Welcome to my blog. Here you will find information that is both interesting and useless. You can even see how Steve, my camera, sees the world through my eyes, or get your hands on my latest novel, Jihad Joe at:


Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the coffee and cake. Sorry we ran out of donuts.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh Ottawa

Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
We've been working on trying to start a catering business. There are two stores that have used Thas's cooking and it seems to be selling well. We've made enough money to buy enough gasoline to drive to these two stores to drop off the food. Soon we'll be rich. We plan to move into a four bedroom home and convert the fourth bedroom into a kitchen with stainless steel six to eight burner stoves, Sub Zero fridge, and the works. Maybe we will even get a swimming pool that we can convert into an ice skating rink when September rolls around. We can rent it out to a semi-pro hockey team. Shoot dat puck; score dat goal.
Yes, Ottawa is as cold as a well-diggers anus in February. But we love it. The photo you see is of the magic castle somewhere in downtown, near the theater district that only shows hockey films. (Just kidding). The town is honestly quite beautiful. The architecture is interesting and the town even has its own Unknown Soldier, but I hear that there's a group of guys, ya know, in the local pub, eh, and they think they know who the guy is.
So I promised you that the Immigrant Manual will have a section on Shopping and it will follow--just you wait and see, eh.

Monday, July 26, 2010

houses along Linda ThomHDR

houses along Linda ThomHDR
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Today was the first day we were able to actually relax and do Sunday stuff. So we shopped and I returned a refill for a new pen that our neighbor bought for me as a parting gift (sounds like a game show, doesn't it?). The previous refill got ruined because I had left it in my jeans pocket and Thas put it through the clothes dryer, which caused it to rupture and bleed blue ink blood all over the place. But the new refill is the correct size--I finally had the foresight to bring it along with me to Staples, rather than guess the length. I really like this new pen--it's short enough to fit in my shirt pocket without bottoming out, and I like the way it feels in my hand when I'm writing. Thus far, the only thing I've written with it are shopping lists and some phone numbers and addresses of places to shop. Lately that's what my life has become--one enormous shopping venture. (Notice I didn't say 'adventure.')
But today we took our cameras and went into town along some river or tributary alongside Linda Thom Park. I don't know who Linda Thom was or is, but she has a really nice park named after her and the photo above is an HDR to show a bit of what it looks like. Luckily there was a Tim Horton's nearby (I understand there are several in Canada) and I was able to evacuate some bodily fluids and enjoy the morning after a cup of Tim's Joe. The rest of the day was spent dealing with the myriad photos and Photmatix/Photoshop and editing them.
Now it's 2:30 a.m., Thas is asleep, and I'm ready to follow.
Goodnight Canada.
Goodnight Johnboy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Canadian Manual for Immigrants

Moving is never easy and moving to another country is as difficult as juggling nitroglycerin in a mine field on a unicycle in the snow. Forget the unloading of the truck that broke your mother's antique Russian picture painted on glass. Forget the scratches on your furniture and the missing items that the illegal immigrant Mexicans you hired off the street to help load the truck, stole from you. Forget the schlepping of all your worldly possessions up three flights of stairs because you live in a multi-level condo that is cool in concept but rough on legs. No. The hard part of moving to another country (say Canada), is knowing how to throw out your garbage properly so that the garbologists who pick it up will not be offended by the genus of trash you should be recycling next week, instead of today. You see, in Ottawa, garbage is picked up only once a week and they alternate the week regarding which variety of garbage is considered the trash du jour. One week it might be cardboard; the following week it might be plastic. I say "might be" because then again, it might not--they never tell you. So I think a manual for immigrants is an excellent way for us "ferners" to learn all the intricate systems that exists beyond our knowledge.

1. The green pail is for household garbage, but not if you put it in the can in plastic bags because they don't take plastic from the kitchen garbage cans . . . but you must line these cans with plastic liners or you'll be out of garbage compliance, which means you get to keep it for another week.

2. Gift wrap your cardboard. Use a somewhat weak twine that, when put to the tensile test, it fails miserably and you must re wrap it again. For some reason the second wrapping generally works better, without suffering twine breakage. Twine scientists must have designed it this way to encourage excessive usage of this crap in order for twine merchants to send their kids to college.

3. Under no circumstances must you try to discard Styrofoam. Live with it. First of all, if you try to break it up into smaller pieces to fit the plastic bag, it will form into peanut size plastic snow-like pellets that will stick to your skin due to static electric conductance and will cause you to shake, rattle, and roll to get it off. But it will only come off when it's ready. Secondly, they don't take it on their garbage trucks, perhaps for the first reason mentioned.

4. If you are still sporting the same garbage after living in Canada for several weeks, put said waste in your personal vehicle and drive ten miles to the management company who a) did not inform you of the mailbox key procedures when you moved in; b) still did not inform you of the mailbox procedures after you called and left a message on their answering machine; and c) when you went there to inquire about the mailbox key in person (having driven ten miles again), were told that the key was with them until yesterday but now at the Quickies over on McCarthy Street; and dump said garbage in their personal dumpster on a Saturday when they are off from work and buying freaking hockey sticks and pads for their toddlers, eh.

Next session will deal with money and shopping.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Oh Canada

We are in Canada. They gave me a bit of a hard time at the border but nevertheless, they let me in and now they've got to find me to kick me out. But seriously, it's weird being an immigrant. (Is that the same as being an emigrant?) I have six months to apply for permanent residency or else. We'll be doing that in a few days--Thas is going to be my sponsor--I sponsored her for the USA and she for me in Canada.
Even my car cannot be registered with Canadian plates until I have my papers in order--sounds kind of Nazi-ish, if you ask me.
Except for the asshole driver for Ikea who was supposed to deliver our new office furniture yesterday between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. but never arrived until 9:45 after we returned to Shabana's house, then called us in a huff asking me where was I and why didn't I answer the doorbell when he rang it, the people in Canada are very nice. The supermarket aisles can accomodate large shopping carts and large people without a problem. The drivers are generally quite courteous. The signs are in English and French, and there are trees and grass without the garbage as trimming.
More to follow.