It Helps If the Whole Family Is Crazy

Really? The Law Applies to Us, Too?

My Brother the Trespasser (proof that he's a nose-picker - been trying to prove that since the 70's) Photo © Matt Falls, 1969
My Brother the Trespasser
(proof that he’s a nose-picker – been trying to prove that since the 70’s)

Photo © Matt Falls, 1969

Apparently, for my family, “close” counts, not only in horseshoes and hand grenades, but also in trespassing.

For as long as I can remember, my family has had an odd fascination with the idea of being arrested, to the point that certain family members will actually make serious attempts to go to jail, just so they can lord it over those of us who have not yet succeeded. So far, none of us have managed. I think there must be a prize for the one who goes to jail first.

At family get-togethers, conversations generally center around past “close calls”.

“Remember when Kenny nearly got arrested for hanging over Davies’ roof and spitting on people? He was four, I think.”

“Yeah, and remember when Mom nearly got arrested for driving around in the middle of the night in her bathrobe…?”

“…and that time we tried to kidnap the photographer who threatened to call Children’s Aid?”

“No, that never really happened. No one felt like chasing him.”

“We scared him good, though.”

“Yes, we did.”

So far, no one’s actually been arrested, but it’s not been for lack of trying. I think my mother has given up hope, though, as she has begun to make up imaginary prison records for us. She has been known to introduce my brother’s wife to friends with the statement, “This is my daughter-in-law, Sue. They met in jail.” Sue goes along with it, because she wants a record as much as the rest of us, so she says, but it was Sue that spoiled the last attempt, so I think she’s not really up to the calibre of this family.

When Un-Brother Ken and The Bride came to visit the other week, they hatched a plan to get arrested for trespassing. On the day before they were to leave town, they decided they wanted to go see the new windmill farm. This is a cool place. Huuuuuuge windmills were trucked into these parts in pieces for months while it was being built, and for awhile there, everybody (and my brother) wanted up close and personal pictures of them to prove they had been out at the site. Which is Not Allowed. It is Against The Law. Which is why they went. I’m sure they waited ’til the last day only so Ken could add “renegade” to his record when he crossed the provincial border. I can’t say I blame him. That would have really impressed Mom.

Anyhoo. Un-Brother and The Bride, and Aub and Sue (who met in jail), piled into somebody’s vehicle (probably stolen) and drove out to the wind farm. They drove past many “No Trespassing” signs. Large signs. Impossible-to-miss signs.

They stood underneath mammoth windmills and took photo after photo while they waited for the heat. And it came. Off in the distance they heard sirens. Then they saw flashing lights. Then they watched while two ATVs “eluded” a lone officer of the law over and over again, zigzagging back and forth. By the time the cop noticed my siblings and their (probably stolen) vehicle, he was jumping mad. He gave up on the ATVs, and screeched to a halt (as well as an unmarked police vehicle can screech on a dirt road) like Roscoe P. Coltrane and stormed up to them, bellowing, “What are you doing here?! This is private property! Didn’t you see the signs?!”

I guess he’s not accustomed to people trying to get arrested, because when the trespassers admitted that yes, they had seen the signs, but ignored them completely, he went from angry, to confused, to downright friendly. When he asked for I.D., Sue (who may or may not have met my brother in jail) saw her chance. She had no I.D. with her, and so gave a fake name.

Sue refuses to use our family name, even after nearly two decades of marriage (no doubt out of embarrassment), but this time she used it. And Aub (who may or may not be retarded), promptly told the cop her real name.

Now, Sue could have used the opportunity to start an argument, and add “resisting arrest” to her so-far embarrassingly clean record, but she was so surprised that her husband ratted her out, that she lost her head and stormed off to the (probably stolen) car to cool off. And missed her chance.

Meantime, Un-Brother Ken decided that asking stupid questions might help, and requested of the officer to please turn his cool flashing lights back on so that they could take pictures to show back home.

Arrested Development 1
…and the officer kindly did so.

So Aub decided to redeem himself by blatantly and blithely continuing to photograph the windmills while the cop wrote his report.

Arrested Development 2
Look at him goading the nice policeman! For shame!

Not to be outdone, Un-Brother one-upped Aub by asking the cop if he could take a picture of him.

Arrested Development 3
And he did.

And then (now this really sucks), the nice policeman let them off with a warning. They were told that they’d all get a letter from the company that owns the windfarm, scolding them and telling them not to be so bad in future.

Arrested Development Documentation
And they did.

No arrests. No court. No jail time. Not even a fine, for God’s sake. I’m embarrassed by the whole attempt. If I had been there, I would have got us arrested. I would have won the coveted Family Cup.

They never take me anywhere, dammit.

P.S. Special thanks to My Brother the Trespasser for letting me blog this. See, Aub? I was nice… well… except for that “nose-picker” part.

Random Song for the Day: “Nothing As It Seems” – Pearl Jam

Kyla Becker Little Bits of Stupid Photography

I Am Not a Circus Performer

I refuse to juggle anymore. It’s been one thing after another again lately. I dealt with the crowds of people all last week. I kind of thought I had it together there. I thought wrong. The shit continues to hit the fan. Most of the time it’s either not my shit, or not my fan.

Between injuries, school exams that aren’t happening, job applications, and nasty phone calls in the middle of job interviews (note to self: next bridge crossed, pitch cell phone into river.), I have decided to shut down and deal with things one at a time from now on. I don’t care how important so-and-so thinks the next emergency is, it will wait its turn or it will disappear without being dealt with at all.

Doctor Visit
Guess where we went…?

Bad Knee
For the road rash…

Bad Arm
And the sprained wrist…

Yeah. We got lucky though. We actually have a family doctor, while others have been on waiting lists for five or more years. I estimate that we saved up to four hours of sitting in the emergency room because Dr. Who snuck us in to the office at the end of his day and ordered up x-rays before sending us off to the germy hive that passes for a hospital here.

The wait (3+ hours) was still excruciating for the poor kid, though, and I believe she will think twice next time, before jumping off the back of another kid’s bicycle pegs. In the dark. While still in motion.

It’s not all bad, mind you. As far as the J.O.B. hunt goes, I’ve landed an interview for one of the temp positions that I really want, and have had an interview for one of the positions that I’d rather not take, but will if I must, as opposed to starve. On the web development front, I’ve done the work for my freelance job, and only have clean-up left to do – just waiting on the info to finish. And, ummmm, the cash. And, joy of all joys, I have another freelance web design/development contract in the works! Enough of these one after another, and I could continue to work pants-less on an ongoing basis.

I finally wrote an exam I’d been putting off (82%). I’ve scheduled my last two exams, which I have yet to crack a book for, for tomorrow, and I refuse to be nervous about either of them, mainly because I really no longer care.

I’ve also been playing with the camera. What say ye to this…?

Taken September 19, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

So, I’m managing… barely. Between people nearly being arrested and/or killed (Arrested?! Yup – I’ll tell that story eventually), I think I’m doing alright. But, still….

Life is Tough
Life is tough for all of us at the moment…

Random Song for the Day: “Money Worries” – Bedouin Soundclash

It Helps If the Whole Family Is Crazy Kyla Becker Music Radio Les

The Wedding Singer

My Un-Brother, Ken and his new wife Sylvia made the trip to visit us from Fort MacMurray to show off their new wheels – bought by the insurance company that covered the damage done from the freak hailstorm that hit ten minutes after they said “I Do.” Now, if that ain’t God talkin’, I don’t know what it is. I tried to warn them. They didn’t listen. Now they have a brand new truck. Shows what I know.

The Happy Couple
The Happy Couple

A “wedding dinner” was hosted for them at a local restaurant on Tuesday evening. Ky wanted to sing for them as her wedding gift. I told them it was from me, too, ‘cuz I don’t “do” weddings, and I’m a miser. I only went to the dinner for the free food and beer.

The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer

And now for your listening pleasure, a small snippet of Ky’s “Wedding Song” for the Happy Couple: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, sung a cappella.

“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – Kyla Becker: a capella
Click it! Click it!

J.O.B. Photography


"Half-Blown" © Les Becker, 2006Taken June 11, 2006 with HP PhotoSmart R607
© Les Becker, 2006
Taken June 11, 2006 with HP PhotoSmart R607

I found this pic while digging through archives looking to fill up my new digital photography portfolio site. It’s been slow going, for several reasons: 1) There are huge numbers of photographs, on too many freaking discs, 2) None are categorized except by year, which sucks, ‘cuz I don’t want to see most of them, and 3) There aren’t very many good shots.

Photography had only ever been a hobby for me until I started selling digital cameras, and then began using them. Digital photography opened up a whole new interest when it became affordable for a poor hack like me, and I embraced it for a long time. Then I drowned my camera, and after a while, lost any knack I’d acquired.

When I bought a new and better camera, I was disappointed to discover that I just wasn’t interested anymore. So I’m going back to “hobbying” with it now, for the most part, but since I did find some decent shots, I decided to put up a portfolio site. You never know; I might find that spark again some day.

This particular photograph, when I found it again, just screamed “unemployed” at me. This is about what I feel like, being jobless.

I’ve put resumes in at two new postings (the good kind – temporary, but “useful feeling”), and I’m feeling fairly confident for both. Odd, that.

Now, I have to go search out a picture that screams “You Got the Job!” at me. You know – ‘cuz I’m gonna need one ready.

PS – That freelance web development job came through – I won’t starve for awhile… 🙂

Random Song for the Day: “Ruby Sees All” – Cake

J.O.B. Photography School

What Is It?

Yes, just here to educate y’all, and have some fun in the process…

I’m having fun playing with my camera again. And this is a really cool thing. The whole picture is at the bottom of the post.

In other news, I applied to another School-Wasn’t-a-Waste job today. The money would be much better than the one I applied to yesterday (which I got a call about today, to ascertain that I’m “qualified” for an interview – so far, so good), but, like the other one, it’s a temporary position. I don’t know how long the placement would last, but I want this job.

I also applied for another “I-Don’t-Really-Wanna-Do-This-But-I-Need-the-Money” position. We won’t talk about that one…

Studying for my exams…? Uh, yeah. I gotta get on that.

Writing…? I have been, yes. More news about finished projects and newly begun projects should soon be posted.

Web-Development, now… That “almost” freelance job (which I still haven’t got the all-clear on, unfortunately, but, I want that job, too!) has jump-started my interest in design and development again, and I’ve been playing with some ideas for my own sites.

With all this stuff going on, I’m not sure I have time to work a job…

Here’s that pic. Nice, eh?

It’s a Geode.

And I think mine is prettier than any of the ones at Wikipedia.

Random Song for the Day: “Fields of Fire” – Big Country

The Father Chronicles

The Bee Keeper

The Bee Keeper & Hives
The Bee Keeper & Hives

My dad was the youngest of the six boys, and the only kid younger than he was, was my Aunt Lynne – the only girl in the family – and probably pretty much spoiled for it.

Since my Dad was the youngest of the boys, he was the one left on the farm to help out at the start of the War. As a sideline, my grandfather kept a small stand of trees that he sold timber off of. My father’s “sideline” was bees.

Blog-Family J.O.B. Little Bits of Stupid

David says G,day – Sheikh says “Quack”

dory & daffy
Dory and Daffy are at odds as to what I should do with the day…

David McMahon has very generously offered his expertise to the Internet at large…

“In view of the fact that all bloggers are writers (but not vice versa!) I was wondering if you could help me with one of my major aims. I recently started a daily post on tips for writers, called `Telling Write From Wrong’. I would like this to become a central point for writers of any description, any nationality, any age and any interest, to get honest advice from an experienced writer. They can leave their questions as comments – and I will answer them.”

I’m excited about this. I have many questions. I also have many things on my to-do list that really should take priority over my writing, at least for the next couple of weeks. This has brought me, as usual, to a stand-still.

I must become employed. At this point, I must become employed at anything that will bring in a regular paycheck. This causes procrastination of a frightening caliber, as my choices are slim, and all of the choices suck. The last time I was in this position I took the first J.O.B. that presented itself, and then languished in retail, getting “broker” by the paycheck for a decade. I don’t want that to happen again. Ever.

Freelance in writing and web development is a more enjoyable and surprisingly possible option, as opportunities are certainly presenting themselves willy-nilly… but it’s not enough, yet, for that “Starvation Prevention” item that’s rather high up on the list.

Dory and Daffy, the only Life Advisers left now, are at odds with each other.

Daffy says, “Get off your ass; take the first paying job you can get, Stupid!”

Dory says, “What a nice day!”

I say, “What about writing?”

Daffy says, “You can write in the off-hours. The fridge is empty. You’re getting stupid. Again.”

Dory says, “Sing with me! Oooooouuuuaaaaaaaaah!

I say, “I don’t want to sling coffee. I don’t want to sell long-distance packages to screaming people in Florida from a phone-pod in the middle of 500 identical phone-pods…”

Dory says, “Just keep swimming.”

Daffy says, “Get this rock off my foot so I can get a decent swing at the fish.”

Sheikh the Cat says, “Who are you talking to?”

I say, “My advisers. I have to get a paying job.”

Sheikh says, “Are we out of chicken?”

I say, “Not…. yet….”

Sheikh says, “Don’t worry about it. Continue petting. Quack!”

So far, today, Sheikh is winning.

Random Song for the Day: “In a Sentimental Mood” – Billy Joel

Finances Music

I Did Something Bad.

...but Necessary.
…but Necessary.

I spent money I don’t have on something I don’t need. That doesn’t make having it now any less necessary, mind you. Now that I’ve got the damned thing, it’s as necessary as the Internet. Or air.

I went out to the dreaded mall. I went out with the best of intentions – to get those dress slacks I couldn’t find yesterday in a safer place. Found ’em! They even fit. Sort of.

Then, I did a silly thing and went to visit Louie, and there found The Necessary Thing. No, I should not have bought it. Yes, I feel guilty.

It’s still necessary. Now that it’s mine.

PS… I sold a silly little “blip” to an online funny-papers kind of place. Not what I expected for a first sale, but you won’t hear me complaining, either.

Random Song for the Day: “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” – The Decemberists [the song displayed on my shiny, new, (and necessary) MP3 player]

Little Bits of Stupid

Jeans that Fit (and other things)


I went shopping today, if you could call it that. I hate stores; I hate shopping in general. In particular, I hate shopping for clothes. Unfortunately, I have no suitable attire for job-hunting/interviews, so I was forced to go shopping. Ugh.

I also have that “no income” thing going on, so I went to one of our local thrifty-difty kind of places, which is cool with me, as I’m all for pinching a penny ’til it shrieks.

I found NO dress slacks in my size, which apparently is somewhere this side of nothing. I did, however, become the proud owner of a pair of jeans that will stay up when I walk – the first I’ve found since the pair pictured in this post, which has since died a good death. I consider $5.99 for jeans that fit to be a good deal, bearing in mind that I’m hoping to actually reach a “normal” weight some time in this lifetime (mine or the jeans’) and I’d hate to have to pitch a pair of $50-$90 jeans because I finally met a goal. Granted, I expect to be gainfully employed before that happens anyway, so maybe it won’t matter much by then.

I also caved and paid an additional $5.99 for a new (to me) white dress shirt rather than steal another one from my Dad’s closet. And get caught. Again. I’m pleased to report that the “pouty face” still works on him, and the nice gray one I was caught absconding with last week was reluctantly given to me free and clear. I didn’t even get grounded.

In other news, my brain is itching to get at the new story I mentioned in my previous post. The Ruby Story is not yet finished, however, – but it’s getting there! I’m working! – and I refuse to start anything new until it is, unless there is a paycheck attached to it. I looked into the Magic Paycheck for Writing Mirror yesterday, though, and (holding breath), saw the words “Paychecks May Be Closer Than They Appear.” Hope springs eternal. Belief, on the other hand, is as yet suspended until somebody shows me the money.

And now… I must study. Blah.

Random Song for the Day – “Peephole” – System of a Down

Real Life School

Where I’m At…


The school deadline has passed. I have three exams left to write (I may want to consider studying for those at some point this week).

My last assignment for the Flash Experience Design course was an interesting one, and I got a great mark of 94% – I was pleased with that one. The final mark in the course was 89%, which kind of sucked because I got really good marks overall in the assignments, but kind of bombed out on the exam. I’m much better in the “practical” stuff – envision it, build it, yep, no problem. Talk about/teach it? Ummmm… not so much, no. Anyway, here’s that last assignment.

Back out into the real world again (uck), I officially have NO income now. Not a completely comfortable position. So, while I rebuild resumes for “real world jobs”, I’ve been applying for writing jobs as well: three on Saturday, and one today, so far.

I’ve also accepted a “maybe” freelance Flash job – “maybe” because I’m not sure there’s really a job there to accept, yet, but I’m pleased, nonetheless. This would go a long way toward feeling like the last eleven months haven’t been a big waste of my time. It would also go a good portion of the way toward keeping a roof over my head come November. Fingers crossed.

Have I actually written anything today? Uh, yeah… this post, anyway. There’s a new little sprout in my head though… beginning, middle, end, and all that, even. And the Ruby story end is coming for the handful on the reading list. Honest. It is, really.

Random Song for the Day: “Swinging on the Cusp” – Count Basie