The Thin White Duke and Pipeline Moe: They did it their way

“They put you down, they say I'm wrong, You tacky thing, you put them on."                                                                        —From Rebel Rebel by David Bowie. With apologies to Sesame Street fave One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others), this blog somehow manages to wrap together David Bowie and Moe Norman with a nod to Frank Sinatra. I almost deleted it twice, but decided to take my own advice for once: take a … [Read more...]

My math belief added up to trouble (and how your stories are messing with you)

Can you glance at a bunch of numbers and effortlessly add them in an instant? Not me. Especially if there are people watching and waiting for me, such as after a round of golf and I'm the scorekeeper. Ack! When I have to publicly compute, I suffer bodily chaos similar to Albert Brooks' outbreak of flop sweat in Broadcast News. I think it partially stems from standing at the chalkboard in high school math class with an exasperated teacher … [Read more...]

Nothing will change until Rob has nothing to lose

It was a surreal start to the day. I picked up my Globe at the end of my driveway in the morning twilight to see a picture of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford with a crack pipe--apparently taken from a video shot surreptitiously by a drug dealer who sold three pictures to the Globe for $10,000. Part of the strangeness was the venerable, once-grey Globe buying pictures from a drug dealer. That's what London tabloids do. The Globe rationalized it, and I … [Read more...]

A pair of running shoes and Nelson Mandela

They were the most ragged pair of running shoes that I had ever seen. Mostly  tattered grey canvas clinging to rubber. It seemed like a minor miracle that they stayed on the feet of my caddie. And for me, they are my most powerful symbol of Nelson Mandela. It was November 1994 and I—the lone Canadian--was on a trip to South Africa with golf journalists from Europe and the United States. The trip was organized to showcase the great golf … [Read more...]

Saying goodbye to Lou Reed and his rock ‘n’ roll heart

    It was shocking to learn on Sunday afternoon that Lou Reed had died. He seemed like such a tough guy that he would prevail against most anything. But he had been a smoker, certainly a user of drugs, and a hard drinker. He underwent a liver transplant in April—also a surprise—but he paid the price when his body gave out at 71. Lou was a tough guy. That is, he waded into dark allies with self-assuredness that he’d … [Read more...]