The Death of Santa Claus

Author’s Note: The following is a chapter from my upcoming novel, Dissatisfied Me: A Love Story. The chapter is set in Ottawa in 1977, where the narrator, Dickie Duncan, is ten years old.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Ten was my lucky number. It represented a new stage in life. It meant when I counted my age, I used all my fingers.

Mum recognized its importance and held a big party for me that September inviting all the kids from the neighbourhood. Peppered with gifts, I felt loved. My Auntie Mary from Vancouver mailed me a cool Montreal Expos jersey with my favourite player’s number embroidered on the back. Even my nasty cousin Heather sent a parcel. Her birthday card read:

You are going to start needing this more than ever.

I opened the package—Mennen Speed Stick?

My Scottish Dad cackled as I stared at the deodorant. “Ach, ye’ve been needin’ that fer years!”

Mum’s gift brightened my spirits. She bought me a state-of-the-art Mattel electronic football game, making me the envy of my friends. Everyone at the party crowded around begging me for a turn while I navigated my bright red dot between the dimmer ones towards the end zone.

Owning a trendy game made me popular for once. Could my parents be compensating for forcing me to attend Sunday school at church the next couple of years?

I put my theory to the test a couple of weeks later. Dad asked—as he always did shortly after my September birthday—“Hey lad, know what ye going to ask Santy this year for Christmas? Maybe that Hot Wheels set ye have always wanted?”

I answered like I did every year, “Yes, that’s EXACTLY what I want.”


My ten-year-old self didn’t really believe in Santa. I had no concrete proof, but my parents insisted he was real.

My first Christmas memory five years ago sparked a doubt about Santa’s existence. It didn’t take a rocket scientist, even for a post-toddler like me, to figure out that our neighbour Barb’s boyfriend Rory had donned the red costume at our family gathering. I’d asked for a Hot Wheels set that year, too, but Santa Rory gave me a cable car toy—shedding more uncertainty over Santa’s credibility.

I confronted Dad about it. He replied, “Santy knows deep down what children really want for Christmas. Ye always wanted a cable car. Now ye have one, so go enjoy.”

I never heard of a cable car before that Christmas, and I couldn’t appreciate it—Heather destroyed it by turning it into a projectile.

Two years later, when I turned seven, my best friend Sandy planted more seeds of skepticism. She stopped believing in Santa a year earlier, and we debated the point one hot fall afternoon. I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t believe—after all, where else did the presents come from?

“It’s our parents who play this Santa Claus game,” Sandy insisted. “We kids pretend to believe. It makes them happy, so we get what we want. In my house, we leave cookies and sherry out, and Santa eats them.

“Last year, I asked a friend in school what she leaves for Santa. She said zucchini muffins. I love zucchini muffins, so I asked Mom, ‘Why not make some for Santa?’ But Mom said Santa doesn’t like them. Didn’t make sense why my friend’s Santa likes zucchini and mine doesn’t—but my mom’s boyfriend Rory despises the stuff. It makes him puke. My Santa also loves sherry.” Sandy paused. “My Santa is Rory!”

Sandy had a point. “Neither Santa nor my parents got me the Hot Wheels set I’ve been asking for the last few years,” I said. “The closest to a race car I ever got was that stupid cable car that never worked.”

“Were you good?” asked Sandy. “Santa only gives gifts to those who are good.” My Sandy beamed a beautiful yet mischievous smile.

“I thought I was.”

“You see, that’s the game. You have to be extra good to your parents, then they buy you gifts. I’m gonna prove it. My mom thinks I’m an angel, but let’s do something really naughty. What could we do to make Santa super angry? Something that should guarantee we don’t get gifts from him.”

I couldn’t answer fast enough. I cycled through the usual list of things my parents preached against. Don’t fib. Don’t leave my toys lying around. Don’t speak out of turn. I obeyed all of them. I struggled, though, with eating Brussel sprouts. In fairness, I consumed more of that demon vegetable in the past couple of weeks than I had the previous seven years.

Sandy became impatient. “I’m going to show you. Wait here.”

I sat on the steps outside her home. The warm sun beamed above making me perspire.

She came back with a worn-out Ken doll, a small piece of red felt, some cotton balls, and a glue stick. “Mom and I do crafts, and she showed me how to make simple clothes for my dolls.” Sandy unfolded the red felt producing a small jacket.

Sandy placed it on her Ken doll and glued small pieces of cotton around his face to simulate a white beard. Next, she took a small square-shaped red felt and rolled it around Ken’s head, forming a crude dunce cap.

“This is our Santa.” The hat didn’t work, but I got the point.

She pulled a magnifying glass from her pocket and placed Ken’s head under it directly in the sunlight. The cotton burst into flame leaving Ken’s face a blackened mess.

“You killed Santa!” I protested.

“Do you think I should get gifts for doing this?” Sandy said proudly.

“Absolutely not! That’s horrible!”

That year, Sandy asked Santa for a Weebles House and got it. I didn’t get my Hot Wheels set, again. Instead, I got a board game that taught me French.

Dad told me, “Ye shoulda eaten more Brussel sprouts, lad. It displeased Santy.”

Upset by that Christmas memory, my ten-year old self discovered a family photo album in a bookcase. I flipped through the pages and studied pictures of our annual Santa visits at the mall. These trips were important because I’d officially ask Santa for my gift.

It was fun to observe how I’d changed over the last nine years, but Santa did, too! One had dark skin. Another looked a hundred pounds heavier. A third had a pale complexion. The one from last year was slim and young. Funny, I never noticed before.

I had to give credit to Sandy. Santa couldn’t be real. But, since my parents wanted to keep the myth alive, I figured it would be best to continue to play along with them. Hopefully this year I will finally find my way on Santa’s good list… and get my Hot Wheels set.


Saturday mornings had its share of advertisements for toys like Weebles, Stretch Armstrongs, and Simons, airing non-stop during my cartoons. In late October, something caught my interest—the Micronauts.

The Micronauts were a huge advancement over my Fisher Price people. Their world featured a collection of four-inch characters, vehicles, and play-sets. The ability to change parts, position figures in life-like poses, and adapt potential scenes offered hours of limitless possibilities. Their complex world had many characters and components, like Photon Sleds and Space Gliders.

I loved them and memorized every commercial. I imagined how my Sandy’s destructive spirit could create high-impact adventures in the quest to destroy the evil Micronaut, Acroyear.

Who needed Hot Wheels? Micronauts ruled the universe! I scoured all the toy catalogues we received in the mail and documented every item in the collection in a master list. I wanted them all!

My Dad and I did our annual Santa visit as close to Christmas Eve as possible. Dad, knowing what I’d ask Santa for months in advance, preferred the shorter lines in late December to see St. Nick. I would sit on Kris Kringle’s knee, tell him what I wanted, smiled for the photo, and Dad would whisk me off to a coffee shop for cocoa.

While I’d sip my drink, Dad would soak in the holiday chaos. He’d cackle with delight at people fighting over coveted toys in the stores, or at parents with fretful looks in their eyes scrounging for last second gifts. He told me once, “Ye never git this type of entertainment when visiting Santy in November, lad.” I guess Dad relished people’s hardships.

The Friday, before my tenth Christmas, he took me for our usual Santa visit. We walked by a toy store, and Dad permitted me to browse for a few minutes. He chuckled at a mother looking worried at a stuffed animal she purchased that was missing a tail. I went to the section with Micronauts, but most were gone—only a few action figures remained. I didn’t worry, Santa had it under control!

We joined the short queue outside “Santa’s Village.” I didn’t understand why Dad kept this tradition with me so late in my life. He seemed oblivious that I towered over the other children waiting in line. When our turn came, Dad said, “Sit on Santy’s knee, lad, and tell him what ye want for Christmas.”

I couldn’t really sit on his knee, being too tall, and Santa being smaller than previous years. I more or less leaned into it.

“Ho ho ho, you’re a big one! What’s your name?” This year’s smaller Santa struggled with my full weight against his inner thigh.

“Dickie,” I said.

“Aren’t you a little old to visit Santa?” He gave me a knowing look.

Dad jumped in, accent flaring. “What are ye talking about? Ye’r ne’er too old to visit Santy. Tell him what ye want for Christmas, son.”

My face reddened. “I want the entire Micronauts collection,” I said softly. I produced my list for Santa.

Horrified, Dad yelled, “What? Ye told me ye wanted Hot Wheels.”

Santa asked, “Have you been good or bad?”

“I’ve been really good.” I solemnly looked Santa in the eye. “In fact, I haven’t missed Sunday school since September!”

“You sound like a very good boy,” answered Santa, “setting a strong example for us to follow! I’ll be sure my elves”—Santa pointed towards one tall unshaven man and a young teenaged girl dressed in costumes—“pack them in my sleigh.”

Santa paused and directed my attention to the camera. “Smile for Itchy.”

I smiled towards the male elf who took the shot. Dad paid Itchy, who smelled strong, without uttering a word. I turned to walk towards our usual coffee shop, but Dad grabbed my arm, and proclaimed, “Not this year, lad.” We left the mall with an alacritous stride, and it was an unusually quiet ride home.


I ran to my room and returned to the kitchen carrying a piece of paper. “Hey Dad, this is a copy of the list I gave Santa, in case you were curious.” Though still early, I went back upstairs to get ready for bed.

My father, stressed, yelled to Mum. I struggled to understand his phrasing through his thickened accent from below.

“What the devil is a Microtron? He said Hot Wheels, damn it. I bought it in October. Now this bloody mess?”

“Micronaut. Have you not been watching TV or noticing the reams of cut-outs from the catalogues Dickie has collected? They’re all the rage.”

“Ach, they don’t have kids’ commercials during the news. He has his Hot Wheels, that should be good enough. No idea why he changed his mind on something he wanted for years.”

“No, Richard. He has been exceptionally good. You said he told Santa about Sunday school. If completing your ‘Scottish church tradition’ is important and you want him to qualify for summer camp, you’d better make sure his Christmas wish comes true.”

Qualifying for summer camp? What on earth—

“Bloody hell, it’s only a few days before Christmas!”

“Then you’d better get cracking.”

The heavy discussion continued for a while longer. I only heard the odd cuss coming from Dad. I fell asleep content in the knowledge Santa would come through for me this Christmas.

I found out several years later about the hell Dad underwent to ensure I had no excuse to leave Sunday school. He had to venture out the whole weekend to various stores, and when at home, called every shop in town. On December 24th, he left our house at 3 a.m. and drove six hours to Toronto to buy some items on my list—only to be caught in a snowstorm on the way back. He spent 18 hours in the car that day.

He arrived home in the middle of the night; the thumping in the basement woke me. If I had been younger, I might’ve believed it was Santa visiting the house. However, the amount of profanity that emanated from the basement would’ve convinced young children that Santa belonged to a lineage of swarthy drunken sailors.

I heard Dad stumble into his bedroom, and I checked my clock—5:09 a.m. I waited 15 minutes and ventured to the basement. The Micronauts were all laid out, some in vehicles surrounding a play-set. To his credit, Dad found most of them, and did his best to pose them like a magazine catalogue. Mum told me he had to bribe other parents for some of the figures.

Beside the Micronauts, an attempt to put together a Hot Wheels set had been abandoned. The remaining orange tracks laid on the ground beside a box labelled “some assembly required.” I finished putting everything together, and I raced some cars down it. My parents couldn’t sleep through my racket and joined me.

I enjoyed the toys but had to make a comment. “Hey Dad, did you notice that I’m missing Aquatron in the set? I’m surprised Santa missed it.”

To Mum’s and my surprise, Dad exhausted answered, “Lad, Santy doesn’t exist. Enjoy your gifts and Merry Christmas.” He stormed back to bed and slept until supper.

I showed my Sandy the Micronauts the next day. I thought she’d be thrilled at the destructive potential, but after playing with them a bit, she lost interest. What promised to be months of entertainment, turned out to be a couple of hours. I didn’t see her for the rest of the holidays.

Without Sandy’s creative input, the Micronaut life expectancy expired quickly. My parents were shocked I only played with the prized Micronauts for a couple of weeks. A month later, they were packed in a box, and stored permanently in the bowels of our basement, never to emerge again.

Neither did Santa, for that matter.

Dissatisfied Me: A Love Story © 2019 Bruce Gordon. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. For more information, contact Bruce Gordon.

Bruce Gordon lives in the ‘burbs of Ottawa with his author wifey, three basses (hers, but she lends him one), five guitars (totally his), and one drum kit (hers and hers alone). A musician since his teens, he still plays, but has also ventured down the writing path. His upcoming novel, Dissatisfied Me, A Love Story, is about a 49 year old on the verge of his 50th birthday, who reminisces about his life while sitting alone in his room in his mother’s basement.

Murder at the lodge

Murder at the Lodge

Author’s Note: I complain about the cold in winter,  and I hate the oppressive heat of summer – but I am grateful for writing to pass the time when going outside is just not that pleasant. I humbly submit July’s edition of  ‘Nathan Burgoine’s 2018 monthly flash fiction challenge,‘ featuring a dam as this month’s location, the object is a typewriter, and the genre is a mystery – all in 1000 words. Thanks for reading and enjoy this story with “Canada Day” slightly in mind.

Bernard Beaver packed mud atop his lodge in the middle of his pond. Before calling it quits for the day, he swam out to inspect his dam. Proud of his work, his attention quickly redirected to a fissure forming in the heart of the structure. Bernard panicked, for he noted that his prized possession, formerly embedded in the wall – a 1940s Smith-Corona typewriter – his  “keystone-signature piece” – was missing causing water to flow through. Bernard found it in the woods while felling trees, and thought it a nice cosmetic touch for his project. Angered by its disappearance, he decided to return tomorrow to repair the hole, and went back home under the dawn sky.

He emerged in the lodge’s wet room, where, while drying off, he heard Beatrice Beaver, in the family room talking. “So nice of you to come over Maurice. I always appreciate your company while Bernard’s out.”

Maurice Muskrat, replied, “I love coming here, you make the best tea!”

“You’d better skedaddle. I don’t want Bernard to see you. You know how he gets.”  The last time Maurice dropped in unannounced, Bernard practically knocked out all his teeth with a swing of his heavy tail.

Bernard exploded hearing Maurice’s voice. Wet or not, he didn’t care, and bolted into his family room.

“What the hell is he doing here!” He screamed at Beatrice, “He spends more time in my lodge than I do! It feels like every time I go out, I see this rodent in my home with my wife!”

“There, there, Bernard,” Maurice replied, “I’m only here for Beatrice’s awesome tea – by far, the best in the Wetlands.  You know, ever since the spring floods washed away my home, the Missus and kiddies went to live with mother-in-law, or who I call, ‘Nutcracker’.  If you knew her, you’d understand why I come over here so often. Besides tea, you guys always have the best food around!” Maurice saw a nice green bit of moss hanging on the wall and ravenously munched it. He rubbed his stomach, and guzzled his tea.

Bernard scowled, “Have you finished your new home yet?”

“No, haven’t started. I figured the kids and wife are happy, and if I only have to stay at Nutcracker’s to sleep, I don’t have to interact with her.” Maurice checked the time, “Sunrise. gotta go to bed.  The fam thinks I am working,” he gave Beatrice a surreptitious wink, but Bernard caught it.

He lunged his wet body across the floor, grabbed and wildly punched Maurice.  Maurice escaped his grasp, quickly got up, and said, “Well, Mrs. Beaver, as always, loved your company!  Best be off now,” and dashed to the wet room and the Beavers heard a splash signaling his exit.

“So help me, Beatrice, that is the last we will see of Maurice!” Bernard stormed to bed.


Beatrice woke up that afternoon, alone. Wondering where her husband went, she exited the lodge and scanned the dam, expecting to see Bernard working away. She saw two new fissures, that concerned her, but no site of him.

The dusk sunlight reflected off something metallic on the shoreline with some Wetlanders surrounding it. Curious, she swam to them to discover, in shock, Maurice lay dead with head bludgeoned by the typewriter, now placed over his crushed skull. Beatrice gasped, and started to cry.

Woodsy Owl, placed a wing around her shoulder. “So sorry that you had to see this Beatrice. I know Maurice was a good friend. Hey! Back off the crime scene. I, too, am a bit peckish, but we have to finish the investigation.” A guilty looking coyote held Muskrat’s leg in his mouth, but obediently dropped it and backed off. The crowd comprised a weeping Manny Muskrat, a large crane, a few raccoons, the coyote, and a badger.

Woodsy proclaimed, “Manny tells me Maurice spent most of his time in your lodge, which didn’t please Bernard. Bernard has disappeared. Did he go off to work?” Beatrice could not answer.


Two days passed before Bernard returned. The Wetland gang still puzzled over who smooshed Maurice.

“Where’ve you been?” Woodsy asked.

Bernard looked over Maurice and yelled in shock, “That’s the typewriter that someone stole from my dam! No wonder there are leaks!”

“Answer the question.”

“I heard rushing water coming through my dam, from the hole opened by someone stealing the typewriter. I clogged it up, but heard more water. I dug around and discovered some human installed a ‘Castor Master’ hidden in my construction!  Humans, always try to ruin my hard work and revert water levels. I tried to stuff their corrugated pipe, but got stuck in it. I just freed myself. Can I have my typewriter back? This is war! I suspect the humans will poke a new hole in my dam tomorrow. The typewriter should easily fix that.”

“But if you’re stuck in the pipe, who killed Maurice?” asked a raccoon.

“Who cares!” replied Bernard, “Maurice probably bugged a human by poking his nose around where it shouldn’t, like he did my wife. Humans took MY typewriter to flood our precious pond, but I’ll save our habitat!” Bernard boasted.

The creatures nodded and echoed “Bloody humans,” in agreement.

Woodsy, not so convinced, asked, “Do you have proof you were stuck in a pipe for two days?”

“No, but I can show it and my work to you,” Bernard said, taken aback by Woodsy’s accusatory tone.

“I’m afraid I‘m going to have to place you under Wetlands arrest, for murder.”

Manny sobbed and screeched, “It wasn’t the humans, nor Bernard. it was me!! That bastard slept with everything with four legs, and hated my mother. He’s lazy and deserved what he got.”

Everyone around echoed their agreement.

“Can I now have my typewriter back?” asked Bernard.

“Yes, yes,” replied Woodsy, “Grab it and let’s leave Maurice to rot in peace.”

“No need,” the coyote answered, and with one bite, picked up Maurice’s remains and walked happily off into the woods..

Murder at the Lodge © 2018 Bruce Gordon. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. For more information, contact Bruce Gordon.

dissbruceBruce Gordon lives in the ‘burbs of Ottawa with his author wifey, three basses (hers, but she lends him one), five guitars (totally his), and one drumkit (hers and hers alone). A musician since his teens, he still plays, but has also ventured down the writing path. His upcoming novel, Dissatisfied Me, A Love Story, is about a 49 year old on the verge of his 50th birthday, who reminisces about his life while sitting alone in his room in his mother’s basement.

The Junkyard Brownie

The Junkyard Brownie

At the urging of wifey, I’ve decided to participate in author ‘Nathan Burgoine’s 2018 monthly flash fiction challenge.

Author’s Note: Brownies are commonly known as wonderful chocolaty-cake treats we all love and enjoy. In context of this story, the brownie, as found in Scottish folklore, is a friendly elf. I first got exposed to brownies reading Enid Blyton’s Mr. Pinkwhistle stories as a child. This flash fiction is themed on fantasy, hot chocolate, and junkyards. Sorta like the chocolate-based elf and the drink connection. Thanks for reading and enjoy.

Soaring over the kingdom of Poonow, a majestic dragon dashed through the skies. George loved how the early sun reflected off his coppery wings. He surveyed the tiny homes as the villagers stopped their routines to admire him as he zoomed overhead.

The dragon spotted the eight foot high wall of tires, found at the outskirts.  He zoned in on a giant red X near the centre of the enclosure and descended. As a rather large dragon, the ground shook violently when he landed, and the yard, filled with tons of metallic junk ranging from vehicles to appliances, clanked and chimed summoning his arrival.

He towered over a hut near the landing pad.  A dark brown creek about a foot wide flowed from the front door, and three gnomes holding mugs were sipping a beverage and, based on the tone of their voices, sounded upset. They did not break their conversation, despite George’s thunderous arrival. Unphased, two goblins appeared passed out cuddled in a ceramic bathtub, surrounded by toasters and car parts.

“How can Ich do this to us?” the gnome in a green hat complained. “This hot chocolate he serves just does not make busting our asses hauling all the metal we find to this dump worth it anymore.”

The second gnome, dressed all in yellow answered, “It could be worse,” he bent over and filled his cup with the creek’s brown liquid and took a sip. He immediately spat it out, “Blech, I stand corrected, this does not taste like chocolate anymore, but something a bit more familiar. I can’t quite place my finger on it. Hey, where are Forlan, Rasbis, and Tanin? I have not seen them around here in ages?”

The third gnome, who had a rather large white beard and red hat replied, “You have not heard? Our despot ogre king, Ronald Tumpkin, declared them illegal immigrants in the land, and they were exiled. He feared that their metal collecting took away employment from the goblins who supported him – lazy bastards,” he glared over to the goblins snoring away. “Tumpkin claims we gnomes are responsible for all the crime in the kingdom.” The other gnomes muttered in agreement as they gagged on their drinks.

George, growing impatient at being ignored roared, which immediately got everyone’s attention. “I want my hot chocolate!”  One of the gnomes nervously offered his, but dropped the cup when he realized it was too small to satisfy the dragon’s craving.

“Ich,” he cried to the hut, “George is here. Can you please come and serve him some hot chocolate?”

A rather large brownie bolted through the door, holding a mug about the size of one of the gnomes. He placed it in the creek until it filled with the brown liquid. He offered it to George who blew a flame over it to apply more heat. and took a quick swig. He regurgitated it up immediately. “God, that tastes like shit!” George roared, “what did you do to make this? Dip two dirty socks in hot water?” He angrily threw the mug on a pile of metallic junk, that clanged and clung as it fell to the ground. “Never mind, where is our daily tribute?”

Ich nervously pointed to a pile of six rusty car mufflers. “What?” the dragon bellowed, “this is getting worse and worse! The counsel is losing patience.  You know better than anyone, Ich, that we demand the finest metal in the world! And we need twenty pounds a day per our agreement.”

George belonged to a counsel of six dragons, who long discovered the ability to turn basic metal into gold.  They seized any opportunity to expand their growing hoard, stored deep in the mountains beneath their chambers. After the last great war that devastated the kingdom, the villagers happily provided the dragons with fresh metal each day for protection. Ich, owner of the junkyard, had the responsibility of procuring the daily tribute for the dragons. The kingdom lived in subsequent peace for centuries.

The brownie, not wanting to upset George further, said nervously, “Have you not heard that King Ronald believes that by putting heavy tariffs on foreign metals, the Kingdom of Poonow would prosper and all his goblins would  gainfully be employed? Those bastards produce nothing! Remember, that great ore we gave you in the past was not native to our territory!”

“This is most disturbing,” said George, “and threatens our ancient agreement. This king must be removed! Where is he now?” He closed his eyes momentarily and opened them.

Ich replied, “In the White,” he paused as five other dragons magically teleported into his scrap yard, “Castle.”

The largest, Elrick, stood a head taller than George, and had beautiful platinum scales. He said, “Is it true, Ich, that Tumpkin’s responsible for our tribute being cheapened?” He paused and saw the creek, “Hey? Is that hot chocolate?” He lowered his head and lapped a sample. Immediately he spat it out, “That’s fucking vile!”

Ich replied, “Our king wants us to produce our own cocoa and has taxed those imports too. These goblins don’t farm either so I use sewage now.”

Enraged, Elrick breathed fire on one of the sleeping goblins, waking the other who immediately bolted for a large pile of radiators to hide. “Counsel, we must leave and destroy the White Castle, and Tumpkin immediately. Ich, you are now be in charge. Undue the tariffs and bring us back the best possible metal. And for Pete’s sake, get us some decent hot chocolate.” The dragons nodded in agreement.

It did not take them long to destroy Tumpkin and his tower. Ich’s scrap yard soon gathered the finest metal bits again that kept the counsel happy, and the world at peace.

The hot chocolate creek soon flowed with the richest tasting cocoa, and the deported gnomes returned to their former work, satisfied to be rewarded with the fine beverage.

All was well in Poonow. King Ich and the dragons prospered.

The Junkyard Brownie © 2018 Bruce Gordon. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles and reviews. For more information, contact Bruce Gordon.

dissbruceBruce Gordon lives in the ‘burbs of Ottawa with his author wifey, three basses (hers, but she lends him one), five guitars (totally his), and one drumkit (hers and hers alone). A musician since his teens, he still plays, but has also ventured down the writing path. His upcoming novel, Dissatisfied Me, A Love Story, is about a 49 year old on the verge of his 50th birthday, who reminisces about his life while sitting alone in his room in his mother’s basement.

2015 Edition

Day 1 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction –  Day is done. It is 9:30 pm

Day 2 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – auto flush did not work all day in bathrooms in the office

Day 3 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction  – I know I am bad at arithmetic, but trying to figure out the science fiction math of a budget is beyond my comprehension. Where do these numbers come from?

Day 4 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – simply put – ‘lunch at Marcello’s’ featuring their all you can puke buffet

Day 5 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – brought my lunch to work today, only to remember that I brought it as I bought a chicken salad at Subways!

Day 6 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I barely moved from my couch

Day 7 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – it is now 5:37, I do not know what I did today or recall time flying by so quickly!!

Day 7 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – when 32C feels like an arctic blast (editors note, I guess I forgot I already did a Day 7, or miscounted later on)

Day 8 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – empty 61 zoomed by me at Lebreton. The bus was empty. Sent tirade to OCTRANSPO . ‪#‎overheating‬

Day 9 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – requested James Bond film Licence to Kill from the library. Went to the library to pick it up and ended up getting ‘License to Kill’ starring Denzel Washington. Did not realise one letter difference in titles mattered!

Day 10 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – yesterday I waited for 45 minutes for my 5 minute doctor’s appointment and I was second one to arrive at the clinic. But maybe I should be thankful! Today, wifey had to wait the normal 2 hours for her 10 minute appointment.

Day 11 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I was going to say seeing the Dentist (easy way out). But since my teeth  are looking cleaner, I cant really say that I am dissatisfied. You may ask what is my secret to achieving such good oral hygiene? Well the only thing I have done differently over the last several months is to eat copious amounts of jujubes!! What I am truly dissatisfied today is that I really got sucked into a Facebook vortex and wasted too much time on it. Yes, I am off work today!

Day 12 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – was thinking of activities to do around town during my week break. I have seen most of the tourist sites but found this little gem which is right around the block from my home. Suggested it to wifey. Response – ‘you got to be kidding me’ . Wifey dissatisfied, which by extension, I am.

Day 13 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – a “404 error” in the web world means that a page cannot be found on a web site you are visiting. Most sites would display a page that says something like “page not found, maybe you should try to look for your page here..”. I saw a post showing how the conservative party is taking their attack adds toward Justin Trudeau even to their web site. Here is their 404 – My reaction…shouldn’t you invest your time running the country instead of attacking your opposition? Flip side, the liberal’s web site – has geese carrying a moose! What the heck is that suppose to mean? Aren’t you suppose to attack your opposition with your 404? Bad web from our nation’s leaders!

Day 14 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Goodlife gym boasts using weight machines 2 to 3 times a week will see results fast . According to the sign I read, it’s as easy as 1-2-3′. I wonder what they mean by ‘fast’ results. I have been going for about 10 years and I have not seem any results, not unless you count the bulge around my waste!

Day 15 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – before moving to Ottawa, work days on Fridays usually were a bit more relaxed. Not the case since moving here, Fridays are usually the days that everything goes wrong. I have come to accept that as part of my routine and am now use to it. Of course, last week, I took a Friday off and unfortunately, the ripple effects went into Monday. Mondays are bad days at the best of times…and yesterday took the cake. Compound that with an offsite meeting in a remote part of the city and all the key players did not show up! Tuesday is shaping up to be “really good”!

Day 16 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – cruising through the Google Newstand to see what magazines are available (I am a long time Time magazine fan). It costs the same or more to buy the e-versions of magazines!! That includes all the advertisements!!

Day 17 of 100 Days of dissatisfaction – Feds are kicking in 1 Billion dollars to extend the Ottawa LRT system to Bayshore. I guess it won’t be in my lifetime where I see any transit improvements in my west end burrow, so busing in 40 foot tin cans continues. I guess on the bright side, at least all the deviants who ride MY bus and get off at Bayshore will have an alternative way to get home.

Day 18 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – when someone you know from your youth dies too young, it puts life in a different perspective, that it can be easily taken for granted, which I can be guilty of. RIP Lynn Carter (some of my long time friends may remember)

Day 19 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I declare my vacation week a ‘pantless’ vacation. Day 1, I have no shorts, they are all in the wash! Dilemma!

Day 20 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Starbucks encourages their employees to “get to know you”. Usually, the best these kids can do is to sound cheerful when they take your order. It is very difficult to get to know someone in a 15 second interaction, especially when hungover from the night before. You may get lucky though, and one will use your name at some point during the transaction (usually to write it on a cup).  They are evaluated on it. This morning, as I went through drive through, I was asked “Are you going to play golf?” I said no, then she said, “Oh, you look like a golfer”.  I am now disappointed. I don’t want to look like a golfer. I want to look like a heavy metal rock star. Image ruined!

Day 21 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – missed as I obviously forgot

Day 22 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Our lovely neighbour, who we affectionately call “Angry Dad” has decided to crank his stereo on full blast all afternoon so that his Electro-Dance music could be heard all the way to Montreal.  At least we do not hear him yelling at his kids all afternoon, but I can’t hear myself think and wonder is this normal for most men to listen to this type of music?

Day 23 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Tulo to Toronto? Wow! He is one of my favourite players! That gives me even more reason to follow the Blue Jays. That said, they need starting pitching. Their starters can barely give them 5 innings every night. They already have league lead in offense! They don’t need more to get them to the playoffs!

Day 24 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Moore’s clothing offers many 2 for 1 deals. What they fail to tell you is that it is on their clothes that are double the normal price, so no real savings!

Day 25 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Long and McQuade’s music store have been doing a lot of promoting of a giveaway for a Gibson Signature Alex Lifeson model. It is an 8000$ guitar.  Figured I needed to buy some guitar strings, and wanted to try out some Gibsons and enter the contest. Not only did my local store not participate in this giveaway, they did not have ANY Gibson guitars available for me to noodle around on!  Ended up just buying strings, but not my usual brand. They were much, much more expensive than  I normally pay!

Day 26 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Crave TV looks pretty cool. Has a lot of great HBO/Showtime content. Need to be on Bell to subscribe. That will never happen. Love Internet in Canada!

Day 27 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Went to the Ottawa Valley to peruse the stores.  Barely got a word out of any of the store keepers. Was it my breath, or are they just shy salesmen?

Day 28 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – so looking forward to this Federal election. Thanks Stephen Harper for all that additional time you are giving us to think about who to vote for, it really does not matter. I have never lived in a riding where the vote really matters.  I was raised in a Liberal riding where the vote margin was about 10:1 in favour of the Liberals, I now live in a riding where the vote margin is about 10:1 in favour of the Conservatives.  So does my vote really matter, especially when one can win a majority government without the moral majority of the vote?

Day 29 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – went to take my morning bus, and noticed it was running very late. After 15 minutes, I called OCTranspo to find out what was going on, it is Monday after all. They told me it is an Ontario “civic holiday” Monday and buses are on a Sunday schedule, which means no buses for my route. I work in Gatineau, QUEBEC!!

Day 30 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Kermit and Piggy have broken up…disappointed. Looking forward to seeing their little frigs!


Day 31 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – It’s bad enough that these people knock on my door Saturday mornings, but now I have to see them shoving the Watchtower in my face everyday since early spring at our park and ride. I guess they are getting tired of getting the door slammed in their face all the time! I never see anyone talking to them, which is a bit of a surprise given that we have lots of Mormons in our neighbourhood.


Day 32 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I chaired a meeting today. This is what one of the participants doodled…was this an artistic interpretation of how he sees me? I guess he did not have a good time ; )


Day 33 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – this is my experience listening to my music on the bus going from Eagleson to Bayshore this morning…like most mornings on the 40′ sardine cans I ride in. Pay attention to gentleman who sneezes next to me (without covering his face mind you). Click link below to live my experience! I sit in the front where it is quieter!

Day 34 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – every time there is a long weekend, the city of Ottawa delays their garbage pickup. For me, that means instead of having garbage picked up on a Friday, it gets picked up on Saturday. That is really annoying. The only day of the week I get out and run around the neighbourhood and I get to: 1. Try not to gag on green bin composting pukey rotting food smells. 2. Inhale bugs that are flying around the green bins. 3. Enjoy the view of garbage cans, green bins, blue boxes that line up the streets. 4. Avoid the many garbage trucks out to collect all this junk, emitting their noxious fumes and loud engine growls. 5. View my neighbhour’s trash spewed all over their lawn cause they put things out a day early and the racoons got at them.

Day 35 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – dryer part broken and needs to be replaced. Repair man came and did an assessment, but did not have the part. Said he will come back today. Only question remains…at what time?  It is now 2 pm


Day 36 of 100 days of dissatisfaction. My Presto Card mysteriously disappeared at work. When I got home, decided to login to the Web site to report my card is lost.  Here is the messaging.  BTW: How can I confirm this 16 digit number if I lost my card!!!

Report Lost PRESTO Card

If the card number below is correct, please click Submit.

To change the card number, please click Previous.

To cancel your report, please click Cancel.

PRESTO Card Number:

Day 37 if 100 days of dissatisfaction – I am sick today and took a sick day from work. The best way for me to feel better is to crawl under a blanket in a quiet environment and rest while not using my brain too much. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, it sounds like my neighbours are hosting a turkey convention (at least that is what it sounds like from my indoor perspective given the pitch, the speed, number of people, talking outside). Also, there is no one here to rub my tummy!

Day 38 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I just heard that this year, I get to celebrate my birthday with the international protest against Uber. I guess the Cabbies are going to protest by being late and having their debit machines not working….

Day 39 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Saw woman with T-shirt that says “Normal is Boring”. I like the sentiment, but does she realize that she lives in Kanata?

Day 40 of 100 days of dissatisfaction (for Friday) – took the bus to the Bayshore mall. Seems like they don’t want anyone shopping there. Took me  a half hour to find the entrance way (access to the bus station was blocked). Then went looking around for an hour for a store that has been there for  a while, only to discover it has shut down. To make matters worse, I did go to another store for a purchase only to discover the bank machines are down! Total bust and useless mall. Takes forever to get around, and with the construction, easy to get lost!

Day 41 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – hard to be dissatisfied when you get to celebrate your wifey’s birthday. Had an awesome day with her. When she went to bed, I figured I would settle to watch the football game of Ottawa vs. Calgary, I stopped watching when Ottawa was losing 32-3. Tuned in to see how my Nationals were doing, they were being clobbered 9-3. Then figured I would watch a movie, Lucy. It started really cool….then ended really badly! Went to bed upset

Day 42 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I am now registered for my email account at work. I have a “2” at the end of my name. Seems like I was not in line to have a “1” or no number at the end of it, so I am third in line for the most coveted bruce.gordon email…I wonder if they will allow duals to the death for it when the guy retires.

Day 43 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – did a blood test, was 10th in line this morning, including a horker in front of me. Nice. Arrived at work for 9:00 for slew of meetings until noon, at lunch break was drawn into another one. Completed my day with a further slew of meetings from 12:30 – 4:30. Info overload, no work done, and voice horse

Day 44 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – in the process of doing student interviews. I like working with students. They bring a much needed pulse to the workplace. This round, though, I there are some candidates who have a hard time answering questions. One, when asked “Have you offered advice to someone” said that he gave relational advice to his friend encouraging him to  break off with his girlfriend (this is an IT job he is applying for). Another, when asked what does he bring to the team says “I get my s-it done”.  Going to be an interesting decision.

Day 45 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – cable TV is sooooo expensive and I don’t really watch it anymore… Except for sports!!! I need my football fix, and NFL on the internet would cost me more than cable !!!!

Day 46 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – DIE YOU LITTLE BASTARDS!!! This fruit fly nonsense never happened before the city introduced green bins to collect compost related waste!


Day 47 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – this is my music geek coming out.  I love music, and enjoy technology and programming. I use to track and share what I listen to. It is fun for me to see my listening habits, which bands I gravitate too, as well as the ones of my friends. To submit this info, you use a tool calls a “scrobbler”. While you play your songs, the tool scrobbles what you listen to to their site. This week, they posted a new Web site and the scrobbling stopped working. Seems like the tool can only scrobble about 10 songs at a shot, so lots of info missing. Since my “inner geek” did not want to lose stats for the week, I programmed updates for the missing song data. I would like to say time well spent, but really…not really.  BTW: Here is my profile. Sort of fun (my last 7 days listening is not really a reflection of all time listening…see it and it will make sense)

Day 48 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I have a doctor’s appointment at. 740pm on my anniversary, ‘great ‘ way to celebrate. This should be a decent length wait tonight. Only Methuselah is in line ahead of me. Hope he only has a cold. BTW only been here 30 minutes so far, and no line movement

Day 48 of 100 days of dissatisfaction (cont) – doctor only 45 minutes late so far, Methuselah seeing him now. Wonder if I have enough battery power in my BlackBerry to last this wait.

Day 49 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – before I saw the doctor yesterday, went to refill a prescription at a pharmacy. Doctor said I had to up the dosage, which required a new pill. Went back to pharmacy today. Waited in line to drop off my prescription. One guy ahead of me. He took 15 minutes explaining his life story about something or other to the technician. I dropped off my prescription in 30 seconds FLAT. Waited 40 minutes. Returned in line with one person ahead of me who had a problem paying with his credit card. Resolved in about 10 minutes. Then he was asking technician insurance plan questions, another 10 minutes. Finally he was moved to the side to address his billing issues and some pharmacy questions. Over an hour to pick up a $3 prescription. Evening a bust

Day 50 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – realized I got to renew my car license sticker AND it seems that I have to get the car emissions tested for this wonderful government cash grab Drive Clean program. Seems like my car needs it, even though it is still pretty new, but old clunkers that are pre-1988 are exempt.

Day 51 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I have to do “online” training. Very basic stuff. The way the course is set up, I spend more time clicking than reading. Further, the questions I have to answer are really common sense and could have been done up front to save time. Two hours of my life I will not get back and I how have a sore wrist.

Day 52 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – For some reason, today after sending a lengthy email with a lot of attachments to HR administration, in different formats, I totally lost it when I received a reply requesting that I combine all 12 attachments into a single document in order for my request to be processed.

Day 53 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – slight twist on today’s post. Trying to look at the glass a half full today. Please post why you think Kanata is a great place to live and what makes it a unique and distinct city.

Day 54 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – blueberries are good, but they are no substitute for strawberries, especially if you want strawberries in a peanut butter and strawberry smoothie. Just does not work!

Day 55 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Ever do PC points for groceries? I have a card. This evening while carting around the store, I hear over the intercom an ad reminding people to ‘reload’ their cards on the internet for all the feature products they are offering points on. The ad featured a a very happy woman who reloaded her card and was excited to by Joe Fresh jeans (no idea why Joe Fresh jeans would cause such a thrill), the unhappy woman just bought groceries at very bad prices. I do faithfully load up my card. At the check out, I had 18$ in the bank and I did not earn any points in the store tonight Could not cash it in either. You need at least 20. Fine. Go home, and what is awaiting me in my email box? An offer to reload my card. I proceed. What did I see? All the groceries I just bought were on special for point collectors. I got none. No Joe Fresh Jeans for me, I guess (the message was sent after I bought the groceries).

Day 56 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – They say exercise is good for you. I get up each morning at around 5:15 to hit the gym. I feel alive. I feel energized, then I hit wall at 9:00 am. Around the time I get to work

Day 57 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Not at ACDC concert tonight (maybe only one in city not there)…only thing on TV is Big Brother.

Day 58 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – wifey prevented me from being dissatisfied! And vacation starts for a week!

Day 59 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – just watched episode 6 of Daredevil on Netflix. Everyone says its amazing, but it seems so slow so far! Figured I would watch an ‘upbeat’ episode of the American version of the Office after, something from season 6, and it was painful (in fact, everything after season 4 is an act of self torture!)

Double counted day 59 Day 59 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I am tired of the house next door being all fenced up all the way around. With all the additional traffic of onlookers coming around, and the number of people asking me “what happened here” and “did you know about this”, I am considering either : 1 writing a book explaining the situation and selling my rights to the story to the highest bidder 2. offering guided doors around the house for 5$/pop. 3. Selling I survived my neighbour’s hemp garden T-shirts on ebay.
BTW: It is now for sale…a handyman’s dream! The funny thing, they are undercutting an identical house next door by about 50K
Grow op listing
next to door to grow op (they are immaculate)
Day 60 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I like taking the train. On a whim, looked up train rides to Halifax. Return economy is about $400. The quote said that an upgrade to sleeping quarters may be cheeper than I expect, so I had a look at the prices. Was $1300 one way. That is 2 return flights!
Day 61 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – a few years ago, I got a Visa card with an improved chip security. I have to key in a PIN to make a purchase. Now, that ‘improved’ security seems lost as I can now tap the card to make a purchase. In fact, I noticed today that you don’t have to tap, my card just has to be in the vicinity of a machine to make a purchase! Wonder if I will be buying other people’s groceries in the near future!

Day 62 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – British Boy Band One Direction played Ottawa last night. I am not dissatisfied missing them. What astonishes me is that they are playing Ottawa for TWO nights! That must mean that they are playing cities like Montreal for two WEEKS! And they are selling out! Have you ever listened to them? Guarantee that no one will remember there songs in 2 years. Side note: I am dissatisfied bands like ACDC play only one night. I guess that means that, like their music, tickets to their shows ultimately have more value.

 Day 63 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I respect keeping kids safe, especially when they come off the school buses after a long hard day at school. I was driving down our road, and in the opposite direction, about 200 yards from me, a school bus turns ON his flashing red lights while still driving. I have no idea when or where he is going to stop, so I proceed to stop immediately. He zooms by me and stops a bus length behind me and lets off his kids (he was flying down the road). He made me break the law! BTW: This is not the first time this has happened with aggressive school bus drivers. They should get 9 demerits for flashing red lights while driving!

Side note, this was at 2:35…since when do kids get out of school so early!! Don’t they start at 11?


Day 64 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Those of you who know me well understand that NFL football is my vice. That said, the NFL’s popularity is sky rocketing and it is enjoying record revenues, all this despite players who murder, beat their spouses, take illegal substance etc. Not to be outdone, the New England Patriots are a skilled football team who always try to find ways of winning “off the field”. They have been caught illegally videoing other teams practices. They deflated footballs to give them an advantage. They poach players from other team’s practice squads to get the scoop on their opponents. I watched the Pats play the Steelers Thursday night, and there was discussion of problems with headsets that the coaches use to communicate during the game. Mike Tomlin, the Steelers head coach, who is a man IMO of integrity reported the problem during the game. This post was on the Steelers website this morning, which represents the dissatisfaction of an organization. When will the NFL learn that this Patriots team always will find a way to cheat and should be banned from the sport. (BTW: the fact that I am a Miami Dolphins fan has nothing to do with this post!)
Day 65 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I did two day 59s, so I obviously cannot count.
Day 66 of 100 days of Dissatisfaction – typical of the neighbourhood I live in. The area beyond the hedge in my back yard is public property owned by hydro. I mow my section as I often leave my backyard by the gate. It not my responsibility, but I do it just keep the area neat. Some other neighbours do the same. While mowing it, a man wearing a wife beater and a look that reminded me of a balding Mr. Tudball (Tim Conway’s character in the Mrs. Whiggins’ sketches on the Carol Burnett show) approaches me. I have never met this man before. He does not introduce himself (typical) and asked in an angry tone if I knew the neighbour (living to the right of the picture). I said yes,they are very nice people. He goes on to tell me this long sad story of how he was getting fed up of seeing the tall grass behind their house and was worried about bugs, so he has been mowing it all summer…but he vowed to me that he was no longer doing it! Honestly, I don’t care and I really do not know what he wanted of me except to tell me he is not mowing the neighbours public property. If this was really an issue for him, would it have been more productive to go around the block and ring the doorbell of my neighbour to discuss it? Was he hoping I would deliver his message? Man up dude. BTW: I do not know where this guy lives, never mind not knowing his name, and I really could not keep a straight face through this conversation!
Day 67 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – after much hype, I am now on Outlook and my new work email address is now in place.  The migration went really well, but for some reason, I have over 700 email to read today, which is a little bit more than the average.  To compound things, my friendly colleagues replied to me twice for every message I sent, just to keep my inbox well sated!
Day 68 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – It is my birthday, and yes I had a great time celebrating with cake, wifey , and Iron Maiden. Funny thing, only had 5 (out of 180) friends wish me a Happy Birthday on Facebook. Even for me and my miserable ways, that is low. Ends up my security settings were reset (not by me) to mark my b-day as private. So, to the 2 who remembered my day, bless you! For the 4 who wished me a happy birthday without prompting, but found out through my timeline, bless you! For the remainder of the 175 that would have dropped me a warm personal note if reminded, bless you too! And for those that would not have bothered typing “happy birthday” even with a FB reminder, oh what the heck ,many blessings on you as well! ; )
Day 69 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Last year, colleagues at work somehow figured out that it was my birthday. I arrived at work and three people arrived at my desk to wish me happy birthday…only to immediately tell me that all our web servers were down and there is a crisis to deal with. This year, no one new my birthday yesterday, so the day went well. The day after my birthday, one colleague remembered and wish me a belated birthday. Shortly thereafter, had to manage more server issues!
Day 70 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I am a public servant. I have to remain neutral of my political opinions online or anywhere. That is hard when I see stupid and meaningless political memes going around, especially of parties I don’t support. But you know what? After watching last night’s debate, I can safely say, it is very easy to be neutral!
Day 71 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Facebook is working on a dislike button. The idea is to use it to empathize with a post. For example, it is a bit odd to “like” a post where someone announces the death of a loved one. Flip side, I  wonder how many people will get unfriended because of this feature.
One thing for sure, I am glad it is not available during my days of dissatisfaction!

Day 72 of 10 Days of Dissatisfaction – There are many reasons why I do not subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket to see all the football games. Today’s NFL experience whacks it out of the park for dissatisfaction:

1. Repeated commercials (and there are many of them, expected and annoying).
2. Repeated commercials taunts me with Dairy Queen Bakes (I LOVE ICE CREAM and APPLE PIE, but I am on a gluten and dairy free diet)
3. To watch the dolphins, I have to watch online in the format below (very painful with all the play stoppage for commercials)|
4. Dolphins lose in typical Fish style. A meltdown at the end of the game, against a very very weak team.

Same old Dolphins. Same ulcer feeling in my gut. Bright side, Dallas’ hope for a perfect season is shot (Romo and Bryant injured, team lead by Branden Weeden…the name says it all)

Day 73 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – what is this world coming to? Got off the bus to see a little girl (maybe 8 years old), wearing ballet slippers, white stockings and a tutu walking down the street removing the signs of a prominent political candidate in our community. She removed 4, then bolted back to her house where I saw her get into a pickup truck (I guess to dance class). Did her dad tell her to do that act of vandalism? Did it matter if it was for a party I don’t support?
Day 75 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – My wifey loves(d) cats. I bought what I thought was an excellent Christimas gift last year, a 365 day cat calendar. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the photographer does not have a clue how to take pictures of cats. 95% of the photos are of cats that look like they were the bi-product of a taxidermy experiment that went wrong (similar spaced out expressionless shots like the first one in the series). There have been two exceptions posted below. btw these are the only ones that have had a different “look” all year, including today’s
Day 76 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – LOVE self checkout at the grocery store. There is always someone having difficulty paying for the purchase, or someone who insists on going through these lines with 10 million items (usually fruits and veg, which they do not know the codes for) accompanied by screaming children, or someone who sorts through a huge coupon book for each item, so needs to see the attendant for each item being bought. To make matters worse, I usually want to get through this process as fast as possible, and to have a friendly computer say “please put your item in the bag” even when I have done so, every time I scan something, or ask me “how many bags I would like to purchase” when I really don’t want to contribute to the grocery store’s overly inflated profits by buying a 5 cent bag that costs 5 cents for a 1000 can put me over the edge! I think I should be paid the same as a cashier, since I am doing their job. But I don’t even get a discount!
Day 77 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction. Tomorrow is garbage day. I have often wondered why taking out the trash is traditionally the ‘man’s’ job.
Day 78 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Sign of my age. One of the most memorable trips wifey and I went on was to Arizona, about 15 years ago.  We went to a mini-Las Vegas on the border of Arizona and Nevada. They film all the Vegas films there, and fro $50 each, we had travel from Scotsdale, Hotel at the Flamingo Hilton, and free food for two nights. I often talk about this small town to friends. This week, I was telling someone about it, and completely forgot the name of the city. It took me five days and I finally remember after intense concentration and discussion with Wifey (who forgot too!). It is called Laughlin, Nevada.
Day 79 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – At the post office, I was served by two young women with zero personality (normal). While doing my business, I hear two employees talking behind me very loudly. One, at the top of his lungs screams with a comedic tone “You hear about Alex? He ripped his pants!” Then I hear another voice say “No way! That is the third time he did it” Laughter ensued. I tried to ignore it, and contain myself, but I felt a tear role down my cheek. Facing me, two stone expressionless faces. Not even flinching. They barely say good bye. I turn to leave and saw no one behind me. Did I imagine it all? Alex obviously needs to upgrade his pants size, at least for the sake of his customers. Hope he wasn’t a plumber…it is bad enough that they always have their Crack showing
Day 80 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – sick today. Had to sleep in the afternoon, but that’s ok, figured I would catch the tale end of some football games. There were none to choose from. The most exciting game was a fieldgoal barn burner between the Steelers and the Rams (12-6). I was hopeful the Dolphins game would be a little more interesting. Ends up this team, with all the hype and promise there was during the preseason, looks even WORSE than last year. Boring one sided thrashing by Buffalo. Lackluster lethargic Dolphins team. Leaving my logo as is on Facebook until the team fires the coach.
Adding to my frustration, the Washington Nationals were officially eliminated from postseason base ball last night. I follow them, despite leaving Montreal. Seems like they are living up the Montreal Expos tradition of choking when it matters towards the end of the season.
 Day 81 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I was reminded (via email) that my Apple Music subscription is about to expire.  I signed up with for a three month trial to check out their collection since I listen to most of my tunes on my iPod touch and my Apple TV. It makes sense  (I love my Google All Play music btw!).   I was also lured in with the promise that there will be apps available for Android and will be available on Apple TV. When I signed up, I saw some interesting play lists in iTunes, so I figured I would put them on my iPod Touch to listen to on my rides into work. Got a message saying that my iPod is not supported for Apple Music. That’s ok, it is a few years old, so I just assumed my iPod was obsolete.  A month into my trial, wifey got me a slick iPod Nano. I thought, great! I can listen to Apple Music on it (it is new after all). Got the same message. Yesterday, I looked up on the Google Store for Apple Music, it was not there. I figured maybe I can listen to it on Apple TV. Unable to play it on that.  Seems like Apple have not released the Android App or patch for Apple TV yet despite what was advertised.  Only way I can listen to Apple Music is by sitting in front of my computer. BAH!
Day 82 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I am all for rain. I am also for dressing up to go the office. What I am not for is riding on cram packed, 40 foot bus, feeling crushed in like a pack of sardines, with the heat on full blast (when it is 19 degrees outside). Bus feels like an amazon jungle You can see the steam rise on the windows. I leave the bus wet, damp, and my clothes smell strong of dryer sheets for some reason. I am wetter than when I walk out of the shower. Which raises the point. Why do I bother showering?
Day 83 of 100 Days of Satisfaction – Have you ever worked on a project that seems to have no end, no planning, changing direction, fixed deadlines, and the whole thing may be canned in the near future? This seems to be a recurring theme in my professional life. Lucky for me, I am flexible. I am sure all those that have worked with me (either professionally, socially, or voluntarily) in the past can vouch for that! And no, I don’t mean flexible as in yoga. I have the suppleness of a telephone pole. : )

Day 84 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Sad day (again) in the US. Maybe this is crazy, but I think the right to own a gun is trumped by the right not to be shot by one; and maybe I am dreaming in technicolor, but I wish mental health care was as easy to get as, say, a gun.

To quote John Oliver from the Daily Show “One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns.”

Day 85 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I am always amazed at the amount of profanity out there and how the art of oral communication is lost. When I was young, I was known to drop an f-bomb or two. Even sometimes now, I do as well. I also understand that some words are not as offensive as they were a few decades ago. When Rhett Butler said “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” in Gone with the Wind (1939), that stunned audiences. Now, we don’t blink an eye when someone swears. For some it denotes toughness and intimidates. Others, it is used for humour and shock. And yet others, it is a natural and cultural expression – as I heard today, for the first time today, while waiting for the bus, an entire sentence comprising (for the most part) 1 colourful word used as a noun, verb, and adjective. The only other words in the sentence were “You can” and I think a “the”. Hate to hear how they order a full seven course meal at a restaurant, or to try to communicate technical requirements for a new complex software.
Day 86 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Beautiful weekend day in the suburbs. Odd thing is, everyone is out driving around doing whatever it is the denizen do. There is NOBODY walking, biking or enjoying the sunshine, just zooming around in their cars, rushing to the grocery store to get that 2 for 1 deal on canned tomatoes, and they are all sold out.  Suburb roads are about the equivalent of driving on the Queensway during rush hour.
Day 87 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Saw someone I knew  at the grocery store.  Looked him straight in the eye and said hello, only to be promptly ignored.  I have found that in Ottawa, saying hello is not something people do, unless you have some sort of signed contract in blood permitting that social exchange.  In fact, people “may” talk to you after seeing your face regularly for two years in a common community, like your office.  And you wonder why Ashley Madison is so popular for Ottawans.

Day 88 or 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Wifey was kind enough to buy me an Apple Gift Card for my birthday. It seems, that an Apple Gift Card cannot buy music from iTunes. It can only be used for hardware or accessories from the Apple store. I just bought a computer and a Nano. So I figured I would ask Apple if I could exchange it for an iTunes card (after reading on their sight, it was clear that there are two types of cards). Heck, I was thinking I could even BUY an iTunes card with my gift card. Here is their no brainer reply, which was very helpful and I feel like I have been “pointed in the right direction”.

Hi Bruce,

Greetings! This is Kathrinna, your iTunes Store Advisor. Thanks for contacting us.

I understand that you’d like to use your Apple Gift Card on iTunes Store. I know how important for you to redeem your gift card. Rest assured that I will point you to the right direction to have your issue addressed.

Bruce, I’d like to share that, Apple Store Gift Cards can be used to purchase Apple hardware and accessories at any Apple Retail Store or

On the other hand, iTunes Gift Cards can be used for music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books. iTunes Gift Cards can’t be used at an Apple Retail Store or for purchases from Apple Store Gift Cards can’t be used on the iTunes Store.

For more information about gift cards, see this page:

Also, I’d like to clarify that, our gift card exchange program has been suspended and it is uncertain as to when or if the program will be started again.

Since this was purchased by your wife, I recommend that you tell her about this and try to get in touch with the customer service where she purchased the gift card to see whether it could be exchanged on their end or could refunded.

I hope I was able to clear things out and thank you for understanding. Take care!



Day 89 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction  We have neighbours across a yard we call “crazy cat people”. They always seem to have five cats climbing running around their yard, and they seem to be interchangeable….there is a new cat every year. I love cats, but because we are the only house with a hedge (no fence), the cats use our backyard as a convenient expressway to the front of our house, where they use our yard as a form of public litter box.
Today, I was greeted by this pathetic creature.  Looks like it wants a snack.

Day 90 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – The world of modern technology. I have a tablet, an ipod Touch, a chromebook, and a BlackBerry. It seems that I spend most of my life “recharging” devices and managing how I go about recharging them. Tonight is grand. All my devices need to be recharged. I have more devices to recharge than available plugs in my room! So for tonight, in absence of real cool devices, I am posting my dissatisfaction “old school”, from behind computer!

Day 91 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – yes, another grocery store adventure. You may sense there is a bit of a theme here, especially with regard to how much I detest grocery shopping!

Tonight’s episode featured a long lineup at checkout. In the spot in front of me, a six year old child had his arms straight out in front of him, walking in circles like he was Frankenstein, bumping into everything. He repeated (with slight accent) “I am a zombie, I am a zombie” over, and over, and over, and over again, with the odd grr thrown in.

I was tempted to feed him some brains just to get him to stop this zombie act and to try to convince him to do something different, like pretending to be a rock. But then, I felt sorry for him, as most adults in this city are zombies, and usually don’t turn into them until they are well into their twenties, or start work in the public service.

Six is WAY to young for anyone to catch this sickness.

Day 92 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – yes this is an early morning edition, but my day started with a bang. For years, we receive flyers and papers delivered to our home. We get so many, the deliverers don’t really have enough place to put them. They do their best to cram them in our mailbox (they have damaged a few along the way), or leave them on the ground to be blown around by the wind on our yard or to be soaked by the rain and snow. I have placed signs “NO FLYERS”, but it seems that only illiterates deliver flyers. And I kid you not, there is a LOT. Each grocery store produces a Sunday paper each week. We have the local newspaper. We get little bags filled with more paper. During the holidays, every store has one. I guess I should not complain, they do deliver the day before garbage pickup day.

As a last ditch passive aggressive effort (after all, the bleeding obvious of my not wanting them was not enough), I placed my recycling bin under my mailbox, with the hope the message would sink in and they would place the flyers in the bin. Well, that did not work.

BTW: yes, it is quite dark at 6:45 am

Footnote: the bin does look full, that is because I had to pick up a huge pile of paper on my step, which I proceeded to slam in the bin before deciding to take a photo.

Footnote2: The small sign on the door to the right says “No solicitors”, which seems another occupation where illiteracy is a career asset.


Day 93 of 100 Days of Disaatisfaction – in a burst of nostalgia, tonight I decided to watch old wrestling videos of matches I liked as a kid on youtube. I was struggling to get youtube working on my iPod Touch 4G, but finally got to watch some vids. I was saddened by the realization that wrestling is fake…
BTW, my thimbs are way to big to type on my ipod. It took me 20 minutes to do this post!
Day 94 of 1000 Days of Dissatisfaction – Wifey reliving her childhood by watching Jem and the Holograms.  If you have never watched this 80s tripe, it is about a group of helium inhaling, Brittney Spears wanna-bes who get magical powers to give them the ability to lip synch almost perfectly, while trying to play air guitar. The music, the stage production, and the marketing is done by a super computer called Synergy. Their enemy, a real band that is marginalized by the industry, called the Misfits, plays music that sounds almost identical to the Holograms. Despite the Misfits  hard work, they are constantly ripped off by Synergy and the Holograms, forcing them to busking on the streets.
Here is a sample of this show. Judge for yourself
I am looking forward to Jem doing a cross over with GI Joe’s Black Metal artist -Golobulus
Day 95 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Ever binge watch a TV show?  This is a day off for us, so we figured we would watch “How to Get Away with Murder”.  It is on Rogers on Demand. When we tried to access the On Demand channel, the PVR said that the channel was “undefined”, so it took us about an hour to resolve our technical issues.  Once done, we sat to watch the show.  I think this is an excellent show and worth watching. However, is it just me, or are they making TV shows drag out much longer than they have to? There are many “filler” scenes set to music, granted, they are sex scenes, so music is appropriate, though flanging funk would have been better than melancholy indie. I guess it would be hard to have meaningful dialogue in them (unless you are Game of Thrones, in which case a whole story is told by a character while lesbians demonstrate their creativity in a brothel…probably why people don’t know what is going on the show). Ever watch the Office? All 9 seasons x 26 episodes per season. I am sure there were a few episodes the writers were “stretching it” a bit. Or how about that classic Breaking Bad fly in the laboratory episode?  Excellent fodder to avoid advancing the plot when you know you have too many episodes to write. Ya, there are still many good TV shows out there, but I guess concept of “mini series” where there is a logical start and end just does not work anymore.

Day 96 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – off sick from work and noticing that kids are coming home from school before 2:30 pm! They are now playing in the streets making a racket – my peace ruined. Obviously they do not study after school, so how many hours do they actually sit in a classroom each day? I recall coming home after five from school, and that was on days when I did not have any sport team practices! My next question, if their school hours are shorter, why bother sending them to school in the first place? Can they not do stuff online with their Playstations?


Day 97 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – got a promo in the mail. I get a 10$ bonus by joining Costco. Ever shop at Costco? You can get great deals, but is 10 dollars enough incentive to lure new members? One item at Costco is about $100 dollars, so 10% on one purchase not too bad, but what if you get 8 items? BTW I think membership is still about 50$, so this bonus won’t even go towards a purchase!

Day 98 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Can’t wait until my first day off from my Days of Dissatisfaction. Why? It is the election night. Why should that matter? Cause after the last 100 days, our phone has been called at least 5 times a day with one political party or other asking for their support (going as late as 9:15 pm), and our doorbell rung every day with people who ignore our “no soliciting” sign to tell us how great the Natural Law Party is (or equivalent). I am getting tired of politics. It is the reason why I moved from Quebec to Ottawa.


Day 99 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I have been playing guitar on and off for about the last 30 years. I seek inspiration by reading lots of articles about other musicians, and watch youtube videos of axemen wielding creative renditions of popular songs. Lately I have seen two “inspirational” posts on my timeline (found below).

The first is of an 11 year old playing Dream Theater, and it seems she has had this talent since she was 8. FYI For those of you who do not know, John Petrucci (guitarist of Dream Theater), is one of those guitarists who are “untouchable” by us mere mortals who are hacking away on the guitar.

The other, is of an 81 year old man who can WOW the crap out of anyone.

For me, the message is clear, according to Facebook. Petrucci is easy enough for an 11 year old to play (I am now disillusioned as I cannot even play Neil Young songs), or it will take me another 34 years to get to the level of play of the 81 year old!

Quitting guitar! ; )


Hard to believe, that the 100 day journey is ending.  When I started, I was not sure that I could get past 20 days, but finding things to be dissatisfied about was pretty easy, especially in this city, which, to quote the Joker from Batman, needs an enema. When one looks for it, there is a lot of ripe material to draw from. What have we learned from this journey:

  • OC Transpo buses are designed for discomfort and are inconveniently scheduled; all intentional to discourage ridership and encourage overall traffic congestion. Ottawa is third worse in Canada btw.
  • driving in Ottawa, especially rush hours on the Queensway, are lots of fun if you enjoy listening to commercials on the radio
  • public servants in Gatineau are not entitled to any fine dining. Tim Horton’s is the best that they can get, second to Couche Tard hot dogs and burritos
  • people in this city are natural targets – either they are just plain too serious, or express themselves so poorly due to an inherent passive aggressive nature that prevails. Sarcasm is dangerous.
  • Technology, though useful, requires constant attention, and takes us away from the things we should be doing

The funny thing, I did not go down the religion stream. I figured I ranted for over a year about my dissatisfaction with religion, so no need for a repeat. And for most people, even the mention of the word religion creates a bad sense of gastro-indegestion. Religion, though, is SUCH an easy target, especially in religions that preach “love thy neighbour” and go about hating their God’s creation, all in the name of religious liberty. For a group of people who claim to drink from the “well of life”, one  would expect deep satisfaction. In reality, as a body, they are depressed and are really dissatisfied, a result of setting a moral bar impossibly high and living in constant fear (also a contradiction).  This is really prevalent in the States where religion and capitalism are an unholy union.

Despite my grumpy posts, I have learned that there is much in life that does satisfy.  With the twist of irony, it is easy to see it when you look at the negative with a humorous twist. Good community is what  ultimately satisfies, especially with the all the quirkiness of what is all around you and being able to laugh at the things that annoy you .

Thanks all for being friends, being a part of my community, and sharing this journey with me.

Hope you had as much fun as I did!

Don’t be a stranger, keep in touch ; )

Bye for now