Week 34

Last Sunday Lori and I went on a drive, north on Cowboy Trail (Highway #22). Our intent was to go to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park with Hoover the Dog just for a Sunday morning walk. A change from the area dog park we always go to. Then the sign for Big Hills Spring Provincial Park appeared and plans changed.

We spent about 1 ½ hours at this park, hiked a trail that covered the perimeter and found some water for Hoover to swim and play in.

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We left the park and as we got back to the road where ,in my mind ,I was planning to turn right and go into Airdrie for some lunch. Instead I turned left and asked Lori if she was up for a drive to Sundre, Alberta! Of course she was and I knew she would be. We headed down a couple of secondary’s and we would bounce back out onto Cowboy Trail. On our way we make a quick drive into and through Carstairs and I assure you it hasn’t changed much. A small ,rural farming community. Truthfully I was on the hunt for some ice cream and got tricked by a sign that portrayed ice cream but it was actually packaged ice cream bars.Back on the road we went heading to Sundre. When we got to Sundre we drove around, checked out the campsites to see if there were any we would want to stay at, we checked out the shops and found a little café that sold ice cream. We sauntered (we were in cowboy country so instead of walking, we sauntered) into the café and bought ourselves an ice cream cone each. We sat out front on their bench eating our ice cream and enjoying the nice, hot and sunny day. After enjoying the cones we left Sundre and drove east towards highway # 2. We stopped in Olds for a sandwich and a coffee from Tim Horton’s and took in the sights. Olds has changed so much in recent years. A lot of development and big box stores now line the streets and I imagine Olds has become the go to town for area farmers and ranchers. I’m sure some of this is driven also by Olds College and the student population. We finished our sandwiches and we made it to the highway and drove south for home on highway #2. It was a nice casual day and drive through the countryside. I would like to drive south for a Sunday drive soon, catching High River, Nanton, Longview, Black Diamond and Turner Valley. For me, driving through the country, with no agenda, can be very relaxing. A great way to spend a Sunday.

I want to share this video with you from Deshun Wang, an 80-year-old model who is proof that there is no age limit on pushing yourself. I think this man is amazing and inspiring. The video is less than 2 minutes.

Deshun Wang Video

 

My cousin, my cousin in law, my cousins son in law—heck let’s just say Padraig and his business partner have their new app., covered in the Irish Times.This app. seems to be a podcast manager and  I’m a big user of podcasts, listening to ~ 2 per day. I have subscribed to recovery speaker podcasts, recovery, business and sports so I am excited about giving his new app a try.The app is called Castro and is available from iTunes store.

 

The song this week is from Richmond Fontaine, a band from Portland, Oregon.The song is from their latest album titled You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To. I hope you enjoy A Night In The City

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And the quote this week:

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

Oscar Wilde

 

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll drop by next week……….

Week 33

Wow, what a busy week ! I’ve left this too long. I like to get it posted before supper on Thursdays but that wasn’t to be this week. I had a football draft to do immediately after work today. There were 8 teams x 15 rounds and I had second overall pick. It’ll be interesting to see how the picks I have projected,actually pan out. It’s great to have the NFL back and life seems far more orderly for it.

This past Sunday Lori, I and 4 of the kids went to The Locked Room. This is an interactive escape adventure for adults with great themes and props.The kids got this for me as a Father’s Day gift. I chose an adventure room called The Heist which is an adventure created for 6 players and that’s us! They literally put you in a room and close the door behind you. They do not provide any hints or any direction. They close the door and you figure out the rest. You have one hour to escape; or lose! Well losing isn’t something we do well at my house so let the challenge begin. There was a door in the room so we knew we had to open the door and we began to search for a key. Well I do not want to be a spoiler so I will only tell you this, we got the door open and it lead us into another room. It too had a door so we carefully and with light foot, made our way out of that room and into the third room. With Sherlock Holmes type skills we searched and worked and solved multiple riddles and puzzles to open the door into…….. well, into the lobby. We had escaped. The adventure room we chose, The Heist, has a 17% success rate only. We were out in less than 40 minutes.We kicked butt. It was a great team building exercise and we just happened to be doing some family team building. We went for some hard earned ,and deserved pizza after our adventure and it gave me the opportunity to sit back and look at my wife and kids with pride. Being a Dad just might be the best thing I have ever done in my life.

 

Monday morning I met my friend Dale at Cafe Artigiano for coffee and we were able to spend 70 minutes just catching up with each others lives. Dale is one of the closest friends I have and it was pretty cool to have the time to visit without being in a rush. I met Dale in 1986 at college and we’ve been great friends since. When I drank and when I struggled to quit drinking I lost some friends along the way. Dale’s been at my side through thick and thin, through the worst and the best but most importantly, he has just always been there. I hope everyone has a friend like Dale and knows what I am talking about. We both agreed we should do this monthly and I think we’ll keep that agreement.

 

Okay I am beat and need to get some supper. What? Oh you want to know who I picked with the second overall pick in my pool. I got Antonio Brown from the Steelers.

 

The song this week is from Baxter Dury and it’s titled Claire. Baxter is the son of Ian Dury of Ian Dury and The Blockheads . Okay I realize not of all you are fans –haha. Baxter has had greater success, relative to his father but still is not a well known name. I enjoy his music quite easily though and I hope you enjoy this tune.

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The quote of the week is from the legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi.

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

Thanks again for being here and I hope you’ll drop by next week………

 

Week 32

Three of us men from my 12 step group were having coffee Tuesday evening and the topic quickly got around to “lack of sleep”. One of them hadn’t been sleeping well and this had been going on for about 2 weeks. We’re all under a lot of stress in Calgary at this time. The Energy industry, which drives this city, is in dire straights and the unemployment rate in Calgary is at a high level, never before seen here. Many friends are out of work and many of those who aren’t wonder when they will be. So there’s a lot of negative energy in this city right now and I don’t like to be one to add more. And I won’t. I refuse to do it. So our friend hasn’t been sleeping well because of all the over thinking of negative issues. I reminded my younger friend that we choose what we think about. He smirked and smiled immediately as he knew where this conversation was going to go. It’s gratitude that creates my positive thoughts. It’s my lack of gratitude that creates my negative thoughts. So as I was saying, I reminded my friend that we choose what we think. He smirked because he knew he was going to hear me say something he had heard me say many times before. “You might not be responsible for the first thought that enters your head but you are responsible for every thought that follows!”. Our conversation continued down this path and we talked about thought, choices, perception and gratitude for about 20 minutes longer before breaking up and heading home. I don’t know if he immediately changed his thinking but we certainly gave him something to think about – hahaha.

I alone, determine what thoughts I will feed and what thoughts I will not. This is my choice. This is your choice. You might not be responsible for the first thought that enters your head but you are responsible for every thought that follows. I will readily admit that I have negative thoughts and that I have them every day. But I refuse to feed them or entertain them. I am able to recognize them, banish them and move on. I spent too many years beating myself up and I refuse to be the subject of self annihilation today. Thoughts come in waves, but I choose which wave to surf. Take care and mind what you think about. You’re worth far more than you think you are.

Hey how about those Toronto Blue Jays? Looking good and actually holding top spot in the AL East today. The Jays have been looking good every game with a few miscues every now and then. Even in recent losses they have played well. A couple of key injuries might affect them in the next week, so here’s hoping Pillar and Bautista get back into the line-up soon. I wished the Mariners were doing better too but they are still in a Wild Card hunt! People ask me why the Mariners? Many people forget that the Calgary Cannons, now defunct, were AAA baseball and an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Over 400 major leaguers wore a Cannons jersey including Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez and Danny Tartabull. The Cannons are why I’m a Mariners fan.

 

The song this week is from Father John Misty who is a staple of the folk scene today and if touring is work then Father John Misty works hard. He was with the Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012 but thrives when he is solo. This song is titled “Son of a Ladiesman” and I hope you enjoy Father John Misty, as much as I have and do.

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The quote this week is from Barbara de Angelis

 

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. “
Barbara de Angelis

 

Thanks for dropping by …I hope you’ll check it out again next week

 

 

 

Week 31

The past weekend was a long weekend for us and we kept it pretty quiet. After all Lori and I had just come off the West Coast Trail on July 19th and then followed that with 5 days traversing our way through Vancouver and in our style, all on foot. We put on 10km a day while in Vancouver. So last weekend my feet and my legs were thanking me for a casual and low key long weekend.

 

A very dear friend contacted me this morning. I’m in my office by 6 and she contacted me around 630 am. I have known her since 1978 and she’s a close friend as I mentioned and a close friend of the family also. She was diagnosed, yesterday, with ALS. I was quite devastated and it’s been a sad day although I have tried not to show it at work. I know she is shattered by the news she was given. She is also a single mother and I cannot imagine how difficult the conversation with her son(adult) must have been. I’m honored that I am in her small, confined group of people that she has made aware of her diagnosis but it’s an honor I could do without and would have wished that she didn’t have this news to tell at all, to anyone.

We all have a finite time on earth. Life is a one day at a time deal. I need to be grateful every day I awake and I am healthy. Life can be so simple yet I go out of my way to complicate it with wants and desires. So I constantly take my personal inventory in an attempt to keep myself on track. Am I happy? Do I worry too much? Am I setting goals? How is my family? The list goes on. Last week I wrote how on the West Coast Trail we had met a man named Harvey, who was not only hiking the trail alone, he was also celebrating his 75th birthday. What I didn’t mention was that he told Lori and I that God wants him to challenge himself and to test himself. I too think that we all have a duty, of sorts, to live our lives in a way that honors this gift. We all have very different ways of doing that. For me, I need to set goals and go after them. Sometimes if I don’t accomplish the goal I need to ask myself if I gave my best effort and if the answer is yes, then I’m confident I am honoring the gift, of life. As long as I give to people more than I take from people I believe I am on track. As long as I challenge myself physically and mentally and spiritually, then I believe I am on the right track. Life is way shorter and passes way faster than I know any of us wished it did. I have a button, stuck on the visor of my old truck and it reads “don’t die wondering”. So I try my best, to do my best and to do the things I want so I don’t die wondering.

What track are you on and are you satisfied you are honoring your gift?

 

Switching gears, I read an article last night in Avenue Magazine titled 50 great things in 50 great neighbourhoods. So if you’re in Calgary and looking for some things to check out this list is a great start.

 

 

The song this week id from EELS album Hombre Lobo and its titled Beginners Luck

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This week the quote comes to me from my buddy, Raf

Through lack of disciplined attention and sometimes through lack of the right kind of faith, many of us keep ourselves year after year in a rather easy spiritual kindergarten “

Bill Wilson, co founder of AA

 

Thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you next week…..