Monthly Archives: June 2011

Microsoft

Over TEN years ago, 1999 to be exact, I sent a proposal to Microsoft which was, essentially, the forerunner to what today we call “cloud computing”.

Know your parents’ finances before they’re gone

It may well be just how it was with my generation, but I suspect that children are still uncomfortable discussing finances with their parents.  Other than the obvious signs of jobs and possessions, we assume our parents are doing okay handling their finances. Not always.

Do you know what UBB is? You soon will

UBB stands for Usage Based Billing and is often incorrectly referred to as bandwidth caps. Most people agree that a bandwidth cap refers to the speed, or the concept of throttling back your internet access speed.  It is a creeping cancer being implemented by huge telcos like Bell and Rogers, and threatens to send the use of the internet back to the dark ages. Parents now have to worry what their kids are downloading, like music, and the family can’t enjoy affordable services like Netflix without being paranoid about going over their usage limit.

To my dear Dad

Father’s Day brings memories of the worst day of my life, when my father died in my arms. I have been tormented by the memory of that day and it always brings on the tears. I would give anything to have him back, but the reality is he’s gone. I like to believe that he is sitting on a porch somewhere, with my mother, looking out at the lake they loved so much, having “Happy Hour” and enjoying life, whatever than means where they are now. Although both of my parent’s lives ended tragically, my Dad’s from what’s called “dry drowning”, a result of his asthma and my darling mother from Alzheimer’s, they both lived long and mostly happy lives. My Dad made it to 81 and my mum to 84, although she didn’t remember much the last few years of her life.

Another Father’s Day without my kids

I will go to my grave forever regretting the loss of my kids. I did nothing to deserve this. If you have kids, treasure them and hold them forever close. If you are kids, never let a day go by without making an effort to stay in touch with your parents. They will not always been around and, trust me, whatever your relationship with them is, you will regret any missed moments when they are gone. I know.

Distant memories

My mother, who, by her own admission, always joked she had a “mind like a sieve” for most of her life, was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she died in 2007. I was her caregiver after my father passed away in 2005 and it was so sad to watch her mind disintegrate to the point where she forgot everything. In the early stages of my caring for her I tried a lot of different things to stimulate her memory, one of which was to get her a journal and suggest she write down everything she could remember about her life. The tragedy and confusing part of this horrible disease is that you can’t remember what you did two minutes ago, but the longer term memory is incredibly sharp. She could remember her wedding day, but not that she had just eaten. I was frustrated that she wouldn’t even try, but one of her caregivers explained to me that she had lost the ability to write. This was confirmed when she could not sign her name to something I asked her to sign. It’s not clear if this disease is hereditary, although it does appear to be passed on to female members of the family. Given this history I am going to take my own advice and write about things I hope to always remember, but may forget. Hopefully I remember having this website and I can look back to recall things I may have forgotten by then.

The Social “Safety Net”?

I have worked all my life in various pursuits, some admittedly more successful than others. Today I find myself facing physical limitations and medical issues for the first time in my life. My weight gain from not smoking, lack of exercise, my “frozen shoulder”, elevated sugar levels, foot swelling and pain, all contribute to limiting the type of work I can do. Throughout all of this, though, my singular goal has been to find work. I have never been one to put my feet up and live off the public purse. It’s just not my nature.

Lessons Learned Too Late – You’ve got a friend

3. Stay in touch with your friends.

Do you remember your best friend from Grade Five? How about your coworkers at your first job? Or the people who attended your wedding (the first one)?

Business Idea

To give you some background, many years ago, in fact, almost two decades ago now, I was putting in a computer network for a company, Banush and Skelly Sales, who distributed a wide range of products to retail chains, such as the Bay, Sears, Wal-Mart and so on. At the time my sister, who owned a plumbing and heating store in BC, and was also a smoker, also had the habit of sharing her cigarette with her husband. They were forever trying to figure out a way to temporarily put out the cigarette, then relight it when they wanted.

Lessons Learned Too Late – A picture is worth a thousand words

2. Take lots and lots of pictures 

No question that technology has changed a lot over the years. When I was a kid my Dad had one of those old folding box cameras, but he did take a lot of pictures of us as kids. Those pictures are long gone now and I wish I had thought to scan them all before they were gone.

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