The importance of holidays!

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We started holidays for a couple of weeks and headed off to the cottage to be closer to nature. Job one involved unloading all the stuff at the cottage. Job two involved brushing off all of the spiders from the gazebo. Normally not a problem, but if you haven’t been up for a few weeks, the spiders have baby spiders.

Once you finish removing all of shelob’s webs and carcasses, you start to realize that you have not dealt with all of the microscopic baby shelob spiders climbing around your legs.

One must persevere to be close to nature, but perhaps not have it that close in Steven King sort of way. One can possibly start to miss the relative sterility of the office.

#motivation #inspiration #business.

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Phoenix Failure

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The mythological phoenix rose from the ashes every 500 years. Did that mean it failed?

I don’t know about you, but I hate failing at anything. Learning to love failing simply does not appear to be a successful strategy.

Barings Bank failed 25 years ago when rogue trader Nick Leeson conducted a series of unauthorized arbitrage trades and caused a loss of $1.3 billion. So the bank would have learned to supervise his activities a bit closer if they weren’t so happy with the money he initially brought in. So failure seems to suggests being unwilling or unable to try again.

If your strategy appears to have failed, and you try a new strategy to achieve a goal, then you haven’t failed at achieving your goal. You simply learned that your initial approach to achieve your goal would not work, so you tried something different.

Leeson was sentenced to 6 years and got divorced. That sounds like failure, but he must have learned something since he got remarried, wrote two books one of which was made into movie starring Ewan McGregor.

They say fail often, and quickly. But if you pick yourself up and try again, then you haven’t really failed since you haven’t stopped trying.

 

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The Gig Economy

woman playing guitar while singing beside man playing bass guitar near microphone
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Should we embrace the gig economy? Although this seems relatively new, musicians in 1915 called short-term engagements as gigs.

Now days, gigs comprise short-term engagements which allow employers to engage workers for short periods of time. This certainly allows for substantial cost savings. Gig workers can be hired to fill in when demand for the employer services rises. Of course, benefits are rarely payable, and defined benefit plans have gone the way of the polar icecaps. Slowly retreating.

The downside of gigs becomes apparent with the workers. Insecure periods of paid work. Lack of work life balance, which was a major concern just a few years ago. And now the main concern is simply finding work in the first place.

Ultimately the employer suffers too. The culture of the organization slowly melts away, returning to the icecap metaphor. In addition, innovation will eventually suffer. Innovation initially starts with inspiration, which is hard to achieve when you are busy learning what your new ‘gig’ is all about.

Koi Herpesvirus

school of koi fish on water
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Lake Winnipeg had a recent carp die off. They are investigating, but something similar happened to adjacent Lake Manitoba back in 2008. It may be another break out of koi Herpesvirus disease, which I didn’t know was a real thing until just recently. The virus only infects carp, including koi and goldfish.

I had to bury three giant sized carp that washed up on the lake front. I had never seen carp that size.

Hundreds more washed up on the nearby beach. Dozens of volunteers with rakes and trucks helped clean up the carnage.

I told my daughter that there may have been some repetitive strain injuries.

Tunnel Carp Syndrome.

 

#humor #inspiration

More COVID-19 behaviours

pexels-photo-696287 barberStill getting used to the new normal.

My wife and engaged in a new activity for the first time. I guess all new activities are first time activities, and there is a bit of redundancy there. But all in fine.

She actually cut my hair. And not with the dog grooming razor. A real human being razor. I had this grooming kit back from when I had a beard, for the second time. All I can say is that I don’t want to talk about it further. At least further than I already have.

Admittedly, I took the first run at it. Mainly doing the back and sides. I had longer hair in collage, but that was the seventies. Being almost in my seventies has a whole different connotation. I did a lot of by feel, and constant repetition.

She was slightly bemused at the result. So she took pity on me and smoothed out the rough edges. Of which there were many.

I am not sure we intend to do this on a go forward basis to save money. As they say, the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is two weeks of self-isolation.

I didn’t offer to do my spouse’s hair since a bad job would set me up for 4 weeks of quarantine.

 

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New COVID-19 Behaviours

pexels-photo-1005638 cartHow does the new normal feel? Are you starting to fall into a groove, or does it feel more like a ditch with no ends?

I’m starting to get the hang of things. In our local grocery store, they are sterilizing all of the cart handles. This causes a socially distant line up outside during the weekends. So I go during the week.

All of the aisles have a one way direction on the floor. So if you see that rare batch of yeast just a few feet in an aisle, but you have to go the wrong way, what do you do. Do you take the risk and do the right thing and hurry down one aisle and go up properly on the yeast aisle. But how many of you have simply gone backwards and backed up to the yeast for example. How many times have you seen this happen.

It would be faster to simply abandon the cart for a moment and simply walk forward the wrong way in a one way aisle? Or you try to hope no one notices as you try to back up?

Is it easier if no one is in the aisle? How far are you prepared to back up. It seems four feet is easy to do. Forty feet seems way too far. So somewhere between those two numbers you could seemingly get away with it.

All bets are off if you have to pass someone doing this. They will look at you with a steely gaze hoping to freeze your heart. The braver types will likely say something.

I have to say that I personally would back up a total of 14 feet backwards only if no one else was in the aisle. That seems like a good compromise.

 

 

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Covid-19

pexels-photo (2) pantry

Covid-19 requires serious action. But, admittedly, there are the occasional lighter aspects.

After our BC board meeting, we decided to fly over to phoenix to see some friends just for a few days. Of course, after we arrived then the talk about shutting the border came up, so he headed home. I’ve always used the hand sanitizers at airports, but now they seem to be set at jumbo discharge. I struggled to wipe it all over my hands. With all the foam still covering my palms and back of my hands, I felt I couldn’t walk away from the hand station since I am sure everyone would be askance as  to whether foaming at the cuticles was a new symptom. I resorted to cleaning up to my elbows.

After travelling out of the country, we self-isolated. This is sort of like retirement. Twice the husband and half the income. So of course I organized the pantry.

An idle mind is the devil’s play ground. I thought about organizing items according to ability to open them. Perhaps cardboard on one level, bags on another and cans on a different another. Using mind-mapping, I decided on three levels. The first level would be food regardless of packing material. Salmon and pasta. The next level would be stuff you put on food. Tomato sauces, panko crumbs. The top level would be stuff you put on food, but probably shouldn’t. Things like syrup and jams.

Fortunately, my wife only laughed. Retirement looks positive!

 

#covid-19 #inspiration

Speaking about adversity…

pexels-photo-1448055 dogSince we have our west coast trail hike coming up, I decided to do a bit of real practical training. Up at the cottage I took the dogs, maguire and seamus, for a walk and I also took one of the backpacks and loaded it up with one of the 20 litre carboys we have there. (I did fill it with water.)

 

High school has been a while, and I sort of forgot that one litre equals one kilogram. In my defense, we actually only took imperial training back then in school. ( Back in those days, once we etched an answer in our tablets, you really didn’t want to change it afer that. And I mean those stone tablets)

 

I put this on my back and we wandered around for a while. Fortunately, the road was flat, and I only had to stop and do my shoelaces once. Also fortunately the cap on the water carboy was quite tight. Yes, it was heavy and sloshed.

 

I might try slinging one of the dogs across my back, but they wouldn’t like it, and they would slosh more than the water did. One hopes that with increasing adversity comes greater abilities to deal with the new adversity in the future!

 

business motivation changeit adversity management inspiration personaldevelopment

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Adversity

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 The great psychiatrist Dr. Lucy tells the hapless Charlie Brown that “Adversity prepares one for the things of life.” Charlie Brown quizzically asks “What things?” and the good Dr. says “More adversity.”
A little non-sensical, but this has remained with me for several decades. We can even bring in The Princess Bride when Wesley says that “life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
One writer lists over 6 different types of adversity such as mental, physical, spritual, financial, social and emotional. To think that we could be hit by 6 different planes of existence all at once can be overwhelming.
Ultimately one hopes that can there can be more than simply pain for pain’s sake. But everything we read says that adversity can be a force for good since it can bring out the best in you.
But I leave you with Albert Einstein who said that adversity introduces a man to himself. We are not what our problems are, but how we react to them that counts.