Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A new project

All of us have a bunch of projects that we are working on at once. In some cases there are times when one project is the main focus and it gets all or as much attention as you can give it.

When a new project comes along there needs to be the juggling to see how this new project is going to fit in or is it the one that is going to get top priority for a little while as you figure out what you really want to achieve out of the project. If you are lucky someone is going to tell you the goal of the project and the go live date and you just have to work on making it come to life and achieve the goals.

Now what happens when a project is figured out and it is a project that you are in charge of and also you are the one that is setting the dates and the overall goal of the project. This is something that I am currently dealing with and there are of course the different questions that need to be answered and things that have to be moved forward.

The project is something that I had sort of thought about for a while but again didn’t think it was something that I was going to make a go of until this past weekend. I am now working on a project that needs a lot of questions answered and also a bunch of other steps along the way. For me it also meant that the brain decided that it was going to try and juggle everything and just start to overwhelm me with questions and ideas.

One of the first things that I started to do was try and keep everything in my head and not write anything down which was a major problem. Sure this project doesn’t have a drop dead date but there is a date that I have in mind that I want to have the project basically ready for. Now to see if that is going to happen. After feeling like I was going to throw my hands up, I figured out the major problem I was having and that was having all of the questions in my head and also a bunch of steps also in my head. Thankfully I have a partner that is willing to sit and list to me and we decided to write down all of the questions and steps and it didn’t matter in which order they came out. The things that were in my head just needed to be put onto paper and then things might seem a little easier to manage. The list quickly grew into a page of point form notes but I felt better about things.

Sure the project is still very new and I still have a lot of questions that need to be answered but at least now I have a foundation and some place to put more of the questions and all of the answers and decisions that I am making. A new project, of course, is going to have a lot of unknowns with it but at least finding a means of making the unknown known is helping.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Benefits of loyalty cards or membershps

Recently I discovered one of the benefits of having a loyal card for a grocery store. I have also heard from others that they have experienced the same benefit and it does make me happy hearing that this is now happening.

What I am talking about it getting an email about a specific food or item that is being recalled that you have purchased. Sure in some ways it may feel like the store is being nosy and checking to see what you purchase but then there is the benefit of it being in their system.

I have loyalty cards from a number of the stores that we frequent because I figured if I can get some sort of bonus that makes shopping there a little nicer. Most times I will get my card scanned by the cashier to see if I have earned any points during that visit and also to see what the point total is for that specific store. What I didn’t realize is some of the benefits that scanning the card even when I am only purchasing one or two items. The benefit that I received recently was an email from a store letting me know about a food recall on a product that I had recently purchased. At first I wasn’t too sure about this but then I realized that yes it can be a real benefit to receive this type of email.

The message I received was:
Please be advised that a public safety notice has been issued on select units of xxxxx.
You are receiving this notice because your records indicate you purchased this product.
Click here for full details about this recall.”

I was very happy to receive this recall because it meant that I could double check the recall to ensure that the item I had purchased was either in the recall or it wasn’t in the recall. In my case the item wasn’t in the recall as it was just a specific date. For me I had heard about the recall the evening before I received this email because I also get all the food recalls from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency due to having the various food allergies that I have. Not everyone gets the food recalls from the agency so at least when the store lets you know you can check what you purchased.

I didn’t know that I would receive this type of email as a benefit from using my loyalty card but now that I have it lets me know how important it is for me to have that card scanned each time I do some shopping at the grocery stores.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Window coverings

window coverings
Well recently I was sitting on our balcony and looked over to the apartment beside us and noticed the various types of window coverings that are used in the different apartment units.  I understand that no everything wants drapes or sheers or things like that on their windows but it is interesting to see what people have done.

In this picture that I took there are basically three different types of window coverings.  One of them that is the normal drapes or curtains and then the other two types of things that to me shouldn't be used on the windows.  My basic concern is how are you sticking the material onto the window in the first place and how easy or hard is it to remove late.

On the bottom left of the picture where is what looks like foil over all of the window.  Sure it might help keep the heat out but considering you can now purchase blackout curtains at a reasonable price that would probably work as well and you would even get some air into the room as well. I understand that it may help to keep the room cool but it sure doesn't look nice from the outside of the building.  I know that with the new windows that they have just put in our building that you aren't allowed to put foil on the windows.

The top right of the picture is another method that to me really doesn't seem to be very useful and it looks like they have stuck sales flyers up to cover all of the window.  Again making it extremely hard to get air into the room as it is on all of the windows. The newspaper would be a good idea if you were painting the room and didn't want to get paint on the window but this paper has been up for weeks so it isn't that the unit is just being painted.

Sure everyone has a different view of window coverings and that works for them and what doesn't.  I think what gets to me is when there are the newspaper coverings because those are the ones that I really can't figure out.  I don't think it would keep a lot of the light out but maybe I am wrong. I also understand that no everyone can afford to purchase new curtains or drapes for their home but maybe just going into a thrift store may help them out.  A lot of the thrift stores have tons and tons of curtains and even if they are too big for the window it would probably look a little nicer than the sales flyers.

Window coverings are yes the choice of the people living in the unit so that is why it can be very interesting to just look at the various window treatments you see when you pass by some apartment or condominium buildings.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Being polite does payoff

There are times when just asking a question politely can make a big difference in how things are handled.

Recently there was an issue with the school bells ringing even after the school year had ended. I was trying to figure out why there were ringing when there was no students in the school and won’t be until September. As this is a large school there are a number of recesses which means a number of bells ringing in the morning and afternoon.

What I decided to do was to look up the website for the school board and ask if they could let me know why the bells were ringing. I simply asked if they could explain why the bells would ring in the summer when there were no students in the school. I got a reply early the next morning with a reply of “we have turned off the bells for the summer and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Yes, I got the results that I was really looking for and am happy with it. It now means that I can relax and have the windows open and not hear the bells ringing all day long. I think a lot of people will be surprised when they realize that the bells aren’t ringing everyday.

This proves that when you have an issue and would like to understand it simply asking the question politely can really make a difference. I could have written an email just complaining about the continuous bells and it probably wouldn’t have got me the results that I wanted. I just asked for an explanation about the bells because I wasn’t sure if there was a reason for them ringing all the time.
Just asking a simple question and politely can really help you and get you the results that you really wanted. Now I am going to enjoy working even sitting outside without the continual sound of school bells. In the fall the sound will return but at least then I will be inside more often and won’t notice it as much.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Listening to customers

Knowing the important of listening to customers can make a big difference in how you are seen by the customers.

Recently we were attending a conference and there were quite a few issues with regards to registration and the app that the conference was using to plan your agenda. I was fortunate to be able to express some of my frustration with the registration progress to someone from within the company. What I didn’t expect was the outcome of that conversation.

The outcome after the conference was an email from a vice president wanting to talk to me to discuss some of the issues that I had. Now the organization that I am talking about is not a small one location company but a multi-national company which a lot of locations world wide as well as lots of clients, which we are one of them. The email was a touch base and a question to actually talk to me so that they could hear about my issues without anyone else translating them. I had no problem accepting this request and am happy that I did accept it.

The conversation took place and I am happy that he was willing to listen to my issues and help explain why some of them actually happened. I was also provided with some follow up on one of the major issues and am happy that it was handled as quickly as it was. Now the rest of the issues that I talked to him about are things that can be improved moving forward and I hope that they are. The end of this conversation was a promise by him to follow up with me again once he has some more information. I appreciated the time he took to listen and the promise of following up with how some of the issues will be addressed moving forward.

Now what I have promised to do is if needed is to test both the registration and the app for next year to ensure that some of the issues that I pointed out have been resolved and the system is working better. I am glad that this organization did want to list to an end user / customer because I will now favourable recommend them as a software provided and know that they really do listen.

Listening to the customers can really make a difference on how you as an organization will be seen. Not everyone that is unhappy will provide the feedback but when they do make sure you take the time to listen and inquiry about the issue because if one person has had the problem and is complaining about it, how many have had the same issue and are just frustrated and maybe left.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Tourist in my own city

Toronto sign
City Hall with Toronto sign
There are times when it can be a lot of fun to just be a tourist in your own city.  We had a little bit of an opportunity this week to spend a bit of time downtown and of course I had to walk around City Hall so that I could take a few pictures of what I saw.

Part of the reason I wanted to see City Hall was because they had just finished redoing the Toronto sign that sits in Nathan Phillips Square.  As it is Canada's 150th birthday they added the Maple Leaf beside the word Toronto so I wanted a couple of pictures of that.  It was pretty busy down around City Hall but with all the various conferences and tourists in the city it is not surprising.

Old City Hall
The weather actually cooperated which was nice as we have been getting a lot of rain in June so having a day where we could walk around outside without an umbrella was also nice.  I think that might have explained also why it was so busy as it was one of the nice days this week where you could be outside.

Old City Hall Clock
We didn't spend a lot of time walking around as we were heading back from a conference and also had some work that needed to be done.  I decided that besides having a picture of the new City Hall I also needed to ensure that I had a couple of pictures of Old City Hall as well.  Old City Hall is right across the road from City Hall so it meant that I didn't have to go anywhere else to get these additional pictures.

It is always fun when you can be a tourist in your own city even if it's only for an hour or so. I hope to be able to spend some more time as a tourist in my own city this summer.  I think just being able to do it at various times is wonderful.  We hadn't planned on going to City Hall to take pictures so the pictures that I was able to capture were actually taken using my smart phone.  Sure I might have been able to capture more detail with my camera but it was nice getting the pictures that I did.

Being a tourist in your own city can be a lot of fun and even those shorts trip can be worth it.  Next time you have a free hour look at what you can see in your own city and enjoy it.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Frustration with forms


I recently received an email about receiving an e-book that I could easily download. It sounds simple enough and so I decided to fill out the form that I needed to before getting the download. Now the form was pretty simple as it included my name, city and then State. Well I figured that I would be able to at least find the provinces on the list because a lot of companies realize that there are places in Canada that would want this information. I was surprised when I couldn’t find either Canada or any of the provinces but you needed to provide a state to continue with the download. So I decided that considering I had to pick a state I decided I would pick Alaska as it would really confuse the data. I could have picked New York or a state close to Ontario but I decided to make it obvious that I wasn’t happy with the selection that I had.

I did receive the e-book so will now read it and I will probably get a call from the company in the not too distance future asking how they can help me. My answer is going to be that they can help me by making sure the form includes provinces especially since they do have a Canadian presence as I have seen them at various IT shows. I understand that a lot of people joke around that there is nothing north of the 49th parallel and here is an example of why sometimes Canadian’s get upset about how we are treated.

There are a lot of businesses that have their main head quarters down the States but when you providing a service to Canada please ensure that you at least let me either select Canada or a province on your form. When I have to select a state I will pick one that is very obvious and I know that the next time I have to pick a state it will be Hawaii.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blog posts and ideas from them

I know that I have been writing blog posts for quite a while and now I am thinking what I am going to do with some of the blog posts that I have written.

I haven’t been writing a lot of posts lately and part of that is because I have been trying to think of what to write and I have also been looking back at some of my older posts. I have come up with an idea for some of my posts but that is going to involve quite a bit of work. I have decided that some of my blogs could be combined into one larger document or at least I could collect all the blogs on one topic into something that is easily shared. Of course, to do this it means going back through lots of posts and figuring out how to combine the different posts and see what happens from there.

I am going to continue to work on writing the posts because I can normally find things to write about. I have been looking around me lately and haven’t had a lot of new topics so that has made it a little harder to actually write about something. I hope that over the next couple of weeks that I will be able to start getting back to the overall writing that I have been doing and have more ideas.

Writing a blog post can sometimes be a challenge because coming up with a different idea or topic can sometimes take a while. I am happy with all the posts that I have been able to write and know that it will continue.

A collection of various posts is going to be a lot of fun to work on and it will also mean that the posts may be edited a little bit as I start to pull them together into the various topics. I may even get some more post ideas just by going through some of the topics that I have written about in the past.

Writing for me is something that I really enjoy doing and I just need to get back to the actual writing instead of just looking at the page and not having ideas that I can write about.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Women in IT

When I go to the various IT events there is one thing that I notice a lack of and that is women in IT.

I’m not saying that there aren’t any women in IT but there seems to be so few compared to the number of men. I go to events where there are around 50 men at a meeting and there is sometimes 3 – 4 women in the group. It is something that I notice a lot and something that I really see as a problem. I have been told that I don’t understand the material or asked if I am just a tag along but I always say that I am there because I am in IT.

A recent experience
I did have an interesting experience recently and it did show that there are still people that have a problem with a women doing what they see as a man’s job especially in IT. A client asked our business if we could assist in moving computers for them. Yes, it was they hired the two staff to do the work so that was one man and one women. The person hiring us knew exactly who he was hiring and was happy that he could get me to assist with something in the office.

We arrive to help move both the desk top computers and the monitors for the various staff members and in this company there are a lot of men. I didn’t care because my role was to move the computers and that was what I was going to do. Sure, I had the cart to help me the computers the distance between the different desks but that was all. The first couple of moves went extremely well and the men seemed to be happy that I was there to move his computer. Now the third man that I had to help was a little different story. He wasn’t as prepared as most of them for the move so that was the first issue that I had to deal with but I understood and dealt with that.

When I went up to him to let him know that it was his turn for the computer move he didn’t seem to be too happy that it was time but he didn’t say anything about that. I did let him know that if he wanted to dust off the desk he was going to be going to he might want to do it then because I was going to be moving the computer quickly. He went off to clean the new desk so at least I could spend the time disconnecting his computer without an issue. I loaded the cart with just his computer stuff and off I went to set it up.

The new desk was at the opposite end of the office so that was fine and as I started to set up the computer he noticed a box under the desk and asked me what was in it. As I am not staff I didn’t have a clue and let him know that he might want to ask the person that had been sitting there about the box. He disappeared for a few minutes which gave me the time to set up the rest of the computer and ensure that it was going to boot up correctly. I did this and finally let him know that if he could log in I would appreciate it and then I was done with his computer and the move of it.

Well I figured I was finished having to deal with him but it didn’t end there because about an hour later he comes over and questions me about the mouse that I gave him. The mouse that I gave him was the one from his desk but he felt that I had exchanged his mouse for a dirty mouse. I walked over with him to check to ensure it was the mouse that I had moved and sure enough it was as we were only moving one user at a time so it was difficult to mix up any of the computer equipment. I told him that yes it was the mouse that had been on his desk and just explained to him again that we were only moving one desk at a time so it wasn’t possible to get the mice mixed up.

Other notes
I know that there are quite a few women in some IT roles but I think one of the issues is that they are not in some of the higher profile jobs which makes them less visible. I go to some security meetings and there are some women that are extremely knowledgeable and make a point of showing up to meetings.

I hope that soon it will be a lot easier to be a women in IT and not be looked down upon by other members of the same profession. Sure a women may not be able to move some of the equipment that a man can move but with way things are changing the equipment is getting lighter and move of the jobs involve a virtual machine and not a physical machine. Not every women that is in IT is a support person for the men. Women are in IT because of their passion and interest in the work but men have to understand that sure for years it was a male dominated profession but times are changing. A women that is in a role has already had to prove themselves and really doesn’t need to be challenged by other individuals just because they don’t feel she belongs in the role.

I will continue to prove that yes women do belong in IT and we aren’t all just there in the sales or marketing roles. We are there as a key part of a business and need to be seen as that and are no longer the one’s standing in the background.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Vacation Pictures

Columbia Icefields
Have you noticed how many people post their vacation pictures on social media while they are on vacation?

Recently I have been looking through my social media account and noticed that a lot of people have been posting pictures of where they currently are. Sure some of them are at home and doing things but a lot of them are on a vacation and they are posting what they are doing. Yes, I think it is nice to see a little bit about a vacation but then there are the negative aspects of posting pictures when you are on vacation.

1. Through social media you are letting all of your friends know that you are on vacation. That could be nice but then when one of your friends posts a like or a comment then their friends see that you are on vacation as well.

2. Are you sure that your social media page is only seen by your friends and not by everyone else that is on the same social media. Considering how often the different privacy policies change I wouldn’t want to be posting what I am currently doing.

3. Not everyone can go away on vacation due to work or personal responsibilities. If you are on a lot of vacations you could be just making those people feel even worse about their situation so that isn’t good either.

Now here are some good aspects of posting pictures.

1. You get to see different parts of the world by seeing where people are.

As you are see I don’t have a lot of good aspects of posting pictures while you are on vacation. I agree that it is nice to see some vacation pictures but if you are going to do that do it once you are back from your vacation. Another idea would be to put the pictures into an album on your social media page and then people can look at the pictures how they want to look at them. The other thing is if you are going to post daily pictures again put them in albums so that you don’t fill put everyone’s feed with multiple individual pictures.

It was nice today when I was thinking about writing this post to see a e-newsletter that my husband received from an insurance company. The newsletter was saying basically what I was going to be writing and that is if you are going on vacation wait until you are home to post those vacation pictures. Don’t let the world know that you are on vacation and where you are. By posting all these pictures on an ongoing basis you are telling everyone that your home is empty and you don’t be home for a while.

I love seeing the pictures of where people have gone on vacation but knowing when they are at each airport, hotel, tourist spot and even some meals is a little too much information for me. Remember when you are posting pictures please keep them to a minimum and also put them in albums and then I will look at them when I have the time and don’t have to see each picture as a separate post in my feed.

Note: The picture attached to this blog was taken on a vacation a number of years ago.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Blogging

I decided to look and see when I actually started writing this blog and it was May 27, 2011 so yes it has been 6 years of me writing. Sure I don’t haven’t been writing as regularly as I have lately but it is interesting to see how many different blogs that I have written. Before posting this one I have written 392 blogs for this blog alone.

What is interesting is seeing that I have 428 blog posts on another blog and that one was started on November 27, 2007 so that one is coming up to 10 years of having that blog. This blog is my fun and crafting blog and it doesn’t get as many posts as it now gets about a post a week and there were times that I was lucky to get a couple of posts a month on that blog.

Blogging for me is a great way to write out some of my thoughts and also a means of me showing some of the things that I do. My personal blog is where I show my different craft projects that I have been working on and that part of what I do whereas this blog is more my thoughts about life in general. I have found people amazed that I have two different blogs. I actually had someone ask me about this blog after they read my personal blog because of the difference between the two blogs.

A lot of people have moved from blogging to videos but I find that I can work on my blog a bit at a time and actually enjoy doing it this way. Sure some people enjoy being in front of a camera but for me being able to write down my thoughts and feelings is what is important to me. Sure not everything is written down in either of my blogs but there are things I want to show others and my blogs are how I do it.

I have seen people say how often they are going to post as soon as they start a blog without having an idea if that is even going to be achievable. For me I keep my idea of how often I will post realistic and if I can surpass that idea each month I am happy with that. Sure I have been able to write 2 blogs most weeks lately but if I get extremely busy I won’t be writing that much but will still try and maintain the 4 blog posts a month.

Blogging is something that I enjoy doing and I will continue to do it my way and know that there will be people that don’t like it and others that love it. My blog is something that I do because I enjoy doing it and it doesn’t seem like work to me at all.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Project Total Keeps Growing

If you are anything like me, you will probably have a lot of different projects that need your attention and then start to feel overwhelmed when you realize how many things you actually have on the go.

When I say projects I mean both the things for work and also things for yourself. Being someone that is a co-owner of a business there are always tons of projects that need my attention for work so it is just a matter of trying to keep them organized and yes written down. I have been bad lately at writing them down so now it is to get back to writing everything done and then seeing how I can get the things done.

Now the personal list is probably just about as bad as the work list because I haven’t been tracking what I should be working on and what really needs my attention. Maybe just spending some time working on all the lists is something that would be very important. A list of projects can help you feel a little better even if there are the personal projects.

Projects can be something very small which can be accomplished quickly or it can be something that will take days, or even months to finish but tracking them is important. Some people can try and track all their projects in their head but I have found that those are the people that don’t have a lot of different projects on the go. For someone that has a creative mind it can be a challenge to track all the concrete projects and then all the projects that are just little bits of ideas. Sure some of the little bits of ideas may never get any further than the little idea but without a method of tracking these ideas you may lose a good idea that can help solve an issue or even help with another project.

For a lot of people just looking at the lists of projects can be very overwhelming and it is something that you have to manage. For me I keep the project lists separate based on who they are for. Client projects are separate from our own business projects and then the personal projects can also be divided up so that when I am working on a specific item I only see those projects and not everything else..

Over the last little while I have been seeing the project total continue to grow and now I need to figure out what can be accomplished quickly and then get them off the lists. Sure a list of all the projects no matter how big or small they are can help you ensure you don’t forget to do something so now to get back to even updating that list. Some people say that keeping a list takes time to do but then trying to remember everything in your head can also be a challenge and it takes time. The time you spend trying to remember what you should be working on is time away from actually getting the work done.

Well it is now time for me to get back to working on those lists and see what I can get marked off today. Sure the list may grow along the way as well but at least I will remember all the different things I need to do.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Traffic in the city

Living in a big city has it’s advantages and then there are the disadvantages and I think traffic is one of the disadvantages.

For anyone that has to commute to work on a daily basis they really understand how traffic can impact them. It doesn’t matter if you take public transit or you drive to work you are doing to deal with traffic at some point on your commute. It can be as simple as a little bit of congestion on a side street or a main street or the bumper to bumper traffic that you will encounter on one of the highways.

In the big cities sure we have rush hour but now rush hour seems to be getting longer and longer because of the number of people that are commuting to work longer distances. There are times that I wonder when rush hour isn’t in Toronto. In some cases it seems that rush hour even occurs on the weekends especially on the highways. It doesn’t matter when you are on a highway there seems to be a lot of traffic.

For people that don’t know Toronto we have a major highway that at some points is between 12 and 16 lanes wide. Yes, the Highway 401 is that highway here in Toronto that is extremely wide and is one of the main routes along the top of the city for us. It is busy no matter when you are on it and that is because it is the main route from Montreal, Quebec to Windsor, Ontario. It is used by transport trucks as a means of getting across Ontario.

Now traffic isn’t just busy on the highways it can be busy on any of the main streets. Traffic can be impacts by a number of things and more common are accidents and construction. Another thing that impacts traffic is power outages, especially those that impact the traffic signals. When the traffic signals go out it can be a challenge to get around the city and especially through intersections. Some people understand how no traffic signals means an all way stop and then there are the people that figure they have the right of way no matter what. If a traffic signal is out sure you might want to just keep driving but there are other directions that are also trying to get where they are going. In some cases when a street is three lanes in all directions it can be a challenge to get across. It is nice when you can see that directions start taking turns and all the lanes in one direction go at once, one car at a time. Sure, it can mean it is a slower process to get through the intersection in some ways but it is the safest way to do it.

Traffic in a big city can be a disadvantage but when you have a good highway and road system it can work pretty well. Sure, there are going to be times when traffic is extremely heavy but you just have to plan for it and ensure that you give yourself the extra time to get where you are going.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Organzing

I think everyone goes through a time where they look at all the stuff they have and then think do I really need all of this stuff.

Recently we have been doing through just that thought process as we have been preparing for the new windows at home. Sure there are things that you will keep some for sentimental reasons and then there are the things that you are going to keep because they are used. There are then the things that you keep because you aren’t sure if you are going to need them or not. Of course, this is the group of things that are going to be sitting and not used for a long time but you kept them because of some other reason.

During this clean up we have been going through a lot of things and what is nice is finding new homes for some of the stuff. When I say new homes I am meaning places outside of our home and we continue to do this even now that the windows have been done. For us, we didn’t get a chance to go through everything before the windows so we are now working on doing through the rest of the stuff as we continue to put it into spots.

There are a lot of ways you can find new homes for your stuff that you no longer want and we have used some of them. Here are some of the different ways you can find new homes for your stuff.
  • Consignment stores – this are good for some things but you will have to remember that the store is going to take a percentage of the final purchase price and if it doesn’t sell you are going to be getting the items back.
  • Thrift stores – a thrift store is a great place to give your gently used items and this is great for clothes and smaller kitchen items.
  • Habitat for Humanity – here is where you can give your gently used furniture and appliances. You can either drop it off at a depot or you can also arrange to have it picked up.
  • Used books stores – depending on your books you may find a store that will take them for a small amount of money or a credit to the store.
  • Environment day events – this is a great way to be able to get rid of stuff in one location because there are different types of areas to give items to. The list at least in Toronto are, electronics (this is where you ca dispose of old electronic devices, computers, etc); hazardous waste (old paint, lights, etc); thrift store (they will take all the items that a thrift store can sell so a good spot for clothing, books, etc); and craft supplies (this is a stop where they will accept craft supplies that schools can use for arts and crafts).
  • Recycle bins – good spot for all the paper that you have around and not longer need but not for sensitive or personal information.
  • Shredding locations – a spot to get rid of all the personal papers that you have accumulated and need to dispose of. This can be done at home if you only have a little bit and you also have a shredder available or a fire place.
  • Garbage – this is for all that other stuff that isn’t good enough to be given away to anyone or is broken.

We have used a lot of these items and are looking into some of the other ways as we continue to find things that need to have a new home. I am thinking that over the next few months we are going to be continuing to clean up the place and continue to find the different methods of disposing of some of the things that we no longer want.

Organizing every once in a while is a good thing because it gives you a chance to go through all of your things and really think about if you still want them or not. If you have things that you no longer want but are still usable, check out where you can donate them because it is a way to help other people out as well.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our crazy weather

Living in Canada you get use to having weather that changes very quickly and you also learn how to deal with the differences.

This last week we had some crazy weather that in some ways was really nice and in other ways it was too quick. For two days in the past week we had temperatures of around 30C and the normal for the middle of May is around 18C so yes it was a big change. It wasn’t as if we had days of the 20C’s before this so it was a big shock. Sure a lot of people enjoyed the two days of wonderful weather but of course these days happened in the middle of the week and not on the weekend when more people could have taken advantage of the nice weather. Of course, now that the weekend is coming up the temperatures are back to around 16C and a chance of rain.

Besides these temperatures we have been having we have also had a lot of rain and that is something that has caused a lot of damage not just in Ontario but in Quebec as well. The lake levels are higher than they have been for years and people have lots their homes because of the floods that have occurred due to this weather.

For us in Toronto, Centre Island which is both an amusement park and home to some families has been impacted. The ferry service that normally goes to the amusement park section of the island has been suspended due to quite a bit of the walking trails being floods as well as some of the beaches. The school that is normally on the island has relocated to the main land for the rest of the school year because of the flooding as well. The residents that live on the island have had to put sand bags around to try and keep the water out. The only ferry service that is available to the island is for residence and staff to ensure that everything is ok on the rest of the island. The walking trails, beaches and amusement section of Centre Island is now closed and it may open in July if the water goes down enough and the ground has a chance to dry some.

Yes the weather does play a major role in what happens around us. We may live away from the water but we are still impacted due to all the rivers and streams that are in the city. For everyone we are all looking that the water levels and wondering how much higher the lake is going to rise because they say it could continue to raise into mid June.

Other cities and towns have been impacted as well as us. Montreal and the Ottawa region are just two of the areas that have also had to deal with the floods and they are also like us and wondering when the water level will start to go down. Hopefully this is the end of the crazy rainy weather and things will start to get back to normal but until then we just have to be careful when near any body of water because the banks have been damaged and they are no longer stable.

Everyone in the various parts of Canada are looking at the weather and wondering what is next. Some people are still having snow and others are dealing with the rain so now to see what the rest of this year is like for us. Like everyone else we deal with the crazy weather and understand that tomorrow things could change again.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Window Replacement

Windows before replacement
We recently had to deal with the windows and balcony doors being replaced in our apartment unit. There are some really nice improvements with windows and I am going to say that I do like these new windows as they keep a lot of the sounds from outside out. The windows that were in the unit were put in when the building was built and that was almost 50 years ago so there were not windows that would keep the cold out.

The window replacement was part of another renovation that has been going on at the same time and that is adding insulation on the outside of the entire building. As you can guess this isn’t a quick project when you think of every unit needing new windows and all the outside of the building needing bits of brick work and then the insulation being added. The windows were replaced in the building in stages and there were actually four stages and we were in the last stage. I can’t complain because this also gave us some time to do a lot of sorting out of stuff in our unit.

One of the biggest issues with replacing windows is you need to ensure that the weather is going to cooperate as well. Some people had their window replacement delayed because it was too cold out so that means a day or more of waiting for the windows. Other people were delayed because it was either too windy or it was raining out again delays. When it came to our area I was hoping that the weather was going to cooperate because it is a huge impact to have our home/office offline for a day.

Well the time came to actually replace the windows in our unit so here is a bit about that actual experience.

New windows
The work that is involved to prepare your apartment for getting the windows is a lot of work.  A lot of the instructions you get (4 days) before they replace your windows are common sense.  We have been working on getting ready for this window replacement for a while as the overall project has been going on in the entire building for over a year now.  So we finally heard that our windows were going to be replaced on a date (weather permitting).   Over the last couple of weeks we have moved a lot of the furniture around in the unit as we needed to ensure that everything was between 3 - 4 feet from all the windows and balcony doors.  The day before the window replacement involved putting drop sheets over everything to help prevent the dust from going everywhere.  Another reason for the drop sheets was to prevent things from blowing around as they take all the windows out at once and then put all the new windows in. 

We returned to the unit after being out for the entire day (you are not allowed to stay in the unit during the window replacement) and found that the people doing the work left the unit fairly clean. Sure there is dust that we are dealing with but the drop sheets really helped contain the dust. Also the people doing the work did an amazing job cleaning up after they were finished and we didn’t find too many pieces of glass or concrete so were happy.

After the windows were done the following work day you have the painter come in and do some of the touch up of the paint. That was something that wasn’t bad because he pained the ceiling and the window sill and the walls right beside the windows for about six inches. This was done and finally the work on getting the unit back to how you want it could start.

The end result is some really nice windows but of course now we need to put all the furniture back where it was.  We are going to be taking our time doing that because we are also going to continue to clean up and organize things. The actual returning of furniture is taking some time because we are also looking to see if the rooms can be better arranged now.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ad Astra - Part 2

The rest of the weekend is now about to start and will see how it goes.

Saturday evening
Book Launch – Brave New Girls
So it was off to attend another book launch and this one was for a collection fo sci-fi stories featuring brainy young heroines. The actual book isn’t going to be out until August but three of the authors were doing reading from their stories that are part of the book.

Masquerade
Now the Masquerade is sort of a competition for amateurs and this year the show was only about half an hour which worked out really well considering as you can guess there were other things to attend in the evening. I do like attending as I like to see some of the costumes even if I don’t know who the person is suppose to be or anything like that. Seeing the amount of work some people put into their costumes is amazing.

Book Launch – Matthew Bin
One more book launch was on our schedule and again this was Saturday evening. The books sounds really amazing so we picked up a copy of it and now to see when we have the time to actually read it along with everything else that we have to read.

Remainder of the evening
So the remainder of the evening was off to another party which was the GenreCon party and then head back to the room to get some sleep and recharge for Sunday which is the last day of the convention.

Sunday
Of course, by Sunday the energy level is starting to wear out and that is for most of the attendees as we are trying to do a lot of things all weekend long and don’t have a lot of time to relax and recover between the various events.

Project Management for Writers
This panel was to show writers have to move forward on their writing projects. The panelists all used different methods to track their projects and how they were getting things done so it was nice to hear what they all had to say. The two things that I really got out of this session were:
  • Time management is also brain management and needs to be managed
  • Stop starting and start finishing

Brandon Sanderson – Reading
Once again it was time to get into this panel early to ensure that we could get a seat and that is what we did. The session that was before our panel wasn’t as full so it meant that we could get a good seat and once it was over we moved up right to the front of the room and really enjoyed the reading.

Brandon again did the q&a’s and another reading. Now this reading was really interesting because he told us very little about where the book was part of or anything about it. The reading was great and what he did tell us was the book was very new as it was written on the plane on the way to Toronto from Salt Lake City. It was amazing to hear a reading from a book that was just being written.

Robert Sawyer – Reading
Now this was my final panel of the weekend and again it was a reading by an author that I enjoy reading. Robert Sawyer also did a q&a section and then did a reading from a book that he is currently writing. What is interesting is finding out that this book may never actually come out so we may be the few people that actually got to hear anything about it. Robert Sawyer also apologized about now being at the book signing when he was suppose to be there and once again it was due to the wrong time being on his badge for the signing.

Final notes and observations
The overall convention was a lot of fun and I have to admit that we were both very tired by the time we headed for home. It is always great to see all the friends that we have made and only see at this convention. We see other friends that we see during the year as well so it is a nice mix of friends.

The hotel is great because they deal with a lot of people running around in costumes and also parties that go well into the evening. Now to see how next year’s convention is because it is going to be held in July instead of the normal April or May.

We picked up a couple of other books that were available at the convention but we did keep the number of books down this year which was something for us. Normally the two of us come out of the convention with a pile of books and then realize that we may not have a chance to read them. I did buy one book on Sunday and part of the reasoning with this book was I could get it signed by Brandon Sanderson as soon as I bought it without having to deal with a line up. Now I have a book that is over 1,200 pages so will see when I get to read it.

Conventions can be extremely exhausting like this one is but it is also a lot of fun and I hope that it continues and next year the problems with the panelists schedule won’t happen.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ad Astra - Part 1

Ad Astra is a volunteer run science fiction literary convention in Toronto.

Here are some of my notes from the weekend event.

Friday evening is when most of the attendees, vendors, panelists and guests of honour arrive for the weekend. The event runs from 6 pm on the Friday event through to around 5 pm on the Sunday and there are a lot of different things to see and do.

The Guests of Honour this year were:
Brandon Sanderson
Kristen Britain
S.M. Stirling
Eric Choi

My schedule was a little lighter this year but I also wanted a bit of time to relax and see some of the other activities and not just be going to panels like I did a couple of years. So now, here is what I did this weekend with my observations and such.

Friday evening
Book Launch - Brandon Draga
This was a book launch of an author that we have got to know through attending Ad Astra. This was the fourth and final book of a series and we had to go and make sure we got one of the first copies of the book. It is always great to go to a book launch and help support a Canadian author.

Meet and Greet
This is an event held in the ConSuite where the Guests of Honours and Returning Guests of Honours are all together and also a chance to meet and maybe talk with them. This year Brandon Sanderson was one of the more popular guests and when he walked into the ConSuite he realized just how busy it was so he decided to go out into the hall for a while. Because it was busy we also decided to go out in the hall to cool down and am ever happy we did. The result of going out into the hall was the ability to listen to Brandon answer questions and talk with a bunch of attendees. Sure the hall wasn't very wide but it a wonderful chance to be among a small group of people standing and listening to him talk. After about an hour Brandon actually made it into the ConSuite and continued to talk to a group of people in one of the small areas of the room. It was great to see how this went and he did spend the entire two hours of the meet and greet talking to people.

After the meet and greet was over we stayed in the ConSuite for a while and then headed back to our room to relax and prepare for a busy Saturday.

Saturday
The Art of World Building
This was my first panel of the day and one of the reasons I wanted this panel was to hear Brandon Sanderson talk as well. I know that there had been a problem with the information that the book and the schedule have. The pull out schedule has one time and the program book has a different time. What ended up happening is Brandon Sanderson missed this talk because the time on his badge was 1 pm and the panel on the pull out was 12 pm. The panel was pretty good and there were five our panelists involved so it was pretty busy.


Guest of Honour Hour – Brandon Sanderson
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a Guest of Honour Hour but wanted to go to it as I wanted to enjoy listening to Brandon as I have heard him talk on a podcast (Writing Excuses) that we listen to. I knew this was going to be a popular session because even Art of World Building was extremely full and it was in biggest room that the convention had. We made sure that we got there in time to see part of the panel before this to ensure that we would get a seat. Once Brandon arrived we knew it was going to be a good time.

Brandon immediately apologized for the mix up about his schedule and offered that if the convention could find him a room he would do a short version of Art of World Building to make up for the mess up. That was really nice because it wasn’t his error but the convention that put the wrong time on his badge. It ended up that the person that was going to be setting up the large room for another evening for the evening which was also part of the convention gave up a half hour and that way Brandon was able to do both the Guest of Honour Hour as well as the other half an hour in the same room.

Brandon has a wonderful style of presenting and he did a part q&a’s then did a reading from one of his books and then finished up with some more questions. The second part which was the art of world building was also good because he was explaining how he builds his stories and it was great.

The time went extremely fast and I was then looking forward to the reading that Brandon was scheduled to do on Sunday afternoon.

Book Signing
The convention does offer a chance for the attendees to get books and other items signed by some of the Guest of Honours as well as other authors that are attending the convention. As soon as the extra time was over for Brandon we headed down to the signing room to ensure that we could get in line and as you can guess it the line up had already started to grow and that was about half an hour before the signings started. I stayed in line to ensure to get a couple of books signed by Brandon Sanderson. We also had a couple of books for Robert Sawyer to sign but he didn’t show up and that is when we figured out there might be a problem with more schedules. I did get the books signed by Brandon Sanderson and then it was off for a quick dinner and then onto more events.

Now to grab some food.  The remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday will be posted on May 15th.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A quiet zone

There are times that most of us need that spot that is quiet and a place where we can escape to.

We go to conferences and I have noticed that especially at a Literary conference there isn’t a spot where writers can go and do some writing without all the conversations that are happening at the end. I am not saying that an area needs to be a large area but having a spot where you can do and write down those thoughts and ideas that you have collected through panels you have attended or other conversations would be great.

For people that are staying at the hotel there might be time to go back to your room for a little bit of time but after waiting for the elevator and such you normally don’t have a lot of time in your room to do that writing. I know that I have found it difficult to do the writing that I enjoy doing at the conference because of all the conversations and such that are always going on. Sure you can learn a lot from the various conversations but there can be times that even 15 or 20 minutes of sitting without those conversations can really assist in helping you regain a focus.

If a writing room was to be provided at a Literary conference there would need to be rules outside the door to the room outlining some of the expectations/rules of the room. Some of the possible ideas are:
  • Talking in this room is not allowed, conversations are to be taken into the hall.
  • Any music or videos must be watched with headphones to respect the other writings/guests in the room.
  • Please respect the area and remember you aren’t the only one using the room so ensure you don’t take up an entire table to yourself.

This idea of a quiet zone/room came to me as we are preparing to go to a Literary conference and are staying at the hotel. Yes, I can go back to my room if I can a long gap between panels but if I only have half hour or 45 minutes, I would love a spot close to the actual conference where I could curl up and do some of that idea capturing. Not everything is going to need a spot for capturing ideas because they have their own methods but knowing this spot is available may help to inspire ideas and also show individuals the value of capturing the ideas when they are fresh and not trying to remember everything.

A quiet zone is just that, a spot where you can spend some time focusing on something you want to do but without all those other distractions that we have normally. Sure, the writers/quiet room may not be full all the time but at least giving people a spot could have a high return of investment. Maybe one people that used the room may have that great novel in their head and the key ideas were written while sitting in that room.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Networking

As someone that is in business for ourselves networking is extremely important.

Networking can sometimes seem like it isn’t helping you but then all of a sudden you find out that during one of those conversations you have made am impression on someone and they remember you. Them remembering you can result in some business that you wouldn’t have got if you didn’t network.

The thing about networking is it isn’t a do it once within a group of people and then forget it. The networking that you do should be a continual part of what you do. We were recently at an event and I was watching how so many of the people just talked to the people right around them but never really made an attempt to talk to others during the breaks or at lunch. Sure the process of networking can be exhausting but it is something that you need to do.

What I noticed when we arrived at the session we were met by someone that we had met a few times and right away it was “welcome back, and it’s great to see you again.” Yes, that is a little something and that is important because a lot of the people were returning attendees to this training session but even before we said our names we were recognized.

Most training sessions or conferences give you a name tag to wear and part of the purpose of the name tag is so that you can start a conversation with someone else. As a consulting business it means that sometimes we are approached by someone at the event that wants to find out what type of consulting we do as they are looking for a consulting to assist them. Sometimes we are approached by vendors to see if we want to become resellers for them. Again we are approached because we are standing up during the breaks and at lunch and making it look as if we are willing to have that conversation with someone else. Yes, there are times during a break or lunch when checking emails are important but if a response can wait until after the event it’s a good idea to leave that email until then. The urgent email messages get returned and then its back to networking.

When you go to these events make sure that you have your business cards handy so that when you meet someone it is easy to exchange your business cards with them. What we quite often do is place a few of our business cards in the back of the name tag so that they are easy to find especially when you are away from your spot where you having more cards.

You may not see the results of the networking you do quickly but it’s important that each time you are at an event you do some networking. You never know what will come out of some networking you did even a couple of years ago.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Renovations at home

I think most people have had to deal with some sort of renovation at home and the amount of work that is involved is major.

For us, we live in an apartment building so a lot of the renovations that happen don’t impact us which is great. Sure we may have to deal with the noise or the dust but those are things that you can deal with especially if we don’t work from home. We work from home so we do deal with those issues sometimes when there are renovations going on around us.

Now this renovation that is happening in our apartment building is going to impact us personally as they are replacing the windows in all the units. Sure it doesn’t sound like it would impact you too much until you look around and see what you have and where things are located. See, for this installation of the windows it means that you have to move everything away from the windows by a minimum of 3 feet. Sure, that doesn’t sound like big distance but in our case one entire wall of each of our rooms is a window so we only have three walls in some cases for the wall units and the other furniture. In my office area (original dining room), husbands office area (2nd bedroom) and our living room we only have two full walls to put wall units and those items.

I guess you can figure out that there are going to be things right up to the window in most of the rooms considering the actual lack of physical wall space. In my office area the location of my desk is right at the window so that I can enjoy looking out when I am sitting and working. It is also a spot that I enjoy sitting at when I am going a lot of other things as I have good light sitting at my desk or in my second chair beside the desk.

The actual installation of the windows hasn’t happened in our unit yet so we are still in the getting things organized before we have to move things. The actual installation of all the windows and new patio doors takes one day so that means for one day we don’t have our normal working spots so we are going to have to figure out how we will work that day but thank goodness we have a few ideas.

There is some good points about the organizing that we are doing and that is we are finding things that have been tucked away for a while. We have also used this time to actually go through things and quite a few things have found new homes or they have been recycled or thrown out. It feels good seeing how much we have been able to clean up so once the windows are done we will see what the apartment looks like without all the boxes we have been packing up. Yes, with all the moving around of stuff we have decided that until the windows are done we are packing up areas of the apartment so that it is easier to move the stuff.

The windows should be a lot easier for me to open which is something I am looking forward to. The renovation means that we have been able to do some of our spring cleaning but more cleaning will happen once the windows has been installed and we can start to resettle into our unit. Renovations can have a little or a major impact on you and how you deal with it can make a big difference. For us, we have been working on the organizing for a while now so once we get the notice that the windows are going to be installed we hopefully won’t have a lot of stuff to do.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Breaking a routine

We all have routines that we follow and it can be a daily routine or a weekly routine.

Being able to break the routine sometimes can make such a difference in things moving forward. The break can be as simple as doing something a little different one day just to give yourself a bit of a break. For us, there are days that we can go to a coffee shop for a change and then there are days that we decide it is time to go and watch a movie and go late in the afternoon.

Having the ability to change a routine can make such a difference as how you handle things moving forward. There are times when you can see that the routine is just getting that and it can start to bring you down especially if the routine is something that gets rather boring after a while.

For us we can sometimes schedule a break in our routine and those are the ones that we seem to enjoy the most because they are simple to deal with and they don’t impact others. This year we have done a couple of movie matinees and they are normally late in the afternoon once we know that the clients aren’t going to be in an emergency situation during the business day. Sure it could happen that an emergency call happens while we are in the theatre but we go into silent mode during the movie and quickly check email once the movie is over. Yes, there is a chance we may miss a call during that time but so far we have been lucky and there aren’t been any emergencies during the movies.

When we break our routine and take a week day as a day off we normally make sure that the computer is with us for those calls that may need our attention. We also try and ensure that we aren’t doing something that can’t be changed as for us the clients are how we stay employed so we need to make sure that we can deal with the issues when they arise.

Breaking a routine really isn’t hard and even for individuals that work in an office they can change their routine simply by doing something a little different either at lunch or right after work. If you normally head straight home after work how about meeting for a drink or dinner somewhere other than at home for a change. A little change can make a big difference to our you deal with things and that is what you are trying to do. You need a change and making sure you have those in your schedule every now and again is important. So how about instead of heading straight home from the office tonight you invite your partner to meet you somewhere for a coffee or a drink and see how that feels, you might be surprised.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dealing with a shellfish allergy

Of course I think everyone has an issue when they are dealing with a food allergy and here is just another one of the issues that we encounter.

When you tell someone you have a shellfish allergy they immediately think of lobsters and crab and things that have a hard physical shell on them. Well, when someone says they are allergic to shellfish they could also be allergic to shrimp, scallops, clams, oysters and yes calamari along with a lot of other items. See all of this items are considered in the same family so it makes it difficult to find a restaurant that serves finfish but not at least one of the foods listed as a shellfish.

One thing that has to be noted is that someone with a shellfish allergy may to avoid the area where shellfish is being steamed because the protein can become airborne which can also cause an anaphylactic reaction. I know this as I once had a reaction when I was in a restaurant and they served shrimp fajitas and I had a reaction but to the amount of sizzling that was coming from the platter.

I found a really good article with regards to shellfish allergies and here is the link for it.

There have been times that I would love to go out and have fish and chips at a restaurant but that is such a challenge as most fish and chip stores serve at least one item that is considered a shellfish. We continue to try and find a restaurant that I can go and have fish and chips but right now there still isn’t one that I have found in the GTA that I can eat at. We have had lots of friends recommend different restaurants and then as I do the investigation about the restaurant I discover that they normally have some sort of shellfish on their menu.

A shellfish allergy can be a challenge at the best of times but when you know what good fish and chips taste like as you are adult onset anaphylactic it can make things even worse. I didn’t have the shellfish allergy all my life so there are days when I would love to have something that I can’t eat but I know that I can’t if I don’t want the reaction. Until I find a restaurant where I can have fish and chips safely again I will just have to avoid having them. So, when someone says they have a shellfish allergy it may seem that only a couple of foods are eliminated but really there are a lot of foods that get eliminated.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Juggling the demands

There are times that we all look at the list of things that need our attention and wonder how we are going to find the time to get everything done. Having a list of all the different things is always a good idea because then at least you can figure out what needs to get done and how urgent each of the items are.

Running a consulting business means that things on the list can change their urgency very quickly and you need to be flexible most of the time. It can be a challenge some days when you have your schedule figured out and something happens that impacts how you are going to be accomplishing things. The changes can be based on a client needing some assistance or it can be something like a power outage that can effect your schedule. The client is something that you can deal with quickly because those you know will happen at various times and that is part of being in business. The juggling the issue of the power outage can have a bigger impact at different points. The power outage means that the stuff that you were planning on working on won’t be done especially if you are needing to either connect to a client site or use the internet.

During the power outage you have a couple of decisions that you are going to have to make and they are look at your list and see what else you can be doing while waiting for the power to come back on or you can leave your office area and find a location where there is power so that you can continue to work. In a lost of cases if you are using a laptop you can continue to work if you have the battery charged. For us, we try and ensure that our computer has a charged battery so that we can work during a power outage. In a lot of ways if you can continue to work in your office and deal with the power outage it is probably a better idea. Sure, you aren’t going to be doing the work that you had planned on doing but other things can still get done. Even if you don’t have things that you can do on the computer there will be other things that you can probably do such as that filing that you haven’t done for a while.

Juggling the demands of work can be a challenge but being flexible and able to handle the different issues is very important. Sure the list of things that need to be done may not get done as quickly as you had hoped but knowing that you can change what you were working on is very important. Next time you are dealing with some sort of outage be it a power outage or internet outage look at that list and see what else can be done and you might be surprised at what you can get done.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Being excluded

There are times when being excluded can have a negative impact on a person and that isn’t good.

If you are having events where only certain individuals are to be included here are a few tips to ensure that others don’t feel like they are being excluded for maybe the wrong reasons.
  1. Don’t talk about the event like it was something that everyone was invited to attend.
  2. When asked about the event be honest if everyone can attend or if it just for a specific group of individuals.
  3. If you don’t want specific individuals to know about the event don’t talk about the events in front of other individuals.
  4. Don’t give reasons why you think an individual may not attend if you don’t know the answer. Don’t use that they don’t drive or they live too far away as reasons for not inviting them.

These are just some of the tips that I would suggest that you remember when you are talking about various get togethers. Sure it might be difficult for everyone to make it to each of the get togethers but at least give the individuals the opportunity to say yes or not and don’t exclude them for reasons you think why they may not attend. Just making sure that everyone feels that they are welcome is very important because when this doesn’t happen you will start to find out who true friends are.

I understand that for me there are challenges of making some events especially ones that are during the week and either during the day or in the evenings. I have had to be very selective of the events during the week that I attend but on weekends that is a different story. Most weekends it wouldn’t be difficult for me to get to various areas in the city or even to areas just outside the city. I think a lot of people are in my similar situation and that doing things in the evenings can be a challenge because of work and family life.

So next time when you are planning an event and you don’t think the person will attend, why not ask them anyway. They may be able to attend and if not they will give you the reason that they can’t that time. Also remember if they can’t attend once that might be due to a previous commitment so try a couple more times and see what happens. Don’t exclude someone just because you think they won’t attend as you might be very surprised. Another point to remember is that if you don’t want an individual at the event don’t keep talking about the events around them because that just shows how inconsiderate you really are.