Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Apocalypse Now

First off, our apologies for taking so longer to write another article. Hopefully some of you are still interested, so here it goes . . .

Well, 2010 is already a month in, but we thought it would be a great time to stop and reflect on some of the signs from 2009 that all is not right in this crazy world of ours. While our blogs are meant to be motivational, we wanted to start the year by reminding everyone (well at least anyone who reads this) that we have a long way to go (just on this side of the hemisphere) before we can say we live in a world of sanity. Here is what hopefully becomes the first annual “Signs of the Apocalypse”!!

Lets start with racial equality shall we? The American’s elected a black president!! That must mean that racial harmony in the U.S. is finally here right? We showed video clips of Martin Luther King Jr. and declared his “dream” has finally been realized right? Not so fast . . .

This first story comes from New Orleans, Louisiana which seems appropriate with the Saints in the Super Bowl this weekend. This goes to prove that just because someone has a degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are smart! It never ceases to amaze me the justifications people will give for their ignorance:
(click on the hyperlink to read the article)

Louisiana Judge Refuses Marriage License to Interracial Couple

This next story is about a tragic shooting in an affluent neighbourhood just outside of Houston, Texas. You have to wonder if this poor kids dad had not have been an ex-major league baseball player if we would have even ever heard of this. The police claim a wrong digit entered in to their computer led them to believe the car was stolen:

Tolan’s Son a Victim of Racial Profiling

Speaking of Texas police departments, apparently the men in blue in San Antonio believe in the old adage “Do as I say, not as I do!”:

SAPD Steps up to Keep Cops in Line

More from Texas later, but here is one from Ontario. Where the heck are representatives from MADD? Another classic case of being punished for trying to do the right thing:

Ticket is Indefensible

We really don’t mean to pick on those who protect us. We have a lot of respect for those who put their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe, but this made world news and I just couldn’t resist it. It sure makes me regret those snowball fights I had as a kid:

Cop Pulls Gun in Snowball Fight

Okay, no more picking on the police, but as promised back to Texas!! This one absolutely blew Craig’s mind. Still no word on why she wanted the ball so bad:

Texas Woman Hits Boy in Wheelchair,2933,540864,00.html

These last two are simply too bizarre to be true, but unfortunately they are:

Man Marries Video Game Character;posts


William’s Head Abused at Facility

Not sure how old Teddy figured his “severed head” could be revived . . .

Oh well 2010 has got to be better, no?


Thursday, October 29, 2009

A League of Their Own

Kris said something to their son the other day, and Craig had an epiphany. Kris said:

“The biggest mistake guys make with girls is thinking that someone is out of their league.”

Craig chewed on that one a moment and thought, how profound was that? How many times had he heard someone say that before? How many times had he passed over opportunities for that very same reason, not just with girls, but with jobs, and career advancement. Sometimes you get kicked in the teeth, but isn’t that a risk you need to take? Self doubt is often a way to cover up for fear and procrastination.

Craig was raised that if you wanted something you asked for it; especially with work. Make your own opportunities and the rest will follow. Sometimes you end up taking it on the chin. Craig worked as a claims adjuster for the largest insurance company in Canada at the time (they’re no longer on the map, Craig often laughs and hopes he had a big part in that!!) He was young, and eager. When his brother-in-law quit the same company for a better job, Craig was keen to take his position. Craig was simply a telephone adjuster of automobile claims. He never got to leave the office, and was making minimal money. His brother-in-law’s position involved a company vehicle, freedom of movement, and more money. Craig was getting great performance reviews, and seemed to be on his way up. When his brother-in-law was first promoted into that position he had less experience than Craig. It seemed a natural fit. As soon as his brother-in-law gave his notice, Craig was quick to act. He sent an e-mail to the claims manager and explained that he was eager to learn, and was ready to move up. It seemed like the right thing to do. A meeting between Craig, the manager, and Craig’s team leader soon followed. It didn’t go the way Craig had hoped it would.

The claims manager took Craig to task. He asked him who he thought he was to think he was ready for such a position. Told him that he had a lot of nerve to think he was qualified. It was a full on lashing. Craig was broken and defeated. He doubted everything he knew to be true. It took him 20 minutes in the bathroom to recompose himself. Maybe he was too young and cocky? Maybe he didn’t deserve it. Nevertheless, it was pretty much the end of Craig’s career there. He hung on for almost another year, but subconsciously it was over. He was even being trained for a promotion when the end finally came. Why is this a story of hope? Well as Garth Brooks once sang “some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers’. Craig hated the job. The company he worked for was the stereotypical insurance company that went out of their way to treat people like criminals. Everyone was guilty first until proven innocent. Deny coverage whenever possible, just like in the movie “The Incredibles”. Craig only wanted the promotion for the money and the availability to get out of the office. It wasn’t for the right reason.

Flash forward almost five years later. Craig was working as a call center representative for a different insurance company. He wasn’t happy. It wasn’t the company, but he was worried that he was going nowhere. One day a posting went up for a training position. Craig had only been there a year, but threw his name in the hat anyway. He was up against a team leader and others reps who had been there far longer. People told him he was crazy as the role was already “handpicked” for others. Undeterred, Craig plodded forward, interview after interview. Outlasting others who were supposedly “shoe-ins”. When the offer for the job finally came, Craig was beside himself. Not only did he have a new lease on life, he felt vindicated. Everything he had learned about “going for it” came to fruition.

Of course, Craig already knew that this was the way to get things in life. “Out of his league” would have been how Craig would have described Kris if the timing wasn’t right. Craig and Kris met at a country music jamboree at Canada Olympic Park in 1989. Craig had struggled with awkward teeth throughout his teens and that had affected his self esteem. He hid it well, but it was hard nevertheless. Armed with a new smile, Craig had self confidence that he had never felt before. It was that new found self-assuredness that gave him the courage to say hi to Kris and her friend. Kris to this day is the most beautiful woman he has ever met.

All in all Craig took some lumps, but has realized that it’s always best to go for it. Still full of self doubt, and a huge procrastinator, he still knows when he needs to go all out to get what he wants. Fear will always be a factor, but you can’t expect things to just fall in your lap. There is on old Dutch saying; Nee heb je, ja kan je krijgen , which loosely translated means “you already have no – why not try for yes?” Craig tries to remember this when things don’t always go his way. Craig draws on that confidence he found that one July day in 1989. Twenty years later he still catches himself thinking “she’s out of my league!”


Saturday, October 17, 2009

a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

Every day a different type of friendship enters our lives. Whether its a best friend or small friend sometimes we don't realize how important they really are. From the person who just says 'hello' in the morning at work, even though they may not know everything about your life, they still have a significant impact. When you start to see it, you realize how many "friends" you really have.

I am not Craig or Kris, sorry to disappoint you. But I was giving my dad a hard time for not writing a blog for so long. He asked me for some ideas for inspiration, I told him he should write about friendship. Today we all were sitting around discussing how much fun we had with a family friend , so I thought it would be an appropriate theme. He told me that I could go ahead and write it so here it is. This is Kalista, their 19 year old daughter and this is my advice...

Insecurity is one of the leading problems in all of us. How many times a day do we worry about what other people think? Or even though your still not in high school, everyone has the occasional thought of jealousy over who has more friends around them in their lives. Back in High School it"s called the popular group, and later in life it is your circle of friends or not. The point of all of this is to say friendship in small ways can help you with your insecurities if we let it.

I don't know how many times any of you have ever had the feeling of 'I have no friends' but every so often maybe as a teenager it may have crossed your mind a time or two. Even though in a lot of cases that isn't the truth, I myself have had this feeling a time or two during some time in my life but looking at the term 'friendship' at another angle changed it all.

Most of my life I have seen my mom and dad be surrounded by so many friends. Which I always feel they are so lucky for. When I was younger I always spent figuring out who was my next 'best friend'. Something I am sure we have all experienced a time or two letting a friend in, can sometimes leave you burned by them in the end. But all its a learning lesson. We always spend so much time focusing on those few 'best friends' we never take a look to notice that we are surrounded by them.;l

At a time when I had been burned by all my friends I always spent so much time focusing on having 'no friends' but in the end, I realized it was all such a waste of my time and emotion. I would go to work thinking about this everyday and come home feeling the same. A few months later I had a conversation that made me see things totally differently.

I remember my mom's best friend calling one night, I answered and she asked how I was doing. I explained that I had been better and was having a pretty rough time. I don't know what it was but I decided to just spill. I cried and I told my story and got nothing but support in return. After I thought about it a bit and felt a bit better because of our conversation. Then the next day I went to work and one of my co workers said 'oh I am so glad your working today'. Usually I'd just assume that it was because it was so busy they wanted help. Then I thought maybe it wasn't, maybe they enjoyed my company. I may not hang out with these people everyday, they may not know everything about my life. They do however say hello to me everyday and ask me how I am. Why aren't they my friends? I always looked at it as I lost my friends, but what about all of them? The people that take an interest in my everyday life.

We spend so much time focusing on who is closer with which friend, or how often they call you. Friendship was never defined as "people you have to tell everything about yourself to", or search for who will be your best friend. I'm not saying that's wrong or right. I am just saying it's not always all about that.

Today we spent the day with a friend of my moms. She spent the entire time listening to my radio show, along with another one of my moms friends who texted me during my entire show telling me she was tuning in. I never asked them to, nor did they have to, but they did. They show so much interest in my life why did I feel so alone before.

In all honesty, when we die do we really look back and count out how many friends we had? How many we were really close with and how many we weren't? Friendship isn't defined by how many secrets they know, or how many times they call you a day. If somebody cares enough to ask you how you are, they are important too.

My point is, finding friendship in smaller places can make everyone feel so much less alone. Everyone loves a bit of positivity in their lives, finding it in the smallest places can lead to happiness in a way you never saw before.

I hope this blog has given you some inspiration to look at the person at work on Monday that says 'how are you' take the minute to appreciate them as taking the time to care and return the favour.


Friday, October 9, 2009

The Wisdom of Casey Kasem

Two days ago we wrote an article about wanting to leave Calgary and live in Europe. The next day Craig was worried that people might think he’s anti-Canadian, or others may think; “What does this have to do with the purpose of your blog – helping people?” We don’t want people to think we aren’t proud Canadians. Kris bought packs of the special Olympic packaged “Excel” gum the other day, and Craig gets choked up seeing the red maple leaf emblazoned on the pieces of gum!! The point of all that was (and the relation to our blog) is that there is nothing wrong with wanting something more. Something better.

Kris’ mother is a Dutch citizen and when Kris grew up there in the ‘80’s, she was given ample opportunity to get a Dutch passport. “No” was always her reply, because she knew she wanted to move back to Canada one day. She was/is a proud Canadian. Craig grew up thinking Calgary was the best place in the world. Canada has lots to offer and is a treasure trove of beauty and riches; however, it can be scary at the same time. From Neo-Nazi’s in the Conservative party (thanks for pissing off the Mexican’s and Czech’s Mr. Kenney, and who votes for a guy who’s own party muzzles him?- they don’t even allow him to campaign! - the mystery that is Rob Anders), to the Liberals who would bring in economic policies that would make our last recession look like a tea party. I won’t even mention the horror of a Socialist Welfare State under the NDP!!

Flat out, our desire to move to Spain is based solely on wanting something better. Our idea: winter in Spain, summer (well at least what we call it), back in Canada. Wanting a better life doesn’t make us unpatriotic does it? Does wanting something better make you a bad person? An irresponsible person? Craig was raised to believe that accepting status quo is the norm, and one does not “push back” against society. There is nothing wrong with that, and Craig’s parents are wonderful people. That was “the norm” for their generation. It took Craig a long time to realize that. Craig’s father worked at the same company for almost thirty years. That was the norm for that generation. Nowadays, people change jobs on average every 2-3 years. That is now the norm. Society is changing and understanding the fact that people want something better.

Status quo and fear is what kept Craig from moving to Europe in the early ‘90’s. It’s what kept Kris from obtaining a Dutch Passport in the ’80’s. The desire to be better, or want something better is only a bad thing when it is couple by a Machiavellian “the end justifies the means” type attitude and greed. Your desire for betterment should not hurt others along the way. It should be something truly for yourself; whether that be a better lifestyle, or a better job. We should all always be striving for something better. What a world this would be if we all strived to just do better.

“Jungle” Jim Hunter is a former world class downhill skier. He was an original member of the “Crazy Canucks” ski team. He is now a motivational speaker, who has a radio program on Saturday mornings on the FAN 960 (AM Radio) in Calgary. We would encourage you all to listen to it. (For those out of the Calgary area – you can listen at Jim’s message is simple. If you set your goals low, that is exactly what you will achieve. He was baffled at the Canadian Olympic committees messaging back in the ‘90’s where we considered ourselves a success if “we just place in the top 20”. They celebrated when that’s what we did, while the rest of us wondered why the heck we weren’t winning any medals? The “Own the Podium” campaign was built to raise money for athletes, but it’s also built around the notion that to get to the podium we have to believe we can get there. If you aren’t trying to be number one, then why are you trying at all? At the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Canada’s goal was to win a gold medal. One – just one. In 2010 in Vancouver our goal is to be the top medal winning country. That’s what China did in 2008, and almost succeeded. Setting lofty goals is what you need to stretch yourself. It’s what you need to truly better your life.

What does this have to do with Casey Kasem you ask? Let’s start with who Casey Kasem is. Casey Kasem is an American Radio personality who is also known for his voice over work. He was the original voice of Shaggy in the old “Scooby Doo” television series. He is ultimately best known for his weekly syndicated radio show American Top 40. Casey would end his show every week with the line “keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” Words to live by Casey, words to live by. . .


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Contentment on Which Continent?

A co-worker asked Craig the other day if he ever thought about leaving Calgary and moving somewhere else, and he began to laugh (almost hysterically!) There is an urban legend out there that states that men think about sex every seven seconds. ( Craig thinks he has that beat, as he's positive he thinks about leaving Calgary more often than that!!

The question he is often confronted with (besides what to do for cash) is; would leaving Calgary for his dream of living in Europe really be all that it's cracked up to be, or is it a case of "the grass is always greener?"

Calgary has really become a place for the rich. Toronto may be the "Centre of the Universe", but Calgary has really become one of the top economic regions in Canada. To live here (really live here) you must have $$$. We don't golf, we don't ski. Good restaurants are few and far between (as seen by Craig's students often listing "the Olive Garden" or "Swiss Chalet" as their favorite restaurants!! - not that there's anything wrong with that - but you know what I mean!!)

Friends in Toronto and Montreal laugh at our so called traffic problems, but what those two cities are lacking are the redneck, over testosteroned Albertans mixing with the people driving slow in the left hand lane!! Life is hectic, Calgary is fast paced, and most days Craig and Kris feel like the are overdrawn, overtaxed, and overwhelmed.

Kris spent her teenage years growing up in Holland. She still has family there, and over the years Kris and Craig have been lucky enough to travel to Europe numerous times during our time together. Our travels have gone beyond the wonderland that Holland presents. We've also travelled to France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. Ah, Spain! That's where Kris and Craig dream of one day retiring.

I know we were on vacation, but life is so very different for Euros. The history, the culture, and the lifestyle is all so varied and rich. Lands where water is more expensive to drink than wine (okay, whether or not that is a good thing is in the eye of the beholder for sure, but think water being what Calgarians pay and then wine being cheaper!!) Lands where you start with six weeks vacation! 36 hour work weeks and job sharing in abundance.

A glaring example of how different our worlds really are can be found in a Calgary Herald article on September 5th comparing life in Calgary on the Bow River with life in Frankfurt Germany on the River Main. (

The article describes the relaxed German Lifestyle to that of the go, go, go pace in Calgary. Bike riding in Calgary is reserved for the uber sporty, spandex wearing, yuppies, who have top of the line helmets, bikes, and gear. Biking in Europe is a way of life. Old and young in business suits and leisure wear (did I really just use the term "leisure wear"?) Grannies and small children. No pretense, just enjoying life. Not in a rush, not training for triathlons. It's a brilliant article that Craig clings to like a child to their favorite blanket.

There must be something to staying in Canada right? Health care? Well, in recent surveys many Western European Country's public health care systems rated higher than ours (Holland was #1). Having the world's most powerful country as a neighbor? Actually, Euros cross borders with their neighbors without restriction, sharing currency, and freedoms; whereas Americans treat Canadians as criminals when we dare enter their domain!

I'm sure I'd miss the Stampede and the mountains. Camping and Alberta Beef, but there is more to life isn't there? Kris and Craig look forward to Christmas as if they were the Kringles themselves, but then the thought of surviving another frigid January and February, only to be hit with the avalanche of snow that comes in March and April (and May and June!) often leads Kris to consider going for a long drive in our garage! Craig just isn't sure he can do it anymore.

We both love our jobs, but are longing for something more. From watching "Mamma Mia", to "Julie and Julia", "Love Actually" to "Under the Tuscan Sun" the signs are everywhere. Craig was given the opportunity to move to Europe shortly after they got married; however, being young and naive he didn't think he could do it. Now we long for it.

Realistically we are here and have to deal with it. We have (hopefully) six more years of paying for school for the kids, and the decisions will have to be made. For now Kris will just have to work on getting a Dutch Passport. . . .


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Club for Men

I find it humorous to hear women around the office speak about their husbands. Lazy, stupid, fat, short, bald, reckless, oblivious, emotionless, uncaring and mean are some of the printable adjectives you may hear around your water cooler spoken by women about “their man”. Man bashing is almost to a level of professional sport (which if it becomes one it will be completely over run with men, and there-bye implode in on itself!)

My question is why? What kind of relationship are you in if you feel the need to trash talk your spouse to your co-workers? Is it some kind of feminine code? If you really feel that way, why do you stick around? If you really feel that way, why do you share that with people, and set your husband up to be judged when he shows up at the next company function?!? Why not challenge your husband by sharing such glowing remarks that he feels like he has to live up to them instead. Call someone an ass and that’s exactly what you will get.

Kris had a friend you got married shortly after her and Craig. Craig still remembers this friend walking into their home and asking all the other ladies who were sitting there, “do you all hate your husband as much as I do?” and then proceeded to go into a tirade about her husband. Kris and Craig talked about this after and found it incredibly disturbing; especially when you know the background. You see this friend had married her husband by process of elimination. Within a span of a week she had relations with three different men. When she became pregnant (imagine that!) who did she choose to marry? The one with the richest family of course!! I guess when you marry a guy because he gives good credit you have a right to complain?!?!? Needless (and thankfully) to say, that marriage didn’t even make their first anniversary.

That’s just one of the times that stick in my mind. Kris has numerous friends who make bashing their husbands their hobby (and thankfully many who don’t!) Craig knows plenty of women like that too! It once again begs the question, why? If you love someone, what is the purpose of running them down to friends and co-workers? If there is a true problem, don’t they deserve to be spoken to first? If they won’t or don’t listen, then maybe it’s time to take the next step. You really owe it to yourself and others to be happy.

Lets face it, men are just as (if not more) guilty. What are you waiting for? Staying together for the kids? What, to show them how to spew garbage about their parent to other adults?!?! Come off it people. Time to wise up. There is no excuse for it. If you love someone you don’t trash them behind their back. You talk to them and work out whatever is bothering you. You have respect for the ones you love, or you have to move on . . .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Death & Taxes . . . .

Patrick Swayze passed away over two weeks ago now, but I felt compelled to write about him today (well sort of) . . . .

Shortly after he died Craig posted (what Craig thought at least) a funny, and relatively innocent post as a tribute to Mr. Swayze - "I guess we can put baby in a corner now, eh?" Kris warned him it could cause trouble, but Craig said "come on, what problem could it cause?"

Craig received a lot of responses. Some questioned the timing, most thought it was funny. Many did what Facebook allows you to do, and signalled that they "liked" the post. This is where the problem came in. One of Craig's friends (a lovely girl, who Craig adores) took offense to people "liking" that Patrick Swayze died!! Instead of going on I'll let you read the post (unedited):

"I usually don't respond to people's comments unless they are filled with
fun and humour, but the fact that people will say it is ok that a person died is
sick! You may have not liked him as an actor, you may have not liked any of his movies...... but the fact is...... he suffered a horrific and painful death, have you ever seen a loved one die from Cancer???? !!!!!Perhaps an educated person would read the "GOOD" this human being has done and contrubuted
to "our"world...... What have you done to help make a change for the better?!"

Kris called it, someone got upset. What does all this have to do with the blog? I thought it would fit, because it brings up the concept best said in the 2008 summer hit "The Dark Knight" - Why So Serious?

but first a couple of things. . . .

Patrick Swayze may not have an Oscar on his mantle; however, he definitely has an impressive body of work to his credit. Craig was a big M*A*S*H fan growing up and that's where he first say Swayze. Kris first remembers him in the "North and South" mini-series, and Craig remembers his family glued to every episode of that as well. During the summer of 1994, Kris' step sister and her friend came to visit during our first summer in Coaldale. The two teenagers went to the video store at least twice a week during those months, and almost every time they came home with one movie; Dirty Dancing. It's still one of Kris' favorites. It inevitably shows up on TV, and Craig will always find Kris watching it (even thought they own the DVD!) Tired of doing the teenage shlock, Swayze took some gutsy roles like the role of drag queen Vida in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything. Julie Newmar" and the role of the pedophile/motivational speaker in "Donnie Darko" (sorry if I spoiled that for you!!) His role in Donnie Darko is easily Craig's favorite. His premature death of such a terrible disease is tragic.

Secondly (Many of you reading this probably already know this but it bares repeating), Craig is a survivor. Back in May of 2004, Craig was noticing that he was having a hard time focusing on things on his computer at work. He believed he just needed a new prescription, and made an Optometrist appointment for later that week. It was a Thursday on Craig's lunch that he saw his regular optometrist downtown. The doctor through the use of some new equipment he was using noticed that Craig had bleeding in the back of his right eye. He asked Craig if he had been tested for high blood pressure before, and then took the number to his family doctor. He advised Craig that he would be putting him in touch with an opthamologist to look into this further, and it had to be right away.

Back to work Craig went, a little worried, but not giving it much thought. Later that afternoon his family doctor called to discuss the conversation they had with his optometrist. She asked if Craig could stop by on the way home from work and they would give him a quick check. Now Craig was starting to worry.

Craig got to his doctor and was shown into an exam room right away. His doctor came in and told him it was probably nothing, as she said he looked great (thanks doc!); but that she wanted to take his blood pressure just to make sure. She took it and turned pale. Without saying anything else, she told Craig she would get him something "boring to read" and return in 5 minutes to take it again. He wasn't to move. 5 minutes later (Craig had fallen asleep) and she took his blood pressure again. It was at that point she asked Craig if he could drive himself to "Foothills Emerg?" Thinking he had misheard her he asked her to clarify. She explained she was sending him to the emergency room, and he should call Kris to let him know.

Craig's first thought was "great, I'm going to spend my entire night waiting in the emergency room forever." No such luck. When Craig arrived, the duty nurse told him to come in immediately. She took his blood pressure and advised that it was through the roof and he as to sit in a wheel chair and not move until they found him a bed. His blood pressure was a reading of 250/154. A normal adult male should be around 120/80!! They thought he might have a stroke at any second. By the time Kris arrived Craig was in a bed, with IV's attached and a blood pressure machine taking his bp every 5 minutes. Then came the questions. "How stressed are you at work?" "What is your diet like" "How much do you drink and smoke?" "What is your family's medical history?" The best was "do you do cocaine?"

Craig spent the rest of the weekend in the Special Services unit (attached to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre) before they could get his blood pressure down to an acceptable level (150/110!) This began a summer of hell for Kris and Craig as they tried to figure out what would cause a 36 year old man's head to explode. Finally in August came the news - a Pheochromocytoma ( A tumor through his left adrenal gland. Craig was ecstatic! Sure it was a tumor, but at least he knew what it was and they could take it out!!

Unfortunately it wasn't that simple. His surgeon described the removal as being similar to "poking vicious dog with a stick" and that made any surgery three times more dangerous. The surgeon told Kris that it was a 50/50 chance that Craig wasn't going to make it through the surgery. Craig spent almost two months in the hospital as they tried to get his blood pressure under control enough to operate. To finish the story (as it is getting late) Craig made it through, with no ill effects (well, some weight gain that he can't shake!)

It was a terrible time, not just for Craig and Kris, but for his parents, and for the kids. It's something you never forget and it affects your life long term more than you can imagine. Kalista and Rory were 14 and 11 at the time, and were being told their dad had cancer and may not make it. That's a lot to handle at such a young age. It's something they shouldn't have had to handle.

So why the Patrick Swayze tribute, and why the long medical history? It was really to clarify that Craig isn't an insensitive bastard. It's to explain that when faced with what I believe to be the ultimate (death) is it not better to find humor and share laugh instead of a tear? We need to quit taking our lives and ourselves so damn serious.

At work a popular phrase gets bantered around quite a bit: "You can take your job seriously, without taking yourself seriously!" What it really means is do a good job, but have fun doing it. Maybe that's what we all need to hear. Do a good job in life, but make sure you have fun along the way. Cancer and many other deaths are painful and take their toll not just on their victims; but we mustn't lose sight of the big picture. No matter how terrible things might get, laughter is the best medicine. Laughter is a free gift you can give anyone. Laughter is our gift to the world.

Laugh more, hate less. Love more, and enjoy life without taking it so seriously.