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KeithSpeak - October 2009



October 1, 2009

This lovely little tree was just planted in our yard. You know when someone like your mom or your wife or your steady girlfriend who you’re not sure you want to marry but whose wishes you respect all the same, says, Go do something constructive? Well planting a tree is constructive. You could plant a tree when she says that. Or you could continue to sit on the couch eating potato chips and channel surfing. In the middle of the day. In your pajamas. On your second beer.

October 2, 2009

It got down to one degree above freezing last night. Tuck and Maddie have already grown in their winter coats and are reveling in the cooler temperatures, while Sophie is still shedding the last of hers from the previous year (our little late bloomer). When you have malamutes, the beginning of cold weather is a little like early Carnivale in Rio – everyone is excited about what’s to come, but still sober. By the time the snow flies, the dogs will be like drag queens on a float – drunk with pleasure and over the top about it. Todos são livres!


October 3, 2009

Don’t you think that when you retire, the amount of time you have as a retiree should equal the amount of time you spent working? So if you worked for 35 years, shouldn’t you get at least that much time not working? That should be a law, right?


October 4, 2009

I knew a girl named Kiki (pronounced Kee-Kee). She was a world class skier who at one point, took a job in Finland. It turns out there they pronounced Kiki as Kai-Kai. She said it was a little weird at first, but it didn’t take long to get used to and later she even found it kind of endearing. After that job, she moved to a ski resort down on the south island of New Zealand. There they pronounced Kiki as Kick. She said she had a hard time being addressed as Kick, but that after a while she grew fond of it too. Her current job is in California, where everybody pronounces Kiki as Kiki, but they spell it Keke. Such a simple name, so many twists and turns.


October 5, 2009

Last night my folks flew to Rome. Actually, Paris first then Rome. Actually, they flew Newark to Paris to Rome. I didn’t want to tell you the Newark part. It kinda tainted the romantic old world charmy thing, like appending a seedy back alley where dangerous things happen - Beware!, to the notion. Did that make sense?


October 6, 2009

Anxiety, stress and fear are meant to be short term, finite experiences, like the burst of adrenalin they can inspire. If you prolong any of those, you have now adopted a lifestyle. And if you are always on alert, always worried, then you will wear down, because anxiety, stress and fear help you manage, focus and cope, but only for the short term.  So if you live your life in a constant state, just stop it. Wake up. Capish?


October 7, 2009


Sometimes it’s not how you see so much as what you look through.


October 8, 2009

I passed a property where everything was out of scale. The house itself way too huge for the postage stamp lot. It was crazy tall and jaw dropping wide. But by far, the worst offender scale-wise were the huge boulders brought in to “landscape” what parts of the lot the house didn’t take up. I couldn’t decide if these rocks resembled an asteroid that hit the property and broke apart, or a nest of giant dinosaur eggs after an earthquake. Oh, and in the opposite direction, there was a 1 x 1 meter patch of green grass, literally a hunk of sod, “the lawn”, stuck amongst the dinosaur eggs/asteroid debris at the front of the ginormous house, and frankly, it looked lonely, pitiful and perfectly ridiculous. This nightmare on elm street is exactly why building codes were invented.


October 9, 2009

But check this out. I was taking a picture of this out of scale place when the owner, a very large man, comes dashing out of the house and asks me what I’m doing. I’m no dummy, I praise the place and tell him I wanted a pic to show the wife. He beams and says that he understands why I would want to photograph it, but he prefers I didn’t. Turns out that the house was originally a barn that was part of a large estate back in the 50s. Heirs of the family sold out to developers with the stipulation that the barn not be torn down because some of the ancestral family were buried underneath it (ick!). The building got orphaned on a tiny lot in what is now a subdivision. All of the dinosaur eggs/asteroid rocks were dug up while they were developing the estate, and because they were too big and expensive to haul away, were just dumped on the barn lot. Eventually, the place was sold to the guy I was talking to. He said he built the second story on it because if you looked out any of the ground floor windows, all you saw were boulders. And the pitiful piece of sod “lawn”? His son had planted it there as a joke, but it turned out to be his memorial as the boy was later killed in Afghanistan. Wow. Jeez.


October 10, 2009

Susan and I are both upgrading computers in the next few months. I will get a Win 7 box and some kind of NAS server for our network, while Susan has yet to decide which tablet will garner her loyalty. It seems as if both the new Microsoft double sided tablet and the long rumored Apple tablet will be making their way into the world in the first quarter of 2010. When they’re out, and she can get a hands on with each, she’ll decide her next computer. Oh boy new toys.


October 11, 2009

This has been a fruitful month. This current work project has yielded some true gems. There is still a whack of stuff to create and then implement, but to this point, for me personally, it has been gratifying creating something of potential. Enormous potential. Enormous social potential. Intergalactic social potential. Ok, perhaps that’s overstating things. Or is it?


October 12, 2009

Is he on fire from within or saving the world from toxic fumes by inhaling them into his super body and purifying the planet? I can’t tell. What do you think, blowing it out or sucking it in?



October 13, 2009

Could you imagine being an animal that has to put away enough food for an entire winter? How do you know how much you’ll need? Could you figure out how much you’re going to eat over the next seven months? And don’t forget, the food you get has to be nonperishable and will be stored outside in a natural deep freeze where you’ll have no stove or microwave to alter its rock hard frozen contents. After you dig it out of the snow. Hoping no other animal has already eaten it. Or you. For seven long months – and only if you stored away enough to even have something to eat. Brutal, eh? And that’s just the life of a squirrel.


October 14, 2009


The recession has badly hit the Jobin family of Hamilton. Forced to act as a live painting in the home of a rich couple, they must stand and pose for up to 16 hours a day. The rich couple asked Mindy if she’d have another baby, to help balance out the frame, it needed a fourth Jobin, they decided. Apparently, Mindy wasn’t too keen on the idea. No one knew what her husband was thinking.


October 15, 2009

An old friend from college got in touch recently and gave me all kinds of grief about being so hard to find. He was shocked that I wasn’t on Facebook or My Space, Linkedin or Twitter. He went on and on about how difficult it was to locate me. I asked him why he didn’t type in keithryan.com? He told me that nobody has a website anymore, it’s too difficult and costly, you have to have content, nobody comes, it’s a waste of time. Which is, he went on, precisely why everybody loves social media: it’s a waste of time, but it’s easy, and free. I could read between the lines. He was saying, Come, Keith, be with us... My ears burned with the notion of joining the masses. Now I was determined more than ever to maintain my march toward the difficult and costly. Take that, I said. I think he thought I was nuts, maybe drunk.


October 16, 2009

I have a $1300 piece of farm equipment sitting down in my barn that is useless because a $1.50 plastic part has broken and is such an odd size that a replacement cannot be found. Even the manufacturer has switched over to more conventional sizes and doesn’t have a replacement piece. I’ll have to source the part on the Web because I know that somewhere, someone on this planet has what I need and would be willing to sell it. It’s getting harder to remember what life was like before the Internet.


October 17, 2009

The Vancouver Olympic medals were unveiled yesterday. Meh, they don’t do much for me. ‘Course I’m not going to be winning one since they dropped my event and changed the Olympic motto from Faster. Higher. Stronger. Most relaxed.


October 18, 2009

I was introduced to this guy who appeared to be average in every way. After a few minutes, all I could see were his flaws. He thrust them forth like a shield. His ideas were implausible and ludicrous, based in fear and fantasy. He was crass, loud and ignorant. He was a bully and a fool, an inarticulate underdeveloped human of weak will and dubious spine. And he was oblivious to it all. He just didn’t know.


October 20, 2009

I was out of commission all day yesterday after having eaten something that my body made a big point of telling me not to ever eat again. The reaction was so caustic, the cellular memory so imprinted, that should I live to be 104, starving, with Alzheimer’s, and that morsel comes my way again, I shall still say, No, thank you, I’m not eating that ever again, even though I can’t remember why.


October 21, 2009


It was Tuck’s birthday a few days ago. He dreams of snow. He should have been a January puppy.


October 22, 2009

I was walking in our woods when I had the distinct feeling I was being watched. It turns out I was, by an owl in a nearby fir tree, but what struck me was the definite “being watched feeling” I experienced. It wasn’t affiliated with sight, sound, touch, smell or taste, but it was a sense nonetheless. Well what’s that? What other internal senses do we have that we pretend we don’t?


October 23, 2009

A year ago we had just started one of the biggest property projects we have ever undertaken here, and there was some trepidation at the outset due to the scope of the work and mechanical delays that couldn’t be helped. But I’m pleased to say that one year later, it’s just what I had envisioned. The creation has achieved its reason for inception. Cool.


October 24, 2009

At the recycling depot you used to have to separate everything into specific containers (glass, paper, cardboard, etc.), but their new system allows you to throw everything recyclable into one huge bin. So you are mixing in broken glass with food cans and paper. Obviously, it still has to be separated somewhere down the line – even though it was all originally separate at the source of deposit. This makes the all in one recycling bin seem needlessly retro. That’s all I have to say right now.


October 25, 2009

My sister, the power broker, turns 60 today. The whole family, minus yours truly and Susan, flew to Baltimore for a weekend of revelry and merriment. I just got off the phone with a bunch of them, and I must say that my sister’s birthday mood was certainly upbeat and cheery. The real question is, what happens come Monday, when everyone is gone and she is still 60?


October 26, 2009

I have been designing another website and I just love the fact that in doing so I get to have a synergy of various personal talents on a single project. When you write screenplays or books, it’s two dimensional and the words are really all you have to work with. But a website is a platform of words (content), graphics, art, style, color play, layout, direction, flow, non linear links, coding, databases, etc. This is a much bigger palette to work with, and if your skill set happens to accommodate these things (and mine does, thank you very much, puff puff), then doing it can be rewarding, creative and fun. 


October 27, 2009

Mt. Rainier doesn’t mean raining stars, but it could.



October 28, 2009

I got an e-mail from someone who said they heard from someone who heard from someone else, on Facebook I think, that I was with a certain famous person back in a certain time in a certain place, and was this true. My lawyer Arnold has always told me to deny everything (“You can always change your testimony later, right up to the sentencing, and everybody will think you’re shifty, but so what? You’re on trial.”). But in this case it was true. What I remember most was the beginning and the end. It started in a bar in Nederland, Colorado and ended in a Spanish style hacienda in Yorba Linda, California. In between it was fun and fast.


October 29, 2009

I’m in a department store half an aisle behind a mother and a daughter. The girl is eating something messy because she keeps wiping her grimy, gooey fingers over everything she passes – stereos, vacuums, men’s clothing. By the time she reaches the bath and bedding department, she has finished whatever she was eating and in her final desecration, thoroughly wipes both hands on a display duvet, totally mucking it up. I don’t think her mother had a clue what the girl had done. They both exited the store, oblivious.


October 30, 2009

The migrating geese started coming through in early August. Now we’ve had snow in October. I’m taking a wild guess here, but perhaps a long Winter awaits? Well you won’t hear me complaining - I’m looking forward to it! I know!


October 31, 2009

October flew. Same thing happened in September. Something’s going on. I dunno, could the Earth be turning faster? Could time have miswarped somehow? Or is it merely my perception that’s skewed? Oh, and I’m not ruling out aliens either.


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KeithSpeak                                 November 2009


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