Goodness gracious, I’m the busy Range Rover. I just hope I don’t have as much gas as those things use!

I’ve read that a runner burns about 2600 calories running a marathon. That itself is pretty amazing as that’s about what the average person burns in an entire day! But then take a regular hummingbird. Over the same length of time the marathon runner uses 2600 calories, the hummingbird will use 14,000 calories going about their normal activities!

There’s a Walmart commercial in current circulation that’s trying to bring in the younger crowd. It starts with a teen saying something like, “Being a teenager is one step closer to total freedom.” Little does he know that being a teen is the most free time we have. Sure you can do more as an adult, but the added responsibilities seem to make sure that doesn’t happen. The kicker is that I understand what the teen is saying as I thought exactly the same thing at that age.

This is part of the sign of a restaurant near where I work. I’ve left out the name of the place because they might not appreciate what I’m about to ask. Is it just me or does the stem of the peach look like a bent-up penis?

It makes me a little uncomfortable.

Test result Range Rover graphic from fallingashes.net

The lottery and a career in porn

I bought a lottery ticket the other day while I was with Daren and he wanted ‘in’ on the ticket. We later talked about what we might do if we’d come into the kind of money that only a lottery can bring. We both agreed that it would be extremely difficult to work full time unless the job was one that we loved to do. The conversation moved to what kind of work that might be.

I wondered aloud what I loved to do that would earn me a living and Daren suggested that it might not be that simple as everyone likes sex, but working in the sex-trade wouldn’t be such a good idea. I joked that porn was another option that might not be so objectionable. I then said, “Porn won’t work. I don’t think you could work five days a week as there aren’t enough openings.”

Needless to say, there was a lot of laughing at that point.

My restoration adventure

I plan to scan all of my parents’ photos and save them to CDs. This has the dual advantages of allowing me copies of my own at only the cost of my own time, and the preservation of the images both from colour shifts that the passage of time invariably brings, and preservation from complete loss in case of a flood or something. As most plans with no deadlines, the progress is slow. The last bit of work I’ve done was to scan, colour correct, and repair a roll of film that I know was taken in the summer of 1969. The date wasn’t written on the prints, but what the photos are of makes the date unmistakable.

The thirty-three year old print as it appeared right out of the scanner.

You see, for seven months in 1969, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers dammed up and shut off the American Falls at Niagara Falls. There was some repair work done as extensive erosion had occurred. Indeed, the falls are where they are today because of erosion. Also, there’s a large pile of rock at the base of the American Falls and one of the main reasons they dammed the falls was to examine this rubble close up and determine whether they should remove it or not. I’ve read the tourist industry in the area was very concerned that visitors would stay away if they knew that half of the falls wouldn’t be there to see. It turns out that the novelty of seeing the falls dry made it one of the busiest tourist years ever, up to that time.

Colour correction and a few adjustments make quite a difference!

I don’t know who actually took these pictures (I think it may’ve been my brother), but I offer for your approval a photo from the base of the falls. Normally, all of the rock you see in this photo would be covered with water, except perhaps at the very bottom right. At the top is the actual edge of the falls the water plunges over …and you can spot a trickle if you look closely. My only regret is that to fit the images onto this page, I had to reduce their size so much that you can’t see the dirt, spotting, and surface damage in the original. The results certainly are not up to professional restoration standards, but I bet I can at least equal the results from the small film developer places that offer restoration services.


A week ago Saturday my mother and father celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. It was a surprisingly warm and sunny November afternoon that I hope they’ll remember for a long time. I know I’ll never forget it. It was, by and large, a very happy day and things went very well. My mother told me that their wedding day was a Saturday as well, but it couldn’t have been more different. It was cold, dark, and rainy. My nieces were shocked to hear that there are no wedding pictures. Mom and dad didn’t have the money for that.

My sister made arrangements for us to have dinner at a fancy restaurant in town. She was great. Mom and dad each got a single white rose when my sister and brother-in-law came over that afternoon. They brought a bottle of Champaign so we could toast the occasion before all heading over to the restaurant. My sister, brother-in-law, their two children, myself, and my parents all raised a glass. It seemed a tremendously inadequate gesture as most people there wouldn’t have been born had they not married.

We met all three of my brother’s children at the restaurant, along with the girls’ fiancées. There, the twelve of us ate to far past full, and then pored over the desert menu to figure out the best way to top it all off. But the surprises weren’t done yet. My two nephews and I went down to my sister’s car. They each carried a dozen red roses, and I carried a goofy balloon bouquet. As we walked in the entrance, I locked eyes on my mom in particular because I wanted to see her reaction when she noticed us. Her eyes opened wide and I saw her mouth, “oh my god!” It was priceless. Mom and dad each got an arm-full of roses that, with the two white roses, totalled fifty … one for each year.

My sister’s really good at that kind of thing. My parents were very touched and so pleased to see us all there with them. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen my mother cry from happiness. I love them both very dearly and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. A five-hour drive was a small price to pay.

You’ll note that I said the day was a very happy one, by and large. My brother decided he wanted nothing to do with the occasion. My sister suggested that since he was the oldest, he might want to do the planning. His answer was that he wasn’t going to be dictated to and wanted nothing to do with it. Of course I never believed he really wouldn’t show. Yea he has issues with my sister and me, but as I suggested, the day wasn’t about my sister, me, or him. It was about our parents. But what do I know? He didn’t come. Even without them having to say so, I could tell that my parents were both very hurt. He sent a gift with his daughter, but given the circumstances, I only saw it making things worse.

I really can’t believe that he has half a clue how much damage he did that day.

Regardless, I’m not going to end this on a sour note. We all had a great time. Since all the grandchildren were there, my oldest niece had the presence of mind to suggest that they should all get into a picture. Who knows when all the cousins will be together at the same time again? They’ve all grown into young men and women. It was the very next morning that my brother’s middle child brought Jena Marie into the world, starting the next generation of the family.

A lightening

I’m going to try to lighten up a bit. Honest. Here are a few miscellaneous thoughts.

I’ve seen a number of ads and clips from various film adaptations of The Three Musketeers. The latest is The Musketeer, which opened earlier this month. I still don’t understand why everyone fights with a sword and no one in the films has a musket. Don’t they know the title?

For the ‘more money than sense’ crowd, we have Chic Dog. “Canine couture and luxury items for the ultra chic and posh pooch.”

There’s a new batch of commercials for Canada’s Walk of Fame, each profiling what I presume are this year’s inductees. This particular ad was about the abstract painter, sculptor, and graphic artist, Jean-Paul Riopelle. The phrase that caught my ear was, “He’s earned accolades here and abroad.” My twisted brain heard it as, “He’s earned accolades here, and a broad.” Clumsy phrasing, but someone gave him a woman?!