Here we'll focus on life in the Ottawa Valley - and we'll do it with a sense of humour.
Valley folk are proud of where they call home. They work hard, play hard, love their weekends and their toys.
AND they love to laugh. Even at themselves.
Enjoy this little slice of Valley life. through the eyes of a true Valley boy.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

This just made me laugh. That is all.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are you Ottawa Valley material?

A friend of mine told me the other day he was considering moving to the Ottawa Valley and becoming a "Valley lad" in the process.
He's not a Valley lad. He's a city boy. There's a difference.
He's trying to convert, but he has no idea what that entails.
So he inspired me to put together this quiz sheet to give folks a flavour for the skill set it takes to be considered a Valley person.
Take the quiz and see if you are Ottawa Valley material.
You may be surprised - and you may need to turn in your membership card.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

City folk be warned

Sometimes fewer words are better, so we'll let this sign speak for itself.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bacon. A love story.

There are few things in this messed-up world that you can count on to make things better.
Actually, we can narrow that list to one: bacon.
Yup. Bacon makes everything better.
Me: "I'll have a cheeseburger."
Waitress: "Would you like bacon on that, sir?"
See what I mean? Say it. Bacon cheeseburger. Ohhh man.
Another example:
My better half: "My mother is coming for a visit."
Me: "Dammit!"
My better half: "She's bringing bacon."
Me: "When do I pick her up?"
Bacon even makes mother-in-laws tolerable.

But the world is actually going hog-wild for bacon. There are very few places you can go today without finding something bacon related.
After a quick online search, it's easy to see that bacon ain't just for breakfast anymore.
In fact - if you play your cards right and follow the pics below, you can woo a bacon-lovin' woman and be makin' your own bacon with her in no time.
Good luck!

You can't go out with your breath smelling like spearmint if you hope to find a mate.
And we all know flossing is more important than brushing.
Just in case brushing and flossing aren't enough.

Still with hygiene. Make sure to scrub behind your ears. Women hate smelly ears.

Just in case you cut yourself shaving.

And throw this in your pocket just in case you get a little action.

Can't just smell good, you need to look good too. Accessories. Women notice these.

And every person who knows fashion knows belt matches wallet.

And ideally, watch matches belt and wallet. Don't tell me you didn't  know that.

And belt, watch and wallet must match shoes.

Ideally, your socks match your shoes.

And never show up for a date empty handed.

Bacon flowers alone don't cut it. Women love chocolate too.
Better consider some candles in case she comes back to your place. Always set the mood.

Keep some of this in the bathroom. Just in case you need to freshen things up.

If you and your date decide to stay in, you can make burgers with bacon in a bottle.

Or perhaps she'd just like a delicious bacon sandwich.

Don't forget the Baconnaise. Hell no. Make sure you put the Baconnaise on the table.

And the salt. Can't have a bacon sandwich without extra bacon salt.

And don't forget the beverages. No calories in Diet Coke. Calorie-free bacon. Mmmmm.

Or maybe she wants something that packs more of a wallop. A bacon-flavoured wallop.

If she drinks enough bacon vodka, she'll be Footloose enough to start picturing you as a piece of Bacon.

Chicka chicka bow bow. No need to say anything else, dim the lights and get busy.

Too much bacon vodka. You should have wrapped your little pork sausage in bacon.

Now look what you're buying at the grocery store, Romeo.

Next thing you know, your grandkids are in school and posing for Picture Day. Time flies. But you still have bacon.



Sunday, September 9, 2012

WTF is that? Put a bend in that ball cap brim.

If I managed a business, I'd have this sign over the entrance.
As folks from the Valley grow older, one thing becomes clear - they don't mess around when it comes to getting to the point.
So now that I'm closer to 50 than I am to 30, I won't waste your time stickhandling around the issue.
In all my bluntness of rapidly approaching middle age, here it is:
I don't care if you're a rapper from the West Coast, a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, a Bieber or some kid hanging out at the Bayshore mall trying to disguise the fact you're a candyass.
You simply don't wear a ball cap with a flat peak.
And for the love of all that is holy, don't even get me started about wearing a flat-peaked cap that it turned on an angle. Add a price sticker on the brim and I almost blow a blood vessel in my eye.
This little tirade was triggered by a kid I passed on the street corner the other day. The crack of his arse was hanging out of his pants and he was sporting a ball cap twisted to the side with a peak that was "flatter than piss on a plate" - as the old Valley guys would tell you.
What was more disgusting - seeing his arse or the ball cap? Both were equally revolting.
I just cringed and worked the perfect crease in my ball cap a little bit more. But what I quietly wanted to do was kick him so hard in the arse that his belt line would land somewhere around his waist and his cap peak would bend to the shape of the top of my boot.
I was young once too - but my fashion faux pas in the 80s was stone-washed jeans, skinny leather ties, Cougar boots with the red lining, untied high-top white sneakers with the tongues hanging out and shorts in the style of Jack Tripper. But never, ever, ever did I desecrate the ball cap.
So as a Valley guy who is sporting a few more gray whiskers than I used to, I'm arriving at a point where I don't have time to waste keeping my opinions to myself.
In fact, I feel so strongly about the ball cap brim issue, that I need to point out that some of the best athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London were sporting ball caps with perfectly bent peaks. I've included a photo for proof. As you can see, the beach volleyball player on the other side of the net has a perfect bend in her cap.
As I said at the beginning, no sense wasting time. Just get to the point and let the world know what's on your mind.

Note the perfectly bent peak in the volleyball player's cap.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

50 cents? I call BS!

Valley folks have many admirable qualities - loyalty, devotion, reliability, perseverance, trustworthiness, and dependability among them. However, one trait stands above the rest - no tolerance for bullshit.
We're proud of our internal BS detectors. We can weed out the BSers around us. And when we feel we've been wronged, we have no problem tellin' it like it is.
And it doesn't have to be something done to us personally - we will join a cause if we feel something isn't fair or just. And timelines mean nothing.
You can talk to a farmer at the hardware store tomorrow, and you'll mention the hockey playoffs between Arnprior and Renfrew. And trust me, he'll have no problem letting you know where he stands. "That call in the 1981 semifinals was NOT penalty. The Renfrew guy took a dive. That ref, what a sumovabitch."
So, to recap: We Valley folks can pinpoint BS and we'll tell you about it, whether you want to hear it or not. Even years after it happened.
Why the detailed explanation?
To prove to you that it's in the genes. The following rant is not the ramblings of a drunken blogger. (Sidenote: Valley folks also have a high tolerance for alcohol - so the four shots of Crown Royal I had with breakfast are having no impact whatsoever on the following rant)

My rage stems froms something that apparently happened almost five years ago. But I just found out yesterday. And it's my blog. So buckle up.
Am I the only person in the free world who didn't realize that it costs 50 cents to make a local phone call at a phone booth? OK, let's back track a sec - am I the only person who has actually USED a pay phone in the last five years?
I was in Ottawa. My cell phone was at home. Needed to make a call. Let's just say it's easier to find an honest politician in our nation's capital than it is to find a phone booth.
Eventually I found one. The phone. Not the politician.
Bathed the receiver in hand sanitzer. Dropped a quarter in the slot and dialed the number. On the other end was a computerized voice asking for another 25 cents. Now this was a local call, not me calling 1-976-HOT-MAMA (which is $6.99/minute by the way, and they do accept most major credit cards).
Fifty-frickin-cents for a phone call? WTF?
Adding to my rage? Who carries that kind of cash in today's world of Interac?
So I didn't even have the other 25 cents. But, alas, a life saver. You could use your credit card. Pop it in the slot. The fun part? The call then jumps to a dollar. Holy buck!
Has the world gone mad?
When I was a kid, pay phones had three coin slots - a nickel, a dime and a quarter. A nickel for a local call, the dime slot simply ate your coin, and you popped in a quarter if you were making a prank call to someone in Ireland.
And the real joy was checking the coin-return slot.
But yesterday was without joy. After rummaging through the ashtray in my car and finding a nickel in the sewer, I scrounged together another 25 cents - so, like an idiot, I caved in and paid the 50 cents. And the person wasn't even at their desk. Got the answering machine and lost my money.
Tried the coin slot and found a chewed piece of gum. And it smelled like watermelon. And I hate watermelon. Whatever happened to Juicy Fruit? This further proves the world has gone made.
So all told, the call cost me 50 cents. I spent about two bucks on hand sanitizer to bathe the receiver and wash up after touching the gum. Kick in about $14 in gas driving around Ottawa looking for a pay phone. And you can't put a price on rage. Oh, the rage.
And a quick Google shows that the phone conpanies jumped the price to 50 cents in June of 2007. But, as noted at the top of this posting, there is no statute of limitations to Valley venting.
And a further peek at the Google find shows that prior to 2007, the last time the price jumped at pay phones was 1981.
Ahhh, 1981. The year that Renfrew player took a dive. That ref. What a sumuvabitch.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There's snow way we'd get a day off

I flip on the computer at 5:30 this morning, and what do I see? Well, honestly, a scantily clad Jennifer Aniston.
What I find 20 minutes later is a flurry of activity about school buses being cancelled.
Buses were cancelled and a single snowflake had yet to hit the ground. Pre-emptive cancellations. A threat of a snowstorm. In the afternoon.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm all about safety. After all, a school bus full of kids could hit a snow drift and topple over. That concerns me - I could scald myself with my cafe mocha should I need to swerve to avoid injured children on the road.
But at some point over the past 25 years, the people making the call on the what constitutes a "snow day" have become wimpified. Candyassified, if you will.
Like every Valley person of my generation, snow days were few and far between. The school board members were tough as nails. Parents equally hard-assed. And the bus drivers - hardcore every step of the way. And they all worked together to get us kids to school each and every day.
When it was snowing, every kid in the neighbourhood would have an ear glued to the radio in the morning. Would today be the day the buses weren't running? Hell, no. It never happened.
We were bundled up in our snowsuits and Cougar boots (yes, the tan-coloured ones with the red velvety lining) and handed a shovel so we could tunnel our way out the front door and down the driveway. If you think that was cruel, we were also handed a lunch bag with a mock chicken loaf sandwich. I told you the Valley parents were hard-assed.
Snow banks would be to the top of the hydro poles, polar bears would be roaming the neighbourhood and we would hold a glimmer of hope we'd be given the day off. Then you'd hear the heart-breaking roar of the school bus. Nothing would stop that guy. Fueled by 11 gallons of coffee and four pounds of mock chicken, he resembled Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Only he wasn't sporting an axe, but, rather, he was behind the wheel of a souped-up monster truck school bus.
Arriving late was not an option - and we were expected to do our part to make it happen. If we did slip off the road, he'd recruit kids to help him get the bus back on the road. Not the older kids. Or the stronger kids. But the kids wearing corduroy, because if thrown under the rear tire, they provided the best traction.
I told you, we now live in a society of wimps.
Yes, folks, it will snow. We live in the Ottawa Valley - grab your toque, your shovel, your corduroy pants, your mock chicken and get those kids to the bus stop.