Sunday, April 30, 2006

WHAT ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR?! What's your motivator?

This morning I FINALLY got it!

Got what, you ask?


My motivator.

That thing inside that drives us!

That thing that makes "Effort In" - effortless!

What makes a man go to the ends of the earth for a woman.

What makes a person like W. get up at 5 every morning, work like a deamon for 16 hours - AND DO IT AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN... without burnout, but simply a want for more of the same.

What makes a person like S. persevere despite seemingly endless physical setback.

What makes a person like B.A. work so damn hard - yet burnt out or no, he remains one of the most consistent quality entertainers.

For what seems to be as long as I can remember, I've been searaching. Searching for SOMETHING that will bring the JUICE back into my life. I've been running around in circles for the last number of months trying to put my finger on it - seemingly missing the mark again and again.

ET made a comment a couple posts back,

"To the punch line, it kinda sounds like my previous life and how driven I was..14 years straight actually... And I guess I can't see any of that or seem to pick up the steam to want to do something with that sort of passion I understand..."

and it's been playing on my mind - along with something S. said, "You just have to want it bad enough... keep your sights on the end goal."

Trouble was, I didn't have one. At least, nothing concrete. Sure, lots of stuff swimming around in my mind:

"It would be NICE to have X..."
"It sure would be NEAT to have Y..."

but the puzzle didn't come together until I woke up this morning. This 1000 watt lightbulb went off in my mind.

What is it I want?

Well, it has EVERYTHING to do with money and internal peace and well-being. I never thought in a million years that I would put "money" and "internal well-being" in the same sentence.

I even said the triggering statement to S. yesterday.

"It's not the WORK I want more of, (referring to contracts and such) it's money."

For years - probably since it's creation in 1986 - I've been running a company based on the love for DOING the work. In fact, a lot of the money has gone straight back into the business to keep it alive, and relatively healthy.

Well, the "work" is OK - it's not fresh and new anymore, but I have lots of ideas that ARE. And these ideas don't necessarily have ANYTHING to do with the business, but what's holding me back from bringing these ideas to light is money.

Making money is one thing. Managing it is quite another.

This morning when the lightbulb went off I realized the one money-management piece to the puzzle that would within seconds become my motivator: This thing that will drive me to success - regardless of barriers, obstacles or outside influence.

I WANT to be debt-free.
That's what I WANT.

The thought of having nothing but the regular bills to pay every month is downright delicious.
Do you have any idea what that feeling is like? To most who read this you may be saying "So what? I pay rent every month, or I pay my mortgage... I pay the heat and electricity too. What makes YOU so special??"

I'll be frank. It's a struggle. I had a "friend" of mine tell me once

"Yah, but you make $X.xx every Friday and Saturday night -- that's $Y.yy per week! Must be nice!"

What my "friend failed to realize is that is only one side to the balance sheet. He had no idea what I paid out every week. The DIFFERENCE is my income and THAT determines my standard of living.

Having a certain standard of living is all well and fine, but what does it take to maintain it? The answer is "more and more every year!"

So my question to myself was this:

"What would it FEEL like to maintain my standard of living WITHOUT going outside of my means to do it?"

The answer is simple.

It would feel
- dare I say...


So there it is.
Right here for the world to see.

Now... I need a timeline and a timetable of events to make sure this wonderful dream becomes reality. I can walk on air about it all I want, but the cold, hard fact is this:

If I do nothing, nothing happens.

I have essentially three and a half years before I turn 40.
It seems a reasonable time line to me, not to mention a benchmark year!

And further to a conversation I had yesterday, it seems "40" is the new "30", so being debt-free by age 30 is really not so bad!

So. The goal.

1. Eliminate all debt - and to be fair, mortgage not withstanding.
As wonderful as it sounds, this goal must be achievable. If I'm ahead of schedule, banging down the mortgage is totally doable. For now, a certain degree of "reasonable" is completely acceptable.

2. Consistently contribute to my long-term savings.

3. Develop an contingency fund of AT LEAST 3-months operational expenses.

4. At goal's realization, paying cash for most everything will be the norm.

There it is. Now... let's go!

Oh, yes... and one more thing...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Babysitting: A full-contact sport?

I'm blogging "on location" this evening from my sister's house. Tonight I'm "babysitting" my nieces and nephew. All the usual stuff happened tonight - dinner, computer games, hide-and-seek...

Something has struck me as rather odd, however. I didn't fully realize that babysitting was a full-contact sport!

So I looked it up just to be sure.

v. ba·by-·sat, (-st) ba·by-·sit·ting, ba·by-·sits
v. intr.
1. To take care of a child or children in the absence of a parent or guardian.
2. To take care of or watch over someone or something needing attention or guidance.

I can't argue with definition 1. That's what I'm here to do.

Definition 2, however, I would revamp to read:

2. To take care of or watch over one's self or something requiring mouth guard or other such facial protection.

I would also add a third definition to read:

3. A full-contact sport requiring quick reflexes.
What happened, you ask?

Quite simply, J., the youngest did me in. While changing her into PJs, she took it upon herself to leap up in a frenzie of excitedness.

"Yayh! Story time!"

Up went her head, straight onto my lower lip.
My lower lip then made contact with my bottom teeth.
The result: leaky red stuff.

So, as I sit here nursing my battle wound - probably soon-to-be battle scar, I'm left wondering if the folks at need a little update.

Maybe I should have taken that babysitting course...
Then again, a self-defense class might have sufficed!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

18 'till I Die - Say it, but live it too!

CHAPTER ONE – Inspired by the song

Listen to it here
18 ‘till I Die – Bryan Adams

I wanna be young the rest of my life
never say no - try anything twice
til the angels come and ask me to fly
I'm gonna be 18 til I die - 18 til I die

can't live forever that's wishful thinkin'
who ever said that must of bin' drinkin'
don't wanna grow up I don't see why
I couldn't care less if time flies by

18 til I die - gonna be 18 til I die
it sure feels good to be alive
someday I'll be 18 goin' on 55! - 18 til I die

anyway - I just wanna say
why bother with what happened yesterday
it's not my style I live for the minute
if ya wanna stay young get both feet in it - 18 til I die

a 'lil bit of this - a 'lil bit of that
'lil bit of everything - gotta get on track
it's not how ya look, it's what ya feel inside
I don't care when - I don't need ta know why

18 til I die - gonna be 18 til I die
ya it sure feels good to be alive
someday I'll be 18 goin' on 55! - 18 til I die
ya there's one thing for sure - I'm sure gonna try

don't worry 'bout the future - forget about the past
gonna have a ball - ya we're gonna have a blast
gonna make it last - 18 til I die

CHAPTER 2 – The Theme of This Post

I’ve been asked over the last little while “So, what’s this fascination you have with Bryan Adams?” One of my DJs, A., feels he’s an arrogant man – telling me stories of what he’s heard about Adam’s “particular” nature.

“I heard he did a recording session at a Calgary studio and bitched about the CHAIRS in the studio – they weren’t comfortable… he couldn’t “work properly”…

Well, come on, A. If YOU were paying hundreds of dollars per hour to use a facility, wouldn’t you expect the calibre of the service to at least match the dollars you were paying?

The guy works hard – he’s dedicated to his craft, and he’s good at it. He’s been accused of being a work-a-holic – also been praised as one of the hardest working individuals in the industry.

And look what he has to show for it.

He also writes songs that I relate to – sometimes written dangerously close enough to my soul – they could have come right out of my own head.

When I recently acquired the DVD of the Lisbon show, I watched the energy with which he delivered the messages of his music. Here’s a guy – at 42 or 43 singing about how he’s really 18 at heart. Good advice in this song – “it's not how ya look, it's what ya feel inside”. Wow, that line spoke to me.

In a world full of “how’s my hair?”, who cares? If you’re messed up INSIDE, THAT will overpower everything on the outside. Charisma, physical beauty… their charms are all lost when the person inside the body is… well… not whole. In my opinion, when you have your “poop in a group” and you love yourself to the point it shows through in EVERYTHING you do, THAT is true beauty.

Here’s a guy who is true.
He lives what he sings… or he sings about what he lives.

When you’re all about
“why bother with what happened yesterday,
it's not my style I live for the minute,
if ya wanna stay young get both feet in it”,

chances are you’ll have a full, rich life.

CHAPTER 3 – The Story of W., and what perfect timing for this post

Speaking of full, rich life and actually living it…

I received a rather mysterious phone call yesterday afternoon. The caller didn’t identify herself – simply said “Hello Mr. H., how are you? I’m gonna try your cell, and if not I will give you a call later – you’ll never guess who this is…”

Mysterious, indeed. The same caller in fact left a message there as well. Again, no name, but… a number!

Oh, isn’t THIS interesting!

Could it be a member of the PSL? Let's see!

I called the number. The voice answered. I figured it would be just too straight-laced to say “Hi, this is Dave… you left me a message?” No. I needed a good line. Think, think, think…

Now, anyone who knows S., knows she has this thing for Keanu Reeves. The first line that popped into my head was straight out of Speed at the scene where the detectives discover the mad bomber in a freight elevator. Grabbing hold of the cables and sliding down to the roof of the elevator car, Reeves’ character says “Would our mystery guest please sign in!”

I figured it an appropriate line. Considering the mystery.

Caller: “Hello?”
Me “Would our mystery guest please sign in!”
Caller: “Well, hello, DAVID.”
Me: “Hello, W.”
(yes, by this point I had figured out who it was… and by voice recognition. If you remember back to Sarah’s post on discovering the long-lost blogger buddy, I had mostly figured out who it was by an audio post he’d placed on the blog – having heard his voice in another audio post around Christmas under his other guise)

Now, this was not the voice of ANYONE in my daily life. In fact, it was a voice from the relatively distant past. Three years, in fact.

Years ago – probably 6 or 7 to be more accurate – there used to be a little picture framing shop around the corner from my house. I had some work done there and had made friends with one of the framers, W.

I soon discovered that W. was one of those people who would consistently be here, then not. She would up and disappear for MONTHS, sometimes even YEARS. Then, out of the clear blue sky, she’d call. We’d hang out, talk about life, the universe, what we’ve been up to during her current hiatus, then…


she’d be gone again.

Why do I share such a lengthy story? Partly because it’s in my nature to do so, and partly to demonstrate two things.

1. In reference to my previous post, W. is a prime example of a friend who, for all intents and purposes isn’t here. Ever. Except for the occasional telephone call or a visit for tea every… three years… give or take a year.

2. In reference to the theme of THIS post (which I’m sure you’re thinking by this point I’ve forgotten because of this rather lengthy tangent) W. and I discussed something very relevant. She had finally found her dream job. We talked about this, and I discovered that she was truly living the life she dreamed of – at least in the work world. She was MOTIVATED, DRIVEN FROM HER SOUL to get up at 5, work a 16 hour day, sleep out of necessity and repeat the process the next day… but seemingly without “burnout”, just a want to do MORE OF IT.

This is what I see in Bryan Adams. It’s reflected in his music and his stage presence.

Reminds me of something my cousin in Seattle said to me with reference to how he sees working for himself… or working in general I suppose. He would say

“Shit, or get off the pot!”

…something like, oh, say…

“if ya wanna stay young get both feet in it!”

I’ve included a link to listen to the song.

I strongly urge you to kick back in your chair – better yet, get up out of it and dance…

Dance like a fool!

Crank it up!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Friends: What does it take to be?

In response to Prodigal Blogger...

Sarah’s post today had my head spinning – not because it was a complex or an extremely deep piece of writing, but rather, it got me thinking of so many things simultaniously. As I write this I am going to try to sort it all out so it makes sense. Things usually do once you put them in print.

She spoke of something close to my heart and that’s people – specifically friendships, connections and their dynamic.

The comment:

“What to call her? I almost said, “My friend, Olga…” but I thought, “Friend? You’ve never even met the woman!” Then I thought about “blogger buddy”… but if you don’t blog, then you wouldn’t get it. I finally said, “A woman I know…””
got me thinking. What DOES it take to gain the status of “friend”? I suppose this quiestion could open up a whole discussion on friendships in general, but I’d like to keep this discussion as closely tied to the comment as possible. The question could then become “What does it take to gain the status of “friend” when all you do is correspond electronically?”

Does it matter?
Do you have to be “in person”?
Is not the written word simply another form of communication? defines “friend” as:
1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.
5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.

By definition then, you don’t necessarily have to have met someone to consider them a friend. Sometimes it’s far easier to get to “know” someone by their writing – especially in the blogging world. I’ve come to recognize that so many of us will bear our souls to the screen and the unseen face LONG BEFORE we EVER trust in someone enough to do so face-to-face. It’s like a safety net, I suppose – being that one step removed in the communication process.

Would you not agree that it’s easier to throw our problems on the page and post than to hold somone’s hand, tell them our troubles and fears and leave ourselves vulnerable and open to the naked eye?

Of course, some will agree, others won’t.

There are those as Sarah’s pointed out who are “dead set against blogging. …it is just plain weird.” The argument “Why don’t people actually sit down face to face and have a conversation?” is quite valid in my opinion. I asked the same question of the friend of mine who first got me to “instant message” – in those days on ICQ. She lived three districts over from me, and I couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t just pick up the blasted phone – or better yet, just meet at the pub for a bevy!

Is it boarderline “anti-social” to blog because it’s not “in person”?

Is blogging another form of communication that has opened up a vast number of opportunities to meet people from places and cultures that we normally wouldn’t ever have known existed?

It’s quite obvious to me that friendships and bonds develop in the blogosphere.

“I was shocked… felt a bit betrayed… angry… and sad. “How could he just leave like that? Without a word to anyone? Where the hell did he go?” I wondered.”

Are these not the feelings of having lost a friend?

In this blogger’s opinion, yes, friendships are real here – however they simply take a form different than that of our in-person relationships.

Other things I thought about when I read the post:

-I, too missed our lost and lurking friend – absolutely thrilled to see he’s returned!

-“I actually had the fellow’s e-mail address somewhere and I knew his name. I could have Googled him or something, I suppose… tried to stay in contact. But really… what’s the point? I figure that if someone decides the time is right to walk away, you let them go.”

This happened to me when I was 10. We moved districts and I lost touch with some dear friends simply by not calling! How silly is that? At 10 I figured that’s just what you do when you can’t readily walk to their house for a visit. Funny thing is, I bumped into them both last November – 25 years after the fact. I made it clear I wanted to stay in touch – “here’s my number…” and to this day I have not heard from them. I suppose “if someone decides the time is right to walk away, you let them go.” – happens, but it isn't always comforting - right or wrong.

-With reference to the ham radio parallel to blogging – spot on!

So really, whether you’re near or far, communicate by pen, screen or the spoken word, the feelings we feel for our friends of all connections are very real, and THAT’S what makes a friendship – in my humble opinion.

Now it's my turn to blog about food.

Yesterday was full and rich. I got lots done in preperation for a new tenant arriving first of the month.

Painting, painting, painting! Coat #3 and hopefully the final call!

After buzzing around - between coats of paint - I was in need of some down time and a good meal. Since food is a big topic in the blog-o-sphere, I thought I'd contribute.

...had cabbage salad at S.'s on Sunday, a fantastic cook in her own right, Sarah has a wonderful room mate who very much knows her way around a kitchen!

Thanks to L., I was inspired to buy a cabbage...

Because one cannot live on cabbage salad alone, we must build fire! No, wait... we must build fire because man cannot cook on anything that isn't a bar-b-que! That's it.

Now... don't panic... it's just a little fire.

City of Calgary bylaw states that a recreational fire must be "under control and small enough to cook on"

This, of course, depends on what it is you're cooking, right...

...well, here it is - do you think it justifies a sizeable fire?

OK... *sigh* we'll settle the fire down a bit

The end result?

Just what I needed to top a day of progress!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Don't be alarmed, it's just me breaking into your house! (a small book of 2 chapters)


Last night I had my first experience responding to an alarm... coming from MY house!

Several weeks ago I had the system installed. Shortly thereafter, I inadvertently set the thing off myself by unconsciously opening the shop door after having set the alarm from the front.
Force of habit I suppose - lock up, grab some stuff from the shop and leave.

Lesson learned.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. I was across town at the time. My cell phone rang, and to my surprise it was the alarm company!

"We’re receiving a general alarm from your residence. Are you at home?"
"Well, nope."
"Would you like us to dispatch?"
Um... yes please!

I wasn't as much panicked, as I was strangely curious. After all, if someone's breaking into my house, I probably don't want a confrontation with them. Best they do their thing and let the authorities do theirs.

I raced home to find the alarm no longer sounding and all doors in tact, no signs of forced entry.

I called the alarm company.

My first reaction was perhaps the cats had set off one of the motion detectors.

The alarm was set off in zone 2, which is the front door. I couldn't figure it out. Unless someone had a key, or forced the door, the sensor wouldn't go off.

The lady at the dispatch centre told me that if someone were to try the door – with it locked – sometimes there’s enough play in the door to set off the alarm.

The responding security guy showed up, checked the property, doors, windows etc. and said the authorities wouldn’t likely respond to do fingerprint tests and such UNLESS there were signs of a break-and-enter.

I went to bed – really curious as to why my alarm went off.


It seems a fellow can have vast numbers of friends – especially nearing the end of the month – when he owns a van, truck or any kind of sizeable vehicle. I say this in jest, of course, because I would willingly help anyone I know move. It’s just interesting to see the telephone traffic increase as the month comes to a close.

At 10:30 yesterday morning my friend J. phoned. He said:

“It was my wife’s idea to call you… thinking you might be able to help us out. I have a buddy who’s moving…”
Yes, J., you may borrow the van.
So, we swapped vehicles. My one-ton milk wagon for his… “FAM-I-LY CAR”… well, minivan.

He ran off to do his thing, I ran off to do mine. The plan was that he would call me when he was done… all evening, no call.

Just as I was heading for home – late night around 10:30 or so – the phone rang. It was the alarm company. (see Chapter One for details)

Once home and alarm dealt with, I received a message from J… from 6:30 that evening saying he was done. So, this morning I called, got S. on the phone.

S: “J. tried calling your cell and couldn’t get through.”

Oh Oh… D. forgot to give J. the new number!

D: “Well, I had all kinds of excitement here last night – as I was half way across town, the alarm company called to say my house alarm was going off!”
S: “I know. J. drove over to your place to see if you were home and let himself in to leave a note. He didn’t know you had an alarm!”

Mystery solved.

There were two keys on the ring I gave him – the van key and a house key.

You see, J. is a friend of mine who has worked for me over the years. With a family of two boys, a full time job and all sorts of other stuff going on, J. doesn’t have a lot of time to socialize. I see him… every couple months or so. Since our last visit I have changed cell phone numbers and added an alarm to the house. It never occurred to me to tell him about the alarm, and I’d had the new number for long enough I didn’t even think to mention it.

So… it appears I’ve found another use for a security system: It’s a great teacher of lessons.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Theatre with the girl PT. 2 and the PSL (almost) unmasked.

Yesterday was yet another landmark day in Turtle history. In December's post Theatre With The Girl I spoke of a most impressive date I had with S. when I discovered not only had I found an impressive girl, but I also discovered that there are those in the service industy who are still driven by the "boy/girl dynamic". Yes, gentlemen, you can achieve much more in much less time when it has anything to do with a girl! (I encouage you to read the post to see what I'm talking about)

What made yesterday "landmark"?

Well... not only did S. and I take in the theatre (Motzart's opera, The Magic Flute) - I have now met A., however briefly, it was a delight!

I refer you to an earlier post here in which I, and perhaps the world was introduced to the PSL. Close friends stick together, and the comments here are a testiment to that.

Enter "new guy", appear PSL.

Slowly but surely I am putting faces to these lovely ladies who stand by their friend. I have met C., seen Z. only in photo and have now met A.

Turtle is happy, thank you Sarah.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Post #2 today - Seeking D&R Therapy

...continued from Expat's Tag

When asked to come up with 6 things about myself, I immediately thought of one of my worst habits which is to "Dump and Run"... whatever's in my hands gets put down - right there, and I'm on to the next thing. In reply to this, ET had this to say:

Dave I love the D&R's one.... I'm scared to know what your house looks like. On the other hand, I teach the D&R technique daily to tweens who just don't understand that doing it right now is so much easier than spending all afternoon when you could be playing to clean it up....

Well, I don't know about "tweens", (yes, I know...) but perhaps this Turtle could use a lesson in D&R Avoidance.

To give you some examples, I immediately grabbed the camera and took a few "at this moment in time" shots to demonstrate just what my house looks like... on a fairly regular basis. For those readers who would be frightened away, here's your heads up. I am, after all, a bachelor!

Firstly, the worst space for D&R is the pony wall just inside the front door:

The ball cap is from this morning's gardening endeavour

The coffee mug is... *shreek* yesterday's coffee mug!!

The binder tends to live here as it's my daytimer.

The keys, cell phone and sunglasses come and go as I do and can be found on just about any surface at any given time.

The Kit Kat came in the door on Sunday night after dinner with my folks. It's an Easter treat for Sarah.

The bowl is kitty's water dish for the porch.

The front room is just to the left of the front door as you enter.

From near-field to rear:
A projection screen I showed to a client who wants to use it for his wedding slide show. It goes to the shop in the next trip - or at least that's the theory...

You recognize the bag and shoes from the previous post, right?

The papers are a project that should have been tidied up... a while ago...

The vase lives on the table

The box on the chair is definitely D&R! Bad Turtle!!

On to the... BATHROOM!!

Here we see incoming laundry... ready for the closet.

Now... the dreaded OFFICE!!

Here we see a paper-cutting project: request cards for the wedding on Saturday. It's "over there", so... no rush... yah... right.

Looking up some numbers
Reading from a book
The Desk Calendar

*sigh* perhaps this is one reason S. is in my life. She's all about "a place for everything and everything in its place." A good mentor, partner and friend!, ET, do I qualify for therapy?

SOLO TURTLE: Gardening and Power Tools, OK -- Dance Shoes and People Who Do It Better, BIG FEAR!!

Last night I visited my friend Norm. He's one of those people who is the epitome of "good friend and neighbour". Everyone knows the age old story of the neighbour who runs next door to borrow a cup of sugar... well, Norm is the guy who would GIVE you that cup of sugar; partly because he's just that type of guy, and partly because it would be too much hassel to return a silly little cup of sugar!

In my case, last night I stopped by to borrow a mower. Not just any mower, a beat-up old rusted-out mower.

What makes this mower so special? It has a power-rake attachment - a scratcher that turns your lawn into a complete dust bowl, churning up all the dead thatch and over-the-winter debris that's been trapped under the snow (well, OK, maybe not so much this year!) for months and months.

Once the dust settles, however, and the debris removed, you are in theory left with a clean, well raked lawn that can now breathe.

The result? At first your neighbours might be tempted to call Bylaw Bob to complain about the dust and the mess, but in about two weeks you end up with the greenest grass on the block.

So, last night I power raked. By the time I was done I did, in fact, have a dust bowl... truly. I decided to return the mower right away - stopping by the store for a big bottle of New Zealand beer to share with my friend. We sat in the kitchen and yammered on mostly about unrelated stuff.

This morning, about 6:30 I started in on the process of raking up the debris on my lawn...
which had also been strewn across the driveway and sidewalk. After the removal, I ended up with this:

Hard to tell by these photos, but if you look closely, you can see the ridges I missed. I'm new with this tool, but I'm pretty proud of the result!

A couple shots of the back yard which will be raked up tomorrow morning.

A shot I took on the fly that just sorta worked out really well!
There you have it. Gardening tools and I get along really well.

Then there's the mystery bag...

...these tools and I need time to get to know each other!

Salsa Class #2 is tonight at 5:30. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, so I'm not going to say anything here!

(can you see me shaking in my boots???

Monday, April 17, 2006

Tag - isn't that the dangly bit on the end of a piece of clothing at the consignment store?

This Easter Monday I've been relaxing. Truth be known, I crashed yesterday like a landslide of rock. It's been about 2 weeks of "up at 5, to bed... whenever..." and that takes its toll - even this Turtle is moving a little slower today.

Over at Expat Traveller, I've been tagged, once again.

Rules and Regulations:

1. Reveal six weird facts/things/habits about yourself and then tag six people.

2. Leave a "You're Tagged!" comment to let the people you have tagged know they have to reveal six things (or the entire blogosphere will explode and it will be their fault).

3. Leave me a comment letting me know that you have completed your mission (if you have chosen to accept it!)

Tags are things you're either in to, or not, so as the rules state I'm required to tag an additional 6, feel free to participate, or not as the spirit moves you.

Six things about Turtle...
1. I'm fiercly loyal. If you are my friend, I've chosen you to be my friend because I see value in you. As my friend, you are deserving of my respect and loyalty. I will stand by my friends - and remain friends for years... and years... and years....

2. "Dump and Run" is one of my worst habits. Running in, dumping what's in my hands - just wherever - and running on to the next thing. All it takes is two or three D&Rs to make the house look disaterous!

3. Taking what time there is. An industry colleague told me once that things take as long as you've got. If you HAVE 2 hours, it will take 2 hours. If you have 20 minutes you will get it done in 20 minutes. I find myself doing this - and recognising I can get the same thing done in much less time if the motivation is there.

4. It takes me FOREVER to learn something new - especially if it's coordination related. "Repetition is the mother of skill" is my saviour statement! Once I "get it", I've got it for life. Very frustrating in the process though!

5. When the "going gets tough" I've often looked for an easier alternative than slugging it out to get through. Strangely, as I age, I've discovered that beating down the brick wall isn't always as tough as I had once believed.

6. My intuition is strong. That "feeling" you get about a situation - the "spidey sense" as it were - has always been just sort of... "there".

Tagged are:
Mel (at Actual Unretouched Photo)

...and to get to know him a little (because I really should, but don't)
Old Hall

Thursday, April 13, 2006

BRYAN ADAMS - Ballad King or Accomplished Rocker?

Back in January I posted about why Bryan Adams gives great Room Service.

Last week I was cruising through the mall and came across both the new albums Room Service and Anthology celebrating his 25 year career. With the Anthology came the limited edition DVD of a show on the Room Service tour - an abbreviated version of the show we saw in Calgary.

I finally got to listen to the entire disc - well, all three actually, but Room Service had some really neat tracks - not as "top 40 pop" as some of Bryan's earlier stuff. In the 90s we Adams fans were a wee bit concerned that his record label was turning him into a "Ballad King" with cuts like "Everything I Do" from Robin Hood and "Please Forgive Me".

This track, however is the last song on the disc and as far as ballads go, very nice. I think what I like about it is it isn't going to be as insanely chart-topping as some of the other stuff.

He's done some amazing photography that can be found in a couple books listed at theBryan Adams website.

I was there (at 10 years old) when Bryan Adams cut his first album, and I'm still a mega-fan.

Will he be 18 till he dies?


why do you have to be so hard to love / 2.58 / was it some man that didn't treat you right / left you reaching out for him in the middle of the night / is there some heartache that you can't out run / that makes you so afraid to get close to anyone / you're so - easy to look at / you're so easy to hold / it's so easy to touch you - but so hard to let go / it's so easy to want you - that i can't get enough / tell me why do ya have to be / why do ya have to be so hard to love / is it some hurt from long ago / that makes it so hard to let your feelings show / is it the ghost of who you used to be / that makes you so afraid to bear your soul to me

Bryan's Comments: "This song is about someone who's doing the dance of the neurotic. He's in love with her - you know... um - every time he gets closer, she pulls away. And it's the old story that it's always the ones that tear your heart out the most. She's damaged, and he knows he can't fix her. And it's sort of about wanting to grab somebody and shake them up and say 'Hey, I'm right here!' ...but you can't."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Taking the Plunge!

While S. dives into swimming, D. is stepping out on to the dance floor. Today I signed up for... yes...

dance lessons.

You read correctly.

Dance lessons.

The frustration of feeling inferior at the Latin dance club to the point of sitting on the side lines observing people having fun has taken its toll.

Frustration led to utter discontentment.

Utter discontentment led to a whole realm of feelings I'd rather not discuss here.

The end result?

I signed up. I committed. I did it. Once a week for 8 weeks. ALSO, I bought the instructional DVD. I am going to drill this home to the point it's so second-nature I'll be dancing down the street.

Basically I've had it with being an observer.
I've had it - being a watcher and not a doer.
It hurts too much.
So, I'm going to do.

Salsa was the flavour of the day - and in fact, in the weeks to come I've been told to expect more of the same with variations on the theme.

You know, maybe I'll never be a Fred Astare or Twinkletoes Finstone... but I had a great time! More on this as it develops!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace

Sitting around in a group,discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

An office filled with cubicles

When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop over the walls to see what's going on.

The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

Entertainment and media spectacles that are Annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The J-Lo and Ben wedding (or not) was a prime example - Michael Jackson, another...Brangelina, etc, etc...

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

15. 404:
Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error Message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested site could not be located.

Features of the Canadian landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (Like after hitting send on an email by mistake) ha,ha,ha...

18. WOOFS:
Well-Off Older Folks.

Surreptitiously passing gas while passing through a Cube Farm.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's all a matter of perspective...

...this just in from J. Which system do you live under?

SOCIALISM You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

COMMUNISM You have two cows. The government takes them both and provides you with milk.

FASCISM You have two cows. The government takes them and sells you the milk.

BUREAUCRACY You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours it down the drain.

CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

CORPORATE You have two cows. You sell one, force the other to produce the milk of four cows, then act surprised when it drops dead.

DEMOCRACY You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point that you must sell them both in order to pay the taxes to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow which was a gift from your government.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

SOLO TURTLE 2: The man with the John Lee Hooker hat

Continued from... Solo Turtle

Tonight's expedition was once again to the Latin dance club where I saw the most interesting fellow. He was perched on the bass bin on the opposite side of the pony wall from where I was sitting. A tall, older gentleman, he was sporting a hat that made him resemble, remarkably, Blues legend, John Lee Hooker.

He would casually lean, hang out and wait for a dance partner. He's not a bad dancer, either!

Then there was the lady with the hips. While most everyone on the dance floor was observing proper foot form, this one lady was definitely all about the hips. Also, she seemed to come on the motion naturally, and with great ease. In fact, a majority of the dancers were just that - true dancers. (to this Turtle's untrained eye...)

Again, a little... well, a lot fearful of the hardwood, this Turtle simply sat, sipped, listened and observed. It's painfully obvious that I will need to shed this anxiety and fear surrounding flow and movement. I feel stiff, jagged, rough-around-the-edges... and I haven't actually stepped onto a dance floor since... er.... well, for a long time!

I sure appreciate those who dance, and dance well.

The Heart Mind VS the Brain Mind

Last Monday my nephew and I went to the zoo. He's all of 8 years old and extremely sharp. He reads, he spends time on the computer doing things that are well beyond ANYTHING Uncle David would have done at his age.

One of his latest interests is in hypnosis. He approached me with an 8-question quiz designed to determine whether or not one is easily hypnotized.

One question that has stayed with me - lurking in the back of my mind, was this:


In a nutshell, "Brain Mind" refers to logical thinking.
Does it make sense, logically?
"Heart Mind" refers to the emotional.

Of course, I answered this question as truthfully and honestly as possible. There was no question. I use my heart mind.

"Gotcha!" he said. Meaning... if you tend to use your heart mind over your brain mind, you are more likely to be easily hypnotized. I guess it was his objective to get me to admit I'm easily hypnotized?

Does this mean that because I tend to do more thinking with my heart that I may be more vulnerable, more easily deceived?

I don't know.

I know that in hypnosis you relinquish control to the person who has put you in state.

Is it possible that those who think with their Heart Mind also, perhaps, tend to relinquish control to someone their conscious, every day world?

I remember a line in a TV show drama I used to watch regularly. The question was

"What does it feel like, right here?",
indicating the lower chest/stomach, followed by the statement

"That's always been my final yardstick, how do you feel about it in your gut!"
On the flip side, I have a friend who says
"If I can prove it, I'll believe it."

One thing I know for sure: You can deceive the Brain Mind with puzzles, tricks and misleading information, but the heart mind is steadfast and true.

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.