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  Last Edited on 04 Septembre, 2003 : {Counter dumped}   Last Messed With on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:04 PM

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Spring, 2003



"Buddha" Photo by Joan Pond

"Rainy Day" photo by Joan Pond


As an M.C. Escher print,
the cats sleep
not caring where one ends
or the other begins.
As a nautilus shell
I hold them to my ear,
and they emit
a single purr.

©2003 Joan Pond All Rights Reserved

Photo and Poem by Joan Pond


Photos by Joan Pond


Grand River Gorge in Fergus, Ontario (Au Canada)
Photo by Jim Wellington (weird pastel blobs in the water are a quirk with that digital camera)


Cathi's Comments for April 27, 2003:

Well, I thought I was less busy, but that was just a nice week. I have another wild month ahead. But! There is sunshine, and flowers, and in a couple of short weeks, time to officially open the trailer. Still, there has been way too much lately, and while one of my university courses could have been finished on time if I really knocked myself out in the next week or so, I figured extending it was the best route to go. Ditto with the one I have been working on very slowly - intentionally - that is Finite Mathematics, and while I was once a whiz in the more abstract math, it's been a while, so I'm taking my time making sure I get every answer. This one is extended and I expect I'll need to extend it yet again. However, slowly, very slowly, am I making progress towards a degree; I could just try to whip through these, but what's the point of that? To learn, or to chalk up credits? I'll take my time and learn.

Some people may wonder why on earth, at age 40, did I start a degree anyway? Well, a couple of reasons. Starting degrees are things that people do when they are 40. Men like to buy flashy cars or do something outrageous or throw themselves heart and soul into something that ten years earlier they wouldn't have bothered with. So do women. Some do body makeovers, some start on hobbies or doing things they've been dying to do and couldn't while the kids were tiny, others start (or continue) a degree. And there's another reason.

Once upon a time I wanted to be a doctor. Everyone expected I would be a doctor. Then life kicked in and things were such that there was nothing more I wanted when I was 17 than to be on my own. So I was. I had never intended to not go to university, and I have never stopped taking courses that interested me, but these were not degree things, however much fun the animation course at Algonquin was. Anyway, several times I applied, and several times life got in the way. Then add to that the fact that people insisted that I really didn't need a degree. When I protested that there would be jobs I couldn't have because I didn't have one, they all said to me, for you it doesn't matter; no one would know you didn't have one if you didn't tell them.

But what these people didn't see was the faces of people I wound up talking to in various situations, where we'd get into these deep discussions, and invariably, I would get, "so what degree do you have?" My answer of none, and the fading smile, and sudden need to go get a drink or talk to someone else said it all. I didn't rate somehow. Never mind that I would be told people who have a degree would never do that, they do. And then, as time went on, society changed. A recession meant that people just 4 years younger than me had no jobs to go to, so they went on to university or college 'cause what else could they do? And then even entry level jobs became nothing but college or university level positions.

For the most part, I've been sheltered from that, having experience -that very valuable thing - and directed learning related to what I do. But is it what I love to do? Not really. Once in a while I do that, but only as a special project or volunteer thing, not something that I am allowed to actually have a job in. So here we are. After 23 years, and the gift (thankfully) of nice little projects and assignments, I started work so young that really, I still have 24 years before I retire. At the midway point, I'm thinking, some day, I'll need a change. Something that speaks to my heart. To do that, I guess, takes the degree I "don't need". And a lesson learned, sometimes you have to listen to your gut feelings and not to so-called experts. When they told me that, they were right, but they aren't now. They were a little right though, as much as I probably would have been a good doctor or nurse, I am a bit too sensitive to really do that and not get totally burned out. Far better to keep sensitive in stories and other creative endeavours where it belongs :) .So that's that story.

Now this week, more SARS stuff. Elton John and Billy Joel have just been added to my list of weinies. Top of it is WHO, an organization I normally think is worth listening to. Wish they'd done their homework on this one, but what can you do? Politics are playing very strange indeed these days, and WHO was this week's instrument. Anyway, son had an appointment at a hospital this week, and this little fellow is one who has taken to watching the news and reading newspapers, so much so I've had to talk to him about understanding that what's in there is what somebody has decided to report, and that you can never, ever, know the whole story. He was afraid we would get SARS so several of us explained the precautions so he wouldn't be scared. A little trooper, he thought the hand washing was a great idea, and proudly showed off his "screened" tag to everyone in his class went he back to school. So far, we haven't keeled over. Really.

This was a week of checking on the trailer (oh wonderful! it's still there!) and making me very anxious for those lovely cool evenings and dips in the lake. Have to check into getting the broken water pipes fixed, and the propane lines properly checked; we made do last year, but this summer it would be nice to have a shower in the trailer and not at the community shower. And oh, the van. Beware of warranties, it wound up at a place it had to go to for repair under warranty, and darned if everything wasn't what was in the warranty, so eep. An assortment of niggly but important repairs that will cost darned near as much as it cost to buy the thing. Now if any kind soul out there could tell me what exactly is checked and has to pass to be certified, I'd really like to know. I somehow doubt warped rotors are things that happen in a couple of months, and I really don't think they would pass a car with brakes like that. Hmmmm. Oh well, we still really like that little Mazda. Let's hope it will be happy now, with all it's had repaired. Oh, and if anybody out there knows of a spare owner's manual for a '91 Mazda MPV, please let me know. They don't publish those anymore. Grrrr.

Ah well, things are actually going very well, I'm just venting. Have a wonderful, warm sunny week people, and try to go have a nice walk.

Here, for your reading enjoyment, is Ode, the poem from which one of my favorite quotes is taken:

Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamer of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

A breath of our inspiration,
Is the life of each generation.
A wondrous thing of our dreaming,
Unearthly, impossible seeming-
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising.
They had no divine foreshowing
Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man's soul it hath broke,
A light that doth not depart
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man's heart.

And therefore today is thrilling,
With a past day's late fulfilling.
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of tomorrow,
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for it's joy or it's sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing;
O men! It must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,
A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid you hear us cry-
How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God's future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.

Great hail! we cry to the corners
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers,
And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song's new numbers,
And things that we dreamt not before;
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.

(1844 - 1881)



Photo Taken from Lakeside Leash-Free Park
Mississauga, Ontario
Monday, May 12, 2003

Surf at work? Many must

Study distorts surfing picture

('liberated' from the toronto star, April 14, 2003)

Sound the alarms! In case you didn't hear, workers across this country are ripping off Canadian corporations by surfing the Web for personal reasons while on the job.

According to a study released recently by market-research firm Ipsos-Reid, the 38 per cent of Canadians who have Internet access at work spent, during the average week, about four hours and 20 minutes doing personal surfing last year.

This more than doubles the length of time revealed in a similar study in 2000, when we all spent slightly more than two hours each week piddling in cyberspace on the boss's watch.

The next-day headlines were predictable.

"Employees waste 1.6B work hours on Web," said the Ottawa Citizen.

"Canadian workers waste time, money, on Net: Study," said a story on The Globe and Mail's technology site.

The headline in the Calgary Herald was a tad more benign, if not completely lacking insight: "Workers spend hours on the Web on company time."

No, really?

I have no doubt that many people waste time sending e-mail to friends about the latest episode of American Idol, reading online news about the war in Iraq or browsing for last-minute travel deals while at the company desktop.

At the same time, I also know that many people are working incredibly long hours often beyond the call of duty, sacrificing evenings and weekends and see the Internet as the only way of fitting anything remotely personal into their career-driven, coffee-stained lives.

What bothers me about studies such as this, or, more precisely, how the results of these studies are interpreted, is how the human resource departments across the country might react.

Will they tighten the screws on employee Internet use? Will they begin using more draconian methods of surveillance, such as video, e-mail, Internet and telephone monitoring? This ultimately has a bad impact on employee morale.

Some companies, in my opinion, already cross the line, using tools such as keystroke-logging software that can capture, store and analyze every single word you type.

You can hardly blame these companies, particularly when 1.6 billion "wasted" hours a year is the angle they're fed.

Wow 1.6 billion hours. That's a shock-and-awe number if I've ever seen one. But it's a figure taken completely out of context.

Additional data provided by Ipsos-Reid showed that, in general, Internet use in the workplace has also nearly doubled in two years, to 15 hours a week from eight. This means that personal use, as a proportion of over-all use, has increased to 29 per cent from 26 per cent. Nothing dramatic here.

Business use of the Web is rising for many reasons. It's a great medium, allowing people to communicate with colleagues, customers, suppliers and other supply-chain players in a more efficient way. As a research tool, the Internet is unparalleled.

And because many businesses have taken measures to integrate administrative, human resource, accounting, customer service, sales and marketing and corporate purchase functions with the Web, more of us are required to log in and surf.

It's only natural that, by spending more time working on the Internet, we spend more time socializing and doing personal chores online. Employers should be happy that e-mail and the Web allow us to "waste time" more efficiently.

Is it just me dreaming, or wasn't technology supposed to liberate us from our day-to-day grind? Sure, inventions such as the Internet help workers do more with less, but the original idea of creating more leisure and family time seems to always elude us in practice.

We all know nature abhors a vacuum, but when it comes down to filling this vacuum, business is much quicker to react. If more time is created, the expectations are that it flows to the bottom line, whether in the form of layoffs or increased productivity, rather than improving the lives of workers.

Some combination of both would be nice. While good corporate citizens are out there who create this balance, many companies just don't get it.

What about the fact that the Internet and wireless technologies are making it increasingly difficult for individuals to unplug themselves from the workplace? How many people out there check their work e-mail from home or are interrupted on weekends just because they have mobile phones? How many people experience this on sick days when they should be resting, or during maternity or paternity leave?

This isn't taken into account in the Ipsos-Reid study. The fact is, many businesses are more than happy to blur the line between home and work when it serves their purposes, but are as quick to redraw that line when the employee is at a desk at work.

Another factor not taken into account is the displacement of "personal time" from other media or activities. It would be interesting to know whether employees are spending more time sending e-mail or shopping on the Internet because they're spending less time on the phone, standing in line at the bank or running out of the office to buy somebody a birthday gift.

My hunch is we're wasting less company time, over-all, than we were 10 years ago.

So, let's not jump to conclusions with this "1.6 billion hour" figure. These are tough times, and most of us are working as hard as we can. If there's anything the workplace needs it's an injection of trust, not more eyes looking over our shoulders.

Tyler Hamilton writes about technology and the Internet Mondays in @Biz.
Reach him at thamilt@thestar.ca by e-mail.



Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 10:06:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Cathi
Subject: Re: [INFP-Relationships] Digest Number 334 - Cathi & Jim
To: INFP-Relationships@yahoogroups.com

> So how are you Cathi and how is everyone? I have
> been so busy with homework but on a good note i am on the
> deans list so it paid off. How is everyone doing?
> Also
> Cathi I must be nosy and ask how you and Jim are
> doing, everything still out of a romance story...lol
> Melissa

Okay, you asked for it! When we last left our story he was here in the trailer I think, getting used to the kids and visa versa, enjoying life and wondering what to do next.

He came up officially as a visitor (temporary resident - this is important) at the end of October, then, realizing his old car would be way too expensive to import to Canada, brought his car to his sister's and left it there, then took the bus back. Christmas came and went without a hitch, new year's too, and then we found a cheapie van that we got for him (us) to drive. CT driver's license became Ontario driver's license, and 6 month official record temporary residence has just now been extended another six months since my ex still hasn't gotten his act together with money and paperwork so we're still not divorced. [...] - but, once Jim has been here officially for a year, he can apply for permanent residency and then he'll be able to work, get his health card, and all the fun stuff that makes being Canadian so great.

He took a voice course at CityTV (since that is his business anyway) and everyone was suitably impressed - again, he has to wait until he either has a job offer for a position not easily filled by Canadians, or until the permanent residency is filed and work permit received. So far we haven't gone broke...{ : ) }

Son was diagnosed with mild PDD (most likely Asperger's), and he thinks Jim is just wonderful. And given his age, he asked me the other day if Jim had helped me move house (no, didn't see him in person until 6 months after that) - Jim has been around so long he is getting fuzzy on what it was like before. Which is a good thing, because his issues with being ignored are fading now too.

Jim is absolutely wonderful with the kids, and I often worry that he feels bad not being able to work yet, but work he does, stuff around the house, shopping and helping with the kids (nope, he's not a cook but he's trying) and doing stuff he truly loves, like his writing and fooling around with ideas for radio shows and the like, with some freebie web programming for friends throw in. He is a busy fellow.

Still, I do worry he might feel stranded here; a cousin died not long ago, so did an aunt, and he wasn't able to be at the funeral. With the war in Iraq there has been us keeping a little more quiet about the fact he is American, him biting his tongue about some of the comments I've received online in the Sims from Americans, him truly amazed at the information we get here in the media about political affairs that isn't broadcast down there (and promptly sending it on so people down there do know)...I worry too sometimes about something weird political happening and him being booted out, but we're not like that up here; it's more like, he can go down there but I might not be able to. Once he's a "real" person up here, I can worry less, though travel restrictions to the US are getting pretty much into the "fer god's sake why bother" category for many of us up here.

Oh. And SARS. We're in the Toronto area. Be sure to wear a face mask to read this, we're evil you know! LOL. This is a media trumped up thing, but not entirely unserious either; try seeing a doctor or visiting a hospital around here. You'll feel like an alien invading in no time with the masks and stuff. But contrary to media opinion, people are not dropping like flies up here. (and don't even think the word "yet").

Well, lunch time is over, so, this note, shortly after our one year anniversary going out together, I'll leave it with: I have been blessed to have found such a wonderful, patient, certainly daring (nah, not crazy) person - may there be many many more years of this together :D


"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." - Emily Bronte

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Harold Thurman Whitman

visit my website at: http://www.cathisplace.ca


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