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KeithSpeak - June 2009



June 1, 2009

Oh man, all three dogs were tangled together in this fantastic, overlapping, scrunched up, picture perfect picture, with the lake and the mountains and the Spring flowers and the afternoon light just so...I hurry inside to grab my camera and hurry back out before they move or the light fades and I quickly set up and frame this awesome pack shot, click, the camera batteries are dead. God. I’m looking through the lens at the Best-Shot-Ever. Oh well.  

June 2, 2009

You know how humans are always looking off planet and asking, Are we alone?

Everything you see in this picture is alive. We are so not alone.


June 3, 2009

Have a friend coming over this morning to visit and pick up his Christmas present. Must mean we haven’t seen each other in about 8 months. Heck, it’s been so long I forget what the present is. I hope it wasn’t a gag gift, like snakes in a can or something. You can’t wait that long and then get snakes in a can. And even though I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even give anybody snakes in a can, when he opens it, I’m going to be prepared, just in case. I am.

June 4, 2009

As you well know, I am often amazed and agog, sometimes gobsmacked, but hardly ever just mildly surprised. Get this. I had ordered something from an online bookseller, which I received yesterday, and packed with my item was a current bestselling hardback book and a note - Enjoy the bonus book. It’s refreshing to get something for nothing, even if it’s just the perception of such, because as we all know, there is no such thing as a free lunch, or hardback book, and that is precisely what makes it such a powerful and effective marketing tool, because even knowing that, you still go, Look, a free book!

June 5, 2009

Ew, I’m driving up the road and pass this couple jogging. I don’t even notice her because he is wearing a show every bulge and ripple and nipple, one piece, semi-see thru, all white unitard. Ew, the dude was on...display. It was a train wreck of an outfit, the height of narcissism to wear it in public, cops should have been notified, children should have shielded their eyes, adults such as myself? Scarred for life.

June 6, 2009


Every horror movie has a scene where the next person to get killed walks tentatively down the dark and scary stairs, stupidly alone, alllllll by themselves, calling out for their lost friend, the person who was gruesomely murdered just before them in the movie, in this case, Ashley the cheerleader with the smoking hot bod, but the brain of a green bean, who is now zombified, and waiting in the shadows with a chainsaw... “Ashley? You down here? Ash honey? Ok, Ashley, joke’s over. I’m getting scared. Ashley?” The audience is yelling, Don’t go down there! Everyone is wondering why she can’t hear the idling chainsaw... ”Ashley?”

June 7, 2009

Head to the ground, I’m out behind the barn assessing the extent of thistle and burdock growth, not noticing anything but the plants, when I stop and look to my left. No more than eight feet away is a large doe. She is just standing there, as am I. We’re quite close. We eye each other, five seconds, maybe six. Then I trudge on looking for burrs and she goes back to munching on some tree. I hung around the area for at least 15 minutes, and so did she. We both live on the same piece of Earth. Mi casa es su casa.


June 8, 2009

We live on 37.5 acres. Most of the trees on the property are fir, pine and birch. We have a small grove of aspen, some cedar, some large junipers, numerous berry bushes, scattered pockets of wild roses and various fruit and nut trees, including,

10 black cherry trees (sweet)

4 tart cherry trees (baking cherries)

1 yellow plum tree

1 pear tree

4 apple trees

2 filbert trees (the nuts)

5 purple plum, large

3 purple plum, small,

all planted long before we got here, and whose prodigious bounty is left largely for the wildlife, even though the fruit is out of this world tasty because they are mature trees planted from hearty, delicious stocks long before companies like Monsanto with their genetically engineered mutants ruined it for everybody. Don’t get me started. Where was I.


June 9, 2009

Asked if they had been dating long, adorable little Junie, the lemon on the left, said that they had been going together since before they were ripe. Our trees were right next to each other, added Crispus, the orange. When told that it must have been fate as indeed, they make a super cute couple, Crispus grinned, shy Junie beamed.




June 10, 2009

I put my cell phone through the washer. It was in the pocket of some pants and during the agitation cycle, I remembered. I stopped the machine and fished out the cell. It was, of course, saturated with water, slippery with laundry soap and vibrating something fierce. I removed the battery and SIM, hand dried it all and put it in a bowl of rice to pull out the remaining water. It’s still desiccating. In the meantime, what do you think about the impact of laundry detergent on micro circuitry? Could it in any conceivable way be a good thing?


June 11, 2009

What a week for music in my head! I rarely listen to FM radio in the car, but I did on Monday and heard Jim Croce’s ‘Roller Derby Queen’  - “The roller derby program said, she was built like a ‘fridgerator with a head...” followed by 6 minutes of commercials, ugh, so I turned off the radio – bingo, stuck in my head. Heard ‘Roller Derby Queen’ over and over for days, finally replaced by Paul Simon’s ‘Late In The Evening’. I saw him singing it on some talk show, just before I went to bed – bingo, stuck in my head when I woke up. I sang that 6,000 times until Saturday morning, when I came across ‘Eleanor Rigby’ on CD at a friend’s house. I love that song – bingo, stuck. What is it with this week? Why am I being so highly suggestible? I should look on the bright side. At least it’s not ‘Wooly Bully’ or some jingle from an Apple commercial...uh oh - 1,2,3,4...


June 12, 2009

Are some people just meant to be with each other? An obit in a local paper:


Harlan Charles Carson

May 24, 2009, at age 91


Margaret Finley Carson

May 25, 2009, at age 89


Carson couple was married 68 years, and died one day apart. 


June 13, 2009

We have to rebuild the two chimneys on our house and the one at Susan’s office. Ugh, ugh, and ugh. The mason who is doing the work is semi- retired, so he doesn’t have a hod carrier – you know, the guy who mixes up the mud by hand. The guy who gets to haul the bricks and mortar from the ground up to the roof by climbing the scaffolding over and over and over again. The guy who runs everywhere and does everything so the mason can stay put, up on the roof, laying brick. Yeah, he doesn’t have one of those guys. Guess the handwriting is on the wall: soon I shall be mixing, lifting and climbing. Oh boy.


June 14, 2009

I’ve explained it before but I’ll explain it again. The reason why I put the newest post at the bottom of KeithSpeak rather than the top, is because I so enjoy rereading myself that I figured you all would too. Haw! Ok ok, I’m an inveterate rewriter (everything should have a right sound and feel, you know?), so by rereading the stuff, I can change the posts that need to be changed and by the end of the month, feel reasonably sure that I actually said what I wanted to say. Like now.


June 15, 2009

My cell phone’s alive! This morning, I pulled it from the bowl of rice, put in the SIM and battery, turned it on and voilà, a working phone, just like it never went through the washing machine. Contacts, speed dial list, pictures - all there. The only thing different is the ringtone. It now plays ‘Roller Derby Queen’. Go figure.

June 16, 2009

I’ll tell you what. I’ve seen fat carpenters, overweight plumbers, out of shape electricians and roly poly concrete contractors, but I’ve never seen a less than fit mason. For these guys, the amount of heavy stuff to carry and work with is nuts. Me, I’m already exhausted and we just started. The next sound you hear will be Keith sucking it up and getting on with it.


June 17, 2009

Gaze upon this galaxy and then think about how “powerful” humans are. Ha, we aren’t even dust in the wind, my friends; more like figments of our own imagination.


June 18, 2009

I read that 18,000 new websites come online everyday. And that children as young as five are registering domains and self-publishing their own sites. What kind of content can you have at age five? - I ate a sandwich. I climbed the jungle gym. I watched a bird eat a worm. What’s really mind boggling is that kid can grow up, join Twitter, and say the exact same thing.


June 19, 2009

What do you think would make you contented? Gobs of money? A better looking husband? A boss who wasn’t a nightmare? What about extraordinary athletic talent? Prodigy laden children? Worldwide fame? Not even close, my chums. None of those individual things will actually bestow upon you contentedness. Because contentedness is not a thing, it is a state of being. And all states of being are created internally, in your mind, in your head, in your thoughts. Capish?


June 20, 2009

I was talking with a religious zealot who kept slagging other religions and their zealots. He never saw the irony.


June 22, 2009

At 2:30AM I got a wrong number call from Sweden. She spoke pretty good English and was apologetic for waking me up. 30 seconds later, the phone rings again. This time she’s a little more perturbed it’s me again. She asks for Canada’s country code, and when I tell her it’s 1, she starts to argue with me. Okaaaay. 30 seconds later, another ring. I let the answering machine pick it up. The message is a whole lot of angry Swedish. Sheesh. I take the phone off the hook. When I awake, I listen to the message again. Among all the ga-borg ga-borg, I can pick out one word – scum. Real nice.

June 23, 2009
The original 2 girls, 1 cup.

June 24, 2009

Susan and I had pulled into a parking lot and were driving down a row, when right in front of us an older woman backs her car out of a parking space without turning around to look behind her. I honk, she stops, we narrowly miss getting hit. We park a few spaces away and watch as the woman continues to back out, still without looking. She hits the truck next to her. Without stopping or getting out to assess the damage, the old lady starts to cruise away when another woman comes running over and prevents her from leaving the scene of the accident. Jeez. In Canada, we have government run, no fault car insurance, precisely because of lousy drivers like this, and is just another reason why I love living here.

June 25, 2009

I’m sitting in the hot tub last night when I hear a rumbling in the bushes about twenty feet away. I watch as a large, dark animal pushes its way through the flora. Yikes. I know a nice, warm soak is supposed to be a relaxing experience, but having bears within spitting distance is not conducive to such an enterprise. I’m just sayin’.

June 26, 2009

Today is the final day of the great chimney rebuild. All 3 brick chimneys have now been dismantled and rebuilt. Today we frame and pour the concrete caps for the final two on our house, having completed Susan’s office chimney last week (shown here). Sometime early this Winter we will have celebratory fires in each fireplace and not have to worry at all about burning down our house or office. Whoo hoo.

rebuilt chimney at Susan's office


June 27, 2009

You want to know why I rarely talk about current affairs here? They date the material. If you go to KeithSpeak, and click on any of the previous months, you’ll find them as fresh and enjoyable and timeless as Wonder Bread. Will too.


June 28, 2009

I’m up walking in our field when a car stops at our fence and a fellow beckons me over. He introduces himself as Trey Trajen, Mr. Real Estate. The magnetic sign on his car door says, Mr. Real Estate – Let Trey say yea to your real estate needs! He asks me if I have any idea how much money he could get for selling our property. I tell Trey to take a hike. I’m serious, he says. Me too, I say. He stands there like a rutting teen on an awkward first date with a girl who has told him to keep his hands to himself. Don’t you even want to know, he whimpers, ‘cause it’s a lot! Jeez, I take leave of Mr. Real Estate, simmering in his self-created fantasy. These people. 


June 29, 2009

I found an old picture of when I used to drive tractor trailers cross country. I’m sitting in the cab of a Kenworth parked at MGM Studios in California delivering Kodak film stock from their manufacturing plant in Rochester, NY. As I sit here, decades away from that moment, I wonder what movies were shot on the film I delivered that day. Given the year, it could have been Raging Bull or Caddyshack, or it could have been Motel Hell, a real beast of a gem where Rory Calhoun, as Farmer Vincent, kidnaps unsuspecting travelers and buries them alive in his garden for later use in his ‘special vittles’. Ewww.


June 30, 2009

                      The month is over! You did brilliantly!

                                 Smoke 'em if you got 'em.



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KeithSpeak                                        July 2009


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