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#BellLetsTalk – My Story @Bell_LetsTalk

#BellLetsTalk – My Story @Bell_LetsTalk

It’s #BellLetsTalk day, so I figured it was a good day to share my story. A few know a bit of what has been going on the past year+ but for the most part I don’t talk about it much.

In the spring of 2016 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I’ve always been a bit of a worrier, but this was different. In late 2015 I started having panic attacks. I’m sure you have heard of panic attacks before, everyone experiences them differently. Some will say they are having a panic attack when they are having a very stressful day. For me, a panic attack is a very physical reaction. It generally starts by a heart palpitation, and then it spirals from there. I usually end up hyper ventilating, curling up in a ball, doing a bit of moaning until it passes (and it DOES pass). The best way I can describe it is when you have the flu and the ickey feeling you get just before you have to be physically sick. The trigger tends to be this heart palpitation or chest flutter I feel and it spirals from there. I’ve had that in varying degrees for years now but it was this past year that it started happening much more frequently. Before you ask, I’ve had the ticker checked out, halter monitor, stress test, etc. My great family doctor is confident it isn’t a heart problem. The more we looked at it, the more we realized anxiety is causing the issue, and the problem is now spiraling into panic. Not a good combination.

It was a very tough 2016. I had a panic attack at work, I had a panic attack on the ball diamond, at the curling rink, up at the cabin. I ended up pulling out of curling this year because I had one really bad night and couldn’t handle the stress of trying to keep going at that. At the start of last year, it robbed me of my passion for slopitch, I didn’t even want to play. I became withdrawn and a recluse at home. It has been so hard on the family. Mental illness affects more than just the person diagnosed you see.

I missed a bunch of work, which in turn has added more pressure to not miss any more. Mental illness in the work place still provides an entirely different set of challenges. Even now I’m sure you can just think the words “Stress Leave” and conjure up all the ideas of the slackers abusing the system to take time off work. Heck, I’m sure I even rolled my eyes in the past at someone on so-called stress leave. Not anymore, not now that I have been through it. I can assure you it isn’t a comfortable process to be taking time off work for mental illness issues, and I can assure you I’d much rather be healthy at my desk than the alternative.

But I have been doing the work. My family Dr has been great and we have a treatment plan that is working. But medications don’t fix the problem, they help. I have a great EFAP plan I’ve been taking advantage of at work, and have been seeing a councilor to talk out the problem and work on some things. I have made some lifestyle adjustments, taking a few stressers out and forcing myself to not turtle into my shell at home. And now I’m working on getting healthier by seeing a personal trainer. It is still a challenge, I still have tough days.  Just yesterday I had a panic attack that woke me from my sleep and knocked me on my *ss.  But I’m still moving forward, not looking back. There is no quit.

I wanted to share my story to let people know, it happens to a lot of people. I want you to know I’m the same guy I have always been, I just have some tough days with some not-so-me moments. It can happen to you or someone you know. Mental Illness is quite likely effecting someone you know right now. So be kind to each other. Remember someone may be dealing with some things not on the surface. Your actions can help or can hurt. And if you are dealing with something, there is no shame talking about it or asking for help. There are great resources out there and people that are passionate about helping. Things can be better for you.

And if you need help right now, in Saskatchewan phone the 811 health-line and someone can help you out. I have contacted them on more then on occasion during a panic attack. There is always a great person on the other end of the phone that cares.

So share #BellLetsTalk today, support the cause. Share your story. Get Healthy, be good to one another.

All for now,

PS – the picture is me *crushing it*.  I thought it was fitting 😛


Best Phone/Ipad mount?  Look for the magnet

Best Phone/Ipad mount? Look for the magnet

Doc Artisan Magnet Mount

If you have been following along, you would have already read my blog post about Stocard, software I use for managing all my rewards cards without carrying them in my wallet.  In that post I briefly talked about my iPhone Wallet case, the sport wallet from Doc Artisan.  Months later, I still love this wallet case.  It is high quality, has enough locations to hold my ID and a couple cards and a bit of cash.  It is a perfect way to minimize your pocket bloat.  The other thing I love is that the phone is held in this case via magnet, so it is simple to remove.

Cheapo Headrest Mount

It is this simple magnet mount that I became enamored with.  I bought their matching magnet mount to put in my car.  So when I get in the car, I pull the phone away from my wallet and tap it to the mount and off I go.  Super simple.  It is easy to rotate as you just pull the phone off and reattach on its side.  It is strong, I haven’t lost the phone driving in our Saskatchewan roadways.  It just works.  Since I loved it so much, I bought a second for the other vehicle and dropped a metal plate in Erin’s phone case so she too can use the mag mount.


Cheapo Ball Magnet Mount

Once I got these two mounts in the vehicle I got to thinking about the iPad.  When we travel, we somethings attach the iPad the headrest of the passenger seat so Cole can watch a show or two.  The cheap mount I bought at the time wasn’t’ great.  It didn’t fit around the child case we have on the iPad (a Snugg kids case, we highly recommend).  So it was a pain in the *ss to use.  Also, when the show ended or it was time to take it away, it was difficult for a person in the front seat to manage.  So I looked around for a magnet solution.  I didn’t find anything, but luckily most of these magnetic mounts you buy on ebay/aliexpress/etc are cheap and use the same magnet ball mount and the cheapo headrest one also used a ball mount.

Vtin 2 in 1

So I ordered a few the cheap magnet mounts like pictured for a project.  When they arrived, I found the ball mount matched, so I attached to my cheap head rest mount.  The idea was great, but the iPad with the metal plates attached was just a bit heavy for the mount.  Bumps caused the iPad to shift as you drove.  So I did a little engineering….  I took two of the magnet mounts, attached them to part of an old hockey stick and then mounted that to the headrest.  SUCCESS!  Now the iPad is stable inside its case and attached to the headrest.  And now if we need the iPad from the back seat, it is a simple grab and pull.  I loved the concept but the look was a little ugly.  I did finally find a dual head mount that matched my needs.  I ordered a from Vtin 2 in 1 mount from Amazon.  I removed the dual head from the suction mount and attached to the headrest mount and we are off and running!

Now I have a left over suction mount….. what to do with that?  Well I took the head off of the cheapo ball magnet mount I had purchased and attached to the suction cup.  This is now a desk mount for me.  I can tap my iPad or iPhone and it is mounted to my desk at perfect display angle!

Gone are the days of clamps or sleeves for devices for me.  Now when I have a device I want to mount, I just toss in on of the metal plates and it becomes compatible with my many mounts around the house and vehicles.  My next task is to build an under cabinet magnet mount so we can attach the iPad for recipe reading or music listening.

So if you are looking for a great mounting solution.  Look for the magnet.  And avoid the ones that require some special adapter attached to your device.  If it takes anything other than a thin metal plate, skip it.

All for now,



Bye Bye Doubles

Bye Bye Doubles

It would be remiss of me to not take a moment to speak on the Darian Durant trade this past week. I’ll go on record as saying I don’t like it. I’m not even sure I understand it, and depending on the replacement, I may even hate it.

First off, if it was the Chris Jones’ stragegy to move on from DD, why do it so late? There is no reason he couldnt have moved on during the season when we were in the midst of another horrible season and DD had more trade value (I would assume) to a team trying to make a run. Instead he held on to Durant risked the off season we got. We also have no real good option internally ready to take over. There is a huge risk there. It appears as though the true desire may be the backup they have in Edmonton that doesnt happen to be a free agent. So are we going to give up big assets to get him (far more than we got in return for DD) or are we playing a year in limbo. If the latter, given CFL contracts arent guaranteed, we could have had DD for that one more year. I don’t even think he was asking an outragous amount, he would have been paid in the bottom tier of CFL QBs.

It was last year at this time the #ridernation had our heart ripped out by the departing Chick and Dressler. I love them both, but those made a bit more sense. The contracts were just too outrageous to keep. I love Dressler to pieces, but I know he doesnt fit the Chris Jones style, and at his point in his career you have to think about finding alternatives. You can’t say the Riders didn’t find suitably replacements at receiver. Chick is a tougher pill to swallow as he is still playing at a very high level, we haven’t found a good replacement, but he just made to much that we couldn’t keep him. Again, both made some sense. But DD wasn’t making a huge amount of money for a QB, so I don’t see why this wasn’t done, and done much earlier in the season.  Even if a 1 year stop gap to let him open the new stadium and get us to Franklin time, if that is indeed the plan.

I still am unsure how DD in Montreal works out. They were in cap trouble last year so I don’t see how they can pay the ask, but we shall see. I do think out East that DD is gonna make that team very competitive this season. But with Reed in charge, I expect personal issues to start showing up very quickly. With Kavis running personnel, I just don’t see it.

Which takes me back to the Riders and the guy currently in charge of the Riders, Chris Jones. With this move, I think he has officially put a clock on his time with the Riders. If they don’t make playoffs this year, I think they have to consider a change, regardless the expense. It may even spell the end for Reynolds.  The CFL is a 9 team league and only 3 teams DON’T make playoffs. Long term rebuilds aren’t a necessity. Shipping off the big names is less of a big deal if you replace them, but I haven’t seen us do a great job of that. I keep hearing about how successful Jones is and we have to be patient, but to be accurate you must say that he has been success as a coach. As a GM, he is a rookie, and so far… we are still finding out how successful he will be.

I’m still trying to be positive about the new regime, and I’m hopeful they have a plan. But after the move last week, at least at QB, I have no idea what that plan is. And for a team that seems to chew up and spit out QBs, I’m worried about the future.

Another tough off season in Ridernation. Thanks for the Grey Cup Doubles. My favourite memory will always be the Western Semi Final game vs the BC Lions. You took the team on your back and pretty much won the game on your own.

All for now,

A new me for 2017…..

A new me for 2017…..

OK, the title may be a bit misleading….. I’m not really a New Year’s resolution kind of guy.  Waiting for a date on a calendar as a reason to set some arbitrary resolution you may or may not have any intention of keeping, just isn’t my style.  I do have a bit of something going on that may seem like a New Year’s resolution, but in reality the process started a while ago.  I’m working on improving me for the year and making 2017 an truly excellent year.

2016 was a bit of a struggle as some may know (I will share more about that in the future I’m sure), but things had been looking up health wise as the year went on.  Then in the fall of this year we got sent to a work presentation by Darci Lang entitled Focus on the 90%.  Generally I don’t get a lot out of the inspirational wellness speaker presentations, but this one was different.  Darci had a very simple but powerful message about focusing on the positive and not the negative, and carrying that idea into many aspects in your life.  If you havent seen her speak I highly recommend going.  It was a bit of a boost for me to start looking back at my tough 2016, picking out the positives and how I could make more of those in 2017.

So the first thing on my list is my health.  I want to be a better version of me, health wise.  I’ve always found gyms to be to intimidating for a beginner, and I’ve tried and failed to do the home workout thing.  I wanted this to be successful so I wanted to do it different.  So I ended up meeting with Andrea at Train for Life.  I see it as an investment in me.  I started out one on one with her 3 times a week and now I’ve moved into groups 2 times a week.  I did a fitness test to set a baseline where I was at and now I plan on working to get better.  So far it has been challenging, but in life, anything worth doing always is.  I’m so glad I found Andrea, she is keeping me focused and on point.

So that’s what is up with me.  I’m already starting to feel even better and I plan to be flying around the base paths this summer.

Stay happy my friends!  All for now – J

Shoot Outs Suck

Shoot Outs Suck

OK, admittedly, I’m not the biggest hockey fan. I maybe watch 5-10 hockey games a year, and rarely start to finish. Last night was no exception. I had plans to work out with my trainer (my newest mission to get healthy), so I got home in time to catch the last few seconds of regulation before overtime in the Can vs USA World Juniors gold medal game. Immediately upon turning on the game, I had the thought that I’m sure many did…. I sure hope this doesn’t go to a shootout.

Sadly, overtime solved nothing and to a shootout it went. Now many will say it is sour grapes, complaining about the shootout since we lost. Some will say that no one would gripe if we had won. To this I say BS. Win or Lose, shoot outs suck.

Now I get why the shoot out came in to play in hockey. During the long grind of a regular season, with TV contracts in play, dealing with multiple overtime periods was a headache, and they needed a solution. I still don’t like it (much like I don’t like 4 on 4 overtime) but I get it. But at least they had the sense to not do it in playoffs. Shoot outs decide the game without many aspects of what makes the game great. Great passing, great defense, great forecheck, etc. It brings it all down to a skills competition. Not something that should decide a championship. Everyone that played the game deserved better than that.

Consider other sports. Baseball…. imagine if they went to a HR derby after 1 extra inning. Curling…. if they decided the Brier on a draw to the button. Football…. sudden death field goal kicking. You can see where this is going. Imagine if a championship was decided in such a fashion? It is quite ridiculous.

I’m not taking away anything from the USA hockey team. Congrats to them. They may very well have won anyways, they were after all favored. But didn’t they deserve to win it during an actual period of hockey, like a great championship *team*?

All for now,

PS – Kudos to Team Canada on the great run and a silver medal. Before the tournament you would be hard pressed to find a hockey *expert* that had them winning it all. I think those boys have it tougher than any of the other teams, wearing the maple leaf on the front and carry the Canadian hockey expectations on their back. I would have loved the victory, but a silver medal is nothing to be disappointed about.

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