Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spending Time With Your Children

"Children and parents spend a lifetime trying to see eye to eye and when they finally do, there is very little time left appreciate it."

The other evening, while watching television, I came across the above statement. Before I forgot what it was, I picked up a pencil and piece paper and wrote it down. I suppose that, as a parent, I know how it feels to lock horns with my children and unless we learn to compromise, we remain locked for way too long to the point that days, months or even years go by.

My daughter and I were in that position for most of her high school career and I regret it to this day. Fortunately, as she became mature and older and I became just plain older, we found a way to see eye to eye... well, for the most part.

This is a good thing since now we can concentrate on the positive things in life instead of the little things that can grow to an unbearable weight.

I want to be able to spend the rest of my life enjoying my children without constantly disagreeing with them. If there is anything that I have learned from my daughter it is that she has a heck of a lot to offer this world and I, being a part of this world and most certainly a part of her life, can benefit from her, not only as my daughter, but also as a person I can now see eye to eye with.

I suppose that the moral to this story is... "Don't waste time disagreeing with them when instead you could spend time loving them."

Something for all of us to consider!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Son's New Computer

Yesterday, my son built himself a computer...

For as long as I can remember, we have had two or three computers in the house. Except for the first non-Pentium, 486DX 4-100 computer which we bought in 1995, I had built all of our computers. Over the years, with pieces from here and pieces from there, we have had computers good enough for everyday use but not good enough for my son's "real gaming."

Well, with all the hours he worked at his part time job at the local Tim Horton's coffee place, he was able to save up for all the parts he needed to build his powerhouse system. I tried to talk him into simply buying a new computer but he insisted on building his own... sort of a family tradition, I suppose... not to mention the pressure he received from his gaming buddies. I believe that, in the long run, he made the right decision.

So...After three long months of saving all his pennies, we ordered all the parts he needed and yesterday was the day!

Late in the evening, we cleared off the kitchen table and spread out all the parts. After about a hundred "Dad be careful" warnings from my son and after my near anxiety attack of not wanting to blow up the thing, the computer was finally completed.

I must admit that I have never seen him so proud of his accomplishments!

I am proud of him. I am proud of his skills, determination and desire to accomplish new things as he moves from "youthhood" to manhood. I have no doubt that he will accomplish all kinds of goals on his new system... Hopefully that will also include accomplishing his schoolwork! Actually I have no doubt he will.

After all was done, he placed his hand on my shoulder and said "Thanks Dad, I really appreciate your help." To me, that made it all worthwhile!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Port Dover's Brave

James McDonald, Nelson Walker, Covel Rankin, James Patterson, John Wilson, John Mummery, Darryl Clement, John Walsh... Sounds like an honour roll. Now if you ask the residents of Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, they would most certainly agree as each of these men, risked and gave their lives for the livelihood of their town.

Over the years, hundreds of men and women of Port Dover and surrounding areas lost their lives as professional fisherman as they went out in the wee hours of the morning to catch Lake Erie perch. Fishing was their livlihood and they were good at it as their nets brought in a catch that that would rival catches from many other ports around. To this day, while walking down the pier, you would be hard pressed to not come across a number of folk related to these brave souls of years gone by.

At the entrance of the pier, you can find a memorial to these fishermen from years gone by who lost their lives at sea while on the job. Each and every one of the names of the fisherman that never returned to port have been engraved in stone around this memorial. While taking the time to read off the many names, you would quickly recognize many of the surnames and, upon further investigation, realize that many of today's boat crews are related to those who perished.

Now, though I may enjoy going fishing on a creek or small lake somewhere, you certainly wouldn't find me making fishing a career! The movie The Perfect Storm comes to mind when I think of topic of the dangers of professional fishing and that alone would convince me find a safer profession.

So, if you ever get the chance to walk the pier at Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, stop and take the time to read off a few of the names of the brave men and women who lost their lives while working the waters of Lake Erie. As you walk away, I have no doubt that you would hold a greater respect for those who head out to sea in order to provide for their families and their town. I know I did!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

So.... Here I Was Minding My Own Business!

So… Here I was minding my own business when all of a sudden… Wham!!! Wrong place at the wrong time… My life’s story! And yet, though this was most certainly an accident, it was not a car accident… It was an accident of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So… As I previously mentioned, I was minding my own business when all of a sudden, while running down one of my favorite trails, I came across something I wished I hadn’t seen…. Now, usually when I run, I zone out. There are two types of runners… Associative and dissociative runners. The associative ones are ones who concentrate on there stride, breathing, surroundings etc. The dissociative ones, such as myself, zone out and think of anything else but what they are doing. In times like these, I can run an entire 10 miles without evening realizing or taking note of where I am, whether I am tired, thirsty or even dying!

So… As I previously mentioned, I was minding my own business when all of a sudden, while running down one of my favorite trails, I came across something I wish I hadn’t seen… Two of my friends! One of my pet peeves is that, no matter where I go, I always run across people who I know. What can’t there be just one time I can go somewhere without being seen? I go to the mall… I see a friend of my parents. I go to a basketball game… I see a former co-worker of mine. I go to the theatre in another city… I see someone from my neighborhood. I can’t win! Sometimes I just want to be invisible.

So… As I previously mentioned, I was minding my own business when all of a sudden, while running down one of my favorite trails, I came across something I wish I hadn’t seen… Two of my friends and they were kissing! Actually a little bit more friendlier than that! To say the least, they were quite embarrassed! Now, the way I look at it, if you are going to carry on like that, just make sure that you are in a place where you will not be seen. Now, I know that some might have no problem showing affection in front of others regardless of the consequences, but just make sure you are prepared for the unexpected such as me going out for a run!

So… As I previously mentioned, I was minding my own business when all of a sudden, while running down one of my favorite trails, I came across something I wish I hadn’t seen… Two of my friends and they were kissing! Actually a little bit more friendlier than that! Now, when they saw me, they froze at my sight with their eyes wide open and jaws dropped to their chest as they watched me, trying to wash the look of utter surprise from my face, slow down to a crawl. All I could say to them was “Hey! How’s it going?” Instead of continuing on my run, I just had to ask them as to the welfare of each of their spouses! I sometimes just can't leave well enough alone! I know... I should have just kept running!

I have not seen them since that day and I seriously doubt that I will be seeing them on that trail ever again! Needless to say, that I have now become even more of a dissociative runner!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

These Kids Are My Life

If you are a parent then you know what I am speaking about...

I was just sitting here when I wandered across a photograph of my children on the Internet while checking out their facebooks. As I sat here looking at them, I was in awe as to how fortunate I was to have them in my life. Now I know that, over the past years, I have gotten them pretty mad at me from time to time but I do know that, in between those "time to times," they sincerely love me.

They are my life. They make my life worth living. Take them away from me and it would feel like I would have nothing to live for. Yah, I know... I am being overly emotional right? Yah well... as a parent, I think we all have the right to be emotional from time to time. Don't you agree?

One thing I have often prayed for is that, no matter what happens to their mother or me, they will always be close. Over the years, I can be proud to say that, though they have had their differences, they have always been involved in each other's lives. I know my son would never admit it, he is proud of his sister and I know that she is very proud of him.

My daughter is in her second year of college and, in a couple of years, she could very well be far away from her brother but I do know, from what I have seen, distance will never be an issue between them.

So there! ... I feel blessed!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Wendy's Baconator

So, what's with the "Baconator!?!?"

From what I can tell, fast food outlets throughout the world are beginning to see common sense through the promotion of healthier food to their menus. Kentucky Fried Chicken has introduced zero trans fats while McDonalds has concentated on making their fries and chicken products as healthy as possible. Wendy's has introduced a new line of sandwiches named "Frescata Sandwiches" while Burger King has introduced their "Lean & Green menu. Over the past decade, this has been brought about by pressure groups in an attempt to cut back on heart disease through promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Wendy's has been my favorite burger joint for quite some time now simply because I have believed that they have offerred the best choice for healthier foods. I have often ordered the Mandarin Chicken Salad (25.0g fat) since with all those greens, fruits and lean chicken in it, who could go wrong? This past year, they came out with the new Frscata Sandwiches boasting a moderate 34 grams of fat which is not too bad considering other sandwiches on the market. So, as a result, thay have had my vote in the healthy fast food market... until now.

Recently, Wendy's introduced a new sandwich called the "Baconator." Between the buns, Wendy's has inserted six (yes, six!) strips of bacon, two 1/4lb beef slabs, 2 slices of processed and a dallop of mayonaise totalling to a total of 51 grams of fat, 830 friggen calories, 170mg of cholesterol, 1920mg of sodium and weighing in at 6/10 of a frackin pound!

Now, what's with that?!?!? If this is not a heart attack waiting to happen, I don't know what is!

And so I must rethink my decision to call Wendy's the healthiest fast food restaurant... Which also brings up another point... Isn't fast food and healthy an oxymoron? Anyways, I shall continue to eat at Wendy's by sticking to their healthier menu choices. I shall stay away from sandwiches such as the Baconator and stick to the leaner choices offerred. If there ever was a pressure group needed to fight the high fat sandwiches, it is now!

By the way, just as I finished this post, I realized that there was an even unhealthier sandwich on Wendy's list... Weighing in at 410 grams, 980 calories, 59 grams of fat and 2070mg of sodium... the 3/4lb Triple with Cheese!

Anyways... gotta fly! The pizza guy is at the door with my large double cheese, bacon, ham and pepperoni Pizza!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How Much Did I Accomplish?

Today was the first day back since I left on holidays back in July. Today’s weather was perfect for a long bike ride or a quiet day of fishing but alas, my employer, the school board requested demanded my attendance. It was the first day in over five weeks that I wore a long pair of pants and a dress shirt since beach wear or biking wear was most certainly not the coolest thing to wear in front of the class!

So, after a large coffee, I made my way into class and prepared for the first day of school. Needing my attendance book, I unlocked the file cabinet and pulled open the drawer. The first thing I saw was a note I had written to myself on the last day of school. It read: “How much did you accomplish this summer? Are you satisfied?” “Wow!” I thought to myself as I stood there for a long moment pondering exactly what I really did accomplish this summer.

As I look back on this summer, I must admit that I didn’t exactly accomplish everything that I set out to do and yet, there were a number of tasks that I set out to finish that I did complete. I suppose that I could sit here and try to justify why I didn’t do everything but I am not going to because there is more to summer and more to holidays than working your butt off.

And so… How much did I accomplish? I accomplished about half of what I wanted to do. What did I do with the other half of the summer? I enjoyed it and I am satisfied that I chose to do just that!

And so I am back to the real world of work! Yuck!! Actually, it’s really not so bad! As I look to this fall, I have a number of tasks that I need to do along with the ones I did not do over the summer and yet I know that, though I will slug away at attempting to complete each and every thing, I will also find some time to relax and enjoy life. I hope you can do the same!

Good to be back!