Thursday, 20 July 2017

tomatoes

after taking a year off, i've jumped back into the tomato game. last year my excuse for not planting tomatoes was ripper fatigue. when she sees freshly turned soil, she starts digging. i don't mind filling in holes but i don't like when she trots into the house with muddy feet. the other thing that makes me reluctant to plant tomatoes is her fascination with bees. she'll stand in front of the tomatoes and snap at any poor unsuspecting bee.

since the rip does her best to keep the garden free from bees, pollination can be a problem. this year i planted 2 patio tomato plants and 2 "pineapple" tomato plants. the patio tomatoes seem to be self pollinating:

the "pineapple" tomatoes are  probably just ordinary old tomatoes that someone decided to label "pineapple" because it sounded cool and would probably attract a few lunatics who thought they were going to get pineapples rather than tomatoes. i have to admit that i'm curious to see what kind of tomatoes i end up putting on a burger.

when watching several you tube videos on how to hand pollinate tomatoes, i learned that standard good old tomato plants are called "indeterminates".  that's because they can grow to an indeterminate height. apparently they can reach 50 feet in height under the right conditions. so far the patio tomato plants are a lot easier to look after, minimal pruning.

and here's the bee slayer:

billy says he loves you sons of bitches.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

bikes

wow, it'been a while since i've posted anything.

i've had countless topics but out of respect for my sophisticated international readership, i've deemed these topics unworthy of their valuable time. but what the fuck, who doesn't enjoy a good bicycle story?

a few months ago i bought myself a new bike. a lovely little street/hybrid that was a pleasure to ride, small and lightweight, great for short commutes.

i generously offered the iron maiden to my daughter as she had told me that she wanted a bike but she wasn't interested.  when she dropped by and and i offered to give her the new cute little white bike, she immediately snapped it up. those darn millennials are quite choosy. so  i was back to square one and had to go find another bike.

a few days ago i noticed a neat little bike for sale and quickly pulled the trigger. so far i love the new bike. it's small and light for those short commutes and it also can hop over curbs and go down a few stairs. i might be old, but i still ride like a kid. but what really stands out is the gear ratio.  the middle front sprocket is just right, not to big and not to small.

it lacks the curb appeal of the white bike but that's something i can live with. now i have to come up with good nickname for the little beauty.

the blue meanie?
baby blue?
the rock? (it's a rocky mountain)

billy says he loves you sons of bitches.  and he thinks i should go with "the rock"

Friday, 26 May 2017

another one rides the bus

the rip has another notch in her belt. i found the carcass below in our yard this morning around 11:00. it wasn't there yesterday afternoon and from the atrocious smell, i would guess she had a successful hunt last evening.  not only did she kill it, she skinned the son of bitch so i'm not sure what it was.  there were a few tufts of long black fur/hair around it so i 'm guessing it was a black squirrel, or maybe a giant russian sewer rat. so it goes.

billy says he loves you sons of bitches

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

the greens

last week we had a provincial election, lucky us.

the previous government was self-named as liberal. our liberals are actually a little to the right of our federal conservatives but call themselves liberals nevertheless. aren't politics wonderful?

so far last week's election has not produced a winner.  to form a government in beautiful bc, a party needs 44 seats. last week the liberals won 43 seats, the ndp (the political left) won 41 seats and the greens won 3 seats. this puts the greens in the position of king makers. they can unite with either the liberals or ndp and reach the magic number of 44.

firstly, the greens said they wouldn't compromise their ethics by joining a with a different party and the leader said he wasn't interested in accepting a cabinet post in return for his support. i immediately thought; you stupid son of a bitch! what are the chances of this happening again? well there are two chances and slim just left town.

now the greens have announced what they want in return for their support. they want more money and power!  jesus fucking christ, it would have been nice if they announced that they wanted to stop a pipeline or protect our fisheries but no, they want money.

i voted for the greens this time around and have voted green in most previous elections and most of my friends vote green. i don't vote green because i think they're going to save the world. the reason i vote green and i'm sure that many people vote green is because we don't have a party named "none of the above."

i'll continue to vote green but i'd have a lot more enthusiasm if their dear leader had come out and said the cost of his support would be to stop the pipeline and ban all oil supertankers from our coastline.

if the greens don't make a deal and the whole thing falls apart, there will soon be another election and they'll have blown their big chance.  so it goes.

**UPDATE**

the greens are now talking about STOPPING THE PIPELINE.

interestingly the ndp are in power in alberta and are pushing strongly for the pipeline to be  built. the ndp in british columbia are strongly against the pipeline, just as the alberta ndp were against the pipeline until they won the election and formed government. it's all about money, the party in power needs money to grease the wheels and reward their supporters.


billy still loves you sons of bitches.

Monday, 1 May 2017

cosmos

somebody touched me, must have been the hand of the lord.

and that somebody told me to watch cosmos again. only an idiot would argue with the lord so i dug out the discs and started watching cosmos. i watched it years and years ago and only remembered that it was good.  i forgot that it was really, really, really good.

it's hard to believe that cosmos was made 37 years ago, oh how time flies, and sagan makes a point of telling us just how fast time flies. the science has been refined and expanded upon in the 37 years since the series was created but it's not the science that captures my attention, it's sagan himself. sagan's enthusiasm and love for humanity shines through and it's contagious, even to an old cynic like myself.

looking back, i would have watched it on a crappy little tv with no home theater and in a dumpy old house.  but i was single and probably had a glass of scotch wiskey in my my hand. and i would have had the original space hound by my side, a jet black shepherd/lab cross. being young, half drunk and naive, i probably would have thought the world was my oyster. now i watch it on nice big tv with excellent sound so it's probably saw off.

after watching a few episodes, i've decided to add it to deadwood and make it an annual event. i, leo myshkin, do solemnly vow, to watch cosmos once a year. when i really like a movie or tv show i'm able to just sit back and enjoy the moment. in fact i get so mezmerized that i don't really remember tht plot. no shit, even though i've watched deadwood over 10 times, a lot of the plot is new to me whilst watching the events unfold. the ability to forget is a very valuable ability to possess, of course it can also create problems.

contrast the leaders who funded the library of alexandria with the current creature occupying the white house and as nasa would say; houston, we have a problem.

god bless the blue dot!



billy loves you sons of bitches more than i can say.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

back in the game

my good buddy, john from cincinnati, told me that i should get back in the game, so i'm back in the game baby!  the mighty honda scooter is insured and ready to rumble. i took it for a short ride this afternoon but it's still a bit chilly so it was a short scoot. if the weatherman is correct, tomorrow should be a warm sunny day here in the great white north, so i might venture a little further from the bat cave.

it's funny how one thing can lead to another. i was watching penny dreadful and one of the main characters was named dorian gray which touched something inside my brain and the oscar wilde obsession took hold. it's also funny how person's outlook can change with age. i remember being forced to read oscar wilde in high school and not liking it at all. the problem with reading this stuff in school is you can't just read it and enjoy it, you have to write little essays to a humorless teacher and try to find some inner meaning in the story etc. and of course reading books written by gay authors was not the sort of thing that a young man gravitated towards in those days. we were down right  homophobic.

it only took me a page or two to fall in love with oscar wilde this time around. it seems that every page, if not every paragraph, contains some excellent play on words or pithy observation. at first i thought to myself, how the hell can this guy come up with so many great and funny observations on life, then it hit me. old oscar spent a lot of time socializing with educated, upper class brits and being the smart rascal that he was, he must have soaked up their words of wisdom like a sponge and made use of them in his writing. or course, i might be totally wrong but that's how i imagine things when reading his pearls of wisdom. 

if anyone had told me 40 years ago that i would become a teetotaling, scooter riding oscar wilde devotee in my old age i would have thought they were nuts but as they say,  life, or truth is stranger than fiction. but all is not lost, jeffery, the dude, lebowski is still my hero and i do spend a lot of time abiding.

this isn't from oscar but it's my new favorite adage:

THE STONE AGE DIDN'T END BECAUSE THEY RAN OUT OF ROCKS.


shit, the rip has even taken an interest in oscar wilde!




billy says he still loves you sons of bitches.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

john be gone

the 15 minutes of nightly bliss that john from cincinnati gave me has come to an end, mega bummer. it's a great series and it gave me a lot of laughs. it only lasted one season and that is a crying shame. there were parts of it that rival the big lebowski for making me laugh out loud but all things must pass and now it's time to decide on what to watch for my nightly 15 minutes of bliss.  john from cincinnati is a tough act to follow. the other decision i'm facing is how long should i wait before watching john again. 2 years?

fuck me, a few minutes ago i was totally flummoxed as to what to watch but jesus came through for me again. that son of bitch really knows his tv.  the rip from cincinnati and i will be watching.............................................

the mighty boosh!





the big fuck me at the moment is income tax.  i'm one of the holdouts who refuses to file on-line. it's certainly a lot easier to just enter the figures and let the computer do the rest but i get a better of grasp of what's going on by sitting down and putting pen to paper. it's crucial to have your ducks in a row should the taxman decide to ask a few questions. but if the taxman does ask too many questions, here's my standard answer:

this is very complicated case, maude.  you know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lot of what-have-yous. and uh, a lot of strands to keep in my head, man.

billy says he loves you sons of bitches.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

knives

for some unknown reason, i recently decided that i needed a new pocket knife. it was probably that guy whose dad arranged for him to be nailed to a cross  whispering sweet nothings in my ear again. that son of a bitch won't leave me alone after i've sparked a bud or two. i still haven't figured out if he whispers in my ear because he genuinely likes me or if he's just fuckin' with me.

the first knife i picked up was a BUCK MINI ICEMAN. it was dirt cheap and it feels real good in my hand so i have no buyer's remorse. it has thumb studs for one handed opening which isn't exactly easy with this small knife. it was a struggle to open with the thumb stud and it hurt my thumb but i kept fritzing around with it until i mastered the technique. then i looked at my thumb and it was bleeding! now my thumb hurts like crazy so i'm trying to stop playing with it until it heals.

since my thumb was injured, i decided to pick up a knife that opens with a flipper: BUCK VANTAGE SELECT. the flipper works better than the thumb studs so once again i have no buyer's remorse. after playing with it for a day, my index finger hurts and i can't open it as quickly as i could when it first arrived but the index finger is not damaged like the thumb. just a little sore.

so i have 2 new pocket knives and also have 2 sore fingers. the good thing about having 2 sore fingers is it has dampened my enthusiasm for buying more knives. but the fingers should be good as new by the time the weather improves and the scooter is back on the road. if i get a good enough knife, maybe i can join an outlaw biker gang. now that i've played around with a few cheap knives, i might be able to select a good knife that i'll  actually use rather than just stick in the drawer and forget about it.  so it goes.

billy loves you sons of bitches.

Friday, 3 March 2017

complicated plots

i just finished watching season 6 of game of thrones and i'm not too proud to admit that most of the plot went over my head. i just can't keep up with all the plots, sub-plots, battles, kingdoms, characters and yes, even the fucking dragons. there were 3 dragons and i thought one was killed but now there are 3 dragons again, and those sons of bitches are getting real big.

the decision i have to make is whether to read about the episode on wikipedia before watching it or read about the episode after i've watched it. so far i'm reading about the episode after watching it and even then, i'm usually confused and end up with about 5 tabs being open as i click on characters and kingdoms trying to piece it all together.  one of these days i might begin a marathon and watch all six seasons one after another but i'll probably still have a tough time keeping up with the action.

one problem i have is a lot of the characters are similar and it's hard to keep straight which kingdom they come from and which kingdom they're at war with.  i think the reason that the dwarf is popular is because he's the one character who is instantly recognizable and unique. the mother of dragons is also recognizable because she's the only blonde.

i've asked a few younger people if they can keep up with the plot and they tell me that they also have trouble keeping up with all the action. i'm not sure if they're telling me the truth or just trying to give me a little self confidence.

figuring out this crazy show has now become an obsession. not because i think it's all that great, i just don't want to admit that i'm senile.

on the other hand, john from cincinnati is bringing me more joy than a pond full of turtles on a hot summer's day.

billy loves you sons of bitches

Friday, 24 February 2017

destruction

this trump guy is a hard one to figure out. it's easy to figure him out on a personal level, he's an asshole. one of my favorite expressions has always been: i'd rather be an asshole than an idiot.  now this trump guy has me questioning that expression.  so it goes.

one minute i think trump is a total lunatic and he's going to destroy the world and then the next minute i'm thinking, maybe some good will come of all this nonsense. i'm talking about CREATIVE DESTRUCTION.  or as they say, out with the old and in with the new. there is no doubt that the world economy has been stagnant for the last decade despite the trillions of dollars in quantitative easing.  we now know that trickle down monetary policies are about as ineffective as trickle down fiscal policies.  in both cases, fuck all trickled down from the rich. but that's why the rich are rich, once they get a dollar, it doesn't leave their pocket.

creative destruction is on its way whether or not trump destroys everything first, he might just speed up the process. mechanization and artificial intelligence are here to stay so the big question is, what are the billions of humans going to do?  the answer to that question is easy, we'll do what we always do, reproduce and fight with each other. i guess the big question is, how will we divide the economic pie? the answer that question is also easy, we will not divide the economic pie equally.

has the pie ever been divided equally in the entire history of the human race?

NO!

trump's stated goal of replacing globalism with protectionism leads me to the following question?

would you rather buy a garment produced by a machine in your own country or a garment produced by a human in a less affluent country?

and while we have our thinking caps on;

is a genetically modified cotton plant as evil as a genetically modified corn plant?

just more shit for us to argue over.


so what's a guy to do?

when it comes to the human race, is there any difference between a pessimist and a realist?

billy still loves you sons of bitches.

Friday, 17 February 2017

the duck shoes

several months ago i was on cloud nine after getting the duck shoes, they were super comfortable and of course, very water proof. perfect for walking rip in the wet weather. this morning when i put them on, i happened to look at the side of one shoe and noticed that it had cracked. then i looked at the other shoe and it had also cracked. i was super bummed out. those lousy duck shoes were $80 so i figured that they'd last at least a year, maybe two.

i searched on line and found the receipt and then i had to hook up the printer to get a copy of the receipt and it was off to the shoe store.  the shelves were more than half empty and the clerk was skeptical that they'd have my size but as i'm so fond of saying, somebody up there likes me. they had my size and all was right with the world. new duck shoes, if that isn't nice, what is?

i am thoroughly enjoying john from cincinnati, it has me laughing almost uncontrollably at times, just like the big lebowski. and there's been one added bonus, the rip is now from cincinnati. i often get approached when walking her by people wanting to know what breed she is and since she was a rescue dog, i really don't know. but from now on when people ask, i just say, she's from cincinnati. i've also taken on the identity of butchie yost.  i gotta get fucking high man!

i wish i could find a good clip of butchie in his old vw van but al bundy will have to do.

billy loves you sons of bitches.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

yuck.......

poor little me was sick as a dog last week. last wednesday i hopped on the bike to ride across town and pick up my favorite extra lean ground beef at the butcher and i ran out of energy, almost collapsed. i always stand up and ride as fast as i can for about 10 minutes to get my blood circulating. it's great cardio but on wednesday i just ran out of energy and had to stop. usually the legs get tired or maybe i get a little out of breath but i can keep going.  this kind of scared me.

the next day i got up and quickly got a bad case of the runs. it turned out to be very similar to the preparation for a colonoscopy. i crapped my brains out all day and felt like death warmed over. i had the norvovirus. it's a type of the flu for which there is apparently no vaccine. the upset stomach lasted about 24 hours and then it took a few days to fully recover.

i ate nothing on day one and just had a few bowls of oatmeal the next day. i've never liked beef or most types of meat and now the thought of any greasy, fatty meat sickens me. my new quest is find a good source of protein that doesn't include meat. for now i'll be eating a little chicken and salmon along with the ground beef in the freezer but only in small portions. who knows, in a year or two i might become a vegan.

on a different note, the deadwood marathon ended last night. for the last few years jack langrishe has been my favorite character and it was no different this time. the first few seasons it was e b farnum that made me laugh, then it was jane cannery who brought a smile to my face and now it's jack. i can look at jack and start smiling before he speaks. ian mcshane and brian cox truly do make deadwood shakespeare of the west.

in case anyone isn't motivated to drink a decent amount of water each day, take a look at what happens when the kidneys aren't cleansed daily. after crapping myself silly whilst ill and dehydrating myself in the process, i'll let swearengen be the  angel on my shoulder whispering in my ear, "drink the fucking water!"

billy loves you sons of bitches.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

almost there

it's the last day of january and the weather is lovely here in the great pacific northwest, sunny and about 5 degrees c.  the bad news is we might get some snow in a few days but tomorrow is the first day of february and that means march is just around the corner. another 2 months and with any luck i'll be zipping around on the scooter.  that will be heaven on earth for me, hopping on the scooter and wearing nothing but a t shirt, jeans and an old pair of sneakers.

by april i should be a real old freak. last july the kid got married and i was forced to get a short haircut and trim the beard back to almost nothing. i'm pleased to say that i haven't had a haircut  trimmed  the beard since early july. i've decided to let it grow for a year and see how things unfold.
it's almost 7 months now and things are getting pretty scruffy. the kids don't give a shit and find the whole thing quite comical but the lovely mrs myshkin is none too happy with my excellent imitation of a homeless man.

i'll put on my old leather biker jacket and look like a geriatric hells angel on a scooter. maybe i'll even pop into the cracker factory and show the drones what happens when a man no longer has to toe the company line in order to pay the bills. from what i hear, there's been another house cleaning at the cracker factory so most people won't have a clue who i am and will probably call security.

deadwood is almost done for the season so it's time to find a replacement for my 15 minutes of bliss before hopping into bed. it's been a few years since i watched john from cincinnati and i'm dying to hear butchie scream, "i gotta get high,  man!"

billy says i better don't get too high, and he still loves you sons of bitches.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

something wonderful

let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

several wonderful things happened last night. the wonderful things would have been much more wonderful if they had happened spontaneously, but waiting for something spontaneous to happen is a young man's game.

the evening began with a truly wonderful bowl of bean soup that  had spent the day simmering and absorbing all the magical energy that had been waiting months for something worthy to dive into. a good hearty pot of bean soup can produce commercial grade methane gas. i'll be producing methane for the next few days.

after the dishes had been washed and the rip walked, it was reward time. years ago, things would have began with a glass of whiskey but the world turns and things change. last night things got started with the sparking of a bud and the eating of a raspberry cookie coated in white belgian chocolate. it was a good large cookie that i won't soon forget.

then it was time to put on little music, the be good tanyas, and finish the book i had been saving for this wonderful occasion, cannery row. i had about 15 pages left to read and they didn't disappoint. cannery row is definitely in my top 10 list of novels. it makes me happy, and happy is good.

then it was time for the second course, the final episode of the second season of fargo. the final episode was good, but i think the penultimate episode was better. watching season 2 of fargo was time very well spent.

and finally it was time to get grounded and set my mind straight. twenty four minutes of pure bliss; deadwood! al swearengen always puts my mind straight.

so i ate, i drank a little bean soup and i got merry.  now it's time to hop in the mighty hyundai and go see the doctor and that son of a gun is in for a surprise. rather than take the tests and medications he prescribed, i bought a real lucky coin and so far, i haven't lost the son of a bitch.

billy loves you sons of bitches

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

is it too late?

is it too late to change my new years resolution? maybe add a clause or rider?

i've spent a lot of time today looking for a pair of glasses. a while back i bought 4 pairs of prescription reading glasses. i thought it would be good to have spares in case i lost a pair but at the time i also realized that there was a potential problem. having an additional 4 pairs of glasses also meant that i would have 4 more things to lose. well guess what, i lost a pair.

i had a brain freeze, fell and broke a pair of glasses so it was time to take inventory and decide on a new favorite pair but  it quickly became evident that a pair was missing. and every time i turned around to look in a different place, a certain dog was standing behind me almost causing another fall. old age can be a problem.

the worst part of looking for lost stuff is rather than finding the item i'm looking for, i realize that i've lost other stuff and soon i'm looking for so much stuff, i can't remember what i'm looking for. so this all leads up to the rider i'm going to add to my new years resolution:

I HEREBY RESOLVE NOT TO BUY ANY MORE SHIT!  THE GOAL IS TO END THE YEAR WITH LESS SHIT THAN I HAD TO BEGIN THE YEAR.

while searching for a snow brush in the trunk of the mighty sonata i found 5 umbrellas. this was in addition to the 3 umbrellas on the rear seats. it just goes on and on and on.

now what can take my mind off all the missing stuff?

billy loves you sons of bitches.

Monday, 2 January 2017

the resolution - 2017

and the winner is ..........................

this year the resolution is moderation.

in the past i've been very fond of saying, moderation is for monks. if things work out, i'll be a monk for a significant chunk of 2017.

i'm talking about exercise and diet. my resolution is probably the opposite of 95% of the resolutions made by other fools such as i. i'm stiff and sore, my whole body aches. there's a really good chance that most of my aches and pains originate from all the exercise i do. moderation is for monks and in the past i've not moderated my exercise, i've overdone it.

same thing for weight, i want to put on a few pounds.  with almost zero body fat, i'm too sensitive to the cold weather, i need some insulation.

there's a good chance that all my troubles are the inevitable changes that occur with aging but son of a bitch, it's worth a shot. in my case, it's easier for me to exercise than not to exercise. 

while the rest of us plan for the coming new year and enjoy the comforts of home, there is a group of needy souls that usually go unnoticed, the homeless drug addicts. vancouver's downtown eastside is often called the biggest shit hole in the developed world. poverty and addiction are everywhere. when i was 15 years old i got my first job as a dishwasher in the area and experienced the horror show firsthand. it was alcohol and heroin in those days and now opiates and methamphetamines have been added to the mix. i often ride through the area on a sunday morning in the good weather and the stark poverty and suffering are unbelievable. 


the thing that always blows me away is the openness of  the drug dealing and trafficking of stolen merchandise. the federal government makes the drugs illegal but the city of vancouver does not enforce the law, they enable the addiction. there is virtually no effort to rehabilitate these poor souls, just give the appearance of giving a shit. we pick them up and save them from the brink of death from overdosing and then push them back onto the streets to do the whole thing again and again and again.

there but for the grace of god go i.

and of course i need an altar to pray for my salvation.

and best of all, now i'm ready for summer.



billy loves you sons of bitches and says: it's all bullshit, don't let it get you down.