Monthly Archives: July 2015

Skate Port – Port Stanley’s Skatepark

2015-07-02 10.37.18

The skatepark in Port Stanley, Ontario is known as Skate Port. I love that play on words.

Kai Rasmussen

It was nice to see this plaque on the side of one of the ramps. It reads, “Dedicated to the man with a kid’s heart, who saw a dream and fulfilled it. Kai Rasmussen Skate Port”

SkatePort Box

This must be a common template. I have seen this obstacle time and time again at various skateparks.

SkatePort Launch Ramp

The ramps are very colourful at this park.

Skateport Quarter Pipe

The quarter-pipe is a little steep, in my humble opinion.

SkatePort Rail

It’s not the best park that I’ve ever been to, but it is still nice to see that we have places to skate like this all over the place in various cities and townships.

More Skatepark Tours

The Latest from Word is Bond Rap Radio

Here are the latest two episodes of Word is Bond Rap Radio.

This first episode features two interviews. The first one is with up and coming MC, producer, DJ, radio host, Maloney aka MLNY. And the second is with Dear Derrick. Both artists called in to the station for these live radio interviews.

This second episode is straight music. I hope you enjoy the show.

Thanks for listening. Please like and share using the hashtag #WIBRapRadio

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Oh No, The Bridge is Out! (but not for long)

I have nothing but respect for people who maintain all of the nature trails that I go running on.

Bridge Down

Most of the trails I visit are kept up quite nicely, either by the Park Association or a dedicated group of volunteers.

Bridge Out

Earlier this summer, I came across a broken bridge. I was still able to navigate my way passed this section of the trail. I jumped from the edge and landed on the downed bridge.

fixed bridge

A few weeks later, I returned to this same spot and noticed that the bridge had been repaired. You can see that they had to move its location slightly, but I don’t think anyone will mind.

It’s nice to have a smooth running environment where I don’t have to stop for any hazards. So, to those lovely people that maintain Komoka Provincial Park, I would like to say, “Thank You!

Want to see some of My Virtual Running Tours?

Here is the link to my collection of trails (60 great spots to visit)

Turner Skatepark – Hamilton, Ontario

Police Station Skatepark

Turner Skateboard Park is an amazing facility located on the Hamilton Mountain.

Clean Park No Graffiti

It is one of the only outdoor skateparks that has managed to remain graffiti free. It’s very nice to have a clean, smooth park to skate on. It’s a little thing, but I really appreciate it.

No Bikes Allowed

I also love the fact that this park is specifically for skateboarders. Bicycles are also not allowed.

Skateboard Bench Mod

This bench had been vandalized but it was probably done by a skateboard fanatic. One of the locals taught me how to use my board to take a quick break from skating.

Turner Park Bowl

The bowl is quite nice with different levels to it as well.

Turner Park Ledge

Here is a ledge to get your grind on.

Turner Park Mini-Stairs and Rail

And if you don’t like jumping a large staircase . . .

Turner Park Mini-Stairs

there is a nice starting one here.

Turner Park Rail

This rail is a little higher than I would like it to be. But plenty of skaters seemed to be doing all sorts of grinds and slides on it.

Turner Park Ramp

This park seems to cater to skaters who love to go big.

Turner Park Wing

These are interesting obstacles to skate.

Turner Skatepark Hamilton

The park is extremely clean and smooth. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that it is located directly beside a police station. Either way, I’m not complaining at all. It’s nice!

Visual Skatepark Tours (12 great spots to visit)

Why Do We All Have to Earn a Living?

I found this quote on Instagram and immediately nodded my head in agreement.

Buckminster Fuller Quote

There are so many pointless and soul-sucking jobs out there that probably don’t even really need to be done.

Haven’t we advanced enough in society that we don’t all need to work the way we have been?

I am convinced there is a better way of doing things. We could have community gardens, we could work together and not rely on the institutions and business that only seem to be about profits.

It is possible. I just hope someone out there can get this up and moving. It’s easy enough to make image quotes or write blog posts. It’s harder to take action.

We could all increase our quality of life and not want for anything.

So, please, let’s make that happen!

 

 

Get Social Online and in the Real World

got social mediology

Got Social Mediology by Jay Izso

Jay Izso looks at social media from a psychology stand point. He says . . .

“We have to understand the reasons why people are on social media in the first place: to engage with others, to be validated for who they are, and to enjoy the resulting positive emotions that lead to a sense of validation. Social media will always be social first and media second.”

Be a True Participant

That is something that we need to remember when we want to expose people to our art, music, or small business. If we go on these platform and just try to push our wares, we will largely be ignored.

But these online tools can be extremely useful. They can help us establish meaningful connections that are much more powerful that traditional advertising.

“What traditionally makes small business so successful is the personal connection that such businesses are able to establish one person at a time.”

Building a real and sincere social media presence helps you do just that.

“People are on social media to connect with others, not to be sold to. If you respect that reality and play within its cultural norms and guidelines – as a genuine participant . . .  – you and your business will be rewarded with clients who will but from you for a lifetime and tell everyone they know that you are a someone worthy of doing business with.”

Learn and Engage

So, learn about the places people congregate online and engage them there,

“If people are in these social media worlds and getting so much from it, it only follows that when you become part of that world, you contribute to their emotional well-being. In turn, they will grow to know, like, and trust you, opening up opportunities for you to do business together as well as with their friends.”

The 3 Cs – Check In, Connect, and Check Out

“You do not have to be on social media all the time, or even most of the time; you just have to check in, connect, and check out.”

It Only Takes 15 Minutes 

“You can be effective with social media in two or three 15-minute segments per day for a total of thirty to forty-five minutes a day.”

Digital Immigrants Can Figure This Out Too

People under the age of 35 have grown up with the Internet being an integral part of their lives. Izso refers to these people as “Digital Natives.” He refers to the rest of us as “Digital Immigrants” and just like real-world immigrants, we can all learn to live in this new environment.

Jump In

So go ahead, give it a chance. The benefits can be spectacular. I have made some amazing connections online, built friendships with people I have never met, and collaborated on projects. All of these things have enriched my life and I am thankful for them.

My List of 2015 Reads – continually updated all year long

Kains Woods to Warbler Woods

I love running down a nature trail, not knowing exactly where it will take me, experiencing the quiet surroundings, and getting a workout at the same time. And I love sharing these journeys with you.

A few years back, I discovered Kains Woods and had a very nice run in the fall. The pictures are gorgeous.

Kaims Woods Back Entrance

Last week, I ran the trail again and ended up at this non-marked trail entrance.

Kains Woods Shore Rd Path

There was still some more trail to explore, but I was exhausted and figured I would save it for another day.

Kains Woods Shore Rd Entrance

But the very next day, I went back to see where this trail really did end.

Kains Woods right turn

It wasn’t far down the trail before I had to make this quick right turn, run down a small valley, and then back up the other side..

Kains Woods Trail

The trail then continued for one kilometer,

Kains Woods Oxford St

before it came to an end at Oxford Street in London, Ontario.

Oxford St Path

I ran across the street and headed in the opposite direction of the bridge.

Oxford Pond

I knew exactly where I was and thought it would be a good idea to run all the way to Warbler Woods. 

Underpass to Warbler Woods

The paved multi-use trail was really nice.

Warbler Wood Perimeter Path

I took it all the way to the end and then ran through Warbler Woods back to its parking lot.

Kains to Warbler 019

Then, I retraced my route and went back to the Shore Road entrance of Kains Woods.

Kains to Warbler Route

That run was about 4 kilometers, so I ran down the suburb streets a little bit to get my 5 kilometers in.

As you can see on my Nike+ App, I started at the green dot, ran 1 kilometer to the main street, ran another kilometer down the street, and then ran through Warbler Woods, before returning to where I had started, ran down those streets some more and finished up my route.

I have never run two different woods before in one continuous run. It was fun!

I hope you enjoyed it too!

Running Tours – 70 great routes and counting

Talent for Humanity (Not Everyone Has It)

TFH cover

Talent for Humanity – editied by Patrick Gaffney

This book is inspiring in so many ways. It features the voices of people from all over the world who were bestowed a Human Spirit Award. Instead of a trophy, they were given a chapter of this book to share their passion and life mission.

I thought I would review it in a series of images (something I have never done before)

I hope you enjoy it, and then go get inspired yourself.

TFH 1 (1)

TFH2

TFH3

And that was just from the introduction.

Imagine what other tidbits of knowledge and wisdom you can gain from reading this book and getting an experience of the seven inspiring human beings profiled in these pages.

Here is one from Sherry and Bob Jason’s chapter.

Teachers

I really like this metaphor about writing and where ideas come from.

Mushrooms

I hope you have enjoyed this original take on a book review.

My List of 2015 Reads – 27 titles and counting

The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue

Fiction Writers Guide to Dialogue

The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue by John Hough, Jr.

As a teacher, I keep coming across posters that declare, “Said is Dead!”

Said is Dead

To me, these alternatives are just lazy. A good writer doesn’t need them. Said says it all. John Hough explains . . .

“Said” isn’t  intrusive, at all. It’s invisible. The reader reads it again and again and again, and never notices it. The dialogue, then, stands on its own, This forces you, the writer, to write dialogue that needs no help, and dialogue that needs no help is good dialogue.

He also suggest that exclamation points should rarely be used. There’s an oft-repeated rule in writing that “you are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.” Once again, this is all about letting the writing speak for itself. Wise words indeed!

Keep it Brief

It’s best not to let your characters drone on. Hough suggest speeches be “one to three sentences, preferably no more that two, per speech–whenever possible.”

Avoid the Quirks, Tics, and Habits of Real Life

In real life we ask questions a lot that are really insignificant. We should never do that in our writing.

Dialogue should be abrupt. Every question, however benign, should be direct. It should demand an answer. With every question your characters are putting each other on the spot, which is why their answers are revealing.

The Paradox of Dialogue

In everyday speech, we start and stop abruptly. We repeat ourselves, we grope along for the right words, and we don’t always say what we had meant to say. Fiction dialogue needs to be a lot cleaner but still sound realistic. Here is the paradox . . .

The better the dialogue, the less realistic it should be, and the more realistic it will sound. Think of dialogue in fiction as  what is left after the extraneous verbiage is stripped away. It is what we mean to say, what we do say, in essence, Think of your written dialogue as a form of shorthand that preserves the most vivid and succinct lines of an exchange or conversation.

Invent a Spoken Language

Here is some great advice for all us writers out there . . .

Invent a spoken language–dialogue–that is a synthesis of what you read and what you hear, and that is appropriate to your characters and their time and place. 

The author suggests that we can be on the lookout for great tidbits of dialogue. We can borrow a line from here and there and focus it better in our own writing.

My 2 Cents

These are just a few of the notes I made while reading this book. I hope my dialogue will improve because of the tips that Hough points out.

I know that I need to work on this part of my writing. I plan to do a rewrite of some of my work focusing only on dialogue. Then I will be ready to query it and release my works to the world. I know, it’s long over due.

My 2015 Reading Log (25 books and counting)

Kains Woods Adventure

Kains Woods Entrance

I went back to run Kains Woods today. I was determined to run the trail in its entirety. But since it is a straight course along the river, I thought that I would just find the portion of it that I hadn’t run yet and do that section.

After driving around for twenty minutes, I couldn’t find the back entrance to the trail, so I just ran it from the start.

Kains Woods Bridge

I love running here. I usually have the trail all to myself. Today, was no exception.

Kains Woods Riverside

It stays close to the river even though the trail bends, dips, and has a few hills to it.

Kains Woods Uphill

I ran 5 kilometers down this trail and was expecting to come to the end of it sometime soon.

Kains Woods Wildlife Sign

I knew that I had to turn around and head back since this trail doesn’t loop around. And I normally only run 5 – 8 kilometers. I wasn’t too keen on running 10 or more, but I really wanted to find where the trail ended.

Kains Woods hidden trail entrance

The trail continued on, but there was an exit to the suburb neighbourhood, so I took it to see where I now was. Kaims Woods Back Entrance

And I was quite surprised to see that I had driven by here earlier. This doesn’t look like the entrance to the trail, and there certainly isn’t any markings or a sign to indicate it either.

It was right at the end of Shore Road, if you are ever looking for it.

Kains Woods Neighbourhood Trail

I wasn’t quite sure where I was in relation to where I had parked, but I decided to run along the streets instead of going back down the 5 kilometer trail. I thought it would be quicker and less distance to do so.

Kains Woods My Route

I was right. As you can see from the route I took, thanks to my Nike+ app, I figured out how to make it back to my car.

There was a little extra loop that I did of the neighbourhood streets. It’s hard to get your bearings back there. But I finally made it back to my car.

All in all it was a 7 kilometer run today.

As far as I can tell, there is only a kilometer or so left of the trail that I haven’t explored now. But I guarantee you, I will be going back there soon to find the true end point to his beautiful place.

Photographic Tour Archive – over 70 great places to run (and one bad one)

Summer Schedule (Teaching Tip Hiatus)

Summer ScheduleTeaching Tip Tuesdays is one of the regular features on this blog.

I enjoy sharing tips, tricks, lesson plans, and inspiration for fellow teachers on a weekly basis. So far, I have posted 245 Teacher Tips.

I am impressed with this series and the response it gets. I love getting emails from educators who have been inspired by what I have done. If you have been following this series and have never said, “Hi!,” I encourage you to drop me a line. 

I am not shutting down this series, but it is going on a summer hiatus. That is why I didn’t post a new entry yesterday.

My summer posting schedule will see new posts going live Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can expect to see stuff about what I am reading and watching. I will continue to post about hip-hop music, and there will be more photographic tours of the trails I love running.

Have a great and happy summer everyone!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Comic Series

Robots in Disguise Vol 1

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Vol 1

Robots in Disguise in an on-going comic book series that picks up right where the television show Transformers: Prime finished off. If you have never seen that show though or read the previous comic book series, don’t fret. This is a great read and shows just what is possible in the Transformers Universe. The storytelling is brilliant, the characters are well-developed, and the art is amazing. It is exactly what I want from a Transformers comic.

The story is set on the newly restored home world of Cybertron. Transformers from all over the universe are returning home to find a brand new government, one that is lead by Bumblebee. It is supposed to be a non-partisan group. It is neither Autobot or Decepticon and is meant to serve both as well as any NAILS(Non-Aligned Indigenous Life-forms)

In the absence of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee does his best to try and unify the robots in peace but has his work cut out for him. Certain Autobots and Decepticons still have a mistrust of each other and would like to return to the old ways of warfare when things were more black and white. Ushering in a new golden age is certainly going to be a challenge.

Robots in Disguise Vol 2

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 2

Optimus Prime resigned as leader of the Autobots prior to this series starting and now goes by Orion Pax. He left Bumblebee in charge of governing the homeworld to go on a mission to capture one of the most evil Decepticons, Shockwave. Meanwhile on Cybertron, the Dinobots are back and tensions are still high as Bumblebee tries his best to make the new government work.

Robots in Disguise Vol 3

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 3

Optimus Prime continues his mission to track down the rogue Decepticon but uncovers an ever greater mystery. Meanwhile on Cybertron, Metrotitan arrives back home and discovers an ancient buried city. Starscream also starts working with the new government.

Robots in Disguise Vol 4

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 4

Megatron is back and intent on destroying the peaceful alliance that Bumblebee and Starscream have been working to achieve.

Robots in Disguise Vol 5

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Volume 5

We find out some of the origin story of Shockwave in this volume. This backstory was really cool. It explains why he looks different than other Decepticons and why he is so cunning and determined. It also shows how he has been the kingpin of the story so far.

I look forward to reading the next two trade paperbacks of this title and the Dark Cybertron series it leads in to.

2015 Reads – My Constantly Updated Reading Log for the Year

Chasing Content – July 2014

Chasing Content JulyIt’s time for another edition of Chasing Content!

Read all of the posts from last July,

or just my personal highlights

(a best of from what this month had to offer last year)

West Lions Skatepark

One of the few outdoor parks with a full-sized half-pipe. I love skating here. If you are ever in the London, Ontario area, I highly recommend a visit!

Women in Hip-Hop 4 Complete Broadcast

Once a year, I produce a radio special to celebrate International Women’s Day. This is last year’s show with 8 hours of content shining a spotlight on hip-hop’s better half.

Star Trek Scrabble Win

I bought this game as a present for my dad. We share a love of Scrabble and Star Trek, so it only made sense. I made an incredible play that was noteworthy. Click through to see what it was.

5 Words

A great post about varying sentences and how much power 5 words can truly have.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!