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We live and we love for Ray and all those that face loss. · 25.02.14 by colin newell

Was having “tea” at the Finnerty Express at UVic at three – and was visited by “Ray” a lovely 80 year old retired RCMP officer that lives in the area and often pops in for a coffee. He had some bad news today. His wife of 50+ years passed away after a wicked battle with cancer. He seemed to be taking it OK but reminded all of us to embrace the living… “Go home and hug your wife (or husband) tonight. Celebrate life when you are among the living…”

I have been offering condolences a lot lately and I guess (I know) that this is part of life. And it is especially important to embrace those who have experienced loss… like Ray.

We reminded him to drop into the cafe often, that we are here for him – and we are.

As he got up to go, we all shook hands… you know, the two handed more intimate form of the hand shake. I wanted to give him a big hug but wasn’t sure.

His last words were, “What am I going to have for dinner tonight? That is the awful thing… I can only drink so many bowls of mushroom soup…”

My heart goes out to Ray. I know all about loss but loss is something that is constant and omnipotent. But we must keep living and loving while adapting to loss. I cannot imagine going home to an empty space – my life is so truly blessed with a loving and devoted wife, and so many wonderful friends. It all really makes me appreciate the importance of the moment. The now.

It took a couple of hours but when I got home and had a glass of wine and some potato chips in my mouth (it is a ritual), I had a good cry – all that pent up grief coming out.

(But) You have to keep moving forward. People will come and go. It is part of life. Love the ones you are with. Pray for the departed. But most of all, embrace the living while they are on Earth.

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Mike Russell and Cops for Cancer - Vancouver Island · 16.08.13 by colin newell

Mike Russell - VicPD - Cops for Cancer

My name is Mike Russell and I became a cop in 2005 with the Edmonton Police Service. My sole goal since joining as an officer was to make a difference in my community.

Since moving with my family (now consisting of my lovely wife and three kiddo’s) to Victoria in 2008 I’ve been completely overwhelmed at how this community bands together to overcome obstacles.

This in part inspired me to ride the Canadian Cancer Societies Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock this year. I’ve not been affected by Cancer personally, but the strength I’ve witnessed from children and their families who have battled this terrible disease is truly inspiring.

I want to do everything in my power to ensure a cancer free future for all kids, parents, families and communities. We can do it, but I’ll need your help.

You can help in a number of ways:

1. Come on out to one of our great events!

We’ve got an upcoming Mayfair Mall Drive in and Carnival on Wednesday, August 21st where we are showing Grease. You can win lots of prizes, eat cotton candy and even win a chance to see the movie in our historic Car 40 (cop not included).

On Thursday, August 22nd, we’re at Glo Resturant and Lounge. The awesome folks at Glo are putting on an amazing show this year with a fantastic dinner (and drink) included in the ticket prices. There will be some amazing prizes, live band, DJ and Live and silent auctions…and of course, lots of cool people.

2. You can also donate directly to the Tour de Rock through a few means.

Online here


You can text to donate at 20222 and enter code TOUR 19 for an immediate $10 donation.

Hope to see many of you at our events. Thanks as always for the support.

Mike Russell, 2013 Tour de Rock Team ride and VicPD Media Spokesperson and Social Media Officer.


Thanksgiving 2011 - so much to be thankful for · 10.10.11 by colin newell

Point no point - great food, peace and quiet!Just spent a wonderful 3 day weekend at Point no Point cabins – Andrea’s and my primary get-away.

Timely escape as it is Thanksgiving weekend – and true to form, we never do anything within the realm of ordinary. This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend – yes, I think it is earlier than our American counterpart… all about seasons and all. We harvest earlier.
Anyway – this weekend we had our favorite cabin (it is a secret…) – packed in some wine, some food and some radio equipment (to keep station VA7WWV on the air – kind of a civil defense priority!)

Dinner on Friday night was a quickie of gourmet kosher all beef hot dogs, beer and potato chips – the beer was Blue Buck. We arrive around 4 or 5 normally on one of these weekends and the sooner that we get into the outdoor hot-tub the better!

Saturday morning included a road trip into Sooke, B.C. for lunch at “The EdGe” – I had the kitchen sink bowl and Andrea had their classic burger served on an in-house triangle shaped bun. The Kitchen sink includes a bit of beef, white fish, shell fish, some pasta in a spicy Thai style broth.
Afterward we had a quick coffee at “The Stick” in Sooke.

On our way back through Otter Point, we stopped at the Tugwell Creek meadery – for those unfamiliar with mead, look it up. Oddly, I have around 8 bottles of Tugwell mead in my wine rack that are untouched – good thing some of them will last upwards of 1000 years! Yes, we bought two more bottles!

Saturday evening dinner was at “The Point” restaurant – and for a change we ordered all appetizers; Frisee salad featuring pork belly and soft boiled egg on frisee lettuce, seared scallops on a marmalade biscuit, a duck confit treatment, and an in house “tortilla chip” salsa thing… cannot remember what the protein on it was.
We had a bottle of an Argentinian Malbec with this collection.
We tend to avoid the mains at the Point no Point restaurant because they tend to be somewhat over the top, not so much with the quality (which is great) but the quantity – I avoid mains that have too much on the plate.
Dessert. For a change, we ordered two: the Creme Brulee and their awesome chocolate mousse.

Getting away from the grid gives us a great opportunity to count all of our blessings – and there are lots of them; great health, wonderful marriage (15+ years and every day is part of a remarkable honeymoon!), steady work, awesome friends and on and on and on. I am sure my readers have their own stories – love to hear them in the comment field of course!
The Sun was out the entire weekend – which is a little odd for this time of the year. The Sunday was spectacular – and we sat at the Beach House at Point no point, completely alone and undisturbed while a brilliant Sun blazed down – we imagine the temperature rose to around 20 degrees © for a while.

As I mentioned on my twitter and facebook feeds, I am kind of off the grid for a while I study for my Apple Technician certification (and it is a lot of study…) – I will be blogging and posting the blog URLs on twitter and facebook — just no random musing on the social network sites – at least for the time being.

Hoping you all have your own version of a great Canadian (and coming up… American thanksgiving!)

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Good bye to Jack Layton · 22.08.11 by colin newell

All our prayers and thoughts go out to Jack Layton’s wife, family and extended family.


Summer about Victoria 2011 On the water around Vancouver Island · 13.08.11 by colin newell

43 foot Hanse sailboat - sailing the waters around Vancouver Island

Heading out on the water tomorrow – not walking on it mind you…
But going out for a ride on a 43’ Hanse

I spent four years in the 80’s (as a civilian) trundling around on everything from destroyer escorts (battleships) to mine-sweepers, gate vessels, tugs and the occasional submarine… learning how to be an marine electronics expert.

This will be fun. Sailing the old way… the better way… with the wind.

Click on the pic at left for the big view…

And relaxing while someone who really knows what they are doing takes the wheel. My brother-in-law is a ships pilot, instructor and all around great mariner – and his wife (my sister) knows her stuff too.

A bit more on the Hanse 43 over here


Summer meeting and non-guided meditation flash mob for Jack Layton · 27.07.11 by colin newell

We are healing Jack Layton with positive thought.Imagine a 3 minute non-guided meditation.

It will be marked to begin with the ringing of a gong.

Beacon Hill Park – Saturday July 30th – 1 PM Pacific Time – Just below the parking lot there is a stone circle.

At around 12:30 to 12:40 pm coordinators will arrive to place a bamboo pole with a gauzy piece of fabric at the top to blow in the wind as a central marker.

People can just come and sit and be still and send their thoughts – spread out over the hill and just feel one with the purpose. Find your private space. This is entirely not about us – this is about Jack.

Rock Cairn Beacon Hill Park
We will make a sign to put in the parking lot so that people who don’t know what is going on will be informed. There is plenty of great parking along Dallas road. Walk or bike. Please respect the native grasses.

The Meditation Mob For Jack Click on image at left for map.
1:00 pm to 1:03 pm Pacific Time
Gather on the slope of Beacon Hill Park below the
parking lot that looks out over Dallas Road.

If you are joining us across Canada, note the following meditation times: 2:00PM to 2:03 PM Mountain Time, 3:00PM to 3:03PM Central, 4:00PM to 4:03PM Eastern, 5:00 to 5:03PM Atlantic Time and 5:30PM to 5:33PM in Newfoundland.

Listen for the gong to signify the beginning of the meditation.Help Jack Layton fight that cancer. Zap it with our love. Think about Jack for 3 minutes.

Listen for the gong to start together. Where ever you might be in Canada, schedule the 3 minutes. Plan a few minutes ahead. Center and ground yourself. Clear your mind. Send a positive stream of energy to Jack.

Updates – July 28, 2011 – Alternate locations: Cannot make it to Beacon Hill Park? Safe gathering areas include Centennial Square in Victoria and others… Create your own event. If you are shopping in the Bay Center downtown or one of Victoria’s many fine retail venues, consider putting down your shopping bags (if it is safe to do so) for 1 – 3 minutes commencing at 1300 hours Pacific time.
Currently looking for an incidental percussionist with a large bell or gong. Failing that, I will find something suitable.

Joan Athey and Colin Newell met at the Friends of the Empress Wine and Bubble event on July 26th and came up with this idea. Join us for 3 minutes of quiet meditation for Jack Layton. We encourage other groups to join us in meditation across Canada in your respective time zones. Our motto: “Think about Jack!”


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