Showing posts from November, 2007

Vantage Point

Approaching Lake Lefroy, Yoho National Park, B.C., Canada.

August 2007. Photo by Darren DeRidder.

A Change'll Do You Good

They say change is as good as a vacation, or at least a change will (sometimes) do you good. I found this to be true when I quit my job last summer, bought a sailboat, and signed up with a new high-tech startup. It's been a gas. It's not just a change of surroundings or a change of workplace or hobby or house that can do you good, though. How about a change of habit? Or how about a change of mind? A change a heart? I think the pure and simple luxury we have as human beings of being able to change our minds is one of the most precious gifts we have. A change of job, or a change of residence... what is that compared to a whole new outlook, a new way of seeing things, new understanding? A change of mind can open new possibilities. It can free us from old ideas that have held is in bondage by our desperate desire to prove that we were right, and give sweet relief in being able to say, "I was wrong" or, "I forgive you."

But we're somehow conditioned…

Routine Variation

Somewhere, a long time ago, I remember reading that an established regular routine is common among people who live very long lives. I also remember an article that talked about altering your regular routine, and how it can inspire new ideas, creativity and a youthful mind.

On Tuesday nights from Fall, through Winter, and through Spring, I would go to the Bells Corners Academy of Music to take piano lessons and play with the Tuesday night jazz ensemble. Parking my car in the lot shared with the Nepean Creative Arts Centre, I'd walk out back behind the building and cross a small wooded lawn to the back lot of a Tim Horton's drive-through. There were hardly ever any walk in customers, and although I never got to know the staff by name, they got used to seeing me pop in on Tuesdays, around 6pm. With my double-double in hand I'd scoot back to BCAM, crossing the pavement, over the lawn on a hint of a footpath, and if I was lucky and the door was slightly ajar, into the back o…


I used to jokingly tell people I'm a meatitarian. My attitude has generally been, I like meat. I don't care where it comes from. I don't care how it is raised. Kill it, cook it, eat it.

This book, Diet For A New America, is changing that, however. John Robbins (the heir to the Baskin-Robbins empire who walked away from it all to promote healthy food choices) uncovers study after study in this book that amounts to a mass of scientific research on the effects of diet on our health and on our planet. Robbins also does a good job of making clear how the scientific community has long been battled by the Meat and Dairy Industries, who patently ignore, contradict and criticize the prevalent medical evidence to promote their own sales through misleading advertising, 'educational' campaigns and outright deception.

This book is remarkably impacting. Accoring to Google Books, since its publication in 1987 American consumption of beef has fallen by 19%. Arthritis, MS, dia…