Category Archives: Gratitude

Oscar Lopez Story

It was disappointing to read about Juno award winning guitarist Oscar Lopez tonight (Oscar Lopez Story) in reference to his struggles to make living. He says he is not alone. Every living soul who has ever downloaded an album of his on Napster for free may want to pay him a visit at his car where he sleeps and chip in for a deposit on his next apartment. He has published 12 albums and is a “lively” performer. He’s become a casualty of the dysfunctional music industry and it’s a shame.

For some reason, you ascribe more value to the UFC and Mr. Beast than to a night on the town gettin’ down with your special someone. If you can get something for free because of an apparent immunity from prosecution…you take it irrespective of the longer term impact. You are hedonist to the detriment of a long term thriving culture. You have little persistence in focus in deriving art’s value due to haphazardness in seeking instant gratification. You lack appreciation for the work and practice deployed in order to present you with a meaningful experience with art. Finally, you lack empathy for the casualties flooding your society in concert (ironic pun) with your indifference.

Modern Growth And Development

“Growth and Development” was a core subject during my tenure at the faculty of Physical Education and Sports Studies. I recall the course work focused around stages of development naturally occurring chronologically while considering causes of anomalies. However; back then there was no pandemic, no mobile electronic gadgets, and single parent families were lesser.   

Today I witnessed a girl nearly the size of her mother learning to ride a bike without training wheels and without the support of a dad to prop her up. Mom didn’t know quite how to help because she lacked the physical prowess to latch on and run along. It gave me pause to assign metaphor for our changing time and reminisce over my good fortune growing up. I suppose daughter would have learned last summer if it wasn’t for pandemic related reservations.  

We’ve devised spousal / child supports and the “Canada Child Benefit” but kids still really grow up oftentimes in the company of one and not two adults. They miss witnessing the fun repartee between loving couples. They miss the family car vacation with rest stops and adventure rides. They miss the joy of witnessing both parents adorn them with admiration have shared their achievements. They miss that one needed game player to thicken the plot. They miss the strength of a man clutching them in safety from the asphalt confident that he’ll know when time is right to let go. They miss mom waiting in the wings for a report and that wink and a nod shared between mom and dad.    

The Passing of Warren Miller

Without question, Mr. Miller and his annual ski movie editions were tantamount to the excitement circulating through the halls of Kamloops’ Sahali Junior secondary as friends and I anticipated the first snow and trips to local Tod Mountain (now Sun Peaks Resort). The thing most distinct in my memory of his adventure movies was his calm yet drama filled voice and perfect annunciation fitting of the exuberant spirit of the sport. This self proclaimed “ski bum” grew his audience from modest beginnings by sharing with friends scenes captured from his eight millimetre camera taken at Sun Valley Idaho while working as a young ski instructor.

Over time, with success and a growing budget, he moved his sets world-wide and depicted wondrous winter landscapes as backdrops for elite skiers stunting or careening knee deep in breathtaking unmarked fresh powder. Now, I marvel at the planning which would have went into acquiring the miraculous footage when factoring in winter travel, weather, procuring skiers, cooperation from resorts and heli-ski operators. As teenagers, these things didn’t cross our minds while mystified by the possibilities of where our ski interests may lead along with the upcoming ski season.

In anything we do, there needs to be particular seeds of inspiration which compels us to move and to actualize the joy freedom offers. To this day, Warren Miller and his movie making team play a definite role in inspiring yours truly to seek winter solace and athletic prowess in the mountains ranges of Western Canada and to them I say thanks!   

       

Boorish Pouters At The Open

Do permit me to stand up and condemns the on court antics of the spoiled brat boorish pouters at the Open.  Professional tennis players apparently have either never comprehended or have totally lost sense of the good sportsmanship qualities which foster healthy competition thereby contributing to the good of the game.  Players are not the only ones responsible.  Sports broadcasters and news media outlets as well as chair umpires contribute to the phenomenon of on court pouts by either outright condoning the behaviour as a cathartic necessity or compelled to believe that the highlight reel will be incomplete without the imagery of a racquet being destroyed.  Sponsors show no particular disdain for the character behind their product representatives.  Does an umpire feel intimidated should they actually levy a penalty against the skulking multimillionaire whiner who plays a sport for a living while Joe Family guy who treats his daughter to a special event gets to explain away the proceedings during the car ride home?  It’s frankly shameful.

A Remembrance Day Thought

World War II was the deadliest of all wars and the statistics are incomprehensible.  These men and women had you and I buried in their subconscious minds as they marched along the front day and night side by side in surveillance and in battle.  If echoes of their voices chime in your soul as you go about your life fully cognizant that you and I have a life full of choices with access to success, we will be harnessed with strength in our pursuit.  We cannot begin to imagine the enormity of their sacrifice but we can in fact take our God given talents and express them to the world with pride, with conviction, and with the power of freedom bestowed upon us by generations of ancestors honour bound and humble with a cause having us as the corner stone of purpose.

“If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow, In Flanders Fields”

– John McCrae –