Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Way You Drive Determines How You Operate in Life

How do you drive a car?

There are so many questions that I could ask you to see how you drive, such as:

Are you the aggressive driver that high beams people in the fast lane, or are you the oblivious person in that fast lane that blocks traffic?
When you are turning, do you always signal?
Are you always late, and drive faster because of it?
How do you hold your steering wheel?
Can you talk to people in the car without being able to take your eyes off the road?

I could go on and on with all of these questions, yet the one thing I've noticed is that your driving ability directly demonstrates how you operate in life.

Harnessing a 4,000 pound car to your way of being just demonstrates that you have the ability or lack of ability, to multi-task and communicate with others on the road, and your consideration with them in mind.

A person who has very limited ability to communicate in life will not use their indicators to let others know their intention to pass, change lanes or turn. Sometimes people wait until the last second to do so which also tells how they consider others.

Then there are people who hold up traffic trying to make illegal U-turns and put others at risk because of their lack of ability. They seem to feel entitled to do what they want at the expense of others, and justify it in their own way as to why the law doesn't apply to them.

There are people who simply cannot talk to anyone, and they have death grips on the wheel with unparalleled focus on the road so that their dreaded fear of getting into a car accident never happens. For people like this, it is a fear to be on the road at any one given time and their driving patterns are so rigid that even they can't meet them.

Then there are people who can drink a hot coffee, talk on a cell phone, indicate with their leg while changing the radio and shifting into 5th gear, all the while never missing a beat on driving. Driving comes naturally to these people and they are seemingly always unconsciously in control of the wheel, and their car at all times.

What's the difference in these people's driving abilities?

The answer that occurs to me is that this has absolutely nothing to do with driving a vehicle. Instead, it has everything to do with how the world occurs to them.

If you are a selfishly motivated person, you will have little or no value in anyone else on the road. If you are a humanitarian, you will allow people to merge into you easily. The real reason why people are "bad drivers" is that they operate in life with a certain mentality of how they see others in it, and more importantly, how they occur in it.

I'll give you a personal example from my own life.

When I noticed how much road rage I had in my life, I realized it had nothing to do with the people on the road. It had absolutely everything that I had against people who put a different value on how they drive. My standard of driving was that all people should drive 15 kms above the speed limit, stay out of the passing lanes except to pass, signal, and all would be well. Yet, not all people see these things as being important to them, and so it doesn't always happen.

My unresolved ability to communicate with people in life then takes control of my driving ability, and my personality become harnessed to a 4,000 pound weapon called a car. People who get in my way will be dealt with according to what I think that they deserve for how they operate in life as I see them as drivers.

When I thought about all of this, and saw the connection between how you think and how you drive, I realized that it had nothing to do with the person driving the other cars, but how I viewed them in the world. Was it always the world vs. me? Yep, pretty much, and this was translated as to how I drove too. I held the entire world in contempt for the way they drove because it wasn't up to my standard.

Then I realized that I did the same thing in my life too...

Once I put that connection together, I realized that I didn't want to operate that way any longer. -And then my road rage simply disappeared.

And not surprisingly, I started to get along with people a whole lot better.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve With Pal

On such a quiet Christmas Eve night, I decided to spend it with an old friend. I've known her since 2000 when we met by accident. She made the first move too. She made it known that she wanted to come home with me, and I never considered otherwise.

She's a quiet girl, yet that's not to say that she speaks up when she has something that needs to be said. She has bounds of energy, and can run circles around me and she usually does. She likes to take the referree approach in life, and mostly likes to corral people inside her circle of life.

Of course, I'm taking about my Boarder collie/Sheltie mix dog Pal here. She's 12 years old now, and I'm thinking that this may be her last Christmas with me. She has ruined me for every having another dog who will ever be able to replace her in my heart, or the heart of my daughter. She has been a truly wonderful gift to my life, and a boy could never ask for a better friend.

So Pal and I are going to go for a midnight walk in the crisp Christmas Eve night air. I figure that a cup of Hot Chocolate in hand, and a stroll with my favourite girl by my side will etch this moment in my mind. And who knows, maybe we will look to the sky and see a tiny sleigh with 8 tiny reindeer pulling it through the night.

Such nights as these are truly magical; They can only exist in remembering these moments. Yet tonight, I feel that there is enough magic in the air to create one more wonderful moment in our lives together that has the bond of boy and his dog feel timeless.

And tonight, it will be...

Chuck's Thoughts on Christmas Eve and 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 3 year old girl brings a tear to the eye. Especially when that 3 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.

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 22, 2011

Chuck is Hosting A Radio Show

Yep, you read that correctly.

I am now going to start podcasting on an internet radio show called Radio That Doesn't Suck in the New Year!

This is going to be a weekly thing for me and I'm committing to 13 weeks to start. I have some really great guests confirmed to start off the show, and when my guest lineup is completed, I will enthusiastically share it with you!!

This radio show will compliment my blogsite, and in turn promote my guests and their interests. I will be looking for sponsors to attach themselves and partner with me in this project, and I intend to create a win-win situation.

I can't tell you how excited I am to be doing this, and I am really looking forward to the fun that this new venture is going to bring.

More news on this in the New Year!!

Chuck

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Moment From "Love Actually"


I was watching the movie "Love Actually" last night. It's such a wonderful movie and it's just filled with feelings of love in every respect. Every time I watch that movie, I get something new from it. I see something new as if I'm watching it for the very first time. I love this movie...

Then, after the movie was over, I began to think.

Yep, and that's when the pity party started.

I began to think of this year that has passed which has really seen me do some amazing things, and step out of my comfort zone. I've met an army of amazing new people in my life. I've gotten that skip back in my step, and my novel writing has really come a long long way, and the future looks bright again for me. Yet, in the moment, none of this mattered because I thought, "I don't have romance in my life".

Don't get me wrong... I have LOVE in my life, yet I don't have what all the movies, and society is built upon, which is partnership. I don't have that one person who "gets" me and who I'm committed to spending my entire life with. -Thank you "Love Actually" for letting me know this.

And in the moment, it became all too easy to concentrate on what I DIDN'T have versus what I already had. As soon as I recognized this, I realized how easy it was to be victimatic and feel sorry for myself. The usual reaction was to pick up the phone and connect with others who I could enroll in my sorrow. Or get on Facebook and set my status update with something that had a hook of being pitiful, and hope people would comment on it to enroll them on keeping me small.

But I'm not small. And neither are you. We are big people that want to live small lives in that moment. Yet, big people don't live small lives, just as small people don't live big lives.

So my question to myself was, Chuck, which are you committed to being? And by committing, I don't mean that I have all the answers on HOW to get there. In fact, I know I don't! Yet being committed means that despite NOT knowing, I'm still on track despite being scared, small in the moment, AND I still carry on the path. That's true commitment. When you don't know how to get there, and yet you keep your feet moving, and are not stopped in a pity party. And I took a moment to listen to this feeling of what it was telling me, and I chose to not listen to something inside of me that wanted to keep me stopped and living a small life.

"Thank you for sharing brain, yet I choose to NOT listen to you" and I moved on...

So my question to you is, what are you committed to in your life where this would make a difference in your possibilities?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Idiot Destroys the Genius In All of Us.

Did you ever have a day where you thought that you weren't making a difference on this earth?

If you say no, you are simply in denial, because everyone has a thought in their head at some point in their life that no matter how much of an impact we are making, there is always that thought in our head that wants to keep us small. It wants to rip down our contribution by telling us what we AREN'T doing, and it makes living with ourselves unbelievably challenging at times.

What I want to tell you is that this is called being a human being. Too many times, it's not talked about. Thoughts of "what would happen if I just killed myself" or "life would be better without me" are simply NORMAL. -We all have these thoughts, yet only the brave people admit to them.

And yet, as powerful and destructive as these thoughts are, they are just thoughts. They are no different than the thought of, "I think I would like to have sex with that person" A thought is only as powerful as what we make it mean. If we add truth and reality to it, then that's exactly what it becomes in our own world, doesn't it? So in the end, whether you choose to believe that thought or think it's crazy, you are exactly right in either equation.

There is a story about a genius in chemistry. A young man who had unparalleled knowledge of the field. However, Despite being a genius. he was extremely hard on himself. He couldn't allow the genius to exist alone, and he recognized that there was a side of himself that he hated, and hated him. He called this side of himself "The Idiot" and often had thoughts of killing himself to rid himself of the pain of existence. He thought by drinking acid, he would make a tremendous exit from life, and had it all planned out.

Just as he was preparing to commit suicide, he put the glass of acid to his mouth to drink it. Then it occurred to him. -The Idiot was going to kill off BOTH of them. -The genius in us always succumbs to the idiot.

Here's what I want to tell you.

You are important to hundreds of people in your life. If you think that I may not know you well enough to say that, but that's the idiot in you talking, and not the genius.

You make a difference in every one's life that you come into contact with. You affect 300 people that you don't even realize in ways that would shock you. You contribute to life despite the fact that you think you underachieve. -You don't. You are perfect just the way you are. Just get rid of the junk around you that you are allowing to hold you back that ISN'T you. -Just because you HAVE a history, doesn't mean that you ARE your history.

Be bold and realize that you are loved, and that you are worthy of it. Because THAT thought is actually true, and even the idiot can't argue with that...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Every Woman Deserves a Man That Can Make Her Forget Her Heart Was Ever Broken


I saw this on facebook today and I thought "True."

Then I thought immediately as a defensive male and said, "And every man deserves a woman that won't make him pay for the sins of HER past"

And then it hit me...We are all so victimatic.

We all deserve to treat each other like bigger people than we do. We keep all of our partners small in our own minds because we think they can't handle it, rather than just being up front in our communication with each other.

The real stopping point in this entire situation is our past. We make our partners wrong for something that they did that dredged up some shit from OUR own past. Most of the time, our partners have no idea that they have triggered some sort of bad feeling in us, and how could they?! They are just being themselves, and then we make them wrong for something that happened to us in a past relationship that wasn't completed.

And then it gets ugly...

We start to get mean and petty, bitter, defensive and then we lash out and name call and demean. All because of OUR past of how we were treated, and not theirs.

And for those of you who are reading this and saying, "But He/She did THIS!" -I get it. People do some pretty shitty things. YOU have done some pretty shitty things and NOT been caught. Some people have standards of what they think is right, and then think it is so. Others, not so much. Just because you don't share a standard, doesn't mean that people are wrong. Yet, we certainly make them wrong, don't we?

You know, I think this is somewhat humorous though. I think God must look down at us people and just have to laugh at some of the petty shit we hold on to. In fact, I was thinking about this the other day and I came up with a new way of approaching women on a date.

I think that I will walk up to a girl I'd like to date and instead of asking her out, say something like this:

"You know I really think that we'd all have a great time if we all went out together sometime"

She would most likely give me the strangest look in the world. Possibly she would think that I am asking her on a group date, but more than likely, she would ask to clarify. Let's just say that she says, "what do you mean?"

And here's what I would say...

Well, we all have a past, right? I mean, you look like a nice woman, but certainly there will come a time where you remind me of someone or something I didn't like, and then I'm going to make you pay for it like you actually MEANT to do it to me. And surely I would be arrogant to not think that I will be able to do the same to you, because of YOUR past, right? So why don't we just admit this, and gather up all of the people from our past and just bring them along on our date together before determining what we're not going to like in each other?"

I mean, we're gonna do it anyway right? So why don't we just agree to it right now?

-"So, do you want to go out with us?"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Remembering Dan Fogelberg

My uncle David first introduced me to many of the artists I have come to love so much. Because of him, I developed a real love for music, and being expressed through it. He taught me how to play guitar, and I really grew attached to most of his music interests.

Out of all the music that I was introduced to, there was an artist named Dan Fogelberg who really seemed to be the dark horse. He didn't seem to have a whole lot of popularity, which surprised me because his music was fantastic. He wrote songs that I really connected to, and I felt many times like he was describing my feelings in his songs. I guess that's the characteristic of a great song writer; that they connect their thoughts and feelings to music that you can identify with.

Dan Fogelberg was probably most well known for his hits in the 80's "Longer" and "Leader of the Band", yet every time at the Holiday Season, I hear his classic "Same Old Lang Syne" and I can really feel it.



The song talks about randomly meeting his Ex Lover on New Year's Eve, and how they spend the evening talking and sharing before parting ways. I think everyone of us has experienced something like this, and I certainly can feel connected to his tale of passion and woe.

How he was able to take words and make them feelings is a talent that he truly had in his career. One of my most favourite lines comes from one of his songs called, "Make Love Stay"

It asks a question that is thought of universally, and I thought I would share it with you today.

"Now that we love... -Now that the lonely nights are over, how do we make love stay?"

If every question has an answer, then I would like to think that this query contains it's own reply. Even if it takes a lifetime to learn, it is worth the effort, for Love truly IS the most wonderful emotion and feeling of them all.

Thank you Dan Fogelberg for your life of contribution, and I wish you God Speed in your next journey.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Reason Why We as Men, Suck

Testosterone is a bitch. It will make you do some crazy things. I understand quite well that Estrogen is also a menace, yet it's not as revved up as Testosterone gets you.

The crazy male ego will use this in any situation to assert itself. Take for example the way men bet in order to be right. We lay about a hundred bets a day trying to assert ourselves that we know what we're talking about, or what we are saying is correct.

"I bet you a hundred bucks that the Leafs make the playoffs this year."

Now that's a pretty stupid one to make, yet I have made it for 2 years in a row now. (I know, I deserve the hurt and heartache) But this could easily be make to other topics as well.

Take for example my best friend and I. He could be the greatest guy ever. Ladies, if you wanna land a man, this guy is a top notch passionate cook, the man cleans and does laundry like a demon, he is romantic, absolutely hilarious, social, tall (6'5) athletic, good looking, and he has one of the most wonderful hearts of any guy in the universe.

All of this just happens to allow me to not hate his guts for also being the biggest chocolate thief the world has ever known. I swear to God, he will find any chocolate I have in the house and sniff it out with that hound-dog like nose of his and he will make short work of it. I don't eat chocolate very often, but I like it once and while. When I do want it and I can't find it, well, I don't have to tell you ladies what happens then...

So I struggle with this. Well, one day I put this gorgeous Flake (British chocolate bar, kind of like our Aero bars here in Canada but a 1000 times better) in the fridge and bet him 20 bucks that he couldn't lay off it for 2 months. He accepted.

Last week I realized that he just wasn't going to crack. I had tried everything. I kept nothing else in the house that was remotely sweet and got rid of all the alternatives like chips and other salt or sweet snacks. Surely he would crack! Yet, there in the fridge lay the completely defenseless Flake just waiting to be jumped on.

So I realized that I was beaten. I had another week that he could've caved, but I could see his conviction. I went upstairs and got his 20 bucks and I gave it to him.

"What's this for?" he asked

"It's for the bet of the chocolate bar. I concede. You won, and that stupid chocolate bar cost me 20 bucks, which makes it the most expensive chocolate bar in my lifetime." I said.

"Dude, not even close. I must've spent literally 50 bucks in other chocolate just so I wouldn't touch that fucking candy bar. This one, we BOTH lose on."

And so it came to pass that one British chocolate bar with a smooth and lovely after taste, ended up costing 2 guys a combined sum of 70 bucks just to not lose a bet which we both ended up losing anyway. I wonder why the world allows us to reproduce?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is it Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Is it "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"?

The answer is, I don't give a shit.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but December is a month where all people want to wish others well in departure from an entire year of everyone doing things for themselves, and their own cause. This is the reason why we say things like, "Goodwill towards men". Not, "Goodwill towards those who believe what I believe"

I have some shocking news for you. You probably haven't even researched why it is what you believe! You probably just grew up believing what you were taught, and took it for granted anyway. If you have looked into every religion, and studied them to see which one fitted your own neutral belief system of how you would LIKE to be, rather than force-feeding others some bullshit about why everyone else should believe what you think they should, then you can say this.

Otherwise, stop excluding everyone else's belief system. -It's simply arrogant.

If you believe in Christ, then show it on everyday, month in and month out, and not just when December comes around and you see Jews celebrating Hanukkah, Blacks celebrating Kwanzaa, or others who threaten your belief system at this time of year. I don't see Christians taking this stand at any other time of the year, and it just looks petty. REAL examples of people worshipping their God comes from within. NOT going out there and telling them who, or what to believe. They live their life by example, and not behind a book written 2000 years ago.

If I have to hear the saying that "This country was founded on Christian Values" one more time, I'm gonna puke. Big Fucking Deal. That was over 300 years ago. Things change. I promise you that it won't change the fact in our history books that this country was STILL founded on good Christian values. You seem to be missing the point that you STILL get to celebrate your good Christian values. -Isn't that the most important thing? And the reason WHY we were founded by Christians, was because OTHER Christians were not allowing the these Christians to worship their same God in a different manner. So they founded a country where religious freedom would be a right and not a priviledge. -And it's been kept that way ever since.

Isn't this what you should be happy for?

The thing that most people who cry out for Merry Christmas are missing is that Jews have every right to yell out "Happy Hanukkah" to those who celebrate Christmas too. Have you ever met a Jew who tries to convert a Christian to celebrate Hanukkah? No! They simply celebrate what they believe is their belief, and don't push it on Christians. Christians on the other hand, can't stop trying to bully the entire world into believing which Christian religion is right. Catholics or Protestants, Baptist vs. Presbyterian, and the list goes on and on and on. Then the Christians look at the Muslim world and say that all Muslims are terrorists simply because of part of Islam is hell bent on being heard. That would be like the smallest arm of a Christian cult wing lead by some wackjob in Texas attacking Muslims, and then the Muslims broadcasting that ALL Christians are terrorists.

But we don't want to look at that...

No, all we want to do is exclude others who have a right to believe and practice what they please, in "our" free country, rather than respecting others to say and do what they want, while continue to say Merry Christmas to anyone we like.

Well, I'm including happiness in every one's month of December. December is a month of Holidays, Plural. New Year's Day officially starts in January, but we all celebrate it on New Year's Eve which is in December. I want to include everyone to have a Safe and Happy Holiday season. I want to tell everyone that has lost someone dear to them that I want them to feel included, and not alone during this special time. It's supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but as many know, it's also the saddest and loneliest time of the year.

How about we all just stop worrying about what we call it, and worry about how we CONVEY it? Happy Holidays includes everyone. Merry Christmas just includes the people whom you probably wouldn't really like if you dropped the topic of religion for 5 minutes.

So, Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, from me a sinner. I will continue to be flawed, and continue to be a hypocrite, and do things I'm not proud of. I say this because I'm human, and it's automatic for us as humans. But at least I won't hide behind a religious belief title to do it.

I have a relationship to God which keeps me accountable for how I treat my fellow man. I believe in contribution, and support to all people, and all ways of life. I may not agree with them, yet I will include them all as creations of the God I will one day have to face and answer some really serious questions about how I conducted my life on this earth.

What will you say to your God about this?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Are Smokers Miserable People?

Smokers...

I've just spent an afternoon observing people who smoke.

I've walked away from the experience completely baffled about this. First of all, I should begin by telling on myself here. I think smoking is a nasty habit, and I look down on every single person who is trapped into this vice. I don't really like the fact that I look down on them, yet I just feel this way. I'm quite sure that are habits of mine that some could look at as being nasty as well, so I get it, yet for now, I really don't like the fact that people smoke and subject others to their habit...

Here is what I saw from my view in the cheap seats today.

I saw every smoker light up their cigarettes with fellow smokers right in front of many "No Smoking" signs under the awning of a building. Asking them if they would move over to the other side of the "No Smoking" sign just made their days. Smokers love it when you tell them that they cant smoke wherever they want to smoke, ESPECIALLY right in front of the "No Smoking" sign. hahaha. They get a real kick outta that. In fact, I think people pick up the nasty habit just so they can learn how to tell people to "Fuck Off" in such situations.

What happens next is just the most disgusting thing to watch. They finish their butts, and then drop the wasted cigarette on the ground. Sometimes they stamp it out, and some leave it to burn, but then they all walk away. Others simply flick their butts into the streets, sidewalks and just walk away. It absolutely disgusted me.

We can't live in a society where we get looked down on if we don't recycle, yet millions of these people routinely and habitually throw away cigarettes, and they think nothing about it, as if it's a non-issue.

You got to be shitting me...

And it's like we as the non-smokers are the bad people for calling the smokers on their shit. Smokers always become defensive about being smokers. Why is that? It would be so nice if they could simply look at themselves and say something like, "You know, you're absolutely right. I'm too weak of a person to kick this habit. I've struggled with it for years. To tell you the truth, I don't even know why I was too stupid to start smoking; Because the selling features of the habit like yellow fingers, bad breath, yellow teeth, smelling bad, and the cost of it, let alone what it's been doing to my body seems to not be paying off so well. Now that I am a smoker, I can see how inconsiderate I am being, but I really don't give a shit. I just feel the urge to be defensive about my conflict to continue smoking, and I will continue to make everyone else around me wrong for my inconsiderate behaviour. Until the day I realize that I am powerless over this filthy habit and decide to actually take a stand for myself, I will simply continue to be miserable to people who mention anything about me smoking in public."

I think if just one smoker would say that to me, I would leave the rest alone...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Remembering John Lennon

There are few moments in my life that I've loved so much that I would look forward to death just so I could come back again in another life to experience that moment all over again for the first time. -In fact, I could probably count them all on one hand.

One of them is to see my daughter born again. Playing in my first real hockey game would be in there too. Also included in this list was the first time I heard John Lennon sing on a Beatles album. I will never forget that moment, or the joy it caused my 10 year old heart to experience.



I became obsessed with everything that was "The Beatles" Anything I could get my hands on about The Beatles became my obsession. Unfortunately, by the time I had heard the voice of John Lennon and known who he was, he had already been dead for almost 2 years. He was only 40 years old...

As sobering as that thought is, I turn 40 in the spring. When people ask me how I feel about turning 40, I say "Life begins at 40!" This is exactly what Lennon said on his 40th birthday and only 2 short months later, he was shot dead in the streets of his beloved New York City outside of his home.

It was actually 3 days earlier that John Lennon gave his final interview. On a Monday night, December 8, 1980, his legacy would become complete when Mark David Chapman would shoot him dead outside the Dakota Building after Lennon was returning home with Yoko Ono, after completing his comeback album and final musical piece, called Double Fantasy.

I often wonder what Lennon's contribution would've been in the coming years had he been alive. What he would've done with Bob Geldof, Band Aid, Live Aid, Africa, and other causes in the musical world. Lennon was a leading force in the cause for peace in a time of great social unrest coming from the Vietnam War, so it was only natual to assume that he would've been involved in all of these causes.

But I guess it doesn't really matter what "might've" been with Lennon though. He accomplished far more in the 40 years of his life, and left an everlasting legacy that this world will not soon forget. I can see 2064 as being a classic moment watching the 100 anniversary of The Beatles' premiere on The Ed Sullivan Show.

So losing a man that helped create a musical revolution is something to stop and take notice of. And so today, I remember the life and contribution of what John Winston Lennon was.





Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor 70 years Later


"December 7th, 1941. A day which will live in Infamy" -FDR

I can hear those words on the old video clip from FDR in my head. It was one of those moments in history that really changed how the world was. It catapulted an already-at-war world and made it truly global.

And it all started on this day, 70 years ago.

On a personal level, I have visited Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. It was 10 years ago, yet the mood was as somber as it is on any other day surrounding that memorial. Today is a sacred day in Oahu, and even though most of the veterans who come back for December 7th service are fewer in numbers than the year before, their importance in being there is paramount. They are the last of a dying breed of messengers who tell a story of what happened, and where they were 70 years ago at that turning point in history.

USN Carrier Lincoln with manned rails, passing the USS Arizona Memorial inside of the Battleship USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor


There are few dates in time that ring a bell, but immediately when I see December 7th, I think about Pearl Harbor. Before that day, the United States had an already powerful existing navy, and was a global leader. However, after that day, the United States was reborn into the Industrial giant that it is today and this was its birthday. Today is the day 70 years ago that the Americans really took power of the world stage. That's why today is such an important day in history.

The Japanese Admiral who was the architech of the Pearl Harbor attack was Isoruku Yamamoto. He was a Harvard educated man who deeply understood the Industrial might and potential of the United States. After the attack on Pearl Harbor was complete, and a smashed US fleet sat in ruins in Pearl Harbor, Yamamoto uttered his famous words, "I feel that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve."

And in so many ways, he was right.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Halifax Explosion -A Part of our Heritage

The Memorial Bells of The Halifax Explosion

Today is the anniversary of the great Halifax Explosion. On December 6, 1917 the Canadian city of Halifax, Nova Scotia was hit with the greatest man made explosion to date in history. It was the equivalent of one-fifth of the blast of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. It leveled the entire city of Halifax and left it in ruins.

20 minutes after the explosion


My family roots are from Halifax, and my grandfather was alive as a small boy when this explosion happened. I remember hearing the story of it for the first time and asking him questions about what he remembered about the explosion and the aftermath. I was really surprised to hear how much he remembered considering that he was only a young boy. I imagine that an event with such magnitude like that could never leave your mind, even at a young age.

What really amazes me at things like this is the amount of effort that the people in that area endured to rebuild. The city was literally flattened, and not only did it have to be rebuilt, but you had to tear everything down in order to rebuild it. And yet looking at the city of Halifax today, you would never think that something like this happened. The city was rebuilt as if nothing happened. Only small reminders of some evidence of the blast remain to this day, yet you have to know where to look for it.

If you can make the time today, click on the Internet about the explosion that happened in Halifax today almost a century ago, and find out what our heritage says about our people.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christian Values

I love it when I hear Christians talk about Muslims being terrorists, suicide bombers, degrading their women ect. These people talk as if Christians have been so innocent and pure in the world, not realizing that Christianity has committed more atrocities in the name of God and Christ than all terrorists combined.

The slave trading which went on for centuries, the crusades, colonization, christian missionaries converting continents of people from their own beliefs. The corruption of the Catholic church and the cover-ups that we know about and more importantly, the ones we DON'T KNOW about. I could go on and on about how terrible Christianity has been.

I was speaking to a woman a little while ago and all she kept telling me was how Canada was selling out to the Jews, Muslims and Hindus and including them despite the fact that Canada was historically settled and founded by Christians.

And my reply was "Who fucking cares?"

I mean seriously, who really cares?! All I care is that every Canadian gets their freedoms and rights protected. I don't care if or who you worship, I love the fact that you have your right to a choice in Canada, and that it's protected by people who aren't religious fanatics.

You know, I find it really funny that any Torah, Bible or Qua'ran divides people from really doing one thing, and that's worshipping God. A secondary nature is to "do unto others" which would really change the entire way the world operates if people just followed it. Yet, all of these religions seem to want to assert themselves and try to change everyone else to their way of thinking or worship when they are really missing the point of what religion brings to your life.

Peace.

Live your life the way you want to. Be peaceful. It actually allows you to live longer and healthier with a larger contribution.

OR...

Try and change the world by force. It will be a lifetime struggle with no end, and you will encounter wave after wave of people who hate you, and whom you hate. You will conquer and be conquered and at the end of your life will you feel that you made a difference in trying to change people?

What a waste of a life...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. "A person convinced against their will, is of the same opinion still."

Worry about yourself. I know that in my life, I've got enough there to keep me occupied for decades. I've got no time or energy to try and worry about other people and how they are getting rights that "Christian Values" gave them 300 years ago. Good for them. Let them have a wonderful life.

I can't control the way the world happens. I can only control my reaction to it.

So I could really care less about what colour the Prime Minister or President is. I could care less who he worships, or if he does at all. All I care is that he has a love for this country like no other, and its people which make up the nation. I care that he has a deep rooted commitment to our freedoms and protecting the way of life that we enjoy.

Be he Christian or not, or be he a "She", I don't really care. All I care is that you have a choice and it isn't thrown down our throats.

So be respectful of other's right to freedoms because I would tell you that if they didn't have the right to theirs, it would probably mean that you wouldn't have your rights either...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Creating a New Love in My Life

I think that time in between relationships is probably more important than the actual time that we spend in a relationship. It really is where you do all the best planning and reflecting, so that your new relationship actually stands a chance at all.

Since I've chosen to be single, I have realized that I made each of my partners pay for the flaws of previous lovers and partners. There was nothing wrong with the people that I chose to be partners with. They simply had their routine and method of doing things that made them unique and attractive to me. However, it was my interpretation and view of what they did or the way they did it, or what they said or how they said it, that I gave power to and not to them. Simply said, something occurred, and then it was the meaning I gave that act that came from past experiences that were my responsibility, and not theirs.

Yet, I made them pay for it.

They had no way of knowing that what they did reminded me of something from my past. -I mean, how could they?! It was MY past, not theirs... Truthfully, I didn't even know it to realize it. I just knew that I didn't like something that just happened, yet couldn't put my finger on it, or express why I felt that way. I just knew that I felt a certain way that blocked me from being confident, expressed, loving or gracious.

That's usually when the shit show started.

Now in spending time reflecting, I know that it was me making my partner wrong without knowing it. I am much more conscious of my responsibility in the cause and effect of the matter. In every instance, I cannot control what happens, yet I have a choice in every matter in how I react to it.

I simply never saw the power in that choice before.

I could choose to be a victim in that instance, or I could choose to live a powerful life and give up the right to be right in what I think because it really doesn't make much difference. "A person convicted against their will is of the same opinion still". Right?

And the other thing I've realized is that I am not going to choose to be in a relationship for what it can give me. Sure, there needs to be some value in that relationship for me to want to choose to be in it, yet the real power in that relationship comes from what I choose to give to it. If I choose to make sure that my partner knows exactly how much I love and admire them, then that allows them to be a secure, more confident person. This creates a space for giving and loving to be reciprocated. They don't give and love because they feel the other person needs it, but rather because they love and want to do it.

What a difference this would make in my life...

And if that's possible for me, what do you see is possible for you in your life, your relationship, or the new possibilities in creating a new one?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

4 Days of My Life, Day 4 Remembering My Grandmother, 20 Years Later

It was 20 years ago today that I watched my grandmother pass away from cancer right before my very eyes. She was 56 years old.

I was a 19 year old kid when she died, and for the first time, this year represents more than half my lifetime ago since she passed away. Yet, there is something about the spirit of this woman that I love to remember on this day.

My grandmother's name was Joan, but all of her grandchildren called her "Nanny." She had just turned 37 years old when I was born, so I was blessed with a very young grandmother.

Whenever someone dies, I feel that most people always eulogize them as a saint in their life, and I am not going to do that with my grandmother. She was a stubborn Irish-Catholic woman with many faults, but loving her family was never one of them. She was fiercely protective of her family, and was the nucleus of keeping us all together. She really was the tie that binds...

When my grandmother was sick in the summer of 1991, I was living with her. When we finally found out that she had terminal cancer, she had 10 weeks until the time she passed away. During those 10 weeks I was able to complete many things with my grandmother in her life, and mine. The only good thing about cancer is that it gives you some time to prepare yourself for the inevitable. We all know that we are going to die, yet these people have the gift of time so that they can complete their lives and prepare to leave this world.

I can say that my grandmother was complete when she left this world. I got to ask her many questions about her life and how it occurred for her, and how she was able to complete her life without bitterness, and free from resentment. This was amazing considering I would call her a bitter and resentful person while she was alive. I think many of you in your own lives can see a person who might fit that description, and how that dying gave them the opportunity to clean this up before moving on to the next life.

I could tell you many great things about my Nanny, yet I think the one that embodies her the most is the story of her daughter Diana. Diana spent 2 years inside various hospitals when she was in her early 20's due to a brain shunt. My grandmother was a single mom at the time with 5 kids, 3 of which were still living with her at the time. Nanny's routine was to work all day which involved shift work, and then head to the hospital to spend the time beside her daughter who was basically in a coma and unresponsive for 2 years. This is what my grandmother did, and the way of being she was for her children. It could've been any one of them, and this would've been consistent with how she supported them all. She was real, she was passionate, and she was loving above all else.

I sometimes wonder about my grandmother and how she would've aged. I wonder how she would've felt to see my daughter and hold her in her arms. I can see her smiling and grinning from ear to ear. I can see that because I know that she's still inside of me; still contributing in my life even those she's been gone from us for 20 years now.

What a legacy that is...

Not so long ago, I had a dream where I dreamt that Nanny came back to visit with me. It wasn't scary at all. In fact, it was the most amazing calming dream I have ever had. I got to spend 8 hours talking and loving her for all that she was in my life and then got to bring her up to speed of what was going on in my life since she died. It was simply wonderful. When I woke up, I felt that it was the greatest gift to me to have had her visit me and it left me with the most amazing feeling of being loved that I have ever felt, and I was so thankful for that "dream"

So today, on the 20th anniversary of your passing, I remember you Nanny, and all that you were and all that you contributed to my life, and the rest of our family who loved you so dearly. You are missed, you are loved, and most important, you are remembered in all of our lives.

I love you still...

The Birth of Your First Child. -Day 3 of The 4 Days of My Life

They always say that there is no handbook to being a parent, yet the first time you see the delivery of your child, it never seems to matter.

That wondrous moment seems to always overshadow the fact that you don't really have the slightest idea of how you are going to raise your child. Yet somehow, we always manage to get through it. It becomes manageable and even though there is a lot of sacrifice, we as parents always do our best with what we know at the time.

That's not to say that we are always successful at being a parent, and I think we will defend ourselves a lot more as parents than we would share the same view as how we treated our parents in that manner. Yet realistically, just because we didn't have the skills or ability doesn't mean that we didn't give 100% of what we were capable of. And that goes especially for how our parents reared us, and how they felt how their parents reared them and so on...

Well, November 30 was the day that my daughter Kennedy was born to us. I see it in a light that I as a parent wasn't always equipped with the ability to be the most effective parent I "should've" been. However, I was always able to do my best with what I had. And now I realize that my parents did the same thing.

Too many times we are too hard for the way our parents raised us and the mistakes we felt they committed in raising us. And it's not to displace the fact that mistakes were made, and that it's clear that nobody was perfect, yet we seemed to turn out ok in the end, right?

And now seeing that, I can get a clearer understanding of how to be a better parent to my child and see the possibilities for her in her life. And every year that passes, that gets a little more clear.

So today, November 30th was my daughter Kennedy's birthday. Ironically enough, it was exactly the same weather today as it was 3 years ago when she was born, and I thought that was really cool. Day 3 of my 4 Day Blog was a highlight for me, and it concludes on Dec.1 when I talk about the 20th anniversary of the death of my grandmother.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

4 Days of my Life, Day #2

3 years ago tonight was the last night of me not being a father. Labour kicked in late in the morning hours, and my daughter's mother and I gathered our things and headed to the hospital and started making the calls to our family to know that the time has come.

We knew that we were having a baby girl, yet all the possibilities kick in when this is your first pregnancy of hoping that everything goes well, and everyone is healthy. A healthy baby is all I wanted coupled with a same delivery for all.

The next night at 7:22pm, November 30, Kennedy Lauren Bastie was born to us. She weighed 7 pounds even and she caused the most amazing feeling to her daddy that I had ever experienced. I'll never forget seeing her come into this world and holding her for the first time as her father. It's just something that can't be put into words. -And yes, I cried like a little baby myself.



Passing Kennedy to my mother was something that left me with a feeling of complete amazement. There are only a handful of moments that one could ever remember at any time in your life that had as much as an impact as that. Truly, anyone who has gone through the same process for the first time can relate to what I am talking about so I don't want to spoil it for you who haven't, but it will be the most spiritual moment of your life.

These 4 days in my life starting from November 28 when I first met my wife, to today when it was the Eve of Kennedy's birth, tomorrow, November 30th which is the day when Kennedy was born, and finally Dec. 1 is the day I lost my grandmother in 1991. These 4 days are together in my life and every year that these go by, I get a little sentimental.

So I thought I would share these with you since they are so important in my life and who I turned out to be...

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Night I Met My Wife

There are nights that I look back on in my life that I remember like they were yesterday. They appear timeless, and you will never age from that moment. It will always be a part of you because the connection is just one of those ties that bind.

Then there are those nights such as these that it seemed like it was magical.

"It wasn't supposed to happen like this" is how the story usually goes. Then, there is a mysterious unravelling of how the event actually occurred, and how the obstacles that were in the way seemingly parted and allowed the universe to make miracles happen.

Well, today is the day 13 years ago that this happened. It was the night I met my wife, and it happened exactly like this...

It was a night just as I have explained above how things were not supposed to have happened. I was away on a road trip that had been extended, and I was tired coming home to Toronto. I had been away for a couple weeks and my blood-alcohol level was hovering somewhere around 99, so the last thing I wanted to do was go out on the town and meet up with my friend Pavanne, and her California girlfriends.

Yet, as the universe works, things came together, and I met my future wife that night. 28 days later we were engaged, and then just over 6 months later we were married. We're not together anymore, but if I look back on this night and ask myself  "Chuck, would you do that over again?" The answer would be, "In a heartbeat"

Sometimes things in life don't always go the way we want them to go. However, the moments and the learning experience that we get from them are the points in our lives that we can celebrate. I became a man by meeting my wife. She taught me areas of my life that I never knew existed inside of me, and she gave me inspiration to create things that I never dreamed possible. For that, I will be forever grateful.

And like everything in life, it has it's time and place. That time and place has moved on in my life, yet I have never forgotten the lessons I've learned.

And that has made all the difference.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Remembering JFK


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...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Penn State Child Abuse Scandal

For the past few years now, I have written blogs about why there are child abusers.

I understand that there are issues with people who commit crimes, and there are many explanations as to why they do what they do, and of course sometimes there are no explanations as to why they do it at all.

Committing murder is the capital sin in society, and it gets a lot of attention and deservedly so. Sometimes, people can come to grips with murder, and the victims which paid for these actions. It takes a whole lot of time, but sometimes, time heals all wounds. However, where the wound that never heals is the one that hurts the soul of an innocent child.

In the senseless abuse of a child, the perpetrator actually alters how the future will look for the victim in a dramatic sense. Simply put, that child will never ever be the same. They will now live their life as that abused victim, and affect others around them as they deal with that abuse. It's such a terrible spin that sometimes death is viewed as preferable and we see these victims take their own lives because they simply can't live with the guilt and vision of what's become their lives.

After hearing about former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky alleged child abuse history, and it's cover up,  I was wondering when we as a society are finally gonna get our shit together and simply make child abuse the #1 most heinous crime, period.

Do you want to abuse little boys or girls? Fine. Upon conviction of this crime, you are to be neutered. Once you recover from this surgery, we get to corral you into a pit of unfed, territorial, horny gorillas and let them have their way with you. -Sort of the same way that you had your way with innocent little kids. Once we have shown everyone the example of how we treat child abusers, I imagine the cases of them will disappear. Just so it won't be a surprise, we will let everyone know who you are, and how deranged a person that you would have to be to make such an unfathomable choice. And hopefully, we make such an example out of you that it won't ever be a choice to abuse little boys and girls EVER AGAIN. Make the punishment so harsh, that it won't ever be comptemplated as a choice afterall. And then maybe the people who are mentally ill and "can't help themselves" will actually take that consequence to mind and actually seek out professional help.

But I'm tired of watching case after case of these poor kids have to pay for our stupidity as a society. We need to stop being "Nice" to these child abusers and start honouring our commitment to our kids that they can be guaranteed a future free from people sexually abusing them!! -That should be a right in society, not a privilege!

So first thing I am going to do on Monday morning is to find out who to talk to in my neighbourhood to start the process of toughening up the child abuse laws in my country. I think children everywhere deserve the right to be free from such atrocities, and I am going to see how we can make that happen.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Re-Distribution of Wealth

I sometimes look at the Re-Distribution of Wealth as a love for country above love for anything else. Plain and simple.



A person who has amassed an empire of wealth has done so simply because there has been a country that has allowed him to prosper in it. You can take a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet and allow them to grow up and be educated in Siberia and see them prosper as a great employee, but never amount to the success and potential that a country like the United States enables them to be.

Recently, I visited the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This city was formerly known for it's massive Steel Industry. In fact, just the city of Pittsburgh produced more steel itself in WW2 than the Axis nations combined. One of the men in history that built that empire was a man named Andrew Carnegie. A respected businessman, Carnegie was the 2nd most wealthy man in the World at the time (after the controversial JD Rockefeller) At the time of his death in 1919, Carnegie had managed to give away over $350,000,000 of his amassed fortune to foundations, universities, hospitals, libraries, museums that count in the thousands in numbers and literally cover the map in area of influence. That number in present day dollars would represent about 6 billion dollars. -And this is the money he simply GAVE AWAY.

If you look at the scope of the fortune that Carnegie invested in the infrastructure of his foundations, it often surpassed government subsidies in many nations of their own ability to contribute. But why would this man simply give away this hard earned fortune? It's simple. He had a vision for contribution and he felt it was his duty as a human being to do so. He was interested in development of business, nation, arts, education because they develop the human spirit which drives the reason for existence.

You can see where Carnegie has his hand in today's society almost 100 years after his death because his influence is still present. Yet, he was only one man. An extremely wealthy man, no doubt, yet he set an example that any person could follow in principle of contribution. And still all I see in the world of finance is the rich wanting to expand their greed and not contribute back to the country which enabled them to amass that lifestyle.

Collectively, if the wealthy populace of the United States would combine its forces, you would see an action plan unrivalled in history about where it's focus and contribution would impact, and how it would make a difference. The development of such an action plan would last over a 100 years, just as Carnegie's legacy has been preserved today, and it would develop the human spirit again in the process.

Yet sadly, all these people want to do is contribute to themselves and their families which will have far less impact in society and their country. They complain about having to share their fortune via taxes to support the lazy, uneducated masses rather than seeing the greater contribution larger than themselves that they could ever attain.

And while this goes on, the wealthiest nation on earth is divided between a class system that clearly doesn't work anymore, and just gets wider to bridge as time progresses. Policies get broader and reach fewer people, and less gets done. The term "many people make light work" doesn't occur to the wealthy in the sense of what it can do for them.

If you truly loved your country, society, and way of life, protect it by contributing to the people who will ensure its survival. The last time I checked there are no pockets on a casket, and you can't take your money with you.

Creating a place for your legacy to reach others is really the only reason we are on this planet. So it just makes sense to broaden your contribution to make a difference in anything you wish. You only live once, right? Do you want to be remembered as an Andrew Carnegie or as an Ebenezer Scrooge?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembrance Day 11/11/11


Remembrance Day

This is always my most treasured day of the year. In fact, there really isn't a close second.

As a kid, I grew up as the son of father in the Military. They call us Base Brats. I grew up on bases and stations in Canada and in the United States. I grew up in a time of peace, when the Cold War was coming to a slow halt. I never have known war personally, and have only seen it in the eyes of those who have suffered loss.

The fact that I have never known war is a testament as to how fortunate the continent of North America has been in the past 150 years or so. Standing with our American brothers, and being part of the British Empire, Canada has a long history of being a country of peacekeeping. On other days in the calendar year, the Americans revere certain days of importance to them, and it shows. However, on November 11th, you see Canadians in every form take this day very seriously, and I love that.

This fills me up with such a wonderful pride that it completely moves me to tears.

Canadians have long had a generalization for being quiet, polite, and nice. We are mostly comprised of a middle class majority, and we live a wonderful life of comfort that very few countries in the world could ever dream about. We may not be a military or economic superpower, yet we live like one every single day.

And this all comes with a cost, and the cost of freedom is indeed a heavy one to bear.

So on this Remembrance day 2011, you will see crowds of Canadians quietly making their ways to churches, cenotaphs, town and city halls and sit in silence for 2 minutes, to reflect on why it is that we have these choices to live our lives the ways we choose to live them.

Do you want to worship any God you choose? Do you want to be able to express yourself as a human being, and voice what is important to you without fear of the consequences that church and state could have on your life? Do you want to choose which way you will rear your family in the values you see fit? Pick any career, and not even think about having to be controlled in any manner. Does have the right to peaceful demonstration and assembly, and hold your elected government accountable sound great to you? These are but a handful of important freedoms that we enjoy that are a rarity in the world in other countries. Do you know that?

If so, take 2 minutes out of your day on November 11th to show it amongst others who feel the same way.

I love my country. I love the fact that I feel safe and secure, and free to build any future for myself and my family in any way I choose. I may not agree with others in their beliefs which don't share mine, yet I am always committed to their freedom to express it in any peaceful way they choose because that is a truly wonderful gift.

It's actually SO wonderful that most of us take it for granted because it has always been this way, and we have never actually known anything else. And yet every Remembrance Day that I walk down to a cenotaph to pay my respects to the countless known and unknown people who paid for these freedoms, I carry that knowledge and appreciation of extreme sacrifice which was paid in the face of fear and tyranny. All of this burden wears heavy on my soul. -To think that a small person such as me has had such a wonderful gift given to me before I was born, and maintained by those who are commited to see that every generation has the same gift.



And that's why I love my country. I love Canadians. I love Americans for being so passionate about their freedoms and defending our ways of life. And if you took the time to read my blog, I want to thank you for your commitment to this cause. It says the world about you and the type of person you are. You are to be commended for your love of freedom and compassion that every individual living in our country has the same rights and freedoms without bias or prejudices.

And for this, I will always be eternally grateful for the gift that cannot ever be repaid.

Lest We Forget.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Night With Katarina Witt

Katarina Witt.



Clutch the pearls, there is not a single woman out there on the face of God's green earth that I wouldn't walk across broken glass (barefoot) just to kiss the random hand that touched her last. Sorry Scarlett Johansson. Kate Beckinsale, I'll call you back; Katarina Witt is calling on the other line.

I love this woman. Sigh!!

And the day came where the clouds parted, the calming of the storm subsided, and the sun came out in my life, and then walked in Katarina Witt.

My life will never be there same. Double Sigh!!

I spent the day in preparation in meeting Kat like I was a little 12 year old. I went and got a shirt all markered up with the words I LOVE Kat! with an arrow pointed over the the left so I could get a picture with her. It was truly shameless, I realize, but I didn't care. Call me nuts, but there was NO WAY I was missing this opportunity. I've dreamed of meeting Kat since her and I got married (in my mind) after Carmen on Ice.

She was the guest judge on CBC's Battle of the Blades, and the stage was set. I walked into the make up dressing room to meet my buddy Jeremy Roenick and he casually points over to the next chair and says, "Kat, this is my friend Chuck"
I turn around and there she is. In the flesh. -Be still my fucking heart. In my mind, I'm trying to keep my shit together, but man, I KNOW I'm just gonna fail 150%.

So I pull off the greatest acting performance, and simply just say "Hi Kat, I'm Chuck" and then look behind her to her hairstylist Justine, and say "Hey Justine!! How are Yoooooooooooou?!" (in the gayest voice ever)
So now that Katarina knows that I'm not going to be a psycho stalker (partially true;) I can just be cool, right? WRONG.

God, sometimes I hate being me. It's just so damn hard to keep my shit together when Katarina Witt is standing in front of you!!

So, there was business to do, but my friend Sian (Thank you Sian!!) was able to take a bunch of pictures of Katarina and me. It was wonderful. It was a moment that you play in your head over and over again. And when the moments were over, I was able to see the pictures which were etched in my mind, and will remain there forever. And Katarina couldn't have been more cool! She was playful, funny, sexy and cute all wrapped up in one. She was exactly how you would always want your most beloved celebrity crush to be. She even held my shirt so the arrow could point out to her! How amazing.



It's just so refreshing when stars are real and authentic when you meet them. And maybe that's why I love her so much; because she always appears so real and down to earth. Oh, and I forgot to mention one more thing... after we hugged it out and I left, she left this behind for me...

It says, "Chuck  I know how to straighten your curls! prrrrr Katarina Witt"

I'm officially ruined now. What woman could ever come into my life and replace my love for Katarina Witt?



The Answer is: No one...






Friday, October 21, 2011

Lessons from Children

I don't really blog a lot about my daughter. I usually don't care for people, and their long winded rants about how great their kids are, or how the doctor says that their kid is so far ahead of everyone in their age bracket. I always said that I would never become one of "those" parents. As long as my kid could walk into JK on her own power, I would be ok with that.

However, being a proud parent is something different. I'm not proud of my daughter (who will be 3 at the end of November) because of something she achieved or did before another kid as if it was a competition. I'm in awe of my kid's wonderful heart.

She goes to daycare 3 times a week for the morning session, and it has been an amazing experience for her to play with other kids, and develop social skills and to play nicely with others.

There are 2 boys in her class that I watch her interact with. One has Down Syndrome  and the other is another boy close to her age, and they both don't talk yet. Yet, it's the way my daughter loves these boys that makes my heart grow 3 sizes bigger. All she knows is that these boys "don't talk yet", yet she knows that they need extra special love. And she's always including them, hugging them, and introducing me to them so I may hug them too. I thought this was wonderful...

Yesterday however, I was really blown away...

I started teaching her a little American Sign Language when she was a baby, and she knows a couple dozen words. I was told tyesterday that she was trying to teach the boy with Down Syndrome sign language so that he could speak with the other kids. She taught him how to sign his name, and how to say a couple other words so that he would be able to talk with the other kids.

When I heard this, I was so proud of my daughter's wonderful heart that she wanted to include this boy, and that she wanted him to be able to speak, so she taught him what she knew to help him.

My daughter may not be the fastest to be potty-trained, talk, walk, crawl or any other race that we as parents subject our kids to, but my daughter has it where it counts. She has already developed that special inclusion in her heart for others who need more love than others.

And that's the best test of her young character that couldn't make a parent any prouder...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Loss of Steve Jobs


I don't own a Mac, and have never used one. I use a Blackberry, and not an Iphone. I have seen an Ipad, yet never touched one. I have never used an Ipod, let alone own one.

And today, I realise that losing Steve Jobs is a massive loss in the realm of creativity and human ingenuity.

I wrote a blog earlier on this summer about Mac users and PC users and the difference in them. What ensued was the highest volume of viewing and comments on any blog that I have written in my 2 years of blogging. The reason for this? Passion. Pure and simple.

That Steve Jobs was passionate about empowering people and the ideas that were harnessed to them was undeniable. Say what you want to say about his ego, people skills, or other folklore about his personality. The most important thing about Steve Jobs in my eyes, is that he gave a shit about you in your life.

Yep, that's right. He didn't know you, but he wanted you to be great. He wanted to push the status quo for every human to "Get It" And that belief was proven time and time again in what he did to enable you to have a life you wanted inside of his countless innovations.

There are 2 great clips I want to share with you about Steve Jobs. The first was his speech to Stanford Grads in 2005, after he had just "beaten" cancer. I've watched this many, many times and I still learn something new from it each time. Every word inspires me...






The second post I want to include was the top 10 lessons that Steve Jobs taught us. Why I think this is so valuable, is because it's important to know that as successful as Steve Jobs was, he also had Great Failures in his life of epic proportions. -Just the same as you and me. People who play in bigger games, have bigger failures. Yet, the lesson is never lost, and it is our choice to learn from it and always become unstoppable. And Steve Jobs was inspirational at this.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2011/10/05/the-top-ten-lessons-steve-jobs-taught-us/2/

And finally, I want to challenge you to find that Steve Jobs inside of you. Whatever area of importance that you choose, choose to be great in it and have passion with it! Who cares if nobody agrees with you. The fact that they don't proves that you are taking a stand in something, which is AWESOME.

Now, just like Steve Jobs, go out there and infect the word with being Hungry and Foolish.

And to you Steve Jobs, God speed in your next journey. Thank you for your life of contribution. Your legacy is compete, so thank you for preserving it as such in the passion that you shared with the entire world trying to empower us to be great.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What Is The Cost of Thinking That Being Overweight Has On You?

Plus Sized Model Tara Lynn

I was reading a posting on facebook about an overweight woman comparing being a whale to being a dolphin. I will attach the story line here for your frame of reference.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=2545702681966&set=a.2545702521962.2154719.1235752135&type=1

After reading the blog, I was amazed at all the people who "liked" or commented on it in a favourable manner. I know that weight bears the heavy burden of powerful issues in a person's life like guilt, shame, vanity, and other disempowering emotions. What struck me (outside of the fact that I was actually spending time reading about a fictitious comparison between being a whale or a mermaid) was the justification that ensued afterwards about being overweight.

It was written very well, and pulled on many heartstrings that people could identify with. Yet in the end, it did nothing to persuade me that any excuse or reason is acceptable to WANT to be ok with being overweight. You simply can't convince me that every person who looks at themselves in the mirror 100 times a day WANTS to be ok with being overweight.

So they create an avenue to gather support for their way of being and collect people around them who want to support them in this way of being, so they can feel better about something that deep down they KNOW isn't empowering them.

And this isn't just about being overweight.

We can use a million things that we are uninspired about in our lives. Let's use the infamous money issue. Those of us who don't have a lot of money, don't have it for a reason. It's the same excuse that these people use who are overweight. They simply aren't committed to a way of being which is healthy, period. -It's simply not important to them because if it was, they would have the body or the bank account that they wanted. If it's important to you, you will have it. If you think it's important and you don't have it, it's because you don't have a powerful enough reason or motivating factor that will inspire you to get what it is you want.

So, in the lack of having what we want, we don't want to be reminded or have someone throw something in our face about what other people have that they work hard for, and don't. We get instantly defensive about our stance and even though we know that it's not the way we "Should" be being, we ignore it and make up excuses.

Rich people work really hard because money is very important to them. People who work out to have a healthy body work really hard at it. Each of these people sacrifice things in their lives because being this certain way is important to them.

And that's why you see the rich be resented, and skinny girls be looked down at. We look down at the these people because we know it's in our power to be that way, yet we are not committed to a way of being that will give it to us, so we resent them because they are. We make up stories about what they have to sacrifice in life to have that and relay it back in our personal life of how we could never justify taking away time for such things. We commiserate with others of like belief system when all it does is one thing:

-Keeps us uninspired and lacking the motivation to take action.

We actually take that power away from ourselves by this way of thinking. -And until we change that thought process, we will always have what we already have.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Making Your Lover Pay for Your Past Sins

Whenever a romantic relationship ends, we are always quick to be the Monday morning quarterback. We are always kicking ourselves in our moment of failure, and then we torment ourselves by saying things like, "I can't believe I could be that stupid", or "I won't ever make THAT mistake again"

But in the search for happiness again, we unknowingly always DO make that mistake again.

Sure we may choose a different or better partner, or a different place to live, or change some other circumstance. Yet in the end, we haven't changed the baggage that we are carrying around of resentment, mistrust, insecurity into that new relationship. Then, as it always does, life throws in a challenge that reminds us of something in our past relationship, and it threatens us and our being. We lash out to that threat because of the imposition that it occurs to us and what we value.

Then we bring our past to bear in the present. Something triggers this reaction, and most of the time our present partner is completely unaware that they have done something that has negatively anchored us. And guess what we do? -We make this unsuspecting and supportive partner of ours pay for our negative past by laying down a barrage of insecurity on them.

And they never see it coming. -It hits them like a midnight freight train and the impact is always severe. Of course, they lash back at us and defend their stance because in their mind, they have done nothing wrong! This is when the back and forth gets ugly.

And insecurity is the most ugly way of being. It paralyzes you and makes you become somebody that you never knew you could become. You become a detective to gather all evidence to make yourself and your gut feeling right, and in the process, you occur to everyone around you like an ugly person. Because insecurity is just plain ugly.

All of this because somebody else in our past was being allowed to live rent-free in our minds.

So in fact, that person whom you had a past relationship with and may not like very much, is still going to negatively affect you by making you feel tied down to your past issues and ultimately sabotage your own happiness with a person who might genuinely love you.

That sounds crazy now that you think of it, doesn't it?

But tell me that each of us hasn't done this many, many times and not have even realized that we are doing it.

Well, there are many reasons WHY we do this, but it isn't really important to know WHY we do this, is it? That's just going to provide us with more excuses, and we already have PLANTY of those, don't we? -It's more important to realize that we do it all the time, and to not make the person we are with pay for the sins of our past. We can catch ourselves in the moment, and stop the vicious circle that always leads to frustration and resentment, and choose the path of communication and realization without being immediately defensive.

I know that in my relationships, I have always carried this baggage into the next relationship and made the new partner pay for something that had nothing to do with them. In almost all of the cases, all my partner did was want to love me, and be who they were, unsuspecting of the fact that I was going to be on guard and wait patiently to lash out at them whenever they did something my ex did. -Then I let them pay for it. And unfortunately for them, I was really good at this...

Looking back at it, I can see where this has always paralyzed me, and made me scared and threatened. When threatened, I react like most of all of you do, which is usually not on a positive note, and the inevitable damage is done.

Yet, wouldn't it be amazing if for once if I caught myself in the act, and then looked at my partner and said something like, "I don't know why I want to lash out at you right now, but I know it's not something that you've done; rather it's the way that I've interpreted this with my past coming up where I've been hurt before. I'm sorry for being this way with you. -I'm just feeling insecure about something right now, and I can't put my finger on it. Thanks for understanding and loving me"

I think you would see an entirely different reaction and way of being that would open up a caring, loving and supportive conversation.

And in every relationship, isn't THAT exactly what we are committed to being for ourselves, and our partner?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

When Opportunity Knocks

Have you ever been in the moment where opportunity knocked and you were caught, well, unprepared? What could've been a great shining moment in your life was overshadowed by lack of confidence, which lead to not performing the way you had envisioned, and then ultimately, the unhappiness that followed by not making the most out of the opportunity that was seized.

OR...

You were in the right place at the right time, and you had made all the preparations in case this opportunity came and when life handed it to you, you made the most of it because you were prepared for it. And afterwards, it felt perfect!

In the exact same circumstance, there are two totally different results because two different people make choices as to how it would occur to them. One chose to take the time and invest in themselves fully, and the other tried to get by with what they could, and when the opportunity came, there were two totally different results.

The main message is, unless you are prepared for Opportunity to hit you in the face, it will never really be a "great" opportunity to you. However, if you are prepared for it, it will be a moment that will alter your life forever!

Do you know who Scot Halpin is? Most of us really have no idea who he is, but I heard about his story years ago and thought it was a great example to use in my blog today.

On November 20, 1973 Scot Halpin had opportunity happen for him, and he made the most of it. He was early to get good seats at The Cow Palace in suburb San Francisco for The Who concert that was to take place that night. Following the infamous story of Drumming Legend Keith Moon taking horse tranquilizers and chasing them with a large amount of Brandy and then passing out on stage, The Who were left at the end of the night without a drummer. When lead guitarist Pete Townshend asked the audience if anyone could be their drummer, opportunity knocked.

That's when Scot Halpin was able to get to the stage. After a shot of brandy to calm his nerves, he got to play 3 songs on stage in lieu of Keith Moon with The Who. That is the chance of a lifetime, and Halpin was right in the way of that, and he made it count.

Now, if he had not practiced playing drums and put in the necessary work to perfect his craft, that would've never been an opportunity. Certainly there were other people who heard the same invitation, but they couldn't play the drums, so it never struck them as an option. All they could see was an opportunity to look like an idiot in front of 15,000 fans. But not to a drummer who had practiced for years, and now could make the most of that opportunity.

Here the footage of this event, and it's quite amazing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O-N8MZ9ilk Opportunity knocks at 5:25 of this clip!

Opportunities pop up like this everyday. Some happen just once in a lifetime, and the others just get lost in the lack of preparation and vision and become a wasted opportunity. But unless you are working hard BEFORE that opportunity comes, you will never make it truly count and make it great.

So when opportunity comes knocking for you, how will you see it? -And more importantly, how will you be great in it?