Minimum Wage Three: A Brief Pause For Expostion

(Continued From)

“Ross Perot and super bionic cybernetic exoskeleton suit wearing Ralph Nader?” I ask with a heavy helping of astonishment.

“Yes! You hadn’t talked in so long that I was beginning to think that a side-effect of time travel was losing your voice.” Ross answers.

“If only that were true!” Nader says with a glance at Ross Perot. “And that is super bionic, cybernetic exoskeleton, bio-fuel powered, paradox proof, time travelling suit wearing, Ralph Nader to you. However you can call me Ralph.”

“R-r-r-a-l-ph.” I drawlingly growl. “You’re right, I can!”

“Fine. You may call me Ralph.”

I nod my head in agreeance with Mr. Nader. I then wonder if I should remind Ross that I spoke no less than five minutes prior. Then I decide that it is probably just a waste of time. “Why do you call him Hank?”

“He had a real issue with always saying ‘I’m Ross the Boss or Ross, rhymes with Boss,’ and other things to that extent.” Nader leans in close to me and finishes in whispery whisper. “Not only is his first name Henry, but Hank, rhymes with wank.” He smiles and shrugs as he prepares himself for criticism on his joke.

While Ross takes some more pie charts over to Machismo and young Bill Clinton, Nader explains a few things to me. Like how his suit is paradox proof. That before any leap, it is able to calculate travellers intentions and project them along a path of what has already happened. If at anytime a traveler begins to alter the course in a sweeping manner, the suit will emit a warning. If things become dire, it will immediately send them back from the time they came from. This includes everyone touching the suit as the suit can handle multiple external travellers. Also, it runs on bio fuels and if not, it has a plastic reclamation and oil purifier system.

“So basically, it is full proof, can’t get stuck, and doesn’t cause plot holes?” I inquire in summation.

“Entirely.”

“And if there seems to be a plot hole? Because time travelling stories always seem to have holes.”

“It was supposed to happen, just as the suit predicted.”

“That is great to hear!”

(Continued)

National Dog Day 2015

New post over at the new blog!

the standards of living

Today is possibly the happiest holiday there can be and therefore, the best. Just a bunch of people telling their dogs, “Happy National Dog Day!” Maybe giving their best friends some treats or taking them for extra special walks! Heck, maybe some people can even bring them to work. All the while dogs just wag their tails like crazy and do something cute. As they are vessels of endless joy.

ndogd_header The boys on the trail

These are our two boys, Jacoby and Bleu, brothers from other mothers. Jake was about a year and half old when Bleu came along. According to the little man, Bleu, they are inseparable. There was one little spat, but that was just working out some logistics in dog. If we take Jake to the vet, Bleu will lie by the door and wait for his return. Intermittently emitting his nasally moan, “Mmmmmmmmm.”

Bleu with his crazy ears Bleu with his crazy…

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Parkhurst: Last Year and Now

First post on the new blog!

the standards of living

Exactly a year ago, so exactly it was almost down to within the hour, my wife and I attempted to find Parkhurst, a ghost town just north of Whistler. We had briefly read the directions before going, but got a little confused on the whole keep the railroad tracks on our right part. So instead we decided to take the more trodden trail. We spent all day on the trail and tried many of the offshoots which lead to a logging base and several dead ends. We climbed some big ass rocks and sat for a bit. At the end we thrust our feet into the glacier fed river. Which is now an annual tradition. While we had a great time, we never found Parkhurst.

This time we read the directions a little better. Since we already knew all the ways to not get there and that literally keeping the tracks on…

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Minimum Wage: Aftermath of A Kick to the Cha-Cha’s

(Continued From)

So there I am, lying on the porch, the pain in slowly dissipating. While the severity of the situation grows on me. Stranded in 1960 Washington, D.C. With an asian guy from Canada, Machismo Wainwright, and a really young Bill Clinton, he has to be about twelve. He is also hungry as he has just reminded me for the second time in five minutes, that he would like to get a sandwich or some wings. I didn’t even know they had wings in the sixties.

“We just got kicked in the junk by a young Pat Buchanan, who stole our time machine and has gone into the future to assume the identity of Ted Cruz! Do you really think now is the time to worry about food?” I scold the once and future president.

“I’m sorry. I just always have fought time traveling conservatives better on a full stomach.” he says with a doughy faced grin.

“Is that your attempt at ironic appropriationalist internet humor?”

“What’s the internet?”

“Don’t worry, your best friend will say he invented it, get ribbed for saying he invented it, then become the sex symbol of the environmentalist world.”

“Way to go Bobby!” young Bill Clinton says with a glance to the sky.

I just look at the kid in disbelief. When I was his age and weight, he was running the country. Now – since we figured it was safest to get a younger and less wild version of young Bill Clinton – I could be brought up on kidnapping charges.

I sit up and check on Machismo. He says he is fine, but I know that he is beating himself up for leaving the keys in the car. “Don’t worry man, we are going to be just fine. We’re gonna do great!”

Machismo opens his mouth to speak. Before he can say a sound, he is interrupted by a new voice as someone rounds the house. “Finally! I was getting tired of waiting on you to say something like that so we could make our grand entrance. Mr. Flare for the drama, probably voted for Obama, over here wouldn’t have it any other way.” The voice is fast, with that nasally southern drawl. It sounds familiar, but I can’t place where. My view is intercepted by a pie chart as a turn to find the speaker.

“See here, this is how much the space time continuum has veered from your reality since you bunch of panty-waists let Patsy steal the time machine.”

A blur of color fills my binocular vision. I can’t make out anything other than blurred colors where my vision overlaps. My brain screams at the paradox of only seeing yellow in my left eye, blue in my right, and green in the center. In attempt to better make out what the holder would like me to see, I lean back, putting distance between the pie chart and myself. Whoever is holding it though just keeps it against the tip of my nose. Pushing it to keep it at the current distance.

“I can’t read your damn pie chart!” I roar as I rip from the grip of the holder and send it flying like a broke ass frisby. The continuation of my rant falls short. In fact, I don’t think it would be a good idea to berate any further. One in a business suit, the other is some futuristic mechanized battle suit thing. Names swim in my head and I find them almost instantly. However, they don’t leave my lips as their conversation continues and I sit awestruck.

“I don’t believe you can call them panty-waists.” Mr. Roboto responds. His voice is slower, deep and bouncy. Well thought out by comparison.

“It is 1960 Washington, D.C. I can do whatever I want! Wanna get a hooker? Fine! Wanna go do blow with absolutely any politician? Fine! Wanna call a couple of losers and a fat kid panty-waists because they practically gave a time machine to my good friend Patsy, who honestly has no business having a time machine, because he can’t help himself? Why don’t you just go ahead and give a bottle to a baby or something!”

“That isn’t a very apt metaphor, Hank. You see, people generally give babies,” The chastisement is cut short.

“Quit bustin’ me in the bean bag for god sakes Ralphy! This is why we never hang out!”

“That isn’t the only reason.” he responds with a smirk.

(Continued)

Minimum Wage Increase: Waiting For The Meteor

Yesterday I had a friend, Machismo Wainwright, strike up a conversation with me about the raising of minimum wage. It was in response to me sharing some “Republicans suck and voted down raising the minimum wage.” post on facebook. He asked me if I was really in favor of it and mentioned a few of the negative points. Such as the possibility of having to fire people in order to pay other’s higher wages. What if everyone becomes too expensive? To the point that automation has a more appealing price point to shareholders and lots of people lose jobs.

I agree with him on the points he brought up. My reply was that something has to be done and that I am in favor of doing something. Sure that something could something that sounds impossible like Getting the money out of politics! or The government regulating shit out of things that are too expensive for people to afford on the current minimum wage. Which by the way is pretty much fucking everything! Another something could simply be Waiting for a meteor to wipe us out of existence.

Instead, I began to fall back to my defensive dry humor and said something far more plausible “We can fix it! Although I have no idea where we are going to get a time machine and go stop Reagan, Nixon, Pat Buchanan and everyone else responsible for this mess. This time travel reference was not of the Terminator paradigm, but more of the Bill and Ted/Back to the Future variety.

An asian guy and a guy with a red beard in a time travelling smart car pull up in front of each and every respective offenders house. From there we cram them in the nearly non-existent back seat – apologizing profusely for the cramped space while pointing out that in the future we don’t have the money to buy huge vehicles. Also, that thing called global warming turned out to be real and is now called climate change. Without more a do we take them to the future and show the scummy clog they have created.

We make them watch women give birth and go back to work in under two weeks. We make them watch hard working people not make ends meet. We make them watch as young people go to college and incur crippling debt only to get unpaid internships. We make them watch as people die due to terrible medical coverage.

The message sinks in. I have a good feeling about Reagan and Nixon being overall good guys and seeing the errors of their ways. They are also incredibly interested at the wealth accumulation prospects of a time traveling smart car! Machismo will have to keep an eye on the keys. George H. “Walker Texas Ranger” Bush says he will do his part to make things right as he throws a box of magnums up on the counter at the 7-11. “If only we had’em in this size the first time ‘round.” He says as he tips up his cowboy hat with his thumb. “Now that’s what I call planned parenthood!”

We can’t fit everyone in the smart car at once, so we just have to keep taking them and then dropping them off. Things get a little weird when we pull up at Buchanan’s place. Doesn’t help that young Bill Clinton didn’t eat lunch before we left and he is a little hungry. However, when the door opens is when we officially step into the poo. I must have seen a photo of young Pat Buchanan recently. He seems so familiar.

“Aw, my cha-chas!” Bill Clinton roaringly mumbles as Pat kicks him square in the nards. Before Machismo and I can even react younger – and surprisingly spry – Pat Buchanan lunges forward, dropping to one knee and punches both of us in no-no’s. He sprints away from the battle, leaving us lying in crippled heaps.

While laying in the fetal position next to a panting young Bill Clinton, I realize why young Buchanan looks so familiar. “God damn you, Ted Cruz!” I yell with all the strength I can muster. Yelling through the pain throbbing in my stomach.

“That is a great name, I think I will use it when I establish a new political career for myself in the future.” He says as he opens the door to the smart car. He pauses and leans against the roof, resting his elbows. “Say where ya’ll from? Ya’ll seem like nice folk, you from Canada or something?”

“Yeah, we are from Calgary.” I whimper after a moment’s pause. I know full well what he is going to say next and it pleases me to no end that I have bested him, for now.

“Hey that sounds like a great place to live and call my birthplace!”

Eat shit young Pat Buchanan, enjoy Nickleback, winter, and your damn hockey team. I think to myself as I smile and double over in pain once more. I  hear the smart car drive away and hit a fuel efficient eighty-seven miles an hour as it begins its leap into the future. A whole mile sooner than the older model. I lie there and wait for the meteor to come.

(Continued)

Reading Habits: Change Is Like a New Pair of Underwear

In recent years I have found that I now read more than I ever have before. Over the past year I have decided to change my reading habits. Namely expand on the genre that I typically read. I’ve quit reading – almost exclusively – science fiction and fantasy. I have read far too much of it. Names of elves and world ending calamities are starting to blur together. In general the topic was starting to bog me down and kill my interest in reading.

“Turns out we have an entirely different problem than the one we have been trying to solve over the eight thousand pages and five books!” announces someone important in the fantasy land.

Why not send in Marus Magic Pants. I think to myself. Right, because he is in a wholly different book series.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a few series I have yet to finish and this definitely won’t be goodbye forever. However, I have to admit that I think reading novels is the bomb and actually fits my personality better. I have always had several, if not many, books on the go at one time. I also, like reading different authors. These two traits are what have lead to so much confusion on my part.

Since I began reading only novels, my book completion pace has doubled, if not more. Part of it is certainly the length. A vast majority of novels do not average a thousand pages. Something that is common place in the fantasy and science fiction world. Another part is the renewed interest. I am knocking books out faster than I would as I have always been more excited about starting something new.

(Continued)

Light Up Laughing Shirt

I heard on the morning news that some Vancouver science students have invented a light up shirt. Apparently the shirt will light up, laugh and in general throw a fit as people pass the wearer on the street. This is supposed to show that the wearer of said shirt is fun and approachable. Open to conversations and what not.

The light up laughing shirt is supposedly a cure for the quiet, stuck up, unapproachable Vancouver stereotype. Which is a fair stamp to slap on the city and its citizens. We are like that and we do give off that vibe. However, it seems like something that we could treat in a different way.

There are other solutions we could try instead of a jack ass shirt that makes one – unless people are aware of what the shirt is supposed to represent – look like a psychotic shithead. Since the transit plebiscite was clearly a demonstration that we have money to burn, perhaps we could hang up a few posters that say, “We aren’t bunch of dicks!” “Say hello to the next person you see!” “You hate translink and so will the next person you see, already more in common than you thought.” “We all just want to talk and maybe get a hug.”

Whatever! I am just spit balling here. Vancouverites have managed to bestow the title of a stuck up city upon ourselves. I don’t think we really are, I just think we have heard it one to many times and tell ourselves that everyone around us is stuck up. When in reality, we are just a bunch of people that want to connect and interact. Seriously, how can one city be full of pretentious snobs? If New York, which is a zillion times bigger than Vancouver, can be friendly, so can Vancouver! Without a light up laughing shirt, buy someone a beer instead.

First Day of School

I was cruising through my facebook feed this morning and saw a couple of pictures of kids all pumped up and ready for their first day of school. I looked at the date and I got a negative feeling in my tummy. It’s August twelfth, is it really time to go back to school?

I don’t remember having to go back this early, but maybe we did. Regardless, it doesn’t really matter as I loathed the first day of school. I think I may have really been excited for Kindergarten, but who isn’t. A fun sounding name that literally translates to children’s garden, which I am assuming understood in reverse as a garden of children. Either way it works and sounds like a great time, plus it is fun to say. Kids just eat and sleep their way through the day with a few sing alongs to break it all up.

Then you get sucked into the system and become a brick in the wall and the teachers just won’t leave you alone. Open your books! “Where is my graham cracker snack” I respond in protest! Day after day, year after year. Everything is the same, but harder. Students work hard and get rewarded with more difficult work in larger portions. Just like real life!

From Kindergarten to the real world in less than a year. By second grade everyone knows why grown ups smoke and drink. One realizes why the age limits to buy smokes and booze are so high, because if we all started eleven years sooner, we would be worse off as a society.

There are those weird kids who are locked in battle for valor victorian. They will battle each other all through the years of school. Some will make it, some will fizzle out and one gets the prize. Does anyone care?

I loved summer break and school was just something that got in the way. I had to lay down my bike, put down the Dungeons & Dragons, turn off the HBO and most importantly put down the video game controller. Summer is dead, long live summer!

Selfies With Art: A Special Place In Hell

Last summer, my wife and I visited the MoMA for the first time.We were both so excited as we went through the doors and stood in the wrong line. We were having such a great time that we don’t even notice for several minutes. We did finally get in the proper line, paid our fee and entered. The first few rooms were great. Not too many people. Then as we moved into the rooms with more famous works, it slowly began to happen.

So many people were taking photos that it was quite difficult to get a good view of some pieces. I had to stand my ground a few times and quite possibly wound up in some peoples photos. In fact, many people seemed to be viewing the art exclusively through the viewfinder and only long enough to get a photo. There was a lack of critical viewing and basking in the wonderment of these pieces. Why do people feel the need for visual proof? Why do people feel the need to collect photos of art? Especially when many of these pieces are well documented in photo form, in books that we have been looking at all our lives! At the museum, we can all stand directly in front of them. Free to view them in the round and from different angles. Able to get right up next to a Pollock and see how far the paint hangs off the canvas. Yet these people would shoot one photo from six to ten feet away and move on to the next piece.

Then there were the absolute worst. The scum of the earth, selfie people. A line had formed at The Starry Night so people could get their picture with it. Luckily it was only a few people deep. I let them have there shot. Once the camera dropped I made my move to get close to the painting. I looked at my wife and jerked my head for her to come on up and have a look. I remembered some wise words about getting seats at a hockey game “Get there first, put your elbows on the armrests and don’t fucking move them.” I guess the same practice can be applied to art museums. Now I sincerely believe, there is a special place in hell for people who take selfies with art.

International Cat Day

I am starting to sincerely to believe that each and every day, including days that already have major holidays on them, have a lesser known, yet thoroughly celebrated international holidays on them. I don’t celebrate all of them. Who has the time? Today though is a special one, it’s International Cat Day!

I assume that this is news to many cats! As they seem to believe that every day is international cat day. Surely they believe today should be International Thank The Supreme Feline Overlords For Allowing Us To Live Another Year Day. Seriously though, cats are great and so are dogs. No lines drawn here.

I would like to give a special shout-out to Silver, the girl with the unamused look pictured above. She moved out a couple of years ago and moved in with some friends. She was locked in a vicious turf war with one of our dogs. His methods were to hog turf. While her methods involved peeing on everything. She is much happier now and is no longer a loose cannon. However, this did throw a hurdle in she and I opening a bookstore as she can’t take transit and is one of the most dangerously aggressive drivers I have ever seen.

Anyone doing anything special with their cats today? Got any stories to share or even better, any photos? Put them down in the comments if you’d like!