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.

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

My Annual Physical Checkup

Good Morning peeps. On Friday i took some time off work and went for my scheduled annual medical checkup, recommend it for everyone. Before i tell you about my experience, a piece of advise. When you are in a doctors waiting room you may want to turn off your FB if you have friends that make you laugh. People are there because they are ill, they wont understand why you are happy. I got some cat eyes.

Things are different today than in my young days when you go for a checkup. Back then the doctor would enter the exam room have a quick chat then instruct you to undress as he or she left the room to give you some privacy. In between you may have been asked to step on the weight scale or measured to see how you are doing compared to the last time, while the doctor take notes.

Today its not like that. Its all about saving money. I could have prepared before the doctor came in since i know the drill but it ws cold in the room so i waited for him to show up. As expected, he appeared 10 mins after i had been taken to the exam room. I was his first appointment. He poke his head in the room and said, ‘if you are here for a check up, please get undress, ill be back in a minute’. Im guessing in part to save steps, money saver. I did, hoping he meant what he said, the room was cold.

When he came back, unlike the old days he had no charts or folder with my history, I believe its all online today to save money. I recall last year he actually showed up with his laptop which was having some issues, probably slows him down. I am not complaining, simply adjusting to the new reality of medical care. Here is the thing, last year after i did my tests I waited anxiously for two weeks for a call back. Finally i had to call to find out the results only to be told I would only get a call back if there were problems. I guess its about saving money.

As usual he took my blood pressure, then did it again, looked a little surprised at the result, then asked me if i was on medication. I figured he would know that but maybe his computer is broken so i replied no. He did not respond, i made a mental note to ask him about it at the end. He poked at my chest, poked and prodded what seems like an extra few times, then again asked me about my medication. I must confess I was getting a little worried. He then asked me to turm on my side and lower my shorts, haha you know where he is heading, this time i did not flinch, i knew what was coming. He asked me to stand up, my shorts still lowered and he went you know where, yes. Remember last week i commented about my shrinking body? Enough said.

When i first came to Calgary i had a female doctor with a sense of humor, i found a new doctor, this guy was dead serious, i like that. He then asked me again, if i was on medication, now im really worried.

Before i answered i decided to ask him why he keep asking me that. He said for my age, he had never seen such a low blood pressure without medication, asked me if i was on a diet, so i told him about my new healthy life sytyle.

If you want to know the secret to my healthy lifestyle Click Here..

In case you are wondering about my blood pressure, it is 120/80. Jo says its like having 20/20 vision or 80/20 hindsight.

As always,

Don’t forget to greet a total stranger today.

Ok, I like it, I like it a lot

Canada Rocky Mountains

Yesterday I spent the day with Jo in the mountains, the Alberta side of the Rocky Mountains, more precisely in Kananaskis and Canmore.

Let me set the record straight, I like being home, love working in my garden. Whenever I go out I can’t wait to get home. Jo convinced me to go to the mountains; she is such a patient person, I am not sure how she puts up with me.

I agreed to go providing we get support. Just last year I read about a mountain lion dragging a woman into the bush. I’m from St Kitts, we hate mountain lions actually there is none in St Kitts, we had Jack O Lantern but no mountain lions. Recently one of my FB friends told me there is no such thing as Jack O Lantern, the lights we saw in the mountain at night was guys making illegal alcohol. Don’t believe him, Jack O Lanterns are aliens.

As soon as we got to Kananaskis, we stop at the Information booth. The lady told us that there are lots of people around today so it should be safe. We should stay on the trails and make noise every few minutes. She said she had been hiking in that area and has never encountered a wild animal, but just in case you can buy ‘this Bear spray’, she handed me a canister in a nice leather pouch.

Jo and I got to the trail, there was no one else around, hmmmm so much for lots of people on the trail. I remember when I was a kid, if I had to venture off the beaten path; I always search for a stick first, it provided a bit of protection. I mentioned this to Jo, she looked around and picked up a twig and gave it to me. I was not impressed.

Jo’s idea of a defensive weapon

We did not get very far, I suggested we go back to the car and drive to another stop. Jo quickly agreed, she probably was as timid as I was.

As we drove off, I began thinking about how I got to be where I am in my life. People have always asked me why I came to Canada and the question is generally part of a weather conversation. The truth is I don’t have a good answer, I pretty much just wanted to go away.

I grew up I an era when everyone went away. It was the thing to do. In most cases it was to find a better life. You finished high school and you went away.

Canada was not my first choice; I wanted to go the USA or US Virgin Islands. I was impressed with the people that went there and came back with an awesome accent.

I wanted a new cool accent.

Remember I was a kid. I pretty much grew up with everything anyone can ask for. My dad was a great provider, but I just wanted to go away.

Wanted: new accent.

I had a couple of brothers and sisters who lived in England. I wanted to be a professional soccer player, but the images I had of England was dark and dreary, I read too many books I guess, remember I grew up being taught British History. My imagine of England was Miss Havisham a character in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. On Sundays I got to listen to London Philharmonic Orchestra, dark and dreary and now boring. I’ve long learned England is not like that, its damp. HAHA FUNNY STUFF.

I actually liked the image I had in my mind of the USA, I was sure that Harold Robbins 39 Park Avenue was the way I wanted to live. Also growing up with so many sisters, romantic novels was easy to come by, who does not want a white picket fence and is able to go away every weekend to a cottage. Life could not be better.

My grandmother who was born in Nevis, actually lived in Ottawa back in the early 1900’s but for me to be here she had to meet my grandfather who also was from Nevis, but they met in NY. I have been trying to figure it out for a long time. My mom had a couple of sisters that were born in the USA, but she had to go back to St Kitts to meet my dad, else you would not be reading this. Today they are in the thousands in the US, my family are very prolific.

Then there was Canada.

In case you are not aware I have at least 12 siblings, they come and go, sometimes I hate them. One of my older sister had moved to Canada a year before and convinced me to apply for an immigrating pass. I did and they accepted me, all it took was 6 months. I was not prepared, truthfully I was hoping they would reject me, there was nothing really wrong with my life plus my dad offered to put me through post-secondary school, if I promised to return home. He had worked so hard to create a foundation for his kids and one by one we left.

What was my image of Canada? One of my high school teachers thought us about life on the Canadian Prairies, Potash, Wheat, Cattle and Cod Fish from Newfoundland, that was my knowledge of Canada, oh and I had a teacher once who was doing volunteer work on the island, I don’t think she knew much about Canada.

I had heard that Toronto was a big city but living in St Kitts, I had no concept of a big city.

I did do some research; Canada had never qualified for the World Cup of soccer. Maybe I could change that, is what I was thinking, Ok wishful thinking. For experience, I once represented St Kitts against Antigua and I had helped my soccer team to two consecutive years to championships, easy peasy, I was ready.

I arrived in Toronto on Jan 10th 1971. I know when I left St Kitts the temperature was in the low 80’sF. Nothing could have prepared me for the 10F temperature on my arrival. My sister had warned me to wear something warm, but still, where do you find something warm to wear in St Kitts?

I had spent all my hard earn cash on clothes, stylish clothes. My mom gave me a suite case, we use to call the valise, it was so big, all my belongings fitted in 1/3 of it. When I got it from the plane it looked like the wind was sucked out of it. The other folks on the plane were mostly returning from vacation and their suitcases were brimming. Not a god start. The guy who welcomed me, asked me why I would trade such great weather for Toronto’s.

At the time it seemed like a good idea, I was looking for a new accent.

My first impression, ‘holly crap what a big place’, back then I didn’t say crap, and we were still on the airport. My ride home on the HWY 401, words cannot describe how I felt, the speed, the cars, the lights, it was at night, I started counting the cars, but there were too many.

I think I was going to like this place.

The next day, I went to Zellers to buy a coat and boots and a hat. Came home with a coat, there was no way I was going to get caught dead in winter booths and a hat I was too cool. It snowed a few days later and I went to Zellers to buy boots and a hat. It did not take me long to realize that even the cool dudes and the pretty girls dressed warm. I was longing for home.

Toronto was clean and big and fast and most things I had read about America and pretty soon it began to win me over. I started to feel at home, yes I had lean times, but I know if you work hard and stay smart you can achieve anything. Life has been good for us.

Yesterday as I looked at the mountains, majestic and so Canadian; Canada the place where we raised four outstanding kids, we have a great family and lots of nice friends.

I don’t recall any of my kids saying they want to leave Canada, and I’m thinking;

So the next time im asked if I like Canada, my answer will be:

Canada, I like it, yes I like it a lot.

Happy Anniversary Canada.