Friday, June 28, 2013

Death By Water Slide

When I was in grade one our class went to the water slides. It was a big year end wrap up party. I had never been to the water slides before. They were big and impressive, especially to the little 6 year old version of me. Especially because I couldn't swim. I spent most of the day in the shallow end of the pool and the hot tub. I avoided the deep end of the swimming pool, but most importantly, I avoided the water slides. I didn't know how deep the water was but I was certain that it was deeper than I was tall. If I went on the water slides I would die. I knew that for sure.

Somehow, while I sitting in the hot tub, a couple friends managed to find me. It was time to go back to school soon and they wanted to ride the slides one more time. I didn't want to go, but the next thing I knew I was walking with them on the path to the water slides. How did that happen? The water slides loomed in front of me. I know this probably couldn't have happened in real life, but I'm relatively certain the water slides grew taller as we approached. I began to walk slower, but I couldn't stop. I was caught in the gravity inducing pull of the slides now. There was no going back. I was walking towards my death, or so I thought.

My feet got heavier as I began walking up the ramp. My legs started shaking. I started counting my steps. Maybe if I took long enough we'd have to leave before I made it to the top. Maybe. Why is so hot out? Why is the ramp so cold? Oh, its wet. That's why. Why are these other kids racing to the top? Are they crazy? If I hocked a loogie from the top how long would it take to hit the ground? Did it just get hotter out? How did I get to the top so soon?

The line moved slowly, but not slow enough. I dutifully ambled towards my demise. Death by water slide. I am not sure why I didn't just turned around and go back. I knew it was an option. Maybe it was peer pressure or the fear of being made fun of. In my undeveloped, six year old mind, death was preferable to the fate of being known as the kid who was scared to go on the water slide. Suddenly, I was next.

The "life guard" had me wait at the top for a couple seconds. Maybe it was so I could say my last words, think back on my short life, or beg for a reprieve. Too late. He waved me through. And I jumped to my doom. The ride down the slide was not what I thought it would be. It was fast. It was wet. There were a lot of turns and drops. I couldn't say I enjoyed it at the time, but I could understand how other people might. Perhaps if I wasn't contemplating the after life I may have found it a little more fun in the present.

I started formulating my survival plan. I knew if the slide launched me into the deep pool that waited for me at the bottom I was going to drown for sure. My best chance to live was to grab on to the edge of the pool immediately after I hit the water. I could hold on to the edge and pull myself out no matter how deep the pool was. But it was not to be. The current launched me into the deep. I didn't have a chance. So I stood up. And walked out of the water. Wow. I was alive! That was awesome! I was immortal! I couldn't believe I had avoided that slide for most of the day when I could have been riding it all along.

The preceding was a true story, as I remember it anyway. It's a reasonable allegory for my life. I've hopped on so many "water slides" over the last 3 years. My life is a veritable water park. There's still a lot slides left to conquer. I've tried a few baby versions of the big ones. I may as well slay the giants. I know that I'm not going to die now, no matter how it feels at the time. Look out water park. This immortal is back and those slides aren't so imposing any more.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Seriously, what is it with women and shoes?

I will never understand, but I can observe. There's the old adage that babies and puppies attract women. That may be true. I can't say for sure, seeing as I don't have either, but women seem to be far more attracted to shoes than the other two combined. After receiving yet another compliment from a single women on my choice of shoes I have decided to use my power of the shoe carefully. With great power comes great responsibility.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who Reads My Thoughts

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Saturday, June 15, 2013


It all adds up.

Truer words have never been spoken.

A final product is the result of cumulative steps.

I always wanted to play the piano. I'm not sure why. I remember as a kid playing "air" piano on a long drive home from Calgary with my dad in his old orange truck. Stevie Wonder's version of That's What Friends Are For was on the radio. As best as I can recall, I played "air" piano and sang that song over and over for at least an hour after the song ended on the radio. I wonder how good a piano player I could be today if I started taking lessons back then. That's a quarter century of practice. I'm sure I'd at least be decent.

I'm amazed how well I play the guitar. I know I'm not the greatest, but I remember the first time I picked up a guitar. I was 13, in grade 8, in my French teacher's classroom, over the lunch hour. I couldn't strum. I could barely hold down a string without fretting out. My pinky had no co-ordination. I had no musical theory. I joke that I managed to cram 2 years of lessons into 2 decades. I would never have imagined back then the skill level I would have today. I can jam. I can solo. I can improvize. I can learn and improve and entertain. All because of the cumulative effects of a few lessons and a few practice sessions over the years. Had I really worked hard at it, I'm sure I could be light years ahead of my ability at the moment, but, nonetheless, I'm decent.

Unfortunately, I've learned other things over time as well. I learned early on in my childhood to fear rejection, people, relationships, affection, physical contact. And unfortunately those experiences were just as cumulative as learning to play the guitar. I "learned" I wasn't worthy of relationships, that no one could like the real me, and that I would be isolated and alone for the rest of my life. Unfortunately I learned those lessons very well. It's only been recently that I've actively and intentionally embarked on a new path. I'm undoing the cumulative damage from my past. I'm gaining small victories in my life. One at a time. And they are cumulative too. I wish I started this a long time ago, but I suppose it's better late than never. Areas of my life I thought were closed up forever are beginning to open again.

I think the thing I learned, and am learning daily, is that possibilities beyond what I thought were possible even a short time ago, are well within my reach. All I had to do was reach for them.

While I was practicing the guitar one day a guy showed up in my classroom. I think he was a former student. He whipped out one of the guitars and started playing a song I had never heard before by a band I didn't know anything about, except that they were evil. Back then I never could have imagined that all these years later I could be rocking out on my guitar playing that exact same song just as skilfully, if not more so, than that guy who walked into my classroom. I'm curious to see what other things I will accomplish in the future that I couldn't even comprehend in my past.

Monday, June 10, 2013

That, Which Cannot Be Named

I'm in an interesting situation where I have things to share but haven't yet.

So, I wanted to write a post saying I have things to share but haven't yet.

The last year, or more like the last 10 months, I have intentionally scaled back on blogging personal items. Instead, I focussed more on thoughts and ideas and facts. That may change again. I've worked through a lot of personal items and have been itching to write about them a lot this year, in a similar style to how this blog started almost 3 years ago. Maybe I will go back to my roots soon.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Crazy busy. But good busy. Busy living life. I still need to catch my breath sometimes.

I work Monday to Friday, 8 to 5.
C&C on Mondays.
Youth group on Tuesdays.
Small Group on Wednesdays.
Softball on (mostly) Thursdays and other assorted days of the week.
Church Sunday morning.
Beach Volleyball Sunday night.
Renovate a house in my free time.

A couple weeks ago, at youth group, we had a very interesting discussion. We usually break into groups of guys and girls and separate for 15 minutes to talk about what God has been doing in our lives. Usually its like pulling teeth. If more than 2 kids share anything its a miracle. This particular night we went well beyond our 15 minutes. Usually after 15 minutes we play games, do some sort of devotional, have a snack, etc. This night we kept talking. We talked long enough that the youth pastor came to get us. We waved him off. We kept talking. He came back a little while later to inform us that it was snack time. We kept talking. He came back a little while later to let us know parents were arriving to pick up their kids. We ended. It was really cool to see a discussion about God with a bunch of 12 and 13 year old boys carry on for over 2 hours. I liked that.

I bought new shoes. Not a big deal. I'm rather indifferent to shoes. They are utilitarian. I am usually a jeans and T-shirt guy and my shoes tend to be a cheap pair of runner/sneakers. But I ran an experiment. I went to a specialty shoe place. I bought the most expensive pair of shoes I have ever owned in my life (which isn't really saying too much). They were grown up shoes. I have never really owned a pair of grown up shoes, if you don't count the standard black dress shoes. The results were immediate. As in women immediately started complimenting me on my shoes. I don't know how they know, but when a guy buys expensive shoes, they know. I bought a second pair shoes. For work. They were probably more expensive than the first pair. I don't want to look at the bill. I bought them in conjunction with a bunch of clothes for work. The first night I wore them women were flocking to me, to compliment me on my shoes. I'm noticing a trend.

Last Saturday I saw Paul Brandt.
Last Saturday I met Wendel Clark.
Last Saturday I danced.

I remember it looking kinda like this...

Although it may have looked more like this...

I think its time to break out my bike for the Summer.

Work is crazy. Crazy busy. Crazy awesome.
I am in the middle of bidding on a contract worth over 5 million dollars.
I prepared information for our stock holders meeting.
I re-aligned our shifts to save $18 000 annually.
I am entering the midst of a major expansion of the division I oversee and may be a part of a major restructuring and branding initiative.
I can't believe I'm allowed to do this.
Of course I couldn't believe I was being paid to fly an airplane either.

And the house... will be finished by the end of the month!