It’s Finally Syrup Weather

  One of the great things about living in Ottawa is that no matter where you live, you're only a few minutes from a beautiful park, thick with nature. One of the better-kept secrets is the Vanier sugar bush, also known as Richelieu Park. The snow is still a few feet deep in much of the [...]

5 Ways to Fish for Ideas

If you’re looking for ideas – new ideas, fresh ideas, great ideas – they all have one thing in common. They are not usually hiding very far. But like new breeds of fish spawning beneath the subconscious of your mind, they are seldom going to jump out of the water and into your lap. You [...]

Every week new stories seem to come out about one author after another leaving the world of traditional publishing  to become an independent author. (Or an "indie" as it is  called by those who have heard about books but prefer watching movies.) As the number of self-published aspiring Kindle authors continues to soar, one has [...]

The Dead Zone of Journalism

If you've never lived in Canada, specifically in Toronto, you may not be familiar with the Toronto Star. It's been around for quite a few years and was once the home of Ernest Hemingway before he could quit his day job. In the "How Lame Can Lame Really Get" category of my website, I'd like [...]

The Lingering Nature of Fear

Children have an intimate relationship with fear. From spiders and needles to things that lurk under the bed at night, children live with their fears every day. As we mature, the fears diminish one by one. Some diminish gradually over time, others through our determination to conquer them. As a child, I don't know if [...]

Bouncing Off Clouds

Sure, Bouncing Off Clouds is also the name of a great Tori Amos song, but when is the last time you took an hour, or even a few minutes, to gaze into the clouds yourself? Children do it and poets do it (or they should) and before the Internet or television humans had been doing [...]

At this very moment, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in town, battling the Ottawa Senators in the NHL playoffs. Soon, I'll log into Twitter and will no doubt find out who is winning or if the game is already over. I'm in no rush to find out. The Ottawa Senators are no more my home team [...]

A Salute to Chris Hadfield

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to earth this week after nearly five months in orbit. It's been an exciting and enjoyable journey for all of us. Commander Hadfield has done more while in orbit than anyone I can recall in recent memory to bring space flight home to children and to the public at large, [...]

Goodbye Cable (It’s not you, it’s me)

About an hour ago, I finally untangled the cables behind TV and removed the cable box. Like most people I know, I've always had a love-hate relationship with TV, but when it came to cable there's rarely been any love. I tried. I really tried. Years ago, we started off with the basic package and, [...]

Books Weren’t Always Books

In the 15th century when the printing press was still new, dealers often kept books in loose sheets rather than binding them. If  someone in the 15th century wanted two copies of the same printed book, it was not uncommon to take a copy from a printing press and hand it to a scribe for [...]