Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Contests Are Fun

Working at LIFE 100.3 is a lot of fun. Like going to concerts and calling it "work," it's pretty sweet. But there are some drawbacks, like not being able to play the contests. Scavenger hunts, musical chairs, trips to warm destinations... Nope. Not allowed.

So, I must look elsewhere to fulfill my dietary need to win. Enter the "Best Travel Job Ever" contest. Combine my love of contests with my love for travel and you've got a winner! All you have to do is upload a video explaining why you should win.

Crystal and I decided to enter the contest, but instead of just standing in front of the camera explaining why we should win, we decided to get creative. We put our collective heads together and came up with a sure-fire winning idea.

"Things We Can't Do If We Don't Win The Best Travel Job Ever."

Now we just needs the votes to get us in front of the judges. We'd like to be in the top 10, and we need your help. PLUS, if/when you vote for our amazing video, you're entered to win a $500 travel voucher from Air Canada.

So help a brother out, vote HERE

And here's our super-fantastic video:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Sound For Switchfoot?

Crystal will not like this, but I got a kick out of it. Switchfoot covers one of the greatest new rock songs of all time. (Still one of my favourites to play on Rock Band)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Earth Hour

I totally missed it on Saturday. Anybody else in the same boat?

Maybe it was because there wasn't as much hype around it this year. Maybe I missed it because I live out in the sticks. (We see the stars EVERY night)

Maybe the "green movement" is starting to lose steam?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Favourite Things Friday

It's Friday, which means I give you more of my favourite things. But instead of the "normal" three things, I'm going to give you 5. My 5 favourite authors.

Erwin McManus
Erwin is pastor of a church in Los Angeles called Mosaic. He is also the man behind Awaken, an organization bent on restoring and reclaiming creativity and the arts. His books challenge me, inspire me and annoy me (in a good way).

Seth Godin
Seth is a marketing genius. His books and blog posts rock my world on a regular basis. I'd love to sit down over coffee and pick his brain, but I'd probably chicken out because he's so stinkin smart. His TED Talk on Tribes is 20 minutes well spent.

Mark Batterson
Mark is pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. His church also opened up a coffee shop that was voted as DC's best. He's a visionary guy, who seems to be really down to earth. Another guy I'd love to sit down with and talk third-place ministry. His books are a lot like Erwin's, talking about dreams and taking some risks to see those dreams become reality.

Malcolm Gladwell
A fascinating guy. I read The Tipping Point and it blow my mind. I started looking at people in my life and classifying them as connectors, mavens or salesmen. I'm working through his latest book right now and the observations he makes (in both books) are incredible. He makes it all seem so simple. He's another guy with a great TED Talk.

Rob Bell
Love him or hate him, you've likely heard of Rob Bell. My first exposure to Rob was through his Nooma series. I've read a number of Rob's books, driven to his church in Grand Rapids, and saw him speak this past year in Toronto. The thing I like most about Rob is how he explains scripture within the context it was written. He gives you the background info, what was going on at that time in history and gives you a new understanding of scripture.

Who's on your best-seller list?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I wish we could get Japanese tv in Canada.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Maybe It's Spring

Spring is officially here, and despite the dip in temps this week, I find myself coming out of hibernation. I don't know what has gotten in to me lately, and I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing.

You see I haven't been sleeping the last couple nights. Why? Because my mind won't allow it. My mind has gone into overdrive thinking about all the things I want to do before the icy death of winter returns. Things like:
- Go camping
- Climb a mountain
- Ride downhill at Blue with my brother
- Canoe the Nottawasaga
- Go rock-climbing
- Skimboard
- Drive down the California coast
- Win the Toronto edition of City Chase
- Travel to Golden and Kelowna
- Seadoo on Lake Simcoe
- Go whitewater rafting
- Stand-up paddle from Centennial Beach to Big Bay Point
- Go cliff jumping
- Ride in an ultra-light

I realize most of these will not happen, (at least not this year), but my imagination doesn't care. In that in between sleep/awake state my mind starts to race, my heart rate picks up, I might even start to sweat. No way I can fall asleep like that.

Any (non-drug induced) ideas to help me catch some ZZZZZZZZ?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm Thankful For...

A fantastic wife

A house of my own

The sunny days this week

The ability to take the dog for a walk

The freedoms and luxuries we enjoy as Canadians


Helpful videos like this one:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feelin' Like Columbus

Another beauty day today, so I decided to take Snax for a walk. Instead of walking around our neighbourhood I got in the car and drove 15 minutes and went for a walk through the forest. I'd never been to these woods before, but had driven by on my way to work a couple times. So Snax and I decided to explore.

We followed the path into the woods and began our adventure. 10 minutes in and Snax has already climbed to the top of the hill, meanwhile I'm lumbering on starting to feel the heat of the spring sun on my black hoodie. We spent upwards of two hours walking through this forest, over fallen logs, around weathered tree houses, through slushy snow and slippery mud. I let Snax lead the way out, and somehow despite all the turns we took she still managed to find her way back to the car. I seriously think she's the smartest dog in the world.

On our walk I realized something; I love to explore. Discovering new places excites me. I think if I were born 500 years earlier I think I would have been best friends with Sir Francis Drake. I think I was born curious... born to explore and discover. Too bad I'm not an astronaut.

P.S. - Some St Patty's Day humor for you. In March 2006, apparently there was a leprechaun loose in Mobile, Alabama. Why do these things only happen in the southern U.S.?

Monday, March 15, 2010

All-Star Anthems

A weird thing happens when a number of musical "superstars" get together to record a song, I usually like it. I might not be a fan of an artist's usual work, but put them on a track with 15-20 other artists and I'll like them. It's nuts.

Michael W Smith (who is looking good btw) got some friends together and recorded Come Together Now, with proceeds going to the relief effort Haiti. You've heard the song on LIFE, now check out the visuals.

A group of Canadian artists also got together to re-record a K'naan song (who is a native of Haiti) in an effort to raise some money for the relief effort.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Favourite Things Friday

If there was a Starbucks in the North end of Barrie I'd be in trouble. I'm addicted to their skinny vanilla, and it's $5 price tag. Luckily I received a number of Starbucks gift cards at Christmas so they've been free... sort of. I love to grab a skinny vanilla and sit down in a comfy chair and enjoy the free wifi. Barrie has 3 Starbucks stores, all within walking distance of each other. I'm not sure why, but they haven't migrated north to the Georgian College area.

Working out? Yes, working out. I'm not really sure why, but I enjoy trips to the gym. Maybe it's because it's a sort of getaway, I can turn my brain off. Maybe it's because I'm scared I'll weigh 205 again. Maybe I just like to sweat. I like the gym, and try to go on a regular basis.


Andrew is the lead singer of Jack's Mannequin, but that's not the only reason why he's one of my favourite people. I first heard about him in 2002. I was working at a radio station in the tri-cities and Something Corporate was playing a show in Kitchener. A couple guys from work and I made the trip to downtown K-Dub and loved what we heard. Here was this young guy with a killer voice, jumping on the piano, bouncing around the stage with so much energy. That nuclear explosion of energy was Andrew McMahon.

In 2005, at 22 years-old, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Just 3 months before the release of Everything In Transit, he was admitted to hospital to begin treatment. Thanks to a bone marrow transplant from his sister (Katie) Andrew made a full recovery.

Andrew documented his journey on video, which has now been made into a documentary called Dear Jack. Proceeds from the project go to the Dear Jack Foundation, a charity he founded to support cancer research.

Not only is he super talented, he's also got a great story and I'm a sucker for a good story.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Lies People Tell

It seems to me that people tell lies in order to make someone else feel better about themself.

"No honey those jeans do not make you look fat"

"It's ok, it happens to everyone"

"Nothing's wrong"

"Sorry I missed your call"

"This tastes delicious"

Why do we tell those lies? Is it ok to lie sometimes? I think so. It's called being polite.

As you've read (HERE and HERE) Saturday night I attended the Departures VIP Gala. During the Q&A the guys were asked if they still love doing the show as much as they did in season one. Their answer caught me off guard a little bit. They said "no". They said it gets harder to do the show as time goes on.

It becomes more like work.

"How do you make the Gobi Desert look different from the Sahara?" It's true. Countries in the same geographic area are likely very similar, and it might be hard to make them seem like different places.

But they are travelling the world and calling it "work"... how can they not love it?

Have you ever heard someone say "Find something you love to do, get paid for it, and you'll never work a day in your life." It's a lie. (Sorry to be Debbie Downer.)

It might start out great, but over time it's a challenge to not let the "business" overtake the pleasure. At some point you start to focus on the budget, on making it more appealing for the majority of people, you start to feel like you have to do it, instead of wanting to do it.

Depending on what you're doing it could start out great, but the time comes where it's no longer like it once was. That time may be different depending on what you're doing, but it always comes. I think once money is involved, you can't stop it.

I read a book recently that reiterated that point. The author has a friend who is a famous photographer. This famous photographer doesn't make much money shooting indie, artsy photos. He makes his money shooting standard photos for magazines and catalogues. Actors take big budget roles to pay the bills, and then take on some more fun and challenging roles in indie films that very few people will go see.

So what's the solution? I think you have to find a job that allows you to do the things you love to do outside of work. You work your 9-5, which pays the bills, then you go do what you love.

Am I wrong? Anyone have a job they absolutely love 100% of the time? A job that never feels like work?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Daily Readings

I'm not sure if you have a list of blogs you visit on a regular basis, (hopefully you read this one regularly), but I do. In fact, there are 132 blogs I read everyday... sort of. There are 132 blogs I follow in my Google Reader, not all of them post everyday. 132 seems like a lot, so I'm not going to list them all; instead I'm going to give you 5 of my favs.

I love to travel, and Gadling is my daily dose of travel tips/destinations/stories/inspiration. Not to mention once a week they post Gadling's Travel Talk, a very cool show available only on their blog (and iTunes). It has inspired me to start dreaming up my own web tv show. Totally do-able, all I need is a video camera. A VERY cool blog that you check out.
(about 10 new posts/day)

Carlos Whitaker is (as he calls it) an artist, pastor, thinker and experience architect. He is a super cool guy and very down-to-earth. His blog often challenges me in my walk with God, and how I view the world. Not to mention the community on the blog is pretty sweet. Check it out.
(1 or 2 new posts/day)

Seth Godin is an incredibly smart man when it comes to the business world. He's written a number of books and everyday he challenges me and my views of how business is done. He might be called a... um... poop disturber by some corporate types, but often those people are needed for society to keep moving forward. A highly recommended read for leaders in business or ministry.
(1 or 2 new posts/day)

Mark Batterson is and author and the lead pastor at National Community Church in Washington, DC. On our trip to DC we went to NCC, and I thought it was pretty cool. They don't have an actual building, they meet in movie theaters around the DC area. They DO own a coffee shop down the street from Union Station though. Ebenezers is the sort of thing I imagine The Republic becoming, a cultural hub. Mark's blog, like his books, talks a lot about dreams and going after your dreams. I'm a dreamer. I like his blog.
(2 posts/day)

The author of this blog is by far my favourite person in the world. She's smart, witty, sexy, super-talented and also happens to be my wife. She's an incredibly talented writer, and even though the posts are infrequent, they are always worth a read. She's also the author of another blog (YKWIH) that is based on the rants of her cubicle-mate.
(Posts a couple times a week)

Monday, March 8, 2010

A VIP Experience

On Friday I gushed about my love for Departures, and may have mentioned the VIP Gala Crystal and I were going to on Saturday. Well it was amazing! We arrived early, (they asked if we wanted to volunteer), and took our post at the registration table. Crystal checked names off the guest list, and I handed out wristbands. The doors opened at 8:00, and for an hour and half there was a non-stop stream of people coming through the doors. They planned for the Q&A to start at 9:00, but there was still a ton of people to get into the building, so they pushed it back 30 minutes. At 9:30 we left our post at the front door and headed inside to enjoy the night.

They started off by introducing the behind-the-scnees crew, maybe 10 producers, editors and mixers. Then they brought out the 3 stars of the show; Andre, Scott and Justin walk out on stage to a frenzy of screams, flashbulbs and applause. The Q&A sessions goes on for about 45 minutes, with questions ranging from "What do you carry in your backpacks?" to "Have you ever feared for your life?" to "If you weren't travelling the world, what would you be doing?"

After the Q&A it was on with the show! Yes, they were about 60 minutes behind schedule, but no one seemed to mind. On with the Season 3 premiere. To kick off the new season the guys travelled to Russia. They made a stop at Chernobyl and met a guy who refused to leave when the nuclear accident took place. The guy has been living in a radioactive zone for almost 25 years! Pretty wild. From Chernobyl they move on to St Petersburg and then east to Moscow. After Moscow they gain access to a Russian military base, when they end up shooting sniper rifles, driving a tank and gaining unprecedented access to a rival nation's military resources. After the episode the dj took the stage and the dance party began. (Of course it was pretty late at this point so most people ended up leaving) A fantastic, unforgetable, unbelievable night.

To the Departures crew: WELL DONE!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Favourite Things Friday

Bit of a theme for today's Favourite Things Friday. It's my favourite things on TV.

If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know I love to travel. I think I might actually have a dietary need to travel. Seriously, I'm sure it's a medical condition - "exploritis" or "travelungus".

Since I am unable to just pack-up my life and go see the world, I have to find another way to satisfy that craving. Enter the Departures, the "crack" to my travel addiction.

It's about 2 high-school friends from Brantford (Scott and Justin) who quit their jobs and decide to travel the world for a year. A friend of Scott's (Andre) films the trip, and captures it in such an amazing way. The guy captures some amazing footage, and has won a couple Gemini Awards for his work. (The India episodes from season 1 are amazing!) The best part, is that they don't do the typical tourist things, they try to experience the country like the locals do,

Tomorrow I'm one of the lucky 300 who get to experience Departures in a new way. Crystal and I are heading down to the Great Hall in Toronto for the Departures VIP Gala! YES! Cocktails, hor d'oeuvres, Q&A with the cast and a premiere screening of season 3! I'm so pumped!

A couple weeks ago my sister sent me a text asked if I had seen The Buried Life on MTV. (I hadn't.) My sister is a pretty chill chick, so I decided to check it out. I LOVE it! It's about these 4 guys (from BC) that made a list, "100 Things To Do Before We Die", and set out to cross off each item on the list. BUT there's a catch. For every item they check off their list, they also help someone else do something on their list. It's a good show, and it's on MTV. MTV! Did you hear what I said... errr... read what I wrote? A redeeming show on MTV. Amazing.

We don't get a lot of Dallas Stars games in Central Ontario. In fact, unless they play the Leafs, or are the featured game on TSN, we don't see them at all. But that's why I love playoff time. I get to watch my Dallas Stars play, and it's great hockey. Unfortunately it doesn't look like they'll be making a run deep into the playoffs this year, so I probably won't be seeing much of them on the tube. But when they ARE on... I'm watching.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Still Don't Like Him

Sunday night I was at my parents' house watching the gold medal game in glorious HD, and throughout the third period I was voicing my dislike for Sidney Crosby. Saying that he hasn't stepped up when it really counted, I'd rather have a Rick Nash or Eric Staal on my team. The verbage continued in the overtime, until 7:40 into the extra frame when all of a sudden all eyes were focused on me. Mr Crosby just scored the golden goal; he stepped it up when it counted. All I could muster was: "I still don't like him."

I don't really have a legitimate reason to dislike him, I just do. Anyone with me?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

True Love

John 15:13 - No one has greater love than this, that one lays down his life for his friends.

This is beautiful. Creepy, yet moving.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday

Dr Seuss was born on this day in 1904. The guy was pure genius. I still find his work entertaining.

One question for you today, what is your favourite Dr Seuss book?

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.”

The Middle Road


Francis Chan is becoming one of my favourite speakers/authors. I wish I was there for this entire talk.