Saturday 31 July 2010

Big Blogger.

Tonight, I watched an episode of the British version of 'Big Brother'.  You may have seen a version of this fascinating must see T.V. and realised that your life had little meaning before you viewed these highly talented collection of individuals posing on our television screens.  
You may have realised that I was being ever so slightly sarcastic in the above sentence.  Yes, believe it or not, even I can be teeny weeny bit sarcastic.  This is the eleventh and apparently final series of the British adaptation of this intriguing show.  Gee, what a shame.  It originally started in Holland.  Why am I not surprised.
I have occasionally checked out the show and its cast of 'reality star' characters, since the very beginning.   I have yet to observe anyone with even a modicum of talent.  No, what you seem to get is a collection of 'wannabees' who are nothing more than cheap trash television.  So they get thousands of folks applying for these type of shows.  You would have reckoned that out of all those auditions, one person would have lived up to the hype preceding their entrance into the Big Brother house.  Alas, I have never noted this.
So, once again, this has got me to thinking.  Yes, I do sometimes think.  Why not a variation of the show with a group of diverse bloggers all vying to be the winner of 'Big Blogger'?  You could have the poetry blogger who entertains us with such immortal lines as, 'There was a young fella' named Skinner, who took a young lady to dinner, at quarter to nine, they began to dine, and quarter to ten it was inner, not Skinner, the dinner, Skinner was inner before the dinner.'   There would be, of course, the crude one-dimensional blogger.  The following is for documentary purpose only, and I would suggest you look away now, if you are easily offended.  The crude blogger is conversing,  with their fine command of the English language, to one of their fellow housemates, 'Hey fuck you!  I'm fucking awesome!  Now, stay away from my cornflakes, you slimebag!!'  You can come back now.  One of the housemates would be renowned for their deeply profound philosophical musings such as,  'If you were drowning in the negative sea of despair, some would throw you an anchor.  I would throw you a life jacket.'   Another of the Big Blogger housemates would be as highly amusing in the house as they are in the blogging world.  They would be amusing the other contestants with witty remarks such as, 'So this guy tells me his hobby is racing pigeons.  I asked him, So who wins?  You or the pigeons?'  Then you have the representative from the cynical bloggers.   Bloggers so cynical, they make 'Scrooge' and 'The Grinch', seem like really positive, upbeat kinda' guys.   Here is what the cynical blogger might say in the Big Blogger house, 'I have been told about this so-called non-profit charity that runs what's called a 'Cynic Clinic'.  There slogan is a 'detox for the disillusioned'.  Yeah right, non-profit, my ass, they are, without a doubt, a self-interest group raking in the big bucks!'
So how about it?  Do you reckon a television network would take us up on this?  Probably not because you guys are just too talented.  Whoops, did I go slightly cynical...

And speaking of Big Brother, a stuffed hedgehog has more life and personality than that collection of ridiculous wannabees.
'Klahanie, you have been evicted.  Please leave the Big Blogger house.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Sheep Shearer Shortage.

'Concerns have been raised by farmers about the impact of a block on overseas sheep shearers coming to the UK.
Last year employers had to seek work permits and there are fears they could be affected by new immigration laws.
About 500 sheep shearers come to the UK from abroad each summer to help clip the fleeces of some 14.5m animals.
Will Dickson, a sheep farmer in the Borders, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that the industry depended on foreign shearers.  Mr Dickson said: "Personally I shear about 140,000 sheep in the Borders as a shearing contractor.  "Probably 70,000 of them will be shorn by New Zealanders. "If I can't get hold of New Zealand shearers I don't know how we'd manage it."
Mr Dickson said it was impossible to find enough people in the UK who wanted to do the job.  "We do have a lot of good Scottish and British shearers but there just aren't enough," he said.  "There just aren't enough people who want to take it up.  Hard work seems to be frowned upon, no-one wants to work so hard any more."  He said it was intense, physical labour and the season only lasted 10 weeks unless you were prepared to travel overseas.  "You can make money if you get good at it but it takes a long time before you can shear enough in a day to make it worthwhile," he added.
He said it was vital to continue to allow foreign shearers to come into the UK - but also stressed the importance of funding to help encourage more young people to take up the profession.'  (Source:  BBC News, South of Scotland website).

That news item got me to thinking.  I might not be young but, what the hell, I could use some extra cash.  Sheep shagging, I mean, sheep shearing.  Guess I would need some practice to  become a sheep shearer supreme during this sheep shearer shortage.  Now, I have a hunch that it might be somewhat frowned upon if I went out into some field and started clipping merrily away on some startled sheep.  On, the other hand, if I was wearing big rubber boots and approached said sheep from behind, they would most likely be used too that.  What the flock!  So, what can I do instead?  Let me mull that one over.  

Now the dude above would be perfect practice.  Yep, it's one of them old fat hippie freaks with silly long hair and fur growing on his front that looks remarkably like some kinda' flattened rodent.  I think these hippie types are also called 'New Age Travellers', or in this case, 'Old Age Traveller'.  This hippie would be a perfect candidate for a bit of clipping.  Fur sure.

Here's another possibility.  You may have seen one of these hairy-backed creatures posing around the pool on your holiday.  They stand there, all proud and all hairy, as their gargantuan bellies flop down around their super tight 'Speedos'.  You take one look at them and don't know whether you should phone the local zoo or contact the curator of the 'Neanderthal Museum' in  Mettmann, Germany.  
So shearing one of them dudes, would not only be good practice, but also my way of performing a public service to those who have be scared shitless by the sight of the hairy-backed beast.

No, I wouldn't really do that.  Besides, shearing a hedgehog could prove to be a bit tricky.  I mean the little darling is covered in prickly fur and I would be a prick to even contemplate practising on such a lovable little stuffed critter.  
So there you go.  I grabbed the shears and my son and the dog have made a hasty retreat.  They've no need to worry.  I was just writing this for the shear pleasure of trying to ram home my ideas.  Then again,   there's no pulling the wool over your eyes.  Sorry, I'm feeling a bit sheepish now, because, this whole thing about practising on hippies, hairy-backed beasts and stuffed hedgehogs is probably a baaaahd idea. 

Saturday 24 July 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award.

I am absolutely, as they say over here in Britian,  'chuffed to bits', which means, 'very pleased',  to have had the great honour and privilege of receiving the 'Versatile Blogger Award', from a most superb blogger and writer, 'Joylene Nowell Butler', author of the novel,  'Dead Witness'.  I would highly recommend that you check out Joylene's  informative, helpful and inspirational site at the following address: :  Joylene Nowell Butler.   You can also see what other bloggers Joylene nominated over at her excellent site.  

The Versatile Blogger Award comes with some rules.   
1. Thank those who were kind enough to bestow this gift.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3. Present this honour onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.
4. Drop by and let my fifteen friends know I respect them.

Thank you very much, Joylene.   Your ongoing support and positive interaction via our blogs has been most appreciated.  For this, I am truly grateful.

Seven Things About Me.
1.  I was born in Chelsea, in the city of London, and also lived in Sutton, Banbury and Blackheath, England.     
2.  I moved to Vancouver, Canada, with my mother, when I was nine.  I lived in Vancouver until I was thirty four.
3.  I now live in Leek, Staffordshire, England but travel back to Vancouver as much as I can.
4.  I won a beer chugging contest and received a set of Bavarian cowbells as a highly coveted prize.
5.  I was guest singer at my grade seven graduation dance where I sang my own composition about our home room teacher.  The crowd cheered and I felt really good.
6.   I was the top student in my grade nine writing class, which included verbal presentations.  I had a mark of 97% for the year and received an A plus.  
7.    Yes it's true.  My blog, unbelievable I know, was featured on the B.B.C's radio 5 Live on a segment titled 'Pods and Blogs'.  I was interviewed and the broadcast was available around the world via the internet.  How ironic, a virtual recluse, sitting alone in his house, talking to the world.

In no particular order, here are fifteen bloggers that I visit.  You will note a wide diversity in the blogs that I check out.   I thank the following fifteen for their notable and worthy contribution to the wonderful world of blogging.   You can click on the links below to visit these sites.

1.   Lenny's World.   A most delightful read by a young blogger and highly recommended.  
2.   Sweetness and Light.  A transparent and empathetic blog.   Also a dear friend of mine.
3.   Along Life's Highway.   You like 'yard art'?  Then you would be advised to check this site.
4.   Inside the chicken coop.  A visual joy that conveys the ongoing adventures of a couple of chickens.
5.   Leek Daily Photo.   Stunning photographs of the area that I live.                          
6.   Count Sneaky's Journal.   A new discovery and a very clever read.
7.   Sex'n'Fries.   A very interactive blog run by Lizzie and Ellie. So much more than sex and fries.
8.   One Crazy Brunette Chick.    If you like loads of crude humour, then this is the site for you.
9.   Mama Still Wears Gucci.   'Gucci Mama' is an excellent writer with a wide range of writing styles.
10. The S.N.A.F.U. Report.   A funny, clever and food for thought blog.
11. The Buddhist Conservative.   A wise and thought provoking blog by my friend, Roger.
12.  My Positive Life.   This is very inspiring blog by a lady who embraces a positive life.
13.  Alcomum.   A well written and a highly thought provoking blog.
14.  OMYWORD! Did I Say That?   The ongoing tales of an American lady living in Paris, France.
15.  The Snee.  Very clever and witty.  I'm liking this site a whole lot.

So there you have it.  Fifteen bloggers that have been a pleasure to interact with.   I thank them for being such an integral part of this great blogging community.  Thanks again to Joylene Butler for bestowing this award upon me.  Joylene, you have my utmost respect and admiration.

Thursday 22 July 2010

The 'Wee Folks' Honeymoon.

Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess, and Geoffrey, the garden gnome, have returned from their honeymoon.  They kept the exact location a secret because they wished some privacy from the 'pixiearazzi'.  Fidelina and Geoffrey have very kindly forwarded me some exclusive photographs of their enchanting time away from my garden.

I was originally led to believe that they were going to the Island nation of 'Lilliput'. Then, I heard little whispers in the garden suggesting that they had gone to Micronesia.   However, I have now learned otherwise.  In the above exclusive photo are Geoffrey and Fidelina taking it easy amongst the flowers of their actual honeymoon destination of  'Gnome', Alaska.

Here is another exclusive picture of the happy couple.  The magic of their love is so very plain to see.

All the above photographs were taken by a resident of Gnome.  There had been rumours that, 'Better Gnomes and Gardens', had tried, in vain, to discover their secret location and negotiate an exclusive photo shoot with the magical lovers.
Fidelina and Geoffrey had a brilliant time.  Nothing could be more perfect than sailing to Gnome on a 'Fairy' boat and listening to 'Pixieland' music.
And so, the captivating and heart warming story of the undying love between the beautiful fairy princess, Fidelina, and Geoffrey, the garden gnome, continues to inspire and enchant us all.

If you have not seen ,or wish to relive, the wonders of the 'Wee Folks Wedding', you can click on the link below.
The 'Wee Folks' Wedding.

If you click on the link for 'labels', just below the title of this story, you can, if you so wish, read the 'Wee Folks' tales from the very beginning.
I thank you.  True love, in their world and our world, knows no barriers.

Monday 19 July 2010

The Families Of The Dead Have Been Informed.

So many coffins draped in flags.  Mothers sob, fathers cry, old and young, solemn and sad, watch as the coffins go by.
The stories are many of the pain of war.  War, the horror of war, has ripped at the heart and soul of those who seek a gentler world.  Children who will never know their mum or dad.  The anguish, oh the anguish, beyond description, of  parents told their precious child's life has been snuffed out by a roadside bomb.  The grieving widows and widowers.  The motherless child.   The fatherless child.   'Why is daddy sleeping in the coffin, mummy?'
War and for what reason?  Greed?  Ego?  Self interest?  God?   God is on our side?  How many more casualties of barbaric wars?   How many more children sent to war and never return alive?  How many more innocent lives, on all sides of conflicts, will be lost in the name of the cause?  How many more people will live in fear of that phone call, that dreaded knock on the door?  'I'm sorry to inform you....'
What the hell is wrong with man?
'Four members of Britain's armed forces have died in southern Afghanistan within 24 hours, the Ministry of Defence in London said Saturday.
The families of the dead have been informed.'

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Anchor Or Life Jacket?

No silly photographs.  No ridiculous attempts at quirky humour, such as, this guy asked me if I would like an ice cream sundae, to which I replied, 'well, I'd rather one now, thanks.'  Indeed, my postings have been my way of trying draw attention to myself.  Can you sense the irony?  A virtual recluse seeking attention.
Overwhelming negative aspects to my environment came so close, oh so close, to undermining the remaining fragile shreds of dignity and self respect that lingered in the back of my mind.  For there were those who saw me as a mere shadow of a man and preyed on my vulnerability.  What sort of person would relish with glee the plight of their fellow man?  Perhaps they take comfort in bullying easy targets to mask their own insecurities.
I have mental health concerns.  I openly admit that I cracked and came so close to dying.  Situations so traumatic, turned me from an outgoing and happy guy to a sad and lonely recluse.  Yet I fight on and, to some degree, I am so much better now.  I don't have a lot of social contact and that is where my blog has played a vital role in my ongoing battle with my mental health.  Each posting a positive coping mechanism.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that writing has saved my life.
I am a positive guy.  When I do venture out most people pick up on my friendly vibes.  It warms my heart to see them smile.  I go home and the buzz of my few minutes out, makes me realise, that maybe, just maybe, I'm worthy to 'impose' myself on society.
I never thought I'd become mentally ill.  I mean, shit, that only happens to other folks.  Oh, how wrong I was.
Through all of this I have discovered the power of empathy.  If you were drowning in the negative sea of despair, some would throw you an anchor.  I would throw you a life jacket.

I look into the glow of a solar lamp and reflect upon the day just gone.  Here's to a kinder, non-judgemental, more compassionate world.

Friday 9 July 2010

Welcome To 'Farcebook'.

You may be familiar with social networking sites.  I joined 'Farcebook'.  Thought it would be a really neat way to interact and reconnect with folks from my past.  All good stuff.  Right?
Well it turns out that there is a lot more to Farcebook.  I have noted some of the 'friend' requests led me to a link to a 'porno' site.  This led me to believe that, hmmm, I guess this isn't a genuine friend request.  So I have a quick look at the link for about thirty minutes, I mean thirty seconds and ignore the 'friend' request.
Then there's the 'profile updates'.  'Joe Bollocks is having some toast and a cup of coffee.'  'Suzie Creamcheese is all excited about watching Glee Club.  I'm such a Gleek lol'.  Well hello Joe and Suzie, I don't care!
Okay and then we have all those Farcebook games and applications.  You get to see all the thrilling updates that could possibly leave you breathless with excitement and anticipation, as to what happens next.   'Mary Lou Cupcake would like to hire you to work in my facilities in RanchVille!'  'Bobby Redneck Critter could really use some help fertilizing their crops in FarmRanch!'  Enough already.  Then I noticed the edit feature to prevent me from seeing all this fascinating information.  So I gratefully switched that feature on. No more exciting updates on 'IguanaVille', 'Pass the Possum',  'Poke the Pirate', or even the latest moving activities over at 'ShiteVille'.
Yes, fair enough, I will admit it.  There was a time I attempted one of the gaming applications.  It was 'FarmVile' and it was a disaster from the outset.  I ended up having my cows trample and crap all over my prized cucumbers, got chased around a field by my tractor, was kicked off my land by a bunch of rowdy hillbillies who wanted my flock of sheep and the wild possum that had knocked over the majority of my freshly painted fencing.  'Howdy neighbour'.  I don't think so and don't get me started on the 'Send Good Karma' application.  I sent out loads of karma to my friends.  Apparently good karma will come back.  So what happened when I went into a karma frenzy?  Thought you'd never ask.  Well, the car I had got wiped out by an ambulance.  Yeah, I know, good karma.  After all, if you are going to be involved in an accident, an ambulance would be the ideal vehicle.
I do put up profile updates.  Recently, and this will explain the photograph, I posted the following update.  'I require one more tin of beans to reach the next level on 'FartVille!'.  Oh, and if you are really interested, here is my latest profile update on Farcebook.  'If they can land a man on the Nevada desert.  What next?  The moon?'
Welcome to 'Farcebook'.  That tin of beans worked a treat. 'Toot, toot...'

Tuesday 6 July 2010

On And On And On And On

Warning!  The following blog is an experiment in holding your breath.  It is highly recommended that you do not reach the point of holding your breath like the old dude in the photograph below.  Yes below, as in underneath this sentence.

One thing I try to avoid in writing is something that I have mentioned before and that is the 'run-on' sentence because there are times that what you have to say can be much better described without using 'and' to make the sentence even longer than what it needs to be and there are times I know that I have probably typed sentences that are just too short but I don't care about that and I have decided that grammar anarchy is real good fun but will be frowned upon by those who insist that oh you must put a comma here and a semicolon  there along with a period or as it is called in Britain a full stop to note the end of a sentence which is not happening with this sentence until I ramble on with yet more gibberish such as the 'Comedy Knitting' workshop was a laugh and it had me in stitches being involved with such a close-knit community and this bank machine had a sign noting 'free cash machine' yet I noted that the cash actually came out of my account which I thought was unfair and misleading so I went into the store to complain and the lady asked me if she could check my card by 'swiping' it which I though was not good because if she swiped it I would not be able to use it and then I went to my car and realised it had been swiped but the scratch was not too bad so I went back into the shop and purchased a CD which was an empty case that had to be taken over to a special section where this lady then put a CD into the empty case and I then realised when I put the CD into my car stereo that my day was getting even worse because I was ready to listen to 'Devo' singing 'god made monkey but he used the human to do it' or something like that and ended up getting the 'Best of the Osmonds' so I think it is always best to make sure that the CD you get is the one that you want and I now believe I could sneak in words such as fuck and pink stilettos and you would not even realise this because you are now fascinated by my  story about these little people who followed around a very well-endowed golden amphibian whilst singing 'follow the yellow prick toad' and now I think it is time to not continue going on and on and on and on because I am going red in the face about being blue in the face over writing such a ridiculously long run-on sentence and thus you can now take a breath and smile.

Saturday 3 July 2010

The Talking Fridge.

This may just be the coolest blog I've ever done.  So chill out and relax while I tell you about the refrigerator.  When I mention, 'the refrigerator', this has absolutely nothing to do with the defensive lineman who played for the Chicago Bears.

I recently replaced my old 'frost-free' fridge with a new frost-free fridge.  Try saying 'frost-free fridge' after a frantic fun-filled Friday full of fine friends and one too many bottles of beer.  I had to get rid of my last frost-free fridge.  I got just a bit tired of defrosting a frost-free fridge.  Heck, my kitchen floor was getting so wet from water seeping from under the fridge, I started thinking about that classic song, 'Like a fridge over troubled waters...'  Oh well, it's just 'water under the fridge'.
Eventually, after needing a canoe just to get across my kitchen floor, I reckoned it was time to replace my not so frost-free fridge with a shiny new frost-free fridge.  I was saddened to say goodbye to my old fridge.  It reminded  me of that film, 'Heartbreak Fridge'.
I have noted that fridges seem to have a language.  My old fridge had its own distinctive form of communication.  It would emit strange gurgling and belching sounds.  Sometimes it would be the 'fridge of sighs'.  Was my fridge trying to tell me something?  Did my fridge have some kind of indigestion?  Perhaps it was a cry of help.  'Hey, just because you think I'm a frost-free fridge doesn't mean I gonna' cooperate.  Now defrost idiot!'
Well, my new refrigerator 'speaks' in a language even more bizarre than the previous.  The sounds emanating are similar to that of a squealing pig waiting its turn at the slaughterhouse.  Was my new fridge trying to convey a message to me?  Maybe the message, if there was one, was just the 'tip of the ice cube'.  It could be a case of a 'fridge too far'.
Anyway, despite the weird noises, this fridge has been working very well.  This fridge 'runs' efficiently.  Indeed, you might call it 'cool runnings'.  And before you ask, I did not discover the Jamaican bobsleigh team practising in the freezer section.
You might think that I have either completely lost it, or I am totally bored.  You might even think I had nothing to blog about and got desperate to publish something, anything.  But, go on, admit it.  You too have heard those noises coming from your fridge and thought it sounded like some kind of language.  Have another look at the photograph.  Overwhelming proof that fridges talk, right?  Hey, it's cool.  Must go now and put an icepack on my head and chat with 'the talking fridge'.  Here's hoping I don't get a frosty response.....