Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for a New Decade

I remember when we were coming into the Millennium 10 years ago today. Wow, how fast it seems looking back at it now. -It took an eternity to get here, but somehow looking back at it, it seem infinitely faster.
I was a young man in my late 20's at the time, newly married, and we returned to the Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, California where we were engaged the year before.

And that started my 2000's... -Just as this blog will end them...

If I were to look back at what my life was like 10 years ago, it just wouldn't make sense to me now. If I were to look at the resolutions I made back then, they would probably be the same as what I am going to make now. How does that make sense? It was 10 years ago, and my life has changed totally, and yet my resolutions would still be eerily similar. -Just like 99% of the population, right?

-Lose weight, make more money, and spend more time with friends and family. And that's also because I don't smoke, so I would throw that in there too...

Sound familiar?

Well, this year, those are a given. But for the launch of the new decade, I thought I would share a few things more just to make it different from all those other years where we say and a month later, we don't do...

THIS year, not only did I make out goals of what I want to change in my life, but I also drew out a plan how to get there. I started with ACHIEVING the goal first, and then worked backwards to where I am right now, which acts as a kind of road map on how to get there.

Along the way, I took obstacles that always distract me from achieving my goals (typically) and removed them and put them in a list of "Sacrifices" that I am planning to give up, because I know that although they offer instant gratification, they offer no long term value. I find that instant gratification holds me back from everything valuable that I want to achieve ALL THE TIME. -If it is easier, it is not going to be involved in my new plan. I also expect that there will be roadblocks along the way, and I have added those so that I will come to expect them, and they won't be a surprise when it happens.

In fact, I have realized that being in my comfort zone is not at all productive, and that unless I am doing something uncomfortable EVERY single day, I will not achieve anything worthwhile. Simply said, nothing I want to achieve is attainable without hard work and effort, and that means I need to get out of my comfort zone to do it.

But damn, is this scary.

Maybe that's the reason why most people aren't where they want to be? Because we all know how to get there, but it's the "Do it" part that we refuse to connect to because it is TOO HARD.

Let's look at weight loss...

I love it when everyone says "How did you lose the weight?" Like it's a real bloody secret?! Diet, and exercise. Big Effing Secret!!

But for some reason, everyone can't stick to the plan, right? We all want a pill, a plan, a way, something to make it easy, rather than just doing the work.

Do you know WHY we don't stick to it? It's because we don't have a "Why" that is good enough to execute this. The first casualty is always ourselves, right? We would do it for someone else, but never for our own good. How crazy is that? Let me share a story that makes my point...

An overweight man who had spent decades being obese learned that his son needed a kidney transplant. It was found that he was a perfect match to his son, and being a great dad, volunteered himself to donate his organ to his son. The medical staff came back and said that they could not operate on the obese man until he lost 100 pounds without it being a medical risk to his own life. -Fast forward to the end of the story. Guess what happened? Of course he lost the weight and was able to save his son's life because his "Why" was big enough to make it happen. He most likely wouldn't have done it had it just been for himself, and that is clear by every single year he probably gave himself a New Year's Resolution to lose weight and it never happened...

So what is YOUR "Why"?

What will make you execute your plan this year? Let me tell you, that if you don't have a FANTASTIC reason to change, don't even bother making a New Year's Resolution because you won't keep it.

And that's what makes us not execute. Nobody likes "Change", and if you want to improve things, you have to change. But change is HARD, and uncomfortable. And this year, I would say that if it is uncomfortable, you are in the right spot. If things are easy, you won't change.

Does this sound about right?

Now the only thing that stops you is having a plan, and having the support to get you there. I have my own "Why" and my own road map. I have a support group that is strong, and I won't "Count" on anyone but myself to get me there, so no expectations...

I have a vehicle to get me to where I want to go, and by vehicle, I don't mean a car. So if you are wanting to get out of your comfort zone for long term gain, I would like to have you on my support group. I will support you, and you can support me. Communication, and honesty is part of the deal, and many hands make light work.

So there it is...

I have given you my plan. If you think that you want on board on the same plan, with your own agenda, let me know. You know where to find me. To those of you who are tired of your life not being all that you want, and tired of making false plans in your life, let's kick some ass.

For those of you who don't, and are happy with your life the way it is, Happy New Year ;)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chuck's Thoughts on Christmas Day

Christmas comes just one day a year and it ends up taking an entire month to plan for, and just a few hours to enjoy it. So today, I thought I would be proactive about writing them down, so I can reflect on them on another day...

Being a Canadian, (I am biased to say this, but it is so true) Christmas is ever so better being surrounded by snow, than no snow.

A walk outside at the end of a long day of Christmas in order to clear your head, replay the events of the day, and have the cold bite at your nose while having a warm cup of hot chocolate is very therapeutic.

A warm fireplace after a large Christmas dinner with a cold drink (preferably Rye and Ginger) is a pretty cool moment. Add new slippers, a day spent in a housecoat or cozy pajamas, and a blanket on top of you while watching the movie The Christmas Story, and it makes for a great day

Watching Christmas through the eyes of a 2 year old girl brings a tear to the eye. Especially when that 2 year old girl is mine.

Not all the moments in Christmas are cool, but for some reason, we seem to forget those and concentrate on the moments that make it all worthwhile.

I feel terrible for those families that are spending Christmas alone without their loved ones for the very first time. I can only feel how horribly incomplete their Christmas must be without a loved one so near, when they are really in fact, very far away.

I love watching people in pressure situations during Christmas rush get frazzled. Everyone seems to be in such a rush for very good reasons, but they usually demonstrate how poorly prepared they are for these "tests"

I love the Christmas lights at night lit up by a new blanket of snow, especially in parks.

Money is always an issue, but on Christmas Day, it is usually forgotten...if only for at least a day.

I think of my many friends that I have spent great moments in my life, that I would like to share more time with. But as you grow older, and your life changes when you have a family, and these friends are reduced to phone calls and texts. -And to be honest, sometime they don't even get those... But I think of them often throughout the day, and I know I am thought of the same way.

It is nearly impossible to wish everyone I love and know my well wishes today, even with facebook... lol

I like to think that my life is not as good as I want it, but it is always better than what I deserve...

I remember being a boy on Christmas Day and how all my uncles and aunts, grandparents, brother and my mom and dad would make it as good as we possibly could with what we had. No more, and certainly no less. And it was always great...

I still await Midnight on Christmas Eve and look outside for evidence of a sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer, even though my heart doesn't need this evidence to know that Santa exists.

But finally, I think that each Christmas will remind me of what is really important in life. Not because of the expense of it, or the presents you get, but because of the time you spend with those that might not be with us this time next year.

And Christmas always finds a way of making old problems subside, forgive and forget, and love abounds.    -All part of being a little boy on Christmas when the world just wasn't so big.

And on this one day of the year, it seems that we can all be that person for a day, and enjoy being loved by those who we mean so much to.

Thank You, Christmas Day...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The More I Know, the Less I Understand...

There was a song by Don Henley called “Heart of the Matter” in which he says, “The More I Know, the Less I Understand” and I thought that this was a fantastic line.

It seems that in life, we are always bombarded by information. This starts from a young age when we are taught everything from our parents and family. We are taught such important things such as religious and political beliefs, racial profiles, who to love, and who to hate. We never question what we are being taught because we are too young, and the people who are teaching us this are the Sun, Moon and Stars to us.

Most of us grow up and never look into what we have been taught. We simply accept the lies and untruths that we have been taught, and eventually pass it on to our kids. I mean, who really checks out other religions to see if the one we are being taught it the right one? There are HUNDREDS of religions out there, so why do we seem to think that the one that is being forced on us is the correct one? Yet, we grow up defending these beliefs like they are our own, when in truth, they were subjected on us and we had little or no choice to believe these things. Then we go ahead and “force” these beliefs on others and all without really knowing what else is out there, from another point of view.

I mean, did you ever really ask why it is you believe what you believe? Chances are, it is either identical to that of your family, or opposite of it, because of your family… Make sense?

Well, the more I tried to question what it is that I REALLY believe, the harder it is to make decisions on ANYTHING!! I don’t want to be closed-minded, and I certainly want to welcome all information, so that I can make a realistic assessment. -But this being said, it takes MUCH longer to really accept something, or draw a conclusion to it, if at all…

I have now added much more “grey” area to my life that I now no longer NEED to have an answer for. In short, my brain no longer needs a definitive answer for everything, and I can safely say “I don’t really care” and mean it. I am actually thankful that I don’t have to be called upon for tough dilemmas that plague society today and make tough decisions on these because I simply would be the wrong person for that job.

So now, the more I know, the less I understand…Just like the song. This is especially true when trying to understand people, which is another story in itself.

So in the end, I think that I just sit back and make my observations with small reminders that what I am really seeing is only part of the story and try to keep a small space open for what really could be the “real story”. –After all, who am I to make the final assessment?

Oh, and the final lyrics to that Don Henley song? They follow the words, "The more I know, the less I understand" with "all the things I thought I'd figured out, I have to learn again..."


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Christmas Story Movie

The Greatest Christmas Comedy bar none... No arguments, because I won't argue with someone who doesn't agree with that.

Ralphie was my childhood idol. Everything about this movie speaks volumes about growing up as a kid in a Suburban neighbourhood and yearning for Christmas Day to provide you with the one passion that you have faked being good all year long to get...

I want to sit down and have pints with the person who wrote this movie, because this guy has lived a childhood that we can all relate to. -The wicked teacher trying to thwart your best effort to throw in a clue of what you most want for Xmas so that Mom and Dad, and maybe even Santa Claus will know what to bring.

I mean, C'MON, does anyone know how HARD it is for a boy that age to just TRY to be good for an entire year for a small kickback like an official Red Ryder carbine action, 200 shot range model air rifle?!

We are pumping with all these ego-gratifying, women-appeasing emotions rocketing throughout our bodies, and we just feel the NEED to be bad. Hell, now that I think about it, I STILL have those same feelings, and I don't have me a Red Ryder BB Gun to shoot my eye out....

I miss the days before Xmas where they would play The Christmas Story in a 24 hour marathon. I would sit there all day to watch it, and laugh my ass off....

A couple of my Favourite scenes...

The F dash, dash, dash word scene. "Except I didn’t say Fudge. I said the queen mother of all dirty words..."

The flagpole tongue experiment and the ensuing Triple Dog-Dare hierarchy of dares.

The leg lamp

The Bumbass's Dogs.

Asking Santa for the RR BB Gun

And when Ralphie snaps and finally beats the shit out of Butch the bully.

Awwwww, nothing says "Good Will Towards Men" like that...

Enjoy your own Christmas Story;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

David Caza

Read this story and then you tell me what you think...

People like this make me absolutely sick to my stomach...

This man, David Caza has been convicted of 42 sexual offender accounts against kids!! He was sent to prison where he served his time and refused any and all therapy to help his with his compulsion to stop diddling little boys...and then, when his time was up...


We paroled this son-of-a-bitch and then to top it off, we even had the police telling the media that he was at a high level to re-commit his sexual offender crimes. Now, I don't know what that means to you, but to me, it means that he is going to ruin at LEAST one more little boy or girl's life by sexual assaulting them, or even killing them.

And guess what? This article I attached above was written in 2005. They picked this guy up on (surprising!) another sexual crime in child porn just recently.

Now, if they pick this guy up AGAIN, and they don't stick his ass in prison and let him rot in there until they bring back the death penalty, then you will see me on Parliament Hill lobbying for his release so we can take care of this piece of shit the good ol' fashioned way...

So please, do us all a favour. Please re-post this blog if you care about our children. Get this out there so that we may help rid the world of people who prey upon our innocent children. It is our job to protect them, and give them every chance to grow up in a society of opportunity. Do we just pay lip service to protecting our kids? Do we simply only care about our own kids from pedophiles? We MUST do something MORE to protect these villains from ruining our precious children.

So please... It's obvious that this problem is not going to correct itself. It's obvious that many, many more children are going to be abused until we correct this, which is unforgivable upon my conscience. This needs to be corrected in our infrastructure, and at our levels of government and legislation. Please, for the love of our children, make it a point to do something like talk to your Member of Parliament about this, and do your part to protect a child out there who has yet to be abused...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

John Lennon -Life after 40

"Life begins at 40."

That's a quote from John Lennon in Oct. of 1980, after he had just turned 40 years old. Of course, he had no way of knowing that in 2 short months, he would be dead despite it.

The real question in my mind is wondering what John Lennon would've amounted to in his life after 40 years old, so today I am going to chime in and give you my 2 cents.

I've loved The Beatles ever since I heard the Album "Something New". John Lennon was always my favourite because he was much more open, and outspoken than the rest of The Beatles. -He always seemed more charismatic and full of life. I read as much as I could about him growing up, and I began to realize what a conflicted man he really was...

I can only imagine what kind of hard life he had growing up in a slum of Liverpool, the dreary port city he grew up in at the start of the Second World War on the west coast of England. Not having had a father present in his life, and his mother shipping him off to live with his Aunt Mimi probably gave him feelings of abandonment for his whole life.

Fast forward to the height of your career when you have reached global stardom and you are only 26 years old. By the time the world's most successful band finally breaks up, you are 30 years old and just starting your second marriage with your "soul mate" and still, you are a very conflicted man. Add drug abuse, and years of pressure to the mix, and you can see that John Lennon lived a life of never wanting for anything. Money, Fame, Notoriety, he had it all, but he was still a very conflicted man.

Something that most people don't realize is that he had a young son Julian Lennon, who was born at the onset of Beatlemania. While most fathers go to work and come home to see their son, Lennon had to chose to be a father to his son, or be on the Ed Sullivan Show and work on his now infamous career. Touring the United States and the World meant being an absent father to Julian, and he wouldn't really start to begin having a relationship with him until Julian was in his teenage years.

Deportation issues threatened Lennon living in the States for much of the early 70's, and with trouble between him and Yoko, his life became a downward spiral of pissing bigwigs in Washington off with his Anti-War rants in the public eye. John Lennon was a very outspoken man, and I think it was fair to say that he didn't care about picking battles when he "went off"

It wasn't until Sean was born in 1975, on his own birthday, that John Lennon became to "find himself" He spent the next 5 years with Sean as a stay at home dad, and put his career on the back burner. He became very visible in NYC, and if you knew John Lennon's routine, you knew exactly where to find him at any point in the day. He made it perfectly clear that NYC was his home, and he felt really comfortable there.

So by the time 1980 comes around, his son Sean is 5, and Julian is starting to build a relationship with his very absent and famous father. Double Fantasy, his last album has been released, and it is some of his best work in many, many years. He seems to be finding peace with himself at age 40, and with those around him.

Enter Mark David Chapman, his assailant. A very pathetic and mentally unstable man who guns Lennon down outside the Dakota building on Dec. 8, 1980. Ending the life and legacy of John Lennon.

And what do I think would've happened had Lennon lived? I think he would've become the father he wanted to be to both his sons. I think his career would've flourished after the sales of Double Fantasy and given him the confidence to get back into the music industry. Technology in recording was just starting to evolve in the 80's and I think Lennon would've been very much involved with that in his rock and roll music.

I think you would've seen him at Live Aid, and also singing in "We are the World", being very involved in humanitarian causes. I think you would've seen him involved with the AIDS epidemic, and become very vocal about these causes.

And finally, I think you would've seen a very bitter John Lennon finally put his demons aside, and realized that a Beatles reunion is something that the entire world wanted to see. I think John Lennon in the 1980's would've given that gift to the world. And what a gift it would've been. It would've launched every reunion tour in the world for every band that ever broke up and got back together. Who knows, maybe the Beatles would've put out more music and reunited just like The Eagles did after so many years of break-up.

Sadly, this is something we will never know. It exists on a different time line continuum that was deviated from reality on Dec. 8, 1980, the day John Lennon was gunned down by Mark Chapman.

And the rest, as they say, is history...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pearl Harbor

Many of you who know me, know that I love History. I especially love American History, and most especially, that of WW2.

Tomorrow happens to be one of those dates on the Calendar in American History that falls into the category of acknowledgement.

December 7, 1941 was the day when the then-Empire of Japan, launched a sneak attack upon the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands, and upon the United States of America. Hawaii, wasn't a state in the Union then, but it was more or less an American outpost, that had recently been utilized by the US Navy to extend it's ability to fight in the Pacific, instead of using it's own bases in San Diego, and San Francisco.

During the attack of the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the US lost all of its Battleships, and over 2000 men and women lost in the attack. The entire fleet that was at anchor was absolutely devastated. It immediately gave the Japanese Empire control of the entire Pacific to conquer all that it wanted with nobody to stop them.
The only positive that could be said from this, is that the United States' aircraft carriers were all out of port that day, and we spared the same fate that fell on those of the battleships. Almost by default, the US Navy became dependant on carrier warfare, which was just beginning to replace the Battleship as Queen of the Seas.

Of course, we all know how this story plays out...

The United States fought back adapting to the only other option it had with its Navy, and out-fought and out produced the Japanese to become the Superpower it is today. One may look back at this date in history and wonder if the then-neutral USA would not have been attacked in the manner, if it would've entered into the war, and stopped the Japanese and Germans from the tyranny of their governments, and the disgusting horrors that they were inflicting on the people who faced them?

And then I started to wonder if each and every one of us has had our own personal "Pearl Harbor"?
-Something that has stung us, and motivated us to dig deep down out of our own comfort zones, and work like we never thought possible, to achieve the result of what we are today?

Certainly it could be said that the United States would never have entered the war and placed such immense resources to be the Militarized might that it became, and never looked back unless it was attacked, and needed to be defended? It grew exponentially over the next few years, and became the largest Navy that this world has ever known. I doubt this would have been needed if the entire nation stopped being divided, and worked together on one commonality and united together to be one people, against one cause.

And looking back at this moment today, I can see that each of us individually has probably had our own moment of being "Pearl Harbor'ed" and how has it made us better for the experience? Have we united with our support system, and fought with every resource that we have, or have we sat amongst the wreckage and looked around thinking, "This is impossible to fix" and given up hope?

I know that there are moments in my life where I have done both of these reactions. I can tell you with surprising detail how I have fought back and rebuilt myself from devastation, and I can also tell you humiliating moments where I was unable to fight back because I lacked the will and fighting spirit, being a broken man.

But writing this note now, I can tell you the way I would like to see myself in the example of History, and I know it can happen, because history has proven that it can happen over and over and over again. The key is to keep an open mind, have tough skin, and work hard. All the other things you will pick up if you have the desire.

Before the Christmas season sneaks up on you, prepare your body, soul and mind to NOT get Pearl Harbor'ed. And if you are in the middle of rebuilding, keep solace in the fact that it can always get done if you have the will to fight.

But always remember the day of Pearl Harbor...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Which Kind of "Hot" Person Are You?

I've said this before, but I will say it again...

I'm glad I'm not "Hot"!!

Certainly everyone has their attractive traits, but mine will never be the sort where I walk into a room and people look and stare at my beauty. -And I'm fine with that.

Actually, I look at it now as a wonderful gift.

For most of my adult life, I have befriended volleyball players. Having played the sport at a Varsity level in College, I have developed wonderful friendships with these people in the sport of court and beach volleyball. Of course, these people are some of the most attractive people in all of sports. Tall, athletic bodies, and hard working. -This usually translates into a good looking person, right?

Hanging around these people will always make someone like me, at 5'8 (172cms) look like second fiddle. I have just come to accept the fact that I will never be tall, dark and handsome. Sure, I have a look that works for me, but it's never going to be that raw attractiveness that each and every one of us wants to look like...

But because of this, I have had to really work on my personality. I have had to create attractiveness where there was none conventionally. This has been a lifetime process, and it never quite stops. But do you know what I've noticed? I've noticed that the really attractive people don't seem to work on it like we "Trolls" do.

Why is that?

The answer is because they usually never have to.

They get so much attention from every single person admiring their beauty, that they never usually have to work on their personality. In fact, if you find a really attractive person AND they have a great personality, you have pretty much found the Unicorn of the earth, in person form. They just usually don't exist, and are indeed very rare. (Don't get me wrong, I'm being facetious here because I know plenty of good looking people with great personalities, but they are very rare...)

And I think that this serves everyone well, otherwise they would change it, wouldn't they?

Attractive people without personalities don't develop one, because they feel that they will always find someone to put up with them because they are so attractive. Unconventionally attractive people develop great personalities to create more opportunity and develop "inner beauty" which is the most treasured, and offers longer-term happiness. And lastly, people who aren't attractive, and choose not to develop a personality, just leave themselves a life of few options and choices, and allow themselves to wallow in their own misery.

It is MUCH harder to develop a personality and character, than to be just be naturally beautiful. In fact, it is a lifetime process! But guess what? Eventually, looks fade... And when they do, you usually see those people who were once naturally beautiful clinging to their youth in any way they can, and they realize that they can't compete with who they once were. -The people out there who are younger and better looking than they are now. Realization then hits them, and they usually have to adapt into being a "better person" at this time.

To me, personality is the most attractive feature of finding a person to befriend, or love romantically. It's funny how we can usually have an easier time befriending the most unattractive person who has personality galore, but we could usually never date someone like that. And that's just how powerful looks really are...

In fact, most people that I know usually try the "Hot" person approach in their first few times, and then usually "settle" for a person of balance, who isn't as attractive as they would normally choose.

And in this process, we normally find someone out there that is usually more conventionally attractive than our mate, but not as hot as we find them as our mate now that we realize that their personality works with ours.

And that's what beauty evolves to, isn't it?

I can look at a million really hot women in bars and clubs, and think to myself, "How ugly is that person in real life" simply because I know the amount of maintenance, drama, and attention associated in being in a relationship with someone like that.

So although skin-deep beauty looks great at first, and really evokes strong pheromones in the beginning, it really pales in comparison to how ugly that person will become in the lack of a personality over time. And then you look at the most beautiful person, and realize how ugly they really are. And the attraction leaves your soul, and you can never find that person attractive ever again. -Even though their looks are exactly the same. But then, some other person will come along and do the same thing over and over

Ah, it's a continuing story and so my question remains the same:

Which kind of "Hot" person are you?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Mexicans are Taking our Jobs!!

When I was a kid, I used to watch a very famous cartoon of 2 crows named Manuel and Jose. These 2 crows were Mexican, and cast a very strong stereotype. -They were lazy, always drunk, sleeping under trees, and were portrayed as being really stupid. They had heavy Spanish accents and slurred their speech most of the time because it was obvious that the creators were trying to get the idea across that they were always impaired. Considering that I lived in Canada, and there wasn't really a lot of Mexicans to talk to, this was probably my first introduction to a Mexican. I watched this show as a little sponge, and this TV cartoon showed me what every Mexican was all about. -Or was it?

Fast-Forward to me present day. I was talking with some friends the other day, and the topic of this Arizona legislation coming forward to prevent Mexicans from working in the USA illegally came up. From the way I see it, this was the bone of contention:

"Mexicans are taking away our jobs here in the USA and are here illegally."

And I agreed with a portion of that...

They are taking away the jobs that nobody else will work. And it's been this way for many decades...

Having been a recruiter in the food and packaging industry for the past 15 years, I can safely say that I have some good knowledge of the workforce here in the Greater Toronto Area. I can tell you how hard it is to present opportunities to working class people and get them better opportunities to move to. I can also tell you that the menial jobs out there for minimum wage like machine operators, are even harder to find people to work.

In fact I can safely say that in my 15 years of experience of recruiting, I don't want to work those jobs because it is an endless search of labour. You simply cannot ever have enough people to occupy these jobs because the turnover is endless. These are the jobs where white people are rarely found. If I walk in any of my clients factories, I would say that 95% of the labour force in these positions are non-Caucasian. Is there are certain reason for this?

Sure, white people don't want these jobs. Plain and simple.

So let's look at the jobs that these illegal Mexicans are taking away from other Americans...

I've been to the San Joachim valley in central California. It is the largest agricultural provider in the state, if not the country. I have family living there, and I've seen the farms and labour in these operations. Now out of all of these labour jobs, I have not seen a white person near them. And I would safely say that if there was a position a white person wanted, we would search it out and have it.

Yet there are no white people here... Why is that?

It's because we don't WANT those positions!! -They are WAY too hard to work.

We don't want to pick cotton, tobacco, or vegetables. We don't want the sun beating down on our pale white skin, we don't want our soft hands bleeding from picking cotton, and we certainly don't want to live in over-populated labour camps. We don't want to be working in slaughter houses, chicken farms or hard labour factory jobs.

But these jobs need to get done, right? We NEED people like this to work these jobs, or the nation doesn't get fed. So who's going to do it?

There is a reason why these jobs have been occupied by blacks andLatin Americans for decades. Frankly, no white person will, or wants to do it because it is hard work and it pays very little. These are 2 reasons why Mexicans will do it. Because they are used to working hard, and they are used to making very little money for it.

So the way I see it, what are white people afraid of? Are you afraid of losing your job to a Mexican? -No. Are you afraid that a Mexican will enjoy a better life than you do? Clearly, this isn't the case, because I don't hear anybody complaining about other jobs being taken away from Americans. Say for example, a Latin-American by the name of Alex Rodriguez taking away the starting shortstop job of Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. Actually, I'm kidding here, because they ended up giving A-Rod the lowly job of playing 3rd base for the Yankees instead...

But seriously, I don't hear how the white people in American sports are being rapidly replaced by non-white people. Baseball, Football, Basketball used to be dominated solely by white athletes and now they are the minority in each sport by a long shot. But nobody complains about this?! Americans LOVE their sports, but they don't generally give a shit about menial jobs they won't ever occupy. So where do you think the complaining would lie?

Isn't that funny?

I would think that if you are complaining about something, it would have to be something that really bothers you. I mean, it takes SO MUCH energy to be negative that you would have to be passionate about really opposing this issue. But as far as I can see it, there is nothing to oppose on this issue...

The only thing I hear about this is that some other American has to pay for the illegal Mexican working in the States, and the benefits that they "enjoy". So my only other thought to this is this:

If as a society, there were people who would sacrifice the quality of their own lives to do jobs that nobody else wanted, but it needed to get done in order for the quality of your life to remain at the level that it is, wouldn't you pay a little extra for it? You already pay more for many other everyday things in your daily life for a better quality product or service, so why would this be any different than that?

The answer is, it isn't...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When People Let You Down

I remember being a kid of around 7 years old or so, and meeting Santa Claus for the first time and sitting on his lap. He would ask me what I wanted for Xmas, and I would tell him. Then on Xmas, I got a model of a toy I did not even want.

Santa hadn't listened!!

I specifically told him what I wanted, and he got me something I had NO interest in. I think that was my first time in experiencing a loved one letting me down.

Of course, it turns out later that there WAS no Santa Claus and that my parents "lied" to me, so it was kind of a moot point. But you see where I am going with this? I had an expectation as a kid, and when it wasn't met by my belief system, it was a major disappointment.

Fast forward to present day life...

Imagine that you are living a life of substance. You make bad decisions from time to time, but who doesn't? You try and do the best for your kids and your family, but it's inevitable that you are going to let them down someday. Then it happens.... You look into the eyes of your loved one and see the hurt and disappointment of letting them down when they needed you the most. It feels like you are getting kicked in the stomach every 5 seconds and you can't sleep because your brain keeps replaying that look in your head over and over again. It is exhausting, and paralyzing...

And of course, we have all been the person who was wronged and having to look that loved one in the eye, and ask the dreaded question that never can be explained, "WHY?!" Then staring into glassy eyes that offer no explanation of the hurt caused, and wanting so badly to have an explanation that makes sense to you so that you could understand it, and forgive.

But that answer never comes...

It can't.

The reason why it can't ever be explained, is that there are 2 different belief systems in the equation, and one is not compatible with the other. One person would not be able to bring themselves to "do such a thing" and the other person, not only would do it, but HAS done it. -Even though remorse might be offered, it most likely is because they see the hurt in the eye, but not in the offense.

"I'm sorry I hurt you," They offer, but there is little value in that tendering because we have lost respect and admiration for that person taking advantage of our emotions.

Oh, it's a mean world out there sometimes.

Maybe that's the reason why I love my dog, Pal.

She will never let me down...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Where were you the on the day Kennedy was shot?

There are moments that you would remember in your life simply by the date on the calendar. Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthdays, and other important days.

Then there are the Historic ones...

Sept. 11th, Nov. 11th, June 6, July 20th, and of course, today, November 22. -The one that really defined the question, "Where were you on the day Kennedy was shot?"

Never before had such an event happened in history, as the live TV coverage that day caught the Crime of the Century, as President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. The debate of who actually delivered the fatal headshot that killed him is debated to this very day. There are hundreds of conspiracy theories about the event that day, and until the year 2017, the "truth" will remain a closely guarded secret.

I still think it is the worst lie a government has passed on to its people, and I find it insulting that the government would expect their people to swallow such a laughable untruth. But I guess it's the people who have accepted this "truth" and haven't pressed their government for the real answers, so we have no right to complain about it.

Lastly, I find it ironic that the Presidential image of JFK that hangs in the White House of each President, is this one below. I look at this picture and can't help but think that this is JFK posthumously being dejected that he died in vain, and nobody brought his assassination to justice...

But today, on November 22nd, I remember your place in history John Fitzgerald Kennedy...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day 2010

I love this day...

This day really hits home for me as a proud Canadian.

This day symbolizes so much in my rich country's history of ridding the world of tyranny and giving all of us peace and freedom. This freedom which is now a right to everyone living in my beloved country comes from every single family in the first half of the century, and forged with heartache and ultimate sacrifice.

Generation after generation stepped up and gave more than what they were asked to give when it mattered most. At many times in my thoughts I wonder how many of the citizens of present day Canada would step up and answer the same call if it were asked of them...

I would like to answer that by being involved in a Remembrance Day ceremony in each and every town and city in Canada on November 11 each year.

Growing up as a child, I was taught the importance of this day. My father served in The Canadian Armed Forces, as did my grandfather. I remember being in school on this day during Remembrance Day ceremonies and being disappointed that my fellow students didn't approach this day like I did. They all seemed to be trying to be polite because it was asked of them, but I didn't get that they understood why this day was so important. I remember looking down at my shoes and thinking that I didn't know any of these people, and so it would be kind of stupid to feel sad about this as if I were at a funeral of someone I actually knew.

After all, my generation grew up not knowing war. My parents generation grew up not knowing war and human loss. That is 2 generations removed from the horrors of war, which is a long time. How could I be expected to really know what I took for granted every single day. For all I knew, every single person in the world lived as well as we did here in Canada. I had never stepped foot off of North America at the time, and I was ignorant as to how others in the world lived. I couldn't comprehend that freedom wasn't enjoyed by everyone in the world.

But then again, I was just a kid... What did I know...

Then in my mid 20's I travelled Europe, and the historic places etched in time that were consecrated in the battle for freedom. I felt the eerie presence of death and sacrifice. I stood in front of tombstones of the glorious war dead with row upon row of names that were unknown to me, but known to the cause of freedom. I felt a debt so overwhelming that I felt sick to my stomach. Knowing how close the world came to losing a war, that would've handed one of the most evil men in history the ability to rule the world was sobering.

And walking away from these hallowed places that serve as final resting places for people who could've made different choices in their lives was mind boggling. They now lie at my feet as servants to the cause of the freedom I enjoy today. How ironic, because it should be me, who should be laying at their feet to thank them for caring enough in our way of life that they would give the only life they had to ensure that freedom lives on.

So when I take my daughter out for the Remembrance Day ceremonies each and every year and she asks me, "Daddy, why do we do this?"

I can answer... "Honey, we do this so that each and every generation that is secure in freedom knows the cost of this way of life. To ensure that this is not forgotten, just the same way that you will teach your children what we are teaching you. So that we will live and enjoy our family and friends, and have every chance for happiness in every moment in our lives. And we owe this debt to those who we can never repay, and once a year we meet together in our communities to ensure that we will never forget this. Because this ensures our identity of living as free Canadians"

Lest We Forget...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembrance Day 2010

I love this day...

This day really hits home for me as a proud Canadian.

This day symbolizes so much in my rich country's history of ridding the world of tyranny and giving all of us peace and freedom. This freedom which is now a right to everyone living in my beloved country comes from every single family in the first half of the century, and forged with heartache and ultimate sacrifice.

Generation after generation stepped up and gave more than what they were asked to give when it mattered most. At many times in my thoughts I wonder how many of the citizens of present day Canada would step up and answer the same call if it were asked of them...

I would like to answer that by being involved in a Remembrance Day ceremony in each and every town and city in Canada on November 11 each year.

Growing up as a child, I was taught the importance of this day. My father served in The Canadian Armed Forces, as did my grandfather. I remember being in school on this day during Remembrance Day ceremonies and being disappointed that my fellow students didn't approach this day like I did. They all seemed to be trying to be polite because it was asked of them, but I didn't get that they understood why this day was so important. I remember looking down at my shoes and thinking that I didn't know any of these people, and so it would be kind of stupid to feel sad about this as if I were at a funeral of someone I actually knew.

After all, my generation grew up not knowing war. My parents generation grew up not knowing war and human loss. That is 2 generations removed from the horrors of war, which is a long time. How could I be expected to really know what I took for granted every single day. For all I knew, every single person in the world lived as well as we did here in Canada. I had never stepped foot off of North America at the time, and I was ignorant as to how others in the world lived. I couldn't comprehend that freedom wasn't enjoyed by everyone in the world.

But then again, I was just a kid... What did I know...

Then in my mid 20's I travelled Europe, and the historic places etched in time that were consecrated in the battle for freedom. I felt the eerie presence of death and sacrifice. I stood in front of tombstones of the glorious war dead with row upon row of names that were unknown to me, but known to the cause of freedom. I felt a debt so overwhelming that I felt sick to my stomach. Knowing how close the world came to losing a war, that would've handed one of the most evil men in history the ability to rule the world was sobering.

And walking away from these hallowed places that serve as final resting places for people who could've made different choices in their lives was mind boggling. They now lie at my feet as servants to the cause of the freedom I enjoy today. How ironic, because it should be me, who should be laying at their feet to thank them for caring enough in our way of life that they would give the only life they had to ensure that freedom lives on.

So when I take my daughter out for the Remembrance Day ceremonies each and every year and she asks me, "Daddy, why do we do this?"

I can answer... "Honey, we do this so that each and every generation that is secure in freedom knows the cost of this way of life. To ensure that this is not forgotten, just the same way that you will teach your children what we are teaching you. So that we will live and enjoy our family and friends, and have every chance for happiness in every moment in our lives. And we owe this debt to those who we can never repay, and once a year we meet together in our communities to ensure that we will never forget this. Because this ensures our identity of living as free Canadians"

Lest We Forget...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Dog, The Monkey, and the Cheetah

A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet dachshund along for company. One day, the dachshund starts chasing butterflies and before long the dachshund discovers that he is lost.

So, wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having him for lunch. The dachshund thinks, "OK, I'm in deep trouble now!"

Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dachshund exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here."

Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That dachshund nearly had me."

Meanwhile, a monkey, who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes.

But the dachshund saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine."

Now the dachshund sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet ... and, just when they get close enough to hear, the dachshund says..................

"Now where did that stupid monkey go? I sent him off a half an hour ago to bring me another leopard."

Now go out there and enjoy your day!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Who are you "Pining" for?

Who do you still remember in your life that you still wonder about, or wonder if you could've been with that person?

Let's be honest... We all do it.

We all can be happy as a clam in our current relationship, but there is always someone in our "closet" waiting for us to stop thinking about, or what "could've been"

It's never talked about, and it's never brought up because it is so threatening that even WE won't admit it to ourselves sometimes! -Even though we know it. But we could never be able to admit it, because it would be relationship suicide.

How am I doing so far? Do I have your attention, because it feels like I am reading your mind?

Well, you are not alone, and certainly not the only one who feels this way. And no, it doesn't make you a bad person, it only makes you a NORMAL one...

But oh, the guilt!! The wondering, the infatuation, the over-thinking, the sadness, the heartache. These are powerful emotions that won't ever let us stop and sleep at night. Worse, you hope to God that your partner will never be able to read into that deep, lusty mind of yours and find out that you are not thinking of them all the time. That there is that ONE person who "got away" or was unfinished business and now you feel that you will just never know what it could've, or would've been like.


But let me tell you something... I can almost guarantee that your memory of that person is tied to a better time and place in your life that is now impossible to get back to. Perhaps it was the summer of your life, or the time when you had great memories of a trip somewhere when you met. But that time has come and gone and so has the chance to get back to that spot, and usually you are chasing a memory that is all but impossible to live up to in the real world.

So let me ask you this...Do you think that this person can bring you happiness now? Do you think that you are missing out by never trying to "give it a shot"? -Maybe, but I will tell you honestly, that you can never get back to that place, and you are chasing a dream that is being carried by the wind.

Then why does it seem SO REAL to us that this person lives rent-free in our heads, and we are always thinking about them? Why does it consume us little by little everyday in small cases, and totally consume us in big cases?

I think it is because we always want what we can't have...

But, even if I'm the only person that thinks that way, why do YOU do it? And before you answer, please be honest to at least yourself when you answer. Nobody is going to hear it, and I know that you think if you say it out loud, it becomes real. -Well, I got news for you. It's been real for years, and you are just coming to grips with it now. It doesn't make you a bad person, believe me. It only makes you normal.

Oh, and I'm sure that there are the small percentage of people out there that will tell me honestly that they are exactly happy with their soul mate in life and that they got everything that they ever wanted.

To which I respond, "Perfect! But do you really think your partner feels exactly the same way as you do?"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Moment in Time

Whitney Houston does such a phenomenal job of bringing chills to me whenever I listen to this song, and most importantly, it's message. My favourite passage of this song is what I will include here and share with you...

"I want one moment in time

When I'm more than I thought I could be

When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away

And the answers are all up to me

Give me one moment in time

When I'm racing with destiny

Then in that one moment of time

I will feel

I will feel eternity"

Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a competitive person, and I share that in my love of sports. This message to me sends Olympic triumphs to my head, and I envision my one moment in time to reflect an ego-centric version of me on a podium in front of the world getting the acknowledgement that every human craves.

However, this week I have a different vision...

When I heard this song again (because I have heard it many time before in the past) it sent a different message to me, and so I thought I would share that with you now.

Having a child and watching them grow up in front of your eyes is a gift that none of us truly deserve. These little people are so precious and they are everything that we value as parents, and people living together. Having a child is also something that brings you to another level as that person, and they are the only reason why we would do things against our will and love it. We do it because they deserve more than we can ever give.

A friend of mine posted an idea the other day that I loved, and it ties in with my thought today. His thought was this, and I have paraphrased it here below...

"Unless a person has trained themself for this chance, the chance will only make them look ridiculous. A great occasion is worth to someone exactly what the preparation enables them to make of it. Remember, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. You've got to be in a position for success to happen. Success doesn't go around looking for someone to stumble upon. Total preparation now, and live life like champions do."

And what a complete truth that was to me when I read it.

So instead of hearing that "One Moment in Time" song now and thinking of myself, something completely unexpected came to me, and it made me realize something that I had never thought of before, and I began to write this down....

"At this time, I want my daughter to see me prepared to watch her father not fail. I want her to be watching when a life changing moment comes our way, and have me not freeze from fear or an inability to react. I want to remain cool when conflict arises and have wisdom handle the situation, and not a scared little man inside my body who has existed in me up until this point in my life.

My life was previously about what I can do for myself, and now it is about what I can do for my child, and prepare her for a life of whirlwind experiences. It is my utmost fear that I will fail my daughter in a moment in time that defines who I am, and what I stand for. It is my biggest fear that she will see this and will remember it for her entire life.

Therefore, I must train my body and mind so that when the moment arises, I will not fail her and I will always give her the example that a young person deserves from their parent. I realize that every child deserves a parent, but not every parent deserves a child.

Because this alternative is something so horrific, that it will motivate me to work hard in succeeding beyond my wildest dreams so that I will be able to know that when I am gone from this earth, that I did not fail in being the best example I could to the one person in this life that matters most to me. -My Child.

Because if I were to succeed in that one moment in time and my daughter has seen in me in it, that means that I will never have to prove another thing to another person in my life.

And that will be my One Moment in Time, and that will BE my eternity..."

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again

I was listening to Dionne Warwick's title song "I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again" today and it made me reflect on my own life.

I have truly loved only a few women in my life. Starting from the very first and all the way to the last, my ability to love has changed so dramatically, that looking back at my life, I don't think I could ever love that same way ever again.

I remember my first girlfriend. I remember seeing her for the first time as she walked by me in a red dress on a Saturday afternoon in Ottawa. I was smitten right away. I told a buddy of mine, "I love that girl. She's going to be my girlfriend, you just wait and see"... I was with her from just after my 17th birthday till I was 25 years old. 8 years, and I loved that girl so...

I loved her in silly stupid ways. I did "stupid boy" things to get her attention. -I embarrassed her every time I could when people were around so that she knew I liked her. I collected pictures and anything she sent me, I put up on a wall in my bedroom, which after a while became like a Shrine to her after we were going out for a while. I wrote her ridiculously long letters and called her all the time just to hear her voice. When I wasn't with her, I was constantly thinking of being with her, and everything I thought about her made me smile. She inspired me, and I was so attracted to her. The first time we were together was like a memory that will be forever etched in my mind and it was beautiful in every way.

However, that love could only last a certain amount of time, and as we both got older and became adults, I became a real asshole chasing my boyhood dream of being a businessman. I got pulled into the corporate world and I took the love of a great woman and threw it away to be a selfish, cocky kid. When we broke up, I took a year away from dating other girls and I did a lot of travelling to Europe and tried to "Find" myself.

About a year later, I found my second love, whom I would eventually marry. I met her one night in late November through a friend, and we were engaged to be married on the day after Christmas, some 30 days later. I fell immediately in love with her, and it was complicated because she lived in California and I lived here in Toronto. But we loved each other so much that we were determined to make it work, and we were married 6 months later.

However, I had learned from loving my childhood girlfriend that my love in this new relationship would never be the same way. I'm quite sure my wife wondered if I loved her as much as I loved my girlfriend, and when she asked me, I would always respond, "well, I married you, didn't I?"

But the thing was, I loved them differently. I loved them both, but it was in very different ways. But I think people's egos and feelings get threatened by previous loves, and so they want to be reassured that they are loved more than their predecessor. And to be fair, I couldn't allow myself to be a young kid and do the things that young love did now that I was a husband in my mid 20's trying to build for his family. So I loved my wife in a very adult manner and stopped being a kid in puppy love. The small things I did in my first relationship, I couldn't bring myself to do in my marriage because I thought I was above such silly things. My endearments were less spontaneous and thoughtful and much more calculated and calloused.

That relationship lasted 7 years. We eventually grew apart, and lost the love that was between us. The relationship just became too hard for both of us, and so we agreed to part ways and allow each other the happiness that might be out there in the form of someone else. It was a very adult and logical decision, but it was about to force me to love a TOTALLY different way in my next relationship, regardless of who was going to be in it.

I was very bitter coming out of my marriage and I practically doomed myself to fail in love again because I was so jaded by love. I knew that even if I found the right girl, I would be in the wrong frame of mind to be able to fully love again, and that is exactly what happened. I was my own worst enemy at this stage of my life and I did think I found love, only to have it thrown back in my face. I was a moron who didn't want to love with his whole heart, and I was carrying around way too much baggage. The thing is, I knew it and still couldn't stop myself from being this way. All my friends even tried to help me out, but I wouldn't respond. I had a chance at love, being as rare as it is, and I did everything to sabotage myself because I would'nt let myself love this way again.

Well, this ruined me.

I was a miserable person for many years after that, and although I had managed to still be "Me" and enjoy my life, I was still looking for the chance at love again. -And this time, I was going to love her like I was meant to love that someone special.

But it's funny how each time someone new comes into your life, we make THEM pay for our past mistakes, isn't it? We carry all our past issues and experiences with us, and then unload that on our new loves unintentionally trying to hide our own insecurities. We are scared that if they find out who we "really" are, that they won't love us for who we are and so we create a facade to look brave behind.

When we are hurt, we don't let them know why. When they do something that has been a sore point to us because of a previous relationship experience, it is our partner that pays for this, not us. We thrust it on them as if they should've known better.

And that's not fair is it?

But I guarantee you that we've ALL done this in some manner or another. All because we are too afraid to admit that we are human, we are jaded, we are scared of not being loved, and that we don't want anyone to know about it.

But in the end, these insecurities become our downfall, don't they? This ruins the relationship and the love that has been magically created between us. When jealousy and insecurity start rearing their ugly head into the equation, it will just be a matter of time until it ruins the relationship.

Looking back at these moments in my life now, I can honestly say I know I will never love this way again. -It's not just the title of a song, it describes how each of us loves differently in every relationship of our lives.

I imagine that at the end of my life, I will love totally different than I do now. My priorities will change as life progresses, and what used to bother me before isn't really an issue with me anymore. I matured and understood more about how people work and realized that it's not them trying to hurt me, it's more about how they are trying to make themselves happy, and that may not be the same with how I need to be loved.

But through this whole process, I can look back and see how I loved each woman in different ways because that was the way I thought I was able to love. I didn't love any one woman more or less than the others, I loved them each differently, and in different times of my life. These experiences lead me to the next love, and it was up to me to see what I learned from the previous relationship.

And now? I think that I will never love like that teenage boy who was giddy with my first touch of love, nor will I love like the responsible adult with calculated romance that all men seem to have the knack for. I think I will just be me and love like my heart tells me to, and not make my partner pay for the sins of my previous relationships. That's not fair to her or me.

And moving forward, I think that's all you can ask. -Just be to be fair, and to love without fear...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why Do Good People Do Bad Things?

The debate is lost only on those who are convicted for crimes against people and society. They are convicted offenders of being "Bad" people. The people on the outside of the bars, are mostly considered "Good" people, right? Or are they? Maybe the only difference between them and the "Bad" people is that they haven't been caught yet?

Well, let's leave the bad people out of this for now...

Let's just assume that most of us in society are good people. We work, have families, love our kids, and pay our taxes to live in Canada. The overwhelming majority of Canadians are middle class, and we share economic commonality with millions of others in society. Canadians are considered to be nice people, and we are accepted globally because of this reputation. So... if we are all good people, why do we ALL do bad things?!

Why do you work really hard on your character, reputation and integrity for your entire life, only to do a bonehead thing that removes all your credibility? Why do we do bad things? What kind of things you ask? Hmmmm, let's look at a few:

Why do we:

Cheat on our spouses and significant others more than once
Hurt people physically and mentally
Extort Power
Screw people over

These are just a few that you could start a LONG line of doing horrible things, right?

So why, if we are good people, do we do these things?

I would like to think that we are all good people, that are trying to get into heaven, or any afterlife, and we NEED to be good. Accountability is a bitch, and it keeps most of us in line, but there are those who think that they are above the law, and that they can manipulate the system and others in it.

I think greed and selfishness are the underlying reasons, and I think we are all born with a sense of entitlement and look out for our own interests first.

Sad, but true.

I can safely say that I have been a bad person in my life, but I would consider myself a good person overall. I can admit that I have committed some horrible things in my life, and I shake my head in shame at why I did them, but it doesn't change the fact that I was weak.

And that's what I think it comes down to.


If you are strong and prepared well enough, you will make the noble and correct decision when that opportunity comes along that you make other choices. You make the WISE decision, and not the easier one.
This is HARD, not because we don't know the difference between right and wrong, (because we all know the difference between right and wrong) but because it's just too damn easy to make the wrong decision.

Until you have to pay for it. And then you get the buyer's remorse, times 10.

Then comes guilt, that horrible gut-wrenching feeling of being caught in a bad dream for life. -Something that you can never get back...

It's horrible stuff, and we've all been through it.

But yet, even after all of this, we still continue to do bad things...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What Was Your Greatest Moment?

What one moment made you great?

Remember that feeling of elation; that feeling of triumph? Remember taking off your clothes at the end of the day, and not being able to stop smiling about what a great day you just had? It comes along all too rarely that it almost creates an orgasmic feeling when it actually does happen.

Maybe it was a birthday and you got surprised and all your friends overwhelmed you with love and support. Maybe you helped someone who really appreciated it, and that time and effort meant all the difference. Extending kindnesses that mean so much to others and maybe are not so realized to you, are good ones too. When you do something nice for someone and they can't stop thanking you for it over and over again, not because they are trying to be annoying, but because they genuinely REALLY loved you for it.

That's always a treat.

Maybe it could be that massive hug from your kid(s) after a day with them and creating wonderful memories. Memories are great, but making them are even better!!

Ah, the possibilities... I could go on and on about these moments.

But the question remains...

What is Your Greatest Moment?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When Your Child Walks for the Very First Time...

There are times that I can remember as a kid. In fact, I can remember being 3 years old and having my father walk behind me on my first solo bike ride without training wheels. My father was still in his late 20's at the time. I am 10 years older now than he was then, and I can still see him at that age in my head. Obviously, I was too young to remember many of the firsts that my parents went through when I was an infant, but I do remember my first day of school and other significant firsts. Not as well as my parents do, but I do remember quite a bit from my childhood.

However, there is something so surreal that happens to you as a parent to see these moments in that child of yours, when you can still remember being on the other end.

Today, my little girl walked into my arms for the first time and I saw the smile on her face while she did it. I think she got more of a kick out of it than I did! She was so happy and so were we looking at her and cheering her accomplishment when she finally did it.

And just like that, an era had passed...

She will always be a walker from now on, and the short lived days of her not walking are now officially over. Oh, how fast they went. 11 months of waiting for her to walk are now over for the rest of time. I remember when people would ask me if she was crawling, or walking and I would say, "No, I have the laziest kid of all time. She takes after her father"

"It's ok" they would say as if to console me, "She'll start walking soon enough"

But I wasn't worried. In fact, I knew that it was going to happen and I actually really truly appreciated the days where she didn't walk. Because I knew that those days were numbered...

As long as my kid could walk into Kindergarten by herself when she is 4 or 5, I would be ok with her never walking just so that she would always be our baby. But as we all know too well, she grows; just like they all do, and then you blink and the next day, it's gone.

Well, tomorrow comes and my daughter is a walker. I don't feel sad, because I know that there are a million other "firsts" that will arrive and add to the list and slowly age her and me in the process. Slowly, she will force me into being that man I only saw as my father when I was growing up. -Just like he and my mother watched with the same interest as their first born took his first steps.

And the life circle completes itself.

I never saw myself being this person, and to tell you the truth, it's still odd to me. But I will say that although it is tough work to be a parent, it's something that makes you a better person. Sacfricing what used to be in your "old" life, for someone so helpless in your "new" life is something that forces you to be a better person. To date, there has been nobody, not even your spouse that you would do it for. But this changes when you hold your child for the first time. And then watch her walk, and then talk and then become a person that you dearly love.

Yes, I'm sure if you are reading this you have children of your own, and you can relate. You are thinking about your firsts with your kids in mind, and as well you should. Afterall, now that you have kids, we can all agree on one thing:

-That through all of life's battles, they are the one thing that we hold dear. Their life, their future and their impending happiness. Everything else is just stuff that gets in the way in that journey, or things that are there. But the real purpose to one's life is through the eyes of their child...

Now, you will have to excuse me. I have to go watch my little girl slowly break her father's heart and grow up on me, hoping that she will get the same chance to be as proud of her child someday as I am of her today...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mental Health and Anti-Social Behaviour in Canada

In the wake of reading about the trial of Col. Russ Williams, I have been completely consumed by the tragedy of this story. The details of how he videotaped and murdered those women, and then documented and catalogued them disturbed me terribly.

I can't imagine the mentality of such a killer who would take some one's mother, father, son, daughter from this earth in such a selfish fashion as sex. Clearly there is an identifiable problem in Williams, and he needed help a long time ago before it came to this point. But it's too late now... Sure, catching him now saved lives down the road, of that I am sure. But I mean, hundreds of people have been affected for life because of this man's sickness. And that's exactly what it is. -A SICKNESS.

I have said this before in my blogs, but you see mental health as being a more violent offender now than ever. Previously, we just stuck the mentally ill in a home somewhere and let them exist on their meds. Now, this mental illness has gotten to the point where it is seriously affecting our society.

Just like when kids were starting to be diagnosed with ADD 15 years ago EN MASSE, and we realized that EVERYONE had it, so is mental illness coming to the forefront.

I now believe that we all have some sort of mental illness in various forms and strengths in our everyday lives. Call it OCD, call it a phobia that controls our decisions and lives, call it anxiety disorder, call it whatever you want.-They are numerous. I've noticed that the older people get, the more crazy we are about our routines and how little ability we now have to be out of our "comfort zone" before we get annoyed, and don't play nicely with others.

But then you have people who are clearly anti-social, and demonstrate anti-social behaviour. This makes me wonder what is happening in the chemical breakdown of brain processing that enables them to feel that they can go out and hurt others for their own selfish means. I wonder if medical science actually knew and HAD the answers, and they were such that said something like...

"The brain's electro-neuron transmitters are unable to bridge and connect to others in the right side of the brain and frontal lobe, causing loss of empathy, and could lead to anti-social behaviour. No cure known"

Would that be enough to put this person to death if they committed a heinous crime such as this?

If the medical prognosis came back to say that this person is a "Broken Toy" (a term I like to use) can we get rid of it if they demonstrate they can't be trusted? I mean, we throw away cars, toys, equipment and other valuable things when they can't be fixed and no longer serve a purpose in our lives. Why would this be any different? A dog attacks and bites, and it can not be trusted again? Put the dog down, right?

Oh, we can't do this because this person is "human"?

I ask you this... If that was your son or daughter that was raped and killed by this kind of cold blooded killer, would you think the same way?

Oh, hmmmmmmm. Yeah. I didn't think so...

Personally, I think we are too forgiving of heinous crimes. It's time to get some accountability back. I would start the process off with our kids in society and offer them MORE protection because they certainly need it. Here's my proposal:

If any person is guilty of touching, violating, killing, or sexually abusing a child under 18, that person shall be sentenced to death upon conviction. With the forensic evidence and testing these days, it makes it much more cut and dry to get a 100%  conclusion about the facts and evidence. You want to touch a kid in Canada? Go ahead. Just know that it will cost you your life. And I don't mean that you spend the next 25 years locked away from society as your body and brain rot at the taxpayers expense, I mean that you will be publicly executed. And we will use your dumb ass as an example.

Does that make me sound harsh? Maybe. Are these people sick? Absolutely. But here is the kicker... Do these people know what they are doing is WRONG? Absolutely they do! Do you think Col. Williams knows he has a problem? Is he sorry that he got caught? Did he try to cover up all of his steps because he knew the consequences of his actions? The answer to all of these questions is: YES.

If you know that this behaviour is wrong, and punishable, then don't do it, right?

"But I can't help myself" they say.

Too late. Just like any other problem, you get help. If you can't get help before you strike at others, you die. If they don't want to play by the rules, get rid of them. There is NO good reason to keep people like this in our society, or pay for their prison terms for life just because they are a broken toy, and we don't ever want them back in society. So what are we keeping them for?! To be humane?

Well, I think it is much more "Humane" to get rid of people like that for the general good of society.

Any other people feel this way? Then please feel free to re-post this in support of saving future lives.

Thank You,

Chuck Bastie

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Col. Russell Williams

I want to puke...

Clearly, this article is disturbing in many, many ways but the most disturbing of it all, is that it actually happened, and the man who did it was a very high ranking Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces leading our men and women.

There are a couple things that jump out at me right away, and I'm going to list them in no particular order...

A) Why would such a powerful man and a high ranking official put himself in a situation to be such a creeper and do these things? I just don't understand it?! To keep all the evidence and catalogue them with all the pictures he took?! What moron does this? This is not only stupid, it just reeks of egotistical as if to say "catch me if you can"

B) It makes me sick that he gets his FULL pension of 60K per year for life while he is a convicted and admitted murderer, and sexual deviant amongst the other crimes he has committed. Not only that, but his monthly salary has been paid to him since February while he has been in jail awaiting trial. His admission of guilt back then should've carried an immediate court-martial to strip him of rank and benefits and face Military charges for at least "Behaviour Unbecoming" and set a precedence for the future.
Instead of this, he is now going to draw his pension AND then cost the taxpayer the 85K a year for the REST of his life to keep him in prison. That is complete BULLSHIT.

Does somebody want to explain to me why we have to cut social programs that we need and can't afford, while pieces of shit like this man Russell Williams admit to raping, and murdering members of our Military, and civilians, get 145K allocated per year, towards their prison term for life?!

Are you really telling me that this is true? How am I supposed to take this as a Canadian citizen? How are you supposed to tell me this, and then tell me that this is the fair and ethical treatment of a deviant military leader who clearly is a "broken toy"? Worse, how are you trying to tell me that all the victims and their families and the hurt and pain put on them are supposed to feel about this? This is like a slap to their faces. So, with treatment, counselling and future trauma, I can't even put a price on what this man has done with his miserable life. Dollars just can't express the devastation (best word I could think of...) that he has caused.

Now, wanna hear what Chuck Bastie has to say about it? (of course you do, you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't...)

Kill the MF

Even better idea...

Save Canada the millions of dollars of expense in keeping this monster alive and try him in a General Court Martial (Military Trial) Upon conviction, he would be subject to death. I would say death by Firing Squad, but that is an honour reserved for Soldiers, and he would be stripped of rank and benefits, so hanging is good enough.

Let his body hang for 7 days as an example to all of those people out there who need help, to get it and stop polluting the world. After the 7th day, his body is to be cremated so that there is no place to support his dead corpse on our soil. His cremated remains should be taken out to sea and dropped far off Canadian sovereign.

Goodbye Russell Williams and good riddance.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sandy Hawley

Sandy Hawley.
Does this name mean anything to you?

If you were me, I just shrug my shoulders, make a funny noise and say, "I dunno"

So yesterday, I was at Woodbine Race Track in Toronto and a couple friends of mine brought me along for the ride. I have only been to a race track a couple times in my life, and I know almost NOTHING about the ponies, betting, jockeys ect of the sport. I have never watched it, and I really have never had any interest. We had a tour guide who was much shorter than me, and this was a first... He was the nicest man, and was nothing less than a gentleman, and a class act.

So when I was introduced to Sandy Hawley and he said, "Hi Chuck, I'm Sandy" I just thought he was a short tour guide in a nice suit, and I said, "Nice to meet you Sandy, I'm Chuck"

But then when I got home, I googled him and found out what a living legend he was, racing for over 30 years and having won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete twice. And this list goes on and on and on... Most likely he was one of the greatest riders in North America for DECADES, and still I had never heard of him.

So I thought of it afterwards, that this would be like not following the sport of Hockey AT ALL, and having Wayne Gretzky be your tour guide and when you are introduced to him, you say, "Oh, nice to meet you Wayne, and what is it that you do for a living?"

God, sometimes I can be such a moron...

But have YOU heard of Sandy Hawley?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy 70th Birthday John Lennon

I can remember the first time I put on a Beatles album. The album was called "Something New" and it was the summer of 1982. I was 10 years old, and my uncle David had a collection of Beatles Albums, and from the time I listened to the first song, I was HOOKED.

I was completely obsessed with these 4 men from Liverpool. I picked up the guitar, I wrote every essay in school about them, I drew pictures of John Lennon in my art class; everything I did was about the Beatles. I read everything I could get my hands on about them too. My music teacher, Miss Basiuk, bought me a book on them, and it launched my obsession even further.

As I grew older, my obsession died down, but I still think that everytime I hear them on the radio, that it brings me back to wearing those old headphones and putting on a vinal record in my grandmother's house. And each time I hear them, I think to myself, "Man, these guys were really good"

Of all The Beatles, John Lennon was my favourite. He had a natural charasmatic way about him that made him appear like a confident, wise man for his age, and larger than life. His leadership for the peace movement in the 70's was epic, and just when he seemed to be getting balance in his life at the young age of 40, he was gunned down by a madman outside of his Dakota apartment building in NYC.

How sad...

A legend in music, and his legacy will live through the ages.

Thanks for the memories John, and Happy 70th Birthday...Here's a song for you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010


The word often gets forgotten throughout the year. As does the word "Remembrance." I guess the Fall season gives us the opportunity to observe both in Canada, and this genuinely makes it my most favourite time of the year.

It's always difficult to look back at the tough year that the world has had. -Global recessions will do that to a person. But in the lack of financial thanksgivings, we realize that there are very few things in this life more valuable than those that money can never buy.

Health, family, friendships, and love are things that we NEED to live in our everyday lives. -Money just seems to make those things better. Truth is, you could live without money, but you could never live without the ones I just mentioned.

And that's maybe a great start to this weekend. Look around your Thanksgiving table this weekend and imagine that someone is going to be missing next year and never to be back. That gives you a new perspective in life that you can appreciate. Now TELL these people how thankful you are to have them in your lives, and you will truly be thankful for all the things in life that you DON'T have, that you once thought you needed to be happy.

Happiness is what you appreciate most. Money gives us better choices in life, but it doesn't do much if you are without personal relationships. Money will come and go, but loyalty, friendship and family will make money look powerless.

So enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend, and chose to be thankful for all you have in your life, especially in a "Down" year. And may you make the most of it to truly remind you of what is really, really important in life.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fixing America RIGHT NOW

It's true what the elder generation say about us.

We are spoiled. We have too much, we take everything for granted, and don't value what we have. Our whole society has evolved to the point where "patience" is something you need only if you are a Doctor. (I actually DO know that Patients, and Patience are not spelled the same, but sound the same...)

Here's my point...

The United States is exactly that...

I'm tired of hearing that "Nothing has changed" in the past 2 years with regards to the USA. I mean, if you were to look at rebuilding an international company, a sport franchise, or anything close to comparable as this, you will know that IT TAKES TIME, right?!

Accountability is a bitch.

What nobody admits is that you elected a man like George W. Bush for TWO terms who really created all this mess in the first place. EIGHT years you had this loser run the economy not only of your own country, but THE WORLD!! Are you kidding me? Have you seen this man speak? He's an utter moron. No company in the world would hire this man to run a corporation, and yet he is the most powerful man in the world, in charge of the world's most powerful Armed Forces, and controlling the world economy. How in the world does a horrific leader like this man get control of our lives?

After his mistakes, you could have Superman himself come in behind to clean up the mess and it would take you a generation to do it. I mean, look at previous administrations in US History of how long it took to rebuild the country after bad Presidents. Pre-Lincoln, Harding, Hoover, Grant, just to name a few. It took a couple generations to fix those problems, and this was when the problems of the country weren't anywhere NEAR as close as bad as they are now.

So what makes you think that this can be fixed?

Ask somebody from post-war Germany how long they have had to put up with having a Horrible Leader. You NEVER recover from the mistakes of an administration as bad as that. And that's how bad George W. Bush screwed up and put the world in this situation.

So I don't want to hear about Obama being a bad President and how he's "done nothing" to fix the past 8 years of horror that the Republican leader created. You've lost your job, house, and career? All these things suck don't they? Well, maybe you will think twice about someone who promises to lower taxes. Americans get so very little value for their tax dollar, that to lower taxes is just stupidity. When you lower taxes, you are taking money from somewhere else.-It HAS to made up somewhere else. Who else has it to give? -The wealthy society that bitches for having to shell it out of their pockets. Well, the economy couldn't have hit their interests harder than the past 8 years are now. What do you think of your decision to elect Bush now?

So give me a break. I don't want to hear it. If you elected George W Bush, you have NO RIGHT to complain about the guy who has to clean up the mess. Similarly, would you like to arrive after an epic party, and having missed the good time, have to clean it up?! So what makes you think that being Obama is fun right now?

The answer is, it isn't. He is doing YOU a favour. In fact, I can't imagine why someone would want that job in the first place...

So the next time you wanna bitch about how your country sucks now, go talk to someone from post-war Germany, as to the horrors of a man who comes along and promises you the world, because the pied piper is going to come calling for payment.

And I hear his whistle playing right now...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shaving my Cat

A friend of mine posted a status update on facebook that read:

"Am I a bad person for shaving my cat?"

To which everyone chimed in and added to their 2 cents...

And then I said:

"it wasn't popular in the 70's and much of the 80's, but now, it's pretty much a no-brainer. Shaving isn't necesarry, but trimming definately is. Personally, I like a racing/landing strip... ;)"

Now, does this make ME a bad person? lol