Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

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Be The Light….

November 16, 2012

… which serves to illuminate for others.

Time rushes by with little time for self reflection. Lynda and I have a couple of hours a day through the week when she has done her workday, and prior to me leaving the house for mine. We cook together or alternate and enjoy the meal and catch-up time. Weekends I work days so I’m back for dinner and the evening. Tomorrow night we’re planning an evening around the firepit, possibly with our next door neighbours. Chillin’ on a chilly evening bundled up next to a nice blaze.

I think I’m up around 35 days without a day off…. some days I’m exhausted and don’t know how I’ll cope with our clients. (They can be a pretty demanding bunch.) But then the energy reserve kicks in and cope I do. It really is all about them while they are in our care. Five months in and we’re pleased with how things are going… good success rate; a few slips or relapses. I’m assured by my manager that I will be working a straight day shift gig within a couple of weeks.¬†Just checked the sobriety calculator and this alky is 3,407 consecutive days clean and sober. Working with new people seeking recovery helps keep me that way.

Lynda’s youngest son has closed his chip truck for the season and moved back in with us a couple of months ago so that is a bit of a blessing. Less running around getting his supplies and other errands. He has just hooked up with a g’friend for the first time in years so that ought to keep him occupied. ūüėČ

I plan to revamp this page soon and get rid of some dead links; get back into the swing and renew contact with some folks. I’ve been occupied on Facebook and once in a while post on Twitter. Making a few new & cool friends there. Will try to spend more time here soon. Ciao for now.

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Time Flies

April 20, 2012

Pretty soon I’m going to forget how to log in here if I don’t do it more often. Everything lately had been about the interview I attended yesterday – studying the job description and specifications; looking through my notebooks from college, searching the Ministry website and printing off applicable material, cramming, reading, studying. Now it’s over and I feel it went really well – that I have a solid shot at this job. I should find out next week.

The one nice break during the last week was driving Mom into the eastern Toronto suburbs to my Aunt Jane’s place to meet up with her remaining in-laws – my Dad’s sibs. A¬†few of my cousins were there having brought their parents so it was good to catch up on their lives too. Here’s a shot of me showing Jane a shot¬†I had taken of her. In back of me is Jane’s daughter Lynne; atop the cabinet is a photo of Lynne’s daughter Sarah from her wedding day; behind Jane is a stained glass shade that my father made.

Family Fun

Yup, time flies when you’re busy. Working later on today and lots lined up for the weekend. Have a good one, peeps!

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Bra Tree

March 9, 2012

The Power of PinkIn conjunction with raising awareness¬†and funds for¬†breast cancer research a couple of staff decided to do a bra donation drive. Those that aren’t in good repair get fully recycled and diverted from landfill. The ones in good shape are being shipped to Africa for distribution. There is also a money matching scheme which is dependant on the total weight of the donated bras. Word spread around town and the drive has been extended past this week for an additional two weeks. Just through word of mouth some women at¬†various large employers in the area have been networking and dropping off bags and bags of bras…… there are tons of them around now. This picture doesn’t do justice to the quantity of them.¬†Just goes to show the ‘Power of Pink’ and how one small idea can bring about positive¬†results.

Me?, you ask? This has been an incredibly busy week for me. I’ve been up early each morning with one thing or another scheduled to be done before heading off to work. Frankly, I’ll be glad when tonight’s¬†shift is over and I can get some rest. There were two visits to the Dr – one for my annual physical and one to check in re the anti-depressant dosage. We’re doubling up on dosage and checking back in a months time to see if there has been any discernible change.

I just returned from a union meeting which wasn’t too impressive. While our negotiators managed not to cave in on any concessions that management wanted we also didn’t make any gains. If we vote to¬†strike our foreign-owned company might just close the doors as they have done in Germany and France. Nice alternative, right?

One positive thing that has occupied about 8 or 10¬†hours of my time this week is re-writing my CV because my sister forwarded¬†a job posting to me for an Addiction Counselling position. The competition closes Monday evening so I’ve sweated bullets over this thing trying to get the best I’m able down on paper. I’d love to get back into the biz again. This position is a government job at the nearest ‘super-jail’. Woo-Hoo!! Good pay (more than double what I make now)¬†and loads of benefits, too! Shazzam¬†& Zoweee!!

Co-bra

Here’s a really bad shot of one of the gals at work. She broke her hand in a fall and when it was set it was at a right angle making it resemble a snake. Her sister got out her crafting supplies and added eyes and a tongue to complete the look. Snazzy, eh? The brown-skinned gal laughing in the background is my smoking buddy Sherry – sweet woman, she is.

We’re looking forward to having Owen with us for all or most of next week while he’s on March break. Lynda and I are brainstorming ideas to keep him occupied during his visit. We were talking about how when we were kids we were given a stick, a rock and a pack of matches and sent out to play. My, how things have changed.

Have a good weekend all. See you on the flip side.

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Marching In Like a Lion

March 1, 2012

so, it should go out like a lamb.

Fluffy Dusting

In the last 24 hours we’ve seen it all – high winds, heavy wet snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain and back to no wind and light fluffy snow. The driving has been fine as roads were just wet but I thought I’d be blown away walking between my car and the buildings on campus yesterday. Getting away from work last night was a bit of a chore¬†because it took a good 10 minutes of steady scraping to relieve¬†my windows¬†of their casing¬†of ice.

Hedge-a-snowy

This morning it is absolutely still with light snow drifting down…… silent and beautiful.

This morning didn’t get off to a good start though. I heard the phone ringing before I got out of bed and thought whatever it is will wait. It turned out to be a call from my¬†manager wondering where the keyset for my building might be. Yikes – turned out to be in my work pants pocket. So, I’ve made one trip to work and back already today; and extended apologies all round. I guess my record for perfection has taken a dent. ūüėČ

Time to get cleaned up and do it all over again.

 

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Happy Leap Day

February 29, 2012

Leap Day is sort of odd. I know the ‘why’ of it but to plunk an extra day into the year, once every four is strange to me.¬†This one is shaping up as a doozy. It is 10:30 a.m. and it was cold, windy and cloudy when I got up a couple of hours ago. Let the dog out, had a smoke, made coffee, had my cereal and I’ve been browsing around FaceBook, posting, sharing and commenting for an hour or so.¬†I break to make another cuppa and go out for another smoke and it’s snowing like 60 out there. Yowzah!! I still have about 3 hours to go before leaving for work so it could be an interesting drive getting there; nevermind getting home if this should keep up. Ah well, deal with it when the time comes.

Reflected Sunset '2'

I enjoyed a break from the routine last week at work as it was reading week for the students. It was only our most distant and international students who stayed around campus so there was very little foot traffic through my building after service hours were over. I was able to set up my mp3 player with it’s new external speaker to enjoy hours of glorious music. The speaker uses vibration resonance instead of the usual old cone tecknology – you set it on any solid surface (table top, counter)¬†and it uses that to resonate the sound. It is about 3 inches high and 2 in diameter; sounds great.¬†Here’s what¬†my 5 watt version¬†looks like:

Mighty_Dwarf

On a couple of nights I took along the new laptop and watched a movie or concert video. One was ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ based on the long running radio show of Garrison Keillor’s. It has a great ensemble cast including: Garrison Keillor, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, Lindsay Lohan, John C Reilly, Tommy Lee Jones and Virginia Madsen. I loved everything about it.¬†I didn’t often get a chance to listen to the radio show but always enjoyed it when I did. The movie portrayed it all very much as I had imagined it. ( a $3 bargain from the flea market – woo-hoo!)

The other movie I watched was one I downloaded via Torrent – ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’ – the Coen brothers updated take on ‘Homer’ featuring George Clooney. A remarkable film in and of itself with a twisted storyline and great soundtrack produced by TBone Burnett.

Another evening was spent with David Gilmour at the Royal Festival Concert Hall (2002)¬†running through a variety of his and¬†Pink Floyd’s repertiore and a number of covers. Loverly stuff, really well presented and performed. It was a nice break while it lasted but the students are back this week so no more playing around and goofing off for me.

I’m back taking the occasional picture once again….. my eyes are coming alive.

Light-Washed Wall

Time for my final morning coffee and a puff. Hope¬†I don’t get blown away out there – it’s a wall of white hustling past the windows. Catch you on the flip side.

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Autumn Arrives

October 21, 2011

… with a thud.

Showing offWhat'dya mean I've changed?

Yes, so… a little catching up. We had nice summery¬†weather over the Thanksgiving weekend – a beautiful run of temps in the high 20’s which¬†I think set some records around here. It deteriorated¬†come Tuesday and it rained for most of the rest of the week. Gotta take the bad once you’ve enjoyed the good I suppose. Now it has gotten lots cooler – around 7C¬†at night and daytime highs of just 12 or 14C.

That puts Lynda and I at situation normal for the fall and winter months already. She continues in perma-hot-flash mode¬†and complaining that she’s still too hot or reveling in the coolness. I’m chilled all the time and can’t get my hands and feet warm; already layering up and dreading the real cold weather to come.

Back on the TG weekend I saw my next oldest brother Dave and his wife Deb. Dave I see fairly regularly but I hadn’t seen Deb for 2 or 3 years. Good to catch up. Unfortunately it was at a memorial service for her father.

This past weekend our eldest brother passed through town to visit Mom so we slid over there to catch up with them before they take off south for the winter. Hadn’t seen Gord and Roberta for at least 2 years. Sucks that we’re all so spread out at points all over the map.

Had a bit of a shocker from Mom last week, too. She’s intending to sell her condo and move in with sister Linda and her new hubby Mike. They’ve got an agent searching for someplace suitable and have listed the condo.

Stepson #3 is moving his chip truck at the end of the week to a location closer to his home. Walking distance – YAY!!!! That means I won’t have to¬†get up each morning and drive him to¬†work = more time between the sheets for me!!!! Guess what Kel? Poutine has been his top seller through this season; closely followed by his ‘peameal bacon on a kaiser’ slathered with molten cheese.

straight as a die – jet contrail thru high cloud

¬†Me? I’m working on my head space which¬†hasn’t been great lately. I was glad to get that trip out to see my kids and their families but it made me realize how much I miss having them around on a regular basis. Trying to make the best of my¬†work situation too and sort out¬†finances. Lots to do; lots to stay on top of. I’ll see which way the wind blows me.

**Note** I thought this had posted the other day but just found it in ‘drafts’. Looks like it dropped one of the photos too. Oh well – here tis anyway, as is.¬†

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Tripping

September 21, 2011

How many more sleeps? Just 4.

Now with this trip on the doorstep I’m so distracted that I don’t want to even go to work. I just want to pack, drive to the airport, hump my bag to the counter and get the heck gone! Really looking forward to spending time with my kids and their kids. Don’t really care if we do anything special or not…… just be with them.

Sorta wishing I had another day to spend in Vancouver cuz if¬†I did I’d likely arrange with Lea Kelley¬†to meet up in Bellingham over coffee. Looks like it would be just an hours drive each way but there is always that border crossing to consider. That would make two blogbuddies¬†I’d have had face time with since my first and only meeting with Kel and Mr X last New Years eve.

Anyway, at work the strike has been settled and the workers back at their desks, smiling. The contract still has to be voted on and ratified but there aren’t any foreseeable problems. Seems they’d all rather be inside working as opposed to walking the picket line even though they had great weather 95% of the time.

The weather has cooled off somewhat. The crab apple tree and weeping willow’s leaves are thinning – likely because of the extended drought through July and most of August. Grapes are heavy on the vine. Grass has returned to being green and lush. A month ago you could hear it crinkling as you walked on it, it was so dry. We still have a few late blossoms pushing out their last petals.

this morning's bloom

I’ve a couple of loads of laundry to do in preparation for this trip – some warmer clothes – and that’s about it. Pack it up and go. Oh yeah… how to get to the airport? Park & Fly? Works for me.

Latest book – ‘Tales From The Vinyl Cafe’ – Stuart McLean. Very good.

Tunes – Leon Russell & Elton John album ‘The Union’. Very good

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Thanks Ma

September 16, 2011

Strange Fruit

Due to the generosity of my mom, Mabel, I’m heading west to visit my kids at the end of the month. First I’ll be staying¬†with Sarah and Zeph in Vancouver for a few days. Then a quick hop over the Rockies to Calgary to meet my new grand-daughter Caitlyn & staying with Russ, Melissa and Madison.

Yeah, a couple of days after Caitlyn was born Mom said, ‘ You really ought to get on a plane and go meet her, you know.’ I just raised my open hands and shrugged… as in, ‘how is that to happen considering my bank balance?’ ‘Hell, I’ll send you; I’ll send you and Lynda, too.’ God, it’s nice to be related to someone who considers family connection to be so important. I’m honouring her offer and going while I can. Lynda won’t leave home and travel anymore so I’m going solo.

While in Vancouver I might try and hook up with an old friend I re-met recently via FaceBook. She was a server in a bar where I was a nightly regular when we were both in our early twenties. It would be good to get some face time and do some catching up over coffee or a meal. My friend is suffering in the mid to late stages of tick-borne Lyme Disease and any plans will have to be later on in the day. She says getting moving in the morning is the hardest thing she faces while waiting for her meds to begin to work.

It’s been a year since the kids and I were together – at Russ and Melissa’s wedding a year ago Labour Day weekend. Sarah and Zeph were there and of course the kids mom Vicki, my best ex-wife. A little earlier last summer Sarah had visited here for about a week on the occasion of my stepson Craig’s funeral. I’m really looking forward to checking out the changes in Zeph and Madison – at their young ages the changes over a year will be huge.

Late Bloomer

Once again, here it is Friday already and I’m glad it’s here. The strike action at my workplace continues and I’m finding that being around a bunch of anxious people for hours at a time¬†is making me just as anxious as them. Osmosis-like. It’ll be nice tonight to see them all out of the building and have the place to myself. Conger up a zen moment or two with a big ‘OMmmm’.

Tomorrow Owen and his father are coming for an overnight visit…. woo-hoo! Now that the weather has cooled off maybe we can go for another of our walking adventures. Something to look forward to. Last time Owen was out Lynda asked him if he knew what that high-pitched sound was. ‘Oh, that’s a cicada.’ “And how do you know that?”, asked Lynda. ‘Pops told me when we were out walking. They only do that once it hits 80 degrees, you know Gramma.” Such a good kid; listens too.

a skywatch for Kel

Gotta go Рadios. 

 

 

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Summer’s Back

September 9, 2011

apparently has been broken. No more sweltering in the mid-thirties (damn)… now we’re having day time highs in the low and mid 20’s. (not bad) And nights dropping to the mid teens. (ack!)

fly high

I’m very happy it is Friday. With it being the first week that school is back, the support workers on strike, management filling in and processing registrations and payments this has been a chaotic and stressful week for everyone involved. Tho I’ve been really surprised at how few incidents we’ve had to deal with – a few disgruntled, uninformed students have challenged the mostly cheerful staff. A very positive¬†crew I work for and with. Me, I just try to help out where I can and diffuse tense situations when they crop up.

No big plans for the weekend really though there’s lots to do in the yards…. and the eaves could use a coat of paint. I don’t really relish the thought of multiple trips up & down a ladder and reaching at odd angles to apply the paint. Can’t work above my head¬†as easily as¬†I used to do. We’re to have some prime weather meant for¬†BBQ-ing – time to marinate up some steaks. Sounds good to me.

swoosh

Have a good weekend but  for gosh sakes behave yourselves! 

 

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Strike the Pickets

September 1, 2011

For the first time today I’ll be exposed to a job action where the employees are in a legal strike position and are picketing their employer. I’m sub-contracted to work at one of these sites and I’m hoping for a quiet day tho I do expect to be delayed at the line for an ‘information session’ as I enter the property. Today I think I’d rather be bored than overly involved. Oh, and as for the title of this piece – it isn’t intended to have a violent slant, tho I can see where it could.

how high blue sky?

Saturday we were at a nephews wedding on Lynda’s side of the family. All 5 of her sisters and 9 of 10 brothers showed up (plus Mother Mary,¬†spouses, kids and a few grand kids) so, quite a crew from the groom’s side. And a good time was had by all; we didn’t make it in the door til almost 3 a.m. Sunday was a low key, rest-up for the workweek kind of day.

where else would you see a shot like this? really!

Well, in my FB albums titled Randomness and Randomness2, perhaps…. but nowhere else I bet.

My daughter-in-law and brand new baby girl were home from the hospital over the weekend and out strolling the park come Monday. Both doing very well.