From Behind The Mic

Above all, be a good person...or in other words.... 

My favourite t-shirt is one that I can't wear everywhere I would like to, at least not without something covering it.  It's a reminder to follow the guidance of Marcus Aurelius and above a good person. It was hanging in a store in a local shopping centre and was produced by a local company.  My thinking was help a local company, and that the slogan on the front resonated at that time.  It still does. 

Kelly and I went on a trip to NYC a couple of years back.  I packed everything we needed in a military back pack that I bought at a base years ago.  It was perfect because we could bolt from the airport and head right to a train to get to Manhattan without pulling a suitcase behind us.  This trip was right in the midst of Donald Trumps presidency.  I had completely forgotten that Trump was from the area, and while walking toward Central Park for our marathon march through the largest soccer field on earth we passed Trump Tower.  Of course we had to go in.  

 I had emptied most of the contents of the back pack into our hotel room and carried it mostly so that we could have our hands free if we purchased every flavour from the M&M store.  As we walked into Trump tower there were approximately four secret service standing inside as security.  I'm not sure why they call themselves secret service and then let the secret out by printing it right on their uniform. Anyway, I got the eyeball as we walked through with all of the other tourists and I thought to myself, "Ugh, I wore a military backpack into Trump Tower!".  No harm, one in particular watch me as I walked by but didn't stop us.   There wasn't much imagination to the place.  Trump store.  Trump cafe. Trump restaurant. We left fairly quickly. 

On the way out, one of the agents said something to me.  Startled and unsure of what he said I apologized to prove I was Canadian and asked him to repeat himself.  He yelled out "I love your shirt!". I was immediately confused and looked down and realized which one that I had on.  Slightly embarassed I yelled back "Thank you!".  "Where did you get it?" he asked.  Of course then I had to tell him I got it in a little store in Canada.  At which point he hollered out, "It's awesome, I really like it!".  One last wave and a maritime nod, and we were out of there.  Kelly and I laughed and laughed for a few minutes as we walked toward our destination.  I hadn't intended on wearing that shirt that day, and specifically to that particular place.  The shirt was from a company called Be Kind.  The slogan on the front of the shirt....#DontBeADick. 


I read a book lately by Nancy Regan (I highly recommend it), and in her book there was a line that she brought up that everyone has heard over and over.  Just be yourself.  That was it.  She also went on to chat about how difficult that can be. 

It's a pretty simple statement but it isn't really that easy for everyone to actually live.  I'm sure that everyone can probably say there are times that we have not acted like our true selves.  It could be living up to someone else's expectations; trying to fit in; trying to be professional; or the fake it till you make it attitude.  I believe in authenticity.  It's pretty evident to most people when someone is not being their true self.  Being authentic, being the true self is freedom.  I know several people in the music business, and there are some that stand out to me as having a stage face on all the time.  It's almost like an act that is always hoping for applause or admiration.  Playing on stage does come with a responsibility to entertain; however, there is a way to do that and still remaining authentic.  A prime example...Willie Nelson will not ever be accused as being a bubbly excited performer.  He is just his authentic self.  Unapologetic.  

I think that these days more and more people are being their true selves in the way they dress, the way they act, and post; however, there are still many that are not being their true selves in the exact same parameters.  I believe that the person in the mirror has to like who is looking back.  That's primary.  If that isn't the case then become that persons biggest fan.  Be you...there isn't anyone else that can.  

Are you injured or are you hurt? 

I took that phrase from a movie called "The Program" a long time ago.  The player was down on the field and the coach came out and said "Are you injured or are you hurt?". The player asks what's the difference and the coach replies "If your injured you are done; if you are just hurt then you can still are you injured or are you hurt?".

I have asked my own kids that same question, and I have asked them to ask themselves that question when they feel like lying down on the ice/field during a game.  I don't agree with the whole soccer mentality of rolling around on the playing surface like you got shot if you can just find the strength to get up and get to the side lines.  I think that my boys have bought in to this.  Now if I have to come out onto the surface I know that there is a real problem.  

As some who follow this know, I have taken up BJJ.  I actually had to ask myself the very same question after my first day of sparring aka "rolling". I didn't do too bad for my first day.  Got submitted a couple of times, but I also made a few moves that were good then had no idea what I should do from there.  At the end of the 5 minute roll, I stopped.  I didn't roll again with anyone else.  Something just told me that I shouldn't and boy was I right.  As I cooled down, my ribs began to really hurt. They began to hurt as if I had a stick lodged into them.  That was two weeks ago today.  The wise me, asked myself the next morning...are you injured or are you hurt.  The answer was that I was injured.  I couldn't sleep on either side, nor roll over and it was pretty sore to even breathe.  So I sat out.  I didn't train, I didn't really do much of anything physically.  It was only last night that I could bear to roll over onto each side while lying down.  Still not pain free, but bearable.  

I tell you this because there was a time that I would have taken Advil and just went back to it.  I would have ended up staying injured for quite awhile.  These days, I listen more to what my body is trying to tell me.  Sometimes it's that I need more sleep; sometimes it's that I should get up before my alarm.  Sometimes it's that it's just a bit of pain and I can keep going; and sometimes it's a woah partner. I think the difference now is that I'm honest with myself. I am finally treating myself as I would treat another who I might care for.  I read in Jordan Petersons book that people will take their dog to a vet if they feel it is sick at all, and give the dog the prescribed medicine dutifully, never skipping one and ensuring its well taken care of.  When it comes to ones self, he said, many don't treat themselves as good as the family pet. 

I have in large part my wife to thank for my new found care and attention to myself.  She keeps on eye on whether I am red lining and lets me know.  The cool part though is that when you do start taking care of yourself on this level, you gain a friend.  You actually befriend yourself.  Maybe this is just some form of self preservation as I start to realize that I am not as interested in competing with 20 year olds in the sports scene anymore; or maybe I am just starting to wise up to some of my own limits. I still don't feel that it's ok to roll over and lie down if you can keep going.  I still think it's honourable to play hurt if the time is right to do it and you can be effective. Playing guitar on stage after being off for awhile and then going for two and three nights in a row for a few hours hurts, but I am not injured. 

Preventing these injuries is the answer and I still haven't wisened up to that part yet.  I do still jump in and go for a run instead of working up to it.  I don't go as hard anymore, but if I am honest with myself I still do jump in.  Even on the guitar front, I would hop on a stage and play for 4 hours after not touching my guitar for two weeks.  That may not sound like that big of a deal to someone who doesn't perform but that's a bit too much time off without reps.  

So the take away from this I guess is to be honest with oneself.  Have you prepared? If so go all in, if not take it easy.  Does it hurt?  If so, how important is this activity?  Are you in the league final of the lawn bowling national championship or is this just a Saturday afternoon game with your buddies?  And finally are you injured or are you hurt?  If one can be honest answering those questions without ego getting involved, the down time should be less in the long run.  I'm expecting to be back on the mats at BJJ next week but only time will tell. 

Respect in Schools 

I have heard now more than a few times that there seems to be an issue with respect among kids these days with not only each other, but with teachers as well. Kids that are cursing at adults in the hallway, kids as young as grade 2. 

We did it to ourselves in my opinion.  You could almost watch it coming like a prairie storm in the distance.  The earliest sign I remember was when it was deemed that one could no longer fail a grade. It didn't matter if the individual didn't meet the requirements for grade 3, the student would move on. 

Things got worse from there.  Teachers were stripped of all leverage in the class room.  No longer is a teacher permitted to make an example of a child misbehaving.  That would cause undue harm to the child.  We need to be inclusive and let the tyrant disrupt the entire class. If we were sent to the principals office in my day, it meant there was hell to pay.  It could have been that nothing at all would have happened, but the fear of the principal was real.  There is no fear any longer.  I am not advocating that people should be ruled with fear; but I do feel that there should be accountability and the fear of knowing that accountability is going to be actioned. 

Parents of course are the root cause.  The utter disbelief that their little angel could have any part in a condemnable action is a real issue.  There are some chameleons that are out there.  It's not permitted for a teacher to video any of them to show their parents exactly how those kids are acting.  That would give people truth and those kids and parents need to be sheltered from the truth. If they were outed, they may actually have to change and become respectful contributors and we couldn't have that as that would be too easy to learn in that environment.  

It's been trending for quite some time.  I remember being a kid and laughing at the fact that Bart Simpson was pulled off of TV due to the fact that he would say "Don't have a cow man" to adults thus being blamed for kids mimicking the behaviour.  It wasn't far off was it?  Todays kids now have nearly full access to the internet.  Cursing used to be something that was hidden or taboo among kids...not anymore.  The lazy language has become the norm around them now.  In fact, so many of the things that used to be shielded from kids is now just out wide in the open.  If you think that this doesn't impact how a kid grows up you are dead wrong.  It adds an element to their environment.  If I started adding just a drop of dye to the water outside everyday, and it was deemed ok and so more people did it, well eventually that water would no longer be clear and it would be polluted.  That same thing happens with the accepted norms that we are permitting around our youth. 

My hope is that the generation that is incoming is going to realize that this coddling needs to stop.  I hope that they will be the ones that will deem it unacceptable to allow someone special treatment just because they aren't feeling it today.  It will happen when they need to jump in to salvage any sort of production in our society.  When the wheels really start to fall off, they will out of necessity have to step up and step in.  My hope is they have tools to do it.  

Friggin Wind 

I have found myself saying that these days.  I'm not sure why I notice it more than I have in the past but the wind is a bit of an arse in my opinion.  

Sure a nice warm island breeze is always welcome when it's warm out.  Television has used this sort of breeze to captivate our eyes for quite some time.  Lady with long hair dancing around off her shoulders turns and faces the camera; guy in the warrior pose with the wind swirling around him.  That's all fine and good when the wind is warm.  Spring wind sucks.

These are the deceptive days.  These days are like the cute looking little toddler that turns out to be an absolute menace.  The sun is shining...the birds are singing...walk outside with a spring jacket and come back in for mitts and a toque.  Add in the spring showers that apparently bring the flowers, and it's a sideways blast of northern air mixed in with a barrage of wet nerf pellets. 

Walking the dog is a bit of chore in the wind as well.  Sure walking with the wind at your back is no problem at all...sun on your face, happy bouncing dog, and then you turn the corner in your subdivision and all of a sudden you are walking up hill leaning forward at a 45 degree angle ensuring the dog doesn't find the perfect place to pee right in front of you.  

Summer time hits and gone is the wind.  When we could really use that nice breeze...gone, unless it's cloud covered and raining then old Walter Wind comes blowing back in.  I am sure that the surf community out here loves it.  I know for sure that the crazy people that I see with the parachutes on surf boards twisting through the air are wind aficionados . I'm with the golfers on this one.  The wind is no friend of mine.  

All that TV stuff I mentioned earlier.  The truth about that is that most women that I know that get all dressed up aren't hoping the wind is going to be blowing their hair around. It's false advertising by the people at NBC and the like.  What do we call someone that talks too much...a windbag. Wind isn't romantic.  Try putting down the old picnic cloth on your date with the wind blowing around.  Paper plates taking off, napkins flying around. I will credit the wind with one thing though and that is that it's likely the best insect repellant on the earth.  

In my mind, Chicago can keep it.  It's probably why the pizza there is deep it won't blow away.  

I will enjoy the nice breeze in Mexico when I go but around here...the wind blows.  

The Art of the Job Interview 

Job interviews ask for absolutely the opposite of what I have been taught growing up from my parents, coaches, mentors, etc.  It's always been a good thing to be known as humble.  Don't talk about yourself; be gracious; be thankful; work hard.  

One of the hardest things I have found to do in music without a management team are things like submitting bio's to places,  Tell us how good you are!  The same thing applies to job interviews.  Tell us how great you are.  Make us want to hire you today! To be quite honest, I forget many of the things that would probably warrant some discussion in some of those forums.  It just doesn't come naturally to brag about accomplishments.  

There does seem to be a bit of an art to it though where you can highlight the things that you have done, while at the same time showering the people that were around you with praise.  The fact is that unless you sat home and did every part of a job by yourself from start to finish in every role then any success is shared.  Nobody in my opinion gets through alone.  I would much rather have people that I worked with go into the interview for me to tell the interviewers what was done on my behalf.  I have actually considered hiring someone to write my bio's and applications for that reason, but then I wonder how they would actually know anything about me. Its a bit of a hard place to be in! 

I think some of the funniest questions on a job interview is the one that asks for your weaknesses.  I think that one is to determine if you would be a good politician or not.  Well should I tell them that I can't turn down a good polka dance or go with the old, "I probably work too hard at times".  There are actually scripts of answers online for these types of questions.  If they don't apply to you well that's simply lying, but I guess that doesn't matter in the job hunt anymore.  

Someone once said in an article that I read once that when you are good at something, people will tell you that you are good.  When you are great, they will tell everyone.  I don't feel that many people are going to accuse me of being good or great at the interview process....and I think that I am fine with that. 


Late Nights 

The last while I have been struck by the requirement to keep some late hours.  That was never a problem for me, and really still isn't; however, it sure makes it hard to get up in the morning.  I used to just sleep in until whenever o'clock if I was up late.  As any of you know who follow this blog, I have made it an effort to get up pretty early to give myself a bit more time in the day.  The difficult part is doing that and getting the required amount of sleep....and not waking up a sleeping wife who does not subscribe to the idea of getting up uber early.  

The iPhone has a setting that one can set that will remind someone to go to bed if you enter the desired amount of sleep you wish to have and the desired wake up time.  Last night for example, I had just pulled into the second of two baseball sessions for my kids in Burnside when my watch said...time to start winding down.  While I waited out in the parking lot for the first tryout of the season to end (you can't go in to watch which isn't a totally bad thing that we can get to in another blog) I got the prompt...time for bed.  I live about 30 minutes away from that location at that time of night with light traffic, and the tryout was only half over at that time.  

By the time that I get home, it's now an hour "past my bedtime". Realize of course that I am a grown adult and my watch is now telling me my bedtime.  This isn't too bad except that I don't kick off my shoes, immediately go into my bedroom and shut down.  There is a stop in the kitchen for a drink of bubbly water, mosey on down to the bedroom to chat with Kelly about the tryouts and all that Luke had to say about them, get ready for tomorrow, brush the teeth and get ready for bed.  Finally the old, "You aren't setting your alarm for that ungodly hour tomorrow are you?". She doesn't ask this out of malice, or the fact that she knows that I may hit snooze 2 or 3 times before getting's purely out of concern that I won't get enough sleep and wear myself out.  She knows me sometimes better than I admit I know me. 

So today I got up an hour later.  I reset the alarm to account for the later time, no snooze, and up for the day.  Getting up an hour later crushes a couple of things.  I didn't get the HIIT workout in first thing and creative writing took a back seat this morning.  I did manage to do some light Yoga, brewed a pour over coffee, and hit the blog. I'm not too broken up over that kind of change in routine.  I have Jiu Jitsu today so that will replace the HIIT work. I would have been pretty tired for any real creativity should I have sacrificed the extra hour and a half, and now I am still getting the blog done.  The best plans are flexible plans they say.

The good thing is tonight I think that I may be able to get to bed on time, and that should get me back to the flow tomorrow.  Life is a dance according to John Micheal Montgomery, sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow. 


I used to play quite a bit. I was actually a decent player. So when my son was trying out for the badminton team I figured I would help him along.  Got him the racquet, the goggles for doubles, and brought him out to the gym to teach him the basics.  That got him going and he began practicing with the team.  

Fast forward 5 weeks and the tournament is over.  He and his doubles partner crashed and burned but had a great experience playing people who actually play badminton.  Having a bit of time with them at the gym a couple days ago, I figured we could practice again.  Crazy how much he had improved.  I actually had to work to get in position a few times...and that's when it dawned on me.  My brain knew exactly where I had to go, and my body pulled back like a stubborn horse.  In my head it all still felt the same. I stand in the middle, hit my shot, back to the middle, return the shot, back to the middle and so on.  Instead, I hit the clear, started back for the middle and when he hit the short shot that just dropped over the net my brain said "Go!" and my body said "No!" as I watched it hit the floor while I shuffled toward it.  Today, two days later, I am sore in my badminton places. 

I realized that if I don't start getting back to some of these things, these young bucks are going to go screaming by me merely on fitness and flexibility.  I'm not saying I am jumping head first now into badminton and tournaments; I already started BJJ this past week.  What I am saying is like a parked car, if you don't start that up and move it the parts start to seize up!  So, I challenged my two youngest to start coming to the gym aftershool.  We will hit the weights for 45 min and then play a sport on the gym floor for a bit. Nothing too serious, but something to keep the bones in motion.  So if you see me missing in action, check the gym floor first, and if I'm not there, and I'm not in an arm bar on a jiu jitsu mat, or playing a gig....then I'm likely still trying to change that damn headlight or I'm hiding asleep in a lawn chair trying to catch up to my youth. 


Changing Headlights 

My foglight went out on my vehicle awhile ago and ever since, the little notification has come up when I start my car....check Fog Light.  I didn't pay too much mind to it figuring it was just a fog light.  Yesterday, the headlight notification came on.  Check headlight (low).  So now that it was an actual light that I needed I went in and bought a replacement.  I was going to just put that in this morning before I took off for the day.

Have you replaced a headlight or foglight on a newer car lately?  In order to get at it, I have to take off a few bolts under the car, that's right...under the car, to remove a shield in order to reach up and disconnect the foglight to replace the bulb.  The headlight? Gumby is a little clay animation from waaaay back.  Gumby was manufactured for toy stores as a rubber character with a wire body that could be bent into any position or shape.  In order to first reach the headlight, then grasp the connection, then physically turn it to remove need to be built like Gumby. 

Why make things so difficult? This is a part that is obviously going to need to be replaced throughout the life of the vehicle, so why do they make this so difficult?!  The conspiracy theorist in me is contemplating that if that that little computer is telling me to check the headlight because it knows that its out...then maybe it has a setting to burn it out.  Once it becomes known what a pain in the ass it is to fix it, then the poor customer will go back to the dealer to have it done.  More money. Maybe a little too much Bo thinking from The Ranch, but one could imagine in these times that it is plausible. 

I remember taking the entire headlight off of the front of my old Pontiac Acadian with a screwdriver, replacing it with a new one in about 10 minutes.  Easy.  Pull up to a store wall in the evening to calibrate it and you were good to go.  Now its just a small bulb that you can't even touch with your fingers.  Did I forget to mention that part?  The tricksters made it even more difficult in that you aren't permitted to touch the bulb with your bare fingers or the oils from your skin will damage it thus making you go through the whole process again.  For a headlight!!! 

My kids can take a picture of Genghis Khan, have the mouth move to music making it look like he is actually singing The Sound of Music in about 3 minutes....and I am outside cursing at changing a light bulb.  I think it may be easier to call an uber if I need to drive anywhere in the dark.  If you don't see me for the next few days, then either I am stuck in bed with another bout of COVID...or the other headlight went in my car and I will be outside replacing it for the next 48 hours.  Who knows, maybe I may write a song or 18 during the time it takes to get it done.

Change in seasons 

The change of seasons is happening again.  In our house this isn't the fact that robins are singing outside, or buds are growing on trees and brown rabbits are scampering about.  No, this means that the smell of the hockey arena is being replaced by the crack of a bat and the perfect placement of a row of lawnchairs to watch the action on the field. 

It's baseball season. 

I am a big proponent of playing multisports as a kid. How else would a kid find out if they like one sport over another if they don't try new ones?  The other great part is the variety as a fan! How nice is it to go sit outside and watch a ball game?  It's got it's draw backs as any other sport would, like rain, and the fact a game is sometimes two and a half hours long plus warm up, and the dreaded double header; but overall its great to change it up

Some may think its also a great way to get away from the crazy hockey parent.  Untrue. Baseball parents can be way worse.  If you haven't been, just imagine those same fanatics that scream at their kids behind the glass, now projecting their instructions to little Tommy behind a fence....literally 10 feet from where he stands in the batters box trying to swing at a ball that is coming at him from a pitcher who is less than accurate. On a hockey bench, the coaches discussions with the players are between the coach and the player...not in ball.  In ball the coach is standing right beside third base.  That's within 15 feet of the crowd in many fields.  Not to worry though, no crazed parent would ever shout at a coach that is trying to volunteer to help your kid. 

The same goes for the officials.  Rarely will the official hear the lunatic in the stands in an arena.  It's much easier to hear from behind a back stop.  The worst part is that it's likely the same 15 year old kid that refs the hockey game that takes the abuse from some adult who deems this ball game as the lead up to the World Series. 

Where will you find me at these games?  Often sitting way back with a great view and in the company of my family and a golden retriever.  It's a much more peaceful way to watch a game without the commentators around you, or the 42 year old ex-player who still brings the bag of seeds to spit all over your feet.  

Some insider tips? Watch for the odd foul ball; know where the closest bathroom is, and bring a cooler. Bring a blanket in your car, sometimes it does get cold. Sunscreen is a must for fans, even more than players.  And of course the umbrella can save you from both sun and rain....and a large Tim Hortons cup will definitely hold a full can of Bud Light.


Sometimes short, othertimes long. Here are the thoughts and insights in BLOG form on any number of things in the world of Jason Price.