Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

July 4th 1966, Liverpool.  A young family, mom, dad, two young kids -3 and just about to turn 1 (me) – board an ocean liner “The Empress of Canada” and head off to a new world and a new life not really knowing what to expect other than some information given to them from what was basically state run travel agents telling them about all the possiblities in this new country, Canada, and more specifically this small town London Ontario.  Leaving behind nearly everything, the journey begins to this new land of possibility as it was toted back in the 60’s.  The economy in England being bad at the time, with not enough good jobs to go around, packing up and moving was the best solution for a young family.  Emigrating from their birth country, leaving behind their extended family, brothers sisters and parents, and moving in the hopes of making better lives for themselves and their kids.  Alone in a country nearly 40 times the size of the United Kingdom.

This was my life and the beginning of becoming Canadian.  Traveling by boat, me too young to remember, on board a massive boat (for the time) and starting anew in a small town named after that oh so more famous town in England.  Never forgetting our English roots, but proud to be citizens of this great country we’ve called home for nearly 50 years.

BTW, It’s great that all of the US celebrates this occasion with me, but the fireworks and hooplaw are a bit much and a bit embarrassing.  Maybe just a nice card or something to mark the event from now on, thanks eh.

Barkerp

One moment

Posted: June 3, 2016 in Uncategorized


There is a Tennessee Williams quote I read recently that really hit home, and I knew I had to use in this post…  ‘Death is one moment, and life is so many of them.’

Moments.  Memories.  Whatever you want to call them, they shape our lives, they are what fills our lives and our thoughts, make us who we are, good or bad, life is made up of moments.

Death is one moment, and it robs us of future moments, but thankfully cannot erase the past moments and memories.  Cherish every moment, live life to the fullest, make new moments, but don’t forget all the moments that brought you to where you are.

RIP big bro and ride on,

barkerp

I saw an image being shared around LinkedIn and Facebook earlier today that really annoyed me.  I’m sick of these so called enlightened experts telling others how to live, and what constitutes an acceptable amount of working hours.

  
1.  Work can be completed.  Projects are started and completed every day.  Saying it is never ending is not true.  I’m not building the Hadrian wall single-handed here, I’m referring to jobs that have a beginning and an end.  They do in fact get completed every day, all the time, by many people.

2. Yes, this is true.  So is point 3 and point 4, which are all basically variations on the same theme – don’t forget to live life, and don’t forget to spend time enjoying family and friends.  Thanks Dr Obvious.

5.  This is the one that pissed me off.  For one, some careers involve working long hours to get the job done, and usually involve working to suit someone else’s timeframe and schedule.  To make statements like someone who works late is incompetent is utterly ridiculous and offensive.  Many times we don’t get to decide when a project needs to be complete by, and as so often happens, the best laid plans do not always go as expected.  Sometimes getting a project done on time means working long days.  Farmers have an expression, “Make hay when the sun shines”.  You work when it is necessary.  Crops aren’t going to wait for you, when they need to be harvested, you do it.  Same as many areas of work.  When something needs to be done, you get it done.

6.  How is working hard becoming a machine?  Working the same length of time, with the same effort, every day without fail is much more machine-like than someone who works when needed, helps out others, puts forth more effort when necessary, and takes time off when schedules allow, seems much more human than machine to me.

7.  I am a boss.  But I don’t force anyone to work late, and if work needs to be done I am the first to chip in and help out.  Sometimes we have to put in extra hours.  It is the nature of the business.  There is nothing ineffective about it, and it doesn’t mean I have a meaningless life.  It means I have agreed to meet a deadline, and I have the work ethic to get it done.  Not just punch the clock and call it a day.  I expect the same from anyone who works with me.

So Dr., It’s this kind of entitled thinking that creates lazy people who expect the world but aren’t willing to work hard enough to make it happen.  Maybe you had everything given to you in life and got to take the easy route I don’t know, but for the rest of us who made something of ourselves, the road was paved with hard work which sometimes involves working long hours.  Doing better than the generation before us is what we should all strive for, and that isn’t going to happen if we create a bunch of clockwatchers.

Barkerp

fridge-lotto-smPossibly the thing I like most about buying a lottery ticket is the fact it is both a winning AND a losing ticket at the same time until you actually check the numbers.
Even though I have never won any sizable amount of money playing the lottery, I do enjoy thinking about all the things I could do with it should I ever win. Sometimes it’s nice to daydream about the easy life. Especially on those days that never seem to end.

It’s those dreams of how you would spend your millions that make you think about what it is you really want in life and help to visualize your goals – after you’ve paid off all your debts and bought your impulse items like a solid gold toilet seat that is.  In visualizing we often distill down our hopes and dreams to the most important, purging out the simple and short-term goals & wants, and ending up with a short list of what we really want.  The trick is to continue that visualizing and bring it into your everyday life and then figure out how to achieve them on your own without striking it rich on the lottery.

So dream.

Plan that wonderful future where all your desires are fulfilled, but don’t just sit back and wait for them to come to you.  No one is going to hand things to you in this life, you’ve got to work for it. (except for those born with a silver spoon in their mouth) Make them happen, and if that lottery ticket helps you get there, well then great, but until that happens, don’t forget your back up plan of taking control of your own future.

barkerp

**btw, sorry Erwin for stealing your cat paradox and paraphrasing it for my own use.  Also, sorry I couldn’t figure out how to put the umlaut (the little “dots”) above the O in your name.

things for granted

I grew up without a lot. I’m not saying we were poor, but like most of the people I knew back then, we didn’t have much more than we needed. Even then though, if was rare you would find yourself thinking “at least we have power, and shelter, and food”. Unlike the generation before us, and much different from the one after us.

Those before us had to worry about being bombed out of their homes, had to deal with food rationing, war, canned food, food stamps, etc.  That was all common place, and affected how many of them tried to raise their kids.  Making a life that was better than theirs growing up.  And after all, Isn’t that what we all are still trying to do?
As for the ones after us, there seems to be a real disconnect between the younger generation and where money comes from. It seems that in our attempt to give them a better life than ours, we’ve forgotten to instil in them appreciation of what they have and what it takes to get those material things, let alone life’s necessities.  And by necessities, I am not referring to the latest gadgets and tech, although I think that the definition of that word “necessities” may have changed in our kids’ minds.  I know I am guilty of it, and enable as well as reinforce the “wants” more so than making my kids earn their own way.

Christmas always brings that idea home for me when I see how much gets spent on kids these days.  Days, or weeks of planning and shopping which all culminates in about an hour of ripping open of gifts, most of which don’t change the quality of life at all, but just reinforce the fact we are the haves.   Not many kids get essentials in their stockings or under the tree.  You are not likely to hear “woohoo, the new socks I wanted”, for the most part the gifts all fall under the “wants” category.  Speaking of wants, most of us don’t want for anything, at least not anything that matters.  Food, shelter, clothing, a job, transportation, these are the needs, everything else is gravy.  But to me, it seems the gravy has become part of the main meal now.

Stop, look around, and think.  There are many people in this world who would love to have what most of us have, so don’t take it for granted, and try to find a way to make sure the next generation has a better quality of life and appreciation of it, not just amasses more stuff.

barkerp