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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Twitter Break 2012

Published February 25, 2012 - 2 Comments

I’ve been noticing a change in my Twitter habits lately.  I’ve become a little disenchanted with Twitter, and I can’t really pinpoint why.  I don’t know if it’s turned into a clique of sorts, or what the problem is for me… but I just haven’t found it as enjoyable as I once did.

So I’m taking a bit of a break.  I’ve even gone as far as disabling my account (along with my Facebook account) which according to Twitter means that I have 30 days to log back in, or my stuff will all be deleted.  We’ll see how that goes.

I still believe in the power of Twitter as a social media platform… I guess that I’ve just found myself in a little Twitter-funk and I think that I need to focus on a different area with my online time.

Decision Decisions…

Published February 25, 2012 - 4 Comments

A few of my readers are aware that I was recently asked whether I had any interest in buying “the farm” now that my Grandmother has passed away and it must be sold.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting that question.  I always imagined that either my Dad or one of his brothers would live there, but apparently that is not to be the case.  Seeing as I’m currently living there now, I guess I was the next logical person on the list to ask.

My initial response was that I would be interested in knowing more… I didn’t want to commit to anything, but there is a part of me that would love to be out there.  It’s a beautiful spot, and I love that.  But when I learned that the property would be sold through a probate court, that dampened my enthusiasm a bit.  Rather than the property being sold by the family, a court appointed facilitator will handle the assessment and sale.  I don’t think that I could afford to pay fair market value, and commute back and forth to work and to see my kids.  It would just be too much.  It would be great if I was retired.  (oh, for so many reasons, it would be great) But in my current situation, it just doesn’t make any sense.  So I’ve told my uncle that I would still be interested in knowing what that price would be… but that chances are I would not be in a position to purchase it.

I think that I will stick with my original plan, which was to start looking seriously for another place in the late spring / early summer timeframe.  That gives me a few more months to set some money aside, and work out some personal details.  In the meantime I will start packing up some of the loose items.  I would imagine that people are going to start frequenting the property to go through my Grandmother’s belongings, and I’d rather not have my mess of things in the way. Not to mention that it really cuts into my sleeping schedule!

Happy Family Day!

Published February 20, 2012 - 1 Comment

Today is Family Day in Canada.  Well, in certain parts of Canada.  OK, in 3 provinces of Canada.  And I don’t live in any of them… but to celebrate I stayed in bed until 3:30 in the afternoon!  Yup.  That counts for something, right?

There has been a movement in recent years to push for a statutory holiday in February, because of the long period between New Years Day and Good Friday.  Apparently most people polled seem to agree that there should be a paid day off in February to celebrate families.  Really?  Wow… that’s quite a shocker!  I’m guessing that even people without families are saying yes to that question.  Let’s be honest and call it what it really is… It’s Frickin’ Freezing Outside and I Don’t Want to Go to Work Day.  Celebrate family?  Yeah… ok.

So who are the lucky duckies who got to stay home today?  (other than moi… but it’s a regular day off for me)  Thankfully we have Wikipedia to answer that question!  Seems that the good people of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan appreciate their families more than the rest of the country.  British Columbia is adding the holiday starting in 2013.  The rest of us… not so much.  Oh wait!  Manitoba has Louis Riel Day.  Not too shabby for a guy who was hanged for leading a rebellion!  Prince Edward Island has Islander Day.  Lame.  Every day should be Islander Day!  Then again, maybe every day should be Family Day too…  But for the rest of us… we have to wait until April until we see a day off… except people in Newfoundland and Labrador.. apparently some of them get St Patrick’s Day off with pay.  Hmm.. I wonder what they do to pass the time?

And if you’re in one of those provinces who dared to make people go to work today, and you’re thinking that you’re somehow missing out and having to work more than your counterparts in western Canada (and PEI)… you may be surprised to learn that there is quite a discrepancy from province to province as to what constitutes a statutory holiday, so the number varies quite a bit.  Think that Boxing Day is a national holiday?  Nope!  Chances are you probably get it off… but it’s not mandatory in all provinces.  How about Remembrance Day?  Sadly, no.  Not everywhere.  Ontario doesn’t consider it to be a statutory holiday, which really surprises me.  Family Day, yes.  Remembrance Day, no.  No offence to families everywhere, but I think that November 11 should be a mandatory day off for all Canadians (with obvious exceptions) to reflect on those who gave their lives to fight for our freedom.  Why Remembrance Day is not a national statutory holiday, I do not understand.

Think you know everything there is to know about holidays in Canada, and which ones you are entitled to by law?  You might be surprised.  I was!  Take a look at this list of Canadian public holidays.

And regardless of whether or not you had to go to work today… celebrate your family… not because you got paid to stay home… but because it’s the right thing to do.

Stephen

Whitney Houston: Where Do Broken Hearts Go?

Published February 18, 2012 - 4 Comments

I’ve debated whether or not to enter into the whole “Whitney Houston is dead” thing, and decided that it would be the perfect topic to flex my blogging muscle again.  I’ve been a little lightweight recently, and that has to stop.  So here goes.

Whitney Houston is dead, people… deal with it.  While I would never diminish someone’s death, I have a hard time seeing the level of tragedy the media appears to see… If you want to see tragic death why not look at Syria right now?  Over 8500 Syrian citizens have been slaughtered by their own government in less than a year, and world leaders can’t even agree on the wording of a letter to ask the Syrian president to stop running his people over with tanks.  If Syria is a little too far away for your liking, then why not look closer to home?  Last weekend 3 local young people died in 2 separate vehicle accidents due to bad weather conditions.  Three bright, perfectly happy, healthy, vibrant lives… snuffed out in less time than it takes to read this sentence. Tragic.

Whitney Houston was a celebrity, but celebrities are just people.  They have problems like the rest of us.  Society seems to put far too much focus into the ups and downs of these people.  Don’t get me wrong… I do believe that she should be properly mourned… by the people who knew her.  People who knew the real Whitney Houston, with all her talent and all her flaws.  But I didn’t know her, and I’m guessing that neither did you.

I like Whitney Houston’s music.  I’m listening to it while I write this.  I liked her movie, The Bodyguard.  Sure, it was cheesy… but she made up for it with the powerful I Will Always Love You.  I smile every time I hear that song, thinking of my duet partner and I belting that out at the top of our lungs in the car.  Yes… that’s right, you read that correctly.

My point is this:  I’m not a hater.  Whitney Houston was a talented artist, whose life was cut short by a series of bad decisions which snowballed uncontrollably… not unlike many non-celebrities every day.  I do think that she deserves to me remembered as the talented artist that she once was…

I’m just not sure that news channels have to report on every minute detail… while glossing less “flashy” stories.

But hey.. that’s just me.  You might think differently…

 

So What Happens Now?

Published February 17, 2012 - 0 Comments

I’ve had a few people ask the same question…  ” What is going to happen to your grandmother’s house?  What are you going to do now?”

The short answer:  I have no idea.

I am sure that my father and his brothers will be sitting down at some point to go through the required administrative tasks.  They may have already touched on some of this.  I have no idea.  I’m thankful that I’m not involved in that process.

For my part, I’ve purchased some boxes, and will probably start packing up some of the loose things that I don’t need on a day to day basis.  If you’ve never bought proper packing boxes before, they’re a little pricey!  But they’re also very nice boxes, so I suppose you get what you pay for.

I know that whatever happens with the house, it won’t be right away… but I want to be ready.  I also know that people will probably start coming to the house more often now, and it’s better if my stuff isn’t in the way.

So where will I go?

The short answer: I have no idea.

I’ve been looking online at different options.  Renting is the more likely one, but you never know… I recently paid for another credit report with score and was surprised to see that my credit rating is now in the average range.  This means that a mortgage is not out of the realm of possibility!  I’ve looked at a few properties online, and went for a drive to check out a few of the more promising ones.  I’m nowhere near ready to sign a mortgage yet, but it feels good to start the process of moving forward with my life.

Only time will tell!

It’s Been a Week Since The Call…

Published February 12, 2012 - 2 Comments

Sept 2000

Last Sunday I got the call that we all knew was coming.  Grammy had not been doing very well for awhile and it was only a matter of time.  Mum said that she passed away peacefully at 2:48 in the morning, with her 3 sons by her side.  She was 90.

It’s hard to imagine all that she would have seen in a lifetime spanning 90 years.  The world has changed so much within that period, and continues to change at an even faster pace.  I won’t be around at 90, so I won’t have to worry about it quite as much, but it’s still there.

I found this picture of Grammy and Cecile and I at some formal gathering we had back in 2000.  Judging from the happy look on my face it must have been my wedding.  Ha!  Just kidding… But yeah, it was the wedding.  That picture sits in a plush Goofy frame in Grammy’s room, which always kinda amused me.  I’m not sure why, but it did.

I really should have visited more.  I know that everyone says that, but it’s true.  It’s extremely selfish of me, but I had a very hard time seeing her in declining health, so my visits were few and far between.  I think it goes back to #73 on my list…  I can very clearly remember my last visit.  Karen went with me, and had she not… I don’t think that I would have even gone that day.  It was hard.  I knew that when I walked out of that room, that it would be the last time.

I thought that after a week that I’d be able to write this blog post a little more easily… It’s not happening…

It still amazes me that the majority of drivers will respect a funeral procession and stop their vehicles as the herse passes.  I remember it clearly from my Grampy’s funeral years ago.  I witnessed the exact same thing for Grammy’s too.  I don’t imagine that too many places do that anymore (if they ever did), but it’s a nice gesture.  A reminder that things are different here.

I had planned to write more, but it’s all just swirling around up there, and doesn’t make sense.

I miss you, Grammy.

[I am aware of the formatting error at the bottom of this post, but I can’t seem to correct it, and don’t have the energy at the moment to keep working on it.  I’ll try again later.]

He’s Baaaaaack

Published February 9, 2012 - 1 Comment

Some of you may have noticed a bit of downtime on the blog recently. All joking aside, it’s been the longest outage I’ve had since I restarted the blog in 2009. I won’t go into too much detail here, but lets just say that I’ve learned that migrating a WordPress blog from one hosting provider to another is not as easy as it should be. In fact, I still was unable to make it happen, and had to put it back on the original host after spending way too long trying to figure it out.

A lot has certainly happened during the downtime. I will try to fill in some of the gaps over the coming days.

Thanks for reading!