Recent national events have inspired this post. ¬†But first, a little backgroundūüôā.

Whenever I wear a t-shirt, I am often asked about the tattoo on my left arm. ¬†If you have never seen it, this is the best shot I can take of it using my limited selfie technique. ¬†You won’t be able to see it all in one shot, but this will give you the idea……

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These are the common statements I get from people seeing it for the first time:

“What is that supposed to be?”

“Why is it broken?”

“Do you like palm trees?”

“You must love coconuts!”

“Can I buy some weed off you?”

“You must have got that in the Caribbean!”

It’s uncanny that whenever I meet someone new, and they see my tattoo, their reaction is most often one of the 6 previous lines. ¬†So, I will answer all of them in order:

1.  What is it supposed to be?

-It’s a fusion of a guitar body and a palm tree – represents a reminder that when times are stressful, music, and the outdoors/nature are the best remedy for me.

2.  Why is it broken?

РBecause I just drew it that way.  I originally drew it with the intention of it looking like a group of islands, but somewhere along the way it shifted a bit.  I have thought of adding to it since I started music full time 5 years ago Рperhaps bridges between the unattached pieces that symbolize the acceptance of music in my life.

3. Do you like palm trees?

– I hope this is obvious…..otherwise, I wouldn’t have inked it to my body for eternity. ¬† I find palm trees quite fascinating, and I most admire their calm, flexible strength. ¬†Think of a palm tree in a hurricane – they can pretty much be blown horizontal, yet they rarely, if ever, actually uproot. ¬†They can weather the worst, and bounce back like champ. ¬†I think that is incredible!

4. You must love coconuts!

– This is true, but in no way had anything to do with the design.

5. Can I buy some weed off you?

– No. ¬†I don’t get asked this anymore, but just after I first got my tattoo, I’d get asked anytime I wore a t-shirt, in all sorts of places, from all kinds of people….even an airport limo driver! ¬†I didn’t even take the limo!!

6.  You must have got that in the Caribbean!

– Coincidently, this is actually true. However, I doodled a small version of the image 5 years previous to the day I got it, while I was in a 2nd year anatomy and physiology class in Vancouver. ¬†Now the real story begins….

This is me Brodda! ((English translation – biological brother from the same Modda (English translation – biological mother)). ¬†His name is Zac, and here we are behind a stage on a field in 2007 for a very special concert. ¬†Notice my left arm has no palm guitar….

Me and Zac backstage

Zac used to live in Grand Cayman Island, which is also by coincidence…you guessed it!!…..in the Caribbean! ¬†My brother moved down there in 2000 to pursue a career in the scuba dive industry as an instructor. ¬†For 7 years he masked, snorkelled, and flippered people, and guided them through an alternate universe…the spectacular eco system of wonders beneath the waves. ¬†On top of that, he played in a couple of wicked bands.

Those who have met me or have been to a performance have most likely heard about my parents. ¬†Particularly my father, as my walking tour across Canada has everything to do with him. ¬†However, it wasn’t my Dad who had the biggest influence on me picking up the guitar – it was my bro! ¬†Zac always seemed to have a gift for figuring out songs by ear. ¬†He introduced me to the majority of music that I listened to in the 90’s, and would show me how to play whatever he happened to be learning. ¬†Collective Soul, Pearl Jam, I Mother Earth, 5440, The Eagles, Eric Clapton, Soundgarden, etc. ¬†One of my brother’s biggest influences, as well as many others, was none other than The Tragically Hip.

If you are unaware, Grand Cayman Island is full of Canadians. ¬†There are people from all over the world living there, but a great deal are from Canada – so much so that when a pub/liquor store on the island wanted to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary, who do you think they hired to come play the party? ¬†THE TRAGICALLY HIP!!! ¬†An amazing chain of events led to one of the bands my brother played in being asked to open up for them….MASSIVE!!! ¬†One of the bands he was playing in at the time was called Suckerbox. ¬†Check out the poster:

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This was an incredible opportunity for my brother, and one that meant a great deal to him. ¬†The other band he played in played cover songs, and they did a whack of tunes by the Hip. ¬†As we saw from the Hip’s last concert on the weekend, they have had huge impact on music lovers and musicians around the world, but majorly on Canadians. ¬†My bro was one of them, and through him, so was I. ¬†This concert was a dream come true for him.

At the time Zac found out about this opportunity, I had just started working at a new job – back when I was a personal trainer in Vancouver. ¬†His lady, who is now married to him, offered me a plane ticket and the opportunity to come share this extraordinary experience in person!! (THANK YOU STEPPY!) ¬†I was thrilled, dumbfounded, excited for my brother, and at the same time concerned that soon after I started a new job I would be asking for holidaysūüôā. ¬†Well…that thought didn’t last too long, and I said yes! I wasn’t going to miss this.

Roughly a month later, and I found myself in Grand Cayman Island, standing in front of the Hip’s soundcheck, and marvelling at life. ¬†Here’s Mr. Gord getting organized:

Gord

There are many fun stories from the week I was there for this, but I’ll cut to the relevance to my tattoo. ¬†When I first arrived on the island, it was a few days before the show. ¬†I hadn’t seen my brother in a long time, and one of the first things he asks me when I got off the plane was….”So…while you’re here…you wanna get inked?”

Confused and stunned, I asked what he meant. ¬†He had some credit he wasn’t going to use with a local tattoo shop, and knew that I had a design I’d wanted to get. ¬†I used to draw/sketch a great deal, and in the past, have helped design tattoos for others. ¬†My bro being one of them.

Anyways, he wasn’t going to get another one, and proposed that it was open for me to utilize if I wanted….enter a few days of thinking….”What will people think?…Will my job be okay with this?…Will my girlfriend and family be okay with this?…Am I okay with this? ¬†Hmmm…What if it was…..bigger!”

The more and more I pondered it, and what it meant to me, it became clearer that it was something I really connected to, and felt good about going through with. ¬†If you’re going to do something like that, it’s important to ask yourself those kinds of questions. ¬†It’s a big decision!

As it worked out, the day I could go in was the day of the concert, early evening.  In the morning I went to the sound check and went backstage with my brother, which was super cool!  It all added to the excitement.  Later in the afternoon, my brother went to the stage grounds, and I went to my first tattooing experience with my now sister-in-law!

I know somewhere a photo exists of my arm right after it was done, but I can’t seem to locate it. ¬†The weird thing about my tattoo, or I should say me, is that my arm didn’t bleed at all. ¬†A little bit is normal, and usually comes with a bandage and pressure to help the healing….but it strangely wasn’t necessary, so I got to sport my brand new design at the concert that night!

Anyhow…I’ll flash forward to Zac, standing on a speaker, rocking out at the front of the stage, warming up the crowd for The Tragically friction’ Hip! ¬†Check this action out:

Zac show

This is still to date one of my fondest memories of being a human being and living on planet Earth – seeing my brother/guitar guru/inspiration for a great many thing….living up one of his dreams, and seizing that moment completely. ¬†I am so happy to have witnessed it.

Here’s Zac with some of the Hip boys after the show:

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Flippin’ awesome! ¬†The very next day, I hopped on a plane, and flew back to Vancouver.

Zip ahead almost 10 years, and The Tragically Hip are doing their last performance ever, being emotionally celebrated around the world for their artistic and cultural contribution.  Every time I look down at my tattoo, or when people ask me about it, this intertwined story flashes through my mind.  It reminds me of the power, influence, and trickle effects of music.

This post is many things:

  • It’s a tribute and a thank you to family (my brother and his wife)
  • It’s a special reminder that musicians and bands greatly affect their audiences (directly and indirectly) in ways they could never conceive
  • Lastly, it is a celebration of everything The Tragically Hip have given to Canadians. ¬†Thank you for it all!

I love my tattoo and the memories that came with it!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. ¬†This is the longest post I’ve ever made. ¬†Well worth itūüôā.

Mr. Bard

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The image you see above is that of a man with an electric guitar….a man with an electric guitar who looks like his left hand is missing, but nonetheless, a man with an electric guitar. ¬†It is not often that this man goes out with an electric guitar, but just the other day, such an occasion occurred.

The shadow is me the other day, Mr. Bard, after what was one of the most entertaining music lessons I have ever been engaged with.  I was asked to fill in as a substitute electric guitar teacher at a music school, and I was honoured to do so.  I thoroughly enjoy teaching guitar and helping others develop a positive relationship with music, and was looking forward to the opportunity to work with new people.

For the record, and important relevance to this tale РI never learned to read sheet music or notation.  I developed my abilities from others showing/mentoring me, and eventually by ear.  It has served me very well over 21 years, and I have always enjoyed the act of playing and writing music.  I think this is of the greatest importance.

I have met many who believe that if you can’t read music, you can’t play music. ¬†This simply isn’t true. ¬†Some people speak languages fluently, but can’t read the words. ¬†Django Reinhardt, a man known for his revolutionary style of guitar playing, was virtually illiterate!! ¬†There is a great documentary about him on youtube by the way. ¬†If you’ve got the time, it’s a fascinating story:

Anyhow, I am by no means discouraging the art of learning to read music (and am humbled by those who can), just setting up what was to be a hilarious encounter.

The first student I was appointed to work with was a wise young man with 7 years under his belt of age.  I had been prompted that he was an entry level picker, and had been working through a beginner guitar book.  He arrived with his father, who stood in the room and looked on as we got our axes plugged in.

I asked the boy, “So what have you been working on?” ¬†He cracked open his book, and began playing a short tune. ¬†As I glanced at the page, I realized….it was in notation…I couldn’t read the notes!…………………..I have come to know a lot about music, theory, and the inter workings of it all, but reading? ¬†Not a so gooda!!

I was trying to recount the “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge,” and “FACE,” triggers for where notes are on a staff that I learned when I was 10, but I couldn’t work it out very well….Enter the thought…”Oh crap. ¬†This is going to be this child’s worst lesson experience, and how wonderful….his dad is here to experience it too!! ¬†YAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaay!” Even though what he was playing looked freakishly simple, I really struggled to actually know if what he was plucking was accurate.

I asked him to try it again to see if I could listen and quickly figure it, but he preferred to move on and play the next tune. ¬†The following melody at least had chords listed to play along, but when I tried to back him up, he stopped……..looked up at me, and said with a very concerned tone “You’re disrupting MY FOCUS! ¬†Can you…..NOT play?” ¬†I glanced at his father, who just looked at me and smirked.

Those that know me are aware I am a big fan of jamming, and helping people learn how to jam is one of my favourite things to do. ¬†As I attempted to explain the benefits of playing together, I was quickly shot down with a deep sigh (as deep a sigh as a small 7 year old can make) followed by the statement “Can we just get back to what we’re SUPPOSED¬†to be doing?” ¬†“SURE,” I said, trying to figure out how to navigate the sharp rocky edges of the remainder of this lesson.

As he continued playing the next song in his book, he made a little flub on one of the last notes. ¬†I could tell that he had perfectionist tendencies, and he made it very clear he was unhappy with his perceived mistake. ¬†I showed him a little technique that I learned from Victor Wooten¬†that has to do with sliding out of a “wrong,” note.

He seemed, for the first time in the lesson, to be tolerant of what I was saying. ¬†Ha HA! ¬†Small victory!! ¬†I ¬†went on to say, “This kind of thing happens a lot in Blues.” ¬†His eyes opened wide, and he said “Did you say…BLUES?” ¬†His dad stepped out for a minute at this point.

He madly flipped to another page in his book to a blues tune in the key of G.  I was thanking the stars, as blues is generally really straight forward to follow along with.  However, I jumped the gun thinking I could play along with him.

We got roughly through one round, and he stopped…looked at me with the same disgust as previously, and said “Your playing is DISTRACTING ME!”

Side note – this is a natural part of jamming for the first time. ¬†Trying to focus on what you’re doing while listening to someone else is very challenging in the beginning. ¬†It happens to everyone, and you just gotta plug away and learn it like you learn any language…trial, error, and adjustment. ¬†It was at this moment I saw a brief crack in the wall, and like Leonard Cohen sings…”That’s how the light gets in!!”

I forged a deal. ¬†I said “How about you play that one time through on your own, and I’ll join you with a really light strum the second time.” ¬†He gave me the eye of a skeptic, assumed his plucking position, and reluctantly complied. ¬†He nailed the first round on his own, and I was anxious to see how he would handle the simplified jam strum.

I joined in, expecting to be potentially beat over the head by a 7 year old’s electric guitar, but to my surprise, he played, as best I could tell, the piece perfectly! Totally unaffected. ¬†Before we stopped, I told him to go one more time. ¬†Conveniently, this was the precise moment his father came back in the room, and at this point, I brought back a more active, true blues rhythm strum.

Well….he flipping knocked it out of the park!! ¬†He looked up me for a third time and said “You played different than what you were supposed to at the end.” ¬†I replied, “You’re right, but did it bother you this time?” ¬†He looked at the floor and in a subdued tone said “No….”

His father then went on to say to his son “Looks like you’re ready for duets!”

BAMM!!

The young boy gave me a high 5, packed up his things, and went on his very focused way.  I sat in the moment of deep internal relief, in celebration that this lesson was able to be salvaged.  How humbling to be shown up by a 7 year old.

A good friend of mine just got back from Jamaica, and he shared a phrase with me they say there:

“There’s no problem, mon….just a situation.”

Well, I can say this “situation,” inspired me, after 21 years of playing, to want to learn to read music. ¬†I will start next week!

You never know who you’re going to be inspired by.

Mr. Bard

 

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Now, you may ask yourself……”Self, why does Mr. Bard think he has turned into Larry Bird?” ¬†If you aren’t a basketball fan, you may be wondering who Larry Bird is, but through exceptional deductive reasoning, you might hypothesize that he may be associated with the picture above…..and YOU…my friend……..would be hypothesizically correct!

Larry Bird was one of the NBA’s greatest shooters (particularly 3-pointers) of all time. ¬†There are countless highlight reels of him making big shots throughout his career. ¬†He inspired a lot of people to want to play basketball, and was responsible for ¬†most of the kids on the playground pretending to make buzzer beater baskets.

Although I did play basketball for a little while, and I did make a half-time contest 3 point shot once that resulted in winning tickets to the last Vancouver Grizzlies game held in Vancouver, that is not why I posted a picture of Larry Bird.

Today is my 33rd birthday, and thought of Larry Bird for this reason (his jersey number). ¬†That is allūüôā. ¬†Enough with basketball!

Birthdays always bring about moments of reflection, so I’m going to recap what comes to mind:

  1. Exactly 4 years ago, I released my first recording, which took me to Asia, and officially sprinted down the road of music.  This will always make me smile, and has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
  2. 0000087839_102. 3 years ago, I started walking around Canada, have covered just over 3000km, and have loved every millimetre of it!  I am very thankful for all the support and wonderful people I have shared stories and became friends with along the way.  You all inspire me to keep going
  3. 3. Just over 2 years ago, I proposed to a lady in hopes she would become Mrs. Bard.
  4. Less than a year ago, that hope became reality, and was one of the greatest days of my life!

Today, I find myself excited about a great many thing – my health, lovely people in my life, an ever curious mind, fun tools and avenues to explore my creativity, and a desire to keep adventuring further.

When I said there would be no more basketball talk….I lied. ¬†I’ve heard the quote “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” a bunch of times, although I think it was Wayne Gretzky who said that. ¬†I’m sure Larry Bird would concur.

I’ve taken lots of shots, and have missed a whack of them. ¬†However, the above 4 that landed were big ones, and have brought so much joy and growth. ¬†To me, these are game winners, great motivation to keep shooting, and wouldn’t have come about without trying – like Larry Bird!

Upwards and onwards friends! ¬†Here’s to another spin around the sun, and to new paths carved. ¬†Who knows….perhaps I’ll do something crazy this year like maybe think about getting a new guitar case……..

Mr. Bard

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Alo-HA!!!…I believe that if Hawaii had a martial art – Alo-HA is what it would be called. ¬†It would be a smooth flowing movement form, similar to the hula, but with a lighting spicy CHOP that you don’t see coming through the hypnotic smell of plumeria flowers. ¬†It would getcha every time!!

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I just recently had an amazing opportunity to travel to Kauai with my wife for our delayed honeymoon, and the experience was nothing short of incredible! ¬†There are many stories that could be shared, but only one was connected to music, so I shall share it…and it alone…..

Early in our adventure, we found ourselves standing in the grocery store check out line, waiting to pay for our edible items.  My wife, Shera, noticed that the woman in front of us had a particular bottle of Kombucha tea that she likes, and decided to comment on it.  The woman mutually celebrated her love of Kombucha, and asked if we had ever been to Kava Bar before.  Apparently they had Kombucha on tap, and it was the best around town.  She also said they had an open mic, and that it was going to be the following day!  Sweet!!

Trying to find this place by the name “Kava Bar,” was tricky, as it wasn’t the true name of the ¬†establishment. ¬†After much detective work, we located the proper site, which actually turned out to be a food truck, and had arrived 30 minutes late. ¬†We quickly realized that the open mic was going to be held outdoors, which we thought was super cool, but there was hardly anyone there, and not much set up.

We sat down at an outdoor table, being 2 of may 5 people out and about, and ordered a couple of drinks. ¬†They were out of Kombucha, but had another interesting drink called Jun. ¬†Anyways, we sat there, chatting and observing the surroundings when a woman sitting just across from us strikes up convo. ¬†She asked us where we were from, and we replied that we originally came from the Okanagan in BC, Canada. ¬†She said “Oh, my boyfriend is from Kelowna…” ¬†I replied….”I was born in Kelowna.”

She couldn’t believe it, and then asked if I knew him. ¬†As random bizarre luck would have it…yet again…I DID!! ¬†I used to play basketball with him and other friends at lunch time in high school, roughly 18 years ago. ¬†To go another crazy layer, my Dad also taught him in elementary school. ¬†I tell ya, open mic’s are repeatedly, in my experience, unusual portals of coincidence and awesome happenstance. ¬†To boot…after I played, the man whose guitar I borrowed to play a couple tunes asked me if I’d every been to Jack’s Pub in Tofino, BC. ¬†As it turns out, he was there when I performed with my bass man, Matt Langill, 5 months previous……WHA???

As our trip neared its end, my old high school acquaintance took Shera and I to a really special place on the island for what was to be one of the major highlights of our whole trip.  See below,

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We swam at the bottom of this beautiful split waterfall, caught up and shared stories of each other’s lives, and once again, made the world a wonderfully smaller place.

I’ve said it before, and will continue to say it – it’s always good to get out and talk to people. ¬†It can change your life!

 

 

Faces in the Trees….

October 12, 2015

You ever see a movie where someone says “Don’t go in dem dere woods….Ghosts in dem trees,” or something of the like? ¬†After a lovely show at the Elephant Ear Bistro in Terrace, BC, I was approached by a few people who had suggestions for cool places to walk.

One of the suggestions was Ferry Island, and the suggestion was followed up by, “There are faces in the trees. ¬†At least 50 of them!”

This obviously perked my interest, and a good chap, Terry from Terrace, offered to take there and show me around.

Conclusion – she wasn’t lying…check out the photos below. ¬†There are a lot more than just faces in dem woods too! ¬†Highly suggest seeing the rest of them for yourself. ¬†You really gotta watch. ¬†I would have to say that this has been one of my favourite walks in Canada to date!!

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So there I am, on an early plane to Terrace on Friday morning. ¬†Weather reports had made mention that the hurricane was working it’s way up the pacific coast and epic amounts of wind and rain were forecasted….perfect time to be FLYING!!

Being somewhat on edge about this, I laid keen eye on the sky from my window seat. ¬†I absolutely love the view being above the clouds, and decided to pull out my phone to take a photograph…….and see below for what happened……..

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The only logical thing that came to my mind in that moment was “Oh okay, we must be going through the Great Northern Vortex. ¬†Everything is totally cool…..” ¬†Then I thought, “What daaaaaaaa?”

I put my phone down to look with my own eyes, and it looked normal. ¬†Camera goes up – ULTIMATE WEIRDNESS!!! ¬†I thought to myself “I’m either going nutso, or these plane pretzels I just ate must be far beyond their expiry.”

Naturally I felt that if I could capture this on video, then I could have better dialogues with others with evidence.  So here we are:

Thoughts? ¬†Feelings? ¬†Happy to hear them. ¬†The flight attendant then proceeds to tell me….”I hope we land today…” ¬†I HOPE we LAND TODAY!!” ¬†Uhhhhhhhhhh….

Anyhow, my writing this is evidence I survived, or maybe it is because I went through the Vortex to Terrace and traveled to a new dimension. ¬†Either way, we ended up landing about an hour before the storm really started rocking, so whatever happened worked for the positiveūüôā.

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When I say that the money is on the road, I mean that quite literally!  On March 8th, I was en route to Victoria, BC for a feature at the Victoria Folk Music Society night.  I had taken the ferry over from the mainland, and walked from there to Sydney for an afternoon jam with some lovely people before the show.

I was strolling down the highway, just off the bike lane, and what do I see sticking out of the grass? ¬†A $1 Monopoly money denomination……

Now I have have walked many a highway in Canada now, and have come across some funny things laying on the road, but this was a first.

I simply observed it and carried on thinking, “That’s kind of funny.” ¬†Makes you wonder why one bill would be sitting there, or what scenario could have happened to lead to a single Monopoly dollar lying in the grass.

As I wandered forth about another 400 meters, I came across another one….directly in my path that I actually had to step over. ¬†Weird…..another 3-400m away, I come across another one!! ¬†This time, it was $5. ¬†WHAT?!

This trend continued to carry on, so I started picking them up. ¬†They weren’t crinkled, bent, folded, or torn…simply perfect condition for most of them. ¬†Another funny thing…the denominations started increasing!! ¬†They went up to $10, and then $20…Pretty good sign I thought!

Overall, I collected about 21 of these, and initially passed by several others on my way. ¬†There was a deep ditch off to the side of the highway, were other “items” had collected, and I kept my eye open for the fake currency, but none were to be found that far down. ¬†SO WEIRD!! ¬†It literally felt like they were being placed directly in my path.

I got an idea in my head for the show that night – It came to me that it would be fun to write messages on the back of these, and include them in my cd’s, that way, people would get something extra and positive – kind of like a fortune cookie!

As I came to my turn off into Sydney, no more bills appeared, however, something really special capped it all off. ¬†After turning the corner, I came onto a quiet residential street, thinking, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if the Monopoly money train kept going here…” ¬†All of a sudden, what came zooming through the air was a beautiful humming bird! ¬†It stopped relatively close to me, hung out for a moment, and then sped off on its merry way.

Not many people are aware of this, but hummingbirds have quite a unique significance in my family, particularly as a symbol of my late father. ¬†What a cool sequence of events! ¬†It’s amazing to me have the simple act of walking down a road can perk curiosity, bring the thrill of adventure, and round out in something sentimentally impactful. ¬†Made my day, and felt like confirmation of my idea to put messages in my cd’s.

So, from now on, if you pick up a cd from me at a show, expect a little extra something special with it. ¬†Now you’ll know where it came fromūüėČ.

Mr. Bard

Walk with an Eagle

March 30, 2015

This entry is more of a visual blog than a written blog.  Just wanted to share a cool encounter, and make a recommendation, particularly for those who love to run and walk.

2 weeks ago, my lovely lady and I went out to Stanley Park in Vancouver in support of a variety of friends who were running an 8km race, and our friend, Tom Skinner, the amazing race director of this event.  Side note РI used to run in various kinds of races for a lot of years, and I was so impressed with the way Tom and his team organized the event.  If runners or walkers are reading this, I highly recommend signing up for any race that this man puts on.  They are incredible!!

Back to the story, we were cheering on our friends and other runners, when all of a sudden this massive young eagle came flying out from above us, hovered over the water for fish, and then took off.  I have never been that close to one before, and happened to have my camera with me.  I got some of the coolest shots of this magnificent creature in action, so I hope you enjoy!

Go take your camera for a walk in the next month and see what you might be able to document in photo!

Mr. Bard

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These Shoes

March 2, 2015

Today, my barding self is another year older, and I find myself pausing for reflection. ¬† Exactly 3 years ago, I released my very first recording – What’s Life All About?, a collection of songs I haphazardly recorded myself with a couple of microphones and my laptop. ¬†It was symbolic of many changes in my life – the biggest of all being the decision to go down a full time musical road.

In anticipation of a different life, I made a small purchase – my first ever with the intention of walking down that path. ¬†Naturally, they were a pair of shoes. ¬†Here…meet my shoes………..

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Starting a new journey takes a good pair of shoes, but I had no idea the magnitude of adventure that awaited me with these guys.  They have stood with me upon many stages, they have been amongst some of the highest mountains (literally), they have walked the soil of many countries and coastlines.  They have known love, loss, friendship, life, death, and every emotion that travels alongside those feelings.  They have known the spectrum of magic from the lift of inspiration, to the devastation of failure, and carried on.

These shoes have endured much more than I could have ever imagined.  They are a vault of invaluable memories, and will always have a special place in my heart.

The soles have finally worn through, and it is time for a new pair of shoes. ¬†However, I am keeping these guys for sentimental reasons, perhaps making a guest appearance in the future for special occasionsūüôā.

Do you have a special connection with an old pair of shoes?  Never thought I could have become so attached to them.

In honour of my shoes, I leave you with a tune from that first recording I did, inspired by my sister-in-law, Steph.  May your feet guide you to many wonderful memories, people, and experiences, and may you have a friendly pair of shoes to share the ride with!

Follow Your Feet…¬†(click to listen)

Mr. Bard

“I Hear The Whale!!”

August 21, 2014

There are times in life when it is necessary to stop and marvel at incredible sequences of events that lead to one perfect moment.  I bring you one recent circumstance from my journey while playing on the Marine Atlantic Ferry between Argentia, Newfoundland and North Sydney, Cape Breton.

WARNING – THIS BLOG POST IS ABSENT OF ANY SUBSTENCE OF INSPIRING NATURE, AND WAS WRITTEN FOR PURE ENJOYMENT OF LIFE’S FUNNY LITTLE OCCURRENCES.

One late afternoon before I was about to begin my onboard performance, I decided to take a walk on the outside lower deck (#7), to get a little sun and ocean breeze. ¬†I hadn’t been outside more than a minute when a man I had previously met on another crossing approached me and asked if I had seen the whale. ¬†About 5 seconds passed, and I was amazed to see the water surface below breach with a burst of air, followed by the massive tail of a hump back whale.

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I immediately ran up to my room to grab my camera, and ran to the high outside deck (#9) to see if I could get a better angle for a photo.  A few minutes went by, and I saw he beautiful creature again, managing to get a few great shots.

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I stayed a little longer for another opportunity, but it seemed as if the whale was heading back out to sea.  I zipped across to the other side of the boat to try my chances there, but to no avail.  However, as I approached the door back inside, the great wonders of timing displayed themselves.

On the way back in, there were a group of people leaning against the railing, looking peacefully out towards the ocean. ¬†As I entered their proximity, one man began to pass gas……….Now, I use the term “began,” very purposefully, as what was to happen was beyond anything I previously thought possible by a human being on this earth.

I would have quantified this ripper at a magnitude strong enough to blow his pants off, yet to my disbelief, it began to accelerate in velocity and volume…

Shortly after my recognition and acceptance of the situation, I began to chuckle…..upon noticing others reactions to the free musical production, I began to deep gut laugh….but the best was yet to come.

Just as the performance was building up to the crescendo, the man that originally notified me of the whale’s existence came bursting through the door, camera in hand, and eyes poised to the horizon. ¬†He ran head first into the fart to rule all farts. ¬†I could tell he still had the eager goal of getting a photo as I had done by the look in his eye. ¬†In that moment, the man’s expression grew more excited, his hands fumbled with his lens cap as he raised the viewfinder to his face and towards the water.

At this point, my tear ducts began to flood with the hilarity of the scenario, only to be pushed further by the photographer yelling – “I HEAR THE WHALE!!!!!’ ¬†He then began to bring other’s attention to the presence of a whale…

I dropped to the ground….hard….paralyzed in what was one of the funniest sequence of events I have ever witnessed, only to be topped off with the man’s final realization of what the sound actually was.

As his face melted from overjoyed discovery to dumbfounded numbness and shock, I experienced a fierce cramping of my abdominal muscles, and a new world of silent state uncontrollable hysteria I had never experienced before.  Camera whale man quickly departed the premises, never to be seen again.

During the whole process, the conductor of flatulence never once budged or altered his stance, confidently delivering his gift to the world. ¬†If only he had known what had happened behind him….Maybe he did!

Happy Tails from the roadūüôā.

Mr. Bard

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