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.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

homeless woman: this photo is blogged

One of the last visits I made to Coney Island was on the day I took this photo. I knew I was coming to Canada in just a few weeks and I didn't want to miss this wild and wacky place. Coney Island, get it while it's hot. See the boardwalk, ride the Ferris Wheel and get ripped off for half your life savings just to go around at an incredibly slow speed just once; eat the cotton candy, ride the Cyclone--the scariest roller coaster known to mankind--not because of the speed nor the height, but because it is likely to literally fall apart while you're on it.

This woman in the photo was standing near the subway exit when Thasneem and I arrived and she was working the tourists for spare change. She seemed to be scoring quite well and her next stop would be on the boardwalk where there would be literally thousands of opportunities to collect for her next purchase of whatever it was she bought to "keep on keepin' on."


I miss the Isle of Coney, named by the Dutch for the fact that it had zillions of rabbits here in days gone by. I was told that coney is close to the word "rabbit" in Dutch, but my Dutch son-in-law's mother said no, that it isn't close. So maybe I need to Bing it and see for myself--aha--I just did and the word for rabbit in Dutch is "konijn." Well, I can see a similarity and perhaps the story is true that Coney Island is really Konijn Eiland. I really love the Bing Translator.


But in any case, Ottawa may not compare with Coney Island in terms of hotdogs and fries, but it has great people, good restaurants, and even a few homeless souls (or more) on George Street and around town.


I just wish I new where to go to get a decent knish.

Shanaba fine art texture

Shanaba fine art texture by Rob Hoey
Shanaba fine art texture, a photo by Rob Hoey on Flickr.
So, I`m home, Shabana is at her house with Frankie and Thasneem. I`m all alone just waiting for a life, a new life, to enter the world. She wants so much to have the baby at home but the labour is late in coming and she was given meds to bring it on sooner, so this may mean she needs to go to the hospital. It`s exciting--I`m going to be a grandpa. My prediction is "girl" but a boy would also be acceptable--we will keep it either way.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ottawa 67s Goalie--this photo is blogged as "Canadian Nightmare"

Ah, the season is over for the Ottawa Senators, the lights are slowly fading, and the team can look back on this year and proudly say to themselves: "We couldn't suck enough." They came in last place but finished with a flourish that could only be described as a sports-tease--giving us hope that perhaps next year, they will suck enough. There were enough injuries on the team to give one pause and ponder the question as to whether or not they should have taken up curling instead of hockey. Let's face it, there's a lot less hitting and far fewer injuries in curling than one faces in the NHL. (For the Sens, NHL stands for "Need Help Ladies?").  The Sens suck so much that I used an Ottawa 67s photo because they're in first place this year.

But who am I to talk? I have no hockey skills. I have so little time in Canada that maybe I should keep my stupid keyboard shut and pretend that coming in dead last is no big deal. Heck, someone has to be last so that being first is just that much sweeter, and being the penultimate team doesn't quite suck as much.

The only good thing that came out of Canadian hockey for me was my learning the National Anthem, which, by the way, I plan to parody.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sens

Sens by Rob Hoey
Sens a photo by Rob Hoey on Flickr.
Ah, the season is over for the Ottawa Senators, the lights are slowly fading, and the team can look back on this year and proudly say to themselves: "We couldn't suck enough." They came in last place but finished with a flourish that could only be described as a sports-tease--giving us hope that perhaps next year, they will suck enough. There were enough injuries on the team to give one pause and ponder the question as to whether or not they should have taken up curling instead of hockey. Let's face it, there's a lot less hitting and far fewer injuries in curling than one faces in the NHL. (For the Sens, NHL stands for "Need Help Ladies?").

But who am I to talk? I have no hockey skills. I have so little time in Canada that maybe I should keep my stupid keyboard shut and pretend that coming in dead last is no big deal. Heck, someone has to be last so that being first is just that much sweeter, and being the penultimate team doesn't quite suck as much.
The only good thing that came out of Canadian hockey for me was my learning the National Anthem, which, by the way, I plan to parody.

Monday, March 21, 2011

snow joke

snow joke by Rob Hoey
snow joke a photo by Rob Hoey on Flickr.
I don't usually post two blogs in one day but it's snowing, and hey, what else is there to do except watch Anderson Cooper tell people to stay safe while he gets punched in the face by angry mobs? So it's the first day of spring, the vernal equinox, when people from all walks of life balance eggs on their ends at a certain time of day when things get weird. The Vernal Equinox marks the day in the Northern Hemisphere when night and day are nearly the same length and the sun crosses over the celestial equator, moving northward. At exactly 7:21 pm last night, an egg would have stood on its end due to the equivalence of the gravitational pull with the moon and the earth, and so on. But here in the great white north of Canada, we can stand eggs on their ends almost through May because the freaking snow will hold it up. Yes, the snow came down today in an army of snowmen and snow women and I think the groundhog is just mankind's way of saying he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about and an animal with a brain the size of a garbanzo bean knows better. No wonder Canada rules with hockey, ice carving, and snow people making. We get so much practice.

say what you really mean

say what you really mean by Rob Hoey
say what you really mean a photo by Rob Hoey on Flickr.
Well, Obama finally made a decision and he is standing behind it. We've gone into Libya and we're on a mission to, um, er, to maybe get rid of Gaddaffi (or however we're supposed to spell his name today), or maybe the mission is to just get him to stop killing civilians and return to power, or maybe not. I don't know what the mission is, but if it's an American mission, you know it's gotta be good for the world, and it's gotta be totally politically correct. We will complete this mission in Libya and then when we do we will, um, er, you know, do what Obama has in store for us. Maybe he'll send Jeremiah Wright to tell the good Libyans what wonderful people Americans are, or maybe he wont. Maybe he will send along Bill Ayers to teach the Libyans how to most effectively govern, and rather than Libya becoming a theocracy, it can learn to become a communist state. Or maybe not. Nobody knows what's in store for Libya because there doesn't seem to be an endgame in mind. Perhaps if the president used his, we'd know where we are going with this. But even though it isn't clear what Obama has in store for Libya, the one thing we do know is that he has finally grown a nutsack.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shirt Swap--this photo is blogged

This is the second time I'm using this photo for a blog entry. I'm using it because it epitomizes why people go to hockey games, and I'm also using it because I'm going to a game in abooot an hour and, like many peaceful Canadian fans, I hope to see more of this kind of action.
That being said, I want to make it perfectly clear (to use a dead president's words) that I do not want to actually see anyone hurt by a fight on the ice. In fact, I'm good to go if there aren't any fights just as long as my guys do some heavy pounding of their guys into the boards and wins the game.
I firmly believe that if we just had more controlled violence on ice, we'd have less violence on each other. Or maybe not.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This photo is blogged

This photo is blogged by Rob Hoey
This photo is blogged a photo by Rob Hoey on Flickr.
You're laying in bed. All you hear is the sound of your spouse asleep, breathing and dreaming next to you; a ticking clock on the wall, and if your hearing is really good, the sound of melted snow in the process of refreezing from the cold night air. You ask yourself philosophical questions like: "if a clock ticks in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does time stop?" Or: "did Tim Horton ever sleep?"
Yes, you realize it was that late night cup of coffee that is causing those neurons to fire like a Donald Trumpathon on steroids. And you lay there and the clock's ticking seems to get louder and all kinds of new thoughts enter your mind like: "when the hell am I going to get around to hanging that freaking light in the dining area?" Or: "if god exists, why did he make bedbugs and maggots?" Or: "what if they never give me permanent residency in Canada?"
Then I try to relax and take a few deep breaths, which is a little like white noise but it still doesn't drown out the ticking of the clock and the refreezing of the melted snow.
Did you know that the number 8 is the brightest digit on a digital clock?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fighting: this photo is blogged

The Orthodox Islamic Hockey League

Imagine if Orthodox Muslims had their own hockey league. “Playing forward for the Montreal Minarets, number 1, Muhammad Mustafa. In goal, number 4, Mohammad Rahman, and leading the team in scoring, number 6, Muhamed Ibrahim. And the Captain of the Minarets, number 3, Mohammad Akhbar. Let’s hear it for them, gentlemen; a big round of applause.

 
“Their opponents tonight, the Ottawa 72s with Muhammad Jihad, number 1 in goal; Mohmahd Pez number 8 in the forward position, Mohamad Kumar, number 18 defense, and starting for the first time in the Islamic Hockey League, Mohammid Azizz, number 9 on the left wing. 


“As you know, most of the players don`t know how to skate, but that should only make the game more fun. Cheerleaders for tonight`s game are the fabulous Burqa Babes from Saudi Arabia and they will be performing “I Can`t Dance, I Can`t Sing, I Can`t Drive a Damned Thing.” Their incredibly hot performance is brought to you by the makers of that fine perfume, “Beneath the Burqa.” Yes, Beneath the Burqa, made from the warmth of the liquid of a camel`s bladder, with that fresh Bedouin scent that tells him you`re going to cook for him tonight. Yes, Beneath the Burqa--wear it and be beaten anyway.


“We have a very special guest with us tonight, my fellow jihadists; Muhammad Abdullah, from the Baltimore Beheaders. In last night`s performance, he nearly lived up to the team's name and almost took a defenseman`s head off with his drive to the goal. Hah, hah. How are you feeling tonight, Muhammad?”


“I`m feeling just great, Mo.”


“Fantastic. Let me ask you, what was going through your mind during that charge to the net? There was a kind of ferocity in your eyes, I felt."


"Yes, there was, Mo. I guess you could credit the way I psych myself up before a game—I use visualization techniques. I try to see myself on an Arabian stallion, riding across a desert attacking Jews and Christians, but especially Jews, if you know what I mean."


“Interesting concept—does it work?”


“You saw what I did to their defenseman; it worked great. Best part was that I didn`t feel even a twinge of guilt—I never do. I understand, however, that they were able to sew him up after the game so that his head didn`t wobble side to side when they buried him. They do great work, those undertakers.”

“Well, there you have it. The great Muhammad Abdullah from the Baltimore Beheaders. Good luck tomorrow night against the Park 51 Nine Elevens.”


“Thanks Mo.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

Don`t mess with these kids

Don`t mess with these kids by Rob Hoey
Don`t mess with these kids a photo by Rob Hoey on Flickr.
In New York, where I used to live, they would use milk jugs as planters, and maybe an occasional beer can as an ashtray. But in Canada, it's the hockey stick that is used for things you'd think hockey sticks were not made to be used for. Take automotive repair--hockey sticks can be used to hold open the hood of the car, substitute for a chock for the tire (in Canada, they misspell it 'tyre,' which I know is misspelled because my Spell-Check tells me so), to keep the car from rolling when you jack it up using another hockey stick for the jack handle. But in the photo here of the "Tim Bits" or hockey kids who are sponsored by Tim Horton's Coffee, they use the hockey sticks as canes--to keep from falling as they skate. Now don't get me wrong, these kids probably skate better than me by a long shot, but in the game of hockey, where your opponents are trying to knock you onto your butt, the stick helps to keep your balance. And if you're just learning to skate, the stick is like a ski pole for a beginner and keeps you from falling. Next year I plan to buy a pair of used skates for the Rideau Canal and will most likely buy a hockey stick to pretend I'm practicing, when all along I'm just trying to stay alive, stayin' alive.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

my gym: this photo is blogged

Ahh, Brooklyn. Land of "fageddabowdit" and "are you tawkin' ta me?" Land of the definitive style of Americana and patriotism. Brooklyn is where you will find Coney Island, named by the Dutch for the multitude of rabbits that inhabited that spot of land near the Atlantic Ocean where the waves gently washed ashore used condoms from our friends in New Jersey. Ahh, Brooklyn, land of where I was born. Home of the free and the not so free lifestyles of those who went on to greater things--Barbara Streisand, Bobby Fisher, Tiny Tim, and me.
This photo is my gym that I belonged to as a Brooklynite, wanting a body that could only be hurt by kryptonite. But this gym is owned by a suckworthy guy who makes his living off of the innocent. No more will I beat a dead horse or say about the gym and how I was screwed, except that moving to Canada has given me enough time and distance to look at the matter with emotional distance and maturity. That f**k**g guy deserves to rot.
But enough about him and why he reminds me of pond scum. Let's instead reminisce with a walk down Memory Alleyway.
I moved to the neighborhood where this gym is located when I was 8 years old and the gym was actually a carpet factory. Across the street were clay tennis courts where I got all my balls, you should pardon the expression. To the right of the gym were trees on the outside of the fence separating the tennis courts from we "normal" non-tennis-playing-no-faggots-here Brooklynites, and in those trees I spent one afternoon refusing to go to school. I played "the hook" or hookey, as we say, (in India, it's called "bunking class"). Playing the hook was not a regular habit of mine, I was generally an obedient servant of my parents--garbage boy, paper-getter (we didn't have a dog), and generally nice kid. But just this once I played the hook because I hated my teacher so much, that I felt my failure to go to class was her failure to get me to go.
Of course, the rest, as they say, is history--"his story" that is, and I'd like to believe that growing up in Brooklyn was a phenomenal learning experience.
Moving to Canada, on the other hand, is a phenomenal hockey experience for which I am now a fan and will be until the day I'm pushing up snowballs. 'Nuff said.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,
I haven't thought about you in a long time. When I came home that day from the Marine Corps, after that shocking phone call, I believed that you would be in my thoughts daily, for the rest of my life, but time has a way of having us get on with our lives and we forget those who meant so much to us. I'm sorry, Dad.
I just got out of the shower and after shaving, I put on an aftershave that was given to me by Mom after Joe died--it was his, but he never got to use it. I know he was your friend and once you were gone, he was Mom's companion and a friend to me, but he was not like the father you were--nobody could be. But Joe also died--he's buried with his sister in Pine Lawn--and I still have that bottle of Sierra, which I rarely use, but I put it on. But instead of thinking of Joe, I thought of you.

I miss you a lot.  I miss the drives we shared when you came to pick me up from our summers "in the country."  We drove back to the city because you had to take care of the apartment and you wanted me to come along for the ride.  I remember the coffee and crumb buns we had together, and even though I was only around six or seven, you taught me to drink coffee like a man, and you taught me about respect because you respected me. My most vivid memory of us  in the car was when we drove along the Belt Parkway on a windy day and I said jokingly, "Look at the lumpy water," and you laughed so hard at my joke that I burst with pride inside. And I will never forget the time upstate, when we drove around the grounds of the summer cabins and the passenger door flew open (because I probably played with it) and the look of panic on your face as you shouted, "Just hang on--I'll stop the car slowly."  And I did hang on for my life, and you did stop the car.

You were my hero. 

I joined the Marines to make you proud of me and I remember how proud you were at my graduation.  My platoon did "Dress Right" and there you were, taking a million photos of me marching along. Mom was there too, but I remember you best.

I was destroyed inside when I got that phone call in Jacksonville that you died suddenly.  No warning. I was in a fog, dazed and miserable, and I spent the entire night at the airport until I finally got a flight home.

Well, the good news is that I'm getting old and I suspect it will not be very long before I will be in the same place as you.  (People have no understanding of how life is so short.) The bad news is that I suspect as well that this place is simply a place we call "eternity" and it simply means that I, like you, will just be part of the universe that we were always united with--forever. That's where you are, that's where Mom is, and Ellen, and Joe, and Crazy Jean, (she was the first death I remember in my childhood, but I don't remember her at all), and everyone who came before us.  Everyone. Isn't that amazing just by itself?

I can't believe how long it is since I saw you last. You don't even know Thasneem or Shabana. You would be blown away with how much the world has changed, for better and for worse, and that I am living in Canada. Can you imagine that--Canada.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could actually read this? Better still, wouldn't it be great if I could see you again? Imagine that--I'm older than you lived to be.

I love you, Dad.
Rob

Sunday, March 6, 2011

UNW's Hillel Neuer Asks U.N. Rights Chief: "Why Were You Silent on Qadda...

There is a frightening avoidance of issues going on in this world and it is something that we need to attend to--for the sake of our children and theirs. The world is changing and it's going to take the abolition of political correctness to be prepared for what is to come. I hope you agree with me--it's even bigger than hockey.