Saturday, 22 March 2014


Some of you may be wondering why I haven't been on the air the past two weeks...well the title of this blog post says it all - I've had laryngitis.  There are few worse things for a radio dj to get then laryngitis.  My voice is my job, and without it I can't do anything.  The good news is that I've started to get it back, hopefully it'll only be a couple more days.  But it's been a long week.  I've been under doctors orders to completely rest my voice, meaning no talking at all.  Living a week without being able to talk teaches you a few things....

1) Having a spouse that is on the same page as you is crucial.  I've always known this one, and that's one of the big reasons I fell in love with my wife - we have always been on the same page, and we have always known what the other person is thinking before they say anything.  We're on the same wavelength, we think the same way, etc.  Now with laryngitis this past week, this has been a saving grace.  It's been tough not being able to speak, but my wife has almost always known what I was trying to tell her.  Sometimes it was just me pointing at something, or a look at each other, or just mouthing a word and she would know exactly what I was saying.  It made this week a lot easier.

2)  This past week has taught me how tough it is for persons with disabilities.  So many people have thought I was a jerk this week, simply because they would talk to me but I wouldn't (couldn't) talk back.  At the store you bump into people, or someone asks you a question, or they say a quick joke in passing, and you can't respond...and they give you this weird look like, "Wow, you're a can't even acknowledge what I'm saying."  Or the look is them thinking, what's wrong with this guy?  And you can't explain yourself, and it's brutal.  This week I've carried around a dry-erase board wherever I go.  That's helped, but what a hassle!  It's been eye-opening.

3)  You can gain so much by just being silent and listening.  Again, I've always known this one, but I've noticed it much more this week with my son.  I always make noise when I talk, play, discipline, and laugh with him.  This week I've had to do that without words.  It's been tough, especially when you want to acknowledge something great that he did, or stop him from doing something bad.  But instead I've learned that just watching him is a joy in an of itself.  We still play, but I hear a lot more of his laughter and his 'words'.  It's been fun.  Long and difficult, but fun.

4)  God's timing is perfect.  On Monday my wife had an unexpected and rather significant medical issue that required us to take her to the emergency room.  Thank God, everything is fine.  However, this week has been a week of rest for her, staying in bed most of the time and making sure she doesn't overdo it.  And with a 15 month old bucket of energy running around, I don't know what she would have done if I was at work all week.  However, God's perfect timing allowed me to be home to take care of both her and our son, and allowed her to rest.  She's convinced that I got laryngitis this exact week so that I could stay home and help.  Looking back, I think she's right.

So yes, I've learned at lot.  It's been an interesting week...but a long one (have I said that enough?)  I'm thankful for what I've learned, but I'm looking forward to getting my voice back and being able to speak.  And with Sharathon this week, it can't happen a moment too soon!

Thursday, 13 March 2014


This has been an abnormal winter for me.  I used to be an iron horse - I never got sick!  If I did, it was for a day at a time and mostly a head cold.  I'd sleep it off and feel better the next day.  A fever, cough, sore throat - I'd get that type of sickness every few years.

This winter though, this winter...*sigh*...  I got sick three weeks ago and spent a few days in a row in bed.  That started with my son getting sick, passing it to my wife, then to me.  All three of us were down for a while.  I eventually got over that and then a week ago I started to get that feeling again...that feeling where you know the sickness is coming.  And sure enough the next day my throat was scratchy and I've been coughing since.  I've been to the doctor a couple of times, I'm taking vitamin C, cough syrup, Advil, drinking hot water with lemon and honey, etc...doing all the things your supposed to be do when you're sick, and yet this cold is taking its sweeeeeeeet time.  And because of my cough and sore throat, my voice is shot.  I sound like a kid going through puberty...not very good when your job is being on the radio.

So what happened?  Why can't I fight off a cold now?  I think I figured it out...

I have a kid!  Don't get me wrong, I love my son and by no means am I blaming him, but things change when you have a kid.  He gets sick and his germs are EVERYWHERE.  He doesn't quite have the same etiquette adults have - no covering of the mouth for a cough, no wiping of the nose, no washing of the hands, etc...  So he passes it on.  On top of that, he doesn't sleep well at night because he's not feeling well...which means, yep, parents, you're not sleeping either.  Deal with that for several days and nights in a row while working full time and doing everything else you need to do...and your immune system eventually wears down.

Again, I'm not blaming my kid, but I think it's just reality.  I've had a few parents tell me that the same thing happened to them when they had kids, so it's nothing new.  And it gets worse when he starts going to school because he can pick up so much more from the other kids!  We're not there yet, but this winter has been good preparation for that I think - I realize that I need to be more proactive in making sure I stay healthy.  That means vitamin C more often, ekanasia, no running out to the car to grab something without my coat on, washing my hands more often, etc...

Experienced parents, if you have any more tips, lay'em on me!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


On February 11, Dara Howell made Canadians everywhere proud - she won a gold medal in the first ever slopestyle skiing event at the Olympics!

This past Friday night the town of Huntsville celebrated their hometown hero.  And what a celebration it was!  5,000 people crammed into Rivermill Park to celebrate Dara's victory.  Fireworks, music, and special messages from the mayor, MP, MPP, even the Premier!  But I'm jumping ahead of myself a little bit.  Let's start at the beginning.

Being a Huntsville station, LIFE couldn't miss this amazing local celebration.  I was the lucky representative who got to go.  It started out with a press conference where we got to ask Dara whatever we wanted.

Dara answering a question, and Dara with Mayor Claude Doughty

She then posed for pictures...

She let me hold the gold medal - it's heavy!  (notice her gold nail police...nice touch)

And perhaps one of the coolest parts of the evening for myself...

Then after all the picture taking, I got a chance to sit down with Dara and chat one-on-one.  What a cool, down-to-earth young lady.  She's only 19, so she's just starting out here career.  It's neat to see how much she loves Huntsville, and how excited she was to hit the slopes again (it's been a whirlwind couple of weeks!) . I'll try to post some of that interview here, but you can also here it on LIFE today at 4:45pm and 6:45pm.

Then it was on to the actual celebration...

Dara was just beaming as she was brought in on a fire truck, escorted by police and the RCMP.  She beamed every time she took them mic and spoke to the crowd.  And the crowd loved it - they loved her, the home town girl!  And perhaps the biggest honour - as a permanent memorial to Dara, the town is renaming the street in front of River Mill Park as 'Dara Howell Way'.  (She also got a very nice Audi SUV for winning her gold medal...not to shabby!)

I think though, that perhaps the best part of the evening was what happened afterward.  Dara promised to stay and sign autographs for everyone who wanted to meet her.  And she kept that promise.  The line was SOOO long..and 20 minutes later when I look back, it had not shortened at all...and then 20 minutes later again, it was still just as long...and Dara stayed and met every person and signed every autograph.  Classy.  And humble.

I'm looking forward to seeing more from this young Huntsville gold medalist, who is just full of potential.