Monday, March 30, 2015


SELF (on the left) and DILLON

My duties for the day actually began a week ago when my complicated friend, Robin, asked me draw her pet dog, Rudy.  And since I’d be beginning my day drawing dogs, I decided, too, whilst my pencil was moving, to sketch a portrait of Zeno, the pet doggie of my arithmetical friend, Kim.

As at the start of all of my sketches, whether they are human or canine, I never REALLY know how they are going to turn out.  All I know is that they always do turn out, and for the most part, in a positive regard.  And this, too, is true of guitar busking.


After my hound dog sketching of Rudy and Zeno, two portraits for Rudy and one for Zeno, I slung my guitar and headed downtown to busk at VALUE VILLAGE.  Some days, just bit-by-bit, I feel not so excited about going busking.  Today was one of those days.

And this non-excitement is especially true when no one familiar stops to chat.  For over half an hour people passed invisible-busker-me, but instead of moving, I was too lazy to change buskspots.  One of those passers-by even nodded her head in disgust, and still I chose not to move.  It was just one of those not-so-exciting meh mood days.

Perhaps I was suffering from POST PERFORMANCE DEPRESSION; after all, the day before, my first busking day of spring, I had a glorious time.  I shall explain.

Being a successful busker means having to learn how to busk.  This really means learning how to prepare.  Practice, practice, practice getting the tunes down will result in the endorphins up.  Such preparation is ever necessary for any next-to-perfect busk.  Actually, after literally hundreds of street performances, I've empirically decided that busks are never perfect, but they can be perfect fun.)

Anyway, sometimes there is the letdown -- the POST PERFORMANCE DEPRESSION.  I attribute this dullness due to the day before being one of those perfectly fun busking days.  The day before began with high expectations.  It was finally warm enough to busk!  It was my first out of the season! 

I do realize that as a busker I suffer disillusionment.  Oftentimes while busking, I am only in romance, not in reality.  This disillusionment is with good cause.  For example, one busking day I made $60 in my first five minutes of strumming.  This particular occasion represented the romance of busking, not the reality.  The reality is that after those first munificent five minutes, I made but $5 rounding out that same hour.

Sometimes I just need to remind myself that there are just bad busking days.  There are days when there is not much flow and not much money.  Today was one of those days. 

I packed up my guitar and headed to BROADWAY AVENUE (my used-to-be-favorite busk spot, until the zombiehood of beggars infested the parking lot) to shop for some grocery items, a quart of organic milk and a barbequed chicken to be exact.  There at the store entrance and busking away was my old buddy, Dillon, strumming his acoustic guitar.

Dillon and I have been guitar buddies for years, and not coincidentally, we are both buskers.  Factoid:  The last time I had seen Dillon, I was busking on the BROADWAY parking lot with my banjitar, and Dillon was busking in front of the liquor store of that same parking lot.  Dillon ditched his spot and joined me in an hour long busking jam.

Today, with his permission, I grabbed my guitar and harp and joined Dillon at his buskspot.  This was old times.  This was one of those near-perfect moments.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning of a planned busking day thinking this is all but jabberwocky.  Sometimes then, on these days, I am but a fraud. 

On such katzenjammer days my self-doubt ought to be my driving force for creativity.  Sunday was one of those days … until I re-connected with Dillon who unwittingly (he was just being his ever-friendly likeable self) proved to be my Sunday provocateur.

In Phenomenological Speak ...

this Sunday that began BOW-WOW ended with a WOW!    

Saturday, March 21, 2015


It is March 21st.  It is minus 5 degrees Celsius/ 23 degrees Fahrenheit!  It is the second day of spring and I do not feel like busking in the blowing snow!

Hmmm … Not so strangely then I can write about HOCKEY one more time before the last melt and before my busking season begins.

It is fitting that this week began with RON MACLEAN and his HOMETOWN HOCKEY show happening in downtown Regina.   

Of course we went, we being my favorite drummer busker, BARON CHILD, and my favorite NHL scout, BRAD HORNUNG, and self.  We didn’t buy the hats but we did see MARTY MCSORLEY, ex-NHL enforcer for the Edmonton Oilers and later, the Los Angeles Kings;
WENDEL CLARK, best known for being the gritty captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs; and we just about saw RON MACLEAN, (DON CHERRY’S sidekick on COACH’S CORNER), central host for ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY

Strangely then, as I was attempting to get pictures of RON MACLEAN behind the smoked glass, someone through the looking glass, some ROGERS HOMETOWN HOCKEY professional photographer, was taking pictures of me in the process.
Later in the week the REGINA PATS of the WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE were in action against the BRANDON WHEAT KINGS, and they were sporting their REGINA IRISH green, in place of their regular blue and red and white.

And the very next day the cat came back (again), NHL scout BRAD HORNUNG, sent me a picture of my favorite player ever, BOBBY ORR, standing alongside actor and game show host, ALAN THICKE, a Canadian zelig of celebrity, a FORREST GUMP among NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE all-stars.

Last night Baron and Brad and I attended the last regular season game of the REGINA PATS hosting the PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS.  Though the PATS lost in an overtime shoot-out, it did have a sweet ending with my favorite PATS player and best friend, COLBY WILLIAMS,   (GOOGLE my blog entitled COLBY SAVES CHRISTMAS) achieving the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (MVP) of the year AND … the FIRST STAR of the three stars selection at game end.

Now it is time for the hokey.  I like hockey; I like busking; I like hypnotherapy.  Save for the playoffs, hockey is over.   This shall be the last post hockey until next season.  I choose not to busk when temperatures are below freezing, and though this is typically a busking blog, I’ve really not any freshly baked busking stories to share with my readers.  And now in a big way I’m into hypnotherapy.  From writing about hockey and then on to hypnotherapy is, I know, noticeably contrived.  But what the heck and here I go with the commix of hockey, buskology, and hypnotherapy.

My captivating and brilliant Amazonian colleague, Kimberly, has just completed creating my hypnotherapy website ( and I am pumped to begin such a therapy in my private practice.  (Check out my website by clicking the top-right column of this blog entry.) 

My office is quaint, in a professional building filled with other counselors and psychologists, and just a ten minute brisk walk from my front door.  This I like.  This I like very, very much.  I’m a downtown guy and it makes perfect sense to operate my private practice right downtown.

And just what kind of hypnosis shall I practice?  There is Ericksonian Hypnosis, the methods of which I studied in graduate school at university.  There is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), the methods of which a couple hypnotherapy friends of mine employ only.  There is Age Regression Hypnosis, where the hypnotherapist increases the client’s access to childhood memories.  There is Past Life Regression Hypnosis where the therapist draws from the clients, their past lives or incarnations.  And there is even Erotic Hypnosis, where the hypnotherapist offers clients the fulfillment of their wildest erotic desires and fantasies, all without a hand caress, never mind a finger wiggle.

(I must confess that I do not fraternize with others in the community of hypnotherapy -- one I’ve chatted with a couple times on the telephone; one I taught in a university Psychology class; and one I met whilst on a European buskation, and that would be Michael Payne, the most celebrated hypnotherapist in all of southern Ireland!)
 Hmmm …

My friend, MICHAEL PAYNE, a hypnotherapist in Limerick Ireland (Google him), operates a Traditional Hypnosis practice, that being the bulk of his clients seeking therapy to stop smoking, lose weight, or overcome insomnia.  Methinks this shall be my practice, at least in the beginnings when I am inside my office.

However, when the weather warms and I am on either a buskapade or buskation, slinging my guitar and blowing my harpoon, or drawing people portraits with my pencil and sketchpad, I shall practice the busking art of STREET HYPNOSIS.

This shall be my kismet.   
This shall be my bildungsroman.



Sunday, March 15, 2015


Today is drizmall and the passers-by are much less than munificent.  During such dullish moments I tend to daydream, and today I’m dreaming about zombies.  I’m not dreaming about The Zombies, the 60’s English rock band (“She’s Not There”) who is still out and about on the festival circuits.  No, today I am daydreaming about THE WALKING DEAD, which happens to have zombies, and which is the most popular television series amongst my teaching colleagues, and apparently 15.7 million others in the Western world.

THE WALKING DEAD -- I am not a fan.

But I like zombies, at least zombie movies!  I liked 28 Days Later (2002), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Fido (2006), Zombieland (2009), World War Z (2013), and Warm Bodies (2013).

But alas, these are zombie movies, not zombie television.

What’s the difference?  Well, firstly, a movie is a 90 minute nuanced and detailed, crisp adventure.  A movie is quickly in and out, lasting only as long as the bag of buttered popcorn munched in concert with bag of cherry nibs; whereas, a television series can last multiple episodes over multiple seasons, over uncountable bottles of beer and innumerable bowls of chips.   

A movie has not a lot of time for character development; therefore, each and every scene must be painstakingly rehearsed and acted with precision.  A television series, rather, has loads of time for an actor to actually shape a character, slowly but surely in the viewer’s mind’s eye, and thus the reason for my criticism.

Because of the comparatively unlimited time factor that television can provide, some episodes do seem boring, even demanding trance-like attention pattern.  I do believe this to be in the very nature of television design, and that is to sell products.  To me, all television shows are soap operas, and true to the original intention, are produced only to sell products.  (In early television it was mainly soap, and therefore the soap opera designate).

Not unlike my favorite zombie movies, The WALKING DEAD proffers a post-apocalyptic group of denizens battling in the aftermath, a dystopian world of flesh-eating zombies. The WALKING DEAD is a story about survival, a story about hordes of animated dead with a relentless urge to consume the living human flesh of an at-first acephalous rattled remnant.  

Ah the zombies … They walk and they bite, they walk and they bite.  This is the motif of THE WALKING DEAD.  Or so it may seem.

Think about it.  Just who are the walking dead?  Just because they walk and they bite, one could easily assume that the walking dead, indeed, is referring to the zombies.  But since this is a television series, and as such there is lots of time to develop other motifs, especially in character behavior, the walking dead could then refer to a plodding and accursed secular remnant.   

To most of The WALKING DEAD fans, I know, empirically, that this is the case.  Oftentimes I’ve been reminded by certain walking dead-head colleagues that THE WALKING DEAD is about the interpersonal relationships of the survivors in their alterity, and not at all about the zombies.  Methinks to myself every time I hear this … DUH.  (Not so strangely, this is precisely the case in most zombie movies, save for Fido and Warm Bodies.)

I must mention there are a couple of motifs that I’d quite enjoy in THE WALKING DEAD (if I could force myself into the dead-head fanfare) as expressed in the adventure metaphors of heading-off-into-the-sunset and the stranger-comes-to-town. Such themes move me, as they are usually accompanied with an alpha-male and a physically desirable love-interest.  In movies, these lusty relationships are oftentimes torrid and fleeting; whereas, on television because of the unlimited time constraint, they are damp in the beginning, and blistering near the end.

THE WALKING DEAD.  I do believe the title refers somewhat to the zombies, and I believe, too, it refers somewhat to the troupe of survivors.  But … I really believe the walking dead refers mainly to the viewers. 

I shall explain. 

Our world right now is the richest and least violent it has ever been, though to many of us it does not seem so.  (Watching ISIS rampage through the Middle East executing savage and indiscriminate violence; and watching on the television news Jihadist fighters quoting the Qur’an as they behead their hapless victims, does not make it seem so.)

However, anthropologists are documenting that people were nine times more likely to die violent deaths in the prehistoric period than now, even when factoring the world wars and genocides prevalent in the 20th Century.  And in Europe the murder rate was thirty times higher in the 14th Century than it is today.

Hmmm … this is even when considering not traveling to places like San Pedro (Honduras), Acapulco (Mexico), Karachi (Pakistan), and Baghdad (Iraq).

Hmmm … this is even when not wanting to come vis-à-vis with members of ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, or Al-Qaeda.

How safe are we?  How fragile are our planetary peace agreements?


And because we don’t know we can help satisfy our curiosity by watching THE WALKING DEAD and other shows of this ilk. THE WALKING DEAD is a not-so-imaginary adventure, reminding us about the horrible things that are happening elsewhere in our world right now, adumbrating that without a moment of notice these atrocities might just happen to us.

THE WALKING DEAD is an allusive reference to the zombies.  THE WALKING DEAD is an allusive reference to the remnant.  THE WALKING DEAD is an explicit reference to the viewers.    


WE ... DON'T ... KNOW ... WHAT ... WE ... WOULD ... DO.

(THE WALKING DEAD has a STERLING THEME … but it is so so slow.)     

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Rrroll Up The Rim

“The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions” (American theologian, E. Stanley Jones, 1884-1973).

The conscious mind is the one that most people associate with who you are, the one most people present  in their day-to-day lives. The conscious mind is like your Zen, where you are at in the present moment. 
But by no means is this where ALL the observable action takes place.

It is generally agreed that we have three minds, the conscious mind, the
subconscious (or pre-conscious) mind, and the unconscious mind.

Fact: Our brains consume about 20% of the energy our bodies use.  But as far as actual brain space, the conscious takes up just 10%, the subconscious a majority 60% and the unconscious a significant 30%.

The conscious mind is our Captain, our logic and gloze-interface to the outer world.  Our conscious mind takes in EVERYTHING, while filtering what is only necessary for manipulating the moment.  However, it is our crew, our subconscious, based upon a lifetime of training and experience, that scrubs the deck and guides the ship.  Our subconscious is our fountainhead of memory upon memory, filled with faces, phone numbers, and gimcrack facts and facts and facts.

The subconscious, just below the conscious mind, is our memory recall.  The subconscious stores our accessible information, anything we can recall with ease. In
Psychology the subconscious refers to that part of the consciousness of which we are unaware, information that is not in our active awareness.  The subconscious only refers to information not consciously processed.  Such information can include the things we hear, the things we see, and the things we seem too insignificant to remember.

The unconscious mind is the storehouse of ALL our memories, which includes all our primitive instinctual wishes, all things we are not likely to readily access.  The unconscious is where we’ve stored our sometime-you-just-know kind of intelligence.  I’m not referring to those faces and phone numbers and gimcrack facts mentioned a couple paragraphs previous.  From either a repetition of past experiences (faces, phone numbers, and facts) or from our archetypical collective unconscious also comes for example (pun intended), the knowing of how to dance and how to make love.  

(For the record and for the procreation of the human species, I’ve a couple definitions:  
 Dancing is the vertical expression of horizontal desire; Love-making is the horizontal expression of vertical desire.)

During our lifetime, from birth until right now, we have acquired and will continue to acquire countless experiences and countless memories.  Most of this we cannot begin to remember and some of this we’ve repressed due to trauma; yet all of these acquisitions determine who we are, what we believe, and how we behave.

Some psychologists suggest that our conscious and subconscious, and unconscious communicate with one another in the forms of emotion and imagination and dream.  (On a side note for Freudians, the unconscious mind contains our biologically based instincts, the infra dig duality in our nature, our primitive urges for sex and aggression, Eros and Thanatos.  Eros represents our drive for attraction and reproduction; whereas, Thanatos represents our drives for repulsion and death.)

While we are fully aware what is going on in the conscious mind, we’ve really no idea how much knowledge, how much we’ve repressed in our unconscious mind.  The unconscious (mind), as coined by Freud, refers to that part of the mind that cannot be known by the conscious mind, all things sublimated, especially and including our socially unacceptable ideas, our reprehensible wishes and desires, and of course including memories that have traumatized us and given us the greatest of mental anguish and pain.

And this is where HYPNOTHERAPY comes into the picture.

People, generally, seek hypnotherapy to help them change some present and undesirable behavior.  People seek hypnotherapy to help change the patterns in their lives; eating less and quitting smoking being two such examples.

Some people believe that the unconscious mind can be accessed through hypnosis, setting the conscious mind to rest, allowing the brain to access repressed thoughts.  Some people believe that hypnotherapy can be used to access and recreate the moments and pictures in the album of one’s life, and therefore influence present patterns, and therefore changing any future undesirable behaviors.

Hmmm … I like HYPNOTHERAPY … but I’m not sure of the distinctions between conscious and unconscious.  Methinks Carl Jung’s COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS and ARCHETYPES make more sense, especially for the sake of humanity and hypnotherapy. 

And thus the reason for my blog title this week, RRROLL UP THE RIM TO WIN: THE UNCONSCIOUS CADGER.

This morning after my workout at the university followed by a long slow run around Wascana Lake, as is my habit, I stopped by TIM HORTONS for my familiar Steeped Tea with two creams and one sugar.  When it was finally my time to be served (I’d stood in quite a long line for considerable minutes) I realized I did not have my wallet.  Exiting immediately, I was stopped by a cadger standing outside TIMMY’S (which we affectionately refer to TIM HORTONS in Canada), who said, Hey mister, I’ll buy you a coffee.  I just found the cup in the garbage and I rrrolled up the rim to win.  And I’d like to give it to you!  (Atop this blog is a picture of the real rrroll up.)

Those marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week: