Friday, October 30, 2009

Tattoo You

Tattoos are not addictive. I only have two.

My new one was designed by my friend Gideon Courtney and inked by Andrew Batten at Lucky Devil.

Tattoos are permanent.

People tell me "when you get older, your tattoo will look all blurry and saggy". Well, maybe if I got it when I was 20, but I'm older now for crying out loud! It won't have time to get blurry. And it won't get saggy if I stay in shape.

After I get age marks, and lose my hair, and get short and get ugly, I'm pretty sure a tattoo will be the least of my worries.

"But you may not care about it in a few years". Well, this tattoo is the Tree Of Life and inside are the initials of my wife (JB), daughter (CJM) and son (BJB). I'll still care about all three for a long time.

Besides, it makes me look tough at the gym. Hahaha!

Do you think I should have gotten a larger tattoo to fill the large space? (Joking!)

Next, I'm thinking of getting Matthew 7:21. You know the verse? "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven." I want the whole verse. I love that verse. It's a warning verse. I'm getting it on my left ribcage. It'll hurt like hell.

No, tattoos are not addictive. Hahaha!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mom Died

Mom died yesterday. She passed away after four weeks in hospital at RVH. A year ago she told me "I know who my Lord and Saviour is". I guess that's why I feel peace about losing my Mom. 93 years is along time. (Norma Baird)

I took this photo of Mom and Dad about a year ago. They both look so happy and comfortable.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cell Law - It's Dumb

The new cell phone law became effective on Monday. It's now a $500 fine if you talk on the phone while you drive. People are madly buying a blue tooth or other device. Personally, I use an earphone plugged into my cell. No one can tell the difference.

There are a bunch of other things, that I think are worse than talking on the phone and driving,

I've made a list - The Top 10 things to do while you drive instead of talking on the cell phone

10 Browse thru your cd collection and change the cd.
9 Talk to the passenger.
8 Eat a donut and drink a coke.
7 Change the radio station back to LIFE 100.3.
6 Pick your teeth in the mirror. Or pick your nose if you need to.
5 Yell at your kids in the back seat.
4 Change the air conditioning, the heater, the back window defroster and the fan
3 Put on your make-up. But only if you're female.
2 Turn on the seat heater.
1 Roll the windows down so your dog can stick his head out.

All of these things are just as dangerous as talking on the phone while you drive. If you think a cell phone is distracting, wouldn't anything on my top 10 list also be distracting? I wonder if the ministry of legalism (?!) will outlaw any of these?

It's not a free country.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Two days in Calgary.

Hanging out with radio and artists. And my friend Ryan who works in secular radio.

At dinner, Ryan told me about the street evangelism he's involved in. Well, not involved. It actually is what makes Ryan tick. He isn't afraid to go to downtown Calgary, unload some Bibles and preach on the street.

And, he told me about door-to-door evangelism. I said, "You mean like knocking on someone's front door and talking about God?" "Ya man".

I said, "do you ever get people slammin' the door and saying, "no leave me alone". "Ya." He says he gets to share with about one in ten people he approaches.

Door to door. Wow! I guess Ryan is more bold about his faith than me.

Ryan and I headed off to Thursday night Bible Study, hosted by four young couples. Ryan parked the car on the street in the residential neighbourhood somewhere in northern Calgary. I noticed we were early for Bible study by a few minutes, and with the extra time...well I couldn't resist. I challenged him to "do it". (Door to door) He popped open his trunk which was loaded with Bibles and tracts and other evangelism stuff. He grabbed a pen and made a note of some opening questions and then - we did it.

We visited three homes. I wondered how the homeowners felt, seeing two strangers at their door, after dark, and me wearing a long, black jacket. I probably looked like Dylan Klebold. I wouldn't have opened the door!

The first two homeowners "didn't have time" for us. The third house was owned by a Christian so that visitation ended nicely. Well, at least we didn't get punched out.

Hmmm. I've considered myself to be an evangelist, or at least have an evangelist's heart. I'm not afraid to bring up "Jesus" in a conversation with non-church people, but going door-to-door is way beyond my comfort zone.

Ryan stretched me.

Then we went to Bible Study.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Calgary. It's GMA week. (Gospel Music Association)

Me and Steve Jones are hanging out with other radio people from SHINE-FM in Calgary and Edmonton for seminars and artist showcases. In the seminars we shared 75 ideas in 75 minutes of cool things we've done to make our stations buzz. It's a great list and we all have it.

Over lunch it was fun seeing old friends like Stephanie Israelson - our Karaoke Superstar winner in Season 3. She's since moved to New Brunswick so we haven't spoken much recently. She had lunch with us and we whined together about the stale bread and powdery lasagna.

New artist Chris Bray hung out as well and I'm really happy that our friendship is growing. He's a good performer and he understands about marketing his music and networking with other industry people. We connect well. His producer Andy Horrocks is always fun to hang out, mostly because he has great, crazy stories about recording sessions.

The highlight of the day was the performance of To Tell, featuring Zach Havens. Zach is my new discovery from London, introduced to me through Dale Elliott at GRACE-FM radio. Zach's songwriting is a pop-like, hit-based, Rocket Summer soundalike, which is unique because most rock performers don't rely on piano as the lead instrument.

I bailed on sticky lasagna to watch Zach showcase before judges in a private room. The pressure was on for him to muster up excitement for the one song on which he was being judged. He explained his vision for To Tell and the boys in the band. Then....BLAM! The music started. "Closer To You" kicked in - powerfully. It's hard to put into words what energy looks like but Zach has it, pounding the keyboard, groovin' and movin', laying down hooks and musical accents that feel soooo good I could barely stay in my seat. Then - it was over.

A good day at GMA.

And a better night at Bible Study. Just ask Ryan!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last Ride?

I think I rode my last bike ride of the season.

October has been pitiful. Less than 100km over three rides. A bit embarrassing. I'll blame it on the weather. And we all know what a crappy summer it was.

I think the worst part is finding the time. If the forecast is good, I'll aim to get out of the radio station by 2pm, which seldom happens and before I know it, it's nearly 4 o'clock before I click in my shoes. Still, even with the cool temperature it was a good ride. Triple layers of shirts and a toque kept me warm.

Most of my rides this year were solo. Janice joined me on some shorter rides to Shanty Bay or around the Bay to Minet's Point. Janice rides a European work-bike; I'm on a Fuji Pro road bike.

Last year was a record year for me in terms of mileage. I didn't have a goal this year so clocking in at 3,604 is still good. "Any day with a bike ride is better than a day without." Pass it on!

I guess I can look forward to the stationary bike at the gym. Ya. Swell.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Really Big Church

Yesterday I had lunch with Greg Neuman. He pastors "big church" in Barrie.

I like spending time with him because he's a visionary thinker. He thinks outside the church. And his thoughts turn into actions.

I wouldn't want to misquote Greg so I'll do it as best as I can - "God is big, so go big or go home." That applies to everything he does, all the time.

Yesterday he told me about this downtown ministry he and his big church team did in the summer. It was a one hour presentation for street people who probably wouldn't go near a church. There was rockin' worship music and a salvation message which resulted in 35 salvations. Wow! Greg hopes to make it a permanent weekly event and situate it in the heart of the nightclub district because "those are our people."

He told me about another project he's involved with in Rwanda where his team wants to minister, farm and provide solar panels.

He told me about the ongoing prayer that happens once a month inside city hall council chambers where anyone is invited to join for prayer.

Greg rallies his people together and plants the vision. He empowers them to carry it out. And most of all - he cares.

Greg, you inspire me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Ah Chooo!

That's been my week. Most of it. Kleenex, dristan and snot everywhere. Not a pretty sight. I guess that's the funny part.

Jen's fiance has been laid up with leg injuries and their wedding is only weeks away.

Steve Jones' mother-in-law passed away.

My mom is in hospital after a fall that broke her pelvis, hip, thumb, and she has Alzheimer.

It's given me time to reflect on a bunch of things, like priorities. Memories. Precious moments of time that I cannot get back.

Additionally, I've been in and out of my psychiatrist and psychologist offices for treatment of moderate depression. I would like to think I'm handing it better recently, but when it gets bad, it's really dark. Some days I can fake it on the air and push it through for the short 15-seconds that the show must go on. Other dark days, I just can't get to work.

Today I spoke at Glenwood Chapel in Port Carling - a super-supporting church for LIFE. They bless us ridiculously! WE love you guys! I think I spoke through the message with enthusiasm, but after that, I found myself sitting in the secretary's office, alone, in silence, waiting for things to disperse.

In the last two months there have been such a busy agenda of LIFE speaking engagements that I have not been to my home church once on a Sunday morning. Thankfully Pastor Wayne has made time for me on other days where I've asked him to pour into me, which he is very good at.

So here I am. Blogging. Thinking about what lies ahead. Emptying a box of Kleenex and thinking about tomorrow's show.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Picture In The Masthead

You asked ... so I’ll tell you.

The second photo on the left (above) was taken in 1998 in the studio of B101 in Barrie where I worked part-time as the weekend DJ, just filling time until LIFE was approved by the CRTC. At this point in time, the research was done and the application was at the CRTC waiting for approval.

What I find quite funny, is that in this picture, I am doing my show on B101 and as the songs played (8 in a row), I was composing various thoughts for LIFE 100.3 - promos, music lists and so on.

I had told B101 management that I had filed an application for a license. The Station Manager Tom Aikens laughed off my idea. Then came the CRTC hearing date. I got a phone call that day telling me I was no longer needed. I smiled. God is moving.

This photo reminds me of the days before LIFE 100.3. It was a hard time - not knowing my future. A humbling time - working for $9 an hour at B101 and living in my parent’s basement. But I anticipated LIFE and knew if we got the license, Barrie listeners would love it, just as Nashville listeners loved WAY.

Only a few months after this picture was taken, LIFE 100.3 was on the air.

Meantime, I’m excited about the semi-finals of Karaoke Superstar this Saturday 2pm at the Bayfield Mall in Barrie. (This photo is Levi denBok and Ed Seymour - both contestants from Wasaga Beach.)
See you there!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Light Division

The Light Division - new band from Hamilton. Last night they played held a CD release party for "Oh, So Close" in Stayner at the Missionary Church. It was great. And loud! I think they were louder than any KISS concert I've been to! I didn't think church PAs could blow that loud!

There were four bands prior to Light Division. Levi den Bok, who is a LIFE Karaoke semi- finalist, was on the bill with his band. This guy is obviously a worshipper. He loves the Lord. It's clear through his songs, his lyrics, and what he says on stage. It's refreshing to hear a young person who passionately loves Jesus and feel so comfortable about it. If Levi doesn't make it in music, my guess is he'll get into modeling. He's a good-looking guy. (Well, he is!)

Fire And Sound were next up. Three guys with a really full "wall of sound" sound, a bit like a Blink 182 or All American Rejects. When Tyler, Colin and Mickey they hit the stage, it just blew up! Tyler Chapman processed his vocals through an on-stage auto-tuner or vocoder - I'm not sure which - but his voice was compressed and phased making it, obviously pitch-perfect, but also really thick. It's a cool trick that isn't really new, since Cher started using it 1998 on "Believe". It's an effect saved for the studio but with Tyler using it live, it certainly made his vocals the hottest of the night.

Arriving late from Ottawa, after a 9-hour drive, through the rain, on a holiday weekend - gasp! - with no sound check, was Benefit Of A Doubt. These guys have done some good shows and are getting their name around thru a bit of radio play and some showcases. It was surprising, that a band of this caliber, would come so far as a support act. Nice work.

Lastly, The Light Division. My friend Shaun Gowman invited me to the show. So it was a personal mission as well as a Street Team event for LIFE 100.3. LD has a mini-cd with seven songs, two of which we play on LIFE - "Clockwork Magic" and "A Map To The End of the World". Both songs are spinning in my iPod while I'm at the gym. Unfortunately they lost a guitarist and they played their CD release party as a foursome. But still, this was exciting music. They reminded me of Anberlin both in music style and stage presence. Shaun is a monster on drums! And Brad van der Woerd is a class act behind the mic and on guitar and keyboard. He quickly mentioned his faith, enough for us to know he's a strong Christian performer and then let the music take over. I told Brad and Shaun that I found the music "exciting". Awesome night.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Surviving Training Camp

Hey to everyone at Trillium Resort and Spa in Port Sydney. Me, Steve Jones, Ben Davy, AJ, everyone on the LIFE staff - we had a training camp over the weekend. All the DJs, all the sales people, behind the scenes people, our wives (and husbands) - we all went up to Trillium. Had a guest speaker come - a radio guy. Chris Bray led us in worship yesterday.

Kaj Ballantyne from Harvest Bible Chapel in Huntsville shared a message during Sunday morning chapel. He talked about Jesus and the disciples in the boat when the storm came. Kaj gave us such a detailed verbal presentation that it was better than any video there might be! He was that good!

Good opportunity for our staff to hang out, away from the radio station, get to know each other on a different level. Learned that Ben Davy's wife is really good at charades. We played Family Feud - just like the TV show. We surveyed our LIFE staff and put the top 5 answers on the board. And after the games we got a little vision casting done - set goals for the new year. Got some good stuff planned, new contests and stuff.

Thanks to Trillium Resort - they looked after us real well. In fact, the staff were practically invisible all weekend - I mean that in a good way. They brought out the snacks and moved around tables without any distractions to us. So two thumbs up for Trillium resort.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Training Camp

Big weekend ahead. It's our training camp for LIFE staff.

It's not a retreat. Arrrrg! When you go on retreat you're "getting away". In this case, we're not getting away from anything. We're "going" away to a resort, but not to rest. Training Camp is just that - training, motivational, restoration, focus, setting goals. All that stuff that owners and managers love, but the staff hates.

I've tried to put together an agenda that, in the end, will have the entire staff in a rave! Guest speaker from WAY-FM, music with Chris Bray, chapel with Kaj Ballantyne of Harvest Bible Chapel. And lots of free time to walk, wander, kayak and hang. Lots of food. Cool chalet accommodations.

The book "Inside The Postal Bus" by Toronto cyclist Michael Barry (from Toronto) was my inspiration. Hopefully the LIFE staff feels the love.