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!!


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?


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.


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


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.