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Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

In the RV world, (and perhaps other worlds as well) we talk about waste holding tanks in terms of Grey tanks which holds water from the sinks, shower and washing machines. We also have the dreaded black tanks which hold the waste from the toilet. There is a sewer hose, often called the, ‘Stinky Slinky’ you hook up from an outlet on the rv to the dump station in the campground. There is a valve you need to open so the stuff in the holding tanks can flow down the sewer hose and into the dump station.

And now you know everything you need to know to follow the following story.

Before we even purchased the RV I read a ton of articles about black water screw ups. All written under the guise of helping the newbie avoid the same fate. I laughed, I cried, I shivered in fear and disgust. In the end I came away with a wealth of knowledge and a vow not to make those same mistakes. I am proud to say that after four years I have not made any of those mistakes. Instead I created my own.

Knowing you are only supposed to dump your black tanks when they are full we didn’t even bother to hook up the stinky slinky at our first two sites. Talk about a good reason to procrastinate!

After several successful sewer encounters I found myself getting a little cocky because the only ‘issues’ we were having was positioning the rv correctly. We have two black tanks and positioning the rv so we could connect both tanks to the dump station proved to be tricky. I’m always able to reach one with the slinky but the other is almost always just out of reach. But we always figured it out.

Eventually, as promised by many blogs, the fateful day came. Once again I could easily reach one black tank but not the other. I just needed another half an inch if even that. I really didn’t want to get out another 10 feet of sewer line for half an inch. They are called slinky’s because the accordion out. Certainly I could make up a half an inch!

I always start from the dump station and work towards the rv. First the fitting to the sewer, then a ‘Y’ connector and then the slinky’s to the Y connector then the other end of the slinky’s to their respective tanks. First side wasn’t a problem. The second tank I stretched the sewer hose really tight and was able to snap it into place. Success! We had not dumped at the previous site so I knew we needed to dump the tanks and while I was bent down at the outlet anyway I went ahead and pulled the valve to let the poop fly. Feeling quite pleased I looked down along the sewer line to the dump station and much to my horror the other end of the slinky was no longer attached to the Y connector! Luckily there was no four foot poop geyser as one blogger promised, nor was there a quickly forming lake Pooperior. There was however, a small poop pond beginning to form. I slammed the valve closed and made a heroic 10 foot leap grabbing the free end of the stinky slinky and held it high in the air stopping the flow of poop. I’m here to tell you it didn’t smell great. And I realized that the ‘pond’ was going to grow a little as I still had to re-attach the end of the hose. I took a breath, (not a deep one) assumed the Super Man pose and slammed the end of the hose to the Y connection spilling only a little more poop. Now what do I do? I looked around, we were the last RV in the row, nobody was around, nobody saw. The proper thing to do was inform the campground who would asses the situation, I have heard that they can charge you if they have to clean it up, or call a company to clean it up. I decided it wasn’t that bad, I didn’t see any lumps, sometimes having Crohn’s disease has its benefits, (some of you will understand). I disposed the rubber gloves and put on new ones. I hooked up our extra garden hose and started to flood the area. It only took a few moments for the gravel to go from brown to clear. Again I looked around, there were no cries of dissent, no fits of laugher, not a face peeking out of another RV. I started to relax even the smell was fading quickly. The whole incident was coming to a close without anyone the wiser. I stood there water hose in hand, I was satisfied I got through this unscathed when I heard my wife’s voice coming through the open window, “Did we have a toxic spill?”

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Recently we were re watching Tombstone. When somebody was itching for a gun fight Doc Holliday would say, in a very casual laid back way, “I’ll be your huckleberry”. Ominous music would play there would be a close up shot of his opponents gun hand, then a close up of doc’s eyes, and the would be ruffian would walk away. For days, possibly weeks, when anyone looks at me, including the dogs I’d say, ‘I’ll be your huckleberry’. Okay I won’t actually say it, but I’ll certainly think it even without understanding what it means. I know it’s a plant and Tom Sawyer’s friend Huckleberry Finn. But in Doc Holliday’s context I had no idea, more importantly I don’t care. But I’m thinking about it, and then thought about you. Yes you! What if you care? Don’t I owe you an explanation? No, I don’t owe you one, but because I’m a kind generous person I thought, out of the goodness of my heart I’d look it up and share my findings.

Turns out when Doctor Holliday is saying, “I’ll be your huckleberry’ what he means is, ‘I’m the man for the job’. Or, “you looking for trouble? I’ll be that trouble”.

So now you know. You are welcome.

So what else am I thinking about these days?

Driving down a two lane country highway (one direction each way) we came upon a sign which made me wonder what catastrophic event happened that this particular town decided it was necessary to use this particular wording, ‘Do not pass when opposing traffic is present’. Sure makes sense, some may say even logical. Is the usual, ‘pass with care’ to gentle? I guess so.

Public restrooms. I am 56 yrs old and have Crohns Disease I have been in my share of restrooms, yet I’ve never been able to rest in any of them. In fact they fill me with tension, apprehension and dread. We should come up with a better name.

We have noticed that in RV parks very little deters people from having a campfire. First time I noticed this I was sitting in our kitchen looking out the window just watching the pouring rain when I realized the people at the site next to us, (also in a large fifth wheel) were sitting outside in their lawn chairs in the rain. Not under their awnings, just sitting around a smoldering, smoking campfire letting the rain pour down on them. One or two were wrapped in a towel. I thought to myself, ‘freaks’. But I’ve seen it quite a few times now in different campgrounds. Why would you invest so much money, time and effort to be comfortable while camping and then sit in the rain? Could have saved a ton of money and bought a tarp and a rope and make a shelter between two trees.

Speaking of campfires. The woods are safe from me, I can have the best weather for fire the driest wood, plenty of paper and kindling and yes, lighter fluid. We even made our own fire starters. I use the tepee approach leaving plenty of gaps for air to get through and I can usually get the fire started and it lasts until the igniter fluid burns off. Takes a lot to keep it going. It is frustrating when I see people with blazing fires in a rainstorm.

Shouldn’t the word, ‘ambiguous’ have more than one meaning?

There is a car that has a safety feature that alerts when the driver’s eyes leave the road. The problem as I see it, my eyes are going to leave the road as I try to figure out why the car is making noises at me. It doesn’t sound like its a cycle that ends well.

Aspen Dental, they say they take walk ins, they don’t. If you miss your appointment by 15 minutes…forget about it and embrace the pain.

Now if you want to read more posts…I’ll be your huckleberry.

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Perfect Magic has always been a store for magicians. We did not carry gum that tasted like garlic, cigarettes which exploded or the ever popular fake dog poop. Although I have seen dog poop used with great success in magic effects. The late great Tony Eng really fooled the crap out of me (pun intended)with a dog poop effect, but this is a story for another day.

So it was quite shocking when my father decided that carrying a remote control fart machine in the shop would be a good idea.

Turned out to be the best idea ever.

I snuck into the shop a little early, hid the fart machine near the cash register and took control of the remote. It was agonizing having to wait for the first customer and then the perfect moment. I hid in the office, eyes focused, thumb on the remote. I heard Gordon Lightfoot’s voice in my head, a line from The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald. “Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn minutes to hours?”

Finally the planets lined up. The customer decided on his purchase, mom punched the sale in the register then she bent over to get a bag. And in that moment I pushed the button. For some reason the fart sounded even more realistic than in my test run. My mother stood for half a beat and then started laughing. Laughing so hard she couldn’t even get my name out, although not for lack of trying. We laughed until mom, myself and the customer had tears rolling down our faces.

It was a very good day!

And we sold our first of many fart machines.

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When I worked at a communications company we were often asked by management what we, the front line workers found wrong with the company. My response was always the same, lack of communication.

It appears communication is problematic everywhere and there is no finer example than Facebook. The following are some of the precious nuggets I have found perusing this particular corner of social media. what?

In trying to sound intelligent, this guy forgot he was using the written word and not in a verbal conversation. He could have just put ‘smart people’ in quotes or Italics rather than spell out, ‘quote unquote smart people’. I love the irony.

“…you know man I never really believed in them much either. Whenever things in my life start paralleling these theories me having an analytical mind causes me to do some homework. It’s funny how all you quote unquote smart people just write everything off and won’t even look at the evidence because there’s plenty of evidence.”

I’m not sure if the poster below was trying to be funny, tripped over his own words, regardless I found it funny,

“Good morning. Roads are covered with low visibility.”

Another case of irony? He is trying to argue why school is not important for everyone, yet his communication skills prove the opposite.

“It’s because schools teach need to go to more school and let’s face it some are not ment to go to school extra and will never use them 100k in det I’m happy I knew I’d be working on cars and did not go to school”

This next post was actually about student loans.

“One in 4 americans,think about that then think about all the people you actauly know,how many actauly have school lian debt,there’s Norway its actauly one out of 4 americans”

This was a post discussing rv waste systems.

“We go to full hook up rv parks every 3 time out and fill it full and dump a few tims”

The following nugget was taken from a discussion about all those pesky car warranty calls.

“they were making some quality arrests in talking 15 16 at a time and well they found over 20 children in sex trafficking rings, twice and now nothing haven t heard of enything.”

The following two posts were taken from a discussion discussing bar’s being re-opened once life started normalizing after Covid lock downs.

If I had to bet I am sure the individuals who posted the comments were drunk.

“they should close all the bars in st college, you want to learn, or just be drunk, most just be drunk, no offense to the bar, it’s a honest business but these students are getting out of control these days, take their devils wine, and the devi,l go else whet4 but saying that good luck to you!”

“But I’m putting a monkey backpack on u Bc u hot n everyone’s gonna want u but u cumming home to me”

There is a cone shaped tool which fits on your drill, it is used to split firewood. There was an ad for one on Facebook and I found this gem in the responses.

“I had one for years jacked truck up took tire off bolted on it bust any could stick to it took man hold it for sure”

I’m the first to admit I am not good with punctuation. But I think a period now and again never hurts.

“Illegal where I live can not park it in the road my neighbor across the street tried it with his hunk of junk RV then they started living in it in the street we had a few words and he refused to move it so I took the next step and then he was forced to move it he was pissed but law clearly said he could not do it”

Again, a little punctuation would be nice. I am also a little confused, he doesn’t want to buy an Open Range Rv because of all the negative comments about them, (we love ours) yet he is in the market for one?

“Does everyone hate they’re open range i seen a lot about soft floors leaky plumbing and roofs makes me not want to buy one i am looking for one with a bathroom in the front anyone selling one”

Say What?

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My wife says to me, “You should get a picture of the bush outside the bedroom window”

I looked out the window and yes, it would be an awesome shot the way the branches are encased in ice. I also knew the picture would never be great because there is a screen in the way. I know what you are thinking, move the screen. The problem is we don’t have screens that slide up and down, removing the screen would literally mean me removing the screen entirely and I am way to lazy for that so I snapped the picture. Of course it came out like crap.

“I tried, the screen makes it looks like crap”

“Remove the screen” she says, “It’s easy!”

I knew it wasn’t worth the shot. But you know what they say ‘Happy wife, Happy life’. The fact it is 16 degrees out didn’t bother me, we sleep with the windows open year round however, the screen is metal and freezing! But with an inward sigh I unhooked the little latches and pushed the screen out. In order to maneuver the screen into the room I had to tilt it outside the window and pull it inside. I quickly realized the fly in the ointment, the poop in the sugar, the snarl in the yarn was the screen could not be maneuvered properly due to the beautifully ice encrusted bush. Breaking the branches would have nullified the whole point of this now increasingly frustrating project. After a few moments I decided it just wasn’t happening and started the process of putting the screen back in its place. The screen was not co-operating. My frustration was mounting.

“I did it with the bathroom window, it was easy enough” came my wife’s voice from behind me. While this tidbit of information was fantastically useless I did find it funny and we both started laughing. It was somewhere around this point where I dropped the screen outside the window. My wife immediately says, “Well we can get it in the spring and now you can take the picture! Whoohoo”. Yeah…..whoohoo.

In that moment I had a memory of another incident that happened at this very window 11 years ago almost to the day. Perhaps some of you long time readers will remember, for the rest of you or if you want to refresh your memory click here, https://bmat10.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/rude-awakening/?preview=true

“Nope, I’m going to get it right now”!

“Well be sure to take the photo first”

“Yes dear”.

Okay the hassle, even running around the house and slogging through two feet of snow to retrieve the screen was well worth the effort.

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This past weekend my folks, one sister and my four-year old nephew were visiting from Canada.  It was also our 9th wedding anniversary, so we decided to have a little BBQ at our house, in all there were about 25 people and I think it is safe to say we all had a good time.  I lit a fire in the fire ring so we could make smores, the boy, (my nephew) was very interested in this process and pulled up a chair close to the fire,  he was making it quite clear in all his wiggling that he wasn’t overly comfortable. A co-worker/friend and I were standing off to the side where we overheard the following conversation between my sister, and her son. (who she calls in her blog, ‘the boy’)

My sister: walking up to my wiggling nephew and taking the seat beside him, “Boy are you okay?” 

Boy: “Yes”

“Boy you are wiggling around and can’t keep still, what is wrong?”

“My underpants are sticky”

His underpants were sticky because it was hot, and he was wearing long pants rather than shorts to protect him from mosquito bites. My friend went hysterical, he loved the honesty and simplicity of the answer.  Although we work together and see each other just about every day he clearly hasn’t been paying attention.  For my family such an answer is typical, even so I have to admit there was a poetic beauty about it, especially coming from a four-year old. 

Yesterday I was sitting in my office at work, my co-worker was in the other room helping out one of the technicians.  I always keep an ear open just in case there is something I need to deal with.  I heard the following conversation:

Technician: “Hey, what’s up?”

Co-worker: “My underpants are sticky!”

I almost died laughing.

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My wife and I are still redecorating, still laughing and I’ve got one tip on how to decorate with your significant other and not be at one another’s throats.  Simple really, don’t do too much at any given time.  Give yourself a generous time line so there is not a lot of pressure to get things done now! While we didn’t fight, or even argue I could tell by the end of this particular day we both had pretty much reached our limit there was just a hint of that telltale tension in the air. 

Something else I’ve learned is try to have good lighting.  Our bedroom is pretty dark to make matters worse we had to remove two light sources so all we had was an overhead light and the light came through the windows.  Once we got everything back in order we did find a few issues that we will have to deal with, when we would have been able to correct them at the time had the lighting been better.  I know, sounds simple, but we don’t always do what sounds simple, logical or obvious. If we would keep to the simple and obvious rule we would have removed the three baskets full of laundry off our large, heavy king sized bed before we moved bed rather than after.

Overall everything is moving along nicely and we should be on target for our mid June completion date. The next big obstacle is going to be painting and that is only an obstacle because I don’t like painting not because I anticipate any problems. 

So I am sitting typing away with the TV on in the background when the show is interupted by a weather alert.  The TV goes to a black screen and those annoying beeps start. Seconds later the computer generated voice announces that, “There is a severe storm waring for the central paw region” My wife and I look at each other, “Did the tv just say central paw?”  In this day of modern technology you would think a computer would be able to interpret ‘Pa’ as Pennsylvania or at the very least, ‘PA’ but paw? Somewhow it is comforting to know that computers still have a little catching up to do.

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 We are still working on the bedroom remodel, (yes it is going to be a long drawn out process). We  removed some more molding pulled out the TV and TV cabinet, and no it’s not one of those sleek little flat screens,  oh no my friends it is one of those really heavy monster TV’s that is the exact opposite of flat so it has the bonus of being bulky as well as heavy. 

We removed the baseboards and cut a whole in the back of the cabinet to accommodate the socket in the wall and put up the wall paper like stuff to cover the paneling.  Now the wall looks great the TV cabinet sits further back into the corner and flush against the wall so it takes up a little less room and looks fantastic.

Still my wife and I worked as a team with no issues between us. Wait, there was one small issue.  The wallpaper is pre-glued but the glue has to be activated, so you cut a length you want, (in our case 7 ft long and the paper is 18 inches in width) and then run the paper through a trough of water, each part must be in the water for a good 15 seconds.  There are probably a variety of ways to execute this particular task but we have decided the, ‘Aching arms, sore back stretched out ham strings’ method works best for us. 

Allow me to explain, the trough is 18.5 inches long 3 inches in width and 4 inches deep.  So you can only wet 3 inches of wall paper at a time.  We have a bath sized walk in shower so the trough goes on the floor in the shower, my wife gets on one side and holds (at this point the bulk of the wallpaper) I’m on the other side of the trough bent in half placing the leading edge into the trough and we count 1 one thousand, thousand, 2 one thousand, thousand all the way up to 15 one thousand, thousand.  We found if you rush this step your stick ability to the wall is less than great.  Then I pull up the leading edge 3 inches and my wife hunches down in half and holds the next three inches in the trough and begins the count, then I raise the leading edge another three inches and so on for 7 foot length.  It is a slow process and halfway through my arms are getting tired because holding up wet wallpaper is not as easy as it may sound and 15 seconds multiplied by 7 feet is longer then you might expect. It is hard to ignore the pain in the back and thighs that creeps in as you remain in a bent position for an extended length of time.  

So, we are in position and everything is running smooth, we have about 5 feet of the paper good and wet and then it happens, my lovely wife who is still crouched over manages to head-butt the end of the paper I am holding up.  Did I mention that because you don’t want to ‘loose’ the glue you go through the process with the glue side face up in the water, which means that the non glue side is facing me and the glue side is, well you guessed it, facing my wife who now has glue hair.  Okay it may be that my arms were getting tired and I may have allowed a little slack in the paper and it could be the paper met the top of my wife’s head as she was leaning forward just a little. 

The best part is we were able to laugh.

We were able to laugh even though the future of my job is questionable.  We were able to laugh even though this is my wife’s busy season at work and they are understaffed and under a lot of strain.  We were able to laugh even though our room is in total upheaval. We were able to laugh even though this remodel is going to be a long drawn out process. We were able to laugh even though we have a few pets having some medical issues.

We are able to laugh, and there is nobody who I’d rather be laughing with.

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Many moons ago my parents, (who own Perfect Magic) used to host a magic convention in Montreal each year.  It was a big deal some of the biggest names in the industry would attend.  I won’t list them here as most of you are not magicians so it wouldn’t really mean anything to you, and those that are magicians can click here  to get the full list.  After the convention we would have a party with the invited guests (magic dealers, lectures, performers and friends who helped us out) and have a grand ole’ time.

At one such ‘after’ party a friend of my mothers, said to my Mother, “I envy you, you know all these entertainers and its such a different sort of life it must be so exciting!”  My mother laughed and replied, “What are you talking about?  We go to work, we figure out what we are going to eat for dinner, we watch tv and we go to sleep then wake up the next morning and do it again. It is you who lives the exciting life, you’re a teacher, you travel you’ve seen the world, now that’s exciting!” My mothers friend laughed and said, “Not really, we go to work, we figure out whats for dinner…”

Last night my wife and I were eating dinner at Denny’s with what has now become the Tuesday night crew.  After reading my blog one of our new found friends commented that we live such an exciting life compared to theirs.  I said, “not really,  we wake up, go to work, figure out what we are going to do for dinner…”

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Husky Fun

Husky fun
Husky fun

You know you are in for a trying day when it is 5:30am and the snow in the driveway is up to your huskies belly.  My saving grace is that it is Saturday which means that instead of securing the dog on the porch and dragging out the snow blower and moving snow for two and a half hours, I can turn around, stick the dog in the laundry room and go back to sleep and worry about the snow later.  I’m not a fan of snow, yes its pretty, but pretty is only skin deep and ugly is to the bone.  Watching Sequoia play in the snow does add a whole new element.  I wish I had set the camera to video mode but at 5am I am not thinking that clearly, it is amazing I had the presence of mind to grab the camera.  I seriously had to laugh as she bounded through the snow, tail in the air, mouth open tongue lolling out to one side.  Every now and again she would dunk her face in the snow then pull it back out totally encrusted in snow up to her ears, her blue eyes sparkling. Then she would stretch out her neck, her eyes would narrow to slits as she put her nose high in the air and breath in all the scents the world has to offer her. The next moment she would be bounding through the snow again. If Sequoia has taught me anything it is to take the time to live in the moment.  It is a lesson I forget all to easily, thankfully she is there to remind time and time again.

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