Who Are These People?

I find a lot of Christmas music sort of sappy. Not this song, although it has been sung in a way that I would call over-styled: too many breathy or warbling notes in one lyrical syllable. Maybe it’s just jealousy: I can’t hit any of those notes.

But this version is fun. Kick off Advent with a rockin’ version of “All I Want for Christmas” courtesy of James Corden and a gaggle of singers, some of whom I even recognized.

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Music Videos | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Worth Many Words

I’ve written a bit about watersheds (here and here). Here’s a fabulous set of maps of the world’s watersheds, but one sample suffices to show the beautiful complexity, the complex beauty, of the world around us, visualized aright.

Thanks to visualcapitalist.com


Posted in Appreciating Deeply, New Perspectives, You are Here | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Week that Was; The Awards that Are (& Will Be?)

Word this week of Governor Cuomo’s Emmy for his COVID-19 briefings has inspired me to give out my own awards to political leaders and government officials.

To all the contestants who participated: Thank you! See you next week . . .

Week’s Best Apology (h/t to John Robson)

“This govt made a grave mistake in the spring
when we made a stupid arbitrary distinction
between essential and nonessential retail businesses.
… [it was] a stupid mistake that we made
and for that I apologize.”
Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta

Week’s Worst Obfuscation (h/t to John Robson) (again)

“Let me be clear, we are not moving into a lockdown.”
Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta
(yup, two awards in one week)

Week’s Best In-Your-Dreams Promise

“My fellow Canadians, today I am announcing
that I will not move on the issue that is closest to my heart,
global warming,
until every Aboriginal community in Canada
has clean, reliable drinking water.”
– Justin Trudeau, PM of Canada
as imagined by Rex Murphy

Week’s Weaselliest Excuse

“I made my decision as a husband and father,
and for those who are angry and disappointed,
I humbly ask you to forgive decisions
that are borne [sic] of my heart and not my head.”
Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver
about flying to Mississippi for Thanksgiving
right after imploring Denver residents to stay home

Week’s Gentlest Rebuke

“This is awkward. The call isn’t until 5.15pm today.”
Melanie Paradis,
Director of Communications for Erin O’Toole,
commenting on the 4:34 release by the PMO
of a read-out from a call before it occurred

Week’s Straightest-from-the-Shoulder Comment : A Tie

“This is totally unacceptable that my neighbours
are being intimidated, being threatened,
and these people, they need to stop.
Stop acting like a bunch of buffoons out there
and start respecting the people of Ontario.”
Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario,
on protestors being outside his home

The confidential, internal conversations have been shared –
actions that are a violation
of the public service oath and code of conduct.
This is a personal betrayal, and a betrayal of the trust
that our hard-working team has placed in each other.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw,
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
on the leak of a (surreptitious?) recording

And, the drumroll please . . . a winner in two categories . . .

Week’s Best Homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey &
Week’s Best Official Statement in any Category

“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization
on federally managed public lands,
no matter what planet you’re from.”
Utah Department of Public Safety
on the discovery of a monolith in the desert


Posted in Laughing Frequently, Politics and Policy | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Clerk, Fleming, and Me

That’s an AMERICAN stamp!!!

Reacting to the tone more than the words, I take a half-step back. A clerk at the sub-post-office (sub-post office? sub post-office?) in my local drugstore has just snapped at me. I review the conversation to date.

Hey, good morning.

Me, sounding cheery.


Clerk, grunting.

Continue reading

Posted in Day-to-Day Encounters, Feeling Clearly, Laughing Frequently | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Never Overwhelmed

It turns out that, if you ask yourself “Can I keep going?”
rather than “Can I make it to the finish?”
you’re far more likely to answer in the affirmative.
Globe & Mail article on sports performance

I have whinged once or twice in these, um, screens, about the schedule uncertainty accompanying this pandemic. OK, OK, maybe a few times. As they say, global pandemics aren’t as much fun as they look: May you never live in interesting times.

Continue reading

Posted in Feeling Clearly, Thinking Broadly | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Bridge Face

What could be better than a face on a bridge?

I took this photo in Glasgow in 2012, and it happened to scroll by on the Big Guy’s screen-saver just now. Glancing at it from across the room, I saw a face I had never noticed before. With an imposing columnar nose, to boot.

I think that’s how most of these faces appear: A glance-in-passing triggers that pattern-recognition doohickey in the subconscious.

Pareidolia - bridge

Posted in Laughing Frequently, Photos of Faces | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Damn Wow Hey

Damn, it was cold. We have no snow on the ground yet, but the wind was nasty.

Wow, it was sunny. We had a blue-sky day Alberta would be proud of.

Hey, it was, on balance, pretty cheery as I waited in a parking lot for two hours for a dental surgeon to release my covivant. I saw yellow everywhere.

Yellow pavement markings

Yellow nylon rope on black stanchion

3-photo collage of schoolbus and its reflection in its own mirrors

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Photos of Built Stuff | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

A Year Ago

A year ago, who knew that we would all soon know what PPE stands for?

A year ago, who knew that we would toss off “comorbidities” in casual conversation and without having to take a run at it?

Continue reading

Posted in Day-to-Day Encounters, Laughing Frequently | Tagged | 14 Comments

Just One

At 21, a young man from Florida becomes the first person with Down Syndrome to enter an Ironman competition.  He not only enters, he completes the triathlon within the 17-hour time limit. How does he do it? He starts with one push-up at age 18 and his father encourages him to get 1% better every day.

Just 1%.
You can do that, can’t you?

Yes, he can do that. And just like that, his progress comes under his control.

A former colleague maintains her weight for 10 years, at an age when year-over-year weight gain is so much the default it’s almost an obligation. How does she do it? Every year her doctor tells her he’d like to see her lose one pound by the time she comes in for her next annual check-up.

Just one pound.
You can do that, can’t you?

Yes, she can do that. And just like that, her weight comes under her control.

Over time, tiny increments add up to big improvement. Over time, tiny efforts lead to big control. Over time, achievable targets result in achievement.

It’s tempting to take on the world, set big goals, dream big dreams. There’s nothing wrong with big dreams, but maybe the path is traversed not with leaps and bounds but with many small steps. One. Another one. And another.

So, today, what if we joined Chris Nikic in his daily quest to get 1% better? Stronger. Flexible-er. Even patient-er. (What the heck. Dream big, right?) What if this year we joined that colleague and tried to lose just one pound?

We can do that, can’t we?
It’s just one.

Yes, we can do that.

Posted in New Perspectives, Relationships and Behaviour, Sports and Exercise, Thinking Broadly | Tagged | 8 Comments