Oh, NO! Mr. Bill!

29 01 2012

My son loves the old unfortunate modelling clay Saturday Night Live character Mr. Bill, whose life is so full of compounded catastrophes. Well, today was a special occasion to have some Mr. Bill-like scenarios on the local toboggan hill. James found a solid conical piece of ice beneath a downspout and cradled it on the way to the hill while I towed him along. Next, he set it up on the slope, and roared, “Let’s run into Mr. Icy!” After the first wholloping crash into the ice chunk, which sent it end over end, he was giggling with glee! The ice cone then became, ‘Mr. Icy Bill’. I got on the sled with him, and did a voice over for a few runs. In the plaintive high-pitched Mr. Bill voice, I wailed things like, “Oooooohhhhh, noooooooooo! It’s that James and Miles againnnnnnnnnn! Please don’t bash into meeeeeeee. Oh, nooooooooooo! (CRASH!) Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!” Next, we took turns doing the voice overs. After a while, I am sure some passersby must have either been thinking we were nuts, or thought it amusing to see us charging up the hill, setting up Mr. Icy Bill on the edge of a little jump, and then smashing into him recurrently. After actually running over the ice chunk a few times, I solemnly spoke: “James, people in the neighbourhood are somewhat shocked at the lack of empathy, the sardonic laughter they are hearing, and the downright cruelty we are showing towards poor Mr. Icy Bill, who keeps begging for mercy. What have you to say to that, my son?” His immediate response was, “AGAINNNNNNNNN!” Ultimately, we crashed so hard into Mr. Icy Bill that he broke into two pieces. After recovering from the high-speed impact, and the ensuing wipeout, we stood over the tragic, broken figure, and showed no remorse whatsoever. James and I howled, “OHHHHHHHHHH, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” And, laughed a lot. As I towed James away home from the scene, as he hugged the two pieces of ice block, he commented, “This is the best day EVER!” He held the blocks together so hard that his glove froze to them, binding them back together, as can be seen in the image above.

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Twisted Trees

15 01 2012

The sun was a dim-set eye in the freezing cloud banks today, but had enough strength to light up the twisted trees by the headwaters of Nose Hill Creek in Cochrane Park. I happily endured an 80-minute trudge from home, through Cochrane Park, and then to the eastern end of Confederation Park before returning. I was grateful that there was a heated washroom there, so I could warm up before heading home. The trees along Nose Hill Creek are always great to see, and I don’t think I have seen any ones similar anywhere else. They grow almost horizontally in places, and have cool twists like in the ones in the picture.