In Praise of Stillness

In Praise of Stillness

I’m a big fan of stillness. I will sit in my lawn chair blissfully staring at the tip of my fishing rod for hours, focused on an interaction between a fish and my minnow, transmitted through a hundred feet of fishing line to the spot where it enters the first guide of my rod.  To
+ Read More

Surviving Jericho

Surviving Jericho

When I was young, one of my greatest  fears – among many – was the thought of global thermal nuclear war.  The east-west arms race had been going on since 1947, in other words, my entire life to that point, and much of the entire lifetime of my parents.  The idea that guys with briefcases
+ Read More

Some Glen with your toast

Some Glen with your toast

I’ve known Glen Laubenstein – CAO of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) – for a long time.  He was the Regional Manager back in 1996 when I first moved to town, less than a year after amalgamation.  I was working as Senior Program Director at the OK Radio Group and often had occasion
+ Read More

Changing face of birthdays

Changing face of birthdays

In the old days, people at work would know it’s your birthday because that amazing administrative assistant had a spreadsheet tucked away on her desktop with that coveted information.  Memos would be typed and colleagues would gather around the water cooler at the appointed time to enjoy a few treasured moments of fun, fellowship and
+ Read More

45

45

It’s just a few minutes after 6 am and the birthday wishes are already streaming in, mostly on Facebook, but the odd email and text message, too.  45 – a ripe age to turn, and conceivably, my approximate half-life or midway point, assuming that I inherited the longevity gene prevalent on the Thomas side –
+ Read More

The Culling

The Culling

We are keepers.  Somewhere in our DNA we have been programmed to hold onto things, little bits of memory that connect us with long-forgotten events and milestones.  I’m particularly endowed with this incessant need to harbor myriad objects, papers, photographs, newspaper clippings and assorted trinkets. In fact, I have a new box of memories – as several
+ Read More

Awards with Heart

Awards with Heart

Lyle Leboldus (1960 – 2012) When the image of Lyle Leboldus popped up on the floor-to-ceiling screen at the Suncor Centre for the Performing Arts during the 2012 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards, a lump made its presence known in my throat.  I knew this was the moment of truth for me, and likely
+ Read More

Toll Booth on 63

Toll Booth on 63

I have to admit that when Heather and I returned from Italy in 2006, I had toll booths on my mind.  There were a number of cities that required visitors – in our case, a bus full of Canadian tourists – to pay an entrance tax.  The tour guide said that those funds were used
+ Read More

FCM Top 10

FCM Top 10

Now that the dust has settled on the whirlwind trip home from the FCM conference in Saskatoon, I’m back to my quotidian life in Fort McMurray.  Sitting at my laptop in my study/walk-in closet with a soft cool breeze blowing in from the window, cracked open just enough to make wearing a bunny hug (Saskatchewan
+ Read More

FCM Study Tours, Day Two

FCM Study Tours, Day Two

The second full day of the FCM Conference in Saskatoon started out with a plenary session in the main theatre at TCU Place dealing with resolutions.  In a flurry of activity, pre-discussed “be it Resolved that…” policy statements along with a number of emergency (or emerging) resolutions were debated and voted upon by the delegates
+ Read More