Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Getting tired of the buzz cut

I think this will be my next hair style. I've printed it off and will bring it to the barber for a consultation on what I need to do. I've always idolized Magnum P. I. (not Tom Selleck but the character) I bought the Detroit Tigers hat about 5 years ago and I like it. I think this is the next logical step. With any heavenly love I'll one day drive a Ferrari:)

Maybe I'm drawn to Magnum because my father always had an identical moustach. He still does. Perhaps it is because of my dad and my good childhood memories that that moustach brings me to a comfort zone.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bowling thrills and naked table marathons

Its so wonderful to have young kids. In particular, I'm thinking of how fun it is to have them experience new things. Fun, and easy to give them new experiences as there are still many uncharted waters for them.

Take Friday for example. We took them bowling and they loved it. I don't think they stopped smiling from the time they heard the rolling balls when we entered the building, right up to the time they decided they were too tired for life and began crying and whining about different things they felt they needed (gumballs, milk, chocolate milk, etc). In those moments I wonder- did they already forget that we were having a good time?

So, back to bowling. Konrad and Anders were so excited that when one of them bowled a ball the other one stood behind him and danced until the ball reached the other end. Yes there was dance bowling and there was hurtle bowling. The hurtle bowling was done by the women next to us. She seemed very good at it. If you don't know what hurtle bowling is it is very similar to bowling but you have to jump over a Konrad or an Anders that is lying or rolling in your runway.

At first both boys used the "ramp" which is a metal ramp contraption designed to keep your ball on a constant trajectory. It is much harder than real bowling and the boys decided they were up for the challenge. Half way through the game, just when Konrad was about to take the lead he decided not to use the ramp and he bowled the rest of the game with a between-the-leg swinging technique. I think he was giving us a chance since they all went in the gutter from that point on. Further evidence to this is when for the last 2 frames both he and Anders walked over to the gutter and rolled the ball down it.

I said "what are you doing? thats not how you rise to the top! Thats not how you win a game? Wheres the killer in you? You aren't even trying. Bowl better next time or we will never bring you here again!" (just kidding) But I wanted to!

I however, was not about to give the game up. I was determined to run the score up on Jennifer. Show her who is boss when we are at the bowling alley. One needs more than determination to take down a shark. She bowled 4 strikes, 2 of them on her last 3 balls and clutch bowled me right outta town. Man shes good.

How am I supposed to tell my kids I was really good at their games and sports when I was their age and have them believe me if I cant even impress them now? I never used to believe my parents when they would brag of the talents and abilities of their youth. Perhaps I believed them a little, noting that competition was weaker then. Am I becoming one of those who's abilities are discounted by the next generation? In bowling?.....it appears so.

Last night Jennifer made some meatloaf. Mmmmnn, I love meatloaf almost as much as Konrad loves meatloaf. In fact I was about to express my love for meatloaf in a sort of a unique way when, Konrad preempted me. He jumped up from the table wearing nothing but underwear and proceeded to run 216 laps around the table. Now I would have done a few more than that but I was still very impressed by his efforts.

Yes he ran naked around the table for about 20 minutes. 18 strides per lap (give or take a step if he was bumped by Anders or stumbled from dizzyness) I think it was a couple kilometers by my estimates. I wondered where this was going after he surpassed 20 laps without stopping. I think he just kept getting to such a high number that he thought it would be a shame to stop running. I counted. He ran. We all laughed at his wide eyes and his tongue that was sticking out touching his right cheek while he ran.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thrift in our youth?

I've noticed that it is mostly a guys thing to brag about great deals on purchases. Thats not to say that women don't do. I guess I'm generalizing.

There is no lack of boasting of our recent deals among Jakob men. However, I have noticed that my father is getting soft on coin pinching. I think he is trading his haggling efforts for ease of purchase (less searching and traveling for deals). At first I couldn't understand it but I think it is almost a natural transition that comes with age. Older men don't want to put the work into dealing (generalizing again).

I've found myself getting lazy sometimes and taking a lesser deal out of convenience, but I still have enough youth in me to fight the fight.

Another realization........Good consumers make good salesman. Understanding the ins and outs of distribution and supply and demand and how to work it to your favour. The opposite is also true. A good salesman makes a good consumer.

I'm not a great salesman but I do think the position has helped me find deals. Others tell me that I find good deals. That makes me feel......well.......manly. (by the way, never tell a guy he didn't get a good deal unless it is something that he will buy frequently and you can save him money with the advice. It'll unneccessarily break his heart and it is too late to help) .....I digress....

Maybe people tell me I find good deals because I just brag about them all the time and people have to say something.

Anyhow, shopping shark or not two heads are better than one. Therefore, here is my proposition:

Anyone who would like a second opinion before making a purchase is welcome to email me with details on the product you want general or specific, with features, and the best price you have been able to find so far. I would like the challenge of trying to save you more money. If I am unable to find a better deal then I will start emailing you before I make purchases if you are that good. As I said two heads are better than one.

If this works well maybe one day we can start an online business where we split the difference.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"SALE" in French means dirty

I am renaming my position.

I've always been weary of salesman. When I was offered my sales job 9 years ago I wasn't too excited about it. I suppose that salesman stereotypes had perpetuated into the circles that taught me. Nevertheless, there were enough reasons for me to swallow my pride and try it.

Without a thorough synopsis, I will mention a few things I have noticed about the sales folk I've known.

There are those who enter sales as a necessity. They perhaps cant find another job they would enjoy or don't have many marketable skills or they are simply entering a family business and that is the only place to help.

For those getting into the peddling vocation voluntarily they will now choose what type of sales. person to person (P2P) over the phone, door to door, or in a store. Or....(and most of us are guilty of this one) the mlm party. The other main type of sales is business to business (B2B) which is the way I went albeit I do it a little unconventionally. I've chosen to represent 9 different manufacturers now and sell to distribution and retail centres. I also import and distribute a few of my own products. Representing multiple companies gives me excuse to turn down different jobs I have been offered such as product manager and Canadian sales manager. I admit that managing people might have been more appealing than managing a territory but I have good reason to turn these jobs down.

1. They are jobs in the office where I run on a predetermined schedule with set hours.

2. I would be reporting to people.

3. 1 and 2 along with a certain managment style have lead to the quitting of or hospitalization of almost the entire staff of the division.

4. Oh. Another thing. There are alot of undesirable politics when you are inside. Dont get me wrong. I like politics but not what I would consider negative politics such as the fact that no matter what kind of deal you get you cant drive a car with an MSRP less than $5000.00 under the car your manager drives and crap like that. This weekend I have a show in Montreal and they are all staying at the Hilton for $180.00 / night. I found some deals at a downtown montreal hotel that is normally $300.00 / night and I got if for $99.00 with breakfast. This means I will be staying at (and the family is coming for 2 nights with me) a hotel that was rated one of the top 25 places to stay in North America! That ought to rot the company guys socks! I'll be sure to let them know too. Here is a photo:

So far I'm alright where I am AND I enjoy my job.

Being involved with so many different companies, I get to mingle with many different salesman.


This brings me to the reason I am blogging. If you have read my lengthy seguay you are kind.

The other day I was at a soiree in a downtown Montreal Hotel showing a new line of garage doors when I realized something. Every time a woman would walk through the room EVERY guy would stop what they were doing or saying and stare her bum or her breasts right out of the room. You know when you see that on the old movies where the sailors will whistle as she walks by, that is actually classy compared to this. Then once she had gone the guys would start talking out loud very rude and dirty comments. I had married men making comments that would make a prison guard soap his ears out.

All conversations are about drinking or sex. After work they all go to the strip clubs without variance. This is something I've known for a while but I only now am able to step outside and realize what a pandemic has hit our sales people. It is almost comical to see all of the mens heads turn. Um geeee...... do you think guys get turned on from visual images? I think there is no question. If women understood that well they would try less to be noticed. Having said that, salesman just have no control.

Okay ladies, I'll meet you half way. Undisceplined men are pigs!

In light of the salesman stereotype. The pushyness, the aggressive, the orator and the dishonest and the disrespectful, I am reidentifying (is that even a word?) my profession.


Biography: "Pushing Tin"

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I first learned about sport cut (or fitted) dress shirts about 2 years ago. I became interested in getting one about a year ago and more recently have become feverish about getting many of them. However to this day I still do not own one.

Jennifer and I went down to Syracuse last Friday and Saturday with shopping on our minds. I was keen on getting the aforementioned dress shirts, at least 1 high quality suit and a new pair of basketball shoes. Jennifer needed some of everything.

We went to an outlet mall settlement in Waterloo about 45 minutes west of the 'cuse. It is the same exit off interstate 90 that you would take to go to Peter Witmers farm. The first place I hit was Calvin Klein to get a decent suit but there were only 2 suits my size (48 tall) and they had patterns I didn't like.

Next I went to the Addidas store and they were under construction for another month. From store to store it was either wrong colour merchandise, or more often than not they just didn't have my size or length. Even the Nike outlet didn't have shoes my size in the models I liked.

I came home with a hat and a sweater vest, but oooooooooooo how I do love sweater vests. Even this evening and last night I spent shopping downtown Montreal as I have been doing business here. I hit almost every mens store and shoe store possible here and there is nothing decent in my size. The big and tall shops sell geeeaaaarrrbbbiiiiiiggge too.

Next we rushed into town for the Syracuse orangemen football game. They were playing Buffalo. They won. Jenn was a little nervous that we didn't have tickets but we played some scalpers against each other and ended up with center field 10th row from sideline tickets for 20 bucks each. Turns out they were seats alotted to alumni. The guy we were sitting beside ended up selling them to the scalper that evening because his buddies couldnt come. Whats even better is out of the whole stadium our row was called over the P.A. system and we won free gasoline. It was welcomed as we were on empty and filled up just after leaving the city.

Our hotel was so cheap that Jennifer was scared. It could have been the Hyatt and if Jenn heard I paid $50.00 for it she would have not enjoyed the stay. I say that but......... it turns out she was right as usual. In fact I have to admit that she is always right about my $50.00 hotels. She is a champ though. She pulled out the earplugs to cut the traffic and party noise and dealt with rolling into me on the soft double bed they gave us. It turns out I was the one who didn't get a very good sleep. Thats rare!

The desk clerk at the hotel was good. He was east Indian and a very loud yet jovial man. It made me want to joke with him a little and so I did. It seemed as though he didn't understand my very funny comments when he didn't seem to crack a smile or react to me in any way. Then, just before we said good night he turned to Jenny and said...

" I can see that he is a jolly man. You have a jolly husband. You should thank the Jesus for your jolly husband."

I guess I am funny. I enjoyed being with and conversing with my sweet heart for that day and a half without the usual distractions parents tend to have.

Here is an update on the outhouse. I have actually advanced even further than the pictures would indicate now. I have actually enclosed the entire edifice. Thats right I said edifice because of its grand proportions.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I've sinned

I am writing this evening to make penance for my writing omissions.

Here are some of those camp pics I promised:

I cannot forget the update on my outhouse. The picture is below. I was told I need a permit for it but I am so far into it now I wont even apply on account I might not get it. Besides, you don't need a permit for a shed under 100 sq feet so if worse comes to worse I will just cover the floor (not permanantly of coarse) and convert it to a shed for them. Here is the pic. I think I am about 2 days from completion assuming I will be working those 2 days by myself. It should be finished before the snow flies.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


About the roof job I quoted.....I got that job AND 3 of his neighbours roofs as well. 4 birds with 1 stone.

Tent poles....... Yes we found the young women's tent poles that the young womens organization wrongfully accused us of having. They were in the young mens closet. If anyone has ever seen the closet they would know that we almost never go in there and therefore could not have been the ones responsible for putting the poles in there. I just blamed it on Derek. He's not here to defend himself and I think it worked.

Karla, our new guest/nanny from Mexico is wonderful. She is an LDS stalwart and a very doting caregiver. I was able to have the apartment painted and recarpeted for her arrival.

Monday night football: It was great. 36 chicken wings in various flavours, a half gallon of ginger ale and a few cups of blue cheese made it an enjoyable game. The possy consisted of Brock McNabb, Dave Anderson, Mike Vadnais, Curtis Christiansen, Tom Booth and myself.

Young mens camp was a blast. We held it in Val-des-Bois. Since I've blogged alot about pooo lately I will spare the gruesome story about how I got my arm pasted with one of our young men's feces. Oops there I go again, it is hard to leave those stories alone completely.

Young mens camp pictures to follow. I am summoning them from Bro. Mines as we speak.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A mission in France

This is what missionaries do in France.......I guess:


My old missionary companion sent this to me to commemorate the 10th anniversary of our companionship. It was his first few weeks in France and although we never picked up girls, he was a French speaker wanna be so I guess this video is somewhat appropriate. After a couple months he had gained a good grasp on the language but he never really shake that good old Texan drawl. Elder Thatcher was one of the funniest companions I ever had. He went over to a members place for a holiday dinner and somehow ended up with the turkey gizzard on his plate (see below). He said it was so hard and rubbery that he couldn't break it up by chewing. As he went to put a fork in the other piece it bounced off the table into his lap and he put it in his suit coat pocket. I think it was there longer than it should have been.

Unfortunately I have lost many of my memories of him ( and other companions). I did not write down as many as I now wish I had, but I do laugh at the ones I did document. Thatcher tried the molar off. You need to put down 50 lu oatmeal and chocolate cookies and 1 litre of milk in 1 hour, keep it down for the next hour, and all of this had to be done in the presence of someone who had the authority (someone who had successfully completed the task previously). He did it in 59 min and 56 seconds before he swallowed his last mouthful. Whew.

Hey Ben, do you remember unwrapping those Christmas gifts we got at that members family Christmas party? They were tin drink coasters with a picture of a car on them. I wouldn't have liked them as much if they didn't already have the coffee stains on them.

The stars at Night
Are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas!

But the Cowboys wont get past the Packers week 13!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nothing a Secret

This is my lovely boy.

This is todays adventure with him:

Tonight we were at Rona drooling at home improvement materials. The drooling was very intermittant though as we spend a good portion of our visit keeping the kids from getting lost or breaking displays that seemedly emitted play-ground-jungle-jim pharamones. The problem is that whenever we would attempt to police the boys they seemed to be hurt to the point of crying and rolling on the floor. Poor kids.

At one point Konrad needed to visit the bathroom for a number 2. On our way Konrad pointed out the electric fire places that seemed to put out a real flame! We were both intregued. Intregued to the point that I almost peed my pants now that I was in bathroom mode. Konrad wasn't so fortunate to almost do it....... he did mess his pants......but only the underwear. So, in the bathroom I decided I would discard his tighties into the trash bin and just put his pants back on him and not have to carry the dirty gitch with us. This way nobody would know but us and it would save us both some embarassment.

I soon found out that Konrad wouldn't have been embarassed anyway. He cried from the time we left the bathroom to the time we left the store yelling out for everyone to hear...

"I don't want my underwear to be in the garbage. I don't want my underwear to be in the garbage daddy!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Leaving the nest

Our dear Konrad started school on Tuesday. As we waited for the bus to come and pick him up I'm sure he was reviewing the rules of the bus in his head. Step #1 - take 2 steps back and wait for the doors to open. Step #2 - hold on to the hand rail when climbing the bus stairs. Step #3 - remain seated and no horseplay.

He is so innocent right now. I see him concentrate on following direction sometimes. Its wonderful.

He was nervous getting on the bus. He had to leave mom and dad and join a bunch of people neither he nor we had ever met. His safety was now out of our hands.

He seemed to enjoy school though. He will go back tomorrow for his 2nd day of school.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Content may not be suitable for some readers! Viewer discretion is advised

Okay this isn't very tasteful but it is what I have experienced and what you will now experience by proxy.

Last week... while at a youth activity... I was accosted by Harrison, Jared and Rachel who asked Keith Mines and I if we would eat someone's poo for $1 Million.

Keith was livid. He said that was a stupid question and the conversation needed to change. I suppose I fueled the conversation with my remarks.

"Would it be boiled like a stew or frozen like a popsicle?", I inquired. Harrison laughed that I would even consider it.

"Yes" I added, "I would do it!"

Keith then piped in with his verdict, "I would too, no question about it."

The kids couldn't believe it. They said there is no way on earth they would do it. I attribute that to either being accustomed to having life's necessities and comforts provided for them or the fact that they are just plain innocent kids who don't dwell on the temporal things of this earth.

I must be so far gone.

Truth is, I would probably attempt it for $50,000.

Anything less than that wouldn't be worth the hit on my self respect.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The fruits of year 3

Here is a picture of Anders enjoying the fruits of his birthday. This marks the end of his second year and a start to his third. This photo is a few months old but it is appropriate for what I am about to blog.

Jenn and I have been enjoying some of what the third year brings as we did a couple years ago with Konrad.

About 2 - 3 weeks ago Anders started talking like a policemans c.b. radio on Mardi Gras.
Well I suppose he has been speaking long before that but he is now stringing together sentances clear enough that Jenn and I can understand him. It is so cute.

"Daddy, ina tatch a fwoggy" - meaning, "daddy, I wanna catch a froggy"


"Mommy, ina do atside, do fr'a bitewide" - translation, "mommy, I wanna go outside, and go for a bike ride"

It really is cute. It just adds to the many joys a parent is compensated with while raising those little chunk a childrens.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I guess it is time to man up

I am always getting money making ideas and seldom do I ever go further than writing them down. However, I acted on one this week.

I got it in my head that roofers are roofers and not very good salesman. Let me explain. Roofers hire teams of workers called "crews" to help them with their summer contracts. It is very costly and time consuming to lay them off when there is no work and risk losing them for when there is work to a company that can provide steady work, so.........as a general rule, roofers leave alot of money on the table when quoting home owners on a new roof for fear of losing the job and not having work for their crew.

As I have yet to find the magic food that will give me a 6-pack, my role will be behind the scenes.

I put an ad on Kijiji that I was a "roof artist" and that I could not only quote you on a new roof but also throw in a roof ventilation evaluation by a ventilation professional (me) for free. Well I got a bite the very next day.

I didn't exactly know what to do. I don't normally go this far with my ideas. Its now becoming a reality and Im going to have to man up to the challenge as nervous as I am with it. So I went by the job site this afternoon and assessed the job. I think I have enough guidelines from a friend that I can adequately calculate what will be involved as far as materials, labour, and my cut of the project.

Although I'm new at this, I am not exactly doing consumers an injustice. I am simply advocating for the roofing industry. On top of that my expertise in roof ventilation will noticeably extend the life of the shingles. As it is now, less than 10% of the roofs that are done currently are properly ventilated. I also plan submitting the job to one of the few roofers that I know does a very good job.

Now if I get the job I guess I will have to go in search of a roofing company that can do it when I commit to do it and at a price that is less than my quote so there is some cream left atop for my cream deprived family.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The prodigal daughter

No complaining about earthquakes and bohemian university lifestyles. You are in Canada now. Welcome home sis.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Konrads first hunt

Jenn was very tired today and wanted to take a nap while Anders was napping. Konrad and I took opportunity to go do some of the risky activities that would be too hard for mom and Anders. We love to be with them but sometimes the men of the house just need to do our thing. In a couple years perhaps Anders will be man enough to join us.

We went hunting.

We started out to our destination but it was "taking sooooo long to walk there" (Konrads words). Perhaps it was taking too long because he would stop to try and catch every toad and cricket that hopped along our path. We also found many mulberry bushes on the way and stopped to fill our bellies and then kept on eating in true Jakob fashion. I also taught Konrad about how Queen Anns Lace has roots that taste like carrots. After eating some we both agreed that it might taste more like carrots if it was washed but at that moment it tasted alot more like dirt.

As we neared our destination, about 600 meters past the 4th no trespassing sign (enter the risky part of the excursion) we came upon a feather from the wing of a hawk or an owl. It was large and had a nice black ripple design on the brown. Konrad was quick to spot a dead baby mouse. It probably died of a broken heart when its mother was eaten by the hawk. He is already shaping up to be a brilliant tracker.

As we crept through the bush, wispering at times so as to not be noticed, and not speaking at all the rest of the time, we actually had a very prosperous hunt. We were able to bring home 23 of them. Wow 23! That should keep us going for the rest of the year.

Here is a picture of our spoils

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Breaker vs Breaker

The other morning I went to the garage only to find I couldn't get in. After trying different buttons and remotes I tried the man door to the garage. It was locked. Now I was frustrated. On top of that it was morning. I don't seem to think straight in the morning.

I remembered I had a sledge hammer in the car and I promptly went at the door handle. This woke Jennifer up and she came out to see what was happening (shes so brave). Soon I had knocked the handle off the door and entered the garage.

With goal no longer thwarted, I went to turn on the light switch only to find that it didn't work. Had it been earlier in the morning I might have gone after it too with the hammer, but thankfully, I was beginning to wake up from the exercise and was able to deduce that the circuit breaker had flipped. Thats why the garage opener wasn't working. Ha! on the bright side, I now have a door for the outhouse I'm building.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Pet Peeve

Look, I like washing dishes as much as the next guy........well that's not exactly true but I don't mind washing them.............okay thats not true either, but it is sufficient to say that I do them from time to time without too much complaining. However, when I get to the muffin tins "insanity licks at the edge of my brain" (If D coined that phrase he is a literary comic and genius). As much as I like eating Jenns wonderful banana chocolate chip muffins with orange glazing, I dread having to wash the tins. The tedious work of circle scraping each hole with the sponge and even then I cant get to the corners. Whats worse? I am certain that it is always my go at the dishes when the muffin tins are dirty. It drives me up the wall and it is hard to reach the sink to finish the dishes when I'm up there. Does anyone have a trick?

I might be inclined to invent a better muffin tin but it would just end up in a book of inventions and money-making ideas that sits on my office shelf waiting to have items scratched off the list as someone else telepathically steals my ideas year by year and takes them to the bank. Like my spray on salad dressing. We've all seen it in the stores now and its still as brilliant an idea as when I developed it 7 years ago. Ask Tom Booth. He will vouch for that.

Alas I will suck it up as always and continue cleaning the muffin tins but this time with the added advantage of venting to my blog and its sea of readers.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Rainbow at the end of the Pot

At the end of the work day, I found myself only 20 minutes from Val des Bois. With some encouragement from Jenn to put up an outhouse coupled with my constant yearning to spend time working and enjoying the land, I decided to go up for the evening.

After probing the ground for a soft area to dig a potty pit I finally settled on a honey hole that seemed to be screaming out “poo here!” So, there I broke ground to our soon-to-be magazine reading hut. It took me a half hour just to chop through the roots and get below the organic layers. I hit boulders at every turn. Fortunately, I was able work 5 of them out leaving only one large one to disfigure my perfect pit. There I stood, blisters forming and popping, mosquito covered, dirty, smelly, and soaked with sweat. If someone would have seen me they would have thought they were in rural Louisiana and might well have tripped over my metal detector looking for the pig roast.

Hole dug. It is approximately 3’ x 3’ x3’ minus the space taken by the boulder I couldn’t move. This week end I will dry in the building in my driveway at home and then take it apart and tow it up to the lake in the trailer.

Given my aforementioned circumstances I thought it wise to take a dip. That took care of the bugs, the dirt and the sweat. The water was beautiful and I was all alone. It was wonderful.

Next I resolved to find the secret to catching those elusive trout in the lake. I have been gathering trout catching tips for weeks from anyone I feel solicit worthy. I tried different lures at different depths but the fish were too busy eating the flies from the top of the lake and splashing all around me to be concerned with biting my line………..wait a minute………(an idea came to me) maybe they will eat flies from on top of the water! Nope, they ate all the other ones but mine. I even caught a grasshopper and tried him but that didn’t’ work either. Finally, I gave up fishing trout and wanted to see if there was any substance to the rumours of Pickerel in the lake. So I…….well……I wont give away my secret but when I felt the bite I set the hook. I was in for a fight. The thing looked and felt like a Salmon. It was a huge rainbow trout. 5 lbs at least. The neighbour helped me filet it and the meat is a very rosy colour.

I know how Jenn loves good fish so I have it on ice in a styrofoam pizza container right now as I am in Montreal for the night and tomorrow. I will buy fresh ice in the morning. See how much I love you Jenny? At least that much and certainly much more.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Canadian Shield Nomads

We decided to venture into the ignious. A lake at every turn. Oh how it was diffucult to drive in the car so long without stopping to fish all of those juicy lakes. I'm sure the kids thought it long too.
I suppose we did stop to fish a few, but not enough.

Thursday was a grueling 10 hour drive to what Konrad calls Manituna island (Manitoulin island). I guess Jenn's parents just call it home. They bought a "fixer upper" sight unseen, and now they are waist deep in fixer upping. Ken is very handy and seems to have made some headway already. He has already done in one month what I have done around our house in well... since we moved to Ottawa some 8 years ago. Of course thats not a whole lot of fixer upping anyway. That evening we went down to the beach at Kagawong and threw rocks. Anders almost drown. Again. My clothes got wet saving him. Again. Although he has learned to make gargly fishy noises under water, he still hasnt' learned to breath like one.

On our way off the island we stopped at Whitefish river (native reserve) for some whitefish and chips at a chip truck. It was nice. Then everyone fell asleep for a good part of our 7 hour journey into the ignious. We passed some beautiful lakes north of Sudbury (the moon). When we reached Shining tree I had to stop. Within 5 minutes I had caught 2 delicious bass, each as big as a football. Since Jenn wanted to keep them to eat I bashed their heads in with a rock so they wouldn't suffer very long. They were unrecognizable to anyone or anything that might have otherwise recognized them. They were yummy but I still felt a little bad. I don't normally keep my fish.

I won't blog anymore about our weekend. I'm sure Jenn will do that. However, I will say that the Jakob family knows how to eat, firework and be merry.

I was a little desous that we missed the Wrides farewell at the church picnic. Very dissappointed that I missed helping load the truck up. It wasn't much consolation but at precisely 8:04, and 13 kilometers east of Cobden Ontario I passed a large white F450 with the word "Independant" lettered on the box. The truck was no doubt full of neatly packed belongings, and a family we've grown to love, making their way into the great Canadian shield. Hope you brought your fishing rods, its a long drive and there are alot of juicy lakes on the way.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Long Drive and Good Riddance

Saturday I capped off a week in the maritimes with a golf long drive contest in Halifax. There were 3 competitions throughout the day. I competed in the morning session. The day was so hot that when I took my clubs out of the car the epoxy holding them together had liquified. This was revealed to me when after my second swing of 6 balls my clubhead ended up about 150 yards downfield. Luckily I still had 1 more driver. The clubhead was half off of that and I knew I only had a few more swings left with it.

On my 4th ball I knocked the sun tan off the ball. It went 348 yards in the air. I say in the air because I went out to check out the landing area and noticed it was all thick moss. I was told that every ball hit that day landed, bounced about 1 foot up in the air and stopped dead.

It was enough to secure me 2nd place and a spot in the district finals held in Montreal in September. (www.longdrivers.com has not yet been updated so the link is to an unofficial longdrive site)

Yesterday (Sunday) we went out to the lake for a picnic. I'm glad that Derek and Rachelle could come with us (I'm glad the Lee Wens were there too) because it is the last time we will see them. D and I have been pretty close friends here in Ottawa for the last 6 or so years. We seem to have a lot of the same interests and a similar appetite. I consider anyone who can eat well to be my friend. It's sad to see them go, but it happens. They will be missed by many. They have contributed a lot to our ward and we are grateful.

I know it will be an adventure for them next week driving accross Canada in that truck of theirs but it may get gruelling at times. Don't drive on top of Lake Superior from Sault Ste Marie to Wawa to Thunder Bay at night. You are guaranteed to hit a moose. I guarantee you'll see one at any point in the day. Maybe a bear too. But even the truckers spend the night in the Sault. If you do, bring a sharp knife to at least salvage the meat. Oh and a camera to properly blog about it.

Incidentally, yesterday at the lake Anders was wading out in the water and got in over his head. It was a scary moment. I'm so glad he made a noise and I heard him. When I was explaining to Konrad how serious it was and that we almost had to say good bye to him for the rest of our life he replied "No, its not so bad daddy, we can just name another one Anders" I guess I went a little too deep for him. I can't believe he is that insensitive.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am not the Saint John Idol

Tonight I ate at my favorite pub in Saint John New Brunswick. Churchills pub. Seaford chowder and Jumbalaya. The best I've ever had. Then I strolled down to the harbour and heard a commotion. It was Saint John Idol. There were a lot of contestants, some good singing, alot of sappy songs and some general admission judges giving me their opinions on the performances. It was great. One 60 year old man told me a girls voice was so horrible she should have been cut off mid song. He thinks the judge went too easy on her. Anyway, I thought the contestants all did well. Perhaps because I imagined myself up there making a fool of myself I was better able to appreciate the performances of the others.

I'll let that seguay into my response to a tag Jessica got me with. I may not be a fit Saint John idol but here is what I am:

Places I worked...
1. A computer programmer for onlinetel ( irony: I dont know a thing about prog.)
2. Assistant manager- Pure Page (GTA paging provider)
3. Mystery shopper
4. Department of National defense

Movies I can watch over and over...
1. the prestige
2. foreign films (tsotsi, beijing bycicle, the mission, kolya, Chocolat etc.)
3. Recycled School Sagas
4. I don't like it so much but its trippin to watch groundhog day over and over.

Places I've lived...
1. Birth place of Alex Trebek
2. Home of A. Graham Bell and James Hillier(inventors of phone and elect. microscope)
3. The only walled North American city north of Mexico
4. Birthplace of Jacques Cartier

Favourite TV shows...
1. No Contest - Magnum P.I.
2. Beauty and the Geek
3. Big Break
4. Sportsdesk (the 30 seconds they devote to non hockey sports)

Places I've been...
1. San Blas
2. Moret
3. Swastika
4. Neuschwanstein

Favourite foods...
1. Grec sandwich (from france)
2. Melona
3. Free stuff and buffet items
4. Roti

Majors I'm considering...
1. Chemical engineering
2. Political Science
3. International business
4. Aboriginal studies and languages

Places Id rather be...

1. Katmandu
2. Bhutan (can you tell I have an affinity to the Himilayas?
3. Indian wells
4. Cape town

People Id like to tag...

1. Dana Carvey
2. Elvis (if you are reading this)
3. One of the 3 nephites
4. Paul Bunyon and his Blue Ox

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hey boys lets ride!

I know I missed my Sunday update but I have good reason and thats all I will say about it. Here is a tardy update.

number 2 (Anders) wants so bad to be like number 1. When we go on walks through the neighbourood he refuses a free ride in the stroller so he can try and keep up with Konrad on his bike. The problem?...Konrads bike is much faster than the trike. Oh, that and Anders can't really pedal. Here is what I am talking about.

This week Konrad was showing me how he can ride his bike without his training wheels touching the ground. I thought it was neat and praised him for it without even seeing the opportunity. Jenn caught it though and took the training wheels off. He's riding like a champ now. Good luck catching up to him now Anders.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Boys Do in Summer

My friend Derek and I helped run a young mens youth program for a few years. Last March he blogged what I feel was a good breakdown of a boys winter camp, the whys and nuances of boys camping in winter.

Derek mentioned that we would camp in all seasons with those boys. We just finished our summer camp and eager to carry on D's legacy of documenting the boys' experiences, I pulled out the flashbox and snapped a few. If for nothing else, I know D would appreciate the nostalgia.

I must say however, that camping in the summer is a whole nuther fish altogether. Aware of the minimal risk, the unthreatening weather, and the unwavering efforts of leaders to keep them well bouffed (scroll to Wed. Oct 6, 2004). The boys were now able to focus their energies towards the weightier issues..... War tactics! The inherent cravings of most men and boys.

I have never been to a paintball-less young mens camp. I've been to plenty of paintball prohibited camps but never a "paintball-less" camp. This week end was no different. 8 out of 9 of our young men either had a paintball gun or a slingshot to holster.

Operation Jackson Pollock

We camped in Low Quebec, on the east side of the Gatineau river. (boat access only) It is a piece of Hydro Quebec land leased by the church for a nominal yearly fee so our scouts could have a camping refuge. We usually camp on either the flats or Deacons island (for those who aren't familiar with Deacons island it is the one next to 4 tree island:) This time we went to "the Narrows" a lovely camping site only 40 yards accross the water from the campsite of the youth from the other ward. How fortunate for a paintball armed young mens group.

the Chapel hill ward was the lucky group to settle the adjacent capmsite. We having arrived Thursday afternoon had already made our preparations for war. Chapel hill arrived Friday evening and were greeted by a hailstorm of paintballs at various times throughout the night.

Operations Japetto and Sugar sac

Apparantly chapel hill was a little to trusting, even after Pollock. They left for the evening fireside at the flats 20 minutes early allowing time for our poised reconnaissance group to get accross the straight line their sleeping bags with sugar and fill their tents with crickets they had purchased from the pet store on the way up. I should add that at various points throughout the evening I offered slight protests but I think the boys saw right through it and somehow read them as approvals. I guess they know that I could stop them pretty quickly if I really wanted to and so they kept at it.

Operation Plastic wrap

Another crossing was made before said fireside to plastic wrap many of the openings between trees within their camp making it impossible for the campers to continue on their desired path. This plays into psychological warfare. In fact upon return we heard a chilling cry from one scouter who was scared because he couldnt get to his tent. We detected his sarcasm but the boys laughs gave me the impression that they were satisfied their scheme had proven an annoying obstacle at the least.

There were then numerous discussions about who had performed these misdeeds. Our side tried to convince them it was Gatineau young men and that they needed to return the favour. The story was not believed.

Later we celebrated the battles victory with $99.00 of fireworks.


The rest of the time was spent fortifying our campsite. Each boy had carved a pungee stick and fastened it into the ground to ward off attackers. (We had them take them down at dark) tents padlocked or zip tied, food secured and a scarecrow with a pirate shirt erected. An ill feeling anticipating retaliation was shared among the boys. Ben Collins and Jack were telling me how they would like to be compensated for their attacks. They seemed like mild punishments to me so I reminded them that Chapel hill didn't get to chose the actions taken on them and I had no sympathy for them. They made their bed and would have to undergo whatever was coming. I should admit that I myself was a little nervous as I was sleeping out under the stars in the open on a reclining lawn chair. I'm sure that in the dark anyone in a mummy bag could have been fair game as it would have been hard to distinguish the leaders from the troops.

We had also taken a crash course on triage and first aid at camp that would help us treat our wounded.

The night proved calm and there were no attacks. In fact, when I woke up at 8:00am the Chapel Hill ward had already packed and went home. Ouch! I felt bad. I think the stake president did too. He was in our camp and witnessed the whole thing. He didn't exactly dissaprove either. He chalked it up to boys being boys. Thats what boys do.

On our way out Harrison masterminded a plan to put our excess cinnamon to good use. He offered $2.00 to anyone who would eat a spoonfull. He found 2 eager hard-up-for-cash (I guess) volunteers, Brad Morrison and Matt Jose. The only way he got Matt to do it was because Matt wasn't there to witness Brad's struggle for life during the ordeal. Brad Puked, Matt didn't, both blew clouds of brown smoke out their nose with teary eyes that lasted 5 minutes.

Crossing the lake back to the farm where the cars were parked the wind had picked up and the waves were choppy. This had me a bit nervous as the transport boat was a 14 foot shallow widowmaker of a tin boat. But what would be a war without an element of risk.

Other stories of interest.

The Burned shoe

Jack (Katie Kirk's brother from England) had noticed that his sandals had been taken accross the lake on the first boatload home and he was left with his old shoes. The problem: his socks were with his sandals and he didn't want to wear shoes without socks. So he did what any of us right minded men would do -he burned his shoes. This decision was probably easier made after thinking about having to bring the wet smelly things back on the plane with him. The smoke stunk.

The Plot to Throw Brad in the Water

Brad had hit many of his own comerades point blank with paintballs throughout the week-end. He had also done a couple other not so friendly things to friends. This had Ben Jeffrey plotting with everone to throw Brad in the water before we left. Brad caught wind of this and threw a Survivor type manuever into the mix. He turned the plan around and in the end when I snapped the photo, Ben was the one getting dunked. Oh the injustice. I had to make things right. I threw Brad in too. Just so he wouldn't think I didn't like him (but I do like him) I blamed it on his inadvertantly throwing my back pack into a meadow muffin (cow patty) while helping out.

Good times

Sunday, July 8, 2007


By nature, sons are prone to please their fathers from time to time. A good decision, heeding the council a father has given, learning or accomplishing something never done before. I can think of a few moments in time that have produced proud fathers.

Cal Ripken Jr. playing in a record breaking 2632 games straight

The Wright Brothers making their first controlled, powered, heavier-than-air human flight

Nephi building a bow and obtaining food

Christ triumphing over Gethsemane

However, it doesn't take a monumental feat to make a father proud. Anyone who is a father, as I am, can experience these feelings daily.

Today was a special moment for Konrad and I. A while back I told him that when he takes the sacrament bread he should think about Jesus and when taking the sacrament water we should think of all of the things we did wrong that week and think about how to do them better the next week. He impressed me the next week when I asked him what we should think of when we take the bread. "Jesus" he replied. When we took the water he came to me and told me how he didn't share his treat with Anders that week. He remembered what to do! Now during sacrament he sits on my knee and I wisper a story of Jesus to him during the bread and when the water comes we take turns confessing our sins. We then commit to not do it this week. Eating too much, not helping out enough with housework etc. Not unsurmountable sins but I hope the pattern will remain when the weightier stuff rears its head. Its lovely. He is lovely.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A hollow leg and something to fill it

It is crazy for me to start a blog since I of all people am least likely to continue it. (I'll add it to my pile of "started but not finished" activies). However, I feel like writing now and I guess one journal entry is better than none.
Everybody knows that an adventure worth sharing must include a few main ingredients: A conflict, food, and a souvenir. Or something like that. Oh what a coincidence I have a story that meets those criteria!
It started yesterday when I was up at the lake. I met with 3 different contractors throughout the day to walk the land and get quotes constructing a driveway up to the building site. I thought Id make good use of the time while one of the contractors was taking some measurements so I started pounding a stake in the ground with the blunt side of an axe. (enter the conflict) On one swing the axe bounced off the side and fell into my leg. It was enough for me to stop my work and put my energies into biting my toungue. When I looked at my leg there was a hole in my leg. Not a big one maybe the size of a hole that would be left if I had stabbed my leg with a pencil. It was deep. I could see it was dark inside. My next thought was that my parents were right in assuming that I had a hollow leg while growing up. Then I touched it and a squirt of .... well, never mind. I found some kleenex and duct tape that held me over for the rest of the day.
That evening I took a shower and felt faint, faint enough to pass out. What an eerie feeling it is to regain conciousness. I remember passing through various stages that all seemed to be familiar to me. First a buzzing tingling feeling in my ears and on my face. Next some sounds and blurry vision and a conciousness of what is happening to you. Then coherence and of course embarrasment. A feeling I've felt often at the end of History class when I would find myself prying my face off a drooly desk. The difference this time is that there was a beautiful woman putting cold cloths on my head and neck and little boys asking if they can gargle and shake in the bathtub like daddy does.
I waited in the emergency room today for 4 and 1/2 hours. So long I thought my leg had either caught an infection or healed (either one rendering the emergency useless to my situation) There were little kids there about Konrads age, injured and crying. I wanted to give them my spot but I guess the people behind me wouldn't have liked that much. I tried to amuse them during the wait by blowing up a rubber surgical glove like a balloon. It popped and the lady in front of me almost punctured my other shin with her cane she was so upset. Finally, my name was called. The doctor stuck a needle in about an inch to drain the hole and commented how deep the wound was. The X-ray turned out negative for bone chips which to me is a miracle. The front of my leg is all bone. How does a wound go an inch deep into a shin and not not hit bone. Anyway, thank goodness!
On my way out of the hospital I saw a Tim Hortons on the main floor. Hungry, I wandered in to find they were closing and throwing out all of their food. I asked her not to trash the chili and she gave it to me for free with a croissant. Sweet action. A free meal to fill my healing hollow leg. Just as free as the meals that filled it when I was growing up at home.
One of my favorite things about travelling and adventuring is bringing home a souvenir for the kids. At 2 and 4 years of age it doesn't take much to get them excited. Sometimes they are content with a stick of gum freshly purchased from Montreal. This time, nothing but the best for my two boys, 2 hospital issued nose pinchers to ward off pungent smells!