It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't Worry, Be Happy

There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there's only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there's no reason why you shouldn't have a fairly good time. - Edith Wharton

I've made the decision to do just that. Lusting after anything; whether it be money, love, and happiness, is frustration. Have you ever applied for a job when you really needed it? There is a desperation that is smelt by the panel. The best thing to do is dress down and act as if you really don't give a crap if you get the job. They will chase after you forever.

We try too hard for the things we really want. I'm convinced if we just think about what we want then it will come to us. Don't worry, be happy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Circle of Life

The circle is the most perfect of all. It starts, moves in a logical motion, until it meets it's mate. Everything has a beginning and and an end. Marriage, death, jobs... etc. But these things are the small picture, and there is a bigger picture.
Before we experienced this human experience; beginning with birth, we were kindred spirits in Heaven.
It began with a choice between as do all choices, that this might happen. God said, or asked, that he had a path. One of his born sons, Lucifer, disagreed; but his other son, Jehovah said, " Thy will be done." No questions. War ensued and a third of the spirits faught on the side of Lucifer, but were defeated and cast into some other realm.
Those of us alive, or whom exist, have lived a life faught on the side of God. Even the Muslims! Because only those who won could experience this Human Experience. What Christ showed us was how we could resume our status with God after this experience was over.
Miscarriages, suicides, deaths at a young age seen contrary to a higher power bent on our progression, but somebody once advised me that this was because Satan only has power or influence over us while we are in this human condition. Those that go early are only being given an exit from experiencing and trying to overcome the adversary and given the chance to go home.
So if something unfair occurs in your life and you feel shortchanged; just relax, take it easy, theyre be time to find it out.
Much love.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Phone Calls

I have been on a bit of a jag calling friends and family lately. To a point they have been great. I'm looking at a date of November 5th for detox and rehab which will see me away from my friends and family for some months. I'm not too concerned about the affect on me so much as the affect on others. Keep the faith.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Ants are kind of good things. This country is full of ants. But they are a community of sorts. When you watch them they make contact with each other as the carry on with some kind of work. It only takes a second but they touch and carry on with their work. As long as they stay outside everything is fine, but when they come into your house you have to spray them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Beautiful People

I have been grateful enough to have touched certain people in my life. New Zealand has been a tough nut because they don't share me. I was born and raised in a different country. Why should they care? But the Human Experience is universal, and we all share that. I bled when the All Blacks came home, and especially suffered when Dougie Howlett suffered a breakdown of sorts, cause I thought he would have made the difference, and so did he. Hence. I love my former workmates at REAP. Everyone, from top to bottom. I was never in your class of action and committment but thank you none the less for letting me be a part of your family.

Accentuate the Positive

I have a new resolve. And that is to focus on good things. Some of the stuff I have written in the past has been pretty vective and to those who might have seen it I am very sorry. Nobody is perfect, we are all just trying to get along and make our way through this thing called a human experience. Let us just put it down to a weakness I have to blame others. After all, thinking it is your fault is sometimes just too much on top of the guilt and anger we carry on our backs.
So a new start.
I'm going to try and write about the beautiful things in life, but if I faulter from time to time just put it down to a bad day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Gosh, what a state. Down to my last beer and knowing the next one will be provided at noon; but at the same time we will have decide between sausages and meat. Oh what the heck, nobody dies from starvation anymore, I am a pretty creative cook and will turn shit into something consumable.


I don't think for a minute that anybody reads this stuff, but if you do and have the means, please drop off a 12 pack of New Zealand lager. It is the cheapest drop. And I wish I didn't have to do this but my addiction has yet to be treated and so the resources required to keep me going and the family going are always stretched to the limit. Hey! If need be I would be willing to work for it. It seems I'll be going into rehab and treatment sometime next month and that will be the end of all this crap. Maybe I just want to see if anyone actually reads this. But, read between the lines.

A Broken Man

ROMEO D’ALLAIRE: "I walked down one of the main roads here in Ottawa for about an hour. I stopped and bought a bottle of scotch. And I walked to the—to the park, sat on the bench, and I was reliving my mission. The booze was—I mean I was just drinking it like that out of the bottle. And I was just like any other rubby-dub or person who is left homeless, screaming and yelling and crying and drinking. I was screaming for them to kill me."

Lieutenant General Romeo D'Allaire was poised to become Canada's top soldier, but like any soldier of worth he sought an assignment that would give him the mana to walk the walk. He was 54 years old when the United Nations assigned him the command position in an African nation called Rwanda. He was in charge of a mixed bag of soldiers from a variety of nations.
He knew something was going to happen and warned the suits at the United Nations months in advance.
It was Friday in New York when the carnage began. He called the UN and got an answering machine. When he finally did get in touch with his superiors he was told to do nothing. So he had a ringside seat at the slaughter of 800,000 people. All of the different troops called their home nations and were told the same.
The above quote was taken from his memoirs. I wish I had been there, either in Rwanda or sitting beside him on that park bench. In some ways I was there. Hold fast Romeo.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Old vs New

I love God, and I figure he loves me too. I love church too. But getting inundated with constant reminders about your failures leaves me spiritually bereft, no matter whether it is true or not. Why is it the glass is always half-empty? The Old Testament is all about smiting and flooding and generally wiping everybody out from time to time. What Jesus Christ gave us was a sense of hope. He smote no one. He generally went about protecting the least of us and telling us he loved us unconditionally and told us there was only one thing: "Love one another, as I have loved you."
Recently, at church, a fella told me he held a degree in Civil Engineering; which seemed impossible given he had only returned from a mission two and a half years ago... got married... and began working for a firm. But rather than challenge the facts, I chose to leave. Pride and one-upsmanship doesn't do too much for what I hope is a spiritual experience for me each Sunday. Judgement is also anathema to spiritualism and it is my failing. I'm not sure whether I should go to church and simply ignore the things that make me angry or study the words of a man who made no judgment, forgave everyone, and loved everyone.

The Bambino

George Herman Ruth also called the 'Babe', was a great baseball player. What many people don't know was that he started out as a pitcher and accumulated 86 wins, including several World Series pitching records. He played for the Boston Red Sox and was traded to the New York Yankees so the owner of the Red Sox could pay off his gambling debts.
The Babe, also known as the Bambino, switched from pitching to right field with the Yankees so he could hit every day instead of once every four days. One year he hit 60 home runs, a record deemed unbreakable. Considered the greatest player of all time, his record was broken by another Yankee named Roger Maris. Maris was a sensitive fella and through the course of his record setting season lost all of his hair under the pressure. Yankee fans actually booed when he got close. Roger eventually hit 61 home runs until Hank Aaron broke the record, and a steroid assisted Barry Bonds broke Aaron's effort.
For 86 years the Red Sox suffered what was called 'The Curse of the Bambino' and never won another World Series until 2004.

The Big Train

Lionel Pretoria Conacher was born in Toronto in 1900 and was a most incredible athlete, excelling in Professional Football, Professional Hockey, Professional Baseball, Lacrosse, Wrestling and lord knows what else.
In one day he played a game of Professional Football with the Toronto Argonauts, played a professional baseball game with the Toronto team and later that night suited up to play a game of professional ice hockey. He is a member of the Football Hall of Fame, Hockey Hall of Fame, Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Wrestling Hall of Fame, and probably a couple of others. He retired and became a Member of Parliament, being elected twice. At 54, he was playing a game of softball and suffered a heart attack and died. What I marvel at is that at 51 I have not done a smidgen of what The Big Train accomplished. His son Brian went on to play professional ice hockey and was a member of the last Toronto team to win the Stanley Cup in 1967.

Friday, October 12, 2007

In Who's Interest

I had a professor in Uni called Solly Patel. He was brilliant; a South African of India descent who moved to Canada. At the end of every class, and often throughout our classes Solly used to say softly, "In who's interest?" This has stuck with me. I often find myself assessing this or that and asking, "Who benefits?"
The answer usually suffices.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The World, written by Paddy

Howard: I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don't go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything." Well I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Things have got to change my friends. You've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"


Ella Fitzgerald was a gifted dancer and was selected to perform at the Apollo Theatre. Unfortunately, she broke her ankle the week before and was heartbroken. Her father said, "you've got such a lovely voice, why don't you sing?"
She did. She won. And the rest is history.
I have another friend and her name is Peti. She was born on route through a forest where no roads ran. She made it somehow and became a wonderful person in my church. She has a wonderful daughter too. How is it that no other man can see what I see. She is a gifted woman of God. To be truthful she is a handful, but brethren think of the adventure before you!

On the Bones of my Ass

How to phrase this... Being broke is not a good thing, a statement. Not being able to earn is a dash to me because from the age of 16 I always earned. And wasted. But I'm no longer talking about my money, because I have none, I'm talking about my family.
When my wife chooses between having meat or beans it is not about dietetic choice, it is about choosing between my alcohol needs and food on the table. I don't think anyone reads this crap but if there is anyone out there who can help I would be grateful. I think about 0800labour as a part time solution but frankly, I'm not up to it.
I hate having to choose between the two needs but my memories of the horrors give me adequate fear to eat beans. I hate using up the family resources to feed my habit... and I don't expect the extended family to do much.
My father-in-law has harboured something of a grudge. He has no hesitation in giving everything to his sons, but he expects the husbands of his wives to take care of them. He's right. Unfortunately, my wife has been saddled with a problem of balance... how do I keep my hubby from the DT's and put food on the table. I would like to go somewhere to get dry and sober but I can't. By mid-morning my knees start knocking, my vision gets blurry and I can't do much more than lay there. If there is help out there now is the time. Take my wife to lunch.

Jimmy Hoffa

I was a Teamster. It was one of the most satisfying jobs in the world. Being Unionised you could tell anyone to, "Go f___k themselves. The money was good. I could load or unload a trailer with the best of them. I learned how to pick up a ten cent piece with a forklift, off the ground. Someone taught me how to shunt, so I became a shuntman, ferrying trailers, full and empty into the 200 doors of our terminal.
We had two shop stewards; John and Eddie, and you best not try and cross them. The two of them also offered loans between paydays for 20%, and I took advantage of it from time to time. There is a funny story here.
There was a Teamster conference in New York back in the 70's. Eddie and John and another guy went to it. After the conference they decided to park at a park and have a couple of beers. They met a couple of girls and were invited back to their place. The party went on. At one point one of the fellas looked into the bedside table and came across a great large black dildo complete with straps and stole it. Eventually, they made their way towards the Canadian border, and as a lark they mounted the apparatus onto the face of a comatose compatriot in the back seat. The customs people were not impressed to see what looked to be a perverted Rhino in the back seat and breathalysed the lot. All guilty. They were passed over to the Canadian authorities and sent on their way.
Many years later, there was another conference... this time in Los Vegas. Unfortunately none of them could re-enter the United States without some serious lawyer work. It worked and they got there. Eddie started playing blackjack and kept winning. By the end of it not only did they pay their lawyer's fees, but had plenty in the back pocket to have some fun.
My fondest remembrances is of finishing work at 3 o'clock AM and going to the parking lot where Eddie had a Ford F250 Pickup with a hardback. When the back was lifted it presented a full bar. Eddie had some guy fit the back of the truck with a cooler, ice bucket, and slots for various spirits. To be able to drink at Eddie's truck was a privilege, reserved for some and not for others and I was happy to be one of the chosen. We used to play touch football in the parking lot until the sun came up and the suits showed up. Fun times.

Local Body Elections

If anybody is standing for election then please read this. It is too late for the upcoming election but the lesson is sincere.
Rule number one: Go door to door. And never go alone. The opposition will sit you down for a cuppa and cake and somebody has to remind you of a compulsory obligation. But people have to look you in the eye and touch you to vote.
Rule number two: Identify who they are. This means ascertaining whether or not they will vote for you. The first question is, "Do I have your vote?" The second question is can I put a sign on your lawn. This will tell you enough to put an x or a y beside their name.
Rule number three: Having identified who is on your side or theirs you need to act. Take all the y's and make sure they are reminded, if need be take them to the polls.
Rule number four: If you don't have more y's than x's conserve your money cause you are gonna lose, unless it rains.
Getting elected is a science, not a toss of the coin.


Hate is a terrible thing to unleash on the world of people around us, but it is worse when you hate yourself. Lies are terrible things to say too, especially when you say them to yourself. I have been reading about hate and lies and recognise, all too well, that I have allowed them to dominate my thinking. And there are a lot of us out there, throwing blame and accusations at our friends, co-workers, and family. The key is to learn about yourself and begin to admit and take responsibility for what is true.
The truth is that from the time I can remember my mother was a drunk, a happy drunk most of the time, and my father wasn't. It was not unusual to find bottles of beer hidden around the house. When I was five or six I remember coming home for lunch from school and being packed off to the corner store with a note for the grocer and my red wagon. I would hand over the note, he would load up my wagon with a case of 24 Molson Exports and a couple of packs of smokes. Most nights my parents fought over my mother's excessive drinking. Eventually it got to be too much and my sisters, my brother and me were packed off to foster homes.
The funny thing was my foster parents drank more than my own family and considered us a nuisance. Without going into details; the next four years were a nightmare. We were visited by a Social Worker once a month and I would tell her about the abuse, but she didn't believe me. When I was 11 we were given back to my mother, now divorced from my father (he visited twice in the four years we were wards) and introduced to 'Uncle Mac'. Strangely I remembered him from years earlier. That was when my mother crawled out the living room window with a suitcase and across the street was this man yelling at my father to come outside. The man was holding a two by four.
Anyhow, time passed and we moved to Toronto. I was twelve. We lived in a fairly nice place and I started high school. That was when I started to drink. I found I could tolerate school drunk or stoned and mostly kept to myself and read. One day I was called into the guidance counselor's office and was introduced to a psychologist because one teacher realised I was pissed every day. The psychologist, a woman, set up a tape recorder and asked me some questions and I quite happily spilled out my story... I never heard from her again. When alcohol wasn't available I acquired hash and pot. My locker-partner was a dealer and when he couldn't be there I was designated a sort of sales clerk and was paid off in dope.
At sixteen I was kicked out of school and out of the house. I lived with a guy I knew, worked in a warehouse and spent my off-hours drinking. Life was good. When my friend was transferred out of town I came home again and on my 17th birthday Uncle Mac drove me down to the recruiting office and I spent the next few years in the Armed Forces. The army was kind of fun... especially happy-hour from 4 until 6pm when a beer or a shot cost 25 cents. I woke up most times on the floor so I wouldn't have to make my bed in the morning. A few times I woke up in the Mess Hall toilet stall with my pants around my ankles. There were a few tense moments in the forces but I won't bore you with the details.
From time to time since then I have stopped drinking and dakking, but occasionally something triggers off an episode. The death of my Brother-in-Law, Bo, rocked me to the bottoms of my feet. The after effects has resonated inside my head and that of my family since then. I tried to lose myself in work and bad relationships but it was no use. One day I found I had spent a whole day at work staring at the computer log-in.
Diagnosed as depression, I have been taking a strange mix of anti-depressants that don't make me feel any better, so I went back to my old friend, booze. Recently, I suffered withdrawals for the first time. A full-blown case of the shakes... hallucinations... and nightmares.
I have travelled this path long enough. I do believe there is light at the end of the tunnel and that I am still alive for a reason. But first I need to dig deep, clean up the carnage that has cluttered and ruined past relationships and opportunities. Detox is no longer an option, it is a necessity; followed by 20 weeks in a rehab centre. I am on a waiting list, and still drinking but at least now - after 51 years - forty of them spent drunk and stoned most of the time, I know I have a problem. Let's hope I have enough time left to try and make some amends, be a good father and husband, and be of some worth to this world.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quiet Healing

I came home tonight after attending a group session with other people travelling the path I am on. I am struck by the similarity between our experiences and struggles. Mine continue, as do theirs. What binds us together is honesty and understanding. I have established a routine for my day centred around study, exercise and meditation. Mind you, it has only been the first day so don't hold your breath.
Day by day is the only thing I can hold on to. I am on the waiting list to get into detox and rehab for my various addictions, and as a coward who avoids pain at any expense I am trying to cut down on the substances that cloud my decision-making and ability to be a useful person. Cold turkey is only good in a sandwich. I try to avoid people these days, but temper this isolation with attendance at various 'safe' meetings. One of the first real epiphany's for me has been the lack of relationship with God. I thought I was on safe ground there because I go to church very regularly, unfortunately the tone of discussions within his house are people oriented ideas about right and wrong. I know these things to be true, but being reminded how sinful I am leaves me feeling worse than when I walked through the door. I need to investigate my relationship with God on a personal level and in the meantime clear out the debris of my past. Only then will I be able to become the person I hope to be.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Heartbreak Hotel

Well, another World Cup, and another loss. Hand it to the French; they either allowed themselves to be beaten for the past three years and saved their skills for when it counted or they put everything they had on the line and showed maximum heart. I recon we create a secret training facility on Chatham Island and stock it with the very best players in the country... enough for three teams, and have them play each other. Then we put together an All Black team of veterans to fulfill our international obligations. When the 2011 World Cup comes around we will present this new team out of the blue. All the preparations from the opposition will have been made to counter and beat the B team and then we roll out the very best of our youngsters.
We give away too much in International play. We kick the crap out of everybody, while they sit in the bushes. I thought Graham Henry's rotation was a great idea because it kept everyone guessing... his mistake was putting a questionable mixture on the field that day. The team he put on the field was not our best... what he was saving them for, I'll never know. The difference was only a couple of points and give it to the French, their play was pretty solid. Tana or Dougie may have made the difference. Graham Henry is no fool though. I believe we should keep him on for 2011 because he strikes me as the sort of guy you don't fool twice.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Closets and Closed Off Rooms

Everyhome has a dirty closet. You know what I mean... the place where you stash things before other people come over. Sometimes it can get out of hand and you begin to use the room outside the closet and it gets full of crap. The door to this room stays closed, but every once in a while you go inside and shudder, with the resolve to get at it tomorrow. We have such a room. And it became more than a job; it became a nightmare.
Today I resolved to get at it. I was sober, so I gathered up a garbage bag and a bunch of boxes and opened the door, and then the windows. Where to start? I started with the obvious garbage. You know, stuff that stands out like: candy wrappers, used ear buds, empty packaging and the assortment of arms, legs...from forgotten gifts and happy meal inserts. Six small shopping bags later, I separated the clothing from the pile, unrecognisable from washed stuff and dirty stuff. Every time I sorted a layer off the top I found something I had been looking for and set it aside.
But, I also found some stuff that concerned me. There were: ball bearings, pins, sewing needles, 2 retractable knives, four pairs of scissors, etc. I thought about the children and others who might have ventured into that room and hurt themselves. I knew though, that the stuff had been put there to keep it away from loved ones. I sorted through unopened mail, reports, pencils and pens, cookbooks, etc. At the last... with most of the stuff sorted and stuffed into the garbage I came across a single phillips screw about an inch long, lying under the bed and so I put it in a container with all the other odd stuff.
Feeling pretty good about this accomplishment I picked up the clothing and put it in the wash house and started the washer. I thought I would open a window to let in some fresh air and noticed that the latch was loose. Upon close inspection I discovered one of the screws had let loose and then I remembered the screw I had come across. I had to get to the bottom of the jar, but I found it and got a screwdriver to set it. The latch works good now.
Another thing that happened was that at the beginning of the cleanup I came across one of my grandson's books. This is a book of maps and stuff made up of puzzles and it was open. Every once in a while through today's exercise I would find a piece and it became the fun part about today to find the place where it was missing and fit it in. By the end of the day I had the book complete except for three pieces.
I am going to continue to look for those missing pieces and put the puzzle together. Who knows, they may be in another room or missplaced somewhere else in the house. It is not particularly important to complete the puzzle though, perhaps I'll just make some and fill in the blanks.

Good Fences make Good Neighbours

As I look out my front door I am caught between two neighbours.
The one on my left is a retired couple who spend their days puttering and working their garden. The fence that separates me from them is straight and high. One day my neighbour asked me if I knew anything about plants. "No," I replied, "I wouldn't know a weed from a flower." He then pointed out several flourishing and quite disruptive weeds, so I cut them down and moved them into the compost.
The fence that borders the neighbours to my right is falling down and rotten. And in all the years we have lived here I have only exchanged words with them when the dog barks or they see my grandson doing something they don't like. A friend walked me home from church two weeks ago and looking to the left gave out a hearty, "kia ora" (the maori word for greeting). There was no response. He tried again. "Kia ora te whanau" (maori for hello the family). Again, there was no response. I stewed for a couple of days and after the woman of the house was stalking us again from the front yard, I told her to bugger off and mind her own business (actually it was a little more and a little worse). Next thing I know the husband came out and gave me a few choice words about how I had spoken to his wife. I asked him if he was prejudiced towards Maori? "Look into these eyes boy," he responded. He was doing what any husband would have done and I begged his pardon for what I had said. He turned away and told me to fuck off. The next day I wrote a short card and put it in their mail box asking for forgiveness for my behaviour... a week later there hasn't been a response.
I began thinking about the difference between good and evil, or Godlike behaviour compared to Satan's. I realised that what had come out of my mouth was indeed evil.
What separates these two solitudes - these two neighbours - these two behaviours, is a very simple thing: Satan does his best to cajole us into reacting, in kind, to his prompting. With God however, he meets adversity with forgiveness and love. Well the only thing to do is forget about the exchange and try and be a better neighbour... the forgiveness part may take awhile. But that's okay; the sun rises everyday and there is always tomorrow. Or I may have to build a bigger and higher fence, to give them no cause to see me or my family and friends.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


When I was a pre-teen many years ago, living in a distant, cold place, I was packed off on an errand to the corner store to buy something. It was dark out and so quiet, windless and beautiful, you could hear your own heartbeat. I tend to look at the sky at night and I saw a green, cigar shaped light move silently across the horizon. I marvelled at the sight, but didn't say anything to most people.
Two weeks ago, I was sitting on my doorstep looking up at a beautiful sky full of stars and caught sight of a shooting star moving from west to east - nothing odd about that. Then I saw another shooting star moving from east to west - something made me keep watching and I saw a third shooting star moving from south to north. All this within the same patch of the night sky. I called my family out for what I expected to be a continuation but I was alone in the experience. Logic dictates that objects would have to be moving in the same direction because the earth spins in a fairly consistent pattern, as does the little bits that find their way into our atmosphere and burn up. Do I believe in UFO's? Not really, but what did I see?