Archive for category Friend Updates

Ryan Lawrence Chapman.

Many of you know and love this character.

I first met Ryan when I was in grade 12. Sibbs and I were strolling down the hall at lunch and Ryan was on crutches just chilling in the hall; he was new to the school. He had to come to Sarnia for surgery because he was born here originally and his coverage was in Ontario.

Sibbs and I instantly knew this guy was boss. His philosophies on life were inspiring.

Through the years, Chaps has helped me break my homebody like mentality and he and I have traveled all over the place. Currently we are relaxing in good old Fort McMurray.

Other than knowing how to have a good time and being adventurous, Chaps and I didn’t have too much in common. He was one of those crazy living on the edge skateboard, snowboard, wakeboard kind of guys. I like to think of those sports as a spectator sport.

Our big interest together: Technology. He and I went to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and as you can guess it, Donatello was our favorite (he’s the techie, nerdy one).
Some of you may not know this but Chaps and I went to college together. It was party time for sure but we both managed to lock it down and graduate with honors. I pursued further education and he moved back to Winnipeg getting a job with IBM.

You may think Chaps to be all about partying, living for the moment and being extreme but over the years, I have met a more reserved, laid back, take in the world kind of Chaps.

A lot of you may not know Chaps’ story but it wasn’t all rainbows and smiles growing up. Never having parents looking over him growing up, his Grandmother did her best with him. Chaps ended up in Foster homes all over the country. Mistreated and mislead, Chaps escaped the system and has been looking after himself since he was 15.

Knowing Chaps background, you would side with and understand him if he never amounted to anything but Chaps never let his past hold him down. He is truly one of those guys that beat the odds and defies the statistics. He never let people tell him he couldn’t, shouldn’t or can’t.

He may not know this but Chaps has taught me so much over the years. His “never get down on yourself, love life” mentality has been inspiring to watch in motion and I am very thankful to know him.

Currently Chaps is living in Calgary and flys to work every week for CNRL. Talking with Chaps he is full of life and loving every minute of it.

Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe!
– Ryan Chapman.

Proud

Here I am in Calgary again. This visit is alot different.
First off, its minus something degrees outside.
Second, Jordan Parker resides here now.

Jordan Parker

You know that feeling you get when your standing in the bleachers at a hockey game watching your kid and he scores a hat trick. Go ahead, admit it, your proud with joy.
Unfortunately I don’t have any kids yet so I don’t know what that feels like but I do have a great friend named Jordan whom I am mighty proud of as if I were in the bleachers.

Not even a year ago Jordan was sitting in my apartment beside himself. He lost his first job in finish carpentry and didn’t know what to do next. I cant say I was all that worried when he was sitting there in despair; if you have seen Jordan’s work, you wouldn’t have been worried either.

Not even a year later, he has moved to Calgary with his friends Dale and Shaun Smith to work. He owns his own Finish carpentry business, has a beautiful house and is loving life.

Outside

kitchen

I hate that talk about getting ahead or being well off. Those aren’t the reasons I am proud of him. I am more proud of the fact he did something alot of should. Think and dream outside of the box.

Talking with Jordan now you can feel a sense of belonging. Calgary is his new home and with it comes new dreams and responsibilities. “I get up every morning and excited to work… I wouldn’t even call it that. It cant be work when it just feels so natural. I get up every morning smiling as I go to “work.” I enjoy every minute of it.”

Cheers Parker.

In other news, I am also visiting with Chaps in Calgary this weekend; its his 23rd B-Day. When I come back to Calgary next weekend we’ll hit up the hills of Banff and “shred the narr.”

A night with the Stars….

Last weekend, I had to drive to Toronto to see my sister Natalie.  I was hooking up some computer things for her and her room mates.  While I am in Milton (about 30 minutes from my destination) the phone rings – its Natalie “Hi Ron, were going downtown tonight and your driving, were going to see Brad Pitt.” 

 

Brad Pitt eh?  He’s not that famous – ha! 

 

So I get to Natalie’s, drop my stuff off, eat and we are headed for downtown.  Apparently he was in town for the premiere of his new movie.  Not only that though but there were load of celebrities out and about for the cities week long film festival.

Brad Pitt

 

As soon as we park we are right near big crowds

 

Women with loaded cameras, lots of estrogen – very hostile.

 

Natalie wanted up front with the rest of her friends so we made a push for it.  Before I know it I am lifting all the girls up on my shoulders so they can get a better view.  So my back is shot and Brad finally arrives.  It’s at this moment that I realize a dilemma.  I am in between 1000 women and Brad Pitt.  I can think of some bull fights that were in a less hostile situation.          

 

Brad does his meet and great thing, he girls go crazy and we make a quick and safe exit.  After leaving I was informed that Bill Clinton was at a near by hotel celebrating his birthday.  I love Bill Clinton and defiantly wanted to get my picture taken with him.  I waited about 40 minutes but no luck.  Tim McGraw came out of the hotel and talked to us for a bit.  We got a couple pictures of him.   

He looked like he needed a drink.

All moved in!

It took the long weekend but I am all moved in.  I officially live at 750 Indian Rd. in Sarnia.  I live with Jordan Parker, Nathan Colquhoun and Darryl Silvestri. 

We would love to have you over for dinner sometime so just ask (or will probably invite you next time we see you). 

 

(Pictures to follow – when it’s a little cleaner)

Jasper and Mountains

Its 12:04 PM Sunday Afternoon.  Guns R Roses on the MP3 Player, I look to my left and Chaps is driving with Drew passed out in the back.  We just jumped off a cliff on the way out of Jasper.  WILD.

Ron doing a Gainer    Drew diving

Friday night – I got off work early at Suncor in Fort McMurray.  An hour earlier my confirmation went through for me to travel on the Suncor jet to Calgary.  I called Chaps to confirm he’s picking me up and I’m off to the races.  A quick flight on the jet and I land in Calgary.  Chaps and Drew pick me up, we get some Zza, a couple casuals and were off to 17 ave (downtown Calgary) – We bar hoped for most of the evening.  Me and Chaps were exhausted from the work week and called it early.  Drew said “peace” and we didn’t see him till the morning.   

Saturday – Me and Chaps awake early, go for breakfast, call Drew, tell him to get home and we packed for Jasper.  Jasper is a 5 hour drive from Calgary – all through the mountains – it was wild.  We drove through Banff and stopped at all the tourist attractions.  The mountains are unreal but unfortunately my pictures – as nice as they are – can and will never do them justice.  You have to experience it yourself. 

Chaps mountain 1 Chaps mountain 2

Ron and Chaps on a bridge Drew, Chaps and Ron

 

After picking up hitchhikers and taking pics all day, we arrived in Jasper at 5PM.  As it turns out, Chaps whole crew from the 204 (Winnipeg) were there.  The only thing on their mind was Skateboarding – and skateboard they did.  They skated so pro. 

 

After the skate we ate and headed out.  We attended a fundraiser for a guy in a wheel chair who needed some wild surgery in the states.  Hopefully he got all the funds he needed.  Next door to the fundraiser was the place where Wayne Gretzkey hangs out all the time.  Of course Chaps and I had to have a drink there.  Drew took pictures all night.

 

Sunday – Up early again, we hit up breakfast and this really fancy place.  We were a little underdressed but we had style so it evened the playing field. 

We drove out of the city and headed for a morning cliff jump.  I threw down a gainer and Drew dropped a crazy dive. 

Will be back in Calgary this afternoon; will be taking it easy for sure as I head back on the jet to Fort McMurray Monday morning.  AWESOME WEEKEND. 

Thanks Drew and Chaps. 

Cheers.