• Life

    Back to the Blog

    by And other stuff. It’s been an odd couple of weeks, and I’ve been struggling to keep up with the writing and creative stuff I wanted to get done as well as with other stuff I need and want to accomplish. It could be the shape of things to come, but I think I need to try to focus more, or to provide myself with more ability to focus. I’ve come up with the idea of having a schedule. It divides up my day, and each day is a little different depending on things that need to happen (Examples: Tuesday is dojo day, my primary training and teaching night at…

  • Life

    My First Obituary

    by I wrote my first obituary last week. It isn’t very good, but I don’t know how to do better. It was for my wife’s uncle, a nice guy whom I didn’t know very well. I mean, I used to, sort of. He lived with my wife’s grandparents and for the first few years after we moved here, we saw them a lot. At least weekly and sometimes more often. All three of them were fond of our kids and our kids liked them, too. But then Olive died in 2008 and Cam started to go down hill, health wise (Alzheimer’s) and moved into a home not long after. We…

  • Life,  Philosophy

    Lest We Forget

    by November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada, and throughout most of the British Commonwealth. The UK itself has an additional observance on the Sunday closest to the 11th to make it easier for people to attend a ceremony. I’ve made a big deal in the past about how Remembrance Day provides meaning and support to any and every other holiday in the calendar, about how whole generations fought and bled and died to ensure the continuance of society as we’ve grown to know it. My father was born in an occupied country. My mother’s father and several uncles went overseas during World War II. She had a grandfather who…

  • Entertainment,  Life

    Facebook on My Phone

    by Or rather, Facebook not on my phone. I took it off a week ago yesterday, barrelling past the various, “are you sure” questions and the reminders that it would be really easy to activate again if I wanted to. Yes, I’m sure. No, I don’t want to change my mind. I don’t really care if it’s easy to activate again. Get it off. Gone. Removed. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s done wonders for my mood. I’m on record as saying that social media has potential to be awesome, a great engagement tool, something to keep us in contact with people easily and build relationships with. I’m also…

  • Life

    What does Halloween Mean at this Stage of My Life?

    by What does Halloween mean when your kids are all adults? When the average age on your stretch of neighbourhood is past retirement? When we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and a lot of what makes Halloween fun for kids is a lot harder to manage? When you’re fed up with the commercialization of absolutely everything? Well, in our case, it means Star Trek themed cocktails and stand-up comedy on a convenient streaming service while downstairs my daughters and two friends have non-Star Trek themed cocktails and play cards against humanity while no kids come to the door for the limited supply of Candy we laid in just…

  • Life,  Philosophy

    Adults Today

    by I try not to make a big deal out of getting old. I’m not there yet, but I can glimpse it from here now and then. But when I see what the folks my age on social media are posting more and more of lately, I have to wonder if I’m looking at things wrong. There’s a whole lot of back in my day, kids these days don’t have any idea, my generation could handle things, we didn’t have all this fancy stuff, kids don’t understand how the world works, that’s the way it was and we liked it, young people today have it so easy. Enough of it…

  • Keep calm and don't teach your grandmother how to suck eggs.
    Life

    Teaching Granny to Suck Eggs

    by My wife and I had quite different childhoods. She grew up more or less in one place – the place we live now, in fact – with a stable friend group and a stable cultural experience. I was a military brat, moving every few years. Even after we settled into what would be Dad’s final posting (he managed to wangle two postings in a row at one base and I did two years of public school and four years of high school in one spot), I still felt like I was moving every frequently until well after I left home. Every base dad was stationed at, we lived in…

  • Life

    The Unexamined Life

    by I’ve run across variations on certain a meme a few times now. Text only, it goes something like, “I grew up hearing and learning racist, sexist, and homophobic things. Eventually, I learned to think for myself and unlearned it. You were raised that way? Unlearn it. It’s 2020 and there’s no excuse for it.” Another variant: “You are not responsible for the programming you received in childhood. But as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.” Or, to borrow from Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I grew up in the 1970s and 80s. There was plenty of racist, sexist, and homophobic crap in popular…

  • Life,  Movies,  Television

    Entertainment Preferences

    by A while back, I noted that I have certain reading preferences when it comes to genre. I identified what I consider to be the eleven basic genres and then broke out where I spend most of my reading time and where I didn’t (and why). There are some differences when it comes to my non-reading entertainment. The same basic genres exist, but then there are extra things that find there way into entertainment that I wouldn’t call fiction when we’re talking about that. (Hmm. I never did get to non-fiction reading, did I? Another time.) Once again in alphabetical order, but this time putting the breakdown in the list…

  • Life

    Return to Algonquin

    by So we must have liked Algonquin Park because we went back again on the weekend, staying two nights nearby and hiking on eight different trails, although two of those were only partials of big loops. The objectives were geocaches on those and I don’t know if we’re up to hikes that last 10-12 km in rough terrain yet. One of those, mainly due to the prior day’s rain, had frequent small rivers running down it and some pretty impressive mud patches. We should have taken a lot of pictures but were more concerned with not sliding down muddy hills in the fading light. And, somewhere along the way we…