Friday, 29 March 2013


Around the world today, Christians remember a brutal execution in the Middle East which happened about two millennia ago. Though thousands of people were crucified by the Roman government, this particular execution was accompanied by some strange occurrences. The land was thrown into darkness for three hours, then an earthquake shook Jerusalem as a carpenter from Nazareth died. One Roman centurion said, "Surely this was the Son of God." In itself, that declaration was amazing.

It's a shame that my first recollections of Easter weren't connected with what the Son of God accomplished on the cross. I remember my mom telling my sister, brother, and me that she had a special treat for us as we finished eating our breakfast cereal. She opened the cupboard drawer where she kept paper bags and the like, then pulled out a handful of chocolate eggs wrapped in multi-coloured foil. Then she unwrapped Roy's egg since he was too young to do that on his own.

My Easter egg had blue, red, and silver patterns on it. I admired them for a few seconds, then unwrapped my treat. The creamy centre and rich milk chocolate tasted so sweet that I ate the whole thing quickly.

"Can I have another one?" I asked Mom as I licked my fingers.

"No," she sad sadly, "That's all there is. That's all the Easter Bunny left."

I felt disappointed as I wondered why he didn't leave us more than the three that Mom found. That seemed to be the way with all tasty goodies. Boring foods such as potatoes and peas were plentiful but chocolate bars and candies were always in short supply.

I remember learning about Christ's crucifixion in Sunday school each Easter but I didn't apply his awesome gift of salvation to my life until I was almost thirteen years old. Perhaps it was the way the Anglican and Lutheran teachers told the story that made it seem like some long-ago event with no connection to my life. Whatever it was that hindered my understanding, everything suddenly fell into place once I realized that the only way to heaven is to surrender my life to Jesus.

Though I still enjoy chocolate Easter eggs today, I now delight in knowing that I'm an adopted child of the King of Kings. The "good" in Good Friday isn't that an innocent man died a horrible death but that the Son voluntarily swapped his innocence for our guilt and satisfied God's righteous justice. What an amazing transfer salvation is.

I mentioned my redemption experience in Deliverance From Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School and what followed that in my newly-published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir. This testimony of God's amazing grace toward me is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


"Buyer beware" is certainly applicable when it comes to the sale of baby bunnies during the Easter season. Far too many people still cave into the whining of their kids and buy a bunny or chick. A few months later, these animals grow to maturity and become a chore for the parents. Kids lose interest quickly and the poor rabbit or chick ends up neglected or dead.

Because I know a fair amount about rabbit care, people tend to dump their unwanted Easter props on me. Since I'm on a pension and I can't drive, obtaining vet care is a difficult task for me. Though I love rabbits passionately, I decided a few years ago that I would refuse any more cast-off pets.

There aren't any excuses these days for buying animals on a whim. Various agencies have spoken through media outlets about the long-term commitment that any pet requires. Google and other search engines make it easy for anybody to find out what sort of care the creature of their choice requires. For those unable to use a computer, the local library is still a good source of information.

One fact that should be made clear to potential rabbit owners is that some breeders take the kits away from their mothers too soon. People like cute little bunnies but they forget that they grow to be their regular size in just a few months. Some people even sell under-age kits as dwarf rabbits. Their unsuspecting customers soon end up with unexpectedly large bunnies.

Then there's the care and feeding issue. Since folks figure that they know how to take care of a bunny, they feed the poor creature all sorts of junk food and then wonder why it died. Even carrots can kill a rabbit if too much is given to him or her. This is why people shouldn't assume that they know how to take care of a bunny.

Rabbits are poor pet choices for children as well. Because they have delicate bones, young children could hurt them without realizing it. Rabbits have actually broken their backs because toddlers picked them up incorrectly. Bunnies instinctively fear being lifted because it resembles being caught by predators.

Almost everybody I've met figured that rabbits only live for a few years. With proper vet care and nutrition, as well as being spayed or neutered, bunnies can live past ten years. They need plenty of grass hay, not alfalfa, and leafy greens.

For a wide range of rabbit care resources, visit The House Rabbit Society. I also wrote about my experiences of living with house bunnies in a memoir titled When a Man Loves a Rabbit. Check out the left side bar of this page for details. As for my recently-publishedHow I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm distribute it in e-book as well as paperback form.

Friday, 22 March 2013


Believe it or not, pure canned pumpkin is a good appetite stimulant for bunnies. When my long-eared friends had gastro-intestinal stasis, I used a syringe with a little pure pumpkin in it to force-feed them. Rabbits need to keep food flowing through their digestive system or they could die. Pumpkin is one food that they consider as a treat. Though this method of jump-starting a rabbit's bowel isn't fool proof, I've used it successfully many times.

In addition to curing gastro-intestinal stasis, I've fed canned pumpkin to rabbits with tooth problems. Mark, my recently deceased bunny, had a jaw infection and bad molars. To keep him hydrated and to keep fibre in his gut, I fed him the pure pumpkin each day. He loved it so much that it was the highlight of his morning. You can see how enthusiastic he was on my Bruce Atchison YouTube channel.

I should mention that only 100% pumpkin should be used for these occasions. The seasonings, and especially the sugar, added to pumpkin pie filling aren't at all good for rabbits and their delicate digestion. The reason sugar is deadly to bunnies is that it causes bad bacteria to grow explosively in their intestine and release toxins. Many rabbits have died because their caretakers gave them too many sweets such as dried apple bits or carrot. Only a tiny piece of these treats should be given at infrequent intervals.

Speaking of giving pumpkin to animals, my next door neighbour gives her dogs some as a treat. They wolf it down, according to her. I don't know what benefit they receive from eating pure canned pumpkin but I know the fibre and nutrients help bunnies. They also love the taste.

There are two excellent books about bunnies that I recommend. One is The House Rabbit Handbook, available from The House Rabbit Society and When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living with Bunnies. The first book gives you all the "how to" tips while the second one lets you know what you can expect from house rabbits. See the left side of this page for more information on that book.

I also have a new book out called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Find out more about this remarkable story of how God led me out of darkness and into his light at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


If you think that cats are nosey creatures, and they certainly are, check out the snoopiness of rabbits. Many folks who have never kept bunnies in the house miss witnessing their insatiable curiosity. Never have I seen such inquisitive animals like rabbits. I've had plenty of experience with their explorations over the years.

Gideon was my first proper house rabbit. Regretfully, I kept previous bunnies in cages and rarely let some out for exercise. According to my rabbit-loving list friends, I let Gideon establish where his litter box should be. Then I let him have progressively more space to roam. He eventually had the run of the entire main floor. You can see him in action on my Bruce Atchison YouTube channel.

Harry was my next bunny. Friends of a friend gave him to me in 2000. The poor rabbit was in sad shape but he perked up after I got him cleaned up. Though he was a Fuzzy Lop, he was just as snoopy as Gideon. In fact, Harry resembled Snoopy, in the Peanuts comics, doing his Joe Cool impression. I don't have any YouTube video of him yet but I hope to upload some soon.

Neutrino was the third house rabbit that was given to me by a friend. He's the bunny inside the cardboard concrete form picture. Rabbits love hiding places and this tunnel became Neutrino's favourite play and sleeping area. He too loved poking his wiggly nose into places where it wasn't wanted.

One of the boldest bunnies I've had the privilege to care for was Sierra. She was a three-pound bunny with a ton of attitude. As you can see on another Bruce Atchison YouTube video, she was quite a handful when it came to doing naughty things. Even so, she was also very sweet to me.

As I've posted before, rabbits aren't for everybody. Check out the A Channel newscast that I appeared in during April of 2000. It has some good information about rabbits. The House Rabbit Society has far more information for people seeking accurate answers regarding bunny care.

My When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living with Bunnies memoir makes a good companion paperback to all those "how to" books on the market. I relate how I discovered much about rabbits by letting them live with me as companion animals. More information about this memoir is at the left side of this page.

I also have a brand new book out called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers distribute this testimony of how God led me out of a cult and into the freedom of his truth.

Friday, 15 March 2013


I posted earlier about the room I rented while I attended a nearby high school. It served me well for the time I had it. By the end of 1978, I became fed up with its limitations. Not only had I accumulated possessions that didn't quite fit the limited space I had but a new group of neighbours moved in. They were extremely noisy, so much so that all the other tenants joined me in complaining about them. Those people were evicted promptly. Though the new landlord pleaded with me to stay, I refused to remain and risk another noisy crowd living above me.

With the help of a few CB friends and a pickup truck, I moved into a place called The Shamrock Apartments. At first, I enjoyed having my own bathroom, fridge, and sink. The suite also had more closet space. I didn't have to use a space heater to keep it warm either since it had a radiator next to the bed. Even better, the laundry room had coin washers and dryers. I didn't need to pack my dirty clothes in a suitcase and walk a few blocks to the laundromat.

Buyer's remorse set in a few weeks later. Being a security guard, I needed to sleep during the day. Even with earplugs, I still heard the noisy pipes as they rattled when my upstairs neighbour turned on the tap. He also had the irritating habit of stomping his feet when he got excited. When I complained to Dave, the apartment manager, nothing was done.

A year later, the building had a plumbing problem. The upstairs neighbour's toilet often overflowed, drenching my clothes with filthy water. My toilet also backed up. I had to run a fan by it to dry out the rug.

Then the building was invaded by brown bugs about the size and shape of short-grained rice. They got into everything, including my food. I felt so embarrassed one morning when friends came over and the bugs had ended up in my sugar bowl. They had to pour their cups of coffee down the kitchen sink drain because of those insects.

Fights often erupted in the hallways and stairwells. I frequently returned home on Sunday mornings to find broken glass and blood on the carpet and walls. My next door neighbour also beat his wife so badly one morning that I had to call the police. In fact, they came around fairly often, enquiring about former tenants of my suite. Sadly, they didn't help me when my room was broken into and the next month's rent money was stolen.

One night, one of the tenants was murdered. That was the last straw for me. Though Dave, the manager, pleaded with me to stay, saying I was his best tenant, I could stand the place no more.

That was the last furnished room I lived in. When the building was torn down to make way for a parking lot, I felt glad. It had been a dive for many years and an eyesore as well.

Though I didn't mention that apartment building by name in my How I Was Razed memoir, I wrote about events in my life that happened while I lived there. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the e-book version of my journey from cultism to Christianity and Virtual Bookworm sells the paperback edition.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Rabbits sure look harmless, don't they? Their big, innocent eyes and diminutive facial features certainly give that illusion. Bunnies seem like the perfect cuddly toy for children.

In the case of rabbits, looks are deceiving. Like other animals, bunnies can become angry and attack their tormenters. I've found that no matter how obliging my long-eared companions were, they still had a short fuse. One example of this is when they defend their cages or litter boxes. Deborah, my current house rabbit, has actually growled, charged, and nipped my hand when I was rearranging hay in her litter box. She's growled at other times as well when I crossed the line and upset her. This is one of many factors that make rabbits a bad choice as a pet for children.

Though rabbits thump to alert their warren to danger, they also put their big feet down when something bothers them. I still chuckle about the one day when I sat down instead of getting Mark's bowl of canned pumpkin. He sat there, gave me one of his one-eyed glares, and stomped his right foot twice. Being such a mild-manored creature, I wasn't expecting that show of attitude from him.

I mentioned Deborah's growl but most rabbits do that. They also make a honk noise at times when somebody offends them. I had one rabbit named Harry make almost a bark noise when I took the liberty of vacuuming his favourite hiding spot. He also lunged and pawed at the machine's brush as I tried to clean his room. It was actually my office and recording studio but to Harry, it was his.

Rabbits sometimes paw at humans when they want their attention or when they want them to move. Quite a few of my long-eared companions have pawed or nipped me to get me out of their way. They've also done that when they felt angry. The saddest thing about these behaviours is that people assume that the offending bunny is vicious. Most rabbit aggression is caused by fear. Mishandled bunnies have been unfairly put down as a result of this misunderstanding.

Rabbits can also become offended. Many of my bunnies have sulked for hours after vet visits. They've also turned their backs to me as if to say, "I don't want to know you." My friends on the house rabbit lists call that posture the Royal Bunny Butt, or RBB for short.

I've written about all these behaviours in my debut memoir, When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living with Bunnies. Please check it out on the left side of this page. Additionally, I have a brand new book out called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Friday, 8 March 2013


Which experience have you had that was extremely painful, yet it yielded great benefits for you? For me, it was an eye operation that I had on this date in 1995. Previous operations to lower the pressure in my right one didn't help much so I had little hope that this operation would work for long.

My eye trouble started a week previously when my vision fogged up and I saw rainbows around lights. I knew that was the signal that my pressure was high. When I saw my ophthalmologist, Dr. Casey, he fast-tracked me into surgery. Usually, it took, and still takes, months to get a surgery date.

I rode the bus to the University Hospital after lunch on the day of my surgery and waited for my turn in surgery. Wearing that hospital gown while lying on a stretcher in the rotunda made me feel naked. I had heard of overcrowding in hospitals but this was ridiculous. At least we had white sheets hung around us to keep us out of sight from the public.

Instead of a general anesthetic, the doctor gave me a local as well as something to relax me. Even so, the operation hurt like nothing I ever felt in that eye before. As the doctor moved my eyeball to insert a tube, called a bleb, he explained that it would drain the excess fluid out of my eye and it wouldn't seal itself up. Past operations were merely holes cut into my eyeball. The bleb would ensure that I wouldn't need another operation for years. That's what Dr. Casey said as he worked on my right eye.

After what seemed like hours, though it wasn't more than thirty minutes, the torture ended. I lay on the stretcher in the rotunda again until a friend came to drive me home after he left work. Because of a shortage of beds, patients were released as quickly as possible. What a vast difference from when I was a child. I had my cataracts removed when I was four years old and I stayed in hospital for six weeks.

As a result of that bleb insertion back in 1995, I haven't needed any eye drops or pills to control my right eye's Glaucoma. It has remained at the proper level year after year. I'm grateful to Dr. Casey for rushing me into surgery and inserting that bleb. It has preserved what little vision I have left for all these years.

Because How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity was a memoir about God leading me into the light of his truth, I mentioned this operation only in passing. This newly-published memoir is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


One of my rabbit-loving friends called her bunny a life support for chewing teeth. I wish I could remember who it was so I could give proper attribution in this post. Be that is it may, rabbits have an insatiable need to chew things. Their teeth keep growing, though they aren't rodents, so they must chew grass hay to wear them down properly. Otherwise they end up with overgrown teeth that lacerate their mouths and make eating a chore.

Factors like these are what most people never think of when they buy a bunny for Easter. For most folks, their ideas are shaped by the anecdotes of friends and Bugs Bunny cartoons. I've heard so many sad stories of pet rabbits chewing on toys, base boards, and snipping wires. I even had problems with my bunnies sabotaging my computer's phone line.

Back in the days of dial-up connections, I strung an extension phone cord to the PC in my office. To prevent Gideon from snipping the line, I tucked it under the base boards. The little sneak managed to dig it out and chew through it. I went to get my e-mail as usual the next morning and found that the computer couldn't connect to the FreeNet server. Tracing the wire showed me where my fur-clad Dennis the Menace snipped it.

I've found that the best way to prevent chewable things from being damaged is either to hide them or cover them. For example, I arranged my stereo system so all the cables were hidden behind the massive speaker box. For cables that couldn't be blocked off, I wrapped them in cable protectors and then put brown packing tape on top. Distraction is another tactic that bunny owners can use to satisfy a rabbit's need to chew. I've found that cardboard boxes with holes cut at opposite ends work well to keep chomping teeth satisfied. My rabbits have happily widened the holds. When I put an old phone book, minus its covers, inside the box, my long-eared vandals spent many happy hours shredding and tearing them. Bunnies also like to nap in these makeshift houses.

Vinegar bottles filled with water came in handy for keeping door barriers standing. With an equivalent of Neat Idea Cubes, metal grids painted with enamel, these home-made gates worked well as barriers when lashed together with wire ties. This remedy managed to keep bunnies out of rooms that weren't bunny-proofed. They made nice pens too.

Rabbits have a nasty habit of chewing on clothing and carpets. Though I haven't been completely successful in preventing damage to my rugs, other bunny folks have used compounds such as Bitter Apple and Ivory Soap on the areas which tend to be chewing temptations. I've managed to stop some buck-toothed vandals from destroying my carpets by placing vinegar jugs filled with water along the walls.

I'm writing all this to say that house rabbits aren't for house-proud people. If you don't mind grid barriers, cord wrap, and water bottles all over the place, then bunnies might be the companion animal for you. If you don't mind sweeping or vacuuming up shreds of paper and cardboard, you're a good candidate for a bunny. Most people won't put up with keeping chewable things out of the reach of rabbits. That's why I advocate each spring for responsible pet ownership. Do your homework rather than be unpleasantly surprised.

I cover all this and more in my When a Man Loves a Rabbit book. Check out this book at the left hand side of this page.

I have a new book out called, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers distribute this amazing account of how God led me out of a cult and into the wonderful freedom of knowing the truth.

Friday, 1 March 2013


Though I own a house, I still have fond memories of one room that I rented while in high school. Back in the early seventies, it was ideal for me.

I remember how happy I felt when I moved into that eight foot by twelve foot basement room. Having formerly lived in a rooming house with a nosey landlady, this new place was a vast improvement. The new landlord and his wife were kind and hospitable. Nobody asked what I was doing in there or who I was talking to. Never did I find them standing outside my door as I did with the former landlady.

I liked the antique gas stove that was in the room. Though it made baking difficult, having no heat setting for the oven, it was still nice to use

I also liked the cupboard with its blue and white curtains covering the shelves where the dishes were stored. I thought that was a cool idea. The long window on the opposite wall had the same blue flowers on a white background.

That room also had one of those old fashioned beds with metal head and foot boards. Being higher off the floor than modern beds, I was able to store all sorts of things under it. Along with being a place to sleep, the bed acted as a ground plain for my CB radio antenna. Nobody I talked to could believe that my bed was part of my antenna system.

In one corner stood a brown wardrobe. It was nice but the flimsy shelf on top collapsed with the weight of my winter tuques and other things. In the summer of 1977, I had an idea. After buying a piece of plywood from the lumber yard, I sanded it smooth. Then I placed it in the wardrobe. It stayed in place and didn't fall when I placed too many things on it.

The room also featured a small wooden table with a shelf underneath it. It also had a plastic table cloth with blue flowers on a white background. Along with eating my meals, I used it for homework and a few science experiments. I used the shelf as a place to store dirty dishes in a plastic basin until I had the time to clean them.

I liked the large drawers of the antique, ebony dresser with the white lace cloth on top. I had plenty of room for my clothes as well as a reel-to-reel recorder and an old TV that a friend gave me.

Though I enjoyed my time there, the room did have its drawbacks. I shared the bathroom and shower stall with a neighbour. We also shared an old fridge. The bathroom had no sink so I used the ones in the laundry room for washing my face and the dishes. Having only one electrical outlet, I had quite a rat's nest of wires leading to it. The room lacked a radiator so I had to leave one stove burner lit in the winter. It sometimes went out during the night. Only God's providence saved me from being asphyxiated.

The furnished room I moved to in 1979 was larger, had its own fridge and stove, and a bathroom. Though I never lived in such a small room again, I still cherished the times I lived in room number seven. Listening to the music I taped then and recalling my high school days still bring back pleasant memories of evenings spent in the first totally-private room I lived in. I hope whoever lives there now feels the same peace that I did.

In my How I Was Razed memoir, I wrote about the remarkable way that the Lord helped my mom find this cozy room. This testimony of how God led me out of a cult is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers