Sunday, October 31, 2010


I give up.

Hallowe'en. It's evil. No, it's ok if you don't dress up like Satan. No, it has satanic roots. No, it's ok if the church turns it into a (cheesy) Harvest party. No, it's just fun and candies - and nobody gets hurt.

I'm tired of the debate. I don't know which is right. My pastor friend's of mine approve of it, so if it's pastor approved then it MUST be ok. So, I'm handed out candy, anyway.

Ding dong. Dog barks - alot.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Santa Claus at MY door! I must have been a good boy!

"Is that your dog?" Santa asks. I tell Santa, "No it's my cat dressed up like a poodle."

Wow - Celebrating Halloween and Santa at the same time?! I'm gonna get kicked out of church!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

GMA Canada - in Calgary

It's Gospel Music Week in Calgary. I almost didn't come this year. I'm glad I did!

This week is about seminars, worshops, worship and showcases. Oh, and the Covenant Awards.

Today I hung out with the SHINE-FM radio people at the radio track. The sessions were "ok". Beth BaCall from STAR in New York hosted on track that was exceptional. She invited five Calgary Christian radio listeners to sit on a panel while she (Beth) and us in the audience, asked questions - like a focus group. The five listeners told us how they felt about Christian radio, how they spend their time, things they love and how they use social media. (1 in 5 of them tweets; 1 in 5 has an iPhone, 5 of 5 use Facebook, 4 of 5 are involved in their church.)

Radio and artists love to schmooze, me included. It was cool seeing old friends and meeting new friends.

It's been a long day - it feels like a week has passed. I didn't get dinner til 11:30pm. Haha!

Tomorrow, more of the same, concluding with the Covenant Awards - the Christian music awards for Canadians. Unfortunately it is not broadcast on TV.

Calgary is an awesome city. Not as cool as Ottawa, but very close!

I miss the gym and my poodle!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weather Balloon

Got 7 minutes? This video is amazing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Calvary With Tim

Yesterday, Sunday. Church day.

Tim Maassarany was speaking at Calvary in Barrie. Me and my wife (Janice) tagged along for support. Thanks to Pastor Lawrence for the invitation and letting us share how God uses this radio station to encourage people.

Now about Pastor Lawrence - what a firecracker! If you go to Calvary, you already know this, but I gotta tell you - he was ON! ON! ON! It was one of those messages that excited me so much about staying on track with the Lord, reminded me about blocking out the negative distractions of media, making holy choices - great stuff. It’s days like that at church that I realize I’ve wandered just a wee bit, lowered my guard and just being there pulls me back and redirects to me to focus more on the Lord.

Do you ever find that if you’re on vacation, or you missed a couple of weeks of church coz you slept in or something - you feel like you're out of step? Like God is far away. And then you go back to church, and everything feels just right.

Anyway, thanks Pastor Lawrence for a great message and a fun morning.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Anberlin plays in Toronto Tuesday. I missed the last two tours. The last couple of albums were too esoteric for me. Stephen Christian is a great writer and deep thinker. I guess I don't go that deep. Hahaha! In an interview the band said that the new CD "Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place" is less poppy and darker than other albums. What .... less poppy? Swell.

A quick google gave me their setlist from a recent show and there seems to be enough older songs to keep me happy. If it's good, I'll post a review this week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Poodle Is Back!

Just over two weeks ago, my worst fear came true. Callie’s stomach twisted, which they call bloat. Standard poodles are prone to this horrible fate, that, if corrected by surgery within six hours, the pet dies.

Praise God that we have the only 24 hour emergency animal hospital just three minutes from my house.

Praise God that the surgery was a success.

After surgery, Callie was walking with her knees bowed out at the side and had very little control. The emergency vet in Toronto said it could be affected by MG (a disease with a long name), a brain tumour, or a spinal problem - all requiring surgery.

All the tests came up negative. Praise God.

None of the specialists could give an explanation so we took her home, with her wobbly, messed up legs, so she could rest in comfort.

Each day she got better. Now she’s going for walks and jumping up on the bed!

Yesterday the neurologist vet in Toronto called to check on Callie. When we told him that she was jumping up on the bed he said, “Wow, she is one very lucky dog.” The tone in his voice suggested his doubt that she would make it at all. The surgerons in Toronto could not figure out why her legs were bent.

Now I can personally say God answered three prayers, immediately. 1 - Successful surgery for bloat; 2 - no additional surgery; 3) unexplained healing of her legs.

I often wonder why bad things happen, and despite my prayers for healing, people die. One of my Christian friends says that God doesn’t do major miracles anymore. I was getting very discouraged and wondering if God was more of a spectator, watching us humans, and not interferring with miracles.

There is not much closer to my heart than Callie. When I prayed and told God, “I’m giving her back to you”, he gave her a new life.

Praise God.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

12 Angry Men

Saturday, my wife and I went to the St. Jacob’s Drayton Theatre Playhouse to see “12 Angry Men”.

We’re both fans of the movie “12 Angry Men”. The 1957 version starred Henry Fonda. The 1997 version stars Jack Lemmon, but it’s George C. Scott’s character that steals the movie. He’s a loud mouth guy, sweating profusely with veins popping from his neck as he gets angry, and he gets angry a lot.

It’s an interesting movie because the 12 jurors are never referred to by name, just juror number. The defendant and the witnesses are never named either. Throughout the movie the jurors discuss the facts of the case - who saw what and who did what. The unique thing about "12 Angry Men" is that all but four minutes of drama is set in the jury room. Have you ever seen a movie where so much drama takes place in one room?

The Drayton Theatre production is the same. The characters are almost identical, as is the script and the actors who took the Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott roles did them justice.

Great play. Awesome movie!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Don't Like Thursdays

LIFE 100.3 is in a building with tenants who are mostly medical. The building next door, with whom we share the parking lot, is also medical.

Thursday must be “go to the doctor day” because you cannot find a parking space at either building. I circle around and around the building like a hawk looking for a place to park. Everyone is driving around, up and down lanes, around the lots. One lap, second lap - let's make it three.

More people are coming in.

Oh - I see a couple cars coming out! Nope... false alarm. Just drivers who thought they had found a space, but didn't.

Suddenly, I see a space just up ahead. I floor it to grab it before anyone else! In front of me is another guy trying to beat me to the spot. Hopefully this won't be a head-on! We both get there, blue smoke coming off our wheels - and there’s a compact car in the space! It couldn’t be seen earlier. Arrrrrg!

Around again.

I might as well park at the mall and take a shuttle to work.

I should take Thursdays off.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Need a laugh? The first part is a series of still photos, but at :33 the video takes over and - it's funny. Awful. Awfully funny!

Friday, October 8, 2010


It's Thanksgiving. Remember to give thanks. Even pets give thanks!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Callie is Home

We picked her up at the Toronto Vet Emerg at Noon today and she was full of kisses! Now we’re home.

I think the last five days spent visiting three vet clinics didn’t give her an opportunity to get much sleep. Too much barking, too many blood tests and people disturbing her quiet time. Now, she’s flopped out on the floor next to me, dreaming of squirrels.

Her back legs are still messed up. She can’t walk far. The vet called it "her Groucho Marx Walk" coz she's hunched over and walking with knees pointed out. The vet doesn’t know what’s wrong. He tested for three different ailments and all the results were negative. Now we’re trying the “rest at home” method and hope that works.

Thanks for your prayers.

My dog reigns!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Dog Is An Awesome Dog

It’s been a crazy week of emotion.

After the surgery from bloat (twisted stomach) on Saturday night, I visited Callie at the vet, Sunday afternoon. When I took her for a walk, I immediately noticed that her back legs were all messed up; she was walking bow-legged - and she could only walk about 10 feet then she would fall to the ground, giving up.

The vet said it was probably a spinal problem and she would need surgery, costing about $8,000. Swell.

Our regular vet said he didn’t know what it was, but probably not a spinal issue. He referred us to the neutrologist in Toronto and suggested we get there “as soon as possible.”

Off we went Monday night. We watched the vet staff take Callie to ICU on a gurney. The estimate was $2,400 and they required a deposit up front. The deposit was for the entire amount! (I guess people get the work done, take their pets and leave without paying.)

That night we stayed in Toronto. I prayed hard. I felt it was time to “give her back to God”. Man, was that hard to do. She’s 9 years old. What a great 9 years it's been. Maybe this is it? My wife agreed and we commited her into God’s hands. I didn’t think she’d make it thru the night.

She did. Tuesday morning we visited Callie at the Toronto vet. She had a tube up her noise and a cone around her head. That was alarming. We spend two hours, lying on the floor of ICU talking to her.

Now it’s Wednesday. My poodle is still in ICU in Toronto. The vet has ruled out a spinal problem and the need for surgery. Now he’s testing for other things which would require steroids but no surgery.

I just want my poodle home with me.

Footnote: All the vets and their staff, in Barrie and Toronto - they all love animals. They just enjoy their company and treat them with love and respect. That encourages me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Dog

A bit of a panic Saturday night.

We were watching a movie at home and my dog started acting weird. Standing up looking at the wall. I let her outside - in and out, a few times.

Well, having seen the movie “Marley and Me”, I knew what was wrong. Her stomach flipped. I knew this would happen one day. Apparently standard poodles are prone to this. Gases build up in the stomach and can’t escape out of either end. It’s a miserable condition that leads to death if the gases aren’t released.

Took her to the emergency vet. Barrie has the only 24-hour emerg in the area. The next closest is Newmarket and I don’t think our dog would have lived that long. She had surgery at midnight and made it through. However, tonight, she is still recouperating.

I visited her today. She was pretty mad at me. She didn’t look at me or acknowledge me, which may be a result of the drugs, but she seemed to notice the nurse and other dogs and passers by.

I’m waiting for an update.

I love my dog.