Week 21, Long Weekends and Richard Rohr

The sun was shining every day of this past Victoria Day weekend and I can’t remember the last time that happened. We usually prepare for a spring snowfall on this May long weekend but not so this year. Every day was a beautiful,sunny and warm day. I pressure washed the outside of the house, the deck, the patio, the garage and the parking pad and cleaned off a couple shelves in the garage too.  Lori did a lot of work in the garden and yard. I also went through an old trunk of mine that is full of “stuff”. Mostly it’s all knickknacks’ and pictures from the past. These are things that only have sentimental value, which I want my kids to have, later. You know, when I’m gone. Ha-ha.  There’s crayon coloured placemats and tickets from concerts and sporting events that we attended. It’s just a bunch of “stuff”. I got caught up in it though.

Saturday night we met Samir and Kim at Aladdin’s Casbah .We had a fantastic supper and a visit that matched. Aladdin’s is a must if you’re from Calgary. Its south on MacLeod Trail at Avenida and worth the drive. This is not just the best Lebanese food in town this clearly some of the best food I’ve had in Calgary. If you’re not sure what to have I recommend starting with the tabouli and baba ganoush for appetizers and then order the mixed grill for a main course. If you go on Saturday night the belly dancer starts around 830-9 and you definitely want to be there for that! The food, the staff and the restaurant will have you planning your next visit to Aladdin’s .

I have a spot by some framed jerseys that needed some chairs but they had to be the right chairs to fit in with the sports jerseys. I said to Lori that I thought a couple of leather chairs would be the right fit. She got on Facebook ,checked into Calgary buy and Sell and immediately found two, brown distressed leather chairs that fit perfectly and I won’t say the price because it was such a good deal I almost feel guilty.

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This picture of me and the kids is from 1996. I found this while cleaning the garage on the weekend. Pure gold! It looks like we’re at Elbow Falls

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one of the pictures I found cleaning the garage. Emma,Me,Liam and Olivia

 

I’m presently taking a 9 week course from the Center for Action and Contemplation  . The course is “Breathing Underwater” and it’s to enhance the book by Father Richard Rohr titled Breathing Under Water ; Spirituality and the Twelve Steps. It’s been a great course and it’s given me a considerable amount of spiritual goods to reflect on. This is the second time this year I will have read this book. It’s been well worth my time.

I’m also reading Stephen King’s book , On Writing , Wayne Gretzky’s book Stories of the Game and I’m dabbling in a book of poetry my sister Nancy gave me for my birthday 2 weeks ago. It’s a book of poetry all based on Canada’s game, hockey! It’s called Hero of the Play I’ll get the first three finished by the first week of June and I’ll continue to dabble in the poetry book.

Cheers to the Nashville Predators for getting past Anaheim to be the first team in the Stanley Cup Final this year. This is their first ever appearance in a cup final in the 19 years they have been in the NHL. I’m really happy for the city and their fans and hope they do well. They now await the winner of game 7 between Ottawa and Pittsburgh. I would think if Ottawa ended up in the final it would be a nightmare for the NHL since Nashville and Ottawa are both small market teams and I can’t imagine there would be quite the TV interest that you might see in a NY Rangers versus Los Angeles Kings final. So I’m pulling for Ottawa and maybe we’ll see these two small market teams play for the Stanley Cup. Ottawa has won a Stanley Cup before but their last win was in 1927, long before the modern era.

 

The song this week is from the band Deer Tick and is titled Song About a Man

 

 

The quote this week is something I have had stored away in my file and I have no idea where I got it. But I like it.

If you had $86,400 in your account and someone stole $10 from you, would you be upset and throw the remaining amount $86,390 away at the person who took your $10? Of course not! The same way we have 86,400 seconds each day. Don’t let someone’s negative 10 seconds ruin the remaining 86,390 seconds of your day.

 

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

 

 

 

Week 20 & I Love To Write

I enjoy writing this blog. If no one dropped by, I would still do it but it’s far more enjoyable and rewarding to write when I know someone is reading it.

My weekly posts have now slowed down to every second week. Slowed is a misnomer.  I’m very busy and right now I’m not able to find the time to write on a weekly basis. I would like to but I am short on time every day.

We’ve been very busy at work this year, I’m very busy with other commitments after work and I am taking a course right now too. And I need an hour a day for the gym, for myself. I am hoping that soon I will be able to get back to once a week postings.

I love writing and could do it full time but I still have to send money to the bank every month for my home. I enjoy writing my blog and I am enjoying writing a couple of stories I am working on. I have always had a love for writing, prose, and poetry. It rivals my appreciation of music.

I quit school when I was 16 but I had already completed, with great marks, Grade 11 English.  I had a passion for English. My Grade 11 English teacher was an overweight and unusual character of a man named Mr. Loob. He wore clean pressed white shirts, short sleeves and a bow tie. Same thing every day. He too had a great appreciation for literature. He was like a cheerleader for books such as the Lord of the Flies and his enthusiasm pushed my love for literature even further. I’ll never forget Mr. Loob and how supportive and encouraging he was for all my work and projects. He was not only an interesting character he was a nice man. He’s one of the few school teachers who impacted my life.

But I left school at 16. I was bored and annoyed with school so I left. At 17 I was working on my first drilling rig, Westburne #17, outside of Grimshaw, Alberta. The rigs were a harsh place for a 17-year-old but I took to them quickly and I’ve been in that industry ever since. Through everything though I never lost my appreciation for literature.

I have taken some writing courses in the last 5 years. They’ve been in person at The Alexandra Writing Center in Calgary and some online course work. I have also taken courses from Athabasca University which is a distance, online University here in the province of Alberta. I’m applying those credits towards and English Degree but it’s likely I won’t pursue the degree again until I retire. I just can’t commit the time right now. I would have to take the time from somewhere else and I’m not prepared to do that.

I’m reading Stephen King’s book, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”. My friend Liz L. lent it to me and I am about ¾ the way completed. It’s a slower read because it is some of Stephen King’s life but also it’s a great book about how to write!

So, I will get back to posting once a week I just don’t know when. I don’t want to create some disappointment in myself by not meeting a deadline today, that I can’t reach later.I’ll continue to concentrate on subject matter I know and enjoy and as Stephen King has said, I’m still trying to find my voice.

 

Just when I think I know something about hockey I look back a month at my playoff predictions and am reminded why I work in the drilling business. We’re down to 4 teams and it’s awesome hockey. Pittsburgh is playing Ottawa and the other division has Anaheim against Nashville. For the sake of hockey,small markets and unconventional hockey hotbeds everywhere I hope to see Nashville in the Stanley Cup Final. It’d be great for hockey everywhere. Enjoy the clip below where Nashville is becoming known as Smashville.

 

The song this week is from Willie Nelson from his new album, Gods Problem Child and its a song about his old buddy Merle Haggard who passed on , April 6 , 2016. The song’s called He Won’t Ever Be Gone.

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The quote this week is from Father Richard Rohr.

“The human ego will always try to name, categorize, fix, control and ensure all its experiences. For the ego everything is a commodity. It lives inside of self-manufactured boundaries instead of inside the boundaries of the Godself. It lives out of its own superior image instead of mirroring the image of God. With the Western isolated self in a state of immense insecurity today, we are flailing about, searching for any solid identity.”

 

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you’ll do the same again next time I post………

Week 18 & Codependency

 

Some alcoholics die. I didn’t make this up to shock Jack and I don’t like it. But it happens a lot more than people think it does. Alcoholics and drug addicts die every day in every city. It’s sad because I know there is a solution. That’s an actual title of a chapter out of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous; There is a Solution. Jack called me on Tuesday afternoon and asked me if I had time for a coffee. We met at Tim’s in The Core. Jack’s brother just got out of detox on Monday and immediately took up residence in a motel with a few bottles of rye. It’s a story I have heard before or I should say I’ve heard very similar stories before.  If I could save every alcoholic I would make it my full-time commitment to do so. But I can’t. I don’t have that kind of power. I don’t have the numbers but it’s extraordinary when someone is forced into recovery and makes it. Recovery is not necessarily for people who need it, it’s for people who want it. I’ve seen great successes in the rooms of 12 step recovery. People who have had their addictions removed and who have been given a life far beyond anything they had ever imagined for themselves. I’m one of those. Jack was feeling anxious and sick to his stomach because of some things his brother had said to him. Things that were malicious.

The alcoholic or addict will certainly play on your emotions and attempt to make you feel bad, or make you feel that you are in some way responsible for their happiness. They’ll say mean and hurtful things. They’ll yell and scream. “If you had my life you’d drink too” you’ll hear them say. Or they might say “you have no idea what I’m going through” or to a spouse, “if you weren’t such a ______ I wouldn’t have to drink”. Anything to remove the attention off their addiction. I assure you I am not responsible for anyone else’s drinking and there’s a slogan from Al-Anon that says “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it”. Don’t let the alcoholic drag you down, or into their mess. If they can make you feel bad enough about their situation you just might give them a few more dollars, or maybe one last ride to the liquor store, or one last trip to their dealers. “Just one last time Jack, I promise” But be there if they are looking for a hand up. We hope that day comes. Make sure you know the difference between being used and helping, because you can love an alcoholic/addict to death. I’ve seen it. From Wikipedia – “Codependency is a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement”. In A.A. there is a slogan and it goes If you want to drink that’s your business. If you want to stop drinking that’s our business. If you have someone in your life that’s hurting you as a result of their alcoholism or drug addiction seek some help, for yourself, at Al-Anon.

My friend Jack went to an Al-Anon meeting Tuesday night. He’s going to another one on Thursday night. I know he’ll get the support and help he needs. As for Jack’s brother, we have a chair waiting for him if he decides he wants help.

 

In my post of week 15 my hockey predictions at the beginning of round 1 of the NHL playoffs, were stink. Ha-ha. I got 4 out of 8 correct. So now we’re into round 2 without my beloved Calgary Flames or Montreal Canadiens.

Nashville leads STL 3 games to 1 and look to move on

Edmonton leads Anaheim 2-1

Ottawa lead New York 2-1

Pittsburgh leads Washington 2-1

Tonight, will see Pittsburgh, without the league’s best player, Sidney Crosby take on Washington and Anaheim is in Edmonton. Round two has seen some awesome hockey played and the intensity level is way up! Enjoy the games.

 

The Toronto Raptors are in round 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and they are down 1-0 in the best of 7 series.

 

The song this week is from a favorite of mine and quite unknown. They’ve sometimes been called a movement or an organization. Here is Playing for Change with their version of Imagine

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The quote this week is a paragraph from a small daily devotional.

The heroic first step of the journey is out of, or over the edge of, your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will be supported. The hero’s journey has been compared to a birth; it starts out warm and snug in a safe place; then comes a signal, growing more insistent, that it is time to leave. To stay beyond your time is to putrefy. Without the blood and searing and pain, there is no new life.

A Joseph Campbell Companion:Reflections on the Art of Living

 

 

Thanks for dropping by, I hope you’ll be back next week…………….

 

Week 15 & Small Victories

 

Last night at a 12 step meeting I mentioned I had a coffee with a young man who was very pleased with some small progress he had made. He was really new to recovery and still in his first 30 days. What was he pleased about? He told me he had gone 1 ½ days without telling one lie. I understand that if you’re reading this and you aren’t an alcoholic or an addict that you might think this an unusual thing to celebrate.  I know that many of you reading this have gone days or weeks or longer without telling a lie. Not so for the alcoholic. You know how to tell when a using alcoholic is lying? Their lips are moving! Back to my new friend and our conversation. I was happy to hear him say that he had managed to do this and I encouraged him, challenged him, to go longer. But what I was happiest about was he was recognizing some change in his actions so soon in his life in recovery. When we are striving for change,we need to take time and look at that change in our lives when it happens. Almost everyone I know strives to have some sort of change in their life. It might be weight loss, saving money or recovery from alcoholism. Recognizing the small victories when they happen, as they happen , is paramount to continued success. For a newly recovering alcoholic to go 1 ½ days without lying is a big accomplishment. My young friend realized this. He wants more of this. He wants to change. He assured me he would quit waiting for the “burning bush” experience and continue to celebrate the small victories. As people in recovery we need to realize that the transformations we obtain are going to come slowly and surely if we continue to work for them.

“They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them”

This is the line that follows the Step 9 Promises on page 83/84 of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.

And what about my friend? He’s going to keep coming to meetings, reading the Big Book, working with his sponsor, working the steps and changing his life. Recognizing your change and celebrating it are what keeps us on the path of doing more of what it was that got us to this point. Take time to get acquainted with your new behaviours and appreciate the change as you replace the old behaviours.

 

The roundup last Saturday in DeWinton was very good and the DeWinton AA Group did a great job of hosting so many in their small community. We had some great fellowship with new and old friends and a terrific roast beef dinner. The speakers were very good and my Sponsor, Andy C ,knocked it over the fence. I’ve known Andy for 2 years and he’s been my sponsor only a short while now and it was good for me to hear “his story”.

 

Tonight the second season of the NHL begins and as my friend Kelly says “It’s just like Christmas time”. The second season I refer to is the NHL Playoffs.

Tonight there are 5 games on tap and 3 games tomorrow. The Calgary Flames play tomorrow and face the Anaheim Ducks at the Duck’s barn. I have included the bracket below.

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I love to make predictions so here goes:

Chicago over Nashville
St. Louis over Minnesota
Calgary over Anaheim
Edmonton over San Jose
Montreal over NYC
Boston over Ottawa
Pittsburgh over Columbus
Washington over Toronto

I am excited to be watching some great hockey as the playoffs brings out the best,the toughest and sometimes the nastiest but it’s always entertaining.As for my predictions…..you know what people say about opinions….. enjoy the second season!

Happy Easter to all my friends. Whether you celebrate it or not I do, and I wish you all the best for Easter

I have to give the song of the week to the J. Geils Band out of respect for the death yesterday of John Geils at age 71.

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J. Geils Band ( early 70’s)

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John Geils (2011)

 

 

[He met band mates Danny Klein and “Magic Dick” Salwitz at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he was studying mechanical engineering. They formed the J. Geils Band in 1967 with lead singer Peter Wolf and drummer Stephen Jo Bladd.
The group released a string of albums in the 1970s but would not achieve commercial success until the 1980s, starting with the release of “Love Stinks,” its first platinum-selling record, according to Rolling Stone. Their 12th album, “Freeze-Frame,” featured its popular title track as well as chart-topper “Centerfold,” which spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982.] – CNN, April 12 , 2017
The quote this week :
“Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.”
Thanks for reading. I hope youèll drop by next week………..

Week 6 & Conscious Contact

Last weekend I was on silent retreat  ,west of Caroline Alberta, at Sanctum Retreat Center.

There were 29 men who attended and the retreat was a 12 step retreat although Sanctum itself holds many retreats for many groups or organizations. It’s a beautiful center with great facilities and rooms and the food itself is definitely a spiritual experience. Check them out.

I love the silent retreat. I might pick it up to a 2 a year pace this year and get in a summer retreat also. It is an excellent opportunity to de-stress, rest, reflect and think ,or a number of other things you might want to do with the time. This year I enjoyed the silence, read a book I have wanted to read and got a good start on another book. With 29 men the silence is huge and it’s far more noticeable with that many men around than if there were just a handful. Saturday night I went into the dining hall to have a cup of tea and read my book. After about 15 minutes I realized the room was quite busy so I looked up, and counted 13 men in the room. Some men were snacking on an orange or an apple, some men were having a coffee or tea and some were just sitting. One table had 3 men sitting together, but not a word was spoken. That was a very cool moment. Everyone has their own private room at the retreat ,which was small, but very comfortable with a small table to write on if you wished to. The silence is in effect from dinner on Friday to lunch on Sunday. There was guided meditations on Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday night and Sunday morning. Nothing is mandatory and all of it is up to the individual. I highly recommend taking it all in though if you ever choose to go on retreat. It was like getting my battery pack recharged! There are many types of retreats and retreats centers everywhere and I suggest it to anyone to take an opportunity and retreat; even if you only do it once.

The following is from Andrew Holecek who completed a 3 year Zen retreat and is the author of Dream Yoga.

 

Retreat is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to stop and face one’s mind so directly. But if you want to be unconditionally happy, which is one way to talk about enlightenment, there is no other way. Sooner or later you have to relate to your mind instead of from it. Otherwise you will forever be held captive by the contents of your mind, shackling yourself to every shiny thought that pops up,a prisoner of your own making.

To be truly free, to cut the shackles, you have to block all the conventional exits and be with yourself, retreat into yourself. Once the initial hurdles are crossed and the mind begins to settle in retreat, the benefits unfold. The mind sharpens and the heart opens. Stability and equanimity develop. Kindness and compassion blossom. The world softens because you soften. Discipline, patience and accommodation mature.”

 

I had a nice chat today with my good friend Dan who lives in Kelowna. He sent me, via Facebook, the funeral card from our old friend Ivor Lundin who was killed in an industrial accident on Okanagan Lake on Monday the 30th. Ivor ran a boom boat on the lake pushing logs into the mill. He went down with his boat that night. Rest In Peace Ivor.

 

What a wild Super Bowl game! Congrats to Tom Brady who, like him or not , has to be the best QB ever. He deserves all the records he set. It pains me to say it but he is great! Looks like hockey and the NHL are now front and center for me until baseball season begins.

 

The song this week is from one of my favourites, The Felice Brothers. Their journey began in the NYC subway system where they played for change and now they tour the country. Painting pictures for my mind with their lyrics. I would love to see these guys live and I will, first chance I get. This is the title song from their latest album, Life In The Dark

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The quote this week is from Richard Rohr

“You have to find some way to not become a cynical or negative person, a person who keeps walking around and opening your eyes in the outside world but inside you close down, a person who stops expecting tomorrow to be better than today. “

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I’ll see you next week………….

Week 4 and Belonging

 

Well it’s week 4 but only my second blog of the 2017 and an otherwise bad start to a weekly blog. I was in Austin, TX last week and between hotels and airports I wasn’t able to pull off a blog post. That brought about the thought that it might be nice to have a couple of posts written and on the shelf ready to post for times like that. It was a short consideration though because I prefer the spontaneity of how I write now. This is, I don’t know what I will write until I sit down to do it and I never have plan or hidden motive. I also get a bit of a thrill from the self imposed sense of urgency I get from feeling I must post on Thursdays. It reminds me of college and studying for a final about 12 hours before it is to take place.

Austin was good as always but a very quick turnaround. We got to Austin last Wednesday at 930 PM, got our rental car, went for supper and to the hotel. We were up early the next morning as our meeting was for 745 AM. We and they were on time for our meeting and it ran to about 10 AM. We wrapped up and went downtown and wandered for a little while before getting to Lambert’s for a BBQ lunch. If you’re in Austin check it out. It’s fantastic food. Then it was back to the airport to catch our flight to Houston then Houston back to Calgary and we landed at 930 PM in Calgary. That is a quick turnaround!

 

My daughter Olivia moved to Whitehorse, Yukon at the beginning of the year and I’m really proud of her for stepping way out of her comfort zone and leaving the big city for a small northern city (far north) for an opportunity to advance her career and gain experience she might not otherwise gain. She’s on a one year contract with the Yukon government. Olivia just graduated from U of C last June with a Master’s in Social Work so it’s great timing. I’ve never been to Whitehorse so I am looking forward to visiting her this spring. I’ve never heard anything bad about the city and I’m already excited to see it.

 

This past Saturday my home group, the group I belong to in my 12 step fellowship, celebrated our 15th anniversary. This isn’t a long time for most groups but we’re kinda proud of our group. When we started 15 years ago we started in a relatively new community called McKenzie Towne. And McKenzie Towne was about as far south as Calgary went on the East side. There were just a couple of regulars when this group started in August of 2001. But the word got out that there was a meeting now in the Deep South and more and more people started coming. As Calgary grew, many more communities started to spring up south of us and we grew some more. We have 3 meetings a week in the McKenzie Towne Church. The Church has turned out to be great hosts to us and this Church is always reaching out to many groups and organizations in the community. They themselves have a strong sense of community. I’m not 100% sure of how many members our group has now but if I were to guess I would say about 170 members with many more people than that who drop into our meetings. It’s not uncommon to have 50 people at our Saturday morning meeting at 10 AM, which is a great way to kick off a weekend. Our celebration this past Saturday was pot luck and we invited anyone in 12 step community and I would say with friends and family and members we had about 160 people at our anniversary party. There was a band playing in the background, lots of opportunity to visit and enough food to feed everyone a couple of times over. Towards the end we had 3 scheduled speakers who all had approximately 20 minutes to speak. Each of the speakers was assigned one of the 3 legacies of our fellowship, to speak about. Those legacies are Unity, Recovery and Service. I thought all 3 speakers did a great job of speaking to and addressing the legacy they had. It was a great Saturday afternoon. I came to these rooms 24 years ago in the hopes I could stop drinking and stay stopped. I had no idea I was joining the greatest fellowship in the world or that I would end up with a few million really close friends-hahaha. It’s often said that AA is the only place where you can walk into a room full of strangers and reminisce. I’m very proud to be a member of the McKenzie Group in Calgary and very humbled to be surrounded by such great people. I have a real sense of belonging.

 

Moving along and over to football ,in my week 2 blog I predicted with confidence a Patriots Seahawks Super Bowl. Ummm, I was very wrong. But it has shaped up to be a great game, or at least it should be by the performances so far by the two participants. That would be the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. I am pretty indifferent as to who wins. It would be great to see the Pats win another and it would be really good to see the Falcons win this one. I’m looking forward to enjoying the game; it should be great one and a lot of scoring.

 

If you’re a regular reader you know that I love The Players Tribune. The stories are about athletes and almost always written by the athlete themselves but rarely are these stories about their sport and more likely about an aspect of their life. The following is a wonderful story by Paul Holmgren and its called My Brother Dave. Paul Holmgren was a very tough competitor and a very good hockey player .Holmgren was an American in a game that was predominantly played by Canadians, with a few exceptions. Paul Holmgren is presently the President of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL.

 

The song this week is Holland Road by Mumford & Sons.

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The quote this week is:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

– Steve Jobs

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

Sobriety,Family and Week 39

At the risk of sounding like maybe every day isn’t a great day this past week has been a very good week. But being successful at this recovery gig, for 24 years, and having contradicted my doctors’ opinion on my longevity, I am grateful for every day. So yes it’s been a great week. It really got kicked off on Sunday when we celebrated Lori’s birthday. We being Lori and I, 4 kids and two of their significant others. It started at noon at the Locked Room. The Locked Room is a company that sells escape adventures for adults. You’re locked in a room and you have 60 minutes to get out. There are puzzles and clues and multiple rooms and that’s it. Figure it out. We did one in August and we kicked ass. We did one on Sunday and got our ass kicked. There were 8 of us in an escape room and we could have used about 15 more minutes. Regardless of the outcome it’s a great time and I highly recommend it.

From there we went bowling for Lori’s Annual Birthday Bowling Extravaganza. This was actually the first Birthday Bowling Extravaganza but Annual sounded good. It sounded good when we had it engraved on the trophies too. That’s right we had trophies! There were 3 trophies to give out. There was one for top male bowler, one for top female bowler and of course we had one for the bowler with the greatest opportunity to improve. For this person we had a horses’ butt trophy and a book of jokes.

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Trophy for Top Male

 

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Lori,Olivia,Ryan,Liam,Me,Julia,Geoff and Emma

 

Emma won the trophy for top female and she was also the top overall bowler. Ryan, Olivia’s boyfriend won top male and Julia, Geoff’s girlfriend got the book of jokes! We had nachos, cheese sticks, ribs and cokes and beers for refreshments. There was plenty of trash talk and it was generally an awesome time! I’m already looking forward to the 2nd annual. Anytime I spend with my family is terrific. These are the moments that make me proud of my kids and my wife and that make me happy to be a father and a husband. Times like this can’t be beat!

I got sober so I could be a dad. I wanted to be a good father. I was very fortunate to meet and marry Lori along the journey. Sobriety has been very good to me in many ways but my greatest abundance of Grace is found in my home , with my family.

Well all that fun set the tone for the week and the week has been one of the busiest at work in months so that’s been good too.

 

On to some sports! Baseball has Toronto, Baltimore, Detroit and Seattle all still slugging it out for a wild card spot in the playoffs. I’ve watched 2 games this week, Toronto Blue Jays of course, and it’s been great ball.

In the World Cup of Hockey, we have Canada and Team Europe battling for the championship with Canada up 1-0 in the best of 3 game series. The surprises for me were the early departures of Team USA and Team Sweden. I’m not surprised at all to see Team Canada in the final but I am surprised of their opponent.

Week 4 of the NFL begins tonight with Miami at Cincinnati and the first 3 weeks have definitely been interesting with top stories for me being NE doing so well (3-0) with Tom Brady suspended, the excellent play of Denver with their new QB, the new QB with the Jets and sadly for me, the poor play so far of Seattle.

 

 

The song this week is an old gem, that for some reason really struck a chord with me today.The song is Fragile , by Sting

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It’s only a very awesome song

 

The quote this week is from a friend of mine who is also in a 12 step program.

“Courage is not having the strength to go on, it’s going on when you don’t have the strength”

Patricia D

 

Well once again I thank you for dropping in and by and I hope that you’ll check it out again next week……

 

Week 36

The Labour Day weekend has come and gone and for me that signifies the un-official end of summer. It’s been a great summer which included Mount Whitney in June and the West Coast Trail in July. This summer also included a trip to two of my favorite cities as Lori and I ended up in Vancouver and Victoria.

Lori is out of the CBE office this year and back in school as the principal in one of Calgary’s brand new and first-class elementary schools and she’s excited. I toured the school on the weekend and it’s fantastic and an awesome addition to the neighbourhood it’s in.

It’s been a quiet week this past few days for me and I’ve been a bit under the weather so I am keeping it short this week.

 

The NFL is back tonight with a repeat match-up from the Super Bowl with Carolina visiting Denver! I love following the NFL and I’m stoked the new season is here. For all the Seahawks fans and for all the Pete Carroll haters here’s a great article written by Richard Sherman, for the Players Tribune.

Richard Sherman #25

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How We Play Football in Seattle

Also on TV tonight, the preliminary rounds of the World Cup of Hockey begins.It’s been said that in Canada hockey is more than a religion ; it’s also a sport.

A very cool addition this year are two new teams. Team North America is made up of the best players under 23 years of age who did not make the cut on Team USA or Team Canada.Team Europe is comprised with a roster of European players who were born outside of competing nations. So players are from Slovenia, Switzerland, Slovakia and other countries without enough players to fill a competing roster. Don’t be surprised if Team North America takes this tournament. The actual tournament begins on September 18

The song this week is American Tune by Allen Toussaint from his most recent album, released in June, eight months after he passed away.

Allen Toussaint

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The quote this week is from Albert Einstein.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

Thanks again for dropping by. I hope you have a great 7 days in front of you and I hope you’ll drop by next week….

Week 18

I turned one year older today and I’m happy to have done it. It’s a privilege denied many. When I was young I would often think about what I imagined my life would be like when I was 25 , 30, 35,40 …..But I never did look this far ahead. I’m surprised at how young I feel and how young I think that I think. I’m reminded of my age when I look in the mirror and then I am sometimes shocked at the man looking back at me. I’m also reminded of my aging first thing in the morning as I roll out of bed and my knees crack and my fingers slowly unfold and straighten out( heated steering wheels were a great invention). Otherwise I’m in great shape. I am in the gym 6 days a week doing cardio and sometimes weights and I’m very active outdoors. I want to be in good condition so I can still be active into my 80’s. Eventually all of our bodies “hit the wall” but exercise and right eating will slow that process. With the mid fifties comes a great sense of self, a sense of security about what and who I am. I have a confidence that is woven with humility. I don’t have to have all the answers and I don’t need to change your opinion on anything. I’m very comfortable with who I am. It’s a very sweet place to be in view of my years spent in addiction where I lacked any confidence or self worth. I feel very good about me. I need fewer things and want fewer things now. I’m far more interested in moments that create memories, time with my wife, time with kids and time with my friends. Sitting here now, in front of my home computer, looking outside at the beautiful trees and weather, having just returned from the river where the dog swam for tennis balls; this is a very good moment. My level of content is high. I get that from being in recovery, being a husband and being a father. These things are cause for an immense sense of gratitude for where I am today. Happy Birthday to me!

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I have to share this Ted Talk with you from Brother David Steindl-Rast. It’s 15 minutes and very well worth a listen.Aren’t most of us trying to be happier and content?

“I’m happy because I am grateful… “

 

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The second round of the NHL playoffs are well underway and one of the top stories in Tony X , who discovered his first game of hockey in round one and was the guest of the St Louis Blues in round two. This guy has been funny and good!

Tony X tweets hockey game

 

The quote this weekend is another gem from a 12 step meeting

“The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate”

The song this week is one of my favorites, from when I was 16. From Steve Miller it’s “Fly Like and Eagle”

 

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

 

 

 

 

week 17

22 years ago I came to believe. I came to believe in a power greater than myself, in the Creator, in God. Prior to that I was neither atheist nor agnostic. I neither believed nor disbelieved. The truth of this matter is that I just didn’t care one way or another and didn’t spend any time thinking about it. But 22 years ago, as my life was changing significantly, I came to believe. Why I came to believe and what I believe are probably both a lengthy post themselves. Today though this is just about me believing in a Higher Power.

I work hard at acceptance and understanding God’s will for me as much as humanly possible. I firmly know the more I can accept certain things as they are the more relaxed and peaceful my life is. I know this because I have practised this and I have enjoyed the results. I hope you don’t misunderstand this and think I might just sit still and let things unfold with no input. No, I do my best every moment to be fully active and completely participate in my life. But after I have done all I can realistically do for any situation in my life I know I have to let the results come, in their own time and be willing to accept these results as they are. One great example is when, a few years back, I was at the Denver airport in a severe snowstorm. All flights in and out had been stopped and by a certain time I had also missed my window of opportunity to use the road to get to a hotel. Many people were angry and frustrated at missing flights and connections. But I was as relaxed as you’ll ever find me because now all that was going on was 100% out of my hands and no matter what I wanted there was nothing I could do to change the situation. It was completely out of my hands and I would leave the airport when authorities said I could. I was in full acceptance of this situation

Now acceptance is great, when I exercise it. I have been going to the gym 6 days a week for the past 6 weeks as I get ready to climb Mount Whitney in early June. Last week I was laid up with diverticulitis. I get an “attack” about once every 18 months. I was quite sick and couldn’t go to the gym for 10 days. I was angry that my problems would derail my training and, poor me, that I have this intestinal illness. I was stuck in self-pity and I wasn’t at all accepting of my situation. If I had accepted everything as it was I would have been much happier and maybe even have gotten better sooner. Now the flip side of this is what cracks me up. You see I had a slight groin pull from running one day and it was not healing because I wouldn’t take a day off from the gym. I probably would still have a sore groin today because I would never have slowed down and given it time to heal. You know where this is going now, don’t you? While my diverticulitis stopped me from working out my groin healed and when I went back to the gym I was physically back to 100%. God’s will for me is always better than my desires. I needn’t question His will but I do. I’m human. Now that I look back I can smile at myself and my pettiness. It’s a pretty funny moment since I’m a guy who preaches acceptance. It was a lesson that I will take away and I will practise harder next time to accept my situation as how it should be in that moment ,in that time, in my life. I don’t always know God’s will for me but I know it’s not to be indulging myself in self-pity.

 

I want to share this paragraph with you from page 417 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous:

Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. [  …… }Unless I accept my life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

 

 

The first round of the NHL playoffs are done and we have moved on to round #2. This round sees:

ST Louis vs. Dallas

Nashville vs. San Jose

NY Islanders vs. Tampa Bay

Pittsburgh vs. Washington

There are 4 awesome matchups for round 2 and it should be as good as round 2 was.

 

The quote this week is from John Muir.

“The sun shines not on us but in us.”
John Muir

 

 

The song this week is from Leon Bridges. http://leonbridges.com/

 

Leon Bridges

 

Leon Bridges-Coming Home 

 

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I hope to see you next week………….