Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Very Kool Life

As a single, middle aged guy, who is blessed with some really good friends, I get asked the same question at least a couple of times a week, it goes something like this "You're such a nice guy(they really do say that LOL) ,why don't you have someone in your life?" My response is usually something like "I don't know, just lucky I guess", that brings some laughter and the subject is usually dropped. This week though it was followed up by "I don't know how you do it, I could never be alone". He didn't understand my answer, and I keep wondering if I could have explained it better. 
Truth be told, I enjoy the company of others, and  relationships can be a wonderful thing... But that is not where my life is at. My personal life philosophy though is gratitude and embracing the now. There are so many amazing things in my life that are available to me just because of where I am  at, that might not be available to me if my life were in a different place. Sometimes we spend so much time thinking of how good life would be "if only"... If only we were married, or divorced, or rich, or lived somewhere else, or had a different job, if we were slimmer, stronger, younger, better looking and the list just goes on.. We totally loose sight of all the incredible things that we have right now.
What do I love about my "now"? I have time to do those things that I love doing. I get to spend awesome time with my kids, they are getting older and soon will have their own lives. I love my 4am walks, or sitting for hours with a great book.. or my duck feeding sessions. I am learning to draw(very poorly LOL), I've started writing again, and my poor, neglected for years, guitar now has a new set of stings and we're having fun together. That is just the tip of what I consider my very kool life. One day things  may change and I will embrace that, and I'll be happy for it.. But if it never does, that's ok. Each path in life has it's own unique sets of opportunities, it's incredible that way.
As for my friend who didn't understand my answer, he is a great  person, just at a different place on his journey.
Today, I am grateful, for family, friends and everything that my "Now" offers me.

Peace Kiddies 

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Years, a time for reflection

This is the time of year when we start thinking of goals and resolutions. I'm of two minds on the issue, and there is a story for each one.
My first thought comes from a man I met a long time ago when I first moved into my current city, I was 17. I showed up at my church for the first time, standing in the front door looking around, when this rather gruff looking gentleman walked up to me. I say gruff, because that seemed to be my first thought when I saw him, until I looked at his eyes. He had very kind eyes that just seemed to twinkle when he smiled. He walked up to me, gave me a warm handshake, leaned in a bit and said, "Excuse me young man, but your zipper is down". Yep, that was my "welcome to the neighbourhood" lol. I learned a lot from Bishop Hagan. Every year about this time, he would speak to us about New Years Resolutions. His philosophy was, if there is something about you that needs improving, set some goals and improve them, we shouldn't wait for New Years to do it.
I agreed with him and have tried to incorporate that in my life throughout  the years. I also think though, that it is good to have a time to reflect on the past and future, and set goals, and I like the New Year for that.. So I do both.
The second thing is a blog that I recently read, where someone said that they wrote down their goals for 2010 in a book, but then lost the book. They recently found it and were surprised to find that they had accomplished all of their goals even though they had forgotten them. A powerful argument for writing down goals. So while that is not what I have done in the past, I am doing it this year. Kind of an experiment. So without further adieu, here are some of my goals for 2011.

1) Is a financial goal. I don't need the Bill Gates Bucks to be happy, but my goal is to make an additional 25% this year. Not that hard when you take a look at my t4{Insert sadness here lol}.

2) I'm not going to make a bunch of weight loss goals that I will not keep, instead a goal of more exercise. By the end of 2011, I want to be able to comfortably walk 10 k's and to be doing it 4 out of 7 days.

3) Be into my RPN program that I am applying for

4) Find a weekly way to do something in terms of service, like volunteering.

5)Find new ways to explore writing.

Those are 5 of my goals, written down, I have more.. Goals as a Dad, and spiritual goals, and others but those ones I'll write in a book :-)

I've spoken to a few people now about 2010, and the general consensus seems to be that the year was far from good. As for me I end this year pretty much how I started it.. Middle aged and broke. However this has been a tremendous year for growth. I have learned to forgive, to laugh more, to let go of what I can not control. When I look in the mirror, I like who I see. He's an honest person, who is trustworthy and loyal... Things that have not always been true about him. Sure He's disorganized, his house is a mess and he could lose a few pounds, but if at the end of 2011 I still like who I see, that I will consider it a year well spent. I think Bishop Hagan would have approved.

Peace Kiddies, and Happy New Year 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Better late than never

It was an interesting week that just passed. Sometimes I'm faced with learning things in life that most others knew pretty much from birth( I can be pretty slow).

First of all, I had to admit that my lovely daughter has been right all along. Justin Bieber is a pretty good singer(yeah, that was a tough one to man up to), however, even in the face of all the Bieber haters out there, ya gotta admit that his music a pretty darn happy, he treats his fans well and he's not old enough to have gone all Lyndsay Lohan on us... so for the time being, my Meaghan Smith Cd in my car has been replaced with the Biebster, although my Cd. player  did tell me that it misses Meaghan very much, and seemed happy with assurances that she would return.

On another note(get the pun? Music? Note? Ok that one was bad), it was one of those weeks where things piled up inside me to the point where I thought my head would explode. It happens now and then. My normal plan of attack it pretty much to bury it until it goes away(It's a simple life being a guy). This time however, I had a kind friend that offered to let me vent. At first I politely turned down the offer. Us guys are the strong silent type. Then perhaps  I saw the stereotype for what it was, or maybe I just knew that what I would normally do just wasn't going to work this time, but I spent about 2 hours just unloading everything. They nodded, asked the right questions, even validated some stuff I was saying. In the end, nothing had changed, except me... It felt amazing, just to get it off my chest.

Later in the week, I had the chance to help someone, I fully expected them to refuse, or even be offended. They did neither. They let me be a friend.

So what is the point of all this? What did I learn that everyone else probably knew already? I learned that being a friend is more than being there for people, it's trusting others enough to let them be there for you too. If I spend all my time doing for my "friends", but I'm not willing to let them do for me, then I'm not really a friend. I'm something else, something less.... less  trusting , less open. Conversely, if someone is always there for me.. and never lets me be there for them.. again they may be a very nice person, but they are not truly my friend.

I flashed back to a number of years ago, and a good buddy that I had. Great guy and I would always call him when something came up. It occurred to me at one point though, that in the years that I knew him, he had never once asked me for anything. Some might call that selfless, but to me it really changed how I saw our friendship. he lost the label friend, replaced by Buddy, or Pal..Someone I could hang out with, but not someone I would call if I needed bail(if that makes any sense at all).

So driving home from work tonight, while listening to Justin sing "Baby", I was thinking of my lessons learned this week, and smiling. Very grateful for my friends and for those people who would let me be theirs.

Or maybe that's just me.

Peace Kiddies

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some early Christmas thoughts

It's after 4 am and everyone is asleep. Both dogs have taken camp on either side of the couch. A wise man would have been in bed hours ago, or at least looked over at this point and taken the lead from the sleeping pooches. Instead I've just come in from a somewhat crisp walk through the neighbourhood. I did offer to take the dogs, but they barely took their heads off the couch cushion to give me one of their "Are you out of your freakin' mind?" looks.
There is no snow yet, but there are a tonne of Christmas lights. It's gorgeous. I should be complaining that it's not even December and already the halls are decked, it seems to be the common thread amongst the early season nay sayers. Instead I just took it all in and smiled. Sure Christmas is not without it's stresses, but even today, the theme of "Peace on earth, good will toward men" lives on.

When I was a kid, of course it was my favourite holiday.... I mean free presents and Santa never seemed to care that I sometimes watched TV in my room when I was supposed to be sleeping. It was more than that though, it was walking around for a few weeks when everyone was actually being nice to each other. People holding doors for strangers, everyone saying Merry Christmas to each other.. In the malls, on the bus, or just passing each other on the street. It really was magic.

A few years ago, I kind of went through my jaded and bitter phase, My world had recently changed and I was rotating between angry and sad. I noticed that all that merriment had left the season, which added to my particular phase of the time. If I picture myself back then I must have had a perma scowl on my face... a modern day scrooge. I'm sure people avoided me, I would have.

It was around Dec. 22 I think, and I was on a bus on a very cold and snowy day... scowling I'm sure, when a bunch of university students got on the bus, covered with snow, and laughing. I'm not even sure why they were around, most kids had left for home already, but they started singing Carols... It was the most amazing thing, I felt like the Grinch when his heart grew 3 sizes that day. I smiled for the first time in a while, and probably unsuccessfully choked back some tears. 
When I was getting off the bus, one of them looked at me and wished me a Merry Christmas, all I could do was nod in reply.
I got off the bus and looked around, my world was not so bleak,  it was Christmas. It wasn't bitterly cold wind and snowy, it was Christmas snow, the lights were beautiful, and I said Merry Christmas to a perfect stranger and they said it back.
When I took my walk tonight on this crisp November night, I thought of those nameless students and their infectious joy. How they brought the spirit of the season to some random stranger who had almost forgotten how to smile, and I said thank you and Merry Christmas to them where ever they may be.

Yes some will say that Christmas is thrust upon us way to soon(the day after Halloween), and others will lament how commercial it's become....But how we see the season is up to us, and how we treat each other, even the strangers, is what will make the season great.

Yes, Peace on earth, good will toward men lives on, and I for one am very grateful for an early start to the season.

Peace Kiddies

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Rememberance Day every day.

It was Remembrance Day in Canada last week, a day set aside to pause and reflect, to remember those who gave their all for the freedoms that we enjoy, and just as importantly, a day for our nation to stand up and with one voice, say Thank you to those brave men and women who are still with us, and a silent thank you in our hearts for those who are not. 
I am humbled to tears when I think of the sacrifices made so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have. I am also swollen with Pride when I think of our soldiers abroad who would make the same sacrifices so that others can experience, perhaps for the first time, those same freedoms.
Like most Canadians though, while I appreciate the day being set aside to honour our Heroes,  I am on a daily basis reminded and grateful for those seemingly simple things of life, that came at such a high price.
Every time that I vote(and I always do), I have a silent prayer of gratitude in my heart, for those who fought so that I could have this freedom. When I walk into church, again, a prayer of gratitude for that freedom, or choosing a school for my children, having the ability to disagree with my government. Walking into a grocery store with full shelves, or buying as much gas as I can afford. The ability to read any book that I choose, or being innocent until proven guilty.
There are so many blessings to living in this great country of ours and every one of them came at a price. A price that was paid for by those who fought for us and by those left at home.

Oh Canada, We Stand on Guard for thee, and our soldiers, stood and stand on guard for us, and we are forever grateful.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making the world a safe place

I, like most people have been horrified at the suicides of youth in North America as a result of bullying. I have some pretty strong feelings about that and was going to write a blog/rant on that subject. However I have found that there are many other much more eloquent people who have recently spoken out against it and thought that perhaps it would be best to share their words. I have included 3 clips in this blog, if 3 is too much, then just pick one. The more people who speak out against bullying, the faster things will change.


Lets make this world a safe place for everyone.

Peace Kiddies 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Sunday afternoon at the park

This past Sunday was a gorgeous day, a busy day, but a gorgeous one none the less. I was able to take a few mins. off from my hustle and bustle just to hang out at my favourite park for an hour. I took a walk and then sat on a bench enjoying the day. I spent my time there soaking in some rays, watching the "park wild life", and occasionally noticing the passerbyers. It's funny the people that I notice though, usually the out of the ordinary types. There were the normal people riding by on their bikes or roller blades, I never really paid attention to them. A few families with stressed out Mom's and disinterested Dad's. I never really looked at them either... a lone Mom with three kids, all under 6 I think(2 walking and one in the stroller), they walked by without much of a glance from me.. then I spotted an older couple.. in their 60's maybe, walking a small dog. They were holding hands. Them I noticed, I casually watched them as they walked by, feeling something that I later identified as Envy? Jealousy? It seems that I miss the whole "holding hands" thing.  
Just then, someone was walking down the lane that I watched... He was bald, bearded.. looked in his mid thirties. he looked like a biker. Tough, rough... If he would have asked for my wallet, he would not have had to asked twice. Running at his feet were 3 children.. Playing and laughing.. They were looking for ducks to feed. When this guy smiled at those kids, his face just lit up, the kind of smile that starts on your lips but ends in your eyes... The kids were shouting "Daddy, where are the ducks" and he pointed out the way. I may have been mildly afraid of their dad, but they obviously weren't. They walked by and I was thinking how amazing it is, to have someone who looked so rough and yet was such a softie with his kids. I sat smiling at the thought, and then I remembered the lone mother, with her 3 kids. All on a Sunday afternoon walk in the park. I again sat amazed at how I didn't give that family a second glance, she was just doing what good parents do, she fit the stereotype. Her kids were just as glad to be there, and she seemed like a really good parent. I mean getting 3 small kids ready for anything is no small task, and yet she chose to do that instead of getting some well deserved rest for herself on a Sunday.
The truth is that, there is usually no huge reward for just doing the right thing. You don't get a key to the city for cooking your kids dinner, no hero biscuit for taking them to soccer practice, no pat on the back and thank you for making them brush their teeth before they go to bed. It almost seems unfair when the biker dude almost rates a father of the year award, for just taking his kids to the park and being nice while they're out.
I think though that our reward for doing the mundane things that we need to do, that really are important things, like getting 3 small kids dressed and taking them to the park, is not in the thank you... It's in the silence. It's having kids that take for granted that when they come home from school, there is a snack waiting for them, or that when they are sick Mom or Dad will take care of them, and when they make a poor choice, they may be punished but they are still loved best of all. 
Yes, in these things it is not the thanks but in the silence where we receive our reward. When our children take these and other acts of parenting for granted, we know that no matter how unsure we are of ourselves, there is one thing, one very important thing, that we are doing right.

Or maybe that's just me.

Peace Kiddies 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No name for this one just yet

 I was driving yesterday and saw what I thought was a man about to fly a kite. I don't know why that made me smile, but it just did. A closer look showed me that he wasn't in fact getting ready to fly a kite, but was instead preparing some roadside sign to flag passing motorist to his place of business. Too bad, I thought the whole kite thing would have been cool.
Truth is, I haven't seen anyone fly a kite in years. My home backs onto a huge football field. Perfect for kite flying, baseball games and laying on your back to stare at clouds. All that seems to have gone the way of The Unicorn, and  the Dodo Bird. In this world of Facebook, X-Box and Gameboys, who needs kites.
Now I am not ancient.. sure I am when compared to a blade of grass, but if I were a mountain, I would not even have begun in years... and for a man.. I am just right :-P(That is actually a quote from a movie for any buffs that recognized it hehe). I have been thinking since then of other things that have gone by the wayside.
Like Comics and baseball cards... Sure you can still buy them, but it's mostly for collectors now. Remember marbles, and spinning tops?  When my boys were younger, I would be a freakin' Hero if I brought home Crazy Bones, or Pogs... or(yes I'll say it) Pokemon cards.
Today, I'm not sure what I would pick up on my way home from work to make the little guys grin.
I'm not anti technology at all, My home has a computer for every person, but there has to be a place in the world for the classics as well. WII fit is all good if it helps you, but it shouldn't take the place of a long walk on a beautiful day.
I guess when I ponder these things, it's only fitting to see what my place is in the puzzle. I am kind of middle of the road... I'm a tech nut true, I love my Tv, and my computer... Any day of the week you might find me gaming, but it's just as likely that you will find me curled up with a book. I watch all sorts of movies where things go Kabluey... but sometimes I just need to feed the ducks.
Some things just change, it's inevitable. Fortunately some things don't. While I am sitting here writing, with my windows open, blowing the smell of a fresh rain shower through my living room, I can hear the scream of some young and very happy children. They are out side with their rubber boots on splashing in the puddles. They don't care about what's on Tv, or who's playing Playstation, all they care about is getting wetter than the other kids. It's like a pocket of joyful sanity in a world that seems intent on moving on. In a few years, those kids will be updating their status's on their IPhones, but for today, they are just kids splashing in the puddles. As I  listen to them play with a huge smile on my face that I wasn't wearing 5 mins. ago, I think I understand a little clearer why it is said that we must be as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. I look at my day ahead of me... dishes, homework, class and later work, and I'm thinking that all that can wait. I'm going to to put life on hold, for just a little while, and take a walk in the rain.

Peace Kiddies

Monday, October 4, 2010

Little Moments

Life seems to be made up of little moments that define us. I have read that in cases of divorce, the proverbial "last straw" is usually one moment, one act that to observers looking in may seem even trivial, but it turns out to be the deal breaker. I have spoken with people who have shared with me the moment they knew it was over.. and yes it did seem pretty small to me, but huge to them. Conversely , I think it works the other way too. We meet and date all sorts of people before we narrow in on the person we want to settle down with... What made them so special?  I'm sure most of the others were nice.. Perhaps it was a single act.. One moment where we just knew.
The harsh reality is that sometimes in life, it doesn't matter what we do, be it good or bad... We can be defined by one act, in one moment.. everything else just fades into the background. Don't believe me? Lets see then, lets think Mel Gibson. Great actor, awesome director, a life time of achievements, but he is defined and remembered for one moment.. when he was pulled over for impaired driving and he went off on a racial rant that was just horrible. None of those other achievements really mean a whole lot after that. When Mel's name comes up.. we think "drunken racist".
I have been thinking about that lately for some reason. What are my moments like? How will I be remembered? I try to have as many good moments as I can, I try and be a good friend, a good Dad. 
When my journey is done, I would like someone to say "Yeah, he laughed hard, and it was infectious. I would like my kids to say " he always kept his cool, and we could go to him with anything". I would like someone to say "He loved with his whole heart", or "He was a great friend, who always went above and beyond to make people happy". How about "He was a great Christian, he accepted and respected everyone's beliefs", and while I'm dreaming.. I want at least one person to say "Oh yeah, and he had a Butt, that I couldn't keep my eyes off of(LOL, I may have to pay someone for that one ahead of time).
I try and be mindful of those things in my day to day life, because there is no way to tell which moments will be forgotten and which will be remembered, and hopefully if I have enough good moments in the second half of my life, Perhaps, just maybe, I may be remembered for those and forgiven for the  many, many bad moments in the first half.

Time will tell

Peace Kiddies

100 things to be happy about :-)

I was in a  book store recently and saw a book called "14 000 things to be happy about". Being the curious soul that I am, I picked it up, and to my surprise, it was literally just that. A list of 14 000 things, no story, plot or anything. I LOVED the idea, so I thought I would do a mini version of it.. simply do 100 things, truth be told, it was incredibly easy. I fired them off in 15 mins while I was on a break at work. There is actually 103 of them, because when I was done , there was just more that I was thinking of. I did limit myself though, just to make it an easier read. So without further adieu here is Your Average Joe's mini list of things that we can be happy about:

1)Sunflowers, 2) Pizza, 3) Birds, 4) Wildlife, 5) Puppies, 6) The morning paper, 7) A good book, 8) The Good Book, 9) Good friends 10) E-Mail, 11) Sunshine, 12) Rainy days, 13) Computer games, 14) Cell phones, 15) Movies, 16) Chocolate, 17) Toothpaste, 18) Family, 19) Loves first kiss, 20) Every other kind of kiss, 21) Pepsi, 22) Unexpected flowers, 23) Kites, 24) Balloons, 25) Fluffy clouds, 26) Long drives, 27) The beach, 28)Picnics, 29) Music, 30) Air conditioning, 31) Long weekends, 32) Fishing, 33) A new haircut, 34) A new Old Spice commercial, 35) Parrots that talk, 36) fitting into your old jeans, 37) Carrot cake, 38) Happy people, 39) Advil, 40) Aquariums,41)Babies, 42) Comfy new shoes, 43) Funny jokes, 44) Umbrellas, 45) Toboggans, 46) Debit cards, 47) Hot air balloons, 48) A thank you card, 49) Morning doves, 50) Soup, 51) Birthdays, 52) Sprinklers, 53) Your children(or someone elses if you don't have any :-), 54) Cordless phones, 55) Dishwashers, 56) Facebook, 57) Ducks, 58) Trees, 59) Autumn leaves, 60) No cavities, 61) Swimming, 62) Kittens, 63) Bubble baths, 64) A scalp massage, 65) Volunteering, 66) Girl Guide cookies, 67) A Friday evening with a friend, 68) An "I Love You", 69) Your morning drink of choice, 70) Springs first robin, 71) Halloween, 72) Ice cold water, 73) Your drivers licence, 74) Pyjamas, 75) The theme from "Friends", 76) The weekend, 77) Singing in the shower, 78) Bedtime stories, 79) Going to a baseball game, 80) Cheering someone up, 81) Your first crush, 82) The sound of waves, 83)The sunset, 84) Campfires, 85) Hearing the words "You're cancer free", 86) A large tip, 87) Smores, 88) A random smile, 89) The perfect parking spot, 90) Anniversaries, 91) loosing 5 lbs, 92) Apple picking, 93) Chipmunks, 94) Getting an "A", 95) Finding lost friends, 96) 50% off, 97) Anonymously dropping off cookies, 98) Tulips, 99) being someones Valentine, 100) dancing when no one is watching, 101) Parents who love their children, 102) Finding money in your coat pocket, 103) Being grateful.

There you have it, my short list.. It made me smile while doing it, and I think the first step in being grateful is thinking off all those things that make our day to day that much better.
Perhaps if you read this you might consider leaving a comment with 10 more things to be happy about..

Peace Kiddies

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Good Samaritan FAIL

Sometime I think of starting a new Blog called "My FAIL of the week". The problem with that though is that I suspect that I would be posting on it various times a day... Well that would just be embarrassing LOL. If I ever do though, It will most certainly begin with this story :

I was at Walmart today, buying exciting things to add to my hip and kool wardrobe(Socks). The store was nuts, everyone back to school shopping, almost made me feel guilty that I wasn't buying binders and pens(Not guilty enough I guess, as I didn't buy any). As I was leaving I saw this older and somewhat portly lady, struggling to hold the door open and push her cart through. Me being raised to be a gentleman immediately jumped to this womans rescue, with a hardy "let me grab that for you".
I know what your thinking, Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, but truly I don't want praise, just maybe the key to the city and a hero cookie, but back to our tale. 
I grabbed the door and held it open for her, only for her to yell "NOOOO, STOP THAT". To which I gallantly replied, "It's ok, I'm just holding the door for you". She in turned continued to scream "LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!" Just then, the womans daughter arrived, right in time to stop her very upset Mother from doing a face plant in front of the store(have I mentioned that there was at this point a HUGE crowd watching us?).  The lady then tells her daughter "I was trying to keep my balance with the door, but that man kept trying to take it away from me".. I apologized profusely to both the Daughter and the Mom, explaining what I was trying to do. The Daughter, who seemed kinder than I deserved told me that it was OK and everything was fine. The Mom though, kept looking at me saying "Why would you do that?"  More apologies as I was walking away(hopefully before the police arrived).  
If that wasn't bad enough, as I was looking for my van, some very tough looking dude walked by me laughing saying "Nice One"... and as I was getting into my kool mobile, I saw other people pointing at me and laughing.. and honestly , if I hadn't been the one to practically throw some senior citizen on the ground, I would have been laughing too. As it was though, I slinked into my van and was very grateful that this was not my local Walmart, but the one across town.
Well there you have it , I almost killed someone with kindness today. I think next time I'll ask before I grab the door... Keep the key to the city and the Hero cookies, I've got Oreos.

Peace Kiddies

Monday, August 23, 2010

True Love

This one defiantly goes in the "What the heck do I know file", but it popped in my mind and I thought that I would give it a go.
No matter how big, strong, tough or independent we are we have this deep down need to be "where someone loves us... best of all"(Quote from "Where the Wild Things are", by Maurice Sendak). It's easier when we are young and we haven't been through the storm. We still believe in the fairy tale ending, "happily ever after". As we get older though, and get the inevitable battle scars that come with life, we tend to stop believing that Sleeping Beauty is just around the corner waiting for loves first kiss to awaken, or that Prince Charming is on his way to rescue us from the dragon, just in the nick of time.
Amazingly though, even the most jaded of us still hold on the one fairy tale; "The Frog Prince". We believe that if we kiss the Frog, they will turn into a Prince. When they don't, well we kiss them again, maybe differently this time. We spend quality time with them, we bribe them with how good the relationship would be if they would only turn into a freakin' Prince, and of course.. they don't. Or maybe they do for a little while. Heck the Frog does love you and wants to make you happy, but at the end of the day, they are just a Frog. Eventually, in the real world, the Frog gets tired of feeling inadequate all the time and moves on.. Or the Princess realizes that this will never be anything more that a Frog, and they move on... then it's  BAM, one more huge scar on the road of life for both of them.
I freely admit, that I am the last person that should be giving advice on relationships, but that being said, when has that ever stopped ANYONE from saying their piece. Besides sometimes the best person to give you advice on how important it is to not quit your job to become a freelance artist, really is the homeless guy in the street.
My thought is... Maybe it's time to stop looking for Prince's and Princess's, maybe it's time to start looking for Frogs. Everyone has qualities, talents and characteristics that we can respect, admire and even love... That's the easy part. It's easy to love the Deep, Rich chocolate cake with the decadently sweet icing. Anyone can do that(well except me, I don't like chocolate cake, but you get the point hehe). What's harder is to love those dried up pieces of cake and icing crumbs that get scraped in the trash before cleaning the dish.
While that may work for cake it doesn't do a thing for people, because if you love someone with your whole heart... then you don't just love the Prince(ss), but the Frog as well. Hence maybe it's time to appreciate Frogs... Frogs are real, they are not "pretend" like Prince(ss)'s. 

I am not suggesting that we should not have standards, or that we should settle for second best. I am just saying that perhaps  picking  our Prince's and Princess's who's inner frogs make us smile might not be such a bad idea, and if we don't find such a creature.... there are worse things in life than being alone, ask any physically abused or emotionally starved married person.
As for me... I will not settle for a mere Princess. If I give my heart away, it will be to nothing less than a Mona Lisa, and her frog will make me grin from ear to ear....

But maybe that's just me.

Peace Kiddies

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who knew

I have never been a fan of sports. I find them boring. I don’t get them and have never understood the appeal. My list of most boring sports in order are ;
1) Soccer... I mean come on, a bunch of guys kicking a ball in a 2 big field? I'd rather have a root canal.
5)And the least boring... but still not exciting, would be Hockey
Asking my sports minded buddies what it was all about, most just answered by saying things like... “I don’t know man, it’s just awesome” .. Oh now I get it, thanx.
I grew up with no dreams of making the big league, truth be told, when I was a kid I thought it would be kool to be part of the Ice Capades(There’s a deep dark secret that no one should EVER know).
While my much hipper and cooler brother was playing on hockey teams, and consequently keeping company of these very attractive creatures called "Girls", I hung out with the nerds in the science club(yeah I didn’t date much in high school).
So imagine my surprise when a couple of days ago, I found myself at a major league baseball game. What was even more of a surprise was that I had been looking forward to it for almost 2 weeks. All I can say now is.... I get it. I mean what a blast. Right from the awesome way the national anthem was sung, to the strikes, hits, pop flies... I asked so many stupid questions trying to figure out what was going on that when I ordered a hot dog and the vendor offered to cut it up in bite sized pieces so I wouldn’t choke.
People actually do “The wave”, which I missed every time but once, when I quit watching the game and just concentrated on “catching” the next one. Everyone started cheering once and when I asked why I found out that someone had stolen a base.. I missed it because I was staring intently on the batter.
I’m not a die hard fan though, because I was feeling bad for the visiting team. No one was cheering them at all, and I wanted them to get at least one run in, so they could go home with even a little dignity. Alas that wasn’t in the stars, because the Jays RULE and Tampa Bay Drools.
So now, I can`t wait for my next game... Except next time I want some Jays Gear, to show off my team, and I want to see if I know enough now that the Hot Dog vendor won`t offer to cut up my frank.
I still think that soccer is more boring than watching trees grow (sorry to my European friends).. But it does make me wonder what it would be like to see a Football or Hockey game. And if anyone ever ask me what the appeal is I`ll say "I don`t know man, it`s just AWESOME!!!!"
Who says you can`t teach an old dog new tricks. :-D

Peace Kiddies

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nature.. Gods way of letting us know that he's still there

I live in a townhouse, in a typical city. I don't see any bears, moose or mountain lions at my place. The other night however, I left my humble home only to see about 15 of my neighbors staring intently into space. When I asked one of them what everyone was looking at she told me "Fireflies". Sure enough, as I stood with the small crowd, I saw the familiar green flicker of many of the little flying light bulbs . It was actually quite cool. I stayed for 5 mins or so, but then was reminded by the growling of my stomach the reason for this particular outing... Hunger, and no food in the house. So I left my enraptured neighbors to their light show and left for some needed groceries.

Nature is one of those things though, that no matter how insanely fast life gets, it always makes us pause to wonder.

I LOVE ducks, and squirrels. Chipmunks and raccoons, although I did hear a horrifying raccoon story the other day from a friend that makes me believe that raccoons are just like people. For every 100 of them, 99 are good and 1 needs to be shot . I digress, I would stop my car on the way to the ER, if I were alone, to watch deer in a field. As it turns out, I am not alone in my fascination for wild life. Being anywhere near it, just makes us calmer and feel better.
We even bring it home with us. Most of us own a dog or cat, and try to keep alive at least 1 house plant, heck I have a tree in my kitchen(No idea what kind it is), that is immortal. No matter how badly I neglect it, it just keeps growing and thriving.

While not everyone goes to the park to feed the geese when they are feeling blue, it always pulls me out of the doldrums.

What is the point of today's Blog? None really, except that it is a beautiful summers evening, there are birds singing and I`m going to go and pick up some peanuts and feed some squirrels. For some silly reason, that makes me really happy.

Or maybe that`s just me.

Peace Kiddies

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Borrowed from someone else

This story isn't mine, but was actually borrowed from a gentleman by the name of Shane Boehmer. It has a great message and I thought it was well worth passing along.
Enjoy kiddies, and Thanx Shane

One day I had lunch with some friends. Jim, a tall, balding golfer type about 80 years old, came along with them---all in all, a pleasant bunch.

When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, "Ice Cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate.

I wasn't sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. "Along with heated apple pie," Jim added, completely unabashed.

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time.. But when our orders were brought out, I didn't enjoy mine.

I couldn't take my eyes off Jim as his pie a-la-mode went down. The other guys couldn't believe it. They ate their lunches silently and grinned.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Jim. I lunched on white meat tuna. He ordered a parfait.
I smiled. He asked if he amused me
I answered, "Yes, you do, but also you confuse me.

How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible? He laughed and said "I'm tasting all that is Possible.

I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life's so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good.

This year I realized how old I was. (He grinned) I haven't been this old before."
"So, before I die, I've got to try those things that for years I had ignored.

I haven't smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams I haven't fished. There's more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead.

There are too many golf courses I haven't played. I've not laughed at all the jokes. I've missed a lot of sporting events and potato chips and cokes.

I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.

I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most.

I haven't cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face. I want to be in love again.

So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I'd say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart's desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired.."

With that, I called the waitress over.. "I've changed my mind, " I said. "I want what he is having, only add some more whipped cream!"

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we like and respect. Remember that while money talks, CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM SINGS!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


They say that money can’t buy happiness; they also say that you can’t take it with you when you go. I have no idea who “they” are, but I suspect that they are people with lots of money and “toys”.
While I would simply love to have the chance to prove that money may not buy happiness, but it can put a smile on your face, something happened to me today that sort of proved that “Stuff” really isn’t as important and we may think it is.

One of my kids showed up today with an old Gameboy SP. It was just sitting on the piano. I actually had to stare at it for a min. Before it registered for me what it even was. The Gameboy SP, back when it came out, was the ultimate in hand held gaming. Clear screen, back lit, and folded neatly in your pocket. Man I wanted one so much, that I would have sold a body part to get it. Not something useless like a pinkey toe either... a good part. I remember trying to convince my kids that they wanted one for Christmas, so that I would have an excuse to buy one, then I could borrow it(Dad fail)... Those were days before it occurred to me that I could have just bought one for myself. Every time I saw an 11 year old playing Zelda on their SP, it just made it worse.
Today though, I was holding this relic in my hands wondering what the big deal was.

When I was younger, and cameras came with film. I wanted a 35 mm camera so badly that I could taste it.. A cool Nikon. I had visions of becoming a photographer. It was a great dream, I never got the camera. Today though I have this little Hp digital, with a memory card big enough to take portraits of every human being in North America(well almost)...It’s pretty simple by today’s standards, but it takes nice pictures and it’s fun to use. That old Nikon that I wanted? Just another relic in life. How fleeting “Stuff” is. Yet we strive for it, wish for it.. Work for more stuff, bigger houses and nicer toys.

I have been on both sides of that scene. My home is rather humble to look at. It used to have leather furniture, Solid wood tables, a King size bed that cost well into the four digits to buy(and it really was super comfy). A few years and a divorce later.. It’s all old beat up and used. My couch and chair came from a nice family who were getting rid of it, my King size bed has been replaced by a smaller but still comfy bed that someone else was getting rid of. In fact pretty much everything that I own now was given to me by kind people who no longer needed it. My computer was new when I bought it, and my boys have both purchased their own. To look at the place though, you would not be impressed. My “Stuff” is all old.

What does that mean to me though? Well there is an old chair that one of my boys claims as his own. If he is in the house, he’s there. He will fall asleep in it before wondering to his room around 5 am to finish off the night in there. The old couch belongs to my other son. He sets his laptop on the old glass and wood, straight from the 70’s coffee table and pretty much lives there when he’s awake. The recliner? Well my daughter lays claim to that when she comes over. My walls have no expensive art pieces. They do have framed works of Art from all 3 of my children. The carpet has strips torn out of it, where our Puppy pulled them out when she was younger. She did wreck the rug, but looked so cute doing it, that we pretty much just laugh when we talk about it. My smaller bed really doesn’t matter that much... the big dog would kick me out of it even if it were super duper king size.. Oh and I can’t forget my van.. old but running, and so many memories. I have been told that a single guy just can’t look cool in a Mini Van, that may be true... But it’s the van I took the kids to the beach in, or to rented cottages.... fishing and on trips, if I were a millionaire tomorrow I’d probably just keep driving it.

Looking at that old gameboy, just put everything into perspective for me. No you can’t take it with you when you go. But I believe that you take your memories, and your experiences with you. My home may be humble to look at, but I guess I don’t really see the furniture. I see the memories of the past and the ones that are being made now. I hear music, jokes and laughter, the groans and cheers of 3 way internet gaming or, the sound of crazy dogs that just have to play “Chase” at 4am. Honestly when I first was given my “new’ stuff, I was grateful but I also looked forward to the day when I could get nicer stuff, but you know, I've never had a kid fall asleep on the leather. It was beautiful to look at but it was never where people “Hung Out”. It held no memories... I’ll keep my old beat up stuff, and not freak out when the dogs jump on it, or someone spills their Pepsi on it. When the house is empty, I still see one boy on his chair, the other one on the couch and my beautiful daughter in the recliner.
It's also a visual reminder of the kindness of people, who really had no reason to show such generosity towards me. It is truly humbling.
Sure sometimes I want toys, better stuff, and cooler things... It’s part of the human experience I guess.... But when I walk in my door and see what I see, I just have to smile and be grateful for how blessed I truly am.
If no one plays with the “SP”, I think that I will put it somewhere where it can be seen.. as a reminder of what’s important.

Oh and by the way... I make that van look cooler than a snow cone in January :-P

Peace Kiddies

Monday, June 28, 2010

What happened to us guys?

Sorry ladies... This one is "Guy Talk" for the dudes out there... read if you like and thank me later.

Holy Crap guys.... what happened to us? What happened to chivalry, or Gallantry .. or how about just plain being a gentleman???
I know that for the most part, we have a pretty big ego. We pretty much believe that the sun rises and sets on our "manhood".... But here's a newsflash for everyone. For the most part, we are fairly unappealing to the fairer sex. With us it seems , they can never have it all. If they want someone successful they get stuck with some guy who's married to his career. If they want someone laid back, they end up playing second fiddle to an X-Box. So we can ill afford to loose some of the few qualities that we have that make them choose us over, spending the evening drinking Margaritas with the girls at the office.
Why the rant? Here's the deal; I was riding the bus today, toward the back. The bus is packed, standing room only, when this woman who must have been 70 years old... with a cane boards the bus. She stood there, while the younger men sitting in the front seats dedicated to the disabled and elderly, sat there ignoring her. The bus pulls away and is almost at the next stop when this girl, around 14 or 15, looks up from her Ipod, sees the woman, gasp that she is standing there and immediately gets up and gives her a seat. That same scene played itself out not once but twice on the same bus ride. Makes me think that as men, we are reverting somehow to the Neanderthals that we spawned from.
Now I'm not perfect, just ask my ex-wife, but be prepared to stay for the afternoon, and part of the evening(sadly, it's all true).....But in the interest of helping out my fellow man. I thought I would share some tips that your parents should have already taught you.

1) Obviously when a woman boards the bus that needs your seat, maybe a senior or a woman with children... get off your chunky butt and give it(also works if the senior is a male).. Nuff said.

2)It's OK(when I say "Ok",I really mean "expected")to hold the door for a woman... This includes your date, your wife, mother, daughter, or the stranger lady at the mall... Really this isn't rocket science.

3)Open the car door for your date/wife/mother/daughter... honestly they should be unaware that the passenger door even has a handle, because they never use it.

4)When sitting on the couch, watching a movie with your significant other and you have the urge to ask her to get you a sandwich.... remember these words and repeat them ; "Honey, can I get you a drink"? Are we starting to get the picture?

5)When the woman offers to pay for dinner, she is just being polite... the answer is "No It's Ok I've got this one"... yes even if you are spending rent money and you need to panhandle tomorrow.

6)If she is talking to you and you are answering her while watching TV,Sports, or on your computer... remember this my friend.... She has OPTIONS. She can find someone who loves the sound of her voice tomorrow. You on the other hand, most likely don't.

Teach your kids.... The day some boy picks up my daughter for a date, and she stands outside the passengers door waiting for him to come out and open it. I will know that I did OK as a Dad. As a side note, the day some guy beeps his horn in the driveway for her to come out, is the day I go out and rip off his arm and staple it to the passengers door handle. When he gets it reattached, he'll know better.

That is my rant for the day. Along with my challenge, lets be the men that stand out in the crowd... for not being a douche bag male that would let an elderly woman stand on the bus.

Peace Kiddies

Thursday, June 24, 2010

She grew up

My little girl graduates Grade 8 tonight. How did that even happen?

Just last week she was born. It was Tuesday morning. There had been a flash thunderstorm that had just blown through, and then she was born. As I held my new daughter in my arms, and looked into those brown eyes, I knew at that moment, that I would do anything for her. I was her Dad, and if she wanted, her slave as well. She pretty much owned my soul from that first second.
A couple of days later, she was walking, exploring everything around her with abandon. Every night I would rock her to sleep, singing James Taylor songs, or her other favorites, until she was simply too big to carry.
We read every night. The early days were books like "Jesse Bear... What will you wear"(By Nancy White Carlsrtom), where she got her nickname that she still lets me call her, and "The Tomten"(by Astrid Lingrin). Next it was Robert Munch and finally books like "The Little Princess", and "Anne of Green Gables. My time reading to each of my children will always be my warmest fondest memories of parenthood.
A few days later, a very determined 8 year old taught her self to ride her bike. Just a pump here and there on the pedals, then a couple... and before long she was a racing girl... zipping around the perimeter of her boundaries.
Those days were also filled with watching the food network... Iron Chef, Emeril live, and others.. she actually learned and before long would discuss with me which spices to use in the dishes we cooked together, or she cooked on her own. Now what seems like a week later.. she is graduating. What will the next week bring? Well High school, University, maybe a career as a singer(as she is practicing to become). Probably a family of her own, and the opportunity to sing my grandchildren to sleep, or read to them with stories of "I read this book to your Mom".
Who even knew that, in what seems like a week, my cute, brown eyed sweet smiled baby girl, would turn into the beautiful young woman that I will watch tonight.

My little baby girl, if you ever read this.... know that I am so very proud of you and the young lady that you are turning out to be. If you look into the crowd and you see me wiping away a tear.... You can pretend that you don't know me... LOL, That will be fine.
No matter where you go in your life or what you do, You will always be my baby girl... and you will always have a father that loves you... no matter what.

Have fun tonight....

Love You Forever, as long as I'm living , my baby you'll be

Love Dad

Time to kill

I was speaking with a university student recently about his plans for summer. The college university crowd have an extra month or 2 holidays in the summer depending on exams. He had rather large plans filled with learning and opportunity. He even had a month long trip to a somewhat poorer nation planned. All in the interest of making the most of his time off. I have to admit that I prefer my time off to be more leisurely, camping, fishing, movies and generally slowing down the pace of my life,however, I admired this kid for what he was doing.
At some other point I spoke to another person... same situation, long summer holidays and the same question came up. What are you planning this summer. His answer was surprising at first, but equally impressive in it's own right. He said ; "Well, I have just over 4 months. In that time I could start to learn a new language, travel, pick up a musical instrument, really the world is my oyster","So which will it be ?", I asked. He said; "I'm going to read lots of Manga(Japanese graphic novels), watch lots of Anime(Those novels turned into animated shows) and play X-box". What I heard was "I'm going to read comics, watch cartoons and play video games". He went on to explaine that throughout the school year, his whole life was essays, lectures and exams. This is his reward for getting it all done. Well ,sound logic. I have to admit that I was equally impressed.
I was impressed because he made a choice. I may look at what this kid is doing as a waste of time, heck he might too, but he is choosing to do it. Why is that so impressive? I'm sure that I am not the only one who has had a day off, slept in, woke up and mindlessly channel surfed for a couple(few hours)... checked my e-mail and a few hours later, got up for the next mindless task. At the end of one of those days we usually feel like "Where has the day gone?", and it's true, the day was wasted. We didn't choose to waste the day, we didn't choose anything, and so it was wasted for us. At the end of a day like that I feel somehow ... less than myself, if that makes any sense at all. That day would have felt totally different, I think, if I had chosen to do that. Maybe when I woke up, maybe the day before. then in my doing nothing I really would have accomplished .... something. I could have been looking forward to that all week.

I guess I am writing this because it's a weakness of mine. Someone said "Time is fleeting", and it's true. Most of us get up and go to work 5 days a week, because we have too. After work there are meals to prepare, lawns to be mowed, people to take care of. Our time really isn't ours, it seems to belong to everyone else. So those moments that are truly ours, should be treated almost with reverence. It's ok to be super busy doing something that you love, or hang out doing nothing at all. What makes the time ours and so precious is that we choose to do what ever we end up doing, and not end up watching "Maury" or"The View" because we haven't chosen anything at all.

Something to think about

Then again... maybe that's just me .

Peace Kiddies :-)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some people got "It", and I definitely DON'T

Before I start, an small rant like question. Why on earth to they make the wires to those little earbuds that we use in our Ipods 5 freakin' feet long? I mean are people sticking their MP3 players in their socks when they go out jogging? Is an Ipod so large that you leave it on the desk when you walk to the fridge for a drink? If it were any longer you could leave your Ipod on the kitchen table while you listen to music mowing the lawn....Why do i care? Read on dear reader read on......
Some people ooze of coolness. You sometimes find these people in moments when you are anything but cool. Take last night for instance. I was waiting at the bus stop, jammin' to the mellow docile sounds of ACDC on my mp3 player, when the bus arrives. I take out my ear buds, board the bus and say a friendly hello to the bus driver as I give him my ticket. Those were pretty much my last few seconds of being cool for the evening. What happened next was I started to walk up to a seat. An invisible bump appeared right in front of this visually impaired gentleman(Who, shall for the purposes of this story be referred to as the Blind Dude). I know the bump was there because I tripped over it. Fortunately my ninja like reflexes came into play and I managed to save myself from the dreaded "face plant". I stood up, gathered what was left of my dignity and started to walk again(really I should have just left, called in sick and stayed home)to my seat. I was stopped abruptly when, unbeknownst to me, my ear bud cord, which had somehow wrapped itself around the neck of Blind Dudes seeing eye dog practically decapitated the poor little guy. The dog true to form, didn't even flinch. I apologized profusely, when Blind dude says to me "If you are talking to me, I don't know what you did, but I'm sure it's OK".
I said,"Thanx Man, you win my "Awesome Person of the Day"award". he comes back with"Oh? I don't have one of those yet, will it be coming in the mail?", I told him that it would indeed, but it would take 6-8 business days. We both start laughing, I find my seat, and what should have been the most embarrassing thing that has happened to me in a year, turned out to be a pretty funny memory.

Thank you Blind Dude on the bus, You make it look easy. May we all show such moments of coolness when our turn comes :-)

Peace Kiddies

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's not much, but it's something

The woman in my life is brilliant, beautiful, talented with a personality to match. She loves to read to me and thinks that I am cool just the way I am. She is also 13. Yes my daughter. She visited me after school yesterday and told me of a movie they watched. The school year is winding down and they have some spare time to do some leisure stuff now. When I was a kid, we used to watch Disney movies, or feel good family movies. Yesterday the kids watched the movie 9/11 with Nick Cage. It seemed to affect her greatly as she spent over an hour telling me everything that happened in a movie that was probably only a little longer than the time she took to tell me. It seemed to be an emotional journey for her and she was working it out as she told me so I just let her go. I guess towards the end of the movie they pulled someone out, and he was passed down a long line of people that were there to help. A rather moving scene. She said "Dad, everyone was there and they were all being so great and helping everyone". I , with no small measure of pride for my fellow man said "yeah, the world came together, and everyone was at their best during that whole thing. Then she asked the question, the reason for the whole story. She said "Why do we have to wait until a crisis to be at our best?" She explained to me how in Haiti right now, they are entering the rain season. Lots of people still have no homes or place to go. Everyone went in and helped when the earthquakes hit, rock stars did a concert for money to donate, but now they are on their own, and no one is helping. She even had a couple more examples. I didn't know what to tell her. What I have heard people say, and have even been guilty of saying myself is "There isn't anything that I can do". It's how we absolve ourselves of the responsibility.
I know an older gentleman. He is considered to be stern, crabby and mean by many. I have heard some awful things said about him. I was in his home once and I saw pictures of foster kids from different countries on his wall. I asked him about them, and he said that he and his wife had sponsored kids from less fortunate countries for years. He said that it wasn't much, but it was something. I have another friend who is studying to be a nurse, she is planing on opening a clinic in India when she is done school. She has found sponsors and has everything ready to go when it is time. I know someone else that when the food bank comes around looking for donations, they practically empty their cupboards to donate everything that they can.
These are just ordinary people, but they do not believe in "There s nothing that I can do", They believe in "It's not much, but it's something".
When someone truly wants to do good, they don't fall behind an excuse, they find a way.
It's true, not one of us can change anything really, but all of us can change everything.
I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday, and it took a 13 year old to teach me.
To answer your question daughter of mine..... Why are we only at our best in a crisis? I can't speak for the world, only for myself. And the answer is, that I will look for ways everyday, to be my best, Thank you for taking the time to teach an old dad, a new trick.

Monday, June 7, 2010

June Reflections

Ahh... Early June.

For some reason, known perhaps to the universe but not to me, it seems to be a time of personal reflection. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about reflection. I wouldn't want to give anyone the impression that I am shallow, but reflection should be more of the nature of "should I order the cheese cake for desert, or the flan?" That is good reflection. Taking an inventory of ones life can be somewhat depressing if you're comfortably into midlife and are not anywhere near where you thought you would be. Now truth be told, my life is pretty darn good. No I'm not rich, but I have great friends, a job I like. Kids who, for lack of any good judgment seem to like me(yeah, I'm pretty lucky that way). I guess it's some of the little things that I'd like to change. When i realized that, it came as somewhat of a relief. True, life is not where I thought it would be. It is however still pretty good. It's easy to change little things, one thing at a time. So in my life that can seem somewhat stagnate at times, I have resolved to work on little things. I have started a gratitude journal, because sometimes I loose sight of all that I have to be grateful for. Today, I had my first piano lesson. Not taught my an experienced teacher yet, but defiantly by someone who knows more than me. I picked up a pencil and started to draw again, and I have a list of things that I want to do. If I look ahead to the me of 10 years from now, I would like him to be calmer and more in touch with.... everything, and he will be if I today, step out of the rat race, and get in touch with me.

Now on to the next thing that I learned. I am what you would call.... lets see... Big Boned? A Portly fellow? Stalky(no idea how to spell that one, sorry). You get the picture, I'm not a small guy. So I'm always looking for my next diet to try for a couple of weeks before crashing the MacDonalds drive through and ordering everything off the menu to catch up on lost time. So I heard of the RAW diet. People seem to like it, so I do some research into it. First of all RAW does NOT stand for RoastBeef And Whatever..(yeah I was surprised by that too) It means RAW like uncooked. Tell me more I told my browser. 75% of the food eaten can't be cooked at a temp. hotter that 116 degrees.. Fahrenheit. First of all, if you cooked chicken at 116 degrees.... it would take DAYS to cook, so I think the point is.. If you live long enough for your food to be cooked... you will have lost weight. If not, well then you won't have to worry about it anymore.
All I have to say about that is.... I wonder if they would put bacon on my Quarter Pounder..

Or maybe that's just me.....

Peace Kiddies

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Don't know what to call this one

My first crush in life was in grade 3(and 4&5). Her name was Monica Marvel, a name more suited to a super hero than a mortal girl in grade 3. I remember her clearly. Long curly strawberry blond hair, brown eyes, roundish face. She never really spoke to me. This was the 70's, the age of the cooties, and if there was a kid with the cooties back then, it was pretty much me(or so they told me). There was this other kid in grade school. Pancho, he was my personal bully. He would pin me in the snow, very freaky for a kid with claustrophobia, and take any desserts that I may have had packed in my lunch. How about 1 more for good measure. Little Nigel, a kid with a constant runny nose, who had his own bullies to deal with. I remember one day Nigel crying and yelling at his tormentors "God will punish you for the way you treat me!" Poor kid.
These are just 3 of the hundreds, or thousands of people, who don't even know that i was born, but that when things are quiet, and my mind wonders, sometimes their faces pop up.
Fast forward to today. I work a lot of nights. I take the bus home in the morning, and there is this man who is very slightly mentally challenged. At 7:30 in the morning, everyone is grumbling, and holding on to their coffees like a life preserver in the sea of the morning shuffle. This guy however, is just the happiest guy on earth. He talks to everyone. Everyday, I let him board the bus before me and he says "Thank You sir"(he's my age). I listen sometimes as he talks to those around him, because his joy is contagious. A week went by once and he wasn't around. I had started to wonder if anything had happened to him. Then he was back, and I listened as he explained to the bus driver that he had been taking a later bus, to sleep in an extra half an hour. The driver, did not even pretend to be remotely interested. I however was glad that he chose to start getting up earlier so that he was on my bus again.

Why this trip down nostalgia lane? These people have no idea, that they have influenced me, or that I think of them. Little Nigel has no idea that my heart still breaks for that little kid with the runny nose, who tried to take a stand to his oppressors. Or that i wish that I had helped the little dude out. Mr. Happy on the bus does not have a clue that I look forward to him being on the bus in the morning. So the question is, Who do you think of? Who are some of the people who don't know you, who have made their way into the corners of your mind? When you think of that, the even more important question is..... Who thinks of you? Make no mistake, as we have, a plethora of faces and people locked in our minds, others have us.

It's sometimes easy to feel alone and that we don't matter. Sometimes the ones who were supposed to love us the most, leave us for "greener pastures" Or hurt us physically and emotionally. Sometimes our friends are busy with their own lives. The ones we care about may be far away, and we wish they were closer. Whatever the circumstance, we find ourselves alone. We might wonder who would notice if we just disappeared, not unlike George Bailey in "Its a Wonderful Life". Just like George Bailey though, our sphere of influence goes far and wide, beyond what we can possibly imagine. Our families, friends, and even that nameless person at the grocery store that just likes seeing us come in and shop. We are so important to so many people. It really is easier to feel alone and lonely than to even begin to comprehend the scope of our importance to the world around us. If we disappeared tomorrow, would the world stop spinning? No, but from the mightiest king to the humblest of us, the world would be poorer for the loss.

Today, I am grateful for the many, many people who are important in my life. I am also incredibly grateful for those who, whether I know them or not, feel that I am important in theirs.

Peace Kiddies 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A simple act of kindness

Years ago, while walking down the street on a beautiful summer day, I was feeling great. The weather was stunning, it had been a great day, and there were no signs of it changing. As I was enjoying my walk and looking forward to my destination(I don't remember where I was going), some kids drove by and one of them stuck their head out the window and said one word. A very mean word. Just like that everything changed, I wasn't "feelin' groovy". I was instead, angry, and hurt... outraged even. My thoughts changed from my perfect day, to how i could get even with this nameless jerk.
After some time, I thought of it again, and was quite fascinated by it.How could one person uttering one word change my whole outlook like that. Even more interesting was the question; What one word could someone utter out the car window, that could turn a bad day to a good one?
Here is the thing, I couldn't think of one, I still can't. It seems to be very easy to be cruel and unkind, but Kindness requires effort. You could drive by a person, and call them a name to make them feel bad. However if you wanted them to feel good. You would have to stop the car, and talk with them, or do something nice. Ok the car analogy may not work, because stopping your car and interacting with strangers is more likely to creep them out, but I think you get the meaning.
When I think about it more though, it just takes less effort to be mean. When you're arguing with someone... It's easier to keep going until you have won(Impossible as that is), It takes effort to stop, take a deep breath and understand the other persons point of view. It's easier to loose your temper instead of keeping your cool, or harder to be a person of honor than a dishonest person, or one that does not keep his commitments/promises.
I think that we all know some genuinely good people, and some that are not so good. Every once in a while though, you meet someone that makes it look easy, they seem to just on instinct have a gift for doing good. you can feel it when you are around them. the kindness in their souls seems to radiate to those around them. People just want to be close to them, and we are fortunate and blessed to know them.
I have been fortunate enough to know some of these individuals in my life time. Some were friends, others were teaches of one form or another. All of them stand out as people that have influenced my life in amazing ways.
Today I know 2 of these people. One is my little girl, She has been that was since she was born. The other a friend that I am fortunate to have.
These people inspire me, whether it was my friend Derrick, who passed a few years ago, or Alex Harding, who was a kindly person at church when I was a kid, who would take me to father son events, or help me pick out Christmas trees, when I didn't have a Dad at home.. Whether i knew them then, or know them now. I am beyond grateful for the kindness shown and the lessons taught through their actions... My world is a better place for having known them, and hopefully I am a better person through their example.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sept. 6, 2006

Steve Irwin died the other day... Stabbed in the chest by a stingray.. I didn't watch his show much, but always had fun when I did...He showed up, with some wild animals, those ball hangin' Khakis of his... and a joy for what he did that was unequaled by most....He did for the Discovery channel, what Emeril Lagasse and Iron Chef did for the food network. It's fitting that he died the way he did...Doing what he loved....Teaching us to love nature and all of her children. I think the lesson he taught us most though, was one not mentioned.... He taught us to, as the good brothers from Creed said, "Greet the world, with arms wide open".

So Mr. Crocodile Hunter... Where ever you are...

Thanx for the laughs, the smiles... and the lessons. Thanx for letting us into part of your world. We are better for having been there.

God Speed

Aug. 30, 2006

Rant time.....
Why is it that when you buy something... The store wants to know your postal/zip code???? What is that about really? I mean... Are they going to deliver the pack of pens and the stack of computer paper that I just bought? Do they want to send me a thank you note for purchasing something at their store? Orrrrrr........ maybe if I live in a bad neighborhood, they don't want my business.... Hard to say..... But buying a pair of jeans shouldn't require an address and phone number...
The phone number one bugs me more than most......Really, unless they are planning on inviting me over for a BBQ(I don't want to come... I'm not that friendly OR that social)... Or hook me up with a ring side seat at Hugh Heffners next bash(OK... That one I will go too LOL)What posible reason do you need my number Mr. Pet food store guy?
The only one I thought was OK, was the local "Petcettera" store.. when the cash girl said "Sir, if you want our monthly newsletter, feel free to leave us an e-mail address".
I think my response to other stores looking for personal info... will be an excerpt from the late great Chris Farley, when he said "My Name is Matt Foley, and I live in a Van down by the river".

Peace Kiddies

No Date

Humans are a funny creature.....We want what we don't have.... If it's a hot summer day, we want it to be cool... a cold winter day? and we miss the hot balmy humid days of summer....
I have wanted a place where I can just spout off what ever pops into my head... so I create this blog... and guess what? I've got nothing to say.. I should have thought of this years ago... It may have shut me up before I got myself into trouble LOL..
I turned 43 last week.. Not very traumatic...The 40's seem to be a time of just dealing with life.. I don't really think about going back to school anymore... hard to work out University and a Mortgage payment.. I don't think I'll become a hip cool, computer programmer... or a teacher....or own my own pet food store(well I do still think of that one now and then hehe)... It's more like, this is what I do... and It's not a bad gig... I work in social services.
My daughter turned 10 on the weekend.... She sometimes gets sad at the prospect of getting older... At 10, she's losing some of that little girl charm, that captures the attention of friends and women at the shopping mall alike...School gets harder, and there is more expected of her in her day to day life....So sometimes, she will say that she wishes she didn't have to grow up...
I tell her, that every year .. as she gets older.. she leaves things behind.. part of her childhood...And she picks up new things to replace them. A few years ago.. it was Sesame street, and BRATZ dolls... Now she loves to do crafts, and she cooks like an Iron Chef... All stuff she enjoys... so we sit together and wonder what being 10 will bring.. I think it's the same for the rest of us... Would I want to be 21 again? Hell Yeah.. I was slimmer... had more energy.. and was still young enough, that I considered myself pretty much immortal.. But that doesn't change the fact, that I really like the 43 year old version of me a whole lot more than me when i was 21....I'm calmer now, more seasoned... I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to say I'm wiser.. But i do know more.. Mike @ 21 was trying to impress the world.... Mike @ 43 doesn't really give a crap what the world thinks....He likes himself just fine...
What will 43 bring with it? Well a couple of failed diets.. and probably a few extra pounds to prove the point... A class in pottery, and one in knitting(I'd like to learn to make something besides scarves).. 43 will bring the exciting conclusion of "The Dark Tower" series... Rachel(My little girl) and I, will learn what happens to Sara Crew.. and we'll read adventures from a host of other authors. Some friends will go their way... and new ones will be discovered ....Logan(My 15 year old).. will have a birthday, and probably get his license(yeach....), He will stand taller and perhaps grow to be even more awesome than he already is(if that is even possible), and Mitch (18) will continue to dazzle me with his depth of thought and wisdom....
43 sounds like it will be a good year.. Just like all the rest.... leave some things behind... and find new things along the way.....

Peace Kiddies