How do you eat an elephant?

My elephant that I want to eat is weight right now. It will take steps, lots of steps – too many steps for one day. Just like the elephant of learning a new language, or creating a new habit. Digestible chunks a bit at a time.

I will be parking at the far end of parking lots or even a block away. No elevators, only stairs. I went out and bought waterproof walking boots yesterday so even the days of slush ahead won’t deter this stepper from his route.

Whatever you want to change, I encourage you to find a way to break it down into pieces. Take steps toward your goal, even small steps in the right direction are progress. Hugs !

Life and Random Thinking

No, I’m absolutely not proposing a new kind of Atkins diet where you eat elephants. Yuck! It’s a metaphor for accomplishing a big task. The answer is in small bites(and probably chew thoroughly)   🙂

elephantReally what I am talking about  is slowly achieving tasks, like:

  • riding a bike,
  • learning a language,
  • public speaking
  • training your body (or mind)
  • developing a new skill.

When we do gradually invest time in an activity over a long period, we gradually build up our comfort level and learn easily, digestible chunks!

The first time you drove a car, you were scared, stiff movements but now getting in and driving is totally relaxed.

The same thing learning to ride a bike, at first you wobbled and weaved, but as you invested time, gradually it was something that no longer made you nervous at all. Hop on, and off!

The same for so many things, I…

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Three Little Random Thoughts – #2 Wounded

Welcome back to my blog, and the 2nd post in this new category of “Three Thoughts.”

Africa wondering why I’m taking her picture.

In the last few years I have been referred to something called the “Wound Clinic“. The staff there are amazing at helping people deal with healing of chronic wounds. Each visit they took pictures, treated me, and even the bandages were excellent as they came off, because they removed painlessly!

I am grateful for their help, advice, and attention at each visit, they even treated me on Sundays when the building was closed. They would make an appointment, let me in and treat me. Kind of mind blowing being able to go on a Sunday, and be done in 20 minutes heading home.

You and I no doubt are now thinking along the same lines. Many people need help with healing – it would be so nice if there were wound clinics especially for the invisible chronic wounds, and bandages that worked for them.

Those people are in my thoughts today – I wish healing and help for those who are carrying those tragic wounds, invisibly.

I wish them each help, and healing and encourage them not to give up hope.

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do any good in the world. ~ Helen Keller


One book I have read a book is called “LINCOLN on Leadership – “Executive Strategies for Tough Times (written by Donald T. Phillips). I highly recommend it, super historical and yet applicable today especially for those in leadership positions.

Abraham Lincoln was largely self-taught, and his mother died when he was young. Yet his achievements and his legend grows.

He didn’t have the advantages of academics lining up to guide him, and he started his first Presidency forced into war that had begun before he was sworn in.

In this book the author shares the modern Leadership principles that Abraham Lincoln mastered before they were identified as principles.

My quote today President Lincoln comes from his 2nd inaugural address, 41 days before he was assassinated. I am sure many Americans will recognize these words.

They seem so apt right now. I wonder how readers interpret his words, the war was nearly over, effectively ending April 9, 1865.

I believe he was calling his nation to heal, tough stitches certainly to close the wounds, but those are the steps towards getting better.

"With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan ~ to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." - March 4, 1865


Lastly a few photos of the signs that you see if you walk along either of the lakes in Penticton.

I see these signs as I walk or ride along and they are “muy bonito”. ♥

Thanks for visiting today, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions – David

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Three Little Random Thoughts – #1: Ordinary DaZe

Lots of ordinary days lately, and all special.

Here in my little town (pueblo – I am studying espanol) named Penticton the season of autumn is doing it’s “thing“.

Leaves have fallen, are fallen, and are yet to fall. I have been in the backyard raking leaves with my wide new leaf rake. (I get excited about small things – that rake is fantastic ♥)

I feel like the tree is laughing at me though. While I am raking it drops more leaves one at a time exactly where I just raked, to ruin my freshly raked look. Oy vey

Do cherry trees have a sense of humor?

After I go inside, it waits patiently until the sun sets around 4:30 and then shakes a fresh coat of leaves to cover my briefly pristine grass.

I thought it was the wind, but now I am sure the leaves shaking is because the tree is chuckling. But the last laugh will be mine, because the tree is running out of leaves; albeit gradually.


Here is some pictures I hope you will enjoy; all taken locally in Penticton.

Click here if you want to learn where Penticton is.

The first photo below is along the Okanagan lake in Peachland, about 25 minutes north of where I live.

Such nice names for communities north of Penticton; Summerland and Peachland.

The other pictures are just from walks lately. I walk every day, usually a few times a day and sometimes after dark. I need to burn those calories, and that means getting out there and taking steps.

A few days recently I have been out on my bike also, thank heaven for the invention of fleece balaclava ‘s. My face stays warm even if the rest of me feels a little numb. ♥


In 2006 I had been working at my job for 26 years. That is a long time, I definitely could and did communicate for work.

At work there was an Open House, and a speaker there told us about Toastmasters. It sounded interesting and it was about learning to be comfortable speaking and more. I was intrigued. I didn’t want to improve my speaking and confidence for work, I wanted to do it for myself, for the events in life I consider more important than w-o-r-k.

I decided to join Toastmasters so I can speak “whenever” I wanted to; that included family events, happy and sad. I am glad I did. I have spoken many times now on behalf of the family, and each time I was grateful to do so.

Looking back I am glad I didn’t settle for my “good enough” level of confidence and public speaking.

I mention this for anyone who is already “good enough” at communicating at their jobs, or personal events.

I never look for a plumber, barber, surgeon or dentist and settle for “good enough” – so I decided to join Toastmasters in 2006. I never had a clue then I would enjoy it so much I would still be active as a member 14 years later.

What is Toastmasters? It’s a worldwide learning organization since 1924 – people have been learning and bettering themselves for decades and having an amazing time while doing so.

Click here to visit and learn more.

Visit a club near you for free – since Toastmasters Internation is in 143 countries there are tens of thousands of clubs and one could be near you! You can attend Toastmasters meeting near you using “Zoom” – plus you can be a guest and learn what it’s about “for free”.

This link is for my Toastmasters Club – Penticton Toasties.

There are three kinds of people in this world; people who make it happen, people who watch what happens, and people who wonder what happened. – Tommy Lasorda


Thanks for visiting today! – Hugs to my friends who read regularly and leave a like and comment. I hope you are enjoying YOUR ordinary DaZe also. ♥

Suggestions and feedback are super welcome – David

Shhh – don’t wake Africa.
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A Rare Book – Grizzled Miners and Dance Hall Girls

Book recommendations are rare for me.

Regardless I want to share a recommendation about an exceptional book. I hope you won’t mind too much. If you investigate and love it, that would please me very much.

The first time I read this book, the copy I read was obviously well read, the pages were soft from being passed along and read, then reread. It was actually the well read condition of the book that intrigued me and caused me to buy that second-hand copy and read it. I loved it and gave it away to someone to read after I gushed passionately about how interesting I found it.

Recently this book again came to mind, and I wanted to re-read it so I borrowed it again from the Penticton library. This time I found it in my library. Yay ! I love libraries!

In 1907 Laura left her comfortable life in Toronto to teach in a Yukon mining town, Dawson City which was nicknamed “Paris of the North“.

The book is “I MARRIED THE KLONDIKE” by Laura Beatrice Berton

I SUPPOSE in everyone’s life there eventually comes a moment when one’s future is suddenly changed. My own moment came one hot morning in Toronto in the summer of 1907. A voice on the telephone asked if I could leave at once to take charge of the kindergarten in Dawson City. As the salary offered was four times what I’d been getting I accepted immediately. Men rushed to the Klondike for riches; why not a 29-year-old schoolma’am?

My plan was to go for just one year and then return to Toronto. But I was never to live in Toronto again. I could not know that I would marry a sourdough, drive across the roof of the world in an open sleigh, spend a three-month honeymoon in a tent, raise a family in the north, Boat down the Yukon in a poling boat and live for twenty-five unconventional years in the unconventional little city of Dawson. If I had been transplanted to another planet the contrasts could not have been stranger.

Just over 225 pages, this is a soft covered paper book, and for me it was not a long read.

The book is humorous, and filled with stories of the hard life of this small city, it’s isolation, the unexpected grandeur and it captured my heart.

It did so because of the warm writing style, much like a journal of events and personal discovery. So much did I enjoy it, I want others to enjoy it also.


As I get ready to publish this I am realizing that this book, I Married The Klondike may be hard to find. – Click here for help and itunes.

If you want to read more about the Klondike Gold Rush, her son Pierre Berton was a writer and a historian of the highest acclaim and success. Please seek out one of his Klondike books as an alternate, and you have many to choose from. I found a list of his writing on his Wikipedia page here.

Not in the mood for a book? – click here ♥ for delightfully narrated video by Pierre Berton. He shares about the city where he was born, the Paris of the North – learn about Whisky Hill and the men and the women in the video called City of Gold.

There will never again be a gold rush like the Klondike, where the excitement was such that nearly 1000 of the 4000 people in Seattle set out to the north, for fortune and attempt to overcome desperately difficult challenges.

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Travel Back in Time With Me

Dear Reader, thanks for visiting “Life and Random Thoughts” today.

Travel back in time with me to just a few weeks ago, before this cold snap – it’s Zero degrees today, then it was warmer. It’s mitts and toque time now ♥

Thinking of you I took some pictures a few weeks ago on a walk on the KVR (Kettle Valley Railway) pathway. Click Here to find out more about the pathway. This pathway is on the north end of Penticton overlooking the Okanagan lake.

The area where I intended to walk was closed off for half the day due to a movie being filmed.

More on movies in case you are interested; A feature film “Change of Pace” staring the Will and Grace actor Eric McCormack has been filming all over Penticton lately. Eric who?? – click here

I am looking forward to seeing this movie as so many local spots will stand out and be recognizable, the high school, the SS Sicamous etc.

Actually lots of movies were being filmed up the valley this year, including a Christmas movie filmed during the summer in the town just north which is named Summerland. It was interesting because the Summerland downtown core has a Victorian theme and it was all decked out in Christmas decorations for night filming mainly. It was a “Hallmark” movie – I love those easy to watch movies, my confession to you.

I lost my thought track for a second; away from movies and head back to the walk pictures with me okay. I distracted myself, LOL.

Moving away from the original walking spot on the KVR I just went a few kilometres north to walk and I took some pictures for you. That area is vineyards, and looks down on the Okanagan lake.

In the background you might see Giant’s Head mountain which I climbed 37 times this summer. It’s across the lake and directly above my head in the photo below. We walked to the very top and looked around and down the valley each time. Each time was an accomplishment for me, believe me. Those walks, the hummingbirds, the view was amazing.

Click here to see the view.

Then later that day near sunset I went to the south end of Penticton and Skaha Lake. The film crews surprised me as now they were set up to film there next. I took some more pictures for you.

The film crew had decorated along the lake walk so it looked like the finish line for a Can-Am marathon. We do have a lot of running events but none of them are named Can-Am (short for Canadian-American I am confident). Notice the banners which were there for a week and then returned to the usual Skaha lake banners, in another post I will share walkway light banners with you. ♥

If you would like to know more about Penticton – Click here.

Thanks for going back in time with me a few weeks.

I hope you enjoyed going on a walk with me. If you come to Penticton you can drive to these locations in minutes and see them for yourself.

I love how the Skaha lake was calm that day and it’s close to home and often the location we choose for a walk. Today it is whitecaps and windy!

Thank you for your interest in my blog. Please share with my your thoughts and suggestions- David

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WDYB – Membership Matters

Today I want to ask you to think about Membership ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I felt a little bit crazy this morning when I got up at 4:42 A.M.; sunrise wasn’t until 7:34, the house was dark, the floor was cold. Just in time I remembered to turn off my 4:45 alarm in order to not awake my dear wife who might confirm my first thoughts of the day.

I splashed cold water on my face, filled my water bottle, and picked up two oranges to nibble on over the next two plus hours – I was heading for a meeting in the Tamil region of southern India and what would reveal itself to me as a meeting of minds and hearts.

On LinkedIn the other day I fortuitously was introduced to the Coimbatore Toastmasters Club, I connected with them not even knowing why, or would be my next step. Impulsively I committed to myself that I would attend their next virtual club meeting before I calculated the time difference. (here is a link to their website)

That 12.5 hour time difference resulted in my early wake up so I could arrive early at their 6 PM meeting at which Toastmaster Mayur promptly welcomed me and asked where I was from.

I stayed more than two hours, and enjoyed the meeting immensely because of the members, their well organized meeting, their warmth and their energy.

In person or virtually – This is an amazing club – Coimbatore Toastmasters


One thing I realized quickly when I visited and interacted with Tarum, Muthumakar, Rajesh, Praveena, Akaash, Bubha and others was how much we had in common. That common language and understanding made us less than strangers despite the fact we had never met before.

Toastmasters all share common values (Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence) and we speak the same Toastmasters language even if our native languages are different. This is very possible since Toastmasters is truly international as members are in 145 countries. Kind of mind boggling isn’t it?

Late happy birthday also to Toastmasters also. The founder unofficially began his work in 1905 at the Bloomington, Illinois YMCA educating men in public speaking and how to conduct meetings. Ralph Smedley was helping them develop self-confidence, along with many other skills. (click here for History of Toastmasters)

The first official Toastmasters meeting was October 22, 1924 (Happy 96th birthday!) and I am confident Ralph had no idea where that first meeting would lead to.


WDYD (Where Do You Belong) – Membership Matters

I was thinking later on this morning that I have been a Toastmasters since 2006. I enjoy it, I learn from it, and have fun while benefiting. Perhaps being a member says something about me.

I hope it says I value communication, and helping others. I know Toastmasters has helped me practice speaking and I am grateful. If not for Toastmasters I know I would not have spoken up when in my heart I wanted to.

Toastmasters involvement helped me in my career also but the important times in my life are really the personal events, the weddings, the celebrations of life, those are the moments I value the most. Those are the moments I was grateful I had a voice and could use it.

Describing me, people don’t say David is a Facebook member, or has had a gmail account for decades.

After my hobbies like blogging, cycling, I hope they say David is a Toastmaster, David supports his local library supporter by volunteering as a member of the board.

Membership Matters –

Where are you a Member?

“Don’t be deceived by the spirit of complacency and think you have achieved enough. Try to become better than you’ve been.”

― Israelmore Ayivor


Tens of thousands of Toastmasters Clubs are meeting every week, and you can join a virtual meeting from your own computer; if you are a guest – you will be welcomed just like I was today.

Thanks for visiting today. I am grateful you visited. See you again soon I hope. – David

Click here to learn more

Mohammed Qahtani is a champion speaker now, but he overcame stuttering. Enjoy his fun speech

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