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, July 15, 2010

Good morning class.Welcome back to Learning to Speak Valley 101. In today's class you'll learn words and phrases that will be vitally important if you are to understand what in the hell that Valley guy or gal is talking about.
This special class is geared towards Valley folks and how they describe a weekend of "celebrating" in a way that includes alcohol.
In other words - today's class will help you to learn just how much "celebrating" someone enjoyed by the way they describe their weekend.
You can learn to tell if it was a tame, wild or (not-so) memorable party.

Here's how you can tell:

Tame Weekend
If someone tells you they:
  • Enjoyed some cocktails
  • Tipped back a few pints
  • Downed a beverage or two
  • Scarfed down a few barley sandwiches
  • Emptied a few brown bottles

Example: "We were at a family barbecue and it was pretty low key - the wife enjoyed a few cocktails and I tipped back a few pints. Then we played euchre with the in-laws. Just sitting with the mother-in-law made me want to empty a few more brown bottles, but I didn't."

VERDICT: Tame weekend (with sympathy to the poor SOB)

Wild Weekend

If someone tells you they were:

  • Hammered
  • Boiled
  • Shnockered
  • Pickled
  • Loaded
  • Three sheets to the wind (if they're in their 50s or older)
  • Lit up
  • Blistered
  • Tanked
  • Ripped to the t*ts
  • Sloshed
  • Inebriated
  • Pie-eyed
  • Bent out of shape
  • Soused
  • Liquored up
  • Well lubricated
  • Smashed
  • Totally stoopid
  • Smashed
  • Mashed
  • Plastered
  • Bombed
  • Buggered up
  • Comatosed
  • Twisted
  • Wrecked
  • Messed up
  • S**t-faced
  • Feelin' no pain
  • Destroyed
  • Hugging the porcelain

Example: "I had a couple of pints and when I started feelin' no pain, out came the shooter menu. An hour later I was well lubricated and decided it was time for the whisky. Next thing you know, I was shnockered and feelin' totally stoopid. By 3 a.m., I was hugging the porcelain and, man, did that cold toilet bowl ever feel nice against my face."

VERDICT: A wild night. No doubt he remembered the beer and the shooter menu coming out. But his spouse won't let him forget the rest of the night, including the bits he left out about stripping down to his shorts and flexing while standing on a barstool. She'll keep reminding him. For a long time. A loooooong time.


It was simply an epic weekend if someone tells you they:

  • Will pay you back every dime you spent on bail
  • Aren't 100% sure, but think they got married
  • Wonder if you could help them read what their new tattoo says
  • Hope you could tell them where they left their pants
  • Are pretty sure they had two eyebrows when the weekend began
  • Really hope you can drive their new friend Kandi Kane (as in: "Gentlemen, put your hands together for the lovely Kandi Kane") home as you seem to have misplaced your car and are reluctant to ask your girlfriend
  • Feel as brain-dead and clueless as a Maple Leafs fan

Example: "Man, what day is it?"

VERDICT: Run to the computer and type your name on YouTube to see what you did last weekend.

(Disclaimer: We are no way endorsing drinking to excess. Trust me, you don't want to end up as brain-dead and clueless as a Maple Leafs fan)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Waging war on the earwig army

Attention all earwigs who regularly read this blog: beware. I am declaring war on you and all of your freakin' relatives.

Yup, you read it here first.

The war has begun for the liberation of Marshall-land.

It's not going to be pretty. In fact, it's going to get ugly. But I will be victorious.

And children will read about this bloody battle in their history books, and look at this as a turning point in world events - the day that man proved he was smarter than insect.

For the past few weeks, an army of earwigs has desceneded on my house. They occupy my dishcloth. They have set up camp near my garbage can. They use my kitchen sink as an exercise area. They have claimed any bag of chips or loaf of bread that sits open on my countertops.

And I am not alone.

After an exhaustive campaign to find out if anyone else in the neighbourhood has been invaded, I realize this earwig blitz is not limited to my place. Actually, I only emailed one person - but in the recent heat, even typing was exhausting. But this person also has earwigs running around his house.

But not for long.

I have had it with earwigs scurrying across my kitchen floor. I need to take it up a level.

I have Googled. I have drawn up a blueprint for war.

What exactly will I do? I'm starting off old school: stomping, squishing and squashing. But I will be relentless.

I have won the battle with ladybugs. I have taken out the flies. Now the earwigs are in my crosshairs.

If you have any other ideas on how to get rid of this little bastards, just let me know.

Forward ... march!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Want some wild weed? Come to the Valley

There's a new strain of weed in the Valley - it can grow more than 20 feet high and the leaves can be up to five feet in width.

Now, before you pack up your VW bus and head for Renfrew County, keep this in mind: this stuff can mess you up.

Giant hogweed has been confirmed in Laurentian Valley Township (near Pembroke and Petawawa) and this is nasty stuff.

If the sap from this bad-boy comes in contact with damp skin (perspiration will suffice) and the skin is exposed to sunlight, severe burns, blistering and painful sores may result. Now that's not good.

It's ugly - it can do damage - and it's tough to get rid of. Not good if you're speaking about your prom date, or a gigantic weed growing in the ditches of the Ottawa Valley.

For a more in-depth peek at this weed, check out this story from the Renfrew Mercury and

These guys go "hog" wild for weed, but not the kind you'll find in the Valley.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Doing anything to stay cool

When you're smack-dab in the middle of a stinkin' hot heat wave, it's not that difficult to spot people who don't have air conditioning.

Hair matted to the forehead, pit stains down to the waist, and subtle comments such as: "holy shart, it's so f**king hot and I don't have a f**ing air conditioner ..." are pretty clear indicators that someone is in need of an A/C fix.

In the Valley this week, the temperatures have hit a stupid 35C during the day, and dropped to an insane 25C at night. And this has been going on for four days - with no relief in sight for another few days.

But alas, this is Canada. It gets cold in the winter. Hot in the summer.

Not having an air conditioner for the summer is like not having a snow shovel for the winter. You can survive without one, but why in the hell would you want to?

But the worst part about sticky weather is trying to get some sleep at night when your house feels like the inside of an oven. You toss. You turn. You contemplate sneaking over to the neighbour's yard and stealing the air conditioner out of his window. You literally feel like you're going insane as your little oscillating fan moves disgustingly hot air around the room.

The only thing that remotely compares is sitting in traffic, window down in your car, and cursing to yourself that you should have bought a car with A/C.

Correct that: it's worse if you're sitting in traffic, wishing you had A/C and watching someone pull up beside you and the windows of the car are covered with frost. You know his A/C has 3 settings: cool, maxium and Arctic. That bastard.

So here are a couple of pics of folks who, despite not buying a vehicle with A/C, have creatively improvised.

The heat makes you do crazy things.

But I admit, they do look kinda cool.