Ep 99 - Author - Norman McCombs, A Reason to Be

• October 19th, 2020

Norman McCombs turned a period of grief and reflection into a therapeutic exercise as he wrote about his family history after losing his wife.

Before the story of his historical work, he explains his understanding of true love and the nature of faith. Michael asks about finding reasons to be, reasons to write, and reasons to be irrational from time to time. On the topic of history, both Michael and Norman have family connections on either side of the American Revolution as well as the War of 1812, which leads to a discussion of Canada-US relations over time and the direction of America now.

Norman also offers his insights into teaching engineers, the nature of compromise and starting a second book.

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Ep 98 - Entrepreneur - Fear and Intention, Anton Hyginus

• October 13th, 2020

Anton Hyginus is back and he has had some time to develop his business and build on ideas that Michael offered him during his last session.

Their conversation moves wildly from reaching people with his new album, collaborating in virtual offices, golf, trust, politics, addiction, christianity, learning, statistics and fate. This one is a genuine ride of chat, please enjoy.

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Ep 097 - Musician - Full Commitment Means Never Failing, David Sprague of Psychopath Etiquette

• October 1st, 2020

You know a great band name when you see one, David Sprague of Psychopath Etiquette doesn’t have much of a story to tell about coming up with the name, but he does have some other ideas to share.

 

Michael asks him about his thoughts on professionalizing his family band, how the creative process works between himself and his brother and what he finds fulfilling about music.

 

David opens up about how his relationships have led to songs, how he fell in love with the idea of something and being hurt by the reality of it. He talks about vulnerability and honesty in art.

 

Beyond that, the two discuss Bob Dylan getting booed, creative pivots as business decisions, the fight against non-sense lyrics, setting goals, independence, and some ideas on podcasting.

 

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Ep 96 - Christianity - Redefining the Church by Listening to God, Eric Jackson

• September 14th, 2020

Eric Jackson has been a pastor for more than ten years, but has now begun a journey of redefining his approach to faith - he calls it a feral christianity, something that he defines as an uncompromising, loving, listening church. It may not be what broader civilization wants it to be, but it’s what makes sense to do.

 

After getting some definitions out of the way, Michael asks about erosions of character, manipulations of the zeitgeist and other flaws he sees among practicing christians. Eric explains how he feels Christians should be acting right now, how faith should be informing anyone’s political actions, and how he pulls down fences non-believers might have.

 

They also ponder the nature of evil, how to embody Christ given current social upheavals, and the value of reading parables.

 

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Ep 95 - Spirituality, Filmmaker - Hard Faith and Video Tape, Spencer T Folmar

• September 1st, 2020

The world of ‘Message Films’ and ‘Moral Media’ needs some shaking up, our latest guest Spencer T Folmar aims to do just that with his movie making. Sitting down with Michael he shares his journey from cynicism in PA to faith in LA, studying Job and JRR Tolkien and American culture and how that feeds into his filmmaking. As they discussed his two most recent films they also touched on contemporary politics, dealing with integrity, going further and doing more with their ideas and a whole range of subjects in between. This episode contains frank discussion of drug abuse and suicide.

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Ep 94 - Politics - Trudeau, Corrupt or Incompetent, with Jason Cherniak

• August 19th, 2020

Lawyer, prospective parliamentary candidate, and political blogger Jason Cherniak joins Michal to discuss the current climate of Canadian federal politics.

 

The two work through each of Trudeau's scandals while in office; from face-painted pasts, private islands, traditional garb gaffes, and the recent sole-sourced conflict of interest with the Kielburgers.

 

They also share the erosion of persuasion in politics at the leadership and news levels, critiques of Bill Morneau and Jason own changing attitudes as a Liberal. 

 

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Ep 93 - Author, Spirituality - Liz Lewinson, Calling for Athena

• July 31st, 2020

Liz Lewinson is an author, speaker, teacher, feminist advocate for meditation from California. Michael and to start by asking her how she defines feminism, which leads to a discussion of feminine power in change and fluidity. Meditation enters as she describes how to create balance in your own energies. Michael brings the talk back down to discussions of women in history and role models for women.

 

We also delve into psychic phenomena and how it impacts relationships, especially sexual ones.

 

What the two leave on is a call for change; we need more respect and appreciation for what makes us powerful; we need benevolence and wisdom.

 

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Ep 92 - Musician - Does the Music Own You? Billy Ray Rock

• July 28th, 2020

Billy Ray Rock is an artist of many styles and genres, so Michael had to ask him about his influences. That question turns autobiographical as shares stories about living in a one radio station town to how he builds playlists when he’s driving with his kids.

 

When it comes to connecting with an audience he shares two secrets; first is that it only takes one song to connect - and second, it only has to connect with the coolest person in a peer-group.

 

Beyond that, the two discuss the cycles of racial divides in the music industry, RNB dance going on the wane and the nature of telling the truth.

 

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Ep 91 - PR Expert - Building Bridges with Daniel Torchia

• July 21st, 2020

Daniel Torchia is professionally, a communicator and personally, a man of faith. Right now he’s trying to maintain his sense of optimism as economies and people are suffering deeply. He shares with Michael what he’s been doing with his time at home; working to be a witness, to work within providence, and letting go of his illusions.

 

Beyond the pandemic, he also shares how to be a good citizen and speaker when social upheavals occur. Avoid knee-jerk reactions before endorsing any group, even though you might think their cause is in the right place. Find or build bridges for people to share.

 

They also delve into social media sins, the failings of some capitalisms, consumerism, and learning to appreciate words by spending time mute.

 

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Ep 90 - Financial Advisor - Be Kind, Be Good with Money, Robert Farrington

• July 10th, 2020

While he advises young people, the fundamentals of money management is a lesson everyone seems to need. Robert Farrington is the founder and CEO of The College Investor and he joined Michael to talk about the two entangled crises of paying for an education: runaway costs at for-profit institutions, and the debt people are willing to carry an education they're ‘supposed’ to have.

 

This episode delves into a number of ideas about how to approach training, setting realistic goals, non-education alternatives, and the tangential benefits of going out of town for school.

 

They move beyond paying for education, and into bigger ideas about how debt can function like an addiction, the way we write and speak about millennials, the monthly payment mentality, and using your taxes like a report card.

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Ep 89 - Author - Framing Letters, Paz Ellis

• June 19th, 2020

Paz Ellis and her family have lived a life and a half. She and Michael spoke about her journey toward writing, rediscovering her family through letters, how to honour three cultures as a 2nd generation American, and growing up under a cloud of depression. In terms of her writing career, she shares her process, her issues editors, and how to read bad reviews. Our conversation had to end early, but I hope we can do another one after her next book is out.

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Ep 88 - Musician - Recording Authenticity, Izzie’s Caravan

• June 9th, 2020

Izzie paused his caravan to chat about the blues, his inspiration, how to tell stories and how to record imperfectly as he comes close to releasing his new record. He and Michael also talked about his career as a philosopher, and a teacher.

Discussing favourite authors and how bad education can be. Jumping back into music, they consider musical lineages, copyright reforms, and how social media for musicians pushes fame more than creativity.

This one travels pretty far, but it’s a good journey.

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Ep 87 - The Wrong Apology

• May 28th, 2020

The Mayor took action on his own over the weekend, and then had to apologize for botching it. Our thoughts on this and other COVID events in the area.

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Ep 86 - Lies from Satan

• May 26th, 2020

Michael took some time to reflect, and emerged with some thoughts on masks, leadership, evil and current times.

He asked Greg from Get a Grip on Lighting to expand on all this.

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Ep 85 - Author - Current Problems and Speculative Stories, JR Harber

• May 15th, 2020

JR Harber is an author of dystopian fiction, and like many in that genre looked at the world and wrote to his concerns about current events.

Joining Michael for a chat leads to more talk about society than the actual book, running through the tradeoffs in how we live, reacting to modern leadership, moral solutions to social science problems, paranoia, carrot and stick legislation and culture as narrative.

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Ep 84 - Author, Counselor - Touching is a Touchy Subject, Jed Jurchenko

• April 24th, 2020

Jed Jurchenko is an author, and family and marriage counselor. He joined Michael for a chat about stress, conflicts between couples and how to reconnect after a spat. Their discussion ranges from types of communication, emotional needs as physical needs, addiction, finding perspective in the middle of an argument, the demon of procrastination, the ambiguity of intentions, the nature of forgiveness, and anger as a check engine light.

Whether it’s writing habits or communication habits there’s something to learn here.

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Ep 83 - Author, Fitness Expert, Entrepreneur - Building Bodies, Business, and Worlds; Vincent Bowe

• April 16th, 2020

Vincent Bowe is an entrepreneur, author, and fitness expert. Michael dives into his background as a young athlete and the culture and attitudes in competitive athleticism, before discussing building good gym habits and Vincent’s mindset as a trainer.

As an author, the two discuss the trip to the circus inspiration behind his fantasy series The Elite Way and how he was encouraged to start with a simple novel, over trying to sell a screenplay or launch a web series. Vincent really believes in the message and ideas that motivated his story and it carries through across the web conference.

Beyond trying to self-publish the novel, he’s working to take what he’s learned in the process and creating a business that helps others navigate publishing as well, this leads to a conversation about entrepreneurship and building businesses as its own reward. This a dynamic and varied conversation, thanks to Vincent for joining us.

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Ep 82 - Professional Organizer - Organizing the Organization, Kathleen O’Brien

• April 9th, 2020

Kathleen O'Brien joins us to explain her techniques in stress reduction through stuff reduction. She tells Michael about her SPACE System of sorting, purging, assigning a home, containerizing and then equalizing the physical, digital, and emotional piles in your workspace.

Kathleen is unique in the field of organizers in that she works with corporate clients, rather than individuals. She explains how bad habits tend to form from the top down and can be hard to break until there’s enough pain, struggle, and financial loss to force a drastic change. Growing enterprises may need organization officers as well as planners and operations managers.

The pair also get into how Kathleen became a Professional Organizer, how she deals with clients' feelings of shame and guilt, and needs to keep secrets as part of her job.

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Ep 081 - Conspiracy - Replace the Beams with Rotten Timber

• April 1st, 2020

While most of China's aggressions against its own people have been shows of dominance and suppressions of any non-state authority, would they be willing to harm their own people as a show of cultural superiority?

Michael hops on a call with Greg and Scott to lay out a little what if scenario.

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Ep 080 - Episode 80 - Health - Toronto Had the COVID in December?

• March 27th, 2020

Michael has been doing some reading, a little research and is checking that against his recollections from December and has a few questions and concerns about Toronto's COVID-19 Situation.

He invited Greg for Get a Grip on Lighting to share some ideas.

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