Archive for September, 2010

Yes, Prime Minister
September 30, 2010

It has been a lousy few weeks.

Long gun registry, long form census, Harperland (the unauthorized biography), backwards economic growth, oh my!

What’s a PM to do?

I think it’s time you got a grip. Seriously, it’s time you re-evaluated your perspective and, gulp, your priorities.

The thing about Canadians is that they like to like people. And, let’s face it. It’s getting harder and harder to like you. Which, call me crazy, if I were a politician, would be a big problem.

You used to be a normal guy. Wife, two kids. Career path. Now, you’re portrayed as a super control freak with a hidden agenda. Shame really. Again, Canadians like to like people. And there was a time that some of us actually liked our Prime Minister. I know, shocking isn’t it?

Isn’t it time you spent time with real Canadians?

Spend a day with a grade school teacher.

Spend a day with a single mom.

Spend a day with a logger.

Spend a day with a small business owner.

Spend a day with a fellow trying to find a job.

Spend a day with perspective – it’s refreshingly real.

Spend a day with anyone other than the people you usually spend the day with (other than your wife and kids).

See what really matters. Jobs. Community. Relationships. Hope. Prosperity.

Everything else will pale in comparison.

Learn how the rest of us live. Paycheque to paycheque, apparently. Over anxious, apparently. Worried for the future, apparently. Too deep in dept, apparently.

Learn to live how the rest of us live and we may learn to like you. Otherwise, come the next election, you’ll be one of us.

And just in case you question our view of how you run the country and how the rest of us may run the country,  you may want to reflect upon this episode of Yes Prime Minister.

It takes a village…
September 21, 2010

To raise a child and, as it turns out, to publish a book. And an even bigger village to launch one. So this blog post is a shout out to all of you who helped last Saturday as we launched the guaranteed giggle book of the season, Don Sawyer’s The Lunch Bag Chronicles.

What fun. We giggled. We scribbled on lunch bags. There was cake (it’s not a party without cake, afterall). We took pictures. There was a giant lunch bag and some teeny tiny ones wrapped around the juice boxes. For a few hours, it was lunch bag village at our lovely art gallery.

So thanks to all of you who came out. There were many families and every one seemed willing to buy a copy (thanks for that too – much appreciated). There were friends who took pictures, sold books, stayed for hours with their kids despite the demands of a usual Saturday. You helped with crafts and cleaned up. Put chairs out and put chairs away. Decorated. Served cake. And we couldn’t have done it without you.

Here are a few pics of the big event with a final thank you to Don and his family, Jan, Melissa and Farish, whose willingness to share their memories helped to make lovely memories for the rest of us.

I told you it would be fun. I think I was right. Guaranteed giggles, or your money back at

meet you in the playfort
September 14, 2010

Why do we call it play time? Why is it so important? And why is it only for kids?

As adults, not only do we loose our sense of play (unless it’s a competitive sport or the lottery), the word itself disappears from our vocabulary only to be replaced by more serious, less fun, even down right dull words like meet,  get together, make a plan, do something or  hang out – ugh.

I mean let’s face it, all those expressions are just grown-up-ease for “hey – let’s go play!”. It’s important for kids because it teaches them how to solve problems. Like rehearsing to be a grown up, only way more fun. My kids love to play. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, that at our house, we go out of our way not to schedule things so that the kids can just play. Days sans practices, or lessons, or crafts. Just play.

Educators would say that play is problem solving and social skill development. Which is true. And it’s such fun to just listen to the stories kids invent and the characters they create. At our house, which is usually full of boys, play generally involves some pretty dire circumstance that go something along these lines. Like you’re stuck in quick sand with a river of lava headed right for you. When suddenly, your invincibility (or is it invisibility? I can never tell) shield kicks in and you get transported to your base. And say you detected an alien ship on the way so you notified the base ahead of time on your do-everything super computer wrist watch, prepared for battle, defeated the enemies, and the emperor rewarded you and your team your own island and battleship. What? It could happen. For a kid, at play, anything is possible.

And that’s the attitude I hope to bring to my latest play time adventure. Publishing. Real books printed on real paper. I know. Old school. But I am old school. I love old toys and old things and old shows and old movies and old songs. Probably because it makes me feel young. Which I still think I am. Don’t get me wrong. I cope with the grown up stuff okay. And when I can’t quite get my head around something – I just pretend to know what I’m doing which, as it turns out, is an incredibly powerful tool we learned as children by, you guessed it, just playing. So for the next good while, I’ll be spending some of my time playing publisher of  a new canadian press – Playfort Publishing – right here in Salmon Arm.

So mark your calendars – our first play date (I know – a play date should be an oxymoron – a bit like making an appointment to giggle or sneeze) is set for this Saturday – at 2 PM at the art gallery. We’re launching our first book. The Lunch Bag Chronicles, written and illustrated by Don Sawyer is a delightful tale of family, fun and school day laughs. You see, every day for six years, Don scribbled stories, jotted jokes and pencilled pictures on his daughters Melissa and Farish’s lunch bags. It’s part joke book, part journal and all good fun.

On Saturday, Don will read from his book. We’ll all take turns guessing the answers to the jokes. We’ll play and there will be snacks, of course. Everyone is welcome. So come and play with us. And even if you happen to look in the mirror only to see a grown up staring back at you, rest assured, there’s a kid in there who can’t wait to go out and play.

So we’ll meet you in the playfort. C’mon. It’ll be fun!