Join Team Diabetes And Be A Diabetes Champion

November 14 is World Diabetes Day.

The birthday of Sir Frederick Banting is singled out as the day to shine a light on diabetes awareness around the world. One of the greatest Canadians, Banting (and his partner Charles Best) discovered insulin in 1921 – a discovery that led to treatment for those with diabetes.

Take some time this weekend to learn about diabetes. What it is. How it affects the lives of those living with it and why Type 2 diabetes is one of the greatest manageable threats to our health care system.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Canada and affects approximately two million people across the country, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 per cent of diabetes cases in Canada — cases that could often have been prevented or delayed with regular physical activity, healthy eating and by maintaining a healthy weight. [read more]

Become a Diabetes Champion by adding a World Diabetes Day Twibbon to your Facebook and Twitter pictures.

Join Team Diabetes and spread the awareness of this disease by running an 10k, half marathon or marathon.

Lest We Forget

Nan and Grumps

This post was originally published at DadCAMP on November 11, 2009.

Today is Remembrance Day.

Canadians are reminded of the impact of the day each time we spend $10. The poem, In Flanders Fields, is printed on the back of the bill. There are millions of quarters emblazoned with poppies to help remind us that this day is about sacrifice.

My grandfather (above) was a member of the Merchant Marines in WWII. The first ship he was stationed on, the HMCS Oakville, made a very famous capture in the Caribbean of a German UBoat. The vessel rammed U94, dropped depth charges and eventually captured the crew.

popinegyptMy great-grandfather (right) served in the Middle East in WWI and was part of the liberation forces that rolled through Jerusalem in 1917. There’s a famous photo in our family of him in uniform at the base of the Sphynx in Egypt.

Another of my great-grandfathers was part of the Allied forces that fought at Vimy Ridge.

All of them survived their tours in the military, but so many young men and women didn’t. Too many never to experience the joys of fatherhood and the thrills of being a dad.

Without great-granddads and granddads there couldn’t be dads or sons.

Thank you Grumps and Pop for taking the risk then so that I may enjoy today. It’s the best day ever.

Famous Last Tweets

heavy d last tweet

Mona Simpson‘s eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs, made headlines around the world when she revealed his final words.

Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.

Those were the final syllables he spoke to his family around his bedside before he drifted off to death hours later. Jobs didnt have a Twitter account, so those are the final words we have from him.

Mitch Joel encourages people to take inventory of their Twitter account every now and again. The Twitter Test asks that you scroll back over what you’re saying to make sure you’re on message, being respectful and to look at your stream from the point of you of an employer. It’s a good way to stay on point.

Here’s another perspective – what if that was your last tweet. Your epitaph. Your final words online. Would you like what it says?

Rapper Heavy D collapsed and died in his home after finishing his groceries. Hours earlier he had posted 2 words to his Twitter account.

You can read the rest of this post at

Review: Transit – 22

transit - 22Transit – 22
Released: November 11, 2011

Transit‘s new effort, 22, acknowledges the elephant in the room right off the top. Despite this being his 2nd solo album, Lights Camera Action is easily Transit‘s biggest hit.

But it was meant as a joke. The 8 Hour Challenge clip, where he and a pal challenge themselves to write a catchy and hooky track in less than a day, has more than 500 000 views on YouTube and was supposed to lampoon the music industry’s ignorance towards true lyrical meaning and talent.

And yet it made him a viral star.

His new album opens with a an excerpt of an interview with Jian Ghomeshi on the heels of that song’s hype. In it he admits “I don’t really want to get recognized off of this” before a booming Kid Rock-ish guitar fueled beat licks into My Own Terms.

Transit is 22 year old Dan Bennett. A kid from Victoria who moved to Calgary to attend Ambrose University where he will graduate in April with a degree in Behavioural Sciences.

His rhymes aren’t about the drinks and clubs and cars that run through Lights Camera Action. He talks about taking the bus, his best friends and what he wants to be when he grows up.

The back to back tracks of Same Steez and 22 are a brilliant flow where he takes the outlook of a younger self looking at a promising future before him. Then, somehow at 22, he thinks he needs to look back on the things he hasn’t accomplished in a seemingly melancholy mortality before being satisfied with who he is and what he’s accomplished.

The stand out track on the effort is Calgary. Starring Jann Arden, the song is an anthem for the city’s music scene with the chant We Are Not All Cowboys. Transit manages to name check almost the entire local music scene and gets dozens of them to star in the video. It has all the hooks of a radio-friendly pop song: Transit has a smooth and clever flow, there’s a fist pumping anthemic chant for a chorus and Jann Arden‘s sweet voice blends the hook into ear friendly candy.

While his bio boasts of his indie successes, I’m So Indie bites at the backlash of those who live in the underground talking cynically about the mainstream. What’s that Yogi Bera line? Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded. It’ll make you crave organic Pop-Tarts.

The first 8 songs had me bobbing in my mini-van (after all, I am a 41 year old father of 2) and then track 9, Underdog. It had me sitting in silence in my driveway digesting what I had just heard.

Underdog is the story of Tim Harriman a college friend who had leukemia as a teen and beat it only to see the disease come back and take him as a young man. Transit calls him “the most inspiring person I’ve ever met.” As the track fades, Tim’s voice carries on talking about what life is about

“How your day is going to look is really your choice. You can either give it your all or you can let life take control,” he says.

It still gives me chills.

There’s no Parental Advisory sticker on the label. The rhymes are clean and smart. The lyrics have a meaning and reflection. The 14 months Transit poured into writing and recording 22 is about as far away from an 8 Hour Challenge as you can get. All he needs now is someone to yell Lights Camera Action, Transit is ready for prime time.

Calgary Kid Friendly Hikes – Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park

20111106 glenbow ranch - 02

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park [map]
Trail Lengths: 2.3 km – 25 km
Elevation Gain: 120m
Age Appropriate: Hiking 4+, Cycling 6+

Opened August 9, 2011, Glenbow Ranch is Alberta’s newest Provincial Park. The land was acquired from the Harvie family and is in part still a working ranch (so watch out for cattle and horses).

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park tells the story of Alberta. It is wide open grasslands, wandering waterways, secluded coulees, native and historic archaeological sites, small towns, big industry, ranching, and recreation all rolled into one. Alberta’s philanthropic spirit initiated this Legacy. The generosity and determination of the community will see it grow to benefit us all.

20111106 glenbow ranch - 10The Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation exists to support the responsible development of Park infrastructure and programming. Together with the Government of Alberta, the Foundation encourages residents and visitors to appreciate the beauty, and to contribute toward the protection of this environmentally and historically significant area. [source]

There are a number of trails, some paved some not paved. Some are designated no bikes. Picnic areas and viewpoints dot the landscape.

There are a couple of 2-3k loops you can do in the park, just know that you start at the top of a hill and head down it to get to the trails. If you want to stretch your hike out, there’s more than 25 km of trails to explore in every direction. Just remember: at the end of your hike, you’ve got to climb back up.

20111106 glenbow ranch - 07

It’s also a great place to take the kids and their bikes as much of the park has paved trails that run down along the Bow River. Again, be warned that the downhill hill karma at the beginning becomes an uphill trudge at the end.

Join Team Diabetes And Get Inspired By Iceland

Iceland is turning up the heat. On marketing.

The country is still reeling from the effects of Eyjafjallajokull and is pulling out all the stops to tell the world they are open for business.

Yes, that really is Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland offering to make you pancakes, if you come. Then he asked other Icelanders to invite the world to come to his country and do some exploring.

Inspired by Iceland is the campaign, and it’s catching on.

I’ve been to Iceland and I loved it. So I’m going back, and you can come with. Team Diabetes has a group getting ready for the Reykjavik Marathon in August 2012. You’ll get all the training and support you need, plus a great visit with the people of the land of ice. In exchange, you spread the word about Team Diabetes and raise some money and do some training.

2003 Iceland Marathon

If you have any questions, just ask me. I’ve done 3 Team Diabetes events before and am thrilled to be heading out for adventure #4, and my 5th marathon.

Come with me to Iceland, they’ve even turned off the volcano! My heart is beating like a jungle drum!! (Yes, I’ll have that song by Emiliana Torrini on my iPod for the race!)

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