Photos, Uncategorized

Getting there!

Mountainous THANKS to everyone who’s helped with this hair-raising, mo-fun-than-some-fundraiser! We are at $915!!! Let’s take this to a cool grand for Rog.

$85 and counting…

If you are waiting for the right time to go over to the Movember Foundation website and donate, this is it.

There was a great response to the Mailchimp and post last night. Turns out people give a shit on Giving Tuesday! Wonderful news! Facts no longer matter for our elected officials, but people give a shit about men’s health! Splendid!

What would ol’ Roger-dodger think of all this political madness?


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.




Hit the target

These blog posts are descending into Facebook-like blasts of non-sense. And I don’t like that. I hope you know that. I’m sure you do. If I had started this bloggery for the purpose of re-purposing Facebook posts, nobody would be interested in that.

It started with some gusto. For Movember. For Dad. For remembering. For writing.

It felt good to get a few things off my chest, to let fly, to let go and make mistakes and admit things that I wouldn’t usually… but hell, that stuff is then out there. Out in the ether of the interwebs. Public. And who knows… maybe it would be taken out of context, maybe a bout of humor would be taken as hurtful to someone or unprofessional. Everyone has to be professional nowadays. People are very sensitive, too. Sometimes for good reason. Other times, I’m not always sure. Hard to imagine how other peoples’ shoes pinch if you’ve never walked a Swedish mile in them.

(Sidenote: the hot laptop battery on my legs causes me pain. A strange pain. I really don’t like it. Does anyone else get that?)

So if I’m tired (like now), hell if I want to write something on the edge just to “write something that scares me.” I want to fulfill my obligation to myself and get back to my book or something relaxing like that. But no…

I really want to leave Facebook actually. Read an article recently that said I should. You can read an article that will tell you to do anything these days. But this one had some sense. I won’t regurgitate it all, but suffice to say that said FB is a time suck. And they quoted Steve Martin in it when asked about the beginning of his career and how he made it work, he said, “be so good that they can’t hate you” or something of the sort.

Let’s be honest, Facebook is a lot of mediocre thoughts crafted on toilet seats for people that don’t really care but read it all anyway. A lot of a little. That’s not all it is, but it’s a lot of that.  Maybe it’ll be good for digestion and/or bowel movember worldwide (men’s health?). I’m sure you could read an article that tells you people spend an avg. of 5 mintes more on the toilet these days because they are on their phones, on Tinder, on Facebook, crafting a crushing Tweet or cropping an epic Insta post.

Ahh. I already feel better that I took the time to develop a thought in mildly lucid prose. And this is exactly why I wanted to do this post-a-day madness. To hit a target (and miss to know what it feels like) and spread some good words… not just words for words sake.  They aren’t words good enough so Steve Martin wouldn’t dislike me (is he on Facebook?), but better than a photo dump or two sentences of mild import.

In other news, the royal we hit the target of $500 dollars raised for Movember this year. Ooorah! Now with a week left, let’s see if we can’t double that and his $1,000. Hell, go for gold.

Check out my page here.


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.



Veterans, write it down

img_7871It’s Veteran’s Day and I’d be remiss not to talk about my grandfather, Forrest Kinsley Bunten, a Marine in World War II. A tough nut to crack, gramps made life seem hard.

When dad got back from Vietnam, he got dropped in Atlanta where he bought a Triumph motorcycle (we think that was the make) and rode it straight to Orford. Story goes he barely stopped, arriving with bugs in his teeth and raw skin on his forehead from piling through the rain. Charlotte Huntington, one of his friends at the time, remembers it like this:

Rog said his mother hugged the living daylights outta him and was so excited …his Dad was in the barn and Rog went out and his Dad just said, “Hello, son” and went back to milking. Rog said that was two words more than he usually got from him.

Neither my father or his talked about the wars much. Both started to do so before
they died, but only in spurts. I remember Forrest coming out with a photo of him in Okinawa behind a double bass. He’d played in a jazz band there, supposedly. We knew he played the sousaphone, but the double bass was such a surprise. I’ll find that shot in due course.

Rog said he was real happy to be home in Orford & felt the Marine stint had served him well. He had no clue what to do with his life at 18. Just wanted someone to tell him what to do, when to do it and how.


Dad always seemed pretty ambivalent about his experience to me, but then again, he never put much verbiage behind it. He sure didn’t like seeing any sort of violence, though…

We played this one at Dad’s funeral at the Mt. Philo Inn. Forrest loved the song, too.



*** 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. 


Rocked off the wagon


Hello from Canada!

While everyone was sitting around waiting for the Canuck immigration site to come back online, I took the opportunity to grow a dirt-smear, handlebar crumb catcher, grab a 12-rack of Lablatt cans and head north. (Movember is so much more than just men’s health. It’s also about finding the appropriate country for political asylum.)

Photo on 11-10-16 at 22.00 #2.jpg

They barely asked for my passport at the border, eh. Just shotgunned a can of “blue” while humming “God Save the Queen” and they were convinced I was local.

Got a job at Casino de Montreal as a greeter and am planning some collaboration with these funny fuckers.

Quebec trumps hate.



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. 

Photos, Travel

Russian Roulette… you’ll never believe what happened next!


Blatant click bait. Sorry. Not really. You should know better.

Well, now that you’re here, you might as well have a gander at the wares. It’s all for Movember. A post everyday for the month. Consider a dollar per post! That’s a fair deal.  It’s more work than you think! Plus growing a super tash and working to raise awareness about important men’s health issues? Certainly worth a dollar a day. 

Anyway, I was recently back in Mother Rus as part of a Burlington Yaroslavl Sister City delegation. A lot of the photos and info from my recent trip that trip can be found on the our Facebook page.

As a short Sunday evening post, I thought I’d share with you a few favorites from my own amateur efforts.

The captions have a touch of info about each. Enjoy!

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