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KeithSpeak - March 2009



March 1, 2009

How do you explain weird connections? Thirty years ago I was a co-worker and social friends with a woman in Colorado. After a few years there I left, losing all contact with her as I traveled, eventually met my wife, and we ended up here in Salmon Arm (pop. 15,000). Sixteen years later, I see my old friend in town - and it turns out that she too lives here! That was freaking astounding given the rural nature of where we are, given the fact that we both had to separately immigrate to a foreign country, but even more so, it turns out that she is originally from the neighboring small town (pop. 5,000) next to my wife’s small town (pop. 3,500) in Wisconsin. They grew up only a few miles away from each other! The three of us took totally different routes to the exact same place on Earth. How does stuff like that happen?

March 2, 2009

After looking at this picture of Herm “Big Hair” Bylicki, I couldn’t help but wonder, how did he get that sweater vest on and off?

March 3, 2009

I had this dream where Tom Cruise and I are doing all this mundane stuff (reading the newspaper, eating, gabbing, sitting around the house), when the dream shifted and we were suddenly driving fast cars, being accosted by his many fans and going to movie premieres. Next, we’re in a coffee shop, just hanging, when he suddenly turns on me, becoming this withering, scathing, monster mouth ogre saying all kinds of terrible stuff. I actually looked behind me to see if he was addressing someone else. The gist of his blithering was that he was rich and successful and world famous and had really made something of his life and was therefore a beacon to the other poor saps on Earth who could aspire to his level of greatness, while I was just contented and at peace and influencing no one except the nameless, faceless, clueless losers on the Internet. Cripes! World views are made up of the thoughts and filters created in the mind. I knew immediately there was no arguing with him, no convincing him that both our lives were valid. I just vowed never to see the unstable prick again. Dream over.


March 4, 2009

When the crew of the cruise ship isolated Benny as the source of the norovirus, rather than inform the passengers, some of whom might sue the pants off the cruise line, they chose to hustle Benny off the boat according to ancient maritime tradition. Problem solved. Party on.


March 5, 2009

Half the bays in our barn have dirt floors so you can easily move around down there without making any noise. As I walked passed our tractor, I was surprised to see a squirrel asleep on the driver’s seat, all curled up in a ball and completely unaware of my presence. It was so cute! The seat is black vinyl, padded, and was in just enough sunlight to be (I guess) a warm and comfortable squirrel bed. Like I said, cute. I got what I came down for and quietly left the barn, mentally wishing the little fellow sweet dreams as I slipped away.


March 6, 2009

Hey, how come you don’t see preposterous moustaches like this anymore?

March 7, 2009

A self-professed Christian reader wrote in and told me he had a flash drive confiscated at a U.S. airport and was told to wait while the TSA examined what was on it. It had business documents and contracts and one folder with some naked photos of his wife. He said he always took these pictures with him when he traveled for business. He got his drive back. He flew to his destination, checked into his hotel and put the memory stick into his laptop. The naked picture folder was gone. He was asking me if he should tell his wife. I could only answer his question with a question: What would Jesus do?


March 8, 2009

I’m following this guy, tearing up over this beautiful tribute, when I realized that we have gone for over a mile without a single honk. Now sure, I’ve been known to sing my own praises, toot my own horn...so I did. Didn't my tears turn to joy when the guy next to me honked his horn too! Of course, maybe it was because I drifted over into his lane, and that was why he gave me the finger, but maybe not! 


March 9, 2009

The mantra of entertainment TV has always been to tell a story. But to what end? All we ever get are the same rehashed plots – good cops, bad guys, doctors with hearts of gold, inane sitcoms where the character arc consists of learning some crappy family value – where are the shows telling me how to reach Nirvana? how to raise my consciousness? how to become a better human and friend to the Earth? 

March 10, 2009

I got an e-mail from a company that wanted to advertise on my site. They asked what my reach numbers were. I wrote them back and asked them what they meant by reach. They wrote back and asked me how many hits per day I receive, and what my revenue stream looked like. I wrote back and told them that the only thing that matters on this site is content. I asked them if their content was in keeping with my site’s ethos. They wrote back and asked me what ethos was. Sigh. Clearly, we were not speaking the same language, and without making any connection whatsoever, parted ways.


March 11, 2009

Uh oh, another dream where I’m questioning my cyber influence. This time, I meet Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen for lunch. We’re all good buddies who look forward to catching up, only they get mobbed at the restaurant and I get shunted off to another table where the waitress serves me the wrong order, castigates me when I tell her it is the wrong order, and then proceeds to sit down at my table with another waitress to eat their own lunch. Dylan and Springsteen are lost in the shuffle while these two waitresses engage me about the relevancy of the Internet and my role in this unreal world, with both ladies determining that the Internet is nothing more than virtual fakery, a poor substitute for the real world in which they toil, and anyone spending time there ought to reconsider their efforts. Sheesh. My take? I’m gonna have to stop hanging out with all these ultra famous dream people, it’s making me look bad. You know?


March 12, 2009


Most people don’t know that Who Wants To Be A Supermodel first appeared on television in 1874. The winner of that show was Olga Charla Kurikova, a Russian beauty who perfected the super casual I’m-just-hangin’ look, which sent her to international stardom and car shows all over the Detroit metropolitan area. It’s long been rumored that when she broke in, Tyra Banks tried to copy Olga Charla’s winning pose, but according to those in the know, “was no Olga Charla”. Instead, Tyra decided to accentuate her breasts, once and for all proving that supermodels are adaptable, if nothing else.


March 13, 2009

I know that Spring is officially just around the corner as I saw my first robin at the bird bath this morning. Sure it’s -20C and there is snow everywhere, but if these birds are returning, so is Spring. Weather Channel? We don’t need no stinkin’ Weather Channel.


March 14, 2009

Our local newspaper has an online version. I went to check it out and couldn’t believe how crummy the website was. Difficult to navigate with no cohesion, continuity or flow, it was a mess, and I told them so. The editor wrote back thanking me for my comments, but didn’t necessarily feel it was a difficult read. Okay, sure, whatever... What I don’t get is, with all the millions of design templates available in the world today, why someone would whip up a lousy one and use it. It reflects poorly on the company and let’s be real – it’s not that hard to make a good site design. I’m just sayin’.


March 16, 2009

Ack, computer problems yesterday and today. I’m spending way too much time getting stuff that used to work, and now doesn’t, to work again. Sigh. I’m sure I’ll have it reconfigured by tomorrow. Later.


March 17, 2009

Formal walking was invented by Josef and Henrietta Grabow of Lucerne. Josef was a jealous little man with an inner ear problem and a tendency to drift away to the left, while Henrietta possessed a special desire for bohemian adventurers and one nighters with little ceremony. Dedicated to saving their marriage, they found a way to support each other and make sure that neither could fall away in a moment of inattention. Formal walking, borne out of jealousy and improper balance, was all the rage in Switzerland until the Internet came along and people didn’t need to leave their houses for lust or balance anymore.


March 18, 2009

So Bush the moron wants $300 million for his library. How much do comic books cost these days?


March 19, 2009

I was in the farm and garden store buying bird seed when I overheard this guy ask a salesperson, Where are the grow op lights? The salesperson says, Grow op lights? For pot? The guy goes, Yeah. The salesperson says, We don’t sell that stuff here. The guy asks her if she knows where he can get them. She says she has no idea. He shrugs, says, OK, thanks, and walks out! I couldn't decide, chutzpah or naiveté?


March 20, 2009

The mind is an amazing thing... I was sitting here thinking of what to write about when the image of Floyd, a kid I went to elementary school with, popped into my head. Floyd was a burn victim and all the children were afraid of him because no teacher ever took the time to explain why we shouldn’t have been. Because of Floyd’s disfigurement, he had no friends, was always by himself, and lived in a solitary world all through public school. Now, incredibly, forty odd years later, I sit here wondering whatever happened to that lonely, scarred boy.


March 21, 2009

Helen Humphries had come to loathe her husband’s Brownie fetish. Her funk was never more evident than when he said, Say cheese!

March 22, 2009

Can you teach someone what’s funny? Can you imbue someone without a sense of humor with one? Can you not ruin the joke by having to explain it to someone who doesn’t get it? Can you make a humorless person chortle with mirth over the absurd, the subtly funny, even the broadly funny? Sadly, no. It’s ironic, eh? The power to make funny, sad, is in the hands of those who can’t distinguish between the two.


March 23, 2009

A reader suggested that if there were more of me in the world we’d all be a lot better off. My first modest instinct was to pooh-pooh that and reply how we’re all different and beautiful and at various stages of developmental awareness, but the more I thought about it the more I had to agree that she was right. Honestly, I think I have the most perceptive readers on the Web. Really.


March 24, 2009

I see that Twitter is all the new rage. Sigh. Why blog and have to string two sentences together? Why have any meaning whatsoever in your content? Twitter blurbs shouldn’t be called tweets, they should be called twits. It’s like the ADD app of the Web. Sigh.


March 25, 2009

Last night Susan and I spent a bit of time trolling through Google images looking up old friends we hadn’t seen in ages. It was good fun, and thankfully, none of our pals looked like death warmed over, which would have been disconcerting and a lot less fun. 


On a completely nonrelated subject, I have been getting quite a few “where did you go to school” queries, followed by a mention of a college and the question of whether we knew each other. All right my pretties, once again, here are the facts:

Keith - B.Sc. from Ohio State University; M.Sc. from Wright State University;

Susan – B.A. from Stanford University; Ph.D from Cornell University.

Thank you for your interest (or lack thereof).


March 27, 2009

If the goal of being here is to develop personal awareness of the bigger picture of the interconnectedness of all that is, man sure is off the mark. Greed, power, entitlement and protectionism seem to be the mantra of today’s seriously unenlightened elite. There are those who say that 2012 is the end of days – and when one looks around at the burning debris of governmental stupidity and arrogance, that may be hard to argue against.


March 28, 2009


I think it’s appalling that modern parents are letting their kids grow moustaches! Why, children with facial hair is EXACTLY what’s wrong with society today! Don’t you think?


March 29, 2009

22 years ago this day Susan and I immigrated to Canada. We left behind the chummy idiocy of Ronny Reagan for a small town existence in a beautiful, wide open country where our tax dollars went to a national health care system and civilian social net instead of bombs to kill other people who didn’t agree with our hegemonic ideology. Sweet. 


March 30, 2009

For those of you who have written in asking when I’m going to do a downloadable version of Write About Dogs, which I said I would do but haven’t yet done, I have to say thanks for your interest, I still plan on doing it, even though I can’t say when that will be, or whether you’ll still be interested in it when I do.


March 31, 2009

A successful life has very little to do with money. Collecting money is just another fetish, like collecting Barbie dolls or penguin statues. In fact, how does collecting anything beyond your needs grant you a successful life? 



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KeithSpeak                                        April 2009



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