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


Frank Dancevic Story

He burst onto the Canadian tennis scene a decade ago and Canadian tennis fans had high hopes for Frank.  Upon checking out his talent live back then here in Calgary, I was struck by his raw talent and charisma.  However; inconsistency has plagued his play.  His results haven’t measured up to expectations but he has not given up.  For those lower ranked players keen to keep their players card and gaining a spot in the draw, it oftentimes means qualifying rounds.  This is what we don’t hear much about.  These are those matches played in the outback of the resort grounds sometimes at odd hours and periodically with wonderment whether the dream will be whisked away.

Two new rising Canadian stars have bumped Frank from the dialogue of Canadian tennis, but i see he has not only made it through three rounds of qualifying at this year’s U.S. Open, but he won his first round match in the main draw today and now meets a wiley veteran in Tommy Robredo.

Something Good is Gonna Happen Frank!  Keep it up!








Enriching Brotherhood

There is magic in coming to learn of unspoken agreements.  Those moments in time when bonding is real and you just know that fluidity in relating has everything to do with the blood.  Or do you know?  The occasions slip by with time mostly due to complacency.  Synthetic elements take on manifestations of importance and opportunities to celebrate kin become less valued.   Brothers are particularly tested by the ego.  While some families have it figured out, others have not and such is the course of life.  Perspective is easier drafted at life’s end when the mind is less burdened by the synthetic.   The forefathers bestow it but the newborn resist it.  Chattiness cedes to guilt.  Guilt gives rise to time.  Time creates the distance and magic morphs into a final hymn.

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.

These Things Really Are Happening

Panhandlers walk between traffic lanes at stop signals begging for coins and find success.

Texting while driving.

Building homes on flood plains believing taxpayers should provide bail out after flooding.

Politicians snub the free press yet stride confidently believing reelection is purely academic.

Government leaders have been firing bullets on their law abiding citizens.

Some have been disliking their job but go back day after day.

Road rage.

Disturbing headphone volume on public transit.

Tire technicians recommending all season radials in snow zones.

People play slot machines.

Gossips inclined to think parties not intuitively privy.

Businesses expecting success on merits void of marketing.

Drivers expecting courtesy while failing to accelerate and merge effectively.

Guy calls in sick, goes to softball tournament, gets fired and sues to get his job back.

Auto dealerships posting ads on private buy and sell internet sites expecting it’ll be a boon for business.

A general malaise in personal responsibility.

Motorcyclists with apparent death wishes via speed and aggression.

Sports apparel manufacturers believing we’ll be proud to sport their logos without an advertising contract.

Sporting empires correct in their notion that shutting down for a half a season will be inconsequential because fans are fickle, and oftentimes subscribe to a life of idolatry.



Let’s Play Ball

I see the slow pitch soft ballers are out in force.  There is a brief moment every spring when I contemplate heading back to the diamond…and then the flighty urge passes.  The image of a bunch of has been beer swigging wannabes comes up and I discount the notion with a quick head shake.  Upon stereotyping unfairly of course I conclude that 98 per cent have no commercial means of competing in capitalism because of their dead end jobs and hence this becomes their vicarious outlet.  I envision the blankest of stares should they be confronted with a business proposal of merit and wouldn’t be able to process opportunity unless cash first fell from the sky.  

Our mothers and fathers rightfully introduced us to sport as children partly as a medium whereby we would learn cooperation and competition.  Parents intuitively understand that equipping a child for competition is a healthy endeavor in the context of also teaching sportsmanship, respect, leadership, solidarity, positivity, and so many other intangible elements associated with sport and competition. 

Perhaps, as adults we can expand our interests and hobbies in ways that tax the mind, broaden our perspectives, contribute to the community, and teach the children while ensuring that our time for fitness is spent working up a sweat instead of standing in the outfield. 


On A Whim At Fleetwood Mac

On a whim, day of concert – found Ticket Master on the web and did a search for Fleetwood Mac.  Figured there may just be one solo seat somewhere in Calgary’s Saddledome.  Voila.  Second row of first balcony next to the aisle with a clear stage view.  Click.

Ambience was quiet and friendly in eager anticipation.  Folks next to me found tickets, same way.  We all beamed in delight over our luck.  Wouldn’t you know it – new friend in next seat has a mutual acquaintance and we share a passion for squash.

Lights go down and up comes Second Hand News.  Good opening number that immediately had me feeling that these guys are still hitting their notes.  Looked to my new friend and exclaimed, it’s like a time warp.  Stevie’s long blond locks still flowing softly with features that defy her age.  Yes, monitors gave us the close ups while a digital backdrop added color and imagery.

Next comes The Chain which has always been a favorite.  The moment seems surreal.  I can’t believe I’m sitting listening to these songs that I spun over and over again on my turn table in my bedroom as a teenager listening attentively distracted from homework.  Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be listening to a favorite rock group going hard and strong 34 years later.

Stevie takes the wheel and demonstrates her unique vocal prowess with Dreams. This sentimental favorite has everyone settling in now.  It’s becoming apparent that we’re going to get all the big hits and there’s going to be no holding back.  Incidentally, Stand Back was featured later on in the evening.

Lindsey speaks about Tusk and this creative foray in which he bemuses that Warner Brothers may not have actually expected this tangent on the heels of such a string of classic rock hits.  In the spirit of Tusk’s place in FM’s ensemble, Lindsey offers up Not That Funny and only he with his guitar greatness could pull something off with this song lacking in melody.

Lindsey referenced creative forces still at work at this late stage in their career with a couple of tracks for EP release.  Sad Angel was profiled along with Without You.  Not gripping but an admiral effort.

The biggest surprises of the night were Lindsey’s Big Love  and I’m So Afraid guitar solos.  Simply stellar performances.  Lindsey Buckingham at 64 showcased lead guitar in such fashion that rivaled anything ever produced in a studio.

No Fleetwood Mac performance would be complete without Landslide.  Stevie and Lindsey teased us with their chemistry with their glance and thought of one more chorus line on wrap.

A particular pleasure was the intros.  They kept us guessing as to what was being led.  Support musicians chimed in with rhythm and chord work whenever Lindsay wasn’t standing alone.  It would have taken the hundred plus plays of the classics from the past to appreciate the play on the rudiment riffs.   Gold Dust Woman exemplified simplicity flavored with timely marks of musical magic in a calmness that the audience felt as Stevie’s aura faded from the backdrop in a golden haze.

The climactic pulse of the event unfolded with and exhilarating version of Go Your Own Way.  This enchanting rhythmic delight abounded in fun and fervor.  The whole band came together and unleashed an energy only achieved by the harmonious inputs of a musical force aged to perfection.

Admittedly, Mick Fleetwood has lost some acumen with the drumsticks but with a boyish enthusiasm in his 65 year old body –he gave us his best drum solo with World Turning.  Everyone was pulling for him and he came through in style.

I gave my new friend to the right a tap in my gesture of departure and walked the corridors alone.  I discovered the back stage along concourse and caught a glimpse of Stevie Nicks and gave her a wave.  Don’t Stop has lyrics of positivity making for a fitting close.

You And The Market

As an entrepreneur and someone who has no boss, no job, no set hours, and no limits on income – I marvel at the anxiety that those with jobs go through to keep themselves relevant in the work place.  I learned quite a while back the “life is not fair”….and consequently are we not sometimes picking fights where the best course of action might be simply to veer off the conflict and find greener pastures along the detour?  The pension plan and golden hand shake appear to still operate vexingly in spite of sapping creativity and self-initiative from the inner purpose of an individual.  What good is a pension if it comes at the price of sacrificing our most precious asset, “time”, for the good of a padded dividend to some high net worth benefactor alien to our existence?  You can embark upon entrepreneurship while holding your job!  Yes, you can!  There is no law against moonlighting!  If your company frowns upon it – how much does it really care about you and your financial autonomy?  Where is the loyalty of an employer during the downturns and pink slips?  Does your employer deserve to have it both ways?  Are there interests at work that encourage you to believe that you cannot achieve?

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.

Blair's Blog