Saturday, November 23, 2013


I think it was Mickey Mantle that once said, "if I would have known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself." We give it little thought when we are young, but at one time or another are surprised to discover that our journey in this life can be short, or sometimes an extended one; with many twists and turns along the way leading to both good fortune and bad.

This last year I had a revelation of sorts myself.
It started innocently enough. My bride and I had settled into a full fledged partnership, finished up our fiscal year, and generally pleased with the results of our efforts, took some time to relax.
Nothing extravagant. Just some time together, simple pleasures like some little day trips, a bit of shopping, some light reading, a great meal and perhaps a good bottle of wine to finish. It's unclear to me which of these activities contributed most to romantic inclinations, but my suspicions are that it was due to a little of each, and in no small part to our little reading group's assignment to read, review and discuss the hugely popular Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Anywaaay, not to point fingers, but I have wondered in light of subsequent events whether there is any existence of a class action suit brought about by other, let's say mature couples, similarly wronged by the author, but I digress.

As I remember it, being blissfully unaware, we also enjoyed a carefree Christmas season (clearly a favourite of Brenda's). The new year brought its usual blessings, both our birthdays falling in February came and went, she celebrating hers, and me being nearly 10 years her senior, grudgingly accepting mine. It was only in the months to follow that there were hushed conversations about Sweetie's general health and some unusual, yet naggingly familiar symptoms that seemed to be occurring. Initially her and her closest confidantes laughed them off. There was some teasing that went on of course! "Welcome to the beginnings of  your golden age!" Chalking symptoms up to be pre-menopausal, she laughed them off and got on with the new year's business.

Jessie's Grad Pics (posing with one of her brothers)
It was still some time after our initial concerns that it became clear that some sort of "mishap" had occurred. Evidence of an alleged "perpetration," both circumstantial and physical, became abundant and undeniable, and of course all eyes fell to me. To explain, like any good mystery, we knew who was involved, and soon after when, that the how and the why? Well those are of course a little tougher to determine.

The how, so I'm told, was more a combination of blind luck and good (or bad depending on how it's looked at) timing as the odds of conception for us were something like less than a one percent chance.

Jax Douglas Moreau Born August 23, 2013

Some of my buddies likened it to a hunting accident where I have accidentally discharged my rifle into my foot, or more like both feet (as odds are my mobility is likely to be greatly impacted for some time). Like any hunting accident, my excuses were much the same as you normally hear. "I'm not sure what really was an accident...I never meant to do it...I never knew that there was even game in the area that was in was all a blur as it happened so fast...I was only cleaning my rifle when it went off...I was certain my rifle was long since unloaded." Aaand probably the most damning part of my account of things, as I recall, having to admit that foolishly I had recklessly not bothered to take time out to "put the safety on."

When I ponder at the "why" part of something like this, both unexpected and unlikely and yet certainly blessed, I can only assume that this little interloper is all part of the grand plan that exists for Brenda and myself. Multi-tasking has always came easy to Brenda.

Re/Max Realtor / Multitasking Mom!
I just have to have faith that I am up to the challenge too! And like an aging ball player, hope I've done enough stretching and warm up earlier cause it looks like this game might be going into extra innings for us.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


There's been a lot of talk these days about our great lakes.
There seems to be a heightened awareness that I personally have not witnessed before.
Whether its in the news, or at the water cooler, or brought up in meetings at all levels of government; the talk is that we need to preserve these waters as the national treasures that they most surely are.

It is something that our native peoples knew to be true long ago. They treasured them in a different way though; as they regarded them and all of nature as something to be revered. The wild inhabitants of the lakes and surrounding lands were worshipped as gods; and the attributes and habits of such creatures were studied and learned from. This is evident in stories and legends passed on through generations of native peoples, explaining everything from their moral values, to natural phenomenon, to even creation itself. I am not looking to seriously comment on religion, or the evolution of man for that matter. However, it occurs to me that these folks had harmoniously coexisted with nature and for the most part thrived for ten thousand years before we showed they had to be doing something right!  
Discussions about preservation of the lakes and the quality of their waters invariably lead to debates about water levels, that seem to be in great decline these days.
Current levels seem to be nearing historic lows and the feeling of most, is that they will continue to decline.
The conventional thinking seems to be that man is responsible.... just as we are, for the decimation of certain fish and wildlife species and loss of wetlands. It would also follow that we are also responsible for the disappearance of hundreds of millions of gallons of water...
Dredging in the St. Lawrence, pipelines to the states and even a theory about a gradual tipping of a huge tectonic plate beneath the great lakes, have been sited as explanations for the low water conditions we are observing today.
I myself have no idea of the causes of this phenomenon, but being in the real estate industry, I have seen first hand the negative influence it's had on Georgian Bay waterfront land values. Putting financial impacts aside, I was always alarmed by the effect it had on the shoreline landscape and its natural inhabitants.
When drawn into these discussions, my Dad always took the position that these matters were beyond man's influence and that Mother Nature always prevails. He explained that it was nature's way;  using the example of something as devastating as a forest fire, that where one species fails, or is destroyed, another will flourish.

He reminded me that the water levels were this low and lower in 1964, at a time,when surely it could be argued that man's influence on nature
must have been significantly less than today.
But his best and most thought provoking point was that instead of wondering who took all of the water in the 60's or, in recent years, we should ask ourselves where all the extra water came from in the late 80's (a time I remember well) when water levels were about 5 or 6 feet above datum! Who dumped those extra millions of  gallons into our lakes? Was it big shipping business, or those nasty Americans? "No" he said, "again, it's just nature's way. She's all knowing and all powerful. Man can change the face of nature through stupidity and or greed, but nature will always prevail."

One only has to feel the scorching energy of the sun, or witness huge bolts of lightning during a thunderstorm, or see the devastation from flooding, or the winds of a hurricane, or tornado, to imagine the awe that our native peoples must have felt all those years ago.

Its not a surprise that they believed they were in the presence of a higher power.
The older I get and the more I see us, as a civilization arrogantly making all the wrong choices, in the name of "progress".....I'm beginning to think....that ...maybe they were...


Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Well, we are nearing the end of another successful year. My "everlovin" and I have formed a new business model partnership that has worked out beautifully. Her business strengths mesh perfectly with my own strengths and weaknesses, each of us bringing something to the table, and in turn benefiting from the other. Because of this new partnership, I am once again able to relax and focus on trying to work and live by my old mantra of "working smarter, not harder."

This particular day's work seems to be largely consisting of compiling and organizing client lists and addresses and filling out Christmas cards with a personal message in each. As I mostly supervise such endevours, with the exception of her allowing me to be in charge of stamp application, I found myself daydreaming as I gazed through the window of our Coldwater Re/Max office at the falling snow.

The phone rang for me and it was a buddy of mine. Lets call him "Uncle Carl."
After some customary bantering he inquired if I had received a recent email from him? "Yes," I said, referring to the UTube video starring a young lady in a bikini who demonstrated a particular "talent" she had for manipulating her bosoms to the tune of Jingle Bells. I told him I was shocked and a little offended that he would forward something like that to me! "No you fool," he said, "I'm talking about the pictures of the September storm I was in on Gloucester Pool, looking out from Deer Island." "Oh those," I said sheepishly, "Ya, they were great."

That conversation got me to thinking, first about lively Christmas Carols, but eventually about the year's forays into the "great outdoors," sunny days of ice fishing for pike and pickerel, and soon after that, an awesome overnight trip north of Espanola for "ice out lakers," a couple of days trip portages into a secluded lake to "top water fish" for large mouth, and then there was the late fall adventure up to Gull Lake for rainbows!

I was idly meandering through the pics associated with each trip, scanning the "thumbnails," matching up pictures with the particular outings they were taken on, when I suddenly noticed something peculiar. At this time I would like to draw your attention to the following three pictures and their captions.

                                                   Carl and a nice large mouth bass!

                                        Carl hits the jackpot with this big mouthed beauty!

                                                      Carl gets biggest fish prize again!

Had I not stumbled upon these pics, there's no telling how long he may have gotten away with this clever ruse. It's perfect really, a trained fish that you simply call upon to impress or to perhaps (as the caption suggests) win a bet against the hapless participants of one of his "rigged" fishing derbys. I think that the evidence would suggest that I myself have been fooled, at least three times, by Billy Bass and his trainer, Uncle Carl! Lord knows I have bought the victor of these contests (Carl) more than my share of Wendy's burgers, and now I find out that it's fixed! I told him that I was onto him and that I just wanna know how "Billy" determines which bait is his? His only comment to me was, "Doug...the difference between you and me is that I like to fish "smarter, not harder!"