A pic is worth a thousand texts (part ii)

This was a fun exercise last time, so here we go again. We’ll start with the time I won the NWE Heavyweight Championship. Or at least I managed to get my hands on it. Immediately I thought to myself, I must quickly get in front of an Amonia Detection Alarm sign and get a shot of this!

So yeah, these are just random pictures that happen to be on my phone, some of which I completely forgot about. This one I did not forget, however. My daughter is working part-time as a greeter at a department store (I won’t name said store, unless they plan to pay me a marketing fee.), and I got a quick shot of her greeting me. She is such a sweetheart.

And while doing a repair at a dealership in Fredericton I saw this sign in a downstairs staff bathroom. It was so poetically composed I just had to share!

I was filling out a form online—I believe it was for shipping info—it only gave me two choices for identifying which “region” I lived in:
Then there was the time I forgot my coffee at home. Joy texted me the bad news when I was half way to Saint John and this was my reply/reaction. And if you’re concerned, yes I pulled over and took the pic. PSA: Don’t photograph and drive.

So I went to a drugstore to get passport pictures done and the photographer told me that we had to retake them because there was a glare at the top of my head (her words). She sent me to the make up section of the store where they applied some kind of face powder on my head. This was the result. Sigh…


But I was cheered up going to an antique store and finding this spectacular picture of the whitest, most Catholic Jesus I have ever seen. And to think, some people were upset over the depiction of a black Santa. Is this one the Welsh version of Christ or something?

Pretty proud of my new-to-me work vehicle and the new-to-the-vehicle signs on the sides and back.

And my job I did today.

But my favourite it this doggo who came to hang with me while I worked. I was in a customer’s driveway last fall and this  came trotting over licking my ears while I was laying down under the bumper. I didn’t say anything to the owner because 1) I didn’t want to embarrass them and 2) I was loving it. He was the size of a cantaloupe (though not as heavy) but had the confidence of a lion. Brought me his toy to show off and play tug-of-war.

Then he laid down on my drop cloth and rested there while I worked. We’re buds now. We snapchat and stuff.

Congratulations Old Yeller. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Jane Lynch as Christy Cummings in Best in Show.

Best Actor: Owen Wilson as John in Marley and Me.

Best Quote: “If you’re ever buying a shampoo sink go right to the Dutch. The French know nothing about shampooing.” — Michael Kean as Stephan Vanderhoof in Best in Show.

Also found this little gem. I was looking at old photos and decided to take a snap of this one so I could have it on my phone. Leah, 5-yo. Erika, 3-yo. Lukey, brand spankin’ new.

Anatomy Animosity

When I was a teenager and well into my 20’s, my bladder was super chill. It was like the coolest roommate you could have. If I said I wanted to sleep in, it would like, “Yeah me too.” And whenever I woke up, it usually would too, but wouldn’t say much. Then at some point in the day it would say, “Dude. When you get a chance?” And I’d be like, “Yeah sure bro.” We may have taken care of business then, maybe a half hour later… whatever. Today it’s a terrible roommate! It’s almost like it constantly stands in a kitchen in bare feet and has to make an announcement anytime the slightest bit of water hits the floor. Every night it will want the water gone at 9:00, then somehow again at 9:45. Just to be safe I’ll check again at 10:30, ’cause you never know. And usually there’s some more to go. But still at 3:30 am: 

BLADDER: Um, hey. There’s water in here.

ME: Yeah that’s fine. You can wait til the morning. I’m tired.

(30 seconds later)

BLADDER: Did I tell you there’s water in here?

ME: Geez! Yes! Now shut up I want to sleep.

BLADDER: It’s just that there’s water in here.

ME: You used to save it all up, you know! You could wait til the whole bag got full, and now you… Gah! Can you please just take it easy? Just this once? It was a hard day. I worked hard, put in overtime, Netflix took off my favourite show before I was done, I took 20 minutes to find my keys at one point, and my kids kept telling me I was “such a Karen.” So… for now? Just chill? Pretty please?


(30 seconds later)

BLADDER: It’s just that there’s water in here.

FINE! I throw the sheets to the side and stumble to the bathroom to rage pee, all the while trying hard not to fall asleep in the process.

I mean, wtf man? What happened to my good-natured buddy?

Then there’s my back and behind. I’ve always tried to lift with my knees all my life. But even when I do that, all it takes is a slight 2 degree deviation and my back is like, “Ok, I’m out.” That easy? C’mon man, be cool! And my butt will dig a poppy pin deep into my right cheek. What is THAT all about?! I’m just picking up my boots here, what did I ever do to you!

But the worst is my lungs. From the time I was a child to today, they’re the most intolerant things in the world. I’ve never taken up cigarettes or joints, I’ve been active all my life, a decent amount of exercise I guess (for a North American anyway) and I’ve never once tried to pick a fight with them. But if I’m sipping—not guzzling, sipping—some water and one drop goes down? “AW HELL NO!” go the lungs!

My stomach isn’t quite so bad. I could swallow a triple-A battery and my stomach will just say something like, “Um, you know this isn’t supposed to go down here?” Then shrug and say, “Ok, whatev. Might hurt coming out, fyi” and pass it along.

Not the lungs. It’s only “in with the good air and out with the bad,” and that’s it. One minuscule droplet of water, the stuff that accounts for 60% of the human body, and those two will jump up immediately, grab me by the throat and choke me out. They become like Jason Statham in a Guy Ritchie movie. “What do you think of that? Huh? How’s that, ya little $@%&#? You gonna do that again? Huh?” Then, after what seems like an eternity of fighting for my life, while I’m still coughing and just barely getting the air in they walk away coolly with, “Do that again and I’ll kill ya.”

Meanwhile the expression I get from someone next to me is a raised eyebrow, a smirk, and “You ok over there? lol”

Sorry everyone. Just had to get that out. My body and I are not on talking terms, but I guess that’s only because I’m getting old. But I look at it this way: Just like these movies, we’re not merely getting old and decrepit. We’re just becoming more classic.

Congratulations It’s a Wonderful Life. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca.

Best Actor: Charlie Chaplin as Hynkel, dictator of Tomania and as a Jewish Barber in The Great Dictator. I love the scene where he’s playing with the big earth globe. It’s a hilarious scene but is saying a lot too.

Best Quote:Hey! What’s all this a mix-uppa?” — Napaloni, Dictator of Bacteria in The Great Dictator. Not to keep honking this movie’s horn, but I would recommend going to this movie’s IMDb trivia page and reading all the quotes. There’s a lot of good ones in there.

So I was wrong. I thought Casablanca would get all the votes. I had no idea IAWL would swoop in like that. But they’re all great movies. And just a reminder, most—if not all—of Chaplin’s movies are on YouTube, and they are well worth the watch.

Pick your movie of the week: Iconic Movie Stills 7 (Jan 26-Feb 1/20)

I have a feeling this one will be a landslide, but they are all very iconic images from 1940’s movies. So, for you, which still is most classic and iconic?

The Great Dictator (1940)
Chaplain as a Hitler-esque dictator

Citizen Kane (1941)

Casablanca (1942)
“Here’s looking at you kid.”

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
“Attaboy Clarence!”

There are only 3 perfect movie trilogies…

I’m sure we can all agree on the following principles of movie sequels:

  1. Usually, the first is the best one. Often it’s the only good one. E.g. Jaws (1975), First Blood (1982), The Matrix (1999), Back to the Future (1985), Speed (1994), Taken (2008), Jurassic Park (1993).
  2. Not usually, but once in a while the second is the best. E.g. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), The Dark Knight (2008), Paddington 2 (2018), Captain America: the Winter Soldier (2014), Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Superman II (1980).
  3. A rare occurrence is when a part 3 or higher is the best one. E.g. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).
  4. An equally rare occurrence is when there are 2 great movies with one or more sequels that are either bad or, at least, questionably bad/controversial. E.g. The Alien franchise, the Godfather trilogy, the Iron Man trilogy, the Spider-Man trilogy (Sony; 2002-2007) the Lethal Weapon franchise, and the Die Hard franchise`.
  5. And then sometimes there are just too many movies in the franchise that it’s hard to keep track of which are good and which are stinkers. E.g. James Bond, The Fast and the Furious, X-Men, Rocky, Police Academy… amongst many others.

But I would suggest that there only 3 perfect trilogies in movie history: the original Star Wars trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Man with No Name trilogy. You may not recognize this third one, but it’s the Sergio Leone (director) and Clint Eastwood (actor) spaghetti westerns, also known as the Dollars trilogy: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

The reasoning…

  1. All 3 trilogies have a large following of fans who accept each of their trilogy installments as, at least, “good” movies. I would even dare say that most big fans love all three of them.
  2. All 9 movies are generally accepted among movie fans as, at least, “good” movies, with a majority considering them “great.”
  3. All 3 trilogies are generally considered classics among most movie fans and critics alike.
  4. Everyone has their favourite, yet everyone generally acknowledges all 3 are great and that they fit together as a unit.
  5. All 9 movies can be played in the background while you’re cleaning, studying, cooking, etc. and be enjoyed just as a classic music album would.

The Disqualified. My reasoning for excluding classics such as The Bourne movies, Toy Story, and Indiana Jones is that they all added a fourth movie. If we were to simply not count Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008) and Jason Bourne (2016)—and many do—then perhaps those two trilogies could be allowed in. Up until this past year, I would have said there were 4 perfect trilogies, but Disney added Toy Story 4. The difference here is that all four are really good movies, but together they just can’t fall under the category of trilogy.

But Star Wars and Middle Earth have other movies too! Yes, both of these properties have other films, but they are also clearly their own trilogies. The stories of the others are connected (and in the case of Star Wars, they even put them together under the name “saga”); however, they are each very distinct as a complete trilogy with the others simply being extensions.

Having said all of this, I do hope to hear some arguments about other movie trilogies that some of you may think should have been included. But I’m standing firm with my claim. Only three! Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Dollars. Change my mind!

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Liv Tyler as Arwen in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Best Actor: Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight.

Best Quote: I really can’t see this being anything but a 3-way tie:
On my signal, unleash hell.
“You shall not pass!”
“Why so serious?”

I would also like to note that the Man With No Name trilogy has the distinction of being perhaps the only trilogy ever made where each sequel that is released is better than the previous. My favourite is, of course, the third one: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. My favourite Star Wars one is Empire, and my favourite LOTR is Return of the King (…though this one changes depending on the time of day, or my mood).

Pick your movie of the week: Iconic Movie Stills 6 (Jan 19-25/20)

A couple of years ago we had a series where we took some of the most recognized movie stills from five different decades. Well, the 00’s were left out, so it’s time to take a look at some of the most iconic stills from that decade and choose one to be our movie of the week. Choose according to movie or according to the shot:

“Are you not entertained?”


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Ring finds Frodo in The Prancing Pony


The Dark Knight (2008)
Joker leaning out police car.

Tasty Chocolate Lies

I lie to myself often. Super often. I know it’s wrong, but I often do it subconsciously. And to stop doing it and make changes in my life instead is hard. Super hard. But to be fair, we all struggle in this manner because essentially we live in a lying world. Wait, wait… Let me ease up on the judginess here. How about this: We can all at least speak for our own culture here in the western, more affluent part of the world and say that we often lie to ourselves. Take for instance the sustenance of the gods: chocolate. 

Oh yes, I love chocolate! I love dark chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate with nuts, chocolate with caramel, nougat, coconut, even “crispy rice.” I like to eat it, drink it, even smell it in a room. I even broke one of my own teeth on a piece of chocolate bunny! But I lie to myself about it. I ignore my conscious brain that tells me the regular eating of cheap chocolate is harmful to me. I also convince myself I’m both lucky and a wise shopper to find a two-for-one deal on the stuff. But the worst lie of all is in ignoring that there are people all over the world who literally work like slaves so that I can have that chocolate.

It’s true. I hate to admit it, but even children—millions of them—are  working from sunup to sundown and breaking their backs to get this stuff harvested, processed, and shipped. Why? Because the rich people of the world (that’s us) are demanding it. And this is true about so many things we like to eat. Every single one of us could fill our bellies with ten times the calories we need to live if we wanted to. And we could do this every single day! That’s our reality, and that reality comes at a great price. So I lie to myself. I pretend these things might not be true. Lying is so easy.

Another example: My daughter doesn’t purchase hygiene products that aren’t marked as “cruelty free.” Many of us, especially people my age, will hear this and roll our eyes. We may even pfffffffftttt. But think about it: All this means is that no animal has been harmed in testing the product. We’re not talking using rats to find a cure for diabetes. We’re talking billion dollar companies that want to sell as much make-up or perfume as they possibly can. They spend exorbitant amounts of money trying to figure out how to do that, and having an animal catch a disease and/or die painfully in the process is, in their minds, a minor price to pay. It doesn’t seem all that silly to 1) not like that, 2) not want that, and 3) decide not to participate in that. It’s so simple, really. But lying is so easy.

So this has been something on my mind a lot. I know there is only so much I can do. I also realize that what I do will hardly make the tiniest difference. But that’s no excuse to not change. If we all make small sacrifices and are willing to challenge ourselves and change, maybe we will make a difference. I mean, tobacco companies aren’t allowed putting ads on TV or radio, are they? How did that happen?

This is one small step, but Joy and I have decided that from now on we will only buy fair trade chocolate and coffee. And I believe we will be making more changes as time goes on. I don’t want to be a part of any lying that makes me feel good but hurts other people, animals, or our environment. Lying is easy. Changing is hard. But growth is invaluable.

Congratulations True Lies. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Eliza Dushku as Dana Tasker in True Lies. She was only 12 when she starred in this movie as the daughter of the couple played by Schwartzenegger and JLC. She was a brave kid doing those stunts.

Best Actor: Tony Moran as Michael Myers in Halloween. I haven’t seen this movie, but it’s one of the most iconic characters in horror movies, so I think this is fitting. Also, did you know he is the older brother of Erin Moran, aka Joanie from Happy Days?

Best Quote:I love robbing the English, they’re so polite.” — Kevin Kline as Otto in A Fish Called Wanda

I don’t believe I mentioned this in the last post, but Knives Out was awesome! Joy and I both absolutely loved it. I think it’s the best whodunit movie ever made. It’s hilarious, has twists and turns, and is an overall fun ride.