Photos, Writing

Give a shit on Giving Tuesday

Most mustachian greetings be upon ye!

With the close of my fifth Movember arriving shortly, it’s time to send out the annual report. I’ll begin with visual evidence demonstrating my firm commitment to the “handlebar” mo this year.

Yes. It’s creepy. I know. Just ginger enough to put you off your soup. After four years of the standard fare, I had to change gear, see what she could really do.

(If you plan to read the whole post, skip this… if not, tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, consider a gift to Movember on my late father’s behalf. Follow link for details.)

We all take part in this hairy caper for myriad reasons, but at the end of the day we know it’s all for health and sanity. We want to keep them in our possession for as long as humanly (humanely?) possible.

It’s true we sometime do what our doctors tell us not to or eat one too many donuts, but what would life be without a reason to exercise our choice… Choose to smoke, choose to drink, choose to love, choose to run, but also choose to be in charge of our facilities enough to know that we can’t do everything we want forever…except love. We can do that for donkeys. It gets hard sometimes, though. A few more beers and that’d be another post.

And, of course, realize that good intentions are just a shiny pair of shoes—it’s the walking that’s the tough part. My #mosober ploy didn’t work out as planned. I won’t make excuses here. I’ll just say duly noted for another walk in this long life.

More of…

I’ve enjoyed the time dedicated to thinking of my dear dad and only wish I had more—more time with him, more games of cribbage with him, more walks up Mt Philo. Enjoy every minute. You can never get them back and memories aren’t as engaging as real conversations. Ask hard questions. Laugh. Eat. The simple times are what I miss most.

I also wish I had more time to put into this hair-raising fundraisier.

That said, I’m very happy to report I hit my initial goal of $500. Nine generous donors ponied up some hard-earned cash to show they care about the health of men around the world. I won’t go into the whole numbers game.

Suffice to say the numbers on prostate cancer alone are staggering, to say nothing of testicular cancer, mental health and suicide. 

The Big Dig

These mo-bros and mo-sisters at Movember Foundation are doing a good thing and I highly encourage you to put what ever disposable income you have to give on Giving Tuesday toward their noble efforts. I’ve got $100 of my own money to start us off. Let’s see if we can’t double-down on the fundraising goal. You always double down.

And with that, I’ll sign off, leaving you with a rare photo of my dad with some serious mutton-chop-mustache thing going on, being a goof with flowing locks and staples in his chest hair, to whom this whole shebang is dedicated.

Big love.




Make it happen

A bit of a push to get a blog post together every day. Not gonna lie. They don’t call it a challenge for no reason.

Finding inspiration, time and the motivation… to continue looking at the blue light special screen… I would love to have more time to hack out messy missives to the blogosphere, but don’t we all wish there was more time for the things dread.

On we trudge. Through the muck and mire. Through the over-hyped Supermoons. Through the outrageous misfortune of recent political appointments. Through the disheartening but grounding force of democracy (“The people have spoken”). Through the sidelong looks at our burgeoning stashery.IMG_3838.JPG


I have to remind myself that this mouth brow beats down everyone it sees whether I look at people like an idiot (as above) or not.

I’ll get a big asking yet endearing email out to everyone soon, reminding you of why exactly we do this. No need to go into it now.

Reading a fantastic book at the moment called “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall that I really want to finish…and go for a run in the morning. I’ll leave you with some parting thoughts from him.




Stats. States. Blah. Nail biting. Percentages. Feck. Red, white, blue. Count-downs. Oh, feck no. Dow futures down. Jaysus. Too close to calls. Jitters. No. Electoral votes. The path to the White House. WTF? Michigan. Michigan. Hello?

Florida. We are all waiting for Florida. Rural F*ckin’ Florida. What are you doing?

Decision night. Whaddawerld. It’s all a bit much.

Democrazy in all it’s colors…



A twisted flag – thoughts on the eve of Election 2016

Bull in a Gina Shop

This has been the first election I’ve been party to in country since college. Our governance system seems to function on obstructionism. What a long, streaky mess of lies, backtracking and bravado. I can’t wait for it to be over; at the same time wonder if it will be over.

The country is fractured. Trump isn’t going to walk away. He doesn’t seem like that kind of gina-shop bull. He’ll stomp around and grunt for a while, grinding shards of broken communities into the foundation of this nation, getting his nose ring caught on shelves holding nasty tweets.

Of course, presuming he loses. Lord knows what’ll happen if he wins. As a friend said earlier today, “I feel like I should be buying hard alcohol and shotgun shells on the way home.” I’m told expedited citizenship to New Brunswick is on offer…but that would be giving up. Nobody likes a quitter. If he loses, someone has to stick around to witness the Trump Revolution—Making ‘Murica Great Again.

Shaking the world

I watched the “Reds” on the flight back from Russia, a film of John Reed’s seminal book, “Ten days that shook the world“.  That’s what I imagine it like here if Trump wins. A lot of shouting, firing squads f0r “established power”, enthusiasm but too many plans pulling “greatness” in the “wrong” direction. Gather all the poorly educated of the country, give them a wildly obtuse goal tinged with hope, glory and economic stability. The only thing that would stop them is the slow realization that they are all finding themselves in ever smaller factions of disagreeable cusses. “Spinning in ever smaller concentric circles until you crawl up your own ass,” touches on the idea. Expression courtesy of Craig Reynolds.

It seems the only character we should be judging politicians on these days is whether they can “work across the aisle.” My way or the highway gets us nowhere. I’m pretty chuffed to have recently received a letter (see below) from a man who knows this better than most. The US Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, has a tough job, especially now, but he took time out to hang with our humble sister city delegation and thanked us for our efforts in building understanding across a historically vast international aisle.

US-Russia relations are strained, to put it lightly, and probably will be for a while. The domestic chasm between Democrat and Republican parties has some similarities. And for the same reason the Burlington Yaroslavl Sister City Program exists, to highlight and build people-to-people relations, so should our government work together, realizing our grassroots connections and common humanity rather than our illusive, divided political lines.

*Casually steps off soap box and “accidentally” drops a crisp, unfolded, unclassified piece of paper…

Alex Bunten-thank you from ambassador.jpg

*** Looking to donate to the 2016 Movember campaign, raising funds and awareness for men’s health? Go here and give all you can — help stop men dying too young. 


Dawn dogs and flat fear

Dark. Cold. Spandex. Headlamp. Reflectives. Buff. Gloves.

Thus the morning was started over a cup of coffee. For a few weeks now I’ve been mentally threatening to run again. Hell, I just ran a marathon at the end of September, you’d think I love this shit. I do. But I don’t. But I do.

Other runners will understand such flip-floppery. Continue reading

Photos, Writing

Makin’ it Mo – Movember 2016

Making a mo of it. Mo’in it over. Mo big or mo home. Movember. Ahhhhh. That divinely moustachian time of year when mo-everything is somehow kosher and upper lip fuzz becomes a rallying cry for health among men folk the world over.

Yes, I’m doing it again. Yes, this is the FIFTH year running. No, I don’t get tired of growing a mustache. Yes, I think you should donate to Movember Foundation here. Continue reading

Photos, Writing

To the balcony, to be a bird

They don’t talk much, but they are excitable and appreciative. Winter is here and their minds are hungry for survival. They need sustenance for their children. Don’t we all? Whether those offspring are ideas, interests, or mouths to feed, we all need…

They are blind to the complexities of humanity, without which they would no longer exist. Descartes.  They make a dill weed perch, survey the yard and decide at once to jump, flap, peck, stand, stop, jump, flap, flap, be.

To be a pumpkin seed eater. To be a bird.