Conversation in a Boardroom of Any Canadian Broadcaster

DuncecapLarry: You know what would be awesome!

Curly: What?

Larry: Putting our shows on our website.

Moe: Yes! People want to watch their favorite shows on their schedule. If we don’t put our shows on the internet, people will go to illegal streaming sites and watch the show for free with no commercials. Or just download them.

Larry: And we can generate revenue by showing commercials.

Curly: Going to OUR website to watch a show means that the viewer gets a reliable stream, AND they also don’t have to deal with annoying popups and potential malware.

Moe: And we get viewers who have canceled their pricey cable TV services.

Larry: I think it would be super super SUPER awesome to show the same commercial over and over and over again. Really send the message.

Curly: Yes! And make sure the only commercials we air are not only unoriginal but annoying.

Moe: It’s a slam dunk. I see absolutely no flaws with this plan.

Larry: Why thank you Moe.

Moe: No THANK YOU Larry.

Curly: I am spending my big fat bonus right now.

5%

qeustions-askYears ago, for some insane reason I saved all my notes from high school. And hauled them around from apartment to apartment for years. For at least a decade.

I have no idea why I kept my notes because the general theme throughout my schooling was  room for improvement.  Not only did I have a compulsion to keep my notes, I kept notes that proclaimed that I was a terrible student.  There were no A+++++ reports or awards of merit but assignments and tests filled with many, MANY red ink comments that were often longer than the actual assignment.

I even kept an essay that netted me at 5%. Yes 5%.  Naturally a teacher who was actually interested in teaching would have at least inquired about my interpretation of the exercise since it was obvious I completely misunderstood the assignment. I went to school in a small town and everyone knew that this teacher was going through a nasty divorce and I guess she took out her frustration on me. I suppose I should be grateful as there was a time when teachers just beat children with a ruler if they failed to understand a lesson.

Eventually I came to my senses and took the notes I had (and some stored at my parent’s place) and dumped them into their kitchen wood stove. Yes a little part of me wanted to dump the 5% teacher into the wood stove but you can’t get everything you wish for in life.

If 5% teacher were to read this essay she might find the following insights/themes:

  •  Adults can be assholes.
  • Some assholes happen to be teachers.
  • Don’t let asshole teachers ruin learning stuff for ya.

AND of course,

Clutter is bad.

My Day Without the Internet

scissors-outageMy internet provider experienced a service interruption so I had no internet until about 5pm yesterday. I seldom experience an outage so it was not a big deal. I don’t own a smartphone so no connection at all for me.

How did I survive? It was fine. I did not fall to pieces without the internet for 10 hours.

 

 

 

Wednesday is laundry day so I did laundry.
Listened to some records.
36 minutes later brought laundry upstairs and placed on drying rack.
Did groceries. That was the hardest part of my day as it was very hot outside.

Went to the library to pick up an audiobook. I did log into a 15 minute internet use PC to ask my brother if he had internet (we have the same provider), he didn’t so that’s how I knew it was an outage. My  connection at the library kept conking out on me and it’s not my job (anymore) to fix the library’s internet so I only used 9 of my allotted 15 minutes.

It was very hot outside and threatening to storm (damn, it never did) so I stayed indoors and watched some documentaries I got from the library.  I will admit I wanted to Google something that was mentioned in one of the documentaries but instead I wrote it down and Googled it later.

I had to get the weather forecast and news from the radio.

I finished my book. Started some book reviews.

Dropped off my car at mechanic’s and biked back home.

By then the internet was up and running and I checked out a few blogs I like and listened to some tunes and placed a few more books on hold at the library.

All in all it was not an unpleasant day. I am glad that I have not developed a dependency on the internet, just a curious attraction.

The Scrubbie Project Turns 2

So the Scrubbies Projectscrubbie-turns-2 turns TWO today. So to mark this remarkable achievement in dish scrubbing I feel the need to wax poetic about stretching $1.74 worth of plastic scrubbies into a second year of, well, scrubbing.

The problem is, how does one wax poetic about a scrubbie? Here is a list of potential Scrubbie Thoughts:

1. Being organized is good as you don’t have to rush out and buy more scrubbies because you misplaced them.
Hmmm, that’s kind of weak, after all one can use a rag to scrub a dish.

2. The landfill contains 3.5 fewer scrubbies.
That’s really lame. I think there is far worse stuff going into the landfill.

3. I am stickin’ it to the man. Yup, giant scrubbie factory executive in [insert name of emerging economy nation here] is sobbing in front of his excel spreadsheet because sales are down due to some crazy chick in Canada.
Boy the more I wax poetic the more farfetched my thoughts are about the social significance of the scrubbie project.

There is no flowing fountain of wisdom (or chocolate) nor insightful simplicity laden thoughts concerning my scrubbie project. It’s just a silly/simple/stupid project to use something until it completely falls apart. I just don’t want to needlessly waste scrubbies by using them only a few times, or losing them, or getting Dentyne stuck to it.
Rest in gummy peace Scrubbie #6.

Skip the Toonie

old-tram2A few people in recent months asked me about my trip to Australia. It’s a big deal because as most of you know, Australia is very very very far away from Canada. I’ve always wanted to spend my birthday, usually one of the coldest days of the year in Canada, in a place where February means SUMMER. There were other places I could have gone but my heart was set on Australia. A land of friendly people, rich history, wonderful climate, beautiful scenery and of course, the beach.

 
When discussing Australia, What surprised me is that a lot of people want to go to Australia but admit they do not know how to go about saving for the trip. For 2 years, I saved for my trip to Melbourne by ignoring the endless ways we can spend little bits of money.

I skipped the Toonie.

Given the opportunity to spend $2 here, or $2 there, I chose to not spend the $2. I admit I was not perfect, but I will say, 70% of the time, I Skipped the Toonie. We have so much choice now that it’s easy to think  it’s only a Toonie.  You don’t have to make this your life’s work, but I found this worked for saving for a specific life event.

Then I had a completely unrelated conversation with someone about, of all things, laundry.

I do laundry once a week. One load, in cold water, colours and whites all mixed together. I know, living on the edge. The washers and dryers in my building each cost a Toonie. By skipping the dryer, I save $8 a month, times 12 months that’s $96. I do use the dryer about 5 times a year when I wash linen or new clothing that may need to be altered. So that’s about $86. People always say “but that’s only $86.” The money I saved did not go towards anything else, it went into my bank account, do not pass go, do not collect $200!  So my $86 x 2 years = $172CND which depending on the markets, is about $172AUS.

Well I can tell you, I found lots of ways to spend my $172AUS. Boat tour, bike rental, museum admission, a giant piece of chocolate cake on my birthday, donations to buskers, walking tour, gifts, books, trip to the beach, I could go on. And on. Great memories for $172AUS.

So my point is there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to skip the Toonie. It all adds up. All the way across the world.

Idleness Challenge

getbusyI gave myself a challenge for the first week of my experiment in idleness. I tried to do only one thing at a time.

No multitasking.

At work I was forced by the pace of the queue to multitask 6,7,8 hours a day, non-stop, every day. Some days, by 5pm, I would be so dead tired, I would wobble across the parking lot to my car, completely exhausted by the frenetic copy, paste, document, speak, sprint of my day. Some people love this, I loathe it.

Sadly, I am closet multitasker. I do find myself folding laundry while listening to a podcast or listening to music while washing the dishes. If I miss something, well, I can rewind, it’s no big deal. I do try to make a conscious effort to not engage in any sort of multitasking behavior around other people because it’s really rude.

So how did I do? Pretty darn good thank you very much!

I don’t really have a lot of deep, spiritual insight to provide about my challenge except that I enjoyed things much more. Even doing the dishes was enjoyable and I tried to think among the lemony suds why doing the dishes was better this week when a flash of insight hit me.  I did not feel rushed. Multitasking was a daily reminder of  the constant feeling of being rushed, being efficient and going onto the next task. I never savoured anything. Still there were times when I felt guilty for not being more productive and I had to close my eyes and take a few deep breaths to remind myself that it was okay to do one thing at a time.

On Thursday, a DVD I ordered a few weeks ago arrived in my mailbox. I was really looking forward to watching the movie so I made sure I had no distractions. I washed and put away the dishes, turned off my computer and put aside my book and focused on the movie.

thrive-logo2The movie,  Thrive With Less is about a group of university students in Michigan who decided to take on six challenges to cut out the excess in their lives, in an attempt to discover a more essential way of living. Like any sort of lifestyle experiment there are a lot of ups and downs.  It’s refreshing to see young people challenging themselves because frankly, young people are negatively portrayed in the media these days.

Without even trying, it turned out my challenge was not all that different than the six challenges outlined in the movie. Can we be better, or at least thrive with less?

Yes.