NO FEAR

My memory isn’t what it used to be, but I can say with absolute certainty that I wasn’t zipping down any ski hills at three years old. I’m guessing most of us weren’t at that age, but…

Adia Leidums is.

Picture taken by Eric Leidums

The three-year-old from Fernie, British Columbia started skiing in her front yard last fall, then graduated to the real slopes at Fernie Alpine Resort this past winter.

Aida’s father, wondering what his daughter was thinking as she maneuvered her way down the slopes, decided to mic her up. In the video he posted to his YouTube channel, Adia can be heard monitoring her progress out loud, and giving herself instructions as she navigates curves and bumps on her tiny toddler skis.

Amazing, isn’t it?

What we can do before the world tells us we can’t.

Aimer at Amazon

Who Needs Shoes?

You show me a frozen lake and I’ll show you how fast I can curl up in a comfy chair by the fireplace, book in hand, latte by my side.

The very words, frozen lake, make me shiver. They call up images of fir trees and ice skating rinks, red cheeks and hot chocolate.

But that’s me, to Karim El Hayani, a frozen lake is the ideal place to run a half-marathon—barefoot…

CBC News

Earlier this month, on March 3, EL Hayani ran 21.1 kilometres on Lac Beauport in -15C. He set a Guinness World Record for the fastest, barefoot half-marathon on snow or ice, finishing the distance in 1 hr, 38 mins with frozen, blistered feet.

An incredible accomplishment for anyone, but considering that El Hayani is a recent transplant to Canada, and that he spent most of his 27 years running barefoot in shorts, in the heat of Spain, a truly impressive feat.

Congratulations. Respect, but…

Why?

Aimer at Amazon

A Covid Barbie?

Barbie’s been around forever. Constantly changing, ever evolving, and still sitting right there on the shelf in your local toy store.

From 1959

To 2020

For 2021, there’s a new release of our favourite doll, but don’t bother hitting up Amazon. You won’t find it there.

The creative mind of Gunnar Montana—not Mattel—brings you…

@gunnarmontana

With the help of some friends, the Philadelphia-based dancer and performance artist, built a seven-foot-tall Barbie box, selected the accessories to go inside it, and turned himself into the life-sized doll.

The latest in a variety of projects designed to keep the artist active during the endless restrictions and lockdowns of Covid-19, Super Gay Barbie pokes fun at gender norms with humour and style.

You can find Gunnar Montana and his art on Instagram and at Facebook.

Super Gay Barbie will not be coming to a store near you anytime soon.

Aimer at Amazon

Taxes and Other Truths

It’s that time of year again. When KDP sends me an email asking if I want to view my tax forms.

I don’t actually.

I don’t want to know that a book it took me two years to write, edit, and publish is languishing unseen, unsold, and unread. I especially don’t want to know that the three books I’ve written have met the same fate.

Truths I avoid like Covid the rest of the year are ready and waiting for me now. Nice and neat, gift wrapped for me by the Internal Revenue Service.

I don’t have to look. Except, of course, I do. How can I not?

Hope springs eternal for the deluded, a.k.a self-published authors. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be so many of us out there.

The question is how much power do I allow these 1042-S forms to wield? Do I let my lacklustre sales determine whether I finish the book I’m working on now? Do I say, “Hey, I’m no J.K. Rowling. Let’s pack this dream up and call it a day?”

I could.

And I would, except for the fact that I’m stubborn or, as I prefer to think of it, determined—to finish this last book. And maybe, just maybe…

There I go with that annoying hope again.

Aimer at Amazon

New Shoes

Canadian traditions?

You’re thinking maple syrup, poutine, maybe beaver tails—I’m thinking shoes.

Back in 1955, Finance Minister Walter Harris wore new shoes to present the budget and a Canadian parliamentary tradition was born. What started as a coincidence has become a quirky comment on the economy and what the government intends to do about it.

In 2015, Finance Minister Joe Oliver wore New Balance running shoes to brag on the fact that his government was presenting a balanced budget.

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews presented his 2021 budget wearing made-in-Alberta boots because “economic recovery is key to digging ourselves out of the hole we’re in.” 

In 2020, Northwest Territories Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek tabled her first budget wearing seal fur shoes made by ENB artisan from Iqaliut, Nunavut.

In 2006, British Columbia’s Finance Minister Carole Taylor got a lot of flak for presenting her budget in Gucci shoes.

Some finance ministers have elected to present their budgets in something other…

Finance Minister John Crosbie walked a different path, presenting his budget in mukluks.

Finance Minister Paul Martin laced up work boots in 1994.

In Alberta, Stockwell Day presented budgets in 1999 wearing inline skates and a helmet “to represent the speed at which Alberta could adapt to a changing economy.”

Apparently, finance ministers across Canada have adopted the adage If the shoe fits, wear it.

Aimer at Amazon