A fearsome thing

Posted by bernicky - March 25th, 2014

Registration for Class 4 Power Engineering

Registration for Class 4 Power Engineering

There is no limit to how much we may learn. For autodidacts the idea of formal education frequently leaves much to be desired. We see its effectiveness in others but doubt that the effect will be the same for us. There remains though an understanding that the world has nothing but lip service for those who self educate. It is a matter of routine for me to get emails and texts from peers at work and at other companies asking about a problem they are experiencing. The difference between myself and them is that there are no pieces of paper for me to point to when it comes to computers, hardware, operating systems and all the other stuff which makes up my job and theirs. Everything I know is what I have taught myself. Today though I took the plunge and enrolled in a course to learn a new skill entirely from scratch and get a piece of paper at the same time.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology offers distance learning to those who are motivated to learn that way. I took the plunge and enrolled today in a program to learn Power Engineering. It can be frightening to take on something big and new.

Fear can sometimes be a good thing. Like zip lining for the first time – it can be a fearful thing but it is a good fear. It is a certainty that it is going to be something new and exciting but there is also have no doubt that on the other side there will exist the satisfaction of having done something challenging and emerged unscathed and, perhaps, the better for it.

Tags: , ,

Beware of spring snow storms

Posted by bernicky - March 23rd, 2014

When the snow started yesterday it was only a few flakes and given the warm temperature (only minus three) it seemed no reason to forego a run. Normally the Saturday run is done on Ile Bizard but the club as at a sugar shack for a morning run and a sugaring off party afterward. Our son had a voice acting seminar which he had to get to so between taking him to his seminar and the club being out at a sugaring off party running from home seemed the best option.

As it turned out the light snow became heavy snow and then blowing snow within about two kilometers. As suddenly as it tuned into a storm the ice from the previous days melt was covered by a layer of fresh snow. For those unfamiliar with the snow on ice combination it is as close to the slipperiest surface you can imagine. By two and a half kilometers my feet went out from under me and down I went. Despite a bit of a groin issue from the fall I decided to soldier on.

As with any sport there is an etiquette to running. When runners are running towards each other on a narrow path each one takes to their right side they can pass each other without slowing down. The problem with that technique on such a day as yesterday is that the ice was more on the side I was running on than on my left. When two runners were approaching me on the path they fell into line one behind the other and stayed to their right I moved to my right and hit a meter wide patch of slick smooth ice hiding under a half centimeter of snow. The result was not good. I went down like a ton of bricks and smashed the back of my head on the pavement. At that point I threw in the towel and decided 6K would be enough for the day and ran back home. It was upon arriving home and taking of my hat that it was revealed that the skin had been broken in the fall.

No blurred vision through the day. No vomiting, no disorientation, no loss of time, no sleepiness and only a mild headache this morning so all in all I figure I got off light. Fingers crossed that the headache will fade over the day.

Bump on head

Bump on head

Bump on head - cleaned up

Bump on head – cleaned up

Bump on head bandaged

Bump on head bandaged

Tags: , , ,


Posted by bernicky - March 23rd, 2014

Bruno riding home from the SPCA

Bruno riding home from the SPCA

Last Sunday our daughter, a friend of hers and myself drove out to the SPCA Monteregie and adopted a dog. Bruno is a Lab cross of some kind. He is quiet, friendly and for the most part well behaved but is a bit attention needy. Once someone starts petting him he will follow them around for more attention as long as they will give it.

The cost was not something easy to bear but there has been a definite upside. While our daughter simply refuses to take exercise on her own or outside of gym class she has no choice with Bruno. He needs to be walked first thing in the morning so she his up at 6:40 taking him for a walk before breakfast. He needs to be walked as soon as she gets home from school. He needs another walk after supper (if I haven’t taken him for a run) and one last walk before bed. The end result is that our daughter is getting out and taking exercise whether she likes it or not. That can only be a good thing. In the end the cost is about that of a gym membership with the added benefit of a girl who is happier with life because she has the pet she has always wanted.

Tags: , , ,

Too many dead people

Posted by bernicky - March 12th, 2014

I know too many dead people.

My mother and father died before I hit the age of five, my grand parents were gone before the end of elementary school save my adoptive father’s mother who hung on through Alzheimer’s into her late eighties. I was in high school when she died one afternoon after I returned home from school. I found her in her bed seemingly asleep. As it often is when something like this happens I knew something was wrong. Holding the back of my hand to her mouth confirmed that she had passed utterly from this earth.

My adoptive father died in March of 1997. The word adoptive is used only as a clarification of legal relationship he was my father in every sense of the word. He was a good man which is something I have only recently truly begun to grasp. Fathers and sons! My adoptive mother died last year on the tenth of March three days shy of her ninetieth birthday. She was an amazing woman who inspires me even today.

Lynn has been gone a little over two years now and despite what they say it does not get any easier. “It” just becomes something to which you grow accustom. The two statements have nothing to do with each other.

There have been friends and other family members who have shuffled off this mortal coil and every last one came as a surprise.

We either join them or endure. On some anniversaries there just seems to be too many people to remember and we know that we have forgotten some essence, some facet, some great beauty about one of them that will never be recalled. They all die again in those tiny drifts of memory worn smooth by time, beautiful, clean and ever diminishing until we become someone else’s memory.

Tags: ,

The Jar Method

Posted by bernicky - March 10th, 2014


That’s the word which best describes how I have been feeling lately: almost.

Today on the drive into work I almost cried. I almost cried while making a cup of tea at work. I almost cried doing the groceries on Saturday. It has been like that a lot since about the end of January and for the life of me I have no idea why.

Almost crying.

It’s a good thing that tears do not actually appear. The world can handle a great many things but not a crying man.

Crying is not acceptable for any male of the species anywhere on the planet save at particular times.

Drunkenness is an accepted time. A drunk, crying man is an easily managed, maudlin creature. He is tolerated periodically as all may be assured that he will sober up and feel appropriately embarrassed for having demonstrated feeling. The death of a parent, preferably Mother (Father is also acceptable but not as easily) as long as the tears do not last longer than a minute or two at the viewing or graveside. The death of a child, but only if the child was one that the man fathered, several minutes will be tolerated. You would think death of a spouse would be one of those times but alas, no. From experience I can attest that that is not the case: appearing weak before the in-laws or the children at the time when you are most required to be the head of the family would be the end of any respect they may grudgingly bear. Last but not least if you are a professional athlete who broke a cardinal rule of your sport or cheated and got caught then you MUST cry at the news conference even though everyone knows the tears are faked and offered only proof of actual remorse (a.k.a. Bertuzzi Tears).

My best friend Richard thinks it is because I am under stress. Stress finds its own way out one way or another he tells me. He’s confusing the interesting life I’ve lived for the last few years for a stressful one. He’s a bit of a nutter my friend.

Stress and feelings are best dealt with in what is known as The Jar Method. That’s right “The” is capitalized because there is only one such method. Think of it this way: there is a jar deep inside of every person and on that jar is a tight lid through which anything may pass but only one way…into the jar. All stress and feeling can be stored in that jar. The beauty of the jar is that it can accommodate any amount of content. It seems logical then that something missed makings its way into The Jar last month and is trying to find its way back to the lid to pass into the jar. It is just a matter of time before it gets put right and I am returned to the appropriate male range of emotions: angry, neutral, laughing.

Tags: , , , ,