The 2010 Christmas Card.

Hey, let’s face it, we couldn’t afford to send a Christmas card to all of you (I spent too much losing an election), but that doesn’t mean we don’t think of you.  So, in the spirit of the season, here’s our 2010 wish for you.

As Christmas comes through our door

It brings memories

Of Snowmen kissed

Dear friends sorely missed


Of family, good cheer

and smiles from ear to ear.


Each moment shared carries

Love, honestly said, and a hope

For health and happy hearts

In the year ahead.

I’m not much of a poet, as is self-evident, but it does capture the sentiment that we hold dear.

With kind thoughts.  Mike and Jane


Gobsmacked, but good.

My wife and I were invited to the Haliburton Rotary Club meeting last night.  I was told, weeks ago, that it was to thank some people who have supported the club.  Nice gesture.  When we arrived my two best friends, both from Hamilton, were in the lobby.

“What on earth are you doing here”, I asked.  Turns out, my dear friend, Bob Morrow was the guest speaker.  “Wow, imagine that, I get invited as a guest and you are guest speaker.  Talk about serendipity.”

Bob has a great presentation on the Canadian Space Agency and a science program that runs in public schools to generate interest in a range of sciences, technology and the space agency.  His speech was excellent and people had a great time.

Just before Bob spoke, one of the Rotarians talked about the Paul Harris Fellowship, and then another member started to talk about me.  “What?  Why are they talking about me?  We’re here to hear Bob.”  Well, turns out The Rotary Club of Haliburton had decided to  honour me with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award.  This is one of the highest honours in Rotary.  Named after the founder of Rotary, it is given to members or citizens who have contributed to their communities.

Many notable personages have been recognized with this award, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Jonas Salk and Mother Theresa.  Thousands more around the world have been similarly recognized.  I was gobsmacked.

I know how much this means in Rotary.  I thank them for their kindness and this honour.

It turns out, Bob and Ray came north to see me get the award, and Bob offered to do the keynote speech.  Plus, the guys stayed overnight at our house, came into CanoeFM in the morning and then we had a leisurely breakfast together at the famed Kozy Korner.

Breakfast for 3: $25   Three friends spending time together: Priceless!

Send out your Christmas Greeting on Radio – Live!!!!

On my morning shows on Christmas eve (December 24th) and again on New Years eve (December 31st) we’d like to call out and have people to share a Christmas or New Year’s message.  All you have to do is email us your name, full phone number, where you live and who you’d like to announce your message to (if it’s a special person, make sure they are listening – 100.9 Canoe Fm or

Shawn Chamberlain, my Friday sidekick, and I will draw a name from the empty mistletoe box and we’ll pick up the phone and call you, and then you can give your greeting, live, on air in your best voice possible.  What fun, huh.

Whether your from Haliburton County or listening to us on the internet in Timbuctoo we invite you to be a part of the season.   For overseas listeners, remember the time difference, we’d hate to wake up a cranky pants at 3am somewhere.

It should be a lot of fun.  Send your name, phone number, where you live and who you’d like to announce your message to … in the header put Holiday Messages. If you want to do it right now, put it in a note on my Facebook page.   We’ll look forward to hearing from you wherever in the world you may be.



Confounded Critters are Everywhere

Now that the bitter, blustery weather is upon us the wildlife begins to make regular visits to many of the residences and quiet cottages in the highlands.  Last week we had a special visitor.  Stood right outside my office window … in full glory!

And just when I had gotten over that thrill … Sunday, 5 family members of the Christmas Dinner Society appeared outside my office.  The scritched and scratched for more than an hour and they were beautiful.  Sophie, the dawg, so wanted to go out and play … at least I think that’s what she had in mind.

So, despite the chill and the gray skies there are moments that make you pause and take in the wonders that are quite unique to our rural playground.



Ever felt like your head’s coming apart.  For the past week I’ve had this blanket spasm across my shoulders, up the right side of the neck and to the point at the top of my head.  The teeth ache so bad (how bad do they ache?) that you can’t bear to touch them together.  Each day is an effort. 

I had the same thing happen about six weeks ago and it took ages for a return to normalcy.  I happened to go to the doctors while I was having the first bout and after I described the pain, the locations, the agony (what a whiner!) he thought for a moment and then, very pensively, said Hmmm.  Not HMMMMMM (rising crescendo).  Just Hmmm.  In that moment I was left to divine what he meant by this modest response:  “suck it up fella”, “it’s going around and it’s fatal”, “I missed that class in med school”, “it’s a muscle ache for god’s sake”, or perhaps he was working up to the classic “take two Advil and a muscle relaxant and call someone in the morning (not me, I don’t do housecalls)”.    I loped out, still in pain, but glad I had had a professional medical opinion.

I got better in time for holidays and then, a day after we returned, it reared its ugly head again.  A touch better today, but sure as heck I’m not going to share it with the doctor.  One more Hmmm could push me over the edge.

A Dickens of a season

Hope you’ll come out and enjoy Like the Dickens next Tuesday evening at Minden United Church.  Once again the Highlands Male Chorus, under the direction of Melissa Stephens with Betty Mills on piano, will present a wonderful evening of seasonal music accompanied by readings of A Christmas Carol by local guests. 

I’m delighted to be one of those readers and each time I am invited I consider it a special moment in the holiday season.  Admission is a donation to our area food banks.  Don’t miss it, it’s an evening of wonderful music and memories.  It is an occasion that reminds us how fortunate we are to have loving family and friends around us and, if we are lucky, a turkey that would make Scrooge proud.

There are so many amazing events in the County during this season.  Check out for a listing of many of the activities.  And keep an ear to Canoe Fm for announcements of all the events.

It was good to get back on the air this week.  Although, I must admit, it’s been a little tough getting back into the early morning groove of four thirty in the morning to begin the prep.  Tomorrow, the good lord willin’, we should have Shawn Chamberlain back with us for our regular Friday funfest.  Shawn has been on a well deserved break and will, in all liklihood, be back in his groove.

On the air at six AM.  Hope you’ll allow us into your home and your car.  We can have a second cup of coffee together.

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