Jan 3-6, Junior Youth camp, age 12-14

Jan 5-6, Children's camp, age 8-11

Jan 27, Ottawa Reflection Meeting


    Welcome to MartinsQuest.com. This is the personal, professional, and philosophical website of Martin Braithwaite. It contains humourous pictures and captions from his Baha'i life as a youth in Ottawa coupled with psychological insights and piercing perspectives Here you can find more info on free fuck sites and website for a free sex meet. There is even more info found at free sex sites.

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"Love. Love is recognizing and appreciating good qualities in another, while minimizing and dismissing their less desirable ones."


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       March 1st. Upcoming Events. Fast times. Wahoo, it is that spiritual time again of the Fast. It is for 19 days, where Baha'is will abstain from eating after sunrise and before sunset. It is binding on those 15-70 yrs old and should not be done if sick. Enjoy!

     December 29th. Upcoming Events. There will be a few overnight camps this January in Ottawa. Here are the details:

  • Jr. Youth Camp. 3 days | ages 12-14 | Jan 3-5
    Coordinated by the Training Institute, this Baha'i camp will be incredible.
       Download: information | registration.
  • Children's camp  1.5 days | ages 8-11 | Jan 5-6
    Run by my roommate and I, this camp will be open to just 10 kids with preference given to those that live in Blackburn from diverse backgrounds.
       Download: information and registration.

       December 28th. Announcement. Possibly eclipsing anything else on this page is the hours-old news that our family received its dates for Pilgrimage!!!!!!! After waiting a few years, there will soon be no more posting pictures—albeit nice ones!—of similar trips taken by friends, but preparation to take this spiritual journey myself! Our dates range from March to October 2009 and it will be INCREDIBLE!

       December 27th. Pictures. Our family and friends recently had a nice family dinner in Ottawa. There was one picture at my mom's place and one at my new apartment. We ordered Indian food and the naan bread was aaaammaaaaaziiiinnnng! I also thrived during those moments where I brought the pain to my cute little cousins. Elise, I got my eye on you!! ;)

     December 23rd. A day in the life. I had one of my roommate's Zucchini muffins today. For those that know me: wow.

     December 18th.  Mark your calendar. There is an Institute campaign in Ottawa this January for those that want to do the next Ruhi Book in the sequence. Note that the cut off is December 31 and Below are the full day dates for this:

Book 1 - January 12, 20
Book 2 - January 12-13, 20
Book 3 - January 12-13, 20
Book 4 - January 12-13, 19-20
Book 5 - January 12-13, 19-20
Book 6 - January 5, 12-13, 19-20
Book 7 - January 5, 12-13, 19-20

    The training institute has been charged with "raising up of large numbers of believers who are trained to foster and facilitate the process of entry by troops with efficiency and love". To do so in an accelerated manner during an institute campaign we must keep in mind that "to move quickly through the training does not mean reducing the number of hours spent on a course; it means completing the same course and its practices in their entirety, but in a shorter period of time.

    Contact Shameem Seddigh to register or for any questions: 736-0145, [email protected].

      December 17th. Pictures. I just got back from Florida where I saw all of my brothers, took part in a day of intensive teaching with them, saw many old friends, attended my dad's 42nd birthday party, spoke with my best friend Sarah for the first time in two years, and strolled around south beach. I feel refreshed. :)

     December 6th. A day in the life. Trapped! Today I was trapped in my apartment elevator on the way to work. I live in an apartment managed by Paramount Apartments in Ottawa and for some reason the thing just stopped. I was alone and didn't panic but was at a loss as to what to do. After prying the door open (and being greeted by bricks I sounded the alarm. A maintenance worker first beckoned to me and asked me 9-1-1 type medical questions. He informed me that the elevator guy was on the way and to sit tight.

     With the inner door open I could make a few key calls out (boss/mom/roommate) just in case said maintenance worker went on break or something. :) Also, I was fortunate to have my laptop and could type blissfully work away while I was sequestered. The ordeal was over quickly and I was released on the ground floor never to see my rescuer. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson--that it may be better to take the 8 flights of stairs even if it means that I will be wheezing afterward.

     December 5th. Events. I recently posted ads on the free online classifieds site craigslist: one for children's classes and the other for those interested in learning more about the Baha'i Faith.

    December 2nd. Article. Can someone please remind me why I am in still in Canada?! Here is a weather article from CBC:

"Not since the grunge era...has Canada experienced a winter quite as bitter as the one expected to creep in this December, Environment Canada forecasted on Friday.

In its first winter outlook of the year, the agency predicts that until February, climates across most of the country will be the coldest in 15 years

...The trend in recent years of uncharacteristically warm, short winters will be wiped out by a chilly reminder of what a real Canadian winter feels like."

     November 28th. A day in the life. It is going to be a warm Christmas for me this year--with my brothers and in Florida! Even though it will only be for a few days it will be an absolute blast!

     See pictures from last time I went and the funny video I made of me frolicking in my old backyard.


Thu 13 Dec 2007
Ottawa (YOW)
Depart 6:32 am
 to  Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Arrive 1:15 pm
Total distance: 2,210 km (1,373 mi)
Total duration: 4hr 35min (6hr 43min with connections)
US US Airways
Flight: 3751
Flight: 1061
Operated by: US AIRWAYS
Mon 17 Dec 2007
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Depart 2:10 pm
 to  Ottawa (YOW)
Arrive 7:18 pm
Total distance: 2,210 km (1,373 mi)
Total duration: 4hr 15min (5hr 8min with connections)
US US Airways
Flight: 1096
Flight: 3732


    November 19th. Pictures. I just came back from the Ontario inter-institutional conference in Toronto. It was great to see a ton of old friends and learn and share a bit about what's going on in Ottawa. The thrust was toward direct, collective teaching projects in the expansion phase as described in the 30 September 2007 message and Reflections on Growth #18.

      October 17th. Updates.

  • Apartment. I've moved and my new place is really nice! Stay tuned to be invited over for the grand opening devotional gathering. Even though my place was in shambles I still hosted 17 family members for a thanksgiving meal which was so yum good.
  • Automobile. I purchased a car as well. A white 1998 Honda Civic in pretty good shape. My new insurance salesman is the man, driving to my work so I could conveniently sign the papers and coming in at HALF the cost that my family member's insurance company quoted. Arthur Peterson, 613, 728-8222. Needless to say, based on these last two items, this dream will no longer become a reality.
  • Children's classes. We had so many kids at the last class it was great! A number of different age groups each helping the younger ones learn the Baha'i quotations and songs. Heartening.
  • Basketball. Today Payam and Anis came to my work to play basketball with us as we do each Wednesday. It worked out really well, despite my trepidations, and they may become permanent fixtures.
  • Forgive and forget. One of my friends said that this expression was in the Bible but I have yet to find it. In the Bahai Writings the only reference is to forgive and forget. Ideas?
  • Internet. I went with the cheapest DSL company in Ottawa and have not had internet at home for the past 2 weeks. Sometimes Justice comes quick.
  • Black Friday. Can't Wait!
  • Teaching Projects. Ottawa is embarking on an ambitious teaching project from Nov 2-11th that is focused on receptive neighbourhoods in the context of full, intense days. Bold.

    September 23rd. More updates!!

  • I'M MOVING!!!!! Yea, that's right. The days of living in my mom's basement with every available comfort and enjoying unlimited personal accommodations are over! On Oct 4th at 3pm I will be moving in to a two-bedroom apartment in Blackburn. I have yet to see the inside of the place but I know the neighbourhood so well that it is of little importance—so many friends I've made since a few friends and I began children's classes and junior youth groups there.
          I'm glad to be living in an area where I can engage in uplifting and spiritual discussions with people around me and collectively and freely discuss ways to improve ourselves and the neighbourhood around us.
  • Giveaway Day. How would you like to get free furniture, books, and appliances?! Well on October 13th there will be another give away day, so people from all over will leave unwanted items outside in the morning to be picked up by others. Wahoo!
  • 2008 Olympic Torchbearer. My friend,  Luis Hong-Sanchez, is applying to be one of 8 expatriates to carry the Olympic torch. China Daily, China's national English-language news-paper, is having a vote online, and the top 100 people will be sent on to the Beijing Olympic Committee for consideration.
         He is in the 8th grade, currently living in Beijing. Vote now for this positive, constructive, and considerate youth who is endowed with a contagious enthusiasm.
  • Upcoming Event: The 11th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum will be October 12-14th in Ottawa and is entitled: "Responding to Climate Change: Scientific Realities, Spiritual Imperatives". Check it out as it should be really good if you are into this or want to learn more.
  • Website updates. It seems like putting updates up every few days (weeks) is more sustainable than daily. I'll do my best though as I know that there are those of you out there that like my site :)
  • Work. I enjoy my job amazingly.
  • CGC stuff. I am still adjusting to working with Pej M. and Justin K (our cluster development facilitator) to get things done for the growth committee in Ottawa but things look exceedingly promising. Welcome back Pej!
  • Car. I missed getting a car by about 20 mins when someone snuck in before me and made an offer. Argh!

     August 21st. Some much needed updates:

  • I'm back!! Yes, it has been almost 6 weeks since I have updated my site. Wow. It has been a good break but now it is time to get back into the swing of things.
  • Travel Deal. Fly from Toronto to Tel Aviv for only $499 each way on this Air Canada sale! Fares are valid for departures from Oct 1-Dec 13, 2007 and from Dec 30-Mar 14, 2008. You must book by August 22nd!
  • Shoutbox. My host upgraded something and it has never worked since. I'm trying to revive it now.
  • Fire and Snow. This two week training session and foray into intense, neighbourhood collective direct teaching was fantastic.
  • ABS Conference. I was planning on going to this until the very last minute when, at the advice of team members, decided to stay the course for Ottawa's expansion phase. Oh well, I can always find someone next year...
  • Work. I have some new responsibilities now at work that are at once challenging and rewarding.
  • Blackburn. A number of us are initiating core activities in Blackburn which basically consist of reflecting on writings of Baha'u'llah in different settings and applying them in our personal lives and to establish unity and justice in the area. It is really for those who do not see prescribe to this kind of formula for life. If you would like to take part, and everyone is welcome to, just send me an email.
  • New Friends. Linked with the above, Dan, myself, and others have made great new friends in Blackburn—good times!
  • Gordon in town. Yes, he's here—drop by to see him. :)

     July 2nd-14th. Announcement. For the next two weeks I will be at Fire and Snow training in Toronto learning how to more effectively offer services to communities for various populations.

      I have decided that for this time it would be best if I went 'off the grid.' So I will not be checking email or be in phone contact during this time, the only guaranteed way to reach me is to send my cell phone a text message which I will strive to check once a day at night.

    June 30th. Pictures. A few of us hung out the other day and here are the photos.

     June 26th. Some updates. Hopefully these will compensate for the brief paucity of new posts.

  • Picnic. Although I don't have any pictures to substantiate this, the fundraising picnic was great!
  •  Summer School. This year everyone is invited to another Baha'i Summer School where the theme will be 'Character, Mission and the Power of Divine Assistance.' It is over the August 3rd weekend and the weekend away is a great chance to meet others, attend interesting workshops, and relax. I've gone 2 of the last 4 years. Here is the registration info plus pictures from 2003 and 2006.
  • Cryptic. One more under banner in Ottawa.
  • BIFA. My good friend Aaron began BIFA (Baha'i International Football Association) a while back and this initiative has been building momentum recently. If you want to participate in the soccer or catch the group during their occasional prayers visit their site for more information.
  • Random: I can't wait to see N & F's new apartment!
  •  The Eagle has landed! My dreadlocked brother Justin and his platonic consort Jing are in town for the next week so be sure to invite them to things. You can reach the J man at our house.
  • Random: I'm more amazed each day by the power of the institute to unlock potential.
  • PSA. What happens when you stop smoking—very encouraging for those of you out there trying to kick the habit.

     June 15th. Article. A Brief History of Economic Time. Shares very interesting economic trends over time. And just as a reminder, when I post articles like this it is not because I unconditionally support the content, but that it is thought provoking.


     Modern humans first emerged about 100,000 years ago. For the next 99,800 years or so, nothing happened. Well, not quite nothing. There were wars, political intrigue, the invention of agriculture — but none of that stuff had much effect on the quality of people's lives. Almost everyone lived on the modern equivalent of $400 to $600 a year, just above the subsistence level. True, there were always tiny aristocracies who lived far better, but numerically they were quite insignificant.

   Then — just a couple of hundred years ago, maybe 10 generations — people started getting richer. And richer and richer still. Per capita income, at least in the West, began to grow at the unprecedented rate of about three quarters of a percent per year. A couple of decades later, the same thing was happening around the world.

  Against a backdrop like that, the temporary ups and downs of the business cycle seem fantastically minor. In the 1930s, we had a Great Depression, when income levels fell back to where they had been 20 years earlier. For a few years, people had to live the way their parents had always lived, and they found it almost intolerable. The underlying expectation — that the present is supposed to be better than the past — is a new phenomenon in history. No 18th-century politician would have asked "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" because it never would have occurred to anyone that they ought to be better off than they were four years ago.

    Rising income is only part of the story. One hundred years ago the average American workweek was over 60 hours; today it's under 35. One hundred years ago 6% of manufacturing workers took vacations; today it's over 90%. One hundred years ago the average housekeeper spent 12 hours a day on laundry, cooking, cleaning and sewing; today it's about three hours.

    As far as the quality of the goods we buy, try picking up an electronics catalogue from, oh, say, 2001 and ask yourself whether there's anything there you'd want to buy. That was the year my friend Ben spent $600 for a 1.3-megapixel digital camera that weighed a pound and a half.

    The moral is that increases in measured income — even the phenomenal increases of the past two centuries — grossly understate the real improvements in our economic condition. The average middle-class American might have a smaller measured income than the European monarchs of the Middle Ages, but I suspect that Tudor King Henry VIII would have traded half his kingdom for modern plumbing, a lifetime supply of antibiotics and access to the Internet.

    The source of this wealth — the engine of prosperity — is technological progress. And the engine of technological progress is ideas — not just the ideas from engineering laboratories, but also ideas like new methods of crop rotation, or just-in-time inventory management. You can fly from New York to Tokyo partly because someone figured out how to build an airplane and partly because someone figured out how to insure it. I'm writing this on a personal computer instead of an electric typewriter partly because someone said, "Hey! I wonder if we can make computer chips out of silicon!" and partly because someone said "Hey! I wonder if we can finance startups with junk bonds!"

    Some good ideas even come from economists. Julian Simon came up with the idea of bribing airline passengers to give up their seats on overbooked flights — and gone were the days when you relied on the luck of the draw to make it to your daughter's wedding. Economists first suggested creating property rights in African elephants, a policy that has given villagers an incentive to harvest at a sustainable rate and drive the poachers away. The result? Villagers have prospered and the elephant population has soared.

    Engineers figure out how to harness the power of technology; economists figure out how to harness the power of incentives.

Mr. Landsburg (The Free Press, 2007). The Unconven-tional Wisdom of Economics (source)


     June 14th.  A Day in the life. Yesterday Jennie, Carl and Garth came over for spaghetti dinner. We had a blast and the day even saw a 30-minute wrestling match in the back yard pitted my pythons and tree trunks against their hapless flagellations.  I didn't object to the easy of victory.

       Afterwards we looked at movie trailers on my 37", peeked at baby pics,  mastered the mega flick, got blinded by my 10 mcp torch, prayed for a while, played "Who wants to be...", and heard unfiltered stories about school pubescence classes. :)

    June 11th. Announcement! Rounding out four in the last week, but none the less exciting, Nadia Mehrassa and Ryan McStravick have announced their engagement. Knowing Nadia for a number of years I am sure that her and Ryan will be very happy together. All the best with them as they prepare for their August wedding.

June 11th. Video. This video site from Consumer Reports shows how various cars fare in front and side impact tests at 30 mph. I must say that this has really encouraged me to be even more prudent when driving—ok, to begin to be prudent—those videos are brutal!!

     June 11th. Announcement! With great gladness I am thrilled to announce the engagement of a longtime, suspected love interest Negar Alibabaiy and Fuad Tanha! Congrats to both of them and here is a gallery of pictures of Negar and I to stir any lingering suspicions. :)


    June 8th. A Day in the Life. While I am very happy with my current workplace, there are a few occupational areas that I would like to further explore along the lines of web and business development. While many possibilities still remain on both sides, pending some unforeseen act, I will be seeking other employment (not necessarily employer!) in the coming three months.

      June 8th. Recommendation. Recently, I went to Groovy's Roti Hut with a friend and WOW, the food was fantastic. I am notoriously hesitant to try new cuisine so I was especially glad when this panned out. The outside and inside decor are admittedly shady, but the food, my goodness, the food!, wow.

       June 7th. Announcement. Congrats to Mehry and Justin who will be getting married later this year! I know both of them very well; Mehry from her indefatigable work strengthening the junior youth program here, and Justin from the indomitable Toronto trio. I can only hope that Justin will take favour to Lees, a nice quaint, friendly, safe, kind, neighbourhood near downtown. ;)

      June 7th. A Day in the Life. I made a firm offer on a gem of a car—a thoroughly banged-up 2002 Hyundai Accent SE for apporx. 3k with 150k km. This weekend will determine what happens.

    Update: Look like my car plans just got in an accident!

Dear Martin, I am afraid I have some bad news. I cannot sell the car to you, or to anyone else. I'm not sure if I told you, but I am getting a new car; unbeknownst to me was the condition that I bring my car in as a trade. I am really sorry about having inconvenienced you. I wish you the best in your search in in your affairs. Please accept, again, my deepest apologies. Sincerely, Greg

     June 7th. Article. For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid! Very informing article about the effects of aid to countries in Africa. To add some Baha'i perspectives:


"...we must not allow ourselves to forget the continuing, appalling burden of suffering under which millions of human beings are always groaning—a burden which they have borne for century upon century...

The principal cause of this suffering, which one can witness wherever one turns, is the corruption of human morals and the prevalence of prejudice, suspicion, hatred, untrustworthiness, selfishness and tyranny among men. It is not merely material well- being that people need. What they desperately need is to know how to live their lives—they need to know who they are, to what purpose they exist, and how they should act towards one another; and, once they know the answers to these questions they need to be helped to gradually apply these answers to everyday behaviour.

...we know that the working of the material world is merely a reflection of spiritual conditions and until the spiritual conditions can be changed there can be no lasting change for the better in material affairs."

(The Universal House of Justice to the NSA of Italy, 'Comments on the Bahá’í Attitude Toward Material Suffering,' 19 November 1974)


      June 5th. Article. What the world eats. Take a look into the dinner table of 15 families from around the world. Very cool!

       June 5th. Announcement. So, I was surfing the web today and stumbled across this website.  I am very happy for both Tahirih and Jeremy!


At the tender ages of 18 and 17, Tahirih and Jeremy met for the first time in Albania. Tahirih, a dancer in the Diversity Dance Theatre, met Jeremy when his family hosted her group and he was enlisted as a guide/interpreter (Who knew he could speak Albanian? He definitely didn’t.) Perhaps the riots and civil unrest distracted them because it wasn’t until ten years later that they reconnected in New York City. Unbeknownst to them, life lead them back to each other.


Their first date spent chatting over sea bass and live jazz, they both felt an immediate connection. Soon afterwards, Jeremy called his brother and sister and said, “Mark my words! I have a special feeling that she’s the one, but if it doesn’t work out, don’t tell anyone.” Similarly, Tahirih called her mother raving about all they had in common and how much she loved spending time with him.


The rest, as they say, is history…

     June 1st. Article. The Myth Of Salads. I was shocked, shocked to read how my humble double cheeseburger was healthier than many fast food salads! Maybe this explains my weight maintenance over the years. If anyone can add commentary to this please do so in the shoutbox. Until then, viva los burger!

     May 31st. Article. "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know," even though it could be called the 100 most useless words. :) There is an over-fascination in our culture on knowledge and not on its application for the material and spiritual advancement of others. Oh well, I guess I am contributing to this with the post. In looking over the list briefly I suspect that I can use 66 of these correctly in a sentence.

    May 30th. Video. This video aptly captures the importance of Children's education which treats them as gems to be polished not merely empty containers to be filled. If you are a parent strongly consider demanding that these classes be offered in your neighborhood, until you can go through the training to offer it yourself!

        May 29th. Upcoming Event. Many of you know about the incredible success of Pebbles and Pearls last year in Toronto. Now, in addition to the training, there will be a spiritual junior youth camp (age 12-15) from  August 18-24 or August 26 to September 2. The deadline to apply has passed (May 30) so kudos to you who took advantage to register your children!

      May 29th. Video. Today is a the Ascension of Baha'u'llah holy day comemoration. Read more below or view a nice slideshow.

"The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one's very soul; power and authority sat on that ample brow.... No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!"

Bahá'u'lláh was thus described by the well-known Cambridge University Orientalist Edward Granville Browne in 1890. Bahá'u'lláh had, at that time, been a prisoner and an exile for almost 40 years and His teachings were shrouded in obscurity; today He is recognized by millions of followers around the world as the Manifestation of God or Divine Teacher for this age. According to Bahá'í belief, Manifestations of God, including Moses, Abraham, Christ, Muhammad, Krishna, and Buddha, have appeared at intervals throughout history to found the world's great religious systems. They have been sent by a loving Creator to enable us to know and to worship Him and to bring human civilization to ever higher levels of achievement. (read more)

     May 24th. A Day in the Life. This weekend I'm driving with 6 friends to Toronto to go to a regional inter-institutional conference to discuss ways to materially and spiritually advance neigbourhoods toward ultimately bringing about the realization of the principle of the oneness of mankind and the efflorescence of civilization. Practically? Finding ways to initiate core activities that effectively fuel such a movement.

     May 24th. News. I was very excited to join a youth in Kanata as he went around and invited his neighbours to an outward-looking devotional which then took place tonight.

     May 23rd. Pictures. Happy Declaration of the Bab! Here is a video made by the creative minds in the New York Baha'i community. Also, I had a chance to post my pictures on my smugmug site, although Louis Brunet's pictures always seem to out do mine :)

      May 19th. A Day in the Life. This weekend a few friends from Toronto are coming, and there will be copious tennis and outreach. I also played tennis with my friend Rana on Friday for 20 mins where it was apparent that I hadn't lost my stuff! Here are pictures of tennis with the boys exactly 3 years ago.

    Update: In dramatic fashion, owing largely to a savage and unrelenting assault on his defenseless backhand and gored by a kicking and bucking serve my courageous friend was slain in straight sets.

      Update #2: Picture of a few of 'da boyz from the weekend!

    May 17th. Trivia. A team of scientists at a University in Sweden printed out a number a googol characters long (a googol= 1 with 100 zeros after it) in a 1-point sized font. Conceivably true or patently false? Answer in the shoutbox.

    Update: Jing was right with his comment in the shoutbox. A number with a googol characters is impossible. In fact, there are not even that many particles in the universe! Read more...

     May 16th. Announcement. There are a few types of posts to my website that give me overwhelming joy to report on. I'm very proud to say that our dear friend Misagh Ziaei has been accepted into Medical School! For those of you know the tortuous road this has been and can ably anticipate what an incredible physician Mees will be, this announcement will be even more meaningful. He was accepted to both McMaster and the University of Alberta so far and will likely be attending the later. Wahoo!

      May 14th. Some updates. Lots of exciting things going on in Martin-land.

  • Mother's Day. I recently took my mom out to Kelsey's for Mother's Day and we had a great time—we talked a lot and it helped me realise that I need to spend more time with those I really care about—instead of offering my time to the alter of oversleep and pseudo-important things on my computer(s). :) 
  • Ruhi Book 2. This has become the joy of my week and visiting some of the youth between sessions a further bounty. They are amazing! With the birth pangs of shoulder-to-shoulder accompaniment beginning to take shape, the even immediate results show unrivaled promise.
  • Naw Ruz Pictures. Yes, I got back my camera from Vafa and these are finally up! Enjoy.
  • Friends, Friends, Friends. I had some great times with friends this weekend, in person and on the phone. There are a number of people that I really enjoy talking to that I have and haven't had the chance to—alas. But for the ones we did, we looked at furniture, talked about piscine miscellany, organized a tennis match next week, delved into the emerging realities of teaching, and discussed a poignant purpose-of-life quotation (see below)

    When I mentioned this to Morrie, he nodded. “It’s what everyone worries about, isn’t it? What if today were my last day on earth?”…

    “Mitch,” he said, “the culture doesn’t encourage you to think about such things until you’re about to i.e. We’re so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks—we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all that I want? Is something missing?”

    “We’ve got a form of brainwashing going on in our country,” Morrie sighed. “Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it—and have it repeated to us—over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.

    “Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. ‘Guess what I got? Guess what I got?’

    You know how I always interpreted that? These people were so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing materials things and expecting some sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.

    “Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I’m sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you’re looking for, no matter how much of them you have.”


(“Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.” by Mitch Albom)

     May 7th. Pictures. Not convinced that you missed out on a great reflection meeting this weekend? See Louis' pictures which paint the spirit of the event—where we all looked at what we have done in the past few months and explored ways to improve. Goals were set, spirits raised, and vision expanded.

     Oh, and I wore shorts. :) I can't wait to do typical summery things: picnics at Lac Philippe, outdoor basketball and tennis, and outreach into neighborhoods to offer children's classes and jr. youth courses! 

    May 6th. Software. Do you use iTunes to listen to music? Tired of their built-in visualizer? Download the most incredible visual display evar!

    May 6th. Stuff the vote. A good nursing friend of mine has in turn a friend who is trying to get his home brewed Superbowl ad propelled to win a contest and be featured at the real Superbowl. the more people that begin viewing his video the better for him. He's doing all of this on behalf of people with disabilities.

     This reminds me of a quote we used to say at the end of our skits routine when I was part of the Florida Baha'i Dance Youth Workshop: "To be blind is unfortunate, but worse it is to have sight and yet not see," the implication being that with the tremendous capacity with which we are endowed we should realize it and put it to good use.

     May 5th. Picture. The Cultivating the Roots conference this weekend in California brings together Baha'is interested in using the web to promote justice, peace, and community development. Representing Ottawa in this is Dan Jones, aka Danger, aka Danimal—see if you can find him in this picture. :)

    May 4th. A Day in the life. So getting older and becoming more mature usually involves large capital expenditures in say a car or  house to demonstrate certain financial and personal capacities.

     A few years ago my dream was to have a replica Lamborghini or an ultra luxurious RV to move me in this direction. While bumming a ride and living with a very maternal roommate has since proved my fate, my imaginations were re-awakened when I stumbled on—get this—modified dump truck! And it is clear from the pictures that securing companionship is still possible as well!

      April 30th. Announcement. Today is the last day to apply for the Fire and Snow training program in Toronto this summer. Here youth and adults will learn how to initiate community building activities in any neighbourhood. Building off of the learning from last year's Pebbles to Pearls training, from everything that I have heard, it will be truly transformative.

      There are three 13-day sessions available in July and August and it is open to anyone who has done the first four Ruhi Books. Accommodations are provided for all. If you can attend, I would give the strongest recommendation that you consider doing so—preferably one of the first two sessions and the first if you want to see me there!

    April 30th. A day in the life. I just came back from Toronto and had a great time. I got to witness in a tie in the elections between Don Rogers and Borna Noureddin that was prayerfully resolved; I went to 'the shrine' (Burger Shack) with some tight buddies of mine, and got to visit my family in Pickering, with Gordon and my mom, on the way home. It was fantastic.

     This week I have a bday party, going-away dinner, coffee with friend, home visit, Devotional, Ridvan holy day observance, tutor collaboration session, reflection meeting, and teleconferenc. Yet, of course, I still have unlimited time for things that may still come up which are of a higher priority (since conceptually there is no such thing as being 'busy').

    April 25th. Pictures. Yesterday was the grand opening of the Ottawa Baha'i Centre. Present was the Mayor and Faith Leaders from other communities. Here is the article that appeared in the Citizen this morning, plus pictures that Louis Brunet took of this auspicious event. Many of you will remember or indeed took part in the renovation and may enjoy these construction photographs courtesy of Brian.

     April 24th. Job. If you have experience in web design, ASP, FrontPage, etc., and live in Ottawa with a desire for full time employment, strongly consider letting me know.

     April 23rd. Article. Spiritual elections’ not an oxymoron for Baha’is, is a well-written article describing the Baha'i electoral process. "At a time when trust in government is eroding everywhere in the world, and when the electoral process in many nations has become discredited because of endemic corruption, this new model of governance serves as an antidote to apathy, alienation and despair...There's no campaigning, no nominations, no electioneering and no issue platforms."

     This weekend I'm traveling to Toronto to observe the Bahai National Convention, where elected delegates from around the Canada will gather to pray, consult, and vote for the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada.

     April 23rd. Video. Here is a farcical video with audio dubbing that describes the Ruhi spiritual training courses offered around the world. I suspect that it will be more greatly appreciated by those that have done Ruhi Book 7.

     April 20th. Upcoming Events. There are 9 holy days throughout the year that Bahá'ís celebrate and take off of work. Up next is Ridvan this Saturday. Here are the dates for the upcoming holy days so that they can be requested off of work or school.

April 21 - Saturday - The first day of Ridvan
April 29 - Sunday - The ninth day of Ridvan
May 2 - Wednesday - The twelfth day of Ridvan
May 23 - Wednesday - Declaration of the Báb
May 29 - Tuesday - Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
July 9 - Monday - Martyrdom of the Báb




With great sadness I announce our family's loss of precious Sparky who has been with us for over 12 years. He has brought us tremendous joy and unforgettable memories and will be dearly, dearly missed. At 6:47pm today, surrounded by his loved ones, he was gently put to sleep after succumbing to acute liver failure. From all of us, Sparky, we love you! 

    April 17th. Event. This Saturday, from 1:45pm - 3:45pm, is the First Day of Ridvan Celebration to commemorate the beginning of 12 days when Baha'u'llah revealed his station (see flyer). As usual, this event is open to everyone so I hope I'll see you there!

   See pictures from last year

     April 17th. Updates.

  • My good friend Kiya Sabet as a proud father!
  • My grand parents recently lost their blue spruce with the big storm that hit. Picture 1 | Picture 2
  • I am really happy because I just filed my 2005 and 2006 Canadian Income Tax forms!
  • Sparky is really not doing well.
  • Optical Illusion. Look at the image of the faces and then step back 8 feet and see them swap positions!

      April 16th. A day in the life. Last Friday I played basketball with some folks in Kanata (Vaf, Shidan, Devon, Nays, Sana, Rama, Payam, Seena, and more) and based on my new found confidence from playing weekly ball at work I decided to play more aggressively. Besides tons of fun, I sustained these injuries:

  • hyper-extended right knee (from Devon's post up)
  • over-extended elbow (from Vaf)
  • swollen upper and lower lip (from Rama's elbow)
  • contusion on top of head (from Payam's elbow)
  • bruised left pinky (from fall while covering Devon)
  • abrasion on right forearm (from Payam's nose)
  • sore coccyx (tailbone) (from a fall)
  • underfoot blisters (from Seena's ill-fitting shoes)

   And the best part is that if it weren't for the local Bahá'í elections this Friday I would be back out there again!

      April 10th. Event. Jessica will be back in town today and having dinner with her friends (and hopefully you!) tonight at the Persian Cuisine Express restaurant at 7pm. Stop by and say hi and possibly join us (potentially) afterward for even more festivities.

     Update: We had lots of fun and afterwards kicked it to Pej's for some wolf game—something that Jess can't quite get in Pickering. :)

     April 5th. Philosophical. Recently I've been in a very philosophical mood. Usually when this happens I just sit there until it passes but now I am quickly recording these thoughts and sharing them with you.

     If you have ever stood on a bus only to be knocked around by the driver's erratic maneuvers? Well no more, as with some theoretical calculations and empirical observations  I proudly propose the ideal way to stand on a bus to reduce movement.

    April 4th. Philosophical. In reflecting with one of my friends, we concluded that the following statements, as written, are in logical contradiction:

  • "I do not believe in God."
  • "Among the peoples of the world there are various conceptions of God."

     Read more on my philosophical page. (UPDATE: now with cool graphic) You may also be interested in this article about a prominant scientist who believes in God (like 40% of his peers). Ok, ok, while I'm dishing out random links Dan-style, here is a wikipedia article on Science and Religion. Enjoy.

     April 4th. Cool feature. My smart phone allows me to run MSN and have text conversations. Some people may be content with my shoutbox, but for those more adventurous, you may wish to use my new chat feature. I always keep my phone near and responses will be very quick. Try it!

     April 3rdA day in the life. I am far from getting married but recently I have gotten one step closer. The bride remains a mystery but my wedding cake is not—here are instructions on how to make my dream meat wedding cake—replete with meat loaf and mash potato icing! 

     April 3rd. News. Ever wonder what the traffic is like before you head out? If you live in a big city in the States then Google has a new traffic feature that allows you to visually see where the hangups are.

      In Ottawa, we have webcams all around the city that anyone can freely view! Even though about half don't work, it is really neat to see what is going on.

    Update: Toronto has an even more amazing web cam traffic network.

     April 1st. Event. As I had unabashedly prognosticated for weeks now, the Florida Gators have made it to the NCAA Basketball finals. All are welcome to join me and a few friends at my house at 8:30pm on Monday (April 2) to watch them beat Ohio to win the national championships on HDTV—just me know you're coming. As always, you are encouraged to bring others.

     UPDATE: We Won!!!!!! Go Gators Go!!!

    March 29th. News. Amid all of the hoopla I wanted to formally welcome back Anisa Smith from her one year stint in Manchester. Not only did she do great things there but now her Facebook friend's list almost triples my own!

     The only thing I can say is that on her trip back to Canada she could have significantly cut down on transportation costs by using directions from Google maps—especially step 37! Maybe next time...

     March 28th. Announcement. I am not convinced that my site can go wrong with too many cute pictures of babies. :) Recently my good friend, from Florida, Jennifer Warner (who some of you may remember from my family page) got married and had beautiful Ariella.

     All of this recent activity makes me long for similar fortunes although this may not see immediate, though desired realization. In the mean time, I may have to content myself with other delights.

       March 28th.  Upcoming Event. On Thursday Dan Scott will be speaking here about the development of Ottawa plus how other areas are developing promising community development projects utilizing four core activities of children's virtues classes, junior youth empowerment courses, prayer gatherings, and adult training course. If you get a chance you will probably want to attend!

    See pictures from his last talk with the youth.

     March 26thAnnouncement. Congratulations to my Florida friends Evie and Kiya Sabet who recently welcomed a new member into their family. Emma Grace Sabet is the new pride and joy for these proud parents and I can't help but feel happy that their life is so rewardingly moving forward! Good luck guys!

> Picture 1 | Picture 2 | Picture 3

     March 23rd. A Day in the Life. This weekend I'm heading to Ontario's capital for a meeting—but what makes this trip special is the way in which I am getting there. Bus? Train? Airplane? Nope.      I put an ad in Craigslist for a ride share and I am going with a 'stranger,' who will pick me up from my door step and deliver me to a friend's apartment in Toronto for just $45.

     Can I recommend this to anyone? Because of the unmitigatable safety concerns, not really, but there is promise to the approach! It should be a good trip filled with elevated conversation and new experiences.

   Update on Monday: So everything went very well. Alley picked