Monday, February 27, 2012

Every man needs a Man Cave

I know that technically it is called a garage, but in reality it is a much more sacred area than merely a place to park a car. In fact, when I framed in our carport and made it into a full blown garage I had no plans to park a car in it – ever. No, this space was reserved for something far more important. It was designed from the beginning to be a gathering place, a place of solitude, a place of safety. It was The Man Cave. What a glorious place The Man Cave is. A hiding place, I mean, a place where I can go to be with my thoughts, to ponder the meaning of life, to hide from the inlaws when they come for a visit. And I am sure all of my testosterone-laden bros will agree the one area where the Missus has little say is the garage. The Man Cave is just that – for men. Ladies, the garage is not messy. It is simply arranged in a manner to which you are unfamiliar and do not understand. It is another example of how men and women are different. Kind of like our taste in movies. Take The Notebook for example. My wife loves that story. Personally, I would rather spend two hours chewing tinfoil while sitting on a block of ice in a Speedo (sorry for the visual on that one.) And just like men cannot figure out a woman’s purse, The Man Cave was designed by a man for a man. I know where everything I need in the garage is. Sure on occasion it may take me a few minutes to find exactly where something is, but find it I shall. The Missus may not see a method to my madness, but in my man brain everything is exactly where it is supposed to be so ladies, please do not try to make us rearrange our garage to meet your standards. Isn’t it bad enough the quilt on our bed has flowers on it and there are those little pillows that serve no purpose whatsoever other than something that has to be moved every single time I go to bed. They must also be put back every single morning. Why? Beats the hell out of me, but there they sit every single day. There are no fluffy pillows in The Man Cave. There are tools, made of hard, cold steel and covered in chrome. There are assorted car parts, motorcycle parts and a few odds and ends that not even I know where they are from, but they are part of the garage and vital to its essence. The Missus: “Well what is that for? Have you ever used it?” Me: “My dear, sweet, beautiful wife, I have no idea what that is, but I do know I need it. Or, more accurately, The Man Cave needs it.” Even if all the undefined part does is sit at the back of the top shelf, it is fulfilling its purpose in The Man Cave. It adds to the ambiance of the Cave, much like the numerous motorcycle posters adorning the walls. I will help keep the house clean, but my wife has agreed to let me keep the garage the way my man brain wants to see it: full of really cool stuff. A little bit of dirt on the floor, an oily rag or two tossed in the corner for when I need one in a hurry, a mitre saw with a covering of sawdust – all says one thing: a man resides here. The Missus ventures out to The Cave once in a while, but usually does not stay long. Perhaps she does not like the smell of grease and oily rags, but to a man it is like a gear head potpourri. She has given up on The Man Cave being anything more than it is, and we are both OK with that. It is for men, real men, now if you will excuse me this real man promised his wife they would watch a movie. Does anyone know what Beaches is about?

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's the end of the world - eventually anyway

I have to admit I am not much for Dooms Day predictions. Remember the dreaded Y2K when the computers were all going to crash, the world would be in ruin and monkeys would rise up and take over the planet?
Did any of that happen? No.
Were some people very stressed about it happening? Yes. I knew it would be no big deal and the only precaution I took was updating my bankbooks. That way, when the monkeys took over I would be able to show them how much money I have (or don’t have.)
But as everyone knows, the computer-generated apocalypse never did happen, much the chagrin of monkeys everywhere. Some people were seriously freaking out about the whole thing. I spoke to one gentleman who spent more than $10,000 getting Y2K ready.
He had a bomb shelter, enough food for a year, bio-hazard gear – the works. Of course on Jan. 2, 2000 he had a garage sale that included a year’s worth of dried goods, a never-been-worn bio-suit and enough plastic and duct tape to seal off an entire house – which was part of his plan actually. I can understand why he would be so concerned. Some media types were beating the Dooms Day drum with a sledgehammer, while others said to kick back and relax, it is not big deal. Many people chose to listen to the sledgehammer.
The only computer malfunction my family had to deal with was the clock at the bottom right hand corner of the monitor displayed the wrong time and the date was from the 1970s. It took a whole minute to correct every Y2K problem I encountered. More recently there was that nutter, I mean pastor dude in the United States who predicted the end of the world not once, but twice.
He said it was some sort of mathematic error or something that caused the first date to be wrong. Those evil monkey overlords have never been known for their algebra skills. Some people sold their houses – not sure how that would help, stop or alter the end of the world – others took out huge loans – I guess if the world is going to end, why not go out in style.
Of course when the world did not end, they were left homeless or with a big loan to pay off. But the good news was the nutter, I mean pastor dude came up with another date so the homeless people in debt could breathe easier. But, what a shock, he was wrong again. I was surprised he stopped predicting Dooms Day actually, because if you do it often enough eventually you will get it right.
 Now there are some people who are convinced the world is going to end in December when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. Big deal, my calendar ends in December every single year and all I do is go buy another one and the Earth keeps rotating for another 12 months.
I admit I do not know a lot about why the Mayan calendar ends on the day it does and there is a reason for my lack of knowledge on the subject: I don’t care. I do not believe for a second that on Dec. 21, 2012 the world will suddenly explode, implode or be taken over by those evil monkey overlords. But if it does, I owe all the believers an apology.
Does this mean I think the world will go on forever? Unfortunately no. The Bible is very clear the world will come to an end, but even if you dismiss biblical end time prophecies, all you have to do is watch the news to realize we are not long for this planet.
The ‘brilliance’ of mankind has been to destroy its water, food and air supplies, so yes, the world will end in calamity. I don’t know when, and I don’t really care.
There is nothing I can do about it anyway. But if you will excuse me, I am trying to learn how to speak gorilla for when the evil monkey overlords finally get around to overtaking this dirty, worn out planet. I just hope they do a better job than we did.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dear dog, please read this

Somebody is going to have to help me with this one.
The other day I stumbled across a card for a dog. It was not a card about a dog, it was like a regular greeting card to your dog.
It was signed from ‘Mommy and Daddy.’
This is weird on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin.
First and foremost is the obvious fact dogs don’t have thumbs so they could not even open the stupid card in the first place.
But let’s say they are exceptionally smart and they do manage to open the card, are they supposed to read what is inside? And if they could read, you would have to write your message in dog language and I do not know of anyone who can speak, let alone write canine.
The card had a very colourful cover as well. It’s a shame dogs are colourblind, but not as much as the fact the dog would probably rather eat the card than read it because that’s what dogs do.
There are children starving in Africa, but there are people out there willing to spend good money on a greeting card for a hound.
It never ceases to amaze me what people will spend their money on. But good on the inventor for coming up with the idea. If people are dumb enough to spend money on it, they are too dumb to be allowed to keep their money in the first place.
And there wasn’t just one card. There were four: to the dog from Mummy and Daddy, to the dogs from Mommy and Daddy and to the dog from Mommy and to the dog from Daddy.
It’s no wonder so many cultures think we’re a little crazy over here.
It goes to show how much some people value their pets. I love my dog, I am man enough to admit that, but I would never buy Murphy the Wonder Mutt a greeting card. I might as well just give him the $5, what does he care as long as I pet him, take him for walks and keep him warm and fed, he is a happy beast.
Speaking of pets, I am not sure if this next idea is a good one, or another nutty example of people pandering to their pampered, prissy pets.
In Florida, a business-minded mutt owner has opened a mobile food truck for dogs. The veterinarian technician and food blogger parks the truck in the downtown core and sells food for people out walking their dogs.
Usually when I take my dog for a walk the action is all at the other end, but I’m sure if we offered him some food he would happily take it.
Of course the food truck does not serve ordinary dog food, but gourment organic snacks.
There are people out there – and I have witnessed this first-hand – who share their food with their dog. I am not talking about a few table scraps that you scrape into their dish, I am talking about people who will share an ice cream cone or some other type of food with their wolf wannabe.
Um, have you seen how a dog takes a bath? Let’s just say it does not involve a bar of soap and some bath gels.
The same dog tongue that was used for bathing purposes is the same one that is licking the same ice cream cone you are.
I don’t even like it when a dog licks my hand let alone eats the same food as me at the same time.
But perhaps I am just not a hardcore pet owner, but if it gets me out of wasting money on a canine card or sharing food with a mutt then I am OK with that.