The Woody Project Blog

July 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 9:45 am

Me and Chase, 2.5 Months


January 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 8:02 pm

Old Shoes

I believe that life is about the little things. Mostly. There are some big things that are pretty nifty, but they lose their lustre and are not easily repeated. The little things can be repeated over and over with little or no effort, thus providing readily obtainable happiness. The smart person will invest in the little things and become a smart, happy person.

One of my favourite little things is new shoes. Anyone who’s ever been with me when I get a new pair of shoes can attest that I have a “New Shoes Dance”. Getting a new pair of shoes is like getting a new pair of feet. You feel like a whole new person, like you could walk for days on end and never tire of it. New shoes open up a world of possibility.

Another one of my favourite little things is a new pair of socks. Fresh out of the package, not even washed, new socks. They’re so soft and cushiony. When I walk around in a new pair of socks I get the same feeling I get with a fresh snowfall – everything is covered in a soft white blanket and the world is perfect. And new socks are easily repeated. If you go to Walmart you can buy 6 pairs for $5. That’s a new pair of socks every day for almost a week, for only $5. Does life get any better?

And that brings me to the point of this gibberish. Old shoes. You know what I mean. Every now and again you’ll be digging in the closet for something and you’ll come out with an old pair of shoes. A pair that you’d completely forgotten about. The first thing that goes through your mind is the memory of the day you bought them. You remember the feeling of wearing a pair of new shoes (see discussion above). And then you put them on and you experience it… the feeling that you have never had, and will never have a pair of shoes this comfortable again. But it happens again, and again when you least expect it. Part of the feeling is physical: stepping into a pair of shoes that have been moulded to the shape of you feet over time but there this another part, something intangible and almost magical. The best little things are the unexpected little things.

There’s also a bonus: as you get older you acquire more pairs of shoes to forget about and rediscover, making more frequent happy little things. And when you get really old and your memory goes it happens every day.

If I go back and read this post, I realize I may have a foot fetish. Hmmm, interesting.

November 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 7:04 pm

Blue Cars & Man-Boobs

Does anyone else know what the Blue Car Effect is? No? Maybe it’s just in my head.

The Blue Car Effect happens when you become newly aware of something, usually because you just bought it. I’ll illustrate: In the past you have been driving a grey car. One day you buy a new, blue car. From then on you start to notice every blue car around. You didn’t remember seeing so may blue cars before but now that’s all you see. That’s the Blue Car Effect.

Of course, it’s not exclusive to blue cars, or black cars, or 2002 Mazda 626s, or even cars for that matter. It could be anything. It could be a certain kind of shoe. Like Crocs. One day you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, oblivious to the fact that there are such things as “garden clogs”. Then you happen to see some idiot wearing a suit and flourescent green Crocs. And then, all of a sudden, everywhere you look there are people wearing the most retarded looking footwear ever invented. And then you start to wonder “Did the world just recently go insane? Or did it happen a long time ago and I’m just noticing now?” That is another example of the Blue Car Effect.

And again, it’s not limited to things. It caLinkn be an intangible. It can be an idea, a thought, or a technique. It could even be a word…

Like gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the medical term for man-boobs. I have been haunted by the word gynecomastia recently.

1) A recent episode of CSI featured a young man who suffered from gynecomastia. “Hmmm, interesting.” I thought.

2) The very next morning I heard a documentary on the radio about gynecomastia. What a creepy way to start the day. “Hmmm, not again…” I thought.

3) Two days later I was flipping through the local paper when I spotted the Dr. Peter Gott medical column talking about gynecomastia. “Aaahhhh, the Man-Boob Effect!”

I now know everything I ever wanted to know about the condition, and some things I didn’t. For example, lavender and tea tree oil have been know to cause gynecomastia in young boys. Also, gynecomastia occurs in a significant percentage of elderly men. Great. Just great. Now along with all the usual things to worry about in life there’s a chance that I’m going to grow boobs when I get older. It’s not that I’m particularly worried about growing boobs, it’s just that I’ll probably be too old to enjoy them!

October 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 6:04 pm

Who’s Coming to Dinner?

I have an interesting question: If you were throwing a dinner party and you could invite anyone at all, who would you have?

Our dining room table has eight chairs so that leaves six free for guests. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and here’s my first draft of who and why :

1) Shelagh Rogers – I’ve listened to her on the radio for 15 years and have always wanted to meet her. An interviewer would be an excellent conversationalist.

2) Clint Eastwood – He’s been an actor, a director, and the mayor of his hometown. The man is well rounded and I think he would be interesting to talk to. Also, every dinner party needs a movie star.

3) Mr. Graham – He was my high school math teacher. Mr. Graham was one of those teachers that made you look forward to going to class and he’s a large part of why I ended up in Math at Waterloo.

4) Lauren Graham – She would ensure that there would be no awkward moments of silence because she talks constantly. And, she’s a good poker player so if dinner eventually turned into a poker party we’d be all set.

5) Mike Rowe – The man has had more jobs than almost anyone on the planet, plus he’s just plain funny.

6) Jean Chr├ętien – Because every dinner party needs a crazy old french guy!

I’d be interested to know who you would invite to supper. Please leave a comment.

In a future instalment I’ll list the dead people I would invite to supper.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 5:30 pm

The Cat Came Back

I think I have a cat. Or rather I think a cat has me. I’ll try to be clearer.

Three times in the last two months I have come home to find a freshly dead bird on my front step. The first time (robin) I didn’t think too much of it, the second time (another robin) I thought something might be up, and now after the third time (a woodpecker) I’m fairly sure there’s a neighbourhood cat leaving me presents.

Lets go back in time a little bit. Last year about this time when I would come home from the theatre there was a grey cat named Dante (I know this because he has a name tag on his collar) hanging around my side door. A couple of times he followed me into the house and I had to toss him back out. I’ve seen him around a couple times lately so I can only assume it’s him trying to win my favour with these presents.

I’m not really a cat person so I think I’ll just ignore him for a while longer and see if he finds someone else to try to move in with.

I’ll keep you posted.

August 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 6:29 pm
The Sprained Ankle

It doesn’t look bad but it sure hurt a lot. On the long-weekend in August, Snuffy, Keri, Christina and I went for a “hike” in Algonquin Park to High Falls. On the way back I jumped and landed on a root and twisted my right ankle.

I walked on it just fine for the hour hike back to the car but by the time we got home I couldn’t put any weight on it. A four hour visit to the hospital confirmed that it was “just a bad sprain”.

It’s now three weeks later and it doesn’t ache at all. Cripple no more!

June 28, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 9:44 am

I Got Pooped On

…literally. This little guy did it.

March 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 5:31 pm

My Neighbours Hate Me!

Wanna hear a story?

My neighbours hate me. That’s how the story ends. Now lets go back to the beginning.

As I am known to do, I was driving down to Rochester to visit Christina for the weekend. The drive was very nice. The only part of winter we had received to this point was the cold, no snow to speak of. Consequently, the roads were clear and dry.

As I turned onto the Interstate the weather report came on the radio: “Snowstorms of epic proportions”. I chuckled a little bit at the description, made a mental note to watch the weather on my way back on Sunday, and then promptly forgot about it.

You couldn’t have asked for a nicer Sunday for a drive home. The roads were clear, the sun was out, and I had a full tank of gasssss!. I briefly thought about the “epic snowstorms” that had been forecast and then laughed a little.

That was my first mistake. This is where it all started.

As I was coming into Watertown the wind started to pick up. Then small wisps of snow began to blow across the road. Then, less than a kilometer after the wisps started, I was at a dead-stop behind a transport, in complete white-out conditions, with three foot snow banks less than a foot from either side of my car.

Literally.

I’m not exaggerating.

I was parked for about an hour, and then slowly the transport in front of me began to creep forward. I stayed less than ten feet behind him and most of time I could barely make out his taillights. The transport was plowing the way and without his tracks to follow in I never would have made it through. Every so often the whiteout would let up enough for me to look around and all I could see were cars, transports, police cars, and tow trucks in the ditch, most of them on their side or nose down. I would estimate that I saw about one hundred vehicles stranded this way.

And then it was gone. About ten kilometers after I had first stopped, the storm was gone. Imagine driving through a curtain… one moment you are in a snowstorm of epic proportions and the next minute the sun is out and the roads are clear.

Literally.

I’m not exaggerating.

It was one of those experiences, that after it’s over you can’t help but wonder if it actually happened or if it was just a vivid day-dream. I learned later that the snow was falling at the rate of nine inches an hour! Within the space of a week, that area received 96 inches of snow. That’s eight feet!

And that’s why my neighbours hate me.

Nope, just kidding. This is only the beginning.

I drove the rest of the way home very quickly. By the time I got home I was physically and mentally exhausted from the experience. My cold was bothering me, it was late, and all I wanted to do was sleep.

I took a shot of NyQuil and then a swig of Dimetapp just to make sure. This was my second mistake.

You know how when you come out of sleep slowly, the real world and the dream world sometimes blend? That is what happened to me. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning I became aware of a buzzing. It was faint and I didn’t know what it was. I laid there and listened to it for a long time. Eventually I became lucid enough to open one eye and check the clock: 5 a.m.

I’ll try to reproduce my thought pattern as accurately as I can:

“I wonder what that noise is?”

“Is it my alarm?”

“Maybe I set the clock wrong and somehow the volume got turned way down”
“That’s what it could be.”

“I should check the alarm clock”

“Maybe not, the noise isn’t loud enough to really bother me.”

“Maybe I’ll just lay here and let it buzz.”

“No, I should probably check, that way I won’t accidentally sleep in.”

“I want a cookie.”

“Nope, it’s not the alarm clock.”

“I’m going to take a little snooze.”

…zzz…zzz…zzz…

“Hey, that noise is still there.”

“Maybe it’s the CO detector I put in my bedroom last week.”

“Maybe I’m being poisoned by CO.”

“I’m sleepy.”

…zzz…zzz…zzz…

“Wait a minute… CO makes you sleepy… maybe I should check the CO detector.”

“Let’s just lie here a minute and think about this.”

“I must have bought a really crappy CO detector if the alarm isn’t loud enough to wake me up.”

C’mon feets, get up… nope it’s not the CO detector… maybe it’s the smoke detector… nope it’s not the upstairs smoke detector.
Maybe it’s the washer… nope, not the washer…
Maybe it’s the dryer… nope, not the dryer…
Maybe it’s the radio in the bathroom, nope…
Gee, it seems to be louder near the back of the house.”

Now, you have to realize that I was still half asleep, wearing just my shorts, as I stumbled around the house putting my ear to things.

I made my way downstairs thinking my stereo had turned itself on and was malfunctioning in some way. Nope. But the sound is louder on the first floor. Hmmm. Interesting.

I then started to think it was something serious… my computer equipment… I could picture my server self-destructing… nope, not that.

“That’s funny, the sound gets quieter near the front of the house. Hmmm.”

“Oh crap, the hot water tank is about to explode!”

Nope, not that. Furnace is fine, gas meter isn’t doing anything funny, sump pump is fine.

About this time, after I had eliminated the imminent destruction of anything mechanical or electronic in the house as the source of the noise, I decided I needed a cookie and a drink of juice.

So, I’m leaning against the kitchen counter munching on my cookie when it occurs to me that the sound might be coming from outside.

I open the side door and BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMM, it hits me full in the face at full volume and Woody goes into full-blown panic mode.

The horn on my truck is stuck!

As I was going upstairs three steps at a time (to get clothes on, because at this point I’m in my underwear and the outside temperature is -30 degrees with a windchill of -49 degrees) I can distinctly remember thinking two things: 1) Wow, that insulation I put in this summer really works, I could barely hear the horn; and 2) It is now 5:30, that means it has been going for at least thirty minutes.

If there is an emergency, you want me on your side. I’m can think clearly in stressful situations. Just don’t expect me to hear the phone when you call.

I put on jogging pants and a sweatshirt, flew to the basement for my socket sets (I got both metric and imperial just to be sure) grabbed the truck keys, popped the hood, took a split second to recover as the noise got even louder (if that is possible) and then proceeded to find the right socket to fit the battery cable.

Punch-line Number 1: As I’m searching for the right size socket, I see a police car pull into my driveway. Great! Just lovely! I’m outside in -49 degree weather with minimal clothes on at five in the morning, I can’t hear a damn thing because of the horn, my fingers are frozen, and now there are two police officers walking towards me.

And I quote: “SIR, IS THIS YOUR TRUCK?”

Me: “YES”

Officer: “UH-HUH”

Then I found the socket, loosened the nut and whipped the battery cable off.

Oh, sweet, golden silence!

“HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN OUT LOOKING FOR THE NOISE?” I ask.

“A while. Stop yelling.”

“Oh.”

“Goodnight, sir.”

“Goodnight.”

I spent the rest of the night (morning?) sitting on the couch trying to calm my heart. By the time I was calm enough to lay down, my fingers were just starting to regain feeling and it was time to get ready for work.

There, now you know why my neighbours hate me.

But there’s more.

Punch-line Number 2: That evening I phone my neighbour Jim. Jim’s a great guy, very laid back, the best neighbour you could ask for.

“So, Jim, did you notice anything unusual last night?”

“Yeah, your f@#%ing horn!”

“Yeah, sorry about that, what time did it start?”

“Three in the f@#%ing morning.”

“Oh, ok, thanks. Sorry about that.”

That means that the horn was blowing continuously for two and a half hours. I found out later that the neighbour behind me called the police about 4 a.m. thinking it was a gas leak or a transformer about to explode. Because it was so cold out that night, the sound carried very far, and echoed off all the houses so it took the police about an hour and a half to locate the source of the noise (probably made easier by the light coming on at my place and the panicky white guy performing vehicle repairs at 5:30 a.m.)

The next day there was an article in the paper that talked about an unusual number of noise complaints the police had been getting that past weekend.

To wrap up a very long story and to answer a question you probably have: No, the horn on the truck no longer works!

February 25, 2007

Filed under: hamster — Ryan @ 6:41 am

The Day The Hamster Died

My parents packed up their bags and headed south to Florida for the month of February. This has numerous implications for me:

1) My house elf doesn’t show up for a month.
2) I have to eat lunch alone for a month.
3) I have to check on my parent’s house, shovel the driveway, and bring in the mail daily.
4) I have to hamster sit.

It’s the last point that poses the problem (but you’ve probably already guessed that from the title).

I was looking forward to having a houseguest… there’s just something about having another living thing in the house to make you less lonely. I would prefer a dog but my parents don’t have a dog, they have, I mean had, a hamster.

We were getting along great. Every morning just after I had breakfast I would change his water and fill his bowl with fresh food. I would find myself talking to him whenever I walked by or was in the same room. Things were good.

About two weeks into the hamster sitting I watched him run on the wheel, get a drink of water, and then he crawled into his coconut and went to sleep.

Or so I thought…

Turns out he was still “sleeping” the next morning, and then later that day when I came home for lunch.

This has numerous implications for me:

1) I have a Russian dwarf hamster “sleeping” in my fridge.
2) I have a sister who’s mad at me for killing her former hamster.
3) I have to phone my parents and communicate the bad news, and
4) I’ll probably never be asked to hamster sit ever again. Or any kind of pet sitting for that matter.

December 9, 2006

Filed under: Christmas,tree — Ryan @ 7:10 pm
Merry Christmas !

I’ve got a question for you: How do you get a six foot wide Christmas tree into your dining room when all of your doors are three feet wide?

The answer: You and a buddy each take an end and you take a run at it!

It’s worth noting that there are three door ways between the outside where the tree was and the dining room where the tree needed to be. The widest one is 36 inches, the narrowest one is 30 inches.

Yes, the star is touching the ceiling. Boo-Ya!

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