Showing posts from 2012

A Few Weeks Out East

Kate and I are gently swaying side-to-side at 140+ km/hour along the rail lines between Ottawa and Quebec, having come to La Belle Provence to visit our darling daughter.  Brianna is nowhere in sight, though.  There's a method to our madness. I have held fast to the belief that houseguests are much like unrefrigerated fish, in that you wouldn't want either sitting around for more than three or four days.  For that reason, when planning to visit Brianna in Montreal this fall, we decided to incorporate other destinations and use Brianna (and Heather)'s place as a base.  Quebec City and Ottawa, both just a few hours away, would be where we ventured to during the weekdays.  The weekends would provide some time catching up with Brianna and getting to know Heather better.  Quebec was wonderful for a few reasons: first, we stayed at the Chateau de Frontenac .  The Frontenac is considered the castle of the town, perched on a high bluff overlooking Old Quebec and the St. Lawren

Birthday Reflections

This year's birthday thesis is that life still seems to be getting better. I make an effort to take a look forward and back on my birthday and evaluate how I am doing in life.  It helps me justify breathing air, eating food and taking up space and resources on our little planet.  by "how I'm doing,"  I mean the amount of suffering I'm reducing. Personally, I'm not suffering very much.  Most parts of my life (emotionally, relationally, financially, intellectually) are advancing, and measuring progress against yourself is the best thing for me.  My business is is doing well and I am doing well at my business.  At work I am doing what I need to and occasionally making mistakes, but I work hard to correct those mistakes and ensure that the same mistakes aren't made again.  I feel like I have a plan that I am working towards, and that plan is yielding the results I want it to reveal.  That, in itself, makes for a very satisfying life.  I am feeling less wan

Love-Hate Relationship

I love what I do, but today isn't a fun day.  Internet providers make mistakes that get blamed on poor communication.  Microsoft makes software that doesn't live up to its promises.  The end result is that I start a process on a Sunday morning to fix a problem (thinking it should take one, maybe two hours to resolve) and end up working until long after all the city's bartenders have gone to bed, then get back up to beat the first early riser into the office to continue working on the problem. It's a challenge, and it feels good when I have it under control, but I don't enjoy learning the intricacies of my trade while a business owner is watching over my shoulder, tapping his foot. I'm pining for the open fields (ok, actually at this exact moment, I'm pining for bed) when I am not working at all. -------------- I've had some easement of the my nose from the grindstone when I left Veer, as I was quite exhausted.  The pressure of bills to pay, mou

Staving Off Old Age

At 46 years old, it seems silly to be considering old age. But, subtle hints of my impending frailty constantly poke their heads around corners in my day-to-day existence. eyesight - at Kate's insistence, I have taken advantage of the optometrist benefit offered by her company's health coverage and went for an eye-exam. Although I still have 20/20 vision, I admitted to my optometrist that after 8 - 10 hours of sitting in front of a computer, my eyes do get tired and I focus on the screen only with some effort. She recommended a set of ultra-low prescription "working and reading" glasses that now sit on my nightstand. recovery time - I am used to exercising hard, falling into bed exhausted, then bouncing back to fully-charged energy levels first thing the next day. I am finding I don't make it back to 100% the next day after a particularly hard day of skiing/climbing/running/cycling. body aches - I find my back is a little stiffer than it has been, and I need t

Is This Helping?

Part of what I do as work involves an opportunity to give back to society. I call it my "Ability To Pay" Rate Scale. Companies get charged the full, going rate. Likewise with people that live in starter castles in Springbank . Home trouble calls get a slightly gentler tally of the bill, based on the perceived expense of the neighborhood and furniture, and if I'm offered a beverage while I'm working. Non-profits get charged a much-under-market rate. Seniors (such as my beloved Nazi-transvestite-senior citizen, Walter) get charged a dignity-saving nominal fee, like $20 and a little, individually-wrapped chocolate from the bowl on the coffee table. Family and friends are encouraged to think kind thoughts or write me more substantially into their will. Then, every once in a while, I make an exception to The Scale. On Wednesday, I received a call from gravelly, sounded-like-he'd-smoked-too-much-in-his-life Dave, who claimed he couldn't