The Children Home

Good Morning peeps. When i was really little i remember going to a garden party at the Childrens Home (add to your FB friends list) at the foot of the street where we lived. I dont remember if it was a fundraiser or just a fun party. In either case it is forever etched in my mind.

I also remember walking by the home, the fence was really high and covered in vines, i would look through the fence admiring the beautiful grounds and wondering how the chrildren who lived there ended up there.

I have some cousins that actually lived there and long after we had grown up one of them told me that her parents had gone off to England and had temporarily left them there until they got settled.

I remember the lady that ran the place name was Nurse, haha thats what we called her, i dont think that was her name.

Why am i reminiscing. Well this past couple of weeks i received a notice that the home was having their annual fundraiser, 2k walk and 5k run. The ad is posted on my timeline.

Of course i cant go to the fundraiser although i would have loved to. Instead i decided ill try and raise $500 by Christmas for the home and I need your help. No you wont have to send me any money, all you will have to do is purchase a book on Amazon. Amazon send me some money and ill get it to the home.

One of the nice things is that you can support a local SKN author in the process, a win win.

Its that easy.

Ill will give more details over the next sort while.

As always

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today

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What kind of woman do you like to date?

Good Morning peeps. When i get tired of sitting at work i sometimes go for a walk. Depending on how much time i have my walk would vary accordingly. I dont have specific hours for work, i show up early and leave early and walk when i get the urge, i generally stay at work for 9 to 9.5 hours but who is counting.

A week ago Thursday, I decided a 30 minutes visit to Calgary Devonian gardens (Calgary best public space) was in order. It was around lunch time so i thought maybe i would go there, sit and look at people go back and forth. I love observing people, especially people who don’t want to be observed. I bet I get my picture taken lots of time, as everyone take pictures there.

I often wonder if most people have the same experiences as i do or you have to be looking for them like i do. haha.

Once i got fairly deep in the garden, I sat on a wall away from everyone which gives me a wide vision of the folks around me. After about 10 minutes of just relaxing, a couple came and sat 2 or 3 feet away from me, quite within ear shot.

Yes i like to eavesdrop also but not in a gossipy way though. I am a curious person. The conversation was friendly enough, so i ignore them, Then:

She: ‘what are you looking for in woman?’ Bingo.

He:’well let me think….. she must be smart……’

He went in to describe this person i would have to consider for myself if she was available. I love my wife but..

Haha kidding. I have to say that, she reads my blog.

I was not sure what he was thinking. If he was looking for a date, it was not going to happen. In my young days I would have answered that question with three words.

‘someone like you’ and put on my million dollar smile. Love my odds better.

Anyway they continued to chat for a while, i thought he was too aggresive got bored and left. He ain getting any was my last impression.

As i walked away i took a look back to get a look at them. She was no beauty but he was the beast. In life though there is someone for everyone.

Yesterday i went back to the same spot and guess what, yes a couple sat down next to me. I had to look, same woman different guy. Hmmmm, same question, this guy was a little shy, would not want to be in his fantasy.

If you are West Indian you probably remember a calypso where a couple was in a hotel room and as the busboy was walking by he heard them talking, they were debating who should be on top. He got so curious he looked through the key hole and witness them trying to close a suitcase by sitting on it. Sometimes things are not what they first appear to be.

Like the busboy i got curious and scooted over a little closer. I sat there for 20 minutes listening. Very intense conversation.

At the end she said to him, Ill add your profile to our database and see what match comes up. Good one, a dating service.

The gardens is also used for weddings, maybe she does both. If i ever see her alone ill be having a friendly conversation with her.

As always

Don’t forget to greet a total stranger today.

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Ok its Saturday, ill let my follicles down

Good Morning peeps. Yesterday was not the best day for me. Im a fairly easy going guy, generally calm under stress, if i knew how id probably be a good poker player because im so calm.

You get the picture, at work nothing much bothers me.

I understand my role, although i work in IT, I spend most of my day with operations. My job is to support the business, make sure they have all the information they need to make good decisions and to assist in improving processes while eliminating redundancies. I am good at what i do.

(Haha sounds like s resume. No don’t call, not looking for work).

After being around for so long, i have pretty much seen it all when it comes to business processes so im able to identify areas that need improvement and suggest solution sometimes long before the user realize there is a problem.

I like to think of it this way. I have answers sometimes long before the question. I have learned its wise to wait for the question however, that way I am seen as the facilitator and not someone speaking out of turn.

(Ok I can be had for a 3 day work week mon thru weds, 4 weeks paid vacation, free parking, 120k ish yes money plus a 10% christmas bonus, that should do it for now, keep in mind humans need to grow).

Why did i have a bad day?

One of my peers told me to stop being so helpful, she said i make it sounds too easy. She was serious. A discussion followed.

Another peer ask me why do i have to give the users everything they ask for. I dont when it cant justify the cost. I had to remind him its not our job to determine requirements, ours is to support.

In both cases i had suggested simple changes to mundane tasks.

It took more time justifying my suggestions to my peers than it took to solve the problems. These people sapped my energy completely, i came home totally exhausted.

(One more thing for that dream position, oh never mind, I guess i always have to have peers, although i need a work from home option).

As always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

Support SKNA authors.

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A Fox in the Hen House.

Good Morning peeps. My son texted me on Friday night and told me he was in a soccer tournament and if i wanted to i could come to the soccer field and watch. Thats a switch, he had always discouraged me from going to watch him play. Then i figured out he was not playing, he was coaching, good trick eh, his girls team is tops and probably just wanted to show off. I said we would love to go.

I never invited my parents to one of my soccer games even when my team was the best on the island. My dad thought playing was a waste of good time, working made me a man.

How things have changed. I grew up with the threat of a strap and a continuous reminder that the work ethic was important. My kids grew up with a balance of sports and school. You do well at one it feeds the other. I even sent my older son to a school where soccer was part of the curriculum. That was a mistake, the experiment didnt last too long, he soon forgot why he was there. As a result he spent an extra half year in HS finishing. He probably kill me for saying that, oh well he has a degree now.

The most important lesson my upbringing taught me is that the strap is not a requirement for raising good kids, i have never struck my kids and they were handfulls, probably more of a broogadoom than i ever was.

Anyway im drifting, my son and soccer yesterday.

Before i go there i must tell you another story. In my hayday as a teenager I had accidentally developed a reputation of being a player. It wasnt me. Remember that song? I recall one sunny afternoon walking down Central Street, in the distance i saw a certain female i liked with her mom walking toward me. I started immediately to practise my gentleman greeting. As it turned out i didnt need it, when her mom saw me approaching she grabbed her daughters hand and crossed the street.

The next day i asked my friend what that was about to which she replied, ‘my mom knows all about your reputation’. I was crushed, as i said, it wasnt me.

Back on track, there are six fields in the soccer complex and Jo and I walked around looking for a teenage girls game with male coach. There was none, maybe we got the time wrong. We decided to make one last go around then in the distance we saw number one son waving at us. He was not coaching, he was playing on a co-ed team. The dude was playing with girls. I am thinking what a trickster, the Fox in the Hen House.

Before you get any ideas, i must explain, i grew up in a society where there were segregation between boys and girls. The mistrust and labelling premuated the entire society. I was labelled even before i knew what it meant to be a player. My kids were brought up differently. They were encouraged to have both male and female friends. OK not my daughters entirely.

At the end of the game there were hugs and high fives then they all drifted off to the change rooms, hmmm i wonder if those are co-ed and look no parents, go figure, imagine the possibilities.

Life is completely different today, wish I was his age, hahahaaha. Kidding.

As always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

Another daughter of the soil, my pal Mosi

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They called him Ironman, I called him Skinny Arse.

Good Morning peeps. What a time im going through, you may remember at Christmas I hurt my back and was unable to exercise so i took a break, 3 months in fact.

It is hard to do anything physical without having a goal, so when i decided to start running the treadmill again i needed a goal. In high school i did steeplechase races, i recall the trail was 3 miles and i could cover the distance in just over 15 minutes. If you are wondering I would always finish in second place. Skinny Arse continually finished ahead of me. He was tall and skinny but its all relative I weighed 90lbs. You see where im going with this right.

GOAL: To finish ahead of Skinny Arse.

I devised a diabolical plan.The first day on the treadmill i did 1 mile in 15 minutes, the second 13 minutes, by the 5th day i was down to 11 minutes. Here is what I was thinking. If i could bring it down to under 10 minutes, and factor in my age,  i would have an imaginary race and beat the crap out of him. My logic may be twisted but I hate losing.

The 7th day was the big day. We lined up at the start, all in my head of course. The gun went off, GO, the race was on. I was imagined the crowds cheering as I pound the treadmill. Glorious feeling. I was feeling confident. As i was about to breeze by him, i did a dumb thing, i decided to put an imagine of Skinny Arse in my mind. I closed my eye to totally take in the feeling.

Have you ever closed your eyes on a moving treadmill? DON’T.

The race will have to wait until my back stop hurting.

As always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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What is it with people anyway…again?

Yesterday I was walking through the mall on the Calgary Plus +15 one of the nicest things about Calgary.

Wikipedia says is the world’s most extensive pedestrian skywalk system, with a total length of 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) and 59 bridges. The system is named this way because the skywalks are approximately 15 feet (approximately 4.5 metres) above street level. (Some Plus 15 skywalks are multi-level, with higher levels being referred to as +30’s and +45’s.)

I spend a lot of my free time just walking and looking at people, that’s where I engage strangers in my good morning campaign. Engaging complete strangers by saying good morning which is followed with a big smile. For the most part people respond favorably, I get the odd look however.

The Plus 15 has a lot of eating places, they are all very busy between 11am and 1pm. Yesterday just about noon, I was walking through one of the many eateries when I spotted a female sitting down and eating a sandwich reading a newspaper. Me, being the nice friendly guy that I am decided to approach her as part of my experiment, I approached the table and sat down across from her.

I picked her because she looked really friendly. Let me repeat this is a crowded eatery.

Me: ‘Hi, it’s been a while since I last saw you’

Her with a mouth full: well she didn’t say anything just looked at me like I was a nut.

Me: ‘Nancy right? We use to work together.”

Her having swallowed: ‘are you sure. I don’t recognize you. Where did you say we worked?’

She was smiling now; I can tell she has a Spanish background from her accent.

My experiment was working, a very friendly person.

Me: I stood up, ‘Im sorry I was mistaken, I’ll leave you alone.’

Her: ‘that’s ok’

Then she looks me right in the eye, I’m thinking here it comes.

Her: ‘Where are you from?’

I had lots of choices, I can be from a lot of places, St Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla or Toronto. I sized her up.

Me: ‘Anguilla.’

Her: ‘ I am from Cuba.’ Actually she said Cooba, with an awesome accent.

Yes someone I can relate to. We chatted for a couple more minutes; I was already standing so I just waked away wondered if I would ever see again. Next time I’ll ask her name.

Why are people the way they are, always wanting to know where you are from?

So I’ve decided to rewrite my story from last week.

As you probably know we moved from Toronto to Calgary 7 years ago. In Toronto I was a consultant/programmer, maintain a software application I had developed some years earlier and was really tired of it, so I jumped at the chance to do something new. How hard would it be to restart?

My first job interview, I was doing really well, had the guy eating out of my hands, I am who I am, well you don’t know me, so let me tell you, I am a little mischievous and very confident. I have a job interviewing technique, I call it ‘the Tony job interview technique’; I do the interviewing, you know I interview the interviewer; it takes a lot of practice, which I have.

Anyway the interviewer asked me how long I have been living in Calgary, it was Stampede time, everyone dressed like a cowboy and I dressed like I worked on Bay Street, the financial district in Toronto. I said three weeks, he was not surprised, I think it was the three piece striped suit that outed me. He asked me where I moved from, I proudly said Toronto. I spent most of my adult life in Toronto, sometimes I forget that my accent would give the impression that was not so.

Like I said I was doing great in the interview, knew all about the interviewer and his blended family, where he was going for vacation etc. I was an expert in the job subject, so why not, I knew I was getting this job, unless the guy was a total moron.

I have a bad habit of not knowing when to stop talking. At the end I was feeling so confident, I started to talk about all the things I loved about Toronto; he seemed interested so why not, when I was finished he practically told me to go back to Toronto. What did I do wrong, doesn’t everyone love Toronto?

Well over the next few months I began to realize that people in Calgary don’t want to hear about Toronto, so when I was asked where I was from, I would point east, now that could be anywhere, right. I’m sure you know the story about the wise men travelling from the east, im one of of them, Alberta has abundance.

Where I’m going with this?

No it’s not about Calgary; it’s about people wanting to know where you are from.

I was born and spent my teenage years in St Kitts, if you don’t know where that is, take a plane to Jamaica, everyone knows where that is, then take a big boat and go south, ask the driver to keep left, for two days and whammo you are in St Kitts. Warning, if you get to Trinidad it means you can’t count; I said two days, not four, turn around.
Do you notice that when you say you are from the Caribbean people no longer ask if that is Jamaica? I am so use to explaining that it’s not, I just do it just in case.

A side story.

I was going to fly to NY a while back and when I got to the airport the US custom guy asked me where I was from. St Kitts of course, he had my passport. He shouted to the other customs folks, ‘does anyone know where St Kitts is?’ he was messing with me. He had his honeymoon in St Kitts.

I felt yea big, so yes I get defensive.

In case you missed it, I am from St Kitts, my dad is not from St Kitts though he was from Anguilla. The people from Anguilla have a noticeably different accent. Sad to say but the people in St Kitts made fun of Anguillans, seems like I’m always in the wrong place.

What is it with people?

I must tell you, my dad was fiercely Anguillan, loved his country and I don’t believe anyone has ever made fun of his heritage to his face. He had a reputation. Today if you asked me where I’m from, my answer would depend on who was asking;

I’m maybe from St Kitts, if you are from a smaller island in the Caribbean hahaha, good one,

or Toronto if you are from anyplace else in Canada other than Calgary,

for Calgarians, to make my life easy I’m from Anguilla, seems exotic, plus they don’t know the accent.

I get a lot of; ‘you are from Angola’? Silly people, no Anguilla , it’s close to St Martin, take a plane go south past Jamaica to St Martin……

I once travelled from Anguilla to St Martin in a fishing boat with a small outboard motor, yes its really close. Recently I have been rediscovering my St Martin family, my dad had three brothers that migrated there. So many exotic places to visit ,hmmm soon.

Darn almost forgot, for those who know me personally, I’m also from Nevis, that’s where my mom’s from.
pheww, that was close.

If you don’t know, St Kitts and Nevis are one country, I don’t talk much about Nevis because St Kitts and Nevis peoples sometimes conflict because of politics, so when I am talking to someone from the federation, if I don’t know for sure which island they are from, I’m from Trafalgar (that’s the village where I was born), seems no one is threatened by that.

Will I ever be Calgarian? Probably, I don’t think I’m done being from someplace else as yet.

I love Calgary but the weather…..

You are probably wondering why I told a total stranger, my new friend in the Plus + that I was from Anguilla?

I was hoping she would ask me where that was. Sometimes I like when people ask.

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What is it with people anyway?

Yesterday I was sitting around having taken a day off from work with the intention of writing something for my blog. I was struggling, I don’t know how many times I got up, went outside, dug up some weeds, came back inside sat down, nothing. At one point I was actually thinking maybe I should just give up.

Here is what keeps me going, retirement age is fast approaching and I would love to take up writing but I need to practice. I try to write about my experiences; maybe I’m running out of experiences or just forgetting.
Currently I am working on a huge project at my day job and its totally consuming my creativity.

Last night I was about to go to bed and I’m my gloomy self I remembered an experience from 7 years ago which I can write about;

My first job interview in Calgary. I made some notes and went to bed.

As you probably know we moved from Toronto to Calgary 7 years ago. In Toronto I was a consultant/programmer, maintain a software application I had develop some years earlier and was really tired of it, so I jumped at the chance to do something new. I get bored easily, I think its ADD.

OK enough of the intro stuff, the interview.

I was doing really well, had the guy eating out of my hands, I am who I am, well you don’t know me, so let me tell you, I am a little conceited and very confident. I have a job interviewing technique, I call it ‘the Tony job interview technique’; I do the interviewing, you know I interview the interviewer; it takes a lot of practice, which I have. I have been fired a few times.

No I’m not incompetent.

Anyway the interviewer asked me how long I have been living in Calgary, it was Stampede time, everyone dressed like a cowboy and I dressed like I worked on Bay Street, the financial district in Toronto. I said three weeks, he was not surprised, I think it was the three piece striped suit that outed me. He asked me where I moved from, I proudly said Toronto. I spent most of my adult life in Toronto, sometimes I forget that my accent would give the impression that was not so. So now I have to explain, later.

Like I said I was doing great, knew all about the interviewer and his blended family, where he was going for vacation etc. I was an expert in the job subject, so why not, I knew I was getting this job, unless the guy was total moron.

I have a bad habit of not knowing when to stop talking. At the end I was feeling so confident, I started to talk about all the things I loved about Toronto; he seemed interested so why not, when I was finished he practically told me to go back to Toronto. What did I do wrong, doesn’t everyone love Toronto?

That was my first experience in Calgary with the ‘no not everyone love Toronto syndrome’.

Well over the next few months I began to realize that people in Calgary don’t want to hear about Toronto, so when I was asked where I was from, I would point east. If someone wanted to know more, id humbly say Ontario and if they insisted, I’d say toronto, small cap. I’m not a fool.

Where I’m going with this?

No it’s not about Calgary, it’s about people.

I was born and spent my teenage years in St Kitts, if you don’t know where that is, take a plane to Jamaica, everyone knows where that is, then take a big boat and go south, ask the driver to keep left, for two days and whammo you are in St Kitts. Warning, if you get to Trinidad it means you can’t count; I said two days, not four, turn around.

Geez I was tired of telling people that I’m not from Jamaica, but near, so I use it as a marker to point to St Kitts. This is not about Jamaica either.

A side story. I was going to fly to NY once and when I got to the airport the US custom guy asked me where I was from. I only had a St Kitts passport then. When I told him, he shouted to the other customs folks, ‘does anyone know where St Kitts is?’ he was messing with me. He had his honeymoon in St Kitts. I felt yea big, yes I get defensive.

In case you missed it, I am from St Kitts, my dad is not from St Kitts though, he was from Anguilla. In the old days the two islands were politically tied and made up a three islands ‘country’ with Nevis. The people from Anguilla have a noticeably different accent. We would sometimes tease my dad.

Sad to say but the people in St Kitts made fun of Anguillans, seems like I’m always in the wrong place. What is it with people?

As a kid I wanted to belong, so my attitude was I am from St Kitts, not Anguilla, Dad you are on your own.

I must tell you, my dad was fiercely Anguillan, loved his country and I don’t believe anyone has ever made fun of his heritage to his face. He had a reputation. Today if you asked me where I’m from, my answer would depends on who you are, I’m may be from St Kitts, if you are from a smaller island in the Caribbean or Toronto if you are from anyplace else in Canada other than Calgary, for Calgarians, to make my life easy, I’m from Anguilla, seems exotic, plus they don’t know the accent. There is a downside, I get a lot of; ‘you are from Angola’? Silly people, no Anguilla, Google it, it’s close to St Martin, take a plane go south past Jamaica……

I once travelled from Anguilla to St Martin in a fishing boat with a small outboard motor.

Darn almost forgot, for those who know me personally, I’m also from Nevis, that’s where my mom’s from, pheww, that was close.

If you don’t know, St Kitts and Nevis are one country, I don’t talk much about Nevis because St Kitts and Nevis peoples sometimes conflict because of politics, so when I am talking to someone from the federation, if I don’t know for sure which island they are from, I’m from Trafalgar (that’s the village where I was born), seems no one is threatened by that.

Not that long ago, I met a guy from Nevis on FB and we got chatting about the old days. I tried to show off and told him my mom was Nevisan. We chatted for a while and when we were finished he said, ‘by the way, before you go telling anyone that you are from Nevis, it’s not Nevisan, its Nevisian’. I was humbled. I Googled it, both are there. Not sure which it is, Im from St Kitts, a Kittitian.

I am thinking of getting my genes analyzed and getting a certificate that shows all the places I’m from.

When am I going to be from Calgary? I don’t think I’m done being from someplace else as yet, I love Calgary but the weather…..

Which brings me to my point, what is it about people, why do we need to know where people are from?

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