The Canadian Burning of the White House (A totally true history…seriously)

Most Americans foolishly believe–as our lying teachers and textbooks have told us for 200 years–that it was the English that sailed from Chesapeake Bay and laid waste to Washington DC, burning the White House. Of course, this is a lie made by lying liars for their own agendas. The truth is far more sinister and involves our “polite” neighbors to the North: Canada.

In the Spring of 1814, after the glaciers receded from the Canadian wilderness, the Sovereign State of Canada launched a dastardly attack, cutting a swath of destruction from New York to all points south, ending with a deplorable burning of the sacred American Capitol. Here is the absolutely true story of the Candian assault on our land.

The Armored Moose Cavalry

Beginning in Montreal, the Canadian forces crossed the St. Lawrence River and marched south. At the head of the attack was Lt. Colonel Tim Horton, who led the feared Canadian Armored Moose Calvary. The moose were layered in steel, with spikes adorning their antlers. Their riders carried curved axes called “hockey sticks.” They trampled through the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York. Wherever they stopped, they built a coffee shop named after their leader. Some stand even to this day, though under the name “Stewarts.”


Lt Col Horton in his dress uniform

Following the cavalry shock troops were massive cannons mounted on Zambonis fueled by something later called “Crown Royal.” Carried in special pouches, this mighty fuel allowed the Zambonis to travel great distances, gliding across the terrain as if they were on ice. Behind them were the Canadian riflemen, bedecked in their plaid, flannel uniforms, though the officers wore denim trousers and open denim jackets with a wolf shirt beneath.

Supporting their assault was perhaps the Canadians’ most vicious and barbaric weapon, the Canadian Geese Air Corps. These fierce creatures rained fetid death from above, from which there was no escape. When opposing troops saw their flying V pattern overhead, they ran, for no man can match the ferocity of a Canadian Goose.

The Canadians sacked Albany, then plowed south, skirting New York City and instead attacking the port of Newark. Oh, how the streets of Newark ran sticky with syrup that day. The barbarous Canadians celebrated their victory with a feast of sliced and fried potatoes smothered in gravy and cheese curds. They called this food  “cheese fries with gravy (note: translated from Olde Canadian).” It is still on the menu of most New Jersey diners, though I dare say that they don’t know its sinister origins (or do they?).

The Canadian March South

They continued south, and the American militias were helpless against them. They fled at the sight of the armored moose and geese assaults, and Horton’s hockey hackers cut them down. After bringing polite destruction down on Philadephia, Horton split his forces. One-third of Horton’s troops headed west, laying waste to Appalachia in Virginia and Kentucky. The most famous battle of their western campaign was the Bowling Green Massacre #neverforget.

The rest of Horton’s troops moved south toward the Capitol. The American troops stood ready, but with a fierce battle cry of “yeh hoser!” the armored moose cavalry charged. There was no stopping the massive beasts, and the moose were just as fearsome. The Zamboni artillery fired double-doubles upon the left flank of the American troops, scalding them and driving them to flight. President Madison and his wife Dolly fled the White House, Dolly taking the portrait of George Washington with her before the Canadians could desecrate it with slabs of Canadian Bacon.

And there, on the 24th of August, 1814, Lt. Col. Horton sacked Washington DC and burned the White House. They then celebrated with some Molsons and danced to Nickelback all night long.


Nickelback: the greatest of outrages


Eventually, there came peace, and Horton’s Hackers returned to the Great White North. But they left a legacy across America. You see, no Maple Tree ever grew in America before the Canadian assault, but one intrepid rifleman named Johnny Mapleseed planted acorns along the Canadian army’s path. Without this young man, there would be no American maple syrup.

The discarded bags for the Crown Royal were later discovered to be excellent dice pouches for 19th-century games such as “Cellars and Cholera.”

Canada later said that they were sorry for the burning, and especially for Nickelback.

doge in space card redux


Things that are happening

I’ve been away from here for a while. Things have been happening, and they’ve been too heavy to write about here. I’ll give a brief summary

  1. Last month, my gramma died just short of her 101st birthday. She was in agony and had dementia for many years, so it was more of a release than a tragedy. She was free from her pain. After all, who can complain about 101 years of life, except that maybe it’s too long? Arranging the funeral and Shiva (like a Jewish wake, with deli meat and Entenmann’s Cakes) with my combustive family was hell. I worried for weeks over how I was going to keep fights from breaking out or drama royalty making it about themselves. In the end, I must’ve done a good job. Only minor drama.
  2. The nightmares are back, they are constant, and they are worse than ever. I can’t sleep. i wake up 3 or 4 times a night in a clammy sweat. During the day, the nightmares are always on my mind. The doctor can’t give me meds for them because they are contraindicated for people with asthma. I am in a fugue state.
  3. The sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York is behind schedule. I thought it would be out by now, but it likely won’t until August. This really messes up my presentation schedule.  I was ready to sell some heckin books, but I have been too messed up to work to my fullest (see above).
  4. I’m giving the commencement speech at my old high school. I’m pretty excited about that. But I have to pretend that I’m a success and not the hot mess we know I am 😛 Then again, I think we’re all hot messes in one way or another.
  5. The contract for Song of Simon with Caliburn Press ran out, and they won’t even get back to me to tell me if they took the 3-year option. I’m ready to call my lawyer.
  6. I may have a severe, possibly life-threatening illness. We will find out in the next few weeks when the tests come back. Dammit, I’m not ready to face life-threatening shit again. I can only dodge so many bullets. I’m not Neo.

And I have too many books in me to die just yet. Then again, so did Val, and the Reaper didn’t give a fuck.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

Heavy Handed

Yes, here’s a post from a fat guy about how to lose weight. I know it seems silly, but 1) people that are fat know tons about how to lose weight because they’ve tried everything, and 2) I’ve lost almost 160 pounds and have kept it off for 5 years. I’d still like to lose another 20-30, but I’ll get into that in a bit.


           (Me in 2013/ Me in 2018)

I try to work out four days a week. Usually, I manage three. I do kind of an aerobics/kickboxing/weight training routine, and by the end I’m lying on the floor, sweat soaking into the carpet. It’s been pretty effective since I started doing it. I’ve only dropped a few pounds, but I’m down a belt notch and I’m closing in on that glorious fifth belt notch, the place I was at when I was working out at the gym. Still, I’m 240 pounds. Part of the problem is that since I started at close to 400 pounds, I’m carrying about 20-30 pounds of extra skin. A normal BMR for my height and weight is about 2550. My adjusted BMR (according to the weight loss doctor) is 2212. Those 338 calories a day make a big difference (2/3rds of a pound per week).

Anyway, Spring is finally here, and I like to walk in the park. The problem is that a walk, even a brisk walk, is not nearly enough exercise compared to my normal routine. So, I started Heavyhands, and sweet Jeebus on a pogo stick while eating Good N Plenty, that’s a hell of a workout (if you do it right).

The basics are that you walk around while carrying light dumbells. Most people use 2lbs, but I use 5 because I’m an endomorph and naturally strong. You’ve probably seen people at the park and on treadmills at the gym doing it. Most likely they are doing it wrong, swinging them with a normal stride or hardly moving them. I was one of them for two weeks until I found out that I was doing nothing.

I found out that the proper stride is to swing the dumbbell up so that it’s parallel with the ground on each stride. If you’re doing this for an hour, you’re basically doing 1800 alternating shoulder raises (I’m estimating one raise every 2 seconds, which is slow). I’m not at that level yet. When my shoulders would give out, I would do bicep curls or tricep extensions, then switch back when they didn’t feel like death. In addition, you should walk almost in a duck walk to get the legs and butt involved. You look like an idiot doing it, but it’s worth it.

By the end of the workout, I wasn’t as short of breath as I am after my aerobics, but I had no strength left in my shoulders or biceps. It’s a combination strength/endurance workout, like rowing. You won’t get as big as a bodybuilder or as thin as a jogger. You’ll get somewhere in between.

The only caution that I’ve read online is that you can get tendonitis from the repeated motion. I cooled down in a shower afterward and took some Advil to prevent inflammation. We’ll see if it works.

It’s nice to be outside again. I’m not going to do this every time, but it’s a good change of pace from my indoor workout.

This has been your daily “Fat Guy Talking About Weight Loss” post. We now return you to Doge memes.



doge in space card redux

Hooked by the SCA

Two Saturday’s ago, I went to my first SCA event. Now knowing me, you’d think that I go to these all the time. I’m a history buff, love get-togethers, and especially love sharp pointy things. I trained for SCA heavy combat when I was in college and was ready to take my place bashing people with sticks. What kept me from joining was money. While membership and event admission is cheap, things like armor are very expensive. I was just a poor kid out of college. I didn’t have 400 bucks to spend on armor. So I gave it up. I wish that I didn’t.

This first event hooked me. Everyone is so relaxed and chill there. I got to watch the two martial tournaments: HEMA fencing (historical, not modern), and armored combat. I got to throw hand axes and daggers at targets (I’m awful at it.) and there was awesome food.

I also found out that there was a local shire, which I didn’t expect (the event was in another shire, my shire is currently called Norden Fjord, but we’re changing it to Stone Bridges. It’s in the East Kingdom). So I joined. So far, I’m glad. There’s even a lot of sewing, which got Katie interested. There are also bardic competitions, and while my singing leaves something to be desired, like quality, storytelling is part of bardic skill. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s tell a damn good story.

Does this mean that I’ve reached a new level of geekdom? Yes…yes it does. I’m cool with that.

Any SCA members out there that read my blog? I’m looking for further info or garb ideas (I was going to make a necklace out of wooden toggles, but I found that they’re not historically accurate. I thought about making one from claws or teeth, but that kinda skeeves Katie out.

I’m looking forward to plunging in. I just hope that I don’t get super obsessed the way that I usually do and blow all the money that I don’t have.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

RIP Gramma

At 3:52PM yesterday, my grandmother Frieda Epstein passed away in her home. Gramma was a truly extraordinary woman, and not for the extreme length of her lifetime (one month short of 101 years). She was the matriarch, the leader of our family. She made things happen.

Gramma and Grampa raised three children in Washington Heights, Manhattan. They lived in an apartment so small, my mother said that she got an F on an assignment describing her place because the teacher didn’t think it was real. In addition, my great-grandmother lived with them. Six people in an apartment unrealistic enough to get an F.

Through hard work, set backs, and successes, they were able to move across town to the new Promised Land, Co-Op City, in the Bronx. Her three kids grew up to be successes in their fields and raise families of their own. Later in life, she became president of the Co-Op City Jewish Center, the last temple in Co-Op. She held this position until she was too sick to keep it anymore. Without her, the temple closed down.

My gramma has been sick for a while. She’s been in a lot of pain. So while I mourn for her, I also realize that this is a release and relief. I grieve for my family that now has to go on without her. My gramma is at peace, and Death is much harder for the people left behind.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux