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KeithSpeak - January 2009



January 2, 2009

In the middle of the night I got a phone call from a drunk New Year’s reveler in the Ukraine who said, in quite good English, that he was plastered, happily married to Svetlana, and was so impressed by the New Year that he was randomly dialing phone numbers to connect with strangers around the world to wish them a Happy New Year too. Now think of this. Out of all the country codes and area codes and seven digit exchanges possible using the numbers 0-9, he dials mine. In all the world! That’s kind of extraordinary, don’t you think? I am struck by this and tell him so. He shrugs it off as “a vodka induced, Ukraine New Year’s coincidence, nothing more”. I tell him that of the billions of numbers possible, he got me specifically, and that that is significant because there are no coincidences, and maybe his calling me was to learn this piece of valuable information. There was a pause. He told me I was “blowing his head”, so he put Svetlana on. But she didn’t speak English. It was clear, my work was done.

January 3, 2009

Which is sillier:

  • Owning one of these car/boat Frankensteins, or,
  • Driving the car/boat monstrosity off the San Giacomo Highway and into the Mediterranean in the middle of a regatta immediately becoming captain of a marine vessel with very limited mobility, seriously questionable stability and exceedingly poor speed, all the while hoping not to crash into another real boat because you know the Safety Board would look at your car/boat hideousness as the novelty joke it is - a failure on land and sea, they would say - and something that comports itself as a marine hazard, with you as an unqualified, unlicensed captain - and throw the book at you, ruining your life over this stupid not-a-car-not-a-boat contraption that for some geeky reason you thought was cool, or,
  • Riding as a feckless passenger in the car/boat hybrid nightmare with nothing to do but sit there on the top of the seat looking out of place and uh, silly.

January 4, 2009

This is Sugarland with ‘Stay’. 


January 5, 2009

We got 35 inches of snow in the last 24 hours! It’s postcard beautiful, but it’s got to go. I’m just hoping our tractor had a hearty breakfast and solid night’s sleep because it’s going to be working hard for the next 6 hours. All right then, boots, insulated coveralls, toque, gloves, I’m off to plow. Ta. 

January 6, 2009

I’ll have you know that the plowing went exceedingly well. However, not long after the driveway was cleared, a car pulls down it to ask for directions to a neighbor’s house. I tell him where he wants to go. But instead of turning around and heading back up the driveway, he promptly drives straight ahead, down to the barn, where most of yesterday’s massive snowfall was collected. He gets stuck. Kinda funny, huh? But when he doesn’t get out of the car, and instead sits in it and incessantly honks the horn, I stop smiling. I get down there, he rolls down the window, he informs me he can’t get out of the car because he’s wearing dress shoes. I tell him that I can pull his car out, but he’ll have to help. He’ll have to get out. He looks at me and says, “A tow truck would cost me $50 bucks and I wouldn’t have to get out of the car. You want to do it for free, but I’d have to get out. Buddy, these shoes cost $275 clams.” He rolls the window up, pulls out his cell phone and calls a tow truck. Wow. 

January 7, 2009

The Mats Sundin era begins in Vancouver tonight. The Swedish superstar is set to make his debut with the Canucks this evening against the Edmonton Oilers. Everyone’s hopeful that hockey in Vancouver will never be the same.

January 8, 2009

Most people would look at this picture and see a guy and all his excellent radio equipment. The first thing I saw was his metal capped table – how cool is that?, and then of course, the nautical themed wall clock. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our newest employee, Mr. Philip De Cruzas, a radio genius from Mexico City. He will be telecommuting and working his magic from his home office, shown here. As you can see, he has all the equipment and knows how to use it. We're excited - nobody's doing radio! It’s a new era for old tech.


January 9, 2009

Some of my future Winter projects include, constructing an outdoor ice surface for skating and playing hockey; building a sauna; and creating sled runs on some of the perfectly pitched hills here so we have an excuse to light a bonfire and have an outdoor Winter party. Of course, none of those projects will get accomplished this year as I’m still in the thinking-about-them stage. Doing them is another stage altogether. I’m not at that stage yet. But I will be, if I keep thinking about them. And of course, the doing-it stage would put me one stage closer to the enjoying-my-creations stage, which, oddly enough, will make me a little nostalgic for the thinking-about-it stage of Winters past because I will see how a mere idea in my mind years earlier resulted in the enjoying-my-creations stage of that day. I'll recognize the process, see. I'll probably pat myself on the back for realizing my dreams, and then go fully enjoy my ice rink, sled hill and sauna. 


January 10, 2009

After much discussion, we here at Keith Ryan Publishing have come out against face framing.


Because even if your face is suitable for framing, it makes you look creepy.


January 11, 2009

Mr. De Cruzas’ radio shows are apparently going well. Since no one here speaks Spanish, we’re not really sure what is going on, but he seems exuberant and peppy and his callers seem passionate. I guess as long as he isn’t encouraging anarchy or turns out to be the commander of an all female robot army, all is good, eh?


January 12, 2009

Oh dear, Mr. De Cruzas was arrested this very afternoon. It seems he was preaching anarchy and he did have an all female robot army! Since he was going to prison for life and stuff, I asked him if I could have his metal capped table, but he never answered due to the duct tape over his mouth and him being dragged away in chains by the very authorities he tired to overthrow. It's a travesty and a shame...that thing would look smashing in our hallway.


January 13, 2009

A big hawk parked itself in a tree near the birdfeeder and scared away the songbirds and squirrels. It stayed for about 10 minutes and then flew away empty handed. Within seconds, the songbirds and squirrels returned to the feeder. Eat or be eaten, perhaps life’s cruelest vicissitude?


January 14, 2009

Besides gold teeth, the worst fashion accessory ever may just be the headband across the forehead. Because let’s face it, even Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen couldn’t make that look cool, so what chance do you or I have? I’m just sayin’.


January 15, 2009

When asked why his garage was so enormous, truck driver Marty Kimball shrugged his shoulders and said, “Stupid, I guess,” which nicely explains the spelling problem as well. As if to seal the deal, Marty added, “I’m thinking of moving in here. It’s nicer than my house.”


January 16, 2009

My horoscope says that it’ll be easy to win friends and influence people today. Stand back! I mustn’t linger, I’m off to attract friends, or at the very least, influence some people. Later, my pretties.


January 17, 2009

Are you sure you know what you’re doing? Because if not, you ought to think about what you’re doing, realize the causes, motivations, circumstances, and intentions of why you’re doing what you're doing. Then assess whether you want to keep doing what you’re doing or do something else. If you don’t intentionally discover why your life is like it is, how do you expect to ever customize it?


January 18, 2009

Do you know what the Feng Shui bagua is? It’s an octagon that orients your house in the correct Feng Shui geometry. You align the bagua at your front door as shown in the diagram below. If your house is harmonious, your rooms will undoubtedly correspond to the bagua sections. If your place is discordant, it most certainly won’t.


                                                            Front door


January 19, 2009

It’s the last day of the Bush moron nightmare and so my final words to the smirking idiot child: fuck you for all the damage you've done.


January 20, 2009

Finally, it’s a new day. Everyone breathe.


January 21, 2009

I look at the new smartphones and I think it’s ironic that they all have keyboards – on a speaking device. Everyone knows that the ultimate computer interface will be verbal, right? Hello Dave...Hello HAL. So here we are all gaga over a phone you can type on. Or maybe it’s a keyboard you can talk into, either way, I want to know when we get HAL. The non-psychotic HAL.


January 22, 2009

So this gal writes in and tells me that I am funny and adorable and would be her ideal man if she wasn’t already married to Chuck, who is a bit of a Neanderthal, a fatty, not the least bit funny, and works in a mind numbing repetitive job at the post office. Well, gee, thanks?


January 23, 2009

This sad, defeated guy comes to our house and tries to sell me these homemade tchotchkes his wife and daughter have made. They were uninteresting beaded things, pretty useless and not too attractive, but he was kind of intriguing, so I focused on him. What was his story? Turned out he and his wife lost their jobs, neither can find work, they have no savings, no income, sold their car, overdue on their mortgage, and with little hope they’re down to making tchotchkes which he walks door to door, neighborhood by neighborhood to sell. Man. So I bought a few of the beaded things, but didn’t take possession (I told him to resell them), and wished him well, as he shuffled off to the next house in search of kind people.


January 24, 2009

A modern mother’s lament: out of control adolescent hyper gamer boys living fantasy digital lives – whattaya gonna do?


January 25, 2009

Dogs have such a different concept of personal space. Basically, there is none. You’ll see dogs who will flop all over each other and breathe on each other and act as if being two inches away from another dog’s face is normal. Of course, humans will get close in terms of physical intimacy, and will hold each other at night when they go to sleep, but consciously breathe on another person’s face? Sit and hang out nose to nose for extended periods without the need to draw back and gain even a modicum of personal space? Nah, you don’t see that so much. And yet! a human can nuzzle with a dog, eliminate all personal space with a dog, and feel comfortable being closer than close with a dog, just not with another human. How come that is?


January 26, 2009

This was interesting, I think. I was in the grocery where I found myself buying, among other things, a small stick of Swiss cheese. Now I have nothing against Swiss cheese, it’s just that I never buy it. Even as I was putting it in the cart I thought it was kind of odd that I was doing it. Anyway, yesterday, I go out to our shed to get a tool. I flip on the light and some movement catches my eye. I shift a box and there behind it is a little nest of grasses holding a small, waif-like mouse with – get this – a hunk of rotted, putrid looking Swiss cheese. It was like an animated movie where a scared, cute, tiny mouse is trying to survive a Canadian Winter inside a -25 below unheated outbuilding eating rotted food...but this was no cartoon. I got my stick of Swiss cheese and made the switch. I put the box back, I got my tool, shut out the light and sincerely wished the mouse my best for its survival. 


January 27, 2009

I just thought I’d mention that in about 1 year, 2 weeks, 3 days and 7 hours from this very second, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games begin. Pretty savant-like, huh? It’s even more amazing when you think that all this fabulous up to the minute information is from a guy who is often not sure what day of the week it is. Keith excited. You bet.

January 28, 2009

This picture was taken during one of his greatest seasons ever.



From Wikipedia: In the 1961-62 NBA season, Robertson wrote NBA history. In that season, he became the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for the entire season, averaging 30.8 points, 11.4 assists and 12.5 rebounds per game. 


And there I am, sitting next to him - during that incredible year! No wonder I’m asked all the time if I had anything to do with his famous record. I must tell you no, of course not, but we did chat for quite a while and I did pass on a few tips and pointers...I’m just sayin’.


January 29, 2009

When I talk with friends around the world, and they ask how cold it is in British Columbia, there's always the Celsius/Fahrenheit fumble: what scale are we on, what scale are they on; is our 25 below, their 25 below? Now when someone asks how cold it is, I just send them a pic of the icicles on Susan's office. It's this cold today. Everybody gets it.



January 30, 2009

There is a guy in the next town over from us who has won the national lottery twice. Twice! Google it, and you’ll see that lots of people have won the lottery twice. My take? Because the odds of doing it twice are so impossibly ridiculous, and yet so many people have done it, the odds can’t mean a thing. And if the odds had nothing to do with those people winning it twice, the odds have nothing to do with your winning it once. Get me?


January 31, 2009

If you could have someone famous come to your house for the weekend and just hang out, who would that be? And what would you do? 


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