Author Archives: retiri6

Hearing a popular country song on the radio the other day reminded me of my experience at last year’s Boots and Hearts Country Music Festival.

Too put it simply, I survived Boots and Hearts. Not a small accomplishment considering I was a 50-something in the midst of a drunken mass of 20-year-olds.

For those not familiar, Boots and Hearts is an annual outdoor country music marathon at Burl’s Creek Campground, just outside Barrie, Ontario. It used to be at another venue, but in five years, it outgrew Mosport Park near Bowmanville and moved to a larger space. It attracts some of the biggest names in country music as well as attracting an atmosphere of non-stop drinking, music and excess. 

My buddy Chris is my best friend and also 50-something. He is a diehard Boots and Hearts veteran. He takes his tent trailer to the event every year, and stays from Wednesday to Monday. The year earlier, he (more…)

During a sailing trip last week, my iPhone got wet and...well…it is no longer of this earth. It was just a few drops of water, I thought. But by the time I got home, it was acting up.

The iPhone front display had all these strange images in the background. It looked like a black and white version of a tie-dye t-shirt. The charge life went from zero to 100 and then back to zero.

My wife Angela had 2 suggestions: put it in a bag of rice (good idea, but too late) and always carry my iPhone in a sealed plastic bag when sailing.

Thanks Sweetie!!!

So now I live without an iPhone, without a cell phone, without a connection to the outside world 24/7.

It’s crazy how much I miss having my phone. I’m constantly feeling my right pocket thinking it’s there. When I go grocery shopping, I can no longer take a photo (more…)

An individual faces many questions when rafting through the Grand Canyon. But number one on the list is “Where do I go the bathroom?”

Unloading our raft after a long day on the Colorado River.

During a seven-day trip which took my wife Angela and I a total of 188 miles along the Colorado River, the question of bathroom-going was on the minds of all 16 guests on the raft.

So each evening, after a long day on the Colorado River, we’d pull up to shore and carefully unload our precious cargo - the “shitter”- a 12-inch square metal box with a sealed lid. It was the first item to come off the raft each evening and the last item to be loaded back on the raft each morning.

Our helicopter lands on a makeshift helipad.

Our rafting guide Ray would gingerly carry our “shitter” to a remote (more…)

My teeth were chattering as another wave splashed over the front of our raft. The ice-cold Colorado River was showing no mercy. It would have been a little more comfortable in the sunlight, but the cavernous walls of the Grand Canyon were keeping us all in the shade. I was soaked to the bone, freezing and loving every minute of it.

Taking a break for lunch.

My wife Angela and I experienced a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. The adventure took seven days and the theme of the trip was “188 miles of shitin’ in a bucket” as we wound our way along the Colorado River. But it’s not rafting in the typical sense. Our vessel was approximately 30 feet long, held 16 guests, a guide and helper. It also included a small outboard engine, so we didn’t have to paddle. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s the lazy (more…)


While I'm officially retired, it hasn't stopped me from trying various part-time jobs.

Along with running my coffee business called Coffee's On, I also work as a bartender at the local legion and as a cell monitor at the local police station. I love both jobs.

However, ignoring the better judgment of my wife Angela, I signed up for a temp position at a local manufacturing plant which produces baked goods.

I would be on the jelly roll line.

After borrowing a pair of steel toe work boots, I showed up at the massive facility at 7 a.m.

I was quickly handed a shirt, apron, hair net and ear plugs. It was go time.

The jelly roll machine was massive. It baked and rolled and filled the edible products before being dumped onto an assembly line. That's where my team took over. My first job was on trays. For two hours, I was responsible for clicking the (more…)