Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Children

If I pass a man on the street and I see him carrying a child, and he sees me pushing mine in a stroller, we nod to each other.

It is much like people who ride motorcycles, jeeps and a brotherhood do. It means that you are in the "club" even though there were no formal arrangements or inductions. It's the baby club I speak of...

Until you are in this club, you really have no idea. My friend Glen once told me this years ago, and although I understood what he was saying, and I understood the concept, I didn't see what the big deal was. To me, I always wanted kids. I also understood that some people weren't meant to have kids, or some didn't want or couldn't have kids. Would that make you excluded from this club?

Unfortunately, it does...

Until you see that baby that shares your mongrel blood and have to love it, despite that fact, you wouldn't understand. You could empathize, but never sympathize. There is a morphing process that happens that changes you forever and you change forever because of it.

I like the story of walking in the woods and seeing a larvae struggling to get out of its shell to become a butterfly. It needs hours of preparation to weaken its shell, and get out before it can appear to the world as a beautiful butterfly that we see. But in this case, I can't wait that long. I become impatient and decided to help speed to the process out because I want to see this moment where it breaks free and becomes this beautiful creature so I gently slit its shell and enable it to escape and appear. What I didn't know was that in helping this butterfly, I have actually killed it.

You see, it needed to struggle for a few hours to break through that shell in order to strengthen its wings so it can fly. By helping it, I haven't allowed it to struggle and build it's wing strength up, and now it will surely die.

I feel that same way when I struggle. I need to struggle in order to get stronger, and certainly learning from my child helps this process. When you struggle for your own existence, it is living. When you struggle for someone Else's existence, it is learning. No preparation could prepare you for this before your own kids.

I would like to think that people around the world are different, but that we all share a common link via our children. Lifestyles may vary, religions differ, and customs and education are subjective, but we all share that same bond with our children.

I love the quote from JFK when he took office as President in the early 1960's. He had a young daughter, lost a son to childbirth in the White House and then had little John-John. A President with a young family has a different perspective than one without. I have heard these words many times in my life, but I have never understood them as I do now...

"For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

If you break it down like that, it kind of puts everything into perspective, doesn't it?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Babies are really Angels without wings

Living the life of Peter Pan has made this experience very surreal. I mean, most would fashion my life as chasing mermaids, picking fights with Captain Hook, hanging out with the Lost Boys and trying to pick up Tigerlilly, all the time defying father time by never growing old.

So you can imagine the shock of most, if not all my friends, saying to me, "You're somebody's dad??!" And all I can do is sheepishly nod,

It's now official. Outside of some DNA test coming back to embarrass me, this kid is stuck with me as a dad for the rest of her natural life, and although she may not like it, I love it.

But let me tell you what really doesnt make sense to me....

Do you remember when you first got your drivers license? You had a 365, or learners permit where you had to have a licenced driver in the car with you. Then you took your test and you passed! And as you got that piece of paper and left the testing parking lot, you thought, "what a mistake that guy just made giving me this licence...Moooooohahahaha"

Thats the way I felt when they handed me Kennedy. I'm like, "you mean I can have her? You're just going to GIVE her to me?!"

"Yes Mr. Bastie, she's your daughter, Congrats"

(Me playing the role of Homer Simpson)

"You mean, I can take this baby out of the hospital wherever I want, and the police wont be there to arrest me; this isnt a STING operation, no hidden cameras, CAS wont be following me home, and Ashton Kutcher won't come out of an ambulance and tell me that I've been PUNKED?!"

I mean, thats how I felt. I couldnt believe that they haven't read up on my past Peter Pan life and realize that this is going to be funny.
Of course, this being Canada, the great socialist country that it is, there are safety nets for idiots like me when you screw up as a father. Its like a big "Catch and Release" pond for fishermen, only for babies and fathers. So at least I got that working for me, which is nice... ;)

But on a serious note...

Seeing that head come out and how hard Ali worked to give Kennedy life was something I'll take to my dying day. It took SO long, but it happened so quickly. In the blink of an eye, it was over and then it was gone. And unless you caught it, you missed it and there are no replays. But I had ringside seats and I was there to see it, and its in my virtual memory.

It's just like in the movie "American Beauty", where Kevin Spacey narrates at the end what happens when your life flashes before your eyes. Its not one thing, its a series of vinettes of how your life went.

It's sitting at summer camp with the first girl you kissed under the stars and hoping that tomorrow would never come. It's the smell of that hockey rink after you won your first title; it's seeing your parents proud faces when you graduated. It's getting married and looking at your beautiful bride and wondering what she sees in you. OR, it's seeing that horribly ugly slimy baby come out and to you, she's the most beautiful thing in the entire world up until that point. All of the other things will never mean the same ever again. And now those moments are usurped for watching your child grow up and supercede you on every level. And this would bring you happiness to the likes of which I would never have known previously.

And it's having that first moment at home with her peacefully sleeping body lying on your chest after her long journey to get there, and being thankful to God for giving me something so special, so healthy, and so beautiful that you could never ever repay this ever in your whole life. -Because nothing you could ever do would ever be payment enough for something so irreplaceable.

And I sigh like I have never sighed before in my life. A tear comes and it strickles down to the corner of my eye, and I quietly try to remain composed. I think, "keep it together Chuck, be a man"

But then I'm reassured by something deeper than my inner voice. And then this reassuring calm comes over me that I have never felt in my entire life; and I'm at peace that my new daughter and I have just shared our first moment together.

And that has been all the difference...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Love Actually...

I LOVE this movie. I think it could very well be the finest contemporary Christmas movie of our generation. I think it covers all the great loves in life. Friendships, Lovers, Father-son, New Loves, First Loves, Taboo Love, Aspiring Love and just simple love.

I love the opening scene where they are showing people at Heathrow airport greeting each other. You will never see such joy and love in such abundance as you will people watching at an airport. There are so many great scenes in this movie, but this is my favourite feel good and the message Hugh Grant says hits the nail on the head.

I watch this movie only once a year with my 2 best friends and we celebrate each other, all that we have been through as friends. It means the world to me to have these 2 friends, and I am truly thankful to have them in my life.

I think however, that Christmas is also a tough season. There are people out there who have had terrible years. With the economy being as bad as it is, there may be tough times for some, and others have lost loved ones this year. This is the toughest time of the year to be cheery when missing someone you have loved so dearly. The fallen Soldiers' families are going to have a tough Xmas. I feel for them, and anyone else who has just lost someone dear.

When everyone around you is celebrating, take a moment to remember someone you know that might not be having such a great time at Xmas. The time it will take you to reach out and let them know that you are thinking about them and remembering all that they are feeling is going to mean more to them than you will ever know; even if they don't show it on the outside.

When we look at the passing year, it may not have been the greatest year. -Certainly there were better. But as I think about mine, I can't help but smile. I have not won the lottery and I've made much more money in previous years, but somehow, I think I'm the happiest at a time when I thought I wouldn't be.

I remember all my family and friends who have always been so good to me. -I have the greatest friends a man could ask for. I have a beautiful healthy baby and a partner who gave her life and both are healthy.

That in itself make this year majestic.

But I have met new people, loved and laughed like I didn't think possible. I have been a blessed man to have known so many people who have touched my life.

Yes, I could think of something I didn't get this year, or someone who pissed me off... But I think it would be so pointless to think in such a way. Not when so much has been given to a man, who once was a bitter boy.

Truly, love does conquer all...

Don't forget to remember those less fortunate. And I don't mean just monetarily. I mean emotionally...

Have a Very Happy Holiday Season my friends!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Native Rights; Are they hard done by?

I had an interesting discussion yesterday from a friend's status update on facebook that read as such:

"In regards to Native Rights - When will government stop taking land that is not theirs to take? ... When will governments & those in power stop taking away from the indigeous their rights to be treated in the same manner as white & given the same treatment ..."

When I started this conversation, I must admit, I was less knowledgable about the topic of what Native's rights are in Canada. I did a bit of research on the topic and came back with a better understanding of the basic allowances afforded to Native people.

I'm not here to argue who has it better, because that is a matter of perception. Similarily, if you would ask a person who lived in a socialized system of government vs. a highly capitalized system, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, and your perception of what you valued would determine your view.

BUT, I do want to address something else on the subject. But before I get there, indulge me...

I like History. I have always loved history, its facts and dates and how it replays itself again and again. It is important to me to see where we as humans have come from, and why we got here. So, when I look at basic things in history like maps and how they are drawn up, and how they have altered in history, it makes sense.

Let's take Europe for example. The maps and borders of Europe have changed literally dozens of times in the past 50 years. Empires such as the Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungarian, Prussian, Germanic, have come and gone, being defeated along the way. After each war or deciding battle, the defeated nation or empire surrenders, and its people must live according to the new rules of the land determined by the victor. Thus the saying, "To the Victor go to spoils" Basic understanding, correct?

So, what is the difference between this and how the Canadian government treat Natives? The Natives were defeated 400 years ago. They have assimilated into the nations of British North America, Upper and Lower Canada, and finally Canada. Generations of natives have been born into being Canadian, as their title of First Nation dictates.

However, I don't know any other nation of people defeated that enjoys better opportunities than what is afforded to Card Carrying Natives in Canada. From birth, they have a better opportunity to free education, tax benefits, and socialized benefits that the average Canadian DOESN'T have. Yet, we are all considered Canadians, being born in the same country, under the same government with the same laws. I would think that if you are in Canada, you live as a CANADIAN. And this goes to other people who live here and still retain their heritage. If you live in our country, you live by our government's laws.


If you look at how other nations treat the defeated countries, there would be uproar if they received similar benefits that they themselves did NOT receive.

Now, should we feel ashamed at how the Natives were treated by our forefathers?


There is no doubt that our greed and conquest ruined the lives and lifestyle of their once proud nations of people. But this is not just reserved for us. This happened hundreds of other places in the world of the treatment of others by conquoring nations.

However, it is in the past, and it cannot be changed. No amount of apology or social aid will help that fact, and I'm tired of having to hear about it. And this isn't just reserved for Natives, this is reserved for any other people that feels that they have been treated badly in the past.

Get over it.

That attitude of "woe is me" is a defeatist attitude, and you only sabatoge yourelf with it. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with remembering your past and history, and honouring your past. However, don't allow it to affect your place in society, and your happiness in that place.

Atrosities happen to many. To the nations conquored by the Romans, to the nations that were oppressed by the Christians conquoring "in the name of God", to blacks that were involved by the slave trades, to the Jews who were displaced in Europe and to many countless others that are too many to name. It happens. It is horrible and certainly a black mark, but it is not isolated to simply one being, other than the HUMAN BEING.

So, if you want to make a difference, here's a tip...


Start with your own people and make a change. Education and knowledge is free in this country, but it starts with the idea that you want it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't force it to drink. To those who want it, you will see it in their lifestyles.

I know many natives that carry on very successful lives, and I also see the drunken native complaining that he is discriminated against. I think it is all based on your perception.

I will leave you with a story that I think applies to this perfectly...

There was a set of twins born to a very abusive father and mother. Their childhood was marred with things that children should never have to see, or be around. Drugs, Alcohol, and Abuses of other kinds surrounded them. When they grew into young men, they both were in councelling trying to deal with their past. The difference was, one twin was highly successful, and the other was desolate. In trying to understand why each of them were the way they were, the Psychologist asked a question as to why they each turned out the way they did.

And to the amazement of the shrink, they both delivered the EXACT SAME REPLY.

This was amazing, for the one twin had kids, and found true love with his wife. He had a great career, was well educated and lived a life of balance. The other twin was just the opposite, dropping out of school, running into problems with abuse and the law, and had many unsuccessful relationships.

How could this be? How could they have the same answer for 2 TOTALLY different livestyles?

Do you want to know what their answer was?

They answered the question, "Why do you think you turned out the way you have?" with this response....

"What choice did I have? Just look at my parents..."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

American Thanksgiving

To all our neighbours to the south, I hope you enjoy a beautiful Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends. Most people do not know that American Thanksgiving is the most travelled day of the year for Americans, and supercedes even Christmas.

I love the story of Thanksgiving in the States. I love how earnest the pilgrims were and how they had a horrendous year in the new world, but still took time out to give thanksgiving. I love how in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln officially declared it, and set the date for generations to come to celebrate this hallowed holiday.

But during Thanksgiving, the most important thing besides surrounding yourself with family and friends, is the actual act of Thanksgiving. What are you truly thankful for?

Well, I've had many reasons to be thankful this year, but during this note, I've decided to be thankful for my education and the teachers who contributed to it. The reason that I've decided to go this way, is that teachers never get the credit that they deserve. It really is a thankless job these days and they are always critized and often overlooked.

I went to school in the late 70's and all of the 80's. It was a different time back then. Most of the teachers in my era were educators and took their job seriously. They were organized, professional and understood how to work well with kids. You may not have always liked your teachers, but they weren't there to like, they were there to educate you. There were good ones, and bad ones. But then, there were the GREAT ones!! I bet everyone reading this can think about at least a couple of their favourite teachers.

The funny thing about teachers is that the great ones really made a difference in your life. -They inspired you. They made you a better person by believing in you when even you didn't believe in yourself. They made your confidence soar, and you wanted to excel to meet their approval.

So I want to thank 3 teachers of mine:

1) Henry Kazina

There probably isn't a man that I admire more. Henry was from the old school system, and was the VP of my school in Beausejour, Manitoba. We all looked at Henry as being mean and tough; but really, he was the man that you would trust your child's welfare and education to.
There were many times that I pushed the limit to test him and his authority. Time and time again he had the chance to really punish me, but unlike other teachers who would make you draw lines on the blackboard or wasteful activities, my detentions with Henry were alaways something to get me involved with school activities. He made me referree games, attend school government meetings, and walk patrols as detentions, and he always spoke to me with respect. He was firm but fair, and I learned many things from this man.
Today he is retired, and is a pillar in his community. He recently headed the fundraising campaign to bring an old arena back to life near his hometown for all the kids in future to play on. He is a man of the utmost character and I am a lucky man to have met him and learned from this man.
Thanks Henry for believing in that short curly headed kid, and never giving up on a student...

2)Jean Parkin

When I first moved from Manitoba and came to Ontario, she was the "really cool" teacher that every student hoped to get at the start of the year. It was like winning the kids lottery, and it meant that you were going to have a fun year. It's so much easier to do well in school if you are having fun, and Miss Parkin excelled in this. She encouraged everything I was passionate about, which at the time was music. When I had finished recording a song we wrote in the recording studio, she asked me for a copy and wrote me a letter afterwards about what a great job we did. She remembered my birthday without fail, and she was always available to talk to. This was my grade 7 English teacher, but I had the opportunity to see her again when she came to my high school during my final year. She was the same person that she was that I remembered as a kid. I used to go back to the school and visit her once a year until she retired a couple years ago.

3) Gord McLeod

He was my marketing teacher at Sheridan College. From the very first time I met him when he walked into the classroom, I was captured by his charisma and energy. He taught marketing in a way I never thought could be taught. He inspired me to think outside of the box, and didn't worry about marks. He always used to say, "Go down the hall and write your tests, and then come back and let's do some MARKETING!" He wrote me letters of recommendation when I needed them, and he gave me that push start that every kid out of college needs before they hit the workplace to get the shit kicked out of them. He was a friend, a mentor, and a fantastic teacher.

The thing is, each and every one of these people touched my life in a very profound way. Here I am, writing about them and remembering details about their contribution in my life decades later. They didn't receive extra pay, and make royalties on how successful you would become in life. They just did their job with pride, and to the best of their ability because they thought that's what their students deserved.

I always love to watch "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "The Emperor's Club" as reminders of how great these teachers were to me. They are frozen in time in my head, and will never age outside of my memory of them.

And today, I am thankful for them and all the many people who are like them out there. Thank you for taking my education seriously. Because you showed me value in it, I learned to appreciate it. Too many other countries do not have the blessing of our education system and we take it for granted. It may not be perfect, but I seem to think that I am a better person because of it.

So thank you...

And if there was a special teacher that reached out to you and realized that you were special and taught you something about yourself... or realized that your brain learned in a different way than others, and helped you; reach out to that teacher. I promise you, you will give back to them more than you would ever know.

Happy Thanksgiving all...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Note to Self...

Dear Chuck,

This is Chuck.

I just want to tell you that I think you're pretty ‘effing cool. You've come a long way in the 37 years of our life, but I just wanted to tell you that I think you are the shizzle.

Remember when we were talking when you passed that mirror store the other day and I was telling you what great looking blue eyes you have? -I really meant that. Its true that our body hasn't been in the greatest shape lately, but I’m not really worried about that. It will always come when we are ready to look sweet again. The good news is that you still have a great ass that we could bounce quarters off of, and that will never change. Kudos to us for that...

And I must say, that I really like what you have been doing to our hair. I don't know why you were so insistent on straightening your gorgeous naturally curly hair, but I like it that we've gone back to letting it" be who we is"...

Also, this writing a novel idea/thing that we've picked up is absolutely brilliant. It's about time that we got off our ass, and decided to write down some of the stupidity we've done in our life, and shared it with the world that the small price of a hardcover book will bring. We may not be a great accomplished writer right now, but damn if we won't look great doing it!!

Also, our daughter is about to start realizing that her dad is just about the coolest cat in the game. -That's worth a lot. She is a real darling and it's safe to say that she got her good looks from her mother, and that we had very little to do with that. -But that's ok. We can still take credit for her down the road...

In closing, I just wanted to tell you what a great guy you are and how much I admire you. It’s been a while since we've had a little pep-talk and I just wanted to take a moment out of our busy day to say I think you're aces kid.

You really got it going on. ;) -Yeah, that wink was for you baby. Who loves you?

I probably have forgotten something, but hell, I'll keep ya in the loop, as I will never be far away.

Hope to see you in a mirror sometime soon.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Comforts of Home

Warm Baths with the lights out, candles on and silence so loud that it's deafening.

Your own bed with lots of covers and soft pillows. Sarah McLachlan playing and the world's cutest and loyal puppy dog to cuddle up to you to listen to it.

A full fridge of food no matter what you want to eat, it's there. Even the cereal you weren't allowed to have as a kid is there on standby... just because.

Movie night where you move the couch and throw down blankets on the floor and nuzzle in.

Body Shop candles and fragrances.

A good old school Beaver Canoe or Roots Sweater that is nice and faded.

Slippers that are always warm.

Ordering Pizza and watching old movies like Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Naps on the couch for no good reason.

Jumping in the truck for a drive to nowhere with the sunroof open.

Moving the furniture around.

Cooking for friends coming over and they do the dishes!!

BBQ's in the summer with bonfires in the backyard, guitar players, ice in my Rye and Ginger, and my dog by my side.

Of course of all of this under the stars which you can see plainly beside the crescent moon looking down on us.

Hitting golf balls off the bluffs into Lake Ontario.

Playing on my hockey and curling rink in my backyard under the floodlights of a crisp winters night surrounded by trash talking losers who cant score on me...hahahaha

Inviting the kids on my street to come over on a sunny Saturday and play shinny with their friends and we all have hot chocolate and pizza in between floods.

Sleeping in the igloo in my backyard feeling as warm as can be. Surreal, but fun.

Waking up and seeing your child smiling at you like it's the time you've laid eyes on them. Then watch them run around and jump into your arms and give you the biggest warmest bear hug. Sigh...

With all of this, it's a wonder that I travel as much as I do, and leave my little nest. But I do... But coming home to my house on the bluffs makes it worth it every time, and I never miss it because it always welcomes me home time and time again.

Its not the biggest or nicest house on the block, but its home...So many things suck in life, but just for a moment I can come back to these thoughts and feel balanced yet again.

Enough to fight another day....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why Men Lie

Why Men Lie…

My cousin brought up a great question a while back... She asked me why men always lie.

Now, I don’t know the whole story behind her deal of why she asked that and I haven’t had the chance to play “Dr. Phil” and figure out each party’s story and come up with my own conclusion, but I thought I would give my 2 cents on the jist of it.

Now, in my own experience, men lie to women for a couple of reasons. The lesser of the reasons are ego-based, being that we want to impress you in our quest to be better than we are in order to “woo” you. -Thus the “rule of 3” story in the movie “American Pie”
We will inflate anything in order to get your attention and better our chances for you to notice us. But this isn’t diabolical lying to us, it’s considered a “little white lie” or an exaggeration.

Now, there is “lying by omission” where you women think that we are not telling you the entire truth, when in fact, we haven’t volunteered the truth. We have left out big details that we know would be really stupid to tell you the ENTIRE truth.

Hell, we’ve grown up with this our whole life. We’ve watched our fathers do it as artists, and the trade has been perfected from father and son as a right of passage. Our fathers are the king heavyweight champions of this…

To illustrate this point, I’ll give you an example…You go out with the guys for a drink and end up running into your ex at the bar and it just happens that your ex happens to be there. You know that your present girlfriend has a jealous streak against her, but in your mind, you aren’t doing anything wrong. You’re just out for a drink with the boys, right? Well, as things go in our crazy world, you were spotted having drinks with your Ex last night by some of her crazy friends. And it’s on…

They stood there behind the white picket fence up on the grassy knoll waiting for the motorcade to drive by and then snipe you. So when you get home, your girlfriend comes up to you and asks you what you got up to last night. You tell her the truth; that you went out with your buddies for a few drinks, went to a bar and “pretty much nothing else happened”

“Is that REALLY the truth?” she asks

“Yes, it is. I was home in my own bed at 1am.”

And that IS the truth!!

But what we don’t tell you isn’t that we’re keeping something from you, it’s because you simply can’t handle the rest and we don’t want to deal with your shit if we tell you the ENTIRE story that you want to hear.

See, you women can’t control that funky little tempers of yours and you seem to like drama a lot more than we do. So, the best way to avoid a punch, is to not be in a fight, right? Besides, we simply want to avoid any conversation that would necessitate the words, ‘We need to talk”

God. Not talk… Anything but “talk” because we KNOW what “talk” means.

You’ve never seen a guy turn as white, or look like he is as busy as when he hears those words uttered. Besides, we know that given the opportunity, the majority of women will use any occasion to assert themselves on us by that dreaded, antiquated technique that has been around for centuries that your gender as a whole seems to think works, and that is the thing we call, “Nagging”

Now this must be avoided at all costs by us. This is an absolute no-win situation for us. It goes like this: You nag, we pretend to listen and smile, while envisioning monkeys clanging cymbals together. All the while you are giving it to us, and in the end, nothing gets done.

As a matter of fact, in writing this note, I did some checking in history and I found a little tidbit of information that I thought I would share to illustrate my point.In the HISTORY of men and women, a man has never been accused of nagging a woman. It’s true, ask around. We simply just don’t do it.


Because we know that this technique doesn’t work, and in fact, it makes things worse!! And the worst thing, is that women KNOW it’s not what they should be doing, but it’s something that they can’t stop doing. It’s like it’s in your DNA make-up that you MUST go into auto-pilot and use it whenever you deem necessary.

So the way I look at it, the best thing to avoid all of this which has taken me countless hours of research on the internet and in the library is one simple solution…


Sunday, November 22, 2009

JFK Assassination

November 22, 1963...

It is a moment that everyone alive at the time can remember with surprising detail where they were when they heard the news that the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas on this day in 1963.
And despite it being the most powerful man in the world, the leader of the free world and the President of the most powerful nation in the world, it has been covered up and forgotten about for exactly 46 years today.
There have been murders and other capital crimes since that day that have received more attention and effort than the hapless effort put forth by the U.S. government to determine who killed JFK that day.

In fact the real truth, and not the bullshit that they have tried to pass off as the truth, has been covered up and won't officially be available until 2019. By this time, everyone involved with this coup d'etat will be dead, buried and absolved from their lies. Their conspiracy to mislead the world can be acknowledged and history can be re-written to include the truth for once.
So until then, this day will remain another black mark in the American and world history books to include one of the biggest lies and cover ups, and the willingness of their people to accept that lie.
What's really amazing to me is the amount of resources that the U.S. government can bring to bear on any investigation, say for example when they were trying to lynch Bill Clinton on a sex scandal. It's also amazing to me how the American people will get on board with something that the rest of the world looks on and accepts from it's own leaders, but it won't get behind something that altered its own history like the bold faced lies that the U.S. government deliberately told its citizens about how it's elected leader was taken from them without due process.

Land of the free? Bullshit.

You were delivered a government that lead you into Vietnam that killed generations of your young men, and even worse, you were not able to elect a new leader until 1968 when the runner up of the 1960 election, Richard Nixon was allowed to lead your country into yet another scandal.

What a dramatic turn of events...

To add serious insult to injury, when Nixon resigned to avoid being the first American President to be impeached in office, his replacement Gerald Ford stepped in to replace him. The ironic thing about this, is that Gerald Ford was on the Warren Commission which was charged with investigating the JFK assassination that sold the lies to the American people about what happened in Dallas on that day. Ford held office, and pardoned Nixon of all charges he was faced with in the Watergate Scandal that brought him down. As reward for this, he was not a candidate in the 1976 election that Jimmy Carter won.
How convenient...

These players were allowed to escape accountability for their roles in this heinous crime and live their lives in obscurity until their deaths.
So, when Kennedy won the 1960 election against the 2 term VP Nixon it was such an upset that it ruined the plans of the outgoing Eisenhower administration to wage their cold war against the Russian Bear. After Kennedy's assassination, their plan went back into plan for another 15 years. But by then, the damage was already done. The Vietnam War, the collapse of the U.S economy and upcoming recession.

So where am I going with this?

If you don't see the similarities between George W. Bush and Nixon, then let me help you. The fact that Bush won the closest election in American history (the previous closest being Kennedy and Nixon in 1960) and stealing another election away in 2004 to renew a war his father couldn't finish in Iraq, is eerily similar.

You see, Clinton was never supposed to win that election against George HW Bush, and Bush was going to head into the Persian Gulf to control the flow of oil for good. -He had a perfect reason as well. Iraq invaded Kuwait, and he was coming to the aid of a foreign nation being invaded by a ruthless dictator. It was a much better reason than the bombings on 9/11 that his son had to work with too, don't you think? -Get bombed by terrorists and then use it as an excuse to invade another nation in the quest to wage war with no really identifable enemy. -Let's call it a war on Terror...

The unforeseen fact that Ross Perot ran in that election as another Texan, only as an independent and split the right wing Republican vote thwarted another Bush term, and swung the vote and the election to the Democrats. Thus, prematurely ending the Republican reign just the same way Eisenhower tried to pass the torch to Nixon and Nixon lost to Kennedy.

Barack Obama is the new Kennedy, and if you think that history doesn't repeat itself again here, watch and learn.
Remember this day in history, and let's hope and pray that history doesn't repeat itself by creating this awareness. It's the first and most important way of avoiding the pitfalls of the past.

And Pass this on!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nobody reads my notes...

I know why....

It's because I am a hot piece of ass, and everyone wants to see me in action, pictures and all. I look hot in a Mullet, bad clothes, uncompromising pictures of me sleeping, a cannon between my legs, playing hockey, travelling, ect.

I can't help the fact that I'm packing serious heat in this 5"8 frame that makes JT jealous but....I can write too. But is nobody interested in that because its boring?...but I'm not a boring guy.

So tell me why nobody reads my notes? They are funny, serious, true and entertaining. I want to be taken seriously and not just the sex symbol that you all have come to know!!

So stop perving at my ass, and read my notes and then leave a comment.

Just like orgasms, comments are free...

Friday, November 20, 2009

I am the Greatest!

I bet you thought I was just being "Me" and making a proclamation eh?


I was remembering a song I had heard many years ago that always brought a smile to my face. It is sung by Kenny Rogers, and it has always reminded me that when God gives you lemons, you make lemonade...

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do, it reminds me of something I would say when I was a little boy...

Little Boy, in a baseball hat
Stands in the field with his ball and bat
Says I am the greatest player of them all
Puts his bat on his shoulder and he tosses up his ball

And the ball goes up and the ball comes down
Swings his bat all the way around
The world's so still you can hear the sound
The baseball falls to the ground

Now the little boy doesn't say a word
Picks up his ball, he is undeterred
Says I am the greatest there has ever been
And he grits his teeth and he tries it again

And the ball goes up and the ball comes down
Swings his bat all the way around
The world's so still you can hear the sound
The baseball falls to the ground

He makes no excuses,
He shows no fears
He just closes his eyes
and listens to the cheers

Little boy, he adjusts his hat
Picks up his ball, stares at his bat
Says I am the greatest the game is on the line
And he gives his all one last time

And the ball goes up like the moon so bright
Swings his bat with all his might
And the world's so still as still can be
And the baseball falls, and that's strike three

Now it's supper time and his mama calls
Little boy starts home with his bat and ball
Says I am the greatest, that is a fact
But even I didn't know I could pitch like that!!

He says, I am the greatest, that is understood
But even I didn't know that I could pitch that good!!

What a great line! I love this kid...
Enjoy your Friday today, and the start of your weekend;)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Toughest Season...

I remember living in the US as a kid and celebrating American Thanksgiving with our American friends.

It was such a big holiday for them. They loved it.

The Dallas Cowboys would be playing football on that Thursday and we would all huddle around watching Roger Staubach throw a football around for the afternoon after having a huge feast. Watching the Macy's parade on Broadway, and walking around having neighbours saying "Happy Thanksgiving"

Immediately, the next day you have Black Friday which is the kick off to the sales transitioning to Christmas. And it's like they rip down the Thanksgiving decorations and the Xmas decorations are right behind them. Then comes the official holiday season for us Canadians. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus and the Countdown to Christmas...

For one month it is full court press to the 25th. Gathering presents, heading out to visit family and friends, going south for vacation, dinners, Company parties, the longest nights of the year when the sun goes down at 4:30pm, and its cold outside. It is a time that most people are the happiest. And it is also the time when the world is officially the most unhappy...

Suicides are the highest between American Thanksgiving and New Year Celebrations. People who have lost loved ones from service overseas, accidents, cancer, relationships are at their most vulnerable at this season. Loneliness and despair are hidden through stone cold eyes that have to be so that they don't break down in tears.

So when you are celebrating with your family and friends, at work or wherever, don't forget to approach someone you know who has lost someone this year, and pass on some holiday cheer to a person who needs it the most. -Even if they don't look like they need it.

We are all human on the inside and those you may think that are the toughest, usually are just better at showing it.

And if you are carrying a burden that stops you from really enjoying the season yourself? This is the perfect season for forgiving others. Not because they deserve it, but because YOU need it. Letting someone live in your head "rent-free" is a waste of emotion, and will stop you from living a life worth living. And if you are a bigger person, you can take it one step further and apologize to those you know you have hurt.

It will make for a better season, and a better life....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Death Row Sacrifices, what do you think?

A couple years ago, I was watching an interview with convicted serial killer and professional hitman Richard Kuklinski in prison. He was being interviewed by a world-renown psychologist about why he was a serial killer, and what led him to that lifestyle.

His answers were so cold and devoid of any kind of remorse for what he did, that they called him The Iceman. He had admitted to killing hundreds of people, and he had even solved dozens of unsolved murders with his admissions of guilt.

Yet there he stayed in prison, serving 2 life sentences, eligible for parole at age 111. (He was not given the death sentence because there was no witnesses to his murders)

I have to admit, that I was really impressed with the psychologist interviewing him because he had kept his cool during some really disturbing responses. He was able to keep The Iceman composed enough to get more information out of him that a lesser person wouldn't have gotten. By remaining composed himself, and keeping The Iceman in his comfort zone, it allowed for more understanding of why this animal lived his life like this, and committed such heinous murders.

Well, The Iceman is now dead. He died in prison a couple years ago. All we have left of him is his interview, and I'm sure many schools will be studying those tapes for years to come.

But what if we were able to get much more information out of him than his confession? What if we were able to use this convicted serial killer to learn much more about the psychology of what makes him "tick"? Interesting... let me come back to that thought.

In 1996, John Travolta starred in the movie "Phenomenon" and the storyline went like this:

John Travolta's character was walking out of a bar late at night and looked up at the sky and saw a bright light fall out of the night and strike him, knocking him to the ground. When he came to, he realized in the following days that he could harness his powers and use parts of his brain that allowed him to do things previously impossible to humans. His thirst for knowledge was second only to his ability to learn and retain that knowledge. He accomplished many great things in the brief time that he had these powers, and the world marvelled at him.

However, it was discovered that the reason he was able to do these things was that an inoperable tumour was pressing against his brain. He was terminally ill, destined to succumb to this brain cancer.

Meeting with world-class brain surgeons proved that without a doubt, he would not survive this. However, the surgeon gave him an option. Seeing that Travolta's character was destined to die, the surgeon asked him if he would allow him to medically explore and operate on his brain while being alive. In a sense, the surgeon would be Travolta's biographer, and medical science would be able to gain quantum leaps in brain research to advance the study of the brain.

Well, the movie ended as Travolta died in the privacy of his own home, and opted not to donate himself to medical science.

But getting back to what we were talking about...

Why is it that we pay for these convicted killers on death row for many years awaiting to kill them as humanly as possible with lethal injection, when we could be asking them to be donating their brains for research just like the movie "Phenomenon" That way, we could gain more understanding about how their brain works and what differences it may play in identifying future traits of killers in society. I mean, we treat and study countless other small areas, why would we not try and identify and treat the mental illness that obviously plagues these people?

It is for the greater good of the human race, right?

Even if they don't agree to participate, they are convicted killers and they are destined to die. It is a waste of time, money and resources keeping these people alive and there is no benefit from it.

I am all for advancing the human race and the study of the most complex item which controls us.-the Brain.

Let these criminals pay for their crimes in a way that allows some sort of advancement which would allow them to make atonement for their crimes against society by donating themselves to a cause much greater than themselves.

What do you think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things you never knew about me... Part Deux...

I got into my first hockey fight 2 years ago. Chuck 1, rag doll loser opponent, 0.

I pulled a catwalk (wheelie) on my BMX bike the length of 4 telephone poles in 1982.

A motorbike threw me off it in 1998, and I felt really tough looking at it from the ground. Then the pain kicked in and I didn't feel so tough. I felt even worse when I saw my friends rolling around on the ground laughing at what they just saw.

Ronald Reagan sent me 3 autographed pictures in 1989.

I still love Wham! and sport double earrings in support of them getting back together.

I'm really starting to like soccer.

Hockey will always be my passion.

I love Boobs. I know I said this last time, but I really like them this much...

Kate Gosselin is a loser. That has nothing to do with anything, but I just really wanted to say it.

Sweden is my favourite country to visit.

The rock of Gibraltar is my favourite one place to visit.

I think Italian men who don't speak Italian shouldn't speak with an Italian accent.

I love the Beatles, and know everything about them.

I ran a 10.85 100 metre dash and a wind aided 10.60 in 1990.

I threw my tennis racquet in rage against a fence once and it came back and smoked me for 4 stitches above my eye. And boy did I feel really stupid.

I still want Sarah McLachlan to be my best friend...

I grew up mostly in Brampton, and I'm not happy about it

I play in a nudist volleyball tournament every year, and have been champion 5 times.

I love winter.

Peter Pan is my favourite children's story.

Sometimes I don't feel like being funny. Other times I go too far. I'm very dramatic that way.

I love Poppies.

I think every boy should grow up with a paper route and a dog.

I like to think that when I go to bed, I'm still being tucked in by my parents and that I will always feel that secure.

I love random thoughts...

Sunday, November 15, 2009


To me, there is something missing in this art. And make no mistake, negotiation is an art form.

There are many things that great negotiators do to get their way, and if they are really good at their trade, they do it in such a way that you don't feel bad about giving up something up to them.

They are able to talk in a way that convinces you that this is a fair deal. They can communicate something to you in such a way, that you don't feel taken advantage of. -This is the lost art of negotiation that most people are missing.

If that is the characteristics of a really good negotiator, then it is the person who is simply a BAD negotiator that really bothers me. These people are only out to get their own way at any cost. -They don't care how it affects you; only as long as they get their on way.

Conquer at any price.

People like this often say things like, "it's not personal, it's only business" Well, to most people that I know, taking money out of their pockets and taking food out of their family's mouths is pretty personal.

I think the reason that these con-men negotiators say this, is to make their own conscience feel better about taking advantage of someone's situation or exploiting a position to make themselves benefit.

The problem with negotiation is that most people don't take the time to understand their opponent. To some, if you don't or can't negotiate, they look down on you. To others, if you ask for too much and negotiate extensively, they get tired of you always asking for more and then they don't want to deal with you.

Obviously, there has to be a middle ground.

Another problem is that to most of the rest of world outside of North America, negotiation is a way of life. For example, if you grew up as a child in China and went to the food markets with your mother, there are prices on everything and there is always a person to negotiate with. You would learn at a young age on how to negotiate by watching your parents as they did it in front of you. However, in North America, that doesn't happen. If you go to a store here, we have very fixed prices and very rarely can you negotiate a better price. It's just the way we do things around here. But to a person coming from a country where that's a way of life, it removes the ability to save money and get a better deal.

I think we as North Americans hate negotiation. If you look at Real Estate, or buying a car, you will see people get all pissed off in the negotiation process by a low offer, or not getting what they think they THINK they should be getting. They take all these things personally, especially in Real Estate where someone has low-balled not just their house, but what they call "home".

So here's where my 2 cents comes in. I don't like negotiation. I think it demeans me, and makes me feel cheap. I realize that I can save more money by low balling someone, but I don't think that I would like it if someone did it to me, so I pretty much don't do it to them.

If I go down to Mexico, or some other less fortunate country than my native Canada, I always think that the extra dollar or two that I would save really wouldn't make much of a difference in my life, but it certainly makes a big difference in their lives. Same thing with tipping for good service. An extra dollar here or there won't break me, but it certainly makes a difference to the waitstaff at the end of the night if everyone thought this way.

I'm just tired of people always trying to bully others to save a buck. I like the approach my old marketing teacher and mentor Gord McLeod would say...

He would tell me, "Chuck, in a Bull. Be the biggest bull that you can be. -But don't be a Pig."

Remember, that you can shear a sheep many times, but you can skin it only once...

Gay Subculture

Maybe I'm missing something here...

I would like to extend a question out to my gay friends here and ask a question.

I have a lot of gay friends, so I'm not bashing. But I'm going to ask a question that all straight people want to know.-Why do some gay men and women dress to announce the fact beyond all question that they are indeed, gay?

I was playing hockey on Friday night, and the arena we play in has a large women's hockey league. There is a general stereotype that most women hockey players are gay, but these women are removing any doubt about that. They dress like they are 14 year old boys. -Wearing baseball hats, hoodies, baggy jeans, have short hair, walking butchy; these are all observations that you could use to describe them. It's almost like it's a crime for a gay woman to have long hair for some reason...

"Do you think they are gay?" Asked one of my teammates.

Eyes rolled, laughter ensued and everyone pretty much got the idea that it was a rhetorical question.

But my question is, if you are gay, why do you have to announce to to everyone as if to remove any doubt?

Another beef I have is men that wear make-up.

Unless you are the lead singer for Twisted Sister, a band member of KISS, or had a stint in a heavy metal hair band in the 1980's, make-up is NOT for you.

I will even go as far as allowing Boy George to cross-dress in the naive impression that he was just doing it for shock value, and to sell albums when singing Karma Chameleon. Even Michael Jackson with his Vitiligo is really pushing the envelope. When you start to look like your sister, and Oprah is telling you that you are wearing too much make-up, you know that you have issues.

This guy Miss Jay, from Tyra Banks America's Next Top Model (ANTM for all you fans out there) just makes me cringe. The make-up, massive padded shoulders in his jacket and his outrageous outfits are something that only Prince (or the artist formally known as Prince) could get away with. And we only let Prince get away with it because he's 5'3 and we all understand that he's a little out there.

I just don't understand why these people feel the need to be so over-the-top about being gay. If you're out, great. I'm truly glad for you. I would like every person to be happy with their sexuality and feel good about it. So good for you for listening to your heart and being gay, despite all the shit you face from family, friends, and society about it.

But why make it harder by being flamboyant to showcase that you are going to "Be who you IS?"

Just be gay, and stop trying to be the opposite sex.

Maybe it is a gay subculture thing that I don't know about. Maybe it's one of those things like if you carry a red bandanna in your back right pocket, it lets the other members in your "club" know if you are a catcher or pitcher. Or something like that.

Anyway, this rant is targeted towards those who go out of their way to tell the world that they are gay. -AS IF WE CARE.

It's your choice, but if I were gay living my life, I wouldn't want somebody like this representing my club. Same as I don't want a white trash trailer park person representing my club. (Mental note, send a strongly worded letter to Eminem telling him to stop representing the White Boy Club as such)

So, feel free to help me out. Obviously, I am either in need of understanding and education in this area, or I am just a bitter man waiting for my mid-life crisis.

So enlighten me...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A son's love for his father

I was at a volleyball tournament back in the beginning of September this year. As I was getting ready to get on the court to play, there was a young guy who was taking his shirt off on the sidelines getting ready to play.

For a moment, I stared at him while he was shirtless. Not because of anything you might think, but because I saw something on his ribcage that made me do a double-take. Anyway, I made sure that after the game, I put myself in a position to see it again.

What I saw confused me. It was writing of some sort that was on the side of his ribcage that was a tattoo. It looked like handwriting of some sort, but I couldn't really see what it was. But it certainly made me think about it a few times that day.

Later that night, I ran into one of his teammates who I have known for many years. I asked him if he had seen this tattoo on this guy on his team and what the story was about. He told me, "yeah, but you should ask him. It's actually a great story"

Well, I am all about stories.

So I went up to him later that night at the party to introduce myself. I couldn't help my curiosity, and I ended up asking him about his tattoo. And I had never heard anything like this before, and I thought I would share it with you here...

He went on to tell me that his father had battled demons in his life of substance abuse while he was growing up. Both him and his brother were basically raised by their mother while his father was in and out of sobriety programs trying to get cleaned up.

During one of his father's clean bouts around the Christmas season, he had done a lot of battling with his addictions and was reflecting back, and he wrote a letter to his 2 sons. Well, he had kept that Christmas letter from his father because it had touched him and gave him some understanding to why his father was the way he was.

It was only a matter of time before his father was going to collide with death from his lifelong battle with substance abuse and sure enough, one day the man's poor, tired body finally gave out and he left this world.

After keeping this letter, his son realized that this was one of the only things that he had left as a reminder of his father, whom he still dearly loved. So he took it to a tattoo parlour and had the tattoo artist take the letter that his father had written, traced it and had the exact letter superimposed on his body so that he could take his father with him always.

I asked him if I could read the letter and he said "Sure" and took of his shirt and turned towards the light so that I could read it.

What I read moved me to tears.

I would never be able to sum it up and do it justice by telling you everything that it said. But it was so filled with a struggling father's humility and love and it said everything that would make another father reading it reflect on his own life and bite his lip to fight back tears. It seemed that this father knew that he was going to die of his battle someday and he wrote this letter to make his 2 sons understand that he couldn't be prouder of the men that they had become and asked them for their forgiveness.

I imagined what it must've taken this man to write something so personal and apologetic. I imagined him sitting at a table, alone at night after everyone had gone to bed. Alone with only his thoughts and demons haunting him, he wrote this letter knowing that he was not going to be able to be there for his kids. Expecting to succumb to his addiction, and leaving his sons to bear the brunt of his mistakes in life, he wrote this letter.

I felt something that I have truly never felt before in my life reading that note.

I asked him if he forgave his father for all of this. He told me that he understood why his father battled his whole life and realized that he wasn't strong enough to win and that he accepted that. He also went on to tell me moments that his father and him shared during his life and I sat in awe and listened to every story he told me and it touched me deeply. Just the look in this kid's eyes made me see it as he told it.

I have to say, that I thought that was a great moment for me. For some reason, I felt like I had a connection to this young man because of that story. It may sound stupid, but it's true.

I'm glad I met that young man, and I'm glad he shared that very personal story with me. It was very unique and obscure, but it made me realize that there are many reasons that people choose the roads in their lives and everyone takes you to a different places.

He could've been bitter about his father's struggles and demise, but he chose to carry his father in a better way, and I think he is a better man for it. But either way, he carries the best part of his father with him for the rest of his life...

I bet that his father, who is now free of the struggles and demons that he fought in his life, never realized that when he wrote that courageous letter, that he would set his son free and give him the ability to move on and carry his father's memory with him the rest of his life.

And I hope that he feels that now...

Friday, November 13, 2009

The days that are gone forever...

Even though it is more than half my life ago, I can remember special times with special people.

I can remember the small things that make it like a movie in my head that can be replayed time and again. Even with all the booze trying to destroy my brain cells, I can still recall some pretty funny shit. This stuff only comes in handy these days in small doses like weddings, birthdays, campfires, and of course funerals.

There is almost never a time that we do what we should've done, looking back in retrospect. We have these things called JOBS, careers, kids, wives, husbands and they take up all the time we were used to having as a kid. The life we were used to as a kid has had to be replaced with a life of no time in order to build up our nest egg to support our new life, kids, wives ect. So we sacrifice the relationships that we once devoted ourselves to in order to make time for our new life.

Not many people make a big deal about it, because they are generally doing the same thing themselves and they don't notice. Months turn into years and we all lose touch slowly until a funeral comes around. We say our pleasantries that day, make fake and unrealistic comments like, "we'll have to get together soon" but both people realize that this comment is a polite way of saying, "We just don't have the time anymore, but it was good to see you again" -Just like good little North Americans do.

We work and slave and sacrifice to be bigger and better. I think European and Latin American lifestyles have it right and we are wired wrong. They enjoy relationships and living life, whereas we promote work and material possessions.

And of course, everyone knows about this thing called DEATH, but we all think we are smarter than it is and are always content on trying to cheat it. But guess who wins this?

I just wish that we were constantly reminding ourselves about the things in life that really matter. Friendships, amongst the most that I value in my life. Family, which supports and loves us. Jobs sustain us, but love, passion, fun....These are the things that make us.

I would much rather be poor and love with passion, than be rich in a mansion with no one to share it with.

Touch somebody's life today. It may not be there much longer, and live each day like this....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To the Boys...

To the Boys...

You cross into enemy territory not knowing if you will see your own soil which you are defending. When others cry that this is not a "noble" cause or war, you still go.

Your belief system doesn't need our approval for the cause in which you have been sent to go. People may or may not believe in what we are fighting for or against, but you are not deterred.

While others around you are pursuing a life of money and substance, you know that without you, their cause is impossible. Your call to defence enables every person in our country to pursue a dream. And even if you don't agree with that dream, you still defend the principle of what it stands for.

That's character...-To stand in front of somebody that you would spend a lifetime disagreeing with, only to make sure that they had the ability to have that choice.

Yours is a life that I will never understand, but a day such as this cannot sustain me from tendering to you the sentiment that you are my hero.

Far above any star, athlete or celebrity, you are the unknown person that forces together with like minded people to form a cause that defends that very thing that we use to live a life of choice. And you do this all under a cloud of anonymity, and are never recognized for it. -And this will never change, but you know this already.

You are so much stronger than me, and although I will be one of the few to admit this, you don't need to hear it to be convinced in what you are doing wherever the call of service takes you.

I pray for your family and friends that you hold dear. If anything should happen to you defending our freedom, the price of that shall be remembered at the cost of your mortality. We as a nation of Canadians will always show up on this day to remember the countless men and women who contributed to a cause greater than themselves.

So until you are home, God Speed for a safe and well deserved homecoming

Lest We Forget...

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Top 10 Child Triumphs

So, I know that you don't care that I have a top 10 of my childhood triumphs, but the thing is, you care that YOU have one. The problem is, it's a Tuesday and you just need a jogging of your memory to remember all those years ago when you were 7 or 8 and under.

What a different world it was when you were 7, eh? I mean, somebody could tell you ANYTHING, and who were you to not believe them? I have a friend that just found out a couple years ago that you can't get worms from Chocolate that isn't frozen, because her mom told her this when she was young at Halloween.

My story was that I didn't know that the chicken that you ate came from (stay with me on this one...) CHICKEN. When I found that out, I couldn't watch The Friendly Giant anymore because I knew that someday when the Giant wasn't paying Rusty's bills, he would be a set of chicken wings at the pub.

So I thought, wait a minute... Where does a HOT DOG come from?! Could it be from a Dog?! Could life be that cruel to a 7 year old? But even worse, I had just found out what the difference between boys and girls were, and I knew that we had wieners. But wieners were what was packaged in hot dog buns. Could that mean that I was eating male penises all this time?!

Well, at least that turned out to be a real load of my mind...

Anyway I'll give you my top 10 list and then you remember what yours was all those years ago...

10) When I was in grade 2, I was old enough to carry a backpack rather than carrying my NFL lunchbox. Even better, it was a McDonald's backpack with the Golden Arches on the back that all the middle school kids had. It was the first and last time I ever had coolness walking to school...

9) When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher told me that "if you don't like it, go home" So I did. I got up after play time and walked out of the room and walked down a busy street in Vienna, Virginia and made it about 100 Metres before my front door (which we never locked) before my teacher showed up in her car and found me and drove me back to school. I betcha she never said that to a kid again...

8) For some stupid reason, I was so happy the first time I got homework that I remember what it was. And like every other homework assignment after that, I did it wrong...

7) I remember writing my first assignment in Cursive (writing, not printing) It was a short story that I wrote in Grade 2. I liked to write even back then. My grandmother kept that short story in her Tickle Trunk. I found it in there after she had passed away, and fpund out that she kept all of my stuff from school.

6) After I saw Star Wars for the first time in the Theatres, my dad took me to Toys R Us at Christmas where my brother and I saw Darth Vader and a couple of his Stormtroopers in real life. I was so scared, and all I could ask him is why he was so mean to Luke Skywalker. Of course, at the time, if I would've known that Luke was really his son, I would've laid into him for being a fucking lousy father figure...

5) I remember when I came home from school and my dad and mom had gotten us a brand new puppy. He was an Irish Setter that we named Ryan. It was the first time I think my heart was broken when we had to give him away a few months later because our landlord wouldn't let us have a dog. I still wonder what ever happened to him...

4) I have a hockey obsession as we all know... I remember getting my first pair of hockey skates, and then goalie skates. I remember my dad coming home from being away for the weekend refereeing pro hockey and having him give me the keys to the trunk of our Oldsmobile. I opened it and saw a slightly broken goalie stick that Jim Weaver broke in a game that my dad got for me. Then he one-up'ed that a year later by getting me a pair of goalie pads, and made me believe that Santa got them for me. But I guess he was right, Santa did get them for me.

3) I remember when Cory Bush and I got our hands on our first Playboy magazine. I've never felt so alive in all of my young life. -Until I got CAUGHT my my parents with that same porn mag. That really made me know I was alive. Because I knew I was just about to

2) My first solo bike ride. I begged my dad not to put training wheels on my bike. I was 3, but I thought I was 13. I took it out in the court we lived in and he held my seat, and I was on my own. I remember how hard it was for me to steer and pedal at the same time. But I got the hang of it. Anytime I think something is hard to do, I remember exactly how I felt steering and working the pedals when I was 3. It was the hardest thing I'd ever done and I did it. So I now know it can be done in other areas now...

1) My first kiss. Truly a triumph when I was 7. An older woman she was, when I was just a pup. My heart pumped like a jackhammer for hours afterwards and I couldn't stop daydreaming about it for weeks. Hell, it was 3 decades ago and I can still smell her hair. Ah, the stuff you remember as a kid... The funny thing is, that kid is long gone and an old man has now replaced him and I can barely remember what he looks like in my head.

But he will always have a face in my heart... A truly timeless place.

Gay Marriage

I don't see what the big deal is here... Obviously, I'm straight, so I'm not trying to advocate for something that personally affects or benefits me. Whether there is gay marriage or not in this world won't change my life. But, it will change someone else's, at no cost to me and my beliefs.

I think people who oppose this should actually ask themselves why they care so much if 2 gay people want to get married? Why are they so opposed to that, but not opposed to the 1 in 2 couples getting divorces? If you can get divorced this easily as everyone does these days, where is the sacredness in this institution that critics are trying to protect? The truth is, divorce used to be embarrassing. -Now it is as common as changing jobs or cars every 4 or5 years.

If people are getting divorced in record numbers, and the average wedding is about 25K-35K for a one-day party, what does this really say about the sacredness of the institution of marriage? The truth is, that marriage is a big business. They offer the Bride the chance to be a princess for a day, and the groom to be the next in line to the centre of attention, and their big egos pay for this. If you sat down with a financial planner to make your marriage work from the very start, and you had 2 options of spending this money on a day wedding, or putting that money into a house that MADE money, I'm sure there would be a clean sweep in opinions that weddings are a bad choice.

Yet, why do we all get married this way? The answer is: Because we are following a custom. Its always been this way, and its usually the parents who pay for it, and expect a reception that they approve of. You see, everyone really gets their fingers into the process and it usually pales in comparison to what the Princess thought this day would be like. Its usually stressful and far from the joy of what the wedding SHOULD be.

Anyway, I'm getting off-topic here. My point is about gay marriage.

Just like civil rights have been given to women, blacks, minorities, and others in our free society, so it must be given to gays. I think it will only be a matter of time until this happens. I think the equivalent to this is saying that you still want to oppose blacks' civil rights back in the 60's. It is unthinkable now that because somebody who is born with skin that isn't white, that they doesn't deserve the same rights in a "free" country. So what is the difference with this?

Now, I know what the critics are going to say because I was once one of them. You're going to say that it is written in the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. Or that physiologically, it is not natural for 2 members of the same sex to be together.

And I agree with this to a certain degree... But when it comes down to it, who am I to stand in the way of someone else's freedom of choice just because it's not something that I agree with? Just because you don't like someone's CHOICE of freedom doesn't mean that it doesn't have its place to exist in our society. That's what freedom really is!! It's not POTENTIAL Freedom, it's pure freedom.

But mostly, I hope that someday people will understand that being gay is the genetic pre-disposition of one's body. It is no more of a choice than it is to say what type of straight person that you find attractive. Everyone has certain attractions, and those who are gay don't choose the hard road in life because its "cool". They choose it because they are listening to their hearts.

Which is something that us straight people could really learn from...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Small things about being a Canadian

I picked up a Canadian 5 dollar bill today.

I've seen it a million times, and when I read the back of it, I smile every time.

I love the colour of the 5 dollar bill. I used to think that the Dutch Guilder was the nicest money I've ever seen, but now I think its ours.

Colour aside, I LOVE the caption on it. It captures every childhood memory of mine growing up in rural Manitoba. It reads as follows:

"The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in 3 places.- The school, the church, and the skating rink- But our real life was out on the skating rink"

I love the fact that our government has put something so routine in our lives that everyone growing up in this country experienced on our money. It shows us and to others who see our money what it was like to be a Canadian during our winters, which are unlike winters anywhere else in the world.

So True...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A comeback worth posting

Received this in an email from a friend the other day and thought I would post it. Totally hillarious ... and true.

This was accompanied by a photo, not posted here. For those that don't know him, Major General Peter Cosgrove is an 'Australian treasure!' General Cosgrove was interviewed on the radio recently.

You'll love his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love this! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time.

It is a portion of an ABC interview between a female broadcaster and General Cosgrove who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military headquarters.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL COSGROVE: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

GENERAL COSGROVE: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL COSGROVE: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL COSGROVE: Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended.

I love wit like that...

Well Done Son!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Don't take it Personally

One thing that has really made me less stressed over the years is this one thought...

Whatever it is, Don't take it personally.

You're always hearing about people getting defensive and launching counter attacks after they feel that you are targeting them. Human beings are incredibly selfish, and self-serving by nature. We don't want to give up what we think we could or should have. This is an endless battle that goes on hundreds of times a day when interacting with others. We literally made hundreds and thousands of decisions and compromise is a necessary tool in order to cope in our world.

But then, somewhere in all of these compromises, we hit our limit and feel like we are being attacked. And this is where Chuck Looooooooooses it... lol

"Here's where Cameron goes Berserk"

We all do it and we all have our breaking point.

But how to defend against this?

Our expectations are exactly that. OUR expectations. When they are not met, and others who don't value our belief system, time frame or respect it as such, we get all bent out of shape. But really, aren't we being a little too egotistical to expect such things when someone else doesn't play along to our agenda?

Because of our perceived belief that somebody is doing things to upset you, or not the way you expected them to go, isn't that conveying a selfish connotation? And as a defence mechanism, we take this personally and let it affect our mood and behaviour, almost always to a negative point.

This leads to discord, confusion, anger, resentment and a lot of other really nasty ways to feel during a day. And really, who honestly wants to waste emotion in a day like this? This is a total waste of time and emotion.

Imagine that you have 100 points of energy everyday. You start the day with the same amount as every other person in life. The minute you awake, you are greeted by a friendly face and a kiss. That's a nice thing to wake up to. Add energy with this. You've created 2 points of extra energy. Greeting by the smell of coffee that someone has made while you are sleeping and it's waiting for you. First sip of coffee- add 2 more energy points. You're now up to 104 points and feeling great. You go along your routine and create more energy. That's a great way to start a day.

As opposed to waking up and seeing the dog shit all over the floor and you are out of coffee. Minus 4 points and you are quickly behind to 96 points. By the time you are rushing to get to work, and a million idiots on the road have cut you off, you are down to 80 points of energy, and it feels like it. Trying to make that energy up at this point is exhausting. You are already in a bad mood and it will take you less to set you off at any moment.

But this is life, right?

Which sounds more like you of these 2 examples? I'm sure that we have had both days, but I'm going to think that the average person is going to have many more of the negative days than the positive ones.

Why is this?

Simple. It's because we are unconsciously expecting the world to know exactly how we like things done and when it doesn't go according to our plan, we take it personally and lose energy because our expectations are not being met.

My question is, rather than fighting this, why don't we just try to eliminate the expectation out of our belief system and not take these things personally which will cost us more energy. Clearly, the best way to avoid a punch is to not be there when it's thrown at you. -Don't get into the ring, and you won't get hit, right?

So just like training your body to run, weight-lift, or anything else that will strengthen it, why don't we do this with our brain? -Our body's most important flexing muscle. Train your brain to realize that we aren't going to take these things personally and that they aren't meant to hurt us the way we've been being hurt in the past. Obviously, the way we have been thinking isn't working so far, so let's try something new.

This may appear that you are being apathetic, as if you really don't care, but it's not true. It's a great exercise in patience, and strong will that will create more energy rather than losing it. Because who wants to continue to lose energy when you can have it?

Who wants to feel absolutely beat every night when you come home and feel like the whole world is against you? I can't imagine how some people do it.

And let's be honest, we as people aren't really nice to be around when we are in a bad mood and things aren't going our way, are we? In fact, we are pretty much to be avoided in these situations. We made poor decisions, bark at people unnecessarily and then wonder why the world is against us... In fact, I think it would be funny if we could watch ourselves on a camera when we are in a bad mood from the safe confines of our comfort zone when we are feeling good. I think we would get a real eye-opener to how pathetic we act sometimes.

So, really... you can say, Oh Chuck, that's easier said than done. It's hard to control your emotions and create energy. Well, not really. You are investing in yourself, right? You spend lots of time trying to look your best, dress yourself up nicely, and spend lots of money to do this to attract others. You sit through years of education and make sacrifices at work to advance yourself. What's the sense in doing all of this if you are miserable inside, constantly battling all day long.

Start with this thought, and I promise you that if you keep it up, you will find new energy that you never thought you had. And if you are feeling miserable after one of "those" days, try to look back and see where you let something penetrate your armour plating.

But remember, it's not always about you. -So don't take it that way. Don't take it personally, and you will feel much better about life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remembrance Day

I know that it is a little over a week away from now. I'm quite aware of this...

But if we were less than a week away from Christmas, these days would be counted down. It would be sensationalized on every commercial on TV and there would be a buzz like no other time of year.

But what most people don't realize is that without Remembrance Day on November 11, we would probably not be celebrating the holidays we do. -We would be living in a much different world, and certainly the life that we take for granted today would reflect a different story. The choices you have today have become almost automatic and expected, and not earned.
What did we, the people of today, do to deserve this freedom?

The answer is, we haven't done anything to deserve it. Truly, nobody really deserves this kind of freedom. It is a gift, and something that can never be forgotten. We enjoy it, but we will never deserve it...Too many men and women have given of themselves, their families and their lives so that Canada could become the country that it is today.

If you leave this continent and travel anywhere in the world, you would be very surprsied as to what the rest of the world has compared to what we have. What most of us don't realize is that we are the elite of the world, but we don't know it.

The same way that we look at celebrities in Hollywood, and gaze at their lifestyle and fortune is the same way that 90% of the world outside of North America would be in awe of your lifestyle. You may not think that, but it's true. We have so many choices and opportunities that the rest of the world just doesn't have.
We have space; lots of it. We have water that will never run out. We have so many things in our everyday life that are pure and simple luxuries that we look at as ordinary and common.

We could never imagine our lives without what we have today. The safety nets, the family support, the infrastructure that enables us to be successful in today's world. -All gifts that somebody else has handed you.

This started almost a hundred years ago. At a snail's pace, this process has gotten to where we have it all. We are so much more advanced than society of the 1950's. The generation after them saw massive expansion from their parents. And now, we are so far removed from our parents generation, that we would think their struggles were primative.

The point I am making is, when November 11th comes next Wednesday, take time out of your day, your routine, your job, and stop and think where you would be if somebody else that you never knew didn't give you EVERYTHING that you have today.

You may have bought what you have today, but 100's of thousands of people paid for what you bought.

So take some time to prepare before Remembrance Day comes and don't get caught unprepared when 11 o clock finally comes and forces you to scramble. Prepare to be thankful and more importantly, respectful of what kind of life you can lead today.

This is important stuff. It really is! Your kids need to know this and be educated about WHY we do this. It needs to be passed along so that it isn't forgotten and doesn't become a routine that we simply do without knowing WHY we do it.
We don't want to become a nation of people that doesn't give the respect and understanding that every opportunity we have for happiness today has been generations of struggles from those who would want to take that away from you, and enslave us.
Make a point to be a person who cares, and wear a Poppy to show that you do.

Lest We Forget...