Friday, October 29, 2010


Slurping swallowing drinking coffee
followed with a short forced exhalation
possibly some coughing.

Grandpa's presence in the house often pre-announced by that noise
of breathing out like a steam train
releasing a burst of vapour.

Then the shuffling chugging gait of wool slippers on carpet.
The left step is shorter than the right.

Bending forward to change footwear
another billowing breath,
slippers off, shoes on.
Laces slowly taken on their course to tighten.

Grandpa the steam train.

He whistles as he goes around
reaches up to turn on the light and put on his hat.
Another trip to the doctor's to have some skin cancer removed.
This time from his upper left arm.
"Just a little thing. It'll only take three stitches" he says,
speculating a link between the location and a former flu shot.

8th of June for some ear removal.
4th of June to yet a different doctor for a "freeze job"
of liquid nitrogen to the face, burning something off.

He was a pale red headed young man
from an isolated fishing town on the west coast
who marched through Africa and Italy to fight for Canada.

Old men and old trains
the few who remain
getting low on steam

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adventures in Alpha Testing!

Today I had the amazing opportunity to do some alpha-testing for a very exciting new concept/service that intends to revolutionize the way online advertising is done. The concept/service in question, Emma Active Advertising, is chock full of potential because it seeks to do something that I consider to be very Canadian: it offers a win/win for all parties involved.

Most all who know me know that I'm not overly fond of marketing that "creates a need" and then seeks to "fill that need". Grrr. I do however acknowledge a role in marketing when it comes to the idea of actually informing people of services or products that are helpful and useful! This is the value of information services and the way in which advertising is being forced to change. Stop trying to sell me crap I don't care for! It just pisses me off. Sometimes it actually makes me actively dis-inclined to support that product. How many of us prefer to record shows on our pvrs so we can skip all of the annoying ads? And the fact that TV ad volumes are often so much louder than the program being viewed irks me as well. Traditional television is well on it's way out for many of us and the old advertising model isn't effective on those of us who don't care for television. Unwanted advertisement = spam in my mind. It is the shotgun variety of marketing. The fact is that we as consumers are becoming more focused in the means by which we seek product and services. Information given clearly, concisely, and easily is now one of the most sought services out there. Google and Wikipedia are two prime examples of implemented ideas that have filled a need and achieved an all-present place in our web-sourcing tool box. Quick, easy, and conveying the information we want when we want it.

Which brings us to Emma Active. Here's what they have to say on their site
EmmaActive is a revolutionary new PPC advertising medium which leverages crowdsourcing to generate revenues for site owners and cloud source participants alike - why should advertising agencies make all the money!

Sure everyone and their dog offers a service with the guise of generating income from viewers and advertising these days, and while I'm not able to go into the mechanics I can say that I am very impressed with Emma Active. The interface is simple and intuitive and the concept beautifully executed. And it rewards content producers for their content while linking them to the product creators/businesses efficiently, effectively, and discreetly. Do I hear a Bazinga!?

This has the potential to be a game changer and we all have the opportunity to get in at the ground level because they're now accepting applications for beta-testers ranging from bloggers to site owners. Check it out! Ideas CAN and HAVE changed the world we live in. I sincerely believe that one of the greatest attributes in humanity is our creativity, tempered through struggle, moving forward in hope and the realization that we can create a better tomorrow.

Call me crazy but I think this is just one of those ideas ;)
Empower to us peoples ;)

If you're interested you can apply to be a beta-tester
You can also follow them on twitter

Monday, June 14, 2010

Upon Waking in Hope on Friday Morning...

The clouds lay close against the mountain across the Fraser river and early morning birds sing their early morning songs. Chirping and chattering and other birdish sounds burst through the sullen predawn morn accompanied by the background noise of highways in the distance: coming and going. Every now and then whistles blow and trains choo choo through too. It is 5am on a Friday morning and another day is about to commence as this part of the world awakes to engage in their hustles and bustles and habits. Autotimers on coffee pots and breadmakers precede their groggy masters' appearences and still the birds sing. Morning rituals engaged.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Climbing to Cambrian Chief Mine

Vista Hunting
Originally uploaded by maplemusketeer
It started hours ago, kilometers below the debris strewn summit we now explored.

3 hours, 180 minutes, lay beneath our feet and soaked our clothes.

Our fevered brows now chilled by the wind that met us on the open exposed mine floor atop Mt.Hallowell. Weary soreness instantly forgotten to the euphoria and rabid curiousity of destination; of goal.

A mine atop a coastal mountain.

A mine left behind decades before our time, with no vibe of ghosts or phantoms, only eagle's circling soaring flights over old circled vehicle tracks around long extinct extinguished fire pits beneath the long gaze of the long mossy draped stunted trees. Wise old trees are they that saw the time before, during, and now post-mine.

The surveyors, the miners, the partyers, the adventurers all have flashed and dashed below these wisend old trunks which benefited from the mining a view, exposure, light. Now looking out over Sakinaw and Ruby Lake to Texada and Nelson Island and further still to the distant peaks of Vancouver Island's northwestward lie.

Few clouds dot the clear cool sky, few clouds offset the high pressure blue: the great blue tarpaulin covering our temporary dwelling place, our precarious shelter that is the habitable zone of our existence.

Perhaps it is the clear air and clear view that lead to clear thoughts. Up here out and above the pollutions, the grind, the miasmic perfusion of giant quibbles, titanic minutiae, and clashing egos and issues.


Perhaps there is a reason certain moments are refered to as mountain top.

From the top of a mountain you gain perspective. It can be no other way. It takes work, effort, choice. It is challenging, it is difficult, it is painful, and it is oh so worthy. We are changed by mountain tops. The person who began is not the person who returns.

We forget, I forget, we forget this often.

Our vision narrows, our focus tightens, our lungs draw short breaths, our neck muscles hypertrophy, stress responses trigger cortisol releases flooding our bodies, and we plod, grind, stumble, plow on in admirable stubborn enduring humanity. We do it again and again, day in and day out.

Our short term vision becomes all we see.

Our short term visions bump into others' as we become more insular and unknowingly cloak ourselves in assumption. We become like horses with blinders because we feel we must, we believe we must, we are told we must by all that surrounds down in the cacaphony of the day to day to day to day to week to week to month to month to year to life.

The call to mountain top resounds as importantly today as yesterday: a call often subverted, put off, buried.

We forget, I forget, we forget.
I remember. We remember.

For our hearts, for our health, for ourselves and each other, listen and be drawn to the mountain top.

There is an intimacy at the ocean's shoreline, a connectedness deep in the forest's green embrace, and a humbling expanding awareness at the mountain's top.

I implore you to go, to remind me to go, to go alone, to go together, to hike or climb or drive, but to go.

Be reminded, as I am, of the freedom of choice, the finality of each passing moment, the opportunity of each impending moment, and the wonder of wonders which is the bizarre interplaying tapestry woven between you and me, us and we, individuals together corporately.

A grand adventure. The grand adventure.

Our grand adventure.

Go well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Advice for my friend who's going on an adventure and starting a blog.. he wanted thoughts.. careful when you ask me for thoughts.. ;)

Write something in a journal every day. Doesn't matter if it's long, short, detailed, or superficial. Put it in there.

Write about watching a bird on a branch. Write about the way the path goes down the valley past a house that's who knows how old. Write about what you had for breakfast and what you hope for the day. You'll find that there are certain things you write about more than others. That's totally ok! You'll find your voice and what you see and what you think of. Maybe it's descriptive to the scene.. the way the wind rustles sheaves of wheat or paint peeling above the fruit stand on the street curb. Maybe it's musings of a more abstract nature of how so many people's and cultures have interacted in such a small area for so long, and the differences you see between growing up on the west coast of Canada vs there.

You take with you the sum of your experiences, you see with your eyes, hear with your ears, you smell and taste, and experience what comes across your path. Encounter it, and enjoy it.

And write. Write as if you never had to share it with anyone. Write for yourself alone. Write knowing that you can throw out what you say.. and then look over it.. and post what you'd like to.

Write sober, write tipsy, write drowsy. Even if you don't use it all right now, or share it all right now.. perhaps one day you'll look back with perspective and glean kernels from it you never saw or valued when you wrote it.

Plus one day your kids can find it in your old stuff, or your grandkids in the really old stuff, and they'll laugh and chortle and be taken away to this far away land and this distant adventure... and it'll be good.