The Perils of ‘I Think!’

chihuahuaWhile reviewing the manuscript for my second novel, I realized that I was using, ‘I think,’ a lot! In this moment of realization, it occurred to me that this is not a good thing!

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Golf … If I get 27 different things right, I’ll be okay!

Trip to Estonia 224Golf! Simple sport! Right? Wrong! In order to get that little white ball in that wee tiny hole several hundred yards away, you only need to do about 27 different things right! Keep your head down. Back straight. Knees slightly bent. Proper grip. Shift your weight from your front leg to your back leg during your back swing. Etc. Etc.

And that’s just the swing!

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Eco-Rockets and Things That Don’t Enhance a Romantic Relationship!

tall hermanWarning: Please don’t read this blog while eating dinner!

One day on our recent trip to Estonia, we were stopped at a traffic light. As we sat there, five guys came out of a restaurant adjacent to the light walking in single file, when one of them decided to blow a snot rocket … with not just one nostril, nope, both of them. We were in downtown Tallinn, in the middle of the afternoon. Classy!

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How to Snap Canadians Out of Our Complacency!

hockey rinkWe Canadians as a whole are nice folks. We’re known around the world for our niceness. Offer us a beer and you’ve got a friend for life! Travellers from a certain other country are known to put Canadian flags on their backpacks in order to ensure safe travel abroad. We take great pride in our reputation, but we don’t flout it, cause we’re modest too.

Very modest! Like when was the last time we reminded anyone about what we accomplished at Vimy Ridge (doing what the French and British couldn’t do … with all due respect)!

On the flip side, we are also complacent folks (I know, I’m one of them)! Things happen, and we go, “Oh ya, that’s too bad! Would you pass me another Sleeman’s!”

Complacency, as you’re probably aware, is not a very positive character trait. Complacency, in part, is what encouraged Hitler to march brazenly through country after country on his way to destroying a continent.

No, complacency is not something you want to be known for. Complacent people get taken advantage of … and we Canadians are being taken advantage of. Governments tax us heavily, then terribly mismanage our tax dollars … and we do nothing.  Banks jack up fees … and we do nothing. Oil companies raise prices … and we do nothing. Corporations lay off thousands of workers … and we do nothing!

As I said, we’re complacent folks!

But I have an idea! Let’s stick Canada in a hockey arena! Have you ever seen us in a rink? We’re f**king nuts! We scream, curse  and spit, and we beat the s**t out of people … and that’s just in the stands! Put on a pair of skates, hand us a hockey stick and you’ve just let loose pure insanity!

So here’s how it would look. On one team you’d have government, banks, oil companies and corporations. We’ll call them the ‘All-Conspirators’ (normally they’d be called, All-Stars, but I think you’ll agree that All-Conspirators is more fitting!). On the other side, you’d have the Concerned-(formerly complacent)-Citizens-of-Canada-Coalition.

When the ref drops the puck to start the game, the government will try to grab more tax money, but the Coalition’s center will counter by slashing government across the ankle, spearing him in the groin and butt-ending him in the face. Later in the game when banks, on the left wing, try to pass off another service fee, POW, we’ll slam them into the boards with a vicious crosscheck (did you notice how I personalized this?). Then when oil companies come into our end trying to take advantage of another Middle East crisis to raise gas prices, BAMM, we’ll knock ’em senseless with a cheap shot to the head.

And finally, when corporations try to dipsy-doodle with people’s lives by outsourcing more jobs to countries offering sweat shop labour, or by laying off workers so the CEO can take home a bigger bonus, we’ll send out our fourth line enforcer to pummel them into a bloody mess.

Towards the end of the game, with all hope lost, the Conspirators will send out their goon line in a futile attempt to intimidate us. This will prompt a bench clearing brawl with fights all over the ice, even in the stands, where a riot erupts! A real bruhaha! By this time, the Coalitions and their fans will have had enough and they run the Conspirator *sses, not just out of the arena, but clear out of town!

“Take that, you b*st*rds!” we’ll shout.

Of course, we’ll have to resist our temptation to apologize for our transgressions during the post game celebration (old habits die hard). The best way to accomplish this, of course, is to spike our beers with whiskey! A Canadian on whiskey is like a Tasmanian devil on Red Bull and uppers!

So, who’s with me? Let’s get this game going!

Hey, to ensure a satisfactory outcome, we could import a bunch of Icelanders. They seem to know a thing or two about putting government in it’s place! Or we’ll just have the All-Conspirators wear Ottawa Senators colours! That’s bound to stir up a suitable amount of hatred (all due respect … of course!)!

Have an awesomely conscientious day … and my sincere apologies for the profanity … I thought I really was at the rink!

Living in the Present Moment – Bob’s Supreme Battle of Wills

toilet paperThis is the story of Bob, an avid spiritualist, dedicated employee and regular guy.

Recently, Bob had an early morning meeting with a very important client. He had spent several days preparing for the meeting and was feeling very proud of himself. His sense of pride stemmed from the fact that every time he found himself feeling anxious about the magnitude of the meeting (after all, the president of the company and all of the senior managers would be in attendance), Bob reminded himself to stay in the present moment and focus on the meeting preparation.

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It’s Important to Have a Sense of Humour! Our Griswold Vacation Moment!

ihopEveryone has had their Griswold Family Vacation moment. You know, those unforgettable (and mercifully brief) cognitive lapses when you hope no one is watching.

We certainly had ours!

It took place several years ago. My oldest daughter was working for a figure skating show in Valdosta, Georgia, so we decided to visit her. Before the trip, my middle daughter asked if we could go to IHOP, a restaurant famous for it’s pancakes. She had seen it in the movie I Am Sam and desperately wanted to go there. I said, “Sure.”

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