Santa Stole My Lady

Fitz and the Tantrums

Some new Christmas music for you. Soul/Pop sextet Fitz and the Tantrums' latest song is this Christmas tune Santa Stole My Lady. I missed my opportunity to see them when they were here performing at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in June of 2011, only discovering them after the fact. I keep asking when they are coming back but so far I have not received word.


Movember Week 4

As I struggle through Movember, I have been searching high and low for a moustache to copy. I need something I could imitate. My attempts at the Selleck have come up short. And I just do not have the time to grow a Wilford Brimley. I need to find a picture of someone with a receding hairline and a similarly coloured moustache. So I pulled out a picture of my sister.

(And now I can apologize to my sister for that. It's funny because the above is not true and she is a pretty lady.)

OK, I then poured over the pages of Yahoo-opolis and Google-dom searching for a moustache I could muster. I think I found the moustache that would meet my needs. [Cue spotlight] The Charles Bronson. Now Bronson and I do not share the same colouring but his moustache was a tougher version of the Clark Gable. And it doesn't require the three months growth that I realized I would need for the earlier moustache models for which I had aimed.

With one week to go I have time to grow what I trimmed, trim what I grew and shape my Movember mo into the perfect Bronson mo. Below is my latest. I will reveal the final results next week. Reminds me of an episode of  The Simpsons when they end up in Bronson, Missouri instead of Branson, Missouri.

O'Hara Moustache
Bronson Moustache


Motorcycle Accident

A colleague of mine got into a nasty accident on his motorcycle. He survived - or so he said. But the bike was totalled. And, he ended up with a severely dislocated knee and some road burns but no broken bones.. Three skin grafts were required to patch up his leg and arm. This happened back in September just as we were hit with a late season heat wave. Had the weather been a little cooler, perhaps he would not have been tempted to remove his leather jacket not five minutes before the accident. The jacket could have saved his arm, and maybe his leg.

As it takes some weeks for skin grafts to heal, he was walking on a blown out knee without the aid of a bandage or brace. I suggested he use a cane to help him walk. Ever the tough guy, this former MMA fighter laughed off the use of a cane. I have often referred to him as the only guy in the office who can kick my ass. The only guy. Guy.

I told him that I would come up with some alternatives to the traditional cane to help him get around. And this is what I came up with.

Cartoon Quarterstaff
Hiking Poles
Crow Bar
Dr. House's Cane

Candy Cane?
Candy Cane


House Of The Rising Sun

Some know Hoyt Axton as the Dad from the movies Gremlins and Black Stallion or maybe as Jennifer's friend on WKRP in Cincinnati. But this platinum recording artist had his biggest success as a singer. He has had success as a songwriter, including Three Dog Night's biggest hit, Joy To the World. And Steppenwolf's Snowblind Friend.
From his 1963 release Thunder 'N Lightnin' this is Hoyt Axton's haunting version of House Of The Rising Sun.

Recorded in 1964 by The Animals, their version is considered one of the best rock and roll songs of all time, but the song was not written by The Animals.
Covered at least 80 times by the likes of Woody Guthrie, Frankie Lane, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, not to mention Axton, the origin of House Of The Rising Sun is unknown. The first known recording dates from 1933 but this folk ballad may have originated in the late 18th century.
Hoyt Axton, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie c. 1963


Movember Week 3

I did not know how my Movember would turn out. It has been quite a few years since I have gone more than a couple days without shaving. My previous foray in beardom was about ten years ago when I had a soul patch. If you don't know what a soul patch is, click here.

It's okay, I'll wait.

When Movember started, I resigned myself to looking like a 70s porn star. I feared I would look like a Village People. I hoped to look like Magnum P.I.. I may look more like Wilford Brimley.

It's odd. My hair is brown. My moustache, red. My soul patch is blonde and my beard a mix of everything. Yes, that's right. My beard is plaid. Happy Movember.
Movember Week 3


Turkey Fraud

I got a call yesterday from Norman. Norman works for a butcher shop. Norman told me that my wife ordered smoked turkey over the holidays and the credit card did not go through. Norman had my last name, he had my address and he had my cell phone number. Okay.
I asked him all sorts of questions, and he told me he would call back. Fine.
I was just having some fun at that point since I never order from a butcher and I am not married. As a matter of fact, I live alone.

Norman called me back today. I asked him for his number, how long has he been working there, more questions about the supposed order, what was the exact name on the order, what unit number? I still can't figure out if he is stupid or a scam artist.

"Norman", I said, "You are either too stupid to do your job or the worst fraud artist in the world.
"No, wait a second", I corrected myself, "Either way, you are a fucking idiot. You are either calling the wrong person or are the worst fraud artist ever."

"Now hold on there," Norman replies in a huff.
"Don't use the F word. There is no fraud. This is an established company that has been in business for 55 years."
Phone Busters - Report it.

So you don't mind that I am calling you a fucking idiot? You just don't want me to question the integrity of you or your company by calling it fraud? Fucking idiot.

As if to intimidate me, he said he would send the driver. I told him I wouldn't recommend it as that's just going to open all sorts of other problems. But, if he insists on sending someone, send them in an ambulance because that's the way they will leave here.

That gave Norman pause for thought.
"Let me check the information with the office and I will call you back."

The thing that doesn't add up with all this? He called my cell phone, which is not listed. So either he got my name from someone I know, or a company with which I do business.

My building is filled with people over the age of 65. I am by far one of the youngest people in the building. There may be a couple other 30 and 40-somethings. As there are so many older people, this place is ripe for scam artists. I get quite a few calls. The security guards keep them from knocking on my door.
Scam Alert

A couple weeks ago I got the call from the east Asian guy from "Microsoft" who detected a problem with my PC. Really? "Why are you calling from outside bubba?"
He then closed what sounded like a car door.

I peppered him with questions. He wouldn't give me any straight answers. He wanted access to my PC. I told him if he detected a problem, he must have my IP address. So let's confirm what you have.

He started saying, "Your IP address is..."
And mysteriously the line cut. Fucking idiot.

Now I really want that driver to show up.


Carpool Tunnel Syndrome

Since my car has been in the shop, or out of commission for the better part of the last few weeks, I've been getting lifts to work. I carpool by necessity rather than for the greater purpose of protecting the environment. A colleague of mine has been kind enough to give me a ride to work nearly every day.

A skilled driver, she is probably better suited to drive on the local F1 or NASCAR circuit then the highways and side streets. She is aware of the cars around her but drives too fast and weaves in and out of traffic too much for my liking. On top of that, she gets angry at every driver around her.
She may be reading this.

I've written about road rage before. Road rage isn't just about getting out of your car, getting into fights, or giving someone the finger. Road rage is also about your conduct while driving. Hand gestures of any kind, apart from a polite wave, are inappropriate. Cutting someone off just because they are driving the speed limit is inappropriate.
Constantly switching lanes to try to bypass traffic will only infuriate other drivers. Getting upset with someone for flashing their brake lights at you is ridiculous - especially if you are tailgating them. Swerving around them and intentionally slamming on your brakes to get them back is criminal.

I heard one radio psychologist offer an explanation. She indicated that emotional immaturity would be the most likely cause of road rage. The individual is not capable of considering the other person’s perspective or emotions.

Calm by nature, I am a different person behind the wheel. I have adapted, changed because I do not want to kill or be killed.

Her attitude is perhaps similar to my attitude of old; always in a rush, always the need to move. I got over it for the most part when I was 23. It has been a battle for me. Road rage did not suit me. One fight. One argument. One time flipping someone off. I haven't put myself in a serious situation in 20 years. My last minor incident was four years ago where I was dumb enough to get out of my car. Clarity struck and I talked the other guy back into his car. He was pulling back to take a swing when I used some very convincing words to get him to turn around and walk away. Crazy sometimes helps you win.

The other morning I was running late. I was finishing off a post and was having trouble with the kicker. I did not want to be late and I did not want my driver to wait. She is anxious enough on the road as it is. So at 7AM I finally post my story, hop into the shower, shave, get dressed, and go outside for 7:15 just as she pulled up. Some things will just have to wait until later. And I saved myself some money in the meantime. Did I mention that I am taking the Metro on Monday?


Movember Week 2

I think I have enough space above my upper lip to grow a Magnum P.I.. I just might not have enough time. Week 2 of Movember is in full swing. And my blonde, red, brown mix moustache looks a little less like peach fuzz every day. For more information on Movember go here.
It's all for a good cause but let's see this moustache goes over on my date this weekend.
Movember Week 2
From the website, "Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health."



It's Movember. In Canada, United States and around the world Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on the faces of many men. The moustache, or mos, brings awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer prevention and research.

The rules are simple, November 1st, register at with a clean shaven face. For the rest of the month, these men shave and trim their way to moustache mastery. Not only can men register, but women can too. As to who grows a moustache? That's up to you.

You too can help raise awareness and funds simply by registering on the site. You can also join my team simply go to to register or make a donation. I will be posting pictures of my moustache progress at Stubborn Fool and Movember. If you want to join my team, search for the team name "stubbornfool" and register. Spread the word.

Movember Week 1


Dating Dilemma

I was faced with a recent dating dilemma, and not for the first time. How soon into a relationship should I share my website? Quite often, when someone finds out that I am a writer, they ask to read something that I wrote. Under those circumstances, I do have one or two stories that I might be willing to share.

In most cases I will only share my short stories with my closest contacts. My stories are personal. I don't publish the stories to my blog. My site, in a public forum and although shared with the world, is different. The irony is that as public as the site is, I keep it at a distance from myself.

So, I recently shared my site with a lady I was dating. After a couple days had passed I received an email from her stating she doesn't want to see me again (Yes. By email). My first thought was, 'Oh geez! I hope it wasn't my website?'
And then reality struck. I hung my head, I hope it isn't... no it is... it's me. After all, my website is awesome.