Category Archives: Lifestyle

Job Loss

If you’ve encountered a job loss in this difficult current oil and gas Calgary market, this time it will be different – right?  “When I have my new good job, I’ll continue to upgrade professionally and save for a rainy day.  I’ll never take on too much of a mortgage or buy expensive lifestyle luxury items which get used only a handful of times per year.  I will strive for a second cheque monthly that will be back up.  I’ll be smart with my money and forget about keeping up with the Jones.’”

Welcome to the next down turn.  Your realtor and your investment advisor have led you to believe that the future would be rosy.  There were those glossy ads of new two story homes with luxury appliances and a double attached garage.  Even your banker only wanted two years of financial history while always voiding the prospects of the economic horizon. That vacation you took in the summer of 2015 was the last extravagance before buckling down – right?  Westjet whose corporate headquarters are here in Calgary has announced today a record number of passengers for the month of August.

Yes, you figured it right.  I am an accountant.  I’ve been doing tax work since 1994 and have been witness to much misalignment of the affairs of folks whom are for the most part strong thinking responsible people.  Few folks actually prepare a household budget and without fail, these are the ones who stream through economic cycles unphased.

Our governments have also failed to learn the lessons of past down turns.  Alberta has literally lost control of the public purse after a previous administration worked vigorously during a more difficult economic era to eliminate debt.

The Calgary Counselling Centre has just announced a 91 per cent increase in stress related calls associated with unemployment and fear of job loss since the same time last year.

Polysaccharides Polypeptides and Diet

Most people’s carbohydrate intake is imbalanced with too many simple sugars and too few complex ones so let’s take a look at Polysaccharides polypeptides and diet.  It is the simple sugars that boost cell size and add to body girth.  Although the research is somewhat incomplete regarding the effect of simple sugar ingestion and the production of free radicals in the blood, one is inclined to think with information currently available that our cell’s health is negatively affected by consuming too many simple sugars.  Complex carbohydrates facilitate the effective processing of metabolic functions and can actually increase the motility of the cellular engine by boosting the production a critical enzyme called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).  Dr. Peiper in his book Polysaccharides Polypeptides speaks at length of the importance of replacing simple sugars with complex ones.  A daily supplementation can effectively move the consumption ratio of complex sugars to simple sugars in our favour.

Contact me to learn more.

Why Run?

There are so many benefits to running and it’s peculiar that more people aren’t doing it for the simple sake of good health.  It may have to do with certain fallacies that work on the mind.  Perhaps, it’s much to do with the “no time” excuse that plagues the rational mind.  Maybe it’s the broken commitments of yesteryear working as a stymie for stepping forward.  Whatever the case, today is a great time to make a start just by starting.  A doctor’s okay is an errand away.  

Weight bearing stress on joint, tendons, ligaments, and bones is good for the body.  Yes, I said stress.  The body requires stress as an inciter of the life force.  Your body was built to move and thrive under eustress (positive stress).  If you are over weight, this is an issue because excessive stress on the knees can cause harm to the menisci (cartilage) floating between the tibia and femur.  Non weight bearing aerobic exercise will be a better option until normal weight is restored.  

Blood moves rapidly throughout the body including your heart.  Oxygenation at the capillaries is increased.  Imagine a washing of arterial walls at your heart as blood races through the pulmonary and coronary arteries.  With increased demand on the heart muscle, the coronary artery is asked to perform more powerfully.

Adrenaline is a hormone of which the secretion is increased during exercise and gets you feeling good.  What a way to start the day!  If you are one who can jump right out of bed and hit the streets, I tip my hat to you.  However; by 9:30 am you’ve digested a nutritious breakfast with caffeine perhaps inspiring your strength.

Running burns calories and enhances the motility of the digestive tract.  You’re life style is improved with better energy utilization and mental acuity.

Most municipalities have running clubs and welcome new members.  Make new friends and access recreational races through these clubs which often times have a component associated with fund raising for good causes.  


A Book Review – The Power of Now

No, Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” does not deal with procrastination. It deals with “the mind” and man’s propensity to allow the mind to dominate over the active present thereby restricting our ability to access a sense of “being”. Tolle describes the mind as the road block that prevents us from achieving a state of “being” and”consciousness”. We are said to be “unconscious” if our mind and thought muddles us in “time”. Yes, Tolle uses the word “time” throughout the book in a way which can be difficult to understand. Apparently “time” refers to historical events that create predispositions and judgments in our processing of the “now”. Hence, our “now” becomes tainted with our experiences unless we’ve discovered freedom from our past. Most of the book is concentrated around this theme. The theme is revisited with anecdotes and postulations from an italicized character. Herein, it is an effective method of expression.

The introduction deals with the concept of “God” versus “being” and Tolle admirably represents the anxiety surrounding “God” without offending any religion while keeping any worshippers of “God” inside the fold of the text. Fearlessly, Tolle describes “emotion” as a place where mind and body meet and hence one is compelled to question the merit of emotion if “mind” is an abberant variable to “being”. Yet, in a subsequent passage, he exclaims that “glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible when a gap occurs in the stream of thought.” Tolle states that “if you are pulled into unconscious identification with the emotion through lack of presence, which is normal, the “emotion” temporarily become “you”. Ultimately, one can imagine the behavioural ramifications if states of unconsciousness persist?

The importance of forgiveness is examined in terms of liberating the burden of “time” and the inner body is identified as a place of focus when seeking the presence of now. “Chi” is thought to be the link between the “unmanifested” and the physical universe. “The unmanifested by way of negation expresses that which cannot be spoken, thought, or imagined.” The book is purposefully repetitive because the author is intent on conditioning the reader with his material.

In closing, Tolle does make reference to applications for obtaining a state of “being” such as transforming illness into enlightenment or the eradication of anxiety or paranoia. It was a fitting way to close.

Blair Sveinson


Functional Food Neutralizes Free Radicals

Homeostasis is what your body seeks but it can not find balance in an acidic state.  North Americans typically have a physiology out of balance primarily due to excess sugars and wonder why they’re fatigued making trips to doctors while taking drugs for the most benign of symptoms.  Your diet is paramount.  Polysaccharides and polypeptides provide your cells with the vitality required for optimal metabolic flow.  These are complex carbohydrates and bioavailable amino acids.  You don’t get them from twinkies and ice cream but you can get them through a select fraction of rice grain grown in the Siam Valley of Thailand.  Few are aware that there are numerous species of rice of which some are more nutritionally potent than others.  Hydrolyze one of the more potent strains and then apply nanotechnology thereby reducing particle size for optimal absorbtion and you effectively increase the ability of the mitochondria of the cell to produce energy.  I’ve been taking commercially available polysaccharides / polypeptides for years now daily in my diet thanks to an introduction by a friend who studies blood and conducts clinics.

Customer Service is an Art

It’s an art that doesn’t pay that much hence the artists are often not of Rembrandt calibre.

This past Friday, I thought hmmm, let’s stop into xyz hotel and get a glass of wine and maybe dinner after work. Great, the lounge menu at reception mentioned a special on the house red at $5.50 and I thought….that would work.  We’ll stop in and see what’s also on the menu.

There’s like three parties in the whole place of which I am one.  Couple of gents sit down at the next table over and one seems to have a cold.  I’m none too impressed having just got over one.

Linguini was average at best.  Guy next table over isn’t exactly protecting others from his germs.  I figure – okay I’m outta here.  One server has three whole tables to work but I find myself standing for an inordinate amount of time at the till waiting for him to show up.  I figure okay…..he has other tasks on a slow Friday night.  Upon tracking him down out in the restaurant area he comes over and rings up the bill.  He tells me the tab and I ask, “are you sure that’s correct.”  He says yes.  $9 for the wine and $16 for the linguini.  Oh. So you are certain you are correct.  He says yes again.  I say – hmm.  I thought I read $5.50 for the wine on the advertisement at the entrance.  Then he walks over to check it and comes back and exclaims, “oh you are right – I never work Friday nights”.  I can’t even describe the tone in his voice the first time he exclaimed he was right.

I know…you can’t count how many times this has happened to you.

Ceroc in Calgary

It’s been very fun to learn ceroc in Calgary.  Beginners are welcome to every class of this U.K form of modern jive every Monday up in the Thorncliffe community centre and at the Barn in Shawnessy on Tuesdays.  Darren and Claire have a colorful history giving lessons back in England.  Calgary is lucky to have them and you will too because ceroc can be danced to so many genres of music.  It’s all predicated on an eight beat even count and there’s a tremendous variety of tunes that fits this rhythm.  These easy going instructors promote basic patterns at the start of every session.  Then there’s a breakout to more intermediate moves once the hall starts to whisper with the whirl of dancers gliding to the delight of select medleys prepared by Darren.

Come alone because partners rotate throughout the evening or bring that special someone whom will thank ye for a great night out.

Our Longest Days

June 24, 2007

June is my favorite month because of the late sunset and the emergence of female mid riffs not to mention our longest days. I can loiter around the tennis court with acquaintances made while looking for hitting partners. It’s refreshing learning about the lives of new people. The paved trails have been groomed for blading, and the driving range fills with hopefuls that the swing will be better this year. People seem to reach out a bit more in the spring. Vacation planning hits full stride with families more engaged as school winds down. The soccer pitch behind my home is abuzz with cheers of triumph.

June is also a time where we look forward to the Stampede here in Calgary (1st week in July). There are many cynics that observe the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” as over commercialized and too expensive. Well. I suppose another source of income would help! The events are very well organized and few details are left amiss. It is a time when the whole city likes to spend and celebrate.

Busted Out

June 2, 2007

The sly poker players realize that they’ll bust out many more times than make trips to the final table. Family, friends, and associates will look upon them as operating with a few loose screws but the brave soldiers on fully cognizant that with practice comes experience and ultimately an adjustment in conditioning and ultimately success. However; the stubborn seldom succeed. The conditioned response must remain pliable and accepting of the cards that are dealt. In fact the inkling affinity of some conspiracy against success must evaporate from any hint of operation in the subconscious mind for the cards to start falling in favor. Such is often the way in life.

I met a smart 23 year old young man in a line up today. Upon learning that he was working in production for a steel fabrication company, I was surprised given that he had the look of a college preppie. Good on him to exploit a red hot economy right now while his friends spend the big bucks on tuition. I was impressed by his open mind. Youth have no fear because they’ve had fewer hands to play but are keen to engage in a heads up confrontation. Fold’em or raise, most winners take stabs at the pot.