So… What’s Up, What’s Happening, What’s Going Down

This morning I was starting to put together my latest newsletter (you can subscribe here), and I was going to use the words above as my lead in as it’s an expression that I have been using for a great many years. Then I thought about it and decided that I would write a blog post with those words as the title.

Just for interest, I then Googled them. The first things that came up were a 1992 song from 4 Non Blondes called What’s Up? and a 1966 song from Buffalo Springfield called For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound).

As it turns out, as an old fart, both of these songs are quite familiar to me, and both have developed a large following, being considered as either a protest or an type of anthem by those at the time.

For myself, I feel that both could be entirely applicable to events of the current times.

That being said, these songs were not what generated the thought process for this blog post.

Rather, it was a bit of contemplation of recent personal happenings.

Top of mind, yesterday, along with several Kiwanis colleagues, I attended a memorial service for a friend and long time club member. Ed Bean was a member of the Kiwanis Club of South Edmonton for sixty-five years, caring deeply about anything which would benefit young people. More than that, he was a pillar of the Edmonton community. He helped create and maintain Crystal Kids, an organization teaching, mentoring and nurturing at-risk, inner city kids, named after Crystal Glass, a company he formed in 1949. He was involved, over the years, in a great many community positive happenings as well as being a member of the Edmonton Investors Group which owned the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League from 1998 to 2008. A true people person, Ed will be sorely missed, however his heritage will live long.

I recently set up and started a private family Facebook group, designed to introduce and acquaint diverse family members with each other. Like many families, as time has passed many of us are not familiar with distant cousins, and even may not actually know that we have these cousins. (And no, I’m not providing a link for this blog post, that’s what private is all about.)

As I’m working on this group, I have been delving more and more into our family history. It keeps getting more interesting, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the odd time someone shows up that I knew about, but didn’t know we were related. I do imagine there are many families which may be like that. Check into yours, never know what you’ll find.

Another thing going on, there is a chance that I may actually have my hip replacement surgery on the horizon. As a result, I’m once again going through a battery of tests, procedures and activities in preparation. Perhaps this time it will actually happen. Fingers crossed.

There are a few other things going on that I won’t bore you with. Be it known however, that snow, ice and cold weather are still “in vogue” here in Edmonton and as such the trike and SLK are still ensconced in the garage. (Now I’m making a sad face.)

Bottom line… life is proceeding in it’s unique fashion and our job is to do our best to adapt to it’s flow. It seems to last longer that way.

Working From ????

Last week, prior to a meeting, I was part of a most interesting discussion. The fact that it was a hybrid meeting, and that I was attending the in person part, actually led into the discussion.

We got to talking about working remotely (usually at home) versus working at the office. It seemed to be about a 50/50 split among those taking part in the meeting. The discussion centered mainly around the effect and/or impact on the worker, rather than on the company. There were also discussions relating to pre-, during, and post- Covid, and how the situations were different.

Now for myself, I had retired pre-Covid and as such have been “working” at home, which, for me, is certainly not considered remote. As such, my experiences and thoughts were of course different from the others.

Once the pandemic began, quite a number of companies, in effect, closed down their on-site operations. Some were hands on workplaces, so this meant that employees were laid off. However the majority were office type workplaces, and while closing their physical spaces, various arrangements were made for employees to continue to work, in most cases, from home.

Now it seems, as Covid has passed (??), a good number of organizations are wanting their employees to return to the office while others say working from home is “doing the job” (pun intended). Then there are those organizations which are adopting a hybrid solution and having their employees go to the office two or three days a week and work from home the remainder of time.

Judging by the various reactions, some workers like the thought of returning to the office, some are ambivalent, while others are against it. And, it seems that there are some good reasons, and thoughts, behind each of these options.

During our discussions one person mentioned that although they like working at home they did miss the interaction of having co-workers around. He mentioned that the casual chat which often occurs while working had, from time to time, resulted in an “ah-ha” type of moment as he was working on a document or project.

Interestingly enough, both in-office workers and remote workers provided comments about having, at times, a disruptive environment. Either from co-worker activities or from child/dog/spouse activities. For instance, in my case, Otis the cat demanding to be fed. (Be assured, he can be quite disruptive.)

What are your thoughts or experiences? Do you prefer working at the office, at home, or some combination of both. Share in the comments please.

This Retirement Thing

Today I have been thinking.

Now, to some who know me, that would be considered a dangerous thing.

Perhaps not, today anyway. However it has been an interesting thing for me. A bit interesting that is. You see, it’s a holiday Monday, here in Alberta it’s called Family Day.

One might imagine that due to the day, I would be thinking about family, and I did a little, however my main thinking has been about my retirement, and some of the factors which have been affecting it.

It is no surprise that topping the list has been COVID. I use capital letters here because that was the way it arrived. Now it has become more like #@&%*$ Covid.

For millions of people, the ramifications of Covid threw the proverbial monkey wrench into the system. My thinking today is more limited to retired folks, because I are one.

Back in late 2018 I retired for the final time, and yes, I even had plans. More than just plans, they were being put into practice.

For a good portion of the winter I would be in Malaysia, based at our apartment, spending time with family, friends and just doing some traveling around. My wife Kim would join me for part of the time as she was still working. The late spring, summer and early autumn would involve quite a bit of time on my motorcycle, going on rides with mates and fellow veterans, or just by myself touring around Alberta. On the weekends my wife and I would relax and travel around a bit, as well as being involved in weekend motorcycle and other community events.

For 2019 most went according to plan. I spent three months in Malaysia, Kim with me for a month. Summer saw some 6000 kilometres put on the bike and we were involved in various activities most every weekend. Right up to the end of the year we took part in both Kiwanis and veterans events. Life was doing okay.

2020 started out quite well, however there seemed to be ominous rumblings. Mid February Kim and I were off to Malaysia for six weeks. For the first three weeks we were joined by our daughter and her husband from Edmonton. For me this was a big event as she would meet her two sisters in Malaysia, in person for the very first time. (If you have been following my blog posts over the years you’ll know we have a blended family.)

After we arrived, the ominous rumblings increased, and people started talking about this Covid thing. The first three weeks went well, daughter and her husband headed home, and the rumblings increased. After another week they were more than rumblings and we reluctantly made the decision to err on the side of caution and headed back to Edmonton ten days earlier than planned.

Turns out, it was a good decision, as air traffic was essentially shut down shortly after we got home. We had to do our two week quarantine and then Kim was laid off as her workplace was shut down (only for about three months it turned out).

I’m sure that everyone is pretty familiar with what followed for the remainder of 2020 and basically all of 2021, so I’ll just talk about how this affected the retirement thing.

Now is a good time to touch on another factor affecting retirement, that being my health. I have always had a pretty robust immune system, however I have had some mobility issues, particularly in the last ten years. I was diagnosed with a bad hip and the decision was made to put me on the list for a total hip replacement. For those who have experienced this, it is an interesting process. Immediately I was scheduled for a whole battery of tests, including, but not limited to x-rays, heart tests, lung tests, dental tests, nervous systems tests, and more. These are all intended to determine if I was suitable for surgery.

All the tests were completed, however our friend Covid had laid a beating on all scheduled surgeries. Then, towards the end of 2021, I was notified to expect surgery in January 2022. About the same time I received a small injury to my lower leg and it was slow healing, which they thought likely due to me being diabetic. Injury, small or not, has a risk of infection, hence the surgery was cancelled.

Turned out that over the years I have developed poor circulation in my lower legs, causing my legs to be discoloured, and have extremally thin skin, which can be easily abrased, and any wounds would be very slow healing. Following that determination, there came extensive treatment by the wound clinic and home health care (kudos and thanks to these awesome medical professionals). End result, I will now be wearing compression stockings for the remainder of my time.

Good news is, the surgeon seems happy with my condition now and I may be looking at surgery in April of this year. After still more tests of course.

Now, back to this retirement thing.

Of course, any social activity had become a non-starter during 2020, so it was just me, or Kim and I, for the majority of the time. With my hip issues, I made the change from two wheels to three and bought a trike to ride. This made Kim happy and she now rode with me quite a bit. Between the two bikes I managed to put on over 8000 kilometres in 2020. As well the weather was helpful as Kim and I had our last ride of the year the first week of December. Throughout the year our riding was mostly solo. On the odd occasion we rode with others, whenever stopped we would be outside and maintain the suggested two metre distance.

For 2021, social activity remained at a minimum. Kim would go to work and get groceries, being masked and maintaining her distance at all times. Basically I would just stay home, so much that even Otis the cat was getting tired of me. Between the weather, a blown radiator and my leg issues, less than 4000 kilometres was accomplished on the bike. Veterans gatherings were almost nonexistent, while Kiwanis took on an extremely low profile.

2022 was more of the same, however we were starting to get out for our weekly dim sum, socially distanced of course. For me, I think Otis was starting to maybe like having me around, or not. He’s a cat so go figure. Very little riding this year, only about 4000 kilometres again. For my legs they were doing regular appointments as well as home care, so I had to be cautious and was not able to plan much. Come summer our veterans group was having weekly gatherings once more, however they were socially distanced in a parking lot. Oh well, at least we were getting together. Then in the fall, we were able to get together, actually inside. With some of our members being immune compromised, they were not comfortable attending. For Kiwanis, meetings were by Zoom only.

In September, we were lucky enough to add a vehicle to our garage. Defined as a Classic is our 1999 Mercedes SLK 230 sports car. For the next couple of months it was able to steal a few thousand kilometres from the trike, however they seem to get along well anyway. The nice thing is that it expands our ability to have some fun travel, day runs on the trike and longer with the Merc.

So now, here we are in 2023.

Soon it will be three years since we have seen our daughters and grandchildren in Malaysia. Otis and I have held down the home front with me getting out of the house for a few hours averaging one day a week. On occasion maybe two. Right now, this is retirement for me… my house. What day of the week is it? Oh it must be the weekend because Kim is home on Saturday and half of Sunday, and sometimes on a holiday (she works most holidays).

But, things are looking up. As I mentioned, possible surgery in April. Late last year I had a coffee with a friend, then with another friend in January, and now one tomorrow, this with a regular coffee mate from before Covid, but now for the first time in about two years or so. The two “summer rides” are resting in the garage, awaiting Spring and the opportunity to get out and about. An increased level of activity with Kiwanis is being contemplated. Our veterans group is getting together more often. And… we hope to be back in Malaysia about a year from now.

So… the retirement thing, what’s it all about. My experiences have been up and down, back and forth, good and bad. Well, that’s what life is, not only for me, but for every person experiencing the retirement thing. We are all different, not better or worse. All unique!

I’ve thrown a bit of light on my retirement thing, how is yours going?

Want to share? Please do! It would be great to hear from you.

Until next time. Ciao!

Let’s Talk Aging — A Chatbot and Me

So today I thought I’d have a bit of an experiment with this new AI stuff that is being reported on. I created an account with OpenAI to try out their ChatGPT chatbot software.

After logging in, I made the following entry: “Things I notice about aging.” The response I got is shown here in italics.

As a language model, I don’t have personal experience with aging, but I can provide some common observations and changes associated with the aging process:

  1. Physical changes: As people age, they may experience changes in their physical appearance, such as gray hair, wrinkles, and age spots. They may also notice changes in their body shape and size, as well as changes in their mobility and stamina.
  2. Health changes: Aging can bring about changes in health, such as increased risk for chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, the immune system may weaken, making it easier to get sick or develop infections.
  3. Cognitive changes: As people age, they may notice changes in their cognitive abilities, such as slower reaction times, decreased memory and concentration, and reduced processing speed.
  4. Social changes: Aging can also bring about changes in social relationships, as friends and family members pass away or move away. Older individuals may also become more isolated, which can have negative effects on their mental health.
  5. Emotional changes: As people age, they may experience a range of emotions, including increased feelings of gratitude and contentment, but also sadness or anxiety related to aging, retirement, and declining health.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these changes in the same way, and there are steps people can take to maintain their health and well-being as they age, such as staying physically active, eating a healthy diet, engaging in social activities, and seeking medical care as needed.

After reading the response received, without being overly wordy, I decided to give my own response on each of the five points shown. As a reference, I am well into my 74th year (for whatever that may mean).

  1. Physical changes: Well, it seems I still have most of my hair, although it is less populated up there. As my hair has always been quite light blonde it’s hard to tell how gray it may be, however there is no question about my beard, it’s gray and lengthy (last shaved in November 2015). Have some wrinkles, and yes, a few age spots. My basic body shape has essentially unchanged for many years as I have been overweight most of my life, although the underside of my upper arms has gained some extra motion when I shake them. Mobility and stamina will be covered under the next item.
  2. Health changes: I have developed arthritis, slightly in both knees, majorly in my left hip, which is awaiting a complete hip replacement (maybe this year). These of course affect my mobility, and combined with my weight, causes my stamina is affected to some degree. After many tests, the ticker seems to be working well, albeit being just a little weak. Circulation in my lower legs is not great, necessitating the wearing of compression stockings daily. (I look at it as providing a little extra leg protection when on my motorcycle.) Interestingly enough, my immune system remains strong and has a habit of telling sickness and infections to generally “buggar off” (and usually they do).
  3. Cognitive changes: Not sure how my reaction times have changed, as I can still get really mad at myself or my computer in just an instant. In other areas though, like driving, my reactions are good, although my responses have become more tempered and experiences learned over the years have provided me with the knowledge that “stupid is as stupid does” and getting pissed off at it ain’t gonna help. One area I really notice a change though is in my memory. I often say, tongue in cheek, that I suffer from “part-timers”, where I forget things part of the time. This can be so frustrating. For example, I can be talking about someone, can see their face in my mind clear as anything, and their name will not come to me. Then sometime after the conversation is done, Bing, there is the name. Aargh!
  4. Social changes: This is definitely an interesting one. I have lost, and continue to lose, my share of friends or family as they die (I’m not always comfortable with the term “pass away”), and it can create a major change when they are gone. I’m the oldest member of our family line, and have been for the last ten years. I stopped working when I retired for the final time just over four years ago changing my social interactions somewhat. I’ve been a member of Kiwanis since 2001 and a couple of motorcycle organizations since 2017 along with a Canadian Veterans group. However, the kicker came in 2019, when COVID basically said, “y’all just stay home and forget about any social life”. This has been a hard one to recover from as many folks are a bit “gun-shy” and are still not ready to get out and meet other people again. It takes time for sure. It also shows up in the fact that although we were in the habit of traveling to Malaysia to visit our family and friends, pretty much every year, we have not been since early 2020 and probably not until 2024. Not seeing two of our daughters and seven grandchildren is hard.
  5. Emotional changes: A couple of expressions that have been around for many years are, “real men don’t eat quiche” and “real men don’t cry”. Well, for me, I’ve loved quiche all my life, however the crying thing has really come to the fore in the last ten to fifteen years. TV, movies, and real life all have, at times, the ability to open up the tear ducts. Guess older eyes need more lubrication. With regard to feelings of gratitude and contentment, I know that I’m grateful to still be looking at grass from the green side and to have Kim, the love of my life, at my side. Also very grateful for her patience with yours truly (I’m sure it must be sorely tested at times). Can’t say I have a great deal of anxiety or sadness with growing old, however I will admit to occasions of frustration when I find that I am unable to do something I’ve done all my life. Having said that, I’m thinking that I’m not quite over the hill yet, so let’s press on.

Okay, there you have it. Some thoughts about aging. Is that everything? Of course not, however you do get the general idea of what goes on in my head.

So, what goes on in your head? I invite you to share with me, and others who read this blog post, your thoughts or experiences about aging.

Thanks for reading. Catch you again in a future post.

Working To Move The Empire Forward

As some of you have noticed, and in some cases, commented on, things have not all been sweetness and light over the last few months for me.

Thankfully Kim has been my rock, especially the times she had to put up with the grumpy old fart persona.

Hopefully though there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, as long as some nasty bugger doesn’t lengthen the tunnel again.

This past Wednesday I was finally able to get out of the house and went for coffee with my friend Jacqueline. In amongst all her talents, she is a motivator, and I can attest that having a motivator for a friend is excellent. I try to be a motivator, with some success, however it seems that I’m totally ineffective when dealing with myself.

I mentioned Jacqueline in my podcast today which can be heard here. I also created a YouTube video of my podcast. It is available here on my YouTube channel. She has agreed to do a podcast with me in the near future, perhaps more as she has much to share.

I have also been adding to my Flickr channel, now having more that 3000 photos (some only available for family/friends). Today I added photos I took in 2011 during a tour in Annecy, France. Here is a small slideshow sample.

Slowly, but surely, I will be catching up and posting more of the thousands of photos I have, many yet to be digitized. I often say, what good are all these photos if people can’t see them.

I remind people that the best way to keep in touch with Wee Internet Empire activity is to subscribe to my newsletter, Old Guy, New Tricks. When changes, updates, or other interesting things, become available they will all be noted in the next issue of the newsletter.

I am on a number of different platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TicTok, Twitter, Matador, LinkedIn and others. All the necessary links are available on my website. I invite you to visit, and feel free to connect if you so desire.

Now I have come to the conclusion of today’s self promotion. However if I don’t work to spread the word how will you know what great stuff you will be missing. So thanks for your attention, your comments are always welcome, and hope to see you soon.

I try to wrap up most things by saying take care of yourself, and, if you can, help take care of those around you.

So A New Year Begins (Time Marches On)

Well, here we are, safely (??) into 2023.

It’s been a month since I’ve done a blog post, and I really have no valid excuse.

For most of the time both my body and my mind felt like crap and I basically just said “screw it” and did nothing about everything, right past the end of the year.

It seems that my post in November, Sick People, Stay The Fu*k Home, was not adhered to, and Kim’s coworkers brought sickness to her workplace once more and both of us ended up sick. It was very unpleasant for both of us. I basically stayed in bed and didn’t eat for four or five days. For Kim, at one point she was very weak and was unable to put on my compression stockings for several days (the reason for the stockings may be another blog post sometime). As a result our daughter came to help a couple of times, then AHS Home Care was arranged until Kim was able to do it again.

The end result was that Kim and I decided that other than her going to work (she always wears a mask at both jobs), we would both remove ourselves from any social activities until further notice. Only Kim would do any grocery shopping, once again always wearing a mask. Since then we have only gone for our regular weekend dim sum, where we sit at a table separated from the other patrons. The only other thing has been some scheduled medical appointments for each of us.

This has meant not going to weekly veteran’s group gatherings, along with missing Christmas occasions with our Kiwanis club, veteran’s groups, Kim’s work and family. As well, many movies have been streamed, and it may be that Otis is getting tired of having us around. I truly appreciate how Kim has been putting up with this old fart and my seemingly wide (at times) mood swings. I’m certainly in good, and patient, hands.

For now, we are keeping tabs on how events may be unfolding and are considering that perhaps we will be able to go to a veteran’s group monthly breakfast in two weeks.

I have decided that I really need to get to work on my “Wee Internet Empire“, so it has occupied much of my time over the last few days. I have been working on my computer photo compilation, improving both my storage and my backups. Photos on my computer comprise only a portion of those which I have on hand. There are thousands of prints or slides, covering the almost forty years of photo taking prior to my first digital camera, that must be digitized. So much to do! Already I have three more groups of photos up on my Flickr site.

Speaking of Flickr, I would like to ask your opinion. On my site I have the albums arranged in chronological order, having the one with the most recent photos first, then going to the oldest album. I have been thinking about doing the reverse. I would appreciate any thoughts you might have about this. When I put in an album, whether from years ago or recent, I always put a direct link to that album in the next issue of my newsletter, “Old Guy, New Tricks” (which you are encouraged to subscribe to).

I have mentioned this before, however it is worth repeating. Any feedback that is provided on this blog, or any of the other platforms I publish on, is greatly appreciated. Even negative feedback (hopefully not received) is a validation of what I’m trying to do, and how I can improve my subscribers experience.

So please do let me know what you think. Also, if you have thoughts of what I could include in a blog, podcast, livestream or what ever, please pass them along. Who knows how it will work out.

Well, that’s enough blathering for now. Catch you next time. Take care of yourself, and take care of others.

Domestic Abuse And Violence Is A Major Problem! – Were You Aware Of That?

After reading a CBC news article two days ago, and then seeing similar stories on the news, I was a bit upset.

Then I thought about it, then stewed about it, and now, I’m very upset about it.

According to the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, women’s shelters received more than 65,000 calls seeking support. That is a horrible number of women, often with children, seeking support from an abusive relationship in our province.

Even worse, in my view, is the fact that more than 28,000 women, seniors and children, were turned away from shelters. More than half of the refusals due to the shelters being full, with others being refused for other reasons, including staff shortages or lack of resources.

To be open and upfront, for over fifteen years I have been an active supporter of Women In Need Growing Stronger (WINGS), a 2nd stage shelter in Edmonton, for women escaping family violence and abusive relationships, with their children. I have also supported Jessie’s House, in Morinville.

These are just two of many women’s shelters across the province, most of which are unable to fully assist all of those who come to them for help.

The fact that so many are contacting shelters to escape abusive or violent relationships, to me is an indication that society in general has to do a better job.

From 2012 to 2018, I was employed as a casual cell block guard at a local RCMP detachment. During this time, as part of my work I was exposed to quite a number of cases of domestic abuse or violence.

Since that time, occurrences of this nature have increased, particularly during the COVID pandemic.

As I write this, it came to my mind that, during a period of time after the Fort McMurray fire the detachment I was at had an increase in “domestic” cases, often involving people fleeing the fire devastation which was several hundred kilometres away.

External occurrences like COVID or the Fort McMurray fire will often make a bad domestic situation much worse.

So, what is the answer? How do we solve this situation? How do we make it better?

Unfortunately, we have no simple answer, or in truth, at this time, even a complicated answer.

I do believe there are things that we can do, however.

Firstly, from a lifestyle aspect, we can pay more attention to those around us, friends, coworkers or neighbours. Quite possibly there will be signs of a person being on one side or the other of a domestic abuse situation. If so, there is often some action that we can consider taking.

On the community side, please provide support to a women’s shelter in your area. Make a financial donation. Donate clothing, household items, or contact them and find out whatever they may need. Also, they often are looking for volunteers to assist them in their activities.

Domestic abuse or violence is not an occurrence which is easily reduced or eliminated.

To improve the situation all must be involved. Individuals, community and government.

One thing to me is that we all must speak out more. Too many people are unaware or unconsciously tune it out.

Shout it out. Make them aware.

Give it some thought. What can you do?

Stop And Hear The Music

To preface… I did not write this. Eleven years ago, a friend of mine sent me this most interesting story.  Upon checking further, I was able to find the story behind the story.


This is a true happening, orchestrated by a writer for the Washington Post.  Read it through and then follow the link at the end to find out the rest of the story.

PERCEPTION

Something to think about . . .

THE SITUATION

In Washington, DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

image

About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. 

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year-old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was…

Joshua Bell

One of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $200 each to sit and listen to him play the same music. This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities

This experiment raised several questions: 

* In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? 

* If so, do we stop to appreciate it? 

* Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: 

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Here is the link to the Washington Post article, including a video.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html 


I hope you took the time to read the article, as it’s quite interesting.

So… the question once again is, how many things are we missing as we rush through life?

Definitely a question worth thinking about at any time, but particularly at this time of year.

Thanks for reading, thanks for your support and feedback.

Be well. Take care of yourself and take care of others.

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.

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