Socially Retarded.

6 11 2011

Basic Human Interaction. I am a pretty approachable guy. I could strike up a conversation with anyone and end up making a new friendly acquaintance. Everyone can be shy but when it comes to normal basic exchanges we all do a pretty good job.

I am not sure what manual your parents used to raise you but the one my parents used included training on how to interact with other people. What do you do when someone approaches you and says hello.

“Hey, how’s it going?”
“Good, man, you?”
“Fabulous! Could I offer you a hot beverage?”
“That would be awesome. Thanks!”

Pretty basic,right? This is the sort of interaction we have multiple times per day, everyday. That’s a lot of delicious hot beverage! So we get quite a bit of practice.. Here’s what I got the other day at the store. I approach a couple guys in the shop….

“Hey guys. How’s it going today?”
“Where are your socks?”

Look at the two conversation above. One has two more lines and didn’t leave me wanting to shove a pair or Merino Wool ski socks up his…. Don’t worry it’s Merino, it won’t be itchy. I can’t tell you how many times I open doors for people, a pavlovian response I have when I approach any building entry (thanks dad), and don’t even get a smile and nod. I am not afraid of giving them a little lesson in manners. “You’re welcome.” I say.

This is going to make me sound old and will probably have my mom and dad pointing at my blog and saying “SEE!” but what the hell has happened? What has made these people so socially retarded? I am a firm believer in genetics so I am sure there’s some douche gene in all of us. All you need is the right situation to turn it on. I also believe that the parents of these people decided that Manners and Respect were going to be omitted from the curriculum.

On the positive side of this – During halloween I was pleasantly surprised by how many young children were saying thank you. Not surprising were the number of older kids not saying it.

I think there’s hope. People our age having kids seem to be instilling better values in their offspring. I just wish we could prevent people that have the Douche Gene from getting into Politics. The world would be a better place.


The year gone by…

1 11 2011

I know, I know. It’s not January 1st. We’re not starting another new year or anything but 1 year ago today, my lovely fiancee and I landed in Calgary from London and concluded what would be a pretty amazing trip to Spain / Morocco. I also turned 40. I moved from the Coast to the Rockies, I met my future wife and mother of my children. I changed careers.  I grew my hair. I am in the best shape of my life.

Travelling was kind of the start of my new life direction, or lack there of if you wish. I left a pretty good IT career to go travelling and while we were out and about I was able to see things a little differently.

We, humans, don’t really need much to live. Food and shelter are a given. Having family and a partner that loves you is a bonus. Of course a job is handy so you can pay for the above or share it if point number 3 applies. Anything beyond that is gravy really.

So with that and a little math I decided that leaving the IT world was something that I had to do. I landed a job in a bike shop selling and wrenching and I have to say I wish I would have done this years ago. What better job to have than one that supports your passion. I make a fraction of the money but it’s pretty amazing what you can do with just a few life hacks. I am now a lunch and coffee packer. I decided to commute on the bike rain or shine or minus freakin’ thirty! You know? Trimming the fat of life and getting rid of any extraneous stuff. Simplify I guess is the operative word.

Simplifying my life has been the best thing I have done. If  you’re not happy doing what you’re doing then change it. If your mortgage is too high to do that – sell your house. It’s just a house, you can find another one. Life’s too short…


Instrumentally speaking…

27 10 2011

Best seat in the house

As I sit to take a break from drumming I felt compelled to write. Here in my den I am surrounded by music. I have music playing wirelessly to my Vdrum monitor. If I weren’t sitting on the futon warming my crotch with my macbook pro I would likely be sitting at my Kit drumming along to whatever happens to be playing or if I wanted I could fire up Debbie (my Gibson Studio) and strum along happily pretending to be another guy from Weezer.

Having performed on stage many times I can attest to the rush one gets from performing for an audience. To speak to people thru an instrument is something I don’t think I have ever taken for granted. I struggled early to pick up and get pretty good at playing Bass, Guitar and now my latest passion, Drumming.

When I first got my drum kit, A Roland TD4 electronic kit, I was mediocre at best but I loved it so much I just kept playing. I would play to whatever came up in the Shuffle and if I missed a change I would go back and play the song again. I am not saying I am an amazing drummer but I have improved because I love to play and learn. I like mixing it up. I’ll fire up some House beats and try to add my own flava’. Or I’ll pound along to some Foo’s or maybe play my own percussion to some unplugged version of a Dave Matthews song. Doesn’t matter what it sounds like, it’s a form of art. You can basically paint the air with sound waves leaving your own impression.

If you have always wanted to play an instrument, the Recorder, mouth harp, conga drum, guitar, harp, your voice, whatever. DO IT. Be patient and pick something up and learn it, take a lesson. Playing an instrument will add so much pleasure to your life and give you an appreciation of just how talented those artist you listen to all the time actually are. The one and only thing keeping you from doing it is yourself.

Rock on!!

Cull – A softer kind of kill…

25 10 2011


Since I moved to BC in the early 90’s I have had a lot of exposure to wildlife. On the coast is was always about bears. Sure, they were always around. I have been within  a few meters of these gentle beasts without anything more than a “Hey how you doing?” while I gear up and get the hell out of there. I never carried bear spray as I really didn’t think I would need it. Besides, if I were charged or attacked by a bear or cougar I would have to stop my bike, dismount, dig out the spray and try to get a stream off before my head becomes a hazelnut for old smoky to chew on. I know what they are and what they are capable of and that for the most part they want less to do with us then we do our Dentist.

Here in the columbia valley we have Bear, Black and Grizzly, Cougar, Elk, Big Horn Sheep and tons of Deer. Would  you be surprised to learn that Deer are the pests here in this valley?

When I first moved here I was shocked by all the Deer around. They are everywhere munching on green stuff which includes peoples gardens. Sure they have had some encounters with people’s pets and a few folks but does that mean a Cull?!

We had a beautiful garden that lasted all season. We decided to do little research to see what plants wouldn’t attract the deer so we could avoid planting attractants. We planted Asters, Sweet Pea, Sunflowers etc and guess what. No Deer.

We live in the Rocky Mountains and we’re surrounded by wildlife. With a little effort by us, the higher thinkers (apparently) we could control the flow of deer in the valley a little. Sure the snow will creep down the mountain driving the animals to town to feed but if the grocery store is closed or even out of stock won’t they go elsewhere? Of course they will cause that’s what they do.  Sleep, eat and breed (lower thinkers – sounds fun actually).  No food – move on after some nookie.

With a little thought we could easily reduce the Deer numbers. Perhaps with a little effort a Cull wouldn’t be required. We should be planting our gardens with wildlife in mind not with the attitude that the town will come in with it’s magic boom stick and make all the deer go away.

We have the control solutions. Let’s try them out.

Invermere Deer Cull


Ahhh, The Black Nectar

23 10 2011

Usually the first thing on my mind after I pry my sticky eyes open after a nights sleep, or lack there of, is coffee. Admittedly it’s usually the first thing that hits my system. I know some of you are appalled by that but it’s just the routine. Food gets in there eventually.

People who don’t drink coffee are usually the first to spout off about the negative impacts of the modest bean but just like anything there’s always a Yin for the Yang.

Coffee is a natural deterrent to many brain affecting disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as some Cancers. Coffee makes you alert, not from caffein as much as from other compounds that increase levels of adrenalin in the system. It’s an antioxidant, laxative and most importantly it staves off Gout! whew!

Just like the light of Yin, there’s the dark of Yang… We won’t get into that right now  tho. Check it out yourself.

I say, enjoy your brew and smile. I only have another 40 years or so on this planet and I am going to enjoy it’s bounty!