Sunday, December 06, 2009


Eyeteaguy has moved to

See you over there.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Waiting to Drown

I am floating on the glassy surface of the still dark lake,
waiting for the endless ripple that extends beyond the horizon,
that will drawn me under to the cold, comforting depths,
and the limitless darkness that I have always yearned for.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I cannot speak, I cannot write

They cut out my tongue and chopped off my fingers,

Then they have put my mind in a box.

Now the world is going to drown beneath my scars.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lessons you can learn from F1 - revisited

As some of you may know Renault was accused and convicted of cheating at the Singapore race last year. They asked their second driver to crash on a certain lap in order to gain strategic advantage over the rest of the field.
Earlier this season they fired their second driver for poor results and in a childish fit he went crying to the officials.

So what can we learn from this. Lots.

1. Don't cheat. You're gonna get caught. It only takes one person to squeal and the damage is done. Things change, people change. If you didn't do anything wrong you have nothing to fear.

2. Don't lie. If you are caught come clean as soon as possible. This is what happened with Renault. As soon as they realized the truth they threw themselves on the mercy of the court. It worked. They were banned from the sport for two years but that ruling was suspended for two years. And the only way it can get activated again is if they do the exact same thing again...not likely. The technical boss who may or may not have been implicated was offered immunity for his testimony. Instead he came clean too and took his lumps. For five years he cannot participate in racing. Flavio Briatore the team boss? He denied, lied, sued and clammed up. He has been banned for life. There's a lesson for you.

3. Don't give up. (again) Renault will be back, they will be clean and sober and they will win again. Want proof? Right after they cheated their way to a win last year, they won the next race on merit. This year their car was very poor at the start but they are now regularly in the points.

4. Careful who you trust (or don't let you boss be your manager) Seriously if your boss is already your business manager and he tells you to crash, what are you gonna do? You should never have put yourself in that position in the first place. Separate the business from the work from the pleasure. That is common sense.

5. Speaking of common sense. Crash on purpose? Shake your head. That is just plain stupid. And the part that is just stoopider? Now that Nelson Piquet Jr. has crashed and then squealed on his bosses, he wants to drive again in F1. Sorry Charlie, you had your chance and you were found wanting in all respects.

So take your golden chance, grab it with both hands but play fair, be fair.

Lesson learned.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lessons you can learn from F1

I am a huge F1 fan. I am also a father. Here are some lessons I teach my daughters using Formula 1 as an example and the drivers/leaders who teach them.

1. "Never give up" Even if you are a lap down, with a flat tire and its raining. Never give up because you never know what might happen. If you give up you will never improve or win and people will flee you like the plague. A good example in F1 is Fernando Alonso. Two time world champion, moved to the best team on the grid, had a falling out with the team, went back to his former team which had fallen on hard times. It didn't matter. He put his head down and worked, he raced that horrible car race after race for no points. Then when all seemed lost it rained, the leaders had problems and there was Fernando leading and winning the race. And guess what he did in the next race? Win again. In a car that no one though could win, he did it twice.

2. "Be nice" Even if people are mean to you. Be nice. No one likes a mean person and when you need help or that little bit extra no one will help you. But if you are nice, people want to help you. They want to see you do well. Jensen Button has been languishing at the back for years. A massive talent hobbled by mediocre machinery. He was always nice in the extreme to everyone. Team, team mate, former team, media, the whole lot. His career was almost over when this year he finally got a good car. The result? Six wins and leading the championship. And guess what? Everyone is very happy for him. When things are tight and when it could go either way, they give him the break, the extra room, the helping hand. If it was another driver, it would end in tears and no one would feel sad. Even when they have every right to be mad at him, they aren't because they know he is nice and would not hurt them on purpose.

3. "Learn" Talent can only get you so far. Felipe Massa arrived in F1 and couldn't even drive in a straight line. He had awesome reflexes and car control but he moved the car around too much. He didn't understand aerodynamics. So he took stock, realized he could only go so far on raw speed and decided he had to learn. He learned from the best, Michael Schumacher. Micheal, who usually kept everything close to his chest sat him down and taught him and Massa learnt. Last year he lost the World Championship by just 1 point. He is now smooth, he understand what he needs to do to the car to get the result and he can fall back on talent when he needs to. He learned.
*Massa was badly injured in the last race by a piece of debris on the track. I wish him a fast speedy recovery.

4. Work hard. Work hard all the time. No one gets anywhere by waiting for things to come to them. You have to be smart and talented yes, but that only gets you so far. But by working at it you make your luck and your success. Michael Schumacher came to Ferrari when it was in disarray. They had the ingredients for winning in the pot but no one was stirring it. He stepped up and led by example. He sat in the car and pounded around the test track until the sun set. Then he went into meetings to find answers. He worked hard and smart. The teamed rallied around him and they put in as much effort as he did. The result was 5 World Championships.

5. Be calm. Nothing is solved by running around in a panic. If fact that usually makes things worse. Take a step back, take a deep breath, take another look. You will be surprised what you will find. People are attracted to people who are calm in a storm. Ross Brawn is the epitome of calm and a reasoned approach. He left Ferrari after their success to take a break only to rejoin F1 to take over Honda. His first year you could see the difference in the team. Less mistakes, more progress, smiling faces. Even when Honda pulled out he stayed calm, got financing and took over the team. They are currently leading the world Championship. Its natural to panic, but you don't need to give into it. Chill out, keep a clear head and the solution will come to you.

So there are 5 lessons from 5 people in F1. I'm sure you could find examples outside of the sport but F1 is a high stakes game where only the best survive and they can teach everyone a lot, including my girls.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

10 things I've learned...

About Being a Dad

  1. Patience. Getting mad doesn't solve anything, it makes it worse. And the kids don't try to get me mad on purpose, they are just being kids.
  2. Laughter. Just by being kids they make me laugh, they have no fear of judgement so just act their feelings, and its hilarious.
  3. Drive by hugs are awesome. My youngest will walk past, hug my legs and carry on. We should all do that more often.
  4. Time. Now that I don't have any I realize how precious it is. Time also moves faster now than it ever has, they were just babies a few weeks a go it seems.
  5. A kiss. Can heal ouchies and hurt feelings. Can say I love you without saying it. Can be delivered over the phone, across a room or on a page written in crayon.
  6. Sleep. Is critical to their health and well being. And now that they are sleeping through the night and still napping, I can get some rest too. And they are never cuter than when they sleep.
  7. Play. I have learnt how to play again. At the park, board games and games you make up as you go along. Any object is a toy if you use your imagination.
  8. Consistency. Be consistent, give them a framework to live within. Stick to you guns, say what you mean. Follow through. It works with adults too.
  9. Spend time away from your family. It makes you miss them and appreciate them even more when you get back. Plus the big welcome when you do is worth the ache in your heart when you are away.
  10. Take lots of pictures. They change faster than you think. And kids love to see pictures of themselves so a digital picture frame is an excellent idea.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Eyeteaguy's 10 rules to life.

1. Only panic when I do. If I'm not worried, then you shouldn't be either.

2. Never escalate. If someone attempts to do so, go right to the final step.

3. Don't give hugs. If you must, hug 'm like you mean it. They should struggle for breath.

4. Stop trying to change yourself. Accept who you are and move on.

5. Take a long motorcycle ride once a week.

6. Find a blog you like and hijack it.

7. Sleep 8 hours a day. Its the best thing you can possible do for yourself.

8. Find a sport you like and follow it like an olde tyme religion.

9. Be nice, say thank-you, please and you are welcome.

10. Keep trying, never quit. Even if you fail, especially when you fail.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can't hold a tune to save thier lives.

I was driving back to work from lunch today listening to Radio-Canada's Espace Musique. On came an english song sung by a french Canadian singer named Sheila Graham. The song was Dancing Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin. Nice song.

BUT, what struck me was how well it was sung. Sheila was a good singer. She was clear, perfect pitch just lovely to listen to.
In the bridge, she sang almost by herself, only a small snare drum accompanied her. And she changed key during it! Wow.

In 1954 when the song was recorded there were no fancy electronics to help her, she just sang it with her natural ability. And I'll bet that when she sang the song live, as she did on many occasions, the song sounded the same as the recording, because she did it in one take. She may have sung the song three or four times in the studio but they took the best one and printed it.

Compare that with the singers today. Seems that if you can't sing you do better. Or if you over embellish it. Wailing away like a cat in heat. I cannot listen to that crap. And then they put it through 16 filters 12 times to make it sound OK. None of these people can perform live. Lip sync anyone?

I think we have really lost something here. We go for looks over talent, electronics over gift, flash over substance. We are the poorer for it. I'm gonna go listen to Frank sing it His Way now.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Hold on

Boy, we really lived it up didn't we, but we never could live it down. And when you left with my only son, I knew that I never really could hold on to you. You were like water through my hands.

I watched you leave for California, with you hair flowing in the wind, you never looked back, but you did take my last bottle of gin.

I told you before you left that you have got to hold on. To take may hand because I was standing right here, but you wouldn't hold on.

I heard your new boyfriend gave you a brand new watch and promised you a diamond ring. I knew you were looking for someone to blame and you found me. But when you shared my life we shared the blame.

I remember when you called the cops. They told me that you don't meet nice girls in bars.

You told me that you still loved me and I told you that I always would. But life is never that easy and sometimes all we have left is to hold on. So take my hand I said, I'm standing right here, you've got to hold on.

I asked God to bless your broken heart, I know this town took it out of you. I can still hear your angel voice, I wish you were still here talking with me. I tried to build us up over the years, you tore it down with a single word and burnt the rest to the ground. Then you said there was nothing left to keep you here. But when you fell down again and I heard you call my name. And I told you to hold on, I am standing right here, hold my hand and hold on.

They found you down by the river. It was ten below and the snow was falling. Right beside where we used to dance under the streetlight, you would close your eyes and sing to the music in your heart.

It will be so hard to dance again, it will always be cold and the music will never play. Our old hometown won't miss us anyway but when I'm there and hear our song playing I will always remember that you never did hold on even though I was standing right there, you just couldn't hold on.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

And you are?

Part I

In 1998 I was in a severe motorcycle accident. From what they tell me a little old lady just never saw the stop sign. I was going quite quickly, as usual. And that is about all I remember. I still have the brake lever on my bookshelf. They removed it from my chest on my second surgery. Again, from what they tell me my bike landed on top of my after we both vaulted over the car. I always wanted my bike to be a part of me, careful what you ask for.

The most serious of my injuries was the severe blow to my head. There is a clear impression of the instrument cluster on my cracked helmet. The worst part of the whole incident was the fact that they couldn't remove my helmet as it was holding my head together. So they strapped me to a backboard, helmet and all. I don't really remember the ride to the hospital or the visits to all the various soft pastel coloured test rooms. I do remember the horrible pain in my back. You can't move when you are on a backboard, so your back is sore. Your muscles are pulled and strained from the accident and they start to tighten up. Very, very uncomfortable. But it did distract me from all my missing skin and cracked skull.

The thing that bugs me the most? They cut my leathers off of me. I loved those leathers.

It was only after I was released back to society that I noticed that something wasn't right. I walked back to my apartment, knew where my spare key was and once inside was immediately glad to be there.

I checked my messages. Lots of good wishes and “hope you get well soon’s”. But they were all from strangers. They must have read about my accident in the paper and got my number. The city is full of very strange, yet kind people.

I popped my meds, took a shower and crashed in my lovely, stinking, worn out bed. I was home. Not bad for a dead guy because that is what I should have been.

Part II

I hate being woken up. I especially hate being woken up by the phone. I really, especially hate being woken up by the phone by a complete stranger. I thought it was a telemarketer at first but he knew my name and could say my last name properly. It was also unusual for a telemarketer to say "Hey, how's it hanging man."


"Cool, you really had us freaked out, I never knew a dead guy before"

"Uh, and you are?"


"W-h-o a-r-e y-o-u-?" I spoke slowly, I thought the guy was retarded.

"S'matter? The crack to your head busted your ears? It’s Joe, man."

"I don't know any Joeman."

"It's J-o-e, m-a-n." Now he was speaking to me like I was retarded. Now a small voice in my
head was whispering to me, "Hey, I think you might know this guy."

"Hey Joeman, do I know you?"

"Know me? Know me?! Duuuuuude, we are the Mean Steam riding bikes of green!"

Now that struck a chord. My bike was green; it had really cool graphics of steam bursting from pipes all over it. It was cool. Was cool, dammit, I miss my bike.

"Joeman. I think I'm supposed to know you, but I don't" I tried really hard to remember and the harder I tried the worse I felt but I forced myself to remember. Then the world closed in, I broke into a sweat, my knees grew weak.

"I'm gonna go lie down now, bye"

Part III

And that is how it has been for close to ten years now. I remember things, places, events. But no people. Nothing. When I try to, I get sick and pass out. Doc says I smashed part of my brain. No chance to get it back. I can still function, I can still walk, talk, ride. But I don’t know people from before the accident.

I don't even know if that is a good thing. People who knew me tried to reach me, talk to me but all they wanted me to do was remember them and when I tried, comaville.

I moved out of the city and into a small town up north. Folks are real nice, they really try to take care of me. I told one guy my storey, one guy! And by 4 PM the whole place knew my storey. It’s ok, now that I am one of them they watch out for me. If someone comes looking for me, they ask them some questions and if they knew me they give them a storey about me moving to Tahiti.

The people here are real nice. Mostly older, retired farmers and the like. They were looking for a guy like me. I can fix just about anything. Cars, houses, plants, whatever. I work for cash and I am cheap. I live upstairs of the barbershop in a one room place. I like it just fine.

So 10 years on and I just keep on keeping on. I built new relationships, new friends and forget the past and anything connected to it. I have lapses every now and then but I pop some pills and it clears. I don't ride anymore. Getting on a bike is like trying to remember, no good.

Part IV

So I was up at old MacGregor's place fixing his plow when I heard a bike go by on the main road. Beautiful thing. All plastic and iron. None of that carbon fiber or chrome garbage they sell these days. Carbureted, twin pipe, just cruising. Made my heart ache. I wanted to ride so bad.
I finished up with the plow and headed back to town. The barbershop was also the post office and Bill was behind the counter helping the dude on the bike. He was sending a package someplace overseas that Bill (the barber) had never even heard of. He was looking in his big dusty post office books for the rate.

As I walked past the guy said "No way! I thought you were in Tahiti! "

I froze, I did not want to turn and meet his eyes. I knew that I knew that voice. I desperately tried to stop my mind from trying to place it, from trying to remember. The blood started to rush, I could feel my heart pounding. I started to walk again. And the guy started towards me. Bill stepped in his way.

"Hey, back off man, I know this guy.”

Bill said, “I know you know this guy, and he may have known you, but he doesn`t want to know you now.”

“Dude! C'mon, let`s go grab a beer”

Bill stood up on his toes and looked the stranger in the eyes. “I don't want to be rude, but take you package and please”

I continued my slow Frankenstein walk to the back and to the stairs leading up. In the hall mirror I could see the stranger with Bill standing toe to toe with him. Bill had his baseball bat in his hands. The stranger took his eyes off my back and looked at Bill and then looked down at the bat. He looked back at me then got his package and left.

I tried to slow my breathing, slow my heat. If I didn’t I’d never make it up the stairs. Bill’s wife Maude came out of the back and took one look at my face and grabbed my am and led me upstairs.

I love the people of this town. They never ask me questions about my past. They never ask the people who ask about me about my past. They don’t want to know. Lest something slip out and drive me away. They need me, and I need them.

Part V

Today was going to be a good day, I could feel it. The sun was shining and I had to go see Mrs. Norse to fix her washing machine. Real easy job and Mrs. Norse makes great cupcakes.
I fixed the machine in no time, just adjusted the belt and then filled myself with cupcakes. But Mrs. Norse was acting strange. When it came time for her to pay it soon became obvious that she couldn’t. I told she could owe me but she didn’t want it getting out that she was poor, she was a proud woman. She offered me a trade instead. She said that she felt bad that I had to walk everywhere or hitch rides. So she lead me to the driving shed and offered what was in there to me. A 1984 Yamaha Virago. Very cool.

I told her I wouldn’t take it, but would rent it from her in exchange for repairs. She agreed.
I had not been on a bike in 10 years. I spent the rest of the day getting it going. Once it was burbling quietly in the corner I slipped on an old half face helmet and threw my leg over. I just prayed I would be able to ride it. As I eased out of the yard I waved at Mrs. Norse. I slowly wound it up as I made my way to Main Street and home. As the wind and noise picked up I started to feel free, calm.

I was planning on pulling in front of the post office but I found myself riding on past. I headed out of town. The main road opening up to country and farmland. Faster and faster and faster.

"That BITCH!" Where did that come from? Why did I think that?

Faster and faster.

“That FUCKING BITCH!” What the hell? A face flashed in front of me. The guy from the post office.

“Asshole!” What is going on, who was that guy, why am I thinking of him now?

Faster and faster. Now I am coasting.... and coasting... and coasting. The wind noise lessens. The tire noise grows less. I come to a slow stop.

No, no, no. This is not right, this is not fair. We were happy, we had EVERYTHING! And she threw it away.

I turn the bike around; I know what I have to do, knew what I was doing all those years ago. I have wasted 10 years! I had a plan, I have a plan. I twist the throttle so hard I fear I’m going to snap the cable. First, second, third, fourth, bouncing off the rev limiter, fifth. The wind is bashing my head around. I don’t care. I have a job to finish. As I scream back into town, I never slow. I keep it WFO. When Mr. Geely backs his delivery truck out from his lot I slam into him at over 160 km/hr. I finish the job. I can’t live without her, I won’t live knowing he is with her.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Shall we dance?

OK people, here is where our christian sensibilities start to clash with our modern world.

I am sick to death of everybody dancing around trying not to hurt the feelings on ONE person.

Are we really afraid that we would be mean if we spoke the truth?

Say what you mean, mean what you say. Be honest. This is not hard to do, you just have to do it.

I am all for being diplomatic. Consider people's feelings and try to get along. But when you have a group doing everything in their power to avoid a confrontation is bass ackwards. And has the effect where the one person is encouraged to continue their offensive behaviour.

Listen, I can be a dick. I know that. I know that because somebody I admire told me that. And that is the difference. I am now aware of this. So when I speak or write I take that into consideration.

But when you don't know how much people dislike you, you carry on as if they do.

Time to fess up, time to be honest, time to tell the truth. If you like or love someone tell them. Tell them because they may not know. And it will make them feel better, it will make you feel better.

If you know someone who walks into a place, craps all over the floor and then complains about the stink, tell them. Don't let them get away with it. Don't encourage them by backing down. I recently made this mistake and made the whole situation worse by contributing to the lie.

You will be doing yourself and them a favour. If that person now knows that their behavior is offensive then they will watch for it. If they continue to do it after you have told them, well then you will know a great deal more about that person than you did before. You can ask them to leave or leave yourself. At least everyone will know why.

Stop dancing, start talking.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What have you done for me lately?

OK, I want anyone who reads this to list 10 things that they have done to help the planet. You can borrow some of mine. They don't need to be big things, just show me and others (and yourself) that you are trying. Then borrow some of the others folks suggestions.

1. I hyper mile (I get 40 MPG in a car that should only get 30)
2. I insulated my garage door, cost me $20, cut my heating bill by about 5%.
3. I recycle like crazy. I used to have 2 bags of garbage and no blue box every week. Now I have two blue boxes, half a bag of garbage and a composter.
4. I turn down the thermostat in winter, turn up the thermostat in summer.
5. I walk to the store.
6. I disabled the heating element in my dishwasher.
7. I stopped using my electric toothbrush and razor.
8. I turn off lights religiously.
9. I don't water my grass or use fertilizers or weedkiller.
10. I try to convince people to do the same.

OK, now its your turn. I am hoping to get some good ideas generated.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Random Thoughts

Here is an interesting bunch of quotes I gleaned from 15 years of emails and letters. When I wrote something particularly deep, funny or profound I wrote them down in my little book. Here they are for your reading pleasure.

I have always worked from an inferior position: it makes the achievment all the more satisfying.

Nothing worth having isn’t worked for. Everything I have I have worked for. Everything I have worked for is worth having. If it comes easy, I don’t want it, I never earned it, it has no worth or satisfaction to me.

The most dangerous thing in an office is a manager with a business plan.

I have seen too much goofy shit in this world to think that “now” won’t change.

Agression is merely the defense of a weakness.

Fear is a horribly crippling thing. It distracts us from winning.

Adventures in Adversity. Adversity breed character. I have enough character to write a book. A book of adventures in adversity.

Its not so much the places I`ve gone as it is the people I`ve met. I have spoken with America.

Live life ‘cause death sucks.

It is the smallest number of men who make up the opinion of a society

Running from your problems will not make them go away. But it will give you respite; strength to fight on.

Rudeness is in the ears of the recipeint.

"I will wait for you" is the dumbest line I ever said. I did not know that time was up when I said it.

Profoundness comes and goes. Mediocrity is a constant companion.

Failing at the impossible is not shameful. Not realizing it is so, is.

Fight only as long and as hard as is necessary. There are many other fights to be fought.

Who are you to say who I am when I myself don’t know that answer. And I know me best of and you not at all.

Screaming may not solve the problem. But it may relieve the stress enough so that a solution becomes clear.

Sometimes for a man to be truely free, you have to leave the door of the cage open.

Have you ever fought to remember who a stranger’s face reminds you of. Only to remember it was the face of a person long repressed due to a traumatic experience? I hate when that happens.

You cannot make yourself happy. You can only realize when you are and enjoy.

Most people are happy but they are too stupid to realize it.

Riding in the rain is like having a gun pointed at you. No sudden movements.

I don’t need a reason to be in a bad mood

Nobody likes a whiner.

If the truth is out there, I don’t want to hear it; I take comfort in the lies.

I thought I lost my mind once. Then I realized that you cannot lose what you never had.

If life was easy then it would come with a book of instructions.

If all else fails, get a bigger gun.

Walk softly and carry and thermonuclear device.

If you can’t babble then with bull then riddle them with bullets.

A problem does not exist that cannot be solved with the suitable application of high explosives.

Trust no one, not even yourself.

Death inevitable follows life. Death is finite, life is not.

Take the initiative. Of it is not yours then take it from someone who has.

Society is best conquered from the inside out. Like a virus. Get in and destroy asunder.

The mistakes of history are bound to be repeated. Not-so-great men feel they can correct the mistakes of great men. Times change, lessons do not.

Attack first, ask questions later. If you were right, then your actions were justified. If you were wrong then you merely made a good decision based on incorrect intelligence.

I have looked death in the eye. Neither of us has blinked yet.

People say that life is a battle against death. If that is the case then all one can say in the end is “It was a good battle”. If it was not, then you lost.

It seems that men are doomed to repeat ourselves. Our ego says, “This time I shall do it differently, and this time it shall work out better”. It explains war anyway.

If it were not for the fact that I’m so tired, I would do more. Or at least do something.

Memories are awful things. They force us to relive the past even though we may have learnt from it already.

Writing by candlelight seems to make my words more profound. Unfortunately by light of day they seem mediocre.

Big words a big man they do not make. But small men use them to seem that way.

In a different place and situation I would not be the same person.

I thought I was reading between the lines. All I got was blank spaces.

You wanted no strings. So why are you so tangled.

Not that you lied to me, but that I no longer believe you, that has shaken me.

I have always been intrigued by the lack of subtly that military men have. Perhaps that is why they generally do not get on in politics. It may also explain why so little gets done in government.
Any form of art must be practiced well to be good and be appreciated. That is why I feel procrastination is an art form.

Interestingly enough I have no desire to better myself. I feel that all that I will be is here already, ready to be discovered.

Depression is the natural state. Punctuated my moments of sheer happiness and eras of despair.

We are destined to die the moment we are born. Knowing this, why do we bother. The weak see only this and die early and by their own hand. The strong realize that this is all we get and seize the opportunity. It is the living we must concentrate on. Dying comes naturally to everyone.

"Get a life," someone told me once. I replied, "I already have one." I then suggested he get an objective other than telling people to get what they already have. He told me to stop pointing out the obvious.

Philosophers say that fire consumes all. Scientists say that this is not true due to the conservation of energy. I say that fire burns if you stand too close.

If dark is the absence of light. Then what is light, the absence of dark or the presence of photons. Who cares. I can see in the light and the dark comforts me.

Some questions are best left unanswered. Others are best left unasked. Still others are completely pointless. "Who am I?" fits one of these categories.

Big music requires big instruments. Soft music requires light instruments. My music requires getting used to.

If everybody is different, why do we act so stupidly alike? Or are we just different like everybody else.

Money is annoying. It is important only if you do not have it.

Everyone hates a smart man. For he make them all feel stupid.

You cannot hurt me anymore. I don't care about you anymore.

If what doesn't kill you makes you stronger then I am Superman.

I was here. And I am free.

Freedom is a state of mind. However one must have freedom to realize this.

If getting there is half the fun then I want to travel for the rest of my life.

I do not speak too quickly. You listen too slow.

I have found that one learns a lot by being quiet and listening. When does one break the silence and share the accumulated knowledge?

Hold in your anger. Release it in controlled bursts at the appropriate time for maximum effectiveness.

Enemies are like dust in the nose. Expel them suddenly and with violent force.

Friends come and go. Enemies keep reappearing.

I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately it was an oncoming train.

Letters are cheats. The lack spontaneity and truth for they are crafted carefully with time. They may even be written by somebody else. Only trust a voice and only when it is telling the truth.

If turning a chair upside down prevents people from sitting in it then I find it strange that turning a gun the other way does not prevent its use.

Suicide is the ultimate cheat. Someone else may have wanted to kill that person but was robbed of the opportunity.

Suicide in my case is silly. There are many others out there that deserve death more than I.

Dying to prove a point is wrong. You don't get to live to see your point proven. One only proves a point to gloat.

I would love to live a long time. To see how certain things work out. But that would be wrong. It would deny those who come after me their chance.

There is so much death in this world that mine (or any other) would not cause a ripple. That does not mean that I would not fight for my life.

If what tastes good is bad for you then mushrooms must be really healthy.

It is amazing what historians derive from the writing of great men, especially of their character. It is lucky that these great men do not return to life. A great many historians would be wrong and look like fools.

Every man should carry a knife. Not to defend himself, but to show that he can.

Every person has the capacity for change. Whether or not we do is a matter of choice.

I want to leave here. It is not that I want to go somewhere. It is that I want to leave her and go some where else.

I am not angry upset or stressed. I am frustrated. I am stuck between choosing one of many paths and fear of choosing one at all. I don't mind choosing wrong.

I have done things that I thought only other people did.

Fighting against instinct takes a great deal of energy. It can, however, be done. It is what separates us as sentient beings. What instinct am I fighting you ask? You can ask.

There is only one place that I would like to be. Gone.

I am in no hurry. I'll get there eventually.

Too much introspection is not good for the soul. Nobody likes to be stared at.

Loss of respect, in my eyes, is worse than hating someone. It means that your status has been lowered by your own actions.

My heart is like my favorite beer. Cold, dark and bitter.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gunshot Wound

It was the funniest thing. I had never been shot before but I had thought about it so much that I was sure I would know what it would feel like. But now that I see my blood seeping through my sweater I laugh at my arrogance. It feels nothing like I thought. Not noble or grand. There even isn’t a lot of pain. I don’t feel shot. I feel punched. The clarity of though, I thought I would have is not here. I figured I would get to play up and act the great death seen. All I did was fall against the wall and slide down it clutching my stomach. It isn’t pain, just a hurt in my belly. All I can think of is the pain that I know is coming when the adrenaline wears off. I am scared, that is one thing I didn’t think would happen. I am scared I am going to die. That I am not finished doing what I am supposed to do. The metallic taste in my mouth is what I fear most. I always get that taste when I am sick. But I am not sick; I am dying of a gunshot wound.

Bill had watched the guy clutch his belly and slide down the wall. He looked shocked, no, surprised. Like when you expect something and then it doesn’t happen or not happen like it was supposed to. Well it didn’t go like it was supposed to. A simple meeting, to exchange information, but too many strange things went on. The meeting place was changed; the contact changed, the manner of exchange changed. All that was the same was me. But that is a lie, I was changed too, I was nervous as hell. Every instinct told me to get out, to bail but I am duty bound to my organization. When that goofball stated to act like James Bond I started to loose my cool. Then the dumb fuck reached into his jacket. I shot him out of sheer instinct. Who the hell keeps his smokes in the inside pocket. It is done now, he has stopped bleeding and his hand lays limp on his lap. Number 37 or is it 38? I never did know if that Asian guy bit it.

Detective Warren looked at the pale face of the victim. Not a quick death but not a slow one. He didn’t look to be in a lot of pain but then adrenaline would have taken care of that. He bled to death before the pain hit him. A .38 by the looks of it, small, light and easily concealed. Burn marks on the sweater so he was shot at close range. But why here and why this guy. He was small time. Usually a getter of coffee and donuts. His wallet was still in his pants so a robbery was out. An exchange gone wrong? But what went wrong? This guy didn’t have a weapon; he wouldn’t have had time to fire unless he got off the first shot and the other guy took his gun. But leave the wallet? No, he had no gun. Killed to keep him quiet. No, this was too small time. Maybe it was his first exchange and he spooked the other guy. Probably. That is how I’ll write it up. Button this one up quick. It’s an internal matter between two organizations. They’ll take care of it in their own way in their own time. They always do. I still have to wrap up that dumpster murder before the trail grows cold.

He watched the cop get back into his car amid the flashing lights of police and ambulance drivers. There will be hell to pay for this. It will be explained away but he will have to pay for it in some way. I’ll get expelled to Hong Kong again to do errands for that fat fuck Quan. At least I’ll get to see Sherri again….

I have died of a gunshot wound. Dammit, I had so much left to do.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I don't know

I'm not sure what this post is about or where it is going to go.

You see I have been feeding my brain for the last 2 months and it hasn't fully digested the information yet. Usually when it has it burps out a blog entry. It hasn't really done that yet. Maybe because it has been such a big meal.

Anyway, what have I been feeding it? I watched the Ken Burn PBS series on the US Civil War, then his series on the Second World War. And finally I watched the Ten Thousand Day War about the Vietnam conflict. I have been trying to put this into context. Huge numbers of men, women and children died in these wars. 620,000 in the Civil War, 400,000 in WW2 and 50,000 US Soldiers in Vietnam. Huge numbers by any account. But then those numbers lose all context when we look at the Chinese civil war where 20 million people died. I can't get my head around that.

Then I have to juxtapose that with our current conflicts. In 5 years of "war" in Iraq the US has lost 4,000. Canada has lost just over 100 in Afghanistan. And we are devastated?

In the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864 the US lost 4,000 in one morning, on one side. A slaughter by all accounts.

So what am I trying to say? I don't know. Do we measure a conflict by its losses? By the number of "innocent" victims? Its duration, percentage of population lost, brutality?

Do I put it into my context? In some wars 50% of young men were lost. If I pick 3 of my best friends and take away 2, including maybe me? How would life be different. What if my city was bombed, or I nearly starved because no food could get through. What if my town was overrun by the enemy, or I was sent to a prison camp for my nationality, religion, colour?

Have we been lucky? Or leaders been more careful. Have we evolved to a higher level where we don't fight big wars anymore? Not likely. Maybe white European people have seen the futility of it all and avoid it at all costs. Our African friends certainly have not learned this, see Darfur or Rwanda.

So what did I learn from all these programs? Good programs where most of the history was first accounts, not some wizened professor's interpretation. The Civil War was dictated by 4 diaries, the Second World war by its survivors and the Vietnam war by the people who fought it. They were there and they told it like it was. Generals, politicians, soldiers, civilians. An honest account. And they all let you make up your own mind. Maybe that is what I am struggling with. I have made up my mind and it still seems so unreal, so wrong. I cannot even place myself in their shoes it is so out of context for me.

When my father emigrated, he chose Canada because there was no chance of me being conscripted. Was he telling me something, what did he know? He never served, never knew anyone who served and no war ever touched his country in his lifetime.

I guess maybe I am wrestling with what I would do if I was put in a situation where my country decided to go to war. I have no faith in our political leaders. Mainly because they are politicians, they have no experience of war and some seem too eager to fight, as long as they don't have to pick up a gun.

But what would I do? Enlist? Run? Become a war profiteer? If I was 18 I would enlist because I knew nothing then. I was accepted by the Armed Forces to go to officer training when I was 18 but did not follow through. Maybe I did know what I was doing. At my age and situation I would never be conscripted, but if I was asked, I would not go. I know the horrors and I know I would not survive. Even if I was not killed I would not come back the same. Would I run? Not with a family to support. So I would stay home and not go. And that may be what I struggle with. Because there would be people that would go and would die and would come home damaged. They sacrificed and I did not.

I was raised to be a good citizen in the true meaning of the word and I am raising my family to do the same. Being a citizen means to help others in need, contribute to the whole. Be considerate of others, pitch in when needed, sacrifice when asked. All for the greater good, because I know that if everyone else does the same we will all be in better shape.

Now I know some do not, some take advantage and you will have to live with these people because you cannot send them away. But the vast majority are good citizens. And we do look out for each other but would I go and die to protect that?

Perhaps it is again a "perspective thing". Would I do it for Canada? Maybe, but probably not. Would I do it for Ontario? Nope. For my city? No. For my religion? Maybe. For my family, yes.

If we lived in small city states where we depended on one another for survival and we were under threat, then I would defend. Yes.

But we do not live in city states, or nation states. The lines are blurred and are almost meaningless.

And that may be the crux of the problem. I would defend a situation that no longer exists. And I would not defend what we currently have.

I think society has grown beyond what our DNA can handle. And we started these horrible wars. Applying old mentalities to new situations with disastrous results. And we are not safe or protected from doing it again for there are those out there who would try to force their outdated way of thinking onto a world which is unable to accepted is as it has evolved too far.

I guess we will have to hold fast while they catch up, or hold out while they destroy themselves in order to learn what we already know.

Maybe. I don't know.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What does your vehicle say about you?

When I see a great big SUV I wonder what the guy/gal inside wants me to think of them. That they are rich? They "Off-road" in their spare time? That they don't give a damn about the future and that it is all about them?

Yeah, me too. I just cannot see how these people can justify themselves.
These vehicles are too big, crowd the roads and wreck the tarmac.
They are not safer.
They are not more reliable.
They are not status symbols. (They stopped becoming that when everyone got one)
They are not efficient.
They are not user friendly.
So you sit high up so you can see the road. Well if everybody didn't have one you wouldn't need to be high up.

Smarten up folks. Cheap gas will only be here for the current recession and then we will be back to $1.30 a litre again.

I'm not saying you should go buy a Hinda Fit or Toyota Yaris (although that would be nice if you did) I am saying, when you buy your next vehicle buy a more efficient one. Going from 12 MPG to 18MPG is far better than me going from a 32 MPG to a 35 MPG. Big savings, huge difference in gas. And then when you trade up, make the jump to 25 MPG.

And slow down, you can save up to 30% buy driving the speed limit.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm tired

For most of my life I have been an excellent sleeper. Mostly because I know how important it is. In University I was called the "Old Man" because I would always make sure I was in bed for 11 PM. That way I would be as fresh as a daisy in the morning.

However having 2 children seems to have wrecked my ability to sleep. I assumed once the kids got bigger and started sleeping through the night then I would too. This has not turned out to be the case.

Every night I wake up about 10-15 times. Sometimes I just roll over, sometimes I get up to relieve myself and other I change location entirely. All this waking up means I am not getting the sleep I need.

Sleep as we know is the best way to defeat and recover from stress. My current job is very stressful so I need my sleep, and I am not getting it.

I started doing research into how to stay asleep. Not getting to sleep, I have that one nailed, its staying asleep that I have issues with. Now the big "cure" is vitamin B-12. It is supposed to help your body to produce melatonin. And melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep.

The problem was I didn't have any B12 in the house but I did have B Complex Slow Release that my massage therapist recommended to me. It has B12 in it but also all of the other B's. Some of which boost your metabolism. I was afraid that instead of helping me sleep it would keep me awake. Boy, was I wrong. I slept like the dead, my alarm couldn't wake me in the morning and my alarm is a very energetic 4 year old.

However, one nights sleep does not make a trend. So I tried it for the next two nights. On the third, I had to go to the bathroom so badly but I could hardly open my eyes. Either I was tired, had mono or the B was working.

So to confirm the results I did not take B for the next three nights. Guess what, I was awake quite a lot. Not 10-15 times but more than I would have liked. So for the next 3 I took the B again and again 3 good sleeps. It was obviously working.

After more reading I determined that B-12 was indeed the active agent so my wife purchased some regular B-12. I took it for 3 nights and had really crappy sleeps. I didn't take anything for 3 nights and I was back to waking up a lot. And for the last 3 nights I went back to the B-Complex and have had great sleeps.

What is going on? I have 2 theories. One, there is another B by itself, or in conjunction with another B that is helping me stay asleep. Two, its the slow release that is keeping me asleep.

I am going out to buy B-12 Slow Release and B-Complex regular to see which one it is.

Oh, and in case you are wondering if this is Eyeteaguy specific, Mrs. Eyeteaguy (sorry girls, there is a Mrs. Eyeteaguy) has experienced the exact same results.

I'll keep you posted, pleasant dreams.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wanna Save the Planet?

Here's how. Its not a big thing but if all of us do it then it will make a big difference.

Its a trick from the book of hypermilers. Hypermiling is trying to get the best mileage out of your car. They do crazy stuff like turn off their car going down hills, or accelerating very slowly.

But here is an excellent way to save the planet and save yourself a few bucks. It takes advantage of a technical aspect of your car. Its called Fuel Cut Off Overrun. Its used by car companies to get their EPA rating.

Basically it is this. When you car decelerates, in gear and the engine is turning over at over 1,500 RPM, the fuel injectors ARE TURNED OFF!

This prevents raw gas from being dumped into the engine and out the tailpipe.

Here is how you use it. Look ahead, if you think you need to stop, take your foot off the gas. That is it. That is all you have to do. Plan ahead and take your foot off the gas. If you have to use your brakes, use them to come to a complete stop after coasting.

To give you an idea of the impact of this, I did a test. I drove to and fro from work driving how I normally drive. Then I just used this technique and this technique only. I got 100 km more out of my tank. That is 20% more. That is a big deal.

I then went extreme and used all the crazy hypermiling techniques and got an extra 90 km more. That is how powerful this knowledge is.

Please try it, it takes some getting used to but it very quickly becomes habit. My wife started doing it as well and guess what. After a tank or two she too was getting 100 km more.

If we all saved 20% of the gas we used, that would meet our Kyoto targets. Go ahead, save the planet, I dare you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am what I am, I am who I am.

I apologize... for nothing. I'm sorry if the way that I am..... bugs you.

And that is the truth. After reading this you should take away two messages.

1. Self help people can't help you.
2. Accept who you are and stop try to change yourself, because you can't.

All these self help people are as screwed up as you and me. They are writing to justify themselves, their actions and sometime to line their pockets. Take note, there is nothing wrong with you. Say it with me. "There is nothing wrong with me" Feel better? I do. You know why? Its because you can stop trying to "fix" yourself, "improve" yourself, "fulfill your potential" now. You are who you are, accept it, because you can't change it. Think you can? Well you can't, you are like a rubber band. You can stretch for a while, change shape but when you get tired, and you will, you will go back to your original shape. So enjoy your shape. Take what you are and move on. Live life as you are, not as you want to be. You will get further.

I have spent so much energy "growing" myself, "molding" myself. And I am the same. The only difference is that I was miserable because I couldn't change and felt that I should. Well I can't and now I don't want to. So I won't.

Guess what? I feel better now than after every single self help course I have ever taken or read. You want to know why? Because there is peace in acceptance. This all sounds like self help mumbo jumbo right? Maybe it is but it is also the truth. Accept yourself for who you are because if you don't NO ONE ELSE WILL!

It is so hard being someone else. And when you stop, or change or quit all those people you deceived will not like you anymore because you caused them a great inconvenience because you made them change their mind about you.

I have friends, good friends. They are good friends because I accept them for who their are. Even their faults.... especially their faults. I do not judge them, I accept them and live my life with them. I do not try to change them because that is harder than changing yourself.

Its like playing poker. You get all the cards you want except one. So use your "power of positive thinking" to "realize the card it wants to be". Does the card change? Nope. Play it, trade it. Win or lose with it. Its a fun game and if you are not having fun stop playing.

So just accept who you are, accept the others around you, stop trying to change yourself and everything around you and just live. Peace will descend upon you as long as you stop judging yourself.

Now piss off and go do something you enjoy. I won't judge you for it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Someone is making a buck.

When gas was $147 a barrel we were paying $1.40 a litre for gas. All the way up to those dizzying heights a barrel of oil and a litre of gas went up hand in hand. $100 a barrel, $1.00 for gas.

Soooooo, oil is at $42 a barrel and we are still paying $0.75 a litre. Someone is making a buck.

The federal banks are dropping their rates. 50 points here, 75 points there. Historically the banks have risen and lowered their rates in step. Until recently. They only drop it half to three quarters of the central banks rate, every time. Someone is making a buck.

Banks by their very nature give loans and take payments. They are not doing this now. Hence the cash freeze. But its their FUNCTION to give loans and they are not. I suggest we take away the charter for one Canadian bank, I think we shall see the other fall in line.

Same for the oil companies. Regulate their prices for 6 months. Then give them the option to be fair or continue to be regulated.

Market goes down, market goes up. Tell me someone isn't making a killing.

It is just me or is the middle class getting screwed.... again. All those bail-outs, stimulus packages and infrastructure projects, its the middle class's taxes that pay for that.

The rich have their schemes, tax shelters and stunning wealth. They don't notice the tax hit. The poor don't pay taxes so we are stuck with it. And who got us into this? The poor who couldn't pay their loans given to them by the rich who have already collected their bonuses.

I think its time I ran for office. Things would be different. Of course I would declare a dictatorship as soon as I was elected. Its the only way to really get things done. I hope you understand.

Hail Francisius!

Monday, December 08, 2008


People keep assigning motive to me, accusing me of playing politics. Seeing my actions from their viewpoint I understand where they get this impression. But let me be clear. I do not play politics, or at least not anymore. I am going to make myself very clear here so there is no longer any misunderstanding of who I am and what motivates me.

I am a mechanic. I fix things. I make things work where they didn't work before. People seek me out to help them accomplish a task. And that is what I do, I accomplish the task. That is my sole motivation.

If you want to assign blame, or seek to assign responsibility, then I will shoulder the blame, I will take responsibility if it will help accomplish the goal.

That's it. That is all.

A concrete example? OK, I was accused a few years back of speaking out of turn. On a drive to an airport I spoke with our presidents future wife. I spoke at length of her fiancee massive accomplishments and the challenges he got us through. I let her know that a great many people had a great deal of respect for her future husband. But, we was at risk of losing that respect and if he lost that he could lose the company. The reason was simple. The people did not see him, he did not communicate with them. Worse, he made decisions that affected people and offered them no explanation. This was damaging. I suggested he come down from on high and sit with the people. Make them feel a part of the company.

This was misinterpreted. I was gossiping. I did not realize that she had no clue as to the company's history. I was nailed to the wall. The president's wife brought her fears for the future of the company and her own future security to him. Whoops.

But I make no apologies. My goal was clear, to get a message to him that he needs to communicate with his people. He missed the point. And the damage is done. And it is too late. Any attempt by him to communicate is now taken negatively.

Another example? We are researching new software. We have sent some people on training on a possible replacement. We happen to have an employee with some knowledge of the software but his knowledge is outdated and he would like to update his skills taking the same course as the others. Whoops.

Who am I to interfere with the operations of the company they say? I stand by my efforts though. We need a person in each location who can learn the software and then teach the rest.

If you want me to solve a problem, I am your man. If you just want to gossip, or a shoulder to cry on, go look elsewhere. I can guarantee you that if you bring me a problem, I will try to solve it.

I am a mechanic. I fix things. I used to fix bikes, now I fix computers. I used to fix supply chain issues, now I fix network bottlenecks. Its all the same to me. Whether I use a screwdriver or a mouse. It is all the same. Troubleshoot, diagnose, repair.

I used to play politics. In fact I once it took upon myself as a challenge to see if I could do it. I needed a situation but I could not find one.... so I created one. I was in University, living in a house full of subjects I could play with. I set about setting these people upon themselves. It was remarkably easy.

Then when all was chaos and broken, I set about fixing it. Planning my moves and counter moves. And I did it. I fixed it.

But for every action there is a price. That price I was to pay the next year when instead of being a backroom player, I was cast in the central role. God taught me a lesson that year. There are some things you cannot fix, and I couldn't. It damned near killed me.

So I fix things, but I now know when to walk away. A dead motherboard may be fixable by replacement, but is it cost effective? That last question is the lesson learned.

There you go. That is me. Don't bother looking for more because there isn't. I know I have taken the fun out of it but I had to do it. You see, I have a problem. People keep assigning motives to me. I just gave you my motive. Problem solved.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

27 seconds

It was a normal job. There really wasn’t too much to it and all the preparations had been made. The only odd part was the actual object I was to steal and the fact that someone I knew was on the inside. We were all set to go on the night of the 15th. This morning I had awoken from a nightmare and I was actually terrified to go back to sleep. That had not happened to me since I was a kid. I didn’t remember the dream when I woke up, but the feeling of sheer terror remained. During the day’s preparations, small snippets came to me. Like deva-vu. Things like the smell of the stolen truck. Oil stains and potatoes. I never mentioned it to the others as they looked to me for confidence and any sign of weakness on my part would only mean low morale. Besides I was the one going in.

We arrived at the building slightly ahead of schedule. I used the time to do a small recon of my escape route. There was an unused service road that came out the back, in large yellow letters was painted “THRU ROAD ONE WAY”. At one time it was used as the truck route but this complex hasn’t shipped out anything in years. All our researched had shown it was an old warehouse with some offices. Only the offices were used now.

The lights were all off now except for the security light. There was a guard but he was in the back in the old shipping office. Jeff would take care of him when to time came. 27 seconds!
That was part of the dream. I am confused, like I am living in two worlds. I am unable to separate them. I try to focus. I shake my head and things clear up. That was one heck of a dream when it invades my waking thoughts, especially now when I am usually so focused. Ben comes over the radio to say that they are all ready. I walk back to the front and wait by the bushes. Jeff walks thru the gate and under the surveillance camera. Jeff is an odd guy. He is so average looking he can disappear in a crowd of one. He is almost unflappable too. It can definitely a detriment though. He won’t even duck when someone punches him. The guys think he is cool but I know he is slow. Still he is an asset on our team. He always goes in where a cool head is needed. Besides, he can lie his ass off and make you a believer.

Jeff motions to me. That means that the guard is coming to the door. That means he is not watching the cameras. I slip in and to the far end of the building. I am at the office side entrance with a huge steel door. It was built in the 70's when fire was a big deal. Fire? An anti-tank missile wouldn’t get through this thing.

I have to meet my contact in the last office, she knows where the safe is but I have to break in. If it’s the safe I think it is then there is no way I am going to crack it. No worries, in my bag a have some C4. A little in the right place is all we need. Once it goes we have to move. Jeff will have taken care of the guard by now so we don’t have to worry about him raising the alarm but you never know who is lurking about with a cell phone.

I am in the office and she is there… and so is a really big guy with an MP5, not the car, the gun. A cold sweat, this was part of the dream. But I can’t remember what comes next. Rough hands grab me from behind, a kick to my knees and I sink to the floor. The girl leaves out the side door. A hear a few soft pops from out back. I look to the big guy and I know that my crew is being slaughtered. So why not me, why the ruse to get me here? I must remember the dream, remember how it ends…

I haven’t said a thing yet and neither have the two guys in the room with me. They don’t seem too worried. I may have one chance to get away and one chance only. The side door, she left it ajar. If I pick my moment I can make a sprint for it. I don’t think the two guys have guns and if I run out the front I’ll miss the execution squad. The big guy rolls open a pack. I can’t see the contents from where I am kneeling but whatever is in it is shiny, the light from the bulb on the table is reflecting onto the ceiling. He looks at me now and pulls a syringe from the pack, he starts towards me. Now is a good a time as any, a break for the door and am rewarded by a crack to the side of the head. The room spins and goes blurry. I was out for only a second but the pin prick in my ass is unmistakable. Finally the guy speaks. “He’ll be out in a minute, and then we can extract his kidneys”.

Mother-fucker! What a bitch, I come in to steal a fucking kidney from a deep freeze safe and all she wanted was mine. She found the match for her kid after all; too bad they were inside of me. Clever girl, silly boy.

I have to make break for it. I lurch to my feet, and stagger towards the door. I am in the hallway, I think I am running. I smash into the fire door at the side. Now I remember the end of my dream. Painted on the driveway out the side of the building in letter large and yellow letters read “YOU ONLY HAVE 27 SECONDS TO LIVE.” But they are not painted here now; the words come from the doorway behind me. “Don’t bother running,
you only have 27 seconds to live.”

Monday, October 06, 2008


The wind whipped around the corner, screaming. It blew the dust and dirt up and into my eyes. I blinked and they watered. Now it looks like I’ve been crying. No Mom, I don’t smoke, I puff. Ah, I blow a plume of blue smoke in the air. The wind whisks it away. I lean against the building and wait. He said 10. I’ll wait until 10 past. Usually I wait for a more reliable contract but times have been tough. 10:04, there he is. I push off and cross the street.
Not a great area but the locals are regulars. That’s good. When the locals start leaving town to drink, that’s bad news. There are 6 bars on this row. All low level, old rafters with neon. Tacky. I can see him cross the bar through the window. I enter, Joe’s Place, how original. I keep my coat on but I pause at the door. I like to warm up. I check my eyes in the mirror. Good, they’ve cleared up. Still cold and unfeeling. Worked hard on that one. I take a deep breath. Stand tall, head up, chin in. Arms swing loosely at my sides. I see him at the end of the bar at a table. I walk with purpose over to the table. I catch his eyes about 10 feet away. He leans back and away. I stop at the table. He asks, “Whadya want.” A statement, not a question.
I say coolly, “You Joe, from Philly?”
His eyes squint. “No one calls me that anymore.”
“You remember Frankie Valone?” I ask.
His face recoils in horror. His hand reaches for his pocket.
I was expecting all this, or at least something like it. I slam 4 slugs into him. I smile as he slides from his chair under the table. Not like the movies. Bullets only have so much energy and the body is pretty soft. No one moves. People are too shocked.
I walk out and cross the street. Everyone will remember my face but I’ll be gone in 1 hour. I’ve done this so much its a routine. Find him, confirm it, kill him, collect your money. I figure I was already going to hell by the time I was 16. What was the point. I got into my car and put the key in. My face explodes from a 12 gauge slug. Not even sure who did it. Death…finally.

Hmm, I’ve done this too much. Seen it all. But this guy didn’t even scream. Just seemed to sit back. Must have been expecting it. I walked to my car. Killing is way too easy. This one was easy and good money too. He was a freelancer, no revenge possibilities. I’m looking forward to a week in Vegas. Old stomping grounds.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

He lives in the shadows
and in the hearts of weak men
Waiting and ever patient
for his day always comes
Dressed all in black
and a face of death
he is coming for you.

Slipping in and out
of our nightmares.
He knows out worst fear
and plays them out
If you do not fear him
then you are a fool
or resigned to your fate.

He strikes without warning
Yet you know he is coming
All your life he has followed
wherever you have been
Watching for his opportunity
Waiting to strike
for you to slip up.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I watch the ink dry and seep into the paper
my thoughts! My thoughts laid down
Hide them away, burn them!
No one must see what I am.
Fear, that is it, that is what I feel
Of what? They are just words.
But people die of words, their own,
Must not let them see how stupid I am,
how clever, how trite, foolish, silly, misguided I am.
My smile hides my while my pen betrays.
Yes! Yes, damn you. I’ve cried, I’ve lied
to you, to me, to all but not the page.
Those white pages lined in blue force me
the ink poisons me, sees through me
A truth serum! That is it, a truth serum.
Its addictive. I can’t stop. I am bleeding
Bleeding my soul onto these pages
Stop! Somebody stop me! I can’t stop
There will be nothing left soon, all gone.
An empty shell walking around
with a notebook tucked under his arm
My soul tucked under my arm
What sentence, for what crime is this for
Who imposed such a hellish thing.
I watch as my hand betrays me and carries out my sentence
My sentence, my prose, my thought, My God!
I don’t want to be sane, be rational, be true.
I want to create me, my own creation
Not this weak fool sitting alone writing
Stop him, he is killing me...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The memory that softly whispers
I cannot hear what is says
though I know it is your voice
Fading like my memory of your face
till a feeling is all that remains

Your breath is hot against my ear
blowing on embers of a love grown cold
with distance time and history
But the feeling remains

The voice louder now is ringing
Persistant, calling, longing
The words I knew so well
I did not recognize
For it was only the feeling that remained.

Now confusion is all too familiar
And reigns again
All I know, all I`ll ever know
is that I loved and that the feeling
is all that remains.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Paddy walked swiftly along the long dock. Upon reaching the slippery end the stopped. There he leaned over and peered into the sea. What he saw must have made his blood freeze. For he stood there, half bent, looking down for an eternity. Just watching him my stomach turned and my head swam. Paddy was a strong lad, both of body and soul. To make him freeze so, it must be a truly awful. I saw him once pull a beating heart from a lamb’s chest. Suffer the death of his wife without a tear. What, but the devil himself, can cause Paddy to freeze. Then, slowly, Paddy leaned over and then fell. Like he had been pushed, then crumpling. And he lay there not moving, not breathing, not daring to. I too had been frozen, but moved when I saw him fall. The dock seemed eternally long, and stretched as I ran. The pile that was Paddy got closer and more defined. His face was even red, sweaty forehead dripping. Breathing, yes, he was breathing, in shallow gasps of air. Eyes screwed shut, mouth in a death grimace. I fell upon him and grabbed his shoulders to shake him. Screaming at him to talk to me, forcing him to speak to me. To tell me its all right, my world is not coming to an end. With all the strength that Paddy had and some borrowed. He looked up at me, eyes wide and rolling, mouth hanging open. He gurgled, moaned and finally told me what had caused such a strong man to fail. He said two words that were to change how I felt for him. They were, “back spasm”.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Many people have courage they never knew about because courage comes in many forms. Most don’t recognize it for what it is. Sticking your head in a lion’s mouth is not courage, its stupidity. Not sticking your head in a lion’s mouth is smart. Not sticking your head in a lion’s mouth when your friends goaded you to is courage. Any act that makes you stand up to yourself, others or not do something you instinctively want to do, is courage.
Sound silly? Not really. The other day I was coming down a really fun street here in town. I know it well and know how fast I can take the corners. I drive it at least three times a week for the last year. Now a bit of background for you. I used to race cars. Not Formula One or Indy, but cars. Take an old beater and put it on the track. Remove all unnecessary weight. Y’know, seats, spare tire, Radiator. I have always prided myself on being able to find the limits of the vehicle I was driving and staying within them. I could also exploit the strengths and use some of the cars’ more interesting characteristics. I had an old Jeep eagle that would wobble on all four wheels as it slid to the outside of a turn. Neither end would ever break free it would just wobble. So I once came into an S-bend and threw the car sideways and wobbled my way through it. It gave me the needed second and a half to be ahead at the end of the straight to enter the slow part of the course in front. And anyone who has raced with me knows I am all but impossible to pass on a series of corners.
I have been driving my current vehicle for over a year now. That’s longer than I have ever driven a vehicle. Its underpowered, ugly and a really awful blue. But I can drive the wheels off of it because it is predictable. If there is one quality I love in a vehicle it is predictability. I know what it is going to do no matter what I do. It’s a great relationship. Combine that with an inherit stability and it’s a lot of fun to drive. I have overtaken many a more muscled car with my puny vehicle. I love winning from a disadvantage.
So the other day I was coming to my fun road when a more muscled car pulled up alongside. He obviously wanted to race. I knew I could take him. His particular vehicle had a solid one piece rear axle. Meaning that the tightest corner at the end he would have to break his end free to negotiate it properly at a reasonable speed. That meant when he spun it I wanted to be ahead of him. It would be tricky. He has more power on would most likely take me in the straightaway. I could push and be ahead of him but he might push too. So we went into the first corner and he was pushing. I let up off the gas.
I consider that courage because it went against what I call my natural instinct. The instinct to race to prove to him what I already knew. I am a better driver and might beat him in an inferior car. But it might have killed us both. He called me a coward, so what. I called the ambulance when his back end came free and slammed into the light stand.
It’s a fine line between courage and foolishness. I win.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It Was The Rain

It was hitting the living room window
I sat and watched
thinking, thinking that the world is a scary place
and that I was not ready for it
No particular event brought those feelings on
So it must have been the rain.

It was there again
this time in torrents
I was scared, of failing
this scary world was beating me
beating the best I had to offer
Yet I survived and thrived.
The fear must have been from something
I think it was the rain.

It was raining again to night
As a fist of emotion gripped my guts
It was fear again
this time of loosing you
I am a fool, afraid and beaten
And you are going away
and I cannot stop you
I need to blame something
So I’ll blame it on the rain.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wedding Speech

Just for fun I thought I'd post my wedding speech.....

Good evening, my name is Francis and I’ll be your groom for this evening.

To start I’d like to say a few words… “A few words”

Next I’d like to say a few more words… “A few more words”

Now that that is out of the way, let’s get on with my speech.

Today, I got married.
Never in a million years did I think that was going to happen. If you had told me, even five years ago, that I would be married, I would have accused you of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

So how did this happen?

A year ago I sat back and pondered this very question. What series of events transpired for Danielle and I to meet. The answer is long and convoluted and since I have the microphone, you’ll have to sit there and listen to it.

This is a storey about decisions; decisions that at the time seem unimportant and insignificant, but in the long run have a massive impact on our lives.
The first big decision was made when Mr. Laird (that is him sitting there) came up to me in Grade 13 and asked if I wanted to go and check out a few universities. At that point I hadn’t decided where I wanted to go…. And I wanted to skip a day of school, so I said sure! Where are we going? McMaster University… I loved the place as soon as I saw it; big, beautiful with class sizes so large the professor wouldn’t notice if you weren’t there. That was the first big decision.

The next involves my Dad. That is him sitting over there hoping I don’t embarrass him….. more than I have already.

We were looking at the “rooms for rent” board at Mac, when a lady came up to us and said she had a room for rent, would we like to look at it. We said sure. She got into her friends car and we followed them to her house. I decided to take the room and would have stayed there for my second year as well, had they not decided to move (see another small decision). So I was left without a place to stay. But remember that friend’s car? Well that friend was Rick Salciccioli. I see a few heads nodding in the crowd. Many guests here tonight are some of Rick’s former tenants. Rick had a room for rent and I rented it. The house I moved into already had a tenant, and his name was Brett Legree. That is him over there hoping I don’t tell the storey of the Trent Air Show.

Now we can skip ahead a few years. Brett got married to Cathy (wave Cathy!) in May of 1998. I was a guest at that wedding, as was Danielle. And that is where we met for the first time. Of course Danielle doesn’t remember meeting me but we won’t dwell on that. However I do have a very interesting picture that I’ll pass around that shows me standing behind Danielle at that wedding.

So you see it is the small decisions that make all the difference in the world, they may not seem that big at the time but the impact can last a lifetime.

The funny part of this storey is that when Brett was standing in the spot I now occupy he said in his speech that: “I met Cathy because I went to a wedding and had a great time. People took some pictures of me at the wedding and Cathy saw them and said “Who is that guy, he’s pretty hot, can I meet him!” Or something like that. So Brett said to all the single guys, have fun, talk to people, you never know, you may meet your future wife tonight. How is that for prophetic? Now, five years later, that very thing has happened. And with Brett’s permission, I would like to pass on the tradition. All you single guys out there. Go and have fun and meet people, because you never know, you may meet your future wife tonight.

And In another connection to that day, I caught Cathy’s garter that night, in a rather artful and spectacular fashion, I might add. Danielle is wearing that very same garter tonight. It’s a lucky garter, so whoever catches it tonight will be a lucky guy.

And speaking of lucky guys, it is now my duty and honour to toast my new bride.

It’s a long toast so you can put your glasses down for the time being.

For most of my life I have been an angry, tightly compressed young man. While I do have some redeeming qualities, notably my rapier like wit, I am, in all honesty, not the easiest person in the world to get along with. This is why I assumed I would never meet anyone who could put up with me for any length of time. In fact, I was fond of saying, I’m not looking for someone to love me; I’m looking for someone to tolerate me.

But despite all that I have always wished and prayed for the undying love of a beautiful woman. And God has sent his angel Danielle to answer my prayers.

I have always said you can tell a good person if animals love them. When Danielle and I go for walks, cats and dogs from miles around come to her for some love…. And the treats in her pocket. And of course there is the best judge of character there is, my dog Bandit. From the first second Danielle walked in the door Bandit was smitten. I even think he loves her more than me. But I’m not jealous… well maybe a little….

But Danielle is a special person, and you only need to look around the room at the many friends and loved ones gathered here to see that. All of you know what I am talking about. You will always get a smile and a kind word from her. A hug when you need one and even one when you don’t. Are these not the qualities of an angel?

Right now, I want all of you to think of your fondest memory of Danielle. The one that makes you smile. Do you have one? Are you smiling?
I get to smile like that for the rest of my life.

Never in my life have I met a more kind, or caring or gentle person. Someone who makes me smile just because she is in the room or in my thoughts. Someone who sees past the rough edges on people and looks instead to their hearts. A person who demands hugs instead of handshakes, kisses instead of words and shows kindness in the face of anger. Are these not the qualities of an angel?

Since I’ve met Danielle I have never been so calm, so at peace with myself and the world. The anger is gone and the fear has dissipated.

To ask for a better lifelong companion is not possible. I have someone to loves me, cares for me, and looks past my rough edges and only sees my love for her. And I do love her, with all my heart and soul. With everything I am and everything I will be. God has sent me an angel and I could not be more blessed.

I would now like to ask all of you to join me in a toast to my love, my life, my wife and my angel. To Danielle.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


No one told us and no one saw it coming. When the asteroid hit it seemed too unreal, too much like a Hollywood movie. But the destruction and the dust cloud were all too real. In the aftermath people really showed their true colours. There was a lot of looting, killing and general mayhem. I think that humans did more damage than the damned rock did.
So now I find myself here, now. A city boy lost in the wilderness. And I’ll bet you are asking how the heck did I survive? Well in typical fashion. I hid, cowered in a corner of my basement until it was all over. I was starving but it is amazing how fear becomes the world’s greatest appetite suppressor. My little house on the hill was a refuge and a sanctuary. While all the big homes up the hill from me were pillaged and burnt, mine was left untouched. Not worth their while, I guess. So I hid in my basement. Drank the water that would dribble from my tap and waited. I would always ask myself how long I should wait. Then shooting would start again and fires would be lit and my question would be answered. Until all the violence stopped.
That was last week. I waited a few days just to make sure that they weren’t just resting. But it has been eerily quiet for a few days. Then yesterday the birds started singing. I guess if the birds think it is okay, then it must be.
My first priority was to get food. I was starving now that my fear had subsided. I ventured up the hill to see if I could raid someone’s pantry. But the damage was severe. Most of the homes were just shells. When I did manage to find food it was pre-cooked. That’s a joke, humour is important.
I had to start foraging further and further. That made me scared. I just didn’t want to see what was out there, what was left. So today I have to venture into town and I’m not looking forward to it.

You see I was born in the city. The land of plenty so to speak. If you want food, it’s in the pantry or the store a few blocks away. Restaurants would cook for you and snacks were a plenty. I’ve never fired a gun, shot an arrow let alone beat a man’s skull in with a stick. I say that because that is apparently what has happened to the fellow at my feet. I’ve been staring at him for a few minutes now. Its’ not like TV. There is a lot more blood. It has all dried around his body. He is kind of blue and fat. I wonder how long he’s been here and how soon it will be until I join him.
The town is pretty much wrecked. Not a window to be found. It is very weird. There are so few bodies. I thought it would be more like those death camps you see on TV where the bodies are everywhere. I actually had to look for this fella. He was down an alley. I head back to the main street to see if I can get something to eat. But the looters have taken it all. No blankets in Sears, no food in Safeway no cigarettes at Mac’s.
So my list of missing things is growing, people, food, optimism. I am no survivalist. In fact I’m a coward. But I think that may be the best thing for me. My urge for self preservation is overwhelming. Rampant paranoia is a major facet of my personality. It had kept me alive so far.
A brain storm, I get those sometimes. I’ll go to all the cars in the parking lot, the ones that haven’t been bunt to a crisp. I start looking for keys. I’m not going anywhere but some of these people must have been shopping. The second car I find with keys is a Grand Prix. I pop the trunk and 'lo and behold, Campbell’s Chunky Soup, the soup that eats like a meal. Mmmm, creamy Turkey a la king. I get the old Swiss army knife out and pry it open. I eat it raw. It never tasted better… needs salt.

This is not going to be one of those stories of a description of a ravaged land. I’m far too queasy and ego centric for that. This is a story of what happen to me. What happen to all the people? Well as near as I can figure it out, they were all gathered up, beaten and then shot. I found them all at the soccer field an hour ago. I just followed the smell. I threw-up my can of soup, it was that gross. Why the hell would someone kill all these people? It reminds me of the breakup of Yugoslavia. I guess that leaves more resources for whoever did this, and a really good reason for me to get the hell out of here.
I took the back way out of town along the old dump and through the stand of trees the city council liked to call their forest. Twenty trees, some forest. I have no idea where I am going but it has to be better than where I was. No food, and death lurking everywhere. Where am I going? Good freaking question, answer it for me if you can.
As I cut my way back towards the main road I smell it again before I saw it, gasoline and burnt rubber. On this side of town there is a large river canyon. One bridge, creating a bottleneck. Good place for an ambush. Someone else had the same idea. Halfway across the bridge is a wrecked shell of a car. I can’t even tell what it was. Behind it is a convoy of wrecks. Again TV news images are burnt into my brain. The flight of the Iraqi army from Kuwait comes to mind. I have to cross the bridge to get out of here.
I can’t remember anything after I passed the first body. The next thing I do remember is dry heaving in a ditch. I look back and I have crossed the bridge. I must have run because I am out of breath. It must have been pretty bad. I like to think I have a strong stomach but this is totally unreal. That’s why I love my brain. It blocks out all this stuff so I don’t become paralyzed by it.
I am trying to think. Do I stay on the road? Its’ easier to walk on, but what if I meet someone. Or do I walk in the brush. I don’t know. I compromise. I walk in the ditch at the side of the road. Its’ easy to walk in and I can duck down and hide if I see someone.
Well if there is one thing I have discovered today its’ that I am out of shape. My knees are all rubbery and I feel lightheaded. Maybe it’s’ the lack of food? Good guess Einstein. But I am having bad luck with food. Every time I eat I come across a new horror. But never discount miracles. An apple tree. A bloody apple tree at the side of the road. How the heck did it get here? The apples are small and not quite ripe, but who cares.
I wake up an hour later. My gut still hurts. I ate way too many and they were way too tart. I crawl into the brush a bit more and find fairly large tree. I curl up in its roots. I’ve always been able to sleep in the worst of circumstances. See you in the morning.

It’s amazing how good you can feel after a good night’s sleep. I am cold and sore but alive. I need to get moving so I head back to the ditch to get going. Now you may wonder why I am skipping along so fast. I could have described to you in great detail the endless nights cowering in my basement and listed in gory detail the many ways in which people died. But these things are not important. I am trying to get to the good part of the story but you will need some background as to when and how I came to be on a certain place on a certain day.
About an hour into my walk I come upon a dilemma. I first saw it as a black mark on the highway. I stopped and stared. I tried to make out what it was and looked for movement, nothing. I crept closer. I had no idea what it was. I hadn’t seen a car or person along the road. And here was something. What the heck was it? A glint of sun reflected off of it. So it was a machine or a person with a shiny belt buckle. I am scared. I sit for a bit thinking. Then I decide to use the landscape to my advantage. I head into the brush and cut along until I feel I am parallel to the thing on the road. I creep along towards the road now. I am listening to every sound and every time a twig crunches under my foot I think I am going to die on the spot.
I can see it better now. I creep closer. Now I stand up. And laugh to myself. It’s a motorcycle. I walk up to it. It’s been dropped pretty hard and most of the gas has leaked from the tank onto the ground leaving a dark stain on the road. I can see where the pegs and handle bar has scarped along the pavement. All I can think is how much it must have hurt when it went down. But where is the rider? I walk around the bike and see some blood on the back fender. The fear is back. What happened to the rider? He obviously came to a grizzly end. I hop into the ditch on the other side of the road. I see another dark mass. I creep toward it, expecting it to be the rider. It is. He is all crumpled up in a ball. It looks like he rolled for a while. As I walk around him I see what made him fall off his bike. He has a huge wound in his back. Like Mad Max. Someone buried an axe into his back while he was riding.
It makes no sense to me though. The bike he was riding looks fast. How could anyone do that? Couldn’t have been a passenger. That would be suicide. So someone in a really fast vehicle caught him and finished him. But why? Doesn’t matter now. He is dead and I have a ride. It may not be the smartest thing to ride a noisy machine around but I’m lazy and tired of walking.

I don’t think I could have found a better vehicle. A car would never get past the road blockages I know I’m going to find. But this bike is like a dream. It’s a big Honda dual purpose bike, a 400 no less. Lotsa torque…whatever that is. I hop on and turn the key, nothing. Ah, I look for a starter button. No starter button. What kind of bike is this? Then I feel a piece of metal poking me in the leg. A kick start?
Sweaty but victorious I head down the road.

It’s my third day on the bike. It’s been kinda fun but very spooky as well. I haven’t seen or heard another person in a long time. I may go crazy. The bike gets good mileage and I am going slowly to conserve gas. I’m in no hurry. The gas stations oddly enough are still working. There is power to most places and I just pump away. I feel guilty about not paying but whom would I pay? Who would care? And is money all that important anymore?

I acquired a leather jacket at one of the roadside cafes. A good one too. Oh, and a pair of gloves. It gets cold and my hands were starting to crack. Food isn’t a problem. I stocked up with Twinkies at one of the stations. They’ll keep forever. I have no real idea where I am going. I just keep heading east hoping to meet a friendly somebody.

Another night and day has passed. I stop for gas at an Esso. I go inside to hit the gas button behind the counter and then it all goes dark.

I don’t know if it is night or day. It is dark and damp. I assume I’m in a basement. It smells like a butcher’s shop in here. Serves me right for letting my guard down. I found some water in a bucket and cleaned my wound. I wouldn’t trust drinking the stuff though. My jacket and gloves are gone. So are my Twinkies.

I am awakened tonight by screaming. It ended after about 5 minutes. Now I’m too scared to sleep. My hunger is gone; my guts are all churned up with fear. I spend my time crawling around my dungeon trying to find a way out. But there is nothing, not even a window, and the door is a heavy metal fire door. My guess is it’s the basement of the station in a storeroom. All I can do is wait.

I was startled by the door swinging open and then blinded by the light in the space beyond. I go to cover my eyes but my arms are intercepted when two sets or arms grab them. I am hit in the face and things start to fade again. Add a glass jaw to my weaknesses. I am being dragged up stairs then down a hall then tossed into a chair. Now cold water on my face, great, now I’m drowning. A hand grabs my hair and pulls my face forward. The water runs out of my mouth so I can breathe. I taste blood but that may be the least of my worries.

“Who are you?” Finally, a human voice. There is no sense resisting.
“Tim who?”
“Timothy Reginald Ellis.” No sense waiting for him to ask my full name is there?
“Where are you from and are there more.” Hmm, a statement, not a question. I wonder if he really wants to know, or if he just wants to see how well I lie. No sense lying, like I said, I’ve nothing to hide. I just want everything to be back to normal.
Welkton, Alberta. Everyone was gone when I went into town.”
“Where’d they go?” A genuine question this time. Seems I’ve passed his test.
I say through broken lips, slurring, “It looks like those who didn’t run were killed and piled in the fields.”
My questioner just nods. I look at him for the first time. He is tall and heavy. Not overweight, but not in great shape. He is dirty and unshaven. If my nose weren’t full of blood he’d probably smell bad too.
“Where are you going?” he asks leaning back on his heels with his arms folded across his chest. I sense he wants a confrontation.
I tell the truth,” Anywhere there are people who don’t want to kill me.”
He laughs hard and loud, slaps me on the shoulder and turns to leave. One of the two sets of arms that are behind me asks, “What do we do with him.”
“Put him in the fields with the others, if he can’t cut it, kill him. We can’t have any deadwood here.”
Another blow to the head and it goes real fuzzy again.

Another splash of water, this is getting tedious, not to mention it’s wrecking my boyish good looks. I look blearily around. I shovel is handed to me. I take it. An arm attached to a burly man points to the ground. A half dug hole. I don't need to ask what it is. Six feet long and three feet deep, another three feet and we’ll have a grave.
I ask, “Whose is it?” I fear the answer but curiosity gets the best of me.
“Your predecessor.”
“Oh.” Is my only reply.

I hop in and start to dig. At six feet I stop and get out. I feel like heck. I’m sore, out of shape and my head feels like it’s going to explode. I sit down; actually I fall down and then sit up. I know they will kill me if I don’t cut it but the fact is I can’t cut it. I just want to curl up and go to sleep.
A large shadow falls over me. I cringe expected the ever common blow to the head. But there is no blow. I feel some heat near my head. I lift my head. It’s an aluminum plate with some food on it. I don’t ask questions. I just grab it and start eating. After I have licked the plate clean, literally, I look up. It’s the big burly guard. He looks worried. I look around. Almost everybody looks worried.
“What’s up?” I ask.
The big guard looks down, “You know what happened to your town?” I nod. “Well, they’re coming.”
I feel myself go pale. “I thought you guys did that?”
“No, we’ve been hiding here trying to build up a defense to keep them out.” He pauses. “You done?”
“Unless there’s more?” He shakes his head and takes my plate. Then motions for me to follow him. He shows me to a building and tells me to enter. Its dark inside but I can see from the light coming through the door that it’s the sleeping quarters. He points to the back wall and says, “There’s water in that bucket, get cleaned up and get some sleep.”
“Did I pass your test?” I ask.
“Test?” he asks back.
“Y’know, are you going to kill me?” He laughs and smiles.
“No, we just wanted to make sure that you weren’t one of them. A fellow that joined us in the beginning recognized you from the town he lived in. He said you were okay.”
“Who is he, the guy that recognized me, I mean?”
“Says his name is Bert Legere. Know him?”
“Sure do, he’s the guy at the hardware store. Helps me out all the time. My house is in rough shape.”He laughs out loud, “Actually he says you couldn’t fix breakfast and he ended up doing all the work.”I just smile. Bert is one heck of a guy. When no one else in that hick-town would help me he always lent me a hand. He knew the guy who sold me my place took me to the cleaners. I had no money to get it fixed so I had to do it myself. Bert helped me every step of the way.
“Better get some shut-eye. We’ve work to do tomorrow.”
Good advice, and easily followed.

I wake in the morning with the sun in my eyes. I roll over, I’m beat…. literally. But the sun is beating on me and I am hot. I roll on my stomach and sit up. The barracks is deserted but it was well used last night. All the beds are messy. I was so tired I didn’t even hear them come in or leave. I go to the bucket and splash water on my face. Ouch, ouch, OUCH! Man does that sting! I look around for a towel to wipe my face, I use my sheet instead. Looks like my wounds are getting infected. I can only really see out of one eye and a headache is encroaching around my skull. Add to that the fact that I am starving, again, still.

I walk outside. There is a lot of activity. People are putting up fences, some are sharpening sticks and poles, others still are digging holes. I look around for anyone who could point me to food. I glance back at the building I was in. It used to be a small stable. The roof is gone and in its place is a bunch of tarps nailed down. There is a big rip in one and that is where the sun was coming in. Speaking of the sun, it seems to be a long way to the west. I guess I must have slept through the morning. I lady passes me I step towards her and ask what time it is. Hers eyes grow wide and her face freezes. She stops, turns around and walks the other way. Now I know that I am bad with the ladies but this is silly. Maybe my face is worse than I thought. Just then I spy Bert working on a fence across the compound.

I walk up to him and touch him on the shoulder. He turns around and a big grin spreads across his face. I stick my hand out to shake his hand. He face grows dark. I feel a frown come across his face. It was then that I looked for his hand and realize that he has no right arm. I quickly put my hand away.
“Hi Bert, thanks for recognizing me.” I say.
“No problem. I wasn’t sure it was you underneath all that blood at first but then Mike told me what your name was and I knew it was you.”

I wanted to pass more pleasantries but my stomach was screaming for some attention. “Is there someplace I can get something to eat?” I ask.
“Sure is but I would suggest we get your face looked at, looks like someone ran over it with a truck, a Ford I think”
I smile at his graveyard humor, bad idea. My lips splits and I can taste blood.
“Yup,” Bert says, “I really think you should get that taken care of. Lunch can wait, besides with what you are about to go through your lunch wouldn’t stay down very long.”

We walk over to a rough building, it looks like it was knocked down and then put back together with some pieces missing. As we enter I wonder if living with my pain might be a better idea. The building is rife with the smell of death. Hygiene is obviously not a priority here. Bert points to a bench and motions for me to sit. He walks away to get someone.
“Here is our local Sawbones; he used to be a vet. He says that people and cows are all just animals.”
With that Bert leaves me to the devices of a rather sinister man with a blood soaked smock and a crocked smile. Why oh why did I ever leaves my nice dark safe basement. The grumble in my stomach reminds me. I now understand why most wars are fought over resources, i.e. food.

...(I wrote this story 10 years ago. I lost parts two and three when my hard drive crashed. I managed to recover part one from an email I sent to my friend who edited it for me. I will try to recreate parts two and three over the next few months as time permits. Please keep in mind that the storeys and writings in here are fiction, there may be some parts of my life in there, but for the most part they are not true. I'm just writing.)