I Dream Of Golden Arches…

I remember my very first job out of college. I had been studying computer programming for a couple of years and was short some credits in order to graduate. In the meantime, my father had suggested I should get a part-time job in order to cover some costs. This was entertaining to me, since I had tried to convince my parents to let me take a year off and work for that very purpose AND to decide what I wanted to do with my life.

Most people who know me assume that my first job out of college was at my local McDonald’s restaurant. However, there was another… (does his best Yoda voice). I actually got hired by a local, big chain grocery store that had just moved and expanded its operations, meaning they needed more staff. I was hired as a part-time, overnight stocker. This suited me fine since my time in college had already saturated me with people and I could work the store during the hours it was closed without having to interact with folks much.

My shift started at 10 pm and I was about fifteen minutes early. yes, that’s right… I used to be early for everything, even back then. My “boss” was a battle axe of a woman who took no bullshit but flung plenty of it. I was immediately tossed out onto the floor to merchandise tons of product in a store I had never shopped in at an age where I had barely done basic groceries (I was 18, at the time). The next few hours were disgusting brutal, putting me through a ringer I should never have experienced. And that’s saying a fair bit, since I had been training with Sensei for years at that point and he doesn’t do ANYTHING lightly.

By 6 am, I was firmly convinced that this wasn’t the job for me, not to mention my blood sugars went totally haywire from working overnight. I advised my boss I wouldn’t be back and left the store. I remember feeling disappointed in myself as I had never quit anything in my life at that point. I suppose since I had only worked one night, I could consider it a trial run and not a failure. But that certainly wasn’t how I viewed it that morning. IN my despondent state, I walked away from the store and made my way into the downtown area where I stopped at the local McDonald’s to grab a breakfast sandwich. Nothing quite celebrates quitting a job like spending money you don’t have.

While I was waiting for my sausage McMuffin, I grabbed an application form and a matronly looking lady walked up and asked if I was applying. I told her I should, since I needed a job. She handed me a pen and said, “Please fill it out now and provide it to me before you leave.” I complied and gave her the application form before walking down to a gas station where my friend Guillaume was also working overnight and would be dropping me off in Dalhousie.

By the time I got home, the restaurant had already called and requested a call back. I did, and was asked to return for an immediate interview. I would only learn later that the gentleman who interviewed me was the franchise owner, himself. He hired me on the spot and the next week was a whirlwind of uniforms, training and development. Within a few weeks, I was working full-time hours. Within six months, I was promoted to shift manager. Within a few years, I was part of the second-level management that oversaw the restaurant.

You read a lot of jokes about “flipping burgers” and the demeaning nature of a low-paying, minimum wage job. But I’ll tell you something; working at McDonald’s for the years that I did taught me a number of things I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere. Things like precision, speed, accuracy of orders, planning and organizing and teamwork. All of the social aspects of my personality that I had been lacking in high school and even into college had been corrected by the forced necessity of working amongst my peers in close quarters towards a common goal.

That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to see the current state of how these restaurants run. Where staff were motivated and driven to accomplish certain goals throughout their shift as well as get paid for their efforts, it almost seems as though the current generation is more focused on JUST the pay. Order accuracy and restaurant cleanliness have gone out the window. The state of most stores focuses on looking sleek and modern as opposed to focusing on the quality food that made McDonald’s the globe-dominating food chain that it was. Automation has taken away employees’ need to interact and converse with customers unless there’s a problem with their order. It’s kind of sad…

I bring this up because I’ve recently had the opportunity to dine and spend time in a number of different McDonald’s restaurants around the country and have noticed these trends. Although it was never unusual to have a restaurant here and there that was below the expected quality, it now seems to be the norm as opposed to the exception. I’ve carried all of the skills I learned while wearing the Golden Arches into my career. My work and management experience has served me well and inflated into a self-fulfilling prophecy of being the one who manages as opposed to the one who is managed.

This is food for thought for anyone who thinks that any particular job is beneath them or not worth doing. Besides the fact that someone has to do it, it’s important to recognize that there’s something to learn from any job that one does. And the skills and knowledge that you learn from these jobs can carry you forward and be useful in whatever career you pursue. And to the younger generation reading this, do better! If I get a sloppy burger one more time, I will totally super-size my complaint. Food for thought (totally an intended pun)… ☯️

You Are Not Your Appearance…

I grew up in a generation where appearance meant everything. Guy with long hair? You needed to get a haircut and get a job. Covered in tattoos? You were probably trouble and couldn’t be hired. Don’t even get me started on someone who happened to have piercings anywhere ELSE than in one’s earlobes. And only on women. Obviously. But times have changed and all lot of those statements are considered discriminatory against a person.

In some ways, a lot of ways, that makes sense. If I get a tattoo on my forearm, it doesn’t change my qualifications or my personality. It doesn’t make me a different person or incapable of being a nice guy and paying attention to others in a meaningful way. Most markets have started to move towards acceptance (in small doses) where coloured hair and tattoos are less of an employability and acceptance issue.

The only issue I have is when people use these things as a means of creating an identity for themselves. I’ve seen and I know a lot of people who do it JUST because “it defines me, it defines who I am.” That right there is bullshit, my friend. If you colour your hair, get a batch of tattoos or start piercing holes in your body to define who you are, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. (Remember please, that this is an opinion post)

Keep in mind that there is no better definition of you than YOU. What you wear, how you adorn yourself and what decorations you throw up on your flesh doesn’t define who you are. And if you intend on permanently altering your body in such a way, it’s important to ensure that you do it for good cause and because it represents something important other than trying to define you as a person.

Let me offer up a personal experience. In mid-2000, I got my first tattoo. Against the advice of most common-sense people, I got some Japanese writing on my left pec muscle. This wasn’t just any Japanese writing, since we’ve read the horror stories about getting something you thought said “hope” when really it says “sweet ‘n sour chicken” or some shit. This was the kanji symbol for Uechi Ryu, the Okinawan style of karate I had been studying for over a decade at that point.

It had meaning. It represented something important in my life and it was a reminder of the commitment I had made to myself towards my training and martial arts. It didn’t define who I was, I didn’t splash the symbols large and prominent on my face, neck or forearms for every person to stop and either ask where I got it but likely to also smear at me like I’m some sort of trouble maker. Although that sort of discrimination has lessened over the past couple of decades, it still very much exists. But this is a post about oneself, not the world’s narrow views. Moving on.

My point in all of this, such as it is, is that I didn’t use some external detail to define me as a person. And neither should you. Like tattoos? Great! Get one because you want one and it means something to you, not because you feel it will define you to others. THAT’s the point. THAT’s the lesson. Who you are is who you are. Nothing you do or add will change that. It’s what you DO that can be changed. Your appearance doesn’t define you. There is no better definition of YOU than YOU. Once you come to recognize that fact, the rest is just gravy. Food for thought…☯️

Planning And Packing Are Key…

One of the big issues with having Type-1 Diabetes is the fact that I can never just get up and go somewhere. It’s not so bad if I’m just heading around the corner to the grocery store or running a quick errand. But even that will have a tendency to involve checking my blood sugars before getting behind the wheel, It can be a onerous process, especially if you’re headed somewhere that will have you out of the house for several hours.

I usually carry a small shoulder sling, which is basically a one-stepped backpack but smaller. No, it’s not a purse, you fuckers! And even if it was, we’re in 2022; I think we should be okay with it even if it was. But I digress. In this backpack I carry some fast-acting carbs on the form of jelly beans, a glucometer, a snack and a small travel-sized first aid kit. All of these things can be life-saving in the event of an incident involving low blood sugar or light injuries.

Things get even worse when I plan to be away overnight. And yes, I know that I promised I’d stay off the vacation posts until we started travelling back to Saskatchewan and I intend to hold to that. But one particular detail happened that directly relates to today’s subject matter. When we were planning this trip across the country, I made a point of purchasing and packing a small cooler pack intended to contain ALL of the Diabetic supplies I would nee in order to survive my trip away from home.

Although it isn’t uncommon for me to forget something, I forgot something rather important this time around; I forgot my CGM sensors. Now, some of you may be wondering why this is a big deal. After all, I survived for three decades before I started using the bloody things so a couple of weeks shouldn’t be a big deal, right? The problem is that consistent blood sugar control is a constant thing when one has Type-1 Diabetes and that control is all the better and tighter when I have the benefit of my insulin pump’s SmartGuard system to measure and maintain my blood sugar by testing through the CGM every five minutes.

As to what exactly happened that I forgot AN ENTIRE FUCKING BOX OF SENSORS ON MY DESK is beyond me. All I know is that by the second day of our journey, the current sensor expired and when I tried to swap it out I realized I had none in my cooler pack. There it was; I was thousands of kilometres from home with no CGM. Okay. No problem. No biggie. I won’t cry about it (much). I figured I would continue on the road and pick up a box at whatever pharmacy I came across while travelling. This has been my practice with things such as insulin and test strips. Hell, I’ve even schmoozed my way into getting free glucometers that way, which is why I have a spare one in the car, now.

But continuous glucose monitoring sensors seemed to be an unfortunate exception to my travelling habits. My first attempt was in a small town outside of Ottawa called Arnprior. I asked the pharmacy technician if they carried Medtronic products. She had no bloody clue. She got the pharmacist for me, who had no idea what Medtronic was. He tried looking it up and I even spelled it for him. He confirmed he didn’t carry CGM sensors. I could see Freestyle Libre sensors behind him, but I intended to use this ONLY as a last resort. The pharmacist added insult to injury by saying that if any pharmacy in town carried something, he made a point of carrying it as well so it was unlikely I’d find what I was looking for in Arnprior.

Alright. Okay. That’s all VERY weird. From a pharmaceutical standpoint, I would have thought that names like Medtronic would be pretty common and well-known. Apparently I was wrong. I left the pharmacy and we continued to travel until we reached a small town in Quebec where we bunked for the night. I didn’t look for a pharmacy that night, running my pump on manual mode. When we finally made it to Dalhousie, I attended the local pharmacy and dearth with a pharmacist I had graduated from high school with.

Besides the pleasure and nostalgia of dealing with an old friend, I was surprised to hear that she also had no idea what Medtronic was. What the hell…? Did no one else in the eastern half of the country use an insulin pump? I was taken aback but I finally relented and asked to purchase a Freestyle Libre, otherwise known as the “poor man’s CGM” to get me through the next little while until I could get my hands on sensors from somewhere, She did me one better and gave me a sample pack she had received from the distributor when they came out with the Freestyle Libre 2. I was set.

I’m obviously running on the Freestyle Libre 2 at the moment and taking advantage of the immediate ability to scan the sensor with my phone and get an immediate sensor glucose reading but it’s obviously not the same as having my Guardian CGM and SmartGuard taking the reins. It illustrates the importance of ensuring I pack properly and don’t forget anything. Having my wife double check my bag can also be a good idea.

Although I should be used to travelling with Type-1 Diabetes, one can never be too careful. And I learned an important lesson that even thought I USUALLY run to a pharmacy if I run short of something, it doesn’t mean every pharmacy will always carry what I need. I can promise and guarantee that I’m going to be more cautious and hug my sensors tight when I get home. It makes the planning and organizing of any trip all the more important to ensure there’s no disruption in the proper care of my Diabetes and blood sugar management. True story. ☯️

In Order To Make It Easier…

People say that you need to be motivated in order to accomplish one’s goals. I respectfully decline. I think you need to simply take a first step. The success of that first step will provide the motivation later and said motivation will help fuel one’s drive, which will in turn ultimately push you towards push you towards your goals.

Many people will fizzle out early in their goals and believe it or not, that makes a lot of sense. This happens for a variety of reasons and that’s why I wanted to use today’s post to offer up a short list of things that can potentially make reaching one’s goals difficult. Here we go…

1. Set realistic goals: This one should be simple… Actually, it dawns on me that I say that a lot but it should. A goal should be something simple and realistic. For example, if my goal were to become an astronaut, someone would need to splash me with a cold dose of reality. After all, I’m in my 40’s and nowhere near the shape I need. Not to mention that I have this little thing called Diabetes. For these reasons and many others, I would never be able to become an astronaut, making it an unrealistic goal. Diabetics may go into space at some point in the future but it likely won’t be in my lifetime.
2. Even if you set deadlines, take your time: Whatever you set goals about, it’s important to remember that you’re a human being with basic needs and requirements and you deserve to do things properly. Deadlines can be great, especially if there’s a reason for them. Someone wanting to lose a particular amount of weight so that they’ll fit into wedding attire is a good example. It’s better to do something slowly and properly then rushing it and potentially risk your health AND your results.
3. For the love of light, take breaks: Being on a deadline or having specific goals can actually be pretty stressful, even if you’re motivated. Don’t forget to allow yourself some breaks form your endeavour somewhere in that mix. If you’re on some specific weight-loss diet, allow yourself that small cheat meal. If you’re on some fitness journey, take break days. In fact, it’s been proven that people who allow themselves an indulgence here and there during diets will have better success and breaks days are a must in order to allow muscle recovery and better fitness results.
4. Don’t be discouraged, especially by others: This is a big one and a personal pet peeve of mine. Making it worse than the usual pet peeve is that I’m guilty of it, myself. If you’re eating a particular diet or trying a particular fitness routine, it can be hard to stay motivated if someone is telling you it’s dumb or it doesn’t work. My offence is that I’m a firm disbeliever in fad diets. The only genuine way to cut through fat is to burn more calories than you take in. And certain dietary choices piss me off, which is why I unfortunately belittle them when someone else mentions them. This is a horrible practice and one that I need to stop (and I’m working on it).

Whether your goal is to improve your overall health, undertake a new sport or workout routine or just to get healthier, goals will help get you there. Being smart about it and recognizing how your progress can be helped will go a long way towards helping to ensure that you cross that finish line. Having a partner in certain goals can be helpful, as well. After all, we tend to push harder when we have a workout partner, Either way, taking steps to ensure the success of your goals will lead to better health, better well-being and better Diabetes management. Food for thought… ☯️

It’s Not Me, It’s You…

Today marks my family’s second day on our epic journey across Canada and I’m clearly aware that I can’t spend fourteen straight days posting about the trip. I mean, I COULD… But the idea is to maintain a readership, not scare them all away. With that in mind, I’ve decided that I’ll be posting about the trip every few days, after photos and material have been gathered in order for share my thoughts on the trip. With that in mind, let’s get on with today’s post…

Sometimes, navigating society can be pretty difficult. You’re probably think “d-uh,” right? Beyond societal expectations and personal hopes of acceptance, there’s also the little detail that we’re all individuals. Although this should be hailed as a good thing, it also means that each and every one of us has our own thoughts, beliefs, perspective and personalities. The downside to THAT is that we don’t always mix well with those aspects in others, which ultimately leads to us not playing well with others.

Picture this; you’re working with an individual who has been tasked with a project. You’ve been asked to look into that project and determine its status as well as verify the quality of the work. During this verification, you notice that some aspects of the project aren’t quite up to snuff with how it was requested. In a casual and conversational setting, you mention this in passing to the individual working on it. You walk away happy that’s you’re able to clearly discuss this matter and look forward top seeing the updated project.

Some time goes by and you come to realize that you’ve received no updates. Curious and somewhat confused, you reach out to the individual in question and discover that not only have they not updated the project, they’re displeased with “how you addressed them” and don’t wish to communicate with you. You’re utterly confused. You run the scenario in your head and can’t understand what you might have said that could have been interpreted as offensive.

Here’s the thing; you likely didn’t! There’s an old saying that goes something like, “I only control my words, not how you react to them…” I have no idea where the saying stems from, but I’ve heard different versions at different points throughout my life. And it’s pretty accurate. With some people, you can be absolutely sweet as sugar and they’ll still get pissed off at you and think you’ve offended or disrespected them. In most instances, there isn’t much you can do about that. It’s not a “you” problem, it’s a “them” problem.

Now, I used a workplace example for this scenario but it can and does happen in one’s personal life, as well. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as missing a comma in a text message and it changes the tone, causing the recipient to take it offensively, regardless of whether it was intended that way or not. For most, this requires the ability to allow room for clarification of the interpretation rather than getting all snowflake-ish about it. But this isn’t always possible and if you’re the one overreacting about something, you may not be amenable to taking that step. Changing one’s perspective can be difficult.

And ultimately, one needs to ask oneself, even if you didn’t MEAN to offend or disrespect someone, does it genuinely make it any less offensive to the other person? If someone makes a joke or makes light of something they consider comedic but happens to be something personal and sensitive to the other, their feelings are genuine even if you didn’t mean to harm them. It’s pretty easy to sit behind a keyboard and say that one should apologize for the harm, even if it wasn’t intended as such. But this practice can become an exhausting and futile exercise, especially when dealing with individuals in one’s life who become offended and hurt at absolutely everything.

At the end of the day, there’s no easy answer to this scenario. It’s simply one of those things that a person needs to accept and recognize requires some give and take from both sides of the conversation. For the offended party, it’s important to recognize that allowing yourself to have an open perspective on what the intent of the message or action is, is important to proper communication and to prevent unnecessary misunderstandings. For the one relaying the message or performing the words or actions, be willing to view things through the recipients lens and accept that even though you may have done nothing wrong, it doesn’t eliminate the suffering that may have been cause. Food for thought… ☯️

Musical Chairs, But With Decades Instead Of Chairs…

One of my oldest and dearest friends proposed a game for our old high school gang to play, a few days ago… He challenged us to provide a list of ten songs from out high school years that we enjoyed. They didn’t have to be in order of importance or favour, but they had to have been released during our high school years. This was an interesting challenge, considering that in high school I was mostly a 70’s and 80’s kind of guy. But I met the challenge, and found ten songs I could provide. Then, the rest of the gang started providing their choices and it opened up my memories and tossed me back to 27 years ago…

Before I get to the lesson this game taught me, I think it would be interesting to provide y’all with the list i came up with. Without judging how old I am, bear in mind that all the songs listed below were released in 1996, which is when I graduated high school:

  1. Macarena – Los Del Rio
  2. Follow You Down – Gin Blossoms
  3. Name – Goo Goo Dolls
  4. The World I Know – Collective Soul
  5. Time – Hootie & The Blowfish
  6. Wonderwall – Oasis
  7. Santa Monica – Everclear
  8. Where It’s At – Beck
  9. That Thing You Do – The Wonders
  10. No Diggity – Blackstreet

The nice thing about this list is that it’s beautifully incomplete. there are so many other songs from my youth that I’ve gained an appreciation for and that I love listening to, even today. My friend Leon named Mr. Jones by Counting Crows, No Rain by Blind Melon, Let Her Cry by Hootie & The Blowfish and certainly not least… If I Had A Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies. Just about everything by Green Day… So many great choices and so little time…

As with all things in life, there’s a lesson to be learned from this simple game. Much in the same way that I was listening to music from a decade or earlier when I was in the 90’s, I’ve only truly come to appreciate the music from the 90’s in recent years. The nostalgia adds a certain something to the whole equation. The thing of it is, I didn’t appreciate the music from my high school years WHILE I was in high school. It took a couple of decades before I truly started to enjoy the music. I have well over 3,000 songs on my iTunes and growing.

Music has a way of helping with everything. It can calm you when you’re worked up, motivate you when you exercise and soothe you while you meditate. When you add some memories into the bowl, it’s a sure recipe for happiness. In a chaotic world where happiness can be a fleeting thing, a little added boost can go a long, long way. And there’s also something in there about appreciating what you have when you have it. Maybe I could have appreciated some of that wonderful 90’s music, well… back in the 90’s! Instead, I get to enjoy it only through the lens of remembering my youth. Food for thought… ☯️

Polishing Your Horns Won’t Make You A Star

They say a little competition is a good thing. I believe the expression is “healthy competition.” Although this can be fine as long as that competition is for the purposes of fun and is only a game. The problem begins when one’s need for competition extends beyond fun and games and drips into everyday life. If you compete against others in life, you’ll find yourself walking a very lonely path; even if you’re not alone.

The goal of life should be to eliminate suffering; suffering in one’s own life and suffering in other peoples’ lives. If you compete against others for the purposes of personal advancement, comparing yourself to others or for gain, such as money, popularity or status, the only outcome will be suffering. Status in life means nothing. And let’s not mistake status for success; those are two very different things and success can be measured by the efforts and goals you set for oneself. Status is how outside people see you in relation to personal gain. Not so great.

Back in the 1990’s (yes, I’m old) I had my wisdom teeth removed. While I was laid up for a day or two on Tylenol 3’s, I rented a handful of movies to watch. Yes, this was back during a time when you had to actually walk into a retail location, provide your personal information and borrow a playable tape (not DVD) in order to watch it at home. Anyway, I decided to binge on a particular series and rented every Rocky movie I could find. I was a pretty big Sylvester Stallone fan, so it was a no-brainer. There were four movies out, at the time.

When I got to Rocky IV, one of the things I was most amazed with was the soundtrack. One would think that I would have been inspired by the lesson behind the movie, but you can only watch Stallone lose, train and make a comeback then finally defeat one’s enemy before the movies kind of all blend together. Anyway, there’s a song by Survivor called “Burning Heart.” The song was released in 1985, the same year as Rocky IV came out. The movie has some undertones that’s suggestive that the message relates to the Cold War and if I had to guess, I’d say that the song was written specifically for the soundtrack.

Anyway, there’s a particular line in the song that speaks to me and has done so ever since. It goes, “In the warrior’s code, there’s no surrender. Though his body says stop, his spirit cries NEVER! Deep in our soul a quiet ember knows it’s you against you; it’s the paradox that drives us on.” And that’s the message: the true competition is against yourself. Work to be a bit better than you were the day before. Set goals and fight to complete them. As long as you have moved one step closer today than you were yesterday, you’re competing the RIGHT way. But as soon as you compete while comparing yourself to anyone else, the only possible result will be suffering. And that doesn’t work for anybody. Food for thought… ☯️

Trauma And It’s Many Forms

PTSD is no longer the unknown demon that it once was. In recent decades, it’s become better-known and recognize as a genuine illness. And in more ways than one, it’s a physical injury that can actually be measured and seen through medical examination. Unfortunately some people, most people, don’t understand the nature of it, what causes it and often see it as a sig of weakness or someone just complaining about something unpleasant that happened. The truth is much worse and much darker…

I don’t write about my own experiences with PTSD as much as I potentially could. That’s mostly because my methods of coping with my condition somewhat differ from what others would think is effective. Most people lack the time and the patience to learn inner peace and calm, meditation and allow the negative energy to vent out of oneself through martial arts and physical exertion. Modern society enjoys quick, easy solutions. No one believes in playing the long game.

The important thing to remember about PTSD is that it’s subjective. Something that causes a trauma in one person may seem like absolutely nothing or menial to someone else. That’s part of the reason why some people are inclined to ignore or belittle someone when they try to express that their trauma is bothering them or has CAUSED PTSD in them. That’s why no one should ever tell someone else that their trauma isn’t genuine, no matter one’s perspective on whether it SHOULD have affected someone or not. That’s not your choice to make.

The true lesson is to take care of yourself. Find healthy and proper coping mechanisms and stick with them. Talk to someone if you need to and remember that even though it can feel extremely isolating, there are many of us out there and there’s always someone to reach out to. ☯️

The “Eyes” Have It…

I had an interesting change in routine last week, when my eye injections in Saskatoon took place on a Thursday as opposed to a Monday. I have no idea WHY it happened this way; the Monday wasn’t a holiday and my ophthalmologist never indicated he’d be away on that day. Either way, I rather enjoy my ability to see, so I take the appointments when they’re given to me. In this case, it meant that I would need to travel and stay in the city on Thursday night and into Friday morning as opposed to the Monday/Tuesday mix I usually do.

This showed a number of changes, including the fact that the Irish pub I hang out in while my eyes recover, was significantly busier than it usually is on a Monday night. That isn’t great fro someone like me, who prefers to sit in a quiet corner with his beer and binge-watch Netflix while relaxing than hearing a crowd and live music. Most would say, “If you don’t like it then you don’t need to go.” While this is quite true, having almost no ability to see leaves me with limited options for a meal. But I survived. There are worse things in life.

My bigger issue came from my time in the hospital. When I have a scheduled appointment, I make it a point to always be early. I do this for a number of reasons, including getting through sooner if there are cancellations and working through any potential delays. But for my eye injections, my appointments involve a vision text, ocular photographs and freezing BEFORE I have the actual injections. On this occasion, my appointment was scheduled for 3:10 in the afternoon. So, I showed up at 2:30 so that I could pay the cashier (my injections are not covered by my insurance), get through my vision text and ocular photos prior to the actual appointment.

This makes sense in theory. Unfortunately, it only works if other patients follow this concept, as well. Instead, I only got in to my eye exam AT 3:15, minutes after I should have received my injections. I commented on that to the technician who was doing my exam, which she responded that they put patients through in the order of their appointments. Although I tried explaining that I had been here for over forty minutes and should have been put through by now, it fell on deaf ears. One good thing that came out of it and one habit that I’ve gotten into, is asking for the results of my eye pressure test. This involves pushing a small plunger against the surface of the eye to test how much pressure the eyeball is exerting.

Much to my surprise, it’s almost always high. Through careful questions have led to the conclusion that speed-walking to my appointments contribute to that. I was also instructed to loosen my shoulders, take deep breaths and keep my feet on the floor as opposed to on the foot bar. The result is usually much lower pressure readings, which makes me and the medical staff far happier. That being said, my overall wait had me placed into a procedure room more than an hour later than my scheduled appointment. Total bullshit.

It shows a continuous progression of the systemic issues developing within the health care system. I’m just lucky that I’m still able to get my injections and in the hospital I’m used to, from the surgeon I trust. I recently read a news article about a patient who died in the waiting room of a hospital in my home Province of New Brunswick. i read another article where a woman was in chronic pain from an unknown source and her husband drove her to three different hospitals over several hours, just to be told to manage the pain as best she could and see her family doctor the following day. It’s a scary time to get sick.

Ultimately, I got my beer and boneless wings and enjoyed them both while slamming a few episodes of Cobra Kai. need to get boned up before the next part is released in September. But it was just noisy enough and populated enough that I was out and in my hotel room, ready to crash by 8:30 pm. I’m such a party animal. Next time I get scheduled for my injections on a Thursday, I might just stay in my room and order a pizza. Avoid all the hub-bub. ☯️

Rain, Rain, Come And Play…

People have this unfortunate tendency to dislike rain. And I get it. It makes the day greyer, brings one’s mood down and prevents doing anything outdoors. But a solid rain also does a number of positive things. For one thing, rain is an important part of plant growth without which, none of us would be here. Outside of that, there’s something therapeutic about hearing a steady drum of falling rain on the roof of the house or against the windows. If one has the time to sit and listen, rainfall can have a similar effect to white noise and can calm and soothe a person after a long day.

A saturated neighbourhood…

The past week has involved a certain level of heat that I usually have difficulty dealing with. I’m the kind of guy who prefers to sweat over freezing or shovelling snow but it’s like I always used to tell some of my co-workers, it’s easier to add on a sweater than do the opposite. You can only remove so many pieces of clothing before it becomes an HR issue. That’s why I’ve always been a bit more comfortable in cooler climates than during extreme heat. And this past week has seen the hottest weather of the summer. It’s made it hard to be outside for anything without having a hard time breathing and turning into a see-through, sweaty mess.

It’s also seen me sleeping in my basement, since our air conditioner can only do so much. But the rain kicked in a bit during the weekend and during the beginning of the week and it’s gone a long way towards cooling things down. It also helps in keeping my shitty lawn watered so I don’t have to do it. Granted, my lawn is only shitty because I have absolutely no ability to grow things and keep them alive, whatsoever. That sounds pretty bad, considering I have two small children. But I digress…

Hopefully the rain helps with that horrible bald patch I haven’t seeded yet

Falling rain is also an excellent aid when taking a nap. Since I’ll be travelling to Saskatoon for my eye injections today, I likely won’t get to indulge in that. Light knows I didn’t get the chance on the day I took these photos. But if one hears the falling rain while lying down and allowing oneself to relax and fall asleep, it can be incredibly centering and therapeutic. One could almost consider that a form of meditation.

Most people tend to dislike and avoid the rain. Having grown up in the Maritimes, right next to the open bay, have allowed me to sit through some AWESOME rain storms coming in from the ocean. That’s probably why I have a bit of a soft spot for the rain. It elicits good memories and calms me. And we all need a little more of that in our lives. And since it cooled the temperature, I was actually able to sleep in my own bed. That sounds like a win/win… ☯️