Almost two weeks since New Years has past.
Okay, actually just a little over a week. But that’s how slow the past nine days has been, it’s actually felt like two weeks. In autumn, there seems to always be some urgency, something to anticipate, something to expect with wonder and awe. It actually begins once the school year starts in September. There’s Thanksgiving for us Canadians in October, followed closely by Halloween. For the adventurous, there’s also Talk Like A Pirate Day in September. November rolls around and for the extremely adventurous, the entire month is one long attempt to get in 50,000 words or more. Of course, let’s not forget things like Remembrance Day, or even Thanksgiving for those south of the border. Then comes December, and like a switch the talk is all about decorations, carols and shopping. Mostly focusing on ‘have you finished yours yet’. Then the big day hits, Christmas Day arrives, sandwiched neatly between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. The celebrations seem to die down but not entirely as there’s a New Year to celebrate in there as well.
Maybe it’s time we started recognizing and learning the cultures of others. Not for appropriation, but just something to break up doldrums of this time of year. After all, we’re currently in the midst of the Ukrainian Christmas season. Ukrainian Christmas was just yesterday, after all, and Ukrainian New Years isn’t that far away.
I remember the first time I was exposed to Ukrainian Christmas. I lived in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, which was part of the Parkland Region and held a high concentration of Ukrainians that stretched from Yorkton, Melville and Invermay all the way east into Manitoba to what is known as the Canadian Ukrainian capital. People in that region take pride in their Ukrainian heritage, though, it should be dubbed Saskrainian, due to the fact many of these people are second and third generation living in Saskatchewan. Still, I remember the first time working at CJGX Radio in Yorkton, on Ukrainian Christmas day, and trying to go shopping and finding everything but convenience stores closed. For those who celebrate this time of year, it’s probably a wonderful time. But for someone like me, I was bored stiff and left without milk, peanut butter and cigarettes. Though, I did learn for the next year, and made certain to stock up appropriately.
Around here, where I live now, there’s not really much of a celebration that sort of breaks things up. No mid winter festival to talk about. We have a hockey team, but I doubt they’ll make it to the playoffs, or rather deep into the playoffs this year. Sure there’s things like the February long weekend, which I personally think is a government plot in Canada to sell more beer. Honestly. Canadians don’t need a long weekend to go out and buy beer. We even have Valentine’s Day, which is rather dull and quite lonely for some of us, myself included in that. Yes, there’s a trade show in March and Easter long weekend as well, but by the time those two events hit, the thing we’ve been trying to get past, the thing we’ve been living through, is soon gone.
Winter can sometimes be the hardest time of year.
I’m gonna try and do more of these over the course of the new year. Mostly because from time to time I’ll see something that will make me wish to comment, and sometimes I’ll write it down, but other times I’ll have a need to spew verbal tirades because I can’t formulate what I want on paper (or wordprocessor).
It’s Christmas morning!
You can tell because I have a candy cane in my hand while I read a book on my Kindle. It’s a little after 8 in the morning, still dark outside, and in a couple of hours I’ll make my way to Saskatoon to visit my parents for Christmas morning.
This is the first year that I can remember where Christmas didn’t creep up on me like before. I didn’t rush around and do things, I just did stuff I needed to do. Like yesterday, I did three loads of laundry. I know, not exactly Christmas Evey type activity, but it was something I needed to do.
As I’ve grown older, a lot of things have come into better focus (even though my eyes continual grow weaker every year). I hate driving long distances, I don’t like travelling, even going to Saskatoon. I figure Elbow and the beach on the lake is a good journey for me. Sure I’d like to travel to exotic places, but it’s not high on my list. Mostly because I’ll probably have to take a plane and that thought terrifies me. I hate the phone, I find it an intrusion into my life. Though, it is necessary, and I even have a cell phone for those times that I do have to travel a great distance.
That’s stuff I hate, but the list of stuff I like has gotten better.
I’m not so down on the Kindle or other ereaders like I used to be. I can see how it is awesome to carry around 40 or more books in your coat pocket. The bonus: less stuff to dust.
I’ve grown comfortable in the place where I live. I enjoy this small town and really don’t wish to move to a larger center. Cities terrify me, after all, so I’m content living here, in Outlook.
I feel very privileged in that I wrote a book. Sometimes I get down on my writing and find it difficult to get motivated, but I look back and realize that I actually wrote a book. It actually is put together and there are actually people reading it, whether that be the printed version or the electronic version. It isn’t perfect, but it’s there and it’s mine.
I have my aches and pains, but I sit back and realize life could be a lot worse for me. And really, in the end, I just hope there’s others out there that as they grow and as they deal with the inevitability of life, that they’ll learn from it, find some way to make it easier, and get to a point where they are happy.
Social happiness is one thing, that contract the government signs when they take office to ensure that people are cared for, that’s one thing. That’s something we all need to remind our respective governments about. But individual happiness, that takes a lot of hard work. For some it might come easy, others will be a little harder. And, in a few cases, it may not come to realization until you happen to be the age of the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Sorry, reading a lot of Douglas Adams lately.
Well, that turned rather philosophical in a hurry. I didn’t mean that to go down that road after taking a goofy picture of myself holding my Kindle and a candy cane (which, as of this paragraph, has been devoured). All things considered…
Happy Holidays and the best in the New Year.
I’ve been neglectful in posting up anything here in the last little while. Mostly because I’ve been spending a great deal of my time working to finish the upcoming Christmas issue for the newspaper. There’s also been the need to keep warm, because it’s gotten freakin’ cold out in the past several days.
I do have new stuff coming up, and I’m working diligently on writing. No, I haven’t given up on that, it’s just hard to write while your fingers are wrapped around a nice hot cup of cocoa. I did manage to finally get something that caught me up with a few people. I’ve been thinking about getting a tablet or ereader a lot lately, and for a time was swaying toward an iPad. I finally came to the conclusion that an iPad is fine, but I wouldn’t really get the full benefit out of it that I don’t already get with a laptop. But, I did take the plunge and get a Kindle. Just the pocket book sized one. I figure when I go out on long trips or even just to the beach in summer (oh, how I long for summer) I can take my Kindle and not worry about which book to take with me. I’ll have a whole bunch of them with me at the same time.
Ah yes, it is that season, isn’t it. That time of year when we get ready to spend with friends and family. Christmas time. That is, if we survive the 21st of December. According to lunatics, this Friday is the day the planet will self destruct. Because the Mayans said so. You know, the ancient people who predicted the end of the world but never saw the Spanish coming. I’m not knocking the Mayans, heavens no. But I’m really not sure about the sanity of those who put any stock in the myth that the Mayans were some mystic people who read see the future. Just not their own. I fully intend to laugh at all people who believe this Friday is the apocalypse. Granted, I’ll hold off on that until Saturday morning while I’m enjoying a nice cup of coffee.
That’s all that I have to say today. Just letting everyone know I’m still alive, just very cold. I had to walk to work yesterday when my car wouldn’t start. My fault entirely, I forgot to plug it in. I felt very much like that Grumpy cat going around the Internets lately.
I spent a lovely time with family and friends over the past three days. Which is one of the big reasons why I was not around on tumblr for the past little while. And boy did I have an enjoyable time. Food! And a haul of gifts.
My favourite so far…
My CBC Shirt! That wasn’t the only gift of apparel I received…
It’s called a pooque! A toque. Only with… attachments.
My biggest haul, however, came in the form of reading material.
First, there was the Hunger Games Trilogy.
Then, a collection of books from R. A. Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt. Yes, I’m a Forgotten Realms geek.
Books in the above form weren’t the only things I got. I raked in a haul of comics as well. First of which, the first four issues of Batgirl.
Then, because it was already known I have Batwoman started…
…issue number four of Batwoman. Followed by…
…issue three of the Huntress mini series. Books and comics weren’t the only things I got! I have videos to watch as well.
Russel Peters, live at the O2 Arena in London, and…
…Alfresco, which features early sketch comedy from Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
But, I think the thing that made me the happiest was something my mother informed me of. I was informed that my book, The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, is available for lending at the Francis Morrison Library in Saskatoon. That’s the main library for the City of Saskatoon. Mom said she saw it there in the new arrivals section while she was looking for books herself.
So that’s my Christmas, I hope everyone else had a great holiday!
At this time of year, many will look to Christmas with joy and hope and laughter. I do to. Many will also partake in the touring of Christmas lights, and I admit I enjoy taking the usual tours around communities to view what people have crafted with their light displays. Can’t forget food. Having a wonderful feast is great and satisfying. There’s also Christmas music.
Which I tend to distance myself from.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Christmas music. For about three hours on Christmas day itself. But the rest of the time, I can totally do without it. My aversion from Christmas music can be blamed on my working ten years in radio. From December 1st right up until Christmas day, the frequency of Christmas music increases. At a few stations I worked for, it would start with one tune a day for a week. Then one tune an hour, then two tunes an hour, followed by three, and then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were crammed solid with 100% Christmas music. There’s only so many versions of Jingle Bells one person can take.
So my tastes changed. I lean more toward classical fair. Dramatic music of certain movies, or video games, that come out around Christmas or announced around Christmas, and I listen to those.
The following is a large sampling of music I listen to around this time of year.
From Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
From Guild Wars 2
From The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Also from Guild Wars 2, the Norn Theme.
Basically, this is usually what I’ll listen to. Not that I don’t like Christmas music, I just got very tired of it after ten years working behind a mic and playing tunes at radio stations.
However, in whatever way you celebrate the season, whether that be Festivus, Christmas, Hanukkah, the Solstice, or just getting together for good food, good friends and good times, have a Happy Holiday Season.
For a while, it was looking like a brown Christmas. We had snow a while back, but thanks to the constant up and down temperatures, that went away quite fast. This past Sunday, however, that changed.
I woke up, went to get my coffee started and have an orange (because I spent Saturday feeling deathly ill and couldn’t stomach anything) and stopped to look out the window. It was hard not to. The sight of white covering everything was really quite odd. Not in the “what the hell is that” kind of way (I save that for May if it snows), but more like the “wow, is it ever bright out” kind of way.
Having the snow before Christmas is sort of the thing to have. I grew up always seeing snow, always having snow on the ground in December. But going away in March (as it should, because by then most of us are sick of it, except for those crazy snow mobile enthusiasts). It just wouldn’t be Christmas if the ground was bare. Which I’ve seen in the past.
I think one of the strangest times was a little over ten years ago, when I lived in Rosetown. We had a good deal of snow and some odd weather patterns. We already had a white out early December, which made for an exciting time at work and a little harrowing. Christmas came and went, and then along came New Year with some incredibly warm weather. So warm, in fact, that the city of Swift Current and the town of Leader had a New Year’s Eve Golf tournament. I never heard about the results, but I did hear a lot of people went, mostly to say they went golfing in Saskatchewan on January 1st. The lead up to the New Year had been really warm, so the organization was fast, and grounds cleaning took a couple of days so things were ready. And, naturally, most everyone hoping that the temperature wouldn’t just plummet by the time of the tee off.
I’m not holding out much hope that this snow we have now will stick around. According to Environment Canada, we’re supposed to have a high of 5 Degrees Celsius (41 F). A temperature that warm, snow will melt. Won’t completely go away, but the rest of the week looks to be in the same range. Which is kind of odd for December.
Just hope January and February is kind.
This could conceivably be done in a 31 Days of Ghosts type post, because it’s horrifying what some people’s stupidity will lead to.
Yes, that’s right! They’re coming after Halloween! With the constant cries of “War of Christmas” that the Christian right always states is true (which, is bullshit), they are now suggesting that this Halloween, give out Bibles to all the trick or treaters.
Okay, first. Halloween is a kids’ holiday. It’s not even a real holiday, like Christmas is. And yes, you could argue that Christmas is for kids, but Christmas is for the whole family. I also know that Halloween has it’s roots that go back to times before the middle ages when groups of people would go from house to help ward off evil spirits. Now, Halloween is a time for kids to go house to house and trick or treat. I do believe that in some areas if October 31 lands on a Sunday, then trick or treating is done on a Saturday. That’s fine, I really don’t have a problem with that at all.
It’s also a time when adults might go to costume parties at their offices or down to the local pub, or even get together and watch classic horror movies. Nothing as extravagant, however, as is Christmas.
Now, second of all, I believe I have mentioned before that I am a Christian. I also am of the belief that your faith is personal to you. If someone asks, that’s fine. I find it rude to talk to others and seemingly push your faith onto them. I don’t think there’s some tally for the number of people we convert to Christianity, but I do believe we get major points for trying to help our fellow man without question and without want for payment. So, by dumping Bibles into kids treat bags, this is sort of the reverse effect of the Jehovah Witnesses. Instead of them coming to our doors, we’d be going to theirs.
The common reaction will be “but children need to know about God”. I’m pretty sure if a child wants to know about God, then that child has all sorts of resources available to learn about Her. Their parents are also there to help them answer any questions that they might have. They don’t need outside influences pushing it onto them. So, as noble intentioned as this is, you probably could have done a lot more good by handing out toothbrushes and toothpaste instead of Bibles.
- Christians and Halloween (inklingsofreality.wordpress.com)
- It’s a holly jolly… Halloween (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Why Christians should not participate in Halloween: Part 1 (storygirlsblog.wordpress.com)
This has been an odd week.
It began with incredible hot temperatures on Sunday, reaching 33 Degrees Celsius. Monday and Tuesday were a bit cooler, and Wednesday changed completely with a morning temperature of -4 Celsius. I actually had to scrape my windshield. Environment Canada is calling for temperatures to warm up by the weekend, and we’ve even been told that we should be in for what is often refered to as an Indian Summer.
Odder still was what greeted me this morning while on my rounds to drop off the newspaper at the post office and local retail outlets. At the Co-op Gas Bar, my first stop to drop off at retail locations, I had to stop at the doorway because something very strange was looking back at me. It was one of those window stickers, you know the type. You plaster it on for some holiday celebrations like Christmas or Easter. But this wasn’t near as cheery as a jolly old elf or a cute bunny with a basket of treats.
This was the grim reaper.
I had to think about this for a moment, and then it finally hit me. Yes, we’re half way through September, and autumn isn’t far behind. Which means neither is Halloween. One other thought struck me, that it’s too early for that. However, that was quickly pushed to the side when I remembered seeing the Sears Christmas Catalog, delivered to mail in the last week of August. If we can start planning Christmas giving that early, I guess we can damn well start thinking up ideas for ghosts, goblins and other things that go bump in the night.
Why not, really. We think about Christmas gift giving almost six months before Christmas Day, why can’t we spend at least a month and a half thinking about Halloween. Kids, and some adults, get dressed up and go trick or treating. We seem to look up more information about haunted locations. We tell ghost stories to each other. We decorate our homes with jack’o'lanterns. I know a few people that deck out their front yard to look like a spooky cemetery, complete with ghosts floating about (don’t worry, they aren’t real). I see no reason why we can’t celebrate a holiday, or a festivity when we want to (minus the taking off time from work or school, that is). We often come up against this idea that we can’t celebrate something unless it’s near or on the date that it’s worth celebrating. But why? Why can’t we have our own Christmas celebration in the middle of July? Or Halloween in May? There really isn’t a reason other than “well, that’s not the date for it”.
Speaking of holidays and celebrations, we are only four short days away from International Talk Like A Pirate Day, falls on a Monday this year, so I’ll try to drive my coworkers nuts.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Oooo! Look at me, two posts in one day!
You ever have one of those times when you’ve worked hard to get something, and the end is in sight but the waiting begins? That’s what I’m going through right now. Let me try to describe it without giving too much away.
When I was a kid, those few last days before Christmas was an agonizing time. It felt like years had passed before I could wake up early Christmas morning, rush downstairs… eat breakfast… and open presents. One Christmas in particular comes to mind. That Christmas was great, because I had asked to get a Tyco Nite Glo race set. Two remote control Firebirds (one silver, one black) and a huge length of track. It was great setting up the race set in these intricate designs with different obstacles and jumps. At one point, I even considered getting a train set to have a train go around it’s track constantly while me and my dad or one of my friends raced like bats outta hell (not my dad, though, he’d never race like that).
Another item was the book Rider Pride, written to capture the history of the Saskatchewan Roughriders football club. Published in 1983, it contained a great deal of information about the team, and while I followed them sparsely before reading the book, this made me a die hard fan.
I’m going through that right now. I have ordered something, which is a final proof, and the wait is unbearable. I normally don’t go to the post office save for once or twice a week. But this week I’ve been there every single day. I only hope that said delivery is coming through the mail, and not via courier. Which then, there would be a message taped to my apartment door (the outside, not the inside).
I’ll give it another go this afternoon, and if there still is nothing, then hope that tomorrow will prove more fruitful.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
It’s been a very crazy three months. Preparations for this holiday have been ridiculous. But somehow, I magically managed to make it through the season of hope and joy with little blood shed.
Last night was the final Christmas gathering. So without further ado allow me to recap.
Each year since I have moved out here, I end up having to appear at several different places for Christmas. This year first on the list was Donella’s house. Donella is my other mother, she my mom away from mom. Someone I can go to get a mom hug when I really need one.
Mid-morning on Christmas eve, we bundled up and went to her house. Which is all of 1000 feet from my apartment. Yeah she lives that close. Zachery, myself, Rhys, my brother and my dad pitched in to get her a a really nice candle and a candle warmer. She bought Zachery and I a seven piece hamper and storage set, and a collage style picture frame. My father received a foot massage pillow and my brother got a bed pillow and some other little items from her.
After that it was off to work. Yes, even though I requested off, I went in to make up hours I had missed. After five hours of work, it was back home to spend some time in front of my computer playing my game and then wrap gifts. I didn’t realize I had so many gifts left to wrap. I was up until 3:30 am wrapping gifts. Fun. Not.
Now my dad was in town and that was great having him around for the holidays, it almost felt normal. Dad’s girlfriend and her daughter stayed over. LGIB is the daughter. She was excited and had a hard time falling asleep.
So morning rolled around, and my son was ecstatic. Christmas had arrived, but I just didn’t feel it. A feeling I was used to, since I hadn’t felt it in several years, this one was no different. Except it started with an argument between between BF and I. Pffft. Lovely. Not wanting to discuss yet another argument between me and him, I’ll end this part and leave it with it lasted almost the whole day.
Once we got the webcam set up, so that Momma and Grams could tune in to watch us all open gifts, the wrapping paper started to fly. Rhys made out like bandit with the amount of gifts that he received, LGIB and her mom did as well.
The final gift was one for me. A sterling silver key pendant necklace. Boyfriend got it for me and I was crying because of it. He had told me that they were sold out and that he got me something else that he was sure I would like. Meanwhile, I thought to myself, you don’t know what I like in jewelry. Well the joke was on me. The store had sold out; he had gotten the last one.
The other favorite gift was a small glass Tinker Bell whose base says “May all your dreams come true.” Anyone who knows me knows I love faeries, pixies, and Tink. It was another gift that made me tear up as I opened it.
After all the presents were opened, Boyfriend and I had to get ready for Christmas number three. We arrived there late, as per tradition and had some food. Knowing full well that dad was home cooking Christmas supper, I didn’t eat too much. Once food was done, we trooped into the living room and the present opening began again.
From here I received, money, gift cards, Charmed seasons four and five and a few other little things that I am far to lazy to turn around and look at to list off. It was an enjoyable time. A few hours later, it was time to head home again for more food. Christmas dinner food. I was super excited about this.
It wasn’t as big as the meals that I’ve been to for Christmas before, but it was still a meal I was proud to be apart of because my family was together. We had ham, green beans, corn, homemade mashed potatoes, candied yams (yuck,) and of course pumpkin pie. The food was delicious, the ham was literally falling to pieces but it was just cooked perfectly.
It was a very enjoyable to sit and have my family with me, new and old.
The day after, was filled with watching Charmed and doing returns for the few items that we did have to return. After all of that was said done and over with, we had to venture out to boyfriend’s Aunt’s house for the final Christmas.
While at this house I am not a mom, I’m just another person and my son is free to do as he pleases. I try to be a mom and they undermine me, but I’m powerless to say anything. Why? Because they look down on me already and rather then goad them into getting pissy with me even more I just grin and bear it.
We had tons of gifts. Rhys of course made out like a bandit here too. The hottest gift of the night was the Bat-cave he got from Nan Nan. I received clothes, the damnable gift of underwear, which amused me to no end since they were three sizes too big for me. Socks, and candy a Tinker Bell keepsakes ornament and a gift card; which I used to purchase The Tudors Season Three.
So now that’s it’s over I’m looking forward to ending this year as it has been rough, but all in all not too bad.
With that I will leave you with this.
Keep it real and rockin’
Needless to say, I didn’t have as many stops this Christmas as I did in the past. Christmas Eve, I drove to the city and spent time with Pearce, Gene, Val, Teresa, Jess and even Carol and a few others popped over. We exchanged a few gifts, which means I have a whole slew of new movies to watch. I love me some DVD’s. There was also a large amount of food. Over a year ago, I described one summer when Pearce and I devoured “a stupid amount of shrimp”. Well, this was close. It was amazing how much there was.
After the evening began to go past midnight, I crashed over at Pearce’s place after parking and plugging the car in behind Pearce’s BRAND NEW CAR, I had a good sleep. I was extremely tired, and though I did want to see if I could connect the laptop to the wi-fi network at Pearce’s, I just fell into a blissful slumber.
The next day, Christmas day, to be precise, I drove over to mom and dad’s place. And more food. Festive conversation and a great meal (my folks are vegetarian, but can put on a really good spread, even without turkey or ham). As the day went on, and I had a nap, it came time to say good bye and head back home.
This Christmas has been a lot more relaxing than Christmas in the past. The car was a big help (though, the timing belt issue was scary). I’m just glad I had the opportunity to spend it with friends and family.
So, in the words of the second official language of the nation in which I live…
Ayez Joyeux Noël et tout le meilleur dans le nouvel an.
Oh, and as always, until next time…
Gardez-les en volant!
No, this won’t be an examination of the concept of Santa and how the jolly old elf with a rosy cheeks is viewed on this day. It’s more, how does Santa operate in this brave new world of technology.
First off, Santa is more than likely preparing like mad today, he’s got a full day ahead of him, as he has to concentrate on the different time zones throughout the world. But before he takes off, he has to ensure that everything is a go. Here’s his check list.
Reindeer. He’ll more than likely bring in veterinarians from universities, possibly from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, which will be flown in on Canadian Hercules transport craft. The Reindeer have to be kept healthy, as they have possibly the most important job in transporting Saint Nick around the world. Along the way, Santa will probably have vet stops along the way, and Reindeer exchanges at different locations, like in Finland, Russia, Norway and so on. This is so the Reindeer don’t get too tired, because that’s gonna be a long trip.
Santa’s communication will differ a great deal as well. First, he’ll have to check the weather. Environment Canada will obviously be giving Santa some detailed information that will be emailed directly to him. Thanks to SaskTel, who happen to be the premier telecommunications company in the world (SaskTel got the contract to lay fiber optics in the Chunnel, connecting France and England), Santa’s internet connection will be one of the most sophisticated in the world. He has to have one like that. On top of that, Santa will have a iPhone, loaded with Twitter, Facebook, email, Google Earth and other important apps.
At take off, which would have been earlier this morning so Santa can get a head start on Eastern Time Zones, he would have been escorted out of Canadian airspace by a fleet of fighter jets from 15 Wing, also known as Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. There are closer bases, but 15 Wing is home to the aerial team, the Snow Birds, and these jets are more of a gesture of peace and goodwill. They’ll be flying tight formation with Saint Nick, as fully armed modern fighter jets will be flying a wider pattern. This initiative is part of NORAD. Canada and the United States Air Force will exchange escort responsibilities, as will the Royal Air Force in Britain when Santa begins his flight over Europe.
To ensure safety, Santa will have a list of email addresses loaded onto his iPhone to give a heads up to each home he visits, so that the head of the household will know that it’s Santa and not just some robber.
When Santa flies over war torn areas, security is the utmost importance. Santa is a figure of peace and goodwill, and therefore could be a target of terrorist extremists. In a volatile area like Afghanistan, American, British, Canadian, and other United Nation countries with military personnel active will be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
On his trip, Santa will have messages for each world leader, so figures like Barrak Obama, Stephen Harper, Vladimir Putin and so on will be preparing to receive a phone call as soon as Santa enters that country’s airspace (the call to the Canadian Prime Minister is merely a gesture indicating that Santa is beginning his run, as he’ll be starting on Canadian soil, however, the P.M. will receive a call when Santa is at the end of his run as well).
To make all of this possible, Santa’s elves have been trained by the top universities in the world. Their knowledge encompasses cartography, meteorology, the latest technical expertise and more. Right down to energy efficient living conditions for themselves and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Living at the top of the world is chancy, and they want to make certain that they have all the necessary supplies available to them. They receive a lot of assistance from Canadian Forces Bases in the high Arctic.
This is how Santa operates in this modern world. And with the effort throughout the world to keep the jolly old elf safe, wouldn’t it be nice if the world put that much effort into every single human being, 365 days of the year. They try, yes they do. But it’s a hard fight.
It is said, ’tis better to give than to receive. And this year, I’ve been feeling that way. There are three very special people that I have hand crafted an item for this year. If this would have been four years ago, there would have been a fourth, but sadly, my grandfather is no longer with us.
Part of the process of my gift giving this year has been making it. Quite possibly the hardest part has been the writing. As the picture shows, I’ve made three hand bound editions of The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider. One of which will go to my parents (the one I’m holding in the photo to be precise).
The second will go to my mother from another brother. Confused? Let me explain. I’ve mentioned Pearce before, and even had links to his blog. He and I met in the mid 90′s while I was working evenings as a country disc jockey at CJGX Radio in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. We found a lot of similarities between us. He was from Invermay, Saskatchewan, I was born there. We both liked to write. And oddly enough, my mom taught his mom singing lessons. We’ve often had people mistake us for brothers in the past, such as one time I can remember vividly in Rosetown. We both worked at CJYM, the local radio station. I remember we wanted to watch a movie and called the local video store/bulk food store (I kid you not, video rentals in a bulk food confectionary) to reserve it. After I was done my news shift, I went to see if it was available, where I was told…
“Your brother came to pick it up.”
“My… excuse me?”
“You know. Pearce.”
And so it went from there.
Val, Pearce’s mom, has always had a creative mind and is an incredible movie buff. I swear, she needs to live in a larger house complete with one screening room for all the videos and DVD’s she has. And she’s always shown a great interest in writing. Ergo, she will receive the second copy of the crafted book.
Last, but not least, Zodi. She has been there since the beginning of the writing process, she has edited the story diligently and she has always kept up with what was happening. She will receive the third copy.
I mentioned earlier that if my grandfather was still alive, he would be getting one as well. For now, I will make one in my heart for the man who introduced me to the classic western. Without my grandfather, I never would have had such an interest.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
Here in my car…
I opened my paper this morning to find the usual advertising inserts, but this morning the Toyota insert for Best Wrapup Ever caught my attention. Not because I’m looking for a new car, I’m quite happy with my little Hyundi Accent, really. No, I flipped through it because Pearce, who has the Paper Hat Pirate blog, bought himself…
…hang on, I need to get this right…
done in a very game show host voice
A BRAND NEW CAR!
That’s right, he bought himself a new (to him) Toyota. Now, before all the domestic vehicle owners start hunting me and Pearce down for owning Japanese imports, let me clarify something here. A couple of somethings. Both Hyundi and Toyota have very good track records for reliability, dependability and service. Both companies create vehicles that are fuel efficient, and have the consumer in mind for what they need to have for a vehicle. Oh, and most importantly…
HYUNDI AND TOYOTA DIDN’T NEED A BAILOUT FROM THE GOVERNMENT.
I feel a tad justified in owning a car like this because I know for a fact it’ll be easier to get service done. “Oh, but Tim. It’s a Japanese import. It’ll be expensive, more expensive than a Ford!” No, no it won’t. I just recently had a new timing belt installed, and was a bit worried when I heard that it would be costly. But to my surprise, with an added oil and filter change, the total cost for all of that came to $446 Cdn. That’s not bad!
So, what’s all this have to do with Toyota (aside from having a snazy line of vehicles). Well, in the previously mentioned advertising insert I saw under the listings of each vehicle Job Loss insurance. What’s that? I asked myself. The obvious answer is Toyota making certain that even though you just bought a car, you won’t get screwed over a few months down the road should you lose your job. The following is direct from Toyota.
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is pleased to introduce complimentary Job Loss Credit Protection on selected new Toyota vehicles (Yaris Hatchback, Yaris Sedan, Corolla, Matrix, Camry, Sienna and RAV4) that are leased or financed with TFS over the period of December 1, 2009 – January 4, 2010. This coverage is offered free of charge and provides up to $10,000 of credit protection should an eligible customer suffer involuntary unemployment during the term of their TFS lease or loan. For full details please contact your Dealer.
So that’s kinda cool. But what happens after January 4, 2010? Have to wait and see, because, as with everything the disclaimer states that details are subject to change without notice.
It’s the best game you can name…
So, the wait is on for the World Junior Hockey Championships. Normally, many would be talking about just Christmas plans, but Saskatchewan is hosting the IIHF WJHC this year, and tournament play begins on Saturday. That’s right! Boxing Day (there’s a hockey related joke in there). So not only will we have to get in on the deals, but we have hockey to think about. It’s become a tradition in Canada; giving gifts to loved ones, having a wonderful meal, dreaming of sugar plums, and getting ready to ROCK AT THE RINK AS CANADA GOES FOR SIX STRAIGHT GOLD MEDALS!
Sorry ’bout that. I got a little excited there.
This year, team Canada has done something kinda cool in commemoration for coming to Saskatchewan for the tournament. They’ll be wearing one jersey that is in dedication to a long and storied sports team in this province. There’s just one problem.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are a football team, not a hockey team.
I can forgive a little gaff such as that, however the god awful jerseys that Team Canada will be wearing, I don’t know if I can. Fortunately, it’s around Christmas, so having green and red on them at the same time might be explained as celebrating the season. Canada’s colours are Red and White (and sometimes black for the condition we leave opponents in, which means we should add blue in the near future). Green wasn’t in the equation.
The beloved Riders (and don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE Rider fan) are Green and White (and sometimes black and silver).
Red and Green…. just seems weird.
Granted, it was still cool of Team Canada to recognize the Riders, especially in a year when they went to the Grey Cup. Maybe next time, just a little shoulder crest is enough.
Yep, it’s that time of year again.
You know what I’m talking about.
It’s that magical time of year, when people lose their fucking minds in the name of Christmas cheer and holiday spirit.
I hate this holiday.
Why? Because things changed so much that it no longer became a fun holiday. Reason for this is simple. I grew up. Scary ain’t it?
When I was a kid, I used to get so excited about getting dressed up in my tights and shiny tip-tap shoes and the standard fancy holiday dress, then going to Grandmom’s house Christmas eve.
Grams’ place was the awesome place. She would go all out for decorating. Lights, tree, ornaments. Now Grams’ house was small, it was only her and Grampy there except on Christmas eve. Then it was Grams, Grampy, Uncle Mike, Mom, dad, Me and then later on there was my brother, Aunt Jen, and my two cousins. With everyone there, all the gifts, and all the food, plus furniture it was cramped. But we loved doing this every year.
The year I was considered no longer a kid, was kind of a shock. The living room was usually packed with the kids’ gifts. Four or five of us kids at times. When I turned 18, my gift pile got smaller, and my stuff was moved to the adult stuff. Now I loved all of my gifts that I got and was thankful them but I couldn’t help feeling like the fun of Christmas was over.
No longer was I asked for a Christmas list, I was an adult.
There was also the year my family started to fall apart. That was a painful. Thankfully there was enough of a facade of a happy family to make it through one last Christmas together. Opened up presents in the morning, Dad got to smile to see his family happy because they had things they wanted. But… when January rolled around, and the power was shut off, we knew why.
It wasn’t until recently that I explained to both my parents that I knew how much they did for us, and how much the sacrificed to make sure we had everything we wanted for Christmas. Many people see me ditzy and unobservant, but that’s just a mask. I knew what issues my parents were having, but it didn’t matter to me at the time. I was a kid, and it was Christmas. Mind you this was all after I stopped believing Santa.
Now I have a kid of my own and I would do anything to see him smile. Including watching my accounts go negative for the millionth time, paying the NSF fees, letting my rent and other bills lapse just so I can make sure that he has a great Christmas.
In doing this it’s made me realize I understand what it means to give up everything for someone just to make them smile. I understand why my dad never gave us a Christmas list. All I want for Christmas is to see my family smile.
However, it doesn’t make me like the holiday anymore. I’m just better at hiding it. Every year I drag out my decorations, tree, and make 3d paper snowflakes. And every year I smiles and pretend to be cheerful so my son doesn’t worry. But I know in my heart one year he’s going to know I’m faking it. I just hope by then he’ll be old enough to understand.
A big reason I dislike Christmas is the fact it cost so much money. Gifts. Now I don’t have a lot of money, I never have. So when my family sends money for their gifts, I take one and make it the to so and so; from some family member. Everything comes from Santa. Mom told me this is the way it should be, and it probably is. But really it’s more like easing my conscious for being so poor I can hardly afford gifts. Santa is a good scapegoat.
I do hope that one year I do get my Christmas spirit back, but for now, I’ll just keep wearing the mask.
Keep it real and rockin’