I tumbled onto a brilliant blog today.

“Doodle Alley,” by Stephen McCranie. Stephen is not only a very talented artist, but an astute observer of the human condition.

Take a look at his blog, I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I have. One piece in particular, “Be Friends With Failure,” fits very well with my mantra, “Embrace The Suck.”

Click here for more.

Reblog: Beards Keep You Young, Healthy, and Handsome, Says Science

Image from whydontyoutrythis.com

Hey, you can argue with me but you can’t argue with science:

Gentlemen, they’re not just for hipsters and the homeless any more. While both dead sexy and totally awesome, beards are also a boon to your overall health. Researchers discovered that men with beards and mustaches actually enjoy numerous benefits including, but not limited to, instant handsomeness.

A study from the University of Southern Queensland, published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal, found that beards block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays, thereby slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of skin cancer.

Get a load of this.


Image from moraminn.com

Front page of the Times. Above the fold. How cool is that?!

Read it here.

Re-rockin’ the 902: Return To Chimney Corner

IMG_0916Yeah, I know it sounds like the title of a cheesy Disney movie. But on Sunday I revisited my favorite place (so far) on Cape Breton Island: Chimney Corner. Did a little more climbing this time. Read the rest of this entry »

Exactly one month from today: Re-rockin’ the 902.

Yeah, I can’t wait.

My sister Colleen and I have often discussed how we both seem to get through the days easier when we have something we’re heading toward, something to look forward to. A mission, if you will. I’ve quoted Tyler Tervooren previously when he said, “I’ve never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.”

It certainly makes day-to-day bullshit more tolerable to know there’s something worthwhile waiting on the other end of the heap. Eyes on the prize, as it were. To paraphrase the brilliant blogger laidnyc: picture a man spending all day striving and sweating to get to a mission, going home at night with his mission still on his mind. Someone gives him some drama. Does he even care? Not just no; hell, no. He derives his self-esteem from how well he is pursuing his mission, not from the actions of anybody else. Got important owl shit to do, after all.

As regular readers know: this trip is another step closer to a bigger plan. Again from laidnyc: the root cause of neediness, social anxiety, unworthiness, and lack of confidence is not having a mission. I’m at my unhappiest when I don’t have a mission, like a ship without a rudder. My sister Kathy told me once that in our family, we’re not happy unless we’re working on something. Or toward something, I guess.

One month away. Please stand by.

“Admiral… there be whales here!”

Image from capebretonwhalewatching.com

Image from oshan.ca

Both times I’ve gone to Cape Breton I’ve hoped to go on a whale-watching tour. But both times I (quite literally) missed the boat. It’s been a combination of newbie status, ineffective planning, and being in general vacay mindset.

But not this time. On Wednesday morning, October 16th, with the help of the fine folks at Oshan Whale Watch, I’ll be watching whales.

Image from aspybay.ca

I am psyched up about this. Not a lot of whales in the 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota.

Bay St. Lawrence is almost the northernmost point of Cape Breton. I’ve driven the entire Cabot Trail a few times (on the adjoining map), but never strayed off the beaten path. The farthest north I got was the town of Cape North. Now I’ll get to go further.

Whale-watching. w00t!

Early summer pics from Cape Breton

Pic from me

Image from mobilegeographics.com

My friends Christine and Doug Coolen own and operate St. Ann’s Motel, “A View With A Room,” which I’ve spoken highly about here. In my not-so-humble opinion there is no better place to stay, and no other place to stay, when you visit Cape Breton. (Trip Advisor agrees with me, by the way.)

St. Ann’s Harbour is located on the east side of Cape Breton. It is an almost enclosed body of water, fed on the north end by the North River, and it empties through a narrow channel into St. Ann’s Bay.

The South Gut area of St. Ann’s Harbour is home to St. Ann’s Motel and the Gaelic College.

Enough of the geography lesson. Christine was kind enough to send pics taken this late spring/early summer from the motel on the shore of St. Ann’s Bay. I’ve been there in the late summer/early fall, and have seen Christine’s pics of the winter landscape, but these are amazing.

100_2061 100_2078 IMG_0536 100_2068 IMG_0602IMG_0535 100_2064

(All pics not otherwise labeled are courtesy of Christine Coolen. All rights reserved. Got it? Good.)