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August 2004
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October 2004

Tired, Exhilirated Internet Coach...

The past two days has been intense, exciting, and really fun. I have been running seminars in conjunction with the City of Kamloops Parks and Recreation department. One course is called 'Scanning and Digital Imaging" and the other "Intro to Internet". I didn't quite know what to expect as it's the first time I have run seminars in this format. It's really worked out well overall. 2 three hour seminars a day is pretty intense. I had almost lost my voice by the end of the evening seminar this evening. I just try and keep it fun, casual, and very informative and work for the best.

I decided this week to start each seminar asking each participant if there were specific things that attracted them to attend. Then I made sure I covered those topics as a priority. That may sound simple, but in writing down everyone's answers on a piece of paper and keeping it very close throughout, I could keep zeroing in on areas of interest and concern.

95% of the evaluations 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5. It's pretty amazing when you get an evaluation back and you see someone has rated you 100%.

Not satisfied though - I have to keep on getting better. Next time I do this, the goals needs to be 95% of evaluations 5 out of 5.


Meeting with Betty Hinton, our MP, about Sudan...

It occurs to me that this may seem like a stretch to some - shouldn't we be worried about our own backyard rather than devoting time and energy to a country many world's away. Issues like foreign aid or international development aren't exactly hot button election issues in Canada.

In the past month, I have probably blogged about Sudan more than any other issue. My concern certainly stems from a deep love of Africa stemming from spending time there and meeting many incredible and kind people. But, if I had never stepped off the Canadian land mass, I hope I would still be concerned.

Canadians are enormously fortunate people. We have won this cosmic lottery the places us here rather in Iraq, or in a slum in India, or in Darfur Sudan. The vast majority of people living in the absolute hell of a war zone or in the incredible destitution of extreme poverty got to these places through no fault of their own..

It sometimes really angers me the amount of navel gazing and whining we Canadians partake in. We are living in many people's conception of heaven and we need to try and spread our good fortune around. You think our health care system sucks, imagine the waiting lists in Kabul.

Whoosh. I got in a bit of a rant there. Betty Hinton, our MP, graciously met with a small group of us who wanted to express to her concern about Sudan. She was open to our message, shared with us some of her frustration about not being able to do more about human rights globally, and gave us some insight as to how to continue to show our concern to our elected representatives. Thanks greatly to her assistant, former Kamloops This Week reporter Darshan Lindsay, who booked an appointment for us on quite short notice.


Mayor Mel's Trip to China

Kamloops Mayor Mel Rothenburger just came back from a trip to China and he is justifiably excited by all the business opportunities for Kamloops companies in the world's most populous country. While, as a business person, I am totally with Mayor Mel, as a person concerned about human rights, I am concerned about dealing with a nation that still actively represses its own people's reasonable freedom.

Our local University, as of yesterday called Thompson River University, already welcomes hundreds of Chinese students a year and Thompson Rivers actively recruits in China. So, we already have pretty strong business relationships with Chinese companies and educators.

I am just wondering if there is a way we can promote some of our democratic values, as well as sending over our products and services.


What Hockey Actually Is...

Yesterday in Nanaimo. thankfully, brought me back to what hockey actually is. By chance, I got the opportunity to watch the Vancouver Canuck Alumni Team play in support of charity.

My Brother in law, Rafe, works as a photographer for the Nanaimo Bulletin and I wanted to spend some one on one time with him. He told me he was photographing a hockey game and I asked him if he would like company.

When we got to the Arena. I was a little surprised to see the older but obviously very skilled men dressed completely in the Canucks uniform. How had the Canuck authorized this?, I wondered.

Then, I spied a programme on someone's lap and found out that the team was the Canuck's alumni team.

Then, I realized most of the guys had played in the NHL, retired, but didn't want to quit. Then, I realized that Richard Brodeur - who backstopped the Canucks ride to the 1982 Stanley Cup Final - was in net. These gentlemen and their team mates are well past big fat pay cheques. Last night, as aforementioned, they played for a charity.

Then, I saw Kirk Mclean - who was in goal when the Canucks almost won the Cup in 1994 - now playing forward.

Then, I noticed that there was no fighting, no hard checking but a lot of exciting passing and end to end rushes.

Then, I looked around at the very small crowd in a small arena in this small city. They were very enthusiastic.

Then, it dawned on me that, despite the NHL strike, hockey is still being played everywhere in Canada at every level short of the very top. And this is a good thing. And it is the most important thing.

We can't make the mistake of taking a disfunctional NHL and making it representative of the whole game.

Thanks to my bro in law, hockey fans in Nanaimo, and the Cancks Alumni Team for remnding me of that.


Here in Nanaimo for Joss' Birthday

5 years ago, tomorrow, an amazing event occurred. My nephew Joss came into the world on September 19th, 1999. I wonder about the stories he might tell in the future about being able to catch the last few months of the 3rd millenium. I was born in December 1969 and sometimes say only three short weeks allowed me to call myself a hippie.

When this little fella was born, man on man, did we celebrate. First grandchild for all the grandparents. We simply had no idea how much joy Joss would bring to our lives. After holding in him our arms, then having a giddy dinner out, I stayed up into the wee hours and talked about life with my brother in law's father - a wonderful man. Ray Arnott.

5 years later and Joss is a 'little man'. I hope we've all done him right in trying to give him good values so far. I think we have for the most part. We human beings, the lot of us, have many different hang ups and baggage. All we can ultimately do is commit to try our best. Parents, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts are bound to have at least some of our not so good qualities transfer over to the children of the family. I hope and believe, though, that our absolute love shows through.


Raising $15 000 for the Kamloops Brain Injury Association!

I hugely admire my parents and my best friend Marsha who have helped organize a golf tournament in support of the Kamloops Brain Injury Association. My father, Dr Gur Singh, practiced as a neurosurgeon for 35 years in Kamloops and was approached to lend his name and organizing skill to this tournament. My mother, Manju Singh, is organizing the food and entertainment. And Marsha has worked pretty tirelessly to secure auction and door prizes.

They have been working with an amazing organizing committee and very dedicated Brain Injury association staff.

I have been on the periphery of all this, with different work and other commited commitments. It's been hugely inspiring to watch. They sold out the tournament, are putting on a spectaular event (everyone gets multiple prizes and very easy and consistent access to great food / drink). And they are on course to raise about $15 000 to help surviviors of brain injury.

Tournament is on for Friday. .

Been absolutely inspiring to watch it all happen already.


Typepad grows...

If you visit Typepad's main page, you will see on your right hand side of the screen, a list of recently updated weblogs. It used to be, a year ago when I first started blogging, that I would see the same blogs remain somewhere in the 10 slots on this list for a long time. Not anymore. Hit the browser refresh/reload almost anytime of the day, and a new list of blogs appear, often completely new.

Congrats Typepad on your growth,
A loyal customer


Sunday night planning...

Because of the labour day holiday, this evening (Monday) is my Sunday evening. And on Sunday evenings, I am trying to put time aside to plan the upcoming week. I planned last week 8 days ago and it went pretty well. I don't do it enough and am trying to get into a habit, a routine.

In the next 90 minutes, I am going to put together my contact list for my business prospecting, and figure out a bit of a schedule as far as time for larger projects.

I am not sure why exactly I am blogging this but it feels good. Another thing that feels good when I am in this kind of state of mind is to read snippets from Curt Rosengren's Occupational Adventure blog.