Friday, April 30, 2010


Today is my last day. It feels very weird. I'm off on a 13-week sabbatical from LIFE 100.3. I'm very appreciative of our Directors of Trust Communications Ministries for answering my request and allowing me this time of rest.

I confess, I'm burnt out. 33 years of radio - I'm fried. Toronto, Peterborough, Moose Jaw, Kapuskasing (where?!), Pembroke, North Bay, Sudbury, Nashville, Toronto (again) and Barrie. Have I peaked? Is LIFE, it?

13 weeks. What am I gonna do? I don't want to waste it.

Well, I'm not going to a foreign country on a missions trip - although it seems to be on my mind more than I'll admit.
I'm not going to build another radio station. (Although I am consulting.)
I'm not going to listen to LIFE, or visit the website, or do any business connected with LIFE. I need the escape.
I'm not going to become a Personal Manager for a Christian artist although the temptation is strong and the dialogue is haunting me.
I'm said I wouldn't write a book - but I have a couple of ideas. One is fiction and the other is about, well, radio.
I'm not a gardener.
I'm lousy with a hammer.
And I've never played baseball.
I want to improve my Walk with the Lord although I have no idea of where to start without overwhelming myself. And I know for sure I can't do it alone.
I want to bike a lot and get in better shape.
I want to start a Christian nightclub, like Rocketown in Nashville, that is part coffee house, part venue for rock concerts, part meeting-place for community groups. But I need a business partner. I'm serious. Anyone interested?
I'm going to U2 in July.
I'm going to Tommy James and the Shondells at Casino Rama.
I'm going to wash the stair railings at home.
I'm going to take my dog for a walk.
I want to rest and let my brain buffer and rediscover beauty.
I want to conquer depression.

To the amazing staff at LIFE 100.3 - you are the best staff combination since start-up. Thank you for being so gifted and special and caring that taking this sabbatical is possible. I have no worries.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm Dry

Today I feel like nobody is pouring into my life. I mean, spiritually. I feel dry. I know God hears my prayers but I don't feel his presence. I don't "feel" Jesus in me. Not today. Not for a while. I'm reading "Good To Great" which leaves me with more questions about God and disagreements with the author and sometimes I'm left feeling alone in my beliefs.

As I say this, I know a hundred people are ready to give me 100 suggestions.

"Read your Bible".
"Study your Bible"
"Wait on God".
"Worship, Fast and Pray"
"Read a devotional"
"Call a friend and ask for encouragement" (I have no friends, just business acquaintances.)
"Don't pray on your bed. Get on your knees and pray."
"You must have sin in your sin and God isn't listening to your praises"
"You have A.D.D for God. You need medication to help you focus."
"Watch this devotional - it will change your life".
"Read this book, and this one, and this one -it will change your life".
"Eat these vitamins -it will refresh your soul".
"Take a long walk with God".
"Get up early every day and pray" (Early? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.)
‘If you can't concentrate on a book, watch 100 Huntley Street or another Bible teaching show"
"Go to Jacob's Well for a week and get refreshed"
"Get more involved in your church" (no thanks)
"Join a Bible study". (I did. It's surface level stuff)
"Join a different Bible study".
"Go to a conference about healing".
"Go to Jacob's Well for a week and soak in it"
"Get the elders to anoint you with oil."
"You need to see a Christian counsellor"
"Just don' worry about it. You worry too much"

And this is my "favourite" -

"You need to go back and break the bondages of sin from past generations"

Man, everyone is giving me "Christian hoops to jump through". I'm too tired to take on all this stuff. Isn't there an easier way?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Laying Down The Beats

Played drums at church today. Had a great morning.

The practice was scheduled for 7:30am. Ya - in the morning. And I'm a night person. And, my church is 45 minutes away in Alliston. But, I miss playing since our band broke up - so I'm a drummer for hire!


Sing, Sing, Sing
Because Of Your Love
Awesome In This Place (not the Hillsong version; it was a slow, unknown song to me)
You Are Worthy Of My Praise
King Of Majesty (encore song, didn't play)

I've not played any of these songs before so I got on You Tube yesterday and made some drum notes. Unfortunately at church practice, we only "run thru the songs", we don't learn them like a band, so it's almost an improvise, if you like. In the band, we learned the songs - every punch, crash, and accent. Every beat. I like that. From what I hear, almost every church worship band "runs thru the songs" - a verse and chorus - and it's good enough.

Well, except Jody Cross - his band learns the songs note for note!

Still good to get behind the kit and rock out some praises.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


("You know what I hate" is a series of blogs inspired by my daughter's blog, which is about things HER FRIEND hates. So my daughter's email is like a ghost writer. That's confusing. Forget it. Back to me.)

You know what I hate? I hate planes.

I look forward to vacations. I pack my favourite shorts and t-shirt. My camera, iPod, journal, cell, cell charger, laptop charger,ipod charger, camera charger - how many chargers do I need? Arrrrrg. Somehow it all stuffs into the suitcase.

I leave for the airport hours early. Many hours. Because my wife says we have to be there 3 hours before takeoff. Plus account for traffic delays. Might as well go the night before and sleep on a bench.

I'll skip talking about going thru US customs coz we all know what a ridiculous interrogation that is.

Finally I board the plane. And then the nonsense begins. The stuff I hate. The announcements.

Non-stop announcements.

All I have to do is put on my seatbelt and sit. But they have all these stupid announcements and rules and procedures.

First they tell me how to buckle my seat belt. I drive a car. It has a seatbelt. And even if I didn't drive a car, I think I'm smart enough to figure out how to buckle the left strap to the right. But thanks for the instructions.

"Excuse me sir, but you're sitting next to the emergency exit,so let me show you have it works". Ya sure, you do that, and in case we crash, I'll remember to crank the key left, the cable right, flip up the thing-a-ma-jig and heave the 5,000 pound door out of the plane. Ya, ok. I can do that. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

Then we go through the oxygen masks. Now are we really gonna need these? And if we do, and I hope we don't, but if we do, do I really need instructions? I think I get it! I jam the freaking mask over my mouth and suck it in! No instructions needed.

Then the next announcement tells me how they are gonna nickle and dime me for drinks and sandwiches after I've already paid $500 for my seat. A seat that fits a small teenager not a grown man.

More announcements.

Five impatient people pop the steward "I need help" button above the seat. Boing! You know the one? It blasts off a tone that fractures my inner ear. The guy next to me blows his nose. The lady in front of me hacks up a lung. There's 200 people in a confined space for four hours, half of whom are probably sick and I'm stuck in the middle. Well, at least I have the nearest exit.

The pilot cranks open the mic for another announcement and I can barely hear him advising us - "We'll be flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet". No kidding? Every plane flies at that height. Always. And if we're not, what am I gonna do about it? Then he tells me the names of his co-pilot and the cabin crew so we can be best friends.

Next announcement - "Thanks for flying with Air Canada and in about 10 minutes we'll get this Boeing going." Did she really say "we'll get this Boeing going?"

Oh - another announcement. "This is a non smoking plane and the washrooms are equipped with smoke alarms." Well if it's a non smoking plane, why would we need smoke alarms?

Then, if this whole routine isn't bad enough, they do the whole bloody thing over again in french, or spanish.

Oh, there's one more announcement. "We have a delay and we'll be on the runway for another ten minutes". Of course.

Behind me a baby is screaming its face off, drowning out the sound of the engines.

Ahhh - nothing like riding in style.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Getting Some Rest

I started in radio in 1977. Of all places it was at CHUM with an internship at CHUM-FM, who were far down the ratings in the 70's. When my month long placement was done, I volunteered to help in the CHUM-AM library. I didn't tell them my internship was up - I just kept going in every Wednesday, even after school was out for summer. Finally, I left for a summer job in Peterborough and shortly after I got on the air in Kingston in 1978 and have been on the air every weekday, at almost every station since then, and if I was not on every day, I did shifts here and there to keep the vibe alive.

I have always been on the air for one reason - to entertain myself. I didn't become a radio personality to please my boss, or the owner of the company. I didn't do it to bless the Lord, although I hope I did. And, I didn't do it to entertain the listeners. I have always been on the air with the purpose of entertaining myself. I figured if my show challenged me, and the bits were relevant or the phone call was funny and the whole thing made me smile, then maybe the boss, the company and the listeners would like it too.

After 33 years, I feel like I've run out of things to say. So on February 25, I stopped. Today, I decided it was time to get away from radio for a while and thankfully our Board of Directors is giving me a 13 week sabbatical.

It's quite common for pastors and company leaders to go on sabbatical. Some go back to school to get their masters of something. Some do home renovations, some write books, some change careers and manage upcoming rock stars. (hint hint)

A friend of mine who just came off a sabbatical, explained to me that everyone has an amount of energy to help them function. The energy gets drained by work, or worries and just regular energy, and we're left with the reserve tank. He said to me, "your reserve tank is empty". His advice was the best advice I'd heard from those I had asked. He said "Scott, you need time to do nothing. Just rest your body and get some sleep. Slow down your mind, refresh your spirit with God and visit your son. Rediscover laughter and beauty. And visit other radio stations coz that's what you like to do".

I don't know how many of those things I mentioned will happen but if God is going to give me new vision, then I need to make time.

My return date to LIFE in the office is August 4. Whether I go back on the air is another thought. But til then, the blogging continues.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Webcam Is An Evil Piece of Technology

So I’m in St. Louis last week using the hotel computer. I hit "webcam" to see what that was about, thinking, "oh, it’s probably a view of St. Louis from the top of a building".


I looked at the full screen photo. I looked again at this person. Who the hell is that? Oh my goodness - it’s ME?! And I look so freaking old! I turned my face to the left and then the right. Yup, it's me, alright! I tried pulling up my sagging face. I squeezed the frown out of my brow. I looked at the dark circles under my eyes. I thought I was looking at an Alice Cooper photo!

After all the pulling and squeezing and twisting, attempting to get some youth back in my face, I realized I had run out of hands.

Holy crap! How did I get so old? Is this what I really look like? I just stared in despair at this withering, old, ugly, pale, unhappy, sagging face. Finally, when I was fully depressed, (and I mean in the true medical sense of the word), I turned it off and stormed out of the hotel.

"Man, what the hell am I going to look like when I’m 70?"

Fortunately, Janice and I went up
the Millennial Hotel Building to eat dinner in the revolving restaurant. The nice table-server took a photo that is passable for posting on line.

As a footnote, and totally unrelated to the above posting - ahem - I was watching TV in our hotel and saw an advertisement of Patrick Dempsey selling Loreal for Men to conceal the dark circles under his eyes. Hmmm.

(I apologize for the coarse language. I was pretty upset when I looked in the mirror!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

YKWIH - # ??

My wife and I are at the checkout in a store buying something. The cost is, for example, $12.74.

My wife would never break a $20 so she searches through her purse for the exact change while 10 people are huffing and puffing behind her. Including me. So she finds the $10 bill, then clamours through gum, tweezers, Esso bills going back a year, a couple of bottles of medication and dog cookies. Just in case.

So you know what a woman's purse is like. It's like a Costco store all squeezed into a bag that she bought on vacation. "Honey, you're not walking around with THAT bag are you?" I asked her. She does.

At this point, we've got the $10 bill, the toonie. Two quarters. Now she's searching for one dime, two nickels and four pennies for exact change, like the clerk really cares.

Ooops. Only 3 pennies. Sawww-wee.

"Oh wait a minute - here's a $5 bill - just give me the change."

Ten minutes has passed. The line-up is pissed. People are passing out from the tension. With the purse-delay the line now winds back and forth three times into the elevator.

You think I'm kidding. (Ok, slight exaggeration, but not much.)

Yeeesh. Wait til I tell ya the tipping story in a taxi!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chuck Berry - And I Was There!

Chuck Berry. A Living legend. A pioneer on the guitar. He blended R&R, Gospel and Country and early Rock and Roll was the product.

For a few years I've wanted to see Chuck Berry in concert because so many of the legends are passing away. (As I write this Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis are still with us.) But Chuck Berry's guitar rhythms embedded in "Johnny B Goode", "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Reelin' And Rockin'" have inspired many, many rock stars who followed, from the 60's through the 21 Century. To name them all would be impossible, but to name one - Keith Richards - would be inexcusable.

Outside the Duck Room is a star on the walk of fame saluting his contribution to music. And, he was the first artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame In Cleveland in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #5 on the 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time. Wow!

Chuck Berry is 83 this year, turning 84 in October. Once a month he travels from Ladue, Missouri, about five miles away to play a club show in his hometown St. Louis at a basement club called "The Duck Room" which is part of the restaurant/memorabilia "museum" known as Blueberry Hill "in the Loop". Chuck, his son, his daughter and supporting musicians do a one hour show of his hits.

This week, I flew to St. Louis to see Chuck play. I guess you could say this would be a "bucket list experience".

Over Chuck's 83 years he's had his problems with tax evasion, served jailtime and some other junk that is more personal than professional. It's the guitarist I wanted to see.

This is what I saw. April 14, 10pm, he opened with "Roll Over Beethoven" and played for a solid hour. He signed about five autographs and then disappeared.

At 1:25 on the video his does his famous duck-walk! It's not slick. It's not a moonwalk. But the cheers were riotous for this 83 year old rock and roll pioneer who still plays just coz he loves it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Going To St. Louis

Going to see Chuck Berry in St. Louis. Chuck Berry - a guitar pioneer. He's playing at the Duck Room. Hopefully Friday when I get back I'll have a post about the show.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Poor David Suzuki - he couldn't predict a snowfall if someone hit him in the head with a snowball. Haha. All Suzuki talks about is the impending threat of Global Warming. He has nothing else to say. Well, look here - Barrie has gone from Winter to Summer in one day.

So last weekend, remember? It was blazing hot. My wife and I went on the bikes at the waterfront. It was kinda eerie seeing people on the beach, dogs taking a crap on the snow, little kids with their pails digging for a wonderful discovery and a mountain of ice against the shoreline, frozen in time.

I hate the snow.

But I love the summer, and sunsets like these.

That reminds me - I wonder if the Barrie of City will put lifeguards on patrol on the long 24/Weekend when beaches are packed. Prolly not. Barrie puts Lifeguards on patrol July 1st and not one day sooner and pulls its life guards one week before labour day when beaches are busting with screaming babies, pooping dogs and people who wear thongs. Lifeguards. Cheapskates at City Hall. That qualifies for another YKWIH!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Have you seen the movie "America?" This is a movie produced and starring Rosie O'Donnell. It's about the foster care system - how it rescues impoverished kids who are wasting away, places them in foster homes where they are further abused and then sent to a government system that has more failure than successes.

Rosie discovered the young male star Philip Johnson in a restaurant and thought the rookie actor fit the image of the character in the film. He's a great choice. Rosie plays a psychiatrist and America is the problem kid. His name is America because his ethnic background is a mix of everything in America. In the beginning, America won't speak to his social worker, let alone share his inner secrets but throughout the film Rosie (the psychiatrist) works with him, gains his trust and he finally shares his torment. The last 10 minutes are worth it.

Warning - this is not a Christian film. And although it's rated PG, there's a lot of junk and it should probably be rated at least 14A. Because I have a friend in foster care I know a bit about the nonsense and mistrust that goes on in foster situations and I felt I had to see this movie.

Bottom line - If you want to be safe and live in a Christian bubble with bunnies and rainbows then don't watch this movie. This movie would never be "pastor approved". But if you dare to be informed, watch, and discover the sad truth that even in your safe city, on your street, the government system is not doing the job you might think it is set up to do.

I truly feel that a movie with a good moral ending where good overcomes evil is not justification for sitting thru two hours of off-screen sexual abuse, lies and profanity. This is an exception. This is real life and Rosie puts her heart and money into the film to show us the truth that we cannot see.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Last night I attended The Rocket Summer concert at the Opera House in Toronto. This is one of those shows where I really only care about one song - and if I don't hear that song, there's gonna be trouble!

The song was "So Much Love". And, he played it!

The Rocket Summer is a band, but really it's one guy named Bryce Avery. He's a super-talented guy. He wrote all the songs on the new cd. He produced it. He played all the instruments on it. So when it comes to a live show he needs a band.

I listened to the new CD "Of Men and Angels" and didn't really like it. So, "So Much Love" from the previous cd was the key to this show, for me. The highlight of the show wasn't "that song". It was Bryce, leaving his keyboard downstage, kicking the band off the stage, and going up to the kit to hammer out 32 bars of funky beats. Then he looped it. (Recorded). He jumped downstage and grabbed the bass and did 32 bars of a bass groove, and looped it. Then over to the keyboard and 32 bars of some snappy rhythm - and looped it. Then, as the loop of drums, bass and keyboard played back, he took the guitar, stood on the monitor and screamed out a solo!

I've only seen live looping done once before. The cool thing for the audience was watching a song being recorded, each instrument, one by one, hearing the tracks build. As the looped song came to an end, the band came back on stage without missing a beat. It was - very amazing.

Bryce apologized to the Toronto audience about six times for not playing a Toronto date sooner. He said, "we had a week off the tour so I asked our agent to book us in Toronto". Hmmm. Not sure about that, but the sentiments were nice. Sometimes he was too nice. Telling Toronto that "Toronto audiences are the best". We all know that's not true. After 40 years of hearing rock stars use that line on an audience, I guess I'm a little hard to it. But anyway.

I think I should go back and listen to the new cd. No doubt the songs will mean more to me now.

Monday, April 5, 2010


My daughter continues her blog of "You Know What I Hate?" It's very funny but I think I got her beat this week.

I hate being in a restaurant with wooden chairs and people scrape their chair across the tile. It makes me choke. Squeak. Squeak! I'm trying to have a quiet - SQUEAK - conversation.

I hate going to fast food burger restaurants with dumb teen customer service reps who have no memory for their jobs. They say, "Can I take your order". I'm thinking - "we can try but I doubt you can do it". The teen employee gives me the zombie expression which really says "I wish I was texting my friends". "I would like a number one combo". They say, "What do you want to drink?". I answer, "a Coke". The employee asks me, "Is this to dine in or to go?" I answer, "Dine in please". The employee returns with my fries and burger and then asks me again what I want to drink. I say, "Uh, like I said - a Coke, please". "Oh right. There you go. Is this to go or dine in?" Hello? Were you listening to my answers less than 30 seconds ago or were you in zombieland? Every time I go there, the teen employees forget. New employees each week, but the zombie brain must be a qualification. Good luck in customer service, kid.

You know what I really hate? Washing the cutlery. I'll wash dishes. Glasses. Pots and pans. I hate the cutlery. They sit in the sink, taunting me. "Wash me, wash me!" I leave the cutlery for my wife. I hate the cutlery.

You know what I hate? People who have extremely long leases on their animals, stopping the flow of pedestrians. I love dogs. I hate the stupid long leashes. They should be banned.

I hate people who walk on the bike path when there is a walking path available. We bikers ride fast. We can run over little kids who don't look for us. We can run over their parents who aren't watching their lovely children. I grab my brakes. Rubber burns. The parents look up like a deer in the headlights and say "oh, sorry". You're sorry?! I was up to 45 km/hr, pounded on my brakes, crushed my momentum, lost the vibe of a great ride, all so I wouldn't leave tire marks on your kid. Hey - get your kid off the bike path, ok?!

I hate going to the gas station to use my "speed pass". It asks me 5,000 questions before I can pump gas. Do you want a receipt? Do you want a wash? Do you have air miles? Did you remember your umbrella? You get it? Finally, after an interrogation, it lets me pump gas. Speed Pass at Esso? Ya right. At Shell, the pump asks one question - pick your selection. That's it. Esso? Bite me.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Thursday

I met with a friend this week for lunch and as I had hoped, he gave me great advice.

Well, blog buddies, you're my friends, so I know you don't mind me cutting to the chase and stating: I feel burned out. My sleep pattern is totally ruined. I surrendered my radio show three months ago because I felt like I had nothing more to say and I still don't miss it. (I've been on the air for 30 years!) The depression still exists about every 3 days. If you have depression maybe you can relate to "I don't care". I think depression is really about selfishness. If selfishness is not bad enough, the sulking is the icing on the cake.

Well, thankfully there's a lot of people who care about me so that's encouraging. And not the people I expected. I've got lots (and lots) of advice. Every week someone wants to help me by selling me a video series, or a book, or download a podcast or go to a retreat centre, or buy some medicinal thing. I wonder - why won't God just heal me?

It's tough being a leader and feeling useless for a half week.

Well, as I said, I went to lunch and my friend discerned my story and suggested I take a sabbatical. Hmmm. That sounds like fun. It's very common in ministry and for company leaders. Sometimes leaders go back to school to get their "masters of something". Other people travel. Some explore a hobby that they've never had time to get to. And being a project-based person, I always need three or four things going on at the same time. My friend looked at me and he said - "No. You need to rest".

Rest. Well, I'll get a little of that over this Easter Weekend.

I also had, I think, a spiritual breakthru today. But that's for another blog.

Thinking About: The Breakthru
Listening To: "Rose Garden" Nick Jonas - iPod repeat
Reading: "Still Growing" Kirk Cameron
Praying About: How to find rest.