September 30, 2008
September 29, 2008
One of the advantages to being a long term resident of middle age is that I have seen this before. There is comfort in knowing that this too, shall pass. Armageddon Now? I very much doubt it and if it is....who will care? One of the oldest maxims in the investment business is that when there is blood running in the streets, it is time to buy. The only saying older than that is, Buy Low Sell High! Well, it looks like we are here.
September 28, 2008
Elections seem to be rather popular at the moment and just in case you are getting a little tired of the finger pointing, empty promises, negative ads and blame game, perhaps I could offer a suggestion especially considering the economic challenges that abound. How about if we (the electorate and also the people who have to pay for all of this stuff) absolutely require any elected official, at any level of government to manage the business of government the same way they manage their household budget - no exceptions, no excuses and perhaps to add interest (since there is nothing to watch on TV anyway) any politician who does not perform in this way, could be boiled in a vat of good old Canadian oil!
September 22, 2008
September 17, 2008
There may have been a few libations involved but last Saturday night after a day of adventure, 4 of us were sitting on the deck basking in the glory of ourselves when someone suggested that my book, THE WEST COAST TRAIL: One Step at a Time would make a great movie. They waxed poetic about the thrills, spills, humour and inspiration and ever eager to receive compliments, I listened as they rambled on. One of the participants was my hiking buddy Gord, whose fame has spread after our exploits on the Trail. Since I am totally unknown to any Hollywood producers and for obvious reasons (check my picture) have no interest in testing out the "casting couch," the only thing we could turn to was speculation about the possibilities. At some point, the ladies asked who would play the two main characters in our Oscar winning spectacle and so Gord and I, ever mindful of presenting the right public image, began to offer suggestions. Clearly, the obvious choices we decided would be George Cluny to play Gord, since there was a similarity of hair-do's. The only leading man that could possibly maintain the integrity and vision and thus able to play me, was none other than.........Brad Pitt, due to the similarity in body-types.
The libations may have turned to drinks at some point........
September 15, 2008
"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things . "
Antoine De Saint Exupery
OK, so I did it - spent an hour in the air in a high performance glider, fulfilling a dream I have had since I was a young boy. Soon after I learned to read and discovered the adventures held in my local library, I began reading a series of books about the exploits of bush pilots in Northern Ontario. I forget how many books there were, but the whole experience fired up my juices for doing something that challenged and excited me. That was also a time when avionics and the possibilities of space flight, Buck Rogers and travel to other worlds was starting to stir the imagination of the world. The space race began when I was in grade school and I briefly flirted with a career as an aeronautical engineer (airline passengers everywhere can be thankful that I didn't do that) but at some point, I discovered information about gliders and how they worked. Like many areas of interest, I did nothing about it and other than on one occasion, never pursued flight in small craft of any kind even though I harboured a wish to learn to fly.
Over the past 10 years, I have played golf and visited the Invermere Valley of BC many times and often stopped to watch the tow planes taking up gliders from the air field but it wasn't until our friends, Bob and Rose told us that they had taken a ride in a glider from the same location, that it occurred to me to think about doing the same. I mentioned last spring that I thought that I would do the same this summer and was informed that, indeed a flight had already been booked for my birthday - WOW! And WOW, is the right description - it was everything I imagined and more. A crystal clear Saturday afternoon (following a flight cancellation due to rain on Friday) and I was loaded into the back seat of an incredibly sleek craft with the call numbers 007 (I thought about wearing a tux and drinking a martini). The tow plane hauled us up to 8,000 feet and we let go into a steep right turn and a view of the mountains that took my breath away. No, it's not like flying in an airplane - it's so much more intimate and personal and fantastic and also much safer - consider what would happen if an airplane lost an engine. A glider can stay up forever.
In any case, the hour went way too fast and it was all that I had ever hoped for....until next year when I want to glide over the glaciers west of the valley. Next up though....introductory scuba!
September 13, 2008
"too soon we get old and too late we get
9.) common sense when reviewing marketing, political, pharmaceutical and religious claims is more important than celebrity endorsements
20.) out of great emotional upheaval comes the possibility of self discovery
21.) there are 8 senses - touch, smell, sight, taste, hearing, humour, intuition and the most important - COMMON
22.) the best teachers are our own mistakes
23.) trying to use only the last 100 years of recorded history to explain and understand planetary forces like evolution, plate tectonics and climate is not only myopic but stupid
24.) the " F " word may be the most flexible in the English language as it is used variably as a noun, a verb, an adjective and an adverb (sometimes in the same sentence) but there is an inverse relationship between its frequency of use and the knowledge level of its user
26.) what goes up also comes down including oil prices, house prices, stock prices, interest rates, egos, media hype, temperatures, water levels, airplanes, reproductive appendages, inflation, hot air and stress if you insist
27.) there are four highly secret additions to the Recommended Canada Food Guide - popcorn, wine, ice cream and chocolate - you know it's true
28.) laughter really is the best medicine
29.) gratitude = completion and leads directly to wholeness
30.) happiness is a natural state of being, not a goal
31.) being smart and being knowledgeable are not the same thing
32.) we need to tune all 8 senses into seeking out the inspiration that surrounds us
33.) getting older gives us permission to do more of what we want and less of what others want
OK, presumably I have learned more than this over the past 60 years but I have probably bored you to tears by now and I need to leave for my next adventure in a few moments. It has been an incredible 60 years and the last few weeks have been absolutely fabulous - 10 days in Myrtle Beach, SC with my family - playing golf with my son on some of North America's finest courses along with great nightly dinners, shopping and beaches for the four of us, we returned home to a backyard full of white tents, caterers and friends and family offering bottles of incredible wines and port and now, in a minute or two, we leave for the Invermere Valley in B.C. and a glider ride over the Rockies and valleys and lakes that I have been looking forward to since I was six years old. We return Sunday night and begin plotting the next adventure. Thank you to everyone who has crossed my path over the years - "may you live in interesting times."
September 8, 2008
September 5, 2008
Yet again, I find myself reluctantly approaching the limelight this weekend as my 60th birthday extravaganza unfolds tomorrow night. I was asked last evening, after doing a bunch of yard work in preparation, if I was looking forward to the party and my wife seemed surprised by my answer of "not particularly." Whether it is the accumulated weariness of recent travel, catching up at work and party preparations or just stage fright I'm not sure, but it is also mixed up with hitting an age that I thought would look a lot different. I suppose that it is a time for reflection, but I don't feel like doing that right now, yet this blog is probably part of that process. Knowing that there are more years behind me than in front of me, creates a certain sobering effect that I haven't experienced before. The very recent family vacation has also contributed to some realizations that are new for me. It may sound strange to many of you, but over the past couple of weeks, I seem to have found my place in the family, for the first time and it is a place that seems to reflect my feelings about being the centre of attention referred to in the opening sentence. A place that continues to unfold and also seems to connect rather interestingly with a new blog that I am creating called "My Secret Mother" which is part of the roll out for my new book by the same name. The Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times," has always been true for me and I suspect that this weekend will once again demonstrate the wisdom and trepidation of that line.