Monday, 31 March 2014

#090 Planning for VacaShawn(s)

I'm not a fan of Summer of heat, but, I *AM* a fan of Summer Vacation, and the 'vacation year' at the office begins tomorrow. In fact the only time I want to do anything in the Summer is when I'm not working! 

And with my seniority, and banked time and the ability to purchase an extra week, I now how 28 day of vacation plus 8 and a half days (and counting of overtime).


I'm so excited. I want to start booking NOW!

For certain there will be 2 weeks(+) back East (NS and PEI)

A couple of Extra Long Weekends at Marcel's family cottage on Lake Massawippi... Canada Day Weekend, Thanksgiving Weekend...

And maybe some time off at Christmas, and some long weekends just at home with Marcel and the dogs, and... and... and...

Any suggestions?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

#089 Lost in EmoShawn

I'm not sure what tripped the switch but I ended up going into a full on nostalgia spiral this weekend.

Yesterday I decided to update the music on my iPhone and after about 10 mins of sorting through my music I realize all I wanted to listen to was 80's music, which lead to the realization that I don't have enough in my iTunes, so I spent a couple of hours then and today purchasing music.

I've now got a little over 350 songs, set to shuffle.

I can't wait to go to work tomorrow, as the main reason for music on my iPhone is to have something to listen to on my commute to and from. And with this update, I have enough music loaded so that I won't hear the same song twice for 16 return trips, give or take a slow down in the Metro.

The only down side will likely be some twangs of nostalgia. It's such a bitter sweet thing getting lost in the music of your youth and then to be catapulted back to the present day.

I can remember when I was in my teens, being obsessed with the music of the 50's and 60's and how my Mom would react to my listening to the music of HER youth. I could see something behind her eyes but never understood what it was. Well, I understand it now. How with just a few notes from the beginning of a song you are transported back in time, to when you had not a care in the world, when your whole life was ahead of you, invincible and unstoppable. And then the vision fades and you are back to today, wondering where has the time gone, what would things be like, where would you be now if you had made this decision instead of that back then.  And then the real spirals begin... 

You can very quickly slide down a path of remorse and regret; second guess everything you've done, every decision you've ever made up til today. Personally, whenever I find myself wandering down that path all I have to do is focus on this: 

If I had not made every choice and decision I have made, good or bad, for better or for worse, I would NOT be here, and HERE is where I want to be: on the sofa with Marcel and the dogs. If home is where the heart is, then the sofa is where the Love is.

Time can be a bitch, just make sure you enjoy the ride, and make sure you have the music of your youth.  

Saturday, 29 March 2014

#088 Earth Hour ParticipaShawn

I can't recall having participated in an Earth Hour before, but then I guess it's never too late to start.

Marcel suggested we give it a go and I figured, sure let's do it. One hour for the Earth? Sure. She's been pretty good to us... 

So, time to turn off everything and open the curtains so we can read by street light...

Friday, 28 March 2014

#087 QuestShawn

What do you do when you have nothing to say? When you're completely void of a coherent thought?

Why, post a picture of a Corgi wearing a Top Hat of course..

... and then make a hasty retreat.

Here's hoping I have another insane dream tonight.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

#086 Nocturnal AbominaShawn

So the weird dreams continue...

Last night I drempt of flesh eating seals. 

I'm not entirely sure where this was, other than at a sea-side town. It started with a pod of seals attacking, killing and eating a gray whale. 

Once they were finished with that, they headed to shore. They headed to shore for more flesh and blood, and they were headed directly for us!

The seals had cornered about ten of us just up from the wharf, and as we ran around looking for a place to hide, to run for cover, all we could find was a KFC.

Of course the moment we all got inside and closed the door we realized that hiding in a fast food restaurant selling fried chicken  was probably not the best choice, and then the glass door shattered...

...and I thankfully woke up.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

#085 Client DeleShawn - Employment CauShawn

Today at work, we lost 6 client contracts. That makes 11 lost contracts this year.

I'd like to blame our Account Managers, but in reality this goes far above them and it's a systemic issue with the company. They still view us as the main and in many cased sole supplier in the industry in Canada, where in reality we are now one of 3 and they do not understand how to work in a competitive market.

I do fear for my job, but at least not in the short term. After talking with my inside connection, it's likely there's still a good 2-3 years before we go super-nova.  Fortunately to my benefit I'm fully trained in the departments 3 divisions, and am cross-trained into Accounts Receivable and other parts of Contracts and Finance. And what with the current AR employee retiring in Dec and my direct co-worker expected to retire in another year, I am about as secure as anyone can be for the moment. It's unlikely they lay me off and have to train someone else from scratch given that the total training needed for what I have is over two years.

I'm not that naive to think it couldn't happen, but seeing as the mots du jour are 'downsize' and 'cost cutting', the two mentioned above would be ahead of me in departure times.

Regardless I think it's time to update my CV and keep my eyes open for new opportunities.  And hope that I can hang on for a few more years and hope that when the day arrives I'll get a bit of a package... 

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

#084 Nocturnal Pillow ConsumpShawn

So I woke up from a dream last night with a mouthful of pillow. Flannel wrapped pillow, to be exact. (extra fibre)

But here's the thing, I wasn't dreaming I was eating:
A Marshmallow...A Twinkie...
A Sheep...

And for the record I wasn't a zombie either.

I was actually dreaming I was biting a pillow. (sorry to disappoint). What wasn't so hum-drum is the fact that I was biting the pillow, a pillow that was on one of the armchairs in my Grandmother's living room.  I was biting down on it because some demon was trying to smother me, so I bit down to pull it away from he/she/it. 

As I freed myself from the pillow wielding demon I woke up, face down into my pillow, biting down so hard my jaw hurt.

So if anyone is reading this and wants to analyse my dream, please be my guest.

Monday, 24 March 2014

#083 Water ConsumpShawn

I read an article yesterday that said that you don't need to drink 8 glasses of water a day.  You should just drink when you're thirsty, and -here's the kicker- until your urine flows clear.

Well I guess that sort of makes sense, so today I thought I'd see how long that would take.  

I drank one glass at home before I went to work, then another 5 at work, and I'm on my 2nd glass since getting home this evening. But, no clear 'water works' as yet.  I'm guessing this is going to take a few days. If that.

I mean, really... clear?

We'll see. Or more specifically, I'll see. I mean I'm not going to post pics...

Wish me and my bladder luck.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

#082 VacaShawn PreparaShawn

A penny saved is a penny earned. 

Hmmm,  maybe that needs to be changed to a nickel saved is a nickel earned. 

Marcel and I do 4 little things to save money for our annual vacation to the Maritimes. They are so simple and easy, anybody can do it, practically in your sleep.

1- We put all out pocket change in a jar. 

You'd be really surprised how much and how fast it piles up. From Sept to Jan alone we had over $300.00! And as I have a TD Canada Trust bank account, they offer a FREE coin counting / cash in service. (As opposed to those coin machines in Grocery Stores etc that generally have a $0.10 - $0-12 on the dollar fee. At TD if you have an account there is no fee.  And even for those that do not have an account there it's still better at only $0.08 on the dollar.) You don't even have to count and roll the coin, you just dump the coin in their counter machine. Easy Peasy.

2- Bottle Deposit Returns. 

All the Pop Bottles, Beer Bottles and occasional Cans we collect week to week get taken to the Grocery store return machines. (Last year we had over $30)

3- Any monies won on Lotto Tickets. 

Granted this does not amount to very much, but there are the odd $2s and $5s.

4- We occasionally buy pre-paid gas cards. 

A $25 card here, or $50 card there and soon you have all your gas money for your trip account for in advance!

I just did a quick tally today to see how we're doing, and I'm pleased to say we are well on our way to surpassing last years' amount of $935.

Currently we have $675 and another $275 in Gas Cards. And there's still another 5 months to go.

All money goes toward our Car Rental, Gas and Hotel Room (for the drive down and back).

Our goal is to have, at a minimum the car, gas and hotel rentals paid in advance, leaving any other monies for mad money. And alleviating putting so much on credit card.

These are all rather simple and painless methods. Take really no fore-thought and doesn't affect our "day to day".

Let's face it , we all want to go on Vacation, but when the bills come in after, it's a little painful...  well not any more.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

#081 AccumulaShawn

Well that's more like it!

We may be a couple of days into Spring, but someone has decided that don't mean a thing.

And I could not be happier. It was so beautiful and peaceful outside. I *HAD* to go out for a walk... 

All was fluffy, and white. Crisp and serene.

This could well be the last significant snowfall we have til next Fall (see what I did there) so today was a very happy day for me. 

I think the only thing that made me happier were the bitter messages I read and received on Facebook today.  Their anger over the snow only makes me happier. I keep telling them this, but still they complain...

Friday, 21 March 2014

#080 Office Bullshit ReconstrucShawn

So there was a reorganization announcement today. It started with mentioning that the reason for the restructure was to save more money and be more efficient.

Then they announced 6 promotions. So that will save some money, for sure!

And to help make processes more stream-line, my co-worker and myself now report directly to two different managers, four other co workers now report to one of my managers and a third manager.

And if that doesn't speed things along enough two site managers have been promoted to senior managers (that will each now manager two sites each) and then another two people were promoted to replace the old site managers. 

We now have 4 additional Managers and 2 new senior managers.

And the brainiac behind this is of course our fearless 'general' manager, previously mentioned for her brilliance here and here.

So far one person is considering giving their notice, and I know one person that will only hear the news on Tuesday will likely just turn around and leave when she finds out who her new boss is. She's already semi-retried, so I know she really couldn't give a shit, and leaving a few months early will be far more attractive than working for a dumbass. Man I wish I was her.

I'm beginning to think that our general manager comes from the Pauline Marois School of Business Mismanagement and Dumbfuckery. 

But hey, on a lighter note... yea, I got nothing.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

#079 Disappointing AccumulaShawn

Well I knew we wouldn't get as much snow as was forecast last night, but hope springs eternal. (pun intended)

Sure it was nice to wake up to a coating of white on everything, but it soon disappeared with the rain and mild temps. The people at work teased me all day. *rude*

Makes me long for last Spring when we received a record dump of over 30 cms of the good stuff. *sigh*

One can only hope that Saturday's snowflakes are more reliable. It's not that I want a lot, just enough to piss off the warm weather crowd. :-)

Maybe I'll make a quick trip to Notre-Dame and light a votive... I wonder who the patron Saint of Snow / Winter is...

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

#078 Seasonal RotaShawn

Today is the last day of Winter. (Technically.) 
Which, makes tomorrow the first day of Spring. (Technically.)

Here's what I know...  The forecast is calling for snow tonight and tomorrow ...10-15 cms, and another 5-10 cms on Saturday.

So all I can say is, bring it on!

Well, that and...

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

#077 Metro Commuter NotificaShawn

If you're standing more than 5 feet from the edge of the platform during rush hour, you have no right or reason, and I mean ZERO, to yell at someone for walking in front of you to stand next to the yellow tiles to wait for the next train. 

BUT, if you're gonna yell at me, then you really ought to yell at the 6 other people that walked in front of you, just side glanced at you and smiled at me. 

Also, my shit eating grin was *mandatory* when you finally entered the metro car when it arrived and there were no seats left.

I don't make up the rules, I just follow them.

Monday, 17 March 2014

#076 Workplace InactShawn

So I was back in the office; and was greeted by a whole big steaming pile of nothing. 

Yea well, thanks for nothing! 

On Thursday morning when I returned home from the Dr and the X-rays. I made a few phone calls to my office to advise that I wouldn’t be in and that there were some time sensitive things that needed to be done in my absence. Further to those phone calls I sent an email (as a check-list and reminder) to those that would need to do the urgent items, and I cc’ed my immediate boss. Am I ever happy that I did.

Only 1 of the 7 items were completed.

No one called or emailed to ask for assistance, or to tell me that they could not complete these tasks.

As I was making my way through the day it became apparent as the 2nd issue arrived that someone wasn’t doing their job. I quickly went through the list and as soon as I had completed the unfinished work, I replied all to the email with a note indicating what was completed and what was left, without notice. And what that would mean for the clients involved.

The guilty party then approached me and asked why I told the boss that they didn’t do their work, I replied with, “Maybe you should ask yourself that”

I’m not even interested in an explanation. The Boss can deal with this one. 

All I had to do was call in and say “I’m sick. I’ve got a Dr’s Note. I’ll see you on Monday.”  But no, instead I took time and SPOKE to and EMAILED people to be sure that nothing got missed. That no clients would slip through the cracks. 

Thanks for nothing!


Sunday, 16 March 2014

#075 Irritated Avian Addition


My name is Shawn and I'm addicted to Angry Birds.

Angry Birds.
Angry Birds Seasons.
Angry Birds Rio.
Angry Birds Star Wars.
Angry Birds Star Wars II.
Angry Birds Friends.
Angry Birds Go.

I have them installed on both my iPhone and Nexus Tablet.

Not a day goes by that I do not play.  In fact, during waking hours, not 6 hours go by where I wont play. On my morning commute, while on the throne, at lunch during weekdays, or just while on the sofa, because hey, I can watch TV and play Birds. Can't you?

I don't think I could even tell you why I'm so addicted, because I really don't know... I guess I just really like to win. WIN WIN WIN.

Currently most of my time is spent between Friends and Go. 

Marcel often just comments, "Angry Birds, again." 

Honestly I've been hooked on Birds since I got an iTouch in 2009. And I've been playing Every day since.

For now I know I've got a problem, but I'm not looking for a cure. :-)

FTR, Bad Piggies, sucks.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

#074 DemonaShawn

I think I've been watching too much Supernatural on Netflix.

I've been dreaming I can infiltrate Demon lairs, subvert them and take their powers. And just like Sam, I kinda enjoy it. Like, a lot! 

Subscribing to the theory that without Evil there is no Good, in my dreamscape I'm perfectly at ease with using the inherent Evil powers of the Demons, for use, Good, Bad or otherwise.

I mean, tell me you've never dreamed of being able to save someone from being bullied or mugged while at the same time smiting the shiite out of some dumbass. Trust me, it's more fun that you ever imagined!  

Can't wait to see what I do tonight!


Friday, 14 March 2014

#073 Lyra

100 years ago today, my Grandmother was born. 
Lyra Grace (Scott) Newbury.

I've spoken about her before, about spending time with her at her house during my summer vacations as a child. She and I are as much Family as Friends. We are birds of a feather, (crows if you asked) It is in part she who started my life long love of Crows. It was she who taught me the Counting Crows poem:

One crow sorrow,
Two crows joy,
Three crows a girl,
Four crows a boy,
Five crows silver,
Six crows gold,
Seven crows a secret never to be told.

From the moment I memorized that poem not a day has gone by that I do not repeat it in my head when I see crows. I will continue repeating it until I repeat a line for each crow I see. And while I repeat the poem, I think of her. 

She passed in May of 2008, and not a day goes by where I don't think of her. I miss her terribly.

In July of 2009 I got a memorial tattoo for her. Some might find it rude or disrespectful, because it's a crow. But to me it's the highest honour.

She sits eternally on my arm, protecting me and watching my back.

Happy Birthday Nanny.
I Love you.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

#072 X-RadiaShawn

Well I went to see the Doctor today. (originally the appointment was only for  prescription renewals) but due to the cough that took over the appointment.

I left her office with new prescriptions, a set of blood work and a requisition for some Chest Xrays. Goodie!

Fortunately there's a Radiology Clinic around the corner from my Dr's office and I was literally in and out in under 5 minutes! I was literally in the Xray room 30 seconds after registering. I was just walking into the waiting room, still had my coat on when my name was called. 

I should get a call from the Dr's office tomorrow regarding the results if there's anything of concern. Otherwise I'm off for the rest of the week and I actually managed to take a 2 hour nap this afternoon. Ahhhhh.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

#071 Snow FascinaShawn

My inner child is freaking the freak out!

We're getting blasted with a traditional late Winter Snow Storm.  They are calling from anything from 10 - 40 cms. (it all depends on where you get your weather forecast from). Personally I don't care, because we are in full white out conditions and it is piling up.





I say keep on snowing til the weekend!  

Keep Calm and Keeps Snowing!

All hail the Winter Gods!

If there was ever one Meme image the perfectly represented me, it is this...


Monday, 10 March 2014

#069 InfecShawn?

Well, I've been fighting off some hell-spawn bug for the past week. It started a week ago as a simple cough. And over time the cough has deepened and intensified.

Now I'm congested and body ache has made the trifecta.

I've been consuming meds of all makes. Gel Caps, Syrups, and Pills.  All sort of help, but all not so much either. 

Today was a day off, and while not what I had in mind, it was fortunate because I don't think I'd have managed the day at work. 

I've got a Dr's appointment on Thursday morning, I just hope I don't lose a lung in the mean time.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

#068 Weekend ExtenShawn

As a rule I don't work on my Birthday. But it fell on the weekend this year, so I've decided to take Monday off.

It was either Friday or Monday, but upon reflection, I realized I'd piss more people off by announcing that I am not going into work on Monday. Sure, it's great to have Friday off, but you must agree, NOT having to into the office on a Monday is much more appealing.

So, yea... it's Sunday night, I'm staying up late, I'm going to sleep in tomorrow morning. I say 'screw you Monday, you have no power over me!'

Saturday, 8 March 2014

#067 Natal CelebraShawn

Today I turned 39. (for the 6th time)

Don't judge.

It was a low key event (as 6th anniversary events usually are). I slept in, had a leisurely breakfast.  We watched the opening of the Paralympics. I took a walk in the afternoon, since it was so mild. 

Then, in the evening after supper I was presented with the most delicious cake: Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Spread and Chocolate Caramel Ganache, with Fleur de Sel. Delicious does not do it justice!

And to make the day even more wondrous, Marcel and the kids got me the most perfect gifts. I received two DVDs.The Selfish Giant  and The Happy Prince.

I remember watching both of these Animated Oscar Wilde short stories since I was a little boy every Christmas. Along with my memories of watching them was the fact that The Happy Prince left me a crying, weeping, miserable mess. Every time.  But then, some time in the early 80s they no longer aired them on TV. I tried for years and years to track down copies but never had any success locating them.

Well, Marcel is the best gift giver. He somehow always out does himself. Finding not only gifts I treasure immediately, but gifts, big and small that are more than than my heart could ever have dreamed.

I truly am the happiest person in the world. This day and every day. I have Marcel and the dogs, and family that I love. Nothing else is required.

Friday, 7 March 2014

#066 Musical Destination

♪ ♫ Well if you ever plan to motor west.
Travel my way, take the highway that's the best.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Well it winds from Chicago to LA.
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Well it goes to St. Louis, down to Missouri.
Oklahoma City looks oh, so pretty.
You'll see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico.
Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Wynonna.
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.

If you get hip to this kind of trip.
I think I'll take that California trip.
Get your kicks on Route 66. ♫ ♪

Thursday, 6 March 2014

#065 DonaShawn

There's a kid, well 'kid', he's in his early 20's I'd say, that I have seen on occasion pan handling for coins in Cote-Vertu metro.  When I see him I give him whatever coin I've got.  He's always appreciative. Always smiles. Always says thank you.

I haven't seen him for a while, but he was in the metro tonight on my commute home.  I didn't have any coin in my pockets, so I checked my wallet. All I had was a $20. It was my emergency $20 for the week in case I got sick of my packed lunches (the waffled falafel) but I have been enjoying my lunches and I figured I didn't need it as much as he did. So I gave it to him. I mean, I've often though, that could be me...

The look on his face was touching. He kept saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you..." I just smiled, and said, "Don't worry about it." And then I went on my way.

As I was on the Metro, heading home, I got to thinking about what I did. No biggie really, I've given money many a time, and it won't be my last. Then I thought about what I gave up for Lent; my Hope for Humanity... and then something popped into my head... maybe it's not right that I leave it to everyone and everything else for Hope for Humanity. I need to contribute...

So for now I holding off on Hope for Humanity, but I will put something in for Humanity. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

#064 ElecShawn

Well there's nothing quite like an Election in Quebec.

Unless the Honey Badger put's his name in the race I'll pretty much be voting Liberal. It's not like there's a lot of options... well generally there are a good 8-10 candidates in my riding, but like it or not, if you are a federalist in Quebec, that's where your vote goes. 

It's not perfect, and  neither is the Liberal Party of Quebec, but again they're the only Pro-Canada option and really in any given election in Quebec, regardless of what they try and make talking points, it's all about With or Without Canada.  And to a lesser degree, how much do you want to screw up the economy and alienate the Province from the rest of Canada and the World.

I won't even get started on the shiite Charter Affirming The Values Of Secularism And The Religious Neutrality Of The State, As Well As The Equality Of Men And Women, And The Framing Of Accommodation Requests (a.k.a. The Charter of Quebec Values, a.k.a. The Xenophobic Racist and Anti-ALL-Religions - except Catholic) 

Ah good times.  And the timing could NOT have come at a better time as I officially kick off my (minimum 40) Days of no Hope for Humanity.  Thanks Pauline, you've already proved my point on that. Asshat!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

#063 Lenten ReflecShawn

I don't really consider myself a Christian, but I do loosely (I mean VERY loosely) follow some traditions, one is giving up something for Lent.

I posted a couple of pictures on Facebook today of pancakes, a traditional meal for Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday. Many have a Pancake Breakfast, but it's been tradition in my family to have them for Supper. (Currently Marcel is in the kitchen cooking them up) . At any rate, someone asked me in a comment on one of the picks what I'd be giving up?  I answered "Hope for Humanity".  The comment received many likes. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized, 'hey, this is something I could easily give up. When you consider all the bullshit in Russian (Anti-Gay laws), in the Ukraine with the Russian occupation, all the rioting in Venezuela, not to mention how governments the world over seem not to care a lick for the environment,  well the list soon becomes endless.

So I will be giving up all hope for Humanity over the next 40 days, relying only the love of Family and Friends, and hope for Nature and the Earth.

At the end of those 40 days, let's see if something, anything will prove me wrong and restore my Hope for Humanity.  I don't want to say this is all on God's shoulders, but...

Monday, 3 March 2014

#062 Monday CelebraShawn

Best Monday Ever!
(If you don't count Mondays where I'm not at work)

The Boss wasn't in. 
His Boss is on Vacation.
The Auditors arrived, but needed nothing from me.
My Co-Worker is off until Friday.


Even though I was doing the work of 3 people I was sill done 45 minutes early!

And the best part is that tomorrow should be the same thing!

If I danced, I'd be doing my happy dance, just about now.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

#061 Lunchtime PreparaShawns

I was one productive little hausfrau today.

I not only made supper for tonight (waffled falafel), I made enough to take to work all week for lunch AND enough to freeze for an additional 5 meals!  

I don't know what I'm more excited about...  the productivity accomplished on a Sunday, supper to come, the fact that I don't have to schlep about all week to get lunchables, or the fact that they are delicious AND healthy.

AND, I don't know who is possessing me at the moment, but they can stay.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

#060 SuperstiShawns

I've got a few Superstitions.

- I try not to walk on cracks. 
- If I see crows, I have to count them.
- If I spill salt I throw some over my shoulder.
- I do not like even numbers, odd numbers for everything possible.  
- I never exit a house from a door I did not enter.
- I don't eat blackberries from Nov 1st to May 1st.
- I don't sleep with the closet door open.
- If you say a wish aloud, it will never come true.
- Good thing, like bad things, happen in 3s.

... to name buy a few...

Call me old-fashioned, but that's me.