Sunday, August 31, 2008

Two Canadian Perspectives: What’s yours?

Two Canadian Perspectives: What’s yours? 20/8/2008
Recently received an e-mail stressing one Canadian’s view on the current situation there in regard to recent arrivals there. It is added below for your perusal. Although addressed to Canadians, there is a lot in it that a lot of people in a lot of countries, could resonate with.
However I only passed it on to the few Canadians I know, for their response. So far only one has replied and it follows now:
“It's been a while since we have checked in. As it happens my work related to the main subject of the letter you forwarded to us yesterday. I work with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in our province helping churches that want to help refugees who come to Canada to settle. I can't say that I agree with the general sentiment of the letter. The refugees and immigrants that I have met in the last year or so that I have been doing this work are very grateful to be here and for the most part they are working hard to make the communities they live in a better place. They also understandably are concerned for the friends and families they have left behind in refugee camps and in war torn countries. That may seem like they don't care about the people in their new home, but I think they do.
Just today I had a meeting with a young man who came to Canada about 6 years ago from Colombia. Since arriving here, he has earned his Masters of Social Work and is working for our provincial government helping other immigrants settle. At the same time he is concerned about his mother who is still in Colombia and whom he would like to bring here to the relative safety of Canada.
I think what bothered me about this letter was it sound like the kind of thinking that was behind the xenophobic violence that we have recently heard about in South Africa. I hated to see that. I didn't want South Africa to be that way and I don't want Canada or any other country to be like that. I am proud of the fact that your country and my county are consistently second and third in the world in accepting refugees (behind the US). I think many Canadians share that feeling.
A couple of weeks ago in our church someone was talking about these sorts of issues and he coined a phrase which I hope catches on: xenophilia. He said that God is "xenophilic:" literally a lover of the stranger or the outsider. I think Christ called us to be xenophilic as well. Think of Matthew 25:35 "I was a stranger and you welcomed me." The question shouldn't be how grateful the stranger is, the question should be how welcoming we are.”
If you read both letters and at first glance, you might think both writers are miles apart in their views. I personally think that if you read both letters carefully and see that each writer is writing from the opposite side of the same pendulum, you will see that, like the pendulum, both are mainly concerned with the extremes of each swing and that both hold much in common. Canada, Australia, America, even South Africa, (Where I and My Canadian friend worked on similar lines although not together) have all both benefited and suffered from their immigrants. However as my friend above points out, mostly it has been beneficial to all countries and it has always only ever been a small minority that makes it difficult for the rest.
I believe that like my friend above, we have to help everyone who is genuine and willing to adapt to settle into his or her new country; whether that be Canada, Australia, America, South Africa or any of the roughly 240 nations in the world.
On the other hand I also concur with the letter writer below, that when people come to a new place, they have to accept and live by the rules of that place and not expect or demand to be treated differently. Yes some specific short term needs and goals may need to be provided, but even there that is a two way street.
As one married to a European immigrant and also as one who has lived for some time as an immigrant in South Africa, I have personally seen and experienced both sides of the equation. So today I humbly offer two pieces of advice.
Firstly to immigrants, remember you are a guest in your new country, so behave as one. And it has been my experience that if you do, it won’t be long before you will be accepted as “One of them” even if your skin color is totally opposite, like ours was where we were in SA.
Secondly to the Locals, please judge each immigrant individually and not collectively. If you do so, it will not be hard to pick out the few “rotten eggs". But please do not throw out all the “Good eggs” in the meantime. As the following Letter writer does rightly indicate, many, many countries and not just Canada, have benefited and benefited greatly from earlier generations of immigrants, whom I am also sure had their problems too.
So the combined message to all today is, give the other bloke a fair go and give him (Or Her) the chance to prove themselves first, before making any judgment let alone blanket judgments. Well again I have had my say, what say you?


(Original e-mail that inspired this “Blog”)
A Letter to the Editor (excellent letter).

So many letter writers have explained how this land is made up of immigrants. May be we should turn to our history books and point out to people why today's Canadian is not willing to accept the new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to Canada, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in Halifax and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new Canadian households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
They had waved good-bye to their birthplace to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.

Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labour laws to protect them. All they had were the skills, craftsmanship and desire they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out.
Canadians fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Sweden, Poland and so many other places. None of these first generation Canadians ever gave any thought about what country their parents
had come from. They were Canadians fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the Freedom as one people.
When we liberated France, no-one in those villages was looking for the Ukrainian-Canadian or the German-Canadian or the Irish-Canadian.
The people of France saw only Canadians.

And we carried one flag that represented our country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be a Canadian. They stirred the melting pot into one red and white bowl.

And here we are in 2008 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes a Canadian passport and a guarantee of being faithful to their 'mother country'. I'm sorry, that's not what being a Canadian is all about. Canadians have been very open-hearted and open- minded regarding immigrants, whether they were fleeing poverty, dictatorship, persecution, or whatever else makes us think of those aforementioned immigrants who truly did ADOPT our country, and our flag and our morals and our customs.
And left their wars, hatred, and divisions behind. I believe that the immigrants who landed in Canada in the early 1900s deserve better than that for the toil, hard work and sacrifice those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags, fighting foreign battles on our soil, making Canadians change to suit their religions and cultures, and wanting to change our countries fabric by claiming discrimination when we do not give in to their demands.

Its about time we get real and stand up for our forefathers rights, we are CANADIAN Lest we forget it!!! I am White Native of this Country & proud of it!

NO MORE not saying CHRISTMAS in stores and our schools,
Seasonal Holiday be dammed!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Are our efforts ever wasted?

Recently did a couple of Blogs about job attraction. One was “what Draws you to a Job” and the other, "Architects & Hey Dad". In those blogs I took, first the negative and then the positive aspects of choosing your future profession based on what one sees depicted of it on TV. There, my emphasis and in both posts, was that even when positive, one should always check a career move out with much more care than simply taking what one sees on TV as real reality. Still wise advice I believe, however Anyway I received some comments from my oldest, but not older, sister in regard to my comments on, "Architects & Hey Dad", that has prompted me to look again at this issue and address two issues that she raised from it.

I already addressed the first one in my previous blog, under “How Well Can One Know A future Profession In Advance?” So here I will now attempt to address her second main comment here. Which was/is:

Also I have come to believe that no time spent studying or working in a field that "is not for you” is ever really wasted. Something new is always learnt even it is only learning to be involved with others in your field, and that it is not want you want to do or be. It can make things clearer in what you might really want to do. Its really on how you look at it! Half full or half empty.”

Again a very true point, and one I couldn’t agree more with from the view that we can and in fact should, learn something from every new experience, even the Bad. However I still think it better, if not best to learn from other’s bad mistakes, rather than to make them yourself.

So if you have made a wrong choice somewhere along the line in the past, certainly learn from it, but also learn to be more careful and selective in future, so that you can learn, without the personal cost of time and effort and even pain, and choose something that will hopefully teach your more and nicer lessons at a much reduced coast of time and effort.

Our lives are short enough as they are, not to waste time from making obvious wrong choices. Goodness knows we make enough as it is without the need to find more through what is often just a little lack of extra research and activity first on our part, isn’t it?
So to answer my opening title, "
Are our efforts ever wasted?" The short answer is no, but!

No, no effort can truly be judged as wasted, but they can be, and often are, judged as not a valuable use of resources and time, when other/better/ more practical options could/should have been used.

So again I urge you whether it be with a prospective new job, or house purchase, or any other significant life change, do some research first, learn from the mistakes of others, and if you do have to make mistakes, try and make new ones so that others can benefit from your bad experiences without unnecessarily making them their own. Well that’s my view! What’s yours?

Friday, August 29, 2008

How Well Can One Know A future Profession In Advance?

Recently did a couple of Blogs about job attraction. One was “what Draws you to a Job” and the other, "Architects & Hey Dad".

In these two blogs I took separately, first the negative and then the positive aspect of choosing your future profession based solely from what you see depicted of it on TV.

However my emphasis in both posts was that even when positive, one should always check a career move out with much more care than simply taking what you see on TV as ‘real reality’. Still wise advice I believe. Anyway, I received the following comment from my oldest, but not older, sister in regard to my comments on, "Architects & Hey Dad".

“You do have a point but I beg to differ about how well you may check some occupations out, it really comes down to what it is like in the real world. What you see some times is not what it is really all about. Some times it can come down to who you work with and where. Saying that one occupation is always a particular way is unrealistic a lot depends on depends on how you think as in the way you do things. Some personalities are more suitable for a particular job but you may not be that type of person and be brilliant in that profession. Interestingly some positions do the theory long before the practical and you can be great in one part and not the other, so how do you choose?? Also I have come to believe that no time spent studying or working in a field that "is not for you' is ever really wasted. Something new is always learnt even it is only learning to be involved with others in your field, and that it is not want you want to do or be. It can make things clearer in what you might really want to do. Its really on how you look at it! Half full or half empty.”
She makes some very good points here and two major ones in particular and so I will respond to the first now and address the second in another blog.

The first question to be addressed in this discussion in my humble opinion is not what is the best Profession to be in or even what profession are you best suited for, but in fact the real question is what is the best Profession for you?

As my sister rightly says, “What you see some times is not what it is really all about. Some times it can come down to who you work with and where. Saying that one occupation is always a particular way is unrealistic a lot depends on depends on how you think as in the way you do things. Some personalities are more suitable for a particular job but you may not be that type of person and be brilliant in that profession.”

Some times it is indeed the people you work with that can make your job “heaven or hell” so to speak, but that said, it is also common knowledge that certain jobs attract certain types of people and if you know that your personality cannot cope with that type of person then you should seriously not consider that career. Again if you are set in your ways on how things are to be done, then jobs that require a lot of regimentation are not for you.

Yes I know that there will always be some “Blankety Blank” people wherever you go, but that is sadly a fact of life that we all have to live with and if you struggle with that then you have to look for career opportunities where that type of personality, is not dominant.

Also, although some jobs encourage one type of personality, that doesn’t mean everyone is like that and it is possible for you to sometimes choose an employer where not everyone is like that. Which is why I harp back on my original point of doing your research a bit more carefully at the start, if you have that option.

I close with the reminder that while my blogs are meant to be simple and usually only address one side of a discussion, I do acknowledge that nothing in life is ever really simple, and that there are many variables and alternatives. However in my blogs, I try to present simple views, with the hope/wish that they will encourage you the reader to a further and a more fuller study on the subject. As such I also appreciate your input and views too and like with my sister’s comments, these often inspire other blogs, so thanks for your input. Whether it be past or future. Walter.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Michelangelo And A Flawed Piece Of Marble And You.

I read an article in “Our Daily Bread” August, 18th 2008 by Albert Lee, that for about a hundred years, a huge piece of flawed but otherwise expensive marble lay in the courtyard of a cathedral in Italy until around 1501, when a young sculptor was asked to “do something with it”. Which he did. He had in mind to do a sculpture of a young shepherd boy.

Well for 3 years he skilfully toiled at his task and finished with an 18-foot (just shy of 6 mts,) figure of “his” shepherd boy. That stature still stands and is admired greatly even today? Maybe you have heard of it too? It is of course, Michelangelo’s David. A true masterpiece! One, to which one of Michelangelo’s students supposedly exclaimed, “Master, it lacks only one thing – speech.”

Now I of course have not seen it up close and personal and thus only through photos, but every one who has, does agree that it is wonderful too. What attracted my attention was that it was made from a flawed stone. That and a flawed stone that had lain there for a hundred years, before the right person came along to do something wonderful with it. A stone that had it not been handled perfectly and properly, would have been not an invaluable work of art and admiration, but a heap, quite literally of useless little pieces of rock.

What is true of Marble is also true of humans too, isn’t it? So how many flawed humans have you come across in your lifetime and how have you left them? As invaluable works of art, or useless pieces of rock? Or have you just left them alone for someone else to deal with.

Even though not the preferred option, often that is the best option if you don’t know how to properly handle them to bring out their true potential, isn’t it? To leave them intact and undamaged by your presence and leave them for another "Michelangelo” to come along later and make them what they could be but what you can’t make the!

Do you do that? Or do you try anyway and simply leave a shattered mess there for someone else to deal with? Just a thought! What say you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Indispensable Are You?

Until I read an article (I can’t remember where), I had never heard of Saxon White Kessinger, or his book, “The Indispensable Man”. However in this article, it quotes Mr Kessinger as writing in it: “Sometime when you feel that your doing, would leave an un-fill-able hole, just follow these simple instructions, and see how they humble your soul. Take a bucket and fill it with water, put your hand in it up to the wrist; pull it out and the hole that’s remaining, is the measure of how you’ll be missed.” It’s humbling just how quickly the hole we think we’re leaving, disappears or gets filled in by others.”

As one who has worked in a lot of places with lots of personal coming and going all the time, I too have noticed that phenomenon. There have been many, many reliable and valuable people among them, (hopefully even me), at times but they have all been replaced, with someone who has always managed to do the job adequately, if not sometimes even better!

So it never pays to become proud and boast that you can’t be replaced because you can and your boasting may just be the cause of you being replaced. "Just to prove you wrong”.

So if you are really among that somewhat rather elite group, be happy but don’t be proud, otherwise you just might pull your arm out of the bucket and show the world your true worth, hey?

So if you think you might be indispensable, don’t boast about it but help others, as to the best of your ability and show, not tell, but show, them, just how valuable you really are.

Remember you are not even thought indispensable when you think you are, but only when everyone else there thinks you are. Till then, your pride makes you vulnerable and maybe even dispensable, rather than indispensable.

So in closing, if you really think you are indispensable don’t tell anyone but show everyone and not just your superiors either.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Growing Cabbages Over The Years

A few months back, my youngest sister offered me some very small cabbage seedlings and although I do not have a veggie garden here or even a place for one, I did take, much to her amusement, just four of them and grew them in an old Plastic box with holes in the bottom. Well grew three of them as one did die! Yes, but the other three grew and the other day I went out and harvested one the size of a medium Cantaloupe or rock-melon. Not large at all but it was large enough for one meal and thus the perfect size for us. And that seems to be the norm now, breeding smaller and smaller vegetables for the commercial market, as shoppers seem top prefer them that way. But despite this, my mind went back to when my father was growing Cabbages to sell on his fruit round.

Then, bigger was best, and the bigger the cabbage was, the easier it was to cut into halves or even quarters, to sell to his customers, for very few of which, wanted full ones. In those days, no self-respecting grower would ever dream of trying to sell cabbages that small. But now, growers are planting and growing smaller Cabbages, and other vegetables, to meet a changed market. Where in the past people were happy to buy a half or quarter of a cabbage, these days they would much rather buy a whole small one the same size of a cut Quarter cabbage. Even though this smaller cabbage will cost more, as it costs basically the same to grow a small cabbage as a large one, but for convenience, the market has made smaller cabbages desirable and thus the growers have changed their varieties grown to match the market desired, even if more costly to produce and sell.

What about you and your “cabbages’ whatever they really are? Are you still producing what you always have, even if the market for it has or is changing? Or are you always changing and adjusting and adapting to your market, and thus always able to sell your product without any real hassles or problems? What say you? Do you need to look at the size of your product to see if it still satisfies the expected and preferred needs of your market? Or will you let someone who does steal your market from under you, simply because you won’t change with the times and the market? Over to you fro your reflections now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What does “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, “NCIS” and “Burn Notice” all have in common?

Although one is a movie and the other two weekly TV shows, they do, among many other popular shows, hold at least one common denominator. And that is they all have a disparate, or dissimilar cast of misfits brought together and subsequently held together only by a dominant central character, who is able to hold the whole group together as one fully functioning and efficient unit.

I have seen this in real life situations too, where some people have the gift or talent to build a team of otherwise misfits into a well –functioning team, by their own abilities to both manage and bring out the best of others. Often too though, I have seen these same well functioning teams fall apart and disintegrate and totally disappear, when the dominant figure leaves and someone else (without those same gifts) come in and tries and take over.

So what about you and what position do you hold in your team? Does someone else hold you and other misfits together? Or are you that person who is holding everything together?

Or are you unfortunately, that person who has just taken over a well functioning team, only to see it fall apart in front of your very own eyes, despite your best efforts to change things and hold it all together? Maybe that is the problem? Maybe you are trying to change things too fast and not bringing the team with you? Maybe you are right and maybe the team does have to change, but the best change is that which the whole team accepts at the same pace so that all can move forward together.

Sadly what usually happens is that a team gets used to one way of doing things and may even have been built up along that very way of doing things, only to have someone come in and change things for no better reasons that they can and that is the way they always work. So what about you when you come into a new situation? Do you try and fit in with the current situation and them when you have earnt the right, start to make suggestions of change and bring everyone along with you? Or do expect total change straight away and then wonder why everyone is quitting and going elsewhere?

So like Josey, Gibbes & Michael, do you give your "underlings” certain freedoms whilst expecting top results? Or do you also expect them to do things in your way and your timing etc? And then wonder why you have such trouble keeping staff? Over to you for your thoughts on the subject.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

How Heavy Is A Glass Of Water?

I recently read the following comment on the Web: “How heavy is a glass of water?” And the answer was: “That depends on how long you have to carry it. A minute is no problem, and after an hour your arm might ache. But after 24 hours you'll probably be in bad shape! In each instance the glass weighs exactly the same, but the longer you carry it the heavier it feels. It's the same with a grudge - it can get so heavy it stops you from living.”

I though it an interesting way to look at things don’t you? Sometimes we just ignore or forget all the little things, even the good things like water, that we carry around with us as baggage, (both the literal and the metaphorical type), don’t we?

We often don’t even do this consciously but rather subconsciously don’t we? So today, I wonder what unnecessary things, like grudges or anger, or even good things like a glass of water, are you carrying around unnecessarily? Or even how many glasses of water you are currently and unnecessarily carrying around today. And how much for the better, would your life be if you were to put even that or those Glasses of water down and picked up a fresh one further down the line?

Just something I am currently thinking about and didn’t want to think about it alone, so please join me, but still have a great day there.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dad’s Fruit and Veg Round

This is one for the, “Was old is New Again”, file I think. Saw on TV recently how a couple are running a Fresh Fruit and Veg store on the Net. While it may appear “new” to some, this is not all that different from what my father and his father before him, did, when you think about it. Sure this guy uses the Net for people to order their weekly Fruit & Veg, but he then goes to the major Wholesale Market and buys the produce off the growers and then takes it home, packs the specific orders, and then delivers them by vehicle to his customer’s door.

The Only difference between this and what my father and Grandfather did, is that they drove to the market, bought what they thought they needed for their customers and then drove around to their front gates and sold it to them straight from the vehicle. In my father's case it was from a big Blue Bedford Truck. In my Grandfather's case, it was straight from the horse's cart, to their door.

My grandfather started this round way back around 1902, even before he even bought the property he spent the rest of his life on, and in fact only found through his travels on his fruit round. Dad took over from his dad after WW2 and promptly upgraded the horses for an old truck before buying the Bedford, brand spanking new in 1950. (The same year that he produced his third son, (me). He continued on in this trade and he and the truck retired together in 1978, because the demand for fresh fruit and veggies was removed by its then wide dissemination into Supermarkets. (Also the reason my wife and I sold our own fruit and Veggie Business in Eltham 4 years earlier.)

Anyway, it was interesting to note that with the rise of demand for organic fresh fruit and veggies, and produce not stored for lengthy periods in the Supermarket chain’s supply systems, that a niche market is re -opening up again for small suppliers to supply direct to the customers door again.

So once again we see an old Idea revitalised and made ”New" again. So what about you? Maybe you can’t invent something new, but maybe you can repackage something old and make it new again, even if only for a small Niche market. What say you?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cream whippers are Back again.

Recently read of a small business started by an enterprising young man who saw a niche market and filled it. What new product did he bring onto the market? What new and dazzling and “must have” item was it that he introduced to a demanding market?

Well, Cream whippers, actually! Yes I did mean to write, "cream whippers" and, no. I am not joking! And yes, I do know that they are not new by a long shot, but this is still the product that he made his target market. Despite the availability and profusion of Cream in a can, it appears that there is still a wide spread taste and desire for the real thing. Both in the domestic market and in the Hospitality Industry too!

Well, that was what this young man found during his own search for a suitable whipper for himself. He never created a new product of His own but simple went around and sourced out all the various types and varieties already on the world market, even if not available locally. These ranged from hand mixers, to electric ones, that were then available even if not readily available. Having done that, he produced brochures and went around to the various markets and industries that used this type of product and filled a need and a niche in the market that no one else was reaching. And now financially he is reaping the benefits for His efforts. Sure it is not the largest market in the world, but it is one that he has made the most of, and is now the leader in that field.

This should be an encouragement to all of us to find something that attracts or appeals to us, and to research whether there may indeed be a market in it big enough for us to make a comfortable and profitable living from, while at the same time filling, a till then, unmet need and market. So what old product can you make new again today? Over to you for your reflection, and maybe even action?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Confabulation 14/8/2008

Recently read a quiz question in the Herald Sun Newspaper asking, “Colloquially, for which word is ‘confab’ an abbreviation?” Well although I thought I knew the common meaning of confab, I had never even suspected that it was a shortened form of another word. Thus had no clue what the answer was or what it meant in its more technically form.

So being intrigued I checked it out on an on line dictionary and learnt that confabulation was Word of the Day on April 20, 2000, according to “ Word of the Day”.

I also discovered that my common understanding was in fact correct and it does mean or refer to “an informal conversation”. However I was also intrigued to find that it has another more technical meaning in psychiatry. That of, as “a plausible but imagined memory that fills in gaps in what is remembered.” it also explained my recent “remembrance” of an incident that the rest of the family remember differently to me. (I told that story in “Architects & “Hey Dad!” So I won’t repeat it here.) So in that story, I was not only telling an apocryphal* yarn, but also a confabulation. A case where my memory was not as good as I thought it was and so it involuntarily filled in the missing gap with a plausible but not true recollection.

The worrying thing now is to wonder how many of my other recollections of the past are in fact true recollections and how many are confabulations? What about you? How true, really are your memories? Or do you to have a few confabulations in there, like me? Again I have no answers, just curious.

*Apocryphal means either = Counterfeit, disputed, doubtful, dubious, fabricated, false, fictitious, sham, unauthentic, unreal, untrue.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Architects & “Hey Dad!”

A couple of days ago I posted a blog called, “What Draws You to A Job?” There, I took the negative side of being attracted to a lifetime job or profession from what one sees on TV. Today I would like to show the positive side with a semi-personal illustration.

Actually it was my intention to give you at true story as an illustration, but upon showing it to my son, he claims it is only an apocryphal yarn, but that I could use it anyway as it makes a good point. Any way here is the illustration as remembered by me and apparently no one else in the family.

Although our son did most of his primary education here in Australia, He did most of his secondary schooling in South Africa. All accept the first half of His “Year 10” year. Because we were back in Australia for the first half of that Year. (1995.) He started the School Year in Australia and finished it In South Africa.

In South Africa His School curriculum only had 6 courses, but in Australia he had to do 10. Well, he was able to choices the first 9 fairly easily, but had to decide between doing either Photography or Architecture for the last spot. (It is at this point we disagree. He claims it was his sister and not Him who did the choosing in his absence while still in South Africa. Whilst I claim that,) at first he was leaning towards photography, but there was an Australian Show on TV at the Time called “Hey Dad”. In this show, the Dad was an architect and worked from Home and made lots of money. The two latter aspects of this occupation, appealed to our boy and so he did Architecture for 6 months and absolutely loved it.

Even after going back to South Africa and unable to do it for another two years, that became his dream and so when he graduated from Secondary School there, he went off to the Port Elizabeth Technikon, some 500 kms, away for three years to finally study Architecture.

Because of his very basic background and introduction to Architecture, he struggled in his first few months, but ended the year with an award for most Improved. In His second year he was top of his class. At the end of this third year, he returned to Australia, got a job as an architectural Draftsman and is still doing it, and still loving it and in great demand.

So, some times a TV program can be a positive influence; but again I believe the key is to try it out first, before you fully and finally commit to it. During our son’s time at the Port Elizabeth Technikon, he had many classmates start the same course, but never finished it, as they found it really wasn’t for them. Some wasted up to two years to make that discovery. So please, try to avoid you doing the same, by fully checking it out before hand, to see if it really is for you. Well that’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Philter, as word of the Day?

Saw on the Net that “Philter” was the word of the day for August 17th 2008. Now I had never heard of the word before and unlike what I would have thought it could be, no it wasn’t another way of saying “Filter”. Nothing like it at all.

As I had little better to do at the time, I looked it up and even when I found out what it meant, I wondered what it could have possibly done to become the word of the day in this day and age? Have you ever used the word before or even heard it used in common usage? I have heard its common meaning used many, many times before. In fact there was even a very popular song by the Coasters (I think) about it many years ago and even a Movie of the same name 9also long ago now) starring Sandra Bullock. No not “Speed” but, “Philter No. 9.” Sorry, I meant, “Love potion Number Nine.”

Yes that is what philter actually means! Don’t believe me? Then take the dictionary’s word for it then! “Philter \FIL-tur\, noun: means: 1. A potion or charm supposed to cause the person taking it to fall in love.

So now you know a new fancy word, but what good does it do you? I mean to say, how on earth are you ever going to slip words like “philter” into ordinary conversation? Sometimes I think some people are just too smart for their own good, and whilst I think it good to have a broad knowledge of words and to use more than just a few basic ones, I really do think that we can also go far, far too far, the other way too. What say you? Should words of the day be relevant to our day? Or just curiosity or novelty words of a long, long, long gone era? Yes, what say you?

On the same topic I saw that word of the day for August 18th was Knell. Now that one I could accept as although ancient and quaint even, it is still used in literature and especially Poetic literature to signify the Church’s death bell ringing out to announce a person’s death in the local community. Yes, according to the self same Dictionary, “ knell \NEL\, verb: means 1. The stroke of a bell tolled at a funeral or at the death of a person; a death signal; a passing bell; hence, figuratively, a warning of, or a sound indicating, the passing away of anything.”

Thus although not used often in everyday conversation is at least used these days and thus is acceptable if not totally worthy as word of the Day but “Philter”? Again ask you?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Draws You to A Job?

Recently, (for a while actually,) there has been a lot of exposure, (too much even,) to Chefs and cooking shows on TV and the rest of the Media. This apparently has also transpired into a rash of applicants to become chefs too. Thus Hotels, Restaurants etc, are seeing a mass increase in the number of young people now wanting to make a career in the Hospitality industry as Chefs. And so there is an abundance of budding Chefs in the pipeline isn’t there?

Well that is how it appears on the surface, but in reality it is slightly different and an interesting trend has arisen. Many people, and young people at that, have seen these shows and the culture depicted on TV and seen where it leads to and see these portrayals as “real life” and an easy shortcut to fame and fortune. Thus they eagerly and in surprising numbers, seek their fame, fortune and futures in the trade schools and businesses of the Hospitality Industry as up and coming Chefs of the future.

Unfortunately, when they actually start out on this ‘New life style’ for them, they find that all is not all that it is depicted in these shows and is in fact a lot of hard work and long hours on low pay; and even then for those lucky few who do make it to the top, it often takes 20 to 25 years of a long hard slog as an apprentice, trainee etc, even long after the official Apprenticeship has officially ended. Thus the hospitality Industry, while currently attracting a huge influx of potential future Chefs, is also seeing an extremely high dropout rate, as many realise it is not as easy as it seems on TV, and the new applicants, just drop out very quickly, leaving very few to continue on in the industry, let alone actually become world famous chefs.

How about you in your own life situation and future career prospects? Are you in a situation now where you think some thing looks attractive and glamorous and a short cut to fame and fortune and you are tempted to take it on?

Well please take my humble suggestion and check it out thoroughly first. Yes before you totally commit yourself to it, check it out first. Get a Summer Job in it, do a course in it, get a part time/ casual job in it and just see if it really is for you, before you find yourself either locked into something you hate, or doing something that will cost you greatly to get out of.

On the other hand if you like cooking and think being a chef might be really up your ally, do check it out too. But do check it out fully before you commit yourself fully. And do have a great career in whatever you choose.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Real Life Auto-Correct, For Our Lives?

I warn you right here at the start that this one is about God and the Bible, and if you don’t like that, you can blame my American Blogger Pal Lynx, who instigated this by writing the following in reference to her struggles to get her Computer Program to properly auto correct. Any way this is what she wrote: Ever since I redid the pda I seem to have forgotten how to do the basics lol. I'm ok though. I just have to reprogram the thing, which will take a while, so that it capitalizes the "j" in January, the "f" in Friday, etc... No it doesn't do it automatically, except when you type an "I" (see, I can't even put one in quotes without it doing it). I love auto-correct programs. I need one for my life.

Oh there's a blog - and I'm sure this is going to get Walter thinking... LMAO”.

Until that last comment, the thought had never crossed my mind; but not being one to willingly pass up a challenge, I did think about it. And when I did think about, it I realised that our creator, God, has indeed given us His instruction Manuel (The Bible) and if we apply it properly, it does indeed act as an automatic mistake corrector or at least, mistake pointer outer.

Personally I think that it is a great auto-correct on Life, but like Computer programs, there are a couple of Drawbacks with it too.

1. It has to be installed properly at the beginning. Like a lot of computer programs are not properly or fully installed at the beginning so there are problems. So like with the Bible. It must be properly applied and right from the beginning too for maximum benefit.

2. With a computer, all instructions must be followed properly, (or at least the proper short cuts applied,) otherwise there are problems. Likewise with the Bible. Applied properly, there is no problem. Applied incorrectly or with improper shortcuts, you can (& do) get yourself and others, into all sorts of predicaments.

3. Sometime the computer Auto correct gives us instructions / corrections that we just don’t like doesn’t it and so we just over-ride it. Likewise with the Bible. Many try to apply only what they like and reject ort override the rest. Sadly it just doesn’t work in the long run.

So you see we do have an Auto – correct for our lives. It is called God’s Word, the Bible. But we do have to apply it to our whole lives. Sometimes though, when we do just that, what it points out is not always acceptable to us, is it, and thus we either ignore or totally override God’s auto- correct and continue in our own desires don’t we?

So Lynx, we do already have an auto-correct program for our lives, but it is still up to us whether we use it or use the override on His program, like we often do with our computers. Well that’s all for now: Have a great day! Walter.

PS. Although I may be the only one on here that doesn’t know what LMAO means, could someone explain it to me please?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How long is too long for Presley Mania?

I mean the man himself has been dead since 1977 (31st Anniversary today:Aug.16). The divorce came through some nearly 35 years ago (October 1973). And the marriage itself occurred 41 years ago on May 1st 1967. So bearing all the above in mind, don’t you think that it is both a little bit late and very, very opportunistic, to suddenly now, on the 31st anniversary of Elvis’s death and over 41 years since the actual marriage,(completely forgetting the accompanying divorce) to release boxed sets of Elvis and Priscilla wedding dolls?

I don’t know which is the more astounding? That one lady bid $7813 dollars for a boxed set, autographed by Priscilla herself? Or that they expect to sell a run of another 40,000 boxed sets at around $75. 00 each.

Now please don’t get me wrong I like Elvis as much as the next person. Well actually, No I don’t! I do/did like him very much, but nowhere near as much as my brother-in-law though. However as much as I like his music and his movies, I just can’t help wondering why people would really want to buy a “new” memory of an old event that actually went sour, long before his death. If you have the answer, please let me know, as it sure beats me.

I mean let’s remember him by all means, and remember our old memories of Him too, but please don’t milk his memories with blatant money making rip-offs, perpetrating the lie that it was a happy marriage.

Friday, August 15, 2008

British Nightmares?

What do Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Manson, Gordon Brown, spiders, falling from a great height and Heather Mills, all have in common? Yes, you guessed it! They are all in the top 10 things causing British people to have nightmares and lack of sleep.

Apparently, they and other nightmarish thoughts such as losing your job, being homeless, falling and being chased are what is causing sleepless nights in Britain right now. Now the later can mostly be seen, as resultant manifestations of the results of the current credit crunch, and thus credible but the people, apart from Gordon Brown perhaps, in His role of heading the country, whilst freaky looking, shouldn’t really bother anyone who has nothing personal to do with them, should they? Or do they?

Yes what about you? What cause you nightmares and loss of sleep, etc? Famous people who have no or little effect on your life? Or real life possibilities and worries?

Yes what does scares you, and is that result reasonable? And more importantly how can you address that fear? Whether real or imagined? Again I have no answers for you, just these questions!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Who is top dog now and why?

The other Night I received a phone call about 7pm and a women’s’ frantic voice came babbling on excitedly. Unfortunately the only words I could understand in her panic, was “blood every where.” Fortunately, I was able to recognise the frantic, high-pitched voice and so I said don’t panic I am on my way over now.

As I knew it was my/our own first-born and because I know that there are two dogs there, I guessed it was one of them’s blood and not our first-born’s brother or sister's blood everywhere. So I didn’t break too many laws getting there, although I didn’t waste any time either.

Well by the time we got the 5kms there, things had settled down and the blood had stopped flowing and in fact, was mostly cleaned up by the time we got there. As I had predicted, it was the dogs’ blood, or more correctly mostly from one of them. What I hadn’t predicted and would have been wrong had I tried, was who came out on top of the argument.

From previous experience, even though there is no door between them, they are fed in different parts of the house, as Charlie tends to gulp his food down, while George leisurely takes his time to eat his. Thinking that he is top dog there, Charlie often finishes his and unless stopped or otherwise prevented, comes along and pushes George out of the way and eats his too. Yes unless prevented by a human that is, that is what Charlie does, because George always let him.

Well did, may be more the operative word here, as this time, George not only fought back but came out on top. For now at least. I suspect that there may be a few more tussles in the future, but for now at least, George is top dog, much to Charlies chagrin.

Why? Because Charlie pushed his boundaries and his weight, one time two many and George, who had been co-operative till then, had had enough and not only fought back but won and took Charlie’s position at Number one spot. Now Charlie may never get it back again or if he does, it will be over a lot more spilt blood and probably a lot of his own again too.

How true of our lives is this too? Sometimes people just assume top position, and others will, even if unwillingly allow it without any real opposition, but when the people at the top, start to abuse their power too much, people eventually fight back and often like George, come out on top. And if you wish to replace them again, it becomes, bloody, messy and usually very costly to all involved.

So the moral today is, if you are already on top of the pile, learn from Charlie’s misfortune and don’t abuse your power, or you might just loose it unexpectedly and bloodily too, like Charlie did. Fortunately his two wounds were largely superficial but he still looked a mess. You may end up that way, or worse too, if you abuse your power, so don’t please?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tattoos: Easy Enough To Get But Not To Get Rid Of.

Recently read in the Paper that many people who get Tattoos, and especially women, within 5-years regret that decision and want to get rid of them. I forget the exact figures, but I believe it was around 20%. But only about 6% actually do anything about getting rid of them. This may have a lot to do with the fact that apart from being expensive, it often involves fortnightly Laser treatments, for up to two years and sometimes results in permanent scarring too.

Now I don’t know if it is just because I am a “Wuss”, and don’t like even mild pain, but I have never, ever been attracted to the idea of Tattoos. Even the thought of someone deliberately scarring me, has whiskers on it, as far as I am concerned. I have enough accidental scars on me now, to not want deliberate ones too. So anyway, I admit right up front, that I am not a fan of Tattoos, but leave it up to the individual to make their own decisions on the matter.

But what attracted me to this article was that it was relatively simple, even if not pain free, to get a tattoo, but rather much more difficult, lengthy and costly, to get one removed, if you later found that it was a mistake or no longer appropriate.

I guess that the message here for me was, is to make sure, before you get one, that: A. You really want one. And B. Make sure it is really the one you want to “wear” for ever, because, although not impossible, it is difficult to change or remove it later.

What has been said of Tattoos here, is also relevant to many other things in life isn’t it? And especially bad habits, I feel. Which although aren’t always visibly seen like tattoos, can also be very hard to eradicate from your life later, if you change your mind later on, are they?

So before you commit to anything new, do thoroughly check it out. Yes, do check out and investigate all the consequences, pitfalls and hidden costs, of all things in life that have permanent consequences. And don’t most things, even the seemingly benign? Over to you for now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Slight Boost to Melbourne’s Water Storage.

On the TV News recently it reported that there had been recent good falls of snow that may increase the Snow season for at least another month after the end of the Official Season End at the beginning of September. However what attracted my attention was that this snowfall, when it melts could add up to 16 mm of extra Water to our Water storage supply.

However as the current water levels are metres and metres below their desired averages, there is still much more of an increase to be desired and many people will not be over impressed with this projected small increase, wanting more and wanting it now.

However when you think about what would need to happen to get the amount they want and want now, it may not be all that desirable to get it all in one big lot, and thus small increments is the best way to go till our Water supplies return to normal. After all, to get an instant massive increase in our water levels now, we would need severe Snowstorms and falls and or extreme flooding, wouldn’t we? And both of which will cause extreme and unwanted hardship to both individuals and the overall economy, so again incremental increases, although maybe a little frustrating at the time, are much more satisfactory and beneficial, aren’t they?

And what goes for Melbourne’s water supply levels, also applies generally in most areas of our lives too doesn’t it? Yes we all want current low levels of everything that we desire/want now, to increase now, and in crease dramatically too don’t we? Yet often when they do, it brings resultant, but unwanted costs and burdens too, doesn’t it?

So isn’t is better to be happy with the slight increments as they come along, and make the most of them, rather than wishing for more speedier increases with their also increased costs and burdens. What say you?

Monday, August 11, 2008

What Were You Looking At?

Another item inspired by the comic strip, “For Better or For Worse” by Lynn Johnston. In this one two little boys are sitting on the doorstep and one is lamenting to the other, saying, “ All I have to do is LOOK at my mom and she gets mad!” The other says, “ Honest, Mike? You were just looking at her?” To which he replied, “Yeah. She was in the bath at the time.”

Ever been in that situation of seeing but not really seeing what is really going on and then being confused, because you didn’t understand or appreciate the present situation from the other person’s perspective?

In other words, do you always see and appreciate that there are other perspectives on things, (other than your own that is)? And rather than you being the one who is misunderstood and hard done bye, realize it is you who are misunderstanding and downgrading others.

So if you are feeling hard done bye or misunderstood at the moment, do please take a few moments, maybe a lot of moments, to reconsider the present situation from the other party or parties view, and see who really is wrong, even if the mistake is only one of not understanding or appreciating the other side of the situation. Will you do that now?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How Do you see The Law?

A little while back, I received an e-mail referring to the behaviour of drivers on the roads in Victoria at the moment: “Hi Walter: Isn't it remarkable how we see people flaunting the rules every day? One only has to drive on the road for a few minutes and you see people breaking the law. If you asked them they would say, "I wasn't doing anything really wrong, I was only ten kilometres and hour over the limit." The same thing applies to drink driving. Rules as you say are put there for our own good, and even if we don't agree with them it is still up to us to obey them. “

I was particularly taken by his comments on speed limits as it has been getting a lot of press here lately in regard to Speed cameras and how they don’t achieve anything but to raise money for the Victorian Government in fines. I don’t usually like talking about speed Limits, because I, like most people have trouble keeping under them too, as I usually find them restricting to the free flow of traffic. Thus, I really don’t like keeping them, but do as much as possible, because I can’t afford the fines and demerits points, infringements bring.

However that said, occasionally I do exceed the limit and get caught and have to pay the fine etc, which I do with no real complaint other than at my own stupidity at getting caught when I know that there are people and cameras out there to catch speeders.

That is one thing I fail to understand about those who complain about speed cameras being revenue raisers, WHICH THEY ARE BUT THAT IS BESIDE THE POINT. The point is whether we like speed limits or not, or feel that they should be higher; the point is that they are both there. And they are the law.

They are not speed suggestions, but Speed Limits. If we want to break them, then we should also be prepared to pay the cost and not complain about them. If people really do believe the speed cameras are just revenue raisers, they can defeat their purpose every time, by sticking to the sped limit, can’t they? Yes whether we like it or not the sped limits are there and rather than complain about being penalised for breaking them, shouldn’t we just, to the best of our ability, stop breaking them? If we did that then we wouldn’t have to worry about the fines or demerit points to our Licences would we?

This is a clear case of knowing what the law is, breaking it anyway, and then complaining because you got caught. Instead of complaining every time you get caught, you should be grateful for every time you didn’t, shouldn’t you?

Yet many times like in the above example, we complain about the behaviour of others when in fact we are the ones at fault. After, it wouldn’t matter how much the fines were or how many cameras there were, if we don’t speed would it? So what are you complaining about today that the answer is really already in your own hands and it really is all up to you to put it into action and to stop blaming others for your failures? What say you? How do you really see the laws of your land? To obey or to ignore until you are caught and then complain about them? Yes, what say you now?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More Than One Way To Help?

Another from the “For Better Or Worse’ Cartoon by Lynn Johnston. This one has the teenage daughter out on a picnic and having fun with her friends while her mother and older sister and sister in law, are home struggling to make all the arrangements for her older sister’s upcoming Wedding. When she gets home she is met at the door with the comment, “April, we’re working on the wedding! – I thought you were going to help!” To which April replies, “ I was helping! … I was staying out of the way.”

Ever been in a situation like that? Sometimes it is good to be on hand to offer assistance where needed. But at other times, it can be even more helpful, just to make yourself scarce occasionally too.

So what about you today when you try to help? Is your presence really needed? Or would your absence be more helpful? Sometimes it will be the one and at other times, the other. The real trick is to know the difference. Do you?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Know where you want to go.

Another e-mail inspired blog about how we sometimes make things more difficult than we need to:

“A boat was docked at the landing point in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman nearby on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. "Not very long," answered the Mexican. "But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" "I sleep late, go fishing a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs... I have an eventful but relaxed life."
The American interrupted, "Well, I have a MBA from Harvard and PhD from California University, and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat." "And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your new enterprise which is big."
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican. "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American. "And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my Friend, That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"
"Ooops! Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"After that you'll be able to retire, retreat to a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings doing what you like, listen to music and enjoying with your friends."
"With all due respect sir, but that's exactly what I am doing now. So what's the point wasting twenty-five years of my life with all that hassle you just mentioned?" said the happily smiling Mexican.

Moral: Know where you're going in life... you may be there already......!!!

Although the above story is just that a story, apparently Morgan Freeman the Actor feels the same way. Recently I read on a web site that said, “He was born in Memphis and grew up in the Mississippi Delta region, moving back to open his blues club, Ground Zero, and a restaurant in Clarksdale in 2001. In a 2005 interview with CNN, he said returning to the area was "one of the smartest moves I've made in life."

"My aim in life, when I graduated from high school, was to get out of Mississippi," he said. "I started coming back in about 1979, because my parents moved back, which I couldn't understand. What in the world would make you come back here? It took me about 20 years to figure that out."

As said at the beginning and as the story and Morgan’s input shows, we sometimes go to a lot of trouble don’t we, just to end up where we already were, so doesn’t it make more sense to recognise and appreciate what you already have and not risk loosing it all, to get what you basically already have?

So today as you look around you at what you are chasing and what you already have, are they already the same as for Morgan and our Mexican friend above? Or are you still Like the American MBA?

Yes do look around at what you already have and decide whether it is really worth loosing it to chase something that is basically the same but may cost you 25 years or more of your life, plus many wasted or lost relationships in the process. Over to you for your reflection now.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stressful ways to have Fun.

Another from the “For Better Or Worse’ Cartoon by Lynn Johnston. This one has the women folk of the family inside fretting all about all the problems with the upcoming wedding, with the father of the Bride sitting outside and greeting the groom to be, who asks if his bride to be is around, to be told she’s inside but it might be best not to go inside. When asked if there is a problem, he is told, “It’s a wedding! There’s Always a problem! Something’s not right here. A dress doesn’t fit there! People haven’t responded, the caterers out of town …” To which the Groom to be, replies, “Maybe we should just elope?” Only to hear, “ What? And spoil all the fun?!!!!”

I don’t know about you but that is the sort of fun I could really do without and leave to somebody else, but I guess with two daughters of my own, I probably won’t escape that particular type of Fun some time, hey?

But what about you? Do you find stressful situations fun, or do you prefer, like me to let someone else handle them, thus leaving me to find something much more enjoyable to get my fun from?

I admit some do get there fun from putting themselves in stressful situations, but I find myself in enough stress accidentally, not to try and seek my fun that way. But that said, sometimes you will have no choice but to face life’s ’stressful’ situations and try and make them as much fun as possible won’t you? So will you let them get on top of you completely? Or will you take what fun you can find from them and enjoy it while it is there and then move on? Again what say you?

©2008 Lynn Johnston Productions, Inc.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How many ways can a question be asked, with out repeating every word?

I am a bit of a cricket fan but not an avid one and so recently when I came across an item on the net about 10 ways to go out I cricket, I decided to write a blog about it and share this news with others who might be interested. Up to that point I was not really aware of the exact number of ways one could go out in cricket and so found it interesting. Apparently many others are also interested in this same question of how many ways of getting out in Cricket, as I have found from the number of ways people have asked this question and thereby found my site.

Although there are officially 10 ways to go out in Cricket, I have, so far discovered, that there are at least 38 ways that question on how someone can go out, can be asked. Yes, so far I have had over 60 enquiries access my sight and by using 38 different but very similar ways to ask the one basic question.

Which just goes to show that we don’t always think alike even when thinking about the same subject do we? Thus we should always be prepared to listen fully to every question, even the familiar ones, just in case, occasionally there is in fact a different question thrown in than what we are expecting. What say you?

For your information, these are the 38 different questions asked just to find the same answer.

“Ways to be dismissed in cricket; getting out in all possible ways cricket; ways of being dismissed in cricket; Ways to get dismissed in cricket; 10 ways to go out in cricket; ways to be dismissed in a game of cricket; ways to go out in cricket; cricket retire hurt come back; in cricket retired batsman can come back in game; in cricket when can a player come back after retired hurt; can the retired hurt player come back in cricket; ways to go out batting cricket; how you can be dismissed in cricket; ways to go out at cricket; cricket ways to be dismissed; cricket ways of being dismissed; ways for a batsman to be dismissed in cricket;10 official ways to go out in cricket; how to go out in cricket; ways to be dismissed from a cricket game; 10 ways to be dismissed in cricket; cricket 10 ways to be dismissed; 13 ways of being out in cricket ; 9 ways to go out in cricket ; hit wicket out of cricket ;10 ways yo get out in cricket.; possible ways to get dismissed in cricket; ways out in cricket; all the ways you can be out in cricket ; ways you can go out in cricket; what 4 ways can you be out in cricket ;ways to be dismissed cricket; ways to get dismissed from a cricket game ;ten cricket laws on how you can get out ; 10 ways of being dismissed in cricket ;injured batsman back on field; cricket can a batsman go off injured and then come back.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Made a mistake somewhere.

A little while back, I posted what was my 500th Blog. I noted at that time that it was no big deal to me and it wasn’t. Still I had actually started to write that particular blog some 8 or 9 months earlier when I mistakenly thought I was quickly approaching that mark. I wasn’t! I was only approaching the 300 mark but I had received notification, not from my blog site, but from my blog’s statistical site, stating I was approaching the 500 mark and had to make a financial decision. Apparently there, you get an allocation for 500 hits to be recorded, and after that you have to either pay for more space, or have the oldest ones deleted to keep the figure at 500.

As I misunderstood the difference between the two sites, I thought I was filling up an allocated free limit on my blog site and had to make a decision whether to “Buy “ extra space at “so much” a month, so that I could continue to post my regular blogs.

Now there were also some other options too, of course.

1. I could have just stopped with my blogs.

2. I could have started another free site.

3. Or I could have just continued adding to that one, but when I did, the oldest one would be deleted, thus keeping the number at 500.

It was that option that I had decided to choose before I realized that I had made a big, big mistake, and didn’t have to make any such choice ever.

The above just shows that we all make mistakes and so we all always need to be careful in what we say and do before we actually act, to avoid making more serious mistakes, don’t we?

However, even though I didn’t have to make a choice based on limitations that time, there are many times in life isn’t there, where there are limits and restrictions on what we can and can’t do, and that we will always need to be constantly re-assessing and adjusting all that we do.

At least that is what we should always be doing, but some of us get stuck in ruts don’t we? So, how are you ‘traveling’ at the moment? Even if you are going with the flow, are you still moving at a pace of your own choosing and in the direction that you are choosing, or are you either stuck in a rut, or worse just being tossed this way and that by the world?

Maybe now is the time for you to just stop for a second or two, to assess your options? There may be even more than you think, just like there may have been more options for my blog site that the four I had noted. It is not that important how many there actually, are but that you find the right one for you. And finding it then put it into action. What say you?

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Just Want to be done with It, Okay?

Another inspired by the comic strip “For Better Or For Worse”, by Lynn Johnston. This one has a little Boy hoeing into his dinner and His mother Inquiring where his manners where and telling him to slow down. To which he cries out, “But It’s liver & spinach Ma! .. If I slow down, I’ll taste it!!!”

Now whilst one cannot commend him for his table manners, one should commend him for His mindset and intentions. Although totally unpleasant to him, he was getting through with his meal as quickly as possible, so that he could move on with his life.

Many times in Life, we will face situations like this, where we will not ever, ever like what we have to do, but still accept that we have to do them and so often like in this approach, it is best to get it over and done with and move on. Rather than keep delaying it and making things even worse.

What say you when you face unpleasant but necessary situations in your life that you just can’t avoid? Do you just go ahead and do them and get through them as best you can, before they become even worse? Or do you keep putting them off till they are unavoidable and often ten times as bad/harder to do? Over to you for comment now.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

You are not a failure.

How is your life going today? Are you feeling trapped in a lousy Job? Do you really feel like your life is a failure? Or is it just others trying to tell you that? If it is others trying to tell you that then, don’t listen to them.

Even if you have according to them, a crappy Job, at least you have a job and a life, which is more than many others do, and they see these things lacking in themselves as failures but justify themselves by knowing they are not alone. Thus they don’t like it when some of their contemporaries start to get ahead and start to make something of their lives, even if that start is with a lousy job, and rather than congratulate and help them succeed, these real failures try and pull the triers back down to their own level.

So if you are in that situation now, then realise it is they and not you, who are the real failures and you should not listen to them. Sure help them rise above their present situations if possible, but never allow yourself to go back down to theirs. Never ever!

I am going to close with the advice that whenever that "Tinny" (& I do mean tinny and not Tiny,) voice inside you, planted by them, starts to say you are a failure, Answer it back quite strongly, saying “No! You are the failure, I am the successful one around here, so clear off.”

I can't even pretend to promise it will work every time, but it will work if you believe it yourself. And if you want proof that you are a success, look back and think of those things that you have succeeded at, including your consistently holding down a crappy job. Anyone can hold down a great or even a good one, but to hold down a crappy one does take a lot of doing doesn't it? If that is not a part of being successful I don't know what is. So hang on in there. You are already well on the way to success. Don’t let the real failures pull you back to their level, just for their self-justification. Over to you now for application.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Australia verses Europe In Size?

Recently received an email with a scaled Map of both Australia and Europe. This e-mail was obviously taken from a Post Card and was a same-scaled pictation of both continents, with Europe superimposed over the map of Australia with lots of spare space to share even then.

This again just shows the size of Australia compared to many, many other countries of the world, despite our minuscule population (by the rest of the world’s standards at least).

This was also highlighted by an article in the Herald Sun Newspaper of July 29 2008, which had a chart of the current population densities of the various states and Territories of Australia, which just confirm this fact.

Despite our huge landmass, the average population density for the whole of Australia is just 2.7 people per square Kilometre. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) which was created out of Farmland over a hundred years ago, roughly halfway between Melbourne and Sydney for no other reason than to be our Capital City and base of The Federal Government, naturally holds the record out of the 8 individual states and Territories, with the impressive figure of 142.1 people per square Kilometre. However when you leave this artificial Territory and get to the real Australia, the next highest, is my own state of Victoria with only 22. 6 people per Square kilometre. From there, it drops to 8.5 for New South Wales and 7.2 for Tasmania. The remaining 3 States and one Territory are all below thee national average with West Australia (0.8) and the Northern Territory (0.2) both below one percent.

So you see just being big doesn’t mean much at all if you don’t also have the people too. And in Australia’s case and particularly Victoria’s, with out Natural resources like water and other commodities, which are currently in scarce supply, we can’t comfortably expand any more either. So although Australia’s population is only a tad over 20 million these days; that is pretty much all it can carry comfortably, with out major Changes in the way we live.

So today if you feel like bigger neighbours are dwarfing you, don’t be discouraged, as biggest, doesn’t always mean being best. And if you are being tempted to expand beyond your present capabilities like what is currently being suggested here, resist that urge until you have all the proper conditions in place, in case you end Up like Star Bucks, who, also on July 29th, announced that they were closing most of their Australian stores and laying off close to 700 Staff here, on top of what they had earlier announced in America.

So the moral of the story today is two fold.

1. Don’t be size envious. And Two. Grow at the proper rate and speed, and don’t over extend yourself if you can’t really maintain it. Take care and have a great day, just as you are now.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Do You Judge Or Decide On looks Or On Qualifications?

Recently, in response to a comment on the American Presidential Race taking on a negative racial bias, I posted a blog that asked, “Are People Really Racist Or Just Scared Of The Unknown Quantity?” To which I received a couple of rather different responses. I have already shared the first view and now share the second. This is my American friend Lynx’s view on the political scene in America. “You know Walter, it's not so much about that, as it is, so many people's refusal to vote for ANYONE of a race or gender SOLELY based on that one characteristic. That is indeed the saddest part. After 232 years of wars and infighting for individual rights, we still haven't gotten beyond skin color. I'm not saying I'm pro-Obama or pro-McCain. I'm merely saying that we as Americans (and anyone in a democratic-voting nation) need to judge candidates based on qualifications, not things they were born being. We shall see how this "competition" changes us as a country and the entire world before too long. I can only hope it isn't a step backward.

Now you are right though too. A lot of the more "rural" folks, especially those who have rarely if ever visited a big, culturally diverse city, are usually not as "racist" as one would deem them. They just don't know how to approach something or someone so radically different from them.”

Now my original blog was actually in response to a comment from America about whether people would or would not vote for Barak Obama because He was black. My response took the view that many people were not really racist but were afraid of people who were different and that they usually needed time to get to know people who were obviously different to them before they will trust them. This little rule crosses all racial boundaries and covers the differences between young and old educated and un-educated and even between Locals and Outsiders. I was taking the view that the whole Obama thing was probably more that he was new and untested and an outsider rather than just a black and white issue.

Although I am sure that a small minority will most definitely take that view. However I was talking about the vast majority and not a few narrow minded bigots that you find in all races and creeds, which I also believe may be loud but still small in actual numbers when the vote is counted.

However that aside and I may turn out to be totally wrong here (as usual), but I believe that Obama will not win the Presidency this time around. Not because of skin colour, but only because people need time to get to know where He really stands. I believe it is the fact that He has not yet been “Blooded" into real politics and not His skin colour, that will stop him this time, but expect him to be the winner next time around, mainly because of the strengths gained from this election.

Thus I don’t believe that a loss now will really be because of his skin colour, or many people’s racial blindness and hatred, but because of his inexperience and untestedness. And one should not confuse that reason as being racial or racist. Well that’s my say. What’s yours?