Sick People, Stay The Fu*k Home

Back in June, I wrote a blog post about not going to work sick. In Avoid Going To Work Sick I spoke of how both Kim and I were sick as a result of her coworkers coming to work sick.

For a number of years, Kim has worked two jobs (because that’s what she likes to do) and about ten days ago a coworker at her primary job came to work sick, coughing, hacking, sniffing and so on. It was suggested that they go home so as not to spread it, however they refused to do so. As a result, Kim and a couple others caught it, resulting in Kim missing several days of work, from both jobs.

Early this week she was feeling pretty good, having got over most of the aftereffects of the illness. Two days ago, while at her second job, one of her coworkers came in coughing, hacking, you know the drill. Suggested they go home, refused to do so.

Now, once again, Kim is sick, already missing work at her secondary job, and most likely to miss work at her primary job if it doesn’t clear up in the next day or so.

We have also learned that at least two more people from her secondary job are now off work sick as well.

So… who is affected by all this.

About half a dozen employees are now missing work (translated – income). Two employers are having to juggle workers or have their businesses run short of staff, resulting in lack of production or possible loss of business, both of which impact their bottom line.

Then we have the ripple effect, with different issues created in the workers families, particularly should they get sick as well.

When I was an employer for a good number of years, I would have my employees stay home for a day or two when sick. As an employer, there are different ways to make sure the employee did not suffer hardships for missed time. I felt that to be better than having a larger portion of my company absent simultaneously. And I guess I was a good employer, as my employees always seemed to agree.

Today however, even with good employers, that is quite often not the case.

The whole issue really pisses me off. Hence this blog post, and my request.

Sick people, stay the fu*k home.

Is Your Space Clear?

Yesterday evening we had an incident in our area when emergency services responded to the residence for one of our neighbours. Although it required a person to be taken to hospital, I understand that they will be okay.

The reason for this wee blog post is something I observed during the incident, and what I had not considered before. I imagine that many of you may not have either.

As is the norm, fire arrived first, followed shortly by an EMS supervisor vehicle. Once they entered the residence, to assist the individual, I assume they determined that the utilization of a stretcher would be necessary after the ambulance arrived.

Fire Clearing Snow

Now comes the part which I hadn’t really thought about previously. We had recently gotten our first snowfall and I saw one of the fire crew go over and shovel the sidewalk so it would be clear for the stretcher. Then he went and got some salt and/or sand and put it down so the paramedics and others would not slip while transporting the casualty. When the ambulance arrived, the sidewalk was done, and they were immediately able to stage the stretcher at the residence door. A while later the casualty was brought out, placed on the stretcher and then into the ambulance, with all parties having good footing.

Now, all of this highlighted to me, and I hope to you as well, how important it can be to keep your sidewalks and driveways clear of snow in the winter, as much as possible.

As well, it displayed to me that emergency workers have many more boxes to tick while performing their duties than we may think. For myself, I have great respect for all emergency workers, and I do my best to thank them for all that they do.

We all more or less take for granted our work or living spaces, both inside and outside, and tend not to think of emergency workers trying to maneuver themselves and their gear in those spaces.

I suggest that this be a reminder to check your spaces just in case you, or others, need emergency assistance, to make your space more accessible.

I know I will.

And thanks to all those who make it their profession to help us when we need it.

A “New To Me” Car

So, just over a month ago I got a “new to me” car.

I wasn’t looking for another vehicle and really, didn’t need another vehicle. We already had a van that Kim drives as well as a car and a motorcycle that I drive. So, why get another vehicle? How did this happen?

Well, every morning as part of my online routine I have a look at Facebook Marketplace, mostly out of curiosity, just to see what’s there. I saw this vehicle, had a look, and moved on, as happens many times. Of course, because I had looked at it, Facebook made sure it appeared on other occasions as well. One day I noticed that the price had decreased quite a bit, so, I figured, why not check it out.

I contacted the seller and arranged to have a look at it. It was an older vehicle and appeared to be in excellent shape with very few flaws. The owner stated his bottom line for the vehicle. Okay. I made no commitment, and that evening mentioned it to Kim, showing her the posted ad. She said she would like to see it in person.

So, an appointment was made, and we went over to have a look, taking it for a test drive as well. When we returned, I was looking over the vehicle, checking things out and Kim was talking to the owner. As I joined them, he said that he would take an amount that was a fair bit lower than his “bottom line”. Kim seems to have this ability with people.

The end result was that we drove home the proud possessors of a new to us vehicle.

So, what is this vehicle you ask.

It is a 1999 Merecedes SLK 230 Hardtop Convertible, a two-seater sports car. Twenty-three years old and only 73,500 kilometres. Oh, and I should mention, because it was originally from Japan, it is right-hand drive and talks to us in Japanese on startup.

It was so nice to get back into a convertible, having had three at various times previously, and it being a true sports car was a bonus. It runs as good as it looks and we are enjoying it as much as possible before the ground turns white, at which time both the Mercedes and the motorcycle will buddy up in the garage until Spring.

Well, now it seems that I have become another old guy who drives around in a Mercedes.

However, we are realizing more and more that we need to do more of the things that we enjoy while we are able to. Of course, it will be different experiences for different people. Our health and financial aspects will differ, but the principle remains the same.

We certainly have our ups and downs, however as long as life continues, we’ll do our best to live it from a positive perspective.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy this blog post and the rest of what I share on my Wee Internet Empire. By all means subscribe to my newsletter and keep up with what’s happening.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.