the end…or just the beginning?

“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to speak of many things.”

Don’t know where I was going with that, but I always wanted to say it! The end though, has come and gone. Classes are over, the grades are all submitted and some (many?) have already started to enjoy life without worrying about assignments.

Myself, I’m just wrapping things up, which is why I am posting this message. I was pretty happy with how our venture into social media went, and I hope all of you will make the effort to try to stay connected. I believe it will be a very large part of how we exchange information in the future, and those that are the most comfortable with it will be able to move to the front of the line quickly.

So, what to do about our site? I don’t mind leaving it up, at least until it gets to the point where no one is using it, but if that point is now, I’d rather blow it up than let it die a slow death.

What think you? Let me know in the next week or so, and we will go from there.

In the meantime have a safe and happy summer and I look forward to seeing you all again in the fall. It has, so far, been a pleasure, and there is nothing to make me think that the best is yet to come.

PS  Anyone interested in helping out at orientation, please let me know. I’d like to try to integrate all our people as soon as possible (before they know what is happening, heh, heh, heh…)

If you’re in, send me your summer email and t-shirt size and I’ll sign you up.




The other half

Occasionally I watch television through the week, but most of the time I relax and unwind through entertaining YouTube videos or connect with friends on Facebook. Last weekend though I surfed the channels and on the discovery channel I came across a documentary about mental disorders, and the one featuring Sunday night was about split personality. Unlike most documentaries there was plenty of information, explaining why the brain is different physically and psychologically. One case followed a man’s life threatened by his mental disease, living an ordinary day to day life this individual worked as sales representative in New York city, but through the night his mind split into his “other half” with no recollection of any events that took place. Until the law was involved he didn’t realize he was becoming a vicious party animal, seeking out clubs and drug dealers. This in all cases was not anything like him, his colleagues describing him as a shy soft-spoken man who spent most of his time working and reading not socializing. As the disease progressed and his mind altered more often he was caught for money theft from a convenience store, frightening the store clerk with a knife. Arrested by an officer who happened to be in the grocer and within a few hours he was confused and lost, wondering why was he in a jail cell? The police not buying his story of no recall of what happened was sent to court and under actual examination found he was developing a severe case of split personality, which explained in the documentary can happen to a person at any time in their life through a genetic trait passed down through the mother, locked in the primal brain region until various reasons ranging from over stressing to life style activity can release and damage the chemistry balance in the frontal lobe. Two years later after his court order not to prison, but a temporarily mental institution under doctor prescriptions and advice, he walked away with a lot healthier state of mind and overall well-being. In many similar ways this story reminds me of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a scientist who is fair and a gentle person, but as we know his mind is taken over by a monster and in the end loses more than his research. The novel was written well over 150 years ago, but the message stays true…. human nature is divided by a sense of good and evil, conflicting with each other for eternity, but when the boundaries are no more we lose our sense of sanity.


Canadian Tire is going ‘IKEA’!

Canadian Tire seems to be going ‘IKEA’…with their lawn tractors. I have been shopping for a new lawn tractor and thought I would visit my local Canadian Tire, which is in Hawkesbury. I have had run ins with this store before, and have found their employees completely unaware of what it is they are selling and what is involved in delivery and the like.

When inquiring about a new lawn tractor today, I was told there would be a $50 charge for delivery. A little steep considering I only live 10 minutes away, but…what can you do? Then I was told I would have to pay $30 to have it put together.  It’s a lawn tractor. I don’t believe that I have ever purchased a car and had to put it together myself. Or a motorcycle. Or any other motorized vehicle for that matter.

Is this customary at other stores? Is one expected to be a mechanic if they want to purchase a lawn tractor? I find this astounding!

What do you think?


Protect yourself with some helpful tips!

Typically, whenever I check my Hotmail account and see that I’ve received a forwarded email, I generally don’t think it will be of much importance, as it is generally a series of cute  animal pictures (…really cute, I must admit), however today I got an email from a family friend and actually found some interesting tips in it that I thought may be helpful to share.

The email was titled ’13 Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You’ and offered a humorous but helpful series of tips from a sarcastic burglars point of view that proved to be quite insightful about safety/security tips for your home. Towards the end, there was an interesting little section about the use of general wasp spray that could be used as a pepper spray replacement. Here’s what the email said:

” A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

        The wasp spray , they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn’t attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection… Thought this was interesting and might be of use. “

From another source:

  ”  On the heels of a break-in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self-defense experts have a tip that could save your life.  Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he’s suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed. Glinka says, “This is better than anything I can teach them.”
Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, “spray the culprit in the eyes”. It’s a tip he’s given to students for decades. It’s also one he wants everyone to hear. If you’re looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

       “That’s going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out.” Maybe even save a life. “

I definitely never thought of that, but it sure does make sense. Seeing how you can’t typically buy pepper spray, this is a neat substitute, and couldn’t really get you in any trouble.

Also in the email was an interesting bit of advice on where to keep your car keys. Here’s the excerpt:

” Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr.’s office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
     If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won’t want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.” 

I just thought these two bits of advice were actually pretty helpful and interesting. I had never really thought of either, but they both make sense. Maybe some of you have heard them before, but I thought it would be a good thing to share anyways!

Coaches need more training on coaching kids!

Not all, but some coaches in sports these days are too competitive when it comes to coaching. Coaches need to take a step back and realize the effect and impact their decisions have on the athletes. As a coach your job is to build the confidence in the athlete and shape them into the best athletes they can be. This is a problem with many different sports, in and around our city and the issue needs to be dealt with. If a  coach is only about winning, then they are in the wrong field. As an example, Cornwall girls hockey is already lacking the participation and the registration is not at a high. Some of the coaches make comments and decisions that are wrong and they need to take responsibility for their mistakes and not put blame on the athletes. Suck it up and admit you were wrong! Canada is behind when it comes to sports and training of our athletes and it shows when we compete at the international levels. Canada has only just begun to have successful results due to the “Own the Podium.” If you are a coach or are planning to become a coach, think about your decisions and admit your wrong when you mess up. Build confidence  in your athletes and encourage them to do their best. If it happens that you have to take a loss a little of the time or a lot of the time, then lose like winners. Sportsmanship is the most important and will make a difference in the development of teams and individual athletes.

Let the Playoffs Begin

Well we are just about to start the 2011-2012 season playoffs. There is much to speak about in terms of who’s in and who’s out, what match-ups are in the first round and of course, predictions.

If you’re a Canadian like me, having only 2 of 7 teams in the playoffs is a little depressing. We are supposed to be the “dominant” nation of the sport. Have no fear though, there’s plenty of Canadian talent on those American teams. Do the two teams (Ottawa and Vancouver) have a chance to go all the way? One might say that Vancouver is a sure bet to make their respective conference final and league final. Though, one half of the dynamic duo, Sedin twins is currently injured and questionable for the first games. Ottawa has been a surprise of sorts this season. Not that they shouldn’t be in the playoffs with the talent they have. The surprise comes from their relatively consistent play throughout the entire season. Can they win the East? My humble opinion is no. With teams like Boston, Philly, Pittsburgh and New York (Rangers) in the mix, Ottawa will have to do something quite memorable to make the cup final.

The “dark-horse” or “underdog” of the playoffs this year would have to be the Florida Panthers. Where did they come from? Ending one of the longest current streaks of consecutive playoff misses, one can only say – you go Florida, you go.

The first round playoff match-up you shouldn’t miss? That would have to be a classic, the Pens and the Flyers. There’s already such a rivalry this season it’s bound to spill into the first few games of the series. Braydon Schenn of Philadelphia was quoted in a recent interview saying, “There’s a lot of bad blood between the two teams already and there’s going to be more.”

The teams you should watch out for? This writer is going with the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues. The Predators are just one of those teams that can beat anyone on a given night with a ferocious defense and solid goaltending. In fact, Pecca Rinne of Nashville recorded the most wins this season of any goaltender and with the recent addition of sniper Alexander Radulov to their forward line, the Preds may upset a couple of teams. On the other hand, you’ve got the Blues. They have been an enigma this season placing 2nd in the Western Conference. Much like Florida, they simply came out of nowhere and could go all the way on the back of great team play and strong duo goaltending in the form of Jan Halak and Brian Elliott.

My picks for the finals east vs west are as follows: I believe Boston is going all the way to the final for the east and Detroit for the west. Only time will tell.

Guns at school

Yesterday afternoon, my oldest daughter came home and informed me that she and her two brothers would not be going to school today. Since I know my daughter does not do anything without a lot of thought and consideration, I asked why before I started the ‘fight’.

My daughter went on to tell me that a student at their school had said that he was planning on bringing a gun to school. There was another student he was angry at and he wanted to take care of it.

My children go to a small catholic school in a farming community. The school holds less than 400 students.

I thought when we moved to the countryside that issues such as these would not follow us from the city. I thought that my children would be safer here.

I am assured by the vice principle that the matter has been taken care of. The boy who made the threat is not allowed back to school until a full investigation has been undertaken by the police. I am not that comforted.

I wonder how, in such a small, close knit community, things such as this can happen. What happened to this boy that he feels it is ‘ok’ to bring a gun to school to take care of his problems. Why hasnt’ his issues been dealt with prior to this?

All kids go through rough patches and voice frustration and anger at things that don’t go their way or people who have hurt their feelings. In my home, we discuss it. We talk about it. There is no subject that is taboo. My children have the knowledge that they can come to me with anything and know that I will listen and do my best to help if I can. Sometimes, all they want is for someone to listen. I try to be that person, but I let them know that no matter what, it is important to have someone to talk to even if it isn’t me, just so long as they talk.

I am not sure how I will assure them that they are safe to go back to school. I am not sure how I will be comfortable sending them off to school and not worry. So each day, I tell them I love them. I tell them they are smart, they are important, and they are worthwhile. Each day I make sure they go off into the world knowing they are loved and treated with respect, at least at home.