The Tulip Festival in Ottawa is always awesome. We don’t always get the best weather for the show, sometimes spring comes early or late, but there is always one good weekend when the sun is out, the tulips are in bloom, and Dow’s Lake is a madhouse of people wandering around the flowers taking pictures. Back in 2005, we were living on Parkdale, and we decided we would do a short trek over to the park to see them. I had seen photos, but I had never really gone there specifically to see them and wander around, and I had been living in Ottawa for 12 years! What was wrong with me? (Don’t try to answer that, we don’t have that kind of time! hehehe)
First up were the pink ones, and I was quite taken with them.
Yellow and white were nice, but the seas of them didn’t do much for me. » Read the rest
Back in ’97, as part of Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific and Canada hosting APEC, I got to go to Quebec City for work in May. It was interesting, but I didn’t have any time to play tourist. More like “straight down, work like crazy, straight back”. So in 2005, Andrea and I were talking about making our first real “road trip” somewhere from Ottawa, and of course, Quebec City went to the top of the shortlist pretty fast.
Maybe it looks like this in the summer (I don’t really remember), but we were there in the winter/spring for a late Easter.
My wife found a small inn / B&B, and we explored the city around the Fairmont hotel, and down into Old Quebec.
Eventually, we took a drive out to Montmorency Falls. I confess I wasn’t expecting much, there was some mention of it in one of the local guide books, and some friends who knew the area had suggested it. » Read the rest
Well, my first attempt with transparent commitment, public goals, everything arrayed to push me led initially to weight loss of about 30 pounds, and then regained about 15 of it. Strike one.
My second attempt, my “reboot” this year, was wiped out by depression and I ended up not only regaining all of the other 15 pounds I had first lost, but I also added another 5 on top of it. Pushing me to my largest weight ever, 345 pounds. Strike two.
So I’m working on a reboot plan, I know why it’s not working, and what I need to do, but apparently the online transparency plan isn’t working for me as a way of keeping my nose to the grindstone. I have a couple of new things to try, but I guess I’ll try those out on my own and post updates more sporadically. Stay tuned!
Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that one of the latest pushes in all management circles — public, private, C-suites, academia — is to figure out how to improve workplaces so that they are supportive of good mental health. But part of that push is recognizing that we are not there yet, and even if we were, life happens outside of the workplace too, and eventually, even the most awesome place to work is going to deal with mental health issues with its employees.
Analysis without resolution
Earlier today, our branch held a half-day management discussion on mental health issues and included a desire for us all as managers to make a personal commitment to what we would “undertake” to improve our support on mental health issues. Some of them range from the obvious (don’t look at your phone while you’re talking to someone) while others are more complex (how to manage performance when there is an undiagnosed but suspected mental health issue on display). » Read the rest
My wife and I enjoy the NAC Orchestra shows, particularly the Pops, and if it wasn’t for simple cost and logistics, we’d sign up for them every year. Instead, we pick and choose the shows we want along with some others. With 17 shows across multiple venues, this was outing #2 this year. The theme for the night? The music of John Williams, namely from all his soundtracks of the greatest hits of films.
Up first was the Main Title from Star Wars (1977), and it’s a great blockbuster opening. From there, they slid into Superman March from Superman (1978). Just those two alone would be worth the price of admission for some people, including me.
After that, they went through The Flight to Neverland from Hook (1991), excerpts from Artificial Intelligence (2001), The Cowboys Overture from The Cowboys (1972), and Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). They’re all good, and the Cowboys Overture has that big epic Western feel to it. » Read the rest