It just so happens that this, the two-thousand and twentieth year of the era anno domini, marks a personal milestone, a milestone that for me is more nifty than sporty…but also, for better or for worse, still has me feeling aplenty (if not overly optimistic).  And like any milestone, what better time to reflect on what has been, and what might be…so I give you…

Reflections of a Nifty (And Still Youthful) Sustainability Guy

Life, like an episode of Jonathan Goldstein’s Heavyweight (one of my favourite things to listen to these days), can be poignant and funny and motivating, often all at the same time.  And if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s “always wash your hands”.  But if I’ve learned more than one thing, it’s that while hanging on to our history is important, change is inevitable…and at some point the change needed by others, especially the next generations, outweighs my history…and that it’s possible with a bit of context, effort, perspective and the occasional reminder to embrace both the history and the change.  Here are a few of the moments and reflections that have helped me.

  • While cheese will always have a place in my heart (hopefully of the nostalgic, not artery clogging, kind), I’m resigned to the fact that it may never again have a place in my belly.  It makes me sad, but there are more important things to worry about…not to mention that it’s also a chance to try dairy-free cheeze füdTM.  Perspective is grounding.
  • I’m not one for clichés (really, I’m not) but “use it or lose it” has a new resonance, both personally and also, in a reverse sorta way, when it comes to fossil fuels.  Perspective is empowering.
  • Wilco (whose Misunderstood is one of the Best. Things. Ever) is now referred to as “dad rock”.  Ouch.  Perspective is humbling.
  • Shoulders back.  Knees straight.  Breathe.  Reminders are grounding.
  • All apologies to B. Joel, but I probably would have been perfectly okay having never heard Piano Man..until hearing my teenage son (Teenager?!?!  How did that happen?!?!) teaching himself how to play it…which is one of the Best. Things. Ever.  Context is grounding.
  • I’m enjoying my time at UHN, but on those days when it’s perhaps not so enjoyable (note to boss – never happens, always enjoyable), I remind myself that I’m here out of choice, not because I need to be.  Context is empowering.
  • While I’ve always found the songs of Scott Hutchison to be powerful, knowing his story has made them haunting.  Context is humbling.
  • The same aforementioned teenager(!) goes around listening to the Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujah that his dad introduced him to.  Reminders (that dad rock – ouch – maybe ain’t so bad after all) are empowering.
  • Music may be the (dairy free, hopefully) food of love, but for me it has always fed so much more…though these days you’re more likely to find me with a hockey stick and coach’s whistle in hand than a guitar.  So every once in a while I make sure to take the time to cue up my iThingie with a bit of comfort food (Thao1, Bon Iver2, the occasional Billy Joel3, Manu Chao4, Coldplay5, Sarah Harmer6, Rush7) and some nouvelle cuisine to challenge the palate (Childish Gambino8, Alt J9) and stay up waaay past my bedtime.  Effort is grounding.
  • Thanks to his phenomenal edge work, my 10 year old is now a faster skater than me, which is the Best. Thing. Ever…and inspiration to use it or lose it.  Effort is empowering.
  • September 28th, 2019, a day somewhere between dad rock (ouch) and the cheese thing, is when I, looking sporty in my rented tux, learned that wearing fuzzy red slippers to a formal event was a “thing”…and try as I might, I didn’t even come close to seeing myself ever doing such a thing, and felt my chances of ever being a hep cat again slip even further away.  Effort is humbling.
  • Jays?  Check.  Argos?  Check.  TFC?  Check. Raptors?  We the North!  Leafs?  Leafs?  Leafs…?  Reminders are humbling.


So here’s to celebrating milestones, remembering the past and looking forward.  Change is grounding.  Change is empowering. Change is humbling.


Happy New Year, UHN…Happy New Year.



Oh, young lions

This is your kingdom




  1. Banjo!!!
  2. Soooo purty.
  3. Full disclosure.
  4. Soooo purty…even though I usually don’t know what he’s singing about.
  5. Man can those guys pull together a melody…and look how much fun they’re having singing it in this version!
  6. Soooo purty…but powerful!
  7. Neil Peart.  ‘Nuff said.
  8. Video NSFW…but powerful!
  9. So different than anything I could have imagined.