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.

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.

Is It Really Worth It?

What to write, what to do, how to proceed, these are the questions I’m dealing with at this time. The blog post title says it all.

I had this grand vision to share my thoughts, words, photos, videos and experiences, and, to have fun doing it, by creating what I called my “Wee Internet Empire”.

I started out fine, was excited, and began putting things together. My blog, this blog, had been in place sporadically for a good many years, with this being the 68th blog post. I have posted about half a dozen stories on this blog as well.

My YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr were in place for a number of years, however were not connected to each other nor was there any inclination of a theme.

My Facebook originated about fifteen years ago, as did my Twitter. I don’t use my Twitter all that much these days, one reason being the platform content has changed so much. As for Facebook, the constantly changing Facebook Algorithm really causes a kerfuffle there. Imagine Frank Sinatra trying to “start spreading the news” on Facebook today.

I have been on LinkedIn for a very long time, using it to maintain contact with a great number of people, even though I am now retired.

In August, after talking with our son, and my friend Rob, I figured I would enter the podcast arena and have twelve podcasts published up to this point. Rob and my sister have provided some suggestions for the podcast moving forward.

I had been on, and off, Snapchat a number of times and have started a new account recently, however this time I am trying to use it as part of my entire program.

It seems that half the world is on Tik Tok. I joined Tik Tok primarily so that I could support our son who uses it to promote his business. One of our daughters is also on Tik Tok, however just for the cat videos. I have had a bit of fun posting so am still going to continue with it.

I got a Discord account so that I would have another avenue to communicate with a youth group I’m an advisor for. Then I thought, I could maybe do something here as well, so I created my own Discord server, which now has other members.

My latest addition was a newsletter. I came across a newsletter on Substack from a friend and saw that there was a good possibility I could use my own newsletter to tie everything together for my “Wee Internet Empire”.

So now we get to the crux of the issue. Is it really worth it?

I don’t have any expectations of going viral, becoming world famous, having thousands of subscribers. That, of course, is totally unrealistic.

Currently I am retired, staying at home for the most part as I am a bit mobility challenged awaiting hip replacement surgery and being very careful going out anywhere due to the potential risk of Covid.

As a result my primary daily focus is this “Wee Internet Empire” thing, and feeding Otis the cat.

That all being said, there are times, more often recently, when I find myself in a vacuum. Some of you may have heard some version of the expression “my get up and go has got up and went”, although there are times I feel my get up and go decided not to visit me in the first place.

I have long been able to successfully support and motivate others when they had times of disappointment, frustration, or were feeling down, however am very unsuccessful at doing the same for myself. As many of us are aware, there is nobody who can beat us up more effectively than ourselves.

While I am typing this all out, I am talking to you, my readers. At the same time, I am also talking to myself, something that is medically proven to be a good thing (Talking To Myself).

Even so, something I feel is lacking a bit, is feedback from others. It is for this reason that I always ask people to take a moment and visit one or more of the platforms that I use. Visit my website, read my blog, listen to the podcast, look at some photos, watch a video, read the newsletter, whatever. And then, perhaps take a moment, like it , maybe make a comment, share it with a friend, and best of all, recommend it to a friend.

I have been thinking through, working on, Googling thoughts, for this blog, for a couple of hours now. Then reviewing, checking for typos, or other errors. As I do so, I am feeling a little better, being active always has that effect, so my target is to be as active with this as possible. I really hope my get up and go will visit more often.

Once again, thank you for reading this blog post. I invite you to check out my “Wee Internet Empire” by visiting my website, LeSueur.ca. Any comments, recommendations or criticisms that you may have are always welcome.

虎年 – Year of the Tiger

2022 年 2 月 1 日

February 1, 2022

新年快乐! 恭喜发财!

Happy New Year! Wish you prosperity and wealth!

对于我们家来说,农历新年是按照中国传统来庆祝的。 我们是一个混合家庭。 我的妻子是来自马来西亚的华人,我们有两个女儿,他们的孩子住在马来西亚。 在我这边,我们有一个女儿和她的丈夫在加拿大,一个儿子和他的妻子在英国

For our family, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with Chinese traditions. We are a blended family. My wife is Chinese from Malaysia, on her side of the blend we have two daughters, with their children, who live in Malaysia. On my side of the blend we have a daughter with her husband in Canada and a son with his wife in England.

由于农历新年对我们家来说是一件重要的事情,所以我选择用中英文写这篇博文。 我使用谷歌翻译,它做得非常好(虽然不完美)。

Due to the fact that Chinese New Year is an important event to our family, I have chosen to do this blog post in both Chinese and English. I use Google Translate which does a most excellent (although not perfect) job.

在新的一年里,我代表我自己和我的家人,向所有人致以健康、幸福和成功的祝福。 愿我们在和平、和谐与理解中生活在一起,共享这个地球。

For the coming year, on behalf of myself and my family, I sent along wishes for good health, happiness and success, to all. May we live together, sharing this earth, in peace, harmony and understanding.

谢谢!- Thank you!

Mayhaps An Olympic Like Endeavour

Most likely because the Winter Olympics are starting in Beijing next week, the movie “Eddie The Eagle” was on television today. I didn’t get to see the entire movie, however I did catch the end. Also, I had the experience of attending some aspects of the 1988 Calgary Olympics, but unfortunately not the ski jumping.

What caught my eye at the end of the movie was a quote from Pierre de Coubertin, considered to be the father of the modern Olympic games, as given in the paragraph below.

“The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.”

― Pierre de Coubertin

His quote of course applies to the Olympic Games, however I feel it can be applied to most any endeavor that a person undertakes. This got me thinking about this “Wee Internet Empire” that I aspire to, and have undertaken. Will it be massive, viral, hugely successful, thousands of subscribers, and widely recognized? Highly unlikely one would suppose. But I am working at it, I am learning and applying myself, and I am doing it to the best of my ability. As such, I would like to think that de Coubertin’s quote can, in some way, apply to this project.

My efforts at my “Wee Internet Empire” may not be ‘higher, faster, stronger’ than others have done, however it is a challenge that I have not before undertaken and I am venturing into areas I have heretofore not experienced.

With these thoughts in mind, I will press on, appreciative of the support extended to me by some of the folks who indicate their interest in what I’m producing, and who have offered their thoughts to help me make it better.

I do know that my wife Kim has been very supportive and understanding as I work on this endeavour, putting up with me puttering along, while talking to my computer (and at times, the cat), and not always being as patient as perhaps I could be while learning new aspects of various application software. This Pickles comic strip, done by Brian Crane could, but hopefully doesn’t, apply in our case.

Regardless, thank you, once again for reading this blog post.

You are more than welcome to share your thoughts in the comments.

If you would like to join me on my journey, please visit my website “LeSueur.ca” or you can subscribe to my newsletter, “Old Guy, New Ideas”, if you have not already.

Thank you.

Melaka Morning Memory

Today I am trying something just a bit different as I experiment more during the building of my wee Internet Empire. I am using this blog to show you a couple of videos and using the audio from them on my podcast. Both will be referenced in my newsletter. We’ll see how it goes.

Three years ago I traveled to our place in Melaka, Malaysia, this time for a three month stay. This morning, up popped one of my memories of awakening on my first day there. I had taken a couple of videos during my early morning coffee, and they were quite poignant considering how the world has been the last couple of years.

Of course, not being able to travel to Malaysia and spend time with our daughters, grandchildren and friends, due to Covid, provides the type of unhappiness that millions of people around the globe are feeling.

As well, another aspect of being at our place in Melaka is that I miss the mornings, having my coffee, watching the sun rise, and listening to the sounds.

That is the memory which I am highlighting today.

This first video is taken about 5:50am, it is still dark and you can hear the frogs, crickets and the praying at the local mosque. As a country boy at heart, I really enjoy these sounds.

Melaka Apartment Pre-Dawn

The second video is taken just after 7:30am, the sun is just above the horizon and you can hear the birds as their activities increase.

Melaka Apartment – Sun Rise

Thank you for allowing me to share these memories with you today. It is my hope that soon we will all be able to once again actually experience these types of moments instead of simply reviewing memories of them.

Want to follow me on my journey as I develop my wee Internet Empire? You can do so by subscribing to my newsletter, Old Guy, New Tricks, and be notified of new posts and updated on what’s happening. You will find the link to today’s podcast there.

Your comments are always welcome. Please have a safe and healthy day.

Internet Empire – The Back Story

Firstly, for clarification, I am using the term “Internet Empire” in a fun way.

As I have indicated in a previous post, I have been doing things on the world wide web for well over 40 years. I have been doing blogs, in various forms, as well as Facebook and Twitter, since 2008, for work, volunteer organizations, and myself.

As we all are quite aware, life has changed, some would say drastically, over the past couple of years. For me, it goes a bit further back.

I retired from my final job at the end of 2018 with the plan that I would spend some of my winter time in Malaysia and my summer time enjoying my motorcycle here in sunny Alberta. That worked to a degree for a couple of years, but, as often happens, life got in the way.

The pain I had been experiencing in my hip got worse and was eventually diagnosed as arthritis, to be remedied at some time by a hip replacement. This impacted a number of things, one being my overall mobility, and another my motorcycle riding. It’s hard to ride when one cannot swing one’s leg over the bike. For a biker, not being able to ride creates an unhappy place to be. Over the course of the next two summers I went through two more motorcycles, eventually coming to the one I have now. It is a trike that I am able to mount properly and now I don’t have to worry about my leg strength for stability.

Then, along came COVID-19 (followed by how many variants we have yet to find out). Now traveling to Malaysia is out, for who knows how long. It has also put a severe crimp on social and family gatherings, motorcycle events, volunteer group activities and activities with my local veterans group. As well, it has created another factor into the potential scheduling of my hip replacement surgery.

As a result, I’m literally sitting like a bump on a log at home, retired, mobility challenged, Covid restricted, and in the middle of a -30C (at times) Alberta winter.

Quite honestly, it was depressing, and I found myself imitating Jerry Seinfeld and doing nothing, although it seemed to work way better for him than for me.

I would like to say, then came an epiphany, however that was not the case. It was more like a gradual thought process. It started with the thought that, as an amateur photographer for many years, I might have some photos or even some videos that folks might like to see. Obviously, they are not doing much good just stored on my computer or in a trunk in the garage. Then came the thought that I like to write, and I do have some good stories to tell from the last 70+ years. After working with different youth groups over the last 15-20 years I have become familiar with various smartphone apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, Telegram, SnapChat and so on, so that I could stay in touch with them. They were impressed that the Old Guy could actually do that.

After pondering these thoughts for a while, I figured, maybe I can put all these things together (and perhaps some others as well), give myself something to do, and have fun doing it. Maybe even provide a commodity others may find interesting as well.

Hence came into being, the concept of an Internet Empire. It may not be grand in scope, however it is meaningful to me, and in the end, maybe that’s the most important thing.

This Internet Empire is moving along. I now have a website, LeSueur.ca, with links to my various internet platforms. Just recently I have have created a newsletter, Old Guy, New Tricks, where I can notify folks when I update any of my platforms (like this blog) or share other information. I invite you to subscribe.

As this process has moved forward, I find I am contacting with more people from all over. Now I subscribe to a good number of blogs (as you can see off to the right), quite a few YouTube channels, Flickr sites, and such. In addition to being very interesting, I have been able to learn many new online techniques as well.

So, this is a bit of the back story for my Internet Empire. You are welcome to have a look around, comment on things and share with your friends. All are welcome.