Welcome

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:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/119633

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


Friday, December 31, 2010

dropping the puck


dropping the puck
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Since coming to Canada in July of 2010, I have attended 300 percent more hockey games than I ever had before in my life. This is how I'm going to remember this wonderful year. A time when hockey became what I do--well, actually, what I watch other people do. I imagine it must be exhausting to skate like your life depended upon it for an hour, with a couple of breaks in between. I went to see these kids play because I was hired to do a photo shoot for a team from the USA. It's all so confusing--when I lived in the Big Apple, I went to one NY Ranger game in my entire career as a man. It was long before anything much was going on--Osama bin Laden was just a little kid with big dreams of killing people, and the Rangers were actually a decent hockey team, they say. The thing I did not enjoy about the game at Madison Square Garden was the beer. Not in the drinking of it, but in the wearing of it whenever the Rangers scored a goal, or whenever the other team made them look like a bunch of schoolgirls in plaid skirts. I don't remember which. But I decided hockey wasn't for me--not in the watching or the playing.
But then I became a wannabe Canuck and I already went to a Sens game, which they lost. The confusing part was who to root for because they played my beloved (Ha) Rangers. Then I saw these great kids, all with guts and determination, grit, and skate savvy work their little hearts out to play the game they all loved and all lost. I am now a sorta Canuck, but I felt that I had to root for the Jaguars from the USA. Both games went to the other teams and it saddened me. In the first game they played well, they really did, but the other team was, how do you say, better. I took about 300 photos of game 1 for posterity and I believe the dad who enlisted my services, likes them. In the second game, the Jaguars were playing better than the other team, but somehow those little maggots from the other team tied the score in the 3rd period at 2 - 2. (I am totally kidding--they were also wonderful kids). So what does the coach of my Jaguars do? He pulls the goalie with abooot 3 minutes to go. Eh. And then what da ya know, eh, the maggots score an open net goal. So what does the coach do, eh? He keeps the goalie pulled. Then there is a humongously loud Honk! Times runs out as I slightly pee myself from the noise of the freaking horn. Game over. Trophies are handed out to the top players on each team, but I am probably more disappointed in the two losses than the kids, who are just glad to see some snow around the holidays. Go figure sportsmanship, eh.
Well, maybe next year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stoned on food


Stoned on food
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Christmas is over and the gifts are given out`; the food is digesting slowly, ever so damned slowly. Why is it that we eat so much on these holidays? Why is food always associated with celebration and fun? Can`t we have fun without all the calories? Here we have Oliver (aka The OMan) stuffing his mouth with some kind of roundish food that he tried to take in all at once. This incredibly cute child could eat himself to sleep, or eat himself hungry, like some drinkers can drink themselves sober. But it was fun.
This was a family Christmas at Jeremy and Kiera`s new house--a house located in such a secret location, even Lucy, my GPS, couldn`t find it, and people who lived in the area, for the most, part had no idea where the road was located. Farmland areas often have roads whose names change all the time, depending on what crop is growing, I suspect. The house was on a street with a rural number thingy code, like New Line Broken Branch Road 7, or something like that. Lucy directed us to a trailor park and let me tell you, those people who lived there had no idea where they were living, much less where that freaking road was located. But praise be to gawd, we found it.
It was wonderful being around people you like and love, and this was one of the best Christmas`s I`ve had since I saw a Christmas miracle as a young man. But that`s a blog for another time.
I hope your Christmas was as nice as mine. I mean even beyond the beer and good food--I mean with the company of the people with whom you spent this joyous holiday. Christ, that sounds corny.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Merry Day


me
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
It`s beginning to look a lot like Christmas--the real Christmas, like the ones you see on TV where there`s snow, and lights, and good spirits among men . . . and women. We`re going to Shabana`s husband`s brother`s new home for Christmas Day. It should be fun as there are supposedly going to be 12 adults and the O Man, better known as Oliver. This kid suffers from chronic cuteness and there`s no cure. He just turned one a short time ago so this will obviously be his first Christmas, if you do the math.
There is snow on the ground, frost in the air, wood on the fire, and a hankering in my loins. I just wanted to say the last part because I knew it would surprise you.
This photo of me was taken by Thasneem. I look as serious a Saudi Arabia`s policy on prostitution, but I`m usually not very serious, and I smile a lot. The only reason I`m not smiling in this shot is because it`s a photo of me, which I take very seriously. So sue me.
But getting back to the Yuletide, we`re all set with gifts and stuff but I really don`t feel like I`m ever really finished. I wish I was really wealthy--I would buy all the poor boys and girls electronic games like Prison Bitch Break and Kill Osama. But I am just a poor boy, though my story`s seldom told, I have squandered everything for a pocket full of mumbles such are promises.
Remember, all lies are jest. Have a great holiday and bless you. . . here`s a tissue

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday?


l'eglese
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Well, it's almost Holiday Time when all the children adorn the holiday tree with holiday balls and lights to make this holiday season something to almost remember, but I forget what. I went holiday shopping today and bought holiday gifts-the kids especially love this time of year because they're the ones who enjoy the holiday magic. I'm most grateful that this season has not offended others of different religious backgrounds who don't want to actually call this holiday anything more than that--a holiday. But it occurs to me that the word 'holiday' comes from the old English term, Holy Day. Well, I don't know who it's holy for anymore, but I can tell you that even Canada is following the new traditions of the USA and have renamed the old holiday (it starts with a "C" for certain people, and an "H" for others who were almost annihilated by a guy in World War 2) but I think it's just better to allow these holiday terms to remain unspoken lest we offend those who come from different parts in the world in the hope and spirit of turning Canada into Mecca.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

woman in black


woman in black
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Why can't people just get along? We judge each other on so many levels--their appearance, political opinions, whether or not they agree with our own views or not, how hot they look, what their religion is or is not, what tv shows they watch, music they listen to, and how kind they are. Some values weigh more heavily on our assessment outcomes, but we always do assess, don't we? For example, does this woman look happy or sad? Hard to know. Maybe she is feeling the pain of a lost love, or the happiness of a moment in her youth when everything was pretty and in technicolor. I don't know the answer to this because when I photographed her in India, I forgot to ask her.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Canadian Flag in Reflection


flag3
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
Only in Canada do you get advertising that also talks about the weather. Let's face it, talking about the weather is about as mundane as you can get in normal conversations, but today we received an ad in the mail for Rogers cable TV where you can get "the hottest shows anytime with Rogers on Demand-free access on Channel 100; up to 170 channels, and Reliability." This is where you can "enjoy your favourite programs even during extreme weather conditions". And I think that's a point well taken because the Canadian weather can be extreme. It has already snowed three times since July and it's still pre-Christmas. In New York, we rarely had a white Christmas. Sometimes we'd get a few flakes in early December, but the flakes were a fluke--it would not snow for a month afterward. But here in Canada snow is like oxygen--they need it to live, and it's everywhere around you all winter long.
I'm going to a hockey game tonight, the first I've been to since I was in my twenties. The Sens are playing the Rangers and guess who I'm rooting for .  .   .
Wrong--I'm rooting for the Sens. I am no longer a New Yorker, although I miss the Big Apple a bit (or should I say "a bite"?), but I never had allegiance to the Rangers. In fact, when I went to that game years ago at Madison Square Garden (which is anything but square), I was surrounded by crazy louts who smoked dope and drank beer, often launching it in the air whenever a Ranger physically abused a member of the opposing team, thus dousing me in suds and making my time at the game quite uncomfortable.
I told Thasneem that I'll be wearing my new Senators sweater and she said "It'll be too cold." I realized she thought the game was played outdoors and I comforted her by explaining the scenario. Imagine how small the crowds would be if the games were actually played outdoors in the dead of winter, when the weather gets really cold--at least it's only going to be around minus 15. No big deal. Eh.

Monday, December 6, 2010

war--what is it good for


thank you
Originally uploaded by Rob Hoey
This photo was taken on Remembrance Day in Canada. It seems that every country has some day set aside to honour the war heroes, alive and dead, who have risked or given it all for the real estate we call home. When I think of a justified war, I think of WW2--the Big One. There have been other seriously deadly wars, no doubt, but this was the war to end all wars. Yes, they`re all big ones to the families who have lost someone in it, or to those who lost a limb or their own life. War, it seems to me, is man`s craziest expression of his innate drives based on his testosterone. Men go to war and years later they make movies about it starring guys who look like they'd freak out if they broke a nail, and the men who served are proud to have been in that war. Well, maybe not so much for Vietnam, the war I served in, but there are a lot of wars that we can brag to our kids about. Like our Desert Storm, our Desert Shield, The Persian Gulf War and let's not forget the Korean Conflict. I like the last one--"Conflict" --a word we used in high school when we made out our class schedules and two classes we applied for were scheduled at the same time so we had to decide which one to attend. Now that's a conflict we can all live with--literally--but a Korean Conflict was not something everyone could live with because lots of dudes died. Well, at least we got M*A*S*H, a funny movie and TV show out of it.
Today we have a war on terror. Oops--I should capitalize that: War On Terror. This is the first war I can recall that actually isn't a war on people, but is a war on a tactic. If we used that premise in The Big One, WW2, The War to End All Wars, we could have called it The War on Messerschmitz or the War on Kaimikazes. Let's face it, we're so clever to call it the War on Terror.  By calling it that, we avoid offending anyone, like the people who are blowing themselves up, or flying planes into buildings to kill us, aren't we?  But we aren't fighting people--we're fighting the way those people are trying to kill us. I recently saw a cartoon (no, not of Muhammad), but of an ostrich with its head hiding in the sand, and there was a desert guy with a sword (I have no idea what his religion must be) cutting the bird's head and legs off. This is the west as I see it. We are ostriches.
Well, it`s getting late and I should end this and go to sleep. I just hope we can kill terror and make the world a safer place.