Monthly Archives: March 2014

Freezing rain in Greater Moncton covering the area in ice

March 31 2014 - Freezing rain - Greater Moncton
A long bout of freezing rain in Greater Moncton has left everything covered in a thick layer of ice. Be careful out there! (Click on the photo for a larger version.) © 2014 Brian Cormier

We’ve been having freezing rain in the Greater Moncton area since yesterday. This is a photo of the railings on the stairway into my accountant’s office in Dieppe. Thought I’d get a head start on having my 2013 tax return done, but none of his staff could make it in because of the roads out where they live. Safety first in this terrible weather! Drive carefully! It’s a nasty one out there!

Tutors urgently needed in Greater Moncton to teach adults to read

Learn to read!
Learning to read isn’t just about books. Being able to read can also help you with everyday chores, such as grocery shopping.

You can change the course of many lives and the future of our region. The Moncton Regional Learning Council is a volunteer, non-profit organization which offers free, confidential, one-on-one tutoring to adult learners. The Council is presently seeking volunteers who would like to be a part of this change. A two-part tutor training workshop will be held on April 11-12 and April 25-26 at the New Brunswick Community College in Moncton. To register or for more information on how you can make a difference in someone else’s life by teaching them to read, call the Moncton Regional Learning Council at 382-3303.

Hump Day: The joys of being able to comb your hair with a face cloth

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Looking back at old minor hockey team photos from the mid-1970s, I’m struck by the sight of that one kid with the huge afro – a large luxurious bush of hair that was so humongous that it could have housed its own ecosystem. It looked hot – not in handsomeness (well, there’s that, too), but I mean in sheer terms of temperature. Your head would never get cold with that pile of hair on your head, let’s just say that.

If you haven’t already guessed, that beautiful head of hair belonged to yours truly. I remember hearing reassurances that I’d never go bald. I heard it so much that I never thought I would. So full of hair was my scalp that the mere thought of going bald one day was like thinking the Atlantic Ocean would dry up on the first hot day of summer.

Losing my hair never bothered me too much. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a pretty minor (and common) sign of aging in men – so common, in fact, that I don’t even blink anymore or even bother to comment when I notice that a friend is losing (or has lost) his hair. It’s inconsequential and par for the course at this age.

My father had lost his hair at a young age. In fact, he was clearly balding when he got married at the age of 29. When I hit that age, I still had all my hair, but by the time I reached my mid-30s, my formerly luxurious locks had started to abandon ship. Some thinning on top eventually became too much to even hide. I knew the gig was up when I had to put sunscreen on my head.

I just had to accept the inevitable. I could have invested a kabillion dollars in hair replacement, plugs or medication to help slow the process or simply make it appear that I’d never lost a strand of hair down the shower drain, but it wasn’t a priority. Besides, am I the only person who thinks a long and flowing head of perfectly brown hair (no grey at all) looks stranger and stranger on someone as they age? It just doesn’t look natural.

Older men are supposed to be a bit grey; a bit bald. If you look 90 and don’t even have grey around the temples, you’re not fooling anyone. Better yet are the ones who slap on the toupee to go to church like they’re peeling a shower cap over their head before going for a swim. Yeah, we can see your grey hair peeking out from underneath your wig, sir. I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re not fooling anyone.

Lewisville Minor Hockey 5 OHs team 1977-1978
Who would have ever thought that the guy with the colossal afro — that’s me in the back row, third from right — would one day be writing a column about baldness? This is the Lewisville Minor Hockey 5 OHs team in 1977-1978. We won the championship that year. I think I even scored the third goal of my nine-year minor hockey career that year! (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Let’s just say that if your hair looks like it belongs on (insert name of latest handsome movie star with a full head of hair) and your face looks like (insert name of very old famous person), it doesn’t exactly match up. You wouldn’t want me walking around town in spandex would you? No, I think not. That would be delusional. Then either get a greyish wig or go ‘au naturel.’ Let your baldness shine – literally!

I’ve never considered shaving my head. It’s bad enough now that I have to shave my face. It’s just a daily pain and waste of time. Mind you, I shave every day, but it’s still a chore that inevitably leaves me picking up chunks of my head off the floor because I shave so fast that I pretty much butcher myself due to impatience.

I sported a beard in college once. Trust me, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Between the bushy afro and the unkempt beard, I looked like some professional wrestler named Man Mountain Roscoe or something along those lines – someone who they’d found somewhere deep in the mysterious forests of a South American country no one has ever heard about. With that said, a beard is not an option.

At this point, I just try to keep what’s left of my hair short. I go to a regular barber and have the same answer I’ve had for a few years now when I’m asked how short I want it. “Number two razor all over, please. ”The buzz cut takes five minutes or so. Nothing complicated. Inexpensive. Quick. Easy. Being bald isn’t so bad.

Which leads me to the females of our species for whom hairdos are a matter of tremendous excitement and much animated conversation. I swear, two women I know will talk for half an hour about a half-inch trim while men won’t mention another guy’s haircut unless he’s gone from Rapunzel-like hair down to a shaved head covered in Swastika tattoos. It has to be pretty dramatic for a man to comment on another’s haircut.

Two women, however? They are spooky. They can spy the slightest change in another woman’s hair from 100 feet away. ‘Louise? Did you cut your bangs? Change your colour?’ ‘Why yes, Thelma, I did! I had my hairdresser cut an eighth of an inch off and dye exactly 20 strands of hair one per cent darker than the rest. I’m so happy you noticed! And it only cost $165!’

If I paid $165 for a haircut, there’d better be plastic surgery involved And throw in doing my taxes, too! And clean my house!

I pay $8.50 for a haircut. If (what’s left of my hair) is long enough before I cut it, it could be noticeable to someone who’s paying attention. Buzz Buzz. Buzz. Finished in five minutes. I don’t expect anyone to notice. It’s nice if they do, but I won’t be devastated if no one says anything.

You’ve got to give it to women though. They notice these things. And God help the man in their life who doesn’t notice when she’s had her hair done – no matter how slight a change Surely the two worst things a guy can hear are, ‘Does this make me look fat?’ and ‘Do you notice anything new with my hair?’ And if she has to ask if you’ve noticed her hair, I hope you have a comfortable sofa. You may be there for a while.

Doves at sunset enjoying the calm before the storm

Doves at sunset - Moncton, N.B. - March 25, 2014
Doves at sunset – Moncton, N.B. – March 25, 2014. Click on the photo for a larger version. © Brian Cormier 2014

We’re supposed to get walloped with a big snow storm here in Moncton tomorrow. Maybe someone should warn these doves who were relaxing in the tree in my back yard earlier this evening at sunset.

This week’s giveaway: Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth Godin
This week’s newsletter giveaway is a hardcover copy of Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.

Publisher’s description: “Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won’t forget a Purple Cow. And it’s not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It’s built right in, or it’s not there. Period. In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.”

To enter your name in the contest, follow the instructions in this week’s newsletter. To subscribe, please fill out the form in the right-hand column of website. The deadline for entries is Sunday, March 30, at noon. The winner will be chosen by random draw.

Congratulations to last week’s winner, Scott Cormier, who won a copy of Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync by Seth Godin.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Ginny Murphy for winning this week’s giveaway! Enjoy the book!