Thursday, November 30, 2006

Last two shots for 2006:

At the Park Entrance.
This particular just colour-exploded itself.

This rock gorge is a roaring torrent, every spring. That's all you'll have to see until possibly 2007. Thanks for viewing these and I loved the enthusiasm from all of us.


Final Fall shots

This was actually a real bear's cave!
This is a shot of the gondola to the upper ski mountain, taken from inside the winch-building.

These pics were in the entrance to a huge ski resort in Vermont.

the Sony Pic

They finally reset the password so here's the Sony people pic from the parade.

Friday, November 24, 2006

BTV Winner!

I spent 2 hours calling Breakfast Television's prize give away this morning. They had all kinds of great prizes; getaway weekends, X boxes, cameras etc.
What do I win when I get through? A gift certificate from Pay Less Shoes. I don't think they even have sports shoes.. Oh well. Better something than nothing.
Baby needs a new pair a' shoooes.

In other news, the parade sony pic isn't available as I didn't enter a correct email address when I went to retrieve it and now they won't allow access again. I emailed support and await a response. sorry folks.

Girls' Night Out

The girls had an outing to see a performance of "Menopause Out Loud", 90 minutes of hilarity. We were all princesses for the event, and had a lot of laughs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Santa Clause Parade

Sunday was parade day.

Simon and one of his many balloons before the parade

Simon watching the parade. Mom watching Simon.

Fiona waiting to get a handshake from a clown.


Ok so I didn't really get any pictures of the parade because I only took video. somebody must have a pic of santa???

Monday, November 20, 2006

"Merry Christmas. Gimme Presents"

A quote from "Animal" from the Muppet Family Christmas special.

There are some really clever marketing campains at Christmas. However, there are, occasionally, some poor choices made in the marketing departments. Two of the sadder displays of poor ideas:

The local version of Black Creek Pioneer village, here called "Heritage Park" is normally very tasteful with its Christmas treatment. This year, their flyer starts with the large print headline: "What's Christmas Without Shopping?"

And in front of a strip mall (containing a liquor store) not too far outside downtown, a big Florescent Green sign in foot-tall letters declares "ITS COLD. DRINK BOOZE".

Can you top them?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A night offout

It's Santa Clause Parade today!
Since we would be downtown this morning and we wanted to go see a play last night, Simon spent the night with Aunt Karen and Grandma and we had a night out. Corinne and I went to see a play called "Defending the Cave Man". The longest running solo play on broadway they tell us. We both liked it, and dinner afterwards. A night out. What a concept.

Off to the parade!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Playing Hooky in Tucson

Monday, I was moderating a panel at an event in Tucson, and decided that it's important to enjoy some of the latitude that being in business for myself offers (like not having to write a conference report) and so I had decided to hire a guide and explore the mountains above Tucson. This is in an area called Mount Lemmon, in the Coronado National Forest. The weather was a bit chilly by the time we got to the climb start, and a bit windy, but nothing as raw and chill as a couple weeks ago in West Virginia...and I had the right jacket for it. And it warmed up later.

I know that after a while, all the climbing pictures look the same if you weren't actually there: Pictures of rocks. I like pictures of rocks. For those who care about rock and texture, for the record, this stuff was wonderful rock for face climbing (which is to say, stuff that offers only very tiny ledges for toeholds, but when you put your toe there, by gum, it sticks! You have to trust your feetlings, Luke, but this very stable granite did not crumble, and then when you get a handhold that offers more than a tiny crimp to grab, it feels like this huge gift! The texture and cracks and breaks and patterns of the rock are so beautiful. Many patches of this stuff also had amazing gold lichen, too. I am always astonished at the random fractal splendor of the angles and lines and blocks, and it's hard not to think, wow, who designed this? Or, gee, what a great place to put a hold!

My guide, Jeff Fassett, was great! Somehow I am reassured when my guide's visage has as many lines and fissures as the rock we’re climbing, though I've had excellent guides of all ages.

He picked the perfect combination of routes to hit my sweet spot for challenge and hover just below the peg of my fun-o-meter. I enjoyed my first experience of trad climbing on his lead, and thus greatly built my confidence in climbing outdoors, too. He had an exquisite sense of when to let me figure it out for myself and when I was at a point where I was more tired and was just plain going to have a better time with a few ideas on where or how to place a hand or foot. I learned lots, and the hand-and-foot movements became much more natural for me by the end of the day; powerful, elegant, and begging to be used.

I appreciated all the things he shared with me about gear, technique and philosophy of climbing and guiding...and knowing how to take pictures of the client!

So many skills go into first-class guiding that can be nearly invisible or rarely needed; the ability to read a client, gauge a skill level, anticipate the gear they might need, pace the level of challenge and assistance, create rapport, build trust, have in reserve the skills of first-aid, rescue and improvisation, communicate key information at the right time, wait and let them discover things at other times, and pop in the elements of surprise, delight, and pinnacle moments that comprise an extraordinary experience.

As Lorne pointed out, these are also skills common to teachers (and parents, who are each also teachers) in our family, while I think of it. I salute you all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just because

This blog entry is here just because having the x-ray of someones feet at the top of the blog was freaking me out!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

x ray special

Miss Fiona had her first Dentist visit today
and all's pretty ok
except she managed a bradt bit of genetics
and has a spare front tooth
that is the reason her little baby tooth fell out 2 years too early.
The exact name for said tooth escapes me
but you can see in the x-ray a tear-drop shaped tooth with the arrow pointing to it.
that's the culprit that had the tooth fairy calling early
and that tooth fairy will be back when that tear drop tooth is extracted sometime later this year or early next.
the teeth with x's are her perm teeth, up where they belong and healthy
the ones with red dots are her baby teeth, down where they belong and also healthy

fun wow
mom and lorne both had extra teeth - Lorne one way up the middle up into the roof of his mouth that needed big time extraction with knocking him out
and mom had one behind her eye tooth and the next molar.
fiona's is definately the earliest and hopefully the easiest to remove.
that's all folks

Monday, November 13, 2006

Recent visit to Ottawa

Ottawa and the Peace Tower look exceptionally nice on a bright day! I was fortunate to be included on a tour of the restored Parliamentary Library, which might look a little familiar to those of you who went there on school tours. The restoration work was beautifully done, and took several years, but they did add an extra basement for storage. It's always moving to see the home of our government.
The new Canadian War Museum is most impressive. The building, the location, the displays....need at least a full day to see.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

When good Pumpkins go bad...

Poor guy lost most of his teeth, one eye and is apparently sporting a beret. But seems happy none the less.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Well maybe 12 hours anyway...
We decided to go for an early walk and go out for breakfast, something we hadn't done since Simon was walking. On the way out we find our garage was robbed last night. They got both bikes (with a baby seat on it for gawds sake!), my new golf clubs in the bag with my new shoes and all the extras a can tire 'inflation station' thingy and something else that we haven't figured out yet (there's a blank spot on the shelf but not sure what it was that we stored there).
So. That sux.

Time for more locks I suppose.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Toronto Leaves

Here is the progress of a downtown Toronto maple tree, dropping its leaves for the winter. Not the lovely red that some varieties contribute to the fall vista, but with its glorious gold, it does say that winter is coming. Looks a lot like trees in Calgary and their last hurrah!

The days will start getting longer again in about 6 weeks, and that's always a good thing in my book.

The menu is still a problem in Explorer. Firefox is great.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Island bound...

FYI, JJ and I are headed for points as yet unknown in the Canadian pacific northwest for the December holiday -- bopping around among small islands to see what's there!


You can now resume posting ...

Click on the link on the side bar to post a new entry.
Thx Dave. And as not to add another post, I'll just add to this one to say I cleaned up/re-customized (is so a word...) the template. let me know if you'd like any other functions in there. [Lorne]

Um, where'd the sidebar go? [dave]

Microsoft ate it. It still works great except in IE where the sidebar content is all at the bottom. [Lorne]

The boomers speak...

What do I think? Many things. Firstly (and this will sound terribly condescending) it's about time.

You, the latter edge of the baby boomers, have lived in the world you describe: The space age through perestroika.

The fact that you can try to make people happier, one person at a time, just didn't seem to occur to the boomers. Become a millionaire, run the corporation, then the world. And where's it gotten them? They're still working because they live to work, not the other way 'round. Sorta sad, really.

I'm proud to declare myself on the OTHER side of the dividing line (and it depends where it's drawn) Gen X starts between 1963 and 1966.

The Gen Xers experienced a very different world, where it was important not to be driving "your Father's Oldsmobile". Or a Mini-Van, for that matter. Life fast, die young.

But as perhaps, a tweener, one sandwiched between the views of the boomers and the Xers, have an interesting perspective. Me, and my peers, have discovered something that those before and those after seem to have missed.

Credit where credit is due, some of this is both a paraphrase of, and an agreement with, a short "rebuttal" by a good friend of mine, which she send along a few weeks ago:

From: Liz
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 10:52 AM
Subject: Gen X - Rebuttal to the Gen Y Doc

I thought you guys might get a laugh over some of my thoughts and feelings as a gen-xer.
So, it's in an email - not a fancy smacy PDF doc with pretty formatting like those Gen-Yer's. It's not that I'm low tech as a gen-xer - it's just that I've seen how expensive and time consuming technology can be - so I use it with care.

Gen-X is a perfect description of my generation. X is a mathematical identifier used to label unknowns or variables. That's us. We actually came out of the box (out of University) like the baby-boomers. For the first few years, in the corporate environment, we moved through the ranks like any boomer would have, and it was even based on our performance. Then something strange happened none of us were expecting. Our careers hit, not a glass ceiling, but a concrete one. Sitting on top of us was an army of baby boomers consuming all the positions in middle and upper management - the very stepping stones we needed to ever have a shot at the executive level. It is my opinion that a Gen-Xer is not defined by their age, but by circumstance.

Now some of us have come to that realization, some of us not. So, here's what many of us have done. We've become very involved in our families. It's why no one is allowed to spank or yell at their children anymore - in any generation - cause we're watching all of you. Any parents, in any generation, will now need to spend countless hours reviewing with their children the consequences to the world when they misbehave - and believe me - it takes hours. But, we have the time and think you should take the time too. So after you've put in your 80hr work week, you'll need to prepare a delicious and nutritious meal that the entire family can sit down to, review carefully the day your children have had and then taxi them to their many many organized activities so that you'll be able to make your mark in the world through them.

Now, we've been in our jobs, at the same level, for some time. We are experts at them. We don't need to put in overtime to perform. We know how to do our jobs in the most effective manner. We do them once and do them correctly the first time. We define execution excellence. Please don't tell us how to do our jobs - we know! And could someone please get rid of the term 'talent management'. Why can't the term be career management or job management?
I'm really interested to see what will become of the corporations as the boomers retire. Oh, did I mention that we'll be retiring early and probably the same time as the bulk of the boomers. But, I think it could all work out okay if you think of my generation as a generation of consultants. Remember executives, the best consultant you could ever hire - already works for you. We could help bridge the gap, as consultants, while you ramp up the Gen-Y. But I'm thinking you boomers should think about eliminating the mandatory age of retirement. I think you guys will need to keep working.

Signed, the unknown gen-xer, Liz.

And I'm good with that. What's important? Take the time to raise the kids well. Get involved. Mom's place is not In The Kitchen, and Dad doesn't get to come home and kick of his shoes and take a nap until dinner's ready. There's Ballet, and Softball and Soccer, and Drawing Class and Swimmming and all sorts of stuff. There's Dad And Kid Time, which is impromptu, extemperaneous, and hard to decline. And while the boomers are still trying to take over the world, and the Xers are still trying to "bust a perfect Smith grind in the half pipe", we're preparing the only lasting legacy we'll ever have.

You wanna talk "The Final Frontier" and the end of the Cold War? Go back and watch "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country", and just pretend Praxis was Chernobyl, and substitute "Russian" when you hear the word "Klingon". It's a very meaningful tale.

The US drives so much of what happens on this planet. I cannot tell you how sad I am to report that my "CNN Breaking News" flash on November 7th, (The day of the US MidTerm elections, in which George Wildebeast Bush) is set to be kicked in the kahoonies) was rushed to my inbasket to let me know that Brittany Spears had, in fact, filed for divorce. What the F---? THis is headline news? Bloody sad, that.

So, leave the celebrities to make their movies. Care about something that actually matters.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Too many words...

At the risk of being pilloried for writing a long composition on a blog normally replete with pictures, I offer the following composition for your consideration.

If you’ll pardon the rather Americanized cultural overwash coming from a Canadian… and the likely typos and small errors…

Let me know what you think.


October 4th, 1957: The race was on – the race of a lifetime, perhaps the race of the human race's lifetime. When Sputnik was launched into space, the urgency of the pace for Boomers stepped up and never looked back. A generation that itself began on a surge of post-war optimism gained a harder edge and an ominous subtext. The 1960 Broadway hit musical, Bye Bye Birdie, included a song "Got a Lot of Livin' to Do" whose lyrics – "music to play, places to go, people to see...everything for you and me..." – suggest a frenzy even in recreation.

When I look back on my high-school performance of that play, during North America's fifties' revival craze in the late 1970's, I recall the natural exuberance of a high-school hormones...but I now wonder about whether that age, in both its initial and revival stages, was also souped up on an even more powerful jolt: Better hurry up and get in the livin', kids, because who knows what kind of world we're in now?

If you were born after the Sputnik launch, that officially makes you a child of the space age. Science fiction is far older than that, but space travel crossed into the realm of science fact, or at least viable possiblity, at that point. So, unfortunately, did its close cousin from the recently-advented Atomic Age: the possibility of mutually-assured destruction.

Watching footage of President Kennedy propose an American national goal "...before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth," it's easy to see a grand romantic moment. I visited the Kennedy Space Center in the summer of 1976, when the last Apollo mission was four years in the past. I was sixteen, oldest daughter of a father who was the same age as those astronauts and had followed their missions closely. He subscribed to National Geographic just to follow the Space Program and get the latest and most beautiful images published of the moon shot. I don't remember that much about the visit then, but I am sure that I saw the same relics of the Redstone and Tital and Saturn rocket programs then as I did when I returned in 1995. At that point in my life, I myself was a pilot of a much smaller craft on a flight to Daytona Beach.

Then, at the age of 35, I looked at the mass and the size and the bulk and the heft and the implied power of that rocket, and for the first time understood the grim force that had propelled us as a species into space: fear of annihilation. The Saturn V-B was the heritage of not just the space race but the arms race. While this rocket itself was not built to deliver the payload of death and destruction to fellow humans on the other side of the globe, it was meant to be a perpetual reminder to the world, especially contrary-minded communists presumed to be equally bent on world domination, that America was capable of doing that, and could do so any time it pleased.

A rather expensive message-delivery system. Thank goodness we finally got email and CNN.

But my point is this: Boomers have been in high-propellant mode, surrounded by cues our whole lives, to achieve. All our lives, we have gotten the message that indolence would surely mean immolation; industry meant survival. Got to push, got to get a move on. It wasn't just a nice idea to ask what we could do for our country: our country needed us, and everything we could give, brain and brawn, if we were to hope to live in an age with a motto other than "Duck-and-Cover."

The Bye Bye Birdie gang had a lot of living to do because they were about to be drafted into Vietnam to fight communism, which was surely about to overrun our shores if it wasn't stopped. We're still holding back that tide fifty years later at the DMZ in Korea. Whether it's a more fearful tide now that it has weapons of mass destruction is anybody's guess. Even though nobody was able to find WMD before America went in to oust Saddam Hussein, I'd bet that America's still going to have boots – and blood – on the ground in Iraq fifty years from now.

As if the global geopolitical merry-go-round weren't dizzying enough, Tom Friedman has been writing about the flattening of the world for coming up on a decade. In the introduction to "The Lexus and the Olive Tree", he says it better than I could hope to:

If the defining anxiety of the Cold War was fear of annihilation from an enemy you knew all too well in a world struggle that was fixed and stable, the defining anxiety in globalization is fear of rapid change from an enemy you can't see, touch or feel—a sense that your job, community or workplace can be changed at any moment by anonymous economic and technological forces that are anything but stable.

In the Cold War we reached for the hot line between the White House and the Kremlin—a symbol that we were all divided but at least someone, the two superpowers, was in charge. In the era of globalization we reach for the Internet—a symbol that we are all connected but nobody is in charge. The defining defense system of the Cold War was radar—to expose the threats coming from the other side of the wall. The defining defense system of the globalization era is the X-ray machine—to expose the threats coming from within.

Take one globe, already shaken, stir in AIDS and an injection of avian flu, and then wrap in a blanket of global warming. Friday's paper reported that 29 percent of marine species are in decline and, declared the researcher from Dalhousie, "...our children will see a world without seafood if we don't change things." How have we managed to screw up a world that is 75% covered by water? How in hell do we even get up in the morning?

In one way or another, Boomers have been fuelled by fear for a half century. We responded so well to it that fear has become a staple of everything from politics and entertainment to consumer marketing (insofar as one can tell them apart – remember the first time you got taken in by a parody ad on Saturday Night Live?). In 1989, the official icon of the Cold War was sledgehammered into dust, and an entire genre of fiction became passe as we wondered who the next big enemy would be. Who knew that we were heading into an era when we would long for the fundamental black-and-white simplicity of MAD Magazine's Spy-versus-Spy cartoons, Boris and Natasha, and Agents 86, 99, and 007?

In 1992 we found out, up close and personal, courtesy of CNN's gift of real-time televised war in the Gulf. A sub-cult of addicts went into withdrawal when their nightly fix of fear was no longer available. Remember in 2001 how long we stayed glued to our sets in the days and weeks following 9/11, as if watching that second plane hit for the 37th time would somehow accomplish anything, would somehow reveal truth or meaning or solace, or maybe give us, the brightest, smartest generation anyone had ever seen, The Answer to all this?

While we're at it, let's hear it for multi-tasking. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that my multi-tasking ability is not only nothing to be proud of, it's a sign that I'm slipping backwards into the attention span of a two-year-old. I have to make a conscious decision to leave home without my Blackberry, which is also my cell phone, and am sad to report that it feels disorienting to not be checking my email every few minutes. Why do I do it? ("Can you hear me now?" asks the man in the cell phone commercial, checking reception. "Do you want me now?" I think.) One of the glorious luxuries I found when I started my own business was that I would occasionally work on just one single solitary project for perhaps six hours straight. (The joy! The richness! The focus!)

Look at the rising ubiquity and seemingly endless variants of episodic shows like CSI and Law And Order: short kid-sized snippets of adult drama. CNN discovered the popularity of the Continuous Video Crawl, and television has never looked back: no matter what's on the main stage, there's always something else you'd better be paying attention to. There's always something else happening. Better pay attention, or you'll get behind.

If there's not enough fear to go around, television reality shows are ready and waiting to top us up. Intelligently-written screenplays get blown off in favor of jealousies that threaten mock-celebrities' survival on islands deserted except for a large camera crew flanking the craft table. Okay, I'm a Sorkin junkie, but I'm going to miss Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

I was strapping into my car last week and noted with dismay that my normal startup routine included automatically plugging my cell phone wire into my ear, and taking the GPS out of the glove box and suctioning it onto the windshield and waiting while it found signals from three satellites that together could tell me the fastest way to get where I was going. How many things can I really, truly, pay attention to at once without figuratively – or, worse, literally – crashing?

We were going to do aerobics. We were going to be beautiful forever. Feel the burn, feel the burn, urged Jane Fonda. Now we can no longer feel the burn. We're just feeling burned out.

"We didn't start the fire," Billy Joel reminds us. Perhaps not, but how much did we feed it? How much did we feed on it? Bathe in its light? Get singed by its heat? Get hypnotized by its sinuous gyrations? Let it suck down our oxygen and our attention? Seasoned campers know that you only need a small fire to cook your food. A bonfire, with its leaping flames and high-flying snapping sparks, has its place: for entertainment, magic, ceremony and ritual. But it will burn your food, and may incinerate your home, if it gets out of control. It wastes scarce resources that cannot be quickly replaced and become more and more costly to feed if it burns unchecked.

The Boomers have been in fight-or-flight mode for half a century. Many of us don't know how to do anything else. We are adrenaline junkies. We live in the hope that something better will come along. We've been propelled by the world around us to move along, get ahead, create better living through electricity, strive for space...the final frontier, beat the communists, beat the terrorists.

It's a basic principle of physics that if you run anything – animal, vegetable, mineral – continuously and near its limits for long enough without recovery, it fails. Systems run too close to their limits without adequate safeguards fail. Two space shuttle accidents shook NASA's and America's confidence; degraded corporate stewardship brought us Enron; arguably, intelligence failures brought us 9/11. And now America's leaders, transfixed by a totally distorted perception of America's place in the world and a misunderstanding of Islam and democracy, have brought us a gift to shape the first half of the 21st century: an enduring debacle in Iraq and the Middle East.

When we look around us, it's easy to conclude that all the striving has been for naught. There's no permanent defeat of Bad Guys, who are winning the game of global Whack-a-Mole...that is, if you still think in terms of black and white at all. When we think about treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and read about the gyrations of the Bush Administration as it tries to justify the constitutionality of its interrogations, we are reminded of Pogo's immortal line, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

We grew up in a world that placed its trust in us as we took up the torch of hope and progress in our firm grip. What if we're losing? As we look around, have we faltered? And what would be worse: to have failed, or to have failed to find someone besides ourselves to blame for the failure? Because surely if we're not moving ahead, we must be moving backward.

Either way, we're tired of running. We've been racing our whole lives. We're tired of striving on behalf of the whole human race, driving to distraction and back. We're just plain out of every human resource we came into this world with. If our kids haven't moved back in with us, then our parents may have...if we're not caring for both at once. We're stressed. You can hear it in our voices. You can see it in our faces. You can see it in the bills some people can afford to pay for plastic surgery to keep it from showing up in their faces and bodies and psyches. For the rest of us, it's showing up in our medical records, and is going to keep right on skyrocketing in terms of both total fiscal burden and social consequences in society. Millions of us cling grimly to jobs that drain us, in work environments bereft of joy or inspiration, waiting for the one promise we think the system will deliver, no matter what else has been stripped away: retirement benefits and economic security. And how many of us are shocked, discouraged and depressed to discover that even that's not going to be there if and when we let go, so we might as well keep the chair warm where we are because they can't make us leave yet?

When we live in a world surrounded by media that's paid for by corporate advertisers that support the content that attracts the most attention – fear and bad news – we've got to work harder to find the inspiring, the uplifting, stuff. There's less of it, and it has to work a lot harder to get through. Oprah Winfrey digs deeply to get the coverage she does for life's uplifters. The late Peter Jennings put it out there when he featured "ABC's Person of the Week".

Remember that at the bottom of Pandora's box, after she let loose all the scourges and plagues into the world, was one final thing: Hope. Yes, we live in a world with Osama bin Laden and AIDS and whatever the next pandemic will be named. We also live in a world where Bill and Melinda Gates have created such a compelling effort to work on the world's most intractable problems that other billionaires like Warren Buffet are joining forces with them. A world where rock stars and former presidents acknowledge the responsibility that comes with celebrity and leverage that celebrity to advocate for change.

Those are exactly the boomers that are walking that talk, that are the leaders of the generation to whom JFK passed that torch and who are holding it high. They are creating the change that we were charged with and somehow feel like we never achieved. So they are also the ones who make us feel like we haven't measured up...the people who make us feel like sea slugs.

But what if the task before us is not just the big-picture change-the-world? After all, so few of us are ever going to be in a position to do that. What if we started to look at the next neighbourhood park cleanup as something more than a tiny, near-invisible speck of effort in a world that needs so much more? What if we re-channelled just a fraction of the energy it takes to compose and toss out a disparaging comment about our workplace and instead presented a single statement of pure positive hope? Of optimism – about anything? And notice what that felt like – both to say, and to watch how others around us respond to that?

What if we played with that for a while, and made more of a practice of actively seeking and highlighting the positive where we live and work? No, I'm not advocating "Take Miss Pollyanna to Work" Day. I point to the proverb, "Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness".

What if the job that is now before most of us isn't to further decode DNA, find and figure out how to manipulate the genes that cause cancer, or get the world to agree with our views on the ethics and practice of human cloning? What if our job – the job of every one of us ordinary non-celebrity human beings, is to bring healing in every way we can, large and small, to the world around us? To live in a way that fosters and reflects the kind of world we want to live in, the kind of world we want to pass along? To live more lightly on the planet, work to minimize our carbon footprint, find new ways to recycle? To remember that the effect of any positive energy, any positive choice or remark or intention we put into the world is multiplied tenfold in the Universe at large, even if we ourselves might not see the effect?

Sound attractive – at least, more attractive than how you'd otherwise spend your day and your energy? Would it be easier and maybe have a stronger effect if you were not alone in your efforts? It's possible. Whole communities are coming together – micro, in small gatherings in workplaces, to larger ones in neighbourhoods and cities and regions, to ones of people linked electronically who might never meet in person.

In the next article, we're going to give you a close up look inside some of those communities, how they work, why their members choose to work together, and how they have changed not only themselves but the world around them in ways more powerful and positive than they could possibly have imagined when they began.

Sullivan, the lead scary blue monster, learns from the tiny tot in the movie, "Monsters Inc."that joy is many times more powerful than terror. I liked that. I liked it a lot. Because I want to believe that the Universe is a just and benevolent place, that when people of good soul never, never, never give up, and just keep putting good intentions and thoughts and deeds out there into the world, no matter how bleak it may seem, that the cumulative force of that effort reaches Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, becomes the last little critical "YOPP!"

In fact, I leave you with the reminder of the Yopp. You remember the power of the Yopp, don't you? We children of the sixties are so lucky – we grew up with so many wonderful guides. This one comes from the fable of the sage Theodore Geisel, and his exhortation to not give up, that every voice counts because you can never tell whose voice will suddenly mean that we are all heard:

And, just as he felt he was getting nowhere,
And almost about to give up in despair,
He suddenly burst through a door and that Mayor
Discovered one shirker! Quite hidden away
In the Fairfax Apartments (Apartment 12-J)
A very small, very small shirker named Jo-Jo
was standing, just standing, and bouncing a Yo-Yo!
Not making a sound! Not a yipp! Not a chirp!
And the Mayor rushed inside and he grabbed the young twerp!

And he climbed with the lad up the Eiffelberg Tower.
"This," cried the Mayor, "is your towns darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!" he said.
"We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!"

Thus he spoke as he climbed. When they got to the top,
The lad cleared his throat and he shouted out, "YOPP!"

And that Yopp…
That one small, extra Yopp put it over!
Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover
Their voices were heard! They rang out clear and clean.
And the elephant smiled. "Do you see what I mean?…
They've proved they ARE persons, no matter how small.
And their whole world was saved by the smallest of All!"

Monday, November 06, 2006

International Back up your data Day!

This would be a nightmare.... So be prepared. Just about everyone now has a dvd or cd burner on their computer. Take the time to burn a copy of your personal files and digital camera images off to disk. Those pictures are irreplaceable, so don't get caught. Doesn't take long, and it's just good data management.


Friday, November 03, 2006

big steps forward

She did it
all by herself
the tooth is out
It was a cranky couple of days as the tooth got really loose
she did a good job working on it and it was very ready to come out.
I made up a tooth pillow with a pocket so the tooth fairy can find the tooth easily
her ss's are still ok
and her first dental appointment is next week.

keep us posted on potential xmas plans all around
keep a posting to the blog
thanks for all the halloween pix from all over

GOOD WORK BENJAMIN on your snow shovelling! I'm proud of you. Looks like a customer across the street is handy and profitable.
hugs from woolley wonderland

Thursday, November 02, 2006

October adventures

Loved seeing your Hallowe'en pix, guys!

Can't say I dressed up exactly for Hallowe'en, though I was in Ottawa giving a speech and had to get out of my fuzzy slippers. I enjoyed dressing warmly, climbing cliffs at New River Gorge, West Virginia last weekend, though! PLEASE, PLEASE CLICK THROUGH to see the rest of the best from that trip!

Small but Colourful

We drove all the way to Vermont to see fall colours and here they are out the window in our small but colourful back yard. Enjoy.

ps: and now that the photo upload is working, you can check out the Halloween night pictures in the blog entry below.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Benjamin's First Job!

On Sunday, we had a few cm of snow that fell, so to earn extra video game time, he was more than happy to shovel the sidewalks. But while he's out there, the renters across the street (a bunch of students, by the looks of them, and their music) offer him $10 to shovel their walk. So like a rat out of an aqueduct, he's across the street and shoveling. After it was done, they basically emptied their pockets, so he ended up with over $15 in bills and change. One happy entrepreneurial camper!

Halloween Night in the City

It was a perfect night for Trick or Treating (or is it Tricks or Treats as they say in "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown") in Toronto. ~ +10 degrees (and getting colder down by...). It seems kids aren't allowed to cross Woodbine. The number was down by 3 from last year leaving a total of NO kids to our door this year (That confirmed by our neighbours while we were out).
We took Simon to a kid friendly neighbourhood around Dave's. He had a brief but fun time. He really liked a Vulture he saw at one house, and was only scared by one masked kid and a witch statue he saw. A group of Chinese exchange students (18 and out trick or treating...) went gaga over him. After visiting her house, Grandma had him all ready to go with mustache, bag and even a little parrot which he carried around.

Here's some pics of him with stock-car dad and also with Sir Lee and the Girls out front of their place.