Monday, March 01, 2010

Freezing and cursing

So a small bullet dodged this weekend. We'd gotten a bit lazy about plugging in the truck the last few weeks. The temperatures have been so mild....well, mild for up here, that there's been no need to plug her in. So I got lazy when I came home Saturday night and didn't plug her in, forgetting that the forecast called for the temperatures to drop by quite a bit.

So Sunday when we went out to start the car, nothing happened. So there was considerable cursing, figuring the cold had killed the battery. I called up a friend who brought down a battery charger and figured a couple of hours on that should do the trick.

Except it didn't. Six hours on the charger, when the digital readout showing the battery strength at 100 per cent, and the truck still won't start.

So now we're having an "oh fuck" moment. Because when things break in vehicles up here, it's never a cheap fix. The last time something serious broke on one of our vehicles it was the transmission on our old Accent. And that was a $3,000 fix. Now, a couple of years ago that hurt, but was still manageable. The worst that happened was that we no longer went to the Caribbean for our Easter break.

However, this time we're not exactly in the position to take a $3,000 hit, so there was a bit of praying going on today when I had to call the garage to get the truck towed. I was worried that it was going to be the starting motor or something equally horrific.

Fortunately, it appears the truck was simply frozen up. A couple of weeks of the mild temperature and then a sudden cold snap and the truck just froze solid. I also manage to flood it on top of that somehow. So they towed her to the garage, put her in there and let it thaw out. So seven hours later the truck thawed and the engine started, so all is good. I still don't know the damage, but we're hoping it's only a couple of hundred dollars. Not fun, but certainly doable.

Although I am once again thinking if it is at all financially doable, a new truck this summer would be nice. But that's thinking for another post.

Now, in a slightly unrelated matter. Call this an informal poll of sorts. One of things I get from time to time when people meet me is the comment that I sound just like my writing. Or that when they read my blog, or when I used to write columns, they could hear my voice. I write like I talk, apparently. For good or ill.

So my friend Sara has mentioned to me, several times, the amount of profanity that pops up in the blog. Now, my profanity usage has dipped a considerable amount in the past decade. However, it still happens. I don't think I put it in the blog for shock value or to emphasize a point. I'm not like some comedians who will throw in "fuck" or something because they think it gets them an extra titter or something. I write like I talk and, from time to time, profanity sneaks in there.

So the questions are:
1. Does profanity on this blog bother anyone?
2. Considering this is a blog, should profanity be here in the first place?
3. Is it poor writing for it to be in there in the first place?
4. Or would you prefer more profanity? Would it feel more personal and real if I was cursing more?

By all means, toss in your two cents in the comments section. I'm kind of curious.

Last Five
1. Running for home - Matthew Good Band*
2. The fire inside - Bob Seger
3. Teddy picker - Arctic Monkeys
4. Suzanne (live) - Brian Hennesey
5. Pay me my money down (live) - Bruce Springsteen


John Mutford said...

Doesn't bother me. If it was gratuitous, it probably would. That, I think, would be poor writing. As it is, it's fine. The fact that it's a blog is irrelevant (unless you were a primary school teacher writing under your own name or something). Yes, people might stumble unto your blog, but if they're the type to be offended by words they just happen to come across on the Internet, then perhaps the Internet's not the place they ought to wandering aimlessly.

The Perfect Storm said...

1) Doesn't help with the narrative.

2) See (1)

3) I forget where I saw this but your questions reminded me of the missive that if you need to curse, you've reached the limit of your powers to express yourself.

4) In our ever coarsening world let us not rush into surrendering the stiletto for the bludgeon. Unless of course you want your inner Bastard to be seen as the blunt force instrument of blogging ;-)


Way Way Up said...

This might not be a popular opinion and perhaps a little shocking given my occupation but I think profanity does have a place as a way of showing strong emotion. That being said, too much of it is just a turn off, or at least to me it is. I've been tempted to use the odd colourful word myself over the years but given the fact that my former position in Nunavut made it very hard to remain anonymous and that my parents also read my blog, I held back. Of course this doesn't mean I was thinking the odd four-letter word at times as I wrote.

On another note, I've been burned a couple times by forgetting to plug in our van after a warm snap. The mercury hit +12 here today which is messed up for Fort after my time in Nunavut my brain was thinking it was freakin' June.

rohodster said...

Fuck it! Curse away!

rohodster said...

Talking about car repairs in particular absolutely REQUIRES profanity!

SRD said...

It seems to me that 'writing the way your talk' sometimes works in a blog, but rarely in print. I suspect that a number of the well-known writers who 'write the way they talk' don't really talk that way at all. It also works better if you actually know the person involved. In your case, I can usually picture the expression on your face/body language, which makes it less annoying!

Megan said...

I hadn't noticed that you swear a lot, so obviously it's not bothering me. However, this could just be a reflection of my own low personal standards.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't bother me either, I rather enjoy the emphasis it provides because generally, I'm thinking it! I have to agree with a previous post, it doesn't appear to be gratuitous, and if anyone is offended by it, the internet isn't the place for them. (It offends me less than "Cheers!" or "Finest Regards" as a sign off by someone so totally NOT British...) :-)

Vicky said...

I find some posts are a bit more peppered than others and therefore sometimes the emphasis that cursing would lend gets lost. Frankly, though, it's your blog. My opinion about your language is about as relevant to your happiness my opinion about the colour of your living room (whatever it happens to be).

Since you've brought up your use of language, though, I *do* find that you sometimes overdo it with the word "deeply". But again, that's a personal opinion that is pretty much worth what you paid for it. :-)

Melodie said...

Like a lot of the comments on here I really don't think it's a big deal if you swear or not. It's your own personal blog and not some legal document or anything like that. I think people should be able to express themselves the way they want. If they come across your blog and think, "O, I think he swears too much", then they should obviously just not bother to read your blog. I've come across blogs of various types that I think are just plain boring, but I don't comment on them saying, "Wow, your blog is too boring, why can't you be more interesting?". lol.

Anyways, I really like your blog. I was originally looking for 'arctic/nunavut' blogs, but I think yours (and The House) are two of the best northern blogs out there. I find I get more than 'just' talking about the arctic, although I always love hearing about random mishaps as a result of arctic life, such as your little 'forgot to plug in your truck' adventure.

Keep up the good blogging and hopefully you don't feel the need to have to change the way you blog---cause it's not a textbook you're writing.

Ania Vesenny said...

Doesn't bother me. Blogging IS talking, after all, isn't it?

Oh, my verification word is SALSA!

SRD said...

At the end of the day, it is just about taste, I guess. And obviously my position in the minority (which is okay). But I still think that exaggeration, expletives etc have more impact if used sparingly.

To me the question is
'What does effing etc add to our 'reading experience' :) And, yours is definitely the only blog I read that makes me wonder that.....which is why I raised the issue (again).

And at the same time, I am struck how common swearing is in the public sphere -- it is impossible for children not to be exposed to pretty filthy language on buses, streets and in shops. Obviously most people don't even think about it, which is what surprises me more. Of course, I do swear when cars cut me up on my bike, so hope I am not being totally hypocritical!

Morena said...

Like it or not swearing is part of today's lexicon. Doesn't bother me but it can be over used. I don't feel you swear very much at all so I'm surprised anyone has even mentioned it.

MK in Clyde said...

Doesn't bother me at all.... I hadn't really noticed it being overused, to be honest. I think that a blog is generally an informal narrative, and therefore the odd curse word fits in. Honestly, the odd grammatical or spelling mistake irks me more!