So here we are. 

In Canada, it’s the Victoria Day long weekend. Today is Sunday and I’m on my back yard deck getting shitcanned in the sun because… well, I can. 

A lot of people opt to camp on the May long weekend. Particularly in Canada… this is our first decent opportunity to escape the bonds of winter and really live it up. Granted, it’s not a California summer here yet but we Canadians are an exuberant group and want to celebrate (nicely) whenever we can. 

Even when the lakes and the night might be cold enough to make your testicles retract into your body in ways you haven’t known in 20+ years. We are still out there. Because we love to party and enjoy the weather. 

However, I am not camping. Obviously. I just said so…. weren’t you paying attention? Anyway, I am looking to book campsites for the upcoming season to camp on because spots fill up fast. 

I long to escape from this existence. 

No Safety Anywhere

Last night, my friends and next door neighbours were victims of a violent home invasion last night. They are your average married couple with four young children and were enjoying a quiet night at home. Mr A was outside having a cigar and a vehicle drove up onto their back parking pad and started to try and make their way into the yard. He tried to prevent them from entering which is where I’d assume he got the butt of a gun to the face. They kicked the back door of the house in, dragged Mr A inside and then proceeded to beat the shit out of him in front of Mrs A who was holding their baby. 

One of the most unfortunate parts of this is that this was a total case of mistaken identity. They were looking for drugs, thinking the A’s house was a drug house. What the police told us was that this may have been a gang type drug attack. Rather than go and buy their drugs to sell, sometimes these jackasses will raid another known drug house and steal the drugs. Obviously, these guys were dumber than shit and took a wrong turn somewhere thinking that this house was a drug house.

Luckily (or unluckily in a way) their two year old daughter walked down the stairs to the living room where the A’s were being assaulted and it was then that these fucking douchebags finally realize they have the wrong house. So they bail out of the house, jump in their vehicle and screw off. If she hadn’t come down, who knows what would have happened. The A’s could be dead right now.

Mr A was a bloody mess and taken away by ambulance to the hospital. Mrs A had dropped their four children off with me and my two sons to keep them occupied and cared. It’s honestly been years since I’ve held a baby. But in the meantime, family members were showing up to our house and the non-stop parade of police officers through my house asking questions of Mrs A about the events of the evening. My boys were a big help though.

The grandparents showed up and took the four kids home with them at 2:00 am so I had a chance to go and look for their dog who was scared out of the house when these thugs kicked the door in. I was out walking all of the paths and popular dog spots that I know of in our neighbourhood but didn’t have any luck. I was out for over an hour and lost my shoes in some mud which forced me to walk home with mud covered bare feet on rock covered road for about 5 blocks. I felt like a hobbit but I got off lucky in comparison. Anyway, as of now, she still remains missing.

I made my way home to shut the back door of their house, the forensic team was done and the police needed to make sure the house was secure before leaving the scene. I grabbed my drill and toolbox and screwed a 2×4 over the door and busted up door frame to close the door solidly. When I stepped downstairs into the living room, I was stunned. The floor in their living room was smeared with his blood all over. Mr A lost a lot of blood and it was everywhere; smeared over a big area, with pools of blood here and there, blood spatters on the wall, on the sofa, all over the kid’s toys.

Mr A is afraid to see his kids and scare them with his condition. He took over 100 stitches to his head and face to close up the wounds and I’m sure he had a lot of scratches and extensive bruising. I haven’t seen him yet either. But the kids are worried about him so I’m sure they will be together very soon and start to heal as a family. Our household will do everything we can to support them too.

Living On The Edge

I feel like I should write something right now. There is almost so much going on (and most of it is shitty) that I don’t know where to start. 

Sadly, a lot of it is work related. My employer is laying people off like mad right now and has been for three months now with no defined end in sight. No one really knows who will be next, when will they stop, what the end game is. Everyone is on edge and morale is in the toilet… swirling, swirling, swirling away. 

The reality is that the majority of companies that have to layoff a significant portion of their employees don’t do it this way. If they have to layoff 200 people, they do it all at once. One day. It’s like tearing off a band-aid; quick pain but then it’s ok after that. The people that are left can just get on with their lives and jobs. 

In Alberta, Canada however, if you lay off 50 people or more in a month, you have to report it to the provincial government and it becomes publicly very messy. Maybe it’s like this elsewhere, I’m not sure. The law surrounding corporate layoffs isn’t my forte. 

Anyway, it’s basically been 150 people laid off so far? I haven’t been keeping a running tally, I’ll leave that to the wraiths in HR. Our office has downsized even further by opting to transfer people to other offices too work on other projects to keep from having to lay them off. And there has been some attrition from the older folks in the office saying, “fuck this shit” and deciding to retire. Also, some (not many) have found employment elsewhere and just quit. 

One might say, “Why don’t more people do that? Who needs to go through the agony of long-term protracted layoffs?” 

I’ll tell you a little story about our friend, Mr. West Texas Intermediate and how sad he is because his price on the open market is very low. The industry I work in and the entire local economy revolves around Mr. WTI and when his price is low, end user companIes lose their minds and throw the emergency brake on all spending. Have you hear the phrase, “shit rolls downhill?” Yeah, me and the company I work for? We’re downhill. Me and every other Joe Shmoe who works for a company below the end user. So there are not many jobs left to jump to and the competition is strong for the few jobs that are left.

I have no idea if I’ll have a job at the end of the day tomorrow or next week or the week after that. Frankly, I can’t even look that far into the future. I’m taking it as fact that I’m going to be laid off and that it’s just a matter of time.

Age Before Beauty

It was around 3-4 weeks ago that I had a mishap at home that resulted in me breaking three ribs. Very, very painful… second worst pain I’ve ever felt after kidney stones. However, I’ve been taking it easy… following doctors orders (for the most part) by not lifting anything or being too aggressive in activity using my torso for stuff. Bottom line; I’m healing up.

I drove into work yesterday morning and arrived at the same time as James, a 71 year old fella who works in my department. It snowed overnight and no one has shovelled the stairs and concrete pad yet.

As I’m walking up, James busts out the snow shovel from just inside the door and starts shovelling his ass off.

Now, I can’t walk past and let a 71 year old man clear snow from the whole works by himself when I’m a solid 39 years of age. So I grabbed a second shovel and cleared the majority of the area so that he wouldn’t have to do much. However, with my ribs in this state… I’m paying for it now. Hello Advil and beer. I’d do the Tylenol 3’s but I can make do otherwise. I think.

Alas, I Am Alone

For some reason, it feels more intimate to write a post on my phone than it does on my laptop. When I sit down at my laptop to write now, I feel like I need to write some kind of an epic post. Something either smart or funny or insightful… but not something sort of informal and off-the-cuff.

Stupid, I know.

I have a bizarre relationship with the written word write now when combined with public access and my own honesty. I got burned, so… once bitten, twice shy. And the bite changed me forever and stole something that I used to love so much. The ability to openly write without fear of repercussion.