Monday, December 29, 2014

And So This is Christmas ...

Christmas is, hands-down, my favourite holiday on the calendar. Maybe (most likely) it was the fact that we didn't celebrate Christmas when I was a kid that accounts for a lot of my delight and enjoyment now.

So what is my favourite thing about Christmas, you ask.

This might sound rather strange, but what I love truly love about the season can be summed up in very few words ... I think in large part it`s the beauty, the visual appeal of the season that really gets to me.

True enough, when my daughters were younger there was a great deal of pleasure and fun in watching their response to the run up to Christmas and their full on excitement on Christmas day. It was both contagious and priceless.

There were also family traditions that developed over the years that gave me a warm, comforting feeling. And, as a parent, I appreciated the chance to try to model and teach to my children in various ways that there truly is more pleasure in giving than in receiving.

In fact, to this day, I would love to adopt some little ones just for this time of the year, to share the magic with them, to watch their faces light up with delight and excitement, to be a part of that again.

But what I really appreciate about Christmas now is the sheer beauty of the season. I could easily sit for hours, staring into a Christmas tree, letting my mind simply roam free and I absolutely love adore the sparkle of lights shining on the snow, the spectacle it creates.

You might have figured out by now that despite the fact that, perhaps, it *should*, Christmas does not have a strong religious connotation for me. I credit that with the fact that I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness and even though I am very much not one now, there seems to be some core beliefs (doctrinal points) and values that stick with me. Okay, in all honesty, not just stick with me but by extension, exclude the inclusion of other things.

Yes, to me, Christmas is more or less a secular holiday, but from my point of view, that diminishes its importance not one bit. Because whether your view be religious or secular or some mixture of both, the Christmas season is a time for family and friends, a time to bring your family close around you and hold them tight, a time to take a break from the insanity that is life and refocus on what is really important.

Yes, I adore the Christmas season.
The only problem is, I can never figure just why, exactly, it has to end.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Canada's Rocket Man

I am currently reading (actually listening to - thank you Audible) "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me about Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything" by Chris Hadfield. 

It's a really good read listen - generally, I'm not much of a fan of non-fiction but this is one of the few exceptions. I was first taken with Chris (Yes, that's right, we are on a first-name basis. Thanks for asking.) when I saw him briefly on a television news show with Stephen Harper, answering questions from school children. Yeah, Harper, let's just say Chris didn't have that much competition. But still, there was something intriguing about him.

Then I saw this video ** and the rest, as they say, was history.  I was hooked.


Now, I must admit that I have never had any particular interest in space travel. Flying fighters, sure, but space travel, not so much.

But I have been wanting to read An Astronaut's Guide to Life for some time now and I am very happy that I have finally gotten around to it. It's an autobiography of sorts but more than just listening to Chris tell his life story (one of the many advantages to audio books - very rarely, the narrator is the actual author and, even more rarely, they make a good narrator), it really does impart a lot of life lessons.

In fact, a little over halfway through the book, I realized that Chris reminded me of someone else I deeply admire. Those who know, know that is high praise indeed. Different countries, for sure, but they had a fair bit in common, even if Lex never made it to space.

And because I aspire to be a giver, here is a nice in-depth (or as in-depth as you can get in 15 minutes) look at Chris and what he does.

Canada's Rocket Man, indeed.

And last, but certainly not least, there is an interesting story here about the Space Oddity video.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Me Like

It kind of speaks for itself, dontchya think? :D

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


I hope you and yours enjoyed a great one.

As for me and mine, I am happy to report that Yours Truly managed to not just celebrate our great country and spend some bonding time with my youngest daughter, but I also dotted all my i's and crossed all my t's ... that's right - I finished up the last of the paperwork necessary to finalize the change back to practicing status.

So please welcome my firm, MMC Legal Services, into the big bad world. And spread the word, this particular firm only serves the disability community.

Cross-posted at A Primer on Special Needs and the Law

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Samsung S-Drive Program

This looks awesome. I hope it spreads around the world. Soon.

So kudos to Samsung. And this is my little piece in spreading the word.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Whazzup, Buttercup?

Hey there all you hale and hearty fans of Free Falling. How goes it?

Whoa, settle down, settle down, all questions will be answered in due course.

1.  Yes, yes, I am still alive - thanks for asking!

2.  And yes, I have been busy. Very busy, in fact. My, aren't you all a discerning lot.

3.  Well, if you really want to know, I mean if you insist.

Sorry, I can't seem to hear you.

. . .

 . . .

Ah, there you are. Very well - I have been (amongst many other things) preparing for my return to the (part-time) practice of law.

4.  Preparing what? Seriously?? 

5. How's about my office space? My brain? My accounting system? My life? And that's just for starters.

6.  Oh, really, you want to know when?

Very well, that would be ... drum roll please ... wait for it ... July 1st.

7.  Why, yes, that is Canada Day (quite an impressive lot you are, I must say).

8.  No, no, that is only a coincidence. Trust me. But never fear, we shall celebrate both Canada Day and my official return to the practice of law in fine style. That, my good friends, is a promise.

9.  Seriously? You want to know what *other things* I have been up to? You mean this is not enough? What is wrong with you people? What more do you want from me? Blood??

10.  There you go, getting all upset again ... now everyone back in your seats or I won't be saying another word.

. . .

That's better. Now where were we? Crowd control can be sooo taxing at times ....

11.  Sheesh, no sense of humour, this crew. And, just for future reference,

12. Are? We? Clear?

13.  Very well, I will give you one little example of some of those *other things* I have been up to.

14. How about preparing for the high school graduation of BOTH my daughters? Is that good enough for you?

15.  That's right, I said BOTH my daughters.

16. Right, again. Both those graduations will be held this very month.

17.         ...

Sorry, I've just been advised that we're out of time for today. I regret to inform you that no further questions will be taken at this time.

Thank you very much for attending and please feel free to drop donations of any denomination (the bigger the better) in the tip jar on your way out.

What's that? There is no tip jar?

Damm ... I knew I forgot something!

. . .

Buttercup has now left the building.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

This Isn't Just Any Old Aviation This Is.... Naval Aviation *

There's been a distinct lack of flying videos around these here parts since that sad, sad day two years ago. And I'm thinking it's about time we did something about that.

So here you go.


No need to thank me. Just another service we offer.

H/T to The Lexicans

* Post title stolen borrowed from the You Tube comments

Friday, March 14, 2014

[Almost] Street Legal

Posted on Facebook on March 6, 2014 
Lawyers need trust accounts.  
But according to the bank, in order to have a trust account, you need a business account first.  
And to have a business account you need to have registered a business name. [check
But before you can register a business name, you have to have the name approved [check
So, two out of four ain't bad for one week.

And I have a date with the banker on Monday to open the business account.

The name, you ask? Oh, that's easy.

MMC Legal Services

Of course.    :D

Cross-posted on A Primer on Special Needs and the Law

Sunday, March 9, 2014


One foot in front of another.  

One. Small. Step. At. A. Time.

Maybe, just maybe, we will get there someday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pay It Forward Already, Why Don't Ya?

I know we're all familiar with "pay it forward" concept; heck, didn't they even make a movie about it? Like forever ago?

I'm sad to say that, personally, I have only ever experienced one significant random of act of kindness (I'm not going to count the "hold the door open" basic good manners sort of thing). But one time quite a few years ago, while in the drive through at Tim Horton's, I discovered I had no wallet. I had my purse but had somehow managed to leave my wallet at home.

Well, that was awkward.

I was right at the speaker when I realized this but I still could have pulled quickly out of line. Actually, I honestly don't really remember why I didn't now ... I guess I must have really needed that coffee. Anyway, I rolled down the window and explained the situation rather sheepishly, that I just realized my wallet wasn't in my purse, but that I was a regular customer and would they consider letting me pay next time.

Yeah, I admit, that might have been a little ballsy. But that is neither here nor there to my story.

Which continued something like this - the employee asked me to repeat what I had just said and then told me to wait a minute. A new voice came on (male, of course) who repeated my request back to me. Yes, sir. Please, sir. He told me to drive up to the window. Okay, thank you.

It was a cold winter day and I was just about to put my window back up when a voice from behind me yelled out "It's okay. I'll get it." I looked over my shoulder to see the door of the car behind me open and the driver get up and run over to my window. "It's okay. I'll get your coffee for you" and he pushed a twonie into my hand.

[Sidebar: For anyone wondering, this is a twonie. 
You know, twonie ... as in two dollars. 
Ah, there you go. Now you got it.

Just one other thing. 

On the first day, God created a loonie. 
And on the second day, God created a twonie. 

Don't confuse them.
Just. Don't.

We now resume regular our regularly scheduled 
programming already in progress.]

"No, no, that's okay. You don't have to do that" and I tried to hand the twonie back but he was having none of it. "No, that's okay. I want to" and he ran back to his car as I yelled "Thank you!". Well, now I felt even a bit more embarrassed than I had when trying to explain my plight over the speaker. But I also felt something else - a smile spreading across my face. What a nice guy!

I continued to the window, where I handed the twonie over and explained that the person behind me in line had given it to me. Following which, the manager (the male voice on the speaker) walked up, took one quick look at me and said "Oh yeah, I know you. I would have given you the coffee." I laughed, thanked him and drove away with my coffee.

My point of this little story? That there are still good people out there? That we need not give up all hope in this world? Well, sure, maybe, if you really want.

But this little story is all about me and how it made me feel. And, you know what, it made me feel pretty darn good. And it made me realize that I would like to do something like that for someone else some day. (Don't get me wrong - there is a darn good chance I would have made a similar gesture in a similar situation anyway, but this just made me more consciously think about it.)

So, how corny nifty is this? Apparently there exists a global initiative aiming to inspire over three million acts of kindness, a "Pay It Forward Day". And one of the individuals that is heavily involved in promoting this is from the Annapolis Valley, practically my next door neighbour.

And what I think is the best part of it all ...
The interesting thing about the Pay It Forward Day concept is that organizers around the world may never know how successful it is. That is because participants don’t have to register or sign up. 
“There’s no work to it,” Huntley said. “People can do something on their own.” 
On April 24, people from all walks of life can give to someone and make a positive difference.
I like that. It's kind of like the whole "don't let your left hand know what your right is doing", but on a grander scale. So what say you, good people?

April 24th is roughly seven weeks away. Plenty of time to think up a random act of kindness (or two) that works for you. Or just wing it. Whatever.

As long as we don't forget to pay it forward.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Differences Don't Matter

The following poem was written by Jessica Mercola many years ago as part of a diversity contest at her middle school. I found in in an issue of Exceptional Parent magazine back in 2002.

While she wrote about a "she", the sibling in her poem is actually a "he", her younger brother, who is 6 years old, has hypotonic cerebral palsy and profound developmental delay, is non-verbal and non-ambulatory and has the most gorgeous smile and eyes of anyone! [according to Mom and who are we to argue?]

I have brown hair.
She has blond hair. 
I have long hair.
She has short hair.
I am chubby and short.
She is skinny and tall.
I have braces and glasses.
She has freckles and cerebral palsy. 
I can draw, ride a bike and read.
She can't do any of these. 
I can walk and sit.
She has a wheelchair,
and tries to talk
but out comes noises,
silly ones. 
I like to chew.
She likes to go for long walks. 
I am stubborn and loud.
She is sensitive and caring. 
I am outgoing and fun.
She is different and interesting. 
I go to dance.
She goes to therapy. 
I drink from a cup and eat regular food.
She drinks from a bottle and eats pureed food. 
I like to play outside.
She likes to play with noisy toys. 
She doesn't make any choices.
We make them all for her.
I think I have a good life.
Hers could be better. 
Every day I watch her grow,
in sorrow, laughter and snow. 
I hope no one takes her away.
I would be lonely and miss her every day. 
I start every day with the positive
attitude that one day she'll be
just like me! 
I don't care what we are.
I love her anyway. 
I don't care what other people say.
We'll always be sisters and
the best of friends.
That's the way it's going to stay.
Cross-posted at A Primer on Special Needs and the Law

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

He's Baaaaaaaack


And then, just because I can (and because Canada has had an absoloutely stellar few days at the Olympics), I offer you my all-time favourite Olympic song.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Great White UP

I heard this on the radio this morning. And I haven't stopped chuckling since.

"Americans like to name their storms.
This last snow storm we had they called Hercules.
But as a Canadian, I prefer to call it winter."