The Freak Brothers.
Was with the good neighbour last night. He is always interesting. After a couple beer he brought out some adult comix and one magazine, vintage, from the seventies and early eighties. He never ceases to amaze. I’ve known him and we have lived beside each other going on thirty years and this is the first I’ve seen of this.
One time he hid a Prime Minister Brian Mulroney piggy bank in my garden. Its was released in 1990 when Mulroney implemented the hated Goods and Services Tax. It had the Prime Ministers face on a pigs body. You put the money in his smiling mouth. It was touted as the Great Looney Collector. Collectors of such memorabilia pay upwards of $200 for it. To his supreme disapproval I gave it back to him. I told him it was too valuable to be in the garden. He told me I didn’t appreciate the meaning of a gift.
He also gave me a book of Pierre Elliott Trudeau stamps from 2000, commemorating the Prime Ministers life. These I accepted with much gratitude. It has the Prime Minister posing with a red rose.
The comix and magazine took the cake. I was instantly 10 years old downstairs in my brothers bedroom. My brother was 8 years older than me. He had the best records, comix and magazines.
Sometimes I would pretend I was sick so I could have the house to myself and listen to Rod Stewart, Dr. Hook and The Stones while thumbing through those early Penthouse magazines. I swear I learned to read by reading Penthouse Forum. Cunninglingus can be a real tongue twister, let alone trying to spell.
I think the good neighbour could gauge may appreciation. He said, if he goes first he will leave them to me. I was hoping he would leave them in my garden.
The world will chisel you down to nothing if you let it. First you think it’s making a masterpiece. Then you can see some mistakes, powerless, with the thought it knows what it’s doing, some people call it destiny, it goes on.
Before long all the chips are on the ground.
Ground down, under the wheel.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as there is a glimmer.
I saw two Trumpeter Swans fly over today. Giants of the sky. They stay off because they are vulnerable on land and water. My father tried killing one once. Thinking how much meat there must be on the bone. All he got was a whipping for being home late.
I guy told me today,
‘That’s the vehicle for you.’
It had just gone by.
Driven by a guy with a long manicured greying beard. A hot disinterested young women riding shotgun.
‘It’s a Mercedes, it goes 160,’ he said.
It was an SUV and looked like a breadbox.
‘Miles an hour’, I said.
‘It costs $160,000.’ he said like he was talking to a dummy.
She went in to inquire about timeshare, we watched her every step.
The guy with the long manicured beard asked the salesman where he could smoke and went to the designated area.
And that’s where he lost our respect.
There is a few bashes we take along the way. Better than not taking any at all.
We’re going in search of birds this weekend. I have been hearing Meadowlarks. It looks like it could rain. I’ve stopped looking at the forecast. It could be good, or bad. Like most things it can go either way regardless. With luck we will see some Meadowlarks.
I looked at one of my old check stubs from the School District. A hundred bucks each cheque went to CUPE 440 – the union. It went to pay and advance apathy, discontent, laziness and sleepy carelessness intent on killing inventive, heartening, truthful labour.
There are many wonderful people stuck in the union. They toil and deliver regardless of being surrounded by the worst workers in Canada who have landed, finally, a job, after many, they could finally be their thoughtless selves. Nowadays, that’s a union’s purpose.
There is no gold plated pension waiting for Lisa and I. Hopefully the body holds up to keep working. I met a fellow today recently retired. He said he spent the winter sick. I told him that’s what retirement will do for you. He laughed, but neither of us were joking.
Lisa bought some oil for Willow that is supposed to keep ticks away. It smells like oregano, so much so, I’ve thought about calling Willow ‘Spaghetti’, which would be a good name for a Long Haired Dachshund. The oil must work, because after a day in the bush, there was nary a tick on her while I picked one off my neck. Now I’m wearing the oil and we both smell like pasta sauce.
It’s tough to say goodbye to winter. It’s a season you can hide and hang out in. The silence, the early dark, where every star shines bright, Orion and his dog Sirius chasing the sisters Pleiades and Hyades across the frozen sky. To be on earth, watching, is both awful and the most amazing gift given.
The March winds are starting to blow. It won’t be long the ice and snow will break up, turning every patch of standing earth wet and muddy.
The birds have been singing and I even saw a few young Bighorn rams clacking heads. It’s good to practice the the fight and fuck so when they get older they’ll be good at it. It’s the same for humans whether we think so or not!
This is a a not so great picture of a Red Crossbill, taken from a long way away in bad light.
Still I was happy to get it. It was taken hell-and-gone behind Swansea, up the creek.
I always wondered about crossbills. Were their beaks a mistake of nature. Did God screw up after a night of drinking with the Devil both of them trying to gain insight into each others character?
Why else would they have that look. Beaks crossed in some kind of awkward grin.
Red Crossbills are found at the top of spruce using their perfectly shaped mandibles separating cones from the tender seed which they eat.
Spruce, fir, tamarack and pine produce more cones than needed. Plenty of squirrels take care of the excess along with other animals.
What they don’t get, the ones high on the trees, the Crossbill take care of.
I don’t care who’s in charge. It’s nice to know there ain’t any mistakes.
Woke up and all the puddles were froze. Some as nice as skating rinks. It reminded me of when the girls skated the puddles and the joy of finding such a surface.
Willow and I took to the creek behind the mountains. It was easy going after leaving the ice behind. The snow crunched under foot. Willow rode on top of the surface. The pussy willows were replaced with ice crystals.
Several flocks of Buntings flew and blended into the flat sky. I knew they would never land for a picture. The minus 13 wind was cold after yesterdays plus 8.
The garden gate.
Here it is the start of February and the temperature is 8°c., in a month it can go as low as -40!
A warm wind rolled in yesterday. The snow has mostly melted in the valley bottom, leaving puddles on the frozen ground.
Willow with a full coat of hair, looking worried, while winter seems to be coming to a premature end. “Did I grow this hair for nothing?” she was heard to say.
I had three people mention gardening to me today. It seems too early to consider. Still I looked at seeds online. Willow and I even strolled out to the garden. The deer have really trampled my garlic rows. Hopefully the plants won’t be effected. There is deer shit from asshole to tea kettle (asshole to tea kettle, was a saying my father regularly used. It means a lot and afar).
The forecast is calling for cold temps.
It was a good day to hang out in the wood pile.
Cooper’s and Papa’s axes.