The 2013 Story Project – Thorson Thorkelson The Thord – Part One

For 2013, I want to try something a bit different…I want to try to write a story.  Not sure yet how well I’ll do at this, but I want to try.  I have no outline.  I have no plot in mind.  I don’t even know what’s going to happen.  I just want to write this story a bit at a time, throughout the year.  (I make no promises that I will write every day…in fact, I can almost guarantee that I won’t write every day.  I would most warmly welcome any ideas or comments that you might have on the direction that you want my story to take.  I won’t necessarily follow every suggestion, but it’ll be interesting to see how this story goes.  And now…without further ado…is Part One of my story.

Once upon a time, there was a young lad named Thorson Thorkelson The Third (however, everyone referred to him as “Thorson Thorkelson the Thord” – it just flowed better).  Despite his stereotypical Scandinavian name, Thorson wasn’t Scandinavian…and he had no ancestors named “Thorson Thorkelson”…so how he acquired his rather ambitious sounding moniker may sound like a bit of a mystery.

The way that Thorson came about his name is actually rather simple.  His mother named him “Thorson Thorkelson” after a character she had created for a comic book that she hoped to write (but never got around to), and his dad’s last name was “The Third”.  Thorson came from a long line of the completely undistinguished  The Third line.  If you traced back their family tree far enough, you would eventually come to George Smith The Third.  His  dad was George Smith Jr (or George Smith the Second), and his dad was the original George Smith.  Now when George Smith the Third came along, he was, well…not the brightest burning lantern in the area…he grew up thinking that “Smith” was his middle name and “The Third” his surname.  The family has been “The Thirds” ever since.

But back to Thorson…this story is about him after all…

Thorson Thorkelson the Thord was thorteen (halfway between thirteen and fourteen) at the time of our tale.  He was tall, awkward, and had a nasty case of acne, but despite his gangly bad looks, everybody liked him.  He was a genuinely nice guy.  If he were an actor, no Hollywood director would have given him a second glance…but he might have done quite well in Britcoms…  All in all, his life was pretty good…a bit boring…but pretty good, none the less.  All that changed the day The Disaster came.

~~To Be Continued…~~  Part 2 can be found here

ATV Safety

Although I’m not what one might consider to be an avid ATVer, I still feel that I have some invaluable advice to give so that those of you who are ATVers might be safer on the trails

If you look like this when you are riding, you may be going too fast.

If at any point during your ride, you look like this, you've most likely done something wrong.

If the brakes on your ATV fail, standing on the front wheels is NOT the recommended method of stopping your ATV.

Although it may sometimes seem like a good idea, studies have shown that portaging your ATV can lead to long term back problems.

Animals can also cause issues for ATVers.  For example:

You may encounter a gorilla on the trail.

If you encounter a gorilla, you will need to fight him for dominance. One of two things will happen...

The gorilla will most likely win (in which case he will steal your ATV)...

If you DO manage to beat the gorilla, he will become your slave for life. This can come in handy if you need to change a tire on the trail.

One more thing.  Remember…

Riding on the spine of a ridge can be quite exhilarating and rewarding...

but riding on the spine of a bear is NOT recommended!

So have fun…and safe riding!

Writer’s Block

I like to post something that is at least somewhat funny here on occasion.  I’ve been going through a bit of a dry-spell though.  I tried posting something a week or so back…a few people read it, but the more I thought about it, the less I liked that post, so I’ve deleted it (read the deleted article here).

Did you try clicking the link?  I’m betting it didn’t work.  Remember, I told you I deleted that post.  Some people might have thought it was funny, but I didn’t like the post.  My blog – I get to delete whatever content I want!

Anyways, I’m suffering from a bit of writer’s block.  There are many kinds of blocks in this world.  Lego blocks are among my favourites, but there are also chopping blocks, wheel blocks, blocks of chocolate (also very nice), and if you know karate, there are also blocks of kicks and punches.

All of the above blocks serve a purpose.  Some good, some not so much.  Chopping blocks, for example, are quite useful if you are named ‘King Henry The 8th’ and aren’t allowed to divorce your wife…but not so good if your name is “Mrs. The 8th”.

Writer’s block is generally considered a bad thing.  I’m sure if you asked him, John Grisham would admit that he doesn’t make much money from writer’s block.

I currently have writer’s block when it comes to writing something humorous.  Sure, plenty of funny things happen all the time around me…just not sure how much of it is ‘blog worthy.’

So I’m writing about ‘writer’s block’…one of the more useless types of blocks out there.  Of course, there are other negative blocks:  Arterial blocks and road blocks come to mind (although “road block” is much preferable to “road rage”)…also those small wooden blocks with letters on them…if you have a grumpy kid who chucks one of them at your head…  Speaking of ‘blocks’ and ‘head’, I suspect that Charlie Brown considered the term ‘blockhead’ to be negative.

 So what do you do if you have writer’s block?  I wish I knew.  If you have constipation (another type of block), you can take medication for it.  I’m not sure that any pharmaceutical companies have developed a pill for writer’s block.  Maybe we should lobby the people at Pfizer to develop one! 

(for some reason, the previous paragraph has inspired me with the following bit of advice…”if your last name is ‘Meth’ or even starts with ‘Meth’, PLEASE don’t name your daughter ‘Crystal’.”)

Basically, what I’m saying here is that I have nothing to say here…and it only took me 436 words to do it in!

The Lottery

image courtesy of

“And the winning numbers for this weeks ‘LotsaDough Lottery’ are: 5,29,36,47,83…and the bonus number is….Lucky 13!!” intoned the voice on the radio.  The jackpot for this weeks lotto was in excess of 37 million dollars.  Money was something the Smythe family could certainly use.

Claire Smythe couldn’t believe her ears.  For the last 18 years, her husband, Robert, had purchased a ‘LotsaDough Lottery’ ticket faithfully every single week…and he always picked the same 6 numbers: 5,13,29,36,47, and 83 – the exact same numbers that the announcer had just listed off.  Robert was currently away on business, so he would just have to wait until he got home before she shared the good news with him.  Sure, she could call him on his cell phone, but the surprise would be so much better later on…and there was practically no way he would hear the numbers before getting home, as his business had taken him out of the country, and he never used his laptop for any purpose other than business.

“How can I surprise him?”  thought Claire to herself.  It didn’t take her long to come up with a few ideas.  She knew that Robert had been eyeing a brand new Hummer at the local dealership, so she went and put the down payment on their Visa.  Their credit score wasn’t the best, but who could care now?  As soon as her husband cashed in the winning ticket, they’d easily pay off any credit card debt.

“Now something for myself”.  Off she went to an upscale furniture store.  In the showroom, she found wonderful new furnishings for every room of the house.  She even found them on sale!  Sure, they had lots of money now, but why not stretch it as far as possible?  The only down-side was that, due to the sale, her purchase was non-refundable.  “Oh well,” she reasoned, “If Robert doesn’t like it, it won’t be that much of a hardship to replace it and donate this set to some needy family”

All day long she went from store to store, first buying something for her husband, then purchasing something for herself.  Not to leave the neighbours out of the celebration, she bought lavish gifts for everyone on her block!  By the end of the day, she had managed to make down-payments on over 2 million dollars worth of merchandise…her new diamond necklace alone was worth at least 1.6 million.

Claire was fit to busting, but she wasn’t going to spoil the surprise by calling Robert.  Let him see the new Hummer in the driveway!!

Four days later, (two days earlier than expected), Robert got home from his business trip.  Robert liked to surprise his wife too, so he hailed a taxi to take him home instead of calling his wife to pick him up at the airport.  When he arrived home, he wondered, “Who’s visiting Claire?  That’s one NICE looking Hummer!”  He was looking forward to seeing the look on his wife’s face, so instead of just going inside, he rang the doorbell.  Before long, Claire answered.  She took one look at her husband, and her face split into a grin from ear-to-ear.  “Who’s visiting, Dear?” he asked.  “Nobody, hon, why do you ask?”  “Well, who’s Hummer is that?”  That’s when Robert noticed the new furniture.  A bewildered look crossed his face and he asked, “What’s going on?  How can we afford this all?”

“WE WON!  WE WON!” Shouted Claire.  “They picked your numbers for ‘LotsaDough!”  The Hummer is ours!  The furniture is too!  I donated the old stuff to the local homeless shelter.  SURPRISE!”

“Yes.  Surprise indeed,” Robert replied.  “Claire, when did I leave on my business trip?”  “Two weeks ago.”  “That’s right.  And when did the lotto tickets go on sale?” “Um…last Friday?”  “Also correct.  I was out of the country when the tickets go on sale.  Did you purchase the ticket?”

Sheepishly, Claire had to admit that she had forgotten.


My wife and I have been thinking of getting our kids a few fish.  Now of course, aquatic pets require some sort of container to hold water.  So today we went to Wal-Mart.  We went to the pet supply section and were greeted with a stunning array of aquariums (at least 5).  We finally settled on a smallish tank for our smallish boys to put some smallish fish into.  My 7-year-old son thought the changing colour LED lights would be rather cool, and my younger son seemed to agree.  We put the cylindrical water containment device into our cart  and were just about to go on our way when (speaking of water containment) my 4-year-old son piped up, “Daddy, I have to go potty.”

If you’re a parent, you’ll know that when a 4-year-old says “I have to go potty” he probably means, “I’ve needed to go potty for about half an hour, but my ability to hold it is getting very weak”.  In other words, we need to find a potty, and we need to do it NOW!!

So I grabbed his little hand, and off we went to the men’s washroom while my wife and other son went in the opposite direction.

We got to the washroom, and I discovered that the one toilet in the men’s washroom was currently in use, and my 4-year-old son isn’t quite ready to use the other device found in men’s rooms.  We waited for a couple of moments, but then I thought to myself, “There’s a McDonald’s in this store.  I’ll just take him there!”  So off we marched to McDonald’s.  We got to the Wal-Donald’s only to discover – they don’t have a washroom as they can just use the Wal-Mart washroom.  So off we went back to the Walsh-Room.  Cubicle one of one was still occupied…fortunately not for long though.

Finally I was able to take my son into the confined place with a not-so-pleasant but oh-so-fresh aroma…and we even got there in time!

So…we had been in a store that’s only a couple of years old…at least 20 if not 30,000 sq.feet in size…a parking lot that holds about a thousand cars…and they had ONE STINKIN’ (pun intended) TOILET to serve the needs of all their male customers.  No wonder they can “roll back the prices”…they’re skimping on basic plumbing necessities!!

My love-hate relationship with that corporate blight known as Wal-Mart just moved a wee bit (a wee-wee bit?) closer to the “hate” side of the equation.

An Elf Speaks Out

OK.  I’ve seen enough!  It’s time that this conspiracy was brought to light.  You all know my boss…Santa Claus.  As you may or may not know, “Santa” means “Saint.”  Saint?  Yeah sure…maybe the original guy, but old St. Nicholas has been gone many a year, and the current guy ain’t no saint.  Yeah, he still does the whole toy thing.  Nice front for what’s really going on.  Can you say “money laundering” and “counterfeiting”?  Big words, but hey…he’s a BIG guy if you catch my drift.

The thing you need to know is, “Saint” Claus (and that isn’t even his real name) isn’t the only one in on this conspiracy.  He’s got the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy in on the whole racket too.  Actually, of all the people/critters/etc. that kids believe in and adults often don’t…I suspect that the only character who’s nose is clean in this whole mess is the Great Pumpkin – and to be frank, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he’s connected somehow.

Easter’s coming up.  You know what that means…the Easter Bunny is on his way bringing his “gift” of Easter eggs to children all over the world.  Here’s an interesting fact for you:  BUNNIES DON’T LAY EGGS!!  Yeah.  Shocking.  I know.  So these aren’t real eggs.  They’re fabricated.  What are eggs made of?  Enamel.  That’s right, enamel!  What else is made of enamel?  You got it, big shot.  Teeth.  You making the connection?  Keep up with me, will you?  Yeah.  Those teeth that the Tooth Fairy “paid” you for are melted down and fabricated into the eggs that come back at Easter time.  And that coin she gave you for the tooth?  Remember how I said Santa’s work-shop is a front for money laundering and counterfeiting?  I’d be careful where I spend that coin if I was you!

That’s right.  Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are all in on this together.  They work with a malevolent efficiency that makes the Mafia look like a bunch of 2 bit street thugs.

What’s the end-game?  I really wish I knew.  But considering that all 3 of the characters I mentioned seem to have access to every house in the world, I can safely say that no good will come of it.  For one thing, your house is probably bugged.  Right now.  It’s no coincidence that “He knows when you are sleeping, He knows when you’re awake.”  Just that fact alone is a wee bit creepy if you ask me!

Take my advice:  Don’t put any teeth under your pillow – keep a HOT fire going in your fireplace on Christmas Eve – avoid any eggs of unknown origin.  I don’t know what these guys are up to, but it Ain’t No Good!!

(Name of the Elf who wrote this warning has been withheld for his protection)

Vancouver 2010 Olympics

Vancouver 2010 – supposedly supposed to be the “Greenest Games Ever.”  I suppose that depends on what you mean by green!  The weather definately hasn’t been co-operating with those planning the games, as British Columbia has had a much warmer than average winter thus far.  Snow has been melting, and with no snow in the forecast, truckloads of snow are being brought in with the hopes that the mountains can be covered enough to hold skiing and snowboarding events.  One reefer load of snow isn’t going to cover a whole lot of mountain, so we’re talking hundreds, if not thousands of truckloads of snow. 

I, for one, think nature should be allowed to run its course.  I was looking forward to the new Olympic sports that were going to be born:  Downhill Skiing would become Downhill Swimming, Luge and Skeleton will become foot-first and head-first water slide races (respectively).

Personally, I’m most looking forward to watching the rock-skipping competion where the curling was supposed to take place!!