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.

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.

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.

Once More A WINGMAN For WINGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NASCAR From A Different Perspective

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 1 – The Perspective of a Blind NASCAR Fan

Episode 2 – Pit Crew Member for a Day

Episode 3 – The Ride Along

Episode 4 – Experiencing NASCAR

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

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

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

Motley Mixture of Matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care. Be well.

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.

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.