Update July 18, 2010

It was grey and hazy on a Monday afternoon with dark clouds seemingly far off in the distance. I was riding my new Specialized bicycle enjoying my favorite ride on the bike path heading West towards the Pumphouse Theater and Edworthy Park. As it got closer, I couldn't help but vividly remember my 2002 stroke. Within seconds, it started to rain small hail stones that clattered off my helmet. I shook my head thinking, "Calgary weather", but within seconds balls started whipping harder suddenly; growing into golfball-sized hail stones.

I had no cover anywhere near me. The only cover was a bridge past the Pumphouse Theater and that was nearly five minutes away. So I put the petal to the metal, fighting a torrent of golf balls that bounced off my knees, shoulders, and knuckles. I couldn't help but wonder about the dark thoughts that I've had on this path of mine but I doggedly press on. Cars backed up along Bow Trail were taking a vicious pounding, but I knew they felt even sorrier for me as they watched me gamely pitch forward against the fierce wind and a biting blitzkrieg of nasty white ice balls. Pulverizing car roof tops, the Hitman gritted his teeth and refused all that Mother Nature had to offer just then.

Not so pleasant memories of playing paintball came to mind as one huge hail stone hits my big toe and I cursed "F--- you road!" I hoped it was easing up and I couldn't help but think of Owen, maybe Davey Boy,laughing behind some cloudy, silver curtain. "Is that you OWEN?" By the time I finally got under the overpass and collected myself, I could see red welts all over my body. I felt kind of stupid till I realized there were three or four other bikers licking similar wounds. From the safety of the overpass, I could see the patch of grass where I had my stroke and I told myself I was a survivor one more time.

Anyway, I made it to my 53rd birthday two weekends ago and I basically took the day off to hang out with my girl, Steph, my lifetime longest pal, Wilk, my kids, my grandchild, and an assortment of small dogs enough for a good sized pack anyway. I know people are excited about the upcoming happenings later on this month. I expect my most loyal fans already know about the big day, July 22 will be my dog Jojo's 2nd birthday. I heard a rumor that outgoing mayor and friend of mine, Dave Bronconnier, might present Jojo a plaque in honor of his grandpa, Coombs, who was consistently the winner of the annual Pugfest tractor-pull from 2000-2006. Regrettably the once legendary pug champion was kidnapped and is still imprisoned in Bergamo, Italy today.

As for other news, I should mention that I'll be getting married again to my girlfriend on July 24. I don't say much about us but I can honestly say that God has looked out for me and, this time around, I know I'll be forever happy and content. In closing, I think of when Steph and I went riding around Calgary a couple of days ago and, lo and behold, I saw a real beaver flagging me down on the bike path along Memorial Drive, then another beaver stepped out to greet me. The Hitman in me was thinking "if these beavers want some trouble, I'm more than prepared to run them over." But as I cruise up to them, they barely take notice of me. They scampered down the steep embankment and slipped into the BowRiver and I smirked at the recollection of the countless times I've asked Steph to show me her beaver. How funny it was that it was me who ended up showing my beaver to her. Just kidding!

Lastly, things are great, had a perfect birthday, Stampede is on, and the World Cup is over, thank God! Who won? Who cares? When does the NFL start?

Checkout my online store for my summer sale deals and free autographed pic with every order. Thanks HITMAN FANS!
- Bret