Posts

On the ending ...

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I've been in denial for a while now. For some reason I am having issues being ok with the truth.  A simple truth. And it's not like I didn't try. I swear I did my best. But now it's time to finally admit it ... I'm probably not going to watch the Simpsons anymore. For almost 33 years I followed the adventures of the yellow family.  I'd seen every episode. I'd seen every short. I had Simpsons merch.  I had CDs of song from the Simpsons - not one, but 2 CDs worth. I used to have whole conversations with friends that were nothing more than a collection of Simpsons quotes.  I was so proud of being a Simpsonphile  I used to put these facts on my dating profiles - surprisingly, it did not result in a tsunami of Simpson loving women crashing my email box. But for the last few seasons my watching has been sporadic at best. I tell myself that I will get around to watching the other episodes.  I just need some spare time on the weekend.  I tell myself that I will catc

On being alone but together ...

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My father used to tell us that the best day of his life was when they invented the Walkman because from that day on the 4 kids (yes, there were 4 of us) just put on our headphones and bopped away silently in the backseat and through the house instead of talking.  I always found it insulting that he wouldn't enjoy every moment of conversing with his kids. Now I have kids. Now I get it! Well, sort of ... Last year, when my youngest finally moved into the age where he could have a connected device and headphones, I totally got where my dad was coming from.  Suddenly those car trips became peaceful, allowing me to enjoy my retro 80's hair metal without the non-stop complaints.  Allowing me to carry on conversation with my fellow adult passengers without too much self-censoring (my language can get salty when I'm behind the wheel).  Finally after years of catering to the needs of, and conversing with, young kids I was free to generally act like an adult - I had actually forgotte

On Goldfish and Attention Spans ...

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"He has the attention span of a goldfish!" I've heard this said many times in my life, but until recently I'd never questioned the origins of this saying.  Turns out that, in the eyes of science, fish have very short attention spans - almost to the point of a disorder as made famous by Dory of the  Finding Nemo series. The basis for this statement is that a fish can be caught on a hook, fooled by a neon pink worm, endure the trama of being pulled from its watery home, having a metal face piercing forcibly removed by pliers, suffer a near death experience, then be released back into the water only to be caught again by the same baited hook a few minutes later (I didn't check if this could happen a third time, but I'm hoping that even fish can learn!). As I think about this, I realize that this doesn't actually apply to attention span, but to all of memory - we all do it and, quite frankly, the path to success is often equated to the idea of moving on from

On Lockdown, Being Social and Mental Health ...

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  The other day was my sons 8th birthday.  In these days of COVID and lockdown, social distancing, masks and general uncertainty, many of the activities that usually interest groups of little boys were not really an option.  Also, group sizes, personal "bubbles" and other virus spread control strategies, meant that our options were limited. In order to celebrate his birthday properly we needed to take a new approach.  A COVID driven birthday strategy.  Essentially all of the various activities were spread out over a week - dinner with family and in-laws, play-dates with his friends and one small group outing (to glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, as you can see in the picture).  Each event had a focused group, and time was spent to discuss the comfort levels of the invitees (and in some cases, their parents) to ensure that everyone's COVID risk management and risk tolerance was properly considered. What I failed to consider was my own COVID related, isolation driven mental healt

On the Good Old Days ...

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So I came across this meme the other day and dozens of comments reminiscing on the old "Glory Days".  What became increasingly clear as I read the comments is that EVERYONE thought that their youth was the "best time to be alive" and that the current generation of youth had moved on from that particular social media site because it's full of old people being nostalgic. The past 6 months of my life have been spent in the company of my children - 14 and 7.  We are no longer separated for work and school.  We coexist in the same space and I am very aware of the world they are living in.  One thing that has become clear to me is that the world they live in, one that is connected and enabled by technology, is clearly a better place to grow up than when I did in the cold war (and in Canada where I lived, a language war) era of 70s/80s, and far more than the post world-war, racial unrest world my parents lived in the 50s/60s. Let's start with some of the soci

On Rejecting what is Useless...

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"Adapt what is useful,  reject  what is useless, and add what is specifically your own." - Bruce Lee I have been a Bruce Lee fan almost as long as I can remember.  Just the other day I was just thinking about a grade 10 field trip to downtown Montreal to see a court case (that's a whole other story) when Kenny, Andrew and I snuck off to a martial arts store in China town to buy practice nunchucks, ninja stars and Bruce Lee posters. Since then, Bruce Lee has had a huge impact on my life.  I have studied his moves and his movies. I have battled myself to develop a physique somewhere between his and my other hero Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I have spent years studying martial arts, including Wing Chun Kung Fu, in an attempt to parallel Bruce's journey somehow.  I have read dozens of books on his life and his philosophy.  My whole life I have been connected to the art and philosophy of Bruce Lee. Until recently, this connection was physical and martial - I read the ph

On Fixing what is Broken ...

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"As soon as you realise that [something] is a problem, you should fix it.  Don't be a dumbass." - Dolly Parton, Billboard.com I didn't think I'd ever quote the wisdom of Dolly Parton, but this quote shows me at least 2 things: you can't survive a life in a cut-throat business like music without a lot of intelligence; and, if you make a judgement about something, based on NOTHING, then you should be prepared to revisit that opinion when new information presents itself. All my life I have made mistakes.  I have certainly lost more than I've won.  I have been wrong more times that I care to count. I am also guilty of being so self-righteous in my convictions that I could not see how any person could possibly see the situation differently than I.  I have been so self-assured that victory was my right that, in a loss, I was convinced there were other factors at play, and therefore there was no wisdom to be gained from the experience other than "other