Top 5

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Top 5

What we love; what we take pleasure in; what we do in our free-time says a lot about who we are. Hiring a lawyer is a personal choice for you -- so why not know a few personal things about your lawyer?

  1. Jersey Boys (Musical)
  2. Nightwish (Band)
  3. A Christmas Carroll (Play)
  4. Book of Mormon (Musical)
  5. Rock of Ages (Musical)


What we read not only says a lot about what we know and what we are interested in, it provides insight into our sense of the world. A person who spends all of their time reading social media is not the same as a person who prefers classic literature. There is a difference between science fiction and actual science. There was a time in my life where I was a voracious reader; since joining the Alberta Criminal Bar in 2003, outside of legal writing, my pleasure reading has declined precipitously. Quite honestly, I think that's rather sad. Though I have read many books written by many classic philosophers, many of those words have leaked from my memory. Regardless, I like to think that nuggets from those days-long-passed still influence my approach to the practice of law.

  1. Notes from Underground (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  2. I Know this Much is True (Wally Lamb)
  3. Conversations with Neil’s Brain (William H. Calvin)
  4. The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)
  5. Beyond Good and Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche).


I remember it was a hot summer day in 1978 when my mom picked me up from daycare. I recall telling her that I was going to "live forever". Being a rather blunt German, she told me in a way that I could understand that this was not the way of things. I was very depressed but that was short lived because we went to the then biggest cinema in Calgary -- North Hill Cinema -- to watch Star Wars. I was 6. Wow. That movie was at least a generation ahead of its time. Today, we are treated to some really awesome productions. As with all things, movies are really personal. Though I really appreciate films like Schindler's List, Jo Jo Rabbit and the Big Short; my top five are movies are those that I enjoy watching over-and-over again.

  1. Thor: Ragnarok
  2. Empire Strikes Back
  3. Fellowship of the Ring
  4. Jaws
  5. Enter the Dragon


As a child I grew up listening to classical music, blues and rock. My mother was a pretty good singer. She would walk around the house singing along with Crystal Gayle or Anne Murray. My dad spent much of his life working in the record industry. He knew Neil Diamond. He met Pete Townshend. He loved the Blues (especially Buddy Guy). As a young lad, I walked with a ghetto-blaster on my shoulder, blaring Motley Crue, the Beastie Boys and Suicidal Tendencies. Today, I think the best band in the world are the talented symphonic metal artists: Nightwish. Few write and compose music as brilliantly as Tuomas Holopainen. Few can sing with the range, power and talent of Floor Jansen. Few bands have so many talented players with hands on every instrument. Though there are other good music genres, few of them are as singularly talented as many heavy metal musicians. Though I can give a shout out to rebel country artists like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Wayland Jennings -- this genre is one that in my view belongs with most pop: in the trash.

  1. Nightwish (Endless Forms Most Beautiful)
  2. Nightwish (Vehicle of Spirit)
  3. Hugo Kant (Out of Time)
  4. James Blunt (Some Kind of Trouble)
  5. July Talk (Touch)

Comic Book Characters

Who cares about a hero who chucks throwing stars shaped like a bat or a man who can do whatever a spider can, when there is a God of Thunder. I prefer a hero whose enemies are other Gods, the Living Planet or a being with the power of billion-billion beings.

  1. Thor
  2. Loki
  3. Joker
  4. Dr. Strange
  5. Silver Surfer


Yes, Nightwish makes it way into this category as well. You might think I am fanboy. To that I say, "with pleasure". For the most part, today's music is an electronic invasion of the senses, where true talent is replaced by a mixing board. Though I enjoy of electronic music (Perturbator, Nero, Ellen Alien, Boris Brejcha), the simple fact is, as cool as this style of music may be, they are not, in my opinion, real musicians. These musicians are at the top of my list:

  1. Tuomas Holopainen (composer, piano, Nightwish)
  2. Floor Jansen (vocals, Nightwish)
  3. Neil Peart (drums, Rush)
  4. Chris Cornell (vocals, Soundgarden, Audioslave)
  5. Joe Satriani (Guitar)

Live Entertainment

There is really nothing as special or cool as live entertainment. It's often raw. It highlights the remarkable talents of many of the artists. When I saw Metallica live, I thought "wow, what a shitty band". You see, producing music can hide flaws. By comparison, Nightwish sounds better live. Witnessing real talent at work is such a pleasure.