All Posts by Josh

Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #1

When I got this video for Father’s Day a few years ago, it meant the world to me.  It still does.   In fact, this song and video compilation is so great…Maranda is completely exempt from having to get me anything for Father’s Day ever again.  She still does of course, but if she doesn’t, that […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #2

I might not remember a song that was playing the day Sydney was born, but I do have a cool song I sang to her lots when she was really small…especially when she was playing in the bathtub.   And then she would sing the chorus back to me.  It was pretty darn cute.  Maybe she’ll […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #3

I’ve got a strange knack for remembering what song was playing during significant moments in my life.  I don’t know how but for some reason I can remember what song was playing and then relive the moment whenever I hear the song again.   But then on some days I can hardly remember what I had […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #4

This has been one of my favorite all-time songs since the album with my name was released in 1987.   Rolling Stone magazine ranks this song at number 132 of the best songs of all-time, but it clocks in at number 4 on my list.  It has tension, a rising action feel, it’s kinda haunting and […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #5

When the New York Times said God is dead and the war’s begun… I just love those lyrics.  This song brings out so many emotions, starting with the first piano notes and the orchestral build up.   Elton John songs are like this:  they may not be songs you search out on YouTube but when they come […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #6

One Sunday morning I played this and Sydney asked what song it is?  I said it’s by Fleetwood Mac, do you like it?  She said yes!  I think it’s the piano part at the beginning she likes the best.  I like all of it. Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie singing together is magical, the guitar solo […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #7

When I was researching my favorite songs, this one kept coming back to me…like a recurring dream, a sailor’s dream.  I really looked hard at The Tragically Hip and some of their songs but the only Canadian artist to make my list is Gordon Lightfoot.   This song is classic, it brings me back to my youth […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #8

Have you ever done something so cool you wish you could do it again? And then the second time isn’t as good as the first? Sometimes it’s just best to have the memories.   A few years ago Randa and I drove to Nashville to watch the Predators play the Vancouver Canucks on our wedding anniversary.  We sat […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #9

When I was in high school, there were a group of kids who wore jean jackets, went to the smoke pit at lunch time and had Led Zeppelin or Rolling Stones patches sewn on their jackets.   They usually smelled like smoke and I didn’t like being around them, but one thing for sure is they all […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #10

When I got an iPod years and years ago, this was one of the first songs I downloaded.  I loved my iPod.  It was amazing how I could go grocery shopping, put my earbuds in and cruise up and down the grocery aisles listening to my favorite music.   I’d love to be able to do […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #11

I discovered this song a few years ago on St. Patrick’s Day when I was cruising YouTube looking for cool Irish songs.   I fell in love with it the first time I heard it.  Sometimes I wish this cover song was playing in the background every day of my life, kinda like my personal soundtrack. […]

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Plum Dozen – Favorite Songs – #12

OK Sydney and Trey…here they are.  Daddy’s 12 favorite songs of all time, counting down from number 12 to 1.   Why am I doing this?  I guess it’s a passion project.  Maybe one day you’ll be talking about me with your wives or husbands and you’ll be able to tell them a little more about me […]

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The Time Trey Graduated From Preschool

One school year down and only 13 school years left! Yesterday we all sat in the church pews as a family and watched Trey walk up the aisle, give his teacher Mrs. Murray a big hug and accept his preschool graduation certificate.  I’d like to thank Bubby and Pop and Laura for coming to the graduation, we […]

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Plum Dozen – Inspiring Business – lululemon

lululemon a lifestyleSit back for a second and think about businesses that don’t sell their products, but instead sell lifestyles.   Hmm…Nike maybe?  The Just Do It campaign is pretty powerful.   For me, the only business I think of is lululemon.  The founder, Chip Wilson, always said he wasn’t selling products, he’s selling a lifestyle.   And it’s true.  I […]

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Plum Dozen – Inspiring Business – Chowdaheadz

Online presence  ChowdaheadzI’ve gotten comments on my favorite hat on the golf course, Disney World, Dollywood, the Outer Banks and Augusta National.  People will walk by me and say ‘nice hat’  or ‘ya Boston.’  It’s an epic hat, and the owner of Chowdaheadz has created a very successful business around his best product.  If you’re a […]

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The Time Mama Brought Home Kittens

Yesterday our family grew from four to eight when Randa brought four kittens home from the barn.  Wow, that was fast! The plan is to only keep two and give the others away for adoption.   A few weeks ago we discovered a black barn cat that looked like she was nursing so we searched around and […]

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Plum Dozen – Inspiring Business – Chubbies

check Retailer check ChubbiesUnfortunately I’ve never been a customer of Chubbies…not because I don’t like the product, I think the product is great.  It’s because my legs aren’t my best trait.  Despite being from Canada and playing hockey and soccer, my legs never achieved tree trunk status.  They’re more like…twigs.   But since discovering Chubbies a few years […]

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Plum Dozen – Inspiring Business – eBay

check Online marketplace check ecommerce check eBayWhat do the words…people are basically good mean to you? That was the final question asked to me when I interviewed at eBay about 15 years ago.  Back then eBay was nearing its pinnacle as the worlds online marketplace, a website where anyone could list products for sale and people […]

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The Time We Started the Plum Family Farm

By the time the Plum Family Farm reaches its peak, I don’t even think I’ll be alive to see my entire vision of thousands of Fraser Fir trees flourishing in our backyard.    Morbid?  Nope.  Visionary?  You betcha.   You see those two kids on the right of the page over there? ——–>The Plum Family Farm is being […]

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The Time I saw Tiger Woods at the Masters

When my Dad and I visited Augusta National Golf Club for the Monday practice round, we decided the golf course would be the star that day, not the players.  We drove 4 hours and spent a few hundred bucks to see the beautiful course we had seen countless times on TV and if by chance we […]

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The Time Disney World Taught Me a BIG Lesson

We’ve been back from our Disney World vacation for a few days so I feel ready to do a blog post about our trip.  I wanted to wait a few days to decompress and look back on our journey before writing about it.   Before I tell you the lesson I learned, lemme quickly tell you […]

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The Time We said Goodbye to Leroy the Cat

To Sydney and Trey…most of the posts on this blog are for you guys to read later on in life.  It’s been one of my favorite things to do for the two of you, I hope you enjoy reading my stuff.  You might not enjoy reading this post tho because it’ll probably bring back some sad […]

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VTech Kidizoom Action Cam Review!

I don’t normally write about specific products, but today I’m making an exception for the VTech Kidizoom Action Camera.  The kids love it! (And so does Daddy) We got inspired to start recording moments in our lives when our family friend, Noah, started doing vlogs documenting his travels on YouTube. After watching one of his awesome […]

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Be The Check Mark

It’s Thanksgiving morning, the year is 2017.   I’m downstairs on the couch while Randa and the kids are still asleep, they got home pretty late last night after spending the day at the movies, out for supper and then the North Carolina Arboretum.   Before I head down to the workshop to make some hay on the […]

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We’re Going To Augusta!

When I was growing up my Dad had some sayings that he used on me that have stuck with me to this day.  One of them was ‘the world doesn’t owe you a living.’  That one’s my favorite because it’s taught me if I want things in life I’ve gotta work hard for them.   Another […]

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The Time Trey Showed Us the Way

It’s been a couple months since Trey started preschool, we’ve definitely noticed some changes in him.   Leading up to preschool, Trey chose to wear dresses, pretty pink colors and colorful shoes.  He’s even said he wished he was a girl on more than one occasion.  We’ve always been supportive of letting him be who he wants […]

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The Time We Both Got Stung by Bees

I know what you’re thinking…big deal, right?  Lotsa people get stung by bees together, especially if they’re messing around with a nest.   But we weren’t messing with a nest.  We weren’t even together…that’s the weird part.   I was at home cutting the grass and I got zapped by a bee as I was cutting near […]

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Disney World Can Wait

Yesterday we made the hard decision to reschedule our family trip to Disney World.  Actually, Hurricane Irma made the decision for us.   The flooding, power outages, mass evacuations, gas shortages and overall destruction in Florida was just too much to overcome.  And now that we’re starting to see images of the toll Irma took on […]

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Asheville Crate Company Delivers Happiness

I’m up at 3 am and I don’t even need an alarm clock.   My internal clock wakes me on my own now, it has for the past few months.  The sky is dark, the crickets are chirping and fall chill is starting to arrive in the mornings.   Upstairs Randa and the kids are fast asleep, […]

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The Time You Saw A Total Solar Eclipse

Back in April Mama asked me if I wanted to take a day off work and come with you guys to view the total solar eclipse.  I said no.   Big mistake.  Huge.   I remember seeing the eclipse of 1979, not with my own eyes…but on TV.  I can remember my parents telling me not to […]

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The Time Sydney Lost Her First Tooth

It finally happened!  And it was a strawberry from our garden that did it.   A few weeks ago we took Sydney to the dentist because her adult bottom front teeth​ were starting to come in but her baby teeth hadn’t come out yet.  Her baby teeth were loose but they were a long ways from […]

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Yesterday was our best day!

Yesterday was the best day for our new family business.  We’ve been working hard getting our business off the ground over the past five months, waking up early and sometimes working really late.  It’s totally been a labor of love.   The kids have crates  named after ​them​​​, and they seem pretty excited about that but there’s always […]

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The Time Sydney’s Words Knocked Me Off My Feet

So things have been going pretty good with my new crate business, especially the month of December.   Hardly a day has gone by without an order, I’ve managed to keep up with timely deliveries and so far the friends who’ve purchased crates seem very happy with their orders.  I even managed to get a wholesale […]

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The Time Sydney Won the Principal’s Award!

What:  Principal’s Award When:  Kindergarten 11/2/16 ​Who:  Sydney!   Me, Mama, Trey and Bubby watched with happiness as you accepted the Principal’s Award as one of the top students in your class.   Great job, love!!​ Our hearts are full.  ​

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Wannabe Entrepreneur – The Best Job in the World

Fail fast so you can succeed sooner.  About 15 years ago I made the very first advertising sale for a brand new golf magazine dedicated to covering junior golfers in the Greater Vancouver area.  I can still remember the feeling of exhilaration combined with downright fear when the first advertiser wrote a check for $400.00 […]

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Labor Day Kneeboarding at Boone Lake

We spent the Labor Day holiday with the family at Boone Lake in Tennessee.  The water levels were still really low because of the dam repairs but that didn’t stop us from having a great time together.  We also celebrated Hayden’s 11th birthday…I can’t believe he’s 11 already!  When I moved to North Carolina he […]

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The Time Sydney Said She’s In Love

Last week Sydney started kindergarten, this week she said she’s in love.   Sounds about right.  Yesterday she got in the van after school and told Randa she’s in love with Hunter, a blonde-haired boy in her class.  I haven’t met him yet but I’m planning on calling his parents this week to find out his […]

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The Time Sydney Started Kindergarten

It’s 9:30pm on Monday night, today was day one of kindergarten for Sydney and now our family routine is completely out of whack.  We’re usually just getting the kids out of the bath and starting bedtime stories but tonight Sydney and Trey have already been in bed for nearly an hour and a half. Randa is already […]

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My Total Lifestyle Change

Today I’m proud to say I’ve lost about 20 pounds since June! After our beach trip this year I made a commitment to change my lifestyle because I wasn’t feeling like my energetic self anymore and I was heavier than I like to be.  And my back was suffering because of it​. I couldn’t swing a golf […]

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The Summer of ’16

A few months ago Randa decided she wanted to give the kids their best summer ever because Sydney is starting kindergarten soon and all of our lives are going to drastically change.   Next week the kids will be going to bed earlier, waking earlier and Sydney will be gone at school all day while Randa […]

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We Love The Asheville Drum Circle!

On Friday night the four of us went to the Asheville drum circle for the first time together. The drum circle is where Randa and I went on our first date almost eight years ago to the day. A couple years ago we took Sydney with us and she loved it so we were looking […]

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Saying Goodbye To The Tragically Hip

Tonight Vancouver will be saying goodbye to the band with one of the greatest names in all of rock-and-roll…The Tragically Hip. I’ll be saying my goodbyes from way down here in North Carolina, if I still lived in Vancouver I’d definitely be at the show tonight…it would have been my fourth or fifth Hip show.   My […]

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Girls Can Do Anything Boys Can Do

Over the past few weeks I’ve been noticing Sydney questioning the roles girls and boys play in society.   One night we were watching astronauts in the space station on YouTube and Sydney asked if girls can be astronauts too?  So we did a quick search and watched girls floating in the International Space Station.  ​ Then […]

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The Best 4th of July We’ve Ever Had!

Happy 4th! This is one of the best holidays in the United States, it’s hard to go a couple of hours without someone saying Happy 4th to you…grocery store clerks, customer service reps on the phone and complete strangers usually finish off a conversation with a ​customary Happy 4th during this long weekend of celebration.   The […]

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The Time Sydney Got New Glasses

Three days ago Sydney went for her first eye exam, today she went back to the eye doctor to pick up her new prescription glasses. Randa and I both knew our kids would most likely need glasses because bats can probably see better than us but we weren’t expecting them to need them at such a […]

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The Time Daddy Almost Hoisted The Stanley Cup

We’re in the presence of royalty.   Sydney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins have the chance to win the Stanley Cup so for the first time this NHL post season the Stanley Cup will be in the building waiting for a champion to be crowned on Thursday night.   We’re cheering for the Penguins because it seems […]

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The Time Sydney Graduated From Preschool

One school year down and only 13 school years left! Yesterday we all sat in the church pews as a family and watched Sydney walk up the aisle, give her teacher Mrs. Murray a big hug and accept her preschool graduation certificate.   Yay!    We’re so proud of Sydney and all of her classmates because all […]

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The Time Daddy Took An Indefinite Leave From Golf

*for immediate release Today Daddy announced he will be taking an indefinite leave from the game of golf. The back pain he experiences after swinging a club is just too much.  Although he hasn’t played a round of golf since Myrtle Beach in 2015, spring usually means it’s time to get ready for the recreational golf […]

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The Time Daddy Wrote For The Vancouver Canucks

Hey Sydney and Trey…did you know Daddy used to write for the Vancouver Blue Fishes…err, the Vancouver Canucks?  It’s true, back in 2006-07 I wrote game stories and feature stories for my favorite hockey team! You’re probably wondering how I managed to pull that off?  Well, here’s the story of how a simple email led to […]

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Time Capsule 2016

Most of the posts on 4Plums will get better with time when we can look back at them and say ‘remember when?’   The purpose of this site is to chronicle some of the memorable moments and special times that have happened in our lives.  There are a few posts about cool moments that happened to me […]

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The Time Daddy Moved To North Carolina

An immigration visa interview has been scheduled for the applicant at the US Embassy/Consulate in Montreal on February 16, 2010 at 8:30 am.   That’s exactly what the attached notice from the United States Department of State National Visa Center said when our immigration lawyer sent the email to us on January 11, 2010.   We had a […]

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We Always Dream Of Dollywood!

Our refrigerator magnets hold art and drawings from our kids, weekly schedules for preschool, important contact numbers, a family calendar AND a list of essential items to bring to Dollywood.   Randa loves lists, especially when it comes to packing things our family of four needs for week long beach trips or day trips to Dollywood.  She […]

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The Time Trey Graduated From Speech Therapy

Monday was a great day for our family because Trey officially graduated from speech therapy.  Yay!  Hi-fives everyone! We knew this day was coming because a few weeks ago Trey’s therapist, Ms. Kristen, said he was almost at the level of a typical 3-year old but there were a few things she still wanted to work […]

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The Six Stages Of Making A Change

I’m a big believer in having multiple streams of income.  Instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, I think it’s a good idea to add to your bottom line from a variety of sources.  My five year plan aims to add more streams of higher income because working 8-16 hours a day for […]

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When There’s a Why There’s A Way

Have you ever daydreamed about the things you would do if you won the lottery?   I definitely have.  Sometimes on my drive to work I fantasize about how I would spend our millions…a rental house at the beach, trust funds for our kids and travel plans for entire summers.  I actually envision the conversation I […]

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The Baseline & Starting Point for My 5 Year Plan

The other day I wrote about my My Five Year Plan to meet my three long term goals of having Randa leave her job, spending more time at the beach during summer vacations and having me ultimately start working from home.   The ultimate goal is to reach these targets within five years but I’m hoping I […]

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3 Long Term Goals Towards My Five Year Plan

Today I dragged myself into work after spending a day at home yesterday while Randa took the kids to Dollywood.   It’s always so hard to go back into the office after being off for a day and even harder after a lengthy vacation.   About an hour into my work day I realized it just wasn’t […]

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The Time I Met My Future Wife

Randa and the kids are off to Dollywood again today so instead of smashing the van window like I did the last time they went to their favorite theme park, I thought I better do something that won’t cost as much.    And as you’ll see near the bottom of the post, I’m definitely all about saving […]

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The Coolibar Catalog Came In The Mail!

One of the greatest things about living in North Carolina is how close we are to the beaches.   Pack the car, load the kids and within a day we can be to the beautiful Outer Banks for a week of fun in the sun with our family.   Randa has been going to the Outer Banks […]

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4 Of My Favorite Sentimental Gifts For Kids

I’m going to have to delete this post about sentimental gifts for kids because when Sydney and Trey start surfing the internet in a few years I don’t want them to see some of these gift ideas still waiting for them.   Last night I taught Sydney how to use bookmarks on the family laptop so it […]

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Last Week I Loved Sports, This Week I Hate Them

Last week I loved sports after watching Kris Jenkins hit the buzzer beater to lift Villanova over North Carolina in the National Championship.   We’re a Tar Heels family but it was hard not to be proud of Jenkins for hitting that ​shot in such a clutch moment, even Michael Jordan was nodding his head in […]

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Our Kids Forgot To Blink At Disney On Ice Tonight!

Tonight we took the kids to Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate and they had a blast!  We had a blast, too!  Disney on Ice never fails to impress.   The kids wore their favorite Queen and Princess dresses and both of them were completely awe-struck at the beginning of the show when all their favorite […]

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Would You Rather Live in North Carolina or Vancouver?

I get asked this question all the time: Where would I rather live…North Carolina or Vancouver? Now that I’ve lived in the Tar Heel State for six years I feel like I’ve got more insight to be able to answer this question fairly.  But when answering this question, it becomes more than North Carolina versus Vancouver, […]

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The Time I Made My Dad Cry Happy Tears

Age: 13 When:  Summer of 1983 Where:  Ledgeview Golf & Country Club Conditions:  Sunny and hot Hole:  17th  Ball:  Wilson Blue Ridge​ Club selection: 5-iron Back in the summer of 1983 I was 13 yrs old and still trying to come to terms with knowing I needed glasses so I didn’t dare tell my parents I couldn’t see a thing beyond 20 […]

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Yesterday Is Here To Stay

A special thanks to my mother and father-in-law for making Yesterday here to stay.   When Sydney was born I didn’t know many baby songs beyond Rock-A-Bye Baby or Jack & Jill so I used to sing her one of the only melodies I knew:  Yesterday ​by the Beatles.  Every night I put her to sleep […]

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The Evolution of a Canucks Fan – Full Circle

Here’s a post from September 5, 2007. Here’s my rendition of the evolution of a typical Vancouver Canucks fan based on experiences with some of my friends who’ve followed this team with fervor and undying devotion. Some of the exploits might even be mine. The Never Had A Chance Years (0-5) These are the formative years filled […]

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Who Wants to Hear Sidney Crosby?

It took a few weeks for the excitement to wear off when I found out I would be writing for the Vancouver Canucks.   Actually, who am I kidding…I don’t think the excitement ever wore off!  Someone told me one of the unwritten rules about sports journalism is to try and maintain a level of objectivity, especially […]

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99 Dreams – My Road Trip to the Gretzky House

‘Do me a favor… If you see Kim when you’re there…tell her the pictures are ready!’ With that favor request, I got back into my rental car on that cold and crisp day in Southwestern Ontario and drove with even more of a purpose than I had before.  I had already flown more than 3000 km’s on […]

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Our Son Likes Wearing Tutus – Is That a Problem?

Our son likes wearing tutus, and if you don’t like it that’s your problem…not ours.   Is that harsh?  Maybe.  Do I care?  Not even a little bit.  ​ We enrolled our kids in ballet together because they said they wanted to be in the same class.  A nice perk of that is it made our lives […]

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Top 10 Sports Anthems

This was my first paid post for AskMen.  $50 bucks! ​Without a doubt, one of the most important jobs at any sporting event is the director of in-house music. The beer vendor is a very close second, but without the right music played at the right time to rile the home crowd, even a cold one […]

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Just Call Him Luongo – Roberto Luongo

This post from February 11, 2007 was featured on the NHL.com homepage.  Did you know “Luongo” wears his goalie equipment when he eats dinner? And did you know “Luongo” sleeps with his RBK stick beside his bed every night so it’s ready for game day action as soon as he wakes up? Well, it’s true. And did […]

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Finding Gretzky – My Search for The Great One

This post is from June 5, 2007.  The only book I’ve read cover to cover in one sitting was the Wayne Gretzky autobiography co-authored with Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated way back in 1990. I got the hardcover edition for Christmas that year and had no trouble ignoring the other presents from Santa Claus. I retreated […]

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Leave a Legacy – The Expectant Father

I’ve been in panic mode during the last five or six years because I’m desperately trying to leave a legacy for my kids.   When my wife told me we were going to have our first child in 2010 something inside of me went off like a time bomb.  We both had pretty good jobs but […]

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Be The Nerd – Do What Makes You Happy!

​ When I graduated from high-school we all got to choose a quote to go beside our graduation picture in the yearbook.  Some of the quotes were funny, some were philosophical and some were inside jokes only a few people understood.    My quote said…’I can’t wait to raise little football players and dancers.’   That was […]

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