Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm feeling isolated

If you don't want to read a post that's mostly bitching and whining, click off of this one real fast.
Okay, not that they're gone, here goes:

I like my job. I especially enjoy the work it entails on weekends -- and the people I work with -- my Weekend Dream Team. But one major problem is that it's on weekends. I also work three evenings (2:30-11:30) during the week. Social life? What's that?

This schedule is actually what saved my job about 15 months ago. But I'm starting to realize how I've become isolated from the friends I made in the first two years I lived in Ottawa.

Most of those friends were because of minor hockey. I was trainer for two different hockey teams in those first two years in my adopted home town. But because of the change in my work schedule, I couldn't get involved this past hockey season. I mean, I hardly ever saw the team I was with for the last half of the 2006-07 season, because I was always working when there were games or practices.

I've realized how much I miss hockey and the kids on the teams. And just in the past two weeks, I've learned of things that really made me realize that I've become even more isolated than I thought.

First, I learned that one of the goaltenders on the first team I was with, has brain cancer and isn't expected to survive. He just turned 18. His dad was one of the coaches on that first team I was with, and I consider him a friend. But I have become so out of touch with him, I learned third-hand of Misha's illness. I've let them know I'm thinking of them and offering any help I can, but it seems like an after-thought.

Then today, I received an email from the wife of a guy who was on both coaching staffs with me. The email is complete with pictures of the new baby girl who arrived last week. I didn't even know they were expecting! Last I knew, about a year ago, Tammy had just miscarried, was an emotional wreck, and Trevor was at wit's end, trying to hold things together for Tammy, but also grieving their loss.

I've often thought of calling Tammy and Trev just to see how they're doing. But again, I'm at work when they're not, and vice versa.

Not one to just wallow without doing anything, I am going to start riding my boss to make good on a promise to hire someone to replace me on weekends, so I can work Monday to Friday. It won't be ideal, but it should help. And I'll start looking harder for another job -- hopefully in Ottawa.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Urban Pedestrian is back!

Check out her blog at
But please, don't put any pressure on her to blog regularly or anything, 'kay?

Friday, April 18, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

I got off work shortly after 11:30 last night, and practically raced to the Sunoco near my place to fill up with gas -- even though I still had about three-eighths of a tank -- to beat the midnight price increase. So I was practically jubilant to pay 117.2! Adding to my joy was that the Petro-Can across the street and the Esso further up the street were already at 120.5.

The people I feel really sorry for are the poor eight-bucks-an-hour guys and gals inside the booth who take all the crap when customers vent about getting hosed at the pump.

I don't recall hearing of any large petroleum companies going bankrupt lately. Do you?

The rich and crass get richer and crasser on the backs of the little guys.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another reason to like Wally World... besides bum pads, of course

So I was at my local WalMart yesterday. It's only been open for a couple years in this location, and just finished a major expansion to become a Supercentre, complete with a full-service grocery store.

Now, being the proud Canadian, supporter of the working guy/gal, not to mention iconoclast who should really be frowning at the largest retailer in the world, I try hard not to like WalMart. One thing that makes it difficult is my personal boycott of Zellers and all things belonging to HBC since the double fiasco last May with my washer/dryer and lamps (if you can't recall, check out my posts from late last May).
Anyway, to finally get to the point, my neighbourhood WalMart now has a Tim Hortons! That means you can get real coffee and real fast-type food other than McDonald's at the WalMart Supercentre! I can't do McDo -- it gives me the runs, really!

So bless Sam Walton's little timbits.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Red Hot Kohls R.I.P.

Kenneth " Donald The Red Hot " Kohls
Peacefully at the Ottawa General Hospital on Thursday, April 10, 2008. Beloved husband of the late Elva Marie Kohls. Loving father of Nancy, Vaughn (Tammy) and his grandaughter of Bronte, Paige (Bill Sonier) and Kyle Kohls-Wiebe (Megan) and granddaughter Ceepha. According to his wishes, funeral arrangements are private and are in care of the St. Laurent Chapel of Hulse, Playfair and McGarry. Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

N@, Ma and others will relate to this. Red Hot was a long-time radio morning man in Timmins and the Ottawa Valley. I listened to him as a kid, and had the privilege of working with him as an adult. For all his crazy, on-air antics, Red Hot was a shy, sweet man off-air. The big control room in the sky is now home to another legend.

Rest well, my friend.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More pics from Mexico

The Mayan ruins at Tulum. Fascinating! Unfortunately, the tour lasts less than an hour.
My kinda drugstore!
Self-portrait on the beach on Cozumel, an island that's a half-hour ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. I went on a Jeep safari of the island.
My swimming companion at Cozumel. He kept calling me "Hamburger". Maybe he meant "Big Mac".

Friday, April 04, 2008

Froot Loops, anyone?

Okay, so I'm home. I'll post more over the weekend. Meanwhile, you can wonder whether the bird crapped down my back.

And I'm surprised Maria hasn't shared this yet: In Mexico, you can buy booze in drug stores and Viagra over the counter. It was even for sale in the smoke shop at my resort. It's on the same shelf as Tylenol, cough syrup, Midol, etc.