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

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Extending Kindness

Back in my College years, I was just beginning to morph into what I would start to call "Me". After having some awkward high school years, I met some friends in College on my Varsity Volleyball team that I fit in with, and I seemed to have surrounded myself with good people.

After 2 years with that team, I changed schools and went to our sworn rival across the city and took a starting position on that team. It was a huge move and looking back at it now, I wouldn't have done it again.
It was already putting me behind the 8 ball because the guys who were now my teammates were once the "Enemy" and that was a tough wall to climb. Then it just seemed everything went wrong. My credits weren't transferred over in time, and I ended up having to drop a whole bunch of classes and the volleyball season hadn't even officially started!

Looking back, I can be objective and say that I also didn't drop my ego at the door and TRY to make friends on my new team with my teammates. I was cocky and even worse, I didn't have the ability to go with my mouth and actions. In fact, I hid behind my previous College school's record and not my own ability.

After about a week of being on the team, I began to really rub people the wrong way. I wasn't making my life easy. and it certainly showed on the team. But I never backed down, and I eventually lost my starting position to a guy who didn't even play my position. And it all went downhill from there...

Instead of keeping my mouth shut and working harder, I became more irate and rubbed people the wrong way along my line of decent. In fact, there were only a few people that I could really talk to during that lonely year on the team, and it made for a very long, lonely year.

Out of the few people I could talk to, the one person who stood out the most was a guy that I really didn't like at first. I had no reason to dislike him, but for some reason, he just didn't appeal to me. But this guy never treated me badly. In fact, he almost always went out of the way to be friendly to me and show me kindness. He was a very popular guy, charasmatic, co-captain of the volleyball team, and a bartender at the Campus Pub, so he was friends with everyone; certainly he didn't need my friendship or respect, but he went a long way to earn it from me. I instantly noticed this and was very grateful for his reaching out to me, and his friendship.

On long road trips on the bus, or travelling on the road, I talked to him about a lot of things that weren't just volleyball. Our team travelled to Mexico for a Volleyball tour, and he was one of my only friends while I was down there.

As the year dragged on, I only made things worse, and further alienated myself on the team to the point that at the end of the season in February, I wasn't really talking to anyone and just going through the motions. It made for a VERY lonely time, and I was just plain miserable. But throughout all this time, this guy trooped it out with me, and always offered his friendship to me when I needed it.

That was 15 years ago, and I doubt that he would've realized that he did this for me, and I probably never told him. But he made a HUGE difference in my year, and for that, I will always be grateful. He was a solid guy and even after our college years were over and we ran into each other, he was just the same friendly, open guy. -Very rare to find a man of his character these days. He offered me friendship when I probably didn't do much to deserve it, and he never asked for anything ever back in return, while always showing me kindness.

What a great guy he was...

So where ever you are out there Jeff, thanks for being that big ray of sunshine in a big world of gloom for me during those times. Oh, and Happy Birthday buddy, you are aces in my book...


Friday, October 1, 2010

Lamentations about Kindergarten...

I remember in my Kindergarten class, our teachers would treat you like King or Queen on your birthday. I remember Mrs. Bush was my favourite teacher (even though I only had one to that point in my life) and she would let you sit in a "Big-Kid"desk while the other kids would have to sit on the floor. They would also allow you to pick your best friend to sit with you, and the 2 of you would get VIP treatment all day. It was every kid's dream...

My birthday is in March, so it was towards the end of the year. There was a very pretty girl in our class, and all the boys always chose her to be their BFF on their birthdays, and not their male buddies. It amazes me that even as a 5 year old, that we as boys have that trigger where we choose a girl over our male buddies.    -We don’t even know what sex is, but the chemicals in our brain makes us react in this manner.

We also had a set of identical male twins in our class and I was amazed that they were two of the same person. My little brain could not process the fact that they were 2 totally different people with different names and behaviour, because they looked so much like each other. I had befriended both of them, but one in particular. His name was Chris and he was the one I spent most of my time with. When the twins had their birthday, Chris picked me instead of the really pretty girl. This was unprecedented to this point, because every boy has always picked her. His twin brother then picked the pretty girl, and we played all day together. Later,I told Chris that I would pick him when my birthday came, just as he had picked me on his.

When my birthday came, my parents woke me up and I started getting spoiled even before I went to school. When I got to school, the teachers asked me who I wanted to pick to be my BFF for that day. To this day, I cannot forget the look of disappointment on his face when I stupidly picked the really pretty girl. I wish I could find him and tell him that this was the thing I remember regretting the most in my young life at the time, and it has remained with me even until this day…

Sometimes, stupidity has regret that lasts a lifetime. Even if I were to find Chris, I doubt he would even remember me, let alone that I picked this pretty girl over him one day in March of 1978. But I still cannot forget the look of absolute disappointment on his face in my head to this very day...