Itchy Boots Visits Haida Gwaii

During my military career, I had a tour in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, from 1977 to 1981. On June 3, 2010, the group of nearly 400 islands was renamed Haida Gwaii by the Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act as part of the Kunst’aa guu – Kunst’aaa Reconciliation Protocol between British Columbia and the Haida people.

I very much enjoyed my time in “the Charlottes”, as we knew it then, and as well, son Colin was born there.

Unfortunately, I have not had an opportunity to return since, although it is on my hope to do list.

As I develop my “Wee Internet Empire” I try to follow quite a few different people as they do different things on social media.

One of those people is a lady named Noraly, from the Netherlands, who goes by the online handle of Itchy Boots. She is a real adventurer and travels around the globe, solo on her motorcycle, documenting her journey on her website, blog and YouTube channel.

Recently her travels had her traveling through Canada, and this took her to Haida Gwaii, making me even more interested in her adventures.

I really liked the four videos which make up this section of her journey. They brought back many memories and, as well, provided information that I was not aware of. In my opinion they can provide people with a really good idea of what Haida Gwaii is like.

Here, in order, are the links to the four videos.

I thought these videos were very interesting, in addition to being well done. I hope you found them to be as well.

Itchy Boots is just one of many folks I follow online. Here I will provide for you her website, and YouTube channel should you like to know more about her.

As well, I invite you to have a look at my “Wee Internet Empire” and check out the different platforms like my blog, podcast, videos and photos. You can also subscribe to my newsletter to be kept up to date on what is being posted and where.

Thanks much for reading. If you like what I do, please share it.

I always appreciate any feedback. Should you have comments, like something, don’t like something, please do let me know.

Rest In Peace – Dallas Boyko

This past weekend another senseless death was in the local news. Unfortunately a great many deaths are senseless, however this one affected me a bit more than usual, even though I have no personal contact or knowledge of the person who died.

Dallas Boyko was a 51 year old paramedic, driving in an on-duty ambulance with her partner at 4am on a Saturday morning, when a suspected impaired driver crossed the centre line and struck the ambulance head on. She and the driver of the other vehicle died, her partner was injured. Here is the CTV Edmonton news story. (Photo from Facebook – Emergency Services Memorial Page)

This story really struck me for a couple of reasons. A very good, long time friend of mine, on duty as a paramedic, was seriously injured when a vehicle struck the car in which she was tending to a casualty. As well Darren, a good friend and fellow veteran, also a paramedic, came close to not one, but two, head-on collisions while on duty just under a year ago within a one week span.

In Darren’s case, I was prompted to do a podcast after his first incident (link here), and then another after the second (link here).

As veterans most of us have a close affinity, not only to serving military, but also to first responders, such as police, fire and ambulance. Indeed, quite a number, when leaving the military, themselves become first responders.

A person’s death can be quite upsetting under any circumstances. If it occurs while the person is performing their duty it has a greater impact on me, and even more so should it be due to someone else’s careless or negligent actions.

Dallas Boyko, while serving as a paramedic, had most certainly positively affected countless number of lives. She died needlessly while performing her duty. That is a tragedy. May she rest in peace.

Once More A WINGMAN For WINGS

A local organization here in Edmonton has, since 1986, provided a second stage shelter for women and their children escaping domestic abuse.

This organization is known as WINGS – Women In Need Growing Stronger.

I have been an involved supporter of WINGS for over ten years in a number of different capacities.

Last year, WINGS developed a campaign, primarily social media based, to encourage men to become more involved, to become a WINGMAN.

Today on my podcast channel, Anchor, I released a discussion with Rhonda Janzen from WINGS, talking about what the organization does and what it has accomplished over the years. I invite you to give it a listen. Here is the link.

Next week I will be doing another podcast with Rhonda specifically about the WINGMAN campaign so watch for that one as well.

As I’m a WINGMAN again this year, my photo will be popping up fairly soon and of course I will be sharing it. Actually, I’m sharing pretty much everything from WINGS as they do their fundraising. If you wish, you can donate using this link. Be sure and enter my name as the WINGMAN you are sponsoring. As well EPCOR’s Heart+Soul Fund will match donations, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000, so there is great benefit possible from this campaign.

You can find out more about WINGS on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

By all means stay in touch with my social media for further updates. One way to do that is you can subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

Now some hashtags. #WomenInNeedGrowingStronger #yeg #WINGMAN4WINGS #DomesticViolence #HeartandSoulFund

NASCAR From A Different Perspective

Today, a person you probably never heard of, I certainly hadn’t, inspired me to write this blog post.

Her name is Kolby Garrison and to say she is an avid NASCAR fan would be an understatement.

She is such a unique fan that NASCAR did a set of videos about her. You see, Kobly has been blind since birth, and through these videos we can watch her experience the racing that she loves.

The series is called Vivid. It consists of four episodes along with some promos and shorts.

Having viewed the series I was touched by Kolby, her approach and attitude. As a result I felt the need to share this experience. Here are the four episodes so that you can watch them.

Episode 1 – The Perspective of a Blind NASCAR Fan

Episode 2 – Pit Crew Member for a Day

Episode 3 – The Ride Along

Episode 4 – Experiencing NASCAR

I found the videos to be fascinating, as Kolby demonstrates that being blind does not preclude her from a full experience at the track, or anywhere for that matter.

Thank you Kobly and NASCAR for doing this video series. It is well worth watching.

If you want, the full package of videos and shorts can be found on YouTube here.

Motley Mixture of Matters

Recently I’ve had a real mixture of thoughts bouncing around in my aging brain.

Now, this has both positive and negative aspects to it.

The positive aspect is that I actually have thoughts (note that is plural) in my brain. This indicates to me that to some degree it’s still working. The fact that I can remember at least some of the thoughts is quite positive as well.

A negative aspect is that I have thoughts (still plural) but have not completed the process needed to develop any of them properly.

Hence today’s blog post. Today you will get a smattering of a few thoughts, a motley mixture of matters.

Lately in the news, even on CTV, has been the separation of Lisa LaFlamme and CTV (Bell Media). I say separation as there seems to be much discussion as to what it really was. Perhaps she was terminated for being popular and having high ratings, maybe because CTV (Bell) was downsizing, or she was let go because she was a woman with grey hair. Regardless of why, the process used can be described by the letter “D”. It was a despicable, deplorable, demeaning dismissal. Not the way to part company with an individual who was an extremely well known, respected, public face of your organization.

Another recent, highly publicized, event was the verbal abuse directed towards the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. As heinous as this act was, it is yet another example of the growing verbal assaults or abuse, and at times physical threats, directed towards politicians and journalists, mainly women or persons of colour. In my last blog post I spoke about Finger Pointers, those who declare that a situation is always somebody else’s fault. To me, this seems to often be the type of attitude or behaviour which grows from that, growing more extreme. If that is the case, it’s a sad commentary on what we’re becoming.

On a more positive note, one month ago I rode with Michael Terry, on part of his solo Dispatches Adventure Ride, which goes from coast to coast to coast, across Canada and return. Then two weeks ago Kim and I rode with The Rolling Barrage, which is a Canada coast to coast group ride. Both of these rides are in support of, and to raise awareness for, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a military veteran I know how much an issue PTSD is to some of my comrades, as well as first responders, so it is important to me to support these annual rides every year. Some videos from this year and previous years is available on my YouTube channel. In the future there will be at least one podcast and more blog posts dealing with this issue and these events.

My last item today is about respect. The respect that I have for health care workers. Over the last few months I have been under the care or treatment of a number of nurses, doctors and other medical people for a variety of reasons. In my dealings with them I have been treated with compassion and dignity. Knowing much of the crap (yes crap) that they have gone through over the past couple of years, I have great respect for their attitude and professionalism. Thank you very much.

Well, that’s it for this blog post, something a little different. I decided early in the process not to have specific directions or timing for my blog, and podcast, but rather just talk about whatever strikes me at the time. This blog post actually came together over a few days.

I would really like to hear from you. Like what I post? Look at other parts of my Wee Internet Empire? Want to do a podcast with me? Like to be involved in a live YouTube event? Have something you think I should perhaps address? Let me know.

Take care. Be well.

Gen “Finger Pointers”

Here I am, a long time since my last blog post.

I have been stewing on this thought for quite a while and today is the day to get it expressed.

We hear, seemingly nonstop, about the different generations, Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and so on. We could just as well refer to them as Gen “Pick A Letter”.

Regardless of all this, I seriously believe we have transitioned, en masse, into Gen “Finger Pointers”.

It seems that, irrespective of what transpires, it’s somebody else’s fault. Whether it be politics, a work situation, highway traffic, a social event, or any other happening. If it’s not perfect it’s always another person’s fault, never our own.

Immediately, the finger gets wagging and pointing, indicating it’s their fault and they damn well better make it right. Seldom any thought process, seldom any discussion, simply a directive, perhaps even an ultimatum.

We seem to have lost the ability to give, and receive, constructive critiques. Gone somewhere is the act of discussion, thought sharing, working together, and compromise.

Now, these things are not lost forever, and are even still utilized by a good number of people.

However, in a great many circumstances, individuals need to demonstrate how good, or worthy, they are by indicating how terrible, useless or ineffective are those who may disagree with them or have an opposing view. Kind of like road rage being displayed in so many diverse venues.

For instance, this thought process as it is displayed in politics becomes an exercise in pointing out how bad the opposition is and why you should not vote for them, rather than showing how good I am and why you should vote for me.

For business, it is, our competitors perform poorly, lead you astray and just take your money, rather than let us have the opportunity to work with you to help benefit and improve your productivity and sales.

Is there a cure for this malaise? Can it be overcome? What is needed?

Yes, and yes. An effort by all of us to refrain from the finger pointing, refrain from the often automatic negative approach.

Let each of us work together, for the benefit of all and the betterment of our communities.

It is seriously my hope that the pendulum will swing back and many aspects of life will become more civil.

What are your thoughts?

A Wondering Day!

Today I am wondering.

I wonder what am I accomplishing, what have I achieved, since I’ve started out on my “Wee Internet Empire” journey last year. Is it worthwhile, even for just me. These are questions I am having difficulty answering.

Do people actually read my blog posts, or just notice that I did another one, or simply pass them by. The same for my podcasts, newsletters, photos, videos and so on. I know that a few do, others I can’t tell. Who knows, and really, how important is it anyway.

Today I am wondering.

Wondering what the future holds, in this endeavour, as well as a number of aspects of life in general which have been occurring. It has often been said, very accurately, that we live in interesting times.

Today I am wondering.

It is indeed… A Wondering Day!

Avoid Going To Work Sick

Well, it has been, once again, a while since I have been active with my Wee Internet Empire, or much else for that matter.

A good part of the reason was that my wife and I were sick, unpleasantly sick, for about ten days or so.

Fortunately, it was not Covid (or it’s variants), however the symptoms and immediate effects were much the same. As a result, we isolated in the house for the duration.

For me, as I’m retired, isolating was to some degree merely an inconvenience, not being able to ride and missing a couple of veterans get-togethers. For Kim, it meant missing work on both of her jobs which was not great, however by staying home she was able to deal with the illness and return to work in reasonable time with much better health.

Now comes the reason for this blog post.

Earlier, at one of Kim’s workplaces, one of the employees became ill. They came to work, were advised that, if sick, they should go home. They did not. The next day, that person and another co-worker were sick. It was suggested to both that they go home. They did not. The third day, not long after starting work, Kim felt unwell. She informed the employer and came home, not to return for ten days. During that time period, almost all who worked there became sick, making Kim leery about returning too early.

The aspect of all this, which pisses me off, is those who insist on going to work sick, particularly with the possibility we have had for the past couple of years, that it could be quite serious, perhaps Covid or it’s Delta or Omicron variants.

From all medical related levels, we have been advised that, if we were sick, particularly with certain specific issues, we should stay home, to look after ourselves and protect those with whom we worked.

The failure of people to follow this action is a point of frustration for me and hence generated my thought process for this wee rant.

Of course, this is my opinion, one that not all may agree with, and that is fine. When I had my own businesses, this is what I expressed to my employees and our relationships were such that we had no issues.

Thanks, once again, for reading. Your feedback is always appreciated.

A Tale Of Two Quotes

More than likely most folks are familiar with the expression “three strikes and you’re out”.

A couple of months ago I posted a blog, A Lot On My Mind, and one of the things I mentioned is that I’m kind of a “square peg in a round hole” type of person.

Well, the two quotes above do have a connection.

During my lifetime, I have had many occasions where it was evident that I didn’t quite fit in. I learned, and mostly accepted, that it was, for the most part, due to my personality, my way of thinking of things. I am often “outside the box”, which is called creative thinking by many, however it is not something well accepted by others at times, and as well is not always the correct action or process.

For whatever the reason, there occurs occasions when I am not always fully included but rather may just be accepted (with reservations).

I recognize this, and bear no malice, understanding that quite often the second quote above applies.

Now we get to my version of the first quote.

Probably the same as many of you have, I will do things like offering an invitation for coffee or lunch, maybe asking for assistance or advice, suggesting a plan of action for a group or organization, you get the idea. If a response or action is not received, then most often I would make further attempt(s).

There was a time when I would try again, perhaps multiple times, however I realized that is really counterproductive, so on most occasions I have essentially limited my number of attempts to three. My thought process is that more just becomes an irritation that is not needed by either party. I have no doubt that most of you can recall a time being on the receiving end of such an occurrence.

You will notice that I do not provide any examples relating to what I have written above. That is because I am sharing my personal thoughts and do not wish to point a finger at anyone. Any life situation has multiple influences and the only ones I control are my own. Any others I try to recognize, adapt to, and deal with.

There may be those who say, what about this “Wee Internet Empire” thing I keep mentioning, considerably more than three times. In that case it is simply letting people know where the link is, should they be interested.

As always, thank you for reading. All comments or suggestions are welcome.

Until next time, be well.

Doing Nothing Sucks

It has been a month since I did a post, or much of anything else for that matter. Seems my mind has been in the “don’t do f@#k all mode”. Actually, it still kind of is.

This does tend to upset me, and I get pissed off with myself and it just makes it worse.

I want to do things, I want to work on my “Wee Internet Empire”, regardless of the fact that I figure that few are really interested in it. I keep thinking that I need to do it for myself, to keep my mind working and all that, whatever it is.

Even though I seldom have any contact with folks, other than Otis the Cat (he doesn’t say much) or my wife Kim (who works two jobs so is gone quite a bit), it would be nice to have the occasional feedback from whatever I post.

Now I’m not looking for sympathy (I know where it is in the dictionary), I’m just using this venue to express how I feel, similar to many other blogs I have read. Will it be therapeutic? Who knows, or cares.

Today my leg is particularly painful and that is likely a factor for this specific blog post as well. Kim and I got out on the bike today, to dim sum and then to see friends who are in Edmonton from the east coast for a few days. It was a good ride and a nice visit, felt good when we got home, but not now. I’m sure it will pass, as usual, however it is worse than I’ve had before. When my hip replacement will be is totally unknown as I have other leg issues complicating the situation. Eventually, they will pass, or maybe I will. Ah well, such is life.

Now, I’ve ranted on enough for this evening, got it off my chest so to speak, so now perhaps I’ll actually try to accomplish something with my so-called empire.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.