24 October 2010 Categories: Gerry's Corner

       I have criticized Technology in previous blogs and pointed out shortfalls or problems prompted by certain Technological changes. Today I am going to share an embarrassing situation that happened this week but as much as it is embarrassing it is funny as all hell. I caution readers that the following is not for the weak at heart. I also caution readers that this may be so funny that it may cause involuntary personal accidents.

         This week I attended one of my many Association meetings. The food was great and the speaker was dynamic and informative. The speaker’s presentation was longer than anyone expected therefore some participates started leaving early to get back to work. While listening to this interesting topic my stomach started rumbling warning me that it wanted a break soon, I did not want to leave the presentation for fear of missing some valuable information. I persisted and waited till the speaker was finished. As soon as the question period started I darted to the washroom as my stomach was on a 3rd and last warning. I entered the washroom and the lights go on automatically. I say to myself what a neat invention to save energy. I briskly walk into a stall put down my briefcase, hang up my coat and drop my drawers to do my business. As I am sitting there no more than maybe 5 minutes the lights go out. There I am sitting in a stall not finished what I came to do and I can’t see the hand in front of my face. I felt like I was trapped in an elevator with no lights. What am I going to do now? The meeting was not over, maybe someone will come in the washroom and the lights would go back on. I sat there in the dark for what seemed to be 20 minutes but was only 5 minutes. It is amazing what the mind does when you are alone in the dark. I started thinking the meeting was quite long maybe everyone will leave and go directly to work and not use the washrooms. Then it dawned on me the group was predominantly women in fact I remembered when I left  there were only 4 men in the room. Now my chances of one of them saving me were greatly reduced. Now the mind says you are alone and no one will come in to activate the lights. What are my options? These lights are only activated my motion so what do I do? Bear in mind it is still as dark as a deep cave. I get the not so bright idea of making toilet paper balls and throwing them over the stall and towards the light switch. That was a lead balloon idea. Then I decided to stand up and wave my hands over the stall to activate the lights but I am too far for the activation. Do I start throwing my shoes and shirts over the stall?? Not a brilliant idea. Do I start yelling and call for help?? Too embarrassing! Do I wait for the night janitor? It is 2:30 pm in the afternoon. This meeting place is also a low traffic meeting floor therefore I could be in there till the next day. Only one solution left, I have to get up and walk awkwardly out of the stall with my pants around my ankles to activate these damn lights and hope no one walks in. I sit for a few more moments thinking about other options. There are no other options. Out of the stall I go praying that no one walks in. The lights go on and I dash back in the stall to clean up and get the hell out of there before the lights go out again. By that time everyone had left and I was the only person left on the floor. I walked out of the building and almost ran to my truck then drove fast out of town.

       Well this is definitely a case of Technology catching me literally with my pants down. I recommend that those individuals who program these automated lights use the facilities to see if they are practical. Or maybe they should place warning signs that you have less than 5 minutes to do what you have to do and get the heck out. The next time you use a Washroom with automated lights. BEWARE!!

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Caught in the Act

23 October 2010 Categories: Gerry's Corner

       This week while travelling to a meeting I caught someone in an unlawful act. It has been more than a year now that Ontario introduced the ban on the use of  hand held devices while driving a motor vehicle. My blog on Cell Phones from a year ago covers this ban. Well this week I came upon a Police Officer in a cruiser driving by me quite slow while he was talking on a Cell Phone. Do these laws not apply to all of us??? Maybe I should have flagged him to stop and remind him of the law or maybe threaten him with a citizens traffic ticket??

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06 October 2010 Categories: Gerry's Corner

     This is a blog that I posted last Fall and thought that it was worth posting again

       This long weekend and our last for the year are fast approaching. Thanksgiving has many and different meanings depending on our cultures and upbringings. For some it is family time or a quiet time at home. For others it is the last time to go to the cottage then close it up for the season. For students it means the first visit home since the start of school and the last visit till the Christmas break. Others visit family for the last time till spring because winter will deter any further travelling. In other cases it is to say goodbye to the snowbirds. Others will toil in the backyard raking the leaves and storing the lawn chairs till warmer weather returns. In some cases it will be time to test the snow blower and stock up on salt and a new snow shovel.

       Thanksgiving has 2 purposes for me. The first is like many other people, having family come over for a great gathering and of course a good pig out. My parents did not celebrate Thanksgiving as I do now. My parents were farmers and Thanksgiving was just another weekday to catch up on harvesting crops, mending the barn for the animals and storing the winter food for these same animals. We did have a big meal on Sunday after a longer than usual Church ceremony in the morning. When my children were young, I initiated, what is now known as a tradition, to invite family and close friends for a get together, in other words a good party with lots of good food and laughter. As my daughters grew older, the family grew as well, first boyfriends then husbands then grandkids. This Thanksgiving is no different. My daughters will all be over with the grandkids and my better half will have her kids over but with no grandkids (yet). Her parents will be over as well while my parents are no longer with us unfortunately. Usually Thanksgiving is not limited to just one day but rather for some family members it is a whole weekend affair. It is a time that I appreciate and relish and have been known to get emotional about. Yes we also do take a few minutes to give thanks for everything we have.

       The second purpose of Thanksgiving for me personally is a time to reflect on the year and prepare for a new year. Yes, I know New Year is suppose to be for that but for decades I start reflecting on Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe it has been influenced by the changing season from hot summer to colorful fall and sometimes the first snowfall. From this weekend till Christmas I start reflecting on what I accomplished during the year. I reflect on everything including what I wanted to do and what I had to do and even the weather. It permits me to take inventory of whom I am and where I am in life. It also permits me to start thinking about any changes for the New Year. It is part of my personal development time, almost like preparing for a job performance evaluation. I think this process has permitted me over the years to take a look back and make whatever changes I need to make or want to make in the near future. I believe this has allowed me to be well grounded and in control of my own destiny. I also believe it has helped me to deal with difficult emotional issues. The funny thing is this process is so part of me now, I do it like clockwork with minimal effort. I find it satisfies me and gives me contentment.

        Thanksgiving may have many meanings to many people but for me this is my meaning and purpose of Thanksgiving.

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01 October 2010 Categories: Gerry's Corner

           We have all been bombarded by Telemarketers calling at all times of the day. Even if we do not like these calls they continue to pour in. The reason is simple it works for these companies. If it did not work they would find other means to get to us. Heavens knows we are increasingly seeing more advertising on TV than actually programing. One day I got the crazy notion to count the number of products advertised while watching different TV programs. Would you believe there are between 9 and 12 products advertised on the average on every commercial while watching pretty much any program? One particular show had 19 products advertised in a 5-7 minute commercial. A one hour TV program will have approximately 35 to 45 minutes of programming the rest is commercials. I pay for TV entertainment and enjoyment not to be over advertised to. I got off the topic of Telemarketers so here I get back on track. Why don’t we have fun with the Telemarketers rather than dreading them or getting frustrated by them? Why don’t we ask them the questions? Maybe ask them for their full names and to spell it for starters. Ask them where they live and where they are calling from. Ask them if their company is a member of the Better Business Bureau. Maybe suggest that it would be more appropriate for you to go to their offices for a meeting. Ask them if they are a registered member of the Certified Telemarketers Association ( it does not exist ). Also ask them if they could call back between 12:00 Midnight and 4:00 am your time because your phone uses less Hydro during those times.

       If you want to have more fun try impersonating the following:

1)    A Police Officer Investigating a murder.

2)    A religious person and try to convert them.

3)    A person with no memory.

4)    A person robbing the house.

5)    A Nanny or a Butler.

6)    A person going through a nervous breakdown.

7)    A woman with PMS.

8)    A favorite TV actor.

9)    A Narcotics Officer.

10)  A Fundraiser Volunteer.

11)  A Warden

12)  A person from Revenue Canada or the IRS.

13)  A Hunter.

14)  A Redneck.

15)  A Salesperson and try selling them something.

I think we should have fun with these Telemarketers rather than get frustrated. Just food for thought!!

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