Saturday Morning, Snow Covered, Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Bill O’Reilly: you hypocritical, misogynistic, smug piece of garbage; if you had even an ounce of decency in you, you’d give those millions that Fox paid out to you, to women’s shelters…You, Bill O’Reilly, represent all that is wrong with America today.O'Reilley
  • It’s snowing this morning, no really, it’s snowing this morning…after just a beautiful spring day yesterday!!  It’s freakin snowing this morning.
  • Day 5 of no elevators in our building…my legs feel like rubber going up and down those 8 flights of stairs.  Starting to feel locked in, claustrophobic.
  • Did I happen to mention that I was sitting at the ballpark yesterday, under a beautiful warm sun…the weather so nice the Goldeyes could have played…and this morning…SNOW!!   SNOW!!   NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    snow
  • It feels like we are mere moments away from WWIII…Russia flying jets within miles of both the USA and Canada; North Korea flaunting its nuclear mite; China, a behemoth flexing its muscle with North Korea…and Donald Trump playing golf, while trying to decide whether or not to Nuke North Korea!!
  • I can’t thank the Winnipeg Goldeyes enough; you guys are simply the best.
  • Giant snowflakes!!!!
  • Can not wait for by six days at the cabin in Falcon Lake…peace and quiet.
  • That home run that the Yankees Aaron Judge hit against the Chicago White Sox  on Wednesday, has just landed in New Jersey…man oh man oh man…did he destroy that pitch!!  Super star in the making!!

    Judge

  • After all of these years of watching the Yankees sign over the hill stars, it is so refreshing to watch some young blood on this team; and they’re playing well without two of their young stars, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious.  It’s nice getting some solid starting pitching and seeing players like Starlin Castro, Chase Hedley and Matt Holiday really contributing.
  • If the Jets had Mike Babcock behind the bench and Fredrick Anderson in net, they’d be in the playoffs.  The Jets are far more talented than the Leafs, but Babcock has them playing a much more disciplined game than Paul Maurice could ever get out of the Jets.  It also doesn’t hurt when you get solid consistent goaltending.
  • Two weeks from today and the Winnipeg Goldeyes start training camp; without SNOW, please!!!
  • My dear, dear friend Lisa; yesterday was your birthday.  I can’t put into words how very much I miss you…I hope you have found some peace.  You just knew me, understood me…you displayed empathy when I needed it and lit into me like nobody else could.  You know my pain, you understand my pain…yet, you too, didn’t have the strength to carry on.
  • It’s amazing how many of Trump’s minions have fallen since he took office…from Mike Flynn to Bill O’Reilly, it is only scratching the surface…
  • You caption the above…sad, so very, very sad.  I may not have been a fan of Reagan, but at least he was composed and had some dignity.

  • If you’ve never read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale…it is a very important read, given the circumstances of the world today.
  • Well according to Ben:  Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals is old (32), Carly is turning 40 and she’s really old…and Zaida Chuck “you’re really old Zaida”…oh to see life again through the eyes of an 8 year old!!!
  • Kim Jung Crazy and Donald Bloated Psychopath…they will be the undoing of this planet…
    Un
  • And finally…Aaron Hernandez…what a sad, sad, story…what a wasted life.

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts; by Chuck Duboff

VACATION TRAVEL BEST OF THE MIDWEST

“Is this heaven, no it’s Iowa.”  Field of Dreams.

© Chuck Duboff

  • It’s March, the month in which Manitobans can experience all four seasons in one day!!!
  • Big shout out to the Winnipeg Jets for the support they gave to Tyler Myers and his family during a very difficult time.  If you haven’t seen this video, take a few minutes…it’s a reminder of what is important in life:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKAzXhxc1zk
  • Moments of clarity are fleeting; yesterday afternoon and evening provided me with a peacefulness and understanding rarely felt; it was tangible and quite a new feeling.  Grateful for those moments.
  • Though the Jets won’t make the playoffs this season, wins at any time of the year are part of the growth process…I would like to see Roslavic and Conner called up for the balance of the season in order to get a feel for hockey at the next level.Ros
  • So Brian Pallister takes two month winter holidays to Costa Rica; took a 20% pay increase last year…and now he is gutting and slashing every program in Manitoba. Hope everybody is enjoying the PST going down from 8% to 7%!!!  NOT!!
  • What a very special night it was on Thursday evening watching the Jets game with Laine and Ben; non stop commentary, hi jinks, cuddling and just having a great time!!  #grateful.

    Ben, Laine and I playing

    This picture was from the spring the Jets came back to Wpg; 6 years ago and still having fun together!!

  • Watching the World Baseball Classic, it sure makes you appreciate the talent of the players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuala and Puerto Rico; those lineups are power laden…would be interesting to see what would happen if the Mike Trouts and Bryce Harpers of the USA decided to compete.  I think it would take the tournament to another level!!
  • Celebrating mom’s 92nd birthday tomorrow…her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will all be here!!
    family
  • This brief moment of clarity, in a life so filled with angst and confusion, has given an incredible insight into so much of what I have to be grateful for; though always aware of the good fortune I have in life…there is a real sense today of what all that means.
  • In all my years of being a New York Yankees fan, I have never seen them have a good spring training…I would attribute that to George Steinbrenner and his boys signing star players in their 30’s who take their time to get ready for the season and the Yankees ending up with a poor spring training record.  I looked at the exhibition game standing yesterday, and low and behold there are the Yankees with the best record.  With so many young kids in the lineup trying to prove themselves: Sanchez, Byrd, Judge, etc, suddenly the Yankees are winning games and shining a light on a bright future.  If the Yankees had more depth at starting pitching, they might compete this upcoming season!!
    yankees-spring-training
  • Once again, I love the team that Goldeyes skipper Rick Forney is putting together; I’ve mentioned this a few times, but with each season, it seems like Rick is signing higher calibre players.  I’m sure his connections to organizations have increased dramatically over the years and he is able to sign the type of player that he is looking for…training camp can’t start soon enough!!
  • Doofus head meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel; she with a PHD in Physics, he just finishing reading Dick and Jane; the misogynistic, serial liar makes more unfounded claims about wiretapping, but ups it one more by claiming that Merkel was also wiretapped; she looks at the media with a “who the fuck is this bozo?” kinda look:
    17343016_10154836183150783_1364695776349224105_n
  • There is always one benefit to the Jets not making the playoffs; I budget money all season for possible playoff tickets.  Once it became clear that playoffs were not in the picture for this spring…I went ahead and booked “my cabin” in Falcon lake for five days in May…filled with such gratitude that I am in a position to take another holiday this spring:

Straps and demeaning words leave life long scars…by Chuck Duboff

©Chuck Duboff

I was always afraid.  My mom would finish her wooden spoon ritual, a few more nails broken on my fingers and then she’d utter the words “wait until your father gets home…” Try going to school feeling fear all day; try concentrating on the provinces and their capitals, while at the same time worrying about getting the strap from dad.  What was it this time? I only got a B+ on a subject rather than an A…that certainly warranted the wrath of the strap.

I was always afraid.  “Do you think money grows on trees?  Who do you think you are going out with girls and spending money?”  Nothing I ever did was deemed acceptable.  School not good enough.  “you’re too fat, we have to buy you special clothes.”  Too fat, too “stupid”, waster of money, “you’ll eat that food the way it’s made, I don’t care what you like”

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I’d escape into baseball.  I’d read magazines, create my own games and leagues.  It was my temporary escape from the insanity of my house.  I’d be the shortstop for the New York Yankees for a few hours; I’d be the starting pitcher in the World Series.  Baseball helped me to escape.  My body would be in horror “waiting for your father to get home.” while I dreamed of being Mickey Mantle.

When he’d get home, I’d hide in terror in my room.  Sometimes under the blankets, other times just lying staring at the ceiling waiting once again for the punishment.  Some nights he’d be too tired to come in and destroy me, while other nights he’d enter and unleash his frustrations and failures upon me.  I cried for hours and hours and hours.  There never seemed to be an end to it.

Fast forward five decades; “now you know why I am so fucked up Carly”  To this day I feel the pain, the hurt, the worthlessness of those terror filled nights; those demeaning hurtful comments which are seared into my soul. “you’ll drive me to Selkirk”  I walk around aimlessly filled with the question: “Why, what did I ever do…” I always tried to behave, to be the good son, but even today it doesn’t matter what I do.  I am still begrudged any happiness…”why would your student get up at 3 in the morning and drive you to the airport?”  Maybe because my students saw the good side of me that you and dad never did mom.

Your straps and mean words forever scared me…and I still live with that pain today.

Part 2 of Josh Alen’s story: “I have overcome physical, mental and sexual abuse…and there are many people I would like to thank for helping”…by Josh Alen

© Chuck Duboff

Editor’s note: Upon first reading Josh’s writing for yesterday’s blog, I anticipated that there would be a very large number of reads and a positive response.  That is in fact what ensued, with 219 reads of Josh’s story.  It took a lot of courage and strength for Josh to share…and today we get to read a little more of what Josh has been through.  When you see him at the ballpark this summer, stop by and say hi and tell him how very proud we all are of him.

The Winnipeg Goldeyes are much more than just a baseball club.  They are our local professional baseball team, positive role models, community supporters and a place where people come together on hot summer nights to laugh, share, cheer and cry.  This has been evidenced in so very many different ways…most importantly, they are an organization which cares deeply about its fans

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© Josh Alen

Chuck asked me yesterday if there was anything I wanted to add to the piece that I’d written.

 There are a few things I’d like to touch upon.

First, is how painfully much I miss Luis, every single day.

How much I miss feeling like a kid in a candy store every time I watched him go up to bat, whether it was the first time I ever saw it in person, or the millionth time, the feeling was the exact same, magic without a doubt.
I miss the pre-game chats. I miss the times where I was so overwhelmed with feeling that I couldn’t catch my breath long enough to even muster a simple hello.
I miss getting to watch my favorite player every night all summer long, and getting to congratulate him on every single great game, and every milestone or record set.
I miss hearing his walk-up songs, and having my heart skip a beat, every-single-time.
I miss all the times he made me laugh until I cried, (“la loca” is the one that I’ll honestly never forget). I miss getting a full summer to make all those memories.
I miss counting down the days until open house, and the best and biggest hugs you could ever imagine, seriously, the hugs…have I mentioned his are the greatest in the world?
I miss every single tiny little thing about him being my favorite player.
Everything about this past baseball season was hard, at times even agonizing, including the championship victory, and it will continue to be hard in his absence for a very, very long time to come.
There is nothing in this life that I would not give to have my Louie back.

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Secondly, I would like to take a moment to say thank you to a few people:

First and foremost to Luis, for simply being one of the most incredible people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I can never express in words how grateful I am for all the summers I got to spend at Shaw Park with you, or how truly honored I feel to share a last name with you. Thank you, for everything.
To sections S & R. Alex, Angie, Jim, Carole, Kerri, Miles, Sue, Karsten, thank you for taking me in and making me a part of your group. You folks gave me the family that I’ve spent my entire life looking for.
To Annette, Cheryl, and Sean, thank you for being some of the first to start chipping away at the rubble.
To Daniel and Reggie. Damn, thank you both from the bottom of my heart for taking me under your wings all year and taking such good care of me. Thank you both for all the hugs, the love, the support. The two of you both have very special places in my heart.

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To the Winnipeg Goldeyes organization as a whole, you are collectively and individually some of the most unbelievably incredible people on this planet. The amount of passion and sincerity that you all put into everything you do, the way you all pour your entire hearts and souls into this organization, that’s what makes this what it is, that’s what’s given a kid a second chance at life. I’ve never experienced a more loving and genuine group of people, keep up the fantastic work, thank you all!

To Chuck, thank you for believing in my story, and giving me the opportunity to put it out there. I’ve been reading your blogs for so long, I never imagined getting to be a part of it. Your dedication is unreal, and your writing is something I look forward to every day, especially in the offseason. Thank you!

Lastly, I’d just like to say, for anyone that read my original piece, or that is reading this one. You can do it!
At twenty-three years old I have overcome it all, abuse-physical, mental, and sexual. I struggle with, and overcome daily the crippling effects of BPD, Anxiety, PTSD, and more.
Three years ago, I came out to my friends, and later my biological family as a transgender male, and while that’s agony most days, it’s so beyond beautiful to finally find yourself and to find people who love and accept you for everything you are, and even everything you’re not. 

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I promise, even if it feels hopeless or impossible some days it isn’t. You will find yourself, you will find what you were meant to be on this earth for, you will find people to call family. I promise, it’s out there, and it will be the most overwhelming joy you could ever imagine feeling. Keep going, even on the days that you feel you cannot, just keep going. I promise you, it is worth it. I promise, I promise, I promise.

Clara Hughes: “Education is the most crucial component to breaking down the stigma attached to Mental Illness.”…by Chuck Duboff

EDITOR’S NOTE:  I suffer from depression; I have been blessed with many who have stood by me and helped me through the difficult times.  I believe this is a very important blog…I thank individuals like Clara Hughes, Michael Landsberg and Howie Mandel for being just a few of the many individuals with mental health issues who have chosen to speak up and help de-stigmatize this disease.  I ask that you please pass this blog on, so that others may learn from it…I know in the past, when I have written blogs about my own depression, I have received many private messages from former students and friends thanking me for opening up and talking about my challenges.  I ask that you share this…and if someone reaches out to you or is struggling, take the time to try and understand what they are going through.

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© Chuck Duboff

“Every single day I struggle, I have those thoughts.”  Howie Mandel.

Mental illness, depression, bi-polar disorder, OCD, anxiety…they have all been stigmatized throughout history.  Individuals who exhibit traits synonymous with mental health issues have been ostracized, belittled, laughed upon and shunned from society.

Speaking as an individual who has battled depression throughout my whole life, my most common refrain is that far too many people assume that individuals who suffer from mental illness, choose to live their lives in this manner.  Whether it is family, friends or outside observers, it saddens me that individuals will get upset, castigate, belittle and shun me when the illness takes control.

I have been fortunate to have several individuals who have stuck with me, not given up and have tried to understand what I go through.  The respect and appreciation I have for these individuals can’t be put into words.  Knowing that these people are not giving up on me, helps me to get through the “difficult days”.  Though they may not fully understand what I am experiencing, they do recognize that it is not something I choose, but rather a disease which I live with.

Thankfully, through much hard work by many individuals, those of us who suffer with Depression and other mental illnesses, have felt safer sharing our stories with the world.  It truly helps when I know that individuals like Carrie Fisher, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Gwenyth Peltrow, Billy Joel,  Jon Hamm, Clint Malarchuk, Stephane Richer, Darryl Strawberry, Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta Jones, Charlie Sheen, Britanny Spears, Terry Bradshaw…and so many more…all struggle with this same debilitating disease…

There are three Canadian individuals whom I must single out for their efforts to improve, increase and positively accentuate the understanding of Depression and Mental Illness.  Clara Hughes, Michael Landsberg and Howie Mandel have become the “noted” spokes people for the annual Bell Let’s Talk campaign, a day dedicated to increasing the understanding of what individuals with mental disorders go through.  On this day, for every tweet and other social media interactions, Bell Canada will donate 5 cents to Canadian Mental Health.  I know that this day is making a tremendous difference in the attitudes which individuals are exhibiting towards those of us with Mental Health Issues.

I thank Bell Canada, Clara, Michael and Howie and all the others involved in putting this day on.  You are making a difference…writing this blog today is a lot easier than it would have been even five years ago.

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts..by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Winnipegers wake up to a wind chill of (only) -29 degrees today and start dancing in the streets.
  • Four blizzards, temperatures in the -40’s and the city just keeps on truckin’…businesses don’t close, city schools don’t close, we just toughen up and once again survive winter.snow-6
  • What’s to be said about the Winnipeg Jets? They appear to be in free fall, goaltending is horrendous and the team seems to be shutting out Coach Maurice.  When Dustin Byfuglien responds to a question about something Coach Maurice said: “He can say whatever he wants.”…you know there’s trouble in River City.  Third period in Buffalo, embarrassment against the Habs, first period against Arizona…that is coaching!!!
  • “I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created.” Donald Trump…whose ego knows no limits.
  • “I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president,” John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, told NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
  • “Your organization is terrible and I am not going to give you a question.  You are fake news.”  Trump bullying and attempting to intimidate Jim Acosta of CNN.  Watching this, I could not believe that this man is going to be the President of the USA.  N0 class, no decorum,  an inability to speak anything truthful…you reap what you sow and for the American people who voted for Trump…I hope it is becoming crystal clear what your vote has spawned.
  • Trump
  • Meanwhile…down in Costa Rica, Manitoba’s guest Premier continues to enjoy the hot sun and beaches, while blizzards and -40 temperatures paralyze the province he laughingly governs….For those Manitobans who voted for Pallister…I hope it is becoming crystal clear what your vote has spawned.
  • I enjoy watching the manner in which Rick Forney and Tom Vaeth are putting together the 2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes.  Already returning from last year’s championship team are 3B Wes Darvell, 1B David Rohm, Ace of the pitching staff, Kevin McGovern and a key member of the Bullpen, Victor Capellan.  I would imagine it’s a lot easier getting guys to return after such a great season.  One area Rick will have to concentrate on is finding a couple of catchers as both Carlton Tanage (retirement) and Tanner Murphy (signed by the Rockies) won’t be returning.
  • After the first period…Arizona 4, Jets 1…really?  Conner Hellybucyk pulled once again, only ten minutes into the game after letting in 3 more soft goals.  Where do the Jets turn now for goaltending?  Not bringing in a veteran goalie only signals to the team and fan base that playoffs are not a high priority, that this is, yet again, another development season, and I for one am getting tired of this plodding draft and develop plan.
  • Watch for interviews in the next few days with Goldeyes pitchers, Kevin McGovern and Victor Capellan.
  • The manner in which Russia was involved in the American election, strikes to the very foundation of a democracy.  The Russians planned for four years getting Trump elected and the tearing down of Hilary Clinton.  It would not shock me in the slightest if Putin were to unload all of the Trump connections to Russia and throw America into a nightmare scenario.  If you’ve never seen the movie The Manchurian Candidate, check it out, because we are living that today.trump-putin-1024
  • Only 30 more days until the hot, sunny beaches of Puerto Vallarta…not that I’m counting or anything…but, one more blizzard and I think I’ll just start walking there today!!
  • The class, the dignity, the lack of any scandals, the respect shown to the presidency…Barak Obama and his wife and daughters will be missed.  They stand in stark contrast to the three ring circus which is taking over the White House.
  • obama-family-portrait-sasha-malia-today-tease-150619_1ddba0ae3952682d6bae521d01abca3dPatrik Laine surprising an 8 year old boy celebrating is birthday…speaks to the wonderful manner in which he was raised.  The kid is all class and has surely embraced his new home of Winnipeg.  It has helped tremendously that his mother, sister and girlfriend all moved here to Winnipeg…having their support and guidance will help Patrik to continue to hold the great values which he demonstrates.laine-and-8-year-old
  • Memo to Kevin Cheveldayoff..your conservative, plodding manner is beginning to really wear down loyal Jets fans; you “may” have an ability to select first round players, but your disdain for change is irritating and resulting in a team showing no visible signs of  improvement; as I said the other day in the blog, this team’s record is no better than the team you inherited in the first season of Jets 2.0  Nothing changes if nothing changes!!!  You don’t have a goalie…that’s a fact, yet you do nothing about it.  You waited one year too long with Claude Noel and another year was wasted.  Watching the manner in which the Jets played the third period against Buffalo, the Montreal game and then last night’s first period…standing pat is not acceptable!!!
  • Pitchers and catchers report in 30 days!!!!baseballs1280_wtn64plk_pdi9e3wm
  • Off to watch Laine play soccer this morning and then Ben play hockey tomorrow afternoon…I know for a fact that these kids give it 100%, all the time!!

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts (with several important Thank You’s included); by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Thank you to Clara Hughes…while laid up in a hospital bed after surgery, she took the time to encourage me through a difficult week.  You are a champion in so many ways Clara…most importantly, you are an inspiration to all of us who face the daily challenge of Depression.  Your being so open about the challenges you face with Mental Health Issues…you make it easier for all of us.clara huges
  • Al and Geoff…thank you for last Monday afternoon.  Thank you.
  • Completed watching Breaking Bad, all 5 seasons, for the third time.  Walter White and Jessie…daymn, it doesn’t get much better.
  • As I said yesterday:  “Winnipeg, where you get up in the morning and check the wind chill, -29, and you go: YES!!…now that’s better.”
    blizzard
  • I say this to friends and family of those who suffer with Depression; it must be difficult to watch someone you love struggle and make decisions which seem irrational; but, I would ask you to ask yourself this question: “Would someone like Chuck, a supposedly educated man, consciously choose to go through what he went through last week.”  The next time you get frustrated, upset, angry with them for doing something which you can’t understand…ask yourself that question.
  • Given all the injuries the Jets faced in November…and the heavy schedule they were given…it’s amazing they are still at.500…playoffs may be tough…but, I think, if they could beat Buffalo today, making it 3 in a row, they could go on a roll.
  • Think about this: Scheifele, Ehlers and Laine…just those three, 51 GOALS!!!!!
  • The beaches of Puerto Vallarta, the ocean, the mountains, the hot sun…are now within my getting excited time!!!  Two weeks away from this frozen city!!!
  • In the midst of a very difficult birthday on January 1st, the birthday wishes kept pouring in on Facebook…don’t have the words to express what that day felt like, but I do want to thank those that took the time to send their birthday wishes.
  • The Russians, Vladamir Putin, manipulating the American election, is beyond believable…if a direct link to Trump’s campaign is exposed…Trump should be tried for treason and there should be a re-election.  Woodward and Bernstein…go get ’em boys!!
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  • These two leaders are destroying the very foundation of Democracy.
  • Watched the Secret Life of Pets with Laine and Ben; man did I ever enjoy that!!
  • Bell Lets Talk…January 25…a day of discussion and understanding about Mental Health Issues…leaders like Clara Hughes and Michael Landsberg, who face the daily challenges, have been courageous in bringing this debilitating medical issue to light.
    clara-25
  • Thursday evening, December 29th, I went to the Jets game with Laine; we had a fantastic time; came home in a great mood.  Woke up Friday morning, December 30th; within minutes, I knew!!  I felt it!!  Ten minutes later I wrote this blog; reading it now, it just blows my mind how the Devil (Depression) can take hold and not let go.  https://chuckduboff.com/2016/12/30/the-devils-death-grip-by-chuck-duboff/
  • Brian Pallister, hope you’re having fun down in Costa Rica plotting more ways you can cut jobs, salaries, services in Manitoba.
  • Been in a Led Zeppelin headspace for weeks now…Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham!!led-zeppelin-ii-1400175028
  • Thank you Al; thank you Geoff; thank you Clara.  I’m writing today, because the three of you took the time to be there for me.
  • Al inscribed the copy of his book, Saskatchewan Farm Boy, that he gave me; some important words were said: … “the best and longest of friends are those who accept each other for what they are.”
  • This is classic, couldn’t resist:esl

REM: Everybody Hurts; Pink Floyd: Comfortably Numb.

Comfortably Numb…Pink Floyd

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home?
Come on now
I hear you’re feeling down
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again
Relax
I’ll need some information first
Just the basic facts
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons
Now I’ve got that feeling once again
I can’t explain you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb

Okay
Just a little pinprick
There’ll be no more, ah
But you may feel a little sick
Can you stand up?
I do believe it’s working, good
That’ll keep you going through the show
Come on it’s time to go

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb

Everybody Hurts…REM

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life
Well, hang on, don’t let yourself go
Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong, now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone, if you feel like letting go
(Hold on, hold on, hold on)
When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well, hang on

Everybody hurts, take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts, don’t throw your hand
Oh, no, don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you are not alone

If you’re on your own in this life, the days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much of this life to hang on.

The Devil’s Death Grip…by Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

The devil arrives, deep sallow eyes, a chilling smirk announces: “I am here and it is you I shall take control of you.”
Uninvited, arriving on its own timetable, I shake.  My soul recognizes the episode which is about to occur, as the devil’s grip tightens.
The thoughts become unruly, irrational, confused; yet it’s the devil standing there, sneering and bellowing with a haunting voice: “Hope you have none…for as long as I shall decide to play with your mind.”
With all my will I dig deep and fight the irrational thoughts; drink lots of water, green tea, get in exercise, talk with others…you know this is your best medicine to fight off the strangulating grip.
So many will be let down, I think to myself.  This is the rationale mindset, yet the Devil sneers, smirks and emits: “you know this will last as long as I want to play with your mind. Your so called medicine, water, green tea, exercise, friends…I Laugh at your pitiful attempt to defeat me.  I will just tighten the grip and your irrational mind will go to a darker place and you will be mine!!”
d62 years and 364 days later…I have come to believe this…all my strength, courage, internal will, do not stand a chance in the face of the devil; you are right, the light gets dark, the music haunting, the thoughts knowingly irrational; the walls arise, the energy dissipates, the self loathing ensues…
And I…a mere pawn in the palm of the Prince of Darkness.
As my muse Hamlet uttered: “Oh that the everlasting had not set his cannon against self-slaughter.”

Saturday Morning Frigid Random Thoughts; by Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

  • Waking up to a Wind Chill of -41 freakin degrees!!
  • Why mom, oh why, when escaping Russia in the early 1900’s did some of your family go to Philadelphia, while for some inexplicable reason, the rest of the family moved to Winnipeg!!!  Then again, we’d be looking forward to President Trump…I guess handling -41 wind chill is more tolerable than the thought of Herr Trump.
  • Had just a great time with Carly, our Laine and Ben at the Jets Skills Competition last night!!  What a fun time…and seeing the expressions on the kids faces is pricelss.
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  • That kid Laine…hit all four corners of the accuracy shooting in just over 8 seconds…he makes everything looks so easy.
  • That would be 11 now…hard work, but getting to the goal!!
  • Well, Matha Ticklebottom got me again…
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  • I guess Trumps idea of draining the swamp in Washington meant to fill all his cabinet positions with billionaire white men whose philosophies are right out of the 1950’s.
  • Vladamir Putin has Trump so deep in his pocket that he will be calling all the shots on American policy around the world.
  • MRI results on Wednesday…what a relief, blessing, lesson.  The lesson which the Big Guy has now tried to teach me in powerful ways twice this year…2016…living in the moment and not dwelling on what was and what will be.  The anticipation of the results from the MRI had me imagining every possible outcome…relief and blessed.
  • Nice first signing by the Goldeyes.  Wes Darvill, a Canadian boy from BC, played a solid 3B last season and his bat only got better as the season went along.
  • It’s a Beatles, Jethro Tull music listening season…always has been.
  • Breaking Bad…Walter White and Jesse Pinkman…my all time favourite show; watching the full series for the third time now!!  Great writing, plot, character development, setting..
  • Congrats to my pal Al Bryski on the publishing of his first book, Saskatchewan Farm Boy.  You can pick up a copy of his book at McNally Robinson Book Store for $19.95
  • Nice to see the Goldeyes and Jets making life just a little better for those less fortunate…I know the Bombers are also great at helping out around the city.
  •  The provincial NDP is in such a mess…making Brian Pallister look good.
  • Watch out for Kevin O’Leary folks…watch out…it can happen here too.
  • Nice chat with Winnipeg Goldeyes ace from last season, Kevin McGovern.
  • A Very Special Thank You to Clara Hughes who is very open is talking about the struggles she faces with Depression.  An Olympic champion and inspiration for so many…she has given me the strength and courage to talk about the effect that Depression has on my life.  Thank you Clara…have a peaceful day.
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  • 66, 520 views of this Blog since its inception almost three years ago; and 1,244 followers who receive this blog everyday in their e-mail.  So very humbling, but also very inspiring.
  • Workouts have been fantastic the last few weeks…first 30-40 minutes on the weights and then 30-40 minutes on either treadmill or bike.
  • So very sad about Alan Thicke…really enjoyed pretty much everything he did.
  • The Goldeyes players, management and staff all received their championship rings this past week…what a great season the team had.
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Social Media Shut Down; The Zombies have arrived…by Chuck Duboff

                 social-media-people

I have shut down my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.  I believe that they are having a tremendously negative affect on society.

Social is described by the Cambridge Dictionary as: “relating to activities in which you meet and spend time with other people”, whereas the Cambridge Dictionary defines Social Media as: “computer programs that allow people to communicate and share information.”

People are no longer “meeting and spending time with other people.”  Social Media is creating a society in which we all become faceless.  Individuals get excited when they see that they have 728 friends on Facebook, yet those same people haven’t interacted with an actual human being in months.  This creates a false sense of being and creates a reality in which people no longer know how to interact at a human level.

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Individuals make commentary that they would never make in “the real world.”  There is a false sense of bravado which elicits many arguments online.  This is further exacerbated in the Twitter Universe where individuals go off on rants and have no issue with uttering ugly commentary.

As for Instagram, it is nothing more than a vanity outlet, saying look at me, look at what’s going on in my life.

It is a sad state when individuals no longer know how to communicate with others.  I recently walked into a coffee shop and it appeared as if everyone was connected to their laptops, tablets, smart phones…I went up to the counter to place and order and observed: “Am I the only one who comes in here to chat, to visit with others?”…the response from my friend behind the counter was: “No kidding, I think you’re the friendliest person who comes in here.

When the President-Elect is sending out malicious tweets at 3:00 AM, sadly, this world has become completely detached.

I have not yet made a determination about this blog; I am still thinking about it…I don’t see this as a form of social media, but rather an online magazine format.  I may be wrong; my only reservation about Blogging is that anybody with half a brain could write a blog and I do worry about extremists writing their vitriol online and having it taken as gospel.  Then again the “Internet” is a place for free discourse, so who am I to judge others writing.

The revolution that is needed is a rethinking of Facebook and Twitter and the like; this world is falling a part at an alarming rate and I believe people need to be able to communicate with other humans in a kinder, more friendly world.

 

No Man Is An Island – Poem by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Very humbled by the kind words of some former students.
  • November 19th and still no snow.  I’ll take that!!
  • Two weeks on the hot beaches of Puerto Vallarta…can’t wait.
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  • That’s 20 days…down 9!!!
  • I think all Jets fans are holding their breath and hoping this is for real.
  • Kale…who knew?
  • Laine and Ben: “The Jets should just let Burmi go to Las Vegas next year!!”
  • Sometimes things just don’t make sense, but that’s when you have to have faith that there is a greater purpose behind its happening.
  • Yesterday’s blog about Leonard Cohen and his depression, struck a deep chord with me.
  • Not many people are blessed with the kind of friends I have…very fortunate.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of effort to go out and watch Laine and Ben play soccer and hockey on the weekends.  I never had grandparents who were involved, let alone parents who took the time to watch…so, I see how much it means to them when I am at their games…so, soccer and hockey this weekend it is!!
  • Steve Bannon…do people realize what he represents and what his ultimate goals are?  If you don’t know what the Alt-Right is, I would suggest you start finding out…it’s white supremacy wrapped in a fancy name.
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  • Exciting watching Patrik Laine and Nik Ehlers…but to me, what is even greater to watch is the development of Mark Scheifele into an NHL superstar!!
  • Echo Cardiogram Monday and MRI on Dec 10…we shall see what we see.
  • Is it baseball season yet?  How many days till training camp opens Mick?
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  • Love working with University students…it surprises me how many students at that level still have no concept of how to write a well organized and argued paper.
  • Seriously, Nov 19th and no snow!!
  • The Jets play at 6:00 this evening in Boston, then 3:00 tomorrow afternoon in Carolina…two games in less than 24 hours…really?  Now that is why there are so many injuries in the NHL.
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  • The cabinet that Donald Trump is putting together is right out of the Nazi playbook…making Jeff Sessions Attorney General is beyond belief!!  an avowed racist is now the top law maker.  I hope Trumps minions know what they have unleashed.
  • Thank you Sammy and Nelson…
  • I used to be such an NFL fanatic…now…not only do I barely watch it, I know little of what’s going on; the constant interruption by commercials, the militarization of everything NFL, the no fun edict from head office…it has just made it unwatchable.
  • Sorry Mike O’Shea…you messed up on that field goal call…I would be willing to wager a lot that a screen pass to Andrew Harris would have worked.
  • Gonna hit the treadmill for three miles and then its off to watch Laine play soccer.

Leonard Cohen talks about the struggles he had with Depression…by Chuck Duboff

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“My cover story is so good, people say: what’s he got to complain about.”  Leonard Cohen

I have heard those very words so many times in my life: “Chuck, you’ve got such a great life, what are you depressed about?”

I’ve always had a  very deep connection to Leonard; his books, his poetry, his songs…the words always spoke to me.  At times I felt hypnotized by the lyrics of his songs, the depth of his poetry and the path along which his novels traveled.  I attended three of the concerts he did over the years in Winnipeg and each time it felt like a spiritual experience…a piece of me opened up; I understood things more clearly and was moved at a level which I did not know existed…

Interesting that Leonard that it wasn’t his dark days which inspired his writing, but rather his words were a Victory statement, that once again he had defeated the demons.

Take a moment and listen to Leonard talk about is life and his battle with depression: