malice.  Against her pale skin and gothic clothing, it gave way to a very sinister look.   Yet, there was one thing that seemed to scream out from Ya’Row’s appearance.  A small splash of colour that came from a pin the vampire wore to hold her cloak in place.  A single scarlet rose.

“I recognize tha’ symbol,” Pania muttered, more to herself than to Ya’Row.  “Those were ‘anded out ta the knights o’ the Order o’ the Scarlet Rose.”

“Quite astute of you, Miss Alow,” Ya’Row replied with a bold voice.  “You’ve taken after your parents quite well.”  She snickered a bit as she saw the incredulous reaction on Pania’s face, and then continued.  “Oh, I know you.  And I know your partner Shani.  When I began to hunt you both, I noticed the wanted posters.  You two have made a name for yourselves on this planet.  In much more a way than I ever could.”

“Bu’ ‘ow…” Pania began, only to be quickly interupted.

“Centuries ago, I knew your parents,” she explained to Pania.  “Even before you and Shani were born.  You see, I was something of their mentors.  They looked up to me.  But then, I had made a name for myself, becoming the first elven female to attain the stature of a knight of the Order of the Scarlet Rose.”

“Cassandra Felegio,” Pania gasped as she recognized the tale.  This knight had been heralded as a champion.  “Bu’ Cassandra fell in battle.  Fightin’ ‘gainst an evil tha’ threatened Terra-Kal.”

“I did, yes,” Ya’Row replied, all the while moving closer to Pania.  “And Terra-Kal was saved, obviously.  But I didn’t fall, so much as rise in power.  You only know a little of the tale, Pania Alow.  You only know what the scholars and historians of the great Stonebridge Library want you to know.  But then, I doubt even they know the full story behind what happened that fateful day over one hundred years ago.”

*****

South of Arcanum Bridge, Season of the Sun, Terra-Kal

The trio of riders brought their horses to a quick stop as they neared the border of the war like Myst Elves.  The three were unmistakable in their armour, brightly coloured with gold and red, each one wearing a scarlet rose pin against their cloaks.  Knights, each on of them, and among them was Cassandra Felegio.  She was an oddity.  The first woman to be elevated to the station of Knight, she commanded respect wherever she went.  There were those who gave her great respect, but there were still those that did nothing to hide their contempt for her.

Both of those factors could have been the reason why the Order of the Scarlet Rose ordered Cassandra and her companions with this most serious of missions.  Reports had come in from farmers along the border that regular attacks had been made.  At first it was believed to be small skirmishes put together by the Myst Elves, but that soon changed as Patrolers began to find the mutilated bodies of young victims.  Consolers were dispatched quickly to deal with the situation, as each victim had been found completely drained of blood.

It meant only one thing; a vampire had risen to terrorize the populace.

This suspicion became confirmed when reports of attacks against Myst Elf communities along the border began.  Similar victims were found, and for a time, an unsteady peace had been forged between the great city of Arcanum Bridge and the Myst Elf strongholds to the south.  It would only be a matter of time before that peace was shattered, either with the death of the vampire, or the continued terrorism of the undead lord.

Cassandra lead her companions through the thick forests to the south of Arcanum Bridge.  If need be, battle mages could be summoned from the school housed within the walls of the city.  Cassandra was confident that only three would be enough to take down this creature.  After all, she had the Shining Lady looking down upon her and offering her blessing.  The further south the trio went, the more the mists began rolling in.  The forming mists were perfect for brigands to attack or even the vile Myst Elves to take down quarry.  But word had come down from the capital that no Myst Elf scouts would attack the roads.  These knights had clear passage, and only a vampire to deal with.

As they pushed on, the air grew still and the very forest grew quiet, as the leaves didn’t even more with the wind.  Something unnatural was in the area, and that meant they were close to their quarry.

“Keep a sharp eye,” Cassandra said in a confident voice to her companions.  She drew her blade as she looked around the forest with her keen eyes.  “Should either of you…” Her words were cut short as one of her companions screamed out as though caught in a trap.  Cassandra and her remaining companion searched the area, but could not find any sign of either their friend or the attacker.  Quickly, the pair dismounted, holding firm to their shield as they brandished long blades.  “Come out, you coward!” Cassandra shouted out to the darkness that surrounded them both.  “Show yourself!”

Her words were answered with a gurgling sound followed by a thud as a body hit the ground.  Her remaining companion now lay dead, but this time, the vampire revealed himself.

“This was all too easy,” he said softly with a voice that seemed to sooth, yet was filled with bile.  “I was hoping for more of a challenge.  At least, that was what I was promised.”  He chuckled lightly as he saw the look on Cassandra’s face, her frame frozen in place by his presence.  “I can see that you are rather confused, so allow me to inform you of what has happened.  Your magistrate doesn’t like you.  As a matter of fact, you claimed the prize that had been sought by his son.  He wants to be rid of you.  So, he came to me with an offer.  I had no idea that I would be travelling across the very cosmos itself to get here and meet you.”

“What are you talking about?” Cassandra forced herself to say.

The vampire chuckled lightly again and began his explanation.  “I’m not an elf.  Even being a vampire, I’m not originally an elf.  I’m … rather, I was a human.”  He waited and watched Cassandra before continuing.  “Your magistrate found a celestial door, as he called it, that brought him to my world.  A tiny blue planet called Earth.  Mind you, where I come from, they are so backwards that they cannot conceive of the wonders of the universe.  Many of them continue to argue whether or not Earth actually is the centre of the universe or not.  I, however, know it is not.  Such was revealed to me when I was turned.”  He studied Cassandra for a long while, gauging her reaction, and spoke once again.  “What your magistrate does not know is what I have planned.  Come with me, Cassandra.  Join me, and return to my world, and I’ll show you wonders you could never imagine.”

Cassandra panted heavily, her heart raced as she willed herself to stay, but fear creeping into her being.  This vampire had just told her that her superiors had ordered her dead.  At least one, with his jealousy, wanted to be rid of her.  “I trust in the Shining Lady.  I shall see you destroyed.”

Again, the vampire chuckled.  “I can hear the fear in your voice.  I can hear your heart race.”  With each word he took a step closer to her until her was only a foot away, his gaze mesmerizing her.  “And I will take that which I want.”  He closed the gap and opened his mouth to feed, his fangs dripping with excitement.

But he did not anticipate the paladin’s next move.

As he began to drink from her, she found her strength and drove her holy blade through his chest.  As he drained her completely of her life blood, the blade destroyed him, as it’s very pure essence ate away at his form.  The damage had been done.  Cassandra lay dead at his feet.  Soon, he would be nothing more than ash.

*****

On board a train bound for St. Paul, Minnesota, October 1863

“The next morning,” Ya’Row said in a whisper.  “I sought out the gates that lead to this world.  I renounced my faith, having felt betrayed by the order.”

“But… ye kept the pin given ta all in the order,” Pania forced herself to say.

“Oh yes,” Ya’Row agreed, suddenly behind Pania, as a cold hand wrapped around her waist.  “I did indeed keep it as a memento of that which had been the true deceiver.  Now, little elf.  Are you ready to taste that which was given to me.”

 

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2009 in Black Mask and Pale Rider, Writing

 

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What could have been


Monday morning rolls around with a heavy cloud.  That’s the way Monday always is, except in summer.  Today, however, is a little heavier, especially after yesterday.

As most who read this blog, I announced on Saturday that the Riders and Alouettes would finish the CFL 2009 Season in Sunday’s Grey Cup.  The game was filled with optimism.  The Riders lead the game for 59:59 minutes.  It looked great when Montreal missed a field goal in the last second, and the crowd and Rider bench celebrated.  They’d won.

But there was a flag on the play.

Saskatchewan was called for too many men on the field, and Montreal’s Damon Duval got a second chance, ten yards closer.  It was shades of 1989, except in some bizzaro nightmarish way, as it wasn’t Dave Ridgeway booting the winning field goal to give the Riders the cup, it was the Als, stealing it from the Green and White.

In a way, I should be happy.  The game was close.  The season for the Riders awesome.  They weren’t supposed to be there, let alone in first place in the west.  Sure there’s disappointment.  But I noticed something in this team.  They mirrored the teams of Lancaster and Reed so many decades ago.  And I believe in my heart that they’ll be back.  Just like Darian Durant said, Saskatchewan will become a place where you HAVE to go to in order to get to the Grey Cup.  I’ve got a feeling that this team will be back again.

Until next time…

…keep ‘em flyin’.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2009 in Sports

 

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Zodi Guide To Surviving Black Friday


As many of you know, I work in retail. I’ve been in retail for 11 years and have seen my fair share of Black Fridays.

Step 1. Resist the urge to do any shopping this day. Once you break a buck, you’ll want to spend more. I don’t care how tempting that Old Navy Fleece for 9 dollars is. Just walk away.

Step 2. Don’t leave your house. Upon doing so you will avoid the throngs of people and crowded places that give even the most social people claustrophobia.

Step 3. Hide under the blankets. Like the boogey man, if it can’t see you, it has to go away.

Now, those of us who unfortunately have to work black friday, if you work anywhere that is retail you will know and understand me when I say “them bitches is crazy.”

Crazy retail shoppers who make maps and have walkies talkies are the ones you can expect to give you trouble at the checkout. You’re best bet to survive these women is to steel yourself against anything they may or may not say. Things like “Are you sure this isn’t 25% off as well,” or my personal favorite is when they forget to say thank you.

I am human, you do not scream at me like I’m your red headed step child in the middle of Kmart. I’m here at my register, missing out on my own sales to make your life easier. If you show up after the coupon expires, that’s not my problem. No I will not give you the kindness of the Christmas Spirit. I am doing my job so I don’t get in trouble.

I had a customer today who screamed and I mean SCREAMED at me because of the fact there was a sign that was wrong. Even as I was in the middle of changing it to the correct price she still continued to berate me, going as low as to call me stupid. My manager was kind enough to escort her from the store when he saw I was in tears. You madam are a c-word.

The next evil customer I had decided to only speak broken English and then scold me for not giving her the best deal, even though I was trying to. Sheesh lady, but it says on the coupon “doorbuster items are not included.” Mangerman stepped in a again to save me. Oh and don’t think you get off the hook of being the pain in the ass customer by apologizing to me for giving me hell.

I hate black friday, more and more each year. Today I only had two customers out of 300 that ripped me a new one for no reason. It’s these two customers that stand out in my mind more than others because they are problem shoppers.

All in all this was probably the easiest of the 7 black fridays I’ve been apart of. I didn’t like the 5 am wake up call, nor having to be at work at 6 am. However, it was steady work for the whole eight hour shift.  When I say steady I mean, I never left my register except for my breaks and even those I was late taking because of the rush of people.

Zodi arrived at  work: 5:55
Clocked in at 6
Rush of people at 6:10
First break at 7:30
Rush of people from 7:45 to 9
Problem customer number 1 9:10
Zodi went to brunch 9:30
Rush of people and a mild lull 10  to 11
Zodi’s last break 11:00
Rush rush rush rush until 12
Problem customer number 2 12:15pm
Steady flow of people until 1pm
Trickle of customers 1:15
Zodi clocked out at 2

I think next year and every year here after, I am not only going to request off from work, but I’m hiding Boyfriend’s car keys. I will not be apart of this madness that has crazy turkey filled people rushing around looking for the best deals. Screw that, I’ll pay extra for convience of not getting trampled.

Keep it real and rockin’

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2009 in Life, Opinion, randomness, Rants

 

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It’s beginning to look a lot like… well, maybe it really isn’t


Today is November 26th.  In the States, it’s Thanksgiving day, a time for friends and family to gather and join in a feast and give thanks for all that they have.  Up here in Canada, it’s just Thursday.  We celebrated our Thanksgiving back in October.  So for us, it’s more about being less than a month to Christmas.  Around here, people have taken advantage of the warmer weather to put up their decorations.  The drive to work in the morning is quite a sight as several different homes are decked out for the season.

It’s great, but there’s something missing about the whole thing.

This morning on my drive to work, I got thinking about it, trying to put my finger on what was wrong.  I attribute the lack of recognition to the lack of caffine intake during my morning ritual.  But finally, as I was driving past the town office it hit me.

No, I didn’t get into an accident, I’m talking about the figurative “hit me” as in the reason why things looked so out of place.

There was no snow.  The ground was absolutely bare of any snow at all.  The last snow fall we had was in October, and that disappeared fast.  The short cold snap gave way to unseasonably high temperatures that have made everything wintery feel slightly out of place.  Granted, I know a few snowmobile enthusiasts who are probably twitching right now because they can’t get on the trails.  There’s no ice on the river, and thank goodness the local arena can manufacture ice for the hockey and curling surfaces, otherwise we’d be screwed for sure.

Even Environment Canada, who has been predicting cooler and cooler temperatures as we move closer to December, has had to shift those to as close to Zero Degrees Celsius as possible.  Day time highs still get near or above 10 Celsius.  Over night lows don’t go much below -5 Celsius.

Here we are, close to Christmas, and close to saying good bye to 2009 and welcoming in 2010, and some people have mentioned going for a round of golf.  It really wouldn’t surprise me, as it was only a few years ago that the temperature got so warm around New Year’s, the city of Swift Current and town of Leader decided to have a two day golf tournament on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Still, a Christmas without snow is just plain weird.  I have certain images in my head of what Christmas should be like, and with snow is exactly what I always imagine.  Maybe a chinook coming in from Calgary, but at least there’d be snow (Chinook: shi-nook (lowercase) a warm, dry wind that blows at intervals down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains [from www.dictionary.com]).

So, maybe I won’t be dreaming of a white Christmas, nor will I prancing in a winter wonderland, that’s okay.  I can actually deal with that kind of weird.  In truth, it isn’t snow that I don’t like, it’s the cold and the wind.

And scraping frost off my windshield.

Until the fat man comes down the chimney…

…keep ‘em flyin’!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2009 in Life, randomness

 

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Sask Books: correction line


correction line

by Dennis Cooley

Published by Thistledown Press

Reviewed by Kelly-Anne Riess

$15.95 ISBN 978-1-897235-50-8

Dennis Cooley’s long poem correction line is both touching and poignant, recreating memory and the prairie landscape.  Cooley shows his many talents, as his work is vernacular, funny, anecdotal and personal, touching on his own family history.  correction line plays with ideas around creation and how things, like poetry, are produced. For instance he writes in response to his surrounding geography, but also from what he’s learned studying others’ poetry and literary theory over the last 30 years or so.

A correction line is a device used to compensate for the curve of longitude. And Cooley’s book follows the line between his beginnings in Estevan, Saskatchewan to his current home of Winnipeg. It also traces a poetic line to American poet Charles Olson, writing:

/an O pening

of the field/

At the beginning of the book, Cooley almost quotes Eli Mandel’s poem “Life Sentence” in its entirety.  Mandel was the first poet from Estevan, and now Cooley is the second.

Cooley’s words are more than semantic, as he uses them for visual effect. On one page, for example, the words physically create the appearance of a farmer’s field.   His lines do double duty, pivoting meaning and bringing surprise.  correction line is one of Cooley’s best.

This book is available at your local bookstore or visit www.skbooks.com.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2009 in Sask Books

 

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