Sunday, November 24, 2013


This is Christmas decorating weekend at our house. Janice leads the way, as usual. The Noel rug goes on the front door, the tree in the foyer, the manger on the mantel, the Santa statue in the foyer, the lights on the's a very, very, very, very, very long list.

The usual nicknacks and family photos come down from the living room and bedroom and up go lots of fuzzy red and green crafty things.

And while Janice busily decks the halls, there is a Christmas playlist of tunes blasting out Amy Grant, Michael Buble and Lady Antebellum from the kitchen.

Tonight we'll probably watch the new (recent) Christmas movie "Holiday Spin".

Fa la la la la...

Friday, November 15, 2013


I’m writing this blog for listeners of LIFE who suffer from depression. If you don’t have depression, you might want to read AJ’s blog. It’s probably more fun.

It’s been three years since I had a daily show on LIFE 100.3. Even as a fill-in DJ, I haven’t been on the air for nearly a year. (The Retro Show is recorded during the week.) Filling in for Tim Maassarany for the last seven days has been a treat and a bit like finding your favourite old t-shirt and finding it still fits.

I came off the air about three years ago after being dianosed with depression. Anxiety was a constant surprise, making me unreliable. The daily meds and monthly visits to a psychiatrist have helped but I'm convinced that some of trouble I still have are side-effects from the meds, like the lousy memory and the inability to focus on reading documents.

Wikipedia lists 12 side-effects to the med I'm on. I've found 14.

Just when I think I’ve overcome this mental illness, the most annoying disorder reminds me that depression is still present and that is my unreliability. From one day to the next, I never know if I’m going to feel like doing the things I have planned on my schedule. When I’m in that zone, all I want to do is cancel everything, do nothing, be alone and sit. Or sulk.

If you know what all that means, you’ll understand how committing to seven days in a row could be stressful; not the amount of time, but rather the commitment. I took it one day at a time, reminding myself that I really enjoy going on the air.

Fortunately, it’s been a good couple of weeks on the afternoon drive shift. Not on cancellation!

So depression - I got you beat, this week!

Don't ever say "I understand".  The depressed person knows you don't.
Don't say, "read your Bible" - that's very annoying for a Christian.
Don't try to reason how they feel. You'll probably end up in a fight.

(These work on me.)
1) Make a suggestion to do something you know they enjoy. Go for a walk? Watch a TV show?
2) Sit with the person, and hold their hand, but don't talk. Just be there. It's comforting to have a friend who knows enough to just be quiet.
3) Say nicely, "I'll leave you alone for awhile."  The mood will pass and everything returns to normal.
4) Above all, don't bail on the person.
Friends stick with friends in tough times.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Whether or not I like to admit it, and I don’t, I’m kind of starting to feel, shall I say, weathered.

When I was on the air in my 20's I was pretty fast in the studio - juggling songs, playing commercials, running contests, taking listener requests, recording traffic reports and lining it all up like so it sounded like radio magic.  Now, I’m a bit robotic. My memory used to be amazing but it isn’t now.  (My staff  loves to remind me.)  I used to be able to multitask like a fiend, now I can't. I used to be able to bench press....well... more than I can now. (Ok, enough of this brooding. I don’t like thinking about it.)

When I think about aging rock stars, it would seem their most creative work happened during their 20's.  Many songs from the 60's and 70's have become a fixture in our lives. Now, as those rock stars reach 50 or 60 years of age, they aren’t producing current hit songs.  And they aren't interested, either but their past glories keep their names in the media. I guess if an artist can still sell out the ACC without any new music, they still have great value.

Other rock stars have faded away. Or died. Sports celebrities reach their peak at 30 and then lose their athletic edge. Most Hollywood actors don’t get offered spicy roles later in life. Usually they play a secondary movie part, like a grandparent, although I bet Johnny Depp will never fade away.

There are a few exceptions. Like Stan Lee, the creator of Spiderman. Marvel Comics was his claim to fame, but at the age of 80 he got an unexpected winfall when the Spiderman movie franchise exploded. I think that’s cool. Good for him.

Last Wednesday, Anthem For Today, the young band I manage, won a Covenant Award for Modern Rock Song of the Year. Over the last nine months I’ve poured a lot of love and sweat and time and money into the band. I didn't realize what significance an award from the industry might mean.

Now I know.  The award tells me there's still some gas left in the tank.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Last week, a good friend and I were chatting. And he told me "You always complain about that!" Ok, so he didn't use the word "complain" but I don't want to offend you by saying the female dog.

At first I took exception to it - not the complaining but the emphasis on "always". I don't "always", or all the time. But he was right. I do complain.

Sometimes I bitch on facebook, but that's ok coz I think that's what facebook is for, or so it would seem. Haha!

Since he told me, I've been catching myself, repeatedly.

A couple of years ago, I lost a good friend because of it.  My fault, not his.  Unfortunately, he won't come back, even after an apology.

Sometimes I don't take things seriously enough. Other times I over-react. This time, I'm listening and re-thinking.

Thanks man.