Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Today's New Adventure. Burning Stuff plus More!

So growing up in West Sechelt we all had our different chores. One of mine was emptying the dishwasher. Another was taking care of the burning. Basically left over paper and that sort of stuff. We had a pit out back I'd take the things and light them up. I don't know if I got the job because they wanted me to burn the paper or they didn't want my brother to. It was always fairly uneventful. Except for the time the fire exploded and as I instinctively turned away I got hit in the back of my thigh. Swatting away at my slightly charred sweat pants I stumbled away and attempted to sort out what had happened. Basically someone (at the time I believed it to be my brother.. now I'm not so certain.. it could've even been me) threw the empty shaving cream container into the waste paper basket and once in the fire it expanded until it blew up and smacked me in the leg.

So I've got some experience with disposal burning. We lived on 7+ acres back then and we'd occasionally burn slash piles for special occasions; like Halloween! Since I've been helping with maintanence at camp for the last while I've been supervising the burning of our little slash piles down by the old fire hall for the last couple times. The pile that we burned today had been building up since the spring. We were going to burn it this spring after one more rain shower that never came. Then it was a dry summer (of course) and a dry fall (until recently). It now being more dampish out, and my last day of work here, today was the fortuitous day!

Dan gathered the equipment and started the fire. To start these puppies up we usually use a propane tank and a tiger torch. A leaf blower can be of assistance to help get some air in there. Today's new adventure is..... that Dan showed me how to operate the backhoe! That was really cool. I kept pushing the pile back onto itself and we burned it up pretty quickly. I also got some experience digging and filling a hole. All in all it was a neat new learning experience and a great last day at Camp.

Gotta jet,

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hey Hey Hey

So today (The 27th of October) is a special day cause it's the b-day of Erasmus of Rotterdam. And he's a cool dude. During the heated days of the Reformation Erasmus tried to walk an impartial middle group in a very heated, polarized, environment. He felt that the Church could stand to use some reforms but he wasn't ready to turf the whole thing. And so he found himself inbetween the two extremes. He wrote a decently wonderful satirization of the clergy of his time called "The Praise Of Folly". I really liked the Letter to Martin Dorp 1515, that he wrote in response to something Dorp wrote after having read "Praise of Folly". It's pretty groovalicious.

Anyhoo.. so his birthday is the 27th of October. Which means a party is gonna happen on the 28th in Rotterdam. Dang it. I'm all the way over here in BC. Guess I'm gonna miss that one. But I think I'll put it on my list.

Other B-days of interest today... (according to Wikipedia)
James Cook 1728-1779.. Cook St. in Victoria was named after this guy.
Theodore Roosevelt 1858-1919 26th President of the US
Sylvia Plath 1932-1963 She was poet, don't ya know it.... sigh
John Cleese 1939 (bet he's bummed that he has to share a b-day with Erasmus!)
Patrick Fugit 1982 He was the guy from that movie about the dude who lied about his age and became a writer for Rolling Stone and cruised with the band that had Jason Lee in it. Yeah.... Rock on!
So other people were born on this day too. But I didn't write their names here cause I didn't want to. I have to stop somewhere.

But apparently not yet cause the other computer I'm trying to burn a slideshow onto is very very disappointing me at this time. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

So... people who passed away this day in History (though as I look at the clock I realize it would now be people who passed away yesterday in History...)

939- King Athelstan I of England. Regarded as the first King of England. So maybe a name for a son? Eh? Eh?

1789- John Cook- American Farmer/Governor of Delaware. I guess he had to farm and couldn't afford a hummer to drive around in. Acting just didn't pay that much back then. Does't say if he was related to Capt. James Cook. Or Capt. James Hook for that matter.

2003- Rod Roddy. Rod Roddy? I didn't even know he was dead. Goes to show it's been awhile since I watched "The Price is Right".

Ok.. it's official.. That computer sucks.
So I'm going to go to sleep now. For tomorrow's another day. To get frustrated at computers. Well inefficient slow crashy computers.. I like ones that work.
Ciao for now!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This Song's been Stuck In My Head

And it's been falling out of my mouth for days.. at least the first verse and chorus.. the other stuff I was kinda foggy on. That's the way it usually goes eh? you get a part stuck and it keeps going over and over and over and over and over again.

So here are the song lyrics to the song that's been stuck in my head for over a week off and on, if you've not heard if before you should give it a listen. I like it. It's been in my head for awhile now, and I still like it.

It's by the Barenaked Ladies and titled "What A Good Boy"
Transcribed from the incredibly great live album Rock Spectacle

When I was born, they looked at me and said:
What a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.
And when you were born, they looked at you and said:
What a good girl, what a what a smart girl, what a pretty girl.

We've got these chains hangin' 'round our necks,
People want to strangle us with them before we take our first breath.
Afraid of change, afraid of staying the same,
When temptation calls, we just look away.

This name is the hairshirt I wear,
And this hairshirt is woven from your brown hair.
This song is the cross that I bear,
Bear it with me, bear with me, bear with me.
Be with me tonight.
I know that it isn't right, but be with me tonight.

I go to school, I write exams,
If I pass, if I fail, if I drop out,
Does anyone give a damn?
And if they do, they'll soon forget, 'cause it won't take much for me
To show my life ain't over yet.
I wake up scared, I wake up strange.
I wake up wondering if anything in my life is ever going to change.
I wake up scared, I wake up strange
And everything around me stays the same.

This name is the hairshirt I wear,
And this hairshirt is woven from, it's woven from your brown hair.
This song is the cross that I bear,
Bear it with me, bear with me, bear with me.
Be with me tonight.
I know that it isn't right...but be with me tonight.

I couldn't tell you that I was wrong,
I chickened out, grabbed a pen and a paper, sat down and I wrote this song.
I couldn't tell you that you were right,
So instead I looked in the mirror,
Watched TV, laid awake all night.

We've got these chains, hangin' 'round our necks,
People want to strangle us with them before we take our first breath.
Afraid of change, afraid of staying the same when temptation calls

This name is the hairshirt I wear,
And this hairshirt is woven from, woven from your brown hair.
This song is the cross that I bear,
Bear it with me, bear it with me, bury it with me.
Be with me tonight.

When I was born, they looked at me and said:
What a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.
And when you were born, they looked at you and said:
What a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl, hey!

Yeah BNL rock this song out. It's a gooder. And I'm tired. So giver giver Fraser river. I'm hitting the hay.

Oh and Paul.. I'm at 11 now. I was at 10 when I left the party.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Don't Focus on the crap (you'll step in it)

So today I got nipple chafe, sore feet, and twinged my groin muscle up in my left leg. We also lost our game against the Hope Sr. Boys soccer team.

Now those could be used as a list of unfortunate events and facts. If one were to focus on that they would completely miss out on the sweet, enjoyable experience that we call soccer, that happened today.

And the glorious hot tub.

The point of all of this is that sometimes there are sucky things. You know what? Alot of the time there are sucky things. But if you focus on them then you may miss out on all the things that rock; all the opportunities that are out there. I know I've missed many an opportunity in such a manner and I resolve to try not to let it happen as often. I'm not perfect. I'm a work in progress. Like a fancy painting or great book or something.

Oh and again going with the warning of being careful in this age of easily taken pictures (watch out when other people have cameras.. they may have mischevious intent) and posting them on the internet. Here's a picture I found on one of my former students sites with the comment "Me discussing global waming with nudist prophet from future". Now because it's here you may have a good hunch on who the "nudist prophet from the future" is...

So young back then. This was taken back when I was in Africa in '04.

*sigh* I wonder what else I'll find out there one day. Other than that pic in a dress I think I'm mostly pretty safe.

Monday, October 23, 2006

An Email Response to a Party Invitation (Plus The Greatest Hero Of Alltime!)

The following is a response to an email invitation I received. The sender asked for suggestions as to party ideas. I honestly didn't have anything like a suggestion in mind when I started writing.. a look into the strange mind of me.

In my mind I see the Dueckman house much like the homebase of the Thunderbirds. A place of wonderment and amazingness. I think your family, if bombarded by gamma rays or some such super ability granting mechanism, would use your powers well. There would of course be interesting dynamics and situations around the use of these aforementioned powers. Also I wonder what your super family team's name would be? Hmmmm. Hey maybe that could be a theme idea? (How do I come up with these things?) People could come with silly super powers and costumes. There could be super powered games... maybe a super powered movie. And if people don't come with aforementioned powers or names... we'd give them some. So they'd have to wear the costumes we'd assign them. Mwa ha ha ha... mwa ha... ha.. hee hee hee.... hoo. *sigh*
We could even have teams.. super heroes vs villians. Or if we needed more teams there could be the supporting cast team... sidekicks... love interests... pets. I mean really there are lots of possibilities... sure.. it does kinda sound like a Halloween party.. maybe it's a late December staff Heroween Party.

Or not. See this is what happens when I write what comes into my head.. zanyness. If someone were to live a bit in my head (ala Being John Malkovich) I think they'd have quite an experience. Wouldn't we all. If we could really spend time in others' heads I think we'd be more compassionate, more understanding. Not only would we learn more about that person.. but we'd learn more about ourselves too. Hmmmmmm.

Well Sammo Hung... I think on that note I'll get back to what I was going to be doing. Namely writing an email to my papa. May you have a pleasent day and pass on my kind regards to your tribe.
Ahsta lasagna,

ps... I think I'll have to use this email as a blog entry.
pps.. you should check out Sammo Hung at wikipedia or something.
ppps.. Thanks for the heads up on the get together... I of course have no idea where I'll be then or if I can make it.. but it's a splendid idea and I wish it, and you, well.

We could have super hero songs... it could be a super hero artsy night... new compositions.. art... interpretive dance... this has many possibilities.

Yeah so that was my email to my associate on his request for ideas. I really hope he goes with this idea. Any party where people get to wear their underwear visible to others is a good party! Yep.

I think my favorite sports dude or dudette would be either Trevor Linden or Lui Passaglia. Maybe a good superhero would be an amalgam of Trevor Linden and Lui Passaglia. He'd kick any of those old "ProStars" butts. Take that Bo, Michael, and Wayne.

I just noticed that the BC Lions logo is of a girl lion. Cause don't boy lions have manes?

Anyways... so who is the greatest hero of all? Well it's of course Lui Linden. Seen here playing for his team, the BC Canucks.

He truly is the greatest of them all. (Bow down before his awesome greatness) (Bow Down!!!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How To Visit An Alien Planet Without Leaving Earth

We didn't leave the house until almost 10pm on Friday night. I collected my things in less than a minute. Basically just my sleeping bad, headlamp, and the clothes I was wearing. Paul started to drive up the canyon. We passed through Yale and the police cruiser parked by the stop lights. We passed through the first tunnel. We drove on into the night. Joleen mentioned that she was feeling queasy. She said this wasn't on account of his driving. We drove on into the darkness.

We veered off of the road and turned left onto a little pull out. Paul wondered aloud if his car would be safe there. He asked for his club. I found it at my feet, slyly peeking out from beneath the front seat. Why does the tall, large guy sit in the back? I'm a gentleman. Or want to appear one. Or something to that effect, or in between, or both, and more. We got out of the car as semi trucks roared by a few feet from us; separated only by a narrow concrete barrier. We unloaded the trunk of the car. 4 people and less the 4 people's gear. Plus firewood. The walk took over 7 minutes and would be down a slightly sketchy hill. So we only wanted to make one trip. Another semi went roaring past. They drive exceedingly fast down the canyon. And we were to shortly scurry across the asphalt, hurdle the concrete buttress and walk a short distance along the train tracks before turning into the forest. All of this with only headlamps for light. A small pool of visual information amidst a dark surrounding pierced by the light and noise of passing traffic and trains.

We stumbled into the twilight as branches attempted to unload us of our burdens and roots tried to snare our feet. Up ahead Paul warned us of broken glass and to use care. A structure lurched out of the darkness, surprising us all. Paul said it must be new. He'd never seen it before. The trail transitioned from into the forest to heading down a rocky path loosely scattered with leaves. Clunky and slippery rocks. I walked in the back, the rearguard, Paul in the front, the scout, and in between Joleen and Gillian, the pack horses. (heh) I was wary of the slippery slope I was descending. A sharp pain pierced inside my right knee cap. It left as I lifted my foot. It only happened a couple times. It's happened before. The road was left up and behind, a recent memory, nothing more. The vast blank darkness was now around.. surrounding.. enclosing.. enveloping. Our lights were not bright enough to shine against anything except the ground. The only other light came from the outline of the stars seen up high above the mountains height. In the light cast by the lamps I couldn't distinguish much detail or difference in the grade or height of the sand. I walked a sandy darkened desert.

Turning my head to the right I was shocked as a large rock emerged alone, then merged back into the landscape existent now only in my mind. We climbed the sandy slope and picked a location to lay out the tarp. That done, the girls declared they would start the fire while we had the opportunity to go find wood. So Paul and I left into the darkness and I stumbled around my alien world of sand dunes, random rocks, and the night. The river roared, trapped between the two walls of the canyon, and despite our search we couldn't find much wood along the shore. We took what we had to the outpost atop the sandy hill, now a circle in the murk of the surrounding night. Paul and I then ventured uphill, higher uphill. We stumbled over rocky outcroppings sporting damp moss and slippery footholds. We discovered the occasional piece of wood that had become lodged in the rocky gaps much like a piece of meat caught in one's teeth. Like that little piece right down near the gum line. We wiggled and wiled the pieces of wood out, threw them into the darkness in what we hoped was a sandy spot we would be able to rediscover, and continued our groping for wood in the night. We encountered some skeletal remains. We attacked them with a ferocity. Breaking pieces off we brought them back to the fire. The cold night would be held at bay for a time longer.

We sat down. I squatted by the fire. Time passed. More time passed. Joleen asked why I wouldn't come join them. Paul came and sat on fire wood nearer the fire with me. We said that guys sit on one side and girls on the other. Obviously our camp was besieged and amidst the tensions minds were beginning to fray. Paranoia was setting in. Whenever Paul and I would reemerge from the night Joleen would question us as to what we were talking about. Most persistently too. We said we were talking about "Guy Stuff". This is allowed because they kept telling us to go away so they could talk about "Girl Stuff". Really we say "Guy Stuff" because girls don't believe when guys say "nothing". At least if we say "Guy Stuff" then it's like the girls stop asking questions and are satisfied knowing they were right all along and we were talking about things of importance, like them. In reality we weren't talking about anything in particular.. which in effect becomes "nothing". Now you know. Mostly we were listening to the wind and watching shooting stars. That sounds pretty artsy fartsy... so we also.. uh... thought of manly things too. Paul farted. A couple times..... *ahem* *cough cough* I've never seen the sky so bright. I've never seen shooting stars leaves trails so bright across the sky. It's been awhile since I've seen Orion. We reacquainted ourselves. Occasionally trains would come tooting their way down and up the canyon, and light would briefly be glimpsed in a strip along the mountain side. The others soon all curled up and allowed slumber to overtake them. I went and sought out more wood. A few times. Each time I'd leave further and further from the camp site atop the sandy encampment. I ventured again and again into the alienscape of vast dark sandyness and occasional rock outcropping. One time I felt in the dark a large shape waiting me. I went towards it and came upon a hill-like outcropping. A rusty iron cable looped in and around the rocks near my feet lead off into the sky. I scurried around it but finding no wood I departed to return in the morning.

When I awoke I looked out upon a different land than the one I'd gone to sleep with. The comfortable familiarity of the night was gone. The wind had changed direction and now came up the canyon. A little tumbleweed tumbled on by. No more isolated rocks or sand as far as the mind can imagine. No, now the alien world was full of mountain faces, a large river, clouds, trees, birds, and train tracks. I nurtured the fire back to life. The only remnant of the night past. An hour and a bit later Paul woke up. The girls rolled closer to each other for warmth and we went off to explore the morning. Looking down river I saw a trail of footprints one of us had left the night before. A leaf had fallen from a tree and landed right in the footprint of one shoe. The yellow green shone out amongst the grey damp sand.

The river is really low now. There hasn't be much rain for quite a long time. The retreating water line had left behind amazing formations that have been carved and scoured over a really really long time. Large potholes, little tunnels, chutes and ledges. The sunlight brought another very alien looking landscape to our eyes. Something not often seen yet amazingly beautiful and wonderful.

Some people are very very gifted with words. Other's string them together to the best of their ability. I wish I had a bit more of the former to spice up my latter so that I could bring some of that beauty and wonder to you all. Pictures wouldn't bring it justice but it would help a bit. I still don't have a camera. It's on the list. ;) So basically go out and explore and live. Maybe go to a new place in the dark with just a headlamp (and some other people who've been there before wouldn't hurt) (unless they deceive you to their amusement) and walk around. See life in a new way by looking at the little things. Go for a hike in the fog or climb a mountain in a cloud. Your attention will be drawn to the foreground where there is a wealth of things to see and be amazed with. Heck, go look really really close at a tree in the woods. You'll most likely see all kinds of things growing on it.

Ok.. i've gone on enough.
May you have a wonderful week. If anyone wants to hang out contact me. I'll be in Hope for a little more, past this next weekend, then I'll be heading to Abby for a night. I may stay longer if people want to do something. Then up to Sechelt for a day or two. Then over to Victoria for a little while. Then up to Quadra Island. And I'm not sure after that.. open to options. But it's looking like, at this time, I'll be starting a program in Victoria in January. So then I'll actually be in one place for a decent chunk of time. Maybe a little over 2 years....

Ciao for now my wonderful friends and family, and family's friends, and goodbye to complete strangers who've checked this out for whatever reason as well.

ps a quote from my high school year book.. I put this in the part where the grad's do their write-up. Xor Dyffad. It's some 1997 code for y'all. It's really simple. It's not actually code. But it is something.

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Bro's Art

So some people are asking more about where they can see my bro's stuff... so if you want you can check out his website at veniceissinking.com

other places you can find stuff on him are...

Phase Magazine: Phase Collective 2 around Community

Or if you go to his website there are links to other sites that have some stuff of his.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It's Raining!!!!

Ok so it's more of a light/medium drizzle. But still. Precipitation baby! Woooooooo.

Alright. So I'm rather pleased with the fact that we have some moisture falling from the sky. It's been sunny for quite a long time now and everytime I go to canoeing the lake is at the lowest I've ever seen it. The other day I paddled along the shore to see what I could find at the lower level. I found 2 1953 Pepsi-Cola bottles. Pretty neat.

So I've been leading canoeing for the past couple weeks here at camp. Next week will be the last week of school groups. I may hang around for one more week after that to go do some exploring in the woods and up logging roads with a friend from up this ways. It would be sweet to summit Mt.Squeah after looking at it all these years.

For those of you that don't know, Guatemala bills itself as the land of eternal spring. Looking out the window right now I have to say that I'm for seasons. The leaves of a vine maple outside the window are so very beautiful right now. Gentle green to brigh yellow to golden orange to vibrant red. The mist as it clings to the grass and rises waveringly over the field. The mountains glimpsed momentarily as the clouds drape over like fabric. It's autumn baby! Oh yeah.

Time to go. May you all have a good day. May you share the good and be supported in the difficult. It's all part of life, and it wasn't meant to be lived alone.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Story Time With Unky Jord

Story 1. Involving the Bambi pillow case.

As I was flying back from Winnipeg to BC I had a stop-over in Calgary. I had my pillow with me. While waiting for my plane I noticed this lady who looked somewhat groggily distraught. I struck up conversation and she informed me about how miserable her flight down had been. There had been lots of turbulence. She hadn't slept at all. And now she was going to try to sleep on the deplorable airport chair. Well... I must admit that I didn't offer the pillow right away. However after 10-15 minutes I folded like a pre-pressed table cloth and offered her my pillow, which she graciously accepted with a mumbled thanks. Her flight wasn't due to leave for an hour and a half. My flight was boarding in 20 minutes. The boarding call came and I made my decision. She needs that pillow more than me. Even though that pilllow case has many memories for me... (it's seen a number of pillows pass through it during it's brief tenure on earth).. one time my brother snuck in and drew x's on bambi's eyes.. making it look like he was dead... Anyways.. I left the pillow with the lady and boarded the plane, and thought that was the last I'd see of my pillow case. Well........ as I was sitting in the plane I was talking with the gentleman beside me. He enquired of my profession. I told him about the Uni job. The travelling. Etc. He was duly impressed (though that wasn't my objective.. I was just answering his questions honestly). I also had a bit of a beard growing which makes me look a little older as well. All of a sudden! a flight attendant speaks forth from the front of the plane. "Ahem... a lady told me that someone on this plane lent her their pillow. Who's pillow is this?" (As she holds aloft my Bambi pillow in all it's glory) (and everyone sees it as, in fact, a Bambi pillow). The guy next to me makes some comment. I forget what it was now. And the flight attendant walks down the aisle. As she passes by me I say "excuse me that's my pillow". Well she looks at me and gives a little fake laugh and says "of course it is sir" as if I'm attempting a silly little joke. And then she walks on down the row with my pillow. No one claims it and she's on her way back. I say to her again. "No really. That's my pillow." She looks at me. She looks at the pillow. She gives me the pillow. The guy next to me looks at the pillow. He looks at me. He comments on the weather. (ok the weather part didn't happen). We share a chuckle about the whole thing and then fly back to Vancouver. The End.

Wow.. quite the story eh? Alright.. and one more.... since you're such a receptive audience. Or at least captive to your circumstance.

Story 2. The Loppers.

My mother has a set of pruning shears, or "loppers" as they're known around my house. She actually has a couple pairs due to the fact that the pair in question are wearing out. Well not the loppers themselves but the rubber ring that stops the wooden handles from crashing together, slamming fingers in their calamitous collision. And of course each time it happens again it hurts a little more as your fingers slowly become tenderized. Enough about the loppers, we'll come back to them in a bit.
So the other day, back in Sechelt, my brother and I were at my mother's house. We'd just gotten back from our trip to Egmont and were about to leave for Quadra Island (but I, of course, ended up detouring for a couple weeks to Hope.. another story). Anyhoo.. mi madre she comes to us with the simple request that we clear out a front garden for her. It is full of some Red Hot Pokers (plants) and a big, huge, gnarly, tough, tenacious chunk of grass 6ft tall. Kinda like a bamboo. So my bro bro is gonna dig it out and starts digging around it. Then we're gonna attempt to cut it into more manageable pieces. For which I scrounge around the yard for an older, duller, axe to chop at the dirt/roots. We are, however, faced with a predicament; namely the 6ft high stalks of grass. Well my brother says "we got any loppers kicking around?" (AHA! You thought I'd forgotten about those didn't you? Or at least were wondering when they'd come into play again). My mother tells me where to find them. I go. I find The Loppers of pain. I start cutting. You need to apply quite a bit of pressure to get those blades to slice through several fingersize stalks at once. And then *slam* *ow* *expletive* *pain*. I adjust my grip and continue. I find a way that sorta works and keep cutting. Only occasionally pinching my fingers. Then one particularly great compression is followed by a particularly great expression. My mother says "why the heck are you using those ones?" As if she'd told me there were any other. So she goes to another place and brings down another pair. I ask her why she still has the pinching loppers of doom if she has a another pair of loppers. She says it's cause Tom (my step dad) won't let her get rid of them cause they are "fixable" (yet I'll point out still unfixed). She then tells me to throw the loppers into the bush down in front of the house. It's owned by the neighbors, overgrown with blackberry prickle bushes, alders, and some other trees. Well I wind up and do a little hammer throw type spin and launch the loppers heavenward in the direction of the overgrown lot. They descend majestically from the sky and become lodged in an alder tree slowly losing it's leaves. This alder tree also happens to be right infront of the house; right infront of the big picture window my mom and Tom look out every day when they sit in their living room chairs. We raise the question "do you think he'll notice?" We decide that he hopefully won't and commence with the work once more. I go in search of another pry bar. Locate some drill steel. But bro says nah. We get the job done and the garden roughly removed.

Of course if the story were to end there it wouldn't be that good. Mediocre acutally. But thankfully, there is more.

I recived the other day, an email from my mother. The neighbor had called. The house was for sale. But before it sells my step-dad can come down and remove any trees that are blocking the view. Well.. when he comes back in he tells my mom how he'd fallen a number of trees and then came up to this alder. He started cutting it down when out of nowhere a pair of loppers fall from above and almost take his ear off! Imagine that. Of course he brought them home. They're fixable.