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.

Wonderful Things Do Happen

I just finished watching a YouTube video from The Voice – Australia, which I found to be quite touching.

It started with a contestant named Jordan Fuller who had entered with his family as support. During the pre-performance introduction, that these shows provide, he mentioned that Sian, his younger sister, was even better than he was. At that point she was asked if she had ever considered applying to compete and indicated that she had not, at least until she was older (she is 16). Host Sonia Kruger then asked the producers if they could fit her in if she agreed. They said yes, she agreed, and was scheduled to be the blind audition after her brother.

And so it happened. Jordan got a four chair turn and so did Sian. And then wonderfully, they both made it to the semi-finals on their respective teams.

With some of the crap happening in today’s world, this event was to me, quite uplifting. So much so that here you are, reading about it.

You can watch the video here. I know that many of you will enjoy it.

Weather – Like It Or Not

So… April started out in fine fashion, however has not remained so.

To explain – among other things, I’m a biker.

Hmmm… immediately some of you will get a mental picture – long hair, beard, big belly, tattoos, piercings, leathers, vest with patches, noisy Harley, and so on.

Now lose your mental picture. Bikers are, in reality, a representation of society in general. They come in all sizes, shapes, genders, nationalities and ages, riding a plethora of different machines. They are many different individuals, each their own person.

Now for me, I have a beard, short hair, no tattoos, one piercing, yeah a bit of a belly, wear a leather jacket at times, have a vest with my veteran’s group patch, and ride a Suzuki Boulevard C50 Trike (which is a little noisy).

Anyway, back to April.

As I indicated, it started out well, and I brought my bike out from its designated winter parking spot in the back corner of the garage. It fired up right away, oil levels and tire pressures were checked, and shortly we were out on the road for a wee test drive to make sure all was working well.

Riding was done carefully as Spring roads in Edmonton, or any other place for that matter, can be quite trickly with all the crap that’s left from the winter. And… it seems that many drivers seem to have forgotten what a motorcycle is, and we fail to register in their brain, even when they are looking straight at us.

So, from the beginning of April, I was out riding pretty much every day. The weather was good, with promise of being better, albeit a bit cool, in the 4C to 10C range. Then it got warmer, staying over 10C, and eventually working it’s way up to 22C.

Wowzers, now we’re talking. Let’s go!

Wait just a goldarn minute. What’s this, the temperatures are dropping. No, tell me it’s not so.

Over the next few days we went down to 3C, then down to 0C, then (gasp) -3C, followed by -9C. Dammit!

Ah, but we’re not finished. This morning we were at -12C, and worse, there is a skiff of snow.

Yes, this will pass. Yes, this type of thing happens every year at this time. No, the world is not ending.

However to those of us who are bikers, and due to the climate where we live, we have been unable to ride for, in some cases, many months, this is almost like putting salt on a wound that is just about healed.

It is weather – like it or not.

A Lot On My Mind

My readers may have noticed that I have not published a blog, or done anything else on my Wee Internet Empire, for over three weeks. As indicated, with some humour, by the graphic to the right, I have had a lot on my mind and been going through a few things, both physically and mentally, for the past while. A combination of events, and non-events, have caused me to withdraw and basically isolate myself from most things, witnessed, and lovingly supported, mainly by my dear wife Kim and resident guard cat Otis. I have also appreciated having support from my friends Margaret and Rob.

I guess I’m kind of a funny guy. Not funny Ha Ha, but rather different from the way many would imagine. Of course, like everyone, I am an individual, unique each in our own ways. Years ago, a friend of mine coined a word, which I use to this day, to describe someone, even perhaps me. He called them una-que, kind of a play on unique.

Although I like people and am at times considered a people person, I am, and always have been, pretty much of a loner, used to spending lengthy times alone, be it at home, or at work before I retired. I also tend to be a square peg in a round hole kind of person. Or maybe a round peg in a square hole, never could figure that out for sure. Because of this, on occasion the aspect of “blending with my peers” can be a bit difficult, resulting, at times, in less that full involvement in activities. As I say, we are all a bit different.

Recently, during the last couple of months, for various reasons, it seems that I have been in a real funk, with an extremely low motivation factor. You may have heard some version of this expression from different people — “that my get up and go has got up and went”. In my case, my get up and go never appeared in the first place. Over the years I have learned that if one doesn’t do anything then absolutely nothing gets done.

So… how does one get out of this situation. In my case, I am working on a few different things. For one, I am writing this blog (although it is taking a while). For another, just recently I went down to my garage and fired up my motorcycle, which had not been run for over five months. Something about winter and snow on the ground. It started right away and was talking to me, asking me when we could get out and back on the road. I am wondering the same thing, however the time is getting close.

Another thing of interest is that I have developed a couple of friends on TikTok and SnapChat (go figure) who are encouraging me to get the Wee Internet Empire active again. This support is appreciated and does provide some incentive for me to push forward.

I will at times talk about different aspects affecting me and my intent is to inform, to indicate why I may be doing things in a certain way. I try to totally avoid “crying the blues” as these are my issues, not yours.

A couple of positives lately. Our oldest granddaughter, who lives in Malaysia, is now close to recovery after having tested positive for Covid-19. Also, Tracy, a friend of ours recently completed her cancer radiation therapy and was able to “ring the bell”, signifying the completion of successful treatment.

It is often said that writing, or doing things, is therapeutic. I like to think that, and so am embarking on “doing things”, or to put it succinctly, “get my ass in gear”, with the support of my “world wide” fans (hey, I can wish… right?).

Plans are in the works for a couple of podcasts, some photo updates to Flickr, maybe some video to Vimeo/YouTube, and even a YouTube livestream (Rob has placed a burr under my saddle for this).

I invite you to visit my website, where you can learn more about me and see some of the things I’ve been up to. Also, why not subscribe to my newsletter, to be updated on my activities and see links to others who are doing their own great things.

As always, thanks for reading. Comments and feedback are always welcome.

A Story About PTSD

I have been kind of off the grid the past couple of weeks, to a degree with physical issues, but largely due to a self imposed mental isolation (probably a fancy term for some depression).

Today however, I came across an item that I just had to share.

In 2018 a man by the name of Michael Terry rode his motorcycle alone across Canada and up to the Yukon. Just after retirement from the Canadian Army, Michael was suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Please have a look at this video, The Messenger – A Road-Documentary, about Mike and what he went through, and continues to do so. With the support of The Rolling Barrage, the production of this documentary will resume this summer.

During his stop in Edmonton, July 2018, I, along with Rob and Paul, a couple of fellow veterans, had the pleasure, and honour, to spend some time with Mike. I have great respect for him.

Tears And Laughter

These are indeed interesting times.

On occasion when I actually have contact with people, which is quite seldom these days, they will say some version of “how are you doing”. My normal response is “I’m still above ground, I guess that’s a good sign”. They will laugh and we move on to something else.

Actually though, it is often hard for me to describe how I’m doing, even to myself. I go through various ups and downs, both mentally and physically.

I tend to spend considerable time online, knowing that there are a number of things I want to achieve, one being my Wee Internet Empire, and another building my Ancestry information. For both I try to do a good amount of research in a number of areas. As well, often I spend time on YouTube or Vimeo watching videos to learn stuff, or to be entertained. A number of these videos watched for entertainment produce emotional reactions which, in past times, I would not have had.

For instance, I have become a viewer of The Voice, from around the world, particularly the blind auditions. In The Blinds, as they are referred to, not only are the singers good (usually), but they often have quite interesting back stories as well. I have found there are many occasions when I have seriously teared up when watching.

This is just one description of when I find myself crying, there are certainly others, and they have become more frequent in recent years. I’m not sure if the increased isolation of the last couple of years has added substantially to it or not, although perhaps it has made me more aware. As well, I would imagine the aspect of aging and experiencing reduced ability to do certain things, and awaiting hip surgery, are factors also.

Of course, life is not all bad, and earlier today I came across a video which reminded me there are good things to enjoy as well. Today I caught a video clip called Best Carol Burnett Show Bloopers, which I share with you now. The Carol Burnett Show was regularly watched in our house as I was growing up, and remains a good memory for me. As well, the actors, particularly Tim Conway, will forever be enjoyed.

Coming across the Carol Burnett video today prompted me to create this blog post. I’m quite aware that my experience is not unique, and that there are many people with similar experiences in all parts of the world. Perhaps my sharing will do me some good, and perhaps others will know they are not alone with the feelings they may have.

For all, please be safe. Stay healthy. And happiness heals.