July 28, 2008


Perhaps I'm a little weird. Okay, okay, you can stop nodding your head and saying "Is he kidding?!?!?" I went on a fabulous road trip last weekend and was in complete charge of the car and all of its accoutrement's. While I'm still not completely functional on the inner workings of the GPS unit and its female voice doesn't acknowledge my sharp tongued retorts when she makes a mistake (what's new?) I had mastery of the satellite radio and the volume button. When I was much younger, I misspent much of my time in various clubs of ill repute and questionable dance halls in Southern Ontario, close to Detroit. Standing near the stage and watching and hearing people like Wilson Pickett, Martha and the Vandalas, the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Tower of Power, Dave Clayton Thomas, Ritchie Night and the Midnights and yes, one magic night - Roy Orbison himself, has influenced my taste in music forever. Rolling down the highway, top open, sunshine on my head, 70's tunes, commercial free and the volume turned up to 10. My ears were bleeding, my heart pumped double time and it was 3 hours of bliss. ROCK ON!!!!

July 25, 2008


The male ego is a very delicate and fragile thing and, oh so easily impressed. A little while ago, during a quick stop at our local mall, I was thoroughly and completely "checked out!" Head to toe and complete with a mysterious little grin that curled the corner of her mouth. Just weeks away from turning 60, to say my spirits were lifted is an understatement of the first magnitude. Unfortunately, I had absolutely no idea what to do and I'm sure that my chin hitting my chest and then almost tripping over my size 12's, while attempting to catch my breath and make the spots in front of my eyes go away, was incredibly sexy - yes, I am just that smooth!

What a great way to start what promises to be a fabulous summer weekend and because I am such a gentleman, I won't even speculate about the lady's age although, I know for sure that she was 25........I'm just not sure in which decade.

July 20, 2008


So it just ticks me off to see garbage lying on the sidewalks

We don't have air conditioning so that we can avoid the possibility of Legionnaire's Disease - besides, walking to the Dairy Queen for a small turtle pecan cluster Blizzard saves money, provides exercise and, it could be argued, is part of my Olympic training regimen for the seniors power tanning team. I enjoyed my chosen protein supplement ( no banned substances, I presume) and disposed of the evidence into the garbage and headed back home. The route took me past a Seven Eleven where I noticed the usual crowd of cars and kids. As I walked down the hill towards home, I took notice of the assortment and quantity of items strewn about the boulevard, sidewalk, lawns and road. Slurpee cups, plastic utensils, lids, straws, cigarette butts and packages, pop cans and various other garbage. It started me thinking (or at least the brain freeze was slowly lifting), the current crop of high schoolers and college kids take great delight in blaming my generation for the condition in which we have left the planet. They have reason to be concerned but the evidence they leave in their own wake seems to point to a double standard. Like I said at some point in my book, The West Coast Trail: One Step at a Time, we are responsible for cleaning up after ourselves and it would seem to make sense that we take care of what is around us and what we personally control first, before worrying about others. Yep, I know that I am doing exactly what I am blaming others for (but I honestly try to take care of my own backyard) and the younger generations have cause to look at people of my age with disgust for some of the damage we have created. They need to keep us focused on the environment and pollution but just because we screwed up doesn't mean you should too. Pick up your garbage or better still refuse to buy all the packaging but at the very least, have enough respect to put it in a garbage container rather than on some one's lawn. Environment means more than some remote rain forest, it means the streets and neighbourhoods we live in too.

July 9, 2008


If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. [Mark 9:23]

I was reading a book the other day that used this bible quotation to make a point about the power of thought and the ability each of us has to create our reality. I think the most important thing about this is that we are always creating our own reality, whether we believe we can or not. The other thing about the biblical reference is that it doesn't state that we have to believe in somebody else to fulfill our dreams but to believe in the dream itself. Once again, proof that we are responsible for our own life, not our parents, not our boss, not our spouse nor the stranger down the street, not the government, school, church or even, God. Just us. Like my friend Mike Dooley says, " Thoughts become things, choose the good ones."


more about Choice Points

"OK, Mr. Smarty pants hiker-boy," (direct quote) "tell me more about Choice Points and what are they?" Choice Points are something that occur to each of us throughout our lives and begin at a very young age when we bear witness to something that causes us to stop and reevaluate our position and decide our course of action. The decision can be a conscious one or subconscious like the response to some tragic or threatening event in our childhood that we don't even remember anymore. The result is a change in the course or path of our lives. The point of change might result from something traumatic like abuse, violence, hunger, natural disaster, abandonment and not so commonly thought about are the results of witnessing acts of kindness, love and generosity.
Choice Points offer us the opportunity to take a different path from the one we are on now. As a child, these may have appeared to have been forced upon us but that simply isn't true. Two children can experience the same event and have two totally different reactions to it - something is at work here. As we get older, we often choose to ignore the Choice Points that are presented to us by refusing to look inside ourselves and find the spiritual guide that is trying to show us the way. The more we ignore the message, the higher the drama tends to get until we finally choose to deal with it, or not. The accidents become more serious, the illness or disease gets stronger, the financial stress keeps repeating, the careers keep ending, the dramatic episodes of our life start to spiral out of control - all in an effort to get our attention. On the West Coast Trail, I got stranded on a dangerous boulder field near Owen Point and found recurring issues about abandonement and independence rear their ugly heads in very dramatic fashion. Finally, I made the choice to trust in something beyond myself and stand on my own two feet (literally) and move in the only direction left to me - forward!

July 8, 2008


"...throughout our lives, we are presented with Choice Points."

from THE WEST COAST TRAIL: One Step at a Time

We are all confronted with choices in our lives. While hiking the West Coast Trail, choices are presented constantly and some are obvious and simple like, going over, around or under a log. Some have larger consequences like whether to hike on the beach or in the woods and sometimes we make a choice between stopping for a rest or climbing the ladder to the next level. While some of these choice decisions do offer a risk to life and limb as noted in my book, most are simply decisions that don't necessarily have a right or wrong attached to them, but all have consequences.

In every day life we sometimes require Choice Points in a more dramatic fashion as we ignore the issues in our lives by filling our time with busy-ness instead of looking below the surface to explore the business of living rather than the living of business. You and I can site numerous examples of people receiving a "wake up call" in the form of a serious injury or health issue to themselves or a loved one. We can point to people who needed to lose everything in order to gain what was most precious. Perhaps we were the subject of something similar. Fortunately, we live in a time of "choice" if we choose to exercise our choices. We can CHOOSE joy, peace, abundance, health, happiness and fulfillment or we can choose illness, depression, loneliness and lack. The CHOICE is ours, the price is the same - our life.
Share your "Choice Point" with me, whether on a hiking trail or sitting in your backyard, I am interested in knowing what lessons have come your way. I will only reprint them if you give me permission to do so.

July 1, 2008


"...we stand on guard for thee."

For all the whining and moaning I do about politics, politicians, education and medical bureaucracies and many other things, we are pretty lucky to live in a country like Canada that allows you and I to do exactly that - whine and moan if we want. I don't know about you, but I can still get a very serious lump in my throat when I hear O Canada played at the Olympics and even more so, at the funeral of one of our fallen soldiers. Leaving aside some of the stupidity put on display by some of our leaders and media, there is rarely any question in my mind about the validity of their intentions - to build one of the greatest spots on the planet to call home. Congratulations to all the citizens, past and present, we have succeeded - Happy Birthday to all of us and may each of us spare a moment to express our gratitude for our good fortune.